Briones: Putting politics before the people

I’m quite aware the general election is right around the corner — okay, so it’s 15 months away, give and take — so the streamer hanging on a skywalk at the entrance of Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City egging presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for President may be a bit premature… and in poor taste.

Don’t get me wrong.

I have nothing against Inday Sara. In fact, if she does decide to go after the country’s highest post, I will probably vote for her. Because, let’s face it, who else is there?

But let’s get our priorities in order. First.

These “Friends of Sara Cebu” don’t seem to care that the fate of Cebu sits on a precarious perch.

In less than a week, we may find ourselves locked down, again, because the technical advisory council of the Department of Health central office thinks it is the best course to take to control the continuing rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the island.

It doesn’t bother them one bit that the move will devastate Cebu’s already flagging local economy. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that its effects, as the executive secretary of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes put it, will be “catastrophic.”

Although Cortes should have been more forthright. After all, he didn’t express direct opposition to the move unlike Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who violently opposes it, and Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who, well, followed suit several days after. But there’s no doubt that Cortes, too, is not partial to downgrading Cebu’s community status.

So where was I? Oh yes. The “Run Sara Run” streamers.

Apparently, they just popped out of nowhere in various parts of Cebu City.

Cebu City Office of the Building Official (OBO) head Florante Catalan has ordered their removal because whoever is behind them failed to secure a permit.

Under the city zoning ordinance, “anyone who puts up streamers, tarpaulins and similar materials in the city must get a permit from the OBO.”

Let’s face it. If you’re going to start hanging streamers, you should be asking where the vaccines are.

I mean, it only makes sense. If we want to put a stop to this pandemic nightmare, the government should start implementing a nationwide vaccination program. Right? That’s what our neighbors are doing.

But no, these “Friends of Sara Cebu” think politics is far more important than the fate of Cebu and its people.