Transition

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    ‘It may not be politically expedient for Robredo to take this path, but this would be truly stabilizing and beneficial to prevent the deepening political and social conflict from hindering her administration’s more vigorous response to the almost overwhelming health crisis.’

    IF and when Vice President Leni Robredo takes over the reins of government, she should take exceptional efforts to ensure a smooth transition. The demolition job against her has long started and will not end when she becomes President under the present circumstances. Serious disruptions will likely come from the defense and military establishment and from government leaders managing the public health care system who should remain unchanged except for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

    Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and DILG Secretary Arturo Ano have been key players who helped lay out the essential groundwork for the strict quarantines nationwide that somehow evolved miserably. They should remain at their Cabinet posts and at the IATF.

    Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and the top economic manager should also be retained if only to sustain some economic gains and to finally carve out policies for economic recovery ignored by President Duterte.

    It may not be politically expedient for Robredo to take this path, but this would be truly stabilizing and beneficial to prevent the deepening political and social conflict from hindering her administration’s more vigorous response to the almost overwhelming health crisis.

    For the higher interests of the sick and the suffering, for the jobless and the hungry, she should deny the vengeful aggression of opposition leaders against the outgoing President and his appointees and allies. Robredo will certainly earn the ire of many of her advisers and followers embittered by how the administration has been seized by the huge virus crisis causing many deaths and misery. She will be her “own man.”
    ***

    Numerous officials and employees at the Isabela Provincial Capitol have remained silent over the P2 billion plunder and malversation case filed at the Ombudsman allegedly involving Vice Governor Faustino “Bodgie” Dee III and 13 provincial officials. The local media has also been stifled through the years by reported violent threats. Only a few like former Mayor Noli Siquian of Angadanan, Isabela has kept the cause against corruption and political killings and persecution alive and well.

    We recall that President Duterte ordered the Ombudsman late last year to investigate Siquian’s accusations. It stemmed from the construction of an 81-kilometer road at P20M per kilometer.

    Due to two attempts on his life some years ago, Siquian practically abandoned his provincial residence and has moved to Quezon City. He asked for additional police security from the NCRPO after unidentified men were seen stalking his house almost every night.

    He recently filed a supplemental case at the Ombudsman identifying the public officials and their alleged roles in the case, that included the Provincial Treasurer, the OIC Provincial Legal Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee 2015, the Budget Officer, the Provincial Engineer, the Provincial Accountant and the chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee 2015, among others.