CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama warned mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña not to mess with the City Government’s affairs since he is not yet at the helm of City Hall.
His pronouncement came after Osmeña announced last Wednesday that he intends to revoke the selling of the 45.2-ha. lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) to three giant property developers.
The mayor believes there is a right time for Osmeña to make such statements.
“Ay’g pataka-taka ug su’d diri. Di pa siya mayor, and I am warning him. Dili pa siya mayor. Wa pa siya ka-assume sa iyang pagka-mayor. Nanikas pa gani siya. Unsa siya, kabaga niya ug nawong (Don’t just come here. He is not yet mayor and I am warning him. He is not yet the mayor. He has not assumed yet as mayor. He even cheated. He is shameless),” he said.
Osmeña showed up at City Hall yesterday and paid a visit to Councilor Alvin Dizon’s office to meet with some of the urban poor sectors. He also went to the office of his wife, Councilor Margarita Omeña.
In a news conference yesterday, Rama hit Osmeña for acting like he owns the SRP.
“Ang utok ana akong kaatbang, bisan nangawat sa boto nga di iyaha, ngilngig kaayo na siya mo-pretend nga siyay tag-iya sa SRP. So please, ayaw siya pataka-takaa. Wa pa nahuman. The battle has not been over yet. So please, wala pa. And I am not going to give up (What goes on in the head of my opponent, even if he stole votes, he pretends he owns the SRP. So please, stop him from doing anything. It’s not over yet),” he said.
Rama has been defeated by Osmeña in the recently-concluded elections by 34,036 votes, but the mayor is questioning the results.
To recall, Rama worked so that the sale of the 45.2-ha. SRP lots would be realized last year. He even went to Manila, along with several City officials, to deliver the notice of award to the three developers.
Of the property sold, 26 hectares were bought by the consortium of Ayala Land-Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc. while some 19.2 hectares were bought by Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI).
He also went to Manila in another occasion so the City can get the 50 percent downpayment that amounts to P8.35 billion. The entire property was bought for P16.76 billion.
Rama disclosed yesterday that he intends to meet with the Team Rama councilors about Osmeña’s pronouncements. Starting July 1, the Team Rama will already have the majority of the City Council.
“I have to discuss with them because it is now a party decision,” he said.
Rama also said he will stand by SM, Ayala and FLI about the issue.
“These people, who are also aware, they have the best lawyers. I will be there on their side fighting and all the majority (bloc) will have to be with us in that direction,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dizon said yesterday that he will continue to be serving the people even if he lost in the elections. But once his term will end on June 30, he said he will take a rest first.
The councilor said he already talked to Osmeña after the elections and said he will be supporting his administration.
Dizon said he was asked by Osmeña on what he wants to do and the outgoing councilor said he wants to be his alter-ego in the urban poor and the minority sector.
He also wants to be involved in the strengthening of the City’s sister-city ties, as well as help in the implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.
In a related development, City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said he will be resigning from City Hall since Osmeña has been elected as mayor.
She said the position of a city treasurer is based on the trust and confidence of the mayor and she knows Osmeña won’t have her on top of the City’s treasury considering the cases he has filed against her.
Cuevas said she already expected she will be removed from her current position the moment Osmeña was proclaimed as mayor-elect.
Cuevas will be tendering his resignation in the coming days.
Cuevas won’t disclose yet her plans.
Also leaving City Hall is City Legal Office Chief Atty. Jerone Castillo.
Since he has already served the City for 15 years, Castillo said he is availing himself of an early retirement and he is already processing it.
Rama’s supporters launched a signature campaign to prove his claims that he won in the last election.
In a press conference yesterday, Rama said the idea of coming up with a signature campaign came from one of his supporters who attended last Wednesday’s prayer rally held at Plaza Sugbo.
“Kung nipirma sila, pasabot nga ni-botar sila nako (If they sign, that would mean they voted for me),” he said.
As of yesterday, Rama said he has no idea how many voters already affixed their signatures.
It will be disclose today since another prayer rally will be held at 5 p.m.
Also yesterday, Rama presented copies of the results of the surveys he commissioned even before the May 9 election that showed that most of the voters in the barangays prefer to vote for him than mayor-elect Osmeña.
“We have very clear figures before the election. I was already ahead of him. It’s hard to accept. Where did he get his 30,000 lead? He should present his people. It is statistically impossible, that made the result really unbelievable,” he pointed out.
Rama reiterated that he won in most of the barangays and his team even got 11-0 win.
He insisted that Osmeña financed the manipulation of voting and counting machines (VCM) and stole his votes that is why he won over him.
Rama challenged Osmeña to show his over 30,000 supporters who voted for him, to convince him that he won.
After pointing out the “statistical improbability,” Rama said he will still pursue with his petition before the Commission on Election (Comelec) to question the results.
Lawyers of Rama’s campaign are finalizing the petition, which will be submitted before the 10-day period for complaints set under the law will be over.
“I will never stop, we want the truth to prevail. It’s hard to accept, unless he will say that he cheated to win,” Rama said.
While it will still take long for the petition, Rama said he has plans already after his term will end on June 30.
“It will take time to heal. This is worse than super-typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake because it targets the heart. People are angry now, there are even those who are even crying until now over my defeat,” Rama added.