Tom’s nephew eyes south seatBy Doris C. Bongcac, Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
While Cebu City Councilor Jose Daluz III is positioned to run for congressman in the south district, another councilor is eyeing the same post.
Renato “Junjun” Osmeña Jr., son of former vice Renato Osmeña Sr., said he will speak with former congressman Antonio Cuenco and Mayor Michael Rama when they return to Cebu City from abroad.
Osmeña Jr., Pagcor satellite operations manager based in Parkmall, Mandaue City, said he was interested in the south district seat which Cuenco endorsed to Daluz in a letter read by his son James.
Daluz earlier expressed confidence that he will get the support of 30 south district barangay captains who earlier signed a petition to convince Cuenco to run for Congress.
But Osmeña, elder brother of Councilor Ritchie Osmeña, said Cuenco also promised to endorse him as his replacement in case he would decide to quit politics in a conversation they had three to four months ago.
“I could give you the slot if only you will find me an excuse to get out,” Junjun recalled Cuenco telling him.
He said Cuenco told him that he was busy as secretary general at the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in Indonesia.
Osmeña said he’s making himself available to seek election in Cebu City’s south district.
He said he already spoke with his uncle, incumbent Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district, who asked him to first make consultations.
But Daluz said Team Rama will campaign hard and leave the decision to the people.
James Cuenco, who’ll run for the City Council’s south district, said his father will still campaign for Team Rama’s candidates.
Junjun said he remains interested in the south district congressional seat and has been going around the different barangays for consultations and activities which include feeding programs.
James dismissed rumors that the real reason behind his father’s withdrawal was the reported objection of some family members especially his wife Nancy who reportedly didn’t want him to run against Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
James said the family is united and will continue supporting Team Rama.
He said he couldn’t replace father as Team Rama congressional bet because he is new to politics.
Aside from Daluz, James said Councilor Edu Rama is a good candidate for congressman.
But he said it isn’t good to let Edu run because Anabelle Rama is the candidate in the north district and Mayor Rama is running for re-election.
“It would be distasteful if all the posts are filled by Rama,” he added.
Former transportation and communications undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan, a congressional aspirant for the south district, said he respected Cuenco’s decision.
Rep. 0smeña however belittled Cuenco’s announcement, saying he doesn’t care what he or Team Rama does.
“That’s why I would not take Tony Cuenco as a candidate because two elections ago, when I thought he was willing, he told me he was going to withdraw. Whatever…let him withdraw,” he said in a radio interview.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young echoed Osmeña’s assessment.
“He (Cuenco) knows he’s not gonna win. It’s not just a crack (for Team Rama), but it’s a big gaping hole,” he said.
Young said Cuenco’s announcement may have been made during the mayor’s absence to avoid embarrassing him.
The vice mayor said Cuenco and Rama’s absence during the announcement “speaks volumes of Rama’s leadership.”
Young said Cuenco’s announcement only gives BO-PK members in the council more reason to celebrate in their planned Boracay vacation. With Correspondent Jose Santino S. Bunachita