IT’S not just coincidence that when the report that Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella will soon officially head the administration PDP-Laban in Cebu City after undergoing the required party seminar came out, Mayor Tomas Osmeña announced the possibility of his wife Margot running for mayor in his stead and him running for vice mayor. It was the strategist in him blurting out his thoughts.
The idea of Labella running for mayor backed up by the administration party is totally different from the possibility of Barug Team Rama head Michael Rama daring Osmeña to a rematch of the 2016 political tussle in the city. Labella and PDP-Laban is formidable in that Labella, unlike Rama, is a different commodity. Meanwhile, the PDP-Laban obviously dwarfs Barug Team Rama in resources.
Rama’s image has suffered a beating with President Rodrigo Duterte’s refusal to take him out from the list of suspected narco-politicians in the country. Not only that. Rama, after holding turf as Cebu City mayor from 2010 to 2016, has also acquired the image of an Osmeña clone in governance style.
In a way, Osmeña’s win against Rama in 2016 can partly be attributed to the fact that the latter could no longer be considered superior both in character and leadership style from the former. By the same token, Rama defeated Osmeña in 2013 because at that time he was seen as a better alternative to Tomas.
Tomas Osmeña and Labella would be like night and day in terms of character and leadership style. The mayor must have realized that his ruthless ways in governance is starting to take a toll on his ability to win an election, the reason he has been claiming that SM would support whomever his opponent would be. And with Labella running against him, the contrast would be obvious especially to those he oppressed as mayor and as politician.
In this context, he must have seen that Margot would be a better match against Labella character-wise and leadership style-wise. And the strategy could blunt the assault of those who are raring to stymie his reelection bid because he would already be running for vice mayor. It’s an interesting strategy actually.