Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
Sen. Ping Lacson is putting his neck on the chopping block by accepting the task of being "Yolanda" rehab czar.If you ask me, the work is herculean in that by the end of the Aquino administration the rehab efforts will not be completed by then. And for sure, there will be those who will endlessly complain and blame government -- rightly or wrongly.
If I were Sen. Ping, I'd look first before I leap. He must be given all the powers as rehab king and crisis mamager, given the magnitude of the problem. He must directly access to the President no less and not get meshed up with the bureaucratic maze. For one, the title "presidential assistant" is not of cabinet rank. During my time in Malacanang, a presidential assistant was a "usec" position. If his is of cabinet level, it should be "presidential adviser", unless they have changed the protocols there now. Then I heard Sen. Chiz Escudero downplaying his role by saying he is "merely a coordinator". (Oh well, as they say, titles are not really that important. Powers are what matter.)
The bureaucracy, for one, is full of institutional obstacles. He must short circuit them for quick substantial results. But Cabinet members are protective and jealous of their turfs. Then there are political rivals and carpet baggers lurking by the wayside who will pounce on any mistake or shortcomings. Victims facing TV cameras will overshadow whatever good deeds and accomplishments done. TV crews and newspaper reporters will seek out the farthest and remotest areas looking for those who have some complaint and you've bet there are so many of them out there simply because we can never satisfy everyone.
Believe me, it's a no- win situation for Ping if his eyes are still moistened by the reported plans of running for the presidency. Unless he decides at some strategic time later when it becomes mission impossible to just resign with flair.
Another point: an ideal rehab czar must be one who is ideally non- political or at least will remain "non-aligned" and a professional who can span and survive the next administration because the work will definitely be carried over to the next president beyond Pres. Aquino's time. Sen. Ping does not fit this bill " to a tee."
But, here's a big 'IF'. If notwithstanding all of the above, he surmounts them and makes dramatic accomplishments, then welcome to Malacanang palace in 2016, Sen. Ping!
SORRY, MAR ROXAS --- A glaring example of a casualty by force of circumstance is DILG Sec. Mar Roxas. Unfortunately for him, he was thrust by reason of office and function to be in the forefront of calamities, both natural and man-made to include "Sendong", "Pablo", Zamboanga siege, Bohol earthquake, "Yolanda". He had no choice but to plunge himself into the calamities that were so daunting that even the best of him could not cope. Not anyone else, as a matter of fact, could handle better just by the sheer magnitude of the situation.Too bad for him, his challenges were beyond handling. What is tragic is that his public performance is being juxtaposed with his perceived presidential ambitions. He is the favorite object of public bashing today. His alleged mishandling and mistakes, projected in media, worsened the situation all the more.
Unfortunately for him, his supposed run for the presidency is suffering from this beating. Social media is merciless for officials in similar situations. Whether he would be able to shake off those barnacles, only time and future events will tell. I have known him personally and I think he deserves a better assessment than what he is getting today. But failing in reversing this trend, I guess it's time for him to kiss his presidential ambitions goodbye this early.
DISARMAMENT? -- Even before the ink dried in the new agreement on power-sharing with the MILF, everyone is now talking about the "disarmament" of rebels as the last hurdle. This will need creative handling because, one, the MILF will never give up their firearms at the signing of the agreement and two, the general public is now wary about allowing rebels to keep their firearms with a final agreement sealed, taking a cue from what is happening with MNLF and other violent incidents due to the presence of heavy weaponry in the hands of non-government forces.
Let's see what happens!
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