By Mira Nicole Magbanua and Julius Mariveles
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Talk of politics is heating up here as the mercury is seen to rise with the heat wave expected mid-year with the start of the El Nino.
At the center of the swirling rumors are the neophyte mayors – Alfredo Abelardo or “Albee,” this city’s chief executive, and his son, Javier Miguel or “Javi” who is mayor of Victorias City, around 30 kilometers north of here.
The issue, which suddenly came out of the blue, was asked during the news conference of the senior Benitez.
It centered on the rumor that his son, who is also provincial president of the Association of Chief Executives, had been making the rounds of towns and cities in the provunce that has 32 localities.
Albee said Javi will not be a threat to incumbent provincial governor and is merely doung his job as ACE president.
Javi is now serving his first term as mayor of the city that is the base of giant miller-refiner Victorias Milling Company.
As the presser progressed, questions from reporters shifted to Albee’s plans which, another reported suggested, involved a run for the Senate, a chamber of senior lawmakers.
While Albee did not tackle the issue head on, he said he does not want to see major projects of his administration go unfinished.
Albee is serving his first three-year term as mayor of the highly-urbanized capital of Negros Occidental and can run for two more three-year terms under Philippine laws.
The senior Benitez was widely expected to be running for national office before the 2022 polls but was prevailed upon by supporters, sources said, to run as mayor here.