THE local party Bando Osmeña Pundok Kausgawan (BOPK) is inclined to support Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who is running for vice president in the May 2022 general elections.

BOPK chief Tomas Osmeña, a former Cebu City mayor, said he wants to offer support to Sotto’s candidacy for personal reasons—Sotto has provided Osmeña’s wife Margot with the support she needed for Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko, a charitable organization that Margot heads. The organization focuses on helping with the medical expenses of children diagnosed with cancer.

Margot is running under BOPK for Cebu City mayor against Mayor Michael Rama and City Councilor David Tumulak. Sotto is the running mate of presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

BOPK has already announced that it is supporting Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo in her bid for the presidency. Robredo’s running mate is Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

“We need a leader who listens. Moreover, we need someone who is also very transparent. Leni listens and Leni is transparent. Leni is a good leader because she goes beyond words and takes action. She cares for the plight of the ordinary Juan. At BOPK, we are supporting Leni Robredo. However, for the vice president, we are inclined towards Tito Sotto,” Osmeña said.

Osmeña divulged BOPK’s position for the vice presidential race on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 during the launch of legal aid clinic and Palugaw Ni Leni by the Vice President’s supporters, namely the Sugbuanon for Leni-Kiko 2022 and the Lawyers for Leni-Cebu Chapter.

Osmeña and Sotto are scions of Cebuano statesmen—the former is the grandson of the late President Sergio Osmeña, while the latter is the grandson of Vicente Yap Sotto, who as a senator authored the Press Freedom Law, which protects journalists from being forced to identify their news sources.

Sara’s supporters

Meanwhile, the alliance of local parties Panaghiusa, Barug and Kusug all have one common candidate for vice president: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Rama, Partido Barug’s standard bearer for mayor in Cebu City, said the party will support the presidential aspirant that President Rodrigo Duterte will support.

Rama’s party first supported the presidential bid of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, but the longtime Duterte aide later withdrew from the race.

Panaghiusa, for its part, is supporting the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who frequently visited Cebu in the past 30 days.

Rama did not comment on the appointment of former Cebu City administrator Floro Casas Jr. as the new chairman of Panaghiusa, replacing the late mayor Edgardo Labella.

After Labella’s death on Nov. 19, Rama, as vice mayor and second in the line of succession, became the mayor. Casas and other City Hall officials who were coterminous with Labella resigned. (CAL, PAC)