Seares: Bato's broth and cooks. Rama says eagle hasn't landed yet and vaccine 'convenors' are sprinting, not just running. And the 'last man standing' is Leni.

Pachico A. Seares
·4 min read

Bato as the only cook

A VIDEO clip circulating in the internet shows Senator Ronald dela Rosa at what appears to be a committee hearing where he fumbled over the saying "too many cooks spoil the broth." He must have feared his audience wouldn't get what he meant. So he needed to spell out "broth" but had to ask if it was spelled with double "o."

But that bit of trivia only distracts.

First-termer Senator "Bato" said in effect the conduct of police officers is watched by so many bodies and agencies -- mentioning two, the Civil Service and National Police Commission -- but it would take only an order from the PNP chief to impose discipline.

When he was PNP chief, he must have bypassed those other watchdogs. He was the only cook, with double "oo."

'Last man' is Robredo

A Rappler news story on the February 15 decision of the Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which threw out the protests on the vice presidential results in 2016, led off with: "After four long years, Vice President Leni Robredo's words remain true: the last man standing is a woman."

Not exactly original but that line doesn't fail to draw smiles or amused laughter. In the Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton fight in 2016, a Saturday Night Live spoof had a woman moderator say at the start of the mock TV debate, "May the best woman win" and then president Barack Obama's line at the White House Correspondents' dinner, "I wish the next president well. May she lead the country to continued prosperity and peace."

'Eagle has not yet landed'

The vaccines for Cebu City are not here yet and Vice Mayor Mike Rama of the vaccines convenors said Wednesday, February 17, during a regular session of the City Council, they don't know yet when "the eagle will land," his term for the much-asked-about arrival.

He did not specify whether he was referring to the vaccines from the national government or the vaccines the City Government will buy for itself with the P500 million stand-by local fund.

VM Rama told the city councilors:

[1] The convenors, composed of councilors and key officials from the executive department, have had several meetings already to prepare for the rollout of vaccines.

[2] They will soon report to Mayor Edgardo Labella their recommendations on sites of vaccination centers, list of priority persons, who will be vaccinated ahead of others, and workflow in the mass inoculation.

He gave some specifics to the news media in an earlier press-con that day but assured the Sanggunian there will be "transparency and accountability," a concern repeatedly raised by BOPK Councilor Alvin Dizon.

'SPRINT, NOT RUN.' Aside from "the eagle has not yet landed," VM Rama said the vaccine convenors "sprint, not just run." He used the word "sprint" more than once in the session to describe their preparations for the vaccines.

While both running and sprinting "use the same muscle groups," we are told, sprinting is faster running although one can sprint only "in short spurts."

City Hall watchers can only wonder how the metaphor of sprinting would apply to the actual operation. As of February 17, the City has not yet sealed any deal with any drug manufacturer. And there's no official word yet from IATF although national vaccine czar Galvez said the deals were scheduled to be finalized by mid-February and signed by end of the month.

On the planned separate purchase by the City Government, they were informed by Councilor Dizon that on February 16, AstraZeneca and Moderna, which were being considered as prospective suppliers to the city, announced they were not accepting any more orders because of its earlier commitments to other LGUs and countries elsewhere.

For its first batch of vaccines, the City may have to rely with the supply from the National Government. Even with its stand-by money, City Hall may not buy anything yet. Unless, of course, the VM is not being told yet about any deal the mayor may have already clinched or about to clinch. Rama wanted though for the Sanggunian to approve or maybe ratify the deal entered into by the mayor.

"NOT SITTING DOWN." The convenors, Rama said, are "not sitting down," "we are standing at the top." Don't imagine how they'd look doing that. It's another figure of speech, which abounds in the vice mayor's bag of words.

That bag also holds the idiom "not my cup of tea," which he uses on a idea or charge he rejects, such as when he denied he wanted to "usurp" the mayor's functions. And tete-a-tete, not tit for tat -- a distinction he now annotates with the use of each phrase -- to describe his talk with Mayor Labella.