‘I ran to serve public, not to beat Osmeña’
I haven’t been thinking of running to beat an Osmeña. I ran because I want to serve the people of Cebu.”
A jubilant Mayor Michael Rama made this statement after the Cebu City Board of Canvassers proclaimed him the winner over Rep. Tomas Osmeña.
Th contest for political control of Cebu’s capital city had both men going after each other’s neck after Rama bolted in 2011 from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
Rama won by a slim margin of 6,376 votes. He garnered a total of 217,448 votes as against Osmeña’s 211,072 votes. (See voting results on Page 6)
“I’m not here for politics. I’m here for public service, but it cannot be dissassociated. There will always be politics,” Rama said.
The mayor said he will continue with the programs initiated in his first term and will push for the roll out of a third Cebu-Mactan bridge in the first 100 days of his second term.
The 16-member City Council will be a mixed group dominated by the BO-PK and at least three Team Rama members.
“I’m wishing that the new group in the City Council would perform in the name of public service and in the name of God. The voice of the people and voice of God should define our administration,” he said in a news conference.
Yesterday’s proclamation of winners in the Cebu City race was slightly delayed as the CBOC had to briefly suspend proceedings as supporters of Team Rama became unruly.
The board later proclaimed Rama as well as seven winners in the council race in the north district and six in the south district.
The canvass board deferred proclamation of the winner in the vice mayoralty and remaining council slots.
Rama’s runningmate Edgar Labella has a slight lead of 371 votes over LP’s Vice Mayor Joy Young that hangs in the balance pending completion of the canvassing.
Defective compact flash (CF) cards have to be replaced by units from the Comelec’s National Service Center in Manila.
This prevented the transmission of results to the board from Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines of clustered precincts in barangays Luz, Cambinocot and Mambaling.
However, the election results in the rest of Cebu City’s 80 barangays were already decisive for the mayoralty race and several councilor slots.
Ferdinand Gujilde, chairman of the CBOC, said they will wait for the replacement CF cards before canvass resumes for three clustered precincts totaling 2,952.
“Even if there will be a 100 percent turnout of votes in the three precincts for the candidate next in rank, this will no longer overcome the majority obtained by the candidate with the highest number of votes,” Gujilde said.
At his Guadalupe residence, Osmeña said he would have “experts” look into what he called “abnormalities” in the election results.
He told Cebu Daily News that based on his internal survey and a university survey, the BO-PK was expecting a margin of victory of 14 percent.
“I’m not conceding. With the numbers coming, I’m not going to end up a winner. But the people know what happened (during the election). I do not want to be a sore loser but there was a lot of money going around,” he said.
“If you concede it’s like accepting the results. But it does not mean that sometime in the future we will not challenge that (election results) because there were violations which we are trying to document,” Osmeña said.
He said BO-PK will continue to function as a political force even if its two top leaders have lost the race.
Vice Mayor Young said he was saddened by the outcome of the elections which was far from the result of surveys presented by the University of San Carlos (USC) and the BO-PK in-house survey.
“The survey results were correct. Ug na lahi ang outcome sa election, something happened,” he said.
Earlier in the day, social media was abuzz over a statement posted on Osmena’s Facebook account. “We fought the good fight everybody, and we will continue to fight for what is good. Don’t ever let one event define who we are. It’s not the end of the world! We can lose the battle but we do not lose faith. This was just a setback. A super thank you to the wonderful people who like this page. You are our strength and the reason we still believe in Cebu and the goodness of people. We will never leave you! it said.
“Councilor Margot Osmeña, the BO-PK leader’s wife, however said Tomas was just thanking their supporters.
“Life goes on…we will see. Daghan pa man siya og angayang buhaton. We will see lang because this is another direction, maybe…maybe…sometimes God gives you another direction, so you just accept and He will lead the way,” she said./with Jhunnex Napallacan
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