Nalzaro: Is Labella no longer in control of City Hall?

·4 min read

To dispel rumors and speculations that Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is seriously ill and bedridden, I would like to suggest to the mayor that he come up with proof that he can still effectively function even if he is doing work from home. The mayor has assumed his official duty Tuesday after filing one week of personal leave and as of this time nobody knows his real physical condition except maybe his immediately family members. I have been asking some of the mayor’s close friends, like his circle of friends from the Walk and Talk Friendship Club, and they share the same sentiments. They have been texting the mayor, but they received no answer or even just acknowledgment of their text messages.

I texted some of the mayor’s allies and all of them claimed they had not been updated on the condition of the hizzoner. Some quarters even questioned the mayor’s signature when he filed a personal leave of absence last Sept. 2, saying it was not his genuine signature. They suspect that Labella can no longer effectively discharge his duties and functions and that some quarters (not necessarily his family members) are manipulating him. They suspect that somebody, an appointed official, is running the affairs of City Hall. Is Labella no longer in control of City Hall?

There is a suspicion that the photo that circulated recently, which showed the mayor dropping by City Hall and “talking” with City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., was a file photo and not an updated one. As a friend of the good mayor, I would like to advise him and his “handlers” to show proof of life. Not the one holding an updated issue of a newspaper because it can be photoshopped or edited, but by conducting a live online or virtual press conference to show that he is physically okay.

As I discussed in my column last Monday, Sept. 6, one of the reasons south district Councilors Dondon Hontiveros and Phillip Zafra declared their “independence” is because of confusion as to who is running the affairs of City Hall. They suspect that an insider and outsider is doing so, but with a strong connection with the chief executive. They suspect that Labella is no longer in control of the situation because of his physical condition.

But after discussing this issue in my radio program the other day, I received a text message from the mayor’s son, Jaypee, who claimed that his father is okay. I raised to Jaypee my suggestion for his father to call a virtual press conference. I don’t know if he will follow my advice.

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In Talisay City, Mayor Samsam Gullas is no longer seeking reelection. Instead, he will run for Congress, replacing his Lolo Eddiegul who will be retiring from politics. Sources said Samsam will be fielding his wife, Rhea, to run for mayor. Well, Rhea is also highly qualified. But there is a little problem, the source said. If Samsam will not seek reelection and even if he will field his wife, Vice Mayor Allan Bucao is planning to run for mayor. In fact, Bucao is already consolidating his political forces. Though, when asked by reporters, Bucao is consistently denying that he is planning to run for mayor against Samsam’s wife. Well, let’s see if he is true to his words. It will be confirmed one month from now during the filing of the certificate of candidacy.

Meanwhile, in Carcar City, it will be a “battle royale.” Sources said former mayor Patrick Barcenas is eyeing the mayoralty position against the Apuras, who have been controlling the politics in the city for a decade. Presently, the politics in the city is like a “conjugal property.” The mayor is Mercy Apura, while the vice mayor is her husband, Nice Apura, the former mayor for three terms. With Patrick coming back, it could be an intense political rivalry. Atangi mga Carcaranons.

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Here’s a request from my cardiologist, Dr. Cecile Sabido Cabias. Her Facebook account has been hacked. If her FB friends get a message from her soliciting money in cash or Gcash, it did not come from her, but from the hacker. Just the other day, I received a message from the hacker, asking for my email address and cellular number. Good that Dr. Cecile already alerted me, so I warned the hacker to stop using Dr. Cecile’s FB account. Had I given my email address and mobile number, I could have been the next victim of the scammer. If you receive a message from Dr. Cabias through Messenger, please text or call her through her cellular number (if you have her number) or through Viber. Or totally block her old FB account.

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