Rama vows to eradicate illegal drugs if he will be mayor again
Former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is determined to challenge his political rival, incumbent Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, in the May 2019 local elections.
And this time, Rama said he will anchor his bid for the city’s top position on the eradication of illegal drugs.
The midterm elections is just 11 months away.
Rama said he decided to make the war on illegal drugs as his main campaign thrust after Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Friday tagged Cebu as a “hotspot” for the contraband two years since the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte waged a bloody war against it.
For Rama, the present administration led by Osmeña, has been “unsatisfactory” in its drive to eliminate the problem of illegal drugs in Cebu City.
“This is why I’m running for mayor under Barug Team Rama (Barug Team Rama–PDP Laban) in 2019. Solving the drug problem is going to be a very big challenge for the mayor now,” he said.
“And I’m pissed off that I am the one being blamed for this issue,” Rama told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
He also suggested to local authorities, including law enforcement units, to go after the source of illegal drugs and not just the petty “peripherals, accessories, and accomplices.”
“I really don’t know how far we are on being successful on the campaign against illegal drugs or if we are addressing the real issue on drugs. Because in my observation, it seems that no one wants to hunt the source,” Rama explained. “Focus on the principal, focus on the source,” he added.
CDN tried to contact Osmeña for his reaction but calls and text messages to the mayor remained unanswered as of press time.
However, in previous interviews, the incumbent mayor had been openly blaming Rama’s administration for the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city.
Rama was even tagged by President Duterte in his narco-list in 2016 which the former vehemently denied.
“This is why I offer myself as a candidate for mayor because I am strong against illegal drugs. I am just being accused as a drug protector because of politics. It was politics that brought my name in the list of narco-politicians,” Rama said.
CDN also tried to contact Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to get his comments about Rama’s plan to seek the mayorship next year, but attempts to contact him yesterday proved futile.
Labella’s name has been floated as a possible standard bearer instead of Rama, for Barug–PDP Laban next year, the former being the Cebu City chapter president of PDP-
Laban. However, in a news report over dyLA yesterday, Labella was quoted that their party has yet to come up with a final decision.
Meanwhile, during his Cebu visit on Friday, Albayalde revealed that the PNP is still placing Cebuano businessman Peter Lim and Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot under its watch.
However, Rama’s name was never mentioned by Albayalde.
“Why should I be mentioned by Gen. Albayalde when there’s no complaint, no issue in the first place. No iota of evidence, and I’ve never been and never was (a drug protector),” Rama stressed.
The former mayor again mentioned his meeting with the President last March but refused to give further details citing confidentiality.
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