Rank amateurs

There is one thing that separates the Palace from the rest of us. It is dominated by rank amateurs.

The people there are young, restless and probably still basking in the fact they are yuppies thrown into a snake pit where not few of their elders lost their jobs, reputations and, in a few instances, their lives.

Good thing for them, they have a President who is caring to a fault and who does not micro-manage and would not let the affairs of the state interfere with the arrogance of his underlings.

Take the latest case of Mai Mislang, now better known as Twitter Queen at the Palace for her unabashedly insulting take on the Vietnamese, talking about the wine that sucks, the traffic that kills and the absence of any good-looking, dashing Romeo out to win the hearts of women wielding blue Philippine passports.

Mislang apparently is a presidential speechwriter, not a gag writer, and her job calls for her to have some kind of zipper in her mouth, something more durable than the snaps on girdles, corsets and brassieres.

Speechwriters are nameless but qualified creatures who know how their bosses think and act, which means they can virtually second-guess their principals.

For this, it requires some kind of delicacy on the part of the speechwriters not to raise Cain at any turn, or provide billingsgate to the elegant prose that a head of state must dish out, particularly when he is visiting another country that respects protocol and do things by the book.

So, the wine sucks. The traffic sucks. Handsome guys are shockingly absent. That’s Vietnam for Mislang. So, she missed a lot in Vietnam.

This is the same Vietnam from which this tragedy-stricken country gets its huge rice imports and the same country that does not want to go to war over the Spratlys.

Mislang has missed the entire point of her still-born career. It is not enough that she probably wielded her mighty pen to churn out press releases from some non-government organization (NGO), or did some liaison work trying to see some of her work see print in the newspapers.

She could have done a bit or two from some campus paper, or come up with diurnal prose in connection with a political campaign, but she does not have the number to insult the Vietnamese who shed blood to liberate a nation and who continue to labor to produce the grain that this agricultural country needs.

For her amateurism, she has been given a slap in the wrist by her superior, Ricky Carandang, who is no stranger to big-time booboos, and retained by no less than the man who shared the wine, President Aquino.

Mr. Aquino has had a share of fumbles in the first 100 days of hism administration and there will be more in the next 100 days. Ever loyal to friends and supporters, Aquino did not spank DILG’s Rico Puno for admitting that he had been approached by juieteng kingpins and their emissaries, some of whom were his friends and relatives, and not having them arrested for trying to bribe a public officer.

He did not use the vast powers of his office to fire other underlings who have been crawling all over the place bringing with them appointment papers and projects to approve.

Yet, Mr. Aquino will have to confront the fact that administering a nation is vastly different from running an electoral campaign. He has to strip his Cabinet and inner circles of the rank amateurs who have done their worst as they supposedly tread the righteous path.

In the end, it is the people who would judge him, not speechwriters, fumbling Cabinet secretaries and officials obsessed with making a fast buck before his 200 days in office comes. Joel Paredes


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