Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel “Luis” Quisumbing is unperturbed on the decision of his grandfather businessman Norberto Quisumbing, Jr. to support the candidacy of his rival Cong. Jonas Cortes.
The re-electionist Mayor, said his kind of service is above himself by not giving favor to family and friends so as not to compromise the interest of the city.
Quisumbing explained his action against the closure of the bar owned by his cousin Kyle Quisumbing Bravante, Sentral Bar and Lounge, which became the central reason why his grandpa deserted him in favor of Cong. Cortes.
“No friend or family will be favored when it compromises the interest of the city especially in peace and order, good governance, drugs and fight against corruption.
I have and will always put Mandaue City above self,” Quisumbing said in a media statement. Sentral Bar was closed in February this year after it failed to secure a business permit as an offshoot of defying an earlier order of prohibiting the holding of parties during the Sinulog weekend last January.
Norberto, his grandfather, took that as an issue against the Mayor as it also allegedly involved illegal drug activities which also included his daughter Pinky, the mother of Kyle.
His grandfather placed a newspaper ad in announcing his support for Cortes. But Mayor Luigi said he is leaving to the Mandauehanons whom to choose as Mayor as the decision to close the bar was about running the city fairly by applying its laws regardless of who is affected.
He said he also did it in consultation with the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). “The decision to close the business of a relative was a difficult one borne out of deep discernment and consultation with various departments of the city including the Philippine National Police and PDEA.
This, however, I assure to all Mandauehanons, I will govern this city as fairly and justly as possible with the law applying to all and not exempting a favored few like a member of my family. To do otherwise will be unjust to those who have less or have none, Mayor Quisumbing said.
For his part, Mandaue City Police Director Julian Entoma said that his office received reports that ecstasy can be bought inside Sentral Bar. Entoma cited an intelligence report which even dated back to his predecessor Col. Roberto Alanas.
“Based on intel reports of my predecessor Col. Alanas that ecstasy can be bought in that Sentral bar and he instructed his DEU to monitor the area and profiling of the customers. The customers are mostly students and belong to affluent families, “Entoma said in separate a statement.
He, however, admitted that nobody was arrested inside the bar itself but added there was an arrest of suspected ecstasy peddlers in Mandaue City, one of them was killed earlier this year after attending a hearing.
Entoma clarified that his office recommended that Sentral Bar should not be issued a business permit unless the establishment will hire uniformed and armed security guards and should not just rely on its bouncers.
The police official also recommended the same to the gasoline station in front of the bar for not providing to them a copy of its CCTV footages which they could use in its intelligence and monitoring.
Early on, a supposed drug matrix linking Sentral bar to ecstasy distribution circulated on the internet. For his part, Cong. Cortes welcome the support of Norberto. “I am thankful for the support of Dr. Norberto Quisumbing in our quest to bring good governance back to Mandaue City.
We know this decision has not been an easy one for the patriarch of the Quisumbing Family. However, we also believe that this decision was also based on the reality which also affected the whole City of Mandaue under this current administration,” Cortes said on his Facebook page.
Quisumbing, 89, is considered the political kingmaker of Mandaue City as Norkis Group and its subsidiaries weathered many political administration in the city.
Norkis which started in 1962 is taken from the first syllables of his first and last name. Mayor Luigi had the support of his grandfather in all his political activities in the past starting as a provincial board member in 2007, congressman for two terms and his Mayoralty bid in 2016.