A friendly warning to enemies of Mayor Rama

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

For every devilish character who, for selfish and greedy ambition and other malicious motivations, starts to malign or defame the honor, integrity, and reputation of Mayor Michael Rama, there are tens of thousands of loyal men and women who shall stand to defend such a man of integrity, passion, and love for the country and Cebu City.

If you want to run for mayor and show the city and the world you have a better vision, a greater master plan, a more viable set of strategies than what Mayor Rama has presented to the people, then go right ahead. No one can stop you from making a fool of yourself. Present your dreams to the people, get a mandate from the electorate, convince city residents that you can lead better, manage more effectively, achieve greater results. But don’t begin your campaign on a negative note by destroying the character of a man who has chosen to dedicate his life to public service, offering his talent, time, and even treasures to serve the people. Remember who you are and where you come from.

Mayor Rama is the grandson of the architect of Cebu City's status as one of the best and most progressive cities in the Philippines. He didn’t descend from Mt. Olympus, Mt. Manunggal, or from nowhere or materialized himself out of the blue. Destiny and blood lineage brought him to City Hall. And he started from scratch. He didn’t claim leadership just because of his name. He proved himself and earned his own right to serve the people. He was wounded and scarred in the battlefield of life. He fought his way and earned a seat in the council not by the strength of the Rama brand but by his own merit and qualifications. He worked hard and didn’t inherit his reputation from the mere name of his mother or father. And where did you come from, by the way?

There were many people that Mayor Rama helped and supported, campaigned for, and even funded. He pulled them up from the dark caves of anonymity to the shining glory of political victory. There were many who sought to share in the sheer magnetism of being aligned with him. It’s because to be identified with Mike is to be associated with vision, passion, excellence, integrity, hard work, honor, and honest public service. But many of these men who lust for power are driven by their own vested interests, their suffocating ambitions, their chronic envy, and their own insatiable greed for power, prestige, and glory. Well, there is nothing wrong in aspiring for greater heights. But with a quick caveat: Not at the expense of the honor and reputation of a great man.

It is too early to be politicking when the people are begging for better service. The people are suffering. El Niño is warning that we shall have a crisis in many basics and essentials. Let these ambitious men look at themselves in the mirror and ask their conscience. Have they performed well enough in their current jobs in accordance with their own key results areas and performance indicators? Why don't they conduct a survey on the impact of their functions to the actual users of their products and services? Are the people happy with them and with their performances? If they cannot even crack a simple nut, how can they carry a forest on their back?

As John told us about the Lord's admonition to the angry crowd in 8:7, he who is without sin should only be the one to cast the first stone. And as Matthew rebuked us in 7:5: You hypocrites, remove first the big lump of garbage in your own eyes before you dare to clean the speck in your brothers' eyes. You hypocrites. And there you are.

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