HIMAMAYLAN CITY – The 5th district congressional race appears to be between Marilou Arroyo, sister-in-law of former president turned House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Board Member Alain Gatuslao, son of former Assemblyman Tony Gatuslao, if no further settlement is reach and no other candidates run for the post.
Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist) said yesterday that Love Negros reached a settlement in the 5th district, after a meeting Wednesday night, attended by him, Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Paduano said Love Negros will support the congressional bid of Arroyo and Vice Mayor Carminia Bascon for mayor of Himamaylan City.
Himamaylan Mayor Ernesto Agustin Bascon has opted not to run for congressman of the fifth district and will instead focus his attention on supporting his mother’s campaign for mayor, Paduano said.
Carminia Bascon’s runningmate is Raymond Gatuslao.
Meanwhile, Board Member Alain Gatuslao, accompanied Raymond Tongson and Justin Gatuslao in filing their Certificates of Candidacy before the Commission on Election yesterday, for mayor and vice mayor of Himamaylan City under the United Negros Alliance ticket.
The board member refused to comment on the reported congressional bid of Arroyo but plans to file his CoC for congressman of the fifth district before the Negros Occidental Comelec in Bacolod City on Monday.
Former Assemblyman Gatuslao, father of Alain and Justin, used to serve as the Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer under then president Gloria Arroyo, leading to speculation that a settlement could leave Marilou Arroyo as the lone candidate.
Marilou Arroyo said yesterday the support and encouragement she has been getting “are overwhelming and very hard to ignore. All I can say right now is, I will definitely be in Bacolod next week and let’s see what happens”.
Meanwhile, Tongson announced that the UNegA slate for Himamaylan City councilors is composed of Johnny Ades, Sam Belarga, Ranie Entiero, Pablo Liboon, Michael Brian Javelosa, Julie Ann Torillo, Marianne Limsiaco, Alejandro Montero, Paulo Sian Gonzales and Junjun Tongson. Javelosa and Tongson are incumbent city councilors.
He said most of their lineup are young Himamaylanon's who want to "see the full potential of our status as a city."
Justin Gatuslao said that if his tandem with Tongson will win "we will return to the original set up, where it will be the mayor who will govern and the City Council will support him with the necessary legislation”.*
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