One of the biggest assets of leadership is when it has the trust and respect of its followers. Never mind if the leader has neither any doctorate degree nor sublime promises and heavenly ten point agenda. But woe to it if it is perceived as suspect and deceitful if not in fact illegitimate.
A trusted and respected leadership makes a country proud, gives people hope, make things happen. It neither sinks people in debts nor taxes them to death. It makes its followers proud instead of being ashamed thereof.
The greatest liability of a leader then is when this is perceived as weak, doubted in its pronouncements, ridiculed in its person. This is sad and pitiful. It invites replacement according or contrary to law.
And this is exactly seems to be big predicament of the present national leadership. It might really want to bring prosperity to and peace in the country. But people do not believe. It could actually have good intentions, but a good number of either funny or sick jokes instead are said about it.
This is why repeated surveys say that the Malacanang incumbent has been having very low approval rate—not popularity rating as vainly claimed. By ad large, only those benefiting therefrom sing her high praises—not really profess genuine fidelity and true loyalty.
That is why the opposition by and large acts with cynicism to practically whatever comes from the administration. First there was the whispered power-sharing. Then there was the more recent idea of a unity government. There is the dangled cha-cha. Recently there is the matter of a shortened presidential term. Lately, there is the legislated presidential term. Lately, there is the legislated wage that was not meant to be.
Blaming the opposition for the woes of the country won’t cut—no matter how often repeated by those in the administration and those favored by it. There are too many scandals known by the general public as favoring the opposition: the “hello” and “I am sorry” tapes. The Jueteng Gate II. The Hyatt Ten. The venable contract. The fertilizer issue. To mention some. More are definitely forthcoming.
+O.V. Cruz, D.D.
7 November 2005