Reluya to fulfill his slain father’s dream
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - June 8, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Making his late father’s dream for San Fernando to have an international port is among the priorities of vice mayor-elect Ricci Reluya.

Ricci, who substituted the candidacy of his father after the latter was killed in an ambush, said he will work hard together with his mother, reelected Mayor Lakambini Reluya, to pursue the aspirations of the late Ricardo Reluya, Jr.

"What I promised during the campaign is to continue the plans and projects of my father, I will so do it to the best of my ability especially with how the May 13 elections resulted into that they (San Fernando voters) chose and elect my father to serve them. I will do my best to ensure that all the things that he had planned for you will continue," he said.

"That is the reason I took over the vice mayoralty position of my father because I want to serve the people who loved my father... One of the things that I will prioritize is ensuring the continuation of the RORO (roll-on and roll-off) port that we are planning to continue," he added.

Ricci is hopeful that the construction of the proposed project would start within this year because the budget is already available. The young Reluya admitted that filling the shoes of his slain father is never easy.

He said that instead of feeling fulfilled because of the victory in the last elections, he is accepting with a heavy heart the mandate that was supposed to be his father’s.

"During the proclamation of winners, there was not much happiness. I told myself then this victory should have been for my father. The people have shown my father that they have loved him. And sadly, he is not here to see it," he said.

"This should have been my father's victory. I never intended to enter politics but because of the necessity, I have to be here to continue his tasks. So I have to be here to work for him," he added.

His only consolation is the thought that his father would continue to guide him from above. He said the family is still crying for justice for the death of his father.

They thanked senator-elect Imee Marcos for the assurance that she would help the family seek justice.

"To the family, we (government officials) promise to find justice... and we will pursue that to the very end," said Marcos in her speech during the mass oath-taking of the winning candidates in the First District of Cebu.

Ricci was among the newly-elected officials who took their oath last Thursday. He was seen clutching a framed picture of his father throughout the event.

"Any person who makes it a point to try to seek justice to the wrongful slay of my father, their help is more than welcome. And especially right now we are surrounded by people that we don't know what their intentions are. People who take stand for the justice of the death of my father, we welcome it wholeheartedly," the young Reluya said in response to Marcos’ assurance.

Asked if the family is satisfied with the ongoing investigation, Ricci refused to give a categorical answer.

"They were given a time frame. They did what they have to do in such a short amount of time. I am not going to comment whether they have done a good job or not, all I know is they did what they could... I appreciate what they have given. They were put in a corner and they were able to deliver," he said.

Ricci’s father and two others were killed in an ambush in Talisay City last January 21. His mother survived the ambush. — FPL (FREEMAN)

RICCI RELUYA
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