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Cebu City News May 2013

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Cebu City Map Locator
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View of Cebu City from the bay
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Aerial View of Cebu City
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Aerial View of Metro Cebu
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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Cebu City Cathedral
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Magellan's Cross in Cebu City
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
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Mormon Temple Lahug cebu city philippines

Red tape stalls construction

By Jujemay G. Awit


SOME P87 million worth of school buildings in Cebu City have yet to be constructed despite being in the budget of 2010.

Reason: Red tape.

Papers required to proceed with the constuction have not been processed or are pending before City Hall offices.

Also, the City Council has yet to pass resolutions authorizing the mayor to sign the contracts for the construction.

“Too bad the classrooms cannot be used this school year,” Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) Chief Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez said.

Notices to proceed with construction have been given for four school buildings in Barangays Mabolo, Pardo, Mambaling and Guadalupe.

Enriquez said that construction of the four buildings, which cost a total of over P50 million, cannot start because there is still no Council resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Rama to sign the contracts.

A P14.4-million, four-storey, 20-classroom building for Mabolo High School was bid out on April 12, 2012.

A four-storey building each for Mambaling and Pardo elementary schools was bid out on Oct. 3, 2012.

The Mambaling school building has 20 classrooms and costs over P15 million.

The Pardo school building has eight classrooms and costs over P6 million.

The approved budget contract (ABC) from the City Treasurer’s Office came out two weeks later.

The P14.9-million, four-storey, 20-classroom building for the Guadalupe Elementary School was bid out October 8 last year.

Enriquez said that for school buildings, it is the Department of Education (DepEd) that crafts the program of works and estimates (Powe).

The Powe document goes to DEPW. A bidding follows.

The Powe document then is sent to the budget and treasurer’s offices for the ABC. The Office of the City Administrator takes a final review of the ABC.

The P100 million budget for these school buildings was approved in 2010 in a fifth supplemental budget.

Aside from the four that already have notices to proceed documents, three more schools planned in 2010 have yet to be built.

The approved budget contract for a P21-million, four-storey, 16-classroom for the Regino Mercado Elementary School in Barangay Pahina Central is pending before the treasurer’s office.

Also pending before the treasurer’s office are papers for the P7 million, three-storey, six-classroom building for Barangay San Jose.

In the case of the P4.4-million, three-storey, nine-classroom building at the Don Vicente Rama High School in Barangay San Nicolas, DepEd has yet to forward the Powe for it to DEPW.

Enriquez said the schools could be used by October but public elementary and high schools do not have a semester break, making building transfers disruptive of classes.

Cebu City students from eight barangays would have to wait until the next school year to be able to use the new school buildings.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young had complained about the lengthy process just to build one school building.

Cebu City lacks hundreds of classrooms to accommodate enrollees for this schoolyear.

The shortage will increase next schoolyear because of the growing student population, Young had said.






75 schools in Cebu increase tuition

By Bernadette A. Parco


CEBU CITY -- At least 120 private schools in Central Visayas have confirmed a tuition increase for school year 2013-2014, said a Department of Education (DepEd) official.

The rate of increase they applied for varies, but the average increase is eight percent, said Dr. Marcial Degamo, DepEd Quality Assurance and Accountability Division chief.

Degamo said the deadline for the application for tuition increase was last May 15, but applications were received as early as December last year.

There are 75 schools in Cebu Province who applied for an increase, along with 30 schools in Bohol, 10 schools in Negros Oriental, and five schools in Siquijor.

Degamo also revealed there are three schools in Cebu Province that lack a permit to operate and are being given technical assistance until they are able to meet DepEd’s standards and requirements.

In Cebu, 28 schools that will increase tuition this year are in the provincial division; three are in Bogo City; four in Lapu-Lapu; three in Mandaue City; 18 in Cebu City; 12 in Talisay City; three in Toledo City; two in Danao City; and one each in Carcar City and Naga City.

Based on the list provided by DepEd-Central Visayas, the highest tuition increase in terms of percentage was applied for by St. Andrews School in Amlan town, Negros Oriental province, at 40 percent.

Second on the list is the First Assembly of God Christian School Inc. in Barangay Cansojong in Talisay City, at 37 percent.

Talisay Malayan Academy in Poblacion, Talisay City wants to increase its tuition in the secondary level by 28.57 percent; Lyceum de San Sebastian in Compostela town, 27 percent.

In Cebu City, the highest tuition increase was applied for by the Pardo Christian School in Barangay Kinasang-an, at 20 percent. This was followed by Harvest Christian School International in Barangay Mabolo, at 15 percent.

Colegio dela Inmaculada Concepcion will raise their tuition by 10 percent; and St. Theresa’s College, nine percent.

The lowest tuition increase applied for are between 0.10 percent and 0.20 percent, which were submitted by East Visayan Academy and Temple Christian School in Talisay City and Sienna School of Naga in Naga City.

Adjustments

Degamo said there are some schools with a high percentage increase because these schools may not have increased tuition in the last five years.

“The increase is needed for private schools to be at the same level as public schools, to maintain the quality of learning and improve their academic performance,” he added.

He said the schools want to attract more enrollees so they have to improve their academic performance, while some will use the increase to raise the teachers’ pay.

“The salary of a private school teacher is about P12,000 but the public school teacher receives up to P20,000. Some teachers from the private school could opt to transfer to a public school,” said Degamo.

Competition is stiff, he said, with DepEd hiring more than 5,000 teachers for this school year.

The increase must also be used to improve facilities and upgrade equipment.

Other fees

Based on the same list, the same schools also applied for an increase in fees other than tuition, and these can go up to a 56-percent adjustment.

Cordova Catholic Cooperative in Cordova town, Cebu did not apply for a tuition increase, but proposed to raise its miscellaneous fees by 13 percent.

Degamo disclosed that applications for increase were received by his office as well as notices from some schools that had to close because of low enrollment, no return of investment and the loss of their teachers.

“Last year, there were two schools. This year, only one (closed),” Degamo said.

However, three schools in Cebu Province lack a permit to operate. Two of these schools are in Lapu-Lapu City and one is located in Cebu City.

Degamo declined to give the names of the schools for security reasons.

“They are being given technical assistance. We are also giving them time to improve (their facilities and academic performance) and to submit the requirements,” he said.

Help desks

With a few days left before public schools open classes on Monday, DepEd has set up public assistance desks to help facilitate enrollment.

An information and action center to accommodate complaints and inquiries is at the DepEd-Central Visayas office in Barangay Sudlon, Cebu City, as well as school division offices where these desks are manned by superintendents.

“The usual problem we encounter is the transfer of students from private schools to public schools,” said Ida Cabantan, officer-in-charge of DepEd 7’s administrative division.

She said school records and transcripts are not usually released because of non-payment of tuition or other fees.

Several reminders were also issued by DepEd-Central Visayas Regional Director Dr. Carmelita Dulangon amid the preparations of teachers and parents for school opening.

“There should be no collection of contribution,” she said, adding that such incidents should be reported to the education department.

Smooth

“For those enrolling in private schools, you should check if the schools have a permit to operate,” said Dulangon.

The permit is issued so DepEd can check the curriculum that is used by private schools. She said there is a temporary permit that can be issued and that permits should be renewed regularly.

The Public Assistance Station is being implemented as part of the Oplan Balik Eskwela to ensure the smooth opening of classes, said Dulangon in a memorandum issued this month.

The primary aim of the program is to “address the problems commonly encountered during this period to ensure that pupils/students are properly enrolled and able to attend school by the first day of classes on June 3, 2013.”

All schools division and city superintendents were directed to open a help desk that would be manned by a senior staff member, equipped with hotlines to receive calls, text messages, fax messages and emails of complaints, requests and suggestions from parents and concerned citizens. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Cebu NGO to hold Mind-Share session on K-12 implementation

By Rachelle M. Nessia


CEBU CITY, May 29 (PIA) -- The Coalition for Better Education (CBE) will hold a Mind Share Session on May 31 to discuss the preparations done by the national government in preparing public schools for the second phase implementation of K to 12 program.

Guests during the forum are officials from the regional offices of the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Eduation Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to specifically tackle how ready are the schools for K to 12.

K to 12 covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education or six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School.

This is the second Mind Share Session held by CBE this year after its first Mind Share session in February this year which discussed public-private partnership in implementing education programs for the marginalized sector.

The sessions are regularly conducted for CBE’s more than 300 active members to gain insight into current education and trends. (RMN/PIA Cebu)

Mayor snubs Young, names Poblete as OIC

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday appointed City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete as officer-in-charge of City Hall when he continues his 22-day vacation leave today.

Rama no longer designated Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young as acting mayor during his absence, saying that Young “has not given due respect” to his policies.

As acting mayor, Young suspended the clearing operations in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita last week, a project that Rama pushed after a fire razed the area last month.

Young also issued a cease-and-desist order against the construction of a daycare center in Sitio Mahayahay in Barangay Apas.

“I thought I could give it (designation) to him (Young) but now I don’t think he knows what he’s doing,” said Rama, in a news conference yesterday.

When Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) was still mayor, Rama pointed out, every time he was designated as acting mayor, he respected what Osmeña had put in place.

“There is such a thing as due respect,” he said.

Rama went to City Hall yesterday and signed the memorandum designating Poblete as OIC of the city from May 28 to 30. Rama’s second term as mayor will begin on June 30, seven weeks after defeated Osmeña by some 6,000 votes.

Limited

The memo to Poblete reads, in part: “You are hereby authorized to sign all pertinent documents and perform such other functions as may be necessary, subject to the provisions set forth in Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 and such other pertinent rules and regulations.”

Section 46 provides that the local chief executive can designate an OIC if he or she is traveling within the country but outside his territorial jurisdiction for a period not exceeding three consecutive days.

The OIC, however, doesn’t have the power to appoint, suspend or dismiss employees.

Asked about the matter, Young said Rama’s move to appoint Poblete instead of him is no big deal.

Listen

Young said he issued a suspension order on the clearing operation in Ermita because he wanted all the affected families in the area to be heard and consulted.

“We, the people in power, should have the patience and heart for them. Those who have opposed it deserve to be listened to one more time. We have to give them that peace of mind,” he said.

Young said the consultation he scheduled with Bato residents yesterday pushed through, but he has turned over the matter to the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.

He said if his office will lead the consultation, it might be construed as politicking.

As to the cease-and-desist order he issued on the construction of Mahayahay Daycare Center, Young explained the stage in the area would be demolished.

The construction of the stage, he said, was funded by him and Osmeña for the Marai Homeowners’ Association in Sitio Mahayahay.

Young said he will sue Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman if they will push through with the demolition of the stage.

Rama’s 22-day vacation will end in the second week of June.

Will Cebu City, Province pursue land swap, joint projects during new term?

By Flornisa M. Gitgano and Jujemay G. Awit


OUTGOING Cebu City officials expect a better relationship between Governor-elect Hilario Davide III and reelected Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

A 2006 proposal for the City and Province to exchange some land stands a better chance of getting pursued, they also said.

“Who doesn’t want a good relationship between the Province and the City?” asked Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young.

According to the proposal, Cebu City was supposed to give Block 27 of the North Reclamation Area to the Province, which, in return, will turn over the lots covered under Provincial Ordinance 93-1 to the residents.

The ordinance covers 11 barangays where close to 5,000 families live in Cebu City.

Third-term Cebu City Councilor Jose Daluz III agreed that the 93-1 issue should be resolved once and for all.

He cited as an example the issue of the Lahug Market, which was resolved in Rama’s first term as mayor.

Daluz explained that when Rep. Tomas Osmeña was still mayor, the City wanted to transfer Lahug Market but the available lot belonged to the Province. By then, the chief executives of the two local government units were no longer in good terms.

But during Rama’s administration, which began in 2010, the market was installed at the Province-owned lot, which Daluz described as a “product of cooperation.”

Solutions

Osmeña has blamed the collapse of the land swap proposal on Rama’s 2006 privilege speech questioning the terms of the deal. Rama, who was then vice mayor, had said the City would be placed at a disadvantage if it gave away a clean property in exchange for scattered lots that had yet to be paid for by their occupants.

After bolting from the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) less than year into his term as mayor, Rama explained his stand. He said there might be legal repercussions to giving away a property, which has the potential to be worth a billion pesos, in exchange for the 93-1 properties. The City would have to collect amortization from the residents.

“The point is, we are providing solutions to 5,000 families. How can it not be fair when it is a land swap?” asked Young.

He said that the City Government has even given properties to the University of the Philippines and the Department of Agriculture.

“Where is the logic?” said Young, whose term as vice mayor ends on June 30.

Still on the matter of transitions, Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale said the Province will have around P300 million in its general fund by the time suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia returns to office after June 19.

Capitol funds

“At least naa siya’y kwarta (The only thing I can say is that at least the Capitol now has funds). When I took over, only P90 million was left, but now the general fund has P300 million plus,” Magpale said.

Magpale attributed the increase to the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), of which the Province gets P150 million every month.

Based on the Provincial Treasurer’s Office records, the IRA for the past four months was P598.42 million, from P533.71 million in the same period last year.

The Provincial Treasurer’s Office also showed that the Capitol’s revenues reached P747.15 million from January to April 2013, from P660 million in the same months last year.

Magpale said the Capitol has managed to pay the bills that were presented with legal basis or proper documents. When she first assumed office as governor, she had called attention to nearly P1 billion in payables.

The payables that were not paid are those whose contracts were signed before the Provincial Board could authorize the transactions.

Turnover

Magpale said the Capitol will pay the P57-million payable for the bulk water supply project of the Province, which should have been paid in August last year.

“Kung mabalik sya (If she will be back) then we will turn this over back to her for the next 11 days. On June 30, the turnover will be to governor-elect Junjun Davide,” Magpale said.

Garcia’s six-month suspension began last Dec. 19 as a penalty for the administrative case filed by the late Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez.

Magpale’s running mate, Hilario Davide III, was elected governor last May 13 with a margin of around 160,000 votes over Rep. Pablo John Garcia.

Governor Garcia, meanwhile, won a first term as congresswoman of the third district, where she will replace her brother. Another brother, Nelson, won a reelection as mayor of Dumanjug.

Neither Governor Garcia nor her daughter and lawyer, Christina Frasco, was available for comment yesterday.





Recall elections hatched against Mike?

By Marigold P. Lebumfacil/MIT


IF REELECTED Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama plays his cards well in running the affairs of the City Government, Cebuanos won’t have to elect someone else as mayor in 2016. If Tomas Osmeña, the defeated mayoralty candidate, will try to make a comeback then, it will be difficult for him to regain control of City Hall and it might be the end of his political career.


I know Tomas will move heaven and earth to regain City Hall. He filed electoral protest against Mike, claiming that the recently-concluded elections were tainted with fraud and cheating. But we know already how election protests move. It will be decided weeks before or after the next elections.

Sources said that at this early stage, Tomas and his Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies plan to initiate a recall election against Mike.

Tomas is banking on the support of his barangay captains to initiate the move. You see that. Tomas is really “raring and dying” to control Cebu City.

A recall election is a mechanism to remove an elected official before his term ends. A petition is filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), following the signing of a recall petition of 20 percent of the total registered voters. The Comelec will verify these signatures and if found authentic, the poll body will schedule an election.

However, a recall election can only be held one year after the assumption and one year before the term of the official subject for removal ends. And Tomas can run in that recall election. There have been several cases of a recall election that prospered like in Caloocan and Angeles.

Tomas cannot humbly accept his defeat because he thinks nobody can beat him. Even in defeat, he is still arrogant. But I think we won’t mind him because he’s already a political has-been.

Will governor-elect Hilario “Junjun” Davide III be just a figurehead, while Tomas runs affairs at the Capitol? This suspicion surfaced because it’s public knowledge that Tomas “masterminded” the candidacy of Davide in 2010 and in the recent elections.

There are even theories that Tomas failed in his bid in the mayoralty post because he “invested” so much in Davide’s candidacy. The P400 million he poured in the first district was to pump up Davide’s candidacy.

And I think that’s one of the reasons Cebuanos did not vote for him. That amount could have helped improve basic services and infrastructure in the south district. But he gave it to the province to increase the political stock of Davide. Morag nagabaan si Tomas sa mga botante sa siyudad.

Davide, for his part, said he will listen to Tomas’s advice. I hope he will just listen and not succumb to the pressure of his political mentor and backer. Tomas is a dictator. What Tomas wants, Tomas gets. The reason his relationship with former mayor Alvin Garcia and Mike Rama turned sour was because Tomas wanted to impose his whims and caprices on the two chief executives.

Imagine telling Alvin and Mike to do this and that while he (Tomas) had no public accountability. I’m afraid he’ll do that again to Davide and the latter will succumb to the former’s pressure as payment for a “political debt.” Without Tomas’s support, Davide would have experienced difficulty in his gubernatorial bid.

Ang akong gikabalakan nga adto na unya ni magyampungad si Tomas sa Capitol unya mahimo na lang tawo-tawo sa humayan si Junjun. Wala na god na siyay trabaho for the next three years. Influence peddling na lang nang iya.

Cebu’s street kids to perform in “Pasundayag”

By Marigold P. Lebumfacil/MIT


CEBU, Philippines - Eighty (80) street children will be featured in Cebu City's "Pasundayag" - a musical and dance extravaganza spearheaded by the Cebu City Government thru the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) and the Cebu City Tourism Foundation Inc.

The event's grand presentation and recital will be held on June 2 at the Ayala Center Cebu, which will start at 6:00 pm.

It is the result of the annual Cebu City Summer Workshop and Recital, initiated by the CCTC, and these street children are now known as members of the Cebu City Children Performing Arts (CCCPA).

Cinbeth Orellano, the executive director of CCTC and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) officer-in-charge, said that they made this program in line with the Philippine Heritage Month.

"As mandated by the city government we at CCTC, may initiate a program of promoting, encouraging and developing tourism as a means of projecting Cebu culture, history, traditions and its natural beauty, in order to accelerate the development of the City of Cebu," she said.

Orellano added that the summer activity has greatly helped the children gain self-confidence and molded them to become responsible citizens of the society.

"It has developed their character and helped them learn the discipline to effectively cope with the day-to-day struggles of growing up. The summer workshop has taught them to love and appreciate Philippine culture, arts and history," Orellano said.

"Pasundayag, A Musical and Dance Extravaganza Participated by Different Icons" also include the special participation of Miss Cebu 2013 winners led by Namrata Neesah Murjani and her court, San Diego Dance Company, Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme, Inc. (GVSP), Jay Unchuan of Center for Pop, Cebu City Dance Sports Team, University of Cebu Dance Company, Lakwatsa Performers and Disco Jammers.

Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka (KMWK) talents, MagTV Na and Maayong Buntag Kapamilya hosts will also be participating in the one-day event.

The Cebu City Children Performing Arts will be doing productions numbers and different cultural and modern dance numbers along with the different dance group icons.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will be giving a keynote speech and distribute certificates to the Cebu City Children Performing Arts as well as to the choreographers, instructors and resource speakers.

The said event is in cooperation with Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City Task Force on Street Children and the Knapsack Dancers. (FREEMAN)






Cebu City Hall needs P70 million a month

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


IF THE City Council will have its way, the Cebu City Government will have to set aside at least P70 million every month for the allowances of barangay officials and workers, and the financial assistance for senior citizens.

City Treasurer Emma Villarete said the monthly release of the allowances and financial aid can be done if made through the distribution of cash cards.

Villarete said the City Government has been planning to implement the system and will soon meet with the Land Bank of the Philippines, one of banks where City Hall maintains accounts, to discuss the issue.

But Villarete cannot say if the system will be in place, adding that it will depend on how fast the bank can process the cash cards.

Factors

She could not also say if the council ordinance requiring the monthly release of the allowances and financial aid is possible under the present system at City Hall.

“Many factors have to be considered, like how fast concerned offices can submit payrolls. If not, the releasing will take time,” she said.

The allowances of the barangay officials and workers are being processed by the barangays. The allowances would need the daily time record and accomplishment of barangay officials and workers.

The financial assistance for senior citizens is processed by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs.

City Hall gives P5,000 a month as allowance to 80 barangay captains; P3,000 each to 560 barangay councilors; P2,000 each for 80 barangay secretaries; and P2,000 each for 80 barangay treasurers.

Increase

The City also gives P4,000 a month to each of 2,460 barangay tanods; P4,000 for 927 lupong ta-gapamayapa; P4,000 each for 346 street sweepers or barangay environmental officers; and P4,000 each for 250 daycare teachers.

Mayor Michael Rama promised to give P10,000 each to the city’s 60,000 senior citizens this year, and P12,000 next year.

Rama vetoed two ordinances passed by the City Council, which provided amendments to the City’s P5.19-billion budget for this year. He said the amendments were beyond the scope of the council’s powers.

The first amendatory ordinance provided for the monthly release of the senior citizens’ financial aid. The second ordinance requires the monthly release of the allowances of barangay officials and workers.

Both ordinances were proposed by councilors who are members of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, which dominates the council.

In the original budget ordinance, the allowances for seniors, barangay officials and barangay workers are supposed to be released in June and December.






Cebu City legal chief quits post after election

By Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac


HE’S on official leave, but City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez isn’t waiting for Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to kick him out. Bernaldez resigned effective May 15 while still on leave. Lyndon Basan heads the city’s legal office in an acting capacity. “I know that my term is co-terminus and its ends on June 30 based on protocol,” Bernaldez said. Bernaldez was among those who reportedly walked out of a meeting called by Rama before the May 13 elections wherein the mayor asked his department and section heads to help his re-election bid. The mayor said he wanted to know who he could count on. Bernaldez yesterday said he no longer wanted to wait for the end of his appointment. He said he wanted to “rest” and use his leave credits of 120 days accumulated since he joined the Cebu City government in 2005. He plans to join the corporate world when his leave ends. After his May 14 proclamation, Mayor Rama said there would be changes among the department and section heads at City Hall. The city legal officer took the cue. Councilor Jose Daluz III, Team Rama campaign manager, said he may be asked by the mayor to occupy the city administrator’s office to replace Jose Marie Poblete when Rama starts his second term in office on July 1. There have been talks among City Hall insiders that Poblete will head the city legal office. “But we’ll clear it up when the mayor returns,” Daluz said. Rama is on a 22-day leave to rest after the election. Team Rama allies refuse to say where he went. Calls to his cellphone were directed to a Mandarin speaking telephone operator. Daluz said Rama, who left the country last Sunday, is expected to return this Friday but will travel again to other parts of the country as part of his vacation. Daluz said Team Rama scheduled a June 1 victory party and was only waiting for Rama’s confirmation of the list of activities which they prepared for the event.

Team Rama’s fears ‘baseless’

By Jujemay G. Awit


POLL watchers need to watch carefully in the next elections.

This was the advice of Cebu City south district election officer Ferdinand Gujilde after Team Rama complained about the ballot box from a clustered precinct in Barangay Mambaling that was in the custody of the City Treasurer’s Office and two other ballot boxes from Barangays Luz and Cambinocot that were stored inside the canvassing center.

These were the polling precincts that were canvassed last because of defective compact flash cards.

“There was no irregularity, which means fears were unfounded, baseless,” Gujilde said, pointing out that Team Rama’s mayor and vice mayoral candidates—reelectionist Mike Rama and Councilor Edgardo Labella--won.

Gujilde said it was also shown that the ballots inside the Mambaling ballot box were intact and were properly sealed with the metal wire, plastic seal and packing tape.

“The problem is watchers don’t know what to watch out for,” he said.

Similar advice

This is also his stand on the issue raised by the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) when it filed a motion to count rejected ballots.

Gujilde said this was also part of the watcher’s job.

The watcher would have been the best person to question the rejected ballot at the level of the polling precinct under the jurisdiction of the Board of Election Inspectors. The motion was denied for lack of jurisdiction of the Cebu City Board of Canvassers, which Gujilde chairs. BOPK head and losing mayoral candidate Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) said they will file two separate electoral protests before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc. One protest will be for the mayoral elections and another for the close vice mayoral contest between vice mayor-elect Labella and reelectionist candidate Joy Augustus Young.

Osmeña said he has until Friday to file the protest because it should be filed 10 days after the proclamation of the mayor. Rama was proclaimed on May 14.

Young has more time to gather evidence and file a protest because Labella was proclaimed on May 16 after winning by a mere 184 votes.

Sourgraping

Team Rama campaign manager Jose Daluz III said he expected the complaint, adding that BOPK is just “bitter” for losing the mayoral and vice mayoral contests.

BOPK is wondering it won 12 of the 16 positions for councilor and the two city representatives but the top two posts went to Team Rama.

“They have to prove that the rejected ballots favor their candidate basin diay mas modaug pa nuon ang Team Rama (because it might come out that more of our candidates won),” Daluz said.

Daluz, who also denied there was vote-buying, said he is optimistic about the new set of councilors and the presiding officer.

“Some of the councilors are fair-minded. They will support the program of the mayor as long as it’s for the people,” he said.





More Cebuano voters cast votes last week

By Flornisa M. Gitgano, Jujemay G. Awit and Rebelander S. Basilan


MORE voters cast their votes last May 13 in Cebu Province than on May 10, 2010, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). An increase in voter turnout was also observed in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.

But in Lapu-Lapu City, only 74.36 percent of registered voters—128,898 out of 173,341—cast their votes in 199 clustered precincts, compared to 80.5 percent in 2010.

In Cebu Province, 80.86 percent—1,446,114 out of 1,788,498 registered voters—went to vote. This is higher than 2010’s 77 percent.

Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said the high turnout in last week’s elections can be due to the “cleansing” of automated system. It can also be because voters have become better informed, he added.

Among the towns, Ginatilan recorded the highest number of voters who actually voted, or 9,220 out of 10,168.

Bantayan Islands had the lowest turnout with only about 36 percent or 28,558 out of the 44,854 registered voters.

Rivalry

In Cebu City, 81.36 percent—or 445,576 votes out of the 548,681 registered voters—went to their assigned precincts last week, compared to 80 percent in 2010.

Cebu City South District Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde attributed this to the “intense rivalry” among the candidates.

“There is intense rivalry between BOPK (Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan) and Team Rama–UNA (United Nationalist Alliance). It's like a photo finish. It was close especially in the vice mayoral contest and it was shown in the results,” said Gujilde.

Councilor Edgardo Labella defeated reelectionist Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young with just 184 votes.

Gujilde said the voter turnout is what the election office would have expected for the presidential elections.

Lapu-Lapu City Election Officer Anna Fleur Gujilde said the turnout may be different in a presidential election.

“One of the factors (in the decrease) is that it was the midterm elections. Maybe voters are more interested in the presidential elections,” she said.

In Mandaue City, the turnout increased slightly to 73.5 percent from 73 percent in 2010. Out of the 187,318 registered voters, 137,684 exercised their right to vote in the city’s 205 clustered precincts last May 13.

PCOS

Mandaue’s voting population this year, though, was higher than 2010’s 4,505, said city election assistant Jacqueline Reuyan.

Reuyan said more voters may have decided to participate in the recent election because they are more familiar with the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine.

The PCOS system was introduced in the 2010 presidential elections.

Reuyan said the shorter wait at precincts may have also caused the increase in the turnout.

In the 2010 elections, the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) waited for all 10 voters to finish before letting in the next batch of voters. The long wait may have forced many voters to leave their polling centers, Reuyan said.

In last week’s elections, the BEI allowed another voter to enter the voting room as soon as a voter finished casting his or her vote.

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) yesterday commended the Comelec for ensuring the success of the May 13 elections.

The PB Members Ceasar Ian Zambo and Sergio Restauro, who both lost their bid for another term, were absent during the session.

In Cebu City, BOPK said it will file an electoral protest.

The party called for a count of rejected ballots during the canvassing, but the Comelec said the motion should have been made at the polling place.

The Comelec denied the BOPK motion for lack of jurisdiction by the Cebu City Board of Canvassers.

Cebu's Public Enemy 1 falls

By (Maria Armie Sheila Garde/Sunnex)


CEBU CITY (3rd Update 4:24 p.m.)-- Joavan Fernandez, the number one public enemy in Cebu province, was arrested Monday morning in a resort in Moalboal town, 12 days after he bolted detention in Talisay City.

A tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of Joavan in a resort in Barangay Saavedra, Moalboal, 85.4 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.

Police recovered a .45 caliber pistol in his possession at the time of his arrest. Arrested together with Joavan were Benito Restor and Carlito Cañada both of Minglanilla, Cebu.

Cañada was also with Joavan when the latter was arrested in May 6 in the residence of his father, Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, in Barangay Bulacao.

Police also recovered a pumpboat docked at the shore of the resort. A staff of the resort said two persons checked in late Sunday afternoon and Joavan was not one of them. They were just surprised when police arrived in the resort Monday morning regarding Joavan's presence.

Joavan was subjected to a physical examination at the Moalboal Police Station, Monday afternoon.

According to Talisay City Police Director Elmer Lim, the Cebu Provincial Police Office is still creating a team that will ensure the safe transport of Joavan from Moalboal to Talisay City.

Joavan has three pending warrants of arrest. One is for violation of the Comelec gun ban with a P300,000 bailbond, illegal possession of firearms with P500,000 bailbond, and illegal possession of explosive with no recommended bail.

As of this posting, police are silent on how Joavan managed to be out of police radar for 12 days after he bolted out of jail.

Joavan was arrested last May 6 on the strength of a bench warrant for slight physical injuries.

He had shot and injured a car shop watchman in Barangay San Isidro in April.

Police found in his possession a gun, bullets, and a hand grenade when he was arrested last May 8, and filed charges of illegal possession of firearms. The court has denied him bail.

But the mayor's son bolted his detention cell at the Talisay City police station past 11 p.m. of May 8.

Most CCMC nurses hired between July and Dec not interviewed

By Jujemay G. Awit


THE Civil Service Commission (CSC) 7 has ordered an investigation on the hiring of 17 nurses for the Cebu City Medical Center who were not interviewed by the Personnel Selection Board.

The Human Resource and Development Office, through acting head Evangeline Abatayo, confirmed that only three of the nurses were interviewed.

Fifteen passed the written exam, while two did not undergo an interview nor take the exam.

There was no explanation as to how this happened.

CSC 7 Director Karen Zerna ordered the head of their south field office, Nissi Cherith Asis, to look into the matter.

Whistleblower

Councilor Margarita Osmeña, chairperson of the committee on budget and finance, raised the matter in a letter to the commission.

She said the nurses were hired between July and December last year.

Since the political shakeup of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan in 2011, with the departure of Mayor Michael Rama and Councilors Edgardo Labella and Jose Daluz III, among others, the City Council has been extra critical of the activities of the executive department.

While most of questions it raised have been procedural in nature, the voting on resolutions and motions are delineated politically, as made obvious by the voting.

The council will be back in session on May 22, after a three-week break because of the holiday and the campaign season.

Cebu Interclub Football Cup opens

By Mars G. Alison


Hiroshi FC guns for its third straight Men’s Open title as the Cebu Amateur Football Club’s (CAFC) 13th Cebu Interclub Football Cup kicks off today in two separate venues. Games will be played at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) in Cebu City and the Aboitiz Sports Field in Subangdaku, Mandaue City. Hiroshi FC will open its title-retention bid against University of Cebu (UC)/Nigeria at the CCSC this morning. Other categories to be played at the CCSC are the 40-Above and the Under 18 (U18). To be contested at the Aboitiz Sports Field are the Ladies Open, U15, U13 and U11. A total of 57 teams will be seeing action in this tournament considered as one of the biggest football competitions outside Manila, eight more than last year’s entries. Two of the entries are coming from out of town – Ormoc and the Los Amigos from San Carlos City Negros Occidental. Two foreign teams based in Cebu will also be seeing action—Cebu Korea FC and the UC/Nigeria. This year, the tournament will also feature a Ladies Open after the category attracted four teams, Ateneo de Cebu (AdC), CTU FC, Samba Girls and USC. Last year, the category was cancelled due to no entries. Also for this year, the cash prize for the Men’s Open champion was lowered to P40,000 instead of last year’s P100,000. Francis Ramirez, one of the tournament directors, said that the cash prize was increased to a hundred thousand last year to attract strong contenders from outside Cebu.

Cayetano leads Senate race in Cebu City

By Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex


MANILA -- Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano got the most number of votes in Cebu City, based on the certificate of canvass (COC) transmitted to the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) on Friday.

Cayetano was ahead by only 8,000 votes to Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who is leading the official tally of the NBOC. Cayetano got 248,619 votes while Poe-Llamanzares received 240,010 from the "Queen City of the South."

It was a nine-three victory for the administration slate Team PNoy in Cebu City with Juan Miguel Zubiri, Nancy Binay and Richard Gordon of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) breaking in the "Magic 12."

Cebu City has a total of 547,681 registered voters, while Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the country with 2.5 million voters.

Cayetano visited Cebu City last February wherein he met with factory workers of Woven Furniture.

Meanwhile, other senatorial candidates who made it to the top 15 in Cebu City are Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (234,754 votes) Francis Escudero (230,614), Edgardo Angara (230,044), Aquilino Pimentel III (222,607), Loren Legarda (220,817), Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (218,807), Zubiri (200,500), Binay (196,088), Risa Hontiveros (185,776), Richard Gordon (181,323) Cynthia Villar (179,654), Antonio Trillanes IV (169,047), and Gringo Honasan (150,270).

Delay worries Gwen's camp

By Flornisa M. Gitgano and Oscar C. Pineda


DELAYS in the results from Balamban and Tuburan prevented canvassers from confirming last night whether suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia or Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha won the congressional seat in Cebu province's third district.

The governor's daughter, lawyer Christina Frasco, said in a press statement that Garcia "pending her proclamation, will soon be congresswoman of the third district of Cebu."

As of last night, One Cebu's Garcia was ahead by 4,098 votes against Yapha of the Liberal Party.

"In the town of Pinamungajan where Yapha is mayor, rumors were reportedly spread that Yapha had won the congressional seat. With the processing of election results nearing 100 percent, it would hardly be possible for Yapha to surmount Garcia's lead, and it is only a matter of time before Garcia is proclaimed as Cebu's new third district representative," Atty. Frasco said.

Mayor Yapha, however, said it was premature to declare a winner, in a press conference she called yesterday in reaction to an ABS-CBNnews.com report headlined "Gwen Garcia wins congressional seat in Cebu".

17 not in

The Provincial Board of Canvassers, which was scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. today, still needed to get the complete results from 17 areas in the province last night.

Carcar and Naga in the first district, Bogo City in the fourth, Danao City in the fifth and Mandaue City in the sixth are among the 17 areas with incomplete transmissions.

Nine of the replacement compact flash cards arrived from Manila yesterday. These will have to be delivered to the appropriate precincts, where the ballots will have to be fed all over again to the PCOS machines.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, only 34 towns and cities (about 66.6 percent of the province's results) were transmitted to the provincial canvassers.

Governor Garcia's brother, Nelson, has already been proclaimed the reelected mayor of Dumanjug.

Three other family members did not fare as well. Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia lost to incumbent Barili Mayor Teresito Mariñas, while the partial, official tally as of 11:38 last night showed Rep. Pablo John Garcia behind lawyer Hilario Davide III by 153,254 votes. Pablo John is the third district's incumbent congressman.

Ballots

Their father, Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia of the second district, was 7,045 votes behind Provincial Board Member Wilfredo Caminero, according to the partial count posted online by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

What caused the delays in some towns or cities' results?

In Tuburan, Comelec Officer Gilbert Pepito said that an election inspector from Precinct 34 decided to use 377 ballots from another precinct, because her clustered precinct had insufficient ballots.

There were only 122 ballots for Precinct 34, which has 499 registered voters, said Emily Lebita, one of the Board of Election Inspectors. Out of the 377 ballots, 314 ended up getting used.

But when these were fed to the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine, the equipment didn't accept the ballots.

Comelec officials previously said an exact number of ballots is issued to each clustered precinct. These can be accepted only in that precinct's PCOS.

Manual

Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba sent an order to do manual counting, after being told of the problem.

After the manual count, with 99 percent of Tuburan's results completed, Garcia garnered 10,122 votes, while Yapha got 15,160. (Note: The page 1 graphic reflects only the partial figure from Comelec's website.)

Winners were already proclaimed in some parts of the third district.

On Tuesday night, incumbent Mayor Democrito Diamante and his brother Danilo Diamante were proclaimed winners in the Tuburan mayoral and vice mayoral elections. They are LP allies.

That same day, Comelec proclaimed John Henry "Sonny" Osmeña as mayor and former congressman Antonio Yapha as vice mayor of Toledo City, although neither showed up for the ceremony.

In Yapha's press conference, Provincial Board Member-elect Gigi Sanchez-Zaballero said there were still results that needed to be transmitted from Balamban, Barili, Pinamungajan, Toledo City, Tuburan and Aloguinsan.

After waiting the whole day for the delayed results from all over the province, Chairman Aba of the Board of Canvassers declared a recess at 5:15 p.m. yesterday.

With 6T votes more, Mike hands Tomas his first loss

By Jujemay G. Awit and Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


TWENTY-ONE hours after the precincts closed in this year’s elections, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was proclaimed the winner, making him the first politician to defeat Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) since the latter entered politics in 1988.

Rama earned 217,448 votes while Osmeña garnered 211,072.

“Thank you for giving me another opportunity to serve the people of the City of Cebu.

Thank you for giving me a fresh and a new mandate,” Rama said after his proclamation at 4 p.m. yesterday in the Cebu City Hall.

But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to proclaim a vice mayor and three city councilors, because defective compact flash cards kept three precincts from counting and sending their results.

These three precincts have 2,952 voters combined.

Cebu City Councilor Edgardo Labella of Team Rama leads Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) by only 371 votes. The latest tally shows Labella with 202,255 votes and Young with 201,884.

Commenting on the results, Osmeña said: “I am not conceding considering the numbers that are coming out. The people know what happened. I know a lot of money has been going around. But I know I’m not going to end up a winner. I don’t want to be called a sour loser.”

He said he plans to go to the barangays to thank the public.

Mayor Rama, for his part, vowed to continue the programs and projects he has planned for the city since he first assumed as mayor last June 30, 2010.

Congress

BOPK candidates were also proclaimed winners in both congressional districts: Raul del Mar in the north and Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa in the south.

Former congressman Del Mar earned 134,180 votes in the north district, while talent manager Anabelle Rama of Team Rama got 35,842, or a difference of 98,338.

In an official statement, Congressman-elect Del Mar said the results validate his programs and legislative proposals.

“Yet it also raises a new and higher standard and bigger challenge—to address with fresh vigor the problems that come with my district’s urban growth,” he said.

“To the voters who have trusted the Del Mar brand of public service all these years, daghan kaayong salamat (thank you so much),” he said.

Abellanosa, on the other hand, earned a total of 124,937 votes in the south district, while Atty. Aristotle Batuhan of Team Rama earned 99,968, or a difference of 24,969 votes.

The Board of Canvassers decided not to proclaim a vice mayor just yet, because the contest is too close to call, said board chairperson Atty. Ferdinand Gujilde.

Material

The 2,952 votes that have yet to be canvassed could make a difference in the elections for vice mayor and three of the seats in the City Council.

The three precincts that reported defective compact flash cards are Precinct 474 in Barangay Mambaling (997 voters), Precinct 49 of Barangay Cambinocot (972 voters) and Precinct 150 in Barangay Luz (983 voters).

As of yesterday, the canvassers proclaimed only the top seven candidates in the north district and top six candidates in the south.

“The candidates that we will proclaim as winners are safe even if all the voters from the last remaining precincts will be in favor of the closest pursuer,” said Gujilde, before some of the councilors were proclaimed.

For the north district, Comelec proclaimed as winners Nestor Archival (106,706, BOPK), Lahug Barangay Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos (101,984, Team Rama), Councilor Sisinio Andales (94,202, BOPK), Councilor Alvin Arcilla (96,454, BOPK), Councilor Lea Japson (90,992, BOPK), Councilor Alvin Dizon (85,468, BOPK) and Councilor Nida Cabrera (83,367, BOPK).

Competing for the eighth seat are Sambag I Barangay Captain Jerry Guardo of Team Rama and Councilor Noel Wenceslao of BOPK.

South

For the south district, Comelec proclaimed as winners Councilors Margarita Osmeña (124,319, BOPK), Gerry Carillo (117,714, BOPK), Cogon Pardo Barangay Captain Eugenio Gabuya (114,980, BOPK), Basak Pardo Barangay Captain Dave Tumulak (113,156, Team Rama), Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias (109,275, BOPK), and James Cuenco (107,049, Team Rama).

Competing for the seventh and eighth positions are Atty. Hanz Abella of Team Rama and Councilors Richard Osmeña and Jun Pe of BOPK.

Just 10 minutes before the Board of Canvassers would have convened for 24 straight hours, Atty. Gujilde declared a recess.

The board could not continue canvassing votes because three compact flash cards were found defective. These were from a clustered precinct each in Barangays Cambinocot and Mambaling in the south district and in Barangay Luz of the north district.

Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud told Sun.Star Cebu that the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) from the three precincts complained that the CF cards could not be detected.

The card serves like a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card of a cellular phone.

Gujilde decided to call for a recess yesterday before 7 p.m. since he had yet to receive word from the National Service Center on when the replacement cards would arrive.

In limbo

“Since we are still in limbo, we are constrained to declare a recess. We will resume at 1 p.m. (today),” said Gujilde.

“Hay salamat, makatulog na gyud mi (Thank God, we can get some sleep),” a member BEI was heard saying.

Gujilde told reporters he tried to call the center about the cards. When the center returned his call, he was already busy with the proclamation of some of the winners of the Cebu City elections.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 Director Temie Lambino explained that CF cards may be defective because of the mass production.

There are a total of 16 defective CF cards in the entire Cebu Province, including the three from Cebu City.

There is also that possibility that the CF cards were defective because of the short period of time in which the cards were programmed. There are more than 80,000 CF cards for use in the entire country.

There are contingency CF cards but these are blank and need to be programmed by the service center.

Lambino and Gujilde both gave positive feedback about the 2013 elections. Both could not compare it with the last automated elections in 2010, however, because they were not assigned in Central Visayas and Cebu City, respectively.

Solutions

“There was no problem that did not have a solution,” said Lambino.

“Overall, the elections were okay except for the CF cards,” said Gujilde.

Last Monday, at least 31 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines conked out, but the results were transmitted using another PCOS machine stationed outside the canvassing center—the social hall of the Cebu City Hall Legislative Building.

Gujilde recommended that for the next automated elections, precincts should not be clustered to prevent long queues.

Comelec can retain the 200 voters per cluster and just identify a venue where the votes will be fed to the PCOS machine, he said.

He said this was done in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and it worked.

As far as canvassing is concerned, there was no problem. At least, it took the Cebu City BOC less than 24 hours to proclaim most of the winners, when it used to take over a week to proclaim winners in a manual election.







Upsets brewing?

By Elias O. Baquero, Jill B. Tatoy and Jujemay G. Awit


LEADING by some 11,200 votes after midnight, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama seemed ready to hand Rep. Tomas Osmeña his first loss in an election.

The partial but official canvass, with 87 percent of election returns received, showed the reelectionist mayor ahead of his former ally and most vocal critic.

Rama’s running mate Edgardo Labella was also ahead by some 5,600 votes over incumbent Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, after 514 out of 592 election returns (ERs) were canvassed.

And that was not the only surprise in the results so far.

In Talisay City, businessman JVR de los Reyes held a razor-thin lead (191 votes) over Rep. Eduardo Gullas for Talisay City mayor, with 57 percent of election returns received in an unofficial, partial count.

For second district congressman, Provincial Board Member Wilfredo Caminero led by some 3,000 votes over Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia.

Garcia’s son, One Cebu gubernatorial candidate Rep. Pablo John Garcia, was behind Liberal Party (LP) candidate Hilario Davide III by at least 132,962 votes based on the partial, unofficial tally, with 54 percent of all ERs factored in.

Pablo John’s sister, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, was ahead by nearly 2,000 votes in the third district’s congressional elections, where she ran against Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha.

As of press time, their votes were: Garcia (56,412) and Yapha (54,465), based on the results sent to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server and made available by the social news site Rappler.

The swift release of results followed a day marked by suggestions to shorten the time voters have to wait, before they can cast their ballot. Defective scanning machines provoked the most common complaint.

But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 said that of the more than 5,800 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines deployed in Central Visayas, only 215 bogged down—at least 134 of them in Cebu.

Long wait

For most voters, larger clusters meant a very long wait. But within an hour after the precincts closed at 7 p.m., the attention shifted to the results that poured in swiftly in both the Senate and local elections.

In Cebu City, the congressional races in both districts appear headed Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan’s (BOPK) way.

Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa earned 103,410 votes while lawyer Aristotle Batuhan had 84,184 in the partial, official count for the south district.

In the north, former congressman Raul del Mar is poised to return to the House of Representatives with 119,297 votes. His closest rival, Annabelle Rama, earned 32,755 votes.

So far, the top eight candidates for councilor in the north district are: Nestor Archival, Mary Ann de los Santos, Alvin Arcilla, Sisinio Andales, Lea Japson, Alvin Dizon, Nida Cabrera and Jerry Guardo.

The top eight candidates in the south district are: Margarita Osmeña, Gerardo Carillo, Eugenio Gabuya, Dave Tumulak, Roberto Cabarrubias, James Cuenco, Hans Abella and Richard Osmeña.

Early budget

In a press conference at the Election Media Center in the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said the figure was understandable. There were 84,000 PCOS machines that had to be prepared in only a few months.

“Because it was rushed, some of them were not properly fixed,” Lambino said.

He encouraged voters to scrutinize the reasons behind some problems experienced in the 2013 election.

“I suggest that the budget for the 2016 election be released one year before. What happened in the 2013 election was that there was a budget proposal from Comelec, followed by a brouhaha in Congress, followed by a budget cut, and finally the delayed release of the budget,” Lambino said.

Despite the PCOS problems, he said Cebu City was on track to proclaim winners this morning, and that some winners in the Province may be proclaimed in the afternoon.

He expects the voter turnout to exceed 70 percent.

Lambino also had some advice for those who lose in the elections.

“Although they have ten days to file a protest from the day their opponents are proclaimed, they (election losers) have to accept defeat and not blame the Comelec, the PNP and the military for their defeat. Remember James Bond who said he would live to fight another day,” Lambino said.

Cooperative

He said the technical glitches were all taken care of immediately to prevent further delays in yesterday’s election. Apart from the problems with the machines, Lambino said he did not receive any report on major incidents in the polling precincts.

“This has become very efficient for all of us because the public was very cooperative and aware of what they should do or not do,” said Lambino.

He said the efficient handling of the polls in most areas is due to their continuous information campaign and voter education in the past months.

“This only proves that the civil society can do so much,” he added.

When asked about the vote-buying incidents received by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in different areas in the region, Lambino said the PNP will act as complainant against the alleged vote-buyers.

“Vote-buying is a serious offense. One thing we want to find out is who is behind this, and it entails a lot of verification,” he said.

Vote-buying

The PRO 7 under Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo said at least eight cases of vote-buying were recorded, with 12 persons arrested.

More than 100 persons were arrested for violating the liquor ban, 11 for shooting and strafing incidents, and nine persons arrested for violating the gun ban in the entire election period so far.

In the Cebu City Central School, a voter was caught allegedly trying to vote using the name of his father. He was invited to the Cebu City election office.

Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said he was held until a complaint is filed against him.

The Cebu City Board of Canvassers, which Gujilde chairs, convened at noon yesterday to check the materials for the Consolidation and Canvassing System.

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)–Team Rama and LP–BOPK lawyers witnessed the initialization or the checking of materials for canvassing, including the laptop and printer, among others.

By 7 p.m., the Board of Canvassers reconvened for the initialization of the system to ensure that “there is nothing there prior to transmission.”





Citizens, voters set; vote-buying caught

By Bernadette A. Parco, Elias O. Baquero, Justin K. Vestil and Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


THE Cebu-Citizens Movement for Peaceful Elections (C-Cimpel) yesterday said that as representative of the Parish Pastoral Community Response Volunteers (PPCRV) and the National Movement for Free Election (Namfrel), they will receive a copy of the election returns in today’s midterm election.

Speaking before the press conference jointly held by C-Cimpel, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 and Dilaab Foundation, Marilu Chiongbian said that in terms of poll watching, C-Cimpel can cover 90 percent of Cebu City and Cebu Province.

Chiongbian said C-Cimpel witnessed the testing and sealing of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and those found defective were already replaced.

“We must be vigilant. Like human beings, the machines are not perfect. Let us not allow any person with bad intention to manipulate it,” Chiongbian said.

Fr. Carmelo Diola of Dilaab Foundation reiterated his call to the Cebuano electorate to vote in accordance with their own free will and not sell their votes.

“If a candidate has any self-respect and respect for voters, he would not buy votes. Why should people choose someone who does not even have a sense of self-worth?” Diola said.

“In addition, since buying votes entails debt, who in his right mind would want to go into debt? This is not “wais” (wise) unless one has plans of self-aggrandizement once in office. Now who in their right minds would want to vote for such persons?” Diola added.

Media center

The PRO 7 provided an Election Media Center (EMC) at Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr., Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City where reporters from radio, television and newspapers can get updates of today’s election.

Dubbed as “Cebu Media and Elections 2013,” the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) led the convenors in setting up the EMC with PRO 7 (as space provider), C-Cimpel (as advocate for peaceful election), Dilaab Foundation (as advocate for clean election) and the Comelec (as implementor of the election).

The convernors will hold press conferences at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

CCPC executive secretary Cherry Lim said two telephone landlines are installed by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) for the use of the media so that they will not use the landlines of the police.

Lim said that Wi-Fi connectivity is provided by Smart Communications, with backup PLDT connection.

Vote-buying

Team Rama yesterday accused the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) of vote-buying.

Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Jose Navarro said former Punta Princesa village chief Rodulfo “Rolly” Diorico is distributing money at his house on Ganciang St.

“He led the massive vote-buying on behalf of BOPK. The vote-buying is expected to last at 5 p.m. (yesterday),” he said in a text message.

Navarro, an ally of Mayor Michael Rama, said he sent some of his men to check Diorico’s house and his men told him that a long queue of Punta Princesa voters were in the area.

However, BOPK chief Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) called the accusation against their group as “ridiculous.”

The congressman, who is running for mayor against Rama, said it was Team Rama who “bragged” that they have an unlimited budget for canvassers and who are encouraging their barangay coordinators to do “unlimited listing” of voters.

“People in Cebu City are intelligent and will never sell their votes. It’s a waste to try to vote-buy,” he added.

The buying and selling of votes is prohibited under Batas Pambansa 881 otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code.

Those who violate the law may be imprisoned for one year to less than six years and shall not be subject to probation. Those who will be found guilty by the court will be disqualified from holding public office and shall be banned from exercising his or her right to suffrage.

Naga City

Two alleged supporters of Naga City Valdemar Chiong were arrested for alleged vote buying in one of the city’s mountain barangays yesterday afternoon.

At 1:50 p.m. yesterday, operatives under the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 arrested Rudy Obado, 40, and Marjun Geraldez, 20 after they were caught distributing money allegedly to buy votes in Barangay Lutac, one of the city’s mountain barangays.

Both men were residents of Barangay Lutac in Naga City.

But Chiong, in a separate interview, denied they were buying votes. He said operatives from PRO 7 were being sent in their city to harass voters.

A certain Insp. Burlat assigned in the PRO 7 had led the arrest of the two men, said

Naga City Police Chief Supt. Eduardo Saavedra.

Saavedra added that Burlat surrendered the two men and their motorcycle for custody.

However, Saavedra said that while the charge was based on alleged vote-buying, they didn’t receive the money used by the suspects to commit the crime.

In a separate interview, Obado admitted that they were bringing an envelope containing money, but they denied the allegation that they were caught in the act of giving it to supporters.

Obado revealed that he and Geraldez were onboard the latter’s motorcycle when they were suddenly stopped by two cars.

He also revealed that the men onboard the two vehicles had not introduced themselves as policemen and just suddenly accosted them for alleged vote-buying. Chiong, in a separate interview, said they don’t need to buy votes since his party has the majority of voters.

However, Chiong claims that the Liberal Party was behind the sudden deployment of policemen in their city. Chiong is supporting One Cebu gubernatorial candidate Pablo John Garcia.

“I don’t want to blame anyone, pero mahibung lang ta nga mao nang mahitabu nga wala man nag-request ang Comelec for additional police augmentation sa among siyudad,” Chiong added.

Chiong’s statement was further supported by acting Naga City election officer and lawyer Ann Janette Lamban who claimed that she never received a written order from the PRO 7 for a sudden deployment of policemen in the city.

Discernment

Meanwhile, religious leaders remind people to discern, follow their conscience and consider the future of the country before they cast their votes today.

“Prayerfully discern as Catholics, take into consideration the Catholic values,” Fr. Ramon Echica, San Carlos Seminary Dean of Studies, told Sun.Star Cebu.

He said the Catholics are taught to cast a “conscience vote, which means that you have seriously thought about choices and prayed over them.”

In a separate interview, Imam Al-Mukri Aladdin Ubpon also issued an advice for the Muslim Community yesterday.

“My advice is that we will follow the teaching of our mind and heart not any amount of money,” said the imam and administrator of the Al-khaira Mosque in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes noted that there is much to do in Philippine politics.

“The late (Manila Archbishop Jaime) Cardinal Sin said, ‘politics in our country is the least evangelized aspect of the Filipino culture,’” Cortes said during a mass for C-Cimpel at the San Carlos Seminary yesterday.

“We pray and do what we can to contribute (to the work that needs to be done) that we may have an honest, and peaceful elections. So that it may yield leaders who are deserving of our trust,” he added.

The C-Cimpel core group attended the mass to pray for the conduct of a peaceful elections and the safety of more than 12,000 volunteers in various towns and cities in the Archdiocese of Cebu.





Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV : I'm fine

By Flornisa M. Gitgano


FOR the first time since the local campaign period started on March 29, One Cebu vice gubernatorial candidate Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV presented himself to the public and answered all the allegations surrounding his health.

During the party’s rally in Danao City last Friday, Boboy told the crowd that he wasn’t able to attend their sorties because he suffered a heat stroke.

He was also confined in the Chong Hua Hospital last March 17 because of stress and overfatigue, which he blamed on his hectic schedule.

One Cebu gubernatorial candidate Rep. Pablo John Garcia (third district) and his sister suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia were also at the rally, which was held at the City Hall grounds.

They were joined by Mayor Ramon “Boy” Durano Jr. and his brother former mayor Jesus “Don” Durano and One Cebu’s full slate.

Boboy denied he was ever in a coma or that he was bedridden.

“Ang claim sa uban nga I am bedridden, I am confined to a wheelchair, I am in a coma. I’m here to prove them wrong... There’s nothing to worry. Ok na,” Boboy told reporters.

Weekly updates

He said his doctor advised him to lie low from the campaign. “But that doesn’t mean that I left the race. In fact, nagpakita ko karon (I showed up) to prove to them that I did not abandon my candidacy,” he said.

The crowd cheered when Boboy took the stage. When he was done with his speech, he slowly walked back to his seat.

He admitted taking medicine regularly.

“Yes, naa ko’y (I have) maintenance. But again, it doesn’t deprive me of my campaign. In fact, nisugod na ko’g lakaw (I have started to walk),” Boboy said.

He said Congressman Pablo John gave him weekly updates while he took a break.

Boboy is running against Liberal Party’s (LP) Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, who happens to be his aunt, while Pablo John is up against LP’s Hilario Davide III.

Crowd estimate

An estimated 10,000 people attended the rally, according to Joyren Fruta of the Regional Public Safety Battalion.

The LP and the fifth district party Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) also held a rally at the Freedom Park in Danao City last Tuesday, with the same crowd estimate.

Mayor Boy, who is allied with One Cebu, is facing the head of Bakud, his younger brother Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, for the mayoralty post.

Their brother Don is running for vice mayor against his nephew and Vice Mayor Nito’s son fifth district Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI.

Limpag: Who the next Cebu City mayor should be

By Jujemay G. Awit


IT’S the tail end of the election season and as usual, the politicians’ campaign are in high gear. I really don’t play partisan politics, but I hope that the next mayor of Cebu City and the governor of Cebu would be major sports fans.

No, not the “here’s-a-million-for-a-barangay-league-and-name-it-after-me fan,” but a real sports fan, one that’s concerned about development.

It’s not about the trophies, it never is.

Of all the sports commissions I know, Cebu City has the most one and I hope whoever wins on May 13 will continue the programs.

Why? It’s about the opportunities sports can give a young athlete. A few days ago, while talking to a former football player slash runner, who is from a private school, I learned that he had a few teammates who got full scholarship offers from big schools like Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines because their scouts liked what they saw. And these are athletes, who just a couple of years ago, took up the sport just for fun.

An opportunity like this, is being offered to thousands of public school students through the programs of the CCSC. Just imagine the benefits it would give to the public school students.

And of course, I hope the next Cebu City mayor, too, would be a big football fan.

Let’s admit it, football is the fastest growing sport in Cebu and it has been even before the Azkals beat Vietnam in 2010.

What the sport needs is a venue, and that’s where the next mayor--be it Tom or Mike--is needed.

We need a mayor that will push for the putting up of an artificial turf at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC). It’s going to be expensive, but if Cebu City can spend P20 million for the rehab of the track oval, then it certainly can afford another P20 million for the artificial turf.

It will certainly pay for itself. Like I said, the CCSC is the perfect venue for football events here and you only need to check the local FA’s calendar to know that there are a lot. Charging a fee for its use, would allow the city to recoup the investment, even faster than its multi-million investment for the track oval.

Yes, I’ve written about this before and I will keep on writing about this. Why?

Because the movement to have the track oval rehabbed was started by a fellow columnist right in this page two elections ago.

And now is the perfect time to put up a turf because the Philippine Football Federation and the Cebu Football Association have a great working relationship and Cebu is going to be the venue of major football events. We had the Singapore vs. Philippines friendly last year, we are having the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup, and we’re going to have another friendly next month.

The Asean Football Federation is also cooking up a Super League to be launched in a year or so, and guess where the PFF wants the Philippine representative to be based?

Here, of course.

Of course, the CCSC, because of its location, is also the perfect venue for the annual Sinulog festival and you can still put up that ginormous stage, even with an artificial turf on. All you have to do is roll up that pitch.

SUNDAY SHOWDOWN. Again, I can’t write about the KRL vs. Global FC game because the sports editor would wring my throat if I submit a column at 10 p.m., but whatever the result, Global’s game against Dordoi of Kyrgyzstan this Sunday will decide which teams will advance to the final stage in September.

Global has the vocal Global Force backing them for the whole 90 minutes, but I think they could really use more people in the stands.

So, this Sunday, let’s show up at the CCSC.

Former allies square off for mayorship

By Jujemay G. Awit


AFTER May 13, 2013, either Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) or Mayor Michael Rama will be a first-time political loser.

They are former allies who became enemies soon after Rama’s first term as mayor began in 2010. Rama has been serving Cebu City for over 20 years without any interruption.

He started as city councilor, finishing three terms, and then was elected as Osmeña’s vice mayor, again for three terms.

Osmeña first ran and won as mayor in 1989, but gave way to an ally, former mayor Alvin Garcia, in 1995 after serving two terms. Osmeña then barred Garcia from a third term when he won the mayoral contest in 2001.

He finished three terms and ran for a seat in Congress in 2010, while Rama ran for mayor. That was a first for them both, too.

But before 2010 ended, Osmeña started becoming publicly critical of Rama. In turn, Rama, barely a year after taking his oath as mayor, announced his decision to leave Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

From allies to enemies, they will face off on May 13. Here, cobbled together from separate interviews, are their views and ideas.

Tomas R. Osmeña: (Instead of answering the question, the congressman handed Sun.Star Cebu a seven-page memorandum of the BOPK principles. This is an excerpt.)

The orientation of BOPK is not centered on doctrine as in the Ten Commandments. It is based more on a direction or style or even attitude of our City Government. It is not rigid as in religion. On the contrary, it is evolutionary in nature, where there should be continuous fine-tuning as our focus becomes clearer.

When we formed BOPK in 1987, our program of government could be summed up in eight points: jobs; youth; peace and order; financial efficiency; barangay; infrastructure; good government; and business development.

BOPK believes in local autonomy. Not just the constitutional mandate of having a strong local government but we also believe that autonomy also includes the sound management practice of the delegation of authority.

BOPK has a management philosophy that there is always a better way of doing things... BOPK also believes that crafting the solution is only worth 20 percent; implementation scores 80 percent.

BOPK may make some political considerations in hiring but there should be no political considerations in judging performance on the job. Also, BOPK does not believe in giving a “second chance” in cases of graft and corruption, no matter how minor.

BOPK will serve everyone in the City whether they can vote for us or not. The street children get the highest priority. Investors also get special treatment because they create jobs.

BOPK does not concentrate on short-term problems.

Michael L. Rama: I will continue to bring in the vision that I have already highlighted. The vision is a simple, sustainable city whereby, number one, we will need real Private-Public Partnership under the corporate social responsibility dimension.

Number two, bringing all constituency in a state of healthy well-being. Number three, making people economically productive. Number four, we wish the constituents of the City of Cebu will be active, dynamic and performing, and then bringing City Hall at your doorstep under the platform: SEE D BIG 3Ps (social services, environment, education, development, business, infrastructure, governance, people, public affairs, peace and order) under the advocacy of Barangayan, Bayanihan, Boluntarismo.

And with the so-called framework of “making SRP (South Road Properties) pretty, the coast beautiful, downtown revitalized, uptown progressive, upland balanced between development and environment.

With the guiding principle of removing the word ownership because it is considered I, I, I... I don’t want to abuse. I want “A” leadership. In Team Rama, we wish to have a leadership of servanthood, stewardship, custodianship and partnership with some governing policy that we bring everybody to be aware…

Together we can make things happen under the spider-web approach and we can always say, “Be in Cebu City” where life is worth living.

The South Road Properties is the biggest infrastructure undertaking of the City Government. If elected, what do you plan to do in the first 100 days as far as SRP is concerned?

TRO: The first thing I’m going to do is do some housecleaning. The finances are in a big mess. They say we lost three years with Mike Rama, but I say we lost four because to undo the damage he has done will take another year. He has depleted all the funds.

Just imagine, for the second half of the year there’s nothing left. And he squeezed out everything that he can get, he realigned most of the funds.

MLR: Number one, we should be able to materialize clearly the master plan of SRP because right now, the only plan is in the head of that guy from Guadalupe. (Note: Osmeña is a registered voter of Guadalupe.)

Number two, I will definitely institutionalize an office--whether it is a quasi-corporation or not, it must be a professionally run office. We would like to focus on what is best for the SRP. Clearly, those who will deal with marketing and everything we talked about in terms of viability of SRP because as I told you, the mayor is not alien to its beginning.

How many people have been beneficiaries because originally it was 80,000 plus? So, we must be fast-tracking because it has been delayed and billions (worth) of services (were) deprived (for) the people in the mainland. It is not there for one person, it stands there for everybody to enjoy.

We can always bring as part of our vision the private-public partnership and with that as a framework, we can bring in (employment) because as they say, more heads are better than one.

What do you think is the defining issue this election?

TRO: When you talk about the defining issue, you’re trying to make it appear that there is just one issue that will make people decide. For some people it is a balance.

When you talk about defining issue, you’re talking about single-issue politics. In other words, I will vote for you because you hired my son. I don’t care about the rest. Or I will not vote for you because you fired my son. Don’t paint me in that corner because people should really make their decision based on everything. Mike Rama’s defining issue is that he should be the mayor because he can dance “Gangnam Style”.

So, I tell the urban poor there’s something they forgot, the future of their family.

What can we do about the future especially the urban poor? If you want the urban poor to prosper, it’s not enough you improve the economy because when you improve the economy, sometimes, only the rich will prosper. Special focus (is needed) to improve the economy of the urban poor. To improve the economy of the urban poor you need jobs, education, money but most of all, the ability to put the package together. To create jobs, you have to bring in business. Livelihood projects have a high mortality rate.

The more business, the more jobs so you have to bring, you have to bring in investors.

MLR: Track record. In less than three years as mayor, people say I have done wonders even with an obstructionist City Council.

What is your edge over your opponent?

TRO: Mike Rama cannot bring in investors, he has not brought in a single investor.

I just want to remind people that in my first year as mayor, together with (former governor) Lito (Osmeña, governor of Cebu from 1988 to 1992) we brought in the biggest, most reputable and richest investor you can find in the Philippines: Ayala.

Then we brought in so many, within the period of two years, Cebu had Ceboom, a reputation known internationally. Unfortunately, we got hit by (Typhoon) Ruping and we had to get back to zero. First thing we needed to do was recover. And that’s when I thought of the SRP. It took a long time, never mind, but we had to start somewhere.

MLR: I don’t think I have to go down to the health because I can run, I can play basketball, I can sing, I can dance, I am an athletic person, let the matter on talent be the issue.

When the elections are over, is there a possibility your friendship will be revived?

TRO: I don’t deal with traitors. I’m very trustworthy, I gave him a chance but once people show me they cannot be trusted, why should I even worry about it? Maybe, but he has to be at the back of the line.

MLR: I don’t have to think about it, we don’t even know what’s going to happen in the days to come.

Glitches in final PCOS testing ‘minor’

By Flornisa M. Gitgano, Jujemay G. Awit and Justin K. Vestil


AT LEAST 23 towns and cities in Cebu reported yesterday that their Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were functioning, on the final day of tests for the equipment.

It was Lapu-Lapu City that first reported to Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 Director Temie Lambaino that it finished the final testing and sealing without a single glitch.

Comelec Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba said there were not a lot of problems reported elsewhere, but one of the more common ones was that the PCOS machines were busted. There were two each in San Fernando and Bantayan and one problematic PCOS machine each in Compostela and Bogo.

The rest of the cities and municipalities have not yet reported.

As of 5 p.m, 23 local governments had reported 100 percent functionality of the PCOS machines.

In Cebu City’s Abellana National School, the final testing and sealing for the second automated election was delayed because the machines were deployed late.


Also, the PCOS machines accepted ballots that had been “overvoted”---meaning more choices were made than the number of seats for the elective positions available.

Comelec has also reminded that overvoting will cause invalidation.

Poll precincts in three barangays in Talisay City encountered mechanical problems during the final testing and sealing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines yesterday morning.

Clusters

Despite the mechanical problems they’ve encountered, Acting Talisay City election officer and lawyer Gallardo Escobar assured that such problems are minor and can be dealt with easily.

There were 19 PCOS deployed by around 11 a.m. to the clustered precincts. Each clustered precinct will have one PCOS machine and will serve a maximum of 1,000 voters.

Provincial Comelec Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said voting centers nearest to the Cebu City Hall were the last to get their machines.

Adrian Jacalan, the PCOS technician assigned in Abellana, said even though the machine accepted some “overvoted” ballots, these results would not be projected in the election return.

“Do not overvote. Any excess of what you need is not yours,” Gujilde reminded the voters.

Provincial Elcction Supervisor Eddie Aba said there are 3,169 PCOS machines and an extra 54 as contingency PCOS province-wide.

In Cebu City, there are 592 PCOS deployed.

Remedios Bacus, chairman of clustered precinct 206 in Abellana, said there are classrooms that will serve as a waiting area for voters.

10 at a time

There will be 10 voters one a time who will be allowed to get inside.

Voters were also advised to keep their ballots clean.

‘We have to help province to protect Cebu city

By Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac and Deputy Editor Stephen Capillas


REP. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City said yesterday said he’s been helping in the Liberal Party-Cebu’s (LP-Cebu) campaign in the province in order to protect Cebu City’s interests. “If the province is developed, there would be fewer people coming to Cebu City to avail of our seniors citizens aid and free scholarships. The city is finding it hard (to accommodate those from the towns),” he said in yesterday’s 888 News Forum. Osmeña said he gives advice to LP gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III and 3rd district congressional candidate Geraldine Yapha but “they make their own decisions.” “As far as I can see, there’s a negative vote for the Garcias. This is the reason Pablo John is distancing himself from his sister, (suspended Cebu Gov.) Gwen (Garcia). She is also keeping a low profile,” he said. The campaign against the Garcias also extends to the senatorial candidates. “J.V. Ejercito is my friend but when I heard the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) was supporting Gwen, I shifted my support to the Team PNoy ticket,” he said. Osmeña said he was prepared to give a portion of the South Road Properties (SRP) and revive a land-swap deal for Capitol-owned lots occupied by urban poor families covered by Cebu provincial government ordinance 93-1. The SRP lot swap would replenish the province’s wealth that had been lost in the Balili land purchase deal, he said. But Osmeña said he would only do so if Davide wins. “The development of the province is very important to the city. It’s critical for the simple reason that we do not want people in the province to come here. The province has to develop,” he said.

CCSC holds qualifiers for PNG

By Iste S. Leopoldo


THE Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) has started conducting its qualifying tournament to form a strong delegation for the Philippine National Games (PNG) on May 26 to June 2 in Manila.

“We have decided to have a qualifying tournament because we want to send the best athletes. This tournament will give them the chance to be discovered by the different National Sports Associations and bolster their chances of making it to the national team,” CCSC executive director Brando Velasco Velasco said.

He added that the different sporting events that they will be sending representatives to are in beach volley, athletics, dancesport, archery, karatedo, judo, weightlifting, arnis and boxing.

Last year, the Cebu beach volley duo of Jonrey Sasing and Edward Ybañez shocked the national team as they took the PNG title. The win has triggered the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to look into the national teams and they found anomalies that forced PSC to cut their allowances and eventually disband the team.

This year, PSC hopes that the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) spearheaded by Gener Dungo will approve its recommendation that the winner in the PNG will make the RP team lineup.

The 16th Nestea National beach volley back-to-back champion tandem of Mike Abria and Jade Becaldo of University of the Visayas (UV) are favored to get the slots.

The tournament will be considered as Becaldo’s stepping stone towards his dream to become a member of the national team.

“I love volleyball, be it indoor or beach volley. My goal was to become a national player, finish school and probably focus on becoming a seafarer when I already get that sense of fulfillment from volleyball,” he said.

However, when his father suffered a stoke, and half of his body got paralyzed and he could no longer work, he had to set aside that dream to help the family.

“It even came to a point that I just wanted to drop everything about volleyball,” Becaldo said

But no matter how he tried to avoid it, still he found himself wanting crawling back to the sand court because of the love of the sport.

He then decided to dream again and give it a shot. He competes along with Mike Abria in the qualifying tournament to be part of the men and women Cebu City Beach volley teams for the Philippine National Games (PNG).






Cebu City Hall acquires 10 brand new dump trucks

By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas


TO SPEED up its garbage collection, the Cebu City Government's Department of Public Services (DPS) recently acquired 10 brand new dump trucks worth P18.6 million.

Of the 10 units, eight are big trucks that cost at least P2.1 million each, while two are medium-sized trucks worth P900,000 each.

DPS Chief Engr. Dionisio Gualisa told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that the newly acquired dump trucks will be a huge help in their daily operations, adding it will speed up their collection of the city's garbage.

Gualisa welcomed the delivery of the dump trucks, saying that some of the older dump trucks are already defective.

Early this year, DPS received several complaints from residents in different barangays because garbage in their area remained uncollected for almost a week.

Affected areas are densely populated barangays such as Capitol Site, Apas, Lahug, Guadalupe and Tejero, as well as at the Taboan and Carbon markets.

Shortage

DPS' operations were hampered by the shortage of dump trucks, as some of them are no longer in running condition.

Based on their records, DPS has 21 old garbage trucks, but only 11 to 14 are in running condition.

At present, the City collects an estimated 300 tons of solid waste daily. It is dumped at a private sanitary landfill in the town of Consolacion, as the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill was shut down in December 2011.

While the newly acquired dump trucks are the property of DPS, Gualisa assured they can also be used by the barangays, especially if their own garbage trucks are no longer running.

"They can use the dump trucks. They only have to request our office," he said.

The dump trucks were formally turned over to DPS last Thursday afternoon in front of City Hall's legislative building.

Its purchase is funded by the City's P5.2-billion budget for 2012.

When he assumed office, Mayor Michael Rama pushed for the purchase of brand new vehicles for City Hall's use, saying the vehicles and equipment bought previously were merely refurbished, which is the reason they easily broke down.

Bato settlers resistance delaying clearing drive

By Doris C. Bongcac, Tweeny M. Malinao


The resistance of settlers to the clearing operation in sitio Bato, barangay Ermita, Cebu City is delaying the planned re-blocking of the fire affected area. “Dili sila mo-pull-out kay naay nagpaluyo nga mga barangay officials (They won’t pull-out from the area because there are barangay officials who are behind their resistance),” said Raquel Arce, head of the city’s demolition team. Arce, market administrator and chief of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enforcement (Probe), said phase one of the clearing operation would have been finished over the weekend. The first phase covers the left portion of the entrance to sitio Bato while phase two covers the right side. The clearing operation started last April 26. “So far 70 percent was already completed in phase 1. After the clearing is completed, the re-blocking will follow,” Arce said in a phone interview yesterday. Sitio Bato, barangay Ermita had been razed by fire thrice since the late 1990s, due to congested houses, Ermita barangay captain Antonieto Flores said. The second fire happened in May 2007. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the re-blocking to make it easier for fire trucks to enter and put out the fires. The clearing operation was criticized by Rama’s rival, Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district. Osmeña, who is running against Rama, said he wasn’t pleased with the ongoing demolition because he said there was no proper consultation in sitio Bato. Arce said she respects Osmeña’s decision to sack her if he gets elected as mayor. “If that’s his reaction, I would respect it. I hope he understands that I am just an employee who is doing my job to the best of my abilities, she said. Last Thursday, Rama directed Arce to charge anyone who would try to delay their clearing operations. Arce was appointed to head the Probe which used to be the Squatters Prevention Encroachment and Elimination Division (Speed). Arce denied allegations that there were no consultations. “They just listened to one side. Majority of those present agreed on the re-blocking,” she said of the settlers opposing the demolition. Osmeña said one of the first people he would replace is Arce due to her handling of the sitio Bato clearing operation. “She will be the first demolition (under my administration). She is so vindictive,” he said. Osmeña said he asked a lawyer to look into the needs of Bato residents and extend them legal assistance in case they would file charges against some city officials. Rama said the re-blocking plans for barangay Ermita is meant to ensure the safety of residents against fire outbreaks.

Tomas ‘campaigning’ on 2 fronts

By Jujemay G. Awit


REP. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) is allegedly behind the Liberal Party (LP) campaign in the province.

Even Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) can see the hand of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) in the campaign of LP gubernatorial candidate Hilario Davide III.

Osmeña and Cebu City candidate for councilor Gabriel Leyson were also reportedly spotted in Talisay City to campaign for mayoral candidate Johnny delos Reyes.

But Osmeña said the last time he was in the city was for a picnic.

He earlier announced that he would be campaigning for Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, who is running for the third district congressional seat against suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Pablo John’s sister.

When asked if he made good his promise, Osmeña said, “No, but I have all kinds of activities there.”

As to rumors that Davide will end up being his puppet in the Capitol, Osmeña said: “I just develop options, I’m not going to tell him (Davide) what to do, he’s the governor.”

Osmeña said that when he was mayor of Cebu City, he allowed other officials to work on their own projects and he even gave his vice mayor (now Mayor Michael Rama) and councilors executive functions.

Pablo John has told Sun.Star Cebu that Osmeña’s plan to campaign for LP bets is actually good for One Cebu candidates.

Cooperation sought

“That will work for my sister because Osmeña is not well-loved in the Province. It clearly shows who really wants to be the governor of Cebu,” he said.

He was referring to the time Osmeña prevented commuters from the southern municipalities and cities from using the Cebu South Coastal Road.

“I encourage him to step back in Cebu City because it will help Mayor Mike Rama. Go around the Province, it will not help Davide,” Pablo John added.

“That’s a self-serving statement. I expect him to say something like that,” Osmeña said.

Rama, for his part, said it will be advantageous to Cebu City if both local chief executives from the City and Provincial Governments can work hand-in-hand.

Osmeña reminded Rama that the latter’s “tactless” remark over the land swap deal between the two local governments (LGUs) caused the rift.

Pablo John and Rama stressed the importance of cooperation between the two LGUs during a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.





DOE says true data on power projections essential to lure power investors into PH

By Fayette C. Riñen


CEBU CITY, May 3 (PIA) -- Energy Sec. Carlos Jericho Petilla said an accurate demand forecast of power needs is important in making the right projections to attract power investors into the country.

During the recent Visayas Power Summit held in Cebu, Petilla said the energy department is trying to work on ensuring that right information on current power supply and power needs is available to be able to project a proper forecast of power demand in the following years.

“Like for example, for every one percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth, there is a .8 percent hike in power demand. This is based on the five years growth of electric demand,” said Petilla to over 100 power stakeholders in Regions 6, 7 and 8.

Petilla further said the country’s credit upgrade by Fitch and the positive assessment of Standards and Poor’s which could earn the Philippines another investment grade rating soon would boost the country’s image as an investment haven.

“We are trying to put premium into forecasting,” said Petilla adding that investors would require accurate date be available.

The energy chief urged electric cooperatives and power distribution utilities to coordinate closely with local chief executives and the different business chambers in order to get the proper data on current power supply and projecting succeeding power demand.

Except for Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas next year will be operating on existing capacity while in 2018, the power needs is still on existing capacity but now with committed capacities meaning, there are already sure power projects in the pipeline, this is said.

Petilla cited the essence of proper forecasting in coal-fired power plants saying “no power investor would like to invest now (in Visayas and Luzon) because there is still excess power supply until 2018.”

Coal fired power plants are the fastest and cheapest to build from two to four years time and if investors put up a plant now, then there would be no buyers in 2017, he added.

Petilla said one challenge for investments in power generation is the uncertainties in the demand forecast “which we are trying to address now.”

The Department of Energy website on the other hand, is continuously being updated to apprise the public on the latest information where transparency on related power issues and concerns are made available. (PIA7)






Senatorial race Tom can’t promise 12-0 for Team PNoy

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon & Rene U. Borromeo


CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City south district Representative Tomas Osmeña admitted that he cannot promise a 12-0 win for the Team PNoy senatorial candidates in the city.

“I am just one vote. That would be very presumptuous if I promise a 12-0,” Osmeña said during a press conference arranged by Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines yesterday.

Osmeña, the Liberal Party chairman in the city, however said that he is campaigning hard for the entire slate of the Team PNoy.

The chairman of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan is running against reelectionist Mayor Michael Rama of the United Nationalist Alliance and Team Rama.

During the event yesterday, ALU-TUCP formally endorsed almost all candidates of BOPK and one candidate of Team Rama.

Of the 20 BOPK bets vying for various positions in the city, only former councilor Nestor Archival was not included on the list of candidates endorsed by the labor group.

Art Barrit, head of the labor union’s education department, said they had explained to Osmeña that they cannot endorse all BOPK candidates because they have to support Boobi Kintanar of the Team Rama.

Kintanar’s father, Vicente “Jun” Kintanar, had helped dyLA secure its franchise.

Barrit said they gave Osmeña the chance to decide who among the BOPK candidates for the council to be excluded from the endorsement of ALU-TUCP, which has 18,000 members in the city.

Osmeña explained that he decided that Archival be excluded from the endorsement since Archival always tops the surveys among the north district candidates for the council.

“Bisan pa og dili iapil pag-endorse si Archival sa ALU-TUCP sigurado gihapon siya nga modaug,” Osmeña said.

Barrit said they decided to endorse Osmeña and most of his slate because during his stint as mayor, he had helped the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR), an affiliate of ALU-TUCP.

The Freeman tried to reach Rama for his comment but the mayor was busy with his campaign yesterday.

According to the Commission on Elections, Cebu City has 647,681 registered voters with 248,292 voters from the North district while 399,389 voters from the South district.

During the press conference, ALU-TUCP also endorsed nine senatorial candidates.

Of the nine senatorial candidates, seven are from Team PNoy, one from the United Nationalist Alliance and one independent. (See separate story on page 6)

The seven Team PNoy senatorial candidates are reelectionist Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Loren Legarda, former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Bam Aquino, Grace Poe and former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar.

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito Estrada was the only candidate from UNA who made it to the list, which also included independent candidate Eddie Villanueva.

TUCP said that the nine senatorial candidates “have championed the rights of the workers.”

TUCP is the oldest and most established labor federation in the country with over a hundred labor unions nationwide.

Villar and Legarda earlier thanked TUCP for the endorsement and vow that they will continue their programs intended for the workers. -/LPM (FREEMAN)





Blog shows ruling on annulment of mayor’s marriage, psychiatrist’s diagnosis

By Jujemay G. Awit and Kevin A. Lagunda


THE court decision on the annulment of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama's marriage has been posted online apparently to project him as a person with personality disorder.

A scanned copy of the July 2000 judgment of Regional Trial Court Branch 22 Judge Pampio Abarintos on the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage filed by Araceli Francisco, the mayor’s former wife, was posted by a blogger known as I Love Cebu on mikerama.blogspot.com.

A link to the blog was posted on the Facebook page of Tommy Osmeña (Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña).

In the court document, Abarintos said psychiatrist Dr. Pureza Oñate diagnosed the mayor as “suffering from thrimonic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and obsessive/compulsive disorder.”

The ground cited by Francisco in the petition is Rama’s alleged psychological incapacity.

The mayor described the posting of the court judgment as a “cheap shot” that does not worry him. “It's a rehash. That happened a long time ago. It's cheap and they're desperate,” he said.

He did not say who he suspected was behind it, but the mayor is vying against Osmeña for the mayoral seat.

Rama said the move did not surprise him as he anticipated “dirty politics” from his opponents. “I don't want to rehash the issue on addict or Ecstasy (a party drug). It's not my cup of tea,” the mayor added but refused to explain.

Osmeña said he did not care for the mayor’s opinion. “If it is not true, I am willing to pay for a full page ad of a certified true copy from the court. If not, I will have to apologize to the Cebuanos for endorsing a psycho case for mayor,” he added.

“This personality disorder is complacent, maladaptive pattern of personality that is impervious to treatment, because most of the people suffering from these personality disorders cannot even appreciate the defects that they have,” the court judgment quoted the psychiatrist’s report on Rama.

But Rama said these are normal findings in annulment cases with psychological incapacity as ground.

Osmeña thinks otherwise. “I just read it in full and whether it's true or not, it sounds like him,” he said.

RTC Branch 13 Judge Meinrado Paredes said resolved annulment of marriage cases are not confidential.

The promulgated cases, he said, are included in the Supreme Court Reports Annotated books.

“It is for the public to know,” he said in a phone interview.

He said hearings on an annulment of marriage case are held before a family court and the judge may release his decision to the media after the involved parties have been given the document.

The family court, however, cannot give records of cases that involve minors, said Paredes.

But lawyer Earl Bonachita, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter, said documents under the jurisdiction of a family court are confidential in nature.

“Unless the court orders its publication,” he.

If Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama felt aggrieved by the blog, Bonachita said, Rama can file civil and criminal complaints against the perpetrator. He said only a court can issue an order to delete the documents from the Internet.

Republic Act 8369 or the Family Courts Act of 1997 states that “records of the cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge.”