Negros Occidental Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. said yesterday that a top level meeting of the United Negros Alliance leaders, presided by former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, to pick the party’s candidates for 2013 is expected next month.
If the UNA procedure adopted in the last six years is followed, the meeting will be attended by the governor and the congressmen of Negros Occidental, he said.
Under the past process, Cojuangco, founder of UNA and Nationalist People’s Coalition, asked those present what position they wanted to run for and then a decision was reached, Alvarez said.
The congressmen are usually given the authority to choose the mayors of their districts, and the mayors pick their vice mayors and councilors, Alvarez added.
UNA is a formidable coalition of Negros Occidental officials and leaders from various political parties that fields candidates during elections in every town and city of the province.
Alvarez said that former governor and now Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco could be invited to the August meeting.
Rumors have been circulating that Alvarez, and not Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., will be fielded by UNA to run for governor.
Alvarez has denied that there has been a rift between him and the governor, and has stressed that they remain friends.
When pressed yesterday on what his answer would be if asked by Cojuangco what post he wants to run for, Alvarez laughed but did not give a categorical answer.
“I will just abide by what the party wants for me,” he said.
Alvarez said Cojuangco could even look to Zayco as the gubernatorial bet. Zayco had refused to run for governor in 2010 and chose to return to Kabankalan as mayor.
“Anything is possible,” Alvarez said.
The vice governor also said he was not aware of reports that some mayors were disgruntled with the governor over fund allocations.
Some mayors are allegedly dissatisfied by the meager assistance given by the provincial government to their towns and cities.*CPG