Benitez: The race for mayor is ‘unclear’
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez refused to endorse a side in next year’s elections in Bacolod City.
During a recent press conference, the congressman said he received word former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella planned to challenge incumbent Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya. The former previously served in Congress from 2001 to 2010.
With regard to the race for mayor, Benitez called it “unclear.”
Currently, Bacolod City Councilor Ricardo Tan, who ran in 2016 as a Grupo Progreso (GP) candidate, will reportedly run on Puentevella’s Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan (MKK) and challenge incumbent Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who leads GP.
Reports have also emerged claiming 2016 MKK candidate for Bacolod City vice mayor Vladimir Gonzales is also planning a run for mayor. However, the rumor has yet to be confirmed and MKK has refused to comment on the matter.
It has also been reported, 2016 congressional candidate and former Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson may challenge incumbent Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.
Last month, Leonardia said GP has started discussions for their official line-up for 2019. He noted, they are exploring, evaluating, and assessing plans, adding, they have to fill slates for City Councilors Em Ang and Caesar Distrito, who are in their final terms in office.
Meanwhile, MKK has also started planning for the midterm polls.
Among the names being floated for the MKK Sangguniang Panlungsod slate include incumbent City Councilors Claudio Jesus ‘Kalaw’ Puentevella and Wilson Gamboa, Jr.; alongside Tangub Barangay Captain Noli Villarosa, Benjamin Baldo, Ruping Alcala, and Friday Solinap./DGB, WDJ