THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) second division has ordered the local Comelec office to transport to Manila all contested ballots in the May mayoral polls in Cebu City for a recount. Rama filed an election protest against the “former political has-been” claiming he was cheated in the election through manipulation of the vote counting machines. He lost by 34,000 votes.
I think the protest is an uphill battle for Rama. Like the other political protests, this one won’t go anywhere. If ever this would be resolved, the 2019 elections will just be around the corner.
Imagine, it has been almost a year since Mike filed his protest and the poll body gave merit to it only now. Maayo pa kun maghuwat ug mamundo na lang ka daan Mike para sunod nga eleksiyon.
Suspended City Councilor Jerry Guardo can already return to the city council and resume his legislative functions anytime. This after the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas modified his 90-day suspension by only imposing a fine, which is equivalent to his monthly honorarium of P18,000 a month as barangay captain.
The case stemmed from his failure to submit a year end accounting report to the Commission on Audit on the expenses of his barangay when he was the barangay captain of Sambag 1. Guardo claimed that Lemar Alcover, the incumbent Sambag 1 barangay captain and son of City Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. of Team Rama, was the one who filed the case. This, plus the claim that his allies failed to help him were the reasons used by Guardo in bolting Team Rama and joining the administration’s Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
But Lemar said he had nothing to do with the case. The Commission on Audit (COA), he said, initiated the filing of the case.
When he received the suspension order, Guardo visited Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella of Team Rama and sought his help. Labella’s law office helped him draft the motion for reconsideration that the Ombudsman used as basis to modify the suspension order. Labella’s office did not ask for any attorney’s fees from Guardo. In fact, during that visit, somebody from Labella’s office gave Guardo P20,000.
Now, who said he was abandoned by Team Rama? Maybe “has-been” mayor Mike Rama, the party head, was unaware of Guardo’s predicament because Mike is facing his own battles. He has a pending electoral protest against his political nemesis and was busy looking for connections so he can have an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte to clear his name of accusations he is a “drug protector.”
But we can not take it personally against Guardo. He is just looking after for his political future. Maybe somebody influenced him or he was enticed by the offer of BOPK so he decided to leave Team Rama. But his reason for bolting is flimsy and he was obviously lying. When the suspension order was modified, he did not even call the vice mayor to say “thank you.”
Mao ni klaseng tawo nga walay utang kabubut-on, dugokan ug baruganan.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on April 22, 2017.
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