John H. Osmeña got
to live until 86 years old.
I did not really know him
personally. But I got acquainted with some people close to him. One of
them was his only child,
John-john. This column,
nevertheless, is not about
the son who I hope to
meet again soon.
The former senator
had previous brushes
with death. He was injured during the pre-martial law Plaza Miranda bombing. Then
months ago, he recovered from Covid-19. A columnist Bong
Wenceslao described him as the last of Cebu’s legislators who
distinguished himself at the national scene. Apparently, after the
death of Cong. Tony Cuenco and Raul del Mar, the others at the
Lower House failed to impress this political observer.
However, I remember JHO or Sonny O’s impact on local
politics and the economy. Sometime during the short stint
of Pres. Erap Estrada for example, the senator who chaired
the powerful committee on finance at the Senate told Cebuanos “pagpuasa mo.” Enraged that Cebu City voters did not
include him in the Magic 12, he deprived the South Reclamation Project (SRP) of national funding. This prompted then
Mayor Tomas Osmeña to fund this crucial endeavor with a
multi-billion loan from Japan.
Of course, he was an ally of a political figure I admired,
Gov. Tingting dela Serna. There were also not so known endeavors like his alliance with the late Rolly Kintanar, who by
1998 to 2001 was already known as the former NPA chief.
In 2004, JHO did things that angered the UP community.
I believed the community ganged up on him and contributed
to his defeat for another senatorial term. I think this is one
tidbit of political history that the Duterte administration forgot when recently it went after the UP community. The resbak
could be a UP community and alumni working against the
candidacy of presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Perhaps the faction of Mayor Edgar Labella can win a
compromise between Megawide and the vendors of Carbon
market. That much we can read between the lines during a
press conference organized by the vendors with the help of
pro-Labella personalities. However, the challenge would be
the CFI Cooperative led by Winston Garcia. Some media quarters expect Winston to file a case against the project soon.
Binaliw waste facility
The waste facility in Barangay Binaliw earned late last
year the support of Mayor Labella. After all, the DENR
cleared the facility and it presented a cost-effective waste
management system. However, this did not sit well with an
influential quarter within the Cebu City Council especially after the City Hall stopped the operations of the so-called transfer station in Barangay Inayawan. Naay nawad-ag negusyo sa
Inayawan? O naay nawani sa Binaliw?
(Emmanuel Mongaya is co-founder and director for Strategic
PR of PRWorks Inc. He is also a member of the Political Officers
League of the Philippines or POLPhil. DM him @anol_cebu)