How the Nacionalista Party can regain prominence in the Philippines

Trillanes joins NP

Senator Trillanes joins the Nacionalista Party [Photo credit]

The Nacionalista Party (NP) has not been at the forefront of Philippine government, in the executive office, for some time. Let us assume we are in NP President Manny Villar’s shoes. How would we develop a game plan? As we will see, it is a tad problematic.

But before getting to that, let’s get some background information.

NP Players

The NP has produced five presidents, with the last being Ferdinand Marcos:

  • 1935 and 1941: Manuel L. Quezon
  • 1944 Sergio Osmeña (assumed presidency upon Quezon death)
  • 1953 Ramon Magsaysay
  • 1957: Carlos P. Garcia
  • 1965 and 1969: Ferdinand Marcos

The party supported Cory Aquino in 1986, and fielded Manny Villar for a presidential run in 2010. He ran third behind Noynoy Aquino and Joseph Estrada with 15.42% of the votes (5.6 million votes out of the 38.1 million cast). Aquino won with 42.1% of all votes and Estrada had 15.3%.

NP’s legislators are right now aligned with the majority LP in a coalition that dominates the House and Senate.

The following NP senators are frequently mentioned as having presidential ambitions:

  • Miriam Defensor Santiago
  • Antonio Trillanes IV (he has announced he will run for Vice President)
  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Ferdinand Marcos, Jr

Former Senator Manny Villar’s name also comes up from time to time, but he seems content to manage his growing real estate empire.

NP Senators Pia Cayetano and Cynthia Villar have not expressed presidential aspirations.

Representatives Imelda Marcos and Imee Marcos belong to NP. So NP remains the Marcos party.

The top five NP presidential prospects: it is problematic

It seems to this observer that the senatorial prospects are doing their own campaign planning outside the auspices of the NP party, putting out feelers, watching the surveys, and, in the case of Senator Trillanes, deciding to run for Vice President. Imelda Marcos touts her son and the Senator himself talks up the idea of a presidential run. Senator Santiago is always visible, selling books, making jokes, or citing the hard, confrontational opinions that the press love. Senator Cayetano has clearly been angling for more prominence in news coverage.

To that point, I wonder if NP has any control at all over its membership, or if they are given free rein to represent themselves, regardless of a Party position on something. (DOES the party have a position on anything?) For example, during the Senate hearings on Mamasapano, Senator Cayetano took a loud, aggressive stance against the MILF and the peace negotiators. Is this a party position, or Cayetano’s alone?

Is there any party direction or not? Is Manny Villar preoccupied, or is he still developing an NP strategy for 2016? What’s happening?

I don’t know. But here’s how the NP presidential candidates look to me:

  • Senator Santiago: a populist with severe health problems. NP would be foolish to put its backing behind her because she appears not to have the strength to campaign, much less serve the rigorous job as President. Her opponents would cite the risks of a leaderless nation while she is ill. She is always ill.
  • Senator Trillanes: A quiet, intense man with high principles and a history. He is wise to eye the second position where he can be a reliable backup and gain popular support for a 2022 run.
  • Senator Marcos: His mother and avid young backers are probably bending his ear and ego, but he would be a disaster as NP’s designated presidential aspirant. Too many people still remember his father’s brutal reign. Not to mention fudging his biography with degrees he does not have. His candidacy would polarize the nation and stain NP’s good will.
  • Senator Cayetano: A smart, intense political player who has no national traction. His latest effort to raise his visibility through an attack upon the Bangsamoro peace negotiators likely destroyed any chance he had to gain popular backing. Face it, the BBL is respected as a difficult but necessary step toward peace by way too many powerful people. He came off as both dogmatic and mean.
  • Former Senator Villar: Manny Villar looks good when placed beside other top presidential aspirants. Senators Poe and Escudero are increasingly being seen as trapos, people under the influence of outside forces. Secretary Roxas generates no popular traction. He does not seem able to step up to garner more visibility and acclaim. VP Binay is in big-time legal trouble, but remains popular among the masses. Manny Villar is a highly successful business manager with a stain on credibility for real estate transactions that mixed his personal and public interests. He has been in the Legislature, but he is not a political player. He offers common sense, stability and high values. He looks good.

Overall assessment: Senators Santiago, Trillanes, Marcos and Cayetano cannot win the presidency against candidates Binay, Roxas and/or Poe. Manny Villar has a chance.

We don’t know if he has the will.

One way to leverage the PARTY to prominence

If you are a political party that is personality based, but your personalities are not quite ready for prime time, what do you do? NP has to overcome years of being an “also ran” for the top job. The party has to overcome the Marcos stigma, Villar’s loss in 2010 and deal with a current flight of candidates that offers modest public appeal. What’s the game plan? How can the party leap to the forefront of the political contests if it can’t ride on the back of a “rock star” candidate?

I think goal number one might be for the PARTY to strive for an identity that will resonate in the current environment of political game-playing and strife. Maybe it is time to act as a party instead of a bunch of independent celebrities.

Step one: elevate the Party. Step two put the Party behind the chosen candidates.

Let’s go with an example, one that is hot at the moment: the draft Senate Mamasapano report crafted by Senators Poe and Escudero. A total of 20 senators signed the draft, half of them indicating that they had reservations and amendments they would like to see incorporated in the final version to be done in May.

What if NP were to take a stand on the Poe report. Make it sharp and principled. The stand might be as follows:

The current draft is too much an exercise in blame and unfortunately divides the nation. NP is a party for progress and unity, not division and blame. We believe the document should focus on lessons and legislation. The nation has justice and Ombudsman systems to deal with failings under the law, and we should let them work. The PNP and AFP are professional organizations. They can handle disciplinary actions within their ranks. We need not lay senatorial oversight onto that.

It is not appropriate for the Senate to cast judgment on the BBL, for that was not a purpose of the hearings, nor is it appropriate to lecture President Aquino on responsibility when he has already accepted it. We should learn, heal, and move on.

Given that as a PARTY position, then any NP presidential aspirant has an appropriate starting platform upon which to run, a platform that:

  • Places the well-being of the nation first. If there are criticisms emerging from Mamasapano, they should be translated into lessons that point to healing and strength, not division and weakness.
  • In political terms, the position aligns the party against Senator Poe, who appears to be using the document to pursue narrow political aims.

The best NP team in 2016

As for a 2016 powerhouse tandem for NP, consider Villar/Trillanes against Poe/Escudero, Roxas/De Lima and Binay/Stooge.

In pro-NP marketing shorthand: competence and transparency are a better choice than trapos, uninspiring leaders, or crooks. The PARTY makes the difference. It is a powerful position if its celebrity stars unite:

The brilliance of Cayetano, the popularity of Santiago, the endorsement of Marcos, the principles of Trillanes . . . all with one goal. Put NP’s Villar into the Palace.

If successful at the polls, thoughtful cabinet appointments would assure NP of strong national leadership for a long time to come.

Imagine Senator Cayetano as Secretary of the Department of Justice.

The power of platform

If the Mamasapano Report does not work as a vehicle to build a party presence, what other vehicles are there?

  • The BBL is difficult because people are confused about the matter.
  • Corruption is bland and boring and everyone is saying it.
  • Poverty is also nebulous and bland unless there is a sparkler of a way to go about it that rings loud and clear. I have no idea what that would be.
  • China might work as a rallying cry, but that would work against the calm and caution, law-based approach now the nation’s official stance. Also, I sense that people aren’t that worked up about it, so it is hard to develop a striking message.
  • “Down with Binay” is a harsh attack position might work. Santiago, Cayetano and Trillanes have all been critical of Binay. This would position the party squarely against both Poe (who has been loudly silent) and Binay, and would show more aggression than we are likely to see from Roxas.

If the goal is to project a party discipline, a party on the move, a party interested in the well-being of the Philippines, then perhaps a two-step approach can be employed:  (1) an immediate contrary position on the Poe Mamasapano report to position against Poe’s political slant, and (2) a longer term “down with Binay” attack position that would also be critical of Poe for her silence.

NP would most assuredly have my attention . . .


158 Responses to “How the Nacionalista Party can regain prominence in the Philippines”
  1. PinoyInEurope says:

    Joe, many thanks. My family affiliation is close to NP. The thinking I learned is also very close.

    The party does not have an official platform, but the NAME is the platform in itself. Nationalism.

    Cayetano’s stance toward the BBL (there can be only one flag, one constitution, one Philippines)

    Santiagos’s anti-US stance which is outdated nationalism from 1907 when the party was founded.

    Trillanes use of old Katipunan symbols during his coup attempt also shows his basic principles.


    Marcos turned the center-right thinking of the NP into something almost fascist with the KBL and the New Society that he tried to create, at least symbolically, under Martial Law, not a New Deal but more like the fascist Estado Novo of Salazar in Portugal. That of course is now discredited.

    What the NP could try is to modernize the nationalism at its core and instinctively expressed as a shadow of its former self (Carlos P. Garcia was after all the initiator of the Filipino First policy, if I am right he was responsible for the 60% rule) to become a more modern nationalism:

    – Partnership with the USA, but a partnership that the Philippines controls

    – Autonomy for Bangsamoro, but making sure it remains Filipino symbolically and spiritually

    – Stronger role of the state in controlling economic policy – NP was always statist than LP

    Something like modern Turkish or German center-right nationalism. NP lost its soul during the Marcos dictatorship and has not recovered until now. Time to rethink where it wants to go.

    —————————————————————————————————————— for more background information.


    • Joe America says:

      Very interesting, thanks, PiE. I had not noticed the common nationalist thread running through the views of Santiago, Cayetano, Trillanes and even Marcos, if one stretches far enough. That seems to make the approach I’ve outline even more resonant, unity, not division. Your statement of position on the USA, BBL and economy also would, I think, strike more harmony with voters than, say, Cayetano’s hard view on its own.

      It also seems to be a contrary position to Duterte, with his Federalist view. So the party can indeed, as a party, make a case that would likely attract a brand of “neo-nationalists” who want to see the continued rise of the Philippines in Asia.

      It is also a strong position against China, I would note.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        China is a topic that they have not yet found, having been more concentrated on the Filipino-Chinese and either making things difficult for them or integrating them more.

        Carlos P. Garcias economic policies made it hard for Filipino-Chinese in retail.

        Marcos decreed that Chinese schools in the Philippines (like Chiang-Kai-Shek High School who were always the fiercest competitors of Pisay in national math contests) teach their students Filipino, thus creating the “Chinoys” that we have in the Philippines today.


        Marcos was originally LP and crossed over to NP, he was what I call a crossover Filipino – his father allegedly had Chinese origins while his mother Josefa Edralin was more Latin.

        Like I wrote once, NP are in their majority and in their reflexes (much in the Philippines is instinctive and unreflected stuff passed down in families) the spiritual descendants of the Latin mestizos that started the Katipunan, while the LP are the spiritual descendants of the Chinese mestizos who were in business. UNA are the spiritual descendants of the native Filipinos or those who chose to go masa like Erap, or did it out of opportunity like Enrile, son of a mestizo haciendero, though his mother was masa which is an affinity.

        NP people are more nationalist, statist and centralist. LP are more liberal and pro-business. UNA are more pro-masa or fake pro-masa in spirit.

        Crossover Filipinos are people like:

        – Villar, a masa who chose to be with the nationalists, also I guess because the UNA is not yet ready, it is too dishonest for him I speculate.

        – Cayetano who is La Salle (used to be called the “Chinese” school by many) and Ateneo but is NP because his father was a prominent nationalists.

        – Noynoy whose father was nationalistic in spirit and more on the Latin side origin-wise, but his mother Cory is Filipino-Chinese and Cojuangcos are very businessminded.

        – Erap who is a Latin mestizo but as the black sheep of the family who went slumming decided he belonged to the common people.

        – Bam Aquino who is decidedly Makati in upbringing but has a heart for SMEs, being of a new generation that does not have the instinctive revulsion for masa that many of his class used to have, this is just a gut feeling from my side that I have to look at though.

        This is just a teaser for my crossover article though which might take a month more. Need to reflect on these broad ideas and intuitions and give them more substance by research.


        The internal rivalry between Filipino-Latin and Filipino-Chinese goes back a long way to colonial times, their spiritual descendants live out the old reflexes sometimes but the fact that NP and LP are working together shows that that is no longer so true. Very good.

        The reflex against Filipino-Chinese/Makati is however still very strong in the masa, it is similar to anti-Jewish sentiment in much of Europe and has to do with underdog thinking / envy. Binay instinctively exploits this, not enough Bam Aquinos yet to counter this.

        This is a job for the LP: they have to find a way to reconcile their business and growth-oriented thinking to work on inclusive growth, they have to overcome their instinctive fear of the masa coming from history to reach out to them. That will be a difficult task.


        Back to China. It is not enough on the radars of any political party, an ITCLOS filing is not enough in my opinion, there must be a national strategy on this. Like you wrote Joe this could be a job for the NP. Focus on the real enemy waiting outside instead of the US.

        Also, the NP could take the job of countering the neoliberal aspects that the LP has by being a counterweight to make the state invest more in getting key industries growing.


        Modern pragmatic nationalism still has the same goals but takes the realities of the globalized world into account like Turkey and Germany. It does not reject the tools that consultants and MBAs have created but uses them. Cayetano could be a driver for this.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Anti-Jewish sentiment in pre-World-War 2 Europe I should correct.

          But to add one thing: many masa perceive Makati people as arrogant.
          Many Makati people perceive the masa as very dangerous and very stupid.
          There is still a huge cultural gap that must be bridged otherwise more Binays to come.

          Duterte is something else – he is the voice of the provinces that are becoming wealthier.
          Groups that become wealthier want their share of power and that is what Federalism is.

        • karl garcia says:

          Re: China….Trillanes exposed the Pangilinan China connection On oil In South Chins Sea.

  2. kudeta says:

    I respect your opinion regarding Senator Marcos. I am one of the many who do not wish to see another Marcos as president or in any national office for that matter. However, we cannot underestimate three possible sources of election-winning votes,

    1. The “Ilocano” vote. I wonder if there is an actual census on their demographic. In my opinion, their numbers are formidable and may be greater that the 15% of either Estrada’s or Villar’s tally you mentioned during the 2010 election.
    2. The “Loyalist” vote who I would define as non-Ilocano but pro-Marcos voters who had to scramble to find a new “padrino” or political leader/benefactor when the dictator was ousted. These loyalists may have wound up supporting either Estrada or Villar and even Binay. Their numbers are harder to define, but these still could be significant and can’t be overlooked.
    3. The “Gay” vote. When Imelda Marcos was First Lady and Metro Manila Governor, she was the fairy godmother, benefactor, and chief patron of the arts and the artistic community. The Gay vote may even outnumber the Ilocano and Loyalist votes combined. To my knowledge, no politician has openly and actively pursued this demographic, and Imelda certainly has the stature to do so.

    I hope this sheds some light on the subject of Senator Marcos’ prospects of winning in 2015. Forewarned is forearmed.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the perspective. How great if the Marcos family would seek to empower an NP candidate that would not so divide the Philippines. Naive, perhaps, for personal ambitions hereabouts seem to trump even logic.

    • Yvonne says:

      Bongbong Marcos worries me, too, should he decide to take a shot at the presidency in 2016. He has the political connections, the logistics, the name recognition, and the political will to make a serious run. For sometime now he has been quietly organizing his political base, or at least his supporters are, on a grassroots level.

      What adds to my worry is the feedback I have hearing from other people – that Marcos Jr. has so far maintained a relatively clean image. He has not been tainted by charges of corruption that characterized many politicians, and his works for his province has been well received. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that he is trying to redeem his father’s image, and if he played this card very well, there could be many believers.

      Personally, I think it will be a three-corner presidential bid among Roxas, Binay, and Marcos. Or it could be Binay, Poe, and Marcos, should Roxas accede to a Poe-Roxas tandem. But I could be very well wrong.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Fathers should be judged by their sons, but sons should not be judged by their fathers.

        – Confucius –

        • Very true, but consider this, while they are denying to high heavens any accusation of plunder and wrong doing, he is trying to get hold of the still unclaimed ill-gotten wealth of his parents, funds that are still in Swiss and other foreign banks, and even if billions had already been recovered by the government since 1986; they are still denying their human rights violations when even the chairwoman of the Human Rights Department is pictured holding her check as one of victim of rape and torture during his father’s rule.

          In doing so, he is just showing us that he is no different from his parents, and who knows, they are still in possession of hidden wealth (previously held by many of their cronies) that they are now using to fund his political propaganda.

          In every rule there is an exception, and this is one exception staring at us in the eye, believe it or not.

          • Yvonne says:

            And consider this comparison:

            President Aquino took responsibility and appealed for understanding on the Mamasapano debacle, yet many partisan quarters are not satisfy with this and want his apology, while others are even demanding for his resignation, or impeachment.

            I have not heard any of the Marcoses – Imelda, Bongbong, Imee, or Irene – took responsibility and appealed for understanding for the martial law dictatorship that the elder Marcos imposed upon the Filipino people for so many years.

            Why not those people asking President Aquino to apologize, ask the same thing of the Marcoses for the much more serious human rights violations the elder Marcos was accused of?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Imelda is the key to many bad things. She had Marcos by the balls, who knows what he might have become with another wife? Bongbong is a Mama’s boy in my opinion, I think a lot of what he does comes from her in the background. As long as she is there, no way the family will own up to what President Marcos did wrong. He had an authoritarian vision and enough intelligence to have been the Philippine’s Lee Kuan Yew, many hoped for that, people voted for him twice after all and were bitterly disappointed later on. The only way Bongbong can credibly show that he wants to atone for what is father did and do it better is to start with deeds – like giving back the money – and owning up to what happened. Takes a lot of courage to do that though, and he will never do it while his mother lives.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Nice thing about the Internet is that people are seeing more and thinking more.

                Much of it is pre-rational – meaning instinctive and emotional, but eventually rational thinking MAY grow out of pre-rationality. That is the only hope, that people wake up and stop voting based on simple fan preference. Maybe some serious events have caused quite a few people to realize that we are not in a telenovela we can just switch off. Blogs like this, Raissa, Rappler, Interaksyon, Mindanews and even Pugad Baboy are signs…

              • Then it does not bode well for his character as a man and future president, when he cannot decide for himself even now that he is way way beyond being adult. If he cannot decide on his own, being influenced by his allegedly evil mom, (nakakabit pa rin sa saya ng nanay nya, eh matanda na rin naman sya), then even saying that he will outlive her, he can still be influenced by others even sacrificing the welfare of the entire country…. tama na… Ilocos is prosperous and beautiful enough, give chance to other deserving candidates.

              • @ karl garcia

                thanks for the link…he really contradicted himself here, he is a different Marcos, yet he supports his father’s decisions … ayayay….

                “Our position hasn’t changed. We feel that for a bemeddalled soldier, on that basis alone, he has a right to be buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. As the longest sitting president, he also has the right to be buried in the Libingan,” Marcos said.

                Marcos fended off talk that he could run for president in 2016, saying the political terrain continues to change every year.

                He also reminded people that he is different from his father.

                “Whatever their opinion is of my father, it is a different time and place. It is a different Marcos. It is apples and oranges really. It is two different people. We are talking two diff generations.
                It is a whole different set of circumstances,” he said.

                He also fully backed his father’s decision to declare martial law in 1972, saying he has perfect confidence that his father did what needed to be done.

                Marcos said there is a changing perception in how the younger generation, who did not grow up during martial law, perceives the Marcos years.

                He said many people ask him questions on Facebook on why his father made several decisions in the past.

              • In memory of former PM Lee Kuan Yew. An excerpt from his book “From Third World to First”

                “The difference lies in the culture of the Filipino people. It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics. They supported the winning presidential and congressional candidates with their considerable resources and reappeared in the political and social limelight after the 1998 election that returned President Joseph Estrada. General Fabian Ver, Marcos’s commander-in-chief who had been in charge of security when Aquino was assassinated, had fled the Philippines together with Marcos in 1986. When he died in Bangkok, the Estrada government gave the general military honors at his burial.”

            • Joe America says:

              Yes. Well, it is a part of the ethics of impunity, where being a crook is acceptable, but being straight and causing trouble for crooks, is not. The ethics of impunity are not just held among the powerful, but the masa. I’m working up a blog on this subject. Values in the Philippines are largely inside out as near as I can tell.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I once heard a very strange justification for corruption, very twisted logic: one should not be jealous of people who are “masuwerte”, who are lucky, because that is God-given.

                While at the same time calling me “greedy” and “selfish” because I work for my money and don’t just want to lend money to people or give it away to those who refused to work hard. For them the corrupt who give them doleouts for support are “nice people”.

            • payutenyo d agimas says:

              1965 – 1986 is a bygone era..too long to be remembered already

              those who grew up since that time will only remember the coups, black outs and more corruption cases that everybody govt officials partake into

              • Too long to be remembered already, yes, but it does not and should not mean that lessons from history should not be listened to and learned from.

                Coups, black outs and corruption are consequences of that history, funds that should have gone to projects to have adequate supply of power were instead siphoned to Swiss accounts, mansions of Desini and other cronies.

                Those coup perpetrators have tasted power which fueled further adventurism.

                Corruption which were not punished until now had been a way of life for the previous dictator and most of his ilks, not to mention the new breed that have sprouted that could admittedly be committed by allies of this government. The latter will have their day in court, although their offenses are bailable compared top the gluttonous plunder of the former.

              • And I would like to add, these black outs which have always been a black mark of Cory’s administration. We should understand that the post Marcos government had to struggle with a bankrupt economy, we had to honor the foreign debts incurred by Marcos, servicing of which has eaten up most of what the meager budget that could be managed. That period of our country (IMO) had been a survival mode, restoration of democracy, putting up a new constitution and all the mopping up of all the destruction left by an avarice regime.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I am wondering how some people can be so greedy. Does anyone need to eat more than three meals a day plus some snacks? Does anyone need more than two cars, or two houses – one for the city and one in the province?

                Ok a mansion with swimming pool is a nice thing, maybe a billard table in the basement. But the scale of what certain people acquired was simply mind-boggling.

        • henry david says:

          i am judging marcos jr for his unrepentant attitude, his refusal to acknowledge the brutalities of his father’s regime, his refusal to surrender the family’s ill gotten wealth, and his brazen attempt to rewrite history and tout his father’s rule as the greatest period of our post colonial history.

          • Joe America says:

            Not to mention fudging his resume with fake degrees and pontificating righteously as if he were his father’s son. His episode in the Senate yelling at generals because they would not fire artillery if ordered to do so by the President, if it violated protocol (civilians down range), was a classic moment for its insight into the mind of a dictator. Refusing to listen or understand and incredulous that if HE were president, anyone would have the audacity to disobey his order. It was like, okay, the other two stooges were on vacation that day, but this one was on duty.

            The next hearing, he had to backtrack and had a little hug-fest with the generals.

            I blushed.

          • Percival says:

            We should not forget Bongbong’s own role in human rights abuses as a teenager and then a young man during his father’s regime. His (and sister Imee’s) arrogance and sense of entitlement then, is like that of Junjun’s and the other Binay kids today.

  3. Steve says:

    The Nacionalista Party, like all other Philippine “political parties” (other than those of the left), is not really a political party at all. It has no coherent ideology and no common policy positions. It’s an alliance of personal convenience, and therefore has little coherence or common purpose. There is no question of selecting the candidates best qualified to advance a common policy agenda, because there is no common policy agenda. Each individual “member” is simply in it to maximize persona gain.

    This is the nature of Philippine political parties, and has been since independence. The Naicionalistas were never very much nationlalist, and the liberals were never liberal in any definable way. Thee are only ever two real parties here: the ins and the outs. The ins use the pork barrel to bring in supporters, the outs expose corruption, until they get a chance to participate in it.

    This is how it has always been. Whether or not this is the way it will always be remains to be seen, but changing it will take a quite radical shift in political culture.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Steve, not quite. There are tendencies. LP people are more pro-business in outlook.

      NP are more nationalistic in outlook. UNA are more masa or fake masa in outlook.

      A lot of Filipino attitudes are subliminal, not conscious. But I have the feeling – that I still must confirm through more research – the these attitudes are rising to the conscious, close to finding expression. I gave examples of this in my post above.

      Like my article about BBL: it gives expression to things that people express through very emotional propaganda and unreflected statements. I have been there before, have learned to express myself clearly like a Westerner, so I gave them substance and solution.

      You as an American have already progressed beyond the pre-rational stage that many of us Filipinos are still in, your Anglo-Saxon ancestors made that transition long ago from Beowulf thru the Danish invasions, the Norman conquests and all the other history. Kung papunta pa lang kami, pabalik na kayo. I believe things are moving, but I still have to look at it rationally and research, at the moment it is just Pinoy pakiramdam.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        I am like a detective, I work on hunches and then look for evidence. If I am proven wrong I drop the hunch, if I am right a dig even deeper. Pre-rational plus rational is my way.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Some Trillanes’ RAs and all of his SBNs

          RA 10154 Immediate Release of Retirement Benefits of Government Employees (Principal author; Principal sponsor)

          RA 9522 Archipelagic Baselines Law (Principal author)

          RA 9679 Expanded PAG-IBIG Fund Coverage (Coauthor)

          RA 9993 Philippine Coast Guard Law (Coauthor)

          RA 9828 Military Service Board (Coauthor)

          RA 9708 PNP Education and Promotions Act (Coauthor)

          RA 10066 Natural Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 (Coauthor)

          RA 10349 New AFP Modernization Act (Principal Author)

          RA 10606 National Health Insurance Act of 1995 (amended)

          SBN 2869 An Act prescribing fixed terms for the Chief of Staff and the major service commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (Principal author)

          SBN 3215 An Act strengthening the Career Executive System (Principal author)

          SBN 2875 An Act providing for security of tenure for all casual and contractual employees of the government who have rendered at least five (5) years of continuous service in the case of national government agencies and ten (10) years of continuous service in the case of local government units and for other related purposes (Principal sponsor)

          SBN 3322 An Act Granting Retirement Health Care and Death Benefits to Professional Filipino Athletes Who Win World Championship Titles in International Professional Sports Competitions and Providing Funds Therefor (Principal author)

          SBN 3309 An Act Providing for a Magna Carta of the Poor (Principal author)

          Plus he wants to add to the allowances of soldiers and police, recent moves by him.

          Very strong focus on state employees (especially military/police) and social services.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano’s running legislative record both in the House of Representatives and the Senate consists of a total of 43 authored bills, 6 of which have been passed into law, and 116 co-authored bills, 46 of which have become law. These bills reflect the Senator’s advocacy themes on Education, Health, Increased benefits and welfare for sectors like the elderly, children, persons with disabilities, teachers, and students, Peace and Order, Electoral Reform, Transparency, Anti Graft and Corruption, Environment (Disaster Rehabilitation), Mass Media, Labor and Economics.

          Among these laws include the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act, Granting Additional Compensation In Form of Special Allowances for Justices, Judges and All other Positions in the Judiciary, Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003, An Act Governing the Establishment, Operations and Regulation of Lending Companies, An Act To Strengthen The University of The Philippines As National University, Anti-Camcording Act of 2010, Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, Strengthening of the Magna Carta for PWDs, and An Act Providing for Mandatory Basic Immunization Services For Infants and Children, and the Domestic Workers Act (Kasambahay Law).

          Continues in the same line as his Congress work plus Cybercrime. Many bills passed. SBN-90 Freedom of Information Act of 2013. SBN-2874 provides for the welfare of AFP and PNP. In tendency strong focus on social services, cybercrime, scholarships, government…

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Go Negosyo Bill

          Go Negosyo Bill seeks to further strengthen the MSME sector by providing this sector with better incentives and benefits, granting more access to focused support for enhanced business performance, promoting support to key growth industries, and facilitating financing support programs that are much-needed for growth. Further, the Act promotes more participation from the private sector in the MSME Development Council.

          As of February 24, 2014, the Go Negosyo Bill was already approved on the Third Reading and was already sent for approval of the House of Representatives.
          Social Enterprise Bill

          Bam Aquino introduced Senate Bill 1026 or the Social Enterprise Bill in July 2013.

          The Social Enterprise Bill provides framework for the planning and implementation of a National Poverty Reduction Through Social Entrepreneurship (the PRESENT) Program. The SE Bill, or the PRESENT Bill provides a nurturing environment for the growth and burgeoning of strong and innovative Social Enterprises as tools to reduce poverty.

          The bill has been approved on the first reading and is still pending on the committee it was referred to.
          Youth Entrepreneurship Bill

          Bam Aquino introduced Senate Bill 1032 or the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill in July 2013.

          Youth Entrepreneurship Bill seeks to integrate entrepreneurship into our secondary and tertiary education curricula; facilitate grants both for the teaching and the practice of entrepreneurship; and develop a national youth entrepreneurship program to provide support to young entrepreneurs.

          The bill has been approved on the first reading and is still pending on the committee it was referred to.
          Other Bills and Resolution (Bullet Points)

          S.B. 1356: People’s Fund Bill
          Resolution No. 100 – Ease of Doing Business
          S.B. 1090: SK Reform Bill
          S.B. 1027: Philippine Fair Competition Act
          S.B. 1031: Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy
          S.B. 1091: Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom
          S.B. 1030: Micro Enterprise Institutions Development (“MicroDev”) Act
          S.B. 1029: Social Value Bill
          S.B. 2122: Anti-Discrimination Bill
          S.B. 2117: Filipino Sign Language Act in Broadcast Media of 2014

          So Bam Aquino has a stronger business focus, but also for small businesses.

          Trillanes is very focused on government, Cayetano on social services / cybercrime.

          So they do have their individual directions and can be clustered pretty well… nuff for now.

      • Steve says:

        My own hunch is that if you broke down the actual evidence of policy preference, such as bills introduced and voting records, you would find no appreciable policy identities in any of these parties. Even rhetorically the identities are weak at best; in practice… close to nonexistent.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Thanks – you’ve given me an aspect to investigate. What bills were passed by whom.

          A good indicator of who stands for what, more than rhetoric.

          • karl garcia says:

            To make your job easier visit their web sites…

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Of course..

              But it will take time to gather data.

              Work is coming back now and I have to budget my time.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK, posted stuff for Quezon, Magsaysay and Garcia. Osmeña could not do much and Marcos everybody knows more or less or can google themselves.

                The present NP people I will google about and summarize in due time.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Posted about Trillanes, Cayetano, Bam Aquino.

                My working hypothesis is that individual lawmakers have their thrust (some have none of course except into their pocket, especially those from UNA I guess) and birds of a feather tend to flock together in the same parties. But analyzing all of that takes a lot of time.

                Could be an interesting blog article though, if I find time to do it.

              • Joe America says:

                Their committee assignments drive a lot of their emphasis. Maybe that is a starting point.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Let me start with two pre-Marcos NP presidents, Magsaysay and Garcia.

          Their records clearly show a centre-right nationalist policy:

          In the Election of 1953, Magsaysay was decisively elected president over the incumbent Elpidio Quirino. He was sworn into office wearing the Barong Tagalog, a first by a Philippine president. He was then called “Mambo Magsaysay”.

          As president, he was a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesman against communism during the Cold War. He led the foundation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization also known as the Manila Pact of 1954, that aimed to defeat communist-Marxist movements in South East Asia, South Asia and the Southwestern Pacific. During his term, he made Malacañang literally a “house of the people”, opening its gates to the public. One example of his integrity followed a demonstration flight aboard a new plane belonging to the Philippine Air Force (PAF): President Magsaysay asked what the operating costs per hour were for that type of aircraft, then wrote a personal check to the PAF, covering the cost of his flight. He brought back the people’s trust in the military and in the government.

          His administration was considered one of the cleanest and most corruption-free; his presidency was cited as the Philippines’ Golden Years. Trade and industry flourished, the Philippine military was at its prime, and the Filipino people were given international recognition in sports, culture and foreign affairs. The Philippines ranked second in Asia’s clean and well-governed countries.[citation needed]

          Ushering, indeed, a new era in Philippine government, President Magsaysay placed emphasis upon service to the people by bringing the government closer to the former.[2] This was symbollically seen when, on inauguration day, President Magsaysay ordered the gates of Malacañan Palace open to all and sundry, who were allowed to freely visit all the dependencies of the presidential mansion. Later, this was regulated to allow weekly visitation.[2]

          True[2] to his electoral promise, President Magsaysay created the Presidential Complaints and Action Committee.[2] This body immediately proceeded to hear grievances and recommend remedial action. Headed by soft-spoken, but active and tireless, Manuel Manahan, this committee would come to hear nearly 60,000 complaints in a year, of which more than 30,000 would be settled by direct action and a little more than 25,000 would be referred to government agencies for appropriate follow-up. This new entity, composed of youthful personnel, all loyal to the President, proved to be a highly successful morale booster restoring the people’s confidence in their own government.[2]

          Agrarian reform

          To amplify and stabilize the functions of the Economic Development Corps (EDCOR), President Magsaysay worked[2] for the establishment of the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA).[2] This body took over from the EDCOR and helped in the giving some sixty-five thousand acres to three thousand indigent families for settlement purposes.[2] Again, it allocated some other twenty-five thousand to a little more than one thousand five hundred landless families, who subsequently became farmers.[2]

          As further aid to the rural people,[2] the president established the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA). The idea was for this entity to make available rural credits. Records show that it did grant, in this wise, almost ten million dollars. This administration body next devoted its attention to cooperative marketing.[2]
          Along this line of help to the rural areas, President Magsaysay initiated in all earnestness the artesian wells campaign. A group-movement known as the Liberty Wells Association was formed and in record time managed to raise a considerable sum for the construction of as many artesian wells as possible. The socio-economic value of the same could not be gainsaid and the people were profuse in their gratitude.[2]

          Finally, vast irrigation projects, as well as enhancement of the Ambuklao Power plant and other similar ones, went a long way towards bringing to reality the rural improvement program advocated by President Magsaysay.[2]..


          In early 1954, Benigno Aquino, Jr. was appointed by President Ramón Magsaysay to act as personal emissary to Luís Taruc, leader of the Hukbalahap, a rebel group. Also in 1954, Lt. Col. Laureño Maraña, the former head of Force X of the 16th PC Company, assumed command of the 7th BCT, which had become one of the most mobile striking forces of the Philippine ground forces against the Huks, from Colonel Valeriano. Force X employed psychological warfare through combat intelligence and infiltration that relied on secrecy in planning, training, and execution of attack. The lessons learned from Force X and Nenita were combined in the 7th BCT.

          With the all out anti-dissidence campaigns against the Huks, they numbered less than 2,000 by 1954 and without the protection and support of local supporters, active Huk resistance no longer presented a serious threat to Philippine security. From February to mid-September 1954, the largest anti-Huk operation, “Operation Thunder-Lightning” was conducted that resulted to the surrender of Luis Taruc on 17 May. Further cleanup operations of guerillas remaining lasted throughout 1955, diminishing its number to less than 1,000 by year’s end.[12]

          The Magsaysay administration negotiated the Laurel-Langley Agreement which was a trade agreement between the Philippines and the United States which was signed in 1955 and expired in 1974. Although it proved deficient, the final agreement satisfied nearly all of the diverse Filipino economic interests. While some have seen the Laurel-Langley agreement as a continuation of the 1946 trade act, Jose P. Laurel and other Philippine leaders recognized that the agreement substantially gave the country greater freedom to industrialize while continuing to receive privileged access to US markets.[15]
          The agreement replaced the unpopular Bell Trade Act, which tied the economy of the Philippines to that of United States economy…

          Defense Council

          Taking the advantage of the presence of U.S. Secretary John Foster Dulles in Manila to attend the SEATO Conference, the Philippine government took steps to broach with him the establishment of a Joint Defense Council. Vice-President and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Garcia held the opportune conversations with Secretary Dulles for this purpose. Agreement was reached thereon and the first meeting of the Joint United States-Philippines Defense Council was held in Manila following the end of the Manila Conference. Thus were the terms of the Mutual Defense Pact between the Philippines and the United States duly implemented.[2]

          Bandung Conference

          Billed as an all-Oriental meet to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism orneocolonialism by either the United States or the Soviet Union in the Cold War, or any other imperialistic nations, the Asian–African Conference was held in Bandung (Java) in April 1955, upon invitation extended by the Prime Ministers of India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, and Indonesia. The conference is commonly known as the Bandung Conference. Although, at first, the Magsaysay Government seemed reluctant to send any delegation. Later, however, upon advise of Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo, it was decided to have the Philippines participate in the conference. Ambassador Romulo was asked to head the Philippine delegation.[2] At the very outset indications were to the effect that the conference would promote the cause of neutralism as a third position in the current cold war between the capitalist bloc and the communist group. John Kotelawala, Prime Minister of Ceylon, however, broke the ice against neutralism.[2] He was immediately joined by Philippine envoy Romulo, who categorically stated that his delegation believed that “a puppet is a puppet”,[2] no matter whether under a Western Power or an Oriental state.[2]

          At one time in the course of the conference, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru acidly spoke against the SEATO. Quick to draw, Ambassador Romulo delivered a stinging, eloquent retort that prompted Prime Minister Nehru to publicly apologize to the Philippine delegation.[2]

          Records had it that the Philippine delegation ably represented the interests of the Philippines and, in the ultimate analysis, succeeded in turning the Bandung Conference into a victory against the plans of its socialist and neutralist delegates.[2]

          García was the running mate of Ramón Magsaysay in the 1953 presidential election in which both men won. He was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs by President Magsaysay, and for four years served concurrently as Vice-President.[citation needed]
          As Secretary of Foreign Affairs, he opened formal reparation negotiations in an effort to end the nine-year technical state of war between Japan and the Philippines, leading to an agreement in April 1954. During the Geneva Conference of 1954 on Korean unification and other Asian problems, García, as chairman of the Philippine delegation, attacked communist promises in Asia and defended the U.S. policy in the Far East. In a speech on May 7, 1954–the day that the Viet Minh defeated French forces at the Battle of Diên Biên Phu in Vietnam– García repeated the Philippine stand for nationalism and opposition to Communism.[citation needed]

          García acted as chairman of the eight-nation Southeast Asian Security Conference held in Manila in September 1954, which led to the development of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).[3]



          After much discussion, both official and public, the Congress of the Philippines, finally, approved a bill outlawing the Communist Party of the Philippines. Despite the pressure exerted against the congressional measure, President Carlos P. García signed the said bill into law as Republic Act No. 1700 on June 19, 1957.[4][5]…

          Filipino First Policy

          President García exercised the Filipino First Policy, for which he was known. This policy heavily favored Filipino businessmen over foreign investor. He was also responsible for changes in retail trade which greatly affected the Chinese businessmen in the country. In a speech during a joint session of Congress on September 18, 1946, President García said the following:

          “ We are called upon to decide on this momentous debate whether or not this land of ours will remain the cradle and grave, the womb and tomb of our race – the only place where we can build our homes, our temples, and our altars and where we erect the castles of our racial hopes, dreams and traditions and where we establish the warehouse of our happiness and prosperity, of our joys and sorrows.[8] ”

          Austerity Program

          In the face of the trying conditions of the country, President García initiated what has been called “The Austerity Program”. His administration was characterized by its austerity program and its insistence on a comprehensive nationalist policy. On March 3, 1960, he affirmed the need for complete economic freedom and added that the government no longer would tolerate the dominance of foreign interests (especially American) in the national economy. He promised to shake off “the yoke of alien domination in business, trade, commerce and industry.” García was also credited with his role in reviving Filipino cultural arts.[3] ..

          Bohlen–Serrano Agreement

          During his administration, he acted on the Bohlen–Serrano Agreement, which shortened the lease of the American Bases from 99 years to 25 years and made it renewable after every five years.[citation needed]

          • PinoyInEurope says:


            Government Reorganization

            To meet the demands of the newly established government set-up and in compliance with the provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie law, as well as the requirements of the Constitution, President Quezón, true to his pledge of “More Government and less politics”, initiated a reorganization of the government bodies.[8] To this effect, he established the Government Survey Board to study the existing institutions and in the light of the changed circumstances, make the necessary recommendations.[8]

            Early results were seen with the revamping of the Executive Department. Offices and bureaus were either merged with one another or outrightly abolished. Some new ones, however, were created.[8] President Quezón ordered the transfer of the Philippine Constabulary from the Department of Interior, to the Department of Finance. Among the changes in the Executive Departments by way of modification in functions or new responsibilities, were those of the National Defense, Agriculture and Commerce, Public Works and Communications, and Health and Public Welfare.[8]

            In keeping with other exigencies posed by the Constitution, new offices and boards were created either by Executive Order or by appropriate legislative action.[8] Among these were the Council of National Defense, the Board of National Relief, the Mindanao and Sulu Commission, and the Civil Service Board of Appeals.[8]
            Social justice program

            Pledged to improve the lot of the Philippine working class and seeking the inspiration from the social doctrines of Leo XIII and Pius XI, aside from the authoritative treatises of the world’s leading sociologists, President Quezon started a vigorous program of social justice, which he traduced into reality through appropriate executive measures and legislation obtained from the National Assembly.[8]

            Thus, a court of Industrial Relations was established to mediate disputes, under certain conditions, minimizing the inconveniences of the strikes and lockouts. A minimum wage law was enacted, as well as a law providing for an eight-hour work day and a tenancy law for the Filipino farmers. Another measure was the creation of the position of Public Defender to help poor litigants in their court suits.[8]

            Commonwealth Act No. 20 authorized Quezon to institute expropriation proceedings and/or acquire large landed estates to re-sell them at nominal cost and under easy terms to tenants thereon, thus enabling them to possess a lot and a home of their own. It was by virtue of this law that the Buenavista estate was acquired by the Commonwealth Government. Quezon also launched a cooperative system of agriculture among the owners of the subdivided estates in order to alleviate their situation and to provide them greater earnings.[8]

            In all these, Quezon showed an earnest desire to follow the constitutional mandate on the promotion of social justice.[8]


            Upon the advent of the Commonwealth, the economic condition of our nation was fortunately stable and promising.[8] With foreign trade reaching a peak of four hundred million pesos, the upward trend in business was accentuated and assumed the aspect of a boom. Exports crops were generally good and, with the exception of tobacco, they were all in excellent demand in foreign trade markets. Indeed, the value of the Philippine exports reached an all high of 320,896,000 pesos, the highest since 1929.[8]

            On the other hand, government revenues amounted to 76,675,000 pesos in 1936, as compared with the 1935 revenue of 65,000,000 pesos. Even the government companies, with the exception of the Manila Railroad, managed to earn profits. Gold production increased about 37% and iron nearly 100%, while cement production augmented by some 14%.[8]

            Notwithstanding this prosperous situation,[8] the government had to meet certain economic problems besetting the country and which, if attended to, might jeopardize the very prosperity then being enjoyed. For this purpose, the National Economic Council was created. This body advised the government in economic and financial questions, including promotion of industries, diversification of crops and enterprises, tariffs, taxation, and formulation of an economic program in the contemplation of the future independent Republic of the Philippines.[8]

            Again, a law reorganized the National Development Company; the National Rice and Corn Company (NARIC) was created and was given a capital of four million pesos.[8]

            Upon the recommendation of the National Economic Council, agricultural colonies were established in the country, especially in Koronadal, Malig, and other appropriate sites in Mindanao. The government, moreover, offered facilities of every sort to encourage migration and settlement in those places. The Agricultural and Industrial Bank was established to aid small farmers with convenient loans on easy terms. Attention was also devoted to soil survey, as well as to the proper disposition of lands of the public domain. These steps and measures held much promise for our economic welfare.[8]..

            National language

            Another constitutional provision to be implemented by President Quezón’s administration dealt with the question of The Philippines’ national language. Following a year’s study, the Institute of the National Language – established on 1936 – recommended that Tagalog be adopted as the basis for the national language. The proposal was well received, considering that the Director – the first to be appointed – at the time, Jaime C. de Veyra, was an ethnic Visayan.

            On December 1937, Quezón issued a proclamation approving the constitution made by the Institute and declaring that the adoption of the national language would take place two years hence. With the presidential approval, the Institute of National Language started to work on a grammar and dictionary of the language.[10]

    • josephivo says:

      Indeed, in politics or running a country, there are several “fault lines”, such as:
      1- Left versus right, more or less power to the state.
      2- Focus on the poor or focus on the wealth creators, inequality as a cause or as a result.
      3- A secular state or a “in God we trust” state.
      4- A imperial Manila state or a coalition of Ilocano, Tagalog, Cebuano, Moro kingdoms.
      5- Isolation are internationalization, protection or competition.

      I would like to know at what side of these fault lines the parties are standing and what their programs are to get the country prosperous.
      First dream, in what direction to go, names and coalitions is the next step.

      • Joe America says:

        Perhaps one of the major parties will finally wake up to the point that they need a platform and ability to speak with a single voice to apply their personalities in a way that works. Manny Villar running against Binay, Poe and Roxas is pretty bland. Manny Villar with Santiago Cayetano, Marcos and Trillanes pounding about the nation explaining that Binay is a crook, Poe a trapo who can’t be trusted, and Roxas is not dynamic enough . . .

        I start from the position that the four NP senators, each alone, is not a competitor. What do I do if I am Manny Villar?

        Maybe need will overcome tradition and NP will see value to promoting a platform that distinguishes them from the bigger personalities of Binay and Poe, and diminishes Binay and Poe.

        I can’t otherwise figure out how NP is anything but support for other parties.

        • Quaddie says:

          Josephivo: I would like to know at what side of these fault lines the parties are standing and what their programs are to get the country prosperous.
          First dream, in what direction to go, names and coalitions is the next step.””
          I would add that the voting sysem in the Philippines be looked st as well.

          These YouTube videos by CGP Gray demonstrates the problems of the plurality system.

    • Joe America says:

      It’s up to them. I can’t see much success unless they stake out some space early and unify their “niche” voices into one loud one.

  4. karl garcia says:

    If Lacson runs he will revive the C5 extension issue. If not for that Villar would have been a sure second.

    • karl garcia says:

      Villar helped a lot in Yolanda afected areas, Lacson must let bygones be bygones but if they both run for President who knows. The retired Police and soldiers are clamoring for a Lacson Poe. Trillanes would not xwant anything to do with Pnoy resign or Pnoy apologize stuff so he is dropped like a hot potato.

    • I did not vote for Villar, as I was not fully satisfied with his explanation on his using his government positions to secure approval for his personal real estate business, converting agricultural lands to housing developments. That was exposed by then Congressman Joker Arroyo, during those times when he was still in possession of his former principles that I admired so much.

      It could be one of the reasons why from being self sufficient rice consumer, we are now one of its biggest importer, (a boon to ruthless importers), from Thailand and other countries who studied in our agricultural schools on how to improve the yield of that particular crop.

      We have the rice technologies developed by our countrymen but no more land to use them on, rows and rows of houses and golf courses have replaced them.

      Now is that being nationalist?

      • Karl Garcia says:

        there are still many of us born in the seventys around. And those who came before us still have a strong voice.

      • josephivo says:

        To give more than 2 million extra people every year some decent place to live, you need some land. Converting land should not be the problem. The problem is “rent seeking”, making money on inside information, political affiliation, etc. and not on objective merits Villar is an expert in rent seeking. .

        • Joe America says:

          You saying you would not vote for him? (If you had a vote.)

        • josephivo says:

          If the choice is rent seeking versus plain stealing, I would vote for rent seeking. Also I believe that more of Villar’s money stays in the country, not too many tax paradise escape routes to park money abroad.

          • to choose between the devil and a hard place is truly a dilemma, fortunately, one of the advantages of a multi-party system that we have now,is that we don’t have to. There are other candidates to choose from, those who will not sacrifice public interest so he can be included in the latest list of new billionaires.

            • josephivo says:

              In an other entry I discuss how far one can be pragmatic and how for one has to be principled. I think that the answer to this question is very individual. For me with many candidates, voting for someone who can not win is a lost vote, strengthening the favorite candidate, so I would be pragmatic.

          • Joe America says:

            Ah, very good. That makes good sense.

  5. Bert says:

    “What do I do if I am Manny Villar?”

    If I am Manny Villar and my objective is for the NP to regain prominence once again in the Philippines I will get a winnable presidential candidate as standard bearer. Not Marcos, he’s not winnable, but Grace Poe. Bongbong will support Grace for some not very obvious reason, so will the Marcos loyalists, and the Erap loyalists and other groups including those mentioned by commenter Kudeta. The yellow army will be divided between Roxas and Binay any which way Pres. Noynoy’s support falls between the two contenders. Binay is too hot a potato no viable vice-presidential material with clout would want to run as his vice the reason why he’s getting someone who is a nobody but a stooge, his stooge.

    Now I think our dear host Joe will be sad when this happen.

    • Joe America says:

      It remains beyond my comprehension that President Aquino would support Binay. Your NP solution, to recruit Poe, makes a good deal of sense. It fits more with personality politics and is easier than developing or defending a platform. I wonder if she would insist that Escudero come along as her VP, and how Trillanes would handle that. It is fascinating to me who did not sign the Poe report. Trillanes. Drilon, Lapid. Enrile. And I wonder if Poe would come over if terms were attached: no pardons for plunderers.

      I would not be sad if your scenario developed. The Philippines would still be in capable, if political, hands. I would be sad if Binay were elected.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        What is the ombudsman afraid of ?isn’t the ombudsman act enough defense, that the institution is so independent, not even the Court of Appeals can stop an investigation. I guess her going to the SC is the right move.

    • Bert says:

      My thinking, Joe, as is my normal, is simple. One compelling reason why I think Pres. Noynoy would rather choose a Binay presidency is self-preservation. As everybody knows, Binay is a family friend and the Aquino families are known supporters of Binay even up to the present. The president is in a bind. Either he supports his party mate Roxas, or he supports his friend Binay. Or, make a deal with Grace Poe and make her the standard bearer of the LP. Three options that can afford him a safe enough haven after the 2016 election. The weakest link among the three option is Roxas because Roxas is not winnable. If the president and the LP opted to chose the Roxas option, that would make Binay happy. In a sense, that is tantamount to the president’s endorsement of Binay If the NP opted to chose Grace Poe as the standard bearer, that would make Binay sad.

      What do I do if I am President Noynoy? I don’t know.

      • Joe America says:

        I don’t know either. He’s in a pickle.

        • NHerrera says:

          We have always wondered how Pnoy’s mind works. For one he is seen to be stubborn by some, etc.

          Suppose, he says — its is ok by me. File a complaint against me after June 30, 2106; and put me to jail if found guilty. If I were him, I will play this game. (He has no wife or children to be immediately responsible for.)

          Let us see what happens next.

          Mind you, it is not as if his actions were all one sided without any reasonable justification when presented in court, with foreign media looking in. It is also not as if he is corrupt like Binay. All the paid hacks now will have a different tune by then. In short, in his mind he may say, “BRING IT ON.” If Binay is the President by then, he will also have his hands full with the now “crucify Aquino” turning around and cry “crucify Binay” in short order.

          May we play this scenario for whatever it is worth? There is one item that I keep on hearing — that Pnoy is working mightily to get out of jail after June 30. That self- preservation preoccupies him from now, onward. Is that a very probable assumption knowing what we know about him to date? (He gambled a lot on GMA when Corona and Enrile, Estrada, Revilla were not yet history. If you want to include it, he may have gambled too on DAP. Is that a leader who will hide his tail between his legs?)

          • Joe America says:

            I rather think those who say the President is trying to escape prison cannot comprehend a person who has honor. They themselves do not have it, for instance. So they can’t see it in others.

            Either that, or they are really just nasty people. When they have 5 bullets in their body and their father assassinated on the tarmac, I’ll listen to what they have to say.

        • Bert says:

          I agree with NHerrera. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Pres. Noynoy can be his own stubborn self and take the risk. Or take a prudent move which is within his options right now.

          If the NP take Grace Poe as their standard bearer, there are reasons to think that:

          1. It could derail Binay’s presidential plan
          2. A president Grace Poe under the NP can be really risky to President Noynoy.

          Consider the following:

          1. Villar has an ax to grind against Noynoy due to events during the 2010 election.
          2. The Marcoses will be in full force under the NP wings while Noynoy will be still under the yellow banner. The animosity between the two colors, not to mention families, is still there.

          In politics, anything is possible.

  6. andrewlim8 says:

    1 April 2015

    In observance of Holy Week, the National Transformation Council (NTC) will temporarily cease all activities and reflect on the need to transform itself first before attempting to transform the nation, este transfer power to themselves.

    In a press statement, its spokesman Kit Tatad said that while the group has attracted a few thousand followers out of a 100 million population, “we are alarmed that some sectors view us as KASUCLAM-SUCLAM (Kapisanan ng mga Subok na Corrupt Loyalists ni Arroyo at Marcos).”

    Also, Tatad said that some have taken to calling the movement “Parokya ni Arguelles” after the strident bishop who leads them. “We are laity and clergy in the one, holy apostolic Catholic Church, not Parokya ni Arguelles.”

    He ended the press briefing with “Marcos pa rin!”

    For your guidance.

    • karl garcia says:

      Mamili si Tatad anak at asawa ng dating amo O Kasalukuyang amo.
      Tatad consultant OVP.

      • karl garcia says:

        Joe Almonte’s book put Binay’s ally Honasan on a spot with Bong Bong when he revealed that Honasan planned to assasinate Marcos.

        • Joe America says:

          Strange bedfellows in national politics. Assassins and back room plotters and victims who become assassins.

        • andrewlim8 says:


          Though Honasan and RAM have expectedly denied this plan, I have no problem believing Almonte’s version because I remember an interview of Rex Robles (in Mr and Ms magazine, circa 1986 or 87)) where he likened the seizure of state power to “using the sword to snatch the crown”.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Honasan and RAM were pretty much hailed as heroes during the February revolution.

          That is again from memory. Then they probably turned against it because they did not get the power they were hoping for.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            And Binay was appointed Makati OIC mayor to replace Marcos loyalist Yabut. Just like EDSA II made GMA President.

            Why does the Philippines so often manage to jump out of the frying pan into the fire? Or even bypass the fire to land in the garbage?

            Marcos was seen by many as a hope against chaos engulfing the Republic at that time, finally what came out of it was much worse…

            • karl garcia says:

              Life is what you make if it. Maybe we should all eat frogs for breakfast and we would not ask for more EVER! OR Be like frogs we will never jump out until we are cooked.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Which is why sometime it is better to be dogmatic than to be frogmatic.

                Try cooking a dog in hot water and see what happens.

              • karl garcia says:

                As wiseman Sonny said to get out of a vicious circle you should form a HELIX. Whatever that means.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

              • karl garcia says:

                I am corny, I oppose conversion of corn lands.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And I have never knowingly eaten a dog.

                Definitely no frogs because I do not live in France.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                You are cornier. Sonny’s helix is like Citizen Kane’s Rosebud.

              • sonny says:

                Oooo la la. This talk of helixes (helices?) begs for a round table of San Miguel and Inasal chicken or Aristocrat rice and barbecue. We can oscillate between food for thought and food for the palate. Yes? 🙂

                Karl, I have never completed watching CITIZEN KANE. Pity the movie is no longer in easy circulation. Orson Wells took me by storm with the movie WAR OF THE WORLDS, the original not the Tom Cruise version.

                PiE, that helix graphic is awesome! Demonstrates the break from the flat circle and the forward movement and carries the central reference line!

              • karl garcia says:

                I Won’t tell you who Rosebud is, buy the DVD. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Rosebud was revealed (spoiled) during a feature documentary on mr Welles on TV. That’s the reason I didn’t care to see the entire film anymore. I’m more mellow now (aging, really) so I have the patience to watch.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Tatad fell out of favor with Marcos at some point in time and was relegated to obscurity.

        This is what I remember. Even during dictatorship Philippine politics was a snake pit.

        • karl garcia says:

          Does obscutity mean becoming a Senator?

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            That was after Marcos time.

            • karl garcia says:

              I read that as Information Minister he read the Declaration of Martial law …..and he resigned because he became the assemblyman representing Catanduanes.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                That is relative obscurity compared to having been Information Minister.

                It was practically a demotion, sometimes you “resign” to save face.

    • April fool’s day na nga pala…. hehehe

  7. josephivo says:

    I don’t know.

    Where should my principles end and pragmatism start? Can children enjoy the stolen money of their parents? One lie to save a life, ok, killing one to save a nation in a war situation, ok. But how far does this “for the greater good” principle go? Are the answers to these questions individual or are their universal ethic rules or should at least party members agree upon them?

    What about a party with one lady who stole more than the 3 UNA crooks together is that still acceptable for pragmatic reasons? What about the party that accommodates the children of a corrupt martial law president living on his stolen money, cheating on academic achievements?

    Does beating Binay justifies everything?

    • No, no sir, it does not, it should not, ever. Neither Binay nor Marcos (and Poe) will be good for the Philippines.

      Binay is doing that, he accommodated the proven corrupt in his UNA party (Enrile, Estrada, Tatad, Maceda, ugh), another party accommodated Marcos, even Satur Ocampo… all in the name of a possible win in the election, covering all the bases.

      The discerning voting public showed them otherwise, but the sister cities with the masa voters obliged and put Nancy in the Senate, Marcos got the Ilocos votes and the sympathy votes from Estrada, Poe and Binay.

      God, please have mercy on us and save us from these manipulative politicians.

    • NHerrera says:


      Your question

      Does beating Binay justifies everything?

      is clearly answerable with a big NO because of the word “everything.”

      Joe America offers, for one, an alternative for discussion, and it is not a prescription for justifying everything to beat Binay.

      If I were to chose only one of two options — a Binay Presidency or a Villar Presidency — I will choose the latter. This is not to say that Villar is a saint.

      BTW, ethical principles such as “acting for the greater good” is philosophical item which can be debated rather persuasively on both sides of the issue (think about the dropping of the atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima). Ultimately, even when listening intently to both sides of the debate, one has to make a choice.

      Democracy and voting for a country’s leaders carries with it to my mind the “greater good” concept — presumably, the majority votes for the leaders who will pursue the greater good of the majority.

      • josephivo says:

        Everything in this context meaning Villar elected with the help of Marcos money?

        Should we be pragmatic or principled? Catholics (+/- south of Europe – France) tend to use the “greater good” principle, Protestants (+/- north of Europe – Netherlands) tend to be more principled. Belgium is in between, so I don’t know, with my head straight and walking to my grave or bend my head a little and live a happy live.

        • Joe America says:

          Bend it. You and enough people walk with their heads high and the rest of us get Binay.

          • josephivo says:

            Belgians search for compromise, so I’ll bend my knees and wear a helmet. I’ll have to because I distrust too much this finger eating first class flying eternal BOY-scouts, grow up man, your in your 70’ies, too late to be president.

            • Joe America says:

              🙂 Oh, great, another comedian around here . . . You are usually the epitome of reserved wisdom. Glad you got off the dime.

            • eternal boy scout president…. LOL…

              btw, will we ever know the truth about the expose of former VM Mercado about him getting into a deal with Ongpin and Noble so he could lay his hands on hundreds of millions of campaign money (from BSP ) he used in 2010 election?

              He is rumored to have a head staff in Makati who is the wife of a CA judge who is a brother of an SC justice – Peralta is the name. and he has the SB judges eating out of his palm – kind of boodle fight…

              and why is Makati’s payroll system allegedly not yet automated, Makati being a premier city located in Central Business District, still hands out salaries in envelopes? – what ? to perpetuate ghost employees and pocket the substantial variance amount for distribution to sister cities?

              We are like this in Makati, we will make the whole country like this! Que horror!

              • The case could not even go past the OMB, a TRO was issued to save Junjun who is holed up there in the new city hall doing what, shredding papers and implicating documents?.

                The CA is obstructing the functions of the OMB, it’s only preventive suspension aimed at preserving evidence!

                Daddy is surely a formidable daddy.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Just asking from my somewhat puzzled outside view – is not DAP a similar system to circumvent the official system that does not work? OK I know the argument that DAP is with good intentions, but they are known to pave the road to hell after all.

                Everything seems to be remedyo, no proper solutions. And different institutions blocking each other, causing gridlock in getting things done that need to be done.

                I understand why Duterte wants to dissolve Congress if he becomes President. I understand why he is impatient with the courts and just solves certain problems. I wonder how Lee Kuan Yew would have dealt with Filipinos if he had been Philippine President.

              • Joe America says:

                DAP was a time-limited project to re-orient Arroyo corrupt and low-value projects to better uses. It cut corners in the interest of moving expediently. The other choices were to keep the Arroyo projects or return the money to treasury and see the economy sag. As it did after the SC curtailed the tail end of the expenditures. Whenever I ask people if given the three choices: (1) keep corrupt and weak projects going, or (2) invest elsewhere, or (3) return the money to Treasury, it would appear only the Supreme Court would choose 1 or 3, but not 2. The Constitution and everyone else would demand 2. The SC doubled down on it, though, ascribing bad faith and criminality to 2.

                That’s why the President went livid in a speech accusing the Court of over-reaching and why some of us (well, I do) say the SC is comprised of brilliant people who are so stuck on words that they become legalistic morons.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “It cut corners in the interest of moving expediently.” What prevents Binay from using the same argument when it comes to his assisting Makati sister cities?

                It’s pretty clear that his people will say he was just trying to help where the government has failed, that he took things into his own hands JUST like Noynoy with DAP. How can one rebut that argument?

              • Joe America says:

                That’s the Supreme Court’s view, I guess. The Court did not question WHERE the DAP money went, just what Abad/Aquino did by defining savings liberally so they would not have to wait a full year before re-directing money. The Court acknowledged the program did good.

                I don’t think there is anything wrong with the sister city programs if the money is transparently taken from Makati Treasury and gifted to other cities. As a slumdweller in Makati, or an attorney representing them, I might have a bone to pick with that, but that is up to Makati. The problem there is that the graft and power are so pervasive that the mechanisms are all dirty. Aquino’s programs legitimately helped the nation and no one charged corruption within it. Just in general terms, comparing it to PDAF. Which was ridiculous.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And that people especially the poor don’t care too much about legality is pretty clear in a country where legal proceedings were so often bought or with totally absurd rulings. So many people will think OK Binay is a crook at least he is not pretending not be one, they all are anyway, those who pretend they are not crooks are hypocrites. I know that attitude, very hard to argue against it, any idea how it can be done if at all?

              • Joe America says:

                The inverted ethics of the Philippines, a crook is respected because he does not show us up, as we cheat to get along, but a goodie two shoes who tries to go straight is a jerk for showing us up.

                Bring in a team of about 500,000 psychological therapists, and we’ll have this problem knocked out in about three years.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Better not. They might all go crazy themselves.

              • @Joe still the media’s fault. Nobody from the mainstream media had the decency to explain in simple terms the main issue of DAP. This could have turned public sentiment against the SC. If the explanation was as simple as you and I would say.

                When is savings savings? When you decide that it is. If the it was explained as that then the SC would have been in the defensive. Why wait till the end of the year? It should have been asked by the people.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, indeed. It shows how much we rely on the press for information, and how negligent they are in providing it. Shameful journalism, I agree.

        • NHerrera says:

          You have a point, but sadly 100% principled or 100% pragmatic are not the only options. There are many gradations in between. Should the US have bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima considering that the US has already Japan cornered. Thousands (we really don’t know how many thousands) of American lives saved against the sure brutality of the bomb?

          Which is principle, which is pragmatism?

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Too much principle and you become DOGmatic.

            Too much pragmatism and you are FROGmatic.

            Between dog and frog there are many choices.

            • NHerrera says:


              I like the play of those words:

              Too much principle = DOGmatic
              Too much pragmatism = FROGmatic

              Between dog and frog there are many choices.

              I will have the dog and frog in mind when I tend to the extremes. Thanks. You have a way with words.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Depends on whether you are Flemish or Wallonian. These two groups even fought each other in the streets of Brussels until the 1980s. Well maybe that makes it easier for you to relate to Mindanao.

          • josephivo says:

            Don’t oversimplify, we are smaller than Metro Manila but we have 7 governments, 1 king, 5 presidents. Just in a nutshell: 3 language communities French, Dutch and German responsible for culture and education, 3 regions Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders, responsible for economic issues, infra structure, etc. 1 national government responsible for foreign policy, the army etc.
            (the Flemish talk about 5 presidents as the Flemish region and the Flemish community merged, the French speaking talk about 4 presidents they consider the Walloon and the French as one unity but this implies that Brussels should be a similar 3e part of the country what is unacceptable for the Flemish)

            Since 800 until Napoleon, 2 Flemish provinces in the west belonged formally to the kingdom of France the other provinces (also the French speaking provinces) belonged formally to the German empire except for the Prince-Bishopric of Liège that belonged straight to the Pope.

            PS: We too were 150 years a Spanish colony. Until WW1 Belgium was the 5e economic power in the world with the same number of inhabitants as the Philippines, +/- 6 million. Today we have 12 million Belgians versus 102 million Filipinos, our GDP is $534.775 billion versus $289.686 billion for the Philippines.

  8. karl garcia says:

    For the future if two party system is a pipe dream, then I guess a charter change is needed for an election run off.
    Two party proposal : UNA and PANGALAWA…..very simple.

    • Joe America says:

      MLQIII has given me a list of resources regarding the party system in the Philippines. There WAS a two party system, but Marcos took it down. I wrote “I miss the Democrats and Republicans”. He wrote:

      “marcos dismantled it. prior to martial law there would even be neighborhood sari sari stores that were nacionalista and liberal. if you look at election results the general alignment of prewar sort of has a ghostly presence. when the single party built up by quezon split in 1946, the old pre-1935 alignments basically defined the party bailiwicks: eg quezon province, the roxas, yulo bailiwicks formed nucleus of liberals, the osmena bailiwicks and cavite, batangas formed nucleus for nacionalistas. they started dying off in the 60s at the same time that bloc voting (you could cast a vote for a ticket instead of a candidate: you could block vote naconalista, say, and every candidate of the party gor your vote) was eliminated in 1953 which meant soon after the first celebrity candidate was elected. quezon and friends had belatedly become concerned with provincial barons atomizing the country so the nationally-elected senate in 1941 was supposed to provide two things: a foil to provincial barons in the house, and a training ground for leaders with a national perspective by being national candidates. as an antidote to celebrity and money electing senators, block voting was instituted to give parties a fighting chance. then, electing senators in batches of 8 meant that the senate was a continuing body while the house would be dissolved at every presidential election since presidents and congressmen shared the same 4 year term.”

      • Joe America says:

        Also interesting, here is the NP platform from 2009. Rather mom and apple pie it seems to me.

        Also Aquino:

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          One can see the thrust though – NP more on nation, state and small businesses, LP more on business, eradicating corruption, creating jobs. Even though there is an 80% common denominator between both NP and LP programs evidenced here. Just nuances differ.

          • Steve says:

            The question is whether those nuances are matters of consistent principle, or just the outs looking tor issues where they might be able to gain some leverage against the ins, and individuals looking for appealing motherhood statements. Typically most politicians here prefer not to lay out an ideologically coherent position, which might antagonize some. They prefer to promise all things to all people, in the vaguest possible terms. How many times have we heard declarations that they want “what’s best for the country”, without giving any idea of what they think is best for the country?

  9. bauwow says:

    I do agree with Steve that almost all of the political parties are ” an alliance of personal convenience.” Where else can you find party mates defending two different positions. Jonvic Remulla is a spokesman for Binay, while Trillanes and Cayetano are conducting senate hearings against Binay. There is no party loyalty nor party beliefs to stand up for, each member stands up for his own agenda.

    A friend of a friend who works under Villar, told me that Manny Villar is no longer interested in politics. He was really depressed when he placed third behind Erap, who was a convicted plunderer, and is now the present mayor of Manila. We must prepare and brace ourselves for a Binay presidency next year.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent points all, including the preparation. That said, I look forward to the resumption of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the 13th, when they take up some of Binay’s deeds as Vice President. “Anomalies.” It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

  10. karl garcia says:

    If this bill comes to fruition then no one is allowed to change parties,but in Remulla’s case he did not even leave, so no turncoatism there???? What is it called? Come as you are politics?

  11. payutenyo d agimas says:

    i didn’t know these parties stand for something? maybe during colonial times, when both of them want to kick the americans out of the islands so that they can do whatever they want

    so the bottom line for all of these parties is just a vehicle for them to gain power and to fatten they wallets

    if you are eyeing the presidency and you can not get the nomination for president? join the other party or form your own.. think Marcos, Ramos, Estrada?

    if you are a congressman and there is a new president with different “party”, just join the party in power..think Pacquiao and many others

    see the bottom line is power and not whether they are pro business or pro labor

    • mercedes santos says:

      How about a political party, by PAKWAN, called POWER ME UP, BRO ???? That is if he doesn’t bite the dust after Mayweather ???

    • Joe America says:

      That is perhaps generally and historically true, but there are exceptions. Senator Aquino is passionate about small business and that can be seen in his work on the subject and, if he is successful, will be expressed in pro-competition (anti-trust) legislation and other new laws. Some legislators are more diligent than others. I’m not sure what Nancy Binay is working on that is forward looking. She’s rather in an investigative mood right now, too. I find the number of investigative panels a little absurd, as if the Legislature is a second-guessing body rather than lawmaking body. They are getting very intrusive into Executive’s arena, and soon the democracy will be nothing but second-guessing indecision and waffling.

      But I ramble . . .

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        I suspect that the younger politicians will have more and more principles and programs.
        Trillanes and Cayetano more than the ones before them, Bam Aquino even more.

        Of course there can always be a backlash, especially in a Binay Presidency.
        If that happens, edgar lores will have this blog renamed Society of Horror.

        If there is to be a masa president, then better Duterte than Binay.
        He might do the dirty work of getting rid of cockroaches for us.
        He would not do it in an environmentally friendly way though.

        • Joe America says:

          Duterte would be a most interesting president, no doubt. He could raise the Philippines to rising star status or bury in under tons of Chinese bombs.

          Binay would be forever, or until the next mass uprising, probably bloody.The Chinese will just sail in, no bombs needed.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            The way he deals with Moros and Lumads in Davao – very carefully and diplomatically, consensus-building – bodes hope for him being able to deal with the Chinese diplomatically. Even with criminals he gives three warnings before the final blow.

            And where the law works he implements rule of law – he even insisted being given a speeding ticket by a surprised cop who accidentally caught him, his shortcuts may simply be those of the lawyer that he is frustrated by courts that do not do their job properly.

            Duterte is also one who calls for amendments to BBL, definitely not all-out war – or give every region a constitution and autonomy. He lives there, knows what war can mean.

    • josephivo says:

      In most (developed?) countries there is plenty interaction between their 3 main constituents, the citizens, the economy and the “state” (= executive + judiciary + legislative powers).

      1- In the Philippines the citizens live on one island. As workers they have no power, no (functioning) representative unions. As customers they are not “kings”, no consumer organizations. For the “state” they are voters that can be bought or that have to look in the other way when votes are rigged, they have to pay for their constitutional rights without getting them, e.g. safety is provided by security guards and high walls around subdivisions, it is not provided by police. Poor people just have bad luck to be born poor and they will have ill equipped children, as largest group they are of no interest for the businesses or the state because they have no money.

      2- Business lives on a “rent” oriented island, how to make a good deal, not innovation oriented. They always can have it their way, judges and legislators are just expenses, things you can buy. Citizens are reduced to voiceless consumers.

      3- The politicians, senior civil servants, judges live on their island where they entertain one another with little consideration for the citizens (just look at poverty). As rent opportunity providers they only see business as their main source of income, most of that money moving under the tables.

      Between the 3 islanders there is little traffic. The Catholic Church and INC offer some pre-war ferries, their old rusty boats more hindering than helping. Some fraternity move on pump boats, and some fiesta organizations on little pirogues. Most other vessels are just stuck in the sand to serve as platforms for politicians but they are not used to move ideas, service or goods.

      Political parties are no more than interchangeable shelters on the “state island” where politicians can hide, shelter for a storm and meet other islanders. They are not providing the necessary transport between the islands as they should, mobilizing citizens for a cause, tickling businesses to create wealth the way they see as the most effective.

  12. PinoyInEurope says:

    Steve: “Typically most politicians here prefer not to lay out an ideologically coherent position”.

    It is the same chicken and egg thing as with newspapers. If the market does not seek newspapers that give information, then you only have tabloids.

    Same thing with voters: as long as they do not really look for principles but just “der own binipits”, then you will hardly find parties that represent them.

    • Joe America says:

      oh, I need new glasses. I thought you said “look under their armpits” . . .

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        No Joe, binipits. And ip you want party, der was big party in pront of Makati City Hall wid pree pood and drinks by young meyor Binay.

        Political party wid no pood I do not like, priniciple I cannot eat.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          and ip you eat principal, den no more iskul, only iskul bukol.

          Jose Pivo always say edukasion is important, so better not eat principal.

          So better eat pood from Junjun Binay and porget about principal hindi masarap iyon.

  13. karl garcia says:

    Last week from the tabloids..

    “MANILA, Philippines–The season for political endorsements or for floating trial balloons appears to have begun.

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan was put forward as a presidential candidate in May 2016 by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago in her speech at a Maynilad event on Wednesday.

    Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as she dismissed a full-page newspaper ad urging Sen. Grace Poe and former Sen. Panfilo Lacson “to run in tandem for higher office” in 2016 as the “PR work of a team working for either camp.”

    Reacting to the ad, Poe said she was grateful for the kind words given by the retired military and police officers in the full-page ad, while Lacson said he was thankful for the endorsement.

    Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who wants to run for Vice President next year, said Lacson was very much qualified to run for President.

    As for Poe, Trillanes said she would be a “very formidable opponent” should she run for Vice President.

    “She’s very much qualified to run for any position and I believe the people’s sympathy is with her,” he said..

    Don’t count her out

    Despite her expression of support for Pangilinan, Santiago said she wasn’t discounting the possibility of her own candidacy.

    “Just because it is an option for me doesn’t mean I have to close all options. I’m just thinking aloud to the young people what kind of candidate I have in mind,” she said.

    Asked to comment on the manifesto supporting a Poe-Lacson tandem after she endorsed Pangilinan, Santiago said, “As a veteran candidate, I can dismiss it offhand as part of PR work.”

    “In practical terms, you cannot just think of any person to put together and spend money on a full-page ad. It’s too expensive to express a casual opinion,” she said.””

  14. Micha says:

    From the editor’s note :

    “The point of a recent blog here was recently missed by some, who took it as an exercise in economics when I suggested maintaining a 6.5% growth rate was good for the Philippines and would lead to cure of poverty. The message was STABILITY of the political process, not economics.”

    I regret to have missed the discussion on that blog thread Joe, lots of spring activities lately and time has become a luxury.

    I’m just wondering where the bulk of that 6.5% growth came from. Was it mainly export driven or domestic consumption?

    Sorry, I think I’m just lazy to pay attention to Philippine econometrics – or just been inured to decades of bad news on that field.

    Stability for growth, yes. Enough of the Mamasapano circus. Move over Thailand. We’re out to stop punishing ourselves.

    Or maybe not…

    The holy week flagellants still draws a crowd in Pampanga.

    • Joe America says:

      Yeah, the nation has been strapping itself for two months now and creating some very ugly welts.

      I didn’t look into the composition of GDP as I was writing to the idea that instability is the last thing the Philippines needs. It needs steady growth. Mostly it is a services based economy (RE, BPO, retail, I would imagine). Also around 30% industry and 12% agriculture.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        I would say the economists were not constructive, the consultants were in the discussion. OK we got a bit carried away but that is how we are when we start brainstorming.

  15. jameboy says:

    Manny Villar is the Danding Cojuangco of today. Has lots of money but for some reason can’t seem to win the presidency.

    Reason no. 1: No appeal or mass appeal. Like Danding, he doesn’t have the charisma of a Macoy or Erap. His bland demeanor bordering on boredom doesn’t help either. Just look at how he project himself in public and you can see how calculating, flat, bromidic, uninteresting and dry he is. He’s got all the colors (of money) but cannot avoid being seen in black and white. A corporate and not a community leader. Not bad really when you are in the business environment and not politics.

    Reason no. 2: Noynoy can say to the people, ‘kayo ang boss ko’ and be believed. Villar can say the same and be doubted because it doesn’t come as genuine. Again, listen to him speak in public and you can sense the lack of feel or stroke. In Tagalog, we call it, walang kabuhay-buhay.

    It’s hard to believe someone is on the same page with you at the same time see that someone not in the vicinity of your economic status. Regardless of the humble beginnings he had, Villar’s past has nothing to do with the present. The drama doesn’t seem to sink in with the voters. Proof? The 2010 presidential election. I can understand him losing to Noynoy but to come third after the convicted Erap is just a bummer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I too, believe that Manny Villar is a nice guy. But usually in Philippine politics nice guys don’t finish first. Had Noynoy been just a nice guy, Erap would have been the president now. We all know that.

    Villar in 2016? I don’t know about that. With masa-hugging Binay leading the pack and close behind him is another masa darling Grace Poe, I don’t know where to put Villar. Like Danding, he doesn’t have people in his party that he can, with confidence, claim to be credible presidential contenders.

    Bottom line for Villar, do a Danding, just concentrate in business and stay away from politics.

    With regard to the Nationalista party, being the party who are so used to coalescing with whatever party is in power, I guess they’ll have to do more coalescing up to the time they can find or groom somebody to become a presidential contender. I can see Alan Cayetano having the potential to really be a serious and credible candidate. I’m also not going to eliminate Bongbong Marcos, in spite of derision in some quarters. The father is not the son and however we look at it the young voters don’t have the grasp of what the martial law years was. Add to that is the short term memory of Filipinos that has anything to do with politics. Trillanes? Well, we need more ‘thrill’ from Trillanes. Right now he’s a poor man’s version of Gringo Honasan but not yet proven like Ping Pacson.

    Bottom line, keep on plodding Nationalista and good luck! 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful, wonderful analysis, jameboy. Basically, my starting point was something much like your assessment, but then I overlaid it with, yes, but HOW can NP stand the best shot at winning. If it is a bland, disjointed party, it has to manufacture some sizzle. You may be right, it is simply not going to happen in 2016. I do look at the President as a corporate exec, actually, with his cabinet members being his division heads. So I think Manny Villar could move the nation competently forward. But he has to get there.

      That’s hard when competence does not sell. Showboat or macho pizzazz does.

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