The very first thing that I have to say is congratulations because I know very well that this last election was very hard-fought. Natatawa yung ating mga naging kandidato dahil yung sabi kong hard-fought. That’s an understatement; I’m trying to be diplomatic. It is very hard-fought, that is why the congratulation that I am greeting you with is the victory you have gained in the last election is well-deserved.
But now we must return, we must move from our identities as candidates and return to our identities as public servant. It is an opportune time and an opportune moment for us all to remember that public service is a public trust and it behooves us all to put aside the political differences that of course became more stark and became more pronounced during the campaign and during the election, and once more unify Tacloban so that we can do that jobs that the people have voted us to do.
It is only in local government--it is very clear--that the problems that face our local officials are complex and are difficult. Whatever successes that they achieved also have been achieved through great difficulty and hard work. And not through the great difficulty and hard work of a single person but the partnership of all our local leaders working together. And we must once again achieve that unity because it is what the people expect of us. It is the only way that we can provide the services that our people are expecting of us and are needing from us.
And that is the message that we should take away on this day: that once we were polarized but the elections are over; we must once again be unified in the service of the people. Once again congratulations to all of you, congratulations on—again—a hard-fought campaign and a well-earned victory. Thank you and good afternoon.