Cebu News

Garcia admits growing estrangement

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has admitted there is now a distance between him and suspended Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, as he felt bad over Rama's apparent disapproval of his actions since he assumed as acting mayor on May 10.

“True tingali naay distansiya…because I also felt not so good, I also felt bad nga kaning akong gipangbuhat as acting mayor, wa siya malipay,” Garcia told vlogger Jason Monteclar.

He earlier said he hoped Rama understands that what he has been doing since assuming as acting mayor were all for the good of the people.

He had signed the excavation permits for Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), mended fences with MCWD and the Cebu Port Authority, imposed fiscal review and even rationalized spending at City Hall.

Rama, though, had been speaking ill of Garcia, particularly during his radio interviews. The acting mayor said he felt bad over this and did not expect it, especially from someone of whom he has a high regard.

“Wa sad gyod ko malipay sa iyang gibuhat because I was not expecting this from him. I still consider him in highest regard, highest respect gihapon until today. And I was hoping that he will be happy of what I am doing,” he said.

The Office of the Ombudsman has placed Rama, along with seven city government officials, including City Administrator Collin Rosell, under a six-month preventive suspension following the complaint filed by four City Hall employees who did not receive their salaries for 10 months.

“Kinsa man goy dili malipay…nga mamayad tag upat ka empleyado nga napu ka buwan wa pa bayri, and atong nabayran within one month. Kinsa may di malipay? So, I was expecting him to either commend me for that,” Garcia told Monteclar.

Last Monday, June 10, during a Brigada News FM Cebu, Rama expressed disapproval over Garcia negotiating with the MCWD for the use of the American-era building that is currently being used as a Cebu City Hall Satellite Office.

“Ayaw nila’g patakai nang MCWD, kay di na pwedeng tungod lang naa diha karon ang acting mayor…unya kanang dapita diha, dili man na iyang padulngan, ako man nang termino,” Rama told Brigada anchors Arnel Pahanonot and Dennes Regner Tabar.

Rama further said that Garcia needs to win as a mayor first before he can create his own policy direction and that he shouldn't interfere with what Rama set as that of his administration.

To recall, Rama had opted to fight it out with MCWD, particularly on his desire to replace the members of the MCWD board of directors.

“Kinahanglan modaog sa siya, kung modagan man gani siya’g mayor, unya magbuhat siya'g iyang kaugalingong direksyon, dili kay hilabtan niya’ng direksyon sa buhi pa nga mayor. Buhi pa ko…unya gi-elected ko sa mga tawo,” Rama said.

In a press conference held on the same day, Garcia clarified that negotiations regarding the satellite office are still ongoing and no final decision has been made, despite reports suggesting that the MCWD is already taking back the building.

“Nothing is final until it is written in stone. We are still in the process of negotiation,” Garcia had said.

Long-term plans include relocating the City Hall to South Road Properties (SRP), so that all city government offices would already be together there.

Also, Garcia wondered why Rama was not happy with what he is doing as acting mayor.

“Kinsa may di malipay…nga atong gipirmahan ang excavation permit kay para ang MCWD makabutang og pipes padung sa mga tagsatagsa ka balay didto sa kabukiran. And for the first time in their history, makatubig sila gikan sa MCWD. Five thousand applicants ang makabenipisyo, ang makatagamtam. Kinsa may di malipay ana?” Garcia said. — Jonalyn Infante, CNU Intern (FREEMAN)

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