But Joe III isn’t the one hurting

By: Alex P. Vidal

“Peace does not include a vendetta; there will be neither winners nor losers.” – Ahmed Ben Bella

IF the Treñas administration thinks persecuting city hall employees who may have supported former city mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III in the recent elections is one way of getting back at Joe III, it’s dead wrong.

Joe III, now a private citizen, doesn’t give a hoot what will happen to his former employees, now fighting for their lives after being orphaned by Joe III’s unfortunate defeat.

Joe III is not the type who will bend for his underlings.

The man does not understand the words empathy and sympathy.

Many observers think Joe III considers his employees to be his servants.

Thus he can’t recognize his former employees even if he bumps them in the coffee shops.

He can’t probably feel what they’re feeling today amid the avalanche of administrative raps and “investigations” launched against them.

There is a popular joke that when Joe III once went to a barangay in Jaro district, his driver, Mike, mixed himself in the crowd. Joe III, who shook hands with people in the crowd, didn’t notice he shook Mike’s hand.




It’s been weeks since news erupted that the Treñas administration has been savagely lowering the boom on city hall employees, including some department heads suspected of supporting Joe III, yet the former city mayor has not come out in the open to issue a statement or show his support for the embattled city hall workers now being bludgeoned by administrative raps from the vindictive Treñas administration.

A true leader, even if he had been vanquished, will always look back and rescue his fallen soldiers.

A good leader does not abandon his allies even if they have been captured and threatened with annihilation.

A public show of moral support from Joe III would have been enough to assuage the frazzled emotions of city hall workers whose only sin was to be tagged as Joe III’s political supporters.

Or, he can appeal straight to Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas, who is his brother-in-law, to “please leave the city hall employees alone; this is our rivalry, not you against them. They have nothing to do with our cold war. We can resolve this conflict without trampling on the small grasses and offending the wrong people. This feud is political and only temporary.”




I reiterate that it is not healthy, much less not good in the eyes of the world that the Treñas administration started on the wrong and unnecessary battle: the corrosive purging of “disloyal” employees, especially those who had purportedly committed an “electioneering” offense in the recent May elections.

It can’t help prop up the image of the Ilonggos in general if people in other regions and countries read on the Internet and major broadcast networks and newspapers the news about their local chief executive swapping charges in court against ordinary city hall employees.

Taxpayers’ money is wasted and used to run after members of the city hall family.

A city hall trying to create killing fields for its own flesh and blood.

The meat of the matter is too niggardly and counterproductive for a big metropolis that has already breached the threshold of economic boom.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)