WITH the filing of certificates of candidacy closing on Friday, some barangay officials identified with Barug Team Rama allegedly want to switch sides to Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
According to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, he has been receiving feelers from several barangay officials, but he will not disclose their names.
“But you know, I can’t abandon my own people. Luoy sad. I will tell you (which barangays) after the elections. I will not tell you before. I don’t count, I don’t care. I don’t even accept so I won’t discuss,” he told reporters.
The mayor, though, clarified that he is not closing his doors to those who wish to join BOPK.
A matter of priority
However, he will only consider their “request” after next month’s elections.
“So for example if I need three more votes to get the ABC (Association of Barangay Councils), ako nang dawaton (I will accept them). But after that, no more. The door is closed,” Osmeña added.
At present, Tisa Barangay Captain Phillip Zafra sits as president of the ABC. Zafra, who is identified with the opposition, is also an ex-officio member of the City Council.
Asked for the reason some opposition-allied barangay officials want to join BOPK, Osmeña said it is simply because he is the mayor.
“Reminder to everyone that no matter what, I’m still the mayor. Will I help those who are identified with me? I will help everybody but, of course, I will help those who are identified with me ahead. Why will I help Team Suyop first? I’m not crazy,” he added.
Out of the 80 barangays in the city, 15 are identified with BOPK.
These are Barangays Guadalupe, Labangon, Tejero, Mabolo, Kalubihan, Banilad, Capitol Site, Cogon Ramos, Day-as, Kasambagan, Pahina Central, Talamban, Kinasang-an, Babag and Buhisan.
Zafra, for his part, remains confident that at least 63 of the barangays will remain with the opposition. He added that the mayor’s disclosure part of the latter’s “political strategy.”