Is he the new Rambo in the guise of a Cabinet officer?
Some people may think so but insofar as Malacañang is concerned, it wasn’t much more than an unfortunate incident blown out of proportions by some critics.
In any case, presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas yesterday got a ribbing—and some advice—when President Benigno Aquino III introduced his Cabinet at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Local Government Code.
Llamas recently captured headlines after two of his security escorts figured in a road accident and police discovered a Soviet-made AK-47 rifle hidden inside their car. Llamas was at the time visiting Switzerland and he has since dismissed the two guards.
Reporting on the AK-47 incident, one radio station referred to the presidential adviser as “Rambo Llamas.”
At the festivities of the Department of Local Government (DILG) in Pasay City, Mr. Aquino began his speech by greeting his Cabinet secretaries. Then, after a pause, he called out Llamas, eliciting laughter from the audience.
“Maybe you are thinking Ronald Llamas is hiding. He’s present and accounted for,” Mr. Aquino said, joining in the laughter.
Llamas told reporters later that he reported the road accident to the President but that they talked more about his meeting with officials at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, than about the “favorite subject” of the media now.
Llamas noted that Mr. Aquino referred to the incident “in a joking mood” at the DILG celebration “and it also seemed I was teased a little about it.”
He said that during their talk, Mr. Aquino asked about the “context of the events and the political implications that it might be used by our detractors to make a big thing out of the issue.”
Llamas said the President also asked him about his documents for the firearms, which he had acquired as a safety measure. The Philippine National Police has said Llamas’ papers were in order.
Later it was revealed that the specific model of the weapon was a CZ-858