“Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.” –Jon Katz
The real liabilities hounding candidate for Iloilo City mayor Pacita Gonzalez are not “disloyal” barangay officials supporting her estranged running mates, Iloilo City Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, but members of the “hutik-hutik brigade,” or whisper brigade, with no experience in political planning and organization but offering the candidate false hope and feeding her unrealistic expectations.
Some of these cretins probably came out of Gonzalez’ social circles and have constantly showered her with dazzling and bewitching adulation intended to massage her ego; as for their motives, one can only speculate.
Who convinced Gonzalez that she could beat current frontrunners incumbent Iloilo City Mayor Jose ‘Joe III’ Espinosa III and incumbent Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry Treñas? Who duped her into believing President Rodrigo Duterte would endorse her candidacy over two “former allies of Jed Patrick Mabilog?” Who brainwashed Gonzalez to believe a majority of political figures in Iloilo City that “benefitted” from her late husband Raul Gonzalez, Sr., who previously served as Iloilo City lone district congressman, would “never turn their back as a token of their appreciation?” Who got her to believe, since Treñas and Espinosa are brothers-in-law, it would open an opportunity for a third candidate? Who assured her the triumvirate with the two city councilors would last?
Gonzalez accepted all the sweet talk and thought those around her were the best political salespeople. She bought it all hook, line, and sinker and decided to run for mayor (and perhaps against the wishes of her son, former Iloilo City lone district Rep. Raul Gonzalez, Jr).
As for barangay officials, it is a waste of time to impeach their characters. Even if they were supporters of the late justice secretary, he is no longer around and not their candidate – times changes, as do loyalties. As far as the Gonzalez clan in concerned, many of these barangay officials are already considered “Judases” after Gonzalez’ loss to Mabilog in the 2010 Iloilo City mayoral race. Once out of power, her son was also dethroned by Treñas.
The Gonzalezes lost support from the barangays a long time ago (or three elections ago). You can’t kick out those who are already on the other side of the political fence.
Alex P. Vidal, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ