Cardinal happy Tom and Gwen ‘silent’

By Bernadette Parco
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 03:21pm (Mla time) 07/26/2007

CEBU, Philippines—Silence is bliss.


Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he was happy that the word war between Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has abated.


“You see, at least they are silent now…,” Vidal told reporters yesterday after saying Mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. James the Great in the northern town of Compostela.


He said the two leaders might have listened to his advice after all.


Garcia and Osmeña have been feuding since February in what initially started as a disagreement over a failed land swap deal that escalated into a fight over territory and who has more political clout in Cebu.


Last month, the 76-year-old prelate told the two leaders to “stop, be silent for a short time and maybe cool off.”


Vidal also said that he was worried that the people’s right to receive basic services was not being met because the officials were focused on their very public feud.


Cardinal Vidal yesterday hinted that a dialog could be in the offing.


“I think they (Garcia and Osmeña) have already exhausted what they are going to say (against each other). So perhaps, after some time, we will be able to talk to them,” the prelate said.


Vidal, however, did not give details on the possible dialog.


Hopefully, he said, the end of the public quarrel as evidenced by the days of quiet on both sides would become permanent.


“Whatever work that (Garcia and Osmeña would) be (doing), they should be always at peace with one another so that they can serve us. The Lord came not to be served but to serve. See? They should also be like that,” said Vidal.


The prelate stressed he was not disappointed when Garcia and Osmeña failed to show up at the Mass for Accountability and Good Governance he officiated last July 14.


The Mass was attended among others by Representatives Raul del Mar(Cebu City north district) and Nerissa Soon-Ruiz(6th district); Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna; and Borbon Mayor Bernard Sepulveda.


“They may have their reasons,” he said, even as he noted that only a few officials took the time to attend the Mass.


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