He will not renew contracts of City Hall employees who will back BOPK-A A +A
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
CASUAL employees of the Cebu City Government who join campaign sorties need not worry about losing their job, as long as they choose to tag along with Team Rama.
But if they are seen campaigning with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) candidates, they better watch out.
Mayor Michael Rama gave this warning during a closed-door meeting with all City Hall employees, which was done in batches last Monday and yesterday.
He said the meeting, which lasted 15 to 20 minutes per batch, was meant to inform the employees that he will be seeking reelection as city mayor in the May 13, 2012 polls.
Rama said he found it necessary to call the employees to a meeting at the social hall even if he has long announced his candidacy, “because that is my style.”
The mayor said he reminded the employees to stay away from politics and to focus on their jobs. He particularly warned them against campaigning for his opponents and attacking him.
“Since the election is still next year, I wish we will all focus on our job.
Politicking will surely arise but don’t blame me when it’s time to renew the contract of the casuals… Alangan naman kuhaon pa ta mo og wala na ko’y pagsalig ninyo kay inyo na kong giapil-apil (you cannot expect me to continue to hire you if you attack me),” Rama said.
In his regular news conference yesterday, he said casuals who side with BOPK cannot expect to be treated equally with those who support his group, Team Rama.
“Of course not, because that’s my prerogative as mayor,” he said.
When asked if he will favor those who will join his campaign, he said: “Of course!,” adding that politics will always come into play when it comes to renewing the contract of casual employees.
For Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), who will challenge Rama’s mayoral bid, the meeting and the warnings are acts of desperation on the part of the mayor.
“Rama has to be vindictive to win. He is that desperate, he will try anything.
Politically, he is gasping for air at the expense of others, including the City’s funds,” the BOPK leader said.
The mayor denied pro-mising additional benefits if he gets reelected, and he insisted that he did not campaign before employees during the meeting.
Among those he met yesterday are personnel of the Cebu City Medical Center, City Health Department and the City Traffic Operations Management.
He said he did not allow the media to cover the activity because “it was between me and the employees.”
“It was just for their information and guidance. I just told them that no matter what, the political fever will rise and it will be the height of hypocrisy if some people will go against me and as the mayor, if there is loss of trust and confidence, I have to exercise my prerogative that if you’re a casual worker, (contract) will not be renewed,” Rama added.
In an interview yesterday, Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young of BOPK said he wasn’t surprised by Rama’s pronouncement, which he said is a manifestation of the mayor’s paranoia.
He said that as early as 2010, Rama has been picking on employees and officials identified with BOPK.
“Mike is panicking, he’s losing ground,” he added.
Team Rama candidates are expected to file their certificates of candidacy on Friday.
A source from the group said that Rama’s certificate of nomination and acceptance from the United Nationalist Alliance coalition arrived by courier yesterday, but the mayor said he will formally announce his decision on an alliance with any national party on Thursday yet.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2012.