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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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‘Free zones for
councilors unliberal’

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

The declaration by Senator Franklin Drilon that as far as the Liberal Party-Nationalist People’s Coalition is concerned Bacolod City is a free zone for candidates for councilor has drawn varied reactions from the LP bets in the city.

During the Team PNoy campaign in Negros Occidental Friday Drilon said that in so far as the Bacolod candidates for councilors are concerned, “It will be a free zone, we will have Liberal and NPC.”

Councilor Archie Baribar yesterday said the statement is a most unliberal way of marginalizing its loyal members and the most liberal way of empowering its highly unreliable and most unlikely allies.

Councilor El Cid Familiaran, however, said that probably must be the decision of the national officers. They have no choice but to accept it, he said.

Familiaran said the reason he did not show up at the Pavilion is that he believes the endorsement of the senators have no effect on his candidacy except if it comes from President Benigno Aquino.

It is his endorsement that they will need in terms of the number of votes that he can gather for them, he said.

Familiaran said they are only local officers of the party. That is the reality in politics because politics is addition, he said, adding that they should not be sour-grapping. “If you cannot take the heat get out of the kitchen, The door is wide open,” he said.

He also believes it is the senators who will be needed by the President in his “matuwid na daan” program, he added.

Meanwhile, Leonardia said they have discussed the matter (coalition) with the Grupo Progreso and “We do not take any issue from that.”

They fully understand the situation and they agree with Drilon’s policy, he said.

“ We just simply have to live with these realities,” he added.

Drilon endorsed Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and former councilor Greg Gasataya, all of NPC-Grupo Progreso, as the coalition’s official candidates in Bacolod for congressman, mayor and vice mayor, respectively.

Leonardia said they have seen that the so-called Liberal Party members are not even in the same slate. So that is their business, he said.

“Where we are concerned, we are NPC, and we are part of the NPC-LP-Nationalista Party partnership agreement and some of our party mates are even actually members of the Nationalista Party – like Migs Estrella, and Councilors Caesar Distrito and Carl Lopez,” Leonardia said.

The three councilor candidates were already NP in the 2010 elections, he said.*CGS

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