Annabelle is PDP-Laban-UNA bet for Cebu City north districtBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
THE PDP-Laban wing under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has adopted Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and his entire Team Rama for the 2013 elections.
James Cuenco, PDP-Laban Cebu City chairman, said the party’s secretary general Jose “Peping” Cojuangco issued a certification of nomination and acceptance (CONA) to Mayor Rama and his lineup.
This means that the mayor’s cousin, talent manager Annabelle Rama, will be adopted as PDP-Laban’s candidate for Cebu City’s north congressional district instead of Dr. Marlo Maamo.
Maamo was sworn in as PDP-Laban Cebu City north district candidate by re-electionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III last month while Rama was sworn in as UNA bet by former president Joseph Estrada more than a week ago in Manila.
Cuenco’s father, former congressman Antonio Cuenco, said he may arbitrate when it comes down to choosing between Maamo and Rama owing to his position as PDP-Laban regional coordinator.
Maamo was supposed to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) but chose not to do so after failing to receive his certification yesterday.
The younger Cuenco said the PDP-Laban’s CONA will go to Annabelle Rama and not Maamo.
“There’s no problem even if she took her oath before former president Estrada because Estrada’s Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) is in coalition with the PDP-Laban wing under UNA,” Cuenco said.
But Cuenco said since UNA is not a registered party, PDP-Laban will appear on the CONA issued to Mayor Rama and his Team Rama lineup.
Cuenco left for Manila to collect the CONA for Team Rama.
“Aside from this, Vice President Jejomar Binay also authorized Mayor Rama to select our local candidates,” he told Cebu Daily News.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) requires the submission of the CONA together with five copies of the duly filled up COC.
In the absence of a CONA, the candidate will be considered as an independent, said Comelec regional director Temie Lambino.
Liberal Party national president Mar Roxas earlier authorized Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district to chose the LP Cebu City candidates. Two days later, Roxas also issued Osmena’s CONA.
Rama left the LP after his letter sent to Roxas was unanswered.
The mayor asked Roxas for his CONA, owing to his membership with the LP. With no answer forthcoming, Rama said his local group won’t endorse any LP candidates for senator.
But the mayor said he will continue to support President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.
Despite Cuenco’s announcement, Rama declined to comment as he gathered some barangay captains to his Rama compound to discuss political alliances last Saturday afternoon.
He also explained his decision to leave LP after the weekly flag ceremony held in front of the city hall legislative building.
Rama also called City Hall personnel to a closed-door meeting reportedly to disclose his shift to UNA. With Correspondent Edison delos Angeles