2022 PH local races

Reelectionist Bacolod congressman Gasataya to stay ‘neutral’ in mayoral race

Inday Espina-Varona
Reelectionist Bacolod congressman Gasataya to stay ‘neutral’ in mayoral race

‘NEUTRAL.’ Bacolod Representative Greg Gasataya during the 2019 electoral campaign, running under the banner of Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s Grupo Progreso. Photo from Rep Gasataya’s Facebook page

Photo from Rep Gasataya's Facebook page

The contenders for Bacolod mayor – reelectionist Evelio Leonardia and former Negros Occidental congressman Alfredo Abelardo Benitez – were his wedding sponsors

Representative Greg Gasataya filed his certificate of candidacy for a third and final term as representative of Bacolod’s lone congressional district on Monday, October 4, at the local office of the Commission on Elections.

The long-time ally of Mayor Evelio Leonardia announced on September 30 that he is running as “a neutral” under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

Leonardia and the other contender for the city’s top executive post, former three-term congressman Alfredo Abelardo Benitez of Negros Occidental’s third district, were his wedding sponsors, he said.

Gasataya leveraged his popularity as former reporter and anchorman of Bombo Radyo Bacolod to launch his political career in 2001.

He ran as part of Leonardia’s slate in the 2016 and 2019 polls. He served as Leonardia’s vice mayor from 2013 to 2016. In the 2019 elections, he defeated former congressman Monico Puentebella of Lakas party and independent candidate Kevin Moises. He was a city councilor from 2001 to 2010.

Gasataya has always used the NPC as his formal affiliation, but campaigned consistently wearing the red and green colors of Leonardia’s Grupo Progreso. 

Asked if he would go up the stage if invited by any of the mayoralty rivals, Gasataya said, “that would defeat my position of being neutral.” – Rappler.com