Palace shakeup

Golf and business come together, no less than the President said it himself in his social media post, an explanatory note on how he ended up at the Formula 1 event in Singapore last weekend.

It was an escape without fanfare until it was brought to the public by Singaporean officials. To be clear, I do agree with the intention of the President in attending a grand event to meet with dignitaries and officials from all around Asia, however, it is understandable that certain sectors would find some flaws in this official act.

For one thing, the President is setting the tone for his administration, which is to be more diplomatic with the foreign community and investors. This certainly has its benefits. The officials our President had photos with, were certainly not pushovers — all of them can bring valuable investments and goodwill to our country. The part of our President, aside from the public officials, are well-renowned businessmen. Surely, the discussions held on the sidelines of the Formula 1 event revolved around improving relations of the Philippines with our neighbors.

While all this was happening, or immediately after these transpired, a major Palace shake-up transpired that changed the tenor of this administration early in its term. Press Secretary Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced her resignation due to health reasons, although we know this song has been sung before. We can only second-guess why she left her office so early, although we did come across an article on the turbulence she might experience in her forthcoming Commission on Appointments confirmation hearing.

The same can be said about now former Commission on Audit chairman, former Solicitor General Jose Calida, who also unceremoniously resigned from his post. With his unblemished record as Solicitor General in his cases for the government decided by the Supreme Court, Calida appeared to be inevitable, indestructible, and thus highly expected to breeze through his term as CoA chairman. His stepping down was unexpected, we wish the best for him, and we pray that the next CoA chairman be credible, without a whiff of corruption, and be above suspicion like Caesar’s wife.

Lastly, we have Atty. Vic Rodriguez, who was suddenly unemployed. As announced by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, there was no Presidential Chief of Staff position to speak of, leaving Rodriguez without an item in Malacañang. This adds salt to injury, considering the stories on how Rodriguez was kicked out of the Palace, including where he was allegedly physically barred from entering the hall on the birthday of the President. Whatever the reason may have been for this ouster, it sure appears to be quite severe.

The early shake -ups may be argued to be part and parcel of the government’s directive to rightsize the institution. If Malacañang is doing, then most certainly other government offices must follow. And if attempt to read the actions of our President, he has made no mention or comment on the latest spree of resignations, instead, he has devoted his time to improving our foreign relations, where he appears to be in his element.

We see the global mindset of our President, rather than his focus on cleaning the house, which can be done and performed by someone else, such as ES Bersamin and Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos. As they say, there is a lot of heat in the kitchen, and those who can’t handle it are free to get out this early.


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