A lesson in sycophancy

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    MANUELITO Luna, a functionary of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), an agency under the Office of the President, had just learned a hard, bitter lesson in sycophancy.

    It is not important now whether he was speaking in his personal capacity or not. Worse if he spoke for the PACC. The fact is, he advocated for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Vice President Leonor Robredo for allegedly competing with the national government in giving aid to our hapless citizens who are reeling under the economic and health problems brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said Robredo’s actions were “calculated to undermine” the government’s response to the health crisis.

    Luna might have thought he would get some good points with President Duterte for this incredibly obsequious display of sycophancy. He was completely mistaken.

    President Duterte was very furious when he heard of the incident. Taking the cudgels for the Vice President, Duterte right away fired Luna from the PACC and warned the NBI that they would suffer the same fate if they as much as take up the stupid suggestion of the former PACC commissioner.

    Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo was quick in pointing out that the sacking of Luna “demonstrates the President’s intolerance to abusive, arrogant and incompetent government officials, apart from the corrupt ones, as well as consistent with his decisive action against errant public servants.”

    “Those who respond to call for unity and cooperation must be encouraged and commended instead of being harassed by subjecting them to a mindless government intrusion that smacks of partisan action,” he said.

    “Only the Bayanihan spirit of every Filipino lending hand to each other can make this nation survive and prevail over this scourge of a disease,” he added.

    In her own little way, and with a minuscule budget, VP Robredo provided free shuttle service for the frontliners, several dormitories for health workers, donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and surgical masks, and mobilized private sector support for these worthy activities.

    Other Duterte die-hards who still share Luna’s mindset and who think they know the President that well are hereby warned of this hard lesson on sycophancy.

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