Alleged disruption of the mass: Tom hits Rama over IEC selfie

May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - February 2, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña lambasted his rival, suspended Mayor Michael Rama for allegedly disrupting the closing Mass of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress when he decided to take a selfie during Communion.

In a press conference yesterday, Osmeña criticized Rama whom he called desperate and “KSP” (kulang sa pansin), for snapping a selfie during the Communion of the Statio Orbis held at the open grounds of the South Road Properties.

“I am the spokesman for the Catholic Church… Cebu belongs to the Cebuanos. I always respect that and Rama does not respect that. I cannot correct him and I will not correct him but I just want the Cebuanos to see for themselves what he is like,” said Osmeña.

Rama seemed unaffected by Osmeña’s attack when sought for his view.

“I don’t find it significant because ang ilang assumption dili man mao, so I find it insignificant,” he said in a separate interview.

He further said he will face reporters today to answer the criticisms against him.

“I will have a press conference tomorrow para matubag nako iyang accusation… And I will be sharing the truth tomorrow,” Rama said yesterday.

On Monday night Osmeña shared a photo posted online by Melvin Rey Labastida Orofeo showing Rama taking the selfie while standing in the middle of a huge crowd. It immediately drew negative feedbacks from several Facebook users.

Orofeo eventually removed the photo from his Facebook account.

“I took it down because instead of people seeing the inappropriateness of the gesture, they started bashing me,” Orofeo told The FREEMAN.

He also confirmed that it was indeed taken during the communion amid speculations from other social media users that it was taken on another occasion because the Communion happened at sundown.

“It was the lens of my camera. I took it against the light which happened to be at the left side,” he explained, adding that the brightness of the lens was adjusted.

“If I may just add, just to prove it was taken during communion, you can see youth lining up towards the stage. They were actually preparing for their presentation. They danced when (the IEC 2016 theme song) was sung by the choir to mark the end of the Statio Orbis,” said Orofeo.

He wanted to emphasize that he could just not let the disrespectful scene pass.

“I’m just a devout Roman Catholic, an ordinary youth… It’s my religion, my faith that he (Rama) is making fun of,” he said.

“Had it been Tomas (Osmeña) doing the same thing on that event, I’d still take a photo of him. No exceptions,” he added.

Binay country fiasco

Osmeña met with the press yesterday to defend against another accusation thrown against his family when former councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said his son, Miguel, was responsible for spreading photos showing streamers with the words “Welcome to Binay country” displayed along SRP. These were also seen during the closing event of the 51st IEC.

Osmeña said Rama is “famous for his habit of making publicity gimmicks” but when they backfire Osmeña and his people are blamed.

“I didn’t even make a post about the streamers. I wasn’t going to make any negative post involving the IEC until Joy Pesquera started attacking my family… This is your mess Mr. Rama. Leave my family out of this,” he said in his post.

During the press conference, Osmeña denied that his camp put up the streamers.

“Who else would it be? If you look at his (Rama) consistencies of his character and mind, then there’s evidence. I don’t resort to that kind of gimmick as a matter of fact I don’t effort to come and go even in Sinulog, I don’t walk around the parade myself and shake hands or whatever. And this will get worse. His body language is so bad. I think he’s getting desperate,” he said.

Osmeña also did not miss criticizing Pesquera.

“What she wants is attention. Pesquera will do everything to get the people’s attention,”

In another interview, Pesquera shot back at him.

“Let him deny that those people posting the photos of the streamers are not his people. Of course, he can easily deny that they are his people because he doesn’t remember the names of the people who helped him win in 2001,” she said. — /BRP (FREEMAN)

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