CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said former mayor Tomas Osmeña should “shut up” after the latter asked for an accounting of the pledges and donations made for the construction of the new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
Rama said yesterday that the City Government, particularly the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), can properly explain and account for it.
“If they cannot put up, they should shut up. It is plain and simple. Nothing ended in anyone’s pocket,” Rama said in a news conference he called yesterday along with Acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas and City Administrator Lucelle Mercado.
For the more than P900-million pledges that he secured from the Filipino communities in the United States last year, Rama said these are still pledges.
He said that those who made the pledges remained firm on their commitment to help in the rebuilding of the hospital.
These pledges include those from the Filipino communities in Seattle and Las Vegas, the SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the Operation Smile, among others.
“They want to see the building first. When it will be rising, they will be coming but never have they stopped their commitment,” he said.
The Filipino community from Seattle, Houston, Las Vegas, Salinas in California and San Diego vowed to raise funds for the construction of several floors of the new hospital. The cost of each floor amounts to more than P100-million.
SM President Hans Sy and Operation Smile, a non-profit humanitarian and medical relief organization, also assured to shoulder the cost of the construction of several floors.
The City has already started the construction of the new hospital for a cost of P515-million. It will cover the construction of the 10-storey building’s foundation, frames and structure.
The mayor said he is optimistic that the pledges he secured last year will be realized.
As for the “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” fundraising drive, Rama said all donations made were issued receipts by the CTO.
Rama instructed Cuevas to have all the donations published to prove that these were properly accounted for.
Cuevas said the money raised from the fundraising drive last year reached P18-million. It has been placed in a trust fund in one of the City’s authorized depository banks.
Cuevas told reporters that the amount has never been touched.
Rama then said Osmeña should stop implying as if he has pocketed money for the construction of the hospital.
“My opponent, don’t make the mistake of accusing me as if you are accusing yourself. Look at the mirror. Not me. Never been my cup of tea (of) committing graft and corruption,” he said.
Osmeña and Rama will be facing each other for the Cebu City mayoralty race in the May 9 elections.