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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, October 22, 2012
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3 senate bets staying neutral
on Negros gubernatorial race


Three candidates for senator who were in Negros Occidental during the weekend said they are staying neutral in the battle between Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. for governor in 2013.

“We don’t want to be part of a local political tussle in the provincial, city or municipal level,” said San Juan Rep Juan Victor Ejercito Estrada, stressing that they are national candidates.

Estrada, who spoke to a gathering of barangay tanods in San Carlos City Saturday night, said the Marañon family, especially former Gov. Joseph Marañon, have been good friends of his father, former President Estrada.

The congressman said he is also very close to the Alvarez family, especially Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, who is the daughter of Vice-Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr., and business tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco, a good friend of his father, and his “godfather”.

Cojuangco is supporting the gubernatorial bid of Vice Governor Alvarez.

Stressing that both sides are family friends, Estrada said “As much as possible, we don’t want to get involved in local politics”.

Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is running for senator under the United National Alliance, also said he is remaining neutral in the Negros Occidental gubernatorial race because both candidates are his friends and relatives.

Let the people of Negros choose the best man, said Zubiri.

Zubiri, who went to San Carlos City on Saturday, said he was joining the MassKara festivities, too.

Nacionalista Party senatorial aspirant Cynthia Villar, who also spoke at the gathering of a women’s group in Talisay City, said the NP has no position on whom it will support between Marañon and Alvarez, who used to be her colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Villar, however, said they are committed to support the congressional bid of Board Member Emilio Yulo in the 5th district of Negros Occidental. Yulo is also the guest candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition in the district.

Estrada, accompanied by Silay Vice Mayor Mark Golez and Board Member Patrick Leonard Lacson, who are both PMP members, were welcomed Saturday night by Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. and Board Member Renato Gustilo in San Carlos City .

On the same night, he also met with Vice-Governor Alvarez, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, who also marked her 30th birthday on Oct. 20, and Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco, NPC provincial chairman, in Bacolod City. * GPB

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