A tale of two speeches

ONE inaugural speech was as simple as it could be. The other was filled with dreams and promises.

Politics, indeed, brings out the extreme in every person.

In the case of Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr., he elected for a single-themed speech on social justice, a turn of the century idea that remains a dream for some nations, like the Philippines.

On the other hand, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas reiterated his promise of leveling up the city by building on and improving what he started in his previous 9-year term as mayor (2001-2010).

In a very, very simple speech, Defensor called for collaboration to deliver social justice to the province. And by social justice he meant equitable distribution of wealth and resources. How he will do it is also the question that boggled the minds of many observers and commentators.

Anyway, we will have three years of guessing games and “what if” moments at the provincial capitol, so let’s wait and see.

Treñas was more definite and concrete in his inaugural. In fact, we daresay that he enunciated and gave flesh to social justice very clearly, unlike the “wishful thinking” if not muted tone of Defensor’s initial oration as governor.

For the returning mayor of Iloilo City, he has a vision for Iloilo City as embodied in his WHEELS program – Welfare, Health and Sanitation, Education, Environmental Management, Livelihood, and Sustainability.

“We will make the city more child-, PWD-, senior citizen-, youth-, and LGBTQ-friendly. I also plan to utilize the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for effective traffic management. This ITS will encourage responsible drivers on the road, and will reduce serious injuries and road accidents,” Treñas stressed.

Aside from Treñas, the first lady representative of Iloilo City, Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda also delivered her plans and programs in a loud and clear manner. She wants to boost the city’s economy by pushing for an economic zone that caters to innovative industries under the internet-fuelled Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Defensor, on the other hand, was pleading for help instead of stamping his foot like every real leader should.

The next three years for Iloilo City will be very exciting as we have a better vision of the future basing on what Treñas and Baronda presented to the people.

In Iloilo province, all we can hear is sweet talk amid a hazy and cloudy terrain, which reminds us of the dreaded Sirens in Greek mythology as described by Homer in The Odyssey:

“To the Sirens first shalt thou come,

who bewitch all men, whosoever shall come to them.

Who so draws nigh them unwittingly and hears the sound of the Sirens’ voice,

never doth he see wife or babes stand by him on his return,

nor have they joy at his coming;

but the Sirens enchant him with their clear song,

sitting in the meadow, and all about is a great heap of bones of men,

corrupt in death, and round the bones the skin is wasting.