Thursday, June 17, 2010


YES. President Benigno Aquino III already decided it earlier. The Filipino people knew it, liked it, reinforced it, and approved it. My barber and his friends support it. I am taking it from my barber!

Everybody read the offer of Noynoy Aquino to Binay. The former wanted the latter to be Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government once he becomes President. He is now President. He made the offer when Binay was just a City Mayor- no national constituency but with notable achievements in local governance. He wanted Binay to assist him in the general supervision over local government units, in overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Local Government Code, and also to enhance the capabilities of the LGUs for self governance, correspondingly improving their ability to implement programs on local autonomy.

He also envisioned Rambotito Abogado Binay to help him enforce laws and regulations, prevent, suppress, and solve crimes, assist in the prosecution of cases. He expects “macho” Binay to go after the terrorists, crime lords, “jueteng” lords, gambling lords, war lords, kidnappers, corrupt local government officials, bribers, smugglers, rebels turned terrorists, and all enemies of our democratic government.

Noynoy made the offer because he believed Binay could deliver. He did not have to be Vice President. He could be elected Senator to have a national constituency but he would still want him to be Secretary of DILG.

But he is now Vice President. Twelve of the fifteen regions wanted him to help Noynoy take care of them. The Autonomous regions gave him an overwhelming mandate. The Coryistas wanted him. Even the Kamaganaks preferred him. Only the Liberal party and Roxas’ understandably do not want him to occupy any position in DILG or any that could be a stepping stone.

Should Noynoy change his view because Binay got elected Vice President? Binay’s mandate should reinforce it, not change it. Presidential ambition? Binay gave up his presidential aspirations when he saw the clamor for Noynoy. Roxas, Escudero, and Pangilinan did the same thing. The fact is, Noynoy should encourage every Cabinet member to aim for the Presidency so that each could be motivated to work harder and perform better.

President Ramos’ Presidency brought the country to almost Tiger status. He encouraged all his Cabinet Secretaries to perform well and motivated them to run for President if their performances would merit it. That is why, we saw NEDA Secretary Habito, Finance Secretary Bobby de Ocampo, and Defense Secretary Renato de Villa running for President and hoping to get Ramos’ endorsement.

For Noynoy to change his view would relegate him to trapo status. He would be perceived as succumbing to the pressure exerted by Roxas and the Liberal Party whose future his candidacy actually saved.

He should follow his original instincts and welcome the services of an original Coryista as DILG Secretary. It would be several times better to have Binay under his Command and Control retaining the option to fire or to assign him other tasks if he proved to be ineffective or non-performing.

In managing his Cabinet, he is expected to set some measurable and doable performance standards against which the Secretaries would be appraised. He will provide some timeline to perform specific goals. Binay and DILG would be no exception.

Noynoy can even include quantitative standards like:

1. Reduction of Crime Rates from X to Y. (Can be specific as to which crimes such as violent, sex, against property, kidnapping, etc.);
2. Identifying and disarming of War Lords within 100 days;
3. Dismantling of “Jueteng” operations in identified provinces and cities within 100 days;
4. Reduction of smuggling by X percentage within a certain period;
5. Develop with him and the local government units a detailed and localized Program of Action to prevent terrorism and other violent crimes within a certain timeline;
6. etc.

There will always be criticisms and objections to his appointment as DILG Secretary especially now that he is Vice President. Cory took a risk when she appointed him Mayor of Makati. He in turn risked his life to defend her against coup plotters.

What is Noynoy’s risk in appointing Binay? That he might perform well? A good performance by any Cabinet member would be good for Noynoy. That he might not perform as expected? His performance record and successful achievements as a local executive and head of several organizations seem to minimize such a risk.

An efficient and effective control system which includes regular monitoring and timely measurement of agreed standards would substantially reduce any risk. Furthermore, Noynoy’s prerogative to replace Binay if necessary would still be there. Add that to the President’s almost unlimited resources and power over all executive officials should prevent Binay from undermining Aquino’s administration.

“Consecrate myself to the service of the nation”. This part of the Presidential Oath should inspire President Benigno Aquino III to focus on serving the Filipino people and free himself from partisan and personal pressure. “Loyalty to party, friends and relatives end when loyalty to the nation begins.”

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