Bzzzzz: Mike and Tomas: Rama repeats he wouldn't run for VM again. Live-streamed sex images from government radio booth.

CEBU. (From left) Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama, former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. (SunStar File)

Caught in live-streaming

NEWS photographer and broadcaster Alan Tangcawan has posted on Facebook an item about the manager of a radio station and a young woman caught in an alleged sexual act in the studio booth.

Somebody forgot to switch off the live-streaming.

Last November in the US, a "New Yorker" writer was fired after he was caught masturbating during a Zoom call with colleagues who were planning their coverage of the 2020 election. The initial report said he exposed his genitals during the work-related video call; he did a bit more.

No image was shown by Tangcawan but that didn't stop Alan's friends from asking for details and a video clip of the incident. Two things: It didn't happen in Cebu but in Mindanao. The radio station is owned by the government and the manager caught is also the town's information officer.

A Cebu broadcaster teased: Would it be all right to do it in the studio booth as long as it is not streamed or broadcast?

The US incident didn't involve a public official -- a public figure being a writer who also appeared on CNN as legal analyst -- but this one in Mindanao works for the government.

Suspect, person of interest

Crime stories sometimes confuse "suspect" with "person of interest." Not the fault of the police most of whom know the difference between the two terms.

"Suspect" is a specific person who the law enforcer believes may have committed the crime. To convict a suspect, police or NBI must show "probable cause" to prosecutors who bear the burden of proving guilt of the accused in court.

"Person of interest" is someone whom authorities believe (a) may have information that can lead to a "suspect" or (b) may turn into a "suspect" himself.

Media at times confuse a suspect with a person of interest. In one recent local news report, a person was called a "suspect" in the headline but was tagged a "person of interest" in the body of the story. Woe to the news consumer -- and the person wrongly tagged.

Tomas, Mike, 2022 polls

Both politicians have had a relationship that alternates between mutual hate and mutual dislike for more than a decade now.

Vice Mayor Mike Rama had been a political protégé and self-confessed "rubber stamp" of former mayor Tomas Osmeña for the most part of his 24 years as an elected official: as councilor (1992-2001), vice mayor (2001-2010), then as mayor (2010-2016). That span of service does not include his current term, counting from 2019, as vice mayor.

Mike won with Tomas's support under BOPK in 2010. In 2013, he won on his own force and defeated his former political boss but in their return match in 2016, Rama lost to Osmeña. In 2019, Rama slid to the post of vice mayor, winning as running mate to Mayor Edgardo Labella who beat Tomas.

Would Mike return to the Osmeña fold in 2022, as Tomas's "manok" again? One rumor is that VM Rama might run for mayor under BOPK with Councilor Franklyn Ong as his vice mayor. Wild as it looks -- Ekim (Mike) being on the same bed again with Samot (Tomas) -- it is not impossible.

His recent stance of whipping up the City Council to scrutinize programs of the mayor, supposedly to make the lawmakers from the rival camps Barug and BOPK "fiscalizers," is seen by some City Hall watchers as preparatory to a breakaway in the next election.

He might run for congressman or for mayor again. He'll be 67 in 2022.

At least twice, he announced in the Sanggunian that he would no longer run for the post he has been occupying since June 30, 2019. "I would no longer be vice mayor in 2022," he said last Wednesday, January 6, in the City Council's first session this year. "That's why I'm teaching you these things," he said, referencing his efforts to check and balance the executive department effectively by acting as one body "with no minority and no majority."

He cites the mantra of "transparency and accountability" and the "rule of law" to justify his current stance but City Hall watchers also see it as preparing the ground for his plans in next year's elections.

The president Alvarez rejects

Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is reportedly on a "voter education" campaign. His advocacy has started with the kind of president the country must not have. A president, Alvarez said: Must not be a "pretender" but a "true leader." Must not be "numb to the situation of the poor" but must "feel their struggles and pains." Must not "easily change his mind and decide back and forth."

Is he referring to a specific president, past or present? Alvarez's movement, called "We need a leader, 2022," does not mention President Rodrigo Duterte or his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who has been groomed as successor.

But Alvarez's ouster from the speakership in 2018, allegedly "orchestrated" by the president's daughter, raises suspicion that the former speaker is targeting persons who brought about his downfall.


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