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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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No Grupo Progreso
VM deal – mayor


The position for the Grupo Progresso vice mayoral candidate for 2013 is still open, no deal has been made with anybody, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.

Leonardia, Bacolod chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Grupo Progreso, said he has not talked to the three graduating councilors - Al Victor Espino, Homer Bais or Dindo Ramos - yet regarding the matter and he believes it is not a problem.

The names of Espino, Bais and Ramos have been floated as possible vice mayoralty candidates of Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus, who is said to be eyeing the mayoralty post in 2013.

“We are supposed to talk to other people and even make our formal and informal surveys. And of course, of primary importance is the consultation with our senior officers, including our national chairman,” Leonardia said.

He said they will not make any announcements without clearance from their national leaders.

Sayson said he spoke with the three councilors last week and they will be consulted on the selection of their party’s vice mayoral bet. As of this time, they have not yet done so, he said.

Leonardia said not all the councilors are always present during his birthdays,so he did not expect everybody to attend, he said.

He also did not take the absence of the three councilors from his birthday party on July 10 at the Forest Park in Bacolod City personally, Leonardia.

Bais, Ramos and Espino were at the resort in the latter Murcia during that day supposedly to avoid former Vice Mayor Renecito Novero, also a member of the NPC, who is reportedly running again for vice mayor of Bacolod, together with Sayson and Leonardia.

Leonardia said that is just between them and Novero. However, these things are being manipulated and exploited by other people especially their political opponents, he said.

He cited, for example, the case of Sayson and Councilor Roberto Rojas who left earlier because he requested them to attend the meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines also at the Forest Park, to officially open it and welcome the participants.

Leonardia said “It was just proper protocol that the vice mayor and Rojas represented me, and look what happened, some called it a walk out.”

As to the selection of their vice mayoral bet, Leonardia said he and Sayson have been talking to several people especially since it concerns the latter’s running mate. “You cannot give him someone he cannot work with,” he said.

Asked if Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. is a member of the NPC, Leonardia said that is what he said, however, he is the one trying to sabotage the local NPC. He said Sayson is the vice chairman of the NPC in Bacolod.

Leonardia said th, based on the constitution and by-laws of the NPC, there is no such thing as equity of the incumbent.

Meanwhile, former Bacolod Rep. John Orola said that, so far, the plan of joining politics is not yet in his agenda. He said he can still serve Bacolod in any capacity.

Orola said that, right now, he is busy helping the Mayor and the city.*CGS

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