Iloilo council revamp hurts Mayor Espinosa; 2 kakampi nawala sa puwesto

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Political moves in Iloilo City have started early as two allies of Mayor Jose Espinosa III lost their chairmanships of committees in the city council following a revamp this week.

During the regular session on Oct. 9, Councilors Eduardo Peñaredondo and R. Leoni Gerochi were removed from their posts.

Behind the move were councilors identified with the camps of Espinosa’s rival Rep. Jerry Treñas and former Rep. Pacita Gonzalez (

At the session, Councilor Plaridel Nava declared vacant the positions of floor leader, assistant floor leader, chairmanship of the Committees on Rules, Ordinances, Resolutions, Style, Justice and Legal Affairs; Appropriations; Urban Planning, Housing and Land Development, Zoning, Expropriation, Assessment and Land Acquisition; and Transportation, Energy and Public Utilities.

Peñaredondo was removed as floor leader as well as chair of the committees on Rules, Appropriations, and Zoning.

Gerochi was removed as assistant floor leader and chairman of the transportation committee.

Voting in favor of the resolution were Nava, Jay Treñas, Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Armand Parcon, Ely Estante, Joshua Alim, Marie Irene Ong, and Leila Luntao.

Nava and Alim are with the Gonzalez group while the rest are identified with Treñas.

Nava said most of the council members “have lost their trust and confidence” in the leadership of Peñaredondo and Gerochi, adding the city council had “become a lapdog of the present administration.”

Nava became the new floor leader while Baronda became the assistant floor leader. Nava chairs three committees, except the Zoning committee which was given to Treñas.

While Tupas suggested that all positions should be declared vacant, Nava rejected this.

Meanwhile, Gerochi said he would relinquish his two other chairmanships in the Committee on Public Services, Environmental Protection and Ecology; and Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.

Peñaredondo said politics is behind the resolution, adding this stemmed from a “working alliance” between Nava’s camp and that of Treñas.

“The alliance is not absolute. In politics, there is nothing personal. You can always negotiate with your enemies,” he said.

Gerochi added he is no longer surprised with the movement as “everything is part of the dynamics of politics.”