Norberto B. Gonzales asserts that the Covid- 19 virus and its latest mutation, Omicron, together with all other variants that may evolve in time, constitute the biggest threat to the country’s national security.

While the man on the street equates national security with the defense of our country’s territories, Gonzales reiterates that national security involves all aspects of our lives. Food security. Health security. Job security. Securing the education of our children, the care of our elderly. The safety of our front liners, teachers, soldiers, farmers, fisher folk and employees and employers alike.

The entire Philippines witnessed how the pandemic cost us our security in all these aspects

The cost in lives alone cannot even be quantified.  

With the Omicron variant’s arrival in the Philippines, the number of new cases jumped to record highs.

In truth, after the vaccination of a good number of the population, the country let its guard down, which in part allowed the bearers of this more transmissible virus to sneak in and infect others.

Unfortunately, corruption played a role on how some personalities were able to skip the mandatory quarantine, enabling them to party while transmitting the virus to the many who came in contact with them.

One after the other, the results of the contagion manifested: medicines are in short supply in drugstores; the food supply stands in peril; alert levels imposed renew the people’s anxiety, and limitations on travel impact not only people but farm produce and other goods that must be transported. Jobs must revert to WFH again; businesses will likely contract.  As the cases of Covid spiral up, the health care system is in danger again of being overwhelmed.

But the response of the national leadership remains sorely inept. It is time to take the more correct perspective: that this is a matter of National Security.  National Security is at stake.

Sadly, the present leadership is not equipped with the expertise needed to safeguard the Philippines’ national security. In the next batch of possible leaders, the choices should be limited to the ones who are steeped in experience, knowhow and effectivity honed by years in the field.

This is the difference offered by Norberto B. Gonzales amongst all the presidential candidates. National security is at the core of his skills set, it is his forte, strength, capability. Recognized by experts as one of the Philippines’ top peace negotiators to date, he also served as National Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser and Director General, under three administrations and presidents -from Cory Aquino to Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

KUNG SINO ANG BIHASA ANG KAALAMAN ANG SIYANG DAPAT MAKIALAM. Perhaps more than ever, the country should make this happen.

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