BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
United Negros Alliance secretary general Salvador Escalante Jr. said yesterday they received “feelers” from the groups of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and even boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who are courting their support in next year’s elections.
Lacson already declared his intention to run for president, with Senator Tito Sotto of Nationalist People’s Coalition as his running mate, while Duterte-Carpio and Pacquiao are also being urged to run for president.
Escalante said there are talks that Pacquiao will visit Negros Occidental, although there was no definite schedule yet, as of this time, he added.
Majority of Negros Occidental officials, led by the late Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., joined the PDP-Laban of President Rodrigo Duterte, when their supported presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, lost in the 2016 elections.
The PDP-Laban is now heading for a split after Pacquaio was ousted as president by the group of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was backed up by Duterte.
Escalante admitted that they have not been formally informed on what is happening on the real status of PDP-Laban at the national level. “We have no idea who is the president, and who will prevail,” he said.
Once the candidates for the national positions have been finalized, Escalante said he expects a clearer picture on who will run.
But Escalante said that UNegA solons will have a meeting either first or second week of August, as requested by its chairman, Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, and president Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer.*