CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is planning to put up a billboard in front of the Ramos Public Market with the pictures of the Garcias who are running for different positions in the May elections.

Tomas said his move is aimed at reminding Cebuanos that if the Garcias get elected, the market will be torn down again.

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“People have short memories. I will just remind them—vote for Alvin and have this building demolished again,” Tomas said.

The mayor is referring to former Alvin Garcia.

Alvin refused to comment on Tomas’s plan, saying they are not running against each other this time. Tomas is running for congressman in Cebu City’s south district.

Alvin is running for mayor while his son Raymond is running for city councilor.

Alvin advised Tomas instead.

“I’m not running against him so, I will just let him say what he would like to say. He should not attack other people because it will boomerang on him. If he will only be positive, maybe his health will even become better,” Alvin said.

The public market was demolished during the administration of Alvin in 1998 to give way for the construction of a new one.

Alvin said the planned build-operate-transfer scheme with project contractor R2 Builders was cancelled when he lost to Tomas in the 2001 elections.

Tomas pursued the construction of the public market and although it was finished in 2004, it took three years before it started operating.

Aside from the billboard, the mayor is also thinking of distributing flyers in barangays Luz and Apas to warn the residents against voting Garcias into office.

“Go ahead, elect the Garcias so that you will all be kicked out, kamong tanan…I’m not lying, people know that there’s a lot of truth to that,” Tomas said.

Residents of the two barangays who are occupying the 93-1 lots of the Provincial Government are facing eviction for their failure to pay their monthly amortization.

Tomas is also at odds with Alvin’s uncle Rep. Pablo Garcia (Cebu, 2nd district) and Alvin’s cousins Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district).

Meanwhile, Cebu City Election Office Marchel Sarno sees nothing wrong if the mayor will put up a billboard even if it is for negative campaigning.

Sarno said it does not violate any election law since the campaign period for local candidates will begin on March 26 yet.

Sarno, however, said when the campaign period starts, he will act accordingly if he will receive a complaint.

Aside from the Garcias, Tomas also criticized his cousin, former senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, and his sister Georgia Osmeña, who are both running for mayor against Tomas.

This, after Sonny and Georgia criticized the City Government for its failure to deliver the basic services despite the mayor’s announcement of a P3.194 billion surplus.

Tomas asked Sonny to tell the Cebuanos the basic services he had improved when he was mayor of the city.

The former senator was appointed officer-in-charge of Cebu City in 1986 and is running for mayor in May.

Tomas said that during the time of Sonny, Osmeña Blvd. had many potholes and half of the streetlights were out of order.

Since Sonny said he will prioritize the Cebu City Medical Center if he gets elected, Tomas admitted he is encountering some problems in CCMC since he can’t easily fire the regular employees, who are not performing well.

“My only option of firing them is to sell the whole thing.

That’s the way of pressuring them to perform better…the other side is saying that ‘oh, I’m mismanaging it’,”

Tomas said.

As for Georgia, who earlier she will focus on eradicating corruption at City Hall, Tomas criticized her management skills.

“Why? What management skills does she have?  She can’t even manage her own campaign. How can she manage the city with 5,000 employees and 80 barangays?

She cannot even manage a campaign even in one barangay,” Tomas said. (ETB)