Rama confirms infighting: Barug leaders face challenge
CEBU, Philippines — Three weeks after winning big in the last midterm elections, one of the pillars of Partido Barug admitted of an ongoing internal conflict among the members of the party.
Cebu City vice mayor-elect Michael Rama refused to give the details but said it is a “big challenge” for him as president of the local party.
“It’s still something nga a big challenge for the whole group and most especially sa akoa intawn sa City Council. We need to have synergy and we need to start right. Abangan lang usa kay I’m always a believer. Faith with action will produce miracle,” Rama told The FREEMAN.
Rama did not disclose who are involved in the conflict but outgoing Councilor Pastor Alcover, Jr. has been very vocal on social media against councilor-elect Prisca Niña Mabatid.
“Apil gyud ang conflict namo ani is ang pagka Trojan horse niya kay wala mi mag-expect nga iya ming traydoran. Walay problema ang kapildihan namo pero kon traydoron ka sa imong kauban, dili gyud maayo,” Alcover said.
The conflict between Mabatid and Alcover started before the elections when the former accused the latter of working for her ouster from the official lineup of Partido Barug.
“Akong giingon gyud sa mga tao nga ang partido wala mag promote og junking ug single voting pero nag-promote mi og straight voting. Ang nag-promote og single voting ang atong taktakon. Nasuko siya (Mabatid) kay ako kono nag promote nga taktakon siya,” Alcover explained.
Alcover said Mabatid told him that she was not invited during the sortie of Richard Yap, who was their candidate for congressman in the North District, making her believe that she was to be junked by him.
Fearing that she would be junked by her partymates, Mabatid allegedly admitted to Alcover that she had hundreds of “Niña warriors” who only voted for her and no one else. Alcover said this was contrary to Mabatid’s assurance that all of them would win in Barangay Mabolo.
Alcover said the results of the election would show that they were junked in Mabolo because only four members of their group won. Alcover ranked 14 in Mabolo because he allegedly did not penetrate the area, relying on Mabatid’s promise.
“She’s so obsessed. Bakakon kaayo. Sayang kaayo. Grabe pagka-bakakon nga motoo na siya’s iyang bakak,” Alcover said, adding that Mabatid even asked for campaign funds from her partymates.
Alcover vowed to personally monitor Mabatid’s performance in the City Council.
Mabatid denied junking any member of the party. Her being a neophyte in politics allegedly makes her incapable of doing it.
“For the single-voting, I did not buy anyone whether to merely vote for me or to do single-voting. I did not even hired canvassers. Thinkers are doers. They were the one who junked me and I have the sample ballots that were surrendered by supporters kay naluoy sila nako kay gitangtang ang akong pangalan,” she said.
Mabatid denied asking money from her partymates. She said it was the other way around.
“But after all the help I gave him iya ko gi-unay basin he got a higher pay. He is really a bad example of a politician. Palaaway, mang hadlok, mang hulga but I am not surprised because even our own President Duterte is being lambasted and mocked by him. He keeps accusing me of his defeat, why not question the people’s decisions?” she said.
“Tuga-tuga man siya og dagan di man diay ka dawat og kapildihan. But I will not step down to his level and I am not afraid of him,” Mabatid added.
Mabatid said it would be a test of Rama’s leadership to solve their conflict.
Rama said he understands where Alcover is coming from.
“I don’t want to say it now. But I want to look at it with sense of optimism and cherish the victory but to feel bad for those who did not make it,” Rama said.
Rama said he will meet all members of the group to ensure that this conflict will be resolved.
Meanwhile, Rama did not confirm nor deny his reported conflict with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino.
“I don’t want to say it’s true and I don’t want to say it’s not true. Akong primary responsibility is really local. Lahi-lahi man ang (We have different) territorial responsibility. And if we will play our role, I think we ought to be mindful about, I think synergy can be arrived,” he said.
Veteran broadcaster and columnist Bobby Nalzaro wrote in his column about the alleged heated argument between Dino and Rama. It allegedly started when Rama made a comment during a meeting that he would not allow anyone to influence how he would run the City Council, especially the non-politicians.
Dino allegedly felt alluded to and raised his voice on Rama. The president’s alter ego in the Visayas reportedly reminded Rama that if it were not for him the opposition would not win in the last elections. (FREEMAN)