Like a breath of fresh air, Atty. Jaime R. Fresnedi or JRF as he is fondly called will take his oath of office as the Honorable Mayor of the City of Muntinlupa on July 1, 2013.
Probably the sweetest election victory ever for JRF, who came from humble beginnings and started his career in public service as municipal attorney (1986), municipal vice mayor (1986 – 1998) and Mayor (1998 – 2007).
In the run-off for the 2007 elections, his spouse ran for mayor but lost to Aldrin San Pedro (ASP), who himself rose from the ranks and started in politics as SK Federation President. In 2010, JRF again ran for mayor but also lost.
For the last 6 years with Mayor San Pedro at the helm, notwithstanding the fact that he made noticeable changes in the lives of many Muntinlupenos, he was continuously hounded by the perception that his father Thomas, a retired police officer, allegedly called the shots at City Hall and in jest earned him the misnomer of vice mayor.
The City of Muntinlupa is progressing in leaps and bounds, a fact that has not escaped the attention of many big businesses across the nation.
From a once sleepy and outlying town, Muntinlupa has emerged within the last 15 years as a community to reckon with now that it is host to large shopping malls, 5-star hotels, IT parks, industrial centers and hospitals – you name it, Muntinlupa has it.
That in spite of the city’s growing economy, we can find amongst and around the locality deep pockets of poverty and restlessness, a growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots, a fact that did not play well with the voters when the alleged mismanagement of public funds was brought to the fore in the last elections.
Ghost projects, undisclosed proceeds of a 2-billion plus peso loan and unexplained wealth hounded the San Pedro camp all throughout the campaign that his eventual loss became as clear as the handwriting on the wall even before the race begun.
As of today, the cases against Aldrin San Pedro, his vice mayor and most of the incumbent councilors are ongoing brought about by the details provided by an insider and who is now under the witness protection program of the Department of Justice.
Jaime Fresnedi’s victory may be sweet which is enough for many of the people of Muntinlupa, however caution should not be thrown to the wind for among his party mates, only 3 others made it to the list of winners excluding Pong Biazon who will serve as representative of the lone district of Muntinlupa.
Faced with the gargantuan task of making sense of the city’s finances, the challenge of weeding out of city hall of erring officials and employees, amidst an opposition city council, JRF needs all the help that he can get and not what everyone can get from him.
He has his work cut out for him and in spite of all these Muntinlupenos would always look at him as a ray of sunshine amidst the dark skies.
Like a breath of fresh air….