Former PBA star Dondon Hontiveros was sworn in as Cebu City vice mayor Saturday morning a day after the death of mayor Edgardo Labella.
This was the order of ascension for the retired basketball star and city councilor after Michael Rama, Hontiveros' predecessor, took over as city mayor.
For Hontiveros, he did not expect to become vice mayor.
“It never occurred to me,” he said.
He plans to continue the work started during Labella’s term and to work closely with Rama.
Under the ruling of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), ascension of position follows after the death in the executive department.
Rama clarified that they are not disrespecting the wake of Labella.
“This is not how we wanted to take the reins of the city government. But me and Vice-Mayor Dondon have to look over the operations of the city,” said Rama.
The new mayor said his office will be instructing councilor Joy Pesquera to replace Hontiveros in the council.
Pesquera, a lawyer, has sat as city councilor in multiple terms. She also ran for a House of Representatives seat but lost in 2019.
Meanwhile, Rama said that as mayor he would review the 10-point agenda by his predecessor and start his strategic planning from there.
He will also keep on advocating for the vaccination of individuals in the city, most especially city employees.
Last week, he announced that their bonuses will not be released if not everyone is fully vaccinated. This was followed by a “bonanza” raffle for those whose who have taken their COVID-19 shots. — With a report by Annie Perez-Gallardo