>>> Shared from the Original Post at Manila Standard

“We wish Benny Antiporda well as he exits government and re-enters the private sector. Whatever his future endeavors will be, we are sure he would pursue the same with efficiency and purpose”

Benny Antiporda, NIA Administrator for a few months of the current administration, in an open letter said he was leaving NIA “with a heavy heart, not because of the unceremonious fashion that followed my replacement but because my official mission to help our farmers who face the specter of a food security crisis in the coming months will be for naught.”

Unceremonious indeed is the best way to describe how Antiporda was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman, left out in the cold by Malacanang thereafter, and then without any by your leave, replaced outright during the suspension period.

But that is the prerogative of the appointing authority. It appoints. It disappoints. As it pleases.

Remember how President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. announced the replacement of officials at an official function in the Quirino Grandstand during the early martial law years? But that was martial law.

Or how FVR replaced PNP generals and colonels also in similar fashion?

I recall when PNoy used the anniversary of the agency to fire the NIA Administrator on the spot, after NEDA submitted to him the results of an audit they conducted which showed “over-performance” in terms of irrigation canals dug, which however turned out to have no source of water.

But as I said, the power to appoint carries with it the power to disappoint.

Some measure of respect for persons who a president appointed, and impliedly trusted therefor to discharge his functions properly, should have been accorded.

In the case of Antiporda, lower officials in that perennial cesspool of corruption called the NIA filed a case at the Office of the Ombudsman for misdemeanor and harassment.

Knowing Benny’s sharp tongue and quick temper, that might have been true. But the guy also easily forgives and forgets.

Except, as he says, when it comes to corruption, which is part of the marching orders the president gave him.

“To set the record straight, the actions I took at NIA to fight the culture of corruption and lethargy was with the clear imprimatur of the president during our meeting last August in Malacanang,” he wrote in an open letter after his replacement was announced only through media by the Office of the Press Secretary.

A month or so ago, the Office of the Ombudsman slapped Antiporda with a six-month suspension without hearing his side on the complaints raised against him. Rules allow the OOO that prerogative, unfair though it may be to most of us.

And then his replacement was announced by the Office of the Press Secretary last week, without informing him despite his plea to be heard by the appointing authority. Anyone would have felt bad. But such is the lay of the land in this country.

Benny holds no rancor against the president, and pledges to continue supporting him and his replacement, former Piddig, Ilocos Norte Mayor Eddie Guillen, in making NIA effective in helping our farmers and minimizing the notorious corruption in the agency.

Irrigation is critical to the president’s avowed efforts to enhance agricultural production, especially since rice and other grasses guzzle water as much as an old V-8 engine does.

We wish Benny Antiporda well as he exits government and re-enters the private sector. Whatever his future endeavors will be, we are sure he would pursue the same with efficiency and purpose.


It’s that time of the year when we all thank the Lord for whatever good fortune He has given us and our loved ones, but for many of us, just being alive and healthy makes us thankful to our Creator.

I started the 2022 New Year with the Omicron, and was advised by Doc Willie Ong to get myself hospitalized.

Mercifully, my COVID was mild, which is why on my second day in the hospital, my fever and other symptoms had abated. There is much I have to thank God for.

The second half of the year which was also the first half of the new administration was marked by high inflation and the peso losing ground to the US dollar. Times have started being really difficult for the ordinary Filipino.

Still and all, we look forward to the coming year, that of the gentle rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar, for better times.

To our publisher, editors, the Manila Standard staff, and our readers, let me greet you a Blessed Christmas and a better, more fruitful New Year!

The post Unceremonious appeared first on Manila Standard.

Lito Banayo
  • Lito Banayo