Columns

Offline: His worst choices

A president’s Cabinet is seen as an expression of the kind of person he or she is, specifically the kind of leader. Good presidents are able to recruit good executives, with room for the occasional bad egg or two. With bad presidents, it’s the exact opposite. They may be able to recruit patriots who will serve his or her regime for no other reason that good, old love of country. But by and large, that president is most likely to get people who are no different from himself, maybe even worse.

So where does the second President Ferdinand Marcos come in?

Let’s just say that he’s nothing like his father, who was able to bring into his official family a good number of technocrats, like Cesar Virata for example.

There were other exceptional talents like Jose Salas, who sadly left government service, reportedly because he had become disgruntled with the older Marcos, who would soon enough show his true colors by declaring martial law.

Salas, incidentally, is one of those exceptionally talented technocrats who has been described as “the best president the country never had.” This description has been used on several other notable government officials, like Raul Roco or maybe even Arsenio Lacson.

This week, the Marcos also known as Junior brought in one of the worst possible people to be part of his Cabinet, as a presidential adviser no less.

Lawyer Larry Gadon does not belong in any president’s Cabinet. Period.

He is a poor excuse of a lawyer who was suspended only last year for his extreme insults against a lady journalist. That newshen – Raissa Robles — is the one of the country’s most respected journalists. This opinion of mine is shared by countless practicing journos, by the way.

In its infinite wisdom, the Supreme Court just last year suspended Gadon for “abhorrent behavior” in his insults at Raissa Robles.

Read that again, folks.

The latest member of Junior’s Cabinet may not even have the right to practice law, unless that suspension has been lifted.

If his behavior has been found to be abhorrent, then it also means the person himself is abhorrent, doesn’t it?

I’m sure there must be something good to say about Gadon. Perhaps he is a terrific father to his children. I seem to recall that he posted a video of himself on YouTube playing the guitar.

I do believe he is a better gitarista than me, but only because I don’t get too much practice.

Allow me to quote the fine ladies of the Gabriela Party-list, who said that Gadon’s appointment as Presidential Adviser for Poverty Alleviation was an “extremely poor choice.”

They cite the fact that the so-called lawyer is a known purveyor of hate speech, and is presently facing disbarment cases to boot.

I do not know who advised Junior to give this wannabe kanto boy a post in his official family. But I recall that Gadon was previously known as an attack dog of a certain Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, before he continued with that role under Rodrigo Duterte.

So in all likelihood, Junior is paying some political debts. But good luck to him in defending this awful choice when the time comes that he faces honest-to-goodness journalists who have not been fed questions to ask the prez beforehand.

The appointment also shows how much Junior truly cares for the poor. Maybe he was thinking that since Gadon has such a foul mouth, the very poor would easily identify with him.

To quote Gabriela’s Arlene Brosas, “Gadon is an extremely poor choice for a public position that requires serious and diligent work, especially as more than half of Filipinos rate themselves as poor.”

One last thing to ruin the day of Filipinos and FilAms who still love their homeland. Gadon  once claimed that the much missed and highly respected President Noynoy Aquino died from human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Quite a guy, huh?

I will consider Gadon as the third worst appointee of Junior. But there are two others who are worst. One is also capable of colorful insults like Gadon. Sadly, she was given one of the most important portf0lios – The Dept of Education – and has thus far made a mess of things.

The country’s teachers are a disgruntled lot, for good reason. They remain grossly underpaid but do not see in Sara Duterte the champion that they so desperately need.

Sara Duterte is the most unqualified Education secretary in modern times. For one, she was never an educator. And where on earth can we find an Education chief who spits out words like ‘tambaloslos’ as if it was the most natural thing to come out of her mouth?

She has absolutely no class. And the worst thing? She is almost certain to run for president in the next elections, which is still a good five years away.

She was referring to current House Speaker Martin Romualdez when she used that colorful word.

For what reason? The Speaker is said to be harboring ambitions of being the next president after cousin Bongbong.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The topic here are the Cabinet appointees of Junior, and while a few have been tolerably good so far, there are also several horrible ones.

His worst appointee has to be his choice to handle the Department of Agriculture.

But wait. This means his appointment of himself is the worst thing he has done thus far. It could be worst, though. He may even appoint his son Sandro to take the helm of the DA if and when he decides to step down. I’m not saying he is, but daddy Bongbong is apparently grooming the kid for bigger and better things.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. My pick for the worst Cabinet pick of Bongbong Marcos is Bongbong Marcos.

Do I need to count the ways?

Under his term, prices of most basic commodities have taken turns skyrocketing to the dismay of all Filipino consumers. From sugar to onions to rice…name it, and there was a period in the last 12 months when prices didn’t go through the roof.

A good Agriculture secretary would have known that traders were storing the basic commodities in their warehouses, then watched as the prices soared.

Once they hit a peak, they would release their stocks thereby earning hundreds of millions.

This is a pattern that has been going on for years, but which went into overdrive during the first year of Junior’s regime.

He says he will quit once he is sure that the right systems are in place. Nice words, but meaningless coming from one who pretends to have a firm grasp of economics, especially the law of supply and demand.

Five more years of Junior and the Philippines will not only go back to being the Sick Man of Asia, it may end up as the Dead Man of Asia. At the very least, it will be on life support and God knows what a President Sara Duterte or Martin Romualdez will do to make matters worse.