Cutie, Raul del Mar stay quiet about candidacy plans while Annabelle flaunts showbiz ties
While the del Mars , father and daughter, kept everyone guessing which of them would run for congress in Cebu City, their biggest rival promised a campaign of showbiz power and free food cards for voters.
Over a thousand people yesterday crowded the Aznar Coliseum for the “Panag-abot”, a gathering of political supporters of Team Rama for its slate which included celebrity talent manager Annabelle Rama.
At about the same time, Rep. Rachel “Cutie” del Mar of Cebu City’s north district and her father, former congressman Raul del Mar deflected questions on who would run in the district next year and hosted a cash aid program at barangay Capitol site.
Friday is the deadline for candidates’ bids for the 2013 elections.
The del Mars prepared two Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for today’s filing at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu City office along with the rest of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) slate tomorrow afternoon.
Why they prolonged the guessing game this far appears related to Annabelle Rama’s impact and flamboyant campaign style, which the del Mars have been trying to guage.
People recall how first-time politician Cutie del Mar, in the 2010 election, was held back from speaking in public or granting media interviews on advice of her father, who didn’t want any missteps.
Annabelle and the rest of Team Rama headed by her cousin Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will file their COCs tomorrow morning.
When asked who between them will run, Raul said said it would be up to duaghter Cutie, the incumbent, to decide.
“Unlike in the other families who are fighting, in our case we are not fighting each other to be the one to run. We are deferring to each other,” said Raul.
Ready to run
He said he would have wanted Cutie to seek a second term due to her good performance.
Cutie for her part said that she wanted to give way to her father.
“He still has good years in him. If I make him run now and let him finish his term, I can still come back later on because I’m much younger,” she said in an interview yesterday.
Meanwhie, Annabelle Rama said she doesn’t care because she’s prepared to face either one.
“Even if they both run, I’m ready,” she said.
Annabelle said if she were to face Cutie in an election “kayang kaya kaayo (I can do it).”
“I was told that Raul is more weighty because of his 23 years of service. But the voters would also tire of them,” she said.
She said she doesn’t back down from challenges. “What Annabelle wants, Annabelle gets,” she said.
The two del Mars were distributing cash aid to fire victims of give barangays Lahug, Apas and Capitol Site.
At the Aznar Coliseum, people were brought on board City Hall buses and barangay vehicles, and were served bread and juice.
A crowd of over a hundred people watched the program inside the coliseum from a mounted screen.
As the South Korean rap hit Oppa Gangnam style was repeatedly played, Mayor Rama and the rest of Team Rama went around the coliseum to shake hands with the crowd.
Earlier that day, Mayor Rama gave out financial assistance to seven barangays taken from the city’s P400 million social development fund. He also told barangay captains about his reelection plans.
Annabelle said the warm reception she received from the crowd and residents of Cebu City’s north district convinced her that victory is within reach.
She also said she will distribute P1,000 food cards per month to each constituent if elected.
“You can use that in buying food in any grocery or food store,” she said.
She also said her entertainment talents and her actor children Ruffa, Richard and Raymond will join her in filing her candidacy before the Cebu City Comelec office.
Team Rama members will attend a 9 a.m. Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before going to the Comelec office a block away.
Before visiting Cebu last Monday, Annabelle said she called up Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to ask about her certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) issued by PDP Laban. Her paper was sent the following day, she said.
Annabelle said she won’t back down from criticism since she encounters it all the time in her stint as a talent manager.
“Like a talent who’s asking for projects from their managers, I will also be asked projects from constituents,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cutie said it’s still too early for Annabelle to claim victory.
She also denied Annabelle’s claim that she was bashing her on Twitter ever since she was included in the Team Rama slate.
“We’ve never been one to attack people running against us. We don’t attack below the belt. We don’t even retaliate. We are not in the habit of destroying people to make us look better,” she said.
Raul also said they’re not perturbed by Annabelle.
“Each one has his or her own strategy but we don’t want to react to what our competitors will be doing. Let everyone do his thing and then let’s allow the people to decide,” he added. With Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao
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