Rama continues to press Labella on health status, denies politicking
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama on Sunday, February 7, continued to press Mayor Edgardo Labella to publicly disclose his health status.
Rama, however, denied Labella’s earlier claims that his agenda were rooted in politics.
“We need a visible and active mayor. Unsa man gyud ang pagkabutang sa atong mayor? Wa man ko mamulitika, mayor,” said Rama in a press conference on Sunday.
(We need a visible and active mayor. What is the condition of our mayor? I am not politicking, mayor.)
Rama earlier questioned Labella’s capacity to oversee the country’s second largest city as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to rage this 2021.
Labella responded last February 6, saying that Rama undermined the city’s efforts in addressing the health crisis here by using politics.
The vice mayor replied by saying he had no intention to usurp Labella for the top seat in the city, a statement which offended him.
“I don’t want to disabuse his mind. I am not playing politics…I take offense at being labelled as such,” said Rama.
“I don’t want to take the job of the mayor, usurp what belongs to Mayor Labella. That is not my cup of tea. But I’m concerned for all Cebuanos in the situation we’re in,” he added.
It can be recalled that Labella last January filed a medical leave due to an ‘ear infection’.
He was back to work three days after but announced that his physicians advised him to ‘work from home’ since then.
On the other hand, Rama said the recent exchanges he had with Labella, who has been his political partner, did not result to any political tensions within the Barug-PDP Laban bloc.
This despite admitting that Rama has recently reached out to Labella and City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. twice to no avail.
“We, the mayor, remained good friends. We still have (recent) intimate talks with Mayor Labella. But as far as I know, I’m still president of Barug-PDP Laban,” he noted.
When asked if he believed if Labella’s illness is only limited to a ‘simple ear infection’, Rama, however, did not provide a clear-cut answer.
“Miingon ka ug ear infection, daghan kaayo mangutana. Mao na kinahanglan ang lungsod masayud ug dili mahimo dili ipaklaro. Mao ihanay ang unsay sakto para di maglibog ang lungsod,” Rama explained.
(If you’re going to say ear infection, there’s a lot of questions. This is why the city needs to know the real thing, and it should clear things out. Get the facts straight so the city will not be confused.)
Rama, in the meantime, assured the public that the City Council, where he sits as chairperson, ‘has been doing its best to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak here’ despite the physical absence of Labella in City Hall.
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