Cebu News

Not dissuaded by 2007 debacle: Ocleasa to seek public office again

Kristine B. Quintas/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - It was day like today, the last day for the filing of candidacy, in 2007 when Michael Ocleasa Sr., who said he is running for Apas, Cebu City barangay councilman in the next  barangay election, felt the sting of betrayal.

He was supposedly running for Day-as barangay captain but was reported to have allegedly filled up the form for barangay councilor.

Yesterday, Ocleasa, now 70, said the “mistake” was not his. 

“Klaro nga punong barangay akong gibutang maong nahibulong ko ngano ang nigawas kawagad na. I really felt betrayed,” he told The FREEMAN.

He said that his candidacy was sabotaged by his political nemesis and his secretary. The FREEMAN is withholding the names of the persons he mentioned pending their comments.

Ocleasa said that on the eve of the filing of his COC, his secretary asked to keep the document, promising to give it the following day. Suspecting nothing, he consented, and the secretary was true to his word as he showed up and handed back to Ocleasa his filled up COC that they submitted to the Commission on Elections.

Unknown to him, Ocleasa said, the document was tampered with. Eight years after that debacle, he said he was 100 percent sure he indicated “barangay captain” in the form and not kagawad (councilman).

He said that even now he still finds it unimaginable that he was made a fool by one person he trusted most. But then, he said, politics involves deceit, after all.

After discovering the mistake, Ocleasa filed a petition before Comelec Manila to change the position he sought. Two days before the elections, Comelec granted his request, allowing him to seek re-election supposedly for a second term as Day-as barangay captain.

But the “manipulation” already did its damage. 

The Comelec memorandum reinstating him as candidate for barangay chairman came too late, as he no longer had time to tell voters that he was back in contention for the barangay captain post. As a result, there were still those who voted for him as Day-as councilman.

Ocleasa, though, said he accepted his defeat to Rey Ellery Cañada, whom he said won with a margin of just 37 votes. He said over 200 ballots were declared stray because the votes were for him as councilman.

In 2016, however, he is giving himself another chance at public service, as he would be running for councilman of Barangay Apas, where he now resides.

He said his platform is on transparency and good governance, and identified improvement and construction of the barangay’s drainage infrastructures and materials drainage facility as flagship projects.

No one can deny he has experience. With 19 years as public servant under his belt, starting as Day-as councilman, he said he was aware a career in politics always has its highs and lows.

 “I believe normal nga naay ups and downs sa politika, negosyo ug bisan sa pamilya,” he said.

While a private citizen, Ocleasa was not idle, as he continued acting as role model and helping others improve their lots in life.

All his children finished schooling, with Michael Jr. now working as a physical therapist in Canada; Melvin, a doctor in Papua New Guinea; Marlo, an architect working at the Mandaue City government; and Maurice, a former seaman, now working as a nurse in Ireland.

He and wife Rudegunda also adopted 14 children and sent them all to school. Eight of them finished college and are now working abroad; the rest also graduated and are already working here in Cebu.

“We are not related by blood but we love helping those underprivileged. I know what it feels to be poor and have nothing, that’s why I am trying to give what I can. It makes me happy,” he said, misty-eyed.

Ocleasa is also a provincial coordinator for 13 years now of the Couples for Christ Prison Ministry, bringing the word of God to Cebu City Jail inmates to help them heal their spiritual lives.

He said that while his successful married life is making him happy and contented, he derives greater joy achieving his promise to continue public service as a private citizen.

“Public service is everywhere. It is not isolated in public office. It’s our call and it’s in our hand to make services available to the majority, especially to those in need,” he said, adding that success in life is achieved by having true faith in God.  (FREEMAN)


vuukle comment












  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with