Cebu City

Cebu Mayor Mike Rama holds ‘backstage’ city address amid preventive suspension

Jerry Yubal Jr.

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Cebu Mayor Mike Rama holds ‘backstage’ city address amid preventive suspension

BACKSTAGE SOCA. Suspended Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama delivers his own SOCA in front of his supporters and political allies as a response to Cebu City’s acting Mayor Raymond Garcia’s city address last July 3, 2024.

Mike Rama Official Facebook Page

When asked why he was seen using a government-owned vehicle with a Cebu City seal upon his arrival at the venue for his State of the City Address, the suspended mayor refuses to answer the question

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama delivered his own State of the City Address (SOCA) amid an ongoing preventive suspension order against him, on Thursday evening, July 4 at the Casino Español Hotel de Cebu.

To recall, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a 6-month preventive suspension on May 8 to Rama and seven city officials over reports of discrimination and unpaid salaries faced by four city employees.

Rama called it his own “backstage” SOCA or BaSOCA. Prior to this, Cebu City acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia already delivered a city address at the Cebu City Hall on Wednesday, July 3.

Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his suspension, Rama assured his constituents that he will remain as the “people’s mayor.”

“I will continue to be your people’s servant. I will serve all of you, no distinction,” the mayor said.

He also said that “bitterness, anger, and vengeance” is not his cup of tea. He stated that he would choose to forgive “as healing comes for those who do.”

During his SOCA, Rama opted to present his achievements in an 18-minute video presentation which highlighted some of his projects since he entered politics in 1992, and the plans that he aims to materialize. 

He also outlined the developments he made during his current term from July 2023 to April 2024 before his preventive suspension.

Among the achievements Rama boasted is the highly anticipated return of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 to Cebu City after 30 years which is set to be held from July 9 to 16.

He also showed his vision of completing the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center which aims to make healthcare more accessible to the people.

‘The right to do so’

During the press conference, Rama refused to answer questions concerning his plans for the 2025 elections as well as his preventive suspension. Most of the questions that the suspended mayor entertained were related to the Palarong Pambansa and his preparations for the event.

He added that he has been visiting barangays all over the city for the past 2 months that he has been suspended from office in hopes of understanding their needs and concerns.

Although Rama never clarified if he received any formal invitation from Garcia for the Palarong Pambansa, he assured his supporters that he will be attending the event to express his support not only for the acting Cebu City mayor, the councilors, but even for Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia.

“Let us not tamper the spirit. Let us all be one in making Palaro successful,” Rama said.

When asked why the mayor chose to deliver his address now despite his suspension, lawyer Collin Rosell, one of the seven suspended city officials, asserted that Rama, as the elected mayor, has the right to present the report.

“According to our Local Government Code, it is [Rama’s] solemn duty to do the report. In fact, sections 444, 455, and 465 of the Local Government Code emphasize that elected mayors have to do the reporting, especially on matters that include appropriations, and support coming from the [City Council] and the people,“ Rosell explained.

When asked why he was seen using a government-owned vehicle with a Cebu City seal upon his arrival at the venue, and also last June 12 when he held his “Team Barug Rama” rally, Rama changed the topic of the interview and refused to answer the question. –

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