The looming Treñas dynasty

By The Sunriser

THE UBIQUITOUS tarpaulin posters bearing the faces of Miguel and Raisa Treñas are a portent of things to come in the political landscape of Iloilo City. There is no more denying that their father, Mayor Jerry Treñas, is preparing the ground for his children’s eventual ascent to the throne.

Miguel is currently serving as member of the City Council while Raisa is obviously prepping herself for future political exercises after failing to grab a seat in Congress in 2022. She was the second nominee of Uswag Ilonggo, the regional political partylist group bankrolled by billionaire Jojo Ang, the first nominee and now member of the current House of Representatives. Raissa may run for city mayor in lieu of her aged father or representative.

Quite frankly this corner has not seen nor read any of the qualifications of the Treñas siblings. But my ignorance does not matter, anyway, in this personality-centric politics. To sound redundant, qualifications don’t matter much in our choice of political leaders.

The looming political dynasty poses a threat to other groups like the Gugma-Hope inspired camp of Rep. Jamjam Baronda. It is common knowledge that Baronda’s political fortunes rests on the monolithic grassroots organization of Mayor Treñas. Kibitzers still attribute her victory in 2019 to the Treñas juggernaut. Without Treñas’s support, Baronda is seen as a weakling.

The reason why the young lady is leaving no stone unturned in her efforts to prop up her own political stock. Her Facebook presence has become a daily treat for her followers and friends. Building her own cult and following has become her obsession knowing full well that her alliance with Treñas is shakier than it looks. But she needs to try harder if she is to survive in 2025.

Treñas may like to assure Baronda that their alliance is intact. For the time being. But the siblings are the twin Damocles swords hanging over Baronda’s head, certainly. Baronda must be reminded that Trenas made two significant pledges in his political life that can be characterized as political stratagem at best and a bare-faced scheme at worst. Right after losing his mayoral bid against Mayor Mansueto Malabor in 1998, Treñas declared before Guiling Dela Llana, Ramon Cua-Locsin and their group that he was abandoning any political ambition because he was no longer up to it, talk about lack of money and otherwise. He also announced he was retiring from politics in 2019 after serving for nine years as congressman. On both occasions he reneged, blinked, turned on his words. And winked.

Mayor Treñas’s reign is entering its 23rd year counting from 2001. He is eligible for another term in 2025. By the time he gets to wear his adult diapers, Treñas is projected to have governed Iloilo City for nearly three decades as mayor, congressman, and mayor. Or longer, if he succeeds in shoehorning his children to power.

Or, maybe not, if a new face emerges to challenge the establishment.