Correct direction, wrong pathway, wrong people

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The greatest misfortune of this administration is that it was pursuing the right missions but choosing the wrong people who were and still are using the wrong methods. Smart goals but dumb tactics pursued by incompetent functionaries. What this government needed to have succeeded was a brilliant HR strategist and a genius PR person. It has only a little more than a year before this administration has to pass its paper, finished or not finished.

The president has the wisdom and the guts, the bravado and the fire in his belly, which we all love to watch, just as the masses idolized both FPJ and Coco Martin, in “Ang Probinsyano”. We love the president as he berated the underlings and bureaucrats subalterns of the imperialistic Manila and as he expressed the anger of the marginalized and voiceless people from the countryside, as he battled, like Don Quixote dela Mancha, the windmills of drugs and corruption in Metro Manila. This government was pursuing the right mission of declaring war against drugs, using the police and the military to run after the drug syndicates and the drug lords. But what happened was that the drug lords were laughing while the small-time pushers and couriers were being exterminated. What might have worked in the province did not really prove effective in the metropolitan centers. There far too many eyes and too easy access.

CNN and Maria Ressa are watching, and the human rights activists are sending dispatches to the International Court of Justice. Senator de Lima is doing her homework inside Camp Crame and is in contact with the world press, perhaps aided by senators Trillanes and Risa Hontiveros who, by the way, are all paid with public funds. The government operatives are being outsmarted and outflanked. Intelligence operations are not working as one team. Government units like the police and PDEA were shooting each other, while the drug lords were chuckling. Correct missions, using wrong tactics, being pursued by wrong people. The president did not get the proper advice from experts in HR who could have told him to go slow in appointing too many generals and retired police and military officials to run civilian affairs. HR is not just human rights but Human Resources. Marcos was far better in choosing a high-caliber Cabinet.

The three correct missions of President Digong were all right. First, the drug war; second, the war against crimes and corruptions; and third, federalism. They all failed, exacerbated by failure in the battle against COVID. Why? He appointed the wrong people who brought in the wrong perspectives and used the wrong methods. President Duterte could have emerged as the greatest president we ever had, but time is running out. The end is near, and he will face the final curtain, in a matter of a year and two months. He is thus desperately propping up Bong Go because he wants to continue running the country with Bong as the usual obedient follower but wearing the crown just to circumvent the Constitution. And, mind you, he might succeed in this, too. One thing about Manong Digong is that he is a very good strategist but a poor selector of people, and an even poorer tactician.

He should look for a bright HR guy whose advice he should take seriously. If Bong Go becomes president and Digong is vice president, there might be a better chance to succeed, but this president should do more analysis and less bravado. But should we allow this to happen? That is another story.

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