Party chooses Alvarez for guv

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

VICE GOVERNOR Genaro Alvarez confirmed in an interview with a local TV station that the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) endorsed him to be the party's gubernatorial candidate in the 2013 elections.

A mayor who asked not to be named further said that 12 mayors belonging to the NPC met Friday last week with NPC national chairman former ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco in Manila where they reportedly endorsed Alvarez.

Alvarez in a phone call confirmed that the NPC mayors endorsed him. He also confirmed on Monday that the meeting of the 12 mayors with Cojuangco indeed took place but he refused to divulge further details.


He referred questions to Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco who was reportedly chosen as the provincial chair of NPC in Negros Occidental.

When reached for comment by Sun.Star-Bacolod, Zayco declined to give a statement, saying he will only issue a statement when he gets the official appointment from NPC.

The development further bolstered the possible “battle royale” between Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Alvarez for the gubernatorial post in 2013.

When asked for comment Monday, Marañon, who already confirmed that he is seeking re-election in 2013, replied that he now has the support of more than 19 out of the 31 mayors in the province.

"The voice of the people is the voice of God," Marañon said.

"Why don't you, the members of the media, conduct an independent survey to know the real voice of the people?" Marañon said.

Marañon is the provincial chair of NPC, as well as of the United Negros Alliance (UNA), while Alvarez is the provincial vice chair of both parties.

Zayco was a member of the Lakas Party until he officially took his oath with the NPC last month, along with Mayors Agustin Bascon of Himamaylan, Teresa Bilbao of Hinobaan, Melecio Yap of Escalante City.

A source also said that the representatives of the six congressional districts in the province are also divided between Marañon and Alvarez, with Representatives Jules Ledesma (1st district), Albee Benitez (3rd district) and Mercedes Alvarez (6th district) rooting for Alvarez.

Representatives Alfredo Marañon III (2nd district), Jeffrey Ferrer (4th district) and Alejandro Mirasol (5th district) are reportedly supporting Marañon.

When asked for confirmation, Benitez said UNA officials still have to formalize everything. Benitez, who belongs to the Liberal Party, earlier said UNA will try to come up with a unified line-up in the province for the 2013 polls.

Meanwhile, the Sun.Star source said that if negotiations fail, Ferrer is reportedly being groomed to run against Alvarez if Marañon will not push through with his plan for reelection.

According to the source, such scenario is also possible after NPC reportedly chose former San Carlos City Mayor Eugenio “Bong” Lacson to be Alvarez’s running mate.

Marañon's possible running mate, the source said, is a lady leader from southern Negros.

The Alvarez camp, on the other hand, claimed that they have the support of 17 mayors, namely DSB Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz, San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor, Calatrava Mayor Araceli Somosa, Victorias City Mayor Severo Palanca, Bago City Mayor Ramon Torres, Valladolid Mayor Romel Yogore, Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña, Pontevedra Mayor Jomar Alonzo, Isabela Mayor Francis Malabor, Ilog Mayor Paul Alvarez, Cauayan Mayor John Ray Tabujara, Sipalay City Mayor Oscar Montilla, Candoni Mayor Jechonias Manzano, Bilbao, Yap, Bascon, and Zayco.

This leaves the following mayors for Marañon, according to the source, namely Toboso Mayor Evilio Valencia Jr., Sagay City Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva, Cadiz City Mayor Patrick Escalante, Manapla Mayor Lourdes Escalante, EB Magalona Mayor David Albert Lacson, Silay City Mayor Jose Montelibano, San Enrique Mayor Mario Magno, La Carlota City Mayor Juliet Marie Ferrer, La Castellana Mayor Alberto Nicor, Moises Padilla Mayor Francisco Nazareno and Binalbagan Mayor Emmanuel Aranda.

The undecided mayors as of this time, the source said, are Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelobano, Talisay City Mayor Eric Saratan and Hinigaran Mayor Hermilo Aguilar.

Some of the mayors whose names appeared on the list of those who are with the Alvarez camp have also endorsed Marañon during his declaration for reelection in 2013.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 07, 2012.

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