Special Feature: The DISS-Appointments
Change: this is what most Filipinos need and want after nine years of the corrupt, anti-poor, and violent Arroyo regime. It is the promise of change that has led many to vote Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino into Malacañang.
Noynoy’s new Cabinet and other appointed officials will set the tone for his first few months in power. The appointment of leaders with proven clean, pro-poor, and pro-people track records increases the likelihood of genuine change for people in the coming months. On the other hand, it is unlikely that those with corrupt, anti-poor, and anti-people track records will bring about the change we need.
There are 90-95 million Filipinos today, according to unofficial estimates. And if we are to believe Noynoy Aquino’s press secretary, then the following people are “the best and the brightest” of the 90 million and more Pinoys. These are Noynoy’s DISS-APPOINTMENTS.
DFA’s Alberto Romulo served as DFA Secretary under GMA until the end of her term.
DBM’s Butch Abad served as DepEd secretary under GMA until 2005.
DOF’s Cesar Purisima also served as DOF secretary under GMA until 2005.
DSWD’s Dinky Soliman also served as DSWD secretary under GMA until 2005.
OPAPP’s Ding Deles also served as OPAPP head under GMA until 2005.
TRIED-AND-TESTED AGAINST THE PEOPLE
DOF’s Purisima is the #1 proponent of the raising of VAT from 10 to 12% last 2005. He is now pushing to raise the VAT again to 15%.
DBM’s Abad pushed for the use of English as primary medium of instruction as former DepEd secretary.
DOLE’s Rosalinda Baldoz neglected many cases of abuse and violence against OFWs as a POEA and OWWA official. She also crafted many measures which burdened OFWs.
DENR’s Ramon Paje served as the head of the MDC which pushes for large-scale mining which has led to many cases of evicting indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands and has adverse effects to the environment.
DFA’s Romulo violated Philippine sovereignty when he allowed the U.S Embassy to hide rapist U.S Army corporal Daniel Smith despite an order to jail the latter in the Makati City Jail. He again violated sovereignty when he ignored an order by the Supreme Court to return Smith to the MCJ.
DND’s Voltaire Gazmin served as Army chief under former president Estrada and led the all-out war in Mindanao.
AFP Chief of Staff Ricardo David previously served as head of the AFP’s Northern Luzon Command, and ordered the continued militarization and harassment of farmers and activists in Hacienda Luisita.
CHR’s Etta Rosales and her organization Akbayan has repeatedly tagged activists and their supporters as members of/linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, a tactic used by the military to justify the assassination and abduction of the activists.
BIG BUSINESS IN GOVERNMENT
DOE’s Rene Almendras is the former president of the Ayala-held Manila Water, as well as the former president and CEO of two real estate companies of the Ayala Land Group.
DOTC’s Ping de Jesus is the former president and COO of Meralco, as well as the former executive vice-president of PLDT.
DOT’s Alberto Lim is the former president of the Makati Business Club.
DBM’s Abad, DSWD’s Soliman, OPAPP’s Deles, DOF’s Purisima, DFA’s Romulo, and DOT’s Lim all supported Aquino’s presidential candidacy.
DOE’s Almendras and DOTC’s de Jesus come from companies held by families who supported Aquino’s candidacy.
CHR’s Rosales and Akbayan meanwhile served as one of the fiercest ‘critics’ against opponents of Aquino’s candidacy.
Julia Abad, daughter of DBM’s Abad, is now head of the Presidential Management Staff.
Luis Abad, son of DBM’s Abad, is chief of staff of DOF’s Purisima.
Henendina Abad, wife of DBM’s Abad and representative of Batanes, is eyeing the vice-chairmanship of the House Committee on Appropriations.
1. DFA: Dept. of Foreign Affairs, DBM: Dept. of Budget and Management, DOF: Dept. of Finance, DSWD: Dept. of Social Welfare and Development, OPAPP: Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, DOLE: Dept. of Labor and Employment, DENR: Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, DND: Dept. of National Defense, CHR: Commission on Human Rights, DOE: Dept. of Energy, DOTC: Dept. of Transportation and Communications, DOT: Dept. of Tourism.
2. KAMAG-ANAK INC. is a term used to describe former President Cory Aquino’s appointment of many of her relatives in government positions.