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Cabinet member

THE offer of a cabinet position is always at the initiative or pleasure of the appointing power – the President.

Being a member means you are part of the Official Family of the Chief Executive in the administration of one of the Three Branches of Government, the Executive Branch. The “Secretary”, as he or she is referred to is the alter-ego of the highest office in the land. The former is the extension of his authority in the sphere of the very department appointed to.

In the appointment of the closest individuals proximate to the President, the interplay of competence, familiarity, confidence, and loyalty are expected amalgamation often considered by the appointing authority. Competence is dichotomized by the lithmus of intellect, experience, and effectivity. Familiarity, one of personal association, time involved – meaning the significance or the length of company spent; knowledge of each others character, nature, and work ethics. Confidence, meaning the appointee will be consistent and articulate to perform and do the job as expected. Loyalty is the sine-qua-non assumed by the President in a relationship bonded by politics and power.

On the part of the appointed, consent and liberality is central in accepting or turning down a tender to serve an Administration. There are examples where the nominee, after public announcement, even retracts his initial assent.

The sacrifice of “family time”, decreased income, and health, ever serious considerations on the shoulder of the cabinet-member-to-be. There is also the determinant of a congruency in temperament, policy, programs and end state for the country. If the motive is of pursuing ambition or aggrandize a campaign kitty for the next election, that is where the bumpy ride begins. One cannot stay a Cabinet Member if you openly elbow the President on: 1) Extra Judicial Killings; 2) Human Rights Abuses; 3) Marcos Burial; 4) The “De Lima talk back”. Best to keep your peace, like other “militant” colleagues, or resign. (Erik Espina)