PEOPLE talk about chickens
They've been talking about chickens, thanks to the persistent posts of dyLA broadcaster Art Barrit, initial reporting here in Bzzzzz, and Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella's dignifying them with an announcement he had ordered an investigation.
First of all, don't call the chickens missing. At first, they were missing when the call was made for the 17,000 dressed chickens donated by a Thai food company that operates in the Philippines. Councilor Joy Young asked on Facebook whether Milo (mayor's information and liaison office) in Busay had sold them. Former barangay captain and now Busay Milo chief Yody Sanches denied it had received any chickens and instead asked what happened to the 20,000 live chickens the same Thai company donated to the Association of Barangay Councils through ABC head and City Councilor Franklyn Ong, "maybe they were sold too."
Two sets of donations, all chickens, dressed and live.
The donation to ABC had been publicly acknowledged on May 13 yet. An ABC resolution also accepted the donation. What is not audited yet and publicized is the list of recipients for each of the barangays whose chiefs received and distributed the chickens.
It's the dressed live chickens that reportedly are not yet formally accepted by the City Government. The talk is that Vice Mayor Mike Rama knows about them and may have a part in their distribution or disposal but he has not so far shed light on the chickens.
But the fact is: the chickens are no longer missing. They've long been disposed of, obviously already eaten and converted into waste. The 20,000 to ABC were acknowledged by Ong's group in a Facebook post and in an ABC resolution. It's the 17,000 that have not yet been acknowledged. That, and who benefited from them, are what's not known.
Steam inhalation or "tuob" could be an innocuous sidelight to the major problem of combating coronavirus. But it becomes a distraction when it dislodges the main issue from a number of news feeds.
Things wouldn't have gotten where they are now:
 Had the Capitol from the start accepted the medical findings and fact-checks about steam inhalation or "tuob" and made it clear it was merely suggesting an alternative practice that is part of Cebuano tradition and inexpensive, with the caution that the medical studies have made.
 Had the doctor critics limited themselves to constructive commentary, without throwing in some personal insults, which in turn drew sharp words from the governor, which could qualify as public shaming by a public official.
Without a mediated debate, the exchange of words between the two camps, with many netizens joining the fray, mostly against Capitol, the "tuob" dispute could sap people's energy. And both the public and the residents they govern already dispirited by the turn of events in Cebu, with the actual enemy, the coronavirus, still unbeaten.
Tit for tat
The doctors allegedly threatened Governor Gwen Garcia with slapping her and "dauban (torch) aron derecho ma-cremate" "aron mahurot (sila) tanan."
Garcia struck back by reportedly belittling the competence and experience of the doctors on the subject of steam inhalation and Covid-19. "Kay general practitioner ra man" and similar put-downs spiced the governor's answer.
The governor had previously tangled with other critics of Capitol policies but this is the first time they involved doctors, who are up closer and more up-front in the anti-Covid campaign. But then she's a frontliner too, says the governor, day in and day-out, 24/7/365.
"Unya nalingaw mo?"
Tell us about it.