Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama is leading the administration coalition’s local ticket in the city, seeking to run as mayor of the city.
“Cebu has always been probably the most important city in the Philippines… It was here where history was started, where we first showed our heroism as Filipinos, and it is here where we were able to prove that Filipinos can soar high,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque told the crowd as he presented the candidates at the Casino Español.
In a video message, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the group to make a sacrifice in the name of public service, which is a 24/7 commitment.
Rama, who has yet to file his certificate of candidacy (COC), is now leading the Partido Barug, a regional political party allied with the ruling party PDP-Laban.
Incumbent Mayor Edgardo Labella is on leave for health reasons and no longer running for public office in the May 9, 2022 local election.
Rama’s running mate will be incumbent Councilor Raymund Alvin Garcia, a scion of a family that owns the Sunstar print media company.
In his speech, Rama said his team will continue to advocate the “continuity of good governance” in handling the affairs of the city government, especially now that the capital is facing a “formidable challenge” brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The party is also fielding incumbent councilor Eduardo Rama, the acting mayor’s nephew, for congressman of the second district comprising 34 barangays in the south, while Niña Mabatid is running for congresswoman for the first district comprising 46 barangays in the north.
The candidates for north district councilors are Melvin Legaspi, Dr. Peter Mancao, Pastor Alcover Jr., Emergency Operations Center head and incumbent Councilor Joel Garganera, Labella’s son Jaypee, former councilor Noel Wenceslao, incumbent Councilor Jerry Guardo and vendors’ group head Maria Pino.
In the south district, their candidates for councilors are re-electionists James Cuenco, Renato Osmeña, Donaldo Hontiveros, and Philip Zafra, as well as City Legal Office chief Rey Gealon, Harry Iran, Quiot Barangay Captain Francis Espares and accountant-lawyer Joy Pesquera.
Rama’s group is also supporting Marino Party-list.
Rama will be running against Margot Osmeña, the wife of former Mayor Tomas Osmeña. Her running mate will be Kasambagan Barangay Captain Franklyn Ong who is the current president of the Association of Barangay Councils and ex-officio member of the Cebu City Council.
Although she has yet to file her COC, Margot’s husband confirmed in his statement posted on social media that her wife will be the standard-bearer of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
“Margot spent nine years as city councilor and as acting mayor, making these programs and more run and run well. I am not ashamed to admit that she is more qualified than I am to take care of our city in the painful difficulties our people are going through today. Our city needs a MOM (Margot Osmeña-Mayor),” the former mayor said.Ong filed his COC on Tuesday, followed by BOPK’s candidate for congresswoman in the north district, Cutie del Mar.