Tomas O walks to Capitol: show of fitness, BO-PK party strength
HE wanted to show critics he was physically fit as a cancer survivor and that his party was just as resilient.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district and his allies in the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) walked the 1.7 kilometer stretch from his home in Quijada Street, barangay Guadalupe to the Capitol grounds after 3 p.m. yesterday.
“My opponents wish that I get sick. That’s the only way that they can win,” he said, referring to reelectionist Mayor Michael Rama and his cousin, San Nicolas barangay captain George Rama.
Hundreds of people waited at V. Rama Avenue near the Guadalupe barangay hall and along M. Velez Street to join the walk.
Osmeña said the BO-PK covered all expenses for the Team PNoy rally held at the Capitol grounds.
He said the rally showed that BO-PK doesn’t need funding from national parties to stage campaign sorties.
“Even when PNoy was running for president in 2010…we didn’t receive help from the party. We even spent for PNoy’s meals,” Osmeña told reporters before the start of the rally.
President Benigno Aquino III and 10 of 12 administration candidates were in Cebu City yesterday to court the half a million Cebu City voters.
Osmeña said BO-PK paid P25,000 as “rent” for the use of the Capitol grounds and the old session hall at the second floor.
They also bought 500 siopao (Chinese meat buns) to feed their volunteers. Donations from friends and supporters covered other expenses such as two generator sets and one back up generator to power their lights and sound system.
A private contractor set up the stage in front of the Capitol building.
Tanods and green workers from barangays capitol site, Kamputhaw and Luz were mobilized to clean up the Capitol grounds after the rally.
Mayor Rama approved a mayor’s permit for the BO-PK rally and the road closure of portions of Escario Street and Osmeña Boulevard fronting the Capitol building from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rama offered to let Team Rama candidates help man traffic during the rally, but Osmeña said the offer was just meant to annoy BO-PK candidates.
“They are just trying to tease you. I do not know what their objective is but obviously it is political,” he said.
Osmeña said he chose the Capitol grounds as venue to prove that acting Gov. Agnes Magpale is in charge of the province.
Bamboo poles fenced the center islands of Escario Street and Osmeña Boulevard to protect the landscaped areas from damage.
Osmeña said BO-PK used group funds and their own people to prepare for the rally without waiting for help from the LP.
“You do not expect (help from the national party). You hope and you learn to survive. Those who depend on their national party for help will surely be a loser. You are lucky if 30 percent of your expectations will materialize,” he said. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac
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