THE animosity between Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and the City Council is evident even in the selection of City Charter Day awardees.
The council recommended former City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo and the Asian College of Technology (ACT) operated by Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa to be in a list of over a dozen awardees to be honored on Feb. 24.
But Mayor Rama put his foot down and said he won’t recognize both of them.
He said the school belongs to a local official.
Camarillo, on the other hand, was not his choice for city treasurer during the budget debates last year.
“The executive and legislative should be unanimous in choosing the awardees. It would be quite inappropriate if the mayor doesn’t support the choices,” he said.
Rama said if the council insists on recognizing Camarillo and ACT on Charter Day, they could pick them as separate awardees of the council.
Councilor Margot Osmeña presented to the council a resolution for approval of the list of awardees endorsed by the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) in yesterday’s session.
“I wont sign it,” the mayor told reporters yesterday.
Camarillo was earlier removed by Rama during last December’s budget debates after she told the Council the city government can’t meet the revenue targets for the mayor’s proposed P11.8-billion budget.
Camarillo was appointed division head of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) replacing treasurer Ofelia Oliva who returned to her former post last month.
Rama said the annual recognition of outstanding persons and institutions should go to those who made significant contributions to the city.
Osmeña said in an interview that the CHAC endorsement is presented to the council for approval and endorsement to the mayor.
If the mayor doesn’t approve it, the council can nominate their own awardees for the City Charter Day celebration on Feb. 24.
Since 2001, the council has been handing out its own awards to offset any contradicting choices between the mayor and the council.
Mayor Rama said he would have wanted to keep discussions confidential on the selection of Charter Day awardees.
He said he invited the council to a meeting but only Councilors Daluz, Roberto Cabarrubias and Leah Japson showed up.
The CHAC list for outstanding individuals include businessman John Pages, Camarillo, Insp. Ma. Theresa Macatangay, Dr. Wyben Briones and April Vera Gerona.
Outstanding institutions include the Visayan Forum Foundation, Basak Pardo Emergency Response, ACT, Pag-asa sa Paglaya, International Justice Mission and the Lupong Tagapamayapa of barangay Adlaon. A posthumous award was also proposed for Guadalupe Baring.
Osmeña said the list of awardees was deliberated upon by the CHAC members.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young sits as CHAC chairman with Osmeña as vice chairperson. /By Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters with Correspondent Edison delos Angeles