Leadership has a pro-forma definition but for one to be called a leader, in the true sense of the word, one has to prove himself or herself first. Former President Cory Aquino was a leader. Look at her record during her tenure. Could that be described as effective leadership? Fidel Ramos followed suit. His much-bruited about attention to detail by his “Completed Staff Work” (CSW) requirement for all paperwork forwarded to his office is legendary. But what did he actually achieve? Joseph “Erap” Estrada didn’t have a chance from the beginning but his Cabinet was probably the best overall post-Marcos. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) achieved the impossible. She was able to bring out the best from the motley group she assembled after the resignation of the Hyatt 10; the Yellowidiots she had to accommodate because of her deal with Cory. GMA was and still is a leader. That’s why she is the most unpopular President. PNoy? Noynoy Aquino was a Boy-King made President. That’s all he was.
President Rodrigo Duterte has shown what he’s made of. Far from perfect but he has delivered on each of his promises except for federalism, which is what is needed now to finish off what he set out to do. Of the current crop of candidates being bandied about, Ping Lacson stands out. His expertise in the budget, experience in legislation and his knowledge of the inner workings of government while in its service qualifies him to run for the highest post again. For Inquirer columnist Manuel L Quezon III (MLQ3) to suggest that Vice President Leni Robredo should step up to the plate in his piece “The widow might” is absurd. All he has to present by way of “achievements” Robredo has delivered to exhibit Quezon’s standard of “leadership” are initiatives that don’t befit the scale at which a national leader would be expected to work towards. Instead, they come across as mere PR stunts that compete with executives at local government levels and even non-government organisations (NGOs) for media mileage.
Do you still remember how the Vice President helped organize these volunteers? Or how the effort led her to release, for public use by anyone who’d care to use it, a template for people to follow, to make useful PPE? That was on March 29, 2020. On YouTube, you can still see the video of her visiting sewers in Bulacan on Aug. 5, 2020. This was the second wave of such efforts, mind you, at a cost of P378.37 per set. Do you remember her response, when the government, in imposing a lockdown, decreed a halt to all public transport? Free shuttle services complete with schedules were organized. And there were COVID-19 kits for citizens, the Swab Cab initiative, the Vaccine Express initiative, the free dorm effort when our frontliners were being ostracized and even evicted from their dorms, the Community Mart for consumers, and many more.
Robredo is a lawyer while Lacson is not but there is more sense from the Senator than the Vice-President when it comes to the issues of the day. Leni thrives in NGO-speak while Lacson is concise about what needs to be done. Robredo specializes in brokering donations from the private sector for the public; the laylayan that she claims to care for and serve. Quezon invented the phrase “the little office that could” to describe and refer to the Office of the Vice-President (OVP). Think again. The Php900 million annual budget of the OVP, is not little. To put that in perspective, a local city university with 8,000 students has an annual budget of P300M. If the office is that “little”, where does the bulk of the monies go? PS? MOOE? Capital Outlay? None of the programs the OVP has come up has been adopted by any government agency, department or LGU. None of it has been institutionalized because it’s not scalable. It is mostly for the VP’s PR machine.
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Lastly, the VP hasn’t been able to keep any appointive position in government for at least six months. The main reason is she is not a team player. She acts as if she is not part of the Executive branch. As a lawyer, she should know better. As an economist, she also has no contribution at all. As a leader she has failed as the titular head of the Liberal Party as evidenced by their debacle in the 2019 election. Where is her political base at the national level if she really won over Marcos in 2016? Shouldn’t that be command votes in her favor? Robredo isn’t a leader. All the signs and evidence point to her being a fraud. She is a fraud. Plain and simple.
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