Rama to Duterte: Give me an opportunity to be heard
AS President Rodrigo Duterte again mentioned his name in passing as a drug protector, even referring to him as governor, former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama reiterated his denial and plea for an audience with the president to clear his name.
“It was being said by the President in an interview na ‘sasalubungin ko kayo ng harap-harapan’ (I will meet you face to face). Then I wish such courtesy can be afforded to me,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Laguna Garden Cafe at the Ayala Center Cebu yesterday afternoon.
“I have never seen any complaint, neither any evidence presented. The President, being a lawyer, I wish such accusation should also be an opportunity for me to be heard so I can present my position,” Rama said.
“My conscience is clear. Mike Rama is not a drug protector,” he added.
Rama said he has been asking several administration officials to help him set up a meeting with the President to prove his innocence, but to no avail.
This is why he was “puzzled and surprised” that his name was again mentioned by the President in a speech in Davao del Norte last Friday.
Aside from Rama, whom the President mistakenly referred to as Cebu governor, President Duterte said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog is also part of his narco list.
President Duterte has confirmed his attendance for the Cordova-Cebu Bridge project groundbreaking ceremony in Cebu on March 2.
Rama said he hopes to be able to squeeze in a short meeting with the President during his visit.
It was during Rama’s administration when the city signed a joint-venture agreement with Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) for the bridge project.
But the former mayor said he does not plan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony because he was not invited to the affair.
However, he said he is pinning his hopes on Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino and former Cordova mayor, now Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs Adelino Sitoy whom he has asked to set up a meeting with the President.
Rama recalled that since the first time his name was mentioned by President Duterte as being part of his narco list, he had been looking for ways to have an audience with the President.
Among those he asked for help were the President’s special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go, Dino, Senate President Koko Pimentel, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Deputy House Speaker Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
He said he even met and talked with Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
“If the schedule of the President allows, (I hope to meet him). I’ll ask where are the documents, where is the complaint,” he said.
Rama was joined by Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, City Councilor Joel Garganera and former City mayor Alvin Garcia during his press conference yesterday.
“I have exhausted everything, but I will continue to proceed, wishing that the door (to the President) will be available. March 2, I wish that will be the day,” he added.
CDN tried to get the comment of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino about the possible meeting between Rama and the President, but calls and texts to his cellphone number were unanswered.
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