Lest I sound like an apologist, but Filipinos should already change their leadership perceptions. I mean, come on, when it comes to the President, we need to change our perception of our very own Chief Executive acting like an Overlord or a common city or town mayor. Mayors are expected to be on the ground every time, people say. Are we saying that for every calamity, expect the President always to be there? Come on.
Bongbong Marcos Junior understands the concept of leadership very well. Leaders are supposed to delegate and prioritize higher concerns rather than spend time in ceremonial giving of relief goods. I mean, local government and social welfare secretaries can do these things very well. They don’t need the President to tell people that behind all this assistance is the President. They’re alter-egos of the President. So why drag the President to all these ceremonies?
The President had other things to worry about, like rising inflation, geopolitical tensions, crime and corruption, and developing local insurgency. This China-Taiwan tension and the impending visit to the Philippines of the vice president of the United States of America are two important events that the President should concern himself with instead of expecting our president to grace these events just for publicity purposes.
I think the problem lies with what stories and events to prioritize. And that’s supposed to be the job of the Communications secretary. It is better for this president to spend his time meeting with our economic, political, and national security advisers and officials to prepare the country against this impending war. Likewise, President Marcos Junior must be ready and able to negotiate with his U.S. counterparts on the possibility of economic and security cooperation. Yes, it seems like this administration is slowly siding with the United States but, acting as a responsible statesman, is also maintaining its excellent ties with China. What is clearer than having a foreign policy of “being friends with every democratic state and avoiding having enemies”? This is not something new in international relations. Every state wants to trade and have relations with independent states and avoid friction as much as possible.