BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia is the new League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) executive vice president after the election held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila last July 17, 2010.
The LCP is an association of the 121 city mayors all over the country.
He is the only non-Liberal and the only mayor outside of Luzon who secured one of the top four key positions of the LCP.
Leonardia is a member of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition.
Talisay Mayor Eric Saratan won as the regional representative of Western Visayas while Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante is the league's focal person on health concerns. Iloilo's Jed Patrick Mabilog is the deputy secretary-general in Visayas and Roxas Mayor Angel Alan Celino is the deputy public relations officer for the Visayas.
Caloocan City Mayor Enrico "Recom" Echiverri is the league's new chairman while Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of San Fernando City, Pampanga bagged the League's presidency.
Echiverri and Rodriguez, who belong to the "reform group" of mayors in the league, ran unopposed. They enjoyed the backing of former League of Cities president Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. as well as the support of President Benigno Aquino III.
During his four terms as mayor, Leonardia has consistently held national positions in the LCP: in 1995-vice president for Visayas, in 2004-deputy secretary-general for Visayas, and in 2007-national vice chairman.
He considers his election as executive vice president of LCP as sentimental as he also held the same position with the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines National Board in 1994.
"I am very grateful to my fellow city mayors in the country for their trust and confidence," quipped Mayor Leonardia, who also expresses his "special thanks to Negros Occidental Governor Freddie Marañon, former Governor Isidro Zayzo, who is now the Kabankalan City Mayor, and to all the mayors of the province" for their unswerving support.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo attended the LCP's 57th General Assembly.
The newly elected officers will be sworn into office by President Aquino in Malacañang Palace on Monday.
Earlier, Aquino met with the 100 mayors who are members of the LCP and urged them to close ranks and help him restore people's trust in government.
The said gathering was held at the Palace's Heroes Hall. He said he wanted to get to know the city mayors more because he intends to work closely with them in his six years in office.
The other officers of the League include Vice President Luzon Allen Singson (Candon), Vice President Visayas Dan Lim (Tagbilaran), Vice President Mindanao Samuel Co (Pagadian), Vice President NCR Sherwin Gatchalian (Valenzuela), Secretary General Hernani Braganza (Alaminos), Deputy SG NCR Del de Guzman (Marikina), Deputy SG Luzon Benjamin Dy (Cauayan), Deputy SG Visayas Jed Patrick Mabilog (Iloilo), Deputy SG Mindanao Sara Duterte (Davao), Treasurer Benjamin Lim (Dagupan), Auditor Abraham Tolentino (Tagaytay), PRO Edgardo Pamintuan (Angeles), Deputy PRO NCR Herbert Bautista (Quezon), Deputy PRO Luzon Amando Gregorio IV Perez (Urdaneta), Deputy PRO Visayas Angel Alan Celino (Roxas), Deputy PRO Mindanao Philip Tan (Tangub).
The regional representatives are: Ilocos Region- Michael Farinas (Laoag), Cagayan Valley-Amelita Navaro (Santiago), Central Luzon -Romeo Capinpin (Palayan), Calabarzon-Joaquin Chipeco (Calamba), Mimaropa- Edward Hagedorn (Puerto Princesa), Bicol Region- Linda Gonzales (Ligao), Western Visayas- Eric Saratan (Talisay), Central Visayas- Karen Villanueva (Bais), Eastern Visayas- Reynaldo Uy (Calbayog), Zamboanga Peninsula- Evelyn Uy (Dipolog), Northern Mindanao- Lawrenze Cruz (Iligan), Davao Region- Rey Uy (Tagum), Soccsksargen- Darlene Antonio Custodio (General Santos), National Capital Region- Florencio Bernabe Jr. (Parañaque), Cordillera Administrative Region- Mauricio Domogan (Baguio), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Fahada Panarigan (Salic), Caraga- Ferdinand Amante Jr. (Butuan).
The Women's Sector Representative is Sonia Aquino (Tanauan) while the focal persons for other concerns are: Muslim Affairs-Cherry Santos (Akbas of Isabela, Basilan), MDG-Eric Codilla (Ormoc), Health-Patrick Escalante (Cadiz), and Environment-Edward Hagedorn (Puerto Princesa). (Carla N. Cañet)