BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – All roads lead to the Bacolod City Government Center today as newly-elected Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez and his ally-solons, Greg Gasataya of the lone district here, and Stephen “Cong Caraps” Paduano, and re-elected Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran hold their inaugural today, 1 July 2022, after after an intense political campaign leading to the May polls.
Familiaran is the only winner among the top three contenders of erstwhile ruling party Grupo Progreso headed by then Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the longest-serving chief executive here at 18 years.
Aside from Familiaran, the other winners from GP are Councilors Israel Salanga, Cindy Rojas, Em Ang, and Renecito Novero.
The ceremony at the Bacolod City Government Center will be held on the grounds outside amid threats of afternoon rains that a tropical cyclone might bring.
Benitez, a former Third District solon, got at least 65 percent of the more than 300,000 votes in this highly-urbanized center and had a lead of around 64,000 votes against Leonardia.
He ran on the call for “change” in the past political campaign and vowed to rid a city “drowning in corruption.”
Benitez, whose father, Jose Conrado or “Jolly,” was former human settlements minister of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr, plans to launch an ambitious housing project here under his term.