It will be “Mar-Bong” for Love Negros in 2016.

Love Negros team will support the re-election bid of incumbent Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

This was confirmed yesterday by Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd Dist.) hours after Lacson announced his reelection bid.

CITY PAYS CENECO. (l-r) CENECO MRBD Chief Alfredo R. Dioso, Jr. A/R Controller Nyt S. Piansay, Atty. Irish Mae Rodriguez-Viceral, District V–Bacolod West Director Vicente G. Tan receive the P5.7M check from City Exec. Asst. Sarah Esguerra.*

Negros Press Club (NPC) President Dolores Epacta, columnist Toots Jimenez and Marchel Espina, Mae Singuay, Negros Daily Bulletin’s Manny Canto and radio broadcaster Rey Siason and Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella raise their mugs in celebration of the 2015 Media Night last Tuesday at the People’s House lobby. The group also presented a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to media practitioners who celebrated their birthdays last July to September.* (CMO-PIO photo)

“The original proposal was for the status quo but it is now the stand of our group,” Benitez said.

The proposal of LN under the merger was for Marañon and Lacson to run together, he said, but “the Governor seems to be committed already to Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer (4th Dist.)”

“The Vice Governor made the announcement of his reelection bid before members of LN,” he said.

Pressed to name who he will support for president and vice president, Benitez said, “I will announce it soon here in Bacolod.”

On the decision of Lacson to seek reelection, the congressman said, “At the end of the day the decision to run for vice governor was his own decision, not a decision being shoved down his throat... it’s a decision he made by himself.”

Benitez also assured the Vice Governor of the full support of Love Negros.

“It will be the voters who will decide what is good for the future of the province. I leave it to the voters to decipher who is the better leader. That’s how elections are,” he said.

He said the advantage of Lacson is that he is an incumbent.

Asked if majority of mayors in Negros Occidental will support Lacson, Benitez said, “I don’t know but at the end of the day, it is not the mayors who will make him win but it’s the voters.”

He also welcomed the possibility of facing former governor Rafael Coscolluela for the congressional seat of the third district.

“I don’t know but it’s a free country. Anybody can run and has freedom to run. That is the purpose of running a higher calling. I am prepared since 2010,” he said.

He said that the last time he talked with the Governor was “a few weeks ago.”

On the issue of who is now the provincial chair of the Liberal Party, he said, “That I will let you know. As of now, I think it is former governor Coscolluela signing all the certificates of nominations and acceptance... It is an authority I would gladly have him do.”

He clarified that he has not resigned as LP chair in the province.

“I haven’t resigned. I think I am still LP,” Benitez said.*