BO-PK allies ready to defend Margot, Andales
Former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said city councilors allied with the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) bloc are ready to fend off the Rama administration’s plan to unseat his wife as head of the budget and finance committee.
Tomas said that aside from the budget committee, which is presently chaired by Councilor Margot Osmeña, the administration bloc wants to wrest control of the committee on laws from Councilor Sisinio Andales.
Osmeña said his allies will protect their hold on the two powerful standing committees. Otherwise letting go would allow Mayor Michael Rama to go “berserk” and “squander” the city’s money, he said.
“BO-PK is going to fight it out. We are here to protect the interest of the city. We are here for check and balance,” Tomas said.
The balance of power in the City Council was disturbed when three members earlier bolted the BO-PK and declared “independence”.
The BO-PK now has nine allies in the City Council while Team Rama has five. The three “independent” councilors – Gerry Carillo, Richard Osmeña and Noel Wenceslao – are expected to side with Team Rama.
Tomas said a lot of pressure was being focused on last-term BO-PK Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias whose vote could tilt the balance in case of a showdown in the City Council.
“Everyone has talked to him and there is a lot of pressure being applied to him right now,” he said.
City Hall sources said the Rama administration wanted to have the upper hand at the City Council before the mayor submits his P35 billion proposed budget for 2015.
“Mike Rama wants control to prepare for 2016,” said the former mayor.
The Local Finance Committee has been meeting with Rama’s executive assistant , Jose Daluz III, to finalize the executive budget to be submitted to the city council by Oct. 15.
Cebu City has a current 2014 budget of P5.9 billion.
A supplemental budget worth P500 million is pending review with the budget committee.
“Mike does not want check and balance. He just wants to do whatever he wants,” said Tomas.
The jockeying for control of the City Council’s budget and laws committees is directly related to passage of the annual budget for 2015 and reelection plans of Mayor Rama in 2016.
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