GIVE me the chance to talk to the President.
This was the appeal of former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama after President Rodrigo Duterte once again mentioned his family name in a comment against alleged drug protectors.
His full name was not mentioned, but in a speech aired over PTV News last Friday, Duterte identified Rama as a governor of Cebu Province.
“It really puzzled me why again such pronouncement was made when it was my expectation that at this point, after I’ve done several initiatives to see and knock on the door of the President, such door is not yet open, and I'm not going to stop,” Rama told reporters during a news conference he called yesterday.
The former mayor said that former governor Usmundo Rama and his brother, Eduardo, who was also governor of Agusan del Norte, have long been dead.
“I have a very clear conscience,” said Rama.
As a lawyer, Rama hopes that there will be evidence presented to support or dispose the accusations against him.
Rama said that there has been no complaint filed against him related to the allegation that he is protecting people who are into the illegal drug trade.
Since his name was first mentioned by Duterte, Rama said he has made an effort to talk with the President through Bong Go, the head of the Presidential Management Staff, and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino.
Rama said that he asked the two officials to facilitate an appointment with Duterte. However, until now, his request has not been granted.
Recently, Rama said that he also sought the help of Secretary Adelino Sitoy, presidential adviser on legislative affairs and head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, to facilitate a meeting with the President.
The former mayor said that he has asked the help of Sitoy since the latter is arranging the visit of Duterte in Cebu on March 2 to lead the groundbreaking of the Cebu-Cordova Bridge Project.
Rama said that he wants to seek an audience with the President to allow him to clear his name on the alleged drug link.
Asked if he will attend the groundbreaking of the third bridge so he could meet Duterte, Rama said they didn't necessarily have to meet there since he was not invited to the event.