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Cebu
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
CEBU

Espinoza: Left with no other choice?

Free Zone

"THIS is quite a game, politics. There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests," William Clay.

This quote brings to mind the 90-degree turnaround of Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama from his previous public statements that nobody could stop him from running for city mayor in next year's elections after he conveyed to Torni Frank (Atty. Frank M. Malilong Jr.) that he would run as running mate of Mayor Edgar Labella in May 2022.

When Mayor Labella was on sick leave, Vice Mayor Rama made public his desire to run again for city mayor, whoever would be his opponents. If Mayor Labella would believe the result of the survey that the voters prefer him more than the other possible candidates for mayor in his party, then he should run again for mayor.

The sudden change of wind in Vice Mayor Rama's political stance that saw print in the column of Torni Frank and in the Bzzzzz column of the eminent Cheking Seares could be understood or misread, depending on which side of the political fence you are, that he's left with no other choice and running as vice mayor of Mayor Labella is the better part of prudence.

It's likely that VM Rama would be left alone in his Barug Party after former city councilor and now MCWD Chairman Joey Daluz revived Panaghiusa, his late mother's political party, and Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia also refreshed Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Kusug) Party of his father, former city mayor Alvin Garcia. I learned from dyCM radio commentator Eric Manait that Mayor Labella is now a member of Panaghiusa.

Before VM Rama was given the post as vaccine convenor (because he refused to carry the name vaccine czar), he was acting as an opposition during sessions in the City Council in the guise of checking and balancing the Executive Department, wherein Mayor Labella is the executive. VM Rama even slashed the mayor's office proposed budget for this year.

Could the noise that VM Rama made during those council sessions and his public statements questioning how Mayor Labella implemented the quarantine measures and the vaccination program was only his ploy so he could be given more active role in running the city's affairs? Apparently true because VM Rama, after Mayor Labella gave him some important roles, is suddenly mum against the city mayor. And, truth to tell, although not surprising, he now professes to be the running mate of Mayor Labella.

While Mayor Labella is yet to make an official statement that he would seek a second term, talks at City Hall spread like wildfire that Mayor Labella is dead set to run for mayor in the May 9, 2022 synchronized presidential and local elections. And, who would be Labella's possible opponent(s)? It's definitely from the BOPK, the party of former Mayor Tom Osmeña. It's a toss between ABC president Franklin Ong and last termer South District Cong. Bebot Abellanosa. But if Ong and Abellanosa could not agree on who would settle for vice mayor, there's only one choice for city mayor, an Osmeña.

But should we delete the name of VM Rama in the list of probable mayoral candidates come May 9, 2022 polls? Personally, the possibility that Rama would still run for mayor is not remote because it's his passion and nobody could tell what's on his mind. What is certain is that Rama keeps changing his possibilities. Who knows Rama would return to the arms of Tom's BOPK because in politics, there are no permanent enemies or friends?


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