Snake pit | Inquirer News
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Snake pit

/ 11:06 PM June 08, 2011

Whether it was the rival Samar group that recommended former Sen. Mar Roxas as transportation and communications secretary, the fact is President Noy made the right decision not to appoint him Palace chief of staff.

The President bought peace to the snake pit that is Malacañang, with Roxas out of the Palace.

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If Roxas went on to become chief of staff, his functions would have duplicated those of Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa of the elite Ateneo gang and the Samar group.

Roxas heads the Balay group within the Aquino administration.

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Had Roxas become chief of staff, the infighting between Roxas’ and Ochoa’s groups would have been so intense it would have disrupted the President’s policies of governance.

And the people would be the losers in the end.

* * *

If Roxas wants to become the next president of the Republic, he should aspire to become interior and local government secretary so he can be close to the people.

The most powerful position in the Cabinet in terms of earning political mileage is the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which has supervision of all local government units and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

* * *

During the administration of President Erap, then PNP chief Ping Lacson was slated for the DILG post, because even then, he already had his eyes on the presidency.

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Lacson, an astute politician, knew early on that the DILG would have been his passport to Malacañang.

But this plan was scuttled when Erap was kicked out of office by the citizenry through what is now called Edsa 2.

* * *

Anybody who aspires to become the next president should strive to get the DILG post.

Once he becomes DILG chief, he should be chummy-chummy with all governors and mayors and very hard on policemen who abuse civilians.

The DILG chief is concurrent chair of the National Police Commission (Napolcom), which has direct control and supervision over the PNP.

* * *

As Napolcom chair, the DILG chief has the wherewithal to punish abusive cops.

Citizens, especially the poor and the downtrodden, love officials who champion their rights.

Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay was elected president because he punished soldiers who abused civilians.

Davao City Vice Mayor Rudy Duterte is very much loved by his constituents because he has curbed not only criminality but abuses committed by policemen against civilians.

* * *

Members of the House justice committee and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima saw for themselves the great divide at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) between poor and rich inmates.

Rich inmates live inside “kubol” (huts) they built for themselves, complete with electric fan and home appliances and fellow inmates as servants.

Poor inmates are confined in cramped cells.

This practice, which Corrections Director Ernesto Diokno was trying to stop until he was forced to resign, should be put to an end completely.

Everybody should be treated as an equal in this country, most especially inside prison.

* * *

And now a joke to neutralize the bad news.

Two terrorists had just finished making letter bombs.

Terrorist 1: Do you think I put enough explosives in this envelope?

T2: I don’t know! Open it and see.

T1: But it will explode!

T2: Don’t be stupid! The envelope is not addressed to us.

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TAGS: Balay group, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), factions, Mar Roxas, New Bilibid, Philippines, Politics, Prison, Samar group
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