Benefit of a doubt-A A +A
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I'LL bet my last buck that unlike Jesse Robredo, Roxas will be a shoo-in with his appointment as the new DILG secretary.
But will he be a Robredo? At least, Roxas was humble enough to admit his feet can't fit in Robredo's tsinelas, or as we used to call it here in Negros, his ismagol.
I'm quite surprised though why our local politicians heaped high praises on his appointment.
"A brilliant stroke," insists Mayor Evelio Leonardia, describing Roxas's qualifications as competent, dynamic and politically savvy.
Over at the Provincial Capitol, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. described the appointment as good as Negros Occidental is close to his heart, and also for the country. "It will be easy for us to bring the concerns of Negros Occidental to his attention because he is familiar with the province," qualified the governor.
Or the statement of Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benítez. His press statement was truly a downer when he admitted that the appointment of Roxas will be good for the Liberal Party. Excuse me?
Wasn't it Commonwealth Pres. Manuel Quezón who said "My loyalty to my party (or province) ends where my loyalty to my country begins?" Maybe, those loyalty values have been buried in the Commonwealth era, and stayed interred under the Republic of the Philippines of the 21st century.
I can understand though why our local executives are full praises of Roxas. Ilonggos are at heart very tribal. Many Negrenses, including politicians, fail to see beyond their noses, or their tribe. Heck, in Negros Occidental, many can't even see beyond the interests of the sugar industry!
Not to be outdone by the locals, even P-Noy congratulated himself with his appointment of Roxas. "Transparency, accountability, people empowerment were the hallmarks of the leadership of Secretary Jesse. Ito ang ipagpapatuloy natin" were his words. Really, now.
Funny, but I must have missed the part where Aquino said the same thing when he grudgingly appointed Robredo to the DILG post. All this chatter about being unable to fill in Robredo's tsinelas smack of speaking with a forked tongue when he failed to move heaven-and-earth to get the 2000 Ramón Magsaysay Awardee confirmed as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government.
In fact, Aquino showed his trust (or mistrust) with Robredo at the DILG helm. Aquino never bothered to explain to his bosing the Filipino Juan and María de la Cruzes why he sundered the DILG between Robredo and limited his authority to local governments while granting his kabarilan undersecretary Rico E. Puno the power to supervise the Philippine National Police.
Under the law, the DILG secretary is the ex-officio chair of the National Police Commission, and has control and supervision over the PNP. But Aquino bent the law on this one and got away with it.
Roxas, however, will have full authority over local governments and the PNP. Why Aquino has full trust on Roxas to run the DILG well is beyond me.
Roxas's job experience is more as a congressman, trade secretary and senator but none at the local government level.
Roxas might be Mr. Palengke but a Rodrigo Duterte, or a Joey Salceda, or an Edward Solon Hagedorn he's not. Too bad, these seasoned local executives balked at the call of national government but they could have proved worthier replacements for Robredo than Aquino's anointed one.
On the other hand, I can understand their reluctance. Who wouldn't? If Aquino did what he did with a Ramón Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, he can certainly do the same to other appointees outside his KKK circles.
Still, I'm willing to allow Roxas to wow us. Robredo had done the spadework for local governance. All his successor has to do is follow through what has been started.
As we would say, "Padayunon!" Let's see if Roxas is made of sterner stuff.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2012.