That was how Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña described former mayor Michael Rama after the latter said that he can’t disclose the names of the foreign individuals and entities who pledged P900 million for the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) because he is “bound by confidentiality.”
“There’s no law (on confidentiality of pledges). That just demonstrates that he’s lying. He’s just using that as propaganda. Vote for me because I have (generated) P900 million. The bank, they have confidentiality arrangement when you deposit. Is Rama a bank?” he said.
Months after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake damaged old CCMC in building 2013, Rama and other City officials launched the “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko Program” to raise some P1.5 billion for the construction of a new CCMC.
To generate more funds, Rama, together with Councilor Joy Pesquera, left for the United States in 2014 to solicit abroad.
When they returned, the two announced that they have raised close to P1 billion in pledges.
Osmeña said that since it was the City Government who paid for the trip as well as Rama and Pesquera’s one-month stay abroad, the former mayor is obliged to account for his time.
Since the pledges were made and announced in 2014, the mayor said that Rama had two more years to cash out the pledges before he lost in the 2016 May polls.
“Do you think if he could collect, he won’t collect? He could have shown the Cebuanos that now we have P100 million, this month P200 million, but nothing,” Osmeña said.
Sought for comment, Rama maintained his stand not to name the potential donors.
He said he is just protecting their interest by keeping their identities private.
“I can’t be bringing names unless they will tell me that they are ready to be named. I’m going to respect that. The problem is they don’t trust him (Osmeña). They don’t trust that government,” he said.
Rama said Osmeña’s previous pronouncements to sell the city hospital back in 2013 may have caused the donors’ hesitation from transacting with the present administration.
“I am under the presumption or conclusion that they don’t want to risk to be in the picture now, especially because of his style of destroying, seeking revenge and going after those who go against him. I’ve never been a liar. He’s the one who’s lying,” he said. (RTF)