UNegA meetings in October, Benitez not ruling out guv bid

Tuesday, October 10, 201

The United Negros Alliance is set to hold meetings this month, that will include the swearing in of new members, its secretary general, Acting Governor Salvador Escalante, said yesterday.

He said Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., UNegA chairman, is still determined to support Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg.Occ., 3 rd District) if he runs for senator or governor of Negros Occidental.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan top officials, have said Benitez is on their party's senatorial line up shortlist for 2019.

But Benitez saidlast night thatrunning for governor of Negros Occidental is “still an option” along with even not running for any post at all.

If Benitez does not run for the top post of the province,UNegA has yet to determine whom it will field for governor, Escalante said.

He said no merger talks between UNegA and Love Negros have begun, so he could not say ifUNegAwould supporta gubernatorial bid of Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

He said anything is possible from a Lacson-Alfredo Marañon III to a Lacson –Jeffrey Ferrertandem to a purely UNegA team up.

Meanwhile, among the likely contenders for the fifth congressional seat with Alejandro Mirasol on his third and last term, are Board Member Alain Gatuslao, Himamaylan Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon and Marilou Arroyo.*CPG