FORMER Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña clarified that he has “no hard feelings” for independent vice mayoral candidate Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez when he asked his supporters not to vote for the urban poor leader.

Osmeña earlier asked their supporters to vote for Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK)’s vice mayoral bet, Cebu City Councilor Franklyn Ong, instead.

A long-time friend and ally of Osmeña, Fernandez had served Cebu City in different capacities and was city administrator and executive assistant during the Osmeña administration.

In a statement, Osmeña said that while he has worked with Fernandez for many years, he believes Ong deserves BOPK’s support.

“I have nothing personal against Bimbo as a candidate. We have worked together for many years and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. Franklyn is hardworking and has earned his place as our official candidate and we will keep our word,” Osmeña said.

On Friday, December 3, 2021, Osmeña urged his party’s supporters to shift their support to Ong to avoid splitting the votes.

Osmeña said he wants his supporters to favor Ong to prevent Partido Barug vice mayoral candidate and Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia from being elected vice mayor next year.

Speaking before the Carbon Public Market vendors on Friday, Osmeña said it would be a “major disaster” for the city’s urban poor if Garcia wins the vice mayoral, since they stand to lose the gains made in the fight for ownership of the 93-1 lots.

The former mayor was referring to the thousands of urban poor families occupying Province-owned lots in Cebu City, some of whom still do not own the lots.

The City Government and the Capitol have yet to finish renegotiating the terms of the agreement on the swapping of properties.

In a statement he sent to SunStar Cebu on Friday, Fernandez said he does not mind if Osmeña favors Ong since he is not a member of BOPK.

“I am practically running as an independent since I am the only candidate of the Liberal Party for Cebu City, which does not have any political machinery here. I am not beholden to any politician nor business people. But only to the “gahum sa katawhan,” the former undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government added.