With the elections only a year away, Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City south district) has also started preparing possible candidates to fill up vacant slates of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
He said he was considering lawyer Aristotle Batuhan and third-term councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa to be pitted against former congressman Antonio Cuenco for the Cebu City south district seat.
Cuenco is supporting Mayor Michael Rama’s reelection in 2013.
Councilor Margot Osmeña remains a “backup” for the congressional race, said her husband.
Osmeña said he was determined to campaign against Cuenco to “protect” the South Road Properties (SRP), which Osmeña claimed was a target of a smear campaign.
Cuenco earlier supported the call of Rep. Pablo John Garcia Cebu 3rd district to investigate the joint venture agreement, which Osmeña during his term as mayor entered into with Filinvest Land Development Inc.
“The accusation that I am against the SRP is false. When there was a conflict between Cebu City and Talisay City pending before the Department of Justice, I defended Cebu City’s claims to SRP’s title,” said Cuenco.
“However, when Pablo John Garcia called for a congressional inquiry because of an alleged anomaly in the contract with Filinvest, I favored the inquiry in the interest of truth,” he said.
“BO-PK will get a congressman who will stand up and defend the SRP (not go against it),” said Osmeña.
BO-PK has six slots to fill in the south district and two slots in the north district for councilors.
Councilor Jose Daluz III has thrown his support behind Cuenco and Rama while Councilor Ronald Cuenco plans to return to the United States.
Councilors Raul Alcoseba, Abellanosa and Eduardo Rama are serving their last terms in office.
BO-PK also has to identify a replacement for Margot Osmeña if she runs for congress.
In the north district, councilors Edgar Labella is running for vice mayor with Rama. He and Augustus Pe Jr. are ending their last term.
Pe earlier said he plans to transfer his voter’s registration to the south district and run for councilor.
Comelec already gave a favorable response on Pe’s query about moving.
Representative Osmeña said that former councilors Gabriel Leyson and Gerardo Carillo may be on the south district slate.
Carillo has been active in BO-PK activities while Leyson would be a strong choice among senior citizens, he said.
Councilor Pe may be added to the list along with Cogon Pardo barangay captain and Kusug ally Eugenio Gabuya.
Representative Osmeña said he was considering Gabuya because his barangay was in a very “bad state.”
BO-PK’s north district slate may include businessman Franklyn Ong, president of the barangay councilors league Cebu City chapter, and Welyn Menchavez, who ran for Lahug barangay captain in the 2010 election but lost.
But since Menchavez is pregnant, BO-PK may have to find a replacement.
T. Padilla barangay captain Michael Rallota, president of the Association of Barangay Councils, would be a good option, said Osmeña.