By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
(Sheila May M. Martinez guest writes from under her hat this week — Ed)
“Good governance is good politics”, said Guest Speaker Hon. Gov. Mary Gracia Cielo M. Padaca on the 1st Northern Luzon Character Conference held here in Baguio at the Pines View Hotel, guided by the theme “Character Builds a Nation”.
This Character Conference aimed to gather politicians to discuss how to achieve good governance thru character building. It was a two day conference that gathered politicians, the academe and other local personalities. Invited speakers shared their experiences they believe built their person to be able to open the minds of other people. On the last day, Governor Padaca is the one who is chosen to be the guest speaker due to her exemplary character as a politician. The speakers shared their experiences to be able to open the minds of other people.
Gov. Padaca earned many awards including the 2004 People of the Year Award from People Asia Magazine. She is known not only here in the country but also internationally and even recognized as a “Woman of Courage” by the United States.
As a radio announcer at Bombo Radyo Isabela, she said she can see how the people get poorer everyday. She pointed out that power should not be solely to the politician, but rather for the people. She retired being an announcer and then gets a job connected to her degree as a Certified Public Accountant. After one year of being out in the radio industry, she filed her candidacy as a Congresswoman but then she lost due to the said “dagdag-bawas” by the opposition.
When her friends convinced her to run again, she finally said yes, but now it’s for the position of governor. Finally, she won the election. She said that being angry and frustrated because of what is happening around is not a solution, but rather someone must do something. By filing her candidacy, she said that at least she could have a peace of mind because she is tired of the political dynasty for so long in Isabela.
She further said that no good thing is left unrewarded. “Please do not get tired of doing good; nothing is useless”, she added. According to her, one signature of her can affect so many people and she can release millions. Padaca also added that those who should be placed in the position must have a conscience.
Gov. Padaca also said that if the people who are in the position is scared not to be re-elected again because of fighting against illegal doings like illegal logging and jueteng, then that’s not a good quality of a public servant.
She ended her speech saying that the government must gain the trust of the people again and fill them hope. The people in the position must provide the people the basis to trust the government again.
The character conference is such a success according to Councilor Galo D. Weygan because more than ten people attended the event because when it’s about character building, only few will attend.
The event ends with a thanksgiving prayer and some of the people responded with “amen” in almost every statement as a sign that they agree to the prayer that speaks of having good governance and that may the politicians and also the ordinary people build a rich character as a person. #