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NegOcc PDP members resign en masse

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The elected officials of Negros Occidental who resigned en masse from PDP Laban, with Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez and Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, who is a member of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.*

About 60 officials and members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) Laban in Negros Occidental resigned en masse from the political party, its provincial chairman, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, disclosed Monday.

The PDP, which already dropped the Laban (Lakas ng Bayan) a couple of months ago, is chaired by former President Rodrigo Duterte.

As PDP members, we were not even invited to any of their gatherings and meetings. What do you expect? Benitez said.

The late Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. led Negros Occidental officials in supporting then Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who was defeated by Rodrigo Duterte, in the presidential race of 2016.

A year after, Benitez, then congressman of the Negros Occidental 3rd district, together with Marañon, as well as about 200 elected officials of the province Occidental, then joined PDP-Laban and took their oath as members.

A month ago, the group of Victorias City Vice Mayor Abelardo Bantug Jr. and nine city councilors resigned from the PDP after  Atty. Jesus Hinlo, deputy secretary general of PDP Visayas, announced that the party is eyeing the fielding of former Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca against incumbent Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson in the 2025 polls, without consulting them.

Almost all PDP members who are elected government officials in Negros Occidental are members of the Love Negros – United Negros Alliance coalition that is supporting the reelection bid of Gov. Lacson.

The PDP members, who met with Benitez on May 25 at his residence in Bacolod City, signed a manifesto stating their irrevocable resignation from the party, with many more expressing their intention to resign.

Of the resigned PDP members, eight are incumbent mayors, five vice mayors and the remaining are councilors, Benitez said.

Asked if they will join the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Benitez replied “We are considering everything.”

As a group, we will talk about it again, where we will be going, the mayor said.

Benitez however said they will make a decision in the near future.

Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, the personal adviser of President Marcos Jr. in Western VIsayas, earlier clarified that there was no order from PBBM for PDP members in Negros Occidental, who supported him during the presidential election, to resign from their political party.

Ferrer, however, said he will respect the decision of the elected officials, should they resign from PDP.

He also supports the reelection bid of Lacson for his third and final term as governor of Negros Occidental.*

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