THIS is my unsolicited advice to two neophyte mayors of Kabankalan City, Benjie Miranda, and Silay City, Joedith Gallego.

Benjie Miranda, a former military soldier who experienced combat operations and community service, and a barangay captain for a decade, defeated the former Mayor Pedro Zayco Jr. who belonged to a powerful political dynasty of Kabankalan and in the Sixth District.

Joedith Gallego, once a security guard, a former councilor and vice mayor of Silay City, dethroned former mayor Mark Andrew Golez who belonged to an influential political family in the city.

Both tried the political arena in various positions many times, but never did they dream of seizing the top post of their respective class A cities outside of the highly urbanized City of Bacolod.

Just barely two months in their posts as local chief executives, and just starting to familiarize their role, functions and accountability, their respective seats are already under fire from the losing camps and, to some extent, from their own forces and allies who jockey and push each other for positions of service and mere accommodation.

In fact, if I may be polite, the initial volley of shots against them is just the beginning of a long political battle. They must gear for more squid tactics operations from various sectors that may have lived so comfortably from past administrations. This early, they should expect campaigns of vilification, demonization, confusion, division, up to possible court cases.

But that is normal for any administration change.

Power is so dynamic and sometimes so tricky and self-devouring for the powerful. That is why power should never be the end in itself but only a means to change communities, transform lives, set the motion for a better future.

Otherwise, one becomes a Machiavellian, who believes power is everything, so preserve it by all means possible. Machiavelli is the patron saint of many politicians and oligarchs. No wonder, many of them will do anything and everything to keep their power.

So these two mayors, regardless of their economic class and political standpoint, seem to have a good vision for their respective cities and peoples and possess so much humanism and patriotism.

That is their main strength. I advise them to use it well and right.

Now to realize their vision, all they have to do and focus on is come up with a good platform of governance that is participatory, smart, transparent and accountable, and a development agenda that is inclusive (includes all not just a few sectors and interest groups), quality of life-focused, resilient and sustainable.

Second, they should get the right people to lead, direct and supervise the platform and agenda. Don't mind whether they are from past administration or from other local government units (LGUs). More significantly, they share the platform and agenda, and are willing to walk in the journey.

Third and most important, they should rely on the people who supported them. They are the majority, and they are expecting real changes in governance and quality of life of the people. They should be frank with their supporters that they cannot be accommodated because the LGU is not an employment agency. But guarantee them the basic services of the city.

No, the least, they should keep lines of dialogue with those who campaign against them. After all, they are part of the city's constituents. Give them equal support as his supporters. Convince and transform them by good deeds.

Governance, after all, is not only about power and authority, but the people who deserve better in law and in life.

With their good hearts, they can really make a difference not only in local governance but more in transforming the lives of people.

Be the real people's champions! Good luck!