When your vice becomes your "enemy"

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The predicament confronting Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama relative to the official acts of Acting Mayor Raymund Garcia is a mirror of the perennially problematic situations between mayors and vice mayors, between governors and vice governors and between presidents and vice presidents. It seems that Vice Mayor Garcia is "reversing" almost all the directions of Rama's thrust of governance. It is not just a matter of style but one of substance and principles. There is not just an estrangement but an ultimate parting of ways.

Well, as a brilliant lawyer, and a member of the clan of lawyers from both the Noy Jesus branch and the Noy Pabling branch of the famous Garcias from Bitoon, Dumanjug and from Barili, (we respectfully call the two brothers with "Noy" appellation because that is how we, from the south accord the two late icons with high esteem and even awe. They were the classmates of my late father in Dumanjug and we have come a long way by blood and affiliation), the acting mayor can always say that it is his prerogative to make decisions as the sitting chief executive. Acts and decisions like accommodating the MCWD and the PPA and suspending gasoline allowances and conducting investigations on matters decided by Mayor Rama may be legally right. But they are slaps on the face of his party mate and the duly elected mayor of the city.

This kind of political dilemma also confronted Governor Gwen Garcia and vice Governor Junjun Davide earlier in their times, albeit no longer today. And it was not too problematic in their case because they never belonged to the same party, they never ran under the same ticket. Most importantly, the vice governor has become very cooperative and very supportive of all the programs of the governor.  You never heard of the vice governor criticizing the lady governor. They have always been civil and decent with each other. The personalities of Gov. Gwen and Vice Gov. Junjun are complete opposites. I wrote earlier that Davide is from Venus and Garcia is from Mars. Davide is a dove and Garcia is an eagle. The problem with Rama and Garcia in the city is that both are eagles, both lawyers and both from Barug.

The problem of Mike and Raymond is just a tiny microcosm of the gargantuan conflict between President BBM and Vice President Inday Sara. If the vice president should listen to her father, she should have resigned from the Cabinet the moment former president Rodrigo Duterte, Congressman Paulo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte started lambasting BBM. Her stay in the official family of the president has become incongruous when the First Lady openly insulted her by snubbing her publicly and by declaring in press interviews the reasons why First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos felt insulted by the acts of the vice president. Any day longer that Inday Sara remains in the Cabinet is a point against her. For this reason, her popularity rating went down because she is riding on two horses.

The conflicts between presidents and vice presidents started when Diosdado Macapagal, a Liberal Party bet, won when the President, Carlos P Garcia, was a Nacionalista. It was revived when the vice president Doy Laurel had a falling out with President Cory Aquino, and when Erap won the vice presidency and he did not belong to the party of President FVR.  It was exacerbated when GMA won as vice president and Erap was the president.  GMA took over as chief executive even when Erap did not resign nor died nor became incapacitated. GMA was given a dose of her own medicine when Teopisto Guingona, her chosen VP, denounced her "Hello Garci" imbroglio. Jojo Binay did not belong to President PNoy's party but because Jojo used to be Cory's "Rambotito," Binay behaved. But Duterte and Leni had a love-hate relationship which was better managed than the charades of BBM and Sara.

The problem of Mayor Mike and Acting Mayor Raymund is not because Garcia is "overacting." He is just trying to do well hoping that the Cebuanos would see him ready to become a full-pledged mayor himself.  That was like Alvin Garcia under Tomas Osmena, like Mike Rama under Tom, and like Edgar Labella under Mike. All is fair in love and politics. There are no permanent friends nor permanent enemies, only permanent interests, permanent ambitions.

Mike and Raymund need to have a heart to heart talk. For old time's sake. Lain ning managkuyog nga dili na manag kauban. Maayong Mag frankahay aron way mahayay.

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