Chaos in the city?

Per­haps, Mayor Tomas Os­meña wants chaos to rule af­ter he cut the al­lowances of work­ers in the city’s 80 barangays

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - ELIAS ESPINOZA atty.el­

What made Daan­ban­tayan Mayor Vi­cente Loot sure that if Po­lice Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido is as­signed in his town, Espenido could help clear his name as drug pro­tec­tor? Mayor Loot’s state­ment was not only pre­sump­tu­ous but also places Espenido in an odd if not dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion if he is as­signed in Cebu.

Per­haps, Mayor Loot made said that be­cause Pres­i­dent Duterte has as­signed Espenido to Iloilo City, whose Mayor Jed Ma­bilog is in the Pres­i­dent’s list of narco-politi­cians (like Loot). Note that ev­ery time the Pres­i­dent speaks of his war against drugs, Loot’s name is men­tioned as a drug pro­tec­tor.

Be­fore join­ing pol­i­tics, Mayor Loot was the re­gional com­man­der of the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) in Re­gion 8, the area of op­er­a­tion of de­tained drug lord Ker­win Espinosa.

De­spite Mayor Loot’s claim that the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­tec­tion Group (CIDG) cleared him of the drug pro­tec­tor tag, he is still in the Pres­i­dent’s list. Mayor Loot is prob­a­bly banking on the fact that Espenido was his sub­or­di­nate when he was di­rec­tor of PNP Re­gion 8. But he should be care­ful be­cause, as he said, Espenido is up­right.

As a re­tired po­lice gen­eral, Mayor Loot is one of the rich­est po­lice of­fi­cers in the coun­try with a net worth of more than a P100 mil­lion. He, how­ever, ex­plained how his fam­ily earned such enor­mous wealth over the years.

Per­haps, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Os­meña wants chaos to rule af­ter he cut the al­lowances of work­ers in the city’s 80 barangays. Close to 3,000 of them will be af­fected.

I still be­lieve that the spirit of vol­un­teerism is in ev­ery­one’s heart, but in this time of need I doubt if mem­bers of the Lupon Taga­pa­mayapa, the barangay health work­ers and the tan­ods would per­form their task with a hun­gry stom­ach.

The al­lowances of these barangay work­ers may be dis­cre­tionary but if the prin­ci­ple in la­bor laws that what is vol­un­tar­ily given can­not taken back ap­plies in the gov­ern­ment ser­vice, then Os­meña is wrong.

What Mayor Os­meña did does not serve him well as an elected of­fi­cial. It is an­other set­back to the city’s pub­lic ser­vice. ABC Pres­i­dent Philip Zafra could only sigh in vain.

If the city mayor’s move is un­fair, can­not the op­po­si­tion leg­is­la­tors raise this is­sue to a higher level, like the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent?

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