Espinoza: No disunity?

free zone

Despite the deafening rumor that Cebu City Councilors Raymond Alvin Garcia and Edu Rama would be running for mayor in the May 9, 2022 presidential and local elections, Vice Mayor Mike Rama strongly maintains and defends that their party is still intact and that he will support the administration of Mayor Edgar Labella.

Vice Mayor Rama, who was our guest yesterday in a no-holds-barred radio program “Frankahay Ta” at dyCM (1152AM), earnestly and seriously said that there is no disunity in their group even if they are composed of several political parties, like, PDP-Laban, Kusog, Barug-Team Rama, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad).

Rama also manifested this early that he has no plans to run for mayor because he will continue his support for Labella. Rama repeated his “supreme sacrifice” holler when he ran for vice mayor instead of mayor in the May 13, 2019 elections to stress his point that he has no intention to run for mayor against Labella. He said he will keep his partnership with the mayor. But for how long? It remains to be seen.

We also talked about Mayor Labella’s creation of the Sinulog Board under his office, which reportedly created a rift between him and Rama because the latter said the Board was a duplication of the functions of the Sinulog Foundation, which Rama heads. But Rama said this matter had already been settled between him and the city mayor.

Rama said he already asked Labella not to listen to the talks or whisper from the people that surround him, who are only concerned with their personal interests. Although Rama did not name names, he called these persons as “mga cheche bureche” and “sipsip.”

On the three huge problems—traffic, garbage and flooding—Rama said the City Council will fully support the City Mayor on his executive agenda.

The Cebu City Council, which used to be dominated by BOPK, the party of former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, is now held by the majority of the councilors that belong to the party of Labella and Rama.

Councilors Jerry Guardo and Joel Garganera, who did not win in the May 13, 2019 polls as they were in the ninth and tenth places, respectively, were then proclaimed winners and took their oath of office before the Comelec after the latter’s decision disqualifying Andales and Arcilla became final and executory.

On the garbage problem, Rama said he will leave it to the City Mayor since this is an executive function. However, Rama said the City Council fully supports whatever solutions to the problem of garbage that Mayor Labella would submit to the City Council for budget approval.

Rama recalled what he did on the garbage problem when he was the city mayor for two terms. He made the barangay captains responsible in the proper collection of garbage and held them liable if the garbage was not segregated. He said it was during his time as mayor that the segregation of garbage was strictly enforced. “No segregation, no collection,” he added.

As to why the city’s policy of “no segregation, no collection” was not continued when this was one of the mandates of RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000), the city officials are answerable to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.


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