The recent investigations on the crisis show that there was a problem on distinguishing local and national crises. Because those who handled the crisis did not elevate the hostage-taking into a national concern, national officials found it inappropriate to just involve themselves or else muddle the then negotiations with hostage taker Capt. Rolando Mendoza. On the other hand, critics of the administration including Cong. Lagman insists that since the case involved foreign nationals, then it shouldn’t have been taken lightly or at the local scale.
Local and National Crisis. I find that amusing reflection of Filipino politics and politicians. Do we need a law defining or distinguishing local and national crisis? Do organizations like governments need one specially written for them, other than already written and shaped over tradition, history and time?
Of course the Quirino Grandstand incident, in the course of it, became a national crisis. It started when the attention of the President was drawn to it and he got annoyed by it. In fact he went there and stationed somewhere in the proximity of the Quirino grandstand. That shows clear cognizance of the gravity of the situation no less by the President.
And I think it should have little or nothing to do with nationality involved because, next time, it might happen involving all-Filipino and yet would warrant national attention. Surely we are not second class citizens in our own country.
I have lived an organizational life, once. They went for us like these: Fiasco at the Barangay level ends with the Barangay officials and the town Mayor. Fiasco at the town level ends with the town officials and the Governor. In the modern day I guess that includes the DILG secretary because this added branch of government has been going down to the lowest level, which must be in its mandate.
It is assumed that problem encountered at the barangay level, for example, is conveyed to the town level, because if not, then, only the barangay level is accountable. Although the buck still stops with the Mayor… what he has done with his erring constituents… command responsibility. And command responsibility is reflected all the way upward.
Sometimes, uninformed by the lower level, problem gets the attention of the higher level that it may, or may not, act upon. They depended on the size-up of the situation. I think it is there that distinguishing local and national crises would like to elbow in.
I think some people here are questioning the soundness of national leadership’s judgment on whether or not it was time to take over and to have a more direct hand in what is theirs from the start, in the first place, as applied in the Quirino hostage crisis. They might have made a mistake like miscalculating the situation. That calls for apology and forgiveness. In fact the President has already done so even before the IIRC was formed to pick up and reconstruct the bits and pieces of the incident… if we remember a while ago.
But a law in there will tell officials what they can or cannot do in a situation even in their own domain. Going out of line, then, opens them to criminal liability. And what are the undersides of them? I imagine something like the President of the Philippines cannot, or should not do anything in the city of Manila because the law says it! Problema mo ‘yan Mayor at hindi sa akin, ha ha ha. Haay, mabuti na lang. Kung pumalpak, libre ako. Or, why not a Mayor or a Governor to tell national officials to stay out because he can handle it and he is perfectly within the law. Ayun, pumalpak tuloy!
Presently, when the mayor is in the barangay it is assumed that he is automatically in charge but in the manner that he is not taking away any function and obligation of the barangay officials. His is merely an override when there is conflict with the local officials. He is, in that instance, the de-facto direct highest authority of that place. So, in case of a f ck-up, the barangay captain simply said, “The Mayor was there, ask him about that. Maybe he can say better”.
And all is reflected all the way upward to the highest level. I guess they are the results of what already are written in the charters of everyone, although they may not be found in one single document.
Shall we agree with Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman that heads should roll and these should include Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the other cabinet secretaries?
Whether or not the head of DILG Secretary J. Robredo, or of anybody in the Cabinet should roll, I think, depends on the President. Nobody, not Congressman Edcel Lagman, knows better those people than the President himself. The President is responsible for them. If there is any question about those people, the President takes it, again, under the principle of command responsibility. He swims or sinks with them is all up to him.
Yes, every citizen has the right to tell the President what is right or what is wrong with him, of any of his men, of his administration, the President would listen or not.
But, distinguishing local and national crises, what is that? Do we really need something separate and distinct as that? Let’s take blame. In the world where people were honest, honorable and dignified it was not necessary. People readily assumed responsibility and accountability even before anybody has even whined about it. It usually ends the same or worse for them, anyway. And that closes the matter unless people saw more than them involved.
In the world where people are quick to pass the buck and to point fault to everybody other than themselves, where common sense is a thing of the past, where rat-always-seeking-hole mentality has dominated, where wrongdoers don’t give-up even when cornered in the ultimate V formation of walls – pakapalan ng mukha or tipong hindi “magpapahuli ng buhay”, it appears we do need idiocies like Local and National Crisis with everything stuffed to that. Yeah, another Burloloy in addition to what already are in place that actually worked better in the past until they were nested by rats.
Do you wonder why all the backlogs in Philippine courts? Why it took a simple man in the street five years to hear the court say that a harassment case against him is dismissed? And dismissed temporarily because the complainant failed to show up each time! Why some ex-cop had gone boryong with the law? [Some of them I know killed themselves waiting years for their retirement money to be released than do things more stupid like hi-jacking of tourists. And one of their fears was that if they died their old widows might end up prostitute in some corridors of power seeking release of their benefits!]
Why the bureaucracy hardly moves? A little more to them and Filipinos will be non-insane people in a straight jacket. And Ex-police captain Mendoza might not be the last of his kind.
I remember a while ago, National Bureau of Investigation Director Gatdula announced the scrapping of some departments of NBI. Duplication of functions. Malacañang also announced some offices dissolved. Yes, Burloloys. Saves on taxpayers money, too. Simplifying instead of complicating things, I should add, reducing instead of adding chaos to a chaotic world created by chaotic politics. Because, sometimes there are things added to solve problems that actually worsened them. Now that reminds me again of the Total log ban to save our forests that totally killed many of our forests!
Meantime whether problems are local or national, should we really be spending precious time on that, folks? If you are a mayor, everything down to your grassroots is your problem. If you are a governor, everything down to your grassroots is your problem. If you are the president, everything down to your grass roots is your problem. What more is missing? Are they not enough?