TWENTY-THREE days before the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the May 2022 elections, Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama announced on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 that he will run for mayor.
Rama still has to announce his full slate under Partido Barug, but told SunStar Cebu in an interview that having Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia as running mate would be possible.
“Why not? Why not? It can never be a foreclosed matter, but why not? Everything is possible and Raymond knows that, because we are not just public servants of today. We’ve been the public servants of yesterday, and the Garcia is also yesterday. Precisely, our group is really a yesterday then continuously, currently, and seeing beyond. Still futuristic,” Rama said.
Rama said he has been in public service for nearly 30 years.
He also mentioned his grandfather, Don Vicente Rama, who became a senator; his father, Fernando, who was a Cebu City councilor; and his uncle Osmundo, who served as governor of Cebu.
“With the support of Partido Barug and our allies, including Mayor Edgar Labella, we affirm our commitment to serve Cebu City again as mayor,” Rama said.
Rama’s announcement was no surprise at all to Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa, who is now on his last term.
Reports earlier said Abellanosa, a member of rival party BOPK, may be fielded by his party to run for mayor in 2022 if BOPK founder, former mayor Tomas Osmeña, decides not to run.
“I don’t have any reaction. Nothing new, nothing surprising at all. It’s like the sun rises every day. Rama doesn’t have to announce that he’s running,” said Abellanosa.
For his part, Garcia, son of former Cebu City mayor Alvin Garcia, said he was open to running for vice mayor: “I want to thank (Vice) Mayor Mike for trusting me. I am open to running for vice mayor.”
Rama said he will be able to finalize the list of official candidates for Partido Barug next week, days ahead of the COC filing set on Oct. 1 to 8.
He said they will have a complete lineup from both districts of Congress in Cebu City to the City Council.
“I do not want to be intruding right now, the setup of Mayor Edgardo Labella, but I am very happy to announce that we have already a Labella with us,” Rama announced, referring to the mayor’s son, Edgardo “Jaypee” Labella II, for the north district lineup.