I THOUGHT I was done with mentioning Mar Roxas in any of my writings. Basically, enough is enough. But just when I thought I was out, he pulled me back in.
This time, the guy just bamboozled me with another press conference, this time to announce his latest stroke of genius: the control of the sale of hammers in Malls.
The Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments – which, by the way heads the national police – had this grand solution in the wake of last Sunday’s hammer counter-bashing jewelry heist in SM North EDSA: “The proposal is, if you want to buy hammers, crowbars, or other similar objects, you get a claim stub. Claiming [will be done] outside mall premises,” he said at his press conference two days after.
Okay, so it makes sense to police and control the sale of hammers, crowbars and pipe wrenches (we assume, because this was what was used the first time it happened earlier in SM Megamall). But what about other hard stuff, like power tools, chisels, pipes and – as suggested by my Facebook friends – stiletto heels and my own hard head?
Further, isn’t it more difficult and demand more resources to ask each and every customer to have a claim stub and redeem their purchased hammers in another bottleneck counter? Just saying, isn’t talking to many individual and irate customers more difficult to manage than one store operator who can be persuaded to have more security, high quality CCTV cameras and shatterproof glass counters for their high value goods and jewelry?
Is inconveniencing hundreds or thousands of customers better than inconveniencing the Mall owner?
Just as we pondered this, another event happened at the opposite side of town. This time in MakatiCity where Mayor Junjun Binay is denied by the security guards of the exclusive DasmariñasVillage denied him entry through a gate. The policy apparently in place is that after 10 PM nobody gets in through there. Another gate is assigned for that for security reasons – and security has always been a major concern in that village given the quality of residents they have there.
Binay’s folly? Reports have it he gave the usual “Don’t you know who I am?” spiel. Plus he called his policemen who disarmed the village security guards and arrested and detained them for four hours.
Binay, through his spokesman Joey Salgado, has of course denied it, basically saying that it has all been fixed with the security operator and the village associations, both of whom “apologized profusely” saying that the guards were wrong and not advised of the protocol of allowing the President, Vice President and Mayor through their gates at will.
I don’t know which is which, just basing it on the news report and the subsequent statements officially made.
But what I do see and can conclude from the video of the incident are these: First, the security video was readily and easily released to the media which means that someone who has access to it – high ranking officers of the village association – are not pleased with the way Binay handled it. This also means that that so called protocol is just a face (and business) saving move by the operator of the security agency.
Second, the video reveals the cheap, arrogant and lack of character of the mayor. He is caught actually getting down from his vehicle, leading the confrontation with security guards and his bodyguard even shielding him with an umbrella. What on earth for?
I repeat – HIM, THE MAYOR OF MAKATI CITY, THE PREMIER CITY OF THE COUNTRY, GOT DOWN FROM HIS VEHICLE TO ARGUE WITH VILLAGE SECURITY GUARDS, AND THEN CALLING HIS COPS ON THEM?!
If I were Binay I would have had my convoy pass another way – I’m not driving anyway, no skin off my nose – then had my assistant order the security company heads, the village board and everybody I can mess with, and have them report to my office first thing in the morning to tell them that I will be ordering the review and audit of their permits, protocols and whatever else that will inconvenience them for the rest of their lives.
Now that’s class.
These twin incidents – Mar’s vacuousness and Junjun’s arrogance – are the two examples of the breadth of the leadership pool we have for our country today and in the near future. It’s like our only choice is between the devil and the deep blue sea… actually that idiom sounds better, because the choice between a leader marked by mental vacuity and an absence of ideas and another heralded by conceit, pride and self-importance is just too much for this country to bear.
Looking around I really wonder if we do have anybody out there in the current crop of presidential wannabes who has the character outside the universe that Mar and Junjun have encompassed. Well… maybe there are one or two, but I reserve judgement until they have undergone their own test.