FORMER Legal Advisor Caesar Distrito has officially announced that he is running as Vice Mayor of Bacolod City in tandem with former Third District Congressman Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, who is challenging outgoing Mayor Evelio Leonardia, in the 2022 elections.
Benitez has not yet confirmed whether it will be a Benitez-Distrito tandem in 2022.
Distrito’s mother, Councilor Simplicia Distrito, Councilor Bartolome Orola will be a candidate for re-election in the Benitez group, as well as Pao Sy, daughter of the late Councilor Elmer Sy, who will also seek a post in the city council.
The four were all allies of the local political coalition Grupo Progreso (GP) led by Leonardia.
They made this statement at the Distrito’s residence at Barangay Singcang-Airport on Saturday October 2.
The former councilor said he had spent many sleepless nights, pondering the idea that a three-term councilor had been asked to run for the city’s second-highest office.
Distrito said there are a lot of things to consider before making his decision.
The young Distrito said his decision was prompted by the consultations he held with his family, relatives, leaders and supporters at Barangay Singcang airport, particularly in Sitio Magsungay, where he was a former president of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
“I am looking at the programs and issues that former congressman Benitez wants to focus on and which I have agreed to,” he said, adding that “there is a need to change the system in Bacolod City that we’ve been used to. for years. “
For her part, Councilor Distrito said she prayed, contemplated and sought God’s direction before making the difficult decision to move on to the Benitez team.
She said she would join the “tandem” of Benitez and her son, as she can see that their partnership can bring much-needed growth and development to the city.
The advisor added that her son and Benitez’s partnership is anchored on the combination of development-oriented programs and experience in governance.
“I would like to thank Mayor Leonardia for giving me the chance to present myself as municipal councilor in 2019 under his ticket. We’ll take our separate ways without hard feelings or hard feelings [and] I wish her good luck, ”she said.
Meanwhile, Orola said he decided to join the group of Benitez and former city councilor Distrito after hearing their plans for the city.
He said that among the plans presented to him was the rehabilitation of the dilapidated public markets of Libertad, Central and Burgos.
Orola, who is the chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Markets Committee, said he had carefully considered the decision given his good relationship with Leonardia and members of GP.
“However, I have to think about what is best for the city and the people of Bacolod. My staff and staff will be affected by this decision as they will be immediately laid off, ”he said.
Like the Distritos, Orola said he also consulted his family and considered the opinions of people on the streets, in cafes and even in markets.
He noted that most of them said it was in the best interest of the city if he joined Benitez’s group.
A newbie in politics, Sy said when her father was still alive, she was asked if she wanted to run for public office.
She would respond that she wants to serve and help as many people as possible with less talk and more action, like her late father’s mantra.
Sy, who was her father’s technical assistant, said she saw how her father was involved in his work by personally responding to the needs of every voter visiting his office.
Before her father died, he told her that he saw in her the passion and dedication to service and told her that if he left, she should continue the kind of public service her father was doing.
She explained that she decided to join Benitez and Distrito’s group knowing that they can work better for Bacolod City.
Benitez’s group has yet to finalize the planned filing of their Certificates of Candidacy (COC).
By joining the group of Benitez, the Distritos and Orola have now officially resigned as members of GP.
They pointed out that Leonardia was already aware of their decision.
Earlier, Bacolod Lone District Congressman Greg Gasataya, also a GP member, announced he would run as a neutral candidate for Congress as part of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Gastaya has said he will not take sides between Benitez and Leonardia.
“Mayor Evelio ‘Bing’ Leonardia and former Congressman Alfredo ‘Albee’ Benitez are my ‘maninoys’ [godparents] during my marriage. Both are important for my personal and political journey, ”he added.
Gasataya said that “with the utmost consideration in my mind and heart”, he wishes to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of Bacolod City General Hospital in 2022.
“I am for the realization of our dream for Bacolod. I am for the realization of our general hospital in the city of Bacolod ”, he added.