Duterte maybe overdoing his firing of usecs and asecs in government

Published May 29, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Francine Ciasico



Elinando B. Cinco
Elinando B. Cinco




The outright dismissal from service by the President of presidential appointees in high government agencies may appear impressive at first, but upon closer look he may have overdone it.

And without him realizing it, the Chief Executive may have trespassed three known human thresholds in decency and fair play.

One, the verdict that he dispenses on the erring senior officials maybe done on impulse and by his own intuition.

Barely two years in the presidency, he has earned the reputation of being impulsive. And as such a “sudden burst of anger” is an action that is generally bereft of reason.

On many an occasion, his spokesman would later announce that “the President did not mean what he said. Let us get used to his manner of expression.”

But his manner of expression does not sit well with an increasing number of the populace.

Two, the only apparent “mistake” of his appointees was their “humanizing and moralizing” before the public of its perception of the executive department.

In a short span of time that he has been in Malacanang, the President has alienated himself from a large  sector of the population by his brash rhetoric.

He has threatened erring officials with throwing them alive in Davao Gulf where giant saltwater crocodiles would readily devour them to pieces in minutes, or toss them to Manila Bay to fatten the fish there which are ostensibly undernourished because of the pollution in that body of water.

Of course, he does not mean to resort to those brutal acts. They may impress a few listeners and watchers, but the greater mass of our people are appalled to hear that kind of threats coming from their President.

And, three, the President may have been fed with overly exaggerated dossiers and reports on the officials involved. And acted harshly and quickly without listening to the side of the embattled appointees.

It is common knowledge that a long line of whisperers and kibitzers are permanent fixtures in the Palace whoever is the occupant. Each of these flatterers aims to curry favor from the Chief Executive and there are endless ways to do that.

Exaggeration is an effective manner to get a presidential reaction. “Nagpa-pabango,” as the Tagalog intriguer is labelled.

For example, the offending DOJ asec. who was dismissed may have been motivated by what the President has always advocated that his government is foremost “a government that is pro-people.” And that is what the official did – help some persons who apparently were being deprived of correct taxes.

And the DOTr usec who was recently handed his walking papers?

For me, asking the opinion of a presidential sister is a better way of obtaining a neutral viewpoint of a particular project. In any angle, this does not mean subservience or asking favor. Relatives of powers-that-be are known to remain fence-sitters so as not to invite tinted perception in the eyes of the public at large.

Maybe the President may not realize it that his Usec.orAsec. appointees are admired in their respective places of birth. They are generally regarded as “the little town boy who made it high in national government administrative echelon.”

So it is but human nature or an expression of “aruga” in Tagalog (Warays call it “pag-anga”) that relatives and townmates will flock to the official for small favors like helping a new college-graduate cousin get a clerical job in his agency. Or, an uncle and auntie who are retiring from government service get a next-in-rank promotion that they deserve.

There is nothing wrong with these favors provided the applicants have all the necessary documents vouching for their qualifications.Corruption-tinted assistance? No, far from it!

And finally, I have seen in the recent years that Usecs and Asecs can soften and humanize a government that has become partly estranged from its citizenry, and in some cases can even manage to regain back their faith, respect and admiration for their national leaders.