Another Benitez for congressman
Friday, December 22, 2017
By BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The election fever is on, more than a year before the May 2019 elections.
Dr. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, younger brother of Rep. Alfredo Benitez, was formally endorsed yesterday as a congressional candidate in the 2019 elections during the Asenso Metro 3rd general assembly in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, that was attended by about 22,000 supporters, as reported by organizers.
Dr. Francisco " Kiko" Benitez (right) leads the pledge of commitment to call to duty with Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson,Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, AbangLingkod Rep Stephen Paduano, Rep. Alfredo Benitez ( 1 st , 3 rd ,4 th , 6 th , 7 th , 10 th , 12 th , 13 th and 14 th from left) and four of the five vice mayors of the district, except for EB Magalona.* ( Gilbert P. Bayoran photo )
But the political plans of Rep. Benitez, who is now on his last term as congressman of the 3rd district, yesterday remained a mystery.
While he accepted the challenge to run for congressman of the third district of Negros Occidental, Dr. Benitez,said “But that is not my decision, but the voters”.
He admitted that he is still going around the district to find out what they really need, and what they want.
At the end of the day, it is really the programs that must stand on their feet, rather than the personality, he stressed.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, on the other hand, said his political plans for 2019 will still depend on the decision of Rep. Benitez, who heads the Love-Negros.
“But what is important is that Rep. Benitez will remain in the government service. There should be no time for him to rest, as we have witnessed how he had helped the 3rd district,” he said.
“Tatak Benitez is TatakAsenso,” Lacson said.
While his priority is to run for senator, Lacson said Rep. Benitez still has to make a decision.
But as a group (Love Negros),we made known to him that the option of being the governor here in Negros Occidental is still for him, he added.
As members of Love-Negros, Rep. Benitez said they have to consult each other on what positions they will have to run for.
“We cannot be against each other,” he said.
“We will talk about it,” Rep.Benitez said, adding that the third option for him, aside from running senator or governor, is to have a rest from politics.
Dr. Benitez was formally endorsed yesterday by his elder brother, Rep. Benitez, five mayors of the 3rd district, including Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, Vice-Gov. Lacson and AbangLingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano, before their thousands of leaders and supporters.
If given the chance to serve the people of the 3rd district, Dr. Benitez said he will further improve the socio-economic structures that are still needed to advance. “Obviously, I think my brother is on the right track by starting to transform the district economics by improving the infrastructure”, he added.
Rep. Benitez said the launching of the Asenso Metro 3rd general assembly was a contract for different kinds of services, which should not make it difficult for the people.
He cited the successful implementation of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care Program, burial services, among others.
Of the 22,076 registered participants in the general assembly of Asenso Metro 3rd, the city of Talisay has 6,500 participants, Silay City – 5,400, Victorias City -3,900, Murcia – 3,500 and EB Magalona- 2,716.
It was the biggest crowd gathered so far in the history of the district, according tosome observers.
Almost majority of the councilors and vicemayors of the five local government units also of the district came in full force, as well as Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko and former Board Member Patrick Lacson.*GPB