We hope the news that another military man has been appointed by President Arroyo to an important post is untrue. According to a spokesperson of the Department of Transportation and Communications, retired Rear Admiral Abraham Abesamis (shown in the photo from the AFP website) has purportedly been handpicked by Mrs. Arroyo to replace resigned National Telecommunications Commission chief Ronald Solis.
While Abesamis may be eminently qualified as Philippine Navy commander and PN deputy chief of staff, his military credentials can never be enough for such a civilian post as NTC commissioner. Civilian positions should be filled up by civilians, not by retired military personnel loved dearly by Mrs. Arroyo.
Militarist mindsets do not fit civilian posts which require maximum degree of democratic consultations, consensus-building and transparency. Militarist mindsets can never be shaken off within a few months of a general’s retirement.
We fear that Abesamis’ military record and militarist mindset can and will be used by Mrs. Arroyo to force down our throats such measures as mandatory registration of SIM cards and phones, a proposal favored by the president’s internal security cabinet cluster. Abesamis is a clear and present danger to the Filipino people’s rights to privacy and to privacy of communications.
We join various organizations in decrying Mrs. Arroyo’s penchant for choosing retired military officials for executive posts. With the number of retired military officials occupying various posts in Mrs. Arroyo’s official family, led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Arroyo government is fast becoming a military junta.