Capiz board member quits LP, eyes Panay mayorship

Board Member Jonathan Sonny Besa

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member Jonathan Sonny Besa has resigned from the Liberal Party (LP) and will run for mayor in the municipality of Panay in next year’s elections under the Lakas-CMD Party.

Besa cited great dismay as the primary reason for his decision to leave the LP led by former senator Mar Roxas II.

He said that he would accept endorsements from several individuals in Panay town, especially those residing in Panay Ville who have allegedly been harassed by the current administration.

Besa will face incumbent Mayor Vicente Bermejo, reportedly the LP’s candidate for Panay town in the 2025 national and local elections.

Besa said he expected to be the LP’s candidate for mayor due to his loyalty to the party, but he was surprised to learn that Bermejo, a former LP member, was chosen instead.

The term-limited board member said he has yet to complete his lineup to challenge Bermejo and his team.

Bermejo previously served as mayor of Roxas City after his term as governor of Capiz ended.

Besa said he planned to retire from politics and asked Gov. Fredenil Oto Castro to support his son Paolo, an incumbent Sangguniang Bayan member of Panay, to run for board member on his behalf.

However, the governor said he would discuss the matter with the LP, which remains unresolved.

He also noted that he was not invited to several LP meetings in Panay town led by Vice Mayor Amy Asis.

Meanwhile, Besa revealed that his bet for vice mayor would be Julius Asis. Their slate also includes incumbent councilors Luis Asis, Paolo Besa, Lito Barya, Jojo Balgos Mejia, Lacelou Barredo, former Punong Barangay of Ilaya Alex Bigcas, Pio Bellosillo, and one other to be confirmed as his slate for Sangguniang Bayan members.

Besa began his political career in 2010 under the LP as a provincial board member.