Why put a good man down?
Why put a good man down?
by: Harvey S. Keh, The Manila Times
Allow me to first thank the management and editorial board of The Manila Times for giving me this opportunity to once again become a columnist in your highly respected newspaper. I used to write a column here at the Times from 2003 to 2004 which discussed public education reform initiatives in our country. Now, I will be writing not only about education initiatives in the Philippines but I will also get a chance to share my views about politics and good governance since these are areas that I also work in at the Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Government. I hope that you will follow my column every Thursday here at the Times and share with me your thoughts, comments and insights through text, e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Thank you very much again to Mr. Dante “Klink” Ang and Mr. Rene Bas for this homecoming and this wonderful opportunity to share my opinions with our readers!
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Much has already been said about the recent hostage crisis which claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong nationals and has brought about international shame to our country. Fingers have already been pointed on different government officials who are said to have neglected on their duties and responsibilities. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd already cleared the air with regard to who was responsible in his Cabinet for the botched hostage rescue. Aquino clarified last week that it was his good friend and shooting buddy, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Rico Puno, whom he had given the sole responsibility of supervising the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Despite this admission from the President himself, there are still those who want the head of DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo including staunch allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. Another known Aquino ally in the Senate, Senator Chiz Escudero who is also a Bicolano like Robredo and Lagman, also wants Robredo to be held accountable for this sad incident. What gives? Why are they asking someone who clearly didn’t have a role in this incident to resign?
As for the allies of Arroyo in the House of Representatives, it is pretty obvious that they want to weaken the Aquino presidency by hitting one of the stalwarts and reform-minded leaders of his Cabinet in Sec. Jesse Robredo. Robredo has been recognized by several national and international organizations as one of our country’s most competent and ethical public officials.
In Naga City, where he was mayor for 18 years, he is known for institutionalizing systems in transparency and public accountability which has helped eradicate graft and corruption in city hall. This has enabled him to channel enough funds to deliver effective basic services in healthcare and education to his constituents. Rob-redo is the total opposite of what the Arroyo administration was in the past nine years and thus, they want him out of Aquino’s Cabinet to weaken the present administration.
As for Escudero, not many people know that he is a good friend of Puno as well. The DILG portfolio is one of the most politically powerful posts in the country and anyone who will be appointed to this position will have the opportunity to build his or her political capital. Everyone knows that Escudero wants to become President some day and that he was one of those who was strongly lobbying for Vice President Jojo Binay to become the DILG Secretary. When their group failed to get the post, they settled with getting Puno inside the DILG. By focusing the blame on Robredo, Escudero is trying to help Puno escape from his responsibility as the person who was in charge of the PNP. In simple terms, Escudero wants Robredo out of the DILG so that he and his friends can gain control of it. For Escudero, it is all politics and personal gain, not public service.
Will we allow a good man like Robredo to be persecuted unjustly by our political leaders with self-serving interests? I hope not. If you believe in DILG Sec. Jesse Robre-do, you can show your support by joining our Facebook group at http://tinyurl.com/25wchzx or you can send your messages of support to email@example.com .
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org .