BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The United Negros Alliance commits to ensure safe, peaceful and meaningful elections in Toboso and Isabela, Negros Occidental, even as its members and those of Love Negros are expected to clash in these areas in the May 2022 elections, despite an existing alliance between the two political groups, UNegA secretary general Salvador Escalante Jr. said yesterday.
As far as UNegA and Love Negros are concerned, they have already agreed to give up Isabela and Toboso, Escalante said.
Escalante said Mayor Irene Montilla and Vice Mayor Renato Malabor, who are members of Love Negros and UNegA, respectively, will both vie for the Isabela mayoralty post.
“We have no choice but to surrender,” Escalante said, adding that it was already set at the local level.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said that Love Negros will choose between former mayor Evelio “Dodong” Valencia and incumbent Toboso Vice Mayor Jesse Rex Bartolome as their candidate for mayor of Toboso in the 2022 elections.
Mayor Richard Jaojoco (UNegA) earlier confirmed that his wife, Madonna, niece of the late Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., will run for mayor of Toboso, with former Liga ng Barangay president, Maria Luisa dela Cruz, as possible running mate.
“We cannot stop them, especially with the death of former provincial consultant Mariano Antonio “Marton” Cui, Escalante said, adding there are ongoing accusations, also with the family of Malabor in Isabela.
Cui was reported to have been eyeing the Toboso mayorship before his death.
“Who are you to impose your will? We have to adhere to the positions of the family,” Escalante said.
He said that UNegA is committed to support the re-election bids of Himamaylan City Mayor Raymund Tongson and Vice Mayor Justin Gatuslao.
Lacson confirmed earlier that Board Member Ernesto Agustin Bascon had told him of his intention to run for mayor of Himamaylan City. “But there is nothing final yet, as of this time,” he added.
There are 13 mayors of Negros Occidental affiliated with UNegA, while the 18 others are members of Love Negros.
Escalante said he already signed and issued the Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance of UNegA candidates in Sagay, Himamaylan, and La Carlota, and will endorse the CONAs of Cadiz City candidates to UNegA chairman, Alfredo Marañon III, this weekend.
He also reported that Toboso, Manapla, and Salvador Benedicto and the LGUs in the 5th district have also submitted their CONAs for signing.*