Negros Occidental gov to field bets vs Roxas’ non-supporters

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr issued a threat to prospective local candidates on Friday, October 2, that he would field opponents against them should they decide not to support the presidential bid of the Liberal Party's Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Marañon heads the United Negros Alliance, which is in talks with the opposition Love Negros to have common candidates in some areas.

“Basta ang indi mag-suportar kay Mar, pakontrahan namon,” the governor said. (If they don’t support Mar, we will oppose them.)

Of the 31 mayors in the province, excluding that of Bacolod City, 12 have Marañon's support because they have declared their support for Roxas. They are mayors Isidro Zayco of Kabankalan City, who is provincial chairman of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC); Ernesto Estrao of Hinobaan; Oscar Montilla Jr of Sipalay City; Cicero Borromeo of Candoni; Agustin Bascon of Himamaylan City; Jose Maria Alonso of Pontevedra; Miguel Peña of Pulupandan; Mario Magno of San Enrique; Alfredo Marañon III of Sagay City; Patrick Escalante of Cadiz City; Lourdes Escalante of Manapla; and Richard Jaojoco of Toboso.

Marañon said that there are at least 13 mayoral posts that are still being “negotiated and arranged” and may be challenged by his party. These are in San Carlos City, Escalante City, Calatrava, Salvador Benedicto, Talisay City, Silay City, Victorias City, Murcia, Ilog, Cauayan, Hinigaran, Isabela, and Moises Padilla.

Four local government units – Bago City, EB Magalona, Valladolid and La Castellana – have mayors who are on their last term. La Carlota Mayor Juliet Ferrer, meanwhile, will reportedly not seek re-election and instead run for congresswoman of the 4th district of Negros Occidental. Mayoral aspirants in these localities have the support of the governor.

For Binalbagan, Marañon is still mum on who he will support for mayor. Fifth district Representative Alejandro Mirasol earlier said that he would be fielding his wife, Mary Ann, against incumbent Mayor Emmanuel Aranda. Both of them are allies of the governor.

Pressed for reaction to Marañon's threat to non-Roxas supporters, Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that “the governor will apply all sorts of strategy to secure mayors’ support for Mar.”

Lacson, an NPC member, earlier said that he is backing Roxas' presidential bid. –