Treñas endorses daughter for 2025 congressional seat

OF FAMILY AND FRIEND. (From left) Raisa Treñas-Chu, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, and Uswag Ilonggo Partylist Rep. James Ang Jr. (Mariela Angella Oladive photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

In Iloilo City, as temperatures rise, so does the political fervor.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has confirmed that his daughter, Raisa Treñas-Chu, will contest for the city’s lone congressional seat in the 2025 midterm elections.

“My decision, which I believe is already known to the majority, is that my daughter, Raisa, will be the one to run for congresswoman in the next election,” proclaimed Treñas during a special press briefing on Friday, March 15.

He also revealed that his decision is backed by the vast majority of barangay officials, who have shown their support.

Consequently, the announcement also meant the separation of the political alliance between the mayor and Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Juliene “Jamjam” Baronda, who had previously received the mayor’s backing in past elections.

Despite the shift, Baronda, in a statement, has emphasized her respect for Treñas as the city’s chief executive and rejected notions of political division.

“We respect Mayor Jerry Treñas as our leader. We had a sincere and honest conversation on various topics when I met with him this morning (March 15). I think giving in to political division and letting our beloved city’s future get derailed would be a grave mistake,” the representative said as she called to “let unity reign” in the city.

“There are more important problems in our city that we need to address, and its leaders are expected to work together to find solutions for these issues, so unity is a paramount consideration to ensure the progress of our city,” she added.

Mayor Treñas reciprocated the sentiments of mutual respect.

“I also express my gratitude to Cong. Jamjam for respecting my decision. I am thankful as well that we were able to avert a potentially bitter clash between me and her, as you are aware of the extent of my support for her since her first and second terms,” Treñas said, preferring not to delve into the resolved circumstances to avoid reopening past issues.

The spotlight turns to Treñas-Chu, previously the second nominee of the Uswag Ilonggo Party-list in the 2022 elections, who is poised to contribute to the city’s development.

“With the plans we had when I ran with (Uswag Ilonggo) Congressman Jojo Ang, focusing on the city, we can implement many programs that align with my father’s aspirations. We share the vision to provide for our city’s needs, and that’s our goal for its continued improvement,” Treñas-Chu stated.

“Before, when Congressman Jojo Ang and I ran together, we had numerous plans for the entire Ilonggo and I realized that if we focus on the city, there are still many programs that we can bring here, aligned with the aspirations of my father. We shared the same vision to provide what is needed and that is what we will try to achieve to continue the city’s improvement,” Treñas-Chu expressed.

Mayor Treñas extolled his daughter’s qualifications for legislative office, citing her experience running an organization and family businesses, her education in political economy at Assumption in San Lorenzo, and her master’s degree from Ateneo De Manila.

“Raisa has been running an organization, including our family businesses. She has completed her studies in political economy at Assumption in San Lorenzo and obtained a master’s degree from Ateneo De Manila. She is very qualified to become a legislator,” he said.

Additionally, he pointed to upcoming vacancies in the City Council due to term limits.

Discussions with barangay captains regarding possible candidates are underway, with former councilors Mandre Malabor, Lyndon Acap, Bryan Zulueta, Nene De Llana, and former Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Sheen Mabilog being considered.

The inclusion of Councilor Nick Baronda, Rep. Baronda’s father, in the ticket was left to the councilor’s discretion.

Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon will continue as Mayor Treñas’s running mate, reinforcing the Treñas-Ganzon partnership.

The mayor’s earlier announcement about a local post in the upcoming polls, combined with the dismissal of Rep. Baronda’s sister, former city councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda, as one of his executive assistants, had already set the stage for this political shift.