Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr. confirmed yesterday that he is the Nationalist People Coalition candidate for governor of Negros Occidental.
However, Alvarez told the DAILY STAR that while he is set to run for the position, anything can happen between now and October, when Certificates of Candidacy are to be filed.
Alvarez said Rep. Julio Ledesma IV (Neg. Occ, 1st District), who is supporting him for governor, is endorsing former San Carlos Mayor Eugenio Jose Lacson to be his running mate.
He also has the support of his daughter, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District), while, in a way Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) has also committed to support him, Alvarez said.
When reached by the STAR, Benitez said he would make his own announcement soon.
Alvarez confirmed that he and his son Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, joined a meeting of 12 mayors of Negros Occidental in Manila Friday.
Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco is reportedly the new chairman of the NPC Negros, a post held by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.
But Zayco has not confirmed such appointment.
Marañon, on the other hand, is said to have the support of Rep, Jeffrey Ferrer (Neg. Occ., 4th District), Rep. Alejandro Mirasol (Neg. Occ., 5th District) and his son, Rep. Alfredo Marañon (Neg. Occ., 2nd District).
But Ferrer and Mirasol yesterday refused to comment yet on whom they are endorsing, saying the matter has to be discussed first.
Ferrer, an NPC member, said the announcement on whom the NPC will support should come from a ranking official of the party, and he was not yet aware of a decision made.
Our gubernatorial candidate should have a good vision for the people of Negros, Ferrer said.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who says he has the support of more than 19 mayors of Negros Occidental, had earlier announced that he is definitely running for governor in 2013.
A source from the vice governor’s camp, on the other hand, said Alvarez has the support of 17 Negros Occidental mayors, and three are still uncertain, while 11 are for Marañon.
The 17 mayors allegedly for Alvarez are Gerardo Valmayor Jr. of San Carlos City, Marxlen de la Cruz of Don Salvador Benedicto, Melecio Yap Jr. – Escalante, Araceli Somosa – Calatrava, Severo Palanca – Victorias, Romel Yogore – Valladolid, Ramon Torres – Bago City, Magdaleno Peña – Pulupandan, Francis Malabor – Isabela, Jose Maria Alonso – Pontevedra, Agustin Ernesto Bascon – Himamaylan, Isidro Zayco – Kabankalan, John Paul Alvarez – Ilog, Oscar Montilla – Sipalay, John Rey Tabujara – Cauayan, Ma. Teresa Bilbao – Hinoba-an, and Jechonias Manzano – Candoni.
Listed by the Alvarez camp as uncertain are Andrew Montelibano of Murcia, Eric Saratan of Talisay and Hermilo Aguilar of Hinijgaran.
Listed as Maranon’s mayors are Evello Valencia Jr. – Toboso, Rafael Leo Cueva - Sagay, Patrick Escalante in Cadiz City, Lourdes Escalante in Manapla, David Lacson – EB Magalona, Jose Montelibano – Silay, Mario Magno – San Enrique, Juliet Marie Ferrer – La Carlota City, Alberto Nicor - La Castellana, Francisco Nazareno – Moises Padilla, and Emmanuel Aranda – Binalbagan.
Marañon refused to comment on the list of 17 mayors allegedly supporting Alvarez.
“You conduct the survey, not just among officials but the among the residents because the voice of the people is the voice of God,” he told the media.
Marañon could run for governor under the UNA ticket.*CPG