First and for all, I am obliged to extend my congratulation for winning the mayoralty seat of our humble municipality somewhere here in Eastern Visayas. So cheers for 3 more years of public service, and maybe perhaps another 3 should fortune favors your way. You are once again living up to your monicker as a true king of our town. The King or The King from the North or maybe The King of the North (with matching opening hymn of Game of Thrones)! That’s so cool mayor.
But forgive me Your Highness, I believe I must confess for I
have sinned did not vote for you in the elections. But don’t worry mayor I’m just a single vote and it’s not really going to affect anything from your total tally even if I voted a thousand times, it still would not be enough. But the race was tight right? I heard you lose some grounds on some key precincts or even key barangays around the town proper. I guess you expected it as you focused your campaigns on the mountainside and the hinterlands (not along THE controversial river). And by the time your campaign reaches it’s climax into the very heart of the town, you put some serious truckloads of people just to make the meeting de avance look like a sold-out concert. Oh I was there, and I thought where am I? Who are these people?
My point here is certainly not to complain why you won because you really did win (fair and square), nor to accuse you of vote buying, nor to put you in a harms way in front of anyone who’ll read this. I just want to tell you, as a townspeople to a tribal leader, that you may have won the election but in the hearts of many you are losing so much support, loyalty and trust from us your constituents. Listen, there’s no denying you are our King, mighty and strong, but we don’t want to see a King without a throne (or a Town Hall to be precise), who lacks control and respect from the people and most importantly a King who doesn’t know how to rule properly.
Now lets focus on the reasons of your not-so-pleasant love affair with the People:
The Quarry – The People Is Not a Big Fan of your decision to allow a large scale quarrying operation. We don’t want businessmen and foreign investors taking away tons and tons of our sand and gravel from the Salug River (which is by the way very close to the town proper) with their big toys (i.e.
your their dumptrucks, payloaders, crushers and whatever the hell those equipment are called) hovering around our river and in our streets like giant sentinels in X-men. We are pissed, yes, and we are fucking scared of their guns, of their influence, and their ability to suck the life out of our lands and river. And to sum it all, You Mighty King from the North allowed it to operate. Never-mind the rumors that you and one of your lieutenants councilors has some business interest on it, never mind the DENR report that the quarrying is actually “good” for the river, and never mind what you’ve said in the meeting de avance that you could face prison sentence if you try to stop IT (as if we know nothing about bureaucracy). You signed their Business Permits mayor, because they said the quarry is a sign of progress but to us it meant you allowed destruction to happen in our hometown.
The House – We all know that you are from North, up there where the river runs through beautifully, cold and pure (lovely ladies out there too ^_^), you may have owned a house and a few lands out there. But we all know too that you are building (present tense) two houses, all while you are still seating on your throne for a term in three years? You even claimed that beautiful looking two-storey house only cost P.5 Million (half million not 5 million). My God, I don’t know if that’s a form of showing-off luxury or a display arrogance or just plain stupidity but for God’s sake there’s an unwritten rule in politics that never build a house while you’re still in the seat. People will talk, of course that’s our right, and subjects like ill-gotten wealth is such a hot topic.
The Throne – Oops sorry to hear that there’s currently no throne for you to sit upon, our Municipal Hall just got demolished mere weeks before the election (I wonder why are there so many infrastructure projects during elections?). And you can only imagine how our jaw dropped when our beloved town hall went down to the ground. Oh Your Highness, we loved that building and we are proud of it. But you chose to destroy it because you got yourself a piece of paper from DILG that merits good housekeeping? Good Housekeeping mayor, not House Destruction. It’s not even worth millions of pesos of grant to construct another building, but rather it’s just another paperwork for a goddamn LOAN (Utang ba). A loan to construct another Town Hall, when we already had a great one. A loan which
your kingdom the townspeople will have to pay for years and years to come. And the last time I looked at the Kingdom’s Financial Statements.. there are still MILLIONS of outstanding loans; unpaid and demandable.
Ok, I have to stop there because those are the major issues your reign faces and have to settle with in the next three years. Nevermind the issues of inefficiencies, ineffectiveness and general lack initiative for progress.. those are not issues I like to tackle but it’s for the People to judge. That’s your problem too.
But listen mayor, I am not here to criticize your administration, I only narrated those issues that’s been plaguing your governance and maybe perhaps to offer you some perspective. I am not your enemy, nor my parents, nor my family nor the thinking class of citizens I represent because we too are public servants – paid and entrusted to promote progress and help create a better life for the community. We too have our issues, we have our vices and ugly sins that we have to live with. But hey, Nobody’s perfect! Sometimes the best and the worst things in life are not the ones from the past, but in the promise and hope that we can do a lot better in the future. And that future starts now Mayor.
We can still win back the trust of the people. We can still stop the imminent destruction coming from the quarry. We can still make a better future for the townspeople. “We” means you Sir, me, the private sector, the professionals, the businessmen, the farmers, the students, the tambays, the vendors and everyone under your reign. And you know what? It’s starts with the word “Political Will“, and it asks you personally: “How passionate are you to help the town? How much do you want it? How ready are you to face the adversities and the critics? How strong are you to become the leader our hometown needs and deserves?” It could never ask you “How much money are we going to take?”
Dear mayor, your quest for redemption starts now. Today I saw you and the people around me saw you with dismay, betrayal and perhaps a trace of hatred and disappointment. But that can still change, a mayor’s legacy isn’t judged in the first 3 years of his reign, it is counted by how much you’ve done for the people, how much good works paved the way, how much money you put in the treasury (not in your pocket, obviously) and to how much progress you’ve given into our homeland. We have six years to fix things up.
Tonight I will curse no more “Mayor, mayor what have done?”, for tomorrow I will ask you “Mayor, mayor what can we do to our hometown?”