Malacanang should apologize to Treñas

By Alex P. Vidal

“Apologies always seem to me like excuses.”—Jim Harbaugh

INSTEAD of being belligerent, Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas has been showing signs he was willing to cooperate with the Marcos Jr. administration even if the administration appears to be indifferent to the Ilonggo leader, who openly supported former Vice President Leni Robredo in the May 2022 presidential election.

First, Treñas was ecstatic that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. mentioned the Panay-Guimaras-Negros (PGN) Island Bridges Project, which is included in the administration’s P8.3-trillion “Build Better More” program in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

Second, Treñas claimed the enactment of MIF (Maharlika Investment Fund) would be a big help to accelerate the implementation of the national government’s key infrastructure projects.

Despite his reputation as an outstanding city mayor in Western Visayas, the Marcos Jr. administration pretended Treñas didn’t exist when it didn’t send him official invitation in President Marcos Jr.’s SONA on July 24.

Even if Treñas had disclosed to the public he didn’t get any invitation at least four days before the SONA, the act of impropriety and unprofessionalism on the part of Malacañang was never corrected.


The apparent shabby treatment was uncalled for and unnecessary.

They don’t do that to a former national president of the League of Municipalities (during the Arroyo administration).

If the reason was politics, it’s a shame on the part of the Marcos Jr. administration for showing its true color this early (politics is addition, right?).

If the reason was “honest mistake” or Treñas’ name was “inadvertently” removed from the list of local chief executives officially invited, it’s a big disgrace on the part of the protocol officer—or anybody assigned to prepare the SONA master list for invited guests.

This is not the right time for the Marcos Jr. administration to show conceit and smugness. On the other hand, it should reach out to its past adversaries and show humility to all and sundry.

Malacañang thinks it has no obligation to explain why some important people in the LGU like Treñas had been “forgotten.”

We think Malacañang must apologize.


LET’S AVOID MENTAL LAZINESS. From the chin down no man is worth much more than a dollar or two a day. Even what we do with our hands depends for its value on the amount of sense we use.

We can train and improve our mind as well as our fingers. Mental laziness is the most common disease.

Put in a certain amount of time every day at making our brain more efficient. Let’s read. Let’s study. Let’s think. Let’s not fritter away all our spare time. It’s all habit.

We can get used to hard study as well as to hard work. And it pays. Let’s improve ourselves from the chin up.

THE DEVIL’S OTHER NAME. As a habit and as part of personal hygiene, taking a bath twice a day especially during summer is a must and should be inviolable.

To prevent sunburn when collecting recycled wastes, we must protect our skin with lotion (Jergen). A regular perfume (preferably I suggest my favorites, Calvin Klein and Bvlgari) is also necessary.

I believe that cleaning up is more vital than dressing up. The most important thing in the world is to get rid of the waste. The salvation of the office is the waste basket.

The salvation of the home is the scrubbing brush. The salvation of the body is efficient elimination. The salvation of the soul is keeping dirt out of the imagination.

In the house of death there is the smell of cologne, in the hospital there is the odor of disinfectant. Because the cleansing processes of life are secret, private and not to be mentioned or witnessed they are all the more sacredly essential.

The bacilli of Nature are the wrath of God that awaits for the unclean. The devil’s other name is Dirt.

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