LEADERS of Partido Barug are hopeful that Cebu City Councilor Erik Miguel Espina will reconsider his decision not to pursue his candidacy next year.
Former mayor Michael Rama, who now serves as president of Partido Barug, said nothing is final yet until Espina officially withdraws his certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“I am hoping that all concerns will be addressed,” Rama said.
Rama, who is running for vice mayor under Partido Barug, said he is optimistic that Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who is the standard bearer of the group, will thresh out everything.
Espina officially resigned six months after he was appointed to the post so he could give way to James Anthony Cuenco.
Espina will remain in his post until Jan. 1.
Espina also announced he would withdraw his candidacy as councilor for the south district under Partido Barug.
Marchel Sarno, Cebu City North District election officer, said that as of Saturday, Dec. 15, they had yet to receive word from Espina.
Sarno said that under election rules, a person who filed a COC can withdraw it by submitting to the Comelec office a written declaration under oath.
Labella said he respects Espina’s decision, but he hopes the latter will change his mind.
“It’s a party matter for us to discuss and talk about. After all, he has yet to file his withdrawal. I am hoping he would reconsider his position on the matter,” he said.
Labella said Espina is a “very valued candidate” because of his advocacy and platforms of government.
“He is very good material (for a city councilor) and if he really decides eventually not to run, he will be a big loss to the group and to the city,” he said.
The group is set to meet on Monday, Dec. 17.