Would a CEO still want to become a district manager?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-06-30

To become the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a major organization is to attain the ultimate plum as a manager. The Chief Executive of a national government is regarded as having attained the ultimate political prize, the highest accolade a people could give an elected public official.

Thus, it becomes unthinkable for the CEO of a major corporation to even consider becoming the district manager of the company in a province. Manny Pangilinan — after having attained the post of Chairman and CEO of PLDT — would simply find it unthinkable to consider aspiring for the post of PLDT district manager in Pampanga.

It has everything to do with retiring after one has reached the pinnacle of a management career. Propriety, breeding, a touch of class simply demand it.

More so if we are talking about somebody who has sat as the head of State for nine years — in our history, second only to Ferdinand Marcos in length of stay as Chief Executive.

For those who appreciate the refinements of class, self respect and a graceful exit — it is utterly shocking that there are discussions of the Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) purported plan to run in the 2010 elections as a Pampanga District Representative. Many of them feel that if GMA cannot respect herself, then she should at least respect the office that she has occupied (albeit under dubious terms, per her many critics). Even Speaker Prospero Nograles, GMA’s major political ally, feels that she should not run for a lesser public office.

Former president Fidel V. Ramos and Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile even opined that she must resign as president the moment she files her certificate of candidacy for Pampanga Representative. Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno pressed her to bare her post-term plans because this current uncertainty affects the political stability of the country.

If GMA runs for Congress and is forced to resign as president and if Vice President Noli de Castro runs for president and cannot take over as president — Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, being third in the constitutional succession, would move up to be the president.

A lot of possibilities emerge with that scenario.
Chair Wrecker friend, University of the East College of Law Dean Amado Valdez, wrote a legal opinion (published in The STAR last June 25) which establishes legal basis for mandating GMA to resign if she runs for Pampanga Representative.

Dean Amado posited the following:

1. The Constitution does not allow GMA to keep her post because “the awesome functions and privileges of an incumbent president carries with it inherent and built-in legal and moral limitations to seek another office.”

2. “The rule springs from specified constitutional oath to faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of her office during her term which is six years from her election in 2004 to June 30, 2010.”

3. “Principles of immunity from suit and executive privilege of the President have been universally accepted to make the exercise of her functions in accordance with her oath effective. When she files her certificate of candidacy (for Pampanga Representative), she becomes an ordinary candidate and like any ordinary candidate is susceptible to charges or indictment for violation of election laws during the campaign.”

4. “Immunity is indivisible. Once lost during the campaign, it is lost in all other aspects of presidential exercise.”

5. “The same rationale of providing the limitations of the President on reelection shall apply when she attempts to run for Congress while she is also the incumbent.”

Of course, those who have developed a wariness of the moves of GMA to retain power believe that the ultimate political objective is not a Congress seat but the post of Prime Minister (anticipating Charter change and the shift to a parliamentary form of government). GMA must be a Representative in order to vie for the post of Prime Minister.

However, GMA and her allies are presuming too much. They presume that the Filipino people will approve the shift to a parliamentary form of government and cede their right to directly choose their Chief Executive.

They forget that many Filipinos see Charter change as the sneaky maneuver to keep GMA in power. They overlook the fact that many want relief from this miserable GMA misrule.

Filipinos have consistently seen their Representatives as the least trusted elected public officials and so what makes the GMA gang think we would want a parliament where the gang members become more powerful?

They also presume that the US (ever dominating Philippine affairs) will want to deal with a parliament when it is most convenient to manipulate a Philippine president — something they’ve mastered. Why will the US want to deal with over 200 Representatives who have acquired a reputation for feasting on too much pork?

After GMA had cast her lot with China, with GMA ever so unpopular with the Filipino people and the Philippine military divided between pro and anti GMA factions — why will the US not entertain the idea of redesigning the Philippine political landscape so it becomes easier to facilitate their geopolitical objectives in the South China Sea?

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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