Wanting to ride on the ‘Rama magic’-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
EVERYDAY loves a winner?
In 2010, a group of Cebu City barangay captains presented then mayor Tomas Osmeña with a petition urging the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) leader not to indorse Mike Rama as their official candidate for mayor. Osmena, however, ignored the petition.
Rama won and when, a few months after the election, he quarreled with Osmena and left the BOPK, a number of the village chiefs who opposed his candidacy joined him.
This year, Rama has another problem. There are so many people wanting to run for the same office in the barangay elections scheduled later this month under Team Rama, all of them Mike’s supporters last May when he beat Osmeña. They probably believe that there is a Rama magic and want to ride on it.
Here are some of these barangays:
• Guadalupe – The incumbent barangay chief is Mike Gacasan of the BOPK. Although Osmeña did not win by his expected margin last May, he continues to support Gacasan, who is being challenged by former barangay captain Jingjing Faelnar and Bob Gabutan.
They are both Rama allies.
A Team Rama survey reportedly showed that Faelnar is way ahead of his two rivals but not even the mayor could prevail upon Gabutan, who belongs to a huge clan, to give way.
Faelnar’s campaign slogan is “The Return of the Jedi.” Someone is, however, saying that it is actually “The Return of the Goats” in apparent reference to the goat dispersal project funded from the pork barrel of former congressman Antonio Cuenco for which Faelnar was investigated. Guadalupe residents are wondering whether the naughty one is from the Gacasan or the Gabutan camp.
• Tinago–-Doming Lopez is a first cousin of Rama, so it was expected that the mayor would support Lopez, who also happens to be the incumbent barangay captain. But former village chief Joel Garganera wants his old office back and, while blood is thicker than water, Mike cannot ignore Joel’s contribution to his victory. The uneasy situation has already resulted in “pangluoray”: Lopez with his cousin and Joel with Vice Mayor Edgar Labella. To defuse the tension, Rama has declared a free zone in Tinago.
• Ermita-–It is likely that Team Rama will also declare a free zone in this barangay where the leading candidates for captain are both loyal Rama supporters: the incumbent, Tony Flores and Imok Rupinta, a former Ermita village chief, who ran for councilor in Mike’s ticket last May.
• Sambag I-–Jerry Guardo is on his third term and cannot anymore run for re-election.
That is why he ran for councilor in May (but like Rupinta, he lost). And that is also why he is fielding his wife to succeed him. Trouble is that another Rama supporter, Lemar Alcover, also wants the position.
There is a move to disqualify Alcover, who ran for mayor of Tabogon, and who therefore couldn’t have met the residency requirement in Sambag I. But so determined is Alcover (whose brother was a teammate of Jerry and Imok last May) that he has reportedly made known that if he is disqualified, he will field his wife in his place.
Ranged against them is my neighbor, Danny Lariba, a former vice president of
Southwestern University and dean of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern Philippines. Danny is definitely more qualified; his only drawback is the lack of funds.
There are many other areas where Team Rama is confronted with the same dilemma. But in Mabolo, Mike was spared the agony of having to make a choice between lawyer Danny Arguedo and a brother of Labellla, thanks to the vice mayor who was able to persuade his sibling to withdraw.
How will two Team Rama candidates fare against a lone BOPK rival? We’ll find out in less than four weeks.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2013.