Mayors back Albee for guv
Brother of Benitez eyed for congressman in 3rd district
BY CARLA GOMEZ
on Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The mayors of the third district of Negros Occidental and a partylist congressman yesterday said they will support Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) should he opt to run for governor in 2019.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his last term, had also said earlier he would support Benitez should he run for governor or senator in 2019. Both the governor and Benitez belong to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakasng Bayan party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Benitez, however, said he is weighing all options.
He pointed out that House Speaker Pantaleon Alavarez has announced that he would like him to be included in the senatorial line up for 2019.
Benitez wouldnot confirm if his brother Dr. Francisco Benitez, Philippine Women's University president, will run for the third congressional seat that he will vacate.
His brother is being considered but has yet to be convinced to go for the post.“Give him time to think about it first,” he said.
“But before anything else, the first consideration is if he is accepted by the people of the third district, it is not just because he carries the Benitez name,” the congressman said.
Benitez also said his son cannot run for congressman because he is under age.
The third district mayors and Rep. Stephen Paduano (AbangLingkod) aired their support for Benitez at a press conference at Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City for the launching of the Asenso Metro 3 rd District Burial Assistance Program.
Victorias Mayor Francis Palanca said they are happy with the performance of Benitez as their representative in the third district, he would make a good governor for Negros Occidental.
Mayors Mark Golez of Silay City, Marvin Malacon of EB Magalona, Neil Lizares of Talisay and Andrew Montelibano of Murcia and his Vice Mayor Gerardo Rojas also said they will support Benitez for governor of Negros Occidental.
Paduano said he will support Benitez in whatever post he chooses to run for – be it senator or governor.
Benitez said the problem of Negros Occidental is more than we all think, “Some people are calling the sugarcane industry as the next tobacco industry, in otherwords, sort of a sunset industry.”
“So until we can diversify, Negros is still not in good shape,” he said.
Benitez said he and Gov. Marañon have a lot in common in looking at programs needed by the province, citing the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program.
Benitez said he has not met with Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco who heads the Nationalist People's Coalition on Negros politics since he is now a member of PDP Laban.
He said the officials present at his presscon yesterday will be his mayoralty bets for 2019. He apparently was also referring to Murcia Vice mayor Gerry Rojas since Mayor Montelibano is on his third and last term.*CPG