Few surprises in rival tickets-A A +A
Saturday, September 22, 2012
TEN days ahead of the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC), Team Rama of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama announced yesterday their complete slate for the 2013 elections.
The Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) headed by Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) also announced yesterday their candidates for the next year’s polls, except for the north district congressional seat.
For Team Rama, former Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan, a lawyer, completed the slate.
The group announced he will be the candidate for the House seat in the south district, while the mayor’s cousin Anabelle Rama will be running in the north district. Batuhan has run for the same position twice before.
Their candidate for vice mayor is Councilor Edgardo Labella.
Team Rama’s slate for city councilors in the north includes former city councilor and current City Traffic Operations Management Board Chairman Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem, former city councilor Edwin Jagmoc, Agsungot Barangay Captain Pastor Alcover II, Sambag I Barangay Captain Jerry Guardo, Busay Barangay Captain Eliodoro Sanchez, Ermita Barangay Councilor Felicisimo Rupinta, Lahug Barangay Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos, and Bobby Vicente Kintanar, who is the son of former broadcast journalist Jun Kintanar.
The group’s slate for the south district councilors include former city councilor Procopio Fernandez, former south district congressman Antonio Cuenco’s son James Cuenco, Basak Pardo Barangay Captain Dave Tumulak, Poblacion Pardo Barangay Councilor Althea Lim, Inayawan Barangay Councilor Lotlot Ignacio, lawyer Hans Abella, businessman Ronald Diola and radio personality Tisha “Inday Tikay” Ylaya.
BOPK, for its part, has not yet decided who to field for the House seat in the north district, as Rep. Rachel “Cutie” Del Mar and her father former congressman Raul del Mar have not yet decided who will run between the two of them in the 2013 elections.
Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa will be the BOPK’s candidate for the south district congressional seat. Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, for his part, will be seeking reelection.
BOPK made changes in their slate for city councilors after Kasambagan Barangay Councilor Franklin Ong decided to no longer run. Rep. Osmeña said that Ong backed out because of “personal reasons.”
During the 3rd General Assembly of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) yesterday, Osmeña introduced former city councilor Nestor Archival as the replacement of Ong, completing the slate for city councilors in the north district.
He will be joining incumbent City Councilors Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera, Alvin Arcilla, Michael Ralota, Noel Wenceslao, Sisinio Andales, and Alvin Dizon.
The slate for the south district is composed of former city councilors Gerry Carillo and Gabby Leyson, Cogon Pardo Barangay Captain Eugenio Gabuya, Labangon Barangay Councilor Zenaida Amores, city councilors Augustus Pe Jr., Roberto Cabarrubias, Richard Osmeña, and Margarita Osmeña.
Regarding Batuhan, Rama said in a news conference yesterday it is the group’s consensus to adopt him and field him as their candidate for the south district.
Rama believes Batuhan is a “perfect candidate” for Congress, considering he is a lawyer and has experience being the undersecretary of the DOTC.
Councilor Jose Daluz III, who was earlier endorsed by former south district congressman Antonio Cuenco to replace him after he withdrew from the congressional race, will be Team Rama’s general campaign manager.
Batuhan, in a separate interview, thanked Team Rama for adopting him.
If elected, Batuhan said he will not compete with City Hall’s executive department in implementing projects, apparently referring to Osmeña’s move to implement several projects in the city without the concurrence of the mayor.
He added that he will avoid conflict of interest in line with his duty as a public official, unlike Abellanosa who got involved in a recent controversy because of his participation in the City Government’s scholarship program, whose beneficiaries included students in his school.
Batuhan then challenged Abellanosa to a public debate to discuss advocacies and platforms.
Abellanosa, when sought for comment, said Batuhan is “so shallow and ignorant.”
“Does he really think that public service can be translated into how well you debate and that being a representative of the constituents of the south district is all about rhetorics in a legislative agenda?” he said.
Abellanosa added Batuhan doesn’t know what he has done for the city’s constituents, including the city’s senior citizens and the underprivileged, because Batuhan lives in Manila.
“He is isolating himself from the difficult lives of our people in the south district and comes back only during elections,” he said.
As for his involvement in the scholarship program, Abellanosa said he sees nothing wrong with it.
“How can there be conflict of interest when the parents and their children choose their schools from out of the 20 participants?” he said.
Abellanosa then said that Batuhan can tell the parents of the scholars enrolled in his school, the Asian College of Technology, that he will be the one to pay for every semester of every scholar the P5,000 to P15,000 balance in tuition, considering that the City only gives them P10,000 each.
Abellanosa said the real conflict of interest is Batuhan’s supposed hiring of a Sun.Star Cebu columnist and his wife’s public relations company. He said the couple’s daughter is also connected with the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and National Union of Students in the Philippines, who have both asked for an investigation on his involvement in the City’s scholarship program.
Columnist Anol Mongaya, the only Sun.Star columnist whose wife owns a public relations firm, said it seems that the councilor is barking up the wrong tree instead of answering the issues against him.
“Bebot should realize that the issue is not me and my family and our opinions. Using squid tactics is not what he should be doing. He should instead answer the issues raised,” he added.
Team Rama and BOPK will be filing their COCs within Oct. 1 to 5, the schedule set by the Commission on Elections.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2012.