Team Rama confirms UNA tiesBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
TEAM Rama members wore new green and yellow jackets yesterday, and showed their nomination forms from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), an affiliation sealed in time for today’s filing deadline of candidacies at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu City office.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he and his lineup received their Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) from UNA secretary general Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City on Wednesday.
“He (Vice President Jejomar Binay) respected my decision to stay independent. I don’t have to take my oath under UNA,” he said.
The mayor said his group negotiated with UNA leaders for several days.
Clad in yellow and green campaign jackets, Team Rama members gathered at the Rama compound at noon fill up their certificates of candidacy (COCs).
They later faced reporters to announce their alliance with UNA.
“We now declare officially our affiliation with UNA,” Mayor Rama said.
Rama first announced in last Sunday’s press conference that he left the Liberal Party after it issued a CONA to Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) candidates led by their founder Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district.
Asked if Team Rama’s slate is complete, Rama responded “only God knows.”
Team Rama members will attend an 8 a.m. Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before heading to the Cebu City Comelec office to file their COCs.
Talent manager Annabelle Rama, Team Rama’s candidate for Cebu City’s north district, her husband Eddie Guttierez, her children and at least three talents she’s managing will join Team Rama candidates in filing their COCs.
BO-PK candidates led by Osmeña will have their Cathedral mass at 2 p.m. today followed by the filing of their COCs.
Councilor Jose Daluz III, Team Rama’s campaign manager, said UNA picked Annabelle Rama to be their official candidate in the north district, prompting Dr. Marlo Maamo to back out of the congressional race.
UNA national officials called for an arbitration to clarify their choice of their candidate for the city’s north district.
Daluz said he and former congressman Antonio Cuenco explained that Maamo became a PDP-Laban member when he took his oath before Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the PDP-Laban party president.
Daluz and Cuenco serve as PDP-Laban Cebu City chairman and regional coordinator respectively.
He told reporters that the oath taking didn’t assure Maamo that he will be PDP-Laban’s north district congressional candidate.