By Khalil Jison
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Genaro “Lim-ao” Alvarez revealed yesterday that congressmen representing the six congressional districts in the province except Bacolod City and all potential candidates for the gubernatorial post are expected to be “summoned” by former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, chairman emeritus of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, for a “consultative meeting” next month.
Alvarez said the meeting with the former ambassador, who is considered as the province’s political kingmaker, will serve as basis of the official candidates of the NPC for the province’s gubernatorial and congressional posts.
The vice governor, however, was quick to clarify that the said “consultation” process was based on his personal experience from previous elections during which Cojuangco personally asked him and other potential candidates of their political plans before the revelation of the official line up of the NPC.
Normally, the candidates under the United Negros Alliance no longer call for a meeting of all its members particularly from board members down to mayor, vice mayor and councilors to choose the group’s official candidate for governor, Alvarez said.
He revealed that before the 2010 elections, Cojuangco personally met with then Governor Isidro Zayco and asked him if he is interested to run for the post and when the former governor declined, the former Ambassador asked Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who at that time was mayor of Sagay City, if he is interested in the gubernatorial post.
After Marañon revealed his intention to seek the gubernatorial seat and no opposition was raised among those invited to the meeting, the former ambassador immediately gave his “blessings”, Alvarez added.
The vice governor further revealed that after determining the official candidates of UNA for higher positions, each congressional candidate will be given the task to lead the selection of potential candidates for board members, mayors, vice mayors down to the councilors in his or her district.
We no longer seek a consultative meeting with all UNA members through a general assembly to determine the coalition’s official candidate for governor because it is very tiresome, the vice governor added.
He stressed that all potential candidates usually follow the political coalition’s arrangements on the declaration of the official candidates and those opposing it or questioning the process are being encouraged to get out of the coalition and run independently.
Asked if he will accept should Cojuangco ask him to run for governor, Alvarez answered the members of the media with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Alvarez said he has no idea about the alleged disgust of some mayors in the province against Governor Marañon which reportedly caused the postponement of the supposed UNA general assembly.
The vice governor reiterated that he will only consider running for the gubernatorial post if Marañon will not seek re-election in next year’s midterm polls./WDJ