“Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?” Saint Basil
By Alex P. Vidal
In Spanish and Hiligaynon, they call it “ingrato” or ingrate.
When Iloilo City Councilor Eduardo “Ed” Penaredondo was wooing the votes of the hoi polloi or the masa in the previous local elections, he frequented the public markets, shook hands with the vendors, as well as the market goers.
He smiled at everyone he met.
To show their goodwill, market vendors gave him overwhelming votes and all-out support, thus Penaredondo, a lawyer and former policeman, became a city councilor for several terms under four city mayors – Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon, Mansueto “Mansing” Malabor, Jerry Trenas, and now the incumbent Jed Patrick Mabilog.
In fact, he holds the record of being the longest-serving city councilor since 1988.
Penaredondo has been an outstanding city councilor; perhaps, one of the sharpest minds to ever grace the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Iloilo City.
In all the years that we have covered the City Hall beat since the time of the late former Mayor Rodolfo “Roding” T. Ganzon, we considered Penaredondo as one of the towering figures in the local legislature along with now Rep. Jerry P. Trenas, the late German Gonzalez, Dr. Perla Zulueta, Atty. Cirilo Ganzon, Atty. Rolando Dabao (despite his drinking habits), Fiscal Jose Junio Jacela, Dr. Tongtong Plagata (despite his temper), to mention only a few.
Until now, we still hold Penaredondo in high esteem.
We respect the man; we respect his authority.
But when he called the vendors of the Iloilo Central Market as “shits” and agitated to “drive them away with scud missiles”, he shot from the hips and was out of the bounds.
He became ungrateful to the sector that supported him as a politician.
His actuation during the council’s regular session last December 9 was also conduct unbecoming.
Penaredondo’s boisterous attitude and recklessness leave a bad taste in the mouth.
By justifying the cuss remarks as “just a matter of using metaphors and hyperbole to strengthen my argument”, he added insult to injury.
“Shit”, a hyperbole, perhaps; but a metaphor, sir?
What Penaredondo needs is a civil tongue, or a language that is not bogged down in jargon, not puffed up with false dignity, not studded with trick phrases that have lost their meaning.
In other words, watch your language!
Councilor Plaridel Nava was right to call the attention of the most senior alderman that he was hitting the vendors south of the border, and his foul words should be stricken out of records.
We credit Vice Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III for agreeing with Nava, their fellow lawyer.
Penaredondo and some of his colleagues were apparently peeved at the vendors, led by Rex Donasco, for not supporting the terms of reference (TOP) on the proposed revitalization of the Iloilo Central Market.
The vendors earlier snubbed the public hearing arranged by the City Council inside the public market for the TOP.
We doubt if Penaredondo’s hostility towards the vendors would be the same if they were dealing with Calle Real businessmen in coat and tie.
We doubt if his indifference and loud mouth would be more pronounced if they were dealing with the church authorities and other powerful and influential sectors in society that disagreed with them like what the vendors had shown in the TOP fuss.