ILOILO City – If the latest survey of Random Access Consultants, Inc. (RACI) were any indication, residents here may not be stopped from making history – electing the city’s first female representative to Congress. Julienne “Jam-jam” Baronda got 56.7 percent – 24 percent higher than the 32.5 percent of her closest rival Councilor Joshua Alim. On the other hand, former city councilor Perla Zulueta is still further down with only 8.8 percent.
“Again I am overwhelmed. The Ilonggos have spoken and they are not backing down on their word. The people of Iloilo City want the Baronda ‘Gugma’ brand of public service back,” the 40-year-old Baronda, an experienced city legislator and Senate staff, said.
A massive black propaganda on social media and campaign trail was launched against her, said Baronda, after the result of RACI’s February survey came out showing her leading at 57.7 percent.
“But lies were no match to the truth,” said Baronda.
The slew of malicious and concocted stories being peddled and which border on the libelous managed only to chip away a mere one percent from her February rating – statistically insignificant given the margin of error at plus or minus four percent.
According to the latest RACI survey, for every 10 voters Baronda has six going for her. She leads the race in all categories, in either sexes, and across all age groups, educational levels, and socio-economic classes.
“Still, we need to be vigilant against their attacks. We need to deliver on May 13 so that we can make Iloilo City greater than ever and make it reach the next level,” said Baronda.
She credits her continued strong lead to the intelligence and love of the Ilonggos who cannot be fooled by fake news.
“We are an educated people and politically mature. No matter how many times you bash me the people will just laugh at you because they know very well who Jam-jam Baronda is,” she said.
Baronda’s running mate for mayor, Cong. Jerry Treñas, is also way ahead in the survey with 63.8 percent and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon remains strong with 59 percent.
Councilor Love Baronda, Jam-jam’s younger sister, may also be poised to top the race for city councilor with her 57.7 percent survey score.
Baronda is packed with a wealth of experience in legislation at the local level, having been a Sangguniang Kabataan city federation president, ex-officio member of the city legislature and an elected city councilor.
At the national level Baronda served for five years as chief political officer of Sen. JV Ejercito. She was involved in the re-crafting of the Universal Health Care Act and the law giving birth to the Department of Human Settlements, among many others.
According to Baronda, her clear and concrete platform of government resonates with the dreams and aspirations of Ilonggos even if she is the youngest among the congressional candidates.
Her “gugma brand of public service,” she said, makes her accessible all the time to extend help to everyone.
As city councilor then, she authored the original Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Ordinance that gave birth to the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force.
She also authored the Iloilo City Gender and Development Code that created the annual search for the Ten Outstanding Women of Iloilo.
Baronda is running bannering the platform of “H.O.P.E.” which stands for programs and projects as well as pieces of legislation on health, obra (work), peace and order, and education./PN