BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The reelection bid of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer tandem continues to gain widespread support from all local chief executives in Negros Occidental, following the meeting of Love Negros members on Sept. 18.
The fellowship among Love Negros mayors in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, was attended by 13 mayors, and seven board members who are affiliated with the political group, Lacson, Reps. Jose Francisco Benitez and Stephen Joseph Paduano, as well as former Rep. Alfredo Benitez.
But the scheduled convention of United Negros Alliance in the same area was postponed by the executive committee due to the surge of active COVID-19 cases.
UNegA secretary general Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. said their party is committed to support the Lacson- Ferrer reelection in the 2022 elections.
Ferrer is UNegA president.
While the convention was postponed, Escalante said that they have issued 170 Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONAs) to its candidates in Negros Occidental.
Escalante said that UNegA issued CONAs to Vice-Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, three congressional candidates, including Alfredo Marañon III, incumbent Reps. Juliet Ferrer and Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, six board members, 15 mayors, 15 vice mayors and 130 members of the Sanggunian Panglunsod and Sanggunian Bayan members.
Aside from Isabela and Toboso, Escalante said they also declared Hinobaan as a “free zone,” after outgoing Mayor Ernesto Estrao joined the Love Negros.
Estrao is running as vice mayor of Hinobaan.
The possibility that Himamaylan City may also be considered as a “free zone” is no longer remote after Board Member Ernesto Agustin Bascon of Love Negros declared his intention to run for mayor against incumbent Mayor Raymund Tongson.
Escalante advised UNegA party members to file their COCs early to avoid any inconvenience.
Those who attended the Love Negros meeting in Talisay City were Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Pauduano, Board members Rommel Debulgado, Aracelli Somosa, Manuel Frederick Ko, Andrew Montelibano, Ernesto Agustin Bascon, Jeffrey Tubola and Ryan Gamboa;
San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo, Escalante City Mayor Melecio Yap, Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era, Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez;
Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, Valladolid Mayor Enrique Miravalles, Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo, Kabankalan City Mayor Pedro Zayco, Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara and Hinobaan Mayor Ernesto Estrao, as well as Philippines Councilor League- Negros Occidental chapter board of directors.
However, three Love Negros mayors and a solon from southern Negros failed to attend the Love Negros fellowship.*