Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) yesterday denied talk that he is the new political kingmaker in Negros Occidental and added that the United Negros Alliance has adopted a consensus approach to decision making.
At a press conference in Talisay City, Benitez, also denied that Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco has delegated to him the “political kingmaking” task in the province.
Questions were raised after Benitez was seen as spearheading the move to hold a special congressional election in the fifth district of Negros Occidental. It has also been noted that several politicians in the province have been gravitating towards him.
There are a lot of people in UNA who are more senior and experienced than he is, Benitez said, pointing out that Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. is the head of their party.
In fact, it the governor who is meeting with the mayors of the fifth district of Negros Occidental and other political leaders to get a consensus on whom UNA will field as its congressional bet in the special polls, he added.
UNA has unified the political leaders of Negros Occidental, it is not just one person that decides, in the party, consultations and collegial decisions are made, he said.
He brushed aside insinuations that the fifth congressional race will be an Arroyo - Aquino battle, with the administration supporting Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, against Marilou Arroyo Lesaca, sister of the Late Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr.
The fifth congressional seat was simply declared vacant following the death of Rep. Arroyo in London on January 26 and has to be filled, he said.
Meanwhile, Benitez said his relationship with Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco is very good, “Once in a while we see each other and talk, he said.”*CPG