"I HOPE not."

This was the reaction of Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to the question whether incoming Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez will accept a cabinet position reportedly being offered by incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"His priority right now is Bacolod City," Lacson said, adding that Benitez is ready for his job as the new mayor of the locality.

"He is up to it the moment that he decided to accept the challenge and run for mayor of Bacolod, he was ready for the job," he said.

Lacson, a close ally of Benitez, noted that there is so much expectation from the latter, especially from the majority that gave him a resounding win.

“The people expect change (and) it is what Bacolodnon is crying for. They expect a mayor who is hands on,” the governor stressed.

He also said that Bacolodnons are longing for a mayor who will be very visible (and) a mayor who will continuously work for the improvement and development of the city.

The provincial government and the people in Negros Occidental are all looking forward to his term as mayor of Bacolod, Lacson added.