‘LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN’: Mayor doubles down on split with Baronda

Mayor Jerry Treñas and Rep Jam Baronda (L)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has acknowledged the end of his political alliance with lone district Rep. Julienne Baronda, while distancing himself from any direct involvement in City Councilor Urminico Baronda Jr.’s loss of committee chairpersonships.

Treñas referred to the council reshuffling, which affected Rep. Baronda’s father, as a ‘natural course of politics.”

Treñas recounted his history of shifting political allegiances, which included aligning with the Liberal Party of the late former President Benigno Aquino III, the PDP-LABAN of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

His most recent jump was for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. even if he was the top lieutenant of former Vice President Leni Robredo, who lost to Marcos in 2022.

“The decisions will come from the members of the council. I support whatever decision that they will make. I did not say I will welcome [his ouster],” the mayor said during his Monday press conference.

“In politics, you follow a line, and once you don’t follow that line, you go to the other side, and you will be replaced. […] The lines have been drawn. That is what it is in politics. It’s happening here, it’s happening in the House of Representatives, it’s happening in the Congress of the United States,” he added.

He downplayed the timing of the removal, recounting his own experiences as a city councilor, when he switched alliances between former mayors Rodolfo Ganzon and Mansueto Malabor.

“Whether it’s term-sharing or there is politics, it’s the same thing. For us, when we went against [then-mayor] Roding [Ganzon], we were also stripped of [committee chairpersonships]. No matter how much you cry, that’s life. I’ll give you a (piece of) tissue paper,” he said.

But he did not state whether Dr. Baronda, a former City Health Office chief, would remain in Treñas’ Sangguniang Panglungsod lineup for the 2025 polls.

Last March 15, the mayor endorsed his daughter, Raisa Maria Lourdes Treñas-Chu, for the city’s lone district seat in the House of Representatives, despite Rep. Baronda still serving her second term.

Baronda has only spoken out on the alleged rift once via a statement, following the sacking of her sister, former councilor Lady Julie Grace, as an executive assistant in the mayor’s office.

The mayor said he was open to the possibility of his daughter and the incumbent butting heads in the upcoming elections.

“She [Baronda] said that she was not going to run, and support whatever decision I will make. In politics, you can always make another decision,” he said.

LINEUP

Treñas’ also discussed several details about his lineup for the Sangguniang Panglungsod, saying that seven ‘hopefuls’ wanted to join his slate.

He said that his team is still vetting these hopefuls through a process, which involves consulting current and former barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials and other important sectors, as well as an internal survey among voters.

The only standards he mentioned are competence, performance, and integrity.

That process, Treñas’ said, will be the basis for him to reveal who would be included in his team’s lineup for the 2025 local elections.

He did assure that the incumbents were “safe” and would not be axed from his line up, saying that “They have been doing a good job.”

Treñas’ slate in the council includes Councilors Sedfrey Cabaluna, Jose Maria Miguel Treñas, Alan Zaldivar, Frances Grace Parcon-Torres, Rex Marcus Sarabia, Urminico Baronda Jr., Rudolf Jeffrey Ganzon, Johnny Young, and Romel Duron. They are all eligible for reelection.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here