we are desperately seeking a proper term to describe president aquino’s style of leadership as we have seen it in (in)action during and after the august 23 bus hostage bloodshed at the luneta. we first described his brand of leadership as “weak, invisible and minuscule” (read here: http://wp.me/pnw03-1l7) ). that can be summarized as ho-hum leadership, something that might make you fall asleep if you are not a coffee drinker.
first off, we do not blame aquino for the failed rescue of the hostages and the deaths of the hostages. that goes to the leadership and leaders of the philippine national police who were at the scene. but we blame aquino for some of what happened after the hostage bloodshed.
there are two parts to the hostage bloodshed – one is the operational part which is essentially the attempted but failed effort to save the hostages and resolve the matter peacefully. it is a police matter, one of security and safety. the police are responsible for such matters.
what happened is a failure in police operation and as we saw on live tv, most oof the failure was caused by poor planning, poor execution, lack of equipment and bad decisions.
for those failures, the field commander, magtibay, the SWAT team leader and all the other team leaders who were operating during the hostage crisis are to be blamed for the errors committed during the siege. they need to be fired by the police top brass.
for command responsibility, santiago the NCRPO chieh and versoza the PNP chief need to resign their post as well. they had leadership roles to fulfill but they did not exercise them. both even knew errors were being committed but they did not act in their capacity as heads of the PNP.
the PNP is under the DILG. usec puno apparently is directly responsible for the PNP . puno by command responsibility should offer his resignation., he also failed to exercise his leadership role during the failure.
it’s chief, robredo, is indirectly accountable for the failure of the PNP.during the rescue attempt. he did not have a direct operational role but it is his agency that failed.
the second part of the whole situation is post hostage crisis. for that second part, DILG robredo is directly responsible for,. for that, he needs to resign his position.
the dismal failure of the PNP resulted to lives lost during the hostage crisis and the country humiliated because of the PNP’s failure. because his agency caused that, he should have shown leadership to manage the situation, even for damage control.
it also embarrassed his boss, president noynoy aquino, he should have shown leadership to at least minimize the embarrassment if not prevent it. but as it happened, he really did not do anything post-hostage crisis.
in fact it seems nobody from the philippne government showed leadership, not even presdient noynoy aquino. everyone seemed to b e just standing there waiting for the punches to come in. no action was done to evade the punches not to counter punch. they all just stood there and took the punches.
robredo was the man who was supposed to do that. but he was nowhere to be found, lost and hidden from everyone. he did not even do anything to defend or protect his boss. if he did not protect his boss, then he did not protect the country as well.
he needs to resign for this failure. in fact, he should really be fired from his job.
noynoy aquino was also nowhere to be found. he did tiny things to fix matters but nothing worthy of the leadership to which he was voted for by the people.
there is universal agreement that PNP failed during the hostage crisis and yet no one seem to have taken the right step to impose accountability on the failure.
aquino’s presidency is getting hit bad and is suffering. to stop that, aquino needs to show his leadership by firing everyone who obviously made an error during the hostage crisis. there is already universal agreement that there were failures, we just want to know who committed them and we want to be relieved of them.
DILG chief robredo, usec puno and PNP chief versoza are hurting aquino and his presidency by not resigning their post. the longer they stay in those positions, the more they hurt aquino.
in fact the more effective action, one that will have better effect is if aquino himself fires them and does not wait for their resignation. firing them, two being his close friends and political allies will transmit the message that aquino is serious about what happened and that he values good performance among his people by acting on bad performance.
aquino accepting responsibility does not do anything for aquino, it only confuses matters. the country did not give a collective sigh of relief when he said he was taking responsibility, it only confused them. people want accountability, him taking responsibility begs the question why is he not resigning from the presidency. people have a hard time to differentiate responsibility and accountability.
aquino’s brand of leadership seem to be one of a wait-and-see style. rather than action, he waits for things to happen and then takes action after the fact. it is one that will makes us fall asleep and one that is giving his presidency nightmares.
we think making a big deal of the most recent SWS presidentiables poll conducted in Luzon (sponsored by former senator osmena) is a major tactical blunder on the part of noynoy aquino. the smart thing to do would have been to be humble and aggressively downplay it.
going in we have problems with that survey. we think it’s garbage data. (click here to read about the Luzon Osmena-sponsored SWS Luzon survey: http://wp.me/pnw03-FV)
over and above the question on the design and therefore the value of that survey, the tactical blunder will be made obvious on what comes next.
SWS and Pulse Asia conducts on a regular basis their own and separate presidentiables survey. they have been doing these polls for a long time already. we think results from these surveys are very reliable.
the major tactical blunder is that with noynoy making a big deal of the very high results (rating of 50%) within the limited Luzon survey (sponsored by former senator osmena), he has set himself up for failure when the regular quarterly presidential polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are conducted and released.
we do not think noynoy will get the same 50% rating in these polls. it will be a miracle if he does, or even come close to it. we think noynoy might get a 2 digit rating but we do not think it will be more than 13%.
in the last Pulse Asia poll conducted in August, (read here: http://wp.me/pnw03-B4) there were 5 presidentiables who got double digit ratings – villar(25%), estrada (19%), de castro (12%), escudero and roxas (11%) in that order.
the ratings are flatter for the simple reason that the presidentiable choices are too many. we do not think noynoy will be able to even match villar’s 25%. roxas who was fifth and got a double digit rating who has now withdrawn his candidacy will still get preferences. it will not be as high as 11% but it will not be zero. it is also improbable that those who voted for roxas will automatically vote for aquino.
for noynoy to get a 50% rating or even a 25% rating, he will need to get a huge number, in fact massive number of switchers from these presidentiables which is just impossible at this point in time. massive shifts only occur if a major almost cataclysmic change occur among the presidentiables. announcing you are a presidentiable is not cataclysmic in magnitude.
aside from the mind dynamics of choices that voters go through, the survey design of the Luzon Osmena-sponsored Survey is very different from that of the regular quarterly surveys that Pulse Asia and SWS conducts. in fact i have pointed out that the design of the Luzon Osmena-sponsored survey is a faulty one that renders it as garbage data.
one of its fault is that the design is biased to producing very high scores compared to the regular quarterly surveys. the Luzon Osmena-sponsored survey asks respondents to choose among a specified list of presidentiables while the SWS and Pulse Asia surveys does not. it is open-ended, you name whoever you want.
you can mention any name, thus making distribution of the data highly scattered in effect making the ratings much lower for each candidate. it does not for example exclude respondents from naming roxas or panlilio both of whom have withdrawn.
the tactical blunder is that with noynoy making a big deal about the very high 50% rating that he got in the Luzon Osmena-sponsored luzon SWS survey and the expected much lower rating he will get during the regular SWS survey Pulse Asia and SWS does, it will make it look like noynoy’s popularity has suffered a major set-back.
from 50% to at most 13% looks like it is a massive drop in popularity. playing the numbers game with these things is always a very dangerous thing to do. in fact regardless of the numbers, if aquino does not hit the top 2 in the regular quarterly ratings, it may be played up as some kind of a weakness if not a failure.
the tactical blunder is that aquino has inadvertently set up his audience and supporters for disappointment. he may have set the bar of expectations way too high.
political campaigns is very much about image building. building an image of being a winner is certainly one of the things you want to have. you want to nurture an image of momentum if not greatness or at least always being on the right thing.
the safest and smartest approach is always to downplay achievements, or hit the lower side so that there is an automatic claim of success. raising the bar too high is a very dangerous thing as it does not leave room for failure which is what aquino has done.