Watch: Reelectionist Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama Giving Cash to Barangay Officials (Video)
Cebu City Mayor Michael ‘Mike’ Rama, who is now running for reelection, was caught on camera giving cash incentives to barangay officials during the campaign period. Rama’s long-time rival, former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña says he plans to file a case against him. Watch the ANC news video below.
According to the report, Mayor Mike Rama allegedly gave barangay captains P15,000 each, and P9,000 to barangay councilors. Each of them were placed inside an envelope, which were distributed to the said officials in a certain event. The video in question was shown to Comelec-Region 7 Regional Director Nick Mendros.
“I don’t know how they have reserved that, but I received a memorandum from the Office of the Chairman.” Mendros tells ABS-CBN Central Visayas news reporter Annie Perez. She reiterated that Omnibus Election Code does not allow giving local officials money from the government treasury, especially during election campaign period.
“How can you give money to these eight barangay officials, when that is not a necessary function of the government?” Osmeña said, who lost to Rama in the 2013 elections. He is running under Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), an affiliate of Liberal Party (LP), while Rama is a member of UNA (United Nationalist Alliance).
When asked by ABS-CBN News, Mayor Rama did not deny giving money to the barangay officials. However, he said the said cash scheme are reallly for the barangay officials who don’t receive salary, but only honararia, which is considered as a gift for the professional services rendered. He added that he is ready to face the charges against him.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Mayor Mike Rama gave envelopes containing money. Back in 2011, Rama distributed P2,000 cash aid to some senior citizens of his city. That time, the envelopes have his picture and name printed on it. It was also exposed by Tomas Osmeña, who was then the Congressman of Second District of Cebu City.