Cebu City denies playing partisan over political rallies, events
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Tuesday, April 19 denied that his administration is playing partisan over political groups that want to host events here.
During a press interview on Tuesday, Rama apologized to supporters of the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis Pangilinan for the ‘miscommunication and misinterpretation’.
“I personally would like to apologize,” said Rama.
Rama, however, clarified that supporters of Leni-Kiko were not the only groups whose permits to hold election-related activities in the city were denied.
The mayor presented documents stating that they have also turned down a request from organizers of the UniTeam of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to hold their Cebu grand rally at the Plaza Independencia.
Rama added that the city government has disallowed the holding of political activities in state-owned properties and parks such as the Plaza Independencia.
“The Plaza Independencia, that park cannot be a venue, except for SRP (South Road Properties), as a site for a political rally,” said Rama, who is a political ally of the UniTeam.
Leni-Kiko supporters here in Cebu earlier called out Rama and accused him of playing favoritism in accommodating political events in the city.
The Cebu City Youth – Central Hub, one of the groups backing the Presidential bid of Robredo, reported that the city government denied, multiple times, their request to hold the PinkHimamat.
The PinkHimamat was a ‘family, fun walk’ held last April 9 led by Jessica Marie “Aika” Robredo, the eldest daughter of the country’s vice president. It was organized by Cebu Youth for Leni.
“Pinkhimamat was blocked time and time again (with documentation, timestamped)… We were told, and may we add – beyond what is the prescribed time frame in the Anti-Red Tape Act – that no political events would be held nor permits issued for a fun walk involving government-run centers – Plaza, Fuente, Cebu City Sports Complex. We humbly and patiently acceded,” portions of the group’s statement read.
“We, the youth and organizers of PinkHimamat, condemn what is looking like a political accommodation by Cebu City City Mayor Mike Rama as shown in yesterday’s unity Rally which happened at the same centers denied us last April 9, 2022. The assumption is that permits were given as the Unity Walk in fact took place yesterday April 17, 2022. Why then were our applications denied by City Hall for the route impacting the same yesterday?” they added.
Their statement came a day after UniTeam supporters staged a Unity Walk on Easter Sunday, April 17 which covered major roads in uptown and downtown Cebu City. /rcg
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