Espinoza: Is a Garcia-Osmeña tandem possible?

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SunStar Espinoza
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In the remote possibility that there are still cases lurking at the Ombudsman against suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and that before he can finish serving the six-month preventive suspension order, another order from the Ombudsman will come out suspending him again, will he still run for mayor?

Knowing Mayor Rama, though, I doubt if he will not back down unless there are some concessions from his party, Barug. Rama ran and won in the May 2022 polls in coalition with the Kusug Party of then Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, now vice mayor and acting mayor, and Panaghiusa of former councilor Joey Daluz III, now Metropolitan Cebu Water District chairman.

But is the coalition still subsisting? Based on past and recent events, it is apparent that Rama’s Barug, as the name suggests, will be left standing alone since Panaghiusa of Daluz is out of the equation. Garcia’s Kusug still leaves much to be desired if it will still coalesce with Barug.

In my column last week, I posed the question that if Daluz would run for city mayor, who would be his running mate? And, who would be in his slate for city councilors? Well, Daluz has yet to bite the bait. Daluz already made known his desire to run for city mayor.

On the assumption that there will be more cases before the Ombudsman against Rama, will Garcia still run as Rama’s running mate? Acting Mayor Garcia looks like he is keeping his cards close to his chest. We will only know during the last day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy in October this year if he is running for city mayor, or vice mayor in next year’s midterm polls. His father, former mayor Alvin Garcia, wants him to run for vice mayor.

If Garcia decides to run for city mayor against those who already made their intentions known, who will he pick as his running mate? Will Daluz settle to be Garcia’s vice mayor? It all depends. Most seasoned politicians weigh in their chances of winning before deciding on which side of the political camp they will be.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who is seeking her last term in office and perhaps without a formidable opponent in next year’s polls, already threw her support for her nephew if he decides to run for city mayor.

On the premise that the acting mayor will join the mayoralty race, is there a possibility of a Garcia-Osmeña tandem? I am not referring to former mayor Tomas Osmeña. I am talking about South District Councilor Renato “Junjun” Osmeña Jr., son of the late Vice Mayor Renato Osmeña, Sr., as his running mate.

Councilor Junjun and Acting Mayor Garcia are party mates. They ran together under the coalition party of Barug, Kusug and Panaghiusa in the last polls.

The councilor is not timid though of his desire to run for vice mayor if Garcia ever decides to run for city mayor and chooses him to be his running mate. If this happens, where will Mayor Rama be? Daluz, on the other hand, can keep his post as chairman of MCWD and support the team of Garcia-Osmeña.

It is no secret that the family of the late vice mayor Renato had differences with former mayor Tomas, which would explain why Councilor Junjun ran under the coalition party of Mayor Rama instead of his uncle’s Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan. Former mayor Alvin and the late vice mayor Renato were golf buddies, hence, a Garcia-Osmeña duo in next year’s elections will be, I suppose, the team to beat.

Councilor Junjun possesses the qualifications. He is soft-spoken and approachable.


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