‘Time heals all wounds’

By: Doris C. Bongcac, Edison Delos Angeles, Jose Santino S. Bunachita June 24,2015 - 12:51 AM

 

Is former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña (above) warming up to the idea of wife Councilor Margot Osmeña (above right) aligning with councilor Mary Ann delos Santos for next year's election?

Is former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña (above) warming up to the idea of wife Councilor Margot Osmeña (above right) aligning with councilor Mary Ann delos Santos for next year’s election?(CDN/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Could talks between former rivals  lead to ‘M and M’ tandem?

Former mayor Tomas Osmeña last June 22, tuesday confirmed  that he sat down with former rival Mary Ann delos Santos last Friday to discuss a possible new political alliance.

“Time changes everything. Time heals all wounds,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Other than saying they had “very positive discussions”, the head of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), was tightlipped about  what offer  he made for her to join the party when he and wife Councilor Margot Osmeña visited his former nemesis at her Lahug residence last Friday.

He and Delos Santos,  an ally of bitter Osmeña rival Alvin Garcia under Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Kusug), faced off in the 2007 mayoral elections in Cebu City.

For 2016,  Osmeña said he does not discount the possibility of an  “M and M” (Margot and Mary Ann) tandem for mayor and vice mayor.

“If there is a clamor, I will listen to everything. But right now, it’s me and Joy Young (for mayor and vice mayor),” he said.

BO-PK is still firming up its slate for next year’s elections for the filing of candidacies in October.

He said the meeting was brief.  They did not stay for dinner.

He would not say who  initiated the meeting.

“I’m not her (delos Santos’) spokesman but we are talking.  But I can’t be presumptuous to say (what we talked  about) because we are still talking.  But we had very positive discussions,” he added.

Delos Santos said she was  consulting  family and friends on the offer to join BO-PK.

“Now, I am at another major crossroad in my political life, the inevitable need to decide on a political party affiliation. I have discussed this with close relations and family so I can have a broader perspective to arrive at a rational decision,” she told CDN.

FACTORS

She said she has several factors to consider.

“I guess the most pressing issue is who can I trust to be a friend and political ally? Who can I work with to be a better or the best public servant? Who can give me emotional ease and the least cerebral tension?” she said.

Delos Santos was elected councilor in Cebu City north district in 2013, after Kusug allied with Team Rama of Mayor Michael Rama.

“She (delos Santos) gets along very well with Margot and the other (BO-PK) councilors and everything else will all come to play,” was all that Osmena said when asked what prompted him to court delos Santos.

The  meeting between the former rivals drew mixed reactions from allies  of delos Santos.

Former Cebu City mayor Alvin Garcia said he doesn’t think she will accept the offer of Osmeña to join BO-PK.

“She has been very vocal about a few families controlling our politics. She’ll go against her principle (if she joins BO-PK) and I think she is a principled person,” Garcia told CDN.

“A lot of her supporters who suffered during the Osmeña administration would not receive it positively. Even her own barangay constituents will not allow her,” he added. Delos Santos was  barangay captain of Lahug for 18 years.

Garcia said Lahug now enjoys great support from the Rama administration.

“I think that her only issue is the city hospital which has been rebid and really a minor one. So I believe she’ll stick it out with Mike,” he added.

NOT OVER YET

Mayor  Rama, for his part, said he was not worried.

“When I was preparing for Team Rama, I was doing my invitation too and  expanded to political family names, including Mary Ann. There will never be an end to invitations,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with being invited. It’s part of democracy. And of course, if you entertain it, it’s your call. You will be accountable for what will be the reaction of your colleagues,” Rama said.

“I’m very clear : Until it’s over, it’s not over,” he added.

Delos  hasn’t attended recent Team Rama meetings but “she has never been considered out. She has always been a part of Team Rama,” the mayor added.

Rama’s relationship with delos Santos was strained over the bidding of  the Cebu City Medical Center project where he had to declare a failure.

Delos Santos was vocal against the lowest bidder. She was later removed from the Bids and Awards Committee.

Councilor Sisinio Andales of BO-PK said he would welcome delos Santos with open arms.

“She is welcome to the BO-PK family. She would be an asset to the group knowing that she has a stronghold in Lahug. The group can go along with her and we are willing to adjust if necessary so that she will not feel isolated,” Andales told CDN.

BO-PK has to fill up five slots in its slate for next year’s elections.

Osmena said even Councilor Nestor Archival may be considered for vice mayor.

Former councilor Augustus Pe Jr. was appointed  BO-PK campaign manager but may also end up a councilor bet, he said.

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TAGS: 'M and M' tandem?, Alvin Garcia, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, BO-PK, BOPK, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, Councilor Margot Osmeña, Councilor Sisinio Andales, Councilor Sisinio Andales of BO-PK, Former mayor Tomas Osmeña, Kugi Uswag Sugbo, Mary Ann delos Santos

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