COLUMN: The matter with Cee O

May 5-11, 2011

By Cha Monforte

Now the cat is out in the bag, so to speak, and we know of the plan of Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy by 2013. At least for now, he said he would run for governor “if there’s vacancy”, that is, if second-termer Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario will not seek reelection. The matter with the city mayor is that he has always been respectful to reelectionists throughout his political career until now, though he’s always been opposed in his running even if he sought for his last term. We know that so well last May polls. But who knows there would be a sudden, big twist in time in the next two years which would have Mayor Cee O running for gov than making temporary vacation from politics (and he professed he would plant more trees for a lucrative political vacation). The way I see it now the mayor has pragmatic, practical realpolitics that has led him to leave many lasting legacies for Tagumenyos and for the people in neighboring provinces who also benefit in the making of Tagum City now as another premier city of the South.

What about running for vice mayor ala Digong Duterte? He shrugged the proposition off, saying the young should be given the chance to govern. I should say that the prospect is still possible given that ex-Mayor and now Vice Mayor Rody Duterte is seen now to be extra-powerful in his current position and given his still active role in city’s peace and order aspect backing up his daughter’s governance. But Mayor Cee O casually said planting many trees is just a so lucrative business endeavor that takes one to be so busy in three years while enjoying much to be civilian again and if ever he would be back to politics after three years the falcatta trees planted would already be left growing with a jar-size trunk. If he gets another three terms after a political comeback, the trees, he said, would have then grown with the size of trunk as big as the water container in the dispenser. By that time it’s due for a good harvest to earn millions, he said in light moments in his “governance warroom”- the City Budget Office. But CBO and Daneco board president Dean Briz threw a prospect that the mayor would be running for gov by 2016 – after a term of political forlough.

“Kawawa naman si Anthony na nagkasakit siya,” said Davao del Norte District 2 Cong. Anton Lagdameo in a recent interview with the Tagum City media. He said that though Cong. Anthony del Rosario is still in the US recuperating after his chemo treatment and stem cell transplant “I’m sure makakahabol yang si Anthony sa SONA ni Presidente by July… but he’s talking with Speaker (Sonny) Belmonte naman.” Cong. Lagdameo’s media statement is just timely as there are now talks spreading in the four corners of the province about a special election to be held for congressman in the first district. As to Cong. Lagdameo’s status of party affiliation, he said, “full support naman tayo ngayon sa administration, sa coalition”. Taking his cue, so the younger stock of Gibo-true-and-true Lakas congressmen are in good coalition now with the admin’s Liberal Party. That might as well be true to Comval District 2 Cong. Rommel Amatong who did not leave Lakas and Gibo in the last election, and sources said the two being with this particular Lakas splinter group of young congressmen are not yet jumping ship to LP until now. Both cast “yes” votes to the impeachment of Ombudsman Mercidita Gutierrez.

It was last Labor Day when President P-Noy delivered a speech before labor leaders and inserted in his speech a note about the assasination of Catbalogan Mayor Reynaldo Uy evening of April 30 onstage during a town fiesta celebration. On TV, the President expressed his condolence to the family of the mayor and urgently directed law enforcement operatives to arrest the culprits. “May masamang balita. Kawawa naman si Mayor Rey Uy na kasama natin sa partido ang pinaslang kagabi sa Samar.” That portion was flashed so fast in TV, and immediately text messages were flying thick and fast that jolted the city about the “death” of their mayor as the Catbalogan mayor’s name was almost a namesake of Mayor Cee O and Samar word was heard to be Samal. It was a true news in Samar freakly breaking out to be fake news in Tagum City, Davao del Norte and even Compostela Valley. Mayor Cee O said when the news broke out at about 9:30 AM he was making a speech in an assembly at RTU relocation area. While he was talking onstage, his wife Alma kept on calling his cellphone but he did not receive her calls. There were more missed calls from CPs of close friends including from his older brother Comval Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy. After he made his speech it was then that he throught there might be so urgent or bad that had happened, and when he finally received the call of Madam Alma, he knew of the reason on why his CP was overloaded with missed calls. Unknown him, the city was already so jolted by that fake news freakly breaking out everywhere. Fiscal Rivera, he said, wanted to confirm whether he was still alive or not by first texting him to follow up an official request. When the mayor texted back, “OK”, it was then that the fiscal heaved a sigh of relief and immediately placed a call to him. Many more texted the mayor and he sent back, “I’m alive!”

I for one was texted by a friend if the news was true as he just saw and heard it on TV. I did not reply nor asked for confirmation to colleagues in the media especially those covering police beats thinking that I might contribute for the scattering of an unconfirmed news. I recalled that big night panic in Comval mainland some five years ago caused by the scattering of false text messages about that unreal Mount Angelo in Bukal, Nabunturan which was texted to be erupting a day after a real big tectonic quake hit New Bataan and shook and swayed much Comval mainland by a lot of aftershocks. The flying and scattering of false text messages amidst aftershocks had indeed resulted to sleepless night of not less than 200,000 mainland residents and the real evacuation of villagers to poblacion gyms. It was a fake text news. We laughed so good after. It was a time when 3310 CP unit was in vogue. The “Mount Angelo” is just a mound rising through the years due to vapors from Bukal hot springs.


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