No concern for Cebu?-A A +A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
DESPITE the short preparation, the celebration held yesterday at the Capitol grounds marking the 28th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution was a success.
It was the first time that the celebration was held outside Metro Manila where the bloodless civilian-backed military uprising that drove then strongman Ferdinand Marcos and his family out of Malacañang and into exile in Hawaii happened.
No less than President Noynoy Aquino III and some members of his Cabinet graced the occasion. Local officials headed by Gov. Junjun Davide and Mayor Michael Rama and some congressmen also attended the affair.
Disregarding his prepared speech and without using a teleprompter, the President delivered his 13 minutes speech by saying he wanted it to be straight from his heart.
He recalled his first visit to Cebu after the murder of his father, Ninoy Aquino, on Aug. 21, 1983. He also defended the holding of the celebration outside Metro Manila by noting that, “Edsa is for every Filipino.”
I couldn’t find anything important or significant in the President’s speech. He mentioned the multi-billion-peso infrastructure project that will connect the South and North Luzon Expressways, but that was envisioned during Marcos’s time. He did not announce projects for Cebu, especially in areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
But after his speech, the chief executive went to Bantayan island to assess the extent of the damage Yolanda wrought. He did this after almost four months since the typhoon struck the northern part of Cebu.
I don't know what he announced there or the assistance he extended to the victims.
Maybe he distributed the motorized bancas prepared by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for the fisher folk in that island.
Had it not been for the persistence of fourth district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon, the northern part of Cebu would have been left out in the rehabilitation effort.
It was only last week when a team from the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (Parr) met with local officials from the devastated areas. Parr officials only gave the assurance that there is money for the rehabilitation effort.
If you look carefully, PNoy has not given any major infrastructure project to Cebu, except for the circumferential road in Mactan island.
Former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada had the second Mandaue-Mactan bridge.
Gloria Arroyo had the Cansaga bridge in Consolacion (she also supported the flyover projects of Rep. Raul del Mar).
What about PNoy?
I had a short chat with a Cebu City councilor allied with the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) during the 77th Charter Day anniversary celebration at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel last Monday night. The councilor admitted that former mayor Tomas Osmeña really had a hand in some of the group's moves in the city council.
The councilor said that one time he sponsored a resolution appropriating some amount for the various infrastructure projects in the mountain barangays. But some BOPK councilors did not support his move because most of the barangay captains where his projects would be implemented are identified with Mayor Michael Rama.
He tried to convince his colleagues, especially Councilor Margot Osmeña, to support his resolution because residents of these areas would benefit the projects, but to no avail.
See that? Tomas is sabotaging Rama's administration through his minions in the city council. Pagkatoytoy!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2014.