Nava struggles to maintain independence amid ‘pressures’

ILOILO City – As majority floor leader of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Councilor Plaridel Nava said he wanted “to balance sang atmosphere sa konseho.”

He admitted feeling the pressure from two opposing blocs in the city council – councilors belonging to the camp of Mayor Jose Espinosa III and those identified with Cong. Jerry Treñas.

“I just want to deliver a message to my fellow councilors. My acceptance of the position of majority floor leader and chairmanship of major committees did not mean I would become a puppet of anyone,” said Nava.

A recent reorganization in the city council was initiated by the pro-Treñas councilors. Two key allies of Espinosa lost committee chairmanships – Eduardo Peñaredondo and R Leone Gerochi. The two were also ousted as majority floor leader and assistant majority floor leader, respectively.

Nava said he did not want his actions to be perceived as favoring or against either of the two camps.

“Sang wala kita komitiba kag indi kita majority floor leader, any time pwede kita kapanindugan direkta. But subong we have to manage well ang konseho. Ang duha ka partido indi kita gusto nga ma-hurt. We want to balance sang atmosphere sa konseho,” Nava explained.

One decision he is preparing is on the franchise application of Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. as water distributor in the city.  The Espinosa bloc is for it while the pro-Treñas camp is against it.

Nava, as chairman of the committee on public utilities, is expected to submit to the city council this week its report on the matter.

“I feel like daw ginakuga ako. May pressure from isa ka kampo, may pressure man sa pihak nga kampo,” said Nava.

As chairman of the committee on appropriation, he is also expected to report on the proposed 2019 executive budget of Mayor Espinosa.

As if kinanglan ko tumanon ang tanan nga hambal nila because ako ang floor leader. In the first place I did not ask for this position,” said Nava.

The councilor said he hoped his colleagues, regardless of their political loyalties, would support his committee reports on the Prime Water franchise application and the proposed executive budget.

“As floor leader, I want to solidify the city council,” said Nava.

Or if they won’t, he said, the city councilors were free to call for another reorganization.

He was ready to yield his posts, said Nava./PN


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