Vice President Leni Robredo has raked over the coals once again the Duterte Administration over a lot things that she — and many others regardless of political color — thinks are simply out of whack.
And she’s consistent about her pet peeve: leadership or the lack of it.
As one being logically presumed to cast a moist eye on the presidency, it looks like what she’s negative about is all about her politics. It’s open and shut, in a sense, with the window of opportunity for her growing bigger every day, and Duterte’s going south, figuratively and geographically.
Objectively, though she may have a valid, rational, argument, given that a number of latest developments challenge common sense. But there could be other possibilities apart from her intuitive notion of failed leadership and most people’s idea of common sense.
Indeed, there could be other reasons. Most of our top leaders, including Duterte, are senior citizens who may have some health issues outside of aging. In other words, they are part of what medical experts conveniently categorize as vulnerable sector.
That vulnerability may be the weakness that is creeping into vital decision making for our national interest.
For instance, how do you explain the government allowing a partly China-owned telco to build its cell towers inside military facilities almost for a song and considering the attendant risk?
These are factual, not fiction, truths, not theories. A top multi-star general has admitted on CNN there is a low security risk for the project, but a risk nonetheless exist. In addition, the telco company will not pay in cash but in kind. In Singapore, there is a written sign on stores warning customers that while crimes are low there, it doesn’t mean there’s no crime.
That’s what should make the public nervous, nagging and negative.
And there’s contextual rhyme to the political calculus that is shaping up like a jigsaw puzzle.
China, right now, is busy as can be in fortifying reclaimed lands in the West Philippine Sea that are legally owned by the Philippines on the basis of history and the award given by the International Arbitral Tribunal which the former refuses to accept. Airfields, radars and other military facilities are being installed in the area. And they seem unstoppable.
In the meantime, we’re inutile to the point of submission.
Of late, a Chinese company which is involved in the reclamation projects in WSP is also reported to be building an airport in Sangley Point, Cavite. This company has been recently blacklisted by the United States for its engagement in the WSP conquest. National leaders from both sides of the political fence have asked the government to do the same for obvious reason.
The answer is a flat no.
The simple question in people’s mind: how could supposedly mature, intelligent and competent leaders make such egregiously risky, devil-may-care decisions?
Back to the issue of vulnerability. Some, if not all, of them may be off their meds, off the rocker or off the rails. Take your pick. The kindest check, although the other two are just as plausible, may be the first one. The good thing is, it’s treatable and that’s wonderful news to many who hope for a change for the better in how government in this country is run. It’s not just for the veep with the beef.
Once upon a time, a former health secretary concluded that the problem of the Philippines during the waning days of the Marcos era was not political but renal. When People Power broke the dictator’s yoke, it was found out that Malacanang had a kidney treating machine or something.
Our problem today may be less than intellectual or political and more of medical in nature. In Kapampangan idiom, our leaders, or some of them, enala manoras. (Not taking their meds).
A clear case in point is a Cabinet member who perfectly plays a victim’s game for accusations that he’s involved in corruption in a major government agency. He said he’s innocent of the charges because some people may have an ax to grind.
His grumblings echo that of U.S. President Donald Trump that he’s doing alright but some people just don’t like him. In the meantime, his countrymen continue to get sick or die from the COVID bug. Exact same story the Philippines.
Two days ago, the government decided to reduce physical distance among commuters from 1 meter to .75 meter to allow more persons to take public transports. Except that the head of the Inter Agency Task Force against COVID has taken to task those behind it for not consulting them.
Mental lapses are sometimes attributed to a person’s failure to take the maintenace medicine regularly and on time. The Roman poet Juvenal had long time ago written mens sana in corpore sano, healthy mind in a healthy body. But that was before Fentanyl was prescribed.
When all is said and done, the old nurse rhyme could solve our problem: mother, mother I am sick, call the doctor very quick.
A table or a pill is all that’s needed to stop these dicey Promethean streaks in our national life.