THE break between Cebu City political kingpin Rep. Tommy Osmeña and Mayor Mike Rama after the 2010 election was not unexpected. But for Cebuanos, this promises to be an exciting battle royale in 2013.
The relationship of the two long-time allies – Rama had been Osmeña’s top councilor and later vice mayor for several consecutive terms – was not exactly smooth during their Cebu City Hall watch from 2001 to 2010.
When they ran united behind Liberal Party standard-bearer Noynoy Aquino in 2010, Rama was already smarting under Osmeña’s total control of Cebu City Hall decisions. Rama had been known trying to spread his wings whenever he could only to suffer public embarrassment because of Osmeña’s scathing rebuke.
Thus for the vice mayor, his time would be when he becomes mayor. That came in 2010 when Tom’s three terms ended and he decided to run for the city’s second congressional district.
Knowing Osmeña’s formidable political machinery that shut out the opposition of any seat at the City Council for two consecutive terms since 2007, Rama did not waste time establishing relationships with the city’s opposition leaders during his inauguration. He likewise mended fences with Gov. Gwen Garcia who had a running feud with Osmeña for several years.
But Rama as mayor could only do so much with only one ally – Councilor Edu Rama – at the Cebu City Council practically dominated by Osmeña allies led by Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young and Tommy’s wife Councilor Margot Osmeña.
When Osmeña allies at the Council opposed Rama’s handling of the clean up the city’s Mahiga Creek to address worsening flash floods, Rama decided to bolt out from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
Meanwhile, Rep. Osmeña had long expressed that he is not a legislative person. In fact, he had been more active in being Rama’s critic in how Cebu City is run. It was also not unexpected that Osmeña would announce his plans to return as mayor in 2013.
Thus, the stage for a 2013 battle royale is set.