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FEATURE: The Rise of the Political Independents in Bacolod City

February 18, 2022

The biggest organized gathering of independent candidates in the history of Bacolod City. They call themselves the “Alliance of Independents”, a force to reckon with. They are (left to right) Vice Mayor candidate Wilson “Jun” Gamboa, Jr., Councilors candidates, Alan Arroyo, Kenneth Belario, Cesar Beloria, Vic Gico, Bong Hermosura, Jiffy Jauod, Eduardo Padios, Vic Villafuerte and Christian Weber.*

Amidst the faces of poverty and the money-patronage politics of incompetence that had long been hounding the City Government of Bacolod, came the biggest aggrupation in the history of Bacolod politics. TEN independent-minded and conscientious “Mga Anak Sang Bacolod” organized themselves to challenge and beat the usual two gargantuan personality-based TRAPO “political gatherings” that likewise organized themselves around a patron-leader that is expected to bankroll everyone’s campaign to grab elective positions this coming May 2022 elections. Sadly, these leaders are expected by the voters themselves as patrons always ready to give out money when the time comes.

Totally convinced and suffering the consequences of such dysfunctionality of the present two political parties in responding to the articulated and legitimate demands and interest of the Bacolodnons, these brave and principled TEN consolidated themselves and aptly called themselves, “The Alliance of Independents”.

Initiated and led by Vice Mayoralty candidate Wilson “Jun” Gamboa, Jr., they are the new generation of NON-TRAPO candidates fully equip with new evidence-based platforms of government developed over the years of study and therefore apt to bring about efficient and effective strategy for REAL CHANGE and rebuild Bacolod to where it should be.

To be independent does not mean literally running alone; to be independent means developing a social consciousness free from the dictates of a master and his “sakop” but not from association with like-minded individuals who has the capacity to carry out a principled party-based leadership to change conditions for others under a concept of “silong” or refuge for all.

And so, with no money expectations, Vice Mayoralty candidate Gamboa (#3), Bacolod’s lone opposition Councilor is mounting a campaign solely on grounds of articulating the urgent need for social change in Bacolod City local governance together with nine Councilor hopefuls. His banner shibboleth “Amlig sa Pumuluyo, Amlig sa Pondo sang Gobierno, Amlig sa Tubig, Amlig sa Kuryente” is not just for attention-getting sloganeering catchword. From the august halls of the Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) to the heat of the street, since 2007 when he joined politics up until to date – Gamboa stood his ground on what is right and just

He is not alone. His nine partner Councilors-hopefuls are equally conscientious. They are young men of new vision, commitment and creative, they are, Alan Arroyo (#2), Kenneth Belario (#6), Cesar Beloria (#7), Vic Gico (#13), Bong Hermosura (#16), Jiffy Jauod (#17), Eduardo Padios (#25), Rico Villafuerte (#36) and Christian Weber (#38), a team of economic planners and honest to goodness individuals with the biggest hearts to serve, guided by the historic non-traditional politics warding off the over-staying and incompetent Traditional Politician (TRAPO) to wrestle with poverty to prosperity.

From discussion with Vice Mayor-hopeful Gamboa, he explained that the “Alliance of Independents” has that young mind in the person of Christian Weber who was with him in the founding of Amlig Tubig and Amlig Kuryente and other social cause-oriented issues. With this experience, Weber, in his own right, believes he can bring in new ideas to governance and vowed a head on collision with corruption that is happening “right before our very own eyes”.

The Alliance has two legal minds, lawyers Cesar Beloria and Eduardo Padios. They are not just ordinary lawyers but their long years of exposure to the nitty-gritty of local governance, and lawyering itself, is more than enough to craft and carry out legislative pieces articulated and envisioned by the Team and that of their own.

Two experienced, advocates OFW Shipmen are with the team, too, they are Alan Arroyo and Kenneth Belario. They are advocates of financial independence and definitely carry with them the experience of how to uplift families from poverty through training and education. They both can craft legislation for the creation of a Bacolod OFW Office.

The Alliance has two economic planners, Jiffy Jauod and Rico Villafuerte. In an interview aired through Gamboa’s Facebook Live Program “Bugkos sang Katawhan”, Jauod articulated his immediate term plan to perk and the develop the 365-day job-generating tourism-related small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This has to balanced, however, in the long term by building “Access Infrastructures” (port and airport) articulated by Villafuerte.

Then, finally, the alliance has two stalwarts, Vic Gico and Bong Hermosura. Gico is a practicing Civil Engineer and has thorough knowledge in the establishment of a flood control infrastructures, workable Solid Waste Management Program, and constructing a real sanitary landfill for Bacolod, an intervention that will end the generational curse of a dumpsite and floodings.

Hermosura, on the other hand, has a long experience working in a public works and the Engineer’s Office. Integrating his spiritual function as a Pastor at the same time, he is in the best position to streamline and improve technical information for infrastructure projects and basic local government operation systems – thus ending the age-long problem of SOPs and the like in the government’s infrastructure program.

Gamboa believes, “We cannot free ourselves from the clutches of money and patronage politics unless a stable and strong economic means is developed among the people. The Alliance of Independents is committed to develop the economic potentials of the Bacolod citizenry that would liberate them from such money and patronage politics. We need to liberate our people towards political independence but which cannot be achieved without developing their economic independence, GO INDEPENDENTS!”* (GABS)

Here comes the “Alliance of Independents”. They are committed to developing the economic potentials of the Bacolod citizenry that would liberate them from money and patronage politics.*

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