BO-PK bloc chides Rama amid budget tiff
CEBU City Councilor Margot Osmeña chided Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for resorting to name-calling after she and the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) bloc slashed his supplemental budget from P256 million to P109 million.
“If it is difficult for him to respect our persons, is it too much for us to ask him to respect the offices to which we were elected? After all, he did come from the legislative body and spent 18 years here,” Osmeña said.
In her privilege speech, Osmeña said the BO-PK bloc in the council felt slighted by the mayor’s insults.
She referred to Rama describing them as stupid, blind, deaf and tyrannical for slashing his proposed supplemental budget.
“We are elected councilors with a mandate from the people. It is demeaning on our part (to be called stupid) including the vice mayor (who is the mayor’s ally),” Councilor Sisnio Andales.
Rama allies, Councilors Mary Ann delos Santos, Hans Abella and James Cuenco said the mayor should be given a chance to clarify his statements.
Delos Santos said it was possible Rama’s statement was “taken out of context” by reporters.
“Why will they ask me to explain? I am not under them. I am the one being offended by them a long time ago. What’s wrong when you call somebody stupid? That’s a comment. What’s wrong with that?,” Rama said.
Rama said the council that he used to be part of was a “rubberstamp” of former mayor and erstwhile ally Tomas Osmeña.
Osmeña said the BO-PK bloc decided to trim the budget based on discussions with acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas.
She said Cuevas told them that she transferred P70 million from the special account of the Local Development Fund to the General Funds to be used during the distribution of senior citizens assistance last month.
“Why do that when it is claimed that we have enough funds?” Osmeña said.
She said Cuevas has yet to transfer into a trust fund account the P85 million in unspent calamity funds from last year.
Another P80 million will also be transferred to the city’s Special Education Fund account despite warnings from the Commission on Audit.
The P165 million can be used for relief aid and rehabilitation of buildings damaged by the Oct. 15 quake as well as fund the city’s preparations for typhoon “Yolanda,” Osmeña said.
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