“Leadership is a choice, not a position.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Some people have this naughty suspicion that because Iloilo first district Rep. Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. has declared that the Garin clan “is still not committed” in the gubernatorial contest in May 2019, the unpredictable family is “cooking up something.”
They theorize that one of the Garins “might also be interested to run” or the family is only trying to make pakipot and will continue to keep its cards hidden in its sleeves until the eleventh hour.
They also misinterpreted Rep. Garin’s actuation after seeing him on several occasions worming his way closer to President Rodrigo R. Duterte every time there was an opportunity.
Like in the recent SONA where Rep. Garin was caught in the camera smiling from ear to ear as he slowly approached and slightly tried to touch the president as the latter was shaking the hands of legislators while moving outside the Batasang Pambansa.
These doubting Thomases have probably forgotten that Rep. Garin’s wife, former health secretary Janette, is now in trouble because of the Dengvaxia mess.
Which is more important? To secure the graces of the president in order to win an important elective post in 2019, or to see your wife completely unburdened from any criminal liability? Think.
The most senior member of the Iloilo City Council, Atty. Eduardo “Ed” Peñaredondo, should have all the right to run for city mayor in May 2019.
Peñaredondo is even more senior than the feuding Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and lone district Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas, although they are both his long-time buddies in the City Council.
Some Ilonggos believe that if the relationship between Espinosa and Treñas will remain frosty before Christmas, it’s better to pick another guy and abscond the two leading bets.
The problem is Peñaredondo, a very credible and highly competent leader, has not shown any interest for the top city hall job.
And even if he is interested, nobody from among his peers in the City Council is apparently ready to take him seriously as a potential mayoral contender, at least not yet.
We believe though that most of his peers would be willing to endorse him if they weren’t ashamed to both Espinosa and Treñas.
And if they will rally behind Peñaredondo in unison, both Espinosa and Treñas will understand and won’t take it personally against them.
They city mayor and the congressman are not stony and insensitive.
They are aware that because of their unnecessary and useless altercation, their buddies in the City Council are awfully confused, affected and hurting.
Members of the City Council, including Peñaredondo, are actually in a quandary ever since the relationship between Espinosa and Treñas deteriorated and eventually nosedived.
They are torn between two lovers.
They have no reason to eschew neither Espinosa nor Treñas who have been and are still part of their political lives.
Both gentlemen are actually special to them as they used to belong in one political family.
Their predicament is similar to children watching their parents argue but they can’t take sides because both father and mother are dear to them.
As a result of the misunderstanding between the city’s two highest officials, the city councilors are adamant to say or do something in as far as political issues in the city are concerned for fear they will be misinterpreted by both camps.
Even the department heads and some village officials–punong barangay and their councilors–are in the same dilemma.
They both love Espinosa and Treñas (in the first place, they weren’t enemies but allies aside from being mag bilas from the start of their political careers) but they need to choose and elect only one city mayor.