Rama says he is ready to step in anytime for Labella
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said he was ready to step in for Mayor Edgardo Labella anytime should there be a need to while the city mayor would recover from mild stroke that he suffered.
Rama, who has not seen Mayor Labella since he was hospitalized in July 2021 due to pneumonia, has served as acting mayor five times this year already.
“I’ve been telling (City Administrator Jun) Casas (that) I am always ready to (serve) as acting mayor. Dili ra man ako ang ready ba. Naay Dondon Hontiveros, naay Dave Tumulak, naay Nestor Archival,” said Rama referring to some of the City Council members.
(I’ve been telling [city administrator Jun] Casas [that] I am always ready [to serve] as acting mayor. It is not only me who is ready. There is a Dondon Hontiveros, there is Dave Tumulak, there is Nestor Archival.)
The vice mayor said that he was now in talks with City Administrator Floro Casas Jr, regarding the mayor’s health.
He also assured the son of Mayor Labella that politically, his alliance with the mayor would not change especially since the mayor had continued to trust him. Rama has long declared his plans to run for mayor under Team Barug in the 2022 elections.
Jaypee Labella, the son of Mayor Labella, recently revealed that the mayor suffered a mild stroke as a result of his sepsis last June 2021, a month prior to his month-long medical leave on July to August 2021.
This has raised questions of whether the mayor is actually fit to function amid his recovering from a mild stroke.
Critics of the city’s administration have already asked who is actually running the city hall.
This included former councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), who pointed out that the signature of the mayor has changed in a recent document.
She once raised the possibility that the mayor was no longer handling the city’s affairs and the city was being run by unelected officials instead. The Labella family refused to comment on Delos Santos speculations then.
With the new revelation of the mayor’s health condition, BOPK’s lawyer, Amado Virgil Ligutan, is echoing the doubts of Delos Santos.
“Who is running the city now? It seems it is the city administrator, who is an unelected official. We can’t help but ask what’s with the position that the mayor could not relinquish it even for grave health reasons,” Ligutan said.
“The city deserves a mayor who can fully function as such. There is so much at stake here, like the delayed salaries of our frontliners, and crucial issues like the displaced vendors of Carbon market. Our people are already hungry. Can the people surrounding the mayor set aside their greed for power for once, and think of the people who need a fully functional mayor?” he said.
CDN Digital tried to reach City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., for comment, but he has yet to respond.
However, in a previous statement, Casas already explained that the mayor reviewed everything at home. The documents are taken from the City Hall to the mayor’s home in Barangay Bacayan where the mayor would personally sign all documents.
As for Labella’s family, Jaypee Labella assured the public that his father was well enough to handle the city’s affairs.
“He never had a serious stroke, mild stroke ra. Ang mild stroke nikuyug atu sa sepsis nagdungan to ang ordeal. He is not bedridden or dying. He is at 80% recovery, but still needs treatment and therapy to be fully recovered,” he said.
(He never had a serious stroke, it is only a mild stroke. The mild stroke went with the sepsis and these happened during the ordeal. He is not bedridden or dying. He is at 80% recovery, but still needs treatment and therapy to be fully recovered.)
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