Carvajal: Inexorable karma

It’s utterly primitive and unchristian, so I don’t really believe in it and have never done it. Yet it is exactly what I feel like doing at the moment… cast a curse on city officials for heartlessly abandoning Carbon Public Market vendors at the mercy of a private business enterprise.

I feel my anger unfreezing and egging me to cast a curse on the ruling “honorables” in City Hall because of a nagging suspicion that there can only be one dishonorable, hence unmentionable, explanation for their abuse of power in sacrificing small people on the high altar of big business.

But then again, a curse does not have to be cast because karma is real. All I really need to do is remind, as I do now, the ruling majority of Cebu City councilors that karma is inexorable. Without fail, it will bring back to them the toxic and oppressive energy they are now putting out to the small people of Carbon and Cebu.

What got my goat was another group of small ambulant vendors that have been fighting one another off of disappearing selling spots. Some of them have been seen sobbing and in tears as they ask Mayor Michael Rama for a spot in Carbon. It seems they were removed from their regular spots to give way to a parking space for customers of high-end vendors that invested in the now-inoperable Puso Village.

These vendors have refused to join Carbonhanon’s protest and legal actions against the privatization of Carbon in the belief that by not opposing they would gain the favor of Market Operations Division (MOD), Megawide’s implementer yet salaried by the Cebu City local government unit (LGU). They have seen how active opposition groups, like Carbonhanon, have been and still are treated like dirt by MOD.

It must be noted that a court injunction has stymied Megawide from using what the Cebu Port Authority claims to be its property. This has loosened their grip on their Carbon business development plan and forced them to make the adjustments that would make up for the thinning flow of their projected revenue stream. Because they cannot use their gleaming new Puso Village, they have to relocate its angry high-end investors to Freedom Park and The Barracks, denying these to the original vendors they earlier forced out.

Carbon is fixing to stop being Cebu’s most affordable public market as small ambulant vendors who give it life are losing their places in it. Much reduced sales areas are being leased to high-end investors. Rental, entrance and other fees are going up and it is now C2World that decides who will replace the vendors that cannot afford the new fees. It beats me how Mayor Rama can claim this project to be, in his words, para sa mga kabus.

Instead it’s a curse brought upon small people by Mayor Rama and the City Council in violation of their sworn duty to provide “the greater good to the bigger number.” A curse that, by the inexorable law of karma, will unfailingly come back to them without the need for anybody casting it.