“Vote for the man who promises least; he’ll be the least disappointing.” –Bernard Baruch
Among the present members of the Iloilo City Council in the Philippines, Eduardo ‘Ed’ Penaredondo is the most senior, having been elected for a record eight terms in the May 2016 elections.
He has been alderman since the time of the late Mayor Rodolfo T. Ganzon in 1989.
The other two are Vice Mayor Joe III Espinosa and Joshua Alim, both lawyers like Penaredondo.
While supporters of both Espinosa and Alim have been jockeying for their election to replace Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who will “graduate” in 2019, Penaredondo’s supporters and brods in the Sigma Rho fraternity think the veteran ex-cop with roots from Dueñas, Iloilo should be the next in line after Mabilog.
To avoid a collision course, Alim, one of the most qualified for the post, might shoot for a congressional seat. Espinosa, rumored to be the personal choice of Rep. Jerry Treñas, still enjoys the edge in the party selection process though.
“It’s long overdue. He should have run for mayor a long time ago. We are always ready in case he decides to run in 2019,” said a moneyed Sigma Rho member who manages a copier machine business.
The Sigma Rho member said Penaredondo is not only respected by his peers in the council, but “he also is not at odds with most politicians in the local and national levels.”
“Meaning,” the Sigma Rho member added, “he can deal with any David and Goliath in government and this is good for Iloilo City.”
A mayor in the fifth district of Iloilo was not included in the list of narco-politicians lambasted repeatedly by President Duterte because he is only a user, not a trafficker, said a former town councilor who once worked in the Hall of Justice in Iloilo City.
The mayor became a drug addict when he was teenager, the source said. One time, he reportedly told then President and now Manila Mayor Erap Estrada that “my (late) father was stupid for giving away hundreds of hectares of our farm lands to people who did not vote for me (the mayor).”
The former town councilor claimed that even when they were playing basketball, the mayor was always “high” off marijuana. “Everyone was afraid to foul him because he was so aggressive and sensitive,” he said.
“Under the Duterte administration, the anti-drugs slogan is now kill the trafficker, spare the user,” the former town councilor said in jest.
It’s not fair to speculate that some of the former promising Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) young officers involved in the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 were hired by replaced Bureau of Customs (Boc) commissioner Nicanor Faeldon “benefitted” from corruption that was never nipped in the bud since the new administration took over.
Faeldon was reportedly axed for “command responsibility” when some P5-billion worth of shabu managed to enter the country via BoC before being seized in a Valenzuela City warehouse recently.
Faeldon’s former cohorts in the Oakwood brouhaha who became BoC bigwigs reportedly “failed to properly check” the shipment’s documents that came from China.
Sources claimed corruption like “lagayan system” is still rampant in the BoC./WDJ