THE three highest-ranking Senate officials will grace the inauguration of Bacolod City officials on July 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bacolod City Government center.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III will swear in re-elected Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri will swear in re-elected Bacolod Representative Greg Gasataya, while Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon will swear in re-elected Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.
Sotto is a long-time friend of Leonardia. The Senate President is the godfather of the mayor’s daughter, Loren Kara, who was baptized in 1991 when Sotto was vice mayor of Quezon City and president of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines, and Leonardia was number 1 councilor of Bacolod.
The three top Bacolod officials all belong to Grupo Progreso.
Of the 12 winning councilors, 11 are also from Grupo Progreso: Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Simplicia Distrito, Carlos Jose Lopez, Al Victor Espino, Archie Baribar, Israel Salanga, Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Ana Marie Palermo, and Elmer Sy.
The 12th councilor is Wilson Gamboa Jr. from the AAB-MKK.
The three top officials won by a big margin over their respective opponents. Leonardia garnered 144,776 votes or a lead of 63,528 votes over former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue with only 81,248 votes.
Familiaran had 126,238 votes or a lead of 34,417 over former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson with only 91,821 votes. Gasataya had 135,346 votes or a lead of 50,641 votes over former congressman Monico Puentevella with only 84,705 votes.
This is now Leonardia’s sixth term as mayor. He has already been considered the longest-serving mayor of Bacolod even on his third term. (PR)