Javi, 27, is the eldest son of former Negros Occidental Rep. now Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and Dominique Lopez-Benitez.
He took his oath of office before his uncle, Negros Occidental Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, accompanied by his parents, sister Bettina, and girlfriend actress Sue Ramirez, at the Victorias Sports and Amusement Center.
Javi announced his mayoral bid in the last elections in September last year.
YOUTH AS STRENGTH
As a neophyte in politics, Javi said that his youth will be his strength rather than his weakness.
He said that his dad, being his mentor and idol, inspired him to join public service.
Growing up, Javi said that he has been joining the campaign trail of his father, which made him see how it is like to lead.
Javi said he was able to reflect and realize his purpose in life during the pandemic.
“Gusto ko magbulig sa tawo na ga kinahanglan (I want to help people in need),” he said.
Javi said he always wanted to help others even in the smallest way possible to alleviate their suffering. He once said that genuine public service is about thoughts, feelings, how you do, and implement it.
Javi said that Victorias City is a childhood home for him and growing up, he considered it as a sacred place which became very important to him, as he recalled so many things when he would usually go home to spend his summer here.
As he embarked on a new journey, Javi said he is offering himself with full knowledge to all the responsibilities that await him as a local chief executive.
After the May elections, Javi said that the Victoriahanons gave him the highest mandate of being the youngest mayor ever of Victorias City.
“I won’t let you down,” he stressed, as he thanked the people for giving him the opportunity to be able to fulfill his dream to help the Victoriahanons.
He assured that he will be fair and just, he will lead by example, will not demand what he will not do for himself, and set the highest expectation for each performance as he commits himself to do the same.
As he officially assumed office as mayor of Victorias City, Javi said he is also celebrating the victory of their cause which is to bring a bright future to the Victoriahanons.
As the new mayor, Javi pointed out his priorities under his six-point agenda – dignified human settlement, disaster-resiliency programs, alternative livelihood for the progress of the local economy, transparent and real time response of government services, education for the youth, and health amid the pandemic.
Javi is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Political Science at Santa Clara University in California and part of the ABS-CBN Star Magic Circle Batch 2019.
He is a sportsman, playing badminton and football. Javi is also a go-kart racer who competed in the Asian Karting Open Championships.