Benitez seeking re-election as Bacolod mayor, Paduano says

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez says they didn' take seriously the electoral protest filed against him by the camp of former mayor Evelio Leonardia questioning the result of the May 9, 2022 elections. (MAP Photo)
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez says they didn' take seriously the electoral protest filed against him by the camp of former mayor Evelio Leonardia questioning the result of the May 9, 2022 elections. (MAP Photo)

Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Paduano, who is a close ally of Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, claimed that the mayor will be seeking re-election in the coming 2025 elections.

"My support is for Mayor Albee only," Paduano said when asked for any other possible candidates who will be running with Benitez in the coming election.

He said that Benitez will seek re-election since many of the changes he wanted to implement have not been fulfilled yet.

When asked about the news circulating that he is endorsing Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran to run for congressman in the lone district of Bacolod with Benitez, Paduano said he has already talked to the mayor regarding the 2025 elections, however, he did not elaborate.

He also clarified that he never lobbied for Familiaran to be in tandem with Benitez.

He cited Familiaran's track record as a two-term councilor and undefeated in three straight terms as vice mayor.

Paduano added that he has no idea about talks between the mayor and outgoing Rep. Greg Gasataya.

There are reports circulating that Gasataya's camp is studying options, either he will run against Benitez for Mmayor or just support his daughter, Mansilingan Punong Barangay Franz Tiongco, who is being groomed to be his successor in Congress.

Earlier, Benitez through his spokesperson, lawyer Caesar Distrito, said that the mayor is taking several options in 2025, including seeking reelection as mayor, running for congressman or running for senator.

Reports have it that allies of Benitez and Gasataya are meddling to avoid a political battle in the 2025 elections.

Benitez and Gasataya both ran under Team Asenso in the 2022 elections.

Familiaran is ending his term as vice mayor. 

There are also reports that Councilor Cindy Rojas, who is also a graduating councilor, may run for vice mayor.*

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