By EDWIN IYO
GINGOOG City — The city council here has declared Misamis Oriental 1st District Rep. Peter Unabia “persona non grata” for allegedly saying that non-Gingoog residents could serve the city better than the current members of the city council on two occasions.
In diplomatic terms, a persona non grata, the Latin for a person who is unwanted, is a foreigner whose entry or stay in a particular country is unappreciated by the host government.
Incidentally, Unabia is running for vice mayor against Mayor Marie Guingona who has stepped aside in favor of the city’s vice mayor and her mother Ruthie who is seeking the city’s top post.
Councilor Miguel Paderanga confirmed to the Gold Star Daily that the city council approved a resolution during their 108th regular session on March 5.
“Bigotry against the Gingoognons violates the basic principles of equality of all men, has no place in modern public discourse and civilization, and therefore must be denounced by all well-meaning citizens of Gingoog City,” the resolution reads in part.
Paderanga quoted Unabia as saying in two public fora in Barangay 25 and Barangay 18-A: “Mga igsoon ko dinhi sa Gingoog. Hangyo kinasingkasing. Ayaw lang ninyo ubani o suportahe ang mga board member nga mga taga-Gingoog. Ako inyong gesaligan board member twenty seven dos mil siete ako mag-ingon kaninyo mas maayo pa mi moserbisyo dili taga-Gingoog.”
He claimed that “concerned citizens” who heard Unabia went to the city council to complain.
Paderanga also alleged that that Unabia attempted to intimidate residents by bringing armed men to Barangay Kalagonoy in Feb. 28, causing panic.
The city council passed the resolution upon the recommendation of Mayor Guingona, Unabia’s political rival, who said the congressman’s pronouncements were “uncalled for.”