“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” –Newt Gingrich
Those who are planning to run for Iloilo City mayor in the Philippines in 2019 can always say that Vice Mayor Jose ‘Joe III’ Espinosa III isn’t fit to become city mayor.
His being a “shy-typed” and “aloof” have become the butts of scorn and derision among keen political observers in coffee and barber shops.
Even the way Joe III shakes the hands of well-wishers he meets in the sidewalks and barangays did not escape their strict scrutiny.
But now that Joe III is the acting city mayor, the soothsayers fear that Joe III might prove them wrong.
The sudden move of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to take a leave and entrust the reigns of the city government to the vice mayor less than 20 months before the 2019 elections, probably has sent shivers down the spine of Joe III’s critics.
It’s like allowing Joe III to have a “familiarity tour” on his next office, or giving him a chance to start building a bandwagon inside the fortress.
The longer on-leave Mabilog stays out of the city hall and the longer Joe III sits as acting capacity, the more these soothsayers will become uncomfortable.
What if lady luck would intervene and Iloilo City experienced a shock renaissance during Joe III’s reign?
As acting city mayor, Joe III, like Romulus, the twin of Remus, can conveniently use the opportunity to prove his critics that he is not what they think.
In terms of experience, Joe III has nothing to be ashamed of. In terms of competence, he is also notches higher being a lawyer and a long-time member of the city council before being elected as vice mayor.
The truth is nobody can claim exclusive right to govern Iloilo City as mayor. Nobody can claim that he or she is better than the other aspirants or wanna-bes.
The constitution does not state that one must at least be an orator, a philosopher, or a poet in order to become an elected public servant.
Even the much-ridiculed Mel Carreon can sit as city mayor if that’s what the Ilonggos want. Elected officials, after all, are chosen by the people, not by psychiatrists or political science professors.
It’s not a case of “too early for politics” if one political group will claim that it has the “majority of support from the mayors” in certain districts.
In politics, there is no “too early” and “too soon”. But there is such animal as “too late.”
In political combat, building of forces must start earlier–or, at least, immediately after the last elections.
That means losers in the recent elections aren’t supposed to be complacent and relax if they are still salivating for a rematch with their conquerors.
An early bird catches the worm, as the saying goes. Their are political worms though that worm their way to another group in the eleventh hour when the going gets tough and when wads of bills start to buy off loyalties and commitments.
That’s the nature of politics in the Philippine. Money always talks from start to end.
But there is no substitute if one starts to build up and get the commitments of those who can produce the votes today even if the next elections are miles away./WDJ