By Julius D Mariveles and Nikki Magbanua reporting from Victorias City
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Javier Miguel “Javi Benitez took his oath yesterday in the refinery city of Victorias, becoming the youngest chief executive of that city in recent years, and the youngest among members of the prominent Benitez clan who assumed office post the May polls.
Javi is 25, an actor billed by entertainment writers as an “up and coming action star” before he shifted to politics and ran for the mayoral post in the city 37 kilometers north of here.
He won on his first try and will serve in government for the first time.
Victorias is home to Victorias Milling Company, once Asia’s largest sugar mill and refinery, and is the hometown of the Bantug family, a landed and prominent clan, from which Javi’s grandmother, Betty, comes.
His uncle, Francisco or Kiko, before which he took his oath is representative of the Third District, a political subdivision that includes Victorias and the the cities of Talisay and Silay, and the towns of Murcia and EB Magalona.
His father, Alfredo Abelardo or Albee has taken over today, 30 June 2022, as the new mayor here after beating Evelio Leonardia, the longest-serving mayor for 18 years.
“I will be fair and just. I will lead by example. I will not demand what I will not do myself. I will set high expectation for each performance as I commit myself to the same,” the new mayor said in his inaugural speech.