20 ways to demean the Senate

poe inquirer

[Photo source: Inquirer]

Each of 20 senators who signed the “Poe Report on Mamasapano” is complicit in attempts to deceive Filipino citizens. They have taken the public’s trust, in the name of fact finding, and twisted it for opportunistic reasons.

Here’s what they agreed to:

  • That the primary responsibility for the 44 SAF deaths should be placed on President Aquino’s shoulders, thus undermining his lawful presidency and his military authority as Commander in Chief.
  • The issuance of the report in draft form, incomplete, to the public so that it could catch the waves of public anger, rather than wait until after the congressional break to issue it in final form in May, when that anger would have diminished.
  • Explicit attempts to hide or downplay information that would make it clear the the President was in no way culpable for the deaths:
    • Hiding the fact that 120 SAF troops refused to help their comrades.
    • Downplaying the failure of AFP to deliver artillery for 10 hours.
    • Downplaying the cease fire team failure.
  • Senator Poe was allowed to put the topic of impeachment into play by discussing the subject at length during her public presentation of the report, even though it was not a topic in the report proper, and very likely was not discussed during committee hearings.

Let me elaborate on a very important part of the first point above:

Undermining the President’s authority as Commander in Chief

Let us set aside the legal quibbling about whether or not the President is Commander in Chief of the PNP or whether he broke a chain of command. Let us simply understand that the President, as the Chief of State, is individually accountable for operating the nation’s defense operations. He does command the military. He does command the PNP, through subordinates.

EVERY death of a police officer or military serviceman or woman is the President’s responsibility.

It is a heavy responsibility, this command responsibility. To confuse it with specific tactical ACCOUNTABILITY for deaths is negligent, and it undermines his authority for future operations.The Poe Report tries to lay ACCOUNTABILITY for Mamasapano on the president by hiding and distorting the facts of the operation.

The public does not grasp the fine distinction between responsibility and accountability. The Senate report blames the President, that is enough for them to understand.

The whole purpose of fact-finding was twisted, in the end, to political aims. An honest, honorable process was twisted inside out.

For shame.

What does that do for our trust of the Senate?

Information that would make clear the President was not accountable was hidden or shrugged off.

  • Do we want a President who is timid in the face of threats to the nation?
  • Who fears second-guessing for ever operation?
  • Who knows that if an operation goes bad, he may get impeached?

Is that the way we want the Philippines to wage war?

That’s what the senators who signed the Poe Report want.

They are:

  • Senator Grace Poe
  • Senator Francis Escudero
  • Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
  • Senator Serge Osmena
  • Senator Aquilino Pimentel III
  • Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr
  • Senator Alan Cayetano
  • Senator Pia Cayetano
  • Senator Nancy Binay
  • Senator Ralph Recto
  • Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (via electronic signature)
  • Senator Gringo Honasan
  • Detained Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada
  • Detained Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
  • Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito  (via electronic signature)
  • Senator Loren Legarda
  • Senator Cynthia Villar
  • Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
  • Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara
  • Senator Teofisto Guingona III


252 Responses to “20 ways to demean the Senate”
  1. i7sharp says:

    Poe and Marcos Jr among the 20.
    Hmm, …

  2. gary olivar says:

    20 senators including almost everyone in pnoy’s admin coalition signed up except for hyatt 10 ringleader drilon and guttersnipe mutineer.trillanes, and you call this a political document? Goodness gracious joe have you taken leave of your senses?

    • Those twenty are the best rebuttal against JoeAm’s analysis? Take each statement he made and prove they’re wrong. Trillanes may be the only one who realizes the SAF 44 were surrounded by cowards.

      • Joe America says:

        Indeed, senators have a chance to redeem themselves and show that they are interested in objectivity, not signing on to a political agenda, and that they are interested in having a president for the nation who is capable of defending the nation without looking over his shoulder for each unfortunate casualty.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      So where is the final report, and are there separate opinions included before each senator affixed his/her signature…that’s the one that should have been made public by Poe in her press conference not her draft…what is she trying to prove?

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Hi Gary, how’s the BDO Board of Directors seat been? The politics referred to here is not in service of one political party or a senator’s ambitions. It is about conforming to the public expectation, while unfairly funneling all the outrage at the other actors in this incident by withholding other information like the ones Trillanes cited.

      Oh btw, Trillanes went against your Gloria, I now remember.

    • Bing Garcia says:

      Goodness gracious gary have you taken leave of your senses?

    • Bert says:

      Goodness gracious Gary, your Gloria pa rin slip is showing. You hate the Hyatt 10 and Trillanes for their condemnations of Gloria’s corrupt ways and that really exposed your innards considerably.

    • Joe America says:

      I look forward to the day you arrive on the blog to teach me rather than lecture or criticize. You have a wealth of knowledge to share, but always take a confrontational tone. I write blogs to the best of my honorable ability, with the goal of a better Philippines. I have actually written that Pres. Arroyo’s extended jailing is not right, under what should be the rules of justice. Speed is important for fairness, and it has the appearance of a political jailing, even if it is the defense filings that extend the term of the incarceration.

  3. sonny says:

    these things come to mind:

    *a legislature’s proper due diligence on the constitutionality of a chief executive’s rights and duties to perform for the good of the Filipino people. The good of the Filipino people must be identical to both legislative & executive bodies.

    *the legislature’s final judgment and procedures will become part of the body’s tradition, precedent if you will.

    *the document must also be clear as to what is the executive’s responsibility & accountability; chain of command belongs, IMO, to the military discipline & standards, military jurisprudence has oversight.

    • Joe America says:

      The Poe Report is amazingly shallow in its consideration of the President’s heady responsibilities in matters of defense, and the importance of him having the nation – including senators – behind him when he takes military or police action that warrants risk, for the objective.

  4. Steve says:

    The cynic in me suspects that the conclusions of these reports are reached first, on the basis of political expedience, and the evidence is then cherrypicked to support those conclusions.

  5. Jose Guevarra says:

    EVERY death of a police officer or military serviceman or woman is the President’s responsibility.
    It is a heavy responsibility, this command responsibility. To confuse it with specific tactical ACCOUNTABILITY for deaths is negligent, and it undermines his authority for future operations.

    I am with Joe on this one. Accountability and responsibility are separate and distinct from each other. Noynoy is responsible but definitely not accountable.

    • I agree that the President is responsible but not accountable. He is, however, pretty lame for letting Purisima be involved in any meetings/consultations (for his opinions) at all after his suspension. And the statements by Trillanes has exposed the military’s lack of organizational/implementation capability and in essence, threw them under the bus. No wonder they wanted that part of the investigation held behind closed doors. It also now explains to me why the army is going so hard after these “rebels” afterwards…to save face and show how huge their balls are. The report itself? Usual senatorial media based pulp…

      • Joe America says:

        I suspect that Purisima had all the knowledge of the Marwan hunt, the communication chain with the US, the players, the operation itself. Espina was a temporary interim head. If the President did not see him as the eventual permanent head (he retires soon), why reveal secrets to him? Plus, before the blow-up of this, reflect that this was just a basic police operation, not unlike the 9 before to get Marwan. And not like countless other police operations. This one was different because it used US resources. To secret. Purisima’s eyes and ears only.

    • Joe America says:

      Good to be in sync, Jose. Thanks.

  6. sonny says:

    Hopefully this free quoting from former Sen Saguisag is still pertinent and enlightening to this and previous continuing discussion.

    “… Mamasapano is an eminently “political question.” PNoy answers to his conscience and to history.


    Could PNoy have used a Dirty Dozen from Munti, life-termers, on a promise of clemency? I believe in the plenitude of his powers. What chain of command ​chains the Prez? None that I know of.

    … I can see a chain-of-command for the commander-in-chief. But, for the Prez? Let’s say PNoy assumed I have expertise in Mindanao and he had asked me to go to Mamapasano. What would he have violated? Suppose he asked for life-termer volunteers from Muntinlupa to form a Dirty Dozen with a promise of pardon for survivors? No chain I see to hamper his choice.

    … The Prez “is not a Gulliver immobilized by ten thousand tiny cords, nor even a Prometheus chained to a rock of frustration. He is, rather, a kind of magnificent lion who can roam widely and do great deeds so long as he does not try to break loose from his broad reservation. Our pluralistic system of restraints is designed to keep him from going out of bounds, not to paralyze him in the field that has been reserved for his use. He will feel few checks upon his power if he uses that power as he should. This may well be the final definition of the strong and successful President: the one who knows just how far he can go in the direction he wants to go. If he cannot judge the limit of his power, he cannot call upon its strength. If he cannot sense the possible, he will exhaust himself attempting the impossible. The power of the Presidency moves like a mighty host only with the grain of morality and liberty.” The Palace does not understand chain-of-command? I think the critics do not understand Clinton Rossiter’s edifying observation.

    … I do not agree with the imposed limitations on the presidency which reminds me of what we used to say during martial law: military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. The Prez may think out of the box, as FDR, JFK, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Dubya may have done in Pearl Harbor, Bay of Pigs, Iran, Beirut, Black Hawk Down and Iraq. Resign! was not heard.

    The best-laid plans men can go awry. But, for us not to wait June 30, 2016 may mean a huge step in the wrong direction. A non-stealing Prez may mean more investment, more tourism, better rating, infrastructure, etc.

    I cannot join the PNoy Resign movement. …

    Of course, PNoy must answer for Mamapasano. For the deaths of the Gallant 44, and of Sarah, Marwan, et al..

    But, like FDR, et al., including Obama and Fidel Castro, PNoy must answer to history. As Lebron James will answer for missing two foul shots recently, in crunch time. Time to move on to the next game.”

    • sonny says:

      on Rossiter:

      Rossiter argued that constitutional democracies had to learn the lesson of the Roman Republic – to adopt and use emergency procedures that would empower governments to deal with crises beyond the ordinary capacities of democratic constitutional governance, yet to ensure that such crisis procedures were themselves subject to constitutional controls and codified temporal limits.

    • Joe America says:

      Nice statement. Great close.

    • We have the same sentiment sonny. Would not have written the Jack Ryan bit If I had read this earlier. Great post.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “The Prez may think out of the box, as FDR, JFK, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Dubya may have done in Pearl Harbor, Bay of Pigs, Iran, Beirut, Black Hawk Down and Iraq. Resign! was not heard.” Because in the US there is a basic foundation of trust even across different camps.

      In the Philippines there is so often the fear that a President from one camp will use his power to his group’s gain at the detriment of others. The sense of common purpose is still missing.

  7. Bing Garcia says:

    At least we know now what Grace Poe is.

    • bantay says:

      absolutely right

    • Joe America says:

      We do. A politician who does not condemn Binay, and plays loose with the public trust for personal gain.

      • cetootski says:

        i’ve been saying since day one that poe is only clean in the same sense that a bride is presumed a virgin before her wedding night. she’s as dirty as the worse of them. she always was and always is.

        • Joe America says:

          What led you to that early realization, cetootski? She had me awestruck with good sense until her loud silence about Binay. Once I got skeptical, it was like the onion layers started peeling away. The core brings tears to the eyes.

          • mcgll says:

            I am in sync with cetootski on his assessment of Poe. I came to this conclusion after witnessing Poe’s intensive questioning of Cunanan whose credibility she managed to destroy by following the script Jinggoy gave her to use. She is so deeply indebted to the Estradas that she’d to anything to spring them out of justice’s reach.

            • parengtony says:

              It is not Grace Poe who is deeply indebted to the Estradas. It is the other way around…the Estradas are deeply indebted to grace Poe’s parents.

          • cetootski says:

            it started with her campaign tv ad. it was a very trapo commercial, using her father’s name to advance her career. can the same be said of aquino? i don’t know. it just set off the alarm in my head and it stuck there ever since.

            • parengtony says:

              Grace Poe’s use of her father’s name is not at all unacceptable. Inggit lang kayo siguro.

              • cetootski says:

                Its not the use of the name parengtony. It’s how quickly her facade of principled politics crumbled under the pressure of campaigning. Naintindihan mo “poe” ba?

    • If she condemned Binay when the evidence was beginning to show the pattern we can just say it is in her nature to be quick to judge.

      But when she has exceedingly high standards of proof with respect to Binay whilst having tissue paper thin requirements to hint at impeachment for the president, then maybe I hope not for the good of our country she is showing her trapo inclination.

  8. jameboy says:

    The President is responsible but not accountable.
    Pardon the skepticism, I think we’re splitting hairs here. Legally, he’s not accountable let’s agree on that. But morally and professionally?

    Just look the basic definition of “accountable” in the dictionary and you’ll find out that responsible and accountable are interchangeable.

    • Joe America says:

      Words mean what they are defined to mean, and in this context, they do not mean the same thing.

      • sonny says:

        I can’t resist the Chemistry metaphor, Joe. 🙂 If there be a chance, I could explain the chem part.

        Here goes. If words were chemical compounds, accountable and responsible would be optical isomers. Isomers are compounds with exactly the same atomic configuration. They are optical because they differ only visually. One is the left hand, the other the right hand. Same five fingers in a palm but one cannot be superimposed over the other! Functionally totally complementary.

  9. NHerrera says:

    The sobriquet bobotante that we ascribe to the masa voters can be applied just as well to the Senators in general.

    * The masa to survive their day-to-day living is influenced by the direct MANA or money from the politicians as a survival kit and by the the influence of the money-greased screaming media.

    * The Senators or any politician for that matter, unless he really is principled or does not aspire for another term other than the current one, has to gauge the public pulse or popular will. To defy this popular will greatly risk the prospect of their continuing as a Senator in re-election or even the prospect for running as a President. The prospect of the votes for them by the masa — resulting from bowing to the popular will — in re-election or to a higher office is the MANA EQUIVALENT of the poor voters I described above.

    The “forced” signatures by the otherwise discerning or better Senators have become even more justifiable and urgent after the Committee Chairperson Poe paraded her Draft Report — in an effort to coerce the still undecided Senators to the signing of the Report? — to the screaming media and the likes of Colmenares. (In this the newbie Poe has learned fast and used political tricks to the max.)

    So let us be kind to the poor voters. The Senators are no better.

    • Joe America says:

      The senators are much worse. Most are attorneys with advanced degrees. They have taken oaths to serve the well being of the nation and keep the peoples’ trust. What a betrayal of that exercise, in the name of fact-finding.

  10. bantay says:

    Thanks for posting the senators’ names, Joe.

    Wall of Shame.

    Imagine them last night, watching Trillanes’ interview… “Oh, sh.t!”

    And Poe… frantic phone call to her handlers… “What do I do now?”

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog, bantay. I hope the message gets picked up by mainstream media, too. It is a wall of shame. Trillanes is a brave and honorable soul, to find a way around the block the Senate imposed on its members. Maybe he should move his campaign aspiration up from VP to P.

      • bantay says:

        Thanks, Joe.

        I agree, Trillanes can really be trusted with great power. He isn’t corrupted by it.

        Amusing silence from the Poe camp. Obviously no viable damage-control plan yet.

        And in the meantime…
        … the “Aquino collapsed” rumor is filling news feeds.


  11. PinoyInEurope says:


    Dear Senator Trillanes, like Adolf Hitler in 1923, you attempted a spectacular coup and were jailed. Like Dolpo, you were released and like him you entered official politics.

    Unlike him, you did not write any book in jail. Unlike him, you have redeemed yourself, you have learned democratic lessons. Which shows that history repeats itself differently each time: 🙂

    Revelations during the executive sessions have shed light to the Mamasapano clash, sadly, however, these were not included in the Senate’s draft report, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said.

    And this exclusion is the senator’s reason for not signing it.

    “Based on the revelations in the executive session, the president didn’t know anything at all [about the situation of the SAF troopers],” Trillanes told CNN Philippines on Thursday (March 19).

    But the absence of that information led the public to believe that the president is responsible for the death of the 44 Special Action Force troopers, he added.

    Trillanes, who ran for senator under the Liberal party’s Team PNoy in 2013, said that the president, as the father of the nation, has responsibility over the matter but only in the broad sense of the term as “anything that happens in this country he is responsible for.”

    But he clarified that this does not mean the president can be held accountable for the deaths.

  12. PinoyInEurope says:

    Joe, thank you once again, this article is an important corrective and a constructive reminder. Coming from a country with a mature political culture, you can teach your new home which does NOT yet have a fully mature political culture much. More than you ancestors who colonized us, who taught us lessons from the comfortable perch of colonial administrations, whose lessons we only followed till shortly after you left, like children who behave only while the teacher is still there. Sonny is part of last the generation that still learned by the real US lesson plan.

    Political culture in the Philippines is maturing, 70% of Filipinos DO NOT want Aquino to resign. This is progress compared to what we had before. Possibly, the Filipino public is already maturer than the Senate. The Senate may criticize, it is a valuable corrective to the Chief Executive. But it must know the limits of doing so. It must criticize in a loyal manner that does not undermine his authority. It must not publicize DRAFT reports. That is politicking.

    It must learn that all of us, even if we may differ in opinion and may even discuss, are all part of one TEAM in the end, in one boat. Not barkada (comes from barko) like traditional politics, but BARANGAY in the old Filipino sense – a community ship.

    A loyal Poe supporter also posted the following on his Facebook page, I quote a part of it: Totoo ang sinasabi rito: respnsable nga ang Pangulo bilang chief executive na pumayag na isagawa ang isang proyekto; ngunit responsable ba siya pag pumalpak ang mga nagsagawa nito? Higit sa lahat, “liable” ba siya? Sa kapalpakan ng rescue operation sa Tehren noong panahon ni Carter “liable” ba ito? Alam kong hindi ka abogada; ngunit magtanung-tanong ka. Sana makuha mong ipakita uli ang iyong matinong paghuhusga sa mga bagay. Maghihintay ako.

    Meaning: even Poe supporters criticize her, and SOME Filipinos have learned the meaning of being LOYAL CRITICS – like Her Majesty’s Royal Opposition in UK. Had the Senate addressed its valid criticisms of Noynoy like the Poe supporter, things would have been fine. See the difference?

    • Joe America says:

      The goal of the Philippines should be to have a more mature democracy than the US. Not older, but more honorable and purposeful.

      This Poe Report is wrong, for that aspiration.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Full agree Joe. And IF the Senate could be like the one loyal but critical Poe supporter I quoted above – my father, retired U.P. Professor Dr. Zeus Salazar of Tiwi, Albay, father of the Pantayong Pananaw movement, whose Facebook page I have now also shared this article on – criticize but in a loyal and corrective way, not destructively, the Philippines would be on its way there. Joe as Dances with Wolves in the Philippines, you have understood my father’s goals without speaking Filipino – to form a sense of TAYO in a nation that is split into KAMI, which is why I started writing on your blog.

        Like in Zorro, Alain Delon version, this is the moment of the truth, time to remove my mask. I am Irineo Salazar, graduate of Philippine Science High School, once known as Kasamang Ryan of Kabataang Makabayan – a path that was wrong for all good intent.

        The uncle I referred to was General Javier Carbonnel, also of Tiwi, Albay, who blocked the gates of Camp Aguinaldo with explosive-laden trucks back in 1989 and went forward to negotiate with RAM rebel troops, even though his jeep was fired upon. Pride of our clan.

        I live in Munich, Germany and have learned a lot from the Bavarians, a tribal people, clannish, unruly, lazy, drunken and corrupt by nature who have become very successful. Many of my insights come from nearly 20 years of living with the Igorots of Germany.

        My knowledge comes from growing up with nearly ten thousand books my father had. Those among you at home who wish to learn, my father donated his extensive collection to La Salle University Library. Karl garcia and giancarloangulo, I recommend going there!

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Tatay, I told you once that you write too long and winded. Too many thoughts to organize. And I made the same mistake in the beginning here. You are a strong Noynoy supporter and I am a loyal critic, we are both opponents of BBL.

          I also told you 20 years that you and your group had fallen prey to the small in-group mentality almost all Filipinos have. Glad to see you have improved on that. You told me I am no longer truly Filipino for having left, but always will be a Pinoy, hence my alias here.

          Everyone who is for the whole Filipino nation must work together constructively, no matter what individual opinion or preference we may have. Put our heads together instead of cutting them of like our ancestors did. Include white heads with white hair, like Joe’s.

        • 🙂 I’ve been reading joe’s blog since corona’s trial but didn’t want to comment without using my real name. I have a tendency to be trollish when in the cover of anonymity. This is why I have only commented in 2014 I had to get over the fear of something you write haunting you. Cheers for having the courage to take off the mask!

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Hehe, I am no longer trollish now. OK, still very bossy, opinionated and insistent – makulit – being my father’s son after all. Same passion but with the temper under control. 🙂

            I know that I can stand by even the bad stuff I wrote, even the slight exaggerations to true stories that made many think I was Walter Mitty – totoong may halong kuwentong kutsero.

            Anyway young people like you and karl garcia are perfect examples for how my father’s pantayong pananaw is slowly becoming part of Philippine thinking. Told him that.

            My father already had an idea of pantayong pananaw when he wrote “The Barangay in present Perspective” back in the 70s, and Tadhana by him not Marcos is a prototype.

            But I know that it is now part of normal history curriculum, people hate it because of the long complex sentences – sounds familiar – but the message seems to be spreading.. 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          I agree with your sentiment, and believe Poe could have criticized the President in a loyal and corrective way, and maintained his strength as the commander of the nation’s defense.

        • Hi, Ireneo (PiE)…glad to know you. You now belong to a few of us who do not hide completely behind a handle..mine is what appears in my baptismal certicate (though shortened to a nickname) complete with my middle initial…haha..am fearless in my opinion, saying what I sincerely believe and hope for our country. That’s how confident I am of democracy in our country. I do understand JoeAm who has to do that for security reasons, me, am just a nobody.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Glad to know you too. 🙂

            Actually my mother told me when I started making postings on Facebook, responding to my high school classmates – don’t get involved we are away now, it is none of our business – understandable with our family history and the times we once endured.

            But the fact that people even in the Philippines are more outspoken now made me decide to continue and finally reveal myself. I am almost 50 now and have run away from things for too long, in a way I am finishing right here what I once started with 16 as an activist.

            I was worried not for myself, but for my old man who is in the Philippines. But as an intellectual leader who knew many politicians – coffee with Ninoy or Satur Ocampo, writing for Marcos, fratmate of Rene Cayetano – and knows many – biographer of Erap, knew Fernando Poe and has the authority to write to Grace in such a way with his 80 years, Noynoy supporter etc., he is safe and has the respected and controversial intellectual grouping pantayong pananaw, he is like Voltaire whom no one dared touch in his time.

            Didn’t do all of this for him or for anyone, just because I want to give something back. Actually it is even better that I am not locally involved, because I have no interests.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Of course Joe is vulnerable as a foreigner in the Philippines. I can be open because it is nearly impossible to get at me here, and my family is safely abroad and uninvolved. Better because like Joe wrote more or less, things in the Philippines could make you go crazy.

            Unlike my brother and sister who were small, I old enough when I left. Carried many things with me and was able to develop a clearer view abroad, which I now share with the country. What it does with it, I don’t know, but we all are contributing here and that is nice.

        • Bar says:

          From the good old PHILSTAR..by the late Teddy Benigno…..Very few know Gen. Javier D. Carbonell (ret.-PA) and the stellar role he played
          to save democracy and the Republic from all those coup attempts by the RAM to
          seize power from then president Corazon Aquino. While others scrambled for
          recognition and honors, Jake Carbonell sought neither plaudit nor reward for
          what he did. He walked tall, stayed silent, and, in my book, that is the
          definition of a man.

          When the “God Save The Queen” coup started, chief of staff Gen. Fidel Ramos
          tasked Gen. Carbonell – the batallion commander of Camp Aguinaldo – to secure
          GHQ Camp Aguinaldo. President Corazon Aquino then was on a state visit to
          Japan. A rebel armor brigade was due to roll out of Camp Aguinaldo. What Jake
          Carbonell did was block all the gates with trucks loaded with dynamite and
          bombs to be exploded if the rebel RAM brigade should force its way out. General
          Fidel Ramos issued orders to all military establishments to disobey and
          disregard orders and communications coming from the Department of Defense
          headed by Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.

          This led to an emergency cabinet meeting, the instant resignation of all its
          members, climactically that of Mr. Enrile, who did not attend the meeting but
          was summoned by Cory Aquino to the Guest House. On the spot she asked him to
          resign. He did.

          Again, we are told that Gen. Rodolfo Biazon, legendary marine head, lost his
          marine battalion to the RAM-SFP-YOU rebels during the December 1989 coup. We
          quote from a paper: “Gen. Carbonell together with his 300 men came to the
          rescue to reinforce Camp Aguinaldo. He ordered Col. Thelmo Cunanan to rush his
          brigade to Camp Aguinaldo for augmentation. Gen. Carbonell was ordered by Sec.
          Ramos to take back the logistics command compound taken over by RAM-SFP-YOU
          under Gen. Calajate and Col. Maligalig. Gen. Carbonell coordinated with Gen.
          Biazon as NCRDC commander. Jake first called Gen. Calajate to initiate a
          peaceful dialogue towards a non-confrontation resolution of the impasse.

          “With a flag of truce, Jake with his aide and driver went to the designated
          place. At the entry, Maligalig opened fire with their 30- millimeter
          machinegun. That began the battle of the logistics command that led to the
          extrication of Calajate’s RAM rebels. The mission of Carbonell was a

          Just yesterday, at the Makati Medical Center General Javier D. Carbonell died of
          brain cancer. Men of his honor and his mettle come only once in a long while.
          Hail and farewell!

  13. PinoyInEurope says:

    Poe still means well for the nation, I am convinced. Like my father I believe she was misled because of her youth, inexperience and ambition. Let us learn not to be vindictive, but let us not forgive in the wrong way like before, allowing people to do it again. Let us expect Tätige Reue from Grace Poe, the German legal concept of active repentance that comes from the Lutheran German tradition Joe also comes from. That is the correct middle way.

    As my father wrote to her, it is her first mistake. There is always a first time, a mistake that is not made a second time is a lesson learned. Joe I do not agree with you in that you are seemingly trying to put down all who are not of Noynoys group – but then again you have become Filipino.

    Your recognition of what Trillanes did shows that you are not falling into that trap anymore, your loyal critic and corrective hereby says to you. Chief of Wildlife watches Dances with Wolves, native son in paleface country watches paleface become Indian and the other way around. 🙂

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Tatay, may I add my experience with the Greeks. They are a seafaring people like us, descended from pirates, heavily quarrelsome. Their disunity caused them to be conquered by the Romans – I have never forgotten the first quote in Ferdinand Marcos’s Tadhana, History of the Filipino people which you actually wrote – some were disunited, allowing us to conquer them by a Spanish chronicler. You had to do it for US, but you used the medium to convey your message then. It was always the same message from the very beginning.

      Do not worry, I did not learn it only from Greek men, di ako bakla. I am a true Bikolano like you, I learned much from a Greek woman. Met her in a Starbucks, started talking to her, she said her name was Aglaia, that of an ancient Greek muse. I answered: my name is Irineo, which comes from the Greek Eirene and means the peaceful one, and my father’s name is Zeus, therefore I am a demigod like Hercules. She laughed and gave me her phone number. Unfortunately her parents objected to my not being Greek. Ganyan talaga.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        And Karl Garcia, to add what you wrote in your kind post to me just one article before not to be scared of being called mayabang. I am not – dai ako mayabang, oragon lang. Like all the oragonons I have mentioned so far, true pride of Ibalon/Bikol:

        – our founding father and king Handyong and his wife, snake-woman Oryol

        – Mayor Higino Templado of Tiwi, Albay, abaca planter and town hero

        – Don Marcelino Saenz of Tiwi, Albay, my great-great-grandfather, also abaca planter

        – Hilario Salazar, former Katipunero, plantation security and his wife Doña Josefa Saenz

        – Atty. Irineo Salazar, my grandfather, lawyer, fiscal, judge then later high BIR official

        – Dr. Zeus Salazar of U.P. – and his Lutheran wife Dr. Marlies Salazar, not of Bikol but Berlin

        – Dr. Wigan Salazar, CEO of MS&L Germany, my younger brother. Ligaya Salazar, my little sister, Director and Curator, Fashion Space Gallery at London College of Fashion.

        – Governor Joey Salceda of Albay, a modern, businesslike but makatao leader

        – The late Jesus Robredo and his wife, Leni Robredo – and many more.

        I am only oragon not oragonon. I was the black sheep of the family, but I have also found my way back to an organized life and an organized mind. And have been helpful here in redeeming myself – and my father for those who fault him for writing for Ferdie Marcos.

        Pantayong Pananaw, sense of TAYO not KAMI, already exists at the local and regional level. Albay under Salceda, Davao under Duterte are only a few examples. Nationally, only a few people have that SENSE OF WE. Let me give some examples:

        – Sonny Trillanes

        – Rodrigo Duterte

        – Bam Aquino

        – Mar Roxas

        – General Espina

        – Joe America

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          In the all Pacific cultures, it is an ancient ritual to first introduce oneself, the one’s ancestors. This my answer to one who posted – who is this PinoyInEurope? Now you know.

          I never forget to respond to challenges, but I have learned to respond in a civilized way.

          As for the person’s whole question: who does he think he is that his opinion is so important? I now answer – my opinion is strong but not more important than that of any other person in this blog. What I say is my opinion but it may not even be right all the time.

          In fact, I quote at this point the arnis/escrima master of one of my project colleagues: my last mistake was the most important thing that happened to me. This is always the right attitude, do not be ashamed of mistakes, do not play the blame or cover-up game. LEARN.

          And I hope to inspire all of you to voice out. I promise to be less intimidating, to read more and write less, but what I must write I WILL continue to write. I promise to write shorter if I am not in a passionate mood, but what must be said immediately will be said immediately. Anyone is welcome to discuss with me like I do with others, give counter-arguments like Mary Grace Gonzalez, who has so often enlightened me when I was ignorant sometimes. Thank you karl garcia and giancarloangulo as well for pitching in so often. And to Joe.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          The late General Javier Carbonnel of Tiwi, Albay I forgot in my list, my uncle. One of Fidel Ramos’s commanders in the PHILCAG in Vietnam, Camp Aguinaldo base commander who played a major role in stopping the 1989 God Save the Queen coup attempt, 2ID Jungle Fighters commander for some time. One of the few generals in the AFP that did not go through PMA. Hero and model for all the boys in our clan, someone to live up to.

          • karl garcia says:

            1989 camp aguinaldo base commander was admiral Marcelo whatever his rank was back then. god save the queen was 1987.sorry not to diminish the efforts of your uncle, just so happen that I know.

          • I remember General Carbonel…hats off ako, i salute him for defending a duly elected president from military adventurists who indulged in coups in a regular manner during Cory’s administration. The country owed him, please extend my personal gratitude to your uncle.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              He has faded away like old warriors do:


              Very few know Gen. Javier D. Carbonell (ret.-PA) and the stellar role he played
              to save democracy and the Republic from all those coup attempts by the RAM to
              seize power from then president Corazon Aquino. While others scrambled for
              recognition and honors, Jake Carbonell sought neither plaudit nor reward for
              what he did. He walked tall, stayed silent, and, in my book, that is the
              definition of a man.

              When the “God Save The Queen” coup started, chief of staff Gen. Fidel Ramos
              tasked Gen. Carbonell – the batallion commander of Camp Aguinaldo – to secure
              GHQ Camp Aguinaldo. President Corazon Aquino then was on a state visit to
              Japan. A rebel armor brigade was due to roll out of Camp Aguinaldo. What Jake
              Carbonell did was block all the gates with trucks loaded with dynamite and
              bombs to be exploded if the rebel RAM brigade should force its way out. General
              Fidel Ramos issued orders to all military establishments to disobey and
              disregard orders and communications coming from the Department of Defense
              headed by Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.

              Again, we are told that Gen. Rodolfo Biazon, legendary marine head, lost his
              marine battalion to the RAM-SFP-YOU rebels during the December 1989 coup. We
              quote from a paper: “Gen. Carbonell together with his 300 men came to the
              rescue to reinforce Camp Aguinaldo. He ordered Col. Thelmo Cunanan to rush his
              brigade to Camp Aguinaldo for augmentation. Gen. Carbonell was ordered by Sec.
              Ramos to take back the logistics command compound taken over by RAM-SFP-YOU
              under Gen. Calajate and Col. Maligalig. Gen. Carbonell coordinated with Gen.
              Biazon as NCRDC commander. Jake first called Gen. Calajate to initiate a
              peaceful dialogue towards a non-confrontation resolution of the impasse.

              “With a flag of truce, Jake with his aide and driver went to the designated
              place. At the entry, Maligalig opened fire with their 30- millimeter
              machinegun. That began the battle of the logistics command that led to the
              extrication of Calajate’s RAM rebels. The mission of Carbonell was a

              Just yesteday, at the Makati Medical Center General Javier D. Carbonell died of
              brain cancer. Men of his honor and his mettle come only once in a long while.
              Hail and farewell!

              • karl garcia says:

                My dad did a draft of the biography of Senator Biazon, it is alreay with Ruffy,for finishing touches. I hope they highliht what your uncle did. from 90 troops of ncrdc against rangers and marines.your uncle to the rescue….

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Typical Albay attitude. Quiet but in emergencies we know how to handle them. Culture that was shaped by volcanos and earthquakes…

              • Oh, God…so my attempt to thank him through you was a few days late…so sorry to hear that, my deepest condolence, PiE…we lost a great military man😢😪😥😩

              • karl garcia says:

                An excerpt from the said draft of Senator Biazon’s Biography…..

                “Then General Biazon came, directing the arrest of Maligalig. Before the tense situation could turn to gunfire between the opposing ground forces, a rebel helicopter came to strafe the vicinity. Even then, the rebel forces confronted by determined government forces left the Center to join their Commander in the Headquarters until they surrendered under siege, as directed by General Biazon, by elements of 2nd Division under General Carbonnel, who was to retire from the service that day. Commodore Calajate escaped to join other rebel forces. (Brigadier General Levy Manuel, the Brigade commander of LTC Tecson, was also to retire a week later) The seat of government military power was not for logisticians to conquer indeed!

      • sonny says:

        Very intriguing provenance, PiE. 🙂

        Some tidbits.

        you remind me of a dear cousin who also went to PSHS (last name Sibayan); very colorful, super intelligent but taken away from this life early by smoking; yes, Ilocano.

        like you, I like things & characters Greek; one of my favorite reads was THE GREEK WAY by Edith Hamilton; am very fond of Greek mythology, history, philosophy & science; and Greek beauty; my knees go weak at the mention of Irene Pappas 🙂 and Helen of Troy and even Cassandra (of course she was Trojan).

        If your dad went to San Beda high school around my time, I know the reason why he made you repeat written pieces in English; if he went to San Beda college of law that was the school’s golden age; my class’ best engineering minds went to La Salle. 🙂

        • sonny says:

          sorry for the side-track.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            No problem, I am sure being a historian my father’s name would ring a bell with you.

            San Beda Elementary School, then back to Bikol – the vagaries of World War 2, my father being born in 1934, caused the family to move back and forth. My father went to Albay High School, then to UP where he graduated summa cum laude early 1950s.

            Took history because it was one of the courses that was possible as pre-law course – HIS father wanted him to be a lawyer of course but my father did not want, so he first instructed in UP then got a scholarship to Paris where he met my mother in Bahasa class.

            My mother’s grandfather was a Lutheran German missionary to the Batak tribe of Indonesia who wrote extensively about them. He was also in Namibia and challenged the German colonial government on human rights abuses. He was a 19th-century Joe.

            One of my favorite books as a child was “Greek myths and legends” illustrated version. Sometimes the complex politics of the Philippines remind me of old Greek mythology with its drama and tragedy. Greeks are seafaring people like us, they are warmhearted like us, they are unruly like us – I can imagine that early Greek democracy in the agora of the polis was as loud and raucous as modern Greek men in a coffee house – they have pirate origin like us, they are very macho, but sometimes they are bakla. Beautiful women. Very clannish culture, with three families alternately supplying the President in modern Greece. Observe others to learn for oneself and one’s own people, that has alway been my adage.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              My parent’s classmate in Paris was Leticia Ramos-Shahani, sister of FVR and daughter of Ambassador Narciso Ramos. When my father was arrested by the PC, my mother went to Letty Shahani who brought her to her father. Ambassador Ramos was ashamed of his son, told my mother that “my son’s troops are acting like your Gestapo used to” – his intercession was instrumental in my father – who had coffee with Ninoy among others to talk politics – was released quickly. The price my father had to pay was Tadhana. He never told us that but I reckon it was that way, being vulnerable and with a foreign wife and two small kids was the Damocles sword hanging over his head. And his staying when we left because of my activist nonsense was probably a political hostage situation, who knows.

              I write all this now because I want the young generation – and also Joe who is a newcomer and does NOT know all the things that led to today’s situation – get some background. Personal aspects only add to credibility, and I can dare because we all are safe abroad.

              I was part of Philippine Embassy Staff, a casual, when Cory visited Germany in 1989. Chaotic conditions among the leadership on the Filipino side, buffered by diligent Filipino staff that knew how to improvise and German counterparts who stuck to the original plan and only talked to those that were authorized to talk to them, not the many middle guys who broke out and tried to do their own thing. My role was IT, communications and partly coordination with logistics and security, so I had a strong walkie-talkie, Motorola with 80 kilometers range supplied by our German partners. The military attache, his assistant and the Embassy driver also had walkie-talkies, I sat on the same desk with the Embassy secretary and called them when needed. Remember saying good morning to Cory once in the guest house of the German government where I was in the basement with some Filipino reporters, Aquino’s speechwriter Teddy Benigno and PSD people under Gazmin.

              Manglapus kept talking about his multilateral aid initiative idea to anyone who was there including me, also about the Filipino car. Teddy Benigno once asked the driver and me if there was a place where we could buy stuff nearby. We looked at the map and took him to a nearby village. He said to us “wow, the roads are just as clean here as in the places we passed by officially, not just for show!”. I will never forget that, just like I will never forget being woken at 3 a.m. by a staff member who needed a quick translation of Helmut Kohl’s last speech to Cory which had been leaked by a German Foreign Office member to us. Grumpy at first, I made the translation and Teddy Benigno wrote Cory’s response to that. “We admire your discipline” was the start, I can imagine where he got the inspiration.

              During the visit there were conflicting lines of authority, people not getting of the ground, people trying to be the boss when they were not. At the airport after Cory had left for Paris, I turned my walkie-talkie on because the military attache and his sergeant where having a discussion and some other higher-ups were trying to tell the sergeant to do something else. Frustrated, the sergeant slammed his walkie-talkie on a table, saying “hindi mo na malaman ko sino ang susundan mo!”. We who were listening all laughed on the tarmac of the Cologne-Bonn airport, relieved that we had done a good job then. 🙂

              But on a more serious note, this kind of coordination makes me not surprised at what happened during Mamasapano. Sometimes it’s not only more fun when Pinoys run things, it can be hell on earth. I do remember the principle that people are responsible for their own stuff in military because I prepared the list of masa visitors on computer for Cory’s address to the Philippine community in Aachen town hall. The military attache told me in a very MILITARY tone of voice “ikaw ang gumawa ng listahan na iyan, kapag may nangyari kay Cory ikaw ang mananagot” I answered “grabe” he answered “ganoon talaga”. But just a little bit later, the wife of a new vice consul who was not on my list tried to come in. I asked her who she is and referred to my printout. The vice consul shouted at me and said “may reklamo ka ba sa asawa ko?” I answered “wala po siya sa listahan” – he responded “may reklamo ka ba sa asawa ko sabi eh!” I answered “pleased to meet her” and let her in.

              I was also supposed to be in charge of a civilian volunteer security group from the Filipino community, we all had YELLOW armbands on and were supposed to take care of bag searches for people coming in and seating. Many Pinoys tried to walk past us and ignore our requests to search their bags. But what was worse – the above vice consul suddenly order some reporters he knew, being a former reporter himself, to take charge of the volunteer security group and assign them to different places, shoving me aside.

              Joe, this is some material for your blog article on discipline I guess. Things were the same in 1989 and now. That is why I believe mistakes should be exposed, not to punish but to learn from them. Otherwise, you just have new installments of the same show. Tiring.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I also remember that a German guy, probably one of the official-unofficial contacts, reviewed and corrected my translation of Cory’s speech to be passed to Helmut himself.

                It was 5 a.m. – we were working on the Embassy’s PC that I had configured, using Microsoft Word 3.0 for DOS which we had been trained in at the German Foreign Office.

                He told me, your translation is good, but the language you are using is not presidential enough, I will mold it a little. Well, that is me as always – maginoo pero medyo bastos.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                The temperamental and spontaneous vice consul later apologized to me. We became friends, my girlfriend then and his mistress (my brother caught them in Boracay, very funny) were best friends and are until now.

                We almost got into a fight about something a year later, I had his heavy glass ashtray – we were both smokers and heavy whisky drinkers – an attache held the strong 25 year old guy I then was and lady attache shouted “huwag kang gagawa ng pagsisisihan mo”!

                I left the Embassy after that, only coming back for contractual work. The vice consul and I reconciled over a bottle of Jack Daniels, two coke bottles and three packs of Marlboro. Driving me home, he told me “I will never reach what you will reach, may you have a good future, you have much potential I will never make it”. Well he made it to OIC Assistant Secretary of DFA. Tony Modena, kaibigan, rest in peace, you were a good man for all your vices, former VICE Consul. Thank you for the lesson you taught me in consular section, where I computerized records and interviewed people, including Hanses wanting to marry Filipinas – not to be too rigid “kababayan natin iyan, huwag mong kalimutan.”! As Ambassador in Tokyo, Tony was known for being very good to the OFWs there.

              • karl garcia says:

                Lila Shahani is a blogger, and a Philstar columnist/contributor. She was one of the first targets of the Antipinoy gang.

              • Joe America says:

                I believe she currently coordinates the Aquino Administration’s cluster group dealing with reduction of poverty.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Leticia Ramos-Shahani is 85 years old and FVR’s sister.

                Don’t know if Lila Shahani is her daughter – possible.

              • J says:

                Yes, Lila is daughter of Senator Shahani. She once wrote an open letter to FVR questing Uncle Joe’s decision to support the Arroyo regime in the midst of Hyatt 10.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks, thought so.

            • sonny says:

              Just a personal footnote.

              My dad was 12 yrs younger than the elderly Ramos but idolized him as the model for Filipinos and Ilocanos in public service, from lawyer-advocate to the less favored Filipinos to being the doyen of Filipino statesmen. Thus my dad had a favored eye for FVR when he first reported to the PA 2nd Military Area fresh from West Point.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                FVR was and is still a good soldier and was a good President, no question. In fact for all he did before, he should still be thanked for helping to bring back democracy. Enrile is a totally different matter.

    • Joe America says:

      It is hard to be forgiving of a product that, though scheming or naivete, threatens to bring down the President of the nation. The purpose of correcting the product is to protect the nation, not to “get Poe”. The evidence that the report is slanted politically is overwhelming. We would be remiss to allow that kind of product to emerge from the Senate.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Well my father as a Poe supporter – he went to San Beda like her father and was at his funeral – forgave her but gave her a stern but kind warning on Facebook.

        My adage is – forgive but never forget. Let this be an example of how NOT to do it.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Hehe, it was fun quoting my father’s posting with the typos. Actually he never tore up anything, that was exaggerated I admit, but he did get mad. PAY FULL ATTENTION TO WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING! DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING TO CHANCE! 🙂

          • J says:

            Oh, yes! Ambassador “Redford” Modena! He was so passionate about protecting OFWs he once caught the ire of the Israelis when he likened their treatment of undocumented OFWs to how the Gestapo treated Jews. I was still in school when he passed away but many of my mentors in DFA speak highly of him.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Yes, he was a truly passionate guy and prone to quite extreme statements at times.

              He lived very intensely as well, but for all his vices he was a very good efficient boss.

              • J says:

                Well I’m biased for obvious reasons of course but I have to say most in the DFA’s career officer corps are very good and efficient indeed 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                The younger generation I am sure. In the older generation there were some career people who had kapit with the old dictatorship, some of them were excellent, most were in the middle, some were terrible. Modena was one of the first to take the FSO exam after the February revolution. But if I look back at the legendary 1989 Cory State Visit to Germany, it worked inspite of the people from the Palace around Cory, because the Embassy staff all worked hard and well.

                I was a working student then, my DOS-based programs to automate consular services were pioneering back in the late 1980s. Abstract of receipts had to wait until I contracted for the honorary consulates though, because in the Embassy they said we have to use the form provided by Manila. The honorary consul simply asked Manila if they could use a printout, Manila took time to answer then wrote back yes, as long as the columns/data are the same.

                When laser printers came out I adapted the honorary consulate program to print out the certifications including the Seal of the Republic on top etc., previously we had tractor-feed computer paper made with the seal of Embassy or Consulate on it including letterhead. Remember that a consul told me you can’t just make your program print out the seal of the republic, that is an official symbol, I answered well nobody else uses the program but Embassies and Consulates so that should not be an issue. Interesting exchange…

                Of course DFA is government and you will always have examples of old-school administrators thinking there, but I can imagine things have also modernized there. Talked to Ike Señeres in 1995, I wanted to offer DFA my program as a model, he wanted a really big global database.

                Told him – Internet was very young then, why don’t we start with decentralized country databases and then replicate to Manila every week fully, deltas every evening? The answer over coffee was we can’t think that small we are DFA. I couldn’t offer anything big though.

              • J says:

                Well, I was born AFTER the 1986 Revolution so I really have no idea how DFA worked then. I know there were “career officers” who were appointed to their position by virtue of being close with powerful people. The old-timers call them the “swertified” ones. Right now, as you know, the career system is merit-based. You can’t get appointed career officer now unless you go through a year-long, five-part series of examinations (where usually only less than 1% of takers pass) and a year-long training program (six months at the Foreign Service Institute and six months OJT).

                You’re right, there probably are old-school administrators but they are relatively far in between. I do think a lot still has to be done as regards the technological infrastructure, but as you have imagined things have been improving a lot and people are still working hard to improve them further 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks, those are new aspects that I did not know about. That is what makes the difference – the old batch was also quite good even some of the swertified, but the younger ones I met in recent years are much more focused in everything. As for the technology side, I am sure that the right things are slowly being done with new generations coming in that are digital natives. My part was good back then in the pioneer years to get experience, I started with SAP in 1996 and that is fully in the commercial world. And the rates I ask for here now are too high even for projects in Dubai or Singapore, what more for the Philippines, I need to ask for such rates in order to cover the high cost of living over here. But good to know things are getting better. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Eventually, we will also be global in our thinking, and Filipinos, with so many abroad, may just be leading the pack. Thanks for the compliment. Morph it is . . .

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        For all globalness – I agree with that, after all Marcos er my dad wrote in the first chapter of Tadhana that the world will eventually unite – COMMUNITIES with cohesion will have an advantage, communities without cohesion will be disadvantage.

        My father has been misunderstood as nativist because he insists on Filipino – he only wants the language to become stronger and able to express more to be able to educate both elite and masa, he supported Erap because he was the first President to use Filipino, and because you can only reach the soul of a people through their OWN language – but he does post articles about how the US is helping us with drones and much more. Enlightened patriotism – my father said Santiago is crazy 30 years ago, parrot leftists too.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        My first comment to my father, dear Joe, when I wrote to him that I am here – Tipping Point article – is that I was not sure whether you are a Ferdinand Blumentritt, a friend of the country, or a John Nance (look up Tasaday) a fake friend of the country with an agenda.

        With regards to democratic culture you are fully a Blumentritt, with regards to BBL I still have my reservations that you could be a John Nance – an American reporter who could also have been naive, led by the nose by Manda Elizalde, to give benefit of the doubt. Rest assured that I will keep my eye on you in that regard, while you keep an eye on me that I do not act like Santiago, Cayetano or Grace Poe – I admit I have had aspects of these at times – like covering up my true agenda very gracefully in my first blog article. 🙂

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          So that is also my answer to someone who wrote that I am a spin doctor with an agenda.

          Well, I have an agenda, which is to contribute to the progress of the country that I left.

          Well, and I am a amateur spin doctor in a way, a rhetorical talent, an influencer – like my father, like my brother who is in professional PR, like my sister whose exhibits in the Victoria and Albert museum attracted a young crowd to an old lady institution.

          And to those who have something to say to me, come to me directly like Mary Grace Gonzales, like Joe, like karl garcia etc. Do not hide in group conversations or behind Joe. That is also part of maturity and strength. Saying things directly. Like Joe does.

          Huwag kayong tsumika sa grupo, o magtago sa pantalon ng Kano. Laos na iyan.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Hah, so now I have been vindictive, I am Filipino after all, but in a just and not too personal way. Just don’t do it again guys. Face me directly, and do not make insinuations because I am able to answer them – we are a family of well-known lawyers after all. 🙂

          • Joe America says:

            There are two kinds of people. The 100 percenters who will defend their starting position until the earth stops spinning, and those who will adapt to new information and insights. The latter are quite easy to approach with a complaint, and I’m happy to declare you a member of that group.

        • Joe America says:

          I do need double-checking on this or that. The BBL poses great difficulty for me, actually. The Philippines is notoriously poor at controlling its provinces and cities, and they become little feudal states. If that is used to re-arm or conquer territory, then it becomes a problem and I don’t know how you unwind it. I dislike that the Bangsamoro can expand to contiguous areas through 50% vote in the area to be added. Can you imagine the intimidation that could be applied to grow the state to an empire? So I think it needs a careful re-read and amendment. So I do believe there are minefields. Yet, there has been peace for three years, I do think Muslims don’t like their sons not coming back from missions, and they want a better way. It could work.

          Military conquest won’t work, or would work at extreme human cost, and could easily drive Muslim Mindanao closer to terrorist states.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            The risks are manifold, and like the Senate report BBL is good, but not good enough.

            The incomplete maturity of the Philippines also includes incomplete professionalism.

            And Filipino theoreticians are often far-out with little grounding in practical things.

            Ferrer is from Philippine Science as well and was my social studies teacher in 4th year.

            Her proud obstinacy and pride was the same then, we did NOT get along real well. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Haha, neither does Cayetano. I can see the affinity. I found Deles to be really smart, Ferrer out for judgment.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Deles is the typical UP profesora – brings back childhood memories of growing up on campus. Ok also the memories of going to the National Library with my father in a jeepney when we wrote for Makoy – he had a full research team to boss around they way he likes and full access to the National Archives with all the old colonial Spanish documents. He used the more or less forced situation to do a lot of research until Marcos got impatient.

                Remember how he forced the printer to redo the cover of the book until he was satisfied with the exact shades of blue and red. I was a kid just watching how he patiently, nicely but tenaciously made the poor man do overtime. My mother still has a Marcos-signed copy.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Actually, it makes me think that it is really good I left the Philippines due to destiny. I am almost Noynoys age, who knows I might have become President, and Ferrer would be under hospital arrest.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “The Philippines is notoriously poor at controlling its provinces and cities, and they become little feudal states.” Exactly. That is why Marcos put so much priority on centralizing power.

            That is also why centralism is so rigidly defended – the fear of everything falling apart is justified. Cayetano’s motto that there is only one flag, one nation, one Philippines.

            De facto Davao and Albay are examples for how cities and provinces run themselves. Possibly the best solution would be to give certain responsibilities to the regions and cities. Education and culture, economic development, public services and the like would make sense.

            At the same time control the really vital stuff like police, military, citizenship, lawmaking, taxation, control over mining, national roads, airports, ports ONLY from the center.

            BBL gives too many powers to Bangsamoro. But that is probably because the Philippine government does not really know what it wants because they never seriously thought about it and the MILF knows it pretty well, although to me their concept has Malaysia written all over it.

            • Joe America says:

              I disagree with the last statement, that the Philippine government does not really know what it wants. It wants to rectify centuries of disenfranchisement, assure peace by making locals responsible for it, and build an economic foundation so people have a real future. Have you not every motivated someone by delegating responsibility, then coaching in a positive way, rather than just caning them for mistakes made? That to me is the BBL. Putting down the cane and assigning responsibility, thoughtfully monitored. That is the model. It likely will require some fine tuning, will not be perfect, but that is no reason to give up. Peace requires work. Maybe more than war.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                From what I have seen so far – 122 pages are a lot but I will read all of them – it looks like this:

                – too much responsibility assigned in some areas

                – too little real monitoring allowed for in some areas

                – too little intervention possible if needed in emergency

                I will have a look at the document from a risk management point of view, identify the points.

                Then I would write a blog article on what points I think need adjustment and why.

              • Joe America says:

                That is an enormous job, so I wish you well. I tried breaking it down to components, policing, finance, etc, and the details get the best of things. But maybe an exploration of “controls” is appropriate. Like, this coordination body between Central and Bangsamoro. Who’s on it and do they have any powers, or are they more like middle grounders, like the peace negotiators? And can the Legislature scrap the whole deal if it is going south? I presume so, but it would be nice to know that if the Bangsamoro government did not abide by the agreement, it’s charter could get yanked.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “That is an enormous job, so I wish you well.” I know, but since I am a critic of BBL, I think I should substantiate what I do not like and give the chance for constructive discussion.

                “I tried breaking it down to components, policing, finance, etc, and the details get the best of things.” Exactly. I would write down what powers and prerogatives I don’t think they should have and what risks I see in giving them that much. And my proposal how to adjust things.

                “Like, this coordination body between Central and Bangsamoro. Who’s on it and do they have any powers, or are they more like middle grounders, like the peace negotiators?” Exactly. Also the Bangsamoro Development Plan and the Transitional Council, how is that organized.

                “And can the Legislature scrap the whole deal if it is going south? ” Looks like no. Actually it seems not even the President can shut Bangsamoro down if they do try armed secession. There isn’t even a provision to suspend certain functions if they are abused in any way.

                You will receive the article by Sunday at the latest. Won’t post much in the meantime. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK, you get the Article “Bangsamoro Basic Law: Managing Risks” by next Sunday.

                If you want you can schedule it for then. Tough piece of work but I like challenges.

              • Joe America says:

                It is scheduled (see right column). The calendar is easily changed if need be. We pride ourselves on being loosey goosey. Or fluid. Or laid back.

              • Joe America says:

                ahahahaha or Filipino?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                🙂 Definitely Filipino! I will make it by Sunday though.

                Already set aside time to work on the stuff. Won’t get many comments from me this coming week. Thanks and looking forward to an interesting and thought-provoking discussion.

              • karl garcia says:


  14. I feel I need to write this because I fear that people from my generation and younger are ill equipped to get the drift of why Purisima was probably involved at the risk of sounding stupid.

    It is quite simply called the 24 Hour Scenario or the Jack Bauer Syndrome. Purisima for all his faults is the Jack Bauer or a the arm chair version of one, I’d rather write jack ryan but I am trying to write for a younger crowd and fear they will lose the reference.

    Why was Jack Bauer always the one being dragged into solving the 24 Hour riddle? Quite simply for inspite of all his illegal acts or maybe because of it he has “THE CONTACTS, THE INTELLIGENCE PACKETS, and THE MENTAL MODEL” of someone who has been chasing Marwan for years. Knowledge such as this cannot be effectively turned over especially to only an OIC and to his superior SILG because I suspect the hunt for Marwan has become personal.

    If you start from that assumption then what we get is a President who wanted the mission to succeed but was given inaccurate information from people who can be said to have been blinded by their desire to get the m**********g terrorist.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Jack Ryan is really cool – played by Harrison Ford, always my idol from Han Solo times.

      Tatay ko naman, tulad ng ama ni Indiana Jones. Found Bikol king Handyong’s burial jar.

      • Joe America says:

        Tom Clancy, RIP, hatched one of the finest men never to have actually served. I mean, who among us, in parsing an international escapade, does not like thinking like Jack?

        • sonny says:

          I like the two Jacks and Jason Bourne. Great stuff.

          • Ditto…loved the books on Jason Bourne more than the movie versions. Was devastated to read Tom’s death.

            • I have countless books by Robert Ludlum, kept me sane right after my mother’s death.

              • Am on a look out for more of his covert series with. Jon Smith as the lead character.. The US president, Adam Castillier, can’t recall the name, so long ago na kasi…was so miffed with CIA, FBI even his official spies that he resorted to the more effective covert operations to solve the various crises in his administration. How’s that for ignoring the chain of command, huh? Sometimes the fiction world is more ideal and fun, though not realistic. One can only dream.

              • sonny says:

                Mary Grace, I found the solace of fiction early on. First, I couldn’t wait to get hold of the next installment of HARDY BOYS for adventures to intrigue, basic observation & logic. Then, I could afford movies and war spy stories with Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan; then it was large scale conflict with THE DESERT FOX and James Mason’s Erwin Rommel, and then, and then … it was movies for me. (of course romance with THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN)

                So all in all it has become life following art and art following life whichever sequence was enlightening at the time, 🙂 and rolling with life’s milestones and vicissitudes (your mom’s passing, as my mom’s too)

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Did you know that Matt Damon’s fighting style in the movies is based on Filipino escrima martial arts? Of course I loved the Bourne 4 films starring Metro Manila.

              • Didn’t know…..why did Ludlum had to kill the character of Marie, Jason’s Canadian finance wizzard wife in the series?..

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                You can check it via google. I knew immediately because one of my karate dojo companions before was a former Manila policeman who taught me some escrima.

                Actually the guy was an illegal, my father did not like my slumming but I learned a lot from these simple folks. Well, black sheep of the family, I chose my own way and I do not regret it, learned a lot from it. But I will not start singing My Way, baka magkapatayan dito. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Only heard of arnis de mano until I saw the two sticks in the hands of Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRAGON. Such deadly grace!!

              • sonny says:

                Much as I was a fan of Franka Potente, there was so much more intrigue and unraveling coming down the pipe for Jason Bourne. 🙂 Marie’s name will never be the same again. sigh.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Sonny, I only learned a few moves from the hand-fighting version, sparring with him.These few moves have helped me though, in some real situations were I needed it, and by giving confidence that potential attackers feel and back off.

              • karl garcia says:

                Sonny is talking about the Richard Chamberlain and Jacklyn Smith version.

              • sonny says:

                I have dvd of richard chamberlain & jaclyn smith. I have not watched it. BOURNE IDENTITY was my first Bourne movie.

              • karl garcia says:

                My turn to recommend as you recommended Thomas Crowne. Jackyn Smith was my childhood crush since the Charlie’s Angels. Chamberlain from Shogun and the Thorn Birds.He is not as athletic as Damon but can give Lee Majors a tun for their money.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I am neither of the two, but I have played my role in serious and funny Pinoy ways too:


            Joe, what I just wrote there is food for thought with regards to your discipline article.

          • karl garcia says:

            When Ludlum and Clancy RIPd, I tried Vince Flynn. No match.

  15. Bam !! Angara!!! WHY??

    • Joe America says:

      I tweeted Drilon, Aquino and Angara to ask why Poe was allowed to issue a draft report to the republic. Only Angara answered with: “liberal that way”. I replyed back “Half-baked it seems to me, but I appreciate your response.. .”

      I also tweeted Aquino and Angara the question, “What is your position on impeachment, given that Sen Poe raised the issue during the committee report presentation?” I didn’t get an answer from either.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Because of the trauma of dictatorship, Filipinos exaggerate democracy too wildly.

        Post-communist Eastern Europe is very similar – the middle ground must be found.

        Mature democracies have rules of disclosure and secrecy + rules of engagement.

  16. Annie Dee says:

    I do not have expectations on other senators on the 20 who signed EXCEPT Bam Aquino, Guingona, Pimentel & I thought younger Angara would be different from the old one who is also very CORRUPT! The first three at least have fathers whom I supported before & thought they are worth supporting, too! I was wrong! They are also political WHORE!

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, Annie. I wonder if they have just gone too easily along with Poe, whom they may trust, without seeing the big picture. Some may have further edits to make before they agree to sign the final paper. It behooves people not to sit back and wait, but to demand that their legislators read the Poe Report as a threat to the powers of the Commander in Chief of their nation. Send them a link to this blog, if that is easy and will help. Be active, not passive.

    • The kind view is that they signed because they felt pressured, the unkind way is that they are traditional politicians who are just going where the wind is blowing. If the 3 brave senators let up on Binay then I fear it is the unkind view.

    • NHerrera says:

      They may have agreed to sign the report with qualifications or reservations. I only read in a news report that Bam qualified his signature with respect to the BBL. I hope that if they have reservations, they write these out and include them as part of their signatures — so that when we finally read the final signed report we get to read these commentaries attached to their signatures and form a better picture of the WHYS of their signatures.

      Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara, and Pimentel are ESSENTIALLY newbie Senators with eyes for re-election at least in a few years and may have factored in their readings of “popular will.” Not necessarily deciding to bow to all popular wills, but doing so at least for this one. This is just my opinion.

      Sen Trillanes stands out for his comments about items revealed in the Executive Sessions which have essentially been set aside. It would have been more palatable if say a Senator who signed, say, Angara makes the same comment about the the sidelining of some other items, but say that he agrees with the Big Picture of the report but that he will include his comments as part of his signature. Again, I am commenting in the absence of the full report with signatures.

  17. jameboy says:

    Undermining the President’s authority as Commander in Chief.
    How the report undermined the President’s authority is beyond me. A report based on facts, participated by legislators from different parties some of whom are friends and even a relative of the President, conducted openly in public, in the absence of proof to the contrary, cannot undermine the presidency. I read the summary and nothing in it impressed upon me that it aims to undermine the President’s authority.

    What undermines the Presidency, I’m afraid, is the person occupying it.

    • Jaemboy,

      A report that stated facts clearly and with nuanced but fair emphasis on important things would not enrage a lot of us. The problem came about with the omission of crucial information that makes the picture clearer and gives us a better assessment of the individual faults of the participants.

      What the report does is quite the opposite. It is as if it started with the desire to pin a specific group/person and all the emphasized facts were not due their importance but rather their importance on pinning the blame on someone.

      • jameboy says:

        However the report came out, there would be portions of the population that will express rage. However the report is worded and crafted, problem will still accompany it. Even if the Committee made a picture perfect presentation of the report to guide us for better assessment, grumblings and criticisms will still be heard. You know why?

        The situation has reached the level of pollution that however perfect and fact-based or not the report was, we’ll still get the same result: an enrage citizenry. 😦

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Enraged but calm. The latest Pulse Asia report showed that 70% of Filipino do not support the Aquino quit movement. I believe that Filipinos have reached greater political maturity than most of their politicians. Most of my Facebook friends are angry at Aquino, but do NOT want him to step down but finish his term and answer for the things that are within his responsibility. Iyong sinumulan mo, tapusin mo, iyong ginawa, panindigan mo is the word.

          Aquino still has the opportunity to man up like you said, Noynoy magpakalalake ka, magpakatatag ka, hindi ka naman siyokoy ano, may dugo ka ng Tatay mo, ilabas mo!

          Noynoy still has to opportunity to clarify all doubts, enlighten his employers the people on what happened in Mamasapano, fix his mistakes by having BBL reviewed and corrected and ride into a glorious sunset in 2016. Hindi pa huli ang lahat, Noynoy! Pinipintasan ka namin para magawa mo ang dapat gawin para sa sambayanan, hindi para sirain ka bilang Presidente, mali lang mismo ang tono namin dahil kami’y nadidismaya at minsan masyado kang napipika at nagtatampo, tama na iyan. Noy, hindi ka nag-iisa, patas na tayong lahat, gawin mo na ang dapat gawin bilang pinuno, yakang-yaka mo iyan, itutulak ka namin, ikaw na ang bahalang tumakbo ngayon dahil huling pagkakataon mo ito!

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            In that regard, I have learned from the Germans. 2001 I was like Napeñas, too ambitious and that led to a major fuck-up. They did not fire me, that would have been too easy for them and for me. They forced me to fix everything – and then used the fact that I had learned lessons from a major mistake that led to huge losses in the next big project. My boss at that time was angry that we bypassed him – I reported it to him when it was almost too late – but in the end I think he saw that I did the right thing and for the past two years, I have been his capo in a major project as a subcontractor. Now THAT is being constructive.

            My fellow Filipinos – let us be constructive critics. If we are to make people power on the Internet and elsewhere, then only constructively and in order to help the country. To help it correct its mistakes and learn from them, to correct our mistakes and learn from them.

            Making mistakes is human, repeating them is foolish and a waste of learning opportunity. Dear Grace, hire a real management consultant to tell you the meaning of “lessons learned” in project post-mortem reports, and then come back with a better Senate report.

    • Joe America says:

      It is in the notion that, in case the nation needs to be defended, a President must have the Nation’s backing to make hard, life threatening decisions. Sometimes the ENEMY is better, sometimes human mistakes occur, sometimes the chaos that ALWAYS envelops the battlefield comes out badly. The President has to be able to move to the next decision without being harassed, or not having confidence. Taking a simple (if tragic) battlefield loss and using it to attack a president is simply bad practice, in the field of defense.

      • Joe America says:

        This does not mean shrug as if there is no problem. The assessment should come from within the military or police units. In this case, Roxas and Gazmin might have sat down with their top people, Napenas, Pangilinan, the top American on scene, and find out what happened. Keep the secrets in the military, keep the discipline in the organization, give a report to the president. This national apoplectic fit is simply too much. It is naive, immature.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          I wrote my answer while you were writing yours. Things are converging.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          It is immature… and has to do with the low trust different factions have towards one another, plus the inherent total unfairness nearly ALL factions display in dealing with one another. There is little national consensus, litte SENSE OF WE to keep people from going at each other’s throats in so many ways. But now that things are partly out in the open, only a full clarification will help to calm down people and establish a sense of TRUST so much missing.

          A lot of what happening can be explained by fundamental distrust of the other faction, fear of being screwed, the underdog/victim mentality that is a legacy of centuries of being colonized.

          And of course the vicious reflex of trying to do the same to the other group – no group is fully free of that, Noynoy and his people are just a LITTLE bit better, Mar being more modern.

          The public wants a lot of this, it does NOT trust Noynoy anymore, it fears a whitewash and given past experiences it is understandable. The questions I raised about BBL and business reflect what many people think and say, in fact as if they are sure things are really like that.

          After trust has been re-established, the next thing is to institute procedures and institutions to deal with problems like that in the future. Rules on what to tell the press and when, rules on how to investigate important matters. And professional, neutral communication at all levels.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Fully agree. Normally such things are thoroughly researched and then summarized behind closed doors. What needs to be known is then told the public and of course discussed in mature newspapers. For example it was an open secret that Germany’s KSK special ops took part in the Afghanistan invasion even if Germany was officially NOT part of that war in the beginning. Lot of guys died from what I heard, that was not a walk in the park, no way.

        But families were duly compensated by DEFAULT as part of the rules, and no newspaper not even the tabloid BILD (which is pro-US anyway so they wouldn’t) dared report it for fear of treason charges being pressed against them for revealing vital state secrets.

        An anecdote again: German troops officially came into Afghanistan to secure the peace after the US had won, they are better at that than Americans, definitely. I remember an early morning in a seedy Munich dive bar during my mid-life crisis drunken days, watching a young German officer on leave arguing with an Afghan refugee, both very drunk. German officer “hey my grandfather was in Namibia you asshole, don’t tell ME what to do, he taught niggers like you how to build stuff just like I am doing now”. The guys around watched and either waited for action or to calm down a possible fight – which didn’t happen. Another morning I played darts with an athletic Iraqi refugee who stood very straight and targeted very well – “I was in Saddams national guard, I know how to aim”… 🙂

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          More stories from that dive bar that no longer exists.

          A young German soldier on leave from Afghanistan who showed me the army ID he had torn up, he said I have to go back tomorrow, no today it is already morning, don’t care if the Feldjäger (MPs) start to look for me, I don’t care, I’ve had enough of war, I have seen such terrible things…” who then fell asleep in his beer until the lady bartender, her black husband and me woke him at noon because it was closing time…

          A German-Russian dual citizen who had chosen to serve with Russia because he wanted the hardcore stuff – in Russia military service is compulsory, two years without a single day home, harsh drill including the hazings by higher-ups called “grandfather’s prerogative”. He alternated between telling me how terrible it was and starting to mouth Russian patriotic stuff. We had several vodkas until the lady bartender threw us out at noontime, we said goodbye in a mixture of Russian and German on the street very loudly… 🙂

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        The deep divisions in Philippine society make it hard for different groups to trust one another, and entrusting to just one man or one group everything is a sure recipe for disaster. What is necessary is some kind of Senate security subcommittee with representatives of each major party that regularly conducts a review of covert actions, sworn to secrecy. Basically watchdogs from every major group to make sure no group feels cheated and turns on the others.

        That makes my suggestion of BANNING by law every politician ever convicted of corruption even more important. If I look at the three major parties in the Senate who could be in such a subcommittee: NP-Trillanes, LP-Drilon, UNA-almost all in jail so who do we take, Nancy Binay?

  18. karl garcia says:

    If you sign with reservations is it like “for the record I object but I am signing anyway”. I think even a president can sign a law with reservations. What happens next?

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      In justice especially in Supreme Courts, there is such a thing as a “Minority Report”.

      OK I also like the movie, with its lesson that the future holds many possibilities, not one.

    • Joe America says:

      I think there can be changes to the draft if that is required to get 13 votes. If it is not required, then it can be released as final, as is. I don’t know if dissents become a part of the record or not.

  19. Percival says:

    Let me share an excerpt from Teddy Locsin: CHAIN DOES NOT BIND

    “When the report of PNP Board of Inquiry says that the President violated the chain of command, it only means he chose not to follow it—and that is not a crime.

    The chain of command is a convenience; it is not a constraint on presidential command. If it did legally then that would be the end of civilian supremacy over the military. Ideally, presidential commands come down the chain of commanders, enriched at every link by their experience or impoverished by their ignorance and subverted by inter-branch rivalry. …

    The chain does not go up to shackle the president; it only goes down. Every officer and soldier owes him direct obedience without having to pass his loyalty up through the chain of command.

    The suspension of Purisima for graft did not erase his unique understanding of the mission he planned. He could still advise, and subordinates could listen, when he couldn’t strictly speaking command. It was not wrong for the President to keep Purisima in the loop. A suspicion of graft does not erase the experience of command. He planned the operation. …”

    Read the full text here:

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Percival.

      “The suspension of Purisima for graft did not erase his unique understanding of the mission he planned.”

      That seems such a simple concept, but 20 people in the Senate don’t understand. Incredible. They have no appreciation of a President’s burdens and information requirements, yet half of them want to run for the position.

      • sonny says:

        Oooh, yes yes!! I’ve also seen this in enlightened project teams where expertise is never forgotten. Some many golden nuggets strewn on this blog floor!

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          I have seen politicking in many of my projects, but some common courtesy that keeps things from going too far. Like we had one customer where we tracked issues in a common Excel sheet. Almost all the issues we had given them for testing on Monday evening were tested on Tuesday evening, some got approved some rejected, so on the Wednesday morning status meeting they could tell us how many issues were still unsolved and put pressure on us.

          Luckily I have long-term customers where a certain fairness reigns, no need for stupid games. Of course people will always try to look better, to promote themselves. Trillanes is doing it as well, but in an honorable way – common courtesy is important for mature political culture.

    • For once I am in full agreement with Teddy Boy. I usually find him arrogant, and judgemental

      • I had read the full article, that is worth sharing in my FB wall, just like JoeAm’s..thank you, Percival for the link…and thank you, Teddy Boy for this one…it helped me understand more this crisis that is making a lame duck of this presidency, what with the tabloid media’s hysterical nonsense, the still GMA controlled judiciary (sc, ca, rtc, lower courts) where TROs defeat even the Ombudsman’s ruling, and lastly, this 20 senators’ mockery of a president’s prerogative to effectively control crimes and terrorism.

        • karl garcia says:

          “Sec. 14. Restrictions. – No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.

          No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.”

          Is TRO null and void?

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Pre-Marcos democracy was very similar, maybe a bit more dignified on the surface from what I have read about it, it was before my time but sonny can probably bear witness to that.

          Which is why so many people voted for Marcos and even APPROVED of Martial Law in the beginning, that is why Marcos managed to do a lot, good and bad, because he was dictator. That is of course wrong as well because nobody checks a dictator and his possible abuses.

          You need a middle ground somewhere between the chaotic democracy the Philippines (and many post-communist Eastern European countries like Romania) have now and dictatorship. Like I wrote somewhere else, “parang nakawala sa kulungan” and not responsible with freedom.

          The TRO against Binay is invalid according to De Lima, like Karl wrote there is no possibility of TRO against Ombudsman rulings. I also read somewhere that Cayetano offered to help with the Taguig police in getting Junjun out of Makati city hall. Let us see where that goes next.

          As for Senate hearings and reports, there should be rules on what is allowed and not, like for meetings there are Robert’s Rules of Order. Like for example no releasing or talking about draft versions to discourage political misuse. Even some simple unwritten rules, manners.

          • karl garcia says:

            Contempt to the ombudsman is just a game of chicken???? We have a show here in GMA 7 Called celebrity Bluff. This is one of those Bluff na Bluff scenarios.

    • andrewlim8 says:


      Thanks a lot for this! It confirms and adds material for my piece.

      I’m about to finish my article on “FIDEL RAMOS USED JOSE ALMONTE IN DEALING WITH THE RAM COUP PLOTTERS DESPITE BEING OUT OF THE CHAIN OF COMMAND and OTHER STORIES”, A Commentary on Jose Almonte’s biography, Endless Journey, A Memoir

      “We regularly ignored the chain of command fighting coups for Cory. The President can skip links and entrust to one instead of another a special military job that he wants done.”
      – Teddy Boy Locsin

      Ill submit it to Joe in a couple of days.

    • NHerrera says:

      I too appreciated the article of Teddy Locsin. Thanks.

      • bauwow says:

        Does the Poe Report expose her inexperience? Maybe she is relying too much on her handlers, that she forgot to think for herself? Gravitas, Senator Poe does not have.

  20. PinoyInEurope says:

    The question that has been raised very often in this blog is that of functioning institutions. Plus political maturity that goes with it. And how to solve the TRUST issues that the public has, plus those of different political groups towards one another. Causes meanness on all sides. Proposal:

    1) The Senate should finalize its report and not talk about it until finished, nobody.

    2) For security issues, there should be Senate and House subcommittees sworn to secrecy that regularly review security stuff like Mamasapano with the President – to have checks and balances and ensure that the major political groups are included and do NOT start fighting the President.

    3) Rules on what is to be said to the press and when. No talking about secret matters, no talking about ongoing investigations to avoid unnecessary unrest. Press conferences about finished investigations should have a clear, objective message, no speculations encouraged or such.

    The parameters of security matters are defined by the President and reviewed by Senate and House subcommittees, including the definition of when the President may decide alone and when he has to consult with them. For example something similar to Oplan Exodus – inform the subcommittees once to get green light and the rest is Presidential prerogative, regular operations are just reported in summary once every six months. Checks and balances with flexibility. Philippines is not the USA, where everyone trusts the President to act as a true American always.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      To put it very clearly – those who oppose Aquino may not be disloyal to the country, but they may not see him as the President of the whole country, only of the Makati and haciendero crowd to be very blunt, someone they could suspect of selling out to the USA in the Mamasapano case, or to Malaysia in the BBL case. These people are also part of the country, and to push them aside as disloyal would lead to tensions that can REALLY explode later on.

      Trillanes is trusted by the non-“Makati” part of the population, which distrusts the “Makati” guys that it perceives Noynoy to belong to, now that his charisma as a unifying figure, inherited from his parents, has worn off. That is why his support for Noynoy at this point is good for the country.

      In the end mechanisms must be found to ensure that major groups in society do not feel that the current ruling group around whichever President will take away something from them. Before Filipinos fully see themselves as WE FILIPINOS first before their own group interests and have a minimum of trust in someone leading them will IMHO take at least a generation. In the meantime, a delicate balance must somehow be found and maintained to stabilize the country. All major groups must feel they are represented and must have the feeling they can check the President and keep him from favoring only his group at the expense of others – THE big fear.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Three major groups exist in the Philippines nowadays IMHO: the business-oriented group (mainly represented by LP), the nation-oriented group (mainly represented by NP) and the masa (mainly THINKING UNA represent them because the other two groups ignore them).

        Now Poe is an independent, trying to find a way to represent all Filipinos and getting caught between the frontlines. She is trying to find a common ground and got caught in the middle. Nobody is really satisfied with her now, seeing the reactions in this blog among others.

        In the end I see a possible common NP-LP ticket with Mar-Trillanes running against Binay. Down-to-earth enough, both of them, to attract enough masa and credibly represent them.

        • karl garcia says:

          When I asked my dad about Roxas Trillanes. sagot nya.tumigil ka nga baka iblag mo
          .Di ba sabi ko sa iyo wag ka na mag blag.
          Gusto ko sana sabihin hanggang comments na lang po.

          • karl garcia says:

            madalas na rin ako ma bawl out, with the opening lines….ano itong nakakarating sakin na nasa internet ka nanaman. mga magulang talaga masyadong kabado. ako naman wala po iyon. relaks.

            minsan me inaway ako di ko alam sister ko na pala, alias kasi ginamit nya eh.

            tapos sa facebookme madinig ka lang sa tito o tita mo, makokonsyensya ka na.

            eto pinakamatindi
            Si Benign0 naksama ko na pala sa isang kumpanya. Tapos Si BongV kaibigan pala ng first cousin ko.

            • I have a similar experiences.

              My cousins even commented that I am super maka PNOY

              Comments in my FB like “we are entitled to our opinion, don’t try to influence us.”

              One even poked me in FB.

              When I asked my niece about reactions on my FB postings, she says – tita, puro politics naman yan eh”

              My kasambahay has a positive feedback, “ok, ma’am… I’ll tag your posts to all my relatives, friends, children and kababayan in Davao… Thank God, one in so many ….

              But I wont stop flooding my FB wall with these golden nuggets in our discussions and pray for the seed to germinate.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Iyon may punto din naman sila. Ayaw nilang mapasubo ka sa gulo, alam kasi nila ang takbo. Minsan mahirap talaga magsalita sa Pilipinas, iyong akala mong magkakampi, biglang magiging magkaaway, iyong akala mong kaaway magkakuntsaba. Madaling madamay.

              Unti-unti akong lumayo sa mga kapwa natin dito sa abroad, iilan na lang ang kakontakt ko, OK sa Facebook mga iba’t-ibang close contacts sa iba’t ibang peryodo ng buhay ko, pero sa pang-araw-araw bihira na – bawat ginagawa mo kasi pinupuna ng buong barangay.

              Kaya lang naman ako nakakapagsulat ng ganito dahil hindi ako nagdedepende sa kahit kanino sa Pilipinas o sa kahit anong kampo, iyong tatay ko hindi naman gagalawin dahil alam nilang ako may sariling opinyon, tapos dalubhasa siya hindi politiko, halos lahat kilala niya. Iyong mga binanggit ko sa pangalan hindi na madadamay dahil matanda na o kaya patay na, pero hindi naman siguro makakasama kung malaman ng kabataan kung saan nanggaling ang mga iba’t-ibang nangyari noong araw para mag-isip-isip sila, bahala sila sa gagawin nila.

              Kahit saan naman hindi gaanong nagkakaiba ang pulitika, ang mahalaga lang iyong maayos na pamamalakad at magandang pamumuhay ng taong-bayan. Walang pulitikong hindi ambisyoso, tama na iyong malinis at propesyonal. Kanya-kanyang maniobra ang mga iyan.

              Mas magalang at propesyonal naman ngayon ang takbo kaysa noon, naalala ko pa iyong impeachment ni Estrada, sigawan at sayawan akala mo teleserye. Ngayon tingin ko hindi na iyan mangyayari. 15 years later, ano kaya ang magiging tingin natin sa nangyari ngayon. Mahirap lang kasi sa karamihan nating mga kababayan, nakakalimutan nila ang mga leksiyon ng kasaysayan, iyong Katipunan natalo dahil sila mismo puro pride chicken pati na patayan, iyong mga Tsino pinag-aralan na tayo, alam nilang isang pitik lang hawak na nila ang Pilipinas. Sila, nagbabasa ng Sun Tzu, laging meron silang strategy na pinag-isipan ng husto kaya makapangyarihan sila ngayon. Karamihan ng Pilipino, kahit may tungkulin bilang pulitiko, hanggang ilong lang ang nakikita iyong kinabukasan pa kaya ng bansa at ng taongbayan?

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            My father does not give real answers to me on the major questions anyway, tried to ask him on Facebook but he is like the Sphynx. Anyway in the end my opinion is just that – an opinion from somebody abroad, and the decisions will be made by those in the Philippines anyway.

            Those at home know best what is happening, ako helicopter perspective lang naman. Para akong nagraradyo sa nasa atin, ano ba iyang nakikita ko bakit ganyan? Ewan…

            • mercedes santos says:

              Buddy, can you spare a therapist’s couch ?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                🙂 nope.. occupied. The sheer absurdity of everything happening now is a bit too much…

                Maybe it is better not to care too much. Makes life easier. Well spring is coming anyway.

              • mercedes santos says:

                YUP, soliloquies can be a bet tiring, ne c’est pas ??

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                No, not really. If something productive comes out of it here and there fine.

                The only trap that has to be avoided is going in too deep.

          • sonny says:

            KG, ayaw kitang guluhin. Pero kailangan ko ring bigkasin sa isang umi-intindi ng situwasyion.

            Nabubuwang na ‘ko. Kahit saan ka bumaling, magulo. Para akong nasa loob ng ulo ni HAMLET:

            “To be or not to be. That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing, end them? …”

            Ayaw na akong pakinggan na aking maybahay. Sabi niya, parang ‘shadow-boxing’ lang ginagawa ko sa pagbabasa ng pagtatalo at mga talakayin dito sa ‘blog.’ Marami pang ibang kailangan ding asikasuhin. 😦 Seguro kailangan talaga ng recess. (‘di bale malapit na ang laban ni Pacquiao)

            • karl garcia says:

              Going to Vegas, eh? Remember when I asked if I could go chasing windmills with you? Well round like circle in a spiral, a wheel within a wheel never ending no beginning……like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                After many circles, I have now decided to look at 122 pages of BBL and do a risk management analysis in one week. Have already set aside a few hours every day after work to go through the different aspects. The best way against circles is to give oneself a goal.

                Now my goal is to write about BBL. So my mind stops circling as well. Kaisipang Matuwid imbes na Magulong Isip. See all of you next Sunday. I will not disappoint you.

              • sonny says:

                @ Karl

                Windmills wait for fair winds to turn them. Well and good when they arrive. Circles come in many forms. We would like to avoid the vicious kind. They go nowhere. Neither do we want to re-invent wheels. This leaves the kind that we step out of yet retaining the good arcs and explore the possibility of more encompassing arcs. Let’s try helixes, from two to three dimensions where the possibilities become limitless. 🙂

                As to Pacquiao, I can’t afford the live arena and I have not found a pay for view venue yet. I might end up with Yahoo and time-delayed coverage. Saklap!

                @ PiE (Buti na lang Irineo binigay ng erpats mo. Kaya your name will always remove the edge off of your message. 🙂 Joke only, PiE)

                I look forward to your analysis of the 122-line BBL. I also have my sanity tied to the insights that topic will generate. Right now, history and the heat of passion in current events, here and abroad, are not promising. My hope is that whatever final form will be incorporated into our Constitution will not swallow us into an implosion.

              • sonny says:

                PS @ PiE

                Your analysis of BBL will be like IPLing/Booting IRINEO-I, the first heuristic computer, the 1G of DEBE computers. What is a DEBE computer you ask? DEBE: Does Everything But Eat. Googol times better than the prototype IBM (It’s Better Manually)!! 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                how can he e mail a message carved in stone. Helixes are worse,they are twisted.

              • karl garcia says:

                Fair winds and seven seas….it’s not far to never never land just you wat and see believe me. Oh the canvas can do miracles(during elections) believe me.Sailing takes me a way to where…..

              • karl garcia says:

                Giancarlo had a comment on Senators as Sailors. in the State Newspaper blog… Fits like a glove to my Fair winds and Seven Seas….. that was supposed to be Following Seas, but I forgot so at least we know how many seas to follow.

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 Seven. ahahaha What is a following sea, anyway? One with the waves pushing the backside of the boat?

              • sonny says:

                @ Karl

                Mukhang malabo ang dating ko sa mga gusto kong ipahiwatig. Ok lang, kasalanan ko ‘yon.

                Si PiE ay talagang parang encyclopedia, at ang kanyang takbo sa mga information ay mabilis na parang computer, parang ipo-ipo. Bagay siya sa propesyon niya, computer specialist: analyze the objective world through his eyes (input), i-save mga observations niya (storage ng computer), organize his data according to predetermined (programs) rules, (sort & collate data, categorize with tags and pointers for quick retrieval mga functions ng computer CPU), finally present packets of information into readable, useable, retrievable sets (output). Kaya inihambing ko siya sa IRINEO-1 (gawa-gawa ko lang, Irineo kasi ang pangalan ni PiE), 1G (first generation, in present computer parlance), heuristic (computer that learns) computer is the better name for an artificial intelligence computer, DEBE is just a descriptive acronym for its functional power. Kaya sa tingin ko ganito si PiE.

                And windmills naman: ikot lang nang ikot at stationary at kailangan ng hangin, limited ang usefulness. Kailangan ang brains ng tao para hindi lang ikot ng ikot, pero ang brains natin may pinupuntahan. Circles, two dimensions ang tatakbuhan. Kung mabuti ang pinapatakbo ok lang pero kung problems ang linulutas kailangang umalis sa vicious circle. The only way to do this is to BREAK the two dimensions and go to the third dimension, this is the helix, new arcs, new circles new solutions become possible. Whew! Pasensya ka na, Karl.

                Hindi ko magamit ang “canvas and sailing to never never land” sa aking patalinghaga. 😦

                ‘yong IBM naman, inside joke sa mga old IT professionals. Kasi once upon a time, IBM was the only game in town as far as computers go. Kaya sabi namin, I-t’s B-etter M-anually.

              • karl garcia says:

                Kasalaban ko Sonny I exagerate much. I Exaggerated on it is Better Manually,by going back to stone age.Helixes I just twisted it literaly becausr helix are twists and curves.Wnfmillls Thomas Crowne affair and i remember I asked you a virtusl trip to the windfarm in ilocos.Fair einds ad following seas

              • karl garcia says:

                Mary you typo queen me Typo Ace

              • karl garcia says:

                ” Following seas, combined with high winds (especially from the stern, or from behind the boat), can be dangerous and cause a boat to yaw (turn sideways) and swamp or plow under the wave ahead, if the winds and sea are too strong or violent. The original term may have been “Fair winds and a fallowing sea” where fallow means inactive. However, in the mariners’ traditional toast or blessing a “following sea”, combined with a “fair wind”, to a sailor, implies that that the winds are comfortable, the sailboat is “running”, i.e. sailing with the wind on its stern, and the seas are comfortably rolling in the same direction as the boat is heading, so that the boat seems to be skimming easily on the surface of the water.”

                Sonny , I just connected sailing to windmills because of fairwinds.
                And it also happens that politicians in this case senators follow where the wind blows.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, thanks. I think the Senate report yawed into a bit of rough sailing, and Poe is catching paddles left and right.

              • sonny says:

                @ Karl and anybody

                On sailing

                What a rich and fecund metaphor for life. Especially for Malays and the archipelagos of the equatorial seas and the polynesias of the Pacific. A movie that triggers all kinds of images of the struggle of man and the forces of nature was Robert Redford’s ALL IS LOST (2013). I wish I could conquer my fear for the oceanic abyss and be a true thalassocratic Malay and use the great waters as mere highways to many lands and cultures. It is no accident that many Filipinos now log tens of thousands of leagues as mariners carrying both the commercial and leisure goods of the world. It’s in the genes. Did you know that the first school established by the Americans on Philippine soil was the Nautical School of the Philippine Islands (1899), which antedates the two earliest Philippine schools of learning, Philippine Normal School and the University of the Philippines?

                On typos

                Watch out for “iotas” of change, especially in Greek. Theologically, one “iota” (the letter ‘i’) separates the Greek Orthodox religion from Western Christianity. (Observe, too, the almost flawless use of English by Joe America. He has no choice. 🙂 )

                On PiE and his BBL analysis-to-be

                The proximate cause for the schism between the Moro culture and Filipino Judaeo-Christian culture may be strongly historical and economic. Yet the difference is profound, going ultimately to the Qur’an and the Bible. Both cultures are derivative cultures, birthed by these two sacred scriptures. One has a chauvinistic and nominal attitude towards life issues, the other operates on keenly nuanced principles on life issues. I hope PiE will keep these points in mind if he gives us a tour de force analysis. 🙂 After all, the Philippine posterity and Constitution are at stake!

              • karl garcia says:

                Thanks Sonny for another history lesson.Of course chemistry IT,geometry,latin,greek,liberal arts,humanities …..

              • sonny says:

                So noted, Karl.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “On PiE and his BBL analysis-to-be

                The proximate cause for the schism between the Moro culture and Filipino Judaeo-Christian culture may be strongly historical and economic. Yet the difference is profound, going ultimately to the Qur’an and the Bible. Both cultures are derivative cultures, birthed by these two sacred scriptures. One has a chauvinistic and nominal attitude towards life issues, the other operates on keenly nuanced principles on life issues. I hope PiE will keep these points in mind if he gives us a tour de force analysis. 🙂 After all, the Philippine posterity and Constitution are at stake!”

                Thanks sonny – you have placed the finger on what many people even here in Europe say: Muslim and Christian religions at worst incompatible, at best have difficulties coexisting. Both are Abrahamitic religions and as such paternalistic in nature, but Christianity has the son giving his own accents to the father’s original take on things. One of the most beautiful novels I read was Norman Mailer’s “The Gospel according to the Son” written in almost biblical language. Jesus says not to believe one of the Evangelists because he is a braggart, the other is a drunkard, and one (I forgot which ones they were) is closest to the real story that he tells. In Muslim religion the authority of the father is absolute and uncontestable, while Christian faith through Jesus’s rebellion against the Pharisees he (according to new Biblical research) was originally part of allowed for Western culture to become stronger by contesting assumptions. Thus you had Martin Luther who took the Bible by its word to challenge Catholic authority, because at some point they had become like biblical Pharisees, do as I say not what I do…

                Sonny you are right, my mind is very “computerized” – original Pisay scientific method plus Lenin-style scientific analysis (not the pseudo-religion later made out of it, in today’s word Lenin would probably have done his MBA and cyber-modernized Russia, not electrified it) plus computer science training and methods combined with German-style analysis and planning with a little bit of Pinoy pragmatism and deskarte – everywhere you have been shapes you…

                I have now sat down to outline the main risks of BBL and then I will vet it based on how well the risks are handled. Premise of everything is that we need something like BBL, some kind of autonomy for the Muslim area because they ARE different historically and culturally. What is important is the balance between their interests and the interests of the Philippines, it is a very delicate balance, I have talked to enough people who suffered from the Balkan wars of the 1990s to know what can happen and how it hurts everybody. Machinery like BBL is a way of keeping human emotions in check, of regulating inevitable conflicts of interest. Thanks sonny for the very encouraging words. I hope to play my part in starting a productive discussion.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I am printing out 122 pages of BBL just now and have taken out my colored markers.

                Some things are better done using analog methods. The first draft shall be ready tonight.

                Then sleep over it, look at it again on Thursday evening. Review it this coming Saturday.

                This is nothing out of the ordinary for me. Many consulting reports we make are that long.

                OK, this is a different topic, but I like the challenge. Finally I have overcome my laziness…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                First impression having gone quickly through 122 pages – reading mainly headings and going down to detail from time to time… very interesting.

                In some things very well-intentioned, in some areas very vague in some extremely strange.

                Have to rethink my original outline, it does not quite fit into what I have seen and how I would like to continue my analysis. Retool my model… Sleep over it and look again tomorrow.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                New outline structure: first I list all the Articles and therein the passages that I find strange. Second I list the risks that I see and how the Articles manage them or not. Third I make a summary of what I think should be changed or is missing in the BBL. That’s it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I look forward to your analysis of the 122-line BBL. I also have my sanity tied to the insights that topic will generate. Right now, history and the heat of passion in current events, here and abroad, are not promising. My hope is that whatever final form will be incorporated into our Constitution will not swallow us into an implosion.” I had to wait for myself to cool down to come to this point. Even now it is hard to keep cool but important. Need to cluster different aspects.

  21. andrewlim8 says:


    Here’s another view of the Senate report from a different angle (CHR) :


    • Joe America says:

      The report is a sharp criticism of the emotionalism of the Poe Committee, in lieu of facts, it its heavy handed treatment of the peace process. Thank you, Andrew. This report, by the way, echoes the reservation expressed by Bam Aquino. He claims the Committee’s comments on BBL are outside its scope.

  22. Nelson says:

    The impeachment issue came about during the question and and it is not part of the report. Nangulit ang media and she had to answer hypothetically. That issue is based on pnoy’s dealing exclusively with a suspended chief of police which any law student would know is illegal as it is usurpation of official function punishable as a crime under the revised penal code. The ultimate responsibility on the success or failure of the mission is in pnoy being the chief executive who personally approved the plan presented but per the report, he has no liability on this because the mission was legitimate however flawed the plan and execution, and the saf was not doing a criminal act in getting marwan and usman.

    • Joe America says:

      The distinction is that she was also asked a question about MILF, and declined to answer. But was willing to open up on impeachment, putting the idea squarely in play.

  23. Nelson says:

    Si fvr kasi ang nagpalabo dyan e hehe.. Te palace denies command responsibility applies, pero malinaw ang executive order at sc decision that it does apply in the executive department, therefore said fvr, pnoy is liable. That is misleading. Firstly an important element for the superior to Be responsible for the acts of a subordinate under the principle of command responsibility is that the acts of the subordinate must be illegal. Serving a warrant of arrest is not illegal, therefore no administrative liability. Secondly, the president may not be sued in his incumbency, thus he has to be impeached first before cases may be filed and once impeached, the admin liability fvr is talking about is moot and academic. Tat admin liability only applies to lesser mortals in the executive dept.
    When the senate report said pnoy has ultimate responsibility, it simply confirms what should be, anything that happenns in the executive dept is the president’s responsibility. Liability, admin or criminal, of the officials involved is another matter and it doesnt follow when u deal with the president.
    Now, if the president’s act to deal with purisima amounts to betrayal of public trust sufficient to serve as basis for impeachment, that is a political question 🙂

  24. josephivo says:

    Or this are 20 heroes in the Senate, daring to call a spade a spade, or are this just 20 casino politicians preparing to bet on the most likely candidate to beat the bank (national budget/treasury) after the next elections and guarantee their share in the profits. The game of political betting has its own rules and I don’t understand them all, but one seems not to be “don’t insult (too much) a potential future winner (Poe?) in advance”.

    This went through my head when I had suddenly this clear flashback of a shooting spray by elite troops on a hostage taker in a bus with flat tires surrounded by every camera available in Manila. And the immediate reaction of “who is to blame?”, major Lim as the puppeteer behind the curtains, or the camera addicted vice-major Isko Moreno radiating gravitas, the negotiators, the police chief, or the commander in chief? Wasn’t the only difference with Mamasapano the cameras? The professional SWAT team bungling up a “simple” situation after the damage was done, unplanned, ill equipped, uncoordinated, ill advised.

    The Senate hearing and report is just a reminder that nothing was learned since then. After the Manila hostage crisis all was clear because it happened in front of the cameras, but not a single official dared to use a straightforward language to describe the accident, the national pride hindering the formulation of a root cause. Politics taking over the discussions, redirecting it to the peripheries, future preventive actions absent.

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t know the answer, either, but I spent many years doing objective analyses of complex cases for a corporation, said corporation only interested in the facts of sales and expenses and profits, not politics. The Poe Report is a horrid assessment of facts, in an objective manner, and is strictly political gameplaying in the interest of individuals. Not the nation. What lessons learned? Itemize them. What legislation recommended? Itemize them. I fear the list in either case would be almost empty. This was a kangaroo court. And 20 of the best and brightest senators could not distinguish it as such.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “What lessons learned? Itemize them. What legislation recommended? Itemize them. I fear the list in either case would be almost empty.” Just 7 findings so far…

        BTW what exactly is the PURPOSE of such a hearing in the Philippine Senate? THIS is the question I am starting to ask now. A lot of taxpayer money was spent on this.

        In project management you have the triangle of authority, responsibility and work – the sides of that triangle should be more or less balanced, otherwise you are in trouble.

        The Philippine Senate seems to have a lot of authority, work probably just as much as it wants to correct me if I am wrong and hardly any real responsibility for anything.

        NOT really a good training ground for future Presidents if you ask me, on the contrary, it brings out the worst in people. How can that situation be remedied?

        • karl garcia says:

          Direct democracy, any movies where they have direct democracy only?

          • karl garcia says:

            Tell me about the Swiss Version. Your keyboards are Swiss, maybe your keyboard knows the answer.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Swiss democracy is different from canton to canton – not pansit canton – in some older cantons they have the rule that all issues are discussed freely in the town square. The old rule was that all honorable men (no convicted criminals) were to meet without weapons under free skies – without weapons has its reason, the Swiss were known to be fierce and quarrelsome in the Middle Ages, anyone entering their area “without coordination” was definitely in trouble. Women’s voting was forcibly introduced in one canton just in the 1990s by federal decree, think it was the same canton were they had the last internal Swiss civil war in the late 19th century, which was crushed by the Swiss army, the Swiss CONfederation became a federation.

              They do have popular voting on major issues, like for example Switzerland joining some EU treaties in two phases was heavily discussed and voted on federally. Even now there are major differences between the German and the Latin parts of Switzerland. The French part of Switzerland was mainly due to colonial expansion of the Canton of Bern, they were only later given voting rights, Geneva Republic was invited to join Switzerland after the Napoleonic wars.


              Bavaria adapted some aspects of Swiss democracy after the war, one of their postwar leaders was a refugee in Switzerland during the Nazi regime and returned with some of their ideas. The Bavarian system I am familar with in detail: to have direct voting on an issue, you need to get enough signatures on an official petition, a certain percentage of voters. Then a plebiscite – state-wide or city-wide is started and the RESULT of the plebiscite is binding for 10 years.

              Further plebiscites not permitted in the meantime, but people have learned to accept the result, even those who are not agreed with it, it is a yes or no question and the majority decided so why question it? Even in Switzerland, they do not re-discuss decided issues.

              Recent Munich plebiscites I remember: build a third runway for Munich international airport – LOST because according to most people not necessary and environmentally damaging, prohibit taller buildings than 99 meters (that is the height of Munich’s cathedral, the people are VERY Catholic here) within the city – LOST in the older parts of town, WON in the newer parts of town but LOST in total, so buildings already higher are few, ongoing projects or planned projects had to be modified including the new Süddeutsche Zeitung HQ and the beautiful multicolored ADAC (German Automotive Club) HQ I can see from my bathroom window.


              Back in 1998 there was an all-Bavaria plebiscite to amend the state constitution – all charter changes require 2/3 parliamentary majority plus plebiscite approval – including abolishing the death penalty which was irrelevant anyway because it is forbidden by the Federal Basic Law.

              Basic Law it is called because after the war, they could not give a Constitution to a territory under allied supervision, however it de facto now is considered a constitution by ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court – judges in nice red robes – so they did not rename it anymore.

              Anyway the last person to be executed in Bavaria was the bandit-rebel Mathias Kneißl, 1902. Loved and hidden by the poor people who called him Hias, his hiding place was betrayed by his girlfriend’s mother, he was shot up, then operated, tried and duly executed.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Flash back to the peasant revolution of 1705. In vast parts of Bavaria, peasants were suffering because of the war between Habsburgs and Bourbons, Austria and France were fighting and Bavaria was under Austrian imperial rule. Peasant boys were drafted to fight and farmers lacked young men to sow and till the fields, heavy taxation made things even worse. In desperation, farmers from the Upper Country – the mountains and the Lower Country – the wide expanse of fields and cities near the Danube river – organized a ragtag army led by a large number of small town officials to march on Munich, where the Habsburgs held power.

                The peasant army of the Lower Country was stopped a few kilometers before Munich because spies found out about them, the former village is now a stop on the Greater Munich MRT. Those from the Oberland – the Upper Country, gathered in Sendling, a village now part of Munich and close to where I live, in a village inn – the mayors and public officials were inside the inn, the peasants outside on a freezing Christmas Eve. The next morning, they marched down the hill to Munich, hoping the residents of Munich would open the gates as agreed upon.

                But they did not, they were too comfortable under Habsburg rule, or afraid to join the peasants.

                The Austrian army attacked, pushing the peasant army back up the hill overlooking the field that later became the site of the Oktoberfest. The last remaining men gathered on holy ground of the church of St. Margaret, on the cemetery and inside the church. Hungarian husars, fierce cavalry troops, mowed them down to the last man standing, allegedly the blacksmith of Köchel, a strong old man who as a veteran of the 30 Years War had taught the peasants fighting skills.

                The Dukes/Kings of Bavaria at first denied this battle, but later used it for their own nationalist propaganda. The lesson all this is: somehow history alway repeats itself, but differently.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Back to present times: Sendling was the last holdout of the gemeine Volk of Munich, which means common people, gemein can mean mean as well.

                Up to five years ago, it had the reputation of being a rebel place, a place were those hiding from the law could comfortably find refuge and nobody talked. It is rapidly gentrifying now.

                The last makamasa style leader Bavaria had was legendary Franz-Josef Strauss. After he died, it took a more than a decade to clean up his so-called amigo connection. His mentally unstable eldest son was tried, but somehow the hard disk of his computer got wiped out by viruses when in with the police, his daughter who was strong like him was removed from the corridors of power, because of the wiped out hard disk, others could not be prosecuted.


                A car salesman named Gustav Mollath who tried to report money going to Switzerland was placed in a mental asylum, the only newspaper that dared report about his case in the beginning was the famous Süddeutsche Zeitung, but the case became very public before state elections just a few years ago, internal bank audits confirmed his “crazy, delusional” reports and he was freed just a few months before the election, former Minister of Justice Beate Merk who had called him crazy in parliamentary hearings was moved to a different post afterwards.

                Of course the black money case was already beyond the statute of limitations and was never reopened. Which goes to prove, it is nearly impossible to be totally clean, power games are power games and anywhere you have corruption. Bavaria is cleaner now, the generation that was sent to the elite universities and schools established by FJS is very much more modern, the police no longer beats up people – the last case was of a immigrant woman who took her own battered and bruised picture with a mobile phone, the Süddeutsche Zeitung published it, the Interior Minister first denied everything then the cop who did it was duly tried and punished, also before the recent state election. If things were not cleaner I would not feel free to write it.


                Franz-Josef Strauss and Ferdinand Marcos were friends who went hunting together in the Bavarian Forest, Marcos gave Strauss a pistol and Strauss got questioned in the German Parliament by then still young Green MP Joschka Fischer for that. The aging BO helicopters that the Philippines still has were manufactured in Bavaria, who knows what deals they made. Imelda even officially visited Bavaria during that time, it could not be called a state visit though.

                Networks from that time may still exist – I met some people from SAF itself in Munich around 15 years ago in a Filipino restaurant in Munich, they were on training with Bavarian police. Wonder if any of these men were involved in Mamasapano, they were pretty young then.

                Strange how things sometimes converge, how they come back in various combinations…

              • Joe America says:

                Sounds like they modeled the nation after the cheese.

              • PinoyInEurope says:


              • karl garcia says:

                Word… Life.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Enter Manny, an old carpenter from my part of town. Hardly seen him in the past years since the area is rapidly gentrifying and the old guard is going into hiding, he might be dead though.

                A man for tall tales with a lot of truth in them, his youth was in the German postwar years when the first GIs roled into Bavaria. Told me at his fixed seat at a bar that no longer exists how he wanted to be a Catholic priest but changed his mind about it. His teacher was teaching them when everybody heard the sound of an American jeep coming. The teacher said, kids stay put, I will be back in a while. He being one of the Lausbuam or naughty boys did not stay put, he looked out of the window and saw the jeep rocking up and down. The teacher came back happy with a whole bag of food, something hard to come by in the city back then.

                That was the day he decided to become a P-I-M-P. Did learn to be a carpenter though as a fallback solution, besides it makes the arms strong he told me, look at me I am old but very strong. I told him well Jesus was a carpenter too, so in a way you did not change your mind.

                He asked me how to say I used to be a pimp in Filipino, I answered “bugaw ako dati”. He asked me to repeat it and after a while kept repeating “bugaw ako dati” with a crazy grin on his face. Told me how back in the days, they threw women who disobeyed down the stairs, no woman dared say no to them. And how he had changed with age, he had finally realized that “women are also human beings, yes they are!” laughing crazily. Strange characters I have met…

                Very intelligent man, knew all the current events and had his own weird take on them. Still worked as a carpenter despite his old age, some bartenders confirmed to me when I asked, not quite believing him, that he really was a pimp before. Postwar Munich hardly had any industries, Bavaria was fully agricultural then, people starved and the GIs were there in full force. One of the most well-known pimps in Munich was Neger-Schorsch (Nigger George), son of a Munich woman and a black GI, dangerous boxer who frequented a place owned by another boxer who was a friend of Muhammad Ali AND boxing promoter Don King. Hehe…

              • Joe America says:

                Regarding your book. Make it fiction on the edge of truth and populate it with some of these characters. They have fantastic depth to them. Reserve me a signed copy of the first printing. Thank you so very much.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Franz-Josef Strauss, a man revered to this very day by his loyalists and respected even by his rivals. A man of enormous appetites, like Henry VIII. Very fat son of a butcher, no piggery but finished his Law Doctorate with high honors. Bavarian prime minister, German defence minister.

                Attracted modern industries to agricultural Bavaria, first was Siemens which wanted to escape controls in Allied Berlin – it only paid compensation to forced laborers from World War 2 after it was nearly banned from American business after 1990 and a class-action suit by survivors.

                The land on which Siemens was built is rumoured to have belonged to the Strauss family, even the land AROUND Siemens with commercial centers and a huge red-light district – hey even managers and engineers are men after all. Rumoured connections of Strauss to pimp lords.

                In the 90s, IT startups were attracted to Munich by a very competitive promotion policy, the new Franz-Josef-Strauss airport built outside Munich was opened in 1992 to replace the congested World War 2 vintage airport which was too near the city. Once a plane even crashed on McDo.

                The airport should have been opened in 1972 for the Munich Olympic games which saw the S-Bahn (MRT) and U-Bahn (LRT) being built in record time, but einstweilige Verfügungen (TROs) and court cases by farmers delayed it for 20 years. There is a story that the last farmer to go dressed up in Lederhosen and traditional Bavarian finery to go to court, knowing that he would lose – and shot himself with a hunting rifle, as he had vowed he would not leave the land his ancestors had tilled for generations alive. His children sold the land and are rich.

              • Joe America says:

                The book. The book, dammit.

              • karl garcia says:

                Now, do you understand why I mentioned Walter Mitty ?..pinanindigan mo na..
                I said just be yourself and you revealed to us your real name.

                In case you ask


                “Word…Life is the debut album from underground hip hop artist O.C., who came to prominence in hip hop because of the album. it was released on October 18, 1994 by Wild Pitch Records. It also helped establish his membership in the legendary hip hop crew D.I.T.C., which includes Lord Finesse, Showbiz & A.G., Diamond D, Fat Joe, Big L and Buckwild, who produced the majority of this album.”

              • Joe America says:

                Gadzooks, such wonderful names. Fat Joe. If I keep gobbling fine Filipino cuisine this site is going to be relabeled Fat Joe America. Or Heart Attack Joe, late of America.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Karl, thanks.. 🙂 My stories actually get more coherent when I do not have to change details to cover things up, I am satisfied. More history to give context and show that many things happening to Philippines are not “only in the Philippines”:

                Bavaria was proclaimed a Kingdom by Napoleon, who wanted strong Catholic states (Austria was the other one) within Germany to counter Protestant Prussia, mainly Lutheran but ruled by Calvinist monarchs. A French general who died in Munich after being wounded nearby is still buried in Munich’s South Cemetery – 15 minutes from where I live – to this day. When Napoleon lost, Metternich took back many of his territorial reorganizations – but not Bavaria, they were balimbing and managed to make Metternich NOT dissolve their new-found kingdom.

                Munich was the Capital of the Nazi movement, but Bavarians managed to ingratiate themselves with the Americans when they came, showing themselves as friendly, harmless fools in funny native costumes drinking a lot of beer. Radio Free Europe broadcast from Munich, the OSS, later CIA established the HQ of the new German intelligence service under ex-Nazi General Gehlen, first unofficially near Munich, from 1955 on as the Bundesnachrichtendienst. Gehlens old Nachrichtendienst had vital intelligence assets in Eastern Europe that the CIA needed.

                But that was not the first Bavarian contact with Americans. The English garden, about as large as New York’s Central Park, was founded by Benjamin Thompson from Massachussetts, loyal to the English throne and forced to leave after 1777, but did not feel at home in England so he went to Bavaria, where he served under its rulers and was promoted to the famous Count Rumford who did important physics experiments. An all-rounder, a reformer of his days.

                In the 19th century, half-French Count Maximilian von Montgelas reformed the Bavarian state based on French administrative practices that live on until this day. The present Bavarian Republic was founded by Jewish journalist Kurt Eisner in 1918. The most popular member of the former Bavarian royal family that ruled from the middle ages onward is Prince Leopold, known as Prinz Poldi, an artista-type person who used to drive race cars professionally…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Regarding your book. Make it fiction on the edge of truth and populate it with some of these characters. They have fantastic depth to them.” Thanks – they have because they are real. Sometimes life writes the most amazing stories. I just remember and start writing…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Like karl said – Word… Life. This is how life can be.

                Re-reading I think of some of Hemingway’s anecdotes from the Spanish civil war.

                “I have no politics” said the old man “I just want to live”…

  25. Den says:

    If this incident happened a year or two ago…the senate will not handle it this way..they will protect the President. They are jumping ship, election season just started.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes indeed, Den. So the needs of the nation, and the nation’s people, get set aside in the interest of Poe. And Escudero. And Cayetano. And even Trillanes, who did not sign the document, to separate himself from the “me too” gameplayers.

  26. macspeed says:

    Signed documents are part of the LEGO pieces being assembled by the Senate to minimize the pressure reaching High High Level. To fight those doing political games by the opposition has to be counter play by a political game masked as opposing PNOY.

    End story, PNOY admin shall be winner…

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  1. […] 20 ways to demean the Senate. […]

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