New Mandate, Fresh Look; "He (She) That Will Not Apply New Remedies Must Expect New Evils for Time Is the Greatest Innovator." - Francis Bacon

Manila Bulletin, June 29, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Mandate, Fresh Look; "He (She) That Will Not Apply New Remedies Must Expect New Evils for Time Is the Greatest Innovator." - Francis Bacon


IN most countries, but especially in Europe, where the parliamentary form of government is in place, victory in national elections almost invariably leads to wholesale Cabinet revamp which the public generally expects with every new electoral mandate but Cabinet changes are not necessarily to be construed as a negative reflection on the integrity, competence, qualifications, and track record of the Cabinet ministers.

That is, the public expects new approaches and new faces to old problems which the people believed were either not addressed adequately by administration officials, or their focus was diverted for personal agenda; or were not successfully resolved; or the officials were generally preoccupied with partisan politics.

In other words, the presidential appointees were qualified for the "right" positions for the wrong reasons which resulted in disenchantment, systemic corruption, and public resentment.

It is, therefore, bewildering to the public when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, after the elections, called for the courtesy resignations of Cabinet members and presidential appointees after which presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye announced that rumors of Cabinet changes are mere rumors as a Cabinet revamp is not being contemplated and neither is it imminent. We dare say that a musical chairs Cabinet rigodon will be greatly disappointing to the public.

It goes without saying that this kind of doublespeak and inconsistencies do not go down well with the people who demand sincerity, consistency, and transparency from their political leaders.

On the one hand, while there are valid reasons to believe that President Arroyo will do what is necessary for the country, without fear or favor, as she can no longer run for reelection in 2010, and has paid her political debts, so to speak.

There are, on the other hand, many who opine that President Arroyo is not capable of executing bold and radical reforms as she is inextricably "wedded" to the past, hostage to the business oligarchy; fearful of the Catholic Church; and intimidated by the growing military threat and restlessness. …

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