Cebu News

Rama respects Lito’s decision to beg off from position offered

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he respects the decision of former Cebu governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña to decline his offer to be the city’s crisis manager against the El Niño phenomenon.

“That (decision) would not stop me and Lito to be continuously working and we don’t know what’s going to be next. We don’t have to be public about the matter,” Rama told reporters.

Rama said he has yet to meet and talk with Osmeña about the matter.

Osmeña informed the mayor on his decision to decline the offer through a letter sent last October 20.

“I am respectfully declining your offer to charge me to be the Crisis Manager of the predicted (El Niño) drought expected next year,” Osmeña said.

Osmeña earlier expressed his interest to be the city’s crisis manager for the possible drought next year.

In a letter to Rama last October 2, he said he could not possibly refuse a request.

“However, if I am to be an effective Crisis Manager, the appointment must be pro bono, nonpartisan and with the consent of the City Council and both City Congressmen, namely Raul del Mar and Rodrigo Abellanosa,” Osmeña said.

Both del Mar and Abellanosa are from the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan party of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Osmeña furnished his letter to both congressmen, the City Council, and the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.

Abellanosa responded to the letter through a text message to Osmeña, which the latter attached to his letter to Rama.

Abellanosa’s response reportedly read: “I really admire your everlasting concern for Cebu. For sure you are the best person to help address Cebu’s water crisis. You have done much for Cebu and our country. It will be unbearable for any Cebuano to see your name used and exploited by politician’s selfish end. Perhaps after the 2016 elections, you can come in and help in a non-partisan framework.”

With the text message that he received from Abellanosa, Osmeña said he has to decline the offer as he considers “contending political factions and the public.”

On the other hand, together with his letter last October 20, Osmeña still furnished Rama and the two congressmen a memorandum report of the brief inquiry he made on the El Niño.

The memorandum report that Osmeña submitted contains the possible condition of the city when a drought would hit the area.

Whether or not Cebu City would suffer further drought next year, Osmeña said the city is already facing a “severe water supply and distribution problem” as of the moment.

He said the water supply from MCWD cannot be relied on because of  “serious demoralization of personnel and lack of capitalization” from the personnel of Department of Public Works and Highways.  (FREEMAN)

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