Government employees represented by their national center, COURAGE, today said President Benigno Aquino III should’nt rush the appointments of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations chiefs and other heads of agencies if these would only mean compromising the integrity of public office and undemining public trust. They also advised President Aquino to look at qualified carreer service officers or those who rose from the ranks in lieu of what he earlier claimed as few good men and women.

In a statement, COURAGE National President Ferdinand Gaite said President Aquino this time should carefully consider his choices. “So far, except for Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, all his appointments were really a disappointment. They are either recycled Arroyo’s men or businessmen and politicians who campaigned for him last election. The resurfacing of the Kamag-anak Inc. this time in the likes of the Abads is also sending a wrong signal, a deviationfrom Aquino’s earlier pronouncements”.

Gaite is refering to Budget Secretary Butch Abad who recently came under fire because daughter Julia is head of the Presidential Management Staff; wife is Representative of Batanes and son is Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications. Some department secretaries were
former executives of private businesses engage in basic utilities such as power, water, telecommunications etc. a fact that violates the conflict of interest clause in the ethical standards for public officials. The militant group also raised opposition to fomer Negros Occidental Governor Daniel Lacson’s appointment as GSIS Chairman.

“We do not agree with President Aquino’s statement that there are a few good men and women in the civil service. If only he and his search committee will look beyond patronage and politics and look down below the hierarchy in the bureaucracy, they will find selfless, hardworking and eligible carreer service officers and middle managers who came from the rank and file employees and who have given the best years of their lives in public service. These men and women too are victims of politics that made a mockery of the merit and promotion system in the civil service. They’ve become subordinates to political appointees who are less qualified”, Gaite stressed.

COURAGE said on top of P-Noy’s list should be the replacement of GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garica. “We are counting the days and looking forward to the change he promised the employees and teachers during his campaign” (COURAGE)