“In his heart, he is really for Duterte.”
Former Cebu Gov. Emilio “Lito” Osmeña said this is the true sentiment of his brother, Toledo City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, citing the long-time friendship between presidential aspirant, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sonny.
But Sonny said “I am not appointing my brother (Lito) as my spokesman.”
The Toledo mayor had endorsed the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay, standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) during a rally to kick off his reelection campaign.
But he also admitted that he would organize and finance Duterte’s rally tomorrow in Toledo City, as his help to his long time friend.
In fact, he will share the stage with Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, according to Sonny’s Information Officer, Alma Mondigo.
“After Duterte and Cayetano, the mayor is expected to deliver his speech,” Mondigo told Cebu Daily News.
Duterte and Cayetano are expected to arrive at 1 p.m. They will be joined by Mayor Osmeña in a caravan from the church to the parola in Barangay Poblacion where the rally will be held.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, UNA regional chairman said, “Sonny is old enough to know what is best for him.”
Rama, however, said he couldn’t comment on the support Mayor Osmeña is giving Duterte because he is not privy to what was agreed upon between Binay and Mayor Osmeña.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon, the former Cebu governor said he is endorsing the candidacies of Duterte for president and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero for vice president, saying both candidates are the “winnable” ones among all the other candidates and that he shares the same visions as that of Duterte.
“Daan nami nagtakdo sa among huna-huna, (Our minds have long met.)” he said referring to the platform of government that Duterte is pushing which is federalism and giving local autonomy to provinces.
When Lito ran for president in 1998 he ran under the political party, Promdi (Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives), which also pushed for a federal form of government.
Aside from this, Duterte shares the top spot in surveys with another presidential candidate, Sen. Grace Poe.
He also said that Duterte can help solve the biggest need of the country which is safety and security but admitted that Duterte’s claim to solve criminality in 3 to 6 months is an “exaggeration.”
“Nothing is really black. Nothing is really white. They are all shades of gray. But among the all shades of gray, the most credible among all the presidentiables is one who has done it already,” he said referring to what Duterte has done in Davao City as mayor.
He said his brother-in-law, Luis Aboitiz, who was manager of the Davao Electric company, told him that Davao City was “hell” before Duterte came.
“Pagsud ni Duterte, ingon siya (Luis Aboitiz), limpyo, (When he became mayor, Luis Aboitiz said Davao became clean)” he told reporters.
Osmeña also hinted at a personal rift as the reason why he is not supporting the bid of administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas of the Liberal Party.
“It’s a very long story. “If its too bad, di na lang ko (mosulti). Makapahiubos sa (iyang) inahan (ang akong masulti)(I will not comment anymore because his mother will be offended by what I will say,” he said.
Osmeña was a close ally of Roxas.
“Personalized ra kaayo ang atong politika dinhi. Parties do not really matter. They’re just there for a framework of convenience,” he said.
The reason Escudero got Lito’s favor is his educational background, having obtained a masters degree in Georgetown University.
He said, on the contrary, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has not presented any diploma that he had finished school.
“Bisan wa intawn ko makauyon sa amahan adto, wa intawon siya (Bongbong) makatiwas. Wala man gani siya makapakita sa iyang diploma,” Lito said
(Even if I did not approve of his father, Bongbong did not even finish school. He cannot even show any diploma.)
Lito is also endorsing One Cebu party bets Winston Garcia and Nerissa Soon-Ruiz
“When I was governor, they were the most helpful during my term. They helped Cebu boom,” he said.
In Cebu City, Lito said Tommy Osmeña is ‘winnable’ this year compared to the last time he ran based on the in-house surveys he had conducted.
But he admits that Rama’s popularity still continues after his win in 2013 election.
“Whether who would win, I would not bet one way or another,” he said.