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‘Aggressive vs Diplomatic’: Acting Mayor Garcia takes different approach from Rama

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 14,2024 - 06:06 PM

acting mayor garcia

Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia delivers a message in this August 28 file photo. | Screengrab from Cebu City News and Information

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said he will adopt a more diplomatic approach to problems at Cebu City Hall during his six-month tenure.

Garcia said that one of his goals during his 6-month assumption as acting mayor would be to address specific issues with agencies where the government has ongoing friction, such as the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT).

When asked about how he would differ from Mayor Rama, acting mayor Garcia said that while Rama may have taken an aggressive approach, he prefers a more diplomatic one in solving problems.

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“I would have done it differently. My predecessor [has] maybe a more aggressive approach, me, I like to look it on a more diplomatic approach kay basin this time it will work,” he said in a media conference on Tuesday, May 14.

He mentioned that he wants to operate the city hall on his own way.

“My department heads must align with my direction and vision so I set down the tone, more particularly my policy, the number one I stated is the policy of diplomacy,” Garcia said.

Moreover, acting mayor Garcia expressed his intention to prioritize the Palarong Pambansa, considering it as the largest event during his tenure, while also tackling the water issue in the area.

He stated that he does not care about whom the mayor appointed to run the MCWD or the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). What matters to him is who will be available to help him address problem-solving.

Last May 11, Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia received the assumption order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Central Visayas designating him as acting mayor for six months.

On the same day, the suspension order against Mayor Michael Rama and seven others also took effect.

The suspension ordered against Rama stemmed from a case that involved the reassigning of several city hall employees which resulted in the city government’s failure to pay them their wages for 10 months.

On May 2, the Ombudsman made its decision over the administrative case filed by four City Hall employees – Filomena Atuel, Maria Almicar Dionggzon, Sybil Ann Ybañez, and Chito Dela Cerna – against Rama and some officers last April.

In an eight-page resolution, Ombudsman Samuel Martires said they found sufficient grounds to put Rama and several City Hall executives under preventive suspension for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a public officer and conduct prejudicial to the best interest among others.

According to Martires, there is ‘strong evidence’ showing the respondents of their guilt and the charges lodged against them hence their suspension and the ascension of acting mayor Garcia./ with reports from Morexette Marie Erram

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TAGS: Cebu City, Michael Rama, Raymond Garcia

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