Suspended Mayor Rama to attend Palarong Pambansa events

Suspended Mayor Rama to attend Palarong Pambansa events
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama. (Photo from Cebu City PIO)

WHILE serving his preventive suspension, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said on Thursday, June 27, 2024, that he will attend some of the events at the upcoming Palarong Pambansa, which will be held in the city this July.

During a press conference on Thursday, Rama called for setting aside political differences to focus on the overall success of the city’s hosting of the country’s largest sporting event for student-athletes.

When asked about the extent of his participation—whether as a spectator or part of the organizing body—Rama did not provide a direct answer, only saying, “apil-apilon lagi ko (I want to get involved).”

“Let this Palarong Pambansa be the best one yet. Di man ni ma best one yet kung ang ending nato mag-away, magbuhat og mga issue(s),” Rama said.

(Let this Palarong Pambansa be the best one yet. It won’t be the best if we end up fighting and creating issues.)

The Palarong Pambansa, hosted by the City Government, is scheduled on July 9-16.

Rama and seven other City Hall (CH) officials, including City Administrator Collin Rosell, are currently under a six-month preventive suspension without pay from May 7 until November over a mix of charges for alleged “oppression and maltreatment” against CH employees for non-payment of salaries.

Rama said he will be “involved and around” in the sporting event, but he will not be present every day of the whole Palaro event.

“Wa may maka-stop nako kon maglakaw ko ba. Unya pasudlon man sad ko didto. Ngano di man sad ko pasudlon nga elected man ko, nya public (event) man na. (No one can stop me if I decide to go. Besides, I will be allowed in. Why wouldn’t they let me in when I am an elected official and it’s a public event?),” he said.

Acting Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros attended Rama’s press conference on Thursday.

Rama also expressed trust and confidence in his legal team regarding the legality of his attendance while serving his suspension.

“I am not convicted in court. Even people convicted in court, [who have] already [been] given parole, can roam around. How much more [so] your mayor who is [only] placed under preventive suspension,” he said.

Rama said he had conducted a walk-through with Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman John Pages but did not specify when it took place.

He also said he had conversations with all the persons involved in the Palaro, telling them they wanted him to get involved.

Rama, in August 2023, personally received from Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro the Department of Education flag, turning over the hosting of the next Palarong Pambansa in 2024. Bacolod City and Antique Province also bid to host the Palarong Pambansa.

When asked if the event was heading in the right direction under Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia’s leadership, Rama chose not to answer directly. Instead, he reiterated the call for unity, emphasizing that this is “essential for the success of the Palaro.”

Cebu City is expecting 10,000 to 12,000 individuals for the Palaro, composed of athletes and coaches. / AML WITH REPORTS FROM WBS

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