Benitez: Running for senate no joke

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Thursday, May 8, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez said Wednesday that his heart belongs to his district and that running for Senate is a no joke.

“Running for a Senate seat is no joke, although the province will greatly benefit from it,” he said.

Benitez confirmed that he is being groomed to run for the Senate in 2016, but he said: "It's hard to leave my district. I will not leave my district with unfinished business."

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He thanked those who put their trust in him and for expressing their support for him to seek higher office.

Benitez has been invited by President Benigno Aquino III to join the administration's senatorial slate in the 2016 elections.

It has been 57 years since Negros had post-war senators in the persons of Silaynons Senator Jose C. Locsin, who served from 1951-1957, and Oscar Ledesma in 1957.

The incumbent senators representing the Visayas Region are Senate President Franklin Drilon, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and John Osmeña.

Among those who endorse Benitez to run for a Senate seat is Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.

"I have been endorsing him long before. I will support him. The whole Negros will support him. We have no senator from Negros for a long time and we need representation at the Senate,” Marañon said.

Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson had said that Benitez should think twice before he decides to run for senator.
"For me Albee has to think twice. It's not easy for a first timer to win the senatorial race. Maybe he should think not only twice. He should think many times before he makes a decision. After all, he still has a last term in the third district. For sure, he will win his third and last term. That's my advice, that he should think it over," Lacson added.

Benitez, the regional chairman of the Liberal Party (LP) in Western Visayas, is serving his second term in the Third District.

He and Lacson are party mates in the Love Negros coalition.

Marañon, when asked about the possible political scenario at the Third District if Benitez decides to run for the Senate, replied, “No comment."

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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