Tom: I’ll make Cebu no. 1 city

(The Freeman) - June 29, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - As he took his oath yesterday, Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña vowed to make the city number one in the country.

“Akong nakita ang atong kwarta nawa g’yud atong kwarta, ang atong kabataan naay malnourished, naay biktima sa drugas; we are the number one murder capital in the Philippines. I don’t know how that happened. I will change all of that, I will change all of that because I have decided to change all of that because it is for you, not for me,” he said.

With this, Osmeña wants the public to cooperate and commit to help make the city number one.

“Ganahan g’yud ko nga maipakita sa tibuok Pilipinas nga ang akong goal by the end of our term, we have the lowest mortality rate of any city in the Philippines, tabangi lang mi. Nothing is going to block our way, we will not allow that to happen but I cannot do it myself, I do not need barangay captains, I do not need leaders, I do need you,” he added.

He also commented on allegations he protected slain suspected drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz.

“All the barangay officials of his barangay are identified with Mike Rama, who is protecting whom? The mayor is Mike Rama, all the barangay captains is for Mike Rama even the police chief, selected by Mike Rama, who was the mayor for the past five years, that guy. How can I possibly protect him?” he said.

Osmeña then promised he will give free medicines to the residents of the city which will be delivered to their houses every day.

“This will be delivered to your house kada adlaw kay nagtuo g’yud ko kung moinom kamo og inyong maintenance kada adlaw mominos ang mga sakit, ug mominos ang inyong sakit, maka-save ang siyudad og kwarta sa hospital,” he added.

Osmeña also said he will rescind the sale of the 45.2-hectare lot at the South Road Properties to several giant developers.

It was last year when the city government declared the consortium of Ayala Land, Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings as the highest bidder with P10.009 billion for a 26.3-hectare property, while Filinvest Land Inc. was the highest bidder with P6.7 billion for a 19.2-hectare property.

On August 2015, these companies paid P8.35 billion to the city government as down payment of the transaction last year. These companies are expected to pay its first installment come August 2016.

Along with Osmeña, the others who took their oath before Vice President-elect Leni Robredo yesterday were North District Representative Raul del Mar, South District Representative Rodrigo Abellanosa, re-elected councilors Margarita "Margot" Osmeña, Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Mary Ann de los Santos, and elected Councilor Joy Augustus Young.

Osmeña is now on his sixth term as chief executive of the city, making him the mayor who has served the city most considering the number of years.

Cebu City Transportation Office, operation's chief, Jonathan Tumulak said that he deployed 50 traffic enforcers and 27 parking aids for the event while Cebu City Police Office director Benjamin Santos said 179 policemen were fielded for security.

Santos said an estimated 15,000 Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan supporters witnessed the oath taking ceremony at the Cebu City Sports Center.


Robredo, wearing a Filipiniana blouse on top of off-white pants, came two hours late for the event.

She and her running mate during the elections, Mar Roxas, both thanked the Cebuanos for their support and trust in the recently concluded local and national elections.

"Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa mga Cebuanos kasi malaki ang tiwala ninyo sa akin," said Robredo.

Robredo said that Cebu was among the first provinces to trust and believe in her when her ratings were very low.

In her speech, Robredo assured Cebuanos she will repay the Cebuanos trust in her by serving them honestly, cleanly, and capably.

In a separate interview, she also said she will be supportive of the incoming Duterte administration.

"Ako’y patuloy na nanawagan sa kanya na nandito lang ako handang sumusuporta sa kanyang administrasyon," said Robredo.

Robredo said before she came here, Vice President Jejomar Binay visited her to give her some advice.

"Sinabihan niya ako na maging matatag kasi nga mas ga-grabe pa ‘yan pagdating ng araw," she said.

She added that it would be best for defeated vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to formally lodge an electoral protest in a proper court.

"Mas maganda ‘yung nag-file siya ng protest in a proper court not just on Facebook para naman mabigyan namin ng tamang sagot yung mga alegasyon niya," Robredo said.

Roxas, who lost his presidential bid, said he is nevertheless grateful to Cebuanos.

"Salamat sa inyong pagtitiwala. Kasi binigyan ninyo ako ng more than 600,000 votes. Isang malaking karangalan na ‘yan para sa akin," said Roxas, who was introduced by Osmeña as an adopted son of BOPK.

Roxas confirmed that he will be attending Robredo's inauguration on June 30, as Robredo said that only around 300 people can be accommodated in the venue.

Even if he did not win, many BOPK supporters still shook hands with him and asked him to pose for selfies.

No to Jaguar

In an interview before the oath taking, Osmeña admitted having been offered campaign funds by Jaguar.

"He offered me even money and I said no," Osmeña said, adding he never met Diaz in person but only communicated with him through other people.

Osmeña also said he is not convinced that Diaz was giving up dealing drugs.

"I am glad he is not functioning anymore as a drug lord. Nobody wants someone dead," he said. — with Dale G. Israel (FREEMAN)

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