‘VERY TEMPTING’: Treñas hints at possible return to old House seat

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry Treñas

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry Treñas on Monday, June 3, said that he is ‘very tempted’ to return to his old post as the city’s lone district representative in the House of Representatives.

Recently, Treñas has been highlighting some of his bills and constituent programs from his tenure as Iloilo City’s lone district representative in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Congresses from 2010 to 2019.

In his regular press conference on June 3, 2024, Treñas admitted the temptation, citing his heavy workload as mayor.

“It’s a very tempting decision to make. I cannot say that I am not tempted, especially with the work here in the city hall, where there are endless signing [of papers] and endless questions from the City Hall Press Corps. It is very, very tempting. We will see, we still have a lot of time,” the mayor said.

“As congressman, you can do a lot aside from dancing. […] It’s not just having good clothes. When I was in congress, I had repeating shirts, but I passed a lot of bills. I brought a lot of good things [to the city]. So many things that you can do in congress. I do miss the work there,” he added.

He also appeared to take a swipe at the current postholder, his successor and former ally Julienne Baronda, noting her frequent appearances at small gatherings in the city.

Treñas cited his former colleagues in the House who transitioned to local government roles, including current governors Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo and Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava of Guimaras, and former governors Florencio Miraflores of Aklan and Arthur Defensor Sr. of Iloilo.

“There are very few people who can be [good] in congress and in local government. […] There are others who, even if you put them in congress, cannot be,” he said.

When asked whether he would be willing to switch with his daughter, Raisa Maria Lourdes Treñas-Chu, who is eyeing the seat, Treñas said that any pronouncements remain hypothetical. He reiterated his commitment to running for mayor while citing her qualifications, including managing their family’s business and running the city’s community kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Treñas endorsed his daughter for the post last March 15 but remains open to returning to his old position.

“So far, I will [still] run for mayor. […] I think [Raisa] is very qualified. She has a Master’s in Management [degree] from the Ateneo [De Manila University]. Second, she ran the bakery of their mother for several years. It’s not easy running a bakery. […] She knows how to deal with people,” he said.

Regarding his daughter’s decision to join him in the National Unity Party (NUP) instead of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), the mayor cited the indefinite postponement of the latter party’s oath-taking ceremonies.

“The PFP oath-taking has been postponed several times now, so I just brought her along to the [NUP] leadership, [and] I introduced her to [former Interior] Secretary [Ronaldo] Puno,” he said.

However, Treñas assured that his political team in the city government will support the Marcos Jr. administration, noting the jump of Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon and several city councilors, including his son, city councilor Jose Maria Miguel, and councilors Romel Duron, Frances Grace Parcon-Torres, Johnny Young, and Alan Zaldivar, as well as Liga ng mga Barangay president Ma. Irene Ong.

The vice mayor and the city councilors took their oaths as PFP members in a mass oath-taking in the city on Sunday, June 2.

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