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Rama files libel against council bet

First Posted 08:25:00 04/29/2010

Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama yesterday made good his threat to file a libel suit against an opposition council candidate who labelled him ?public enemy number one? for being an alleged protector of a suspected drug pusher.

Rama filed a libel complaint against candidate James Philip Tiongko before the Cebu City Prosecutor's Office. He said the accusation about drug ties brought ?dishonor and contempt? to him and ?the entire Rama clan who are well known in local politics.?

The vice mayor cited newspaper articles in Sun.Star and which quoted Tiongko?s statements made in a press conference.

Rama, the Bando Osmea-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) standard bearer, said there was ?evident malice? on Tiongko's part considering that he called a press conference to make his allegations.

?This is the worst attack in my political career,? said Rama, a three-term vice mayor, in a press conference. He said he would pursue the case even if Tiongko apologizes to him.

In previous interviews, Rama said he played basketball with Crisostomo ?Tata Negro? Llaguno, who is now running for the city council as an independent, but denied intervening for him.

Tiongko and some youth volunteers this week held a silent protest in front of City Hall distributing black ribbons and urged passersby not to vote for Rama.

Rama said Tiongko?s statements at the press conference were ?calculated falsehood? to damage his chances in the May 10 elections.

Rama's rival candidate Georgia Osmea, in a press statement, voiced sympathy for him.

However she reiterated that Rama ?must not be onion-skinned if the charges against him are untrue.?

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