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Mandate to Our Next Naga Mayor

This early, we voters should be pro-active and also lay our cards on the table, as it were, on what we would like our next Naga Mayor to do or to be. Remember, we the People are the boss, and the mayor and all other elected officials should only seat in office as our public servants. Regardless of their platform or plans, if any, still we need to air out the mandate we want them to fulfill. Democracy, after all, is to effect the people's will.

For my part, I have three basic suggestions, to wit:

1. Reach out to unite all of Naga and Bikol. Robredo has sadly turned out to be in the end a divisive mayor, attacking every critic, our Church and even the Ateneo, given his paranoia for power. A mayor should be the father of all Nagueños and by extension, of all Bikol, since Naga is the Heart of Bikol. Naga cannot be reduced to a mundane "Maogmang Lugar" or place for worldly pleasures, which obviously runs counter to our most cherished patrimony as the seat of Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Remember, our devotion is a gift from our ancestors and antedates the creation of the city, and this deserves respect for it is an integral, if not, a driving component of Naga as a city and all Bikolanos as a People. And our devotion's tercentenary this year could very well be a uniting grace so we can all move forward away from the politics of division and patronage towards a greater sense of Peoplehood.

2. Position Naga for Bikol development. Naga cannot remain an inward-looking, isolated enclave as Robredo has made it to be. Whatever progress or awards you achieve will be unsustainable as recently shown by the failing marks of Robredo's administration following global standards. To illustrate, around the nation and even in other countries, Naga's "Maogmang Lugar" is nothing and it's corny actually. And to Governor Villafuerte's credit, it has been "CAMSUR" that has stuck in people's minds. Like it or not, there's no politics here between "Maogmang Lugar" and "CAMSUR"; just plain business fact. Ask around, if you will. Indeed, enough of the Robredo-Villafuerte politics that has colored our elections and lack of development for decades already. Verily, just consider the issue of airport development: Naga or Bikol for that matter has yet to have its own international airport while Iloilo (with Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara) and Bacolod (with Silay) have long had theirs. No wonder, we've been called the "tambay" capital of the Philippines.