Tomas hit for ‘childish’ billboards on Gwen

Posted on May 4, 2010


By Fe Marie Dumaboc, Reporter



CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was being “childish” for ordering the installation of “reflectorized billboards” along the highway leading to southern Cebu that chided Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for the purchase of the Balili property that turned out to be under water.

Kugi Uswag Sugbu (Kusug) mayoral candidate Alvin Garcia said in a news conference that he won’t suggest to the mayor to remove the billboards.

Garcia said he would let Cebu’s voters judge for themselves what he did.

“Tomas remains to be a very childish person. It’s the same as (that slogan) Dim your lights because you’re in the city. What kind of an issue is that? First of all, he has nothing to do with the province,” Garcia, former mayor and the governor’s cousin, said.

The mayor dismissed Garcia’s remarks, saying there was nothing childish about the billboards.

“Reminding the people that Gwen bought underwater property and that she admitted her guilt is childish?” Osmeña asked.

Osmeña set up three huge reflectorized “billboards” along the SRP to supposedly “conscienticize” provincial voters about the Capitol’s purchase of the Balili beach property.

Former Cebu City councilor Hilario Davide III, an Osmeña ally, is running against Garcia in the gubernatorial race.

The 24.7-hectare property in Naga City bought from the Balili family was found to be mostly under water and planted to mangroves.

Motorists passing through the South Road Properties (SRP) heading to the southern part of the province can clearly see the 3 meter x 4 meter alternative signages or “billboards” spaced 50-meters apart. The first sign says: “This way to the S.U.P (South Underwater Properties 19 kilometers away)” with an arrow pointing south.

Another signage follows with the message: “Your Provincial Taxes at Work.” The last one contains the message “A Proud Blunder of Gov. Gwen Garcia. I’m Sorry.”

The “I’m sorry” part was in reference to the apology given by the governor at the height of the Balili controversy.