By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he appreciates the kind words of Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez and son Victorias City Mayor Javi Benitez on his re-election in the coming 2025 elections.
“I truly appreciate and am truly grateful for the kind words and endorsement of Mayor Albee Benitez and Mayor Javi Benitez on my planned bid for re-election as Governor of the Province in the upcoming 2025 elections,” Lacson said in a statement.
“It is heartening to know that the hard work, perseverance, and unification efforts of the present administration under my leadership have been appreciated by my esteemed and well-respected colleagues in public service.”
Lacson earlier made known his plan to gun for a third term after Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer revealed that he will no longer seek a last term as he will stage a comeback in the fourth district in lieu of his wife Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer who is on her last term.
Lacson also said that the support of both father and son not only fortifies his resolve but also stands as evidence of the cooperative spirit “that defines our shared dedication to public service.”
“Their trust and confidence strengthen my determination to continue serving Negros Occidental with the utmost commitment, transparency, and integrity, ensuring the security, welfare, and well-being of each and every Negrense,” Lacson stressed.
The younger Benitez said that he stands for a united Negros Occidental and is in full support of its current machinery that drives it to pioneer sustainable innovations and developments for all Negrosanons.
“With this, I am endorsing the Honorable Eugenio Jose ‘Bong’ Lacson to be re-elected as Governor in the 2025 Midterm Elections,” according to the younger Benitez who was rumored to be eyeing the gubernatorial position.
He pointed out that the governor had been a steadfast partner of the City of Victorias.
He added that Lacson was there when they launched the various digitalization projects and dignified human settlement initiatives.
“His relentless support to Victorias and to the rest of the cities and municipalities in the Province of Negros Occidental is a testament to his unparalleled dedication and compassion for all Negrosanons,” Javi further said.
“I felt more of his passion for public service as the concurrent President of the Negros Association of Chief Executives. Governor Bong has been ever-present and supportive of our initiatives. His resounding leadership empowered us to forge a formidable alliance between us, ACE members, in sharing our best practices, offering assistance, and solidifying the camaraderie among the different localities in the Province.”
On his part, Bacolod City mayor Benitez, who was with Lacson in an event at the SMX convention here Thursday, openly declared his support to the latter in his speech.
Meanwhile, Ferrer said that the vice governor should come from the south to ensure political balance.
Lacson, who is affiliated with Love Negros, and Ferrer, who is the president of United Negros Alliance (UNegA), both ran under a coalition during the 2019 and 2022 elections, winning the top two highest elected positions in the province.
Lacson has also announced he is off to seek a third term in 2025.
As far as his successor as vice governor of Negros Occidental is concerned, Ferrer said it will be decided by UNegA, as stipulated in the agreement between them and Love Negros.
Ferrer stressed though that the candidate for vice governor “should come from the south.”
“There should be balance. The south of the province can be taken care of as well as the north. It’s a perfect combination,” he pointed out.
Ferrer refused to divulge the names of those included in the shortlist of candidates of UNegA vice governor bets.
On the bid for the reelection of Gov. Lacson in 2025, Ferrer said the commitment of UNegaA, when it formed a coalition with Love Negros, is “to allow Gov. Bong to finish his term until 2028.”
“After 2028, we can discuss again, who we will field as a coalition.