Calls for Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, former Negros Occidental third district representative and now Capitol consultant, to run for mayor of Bacolod City have surfaced on social media.
The calls came weeks after a campaign for the former lawmaker to run for senator in 2022 also surfaced on social media.
Benitez earlier said that running for senator in 2022 has not crossed his mind.
But “Run, Albee, Run” and “Bacolod City, it’s time, let’s smile again!” posts have spread on Facebook, recently.
Tarpaulins urging the former congressman to run have also been spotted in some parts of the city.
Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod party-list) in a Facebook post said, “Bacolod for Albee, Albee for Bacolod!”
It was also shared by Benitez’s allies, including former board member Patrick Lacson, who asked: “If not now, when?”
Local businessman Vladi Gonzalez, who was a former Bacolod mayoralty candidate, has also supported the campaign and said that “it’s time to unify and rally behind Cong. Albee.”
Benitez, who was among the top richest congressmen in the last Congress, has yet to comment on this development.
Meanwhile, Benitez’s son, Javier “Javi” Benitez, whom he confirmed will run for mayor of Victorias City in 2022, said that he has been nominated by the party for mayor and “will make a proper announcement soon.”
“Right now we have to set aside politics and be of public service” in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Javi Benitez said.
He added that “aside from health and safety, we have to also think about how we can recover and bounce back after the pandemic. I believe there are big ticket projects that we can work on and develop for Victorias which I’m really excited about.”*