Ledesma: 2018 personalities


I ALWAYS do a final accounting of how characters, especially decision makers and institutions, influenced our lives in the last 365 days.

--Bam Aquino. He would have done well by himself but his alliance with the yellow sinkers doomed his political career. He has a penchant to grab credit from other people’s achievements. Mindanao will likely dump him for saying that martial law should only be imposed in the region if it is in the state of war.

-- Jun Evasco, the campaign strategist of Duterte, left the Cabinet to run for governor in his home base, Bohol. He is a big loss to the Duterte administration but a big gain for the Boholanos.

-- Jesus Dureza. He took command responsibility over his underlings who allegedly dipped their fingers in the cookie jar while he was out doing odd jobs for the President. The last time I heard, he and his wife Beth played with their grandchildren and in between went out fishing in the Davao Gulf. He is a big loss to the administration but I think Jess deserves the break. He had served in the administrations of Fidel Ramos, Gloria M. Arroyo and Duterte.

If I were Digong, I would get back Jess and appoint him as his liaison between the Legislative and the Executive Department. The widening cleavage between the House of Gloria and Malacañang does not augur well for the country. Press Secretary Salvador Panelo merely remarked that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno is entitled to some courtesy.

In the Lower House, meanwhile, Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya said he cannot level up or down with Sal because he, Panelo, is not a parliamentarian. What a balderdash added on the ego of Andaya. GMA should crack the whip and work for the harmonization of the budget and development projects of the Duterte government instead of arguing as to who has the power of the purse and who should bask longer under the television klieg lights.

-- Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III. He is the team captain of the Duterte for President Movement and went on to be the point person that could make or unmake the Duterte government. As Secretary of Finance, he has succeeded in turning the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) into veritable revenue-generating agencies. For the first time in many decades, BIR and BOC have become among the best-performing assets of the government, of course with extra help from President Duterte himself, whom Sonny describes as his top tax collector.

Dominguez is also the government’s top negotiator in generating cheap money from China and Japan for the administration’s Build Build Build program. If Sonny fails, this government will fail. Meaning, those new railway projects and vital roads and bridges that we hope will ease traffic and disperse industries outside of Metro Manila will never come to a fruition if the Finance boss will miss his objectives.

But Secretary Dominguez is up to his job. He is an achiever and he will not let criticisms and other barriers come in the way of realizing his goals. Let me put it this way: President Duterte takes care of peace and order; Secretary Dominguez takes care of the financial matrix that would enhance investments and development.--from SunStar Davao


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