City hall’s wheel of fortune

23 Jun

“There’s still is a status-quo group at City Hall who likes things done the old way, behind closed doors.”

–Laura Miller

By Alex P. Vidal60336807_10214018136070347_8150589498095304704_n

THE wheels of political fortune will always favor those who are allied with the winners.
Did we say nobody loves a loser?
In a sudden twist of fate, one of the executive assistants asked by Mayor Joe “Joe III” Espinosa, through his right hand, Rommel “Jojo” Castro, to resign in March 2018, will take back his portfolio as city administrator when Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas assumes as the new city mayor on July 1, 2019.
Melchor Tan, who served as city administrator when Treñas was mayor in 2001 until 2010, will replace lawyer Hernando Galvez, city administrator since the term of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Tan and five other Treñas acolytes– Abel Alejano, Boyet Rico, Irene Ong, Mitch Antiqueña and Roy Firmeza–quit during the Espinosa administration after Castro asked them to resign “if they couldn’t prioritize their City Hall tasks over their other concerns outside City Hall.”
They quit, disappeared from public scene for a while, planned their resurrection, and resurfaced when the Bastille has been recaptured.

-o0o-The city administrator is the most powerful person in the city mayor’s office.
He is in charge of all the appointing papers of casual employees and reviews the executive orders, among his other major functions.
Will it be Tan’s turn to ask Castro and other city hall big guns who feverishly campaigned openly for Mayor Joe III in the recent elections to resign?
Castro, city engineer Bobby Divinagracia, Vincent Dela Cruz were among those who are reportedly “heading for the chopping block” when the Treñas administration takes over next month.
If they are protected by the civil service law, the least that Administrator Tan can do is to reassign them, a euphemism for demotion.
It would be a violation of their rights if they’re dismissed mainly because they were identified with the Team Joe III in the recent polls.


Castro, et al may have already known their fate and are not expecting a walk in the rose garden starting next month even if they can still retain their jobs.
For being loyal to his boss and for “only doing his job,” Castro became the incoming administration’s most favorite punching bag and has been placed in the center of storm in city hall’s forthcoming “house cleansing.”
Many casual workers who lost their jobs during Mayor Joe III’s brief reign are also sharpening their knives against Castro.
But Castro, in fairness to the man, was only doing what his boss Mayor Joe III was asking him to do.
Castro, a sports buff, shouldn’t be singled out during the Joe III administration’s “Reign of Terror” that resulted in the casuals’ “mass slaughter” as his role was only to implement or facilitate the orders from the big boss.
For his part, Mayor Joe III shouldn’t abandon his wounded soldiers.
Although it is not anymore his responsibility to feed and clothe the adults after they have been vanquished, Mayor Joe III, at least, still have the moral obligation to make sure Castro, et al won’t be stripped of their dignities and livelihood.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

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Posted by on June 23, 2019 in Uncategorized


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