“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” –Epictetus
It appears the widow of late Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez, Sr. will have to campaign across Iloilo City’s 180 barangays by herself when the campaign period for the 2019 midterm elections officially begins. This will be the situation if Dr. Pacita Gonzalez is unable to iron out the kinks with her running mates, Iloilo City Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava.
Known as AlGoNa (Alim for Iloilo City lone district congressman, Gonzalez for mayor, and Nava for vice mayor), the triumvirate reportedly suffered an ugly mishap when Alim and Nava rejected Gonzalez’s order to kick out barangay officials who appeared to have lent their support to the two city councilors but not the mayoral candidate. Meanwhile, most barangay officials have reportedly already committed their support for other candidates for mayor, incumbent Iloilo City Mayor Jose ‘Joe III’ Espinosa III or incumbent Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry Treñas.
Gonzalez’ daughter, “Dr. Gold,” may have sensed something unusual with how barangay officials behaved when facing them and during background checks. Being well-aware her mother was willing to shell out for the entire team, she also wanted to make sure they were investing in the “right” barangay officials. However, Nava probably did not like Dr. Gold’s thinking, likening it to “paranoia” and “political immaturity.”
He and Alim refused to abandon the barangay leaders during that “crucial” moment.
With Gonzalez lagging in the polls (even before the purported split with Alim and Nava), it seems her fate was sealed from the start.
By the time she announced her candidacy last year, Espinosa and Treñas had already secured commitments from most barangay officials as their tug-of-war and backdoor maneuvering started before and after the previous barangay elections. In other words, most barangay official may have already been “well taken care of” by the other two candidates, leaving Gonzalez with nothing but crumbs.
In addition, Alim and Nava must’ve managed to “squeeze in” and secure the commitment of other barangay officials since, being incumbent city councilors, they have built-in bulwarks.
The most telling issue may be the bewilderment over where is the candidate’s son, former Iloilo City lone district Rep. Raul Gonzalez, Jr.? The mayoral aspirant’s campaign is wounded and her son has yet to surface. Instead, it is left to inexperienced and neophyte “Dr. Gold;” despite, given the former congressman’s experience in politics, his capability and expertise.
Is it possible that before any internal wrangling swept through the AlGoNa bandwagon, a more catastrophic internal rift was already boiling within the Gonzalez family?/WDJ