PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte did not hide his frustration when he revealed the real reason why he asked Dangerous Drugs Board chief Dionisio Santiago to resign after the latter’s remarks on the mega drug rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija.
It can be recalled that Santiago commented in a TV interview that the large drug rehabilitation center that could accommodate up to 10,000 drug dependents in a military camp north of the capital was “impractical” and a “mistake”, adding that the money could have been used to fund smaller community-based rehabilitation programs, which would be “more effective”.
The statement, according to the President, offended him and it led him to ask Santiago to leave the DDB, explaining that Santiago could have asked for an audience with him and tell him personally.
“Kaya kita inilagay diyan not to issue statements to the press. Nilagay kita diyan para magpunta ka sa akin kung ano ang problema sa bayan at tuturuan mo kung nagkulang ako, kung ano ang dapat gawin. You don’t go open to the press and start to blabber,” he said in a statement before leaving for the APEC summit in Vietnam.
This is not the first time the President fired a DDB chief, as he did the same with former DDB chairman Benjamin Reyes for supposedly contradicting the government’s official data on drug addicts in the country.
For one, Duterte did not do wrong in relieving Santiago from his post after his actions, as it is the Chief Executive’s prerogative who to appoint as long as he deems the appointee worthy of the post.
Since the start, the Duterte Administration has been looking for team players, those who subordinate personal aspirations and work in a coordinated effort with other members of a group, or team, in striving for a common goal.
So, no one can blame the President if he decides to fire anyone if they continue to contradict the policies of his administration.
Remember, there is no “I” in the word TEAM.