The Mamasapano hearings as a launch pad to the presidency

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Poe, Escudero [Photo source canadianinquirer]

It seems to me that the future president of the Philippines may have been in the hearing room during all or parts of the Senate’s five public Mamasapano hearings.

I put Vice President Binay to the side because if the Philippines elects him, it is one gloriously uninformed and irresponsible nation. Let’s just consider him to be “the opposition”, the guy in the black hat.

We’ll also set Mayor Duterte of Davao City aside because our neck is sore from being jerked around by the guy. First he says he’ll kill anyone who wants him to run. Then he says he’ll run. Then he says he won’t. Then he threatens to run . . . . forget him, man . . . who needs that kind of president?

As I sat side by side with my bookie Sal, we watched each of the five public hearings, sipping coffee, snacking on Goldilocks’ macaroons, and taking notes. From the getgo, Sal had a pile of 100 beads and a low, flat cardboard box divided into compartments. Each compartment had the name of a senator or cabinet secretary on it, someone who has, during recent months, passed the public lips as a presidential prospect.

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Roxas, De Lima, among others. [Photo source: canadianinquirer]

The names on his carton were: Roxas, Cayetano (Alan), Marcos, De Lima, Trillanes, Poe, Escudero, and Santiago. He started by putting 10 beads in each compartment and holding 20 in the pot for later distribution.

“For brains” he said, then he took 6 from the Marcos box and gave two each to Cayetano and De Lima, and one each to Poe and Santiago.

As the hearing went along, he’d toss a few beads into a slot from the main pot or take them from one person and allocate them elsewhere. He’d mutter the reason why.

  • “Organized thinking”
  • “Big picture view”
  • “Sincere”
  • “Irrelevant argument”
  • “Arrogant”
  • “Businesslike”
  • “Strong”

hearing06 rappler

Marcos [Photo source: Rappler]

This went on for 5 hearings covering over 30 hours of testimony.

Marcos lost another brains bead when he argued that President Aquino should have ordered the generals to fire artillery, and he lost one for lack of composure when he went nuts that the generals would not fire the artillery into friendly forces or civilians. Later on, Marcos picked up some beads for “drives for solutions”, as he tried to discern what could be done to make the cease fire mechanism work better in the future. He also picked up a few between hearings for what Sal called “strong youth backing”.

At the end of the hearing, three people walked away with most of the beads. Here are the final counts along with Sal’s notes characterizing each presidential prospect:

Roxas (24)

Poised and intelligent. Speaks of big pictures and popularisms. A bit of a contradiction. On one hand, he can get emotionally worked up. On the other hand, he seems somehow passive rather than active. On the third hand, he was very sharp in putting Senator Binay back into order after her unseemly suggestion that he might not tell the truth. He has the most depth of experience in running government affairs and would move into place quickly. He knows who’s who and would form a cabinet quickly. He knows how things get done. He seems well-respected within the higher ranks of government. He is likely to be a consensus builder rather than a commander like Cayetano. The nation would have stability, but might not have drive. He would continue the straight path, without question. If continuity and confidence in adhering to the straight path is the key, he is the choice.

Poe (20)

Very businesslike on the outside but harbors inside agendas. Highly intelligent, well organized, speaks eloquently. Is courteous and considerate to others. Seldom smiles. Inspires with sense rather than emotion. The most westernized of all the contenders, value-wise and capability-wise. A very private person in public, so we have no idea who the real woman is. Talks transparency but lives behind the scenes, hidden. Did not have the power to stop Cayetano’s unending manifestation on Day 5. Cayetano took over the meeting and NO ONE was willing to get in the way. Appears to have high values. Is not corrupt but is probably a trapo. She’d run a very business-like cabinet, a very thoughtful and pro-people agenda  . . . we think. Because we don’t know if she can break external loyalties and the influences they might bring to the presidential agenda. Highly popular because of her father and her image as Ms. Clean. Would she pardon Binay if he were in jail? The question is the answer. Hard to have confidence . . . 5 beads out.

hearing04 philstar

Cayetano [Photo source: philstar]

Cayetano (19)

Extraordinarily intelligent. Hard-driving. Would be a powerful man, dominating cabinet meetings. Huge self-assurance. He is part trapo, part new-age thinker. He listens faster than other people can talk, which means he interrupts a lot.  He could move the nation fast. The question is, would it collide with itself (would the BBL collapse in favor of an enduring civil war). He’d confront China or anybody; Aquino’s enduring patience and calm in the interest of stability would be lost in favor of advocacy for the Philippines. He is not corrupt, but he is a politician. He does not have a national fan base and needs to talk fire to build one (his confrontational attitude in the last public hearing). That’s dangerous. He can work with numbers. He can organize things. He can solve problems. Sometimes he is overbearing and insensitive, sometimes he is wrong, but he is never lacking in confidence. Is he a loose cannon, or a well-directed driver? The question is the answer. It’s hard to have confidence . . . 5 beads out.

Escudero (10)

More political than Poe. A young trapo willing to adjust his stand on issues, not for the public well-being, but for advantage. Clearly smart, clearly well-spoken. Good popular appeal. Can lead a meeting, but may not be so capable at building harmony and inspiration among cabinet officials because of political game-playing and personal mistrusts. Is not a dedicated worker like Senators Aquino or Angara, who are focused on results in the form of legislation passed. A lot of hat, not much cowboy.

De Lima (9)

A very intelligent if somewhat pedantic orator. Lacks a fan base. Has a lot of bitter critics. Would lead the cabinet in a professional and well directed manner. Would assure continuity of straight path governance. Would command respect because she gives it, and demands it. Missing is popular warmth, public appeal. It’s a deal killer. 8 beads out.

hearing07 inquirer

Trillanes [Photo source: Inquirer]

Trillanes (7)

Pretty much irrelevant in the hearing other than as a military guy backing other military guys. Not a strong public speaker. His slow and thoughtful way does not inspire. He needs a performance job, say cabinet secretary, to prove he can organize and solve problems, and motivate followers. He has a lot of history behind him, a lot of things for opposing candidates to criticize.

Marcos (6)

The only beads left in the box were for “seeking solutions” and  “avid backing from young people” who seem oblivious to what Marcos the dictator did for and to the Philippines. He’d be crushed by opponents, for his parentage and lack of any meaningful accomplishment.

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Santiago

Santiago (4)

She was able to attend only one meeting of five, and then only a part of the day. Poor health means she could not lead the nation day in, day out to deal with all the heavy demands. She couldn’t even campaign. We don’t even need to get into issues of volatility, anti-Americanism, or lack of a platform other than sex jokes. 10 beads out for health.

Combinations

The Vice Presidential slot can be the stepping stone for 2022. Who can we imagine being willing to work as VP for six years before aspiring to the top job? It is not exactly a front-page job. It is second fiddle.

Not Cayetano, he’s too impatient, too impatient to try for anything but the top job, too impatient to settle for a position of no great importance. Not Trillanes; he would not bring much to anyone, and could be a liability. Santiago’s health is a disqualifier. No candidate would kill his campaign with Marcos. For Roxas, it is the presidency now or never. He’d not want to be the designated “also ran” once again.

We could imagine Poe, Escudero and De Lima in the VP slots. And if we put any of the combinations against a Binay candidacy, head to head, then Sal would peg the division of beads as follows:

  • Roxas-Poe (70 beads to Binay’s 30)
  • Poe-Escudero (55 to Binay’s 45)
  • Escudero-Poe (50 to Binay’s 50)
  • Roxas-De Lima (40 to Binay’s 60)
sal

JoeAm’s bookie, Sal

Sal says there is a 5 to 7 bead wiggle room to any of these figures. This is not rocket science, after all, and the future is full of ruts and bumps for all.

Sal’s other observations:

  • The Roxas-Poe tandem is a knock-out winner. De Lima brings nothing to the Roxas ticket.
  • If Duterte, Santiago, Trillanes, Cayetano, or others stayed in the race, only the Roxas-Poe ticket could beat Binay. The “straight path” votes would be carved into too many pieces.
  • If Marcos ran, or “Old Man” Estrada took another shot, Binay would have a harder time against any of the tandems.

In a future blog, I’ll provide my take on exactly why Senator Poe would be making a mistake to run for president in 2016. Keep your eye out for that one.

 

Comments
279 Responses to “The Mamasapano hearings as a launch pad to the presidency”
  1. PinoyInEurope says:

    As promised Joe: Cayetano is of course campaigning already. My reasons to prefer him are:

    A. Personal attributes

    1. He is patriotic. He doubtlessly continues his father’s legacy.
    2. He is clean. Meaning not corrupt and also very forthright.
    3. He is uncompromising. Something he showed at the Mamasapano hearings.

    B. Professional attributes

    1. He makes the impression of being focused and having an organized mind – very important.
    2. He is able to bring his message across clearly and inspire to action – leadership qualities.
    3. He will be able to devise a program for the country and deliver on it – no-nonsense guy.

    C. Public acceptability

    1. He is acceptable to both elite and masses. He is elite, which is necessary for being accepted by the elite in the Philippines. But is able to address the masses without losing countenance, his performance in the Senate hearing was forceful and dignified at the same time.

    2. He is acceptable to both “yellow” and “blue” crowds. Yellow being Aquino, Mar and others; Blue (old KBL color) being Bongbong Marcos, Binay and others. There is a deep rift going through the country, the rift caused by the Marcos years and their aftermath. The Yellows will make difficulties for a Blue President, while the Blues will make difficulties for a Yellow President. A president not belonging to any of these groups will be able to accomplish more with less friction.

    3. He is acceptable to all who want one nation. He clearly defined his stand on the nation in the Mamasapano hearings and this is a strong majority. Separatists and terrorists are not his crowd. Muslims who do not want to separate may be a silent majority. He might also appeal to them.

    Cayetanos job will be to represent the Filipino people, like a lawyer representing his client; he will have to be a manager for the economy in order to build on what is already there. His motivation is not money; it is ego – no problem with that if he does the job for his future employer, the people.

    Looks like this guy is really committed to the community he wishes to serve – because IMHO he wants to look good in the history books. But he is not a narcissist who does not know what he cannot handle. He is forceful and eloquent; Claro M. Recto comes to mind.

    His programs and his track record have already convinced me: http://alanpetercayetano.com/ . Other potential candidates IMHO have the following disadvantages:

    i. Roxas is too nice and too yellow,
    ii. Bongbong will polarize the nation,
    iii. Santiago is simply a comedy show,
    iv. Binay would be THE thief executive,
    v. Poe gives me a strange vibe somehow.

    @Joe – we both saw something strange about Poe.

    Where we differ is that in my point of view, Cayetano is needed. The country needs a leader to define and shape its sovereignty, in fact its future, or else we might have the negative scenario I described in my Tipping Point article. He needs someone in his cabinet to handle talking with the Muslims, if he is smart which I think he is, he will do that. It’s not just one person it’s a team. But I believe the Philippines needs someone of his mold to lead is as a winning team. I rest my case.

    • Joe America says:

      I had pretty much the same assessment after two or three Makati garage hearings. Incisive mind. Straight speaker. He cut through all the deceits being thrown up. I was shocked that his popularity rating went absolutely nowhere. Now I see him as overdoing the shock and awe, and there is a measure of desperation in that. I presume he will be the NP’s presidential bet, as Trillanes and Santiago don’t cut it. I don’t know what kind of money they can put behind him. For sure he will go after Binay in ways that others might not.

      I pretty much agree with your assessments on the others except I think that Roxas is actually a very different person than President Aquino, but will need to show that during the campaign. The “yellow” tag can be a burden or a boost depending on how it is handled.

      What do you think Cayetano needs to do, pragmatically, to raise his popular image and poll ratings?

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        @Joe: Actually the people I know back home are pretty bullish about Cayetano.

        But he could try to show that he is for national unity, REGARDLESS of religion, that he for peace and will talk with those willing to. The newly formed BTC could be an ALLY.

        Sorry Joe this post is long, but structured, bear with me, it is the coherent concept that we brainstormed together in the preceding blog article, well actually I thought of it and you were the platinum catalyst, the pebble in the oyster: 🙂

        ENTER THE BTC

        http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/03/02/1429130/alternative-bbl-eyed .

        “MANILA, Philippines – A group composed of Muslims and non-Muslims in Mindanao has proposed an alternative solution to the Mindanao conflict through peaceful means amidst the expected delay in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

        Eid Kabalu, former spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said their group is seeking revision of the proposed BBL, which aims to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao.

        Kabalu, currently vice-chairman of the newly formed Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC), said President Aquino would be committing a big blunder if he fast-tracks the passage of the BBL without amending some questionable provisions.”

        The BTC is interesting because of the following:

        1) it involves not just one group but is more representative of all stakeholders.
        2) It involves a former MILF spokesman who may have influence on some MILF clans.
        3) They are constructive while I am convinced that MILF totally untrustworthy. Why?

        REASONS TO DISTRUST THE MILF

        a) they have apparently used the ceasefire to increase their firepower.

        b) Mamasapano
        i. they have barely cooperated with the government in investigating Mamasapano.
        ii. they shot 27 policemen in the head when they could have just captured them.
        iii. they shot up the blocking force in a cornfield when they could have let them exit.

        c) they called the uploader of an incriminating video criminal and called the “crime” “spreading darkness” and “causing intrigues”.

        i. Obviously these guys are afraid of the truth, maybe rightly so, PNP findings compared the gun in the video with one of the guns returned by MILF and they were the same

        ii. Iqbal did not look at Cayetano in the eye when asked the question and was very evasive, looking down and sideways, my life experience and common sense gives me the feeling he had something to hide.

        iii. Iqbal said that he found the shooting in the video “worse than terrorism”. But if the PNP is right and it really was one of the guns MILF returned, and they did not return any of the guns BIFF got, then that statement by Iqbal to me looks like hypocrisy.

        OK, OK, maybe he did not know that it was one of the guys from an MILF command IF the PNP is right about that, but if then he was very unprepared going to the Senate. OK, unprepared, chaotic, possibly hypocritical – then he IS a Filipino after all, not a Moro.

        d) And if Iqbal says he has no control over the various MILF groups, then he has no real mandate to represent. Kabalu might be able to win over almost as many, just as many or even more of his people than Iqbal.

        e) Let me give you more arguments against dealing only with MILF: they might even with BBL quietly build up arms by channeling funds away secretly. In 5 or so years time, another “new” group appears that wants the whole of Mindanao, after all they claim it is theirs. Then what?

        Anyway I think the BTC is making sense. If one is really willing to find peace, one should look at all possibilities, not just get fixated on one. I hereby propose the following:

        NEW PEACE PROCESS:

        1) use the BBL as base draft for discussion purposes

        2) involve both MILF and BTC – why?
        a) throw out MILF – ceasefire ends
        b) without BTC – possible renewed conflict
        c) less likelihood of future conflict with left-out groups

        3) keep Deles and Ferrer in their position + Orense – why?
        a) experience
        b) known faces

        4) Get a Dutchman to advise and mediate – why?
        a) not involved totally neutral party and country
        b) honest reputation – TRUST + cool head
        c) understands Muslim Malays and Christians due to Indonesian experience

        * There are enough Dutch people in the UN and elsewhere who might do, maybe even one with East Timor mediation background, better. The guy might cost but it is worth it.

        5) Go through BBL point by point and:
        a) Seek points that can be agreed upon, set aside points that are controversial.
        b) Go through the controversial points, patiently, one by one. Find a consensus that best suits the interests of all. Try to do it via win-win.

        Rules:

        A. Agree upon basic ground rule that no one involved in negotiation speaks to the press, except the Dutch mediator who regularly gives out cool dry summaries in experienced diplomatic language, so that there is no stirring up. No Twitter, no Facebook postings.

        B. Clearly defined delegates to the peace talks, all bound to the shut up rule. Lock them up somewhere for months, ideally on some Pacific attol, until they come to an agreement.

        To implement this plan, I hereby propose this safeguarded phased approach:

        ARMM REORGANIZATION PROPOSAL

        Institutions:

        1) fiscal board with a representative from EACH group plus central government.
        2) Make sure there is a similar arms control board.
        3) Make sure there is a central governing board also similar.

        The DAYTON PLAN developed for Bosnia could be a model – works until today.

        Rules during transition period
        i) have shut-up rules toward press and internet for ALL in these bodies.
        ii) Dutch spokesman for each of these bodies, regular joint presscons.

        Financing:

        Cumbersome and expensive, but cheaper than renewed conflict. But the funding could come from this source – OIL:

        https://bignewscentral.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/milf-lauds-p-noy-on-gas-and-oil-exploration-in-mindanao-issue/

        AND could fund not only the ARMM’s progress but also that of the Philippines! 🙂

        And also in this matter – I rest my case. Discussions and feedback are welcome.

        • sonny says:

          Whatever the case, disabuse all of the idea of 56+ doe-eyed virgins waiting in the after-life. As Sen Saguisag suggests, no guarantee how old the virgins are, anyway.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Skyping with a Jordanian friend of mine, I told him the way you are living, you will end up in hell with 19 topless girls. His answer was – see you there… 🙂

          • sonny says:

            Also keep in mind the God of the Qur’an is an Absolute Ruler. He can abrogate any law he has set previously and Mohammed is the absolute model for behavior. Think about his history. The hadiths are all over the place.

        • sonny says:

          Igorots found out early on head-hunting was decimating the tribe’s menfolk really fast. Thanked the Americans for this insight. they strongly favored continuance of the tribe living in their salubrious mountain air for a long time.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “The “yellow” tag can be a burden or a boost depending on how it is handled.”

        It’s about time the Philippines got over the Post-Marcos period. Very similar to the Post-Communist period in Eastern Europe, similar conflicts and pains.

        Learn from our Muslim brothers. They too are divisive, but when it comes to important things they stick together. Time for national pintakasi in a positive way.

        • Joe America says:

          It is with great pleasure that I inform you that I corrected a typo, and do not require that you rip your paper to shreds. “They to (sic) are divisive”

          That positive unity is what the tabloids undermine, and the crabby need so many have to be right 100% of the time defeats. Intellectual sacrifice or pliability is hard to find. Or even open minds. At least some days, that seems the case. Here it is a little different.

      • stpaul says:

        Joe being young and ambitious is his achiles’ heel. He does not have the maturity and wisdom needed for the position. He attacked Binay relentlessly expecting he will be chosen as the admin’s pres’l bet. Failing to get that he aligned himself with the very same group he attacked. If that is not a flaw in character, I don’t know what is. Thank you.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “I think that Roxas is actually a very different person than President Aquino, but will need to show that during the campaign. The “yellow” tag can be a burden or a boost depending on how it is handled.” I see it completely differently and have outlined WHY here:

        https://joeam.com/2015/02/27/the-real-mar-roxas-a-kind-intelligent-earnest-man/#comment-111921

        Roxas may have one advantage though, being Wharton-educated: he might bring in some new aspects when it comes to economic development – building value-added industries instead of just relying on BPO. BPO can easily leave, it works for now because:

        1) the Philippines has many qualified people who can’t get other jobs.

        2) the rest of Asia is building value-added industries and does not need BPO jobs.

        For that reason – economic factors not really under his control, stuff josephivo wrote about in his article – Roxas will be able to preside over an economically successful country. But like I wrote in my referenced post, that is the path of least resistance. Not long-term.

    • jpolsales says:

      i. Roxas is too nice and too yellow,
      ii. Bongbong will polarize the nation,
      iii. Santiago is simply a comedy show,
      iv. Binay would be THE thief executive,
      v. Poe gives me a strange vibe somehow.

      These are great facts and I agree with the probabilities. I believe what we really need is someone who can unite the nation. It’s beginning to look like we’ll be divided into more factions and not just the blue and the yellow. We need someone who will stand in the middle not during the elections but afterwards.

      The challenge is not just winning the race but how he can have everyone’s cooperation once he wins the race. With the country’s culture, it is imperative for someone to have excellent diplomatic skills not for our international counterparts but to have the oligarchs’ cooperation at the same time attend to the masses. Mesh and lace, an positive action for one should have a positive reaction to the other.

      I bet everyone do have their own intentions of being part of a great history, but these intentions are not enough. Everyone has their own skills and track records and I agree to take a look on their track records not just as law makers but on their executive records as well. They had their own constituents before, their own region – I urge we start from there.

  2. karl garcia says:

    Lots of muslims in Taguig,maybe they took the senste hearings astride.maybe sone of them are career bureacrats or even politicians.

    • karl garcia says:

      As of this month the muslim youth in Taguig hate his guts.he needs big time damage control.his wife is mayor,maybe miscalculation,spur of the moment,political suicide or what?

      • Joe America says:

        Very interesting, and understandable. I think he did not mean to come across as harshly as he did, and was making intellectual points to get a sense of accountability imposed on the MILF. But media love the juicy stuff, and so that’s what came out in the aftermath.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          They are ALL so weak at PR. – not only Noynoy. Cayetanos mottos is that there is only one flag, one constitution, one Philippines. Like I mentioned above, why does he not try to bring across THAT message and broadcast it – a non-religious nationhood?

          Dammit Joe, we could get rich with these guys, why do we have to such true believers in what we do? OK, I will be like Santiago and blame the first Yankee in sight. It’s your fault, your damn Lutheranism – “here I stand, for I can no other”. 🙂

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Karl may proposal ako sa itaas. Kung ipahayag ni Batang Compañero na para siya sa lahat ng Pilipino na ayaw humiwalay sa Inang Bayan – na totoo naman – kahit ano ang kanilang pinaniniwalaan, makukuha niya ulit ang mga Muslim at lahat.

        Magpatulong siya kaya Duterte kung magawa niya, kabisado ni Digong ang ganyan, kinaya na niya sa Davao. Isang raha at isang datu na magkaugnay para iligtas tayo.

        Hindi na mahalaga kung anong partido, kung dilaw, asul o anuman, kung burgis o masa – dapat magisa na ang Pilipino dahil kung hindi TAYO ang tuluyang malalamangan – ng sinuman diyan. Sayang dahil nandiyan na ang TUNAY na pagkakataon – NGAYON!

        Kaya natin iyan, may OIL diyan sa MILF territory, pati natural gas daw, mag-google ka, nais din ng Malaysia i-drain ang Ligwasan marsh doon sa mismong Mamasapano at taniman ng plant oil trees, kung sa atin manatili iyan di mayaman na TAYONG lahat.

        Lahat ng problema pati pensiyon ng pulis kayang bayaran, para na tayong Venezuela, huwag lang tayong magpalamang tulad ng Ecuador na may OIL din kundi kawawa tayo. HULING PAGKAKATAON ITO, kailangan na nating magpakatino at magkaisa. PILIPINAS!

        • karl garcia says:

          Nabasa ko yan noong nilink mo.the oil thing.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Salamat – alam kong talagang binabasa mo. 🙂 Nadala lang ako ng aking naramdaman, at kung baga summary iyan para sa hindi gaanong magaling sa Ingles o hindi mahilig dito.

      • JM says:

        Hmmm.. I live in Bonifacio Global City – Taguig/Makati. I don’t see local muslims here at all. If there are muslims in the area, they probably constitute a very small number..

  3. Twinkle Toes says:

    I like the way Sal thinks, Joe. From where I sit, he’s pretty spot on about all of them.

    Sal is right to be wary of Grace Poe. She’s far too studied and deliberate, too careful. Every word and move is carefully thought out. Contrived.

    When she ran for the Senate in 2013, she deftly played both UNA and Team PNoy – graciously thanking UNA for the endorsement but stating she wouldn’t attend their sorties; thanking Team PNoy for allowing her to campaign with its line up. She never declared separation from UNA, being highly respectful of its leaders (her father’s closest friends) Binay and Estrada. That brilliant play/ploy (okay, and her last name) got her the top spot.

    Forgive me, I digress. Is Poe acting? Which makes me wonder – who gives her direction? She is a neophyte senator – who are her mentors? What is her “hidden agenda”? Who told her to go after Purisima but not after Binay? Her absence from the Binay hearings is glaring. If she can’t look Binay in the eye now and demand answers, I shudder at the prospect of her letting him go scot-free under her presidency.

    Is she playing to the crowd? Maybe. She is, after all, her parents’ daughter. Both of them were celebrated actors.

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog, Twinkle. Sal is a bright guy for sure, and I’ll let him know you like his readings.

      Interesting about Grace Poe. “Contrived”. That is exactly the word that has been escaping me, and is probably the unease that commenter Pinoy in Europe also mentions. The idea of having background people structuring her candidacy is a bit unnerving, frankly. Her attacks on Purisima during her hearings a few months ago were almost vindictive. I thought it was because she was bent out of shape because he didn’t show up at the hearings at first, but now I’m wondering of there is a deeper reason. What is the Filipino word for “two-faced”? Or speaking out of both sides of one’s mouth?

      • karl garcia says:

        Doble cara like the spanish word. Maybe sonny or pie can help

        • sonny says:

          Take your pick, Karl: inscrutable, enigmatic, doble cara (must be provable), non-committal, balimbing; all of the above?

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Duplicitious/enigmatic, the former being a value judgment, the latter being neutral. Or to use my color scheme – sa dilaw, sa asul. 🙂

      • i7sharp says:

        “doble-kara”?

        • Yes, “doblekara” works. Like the two faces that symbolize theater – Comedy and Tragedy. You could say one side of Poe makes us happy – simply dressed (mostly in white, the way the good guy in the movie wears white); minimal make-up (more simplicity); populist declarations to make sure she says what everyone wants to hear. Her “other” side? Well, I don’t know what it is. It’s pretty well-hidden. She never drops her character (a theatrical phrase). She’s inscrutable. I find it hard to trust someone like that.

          Now, I like being able to see some vulnerability in a person – a flash of anger from Mar, the President telling a joke, or tears from either of them. Even the histrionics of Alan Peter and the ravings of Miriam show us that they are human. We get a glimpse into what lies inside them, a hint of what makes them tick.

          I agree with you, Joe. Her attacks on Purisima were over-the-top, as if she wanted to make sure we knew she was all for justice and accountability – this was the same period when the Binay hearings were hotting up and Poe’s absence from them was being questioned. As if to quell mounting doubt over her purity of purpose – to be the Joan of Arc of the Senate. But I can’t see how you can be a selective graft buster – Purisima, yes, Binay, no? Oh, and let’s not forget her deafening silence about her friends from the big screen – her god-brother Jinggoy, and pal Bong Revilla.

          Who are her friends in the Senate? Everyone knows she counts Chiz as a best buddy. It was also reported that during her campaign Sen. Osmena was an adviser. Then, because of close family ties, Nancy Binay should count as a friend. And, throw in Lito Lapid, JV Ejercito and Tito Sotto – actors, all of them.

          • sonny says:

            helgaV, then it behooves us to keep track what scripts they adopt. tragedy? comedy? and for what purpose. (just staying with the metaphor)

          • Joe America says:

            Inscrutable. Nice.

            Yes, is she just superior in her performance on the stage of eloquent deceits . . . one wonders . . .

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Poker-faced, actually. Very calculating. A lot of people in post-communist Eastern Europe are like that. Now I know why I got that strange vibe. I go on high alert mode when I have that kind of person in front of me and switch on my Marcos-era poker face.

              Reminds me of Angela Merkel in some ways, except that “Angie” LOOKS more harmless. The following article reminds us how she is definitely not harmless:

              http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/01/quiet-german?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook

              But then again, I barely noticed Grace Poe in the last few weeks. After having looked at what she did closely – she has an agenda and is able to ruthlessly pursue it.

              The female of the species is deadlier than the male.

              • Joe America says:

                Nicely put. Ruthless is another tag to attach to her. I had vindictive, but ruthless is even better. She does not have to be against anyone, just after something . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Now I get the chills and realize something. For me she is definitely the daughter of Marcos. Same look in her eyes even when she is smiling. Same ruthless nature and I know what that can mean from experience. Bongbong did not get that from his father just the name.

      • Pallacertus says:

        Is it so much of a problem if she thinks before she speaks? The Senate has room enough for motormouths like Miriam (even if she is funny) and Cayetano (word on the street, or so I hear). A smart thoughtful deliberate person who can project herself well to multiple constituencies (and as a Poe and daughter of a late and lamented Poe she already has a fan base to herself) and use it to political advantage when dealing with Congress can be a good president.

        As for Roxas, eh, it’s hard to be a top presidentiable after Yolanda. Cayetano is a driven man, to put it lightly — he has the ego and the mother wit to be president, even a wildly successful one … but boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, his mouth. Marcos I like, and there are people still wistful for the KBL (and autocratic revisionists with Singapore the ideal on their brains) who would vote for the man (the latter obviously thinking that a Marcos would bring back the glory gory days). I’m not one to feed upon those fantasies, and I don’t think Bongbong is inclined to be dictator, but it’s hard to live down the fact that he’s Marcos’ son, the father’s sin passing down to the son and all.

        All the rest I know little and care even less (though if I had the money I’d buy a Heart painting or two — and this will the last time I mention Miriam as presidentiable) — but de Lima? She’s as trustworthy a public official as the day is long. If she wants to be Comelec chief as Brilliantes wants, godspeed to her.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for the observations, Pallacertus. I’ll mark you down for Poe, eh?

          • Pallacertus says:

            Either Poe or Cayetano at the moment. Contrasting styles from what I’m seeing from both, but the office of the president is wide enough for either.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “but boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, his mouth” who cares? He is probably one of those Filipinos who is ahead: in overcoming the timidity and servility the Spanish friars brainwashed us with, to keep us in check. Once we were warriors like our Ifugao and Muslim brothers.

          But it might be too early for a guy like him to become President – the nation may not be ready for him. But history will run its course, let us see what comes out of it.

          • AjM says:

            Don’t you think it’s the other way around PiE? Yes, I think he could be a good President (these young blood of politicians could very well be our country’s best hope), maybe in the not so distant future. But IMO, he’s still a bit young to fully and competently run a nation, especially a Nation like ours.

      • Pallacertus says:

        “Background people”? Care to clarify, Joe?

        • Joe America says:

          People who circulate in the political world whose views I have confidence in, but whose confidentiality must be maintained because of their positions.

          • Pallacertus says:

            Oh. Well then — wariness being a thing, I suppose I’ll take that, if with grains of salt given said anonymity.

  4. “Poised and intelligent. Speaks of big pictures and popularisms. A bit of a contradiction. On one hand, he can get emotionally worked up. On the other hand, he seems somehow passive rather than active. On the third hand, he was very sharp in putting Senator Binay back into order after her unseemly suggestion that he might not tell the truth.”

    Euphemism ran amuck! How many hands can a person have?

  5. BenZayb says:

    Dear Mr. Joe America, thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving us time and idea to reflect on our possible choices RE: our future leader/s. I must agree with you on this: strongest contender as of the moment would be SILG Mar Roxas, as he, among the “nominees” possesses the characteristics close to best leading the country in the future. Needless to say, it is an open fact that to be able to be an effective leader of the country, one needs to:
    -possess good communication skills
    -be respectful and open-minded
    -always think three steps ahead
    -be organized and confident
    -adjust and adapt to new surroundings and situations
    -be well educated on community policies, procedures, organizational norms, etc.

    Roxas seem to close meeting these criteria; he is decisive, with confidence, and knows how to put people at their proper places with his sharp, snide remarks with sense. Although sometimes prone to being misundestood and seem to be grandstanding during the so called ‘tipping points’ of the country, I could not agree more that Mar himself is the most viable (at the moment – I must emphasize), compared to all the rest, especially when it comes to depth of experience and overall package. In the end, Filipino people must be careful in choosing the right person to run the country – one who is capable of leading the nation to a new light. As for me, the Philippines need only two important characteristics of an efficient leader: sincere and selfless.

    Yours truly,
    BenZayb

    #pengreaterthansword

  6. mcgll says:

    On Sen. Poe: The fear of a pardon for any of her family’s friends (who may land in jail if found guilty in the PDAF scam) is a huge deterrent to my voting for her for president. Friendship seems thicker than the search for truth. I sensed that inclination last year when she demolished Dennis Cunanan’s credibility, by casting doubt on Cunanan’s brother’s financial capability to afford a home where Dennis Cunanan lived(s). It seemed like she was taking a cue from her friend Sen Jinggoy’s privilege speech in the Senate where he accused his accusers of the same crime he is being accused of.

    On Sen. Cayetano. He may have all the qualities of a strong and brilliant leader but I cannot vote for someone who would sneer at advocates of peace. My respect , trust and admiration go to Sec. Deles, and Peace negotiators Ferrer and Iqbal who show exceptional courage in pursuing peace despite the clamor for retaliation by some legislators and media people who seem to be thirsting for more blood.

    • Joe America says:

      I enjoyed your point of view on both Poe and Cayetano. Very good readings of the make of the person based on deed. I agree that Senator Cayetano was out of line in his failure to respect the peace negotiators. If there are people we should be raising up and thanking, it is those who had the courage to push the Philippines in new directions.

      Thanks for the insights.

  7. >>>”but harbors inside agendas.xxx Talks transparency but lives behind the scenes, hidden.” Whence came these conclusions?

    • Joe America says:

      (1) Outside sources deemed reliable, (2) observations of duplicity; attacking Purisima, silence on Binay and his UNA friends in jail, (3) what commenters say in discussion threads. What is your take on Senator Poe? Why is she silent on Binay et al?

      • My presumption? A false sense of obligation to her much cherished father’s apathetic campaign manager and “supporters.” Am extremely disappointed. Almost wrote her off. Except she signed-off on the Senate recommendation re three senators and has not endorsed Binay despite heavy courtship.. (The latter due to her own ambitions? Maybe.)

        My candidate is Leni Robredo, no matter how quixotic that seems as of now.

        • Joe America says:

          I wonder how it would be possible to launch Leni Robredo onto the national stage in very short order. I see my main mentor manuelbuencamino relentlessly plugging her, but she gets no mentions in the tabloid press. About the only way she would get there would be if LP took the great leap and went for her . . . not likely I suspect.

        • Maxie says:

          About two years ago I began looking around for possible Binay-slayer, I thought of a Robredo-Poe tandem. I switched that around to Poe-Robredo only because I thought that Poe had a big chance at defeating Binay. Like a stalker I looked for ways to reach out to her, even emailing JoeAm’s article to her son. But that was way before the senate hearing on Makati Building II where Poe was noticeably absent. I’m having second thoughts about her. IMHO Cong Leni could make a good president. Unfortunately, I don’t think she stands a chance against Jejomar.

  8. bauwow says:

    Binay must be really so desperate. He is questioning Mar Roxas’ competence and leadership over the Mamapasano incident. He is callous and is the type of person who will kick you even when you are down and out.

    • Joe America says:

      He is one of the most unprincipled creatures I have ever witnessed, a wholly disgusting person. He gets away with it because he is powerful, in a gangster kind of way. Let me post my side bar comment here, as you were likely reacting to it:

      “Rappler reports that VP Binay is trying to attach Secretary Roxas to complicity in the Mamasapano affair. This proves one of two points:
      1) Binay is campaigning ahead of the allowed time and ought to be sanctioned by COMELEC and disqualified as a candidate, or:
      2) Binay is disloyal to President Aquino’s cabinet and ought to be kicked out from that cabinet for insubordination.

      Personal opinion: If President Aquino continues to allow VP Binay to behave in such a manner, he risks confirming what many are saying, that he is a weak president.

      If COMELEC continues to allow such behavior, it confirms that it is a willing player in the culture of impunity, and corruption.”

  9. pinoyputi says:

    It bothers me that the road to the future is so depending one A person. Shouldn’t we as Netizens not try to give the first objectives for the coming 6 to 10 years. Like, being a shadow government. The chosen officials may freely pick from our ideas and directions.
    I was thinking of one basic vision and then fill this in with practical policies by Department. And it is not just of forming laws but the practical person I am would concentrate on enforcing. Plan-Do-Act-Study.
    So I am not just suggesting one blog, but a series of blogs where different writers could given the kickoff. The comments and amendments are very important. About three month before elections 2016 it needs to be concluded and send to all the candidates. What do you think Joe? Is this possible. Isn’t this a positive way of blogging and commenting, other then the usual complaining ways.

    • pinoyputi says:

      Something like Online EDSA 2025!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        At the start of 2010 my dad thougt of a proposal i forgot what it is about and i suggested he email manolo quezon who works at the palace. Naniwala naman i forgot if something happened. So if we have a direct line to the palace it would be easier .so to this is a callout to bloggers who gets assigned to palace communications. We are nearer to direct democracy please do not forget your fellow netizens once you are there already.

    • josephivo says:

      Direct Democracy and E-democracy movements might give you ideas.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-democracy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy

    • Joe America says:

      I think the idea is good, but the execution is difficult because of the time it takes, and the challenge of making decisions that are reflective of a harmonious community. One needs paid staffers to develop persistent, daily attention to goals and finances and acts. And achieving harmony would be difficult. Plus, there simply is not much popular interest in dry topics of managing this function or that. Tabloids sell because people like dirt . . . not clean . . . So having the output MEAN something might be difficult to achieve.

      If the organization established a track record so that reports and findings were given credibility, as polls have credibility, then it might have impact. But I think it is hard to get there.

      • pinoyputi says:

        I understand your objections. It is not only time consuming but difficult as well. At least, the last lines of my suggestion. So forget the conclusions and sending to the candidates. You own the blog. You can give your vision where this nations has to go in 10 commandments . We, commenters are your congres and senate, we’ll cheer, object and critize. As far as I can see, there are plenty of able commenters who are skilled to do their share. I will do my part, even though i don’t consider myself the intellectual writer. We can continue to judge all these possible candidates from the outside, but we never were close enough to get to know their agenda’s, characters and skills.
        If some willing, decent people close to power will pick up some ideas or visions its good enough for me.

        • Joe America says:

          Actually, this blog is pushing buttons, so our work is definitely meaningful, and the commenters are a huge part of that. I appreciate your engagement as well.

    • Then the way to go is try to institutionalize the Plan-Do-Act-Study cycle in government. I believe that the results based budgeting/OPIF initiated by the DBM is a small step towards what you are suggesting.

      In a way I believe we need to beef up the research arm of NEDA to be a more proactive institution with regards to innovations in public governance.

      I believe that we could start with the current president.

      What were his promises during the campaign
      What were his promises during each of his SONA
      What were his actions?
      Accomplishments
      Failed Experiments
      To be determined

  10. josephivo says:

    In conflicts there are basically 2 types of problem solvers, warriors and diplomats. Or you address the issues head on, regardless the consequences, your point of view being THE point of view. Or you search for common grounds, out of the spotlights, your point of view is A point of view.

    If you put both in the same room you have fireworks, as they speak different languages.

    For a clear common enemy as Binay we prefer warriors. When the enemy is more confuse Muslims, or MILF or the violent fraction of MILF… our preferences might differ.

    Cayetano is a clear warrior, is that what we need as President? To make a clear difference in style with the current one?

    • Joe America says:

      I’m of the opinion that, if the leader is clean and upstanding, he or she can take the Philippines through the next six years in good order. That is, I think the government institutions are developing in such a way that the Philippines is very close to reaching the “it does not matter who is president” threshold. Roxas, Poe, Cayetano. Any one would continue the nation’s positive development. The main threats to continued health are Binay and China.

      Binay, the people can decide. China, I’d want to know what each candidate proposes as the solution to China’s likely continued aggression in Philippine waters.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “The main threats to continued health are Binay..” How can one avoid that kind of health risk? Eating healthy and exercising are probably not enough. I have an idea for an anti-Binay ad though, based on detergent, cleanser or disinfectant commercials.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Is there a warrior-diplomat hybrid? One that can turn the problem solving strategy needed according to the situation?

  11. Bing Garcia says:

    Roxas-Poe!

    • Joe America says:

      Yep. Seems rather obvious to me and Sal . . .

      • or Roxas-Cayetano… quite uncomfortable having Poe as spare tire, what if something happens to Roxas? Will she pardon the 3 senators currently detained, will she allow the burial of the dicatator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, will she allow the Marcos ill gotten wealth to be claimed by his descendants… Joe, I know you said she is her own person, should be judged by her own merits, but still…

        • or in the event that Binay is convicted of plunder, will she pardon him just like what GMA did for Estrada? To this day, I am still incredulous and dismayed that after the long hearings, after the presentation of credible witness after witness, after the long deliberation and finally the conviction of the ex-president, here comes GMA, pardoning the plunderer ex-president barely a month after such conviction…jeez!

          • Joe America says:

            If she accepts the VP slot, in all likelihood, she would not move into the presidency for 6 years. Anything she does will define her legacy, and I think “twin of Arroyo” would drive her meticulous self crazy. I keep hoping she will start speaking up and lay to rest these fears. She continues to fail in that regard.

        • Joe America says:

          Those are reasonable questions, and reservations. I just don’t see Cayetano in the VP slot, for his need to be front and center. I’d see him becoming a dominant player in a very active, independent Senate. Would he/could he head DILG? Maybe.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Would he/could he head DILG? Maybe.” He would be competent to do the job, but a fool to take it because he can only get burned there. Especially if BBL is passed and he has to deal with Bangsamoro, which would be part of his role.

            The guy is just 44 and would be 51 when the 2022 presidential elections come. He will still be dominant, but probably less of a hotshot which is good. Think he will stay in the Senate.

            • Joe America says:

              If he can’t deal with Bangsamoro, then, as President, he’d best just give the region to Malaysia so they can peacefully develop the region. You have actually now made me very wary of him, for the havoc he’d create on Mindanao.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                He won’t want to deal with it the way it is conceived now. If he became president in 2022 he would probably reverse BBL – if it ever is realized.

                Actually I think it is possible to develop Mindanao peacefully – by having a strong military and civil government and shutting out the feudal warlords that make the place go crazy.

                A peace plan that practically lets feudal warlords rule and develop the place is not my cup of tea and probably not Cayetano’s. I prefer Taiwan style modernization to Malaysian style.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                … feudal warlords THAT make the place go crazy. I am fasting and my concentration and mood is bad. But then again, fasting sharpens my mind, makes me more focused. When I’m bad I’m at my best. And to may I add, I prefer the Venezuelan way to the Ecuadorian way when it comes to tapping natural resources. So Taiwan plus Venezuela is my vision for the Philippines in 10-20 years.

              • Joe America says:

                I just finished scarfing down a big bag of Lays potato chips, but do feel your pain, and have edited the remark. ahahaha

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Oil and natural gas pipelines from Ligwasan marshes to Davao refinery complex, what comes out of it gets loaded straight into supertankers.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks Joe. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Joe, just making this as bookmark for me along this sub-thread. It’s almost 3am Central. But this topic you and PiE opened along this presidential auditions via Senate hearings has been an itch that has to be scratched, a vision of the PH as a federal republic. I have been speculating on this even before GMA & others. The landscape: constituting a population juggernaut; very limited patrimony; administering HEW of a young country. This is my drift and if not elaborated in a timely manner, please excise. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                I look forward to your elaboration. Please exercise . . . your keyboard . . .

  12. Percival says:

    According to Cayetano himself, under the Revised Penal Code, disrupting a legislative hearing is a criminal offense. But when two Binay allies stormed, gatecrashed and disrupted (with malicious intent) the Senate hearing on the Makati Parking Bldg last Nov, Cayetano ordered that the two (JV Bautista & Toby Tiangco) be merely escorted out from the Senate hall, instead of recommending for contempt charges (which should be the fitting thing to do), with manifestation that the SBRSC will not tolerate similar acts in the future. In my opinion, this is a sign of weakness. A leader should be unwavering in his commitment that any rules/laws are followed and punishment meted out where/when due. Otherwise impunity is encouraged. Minus points for Cayetano.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting point, Percival. I think he was being sensitive to charges that the Subcommittee is being arbitrary and vindictive against the Binays, and he did not want to give them ammo to prove that point. Well, they made the charge anyway, so perhaps you are right. For sure I wish SOMEONE of authority in either Executive of the Legislature would step up and put the Binays into place.

  13. karl garcia says:

    Sorty Pie i decide on Roxas.
    All have character flaws, but Cayetano is too dental.
    Hee might bite.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Actually Cayetano may sting, being a Scorpio. In 2022 he will be a bit older but not too old, and hopefully learn to channel his energy in a more useful way – otherwise sayang.

      • sonny says:

        PiE if only for his birth sign, I’ll give him a closer look.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        @Pie,
        Are you changing your mind?
        You seem to suggest that he become DILG secretary, Why is that?

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          No I’m not – to both questions. I don’t think he should be DILG, first of all he will probably not want to if BBL is passed, second he is too alpha for that role. Strategically, if he does not have enough chance to become President he should not run in 2016 but in 2022.

          Because if he runs now and loses it would not be good for him. First of all in public perception, second because alphas don’t like losing. Better if he stays in the Senate and continues to show that he is doing good work there. Also he can learn to channel his energy and learn to be a little more patient. It might also be that the people are ready for that kind of very modern person in 2022, maybe they are not yet ready for him yet. But it depends, the elections are next year. But better to wait than to go in too early IMHO.

  14. manuel buencamino says:

    Rep Leni Robredo would take all the beads if you included her.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, she has to WANT to be on the national stage, and she has to be bold and creative enough to get there. I don’t know how that comes about.

      • BFD says:

        @PinoyInEurope

        Come to think of it, there is resemblance…. Hmmm…

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Well, she is not HUNGRY for power. She sees herself a public servant. And that’s one of her best qualities.

        But she knows how to win.

        Recall that the president and her late husband’s admirers wanted her to run for Congress after he died in a plane crash. She hemmed and hawed, indicated that she would rather serve as a judge in her province instead of running for congress. But the President and the people in her district finally convinced her that she was their only hope of breaking the Villafuerte dynasty. So she filed her certificate of candidacy on the last day and campaigned hard. She got 80% of the votes over Villafuerte’s wife, in an election where her rallies were interrupted by power outtages by the Villafuerte-owned power company, where campaign motorcades were roadblocked it was that type of an election campaign. If the President and the Liberal Party were to choose her as their presidential candidate, I think she will run. And that’s why I keep campaigning for her, hoping there will be a groundswell that the heads of the party will be hard put to ignore because she is an honest sincere and very capable public servant with the right perspective and she has the charisma that provides the perfect contrast to Binay.

        Here is a link to a bill she introduced and is still going through the legislative mill. It gives you an idea of her perspective on the role of government vis a vis the governed. See http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/basic_16/HB04911.pdf

        She has other equally meaningful bills on the budget process and on the proper auditing of tax and fiscal incentives.

        “There is a need to institutionalize opportunities for engagement. Administrations come and go. Political leaders come and go. Policies that encourage citizen engagement and enrich personal and societal freedoms must NOT come and go. They must be woven into the very fiber of governance itself.” – Rep Leni Robredo on a A New Era of Citizen Engagement during the launching of the People’s Empowerment Program at Puerto Princesa City.

        • Joe America says:

          I don’t question the lady at all. She seems highly impressive. But until she or those who like her find a way to get her on the national scene, we might as well be arguing your credentials for president. 🙂

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Three bills she has introduced that shows her philosophy of governance:

        HB2492 “The Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act or its long title “An Act Enhancing The Current Tax Systems By Implementing Measures That Ensure Transparency In the Management And Accounting of Tax Incentives Granted to Government and NonGovernment Entities And For Other Purposes”

        HB4113 “An Act Institutionalizing Citizen Participation in the Budget Process” or “People’s Participation in Budget Deliberations Act”

        HB4911 – “The People Empowerment Act of 2014” or its long title: “An Act Creating a System of Between Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations Through the Establishment of a People’s Council in Every Local Government Unit, Prescribing Its Powers and Functions”

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Seems she is quiet pro and down-to-earth like her late husband. With a strong focus on transparency and citizen participation. Good philosophy.

          I think a list of bills passed by all Presidentiables, where they have been and what they have done, were they were successful and less successful, would contribute to a better understanding of what they are really made of. Public personality is just one aspect.

        • bauwow says:

          Uncle Joe, can you ask Sal if Roxas-Robredo is feasible to beat Binay in 2016?

          • Joe America says:

            I gave him a call. He pondered it about two seconds and said, “Yes, definitely. She has pizazz, and her sterling reputation makes Binay look really skunky.” You will have to excuse his language. He is used to dealing with Vegas bettors. Pizazz is a technical term for charisma combined with style. Skunky means smelly or bad or even rotten. He added that De Lima, unfortunately, does not have pizazz.

    • Pallacertus says:

      How long to build a time machine and whisk Jesse Robredo from that plane? Because seriously, if we’re gonna have a Robredo as a presidential candidate, let it be a known quantity rather than a Trivial Pursuit question who likely hasn’t even considered running for higher office at this point in time, and who at all events was reluctant in running for office in the first place.

      (If all I know of her is that she’s Jesse’s wife and that’s she’s a congresswoman, you can bet the man on the street knows less if at all — for all Jesse’s accomplishments, Jesse ain’t Ninoy, and Leni ain’t Cory. Not much pull.)

  15. Cleo says:

    I agree

  16. PinoyInEurope says:

    What visions, what programs do these Presidentiables have? Not just programs to solve immediate problems – which undoubtedly are necessary, but long-term programs.

    Social welfare, education, public transport, power grids, regenerative power, flood control, industrial development – meaning value-added industries, how to use revenue from natural resources? Anybody with information on that. Because this will determine how the future looks like.

    Relying only on BPO and OFW revenue is not enough in my opinion. That will work out another 6-8 years and is not a long-term prospect. What are their plans for sustainable growth? The opportunity is now because there is money coming in. Anybody know more about their plans?

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Anyone who can figure out how to counter the influence of the oligarchs, would be grand. The billionaires in Forbes 100 Has same set of Filipinos except for Villar. to paraphrase Rhiro he who controls the money do not care whio makes the laws or something to that effect.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Poor in articulation. Henry Sy just entered 100. I mean same set of fiipino billionaires firvthe past few years,which now include Villar.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        It depends on how strong the state is. Too strong like in communism or fascism is not good, too weak is also not good and there are many variations in between. But in the end even the rich live in the same country, breathe the same air and drink the same water.

        Life is actually much more pleasant in countries where the rich do not have to live in guarded mansions. Where the very poor are the exception. That should be the goal

        • josephivo says:

          A few year ago Belgium had a G1000 initiative, an unofficial trial in direct democracy. The first step the selection of a random group of 1000 citizens. They convened one week and in 50 workgroups they selected 20 issues that needed a long term strategy to improve the nation. Then in next session 320 people, delegated by the 1000, came together to discuss initiatives to drive the 20 issues forwards. Budgetary issues made the initiative die, and only a summary report was presented in the House of Representatives.

          It would be a nice initiative to have a similar discussion on line by setting up some workgroups to discuss long term issues that need the next president’s attention. Looking for volunteers here and other political motivated blogs?

          • karl garcia says:

            Try to recruit RHiro, somehow he organized a group,dnt know their platform,agenda but maybe they might be interested. PIE Would you volunteer?Me ,am not so articulate only noisy. In reality,so many pending bills because no presidential urgency what do you call that and no funding,even for some laws that make it.but guys go for it. I suggest start with pending bills scrap obsolete ones,etc.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “PIE Would you volunteer?” If enough who live in the Philippines volunteer, I can help drive the process as a moderator and as a coach. I do not know enough about the details on the ground to give real input – in the end I can only give advice from experience.

              “In reality,so many pending bills because no presidential urgency what do you call that and no funding,even for some laws that make it.but guys go for it. I suggest start with pending bills scrap obsolete ones,etc.” So it’s worse than I thought. Don’t they have priorities like A = urgent B = normal and C = can be done later? So you push and fund A stuff first, when there is nothing pending there anymore you go to B? Why not?

              • Karl garcia says:

                Something again wrong in my comment of course those passed bills into law are the ones that will be requested for funding,those pending bills They propose something that require funds….. technical working group says no can do, then scrap, then refile next administration. On the urgency I imagine the president certifies 20 bills as urgent, the remaining 300 bills or so are just added to the list of accomplishments of the cong or sen then refile them later, if they can’t someone else will,or let them pass the bicam then what happens next is up to them.

              • Joe America says:

                Excellent characterization of the way things are done. Legislators claim credit for bills that are never passed.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Hmmm… yes that is the American system the Philippines adopted. In European parliamentary systems you have a yearly budget for everything that is discussed in parliament and then it is passed. So each ministry gets a fixed budget and then I am not sure but within that budget they are allotted given sums for different areas of interest. From a certain level on they manage what has been allotted independently but have to of course keep track and it is audited regularly. Budget overruns mean having to apply for a new budget and that has to go up several levels, how high depends on how much. The system works because you delegate stuff, you trust but at the same time audit regularly. Major budget overruns mean you have to get supplementary budget and that is of course discussed and approved in parliament. So no pork barrel there, or only indirectly because in parliament they will of course fiercely discuss how the budget is divided. For long-term projects the budget is fixed in advance over years and cannot be changed that easily: this allows for continuity. The role of parliament is more strategic, ministries take care of execution and report back to parliament. Parliament can concentrate more on lawmaking.

                I have the feeling that in the Philippines the entire system is based on total distrust. Instead of delegating, trusting and making spot checks. And that even the most trivial matters have to pass by the presidents desk. What I know from my diplomatic contacts is that even Foreign Service Officers have to go through the Commision on Appointments and if some high official is controversial, all appointments are stuck. What you are writing me sounds very similar to that. Up to what level of detail does the President have to sign? How much is delegated? At what level, for example, are budgets for building roads and bridges approved? For maintenance? It appears to me that higher levels are burdened with a level of detail that is unhealthy for efficient governance. I mean even the 1987 Constitution – way too detailed. Good constitutions are short and top-level like that of the USA, details are put into individual laws that are easier to change. That is why the US Constitution is basically the same since Washington, with a few Amendments of course. There seems to me to be very little of a top-down approach in Philippine Government…

              • Joe America says:

                When delegation is made, it is completely not understood. Consider the witch hunt for culprits on Mamasapano, focused mainly on the President. Even the senators displayed no evidence of understanding the principle of delegation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Yep, I learned about delegation over here. You are given trust, and certain range of freedom with command responsibility for the area you take care of – and are regularly spot checked to make sure that you deserve the trust given you. I acted like a real Pinoy on some of my first projects here – given too much latitude I improvised too much and often overstepped my boundaries because I did not know what responsible freedom meant.

                Actually I am practicing that in my proposal I just made to karl garcia now.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I am practicing delegating stuff to Karl and letting the Filipinos back home run the thing themselves and thereby gain confidence. Guys abroad and foreigners only coach them. Practical application of what we have been discussing here.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Come to think about it, the concept of responsible freedom is alien to a lot of Filipinos. That is why I understand the nostalgia of some for the dictatorship – things actually got done and there were long-term programs. I learned from a Swiss business associate that real democracy entails enormous discipline, patience and sense of responsibility from all those involved – plus listening to one another, taking time to reflect and then responding.

                It was a long cultural development process they had from being a wild confederation of warlike mountain tribes that resisted domination by European nobles – Wilhelm Tell is about that, Rizal knew why he translated it into Tagalog, but the message was lost.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                it was lost because many Filipinos do not listen, much less reflect, much less reconsider their “positions”. Sometimes I feel like slapping them around out of frustration. But at least here there are a majority that do read, take time to think, reflect and even reconsider.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                One final note on the Swiss: the Rütli oath by the original cantons/tribes was in the Middle Ages. The last “tribal” war in Switzerland was the Sonderbundskrieg in the 19th century. It was crushed by the Swiss army, after which Switzerland centralized from being a confederation to being the federal state that it is now. The area where this war took place now produces cheese and is very idyllic. So if you compare with the white guys, Filipinos are learning very fast and have no reason to be ashamed.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Karl I have an idea. We could open up a Wiki. For example we could call it Sambayanan Wiki. You moderate it and I coach you in the background and heavily participate. Find people in Pinas who are interested in being the team. We could have a hierarchy of topics like in Wikipedia, with one relevant entry per topic where people can give their inputs. Of course with a discussion page per topic like in Wikipedia, I used to be very active there.

              If you say go, Joe may send you my mail address and we will start implementation. Joe of course is cordially invited as a team member. I can from my side research on technical implementation and providers and help set that up. O ano, gawin na natin? Sige!

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                If you agree to be the moderator – and run the moderation team – I will take care of all technical stuff including domain registration. Because European press laws force us to state full name and adress, my real name will be on the “legal information” tab.

                I will not interfere in the details of moderation. In fact I will insist that nobody from abroad, not even me, and no foreigner, not even Joe, is part of the moderation team. If we want to have influence on Philippine politics, the ones controlling things should be local Filipinos.

                In Wikipedia unregistered and registered users can contribute – we will allow ONLY registered users. That is because under European libel/cybercrime laws, I can be sued and forced to divulge the mail address of the users who have written something. I will consult with my business lawyer on the exact rules that apply, then I will give you a framework to guide by what rules you shall moderate, I will trust you to do it properly and check you occasionally. I will ask for the full names, date of birth, address and foto of every moderator so I can collar them AND you if I get sued for a mistake. Think about it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But do not fear, as the “publisher” I will be the first anyone has to sue, and they will have to do that before a European court. I will ask my lawyer about the legal insurance aspect of this. Maybe I will register a non-profit organization to take care of the funding aspect, or even put in the non-profit organization as the legal responsible – and deduct the donations that I give to that organization from my taxes so it is not a burden for me.

                Possibly we could involve josephivo – not as a moderator but as a member of the organization. To keep anyone from suspecting US interference and to keep legal aspects simple, I will only accept EU residents as real members of the organization.

                Filipino Moderators will be designated as employees of the organization and will receive a small fixed monthly sum, but you as a team will have to cover their own costs with that. Don’t care how you do it, just let me know how much you need with a short justification.

                We two – publisher and editor – decide who will be honorary members, Joe may by default. Good contributors from the Society of Honor or people suggested by Joe have priority. How we would cooperate with Society of Honor we can discuss with Joe offline.

                No financial contributors, only those who are real members make a voluntary contribution. Therefore no suspicion that there are vested interests, very important in the Philippines.

                OK, that is my proposal, if you are in principle agreed to take part just say yes, or say yes but I have some questions regarding details but we discuss that directly. Or say no.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Joe, you are hereby cordially invited to be an honorary member of our Filipinas Wiki association if you want to. As the initiator of the to-be-founded association, I hereby make a cooperation offer towards the Society of Honor. Let me know your thoughts on this.

              • Joe America says:

                I appreciate the offer, but I would want to keep the Society free and clear of any initiatives that might be construed as biasing the views expressed here, as I suspect the moderated stands would inevitably take on the look of political advocacy. I’d have to reflect on my own personal engagement. I have to this point rejected offers to participate in this act or that, and have limited myself to the realm of ideas, or “speech”.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks Joe. Actually one principle that was in the back of my head for the structure of the blog was to accomodate multiple views by showing the different versions for every aspect of the topic, thus accomodating constructive discussion and synthesis.

                I have my own ideas, but it will be one of my ground rules that there shall be as little bias as possible. Just as you respect and tolerate my views here, I shall tolerate yours there.

                Anyway, I respect that you will contribute only personally. Every input helps.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                The purpose of Filipinas is therefore not to advocate any ideas, but to collect and structure them, and promote lateral thinking and brainstorming. It shall be open and anyone can derive his own conclusions or even proposals out of it.

                The association will not affiliate with any political or economic groups, but it shall welcome input from all sectors – academic, economic, political, administrative, grassroots. The goal is to have a source of ideas and information for all who want to improve the country.

                Joe, you are a good catalyst, like sonny said. You just helped me define important aspects of our by-laws. I definitely welcome your contributions in form of ideas. We will of course hyperlink you and all other Philippine-related blogs, forums and more. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                I respectfully decline for thrre are more willing and able, pinoyputi opened the idea,and joseph may have domething cooking already,if you want them as chairmen emeritush,i nominate edgar as in chief of the chiefs.

              • karl garcia says:

                Oh my god, what have i been typing.damn my pc doesnt work,gotta use tablet.from error prone to always in error.this time i am sure its chinese its HUAWEI

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Karl, no problem, I understand. Actually I also decided against continuing because it will take up too much of my time from business. And also, I think the guys on the ground know better what is really going on. The guys abroad can help, but mainly as advisers. IMHO.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Continuation here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/03/the-mamasapano-hearing-as-a-launch-pad-to-the-presidency/#comment-112265 . Anyone who has constructive ideas on how to make it work may put them there. My explation why I will give it another chance is there.

      • sonny says:

        Karl, from the top of my head. Who are these oligarchs? What & how much do they wield on which “we” depend on or would like a share of? How do they generate their “goodies”? Do “we” have what they are interested in? Are these the right questions to ask? Do we always need to counter their influence? Money is kinetic energy, i.e. accomplishes work only when in motion. (we need some economists here) What can we convert into money-in-motion? Credit maybe?

        • karl garcia says:

          The rich,the landed refer to forbes,political dynasties,defeated dynasties in waiting,senate members,congressmen,name it,all of the above.
          Are your questions that of a devils advocate? pass muna.

          • karl garcia says:

            For example no land reform because against the interest of the landed in congress.I got this from Raissa,she answered my question on land reform.the americans made sure that land reform was to be implemented in Japan,Korea and Taiwan.My only conclusion,we are not sure if we want to listen to America or not. We asked for indepedence,we wanted to have our way,remember sovereignty blog,the rest is history. Wait you have a history major,why are you asking me?

          • sonny says:

            sorry Karl. hindi devil’s advocate. medyo naging rhetorical lang. ok lang baka medyo dead-end pinupuntahan ng intindi ko. no harm meant.

          • sonny says:

            Karl, pls connect to this thread.

        • sonny, in connection to your questions, I wondered why a Wharton education is important to a certain senator. Important enough to lie about it even when most voters do not really put a lot of stock on it, then I pondered that “it” is probably a good selling point for campaign funding. I read that there are “good old boys” network of creme de la creme king makers in the Philippines.

          • sonny says:

            JP, my exposure and sensitivity to credentials is “old school” Philippine style. I will venture to say it is partly an Ilocano thing (in the senator’s case) about paper credentials and abated by a UP thing too. (my perception, having exposure to people from both sub-cultures).

            By the UP thing I mean there is a traditional elitism: admission to UP is an automatic credential, much more so is completion. If one does not have the money it is understood you have the brains, if one does have the money, you must possess enough brains to hold your own up to completion. Beyond tertiary education UP is known quantity to admission abroad; in Philippine workplace and society the operative words are in-breeding and networking. I am not privy to the king-making channel. 🙂 Ateneo, variation on the same theme (FWIW: Walden Bello Ateneo’66/Princeton, Manny Pangilinan Ateneo ’66/Wharton, Dick Gordon, Ateneo ’66/UP-Law) Hope this helps, JP.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              U.P. is one institution that Americans left the Philippines with that was not soiled anytime. Ateneo of course is even older and is Jesuit-run: if I am not mistaken Rizal studied there. Then there is La Salle which has caught up but is still mainly more on the business side.

              Guess many things about Philippine society today can still be explained in how the Filipino awareness was born in the 19th century. Is it correct that “Indios” were not allowed to study, then the first profession they were permitted to enter was that of a lawyer?

              In fact one of the most well-known quarrels in the Philippines revolution was when Tirona challenged Bonifacio, saying the he was not educated enough for a government post – and if I remember correctly Bonifacio whipped out his pistol, or was it challenged him?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “in Philippine workplace and society the operative words are in-breeding and networking”

              I have come to realize why – or better said, I have come to VERBALIZE why, because a lot of Filipino thinking is subliminal and a lot of our actions are from the subconscious – we do not want to reflect that deeply about what we do, few exceptions like Rizal come to mind.

              It is because TRUST is a rare commodity in the Philippines. To be fully honest and open – tapat – is something we only are among people we know for a long time, especially those we have known in younger years when we did not yet play the game we later learned.

              The game of wayang kulit that Edgar Lores describes. Where words are not there to express freedom like in the West, but are weapons like my old man said. Where beliefs expressed are IMHO often not real beliefs but simply a symbol of where one belongs.

              Anyone who dares think out of the box is, in such a context, seen as disloyal. The Filipino left shows this most strikingly: there is only one kind of thinking allowed and furthered. Walden Bello being IMHO an exception. But other groups also show manifestations of this.

              Of course the Internet allows us openness without the loss of face we fear so much, because loss of face in the Filipino context, where so much depends on what you are perceived to be, means real disadvantages. It gives us a chance to enrich ourselves.

              Back to trust and networks – we trust those who have the same background more easily. That is true in any part of the world. But more in a low-trust society like the Philippines.

              • Joe America says:

                Zing, right to the heart of the way the culture of impunity works, and barangays, and individual families in the fields . . . tribal, man, tribal . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Like the Swiss used to be and still are. But they managed to civilize that. Civilize means to tame one’s instincts and passions. In the middle Ages, Swiss had a Moro-like reputation. Why do you think the Pope got Swiss mercenaries to protect him?

                They have these old-fashioned uniforms, but all of them have special-ops training. They are polite but mean business if they have too. All have to be Catholic Swiss though.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                As for tribal, Stanley Karnow, who wrote “In Our Image: America’s empire in the Philippines” also wrote: “the Philippines is tribes in disguise”. I just identified my tribe in a comment on the Tipping Point blog. Even if I left very young, the tribal thing runs deep, it is impregnated into one’s upbringing and is often subconscious. And it stayed within me through all the years in Europe, I have been able to examine it with the benefit of distance.

                An Eastern European friend got me VERY pissed off at first when he told me that deep within I am still a headhunter and have jungle mentality. Started thinking though and realized how right he was. Went deep into my dirty kitchen and cleaned it up.

            • Thank you, sonny. Yes, it helped. It is a scenario similar with what we have with our 1 percenter (1%). We generally leave them alone as they are outnumbered. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                You mean outlaw bikers? The call themselves 1 percenters because after the Hollister Bash, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) said that only one percent of bikers were involved in clashes, so certain types of bikers call themselvers one-percenters.

              • @PIE, not bikers. LOL. They are our ivy leaguers and shelf toppers.

    • Joe America says:

      It’s early for them to cite platforms. Only Binay has announced that he for sure will run. Your questions are excellent. I would note that UNA never did develop a campaign platform in 2010. They said they would, but didn’t.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        That is correct – but most of them have been in the Senate, so their general direction should be clear based on the laws they passed. Each of them will have a certain idea of how things should be that can be determined, just like with us two you can see by reading.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        One more question: how many political parties in the Philippines actually have a program? If they do, what are the programs and the major differences between them?

        • Joe America says:

          A fair question. Bello’s party does, I know. I looked it up a while back. And LP. UNA, nada. I think that comparative is best held off for later in the year when there are candidates to vet, too. Perhaps the candidates will have input to revisions in party platform.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            But one can see some clustering based on common denominators. NP for example. Santiago, Trillanes, Cayetano do have some things in common when it comes to role of the state and a certain concept of nation – even if they vary in individual interpretations.

            I just realized we are looking only at people, but what do they actually stand for, what to expect? What have these individual people stood for and actually done in the past?

      • sonny says:

        Is it too early to ask about presidential vision and ambition even just among us? We know six years won’t be enough for an agenda that must work for more than a generation. This is like asking what is point B (our destination) and how to get there from point A (where are we). I get this from the way the US Fed Reserve Chairman is selected to cover at least 4 presidential terms because economic policy takes that long to get a reading. Just an example. Similarly the question for a presidential vision. If the presidentiables know the questions will be asked then maybe we can vet them now in their public track record.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “We know six years won’t be enough for an agenda that must work for more than a generation”. Definitely not. But a direction can be set, the ball can be made to roll in a certain direction and then has inertia. Every president does that, intentionally or not.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Cayetano stands for a certain concept of nation and made clear what he does not want. Duterte stands for federalism and is consistent on that, OK he is out of the race. Just implementing stuff is not the main job of a president, it is to give direction.

          What does Grace Poe stand for, what can she be expected to focus on? What does Mar Roxas stand for, what priorities can he be expected to set? This is what really matters.

        • Joe America says:

          Oh, I agree that it is okay to ask and answer among ourselves. That’s healthy. I’m just saying it is premature to expect candidate views.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Their track record should be an indicator of what direction they might take.

            It should be possible to see what priorities they had in the past and extrapolate.

            • ACIDBurn says:

              In terms of track record only, I think I can vouch for Bongbong.

              • Joe America says:

                Cite three examples, if you would please. His main accomplishments.

              • ACIDBurn says:

                As Governor of Ilocos, to name a few:

                – From 3rd class to 1st class province
                – Rice Production increased from 145,000 metric tons to 200,000 metric tons
                – Infrastructure which boosted tourism in the province
                – 100% electrification to all provincial barangay
                – Energy developments (Bangui Windmills)
                – Public Health Care (all residents of the province are health insured)

              • Joe America says:

                He was governor from 1983 to 1986, when his father was President. Perhaps he had a little help.

              • ACIDBurn says:

                He was vice governor from 1983 – 1986. The accomplishments mentioned were from 1998 – 2007 when he became governor after being a congressman. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, I’ll have to do some homework. I appreciate the info.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Or is it all just playing it by ear and doing whatever needs to be done at the moment?

        Programs and platforms are about what you focus on – OK I really don’t know if Republicans and Democrats in the US have programs like parties in Europe, but they do have distinguishable styles and areas of focus and target groups that vote for them. Anything of that sort in the Philippines? OK leftists let’s forget that. Which groups are more for a strong state, which groups are closer to business, who focuses on welfare?

        • karl garcia says:

          Nice to be forward looking,but what about the good things at the present thst needs continuity,sustainability, etc. Like not changing neda from top to bottom,bsp monetary policies,etc. like not changing tourism slogans,bottom line,if it aint broke no need to fix it. A platform would be grand, but we must look at the good things at the present.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “if it aint broke no need to fix it” Yes. But build on what you have.

            The question is, what do you focus on. Hospitals first, or schools? Etc. etc.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Governor Salceda of Albay, for example, introduced a lot of business practices into how he runs the province. Key Strategic Objectives defined as SMART goals for example. Very managerial, professional because that is his background. A platform could be compared to a mission statement, based on that you break it down into KSOs and then define your specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-bound goals. And track them.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            My impression is that in the Philippines it is mostly crisis management and prestige projects. Less about what has to be fixed immediately, what has to be stabilized, and what is stable enough to improve it because you want to achieve something. Or am I wrong?

            • karl garcia says:

              No you are correct as far as iam concerned.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Is there any President who can be expected to do things differently when it comes to that? Because otherwise it does not make any difference at all.

            • karl garcia says:

              Well, NAIA finally gets fixed, let us wait for Joe to give it a test. Or maybe you Pie.

              • Joe America says:

                I’ll be in Terminal 1 in May. The Photos of the remodel are impressive. Terminal III is up to speed. I think the interest now shifts to getting more airplanes in and out faster.

              • karl garcia says:

                Our gateways are finally improving,very great news.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But the payment issue for NAIA 3 is still not yet solved toward Fraport. Even if the Philippines wins in international courts, Germany will still not give an Hermes credit guarantees for German investments in the Philippines as long as that is not settled.

                OK the last time German foreign minister Westerwelle (a confirmed gay, he even takes his live-in boyfriend to state functions, it is fully accepted) met Noynoy, they said “we are on the way to a solution”. I found the jokes of some Pinoys on the Internet amusing, “who knows what Noynoy did for that”, even though I find the more advanced attitude of modern Germans toward people with disabilities (Noynoy may have some due to the bullet in his neck, his smiling strangely at times and his strange grimaces remind me people who have had spinal cord injuries due to car accidents), weakness, traumata (Noynoy has some for sure, Joe made me more aware of that) and different sexuality (who cares who Noynoy fucks as long as he does his job well) much better, well they had to learn from a very bad experience, not just being intolerant like Filipinos are now but actually going all the way (Germans are thorough unlike Filipinos) and killing those who were less than perfect.

        • Joe America says:

          The mainstream parties don’t distinguish themselves along those lines, and are fairly indistinguishable, one from the other, citing generic commitments to clean governance, etc. There is no master principles that would risk divorcing them from anybody, especially those with money. So everybody is pro-business and pro-poor.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Being pro-business and pro-poor does not have to be a contradiction. But the left does not understand that. Just like being patriotic and being open to the world is not a contradiction. But Santiago does not understand that. They are way too simplistic.

            But I find those who are way too generic also suspect. One gets the feeling that they are only after power and nothing else. I like it when there are a few sound, sensible principles.

            • Joe America says:

              The kinds of platforms you suggest, with non-generic principles at the top, working down to specific proposed actions, do not exist here, other than at Akbayan, as far as I have been able to discover. I’ve argued that point off and on. Politics here is personal, and argumentative on simple ideas.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Well at least at the local government level there is improvement. Leni Robredo for example or Governor Joey Salceda of Albay, who applies his experience as a former bank manager to running his province very successfully. My old man once told me that Filipinos are hardly vision-oriented, not even goal-oriented most of the time but only task-oriented. In Phil Zimbardo’s terms, they would be only present-oriented, almost no future-orientation. At least Robredo and Salceda have moved to goal- and future-oriented.

                I would be quite happy to see a president who is goal-oriented. Like many employers ask their possible employees “where to do you want to be in 5 years”, the employers = voters of the future president should ask HIM where he wants the country to be in 6 years.

                It is probably too early for visions. Aquino did a good job of fixing problems like corruption. With BBL he just thought of fixing the problem of civil war without thinking of implications, so not yet goal-oriented enough. I classified the stuff a leader has to think of into three compartments – stuff that needs fixing (let me call it Zone 1), stuff that needs maintenance (Zone 2) and stuff that is necessary to secure the future (Zone 3).

                Focus on Zone 1 when you have a lot of that – like me when I almost lost my business because I earned a lot but got drunk on money and spent too much on showing off, I had to focus on getting my debts paid, it took me three years. For Zone 2, set aside budget and routines for that and make sure they are complied with – like me when I was finished with debt payment, I decided to work less, eat healthier and exercise more. Zone 3 – future – is what I am working on now, haven’t given up smoking yet and still am looking at what I can do so I will not be poor when I reach pension age – AND playing my part in making the Philippines a better place, because it actually still is one of my retirement options. The cold up here gets into my bones. At least we had the first spring days just recently…

                As for platforms, I believe most Filipinos understand either only tired old ideologies (the old nationalists) that had their justification during the time they were formulated (revolution against Spain, resistance against US domination during American times for nationalists) – that were never revised to suit modern conditions; or simple parroted slogans like the left, who lost ME way back in Marcos times, many joined them because they were the only game in town against the dictator and were frustrated because they do not THINK dammit. The rest of politics is personal. The idea of enlightened self-interest is alien to most.

                Guess that a dictator like Marcos was necessary in his time to get people to work together, a pseudo-religious figure like Cory after that – religion is one thing that works with Filipinos – and another partly pseudo-religious, partly dictatorial and partly managerial modern type like Aquino was necessary now. Now there are three candidates on our shortlist – we agree on that Joe: Mar, Poe, Cayetano. In my analysis Mar is pseudo-religious and more managerial than Noynoy, Poe is less dictatorial than her possible father and more managerial, Cayetano is part pseudo-religious (old-school Filipino nationalism is a kind of religion I have realized) plus in many ways dictatorial and also very managerial.

                The time of old-school Mafiosi like Estrada who was partly pseudo-religious (populism and nationalism), Arroyo who was very dictatorial and managerial or Binay who is partly managerial is hopefully over in the Philippines. I see many promising signs for that. Mafia-style governance was necessary during the times institutions were weaker than now, Noynoy needed to use a little of that with PDAF but that was necessary to get things going. If institutions don’t work, you find a personal way to work around them, Purisima being an example, again I do not overjudge that because Noynoy did not trust the institutional chain of command, probably for good reason. Marcos was extreme in the Mafia-style but also took care to build institutions, some of which are still here today, same thing with Arroyo who did some good stuff management- wise. As for Estrada – forget it.

                As for presidential choices – Cayetano not yet, he still has to strengthen the managerial side, temper his dictatorial side and modernize his nationalism because in the present pseudo-religious version it could be harmful – then he would be my best bet for 2022. Come then the Philippines might be mature and developed enough for a domineering technocrat who is able to defend national interests, but in a calmed and enlightened way. Show balls when dealing with China, the Muslims – and the US – without blowing his top. Enlightened nationalism instead of the reflexive nationalism and centralism he shows now, a legacy of the old Latin centralist nationalism in Philippine history which is outdated now. Overcome his engrained anti-Muslim bias which is also a legacy of old Latin Catholicism, these guys are there and you have to find a way to work with them, don’t have to like them I admit I don’t either, gotta keep showing them balls that is what they respect the most.

                Mar IMHO could continue and build on Aquino’s legacy if he strengthens his managerial side – he already has some of that – uses the pseudo-religious Yellow movement legacy to mobilize without being caught up too much in it, and is a bit more dictatorial at times – you need a little bit of that in an undisciplined country which however needs less and less of the dictatorial side as the years pass, more people have learned to internalize discipline and do not need that much external discipline through dictatorial and pseudo-religious stuff anymore. The reason for Ramos success in the 90s was that he used both Cory’s pseudo-religious legacy, having been endorsed by her, Marcos’s dictatorial legacy he was partly still identified with while actually being purely managerial. So Mar could do the job.

                If Poe is endorsed by Aquino – something she is playing with – she could use the pseudo-religious Yellow spirit, be ruthless / quietly dictatorial as she is to make people stay in line – the Philippines still needs a bit both things, national maturation being ongoing but not yet finished – while running the country with the managerial style which is a strong part of her. The question is, how far is she from the old Mafiosi, the Filipinos in Italian suits you once wrote about and how will she deal with them. IMHO small doses of Mafia style governance are still needed to handle things were institutions do not work yet, the thing is to harness the Mafiosi and not be used by them like Lee Kuan Yew did in developing Singapore. Use them and then harness their greed by slowly pushing them and their money to go legit. What Grace Poe has shown so far is that she is not corrupt, her accomplishments so far are quite good. She might have learned some dedication to the nation from her adoptive father Fernando Poe. I think she will do what is necessary for the country, use whatever and whomever she can use and EAT ALIVE those who are in the way – like Angie Merkel. Therefore I am at this point most convinced by Poe 2016, Cayetano in 2022 if he learns.

                So Joe: I have convinced myself that Cayetano is not yet ready, having considered things. Hey Alan I hope you get to read this and think about it, from one big asshole to another.
                Joe you will still have to convince me that Mar can become a better manager, use the yellow magic on the Filipinos who still need that voodoo, being tribal after all without believing too much in it himself like Noynoy often did, and be a little bit tougher/dictatorial, you have too be in a country like the Philippines – with China, with the Muslims whom you have to show balls to because that is what these guys respect, and with the US who WILL get the best of you in business matters if you let them but will respect your terms if you show them good reasons for having your terms and are after all honest, the business of America has always been business but they do stick to a deal most of the time unlike China and Muslims. You will also have to convince me that Mar can harness the energies of the Filipinos in Italian suits while taming them to become legit, that he is strong enough form them. You will also have to convice why now, Poe is not the best choice. That is something you will have to do on Sunday, I am eagerly but now PATIENTLY awaiting that.

                Pinoyputi, thanks for teaching me by example the value of reconsidering, researching and admitting one’s errors in the Dutch slave issue. I am applying what I have learned HERE. Looking forward to more constructive discussions here.

    • pinoyputi says:

      Thats the way to go PIE. I am not for the wiki idea but you’re taking the right t route. Why exclude people (foreigners). We need all the help we can get in creating ideas and influence. After all this not an election.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Don’t want to exclude foreigners or those living abroad – they can be contributors/advisers. Those actually running the show should be Filipinos living in the Philippines because they

        1) they are the “shareholders” of the country,

        2) know what is happening firsthand like karl garcia

        3) and are most affected by what is happening there.

        The role of Filipinos abroad and foreigners in the Philippines is to add perspective – outside-in like PinoyInEurope and inside-out like JoeAmerica(InThePhilippines).

        BTW are you in the Philippines or abroad? I have not fully given up the idea, but I want enough people to participate, especially local Filipinos or else it does not make sense. Also enough people who are willing to take responsibility, not expect the leader to solve all problems – I have been there within overseas Filipino associations, everybody has smart ideas but when it comes to actual work few are left and everybody blames the leaders.

        • pinoyputi says:

          I am in the Philippines most of the time but the other half i stay abroad. I gave up on the idea because there is not enough of the needed support. If there is one thing i learned during my productive years, don’t run in to a wall. There are other routes to take to reach your objectives. I will try to write an article or two, if Joe accepts. I am more of a micro adapt though. Being from Negros makes me realize that the people are far away from imperial Manila both in kilometers and thinking. I sometimes feel that it doesn’t matter very much who will become president of the Philippines, which is not true of course, it matters.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Let us get started over here https://joeam.com/2015/03/03/the-mamasapano-hearing-as-a-launch-pad-to-the-presidency/#comment-112278 – by identifying what is to be done by task and setting priorities, I have outlined a methodology and request feedback.

  17. jameboy says:

    The Senate is the inherent place where presidential wannabes dwell, train, plan and nurture their political future. No wonder people look at the senators and gauge their performance and from there formulate theories on whether so-and-so could be a better presidential material or not.

    That being the case, I agree the Mamasapano hearings is one of the events that we can use as a measuring tool of who we should be rooting for in 2016.

    Poe – Of course, as the master of ceremony being the committee head, Grace Poe gets to showcase her capability, in a minuscule version, how she handles and carry her self amid conflicting views from different angles of an issue. And rightly so, people have begun to take fancy on how simple and articulate she is. It is no surprise then that, coupled with her formal disposition together with her always lady-like demeanor, the public gets easily warmed with her.

    My take on Ms Poe: The jury is still out on her. Her strength and weakness are unknown as we speak for, compared with others, she’s still wet behind the ears. A couple of years more in the Senate will eventually show who she really is.

    Roxas – Definitely, a presidential material then and now for reasons that have been talked about repeatedly that I have to skip that portion and get to the main point of the issue. The Mamasapano hearing has put Mar in a not so kind light. I caught the video where Sen. Binay was asking him and the others about who informed the president on the ongoing armed confrontation in Mamasapano and Mar failed to project confidence and independence in his response and body language. While it’s true he’s out of the loop about the PNP operation but his response gave an impression he is also lost as to his disposition at the moment. As DILG head to which the PNP is directly under, his response as to question of conveying the info to the president left much to be desired. I was expecting him to respond with fire upon learning the existence of something (operation) he is not privy of and how he brought up the issue to the attention of the president and why he was left out in the cold. He could have projected himself as the guy who was not just lost because of the absence of knowledge but because of the way the knowledge was denied to him in a deliberate manner.

    My take on Mar: For me, he was not able to distance himself from the president and in fact showed that he did nothing upon learning of something he described as ordinary or usual happening which is actually the opposite. His conduct during the hearing was like that of an ordinary administrative subordinate instead of an offended head of an agency.

    In a way, Mar in the hearing reminds me of the 44 PNP-SAF cornered in the cornfield.

    While it may not affect his overall standing as a presidential contender, his presence in the hearing, just like in Poe’s case could have been the showcase of Mar ‘being the man’ in a unique situation who was able to assert not only himself but the office he represent. It was not meant to be.

    Cayetano – He never fail to register. He is the newer, better and more polished version of Miriam Defensor Santiago. I’ve seen him in a couple of committee hearings and I must say he’s worth every centavo of it. There’s no playing with time with Sen. Cayetano, it’s always full court press, man-to-man defense when he’s around.

    My take on Peter: He’s a presidential material, no doubt, but the question is, is it now for him? I think he’s too valuable in the Senate at present. His contribution in that chamber will be sorely missed, if ever, and the intelligence and acuity he brings to the table cannot be replaced easily. Given that, I also think he needs to reach the relax or softening period to be able to balance everything if he’s focus in getting the seat of power when the time comes.

    Right now, it’s all brashness and spunk for Sen. Cayetano. Not yet.

    Escudero – Six or seven years ago, I’m a fan. I like the gentlemanly way he carries himself; he’s articulate and definitely has something with that round thing atop his shoulder. He and Cayetano impressed me. They’re the young guns in the Senate not too long ago and still is but I wonder what happened to Chiz? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but I notice the the fire in him just waylaid. I’m not even sure I’m seeing the same Sen. Escudero I saw a couple of years back. Maybe he’s just laying low or taking his sweet time or just too busy with his other state of affairs. That’s my take on him.

    That’s it for now. I’ll try to continue with others next time.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “My take on Peter: He’s a presidential material, no doubt, but the question is, is it now for him? I think he’s too valuable in the Senate at present. His contribution in that chamber will be sorely missed, if ever, and the intelligence and acuity he brings to the table cannot be replaced easily. Given that, I also think he needs to reach the relax or softening period to be able to balance everything if he’s focus in getting the seat of power when the time comes.

      Right now, it’s all brashness and spunk for Sen. Cayetano. Not yet. ”

      Agree. I am fully convinced NOW – having been very enthusiastic about Cayetano – that he still has to develop. Learn how to slow down and think about what he is saying and doing. He is very intelligent and I believe capable of reflection. And more years in the Senate will teach him patience. After all, he will not be too old in 2022. In fact he would be readier.

      A President Roxas will preserve and hopefully stabilize the status quo, a President Poe would be professional and ruthless but she seems to be clean – she would have her possible father’s determination without the other aspects, so the country will not go in the wrong direction with one of the two. BUT I think the direction will be righter if Poe becomes president. She will bring in new aspects. What I am curious about is Joe’s blog on Saturday and his reasons why she should not run. I will definitely to some research until then.

      What I will also research is the background of each potential candidate in the shortlist – Cayetano, Roxas, Poe – what bills have they passed, what have they done, what do they stand for based on previous deeds. Based on that I will evaluate each of them in summary.

  18. Gee Ibanez says:

    I’ll have Mar Roxas for President any day.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve been going through his activities at DILG. Check the emphasis on community-engaged policing and the downward trend on crime. He has been working hard at it. Check disaster planning awareness at local levels. Way up because he took the lessons of Yolanda and has pounded them into LGU heads that it is their responsibility to be ready. The idea that he is gadding about for photo shots is completely off base.

  19. i7sharp says:

    150 years ago today …
    http://nypost.com/2015/03/03/the-end-of-lincolns-spiritual-struggle/
    x-
    Lincoln’s speech was in fact a sermon, delivered on the East Portico of the Capitol.
    In 700 densely-packed words he outlined the roles of God and men in history: God ruled history and judged it; at the same time, Americans were duty-bound, under God’s guidance, to make their country a better place.
    -x

    Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address defines “presidency,” IMHO.

    i7sharp

  20. parengtony says:

    Wishful thinking and admittedly an oversimplification as well:

    Premise- 2016 begins a new, better era for Pinoy Nation
    New and better Buds and Blooms – Grace P, Leni R,, Bam A, Antonio T, Allan C, and, more importantly, thousand others.
    Weeded out – Binays, Revillas, Zubiris, Ampatuans, Marcoses, Arroyos, et al
    Honest and competent executives – Habito, Meloto, Jun Magsaysay, CJ Panganiban, Serge Osmena, and hundreds of thousands of others.
    Reinvented institituions – Supreme Court of old, a true COA, a professionalized BIR, an Honorable and noble PNP, a vigilant and effective Ombudsman, dedicated and competent educators (more of them, I mean), a robust justice system.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “New and better Buds and Blooms – Grace P, Leni R,, Bam A, Antonio T, Allan C, and, more importantly, thousand others.” What is interesting is that these people all belong to a relatively new generation. Governor Joey Salceda of Albay also comes to mind.

      And also a new sense of community at the grassroots level – having read about Leni Robredo from Manuel Buencamino and having firsthand information from Albay. Could the main problem be that in the national power centers, they are out of touch with the ground?

    • Joe America says:

      Nice wishful thinking and pretty close to what is happening, or can happen, depending on how broadly smart or not-smart the nation’s voters are in 2016.

  21. Dave Masangkay says:

    @Joe, I agree with a high rating for Poe on the way she conducted the hearings. I also agree that she can garner a lot of votes because of her popularity. But I would take 10 more beads out of her compartment because I have no basis of her performance as an executive. Being a former chair of MTRCB does not necessarily make her a problem solver.

    • Joe America says:

      Very good point, Dave. I’m working on another blog and imagined her at a cabinet meeting of heavyweight people who know their areas, which she does not know. I typed “government would manage her rather than her managing government”.

  22. JM says:

    I don’t see in any of them the President I envision but if I had to choose I would go for Cayetano. Roxas and Poe are just “ok”. The rest are very bad choices.

    • Joe America says:

      My background is with American presidents, and if asked to name a perfect president, I can’t come up with any. Some were good, some were lucky, most were mediocre or bad. When the public is asked to pick a president and the campaign is built on shallow messages and hyped distortions, we usually don’t get what we expected. In Mr. Aquino, I’d venture to say he’s done much better than most expected based on his weak legislative performance. Well, he had some strengths that nobody saw, mainly a hard-headed determination to stay the course while the emotional nation, or other emotional nations (Taiwan), were going nuts.

      I do believe that government institutions are probably strong enough that a fairly decent president won’t screw things up too badly, and will likely continue the positive development of the nation. Even Escudero or De Lima could do it. So I’m confident the Philippines will continue to do well unless Binay is elected. If he is elected, all bets are off.

      I would guess that expecting perfection is a good way to become a very angry, bitter person. I mean, well, just look around . . .

      • JM says:

        I am not expecting perfection. My criteria is actually quite simple. I want a person from the new generation. A man who would drive the use of science and technology/innovation. A person who would reward and nurture our scientists/researchers. I believe that most problems can be solved by science (e.g., food, power, poverty, rebellion due to poverty, etc.). I am tired of the same old politicians running the show incapable of adapting to the new stuff. I know it’s a bit different from the usual but that is the person I want as a president.

        • Joe America says:

          I would agree with that, actually. The difficulty is getting them interested in the job. Do you have any names in mind who could stand as examples of what you are talking about?

          • sonny says:

            Joe, we have to keep pedalling. Working here in America honest people soon realize the answers for the Enterprise may not be found only in one person or in one desk. Sooner or later such people will strike paydirt!

            • Joe America says:

              I think that’s true. There is unlikely to be a day when realization will set in, but a spreading awareness that, hey, we’re doing all right here, let’s keep it going . . .

          • JM says:

            Sadly, I do not know any popular person like the person I described.

      • JM says:

        Take a look at Israel. A country surrounded by enemies and with little natural resources compared to the Philippines. Israel is still around because of their advanced military technology. They can produce 10x more vegetable in 1 hectare in the desert than our farmers in fertile soil because of technology.

        • sonny says:

          JM, this put a smile in face. Somewhere in my subconscious I have always wished PH would go the route of Israel – a challenged homeland and a diaspora with heart and head, a lot of heart!

        • josephivo says:

          The main difference is that the Israel’s exodus was created by external enemies, the Philippines’ exodus is created by internal enemies.

          • sonny says:

            Yes. No analogy is perfect. Nevertheless in difference and similarity there are new possibilities and intermediate configurations to the Filipino psyche and future generations.

        • karl garcia says:

          definitely a could if we would vs would if we could analogy for Philippines and Israel.
          “if there’s a will there’s a way “in Israel. in the Philippines: if there’s a will, there are relatives.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “I do believe that government institutions are probably strong enough that a fairly decent president won’t screw things up too badly, and will likely continue the positive development of the nation. ” You need less and less of the dictatorial and Mafia aspects I mentioned above, plus less and less of the voodoo (old Filipino nationalism, leftist slogans, Marcos rhetoric, Yellow fandom) to mobilize the people beyond their tribal cultural DNA. They just get more and more used to the way things are becoming, it becomes part of their daily cultural DNA and good habits, their computer BIOS – once you have enough inertia on that you don’t need to push the stone anymore because the tipping point is there.

        Took me time as well to reach my various personal tipping points after being pasikat (showing off that I had money), epal (trying to convince people to help me by showing off good deeds), Mafia-style (buying mercenary allies in business, they were unreliable once the money no longer flowed), undisciplined (gambling, drinking and womanizing like Erap did) nearly destroyed my business after first splendid successes. First paid my debts, took three years. Shut out bad habits rigourously (gambling first, then drinking, then finally chicks and wrong business partners that drained my pocket which was very hard to do) and developed good ones: being reliable to my customers in order to keep them and not just screwing them for cash and then wondering why they never came back, going to sleep on time and enough, exercising enough, not confronting my business partners but being constructive – had an interesting experience last year with that where my business partner and former boss told me after I did a Santiago/Cayetano on him and nearly lost the partnership, this is absurd theater, let’s be grown-ups man and talk about needs and balance them – then finally looking for the places where you find the right women and decent business partners which is what I have achieved and am working hard to maintain, am close to reaching the tipping point there – to replace them. I can relate to the slope.

        “I would guess that expecting perfection is a good way to become a very angry, bitter person”. I know that from experience. An American write once said something like “imagine some one tearing his hair out because he has not yet become an Edison” and saying that the Filipino drive for excessive perfection was created by the confrontation between a people proud and arrogant (Americans, which is why a NICE and compassionate American like you Joe is balsam for many Filipinos) and a people proud and sensitive (Filipinos, there is an old Pedro and Joe classic joke, Pedro being Filipino and Joe American of course: Joe is eating a banana, Pedro an apple – Joe tells Pedro “you know what, Pedro, in my country, only POOR people eat apples, Pedro answers “In my country only monkey eat banana!” ) – so you have the old training of the Filipino elite, my old man – Tatay if you read this you will understand, you have become wiser with age and less dictatorial – who forced me to rewrite anything that was not perfect and retype anything with too many typos on our old mechnical machine – which strove for extreme perfection, Marcos who wanted to toughen up the Filipino people, training us to be like Japanese he experienced, being another example. Nationalists valuing strength over kindness are another example.

        That has driven me too, I have realized, it still drives me look at some of my posting, but I have lightened up a bit by meeting people who are still efficient but have learned kindness and not to exaggerate perfection and strength, after destroying their own country and that of others by striving too much perfection and strength due to national trauma caused by political humiliation (Napoleon) and economic humiliation (Versailles) – Germans. They have learned to have a quiet apparatus in place and NOT rely to much on THE leader, translate that last phrase into German and you have DER FÜHRER and that nails it. Quiet, even boring leaders like Angie Merkel are preferred to loudmouths like Schröder.

        Countrymen lighten up, the way to getting better takes some time. But learn to be patient and persevere – sa ikaaunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan, biking teaches both values I have learned. And let us be happy that we have our Joe, an American who is proud and tenacious in his convictions but is willing to explain them and is NOT arrogant and greedy like some his people. Let us forget about those Filipinos abroad who share the national trauma, Pedros who have become mirror images of the bad kind of uncle Sam, yes benign0 I am talking to you, “Kill em all and let God sort out the rest”, you think you’re cool imitating the American sniper you SUCK man, I admit I am wary of Muslims but I don’t go around calling them towelheads like that dead American did. I too am a Pedro, a PinoyInEurope who did have a nice American once who taught me a lot named Bob, bit of a preacher like all Americans are even you Joe but that is OK, but also a Hans, a Mihai, a Kirsten, a Rosario, a Martin and many other Europeans who taught me a lot without any put-down arrogance, thereby allowing me to develop more quiet pride that comes with having put things together oneself – to take the place of defensive Filipino pride (still have a rest of it thought) and temper the Santiago-style sensitivity that comes from a strong inferiority complex by developing true confidence from within; and no longer fearing loss of face because for some I now do have face here, some people I know are reading this because I shared it with them and I blew up a bit a few days ago, fearing loss of face but I washed my face looked in the mirror and it was still there, so why should I care. Joe I apologize for that. Let me be the rich Pedro eating apples abroad – have 3 1/2 in the fridge – and you be the poor Joe eating bananas in the Philippines from now on. 🙂

  23. AjM says:

    I’m really glad i found your blog Joe. Being a Filipino (and i consider myself patriotic) living abroad, it’s quite difficult to get up to date with our country’s current affairs. This is a good blog which gives me a good insight as to whether or not I’d vote this upcoming election. Mar Roxas, sounds OK, a bit behind the scenes, and it’s not usual one will get to hear his name, unless there’s a negative intimation that goes with it. BUT, and here’s what i pointed out last time. We don’t need just an “OK” president. We NEED a man (or woman) of action, and can do things all for the sake of his fellow Filipinos and the Philippines. I suppose we will get to know the upcoming “presidentiables” soon, and hopefully through your blog, at least, I’d get more insight as to whom my vote will go for if ever. Keep it up, and thanks.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you for finding us, AjM. I’m currently working on the other half of Roxas, the work side. It’s enlightening. Maybe Cayetano will be next, on the work side.

      • sonny says:

        If this blog is not serendipity, then I don’t know what is, Joe!

        Way back when I realized how big a number of Filipinos were not in the Philippines but whose hearts were left there (me included), it was a cause for gloom. Now, with the internet and a “catalytic converter” and long-distance voting, the search for our Cincinnatus may not be impossible after all!

        (Karl, thanks for the videos on Hiro. eye-openers for me. there are conversations such as ours (this blog) going on in PH. parang troops on the ground as PiE would call it)
        🙂 🙂

        • sonny says:

          @ PiE & gianC Keep those IT candles burning (IPO, input-process-output). 🙂

          • josephivo says:

            SIPOC (Supplier – IPO – Customer)

            • sonny says:

              Joseph, I’m not familiar with IPO in SIPOC. Does it stand for “initial public offering”?

            • sonny says:

              Googled SIPOC, Joseph. I understand. Yes SIPOC is along my reference of IPO to PiE & gianC. I did not have training in SIPOC. Instead I had Structured Methodology by Yourdon and de Marco.

        • Joe America says:

          “Onward, to Cincinnatus!”

        • sonny says:

          Here’s what fires the imagination about Cincinnatus.

          He belonged to the elite class. He took on the state-imposed punishment of his son and turned toward the cultivation of the soil and his family. When the state came under attack by her enemies, he accepted his conscription by the same senate body that punished his son. He took command of the army; summarily rid the state of her enemies in two weeks time then returned the mandate by going back promptly to his farm and family.

          I understand George Washington had similar circumstances minus the punished son.

          • Joe America says:

            I think George W. WAS the punished son, for chopping down the cherry tree. He also had wooden teeth. In a way, Noynoy is the punished son, for having had his father shot. And he is busy rectifying that condition. Might take more than two weeks though . . .

  24. jameboy says:

    Trillanes – The rebel soldier without a cause. Trillanes and president reads like an example of what an antonym is. He is the new version of a young Gringo Honasan with poor projection and a dull image. A few more years in the Senate might do something good for him.

    De Lima – Professor-like demeanor. Better fit to be a department head or presidential adviser on anything related to legality or law. Would really do well with a Cabinet position. Team player. Maybe a people person but not the person for the people. Lots of law in her but less appeal. Cold, distant and cold.

    Marcos – He has that something in him that appeals to the new generation. Well, he’s a Marcos maybe. Old schoolers who hate that word are receding, so to speak. The young ones don’t really care about his father unlike how they abhor Jinggoy and Bong Revilla not only because of their fathers but also because of them. Looks and talks like a seasoned senator than those actor-senators who regularly adorns the Senate. Has a demeanor of a statesman and a facade of a skilled politician just like his father. I’m of the opinion that if he play his cards right and remain controversy-free, he might pull a surprise come 2022. Watch out.

    Defensor-Santiago – Brilliant and funny! Incidentally, that description also fits Dolphy to a T. Err, make that unfortunately. Seriously, everybody loves the mental acumen of Miriam. But her aura of superiority is something else. She seems not to be content of people knowing how brilliant she is, she has to remind them of it – every privilege speech and – every time a microphone is put in front of her. Had her chance to the presidency but Fidel Ramos shot down her star. After that defeat or maybe because the effect of a devastating loss was taking a toll on her health that people even started calling her ‘Brenda’, she raised the humor in her repertoire a notch and voila, she’s back! But not anymore in a starring role but somewhat in a spoiler character and she seems to be loving it. Looks like humor is the only thing that balances her mental and physical state right now. She could have been the best president we ever had. She’s also like something we always wish for and never had only to find out later that having her really don’t make a difference.

    • sonny says:

      If I may.

      Miriam – her edge always gets the better of her. it’s like Tourette; i like the Dolphy image of her; FVR has to project his EDSA1 image – not his youth but his avuncular dignity if only to point back to his presidency and career as paradigm for the future civic servant-leader
      Marcos – he’s got to leverage the good of FM, though shadow it may be; he does not have FM’s trail of blood; he has to moderate his mom, drastically.
      Poe & Cayetano – combine grace and dynamism and we have a chance for a winner
      Trillanes & de Lima – they must each be given portfolios to be in the running as apologists for the people.

      I guess the pool is still open. Calling the youthful would-be technocrats.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Poe & Cayetano – combine grace and dynamism and we have a chance for a winner. Cayetano would have to tame his alpha nature, maybe he can. Poe would be able to tame and check that, being a ruthless praying mantis no man is a match for, not even Cayetano.

        Poe and Pangilinan once made a joke – run as a presidential / vice-presidential team and advertise as Poe – Kiko. For the foreign readers – sounds like “my pussy” in Filipino. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful, wonderful characterizations. Next time I do one of these “cast of characters” blogs, I’m turning to you for the cast descriptions.

      As for Marcos, I could see him emerging if he actually focused on good works, on leading in the senate, rather than showboating. I think he needs a little maturity. If his attraction in 2022 is from his youth fan club, then that means the nation is going the wrong direction.

      Your description of Senator Santiago is classic. Good for a laugh, but when she leaves the room, we still have problems to deal with.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Miriam is a living proof of the adage that genius and madness are very close.

      • karl garcia says:

        beauty and madness gave us Kwan ni Imelda na Kinakwan ni Ferdie. Di nakuntento si Rosemarie Sonora ang ang nakwan alam na natin kung sino ang bunga. Kapatid ni Sheryl at wowie.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          According to Gary Lising, what is the main similarity between a prostitute and a watermelon vendor? Pareho silang nagpapakwan.

          • Joe America says:

            Enough. That does not have anything to do with the Mamasapano hearings as a launch pad to the presidency and is not really the tenor I am seeking for blog discussions here.

  25. PinoyInEurope says:

    To summarize, more detail here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/03/the-mamasapano-hearing-as-a-launch-pad-to-the-presidency/#comment-112271 and here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/03/the-mamasapano-hearing-as-a-launch-pad-to-the-presidency/#comment-112273

    1) Filipinos are just moving from task-oriented to goal-oriented, therefore to ask for vision is too much at this stage. Let us ask where we want the Philippines to be in 6 years and THEN which President can be expected to fullfill these goals best.

    2) I have classified the different types of areas of concern into 3 zones:

    a. Zone 1: stuff that needed to be fixed – urgent, normal, nice-to-have
    b. Zone 2: stuff that needs to be maintained – urgent, normal, nice-to-have
    c. Zone 3: stuff that secures the future – urgent, normal, nice-to-have

    3) Looking for perfection is bad, but one can strive to constantly get better, and for that you need patience and perseverance like in biking. Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.
    So let us see, what are in your opinion the most important areas of concern for the Philippines:
    A) That should be done immediately without delay:
    a. Zone 1 urgent and normal
    b. Zone 2 urgent

    B) That should be done when time and money are there:
    a. Zone 1 nice-to-have
    b. Zone 2 normal
    c. Zone 3 urgent

    C) That should be done when all the rest are handled:
    a. Zone 2 nice-to have
    b. Zone 3 normal and nice-to-have

    Inputs are very welcomed, Karl I have read a lot of Zone 1 urgent concerns from you, please summarize.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      After having identified Zone 1, 2 and 3 and having prioritized, we can see what is in Area A) – to be done immediately without delay and see what can still be done in Area B). I doubt all of Area B) can be covered for the country now, much less Area C). But we should start.

    • Joe America says:

      What I would suggest, PiE, is pulling these matters together as a separate blog that we can pull out from within the Mamasapano discussion. I think that would better frame the discussion and give it its own two feet. I have no problem with the blog serving as a brainstorming forum. If it ever gets to the point of acts, however, I would ask that it be hauled off to a separate site managed by principles apart from this blog. As a foreigner here, I only engage in ideas, and not deeds. Plus I wish to maintain the political independence of the blog.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “As a foreigner here, I only engage in ideas, and not deeds.” Understandable.

        “Plus I wish to maintain the political independence of the blog.” OK. But I do think one can identify the problems of the Philippines that need to be solved most urgently without being politically on any side, for example:

        1) Corruption on top (Zone 1 urgent), in the middle (Zone 1 middle) and at the bottom (Zone 3 nice to have)

        2) Rotten public facilities of major importance like airports, highways, MRT (Zone 1 urgent), of some importance like waterworks, power supply (Zone 1 urgent) and the rest (nice to have)

        3) Bad public communication (Zone 1)

        4) Bangsamoro issue (Zone 1)

        5) Institutional stability (Zone 1 middle)

        Actually if you have looked at that, you can see which problems are Area 1 and need to be acted upon without dely. Point 3) you will actually be tackling in your blog about suggesting a government newspaper, so I do not see any contradiction.

        We are also discussing problems of the country here, so why not keep it at a high level that we just discuss the problems and prioritize which need quick solving? As long as we do not discuss actual actions I think it should be OK. If you want I will write a blog on that.

        Otherwise when it comes to actual actions, I have already written to pinoyputi that I am willing to help create the forum for that, but I want enough volunteers, especially Filipinos living in the old country. But I will keep actual actions out of the blog, as you requested.

        • Joe America says:

          The discussion needs to go to a separate blog.

        • Joe America says:

          All things are political. “Rotten public facilities . . .” is an evaluation that suggests someone screwed up, which is about as political as it gets. In cold, objective terms, the state of infrastructure is a combination of low levels of investment (understandable considering the huge sums of money required and prior weak economic fundamentals) and excessive demand caused by a booming economy. Objectively, it is what it is and it seems to me the discussion ought to be what level of investment in infrastructure is appropriate for the Philippines, and after that is settled, which is most important, flood control, highways, airports, ports, other?

          The debates are not easy because one gets to the point of trying to decide between the freedom of private transportation (build roads) or public transportation (build subways). The best solution might be, build new cities and lay down the infrastructure first. These discussions inherently become political.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I get your point now.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “All things are political.” Just one question though. Isn’t discussing the best potential next president as political as it gets as well? We are all the time discussing one main topic – Philippine political culture, but I guess you want to keep it at that level of abstraction… OK.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, that is true. This blog is rich with political expressions. I suppose what I am wary of is becoming attached to any one version of politically correct. I don’t want to belong to any organization or get tied to an agenda or set of priorities that would suggest I have to go along.

              Nope. Free agent here, with one key driver, the well-being of the Philippines.

              • Joe America says:

                In that context, brainstorming here is perfectly okay. Recruiting people for a cause? Ummm, moving into a grey area.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Nope. Free agent here, with one key driver, the well-being of the Philippines.” Good – I saw that when you posted that all truly democratic parties should join together against everything that is anti-democracy and/or corrupt, and to prohibit colors yellow and red.

                Alright, let us leave it at that. Further discussion of this topic here to be discontinued.

                Also I shall leave any further sex jokes to Santiago and not post them in your blog.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “brainstorming here is perfectly okay”. Good. “Recruiting people for a cause?” Shall be discontinued. Actually I was just giving ideas based on an impulse josephivo gave…

                Trying to be constructive and such – but I understand and respect the limits here.

              • sonny says:

                @ PiE & Joe

                I much appreciate this conversation. It demonstrates to me how the protocol of this type of blog can be laid out civilly and maintain a fair and healthy exchange of ideas w/o losing the effectiveness of the dialogue. Hats off to both of you. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Well, thanks, sonny. I appreciate your always considerate views.

      • karl garcia says:

        Pie you seem to know it all naman and rHiro might be mad at me for what just happened. The PaRked Special Deposits Account. He says it is enough to pay out all debts and if used sooner we no longer had to borrow. Plus he wants the monetary board to be absent of private bankers, have mb elected , for the sake of i dont know maybe national interests. He also said that 5 6 helped finance the economy and not the banks.

    • karl garcia says:

      The budget where they just add three 0s to mask the problem it is still 30 percent personnel services 30 percent credit services 40 percent lip service.

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  1. […] We also read a few weeks ago that the Liberal Party was noodling on a Roxas/Poe tandem for President/Vice President. Well, no wonder. That is the presidential “dream team”, one that would beat Binay soundly baring a manipulated election (refer to JoeAm blog “The Mamasapano hearings as a launch pad to the presidency”). […]



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