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Will a Rosalie Treñas-Joe III tandem solve the skirmish?

“The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency.”

Above-the-Belt-APVidal-238x300–Theodore Roosevelt

 By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III has refused to blink in the mind game versus his brother-in-law, Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry P. Treñas (PDP-Laban), and has finally let the cat out of the bag: Joe III is running for mayor on May 14, 2019.

This will pit Mayor Joe III against Treñas, reputed to be the new de facto political king of Iloilo City, the tag previously held by the late former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr.

Mayor Joe III’s decision has dashed to pieces all hopes of a potent Treñas-Espinosa family express train versus “the rest of the world”–meaning all the combined and throbbing political forces in Iloilo City wishing to eviscerate the “elite” political Treñas and Espinosa clans from the metropolis’ political map.

But wait a minute.

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Except for a “Divine intervention” as we mentioned here in the previous columns that includes an attempt to tap Mrs. Rosalie Treñas as candidate for congresswoman in a line-up with Mayor Joe III and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon.

This would mean Rep. Treñas “sacrificing” for his wife and canceling his bid to run for mayor if only to preserve their political family and wrest total control of Iloilo City’s political supremacy for the two hugely politically superior clans.

If Madame Rosalie, sister of Mayor Joe III’s wife, First Lady Gina, won’t run, there is no other “Divine intervention” that can be bruited about to salvage the irritating and frustrating falling-out of the two clans which developed when there was no clear and present threat from other political forces.

Rep. Treñas himself was still hoping that Mayor Joe III would change his heart and mind and run for congressman in order not to divide their formidable slate.

But recent developments showd Mayor Joe III was now willing to crosss the Rubicon river and risk being “eliminated” from the political landscape in the event he loses against Treñas in the battle for City Hall in 2019.

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Mayor Joe III believes he has gained the momentum by virtue of his having governed as city mayor without any hitch and obstacle, so far, since October 2017 when the Ombudsman ousted Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

In Mayor Joe III’s mind, there is no heavy negative issue to be thrown his way in the event his feud with Treñas goes full blast especially during the chaotic campaign period.

Only the entry of Madame Rosalie will change the entire picture for the time being.

As the saying goes, in every problem there is a solution.

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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in POLITICS

 

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Will Sara Duterte back Joe III vs Jerry?

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” –Groucho Marx

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If we stretch our imaginations, the only way for Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III to face Rep. Jerry Treñas for mayor in the 2019 elections is for Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) founder, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to endorse his candidacy and for House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s PDP-Laban to officially back acolyte Treñas.
HNP is currently slowly inching its way to forge a tie-up with various satellite political parties first in Mindanao, and now in the Visayas, in a hope to grow and expand in time for the next congressional elections.
PDP-Laban, of course, is not happy about the new kid in town and is, in fact, getting increasingly pissed off and insecure especially that it is being spearheaded by the most powerful and influential daughter in the Philippines today, who is rumored to be the next candidate for president.

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HNP and PDP-Laban are still currently “distinct and separate” from one another in as far as legitimacy and recognition by the Comelec are concerned, although they both can sleep in the same presidential bedroom together albeit in two separate beds.
Still on infant stage, HNP is obscured by its regional-level status, while PDP-Laban is a behemoth party with strongholds and incumbent elected officials all over the archipelago.
It’s a common knowledge that Inday Sara and Alvarez are not on speaking terms after the latter had branded Inday Sara’s group as “the new opposition.”
Joe III and Treñas are both PDP-Laban stalwarts and have also allegedly quarreled (of course we didn’t believe this).
The most likely scenario in the event the Joe III-Treñas alleged spat was authentic and they are hellbent to dispute the top city hall post in 2019, is for HNP and PDP-Laban to pick between the two “magbilas” (their wives are sisters).
Inday Sara might go for the “underdog” and fellow incumbent local chief executive, while Alvarez might choose a colleague in congress he thinks will be a “sure winner” for mayor.
This is, of course, a wishful thinking and, as we mentioned earlier, can only be possible if we stretch our curious imaginations.

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We still strongly believe that Mayor Joe III and Rep. Treñas will swap positions and are only trying to confuse their rivals who still continue to read between the lines and mutely observe the Joe III-Treñas “civil war” from afar.
By keeping the cards closer to their sleeves, Joe III and Treñas increase the chance for their opponents to face a grim prospect of kicking off their campaign offensive against a windmill like Sancho Panza in Don Quixote.
In fact, Joe III confirmed to city hall reporters recently that he would be running for an elective post in 2019.
The fact that he did not reveal which position he intends to aspire for in 2019 is a clear indication that he (or they) really plans to further draw a jigsaw puzzle in the minds of his (or their) political rivals.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Treñas, Joe III feuding? Tell it to the marines

“In a false quarrel there is no true valor.”

–William Shakespeare

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — I won’t gamble my fifteen cents to swallow hook, line and sinker the suspicions–or rumors– that Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas and Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III are at loggerheads and heading to Splitsville.

But I won’t be surprised also if they will take advantage of the flap and use the puzzle to confuse their enemies.

If the basis of suspicions or rumors was the “irrevocable” resignations of the six so-called “Treñas Musketeers” composed of Melchor Tan, Jose Rico, Maria Irene Ong, Hector Alejano, Mitch Antiqueña, and Rudiver Jungco Sr. as Joe III’s advisers, we have more reason not to fret over the present political relationship of the congressman and the city mayor.

Joe III could not have sacked the six, who were reportedly meeting with Treñas outside city hall when Joe III called them for a meeting.

A case of a bad timing or the city mayor decided to abruptly call for a meeting when he learned the six were outside the barracks?

And he only wanted to show them who’s the boss when he tasked executive assistant Jojo Castro to “chide” the six and refrain from “paddling their canoe in two rivers.”

Whether there is a tampuhan between Joe III and the six, the tampuhan does not translate into a full-blown political conflict.

Mature people can easily shrug off any potential time bomb that would divide and eventually bring the house into wobbly legs.

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Both Treñas and Joe III could actually benefit from perception that they are having a cold war.

This would send mixed and confusing signals to their political rivals.

Treñas has already signified his intention to run again for mayor in 2019, while Joe III has not yet made up his mind whether to run for congressman, which is the only logical move if he will avoid a collision course with his bilas (their wives are sisters), or quit politics, which isn’t about to happen judging from Joe III’s appetite for public service since capturing city hall in October 2017 when the Ombudsman ousted Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Could it be that Treñas and Joe III, by “acting” as Punch and Judy, were reading the Laws 6, 17, and 37 of the 48 Laws of Power?

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LAW 6 (CREATE AN AIR OF MYSTERY) says, “Never make it too clear what you are doing or about to do. Do not show all your cards. Mystery and uncertainty create anticipation – everyone will want to know what comes next. Use mystery to beguile, seduce, even frighten.”

LAW 17 (KEEP OTHERS IN SUSPENSE: CULTIVATE AN AIR OF UNPREDICTABILITY) says, “Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.”

LAW 37 (CREATE COMPELLING SPECTACLES) says,

“Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then, full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.”

If these “laws” or the messages they convey happen to reflect some nerve-tingling coincidences and similarities in the scenarios currently unfolding in Iloilo City’s political landscape, you be the final arbiter.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2018 in POLITICS

 

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The man Mayor Joe III respects most

“This is the person you think is your antagonist, who ends up being your greatest ally: the person who pushes, criticizes, and challenges you to meet a standard of excellence you might not otherwise achieve.”

— Bonnie Hammer

By Alex P. Vidal

NEWARK, New Jersey — If some allies and confidants of Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III in the Philippines find it hard to make him agree on certain matters that are clearly correct and lawful, they shouldn’t feel bad about it.

They shouldn’t be quick to pillory him; refrain from antagonizing him and get their fingers off the trigger.

Mayor Joe III is now his own man; no one can compel him to follow suggestions and pieces of unsolicited advice even from his contemporaries and advisers.

If he will adopt some of their sensible suggestions, it’s a bonus. If he doesn’t, no hard feelings.

The city mayor is the master of all ceremonies; he has the final say on every crucial matter that requires a critical judgment of the city hall chief executive.

Whether he fails or succeeds, the buck stops on his table.

For sure, there were those who did attempt to tell him to go slow on the issue against the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

But he didn’t.

Public opinion showed the odds were stacked against him. Some were saying it backfired.

Mayor Joe III’s unfortunate bicker with the water utility’s board of directors, his baptism of fire after clinching the mayoral post on October 30, 2017, has remained unresolved before 2018 came.

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Recently, for sure, there were those within his coterie of consultants who tried but failed to dissuade him from closing the Plaza Rizal Street in Jaro district for vendors on January 8, 2018 through an executive order.

Not all his recent decisions were popular, in the same manner that not all the suggestions or opposition from his acolytes were reasonable and acceptable.

Because of the city mayor’s executive order, vendors have erected kiosks on two lanes of the four-lane road as part of the 2018 Jaro Agro-Industrial and Charity Fair from Jan. 8 to Feb. 8. The fair is part of the Jaro fiesta celebration that will highlight on Feb. 2.

The closure order didn’t sit well with pedestrians and motorists caught in traffic jam as a result.

But because the city mayor has the solid backing from City Administrator Hernando Galvez and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), he won’t believe Councilor Plaridel Nava, a lawyer like him, who considered the executive order as legally infirm.

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Ilonggos will have to brace for more surprises on Mayor Joe III’s brand of leadership as he completes the remaining term of office of his predecessor, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in 2019.

Some of his detractors may be waiting for Mayor Joe III to slip in the banana peel or to commit bad and unpopular decisions while in office and kiss goodbye his chances to win the same position in May 2019.

But there are also strong chances he will finish the remaining 15 months of Mabilog’s unfinished term with flying colors.

This was made possible after he reportedly retained some of Mabilog’s best consultants, not to mention his built-in rapport with his former peers in the city council.

Among those who are reportedly helping rev up his engine in public service are former vice mayor, Dr. Guillermo dela Llana, and former city councilors, Victor Facultad and Dr. Perla Zulueta.

Dela Llana is one of the only few consultants that Mayor Joe III respects most when it comes to running a public office.

Back in 1990s when Dela Llana was vice mayor and Mayor Joe III was senior member of the city council, they worked together like father and son. So closed were Dela Llana and Mayor Joe III that they would sometimes swap some trusted staffers.

Then Councilor Joe III also “accommodated” casual workers handpicked by then Vice Mayor De Llana.

When Dela Llana, Joe III, and the late former Councilor Eduardo Laczi formed a triumvirate in the city council, they became Mayor Mansueto Malabor’s “headaches.”

Facultad and Zulueta were also his most trusted and long-time allies and some of the only few remnants of their dreaded bloc in the city council that brought nightmares to the Malabor administration.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2018 in POLITICS

 

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Treñas, Joe III shutting the political doors

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

-George Orwell

By Alex P. Vidal

NEWARK, New Jersey — As expected, those who are for and against Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry P. Treñas couldn’t hide their emotions when he disclosed over the weekend his intention to run again for city mayor in 2019.

For those who admire Treñas, the announcement was like a Broadway music to their ears.

For those who hate him, especially those intending to run for city mayor but are nervous to square off with him owing to his “vast” machinery and name-recall edge, the disclosure of Treñas 2019 candidacy was like a rhythmic sound from a horror or zombie film.

In fact, the announcement of Treñas’ candidacy was already “too much to bear” for the opposition.

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The unexpected ascension to power of Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III in October 2017 was already a big blow to the opposition which was having a field day watching Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog being destroyed by President Duterte’s repeated but unfounded accusations of being a “narco politician.”

The opposition waited on tenterhooks for Mabilog to capitulate from Duterte’s demolition apparatus and deliver their own coup de grâce in time for the 2019 political derby.

The opposition believed that during election time, it’s easy to clobber the badly battered Mabilog just in case he aspired for congress.

But the picture changed abruptly when the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed Mabilog and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) installed then acting city mayor Espinosa III in a full-fledged capacity.

By being given the chance and privilege to become “instant” mayor and finish Mabilog’s remaining term, Espinosa III was able to expand his wherewithal and pull ahead of his potential rivals in 2019 in the event he decides to run for mayor.

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If Espinosa III will run for congress in tandem with mayoral bet Treñas next year, it’s tantamount to shutting the door on lesser-known aspirants for the same positions.

In terms of logistics and name-recall, the incumbents always have the peripheral edge in any election.

And if they are the administration candidates, their opponents would need a stairway to heaven to mount a miracle to win.

Not to underestimate them, the opposition still parades a wealth of quality leaders the Ilonggos can be proud of like Dr. Pacita Trainidad-Gonzalez, her daughter Dr. Marigold “Gold” Gonzalez, Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, businessman-journalist Rommel Ynion, former councilor Rolando Dabao, and former Erap impeachment trial prosecutor Daniel Cartagena, to name only a few.

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Treñas’ candidacy will, however, bring additional agony and headache for the opposition which, for the past four consecutive elections, could not find the magic key to unlock the path to the winning column.

After absorbing defeat after defeat, the opposition continues to scramble for politically sturdy candidates who can match the ferocity of the Mabilog-Treñas-Espinosa III triumvirate.

Minus Mabilog, Treñas and Espinosa III appear to be capable of closing the gates for other aspirants.

All they need is to swap.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2018 in POLITICS

 

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Mayor Joe III can’t interfere in daughter’s happiness

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
-John Wooden

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — A father can’t interfere in his daughter’s love affair.
He can only give advice and suggestions, but a father can’t control or halt a daughter’s heartbeat.
He can’t prevent her either from marrying the love of her life–unless it’s a shotgun marriage; unless the marriage is fraught with fraud and impropriety.
Such was the case when the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) defied Iloilo City Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa and proceeded with the issuance of notice of award to the MetroPac Water Investments Corp (MWIC) for their P12.349-billion joint venture December 21.

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MIWD showed Mayor Joe III that its love affair with the MWIC is “none of his business” to say the least.
That the deal underwent transparent process, legitimate and aboveboard.
Therefore, the city mayor has no right to halt the MIWD-MWIC romance.
As a father, Mayor Joe III can’t stand in between his daughter and her happiness.
As long as they are both happy and satisfied, their understanding is mutual; and the marriage doesn’t have any legal impediment, couple MIWD and MWIC can live happily ever after.
Mayor Joe III can always run to the court if he still wishes to uncouple the lovers.

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News is when a man bites a dog. Dog biting a man isn’t news.
News is when a cabbie or a driver of any public or private vehicle fatally attacks a pedestrian or a fellow driver in a traffic altercation.
They call it “road rage.”
A mere exchange of heated words isn’t news. A road scene where an angry motorist flashes “f” sign to another motorist or a pedestrian vice versa, isn’t even earthshaking.
When irate drivers and passengers tangle in chaotic traffic snarl during rush hours, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Just like when we see beggars wearing rugged cloths in the sidewalks or a cop placing cuffs on a thief. They are normal events.

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But when a sweet-looking young lady, who seems can not hurt a fly, punches an elderly driver in broaddaylight over a traffic snafu and the victim reels away like a groggy pugilist about to hit the canvas, it’s not only news, it’s viral especially when the tumult is caught on video.
In our culture, elderly persons are treasured, loved, and respected regardless of status in life.
Even if they commit slight trespasses or simple misdemeanor, we don’t lay our hand on them.
If they misbehave or commit unplesant acts sometimes due to dementia and other age-related ailments, we can chide them surreptitiously but not harm them physically.
We don’t assault our own parents.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2017 in Family, MEDIA, POLITICS

 

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