Peña: I was a spare tire

By Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 05 2015 12:27 AM | Updated as of Jul 05 2015 10:19 AM

MANILA -- Acting Makati Mayor Romulo Peña narrated how difficult it was to perform his duties when he was still the city's vice-mayor.

Speaking to DZMM, Peña said that as part of the opposing party, he found it difficult to perform his duties especially since some officials stayed aloof.

"Aaminin ko po na hindi madali, pero kapag po taglay natin 'yung kagustuhan na mag-serbisyo, kahit na po napakahirap kasi hindi po ako entitled na hindi makasama sa ibang mga proyekto, o kaya naman sa mga pagpupulong, o kaya naman po sa pagdedesisyon ng ilang bagay na baka naman mayroon tayong konting nalalaman, hindi ko po magawa 'yun," he said.

"So ang ginawa ko, bilang vice mayor, pangalawang term ko, una, pangalawang term ko, eh bumaba po ako sa mga barangay. Minsan doon na po ako nag-oopisina, minsan doon na po ako inaabot ng pakikipagtalakayan sa mga tao.''

Before being elected as vice-mayor, Peña first served as a barangay official, an experience that helped him a lot in performing his tasks as vice-mayor.

Despite his supposed connection to barangay officials, some still find it difficult to talk to him for political reasons.

"So siyempre alam ko po ang lenggwahe namin, alam ko po kung saan kami pare-pareho nagsimula, at siguro po sa ganoong pagkakataon, napakasakit 'pag hindi ka nakaka-kausap ng mga barangay officials," Peña said.

Peña  barangay official also risked being called for questioning by higher officials by talking to him.

"Marahil siguro po baka kausapin, ipatawag, o kung hindi man po sila talaga, 'yung mga malalapit po sa kanila, tatanungin "bakit mo kausap si Vice-Mayor?"," Peña added.

He also has the same experience in the city hall, were some employees also found it difficult to talk to him.

"Nakakausap ko po 'yung mga empleyado pero hindi po lahat kasi 'yung iba naiilang po sa akin...sa hindi po ma-anuhang paraan, siguro po naging tatak na ako ay oposisyon, so siyempre 'pag oposisyon ka nag-iisa po ako," Peña said.

The official, however, did not let this treatment hinder him from doing his job.

"Parang ganun po, kaya lang eh galing po tayo sa barangayan. Bagama't ganoon po ang intensyon sa akin, parang kumbaga eh spare tire ako, sinikap ko po, dahil marunong nga po tayo sa barangayan, bumaba po ako sa mga tao," Peña said.

PLANS AS ACTING MAYOR

Peña was sworn in as acting mayor on Tuesday, after the suspension order against Mayor Junjun Binay was served at the city hall.

To his delight, he received a warm welcome from the employees, contrary to how he was treated when he was still vice-mayor.

"Nakakatuwa po 'yan eh, kasi 'yung akin pong pagpasok po doon eh sinalubong po tayo kaagad ng mga empleyado. Hindi po natin nakakitaan na mayroon pong pasubali po ang mga empleyado roon, bagkus, maganda naman po ang reception sa atin, lahat naman po ng makasalubong natin ay hindi naman po, parang 'ika nga eh umiiwas na ngayon, kasi kadalasan po noong panahon ko as vice mayor, mayroon pong konting mga pag-iwas, dahil po siyempre, nag-iingat din po sila," Peña said.

As acting mayor, he knew his position is temporary.

"Sa totoo lang po, alam ko po, taglay po ng isipan ko na pansamantala lang po itong aking pagiging acting mayor. Pero alam ko naman na kahit ilang araw, o buwan o kung ano pa man ang mangyari, kailangan po makapagpakita ako ng kakaiba," Peña said.

Among the issues he wants to address as the city's acting mayor is the so-called fake biddings happening in the city.

"Ang akin po gusto ko pong ipakita sa madlang tao, doon po sa mga tao sa lungsod na kapag mayroong ganyang mga bidding, kami po ay magpapalabas ng mga monitor sa lobby. Kami po ay mag-iimbita ng mga personalidad, sa simbahan, mga negosyante, na mag-wiwitness po sa aming mga bidding, nang sa gayon po ay talagang makita nila na talagang ito ay patas, at talaga naman pong makikita na kung sino," he added.