Atty. Vic Rodriguez is out, but no one is willing to replace him as Executive Secretary, says Press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles. While the president tours the United States, the reins of government are in the hands of no one– simply not clear though whether our Vice president Sara Duterte is now the caretaker. Yes, President Marcos Junior gave Duterte some leeway when he did those Indonesia and Singapore state visits, but this time, nothing is clear. Who then is taking care of the government?
The name of former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin was leaked as the man favored to assume Rodriguez’s post, but the way the ex-ES maneuvered his exit smacks of indecency. As what Presidential Chief Legal adviser Juan Ponce Enrile said, Rodriguez’s proposal to revive the Chief of Staff post would create another layer of bureaucracy in an already heavily trafficked Malacanan. Good that President Marcos Junior agreed with JPE; otherwise, who would be crazy enough to don the Executive secretary-ship when all the powers of the office had been effectively transferred to the Chief of Staff post, a post created by the same person who would benefit from it?
Clearly, this administration is weakening itself by allowing populist voices to influence its direction. I mean, yes, Atty. Rodriguez might have overstepped his bounds, yet by showing that it is ready to replace its top man when being grilled in the political arena shows us that the traditional centers of power had been effectively neutralized and replaced by unseen real powers working behind the bamboo curtains in Malacanan. Meaning, the President has just shown his slip.
That there is a group of people running the show is pretty obvious. Tradition dictates that the President’s alter-ego, the Executive Secretary, not only enjoys his trust and confidence enough for this person to exercise a modicum of power. Now, we see these posts as mere facades, acting out as responsible wielders of power when in reality, a very closely knit group is running the show. The problem is this–these people, the real powers, are not elected people. They are piggybacking on the popularity of the President, using his political capital to advance their economic and financial interests. It appears that, like his father, Marcos Junior keeps his own Rolex Gang in running our government. Is this good for us or will this practice of allowing shadowy figures save this administration from disaster?