‘Yellows’ change color
BACOLOD CITY—Staunch supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas in Negros Occidental province have wiggled their way into the now-ruling party, Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), proving true the saying that, in politics at least, there are no permanent friends, just permanent interests.
At least 200 officials of Negros Occidental province, led by those who gave their all for Roxas during the campaign period, are to take their oaths of office as new PDP-Laban members at L’ Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City on Friday.
Among those to take their oaths as PDP-Laban members is Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., one of the staunchest supporters of Roxas and the Liberal Party during the campaign.
The others are 60 members of the political party Love Negros, founded by Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez of Negros Occidental’s third district, who had supported the presidential candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe.
Twelve incoming PDP-Laban members are from Bacolod City. They are led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, also a staunch supporter of Roxas, according to Yvez Akol, PDP-Laban Negros Island Region secretary general.
President Duterte, PDP-Laban chair, would not be able to attend the mass oath-taking, however, as he would be in Vietnam.
Mr. Duterte, however, would be in Bacolod City for the Masskara Festival on Saturday, said Akol.
Among the top PDP-Laban officials expected at the mass oath taking are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP Laban president; Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, secretary general; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, he said.
The new members will join a PDP-Laban seminar at L’ Fisher from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
Negros Occidental officials fulfilled a promise to deliver votes for Roxas who worked for the creation of Negros Island Region, a new region composed of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.
Roxas received 686,078 in Negros Occidental, including the capital city of Bacolod, while Duterte got 260,067.
But the votes were not enough to offset Duterte’s lead in other areas that clinched the race for him.
Board Member Salvador Escalante said the officials are joining PDP-Laban to show the President that they are willing to work with the current administration for the good of Negros Occidental.