I shall return my defeat is just a setback – mayor joe

ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III (right) grants a selfie with a supporter after casting his ballot on May 13, 2019. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo 

DEFEATED by his brother-in-law and former political ally, lone district Rep. Jerry Treñas, incumbent Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III lifted the hopes of his supporters by unofficially declaring his possible comeback in the next elections. 

“1,095 days na lang man, election naman. Aton ya ginahambal sa aton supporters nga, I shall return,” he said in an interview. 

Despite lagging behind Treñas by 68,419 votes, Espinosa said he has no qualms with the results of the elections and assured his supporters that his defeat is only a temporary setback.

“Sige lang, amo na ang resulta, okay lang. Amo gid na ang election, sa aton supporters, temporary setback lang ni,” he said.

Treñas was proclaimed as the mayor-elect by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the Jubilee Hall at around 2:45 a.m. . 

Based on the final and official results released by the City Board of Canvassers, Treñas dominated the mayoral post with 134,143 votes while Espinosa garnered 65,724 votes.

Following his comeback in the mayoral seat, Treñas promised to take the city to the next level.

“I can finally say, as the Mayor of Iloilo City, I am now ready to bring Iloilo City to the next level,” he said. 

Treñas’s camp also secured the lone district congressional seat with Julienne Baronda proclaimed as the first lady congressional representative of the city.

Incumbent Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon also secured a fresh term.

Treñas also secured eight out of the 12 seats in the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The conclusion of the 2019 elections is also expected to end the political rivalry of the brother-in-laws, Espinosa and Treñas.

 Espinosa earlier said that he is open to reconciliation with Treñas despite their heated campaign.

“Ako open gid ako ya. Sin-o gid kita. Ako ya gapati kon naga amiguhay tana mas magaayo ang aton syudad halin sang una, waay gid ko kaagi pangita kontra maski sa City Hall,” he said in a previous interview.

According to Espinosa, it is time to move on after the elections and work together for the betterment of the city.

“It’s time to move again. Kinahanglan mag-updanay naman ang mga nagbinangig-bangig sa barangay para man makaubra na ta kag go back to work. Subong let us work together for the city kay kinahanglan ta man mag-ubra na,” he said.