P-Noy back to campaign for Mar-Leni, BO-PK candidates
Just one week after he campaigned for Liberal Party (LP) candidates in Argao town in southern Cebu, President Benigno Aquino III was back in Cebu yesterday in another bid to get votes for standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and his running mate Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
Aquino attended the proclamation rally of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) led by former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña at the Provincial Capitol grounds.
“When I retire from politics in 64 days, I would need someone to sustain the gains of Daang Matuwid,” Aquino addressed a crowd of 7,000 to 8,000 supporters based on police estimates.
If Roxas does not succeed him, Aquino said the new president might “take a left turn or U-turn from Daang Matuwid.”
He described the other presidentiables as “one with a foul mouth, one who steals, and one who keeps secret their health condition,” but did not drop any names.
“There aren’t any qualified other than Mar and Leni,” said Aquino.
Aquino said what other candidates have promised have already been done during his term. Roxas and Robredo would be the right tandem to continue what he has started, the President said.
He said his administration has constructed 7,900 public school classrooms in Cebu province as part of the 185,000 classrooms that the national government targets to build.
Aquino said it was also under his administration that the budget for infrastructure projects in Cebu was increased to P38.4 billion.
In a briefing in August last year, however, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson told the President that Cebu received about P23 billion worth of infrastructure projects from 2010 to 2015, about half of the P42 billion allotted for Central Visayas for the period.
President Aquino left immediately after his 30-minute speech.
Roxas, for his part, said he would prioritize the generation of jobs and the improvement of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) under his administration.
He said the future of Filipinos is bright and should not be put to waste by making the wrong choices on May 9.
“Convince your family, friends, neighbors that that bright future is in the hands of Mar and Leni,” said Roxas.
Also present during the rally were LP senatorial bets Cresente Paez, Franklin Drilon, and Ralph Recto as well as reelectionists Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, and the BO-PK slate.
The proclamation rally also served as a venue for Osmeña, founder and standard-bearer of BO-PK, and reelectionist Gov. Hilario Davide III to woo the votes of about 5,000 families covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1, which provides a scheme for the settlers to own the properties they were occupying.
Osmeña vowed to resolve the issue in his first 60 days in office, if elected as mayor, or he would resign.
“Naa koy special commitment. Sabot tang occupants sa 93-1. Ug mohatag mo og straight ticket sa BO-PK, (I have a special commitment. I would like to make a pact with 93-1 occupants. If you give BO-PK a straight ticket) I guarantee I’ll solve that problem or I will resign as mayor,” Osmeña told the crowd.
He was confident that he would not end up resigning, saying “I’ll give you the best Christmas you ever had.”
Osmeña and Davide signed a covenant on stage in the presence of 93-1 Movement president Emily Maltos and the entire BO-PK slate as witnesses.
“Kung kaloy-an ta sa Ginoo ug sa katawhan, kami mapili usab nga Gobernador ug Mayor uban sa among mga Bise ug Provincial Board o City Council, kitang tanan makakita dayon og kasulbaran nga nagtuman sa mga katungod sa taga 93-1 ug sa mga katawhan sa Probinsya ug sa Syudad sa Sugbo,” read the one-page document.
(If by the mercy of God and the people, we are chosen again as governor and mayor together with our vice and provincial board and city council, we will all see an an immediate solution that will follow the rights of the 93-1 and the people of the province and city of Cebu.)
No specific actions were committed.
Turnover of the lots to the settlers has been stalled because a lot of the beneficiaries have not paid their dues. To help the settlers, the Cebu City government offered a land swap deal. The city and provincial governments, however, could not agree on the terms.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was unimpressed and described the covenant as an “empty promise” and “political nonsense.” He said the signing ceremony was “all showbiz (showbusiness).”
“Just bring the province to come in and we will make P500 million plus all those agreed upon in the presence of (former Cebu governor) Vicente “Tingting” dela Cerna. I’m just really wondering why Junjun (Davide) is allowing himself to be part of this shenanigan,” Rama said.
He was referring to the proposal on the table for the city to pay P500 million plus a lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) for the 93-1 lots, which still need approval by the City Council and the Provincial Board.
“They are still out looking in. He (Osmeña) is going to lose. We are going to win. Then who can solve the problem? Not the loser. It will be the winner. Never mind whoever will be the governor. That will still be the standing offer (P500 million),” he said.
The 93-1 lots are located within 11 Cebu City barangays, namely, Camputhaw, Capitol Site, Kalunasan, Busay, Luz, Lahug, Mabolo, Apas, Lorega San-Miguel, Kasambagan and Tejero.
If reelected as mayor, Rama vowed to resolve the dispute right away.
“I will tell you again and again. Let politics be a part of it and that will not be solved… I’m sorry, but that is the truth,” he added.
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