Candidates in Negros Occidental led by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. of the United Negros Alliance and his opponent Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. of the Nationalist People’s Coalition hit the road yesterday after the local campaign officially kicked off Saturday.
However, Provincial Elections Supervisor Wil Arceño yesterday cautioned against the blocktime radio programs that violate the COMELEC rule on allowable airtime for candidates, and against the illegal posting of campaign materials.
He said they have received verbal complaints against blocktime radio programs paid by local candidates. We are urging the filing of formal complaints, Arceño said.
He also said the COMELEC is set to meet with Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas officers in Negros to urge the organization to help police its ranks.
Broadcast logs of candidates’ airtime will be monitored by the COMELEC, Arceño said.
Marañon urged all candidates to conduct their campaigns on a high level.
The governor said he will discuss his platform of government in his campaign sorties, with no personal attacks on his opponents.
The 11-point agenda under his 3-year term as governor has successfully addressed the health, education, and food security needs of Negrenses, and boasted local tourism and livelihood needs, he said.
Many of these programs have also caused the province to win numerous awards, he added.
Marañon said he is seeking re-election because he wants to further improve on the gains made in the province under his administration.
The governor and his runningmate, Dr. Melvin Ibañez, board member of the fifth district, heard Easter Sunday mass at the jampacked Mt. Carmel Church in Escalante City before hitting the campaign trail yesterday.
They then joined handshaking activities and a dialog with residents of Escalante City, who told them of the deteriorating conditions of the public market and road networks, the governor said.
City folk also brought to their attention the lack of support from local executives to the port, whose operations were stopped, affecting Escalante traders and the economy, he added.
Accompanying them were UNA candidates in Escalante, led by come-backing Mayor Santiago Barcelona.
With the reception people gave them in Escalante City, Marañon said: “I am seeing a bright light at the end of the tunnel”.
Marañon and Ibañez will be campaigning in Silay and Cadiz cities today.
Alvarez, on the other hand, said he is informing Negrenses of his “LOVE Negros” platform of government in his campaign sorties.
LOVE stands for L - livelihood and employment opportunities, O - outstanding programs on health, food sufficiency and agriculture, V - vision in action on tourism, trade and investment, environmental protection and infrastructure, and E - education, transparency and good governance.
Under his administration, no huge loans will be made as the provincial government has more than enough resources for the implementation of programs for the people, Alvarez said.
He said scholarships will be given provincewide, there will be transparency in the implementation of programs of government, and people will be given the option to choose the livelihood programs they wish to undertake.
Yesterday, big crowds met him and his runningmate, Eugenio “Bong” Lacson, on their campaign sorties in Hinigaran and Candoni towns, and Talisay City, Alvarez said.
Today, the vice governor and his team will be campaigning in Hinobaan and Escalante.*CPG