ABANG Lingkod partylist Representative Stephen Paduano said there was nothing political in the Christmas and New Year's gathering he hosted with Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez at Bacolod Pavillon Hotel on Saturday, January 6.
About a thousand political leaders and supporters from Bacolod and out-of-town attended the social night.
Among those present from Bacolod were former mayors Monico Puentevella, Luzviminda Valdez and Rolando Villamor, former vice mayors Jude Thaddeus Sayson and Ramiro Garcia, Councilors Ricardo Tan and Claudio Puentevella, former councilors Homer Bais and Archie Baribar, former City Administrator Roger Las Piñas and several other political figures.
"We have held this since I became a partylist congressman in 2014 just to celebrate Christmas with them. Almost 95 percent were from Bacolod," said Paduano, who is rumored to be running for city mayor in 2019.
He added: "Their presence does not have political color. The event was just for the Christmas party."
Paduano, however, said there were those affiliated with the administration's Grupo Progreso who were not able to come because they were reportedly asked not to attend.
The other political camp should not be apprehensive because he did not declare which position he will run for in the next election, he added.
“I have not even transferred my voter's registration in Bacolod City, but I'm sure, I will transfer my voter's registration in Bacolod City. I don't toss myself to the position, it is up to the people if they want me," Paduano said.
"Either I will not run anymore, run as partylist congressman or toss my hat in Bacolod politics. All these are still options. Nothing is certain yet," he said.