Editorial: The Roxas, Abaya appointments-A A +A
Saturday, September 1, 2012
PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino’s appointment of two Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts to important Cabinet positions can be seen in many ways, including the political angle. But it can also be assessed based on the appointees’ qualifications aside from their being politicians.
The President appointed Mar Roxas as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary, the post vacated by Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash recently. Roxas left behind his position as Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) secretary. Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya took over that job.
Roxas is LP president while Abaya is the party’s secretary general.
But Roxas is also a graduate of the Wharton School of Economics of the University of Pennsylvania, once worked in some firms in New York and was former Department of Trade and Industry secretary from 2000 to 2003.
Abaya, a great grandson of former president Emilio Aguinaldo, graduated with honors at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, USA and earned master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in New York.
Meaning that what Roxas and Abaya bring to the table is not only their experience as LP stalwarts and former congressman and senator, in the case of Roxas, and congressman in the case of Abaya.
Of course, handling the post of DILG secretary is especially tricky for Roxas considering the manner Robredo’s virtues were extolled and because the department is intricately entwined with the various local government units.
Eventually, though, the Robredo comparisons will recede. What remains would be how Roxas would ensure that politicking wouldn’t intrude into the handling of issues involving local government units.
Before Robredo died, for example, talks have swirled that he was about to make a decision on cases involving Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. The rumor being spread is that the governor would be suspended as the campaign period for the 2013 nears.
Incidentally, Roxas is known to be close to Rep. Tomas Osmeña, a bitter political rival of the governor. How that linkage will play out as the elections near will test Roxas’s objectivity as DILG chief.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2012.