PHOTO CAPTION: United Negros Alliance (UNegA) secretary-general and Cadiz City mayor Salvador Escalante reveals ‘surprising’ political alliances and fall-outs in Negros Occidental./iNEWS
BACOLOD CITY–Three towns in Negros Occidental may spur political tensions as the filing of candidacies for the 2022 elections draws near.
Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante, secretary-general of the United Negros Alliance (UNegA), said, “A year ago nobody seemed interested in politics. Now that the filing is getting nearer, a lot of names are coming out.”
Escalante confirmed that in Toboso, the alliance of erstwhile political enemies—incumbent mayor Richard Jaojoco and the De la Cruz family—is being finalized.
“Ma. Luisa De la Cruz has been joining the public activities of Mayor Richard Jaojoco. Every time there is an event, she is present, so the relationship was perhaps nurtured and they are back together again,” the mayor said.
Jaojoco, who is on his last term, announced that his wife Madonnah Maranon-Jaojoco of UNegA will run for mayor and that former ABC president Ma. Luisa De la Cruz of Love Negros (LN) agreed to be her vice mayor.
However, he did not say what will happen to Toboso Vice-Mayor Jesse Rex Bartolome, who is with LN.
“I cannot speak for Love Negros, but I’m sure they are still working on their side since there are commitments,” he said.
In Isabela town, Escalante said that both UNegA and LN admitted the political conflict between the Montillas and the Malabors could no longer be resolved despite the existing alliance of their parties on the provincial level.
Vice Mayor Renato Malabor, Jr., will run against incumbent Mayor Dr. Irene Montilla.
Meanwhile, in Binalbagan town, a rematch seems to be on the ticket in 2022 as former mayor Emmanuel Aranda will seek to oust incumbent Mayor Alejandro Mirasol.
Aranda and Mirasol are both members of UNegA.
“I don’t know what will happen; we have yet to talk about it…But Mayor Mirasol as of now is our official candidate in Binalbagan,” Escalante said.
Asked about the overall UNegA-Love Negros coalition, Escalante said, “We were very firm in the beginning that any incumbent member of UNegA will be the official candidate.” (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)