‘MAGIC 8’. A tarpaulin of the eight senatorial candidates supported by 'Tatak Kalamay' is displayed at the plaza of La Carlota City, Negros Occidental. Sugar stakeholders hope these candidates will be the industry’s champions in the Senate. (Photo from 'Tatak Kalamay' Facebook page)
BACOLOD CITY -- Sugar industry stakeholders’ movement, “Tatak Kalamay”, has tapped its allies in all 12 mill districts in Negros Island to deliver votes for four administration senatorial candidates and four reelectionists.
Convenor Raymond Montinola, in a press statement on Friday, said the identified point persons will conduct text brigades and set up mobilization groups as part of their last-minute appeal to deliver votes for the “Magic 8” candidates.
The 12 mill districts are located in the areas of First Farmers, Hawaiian, Lopez, Sagay, San Carlos, Sonedco Dacongcogon, Victorias, Ma-ao, Biscom, La Carlota, Bais-Ursumco, and Tolong.
“Tatak Kalamay” is supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s candidates Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Francis Tolentino, as well as reelectionists Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Cynthia Villar.
Montinola said those allied under “Tatak Kalamay” will mobilize their partners and families to ensure a win for the eight that they hope would be their champions in the Senate.
“We have organized and allied ourselves with local government officials, even from opposing fences. We have received positive reception from them knowing that this cause goes beyond their political aspirations, but aims to secure the future of the sugar industry,” he added.
Benjie dela Cruz, a leader of National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (Nacusip), said they are supporting some candidates of “Tatak Kalamay”, particularly those seeking reelection as they have been proven supportive of the industry and its issues.
Moreover, Montinola said their partners are free to choose four or five other senatorial candidates not endorsed by the movement, especially those who have helped the sugar industry in the past.
“It is imperative for Negros Island to deliver the votes as we are a vote-rich island and we comprise over half of the sugar producers nationwide,” he added.
Montinola said their partners in other sugar-producing provinces will conduct similar mobilization activities.
“This exercise will show our elected officials that our strength comes from the fact that we remain united and will remain so in the face of the many challenges hurled at the industry, in particular the threat of liberalizing sugar importation,” he added. (PNA)