A nation of “laglag bala,” “tanim baril,” and “lako druga”

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

We are now in a major national crisis. And the national leadership has demonstrated in vivid and indubitable terms that the top national officials are ‘’inutile’’ or plainly incompetent to handle this very disturbing national malady. Many tourists have cancelled their planned trip to the Philippines. Hotel reservations and plane ticket purchases are being reimbursed and hotel accommodations are either abandoned or deferred indefinitely. The economy is adversely affected. And OFWs are up in arms in lambasting the administration for its notorious ineptitude, blatant incompetence, and total indifference.

The popularity rating of this administration must be sliding fast down the drain just because of this one very damaging controversy that is becoming a national and even a global embarrassment. Everyone is blaming the President for his apparent lack of decisiveness and his fixation at very close friends and relatives, and party mates who are giving the chief executive too much burden. And yet, this is the same President who sacked a PAG-ASA official after scolding the poor man via national television for the simple failure to make the accurate weather prediction. This is the same President who berated officials who invited him for an important agency function.

Now, he refuses to reprimand, much less kick out both the DOTC Secretary and the NAIA airport manager. Everybody knows that Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya is the president of the Liberal Party. Does that presidency also carry some immunity from censure, reprimand and dismissal from the service? It is common knowledge that NAIA general manager Honrado is a presidential relative who used to serve under the former president as part of the presidential security team. Honrado, like DND Secretary Voltaire Gasmin was in the inner circle of the late President Cory. And so, Abaya and Honrado are untouchables. Daang Natuwad?

The authorities raided the national penitentiary and discovered a cache of high-powered firearms, sex toys, and other illegal things that clearly do not belong in a major institution for the convicted felons. Even during the time of Secretary Leila de Lima, there was a series of raids in that prison institution. A shabu manufacturing laboratory was discovered. The drug trade is alive and booming inside this institution. Bilibid or not, this could happen only in the Philippines. The drug crisis is now approaching a level that can endanger the whole nation, and yet, the president remains unperturbed.

The President is always wearing yellow, as if all others who wear other colors are going to be treated as outsiders. And the yellow cabinet and bureaucrats are untouchable.  This “laglag bala’’ could only happen in a yellow community because the people who could, and who should act with an extreme level of urgency have chosen to be in a denial mood. The DOTC Secretary also wearing yellow, being the president of the party in power, claims that the victims of ‘’tanim bala’’ represent a minuscle percentage of a very large travelling public. The NAIA manager claims he is not resigning because he is not running away from a good fight. 

By this alone, the charges of incompetence, ineptitude, lack of foresight, and lack of skill of the PNoy government has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. I end this with a caveat however. What if the syndicate that implemented such a horrendous sabotage is being funded by China for the purpose of undermining this government, embarrassing the President, as well as diverting the focus and attention of the administration’s campaign against the many shenanigans? Or abetted and aided by the opposition, in order to weaken the national officials? Whatever it is, the fact is, this government is not up to it. Never again should this country be led by such icons of negligence and incompetence.



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