Can ex-Army general restore order in Sara?

ILOILO – Retired Philippine Army general Jon Aying, the mayor-elect of the municipality of Sara, has his work cut out for him.

Through the years Sara developed a reputation as a town with a serious law enforcement problem.

Illegal drugs. Poverty. Criminality. Corruption. He is ready for all these, according to Aying who defeated Vice Mayor Jesus “Jay-r” Salcedo, son of outgoing Mayor Ermilita Salcedo, in the recent May 13 midterm elections.

Aying officially becomes the new mayor of Sara on June 30. He wants to change the negative impression on Sara.

“Peace and order and transparency in governance are important. Dapat may maayo nga pagpalakat sang pundo sang banwa para matapna naton ang corruption kag droga,” said Aying.

On Day 1 of his being mayor, Aying would be summoning all department heads.

“Our priority is to end criminality, corruption and poverty in Sara,” he stressed.

Poverty breeds peace and order problems such as drug trafficking, said Aying, a former commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

“Once we have addressed poverty, the proliferation of illegal drugs may slow down. Ang mga naga-engage sa robbery basi mauntat kun may mga work opportunities sa banwa. Kun may kitaon sila kada bulan, indi na sila mag-engage sa illegal activities,” Aying said.

The Iloilo Police Provincial Office confirmed the presence of criminal gangs and drug groups in northern Iloilo, including Sara. Aying said he had identified these groups, too.

As a former law enforcer, said Aying, he understood what were needed to make Sara peaceful and orderly, and free from guns and goons.

The mayor-elect said he would also implement more infrastructure projects in Sara such as public school buildings, bridges, and farm-to-market roads.

Aying’s win in the elections put a break to the three-decade Salcedo dynasty in the northern Iloilo municipality./PN


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