Drilon hopes for resolution in Treñas-Baronda rift

Former Senator Franklin Drilon

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

Former Ilonggo Senate President Franklin Drilon hopes that the political rift between Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda can be settled ahead of the 2025 midterm elections.

“I am not surprised, but I do hope that we can find a settlement,” Drilon said during an interview at a program launch in San Miguel on Monday, May 20.

Drilon believes an “amicable settlement” between the two officials would promote continued progress for Iloilo City, especially since both are in their last term of office.

“I never lose hope that this will be settled. I am not the candidate, but we will see,” he added.

With over three decades of political experience, Drilon said, “Political contest is natural in a democracy,” and he was not surprised by the fallout between Treñas and Baronda.

The rift began after Treñas announced that his daughter and executive assistant, Raisa Treñas-Chu, will run for Congress in the midterm elections. Notably, Treñas had helped Baronda secure the city’s congressional seat in both 2019 and 2022.

Baronda’s plans for the next elections remain undisclosed, but she officially joined the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats Party on May 7, after previously being affiliated with the National Unity Party.

As for Mayor Treñas, it is still unclear whether he intends to seek reelection.

When asked about political dynasties, Drilon said, “The beauty of being in the private sector is I do not have to respond to that.”

Concerns about political dynasties have arisen due to the potential influence of the Treñas family over Iloilo City. This includes the possibility of Treñas seeking reelection, his daughter winning the congressional seat, and his son Miguel Treñas securing reelection to the City Council.

Meanwhile, Drilon has not confirmed or denied any plans to run in the midterm elections.

“I will just help the poor for now. Let’s set politics aside for now; the election is still far off. Put it aside, and we will continue first to help the malnourished children,” he said.

Drilon is known for his contributions to several significant projects that have transformed Iloilo’s landscape. These projects include the development of the Iloilo River Esplanade, Iloilo Sunset Boulevard, the embattled Ungka and Aganan Flyover in Pavia town, and the Phase 2 development of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project in Calinog.

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