Rama: I am an independent mayor

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, February 20, 2023.
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, February 20, 2023.Cebu City PIO photo

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama is yet to assess his political dynamics with Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia despite earlier pronouncement of their tandem for reelection in the 2025 midterm polls.

In an interview on Friday, March 1, 2024, Rama said “I am an independent mayor,” when asked about his relationship with Garcia.

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, February 20, 2023.
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Rama said he is looking at their relationship in “circumspect,” recalling that he had already made a statement that “enough is enough.”

Rama said there should be no pretension, giving warning to his colleagues to be very careful.

“There's no pretension here... I mean, [this] is my 32 years already serving Cebu City... my colleagues should be very careful, very careful. But talking about political changes, of course so far, [it's] the way I want,” he said.

Rama noted that the filing of certificates of candidacy would still be in October.

“October is still far behind, but the most important thing to remember…I am an independent mayor,” Rama said.

On Thursday, February 29, 2024, Rama said he was displeased with Garcia’s privilege speech, which called for the halt of the ongoing construction of bus stations of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit along Osmeña Blvd.

Garcia asked the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to issue a cease and desist order (CDO) against the CBRT contractor, as he sought a better design for the bus stations that could be proposed to the appropriate bodies, including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac) of Cebu City, and the Cebu City Council.

Rama said the matters raised in Garcia’s speech could have been discussed privately, as Garcia and the rest of the City Council could always have an emergency meeting with him.

But Garcia assured that Rama was emotional about it, but not mad about the Council’s decision, saying they are both advocates of heritage preservation.

Garcia said their opposing views are “normal,” assuring that they are “strictly professional” about it.

"This is very normal gyud. This strictly professional, and we have shown time and time again that the council is independent and we have our own minds, and we think by ourselves, and we have the same interest which is the interest of the city of Cebu," Garcia said.

He added that their opposing stands will not affect their personal and working relationship.

“It does not break our relationship as party mates, and more importantly, as friends,” Garcia said. (AML)


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