The reconciliation of the Rabats of Mati City is fast becoming imminent as the two Rabat families, from opposing factions, have expressed their willingness to kiss and make up after years of being at odds.
In her inaugural address before the City Council Thursday, July 4, Mati City Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat apologized to her cousin Carlo Rabat whom she defeated in the May 2019 election.
Carlo was two-term mayor from 2013-2019 after having defeated Michelle who also was a two-term mayor from 2007-2013.
Michelle admitted that it was with a heavy heart when she decided to seek the mayoral post instead of just allowing Carlo to have his third term. She said that she could however not turn her back on the clamor of the people for her return.
Mayor Rabat said that her campaign was a lonely one as she was independent and had no slate.
Aside from the people’s clamor for her return, Mayor Rabat’s victory was also boosted when Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang and 1st District Rep. Corazon Malanyaon decided to drop Carlo Rabat from their slate and support Michelle Rabat instead.
The governor and congresswoman’s decision stemmed from an earlier conflict with then mayor Carlo Rabat who refused to support the candidacy of the full slate of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Mati City headed by vice mayoral candidate Maria Gracia Tiago.
Carlo Rabat instead threw his support to the candidacy of his cousin incumbent Vice Mayor Glenda Rabat-Gayta.
In her speech before the City Council Thursday, Vice Mayor Glenda Rabat also admitted her difficulty in running her campaign in the May 2019 election. The vice mayor said that her experience made her realize that “true friends are hard to find”.
Vice Mayor Glenda then told Mayor Michelle that it’s about time for a family reconciliation. To this, Mayor Michelle said that family reconciliation will soon come but away from the public eye.
The Rabats have been lording over the political landscape of Mati City for decades now. Michelle’s father Francisco G. Rabat was mayor of Mati and governor of Davao Oriental. Carlo Rabat’s father, Luis G. Rabat, was also mayor of Mati for several years. Glenda’s father, Benito G. Rabat, also became mayor of Mati. Benito, Luis, and Francisco are brothers.