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Monday, June 17, 2024

How Sara can fit in

“She can excel anywhere.”

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With the election of former Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as vice president, the problem is where she would fit in the Bongbong Marcos cabinet. Will she become the Social Welfare and Development Secretary to which vice presidents normally go, or some other department like the Interior and Local Government (DILG), considering the fact that she has had experience in local government? Or perhaps, Marcos can create a new department for her.

Personally, I believe Sara can fit into any department. She is a lawyer and has been a local executive for some time.

Presumptive president Bongbong Marcos, however, feels that she should head the Department of Education. I believe she can excel in any department.

As of this writing, I still have no hint on what kind of a Marcos cabinet will get appointed, but Bongbong would do well to know who his alter egos would be. A president’s success or failure depends largely on the composition of the cabinet. I recall that Bongbong’s late father had performers and achievers as his cabinet members.

Bongbong should retain three Duterte secretaries –Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Karl Chua, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

Dominguez certainly needs to continue with the economic programs of Duterte, especially with the “Build, Build, Build” program to generate jobs and to jumpstart economic recovery. The same goes for Chua.

For her part, Berna Romulo-Puyat would do well to make Philippine Tourism alive again after the COVID-19 pandemic.

And in line with the BBM-Sara campaign platform, there’s need for the Marcos administration to unite. It would be best for Bongbong to take in faces from previous administrations, even from the opposition.

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There are two “wars” of the Duterte administration that certainly need to be continued : the war on illegal drugs and the war on government graft and corruption. The campaign on illegal drugs went on , even during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. There were still buy-bust operations by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the police on shabu which obviously continued its entry into the country through a corrupt Bureau of Customs. This needs priority attention, but without the commission of the much-dreaded extra-judicial killings. I am sure Bongbong and Sara are both very aware of the implications of EJKs.

On the campaign against graft and corruption in government, I am quite sure that Bongbong and Sara realize that so long as there is discretion and intervention in government transactions, the element of graft and corruption cannot be completely eradicated.

Thus, the incoming president and vice president can only hope to minimize government graft and corruption by example by ensuring accountability and honesty. There are always thieves and crooks in government but with a campaign of honesty and accountability and without fear and favor with friend or foe.

It is for this reason that Bongbong must appoint not only qualified people, but also those who are honest and credible. Bongbong would do well to harness, for instance, Gibo Teodoro as a member of the Cabinet.

Insofar as the Senate race is concerned, I am a bit surprised that movie star Robin Padilla made it as No.1, beating even Loren Legarda, who used to be a constant No. 1 in past Senate races. Well, that’s how it is, name recall appears to be foremost in choosing candidates for the Senate.

What I’m really disappointed with is Vice President Leni Robredo. I had thought that she would be gracious enough to accept defeat. Instead, she has not conceded defeat, knowing that there are more than 17 million votes between her and runaway victor Bongbong Marcos.

The claim of Robredo that massive irregularities occurred during last Monday’s election appears to me that she is claiming to have been cheated. Cheated, my foot, with a margin between her votes of a little over 14 million, to Bongbong’s 31 million. Well, as I said, after every election, there are only two kinds of candidates – the winners and those who claim they were cheated.

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There is now a clamor among businessmen and investors, both local and foreign, for Marcos to lay down his economic plans upon assumption of office. This is precisely the reason why I had stated earlier that it would do well for Marcos to continue with Sonny Dominguez as Finance Secretary and with Karl Chua as NEDA chief if Marcos expects to continue with Duterte’s economic program

Businessmen and investors want the incoming president to jumpstart the economic recovery. They expect no less from Marcos.

The challenges confronting Marcos upon assumption of office are enormous and great. First and foremost is the creation of businesses needing jobs with no less than almost 4 million unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know that the pandemic caused recession in the country and there is a need to jumpstart the economy right away.

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A credible and strong opposition is expected with a new president coming in. This is expected from the Yellows turned Pinkish, the Left and others. But the problem is what kind of opposition will confront Bongbong.

If you recall the anti-Marcos statements in social media, it reminds us so much of the anti-Marcos propaganda of the Yellows, the activists and the communist fronts in Congress. They pictured the elder Marcos as the devil incarnate and the Martial Law days as the “dark pages” of history during the Marcos regime. To me, these are already dead issues which the Bongbong Marcos landslide proved. With the millions of people voting for Bongbong Marcos, it is the best proof that his late father also did good things for the country.

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