BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
It is still Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer in the May 2022 elections, United Negros Alliance secretary general Salvador Escalante Jr. said yesterday.
Should there be somebody challenging Lacson, definitely, it should not be somebody from UNegA, Escalante, who is the mayor of Cadiz City, said.
Except for Toboso and Isabela towns, Escalante declared that the status quo will be maintained for the positions of mayor, board members, and congressmen in Negros Occidental.
Escalante said they cannot stop Vice Mayor Renato Malabor Jr. from challenging incumbent Mayor Irene Montilla, while the wife of Toboso Mayor Richard Jaojoco also signified her intention to run for the position in next year’s elections.
He also said that they cannot withdraw their support from incumbent Rep. Maria Lourdes Arroyo (Lakas NUCD-UNegA), should former Board Member Alain Gatuslao decide to challenge her as representative of the 5th District.
Gatuslao, he said, is an active UNegA member, and a provincial board member. But Escalante said they have yet to confirm from Gatuslao if he is, indeed, running for the congressional post.
For Sagay City, Escalante said it was already agreed, although unofficially, that Mayor Alfredo Marañon III will run as representative of the 2nd district, Vice Mayor Narwin Javelosa for mayor, and Rep. Rafael Leo Cueva as vice mayor.
While there were speculations earlier that former Rep. Alfredo Benitez will run as governor of Negros Occidental, Lacson said yesterday that it did not reach a point where it was seriously considered.
Lacson said that Benitez, who is now a provincial government consultant, supported him during the 2016 elections.
“I did not feel any threat that a challenger will come within the group,” he said.*