Governor Clears Quito Montilla on Malabor Slay

After months of speculations and an exchange of brickbats, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. finally cleared Isabela town Mayor Enrique Montilla III of any involvement in the murder of Provincial Board Member Renato Malabor Sr.

“It’s not him (Montilla). A politician (is the mastermind), just read the affidavit (of witnesses),” Marañon said.

Malabor and his bodyguard Leody Jumilla were gunned down by a lone gunman while leaving a cockpit in Guintubhan village, Isabela, at around 1:30 a.m. of June 28, 2015.

The board member was reportedly planning to run for mayor of Isabela against Montilla in 2016.

Montilla had complained that the governor’s failure to name the politician behind the murders has caused him to be the subject of hatred on social media.

The mayor had asked Marañon to name names after the latter claimed that Malabor̵’s murder is politically-motivated.

He also claimed he is a victim, too, as the governor’s statement damaged his reputation since the slain board member was planning to run for Isabela mayor next year.

On the offer of former board member Melvin Ibañez that he is willing to mediate between him and Montilla, Marañon said, “There is nothing to mediate. Wala man kami away ni Quito (Montilla). Ano gin-awayan namun haw? (We have no quarrel. What is our dispute, anyway)?”

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the pronouncement of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., that he will be adopting some provincial board members from the rival Love Negros Team who will seek reelection in 2016 is “a recognition and appreciation of the cooperation that the provincial board has extended to the governor.”

Marañon last week said that his United Negros Alliance (UNA) may not field any candidate against them.

“Aside from the fact that the governor knows these BMs are very popular in their respective districts, “ Lacson said.

Those “adopted” include 6th district provincial board members Pedro Zayco and Helen Zafra, for the 5th district Marañon said the eldest son of slain provincial board member Renato Malabor , Renato Malabor Jr.,

In the fourth district, board members Joven Alonso and Victor Javellana will also be “adopted” by the UNA while in the 3rd district Marañon said Love Negros Team board member Johna Ko will also be adopted if she seeks re-election.

He added that last termer EB Magalona Mayor David Lacson will fill in the place of his cousin, Provincial Board Member Patrick Lacson who is also on his last term and is said to run for mayor in EB Magalona town.

Marañon further said that in the second district it is still being discussed who will be fielded for provincial board member in lieu of Miller Serondo who is on his last term.

It is also the same case in the first district, Marañon said adding that there is no decision yet whom UNA will field.

Marañon also reiterated that his group already has its line up but they are open to those who want to join their group.

Meanwhile, the governor stood pat on his decision against the merger with Love Negros.

Marañon, also made it clearer that he did not want Love Negros’ “condition” in pushing for the merger: his team-up with the incumbent Bong Lacson.

Marañon had declared he wanted incumbent 4th District representative Jeffrey Ferrer as running mate for vice governor.*