BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A businessman, a former vice mayor, a former provincial board member, and two former councilors are among those waiting in the wings to join the ticket of former Third District solon Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez if he decides to run as mayor here with a full slate in the coming 2022 polls. [READ also: Citizen Albee and why a billionaire wants to become mayor of Sugarlandia’s capital (First of three parts)]
Businessman Vladimir Gonzalez, one of the staunchest allies of Benitez, confirmed to DNX that among the probable candidates for the vice mayoral and city council posts include himself, former Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, former Third District Board Member Patrick Lacson, and former councilors Homer Bais and Claudio Jesus Raymundo “Kalaw” Puentevella.
Gonzalez said over the TV show DNX Publicus that it is up to Benitez whom he called “Mayor Albee” to pick his running mates from among the field of probables who might decide to run “if chosen by Benitez.”
Gonzalez is no stranger to politics, having sought the mayoral and vice-mayoral positions in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
He lost in both attempts.
Gonzalez also became the running mate of former Cong. Monico Puentevella who was a re-electionist mayor in 2016 against now sitting Mayor Evelio Leonardia who was then a comebacking camdidate after one three-year term as representative.
Both Gonzalez and Puentevella lost.
Sayson, on the other hand, is a former ally of Leonardia who ran and won as Leonardia’s running mate over two straight terms of three years each from 2007 to 2013.
Lacson, on the other hand, is the son of former Governor Daniel “Bitay” Lacson who became the first acting governor and, subsequently the first electrd governor post the EDSA People Power I that toppled President Ferdinand Marcos and swept Corazon Aquino to power.
The Lacsons are a prominent political clan here who are both landed and storied in politics.
Bais is also a former city councilor now allied with Puentevella’s Maghiliusa Kita Sa Kauswagan and is one of the officials here who was elected to office on the popularity of being radio commentators.
Kalaw, on the other hand, is one of the sons of Monico who was able to win an election. He bowed out of oublic office in 2019.