Cebu News

Use of government cars probed

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City government is looking into reports that government resources were used during suspended Mayor Michael Rama’s BARUG-initiated Independence Day Celebration on June 12, 2024.

Rama, who is now serving a six-month preventive suspension, stood before his supporters in an afternoon event at the Plaza Sugbo Grounds. Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia did not attend the gathering allegedly due to a “prior engagement”.

Councilor Pastor Alcover, Jr. said he was able to speak with Garcia during his radio program a day after the event where they were able to discuss some questions relating to the Barug event.

“Kay duna man gu’y nangutana kung unsay status anang program nga gihimo ni Mayor Mike Rama, duha na ba daw kabuok mayor?” said Alcover.

Quoting the Acting Mayor, Alcover said the convergence was made with an approved permit. But Alcover added the event has stirred up confusion for appearing to have two Independence Day celebrations following a city-initiated event in the morning on that same day.

Further recalling the conversation he had with Garcia, Alcover said the acting mayor also wanted to check if there were any government vehicles used for the event.

“Kay kung naay mga government vehicles nga gigamit, that’s another story kay suspended gud ang mayor so dili siya ka gamit sa facility sa goberyno,” said Alcover.

Aside from this, Alcover said they also received multiple questions, seeking clarification on the involvement of the city for the said Barug-initiated convergence.  This is after text messages, allegedly from Ian Hassamal, head of the Department of General Services (DGS), were disseminated urging barangay tanods and other supporters to gather for the said event.

“Please advise all personnel receiving honoraria sa city particularly sa ato tanods, lupons, BEO and garbage driver and loader to attend the June 12 Independence mass at Plaza Sugbo 5 pm as per instruction of Ian Hassamal,” the said text message said, as read by Alcover.

Alcover said that such information is conflicting considering that Hassamal is still an employee of the Cebu City Hall. He, however, added that it will be up to the acting mayor to check on appropriate actions should violations be committed.


Meanwhile, Alcover said he is keen on declaring independence from any political party amidst the current political scenario in the city, however added that he is still observing the “developments”.

Alcover, who won during the 2022 elections under the political banner of BARUG Team Rama, told reporters in an interview that he now has reservations about retaining his ticket under the same political party.

Alcover admits there’s a “problem” in their current political scene in Cebu City, likewise saying that there is no clear direction for him for the 2025 midterm elections.

“We have to admit nga duna gyud mi problema,“ Alcover said.

“Pero ako sa akong kaugalingon, mura’g mo-declare nalang ko’g indepente tingali,” he added.

Alcover stressed that although he still has high regard in belonging to a political party, he would want to have developments for himself underscoring the importance of standing for his personal principles.

“Sa pagkakaron, kung imong tan-awon, independently man na akong mga stance dinha sa council. So ana lang sa ta for the meantime, while nag-observe pa ta sa political situation kay daghan pa kaayong development,” said Alcover.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with