Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said they will complete the line-up of the Grupo Progreso under the Nationalist People’s Coalition soon as they are all aware that October 1 to 5 are the filing date for certificates of candidacy.
Leonardia said the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the Nationalista Party and the Liberal Party have a coalition at the national level. How it will trickle down to Bacolod, is something they have to clarify with the national officials, he said.
“The details have not yet been laid down to us, but in general, that is supposed to be something that is already conclusive,” he added.
The Grupo Progreso party of Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson is now a coalition of the NP and the NPC, and the possible entry of the LP is being awaited, and is expected to strengthen the local administration party.
Leonardia said they will follow what the hierarchy of the three parties say in their officials statements. He believes there should be a coalition, he said “But it all depends on how, eventually, we will handle all these details,” he added.
Asked about the possibility of former Councilors Greg Gasataya, Alex Paglumotan and Celia Flor joining their group, Leonardia said “We are expecting that.” They are winnable and their track records, when they were still incumbents, and even in times when they were out of office, were also very good, he said.
“We know that, on their own, they were also doing public service so they will be very good assets to the line-up,” Leonardia added.
Gasataya and Paglumotan are members of the NPC.
On the possibility of the “First Five” also joining their slate, Leonardia said anything is possible these days, as they have no fundamental difference, and they are also very open.
He said they are just waiting for the guidelines from the national level before they finally decide at the local level.
Reports said the “First Five” composed of Councilors Archie Baribar, El Cid Familiaran, Sonya Verdeflor, Elmer Sy and Catalino Alisbo, who are new members of the Liberal Party, might join Grupo Progreso, should the LP formalize the possible coalition with the NPC and NP, where Grupo Progreso is their local party affiliate.
Only Alisbo is “graduating” next year, having served for three consecutive terms already.*CGS