Rama-Garcia tandem in 2025 polls

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama (left) and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama (left) and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia. Photo by Amper Campaña

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama announced on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, that Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia will be his running mate in the 2025 midterm elections.

“With pride, privilege and distinction, with no fear of contradiction, still my vice mayor for 2025, Raymond Garcia,” he said.

Rama made this announcement during City Hall’s Family Day at the South Road Properties. The activity was in line with the City’s 87th Charter Day celebration.

On Friday, Feb. 16, Garcia expressed the same sentiment in front of a gathering of barangay captains, saying he will not part political ways with Rama.

Rama said they are a family of public servants, and guaranteed that he would look back at who have been with them and stood by them.

He said they will not deviate from their political “formula” for 2025, emphasizing that most of his allies are serving their first term.

He pointed to North District Rep. Rachel Marguerite del Mar and South District Rep. Eduardo Rama, among others.

He encouraged City Hall employees who reside in Cebu City to register, so they can vote in next year’s midterm elections.

He also requested prayers from them.

Rama is also president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, which covers 149 local government units nationwide, while Garcia is executive vice president of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines.

On Friday, Cebu City Hall’s media arm reported that Jose Daluz III will run against Rama, with Dave Tumulak as his running mate.

Rama replaced Daluz along with Metropolitan Cebu Water District board members Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn May Seno last Oct. 31 with Melquiades Feliciano, Aristotle Batuhan and Nelson Yuvallos.

But Daluz, in a text message to SunStar on Saturday, Feb. 17, said: “I am still going around the city to consult... I am aiming for the mayorship but I am not fully decided yet... with the myriad of problems in the city I am overwhelmed. How we can make a difference?”

Another contender for the mayoral seat is former Customs commissioner and PDEA 7 director Yogi Felimon Ruiz, who earlier announced his intention to run.

Also on Friday, Rama asked the barangay captains to support his administration’s dream for the city, particularly the implementation of a housing program.

“Give your mayor your confidence. Give your mayor the trust,” Rama said.

Garcia is chairman of the committee on housing.

Garcia said their efforts are aligned with providing housing programs for impoverished residents.

The incumbent vice mayor was Rama’s running mate in in the May 2022.

Rama, as head of Barug PDP-Laban, and Garcia, as head of Kusug, were then allied with Daluz, who was president of the Panaghiusa Party.

Tumulak left Barug to run as an independent against Rama in 2022. He was elected barangay captain of Basak-Pardo last October.

Rama entered public service after he accepted the invitation of former mayor Tomas Osmeña to join Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan.

He was elected to the City Council and served from 1998 to 2001. He was Osmeña’s vice mayor from 2001 to 2010, and the late mayor Edgardo Labella’s vice mayor from 2019 to 2021.

Rama was elected mayor in 2010. He was reelected in 2013, but lost to Osmeña in 2016. He became mayor in 2021 following the death of Labella.

Garcia, on the other hand, started out as a barangay councilor of Camputhaw in 2013. He became president of the Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines in 2014.

He became a member of the City Council in 2016, and was elected as president of the Philippine Councilors’ League Cebu City chapter.

Last Thursday, Feb. 15, Rama also announced that Mikel, his second child, will enter politics in 2025.

Mikel will be running for councilor in the south district, Rama said.


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