Why Mar Roxas should run for President, and why you don’t need to defame Grace Poe to make it happen

Grace Poe and Father

Grace Poe and Father


by 2BFair

Snazzy title isn’t it.  I’m sure I got your attention, since most of the readers of this blog would like to think that we are all the intellectuals, and we are different from the masa because we’ve mastered the english language (for the most part), and we have the luxury to peruse, and at times opine and comment on articles.  Heck, we even have the time to argue with the article author and fellow commenters.  Funny how we believe that the masa just listens to campaign speeches, and is swayed by the song and dance.

Though the masa doesn’t have time to read the broadsheets from headlines to classifieds, they are pretty much in touch.  In the Philippines, the headlines, most often than not, are of politics.  Politicians in the Philippines, famous or infamous, a re sometimes more popular than actors.  Farmers, fisher-folk, and call center agents alike, are glued to the radio in the morning, on their way to work.  As are cab drivers, bus drivers, and students.  A good number are able to thumb through tabloid papers.  Then they all get to watch the news on TV, at home around supper time.  Their sources of information are just the same as ours.

What they don’t usually have access to is insider information, and/or gossip.

“Grace Poe is the daughter of Marcos.”

“Grace Poe is coddling Binay.”

“Grace Poe is a trapo.”

Such thin arguments in order to boost the hard-to-find stellar leadership reputation of Mar Roxas.  But sounds darn interesting, though.  And sounds like great gossip material.  Sounds like the aim of a black ops group intent on spreading negative propaganda on a person that they perceive as a threat to their candidate.  Even if that said person has said time and time agai n that she has no plans to run.  Even if that said person has shown that even as a neophyte she is pushing herself to do what she believes is right, to do right by her constituents.

Grace Poe has been in government for only 4 years.  2 as an appointee, and 2 as an elected official.  Yet a good many readers of this blog criticize her, as if to compare her to a seasoned politician who has been playing the game for 13 years.

Now before you start composing your angry comments to this article, hear me out.

I believe someone must run against Binay for president in 2016.  Binay should not become president, or else the country’s reputation of stemming corruption will all go to waste.

But you need someone winnable.  If you pit a losing candidate against a charismatic flesh-presser like Binay, then you might as well just support and vote for Binay.

Roxas is trying his darndest.  He is listening to his spin-doctors, on how to fix his hair, what glasses to wear, how to walk, how to look solemn, how to stand like a leader.  All things that he must do.  But is this enough?

A leader must not only be good, and love his country, but a leader must inspire.  A leader must make the people feel good about the country.  A leader must give hope.

GNP, GDP, ratings, blah, blah, blah …  Hire darn finance geniuses.  But leave the leadership to leaders.

A true leader doesn’t need armchair intellectuals to dig and search and make up stories of how his leadership shines through.

Ok, Joe, this will irritate you …

Ensuring the security detail of the Pope.  BFD.  So he can run a security agency.  He didn’t in fact design the detail.  Gen. Espina did.

He brought the BPO industry to the Philippines.  He did not.  U.S. firms were looking for alternatives to India at a time when all customer services were shipping overseas.  What other country in the world has relatively cheap labor, but has a huge english-speaking population?  The Philippines.  Chalk that one to U.S. outsourcing efforts.

He is bringing up the level of disaster preparedness.  How did he do that exactly?  I think it’s grossly unfair to take the recognition away from all of the government agencies and NGO’s that have spearheaded the efforts despite the red tape.

To all those who freely throw around the gossip that Grace Poe is the love child of Marcos.  What jerks!  How would you feel if your mother, your sister, or your daughter were the subject of such hurtful story-telling.  Just because her aunt was a frequent visitor of Malacanan, automatically she’s Marcos’ lover?!  And then because this same aunt’s sister cannot have her own biological child and decides that she wants to adopt an innocent abandoned baby, then this baby must be the love child of Marcos!  How awful your lives must be for you to think such things.  Let alone talk about people in such manner.  And to have the audacity to suggest that she have a DNA test to settle the gossip once and for all?  Where do you get off??  What horrible moster suggests that a person that he or she does not know personally, go take a DNA test to prove or disprove who their biological parents are, just to say “oh” or “I told you so”.  And then to accuse that adopted person of not being forthcoming or secretive because they think she hasn’t made efforts to find out who her parents are?  Have you read her story?  Have you listened to it from her own mouth?  Shame on you.

Coddling Binay.  I guess because she is one of 23 senators and God knows how many government personalities and influential businessmen and celebrities that have not openly condemned Binay, I guess then she MUST be coddling him.

I guess it never occurred to the people that profess this, that up until Binay said that PNoy doesn’t trust Mar Roxas at all, and this is why Roxas wasn’t privy to the Mamasapano plan – this was the only time that Roxas ever mentioned the Makati buildings corruption issue, and not even an enlightened mention, just a snide jab.  In fact Mar Roxas never made a single statement on the PDAF scandal.

Trapo.  Traditional Politician. What in people’s minds is a traditional politician.  Reading a lot of the comments in this blog, I think it simply means a politician – someone who barters in favors to get his way, to stay in office, to gain higher office.  Jeez then I guess Mar Roxas and Binay are just as guilty.

He gallantly stepped aside for PNoy.  Did he really?  Step aside, yes.  But gallantly, maybe not.  The word around the political and social circles (ah insider info) is that there was a vote by the top honchos of the Liberal Party, to include Frank Drilon and Butch Abad, where majority voted PNoy to be standard bearer.  And Mar was furious.  Making calls to all his close supporters, cussing, and ranting.  Well, who can blame him.  His family had spent millions in soft campaigning up to that point, and had Cory not passed, then PNoy would not have even been considered.  Of course Mar called a press conference to show the world that it was he and he alone that decided to step aside.  The party allowed him to save face, as well they should have.  PNoy didn’t follow with an announcement immediately.  He waited a week.  Roxas’ frustration was evident when the announcement of the PNoy came in Club Filipino that fateful day.  You could see a sullen Mar Roxas, who refused to make any comments.  No sound bytes saying congratulations to PNoy.  No rah rah statement for the party.

Mar Roxas is a good finance person.  He’s a Wharton man and worked as an investment banker on Wall Street.  Had his brother not passed away, maybe he would still be in New York.  Mar Roxas incorporated the Roxas holding company.  He set the foundation to grow the sugar and real estate holdings companies ten-fold into a billion-peso conglomerate.

But on the political scene, Mar Roxas still fails to shine.  He was a fence-sitter in the Senate.  Nothing of note happened while he was DOTC secretary.  Time and time again we see, hear of his short-comings.  He has been the target of media that hones in on his bloopers, making him out to be a buffoon.  Everybody gets a good chuckle when they see his wet hair or his motorcycle wipe-out.  But you ask the sam e people if they think he’s a bad manager or a bad person, and of course they would say no.  People know Mar Roxas is a generally a decent person.  They know he’s rich, so he’s not after stealing from government coffers.  But a true leader also knows whom to surround himself with.  Mar Roxas surrounds himself with the likes of Korina Sanchez, Abaya, Butch Abad, and Avelino Cruz.  While all seem clean on the surface (save for Avelino Cruz, Arroyo’s former Secretary of Defense), these are the types that would not boost his image.  Sanchez is quick to use her celebrity and make comments that are divisive and embarrassing (remark about Binay’s complexion, and having a statements tussle with Anderson Cooper).  Abaya is smart guy, no doubt about it.  Just check out his resume.  But he is a poor manager. He has done nothing for the flailing image of the DOTC.  Illegal buses continued to increase in Mar’s term as DOTC head, and the numbers just kept on growing in Abaya’s.  The fly-by-night MRT maintenance contract that happened in Mar’s term, is still enforced up to this day in Abaya’s term.  Butch Ab ad is a smart guy.  The idea of the DAP was genius. But when Abad and Cesar Purisima started getting creative with the releases, and their boss, PNoy was bearing the brunt of the criticism, Butch Abad was nowhere to defend his boss.  In fact, he just about pointed the attacks right back to his boss. The right thing to do would’ve been to fall on his sword.  Take the blame and spare the President the ire of the blood thirsty mob.  Then there is “The Firm”’s Avelino “Nonong” Cruz.  The same operator of Gloria Arroyo that is responsible for many questionable military contracts including the sale of Mike Arroyo’s second hand choppers. In 2004, he lead his firm to trump up the allegation that FPJ was not a Filipino citizen.  He knew that he had no leg to stand on with this allegation, but as black ops go, the goal was to scare off the opposition’s funders in the middle of an expensive election.  And that devil got what he orchestrated, FPJ’s funds began to dry up during the Supreme Court hearings.  To the credit of the Supreme Court, that case was thrown out swiftly and justly.   Rumor has it that he is planning the same d-ck move on Grace Poe.

But let’s take Poe out of the picture.  Let’s imagine for a while that she is not a contender for the presidency.  Then who would you be left with?  Binay’s numbers are on a free-fall.  But if Mar Roxas is the only other contender, then Binay may still win.  The only time Roxas got double digits on recent surveys was when he ran ads in the Visayas.  Now he’s back to single digits.  People just don’t like him enough to make him president.

There is always hope that someone will emerge in the 11th hour, as PNoy did.  But in the chance that there is none, do we really want Mar Roxas to be our only hope?  In a country of over 100 million people, Mar Roxas can’t be our only hope.

But if there is no other, and we’ve pinned all our hopes on Roxas, then by all means, let’s build him up.  But we don’t need to trample on Poe to do this.  Roxas should be able to stand on his own merits.  If we can find some that are worthy enough.

It’s because Roxas is doing so poorly in public perception, and Grace Poe con tinues to state that she has no plans to run, that people are taking a second look at Duterte.  Maybe Duterte doesn’t have Luzon.  Maybe he never will.  But he surely has a good chance to swing Visayas and Mindanao.

Before you all jump on me on this, no, I’m not a Duterte fan either.  His big problem is his Human Rights violations.  Plus no one really understands his whole Federalism campaign.  Give more autonomy to governors?  Really?

Anyway, admittedly I am a fan of Grace Poe.  She inspires me.  When I listen to hear I don’t see politics as usual.  I see a teacher, a mom, a working woman who happens to be a senator, who seems to be doing her best and trying to make a difference.

Show up at the Makati blue ribbon hearings you say?  And steal the thunder from Pimentel, Trillanes, and Cayetano?  What about the other 16 senators?  (3 simply can’t, because they’re detained)  To what end?  Will her celebrity add to the conviction of people that Binay is guilty?  Or will the country just perceive it as “oh now we know for sure she wants to run for President”.  Is it the right thing to do?  Maybe.  But why does it have to be Grace Poe?

Why do people think she voraciously attacked Alan Purisima?  Was she in the wrong to interpellate him.  The argument is why cross-examine Purisima and not Binay.  Well, first Jojo Binay needs to show up at a hearing for him to be questioned.  Second, who then should question Alan Purisima regarding his unexplained wealth?  Grace Poe is the chair of the committee on public order.  She is not the chair of blue ribbon sub committee hearing the Makati buildings issue.

Then the argument is that Purisima’s modest mansion in the province is nowhere near the cost of what Binay has plundered.  Oh it’s so modest, I guess then no one should investigate it then.  People, what we saw in the Purisima hearings was a neophyte senator who was up to the task and proceeded as best she thought.  Arm chair pundits be damned.  Is it possible that she had possibly helped stem the tide of irregular money and property wealth building wi thin the ranks of the PNP?

I am not sure if the desire of this blog site’s readers is for Binay not to become President or for Mar Roxas to become President, or both.

But people, you don’t need to do this at the expense of Grace Poe’s reputation.  Anyone who truly believes that Grace Poe is not doing her job, please cast the first stone.

Stop saying she should not run for President, but in the same breath say she is Vice President material.  Isn’t the Vice President the same as the President in waiting?  She shouldn’t be President, but if the President dies or is impeached in the middle of his term, then it’s ok for Grace Poe to be President?  Oy vey.

I know there will be a slew of comments.  And I will try to answer them when I can.  I do have a day job, like many of us.

But let me make sure some things are answered and out of the way …

  1. I don’t want Binay to be President
  2. I don’t want Duterte to be President
  3. I don’t think Mar Roxas is a bad person.  In fact I think he’s a good guy.
  4. I do like Grace Poe. As a senator. As a person. I’m not trying to convince my fellow readers that she should be President or Vice President. I’m just sick of people spreading gossip about a good person and saying that she’s no good and a trapo because she doesn’t attack Binay (neither does Mar).

We don’t need to pin all our hopes on Mar Roxas. But if you believe we do, then let’s not fall into the mud-slinging game. Let’s hope and pray that things take a turn for the better for Mar’s image. Let’s not invent his strengths. Let’s hope and pray that he does a few things that will inspire a nation. Let’s hope and pray that PNoy gives him his endorsement, before PNoy’s popularity completely erodes.

360 Responses to “Why Mar Roxas should run for President, and why you don’t need to defame Grace Poe to make it happen”
  1. PinoyInEurope says:

    A truly good regional leader is Governor Joey Salceda of Albay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joey_Salceda – but I doubt he will want to leave his home to deal with the country.

    Albayanos have a strong sense of community and are not only resilient, but antifragile because they regularly have to deal with their greatest friend and worst enemy Mount Mayon. Salceda builds on that foundation which he would NOT have in the entire Philippines.

    I illustrate how Salceda, a former bank manager, applies modern risk management to disaster prevention and relief in the following posting:


    He has the cojones, competence and compassion a true leader need – the red, yellow and blue aspects of leadership I detail in a major posting within josephivos mosque thread. Any Presidentiable – I think he will not want – who comes close to being like him nationally?

    • 2BFair says:

      There you go. Choices. Salceda is good for Albay. I wonder how he’d fare on the national scene.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Exactly – I see two major problems on the national scene:

        – no national sense of community similar to Albay’s regional sense,

        – no single NATIONAL leader with the same combination of strengths.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          So the solution is:

          – find a NATIONAL leader who has the best combination of the three strengths: cojones, competence and compassion – and the least weaknesses. Most of all, that leader should be a team builder BECAUSE

          – he or she should put together a team where the combination of strengths in the team offset the weaknesses, and have in the team

          – PEOPLE who can address the various communities within the nation and slowly form a national sense of community, overcoming the distrust among them

          Mar’s weakness in choosing the right people disqualifies him in my opinion. The really good leader needed by the Philippines must not be perfect, but he must be two things first:

          – a LEADER and

          – a TEAM BUILDER

          who can find the right people with the right strengths to do the right things for the country.

        • 2BFair says:

          True, Luzon seems to hog the attention of the administration and the legislature. At least that’s what we see in the news.

          Regarding the ideal leader, if we can only get someone with the dynamism of Grace Poe, the business acumen of Mar Roxas and the maka mass of Jojo Binay

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            If we are talking about Binay – his focus on public services minus the corruption and populism would be the ideal aspect to have when it comes to masses.

            Take some of Dutertes team-building capabilities (he has Muslim and Lumad sidekicks in Davao) minus the dictatorial mentality.

            Like I wrote above, the TEAM-BUILDING and LEADERSHIP aspects are the most vital, since there is no ideal leader, we need one who can form a good team and lead it.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              A THIRD aspect is important as well: the COMMUNITY-BUILDING aspect. Duterte has much of that, conferring with local leaders in Davao and nationwide on federalism.

              If he were not also a fascist cum gangster he would be THE perfect leader.

              I will summarize the different aspects I have synthesized and distilled later, because these aspects should be what we look for if we want a strong and prosperous nation for all.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Luzon seems to hog the attention of the administration and the legislature” – not even the whole of Luzon. Bikol is also mainly ignored, good for us because they can do less harm and let us run things by ourselves. Albay is prosperous, modern and equitable.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      The ancient Bikol epic Ibalong says a lot about all aspects of leadership we can learn from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibalong

      “Next to come was Handyong. With his followers, he fought the monsters of the land. But Oryol, a wily serpent who appeared as a beautiful maiden with a seductive voice, Handyong could not destroy. In the end, Oryol helped Handyong clear the region of ferocious beasts.

      With Ibálong rid of wild creatures, Handyong turned to making wise laws and planting the land to linsa and rise. A period of invention followed: boat, farm tools, weaving looms, claywares, even a syllabary. Together, the people built tree houses.

      Then came a great flood that changed the features of the land. Three volcanoes erupted simultaneously. A strip of seacoast rose from the sea bottom in Pasakaw. The Malbogong Islet formed in the Bikol River. The Inarihan River altered its course. A lofty mountain sank at Bato, forming a lake. A Dagatnong settlement was wiped out along Kalabangan Gulf.

      Despite the calamities, Ibálong grew powerful under Old Chief Handyong,whose constant companion, by then, was the young Bantong. Although given a thousand men to destroy the half man and half beast Rabot who could change its enemies into rocks, Bantong slew it single-handedly – to the loud cheers of his thousand warriors that reverberated throughout the forests and mangroves swamps. Brought to Ligmanan, the corpse of Rabot was horrible to behold. The Great Handyong himself was shocked at the sight.

      At this point, the Ibálong epic-fragment ends abruptly, even as Kadungung promises to continue the story some other time”

      Fight when you need to, then concentrate on building a prosperous land. Know how to deal with seductive and smart females like Oryol who Handyong managed to impress, making her his wife and loyal ally – something Marcos did NOT manage with Imelda.

      Deal with calamities, rebuild the land after they happen – other versions of the legend say that the volcano Malinao, where the devil who was the vain and jealous brother of god who resides in Mayon, erupted and blew its top because the devil was mad at Handyong for having taken his lovely daughter Oryol away. That he set our land on fire and a big wave came from the sea to extinguish it – volcanic eruption and tsunami. That Handyong and Oryol, the ancient king and queen of Ibalon (Bikol) rebuilt their land afterwards.

      These major principles of leadership, modernized, are necessary.

  2. Percival says:

    It is not defaming Poe but pointing out a possibility. It can’t be denied that her facial features have striking semblance to that of her supposed to be biological mother and some to her supposed to be biological father. Just coincidence?

    What if Grace Poe were really the daughter of Ferdinand Marcos and aware of it. Where will her loyalty be? Will she support the continuing effort of the government in making the Marcos family accountable for all their sins and in recovering the remaining huge amount of ill gotten wealth of her supposed despotic father in favor of the government? Will water be thicker than blood?

    If she became president, what would she do with regards to Binay, Erap, Jinggoy, Revilla, Enrile who are her compadre, ninong and friends. Will she be willing to turn her back on them for her country?

    If you can give a convincing answer to these questions, then Poe it is.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Looking at it from the positive point of view, she might have the undeniable leadership qualities of her biological father minus the brutality and corruption – he was THE LEADER (direct German translation: DER FÜHRER) of the Philippines for a quite a while after all.

      She might in fact be able to atone for the sins of her father by recovering his ill gotten wealth and harnessing it for the good of the nation. It would exorcise his evil ghost.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Ibalon (Bikol) had Oryol, the daughter of the devil himself as one if its first queens after all.

    • 2BFair says:

      There is no resemblance. That’s reaching. And even if there were that doesn’t mean a DNA match. Otherwise Willie Nepumoceno would be the blood relative of a LOT of people including Marcos. Stop with the Marcos angle already. Either you didn’t read the article through or you have an unhealthy infatuation with Marcos
      BTW, Poe was one of the first to sign the blue ribbon report finding culpability in Enrile, Jinggoy and Revilla

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “There is no resemblance.” even if there were it wouldn’t matter, see my above post.

        “Poe was one of the first to sign the blue ribbon report finding culpability in Enrile, Jinggoy and Revilla” – GOOD. Facts to counter fears and suspicions – very constructive. Thanks.

        • 2BFair says:

          Cheers PinoyInEurope 🙂

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Cheers 2BFair. You are like me constructively using this blog. Let say thanks to Joe for being truly constructive, fair and open-minded and allowing so many different voices. 🙂

            • 2BFair says:

              Yes PIE, Joe’s cool that way … I expected much hesitation on his part to post my blog but in fact he did the opposite and praised the article as a good rebuttal that can spark good debate (paraphrasing here) …

              • Joe America says:

                @2BFair, I one had a boss when I was in my 30s as a young executive on the rise, one part overconfidence and one part insecurity and jealously of others who were doing well, too. The boss was a nitpicker for details, for grammar the way he liked it. The words “therefore” and “however” could not be used within a sentence. They had to start a new sentence. His red-inked additions to the language and cross-outs would fill all the margins. At first, I resented that. I took it personally. Then one day, I took my original draft, and the final draft, which incorporated his edits, and it was amazing how good the final report was. Two heads are better than one. Two opinions on a blog are better than one. If we can set our egos aside, which is incredibly hard to do, we can, as a team, create a product that is so much better than one person’s work. That is the secret of this blog, and why I welcome rebuttals that focus on the issue, as yours does. People have to think about it and figure out the answer for themselves.

                Our product consists of the ideas that people carry away from the blog, which includes both the article and the discussion. It is part you, part me, part everybody who chips in.

                Like, it’s good. Some days it’s really, really good. Who cares who we are, at an ego level. We are just passing through. But the ideas are seeds, and grow, and spread, and remain a part of the character of the Philippines. Like, man, the ideas become our little part of the Philippines.

                We ought to do it well, eh? Inclusive, not exclusive under some delusion that only we have the right answers.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Inclusive, not exclusive under some delusion that only we have the right answers.” Yeah!

                And always remember one thing: “those that fight dragons all the time are in danger of becoming dragons themselves”. From Siegfried Nietzsche, but applicable to Cayetano.

                Also applicable IMHO to Noynoy, the self-righteousness I see in him – even though he is on the right path, is a trap. Self-righteousness led to the Inquisition and to Salem.

              • Joe America says:

                Two very keen lessons there. Dragon fighters becoming dragons. Self-righteousness becoming intolerance.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Adolf Hitler was like Philippine leftists who read Lenin but don’t get it – he definitely read Nietzsche but didn’t get what he was really saying, became a terrible dragon when all he wanted in the beginning was to alleviate Weimar-era poverty and stop carpetbaggers.

      • Percival says:

        “Either you didn’t read the article through or you have an unhealthy infatuation with Marcos”
        I think I already made my point and I have no intention of pursuing it and argue further. I respect your opinion and I hope you respect mine. Just please don’t make judgements on those who don’t share your views. Thanks anyway for your response.

        • 2BFair says:

          Not judging. Just making a point. I do respect commenters’ opinions even when they’re debatable, but not when they’re beating a dead horse. Please do continue to share your thoughts on the other finer points. Peace Percival

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          ““Either you didn’t read the article through or you have an unhealthy infatuation with Marcos”” – the entire Philippines has an unhealthy OBSESSION with Marcos. His body is not yet buried and his ghost still haunts us.

          The division within Philippine society is still deep between blues (former KBL color) and yellows (Noynoy supports) – and the polarization prevents constructive discourse. Not only in GRP, also here from time to time, everything from the “OTHER SIDE” is rejected.

          We have to exorcise his ghost and move on to solve the present problems of the country – more on that in detail here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112888

          • Percival says:

            2bfair to 2BFair, I admit to have an “infatuation” with Marcos although to me it is not unhealthy because it encourages vigilance on my part. How can the country move on when the ghost of Marcos still haunts the nation, when Marcos’ version of history largely dominates the social media. It is so disgusting how the youth are being brainwashed into believing that “the Philippine was the richest country in Asia at the time Marcos was ousted and it was Cory who brought the country down” Well, my son told me that most of his friends believe so, that Ferdinand is a hero and Bongbong will be our savior. Isn’t it alarming how our youth are being used and manipulated? How can the nation move on when the ghost is insidiously possessing the souls of our youth and bastardizing their morals? It is sickening that these supposed ‘future of the nation’ are using poor Josh (PNoy’s nephew who is a special child), making fun of the boy and his condition on their social media accounts and encouraging sharing of their postings just to ridicule and mock the President. Where is the conscience? Where is the future?
            This is where my fear lies. What could Grace Poe do to erase the legacy of her father?

            “BTW, Poe was one of the first to sign the blue ribbon report finding culpability in Enrile, Jinggoy and Revilla”

            Don’t forget, JV Ejercito, the brother of Jinggoy, is also one of the 13 senators who signed the report. But he was also vigorously lawyering for pro Binay resource persons in the first 2 hearings of the Makati Parking Building.

            Poe need not attend the hearings but she needs to tell the public where she stands.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “How can the country move on when the ghost of Marcos still haunts the nation, when Marcos’ version of history largely dominates the social media. It is so disgusting how the youth are being brainwashed into believing that “the Philippine was the richest country in Asia at the time Marcos was ousted and it was Cory who brought the country down” Well, my son told me that most of his friends believe so, that Ferdinand is a hero and Bongbong will be our savior. Isn’t it alarming how our youth are being used and manipulated? How can the nation move on when the ghost is insidiously possessing the souls of our youth and bastardizing their morals?”

              Postcommunist Romania has similar problems. Democracy after a terrible communist regime was a tough job, it took years to get out of poverty. The youth yearn for Ceaucescu, the old military and government apparatus does its part to brainwash them.

              A balanced vision is necessary, similar to mine: https://joeam.com/2015/03/10/vindictive-justice/#comment-112888 – and I am a person who was jailed during Marcos time and had to leave the country. I acknowledge Makoys accomplishments and see his big failures. I respect Noynoy accomplishments, but see his not-so-big failures as well. The too radical aspects of Noynoyism, the yellow cult, are taking on aspects of self-righteousness and alienating a lot of people. That is why both sides need to move on, to end obsession.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Ceaucescu and Marcos got along well. Romania was one of the first communist countries Marcos established diplomatic relations to.

                Both went to the balcony with their wife to say goodbye to the last people who still liked them, one in 1986, one in 1989. Differences:

                1. Elena fortunately did not sing – she couldn’t.

                2. Ceaucescu was a shoemaker, Marcos a lawyer.

                3. No Russian helicopter came to bring out the Ceaucescus.

              • Percival says:

                Ceaucescu and his wife were tried and convicted and eventually executed by firing squad. There was justice hence closure. Whatever is left is just a past that can be forgotten in time. Whereas the Marcoses were never punished. 29 years passed, their dynasty still dominate the political scene. The only son continues to steal (100M php PDAF case). How can we forget? Do we just have to close our eyes in blind acceptance because we cannot do anything about it? Continuously condemning their greed for power and money is OBSESSION?

                Move on of course. No other option here. But in what direction? Sa tuwid pero baku-bakung daan?

                You were a victim, I was just a witness. But reality is, we, including the present and future generations are victims of Marcos and the succeeding administrations. The tuwid na daan of PNoy, gave us a slight hope. But then, the goodness of PNoy is so much imperfect and his greatest weakness is the ghost of Marcos,

                Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Marcos. I still believe there is goodness in every human being. And I don’t believe in perfection either.

                To go back to the topic, my choices for 2016: 1-Roxas, 2-Robredo, 3-Poe. But I might still change my mind.

                Have to stop here. I am not good at arguments. I have to grope for words, and have a hard time in articulating my thoughts. I don’t even know if I made my point clear here.

                Well, Joe has a new topic coming up so we have to MOVE ON… 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Roxas hangs around for one more blog, then I’ll return to media bashing. Then on to refreshing topics. Book reviews, restaurant reviews, expose on Nancy Binay’s sex life . . . that kind of thing . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Whereas the Marcoses were never punished.” The opportunity was then. Too late.

                “their dynasty still dominate the political scene”. What Bongbong does is his responsibility, he should be punished for his own wrongdoings if any, not for those of his father.

                “But in what direction?” Forward. To a future where people are measured more objectively and not only by who their parents were. Or which group they allegedly belong to.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “Well, my son told me that most of his friends believe so, that Ferdinand is a hero and Bongbong will be our savior. ” Demonizing Marcos and sanctifying Cory is causing exactly that. Like holier-than-thou Christians cause Satanism to become attractive to some.

              Marcos was a bad man who ALSO did a lot, mainly in infrastructure and institutions – but stole from the country and abused human rights. Cory was good, but too much of a goodie two-shoes, a figurehead of the new democracy which was of course necessary.

              But both were PEOPLE, not some divine or evil beings. Divinity and evil are closely related, in ancient Bikol religion god and the devil are brothers. Better be just human. Down-to-earth and realistic. The yellow pseudo-religion is as bad as the “New Society”.

              • He ruled for 20 years, of course, infrastructures were built, and don’t forget the tongpats therein, some were already claimed by the Philippine government and some are still frozen in US and Swiss banks that are still being in the process of being claimed by both the government and the Marcos descendants… they can’t deny them as they are claiming the same.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “He ruled for 20 years, of course, infrastructures were built, and don’t forget the tongpats therein” Yeah, if you knew how much hidden corruption exists in progressive Europe.

                Not REALLY a problem, I am a realist, only a problem if the country is totally in debt later. The Korean leaders who made the country what it is today were almost all corrupt, but they made their country prosperous which is what Marcos unfortunately did not do.

              • Joe America says:

                Interesting readout. You have been through many intense period in your life, some very hard, adapted, survived, made it through. You extend the same benefit of the doubt to others, figuring that they might make it out. You are forgiving in that way. The rest of us, not so . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I suggest something very pragmatic – make a deal with Imelda while she lives, she pays a certain large part of the money they got to government coffers and Marcos gets buried.

                At some point closure has to be reached. The cycle of retribution must be interrupted.

              • “Not REALLY a problem, I am a realist, only a problem if the country is totally in debt later”

                Oh, but we are, didn’t you realize that a large chunk of our annual budget goes to debt servicing of his debts? That we had to make do with what’s left for defense, education, health, etc, such that we were always lagging behind our Asian neighbors? That we had to swallow IMF and WB bitter medicine as a result of those debts incurred by Marcos, a good portion of which went to Swiss and US banks not to mention mansions owned by Desini (his alleged dummy).

              • This harping on the “yellow pseudo religion” is really getting to me. As if being yellow is really that bad. That is the usual tirade or label addressed to anyone who expresses support for this government, whose support is not even personal, just wanting this government to succeed and to counter the destabilizing efforts of those with ulterior motives.

                The yellow was a sign to welcome Ninoy, later used to express support for his widow and his son but to hear you say it so often in your comments in a negative way is a little tiring. It gets to a point that those labelled as yellow become defensive, like I was before. And to lump it with “New Society” in one breath is just a little too much.

                Too much negativism, is what Joe is saying.. when he (he is also one who unfortunately gets labeled yellow or apologist, for me, he is more of a true Filipino than some) points the achievements of this government you seem to be unimpressed, still wanting. We realize we still have to go along way, but then….a little encouragement and support and less ridicule… are those too big to hope for?

                Cory was good, but too much of a goodie two shoes, …huh?

                This yellow President is trying to make do with what is available to him in a political environment to eliminate corruption, achieve growth and prosperity to a nation with a yo-yo type of development. One president makes good, to be followed by a corrupt , plundering one. We aim for a sustained growth and development, hence this discussion of the next possible presidential candidate.

                This president needs all the help he can get to steer this contrary nation to greater heights. Some realize this but woe unto them who try to express the “support thing”, for they will be ridiculed as yellow…. Please …

                I’m having a headache.

              • Joe America says:

                Thank you, Mary. It is hard to be for the Philippines and get slapped with a label that suggests an unthinking worshiper.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Read this and try to understand my point of view: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113481

                Plus this: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113474

                Forget the Christian concept of good and evil – my old man used to say the “goddam Jews” invented that and it was inherited and spread by Christians and Muslims to destroy the world, I rejoined that the Persians were the first with Ahriman and Ahura Mazda. Bikolanos understand that good and evil are related, that volcanoes bring death and make the soil fertile, we know how to bury the dead and feed the living like the great Marques Pombal of Portugal said after the greath earthquake in Lisboa.

                Add to that the Lutheran concept of active repentance – do not be too vindictive or too forgiving. Forgive but do not forget – make sure those forgiven make amends and “sin no more” like Mary Magdalene was told by Jesus.

                Like I wrote elsewhere: amnesty – even burying Marcos – but only if they give their ill-gotten-wealth to government coffers and are banned from ever practicing politics again. That would hit two birds with one stone and end the cycle of vindictiveness.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I’m not labelling you Mary or you Joe, chill guys. But let us try to think out of the box. Cause it ain’t necessarily so:


              • Joe America says:

                No, we don’t need to chill. The yellow tag comes at us as an insult to regularly diminish what we say. It is as common and easy a group slur as some racial tags. Apologist is another. If we back the President, even if he is making mistakes, too many people take that as political devotion and not an honest, principled stance. To be for the Philippines gets us the yellow tag. It is not our imagination. We ought not have to “chill”. Maybe you should listen to our complaint and reflect on how you may be diminishing earnest people when you use the term “yellow”.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Point taken, Joe. Both sides need to chill and not use sharpened terms like yellow. I agree and will not use it in the future. Volcano erupting sometimes. Steady flow of lava is better, and makes for fertile soil we all can plant on.

                Demonizing Marcos and putting down Grace Poe is the same thing though, inverted. That is what I meant with if we have a measuring rod, it should apply to ALL regardless of side. Let us not see the mote in the other’s eye and ignore the log in our own.

                Like I wrote further down, it is better for us to put our heads together and find constructive ideas than be like headhunters. Waste of heads. It shouldn’t matter these come from. As long as the goal is the same – the Philippines – and not group power agenda.

                Volcano Marcos erupted long ago. He left damage but also fertile soil. Let us not being his child a criteria. Luke Skywalker was Darth Vader’s son after all.

                Let us try to be objective and not partisan – I am starting with the man in the mirror.

              • Joe America says:

                Excellent, I appreciate the constructive take. There is nothing wrong with a critical observation about someone. President Aquino is prone to stubborn loyalties (a strength and a weakness), can be vindictive (a weakness), is occasionally tone deaf about reading the public’s will (a weakness) and some other faults. Once those are on the table, we can discuss them in relationship to the job and strengths and output. My own complaint about Grace Poe is consistently to one point, lack of showing herself on the corruption scandals now wracking the nation, fostering a lack of trust about loyalties when in office. I have no broadbrush term to use to disparage her backers, and indeed, some of them make good arguments against my view. As for Marcos, yes, I have him in an associative bucket and try to take him out, but every time he opens his mouth, he leaps back in. I don’t think I disparage his backers. I’ll be alert to that going forward so that I am not.

            • 2BFair says:

              I’m all with you regarding Marcos and the disappointment in us Filipinos that we are quick to forgive and forget. The youth needs to be reminded why all those years ago, we had to kick out a dictator
              Your obsession becomes unhealthy though when you start trying to personify the dead Marcos onto other people like Poe. You talk about how disgusting it is that PNoy is compared to Josh, while poking fun at the boy’s autism (I agree, definitely disgusting) but yet you freely say that Grace Poe is Marcos’ child. You may not see it, but is it possible that you make light of the fact that she is adopted? You no longer insinuate that she MIGHT be Marcos’ daughter. In your last comment you flat out say she IS. That, Percival, is disgusting.

              She does have a responsibility to the legacy of her father. And her father is FPJ.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “You talk about how disgusting it is that PNoy is compared to Josh, while poking fun at the boy’s autism (I agree, definitely disgusting) but yet you freely say that Grace Poe is Marcos’ child. ” That is exactly what I wrote elsewhere in this blog about yellow and blue camps pointing at each other with an enormous amount of self-righteousness and hypocrisy instead of applying an EQUAL measuring rod to all regardless of camp.

                The pot calling the kettle black, seeing the mote in the other’s eye with a log in one’s own.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Applying a double standard to people based on the camp they belong to is not right. Thanks 2BFair for being far better than me when it comes to putting things in words. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Actually BOTH Noynoy and Bongbong are IMHO examples for how inbreeding within ruling classes can cause them to lose the edge that made them leaders in the beginning.

                Similar to European nobles in the late 19th century – which is why many lost their thrones.

              • Percival says:

                Before you judge me, please see my comment to PiE. I even included Poe as in my choices for 2016.

              • Percival says:

                2BFair, I have strong reasons to believe that Poe is Marcos’ daughter, not only the resemblance. But I cannot mention that here. You’re free to think that that is as disgusting as making fun of an innocent special child. I respect everybody’s opinions even if they are contrary to mine. Sorry if hit a nerve.

              • Why is Percival’s believing and saying that Poe is Marcos’ child disgusting? It is public knowledge that she is a fledgling, so it’s quite possible, isn’t it? It’s not her fault if she is, and should not matter, for me, she is very effective as senator, bur not in an all powerful position of President for the reasons stated by Percival in his comments. He is even saying that in saying so, he is not defaming Poe, his only concern is in relation to the popular (Filipino) adage that blood is thicker than water. That is far different from poking fun at Pnoy’s nephew’s autism which is disgusting and I abhor people who are doing that. But the comparison is not apt, poking fun at a person’s disability is purely malicious, but saying Poe is Marcos’ child is just being prudent in the light of our discussion of her being considered a presidential candidate (even if she keeps on saying she is not considering it, although there are fresh rumors belying this). Poe is taking all these rumors of her parentage in her stride, even joking about it and calling Bongbong “kuya”. Only her avid supporters are so onion skinned about this to the point of calling the other side of the fence as disgusting and quoting “the pot calling the kettle black”.

                I, for one has voted Poe as senator, I’m an admirer even before that senatorial election as I listened to her being interviewed on various issues, she articulates well, very sharp and concise in her responses (she’s so lucky to be educated in the States and work there for a time); I am impressed by her performance in chairing her committee, I admire her adopted parents for raising her well, I admire her for rising above all these and becoming what she is now on her own merits, but her non-verbal reaction in the plunder cases of his senator friends, and VP Binay’s on going committee hearing, is what is worrying. If this is her behavior towards compadres, ninongs and friends who are perceived to be corrupt, weighing her actions, balancing her moves, afraid to offend Binay all because of her political career, what more when it is her real blood relations (if that is true and she knows it even without acknowledging the same), Percival’s concerns as stated above are quite understandable. I share those concerns, too.

            • parengtony says:

              why do you not ask the other senators the questions you stubbornly, and unfairly, methinks, address to Grace Poe?

  3. karl garcia says:

    Thanks for the open mind. few questions.
    What’s wrong in saying that she should be vice president first and can run for presidency later?
    Because I am still saying that.Is it wrong for me to do so?

    maybe you can give me reasons for me to change my mind and select her as president,instead.

    she tried to find out what is wrong with mrt,, her self. I like that. empathy in action…..

    i read number 4,but maybe we can deviate from that even for a while.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “What’s wrong in saying that she should be vice president first and can run for presidency later?” Nothing. Pangit lang ayon kay 2BFair ang mga paninira sa kanya.

      Si Joe, mababa talaga ang loob dahil itanatanggap at ipinapahayag niya ang palagay ni B2Fair kahit iyong kanyang isinulat ang pinipintasan doon.

      Diyan tayo matuto sa Kano. Si Ben Ign0, magaling pero hindi makatanggap ng pagkakamali. Tipikong Pinoy, tigas ng ulo at pride hanggang sa maging fried chicken.

    • karl garcia says:

      we are construction workers here.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Let us take breaks from time to time to smoke, but no drinks until after work.

        And no corny sex jokes, magagalit si Joe. 🙂

        • karl garcia says:

          of course, I remind you to do the same…hehe 🙂 pahamak (like kicking the table leg and blaming it for being there)

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            No, we just both manage to be like typical Filipinos – corny and unconcentrated. 🙂

            I had to learn to concentrate my energies to be successful here in Europe and am still working on it. My Pinoy quarrelsomeness even toward business associates – my former boss and business associate once told me, stop this nonsense of attacking me, let us talk about our interests and concerns and find a way to work properly together. My Bicolano party mentality and love of beautiful women – it almost cost me my business and my cash.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              And my ancient Bikolano eating habits, which almost cost me my health. My next blood pressure check-up is next Friday, have been making progress on that past two years.

              Though my smoking still worries my Palestinian doctor, he once told me either stop, or smoke four packs a day so it will be over faster. But that is my next construction site.

              Use and channel one’s strengths, minimize one’s weaknesses one by one – with patience and perseverance. Sa ikaauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan. My first major bike ride was last week, first date with an Ecuadorian mestiza journalist – hope I she’s the one.

              She laughed about the jokes people tell about Binay being so dark, and told me the Muslims coming to Ecuador don’t stand a chance against her native mountain relatives. Told her well, in our SAF 44 we had a lot of Igorots too, native mountain warriors.

              She was my source for a lot of stuff I wrote about Ecuador in this blog.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                We ate ice cream outside, one of the first sunny days in Europe but not yet so warm.

                Of course I froze after a while and covered myself with a blanket because we were in the shade, I asked her how the temperature up in Quito is. She said much like now at the lowest, but one can be down at the coast and back in one day so no problem.

                A bit of a deja vu actually but in a better way. 🙂

              • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

                My father died of lung cancer, he began smoking when he was 11 years old, stopped 25 years later and never thought of taking huge doses of vitamin c, was diagnosed inaccurately of PTB, later corrected as lung cancer when it was already at stage 5, literally a death sentence…be kind to yourself, listen to your Palestinian doctor.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                He is right. Just got rid of other vices recently so smoking is the last bastion. Spring is coming and it is definitely next on my list. It’s easier to stop when the days are long and not so depressingly dark like in winter. My sister had a hard time stopping I remember.

                Her poor boyfriend – now husband – had to endure her temper. It is almost like being a drug addict on cold turkey. In fact nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs around.

              • Joe America says:

                We look forward to your volcanic reports when you are in withdrawal . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                That is why I am sparing you that now. 🙂

                When its warm enough all I have to do is hop on my bike and cycle for 1-2 hours.

            • Bert says:

              “”My Bicolano party mentality and love of beautiful women – it almost cost me my business and my cash.””—PinoyIE

              Lucky you. Me, it almost cost me my wife.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Don’t have a wife anymore since over a decade – she was my asawa in the Filipino sense – meaning with or without kasal is asawa if you live together. I actually lost her because I worked too hard, travelled too much and was rarely at home. Then I started partying…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Happy to come home from an overseas job a day earlier, and you find your Polish Catholic woman in bed relaxing with a Middle Eastern Muslim… She blamed me for not being there for her and was a bit right but she was also wrong to do it that way.

                Took me years to overcome that. Maybe my reaction to Muslims has a bit to do with that. That is one of the worst things to happen to a man.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                During my kaput years after that, I remember getting drunk in a really bad place. Some guys were trying to challenge me, saying they would burn the new mosque being planned across the big church if it was ever finished and would also deal with “Muslims” like me.

                I told them, what do you think of me, I am Filipino I am Catholic and if that goddam mosque ever gets built, I will join you in burning the damn thing down. They cheered me.

                That was many years ago – but it can show how emotions can get hold of us in a bad way.

          • Joe America says:

            haha, people with photographic memories really bug me . . .

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I am worse, I have a pornographic memory. But that will be the only joke with sexual undertones during this month. I shall always be considerate, after all you are an American and have the Puritan heritage within you. 🙂

              Karl, do not follow on with other jokes, that’s an order. Knowing you have military family background, I know you will comply. Thank you.

              • Joe America says:

                Ahahahaha, snort, Puritan heritage my backside . . . I just want to offend only a few people at a time . . . . not send our high-minded Society members running screaming for the exits . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                That is good. Even Sotto had to stop being a comedian when he entered the Senate. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                Sir, Yes Sir ! Nunquam Iterum !

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                One intellectual say to another: “Numquam nequam” – nature abhors a vacuum. The other answers: “who said that, Donald Duck”?

                I understood that Joe is ok with jokes as long as they have some style and dignity. We were showing too much of our construction worker nature. Let us be dignified like Sotto in the Senate. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Very good, two jokes in one. Enjoyed them both. Put censor’s stamp aside.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Puritan heritage my backside”. Letting out the cowboy eh? Chief of Wildlife like that.

                Of course my statement about Puritan heritage was European irony. Just like my comment about I might be representing European or Russian oil interests in the other thread. 🙂

      • karl garcia says:

        construction workers meaning constructive.
        or simply builders.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Yes, I know. The father of my brother-in-law is an English building contractor. My cousin in the Philippines as well.

          I just made a constructively corny story out of it. Sottocopied stuff and added to it.

          • karl garcia says:

            by any chance, have you met Walter Mitty?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              No I haven’t.

              Who is he?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                So I am like him you are implying? Strange thing is, the stuff I am writing here about my life may seem like that but it is true. Sometimes I am myself amazed where I have been to.

                Well, it’s up to you to believe things or not. My competence in certain matters comes from those experiences. My slight looniness from having to digest so many different experiences.

                But also my capability to connect things that normally nobody connects. 🙂 The fact that I am so much on the Internet know has to do with Mamasapano resparking my interest in Philippine affairs. And that I at the moment have a very low workload.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And also: here in Europe things are more anonymous, meaning you are not burned for life and nobody wants to deal with you anymore because of some stuff like Philippines, even Metro Manila is like a village. People don’t care that much which is a blessing and a curse.

                But it doesn’t matter to me. If people make use of my thoughts that is quite OK and discard whatever they see as junk no problem. I for my part have no agenda here except using my mind and putting some ideas together, for as long as I have the time to do so.

              • karl garcia says:

                I know you are not pikon that is what I like about you. Implying nothing but amazement to stories,you give life to every subject, you let me daydream when reading your anecdotes, in that case I am like Walter Mitty… ….of course, we believe what we want. I won’t judge you, you are not a book.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Implying nothing but amazement to stories,you give life to every subject” Thanks. 🙂

                Actually I have a quite boring time now – major projects are in maintenance and bugfixing phases, the time until Easter is usually weak period in Europe because budgets are used up in the mad rush before Christmas and IT departments hardly have vacation leave then, then they all take their leave before end of March because they have to and decisions are usually postponed until after Easter. OK lang because I cashed in before year end and I am trying to get my health back after ruining it first through many different things. Actually I wanted to devote more time to exercise and private life but Mamasapano happened.

                Since then it is like the old spirit and dedication I had as an activist came back to me.
                Stayed away from politics and even from writing for decades, chose the very unemotional IT profession because I wanted peace of mind. But some things just come back to you.

                When my career fell apart completely I started living my life again – after having felt very frozen in a seemingly perfect life I started to unfreeze. In some ways like in the movie American Beauty, in some ways like in Breaking Bad but without any really bad stuff. And definitely with a happier end, my guardian angel has always been a good one. Been very patient with me. Because of that, I tend to start reminiscing here from time to time.

                “you are not a book” – I might just write one at some point. It might be a fun thing to do. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              hahaha, he IS Walter Mitty.

  4. “Show up at the Makati blue ribbon hearings you say? And steal the thunder from Pimentel, Trillanes, and Cayetano?”

    Why not, what’s wrong with that… let everyone shine, at least we will feel that not only the three have the guts to be there and ask the right questions, the rest, no comment, don’t care… I’m sure the three would appreciate her showing up in the sub-com hearings and won’t feel threatened that she will “steal the thunder from them”. Lame excuse. I would have been impressed with her if she participated in that hearing and performed the way she did at Purisima’s hearing. Now, I’m thinking, she has her priorities, and the Binay corruption is not one of them, I wonder why. Pity.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Give her the benefit of the doubt also. If we are to accuse GRP of being partial, let us not be partial against those who are not 100% yellow.

      Read this: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113185

      The country must work together, not identify enemies all the time – both yellows and anti-yellows are doing this. To suspect Poe without evidence is definitely wrong.

      • I’m not yellow, I am independent. It so happened that I support this president, thank you. I so hate labels, please stop…

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Let us be objective. Did I label you as yellow or are you just reacting emotionally?

          Bato bato sa langit, matamaan huwag magalit.

          • Oh, sorry PiE.. I thought you were responding to my post, you replied to it, after all….hahaha

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              No problem. 🙂

              We all have to learn to be less quick to judge – I had that learning curve with Muslims.

              • karl garcia says:

                let us call it reflex, to claim that one’s reaction is out of emotion is also reflex. Even Spock is half human, after all.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Exactly. And his being half-human makes him stronger than the other Vulcanians.

                Emotional intelligence is now considered an important asset in management theory.

        • My own eyes saw that she was not in the hearings, my ears did not hear a squeak from her regarding Binay’s corruption, those are my evidences for now, that is, I may be convince later to change my mind. Maybe.

          • convinced, please, from the typo queen…. hehehe

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Hindi ebidensya iyan, haka-haka lang. Why should she be an Inquisitor just because Binay is defined as the enemy by everyone here? Cayetano is criticized for being an Inquisitor against Iqbal, Deles and Ferrer – the same yardstick should apply to everyone.

            And from what I have read so far, it was not her job to be in the hearings. I think she will deal with Binay when it is her turn. Fairly and via due procedure, not like Noynoy did towards Arroyo and Coronoa – it was right what he did but not the way he did it.

            • Hah, I have a lot to say to that, friend, but it’s off topic, and will turn into yet another full circle debate. I have to go home, my dinner is waiting.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And I have to get cigarettes and go for lunch, then work a bit from home office after that. But it’s not off topic, it is about how we judge in a personal and partisan way all the time.

                Have a nice dinner, and I will have a good lunch and a good smoke. 🙂

            • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

              It’s a Sunday, I have a few minutes before I return to my home office to deal with a sideline, so here goes: (no zumba/dance exercise today)

              To analyze what Pnoy had to resort to with regards to the ouster of the former CJ Corona, we had to go back to the case of the former Ombudsman M Gutierrez wherein several attempts to impeach her were frustrated by GMA. How? Her legal staff ran to her controlled Supreme Court and got awarded status quo ante ruling, when MG realized that a plan to strike a lightning impeachment attempt against her, she accurately read the writings on the wall and resigned. Corona decided to do a Mayor Binay, dug in and engaged Pnoy. To avoid another s.q.a. from the Corona/GMA SC, the President’s allies in HOR went into a caucus and presented an impeachment signed by 188 (?) members in the next session…the rest was history culminating in the embarrasing exit of the disgraced Corona. Relentless, persistent in the face of GMA defense and tactics to block his efforts to clean the government of corruption, that is Pnoy, and we, the people, cheered.

              One of JoeAm’s and our furies, de Lima, deftly prevented GMA’s hasty departure from the country to avoid possible detention resulting from non-bailable charges about to be filed in court (as smelled by her allies and spies) notwithstanding the SC TRO (what else is new in the GMA SC), belatedly served at the DOJ office….that was like a war like movie then, really suspense laden events. The court case was filed, she was given a hospital detention ruling. Now, GMA ally and Pnoy’s relentless basher, Chit Pedrosa, ran to Amal, who promptly ran to the UN to plead GMA’s case of human right violation. My comment here – the court could not go ahead with trial, repeatedly delayed by her own legal appeals and manifestations. After preventing her tactics to avoid facing the charges, the process is now in the court, Pnoy no longer has any say in the proceedings. If GMA is really that sick that she has to leave the country for treatment, why did she file her candidacy in the last election, and lately, has filed a change of address, the hospital where she is detained as her current address to qualify her to yet again be a candidate in 2016. The government shoulders her presidential suite, pays her salary and benefits while detained, allowed to have political meetings there, attended to by capable doctors 24 hours a day, what human right violations are they talking about, in fact, it’s the reverse, she’s being given preferential treatment!

              • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

                And may I reiterate, the impeachment, trial and conviction was a political exercise, GMA’s ongoing case is judicial.

              • Joe America says:

                I think Amal Clooney would do well as a Filipino legislator, having no personal moral principles other than undertaking acts because she gets paid or a big-shot reputation. She turns the concept of human rights inside out to the benefit of the privileged. She bends to personal allegiances no matter how unreliable or disgraced they are, and manufactures her justifications by aligning words properly.

                Thank you for helping me understand why I do not respect this Clooney person right now.

          • parengtony says:

            Are these evidences adequate to justify your conclusion – ” Now, I’m thinking, she has her priorities, and the Binay corruption is not one of them, I wonder why. Pity.”?

        • Joe America says:

          Me, too. I could never figure out how supporting the president of one’s nation is a despicable act. Worth a label other than Filipino. Or for me, pro-Filipino.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            No, it isn’t. Didn’t call anybody yellow specifically. Supporting the President is good and loyal. Criticizing him constructively is even more loyal. Only worship is stupid and I do not see that in this blog, only in some other places, the yellow cult is elsewhere.

            In Great Britain, you have Her Majesty’s Loyal Government and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition for a good reason. Both differ but are loyal to the nation and the queen.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            So criticizing Aquino is OK if it is constructive and not destructive. There are those who see any criticism of Aquino as being anti-Filipino. THAT is wrong, it is dragon-fighters becoming dragons. We had enough of that in Marcos time – any criticism of Marcos was subversive and suspect, he had to be nearly worshipped. That is why I also object to Noynoy always wearing a yellow ribbon. He should be President for ALL Filipinos, not only for those who are yellows but for all colors that comprise the country.

          • Indeed, I could not. Since I’m seeing positive results, I support him and trust that he will steer this contrary ship towards the direction we are all praying for, this trust includes giving allowances for the perceived lapses. I pray that these destabilizing efforts all around will not negate the gains achieved so far.

      • Joe America says:

        One of my puritanical ex-girlfriends took a drawing class that taught how to draw by drawing the spaces rather than the object itself. Her exercise was to draw a chair upside down, and it was marvelous. Evidence is rather the same way. If forthright and transparent is the object, and it is not there, then it is hard to draw the picture. There are not even any spaces to draw. That’s Poe, to me. The evidence is the absence of it. She’s not making a difference when her mandate, as the senator garnering the most votes, was to make a big difference. So far she has chaired two committees, both on the hunt for culprits. Hey, we have enough police, investigators, prosecutors, auditors, tax people, ombudsmen, and money laundering people already. We need good laws that move the Philippines, not public trials that beat it to death.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “That’s Poe, to me. The evidence is the absence of it.” That is not enough to condemn her though, it is only a hunch, a gut feeling. Need to find real evidence to confirm that.

          You also once wrote that the people’s will is against Arroyo, but it was hard to find enough for a hard case against her. Well that reminds me of People’s Courts in Red China, where the adage was “leniency for those who confess, severity for all who resist”. No presumption of innocence like in the US, where the principle is to better let a hundred guilty men not be sentenced than let one innocent man to be wrongly judged, rather more the dangerous road of self-righteousness that leads to intolerance and bigotry.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Absence of evidence – Noynoy hardly made his mark when he was a Senator, if we apply a measuring stick we should apply it to all regardless of grouping.

            And my remark about American puritanism was European irony man… 🙂

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              But in general Americans seem strange to people in Europe: getting totally worked up about Janet Jackson’s accidentally exposed breasts, then acting totally out of control on spring breaks or at the Oktoberfest. Here we have totally naked women on the front pages of our tabloids, and public lavatories where you can buy condoms. No having to buy liquor in specialized stores or put beer bottles into paper bags while outside.

              No televangelists who try to deny transgressions and then cry out “I have sinned” after they cannot deny it anymore. No going to war with God on our side rhetoric.

              No requirement that Presidents be total saints. Bavarian ex-Premier Franz Josef Strauss was definitely not a saint – he got caught with prostitutes in New York but his people heartily laughed about it. He may have had connections to defense companies and may have profited from them, but he attracted high-tech industries and made a formerly agricultural state with a tribal, unruly and familistic people into a European tiger state.

              Even connections to criminals were suggested by some, but a Munich gypsy from a major electronics recycler told me: Franz Josef had the heads of all Bavarian gypsy clans come to him and swear by their honor in front of him as Premier to uphold German law – in return they were allowed to remain in their traditional businesses: red-light, antiquities and waste management – without being persecuted. Now that is a PRAGMATIC person.

              Forget about trying to be too clean – I prefer to say it the way the Demolition Man played by Sylvester Stallone said it at the end of the movie: “you guys have to get a bit dirtier, you guys have to get a little bit cleaner. You’ll figure it out”. Not angels, not devils, people.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Not to be anti-US, but this speech from McKinley is something we all learned as Filipino schoolchildren: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=1257

                “I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way-I don’t know how it was, but it came:

                (1) That we could not give them back to Spain-that would be cowardly and dishonorable;

                (2) That we could not turn them over to France or Germany, our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable;

                (3) That we could not leave them to themselves-they were unfit for self-government, and they would soon have anarchy and misrule worse then Spain’s was; and

                (4) That there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.

                And then I went to bed and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office), and there they are and there they will stay while I am President!”

                First of all, Filipinos did not need to be „Christianized“ – typical American uninformedness.

                Second, “that would be bad business” – he did reveal it was about business after all.

                Third, “prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance” – using God like Dubya did.

                I am definitely not anti-American, but I see their virtues and their faults, not being like Santiago totally against and not being like the coños totally imitating everything. And definitely not like benign0, who imitates attitudes colonial Americans had against Filipinos before – very dumb. Having grown up as a coño and then moved to an Anglo-Saxon country, it is all the perspective he could have. I pity him, for he is very intelligent.

                Countrymen, America is not the entire West. There are more possibilities that work well, in fact the American system of government is chaotic and overly bureacratic – it only works because the American people have a certain sense of duty, European codified laws instead of precedent law and a parliamentary system work a lot better. Good the Philippines still has the Spanish civil code that originally was developed by Napoleon himself. Filipinos, imitate the good stuff from the USA, but not every nonsense that they bring to you. Accept good guys like Joe America and William Henry Scott, yes sir!

                Imitating American over-transparency then favoring only big business is also a huge mistake IMHO. The continental European focus on keeping small and medium-sized business alive as the core of the economy is better. National IDs like in the whole of Continental Europe make sense – no need to register voters anymore, every voter gets his voting certificate in his mailbox. Better than in the US where you are not any freer without a national ID because the FBI has powers unheard of here. Keeping the Latin centralism that the Spanish left as a legacy may be foolish as well – everything is centered on Manila and the regions are left out. They prosper inspite of Manila, not because of it.

                What I am saying here to my countrymen is start thinking – many are doing it in this blog. Do not admire the white man too much like coños and benign0 or hate him like Santiago. Respect him, but talk straight to him like I do, without putting him down or anything. They are just like us, only lucky to have made some developments earlier. The Swiss were wild, unruly mountaineers and were feared like Moros in the Middle Ages, but they managed to civilize themselves. Their last internal civil war was in Appenzell in the late 19th century. What I learned in Europe was to lose my awe towards the white man – Santiago’s behaviour is just showing an inferiority complex. Filipinos have to think of what they need and look for means to achieve it pragmatically. Mix and match. In fact we are learning very fast, playing catch up but our smartness will make us leapfrog many. We’ll make it.

                Joe, with all due respect, this whole thing about Grace Poe having to fight all who are suspected for corruption is so very American – reminds me of Superman and Batman. Moral imperativeness that can lead to witchhunts like in Salem, Massachussetts.

                Europeans have the flexibility to tolerate gray zones. After all, American got started Protestant fundamentalist missionaries that HAD to leave Europe, Cromwells dictatorship in England with no dancing, no singing, not eating fed the English up. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s the Scarlet Letter shows the schizophrenia of American pioneer culture.
                Again, I know there are MANY good things about America. But not everything.

                Grace Poe went after Purisima which was her JOB, even if he was part of the yellow group, but not after Binay because it was NOT her job, even if he is someone the yellow group does not like. Should she go on a crusade?

                Noynoy for me has one very bad American trait – self-righteousness combined with sanctimonious hypocrisy. DAP is OK, but pork barrel is not? Jailing Arroyo without due process is OK? No sir.

                I am against Aquino resigning or being thrown out. I support him as President too. But I criticize because such behaviour as a President is WRONG, just like blaming his commander Napeñas publicly.

                The buck stops here was a famous adage by an AMERICAN president. Command responsibility means take responsibility publicly but knock heads privately. It also means facing the music as a leader. Something Joe does in this blog, he explains his decisions quietly and calmly, with firmness. And has no problems with respectful disagreement. Even with polemical disagreement like mine often is – because it is constructive and for the good of the Philippines, which is his principle as well as mine. Joe, I am your loyal opposition.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And thank you too, Joe, for accepting Filipinos like 2BFair and me who say things with civilized constructive cojones.

                You are like William Henry Scott, not like some American missionaries who are oh so nice to Filipinos but just want them to be little brown brothers they can pat on the head.

                There is a different breed of Filipinos coming up now, not imitators like the coños or haters like Santiago, but guys who face the white man with respect plus no more complexes.

              • Joe America says:

                May they come to rule the land, these rising objectivists.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Be careful what you wish for. 🙂

              • parengtony says:

                “… Jailing Arroyo without due process is OK? No sir.”

                Wow. Where did that come from? Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was provided much more due process than 99.99% of those who have been put behind bars (not in hospitals!) in the Philippines.

              • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

                …he got caught with prostitutes in New York and his people heartily laughed about it”

                Shades of Erap, the womanizer who maintained lots of mistresses, kept them in mansions and supplied lots of cash and allegedly helped broker government transactions inimical to the public interest, one of his mistresses is now mayor of his hometown San Juan (how about that) his two sons are now in Senate…all because the masa voters cheefully put them in office, identifying with his womanizing and drinking until the wee hours. Heck, it gets to a point when one had to ask, these masa voters, have they no sense of right and wrong? Quo vadis, Philippines…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Shades of Erap, the womanizer”.

                Yes. Strauss was the son of a butcher who knew how to pull the common peoples vote.

                At the same time, he was a Dr. of Laws who delivered economic results.

                ” identifying with his womanizing and drinking”

                Strauss allegedly once conducted a TV interview dead drunk, but people found it funny.

                But he did his work as Premier. In Bavaria they say, if you can drink you can also work.

                “have they no sense of right and wrong?”

                Depends on how you define right and wrong. Right for me is getting things done.

                Munich international airport is one of the best in Europe and named after Strauss.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                As I myself have found out, vices are wrong for one’s health, one’s productivity, one’s bank account and one’s life in general if they are overdone. Christian morality threatens you with hell, but rational thinking and future orientation points you to real consequences.

                I would rather say karma – you reap what you sow in the end. Since I have so often seen the way Christian “morality” is lived, I do not really like it. Who knows Pope Francis may convince me to return to the faith, being a disenchanted Catholic.

                What saved me from completely going under was the childhood influence of my Ilocana yaya with her Samtoy values of thrift and hard work. Remembered that in critical moments.

            • Joe America says:

              The “evidence” in President Aquino was mainly that he was not a crook, and his parents had good character and were dedicated public servants, both deep with Filipino passions. The evidence in Senator Poe is that she is not a crook, ran the movie organization well, talks smart, and has parents who are actors.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Her adoptive father definitely had Filipino passions as well – and for the common people. Fernando Poe was a guy with Estrada’s common touch but without his vices.

                Her lack of commitment is IMHO that she is trying not to antagonize any side too much. She could however lash out ruthlessly in any direction when she is President. The question for me is: will she do it in national interest or for family interests? If she does it for national interest and treats yellow and blue with the same measuring rod, whether it comes to prison or amnesty or whatever, then fine. What is not clear to me is what drives her, but I feel the same for Mar. His own haciendero folks, or the entire Filipino people?

              • Joe America says:

                Mar Roxas is the guy who wants to show he is a good guy, and bends too much to do so. But he is a good guy. Grace Poe is a mystery.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Good” is overrated. TOO good I find suspect.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, that’s true. Not even a hunch. Just a huge wariness which she could set to rest so easily. I also fault reporters for not asking her some direct questions. “What do you think about VP Binay advising his son to resist the Ombudsman’s order?”

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              In the Philippines, it is so easy to be seen as taking sides, so I think she is playing safe.

              In fact that could make her the one to be able to knock heads, both yellow and blue – and finally exorcise the ghost of her possible father that hangs over the country.

            • karl garcia says:

              that maybe it, she could say, nobody asked.

        • 2BFair says:

          So there it is. You feel that she has the moral obligation to do even more than she is doing, because of her mandate. It’s hardly 2 years into her term as senator. Take the presidency out of the picture and take a second look. Is she really doing as bad as you’re suggesting? The Senate is supposed to investigate, not only in aid of legislation, but also for oversight. How else do we get to sit back and scrutinize the details of an investigation or a hearing, but from a senate hearing. And I say senate not legislative because congressional hearings are more akin to circuses. Poe is a darn good chair. Her hearings have purpose and rhythm. And they are focused and concise, with goals spelled out in the beginning and summaries at the end of each session. And we are quick to forget that she pushed to pass the FOI bill through the senate in record time. There’s much substance there and I see the upside down chair, clear as crystal

          • 2BFair says:

            Oh and BTW, your favorite Mar Roxas was the #1 senator in 2004. He finished his term, 6 full years with no remarkable accomplishment. No landmark bills, no benchmark hearings.

            • karl garcia says:

              his wikipedia bio listed some accomplishments.Like I said many if not all claim credit for bills they filed, even if a bill is recycled. FOI champion? when was the FOI first filed?

            • Joe America says:

              My “favoritism” of Roxas is pragmatic, not worshipful. He has earned the right to be LP’s choice by stepping aside for Aquino and working diligently for five years on behalf of the nation. He’s done a lot for the Philippines. If Poe runs, the “white hat” votes are split and Binay wins. I’d rather have Roxas than that. If Poe could convince me that she would be tough on criminals, not operate to favor “the families”, and would not give pardons to crooks, I might stand up and shout, “sorry bubba Mar, but you will never be president. Give it up.”

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I have an example of how a European leader made things work by pardoning crooks, but making sure they never did the same thing again, thereby harnessing their greed:

                https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113255 – I mean Franz Josef Strauss of Bavaria, who could be defined as a mixture of FVR and Estrada. A son of a butcher who studied to become a Dr. of Laws. Smart and cunning. Modernized a state that was agricultural to become one of the top performers in Europe. But I do understand that this extreme pragmatism is something alien to you, your moral code being very strict.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, and I prefer stable to known over wild and unpredictable. Bankers prefer the former, investment bankers the latter . . . the point being, I suppose, it takes all kinds.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                My argument is that you have to make a cut somewhere between the old and the new, transition the old into the new so that it does not cause trouble for the new order.

                Same as with BBL actually: former rebels are pardoned and one hopes to put them to productive use, to civilize them and of course punish those who stay rebels after that. Apply that to the old corrupt guys: amnesty, but harsh punishment for anything after.

              • Joe America says:

                Small changes to the tipping point. Perhaps Mamasapano was the tipping point in Mindanao.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But I would have two special conditions for amnesty: cough up the money they stole and give it to government coffers, and they are banned for life from any public office.

                Legit business they can do if they can, but any violation brings them back to jail for life.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Poe is a darn good chair.” She’s a WOMAN not a chair – stop objectifying her! 🙂

          • Joe America says:

            I’m seeing the work, but not the values. My great wariness is her connectivity to the “families” and a concern that this will influence her presidential decisions, as it influences her speaking voice today. As a technical worker, a chairperson, she is skilled, I agree. I do detect that she can be vengeful, as can President Aquino. Roxas? He gets overtly angry, blows up and moves on.

        • Yes the evidence is the absence of evidence to people like you and some other who are really trying to find it. It is pretty much what disillusioned lots of people with Obama. People voted him to be transformational and although he has a historically great slew of achievements (ACA/Cuba/Immigration) he was a failure to a lot of people who voted for him in his first term.

          People are hard against Poe because we see her as transformative. We want her to succeed. We want her to not pussyfoot. We don’t want another play safe senator(although we also do not want another pickup line senator). She became number one so that she could be the most influential first term Senator we ever had.

          If Mar wasn’t able to do much in DOTC(On this point I think lots of people are mistaken) then what has our IT Girl senator done with MTRCB? Another commercial before movies??? (F@CK I’d abolish the MTRCB if I had the power a martial law relic that has no place in a country with Freedom of Speech).

          I really like her FOI advocacy and probably this is another reason we are hard on her. We don’t know her, we need more information about her, about her views, about how he handles pressure.

          What we know about her handling pressure is that she left the Philippines to get away from her parents???

          In short when the Presidency is in sight the old rules no longer applies. The President is held to a higher standard and thus Manny Villar’s shine eventually dimmed.

          We know her less and thus we like her more, we want to know her more to understand if she deserves our adoration and a shot at The Palace.

  5. “Is it the right thing to do? Maybe. But why does it have to be Grace Poe?”

    Again, why not, if she believes it is the right thing to do, then what stopped her, and why do you ask “does it have to be Grace Poe”, don’t look at the others, because we are talking about her as a reaction to others who think she is presidential timber, and those who are inspired by her, “who see her a teacher, a mom, a working woman who happens to be a senator, who seems to be doing her best and trying to make a difference.” I respect your feelings, you rant at our opinions which are contrary to yours and then you go and shred Mar based on rumors and hearsay (so he was frustrated when he had to give way to PNOY, but who won’t when you see your chance to realize your dream evaporate because a democracy icon died and people decided they wanted her son as president?), he is human after all, not perfect, not God.

    The election is more than a year to go, we are all exploring and scouting as of now. I was impressed by Poe, long before I voted for her as Senator, I observed how she articulately explained various issues on interviews during the campaign period, but her reaction (or non-reaction) to Binay’s corruption soured her for me. That’s my opinion, you have yours, I respect them, please respect mine, too.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      To find a common way, we must all overcome fear and distrust of one another. I had my own learning curve with Musliims. “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” – Master Yoda – Cayetano should take this to heart just like I did.

      The way is to learn to work as a TEAM, accept and respect ALL who are willing to contribute, no matter what side they come from, blue or yellow, Muslim or Christian. More on that here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113153. No single leader alone is good enough, especially since the nation is still a fragmented community.

      Find a good LEADER to select the right team with complementary strengths and one who is able to UNITE the Filipino nation as a community, because as of now it is not yet united.

      And apply professional risk management. Identify risks, their likelihood and consequences, then define measures against them. Like here: https://joeam.com/2015/03/11/bbl-yes-but-peace-in-mindanao-will-be-won-or-lost-in-the-mosques/#comment-113146. We see the risk that Poe might not go after certain people? How probable is it? We have to find out before we pass judgement. We see the risk that Mar might not be strong enough as a leader. How probable is it? Let us try and find out. When we really KNOW we can define measures.

      So let us not discount Mar because he seems to lack cojones form some, or Poe because some see the risk that she might lack cojones against corruption. Let us try to evaluate the risks objectively and be more mature in trying to measure their likelihood. Be less biased.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “you rant at our opinions which are contrary to yours and then you go and shred Mar ” he is giving his side of the story, not ranting, in fact I find his arguments very good.

      “he is human after all, not perfect, not God.” So is Poe. Let us give her the same benefit of the doubt. And also: Binay is bad, but not the devil himself – but just a bad person. We are all human, neither Gods nor Satan, neither angels or devils. Good because all extremes are close to one another – my Bikol ancestors were wise, they believed that the devil was the vain, jealous brother of god who hated his works. Wiser than Christians and Muslims.

      “That’s my opinion, you have yours, I respect them, please respect mine, too.” respectful dissent is something we Filipinos have for the most part not yet learned. Just because someone disagrees and says he does not like your opinion does not mean disrespect.

      • @ PiE

        I feel a little dizzy following our discussions here, I scroll up and down, back and forth, some comments posted 2-3 days after a given comment, it’s as if we are discussing in never ending circles, neither one giving up a stand. Sometimes I find it funny or disconcerting if not frustrating.

        1) I point out excesses of one regime, you counter to give allowance to the other side and not to be partisan or biased, undeserved or not (if we consider that they are already convicted of the crimes we are pointing out and their descendants are still at it.) – example, the Marcos regime and his son now allegedly also involved in PDAF plunder. We on one side, can argue until we are blue in the face but never gets through because you were able to succeed outside of our country, unlike most of us who are still here, suffering the aftermath of such excesses.

        2) Another is when you discount what I call wrong versus right, whether the wrongs are so obviously staring at our face, or as in the case of Erap, convicted by a proper court with due process. It’s like, OK, that was wrong but he was able to get things done. “Depends on how you define right and wrong. Right for me is getting things done.” is how you responded.. Confusing, isn’t it?

        3) You give out general ideas or principles and you want to apply them consistently to both sides even if another side is obviously unfair and we are seeking a way to level the playing field, so to speak. I give out specific instances, you direct me to yet another link to point out more generalizations.

        4) Sometimes, one good principle when applied to both sinner and the victim is seemingly unfair, as it can be abused by the convicted sinner who is bent on repeating the same sins against the victim. What I keep on pointing out is that justice has to be served first and your stand is to keep the slate clean and start over – negotiate with Imelda to give back their ill gotten wealth and let bygones be bygones, I’m not that naive, let’s face it, will they do that, considering that they are still after the still frozen funds abroad?

        5) I am for the court to determine consistency in the application of laws on the basis of intent and not the letter, and quite hopeful that in the years to come a non conniving president will appoint worthy replacements to the retiring GMA-appointed justices so that no more unfair ruling will come out of that chamber (case in point, the SC ruling restoring Erap’s civil rights because of a defective pardon given by an allegedly plunderer ex-president – now he is eligible to offer himself again as presidential candidate which defeats the intent of the conviction on not to seek another government office ever again; another is their confirmation of the midnight appointees of GMA, notwithstanding the jurisprudence already established by the previous Supreme Court, under SC Chief Narvasa). The court has to wear its blindfold again, we are waiting for these conniving justices to retire.. hehehe.

        6) It’s quite frustrating when you argue for non-partisanship or non bias when applied to people already convicted but has never been punished and are still enjoying the fruits of their thievery, even more so when you are labeled vindictive. WE are supposed to learn lessons from history and not sweep details under the rug in the guise of starting over again in a clean slate. Naivety has to stop somewhere, sometime, or the cycle of oppression and corruption will never end.

        7) I am also frustrated that the youth of today are seemingly uninterested in what is happening in our country. Will the novelty of the social media with regards to partying, foodies, birthdays and anniversaries diminish even a little bit to make room for current events and issues affecting the country? I’m speaking about actual groups of youngsters that I know of.

        My musings before retiring for the night to deal with another day at work.

        • I hope I won’t be labeled with such demeaning labels like having a holier-than-thou attitude, or goody goody two shoes… (I’m glad you said already that you’ll stop the using the yellow label….) I so hate those divisive groupings… can’t we just say, those seeking truth and fairness and progress for the country, how about pro democracy, or just plain pro-Philippines as what JoeAm is suggesting. Ok, Ok, I recall the constructive way you took it, with a pahabol word to say it has to be applied consistently towards the other side. I, for one, am trying to do just that.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          I agree that it is hard to find a solution. What I suggested though was not negotiate: amnesty ONLY if every centavo is given back and is accounted for by the BIR, not one day before. AND make a law that they are forever BANNED from seeking political office for the rest of their lives.

          The latter punishment is for these people even worse than prison, do you realize that?

          And as for Erap: he did not deliver results, that is the main problem I have with him, not his drinking and womanizing – but that he did not get his work done, because he was very lazy.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “The election is more than a year to go, we are all exploring and scouting as of now.”

      Let me bring in General Espina as a proposal. A quiet worker and team leader – Pope’s visit – and not one of these politicians. A compassionate man who cried for his dead men.

    • 2BFair says:

      Mary, in your case maybe I’m looking at it from the wrong angle. Never mind that you and a number of this blog’s followers aren’t asking why other senators are not joining in on the makati hearings. You want to focus on Poe. It sounds like you are expecting her to speak out against Binay and you are disappointed that she has not. Then that’s a good thing. That means you are expecting her to be an all around protagonist. To this point I say we should wait and see. If Binay ever shows up in the hearings I bet you dimes to doughnuts she’d be the first to show up and interpellate.
      As far as ranting against your opinions I feel I did far from rant. It’s a rebuttal. My opinions are supposed to be dissenting. And I feel I was fair. I’m sorry you feel it wasn’t fair enough for you.
      “Hearsay” hmmm … If this were a news article then the editor would not have published, but this is a blog and Joe decides. On my part I’m not a reporter. Just a regular Joe or Jose. I say take it with a grain of salt. Or not. Either way I’m glad you’re replying

      • Thay’s exactlly the problem…he says or rather, his daughter says he will not stoop to the Senate level being the VP.. that he will explain to the proper forum…now the OMbudsman has ordered a six-month preventive suspension for his mayor son, what is his advise to the good mayor – be strong son, I will join you in the city hall where you are holed in defiance of the order (if reports are to be believed)..the Ombudsman’s order will not be honored, because they don’t want the LP vice mayor to occupy the position for six months. So when will Grace Poe interrogate him, in a party where they will be honored guests?

        • She should have interrogated Mercado, Tiu, and the other witnesses to ferret out the truth, there’s no need for her to interrogate the VP himself. There are so many ways to skin the cat.

          I also wonder why the other senators are so silent, but our topic is Grace Poe.

          • 2BFair says:

            Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I cannot venture guess on why Poe, like all the other senators that haven’t shown up at the Makati hearings, doesn’t come in to interpellate the available resource speakers and other invited. Maybe they share a collective reason? If she should figure out another way to skin a cat then it should be imperative that the others do to. Including Mar Roxas, since we’re talking about him to. I’d like to see how he approaches the whole holing up at City Hall by Junjun Binay. Will he make a statement? Tell the world that as DILG sec he is on top of the situation and have Junjun arrested forcibly? Or will he fence sit, like he did all those years in the senate, and avoid responsibility and just use a spokesperson or have Espina take the limelight.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              The question is: do you have to skin the cat if it is not your job to do so?

              Going on a crusade instead of simply administering justice is so WRONG, my following posting expounds on why I think it is like that: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113264

              • “The question is: do you have to skin the cat if it is not your job to do so?”

                It’s not my job, too, but I’m done being among the silent majority, I’m voicing my protest against impunity, about their thieving ways, their hypocrisy… and I want the politicians I elected to do that, too.. not to be silent observers and just sit there being one of the silent lambs.

                To do nothing is also a decision (I heard about that, and I agree), you decide to do nothing. You decide to be a tiger in not so big corruptions (or not so little, depending on how you look at them) and be a silent lamb in glaring, great ones. So I ask myself, why are these senators, most of whom I helped put in office, are so quiet, not even desiring to activate the Ethics Committee to check the abuses of their colleagues, or even comment on the rudeness of Santiago, they just smiled when she made fun and/or insulted the preosecutors and guest lawyers, did they agree with her rudeness, did they see nothing wrong with or participated in the punders done on their PDAF allocations? Where is their sense of right and wrong?

                So most of senators decided not to attend the senate sub-committee hearings, did she have to join the bandwagon of the silent, not even to comment for or against the topic? What could be the reason other than the obvious one, that they are supporting these plunderer and power abuser or is she afraid to offend the guy. Why not speak up so I and others will be done being the ones offended by their silence? Balancing act, weighing their options with their career in mind not the people who put them there. NO, I’m not impressed, no way, Jose.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I meant it was not Grace Poe’s job to skin the cat. What I believe is that Grace Poe uses her energy and chooses her battles wisely. Why waste time one something were she can only be damaged and will not achieve anything.

                Even if she went after Binay and damaged herself, the yellows would say thank you and “Adios Tonto and the horse you rode on” and drop her anyway.

                The holier-than-thou attitude of Noynoy and others doesn’t quite convince me. Daang Matuwid and then a guy like Purisima who is most probably guilty. These kind of people are what were called Pharisees in the bible – preaching things but acting differently.

              • “I meant it was not Grace Poe’s job to skin the cat. ”

                I got what you meant – that it was not Grace Poe’s job to skin the cat… and I responded that it’s not my job, too, but I’m done being one among the silent majority..etc, etc…

                “What I believe is that Grace Poe uses her energy and chooses her battles wisely. Why waste time one something were she can only be damaged and will not achieve anything.”

                .”afraid of being damaged.” ….exactly, precisely, you got it 100%. It’s her political career she’s thinking, not what is wrong, what is right by the voters who put her there in that august chamber. I rest my case.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Good. I rest mine too: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113486

                You are too American Mary, I am still Pinoy in that I tolerate moral ambiguity, I am like a Jesuit in that I believe the end can justify the means. May our different viewpoints stand, thesis and antithesis which may lead to synthesis.

  6. PinoyInEurope says:

    We need to find a national leader for nation that lacks a sense of community, unlike some of its provinces and cities – Albay under Salceda and Davao under Duterte come to mind.

    Since NONE of the NATIONAL leaders we are looking at fulfills all the criteria of cojones, competence and compassion to the fullest, we need a leader can build and lead a strong team:


    He or she needs to be:

    – A LEADER first and foremost

    – A TEAM BUILDER second, to build a team where the strengths of all are utilized, a team that consists of representatives from every part of the country, every side, every religion…

    – and a COMMUNITY BUILDER who can address all the disparate communities in our nation and unite them slowly into one community.

    He or she needs to understand and apply RISK MANAGEMENT to a chaotic country:


    He or she needs to be a healer, a coach and mediator to deal with and put together different personalities like those my coach taught me about – and heal the country that is bleeding from vindictive justice. I have a posting in the Mosque thread on that.

    It might even be better if he or she is not a politician. General Espina comes to mind. Quiet and hardworking, yet a compassionate guy who was not ashamed to cry for his dead men. Addressed Iqbal in a way that did not accuse him, but asked why.

    Let us think about possibilities. Without thinking of what camp someone might be affiliated to. Let us see who can do the job best, based on the criteria I have just developed. Or better ones.

  7. Ronaldo says:

    Very good analysis on Grace Poe 2BFair…

    • 2BFair says:

      Thank you Ronaldo.

      • Ronaldo says:

        You’re welcome 2BFair.An analyst said Senator Poe became #1 in 2013 elections is because she was a consensus candidate.Maybe this coming 2016,if she decides to run for President,she might get the support of both the administration and a large part of the opposition.I don’t ready read any opinion writers critical of her.What I Always read are all praises and disbeliefs.

  8. As we are exploring 2016, may I mention the name Leni Robredo. 🙂

    • 2BFair says:

      The idea of Leni as President takes us back to 1986, when the struggling opposition annointed Cory as their champion. The difference is that today, there is no evil dictator to topple. So the idea of a pure untainted angel to be the face of the opposition is not what is needed for 2016. Leni seems to be a good person, and seems to try to carry the torch for her late great husband. But any efforts that she’s made, any accomplishments that she has under her belt are lost to media, and therefore, lost to the public. She had the chance to shine by taking up the cudgel of the FOI in the lower house but alas it was a fizzle.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Because of fear of dictatorship and authority caused by Marcos, Filipinos moved to the other extreme – too much democracy and no real leaders except FVR, then democratic dictators like Arroyo which is also too much. A balance between extremes must be found.

        Eastern European countries have massive law and order problems because they thought democracy meant doing what you like, they hardly have social services anymore and therefore extremes of poor and rich because they wanted to be completely capitalist. So those who want someone like Ceaucescu back can easily point to the benefits of communism – free medical treatment, free housing etc. and the high crime rate.

  9. Steve says:

    I am not sure it is accurate to say that the “masa” have no access to gossip. I think they have more than enough of that.

    I agree that it is questionable to give Roxas any great credit for protecting the Pope, for bringing BPO to the Philippines, or for improving disaster response. I’m not even sure disaster response has improved in any measurable way; certainly that premise has not been tested. Comparing the response to Typhoon Hagupit to the response to Haiyan is pointless: Hagupit was a big storm at its peak, but it had weakened dramaticalyu by the time it hit land, and was not even remotely close to the strength of Haiyan. That proved what we already knew: the Philippines can cope with ordinary big storms, but not with an extraodinary event like Haiyan.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass who Grace Poe’s biological father was. I don’t think eadership qualities or the tendency toward corruption are genertically transmitted, nor do I see why she’d have any loyalty to a biological parent that did not have anything to do with her childhood. The Binay issue is something she needs to address: because of his connection to her family, the perception of partiality is to some extent legitimate and needs to be managed.

    The Roxas problem is that while he’d probably make a better President than any of the other contenders (which isn’t saying much), he has never shown any ability to play the game. He has no identity appeal and doesn’t seem to know how to build any, and he hasn’t played the political games that build a network among local power brokers who deliver votes.

    What remains to be seen is who will run. If all of the contenders run, which is possible, the vote will be wildly split and 25% may be enough to pull it off. That helps Binay, who has his patronage network out pulling in votes in anticipation of reward. If the anti-Binay vote can coalesce behind someone, that would keep Binay out… but who? Behind a Roxas/Poe slate, maybe, but far from certain. Duterte, on the other hand, might draw votes from Binay, but Binay would be looking hard to keep him out of the picture, and may be able to.

    Candidates like Salceda and Robredo have little chance of winning at this point; they need to build a national audience before they can be serious contenders. The lack of a meaningful party system here makes it very difficult for a governor or other figure with a primarily regional base to campaign for the Presidency.

    There is much to be seen, and to me not much reason for optimism.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, that about packs it in for me on the subject. Can’t say it any better than that, or think it quite so clearly. Sal says he would never wager against you. The one thing I would twist a little is the last line. It all depends on whether we have reached a tipping point of sorts where who is president does not mean as much as the institutions around him and his ability to stock those institutions with decent people. If he is a decent fellow himself (or woman), and earnest, he should be able to do that. At least to discern who the crooks are and who the technocrats are. That’s why my list of candidates I would be optimistic about is fairly broad. Good character, good institutions, growth continues, cleanup continues, social media keep the extremes at bay . . . The rumples might be different from this person or that, or depending on incidents like storms, and the pace may vary. But with OFW’s pulling the load, China not getting outrageously aggressive, I’m optimistic.

      • Steve says:

        The institutions are very resistant to change, and the structure of the civil service system makes them very difficult to reform. A President can appoint new leaders for agencies and institutions, but if the bureaucracy closes ranks against reform those leaders end up isolated and ineffective. Just because someone’s sitting in the top chair holding the controls to all the puppets doesn’t mean those control strings are actually connected to anything.

        The durability of the economic improvements remains to be seen, especially if confidence in the commitment against corruption evaporates. OFWs will continue to keep the ship afloat. BPO will remain a contributor but is aready reaching a ceiling imposed by the limited number of qualified employees, which will limit growth. Agriculture is a continuing disaster, with over 30% of the nation’s workers contributing only 11% of GDP. Manufacturing is lumping along in 1st gear and needs major policy and program revisions to hit the clutch. Much of the frenetic urban economic activity, particularly in real estate, is driven by foreign portfolio investment that can very quickly go elsewhere if confidence drops, and it’s hard to predict what effect it would have if that particular rug was pulled out from underfoot.

        I don’t really trust social media to keep extremes at bay… social media can promote extremism as easily as it can fight it.

        • Joe America says:

          I suppose it depends on which institutions we are talking about. Agriculture is a disaster because CARP is a disaster and so are cooperatives as the chosen business structure. DBM is much more open and accessible and we can track all expenses. Same with NEDA on capital investments. Metrics are creeping into the lexicon. LGU’s are being measured on performance (taxes valuations outdated; Competitiveness council). The nation’s balance sheet is excellent. The military is underfunded but not a bunch of coup panthers lying in wait. Customs has been turned inside out. Relationships with neighboring countries are good and getting better. Efforts to attract manufacturing are being made (that’s what President Aquino was doing the day the coffins arrived). Disaster planning is a way of life. Jobs are growing.

          If one looks at the empty part of the glass, one can certainly describe it. But the idea that this is the 1990’s Philippines would be wrong as well.

          Now you are right. The economy is thin. There may be a real estate bubble, the collapse of which would break the banks. There is not enough domestic wealth generating being done. But I don’t see institutions being resistant to change. I see them changing. The Ombudsman is not Arroyo’s ombudsman, the courts are not Corona’s courts, the ALMC is working, DOJ is working, COA is half and half . . .

          I understand your wariness if you see no “checks and balances” anywhere, except at the president’s desk. Certainly mainstream media don’t provide them. Certainly the nation can get dysfunctionally emotional. The president has to manage that. Certainly there are a lot of weak managers strewn throughout government. But I think they are on the way out. Not this year or next. But in 10 or 15 years, results will count.

          I tend to look at the part of the glass with water in it, and am thankful it is as high as it is. Higher than 5 years ago.

          • josephivo says:

            “Agriculture is a disaster because CARP is a disaster” The remaining CARP is only a few percent of the total. Department of Agriculture and the majority of land is the problem. Fertilizer scams type of set ups are their priority, not farmers or productivity.

            Miss a few items: The RH bill in the half full part, 200 million Filipinos, mostly poor, in 2050 on the empty part. Eventually education will make the difference, K12 in the full part of the glass, the majority of money making private colleges delivering graduates that cannot even multiply by 10 on the empty side. Tabloid media, dynasties, no FI on the very empty part.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “if the bureaucracy closes ranks against reform those leaders end up isolated and ineffective.” Seen that happen in the DFA shortly after Cory came in – the new people hardly stood a chance against the mainly loyalist apparatus and had to adapt because otherwise they would not have survived.

          “The durability of the economic improvements remains to be seen, especially if confidence in the commitment against corruption evaporates.” I remember very well how around 20 years ago – Ramos time was my last visit – people were just as ebullient as now. The boom fizzled.

          „BPO will remain a contributor but is aready reaching a ceiling“. And can move elsewhere easily. Those who want to say the others can’t speak English as well as we do are delusional. Same as those who laughed about Vietnam 20 years ago – we have very modern cars, they are only using bikes.

          While I find Joe’s optimism good, I am also realistic. I know the Filipino mentality too well – people tend to coast along when they have the feeling things are going fine and let up on their efforts. Again I remember the boom during Ramos time and how people were then – overconfident then bust.

          There are some signs of a new generation doing things differently. There is some economic progress. But it has to be made sustainable. And in the Philippines, you often have Potemkin villages, like the street children removed for the Pope’s visit. I remember how we during Marcos time laughed at the official pictures of buildings, how clean and perfect everything looked in contrast to reality. The clean kitchen looks nice, but the real cooking is done in the dirty kitchen. Karls posts actually confirm this. Wrote somewhere else that BPO will be OK for the next 8 years which is good, but what after that? Time to use the opportunity to invest and build other stuff. Otherwise the Philippines remains the „Land of constant new beginnings“ or similar like Ninotchka Rosca wrote somewhere. Sayang.

          • Joe America says:

            Everybody cleans up the house before guests arrive, even the army for when the Generals fly in. We painted all the rocks and neatly lined them up along the sidewalk between barracks. It is called “eyewash”.

            The way I look at it is that there is no end in sight, really. Do I want Naval, Biliran to look and feel like my snazzy, clean, orderly home town suburb outside of Denver, Colorado, USA? Oh, horror of horrors! The path is what we ought to enjoy, and no one provides a richer path than the Philippines. We just need to make it monetarily richer for a lot of folks.

            Me, I think the nation should nail the International Human Rights guidelines on the wall and go for it. That is a right proper direction for the path.

            The doing of it necessarily involves this government nonsense and economic folderol. And guns now and then.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “Everybody cleans up the house before guests arrive” True. But cleaning up only when guests arrive is also a bit strange. It’s as if you care only about what others think and not much about cleanliness.This is why I am concerned whether growth has a solid foundation.

              It all seems more like a house built upon the sand and not upon a rock.

              • Joe America says:

                Oh, cleaning up the house. Billions are being poured into expressways and airports and roads and trains and docks and flood controls systems. Modern residential towers are sprouting like mushrooms. Squatters are being moved off the dangerous river banks. Roxas Blvd is being master planned as an elegant pathway along the bay. Flashy casinos are rising, modern malls are packed with shoppers. Concerts are rocking. Outlying areas like Palawan are thriving as first class tourist destinations. The cars on the roads are new. The auto industry is breaking records. Electric vehicles are replacing jeepneys. Transportation is jammed because infrastructure can’t keep up with the vibrant growth. It is a nice pain to have. Perhaps you’ve been away too long?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                All well and good, I do get to see these things thanks to Facebook friends. Palawan is great know people who went to have vacations there. The new casino I am aware of.

                Have seen short-lived booms in other countries collapse because the fundamental base was not there, so I am a bit skeptical. Do hope that this stuff has permanence though. What I am saying is that it is good to be confident, but overconfidence is dangerous.

              • Joe America says:

                So is contributing to the idea that it is a downtrodden place of no redeeming value. I get tired of being the rah rah guy around here as Filipinos largely run each other and their nation down.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                If the new generation is more confident and less skeptical than mine, that will be a good thing. Many who grew up in the Marcos era learned to NOT to believe many things.

                Happy are those for whom he will be but a distant memory of the past.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, there are the weaknesses and vulnerabilities, the crooked government workers, the incompetent uncles moved into important positions where they arrive late and dine on the taxpayer tab, the scroungy red light districts, the gunslingers, the scam artists who make everything from pirating to hording to running up the cab meter the way things work. But you know, the US congress sucks, racism and sexual predators and drug lords abound, freeways are congested, there are red light districts and thugs and beggars around every corner, and some parts of town you don’t enter even during the day. At night, only after you’ve ordered your life insurance and coffin. When the Pope visits, they clean the place up real nice and show him a good time.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “So is contributing to the idea that it is a downtrodden place of no redeeming value.”

                It definitely isn’t. Just a place that keeps wasting almost every opportunity given. Good that there is progress, I am only saying that it must be secured to be lasting.

                “I get tired of being the rah rah guy around here”

                I am wondering why the Philippine government does NOT manage to do it’s own PR properly. You hear so many reports about other Asian countries and their progress, but nearly NOTHING about the Philippines here in Europe. They sell themselves badly.

                “Filipinos largely run each other and their nation down”

                Of course they do. I have kept clear of my own countrymen abroad – with few exceptions – for the past 16 years because the small-minded intrigues were a waste of time for me. Even abroad they are like that to one another, so I chose to go my own way.

                The awakening in all social media due to Mamasapano made me take the Pinoy in suspended animation out of the freezer, I was thinking yes finally they have come to their senses but seems I was mistaken. Instead of discussing the future it all gets personal.

                I actually see a number of possibilities for the future of the country, but my feeling is that the time until mid-2016 will be crucial, any decision made there will have a major effect. Today’s global world is unforgiving, so it is important NOT to play it by ear this time.

              • Joe America says:

                “Just a place that keeps wasting almost every opportunity given.” Objection, historical hearsay. Dated material does not conform to the facts. Growth is second best in Asia. Debt ratings are investment grade. See aforementioned robust development and latest job reports. Seriously, have you considered that you are carrying a bit of misconception in your mind?

              • karl garcia says:

                Some outdated but still relevant articles.
                If we play our cards right, we can turn a threat into an opportunity:


                We are still on the right track:


                No need to mention BPO because you are updated as far as BPO and IT are concerned.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Growth is second best in Asia. Debt ratings are investment grade.” Good.

                Like I mentioned, there already WAS a boom in mid-90s, Ramos period.

                I’d be happy if the present growth sustains. Will read Karl’s sources.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @Karl: thanks for the two sources. Especially the one with Ayala – they to me are credible people who don’t just say something.

                A solid manufacturing base is very important – looks like it might grow… 🙂

              • Bert says:

                “I get tired of being the rah rah guy around here as Filipinos largely run each other and their nation down.”—Joe

                Don’t worry, Joe. I’m just here in the background, silently agreeing with you and applauding all your rahrahs. Most of us here knows you’re doing the right thing for the country, and the few who want to run the nation down will not benefit from it.

                Thank you, Joe.

              • Joe America says:

                You’ve been there from the getgo, Bert. I’ve had to open my eyes to get there. Thanks for the guidance over the years.

  10. rovingtiger says:

    Reblogged this on rovingtiger.

  11. AjM says:

    Now this author seems to me like a VERY smart and intelligent woman. Good read. Thank you.

  12. PinoyinUSA says:

    Of all the mentioned prospective presidential leaders, who among them can harness the Overseas Filipino talent to government services. It’s about time to tap the OF nationalist talent to change the Philippines. I strongly doubt if the old Philippine politically correct will work.

    New seeds or plants are needed in the Philippine garden.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      I totally kept out of Philippine politics for a long time. Mamasapano and what happened after it sparked my interest anew. There are two questions to be asked:

      1) does economic growth have a stable foundation?

      2) has there been a real change in political culture?

      There is some hope actually, I think the SAF 44 have caused a lot of people to think – also me. The question is, will the momentum be maintained and in what direction will things go.

      We who are abroad may just be eaten up by the system if we come back home – careful.

      • sonny says:

        PiE, from my senior perspective it depends on what dreams you bring with you. 🙂 The stars and the warts and all the civic vitamins from A to Z.

  13. Ven Cheock says:

    PinoyinUSA says:
    March 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm
    Of all the mentioned prospective presidential leaders, who among them can harness the Overseas Filipino talent to government services. It’s about time to tap the OF nationalist talent to change the Philippines. I strongly doubt if the old Philippine politically correct will work.

    New seeds or plants are needed in the Philippine garden.

    • josephivo says:

      Also get all the garbage and especially all the plastic cleared before you start planting the new stuff. Clean water will be needed and less polluted air. The best plants in a poisonous ecosystem do not survive. One golden bullet does not exist, it will be and, and, and… hard work on all fronts.

      • PinoyinUSA says:

        Absolutely true! This is the job of the new gardener President. He make sure the environment is cleaned and fertilized with good water. Hehe.

    • sonny says:

      Beautiful metaphors for an honored country addressing appropriate directions that should resonate with ALL. 🙂

      • PinoyinUSA says:

        With an incorruptible, pragmatic problem-solver, a new Philippines president leader in 2016, working with a group of nine to ten foreign trained incorruptible, pragmatic Overseas Filipinos Nationalist cabinet members, only these new seeds can reform the country.
        We need new seed/bred of nationalist leaders with MS/PhD, Doctors, Engineers, Financial technocrats, Analyst, can reform the country.

        Politician of the old way, Business as usual Philippine old politics system?………same old way………

        Progressive Asian countries were changed by Overseas trained Nationalist, namely, Singapore- Lee Kwan Yew, Taiwan- Chiang Kai Shek, HongKong- British governor, China- Deng Xiaoping

        Just dreaming……..

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Indonesia’s Habibie… Thing is that those who are abroad are outside the very inbred insular in-groups that run the Philippines. They will not want others to come in.

          Works only if you have a powerful man to protect you. And that powerful man will only get a technocrat if he really cares for the country and not ONLY for his pocket.

          I mean Suharto was Marcos-like in his corruption, but he did develop the country and hired Habibie to create modern industry – worked for his pocket and the country.

        • Joe America says:

          I have several reactions, and thank you for generating them:

          1) It sounds like “occupation by OFW”.

          2) There are “new way” politicians emerging within the Philippines. Bam Aquino is the best of them. Grace Poe may be one if she can break the bindings of family allegiances.

          3) The challenge is how to do it, and how patient or impatient we are willing to be. Revolutionary style change is abrupt and destructive and in that destruction takes the nation back and interjects a lot of question marks (which investors read as risk, and shy away from) into the economy. Evolution has to occur within the system, and the system is one of patronage and politics. It is hard to yank around. But, when you have a courageous President, as I believe President Aquino to be, he will break down the established institutions and move at least part way along the path you suggest. Abad is a technocrat (a reformed political one). Also Caesar Purisima. Jimenez at Tourism. DOJ’s De Lima, actually is one. Unfortunately, Abaya is not one.

          4) The amount of friction that emerges is directly proportionate to the amount of change that is forced into established institutions, which is why there is a lot of friction now.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “1) It sounds like “occupation by OFW”.” reminds me of a Philippine ambassador who once said privately – what should I care about what expat Filipinos think, they are only uneducated maids, drivers and subalterns. The old arrogant feudal attitude.

            THAT has changed – see my Tipping Point article. More Filipino students study abroad, managers and businessmen work abroad. I myself have experience Makati arrogance because many of them ignore what is not from the USA. Now that I have learned the codes and the practices of global business and have a modestly successful business myself, I can match any of these guys with practical knowledge they didn’t learn in their MBA schools plus the theory to match it. If they are constructive, we can even both learn.

            “Evolution has to occur within the system” – correct. But a system that welcomes inputs from outside is stronger than a system that is purely inbred. Poe studied in the USA, Roxas in Wharton. A lot of the people from the new upper middle class were abroad and then went back – I am able to talk to them differently now, I am no longer the guy with these strange ideas from Europe when all the West they knew was the States. The slow evolution and seeping in of ideas from abroad I mentioned in my article is happening now.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Inputs from afternoon coffee in town with an Ecuadorian journalist:

              1) In Ecuador they also blame Correa for everything, even if he is doing very well.

              2) People often have a very hard-headed attitude and set ways, almost like putting the donkey they always had to pull the modern car they just bought.

              3) Resistance to ideas from abroad and from foreigners, including prideful reactions to a Facebook post she recently made: who are you to tell us what to do, you who left for an easy life abroad and don’t know what we are going through.

              Admits she doesn’t like “Gringos” but it is always useful to look at what they do well. Santiago is not her surname, in fact and in spirit…

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Correa is Ecuador’s present president and was educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States. New ideas always benefit the country. Inbreeding and insularity are bad. See my Tipping Point blog article.

  14. Bing Garcia says:

    When preparations were being made to return the remains of the fallen SAF troopers to Manila, the President instructed that the fullest honors be rendered; that every family’s particular circumstances be gathered, and every possible source within the limits of the law be explored, to provide for each family’s needs. Would he go to Villamor? No, he would not. But why? And he told a story: when they came home from Boston, they barely had any time to be together with their father for the last time: could we imagine what it was like to see his grisly remains for the first time? He would not deny them time; the families must have time to come to terms with their grief; he would not bring a circus to intrude but instead, see them when his public role was proper –to deliver a eulogy—and his presence would serve a purpose beyond ritual: to assure them concrete plans were in place to provide material security to families confronted not only with grief, but anxiety about their future. Manuel Quezon lll

  15. jameboy says:

    Stopping Binay, if that would be the main objective, is really easy. The solution is out there staring us in the eye. But first we have to make sure PNoy should be on the side of the one running against Binay.

    But let’s talk about the other factors that go along with the topic.

    Trust Issue

    Is trust issue really necessary? I have mix feelings about it. If people look for trustworthiness as basis for voting, I think Mar Roxas should be it. Grace Poe is also very qualified given her positive image and how the public reacts to her. However, it’s also true that Binay, who has that unenviable reputation of a trapo and corrupt, is up there in surveys and is seen as the next possible one to occupy Malacanang. If trust is the thing, Binay should be at the bottom of the barrel.

    Performance Issue

    Again, given his nth tenure as mayor of Makati, aside from being a long time human rights lawyer, etc. and now VP, Binay has the edge compared with Poe and Mar. And it is understandable because the latter two mainly held departmental position, in the case of Mar and a board or bureau in the case of Poe. However, Binay’s executive function, ‘sterling’ as they are, have been accompanied by allegations of abuses and corruption with a sprinkle of nepotism which for other people suggests that more of the same will happen if Binay gets the Palace.

    And that is where Poe and Mar gets to level a little above him but really not a comfortable one because like I said theirs are more of line agency or departmental function.

    Leadership Issue

    With regard to the issue of leadership, again, I’m a bit queasy about it. Why? It think its an overrated word that pops up only during election time. A leader should be good, inspire, give hope, etc. are qualities everybody knows by heart. What we’re forgetting is a leader should also deliver and be capable of doing unpopular things for the greater good. That people respect and trust. Of all the presidents that held office after Marcos, I consider all to be leaders except, here’s the bombshell, Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo. I’ll stop there.

    In their own way, we could agree that Binay, Mar and Poe have demonstrated leadership in their respective turf. But again, Binay’s delivery as a chief executive overshadows that of Poe’s and Mar’s. The only thing going for the two is either of them, if given the opportunity to serve, are capable of delivering. Now, with regard to quality, that would be another matter.

    For me, I see Binay, Mar and Grace on equal footing on everything that will take to be president. What differentiate them with each other are the baggages they carry and the reputation, negative and positive, that precedes them.

    Finally, Roxas running is not the cause or reason to defame Poe. It is actually Poe’s running that would open the gate for that. Even if Roxas decides to quit the insults and defamation will still happen. Hey, it’s election time, everyone who goes after the main prize is a fair game.

    • Bert says:

      “”Stopping Binay, if that would be the main objective, is really easy. The solution is out there staring us in the eye. But first we have to make sure PNoy should be on the side of the one running against Binay.”

      My position on that is based on the premise that President Noynoy will go for someone who can assure him that what happened to GMA will not happen to him, thus:

      1. Binay, being a personal friend, can do that. But, Noynoy backing Binay without the LP machine behind him him will not result to a Binay win.

      2. Mar Roxas can do that, But Roxas can’t win against Binay in a fair election.

      3. For the president to insure that the next president will not do him in, he will have to make a deal and back someone who has a very good chance of winning.

      4. Or, he can rigged the election.

      • jameboy says:

        Bert, first, thanks for sharing your thoughts in a theory I presented about how to stop Binay. Off we go.

        The objective is to stop Binay, hence, your no. 1 is not be possible.

        In no. 2, you may be right Roxas can’t stop Binay but I think otherwise. In fact, Roxas can do it with PNoy’s help not necessarily by backing him but by doing something else.

        In your no. 3, the ‘deal and backing someone’ to stop Binay is what I’m referring to on no. 2 but not in that simple manner but in another way. You almost got it but not quite.

        No. 4, is like no. 1. Not gonna happen. In fairness, PNoy, in all his frailties, is not known to use underhanded tactics just to get his way. And rigging elections is not an easy one.

        So the search to stop Binay continue. 🙂

        • karl garcia says:

          I thought “something else” meant Bert’s No. 4

          • jameboy says:

            Rigging election is hard. The ‘something else’ I’m talking about is an act that will come from PNoy and will ensure, at least from where I see it, that Binay do not get the Palace.

            Would you care to guess what it is?

            • karl garcia says:

              I give up, do tell.

              • jameboy says:

                Stopping Binay is easy with the help of PNoy. How? PNoy will just have to convince Grace Poe to back up Mar Roxas, either to campaign for him or run with him as VP.

              • Karl garcia says:

                Ok. Thanks.

              • Bert says:

                Roxas against Binay, even with the support of Noynoy and Grace Poe, is not a sure thing for Roxas. That could be a good gamble on the part of President Noynoy but not a sure thing. I think that the president cannot afford that. The president backing Roxas against Binay will alienate a good friend Binay and will be personally risky to Noynoy after the election if Binay wins.

                Grace Poe with the support of the president and the LP is the surest. That’s the situation where I said the Marcos connection would not have much negative effect on Grace.

                That’s my take

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Bert I agree. Mar will never get the trust of the masa. Neither will LP.

                Binay’s base is the masa. Grace Poe could get some of them.

  16. jameboy says:

    But let’s take Poe out of the picture. Then who would you be left with? Binay’s numbers are on a free-fall. But if Mar Roxas is the only other contender, then Binay may still win.
    That depends. Poe is an important variable in the equation so important that she can affect the outcome even if she don’t run. You remove her, she goes some place. She cannot be in limbo. She has to choose where to go, who to support. Would it be Binay or Roxas’ camp? Where she end up will reflect in the election result.

    That’s for sure.

  17. jameboy says:

    To all those who freely throw around the gossip that Grace Poe is the love child of Marcos. What jerks!
    I thought I heard some here says, “ouch!”, lol! 🙂

    But seriously, that’s painful and at the same time expected. Election time is time for digging dirt and raiding closets. No sacred cow in open season. Anything to find that will be use for a story meant to either prop up or torpedo someone’s ambition.

    That’s how the game is played and I don’t think it will change any time soon.

    • Bert says:

      If the president opt to chose Grace Poe instead of Roxas, that Marcos dirt won’t have much negative effect on her. The Marcos loyalists and the Erap loyalists will gravitate to her and the negative effect wiill be on Binay. So the Binay camp will have reasons to hesitate using it in the campaign. The yellow army will be split between Binay and President Noynoy. Just saying.

      Indeed this coming presidential election could be an interesting and exciting spectacle to watch.

      • jameboy says:

        But that’s assuming that people in Roxas’ side are the only ones who talk about the ‘Marcos story’ which I think does not exactly fit what’s happening on the ground. Anyone who want to beat Poe will use any means including the ‘Marcos story’. And Marcos and Erap loyalists will not hesitate to use it if threatens Binay’s ambition.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      skimmed through it – I mean you have a high value target, the best trained police in the country and part of the equipment does not work? The 84th SAC had two guides who did not know the area at night? 55th SAC had no guides and therefore got lost? The other units did not have direct coordination with the 84th and 55th? Ok going in and out on foot behind enemy lines is analyzed as inappropriate, but any normal thinking person sees that.

      Purisima is heavily criticized, Napeñas as well, Noynoy a little. From my first impression of the report and its conclusions 60% of the blame lies with Purisima who did not pass on important information up, down and sideways, 30% with Napeñas, 10% with Noynoy.

      Aquino trusted Purisima too much, Purisima played a very strange game for whatever reason, Napeñas was overwhelmed but then again he had way too much to deal with. Looks like he allowed himself to be tricked into becoming the fall guy for all of this.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Mar, that’s it: http://www.rappler.com/nation/86729-aquino-no-liability-mamasapano-roxas ” President Benigno Aquino III has “no liability” in the operational fiasco in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, that killed 44 police commandos, 18 Moro rebels and at least 3 civilians, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II declared on Friday, March 13. ” – you HAD the chance to prove that you are your own man, especially in this very special situation. You are not.

        Purisima has the largest share of the blame for sure, but Noynoy has a small part also.

        • Joe America says:

          My reading was that he believes the President has no LEGAL liability, as it is within his authority to consult with whomever he wishes. It may have been bad judgment, and we’ll see what the President has to say about it in a day or two. Plus there is a political reality to consider, does Roxas join the Binays, crooks, leftists, malcontents, grieving families, uncles and aunties and all the people piling on the President, or does he believe it is in the best interest of the NATION to take some heat off the President, to keep the office strong. And of course, there is the personal reality that President Aquino who will decide who LP’s presidential candidate is, and he values loyalty. It is Roxas’ strong suit.

          I personally think Roxas played it about the only way he could play it considering what the report said. It was not a test of his manhood. The better test of that was his response back to the Binay camp, which had dared him to deliver the suspension order personally. He shrugged it off as an “adolescent high school” ploy. He further said delivering the subpoena is “just my job”. He went up today in my eyes, as his own man, calm and practical. Not willing to give into all the emotionalism surrounding the two events, Mamasapano and Binay suspension.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            IMHO it wasn’t necessary to mention who is liable or who is not in such a statement.

            One can be one’s own man or partisan (yellow or anti-yellow) – he is now proven yellow.

            Had he not said ANYTHING regarding liability, he would have shown his independence.

          • josephivo says:

            Two observations.

            1. In every organization you have people you like and people you dislike. The dislike can just be from just superficial up to strong suspicions of wrong doings. We shouldn’t forget that we come from an era where soldiers sold their weapons to the enemy, where Napoles sold sub-par helmets, where budgets were plundered… Purisima did clean up a lot in the police to please the president and didn’t make only friends doing so. Some could take revenge and get him suspended. These likes and dislikes had influenced consciously and unconsciously in the preparation and the execution of the intervention. None of it is mentioned because there is no hard evidence, but I think that insiders know a lot more.

            2. The event demonstrated again the danger of blind loyalty. For a boss it is comfortable but dangerous. Purisma felt invulnerable under Pnoy’s wings and therefor incoutious. Napenas looked to me as the exemplary loyal soldier, liked by superiors but promoted to his level of incompetence. Pnoy should be more aware of the dangers of unconditional loyalty.

        • andrewlim8 says:

          I will ditch my planned review of Joe Almonte’s book and instead incorporate it into an analysis of the BOI report.

          Raissa pointed out in her review of Joe Almonte’s book that Presidents consult and involve people they feel most capable in decision making, and in Joe Almonte’s case, he was “merely” the head of the EIIB but President Cory and Ramos involved him in dealing with the coup plots in those years. Clearly out of the chain of command but involved nevertheless.

          Pnoy has prerogative to instruct Napenas as subordinate, but is required to involve the OIC (Espina) to preserve the chain of command. The way I understand it, the flow of the chain of command – downwards and upwards, is: PnoyEspinaNapenas. Purisima should have been out of the picture entirely, except for private conversations/consultations with any of the actors involved.

          In any case, this broken chain of command is not the proximate cause of the large number of casualties. It you read the entirety of the report, it was largely the faulty planning and execution of the whole oplan. And the greatest liability for that is with Napenas, followed by Purisima. Complicating that is the delayed reaction of the AFP re the artillery support.

          Pnoy suffers politically from this, but he is not liable at all, in my view.

          If the operation had ended with zero casualties, Pnoy and Purisima would still be found in violation of breaking the chain of command. But what is the liability for that?

  18. andrewlim8 says:

    @Pinoy in Europe

    I dont think you apportion liability in percentages,( 60-30-10 pa ha ha just like what they alleged in the elections)

    Proximate cause as to why there were so many casualties, I believe is the issue here. Not the broken chain of command, not the lawfulness of the operation at all.

    And as far as proximity goes, it was the defective planning and execution of Napenas and Purisima.

    Since we analyze this backwards in time, my view is that you decrease the impact of causation on
    events the farther you go back in time.

    To stretch this further, and just to tickle 2BFair and you, it was Grace Poe who started this unfortunate chain of events by going after Purisima so hard, he got suspended. Which fouled up the planning process, which Pnoy abetted, which etc etc. 🙂

    Remember the “butterfly effect”, anyone? Paging Edgar Lores. It says that you cannot determine the outcome of complex systems because changing even the minutest detail in prior events will cause widely varying outcomes. (Metaphorical example which popular culture misinterpreted: Can a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world cause a hurricane in another part?)

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “I dont think you apportion liability in percentages,” – I wrote about blame not liability.

      https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113379: I wrote:

      ” From my first impression of the report and its conclusions 60% of the BLAME lies with Purisima who did not pass on important information up, down and sideways, 30% with Napeñas, 10% with Noynoy.

      Aquino trusted Purisima too much, Purisima played a very strange game for whatever reason, Napeñas was overwhelmed but then again he had way too much to deal with. Looks like he allowed himself to be tricked into becoming the fall guy for all of this.”

      Feel free to have another opinion and give your reasons, I have given mine concisely.

      • andrewlim8 says:

        Oh ok but “blame” is political and based on opinion. Napenas and Purisima paid for it by losing their jobs. Pnoy’s stock has decreased.

        Liability is what everyone (the actors involved) is now trying to avoid. Based on that BOI report, Napenas could be liable for gross incompetence and negligence.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Of course it is opinion and a purely personal thing. Liability is something that has to be decided upon by due process. Mar’s comment therefore not necessary / premature.

          • bauwow says:

            Sorry to butt in, but PiE, please give Mar some space. He is the DILG secretary, the report was given to him. People are waiting for his comments. He made the statement because, he had to. Although, I agree with you that Pnoy has at least some liability being the Commander in Chief.

            • BFD says:


              I don’t give a rat’s ass who Grace Poe’s biological father was. I don’t think eadership qualities or the tendency toward corruption are genertically transmitted, nor do I see why she’d have any loyalty to a biological parent that did not have anything to do with her childhood.

              You see, I do care, because if we go by patterns that Macoy has done with his children, legit or not, we can surmise that he has set up a trust fund for each of them.

              Now, if Sen. Grace knew of the existence of the trust fund benefiting her, then it changes the ballgame altogether, so that’s why paternal relationship should first be addressed and secondly, did she benefit?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                She could atone for her father’s sins and do better than him like former German president Richard von Weizsäcker, son of wartime State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker did:


                “In 1985 he gave a famous speech in the Bundestag about the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on 8 May 1945[20][21] where he articulated the historic responsibility of Germany and Germans for the crimes of Nazism. In contrast to the way the end of the war was still perceived by a majority of people in Germany at the time, he defined 8 May as a day of liberation.[22] Weizsäcker pointed out the inseparable link between the Nazi takeover of Germany and the tragedies caused by the Second World War.[20] In a passage of striking boldness, he took issue with one of the most cherished defenses of older Germans. “When the unspeakable truth of the Holocaust became known at the end of the war,” he said, “all too many of us claimed they had not known anything about it or even suspected anything.”[23]

                Most notably,[24] in the wake of U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s controversial visit to the Bitburg military cemetery in May 1985, Weizsäcker spoke of the danger of forgetting and distorting. “There is no such thing as the guilt or innocence of an entire nation. Guilt is, like innocence, not collective but personal. There is discovered or concealed individual guilt. There is guilt which people acknowledge or deny. . . . All of us, whether guilty or not, whether young or old, must accept the past. We are all affected by the consequences and liable for it. . . . We Germans must look truth straight in the eye – without embellishment and without distortion. . . . There can be no reconciliation without remembrance.”[25]”

                Joe as a Lutheran will understand the concept of http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%A4tige_Reue – tätige Reue, active repentance which is part of the German legal tradition but is rooted in Lutheranism. Active repentance means not just repenting and confessing like Catholics and some born-again Christians do, it means repenting, thinking about what you or your antecedents did wrong and doing everything to correct it and to do better. In that sense, I would give Grace Poe a chance even if her father is Marcos. She has his determined eyes, for me it is proof enough. But after all, Luke Skywalker was Darth Vader’s boy without the dark side. Let us not be so vindictive, but if we are forgiving let us be forgiving in the right way – demand constant proof that forgiveness is deserved.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Jesus said to Mary Magdalene – go forth, and sin no more.

                Some Filipina prostitutes pray to Mary Magdalene every afternoon before their shift starts, obviously not understanding the meaning of what Jesus said to Mary Magdalene.

                Like Filipino leftists who did not fully comprehend Lenin and criticize themselves before criticizing. Or Hitler who for that matter who forgot to read and understand Nietzsche properly, that those who fight dragons can become dragons themselves. Q.E.D.

    • Joe America says:

      Another irony, regarding the butterfly effect. The BOI report says General Pangilinan took it upon himself to put the preservation of the cease fire agreement above the rescue of the SAF, by withholding artillery. Boy howdy, that decision rolled through the chain of outcomes with near destruction of the BBL and the entire peace framework.

      • karl garcia says:

        from a layman ….BOI report can only say something about PNP and the AFP’s fault can just be a footnote or a sidenote …..Sorry super speculation to follow.

        Election time AFP’s loyalty is badly needed.
        more conspiracy theories about DOTC’s so called fund raising will again be news,
        AFP intel funds as the AFP’s Pork barrel will suddenly be an issue…

        I’ll stop guessing.

        • karl garcia says:

          one more:
          If the president wants BBL passed by June, no amount of screaming can stop it.

          • Joe America says:

            That’s an interesting point. I think representatives are actually weighing the public’s outrage on Mapasapano. The bizarre antics of the reps at the House hearing suggests forces other than President Aquino are in play.

        • Joe America says:

          Why is AFP loyalty needed at election time? It seems irrelevant to me.

          I’m not familiar with DOTC’s fund-raising. The bidding process, and favoring, say, the Ayalas over others for train stations?

          I would think AFP intel funds are not political. Pork for the generals? Budget for 2015 is passed already. Excuse me for being a tad confused.

          • karl garcia says:

            yeah maybe irrelevant…..
            but for reference:


            on afp intel funds

            old news but election related


            2015 budget passed but still to be released….

            AFP’s duty is to defend constitution, people…some how during elections the defense includes the presidential candidate they support….sorry only an observation ….

            • Joe America says:

              Ah, I understand now. Well, Abaya is, at best, a mystery, and, at worst . . . well . . . pretty bad.

              The AFP hijinks are new to me. I didn’t get a sense that General Catapang is a military trapo during the Mamasapano hearings. He seemed to deal straight. He’s 55 years old. Is there hope for a new generation of straight-dealing professionals in the AFP?

              • karl garcia says:

                there is always hope.
                Trillanes even if sometimes he seems highstrung and don’t care who he’s talking too is vigilant enough.
                about those young one’s ideal from the start but when the system eats them,they allow to be ingested, they must not and they must change the system, starting from the honor code which is strictly for campus use only, what about after that?

                about intelligence funds and 1 trillion pork: more updated article


              • Joe America says:

                Well, as I recall, that claim by Colmenares was rebutted a couple of days later, and he simply did not understand the reports. President Aquino does not and never has had a trillion dollars worth of pork. Colmenares and a guy named Reyes are nuts. Just plain lunatics and liars. (I allege, never having met them personally, and not desiring to do so.) You can’t quote them and facts in the same sentence because they have re-interpreted the facts any way they can to destabilize the Philippines.

              • karl garcia says:

                they(Colmenares,et al) question just about everything like tearing up the EDCA document just for a photo op, I did not watch house hearings of Mamasapano, what could have Colmenares done….I remember hearing he asked to divide the house to subpoena PNoy, as if he will get more than 1 or 2 votes…. nutty guy.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @Joe, I recommend Closer Than Brothers by Alfred McCoy. The gist from my point of view is that the Filipino military raised in American times was still professional and became politicized during the Republic. Meaning we became Filipinos again when the Joes left.

                @Karl: right. I met someone three months ago who had talked to Trillanes personally. Looks like he is highly intelligent and passionate with very clear ideas. IMHO had his learning curve when it comes to tempering and channeling his passions – Oakwood.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I didn’t get a sense that General Catapang is a military trapo during the Mamasapano hearings.” I do. My street smarts give me a sleazy vibe when I see his picture.

                One should not forget how political appointments are: Gazmin for example was PSG head during Cory’s time and is from Tarlac. But unlike Purisima (who also gives me a sleazy and opportunist vibe) he is a pro and honest.

                The new generation could be a hope: the overlay of American professionalism did not last long after the Joes left us, a new Filipino-style professionalism a la Trillanes – na galing sa loob at hindi lang pakitang-tao – could be emerging.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m going to dig out the blog on “discipline” that I trashed for being too overbearingly American. I think that discipline is the big difference between the two military forces. Mamasapano was horridly undisciplined.

              • Joe America says:

                ps, the Germans are probably better disciplined than the American forces. I’m 3/4 German myself, honed by American sloth, sports, fast cars, free love and jazz to be only occasionally disciplined.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Joe, are you referring to this: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113449 – well actually the German military doctrine allows for more latitude to ground commanders and therefore more flexibility – stronger delegation than the American way. Same thing with American and German corporate cultures. American firms have policies for everything including dress code and sexual harrassment internationally. The latter caused problems in European firms that were taken over – hey this is not applicable here!

                Haha, it’s as I thought you were, being of the Vietnam War generation. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Hey, I looked good in long hair and a puka shell necklace . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                America was cool back in your days with Jimi Hendrix and stuff Joe, though I am more from the omads (Filipino grass) cum whisky (White Castle, one of my cousins was a model on a horse) or rum (Tanduay) or vodka (Filipino Toska, bad stuff that caused us to fight) generation that listened to AC-DC and deep purple, educated layabouts with attitude, some of whom joined leftist groups to get a sense of purpose and for the sheer thrill of it. The generation raised on the first coños to sing in Filipino – Hotdog, Annie Batungbakal.

              • Joe America says:

                America was cool in those days, for sure. Sigh. You’ve got me flashed back. Grass and girls, music and social protest, beaches and wine, funny clothes and long hair . . . career rocket man on the rise . . . then I got a family and things went . . . responsible . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                What you do have from your German side though is Lutheran seriousness and a no-nonsense missionary attitude without the hypocrisy that missionaries from some other American Protestant denominations display.

                The Lutheran attitude of helping people help themselves, just guiding the learning process, is embodied in the Society of Honor. I highly appreciate that and that is why I am here, even though it is in my nature to be provocative and challenging at times.

                And sometimes my ideas just come out of me – eruptively at time, sometimes in a gentle flow of lava. I am after all a Bikolano and we all are volcanoes doped on sili but for the most part we are nice guys. Like our possible tribal relatives, the Muslim Maranao.

              • Joe America says:

                The German/Lutheran foundation, highly principled, hard working parents . . . rather set the scene. They stabilized the personal qualities of being a wanderer and dreamer, unconventional, skilled at everything, master of nothing. Then, as my psychic first wife observed, I am “lucky”. Yep.

                You are volcanic, for sure. Good rhythms to the drumbeats . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “America was cool in those days, for sure. Sigh.” Which is why Dubya’s America with it’s politically correct neo-Puritanism, vindictiveness, vainness and crusader mentality shocked many people. Needed an African healer like Obama to do the voodoo on it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But then again, 911 brought out the nation’s inner demons, much like the SAF 44 is doing to the Philippines. The Philippines needs a compassionate but strong healer NOW or else the unleashed demons will dominate the country for more than a decade.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “You are volcanic, for sure. Good rhythms to the drumbeats . . .” Yes, and our deep tribal tradition as Bikolanos helps us understand that God and the Devil are brothers – the volcanoes that nourish our fertile soils can at times be dangerous to us.

                We learn to move on after eruptions and till the fertile soil that our volcanoes have given us, bury the dead and feed the living like the famous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebasti%C3%A3o_Jos%C3%A9_de_Carvalho_e_Melo,_1st_Marquis_of_Pombal said after the great earthquake that devastated Lisboa.

                We know that bad and good can come together, not only with volcanoes but also with all presidents the Philippines had – Marcos brought infrastructure and institutions, but also human rights violations, Cory brought democracy but was a weak figurehead, Noynoy is clean but not enough of a datu to knock heads of all Filipino tribes like supreme raja Marcos did. Salceda built on some legacies of his corrupt predecessor Salalima but did not punish him. The common friend and enemy Mayon forged our unity over ages.

                Our ancient chief Handyong got the devil’s beautiful daughter herself to be on his team. The legend says we all descend from that strong warrior and that smart cunning woman. One legend says she was enticing his men into the jungle, luring them into hot springs to eat them afterwards. He went in and told her: woman come over to me if you want me. Impressed by his alpha male demeanour, she went after him and became his wife and helped him clear the jungle of beasts and demons. Which her father did not like at all.

                Add to that the Lutheran thing: active repentance. Do not be overly vindictive and overly forgiving like Filipinos, forgive but demand proof that the one forgiven has LEARNED. Then you have a recipe for constructive healing: https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113474

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “as my psychic first wife observed, I am “lucky”. Yep. ” So am I, but the pragmatic legacy of the Bikolano often saved me. Making do with volcanoes, wild jungles and colonialists:
                Like 19th-century Mayor Higino Templado of Tiwi, Albay: http://templado.blogspot.de/

                “SUPPRESSED FLOGGING

                Though Higino would not compromise with criminality, he detested the infliction of bodily harm to criminals as a form of punishment. To him, punishment has for its purpose the reformation of the criminal. With this belief, he immediately suppressed flogging, the subjection of offenders to the bite of ants and other physical forms of punishments.


                Higino believed that peace and order is necessary for the progress of the community. However, he said, peace and order cannot be achieved if those who are charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace and orders are undisciplined and oppressive.

                Knowing that the cuadrilleros, the local police force during the Spanish regime, were illiterates and untrained for police work, he took immediate steps in reorganizing the cuadrilleros. They were required to learn the native martial arts and to attend a short course in police work. He issued them instructions to govern their actuations and charged them the duty of preventing crimes and the apprehension of criminals. Erring cuadrilleros were confined in jail without visitors for several days depending on the degree of their errors. Cuadrilleros, he said, must be models and that they could only correct themselves if they are made to taste the dose of their own medicine.


                An incident with a Guardia Civil caused an unwholesome relationship between him and the organization of the Guardia Civil. In those days, the guardia civil were powerful and arrogant. Nobody dared disobey them. For no cause at all, they would beat anybody (not excluding the gobernadorcillo) who happened to cross their ways.

                On one occasion, a guardia civil came knocking at Higino’s bedroom while enjoying his noon siesta, with the intention of humiliating the gobernadorcillo. Irked by this arrogance, Higino opened the door abruptly and in a surprise move, he grabbed the guardia civil’s pistol and held him up. “Pay respect or honor in the name of the King”, the gobernadorcillo commanded. Caught unaware, the guardia civil humbled himself before Higino. He arrested him and locked him in jail. He was only released upon a pledge that the guardia civil will not repeat the incident nor molest his people. From then on, no guardia civil ever dared slight Higino nor would any guardia civil go to any place in Tiwi without his knowledge and authority.

                PACIFIED THE AETAS

                The forest areas of what is now the Binisitahan of San Bernardo and the mountains of Barangay Mayong were earlier inhabited by roaming Agta (Aeta). These people were nomadic and warlike in nature and were constantly molesting the Christian natives. Higino decided to pacify these Aetas. He befriended their chiefs and summoned them to gather in San Bernardo and the lowlands of Mayong. When Higino arrived at the gathering of the Aetas in San Bernardo, he noted an unfriendly atmosphere among the Aetas. Their Chief, seated on a bench like a king, did not rise nor demonstrate any act of welcoming the gobernadorcillo.

                As Higino stood unwelcome and embarrassed, the Chief Aeta, brandishing a bolo signaled to one of his men to throw a coconut to him, which he struck in two. Higino, however, was not impressed by the show. He surprised everybody by disarming him with his bolo. Everybody was tense! The slightest signal from their Chief would throw them into action. Tension, however was eased when the Aeta Chief, in an act of surrender smiled apologetically and explained that what he did was nothing but a mere gesture of welcome. He warned them not to molest the Christian natives and advised them to live peacefully. Later, he arranged for a lay mission, which he accompanied for the conversion of the Aetas to Christianity. For a while they settled peacefully but some of them wandered into the forests.


                Town Planning

                The only road existing at the time he became the gobernadorcillo was the road from Malinao. The town was no more than a settlement of scattered houses. The only building of permanent construction was the church and convent. Having seen the orderly arrangement of the city of Manila and some other towns near Manila, he made a plan for Tiwi.

                Built Municipal Streets

                The existing systems of the municipal streets in Tiwi were laid out during the term of Gobernadorcillo Higino Templado. Higino believed in the importance of good roads. He soon started the construction of the Cararayan- Cale road, which was then only a trail to make it passable for Carabao-drawn carts. To provide the barrio of Cararayan with a street through which the religious procession or aurora may pass, he also caused the construction of the back street of Cararayan named Eduardo Comot Street.

                The maintenance of the Tiwi- Malinao road always concerned him. It was while supervising the repair of this road during heavy rain that caused his sickness resulting to his death.

                Constructed The Tribunal

                Tiwi did not have a building to house its local government offices. In 1880, he built a town hall, which was then called the Tribunal. It was built of stone and its architecture was of the Corinthian style. Its construction was partly financed from his personal funds due to the inadequacy of the funds of the Pueblo. This building was unfortunately burned in the later part of the Spanish regime due to the fireworks fired by one Directorcillo* Tomas Gonzalez.

                *Directorcillo was the municipal secretary.

                The Town Plaza

                To provide the community a wholesome place where people could gather and meet on Sundays and holidays, Higino constructed a town plaza in front of the Tribunal building on the very site of the present town plaza. Ornamental trees and plants were planted around the plaza and lampposts were installed and lighted at night. In this place people gathered to see the Comedia or local plays.

                This plaza was named Plaza Templado during the time of Municipal President Mateo Clidoro (1925- 1931) in honor of Gobernadorcillo Higino Templado. The name however was soon forgotten. Only former President Lino Clutario (1931-1934), then Secretary to President Clidoro, remembers it to this day.

                Irrigation and River Control

                Realizing the importance of the lowlands between Cararayan and Naga for agricultural purposes, he saw the need of an irrigation canal. He called the people of the barrio and explained to them the necessity of constructing an irrigation system. Supplementing the Polo or forced labor system of the time with voluntary or cooperative labor the irrigation system from the barrio of Cale was constructed.

                It was during the construction of this irrigation system that an anecdote was told about Higino. Early one morning, the continuous beating of a drum annoyed him. He went out of his house and looked for the source of the sound and found the Cabeza de Barangay still beating the drum. “I am calling the men to work in the community dam but not one has come”, the Cabeza explained.
                “Give me the drum!” the gobernadorcillo commanded. With a bolo, he struck the drum and left the Cabeza dumbfounded.

                Struck with fear, the Cabeza went around spreading the news that the gobernadorcillo was angry. Sooner than was expected, men were hurrying to the community dam.

                “An sobrang tanog nacaca bognog. Sarong pokpok na malumbay nacacabuhay,” Higino was later heard to have said.

                The Nagas River Control Project

                The Nagas River has been a constant threat to the road connecting Malinao and Tiwi and to the rice fields of Tiwi. It was once reported to Higino that in Taki* was a lake whose water was shut off by a big rock held in place by a vine. It was feared that if the vine was cut, the rock would roll to cause a big flood. To allay the fears of the people, Higino taking with him the image of Nuestra Senora del Rosario (Patron Saint of Cararayan), and leading a party of cuadrilleros and local officials, visited the alleged lake. The report however was found to be false. The trip was not at all futile for it enabled him to map out plan to control Nagas River. The plan did not materialize on account of his untimely death.

                *Taki- the upper portion of Nagas River


                The Abaca Industry

                The Abaca as the people’s money crop concerned him much. In fact he was a big abaca plantation owner. His plantations were located at Mayong, Dapdap and in Cale. He was an advocate of quality fibers. He was proud to claim that the best abaca fibers came from Tiwi. To attain his objectives, he required all strippers to use only knives without teeth. He ordered his cuadrilleros to inspect abaca strippers and to confiscate knives with teeth.

                Higino was a jealous economist. In 1881, the central government required him to ship to Manila a large quantity of abaca rootstocks. Sensing that the propagation of abaca in other places would later threaten the town’s abaca industry, Gobernadorcillo Templado ordered the abaca rootstocks soaked in Naglagbong boiling springs before its shipment to prevent its germination.

                Established Experimental Plots

                In his desire to improve the economic condition of his people, the gobernadorcillo established a demonstration or experimental plot in Cararayan. He experimented and introduced such plants as legumes or beans, indigo, tobacco, garlic, sugarcane from Central Luzon, and such fruit trees as ates, seneguelas, and mulberry trees for the raising of silkworms.


                Founding Of Cararayan

                In searching for a place to establish his home, Higino selected a place, which he called Cararayhan (most ideal place). In later times people simplified it to Cararayan. He induced his friends and other people to settle down in this place, which he intended earlier to make it the poblacion of Tiwi.

                With the cooperation of his neighbors they built a chapel. He ordered a painted image of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario from Manila and since then it has been the patron saint of the barrio. It seems that he chose this image in honor of the patron saint of Santo Domingo Church where he usually heard mass when still in Manila.

                Renamed Gentilan*

                Mayong was originally known as Cagintilan as Aetas and a haven then inhabited it for bad and troublesome people. After its pacification Gobernadorcillo Templado renamed Cagintilan to Mayong. The head of the Aetas was commissioned as Capitan de Mayong.

                * Gentilan- derived from the word Gentil or Gentiles. The word gentil in Bicol refers to lawless people.”

                Another classic Bicol tribal leader like Handyong. Salceda is a modern version.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              To the historians here, I strongly recommend http://www.amazon.com/Travels-Philippines-Fedor-Jagor/dp/1402189680 Travels in the Philippines by German-Russian researcher Fedor Jagor who visited Albay in the 19th century.

              He also observed the ancient tribal tradition of sacrificing strangers after someone in the clan had died. I remember how my drunkard, black-sheep, gambler and womanizer uncle told me when I as a child asked “why do strangers keep away from us at burials” – it is because of ancient traditions in the back of their head they still fear. My aunts later told me don’t believe him he is a drunkard and tells a lot of stories, but Jagor proved it true.

              Joe, that could be the reason why Noynoy stayed away at the airport – subconscious fear of going there. After all, in Filipino tradition you do NOT attend burials if you are an outsider. It does actually happen from time to time that outsiders get killed by grieving clans, an old tribal tradition that had not fully died even in modern Philippines. After all, it was the blue clan that was there for the most part at the airport. Could make sense.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Pork for the generals?” I have now found out why BBL is absolutely necessary.

            You can’t give pork to the Muslim leaders.

            • karl garcia says:

              rename it to beef barrel ….problem solved.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                halal barrel please. Today I will say salamaleikum to my barber who knows a lot of Pinoy OFWs from the gulf – he is from there and is NOT one of those who treat Pinoys badly. Ang haba na naman ng buhok ko, time to get a 9 mm cut – not 9 mm pistol like we joke.

                My barber shop is full of bearded guys and is in the Muslim migrant part of town – there are a lot of them here in Europe. Friendly faithful Muslims who are on the good side of religion, more like hardworking Protestant born-again people than potential terrorists. Young Muslim tough guys in rapper style and young European roughnecks from the red light district close by come to have their hair cut in a cool modern way in that barber shop.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Actually doon ako dahil mura – typical Pinoy attitude – at marunong maggupit sa kulot na Bikolang may hawig daw kay Rez Cortez dahil mga Arabo sanay sa kulot.

  19. karl garcia says:

    I am a fanboy of JoeAm.com and all of its contributors. (as if it is not obvious by now)
    Andrew compose those two articles and line them up.
    Pie I am waiting for your synthesis
    Sonny…..writer’s block can be unblocked.
    More lateral thinking from Joseph please.
    Juana if not for Pie, I would not have seen your old articles..more please
    Steve I guess can do articles like that of tagabundok about Mindanao.
    2bFair more to follow I hope.
    Plus more guest articles. Line them up.
    I forgot the Guru in chief…I am sure you will enlighten us once more with your precise views.

    • sonny says:

      Karl, habang sinusundan ko mga talakayan dito sa blog, talagang bilib ako sa mga pagiisip ninyong mga sumusulat, tawag sa Ingles – sharp at talagang mga may malasakit sa ating bayan. I wish I could use writer’s block excuse. Pero everyone’s covered so much of the angles one could think of. Kudos!

      Side information: I just ordered from Amazon, THE MORO WAR, HOW AMERICA BATTLED A MUSLIM INSURGENCY IN THE PHILIPPINE JUNGLE, 1902 – 1913 by James Arnold

      According to the reviews and editorial notes, this book is a MUST READ for serious students of military history. I read the opening pages for Kindle and true enough it is a compelling read and indeed an important primer on conflict among men. I won’t be surprised if UP Library carries it. And really surprised if they don’t carry it in their stacks

      • karl garcia says:

        Sonny …compose and send.Think of any timeless topic.
        use that treasure within…sa dami ng mga binasa mo ……do a synthesis thing ala PiE.
        pretty please.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Hoy tamad, huwag ka lang palaging umasa sa aming mga mas may edad sa iyo, mag-synthesize ka rin! 🙂 Kung ako si Batman at ikaw si Robin, sasabihin ko sa iyo: bakit palaging bahala na si Batman ang sinasabi mo – kumilos ka rin! 🙂

          Half-jokes with serious background aside: my experience with having once been a head of a Filipino overseas association, the way everybody blames only Aquino now and other observations including the way the family of my Ilocana former yaya always waits for her to send money and her to organize things when ate comes home is a typical Filipino weakness: lack of initiative and always hoping for others to save you.

          I suspect that even some of the SAF people showed lack of independence when coordination broke down, poor guys I do not want to disrespect the dead but I must be open about this. Obviously the leadership doctrine followed by the Filipino police and army is the American doctrine – very detailed and very dependent on C3I – command, control, communications and intelligence. Russian doctrine is very similar with little leeway.

          Problem is, these doctrines – I know them only superficially from reading and talking – break down if C3I breaks down. The German leadership doctrine – have a top-down plan and let the leaders in the field down to unit commanders decide situationally what to do is superior when it comes to breakdowns of C3I because it takes reality into account. Have to find out where Alex is, a Pinoy who was a German army Panzer sergeant, and let him fill in on details about German military leadership. Actually most Pinoys who do German military service join the Panzerbattalionen, because one requirement is not too tall to fit easily inside the tank.

          Karl at least you are doing one thing many Pinoys do not do – you are still very confused but you are starting to think about things, you are making some very keen observations. But maybe this book might help you: http://www.daniellevitin.com/theorganizedmind/. My brother gave it to me last Christmas because he knows I often have a chaotic, confused Pinoy mind – it helped me. Your comments are ideas on there way to synthesis.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Actually what Pinoys who were with the Panzer boys told me was: German panzer brigades still regularly win against American tank brigades in joint exercises. 🙂

            America won World War 2 – fortunately otherwise there would be no Pinoys in the German army – because of more material and because the Russians were on the other side.

            And of course the M1 Abrams actually has a German-manufactured gun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinmetall_120_mm_gun

          • karl garcia says:

            will bookmark it..TY

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Actually Karl you are bringing in many valuable inputs and sources. Have to take more time to read them and synthesize. You are in the trenches and can give information, it is easier for me to have a big picture because I am in a helicopter watching everything.

            Together we can arrive at clearer views of what is happening. Smarter guys than us in positions reading this stuff may use our lateral views to improve their ideas and work.

            • karl garcia says:


              those guys at Stanford has not updated info for MILF since 2013;

              give them a copy of your synthesis for them to update their website.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Actually I am hoping that the trained historians here like sonny and pinoyputi are now putting things together in a more professional way than I can. I grew up with history books but I have no professional training in history, unfortunately. Iba ang naging landas ko.

                What my sister and me have from our old man though is the capability to find and express the big picture. My way of putting things together is a mixture of intellectual and kalye, but then again my experience with poetry slams and free-style rap is useful in rebutting.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Karl, I have not yet taken time to read the BOI report completely and the whole thing is making even my head spin which means a lot. But let me share where my thought process is at the moment:

      BOI report https://joeam.com/2015/03/12/why-mar-roxas-should-run-for-president-and-why-you-dont-need-to-defame-grace-poe-to-make-it-happen/#comment-113374

      My first comment after skimming through it, more structured, the major premise being, you have a high value target, the best trained police in the country:

      a) but a part of the equipment does not work?

      b) The 84th SAC had two guides who did not know the area at night?

      c) 55th SAC had no guides and therefore got lost?

      d) The other units did not have direct coordination with the 84th and 55th?

      e) Ok going in and out on foot behind enemy lines is analyzed as inappropriate, but any normal thinking person sees that.

      What my grocer, former Tamil Tiger thinks about it after I showed him a map of where what happened: https://joeam.com/2015/03/05/how-the-left-lost-me-and-how-i-lost-respect-for-gabriela/#comment-112361

      “1) You usually don’t send just police into a zone like that, near the highway but just behind the ceasefire line. Police even special units like SAF are better in the cities then in the jungle. Something very strange about the whole thing, he says?

      2) The SAF that were sent basically were boys, their combat training probably good, but no chance against seasoned rebel fighters. Rebels don’t sleep, he told me, maybe two sleep while ten lie in wait to guard the jungle – like the sniper you once posted.

      3) Even if you had sent in top dogs like the Scout Rangers, they would have had difficulties in that area. In his opinion they did not want to waste any of their own valuable troops, so they risked sacrificing young men intentionally. Whoever “they” are.

      4) He also said, why did the Army not send in helicopters, are they such fools? Those few kilometers in the tropical jungle from Marwan’s hut are a long way. The place were most SAF died was not far from safety, the rebels waited there and decided to finish them off.

      5) It could be, according to him, that certain factions of the security apparatus hostile to Aquino engineered the situation to cause turmoil and break peace talks. Who knows.”

      Now my first points in my ongoing thought process:

      A) a-d match with second part of 3) “they risked sacrificing young men intentionally.” -> in fact I read somewhere in the report that Napeñas reckoned in about 10 casualties.

      B) c) “55th SAC had no guides and therefore got lost?” matches with 4) “The place were most SAF died was not far from safety, the rebels waited there and decided to finish them off.” -> my preliminary synthesis: overconfident ang command, they thought they would make it back easily because the 55th SAC was not that far from the highway after all. I have seen overconfidence, lack of risk management in many Filipino planning situations.

      C) b) “The 84th SAC had two guides who did not know the area at night?” and c) “55th SAC had no guides and therefore got lost? ” plus Binay, Bonbong and Imelda being very obviously present at the airport with FVR matches with 5) “certain factions of the security apparatus hostile to Aquino engineered the situation” -> But of course it could just have been bad planning and these factions used the situation. Maybe Sri Lankans are more purposeful in general and cannot imagine that Filipinos are so chaotic and disorganized.

      Next person whose brain I will pick is the former French foreign legion guy who comes here occasionally to pick up stuff as a truck driver – I live in a slowly gentrifying industrial area with many immigrants and roughnecks (moved in here when my life went totally crazy because it was cheap and to get away from the place I had lived before) but since a few years more rich kid students and young professionals (fits my present path of slowly moving back up) – next month my rent will be a 100 Euro more because of that.

      But I have to be careful it is hard to make such guys give comments. My Tamil grocer immediately tells me “thank you, have a nice day” when I buy stuff from him now. Guess he didn’t quite like my having picked his brain the last time, and he is shielding himself.

      This is just first input which I hope will help add to insights. Other aspects or corrections are definitely welcome. But I do see one major weakness in all the planning – little or no modern RISK MANAGEMENT – there is a post from me in the mosque thread about this.

      • karl garcia says:

        don’t forget to give DOJ a copy, their investigation got short circuited by the AFP BIFF clash.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Actually Almonte is the best guy to fully synthesize all of this in the end. Or retired NICA head General Alfredo Filler who is one of the top guys when it comes to analyzing.

          But I am actually waiting for the DOJ investigation and the MILF report to be published – audiatur et altera pars, then we will have a clearer picture to jam and synthesize. Ongoing itong mga produktibong pagkukuwentuhan at kuro-kurong kumpulan natin. Abangan.

          • karl garcia says:

            MILF will only submit a copy to the Malaysians, never mind as long as they upload the soft copy to their web site, then everything is gonna be alright.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_H%C3%BCrtgen_Forest – my senior business associate just told me about the Battle of Hürtgen Forest in 1944. A battle with many losses for the USA, who did not have maps of the area, against the Germans who were in the forest during autumn, had maps and snipers everywhere. According to him this battle is still regularly taught a West Point as an example of how NOT to attack – similar to Mamasapano.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Sonny…..writer’s block can be unblocked.” my tip to sonny who is a GI – Genuine Ilocano – from the generation that got the last wiffs of the best of old American colonial education:

      – unleash your inner Ilocano, Manong Sonny. Go from the apay to the iti apay iti apay – the Ilocano definition of philosophy from an Ilocano leader of the Federation of Free Farmers.

      – son-ny, let us alway be wise, like the Kankanai say. And remember that Apo Kabunian and the Christian God are the same because of the sacrifice of Abraham both have.

      You are “warrior with weapon” (imagine that with Ilocano accent), a modern-day Lam-Ang with a library. I am sure when you strike, it will not knock our heads off but educate them.

      My recipe against writer’s block is write, write, write what is in my head. Start with nonsense that comes out and then pan for gold in the mud, then distill and age in barrels like whisky.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Many heads are better than one – especially for us who have learned not to be headhunters at heart anymore like many of our countrymen who use words as weapons instead of as instruments of learning, because it is such a waste of heads to do that.

        • sonny says:

          All help points duly noted and appreciated, Karl & PiE. Not finding excuses for myself but just a matter of fact – there is much to be collated & sorted, I’m a newbie to the current scene of Philippine political affairs of any kind. Suffering from lacunae of info details. I appreciate also the vote of confidence inspite of this.

          First sortie: The BOI is being stonewalled by messrs Catapang, Guerrero, Purisima et al. Like hostile witness behavior in court of law. Odd at the very least.

          next sortie: The eerie similarity between the circumstances of the Bates Agreement (turn of the 20th century American Mindanao pacification campaign) and the dysfunctional conduct of Moro tribal members and the extreme adversarial nature of the the Moros who perpetrated the SAF 44 massacre w/ gruesome finality.

          (to be cont’d)

          • PinoyInEurope says:


            Like I once said – actually my father taught me that – the nature of ethnic groups only changes very slowly over the centuries. You need to understand that to deal with them.

          • sonny says:

            third sortie: I am at odds on first read with the unilateral appeasement position of Cardinal Quevedo who is for me the point person of the Vatican on things Moro. Understandable attitude but counter to historical trajectory of Islamic bellicosity. I need to read more and I will try to talk to the Cardinal when he comes to Illinois. Remote chance as of now but will try hard. I do defer to a lot to the Cardinal because of his keen oversight over his Moro pastoral constituency in Cotabato. His missionary congregation, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate are in the thick of educating Moro young in their missionary schools (Notre Dame).

          • Joe America says:

            I was utterly dismayed at the Catapang/Guerrero stonewalling. Purisima, well, he is covering his liability, probably under advice of attorney. The question arises, who is the Catapang fellow and what are his values? He has huge power of command.

      • sonny says:

        “write, write, write …” this is exactly what I tell any one asking help about doing an article. 🙂 Then supply appropriate vocabulary for cogency, coherence and style. (Do as I say not as I do)

        • mercedes santos says:

          RAHM – ball ba tayo ????

          • sonny says:

            Ms Mercedes, soured on Rahm Emanuel since his active support of B. Obama together with D. Axelrod. Sorry, don’t hold esteem for B. Obama either.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Actually writing helps develop one’s ideas, sharpen them, give them focus. Remove repetitiveness and structure the delivery. You have seen my learning process right here.

          I like your sorties, they are almost like teasers. We eagerly but patiently wait for more. 🙂

          • mercedes santos says:

            Sorry, I was referring to Emmanuel Rahm and question was addressed to Sonny

          • sonny says:

            I was close follower of the late Sydney Harris whose forte was the short essay – no more than a page and a half on many topics; mostly reflective in nature, personal in direction and resonant on many levels.

            “The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” — Sydney J. Harris

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Learning to put together coherent and concise thoughts is a lot like learning silent reading, I have found out here. In the beginning I was thinking out a bit too loud.

      • Joe America says:

        PiE, I find the frequent use of links as clutter. I never use them and I would guess that others don’t either. If you have a substantive point, maybe just restate it briefly. It is getting so intense it is borderline trolling, repeating links again and again.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          OK. Got carried away today – volcano. Will tame the flow of lava and take more time to put together my ideas in a more summarized way to have really fertile soil.

          It takes longer to write shorter. My time for this will be less anyway so don’t worry.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Anyway my ideas are focusing now, thanks to the discussions on this board. I will rarely NEED to use links anymore, except to point to a more comprehensive argument. Some are actually using links as well, but I agree that I have very much exaggerated today.

          • Joe America says:

            I wish I had your gift of composition on the fly. You really ought to be writing a book you know. You’re one o these people who could set aside a month and have a book at the end. Me . . . three years.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Thanks – but also thanks to this blog for helping sharpen my ideas and your gentle reminders and occasional gavel to milden my excesses. My other sparring partner is the one I just had a cappucino with today while she, typically Latin, had hot chocolate.

              At some point I will write a book. The next blog articles I will write for you are warm-ups. Like I told the Ecuadorian journalist: writing was my true passion I hid in the deep freeze because it got me into trouble back in the days. Now I am releasing my passions again. Nice that you have a job where you can live your passion, that is great. Yeah, she said, but it is difficult sometimes. But it is better, you are much happier, you inspired me…

  20. PinoyInEurope says:

    We need to find a national leader for nation that lacks a sense of community, unlike some of its provinces and cities – Albay under Salceda and Davao under Duterte come to mind.

    Since NONE of the NATIONAL leaders we are looking at fulfills all the criteria of cojones, competence and compassion to the fullest, we need a leader can build and lead a strong team, and he or she needs to be a leader, a team builder and a community builder. A leader also needs to fight when necessary, build the community and deal with crises like ancient Bikolano Handyong or 19th-century Tiwi, Albay mayor Higino Templado.

    But careful. A leader who goes too far may pass to the dark side of the force. We need a healer, a coach and mediator who is unifying, who sees all as brothers and sisters, even those who have gone astray, who is just but not vindictive. If we are forgiving let us demand atonement and proof that forgiveness is deserved.


    We need one who does not judge according to parties or in simplistic „good“ and „evil“ categories. Bikol’s volcanos are good and evil combined – they bring death and fertilize our soil. After eruptions, we do not think of good and evil,we bury the dead and feed the living, like the great Marques Pombal said after the great earthquake in Lisboa.

    Let us see who can do the job best regardless of camp, and be open to the best the country has to offer. Let us even be open to solutions outside what we normally think about – like an amnesty for corrupt politicians, even burying Marcos, if they give the money back to the government and are prohibited from practicing politics ever again. It would pacify the divided country. Punish criminals, bury the dead and feed the living.

    Let us not look at who their parents are. Luke Skywalker was Darth Vader’s boy without the dark side after all. Grace Poe could do the job. She could even atone for her possible father’s sins, like Richard von Weizsäcker overcame and atoned for the World War 2 legacy of his father.


    But why focus only on politicians? General Espina could be a good leader, the way he addressed Iqbal – without hate but only sorrow, showing compassion for his men, his attitude as a quiet efficient worker – why not him? I do not discount Mar either, he has capabilities.

    I saw a real national consciousness taking shape with Mamasapano. Never imagined I could cry for the guys who are indirectly the successors of the guys who arrested both me and my father. I have seen this new consciousness in many sectors now – it is a chance for us all.

    • Joe America says:

      Espina is an impressive guy. He has no political network, I suspect, and is at the end of his career. Maybe he could bridge to politics in support of one of the major candidates. But he would be old before he could get to presidential stature. Leni Robredo is the most commonly cited new face on the cusp of breaking out. But 2016 is too soon for her, too.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        He could be adopted by one of the political networks if they are smart. He will retire from the PNP soon and would be of the right age in 2016. His lack of political experience he could compensate with his honesty, compassion, competence and leadership skills.

        Well but Colin Powell didn’t become President either. Similar type of person without old-boy political networks.

        • sonny says:

          PiE, Powell was my choice for 2008. At the time, if he was willing he coulda taken the country by storm and unified both libs and conservs of the US. But Mrs Powell was not at that page and America got something else. You can tell I am not bitter.

    • jameboy says:

      Gen. Espina is just a product of the moment. And that’s that. To run for any national office, just because you were drag in a national issue that actually put you in a not so desirable position for not being privy on something important is not a typical route to victory. He could run for any local office why not.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        He showed his competence during the Pope’s visit and definitely is a leader.

        Why not consider quiet workers for a change instead of all these noisy politicians?

    • jameboy says:

      We need to find a national leader for nation that lacks a sense of community, unlike some of its provinces and cities – Albay under Salceda and Davao under Duterte come to mind.
      But those guys are local leaders and 2016 is just around the corner. Even if recruited by an establish party, their going to have a hard time coping up just to sell themselves to the people on national level.

  21. bauwow says:

    At least all of us agree that Binay should not become president. Now if we can only assure that come 2016….

  22. bauwow says:

    With the way Jun Jun is holed up in his office, and his dad pleading for “judicial courtesy”, the whole family believes that they are above the Law! One of the furies, Conchita Morales is the present Ombudsman, a paragon of integrity. And Binay, with all of his hypocrisy declared that the Ombudsman’ s decision is void. Because Jun Jun said so. Wow!

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Mamasapano was tragic. Jun Jun Binay is comedy.

      It’s More Fun in the Philippines Once Again.

    • sonny says:

      Bauwow don’t stop the mythic references now. Don’t forget the Graces and the Fates. Personally I want to always keep in mind Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.

  23. PinoyInEurope says:

    “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

    I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.”…

  24. What we need is someone who succeed setting ambitious goals for themselves and move heaven and earth to meet them, can bring unity among his people rather than causing them to divide and have meaningless fights, A strong president that is not a puppet, where in his actions are not a product of impartial decisions. He’s not manipulated by oligarchs or a few people who are thirsty of power and wealth of a nation,someone who can serve the public, not because they are compensated with money and fame, but because that is their mission in life.

    • Joe America says:

      ” . . . serve the public . . .” That is what separates a trapo from a public servant. As I look around, I see only one public servant (candidate) on the scene. I hope he is strong enough to do as you say, resist the forces that may try to lead him astray.

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  1. […] me add this section after having read 2BFair’s rebuttal of my blog advising Senator Poe not to run for the […]

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