PRESIDENT Fidel Ramos is hoping Holy Week public holidays will provide a reprieve for two embattled Cabinet officials. It may take an Easter miracle to save the jobs of Foreign Secretary Roberto Romulo and Labour Secretary Nieves Confesor, who, according to the Gancayco Commission which has just published a 79-page report on the Flor Contemplacion case, have lost control of their respective departments. Public holidays tomorrow and Friday, followed by the weekend, plus the launch on Monday of the crucial final phase of the May 8 mid-term elections, should give Mr Ramos enough time to assess whether the sacking or suspension of nine diplomats will take enough heat out of the situation to save the jobs of two of his most senior Cabinet officials. Reports in Manila yesterday said an emergency meeting of the Cabinet at Malacanang Palace late on Monday evening was split 50-50 on the issue, leaving the decision with the President. The diplomats who have been dubbed 'sacrificial lambs' in the Contemplacion affair were stationed in Singapore at the time the domestic helper was arrested in 1991. The Ambassador to South Korea and former Singapore ambassador Francisco Benedicto was sacked on Monday. Former Singapore ambassador Alicia Ramos, Consul-General Elizabeth Buensuceso, Consul-General Reynaldo Catapang, labour attaches Jose Bustalino and Abraham Malli, Labour Assistant Aurora Navarro and welfare officers Annie Israel and Josephine Sanchez were suspended for 90 days for failing to provide the necessary legal and financial assistance for Contemplacion's defence. Mr Ramos said there was evidence of negligence, incompetence and inefficiency in their performance. Observers believe it will be difficult for Mr Ramos to save the two Cabinet secretaries, given the spectre of the forthcoming elections and the emotional mood of the electorate. There is such an outcry for a sacrifice over Contemplacion's hanging that the Government's candidates for Senate, Congress and local government seats may suffer if the heads of Mr Romulo and Ms Confesor do not roll, analysts say. Mr Ramos also has just applied the doctrine of command responsibility in sacking the chief of the military Southern Command, General Regino Lacson, and the commanding officer of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, Colonel Roberto Santiago, for their lack of forewarning and sluggish response in the recent attack on the town of Ipil in Zamboanga del Sur. This same doctrine could be applied to Mr Romulo and Ms Confesor. If the two secretaries are sacked, their experience might be retained by making them officers in charge of their departments while Foreign Undersecretary Rodolfo Severino and Labour Undersecretary Jose Brillantes will serve as department heads in an acting capacity.