BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The anticipated battle royale between two political titans moved a step closer to reality after former Third District Cong Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez led here his Asenso for a Better Bacolod coalition in a virtual filing of their certificates of candidacy today, 5 October 2021
“This symbolizes a new beginning,” House Minority Floor Leader Stephen Paduano said as he opened the ABB news conference held inside the compound of the Benitez residence at Mountainview, an upscale residential area in Mandalagan village.
Supporters and the local press gathered to hear candidates of the ABB full slate of councilors who were presented to the public for the first time.
Benitez said their slate represents “diversity and change,” which explains why it is composed of veterans, comebacking councilors and new blood.
The former solon sat beside his running mate, former councilor and lawyer Caesar Distrito, a former stalwart of the ruling Grupo Progreso party who decided to become the vice-mayoral candidate of Benitez only a day before the 1 October opening of the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy.
Benitez, who is regional chairman of the ruling PDP Laban, is running in an alliance with the Maghiliusa Kita Sa Kauswagan group of erstwhile Cong. Monico Puentevella and Paduano’s Abang Lingkod partylist.
His candidates for councilors include former administration councilors Simple Distrito, Bart Orola, and Al Espino; former councilors Sonya Verdeflor, Thaddy Sayson, Celia Flor, Kalaw Puentevella and Homer Bais; businessmen Vladimir Gonzales and Jason Villarosa, former board member Patrick Lacson, and Pao Sy, daughter of former Councilor Elmer Sy who died in office.