Tricky situation: Joe or Jerry? Elected brgy officials walk a tight rope

Mayor Jose Espinosa III (left) and Cong. Jerry Treñas

ILOILO City – To whom should the winners in the recent barangay election take their oath of office – Mayor Jose Espinosa III or Cong. Jerry Treñas?

It’s a tricky balancing act for both the reelected and newly elected, noting that Espinosa and Treñas could be running against each other for mayor in next year’s election.

Take the case of reelected barangay captain Roland Montelibano of Tabucan, Mandurriao district and his councilmen. While they took their oath of office before Espinosa on May 17, they plan to have another swearing in before Treñas.

But why Espinosa first?

“Kay sia ang city mayor eh,” Montelibano said, adding that their oath-taking also doubled as a courtesy call to the city’s chief executive.

Montelibano revealed they also received an invitation from Treñas to take their oath of office before the congressman and would likely do so.

The barangay council of Tabucan is supportive of both Espinosa and Treñas, he stressed.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Lorenzo, president of the Association of Barangay Councils of Arevalo, said barangays in the district received invitations for oath-taking both from Treñas and Espinosa.

Lorenzo said reelected and newly-elected barangay captains and councilmen of Arevalo took their oath of office before Treñas on May 17, three days after the election.

Another oath-taking before Espinosa is possible, according to Lorenzo.

“We did that with then mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in previous elections,” he said. “Sa amon ya wala man sang pulitika nga issue.”

Treñas has offered Espinosa to be his running mate for congressman. The mayor, however, has refused to respond.

Treñas endorsed Espinosa for mayor in December 2016 but in February this year bared 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.

Three associations of barangay councils – in Jaro, Molo and Mandurriao – recently issued manifestos expressing support for Treñas’ bid for mayor and calling on Espinosa to instead run for congressman.

According to Atty. Ferdinand Panes, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government – Iloilo City, an elected barangay official can take an oath of office before anyone authorized by law to administer it.

According to Treñas’ office, some 150 barangay captains and barangay councilmen already took their oath of office before the congressman.

Meanwhile, Espinosa’s senior executive assistant Rommel “Jojo” Castro said “many” also took their oath of office before the city mayor.

There are 180 barangay captains and 1,260 barangay councilmen in Iloilo City.

Last week, Treñas took potshots at Espinosa’s “Pag-ulikid Sang Syudad” – a weekly 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.

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./PN


  1. on the article about these newly elected punong barangays taking their oath of office…..

    “According to Atty. Ferdinand Panes, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government – Iloilo City, an elected barangay official can take an oath of office before ANYONE authorized by law to administer it.” it is clear as datlight that anyone authorized by law as director of dilg, certainly atty. panes is authorized to perform this function.

    i find it laughable that this article seems to imply that espinosa or trenas can! the way i understand the law on punong barangays as provided by the local government code, punong barangays are INDEPENDENT and should be devoid of political interference! they have been elected to serve their LOCAL CONSTITUENTS; not beholden to either the mayor or the representative, in this case, iloilo. it is about time that we strictly follow and adhere to the local government code by allowing these pbs to exercise their mandate which has been carved out for them. in other words, the mayor and the congressman should stay away from politicking before, during and after the barangay elections!! after all punong barangays are the first line of public service equal to the mayor or even the representative. what is the use of the local government code if after all these pbs cater to the wishes of the mayor or representative, otherwise their projects would totally lack support from both?! we, voters, must hold our pbs accountable if they lack the political will to work NOT TO PLEASE THE LOCAL OFFICIALS TO EARN THEIR SUPPORT BUT TO THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE BARANGAY WWHETHER “FRIEND OR FOE.”

    i wish panay news and the daily guardian would refrain from focusing in on these two would-be candidates for mayor, i.e. espinosa and trenas by not giving them too much media exposure bordering on politicking. elections are a good one year away! no epals, please, whether indirectly or directly. it is indeed discouraging or dismaying to view as mushrooming billboards with the picture of the local official with words like…pahibalo sa pumuluyo apologizing for the inconvenience as the road is being improved or, supposedly, affected citizens thanking the politician for bringing about inpprovement within their barangay. ISN’T ROAD REPAIR THE MANDATE OF DPWH? why not taink this department rather tthe elected official?! i thought the epal law was enacted some years back….but sadly, it is gradually starting to be ignored!


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