Garganera: BO-PK lobbying UNA for appointment of ally

By: Chris A. Ligan, Jose Santino S. Bunachita September 19,2017 - 10:28 PM



With having the majority at the Cebu City Council at stake, Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) and Barug Team Rama are trying their best to have their own ally replace Councilor Nendell Hanz Abella, who has resigned from the council.

At first, it seemed certain that Barug Team Rama group would get the majority considering that Abella ran under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which the local group is affiliated with, during last year’s elections.

But now, Councilor Joel Garganera is accusing BO-PK of also trying to push for their own replacement.

“They’re using the influence of Senator (Manny) Pacquiao to endorse somebody, to get the endorsement of UNA,” he told reporters yesterday.

The name that BO-PK is allegedly endorsing is that of Rengelle Pelayo, who used to be an ex-officio city councilor during the previous term of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, when she was president of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation.

Garganera said he got to know about BO-PK’s move through a source from UNA who asked him why BO-PK is the one pushing for Abella’s replacement and not them.

Barug Team Rama is yet to formally meet, discuss and decide on their endorsements tomorrow, September 21.

They had floated Renato “Junjun” Osmeña Jr. and Inayawan Barangay Captain Lutherlee “Lotlot” Ignacio-Soon as possible replacement for Abella. Both ran with the group as south district councilors last year but lost.

The name of former mayor Michael Rama was also being floated although he already said he was not interested.

Garganera even alleged that the floating of Rama’s name as possible replacement is a “devious scheme” by BO-PK in order to make sure that President Rodrigo Duterte, who has the final say on who should replace Abella from the endorsed names, would not pick somebody from Barug Team Rama.

“Mike Rama’s name is floated because you know for a fact that he was not yet cleared. So just to shut out whatever endorsement from our end, they’re using Mike,” Garganera said, adding that it is a ploy to make the President angry and end up not picking a name endorsed by their group.

Garganera was referring to Rama’s inclusion in the President’s list of alleged drug protectors and narco-politicians.

He said the group has already decided to push for Junjun Osmeña as Abella’s replacement since Soon is also busy attending to her barangay.

Garganera said they hope to already send their formal endorsements to the Office of the President this week. He said they are still working on the requirements like a certification of their nominees as bona fide members of UNA, and a formal endorsement for the position of city councilor.

He said he remains confident that the national leadership of UNA will still choose to endorse someone from Barug Team Rama considering how Rama stuck with former vice president Jejomar Binay in his bid for presidency in last year’s elections.

“It’s gonna be a fight of influence there in the power of the appointing authority. We will rely heavily on (Presidential Assistant for the Visayas) Mike Dino. That’s given, of course we will ask for his help,” he said.

Sought for comment, Mayor Tomas Osmeña neither confirmed nor denied the allegations of Garganera.

“Why should we telegraph our punches?” the mayor repeatedly said every time reporters question him on this issue.

When asked if it is true that BO-PK is asking help from Senator Manny Pacquiao, he said it should be Barug Team Rama that should ask the senator about it.

He added that Abella was already in their group and not with Team Rama when he resigned.

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TAGS: ally, appointment, BO-PK, Garganera, LOBBYING, UNA

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