Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Grace Poe: The devil we don't know



Sens. Escudero, Poe, and Trillanes, photo from Philippine Headline News Online
In what seem to be her another opposition to the government, Sen. Grace Poe's performance as an elected official is being questioned by some. This, after the arrest of her fellow Senator took place.

On Tuesday, September 25, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the loudest critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been arrested for his rebellion case. Later on that day, he was immediately freed right after he bailed.


To this, his fellow Senators commented.

In an interview, the Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto told the media that authorities must ensure the safety of the arrested Senator.

“Since the charge, by order of the court, is bailable, his security must be ensured by the State,” he said.

While Pangilinan said: “It is as clear as day that the revocation of the grant of amnesty is illegal and an abuse of presidential powers must be vigorously opposed”.

Even the Liberal Party's highest official was there to show support to the beleaguered official.

“Dissent is very important in a healthy democracy. There should be a place for dissenting views. This can only help in governance. Just because there is dissent doesn’t mean that there is an intention to cause any harm,” Leni Robredo said.

On the other hand, the FPJ-kin hopes the justice system would be “objective and fair”.

“I hope and pray the courts will be objective and fair. It’s clear the amnesty went through Congress. That should be a basis (for its legality)” Sen. Grace said.

In a Facebook post, Sass Rogando Sasot, a staunch Duterte supporter and a prominent blogger based in the Netherlands again shared her opinion about Grace Poe which she had written way back 2016. The time before the Presidential election even happened. 

A piece that seemed to be a warning to all Filipinos back then, Sasot's article was entitled "GRACE POE: THE DEVIL WE DON'T KNOW". 

On the said piece, the International Relations expert narrated how amateur and different Poe is against her opponents, rendering the Senator inexperienced. 

Read the no-holds-barred narration of Sass Rogando Sasot (posted on Facebook) below about Sen. Poe to find out why she called the Senator as such:

#Baliktanaw I wrote this during the elections.

GRACE POE: THE DEVIL WE DON'T KNOW
Sass Rogando Sasot, photo from The Heroines of My Life
I am not impressed by Grace Poe. I don’t really care that she was a US citizen before. I believe that we have to consider that a lot of talented Filipinos are in the diaspora. This is a long complex discussion, and this post is not enough to elaborate my position on the issue of her citizenship. What I am deeply concerned about is the shallowness of her experience. If she were a pilot, her flying hours wouldn’t qualify her to be a commercial pilot. If you love your life, you would not let her pilot your long-haul flight from Amsterdam to Manila.

Among the candidates, Grace Poe is the devil we don’t know. We know Duterte, Roxas, Binay, and Miriam. We’ve followed their careers. We know their flaws. We know them; hence, when we say we trust Duterte, Roxas, Binay, or Miriam, our trust has a deep basis.

Grace Poe’s clothes are sparkling white because she is very, very, very new to the political arena. Duterte, Roxas, Binay, and Miriam have dirty clothes because they’ve worked in politics for a long time. They have experienced compromising the lofty principles we all adore in order to pursue some higher goals (sometimes personal ones). For example, Binay, despite his corruption issue, has a Makati City to be proud of. We know what lofty principles Duterte had to compromise in order for Davao City to be what it is now. The same could be said about Roxas and Miriam.

Grace Poe didn’t make any of those kind of compromises yet, not because she was essentially good but because she didn’t go through the same experience as the other candidates. While these other candidates had to face choices between loyalty to abstract principles and pragmatic response to a real situation, Grace Poe was in the United States, sheltered from the dark night of conscience Duterte, Roxas, Binay, and Santiago had to endure as they work in government.

But of course, we witnessed Grace Poe turning her back from the people who helped built her political career. For what? For the country or for her personal ambition? We saw Grace Poe defending Danding Cojuangco. For what? For the country or for her personal ambition? While so vocal about Duterte's bad rape joke, she was silent when her running mate Chiz Escudero defended Jalosjos, a convicted rapist of an 11 year old girl. For what? For the country or for her personal ambition?

During the first presidential debate, Duterte asked her about the first thing she would do if, while in her sleep at midnight, she was awakened and informed that China had attacked and bombed the country’s naval destroyer. Grace Poe’s first answer was to wake up; then she proceeded to deliver platitudes about improving the military. 

Poe didn’t know what to do during one of the crucial moments where the full powers of the president should be exercised. I actually wrote a Facebook post about what Poe should have answered, among them were instruct the executive secretary to summon the Chinese ambassador to Malacañan Palace, order the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to give her an intelligence briefing, convene a meeting of the national security council, and order the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of National Defense to give her at least three proportional response plans meant to de-escalate the situation. You see, I know these things because of my academic training in statecraft (in the field of international relations). Poe should know these things already because she is a PRACTITIONER of statecraft and, for effing sake, she is running for the post of the most consequential practitioner of statecraft in the Philippines.



I don’t think Grace Poe would be much better than President Aquino when it comes to crisis management, one of the most important tasks of a president. She will be worse than Aquino. Why? Because she hasn’t handled any national crisis in her entire less-than-10-year political career.

So when it comes to Grace Poe: Just say NO.
Photo from ABS-CBN News
Sources: For the Motherland - Sass Rogando Sasot Philstar