LP, allies bet on Iloilo, Negros execsBy Carla P. Gomez, Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY—The ruling Liberal Party (LP) and its coalition allies have declared mostly incumbent officials in Iloilo and Negros Occidental as their official candidates for the May 2013 elections, just more than a week before the filing of candidacies.
In a party gathering at Jaro district gymnasium on Friday, Sen. Franklin Drilon, LP vice president, declared Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III as the standard-bearers of the LP and Nacionalista Party (NP) coalition in the city.
Treñas and Mabilog belong to the LP while Espinosa is a member of the NP. Their slate also includes seven incumbent councilors, two former councilors and three first-time candidates.
They are expected to run against candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) which will hold its convention on Sept. 29.
Former Iloilo Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr., businessman and newspaper owner Rommel Ynion, and city councilor Jeffrey Ganzon are expected to be officially declared as UNA candidates for congressman, mayor and vice mayor, respectively, in the convention.
In a similar gathering attended by around 1,000 party members on Saturday, LP members in Iloilo declared former Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas Sr. their gubernatorial candidate.
Tupas served as governor from 2001 to 2010 before he ran and lost to Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron for representative in the province’s fourth congressional district in the 2010 elections.
Biron (UNA) and Gov. Arthur Defensor (Lakas) have also declared their plans to run for governor.
Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, LP spokesperson who attended the two conventions, said the appointment of the provincial and city candidates would be formalized by the LP national bodies.
In Negros Occidental, the LP and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) threw their support behind the gubernatorial bid of Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez and his running mate Eugenio Jose Lacson of the NPC during rites in Bacolod City on Saturday.
Tarlac Rep. Henry Cojuangco, brother of NPC chair emeritus Eduardo Cojuangco, who was also present, declared Alvarez and Lacson the official candidates of the NPC for the top posts of the province.