NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Tuesday that
Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez and Sixth District Representative Mercedes Alvarez are seeking re-election in the May 2016 elections along with 12 incumbent mayors who belong to the Love Negros coalition.
Lacson's announcement ruled out rumors for a possible Lacson-Alvarez team-up for the top posts in the province in 2016.
In the first district, seeking re-election are Mayor Gerardo Valmayor of San Carlos City, Araceli Somosa of Calatrava, and Jose Max Ortiz of Don Salvador Benedicto; Third district – Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano and Victorias City Mayor Frederick Palanca; fourth district – Pulupandan Mayor Miguel Peña; fifth district – Mayor Agustin Bascon of Himamaylan City, Enrique Montilla of Isabela, and Ella Garcia of Moises Padilla; and sixth district – Mayor Isidro Zayco of Kabankalan City, Mayor Genaro Rafael Alvarez of Ilog, and Mayor Oscar Montilla of Sipalay City.
Garcia will also be possibly replaced by former Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
Lacson said that Zayco has already issued statements that he is not interested in running for governor. His brother Board Member Pedro Zayco will also be running for re-election in the sixth district.
About his political decision, Lacson, who said he will either seek re-election or challenge Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., said that he has been going around asking people whom he believes could give him advice.
"I am also talking to some politicians who are aware of the situation and following the administration for the 2016 provincial slate. I am getting as many advices as I can get although it is difficult because there are different advices. It is a difficult decision to make,” the vice governor said.
He added: “For me, I just need to talk to more people but I also know that there is a time to all of this."
Lacson said he could have a decision by September or October.
"If I feel that there are people who can help me decide, I will approach them and I will also appreciate if other people would just come and give me advices. We cannot say what level I am right now but I will always be open for advices," Lacson said.
If he decides to run for governor, Lacson will be up against Marañon, who is seeking a third and final term. Marañon, chairman of United Negros Alliance (Unega), defeated Lacson’s runningmate, former vice governor Genaro Alvarez, in the May 2013 elections.
Marañon and Alvarez were runningmates in 2010 under the original UNA, which is now called Unega.
In 2016, Marañon will run with outgoing Fourth District Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer as his vice governor, killing chances of a merger between Love Negros and Unega.