Charlotte, North Carolina– A new dawn has emerged over the horizon of my hometown of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental as its residents voted for change when they elected a new mayor and rejected its entrenched politican clan the Emanos.
It's quite unbelievable for long time Tagoloanons like myself but as the canvassers worked overtime to finish the tabulation of votes it's beginning to look like a victory for Gomer “Enan” Sabio.
With a lead of less than a thousand votes, “Kakap” as Mayor-elect Enan Sabio is known had been declared winner and his supporters as well as residents of Tagoloan cheered for him and for an end to nearly four decades of iron-fisted rule by the Emano clan.
When the municipal hall was under the Emanos, its rule was divided among brothers and nephews with the cousin, outgoing mayor Hickert Emano, as the last family member to hold power.
Hickert, first cousin of incumbent Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano—who as of this writing is headed for a win over former mayor and congressman Julio Uy—will become the only Emano who lasted for only one term of three years.
Mayor-elect Enan Sabio is the son of the late Aristotles “Teling” Sabio and the grandson of Iya Kikay, matriarch of the Sabio-Valdehueza families.
Kakap is the incumbent chairman of Barangay Natumolan and served the village for years without collecting his honoraria, using the money instead to help his constituents.
Kakap is credited with solving Natumolan's garbage problem by forging an alliance with Mayor Juliette Uy. Now that I've written my introduction for Kakap, I wish to go direct to the problems besetting Tagoloan for years now.
My apologies to the mayor-elect for this, since I know that he will go down in history as the man who defeated a political dynasty in Tagoloan. But these problems need resolution immediately.
Firstly, I congratulate the Tagoloanons for waking up from their four-decade apathy and indifference to the Emano dynasty's draconian grip over Tagoloan Municipal Hall.
Politics being toxic in my hometown due to the Emanos causing dissension among families and friends, I've not set foot in the municipal hall for years without feeling some goosebumps.
Being an elected official—either mayor, governor, legislator or president—means you are not an official for a select few but a public official for all. And among the first tasks of an elected official upon assuming office is to identify and resolve the biggest problems facing your constituents and forging a united front from all stakeholders.
The problems facing Tagoloan as far as I can see are the following:
1. Water supply: This is such a basic service that it need not be set aside and overlooked. If need be the Tagoloan municipal government should review the contract with Mactan Rock to see why the water fees are exorbitant and yet the service is lousy. Why the outgoing mayor failed to resolve this with all his power at his disposal is beyond me.
There is an existing Tagoloanon Water Works company and what had it done to resolve the water supply and distribution problem? Nothing and the outgoing administration is precisely that, zero accomplishments. Was there a loan contracted by the local government? Please review.
2. Waste disposal–Garbage disposal in Tagoloan became a political issue no thanks to outgoing mayor Hickert Emano resenting the arrangement made between Sabio and Uy to resolve Natumolan's garbage problem. At the height of the Emano's iron rule in Tagoloan, the younger Emano made sure that only those allied or supporters of the purple/violet Emano clan can dispose of garbage on the makeshift dump site which is actually a dump truck at the back of the public market. I need not remind Tagoloanons and anyone who passed by the municipal hall that the trees there don't bear fruit but cellophane wrappers.
3. Infrastructure: I refer to, among many other things, the road near the backyard of my house in El Mundo which remains dusty and crater-like rocky. My family and I along with residents there had long given up hope for its repair and had implored Divine Intervention to address this. Maybe Sabio was God's answer to our prayers, I can only pray it to be so.
To say it’s a private road is pure BS because even high school dropouts know the government's power of expropriation upon payment of just compensation. Also, exacerbating the problem is the use of the road by big trucks owned by businesses there.
These are just some of the problems in Tagoloan that the incoming mayor should solve immediately. In the meantime, Mayor-elect Sabio can savor his victory over outgoing mayor Hickert as he ended the four-decade rule of the Emano clan over Tagoloan.
I'm not saying that the Emanos didn't do anything for Tagoloan but their rule is marked by patronage politics. If they did serve their mandate Tagoloan could have become more than what it is now.
Again congratulations to Mayor-elect Sabio and I enjoin every Tagoloanon to support his administration for their future. I pray and hope for a better Tagoloan (For questions and comments please email at email@example.com)