BOPK ‘using Pacquiao influence’ to endorse Abella replacement
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - September 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — The Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan bloc is not raising the white flag just yet in its fight to keep majority.

The party is reportedly seeking Senator Manny Pacquiao’s endorsement of a certain Rengelle Pelayo, a known BOPK ally, as replacement to resigned councilor Nendell Hanz Abella.

This was revealed by Councilor Joel Garganera, a staunch critic of Osmeña, in a press conference yesterday.

“They’re also doing their thing. They’re also using the influence of Senator Pacquiao to endorse somebody. I got the name here by the name of Rengelle Pelayo,” Garganera told reporters.

Abella already tendered his resignation last week as a member of the City Council after he took his oath of office as commissioner representing the workers' sector in the National Labor Relations Commission Seventh Division under Department of Labor and Employment.

The FREEMAN tried to get the comment of Pelayo but to no avail. He was the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president and an ex-officio member of the City Council from 2008 to 2010.

When sought for comment, Osmeña declined to comment on Garganera’s claims.

“I’m not going to comment on anything. But let me point out something. Before they start giving their sermons to me, I’d like to remind them they all defected (from) PDP-Laban. Right? So what’s their right to claim? Number two, Hanz Abella was with our group. That’s our right to claim also,” the mayor said.

Garganera said a reliable source from United Nationalist Alliance, Barug Team Rama’s national party during the May 2016 elections, tipped them off on the BOPK’s move to get Pacquiao’s endorsement for Pelayo.

Garganera believed the BOPK is the one creating the fuss about the possibility of former mayor Michael Rama as Abella’s replacement.

“That's a ploy from the opposite side. It didn’t come from us. How come Mike Rama's name floated? Gi-float ang name ni Mike Rama kay you know for a fact nga he was not yet cleared (from alleged illegal drug links),” he said.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte named Rama as one of the narco-politicians in the city.

Garganera said Barug Team Rama will meet tomorrow to discuss their final endorsement. Once their endorsement joins the council, Team Rama will secure the majority again.

He said the party is considering the two losing bets in the 2016 elections: Renato Osmeña Jr. and Inayawan Barangay Captain Lotlot Ignacio-Soon.

“Gilubog ni nila aron maglagot ang president. Come to think of it, you're trying to appoint somebody nga you accused of not being cleared? Although we all know nga nag-process na na siya (Rama). Up to now, it is also very difficult on the part of Digong to force that issue. That is being employed by the opposite camp. Mechanism nga dubious siya,” Garganera said.

Garganera said the Team Rama will coordinate with Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas on the replacement of Abella.

“It’s gonna be a fight of influence there in the power sa appointing authority. We rely heavily on Mike Dino. That's given, of course. We will ask for his help. That's given. Who’s gonna connect us to the appointing authority? So we're gonna heavily ask on Mike Dino,” Garganera said.

“What is needed in the appointment is a certification that he is a bonafide member of the party UNA. And second is that he is being endorsed for the position which is caused by the resignation of Abella,” he added. (FREEMAN)

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