Cebu News

Rama resigns as SFI chair

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Vice Mayor Michael Rama has stepped down as chairman of the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. after reportedly getting snubbed by the newly-formed Cebu City Sinulog Governing Board (CCSGB) in the preparations for Sinulog 2020.

"I think that's the best thing that I think should be done. I reflect and I thought about it and it has to be," Rama said yesterday.

Rama believes that the CCSGB, which was created by an executive order issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella, should have a free hand in handling all Sinulog-related activities spearheaded by the city government.

"When you talk about preparations, that's already been turned over to them (CCSGB). I do not want to be creating more confusion," he said.

Rama learned that CCSGB presented activities for Sinulog 2020 that are different from the activities planned by SFI. As far as he knows, SFI has reportedly not yet agreed with the new activities presented by CCSGB and he is not aware of any meeting wherein both groups agreed on the activities to undertake.

While his resignation as chair is final, he will reportedly remain as member of SFI’s Board of Trustees and will continue to help on preparations for the Sinulog.

"It's not been something new because I've been out for the last three years. I was just merely in the board of trustees and I do have my activities that never cut my umbilical cord in my observance of the Sinulog activities," he said.

Labella, meanwhile, said CCSGB invited SFI to the meeting on Thursday, October 24.

"All of them were invited and if they cannot attend, they have representatives. All of them. Members of SFI were invited. In fact, Governor Gwen Garcia was invited but she sent a representative," Labella said.

During that meeting, SFI President Pericles Dakay reportedly brought the minutes of the foundation’s meeting that tackled strategy, agenda, kinds of advertisements, and programs that the foundation plan to carry out.

"Our agreement with the vice mayor nga og unsay ilang gikasabutan, we will adapt it as like our own also because we agreed that we complement with each other," Labella said.


Labella said he called Rama after learning of the resignation but the vice mayor reportedly told him they would talk about it some other time.

"Ang iyang tubag nako, mag-istorya lang nya ta ana mayor… Mao ra man na ang iyang tubag (He told me that we would just talk some other time… that was his only response). I always respect everyone's opinion," Labella said.

He said he cannot comment on the resignation per se because he is not a member of the foundation but said he is saddened by Rama’s decision.

"Nasubo ko that Vice Mayor Mike Rama ni-resign siya, but anyway, vice mayor pa man siya (I’m saddened by his resignation but he’s still vice mayor). He can still do a lot of things. He can still help the Sinulog… I'm sure that vice mayor will still contribute for the Sinulog," he said.

Labella said he will see to it that Rama will be part of the Sinulog 2020 preparations because "he is part of Cebu City."

"He is a vice mayor, a former mayor, and he has done a lot as a Sinulog chairman. He has made a good record and has made a mark as Sinulog chairman," Labella said.


Rama said he does not want to speak with Labella about his resignation but he has nothing personal against the mayor.

"No more. I do not want anymore that opportunity to come… I think I have gone far and the limits have been reached and this decision has to come," he said.

"I am not a quarrelling person. Quarrel, for me, is not my cup of tea," Rama added.

Labella, too, said the development will not affect his personal relationship with Rama, which he described as "solid as a rock."

"Dugay ang among panagkuyog (We have worked together for a long time). We started this all and we have reached this far in our respective political careers," Labella said.

"Just like brothers and sisters, sometimes there are some sort of misunderstanding, but it cannot break the tie that binds us... the relationship that we have long established together," he added.  JMO (FREEMAN)


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