Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. along with other local officials are now joining PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan), the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte and now the ruling party in the country. This is after they supported Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet, Mar Roxas in the recent 2016 elections.
As reported at Rappler this Monday, August 15, Gov. Marañon led the 50 public officials from Negros Occidental who have changed their minds, and are now supporting President Duterte’s administration. This includes mayors, vice mayors, councilors and board members such as Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr.
“I could say that we all agreed that if it’s good for the province, we will join the governor.” Escalante said, who is also the secretary-general United Negros Alliance, Marañon’s local political party. Their application was submitted that day to Yves Akol, secretary-general of the PDP-Laban in the Negros Island Region, and is still subject for approval.
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Among the local top officials who have decided to leave LP to join PDP-Laban are Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, Hinobaan Mayor Ernesto Estrao of Hinobaan, Cadiz City Mayor Patrick Escalante of, Manapla Mayor Lourdes Escalante, and Toboso Mayor Richard Jaojoco. More Negros Occidental officials are expected to join them soon.
The decision of Gov. Marañon and his allies to transfer to PDP-Laban comes after the governor promised to give Mar Roxas 1.5 million votes as support for his presidential candidacy. Based on the official results from Comelec (Commission on Elections), Roxas led the presidential race in the entire Negros Occidental, but only had 579,810 votes.
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Roxas, whose mother Judy Araneta is from Bago, Negros Occidental, proposed to then-President Benigno “Noyno” Aquino the creation of Negros Island Region when he was still the DILG secretary. The president approved the proposal on May 29, 2015 under Executive Order 183, which made Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental now belonging to a single region.