Of Traitors, Sleepers, And Loyalties In Doubt (Updated: Bello Says He Was Misquoted)
I had initially intended to update my post on Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and his now shaky relationship with our Lady President.
But 48 hours since the story of Romulo’s announcement of his support of Sen. Noynoy Aquino the ‘political harmonic tremors’ have grown stronger indicating what could be a bigger shifting of the under Mrs. Arroyo.
Taking Romulo’s lead, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello says:
My sentiments are for Noynoy.
I will quit the Cabinet if I eventually decided to support Aquino’s candidacy.
Mr. Bello has issued a new statement:
I never said that I was for Noynoy, that I had sentiment for Noynoy, that I will resign because of Noynoy.
My position is very clear: I’m a member of the Cabinet. I stayed because
I still believe and I still support the President.
But there’s still this ‘confession’ from the Little President, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita:
Of course, it has effects. But in time, we’ll be able to overcome that.
The statement he (Romulo) made was in the context of just stating his support to a candidate other than that of the administration without necessarily saying that he’s looking out to openly campaign for that candidate and that he is firm in his stand that he continues to support President Arroyo up to the end of her term.
If they (Bello and Romulo) feel deep in their hearts that they need to support another candidate, they should be man enough to tell this to the President rather than pretend that they’re still part of the party.
Everybody will get a sense of how they should position thsemselves as far as the issue of staying and be one with the entire membership of the Cabinet so that the candidate we have fielded and the party headed by President Arroyo would be the one supported.
I believe Secretary Bello was merely expressing his personal sentiments without any commitment he would actively campaign for his preferred candidate.
Let’s respect everyone for such a latitude. If that happens to other Cabinet members, it doesn’t mean they will turn their back on President Arroyo.
I hope they’re aware of the implications of their actions.
And the loyal executive secretary (whom Arroyo ‘inherited’ from Pres. Fdel V. Ramos) goes on to deliver a thinly disguised warning to other members of his boss’s official family:
I don’t think there’ll be such … traitors.
The Cabinet members are decent people. They won’t be able to sleep at night if they have that sinister design.
Mr. Ermita’s use of the words ‘traitor’ and ‘sinister’ tips Malacanang’s hand: it is more thank watching its flanks.
It is trying to smoke out the sleepers in its midst.