Published September 16, 2020, 4:00 PM

by Jullie Y. Daza

Jullie Y. Daza


There was a time in my younger days when my boss complained, more to himself than to me, that I was “unmanageable”; I wore the brand like a badge of honor.

From that perspective and reading and watching the news today, what I see is how ungovernable we are as a bunch of citizens governed by their leaders. Are we the cause or consequence of leaders who do not deserve to govern? From the top: the high-end thieves in PhilHealth; 1,000-plus barangay officials caught with their hands in SAP’s piggy bank. Lower down the totem pole with the unmanageable and ungovernable, we find the number of violators of quarantine rules is significant enough to deserve their own charts, to be displayed side by side with DOH’s daily, frustratingly “positive” COVID-19 tables.

Who would believe how worshipers in Quiapo threw caution to the wind, no masks and no distancing, during what was meant to be a solemn procession last Friday? On the entertainment side, who needs a videoke curfew at 8 p.m. in two towns in Cavite when there are existing laws and ordinances, not to mention rules of common neighborly courtesy, to be governed by? Whoever heard of compliance?

Like the white-collar plunderers paid to lead and manage various aspects of the people’s lives, are policemen and bureaucrats any better, brighter than those who pay their salaries? The real governors are the merchants of death dealing in drugs and vices, they who rule because they can, without being governed by anyone, any law of the land. Can you blame them for thriving during an economic crisis? They rule with an iron hand (better than a hand, a gun); no one dares to be unmanageable there.

By the Pasig, in Malacañang, those Monday-night meetings of the President with his IATF are a study in governance style. Nobody says anything until Digong asks, and when he says something, nobody dares to refute him or request for an elaboration. The one exception was Secretary Roque challenging Secretary Duque on the latter’s nonreply to DOTr’s .75 meter physical distancing. The short exchange ended when Happy Harry tossed the issue to the Boss to decide. Would that saying “yes” to higher authority were as easy for the rest of us!