Cebu News

Barangay Captains, Mayors express support: Rama ‘coping’ with suspension

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Almost a week after the Office of Ombudsman imposed on him and seven others a six-month preventive suspension, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said he is “coping” with his situation and is spending more quality time with his young son.

This, as Cebu City barangay captains and more city mayors from different areas of the country expressed their support, him being the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) president, for Mayor Rama.

Taking their cue from Quezon City Mayor and LCP Executive Vice President Joy Belmonte, they signed and released statements touting the integrity of the mayor.

The mayor was accused of “oppression,” among other, for not paying the salary of four regular employees for 10 months.

Yesterday, The Freeman was also able to get copies of the statement of support for Mayor Rama from mayors Baby Arni Alvarez of Muñoz, Legazpi ‘s Carmen Geraldine Rosal, and Jerry Trenas of Iloilo City. The mayor General Trias City also reportedly supported Rama.

These mayors vouched for the “integrity and character” of Rama, “who serves with exemplary leadership and dedication”.

They also said Rama is a good father of the city of Cebu, one who has a heart for genuine public service as the hallmark of his leadership.

In particular, Trenas said that “Rama’s exemplary leadership is beyond question and the accusations against him cannot overturn the contributions and the inspiration he brings to others.”

Like the others, he also joined the voices calling for everyone to consider Rama’s character and contributions for the development of Cebu before forming any judgements.

At the local front, barangay captains also showed their support for Rama, on the “goals and aspirations” that he has as mayor of the City of Cebu.

In particular, they were from Busay, Hipodromo, Carreta, T.Padilla, Tejero, San Roque, Ermita, Lusaran, Cambinocot, Calamba, Buhisan, Kalunasan, Labangon, Kinasang-an, Duljo-Fatima, Mambaling, Bonbon, Malubog, Busay, Guba, Guadalupe, Sinsin, Capitol Site, Adlaon, Poblacion Pardo, Quiot, Sudlon 2, Tabunan, Tisa, Sapangdaku, Sudlon II, Cogon Pardo and Pasil.

The suspended mayor also reportedly got the support from Cebu City Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Rhea Mae Jakosalem.

The Barangay Councilors’ League of the Philippines-Cebu City, led by its president Dante Tabucal, also sent a separate statement of support.

“I strongly believe in the integrity of our mayor and I am deeply saddened by the latest developments affecting his tenure of office,” Tabucal said while also hoping that the wheel of justice turns in favor of the mayor.

In an interview during an online program by the City Government’s Sugboanon Channel, Rama said that although he is not working as mayor, he was preparing for several activities.

He also highlighted the distinction between “preventive suspension” and being punished already, which means you are already found guilty, highlighting the distinction between the two, without going further into the details of the case.

Asked why he still appears on platform being handled by the Cebu City government when he is already suspended, the mayor said the Sugboanon Channel was launched to be an avenue for anyone to state the “truth”.

He said that the platform is also advocating “transparency and the promotion of good governance”.

“When the truth is being exposed and propagated, then the truth will set us free,” Rama said.

He said the situation also resulted to him having more time to his son, which he finds to be a good use of his free time.

“And karon I am a very proud father, akong gihatod a mong anak sa iyang eskwelahan…. More or less, I am being productive,” Rama said.

He said he is aware of the “negative” reactions on his preventive suspension, adding that he is taking them as “insights”.

On the manifestations of support from several city mayors and barangay captains of Cebu City, he expressed his gratitude. — /RHM (FREEMAN)

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