“A healthy democracy needs a genuine opposition.”
When it became apparent that a massive victory was at hand, BBM issued a statement to the whole world that he should not be judged based on the history of his family. He should only be judged solely on what he will do as the president of this country.
It was a fair plea and indeed, everyone should perhaps take a back seat and wait to see what he will be doing the moment he is sworn into office. After all, there is some kind of tradition that a newly elected president is given a 100-day honeymoon period before everyone goes back to the salt mine.
Another thing that he said was when it comes to appointments to government positions, qualifications and competence will be the sole basis for appointment. Previous political affiliations whether an individual was against his family or close to the family will not come into play in the matter of selection. These are encouraging words coming from him. It means that everyone will be given a fair shake and that anyone who is qualified and competent can be chosen for important government positions.
For his first appointment, he selected his running mate and presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte Carpio to be the Secretary of Education which is the biggest government agency in the country.
The second was the choice of his campaign manager Benjamin Abalos for the important position of DILG Secretary. Two have also been asked to join the cabinet while the rest that we are hearing are pure speculations until officially announced by the transition team.
The landslide victory triggered the pouring of congratulatory messages from many countries. The United States and China wasted no time in sending their greetings and congratulations to BBM and the country for the successful conduct of the elections. The US President even made a personal call to BBM to offer his personal congratulations and offered to work together to strengthen common interests between the two countries.
These are all positive developments. Even the European Union sent greetings, not to mention Australia, Russia and Japan. The swiftness of the count seems to have satisfied international observers to the validity of the results and the realization of the geopolitical importance of this election.
What the entire business community is now waiting to the point of nervousness is for the new economic team to be named. I would think that the transition team is being extremely careful in this regard considering the implications if the wrong choices are made. This will probably be the last ones to be announced together with the security team and the executive secretary.
I suspect and so does everyone else that Vic Rodriguez will get the job. I have it from a good source that BBM together with his close advisers are meeting constantly in their desire to make the right decisions on the people they will appoint so that they can hit the ground running when they take over the reins of government.
It’s not only in the executive department that there are many activities going on but the legislative branch as well. The selection on who will be the Senate President and Speaker of the House are so crucial because of the legislative agenda of the incoming president. In the Senate, it is a choice between Senators Cynthia Villar and Miguel Zubiri while in the House, majority leader Martin Romualdez seems to be the lone contender and looking like it is already a done deal.
If it happens, he will be the second Romualdez to become Speaker of the House. The first was Daniel Romualdez who was also from Leyte and a relative.
The opposition in Congress appears to have been decimated in the election. If there are those who won, they are probably thinking whether it is better to join the so-called super majority. After all, the kind of party system that we have in this country is such that it is easy for politicians to transfer allegiance for the sake of their constituents as they would often say. I
n the Senate, it is only Senator Risa Hontiveros who was able to make it back among the opposition reelectionists. Their problem now is whether they will be able to form a credible and viable opposition in both chambers. If it happens that there will be no opposition in Congress to speak of, where will the opposition come from?
A healthy democracy needs a genuine opposition if we want our government to be labeled as a true democracy. Let us hope not from the streets because that can be counterproductive.
It is always better that the opposition should come from elected politicians so that discourse can be kept civil and not settle issues in the streets.