A friendly advice to political appointees

By Alex P. Vidal

“Don’t let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn’t go with it.”—Colin Powell

TO all appointees in the national and local government offices: don’t be too proud and loud.

Your appointments aren’t crowns; they’re not jackpot prizes in the raffle or lottery draw.

They’re not something to be bragged about like passing the bar exam or winning a gold medal in an international sports event.

They’re not special distinctions like being adjudged as a cum laude in the batch or a grand champion in the national quiz or math contest.

In most cases, you were appointed by the President or by any local chief executive not because you are the best or the most qualified in the field.

It’s because of what you and your political clan have contributed, or are capable of delivering during the elections, not because of what and who you are.

You may be oozing with qualifications, but, sometimes it’s more of special considerations, a form of “utang na loob” or political debt of gratitude.

A high appointed or elected position in government is not and will never be equivalent to a championship belt or trophy. Public service has no prize tag and special adulation.

It’s an honor to be elected or chosen from among the elite list of contenders, of course, and should be something the constituents must be ebullient about.

It’s another story if we think highly of ourselves for having annexed the corridors of power.


It may be a reward after you and your political clan went all out to support the appointing official—the President in the case of cabinet and other “lucrative” national and regional positions.

Just a friendly advice. After you have received the appointment papers, REFRAIN from sending out press releases that you have been “duly appointed” to certain positions. Be humble and keep your feet planted on the ground.

Also, if possible, avoid using the social media to “advertise” your appointments as if your friends and constituents will surely be ecstatic that you have secured the appointments.

Let the media independently report about all the appointments for civil service in an objective and straight news.

Remember, you’re not the only appointed officials; there’s no special treatment whatsoever, and all your names are on the long list of “among others.”

Sometimes, when you’re too noisy and brassy about the newly acquired positions, you attract hordes of envious characters who will wish that you slip in the banana peel.

Louis XIV once said, “Every time I appoint someone to a vacant position, I make a hundred unhappy and one ungrateful.”

And having cornered an important government portfolio isn’t yet equivalent to instant success.

Booker T. Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”


Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay approximately $200 million to vehicle owners to settle a class action lawsuit over claims that many of the companies’ cars and SUVs are too easy to steal. The settlement will be distributed to up to 9 million owners whose vehicles have been stolen to help cover their out-of-pocket losses, CNN report said.

Next year is my last year.

SEE YA NEXT YEAR. Tennis champion Rafael Nadal announcing recently that he has withdrawn from the French Open and may conclude his tennis career next year. This is the first time the 22-time grand slam champion will miss the competition since making his debut in 2005. Additionally, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios—the runner-up at Wimbledon last year—will also miss the French Open, his agent told CNN, after he was injured during a robbery earlier this month.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)