There are rumors about Atty. Vic Rodriguez, the man appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Junior as his Executive Secretary. I will not dignify these accusations, mainly of a corrupt nature, as I do not have the time nor the nerve to check or validate if all of them are true. This article is about the effects of such accusations on the integrity of the Office, which Atty. Rodriguez currently represents.
Rodriguez no longer represents a losing candidate for the vice president or a former senator–he now represents the interests of the 18th president of a Republic now facing insurmountable challenges brought by systemic anomalies. These challenges, mainly on the nature of economics, have a deadline–Marcos Junior must solve these risks within the next two years; otherwise, this economy will slide further down the precipice. And the tell-tale signs of this economic malady are unraveling, first on the rising prices of essential commodities and services, and second, on the weak performance of the bourse. Politics most often influence these things within and without the palace. A balance is usually found that saves the President from public humiliation while catering to the caprices of the elites who surround him and those outside the political bubble yet whose actions significantly impact state matters.
All these economic movers and shakers look for one thing: confidence from behind the One on the throne. While President Marcos Junior may be highly popular right now, this does not directly affect the perception of those in the business sector. Our country’s economic movers and shakers use a different standard than everybody else, and their optics are far more precise than those used by politicians. Psychographic analysis far exceeds those tools by self-proclaimed political analysts who serve as publicists rather than the cut-and-dried political animals people expect they are. Unfortunately, our good friend Rodriguez counts himself as one of these species.
Economic managers must be able to say that we are all under good management. And mind you, these people know what is happening within the four corners of Malacanan. There is no secret kept within those bamboo curtains. Even during the dark days of the first Marcos administration, people, even those within the closest circle, did nothing but slander and spread rumors about the family.
One palace observer says Marcos Junior must “keep it together” to survive the next few months. The public has generally accepted his appointments, and several are doing their jobs more than the public expects. Unfortunately, these appointments made recently are shaking the confidence of several sectors, first since these appointees lack a deeper understanding of the posts, mainly because their professional experiences are not in sync. Second, some have tarnished records in public service. Being appointed to a post where one is not considered generally by your peers as an expert immediately places you in an unlikely place. That sounds like an appointment highly political and functional to most people. Meaning that you are just there for a reason, not because you deserve to be there or among those considered “creme de la creme.” I don’t want to state the obvious, but let’s say it the way people think: you are appointed either to collect or to keep the peace.
Although massive, Marcos Junior knows his win does not guarantee survival or longevity. Longevity in power requires investing in people, politics, and economic interests. His current situation is a new ball game, acutely dissimilar from the dynamics that Marcos Junior witnessed during his father’s term. Marcos Junior must consider our times as a period of latent destabilization whereby the traditional political forces observe while recuperating from their wounds.
Marcos Junior must be perceived as a leader whose consigliere is meant for war. Rodriguez must wear three (3) hats: a hat for a court jester, another for a dragon, and a wizard. One less of these hats means disaster for Marcos Junior and a very short reign.
By the way, there are talks that several insider groups offered the Executive secretary-ship position to former Mandaluyong mayor Benhur Abalos, but he reportedly rejected it. Abalos is already comfortable with the local government’s post. Mike Aguinaldo’s name and Anton Lagdameo, a partner of Rodriguez in his tabloid business Saksi Ngayon, are also some names being floated about. Why is it that Rodriguez is in the midst of a power struggle?