Rama: Why should I debate with Tomas?
Cebu City residents cannot expect a debate between Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and his predecessor Tomas Osmeña similar to last Sunday’s televised presidential debate.
Despite recent challenges issued by Osmeña to debate with him, Rama said he won’t be giving his arch rival that opportunity.
“They are not deserving of my presence. Why? Wa pa gani’y debate, nag-conclude na sila (Even without a debate, they have already concluded). Number two, you know already what lies they have been spreading. Why would I be seeing people who are liars? What will the debate be into? Entrenching their lies? I don’t think I will give them that opportunity,” Rama told reporters yesterday.
What the people should decide on, he said, is if he’s accomplished something in his administration and if Osmeña is only giving promises.
The debate for the five presidential candidates is needed since none of them served as president, he said. Rama said he’s been mayor for two terms already.
The closest the two got to a debate was when both Rama and Osmeña were interviewed during a radio program at dyAB.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Osmeña said several listeners are asking for a local debate between him and Rama.
“I hope this happens, although I am doubtful. I am willing to go to any debate on five minutes’ notice. No notes, no preparation required. No questions are off limits. Full transparency,” he said in his post.
Sought for comment on Rama’s refusal, he said he still hopes it can push through.
“I believe that Rama will agree to debate,” he said in a text message.
Osmeña also commended Liberal Party (LP) bet Mar Roxas for doing a “cool job” during the debate.
“No rough edges, no air of uncertainty, he crafted simple arguments to project intelligence. That’s a hard act to follow. Binay looked evasive. He looked like he didn’t even want to be there. For his own benefit, it’s a good thing Mike Rama didn’t coach him or he would have started singing,” he said.
The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan is an LP ally while Team Rama is connected with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Osmeña also praised Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe, saying they did well “because people did not have high expectations.”
As for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, he said she also performed well “but people had high expectations of her feisty, witty reputation so she ended looking generic.”
Rama said he was unable to watch the presidential debate, though he read news stories about the event.
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