Does Senator Santiago figure the Philippines for a beggar-me nation?

santiago newscentral ph

Investigating EDCA [Photo source newscentral.ph]

It seems to me that Senator Santiago is one of the most negative people around. She is always hammering at someone, often in an indignant rant with five or six juicy quotes for the Inquirer’s crack reporters to wrap their keyboards around. Her quips are legend. She’s a veritable Aesop unchained, lecturing the rest of us on what is right and moral.

But I’ve got her figured out.

I was reflecting the other day about her anti-alliance hostility. She detests military alliances. She is not just against a defense agreement with the United States. In 2012, she filed a resolution trying to get a Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia thrown out.

Go figure. There must be SOME reason she would oppose a defense alliance with one of the sweetest, gentlest nations in the modern world. A place of reason and peace, owned by no church, and therefore actually compassionate. The Aussies don’t lord it over anybody at all, although they can get a little rankled about immigration and global warming. The top government honcho thinks global warming is a bunch of hoo haw concocted by money-grubbers and lying scientists.

Tell it to the Visayas . . .

But back to the point. If Senator Santiago opposes alliances with America and Australia, she must oppose defense. Period. She does not opine, much less rant, about the Chinese with their boats parked on Filipino rocks shooing impoverished Filipino fisherfolk back to the mainland. Her main beef is with the persistent threats to Philippine “sovereignty” imposed by friends of the Philippines.

The loud senator holds that working with other nations threatens the Philippines. That to me is downright bizarre. The idea that security is to be found in a poverty-wracked nation going it alone against a muscular thug like China, whose leaders exhibit the hearts of stone lions.

The only way I can figure it is that she has absolutely no confidence at all that Philippine leaders can manage alliances as a sovereign state equal to partners. Not even she can do it.

Well, it seems to me the best way for the Philippines to lose its sovereignty is to be weak. Mistrust of earnest nations is a much greater threat to sovereignty than where an errant soldier is boarded.

The path forward is starkly simple, but evidently beyond the grasp of the good senator. The Philippines only needs to identify those nations that find it in their self-interest to promote a strong and independent Philippines. And be respectful of them and work earnestly together with them. Like, stand side by side with them. As President Aquino is doing.

Perhaps the senator is one of those people who has lingering colonial psychotic fever (LCPF). That is a case of chills that persists long after the disease has left. Another term for it is historical obsessive compulsive disorder (HOCD). Not hysterical . . . although that is not too far off, either . . . but historical.

History. You know what that is, don’t you?

It is the past. And it is over. Done with. It does not exist except in history books which are usually edited to make the past shine. So even the history lessons we cite are a deviation from straight and true. Delusional is another word for some written history tales. They are distortions that we agree to welcome into our lives as if following fictions of the past is somehow better than figuring out the facts of the present.

Well, I grow tired of this negativity, this Santiago-style mistrust of Filipinos as capable managers of their own destiny, and of America and Australia as loyal partners. I hold that the current Philippine leadership is as capable as that of any other nation and the only thing separating the Philippines from prosperity and prominence in Asia is a huge batch of crooks and a popular willingness to coddle them.

Along with crab-like insecurity of the style of Senator Santiago.

On a straight and confident path, no Asian nation has what the Philippines has. Brains, resources and an unlimited upside.

A negative path is half way between straight and crooked. It is rather like a leash, always yanking the nation’s neck back.

That is Senator Santiago. A whip in one hand and both her feet on the nation’s brakes.

I have come to the conclusion that Senator Santiago does not know how to inspire trust or confidence or lift the nation up. How can she when she thinks so little of the nation’s ability to take care of both its sovereignty and its security alliances?

And it would appear that she has no positive or realistic ideas about how to defend the nation.

Gadzooks, I shudder at the thought of that attitude driving the Philippines.

It’s a retreat to provincial isolationism, to weakness. It is the opposite of standing tall, of filing for ITLOS arbitration, of standing side by side with alliance partners as an equal. It is a retreat to the subordination of the nation to insecurity. It is a retreat to beggar-me stature.

 

Comments
94 Responses to “Does Senator Santiago figure the Philippines for a beggar-me nation?”
  1. DJB says:

    i’ll keep my reply short …. She is a hypocrite.

  2. Reality Bites says:

    Joe, take a look at history…and discard psychobabble “disorders” like LCPF and HOCD for Miriam’s hostility towards America.

    Miriam’s hatred is towards FVR (and Enrile). She thought that the US helped FVR win his presidency and that he cheated her. She could have won. I liked her (and FVR, at the same time), but she lost. And she hit her ceiling; she could never get anything higher than being a senator. The SC and the Int’l courts were possible, but it seems that her failure to win the presidency marked the watershed moment of her political career.

    And she has always hated FVR for that. A lot.

    Throw in the circumstances of her son’s death and you have a pretty big sour ball stuck in her throat.

    The US’ support of FVR makes it the friend of her enemy. And Australia is the friend of that enemy.

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And for her, history is not in the past.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, well, that makes some sense of things. I tend to see her as illogical and volatile, and her attitude toward the VFA indeed approaches that of hate. Certainly it would be a rather frightening leadership style. Do you think she has a shot at the presidency, or is she just flinging out the idea for a last grasp for prominence? I also see her as physically unhealthy, and pretty much a loner. I am skeptical she could put together the kind of organization or effort needed to run a vigorous candidacy.

      The psychobabble is my quirky literary method to mock the tendency around here to use initials, jab at those still hanging on to colonial America when it is a totally different era, and keep the writing from getting too dry.

      I very much appreciate having your explanation. It solves a big question as to “why”. Thanks.

  3. manuel buencamino says:

    demagogue. insane. sociopath. Don’t try to understand her. If one has to interact with her, one must first make sure she is on her meds and then, more importantly, one must be fortified with several shots of tequila and a dozen happy pills. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Haha. And she is polling stronger than Roxas.

      Gadzooks.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        “…she is polling stronger than Roxas” – JOE

        Is she? Seriously? Despite all negative news and name-calling? OMG! It appears that Filipinos have weaned away from Philippine Media; Or, they found their place in the sun; Maybe, they are tired of prim and proper and civilized politicians in front of cameras then steal tons of money from taxpayers; Could be, Filipinos are sadists; For all we know, the POLLSTERS MAY BE WRONG !!!

        I like Meriam, seriously She’s colorful. She spews original quotable quotes but never wanted her to be the President of Democratic Republic of the Philippine Islands.

        If ever she became president The Philippines will be Philippines against China by themselves.

        • manuel buencamino says:

          I wouldn’t use originality and Miriam in the same sentence.

        • Joe America says:

          12% versus Roxas 6%. She does have flair that the boring everyday trapo does not. They are too busy sneaking about to stand up and be counted on important issues. Too wrapped up in the cloak of consideration for all their crooked friends to put their values on the line.

          • Lil says:

            I noticed she’s very popular among college students, especially law students (my old college friend is one of them) left-leaning or not.
            I think they’re blinded by her sheer intellectualism, mistaking it for political maturity and wit aside from her pang-masa type jokes.
            Btw, speaking of VFA I couldn’t believe the news that DFA’s disappointed that the US chose to invoke the rights under the VFA, that is to maintain custody of the accused until completion of the judicial proceedings. Should they expecting anything else? Honestly,

            • Joe America says:

              I think the DFA looks at the VFA much as the financial people look at Moody’s, an indication of US confidence in Philippine justice. They expected an upgrade due to the improvements in relations under Aquino, and the consideration of EDCA and other partnership deals. I’ll write about the VFA after the holidays to give my take on the US point of view. I am disappointed that Secretary De Lima, in her prosecutor’s role, is still hammering on the point. It seems DOJ wants to use the case to show it is “tough” in its fairness. Well, that makes it less than fair. The VFA is law, and the US has followed it every step of the way in cooperating with the Philippines on this case. She ought to give up her lawmaking exercise and conduct a fair and impartial trial.

              • Lil says:

                Yeah Pemberton doesn’t really look like your typical ‘Hey Joe’. Maybe he has latino or Mideast roots? Anyway, that’s not the issue. One of his colleagues apparently testified against him. Wonder if Miriam and the leftist crowd will ever make note of that.

  4. Reality Bites says:

    Miriam gets support because she contrasts with the scummy politicians from both the pro- and anti-administration parties.

    Her sharp wit, her legal clarity, her fearlessness to tell the powerful — publicly and loudly — that they are full of BS, her shocking humor, her totally “clean” image (with no warts, as far as I know)…

    Position that vs Mar and his image…and voila!

    It’s really not surprising at all.

    Mar’s image sucks.

    Hence 6%.

    But she will never win, either. Because she kind of seems loca-loca at times…..

    But she does have the best act in town…both as a serious player and as a clown…at the same time. What a character.

    • Joe America says:

      Style points. She does have that going for her, for sure. I still wonder if she’d get the financial backing needed for a strong presidential run. I put her in the category of nuisance candidate. Serious nuisance . . . haha

    • cetootski says:

      If you’re looking for warts, try googling edsa tres and the craven eleven. Miriam has a lot of baggages to check in, it’s just her tendency to be a “balimbing” that keeps her out of the crosshairs.

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks for the tips, cetootski. I’ll do that so I have it as background information.

        • Joe America says:

          “Craven Eleven”

          “There’s many to learn from the Senate impeachment trial of then-president Joseph “Erap” Estrada. On January 16, 2001, the Senate, on an 11-10 vote, ruled not to open an envelope — which allegedly contained “incriminating evidence” against Estrada — based on the premise that the envelope was not part of the impeachment complaint; thus, inadmissible in the Senate trial. The 11 pro-Estrada senator-judges who prevailed in keeping the controversial envelope sealed were known as the “Craven Eleven,” which consisted of Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Gregorio Honasan, Ramon Revilla, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Robert Jaworski, Tessie Aquino Oreta, Nikki Coseteng, Blas Ople, John Osmena, and Francisco Tatad.”

          https://www.facebook.com/notes/171126316272300/

      • Bert says:

        Why was that a Mirriam’s “wart”, her voting not to open that envelop? It’s well within her rights and capacity to exercise a legal opinion in the impeachment trial being a former judge herself and she decided at the time that the envelop was not part of the impeachment complain, therefore inadmissible.

        • Bert says:

          Correction: capability, not capacity. Please excuse my English, guys, I hope you make some sense of what I’m trying to say here in Joe’s blogs, :(.

          • Joe America says:

            Technically, Bert, “capacity” works better than capability in that context, for me. It suggests she has the intellectual breadth and depth (capacity) to exercise a legal opinion . . . which she does. Maybe your subconscious is smarter than you think, eh? 🙂 We understand you perfectly, Bert. Keep up with the good arguments.

            • Bert says:

              Thank you very much, Joe. You are really my friend since long way back until the present time, adjusting to my limitations which I appreciate very much. Thanks.

  5. Steve says:

    Sntiago is what is called locally (and curiously) a “fiscalizer”, a term that means nothing at all in English but might be loosely translated as “gadfly”. Nobody is ever quite sure what (if anything) she supports or proposes, but she is very clear about what and who she dislikes, and why. This is a useful role, and somebody has to play it, bit I think she’s make an appallingly bad President. Of course I don’t think she’ll win, so I’m not terribly worried by that: I’d be more concerned that she will draw enough attention to split the anti-Binay vote and put him in office. She has some appeal: she’s a fairly unique character, is not afraid to criticize the powerful, and says things people want to hear, but I think most voters do understand that her style would be a liability in a management role on the scale of the Presidency.

    I agree with the comments above about her historic antipathies with FVR, Erap, and Enrile.

    On an unrelated note, I would not deny that climate change exists, but I would point out that data do not support the contention that climate change is responsible for typhoon damage in the Visayas. The frequency of typhoons in the Pacific basin has actually decreased since the 1970s, and there is no visible trend toward stronger storms. For data see:

    http://blog.noah.dost.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/vol-2_3.pdf

    • Joe America says:

      That’s an excellent point, that Senator Santiago plays an important role and exhibits a kind of courage that I wish others had: to speak up regarding right and wrong. Her problem is when she misses the mark, as I believe she is doing on VFA and defense. But she was one of the first to speak up advising Binay to attend the Senate hearings, and told him that if he did not, we could only deduce that he was guilty. And she was an important advocate for the RH Bill and other modern legislation. She earns her admiration points fairly and deserves commendation for that.

      Anyone who rode through Yolanda would likely not care about the statistics. They fear any storm now. And regarding historical cycles for ice melt and ocean temperatures, scientists can argue that they are normal, too. The challenge is to prove that billions of humans on a shrinking globe can ride through a severe cycle without dying or killing one another to find the proper balance of humans to globe.

      (There is an edit function and it is me . . . if you call errors to my attention. The system doesn’t offer one. I took care of your “senior moment”. 🙂 )

      • Steve says:

        I don’t think there;s a person on the planet who is invariably correct on matters of right and wrong. I don’t agree with all of Miriam’s opinions, and I think her approach to opinion and to presentation of opinion would make her an ineffective and possibly disastrous President… but yes, I’m glad she does what she does and I wish a few more of her stature were as willing to be blunt about what they see. Right or wrong, once the ideas are out on the table they can be addressed.

        I’m sure that people who went through Yolanda don’t care about data, but those who make policy have to care. I’m sure the people traumatized by Yolanda are just as scared as those hit by the great typhoon of 1881, or by the storms that wiped out Taclobal in 1897 and 1912. We don’t know how big or how strong any of these storms were, as reliable data are available only for a very short time span, but we know they did damage on the scale of Yolanda. We also know, from the data, that there is no visible overall trend toward stronger or more frequent typhoons.

        This matters because “climate change” has become a device used by local officials to blame faraway polluters, to demand money under the rubric of “climate justice, and (most of all) to distract attention from their own failures. A great deal of the destruction wrought by typhoons is not caused by bigger storms, it’s caused by the placement of settlements on flood plains, by degradation of watersheds, and by obstruction of natural drainage. It’s exacerbated by population growth and by migration to cities: migrants settle in unoccupled places, often places that are unoccupied because they are dangerous. All of these can be addressed by effective policy, but politicians won’t bother to formulate and implement effective policy if they can avoid responsibility by pointing the finger at climate change.

  6. Reality Bites says:

    No shot whatsoever.

    But Mar…or any LP bet so far…have low odds themselves. And the opposition is being whittled down, as Binay has been knocked down enough pegs to create ample doubt regarding his front-runner status. And some others are in jail.

    This seems to be a timely opportunity to find a new type of candidate. As of now, we can’t see one. But I would not be surprised if one shows up this time around. It would be a welcome step forward.

    Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are still pretty slim. One can hope, though.

  7. Attila says:

    She is anti-white. I know Filipinos who are anti white myself. I even heard the Filipino priest here in New York saying that ” you can’t trust the white men”. That explains all her actions. (My Filipina wife agrees with me.)

    • Joe America says:

      It does explain her hostility perfectly. The lack of rationality.

      Have a great white Christmas in the City, Attila. If not white, at least an authentic cold blast off the ocean to give a good holiday chill to the cheer. (I’m reflecting on a very cold evening I once spent in New York trying to get a ride back to my hotel from that famous toy store (AO Schwartz?) It was a few days before Christmas. I only had on a light jacket, it was dark, and there were no cabs. I eventually hijacked one that was dropping someone off . . . coldest night of my life.)

      • Lil says:

        That is funny. You’d rarely hear Filipinos being anti-white. With all the skin-whiteners in Phil and in every dermal product. Miriam herself looks bleached. With Pinoy/Pinays going gaga over all half-whiteys and even the white bald-eys Whoops. Sorry Joe 😛

        • Joe America says:

          Oh, excellent point, Lil. I find that Filipinos grant me too much respect (more than Filipinos get) in places like banks or the LTO. But they exhibit anger toward my wife for having caught the gravy train.

      • Attila says:

        Thanks Joe. I will celebrate with Filipino friends as usual and we have some nice arguments after a few drinks. I have to be careful no to get too drunk so I can be on the lookout for aggressive baklas, The last time one of them tried to force himself on me. The famous hotel is the Plaza Hotel. I also wish you a dry and storm free Christmas in the Philippines.

  8. macspeed says:

    @Joe Am,

    The text books and the style of teaching in the Philippines are now changing. The trend goes on and on for blogs, emails, surfing, searching etc….via the net…

    Less than a decade from now, all these oldies and baddies in politics will die and will be replaced by more advance thinking era of generation x…..who doesn’t live in the past…

    We are lucky somehow have experience cell phones he he he and bloggings and more…

    Good luck to ALL of Ourselves….

    Merry Christians everybody and Happy new Year….

    • Joe America says:

      That is about the most encouraging news I’ve heard, mac. The education network here is great. A little crowded, but almost every kid has a school to attend. The content flowing through it has been a little rigid, I think. You are right, connectivity here is great as well.

      YES indeed. Good luck to all of ourselves, and from us back to you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Take a little time for peace and good will . . .

      • Pinoyputi says:

        Maybe next time you could dive in the education network more deeply. I am afraid it is not all that good. Sure, there are plenty of schools (but shortage on class rooms and teachers) but the quality of public elementary and high schools are abominable. Whether you walk downtown in a city or a barrio in the province on a normal weekday you see all those kids not going to school. Try talking to to teachers from these public and even private schools and you’ll soon realize that they know very little on history, geography, science and so on. There are of course very decent (private) schools like La Salle, La Consalacion College, Uno-R, San Agustin and a few others. I am less familiar with Universities here. Maybe a idea for a new blog?

        • Joe America says:

          Oh, I agree with that, PP. I’ve written numerous times about it. I was responding to macspeed’s comment that things are changing. So at least there appears to be an AWARENESS that the content of the education pipeline needs to be upgraded. I’ve argued that the Philippines should not just play catch up, but move aggressively to internet linked tablet computers for lessons and exams, starting with high school kids. But if DepEd is finally getting over the hurdle of just doing more of the same for more kids, that’s a step in the right direction.

    • Steve says:

      I would argue that the trend toward “blogs, emails, surfing, searching etc” poses as much danger as opportunity. There is a great deal of information on the Internet, but most people go to the internet for affirmation, not information. What we see more and more is a trend toward people creating their own little mutually reinforcing circles of blogs and pseudo-news sites that tell them what they want to hear. In doing so they reinforce their own isolation and polarization. Whether you are a Marcos loyalist, a GMA believer, an Aquino hater or lover, or a believer in UFOs, a hater of GMOs, or a follower of an infinite number of conspiracy theories, you can go online, bookmark a circle of sites, and sink daily deeper into your own fantasy. It’s a dangerous habit and it’s happening all around us. You may now envision me banging on a large gong and wailing of impending doom 🙂

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Clustering is not new. The new term for it is ‘circle jerking’. But people have always bonded around ideas, ideologies, schools of philosophies and religion. As noted, the goal has been affirmation (or validation by feedback loop) for the sake of psychological, physical, economic power and security.

        All that technology has done is to provide an almost instantaneous, widespread and efficient medium for clustering.

        Inevitably, ‘circle jerking’ is followed by ‘cluster fucks’ — as has happened before in colonization, the wrangling of political parties, and in economic and sectarian wars.

        The danger is polarization leading to strife. (The solution is polylogue and good faith as exhibited in fair dealing.) There must be a recognition that ideas are just ideas, beliefs are just beliefs, and that no idea or belief is worth killing for. Although an idea or belief might be worth dying for. At the core of that recognition is the acceptance of a commonality in our shared humanity.
        *****

  9. letlet says:

    Santiago’s psycbabbles on political technicalities are being twisted and manipulated by some unscrupulous politicians to suit their politicall agendas, especially those who have leftists leanings who absolutely abhor our friendly relations with America.

    In their world, the first things first are saving their own skins and their self interest rather than saving the country and the whole Filipino people from the clutches of poverty, of despicable corruption and of the territorial grabber China.

    If these pseudo patriotic politicians have no an iota of love, loyalty and patriotism for our country and people in their hearts, we have to pack them out to China where their allegiance is.

  10. Sal says:

    I agree Santiago is weird, is driven by inner fears (perhaps fear of whites, fear of repeating mistakes of the past, fear of Filipinos unable to govern, fear of fellow politicians reneging on their promises to her). But I also agree that she plays an important role as a naysayer, albeit a lone voice. She provides the other side of the story so the public can look at differing points of view and decide one way or the other. Of course her diatribes oftentimes distract the listener from the essence of her messages and I think she needs to tone it down a few notches if just to ensure that the public gets her drift. Filipinos love the dramatics but her message gets watered down in the process.

  11. josephivo says:

    For me it seems as if she has two sides, a human side and an expert lawyer side. At the human side she has plenty of common sense, a focus on legitimacy, humorous, straight forward. It is her lawyer side she falls back on when she feels responsibility, need to deliver. As a lawyer she puts on blinkers and her focus shifts from legitimacy to lawfulness, from emphasis on substance to emphasis on procedure.

    I listen to her when she is herself, playful and ad rem, I ignore her when she becomes a lawyer who lost the balance between “ius” and “lex”, justice and law.

  12. atong says:

    Mr Joe America,

    What do you like about the VFA?

    It is common knowledge why Mrs Santiago oppose the VFA. Even with the risk of irking most of your posters here.. I will say – I agree with her on the VFA. It is not an agreement between equals.

    And if I may quote her – “We are a stillborn state because our umbilical cord from the US has never been cut,”

    • josephivo says:

      Do you think the US has so much more power over the Philippines than it has e.g. over Belgium (no umbilical cord there)? The US is a world power with a mighty army, mighty financial institutions, mighty multinationals and with lobbying as an art form, getting things done whatever it costs as an ideal. They often are ignorant or naïve bullies.

      In Belgium too there is a lot of resistance against Uncle Sam, e.g. because of US atom bombs on our territory, but it never gets this lamenting “underdog”, “short changed” tone you always find here.

      Stop lamenting, it weakens you. Don’t shout whenever you can that you are weak and that you are treated like babies (with or without clear cut umbilical cords), people might start believing you.

      Yes, try to get the maximum out of it, yes tell you want more, but use it as bargaining capital in the next negotiations and respect the current contract.

    • Joe America says:

      The VFA is a dry document that sets out the rules that permit the US to send troops to the Philippines on short order. The military ID of an American armed forces member serves as his passport and entry approval. It was designed to facilitate training where hundreds of American troops might arrive on Philippine soil for a few days, and then leave. Or in case of conflict, arrive to fight when needed, without hassle. There is no Immigration processing. It also deals with how to handle errant soldiers, who, believe it or not, are exceptions, not the rule. There are two VFA documents, actually. The other one defines the same rules for Filipinos entering the US (usually for military training). Americans accused of crimes in the Philippines are held in custody by the US during trial. Filipinos accused of crimes in the US are held in custody by the US during trial. That is the famous “humiliating” imbalance cited by Senator Santiago.

      If we look at the broad practical implication of the two VFA’s, an American might see the imbalance differently. Americans agree to fight and die on Philippine soil while Filipinos agree to train on American soil.

      So who gets the better deal from the various imbalances?

      If there were trust and a genuine partnership between the two nations, the VFA would be a complete non-issue, because it basically supports the common interest of the two allies: a free and independent Philippines. Unfortunately, we have politicians with axes to grind, and lawyers who ply public emotions to win their cases. And a tabloid press that loves the raw meat.

      • Joe America says:

        And paying the heaviest prices are businesses in Olongapo and Subic Town as the American Pacific Fleet bans shore leave in the Philippines to eliminate risk that there might be another incident.

        • Attila says:

          “The American Pacific Fleet bans shore leave in the Philippines”
          That means fewer marriages between Filipino and American navy personals. Additionally the population of the Philippines is steadily increasing and the white population of the world is decreasing. I don’t have statistics, but I have a feeling that there are less and less whites traveling to the Philippines. Filipinas who are interested in a foreigner husband will have a much harder time now. Same in the USA. There was a large influx of nurses to the USA over a decade ago. Some of those nurses married Americans and had families. No more of that either. There is no need for Filipino nurses anymore in the USA. No more new immigrants or guest workers from the Philippines in a long time. It seems that the relationship between the 2 countries is now coming to and end. Slowly but surely the Philippines is isolating herself from the whites. China is the future the way I see it.

          • Joe America says:

            You know, for me, Attila, I don’t care so much. Most of Los Angeles is a vibrant patchwork of non-white ethnicity, and is richer for it. My son is not “white” in the pure sense, and he is damn handsome, and most intelligent. There are increasing tourist flows from the white-lands, and dating services on-line. People can meet if they strive to do so. But white will eventually get blended out of the global ethnic mix, and that’s a statistical fact we ought not worry much about, I think.

            The Philippines will blend with everyone, as has always been the case.

            China does have a problem, how to feed and provide for huge masses of people with increasingly ravenous consumer demands. If she tries to do that at the expense of other nations, she will eventually pay a huge price . . . in internal strife, or external. Best that she learns how to get along with others.

            • Joe America says:

              As I think about the point you made, it actually illustrates how stupid China is. China is PUSHING the Philippines and other nations toward America. If China welcomed and respected other nations, the US would get pushed out of Asia by the natural forces you cite.

            • sonny says:

              I’m still puzzled at anti-US stance of Miriam, U Mich and all. Ex-Sen Saguisag is Ll.M, Harvard. Was signatory to US Bases termination anyway. Go figure.

            • Attila says:

              China doesn’t need to learn how to get along with the Philippines as long there are Senators like Santiago who is anti-white and pro Chinese. Filipinos are in general pro Chinese passively and openly and embracing Chinese values. China is in a position where Filipinos will give it a pass for bad behaviour. As per your comment about the mixing of races with whites is fine with me. II really dont mind. My wife is a dark Filipina with part Aeta blood, you know the type that most Filipino men don’t think highly of. There are many Filipina who want quality white husbands and now the only way for them to find them is trough the Internet. The internet often attracts misfit Kanos, sex tourist and older men. The typical “normal” younger white Americans will not use the Internet, Joe. The normal and typical good American husband type that so many Filipinas want was accessible through the visiting Navy. Those were the more quality men the real Americans also at a younger age. Filipinas now have far less access to quality American men. If you ask Filipino men they don’t care about this but if you ask my wife and other Filipinas I’m sure they are not happy about it, My wife’s aunt left home early to move to Subic so she could meet an American to marry from the Navy. She found her husband after 2 years and moved to the USA and she is a happy mother of 2. She loves her White husband and she is also happy to help her family back in the Philippines. This kind of life story is ending now. Chapter is closed.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I agree with most of your assessment, but would fine-tune some with observations. Without question, when the Navy was based here, and afterwards when many Americans stayed or retired here, many Filipinas were able to carry off “trophy husbands”. My wife teases me by calling me her “big fish”, so there is nothing mysterious about this. So that era is possibly being scaled back. It is also true that many of the oligarch families originated in China, but there is enmity between them and the communists, not warmth or attraction. The Philippines is developing as its own land, period. More original than others by the mixture of its diverse origins and segments, English speaking with Chinese cultural nuances, democratic with shades of kingmakers, dukes and earls. Every nation rolls through its historical cycles, as the US itself is moving out of the “white man’s” era. That’s life, and we can not hold back that tide any more than the ocean’s. Best to swim casually and enjoy it.

              • Attila says:

                “Best to swim casually and enjoy it.”
                I have no problem with swimming. What I was trying to say is that Filipinas do have a problem with the reduced opportunity to meet white men for serious relationship. What I mean is those who prefer white husbands will be in a more difficult situation. I know a few Filipinas (my wife’s friends) who don’t want to visit the Philippines with their kano husbands, out of fear of loosing them to another woman. Funny, but they don’t trust their fellow Filipinas who they honestly believe may attempt to steal their man. It is not husband that they don’t trust but the other women! Competition for whites is getting comical. I just talked to one Filipina who is dating a white guy and after I recommended them to visit the Philippines together and visit places like Palawan for a romantic time, she replied that not until they get married. She is not liking the idea at all. Filipinas will not be able to swim and do the “moving out” of the “Filipino” man’s” era. That’s life, and there is no tide for them to ride and swim. They can’t swim casually and enjoy it like whites do in the USA. They are stuck now. No mixing for them. I’m sure Filipino men are happy about it.

          • sonny says:

            Joe, i’ve lived here now 44 yrs. American face I arrived to was white, black and hispanic white. Now I read that the white majority is 56%, the hispanic minority has surpassed the black. The major media face in national & local airwaves are mixed. Local stations have white, latino, black, asian (Korean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, some Filipino. all US born, definitely melting pot). I came across an article that US legal immigration numbers are eugenics based, significantly with educational bias. Purely my perception/reality.

            • Joe America says:

              eugenics: in the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population. That surprises me a little. If so, I’d expect it might be the negative of that, to exclude those thought to be problematic, or the uneducated. In Los Angeles there is also a strong sub-population of Arabs, Persians, and Armenians. Iranians run the gas stations and Cambodians manage the donut shops. Mexicans service the cars. Filipinos provide nursing services. They all, in some quantities, get into the professions. The Chinese compete well in the sciences. Those are minor trends within trends.

            • sonny says:

              The eugenics part, is positive targetting for the American gene pool. I presume healthy self-interest. i agree.

              The ’60s Filipino professional 3rd preference-family-reunited is now grayed. Mom was a teacher, all part of the medical, engineer-scientist, teacher Filipino immigrant space-race population. Filipinos hold 36,000 annual immigrant numbers since and for the next ten years. Yes, there will be some Filipino-American complexion on the American face. Can’t be all the Roman Gabriel physique, though. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Especially after age 40 or 50, haha.

              • sonny says:

                I’m fore-seeing your son’s Teutonic height playing on Philippine mahogany floor!

              • Joe America says:

                Chuckle. . . alas, my wife is diminutive, and the height calculator pegs that my son will be about 5′ 9″. Still, he is quick like lightning and has superb eye-hand coordination, so maybe he’ll . . . become a casino card dealer or astronaut. He leans toward the latter. I see him as an attorney, myself, because he has his mother’s gift of winning arguments and we need a different ilk than this Roque fellow. It seems to me that attorneys are mainly the middle men of corruption hereabouts and have little impact on justice.

        • Steve says:

          Personal opinion: the Navy should have instituted a curfew and a no alcohol/no fraternization policy from the start, and enforced it. Little less money for the bars (not a big deal), but a lot less potential for trouble. Both the Pemberton incident and the Daniel Smith incident were eminently preventable, with a little common sense.

          • josephivo says:

            Or at least an age limit of 21. Kids of 19 still have a few things to learn, their pre-frontal cortex is not fully developed yet.

          • Joe America says:

            I think a “no drink” policy would hurt local businesses a lot, and arouse complaints among the troops. Murder is a statistical fact. In both the Philippines and the US, the murder rate is 5 or 6 per 100,000. Given enough ships and enough troops, murder will occur, booze or no booze. The unfortunate aspect is that we overlay it with these international overtones, reflecting the mistrusts aroused over the years. Americans kill 40,000 a year on the freeways. It is acceptable. It is harsh, but bringing any people together in quantity will allow the violent extreme to pop up now and then. We can shrug or run riot. The correct response is somewhere in between.

            • Steve says:

              Complaints among the troops… so what? They got by without booze and hookers in Afghanistan and Iraq, they can do the same in the Philippines. They didn’t sign up to party. The economic health of the Calapandayan bar strip does not need to be an objective of US policy: The sex trade that grew up around the old US bases was one of the major factors driving sentiment against them back in the day, and there’s no need to repeat that.

              We know that testosterone plus alcohol equals a highly elevated probability of stupidity. We know that organized political forces are waiting to exploit any stupidity that occurs and turn it into an international incident Common sense suggests that keeping the testosterone away from the alcohol will reduce, if not eliminate, the probability of stupidity and trouble, and that seems to me a reasonable objective and a reasonable step. I know the Navy brass have fond memories of the bad old days in Subic, butt he times they have a’changed. Time to clean up the act. Most of the troops and ships here under VFA are on transient visits anyway, it’s not going to make that big a difference to anyone if they don’t get drunk and laid. I don’t see how the US taxpayer, or anyone else, needs to fret over fewer pesos flowing into Kinky’s cafe.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, it is the testosterone and drinking that loosens the wallets and the bars provide a lot of jobs, just ask the girls. The jobs pay well. It is an industry, not a mom and pop operation. It actually means a lot to Olongapo, ask Dick Gordon. I’d venture it is safer there, in those smokey hazed, happy, raucous, drunken dives than in the side streets of Manila.

                So I guess I disagree with you on this one. The Laude thing had some aspects to it that took it out of the ordinary, and if there are restrictions, include deceits on gender.

              • Steve says:

                Certainly the sex trade is an industry, but that doesn’t mean that it is in the interests of the US Navy to support and sustain that industry. That industry remains technically illegal, and it produces substantial resistance to a continued US presence, much of it among conservative social sectors that might otherwise be supportive of that presence. The notion that these bars and the neighborhoods around them are happy places is, frankly, naive. As it is in most places, this is a predatory business that draws crime, exploits its workers viciously, and produces a whole range of rather nasty social consequences. I’ve been behind those scenes, and it’s not pretty.

                The US Navy is of course not in a position to regulate or control gender deceit among Olongapo’s sex workers: they can only control their own people and keep them away from situations that are likely to cause trouble. The Laude case is perhaps out of the ordinary, but it had one very basic thing in common with the Smith case: neither would have been happen if the individuals in question hadn’t been drunk and looking for sex. Wouldn’t the probability of further such incidents be reduced by keeping these guys out of that position?

              • Joe America says:

                We can pound this rock back and forth forever. The men are on a boat for a long time and need to get off once in a while. There are a couple of interpretations to that line. They are adults given a lot of responsibility on the job, life and death kind. The US will treat them as such, and provide rules for shore behavior, which, if they violate them, they will find themselves punished quickly and sharply. Olongapo civic and business leaders want American troops to visit. I don’t see that there is a problem at all. If the goal is to eliminate all risk, then back Senator Santiago and force the US to drop off the troops elsewhere. Or ban alcohol in the Philippines because it fuels bad behavior, not just in Olongapo, but in barangays across the land where macho, tuba-swilling locals take after one another.

                I think I’ll move on to other topics. I’ll revisit the VFA after the holiday break.

              • Bert says:

                Shore leave is a necessity for those military personnel while on base. It’s called R&R. What could be the purpose of shore leave, or R&R, if sex and alcohol is prohibited? Sight-seing maybe, but there is not much to see in Olongapo or Subic area.

              • Attila says:

                What do you think Filipino seamen do all over the world.? How commonly Filipino men are using prostitutes, including lady-boys and practicing the kirida tradition. You can sell your narrative to some nice and naive Kano but I’m not in that category. Filipino hypocrisy at its finest. Nice try though.

              • Attila says:

                “This is a predatory business that draws crime, exploits its workers viciously, and produces a whole range of rather nasty social consequences.” Ok I understand. Maybe you should ask the girls themselves what they think about the US Navy personals as their customers. Ask them what they think about Korean men as their costumers and Indian and Chinese etc. Ask them what they think about working in a bar that caters to Filipino men only. It could be a fantastic documentary if someone would make an honest attempt uncovering the truth about the US Navy’s presence in the Philippines. Filipinas will not tell you that they are attracted to whitesand whites treats them better because they don’t want to be criticized by Filipino men. That is why Filipino men are giving a pass to Koreans in Angeles and Cebu and other places. Despite the fact that they are dominating the bars and they don’t marry Filipinas. Navy personals often marry Filipinas and take them back to the USA and help her side of the family. You Filipinos have a problem with that otherwise you would not give pass to Koreans and Indians the others who all they do is the screw your girls and never take them seriously. You don’t like whites. Simple s that.

              • Joe America says:

                Easy, Attila, Go take a walk around the park and cool off. I think you are extending Steve’s arguments a little too far. Many priests or moralists would agree with his points, and, frankly, so would Senator Santiago.

              • Steve says:

                Nice try, Attila, but I am not Filipino and thus quite incapable of “Filipino hypocrisy”. I am in fact American. Any hypocrisy I express is American, or perhaps American with (some say) too much time in the Philippines, or more likely just my own. I don’t particularly dislike whites either. I am one of them, and it would be hypocritical of me to dislike them.

                I think you miss the point. I know perfectly well what Filipino seaman do in port. I know what the Korean, Australian, Scandinavian etc tourists do in Angeles, and what Filipinos do in those massage parlors along Quezon Ave. None of that is even remotely relevant to this discussion. Those people are not wearing an American flag on their shoulder. They are not official representatives of the US government. If they get stupid and get in trouble it’s on their heads; they don’t cause international incidents, hand propaganda points to the people who want US forces out of the Philippines, and cause all manner of trouble and hassle for the US government in the Philippines.

                I am not talking here about the morality of prostitution. On this I have no opinion: I am not a moralist by trade. I do believe that communities are wise to discourage the sex trade, as I believe that its negative impacts outweigh the positive ones, but that’s about costs and benefits, not right and wrong. The question I’m looking at here is how the US Navy can avoid these incidents and avoid handing propaganda points to its enemies. Propaganda is a weapon, and a smart military force does not hand weapons to those who would use those weapons against it. The US Navy does not set policy in the Philippines, or in Olongapo or Subic town, so the only effective way the US Navy has to prevent these incidents is to keep its own people under control.

                Of course much of the anti-US propaganda that comes out of these incidents is hypocritical and distorted. Useless to complain about that, it’s the nature of propaganda. If you hand the other side the material, they will use it, they will distort it, and they will indulge in hypocrisy. Complaining about that solves nothing: better to avoid handing them the material in the first place.

                I honestly do not care if the bar girls would rather marry whites, or if they’d prefer to keep the trade running. The US Navy is not a dating service and it does not exist to provide bar girls with white husbands. It does not exist to support the sex trade in the Philippines. It exists to advance the interests of the US, and I don’t think that filling the bars, and cleaning up the inevitable periodic mess that results, serves or promotes those interests.

                The notion that the troops can’t function without booze and hookers is of course a load of bollocks. Again, they functioned without booze and hookers in Afghanistan and Iraq, they can do the same here. They are not here for a good time, they are here to advance US interests.

              • Attila says:

                “Many priests or moralists would agree with his points”
                He sounds like a good friend of mine who is a Filipino. I can’t blame a Filipino that much since they are indoctrinated but a white Western European? They and White Americans fascinate me with their naivety. They can be educated and analytical in one way but they don’t understand the world and sadly white Americans don’t understand the history of the USA either. They are not able to connect the dots. Dinesh D’Souza in his movie “America: Imagine the World Without Her (2014)” did connect the dots for them It had to be an outsider who was born and raised in India to be able to see how Americans really are, how suicidal they are as an American and how others can exploit the good will of the whites and plan the seed of white guilt in them. The degree of manipulation is astonishing. I was born and raised in Eastern Europe and I also see Western Europe and the USA form the outside. I agree with Dinesh D’Souza and I see America the same way as he sees it. I am frustrated at whites for being “nice but stupid” and letting themselves being taken advantage. This is really a tragedy. I fight back at Filipino hypocrites with their underhanded excuses. I’m an East European Hungarian and it’s in our culture and tradition to fight back. We took on the Soviet Union thousand times bigger than us even if was a suicide. In our entire history we took on oppressors of any size any religion and any race. We are not from the same stock as the many progressive liberal white Americans and Western Europeans. Not even close.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, the excuse-making is an ingrained cultural trait for many, but there are some who do not fall into that trap. It’s much more invigorating to be accountable, and that’s a blog I expect to make shortly into the new year. It fits, for making resolutions. I don’t know Hungary that well, but I had a GF from the Czech Republic, and she enlightened me on the determination that is so well developed within Eastern Europeans. Her father and mother escaped from the Russian invasion in the dead of night, cross-country, and popped up in Germany. They were arrested there, eventually were set free and hopped a boat to Peru. There they raised their kids to be enterprising and strong-willed, migrated to the US, and continued to do what had to be done to succeed. When I met them, they had a wonderful home in Mission Viejo, California (middle/upper middle suburbia), one daughter was a successful dentist, the other a successful veterinarian doctoring the dogs and cats of the stars. Accountability was the driver, no nonsense, pedal to the metal aspiration.

              • Steve says:

                Attila, I am honestly impressed. I have only rarely seen such a volume of shallow generalization and crude racial stereotype crammed into so little space.Does it take effort to close your mind to the point where “Filipinos” or “white Americans” become single undifferentiated categories, or does that sort of thing come naturally?

                If you wish to contest opinions that diverge from your own, you might want to do it with evidence and reasoning, rather than by reflexively dismissing broad swaths of humanity as naive or indoctrinated, or by making unsupported declarations of your own superiority. It would make you look less of an ass.

              • Joe America says:

                @Attila & Steve, Why don’t you both take the discussion to New York or Kuala Lumpur as I don’t like the tenor of the debate here on my blog. You both have lots to bring to the blog, but personal attack is not it. I’ve trashed the last comment from both of you because they reflect poorly on our community.

    • Lil says:

      @atong, It has never been cut because the Filipinos don’t want to! Typical. I find it funny how every time Filipino say something like that, during the bases’ termination they said the same darn thing! And guess what? Nothing happened after ‘Mother America” left. Instead of learning to ride our own damn bike (getting serious on defense and economics) like our neighbors have done, Filipinos crawl back and say “please pick us up again”1

      Anak ng Tipaklong. And you call yourselves nationalists/patriots!

  13. Juana Pilipinas says:

    Santiago has her brilliant and bombastic moments. You never know what she will dish out when she opens her mouth. She has a dark sense of humor. She can be charming but also wacky and tacky at times.

    I think her nationalistic stance on VFA is analogous to Miriam vs US, a David and Goliath scenario. In her mind, it is the right thing to do and once she made up her mind she can’t be trifled with. I do not think a lot of Filipino want to quibble with her in public.

    Joe, What is your take on the recent US-Cuba debacle? Rubio is fuming mad and Obama is as cool as a cuke. Cuban-Americans I know are happy about reuniting with their families. They are hopeful about the possible democratic progression this change will bring. Me? I think about how angry Putin will be about losing his listening post 90 miles away from our shores, and I grin.

    • Joe America says:

      Hahaha, wacky and tacky . . . poetically perfect. So is the point that she has others intimidated. I had not seen that aspect before, but I think it is true. She is rather a female Duterte using legalisms rather than .45’s.

      I’ve read critiques that say Cuba has “played” the US and will now take advantage of the new openness to do more bad deeds at home. Obama is a humanist and has great faith in the goodness of the human kind. I think it is something that should have been done right after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when communism ceased to be a world threat. The US ought not impose the style of government other countries take up. It ought to argue for human rights and principles like free speech. But it is up to a nation’s residents to pick their governmental poison. I’ve liked all of Obama’s international moves, actually. And this one, too. Well, maybe the NSA spying on Merkel was a little overmuch, but the official daylight moves have been good.

  14. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    HERE ARE WHYS I BET ON MAR AND POE:
    1. Both of them do not look like your traditional politicians like Benigno
    2. Mar does not pomade their hair like Marcos, Ramos, Binay, Estrada and Noli de Castro
    3. Grace let her hair down unlike dear departed Aling Cory
    4. Both of them have that fresh look
    5. Mar did not graduate from University of the Philippines, college of crooks
    6. Never heard of corruption … but wait until they sit in Malacanang we will soon find out
    7. Con: Grace Poe graduated from University of the Philippines, college of choice for crooks

    BEFORE ANYONE MAKE HASTY VOTE, DO THE FOLLOWING:
    1. Check their SALNs. SALN is legalized blackmail used by Benigno.
    2. Check their ITR. Another legalized blackmail tool by Benigno
    3. Remember SALN and ITR will not surface until crooks are difficult to prosecute.
    4. Check their family members and relatives if they are living beyond their means and mean to the living
    5. Check their family members and relatives if they love to name drop
    6. Check BenHur’s list if they are on his list and check it twice if they are naughty and nice.

    IF THEY FAIL 6-POINT-CHECK:
    1. Bring a coin to the polling booth to flip a coin
    2. Vote for the lesser evil

    IF COMPETITING POLITICIANS OFFERS MONEY FOR YOUR VOTE, ACCEPT IT. IT IS YOUR MONEY. IT IS TAXPAYERS MONEY.

    • Joe America says:

      Crisp, Edgar-like enumeration of the strengths of this dynamic duo. And the checkpoints we should roll through. I’d add, inspect their platform, and that of the opposition, if UNA ever crafts one. UNA may supplant the platform with the Boy Scout oath, though. That’s a possibility. I best liked checkpoint number 4, with the little twisty part at the end.

    • Steve says:

      I would like to see Roxas and Poe run and win… but I would never bet on the basis of what I would like to see. Realistically, I think that if Roxas runs with Poe, Poe will win, Roxas will lose, and we end up with Binay and Poe. At least that allows Poe to get in untainted by voluntary association with Binay, so if he ends up not finishing his term she can take over. Getting him out would be a hard thing to do, though, and another extraconstitutional change of government would not be an appealing prospect.

      I have two kids in UP; I hope they are not learning to be crooks. They are fortunately not studying law, political science, or any other field that’s even remotely related to politics, so I suppose there’s some hope.

      • parengtony says:

        Poe will declare her candidacy for president after everyone else have laid their cards on the table. A piece of cake, it will be.

        • Steve says:

          That might very well happen, though I wouldn’t call it certain: there’s a whole lot of deal-making to be done between then and now. Not sure it would be a piece of cake for Poe, either: if she runs for President and Roxas and Santiago back out, I think she’ll win. If they don’t back out, she could still lose. We will see.

    • Bert says:

      I’d worry, no, afraid even, of a Mar/Poe tandem at this point in time because it might pave the way to a Binay win which most of us here are terrified of happening. One reason I’m afraid is because I’m a Noynoy Aquino supporter through and through, during the election until today, but there are reports that his immediate family are for Binay and so might influence him to field a weak candidate in order for Binay to win in the 2016 election. If that happen I would be very disappointed and disheartened and I might lose my respect to the president I admired and fought for, for his sincerity in pursuing his goal of good and clean governance. .

  15. bauwow says:

    If Miriam decides to run, despite her volatility and temper tantrums, she’s a far better alternative than VP Binay. Anyone but Binay please.
    Let’s hope Pope Francis prays that our country would see better days, when he visits us next month.

    Uncle Joe, I miss Edgar Lores and Josephivo’s cosmic discussions, it actually takes me to a new level of understanding that I do not comprehend nor understand. Hehehe.

  16. I can’t forget her maniacal laugh after saying “I lied”. For me she seems too unbalanced and not well versed in some pretty important things such as government finance and macroeconomics. This is also my knock against most other Presidential hopeful. We can criticize Mr Aquino all we want but next to Mrs Arroyo he has the best grasp of macroeconomics and finance among presidents of the last 30 years.

  17. Jake says:

    I have mixed feelings with Santiago…

    Sometimes she’s the only one who makes sense in the ocean of stupid politicians. Sometimes, she’s the stupidest.

    I think she tends to fall on the extremes of the pendulum

    • Joe America says:

      Ha, me too. Excellent characterization. But it is that instability or unreliability that, to me, negates all the positives, as far as her presidential aspirations are concerned. It does not work to have the main method of the president be erratic.

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