“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
ILOILO CITY mayoral candidate Pacita Gonzalez’s real liabilities are not the “disloyal” barangay leaders who were willing to support her estranged partymates, Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, but adamant to go all out for her.
They are the members of the “hutik-hutik brigada” or “whisper brigade” who have no expertise and background in political planning and organization, but were giving her false hopes and feeding her with unrealistic expectations.
Some of these cretins probably had popped out from Dr. Pacita’s social circles where she had been constantly showered with dazzling and bewitching perorations and adulation meant to massage her ego and otherwise.
As to their motives, we can only speculate.
The power of beso-beso.
In the first place, who convinced Dr. Gonzalez–or who gave her the silly idea she could handily beat front running candidates, Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III and Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas in a three-cornered (with due respect to other candidates) fight in the May elections?
Who duped her into believing that President Rodrigo R. Duterte might endorse her candidacy over the two “former allies of (former mayor) Jed Patrick Mabilog”?
Who brainwashed Dr. Gonzalez that majority of the political leaders in the metropolis’ 180 barangays who “benefitted a lot” from her late husband, former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. when the latter was still the congressman in Iloilo City’s lone district in the late 90’s, are still intact and “will never turn their back as a token of their appreciation to the late Gonzalez patriarch’s past benevolence”?
Who mesmerized her that because both Trenas and Espinosa are magbilas or brothers-in-law, their political feud will boomerang against them and benefit the third party candidate?
That because of the break-up, some confused and disappointed supporters of both Trenas and Espinosa III would shift to other candidates.
Who assured her that if she would tandem with the two incumbent city councilors (and form the AlGoNa triumvirate), the love affair will end in the altar and last ’till eternity?
For sure, Dr. Pacita swallowed all the sweet talks and umbrageous warranty from the braggarts she thought were the best political salespersons and analysts in the world hook, line, and sinker.
Thus she decided to run for city mayor (against the wishes of her son, former Iloilo City Rep. Raul “Jun” Gonzalez Jr?).
As to the barangay political leaders, it’s a waste of time and energy to impeach their characters.
Even if they used to be the late secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr’s most loyal and rabid supporters, the object of their political admiration and love is no longer around, or is not anymore the candidate.
Times have changed; people–including their loyalties and alliances–change, too.
Many of them have already turned as “Judases” to the Gonzalez family as manifested by the late secretary Gonzalez’s shocking defeat to Mabilog in the 2010 mayoral contest.
And once they were no longer in power (son Raul Jr. was also dethroned by Trenas for the city’s lone congressional district), most of those barangay political leaders have already jumped ship and embraced the new emperor.
The Gonzalezes have lost them a long time ago–or three elections ago.
You can’t kick out those who are already in the other political fence.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies)