Albee Endorsed for Governor in ‘19

In an overwhelming display of support, all the five mayors of the third district of Negros Occidental publicly endorsed Rep. Alfredo Benitez for governor in 2019.

The signing of MOU and formal launcing of “Asenso Metro 3rd Burial Assistance Program Tabang sa Kalisod” program of Congressman Alfredo ‘Albee’ Benitez of the 3rd District of Negros Occidental were witnessed by Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, Talisay City Mayor Jesus Antonio Neil E. Lizares III, Rep. Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod Party List, Victorias City Mayor Frederick Wantan Palanca, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez and E.B. Magalona Town Mayor Marvin Malacon. The ceremony was held at Natures Village Resorts, Hotel and Restaurant in Talisay City yesterday.*(Jun de los Reyes/NDB photo)

Victorias Mayor Frederick Palanca, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano each aired their support for Benitez if he decides to take over the post to be vacated by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his final term.

“I cannot say yes or no. Let us see. There are others who have suggested that I ran for another position,” the Congressman said, reiterating his earlier statement that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has offered him a slot in the senatorial line-up of the PDP-Laban in the next elections.

Benitez said that there area still “a lot of things to weigh before a decision is made.”

“It is not an easy decision. Winning is not the only thing that should be look at,” he said.

He confirmed that his constituents wants me to be near them so I can be accessible to them.

However, for close Benitez ally Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano said he prefers the congressman to run for senator.

“Personally, I would advise him to run for a higher position for the sake of Negros and for him,” Paduano said.

Benitez said that the problem of Negros “is bigger than we all think.”

“Some are calling the sugar industry as the next tobacco industry or a sunset industry. Until we can diversify, Negros is still not in good shape,” he said.

Pressed if who he will endorse as his successor as congressman for the third district, Benitez said, “nobody in my family wants to enter politics.”

When the name of his brother Dr. Francisco B. Benitez, Philippine Women’s University president was mentioned, he confirmed that he is being considered.

“Before anything else, whether it is family or anyone, what is important is that they will be accepted by the people of the district. Just because he carries my family name, he can easily sit. The next congressman should perform better than me. What should be considered is his or her capacity and skills,” he added.

“We have not formally talked about 2019,” Benitez said.*(Eugene Y. Adiong)