Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and nine other Grupo Progreso candidates took their oaths as new members of the Nacionalista Party (NP), the oldest political party in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, before former Senate President Manny Villar in a virtual ceremony Wednesday night, October 6.
The candidates for city council seats who took their oaths as new members of the NP were incumbent councilors Renecito Novero, Cindy Rojas, Carl Lopez and Israel Salanga, former city administrator Em Legaspi-Ang, businessman Ed Guillem, former barangay captain and LGBT leader Jonathan Diaz, IT industry expert Cashmere Montalvo, and Dr. Chris Sorongon, Emergency Operations Center-Task Force deputy.
Councilor Dindo Ramos who was not present at the oathtaking ceremony filed his certificate of candidacy as a NP member.
Leonardia, Familiaran and most of the GP members who joined the NP were former members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Two other GP candidates for councilor did not join the NP. They are Councilor Archie Baribar who is a member of PROMDI and Marlon Solidum who is with the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Leonardia said.
Senator Cynthia Villar and Rep. Ferjenel Biron (Iloilo, 4th District) witnessed the virtual oath taking rites.
Leonardia and the official NP Bacolod slate, in their oaths, “promised to protect and serve its (NP) good name, observe and honor its ideology, beliefs and platform, and faithfully comply with all its rules and regulations, as well as the orders and directives of its duly constituted officers and governing bodies.”
“I will uphold the highest interest of the nation at all times and fight for honesty and integrity to bring about order for our nation,” they added.*