Peña supports Barredo

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

PULUPANDAN Mayor Magdaleno Peña declared Friday that he is supporting the congressional bid of former Board Member Ike Barredo, who is running as an independent-Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

Peña said that, during the meeting last Sunday at Pontevedra with NPC chairman emeritus Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the party founder asked NPC members to support the party’s candidates and ensure the victory of the party’s entire slate in the province.

Barredo is running against Representative Jeffrey Ferrer in the 4th District of Negros Occidental.


Ferrer was supposedly the NPC official candidate for congressman of the 4th District, but the party withdrew his certificate of nomination after he declared support for Governor Alfredo Marañon’s reelection bid over the candidacy of NPC gubernatorial bet Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez.

Mayor Magdaleno Peña declared support for Ike Barredo
BACOLOD. Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña (2nd from L) openly declared his support for former Board Member Ike Barredo’s (L) congressional bid Friday during the town’s Salapan Festival.(Gilbur L. Guarte photo)

“For about eight months, I have tried to convince Jeffrey, who is my friend, to mend fences with Danding and to concur with the party’s wishes. Apparently, he does not wish to do so because he wants to pursue his higher ambitions in the 4th District and in the province,” Peña said.

The Cojuangcos and the Benedictos, to which Ferrer’s wife La Carlota City Mayor Juliet Benedicto Ferrer belongs, are the two dominant families in the 4th District.

For the sake of the district, it will be ideal to have harmony between the two families, Peña added.

Ferrer is eyeing his third and last term as representative of the 4th District.

“I tried to convince him to give way to Charlie (Cojuangco) in 2016 for the sake of harmony in the party and the district but Jeffrey cannot be dissuaded from his political plans,” Peña said.

If he wins a third term, Ferrer wants his wife to succeed him in his post while he will make a run for the highest post in the province, according to Peña.

“I can’t go along with that,” the mayor said. “First, he is too young to be governor by 2016. Second, we have to preserve party unity and follow the greater good of the party. Third, we cannot have a husband and wife team controlling the province and the 4th District by 2016.”

If Ferrer gets his way in 2016, Peña expressed apprehension that the days of Roberto S. Benedicto will make a comeback in the sugar industry and the province.

During his tenure as head of the Philippine Sugar Commission (Philsucom) in the 1980’s, Benedicto blamed for causing massive losses to sugar producers, because of the single-marketing scheme in which Philsucom bought the producers’ sugar at very low prices. Moreover, producers complained that Philsucom incurred long delays in the payment of their sugar, thus causing producers to incur penalties and even default in their crop loans.

For these reasons, Peña said he is supporting the candidacy of Barredo.

“Pulupandan can deliver 15,000 votes while I and my brother Banie (Bonifacio Peña) can muster another 5,000 votes in Bago City. We can deliver as much as 20,000 votes for Ike (Barredo),” the mayor said.

Barredo, who along with Alvarez and his running mate Bong Lacson were the mayor’s guest during Friday’s fiesta in Pulupandan, said he welcomes Peña’s support and vowed that it will motivate him to work harder in the coming campaign.

“I may not have the official nomination of the party but I am the recognized congressional candidate of NPC in the 4th District,” said Barredo, adding that he cherishes the closing of ranks of NPC for his candidacy at the district.

Meanwhile, Ferrer said that he respects the decision of Peña.

"I respect his decision. Anyway, Ike (Barredo) is supported by his party NPC," Ferrer said in a text message to Sun.Star.

The 4th District comprises Bago City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, San Enrique, Pontevedra and La Carlota City. It has a total of 284,965 registered voters for the May 13 elections.

Of the total registered voters, 28,639 are from Pontevedra, 17,867 are from Pulupandan, 15,644 from San Enrique, 20,711 from Valladolid, 82,437 from Bago City and 39,667 in La Carlota City.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 16, 2013.

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