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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 8, 2013
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Bet call was a joke

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said his challenging Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. to a bet was meant as a joke so he did not violate the Election Code.

“It was done as a figure of speech and as a joke; from now on I will not joke”, the governor said, when asked for his reaction to a COMELEC official’s statement on betting.

Negros Occidental Provincial Election Supervisor Jessie Suarez yesterday told the DAILY STAR he stated in a radio interview that betting is not allowed under the Election Code.

However, Suarez said that since the governor had not entered into the bet but merely issued a statement no violation had been committed.

The governor last week said Alvarez cannot beat him in the race for the governorship by a margin of 200,000 votes, and he is challenging him to a bet to prove him wrong.

Alvarez, in response, said that while he believes he will beat Marañon by 100,000 to 200,000 votes, he is not a gambler and does not want to set a bad example by gambling.

Marañon said he will bet all his resources and assets against that of Alvarez, that the latter cannot win over him by 200,000 votes.

“If he (Alvarez) can win by 200,000 votes, he can take all my properties, and if he doesn’t, he can turn over all that he owns to me,” the governor said.

Alvarez said, aside from not being a gambler, his properties are already in the names of his children.

Both Alvarez and Marañon said they will prove their victories in the May polls.*CPG

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