Eligibility for public office: must have ‘helped me win’

01:54 AM March 27, 2017

While people give President Duterte the benefit of the doubt about his determination to deal more decisively with the drug menace and rampant criminality, we cannot help but wonder how much trust he deserves in light of his appointment to public offices of dubious characters with no track record in public service.

Aside from the common perception that he is spreading the spoils of the last presidential election largely among schoolmates and friends, the President’s predilections are more egregious toward those who really “helped me win.”


Thus, for the alleged “generous” boost given by the Marcos family to keep his electoral campaign from falling apart for lack of funds, he quickly arranged the fulfillment of their long-time dream of burying their much-maligned patriarch among heroes in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. That he also holds the son, Bongbong, in such high esteem is reason enough to worry about what Du30 has in store for Marcos Jr. in his unpredictable administration.

Jaw-dropping, too, are the “honors” he bestowed upon the daughter of a staunch ally and ardent campaigner, Liza Diño,  as chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and on her “spouse” Aiza Seguerra as chair of the National Youth Commission. What do they have to commend themselves to those “honorable offices” other than the tsunami-like waves they made out of their scandal-ridden same-sex “matrimony”?


More flummoxing is Du30’s elevation of a porn-purveyor to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, the so-called guardian of morality. Just google the name “Mocha Uson” and see for yourselves how she flaunted her bra-less breasts being squeezed and mashed under her shirt by a guy on Mo Twister’s TV show for perverts—and seemed to enjoy it with wanton abandon. And there, too, was her televised “tutorial” on masturbation and lesbian “rules of engagement.” And those were just the tamer portrayals on national TV she was indulging in.

And let’s not forget actor Cesar Montano. Named chief operating officer of the Tourism Promotions Board last December, he is already embroiled in some money scandals and has been called to account for “mismanagement” and allegedly entering into multimillion-peso contracts with his favorite people in show biz.

And Sandra Cam. After being accosted in the VIP lounge of the airport, which is reserved only for high government officials and celebrities, she reportedly flew off the handle and reminded everyone that she was going to sit in the Duterte Cabinet soon. Such hubris, indeed—even before she is appointed.

Practically confirming Cam’s “reservation,”  Malacañang downplayed the incident as a “misunderstanding” already resolved amicably. No less than the airport authorities (read: Duterte apologists serving at his pleasure) assured everyone that the personnel concerned had no problem with the way their humiliation by Cam was ironed out.

These are just some of the dubious personalities doing a great (dis)service to President Duterte’s avowed concern for this country’s future. His administration’s vetting process for appointments to positions of public trust seems to be run by satraps who are more fastidious with how best to show their boss’ gratitude than with how best to lift this nation from the ignominy of being labeled “Third World.”

This scourge called political patronage should end, sir!

GEORGE DEL MAR, MD, [email protected]


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