LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The race for the presidency of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Benguet chapter will be a 3-way toss up among three-term municipal chief executives following the failure of the scheduled election last August 20, 2022.
LMP-Benguet insiders claim that La Trinidad Mayor Romeo K. Salda, who was earlier being roomed to be the group’s president for the present term, allegedly gave in to Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro in the spirit of camaraderie and to maintain the unity of the mayors.
However, unknown to the municipal chief executives, Lauro allegedly scheduled the conduct of the election last August 20, 2022 where Buguias Mayor Ruben Tindaan, also a 3-term mayor, signified his intention to run against Lauro for the coveted post.
The source claimed that the mayors of the 13 towns were surprised of the scheduled election that is why they attempted to allow the 2 contenders to talk between themselves and settle the conflict to ensure that there will be a unified candidate for the LMP-Benguet presidency.
Unfortunately, the source revealed that the 2 contenders were not able to arrive at a ‘win-win’ situation that prompted their colleagues to move for the re-scheduling of the election to allow the concerned parties to come out with a unified position in their next meeting by September.
According to the source, if the seniority rule will apply, it should be Salda who should be the next LMP-Benguet president but he opted to give up upon the request of Lauro.
Ironically, the desire of Lauro to be the president of the group is being contested by Tindaan that is why efforts are being done by some quarters to put things in order to avoid conflicts inside the organization.
The source stipulated that if Salda will be the one to run for the residency of the group, then no one among the incumbent mayors will go against him because he is the most senior among the present batch of mayors.
The LMP-Benguet chapter president will represent the group in the regional and national chapters of the organization.
The source revealed that a third party is expected to mediate the 2 contenders for the coveted position anytime before the conduct of the election of officers of the group which will be early next month.
Earlier, La Trinidad Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan was selected by the province’s vice mayors as the president of the Vice mayors League of the Philippines (VMLP) Benguet chapter for the present term.
If the contending parties for presidency will not be settled during the mediation that will be done by a third party, Mayor Salda might be compelled to retract his withdrawal from the race and will be offering himself as among the choices by the mayors to serve the group.
Benguet is one of the few provinces that is known to have a unified position in the selection of leaders of the various groups of local officials who had been elected to occupy various elected positions.