Cebu mayor in disbelief as LP dumps him for rivalBy Doris C. Bongcac
CEBU CITY—The ruling Liberal Party (LP) has dumped this city’s mayor in favor of his erstwhile ally who has become his most bitter rival.
Mayor Michael Rama lost the LP nomination as the party’s official candidate for mayor to Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu, South District), Rama’s predecessor and former ally.
The LP, the party led by President Aquino, gave the certificate of nomination to Osmeña, who has been recently charged with graft by Rama for allegedly accepting expensive cars as gifts.
“I am now an official LP candidate,” said Osmeña. “I already have my certificate of nomination [from LP],” he said.
On Wednesday, Osmeña also received a certification signed by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, LP president, authorizing the congressman to choose whom the party would field as its official candidates for different elective positions in Cebu City ranging from vice mayor to councilors.
Rama, a member of LP, said he was stunned when he learned that Osmeña, who will run as mayor again next year, was the official LP candidate.
Expressing disbelief, Rama said: “I will clarify this first. I will not react immediately because they might say I am a cry baby.”
But he said his calls were not being taken by Roxas and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, another key LP leader, since Wednesday when Osmeña announced he was the official LP candidate.
Rama said he might write a letter to Roxas to question Osmeña’s nomination as official LP candidate.
“They should be giving us official communication to explain why,” said the mayor, adding he would not believe Osmeña’s claim until LP itself confirmed it.
Osmeña, ironically, is not a member of LP although his local party, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), helped in the campaign of Mr. Aquino and Roxas in the 2010 elections.
Rama was a member of BOPK when he ran for mayor but left it after 19 years following a public spat with Osmeña.