WITH no visible local political machinery, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama can only rely on support from the Liberal Party (LP) in Manila for his 2013 re-election bid.
Or, as former congressman Antonio Cuenco proposed, Rama can consider running for mayor anew in Cebu City under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) ticket of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Cuenco said Binay, a leading figure in PDP-Laban which is part of UNA, is prepared to adopt Rama and his “Team Rama” as guest candidates even if LP favors him over Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City's south district.
Osmeña, the city's former mayor, will run against Rama next year. But the mayor said he isn't too keen on accepting Binay's offer.
Still while the PDP-Laban hasn't made a formal offer, Cuenco said Rama may not refuse it.
“Why will he refuse it when it will boost his candidacy?,” Cuenco said.
Rama said in a separate interview that he has no plans of leaving LP, his national party when he won his first term in May 2010.
“If the others will take a chance on me, I would be happy...But right now the situation is fluid,” he said.
Rama credited Binay for helping him during his run for the presidency of the vice mayor's league.
The mayor said he's friends with Binay who asked him during a recent gathering held at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) that they should not ally politics to get in the way of their friendship.
Rama said his family is also in good relations with the Aquino family.
He said it was him and former north district congressman Raul del Mar who convinced Osmeña to join president Benigno Aquino III's group in the 2010 elections.
Rama said that he also remained loyal to LP in the election while Osmeña supported two candidates for vice president, former senator Manuel Roxas and senator Loren Legarda.
“Mike is still hoping that he will be the LP official candidate in Cebu City. He is still waiting for word from Manila,” Cuenco said.
Osmeña said in an earlier interview that he wasn't concerned about national alliances.
He said the LP could always choose to support Rama's candidacy and he could seek election for mayor under his Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) party.
Cuenco said he already spoke with Rama on offers for him to formally take his oath with PDP-Laban and be its regional chairman while Councilor Jose Daluz III was offered to be the group's Cebu City chairman.
Rama, Cuenco said, was not favorable to his rejoining PDP-Laban, a group which he joined during martial law.
“But he (Rama) cannot stop me and Daluz from again joining PDP-Laban,” he said. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters