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BLIND SPOT: The Duterte-Trump Connection: On Termination and Resignation

When you talk about the latest trend, it would usually be on fashion, some pop song, and more recently, some shared statement on twitter. “Cesar Montano, the controversial chief executive officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), tendered his resignation to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. The actor-turned-politician stepped down more than a week after the COA questioned the TPB’s P80-million payment to the organizer of the “Buhay Carinderia” project even if the video series on Filipino street food and eateries had not been completed. Montano’s resignation virtually completed Puyat’s overhaul of the top-level leadership position in the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its agencies.” ( “President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Tolentino for having dealings with a sister of the chief executive.” «The reminder of the President is: no one in government should entertain any relative of the President in connection with any matter that has to do with government,» “Previously, Duterte fired high-ranking officials and heads of offices accused of engaging in corruption and making excessive travels. Duterte has removed Interior Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno, Terry Ridon as chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, Peter Tiu Laviña as administrator of the National Irrigation Authority, Dionisio Santiago as chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board, and Marcial Amaro III as Maritime Industry Authority Administrator. Former Tourism secretary Wanda Teo and former Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II have recently resigned from their posts amid controversies hounding their respective leaderships.” ( That’s a lot of resignations/terminations for corruption or controversy in a president’s second year of administration. If I remember right, the President had sleepless nights in his native Davao, in his oh so careful scrutiny of persons to be appointed to government service, to make sure that they be of the breed of integrity, and free from questions of corruption. So, why is this happening? Or rather, what is happening? Is it not a wonder that the same person who appointed these officials supposedly based on his confidence on their competence is the same person who is taking them down one by one? I would be struck with paranoia if I were one of them. It looks like at the start, the President was so sure of his full proof decisions; then one day, he wanted to totally renovate his administration because he realized he made some wrong judgments. So, what happened to that careful and cautious selection for appointment? Apparently, it’s a trend; it’s a trend that goes beyond local setting. It’s an international trend. You don’t believe me? Take this. “President Trump set a record for White House staff turnover in the first year. There’s an ongoing list of 37 staff who have quit or been fired under Trump. (Joyce Koh/Washington Post) US President Donald Trump has fired among others, Deputy attorney general Sally Yates, just 11 days with the administration, for refusal to enforce Trump’s entry ban, US Attorney Preet Bharara, with 51 days in the administration, FBI Director James Coney, with 110 days in the administration, for alleged pressure in the Russian collusion investigations. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned with 23 days in the administration due to the Russian controversy. Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh resigned after 68 days in the administration to work privately. Deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland resigned after 118 days in the administration. As of late, the Trump administration has seen a total of 37 terminations and resignations in less than two years. ( ) Simply amazing. Now, how’s that? Is that a trend or what? Or is it a case of one copying the other; and since Trump came into office later, it would be him who would be the imitator. (Of course, that’s just for laughs.) Some months ago, I wrote an article on the Duterte-Trump connection on their attitudes on marginalized sectors of society; but I did not realize that the connections go deeper than that, or is this wave of jump-offs from their administrations related to their braggadocio? The results of The Productivity Consequences of Political Turnover: Firm Level Evidence from Ukraine’s Orange Revolution “demonstrate that political turnover in the context of weak institutions can have substantial distributional effects that are reflected in economic productivity.” ( “High turnover rates can negatively affect a company and its employees in many ways. With the constant need to hire and train new employees, it is easy to veer from true mission and vision of the organization. By retaining employees, companies can provide a higher caliber workforce that positively affects the bottom line. Businesses can lower turnover rates by providing adequate training, rewarding employees for a job well done and creating a company culture of trust.” ( Well, that’s our world today. “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

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