BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Victorias City mayoralty front runner Javier Miguel “Javi” Benitez, with his family members who are in politics andare in the receiving end of intense “hate campaign” as claimed by their supporters, reiterated that he will not go down to the level of “negative campaigning and desperate acts.”
Benitez, who led the Asenso Victoriahanon grand rally at the Victorias City public plaza on Wednesday night that was participated in by more than 8,000 persons according to police estimates, said that he has already forgiven his detractors and he will continue praying for them.
To those who are planning to destroy my good intentions for Victorias City, he said “I’m sorry that you failed. But I forgive you.”
In the remaining days of campaign period, Benitez said he will focus in connecting to the people of Victorias City.
Quoting the statement of his father, former Third District Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who is also running for mayor of Bacolod City, Javi said “Let’s minimize politics and maximize governance.”
Javi and his father are both criticized of not being “tumandok (native)” in areas where they are running for elected positions. The younger Benitez was also criticized of being young and inexperienced in running government affairs.
Such claims were dismissed by Javi as “parochial mentality and short sighted.”If you want to develop a certain placeand you are ready to serve, it is not important if you are a “tumandok” or not, he stressed.
What is important is what you can do and help, he further said.
When you have good intentions, most of the time, time is short. But the best time to act is now- now that we are able and available, Javi said.
He told his detractors not to grow frustrated and bitter, stressing that he is young and has promising years ahead of him.
When we look back someday, people will know who is in the bad side of the history, and my intention is to remain on the good side, Javi pointed out.
In his speech before the crowds, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson urged Victorias City residents not to believe any of the black propaganda hurled against Javi.
It is not about the age, but the youth of Javi will bring fresh ideas of governance to Victorias City, Lacson, who reiterated his support for the candidacy of the younger Benitez as mayor, said.
Javi vowed to bring change to Victorias City by providing more opportunities and improved services to his fellow Victoriahanons, stressing also that giving service for the city runs in his blood.
He vowed to bring a dignified human settlement for all, proper zoning through urban planning, measures to mitigate and prevent natural disasters such as flooding, economic opportunities and jobs to fight poverty and hunger, as well as putting priority on education and further strengthen the universal health care.
Aside from Lacson, Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez and his older brother, Albee, Abang Lingkod party list second nominee, Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Board Members Manuel Frederick Ko and Andrew Montelibano also joined the political rally.*