By TERESA D. ELLERA | SunStar
Of the 31 mayors of towns and cities in Negros Occidental, 28, or majority of them, have expressed support for the candidacies of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as president and vice president, respectively, in the upcoming May polls.
This was the result of the meeting of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio with the mayors yesterday, February 23, as they visited the province for a campaign sortie.
Valladolid Mayor Enrique Miravelles, president of the League of Municipalities in Negros Occidental, said that all 19 town mayors in the province attended the meeting with Marcos and Duterte-Carpio at the Stonehill Suites in Bacolod City.
Based on attendance, only the mayors of the cities of Sagay, Sipalay and Cadiz were not present during the meeting.
San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo said all of the chief executives from the First District, including himself, are all out in support for the slate of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio dubbed as the UniTeam.
The First District is composed of five localities namely San Carlos City, Toboso, Escalante City, Manapla and Calatrava.
In his city in particular, Gustilo said, all elected officials including the barangay captains have discussed whom to support for the national posts.
They have decided to support the BBM-Sara tandem, he added.
Aside from the mayors, First District Representative Gerardo Valmayor and former congressman Julio Ledesma IV were among those who are supporting the tandem.
"This is a free country," the mayor said in reaction to claims that Negros is a "pink country” referring to the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
"Anybody can support any candidate they want. This is the call of BBM. This is a united team like in San Carlos City where we have a Team Unity," he pointed out.
He added that every time Marcos runs, they accuse him of corruption and human rights violation.
"Is there no new issues?," he asked, adding that "how many yellow presidents did we have but failed to jail any of the Marcoses."*