Cebuano legislators who want their districts carved out as separate provinces are holding the hearings in Manila. Those against the plan have repeatedly pushed for the holding of public hearings in Cebu and rightly so – the issue affects Cebuanos and our sentiments should be heard by the committee taking up the proposals.
If the proponents are convinced of the merits of their proposal and the support of their constituents (which they claim to have) then what’s to fear in holding hearings in Cebu.
But Rep. Emilio Macias, chairman of the House committee on local governments, has said there won’t be hearings on the proposal in Cebu because the venue for Cebuanos to express their sentiments, he said, would be the plebiscite.
Sun.Star Cebu (disclosure: I work for this paper) has said in an editorial that “Macias has continued to insist on holding the committee hearing in Manila, on an issue that is very important to the Cebuanos using such lame excuses like Manila being a more manageable venue than Cebu.”
“Macias has continued to insist on holding the committee hearing in Manila, on an issue that is very important to the Cebuanos using such lame excuses like Manila being a more manageable venue than Cebu.”
Sun.Star Cebu editorial
The editorial describes this as “an insult to the ability of the Cebuanos to conduct debates in a civil manner and the capability of the committee to handle hearings on explosive issues.”
An earlier Sun.Star Cebu editorial described proponents Reps. Antonio Yapha for Cebu West, Simeon Kintanar for Cebu South and Clavel Martinez for Cebu North as “butchers in the house.”
The three, according to the editorial, want to “create political fiefdoms” because of their impending departure from political power (they are on their last terms in Congress). The editorial said the proposals will be passed because of the way politicians in Congress work:
“Arguing before the House committee and the House plenary that the Sugbuak bills are what they are, selfish political vehicles, and would demolish historical, economic, and social ties of Cebu as one province would be useless.
The bills will pass because three senior members want them passed. The bills affect the personal welfare of these senior colleagues.
They won’t oppose the bills, no matter what disaster it will bring to Cebu, because when they themselves file bills similar in intent to Sugbuak, their colleagues from Cebu won’t stand in the way.”