“To admit you want to have a comeback means you have to admit you weren’t what you were supposed to be. You dropped below your own standard.”—Marilyn Manson
NEWARK, New Jersey – If luck would have it, 74-year-old Vicente “Bugok” Ramirez, former mayor of Lambunao, Iloilo in the Philippines, might recapture the municipal hall in 2019.
In the first two months of 2018, Ramirez’s political camp has scored a mind-blowing “triple whammy” against the formidable Gonzales political hierarchy.
In January, the Ombudsman suspended Vice Mayor Cesar Gonzales and fined former mayor Reynor Gonzales for receiving transportation allowance despite using government vehicles.
Both Gonzaleses were Ramirez’s tormentors: Cesar beat him for vice mayor in 2016 and Reynor whipped him in the mayoral race in the previous elections.
In February, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division disqualified Mayor Jason Gonzales for failing to meet the one-year residency requirement.
The ousted mayor is former mayor Reynor’s son.
Before the Gonzaleses reigned supreme in Lambunao politics, Ramirez was the town’s sensational and veritable political kingpin.
In fact, he was Lambunao’s longest-serving chief executive until Reynor, a former police general, defrocked him and ended the myth Ramirez had established for a long period of time.
Ramirez’s political supremacy was never the same again after the Reynor Gonzales debacle.
In the succeeding elections thereafter, he could not win anymore against any Gonzales in a one-on-one duel.
Ramirez went back to farming when he sensed politics could no longer put him back in the totem pole of political demigods.
Mayor Jason Gonzales has appealed the Comelec verdict, but the issue has put a dent on their family’s political invincibility in one way or the other.
Even if Mayor Gonzales can win his appeal, the specter of disqualification case will continue to haunt him for the rest of his incumbency.
The recent turn of events has sparked renewed interests among Ramirez’s followers to toy with the idea of reviving his mothballed political career suspecting that the Gonzaleses are now limping.
SOME jaded politicians who are using the social media to hit back at their critics are wasting their time and are only doing themselves more harm as a result.
When they panic and rant in social media when their attention is being called over a certain subject matter with social relevance and public interest, they expose themselves as crybabies and not worthy of the position they hold.
When they are being criticized they must welcome it and even thank their critics; that means they are doing their job.
If nobody has noticed them that means they are useless and non-performers; if nobody has criticized them that means they have not made an impact on the community that they serve.
Only immature and onion-skinned public officials cannot appreciate the wisdom of constructive criticism.
I empathize with Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, son of the late Sen. Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon, one of the original pillars of the condemned Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.
He appeared to be the lone voice in the wilderness as he sobbed in their regular session a week ago while appealing to delay the grandstand’s demolition until its new location has been constructed.
Vice Mayor Ganzon probably did not want even King Kong and Godzilla to touch the grandstand with a ten-foot pole if only to preserve the memory of his illustrious father.
Even the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has noted that the cultural heritage and the natural heritage are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay but also by changing social and economic conditions which aggravate the situation even more.