BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Caravans late last week until the weekend, rollouts of promises, and a flurry of endorsements peppered the end of Halloween and as the island marked the 123rd year of its local revolt against Spain.
Two national candidates – Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo running for president, and administration ally, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go running for vice president – breezed through the province for their caravans.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, former Third District Cong Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez rolled out his plans for “the first 100 days” as he bared the meaning of “asenso,” the word used to describe his political coalition.
Also on Saturday, an association of parents and mentors endorsed the candidates of the ruling Grupo Progreso party, the second group to do so after market vendors also expressed their backing for the re-electionist mayor who is seeking a fresh and, possibly, last three-year term.
Robredo’s stationary caravan from Silay City to here was organized by local volunteers and the Negros for Leni Movement led by former governor Rafael Coscolluela. On Friday, 5 November 2021, thousands of volunteers gathered by the roadside in a stationary welcome for Robredo who was, organizers said, greeted by a sea of pink.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, Robredo’s vice presidential candidate called for hope in the coming polls.
The next day, as the COVID alert level fell from 4 to 2, supporters of Sen. Go held a caravan that was reportedly attended by supporters from the first to sixth districts of the province.
Back to the local front, small farmers, parents, and teachers associations separately endorsed Leonardia and the Grupo Progreso slate.
The Bacolod Small Farmers Federation led by its president, Judy Inson Sr., officially endorsed the re-election bids of Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran in a program held at the Barangay Alangilan Gym Saturday, Nov. 6.
A new release on the Evelio Leonardia page quoted Inson as saying “We are endorsing Grupo Progreso, especially Mayor Bing, for his continued support in giving financial assistance and attention to small farmers like us.”
The BSFF president recalled that they once approached Leonardia to clear the road in the barangay and immediately acted on their appeal.
“I can still remember when he was just starting out as mayor. We were having some hard time to access the road because it was closed. Without any hesitation, Mayor Bing immediately deployed a demolition team to clear the way for us,” Inson said.
Related to this, it was also reported that the federation officers of the Parents-Teachers Association of Bacolod led by Windel Billones on Nov. 3, endorsed the re-election bids of Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran in a program held at the Forest Park in Barangay Taculing.
The group, in a manifesto signed by 13 association presidents, also expressed full support to the Grupo Progreso’s 12 candidates for the City Council.
“We execute this manifesto of support in firm belief that it is only by their experience, leadership skills, competence and strong camaraderie that the development of our beloved city can continue,” the federation’s statement said.
The FPTA-Bacolod also endorsed incumbent Councilors Cindy Tan-Rojas, Renecito Novero, Archie Baribar, Dindo Ramos, Israel Salanga and Carl Lopez as well as former Councilor and City Administrator Em Legaspi-Ang, Marlon Solidum, Cashmere Montalvo, Jonathan Diaz, Dr. Chris Sorongon and Ed Guillem.
The 13 signatories to the federation manifesto were Billones, Sunday Villarosa, Rodolfo Vicente, Jetro Manucan, Nido Donato, Rizaldy Agolino, Joy Ignes, Lester Flores, Richard Eric Libra, Joemarie Hilado, Rachel Moncatar, and Jose Romer Padigos and Richard Ledesma.