Former Bacolod Rep. Juan Orola Jr. filed his certificate of candidacy for governor of Negros Occidental before the Comelec Friday morning, October 8, under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) ticket.
PDDS is in alliance with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan Cusi wing, Orola said.
Orola is challenging Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson (NPC) and “psychic” Ma. Socorro Sibulan Okada (Independent) in a three-cornered fight for the governorship.
Also running under the PDDS with Orola are Bago Councilor Cleo Gaudite for fourth district board member and Pedro Bolaño for fifth district board member.
In all his political battles he has feared no one, because as he always says “no guts no glory”, Orola said. His campaign slogan on the back of his shirt read “Juan for all and all for Juan para sa Negros”.
“The hearts of the people are my logistics,” he said.
He said he decided to run for governor in order to effect change in the leadership, “a change that can touch the hearts of the people”.
In the last round of his political career, Orola said he wants to bring change that can create a new landscape for Negros Occidental.
A leader without a vision causes the people to perish, he said.
Orola said there are many programs that he wants to implement, but the most important is to address the COVID-19 pandemic hand in hand with economic recovery.
Lacson, in reaction, said Orola has a right to run for public office.
“It’s part of democracy. But the province of Negros Occidental has united and will continue to unite under my leadership,” he said.
“As your governor, I have served the Negrenses and I will continue to serve our people and the province to the best of my capabilities,” he added.
Lacson said Negros Occidental has gone through a lot because of the COVID-19 pandemic and much has been done to ensure that the province recovers.
“With the solid support of Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, and all the mayors, I’m confident, that together, we can overcome this pandemic and rebuild a better Negros to achieve the aspirations of every Negrense,” he said.
Lacson said the “current situation requires unity among us and our leaders. Our efforts should be focused not much on politics but on the task at hand”.
“There is a sense of urgency for us to act swiftly to combat the spread of the virus in our province,” he added.*