Monday, May 05, 2008

Cabinet Revamp and Transactional Politics

Now it can be said without reserve and with ethical certainty. There are more than enough indications that Malacañang itself even wants it openly known and noted. The ruling administration has nonchalantly demonstrated and continues to prove that transactional politics is its devious expertise. The publicly admittedly “secret” of a forthcoming cabinet revamp is exactly what transactional politics is all about. Political interests – not the good of the general public – are the priority. Partisan concerns – not the general welfare of the people – are the focus.

Transactional politics is a way of sharing the spoils of political power and spoils. It is some kind of dividing the big and yummy cake of political benefits. It can be summed up in any of the following profitable arrangements: You scratch my back, I scratch yours. What you have is mine, what I have is yours. Meantime: Let others gnash their teeth. It is none of their business. Too bad they are outside the circle of the exclusive governing political club.

All the while, the millions of Filipinos – all obliged E-Vat payers for any and all consumer goods – think and believe that their well-paid and much provided public officials are for service in promoting the common good, in providing public service. It will be good to survey their thoughts or sentiments about such a base political accommodations dutifully observed by the national leadership in the forthcoming cabinet revamp – considering that the names of those ready to occupy positions of authority and prestige in the Executive Department are already known.

They are all losers. Although much moneyed and made key figures in a well oiled national political machine for the 2007 elections, they were disapproved and discarded by the electorate, and thus remained unchosen, unelected. But the time has come for them to collect from their acknowledged principal because of whom they precisely lost in the political race, hence, it is pay-back time by their lead-patron.

It is quite interesting to note that even before the ominous cabinet chacha actually begins, there are already loud and angry shouts heard against this or that candidate of the national leadership for that or this office. The matter of professional credentials and pursuant competence is not in any way an issue. Much more than personal qualifications and acquired mastery required for an envisioned position, what really counts are their total allegiance and consummate subservience to the appointing power.

It is both disturbing and disgusting to think that there are millions of well qualified professionals with known personal integrity in the country, and yet Malacañang makes it a point to look for key appointed public officials precisely from among those otherwise perceived. No wonder that in the past seven years, it can be said that in the analysis, the country jumped out of the frying pan into the excruciating fire.

5 May 2008