How Jamjam can gain from   Treñas’ tiff with media 

By Alex P. Vidal 

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” — Thomas Jefferson

THE persons or political personalities reaping benefits in the ongoing saga involving Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas and the Iloilo press must be no other than Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda and those who chastise Treñas’ insistence to install his daughter, Raisa, to be Baronda’s successor in 2025.

There’s no doubt Treñas has been badly wobbled in his most recent brawl with the press, which did not backtrack and decided to engage him in a toe-to-toe slugfest after threatening to slap journalists with legal cases for questioning why he allowed the century old Iloilo City Public Market art deco to be blown to bits.

The more the feud with the Iloilo press drags on, the more that Treñas’ chances of consolidating his forces and installing it as a force to reckon with in the 2025 election will suffer an ugly dent.

Hostilities are heavy baggages and unwanted fats when candidates attempt to deodorize their public image.

In election as in selection of a company CEO, character is the only thing while reputation is everything.

Prior to the public market art deco shootout, Treñas had been gobbling up a chunk in the headlines for weeks after he sent Baronda unceremoniously packing from their political abode asserting to trade in neophyte Raisa.

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But the effervescent Baronda refused to throw in the sponge and insisted through her own “silence” and body language she wouldn’t yield the red carpet to the tenacious father and daughter without putting up a hard fight and drilling holes on the Fortress Hohensalzburg.

As Baronda’s stunning show of defiance soared and the efforts to stymie her bankability appeared to wither away, Treñas picked up yet another unnecessary and unpopular spat with capitol factotum and inactive journalist Nereo Lujan over the Iloilo City Public Market art deco pillage.

Razor-sharp Lujan, a historian and with a profound background in investigative journalism, roused the sleeping Frankenstein in Treñas when “noise” from the inquisitive Capitol exec ostensibly caught the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). He threatened—or has he filed it already?—Lujan with cyber libel.

Scared of being embarrassed nationally if the above-mentioned agencies will constitute an investigation and mete him with a censure, Treñas, a senatorial prospect and the best city mayor in Western Visayas today, finally exploded and pulled the trigger injuring the working press in the hips in a press conference May 20 right in his city hall turf.

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The apology that came hours after his uncalled for and threatening outburst failed to appease many media organizations that considered the incident chilling and dangerous.

Treñas has been displaying the kind of temper that has shocked even his long-time admirers. He has been exhibiting this scary behavior on various occasions, making it impossible for the voters not to notice it and to forget it.

While this developed, Baronda continued to watch from a distance and has been probably waiting for her erstwhile political patron to slip more in the banana peel, or self destruct like what’s happening in his unfortunate squabble with the Iloilo press.

More controversies for her potential rival Treñas means she doesn’t need to join the fray or make a back up strike to sully the city mayor and earn for herself sympathies from the voters.

As the serious campaign for the next election approaches, Treñas will notice that his political stock is ebbing if he continues to wage unproductive battles in multiple fronts.

A wise politician avoids any direct collision course with the influential media, especially if he is helping and promoting not only himself but also his entire slate—and, more importantly, his daughter.

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The reason why I am writing about this scary international incident in the sky is because it’s the first time that authorities and scientists have attributed this horrifying event to climate change.

Yes. Climate change has been blamed after one person was killed and at least 71 others were injured on board a Singapore Airlines plane that recently encountered severe turbulence on a flight from London to Singapore.

The flight carrying 229 people, including five Filipinos, was reportedly cruising at 37,000 feet when flight tracking data shows the plane rapidly plunged before climbing several hundred feet, then repeated the dip and ascent, for about 90 seconds.

Images from the aircraft afterward show the cabin in disarray, with papers, cups and pitchers scattered on the floor and ceiling panels hanging loose.

Meteorologists say the plane likely encountered rapidly developing thunderstorms over Myanmar when the extreme turbulence was reported.

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

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