Successor of slain Negros Occidental board member named

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The party mates of slain Negros Occidental 5th District Board Member Renato Malabor named his replacement in the provincial legislature on Tuesday night, July 11, and it was not his son.

Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the district leaders of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) decided to go with former Board Member Angelito Colmenares rather than Malabor’s eldest son, Renato Jr, who is a former chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan.

Malabor and his bodyguard Leody Jomilla were shot dead in Isabela town on June 28.

Those who decided in the NPC meeting were Lacson, NPC provincial chairman and Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco, Himamaylan City Mayor Agustin Bascon, La Castellana Vice Mayor Felix Feria, Hinigaran Vice Mayor Teresita Gabrido, and Colmenares.

Absent were Isabela Mayor Enrique Montilla III, who was in Manila, and Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Garcia, who was celebrating her birthday.

The family of Malabor was pushing for the appointment of his son because they believed that Renato Jr could continue the work of his father. But the 5th district leaders decided the other way.

Lacson said Colmenares will assume the post as soon as he receives the party nomination from the head office in Manila.

When reached for a comment, Renato Jr said that “we respect the decision of NPC.”

Meanwhile, the Malabor family – wife Araceli and brothers Hernani and Isabela Vice Mayor Francis – met with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr and Senior Superintendent Samuel Nacion, provincial police officer-in-charge, for a case conference in Talisay City on Tuesday.

Nacion refused to disclose what was discussed in the meeting.

Authorities are offering a P2.5-million reward to those who have information on the whereabouts of the suspects, which can lead to their arrest. 

Governor Marañon earlier said Malabor's murder could be politically motivated because the board member was planning for for mayor of Isabela, his hometown. –