THE newly elected and re-elected officials of Bacolod City under the Grupo Progreso took their oath of office before Judge Estefanio Libutan Jr. at the GT Hotel in Bacolod Friday afternoon, May 17.
Judge Libutan administered the oath of office of re-elected Mayor Evelio Leonardia, re-elected Congressman Greg Gasataya, and re-elected Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as well as re-elected Councilors Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero; Simplicia Distrito, Archie Baribar, Israel Salanga, re-elected Councilors Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Ana Marie Palermo, and Councilor Elmer Sy.
Only Councilors-elect Al Espino and Carl Lopez were not present because they were on travel.
Re-elected Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., of Asenso para sa Buas-damlag sang Bacolodnon-Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan (ABB-MKK), was the lone survivor of the opposition group and occupied the 12 spot in the councilor race.
Leonardia said that making 14-1 is still a history. It’s the will of the people of Bacolod.
“The essence why our people accepted our 15-0 because we repeatedly told that if we will have a group of officials who will work together, who are united and in harmony we will surely be able to achieve our goals and aspirations. We want also to institutionalize the relationship between the office of the mayor and the office of congressman,” he said.
He added that they are happy and proud that they were able to almost make it (15-0).
Leonardia also expressed his gratitude to their partymate Marlon Solidum, who was ranked 13th in the councilor race, for sacrificing for the team.
Leonardia garnered 144, 776 votes against his rivals Jocelle Batapa-Sigue who had 81, 248 votes and Ray Carmona who had 1,762 votes.
Gasataya also got 135,346 votes against the 84,705 votes of his rival, former congressman and former Bacolod mayor Monico Puentevella, and 3,751 votes of Kevin Moises while Familiaran was able to defend his post with his 126,238 votes against 91,821 votes of his rival former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson.
Gasataya said that he’s humbled by the historic overwhelming support given to him by the people of Bacolod.
“It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I accept the mandate you have given to me to serve my second straight term as your representative. I wish to take this opportunity to show my deepest gratitude to my beloved wife Meita, my children, and our entire family for staying strong and being my rock through the tough times, he said.
Gasataya is also thankful to those who made his campaign trail and activities known through telling their stories.
“I will not fail you. Education and health shall continue to be my core priorities to enable the dreams of our children. Political affiliation and social status shall remain irrelevant to our office, we face tasks bigger than ourselves that require our unity. There are lives to save and dreams to enable,” Gasataya said.
Familiaran also said he’s very happy and overwhelmed of the result.
“With the full support of Grupo Progreso headed by Mayor Leonardia and Congressman Gasataya and the entire organization, we got this result including the support of the Iglesia ni Cristo and the endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte. It’s a big help in our campaign that the voters voted us,” he said.