Cebu City's political horizon

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

With bated breath, everybody in Cebu City Hall watches each other's body language these days.

Yes, body language, at least for now! It will take a little while before people eventually reveal their true colors, either out of conviction or convenience.

The six-month preventive suspension of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has sparked numerous speculations, raising significant questions about the potential implications for the 2025 local election.

On the suspension, Cebu City North District Councilor Jun Alcover wanted to blame Rama's city administrator, Atty. Collin N. Rossell. He did not elaborate on how except to say that Rossell made the mayor unreachable to some people.

Although it is still too early for the mayor's critics to celebrate, Rama is a political survivor. Not long ago, everybody predicted that his political career would end when his name was linked to drugs. However he regained his name and came back to power.

His critics see his suspension as his misfortune, and it may prove to be so. But Rama is bent on turning this “misfortune” into an opportunity as he vowed to utilize the next six months to find legal remedies for the Ombudsman’s order and go around to advance his political career.

The primary worry of some of Rama's supporters is that he has been weakened by the suspension. The vast resources of City Hall will no longer be at his disposal. But that is not a measure of his enemies' success. The question that his enemies must confront is not how weak Rama is but how strong they are.

So far, his rumored rivals in 2025 are Councilor Nestor Archival, MCWD chairman Joey Daluz, and former PDEA Chief Yogi Filemon Ruiz. Have they demonstrated strength in popularity, machinery, and logistics? Maybe.

Everybody also watches acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia's every move. Will he run against Mayor Mike in 2025? What will he do in the next six months?

There have a number of times when he differed with the mayor on issues. Many even wondered why they did not hear the Singapore-like Cebu City playing during the latest flag ceremony.

Another example is that he wanted to avoid having the Sinulog held at the SRP, contrary to Rama’s stand.

On his first day at the city's highest office, he ordered the immediate release of the salaries of the employees who sued Mayor Rama. He also vowed to be more diplomatic in dealing with the issues of CPA and MCWD.

As the new city manager’s actions come to light, a stark contrast with his predecessor, Rama, is becoming evident. This shift in leadership is setting the stage for a more intriguing political landscape.

Despite all the noise of his rumored interest in running as mayor, Daluz has yet to officially declare that he will run for the position in 2025. A campaign veteran, he knows whether there is a real push from the ground for him to run.

I am not sure when the prospect of Nestor Archival running for mayor will generate enough enthusiasm for him to win. This tireless legislator is sometimes waging a lonely war, as can be seen in the city council sessions.

I do not know yet whether Yogi Ruiz will prove to be a serious candidate. So far, he has installed many billboards in the city.

Also, nobody can discount Dave Tumulak. He has loyal followers and put up a good fight in the last election.

Let us all watch and learn.

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