BANDO Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) bets rallied 65 Cebu City barangay captains yesterday to deliver straight votes in the north and south districts, warning them of discontinuity and delays in projects if any of the opposition candidates are elected.

This early, Pasil Barangay Captain Romeo Ocarol said he is junking Mayor Tomas Osmena and will endorse opposition candidate for south district congressman Jonathan Guardo in his barangay. Four other barangay captains in the south will do the same, he said.

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“Dugay na man ko ana niya (Tomas) giwakli, iya man kong gikuhaan sa akong garbage collectors pag 2005 pa, mao nang dili gyud ko kasuporta niya. Ug unsay akong desisyon, mao sad ang sa akong mga barangay councilors. Pero sa mayor hangtod sa mga konsehal, straight hinoon mi na BOPK (He’d long shrugged me off, he even withdrew our garbage collectors since 2005 yet, that’s why I can’t support him. Whatever my decision is, that goes for the barangay councilors, too. But from mayor down to councilors, we’re straight BOPK),” he said.

Ally

Ocarol was a BOPK ally until he took the side of Guardo when he ran against Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City, south district) in the congressional race in 2007.

Other barangay captains in the south who are known to be opposition allies are Richie Sibla of Buot Taup, Eugenio Gabuya of Cogon Pardo, Elmer Abella of Duljo Fatima and Edgar Lauron of San Nicolas Proper.

In the north district, Mary Ann de los Santos of Lahug and Jerry Guardo of Sambag I are with Kusug while Nilo Tariman of Pit-os is known to be supporting the mayoral bid of the mayor’s sister, Georgia Osmeña.

But Ocarol’s statement did not bother Osmeña, who remains optimistic about the victory of all BOPK candidates who are running under the Liberal Party (LP).

“He (Ocarol) was never for me, not even his father. It’s okay, he has always been with Alvin Garcia (Kusug). We need everybody’s vote so we’re just doing our best effort. We don’t expect 8-8 in all barangays. That’s natural, it’s not unusual that some will not support us but we will manage it in such a way that it will come out 8-8,” the mayor said after yesterday’s assembly.

Show of force

Some 65 barangay captains attended the 1st ABC General Assembly for 2010 at the Tambuli Beach Resort yesterday.

In their speeches, the BOPK candidates asked the village chiefs to support them, even if they know that some gave their commitment to some Kusug candidates for councilor.

First-time candidates for north district councilors, Talamban Barangay Captain Alvin Arcilla and Luz Barangay Captain Nida Cabrera, appealed for their colleagues’ help, admitting that they did not fare well in a survey conducted last December.

Check and balance

When sought for comment last night, Guardo said Cebu City has had enough of a City Council composed of BOPK allies.

“We need check and balance in the council. People are tired of BOPK’s otso-otso. Nidako na lang ang mga tiyan sa tanang BOPK councilors. Sila ray magsabot-sabot diha sa konseho. People don’t like rubber stamps and robots (They’ve grown fat, they just agree among themselves),” he said.

ABC President and Guadalupe Barangay Captain Eugenio Faelnar told his fellow barangay captains that they should just help BOPK make a straight win to make sure that the programs and projects of the present administration will continue.

“Straight na lang gyud ta BOPK kay lisod na ug magsagol-sagol pa atong mga candidates. If sagolan ninyo ug taga opposition, bisag unsa pa ka maayo ang programa o serbisyo na inyong gusto para sa syudad, malangay gyud na. Mao na ug naa tay dili nauyonan sa kinaya sa usa ka BOPK candidate, kita na lang ang musabot (Let’s just vote straight, it’ll be difficult if we mix candidates. If we place opposition bets, there might be programs and services for the city that will be delayed. So if there’s anything we don’t agree with in a BOPK candidate’s attitude, let’s just understand them),” he said.

Osmeña reminded them that what is at stake is not the barangay captains’ friendship with the Garcias, “but it’s the future of Cebu City that is at stake.”