Rama says he contributed to ‘Salubungan’ crowd

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wondered why an Edsa reenactment was held in Cebu 28 years after it happened.

He said it could be that President Benigno Aquino III was touched by the tragedies Cebu experienced last year.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Cebu and Bohol last Oct. 15, while typhoon Yolanda ravaged parts of Eastern Visayas and northern Cebu.

Rama briefly met the president during the “Salubongan” at the Capitol yesterday.
There was no chance to talk, he said.

“Igo ra ko ni-welcome. Wala man sila nangimbitar nga adto didto. Alangan man akong iduso akong nawong didto (I just welcomed him. I wasn’t invited. I can’t just go there without invitation),” said Rama.

But he did stay to eat at the Capitol.

Rama said, though, he was able to bring 10,000 people to the event, a reenactment of the time when high-ranking officials opposed to Ferdinand Marcos met at Edsa.

Rama said he had urged City Hall employees to attend the event, as well as the barangays through Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President and Councilor Phillip Zafra, and Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines (BCLP) through President Raymond Garcia.

Groups

Rama said he also urged 50 different groups, including Team Rama, vendors and non-government organizations, to attend.

He went back to City Hall for different activities and talked to reporters and interns about the importance of preserving the lessons of the Edsa Revolution 28 years ago.

“Edsa was a failed coup. But the people were one in their disagreement with the abuses in government so that it became a reason for the people to be one,” Rama said.

“The people just became exasperated. There was no other chance for change, enough is
enough,” said Rama.

He believes that the issue today is no longer dictatorship but the misuse of the pork barrel, or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Reporters

One by one, Rama asked reporters and the interns to share their two cents about the pork barrel.

Bombo Radyo’s Jun Salde said pork barrel is important because without it, many projects and programs will be sacrificed.

Sun.Star Superbalita reporter Philip Cerojano and Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) reporter and City Hall Association of Reporters in Media (Charm) president Chris Ligan believe the money should not be coursed through the legislators because their job is to make laws.

Executive

Cerojano said it should be directly given to the local government units, while Ligan said it should be coursed through the executive branch of government.

Cebu Daily News chief of reporters Doris Bongcac and GMA 7 reporter Reyn Nikko Sereno agreed that the pork barrel helped many local government units but that more stringent guidelines should be imposed in its implementation.

The role of the youth, said Bongcac, is to choose the best leaders for the country.

“I challenge all of you, the youth, to (instill change). No amount of change in the president will change this problem,” said Rama.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2014.

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