Either VP Leni is eternally naive or she is just trying to be politically relevant. Or she is pursuing a 2022 political agenda, or worse she is unknowingly being led to committing political faux pas for reasons only known to the operators. In any of those cases, the disconnect is evident.
She appears to be in perpetual motion of missteps.
She cannot seem to appropriately react to certain situations and fail to absorb the depth of a given circumstance.
As chairperson of the Housing and Urban and Development Coordinating Council and member of the Cabinet, she issued statements against certain actions of the administration, of which she was a part of.
To spare her from becoming an outcast in the Cabinet, or feeling uncomfortable being part of the administration she expressed disagreement in public on certain policies, she was advised not to attend its meetings. Offended by it, she resigned.
It was a precipitate and wrong move.
As housing head, she had the opportunity and the resources to help those in need of shelter, but she opted to quit. Not attending Cabinet meetings would have not impaired her capability to perform her function as head of a line government agency.
She could have continued with her work as head of that agency and perform productive endeavors beneficial to the housing sector.
By resigning her post as a Cabinet member, she was relegated to taking charge of a minuscule office with a shoestring budget.
Naturally, she could not do much in providing assistance and resources to those needing them.
After two years of leading the opposition, she was given another golden chance to be part of the administration. She was tapped by PRRD to co-chair the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. She blew it however by grandstanding, even putting at risk the security of the state.
As a consequence, the President was compelled to fire her.
Thereafter, she spearheaded the political opposition in a relentless series of criticisms and tirades against the government’s programs and actions.
Every opportunity she finds, she unleashes a stinging rebuke to what she perceives to be inappropriate government response or inaction.
She also makes it a point of going against the utterances of PRRD as being uncalled for or unpresidential.
She can’t find any reason to give credit to any of the administration’s efforts waging the battle against criminality, illegal drugs, corruption, rebellion and terrorism, and all kinds of irregularities.
To her, everything the government does is wrong. She nitpicks on government actions and makes them the basis of her uncalled for if not baseless negative narratives.
She makes it appear that the government’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic is wrong or inadequate by proposing measures that are either long done or presently being undertaken.
She made the destruction of properties and loss of lives wrought by typhoons “Rolly” and “Ulysses” a rich opportunity to politicize her distribution of relief goods.
She purposely broadcasted her relief operations to the media and rode on the hashtag “where are you?” (in reference to the whereabouts of PRRD at the height of the recent typhoons and floods), making it appear not only as if she is the only one visible government official braving the storms attending to the needs of the victims, but also coordinating with the military and police to conduct relief operations, when the truth of the matter is the responses to the effects of the natural disasters have been prepositioned days before their coming.
The entire government machinery was working prior to, during, as well as after the onslaught of the typhoons, with the President directing operations, without the glare of publicity, even as he performed his other duties as Head of State attending the ASEAN Summit, conferring with his counterparts in the Asian region.
She made use of an incident involving this writer to attack the administration and accused this columnist of peddling false news even implying that we fed the President with the wrong information that made him blew his top and made her the subject of the President’s ire in one of his weekly televised addresses.
In order for our readers to understand and appreciate the continuing disconnect and the attempt at political relevance of the Vice President, I deem it necessary, for clarity and transparency, to cite the facts and circumstances leading to my commentary to a particular information that I read, which I thought to be accurate but turned out to be half true only, and the succeeding accusation by the camp of the VP as well as from herself that I was peddling false news, leading to my subsequent apology and the retort of the VP that my apology was insincere.
This particular episode started when at the height of the floods that swept Cagayan, I forwarded to Secretary Delfin Lorenzana some text messages asking help in behalf of the victims.
In his response, Secretary Lorenzana forwarded to me an exchange of text messages between him and former BCDA President Arnel Casanova regarding the latter’s posting of an appeal to the government to help the VP in her typhoon relief efforts with a declaration that the President has clearly shown that the latter is incapable of performing his duties as President in responding to the disaster.
(To be continued)