Ako si (I?m) Minnie Osmeña and I'm always the backup of the Osmeña family.?
With this, Ma. Victoria ?Minnie? Osmeña Stuart, elder sister of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, introduced herself to more than 100 people who gathered for the blessing and inauguration of a four-story barangay hall in Talamban, Cebu City yesterday.
?If compared, I have more experience in campaigning than Tommy, ? she said, recalling that she first campaigned for her father, Serging, when she was 12 years old.
Through five elections, Minnie said she campaigned at her father?s side, including the 1971 Cebu City mayoralty race when her father was already sick and could barely speak.
The wealthy sister whom Tomas openly credits for financial and moral support throughout his cancer treatment, said she has always been active in the campaigns of her brothers, Serge and Tomas.
?I?m a third-generation Osmeña and I?m always helping Tommy. I?m always the backup because they are my brothers.?
Minnie?s increased visibility in the barangays where she touches base with local leaders in recent weeks has sparked questions about whether her role would be more than that of a ?campaigner? in the 2010 polls with speculations going as far as suggesting she could run for mayor.
Minnie told minutes after her speech, that her plans depend on Tommy?s will.
?Everything will depend on Tommy because he is boss.? she said in an interview.
?I will not say anything na because everytime I say something, it?s becoming samok already.?
In a prior interview, Tomas said an Osmeña would challenge Jonathan Guardo for the congressional seat in the south district to protect the city?s still developing 300-hectare reclamation project ? either himself, wife Margot or Minnie.
If so, Minnie?s presence in a north district barangay yesterday raised some eyebrows. She is also registered as a voter in Camputhaw
Some barangay captains earlier pushed for Minnie Osmeña to run for mayor as standard bearer of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
Mayor Osmeña, wife Margot and Minnie were among the guests during yeterday?s blessing and inauguration of the P10 million, Talamban barangay hall . The event was also attended by Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu City north district), city councilors Leah Japson, Edgar Labella and Jun Pe and some barangay captains.
Talamban barangay captain Alvin Arcilla toured guests around the building before a 5 p.m. Mass.
During the Mass, Minnie sat beside Mayor Osmeña while wife Margot was on his other side.
Mayor Osmeña, however, left before the Mass ended to catch a flight to Manila.
After the Mass, Margot spoke on his behalf, thanking all those who prayed for the mayor's health and Talamban residents who gave Tomas a majority vote they iin the 2001 election.
Minnie Osmeña was called to speak after her.
She talked about her role as the ?backup? of the family, campaigning for her father and two brothers in their political careers.
?Thank you for giving us three generations of helping you,? said Minnie at the end.
She told CDN later she leaves it to Mayor Osmeña will determine if she needs to run for office in 2010 or not.