Conlu eyed for 2025 Iloilo City Council slate

PSTMO head Jeck Conlu

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Iloilo City Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) chief Jeck Conlu has been confirmed as the latest addition to Mayor Jerry Treñas’ potential city council team for the upcoming 2025 local elections.

Mayor Treñas confirmed this development during his regular press conference on Monday, April 1.

He shared that Conlu had approached him on Holy Wednesday, March 27, expressing a desire to ascend to the city hall’s legislative chamber.

“[Conlu] came to me, so I don’t know if he’s sure [in running for city council]. He came to me before [the Holy Week], on Wednesday. I don’t have any complaints about him,” Treñas said during his Monday presser.

Speculation about Conlu’s interest in the local legislature has been in the air since the 2022 elections, despite his denials as the previous candidate filing season approached.

Conlu is now one of seven individuals under consideration for merely three available positions in the mayor’s council selection, joining the ranks of former councilors Lyndon Acap, Carlos Javellana, and Mandrie Malabor, past Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) city federation president Sheen Marie Mabilog, and candidates from 2022, Jose Maria Dela Llana and Bryant Zulueta.

These prospective candidates aim to replace the term-limited councilors Ely Estante and Candace Magdalane Tupas, as well as to fill another vacancy in the council.

Mayor Treñas’ team is currently evaluating potential candidates, which includes his daughter, lone district representative aspirant Raisa Maria Lourdes Treñas-Chu, and the incumbent Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon. This vetting process involves thorough consultations with different supporter sectors.

Council members up for re-election in 2025 are Sedfrey Cabaluna, Jose Ma. Miguel Treñas, Alan Zaldivar, Frances Grace Parcon-Torres, Urminico Baronda Jr., Rudolph Jeffrey Ganzon, Rex Marcus Sarabia, Johnny Young, and Romel Duron.

Additionally, the council comprises two ex-officio members, Liga ng mga Barangay President Ma. Irene Ong and SK City Federation President Jelma Crystel Implica.

‘LEVELING UP’

Post-conference, Conlu addressed the press, affirming the mayor’s announcement of his consideration for a council position.

He signified a readiness to “level up” in public service, a nod to Mayor Treñas’ own aspirations since 2019.

“We have been serving the city for 10 years. I think we will step up [to] another level of public service, and I am happy for [Treñas] and his party for me to be one of those considered to run for councilor under his leadership,” Conlu said.

“I am thankful for the mayor’s trust and confidence since 2019 when he returned to the city hall. Although there is a lot to be considered, [including] consultations [with supporters] and surveys, and I will also have to consult with my family and friends. Rest assured, nothing will change. [It is like] our service on the roads, anyone can pass through and ask for directions, in our hopes to give the service we aspire for in the city,” he added.

Reflecting on his time leading the PSTMO and his role during the pandemic, Conlu emphasized his preparedness for the legislative challenges ahead.

“[W]e never stepped back from facing challenges during [the COVID-19 pandemic], and I never left [Treñas’] side, when the [people] needed a greater amount of service to survive. Those are the life-changing decisions,” he said.

“Because we are aiming for the legislative this time, in my experience in the executive side, we’ve seen the legislative agenda needed to be introduced, to be changed, or to be strengthened, so we can augment [Treñas’] aspirations to make our city smart, safe, and liveable.”

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