Tomas’s aborted search for Robredo-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino sent a clear signal when he led operations in the search for Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo's plane following its crash last Saturday.
He wanted the public to know he was deeply concerned about the safety of a hardworking member of his Cabinet and he was on top, hands on, in a time of crisis.
What could PNoy have done that field commanders, skilled and experienced in their work, couldn't?
Clearly not much but his presence apparently pushed people to be more vigorous in their search.
And it projected a highly visible leader, a costly lesson he must have learned during the 2010 Luneta Park hostage-taking of Hong Kong tourists.
In contrast, how could Tomas Osmeña, a Cebu congressman, have helped in the search when he flew Sunday to Masbate but he and his plane were shooed after five minutes from the airport?
The legislator reportedly wanted to help ("assign me a search area"). It wasn't surprising that search commanders rejected his offer: (a) the place was already teeming with professional rescuers and would've no need for another eager-beaver joining the clutter, and (b) that PNoy was coming and PSG guards, who aren't awed by low-ranked congressmen, was running the airport.
It was a crisis that would only be worsened by overcrowding unless the volunteer was a champion diver or a miracle maker, which Tomas was not.
But he did manage to get his story printed in the Manila-based papers, a modest success that had kept eluding him with his less-than-inspiring legislative work.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 24, 2012.