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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 1, 2016
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Negros leaders pledge
support, call for unity

Negros Occidental government and Church officials, and supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday pledged their prayers and support for the success of both leaders.

The NIR (Negros Island Region) Team Duterte members also celebrated the inauguration of the president by holding a citywide caravan, and providing free medical and legal services in Bacolod City.

Bacolod Bishop Emeritus Vicente Navarra said he is praying and wishing Duterte and Robredo success for the good of the country.

He is especially praying that both succeed in addressing the needs of the poor who live in the periphery, Navarra said.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who congratulated Duterte and Robredo who were sworn into office yesterday, said “It is now time to put politics aside. We have to stay united as one Filipino nation if we are to see a more dynamic Philippine economy that was started by former President Aquino”.

The governor, citing Duterte's call to action versus corruption and ineptness, criminality and drug proliferation, said “We need to heed his call for cooperation and come forward if we have solutions to these nagging concerns.”

Marañon also appealed to everyone to extend the same degree of support to Robredo, who he said also delivered a very inspiring speech.

He also called for prayers for the success of both leaders.

The governor said he concurs with Duterte's call to work harder, cut red tape and quell graft and corruption at all levels.

Marañon, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Victorias Mayor Frederick Palanca were among the officials from Negros who joined Robredo's inaugural rites in Quezon City.

Leonardia said the message of Duterte, in his inaugural speech, was loud and clear, his goals are very well defined.

The president is providing a strong leadership in the fight against criminality, drugs and corruption, said Leonardia, who wished him all the success.

He also said that, Robredo, as usual, was very charismatic in the delivery of her speech.

The mayor noted her commitment to work for the upliftment of the lives of the poor, especially those who live in the periphery.

He said Robredo exudes a very human compassion for others.

San Carlos Bishop Gerrardo Alminaza said he liked the inaugural speeches of Duterte and Robredo.

There were striking similarities and connections. I pray they both succeed, he said.

“Both called for all to work together. And change has to start from each of us. Both desire to reach out to the peripheries and to listen to all, but especially those oftentimes excluded. Both want inclusive growth and their delivery was personal, persuasive, inspiring hope. I'll do my part in helping both to succeed in the transformation we all dream to happen,” the bishop said.

There is so much we can do together and it is worth giving each other a chance to make things work, he added.

Y ves Akol , PDP Laban Negros secretary general, said Duterte through his speech assures all of us that he will go after illegal drugs, crime and corruption.

He wants the people to trust government, which is what we all need, Akol said.

“Change is here. We from the PDP Laban offer our prayers for guidance and wisdom and we welcome our 16th President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added.

JV Hinlo, a staunch supporter of Duterte who was at his inauguration rites, said his speech was simple and precise.

“We hope that with Duterte as our President, the Filipinos will again trust our government,” he added.

Former Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, who was also at the Duterte inauguration, said aside the president's drive against drugs, corruption, and criminality, “this is our only chance now to make federalism work.”

“Let's all help our new President achieve what was unthinkable before. Federalism will totally change the landscape of national governance. Down with imperial Manila. Let's all go for it,” he said.

To celebrate the inauguration, the NIR Team Duterte headed by lawyer Archie Baribar held a city-wide caravan in Bacolod yesterday morning.

Free medical services and legal consultation were also simultaneously held at the NIR Team Duterte headquarters at BBB Galo streets where they watched the live streaming of the inauguration.

Duterte supporters also witnessed the launching of Kilusang Pagbabago–Negros, and discussion on federalism followed with Dumaguete-based lawyer Joel Obar as one of the main speakers.

"This is our way of joining the nationwide jubilation over President Duterte's inauguration which signals a new dawn for real change in our nation," Baribar said.*CPG



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