Why are Mike and Tom dropping Cutie?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

It seems that the political stars of both Mayor Mike Rama and his mentor, former mayor Tomas Osmeña have experienced a rare occurrence of political alignments these past few weeks. Both of them dropped Rep. Rachel Marguerite “Cutie” del Mar from their respective lineups. Also, both of them opposed moves to stop the BRT project. This may be a sign of bigger and happier things to come for both political titans.

But this isn’t good news for the incumbent congresswoman of Cebu City's north district. If Rama makes good his promise to drop Cutie in favor of Councilor Dondon Hontiveros, that will be disastrous for the good lady solon representing Cebu City's first district. And if Osmeña also pushes through with his plan to field councilor May Ann de los Santos to be the BOPK's official candidate instead of Del Mar, that may signal the end of the incumbent's political career.

Let us analyze the reasons for these convergent decisions of the two leaders. I think that the justification declared by Mayor Mike is more professional, mature, conscientious, and more politically acceptable. It is fairer and more palatable to both the elite and the masses of hoi polloi. Mayor Mike was infuriated that the lady representative was allegedly involved in the House of Representatives' concerted and covert acts of gathering signatures for the much-maligned fake People's Initiative for the amendment of the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The lady solon didn’t give the mayor the courtesy of being informed. The mayor was irritated that these initiatives were done behind his back. That being the case, I agree Rama has enough reason to drop her solon. If the good congresswoman was like her late father, I am sure that she would have invited the mayor or visited him at City Hall or, at the very least, called him and disclosed the congressional initiatives. I do like Cutie and she is really a good and hardworking member of Congress. But she apparently lacks the political savvy of her dad.

On the other hand, the reasoning of Osmeña is, and I say this with due respect, quite very trapo-like. Osmeña was irked that Cutie didn’t even visit him and the BOPK which helped her in all her past political fights. Osmeña remarked that her late father used to visit people, attend even small gatherings in simple baptismal parties, and in grand weddings too. Cutie never visits him and never visits people. I find this quite very traditional politics. Congress members are elected as lawmakers not to attend baptisms and weddings. Nonetheless, Tom is right. We are in the Philippines, we are in Cebu, and these are traditions.

Translated in more theoretical and cerebral terms, Cutie has failed to build strong relationships. She might have accomplished much in legislation, passed many bills into laws, and attended many committee hearings and plenary sessions. But she might have forgotten the folks down there who sent her to Congress by the power of their votes, in the first place. That is politics in this country. She needs to kiss babies and attend necrological services and wedding receptions. The duties in legislation and building rapport with the hoi polloi are not mutually exclusive.

Personally, I wish that Cutie is reelected. She is decent, dignified, honest, and hardworking. She does not know me from Adam but I knew her dad and Raul knew me. I would advise Cutie to mend fences and make amends with both Tom and Mike. There is still time. I know these guys are not hard to forgive and accept her back. We all have our errors in judgment and failings. But as long as we have good faith, there is no reason not to reconcile.

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