You say local government leaders are feudal?

I first heard of it from a colleague — Mandaue City Mayor Thadeo Ouano’s birthday celebration theme was to be a “halad sa hari” or tribute to the king. Last night, I saw a copy of the invitation (see picture) from another colleague who got the copy from a Mandaue official.

Halad sa hari

I don’t know if the invitation was meant to be funny considering that these are being distributed to government officials.

In the program, there is a schedule for a “Halad” (Cebuano word for offering or tribute) with the halad coming from heads of Mandaue City Hall departments, barangay leaders and families of teachers and a selected City Hall workers. The last entry in the “Halad” was the, you guessed it, “surpresa!!!”

Did Mayor Ouano have a hand in the production of the invitation or was it done by a subordinate going overboard to please the mayor?

An adviser or a member of the family should have stopped the printing of the invitations. Even if granting that it is meant to be funny — the theme cuts too close to the criticisms raised against Ouano and his family.

The Ouanos are accused of building a political dynasty and of having a stranglehold on Mandaue politics. Thadeo Ouano is on the last of his three terms as city mayor. His father also finished three terms as the city’s mayor.

Mayor Ouano has also been repeatedly criticized for his penchant for putting his pictures in projects like skywalks to the city’s different facilities — hospital, gymnasium etc. Go around Mandaue City and you’re likely to find his picture every few streets you pass.

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