Vindictive justice

pope-francis-timeinc

[Photo credit: Time, Inc.]

What is it about vindictive justice that thrills people so?

Pope Francis talks about compassion and mercy and Filipinos turn around 10 days later to lay vindictive accusations on everyone from the President to the mothers of babies who grow up to be BIFF thugs.

To err is human, to forgive divine, and to blame is Filipino.

Here’s the deal on the 44 of the 67 Mamaspano deaths, take your choice:

No one did it

or

The person of your choice did it.

No one did it to the extent that it was an accumulation of circumstances from poor selection of leaders, to bad training, to poor equipment, to failure to eradicate inter-service jealousy, to lousy support, to piss-poor communication, to screw-ups on the ground, to a failed cease fire process, to peace negotiators who coddled terrorists, to an insensitive president, to terrorists who went blood thirsty. About 1,500 people had a hand in this deal and the cosmic intertwining of their acts generated a lot of dead people. No one did it because they all did it.

The person of your choice did it, well, just name him or her. Cayetano seems to want to lay it on the peace negotiators. Poe on Purisima. Aquino on Napenas. Napenas on Pangilinan, and Pangilinan back at Napenas. Legarda wants to lay it on the US, Recto on the AFP, Marcos on the cease fire team. Everybody has their culprit. Some lunatic bishops and uncles want the president to resign. Families of the dead want President Aquino to apologize, as if that will bring back their sons and husbands. It is endless. It is merciless. It is compassionless.

And the process, this process of vindictive justice? You know what it does?

It does the opposite of unity and sacrifice and patriotism.

It tears the Philippines down one vindictive brick at a time.

When is enough enough?

When EVERYBODY is bleeding through their soul, leaking red juice across 7,000 islands?

Hey, pick a culprit. Hate him  . . . or her . . . really good for a while, until you find you are breathing better.

Then move on.

  • See if you can figure out a way to build your nation up rather than rip it apart.
  • See if you can find a way to love your soldiers and police for what they offer – their lives – for us.
  • See if you can find a way to appreciate your president, for the burdens he carries – for us.
  • See if you can find a way to thank Purisima for years and years of service for a really lousy paycheck.
  • See if you can commend the peace keepers for working, working, working to LISTEN to both sides of the argument and articulate a middle ground that is to the benefit of all.
  • See if you can grasp what Iqbal is saying when he explains that the MILF were not shooting at SAF people, but at oppression.
  • See if you can see the Pope again in your mind – no, in your heart – see if you can hear him again, and LISTEN this time.
  • See if you can find justice through due process, not kangaroo courts. Through calm, not some wailing agony that things went the path of err. See if you can find justice through knowledge rather than vindictiveness.

Really, my good friends, vindictive justice is not justice at all.

It is vanity.

 

Comments
134 Responses to “Vindictive justice”
  1. nherrera01 says:

    Third choice — everyone did it.

    • nherrera01 says:

      Meaning everyone in your “choice” list

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that one, too, as the obverse, or inverse, or whatever . . . to no one did it.

      • nherrera01 says:

        To put a positive spin to what has happened lately concerning Pope Francis’ visit and the Mamasapano Incident, we have another item to add to our Philippine experience at democracy of the type fashioned in the country, owing undoubtedly to historical antecedents and the associated cultural traits. Hopefully, this will add to the maturation or the improved evolution of that democracy. But oh, how slow this maturation process is if indeed it is maturation.

        Meantime, our population is zooming. In that we may proudly say that compared to other indices paraded before us on how we stand in these other indices, we should certainly rate high in population growth.

        On this latter point, I hope that the next President, since whoever it is, is not entitled to another term beyond six years, will pursue the implementation of the RH Law to the greatest extent. Economists tell us that we have this sweet aspect of our population to capitalize on — which with the declining pop growth rate will add significantly not only to economic growth, but the alleviation of the povertly level as well.

        JoeAm, just tickling the hopeful part in me for the country.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, being “reasonable” is roughly how the Pope put it, I believe. Maturity is unending, I have discovered, as I continue to grow thanks to new enrichments locally and from the gatherings here and elsewhere. Sometimes it needs a push, and that is the purpose of the blog, not to complain myself about the blamers. Too often nationalism here seems to be found by having one’s group be superior to another’s. So it is the kind of nationalism evidenced even by hyper-patriotic republicans or democrats in the US, who claim to be the REAL Americans. It is divisive and defeats its own purpose. Even if we take President Aquino’s version, that Napenas was “it”, we have to understand that his fault was being obsessed about getting Marwan, and he had had as string of failures before. His “fault” was wanting to do get his man, a killer, in the worst way. Well, he was out there, and we are cooling our heels in here. And the President relied on Purisima. Ah, there is no win that comes from laying blame.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Blame, no. Responsibility, most definitely. Blame is immature, responsibility is mature.

            Since the buck stops with Noynoy, he has the CHANCE to show that he can make the best out of this situation. Show LEADERSHIP. What I learned from working with Nordic people, with Swedes, Norvegians, Danish – all Vikings, is that they never assign individual blame.

            They say WE messed this up, what did WE do wrong, how can WE do better the next time, how can WE fix the mess. Pragmatic, wild man attitude to problem-solving that I really like.

            Also they are quite clear about what THEY do not like. They did try the murdering Nazi Breivik on national television, allowing the nation to learn NOT to be like that guy, to totally discredit his ideology which a few Vikings still believe in – but they did it in a cool way, completely sticking to the rules of engagement, meaning no condemnation, just going by proper legal procedure while allowing Breivik to expose himself as the idiot he really is.

            The way the Norwegians dealt with the crisis was perfect, contrast it to the way the Philippines dealt with SAF 44: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks

            ” At a press conference the morning after the attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Justice Minister Knut Storberget addressed the country. Stoltenberg called the attack a “national tragedy” and the worst atrocity in Norway since World War II. Stoltenberg further vowed that the attack would not hurt Norwegian democracy, and said the proper answer to the violence was “more democracy, more openness, but not naivety”.[217] In his speech at the memorial service on 24 July 2011, he opined what would be a proper reaction: “No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: ‘If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together.'” ”

            and this was a bigger tragedy than Mamasapano:

            “Of the 69 people that died after the attack on the island, 57 were killed by one or more shots through the head.[126][136] In total, 67 people were killed by gunshots, 1 died falling from a cliff trying to escape, and 1 drowned trying to swim away from the island.[136] In total, Breivik fired at least 186 shots,[137] and still had a “considerable amount of ammunition” left.”

            Now THAT is how a mature nation reacts. Guys, read the link please. There were also huge mistakes made by security forces that allowed just ONE Nazi to kill 69 people.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              A fake descendant of THOR himself murdered, to which the TRUE spiritual descendants of Nordic gods answered: “think how much love we could show, standing together”.

              Chief of Wildlife has spoken. *gong

    • karl garcia says:

      “No one did it because they all did it.”

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112864 maybe WE should all look at our own mistakes. Start with the man in the mirror, like Michael Jackson said. Begin with Leninist-style self-criticism before we criticize, like the leftists say but not understand.

        Lenin knew his Russian people, always complaining and hating, but he did not live long enough to really change them deeply. And the more Filipino leftists should have read him, his main adage was study, study, study. Which is what YOU Karl are definitely doing.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Regarding Lenin: we also have a man embalmed in a glass tomb – Marcos.
          Marcos was, like Lenin or Napoleon, a dictatorial modernizer. All did good things and bad things. Lenin electrified Russia, Napoleon created the Latin Civil Code upon which that of the Philippines also is based (and that of France, Spain, Italy and most of Latin America) and spread the metric system across Europe, Marcos initiated the LRT, created the Sandiganbayan, made the first extensions to what became SLEX and NLEX, created the MMC to control Metro Manila better which became the MMDA, centralized the police force, commissioned the urban plans that eventually led to the flyovers and underpasses along EDSA as well as the C-6 road and more. He did many bad things, that is true. The good that man do dies with them, the evil lives beyond the grave – so be it with Cesar. But Enrile – sorry, Brutus – is an honorable Mafioso.

          Cory came in with the help of Ramos and Enrile. Hers was a breath of fresh air, the return of democracy. Ramos did an excellent job of building on her legacy and that of Marcos. Estrada gave the masses and modern Filipino nationalism a voice. Without his influence, Noynoy would still be mainly speaking English now, not Filipino. Arroyo continued the technocratic legacy of Marcos, was mainly responsible for the Strong Republic Transport System – putting together the MRT and LRT lines we have today and conceptualizing their extensions. Noynoy came in with Daang Matuwid, did his job in stamping out corruption and getting in international business. Like all his predecessors, he has good and bad sides to him. I am not on any side, only for the Philippines.

          Why can’t we see the big picture guys? The country has been moving forward inspite of many losses, Philippine society is definitely maturing and will continue to mature. We are all part of it and should look at constructive solutions, putting the best together and minimizing our weaknesses. And not only rely on a President but on the TEAM that he builds. Like in basketball you have different roles that come together, each role assigned by strengths. No single person can have all strengths.

          Marcos is dead, Cory took care of putting back democracy. Noynoy built upon the foundation of Arroyo and those before her while stamping out the corruption. The days of blue and yellow are over, Marcos should finally be buried so his ghost no longer haunts us.

          He also had his vision for the country, but it fell short because of his personal weaknesses. Noynoy also has his strengths and weaknesses but I do not condemn him, he has led the country down the road paved by his predecessors and has corrected some of their errors.

          Time for all of us to move on. Time to exorcise the ghosts of our past, symbolized horribly by Peping and Tingting Cojuangco. Noynoy, please move on as well. Patas na tayong lahat. Tama na ang pabalik-balik natin sa nangyari na. Nandito ang laban sa kasalukuyan.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Kapag nilibing na si Makoy, mamatay na siguro si Enrile. Doon na sa impyerno silang dalawang mag-away kung sino ang papalit kay Satanas.

            Si Binay naman ay magiging palaka at hindi prinsipe, ay Presidente pala. Kokak!

          • I beg to disagree on this moving on… history and its mistakes ought to teach us lessons, mistakes should be punished so that others will not do the same. Forgiveness without restitution is not justice, will encourage others into asking forgiveness and keeping their loot, because it is possible to escape being jailed . Take the family of Marcos, they are bent on claiming their looted money and to hell with their country who paid and are still paying the foreign loans where most of the funds came from. Take the Estradas, after being pardoned by another allegedly plunderer ex-president, after moving on, they are back and made kickbacks on their PDAF allocations…. see the pattern? because we moved on. Contrary to your assertions, the Filipinos have short memories, this moving on without justice and deterrence is being overdone. Let’s move on, but with justice and deterrence.

            Now the youths are idolizing the Marcoses as their parents and grandparents had “moved on” and “exorcised the ghosts of our past” never telling their sons and daughters of the excess of the past regimes; now the Estradas are in power again, the elderl one became a mayor who allegedly sabotaged the national economy by his truck ban so he can show his local supporters that he love them and want to give them less traffic roads, he can even offer himself as a presidential candidate because the SC justices has “moved on” and allowed the restoration of his civil rights taken away from him when he was convicted of plunder… I am repeating myself (but I will be relentless in this) in saying, teach these plunderers a lesson they will never forget as a warning to future corrupt leaders. That was the mantra after the Edsa 1 people power revolution, and where did it take us…. (magkaisa was the song created by Sotto) we held hands and moved on, and then we woke up to find the same groups and their ilks plundering the nation again, because the guilty ones were not punished enough.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I don’t mean moving on without justice, but the cycle of vindictiveness must be ended. In the Grace Poe thread I suggested something, doesn’t have to be THE solution but could be: they give back the money to the government, they get released and Makoy buried.

              With ONE additional, very important condition and rule: that they are for the rest of their lives banned from EVER entering politics again – they can be businessmen if they want.

      • I agree with PIE. WE all did it. Our collective actions and inactions made IT happen. We need social engineering bad. We are the reason why Philippines is the way it is. We demand, not courteously ask. We blame, not looking at our part in the situation. We want instant gratification, not wanting to put forth effort in making things happen… We have a rotten society because we made it so.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          That is why I am giving Utoya as a counter-example to Mamasapano, to give constructive criticism. To show how real leadership looks like. How grieving can be handled by leaders. How the people can stick together. How perpetrators can be made to pay for their deads.

          Not the oscillation between total vindictiveness and being too soft that we Filipinos show. Calm, firm, justice. Not avoiding national grieving like Noynoy did, not dramatizing national grieving like some others did for their purposes – instead “think how much love we could show, standing together”. And work on healing all the rifts in Philippine society, especially in Mindanao with “more openness, but not naivety””. Learn from Thor’s descendants.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Imagine Utoya in the Philippines. Imagine Mamasapano in Norway. WE Filipinos are too often much to fixated on ourselves to really LEARN from other nations, except blindly imitating outdated Catholicism if we are catolico cerrado, the stupid version of globalization if we are coño, Leninist-Maoist slogans if we are leftist, old Katipunan thinking if we are Trillanes, 20s-style Anti-Americanism if we are Santiago, Ghadaffi if we are Misuari, Al Qaida if we are Abu Sayyaf, ISIS if we are MILF and BIFF. Dammit let’s stop being parrots lets study, study, study like Lenin said and think like Watson of IBM said!!!

            Get out of the clean kitchen of what we are trying so hard to be, all of us, go into our dirty kitchen of what we really are and clean up there, find that the gods we pray to whether God, Allah or the Kankanai Apo Kabunian are all the same. Start from there and LEARN.

            continued here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112872

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              To those who say yes but it is a different culture, I answer and hope you think about it:

              We did manage to make jeepneys out of jeeps didn’t we? Make our own Jolibee which is better than McDo – for us.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                From an answer to a parallel Facebook discussion with a representative of the new Filipino upper middle class: jeepneys and Jolibee are from our Asian talent of imitating and improving we share with the Japs. Our weakness is lack of thoroughness and follow-through. We should work on ourselves, I paraphrase Bruce Lee: “Take what you can use, discard what you cannot use – and add what is your own”. Jeet Kune Do.

                And to those who say one cannot be perfect, a typical Filipino excuse even Joe has adopted, I paraphrase from the Facebook wall of a Russian bodybuilder: “Training is not about being perfect. It is about constantly becoming better than you were before”.

              • Joe America says:

                See, I admire those eloquent people. My way of saying it would have been “I screw up, I learn.” *gong

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And one more thing: the Japs adapt intelligently and improve on what they copy, unlike us who often just parrot or adapt cleverly and stay with that – pwede na iyan. OK, finished my cigarette package, the Tamil Tiger grocer is not closed yet, gotta go down and get one. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “My way of saying it would have been “I screw up, I learn.” ”

                You’re definitely American.

                Something an American or German says in one sentence, a Latin or a Russian takes five sentences for. One reason why American companies eyed the telecoms market in Mexico was that the average Mexican conversation is three times longer than in the US.

                If a Russian speaks with few words, be careful though.

                A Northern European business associate of mine once told me that I still have to learn efficient communication. Spanish people though like to have things explained from three sides and then more, I guess it’s because they are better at talking than listening…

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              One more addition – the Japanese imitated Chinese alphabet, copied the German system of government and justice and the American system of commerce, all the while remaining Japanese. Well they had their Tenno all the while as a real “god” for most of the time.

              Maybe the Filipinos need a symbolic king, being religious and superstitious people, and a President for the real work. Not this mixture of yellow king and President we have now.

              Why not the Sultan of Sulu? Just an idea brainstorming. COULD help with Mindanao.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Let’s make Eddie Ramos our king. Looks a bit like Bhumbol after all. Both resolved military coups and conflicts. It would give the guy a role. Use his wisdom and temper his crankiness.

    • A lot of people only want to blame the president. A failure as monumental as this has a lot of people to blame.

      • Joe America says:

        Yep. From my view, the President is absolutely the last person deserving blame for the Mamasapano policing operation. Now, he bears blame for bad communication after the fact, but that is rather petty. And someone will have to explain to me how relatives marching in the street, or demanding apology from the President, is anything but vanity.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Let us use the Mamasapano incident to solve the Moro question and the other rifts in the Filipino nation “more openness, but not naivety” like Norvegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg said after a much worse tragedy in his country just 3 years ago: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112864 That is all I alway wanted to say about BBL Joe – it is very naively made, but I am not for all-out war.

          To quote one famous man, I do this from the heart because it is true for me: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind.”

          Let us be like the true descendants of strong Nordic gods and say to ourselves each time: “WE messed this up, what did WE do wrong, how can WE do better the next time, how can WE fix the mess. ” No blame games in ANY directions – just RESPONSIBILITY. Leadership.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            OK, we are not a guilt culture like the Nordics.

            But let us find collective shame and learn from it. Let us be ashamed of our crazy Moro brothers, but let us remember that we in our divisions our just like them. Let us learn to be together like them when needed, to make pintakasi without violence.

            Let us be ashamed of fighting each other like kids when the common enemies are there to be dealt with like China. When there are allies to be negotiated with like the United States. When there is the challenge of globalization to face constructively instead of drowning in it.

            Let us not be ashamed to look at our mistakes in the eye, criticizing ourselves first before criticizing others, like Lenin told his vindictive, quarrelsome Russian people. And let us overcome our shame to move on and learn lessons from our collective mistakes.

            May we find the rationality to criticize DEEDS not PERSONS, and the strength to learn from our mistakes, plus the follow-through to not make them AGAIN dammit. Let us learn from our talents as underdogs, but overcome the victim mentality we often have. Manny Villar managed, why not we? Let us all be more like Leni Robredo and less like Santiago. Let us exorcise the demons of our past – like we are doing now – to shape our future.

            Chief of Wildlife has spoken. Time to buy cigarettes from Tamil Tiger brother. Hugh.

  2. karl garcia says:

    If only my dad reads this blog, it would guide him somehow. He is caught among those contemporaries who is really blaming the president, codename:oldfarts, a relative(?) who lawyers napenas, an old classmate whose son is being blamed for mrt3,and a young friend who may or may not run for vice president .I feel his pain.

    This is my testimony to the value of this blog to me, I would end up dazed and confused without it.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, Karl. It is easy to lose one’s bearings when everyone around us has seemingly lost theirs.

      The topic came to me the other day, here, when I recognized that the senate hearing was structured, not to find information, but to find someone to blame. If you reflect back on the lines of questions the senators asked, only two were mainly interested in information: Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara. Everyone else was on the hunt.

      If the nation’s leaders don’t understand how they contribute to the angers and mistrusts by undermining every institution in the Philippines, who is going to lead us out of the jungle?

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        You can only get out of the jungle if you realize that you are in it. If the people involved in all of this would just realize that they are acting like headhunters looking for a ritual sacrifice to atone for dead family members, that would be a first step.

        Bam Aquino strikes me as belonging to an entirely new generation with a different mindset. Results-oriented.

        • karl garcia says:

          Chief of wildlife, I agree with you.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            More on that here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112840 .

            The new generation are thinking more rationally and more about Filipinos as a whole. My generation might be the last to still have residual divisions in the back of their heads.

            I remember my first gut reaction to Salceda now: “ay mukhang Tsekwa” – then later I became more and more convinced that he is doing stuff for EVERYBODY. Crossovers like Lim, Estrada, Cayetano, Villar are signs of an emerging whole that is fully FILIPINO.

            • Joe America says:

              Now there is a blog waiting to burst out. Crossovers who, in doing the crossing, become whole. I wonder if it takes a whole Filipino to recognize another.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Good morning Joe. Just become a whole Filipino while synthesizing within this blog, with an American as a platinum catalyst. Just a week ago I still hated the comprador due to my patriot upbringing and datu blood, but realized how much I too have become one. 🙂

                Will do the blog, there is enough material for it synthesized all over the place. Just have to distill it a bit, then put it in wooden caskets like Jack Daniels. My former best friend.

              • Joe America says:

                Gud am, PiE. I look forward to receiving your finely aged document.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Noynoy is also a crossover – mother definitely comprador, father patriot/datu. Doesn’t show enough of his father’s datu aspect though, which causes most of his problems.

              More in the forthcoming blog about this topic.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, well, he will be old enough to run in 2022, so there you go. It will interesting to see if he holds to form or becomes a political animal. Or if political animals recognize that Aquino is gaining a lot of attention and start producing, too. He thinks rationally, he does not deal in personalities, and – as you say – he goes for results. Not just show.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            That is why I am now for Mar starting 2016 – he will do the least harm.

            Business is going well and a new generation will take over starting 2022.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              What I hope is that Mar will not mar-ginalize those who are not “Makati crowd”. The history of the Philippines always has been about dominant tribal groups marginalizing others.

              Malay history in fact is like that, Malaysia and Indonesia were no different internally. Just google about transmigrasi among other things, then you will know what I mean.

              There are three major groups in Filipino leadership, as per my analysis here:

              https://joeam.com/2015/03/08/why-grace-poe-should-not-run-for-president-in-2016/#comment-112522

              https://joeam.com/2015/03/08/why-grace-poe-should-not-run-for-president-in-2016/#comment-112671

              Patriots and datus are concerned by the compradors success in the modern globalized world – they are businessmen after all – and fear marginalization.

              Fear of marginalization can make people go for the wrong leaders – populists – so the next president must adress and credibly give equal opportunities. Otherwise he/she will have just as little peace as Noynoy had, because the basic conflict is unadressed.

              Not be like the old elite who always use(d) (post)colonial rituals – Catholicism, English, democracy, anti-corruption as part of a wayang kulit game to keep their power and keep others out by rigging the game, something I mentioned in my Tipping Point article.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      My old man once told me in our many discussions that the Filipino nation is a confused nation, a confused culture. I sent him links to my recent posts here, making clear to him that he is from the gut still excluding the compradores too much, being a patriot himself.

      Actually I know him, he will not answer but think about it. The conflict between compradores and patriots (who mostly used the datus to further their own power agenda) ripped the revolution apart – Aguinaldo vs. Bonifacio and Aguinaldo vs. Antonio Luna for example. Greed on one side and vanity plus jealousy on the other – to synthesize my point of view and that of Joe. “Tsekwa” vw. “Tisoy” using “masa”, sometimes both against masa.

      I reminded him that his main propagandist is Tsinoy and his kanang kamay is masa while he comes from the old school patriot group – good for the dynamics of what he is trying to build for the nation. Those who now have guessed who he is and I am – tahimik lang kayo.

      Told him Joe has the same goal, stop being so prejudiced all of you. The goal has to be seen from many sides and built from all sides so that all pull together. But it is on the way.

      Modern Filipinos like Leni Robredo, Joey Salceda – locally even Duterte, he is archaic but in Mindanao he has to be to suceed – Bam Aquino and YOU are the proof of what my father told me 20 years ago. That a national consciousness is emerging, it takes time.

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    I was tempted to characterize these destructive behaviours you listed as endemic to Filipinos, but on further reflection realize it may be a widespread human condition found in other cultures as well.

    Most humans are predisposed to look and react only at what’s in front of them, like a child or an elderly losing cognition. The ability to analyze and appreciate historical contexts, future value, comprehensive and long term views are a gift to all of us living in the years between those two stages. So treasure it.

    What to make of the screaming banshees, the headless chickens who want to tear down the country brick by vindictive brick? Infantile and/or senile, I suppose. Like the Italians prior to unification in the 19th century. Or the Greeks, who produced some of the world’s smartest men but could not resist destroying each other.

    Ah, but there Filipinos who are better and different.

    This gives me a segue to a man unlike most of us, a rare kind indeed. He moved in the shadows and was always in the world of intrigue, often alone. But he had his core values to guide him, as he claims. History will either validate or disprove him.

    I am currently finishing General (ret) Joe Almonte’s biography (Endless Journey, written with Marites Vitug), and I find a man who was able to swim in all the political currents, managed to do something and stay alive. I will write a review soon.

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed you are right. For sure the US is a vindictive nation, the poisoned political rancor going outside the bounds of decency, as occasioned by some recent Republican deeds to undermine Obama’s foreign policy initiatives. That wasn’t done 10 years ago, because it was understood that it weakens the nation when the President is not strong. Vindictiveness weakens any nation. To weaken the president weakens a nation.

      Such a simple concept. So impossible for the vain to grasp.

      • Pallacertus says:

        Aye, aye. But to topple a president, and get rid of all that stands in the way, even democracy, all for the sake of a vision or other, however star light star bright?

        Tonight, after reading a bit of GRP… I don’t know, but I’m afraid. Very, very afraid. When I was not yet 11 I supported Erap’s ouster — some of you would’ve been far older and would’ve thought things through, and a few might’ve chosen the rigors of due process and building an unassailable case on a sitting president. I didn’t, and now that I’m older and out of the mood for revolution I realize how terrifying constant regime changes could be — how open to question, how inherently unstable, how stifling in terms of diplomacy and policy-making —

        • Joe America says:

          The single greatest need of the Philippines is stability, if we indeed want to take care of the poor. Constancy. Predictability. Confidence. The years of “steady as she goes” that bring in investors, allow people with money to put it into projects that won’t get disrupted, bring in tourists, and allow good processes to emerge. Disruption is the worst thing. So you are right to be afraid. Sometimes circumstances take on a life of their own. President Aquino needs to take charge, and not by being stubborn or vain himself.

  4. “..to blame is Filipino”. I agree. Just in my household, when an appliance breaks, it is always blamed on the last person who used it, not considering other factors like wear and tear or if the appliance is a lemon. I’m sure we can cite many everyday examples. Is it because we are an emotional bunch and emotion doesn’t make us think and we start blaming?

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, my, Adrian, I have become so skilled from watching my wife’s work in this arena, that I have developed skills as well. Whenever I kick a table leg or some other stupid act, I blame her for putting the table there.

      It becomes quite hilarious now and then. And she is moderating her blames as a result . . .

  5. “See if you can find a way to thank Purisima for years and years of service for a really lousy paycheck.”

    Man, I pity the general and former PNP chief and by extension, the President. Since the Senate committee could not summon HEBSA, they made the general absorb the seemingly insulting questions which he patiently responded to “your honors”, I look at him and imagine what he is feeling, knowing the brutal death of the gallant 44, though an accepted risk for their profession, is horrific and undeserved, and somehow he is partly to be blamed.

    I think many would disagree with what I will say here, but then, this is my honest opinion, my very own, others might ridicule me but heck, here goes:

    Gen. Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman and I respect that, but my understanding of that suspension is : No way it is already a verdict for his corruption or failed discernment related to the performance of his job, those are still under investigation and trial; he was suspended, I think, in order that the said investigation will not be hampered by his office or his underlings as is the approved SOP on such matters. I read from various blogs that the Mamapasano oplans to get Marwan and the other 2 high value targets were conceptualized and initiated before the said suspension, the President has to use him for this covert operation for it to have a higher chance of being successful and for that they were both blamed, vilified and cursed to high heavens as if they are evil personified (if one is to believe the social media commenters) just by allowing a suspended officer to head the covert operation.

    Thank you, Generals Purisima and Napeñas, you did what had to be done, you staked your career, and accepted responsibility for the outcome… I salute you as well as the SAF 44, the gallant policemen who sacrificed their lives so we can feel safe from these terrorists. I salute the President for approving the operation knowing it will possibly derail the peace talk and the BBL enactment. I just hope and pray that Congress, after correcting and fine tuning the BBL draft law will finally enact it so peace can be attained in the southern Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      Well said. Very well said.

    • Thank you for your sanity.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Gen. Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman and I respect that, but my understanding of that suspension is : No way it is already a verdict for his corruption or failed discernment related to the performance of his job, those are still under investigation and trial; ” Isn’t Arroyo jailed without any conclusive verdict for five years? A suspended official is suspended and therefore from an official point of view NON-EXISTENT.

      Now if you want to reform a country you have to lead by example and be consistent when it comes to following the rules. Either they are for all or for none – you cannot point at others and even punish them severely while breaking the rules yourself. If you want to be the one leading a country down a straight path, you have to be aware that everybody who is not doing straight things will look to find mistakes and make sure you don’t make any major mistakes of that sort, because they will take it against you and call you a hypocrite.

      Noynoy IS better than the other side, but only slightly better in my opinion.

      • It was the court’s call to detain GMA, not PNOY’s, something like the amount of money allegedly plundered, (more than 50M, I think)… not bailable. Purisima’s case is being investigated. We have a new Ombusman, I trust in her, many cases against GMA has been thrown out for lack of evidences directly linking her to those… this one is still on going, but she has to be detained as explained above.

        Noynoy is better than the other side, I agree, the international observers agree too. Let’s hope we can elect a more betterer (joke!!!!) president come 2016…hehehe

        • Anyways, I agree with you – why is GMA’s case dragging in court, if the evidence is really weak, grant her bail and let’s save the money being spent in her presidential suit in the hospital… geez.! Paging CJ Sereno, what’s going on? Money is being spent for an allegedly corrupt ex president, money that can be diverted to public hospitals’ budget to benefit the poor and the destitute and not on an un-suspended member of HOR still drawing salaries, and benefits…geez again…

  6. PinoyInEurope says:

    Blame games are completely useless – nobody learns anything and the same mistakes are made again. If mistakes are made, the best thing is to analyze what lead to them and put measures in place that they do not happen again. What could be the reasons for the Mamasapano disaster?

    1) Unclear communications. Solution: for one thing guys, never use text messages again in case of emergency, CALL. Be proactive and ASK, do not rely just on a text message. Gosh, even I know that text messages sometimes get stuck and arrive days later, or that people can give unclear information about something, so in important situations I call. Consulting basics.

    2) Inflexibility in reacting, fear of taking action without clearance from above. This is also because people are afraid to be blamed, so the blame culture should be replaced by a culture where people are NOT blamed if they take action – but ARE punished if they do not take action by themselves. If a house is burning I do what I have to do and don’t wait for ANYONE, not even God.

    3) Unrealistic planning, lack of contingency, overconfidence. SAF are probably the best trained cops the Philippines has ever had, but they were sent into the middle of a rebel area without a realistic exit plan and without allowance for errors and delays. No helicopters READY to get them out just in case things go wrong? No emergency routines in place? IMHO not well-prepared.

    So in a way almost everybody reacted badly in an emergency situation – 1) and 2) – AND there was not enough emergency planning 3) to help them so they were all totally overwhelmed IMHO. If your house is burning and you know you have to dial 911 and 911 works, then you don’t have to run around like a headless chicken looking for someone to help stop the fire. They all acted as if there was no standard operating procedure for that kind of situation, I mean on every ship there is an SOP for “man overboard”, shouldn’t there be such a thing for “colleagues in trouble?”.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      So it is wrong to look at WHO did wrong, but very useful to look at WHAT went wrong and WHY: and then put measures in place so that it is not likely to happen again. Lessons learned are always important, and I think there has been too little focus on this.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, wonderful readout on how the blaming culture generates mistakes, for fear of being blamed. Why is Poe silent about corruption? And a lot of people? They don’t want to incur the wrath of Binay and his attack dogs. Blames undermine good works. It is the force of the circle of impunity that keeps the Philippines moving in fits and starts. Forthright is forthright. It seeks information and lessons, parcels out punishments where earned, and is heavy-up on compliments for all the good work that is done by most people most of the time.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Also, real learning from mistakes is only possible if people can afford to be honest. In the Philippines you can’t. The first person who admits a mistake is often made into the culprit. You often get the comment “why were you such a fool to get caught” or “it’s your own fault that you admitted a mistake, it’s normal to blame a person who made one mistake for everything” – things I have already heard myself, so you learn to cover up for safety.

        Some of Noynoy’s strange reactions in the crisis have to do with covering up for safety. Everybody else’s reactions as well. Because people are reacting in a primitive way, demanding human sacrifice to atone for something that went wrong – tribal again.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I’ve observed before that ridicule is very pronounced here, even in schools at young ages. It is rather brutal, and excuse-mongering is the callus that develops over time.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            A lot of thinking in the Philippines is downright mean-spirited, in a way the culture is “damaged” like someone once wrote. Or at least very low-trust and vindictive.

            Like I wrote, there are two things: not everybody believes that Noynoy is really clean, for many that is not possible that ANYONE is clean, second he has stepped on so many toes that people want to get back at him, right or wrong – and will find any excuse to do so.

            • Joe America says:

              An unforgiving flock that does not hear the Pope’s message because it does not have meaning in their world, which is historical cycles of abuse and mistrust. It is also a world of 100 percenters, no quarter granted, where every failing of deed is a failing of character, and every argument will be defended to the hilt, even if the argument has to go to lies and insults.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Headhunting tribes basically, with vindictive cycles. And like my old man told me long ago, words are not about the truth here, words are weapons.

                The only way out is in my point of view an equivalent to the Igorot “Bodong” peace ritual, not just one tribe of Muslims with the yellow tribe but between all the major “tribes” I have been identifying in the past weeks. Otherwise there will always be vindictive cycles.

                Democracy in the Philippines is only an overlay, the clean kitchen, in the dirty kitchen you still have the headhunter/tribal mentality. You can only leave the jungle if you know and recognize that you are in the jungle. One can only overcome the headhunting mentality if one realizes and accepts that one is actually still a headhunter and goes from there. Headhunters who learned from the Spanish Inquisition on the Catholic side and from Islamic extremists on the other – no wonder you have such cycles of hate and revenge.

              • Joe America says:

                That rings so clear, the words as weapons. For sure that is the way Binay’s snakes use them. When I complain about the level of complaint, I am usually met with “it’s constructive”, “it’s a freedom”. I tend to think that, if there is a common vision, say a healthy, wealthy Philippines, then SOME criticism is constructive to the building of that, and some is not. And, yes, everyone is free to use words as weapons as long as they are not malicious lies that impugn someone’s honor or cause material or physical damage. From a macro view, I think the Philippines would be a lot more successful and proud place if there were more emphasis on the good being done than the bad. in terms of work and accomplishments, the bad represent maybe 3% of all activities, but command 80% of public discourse.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                That is why I do NOT believe in purely formal solutions to Filipino problems. They are naive, Filipinos are tribal and you need partly tribal solutions or at least a transition from the tribal reality to legal theory. Otherwise there will never be a full buy-in.

                This applies both to BBL and corrupt officials. Theory and practice are very different in the Philippines. They should be synchronized more.

                Chief of Wildlife has spoken.

              • Joe America says:

                You need a gong.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                You have to make people believe in that common vision of a wealthy Philippines. Hard to do, given the distrust between the three groups I recently mentioned. A person from the masa will not believe that vision coming from a “Chinese” person, forget it, he will think at least or maybe even say “only for you and your other Makati guys”. The moment the vision is actually implemented and people SEE that they have a piece of the action, that is different. Make them grow out of the sense of victimhood that Binay skillfully uses.

                Actually the rhetorical patterns of Binay and his camp remind me of what Hitler did, replace “rich people” with “Jews” and there you have it. Makes it scarier.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, it’s a wave of enlightenment coming, economic well being trickling out across the nation,visible in better roads, more jobs, new companies in town, more cars and nicer cell phones. It will be so sneaky you might not even recognize it, except people will start being nicer to one another. I don’t think Binay is going to make it to the Presidency myself. He’s so desperate and phony these days. Paranoid. Blaming everybody of being out to get him, for political reasons. It is unseemly. Not macho.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I hope the wave of enlightenment comes soon enough. The trends josephivo described in his sovereignty article can always lead to backlashes coming from groups feeling disenfranchised, left out of the loop of opportunity and roused by opportunists.

                Putin, Islamic extremism, Hungarian Fides party, Hugo Chavez and others all found their crowd to address and to mobilize. It worries me that the imagery of those using the SAF 44 is rightist and the gut reactions of some people – including me at the beginning – as well.

                The best solution against both left-wing and right-wing extremism – Islamism is right-wing – is widespread prosperity. Content people are less easy to mobilize for extremism.

                And a system that gives opportunity to intelligent and capable people, that incorporates them into the system so that they shut up and work. Successful revolutions always happened in countries were a decadent rent-seeking elite held on to power and kept smart people from other groups from getting their share. These smart people managed to mobilize people from their social groups to grab power violently. It was always like that.

                I would prefer to see more Manny Villars than Binays in the future Philippines, so that the masa lose their sense of victimhood and do not fall for datus of his kind. As for the patriots, they should finally realize that it is not their country anymore – their mentality is a result of their being spiritual descendants of the Spanish mestizos that thought they could own the former colony. Eventually all three undercurrents – comprador, patriot, datu – will merge into one and there will be just one Filipino people. If economic growth continues.

              • Joe America says:

                Yep. That’s the hope and the goal, and a decent reason for being here. Take the edge off some of the artificial causes and divisions, and get on with doing needed work. Playing from time to time. Dealing with crises as a nation, rather than jealous groups.

              • Joe America says:

                When I think about that, vanity and jealousy are partners in crime. Neither provides the right kind of justice.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “It will be so sneaky you might not even recognize it, except people will start being nicer to one another.” Leni Robredo and Governor Salceda are a start – doing politics in a typically middle-class way with strong people involvement and people taking part in it.

                Hope the economic boom sustains itself – then the stuff that is happening now will be like the final exorcism of the ghosts of the Philippine pass, the final part where the demons come out and flee the body.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I mean ghosts of the Philippine past. One ghost that needs to exorcised is Marcos himself. Find a place where he can be buried, a compromise – otherwise he will continue to haunt.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Take the edge off some of the artificial causes and divisions, and get on with doing needed work.” That’s one reason I made the artificial divisions clear by posting them.

                They are just outdated relics subliminally passed on, making them conscious is the best way to finally overcoming them. You already have a lot of crossovers: Estrada going datu, Cayetano becoming more of a comprador but still fighting his unreflected patriot instincts, Manny Villar joining the patriots instead of becoming a datu, but deep inside more of a Malay comprador and the best guy to talk to for a LP-NP alliance like you recognize, no more of the old masa victim mentality inside him, just the best aspects of the underdog.

                Mayor Lim was one of the first compradors to go datu, but I remember how my father from the gut rejected him, saying only the Chinese would vote for that guy – old-school instincts but the young have less and less of that. Karl Garcias reaction to my posts a GOOD sign. He is part of the new generation that will stop thinking the old way, Robredo and Salceda first beacons, possibly Mar Roxas, definitely Bam Aquino. First Chinese type person I did not have a bad reaction to from the gut, like hey this guy is not “swapang” = selfish like the old “Chinese” or “Makati” types I admit I do not like because they often were like that. So Philippines needs a President who keeps stability while society grows together – Mar.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “When I think about that, vanity and jealousy are partners in crime. Neither provides the right kind of justice.” Correct – vanity is a weakness of the patriot crowd who thought that the nation would be theirs, spiritual successors of the Spanish masters. Rizal warned about the slaves of today becoming the tyrants of tomorrow and was right. Jealousy is a weakness of the masa, and the datus and wannabe datus and patriots who rouse them.

                Third indirect partner is selfishness. If the comprador leaders are too selfish, then they will provide a continued breeding ground for the vain and the jealous who want to be rousers. If they manage to spread the wealth, populists will have no chance with contented masses.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Finally, I think Mar’s running mate for VP should be Manny Villar to mobilize the masa crowd and give the patriot crowd the feeling that they are represented – soothe their vanity. Give the masa the feeling hey this is one of us, he made it, haciendero Mar is willing to accept him so he will accept US. Make the underdogs stop feeling like victims and mobilize them to be part of the national unity ticket that LP-NP would then represent.

                Not Trillanes, he is too much of a military bandit at heart waiting for his legitimate chance.

  7. josephivo says:

    But isn’t it a good thing that Ampatuan jr. is free (on bail)? It makes clear that for judges murdering with money is OK, murdering without money is not. And blame is necessary to keep this judicial circus alive.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Blame games all the time – from the Estrada impeachment to Arroyo in jail, Corona impeached, now Noynoy is being blamed – but in the end nothing seems to get better.

      No real lessons seem to be learned by anyone.

  8. Lardy Caparas says:

    I have been searching for the apt word to define this whole shebang. Then you said it, vanity. Perfect. And I can relate it to Ted Failon’s daily campaign to put this whole mess on the President’s shoulders. Vanity, not freedom of the press, is driving his crusade. He wants to maintain the armor of a free press, a radio anchor subservient to no one, who will not kneel before any powerful interest, except to himself, the paragon of independence. Yet, I cannot recall any instance he went hard after Noli Boy De Castro over anything. He did dedicate a morning to VP Binay’s troubles in order to prove his independent badge, then he let it go. He hasn’t let up on the President. He even bragged about busting the Aquino myth. He agreed on efforts to impeach the President over DAP for the “history books”. Vanity.

  9. PinoyInEurope says:

    Just a question: from what I have understood so far, Arroyo is still without due process. In fact George Clooney’s wife who is a human rights lawyer has questioned this – is that correct?

    If it is, then Noynoy himself set a bad example and should not be surprised at the backlash.

    And due process in the Philippines is questioned because it sometimes serves vested interests, the reports that Congressmen were paid to impeach Corona do not serve to improve trust. Anyway, wrong or right, certain groups are now trying to get even with Noynoy, that is clear.

    • We are supposed to have independent courts, being in a democratic government. Detaining GMA was s court decision, PNOY is not a dictator.

      Former CJ Corona was impeached, tried and convicted. That was political in nature and not judicial. Reports of payments made to accomplish that should be proven and not taken as truth and nothing but.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        OK, I did not know exactly what was with GMA. But knowing what happened in the Philippines before, people have difficulty believing Noynoy is any different from the others.

        In fact they say in the Philippines that people who act like saints are probably “santito” – hypocrites who are worse than the others and that is the suspicion many have of Noynoy.

        Trust in leaders is very difficult to establish in the Philippines, democracy was often only theoretical. And like I wrote, some groups are out to take revenge on Noynoy anyway.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that is correct. It is not totally without due process, but I believe the prosecutors are having trouble getting the kind of hard evidence that makes the charges stick. But Amal Clooney is also taking a lot of criticism for focusing on human rights for a person generally convicted in the Philippines in people’s minds, given the garci tapes and other deeds she has done, like stacking the Supreme Court with midnight appointments and a corrupt Chief Justice. Why is this privileged, pampered soul being made a human rights cause while people without means are suffering from abuses (like, why does she not take the “no divorce” laws to task for holding thousands and thousands of women in bondage; or the fact that the Philippines does not provide free education, one of the most basic of human rights)? I think Clooney is going to take a LOT of flak on this.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        The question is – where do you draw the line between justice and vindictiveness?

        Actually, an idea would be to give all the corrupt guys amnesty if they pay back the money they stole with interest into the National Treasury – it would help more than jailing people. Let Marcos be buried like the President he was – if Imelda coughs up the money they stole. But make sure that after a cut-off date, every act of corruption caught is rigorously punished. What happened before were the old days, when it was just a way of life. But having so many people in jail is going to cause even more trouble in the future because they, their families and allies will seek vengeance. Better let them out against heavy fines, ban them from politics for ever, forcing them to do business if they are capable of it.

        • “The question is – where do you draw the line between justice and vindictiveness?”

          Let the courts and the law draw the line. Putting corrupt people in jail (and not giving them presidential pardon) is one form of deterrent to that particular crime. If they are not jailed , or convicted but pardoned, politicians will conclude that crime does pay, and pay mightily, in billions and hundreds of millions.

          “What happened before were the old days, when it was just a way of life.”….. No, no, no nooo… we cannot, should not accept that line of thinking, it would be like, hey, let’s free all those people languishing in jail because their crimes were just a way of life in the old days. There should not be a time frame or cut off time, whatever… The law is the law, enacted for the good of the majority of citizens, there should be law and order, and politicians should know that, the executive and legislative, who are the implementers and authors, they should know better!

          Cory was buried like the President she was – simply. Her children did not asked for her to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Why can’t the Marcoses do the same, they are special, and entitled? Plunderer in a Heroes’ Burial ground?… geez..

          “But having so many people in jail is going to cause even more trouble in the future because they, their families and allies will seek vengeance.”

          If they seek vengeance, let the law deal with them, we cannot be held back doing right and legal things because of fear that their families and allies will seek vengeance.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Let the courts and the law draw the line.” In theory you are right. But courts in the Philippines are often an instrument of those in power – no matter from what side.

            “The law is the law, enacted for the good of the majority of citizens” In theory, yes.

            In practice the law was before seen as something imposed from above – postcolonial mentality being that many people saw the government as a foreign body, as the enemy. Or as an apparatus for personal gain, much like the colonial government used to be.

            “Plunderer in a Heroes’ Burial ground?” Why did all court cases against Marcos fail? Either you are for rule of law or you are not, anyone not convicted is legally innocent. The good that men do dies with them, the evil lives beyond the grave. So be it with Marcos.

            “If they seek vengeance, let the law deal with them” Again the question is who owns the law – in theory all citizens but who owns it in practice. Then by logic you should also deal legally with the armed bandits in the south – put them all in jail instead of coddling them.

            In fact if you are giving practical amnesty to armed killers, then one should try and give amnesty to thieves if they give back the money – both in order to heal national divisions. Or be rigorous against both – this is the inconsistency that I am trying to point out.

            • I give this government high marks for making it possible to put in place CJ Sereno who will serve the people under three administrations at least, that’s more or less 20 years, barring impeachment. That’s plenty of time to effect reforms in the judiciary department so that we can correct this problem: “courts in the Philippines are often an instrument of those in power – no matter from what side.” Let us see more Ongs and other errant justices, strip them of their positions, pensions and retirement benefits as deterrent for future erring justice and their ilks. Let’s monitor them, let’s be vigilant.

              Not all court cases against Marcos fail, proof is the billions (was it $4B, Andrew?) already awarded the Philippines by US and Swiss courts. In fairness to the former CJ Corona, he authored one of the majority decision regarding the ill gotten wealth of the Marcoses; and the left leaning groups stand to collect substantial amounts as victims of human rights violations during his 20 years or so rule.

              Amnesty, yes, for the sake of peace; tax amnesty – yes pa rin… agree ako dyan… so the government can collect the actual amount in full and not share with the crocodile examiners (99% for them, 1% for the government). For thieves, specially those in government? nah..they should learn their lesson and not benefit from retirement benefits… we are paying way too much already in retirement benefits even for those corrupt “politicos”. Freeze their ill gotten wealth, then confiscate and send them to jail, that way, future generations of politicians will take the warning.

              Let us try to correct the inconsistencies and not lose the battle for righteousness, law and order. Let’s not maintain the status quo, let’s not go with the flow but aim for good governance.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Let’s see if that works. But then nobody should be exempted. I still can’t believe that all who are on Aquino’s side are saints, being Filipino, but maybe things HAVE changed.

                But if you are jailing thieves, then jail armed bandits as well. If you are to be consistent.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                As for Binay, we should discipline ourselves somewhat. He is an ALLEGED thief until sentenced. I think he is a thief but if we are to go by the rule of law we must discipline ourselves. Arroyo being guilty in the “mind of the people” is also not a legal sentence, in fact the mind of the people can differ according to people, be the truth for one group and a witch hunt for others. There is a good reason for due process and restraint – it is about taming the baser instincts for revenge that we all have.

                I do not like this polarity some have either with yellow = good and everything else = bad – or the other way around. Most of the Philippines today is about this partisan bias.

                Too few people looking at: where are we now, what has to be done to make it better?

          • josephivo says:

            The South African way of Mandela was very elegant In a one time move: “If you confess to your sins and restitute, you are pardoned.” Must be possible in a Catholic nation too?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I think the main problem is described here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/01/the-philippines-myth-of-sovereignty/#comment-112823 and here https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112812 . Follow the money and you know what is happening.

              It is basically an issue of who has economic power and about sharing opportunities to earn money – and about not making large groups of the population feel left out of these opportunities. I think restitution and pardon would work – and then banning them completely from politics so that they can invest in business. As long as they are in jail they will cause trouble by trying to rouse the masa against the “Chinese” i.e. compradores.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Or you keep them in jail and make sure more masa have the chance to become Manny Villars. Sometimes I have experienced the Makati crowd as very pushy and doing everything to keep those who are not perceived as insiders OUT while pretending to be modern and open. If Mar Roxas represents that crowd they way I have experienced some of them, then he might have a lot of problems on his hands because the possible rabble-rousers will still be there. One should not forget that Hitler rose to power on economic problems and on widespread perception that one group of people were getting too rich. And a sense of victimhood – Binay plays a similar card with the masa so the way to make sure that card cannot be played is to PROVE to the masa that they have opportunities.

              • josephivo says:

                Scary…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                There are always two possibilities: this thread https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112797 shows the more positive possibility and how it might come about.

  10. Bert says:

    We are all vain sometimes. What are we doing here in Joe’s blog but looking for someone to blame for the blamings’ that’s happening all around in this Mamasapano incident and other incidents. IMHO it’s just a normal reaction, a very universal human reaction, not purely Filipino.

    Proof: Joe kicking the table then blame the wife for placing it there.

    • Joe America says:

      My old college professor said all acts can be broken down in terms of direction, weight and intensity. Yes, everybody blames. It is natural. That is the direction. But there is a lot more of it in the Philippines than (from my experience) in the US, and I would expect elsewhere. That is the weight. And the blaming here reaches insane proportions, like to demand a president resign because one of his generals lost a lot of men to a very hostile hostile force. That is the intensity.

      All have direction. The Philippines excels at weight and intensity.

      • nherrera01 says:

        I like what your old college professor said about acts capable of being broken down in terms of direction, weight and intensity. I will keep that in mind. Good point. Thanks for that.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Unite this weight and channel the intensity in a positive, united way, then you have a very strong and constructive modern Philippines. Pugad Baboy comics is full of weight, literally, but with a middle-class rationality that observes the Philippine situation well.

  11. PinoyInEurope says:

    One question I have asked myself all the time, now I will ask it because some dust has settled: could it be that some of the overconfidence in the Mamasapano mission was because of the euphoria that came with the Pope’s visit? Admitting that I lost my religious beliefs long ago…

    And the search for blame is because it is hard for some people to swallow that there are situations and places where the Gods will not help you?

    • Joe America says:

      Ummm, top of mind reaction is that that is a stretch. I think Napenas was obsessive about getting Marwan, and let that overrule good judgment. Others then failed Napenas.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Maybe he was under too much pressure to finally be successful. Pressure to succeed is as much a part of the Filipino mentality as ridicule and blame. The others who failed him are typical for the Filipino lack of teamwork – outside family.

        But I do think the public reaction to the SAF 44 had a bit to do with: the Pope was just here and blessed us, and now we lose 44 guys to those MUSLIMS?

        • Joe America says:

          Public reaction, yes, that could explain the intensity of the reaction. Still . . . still . . . I think it was packaged and sold by malcontents more than anything, where malcontents include crooks, political opponents, extreme leftists, weird bishops and the tabloid press. Yes, maybe the Pope did bring in a sense of blessedness that was offended, and that made the bed fertile. Okay. I concede . . . having talked in a circle . . .

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            My Tamil grocer’s and former child soldier’s take on it is that the SAF 44 may have been intentionally sacrificed by someone who wanted to cause trouble, or at least the situation just happened and was used by troublemakers. https://joeam.com/2015/03/05/how-the-left-lost-me-and-how-i-lost-respect-for-gabriela/#comment-112361

            In retrospect I find the strong TV coverage of the caskets coming home, the presence of Ramos, Binay, Bongbong and even Imelda at the airport strange. Smells like hitting back to me. I mean Ramos criticizing Noynoy after the fact – he could have given him a phone call before, come on Noy make sure you are there I think it is better for you. Or some quarters did what Filipinos call “tulak” to Noynoy – they pushed him into the situation to get him into trouble, an aspect of the Filipino crab mentality. One should also not forget the influence of Ramos and the old “blue” crowd on PNP, it could be that Noynoy took Purisima because he feared the rests of the old dictatorship. The ghost of Marcos still hangs over the country, which is why I believe he should finally be buried somewhere.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              But the exorcism may soon come, Joe gave me the catalyst for it: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112829 – actually I also hope that what is happening now is the final, scary exorcism of the ghosts of the past that haunt the Philippines. One scary embodiment of these ghosts were Tingting and Peping Cojuangco. FVR and Noynoy are still partly possessed by some of these ghosts which explains some crazy actions. Philippines is a tribal society and needs good voodoo to heal, a political mananambal, someone from the bright side of the force who is a healer, not those from the dark side, the mangkukulam that are trying to wake the dark side of history. But those who want to heal the country must stay away from power, must remain neutral, anyone who carries the Ring of Power is in danger of being engulfed by it, the Force must be used wisely.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Come to think of it, I have realized why I left the Philippines – it was an unconscious choice, typically Filipino. But I realize that I could have become either a Saruman or a Gollum or dead – with my talent for rhetoric plus my own vanity and ambition combined.

                My recent experiences on this blog made me realize how powerful these forces still can be even far away. My learning curve continues and hope those who read continue to benefit on their own learning curves. Thanks Joe Kenobi for your wise and good reminders.

  12. jameboy says:

    Blame and finding guilt are part and parcel of incidents like the Mamasapano killings. Anything about wasting of lives or destruction by human intervention is a cause to blame and assign guilt. And rightly so that it fell on the doorstep of Malacanang for it involves the PNP a department that falls under the authority of the Commander in Chief, the president. However, the blaming and guilt peddling is not as important as to the subsequent reaction and decision the president will take in addressing the issue. The all out war, though a bit delayed, is the proper step to take given the circumstances.

    • Bert says:

      Agree, jameboy. What I’m uncomfortable with right now is the blaming game being played out about the Mamasapano incident between the President and General Napenas group. I sincerely believe that the President should be above petty squabbling.. I’m an avid fan/supporter of President Noynoy ever since the election and it saddened me that I have to express disappointment with such occurrence. Now I’m into the blame game myself and my hero is my target. I should just have kept my mouth shut but can’t.

      • Bert, I agree too. I am a supporter but he’s not acting very statesmanlike with his recent blaming of Napeñas without mentioning Purisima. I don’t like to criticise him on social media because there is already too much hatred towards the president and I don’t want to add to it but I am comfortable to do it here since almost everyone here is rational and opinions will be constructive.

        Do not agree with all out war, Jameboy. it is never the proper step to take given the history and circumstances. This is where I agree and am supportive of the president.

        • jameboy says:

          Adrian C.

          Regardless of whether one is a supporter or not PNoy deserved the critical observation he is getting regarding the Mamasapano debacle. Criticize if we must because that is the essence of democracy. And we help the President by being forthright and vigilant in search of truth and justice.

          Whether we agree or not, an all out war decision is always on the table, unfortunately. With 44 PNP-SAF dead by massacre, I don’t think brain-storming or prayer rally will do the trick. Just saying.

      • Joe America says:

        With the good, we get the bad. Mr. Aquino’s determination, not unlike that of his father, leads him to do things that are not healthy. He seems to be struggling to rationalize his non-involvement, that of his suspended pipeline to Napenas, Purisima, and Napenas’ decisions that went bad. He is also awaiting the oft delayed Board of Inquiry report in his traditional “due process” way of working on troublesome issues. Unfortunately, he (or his communications people) have not put the words together that would release the pent-up emotion. So people like Waldon Bello blow up.

        He needs to say something like, “I wish we could go back and do it differently. I am so very sorry with the way this has turned out, for the deaths and the pains of the families. I’m sorry that the nation is so fractured in looking for reasons “why” when the only reason is, we tried to do something good, get Marwan, but it went wrong in so many ways. My part in it was to rely upon my good friend and long-serving servant of this nation, Chief Purisima, who was suspended. I wanted his wealth of knowledge and made the mistake of not bringing Secretary Roxas and Gazmin into the decision-making. Others played their parts, some well, some not so well. I look forward to the reports being prepared now, for there will be lessons in them that we should apply to not make the same mistakes again. And we also ought not continue to make mistakes in the heat of our emotions. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is an important document, a good document. We ought not sacrifice it. Study it. Make it better, yes. But our best future is to unify the nation by recognizing the richness of our diversity. I hope we work toward those ends so we end these conflicts, Filipino against Filipino. Thank you. Good evening.”

        • karl garcia says:

          I mentioned my problem above, because we really have lend an ear to all parties, It is all borderline nagging, the I don’t really want to call them old farts group are setting up a dinner discussion to discuss nothing except perhaps the menu, the lawyer of Napenas who if not a relative was a boyhood buddy of my dad’s only living sibling,wants to be heard out, everybody wants to have their version. We just listen…. hard to the ears, but good to the stomach.

        • jameboy says:

          Joe Am,

          The second paragraph of your post, minus about the BBL and the personalities mentioned, is mainly what the president should have done in the early hours of the Mamasapano killings. He could have fill the moments of silence and pacify the nerves stunned by confusion with expression of grief and sorrow with those words you wrote. And people, especially the relatives and loved ones of those who died would have been more welcoming of him, more being one or closer to him during the dark moments in their lives. Detractors would have been gagged and stopped on their tracks because the President has embraced and assured everyone in times of mourning brought about by the tragedy.

          It reminds me of a line of song that goes like this, ‘Feelings, nothing more than feelings’. Sadly, that was what was missing on the onset of the flow of information about the Mamasapano killings.

        • That would be a great idea, in an ideal world. As PinoyInEurope explained above about people being honest and saying sorry. The last time we heard a president say the words “I am sorry”, all hell broke lose.

          It’s catch 22 for the president. People are demanding he say sorry and once he does, it will backfire on him.

          • Joe America says:

            I was reflecting (whilst doing the dishes) that people hereabouts (and maybe everywhere) do seem to demand accountability, not to accept and forgive, but to extract greater punishment. I don’t think that’s the way Jesus intended it to work.

          • jameboy says:

            But the last president who said “I am sorry” did so for being guilty of deliberately doing something wrong. In PNoy’s case it would be an expression of grief and sorrow for the tragic event that cost the lives of people. It would be an expression of national mourning and not about contrition for doing something wrong or evil.

        • He should say what you wrote word for word.

          Or just go full emotional in TV like when he is mad. The do you think I am a monster to want your husbands dead? You don’t know how hard it is to be the one who gave the go ahead
          The Paawa na Galit move.

  13. Pallacertus says:

    My good Lord, this has been a learning experience. I’ve got nothing of substance to add here, really — I’d just like to thank our Chief of Wildlife for sharing all this with us, and personally for giving me a point of view I’ve never so much as thought of was thinkable before now. This is why I go to sites like this — a point of view is always welcome, and the more the better, if only to keep the ball rolling.

    (When Voltaire wrote, “Travel’s the thing”, he wasn’t kidding, he really wasn’t.)

  14. jameboy says:

    What I’m uncomfortable with right now is the blaming game being played out about the Mamasapano incident between the President and General Napenas group.
    ========
    Sad but true. It shouldn’t be. My take on that is the President should take the fall and do what is necessary to get justice for those who died. Of course he has to deal with Napenas but not in a manner like what is happening now.

    I said that because even among politicians there is such a thing as professionalism.

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