Firing Line

Hopefully, the firing line is soon to come not only for the corrupt, but also for the incompetent.

In his brief but meaningful 2-year tenure thus far as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has fired (or in kinder terms, asked to resign) an unprecedented number of cabinet officials over their alleged involvement in graft and corrupt practices. The President even laments that the people he sacked were actually the same ones who actively encouraged him to run for the highest post in the land.

Without question, the President has tried to live-up to his promises that: (1) he will not tolerate corruption in his cabinet and, (2) he will appoint the 'best and the brightest' in key agencies. True to his word, the President has wasted no time in expelling government officials embroiled in controversies involving corruption. Through his ‘solomonic wisdom,’ appointees such as the likes of Sec. Mark Villar, Sec. Sonny Dominguez and Sec. Mon Lopez have reignited the country's economy, given the country’s current massive investments in infrastructure and mass transportation, monetary and fiscal stability, and more importantly--- tax reform.

However, while we have seen and experienced significant developments in many critical areas of governance, the President’s success has been set back by some of his own key appointees. Their poor performance is not just driven by a lack of skill but also by hidden motives. Many of us must realize that when one’s motive is merely to gain influence and benefit from the position, performance is the least priority. Furthermore, when one doesn’t possess the qualifications to be appointed, he/she uses media to spread fake news and gain sympathy from the masses.

The mishaps of these individuals and their agencies have not escaped the public ire. They have been the laughing stock not only in the Philippines but also in many major parts of the world. They have been the convenient target of the opposition’s relentless rabid attacks and criticisms. Worst, their ‘boo-boos’ have been used negatively against the President.

In the end, the totality of their failures has weighed heavily on the President’s shoulders. Instead of being assets, they are no worse liabilities than drug pushers and criminals.

While I laud the President's efforts to cleanse the government of corruption, I also urge him to cleanse the government of incompetence. I trust that the President has the gravitas to rid government not only of the corruption it has been riddled with in past years, but also of the ineptitude of some officials to perform well in their respective positions.

Hopefully, the firing line is soon to come not only for the corrupt, but also for the incompetent.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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