IS BANDO OSMEÑA PUNDOK KAUSWAGAN (BOPK) going to have a Tomas Osmeña-Franklyn Ong tandem in the 2019 midterm elections?
Unverified reports claim that the 51 allied barangay captains of BOPK are endorsing Kasambagan Barangay Captain Ong for vice mayor and to be Mayor Osmeña’s running mate.
The village chief, though, wants to focus on his post as Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President, instead.
“I’m thankful for their trust and confidence, but I want to focus as ABC president for now. I believe I can help and do more for the barangays as ABC president. I have many programs and plans lined up for this year and the coming years,” Ong said.
Among Ong’s priority projects as federation head is to improve peace and order in the barangays and to conduct capability-building seminars and information technology training for barangay officials.
“To name a few, the upcoming license to own and possess firearm for the barangay captains, an academy and uniforms for barangay peacekeeping security officers, capability-building for the barangay officials, and software for the barangays,” Ong said when asked what are his projects.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach Osmeña for his comment but got no response.
Although BOPK is yet to decide on its final slate, the mayor earlier announced that he is open to running with Councilors Dave Tumulak or Mary Ann delos Santos as his vice mayor.
Tumulak, delos Santos and Ong all started their political careers as barangay officials.
Tumulak is a former broadcaster who also served as barangay captain of Basak Pardo. He was elected as city councilor in 2013 and reelected in 2016.
Delos Santos, on the other hand, started as barangay councilor of Lahug in 1994. She was then elected barangay captain in 1997. She ran for mayor in 2007 but lost to Osmeña. She also ran for Congress in 2010 but was defeated.
Delos Santos again ran for public office in 2013, this time as city councilor under Barug Team Rama, and won. She was reelected as city councilor in 2016, already under BOPK.
Meanwhile, prior to his stint as village chief, Ong was elected as president of the Barangay Councils League of the Philippines (BCLP) Cebu City Chapter in 2010. He was elected as national vice president for the Visayas in the following year.
In 2012, Ong was elected BCLP national president and filled the post vacated by Barangay Moonwalk, Parañaque City councilman Julio Jaime, who was accused of running a scam. (RTF)