I CAN foresee a topsy-turvy administration if incoming Mayor Edgardo Labella cannot control his colleagues in the Barug PDP Laban, especially incoming vice mayor Michael Rama. This is not to mention the pressure from outside forces like Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino. I am quite sure that Mike Rama will demand some concessions from Labella in the positioning of his allies and supporters in the executive department as Rama cannot accommodate them in the legislative department where he is the presiding officer. Rama also has a “star complex.” He thinks that he is still the mayor and titular head of the group.
Barug PDP Laban-elected councilors have their own supporters to accommodate and consultants to hire, too. Those defeated allies will also ask Labella to accommodate their former staff and will make recommendations for the employment of those who helped them during the campaign. We know already the set-up in government employment. It is more on political accommodation. The plan of Labella to accommodate employees of the previous administration based on performance is part from reality. Why? Because some quarters will get jealous if the incoming chief executive will retain those contractual and job order employees of the previous administration. So, almost all, if not all, will be changed.
Labella will also contend with the “pressure and influence” of Dino, who is his “political kingmaker.” The incoming mayor has acknowledged the full and all-out support of Dino in his victory. And do you think Dino has no agenda that might run conflict with Labella’s policy direction, like the envisioned mass transport system? I am not saying that Labella will become a “yes-man” of Dino, but I can foresee the former has to bend his principle a little to accommodate the “policies” of his benefactor.
The composition of the City Council will also be one of the sources of “headaches” for Labella, considering that Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies still dominate the Council. Whatever his legislative agenda will not be materialized if the Council will not support it. The “political has-been” will not take his defeat sitting down. For as long as this guy still exists, he will poke his fingers into the political affairs of the city. Ang usa sa iampo ni Labella nga kuhaon na ni Lord nang tawhana para magmalinawon na ang pulitika sa Cebu City.
But did you know that there already exist animosities between Mike Dino and Mike Rama? A very reliable source told me that in one of their post-elections meeting days after Labella, Rama and the other winners were proclaimed, Dino and Rama had a heated argument and exchange of unpleasant words? This happened in an high-end restaurant in the presence of some Barug-PDP Laban members.
The source said that the heated argument started when Rama frankly told the group that under the principle of separation of powers and being the vice mayor, “nobody can influence and tell him what to do, not even the mayor and the “non-politician.” Dino, who presided the meeting, felt alluded to by the word “non-politician.” In a loud voice, Dino reacted and shouted at Rama, saying “Are you referring to me, Mike?”
Dino reminded Mike Rama that without his help, the opposition group will not win in the elections. Namuyboy ug nanguwenta daw si Dino sa iyang natabang sa grupo. He even told Rama to solve first the problem in the Council where BOPK allies are still the majority. “Kaya nimo nang aregolohon ang konsiho?” Dino told Rama. Those who were present where shocked by what transpired. They just kept silent as tension dominated the venue, the source said. Nagkainitay gyud, matud pa ang duha ka Mike. Gipanguha na gud ang mga baso ug plato sa lamesa kay basin og mangabuak kon magkarambola.
Sensing that the situation may aggravate, Labella stood up and in a loud voice declared: “I would like to tell everybody that nobody can dictate me what to do.” Though, according to my source, it was patched up. Mao ni nakanindot kay wala pa gani makalingkod, nagkasungi ug wala na magkasinabot. During the campaign and even until now, some Barug-PDP Laban council candidates in the north district were and still attacking each other. Alegre.