Lacson refuses to sign manifesto for Aquino

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

ALL members of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental except for Third District Board Member Patrick Lacson have signed the manifesto of support for President Benigno Aquino III prepared by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Marañon has asked local officials in the province to show support to the President amid the issue on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) hounding the Aquino administration.

The Supreme Court (SC) has declared key parts of the DAP unconstitutional. Read the related story here.


Of the 14 board members, 12 were present during the regular session of the Provincial Board yesterday. Eleven members as well as Vice Gov. Jose Eugenio Lacson signed the petition. The two others though absent also signified their support.

Lacson is a son of former governor Daniel Lacson Jr., who is now chairman of the Government Service Insurance System.

The board member, who is a member of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) Party, said he did not sign the manifesto as he wants to leave the decision on the DAP to the High Court.

He said that he has nothing against the President, saying that he implemented the DAP in good faith and that Aquino is not corrupt.

Lacson added that the conflict is between the three branches of government, the executive, legislative and the judiciary and he finds it inappropriate as local official to take action on the matter.

A resolution was also approved by the Provincial Board yesterday expressing support to the President on the issues faced by his administration.

Resolution on SM Prime cases

Meanwhile, the Provincial Board passed a resolution authorizing the committee on laws chaired by Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao to evaluate the case filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. against the SP.

This is for the purpose of drafting and instituting any and all litigation necessary to protect the integrity of the SP of Negros Occidental as an institution.

Gatuslao had earlier said the SP is eyeing charges against SM Prime for bullying the province with the filing of a series of cases even after the previous cases the property giant filed against the province were already dismissed by the court.

For his part, Vice Governor Lacson clarified yesterday that he did not flip-flop on the issue about the filing of counter charges against SM Prime.

"I am pro-development regardless what company they are. I tried to recall but I never made a statement of pushing for the filing of charges because I am against filing a case against any company that has contributed to the economy of Bacolod City and of the Province as well. I do not want to give an impression that we are anti-business," Lacson said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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