For world leaders, their inner circle is what can make or break them. It matters who they bring within their sphere of utmost trust and confidence to assist them in handling a tremendous amount of power. Although a leader may make mistakes in picking who these people, the mistake, once realized, must be rectified by immediately terminating or removing the accountable individual. The leader must know when to relieve a person of his duties and responsibilities, and make the hard decision of letting that person go.
President Rodrigo Duterte has consistently asked for the resignation of those close to him, and these were taken as it is. Former President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III, on the other hand, turned a blind eye on all the nuances and shortcomings of his inner circle, and instead chose to play Playstation with his nephew. We are now halfway into the administration after Aquino, and we are still haunted by the decisions, or rather, the absolute lack of decisions from 2010 to 2016.
Like hated villains in professional wrestling, we have the vicious tag-team of Mar Roxas and Leila De Lima, who seem to be up to no good. They carry the false banner of patriotism and nationalism, but it is now obvious that they were on a mission to drain the Philippines’ coffers from the loopholes they saw in the system. The damages they caused are felt to this very day.
For Roxas, alias “Boy Pickup” thanks to the famous privilege speech of Sen. Bong Revilla, we have the traffic crisis, still a topic of intense debate, as seen in last week’s exchange at the Senate between Sen. Grace Poe and Transportation Secretary Art Tugade. The MRT-3 still bogs down, thanks to the faulty management and illegal procurement of its parts that were done during the reign of Roxas as Transportation chief. He was later moved to the Department of the Interior and Local Government where he sat with De Lima to craft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law; we are all very much aware of what is going on now.
De Lima shot to prominence as Aquino’s Justice secretary who acted as their administration’s “hatchet man” against the Arroyos, and she was gladly rewarded. Aquino tolerated her profiteering from illegal activities — the worst was her profiteering from the illegal drug trade that commenced right under her nose in the New Bilibid Prison, controlled by the Bureau of Correction (now better known as Bureau of Corruption). De Lima’s immorality reeked and she ended up having a well-publicized affair with her own driver and bagman, Ronnie Dayan.
With the millions she earned from illegalities as Justice secretary, De Lima ran an expensive campaign for senator and won in 2016. Her continuing ambition in her new stint as senator got her nowhere, as she soon found herself at odds with the President. But she forgot that in going against a sitting President, one must do so with clean hands, and her hands were as filthy as a maggot-infested garbage can.
Her can of worms opened and the stench spread across the nation. She soon earned herself the moniker of “lola” or grandmother, thanks to the consistent testimonies and affidavits that have been coming out against her since 2016. “Limang manok” or five chickens is the said quota for De Lima, where one chicken is equivalent for P1 million. Before the end of 2016, she found herself in detention and has been there ever since.
Unknown to many, De Lima is related to another enemy of the state, Joma Sison who is married to the aunt of De Lima. This is something she did not deny, and may have little weight in the ongoing controversies surrounding her, but it is telling that a tendency to commit treason runs deep in the family.
In any case, the international media, particularly the Left-leaning liberal journalists, falsely heralded De Lima as a freedom fighter, similar to what is being done with Maria Ressa, who is in reality a tax cheat without an inch of respect for the Philippine Constitution for skirting its provisions, particularly on local ownership in nationalized industries. Soon enough, the world will see the truth behind “lola” and her chickens, and see how she, together with “Boy Pickup,” had ganged up on the Philippines for six straight years.