By DR. FLORANGEL ROSARIO BRAID
It was not the first time that the President had spoken about resigning. But this time, he said it in a more serious tone and before a large audience of entrepreneurs and diplomats, saying he was
“tired, exasperated, and ready to go anytime because of corruption that is embedded and endemic.” But he said he can’t easily step down because he couldn’t find a worthy successor. Thus, he has asked the military and police whether they can identify a potential leader like Bongbong Marcos or Chiz Escudero as the legal successor; Vice-President Robredo may not be capable of taking over.
Some defend him saying that his statements should not be taken literally and that he is merely expressing frustration over the inefficiencies of some government agencies. But he is the president, and much is expected of the presidency especially during times of uncertainty, conflict, and confusion. People tend to seek direction and comfort in a father figure who is able to inspire, unify, and galvanize people into action. People want their leaders to motivate and help them solve their problems. Thus, they feel insecure when suddenly the father figure admits he can no longer continue to provide the security. Furthermore, he admits that he has health issues and may be getting old. Candor and transparency are appreciated, but these can be dysfunctional when the people you serve are searching for stability and continuity. And, especially when they are expected to follow the rule of law but their leaders, by their pronouncements and behavior, confuse them by doing the opposite.
Among the top government leaders in the world who have resigned before finishing their term of office they did so because they were pressured to give up their posts or were facing the threat of impeachment.
Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, resigned because of pressure from lawmakers who had taken steps to impeach him. In 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate cover-up when he felt he no longer had the support needed to carry on. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, president of Peru, quit over a vote-buying scandal and did not want to be an obstacle to the country’s development. Robert Mugabe, who was president of Zimbabwe for 37 years, was forced to resign when lawmakers stated impeachment proceedings against him. “Only God will remove me,” he said, but he finally succumbed to pressure in 2017.
August will be remembered as a most difficult month. Since we have never experienced continuous monsoon rains, typhoons, and heavy flooding similar to what we recently had, our countrymen in several provinces, cities, and towns found themselves ill-prepared to face the challenges of the recent disaster. Perhaps we should stop patting ourselves on the back for being resilient as this may have made us more tolerant instead of exerting more efforts to improve our present disaster response service.
We remember with sadness the passing of two remarkable friends and colleagues who have served the country and their profession with dedication and passion. Former Mayor Al Fernandez Jr. of my hometown, Dagupan City, who had also served as Immigration Commissioner and Undersecretary of Local Government was a committed disaster response administrator of a city that had been ravaged by flooding and typhoons over the past decades. He continued the illustrious legacy left by previous mayors including his father Alipio Sr. The city’s dynamic growth continues under the leadership of the current mayor, Belen Fernandez. Despite its vulnerability to climate change, Dagupan, through the initiative of its city administrators has become an important economic hub in the North.
We will also miss one of our favorite people, communication professor Gerry Josue. Gerry has served the government as a senior official in the information sector and the Commission of Appointments. Well done, Mayor Al and Gerry!
My e-mail, [email protected]