By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita March 27,2017 - 11:16 PM



Tumulak sets the record straight: He is no longer  ‘independent’

CEBU City Councilor Dave Tumulak has confirmed that he plans to join the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) party yesterday, months after he left Team Rama to become an independent councilor.

He made the announcement as BO-PK’s ranks may soon be bolstered with another councilor joining their fold.

Councilor Hanz Abella, who also declared himself an independent, also hinted that he will soon be deciding which party to join.

Tumulak set the record straight and clarified that he no longer wants to be an independent councilor.

“I decided to join BO-PK, if BO-PK will accept me. The basis (of my decision) is I saw that they are more focused on how to improve the city especially in terms of basic services,” Tumulak said.

In contrast, he criticized Team Rama councilors for focusing more on controversies and issues.

Tumulak said his advocacy on maintaining public order and safety falls in line with that of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s programs.

While saying that he made up his mind about joining the BO-PK a month ago, Tumulak said he has not asked Osmeña to recognize him as an official member of the BO-PK.

If he won’t be accepted, Tumulak said, “I will stand on my own.”

But even if he will be part of BO-PK, Tumulak said he will continue to act on his personal principles and on what will be good for the city.

“If in case there are some party decisions that cannot benefit the city of Cebu, rest assured I will not vote,” Tumulak said. Councilor Abella said he will soon be making his decision.

“As of today (yesterday), I’m still independent, but with the recent movement in the council, I will have to decide. It will just be a matter of time,” he said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

Abella had voted in support of BO-PK programs and joined Mayor Osmeña in official activities and functions outside the session hall.

“I’ve been sponsoring measures for Mayor Tom (Osmeña) especially the sale of SRP (South Road Properties lots) at P110,000.00 per square meter.

When I declared independence last year, all Mayor Tom asked was my cooperation and support especially measures that can help our city,” he said.

Abella’s proposed ordinance seeks to authorize the mayor to sell another three hectares of the SRP at a floor price of P110,000.

The proposal is pending in the council’s committee on laws chaired by Councilor Raymond Garcia, a Team Rama ally.

Both Tumulak and Abella were assigned executive functions by Osmeña, similar to other BO-PK councilors.

Tumulak is the deputy mayor on police matters while Abella is the deputy mayor on education.

Last Saturday, Councilor Jerry Guardo bolted from Team Rama to join BO-PK.



While still serving a three-month suspension, Guardo’s inclusion in the BO-PK means the administration party will have eight members in the council if Tumulak is confirmed as part of their group.

Team Rama also has eight councilors. If Abella joins the BO-PK, they will have a simple majority of nine members.

Tumulak’s announcement came a day after Team Rama Councilor James Anthony Cuenco challenged both him and Abella to declare which side they are on.

But Tumulak said he did not make his pronouncement in answer to Cuenco whom he criticized for not being active in the city and not reporting to his office at City Hall every day.

Instead, Tumulak challenged Team Rama councilors to stop “making issues on politics and work together” to prove themselves to their constituents.

Tumulak added that he has been active in the affairs of the city, reporting every day in his office and attending official duties and functions outside the session hall and city hall.

He challenged Team Rama councilors to also do the same.

Sought for comment, Cuenco had this to say: “Each one of us as members of the council has an individual role. I am the majority floor leader and I see to it that all resolutions and ordinances that have been submitted by the individual councilors are included in the agenda and I have to go through each and every one of them to make sure that everything is in order. That’s my role and that’s what I’m doing.”

“Tumulak may have his role as the deputy mayor for police matters so he’s active outside. But I will not go into a petty argument over who is seen in public more often,” Cuenco added.


Tumulak’s move came as no surprise to Cuenco and other Team Rama councilors.

“I am glad the battle lines have been clearly drawn. As soon as Jerry Guardo is reinstated, I shall immediately resign from my post as majority floor leader for obvious reasons,” Cuenco told CDN.

Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said Tumulak’s being independent was just for show.

“Now that they want to get the majority, he just unmasks himself. Maybe he thought that people believed he was independent. He may have fooled us once but he cannot fool us again,” Pesquera said.

Councilors Jose Daluz III, Joel Garganera and Raymond Alvin Garcia all agreed that from the time Tumulak left Team Rama, he was already with BO-PK.

“You know, you don’t do anything to insult your fellow Cebuanos. Who is he fooling? Let’s not fall into their drama. From the time he left us (Team Rama), that’s it. Come on. Everybody knows about it. That’s ridiculous.” Garganera said.

In yesterday’s press conference, Osmeña said Tumulak had long been accepted into BO-PK’s ranks.

He said that BO-PK has never asked anyone to pledge allegiance since it is not a formal political party.

“BO-PK is not even a party. BO-PK comes from inside the heart,” he said.

Osmeña said he does not ask for loyalty but for the officials to only work for and serve the Cebuanos.

Osmeña also said he expects to get the majority of the council in three months.

But he said it is no assurance that his programs will not be blocked in the council.

“(Former mayor) Mike Rama opposed me several times in the council. He was my vice mayor. There is no assurance,” he said./With Correspondent Inna Gian Mejia

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TAGS: BO, Cebu City, councilor, decision, GAINS, months, Osmeña, Osmeña’s, party, Tomas

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