The most star studded oath taking rites of a municipal mayor and other town officials was witnessed last Friday in San Miguel town.
COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo, NBI National Director Dante Geirran and Transportation Security Administrator Arturo Evangelista graced the installation of lawyer Virgilio Mendez as the new town mayor of San Miguel. He succeeded his sister,Nunila Munila Mendez-Pinat.
Mendez is a former NBI national director.
San Miguel Mayor Mendez took his oath of office amidst an awestruck community who marked the solemn rites as a historic day.
Commissioner Aguinaldo personally flew from Manila to administer the solemn and fitting ceremonies as Mayor Mendez, Vice Mayor Bulaga Faustino Bulaga and the newly elected councilors formally assume their elected posts.
During his inaugural message, Mendez simplified his objective on why he decided to run for mayor by saying, he wants to see his hometown progress as he has personally witnessed how deprived are the people of government services.
On top of his agenda is to rally the Sangguniang Bayan’s support to reduce the cost water frin P50 per cubic to P30.
Likewise, he will embark in a medical program which will eventually be attending to the people’s health care which he finds a priority concern. The third concern which Mayor Mendez will prioritize is the agri development in his hometown.
Through his friends in Manila, he is providing no less than P1,000 school bags and school supplies to the graders.
The need to improve some roads in San Miguel will be one of his projects where he will seek the assistance from the national agencies including from Rep. Aris Aumentado who graced last Friday’s installation.
Former mayor Nunila Munila Mendez-Pinat, who completed a decorated term of service in the town distinguished herself with a leadership style borne out of years in community organizing and mobilization, while Mendez, dives into a tough and challenging mission to bring out the town’s potential and use it as a stepping stone to its dreamed development.
The older Mendez, however is no stranger to tough times.
Toughened by a kind of leadership honed by years of struggling to survive from an ordinary San Miguel couple: his father was a farmer and his mother: a school teacher, Mendez had to work hard and build a persistence coupled with strength of character that brought him to become a lawyer before joining the NBI in 1970.
Assigned in Region 10 in Mindanao, going after the crime syndicates as an investigator there proved to be a stepping stone for the man to pave his ascent to greatness.
Whetting his innate skills by getting into the renowned FBI Academy in the US, where only a handful of Filipinos have gone, Mendez peaked his hard-earned success by rising from the ranks of the NBI until he was appointed to lead the country’s top investigations bureau.
Homing to respond to the call to serve may be a huge personal sacrifice to the disciplined man.
After all, taking a 5th class town agricultural town by the horns and getting its reins ready for its much needed directions to inclusive development, with resources so scarce and complicated further by a community’s apathy, being a mayor here is not a task for the accomplished retiree.
But, faced with a fight that needs a visionary leader who will pat the entire town into shape by welding an era of discipline and creativity, Mendez knows the risks. But he is willing to bring the town there.
For his co-workers at the NBI and COA however, the task that faces Mayor Mendez is nothing compared to the innovations and the culture he brought to their offices.
For the man credited to be the Father of a modernized NBI and the guardian of the COA, solving a problem like San Miguel might be as simple for Mendez.
In his inaugural address, Mayor Mendez, who was supposed to read a prepared “guide,” simply slipped into an honest to goodness banter with his people: his first time to take the talk from his heart to the masses.
A Gawad galling Pook awardee for its municipal infirmary then, the new Mayor said among his first official acts by July would be to reorganize the Committee on Hospital, to come up with creative solutions to bring back the health services closer to the people of San Miguel.
Then he said he would sit down with Agriculture committee and brainstorm on the issue why the town is not as productive as it should. “I don’t want to hear that were helpless here, we need to come up with solutions, whatever these are,” he stressed.
Concerned with the alarming rate of accidents in the town streets, especially those involving minors driving without licenses, he urged the town council to back him up in a measure to regulate illegal driving and minimize accidents.
He also said he would put a premium on education, after all, he has already asked his friends to help him out in giving school bags and supplies to poor kids.