By Emmanuel ‘Anol’ Mongaya
newspaper columnist, & blogger).
No media interviews were allowed during the wake of Osmeña matriarch Lourdes de la Rama-Osmeña in Bacolod City when President Noynoy Aquino came, news reports said. But we can see that the Osmeñas and political stalwarts like PNoy and DOTC boss Mar Roxas were hardly camera shy.
Earlier, Rep. Tomas Osmeña, in the story by Cebu Daily News (CDN), said his mother Inday, as dela Rama-Osmeña was called in Cebu and Bacolod, died at the ripe age of 98. She was the widow of the late senator Sergio ‘Serging’ Osmeña Jr. The congressman’s siblings Sen. Serge Osmeña III, Ma. Victoria ‘Minnie’ Osmeña-Stuart, Esteban ‘Stevie’ Osmeña, and Georgia Osmeña rushed to the wake at the Redemptorist Church in Bacolod City.
The congressman’s cousins particularly former senator John H. Osmeña and brother Emilio ‘Lito’ Osmeña along with several relatives were reportedly present. They are grandsons of the late president Sergio Osmeña Sr.
Despite the lack of interviews especially about politics, reading the news reports and looking at the photos ‘between the lines’ (please check out the links below), nevertheless, provide political observers like me and all of you reading this post with a lot to talk about.
For example, where was Vice President Jojo Binay when PNoy visited? Why is he scheduled to visit the wake of the Osmeña matriarch and burial only the next day in Cebu when other distinguished officials like President Aquino and Roxas are not around? Is Roxas closer to PNoy at this point in time than VP Binay? Di ko motuo nga nihatag lang si Binay og partida. After all, PNoy’s little president Jojo Ochoa is identified with the Samar group that supported Binay in 2010.
In the photo above, DOTC Secretary Roxas stood side-by-side with Sen. Serge Osmeña who did not campaign for him in 2010. Serge had served for a time as Noynoy’s campaign manager. Was there some kind of reconciliation or just some civility during the wake?
In another political front, have Osmeña cousins former senator John Osmeña and Rep. Tomas Osmeña reconciled and maybe decided to jointly bury the hatchet on Gov. Gwen Garcia‘s back and that of Rep. Pablo John Garcia? After all, JHO now plans to run for Cebu’s third district congressional seat against Pablo John while Tommy is said to be backing again Junjun Davide, the son for former chief justice Jun Davide, for another gubernatorial run.
Former DOTC Usec Totol Batuhan, who ran as a JHO ally in 2001 and 2004, is now a Tommy ally and supporter after the Osmeñas separately aligned with the Aquino candidacy in 2010. Batuhan is now conducting barangay socio-economic projects in Tommy’s turf (the Cebu City second congressional district) with the latter’s permission and apparent blessing. Early during PNoy’s term, Totol was instrumental in the speedy appointment of Cebuanos (Tomas loyalists) in key DOTC agencies in the region.
To recall, during the term of PNoy’s mom President Cory, a united Osmeña camp was a formidable political juggernaut. But their political breakup in 1992 created a situation that saw the rise of the Garcias.
Today, the Garcias continue to dominate provincial politics as Gov. Gwen woos erstwhile Tommy ally and now his opponent in 2013 Mayor Mike Rama.
Tommy, nonetheless, has proven that he is unbeatable in Cebu City. Kind political observers describe Rama’s bid for a second term even with Gwen’s help as “subidahon” or a difficult and steep climb.
The political situation in the province is however different with Davide still needing to show that he has built a powerful coalition enough to defeat Gov. Garcia’s electoral machine come the second bout in 2013. A crucial indicator in Cebu province (Cebu city voters which is Tom’s turf cannot vote for provincial officials since the martial law days) is how the Duranos would position and align themselves.
For more information about the Osmena wake, check out the following links:
“No media interviews during P-Noy’s visit” (Negros Daily Bulletin)
“Aquino keeps visit to Osmena wake private” (The Visayan Daily Star)
“Aquino visits wake of Lourdes Osmena” (Sun.Star Bacolod)
“Noynoy visits wake of Osmena family matriarch” (Sun.Star Cebu)
“Osmena matriarch to be buried in Brgy. Carreta” (Sun.Star Cebu)
“Officials, friends set to pay respects to Osmeña matriarch” (Cebu Daily News)