When Mayor Jerry Treñas announced through a press conference that he and his daughter, son and nephew will be running in identified key positions next elections leaving behind and without any allocation of a position for incumbent Lone District Representative Jamjam Baronda, a lot of Iloilo City residents were surprised and were left asking why. It was so sudden that several of their local leaders were only informed of the announcement a few hours prior.

I remember RMN Iloilo posting about the breakup between Treñas and Baronda the night before the presscon. IMT News failed to secure any confirmation as Treñas would not answer any requests for interview and confirmation. The camp of Baronda also toyed with the story until the next morning when they informed everyone that they will be releasing a press statement by noon time. True to what the Baronda camp said, an official statement was released around noon time.

Interestingly, it was the camp of Baronda that was first to react which immediately put the group of Treñas on the defensive end. I was closely observing how the two camps would counter and manage the story. It appears, the mayor was suddenly reduced to the size of a peanut when in fact, he was the bigger and much stronger political animal compared to the lady and neophyte legislator.

Worst, the Baronda group handled it with grace and finesse as they even called for unity instead of entertaining any political division since it is detrimental for the city. Treñas on the other hand apparently panicked. He hastily announced that his daughter will run for Congress while his son will stay as city councilor and his nephew is the second nominee of his party list, Uswag Ilonggo. He then declared that he will stay for the mayoral position.

The action of Baronda may only be tactical after all it was her who courted trouble after putting up her own candidates in the last Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections against the candidates of the mayor. But it’s entirely a different story. Her calm demeanor against the sudden announcement of the mayor made the latter look like a struggling political neophyte. Having the mayor declare his plan too early and how he intends to put up his whole family in key positions is distasteful.

I had a chance to speak to a senator about the unfolding event and HE actually was silent when I asked him if he found the declaration of Mayor Jerry in good taste. He just said, “So un-Jerry”.

Jamjam made Jerry look power hungry and greedy. In fact, a day after his announcement the mayor was too silent and was turned into a meek lamb. His social media team immediately posted positive vibes on his social media accounts instead. It was actually the first time I saw on his social media account praises about the daily heroic deeds of the city’s traffic enforcers. Call it PR management but the fact remains, his declaration was out of tune and a political disaster. Baronda meantime, maintained her silence which was in a way deafening. Could it be that Jamjam is ready for a face-off with Jerry?