Many well-meaning quarters believe that the rabid capitol criticsâ€™ â€œdouble standardâ€ reactions to Gov. Edgar Chattoâ€™s honor among the countryâ€™s model governorsÂ clearly show that his detractors are confused.
They detected that while the harsh critics praised highly the performance of the Bohol police command which has consistently topped in the region, they refused to acknowledge capitolâ€™s strong support, enabling effort.
Even local officials belonging to other political parties felt they could not excuse the vocal detractors for refusing to accept the fact that Gov. Edgar Chatto has done satisfactorily on the anti-drug war.
They agreed that the critics must realize that with Chattoâ€™s inclusion in the list of the 10 best governors in the country, how many local chief executives nationwide must have flunked in the strict three-phase national screening and validation.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said outstanding city and municipal mayors will also be named, their rolls likewise determined by the yardsticks that include how relentless they are in the war on drugs.
The governorâ€™s leadership of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) thru a strong multi-sectoral collaboration has enabled the intensified war on drugs and other criminal forms.
With the police and other law enforcers at the action front, Bohol under Chatto has recorded an anti-drug accomplishment better than records of the past.
The governor has consistently supported the law enforcement agencies and driven the private sector stakeholders in the PPOC and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) to engage.
YetÂ some people who want to see the Bohol leader falling down have kept on undermining the impact of his successful efforts, observers noted.
Chatto has repeatedly emphasized the need for broadest active community involvement in what he calls â€œrowing the boat of governance to achieve best results.â€
Critic columnist Dandan Bantugan mentioned of Chatto’s belonging to a dynasty and facing a case at the Sandiganbayan.
Observers note that a lawyer by profession, Bantugan knew that the governor has no pending case at Sandiganbayan after the joint venture case was dismissed by the said anti-graft court.
He chorused with the rants of others in the anti-Chatto camp who would sneer at the honor list, which was made by the DILG in the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
DILG Sec. Ismael Sueno had clearly explained when Ilocos Norte Gov Imee Marcos and Isabela Gov Faustino Dy landed in the honor list that they may indeed belong to political clans but, on their own merit, they are outstanding local chief executives.
As leaders, they have shown exemplary performance in the relentless drive against drugs and lawlessness, good governance, transparency, business competitiveness and disaster management, the secretary said.
There are trying to resuscitate the water-power development joint venture caseÂ although thatÂ was already dismissed by the Sandiganbayan, including their two reconsideration motions, according to other observers.
The same case had long earlier been dismissed by the Regional Trial Court, Court of Appeals and Ombudsman.
Anti-Chatto people said that since Bohol tops in the number of drug surrenderers, then it follows that drug proliferation here is also among the highest and, thus, proves the undoing of the governor.
Disgusted by this line of thinking, a female mall worker commending the provinceâ€™s anti-drug campaign asked, â€œIf that is the case, then should a lawyer who defends a drug suspect be called a drug protector?â€
Although she asked not to be named, she challenged any lawyer-critic of the provincial administration to answer her.
A college student, who also asked not to be named, assailed the â€œtwistedâ€ claim and allegation of another Chatto critic, Salvador Diputado, also a lawyer, that the governor offered to supply names of narco-politicians to the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The student said it has been long known that the governor, as a policy, encouraged all local officials and well-meaning Boholanos who may have received drug-related information to refer, not supply, the same to the proper agencies for validation.
This is precisely because Chatto is himself a victim of a grave smear campaign falsely and maliciously labeling the Bohol leader as a drug protector and he hates innocent others victimized ,too.
Further, he said, by insinuating that the governor is supplying names, Diputado is like starting a rumor that Chatto is making his own list and the source of his own information which he will then refer to the PNP or PDEA for whatever intent he only knows.
This is a dangerous joke that supposedly responsible people like Diputado, a mediaman at that also, should rethink many times before doing, the student said.
Correcting the wrong impression, Police Provincial Director Felipe Natividad clarified that Bohol was awarded for having the most number of surrenderers precisely because of the earnest â€œtokhangâ€ campaign in this part of the country.
Asking people who were into drug trade and substance abuse to come out so they could have appropriate help or treatment must obviously succeeded, the police official said.
He saidÂ numerous surrenderers should be viewed positively,inÂ that the campaign has generated the support of the people—and the families and friends of the surrenderers.
It should not be taken to mean that Bohol has the highest drug problem in the region, Natividad said.
In his first appearance to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Friday, Natividad said that his goal is to declare Bohol drug-free because it is his and provincial leadershipâ€™s intention.
Bohol has been consistently cited for its relentless drive against illegalÂ drugs , with outstanding results recognized by regional and national law enforcement agencies.
A week ago, the PPOC passed separate resolutions congratulating the governor for his being among the country best as validated and named by the DILG and the Bohol PNP and BJMP as the best in the region.
The same principle applies to Chattoâ€™s enviable honors as the countryâ€™s only elected public official who was conferred the two highest awards from the Civil Service Commission—the Lingkod Bayan Award in 2000 and Dangal ng Bayan Award in 2011.Â ( with reportÂ from Ven rebo Arigo)