Marañon, Benitez: No rift between us-A A +A
Saturday, August 13, 2011
NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Representative Albee Benitez (3rd district) denied that their political relationship has turned sour because of the disposal of the 7.7-hectare Capitol property, which was awarded to Ayala Land by the Provincial Government.
Benitez was reported to have personally accompanied SM Prime Holdings Incorporated (SMPHI) President Hans Sy to Marañon in submitting their firm’s unsolicited proposal.
Benitez on Friday showed up at the Provincial Capitol to distribute six vehicles to recipients in his district in ceremonies where he asked Marañon to join him.
The two afterwards had their lunch at the Capitol with Representative Thirdy Marañon (2nd district), son of the governor.
It was the first meeting of the two officials since the provincial government awarded the contract to Ayala Land.
Marañon has continuously denied that his political relationship with Benitez has been adversely affected after the provincial government awarded the contract to Ayala Land.
“It’s only you in the media who are reporting that our relationship was affected,” Marañon said in jest.
Benitez echoed the governor’s statement that the relationship between him and Marañon remains warm.
Earlier, Benitez issued a statement that there is allegedly something wrong with the bidding process which resulted to the awarding of the lease-purchase of the Capitol property to Ayala.
Both officials belong to the United Negros Alliance, the dominant political party in the province.
Benitez was also known to be one of the strongest supporters of Marañon during the 2010 elections.
The congressman also denied reports attributed to him that the provincial government should apologize to SMPHI.
He said that as far as the case filed by SMPHI against the provincial government is concerned, it should be left to the court to decide. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 13, 2011.