BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The end of the “awkward interregnum” that most political planners call two years before the polls is just around the corner but the political heat is rising as the El Nino heightens after sitting Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed that he is seeking a third and final three-year term in the 2025 midterm polls.
And while Cadiz City Mayor Salvador “Bading” Escalante is certain that the alliance between the United Negros Alliance (UnEgA), of which he is secretary general, and Lacson’s LOVE-Negros is “holding,” Escalante is keeping a tight lip on the choices for Lacson’s vice gubermatorial candidate.
“They are all members of UNeGA,” Escalante said when sought for clarification by DNX and asked the positions of these three people from whom they will pick a suitable running mate for Lacson who hails from San Carlos City in the north.
“They are all incumbents,” he added when asked to reveal if the three are provincial or local government officials.
Escalante also said, however, that the choice for vice gubernatorial candidate might be known this week when they meet as agreed upon “after the Halloween.”
The UNeGA’s pick to replace sitting Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer came after Lacson made the twin disclosure about his running and the “return” of Ferrer to the Fourth District based on a “family decision.”
Lacson bad been in office since 2019 as a replacement for then Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr.
Lacson, who ran undsr the unified ticket oc LOVE and UNegA defeated lawyer Rolando Parpa, a former government prosecutor.
The unified ticket held in 2022 when Lacson was challenged by lawyer Juan Orola, of the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) and independent candidate Ma. Socorro Sibulan.
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Escalante also condirmed to DNX they have heard reports that former President Gloria Arroyo, then House Deputy Speaker, is planning to run against Lacson here
Arroyo’s family is larfely based in Pampanga province.
He said, however, they have not totally entertained what are laegely rumors because UNeGA is largely committed to backing Lacson who supported the presidential bid of then Vice President Leni Robredo.
Escalante’s clan, a political bloc in northern Negros Occidental, reportedly backed Robredo.
“She is a national figure,” Escalante said and pointed out Arroyo will be “under utilized” if she decides to run for governor.
With her talent, intellect, exoerience and expertise, she is better suited in Congress, Escalante also said.