Sun.Star Cebu

Mocked by Duterte, Tomas explains condition

- / RVC

If an illness will keep him from doing his job, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he will resign immediatel­y.

“Cancer and how it changes one’s life is not something I wish anyone would have to go through, but I promise you that I will not allow it to stop me from doing my duty. If the day comes that I am no longer able to do my job, I will be the first to tell you and I will immediatel­y resign as mayor,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Until then, Osmeña said he has plenty of things to work on, such as the P18-billion Kawit Island developmen­t, the Call Center City at the South Road Properties, and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project, among others.

“As long as I have your trust and as long as my body will allow me, I will always be here for you,” he said.

Osmeña’s comment came after President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit to Cebu last week, ridiculed him and made fun of his urinary catheter.

In the same Facebook post, Osmeña explained why he has a urostomy bag on the right side of his body, saying the public has the right to know.

“I have never hidden the fact that I had to fight urinary bladder cancer 10 years ago. Those of you old enough to remember can recall that the first thing I did when I found out I had cancer in 2008 was to hold a press con to tell the Cebuanos,” he said.

The mayor underwent surgery in 2008 to remove his urinary bladder, prostate and 42 lymph nodes.

“Because of the cancer, the doctors had to remove my bladder and replace it with an external pouch that collects my urine through a stoma and routs it to another bag that is strapped to my leg. Because of sweat, the bag’s adhesive sometimes fails causing leaks, which is why some of you may notice I change shirts during the day,” he said.

“It’s not that bad. At least now I don’t wake up at night to pee. But leaks are sometimes irritating to have especially in the middle of the day. They have become a little more frequent lately because of a complex hernia that developed from the surgery that’s gotten worse over the past few years. But at least it’s just urine and not feces, which is what some people are asking,” he added.

Since his last medical check-up, Osmeña’s doctors have declared him free of cancer.

Osmeña was supposed to fly to the US again last month to have his hernia treated but because of the peace and order concerns in the city, the mayor decided to postpone his medical trip for the fourth time.

“I cannot leave the Cebuanos in a time of crisis, especially when the police keep insisting that “Cebu is safe.” You are first priority,” he said.

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