PAMPANGA - San Fernando City Mayor Oscar Rodriguez has been asked by President Benigno Aquino III seek the presidency of the influential League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP).

Rodriguez said that Aquino and some league members had broached him the idea after he took his oath of office before the President in Malacañang on Wednesday.

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"[Senator] Mar Roxas talked to me about it and told me that the President preferred me to head the league," Rodriguez said.

Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. is the outgoing president of the league, while former Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas is the outgoing chairman.

Rodriguez said the two positions are up for contention. He said the more active post is the presidency, as the league chairman is simply a figure head.

Asked if he is interested in running for the post, he said: "Of course I am willing to go for it. Ayaw ko naman na ang president [of the LCP] is from Lakas. The tradition of the LCP is that the president of the league should come from the party of the current President" he said.

Rodriguez said he wanted to help President Aquino as he witnessed the strength and influence of the league during the Hyatt 10 issue, where during the time the breakaway group was meeting, the LCP was also convening to tackle the controversy.

"I even sponsored the two [LCP] resolutions supporting GMA (former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and we showed our support to a constitutionally-mandated ruling president. If not for the LCP then, the Arroyo administration may have collapsed," the mayor said.

He also acknowledged that his possible run for the post will also help San Fernando City. "It will be an honor for the city," he said.

Rodriguez said he has already extended his gratitude to Aquino for the preference.

"Ang sabi ko sa kanya ay salamat at sabi naman niya ay 'Oo, Manong. Mag-uusap pa tayo ulit' (I told him thank you and he replied yes, let's talk again next time)," Rodriguez said. (Jovi T. De Leon/Sun.Star Pampanga)