The strengths and weaknesses of Mayor Mike Rama

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

Mayor Mike Rama would be the last person to claim that he is a perfect man. He has his positive points and his downside too. He would also be the last to claim his own strengths but he is quick to admit his own imperfections. And that is precisely what endears him to many, especially to us who know him well enough. He was my student in 1977 and my wedding secondary sponsor in 1978. I’ve known him well for about 49 years now.

His first strength is that he is a man of God and family. His devotion to the Holy Child, his love for his family, and his loyalty to his friends have been tested and proven beyond any shade of doubt. He is deeply spiritual and has an innate and genuine fear of and love for God.

His second strength is his vision for Cebu, his global perspectives, his enlightened reaching out to Singapore, Australia, Russia, the US, and other countries has expanded his grasp of the art and science of geopolitics and governance. He is not parochial, much less myopic. He is driven by a passion to level up his city to the best in the global arena.

Third, Mike is eminently qualified to lead and push the city and the nation to greater heights. He is a lawyer, he is an experienced HR professional, a labor law expert, and labor dispute arbitrator. Unlike his opponents who are just scions of famous names and who rise in the shadow of their famous parents or grandparents, Mike is a self-made man. He struggled hard and worked his way from the bottom. He learned from his mentors and he easily absorbs global and regional trends and developments.

Fourth, Mayor Mike has the boldness to do the impossible, he is bullish, aggressive, he is not afraid to bite the bullet, drink the poison ivy for the sake of the truth, and face the music whatever are the consequences. These are traits of a true leader.

Fifth, Mayor Mike is not afraid to do the right thing even if many of his followers and supporters are going to hate him. This rightsizing program in the city government is a high-risk program which lesser men would not dare to do especially a year before elections. But somebody has to clean up the mess of all past political appointments.

Sixth, Mayor Mike is a master of synergy, public-private alliances and teamwork among people and institutions. He knows whom to tap and where to source the materials, money, machines, and methods. He is not just an amazing leader, he is a terrific manager.

Seventh, Mayor Mike has a core group of loyal, competent, conscientious, and committed action men and women who are willing, ready, and able to implement his instructions.

But then again, Mayor Mike has his own downsides too. First, he is too open, too frank that he sometimes telegraphs his punches. That gives bullets to his enemies.

Second, he is too trusting at times, he trusts the wrong people who betray him. Many of his old allies who know some of his secrets have abandoned him. They are using information obtained in confidence now in order to hit him. Mayor Mike should exercise more caution in people whom he trusts and should be more selective in the choices of his inner circle.

But the bottom line is clear and simple: Mayor Mike is a good man with a beautiful vision and strategic plan for Cebu City. He should be supported and given the necessary assistance. He should be protected from scheming vultures who want to destroy him for their own selfish reasons. He should be shielded from people whose ambitions may undermine his character, reputation, and honor.

If I have the time and the opportunity to talk to my former student, I will surely give him a heart-to-heart talk and leave him with nuggets and a piece of my mind. I hope he will listen and take them to heart.

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