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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 7, 2012
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Most mayors still
back guv: Lacson


EB Magalona Mayor David Albert Lacson, president of the Negros Association of Chief Executives, yesterday said he personally supports Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and believes that the majority of mayors in Negros Occidental also do.

Lacson gave the assurance amid rumors that support for the governor has waned. It has been alleged that some mayors prefer that Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. run for governor in 2013 instead.

There were some complaints about the release of projects but those have been addressed already, Lacson said.

“We love both the governor and the vice governor”, said Lacson, who denied that a gathering of mayors Thursday night was held to discuss their 2013 positions.

Marañon also said yesterday he still believes he has the support of most of the mayors, saying the mayor he knows of who is not happy with him is Melecio Yap Jr. of Escalante City.

Yap appears to be disgruntled because Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo had ordered the creation of a task force to investigate complaints against him, the governor said.

Marañon said he did not initiate the investigation against Yap, the national government apparently acted on complaints it had received from various individuals.

There had been reports of killings, alleged proliferation of drugs, links to a rebel group and illegal gambling in Escalante, he said.

Marañon said his trip to Manila with Alvarez and the Negros Occidental board members on Thursday was to go to a farm machineries expo, and not for talks on their plans for the 2013 elections.

He also denied that the trip was to meet with former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, United Negros Alliance chairman, saying the UNA meeting with the ambassador is likely to take place next month.

Lacson said a group of mayors gathered at the house of former Manapla Mayor Manuel Escalante, former Negros ACE president, at Ayala North Point in Talisay City Thursday night to celebrate his birthday.

It had nothing to do with politics, he said.

He also said that majority of the mayors want the United Negros Coalition members to remain united in 2013.

Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, in an interview during the launching of the Negros First Meat Shop in his town (story on page 15), said that the mayors discussed travel plans of Negros ACE members at the gathering Thursday night.

The mayors want UNA to stay united, they will respect the party’s decision on candidates to be fielded in next year’s election, he also said.

Montelibano said he is happy with the governor and has nothing to say against Marañon. “If there are some people who are not, in politics, you cannot please everybody,” he added.*CPG

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