Be truthful to the good man, Joe III

By Alex P. Vidal

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”—Dennis Prager

IF you meet former Iloilo City mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III anywhere in Iloilo City nowadays, give him a hug and shake his hands. He is a good man.

If you love him, tell him the truth in his face. Don’t give him false hopes.

If you care for him, be sincere when striking a conversation with him over a cup of coffee at La Paz Public Market’s Madge Café, where he is a regular habitue.

Don’t pretend you care for the former city mayor, who had served as city councilor and vice mayor under four city mayors: Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon, Mansueto “Mansing” Malabor, Jed Patrick Mabilog, and Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas, when you don’t.

Of course, only those who don’t like him will avoid him like rinderpest. But he is a good man, and we must presume he is likable even if he isn’t an incumbent elected official.

If we see imminent danger for someone and we do nothing, we become accessories to his pain and vicissitude.

If we anticipate his downfall and nonetheless continue to dupe and take him for a ride, we become collaborators and there’s blood in our hands.


If you don’t have the moral courage and aren’t prepared yet to tell him the truth for fear of “hurting” him, at least don’t hoodwink Atty. Joe III.

Truth that hurts but spoken with all candor and sincere intention is better than sugar-coated lies meant to mesmerize and tantalize.

Since he is a candidate for the city’s lone congressional district and will challenge incumbent Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda in the May 9, 2022 local election, now is the right time to be truthful to the good man, who is always “comfortably ahead in the surveys.”

As a reasonable and smart person, Atty. Joe III knows how to listen to reasonable and sensible pieces of advice and constructive criticism.

If they mislead him and allow him to climb up into the banana tree and, once he is up there, chop down the tree, they’re not only dishonest but cruel and inhuman.


Migs Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda are among the senatorial candidates in the May 9, 2022 election who should be dumped by the voters.

In their TV commercials, they think the Filipino people are fools and ignorants who owe them debts of gratitude.

Salamat Migs…,” screams one political infomercial (and to think it isn’t yet officially a campaign season). Salamat or thank you for what?

Migs and other jackasses aspiring for reelection should be the ones to be thankful to the people for electing them into office despite their incompetence and lack of sincerity to lift Juan dela Cruz from the nadir and sinkhole.

Migs and his fellow chumps should be ashamed to assume that Juan dela Cruz was indebted to them for whatever pubic service they have done.

In the first place, they were paid with taxpayers’ money and pampered by a corrupt bureaucracy like privileged kings and queens and weren’t slaves.

Nang dahil kay Joel…” and “Nang dahil kay Loren…” trumpet another political infomercials.

Nang dahil or because of Joel and Loren for what?

It should be “nang dahil” or because of the votes of the people why they were there in the congress’ upper and lower chambers.

The reason why the Philippines continues to slide in the economic chart and doesn’t rise above the poverty level is because of useless politicians like Migs, Loren, Joel, Sherwin, Greg, among others, who have no qualms heaping praises to themselves first to ensure their election win, but neglecting the true state of the nation and ignoring the real roots of the Filipino people’s age-old burdens and deprivation.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)