Rama: Labella, allies shouldn’t lose committee posts


EVEN if they are in the minority, the three councilors who bolted the administration Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) party shouldn’t lose their committee chairmanships this Wednesday.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the councilors shouldn’t be stripped of their committee posts since they and the BO-PK are allied under the Liberal Party (LP).

Vice Mayor Augustus Joy Young earlier said if the councilors would ask, the council could amend the house rules to allow the creation of a minority bloc.

But Rama questioned this, saying they and the BO-PK are allied with the Liberal Party (LP).

“It’s hard to talk about forming a minority bloc because we all filed our certificates of candidacy under the Liberal Party.  We are still a big party and therefore there’s no minority,” he said.

One of them, Mayor Rama’s nephew Councilor Eduardo Rama, said he had long expected to be replaced as public services committee chairman.

“It would not be up to the mayor if he still needed me,” the councilor said.

Also expected to lose their committee chairmanships are Councilors Edgardo Labella and Councilor Jose Daluz III. Labella is Mayor Rama’s runningmate while Daluz is supporting former congressman and Rama ally Antonio Cuenco.

Labella is the incumbent majority floor leader and chairman of the laws, ordinances, public accountability and good government committee while Daluz chairs the committee on agriculture. Councilor Rama also chairs the information and technology committee.

Mayor Rama said while he respects the council’s prerogative to appoint committee chairmanships, this wasn’t the case when he was still vice mayor.

The mayor said he was stripped of the chairmanship of the health and education committee when he was councilor under then mayor Alvin Garcia.

When he was vice mayor, Rama said minority councilors had their committee chairmanships.

Rama said the reshuffling of committee chairmanships will affect his preparation of the second Supplemental Budget (SB).

Vice Mayor Augustus Joy Young said they need to reorganize the council because they cannot trust Rama’s new allies.

The BO-PK dominated council is expected to elect Augustus Pe Jr. as the new majority floor leader to replace Labella.  Pe recently transferred registration in the south district and announced plans to run for councilor in that area.  /Doris Bongcac, Chief of Reporters with Correspondent Edison delos Angeles

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