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ON TARGET

Insubordinate and so full of themselves

/ 01:52 AM May 18, 2017

Newly confirmed Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is showing signs of being insubordinate to his boss.

Senator Cayetano—who salivated for the key Cabinet post and followed President Digong around like a puppy before the latter finally took pity on him—seems to have become swelled-headed even this early.

After the China visit, the President said he was looking at the possibility of a joint venture exploration for oil on the disputed Spratly Islands with other claimant-countries Vietnam and China.

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But Cayetano contradicted his boss, saying it’s against the “Constitution and our own laws.”

The senator, who was the President’s running mate in the last election, was actually contradicting former Speaker Joe De Venecia who voiced out Mr. Duterte’s sentiments.

De Venecia said that a joint exploration for oil at the Spratlys would promote peace and economic development among the three claimant-countries.

Cayetano pooh-poohed De Venecia’s statement.

“If you look at the statement of former Speaker De Venecia when he was still Speaker, he is consistent with those kind of ideas,” the senator said. “But that doesn’t mean that that’s the direction of the government because we are bound by the Constitution and our own laws.”

Before he opened his mouth, the new foreign secretary should have thought about the consequences his statement on the Spratlys would have on our budding friendship with China.

The President should also show his teeth to other Cabinet members like Finance Secretary Dominguez, Presidential Legal Adviser Sal Panelo and Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol who seem to contradict his orders in public.

These Cabinet secretaries seem to take liberties with the President’s trust and friendship.

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They could contradict the President during Cabinet meetings or in private conversations with him but—by golly!—not in public.

I remember what Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain of the Office of the President wrote in the Inquirer opinion page sometime ago.

Quitain, who was the city administrator of Davao City when Digong was mayor, said the President doesn’t want to be embarrassed in public.

Those Cabinet men are now so full of themselves that they failed to read Quitain’s column.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is right: Janet Lim Napoles, charged over the pork barrel scam, cannot become state witness because she is one of the principal players in the alleged plunder of the people’s money.

Only suspects deemed to have the least participation in a heinous crime could apply to become a state witness.

Napoles taught senators and congressmen how to steal from their pork barrel by channeling it to her foundations.

Without Napoles, the legislators wouldn’t have known how to make personal use of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which has since been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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TAGS: Finance Secretary Dominguez, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, President Rodrigo Duterte, Speaker Joe De Venecia, Spratly Islands
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