Tomas brings up Annabelle’s residency-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
THE residency of talent manager Annabelle Rama, who is running for the congressional seat of Cebu City’s north district under Team Rama, is more questionable than that of City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr., one of Pe’s allies said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified Pe from running for the council in the south district after it ruled that he does not reside there. Pe, who belongs to the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), is on his last term as councilor in the north district.
BOPK standard-bearer Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) said they did not file a disqualification case against Annabelle. “It will just give her attention when she’s so far behind. It doesn’t matter, let the people disqualify her.”
Not the issue
“Everybody knows she lives in Manila,” Osmeña said.
Mayor Michael Rama said Osmeña is skirting the issue.
“The issue is against Pe. It cannot be equated because we’re talking about one area and (that’s) another area,” said Rama, who is facing Osmeña in the mayoral race in May.
Rama said his party will reply when BOPK makes a formal issue of it.
“Let them do it and we will face it. But there is a clear pronouncement of disqualification,” Rama said, referring to the Comelec First Division resolution disqualifying Pe on the issue of residency.
According to the ruling, while Pe established that he is a resident of the south district where he is running for councilor, he has not established that he has already abandoned his residency in the north district because he continues to serve as a north district councilor.
Osmeña, though, said Pe doesn’t need to resign.
BOPK is willing to offer Pe legal support if he needs it. He has said that he will file an appeal.
Rama has tasked his legal team to file a pleading, a motion for partial reconsideration on the issue of Pe violating the three-term limit rule, before the five-day period expires.
Osmeña said the intent of the three-term limit rule is not to bar a candidate from running but to give others a chance to run for the same position.
Pe, he said, is giving another person a chance by transferring to another district.
While it may be the same office, Osmeña said it has a different set of constituents and voters of the south district are not the same voters who elected Pe into office in the last three elections.
If the bar is based on the issue of running for the same office then Osmeña believes that Councilor Edgardo Labella, who is running for vice mayor under Team Rama, should also be disqualified. This is because a vice mayor is still a part of the council.
In the case of Labella, the people who voted for him in the last three terms will form part of the voters he needs to woo to win as vice mayor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2013.