Juan Karlos Band, which popularized the hit song “Buwan”, performs in a free Labor Day concert in Cebu City.
Courtesy of VM Labella’s Facebook
‘Oust Tom’ launched at concert; mayor says audience ‘scammed’
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - May 3, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A free concert in Cebu City on the night of the Labor Day on Wednesday also became the launching pad of a movement seeking to oust Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Organizers of the movement, dubbed as “Pulihi na, Cebu,” put up tarpaulins showing “O,” the logo of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan, marked with a red “X.”

Cebu City Vice Mayor and mayoralty bet Edgardo Labella said the “concert-for-a-cause” was initiated by friends and businessmen, and it centered with the theme “Pulihi na, Cebu” in line with the Barug PDP-Laban's slogan “Uban ta sa Kausaban.”

But Osmeña, for his part, said the youth were tricked that night into going to a free concert, only to find out it was reportedly the concert of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino and Labella.

“I guess I should be grateful that even though wala ko nag-sponsor, ako gihapon ang pinakasikat didto (that even if I did not sponsor it, I was still the most popular during the event),” the mayor wrote in a post to his Facebook page.

“If the candidates need to lie to you to get you to go to their event, imagine how honest they’ll be after elections,” he added.

Seen during the event were Dino, along with Barug-PDP Laban’s members and bets for the upcoming elections on May 13.

Labella later took to his Facebook page to explain that unlike BOPK, his friends, who organized the concert, did not use public funds for the event.

“Government funds were used for this youth summer camp-turned-BOPK political rally in Pinamungajan last month. Na-scam ang attendees, na-scam ang taxpayers, and na-scam ang Cebu City government,” Labella said.

He said the organizers, whose names were not revealed, also invited all members of the Barug-PDP Laban.

Labella said the event was a confirmation of the group’s thrust to have a new face of governance in the city, stressing that several perennial problems have not been resolved such as the garbage, flooding, water, and traffic.

At the concert, which was dubbed “Buwan the Concert,” posters of Barug-PDP Laban candidates were mounted and ballers of senatorial bets were also seen distributed.

A press release of the organizers said they believed Osmeña was “triggered” by the movement launched, thereby naming it a “scam.”

“But more than 20,000 Cebuano youth sang their hearts with the song ‘Buwan’ during a CONCERT-FOR-A-CAUSE happened last May 1 – Labor Day at IC3 Convention Center, Mabolo, Cebu City. The free Labor Day concert dubbed as Pulihi Na, Cebu! was a movement for the youth to awaken them on the current issues of Cebu City,” read a portion of the press release.

The youth started to line up as early as 4 p.m. and stayed until 10 p.m.

The organizers said there were no politicians who campaigned during the concert since the organizers assured people that it was a movement.

“Those who are claiming that the concert was a scam are the ones that did not come to the concert and are politically motivated by the mayor in position. ‘Pulihi Na, Cebu!’ is the same the movement during the end days of Marcoses,” the press release read further.

During the performances of the guests, big screens showed the pressing issues of Cebu City, including problem on garbage, traffic, water, flood, and poverty which remained a problem for over 30 years now.

Organizers said 20,000 people attended the concert which featured Juan Karlos Labajo, Karencitta, Janine Berdin, Missing Filemon, Kurt Fick, and Phylum, among other performers.

Meanwhile, Osmeña’s BOPK has slated its miting de avance on Sunday afternoon at the Cebu City Sports Center.

“No free concert. No celebrity entertainers. Just your entire BOPK family celebrating our solidarity with each other and with you. Last March’s rally was big. Let’s make this one even bigger,” he invited his followers on Facebook. —  JMD (FREEMAN)

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