On Duterteâs verbal assault: Mike to Tomas: Iâll pray for you
Opposition stalwarts in Cebu City led by former mayor Michael Rama and incumbent Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella show a united front during a press conference yesterday to officially announce the Labella-Rama tandem for the 2019 elections.
Jean Marvette Demecillo
On Duterte’s verbal assault: Mike to Tomas: I’ll pray for you
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Ermida Q. Moradas (The Freeman) - September 1, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  “Face it.”

 

This was the message of former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama to Mayor Tomas Osmeña who was criticized by President Rodrigo Duterte publicly in Mandaue City last Thursday night.

In his speech, Duterte lambasted Osmeña who reportedly told the national government to “leave Cebu alone” and allegedly accused the president of being a drug protector.  Rama who was named by Duterte as a narco-politician said he knows the feeling of  being attacked publicly.

“I will pray for Tommy. Dili sayon iyang giatubang karon…He (Osmeña) should be man enough to face kanang mga accusations sa presidente. Dili na basta-basta nimo duwaan, dili basta-basta nimo likayan. I would rather tell him to face it. Answer it,” Rama said.

Until today, the president has not cleared Rama’s name.

Rama also denied Osmeña’s allegations that it was him who provided Duterte information.

In his speech in Mandaue, Duterte also said he wants to talk to Osmeña on several issues.

“Hoy Tomas! Dili na ni panahon sa Katsila, ha? Kanang style nimo nga mura ka'g si kinsa, taas kaayo ka manulti. Ingon pa ka nga ako protector ng shabu. Ingnan tika magkita ta, anak ka ng p*ta ayaw pagtuong kinsa (ka). Dili gani ta magkasinabot sa atong istorya tamparuson taka sa daghang tawo. Ayaw ko binuangi ana kay dili ko Cebuano nga imong daug-daugon,” Duterte said.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella who will run against Osmeña for mayor next year said he will not make further comments on Duterte’s statements.

“Let’s just respect whatever the president had said and I don’t intend to add for anything more,” he said.

Yesterday, Osmeña continued declining media interviews. He has also cancelled his regular press conference since August 23.

But in a post on his Facebook account, the mayor said the president is entitled to whatever he wants to say.

“As a lawyer, I am sure that he knows that there are two sides of any story, and not just what Dino (Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas Head Michael Lloyd Dino), Rama, and PRO-7 are telling him,” Osmeña said.

He said he will continue to do his job despite the criticism from the president.

Support

Osmeña’s supporters have shown support for the mayor on social media alongside the hashtag, #IStandWithMayorTommy.

A Facebook group named “Cebu City Stands With Mayor Tommy Osmeña” was also created yesterday, which has generated over 200 likes as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

Rengelle Pelayo of the city’s Long Life Medical Assistance Program said the mayor is not perfect but he works hard for the city.

“With all due respect Mr. President, we don’t share your sentiments. I hope you will spare time to talk to ordinary people. Reach out to the public. The reports you get from your own people in position do not carry the voice of majority of the Cebuanos. Set political agenda aside,” her Facebook post reads.

Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., an ally of Osmeña, believes that the president is “misinformed.”

“I’m not happy with his (Duterte’s) statement. It’s not proper. He is misinformed. He better check his source coz I’m sure intriga ra,” he said in a text message to The FREEMAN.

Councilor Sisinio Andales, also of Osmeña’s group, the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, said the president can say anything against any one because he is entitled to immunity from suit while in office.

Andales said he has not heard Osmeña telling Duterte a drug protector, adding that the mayor is a “decent political leader” in the city.

“President should have verified and investigated the source of his info,” Andales said.

Despite the criticisms against Osmeña, City Councilor Alvin Arcilla said he still considers the mayor as the “best mayor” in the city.

Arcilla said the mayor has implemented several projects and services for the Cebuanos.

Councilor Joy Augustus Young, for his part, also believed that the president was fed with wrong information especially on the allegation of the president that Osmeña named him a drug protector.

Comment

Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 spokesperson, Supt. Reyman Tolentin, said allegations that the police are the ones feeding Duterte wrong information is Osmeña’s personal view.

“Well, that could be his analysis, his view on why the president was able to release statements,” Tolentin said.

Osmeña has accused PRO-7, Rama, and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Michael Dino as the ones who fed Duterte wrong information.

Tolentin said it is not only from the PNP that the president can get information from.

“Iyaha sad nang panan-aw but the president has the source of every information from tanang agencies, so PNP is just one. Daghan kaayo mi nga agencies dinhi so ang president, he has really all the sources so makakuha siya og information being the president himself. Now if the mayor said nga usa mi, that’s his analysis of things,” Tolentin said. — /JMO (FREEMAN)

MICHAEL RAMA
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