TALISAY City Mayor Socrates Fernandez is a religious man and is not expected to curse when some incidents irritate him.

But with another incident involving his adopted son, Joavan, hitting the headlines, he must at least have pounded his table.

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For one, the incident involving a bike-riding couple, whose only fault was cruising a street while Joavan’s vehicle was around, happened a few weeks before the start of the campaign period.

And it would compound Joavan’s legal woes considering that he is merely out on bail--and people know how the mayor loves his son so much.

Politically and personally, the incident thus hit Brod Soc badly.

Dilemma

The only consolation for the mayor is that Rep. Eduardo Gullas has given him his support for his reelection bid in May.

Gullas’ support may allow him to scrape through against his strongest opponent, former Provincial Board member Raul Bacaltos, although that’s not a given.

Still the Joavan issue will hound the mayor throughout this campaign.

Fernandez could afford to be smug with Joavan’s previous scrapes with the law and defy public opinion by helping his son get out of jail.

But can he settle the latest complaint by doing what he did to the previous complainants against Joavan without inviting a political backlash?

When the previous controversies erupted, Brod Soc was safely sitting as mayor and his position was safe; this time around he wants to be given a fresh mandate.

He is therefore in a dilemma: should he let his personal intentions get the better of him and in the process sacrifice his reelection bid or should he place primacy on his political intentions and sacrifice Joavan?

Can there be a Solomonic solution for him on the matter?

Point

The issue can also put to test the maturity of Talisay voters.

Will they play blind to Joavan’s antics and, if in case the mayor fumbles in the handling of his son’s case, still give him another term of office?

Or will they give a message to whoever will hold the post of Talisay mayor that they should handle their personal problems with the interest of their constituents in mind?

How Fernandez will deal with Joavan’s latest caper is therefore one of the developments that even non-Talisay residents will find interesting in that city’s polls.

It will also determine the real nature of Fernandez as a leader, both of his political constituents and of those Catholics who look up to him as a respected “brother.”

And one point is certain here with regards to his possibly lending Joavan his hand now: damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.