CEBU City Vice Mayor Michael Rama is still “nursing” his “wounded heart” and has not moved on yet from his resignation as chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., (SFI). Rama resigned from SFI sometime last October when Mayor Edgardo Labella created the Sinulog Governing Board (SGB) for the purpose of “check and balance” and for overseeing and monitoring the SFI. Appearing in a live interview over DYSS Super Radyo, Rama poured all his emotions and still insisted that the mayor should not have created the SGB as it was the cause of all those controversies that cropped up during the preparations of the Sinulog 2020.
He called and demanded from Mayor Labella the abolition of the SGB and leave the SFI to run the affairs. “Too many cooks spoiled the broth,” (meaning when there are too many people involved in trying to do the same thing, so that the final result will not be good), Rama told this columnist who anchored the program, which was co-anchored by Edgar Gutierrez. He added that the “people at SFI are honorable men and are of good standing in the community. They are experienced people because some of them, like him, are with the SFI for quite sometime,” Rama said.
“What is the purpose of the SGB? For the purposes of ‘check and balance’? When we talk of check and balance, that has something to do with financial matters. What are they trying to prove? Are they suspecting that members of the SFI ‘pocketed’ the money for the Sinulog celebration through sponsorship and solicitations,” Rama asked?
He mentioned the names of those prominent personalities sitting in the SFI, most of them are from the business community. “Has-been” Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Rama’s nemesis, is also a member of the Board of Trustees. Are they accusing these people of “pocketing” Sinulog funds? Unsa may pagtuo nila nangawat ning mga tawhana apil si Tomas Osmeña? Nothing to be checked because Sinulog has no money,” he added.
He insisted that he was not consulted when Labella created the SGB. Why fix when it ain’t broke? When asked if those exclusivity rights, like the TV exclusive coverage and the selling of products, would have happened if he was still the chairman of SFI, Rama said “it won’t happen,” saying Sinulog should be open to everybody. He doubted that Labella did not know anything about it considering that he is the chairman of the SGB.
There are people in the SGB who tried to mislead the mayor.
He did not mention names. Rama, however, absolved the mayor‘s brother, Elmer ‘Jojo‘ Labella, Sinulog executive director, as behind those questionable transactions entered by the SFI, especially on the marketing side.
Even though he was out of the SFI, he was still visible during the grand parade as it was his little way of helping for the success of the celebration and because of his devotion to the Senior Sto. Niño, which he has been doing for the past 16 years. Well, we cannot fathom the sentiments of Rama on the Sinulog issues. I don’t know if he is just acting as a “crying baby” because he was not given a prominent role during the affair. My unsolicited advise for you, Mr. Mike, is to fight the battle within and not outside. Meaning, be actively involved again in the SFI and insist or push your plan rather than making noise outside.
The interview ended with the singing of one of his favorite repertoire, “The way you looked tonight.”