• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer is open to any political plans in the 2025 elections, as his wife, Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer is about to complete her term as a representative of the 4th district of Negros Occidental.
Ferrer, currently on his second term as vice governor of Negros Occidental, disclosed he will face “whatever mission be given to him by the Lord.”
He said there is no definite plan yet, as of this time, although he is open to all possibilities.
Ferrer, the president of the United Negros Alliance, also said that if Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who is a member of Love Negros, should decide to join UnegA, “he is most welcome.”
UNegA secretary general Salvador Escalante Jr. earlier admitted that there were recommendations to invite Gov. Lacson to join their political group. But Escalante said “let’s not rock the boat,” stressing that Love Negros and UNegA coalition remains solid and strong.
The coalition is strong and I am sure it will carry up to the next election, Escalante, the mayor of Cadiz City, said.
Escalante made the statement in response to speculations that a certain group planning to field a candidate to challenge Lacson in the 2025 gubernatorial race.
If Ferrer should decide to return to Congress, there is talk that Escalante should be the running mate of Lacson.
Escalante has still one term as mayor of Cadiz City, should he opt for reelection.
Majority of the mayors in Negros Occidental are affiliated with Love Negros.
Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez earlier laughed off and strongly debunked claims that he will running for governor in 2025, which also reechoed by his father, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez.
Meanwhile, the Vice Governor will be the acting governor of Negros Occidental for one week while Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is on travel to Australia, for the period of April 10 to 16.
In executive order number 23 11, Lacson said the designation of Vice Gov. Ferrer as the acting governor aims to ensure continuous and effective delivery of basic and social services.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said that Gov. Lacson will return to work on April 17, in time with the opening of week-long celebrations of the Panaad sa Negros Festival.
Diaz said that Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco will attend the opening ceremonies, after she confirmed her attendance.
Ferrer, however said that he got initial information that President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, may not be able to attend the opening ceremonies.
Vice President Sara Duterte was also invited by the provincial government of Negros Occidental to attend the annual festivities.
Ferrer, however, said he is not aware if there is confirmation from the Office of the Vice President, of her attendance.
The Philippine National Police earlier said that it will enforce the gun ban from April 17 to 23 in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City.
Only members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies in proper uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms.
The Panaad sa Negros, dubbed the “Festival of all Festivals” in Negros Occidental, is making a comeback, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic.*