Monday, 1st September 2014

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By: Limuel S. Celebria

THERE MUST be something in the centuries old walls and temple of Angkor Wat that inspires people to do battle. The place is familiar even to those who have not been to Cambodia because it has been a favorite location for movie shoots, particularly for fight scenes like that of Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat.

Iloilo Press Club President Rommel Ynion was a recent visitor to Angkor Wat having been part of the Philippine media delegation that covered President Benigno Aquino’s State Visit to Cambodia which hosted the 2012 ASEAN Summit. In a souvenir shot of the Temple, Ynion struck a fighting pose even as he declared war on Iloilo’s enemies of press freedom.

It seems the Holy Week break only served to further fan the flames of that fighting mode by declaring he may run for mayor of Iloilo City. In a surprising facebook post yesterday, Ynion said “I have been burdened with the moral duty to present another option to all Ilonggos:  With the absence of any other leader determined to lead us out of darkness and into the light of hope and progress, I am afraid I will eventually be forced to run for mayor myself.”

Ynion made the declaration after learning that Iloilo 4th dist Rep. Ferj Biron has apparently declined efforts to persuade the solon for mayor of Iloilo City. Rep. Biron is already in his 3rd consecutive term and is barred by law from running anew for Congress.

Ynion, a highly successful businessmen, with numerous investments and interest in key capital cities around the world, is a reluctant non-politician but has been a consistent critic of the present city administration. Despite proddings from various sectors for him to run, Ynion has been scanning the city’s political horizon for a likely candidate against the incumbent city mayor against whom many charges for corruption have been filed, particular the over-priced new city hall building. The mayor has also been linked to the murder of broadcaster Lito Jimena and the shooting of radioman Kapid Gabio.

It had become a difficult, frustrating search, admitted Ynion who had been meeting with the opposition to discuss this dilemma, in particular, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and former USEC Larry Jamora.

Ynion’s full fb post.  Now that Ferj Biron has already rejected offers for him to run for mayor of Iloilo City, I have been burdened with the moral duty to present another option to all Ilonggos. With the absence of any other leader determined to lead us out of darkness and into the light of hope and progress, I am afraid I will eventually be forced to run for mayor myself. God forbid, if nobody else will rise to the occasion, I will have to sacrifice all my businesses abroad, trudge against lonely and costly battles, and fight bare-knuckled against the Evil Empire which we have to tear down at all costs not only for the sake of good governance that will be enjoyed by the present generation of Ilonggos, but also of a brighter and corruption-free future for our children and our children's children, both born and yet unborn.

This declaration is expected to generate yet another round of controversy following Ynion’s earlier declaration that was seen as April Fool joke. Ynion himself earlier admitted that his actions were some form of “saber rattling” to provoke a response and thus get a feel of the city’s political pulse. Apparently he liked the responses.

On the way to Cambodia, Ynion met with Senator Manny Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party. Ynion said he will be inducted into the NP and may carry the NP’s banners in Iloilo City come the election of 2013.

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