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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, June 28, 2012
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City politics heats up,
redistricting uncertain


The creation of a second congressional district for Bacolod remains uncertain, as politics in the city heats up.

While Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez yesterday said he is very hopeful that Bacolod City will be divided into two districts, Mayor Evelio Leonardia believes it may not be approved in time, considering the short period left before the next election.

Two congressional districts would spare Golez and Leonardia from battling for one congressional seat.

Former Councilor Lyndon Caña, meanwhile, said the local Liberal Party has talked to him on the probability of him running for congressman. But it is just an initial talk and there is a process to follow, he said.

But the final thing will come on the deadline of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy, he added

Leonardia yesterday said he checked with the Office of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and it is not true that the redistricting of Bacolod has been approved.

“Given the circumstances, with the short period of time, I do not think it will be approved in time,” he said.

No meeting has been called by the Committee on Local Government chaired by Marcos, Leonardia said. “I understand that before they finalize things, they always hold committee hearings. And no meeting has been conducted until now, as far as Bacolod is concerned,” he said.

One factor could be the recent impeachment trial that had affected the timetable of the lawmakers, he added.

Golez said it will only be too late if August has passed and they do not have the document dividing Bacolod into two districts. “For as long as it is not yet August, there is still a chance,” he said.

“I was surprised that out of the many districts, only five were chosen and one was Bacolod since these were the only ones provided a budget for 2013,” he said.

Last year a member of the staff of Marcos told them that what is lacking only is a printed certificate from the National Statistics Office that would tell them that Bacolod has reached the 500,000 population requirement, Golez said.

“Without the printed copy of the NSO, we can only project that as of now, the population of Bacolod is more than 500,000,” he said.

Golez said the redistricting of Bacolod will mean more infrastructure for the city.

Golez said that normally, whoever is sitting as congressman, should be the one who will be fielded to the position, based on the equity of the incumbent, unless the candidate will be oustered from the party.

“I still maintain my position as the vice chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and I am a good follower as well. I would always go where the vision of the political party is,” he said. He does not intend to go out of the party unless there are other circumstances that arise, he added.

Leonardia said Golez talks about equity of the incumbent and claims that he is still a member of the NPC. “We were still talking, and I was surprised that Golez made a privilege speech (about the Charter Anniversary) when I am his party chairman,” he said. His act is not consistent with his statements, he added.

On the other hand, Leonardia said he cannot outrightly confirm former Vice Mayor Renecito Novero’s status with the NPC, when asked about the matter after Novero announced that he will be running for vice mayor in 2013.

He said they were together in 2007 but he does not know how Novero filed his Certificate of Candidacy in the last election because that will have a bearing.

Leonardia said he has no personal animosity with Novero and they talk when they see each other even when they were not together in politics..*CGS

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