Rama says critics just 'jealous'

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama.
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama. Photo from Cebu City PIO

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama does not care about critics who label him as “toxic,” saying no matter what, he is still the mayor until 2025.

“Never mind. He can describe me (as) anything, but sorry, I am still the mayor,” Rama said during Cebu City Hall’s online program “Ingna’ng Mayor” on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, referring to a statement made a day earlier by Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) chairman Jose Daluz III.

Daluz who was ousted from his position in favor of retired major general Melquiades Feliciano, said the opposition must unite to remove Rama from his position as mayor.

“The opposition against the dancing and singing mayor of ‘Singapoor-like’ Melbourne features must unite to remove toxic Mike,” said Daluz, who still sits as chairman of the MCWD board of directors.

Daluz said there are other leaders who can better lead the city to “Save Cebu from toxic Mike.” In response, Rama said anyone who wishes to challenge him can describe him as anything, but his term will still be up to 2025.

“I don’t have to add (to what my critics say). They are proud enough, they are honorable enough if they are still honorable,” Rama said.

Regarding former mayor Tomas Osmeña’s reaction about a Rama-Garcia tandem in 2025, Rama said Osmeña is entitled to his own reaction.

Rama said he is looking forward to who will be running against him in the next polls.

“Once the filing of candidacy is done, then let’s talk about it. But as I always say, they are all worthy opponents, even if it is a dog,” Rama said.

In October 2023, Osmeña said he would support anyone, even his own dog, if they were to run against Rama. Osmeña also told reporters that he would no longer run for mayor.

However, on Feb. 19, 2024, SunStar Cebu reported that Osmeña had yet to clearly share his plans on whether he plans to run as mayor in 2025.

When asked to comment about Rama’s plans for the 2025 elections, the former mayor simply said, “Rama is stupid.”

“Fortunately for him, people are used to his stupidity,” Osmeña added.


Osmeña and Rama were political allies until 2010 when Rama left the Osmeña-led Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

Rama defeated Osmeña when they both ran for mayor in 2013. It was Osmeña’s first loss since he ran for the mayoral seat in 1988.

Asked about politicians coming together to go against him, Rama said there is nothing new about it.

He pointed out that the Rama political brand emanated from Don Vicente Rama who authored the bill for the cityhood of Cebu City which was approved into law in 1936.

According to Rama, many political figures get jealous because it was his grandfather who made Cebu City a chartered city.

In 2023, Daluz speculated that Rama’s motive for wanting him removed from MCWD could have stemmed from his resistance to Rama’s efforts to privatize the water district or from his recommendations regarding political succession within their party coalition, which was aimed at elevating younger members to higher positions.

Daluz is president of the Panaghiusa Party, which formed a coalition with Rama’s Barug party and then Cebu City councilor, now Vice Mayor, Raymond Alvin Garcia’s Kusug party in the May 2022 elections.

On Aug. 17, 2023, Daluz and MCWD board members Miguelito Pato and Jodelyn May Seno were removed from their positions as chairman and members of the board.

The Cebu City Legal Office provided them with a copy of the notice regarding their removal and termination dated Aug. 1, 2023, and was duly received by the MCWD management, board of directors, and the Local Water Utilities Administration.

On Oct. 31, 2023, Rama appointed Feliciano, Aristotle Batuhan, and Nelson Yuvallos to the board of directors to replace Daluz and board members Pato and Seno.


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