FORMER Negros Occidental governor Daniel "Bitay" Lacson opined Friday that 50 percent of the total votes in the province for the May 10 polls will go for Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Both Aquino and Roxas are Liberal Party’s bet for president and vice president, respectively.

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"Negros will deliver the winning votes for the Noy-Mar tandem," said Lacson, a close family friend of the Aquinos.

He said the remaining 50 percent of votes would be divided into presidential and vice presidential candidates of the other political parties.

Roxas hails from a Negrense mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas.

Lacson also said at this time, there are several local candidates in the province who already signified their support for the tandem. He, however, refused to divulge their names yet.

"Soon, they will let you know," he said.

In the province right now, there are already nine volunteer organizations for the Noy-Mar tandem and more are signifying to join.

At the press conference held Friday at the headquarters of the volunteers on Noy-Mar tandem, former Defense secretary Avelino Cruz refuted insinuations on the Aquino-Binay tandem.

"That does not exist. If it came out as a news story, but we don’t know who the source is. But as far as we are concerned, that is not a case and we do not encourage our voters to split their votes,” he said.

He added the campaign organization is supporting Noynoy Aquino for president and Mar Roxas for vice president.

“There are many stories around. You get a lot of this type of stories especially in Makati. The outcome of the general consensus among the major business groups has been emphasizing that the tandem of Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas is really the strength of the team because they are of the same belief regarding the need for reformist sort of campaign, not only that, but the government that they espouse with the sincerity of the same values against graft and corruption,” stressed Cruz.

The real economic program of the tandem is really anchored in addressing the growing gap in the poor, added Cruz.

Because, if you look back on the statistics, the numbers of people living below the poverty line rose by over the past eight to nine years, Cruz stated.

In fact, the statistics has shown that over the past nine years, if you come up with the statistic of the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, that of the total budget that has been lost to graft and corruption took about nearly P3 billion, Cruz noted. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)