AMID reports of conflict within his group, Cebu City vice mayor-elect Michael Rama met all newly elected councilors from both Barug PDP-Laban and Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) last Wednesday, June 5, 2019, to prepare as they start a new term on June 30.
Rama assured that whatever conflict is going on with Barug PDP-Laban will not affect the incoming City Council.
Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia of Barug PDP-Laban said there are already ongoing talks among partymates to resolve the conflict, adding that the group is still a “very united minority.”
They both hoped it would soon be resolved.
Rama also opted not to comment on the rift between him and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, although he said it would be settled in a matter of time.
The inaugural session on Tuesday, July 2, will kick off with a mass at 9 a.m.
Apart from discussing details of the inaugural session, Rama said they also discussed the possibility of amending the House Rules.
Garcia, who attended the fellowship, said a committee of three composed of himself and Councilors Antonio Cuenco and Sisinio Andales, who are all lawyers, will review the House Rules.
They also discussed office assignments since there will be new councilors.
For weeks now, outgoing Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. has been posting attacks on Facebook against Mabolo Barangay Captain and incoming city councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid.
Alcover accused Mabatid of junking some members of their group in the last election.
Rama said the group will have to sit down once mayor-elect Edgardo Labella arrives from his trip abroad.
“What concerns us now is the inaugural session, but, of course, we can’t ignore that it is also a matter that has to be addressed,” Rama said.
Garcia said talks between Alcover and Mabatid are ongoing.
“We are trying to be a mediator here. We are very hopeful and confident that as time will pass, it will be resolved. For now, (the) election is still fresh and emotions are still high,” he said.
Garcia reiterated that their group is still intact.
Meanwhile, Dino said there is no bad blood between him and the incoming vice mayor.
“There is no animosity between me and Rama,” Dino said in a text message to SunStar Cebu Thursday, June 6.
Garcia echoed his sentiment. “There was no confrontation. Yes, voices raised, but no confrontation,” he said.
The councilor said the incident happened during the Barug PDP-Laban victory dinner last May 14.
Rama came in late and was hopping from one table to another. In one of the tables, Garcia said, Rama was heard saying, “When it is council matters, let me handle it.”
Garcia said Dino, who was in the nearby table, heard Rama and said, “Just make sure to take care of the council kay minority ra ba ta (because we are in the minority.”
According to Garcia, Rama answered back, “I will take care of it for sure.”
Cebu City mayor-elect Edgardo Labella, who was also in the same celebration, said, “I will take care of the executive.”
Garcia explained that voices were raised because of the distance between tables, but it was not a shouting match as reported.
After that exchange, all three officials shook hands.
On the feud between Alcover and Mabatid, Dino is sure that they can resolve the issues between the two of them. (RVC, MVG, EOB)