Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. “Clueless and inept” was published in the  November 19, 2008 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

Members of the Senate blue ribbon committee were incredulous when Jocelyn Bolante testified that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had no knowledge of the P728 M fertilizer fund scam.

They asked, how could a micro-manager not know?

Of course she didn’t know. A micro-manager spends so much time sweating over small stuff, big things are overlooked.

Gloria Arroyo is clueless and her subalterns love it. They fed undisturbed on IMPSA, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Piatco, North Rail, ZTE/NBN, Quedancor, the Fertilizer scam, Mt. Diwalwal, protection money from smugglers, drug dealers, and jueteng lords, and a whole slew of assorted criminal activities because Gloria was busy cutting ribbons, checking on the prices of commodities in public markets, and handing out P500 Katas ng VAT dividends to depressed communities.

There are many examples of subalterns doing things behind Gloria’s back.

A witness in the Senate investigation on the Garci tapes testified that, during the 2004 campaign, at a dinner Gloria Arroyo hosted for Comelec employees, a certain Lilia Pineda distributed envelopes to the guests after Gloria left the room.

The same thing happened at a meeting in Malacañang after Roel Pulido filed his two-page impeachment complaint. A Palace operative gave gift bags to congressmen and local officials after Mrs. Arroyo left the room.

Gloria witnessed the signing of the NBN-ZTE deal only to cancel it after she, in the words of her former spokesman Ighnacio Bunye, “learned of the slightest sign of impropriety attending the deal.”

She thought peace was at hand when she sent her people to sign the MOA-AD with the MILF. Little did she know, because she didn’t read the agreement, that the peace accord was a bill of goods. Her subsequent decision to reverse course led to the loss of lives and property in the war torn areas of ARMM.

In one of her State of the Nation addresses, she praised Gen. Jovito Palparan (ret.).  A few years later, the Supreme Court confirmed what human rights advocates had been telling her all along, her hero was involved in the abduction, illegal detention, and torture of two brothers suspected of being sympathizers or members of the New People’s Army.

Maybe I should feel sorry for Mrs. Arroyo and her family, specially her husband. That poor recovering heart patient, an honorable and charitable man according to his lawyer, gets blamed for everything when all he wants to do is distribute dentures to those who have nothing to eat. (I know it sounds like donating running shoes to amputees but hey, it’s the purity of intention that counts.)

As I was saying, maybe I should feel sorry for Gloria Arroyo. But I don’t.

We can pretend she’s not personally corrupt or responsible for human rights violations but we can’t deny that it’s her responsibility to put a stop to those activities and to hold perpetrators accountable.

Bolante did not clear Gloria Arroyo, he proved she was clueless and inept, incapable of running a government free from corruption and human rights abuses.

That’s why I don’t understand why her aides were so happy about “the clarification made during the hearing that President Arroyo had no hand in the controversy by way of approval of fund releases or implementation of the fertilizer program.”  What kind of people would make a virtue out of cluelessness and ineptitude?