Osmeña, Rama, Tumulak,in Cebu City’s mayoralty race

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

Within this week, I had the chance to interview both Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama and former Cebu City councilor Margot Osmeña separately. The two are the standard bearers of Barug-PDP and BOPK parties, respectively, for the 2022 mayoralty race in Cebu City (as of this writing, Councilor Dave Tumulak has just filed his certificate of candidacy).

During the live interview in my “Straight to the Point” radio program aired over dyHP RMN Cebu, they gave substantial answers, although my listeners were quick to point out their respective weaknesses. On personal weakness, Rama seemed to be giving circuitous answers. Osmeña appeared to be struggling to say the precise Cebuano words to represent her ideas.

The three candidates are formidable. Osmeña is the unifying candidate for the BOPK family as both ABC President Franklyn Ong and Congressman Bebot Abellanosa respect her as their leader. If she did not run, the rumor was that BOPK would face a dilemma because both Abellanosa and Ong were interested in running for mayor.

Because of Osmeña’s decision, Abellanosa had to sacrifice his ambition for mayor, at least for now. He had to give way also to Ong for the vice mayoralty candidate position because strategically, the latter is preferred as he comes from the north while Osmeña comes from the south.

So with the BOPK’s complete lineup, the party is perceived to be strong. Let us watch if former mayor Tomas Osmeña, who was a kingmaker in the past by raising former mayors Alvin Garcia and Rama to the position, can still make someone win, this time his very own wife.

With Margot's background as a legislator for nine years and an advocate of helping street children, she could be an excellent public servant. Her managerial experience as a bank manager in both the Philippines and the US will boost people's trust that she knows how to run the city effectively.

Vice Mayor Mike Rama, on the other hand, managed to unite the Barug-PDP party. It is noticeable that there were conflicts between the camp of Rama and Mayor Edgardo Labella. Hence, Labella had not easily given way to Rama despite belonging to the same party.

Another faction led by MCWD chairman Joey Daluz was reportedly interested in fielding its own candidate for mayor. He was supposed to be in tandem with Councilor Raymond Garcia. They both renewed their parents’ local parties, which made their respective groups part of the equation.

True enough, it is now smooth sailing within Barug-PDP. While Labella will not run for mayor anymore, his son Edgardo “Jaype” Labella is assured of a slot in the party’s lineup. The Daluz-Garcia faction is given its own slice of the cake, with Raymond now being Rama’s running mate. Daluz is set to serve as their campaign manager. Indeed, politics is also about flexing muscles.

If given another chance, Rama’s long-time background in public service will tell you that he has a passion for serving the people. His experience as a councilor, vice mayor, and mayor will show that he knows how to run the city.

However, the city may be in for a big surprise in 2022, with Dave Tumulak entering the mayoralty race. He is a force to reckon with. He is no stranger to an executive post because he was a former barangay captain with a sterling performance. Many perceive him as a man of action, as he is visible where the action is.

Indeed, the 2022 mayoralty race will be a battle to watch.

With the pandemic situation, who among the three is the best choice?

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THAT DOES IT - By Anne Sanchez | December 4, 2021 - 12:00am
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