By Alex P. Vidal
“Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.” —Walter Winchell
MANY Ilonggos have viewed the conflict between Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” P. Treñas and former City Civil Registrar Romeo Caesar “Juncae” Manikan Jr. to be “unnecessary” and a “waste of talent and friendship.”
For many astute observers, they should be the most unlikely foes in a petty and unwarranted city hall intramural based on their affable personalities and characters.
Treñas claimed that the “truth prevailed” when the Office of the Ombudsman recently dismissed the criminal and administrative cases filed by Manikan and former City Health Officer Dr. Bernard Caspe against the city mayor.
He said: “I am very happy. Para sa akon ang mga kaso daw gin-file para mag-harass sa akon but just the same, the Ombudsman found out that these were not substantiated.”
Manikan, a former city councilor like Treñas, on the other hand, averred in an official statement that “the Lord knows who is telling the truth” as he vowed to bring about legal remedies to reverse the Ombudsman decision.
Manikan explained in an official statement: “This is not the end. We have various options as legal remedies. My lawyers agreed with my decision to file the necessary legal response like Motion for Recon or Appeal or a similar pleading. The Lord knows who is telling the truth. I am just an ordinary employee, someone who doesn’t possess any immense power or influence.”
He added: “I am in fact a victim of injustice and have to protect my rights. Mayor Treñas will remain a chief executive who I hold in high regard, being a godfather of my only son and I pray when time permits, will be working with together again in public service. Meanwhile, Thank you to all those who send their love and support constantly.”
Amid their paradoxical assertions, many Ilonggos who have followed the colorful political careers of both Treñas and Manikan have also felt a sense of loss and sorrow for their shattered relationship.
Their falling-out has baffled many city hall employees who admire both hard-working city leaders.
If politics didn’t poison their good relationship, their combined talents and experiences in public service would have been a potent force for the progress and development of Iloilo City.
Sadly, politics can sometimes lead to subtraction and distraction of quality public service.
EVEN without the directives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) hierarchy in 2020 prohibiting PNP personnel from uploading TikTok videos and the likes while wearing the police uniform and on duty, it’s inconceivable for any cop to degrade his uniform just for this unproductive social media fun.
It’s crystal clear this is something they would abscond outrightly.
Policemen and women are professionals and not kindergarten pupils to be chided it’s not proper to use a TikTok or Youtube platform to record or upload activities not related to their job as law enforcement officers.
If the cops were aware they would be subjected to investigation and disciplinary action, they would, of course, nix this type of amusement.
Thus many Western Visayas cops probably thought the “warning” Police Regional Office (PRO-6) acting regional director Police Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor reportedly gave them recently against making content on TikTok, YouTube and other social media platforms, didn’t anymore send shivers down their spines.
It was like warning flight stewardesses not to dance “otso-otso” while on board the commercial planes, or telling bus conductors not to play “lato-lato” inside the buses.
Villaflor reportedly warned the cops during a recent visit to the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO): “Dapat pagkanaka-uniform means nakaduty, walang TikTok dapat. Walang magiging vlogger dahil they will be consuming the government time. Hindi dapat inuubos ang government time sa mga gawain na hindi connected sa trabaho.”
UNDER FIRE. Twitter is being sued for $250 million by music publishers who allege that the social media platform “breeds massive copyright infringement that harms music creators.” Twitter’s alleged permissiveness around users sharing copyrighted songs has unlawfully helped fuel the company’s growth, according to the National Music Publishers’ Association, whose members include Universal, Sony and Warner Music Group.
DOGS AND OWNERS. When dogs misbehave, the problem is with the owners or their failure to take care of them, not with the dogs. Therefore, we shouldn’t be cruel to man’s most loyal friend.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)