City hall uncorks 2 ‘persona’ edicts in 4 months

By Alex P. Vidal

“You never want to hear that somebody didn’t get to come to your show because they felt unwelcome or they felt like they wouldn’t fit in – any of those things, it’s a terrible precedent to set.”—Brandi Rhodes

IN just four months this year, two ranking public officials have tasted the wrath of the Iloilo City Government after they were declared as persona non grata or unacceptable or unwelcome person one after the other for their supposed “culpabilities.”

In unprecedented events, two public officials got sledgehammered in June and September 2023 by City Hall.

First to be walloped with the fiat issued no less by Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas was Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran through an executive order issued on June 23, 2023 over the “uncoordinated transfer” of Badjaos from Bacolod to Iloilo City.

Second was Cooperative Development Authority (CDA-6) director Nora Patron also through an executive order her alleged inaction on the plea for help of the City Hall and the Iloilo City Government Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (ICGEMPC).

Treñas had expressed dismay over the lack of proper coordination on the part of Familiaran after some 80 Badjaos arrived at Dumangas port in Iloilo province after being rounded up by the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) in Bacolod on June 21.


The city mayor, however, revoked the executive order that declared Familiaran as persona non grata on July 13 after both Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Familiaran reportedly apologized for the mix-up in the arrival of 80 Badjaos in Iloilo.

As for the CDA regional boss, Treñas was incensed after Patron reportedly ignored their requests for a consultative meeting as early as June 2013 to intervene and resolve the woes that have bedeviled the ICGEMPC.

We aren’t sure if Treñas will also eventually revoke the executive order against Patron like what he did to Familiaran’s case, but we expect Patron to respond to the admonishment soon so as not to exacerbate the situation.

As long as the misunderstanding or miscommunication is job-related and not personal, there is always an opportunity to settle the discord and confusion.

Unlike Familiaran who is an elected official from across the island like Treñas, Patron is an appointed official who may find it hard to perform her duties and obligations as CDA chief if she isn’t at “peace” with the local chief executive.

After all, there’s a saying that “you can’t fight City Hall.”


BEFORE we went to sleep September 28 before midnight, the US House GOP was planning a late-night vote on spending bills.

With just a little over a day before the federal government shuts down, the House was reportedly voting on a series of spending bills though the measures, if they pass, are expected to be dead on arrival in the Senate.

The first of those votes passed a spending bill to fund the Department of State, foreign operations and related programs.

The United States federal government will shut down if Congress does not reach an agreement by midnight on October 30.

They have hours left before the government will have to shut down if they fail to pass a short-term spending pill.

Even the so-called continuing resolution would allow the financing of the government only until November 17.

But it would give enough time for the House and the Senate to vote on the 12 spending bills that sum up the rules of spending some $6 trillion in the next fiscal year.

Using this recurring moment for their political benefit is a tradition for Democrats and Republicans in the US, let’s see what is at stake now, observed Heloise Urvoy of Euronews.


Why is the US government heading towards a federal shutdown?

As the past 20 or so times it happened-and the many other times it was on the verge of happening-US lawmakers, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, cannot pass a common legislation needed to fund the federal government and its various agencies.

It mostly comes down to partisan disagreements, with Republicans and Democrats not able, or not willing, to compromise, Urvoy explained

The House’s majority is Republican, while Democrats have the Senate.

Urvoy said: “This time, Kevin McCarthy, the House speaker, is trying to push for a measure that hardline Republicans have been demanding for a while: steep federal spending cuts (about 8%), coupled with stronger border security measures. Democrats refuse to vote for the package, and even some Republican lawmakers deem it too extreme. McCarthy is struggling to please the hard-right lawmakers of his party.”

In the Senate, a bipartisan package is reportedly in the pipeline to temporarily fund the government.

It would maintain funding at current levels and includes a national $6 billion relief funding, and the same amount to aid Ukraine in its war effort.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)