‘Abaya must go, but Aquino will keep him’
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya deserves to be kicked out for doing a horrible job, some activist party-list lawmakers said, but they doubted President Benigno Aquino III would ever consider firing Abaya or that his departure would clean up the mess that he allegedly created.
Abaya should be fired because his mismanagement of the country’s roads, ports, airports and trains is bordering on “criminal negligence,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said Abaya’s atrocious performance was not surprising as he was more focused on cooking up deals for “favored players” rather than addressing the mounting complaints from commuters.
Zarate believes the President would stick with Abaya to the end as “apparently, he (Abaya) is holding the fort for the ruling party and the putative successor of Aquino.”
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said Abaya had “infected” the work culture in his agency such that his resignation alone would not solve the problems he created or neglected under his watch.
“The DOTC (Department of Trasportations and Communications) has to be overhauled and reoriented to make sure that they are working for the benefit of the public and not for favored cronies of the LP (Liberal Party),” said De Jesus.
Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said the situation had become so bad that whether Abaya was fired or retained until the end of the Aquino administration did not matter as it would take more than the last eight months of the administration to correct his blunders and omissions.
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said Abaya’s mismanagement had been abetted by his closeness to the President.
“Like others in the Aquino Cabinet, they have so far seen themselves as untouchable. Will President Aquino finally stop his awful practice of coddling his cronies and get rid of him before he wreaks more damage at the DOTC?” said Bello.
According to Bello, the problem was that Abaya had no special qualifications or record to bring to the DOTC in the first place. “What he did have was membership in Aquino’s charmed fraternity circle and membership in the LP blue-blood aristocracy,” he said.
“One can understand retaining one’s subordinate after one or two mishaps. But after several and he’s around, you become part of the problem,” added Bello.
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