By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Himamaylan City Councilor Justin Silos Gatuslao yesterday announced he will be running for vice mayor in the upcoming midterm elections in 2019. Around the same time last year, the city official claimed he was receiving encouragement to seek higher office in the upcoming polls, remarking, “Who wouldn’t want to serve as vice mayor?”
In an exclusive interview with Watchmen Daily Journal, the first-term local official said he believes the “priorities of the city are not being met,” particularly with the city’s budget. He explained the role of the vice mayor, along with the city council, is to make sure legislative measures, especially budgetary concerns, are “shepherded” properly.
“As vice mayor, I would be able to legislate the ability for the seating government to accept and to fully provide to our people,” he said.
Gatuslao also confirmed he would be running as former Himamaylan City Vice Mayor Raymund Tongson’s running mate.
Meanwhile, while he refused to comment on possible opponents, local observers believe potential candidates include City Councilor Ricky Genova, Himamaylan Association of Barangay Captains President Benjie Sian, and Raymond Gatuslao of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
In other races, Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Alain Gatuslao, the city councilor’s brother, will reportedly run to represent the fifth congressional district, although he has yet to publicly reveal his political plans.
Should the board member proceed with the speculative plans, his potential rivals include Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña; Marilou Arroyo; incumbent Himamaylan City Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon; and Sugar Regulatory Administration board member, Atty. Emilio Yulo./DGB, WDJ