BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The United Negros Alliance or UNegA party will endorse a single presidential candidate in the coming May 2022 polls, unlike in the 2016 elections.
Party secretary general and Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. told DNX the UNEGA will hold a selection process for the best presidential candidate to support.
Asked about the process in selecting the candidate to support, Escalante said: “we will look for one who can win.”
He pointed out that during the 2016 polls, members of UNEGA separately supported different candidates, among them Rodrigo Duterte, now the president, Manuel Roxas III, Grace Poe, Miriam Santiago, and Jejomar Binay.
The UNEGA, originally abbreviated as UNA in the 1990s, was the local coalition founded by former ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., a Marcos crony, who shifted his political base to Negros after losing in the 1992 presidential polls.
“We have decided to back only one presidential candidate to give that candidate a better chance of winning,” Escalante said.
“We will select a candidate who can win,” he added as he pointed out that it is “tiring” to support candidates who lose.
UNegA used to be the ruling party in the island, having members in the top elective positions and towns and cities in the Oriental and Occidental provinces.
Meanwhile, Escalante said UNEGA remains unaffected by shiftings and realignments within national political parties like the Partido ng Demokratiking Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and other parties that are in the process of selecting their standard bearers.
Among those reported to be planning to run as president in the coming polls are Senators Emmanuel Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson, and presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte.