By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Monday urged all candidates in the 2022 local elections to ease the banter as the May 9 polls get closer with only 32 days left to campaign and 34 days left for Ilonggos to make their choices.
In a press conference, Treñas responded indirectly to tirades thrown by local opposition candidates and their supporters against him and his Team Uswag slate.
He also mulled the possibility of the city being identified as a hotspot area of the Commission on Elections, although he clarified that the matter “depends” on the concerned authorities.
Treñas called on all candidates and their supporters, including those on his side, to calm down, saying that the polls should not be a thing to die for.
He added that those who may not be so lucky in the elections can still help the city in other ways.
He also pointed to the varied options by Iloilo City residents, saying that everyone would have the power to choose this May, and adding further that he couldn’t wait for the season to be over because of the current weather.
“I call on other candidates, the election is just one day. After the elections, we are still Ilonggos, living here in the city. You have to rethink about what you have been doing, that the elections should not be dying for. People have been looking for where to help, and they can help in those areas,” the mayor said.
“Everyone has a choice in this election. That is why it is called an election, because everyone has a choice. If you don’t want to have a choice, it would be called a selection. For me, I want this election to be done. I actually have a countdown timer here because I am hurrying because it’s currently hot, and it’s been difficult to campaign in the hot weather,” he joked.
But Treñas also took potshots at his closest opponent in the race, broadcaster Jun Capulot, saying that he was calm because the latter had less chances to win.
He added that he would still be going around, campaigning nevertheless, as it is an opportunity to take note of his achievements in government and to lay down his plans for the city.
“For me, at least, the [leading] opponent is very far, at least my head is like a refrigerator, but I still go around because during election time, people will want to see you, touch you, and hear about your plans for the city. I think I can stand on what I’ve been able to do for the city, before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and after the pandemic,” Treñas said.
He also took a jab at Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon’s rival in the vice mayoral contest and Capulot’s running mate, Khayzer Jadulos, by implying that the incumbent “has it in the bag”.
“I am very happy that the election is near. It’s very difficult to campaign because of the hot [weather]. Vice Mayor [Ganzon] has it better because [his contest] is peaceful. [Ganzon] is just singing to his opponent. If I was a good singer, then I would just sing,” Treñas said during the city government’s Monday flag ceremony.
The mayor is running on the National Unity Party ticket line, against Capulot of the People’s Reform Party, and independent Vicente Ang.