THE ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) is working out the unity of two major political groups in Negros Occidental -- the United Negros Alliance (Unega) and Love Negros.
Unega is chaired by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., while Love Negros is led by third district Representative Alfredo Benitez and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Yves Akol, secretary-general of PDP-Laban Negros Island Region, said that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, party secretary-general, talked to the leaders of the Unega and Love Negros on Thursday, September 15
Both Marañon and Lacson are amenable and open to unification, he said.
Marañon, who arrived Thursday from a vacation in Japan, joined Alvarez’s “meet and greet” with the local officials at L' Fisher Hotel Thursday night.
Benitez, a PDP-Laban member, said, “Remember elections are over so there is no distinction politically right now. It’s not time to talk about politics. It’s time to get down and work so that will come into play in the next election, but at the moment, we’re working for the province and the country.”
He added that Alvarez visited Negros Occidental to feel the political situation in the province. He wants to personally meet and know the local officials here, Benitez said.
Majority of the mayors in the province both from Unega and Love Negros attended the “meet and greet” with Alvarez.
Asked about the oath-taking of officials in Negros Occidental with PDP-Laban, Alvarez said he will check with the local party about it.
He said several local officials in Negros Oriental took their oath with the PDP-Laban Thursday.
Mayor Neil Lizares of Talisay City said nine members of Love Negros will be inducted as PDP-Laban members on October 1.
All the mayors in the third district, including Lizares, Francis Frederick Palanca of Victorias City, Mark Golez of Silay City, Marvin Malacon of E.B. Magalona, and Andrew Montelibano of Murcia, will take oath along with Mayors Enrique Montilla of Isabela, Magdaleno Peña of Moises Padilla, Miguel Peña of Pulupandan and Enrique Miravalles of Valladolid.
Regarding the oath-taking of Marañon and the governor’s critic Mayor Magdaleno Peña together, Benitez said, “I think they are old enough to make it harmonious.”
For his part, Akol said: “We would love everybody to be united. Let’s unite and work for the province and the country as well. We should get our acts together.”
He added that only small details need to be ironed out regarding the unification of the two political groups in the province.
Unega and Love Negros used to be one under the United Negros Alliance before their break up in 2010.