Tomas made me win: Cuenco-A A +A
Friday, December 2, 2011
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday criticized his predecessor Rep. Tomas Osmeña (south district) for telling former congressman Antonio Cuenco to talk to him on his plan to again seek a seat in Congress in 2013.
“I’m a little bit aghast. Did I ask the congressman that he should tell Cuenco to talk to me? And I don’t think also Cuenco is naïve to be told to talk to me,” he said.
The mayor, however, is mum whether he will let Cuenco, who is currently the secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Inter-parliamentary Assembly, align with him in the 2013 polls.
The mayor, who already bolted from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) last June, clarified that Cuenco has always been a friend of the Ramas.
“I have never looked at them as an enemy or an opponent. The Cuencos are very nice. Purity in the heart has always reigned,” he said.
When asked earlier to comment on Cuenco’s plan to run again as south district representative, Osmeña suggested that Cuenco talk to Rama instead.
Osmeña said Cuenco doesn’t need him, saying he had publicly announced that Rama, who was then vice mayor, made him congressman.
Cuenco denied having said this, and clarified that he considers Osmeña the key to his victory in 2007 against businessman Jonathan Guardo, even though his campaign manager was Rama, who was then vice mayor.
“I want to make a correction to the statement of Tommy, if ever he said that. I want to reiterate to the Cebuano public that Tommy Osmeña helped me a lot in the 2007 elections and that he was the key factor to my victory at that time”, Cuenco said.
“It’s not accurate for him to say that I made the announcement that Mike made me win,” he added.
The former congressman said Rama became his campaign manager upon Osmeña’s suggestion.
But Cuenco pointed out that Rama also helped a lot in his campaign.
In a news conference yesterday, Rama said the support and endorsement of Osmeña, who heads BOPK, to one’s candidacy during polls is not always an assurance of victory.
Cuenco had said his 2013 election plans would depend on his consultation with the barangays and the endorsement of the BOPK.
“Sometimes, we think too much. It is the support of the people that guarantees victory,” the veteran politician said.
Cuenco first became a congressman in 1965 in the former fifth district of Cebu, now the second district.
When she became president in 1986, Corazon Aquino appointed Cuenco as her political affairs minister.
Cuenco became a lawmaker in Cebu City’s south district in 1984, when he was elected as assemblyman in the defunct Batasang Pambansa.
In October 1986, he was congressman from 1987 to 1998 and was replaced from 1998 to 2001 when his third term ended.
Cuenco became congressman again from 2001 to 2010.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 02, 2011.