"The right hand did not know what the left was doing."
Let not thy right hand know what the left hand is doing—Matthew 6:3
When former Association Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio launched 1Sambayan in his effort to seek an alternative to the present leadership, he immediately invited several personalities, many of whom are identified with the former administration.
Carpio, a staunch defender of the Philippines' sovereignty since the previous dispensation, has been going hammer and tongs against the intrusions of China in the West Philippine Sea. For a major ally, he has former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Carpio and del Rosario were among those who filed a case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration that ruled against China's claim to most of the West Philippine Sea.
In addition to del Rosario, Carpio invited several personalities, some of whom were involved in the country's loss of the Scarborough Shoal to China in 2012
Thus, here you have Carpio, the staunch defender of Philippine sovereignty in the company of political figures who gave up Scarborough Shoal, which is nearer Zambales than Hainan, China, and within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.
One of these personalities even led back-channel negotiations with Chinese officials and went to China more than 10 times to “help” resolve the issue to no avail.
In an effort to sanitize his involvement, the fellow came out with a paper detailing his recollection of the events that led to the country's loss of Scarborough Shoal to the Chinese. Of course, to deflect responsibility, he put the blame on other officials at the time, del Rosario included, for the debacle.
If that paper were to be believed, del Rosario was allegedly the official who ordered the Philippine Coast Guard and other government ships to leave the shoal during the stand-off.
Del Rosario was among the first to be invited by Carpio to 1Sambayan.
And speaking of right and left hands, President Duterte has just appointed Gen. Guillermo Eleazar as chief of the Philippine National Police.
Eleazar should have been appointed more than a year ago but two other officers were appointed to give a chance to wear four stars and have them bask in the pomp and pageantry of assumption of command and retirement ceremonies.
This despite the government's economic managers losing sleep over where to get the funds needed to sustain the retirement pay and pension of people in uniform.
Promotion in rank that goes with designation to higher command carries a commensurate increase in the salary and benefits of the officer involved. At the present pay scale, this runs into millions for generals, both in the military and the armed civilian services including the police, the jail guards, the fire fighters and the coast guard personnel.
With the government financially bleeding from the ayuda and other unforeseen expenses brought about by the Coronavirus Disease 2019, the least that the leadership could do is to minimize avoidable expenses like too many promotions.
As it is, the military and the police have an oversupply of generals. All of these officers merit higher retirement pay and pension. Funds that the government can ill afford at this time.
And then there is a bill at the Senate that makes the retirement age of people in uniform 65 instead of 56. That in effect will lengthen their service and inflate further their retirement pay and benefits. In addition, it will make the Philippine armed forces among the oldest in the world.
Indeed, in politics and in the government, the right hand does not know what the left is doing.
Nonnie Pelayo served as the news editor of the Business Mirror and Today newspaper.