Where are we headed

Published November 6, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” — Louis D. Brandeis

The militarization of key civilian positions in the bureaucracy is not only a sad indictment of the inadequacy of civil servants and private sector executives but is also a perilously ominous trend towards a possible regime change.

First —  in the mindset of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, it is anybody but Vice President Leni Robredo, or any come-backing “Yellow” from the Liberal Party to succeed him to the presidency.

This is a speculative scenario that ultimately depends on the health condition of Pres. Duterte.

If push comes to shove or a “force majeure” should ensure, a military “Junta” would be preferable which, in the long run, seldom succeeds, as a strong man inevitably emerges from the junta, and all its long-term consequences.

Moreover, it is condescending of PDU30 to readily recruit retired soldiers to civilian posts as “soldiers just obey orders” which is obliquely insulting, as retired officers have been educated and trained not only as leaders but also to be rational, decisive, and independent thinking.

Thus, in spite of his conspicuous pampering of the military and his penchant for playing soldier, Pres. Digong will never be accepted as one, as he has never been a soldier and will never be one.

In contrast, former President Fidel Valdez Ramos is idolized and lionized by every man in uniform as FVR had spent all his life in active service until his retirement to enter politics.

Second — in the simplistic world of former Mayor Digong, what is right and good for Davao City must also be good for the Philippines.

Ipso facto, so long as President Rodrigo Rao Duterte remains untainted by monetary corruption, his authoritarian actions and decisions will be popular, to the chagrin of hapless critics and exasperated lawmakers.

Third — in the meantime, where is the country headed?

Hence, during his watch, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte must lay down the framework and foundation of a long-term vision that will transcend his term for his successors and future generations to emulate and enhance.

As Prof. Jeffrey Sachs would put it, “The true drivers of economic development are government, geography and economic growth” which are not only attainable but also winnable.

However, President Duterte has to look at the backyard, and review his actuations, appointments, and policies to find out if he is doing right.

Otherwise, as the Roman Seneca admonished, if one does not know which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

You be the judge.