Are Jamjam and Raisa competing for Federal ‘blessing’?

By Herbert Vego

WHAT could have caused the indefinite postponement of the mass oath-taking of Western Visayas politicians before the ruling Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP)?

The reason, according to Iloilo Gov. Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr., was because the party honchos, including presidential son and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, could not make it as scheduled last April 10.

But the rumor spreading like wildfire in Iloilo City concerns the question, “Whom will the party bless?”

Will it be Raisa Treñas-Chu, daughter of Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, or Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda?

The break-up of the Treñas-Baronda alliance seems inevitable because of Raisa’s decision to challenge Jamjam for the lone House seat in 2025?

I must scratch my head for failure to see why they should fight for party membership when Jamjam has already expressed her intention to give way to Raisa.  Does she intend to run against Mayor Jerry?

It’s too early to jump into a conclusion.  For sure, however, they both want to belong to the party in power and partake of its monetary and other fringe benefits. Bentaha kuno ang malapit sa luwag.

Well, we have seen FB-posted pictures of the congresswoman hugging Pres. Bongbong Marcos and First Lady Liza, projecting the impression of closeness.

Let us not forget, however, that being with the party in power doesn’t always count.  You see, the mayor and the congresswoman ran together under the National Unity Party (NUP) and supported opposition candidate Leni Robredo for President. Leni won here in Iloilo.

Therefore, it would be more correct to say that, for their own political future, it’s the Marcoses who need the support of as many local leaders as possible.

Since both the mayor and the congresswoman are popular, the Marcoses might just ask them to reconcile and run “as is”. Tan-awon ta lang sa kurbada.



THE first batch of BrahMos, the supersonic missiles imported from India at US $375 million, have arrived at Clark International Airport in Pampanga. They arrived with three battery-powered launchers on board an Indian Air Force cargo plane.

As published in the April 22, 2024 issue of Newsweek magazine, the missile system is aimed at beefing up our coastal defenses amid rising tensions with China.

The article said, “The high-profile arms transfer comes in the middle of the simmering Philippines-China dispute in the contested Spratly Islands archipelago of the South China Sea, where the Chinese and Philippines coast guards have clashed over territorial features claimed by both sides.”

We see the missile importation as the government’s response to repeated “bullying” by the China Coast Guard in the traditional fishing grounds within our exclusive economic zone in an area it calls the West Philippine Sea.

“A significant game changer,” said Jonathan Malaya, the Philippines deputy national security adviser, when interviewed by an ABS-CBN broadcaster.

India, now a military and immediate neighbor of China, has established itself as a security partner for the Southeast Asian region in its bid to counterbalance growing Chinese influence along the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, there are still so-called “progressive” Filipino organizations who oppose “foreign intervention” as a threat to Philippine sovereignty. Ironically, they could be suspected of being China’s allies in the latter’s expansionist policy.

The truth of the matter is that China has already proven itself to be the real threat to our sovereignty. They have already occupied our territories and shoals in the West Philippine Sea.  Without dependence on foreign powers – notably the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia and Japan – how could we have prevented China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from invading us? Weakness invites aggression.

Only former President Rodrigo Duterte would have favored reducing our nation into a mere “province” of China.

But we really hate to go to war with China. We believe in the old saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”



KUDOS to, MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) for finding a novel way to alleviate water shortage in Iloilo City.

As reported by this paper, the company collaborated with the Bureau of Fire Protection in delivering free cold water to 12 barangays hit by the power interruption, helping residents overcome water scarcity and the sweltering heat. The provision of water for washing and bathing was a welcome respite for the barangays facing water shortages.

It has been the policy of MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro to practice corporate social responsibility within the company’s power-distribution area.

The company has previously engaged in customer care activities, including distributing mugs, rice, and hosting parlor games. This time, the provision of water for washing and bathing was a welcome respite for the affected barangays, especially those facing water shortages.

While children were bathing under hoses of the fire trucks, Maricris Cabalhin, MORE Power’s Head for Customer Care, remarked, “It’s heartwarming to see both kids and adults finding joy in simple things like this.”


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