Victorias officials’ resignation from PDP-Laban uncalled for, Hinlo says

NEGROS. Victorias City Hall is on lockdown until May 7, 2021 for disinfection after 35 of its employees tested positive for coronavirus. (Contributed Photo)
NEGROS. Victorias City Hall is on lockdown until May 7, 2021 for disinfection after 35 of its employees tested positive for coronavirus. (Contributed Photo)

Lawyer Jesus Hinlo, deputy secretary-general for Visayas of Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said the resignation of the officials of Victorias City from the party is uncalled for.

"The reaction was uncalled for, and I did not expect it. Of all places, it came from Victorias. Upon knowing that their former mayor was being considered to run for governor,  they should have rallied behind him," he said.

Hinlo said that before he accepted the offer of the PDP to be its deputy secretary-general for Visayas and provincial council president, he informed the national leadership that he intends to strengthen the party in Negros Occidental from the ground up.

He said they're considering former Victorias mayor Francis Frederick “Wantan: Palanca as the PDP's possible gubernatorial bet had been "discussed with our party's known active members, allies and the public."

"If those Victorias City officials are in disagreement, they should have consulted with me, and I would have gladly clarified the matter with them," he said.

Hinlo said for the record, Palanca has “not yet accepted our invitation for him to represent PDP as our governor candidate. He has, however, been appointed and has taken his oath of office as PDP's vice president in Negros Occidental."

In the event that the former mayor accepts the challenge and their invitation for him to run for governor in 2025, "it is expected by the PDP for the people of Victorias City to rally behind Wantan and to take pride in having one of their kasimanwas run for governor of our province," Hinlo said.

Resigning from the party were Vice Mayor Abelardo Bantug III and Councilors Derek Palanca, Deilen Hofileña, Dino Jose Maria Acuña, Danilo de Asis Jr., Audie Malaga, Teresita Bartolome, Hermie Millan, Dexter Senido and Joji Larraga.

Derek Palanca is the son of the former mayor.

Their resignation is effective immediately.

In the letter, addressed to Rep. Jose Alvarez, party president and Astra Pimentel-Naik, executive director, and Hinlo, the officials lamented that Hinlo "has decided, if needed, to field Palanca as its gubernatorial candidate in Negros Occidental against incumbent Governor Eugenio Jose "Bong" Lacson for the 2025 mid-term elections.

"We note that such decision was made without consultation with the undersigned PDP-Laban members and incumbent officials of Victorias City, Negros Occidental," the officials said.

They added that "it appears that the leadership of PDP-Laban in Negros Occidental under Atty. Hinlo has overlooked the basic principle that an organization should promote inclusivity through 'consultation before decision,' not the other way around."

Hinlo said they believe that the majority of the Victorias residents "will support Wantan."

"He is in touch with the masses and has performed well as a public official," the lawyer said.

He added that when the former mayor joins the gubernatorial race and eventually wins, the politics at the Capitol will change as he will bring the Capitol closer to the masses.*


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