Deles is not God’s gift to humanity

By this time, our lawmakers should be convinced that Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles is going to remain as presidential adviser on the peace process.

The House leadership has  already accepted the decision of President Aquino to retain Deles, whose resignation was demanded by the Mindanao bloc because of alleged insulting remarks she made to Lanao del Norte Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo.

Saying that they have to move on, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada even suggested that it would be better if the House resolution is withdraw when they resume session next month.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, on the other hand, said the resolution was “just an expression” of sentiment of the chamber. Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, who like Gonzales, is known as an apologist of Malacanang in the previous regime, agreed that they will just have to respect the President’s decision.

“(So) it’s still her call, “Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, later declared, on whether or not Deles should quit her post. It was only Deputy Speaker Crispin Remulla who had said that they would act accordingly “at the proper time.

It appears that Deles wouldn’t mind being arrogant in the face of the lawmakers. She’s not even talking about it, but she has obviously tried to echo her sentiments through the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), the cabal of former Arroyo officials who had left the Arroyo government which included the Hyatt 10, of which Deles is a member.

The FSGO called for outright rejection of the so-called ”malicious resolution” and called on Mr. Aquino to demonstrate his leadership by serving notice that “trapo politics” has no place ion his administration.

Now, I’m confused.

Deles is supposed to be the exponent of a progressive civil servant who should not  submit to the whims of the trapo, a tag tacked to the congressmen and senators who have been ganging up on the poor Cabinet woman official.

That means that she can just ignore our lawmakers. She does not have to think twice if delicadeza dictates that she should resign. Anyway, she is ably protected by Mr. Aquino and his allies in the House. We can also redefine the meaning of  trapo. He is now the lawmaker who is not aligned with Malacanang.

Still, that doesn’t spare Deles on the need for her to practice humility – as one lawmaker put it. When she had been appointed to the Cabinet, Deles said she was chosen because of her “track record” and everyone is free to look at it in terms of the peace process and oppose it if they like.

She even downplayed speculation that her appointment was part of debt gratitude, in exchange for her support for Mr. Aquino’s presidential bid. Deles said she would not have accepted the post if she thought she was not first for the job.

Deles was already the peace adviser from 2003 until 2005, but there was no breakthrough when she was still loyal to the old tenant of Malacanang. That means she doesn’t have yet the track record to talk about. She had always been portrayed as a peace advocate, being one of the co-founders of the Coalition for Peace, the first citizens’ peace pace formation to emerge after the 1986 People Power uprising. That’s just it.

Her critics in the left also questioned her capability to lead the peace process because just like them she is a known political ideologue, having been identified with a wing of the social democrats that was considered “anti-communist.” She can even  be a liability in the Muslim peace process. If she can  antagonize Muslim lawmakers, it would be more difficult for her to negotiate with the Muslim rebels.

In the meantime, Deles still needs to prove that she can do the job. She should stop acting as if she were God’s gift to humanity. She simply isn’t one. Joel Paredes

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