Secretary Gazmin’s heartbreaking claim to competence

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THE National Defense secretary recently made what to us sounded like a heartbreaking plea for people to stop saying he is incompetent.

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This space has never called him incompetent. But after hearing his cry, we now do wonder whether he is or he is not. We remember most two incidents that suggest he has basic deficiencies. These may not be the lack of some competencies but some other skills or virtues necessary in a Cabinet member, specially in a secretary of national defense.

The first incident is his misadventure in Tacloban in the company of Department of Interior and Local Governments secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas. They had gone to Tacloban hours before Haiyan/Yolanda struck with all its fury. That typhoon has been described as the Earth’s most powerful and devastating one on record.

On their arrival that afternoon, they held a meeting with Tacloban officials and leading people of the city.

Both Mr. Gazmin and Secretary Roxas were apparently unaware that at that very same hour, in Manila, President BS Aquino, guided by the latest Pag-ASA weather bulletins, was calling on the people to be ready for the great disaster that Haiyan/Yolanda would inflict by around midnight. The two secretaries held the meeting, giving a pep talk to the local officials, and told them to sleep well and prepare to fight off Haiyan/Yolanda the following morning.

They were not giving the Tacloban folk the same urgent warnings PNoy and Pag-ASA were broadcasting from Manila. They were not on the same page, and literally not on the same radio wavelength with PNoy and Pag-ASA. If they were competent, or at least armed with foresight and the sense of urgency that typhoons should ignite in a normal person’s brain, they should have been on the same page with Pag-ASA but they weren’t.

So they went to bed, presumably after a happy dinner.

And it was while they were asleep when Haiyan/Yolanda bore down on Tacloban. Secretaries Gazmin and Roxas had to be rescued from the raging wind and rising sea waters that had threatened to tear down the hotel and made seven ships fly into Tacloban city.

The other incident, which was surely more than that, is the Mamasapano Massacre, where the 44 PNPSAF commandos were martyred by soldiers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. The commandos were performing their duty to arrest wanted international Islamic terrorists.

Messrs. Gazmin and Roxas, the two highest security officials under President BS Aquino, said or did nothing to prevent the massacre from happening.

Throughout the whole day that they were in the company of PNoy, who was in command of the PNPSAF operation in Mamasapano, they either knew nothing of the massacre or pretended not to know. And when nearly everyone already knew that half of the commandos had been killed and those who were still alive were calling for reinforcements and rescue, these two topmost security officials of our Republic, continued to be silent and inactive.

Both Secretary Gazmin and Secretary Roxas did not show exceptional competence in handling themselves and the power of their positions, at least to be supplied with intelligence. Didn’t they have, each of the two of them, a trusted subaltern whose only job was to provide them with the hottest intelligence about the most explosive goings on at all times? If they didn’t, then they must really be awfully, woefully, incompetent!

We also have this other issue with Secretary Gazmin. This was raised by our columnist Atty. Brigido Dulay. The DND chief has up to now not answered fundamental questions about the anomalous purchase of substandard Huey helicopters.

This matter involves competence. But also whether Mr. Gazmin treads the Daang Matuwid that PNoy claims to be the hallmark of his government.

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14 Comments

  1. in noynoy’s government, incompetence is the norm. nobody in his cabinet should be smarter than him and he makes sure of that! just look at the policies crafts and the direction that the government is treading. tuwid na daan patungong impiyerno -as the lives of common citizens are experiencing.

  2. My take is this, he’s the most forgettable, non-performing Defense Secretary this country ever had, his silence is deafening specially now amid the crisis the country is facing vs china, is something wrong with his tongue or head? This guy is responsible of reassuring the nation of its security so we could sleep peacefully at night but it seems he had no idea about his scope of work and responsibilities that his office entails.

  3. Pnoy is the worst President in history. His administration have been infested with incompetent, arrogant and corrupt officials. The “Tuwid na Daan” is a hoax to brainwash the gullible people. Since the fake revolution in 1986 under Cory Aquino, the Philippines has suffered so much from the lies and propaganda being made by the Yellow regime.

  4. Dapat kay Gazmin makulong pagkatapos ng term ni PNOY..isama na niyo si Abaya puro sila pahirap sa taong bayan.

  5. Gazmin, had he remained the chief security guard of Malacanang, could have considered his claim of competence to be true – what with him successfully tended well to a patch of grass surrounding a famous tree inhabited by a certain Mr.Brown, for company.

    He is the kind of field commander, who can rally a troop of red ants, to attack a column of pecan crusted chicken – really, if Gazmin is aiming to be funny, it’s a good guess he can eke out a living being a paid stand up comic, after his stint in this gawd awful administration of BS Cojuangco Aquino III.

    Gazmin is a total failure.

  6. You are Corrupt and Incompetent , buying a batch of 50 years old helicopters and passing it on as ” modern ” is
    Treating the Pilipino people as stupid . your name should
    Be change to “GAS ME”.

  7. What can you expect Gazmin is just a security guard who happen to be appointed by the President because of his service. Under his leadership, we will be in trouble if in case we go to war. We have no credible defense.

  8. Leodegardo Pruna on

    What can be expected of a secretary whose only credential is his being close to the president and family? Still, there is time for him to come out and come out with the truth. The harsh reality of leaving this planet sooner or later is right in front of him. God bless the Philippines.

  9. Gazmin’ s being Secretary of National Defense under this administration is just his reward for being a loyal bodyguard of Cory Aquino about 20 years ago. Just as Allan Purisima was Noynoy’s bodyguard during that time. Nothing more. In Gazmin’s twilight years, legacy for him is for his family, not for this country. When he preferred protective vests for his soldiers than the military equipment for the defense of our sovereign seas against external threats, the message is clear: his real enemies are fellow Filipinos and not these Chinese land grabbers.

  10. Competence is doing your job with some skill. Show us what he did and we will say, “But he forgot what his job requires him to do”.

  11. This matter involves competence. But also whether Mr. Gazmin treads the Daang Matuwid that PNoy claims to be the hallmark of his government.

    You mean say Daang Matuwid as often as possible in speeches to the media while in reality do the exact opposite ?

    What else explains the shielding from charges of misuse of the pork barrel and Dap funds ?

    What else explains why the Sec of the budget has not been charged with plunder ?

    What else explains why Sen Poe gave the SAF 44 report to Aquino ally Ombudsman Morales instead of to the senate where now a vote is needed to reopen it ?

    What else explains why De Lima hasn’t charged the other 15 senators on the Napoles list that did the same thing as the 3 jailed opposition senators ?

    What else explains why no one gets fired in the Aquino government no matter how incompetent or corrupt they are ?

    Typhoon Yolanda ?
    SAF 44 ?
    MRT ?
    LTO ?

    etc, etc, etc

    5 years of the straight path to ruin thanks to President Aquino and his clown club.

  12. INCOMPETENCE?

    From what is described above – YES YOU ARE INCOMPETENT.

    BOTH OF YOU – ROXAS and GASMIN

  13. Ang tangi pong nagawa ni Voltaire Gazmin na magpapatunay na siya ay may itinatagong galing ay ang umawit ng “Betcha By Golly Wow.”