Mayor says a disaster is in the offing in Mati City


By Anthony S. Allada

MATI CITY – A disaster is in the offing once the allies of Governor Corazon Malanyaon and big-time mining players would succeed to conquer the city hall.

This was the fear raised by Mayor Michelle Rabat, who was left alone in her reelection bid, after her relationship with Malanyaon and other provincial officials turned sour following several disagreements including her no mining policy in the city.

Rabat said that she remained firm on her stance to make the city a no-mining zone despite criticisms from several sectors, especially those in favor of the mining industry.

“I stand by my policy not to allow these mining opportunists to exploit the mineral-rich but landslide-prone areas in the city. We would not allow to sacrifice several lives of hapless small-scale miners just for the vested interest of few big-time mining players,” she said.

She said she still believes that majority of Matiños are supportive of her anti-mining policy but feared that they could be tempted of the money offered to them during the run-up of the elections with less than two more weeks left already.

Rabat said her rivals are known to be using dirty politics during elections and it is possible that this time around they will exhaust all means to beat her in the mayoral race in favor to her cousin, Vice Mayor Carlo Rabat.

She said “Mati City is not for sale” to mining companies and she will not allow it to happen as long as she is still the city mayor.

“But once they are successful of their evil plans, this city is turning into a disaster and we are expecting that these mining operators could already be unstoppable to destroy our mountains,” she said.

The mayor is running with her younger brother, incumbent Board Member Eric Rabat under the Liberal Party (LP) while Carlo has City Councilor Glenda Rabat as his running-mate under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)

Malanyaon is a member of the Nacionalista Party of Sen. Manny Villar who is allied with the LP. Despite this though, she opted to support UNA’s bet in Mati City.

It can be recalled that six years ago, Michelle Rabat, Malanyaon and Rep. Thelma Almario joined forces to unseat then Governor Ma. Elena Palma Gil. But the harmonious relationship between the “Tres Marias” turned sour few years back.

Differences in policies and politics is said to be the reason the three powers that be in Davao Oriental drifted apart.

People close to Mayor Rabat said the sweet relationship between the mayor and the governor started turning sour at a time the cityhood of Mati is being questioned before the Supreme Court.

Malanyaon allegedly demanded share from the city’s real property tax at a time when Mati City was having a hard time managing its finances due to the reduction of its Internal Revenue Allotment from the national government.

This despite the fact that when Mati was still enjoying its IRA as a city, the City Government was in full support of the Provincial Government. Mati receives roughly about P500 million as their IRA share while the entire province of Davao Oriental has only abut P700M IRA.

This and many other differences on issues like mining and logging have wedged the conflict between Mayor Rabat and Governor Malanyaon further.

The separation was officially declared on April 2 when the governor attended the “Team Mati” proclamation of Carlo and Glenda Rabat. (ASA)



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