The merger of United Negros Alliance and Love Negros in the recent elections appears to be getting stronger, when politics took a back stage yesterday during the oath-taking rites of elected officials in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, a Love Negros stalwart, yesterday administered the oath of office to Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante, who is the UNegA secretary general.
The oathtaking was also witnessed by other UNegA officials, including former Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva and Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
Escalante said he was deeply honored that Lacson administered his oath of office, recalling also that the new governor got 47,168 votes in Cadiz, which he described as “unprecedented”, during the recent elections.
Ferrer, also a stalwart of UNegA, was the running mate of Lacson during the May elections.
In other words, Gov. Bong (Lacson) is accepted by the people of Cadiz City, Escalante said, stressing also that he even surpassed the votes of former Gov. Marañon, which was 46,000, and that of former Mayor Patrick Escalante – 44,000, while he got 42,000.
“We are ready to work with him in any way he wants us,” Escalante said, adding that included UNegA, because of the merger.
During the vice gubernatorial race in 2016, Ferrer got P27,000 votes while Lacson garnered 21,000 votes. But this time, Lacson got more than 47,000 votes
It shows that the people have accepted and embraced our merger, Escalante said.
In his speech, Lacson told Escalante “I am honored to address you for the first time as your governor”.
He added that he believes in the strength and capacity of each local government, adding that he is looking forward to a more productive partnership with Escalante.
Marañon called on Cadiznons to support the administration of his successor, Lacson, and also thanked them for their support to his political endeavors for so many years.
Guanzon, a former mayor of Cadiz City, on her part, said “We are all here to unite and show our support to the new set of Cadiz City elected officials”.
Meanwhile, Escalante said that the Cadiz City government is eyeing a private-public partnership to develop its port facilities.
"There have been many investors who have expressed interests in developing the port," Escalante, who started the port development, that was continued by his brother, former Mayor Patrick Escalante, said.
We need to sustain the economy and developing the port is the way to do it," he added, stressing also that it will further boost the city's economy, especially with major businesses already putting up their branches.
Escalante also said that he has appointed the former mayor as "special assistant to the people."
The oathtaking rites also coincided with the city's 52nd charter day.
Rep. Cueva administered the oath of office to Vice Mayor Lilia Decolongon and 10 councilors.
Escalante led the distribution of citations to business tax payers of Cadiz City. He also announced the increase of salaries of Cadiz City employees from P250 per day to P320.*
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