Why DILG Secretary Mar Roxas deserves to be ridiculed


You gotta laugh when you read about people coming to the defense of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. There is enough reason to take Roxas’s numerous laughable publicity stunts with a grain of salt at best. An executive riding a motorbike without a helmet to do work he should be delegating to a competent and experienced field worker with specialised expertise should be fired.

The trouble with Roxas defenders is that they cannot see the point that the late Charles Schulz expressed about these sorts of things through his beloved Peanuts character Linus van Pelt…

Until it is demonstrated, one readily forgets the truly vast difference which exists between the merely competent amateur, and the very expert professional.

Mar Roxas's PR people may as well go the whole nine yards in embellishing their client's image.

Mar Roxas’s PR people may as well go the whole nine yards in embellishing their client’s image.

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True executives demonstrate and contribute value by spending more time thinking and using the output of that activity to effect smart leadership. While Bill Gates cut his teeth writing code as a young man, he steered Microsoft to world domination as a mature executive by being a business leader, not a code monkey. Microsoft’s shareholders wouldn’t have been too happy with the alternative, seeing the world’s richest man spending his days debugging hundreds of thousands of program lines. It is a point I had gone to some lengths to explain in simple terms in my book

Our pre-disposition to act without reflection, planning, and yes, thinking, is deeply engraved into the Filipino psyche. It is a primal instinct that once saved our ancestors from being eaten up by predators. Unfortunately the world has since changed. Simply working hard no longer produces enough results. I once knew a guy whose idea of managing was occasionally getting on a forklift and helping out with the grunt work of stacking and re-stacking warehouse stock. The whole point of this effort, I believe, was to promote this whole “let’s roll up our sleeves and all work together to tackle this” ethic in the team. The extra hand was of course helpful to the ten-odd forklift operators in the team.

But let’s do the maths around this apparent augmentation of that team’s productivity by the heroics of this manager. To add another forklift driver to a team of ten forklift drivers in effect increases that team’s output by 10%. Very good. But then if we consider that this manager is paid ten times the salary of the average forklift operator, we find that he has effectively doubled the operating cost of that team by joining in the effort of driving around a forklift. So his net added-value to the team is actually in the negative (doubling costs while increasing productivity by only 10%). He would definitely have been better off spending his time doing what he was paid to do – managing and thinking. Imagine a bunch of forklift drivers goading their manager – a person whose core skill is thinking – to “get down from his ivory tower and just help us stack crates on the shop floor”. Sound familiar?

Mar Roxas going out on a motorbike (or directing traffic in the rain, or carrying around a sack of onions, or hammering a nail into a school desk) is tantamount to Filipino taxpayers buying a Mercedes Benz and using it for hauling manure. And here we are raising fists of indignation over “overpriced” government buildings. It turns out Filipinos did not know what they are talking about. The same principle applies. Mar Roxas is paid for his brain, not his muscle. If he wants to be a field commander, then he shouldn’t be sitting in an executive position. In Mar Roxas, we have an overpriced “asset” (if one can even regard him as such).

The good Secretary should embrace all this “ridicule”. It’s good for the soul and builds character. He should get out of the comfy zone his apologists laid out for him and learn from his critics. Kids who are told they are “the best” even when they suck at something grow up to be pussies. Kids who come of age in a nurturing but realist learning environment go on to become the kick-ass leaders the world needs.

Perhaps Mar Roxas, like his boss Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, being politicians’ and oligarchs’ sons are just acting in a manner consistent with the sort of upbringing one would expect of kids of their background. They expect to be always well-liked and their actions always abundantly praised — which is why they grow up to be ridiculous men and go on to become ridiculous leaders.

Ridicule is not a “tool”. It is a response. Perhaps some observers are reading too much into the widespread ridicule Roxas is copping as a result of his sad publicity stunts. This ridicule is not being pushed onto him, rather he pulled it upon himself. There is no conspiracy to crush Mar Roxas. There is no organised effort to undermine him (as if being ‘organised’ is a skill Filipinos are renowned for). And certainly this “ridicule” did not come out of nowhere because it has a vast body of bases for its existence and prevalence.

Rather than be in denial, Roxas should open his eyes and face The Truth about the way the Filipino public perceives him.

13 Replies to “Why DILG Secretary Mar Roxas deserves to be ridiculed”

  1. Rolling up your sleeves to do the hard work is good once in a while. It’s a great boost for employee morale in the short term. It also shows that you’re not afraid of hard work.

    That said, there’s a danger of overdoing it. And also one could simply be hogging all the work. It’s a really fine line to tow.

    Mar Roxas’antics of late doesn’t show anything positive about himself at all. What’s worse, we don’t even know what exactly he’s good at.

    1. Mar Roxas is a repeat offender though and the way he managed and attempted to bluff his way through media interviews and scrutiny during the Haiyan disaster in 2013 shows that he lacks the experience, character, and communications savvy that a seasoned executive of his stature is expected to possess.

      Indeed, we don’t exactly know what he is good at, because he fails to demonstrate any management/executive skills beyond being an expert palengkero, a school desk carpenter, a helmet-averse dirt bike rider, and a frustrated traffic officer.

      One thing that is clearly evident is that President BS Aquino owes Mar big time recalling that Mar agreed to step aside to make way for BS Aquino’s presidential candidacy back in 2009. Speculative perhaps. But that’s the only sound enough theory that explains why, despite so many epic PR fails, Mar continues to be given these high-media-exposure jobs. Payback and patronage trumps ALL ELSE in the Philippines.

      1. Stepping aside… giving up like that instead of making “panindigan” to defend one’s being qualified for a role might mean the guy is being played for a fool. But then so are we. Yet we can give the guy points for being consistent with his act.

  2. Isn’t this the same guy who said that the bodies found during last year’s Typhoon Haiyan were not the same as the bodies they found the next day when it’s obvious that those are the same dead bodies found after the disaster? If you ask me that’s quite a retarded answer from a politician. And since the Philippine government is a bunch of ignorant politicians, I’m not surprised with his answer.

  3. Roxas in his political stunt, that he is showing to be “working diligently”; is making himself, look “comical”. He is like one to the clowns in the:”Three Stooges” movie. Why did he posed for the Photographer, “allegedly falling” on his motorbike? People have minds and common sense, Mr. Roxas…Filipinos are not all Stupid, as you think.

    So, you are creating the ridicule on yourself, Mr. Roxas, by trying hard to impress voters, and ask for their votes…

    Anyway, Roxas is lacking “brains”. He is overpaid, and not fit for the position, like Aquino…both have the “Genetic Predispositions” of being Stupid…

  4. he deserves it because he is a scumbag filipino politician, thats why…pretty simple.The Filipino politician is a known scumbag, gives other filipino’s a bad name(yes, its true), and there is not a single one of them that is not a crooked scumbag…not one !

  5. The problem with Roxas is that everything he does seems so phony. He is not self-aware enough to realize this and does not have the charisma to pull off the act anyway.

  6. I can’t believe how many politicians in this country manage to win elections even though they’ve been proven time and time again to be petty criminals…

    How do I sign up to write articles here? I have quite a few ideas to share myself if the admin will allow it…

  7. BS Aquino is the Dark Lord Sauron, his cabinet are the Nazgul, ADHD Roxas is Saruman, and BITCH Korina is Gríma Wormtongue.

    A dangerous cocktail, ain’t it?

  8. I’d rather see people criticize Mar Roxas instead of ridiculing him on the symbolic things that he does that escapes people’s common sense.

    Criticize because we want him to be good, do good and feel good. Criticize because, unlike him, we are responsible in the way we act and carry ourselves in public. Criticize because calling our officials’ attention for the slips they make is no laughing matter.

    But nope, I’m not going to take those things mentioned above that Roxas supposed to have committed and ridicule him for it. Waste of time.

    Everybody has their photo ops opportunity. Everybody. Roxas is no exception. Why ridicule him on something he does not do 24/7?

    Nope, ridicule is not good for the soul. It’s bad for one’s intelligence because it insults you when somebody ridicules something worth learning from.

    Nope, ridicule is not a response. It is a cover-up of something sinister brought about by hate. You ridicule someone you hate.

    Actually, I think the article does not only ridicule, it also nitpick on Roxas.

    Do I disagree with the writer of the article. Nope. It’s immaterial. Let me just say that I know where the author is coming from and ridicule was used as a vehicle to conceal the true intent of the article.

  9. agreed, Mar’s recent “acts of visibility” are obviously publicity stunts. and in my book, Mar managed the Haiyan affair quite incompetently. but he was there. others were not. others were more comfortable ridiculing (or criticizing, depending on intention, borrowing jamebo’s definition) from a distance. if anything, Mar deserves credit for effort, no matter how mediocre.

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