Cebu lawmaker, ex-political rival forge alliance-A A +A
Friday, July 27, 2012
CEBU CITY – For years, they were each other’s bitter rivals.
But last night, Representative Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) and businessman Jonathan “Atan” Guardo announced an alliance for 2013.
At the joint birthday celebration of Osmeña and his wife Margot on Thursday, Guardo announced that he will be supporting the mayoral bid of Osmeña and the candidacy of all Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies in next year’s election.
Guardo said he remains with the opposition, that is why he is supporting BOPK, which is now the new opposition.
He said he decided on this just last week.
When asked if he is running for any position, Guardo said he has not thought about it yet, although a lot can still happen between now and the filing of the certificate of candidacy in October.
He said they have not discussed any offer to run under BOPK.
In an interview during the party held at the SM Cebu Trade Hall last night, Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said Guardo will not be seeking an elective post, considering that his brother, Sambag 1 Barangay Captain Jerry Guardo, is running for city councilor under the ticket of Mayor Michael Rama.
“There is no horse trading here,” said Young.
Among the congressman’s guests were boxing champion and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquaio, Senators Chiz Escudero and Jinggoy Estrada and Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas.
Guardo, who ran against Osmeña in 2010, was called to give a speech during the party, which was also attended by BOPK-allied barangay captains.
In his speech, he announced he will be supporting BOPK in the 2013 polls.
“Kahibaw mo tanan nga naa ko sa opposition. Ang BOPK opposition na man karon so di ikatingala nga mag-uban na mi (Everyone knows that I am with the opposition. BOPK is now the opposition so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we will work together),” he said.
Guardo then recalled that he worked with Osmeña for five years when the latter was still mayor. He said he had a good working relationship with Osmeña when he sat as chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission from 2001 to 2005.
When their relationship started to turn sour, Guardo said he never had any personal animosity toward Osmena.
Their relationship turned sour when Guardo got involved in a malversation case filed against him by the Philippine Sports Commission for failing to liquidate P10 million that was used during the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005.
The rift worsened in 2007 when Guardo ran for south district congressman under the Kugi Uswag Sugbu ticket against Antonio Cuenco, the candidate of BOPK that time.
In 2010, he faced off with Osmeña himself.
In January 2010, Osmeña filed a libel complaint against Guardo after the latter accused City Hall of stopping his group’s distribution of relief goods to fire victims in Barangay Calamba.
The court dismissed the libel charge in October last year after the two patched up their differences in August by signing a compromise deal on the dropping of charges.
“It’s now time to end our political differences. My birthday gift to him is my all-out support in the coming elections,” Guardo said last night.
He also gave the congressman a birthday cake with the message “Type O nata!,” referring to Osmeña’s campaign slogan.
Guardo said he is supporting Osmeña because he made Cebu City economically prosperous.
“This is because of the vision that Tommy laid years ago and this has to continue. We can achieve this only if we bring him back to City Hall next year. Type O na ta,” he said.
After his speech, Osmeña approached Guardo and shook his hands. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2012.