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Team Rama’s barangay poll watch

/ 11:19 AM November 05, 2013

Two Mondays ago the barangay elections were held, which coincided with the birthday of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

A birthday party was held at the residence of the mayor. The event was also an opportunity for me to witness him and some of his staff as they monitored the results of the barangay elections.

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New communication technology has really changed the landscape. As I observed, monitoring of the results was conducted with the use of cellular phones.

I saw the mayor, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, Councilors Hans Abella and James Cuenco and former councilor Edu Rama calling and receiving calls from barangay leaders inquiring about the progress of the elections.

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I was so amazed and amused observing the mayor’s happiness upon knowing that a candidate won and how he consoled those who reported that a candidate lost.

There were areas where the results were too close to call, provoking thrill among those who were present.

On a white board, the names of all the 80 barangays were written and as results trickled in, the mayor noted whether or not the candidate who won or lost was supportive of his programs.

I also heard the mayor say that the results of some barangays were a confirmation of his victory in the mayoral race last May. At the end of the day, the mayor was so elated because Team Rama perceived that they garnered the leadership in majority of the barangays that were considered friendly to the mayor.

By the way in Basak San Nicolas George Rama, a cousin of the mayor won by a large margin over his opponent. And I think that was the best birthday gift that the mayor received during that day.

* * *

I received feedback about the reaction of the fire department regarding the temporary occupation of its building by earthquake-displaced patients of the Cebu City Medical Center.

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The fire department removed fixtures including the toilet bowl from their regional office. One person aired his disgust over how the fire department responded to the needs of the people since it was contrary to their mission. The leadership of the fire department just showed arrogance in the face of the humanitarian needs of the people and the city.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas should have been more sensitive to the humanitarian needs of the people in this time of calamity.

The fire department should have been more Christian in dealing with the needs of the poor people of the city.

* * *

I think President Benigno Aquino III missed the point about the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). I believe he is honest and is not a thief but the issue here is the manner of distributing the DAP funds to the legislative department.

The Constitution clearly states that the President can augment the funds of his office if there are savings. But the DAP funds were channeled to some members of Congress who were allowed to identify projects in some of the departments of the executive.

What is lacking here is transparency because the Office of the President never informed us about the DAP until Sen. Jinggoy Estrada exposed the arrangement.

Another issue is how the DAP was spent. We never heard that it was used to meet the needs of the people who were hit by disaster. Malacañang should be more transparent in transactions involving the money of the people. It is not enough that the president asserted that he is not a thief.

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TAGS: column, Mayor Michael Rama, opinion
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