Winners seek mayors’ help

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


ACTING Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale called on all city and town mayors to work with the incoming provincial administration, while Governor-elect Hilario Davide III said that Rep. Tomas Osmeña may advise him, without intervening in Capitol affairs.

In yesterday’s 888 News Forum, Magpale said that of the 51 town and city mayors, at least 21 are allied with the Liberal Party (LP), where she and Davide belong.

“I will extend my hand for reconciliation. There must be a healing of the wounds as a result of that bitter election. We must work together regardless of political affiliation,” Magpale said. She will assume office as vice governor at noon on June 30.

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Davide, in a separate interview, said that while he considers Osmeña one of his political mentors, that doesn’t mean the outgoing congressman will be able to dip his fingers into the Provincial Government.

Advice

Davide was proclaimed governor last Friday after he defeated Rep. Pablo John Garcia by at least 160,000 votes. Osmeña, however, lost the Cebu City mayoral elections to Mayor Michael Rama by some 6,000 votes.

Garcia will be replaced as the third district’s congressman by his sister, suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

“I would welcome his (Osmeña’s) advice. Sometimes we need advice because it will not be easy, running the Provincial Government. Not only for me but also for other people as well,” Davide told reporters.

Davide said it’s important for the Province and the Cebu City Government to build a more harmonious relationship. He and Rama used to be allies in the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan and the Cebu City Council.

“Anything that is good for Cebu and the Cebuanos, we will pursue,” Davide said.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the comments of Governor Garcia and Congressman Garcia, but had yet to get their replies as of press time.

Accounting

Magpale said one of the governor-elect’s initial instructions is to publish a detailed accounting of the Provincial Government’s finances.

“We urge the mayors, regardless of what political party they are affiliated with, to support the new administration at the Capitol. That’s where healing can come in,” Magpale said.

She said it was time all the candidates set aside the criticisms they raised against their opponents during the campaign period.

She assured there will be no witch-hunting, although lawful orders, like submitting documents to the Commission on Audit, will be followed.

Magpale said she will try to stay as chair of the tourism committee of the Provincial Board (PB), so she can continue her advocacy against cybersex crime.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) is concerned about human trafficking and the elimination of cybersex crime. There was a time that Cebu was known as a sex tourism destination, but that has already changed,” Magpale said.

Exchange

Osmeña, in a separate interview, said he respects the governor-elect’s decision to work on a more harmonious relationship with Mayor Rama.

But he had a pointed reminder about the proposed land exchange between the City and Provincial Governments, which failed to take off.

“Remember it was Rama who started the breakup by insulting Gwen in his only privilege speech as vice mayor,” Osmeña said in a text message.

In 2006, then vice mayor Rama had questioned the terms of the proposed exchange and asked whether the City would get an advantageous deal. He was quoted as asking whether the Province would be “dawat-limpyo”—getting a great deal for little or no effort.

“Kinsa man ang pala-away (Who’s the one who started the fight)?” asked Osmeña. “It may happen again. I won’t do anything.”

Under the proposed land swap, the City was supposed to give the Province a property in the North Reclamation Area, in exchange for Province-owned lots occupied by some 5,000
families in several Cebu City barangays.

The Province had repeatedly extended the occupants’ payment period, but majority still failed to pay in full for the lots they were occupying.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2013.

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