Tommy’s agenda: Get back majority in council
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.