Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo And His Lame Duck President (Updated)
Malacanang is telling Foreign Affairs Secretary to resign.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo:
Cabinet officials should leave the government if they are going to support and actively campaign for any presidential aspirant other than the administration’s candidate, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.
(Asked if other administration officials supporting other candidates should follow the lead of resigned Commissioner Jaime Jacob of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC)
If their intention is to actively support and campaign for other candidates, yes.
Cabinet members are “expected” to support the administration’s standard-bearer.
They are part of the official family. They’ve been working with the Cabinet, with Secretary Teodoro for that matter. They know what Teodoro is fighting for. They know the programs that he plans to pursue because they were involved in crafting and implementing these.
In effect, they should also be campaigning for their own programs, for their own policies as part of the official family.
Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo:
The comments that I have on the candidacy of (Noynoy) created some concern from various quarters. These comments were originally made in a private conversation. When the comments saw print, I sought to put things in perspective by explaining that my long years of association Tita Cory and the Aquino family was the basis of my position.
I have made it clear that such comments do not in any way diminish my service and support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Neither does it mean that I am moving to the opposition. I am standing by the President until the end of her term and beyond.
I will continue to discharge my duties with utmost integrity, professionalism and loyalty which has been the hallmark of my long years of public service.
Democracy in the Philippines is “strong and vibrant.”
I am confident that in the end, our people will choose a leader who will build on the legacy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Not only does Romulo hope to stay put.
His former colleague in the Cabinet, erstwhile economic planning secretary Ralph Receto, is even telling Malacanang it is wrong to “purge” Romulo.
Bert Romulo is the brightest light in the Cabinet and it will be a monumental folly to snuff him out on the petty basis of his tentative choice for 2010.
Dog-catchers you can fire anytime, but you don’t serve your foreign affairs secretary his walking papers just because his politics doesn’t jibe with yours.
You don’t make a senior statesman a casualty of politics or the first victim of a purge.
Teodoro is a “strong, competent candidate who has his own charm and powerful draw that you don’t have to crack the whip so others will follow.
Are we seeing the opening moves in a Cabinet revolt?
The Palace will not admit it but the truth is Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has entered the lame duck phase of her most distrusted presidency which has 280 days left and counting.
Yes she can continue of those foreign trips, and yes, full diplomatic courtesies will be accorded her.
And yes, the President’s power to sign agreements for the Philippines, and command the uniformed services remain intact.
But she will not be able to prevent her subalterns from to begin wearing independent thinking hats, and acting as their own selves
Her spokespersons will not agree.
But that is reality.
There IS life, after Gloria.
Congressional lapdogs, errrh, allies of Mrs. Arroyo are goosetepping to voice tongue-in-cheek support for Secretary Romul, extolling his being “an honorable man.”
They are saying “of course Romulo and other Cabinet members are free.”
And in doing so they are reminding anointed PalaKa standard bearer Gibo Teodoro he has to do his own ‘homework’ of gaining their favor during the money-driven campaign period:
Lakas Kampi spokesperson (Palawan Rep.) Antonio Alvarez:
Even members of the Cabinet have a right to choose whom to vote for, and he believed Romulo would not abuse his position to campaign for Aquino. Leave him alone. This guy has done a lot. I don’t think he’s going to campaign [for Aquino]. That’s his preference. Mind you, a lot of Cabinet secretaries have a different preference. They just keep it to themselves. They have no right to tell him to resign. So what if he wants to vote for [Aquino]? He doesn’t say that he’s going to campaign, that he’s going to compromise the administration.
Other secretaries, politicians working in government, they might be the first ones to jump ship…. Would they themselves vote for Gibo? It would be the job of the administration’s standard-bearer to convince party mates to support him, before he could go out and ask the people to vote for him. hat candidate must convince party mates to vote for him. Otherwise, he has no business going to people and asking them vote for him.
Speaker Prospero Nograles:
Secretary Romulo is a very very decent and upright man. He is dignified and with solid principles and track record. Let us respect the man. Whatever it is he decides is fine by me. I truly respect him.
House Majority Leader Arthur Defensor:
Of course, the President is expecting that if you cannot go with the candidate of the administration, she wants you to keep your mouth shut. But knowing Secretary Romulo, you know, he’s a very honorable politician.
Will Gibo get the message?