Tommy’s agenda: Get back ma­jor­ity in coun­cil

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Doris Mae C. Mon­dragon COR­RE­SPON­DENT /WITH IN­QUIRER .NET

DE­SPITE ef­forts from the House of the Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to post­pone the Barangay and Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan (SK) elec­tions from May to Oc­to­ber, Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña ex­pressed hope that the Se­nate would not ap­prove it.

“I want the barangay elec­tions to push through. I have an agenda and it’s not hid­den. I need to kick out (ABC Pres­i­dent, Coun­cilor Phillip) Zafra and I need to get the SK. I need to get the ma­jor­ity of the coun­cil so I’m will­ing to fight it out and tell the peo­ple to give me their sup­port so we can change the ABC (As­so­ci­a­tion of Barangay Coun­cils) and we’ll have the SKs. I can have the ma­jor­ity back. Oth­er­wise, our de­vel­op­ment will be ham­pered,” he told re­porters in his press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

Barug Team Rama and Bando Os­meña-Pun­dok Kauswa­gan (BOPK) have the same num­ber of coun­cilors in the city coun­cil. But ABC pres­i­dent Zafra who is an ex-of­fi­cio mem­ber of the coun­cil is af­fil­i­ated with Barug Team Rama, mak­ing the party the ma­jor­ity.

In ad­di­tion, Vice Mayor Edgardo La­bella, who pre­sides over the coun­cil is a mem­ber of Barug TeamRa­maand­be­comes the tie breaker in case of a tie in the vota­tion.

Also, there are 65 barangay cap­tains af­fil­i­ated with the op­po­si­tion.

Sought for com­ment, Zafra said he re­spects the mayor’s stand.

“That’s his po­lit­i­cal stand. Ato ng re­spetoan uban sa pila ka hi­gayon nga nagsige pud sila’g pan­guyab wa man gyud ta mo­sugot. (Let’s re­spect that along with the many in­stances when they tried to woo me to join them but I re­fused.) But for me, dili ki­na­hanglan nga mo­tapon ka og laing par­tido para imong ipa­dayon ang pagser­bisyo (one does not need to change party af­fil­i­a­tion just to con­tinue pub­lic ser­vice),” Zafra said in a phone in­ter­view.

For his part, Zafra also wants the Barangay elec­tions to push through to ad­dress the con­fu­sion be­tween the func­tions of the barangay cap­tains and the Barangay Mayor’s Of­fice (BMO) of­fi­cials.


If the barangay elec­tions are post­poned again, this will be the third time the polls would be moved to a later date.

“You are toy­ing around with democ­racy. Democ­racy is what I strongly be­lieve in. Just to re­mind peo­ple, the essence of democ­racy is that you choose your leader which means that democ­racy means elec­tions,” Os­meña said.

“If peo­ple do not choose their lead­ers it’s not demo­cratic. We take the word for granted. We all agree with democ­racy but you want to post­pone the elec­tions, that’s be­ing in­con­sis­tent,” he added.

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