by Hector R.R. Villanueva
“We can believe what we choose.
We are answerable for what we choose to believe.” — John Henry Newman
It appears that resigning from public office is the flavor of the month.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has volunteered to resign or step down if any of his children is found guilty of corruption.
From Congress comes mounting calls for the resignation of the Customs Commissioner for incompetence and a “whiff” of corruption.
The chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has the choice of resigning or being impeached as his marital problems over money have spilled over to the election body’s integrity and effectiveness.
Even the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the ombudsman are not spared from impeachment.
These trends, without passing judgment, are unhealthy for the sustainable stability of the nation and democracy.
First, President Duterte has to stop repeating his threat to quit or step down as it generates the impression that he is either inadequate for the awesome office, or the presidency, so to speak, is not his cup of tea or passion.
Corollarily, presidential appointees should be appointed for their suitability for the position rather than being either from Mindanao, or native of Davao, or classmate, or having worked at City Hall, or having studied at Lyceum or San Beda.
The quest should include Filipino scholars, scientists, engineers, and related expertise from abroad.
Second, President Digong Duterte should not be fixated on his 23 years experience as mayor of Davao City that resulted in the peaceful and progressive development of Davao.
The Philippines is not Davao City and Davao City is not the Philippines.
Thus, the challenges of today call for boldness, broad perspective, perseverance, and integrity.
Third, according to President Duterte, a “whiff” of corruption is enough for him to show one the door with alacrity and finality.
Yet, the scandal at the Bureau of Customs over P6.4 billion worth of drugs, which boggles the mind, is not being acted on by the President which renders his previous dismissals of officials anticlimactic and selective.
The war against drugs, corruption, and criminality are worthy crusades that must be eradicated or suppressed, but they are all a universal menace that has not been overcome in millennia.
When all is said and done, President Duterte, as admitted, cannot rule or govern this country solely on the platform of fighting an unwinnable war against drugs.
The President has to back off a little, and focus more on the doable, pragmatic, and realistic.
This country does not need a toughie from the country but a bold and sophisticated statesman.
You be the judge.