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Orola vying for governor?

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

After denying reports last week that he may run for governor of Negros Occidental, former Bacolod Rep. John Nuega Orola is now hinting about such possibility.

Orola confirmed yesterday that he has transferred his voting registration from Bacolod City to Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental this month, that he had also denied earlier.

Orola said he has no intention to join the political circus in Salvador Benedicto, adding that he just wants to enjoy the scenery in the town, and to help in promoting the tourism potential of the area.

The former congressman, who is now the tourism consultant of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, admitted that he wants to help the province in whatever capacity, when asked if he will run for governor in the election next year.

“I may run for governor, I may run for vice governor. I don’t know yet,” Orola said, when pressed if he will challenge Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Orola said he is now preoccupied with trade, tourism, and investment promotions, and of having meetings with the Department of Trade and Industry in connection with the Dubai and China-Asean expos, to bring more participants to Dubai.

But Orola admitted talking to some of his friends, who are asking him to go back to the political arena, referring to the PDP-Laban faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

He announced that PDP-Laban will have a sort of convention in Bacolod City on September 4, that is expected to be participated in by potential candidates.

Orola, who became a member of PDP-Laban during the time of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, confirmed that he was invited by Cusi to attend the convention.

LACSON REPLY

On reports that Orola may challenge him, Lacson said, “You cannot choose your opponent.”

Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, who is the United Negros Alliance president, earlier said that they are in full support of Lacson.

UNegA has 13 mayor-members, while 18 other mayors are affiliated with Love-Negros, where Lacson belongs.

In response to a question that Orola may be supported by Vallacar Transit Inc. matriarch Olivia Yanson, Lacson said, “That’s good for him.”

Orola, however, vehemently denied that he had consulted Olivia, who he said, is a good friend, for any of his political plans.

“I don’t want to involve the Yanson group. If I go into this, it is my own fight,” he stressed.

But Orola admitted that when he left his job as city administrator of Bacolod, he was encouraged by Olivia to take a rest.*

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