Former Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez will register to vote in Bacolod City Thursday, April 22, in what could be a move towards his running for mayor of the city in 2022, his political allies said Wednesday.
Benitez will transfer his voter registration from Victorias City to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said.
The implication of the move is that he may run for mayor of Bacolod, Ferrer said.
However, Benitez when reached for comment would not divulge his political plans for 2022.
Benitez, a billionaire businessman, had served as representative of the third district of Negros occidental for three terms and is Negros Occidental provincial consultant on economic affairs.
“Run Albee for mayor, Run Jeffrey for vice mayor” streamers sprouted in Bacolod City Wednesday.
Ferrer said he and some Negros Occidental mayors and board members will accompany Benitez when he registers to vote at the Commission on Elections in Bacolod Wednesday afternoon as a show of support.
It is not known if Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson will also accompany Benitez to the COMELEC.
“I’m trying to get in touch with congressman Albee to confirm this report, so far he has not answered. I would like to know from him firsthand what is supposed to happen tomorrow, I cannot comment yet until I get to talk to congressman Benitez”, Lascon said.
On the streamers urging him to run for vice mayor of Bacolod, Ferrer said he has two weeks to decide whether to register to vote in Bacolod.
House Minority Floor Leader Stephen Paduano said Benitez will register to vote in Bacolod Thursday. However, the decision on whether Benitez will run for mayor of Bacolod or not will be up to him to divulge, Paduano said.
Section 39 of the Local Government Code of 1991 requires a candidate for a local elective post to be a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, province, or district where he intends to be elected, and that the candidate should be a resident in the locality for at least one year immediately before the election.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia could not be reached for comment, but he earlier said it is too early to talk politics.*