Leonardia, Grupo Progreso cut political ties with Cong Greg

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Mayor Evelio Leonardia and his Grupo Progreso officially cut their political ties with their former ally, Rep. Greg Gasataya, saying that the solon’s actions the past weeks indicated he is clearly with the rival camp.

Leonardia said Gasataya’s own actions were enough reasons that made them believe that he had already abandoned the GP, the local political group that catapulted him as city councilor, vice mayor and Lone District congressman.

In a hastily called press conference at the Forest Park in Barangay Taculing, Leonardia, who formed Grupo Progreso in 2007, said the decision to officially cut ties with Gasataya was the consensus of the group in a meeting held shortly before they went public about their position.

With Leonardia were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and Councilors Archie Baribar, Renecito Novero, Cindy Tan-Rojas and Israel Salanga, as well as ABC president Lady Gles Gonzales-Pallen and SK Federation head Ayesha Joy Villaflor.

“This is the time to make a decision and make our stand very clear. This is about the so-called neutrality of Cong. Greg Gasataya. Before, we believed in his neutrality until lately, his actions, billboards and visits to the barangays are conclusive that he is not neutral,” Leonardia told newsmen.

His earlier declaration of neutrality is a sham, Leonardia said. “It has been proven that it is not real. It is political deception,” the mayor continued.

Gasataya’s actions on the ground, he said, are getting very clear that even loyal GP supporters and the Bacolodnons in general are getting confused because of his earlier pronouncements he will stay neutral.

“Our Grupo Progreso no longer believes in that because clearly, it is a sham,” he reiterated.

With the recent political development, Leonardia indicated that GP is now open to new political alliances.

The mayor said they are open to new alliances, including possible alliance and support to the congressional bid of Danny Atayde.

Asked whether their move would mean that Gasataya is no longer a GP member, Leonardia said that should that happen it is because he (Gasataya) caused it by his actions.

He made it happen. He is responsible for severing ties with the GP, he added.

But this has proven to be very confusing and misleading. To set the records straight, to all our supporters, we are making this public declaration as the official stand of Grupo Progreso that we no longer believe the declaration of neutrality (of Congressman Gasataya). We feel that it is a sham and it is a political deception. We believe that is very clear. That is enough to deliver the message,” Leonardia added.

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