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Mother Sol cares for our people

By: Jun Lira

The role of a chief executive or a governor is always associated with machismo which, in some cases, is coupled with a devil-may-care attitude that sometimes jeopardizes the welfare of the people. And this was proven a number of times when impulsive and war-freak LGU heads made hasty decisions which eventually led to tragic results like in the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident in Manila last year which resulted to the killing of eight (8) Hongkong nationals.

On the other hand, the role of a mother is always to provide a safe and secure home or environment for her children. She would always lay her life for the welfare of her family.

Yes, the role of a governor and that of a mother are miles away in comparison. But when a governor happens to be a mother herself, we always find that tough job being humanized and her decisions handed down only after a thorough circumspection.

Last Monday (October 3), Gov. Sol Matugas, a mother herself, had humanized the role of a governor by making a very tough decision in requesting for a SOMO (Suspension Of Military Operation) and thereby prevented bloodshed from an impending battle between government and rebel forces in Claver town after the latter had raided three mining companies and burned hundreds of equipments, machineries and properties worth three billions of pesos.

We understand the wisdom in the decision of the lady governor. She was not only successful in preventing a looming armed fight to escalate and victimize innocent civilians but, in the process, was successful in protecting the lives and welfare of the people of Claver as well.

And this is best described in the exclusive interview conducted by Fryan Abkilan, on DTI Provincial Director Celestino Negapatan, a member of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, which is quoted hereunder:

“Negapatan: She’s the governor and she has the moral and political ascendancy here. Anybody outside the province cannot make the decision because military decisions, apparently, are made outside the province. During the discussions there at the office of the governor, she was informed that there were “insertions.” There was a helicopter -- there were some skirmishes. She felt that her commitment to halt or prevent military operation, until the safety of the people in Claver are assured, was undermined by that operation -- by that decision to send in troops. She was trying to be very emphatic about her decision. On the other hand, my understanding was that Sec. Robredo was trying to justify also why the PNP/military had to take those actions. In fact, he said that Gen. Reynaldo Rafal was pinned down/ambushed in Kitcharao therefore it was natural to react and so on and so forth. But the governor emphasized that it’s not about Kitcharao, it was about Claver. The governor was very emphatic, so when she looked at us (we’re together with some of the members of the Crisis Management Committee), I agreed on her… She is a leader.”

“When I said she is a leader, I was looking at Board Member Simeon Castrence because, when I said that, he (Castrence) also said that it’s a conscience decision. That’s why I said she is a leader because a leader after all is concerned about her people -- that’s it! It was so evident the governor was really concerned of the welfare of the people in Claver. The safety of the people in Claver was the paramount consideration regardless of whether there was no military operation, there was no reaction, nothing. It’s the safety and you can gauge a leader by that kind of decision.”

Truly, Director Negapatan has best described the kind of a leader Gov. Sol Matugas is made of.

For us, what the lady governor did was a motherly act that would be treasured and would linger forever not only in the minds and hearts of our people in Claver but also to the entire people of our province as well.

After all, we know that her being a governor is only a temporary occupation while her mothering of our province is a lifelong commitment we now begin to cherish...

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