Saturday, October 23, 2021

Bzzzzz: Probables: Tomas O. for Congress, Ace Durano for governor, Abellanosa-Ong BOPK's tandem. Barrit tells NBI on P20.15-M packed meals. Sanggunian invites Saavedra on traffic lights, CCTV.

CEBU. (From left) Ace Durano, Rhea Aquino-Gullas and Arturo Barrit. (Photos from their Facebook accounts)

The new disclosures

THE persons whose names have lately come up as probable candidates or specific offices but may run for other positions when certificates of candidacy are filed on the first eight days of October:

[1] At BOPK (Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan): chief Tomas Osmeña will run for congressman in Cebu City's south district while Representative Rodrigo Abellanosa will run for city mayor, with Councilor Frankyn Ong as his vice mayor.

[2] At Bakud (Barug Alang ug Demokrasya) of the Duranos in the fifth district: Ace Durano for governor.

[3] In the first district: Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas for congressman and his wife Rhea Aquino-Gullas for city mayor.

Samsam in effect would jilt his party-mate and long-serving vice mayor Alan Bucao for his wife, whom he married in 2018. His dad, Representative Eddie Gullas, 92 this October 13, will sit out the 2022 race. Eddiegul is serving his seventh term in the House of Representatives: 1992 to 2001, then 2004 to 2013, and 2019-2022. He also served as Cebu governor from 1976 to 1986 and as Talisay City mayor from 2016 to 2019. Or a total of 34 years as an elected public official.

The new disclosures are about purported plans of BOPK chief Tomas, Ace Durano and the Samsam Gullas's wife. Talk about an Abellanosa-Ong tandem has been circulating for some time already.


Don't rule out surprises

The buzz about Cebu City politics is, of course, not official or final, just chatter from the media sites. And even the reliable sources are being tentative.

Tomas Osmeña, former city mayor (1988-1995) and former congressman, may seek the same position he held from 2010 to 2013. Osmeña was city mayor from 1988-1995, ran again but lost in 2013, won in 2016, and lost in 2019.

Representative "Bebot" Abellanosa -- who's finishing his third term (2013-2022) as congressman in the district that Tomas would now want to represent again -- may run for city mayor. Abellanosa served as city councilor from the south for three terms (2004-2013) and before that, as barangay captain of Duljo Fatima from 1994 to 2004.

Councilor Franklyn Ong, who heads the Association of Barangay Councils, may be Bebot's running mate. The Sanggunian seat that Ong holds is theoretically non-partisan but he is affiliated with BOPK. The partisan thing is a sham, which in the city also applies to the youth sector of Sangguniang Kabataan seat.

Tomas, Bebot and Franklyn are deemed, for now, the most likely BOPK candidates for the three top posts. The development matches speculation about Abellanosa and Ong who, as early as last year, were already rumored to be BOPK's standard bearers.

But then, until after the October 1 to 8 COC-filing deadline and the November 15 deadline for substitution, the situation remains "fluid." Tomas may yet pull a surprise, on or before October or November.


'Siopao,' more packed meals

ALU official Arturo Barrit who appeared before the NBI regional office Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14 and 15, told Bzzzzz his grievance is now a formal complaint against the P20.15 million purchase order for packed meals from M&R Food Services, which he alleges, based on income tax returns, is not financially capable to deliver the items.

Added to the earlier list was the purchase of "siopao" with soft-drink -- 11,800 pieces at P50 each -- and more packed meals -- 2,200 pieces at P150 each -- or a total of P920,000.

Barrit alleged the charging of payment to SEF violated the law and the products were "undervalued." He said he submitted photocopies of purchase orders and other documents.

City Administrator Flor Casas Jr. earlier said they followed regulations. The P.O.s were signed by Casas, "by authority of Edgado C. Labella, mayor."


'Whistleblower' before City Council

A "whistleblower," businessman Crisologo Saavedra, is invited to the next session of the Cebu City Sanggunian Wednesday, September 29, to talk about alleged irregularities in the bidding of the second phase of the city's modern traffic lights and CCTV project. The invitation was on motion of Minority Floor-leader Nestor Archival.

Saavedra earlier filed a complaint against eight city officials: City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., City Attorney Rey Gealon and six members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC). Saavedra alleged failure of the officials to follow bidding procedures.

Saavedra is known for his disclosures on major projects in the city and province, most of which exposed the "scandal" but didn't convict or throw out office the alleged perpetrator/s because of "inordinate delay," lack of evidence, or the Aguinaldo doctrine.

Cris is not running for city councilor, as Art Barrit is, but City Attorney Gealon, who's also a councilor-wannabe, alleged that Saavedra asked to delay the bidding for a client.


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