Cebu City

Tandem or not? 2 Cebu City mayors hold separate state of the city addresses

John Sitchon

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Tandem or not? 2 Cebu City mayors hold separate state of the city addresses


When asked if he was still Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama’s vice mayor, acting mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia jokes by saying in Cebuano, 'ask him'

It appears that a bigger storm is brewing in the Queen City of the South after two mayors, one acting, and the other on preventive suspension, each held their own State of the City Address (SOCA).

Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia made his SOCA before members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Wednesday, July 3. His address highlighted “diplomacy” as the key element for his stint as acting mayor.

A day after, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama delivered his SOCA at a private establishment on Thursday, July 4. In his address, Rama stressed that he was “still the people’s mayor.”

But how did it get to this point? The mayor and his vice mayor appeared to be on good terms as the former announced on February 17 that he would be seeking reelection in the midterm polls next year with Garcia as his partner.

That was until Rama found out days later that Garcia, along with some members of the city council, met with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, the vice mayor’s aunt, to discuss actions to be taken on civil works at the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) system.

At the time, the governor was protesting the construction of a station that would block the view of the Cebu provincial capitol building, citing possible damage to the cultural significance and integrity of the historical structure.

On the city’s teleradio program on February 29, Rama called the meeting “treacherous,” and soon after, filed a complaint against the governor in March before the Office of the President for alleged abuse of authority in halting CBRT civil works.

On May 8, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a six-month preventive suspension against Rama and seven city officials over unpaid salaries and discrimination faced by four city employees.

The vice mayor then assumed leadership as acting mayor and immediately worked on getting the four city employees paid and addressing concerns over discriminatory practices at city hall.

Garcia’s “diplomatic” campaign did not stop there. 

On May 27, the acting mayor signed the excavation permits of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) that was led by lawyer Jose Daluz III. Rama and Daluz have been clashing against each other over the management of the MCWD. 

In the same month, Garcia also sought a partnership with the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) over the development of the Compaña Maritima building and structures situated at the city’s Aduana area. 

Prior to this, the CPA filed an administrative complaint against Rama before the Office of the President through the local office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on April 29 after personnel under the mayor’s office went to the port area and installed rail fences at the CPA’s port extension project. 

Instead of a commendation, Garcia shared during a podcast with media personality Jason Monteclar on June 17, that Rama was “not pleased” with the acting mayor’s efforts.

“I was not expecting this from him. I still consider him with the highest regard…I was hoping he would be happy with what I am doing,” Garcia said, admitting that there is now a “distance” between the two officials.

When asked if he was still Rama’s vice mayor, Garcia joked by saying in Cebuano, “Ask him.”

On the same podcast on June 24, Rama – after learning that Garcia had moved to review contracts entered into by the mayor – said that the vice mayor should “watch out.”

“That’s the problem with him, he wants to go on a witch hunt…Raymond, that’s very bad…I’m telling you, you better watch out, you better not cry,” the mayor said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

It’s like the old Chinese proverb: “Two tigers cannot share one mountain.” –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!