ILOILO City – Are the gloves off?
Cong. Jerry Treñas took potshots at Mayor Jose Espinosa III’s “Pag-ulikid Sang Syudad” – a weekly community outreach program that brings city government services to the barangays.
“They should not do it once a week or twice a week only. Seguro dapat adlaw-adlaw,” said Treñas, who had indicated intention to run for mayor in next year’s election.
The congressman found it ironic that the city government would hold “Pag-ulikid” (Hiligaynon for “care”) on weekends when on weekdays it would be busy with “pangkakas (take down), pang-ipit (oppress) and pangkugâ (strangle).”
Treñas did not elaborate but he could be referring to the removal of city government job hires identified with him.
“Ang ila ginaobra Lunes asta Biernes pangkakas kag pang-ipit kag pangkuga. Pag abot Sabado, pag-ulikid,” said Treñas.
Espinosa, who could be running for mayor next year and thus clash against political ally Treñas, launched “Pag-ulikid” on April 21 in in the villages of San Juan, Molo district and Tanza Baybay, City Proper. An estimated 8,000 residents benefitted from various city government services that included free tooth extraction, health check-up and circumcision, and free legal consultation, among others.
On May 12, it was held in Barangay San Isidro, La Paz in the morning and Barangay San Isidro, Jaro in the afternoon.
Treñas has offered Espinosa to be his running mate for congressman. The mayor, however, has yet to respond.
It’s not yet time to talk about his 2019 election plans, said Espinosa.
“For now let us focus on public service. The election is still far away,” he told reporters. “Discussing politics this early will be divisive.”
Treñas endorsed Espinosa for mayor in December 2016 but in February this year said he was entertaining the idea of running for mayor with Espinosa as his candidate for congressman.
“We will talk about politics when it is time for politics,” said Espinosa.
Treñas announced last month he was having Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon as running mate and that he got the backing of six incumbent city councilors. But he also hinted having difficulty convincing Espinosa to run for congressman.
“Miracles are always possible,” said Treñas, but he also stressed Iloilo City does not lack of persons qualified for a congressional post.
Espinosa was elected vice mayor in 2016 and became the city mayor in October 2017 after the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog from government service for unexplained wealth./PN