Local News: UNA is Solid and United - Benitez
Rep. Alfredo Benitez III doused off speculation that the United Negros Alliance is on the verge of disintegration with the reported impending showdown between Negros Occidental governor Alfredo Marañon III and vice governor Genaro "Lim-ao" Alvarez for the top post in the province come the 2013 elections.
"UNA has been solid and has been united for the past elections why do we want to destroy that?
and if you ask any mayor with UNA I don’t think they want a showdown such as this" Benitez declared in the press conference today, August 10, 2012 at the Pavilion Hotel here after administering the oath taking of new LP members for Bacolod City chapter.
Benitez a key member of UNA which is an umbrella party of all national parties in the province further pointed out "if you ask any mayor that is with UNA and they will tell you one thing nobody wants a conflict."
When asked who between Marañon and Alvarez he will side with, Benitez said that he will make the official announcement after UNA finished the process of selection that has been observed in the past elections.
He explained that "there will be a formal process of selection for the governor and the vice governor which will be decided based on previous processes".
He said that "it will be the congressman together in one meeting that they will make the decision on who the candidate for governor will be and then governor will be given the authority on who will be the vice governor will be while the congressmen will have the authority on who will be their mayors in their respective districts".
Benitez stressed "for the sake of the party, for the sake of the province we must preserve the unity, we must move forward and it is for the best interest of everyone to ensure the unity of the party."
On the issue of the equity of the incumbent Benitez said that "equity of the incumbent ensure peaceful selection but of course the other flipside of the coin is if that person is no longer acceptable and is not doing a good job will we still go for the equity of the incumbent?"
He stressed "so that is a policy that I think that should not be followed strictly."
As to his assessment of the performance of Marañon as governor Benitez said "there are good points and strong points the governor maybe not have come up to the expectation we expected indi man poor performance he is there he is ok". As to the possibility that Marañon who was reportedly replaced by Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco as NPC provincial chairman will transfer to LP, Benitez said "I don’t think that is going to happen."*(Dolly Yasa)