JUST ANOTHER DAY | Timawa redux

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Monday, April 10, 2017

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THE POLITICAL landscape in “I Am Iloilo” is about to have a drastic change and may I add hopefully for the better. The natives of the “Most Liveable City” will finally have an alternative that is viable and winnable come the next local elections in 2018.

For the last nine years or three local elections to be exact the natives of “I Am Iloilo” were forced fed Jed Mabilog and company as there was no alternative good enough to challenge him for mayor of “I Am Iloilo.”

Let’s look at the last two notable opponents of former World Mayor No. 5 Jed Mabilog who is the current mayor and on his last term.

The most current one, meaning the 2016 local elections, we have Dr. “Gold” Gonzalez challenging the former World Mayor No. 5 Jed Mabilog for mayor of “I Am Iloilo.” Of course, she lost miserably.

“Gold” Gonzalez, a medical doctor by profession, has a lot of attributes going for her; she’s the daughter of the late Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez who was also a congressman of Iloilo City and the sister of Raul Gonzalez Jr. who succeeded his father as congressman of “I Am Iloilo.” So you can see she has the political pedigree.

Obviously she’s not poor, filthy rich to say the least. And she inherited her father’s political organization in “I Am Iloilo” or what’s left of it after Sen. Franklin Drilon, Cong. Jerry Treñas and, of course, Former World Mayor No. Jed Mabilog raided its ranks.

And yet she lost miserably to Jed Mabilog. As to why, most natives consider her an amateur one who is still wet behind the ears in political savvy and experience. And probably the main reason she lost is that the natives don’t think she’s serious enough and from what appears in the last elections “Gold” Gonzalez was not willing to slug it out with Jed Mabilog.

My dear, politics is a dirty game. The moment you join the fray you will get yourself dirty, just clean yourself after if you win the game. If you lost, don’t bother. Nobody cares.

Before her we have Rommel Ynion, a self-made businessman who fancies himself a political reformer. He also lost miserably to Jed Mabilog; in fact he lost more than just being the mayor of “I Am Iloilo.” He lost a lot of his financial assets as Senator Drilon brought down the full force of Noynoy Aquino’s government on him and had the Bureau of Internal Revenue freeze his assets allegedly on tax evasion.

Of course, that’s not the only reason he lost to Jed Mabilog. For starters he has no political pedigree; most natives consider him an upstart. He has no name recall. Let’s face it and no offense to the dude, Iloilo City is old world and traditional. Scratch a native and you will find someone steep in Spanish colonial feudal values and the name Ynion has none of that. I supposed this was proven when Rommel Ynion again lost miserably when he ran for councilor during the last local elections.

But all is not lost for the natives wanting a better alternative to Jed Mabilog, Jerry Treñas and Joe Espinosa III as something happened that will definitely alter the political landscape. You can say “change is coming.”

Here are some excerpts from the April 6 issue of Panay News:

President Rodrigo Duterte was searching for a point man in Iloilo and found one in Iloilo City councilor Jeffrey Ganzon.

“The President summoned Ganzon to a meeting in Davao City on March 27 and invited the city councilor to join his Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

“’The President said he doesn’t have a point man in Iloilo City but acknowledged the help of several Ilonggo doctors during last year’s elections,’ said Ganzon, son of the late senator Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon.”

“The councilor said he assured the President he won’t be embarrassed taking him in.

“’I have never been involved in graft and corruption,’ said Ganzon.

“The councilor said he and the President shared the same advocacies – federalism, war against drugs, graft and corruption.”

Councilor Jeffrey Ganzon is the son of the late senator Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon who also served as mayor of “I Am Iloilo.”  Senator Ganzon fought Marcos and Martial Law; in fact he was the longest incarcerated political prisoner during the Martial Law years.

Senator Ganzon was the “original Timawa” as he founded the Timawa political party. For the uninitiated Timawa is an old Malay tern which means “free man” and as senator and mayor, Roding Ganzon fought for and served the “free man.”

In terms of political pedigree Jeffrey Ganzon has it par excellence. He is an educated man; we were classmates and alumni of the College of Arts and Science, University of San Agustin. He has served as councilor already. In fact he could have been vice mayor instead of Joe Espinosa III who incidentally was also our classmate, if not for this irritating little thing – Jeffrey has no money.

The full support and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte is more than enough to offset this money or the lack of it weakness of Jeffrey Ganzon, the epitome of Timawa redux. ([email protected]/PN)





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