City Hall wrong to pin down ‘enemies’

By: Alex P. Vidal

“Identity politics preaches a splintering of one large, collaborative group into competing vindictive ones – resulting in new, angry tribes whose central thesis is to not cooperate.” – Greg Gutfeld

IT is not healthy for city hall or any local government unit to start its administration by running after employees or department heads who did not support the current mayor or governor in the previous elections.

It’s a waste of time and resources; it’s anticlimactic and smacks of vindictiveness.

Like what is happening in Iloilo City today.

It is embarrassing that the first case Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas had to face since he assumed as city mayor two months ago came from a city hall employee, not from big-time tax evaders or giant firms that have fought back after being ribbed for violating the city ordinances.

Instead of Goliath versus Goliath, what the Ilonggos are seeing in the front seats is a Goliath trying to eviscerate David, who fights back not for political survival but for his livelihood.




The case, which hogged headlines, came from an employee reassigned from his original post to a dumpsite in Mandurriao district supposedly for having been identified as a political supporter of the previous mayor.

If the minions of Treñas or the city mayor himself are not embarrassed about this, I don’t know how they handle and absorb the news about this petty squabble that has spread around the world.

It’s like an intra-family quarrel that went out of control and the public is watching, hearing and reading eerie stories that should’ve been discussed and settled in the family’s living room.

Sometimes it depends on what kind of advisers that surround the city mayor; it depends on what kind of advice they give the big boss on how to deal with people who have been identified with the defeated Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and are still working at the city hall.

It appears that some of them have more axe to grind against some people inside the city hall than the mayor himself.

Instead of running after the perceived political decoys, they should run after the crooks and rascals. File cases against the thieves, the tax cheats, the fixers and the ten percenters.




Mayor Treñas is not a vindictive type of leader.

I should know. He is one of the few Ilonggo leaders who don’t harass critical reporters.

His mind as a public servant isn’t barriotic.

I have not heard Treñas file a libel case against any journalist, but I know he was one of the most maligned elected officials even when he was still a city councilor.

Some of those not familiar with his management style mistook him as “suplado” (snob) maybe because he is frank and does not hide his feelings in public.

Who among the tormented candidates in the previous elections have the courage and honesty to cry literally and empty his emotions “live” on air?

Hours after it became crystal-clear he had won the bitter and nightmarish elections in May, he went on air and cried while being interviewed by Bombo Radyo anchorman Don Dolido.

I can’t speak the same for others, the mayor’s subalterns who are now calling some of the major shots inside the city mayor’s office.

By the way, a throwback in 1989: Mayor Treñas should be careful not to commit the same mistake made by then-Mayor Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon, who also allegedly harassed city health officer Dr. Ortigoza weeks after he assumed as city mayor.

Ortigoza sued Ganzon and enemies of the hard-hitting former senator, led by then local government secretary Luis Santos, used the Oritgoza brouhaha to slap Ganzon with a preventive suspension. And the rest was history.

It was Karl Marx who once said that “history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.”

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