Another lady is the governor; leads apparently in effective transition
Vice Governor, then, Ma. Mimietta S. Bagulaya may not have dreamed to become top executive for the province of Leyte. But the political environment of Leyte in recent months has painted that unexpected picture portrayed before Leyte constituents, when then Governor Carlo Jericho Loreto “Icot” Petilla began tagging along his younger brother Dominic in all his regular sorties via the Icot-Icot Sa Barangay, the ICOT-P, a program for secondary students who cannot proceed college education because of financial inadequacy, and other development–oriented sorties the governor did in all his 3-year term as top man of Leyte’s officialdom. This and many other programs are now living legacies Icot leaves that are proven beneficial to Leyteños.
A governor-in-waiting Dominic L. Petilla will surely continue with these activities with some innovations for sure, and probably introduce new approaches to development will be underway in support to that acclaimed approach towards that same objective – “to sincerely serve the people” a battle cry of the Petillas that was started by former Governor “Polding” Petilla, Matin, now mayor of Palo, former 1st district congresswoman down to Icot’s term.
In all these developments of the Petillas hold on to power and political influence, they had Bagulaya who ably performed as an outstanding, able and an effective supporting cast in all of these endeavors that reaped success.
At the near-end of Gov. Remedios “Matin” Petilla’s 3rd term, she wanted someone who would share her compassion for real effective and sincere governance all manifested and clearly showed during her incumbency as governor, she thought of her son Icot, then a successful businessman primarily involved in information technology whose business operations even extended up to New York in the USA. Indeed Mother knows best.
There was a kind of reluctance earlier on the part of the young Petilla but he caved in after so much prodding.
Engr. Nestor “Ganggang” Villasin, who hails from Barugo the incumbent vice governor then was supposed to be Icot’s running mate, but Villasin had another plan to run for Congress in the 2nd district of Leyte, (it did not materialize though) so Icot tasked his mother to explore the political fields who to tap as his running mate.
So in one significant encounter via an informal meeting among friends Gov. Matin met Mimiette who was then actively involved in a non-government organization, offered the vice governor slot, the running mate of Icot. She accepted the offer and both got elected in that May 2001 elections. She confessed however that she had limited resources for the campaign but she will always be thankful to the Petillas for their support to win that election with Icot.
Re-elected for three uninterrupted terms together with Gov. Icot Petilla, the unexpected event happened. Governor Icot was appointed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III as Department of Energy Secretary.
Governor Icot accepted the appointment and by virtue of the law on succession, Vice Governor Ma. Mimietta S. Bagulaya assumed the post as provincial governor of Leyte.
Who is Governor Ma. Mimietta S. Bagulaya?
She is a public official whose impressive credentials are not so publicly known to many but only among her few friends and acquaintances.
She has earned citations to include Outstanding Vice Governor awarded to her by the Vice Governor’s League of the Philippines in March 2007.
She is likewise one of the first national recipients of the Bay-I citation for Exemplary Women in Politics and Governance specifically on participative Governance and Democracy. She has earned that rare accolade to become the first lady Vice Mayor of Tacloban City in 1998.
She is the first woman to top the elections for city councilors in the elections of 1995. Earlier she was also awarded the Most Outstanding Barangay Resident Award (Brgy. 72) in Tacloban City.
Leyteños are confident that the province is in good hands for the next 6 months or so with Mimiette’s assumption to the top post of the province. She realizes, however, that this is a very short stint to come up with her own vision for the province under her governance. But she is consoled by the fact that there are yet various on-going projects of former Governor now DOE Secretary Icot Petilla that she now relentlessly pursues.
These are Barangay Medical Missions, Icot-Icot Sa Barangay, ICOT-P programs are now considered among many other countless others, that pose as a lasting legacy of the former governor, for which Gov. Mimiette Bagulaya presiding officer of the Samguniang Panlalawigan then has contributed a lot in providing legal support through the endorsement of the projects from the provincial SP members.
In her almost two months “reign”, she has cris-crossed the width and breathe of the province responding to invitations and on her own initiatives to find out what more can she do during her short stint as provincial governor.
Gov. Bagulaya has still good years of challenges to meet before her. She is qualified and ready to accept challenges in whatever post in governance in the years ahead.
A cum laude in Bachelor of Arts, a master of management in public administration, a doctor of Philosophy in educational administration, active implementer in various non-government organizations before her stint in public service, and inspired by the loving support of Engr. Joe Bagulaya, regional director, Commission on Information Technology – Telecom center office and her children who at their young ages have started to carve impressive niche of accomplishments on their own field of expertise what more can she ask for to provide her inspiration as a public servant.
Mimmiette can still go far in the service of Leyteños.
Run for Congress, Mimmiette? How’s that Maam!!
By Alvin Gz. Arpon
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