A Golf Course Mauling And A Star-Crossed Appointment

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A Christmas season mauling in a golf club courtesy of a powerful political family. That hugged the front pages and the blogs these previous days.

I say this incident is the most famous (or infamous) mauling incident in a long time. And thanks to the internet, individuals have a new means in voicing their opinions. Hopefully this is the start of a way of checking abuses of public officials on the personal level. I am lucid enough to realize that the Net is not yet a way of checking official corruption because it has to go through the “legal process” and in the Philippines that is almost synomymous to a whitewash especially with the current Ombudsman.

If the son of DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman was the one who led the mauling he should be suspended from his position, if he is indeed a municipal mayor. I think the provincial governor of Lanao del Sur has the right and duty to do so because disciplining mayors is part of the job of the governor. But knowing Lanao del Sur politics and culture I say that is not a simple matter. That will probably be taken by the Pangandamans as a slap in the face and in that land confrontations emanating from this kind readily jumps above the verbal kind.

I hope the incident is resolved through the vaunted “legal process” and not settled through an “apology” or “compensation”. For how will be teach public officials that they are also accountable like ordinary citizens and not above the law?

If Secretary Pangandaman has any delicadeza he should by now tender his resignation. But I thought delicadeza is a Spanish word and concept. I have yet to see if this concept is not alien to the DAR Secretary.

A grave lapse of judgment on his part, I say. I remember that when he was appointed to the Cabinet there were gasps of disbelief in Lanao. But to the credit of the Secretary, most will probably concede that by the standards of an Arroyo cabinet he probably did a decent job and he was able to avoid controversy unlike the other cabinet secretaries.

He was recently appointed as the chief peace adviser to the President regarding the stalled peace agreement with the MILF. I say he is probably qualified for that post because he is in a position to look at both sides of the divide and he probably has a realistic assessment of the Mindanao situation.

But he should not have accepted it. It seems he didn’t realize that persons appointed to that double-crossed process are always star-crossed. And next time he should be more careful in venturing out to a gulpe club.

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