So far, 17 out of the 32 Negros Occidental mayors have signified their intention to join the PDP Laban of President Rodrigo Duterte, while the majority of those belonging to the Nationalist People's Coalition and National Unity Party are opting not to leave.
This means Negros Occidental will still have 11 NPC mayors and 4 from NUP.
The Liberal Party will be left with no mayors in the province, with all 8 of its members joining PDP Laban.
The mayors opting to remain with the NPC and NUP have said that there is no need for them to join the PDP Laban since their parties already have coalitions with the ruling party.
Of the 17 mayors joining the PDP Laban, nine are affiliated with the United Negros Alliance, UNegA secretary Angel Verdeflor said.
The nine on the UNegA list and their previous party affiliations during the May polls are Alfredo Marañon III of Sagay City (NUP), Ernesto Estrao Hinoba-an (LP), Patrick Escalante Cadiz City (LP), Lourdes Escalante Manapla (LP), Richard Jaojoco Toboso (LP), Cicero Borromeo Candoni (LP), Rhumyla Nicor Mangilimutan La Castellana (LP), Jilson Tubillara San Enrique (Independent), and Emmanuel Aranda Binalbagan (LP).
The mayors on the Love Negros list joining the PDP Laban and their previous party affiliations, based on Commission on Elections records, are Neil Lizares - Talisay City (Independent), Mark Golez - Silay City (PMP), Marvin Malacon - EB Magalona (NUP), Francis Palanca - Victorias City (LP), Andrew Montelibano Murcia (UNA), Magdaleno Peña Moises Padilla (NPC), Miguel Peña Pulupandan (NPC), and Enrique Marivalles - Valladolid (NPC).
The remaining NPC mayors, so far, are Evelio Leonardia Bacolod, Nicholas Yulo Bago, Araceli Somosa Calatrava, Jerry Tabujara Cauayan, Eddie Montero Escalante, Tinto Bascon - Himamaylan, Genaro Rafael Alvarez Ilog, Enrique Montilla Isabela, Gerardo Valmayor - San Carlos, Isidro Zayco Kabankalan, and Oscar Montilla Sipalay, for a total of 11.
The remaining NUP members are Jose Nadie Arceo Hinigaran, Jacky Jalandoni La Carlota, Joeben Alonso Pontevedra, and Marxlen de la Cruz Salvador Benedicto, for a total of 4.
Verdeflor said that, so far, 88 UNegA members are joining the PDP Laban, led by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., Board Members Salvador Escalante and Samson Mirhan, 9 mayors, 8 vice mayors and 68 councilors.
The UNegA vice mayors joining PDP Laban are Narciso Javelosa Sagay City, Jefre Encoy Hinoba-an, Lilia Decolongon Cadiz City, Felix Robles Manapla, Diomedes Magada Candoni, Miguel Vera La Castellana, Roy de los Santos San Enrique, and Joselito Malabor Isabela.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who is a member of Love Negros, yesterday reiterated that he is remaining with the NPC, pointing out that it already has a coalition with PDP Laban.
Rep. Melecio Yap (Neg. Occ., 1 st District), Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6 th District) and Rep. Greg Gasataya (Bacolod) so far also remain with the NPC, he said.
He said Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) had informed the Love Negros members that those interested in joining PDP Laban should inform Talisay Mayor Lizares so they could be included in the list.
Benitez ran as an independent in the May polls and has since joined the PDP Laban.
Lacson said he is happy being an NPC member and has no reason to leave, adding that Love Negros will continue to exist.*CPG
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