When military is undisciplined, failure follows

drill sargeant

There is always some risk when I overlay American ways on Filipino ways. For one thing, it is often okay for there to be two different ways. No problem.

But I think in the matter of military discipline, the codes are universal. So I will overlay my own American experiences on what I observed during the Mamasapano incident. If you believe I have it wrong, please correct me.

I include the Philippine police special forces as military. They may have a civilian charter, but successful operations depend on the same tools of the trade: training, equipment, good information, discipline and courage.

If we use the “SAF loss of 44” as a guide, the Philippines by all accounts is sorely lacking in military discipline. Lack of discipline led to abandonment of troops under fire. It led to jealousy among generals. It led to inter-agency sniping and excuse-making after the incident. It led to the dour, self-sorry expressions on SAF faces as they listened to their President speak. It led to protests in the streets that set enemies to laughing at this weak, divided opponent. It led to the President not immediately and clearly taking full responsibility for the mission.

Take the matter of the expressions on the faces of the special forces police during the President’s speech on the day dedicated to the fallen. Sad, angry, clearly resenting the President of their nation.

My drill sergeant at basic training would have had those dogs on their hands for push-ups in a flash. “Wipe that sorry-ass expression off your face, private! Drop and give me 10.”

He’d get in their faces, spittle flying, yelling at them with nothing held back.

“It is not your job to judge, soldier! It is your job to fight! It is your job to be strong, not a sobbing, emotional wuss! It is your job to defend the guy next to you, the guy in the street and the guy at the podium! Get it or get out of my formation!”

Delicadeza is not for the military.

My language is actually quite mild compared to what he’d actually use.

Every basic training private in the US army gets taught the discipline of “no excuses”. It is even in the officers’ code:

“Proffer no excuses. Never volunteer excuses or explain a shortcoming unless an explanation is required. The Army demands results. More damage than good is done by proffering unsought excuses. For the most part, an officer gains respect by admitting a mistake and bearing the consequences.” (Army Officer’s Guide by Keith E. Bonn)

What does discipline entail? It entails sacrifice, mostly. Sacrifice of what we consider ease for that which is necessary. Being self-sorry is the opposite of sacrifice.

A top military officer going to the tabloid press and pointing fingers or saying “it’s not our fault” is exercising the easy way. The undisciplined way. The opposite of sacrifice.

Discipline would be to shut up and keep everything within the military where it belongs. To show cracks is to show weakness. Conduct an inquiry within the PNP. Respect the findings. Move on.

Who cares if people suspect a whitewash. They don’t have to go out and die because Senator Legarda blabs State secrets across the public airwaves and generals are weeping and pointing fingers across the senatorial stage.

Trust me, China today sees the Philippines as a pushover. China sees a military that is weak, self-absorbed, undisciplined, fractured and incompetent.

The Senate placed showmanship and politics over the national well being. The Senate has no concept of military integrity.

Well, what can we expect in a culture of impunity, eh? When good of the nation is not a primary ethic, other than in words. When generals are promoted because they were classmates of the President or just put in enough years. When the worst of them sell guns to the enemy or connive with the disgruntled to hatch a coup.

My impression . . . and I’d love for someone to explain to me how I am wrong . . . my impression is that Philippine military discipline is so weak that it would be hard to expect anything but the kind of calamitous execution of the Mamasapano raid. It was similar in poor planning to the Hong Kong bus massacre, only eight times as deadly.

If the AFP is better than the SAF, I retract that harsh judgment. But what’s with General Pangilinan losing it on the national stage and denying any accountability whatsoever for the events that went down over the 10 hours during which his gunners sat on their artillery shells? I didn’t hear reasons. I heard excuses. I did not hear:

“We failed to rescue the SAF, SIR!”

Without doubt, public grief is warranted, and the anger that helps to get that beast to lie down.

The deaths were preventable.

But I think the subjects of the anger should be a lot broader than General Napenas or Chief Purisima or President Aquino. Among those included are Secretary Gazmin and Secretary Roxas for fielding such sloppy forces. Forces whose generals do not trust one another enough to conduct needed security operations. Anger should be aimed at every officer in every branch of service, including the Coast Guard (remember the murder of the Taiwan fisherman?) and police. All of them together. In it together.

ALL of them have to accept accountability for the weakness in Philippine military competence.


Because the best of them is only as as strong as the weakest.

And discipline demands that they stand together.

Fight and win as one. Or fail as one.

The military is not a political organization. Lives depend on it being better than that.

It is for the strong, the skilled, the disciplined, the dedicated, and the courageous. It is for people better than you or me, frankly. For they are not allowed the ease of judging. They must fight. The better they fight, the fewer they die.

This is past the Senate now. Past the inquiries. It is into hard lessons – the hardest – and corrective action.

Secretary Roxas and his top PNP leaders need to sit down and ask some blunt questions:

Why were we so poorly equipped and disciplined? Why did we misjudge the size of the enemy force? How can we become a real force instead of undisciplined and poorly prepared rabble?

No excuses allowed.

Secretary Gazmin and his generals need to sit down and ask equally blunt questions:

Why were we not a killing force ourselves? Why did good men die under our watch?

No excuses allowed.

If both Secretaries handle the follow-up correctly, we will never again see generals weeping in the Senate and pointing fingers across the table at one another.


258 Responses to “When military is undisciplined, failure follows”
  1. PinoyInEurope says:

    Joe, WOW! This is not to call you Joao which would be the Portuguese version of your name.

    Somebody tried to discipline the Filipinos – Ferdinand Marcos, sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan – but was himself not disciplined enough to say no to his beautiful wife and keep his hands out of government coffers, being an undisciplined Filipino himself. Inspite of his perceived Ilocano values of thrift, discipline and hard work, he was spendthrift, undisciplined also in punishing everybody who went against him and his folks and not only those who deserved it, lazy from what Primitivo Mijares wrote about him in the banned book The Conjugal Dictatorship.

    Practitioners of the Filipino Martial Art arnis, alternatively called escrima, know that discipline plus patience and perseverance (Ariel Uretas spoof sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan was close to the second and third aspects, biking teaches that) is needed to make it as effective and deadly as what Matt Damon uses in his Bourne movies – it is the version of arnis without weapons. So somewhere in native tradition, there is such a thing even though it is not spoken.

    Not just the military, the entire nation needs discipline, patience and perseverance. It also needs such a thing as loyalty and sacrifice. Recently Duterte called upon his people to respect and help a Lumad leader who was elected – even if he was against her in the beginning. That is loyalty to the community beyond political divisions, something most Filipinos lack. Values are what everything begins with. The rest follows with time. Everyone must look at the man in the mirror.

    The next thing needed is communication. Expressing oneself in a way the other understands. Listening to the other and trying to understand what he is saying. A national failing. Another topic.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      What would Pacquiao have been without his American trainer?

      What would my intellect have amounted to without no-excuses German training?

      The U.P. swimming team blossomed in one year under a Japanese guest trainer in the 1970s. After he left, they went back to their old habits, talking and eating by the pool more than actually training. Of course they returned to their old condition of being mediocre.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        SIGASIG is the Filipino word that comes to mind for what is needed to succeed. Has elements of discipline, patience and perseverance.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        The Japanese trainer also had the advanced swimming boy’s class under him.

        I was part of that class, he mercilessly forced us to go to our limits and beyond, to overcome our fear of swallowing water and drowning. He taught me a lot as well.

        In consulting they say you have to regularly force yourself to go to 120% of what you are capable of to keep growing. UP or OUT is what they say in our business. More than 120% and you risk burn-out, less and you risk stagnation which is not a good thing anywhere.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Some of the SAF men who did not go forward to help their comrades because they were afraid of the shooting – the ones Trillanes revealed – obviously did not have enough training to internalize overcoming fear. As Hagakure, the book of the Samurai says:


          Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.

    • Joe America says:

      I’d like Duterte as Secretary of Defense, actually. He cuts through the bullshit. China would never know what to expect.

      Loyalty on steroids. A kind of competitive zeal that Pacquiao used to bring to the ring, a desire to demolish. A directed anger. The kind of pride that says I’ll die before this line moves an inch. Here the pride is in graduating from PMA, and what that means to the resume. Then looking for a path to the Officer’s Club.

      I don’t doubt that there are AFP units that are very good at what they do and meet the standards I am citing. That train and train and are physically in tip-top shape. That have good equipment, know how to communicate and move as a team, and will not leave their buddies behind. But, ohmygawd, what a horrible spectacle we witnessed in the Senate.

      AFP should stop making excuses. They sickened me, honestly, as much as Napenas’ babbling excuses to the press. There is only one statement that should come from AFP about Mamasapano: “We failed to rescue the SAF, SIR!”

      Being disciplined requires an inward determination and toughness. I did not see any at all among the nation’s top generals. I saw CYA, “cover your ass”.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “Here the pride is in graduating from PMA, and what that means to the resume. Then looking for a path to the Officer’s Club.”

        The German military service system does not have a military academy. My second life after leaving Philippines began doing Grade 11-13 with children of military officers working at the German defense ministry just close to our house. My brother and me walked to school and passed by the main gate every morning – we did not even have the money to buy bikes then – and new we were late when one officer already was out the door on his way to work after saying goodbye to his wife. It was the same routine every morning, at exactly the same time so we did not have or need watches to know we were on time.

        All soldiers go through the same routine with the grunts – something Prussian rulers instituted to prevent exactly that entitled attitudes among budding officers who were usually children from the landed gentry while the non-comms where children of tenants. The harsh psychological and performance tests required of future commissioned officers were the base for assessment center tests later adapted by multinational corporations like Accenture. There is something like an academy now in Hamburg, but only for officers who have already proven their mettle and merit in years of service. No entitled PMA.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “We failed to rescue the SAF, SIR!” Sir, we failed in our mission Sir. Filipino military code dictates that everything you say must begin and end with Sir. Old PMT routine I remember.

        From political people like Roxas and Gazmin “we failed in our mission and we are now internally evaluating why so that we can do better next time from our lessons learned”.

        Public analysis shows Filipino weaknesses. But I am sure that even without this embarassing show the Chinese already KNOW how weak the Philippines is.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “Duterte as Secretary of Defense” – an excellent idea. His ruthlessness applied in a controlled and proper way – a President Mar would see to that – would straighten the back of the AFP. Nobody would dare bypass him. He would have ordered artillery for sure.

      • surfer sison says:

        Dear JoeAm, thanks for your article. It really hits the nail on its head.

        I have always been amazed what it is with sobbing in front of the cameras.
        We saw it when Mayor LIm was taken to task for his role in the Rizal Park tourist bus hostage incident.
        We saw crying on TV from Generals Espina, Napenas and Pangilinan.
        ( My househelp also sobs when she cannot explain her failures )

        Such defensive reactions from these ” leaders” begging for public compassion is such ” sorry ass” as you put it .

        Unfortunately, we Filipinos are such suckers for sob stories.

        They say to win an election you need : a good jingle and a nice sob story.

        Sad to say, too much emotionalism is a flaw in our national character.
        I do not know how this can corrected.

  2. Our institutions are just broken and we have never fully recovered from the Marcos years. Moving forward, how do we depoliticise and instill true discipline in the ranks of the police & military? Even if you appoint a professional at the top, how do you deal with those who are already entrenched in their old ways? How to you deal with every soldier from top to bottom who clearly lack a true sense of discipline.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Duterte said he would shoot every general who does not do things properly.

      OK Sir Rody, when you are in Manila and not anymore in Davao, adapt that to removing permanently from service every general and every soldier who is not disciplined.

    • Joe America says:

      I’d develop a set of field tests. Several courses laid out with various missions assigned. They would be rigorous. Individual soldiers failing to perform would be disciplined, relegated to more training, or released. Officer’s failing to perform would be disciplined, relieved of their current assignment, relegated to more training, or released.

      Personally, I’d take the PNP out of military actions and break it up into local policing units and let the AFP specialize in hunt and search ops.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        But if you have exercises, do not conduct them among Filipinos only – it would become just like a kind of baril-barilan with water pistols sometimes. Filipinos often only go for porma and lack real seriousness and ruthlessness, they tend to fool themselves – even me.

        Face them in exercises against tough allies and sparring partners – Vietnamese, Japanese, German KSK, French foreign legion, Israeli commandos and of course Yanks.

        Just like in boxing, martial arts or chess – you grow with serious good rivals that you face.

        • Joe America says:

          That complicates it, an administrative nightmare. I think the disciplines required can be honed within Filipino forces. I’d like to know who the Americans have been training, and at what skills. I’d start with a core of tough, skilled fighters and expand it. Those generals in the Senate hearing are motivated mainly to get to retirement with the biggest rank and pension possible. Where are the fighting generals? Where is the Filipino Patton? I’d know the difference, for sure, if I were Sec. Gazmin.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “That complicates it, an administrative nightmare.” Not really. It is already being done.

            Met some SAF people 15 years ago in a Munich restaurant, on training with elite policemen of the Bavarian Interior Ministry. Americans train Filipinos very regularly.

            “I’d start with a core of tough, skilled fighters and expand it.” Yep, and have this core go sparring with foreign partners. There is a regular special forces meet-up every year where Americans and others meet in the desert. Chinese also join but are partly shut out though.

            “Where are the fighting generals?” My deceased uncle Javier Carbonell was one – and one of the few AFP generals not to pass through PMA. As my father told me – he was a simple village boy on the edge of the jungle just like me, and a damn good soldier.

            Except that he stayed with his one star, being a non political general. You rarely go beyond two stars if you are non political in the Philippines. Ramos was a fighting general – he was in Korea and commanded PHILCAG Vietnam where my uncle also was.

            • Joe America says:

              I think the training between units is mainly for coordination, and not teaching rudimentary fighting skills. I’d want to focus on skills needed for jungle fighting. Every AFP soldier would be able to adjust artillery if given a compass and first orientation round. They would not be using cell phones. And as for discipline, why did it take two years and the SAF still had not gotten the radios they had requested and were authorized? If some quartermaster started giving me excuses, he’d be relegated to private and sent off to basic again.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I’d want to focus on skills needed for jungle fighting.” Something the PHILCAG veterans who served in Nam under Ramos definitely had. My uncle was a boy from the jungle and later commanded the 2ID jungle fighters division.

                Somehow Filipinos fail to learn from one another and pass skills one, it has to do with their in-group thinking and their failure to communicate properly with one another – teach/learn.

              • Joe America says:

                I disagree. I think it is a culture of politics within the officer ranks that is the problem, and Filipinos can fight with the best of them, given a level playing field, of training and equipment.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Jungle fighting is one reason I also mentioned the French foreign legion as possible sparring partners. They are the best of the best in that discipline.

                And the Vietnamese who are now also allies – they kicked the ass of both Frogs and Yankees back in the days, that deserves respect and one can learn from them.

              • Joe America says:

                My mantra is look within, and develop that skill and pride. Coordination is different. I would not want to have anyone show my men how its done. I’d want my men to show them how its done.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Yep – primarily have Filipinos train Filipinos. Where did the knowledge and experience of PHILCAG Vietnam go? These man were damn good. And then spar with allies to hone the skills one already has – boxers do that all the time.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I think it is a culture of politics within the officer ranks that is the problem,” Also. I mentioned my uncle as an example of an unpolitical, professional officer.

                But then again, he had Ramos to back him. The old PHILCAG group within AFP.

                “Filipinos can fight with the best of them, given a level playing field, of training and equipment.” Fully agree. But the training is often sorely lacking and units could learn more from one another like Scout Rangers and SAF already do from what I heard.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                ” I’d want my men to show them how its done.” Correct.

                And develop a really Filipino military doctrine suited to our temperament, not borrowed American military doctrine from US advisers that is alien to our way of doing things.

                Learn from others, but apply it within your own framework, mix and match. Not parrot without having understood like Filipinos have so often done with things American.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t know that fighting has a cultural temperament, or it would have to be explained to me what is unique about Filipino temperament, on the battlefield. I would like to know what the Americans have been teaching, and to whom. My presumption is that it has to do with communications, and how to use the technology and information that is available. I think the Philippines ought not find that “alien” in any way. If the Philippines does not have satellite or drone or other sources of information, it ought not be cut off for cultural pride.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Tools are tools. Allies are allies. The way you utilize them depends on your culture.

                Different cultures have different ways of doing things and communicating. You have to suit the doctrine to the culture. German military doctrine is very different from American doctrine, French military doctrine is again different.

                With some NATO standardization, all these countries work together perfectly though.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                As for sparring, remember my writing style when I began here?

                Sparring, not fighting, with you and others has sharpened my edge.

                You learn from confronting others, even if it is just practice, not real fight.

              • Joe America says:

                The blog is focused on discipline, which is, I believe, intensely personal. It is an individual skill, and a motivation, as josephivo points out, that is reinforced by unit discipline, which is instilled by equally intense leadership demands. So I resist trying to develop it by engaging with others. I don’t want it diluted or tainted or undermined or side-tracked.

                Discipline is an intangible tangible, because it makes no sense for an individual to believe so strongly in the need to give of himself that he would rather die than fail. Yet that is what people must do. And that is what generals must inspire.

                Something was wrong at the Senate hearings. If excuse-making is one of the cultural attributes unique to Filipino ways of fighting, I’d say the culture needs to change. I sure saw a lot of it and it ground against the “no excuses” culture that I expect you’d find in the Foreign Legion or German forces or American or Israeli. I don’t yet grasp culturally defined doctrine, other than language. Discipline is the ability, the determination, to sacrifice oneself for the unit. If generals won’t do it, their people likely won’t.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “The blog is focused on discipline, which is, I believe, intensely personal.” True. I tend to move into topics related to the specific matter or incident being discussed and appreciate that reminder.

                “I resist trying to develop it by engaging with others.” Skills, not discipline, can be developed by engaging with others in friendly competition. Writing, fighting, thinking all need some motivation to avoid the trap of complacency.

                ” If excuse-making is one of the cultural attributes unique to Filipino ways of fighting, I’d say the culture needs to change.” In that regard, it definitely needs to change, or derive from its own positive aspects.

                Kung gusto, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan is a Filipino saying after all, so the culture also has strong aspects to it that only need to be emphasized. Sigasig has aspects of discipline, patience and perserverance.

                “If generals won’t do it, their people likely won’t.” And if the ruling elite does not act in such a way that the people see them as “OUR leaders” and not as spiritual descendants of colonizers, nobody will follow them sincerely – neither generals nor soldiers.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                There are three HONEST ways to deal with the Filipino elite that for the most part cares little about its own people:

                – rebel against them and plan to have them all hanged at the Quirino grandstand, which is what we activists, at least our group, planned to do back in the days,

                – teach them to be themselves again, more Filipino, more attuned to the needs of their people, which is the evolutionary course my father decided to take,

                – leave the country that they hold hostage and wait until a new breed of leaders comes up, Cayetano, Trillanes, Duterte and Bam Aquino are hopeful signs of change,

                finally I am now here in this blog because there are enough young people like Karl Garcia, giancarloangulo and more who have a new sense of nation, and even Americans like you who have more sense of the Filipino nation than many Filipinos, even if some aspects of Filipino culture elude you and puzzle you, it is good to have an American to show us how unshaven and unkempt we look like in the mirror so that we are ashamed and change.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t really intend to make anybody ashamed, but if they think about things, that’s good.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I don’t yet grasp culturally defined doctrine, other than language.” Just to give an example I already mentioned here: all German soldiers go through the same grunt training, there are no military academies save for already proven officers.

                The cultural reason for that was that many potential officers where sons of Prussian Junker landlords, in order to remove their sense of entitlement and forge unity with their soldiers who were often sons of tenants, just like in Citibank where you have to go through all units before become a manager, not just parachute in from MBA school. So you recipes have to be adjusted to the cultural situation.

                Or the German federal system: it is to balance the necessary economies of scale with the religiously and ethnically divided German population without going to the extremes of German small statehood that rendered Germany weak, or Hitlerian centralism. So you have to look at the local situation and adjust the balance of power and communication to use the strengths and minimize the weaknesses within a given community/corporation/nation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I don’t really intend to make anybody ashamed, but if they think about things, that’s good.”

                Yep. I feel ashamed for how some Filipino military acted during this crisis. And I am proud of people like Trillanes, Mar and Espina who acted in a proper way. And I think of course.

                There are more ways than the three ways I mentioned above, these are a bit extreme. The two other ways are:

                – work quietly within the system and do what you can like Mar, Espina and my uncle,

                – work quietly within the system and constructively show its weaknesses when it is your call and your right to do so like Trillanes did to SAF as a reaction to it blaming AFP publicly.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                This is why I believe Mar may do a lot of things for the country when he is President, he only works on what is his call of duty and his right to do and talks little about it.

                He may yet be the first from an elite family to fully embody being part of the people, Noynoy partly did but not fully which is one of his failings among many successes.

                The power situation in the Philippines being what it is, reform can probably only happen from the top. Mar-Duterte might be a good tandem though, elite and people together.

  3. josephivo says:

    WOW too, this is a bull’s eye… but some excuses(?), I can’t resist.

    Isn’t discipline linked to motivation? Without motivation you can drill discipline using fear, few soldiers are motivated to die, so they have to be drilled to accept risking their lives. As motivation is more effective than fear, a substitute motivation is offered: “Save your mates” or l’esprit du corps.

    Motivation and hygiene factors (e.g. job security, salary, work conditions). American soldiers can feed, send their children to school, provide shelter… on a soldier’s salary, their Filipino colleagues can not. American soldiers have a decent uniform, decent equipment, their Filipino colleagues have to live with Taiwanese forged Kevlar helmets, jamming rifles, second hand trucks… So the 2 secretaries should take a look at the hygiene factors too.

    For the hierarchy: Walk the Talk. First believe what you are saying and to believe you have to understand not only be able to repeat. Then realize that subordinates watch your feet, not you lips. Aquino knows what he is doing, leads by example but inherited and army and police force with a corrupt culture. It will take more time and more than just a President to install discipline.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Motivation and hygiene factors” It starts with hygiene – the inversion of the broken windows theory. My consulting and project management coach – a former Hamburg roughneck who was later a German navy officer – taught me that it is best to shave before starting to work because the attitude that shaving instills makes you disciplined and ready to work. Something not easy for a former jeproks like me, but it definitely is true.

      Proper tools also motivate to work, which is why I invested on buying the Swiss keyboard and the 27 inch Samsung flatscreen that many regulars on this blog know about.

      “esprit du corps” Very important. Every great military organization has it – whether the samurai, the US marines, the German KSK, the French foreign legion and more.

      “For the hierarchy: Walk the Talk.” Which is why the speech at the wake of SAF by Colonel Pamonan of the Scout Rangers resounded the most – the speech of a soldier who also was in the field together with the SAF and spoke simple soldiers language, not politician talk.

      The stony faces of SAF when Noynoy delivered his speech was also because his language was that of a haciendero talking to his security people – phrases like “pag-aaruga namin sa inyo” sound patronizing to ordinary soldiers, they indicate the kind of caring given to children not to respected fighting men. My mother told me not to be so harsh when I told her that, maybe the haciendero Tagalog is the Tagalog Noynoy grew up with, it probably was not intended to sound that way. But that is a communication topic. Will blog on that.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        A lot of the problems the Philippines has come from the masses (most of the SAF come from the masa) not trusting the elite, believing that they will just use and sacrifice them for their own interests. It is a subliminal historical memory based on bad experiences. Leaders not sensitive to this aspect of the Philippine condition will always have the problems that Noynoy has had very recently. Communication also means reaching the other side.

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t know why my gravatar is attached to your name. Weird. I edited the comment, but hey . . .

      Motivation is indeed important. I don’t know if there is esprit de corps within the ranks or not. That is a kind of pride that is beyond the political gameplaying, developed within each military unit. It is hard to develop when the officer corps is not motivated to sacrifice and discipline. but is more interested in living well and moving up.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Esprit de corps develops from a national sense of unity still sorely lacking in the Philippines. Like josephivo (Jose Pivo would also make sense, Pivo means beer in Czech and that Belgian likes beer) mentioned in a posting the nacionalista blog, Philippine society is three islands – businessmen, politicians and common people – very badly connected to each other. Communication and coordination need one common spirit.

        • Joe America says:

          That comment of josephivo’s goes into the Society’s Hall of Brilliant Insights. I marked it for use in future blogs. I might even give him credit.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Might make sense if he writes the communication and cooperation blog I planned for Pentecost Sunday. Or I put things together and give him credit for the brilliant input.

            He enhanced my original politician/businessman/masses insight into something clearer.

    • NHerrera says:


      On the aspect of motivational factor — that is, whether or not thoughts about feeding the soldier’s family has to do with the military discipline or not, the subject of JoeAm’s blog — I did an arithmetic from some base numbers.

      The 1987 constitution requires that the military does not get more budgetary funds than education. The 2014 budget had the Department of Education and state universities and colleges getting a total of P287B, a mere P82B going to the Defense Dept and AFP combined.

      I believe we have something in the neighborhood of 150,000 men/women in the AFP. If these men get one-fourth million pesos each annually — P21k per month (a daily take equivalent only to a taxi drivers daily take), we would already need P38B, not including their needed equipment — this number to come from the military budget of P81.8B. When, we consider the General’s and other armed officers take, we indeed have a big constraint.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “a mere P82B going to the Defense Dept and AFP combined.”

        And you have around P70B promised to the Bangsamoro in the beginning, which is a discrepancy that many close to the military and the state have noted.

        That in conjunction with the risks I have written about in the Sunday blog is a bit strange and has been part of the anger that many people have felt in this political situation.

        • NHerrera says:

          Yes, there has to be a scaling of these things. We require the soldiers to die for us, but when we scale the money that goes to salary and allowance of the congressmen, senators, and Makati officials (including the alleged big-time corruption), etc, it makes one weep.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            80 billion pesos is around 1.6 billion Euro. My major project for the last three years has had a total budget of roundabout half a million Euro total. OK the salaries and expenses are higher here but still it is not much for an entire Department and an entire Army.

            No wonder some generals make all sorts of sidelines, and there are rumors of some AFP practically moonlighting as mercenaries for Moro clan heads. You don’t have to get rich but you have to have enough to get by, especially if you are risking your life. Very sad.

    • edgar lores says:

      1. If discipline is allied to motivation, what is the motivation of the military?

      2. The military is the embodiment of the warrior ideal, and the ideal is either defense or attack. But defense or attack of what?

      3. This is where the confusion begins.

      4. At it’s most basic, the warrior ideal is the defense of the hearth. The hearth is the home, the locality, the city-state, the homeland. At its most basic, the warrior ideal is the attack on any invader that would defile or conquer the hearth.

      5. But attack can not only be used to repel invaders but to expand territory.

      6. And territory can either be perimeters of land… or perimeters of action. In a word, power.

      7. In the Philippine setting, the military has been primarily used for defense of the hearth. The invaders have been three external colonizers — Spain, America, Japan — and two internal insurgencies — the Communist movement and the Moros.

      8. But the military (and the police) has been politicized. There is a degree of professionalism. Advancement through the ranks, I believe, has been largely by seniority and merit. Except where who you know counts.

      8.1. As a general, why would I honor with utmost honesty my sworn duty to serve my country when my civil masters are stealing the wealth of the country? So if I bungle a little, at least I do not do what my civil masters do. What they do is more insidious and harmful than what the insurgents do. In fact, what they do is the cause of the insurgency, is it not?

      8.2. As a soldier or policemen, why would my relatives accept the honor of my sacrifice when my superiors are bunglers? When my actions are not seen in the light of defending the hearth?

      9. In the Senate, we see the ideal of the military, the defense of the hearth, in Trillanes. We see the distortion of the ideal, aggrandizement for the seizure of power, in Honasan.

      • edgar lores says:

        9.1. Come to think of it, both were coup-plotters and power-grabbers… and both were bunglers.

        9.2. Honasan sought to overthrow, several times, a legitimate government headed by a woman who restored democracy after a dictatorial regime. He plotted to put in her place a pillar of the dictatorial regime.

        9.3. Trillanes sought to overthrow a government headed by a corrupt woman (a) who succeeded a president unceremoniously dumped for plunder; (b) who was supported by a corrupt military; and (c) who later on was accused to be a usurper.

        9.4. I do not know whether in fact Trillanes can be considered to be a true defender of the hearth. In that he was fighting primarily against the despoilment of the hearth, I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Trillanes did not want a witch to cook on the hearth.

          • edgar lores says:




            • karl garcia says:

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Philippine history of the past 50 years can be seen like a Game of Thrones:

                First came the Evil Tyrant (Marcos)
                then the Saintly Queen (Cory)
                then the Soldier King (FVR)

                followed by the one the people from the Street loved (Erap)
                thrown out by the people, replaced by the Dwarf Witch (GMA)

                after her came the somewhat dazed and troubled son of the Martyred Hero and the Saintly Queen, raised into Kingship by a people tired of the rulers that came before him. Who will be the next ruler in this Filipino Game of Thrones, that is the question now:

                The Gentle Lord (Mar)
                The Greedy Frog (Binay)
                The Ruthless Mayor (Duterte)
                The Scheming Witch (Poe)
                The Street Tough (Erap)

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                This in a time of crisis for the Kingdom, with the Yellow Race slowly invading its islands, and a difficult peace with the warlike Black-Hatted Men of the South in the making.

                44 brave and noble warriors of a group once formed by Soldier King died in a battle that also killed 23 men and women of the South, helped by some long-nosed and tall Men of the West but not helped by some of their fellow warriors. Many blame the Troubled King.

                The Troubled King is an earnest man, something difficult to be in the Kingdom of Deceit.

      • josephivo says:

        As I said, don’t make it too difficult for soldiers, not the individual action or the overall objectives are important. Keep it simple, just protect your mates, protect the fame of our platoon, and we are fine men so we only fight bastards, so the others must be bastards. Sacrifice is for the close group, not for far ideals. (just finished a book on life in the trenches during WW1)

        The one at the top has most likely political objectives.

        • edgar lores says:

          I agree the levels of motivation are different.

          1. For the men at the top, the military component, their motivation must be the warrior ideal. They must adhere to the defense of the hearth.

          2. For the men at the top, the civilian component, their motivations are “political”. However, the Commander-in-Chief is sworn to uphold the Constitution. So the warrior ideal is part of his motivation and his commitment. The “political” motivation is to progress, to advance the homeland.

          3. For the rank and file, their motivation is primarily to have a job. There would be peripheral motivations such as (a) to make good use of their skills, which is mainly brute force; (b) to attract women; (c) to be able to lord it over civilians; (d) to see the world; (e) etc.

          Nevertheless, the top brass must imbue the warrior ideal in the rank-and-file.

  4. karl garcia says:

    One thing I liked during Marcos time is that it enough to retire As a Colonel, now it is Star Wars,not enough to have one star,you should have three. If they want stars they should check in a five star hotel.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      But if you play Game of the Generals, a Spy can always beat a Five-Star General, but can be killed by a Private so it all comes around in the end.

    • Joe America says:

      Catapang, four stars and retire at age 56. Mandatory. Everybody moves up, the natural sucking sound of aspiration. I don’t know how it is here, but in the US, sergeants do the tough work. Bosses, but on the battlefield.

      • karl garcia says:

        I Do not know and I refuse to know the transactional relationship of the Generals and the Commision on Appointments. What I know what you earn upon retirement you get as pension.Even if my dad retired a general, that seems not fair to other pensioners.
        Sergeants are also bosses in the field, but drivers,body guards,and houseboys out of it.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          I know a person in DFA who always got promoted quickly because that person knew the right people in Congress and always found a way to get sent home for official use also in order to lobby when the name was up on COA. You do what is needed sometimes…

        • Joe America says:

          I feel another blog coming on . . . something about combat pay being P240 per month . . .

          • PinoyInEurope says:


            The price of 1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes in Manila is Php59

            The price of Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) in Manila is Php225

            The price of Visit to private Doctor (30 minutes) in Manila is Php652

            The price of 4 rolls of toilet paper in Manila is Php77 😦

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=1983&loctype=3 – monthly salaries:

              Cleaning and Housekeeping 6,000 PHP

              Law Enforcement / Security / Fire 8,000 PHP

              Teaching / Education 20,400 PHP

              Customer Service and Call Center 39,611 PHP

              Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 71,110 PHP

              • Joe America says:

                Domestic help in the provinces: 3,000. A LOT of the lower-middle to middle-income families in my town are funded by seamen. I want to do some research about Filipinos at sea, because there are a LOT of them, and I don’t know if they are a different category than OFW’s. A pilot can make P250,000 per month. Chief Purisima made P107,000 per month. Tax Lady Henares makes about P118,000 per month, as I recall.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Same thing with the different sergeant ranks in Germany. OK the commissioned officers are higher and have to have some kind of college education to qualify plus hard tests that were the basis for corporate assessment centers, but they respect the good non-comms.

        Since they pass through the same training, no feudal stuff there anymore, OK in Valkyrie you can see how Colonel Stauffenberg as played by Tom Cruise had his aide to prepare things for him drive him and everything, but they were never houseboys or such and in modern Germany you don’t have that extreme kind of subservience anymore, just duty. The father of one of my university classmates was Hauptfeldwebel (master sergeant) in the Luftwaffe (air force) with years of duty in the NATO HQ, basically a middle manager giving technical inputs to his higher-ups in upper management, mainly German, French and American commissioned officers also in NATO HQ. Retired with very good benefits.

        • karl garcia says:

          Not to belittle the enlisted men, but it is what it is, there has to be less of star complex combined with star syndrome entitlement that extends to the wives and the children of the generals,even if I am generalizing that is what I saw.Less generals less feeling entitled families.We need the soldiers in the field,but unfortunately no planes for air force and no ships for the navy,so it is either desk job or domestic jobs,or guard jobs.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Then priorities must definitely be set – build from the bottom up, do what is necessary first then what is possible, go up the helix, step by step. First thing is to set national priorities. DepEd has three times the budget of Defense + AFP, and the latter budget is equivalent only more or less to the entire IT budget of a typical large defense corporation in Europe, that is really very little even with Philippine salaries, much less to buy good stuff.

            And then the Defense+AFP budget equal only more or less to what Bangsamoro will get in the first year, those bazaar people down South negotiated really well, give them less while they are still a potential danger and invest more on defense. Philippines is not that rich!

        • Joe America says:

          Higher military positions in the US are also political with envy and competition among generals/admirals. But because of the size of forces, it does not politicize all the way down to the combat positions. Master sergeants are grizzled veterans, respected, and second lieutenants are the subjects of a great many jokes.

  5. karl garcia says:

    Pie you keep in callng me young. I am just seven years younger. AM 43 . Thanks any way.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Ah, just one year younger than my spin doctor brother who will never call me kuya. 🙂

      Age differences are less important with time, but you are right I have to watch out not to be too dominant which is my nature. But I respect people more who stand up to me hehe

      • karl garcia says:

        Just clean your ears so no longer domi nan tenga.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          That won’t help too much, I am partly deaf on the left ear. I just have to turn my right ear, or make sure you are sitting on my right side.

          And I still have to learn to listen properly and read properly and think properly before writing or speaking, an ongoing process but everything is. Communication is a very important skill, I am good in one direction but not yet so good in the other direction.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            My business partner and former boss told me, it is obvious that you are partly deaf because you often talk too loud and sometimes don’t listen. Modern hearing aid which is hardly visible is one of the next things on my agenda. Too much disco when I was young.

            • Joe America says:

              “Too much disco . . .” ahahahaha I blame mine on having been in the artillery and standing next to cannons without ear muffs. My aversion to doing dishes comes from having had to scrub the cannons after firing . . . and I never shine my shoes . . .

          • karl garcia says:

            Sorry to hear that. ….read that.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              No problem.. there are much worse things than that. Successfully fought of a special kind of pituitary gland tumor in the past 10 years that impaired my vision on the left hand side and caused my hormone levels especially testosterone to sink below even that of a 90-year old – one reason why my live-in relationship broke up. But the heavy meds that I had to take were almost worse than the disease, Cabergolin a med that the FDA has prohibited because of its side effects but good for me still permitted in Euroope, I did not want to go through the alternative which is surgery where you risk real impairment.

              Side effects of Cabergolin can be gambling, excessive risk-taking, hypersexuality, finally put on the patient information leaflet after long debates in the German parliament, all that nearly destroyed my business and my life, doctors now have to monitor patients closely I was one of the first to take it in a dosage that is now prohibited. The stuff is chemically closely related to shabu/meth somebody who knows told me and affects the same dopamine receptors in the brain. Now I am on a normal dose, regularly monitored and at some point I am going to go down to a maintenance dose. Seven years ago I was really Breaking Bad or breaking crazy but I got back to normal with my natural fighting spirit.

              I won’t take the thing to court though like some who lost all their money to gambling or gold-diggers or got beaten up somewhere have done. I managed to manage all those factors on time and learned a lot for life, the whole thing made me 100 times stronger.

              Locked my cash reserves up on time deposit when I noticed I gambled too much, recruited some crazy fellows against pimps when some gold-diggers tried to get me into really bad extortion traps, then found political and practical ways to get the crazy guys off my back.

              A helix against a vicious cycle is what sonny would have called it – a long story to tell, parts of it you have seen here, I am still smoking heavily having come out of so much in my life, but even that I will overcome. There is a woman who hopes I will stop smoking very soon.

              • karl garcia says:

                I feel for you. AM just hear to listen man.Got my own problems,but chicken feed as compared to what you just shared. Count your blessings instead of sheep for a good night sleep.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks. My Rising from Victimhood blog is a message to fellow Filipinos based on my experience, but without any of it included. It is to show them that it can be done.

                It is also Giving Forward like Oprah Winfrey once suggested. I had people who helped me and I helped them as well, also former victims who rose or are rising out of victimhood.

                I cannot thank them yet here in person as some of them are not yet fully out, the forces that controlled their lives as trafficked women still can get back at them.

                One East German is now happily married and has Federal Cops among her husbands friends, another is a Ukrainian escort turned top manager, one is a dark Bulgarian beauty turned top manager and rid of her former pimps. All gave hints and I gave hints, carefully.

                The rest I will not even mention anything as a good profiler could find them. They are still in their respective helix and it is up to them to find the way up and out. Hindi ko na sila matulungan. Natulungan na nila ako sa kaya nila. Hindi ko rin sila nais idamay.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I can count my blessings as well. Public health system that made my med affordable, similar meds for someone in Ecuador cost a fortune from what i have been told.

                Social services that got me out of my joblessness. Efficient police that made my chess games against pimps and violent people possible. Like one of them warned me you would have been dead if we had been in your home country I said fortunately we are not.

                Did not need to rat on anybody to do what I did. All I know anyway are hints not evidence, and ratting always brings you into more trouble. Like you wrote above Karl there are some things you do not want to know deeper, in fact like an insider and friend in the underworld taught me during my difficult times – do not try to know too much, too much knowledge will just give you headaches. Now I am out and secured, moving on into a normal life again. With no crimes committed, no illegal matters known except as hints, I am on the safe side.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I gave a major contact person who was playing both sides for survival the message about my life and peace insurance – observations and hints collated and placed in the cloud with my people abroad they will never find that have the password, not enough to go to the police with but enough to stir things up and make it really hard for their businesses if something happens to me so better pray for my well-being and leave me alone – they do because any hint of illegal actions is bad for their legal businesses in a well-ordered place.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Luckily I only had to do with relatively small fry or characters on the way out…
                Gentrification has changed many things, anti-corruption and crime drives as well.

                Would have been lunch for the really big groups that target really top people.
                But even they have fought back no matter what the scandal to themselves.

                In the end I am still here many of these people are on the way down or out.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And those who continue doing bad things fortunately get caught after a while because of their own stupidity. Those that stop on time and pass the statute of limitations no problem.

                In this case, I am just happy to be OK, the rest will get their karma one way or the other.

              • i7sharp says:


                I read just now a bit of your vicissitudes in life. Will remember you in prayers.

                “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer …”

          • sonny says:

            🙂 🙂 😦

        • sonny says:

          “… domi nan tenga …” hindi na made in china ang keyboard mo, Karl. Onli in da pilipins, ang sabi ni PiE!

          • karl garcia says:

            I retract the testimony of domi nan tenga and amend it back to dominant. PiE be careful of the dominatrix when going to the red light district.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Tapos na iyang kabanata sa buhay ko, gambling and red light district. New hotels for business people are pushing out the rest of that area around the main station anyway.

              Attended the wedding of a former East German dominatrix last year, a real friend, kapwa kong naligaw ng landas at nakalabas. Her husband is an ambulance man and member of the Federal Police biker club kaya wala ng makakagalaw sa kanya ngayon, her father was a soldier of the East German National People’s Army who personally killed the Russian soldier that raped her when she was only 15. She comes from the area Joe’s ancestors came from, her entire village said nothing when the Russians looked for the murderer.

              When I met her bartender na lang siya doon sa isang medyo alanganin na lugar, naramdaman niyang hindi ako katulad ng ibang nagpupunta doon kaya tumulong siya.

              Shut her out for a while dahil niloko niya rin ako, gawa ng inutil niyang asawa noon. Contacted me on Facebook after finally getting read of her sponger live-in boyfriend.

              Life can teach hard lessons anytime and anywhere. The thing is to learn from them. Amazing things one can learn and apply. Amazing stories to tell. Fortunately here in Europe such stories do not damage you. In the States it would be very different.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Her father is dead now so I can write this, murder is the only crime without statute of limitations in Germany. Living near the old East-West border in direction of Hannover, her father was a border guard. They had to execute those who tried to pass the border.

                Behind them where Russians ready to shoot them in case the did not aim properly, their Makarov pistols always ready for that Russian classic, a shot into the back of the head.

                That is real oppression folks, not the VFA or Jeffrey Laude or the War Against Terror.

  6. Socorro Quintos Hipolito says:

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”The Society of Honor by Joe America” Date:Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 15:03 Subject:[New post] When military is undisciplined, failure follows

    Joe America posted: ” There is always some risk when I overlay American ways on Filipino ways. For one thing, it is often okay for there to be two different ways. No problem. But I think in the matter of military discipline, the codes are universal. So I will overlay my”

  7. karl garcia says:

    Agree so much. Since there is the same amount of pensioners and they also get from GAA , why not slice their pension and give to lower ranked personnel. REDUCE number of Generals from 69 FRom the time if Marcos,Now it is almost 200. The star complex has to stop.

    • sonny says:

      “… star complex …” luv the expression, Karl.

      • karl garcia says:

        During your dad’s time Sonny, those were the times of Military Professionalism.

        • sonny says:

          How true, how true, Karl. 🙂 Every time I visited him sa Camp Murphy, proud na proud ako na anak ng kahit Captain (my dad). The times ng pass-in-review sa campo, tindig-balahibo and pakiramdam ko! I’m sure your dad can give you some similar stories, more pa, PMA siya!

          • karl garcia says:

            I grew up sa Camp Aguinaldo 🙂

            • sonny says:

              Rode my bike from the chapel (katapat ng water tower) to the EDSA gate on weekends or went swimming at 25-meter camp swimming pool also on some Saturdays. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                If you left a few years later you could have seen me getting lost in the golf course,with the golfers yelling at me to get out because I had no idea what “fore” meant.

    • sonny says:

      Sorry, NH. nawala ‘yong chain kay Karl.

    • karl garcia says:

      NHerrera my keyboard failed me…..sorry wrong spelling of last name.

  8. This might be what we need, but it isn’t what we’ll get. I’m a hundred percent positive on that. The Philippines will never have a lethal army in my lifetime nor will it have the kind of governing body that isn’t full of incompetent (putting it mildly) politicians.

    Is this line of thought depressing? Yes.

    Is it wrong? I dare anyone to prove it so…

    If I should be proven wrong though (which I highly doubt), I would be the happiest of fools because that would mean my daughter will live in a better country than now…

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      For a start, just as suggestions:

      1. Vote the best politicians you can get, or the lesser evils. There are a few better ones out there now, not perfect but better than much of what you had before.

      2. Try to convince people in your personal groups to do the same.

      3. If you think there are no good politicians, organize citizen groups as real political parties to field your own candidates. Start local, then move further.

      4. If you think there are no good media, organize your own citizen media – blogs etc. to research topics and voice out your opinion. It is not so expensive anymore

      5. If you think that voting is rigged, then organize watchdog citizen groups like NAMFREL during the final Marcos days to check matters.

      Love it, change it or leave it is what they say in the corporate world. No excuses either.

      Collectively this is your future in the Philippines. Those of us abroad can hardly help you.

    • Joe America says:

      The politicians are incompetent at putting the nation over personal interests. They are skilled at what they do, which is why they keep getting re-elected. There are a few who are different, Bam Aquino being the best of them as far as I can tell. The issue is, can he and those like him change the system, or will the system change them?

      The Philippines is not a bad country, actually. It is a young democracy, rather like an orphan who has to overcome some of life’s early penalties. Given enough attention, she will grow up fine and be richer for the history.

      Or elect Binay and go into the dumps to emerge as a province of China.

  9. payutenyo d agimas says:

    did you consider the length of time the Army have been doing insurgency work already?

    I am not defending the AFP/PNP but I think it take toll on the troops to not see the light at the end of the tunnel

    I had a Marine neighbor in Makati before I left for the USA and he said that one time, they conducted an operation to flash out the Abu Sayyaf. they did marched one meter interval or as near as practicable. when they are near their objective, suddenly they were ordered to return to base

    you see someone high above is pulling some strings and this demoralizes the troops.

    I blame it on the political leadership they are not decisive. for sure a fresh 2nd lt from PMA or OCS is raring to fight to prove his mettle but after sometime if they see that nothing changes, they will lose the initiative then discipline breakdowns

    the political leadership should lead the way. they should set a timetable to resolve these insurgency whether thru peacetalks or bloodshed.

    we all know that generals earn their stars thru war but it cant not go on like this

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      In retrospect, it really would have been better for the President to be a the airport. Now we all know that he knew about the operation, had approved it and was responsible for it. Being there would have been a symbolic honor for the men that sacrificed their lives.

      He made up fully in my eyes with the speech in front of PNPA that asked for understanding, hopefully healing the misunderstandings that happened and shook the entire nation.

      The troops should not be made to feel like they are only badly paid mercenaries for the interests of an uncaring elite. This along with the not yet inclusive enough growth of the Philippine economy are the basic challenges the leadership faces. Here it must step up.

      The social divisions and suspicions in the Philippines are still too large to be careless with these sensitive issues, because they can easily be misused by populists like Binay who do not have the interests of the people in mind, but know how to communicate with them better.

      For those like Joe who come from a nation united in spirit, this is not easy to understand.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        And then you give the former enemy very much autonomy and initial money nearing the size of the yearly defense budget – which soldier who fought for years and decades would not feel betrayed by his government? Before you can expect sacrifice out of which discipline comes, you must create trust among your own people first and out of that trust real national unity can grow. That is a tough job for the leadership and not to be envied.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, it is. The existence of national pride but the absence of the acts that say it has depth, when the rubber hits the road.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          A lot of Filipinos say Philippines, but when it comes to acting, they mean only their own island. And don’t care about other islands. Not literally but in josephivos metaphor.

    • Joe America says:

      It must indeed be discouraging to know that the military leadership is playing political games, whilst asking you to go into the killing fields. Perhaps we can understand the motivation of the 120 SAF who lingered rather than fought . . . thanks for the insight into that . . .

  10. karl garcia says:

    Just found documentary evidence zo my comment on pension.



    MANILA, Philippines?A crisis involving the pension fund of military and police personnel is looming, with the government facing the prospect of forking out more money for the retirement benefits of soldiers and policemen than for the salaries of their comrades in active service.

    Under Malacañang?s proposed national budget for 2011, P100.597 billion is allocated for the salaries of the 250,000 to 300,000 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

    A total of P53 billion is set aside for the pension of retired military and police personnel, or one-fifth of the projected budget deficit next year.

    There are roughly 120,000 retirees in the AFP and 50,000 in the PNP.

    Sen. Ralph Recto, chair of the ways and means committee, said the P53-billion pension allocation for the military and police personnel was glaring when compared with the P22 billion in annual benefits given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). More than 1 million government employees are members of the GSIS.

    At this rate, Recto said the government would be paying more for retired soldiers and police personnel by 2019 than those in active duty.

    ?The government has to address the problem before it explodes in our faces and we end up spending more for the retirees than those in active service,? he said in an interview.

    At a Senate hearing last week, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. raised the possibility that the government would be spending more for the pension of retired soldiers and police personnel than the salaries of those still in uniform.

    ?That is an area of concern not only for the uniformed personnel of the PNP and the AFP, but also for the judiciary because these institutions do not contribute to the pension fund like GSIS. (The benefits) to members are coming out of the appropriations,? Abad said.

    Retirement age

    Another factor contributing to the pension problem was the retirement age of soldiers and policemen, Recto said.

    Soldiers and policemen retire at 56 years old, lower than the norm of 60 to 65 years old, thus giving them a longer period for enjoying benefits.

    The national government has to shoulder the pension of soldiers and police personnel because they have no retirement system.

    The military was supposed to have its own self-sustaining pension fund through the AFP-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS), which was formed in 1973. The agency was shuttered four years ago when it went bankrupt due to gross mismanagement by generals on its board.

    The police have been getting their pension from the National Treasury since the PNP was spun off from the defunct Philippine Constabulary in 1991.

    Recto said the collapse of the AFP-RSBS was the main reason the government was spending heavily for the military and police pension fund.

    Pampered lot

    Recto and Abad noted that compared with other government workers, soldiers and police personnel were a pampered lot. Besides the early retirement age, they get monthly pension equal to those received by counterparts in active service.

    For example, a general who retired 15 years ago would be getting the same amount due a four-star general in active service, according to Recto. In addition, soldiers and policemen retire at the next higher rank, he said.

    Moreover, their pension increases by P5,000 when they reach 65 and 70 years of age aside from the total disability benefits amounting to P1,700.

    ?We have to look at all these factors and assess the viability of the military and police pension fund system because the government cannot sustain this for long. We must have a self-sustaining pension fund in place,? Recto said.

    Abad said the Department of Budget and Management would conduct a study of the military and police pension fund system and recommend how to make it more sustainable without being a huge burden on the government.””

  11. Mccoy says:

    Hit the nail in the head Joe. 🙂

    I’ve been reading this blog for some months now, but this is my first time to comment. I’m a bit intimidated i guess, i’m not that articulate. hehe

    Anyway, i believe that this is one of the reason that the MILF is confident that if it ever comes to a test of arms, even if they won’t win, our government also will not. Add to it that some of our politicians loves to play “General kuno” interfering with military operations in which they have no business with and that the military/police officers are more concerned of covering your ass than protecting and supporting their men on the field.This is why Mr. Iqbal is confident when they declared that if the BBL is watered down, they will go to war.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, thanks, Mac. I hadn’t read your comment before writing to surfer sison that the politicians play war games, and you characterize that well. It’s like the legislators are teens with a set of plastic soldiers to move around.

      I’m glad you commented. It’s like swimming. Once you get the hang of it, its rather fun.

      • Mccoy says:

        Thanks Joe 🙂

        Love to play those plastic soldiers when i was kid, making me dream that time of becoming a military officer when i grow up. I even undergo PMT training for officers and became a brigade/corps cmdr in highschool. But it didn’t go well after that, i was so full of idealistic zeal that time that i wen’t head on against our Tac-o’s regarding their corruption in the middle of that year. I was demoted to battalion cmdr and they place a guy that won’t cradle the boat.

        That experience made me realized that if we are that corrupt and undisciplined even on the basic level, if i pursue my dream, i would be out of the service on my first week.Hahaha

        • Joe America says:

          🙂 Good that you made the discovery early. I watch my young son playing with his cowboys and Indians and soldiers, tanks and planes and recognize that there is warrior in all of us. You’d think by now we’d learn to do it a little more precisely.

  12. karl garcia says:

    Sorry to bring this up but hello Garci is prone to be repeated. 2016.
    With the discusions that we feel that they are not getting enough,but with Recto saying they are pampered due to reasons given above.Something has to give.


  13. karl garcia says:


    Even in the US there ud a probem of too many generals

    • Joe America says:

      “Star creep”. I wonder how much technology has added to the officer/enlisted ratio. Technical positions often demand officer status, as troops are replaced with drones. I don’t doubt that politics is also a part of it, but there also may be legitimate reasons why the ratio is different in a technology-heavy force.

      • josephivo says:

        “Star creep” is the cheap solution. In research long ago people had the choice between a salary increase and a higher tittle on their business cards, more then 80% preferred the higher title. Motivate people by giving them something, if you don’t have the money, give them tittles.

        • Joe America says:

          Hey, I worked for a US bank. Banking is where the idea was invented . . . I don’t want to say my titles were cheap . . . but they were pretty cheap . . .

  14. karl garcia says:


    Allow me to share an article by Mlq3 about an email of my dad.

    • karl garcia says:

      not abolishing military only the ceremonial hand salute of the president

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, my, your father understands the difference between dignity for show, or enforced obedience . . . and the dignity of dignity. I laughed at the idea of FVR standing forever frozen waiting for President Cory Aquino’s salute. I think maybe she should have pointed at him and winked mischievously.

    • i7sharp says:

      Thanks, Karl

      You must be rightfully proud of your dad.

      Yesterday I came upon this (after googling for “military and Christianity”):

      Click to access may_a_christian.pdf

      The Philippines being said to be up to 93% Christian, …

      As I started to consider the matter of being a soldier and a Christian at the same time, I recalled immediately those men of the past who were soldiers and yet were men of God: Abraham, who fought the four kings; Joshua, who served the Lord; David, who killed Goliath and then led his armies in war and who then received from God one of the greatest promises ever given to man; and those who in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews are described as having through faith in God subdued kingdoms, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens. In our own national history all know that George Washington and Robert E. Lee were simple Christians, and yet among the great soldiers of history.

      Another thing that I realized was that David, soldier that he was, yet would not kill his worst enemy, Saul, when he had him at a disadvantage and helpless. It is quoted of Lee that he said that never did he pass a day without praying for the Union soldiers.

      Any thoughts?


      • Karl Garcia says:

        Yes I am proud of my dad. For the rest of your research, I respect it, I just hope you would lessen the cornering of someone with your questions and serendipity. I can accomodate, but I don’t know with the rest. Indeed many soldiered for God.Philistines were brutal. The Babylonians, The Persians all brutal. Abraham had Isaac and Ismael one continued the line of the Jews and the other Islam.The Roman empire came and persecuted the early Christians who were mostly Jewish converts. Then came the crusades were Saladdin was fought by Richard the lionheart…. fast forward to shiites vs sunni to GWT..just fill in the blanks of the things I missed.

        • i7sharp says:

          karl to i7sharp

          “… I just hope you would lessen the cornering of someone with your questions and serendipity.”

          You comment, which I respect, is interesting to say the least.

          Is Joe the “someone” you are referring to?
          In any case, if and when you feel like it, please give me an idea of what rubbed you the wrong way?


          • karl garcia says:

            I Might be wrong,but do you have any other interpretation of the word “pestering”?Check a few blogs back.

            • i7sharp says:


              Much as I want to read all the postings, I can read only a few and often at random.
              I do recall Joe complaining that I was pestering him.
              If Joe felt that way I could not help it. He claimed that someone (Lumbaugh) distorts the truth.
              From my viewpoint it was actually Joe who was guilty of it. That’s MY viewpoint

    • Joe America says:

      From 86 to 172 is indeed star inflation. Logic is lost, isn’t it? Sense is gone. The power of the powerful, the granting of five-pointed favors for allegiance.

  15. Bing Garcia says:


    • Joe America says:

      Hi Bing. I read your every comment here and there, and . . . well, you have been officially appointed a Society Hero . . . congratulations! 🙂

      • Bert says:

        I second the motion.

        • bauwow says:

          Congrats Bing! Thank you for standing up for what is right.

          Uncle Joe, were you ever a coach before? “Fight and win as one. Or fail as one.”
          Brad Stevens can hire you, so Boston can enter the playoffs this year.

          • Joe America says:

            Never coached, but played team sports. Also, the US Army does do a good job of instilling discipline and sacrifice, for the team. It’s the best way to stay alive.

      • karl garcia says:

        Yes Bing, If this is about Parekoy I commend you, if not I still commend you ,because others must have a reason for doing so.

        • Joe America says:

          Parekoy is a piece of work. If you want to see a divider at work, watch him.

          • karl garcia says:

            That is what I do, just watch him rant. I have asked him about colonialists when he called Andrew Lim a colonialist then backtracing afterwards. Then I saw his rant declaring that you don’t mind his lambing (terms of endearment). Like you I rather leave him be, let him yap all he wants.Bing will continue the mission.

            • Joe America says:

              I’m particularly appreciative of the CPMers who do not bow to his threats and come here to engage in discussion. I tried to take him on at first, but was advised behind the scene by a well-respected CPMer who said, basically, “Don’t reduce yourself to his level. You have a great deal of respect among CPMers, and people there are intelligent enough to see where the problem is.” So I put Parekoy in the c-drawer where he remains irrelevant to anything important. The bad thing, though, is that he is not helping Raissa’s blog by continuing to throw dirt.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                You have our respect Joe. Ok I won’t engage but I left him a note just a few minutes ago. I will do a hit and run.

              • karl garcia says:

                You have a long note from Parekoy at Raissa’s.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                hehe, this will be much fun…

              • karl garcia says:

                It is obvious that he reads JoeAm’s blog.Mary’s comments were mentioned.

              • Joe America says:

                He is obsessive. He visits to hunt for material he can use out of context to erode credibility of the blog and all who participate here, including you. 🙂 Or else he will try to cleave JoeAm’s readers apart, spinning his honey for those he wants to attract, and his venom for those he perceives have crossed him (like Yvonne, for publishing a blog here). He even took that as a personal slight to him . . . so if you see enough of this, you start to nod whenever Bing posts another observation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                He has not yet answered my comment to him. In fact he was very careful in his choice of words to me, knowing what category he is dealing with.

                My main message to him is just this answer to his comment about you Joe, which I did not directly answer because who I am to judge people’s motiviations which only they themselves know if at all:

                the trap of becoming an attention whore, a KSP, a preacher is inherent in blogging and commenting. Mag-ingat tayong lahat sa ganyan.

                Bato-bato sa langit, matamaan huwag magalit. Or as our elementary teachers told us: don’t point at anybody, because you have three fingers that point back at you.

                Which is why I resist calling anyone anything if I can help it. And for me credibility is in what arguments a person offers. Sometimes I write total BS, sometimes good insights. People who are mature enough to really think know. The good thing is that I don’t care.

              • Joe America says:

                What I observe from watching Parekoy and Binay’s spokespeople, and the Binays themselves, is how easy it is to create truths by saying them, even though they are not true, or are half the truth. A lie has both a speaker and an audience, and the audience has an empty space into which the untruths move, unopposed, or even welcomed if they confirm a suspicion or need. I did not leave GRP with my tail between my legs, I got thrown out for not bowing to the bludgeoning that goes on there when one dares to disagree. So one wonders what motivates Parekoy to tell it the other way. To fill up someone’s empty space with the idea that I am an intellectual coward? Is he threatened by JoeAm, that he has to assassinate his character, make up stories, so that others will join him in his dislike? All that is left to me is to have confidence that intelligent people will form a truth on inputs other than what Parekoy feeds them, because it is futile to discuss it with such a poisoned soul.

                The question of what motivates someone is not always simple, for it is a matter of personal experience and physical, intellectual or emotional needs. We can make up nasty interpretations for anyone, for instance that you are a pontificating blowhard, or I am a needy publicity hound who can’t function in ordinary Filipinos society. That is such a nasty business, to find the interpretation that demeans, rather to recognize the richer truth, that you are wonderfully expressive, putting more insight into a paragraph than most people can deliver in a week’s worth of writing, and that my role as quiet watchman generates the visions that I cast as words that make the meanings that people seem to appreciate. Why the nasty interpretation, always, from Parekoy? And why is it necessary to whip spite on people like Yvonne, or Mary Grace, or Bing, when all they do is seek to express themselves for decency, or for the betterment of the Philippines, on a blog site that reaches key opinion makers in the Philippines.

                This is a threat to Parekoy, the hyper-nationalist? We can only be nationalists if we are of Filipino blood and associate with people that Parekoy approves of?

                Ach. Thanks to Bing for speaking straight, for not doing a Poe, for calling the self-appointed king very, very naked.

              • karl garcia says:

                Been commenting for a longtime. lost my cool many times,shouted invectives a few times. Outed a couple… outed RHiro, outed benigno(co outed if there is such a word). I have blundered,learned,commit mistakes, learn again,modified kaizen if you will. I commend YOU PiE for keeping composure, it is hard to do. Stay cool.Parekoy, let Bing psycho analyze him.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Ach.” Your German blood coming out? I like that word when Arab or Turkish immigrants in Germany pronounce it with a guttural Oriental accent – the world is morphing strangely.

                “Thanks to Bing for speaking straight, for not doing a Poe, for calling the self-appointed king very, very naked.” He knows the background stories I do not know.

                I for my part do not judge anyone, not even Parekoy, without knowing. Like some Native Americans liked to say, do not judge a man without walking in his moccassins first.

                “This is a threat to Parekoy, the hyper-nationalist?” My father was like that too before. Now he is an avid fan of this blog and shares it on FB, as Noynoy supporter and BBL detractor.

                In any case, I may have given him something to think about – isang palaisipan. The Pinoy way of doing things lets people save face, something very important in our culture. Many of us are not yet at the stage where face is no longer important – I just wash mine then OK.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I commend YOU PiE for keeping composure, it is hard to do.” It is easy for me who has faced real danger and kept cool – sometimes not, I admit that my legs shook slightly when a Russian-German drug dealer and pimp cornered me with his Serb friends in a dive bar.

                The former East German dominatrix turned beerhouse bartender, off-duty, came in and said some things in Russian, lucky for this geek with a little martial arts experience…

                “Stay cool.Parekoy, let Bing psycho analyze him.” Hanggang salita lang naman iyan eh. Challenged hm to really do something for the Philippines, not just talk. Mentioned the idea of the Wiki and citizens groups. Kung talagang makabayan siya, huwag puro porma lang.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Si Parekoy naman, magaling talaga, kaya lang sobra ang pride hanggang sa maging fried chicken. Sa bandang huli, Kentucky Fried Chicken ng Kano ang kinakain din niya. Imbes na makipag-Jolibee sa lahat ng may magandang hangarin para sa sambayanan.

                O ngayon, hindi kita ipinahiya sa lugar na pinaghaharian mo kuno Parekoy, nagparining lang ako rito sa Cebuano Beach Bar ng isang basketball player na Kano. Pag-isipan mo.

                Kung laging suka ang ibinubuhos mo sa mga galing dito, huwag kang magtataka kung suka ang kapalit. Ako naman, binigyan lang kita ng Bikol Express na maanghang, kung kaya mo iyon kainin mo. Doon sa Journalist’s Bar ni Raissa, masarap ang Jack Daniels.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @Karl my answer to your question in Raissa’s blog about me “leaving”, here it appears faster: Easter in Germany goes until Easter Monday which is also a holiday. Tapos di naman ako mawawala, break lang. Knowing myself, I will still come in to comment.

                Too much blogging can cause tunnel vision, fresh air from time to time is good. It improves ones perspectives and allows many things to settle and organize themselves.

                I have a blog article planned for Pentecost Sunday – May 24 – about communication between Filipinos – we are not yet able to speak in tongues yet understand each other properly.

                Giving articles time to ripen in the back of ones mind improves quality. My Easter blog was planned a month before, yet I was reluctant to even start on it.

                Maybe between Easter and Pentecost, I will bring out a blog on Binay and his lies and how they can be totally debunked. Similar to the BBL blog in character. Abangan.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Kung nais mong maging Exorcist, kailangan pag-aralan mo ang mga demonyo.

                Mahirap ito kung hindi ka matatag, dahil baka madala ka nila sa kasinungalingan.

                Get thee behind me Binay, for thy ways are not of God – after 40 days in the desert.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “he will try to cleave JoeAm’s readers apart, spinning his honey for those he wants to attract, and his venom for those he perceives have crossed him (like Yvonne, for publishing a blog here).” I am presently engaging him on his turf, just like I did with you.

                In the end I am always my own man, no matter where I publish or post, here or there. Someone like me who didn’t have a home game for 30 years is used to being outside-in. Finally I will at some point decide what Joe really is, and what Parekoy really is, by myself.

                http://refspace.com/quotes/Confucius/superior-manThe Superior Man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.

                My father always told me to strive to be Confucius’s superior man, even if you will never fully reach it. And also told me to learn from enemies. The Chinese are enemies, but they did something right to get to where they are now. A final quote regarding Mamasapano:

                http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/superior_man.html The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                In the end, Parekoy and me are having a serious talk – among Bikolanos. Similar nature, but different experiences. Every dynamic that leads to mutual learning is fruitful, dynamics that do not are useless. It is getting interesting now. But leave that part to me.

  16. jameboy says:

    Let me offer another view of how I look at the topic.

    I didn’t see lack in discipline that caused the Mamasapano debacle. To say lack of discipline resulted in the loss of 44 SAF-PNP is short-cutting the responsibility aspect straight down on PNoy’s lap, the commander in chief. Lack of discipline on military or police for that matter reflects on the chief executive is a common view which I happened to disagree with.

    The Mamasapano killings was more a product of a confused and complicated plan that went awry because of unorthodox steps taken by the principal personnel involved in the operation. Having a police plan with loopholes as large as the heads of the DILG and COS of the AFP, two institutions bypassed by the Oplan Exodus, is not lack of discipline but lack of communication. And the President utilizing the service of a suspended police officer on corruption charges to implement the plan is neither lacking discipline but abuse of executive privilege.

    Pres. Aquino is on top of the AFP and in essence the PNP. Right or wrong, he bears the responsibility of what happened in Mamasapano. Apologize he must but be opted not to so we move on. He is the president now and accounting of his action, if warranted, will come later. He acknowledges by implying that history will not be kind to him for what happened and I believed him.

    The police and military personnel as well as civilians, if there is any, who had a direct hand in the operation, if found to have been at fault should be held liable. The military and police discipline needs no revisiting. However, the policy in terms of operation and communication as well as the physical or administrative cooperation between the the offices needs to be reviewed and updated.

    • Joe America says:

      jameboy, have you been in the military, or played team sports? A good coach usually accepts responsibility for losses, agreed, but we all know it is the team that plays the game. Do you really think the Philippines fielded a disciplined team on Jan 25? Or afterwards, as each member of the team was busy pointing at others? Do you really think China is not laughing as it builds its islands in Philippine territory?

      I’m sorry, but on this we are way far apart on our assessment. About as opposite as it is possible to be.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Sometimes the team simply does not get along with the coach because they are absolutely not on the same wavelength. Happens sometimes in professional soccer.

        Not fair, not professional, not disciplined but it can and does happen in reality.

        Especially if the coach is not seen as “one of the boys”. Obviously Noynoy was not able to win the respect of his military the way they were acting. Not easy for somebody like him.

        • Joe America says:

          I don’t agree with the conclusion that Noynoy does not have the respect of his military. The air force has planes, the army successes in working with Americans (Abu Sayyef), and the navy some new ships and weapons. Sec. Gazmin is totally loyal to President Aquino and would not countenance disrespect, I think. Purisima simply failed the President and the deaths were exploded across the tabloid media on a firestorm of partisan criticism. It is not a reflection of President Aquino’s work as Commander in Chief at all. The generals in the senate hearing spoke with proper respect about and for the President. I’d advise taking care not to take one game to judge the coach or the season on it.

          • jameboy says:

            It is not a reflection of President Aquino’s work as Commander in Chief at all. The generals in the senate hearing spoke with proper respect about and for the President. I’d advise taking care not to take one game to judge the coach or the season on it.
            It should not be but when we talk of the team’s discipline and cite it as suspect for failures we tend to cast doubt on the one person on top of it: the coach. When the team loses, the only impression that would be acceptable to all is the coach let the team down. That’s the impression we create when we question the team’s discipline.

            Pardon the pun but Pres. Aquino did not send men with Boy Scouts mentality in Mamasapano or the PNP-SAF did not went to Mamasapano like some U.S. secret service marshals going in Colombia to engage in some earthly activities with Colombian gals while on official duty.

            The President considered the operation so important that he even went beyond his power by activating someone who should not be playing in the first place. It was his call and he admitted it. Mistakes were committed on the ground and it happens with the best of them. It’s about faulty judgment call and no one’s immune from it.

            That is why I went along with the line where you said this, “This is past the Senate now. Past the inquiries. It is into hard lessons – the hardest – and corrective action.”

            • Joe America says:

              “The President considered the operation so important that he even went beyond his power by activating someone who should not be playing in the first place.”

              That is an example of a conclusion you have drawn that is not born out by any facts.

              • jameboy says:

                Conclusion? Joe, that is the truth. I cannot draw something as concrete and as solid a fact as that!

              • Joe America says:

                I believe the truth is more important than people’s reactions based on partial truths. The reactions are truth of themselves. But if 90 million people are wrong in their particular truth, it does not make it right. So you may hold to your moral standards and I’ll hold to mine.

      • sonny says:

        All of the above, IMO.

        success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. (from Tacitus)

      • jameboy says:

        Joe, in ordinary circumstance your analogy of the military/police as a team is true and I do agree with it. However, the Mamasapano debacle is no ordinary event that we can cite to show there is discipline problem in the military/police.

        Do I think we fielded a discipline team on Jan. 25? Oh boy, the SAF, the elite group, the crème de la crème of the PNP? Yes I absolutely believe that we did. So discipline was the team that Marwan didn’t have a chance from the get go. So discipline was the team that they followed the plan to the letter and penetrate the area of operation and took down the target. BUT, the end game of the operation, according to official report, became a nightmare for the additional back up to secure the team’s passage out of the area did not materialize. The failure of the reinforcement team to come to the rescue doomed the raiding team. The communication channel that should have brought the AFP into the picture was never a factor. In fact, it was never there. When the shooting started, the civilian component of the operation, the President and his Cabinet secretaries were not in unison in terms of how to react or what the plan B should be simply for the fact that some of them were really out the loop of what’s happening. The reaction time was seriously affected and made it impossible to resort to other options with effective impact to counter the ongoing confrontation at the moment. The team is disciplined but the civilian authority, the coach and some of his men, made the blunder of faulty communication in executing an orthodox play, a play the team never did in practice and it cost us the game.

        With regard to China seeing us as pushover, that our military is weak, etc., yes, it is true but not because of Mamasapano. The truth is, China sees everybody around her as pushover and weak that is why she keeps on bullying her way on those disputed islands in the South China Sea. She thinks nobody in the alley can stand up to her militarily. And that is the sad reality, military might will get you somewhere. It’s just that, China should be very careful in her abusive ways because nature have a way of compensating for wrongful acts that reaches too far and too rough.

        • Joe America says:

          I don’t know from where you are drawing your picture. The President authorized the plan, told Purisima and Napenas to coordinate with AFP and inform Espina, was advised the unit was in trouble, did not understand why because he had been led to believe there would be little resistance, confirmed that AFP would help with extraction, and was advised by both Purisima and the AFP generals that mechanized and artillery were being made available. He used Pursima because he was the storehouse of all information about the mission, the people, the secret arrangements with American forces, and all that had gone on before. The enlargement of the incident to pull the President into the picture was shown not to be true. Headlines lied, political opponents attacked, grief was used to enlarge the attack. This idea that he was complicit in the failure of the mission is simply not born out by testimony.

          I watched the hearings, and reported on the results here. You have painted a totally different picture that what was presented in the hearings.

          • Joe America says:

            The President is being technically faulted for using Purisma, and not himself bringing Roxas, Gazmin and Espina into the picture himself. Why should he? He was led to believe by two generals that the mission was in good order. It’s not like this was an extraordinary event. It was the ninth mission to try to get Marwan, the other 8 having failed or been aborted. The whole thing is blown out of proportion by hindsight judgment and political opposition leveraging tabloid media and an immature public.

          • jameboy says:

            The President authorized the plan, told Purisima and Napenas to coordinate with AFP and inform Espina, was ADVISED the unit was in trouble, DID NOT UNDERSTAND why because he had been LED TO BELIEVE there would be little resistance, CONFIRMED that AFP would help with extraction, and was ADVISED by both Purisima and the AFP generals that mechanized and artillery were being made available.
            See how communication, not discipline, was so faulty that led us to the debacle?

            Joe, you’re looking at the incident at an angle where the wrong steps made on our part is not visible. The discipline part is way out there on the sideline to cite it as reason for a faulty execution of a play. I beg to differ.

            He used Pursima because he was the storehouse of all information about the mission, the people, the secret arrangements with American forces, and all that had gone on before.
            Again, Joe, I have to go the other way. The defense of the logic behind the using of Purisima, which even Teddyboy Locsin tried to justify, is just unbelievable that insults one’s intelligence aside from setting up a dull precedent.

            If Purisima is really that important, which I do not believe, why did PNoy not suspend the operation instead of doing things behind us in utilizing a suspended officer on a complicated mission? Remember, Marwan and the other suspect were not transient but were permanently residing in the area. They’re not going anywhere. They’re sitting ducks there. If Purisima was so good why the sad result? If Purisima is a storehouse of information why did the operation had a poor communication?

            Also, aren’t we setting a really bad precedent where you can activate a suspended officer because he is “the storehouse of all information”? What’s next an officer convicted of a crime doing official duty because he, and no one else, is the storehouse of information? So, what’s going to happen to our legal and due process? Are we going to say goodbye to team play, which you suggest the operation was, and go to-each-his-own now? Who is going to respect a legal order or instruction if the president can ignore it at will? I’m sure no one wants that to happen.

            I’m sorry Joe, Purisima was chosen not because he is ‘the only one’, but because he is ‘the only buddy’ of the President. He has the trust and confidence of PNoy. When he sunk, he dragged the President with him.

            Purisima didn’t even have the decency to shield the President from random and malicious attack by sacrificing himself by confronting the queries about the operation. He doesn’t have the balls to say shut up to the senators by admitting everything himself as the biggest guy in uniform in the team. Instead, like a dog caught with is tail between his legs, he told them he will confer with the president about their official questions on the matter.

            Joe, I’m not mad, but as an ordinary citizen I say, to hell with Purisima! 🙂

          • jameboy says:

            The enlargement of the incident to pull the President into the picture was shown not to be true. Headlines lied, political opponents attacked, grief was used to enlarge the attack. This idea that he was complicit in the failure of the mission is simply not born out by testimony.

            I watched the hearings, and reported on the results here. You have painted a totally different picture that what was presented in the hearings.
            True or not is of no moment. We’ve seen the public reaction, we read the official Senate report which even you disagree with. We heard the President admitting his role on the incident. The impression and reality, however twisted, mixed, confused and polluted as they are is out there and no one is in control of it, Joe.

            I don’t think I painted a totally different picture of what was presented in whatever hearings or discussion there was. All I did was to give justification why there is a public outcry about the incident and I didn’t even say that I approved of it. It’s happening and we have to acknowledge that what the people are saying has some sense to it.

            A lost game is hard to swallow, I understand, but to imply that the team lack discipline means we have to focus in the coach for discipline falls within the coach’s territory. You cannot attribute discipline to the player and blame them for lack of it without dragging the would be source of such discipline who should be supplying and inculcating it to them in the first place.

            Military discipline, in our neck of the woods, is not exclusive to military. A greater part of it emanates from civilian authority.

            • Joe America says:

              “True or not is of no moment.” Very good, we part on that note. If we can’t agree on the fundamentals, we won’t agree on the conclusions. You go with your imagination, I’ll go with what I watched and heard.

              • jameboy says:

                Joe, with due respect, the issue of discipline is THE imagination. You want to protect the President from criticisms DON’T raise the issue of discipline. If you do, you let scumbags like Purisima and Espina get away and put the President in the corner of the ring and let him receive all those punches from the enemy. 😦

              • Joe America says:

                I didn’t protect the president. I included him in the list of the militarily undisciplined, and said at the end of the article that the people called to account should be broader than Napenas and Purisima. You are mixing two different topics, the President’s responsibility and military discipline. You are re-arguing a case that we previously agreed that we did not agree on, and seem to be missing the point of discipline entirely.

              • jameboy says:

                I DIDN’t PROTECT THE PRESIDENT. I INCLUDED HIM IN THE LIST of the militarily undisciplined, and said at the end of the article that the people called to account should be broader than Napenas and Purisima. You are mixing two different topics, the President’s responsibility and military discipline. You are re-arguing a case that we previously agreed that we did not agree on, and seem to be missing the point of discipline entirely.
                Well, that’s news to me as I understand it you disagree with the Mamasapano Senate Committee Report for implying that it implicates the President and thus destabilizes the country. Now if you are telling me that you too is blaming PNoy together with the others for the Mamasapano, that’s fine with me.

                I would now be aware that this article entitled, “WHEN MILITARY IS UNDISCIPLINED, FAILURE FOLLOWS” is really an indictment of PNoy for failing to inculcate and implant discipline in the military. That the Mamasapano debacle was a failure on the part of the President as commander in chief.

                In that case, I’m also informing everyone that I disagree with the notion and defend the side of PNoy on the “indisciplined” issue because of the following:

                a) There was no issue, at least for me, of military discipline or or lack of it in the Mamasapano debacle. What doomed the operation was lack of coordination and communication between the AFP, PNP and the civilian personnel involved in it.

                b) To establish discipline issue, it should be shown that there was patterns of indisciplined behavior on the military/police culminating in the happening of the Mamasapano killings. We simply cannot cite the Mamasapano as a stand alone issue to show indiscipline behavior in our men and women in uniforms.

                c) The same goes with the President and other civilian leaders. There should be patterns or sequence of behavioral action or decision that may have contributed to lack of discipline in the armed services.

                c) To line up the President on discipline issue along with Purisima and Napenas to account on an operation the two officers personally handled and executed is an unacceptable idea for to do such thing would put future presidents in a bind. Imagine, every military or police operation that gets bungled up, a president will be held into account?

                Finally, unless there would be queries or questions to the statements I made that needs clarification, I think I have exhausted the length of my viewpoint on the issue and I’m moving on in other topics on the board. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Well, you are putting your spin on the article, which is not mine. It is not intended as an indictment of the President. It is a discussion of discipline, particularly as it relates to the military, which is a matter of sacrifice of self for the need to win battles. Had everyone who was engaged in the Mamasapano incident started with the basic point of view, “Okay, we want to understand, but we do not want to weaken the Philippine military, how should we (or, rather “I” for each individual) proceed?” then it would have been handled very differently. I’m glad to see you moving on to other topics, because you for sure missed the point on this one.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Where I agree is that those who have doubts in any hierarchy should have the maturity to bring out their doubts and discuss them with higher-ups internally during planning stage. Maybe Napenas had them or should have had them and did not voice them out.

                Having brought out their doubts in council when pipes are still being smoked, go with whatever the chief decides once he has spoken and said “Hugh!” – that is disciplined. Undisciplined, immature people keep resenting and sabotage the operation passively. People like that do not get far in the corporate world and definitely should not get far in the military, they are harmful to critical operations and should be fired or reassigned.

              • Joe America says:

                Napenas wanted a smart bomb dropped through Marwan’s roof, but the idea was rejected.

              • Joe America says:

                If the Senate asked who rejected the idea, it would have been done in private session. But I doubt anybody asked about it. They weren’t looking for “tactical” culprits, but political.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @jameboy: “scumbags like Purisima and Espina”. Purisima, fully agree. A sipsip-boto without any character, Noynoy made a mistake in trusting him IMHO. Espina no – he is an officer with true character and compassion. Held his tears back when it was about his men.

              • jameboy says:

                PinoyIn Europe,
                I stand corrected. you’re right, it’s Napenas and not Espina. My bad. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Napenas in my view is medyo kawawa. Good in intentions but weak in character, finally. Not a full scumbag-sipsip-boto like Purisima. In one of his interviews he looked like a poor promdi making excuses. But as a reaction to his being blamed publicly by Noynoy.

                If Napenas had been strong and had reservations, he would have gone to Mar and Espina. Minsan marangal ang magsumbong, depende iyon sa sitwasyon. I had a project situation 15 years ago and I was the Napenas, ambitious + weak and we all bypassed the boss of services – me, the sales guy, the customer care guy and the head of all Germany who left later was on top of it. I made sumbong to the service boss – he shouted me out, then put his head in his hands and said “Ach Leute” – people what are you all doing.

                He is my business partner now, the organization kicked him out one year after I resigned, he formed his own company after I went freelancing. We both partner with SAP and our old employer. It pays to correct one’s own mistakes on time. By owning up to them.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                The new head of all Germany who replaced the one who shirked responsibility for all that happened was very active in solving the situation that caused the company to lose a lot of money and almost all face – I was not blamed but he took me into solving the problem.

                That man became the head of a major BPO firm that has an office in Makati. I was invited to become SAP delivery manager back home but I declined. Did not feel ready for it yet.

                My demotion, spearheaded by political people in the organization, affected me for years.

            • Bert says:

              The game was to get Marwan and they got Marwan. The game was not lost. That some of the players died during the game, the President as the owner of the team, accepted responsibility for the debacle. Purisima, although suspended, was designated as the head coach because he was the one who knew things about the opponent. The lack of discipline that resulted to the death of some of the players could be attributed to the coach, the assistant coach, and to most of the players.

              The President, as commander-in-chief of the AFP and the PNP for barely five years, cannot be faulted for the discipline or lack of it among the players. My two-cents.

        • josephivo says:

          When you saw the reactions after the facts, as described by Joe, there was a visible lack of discipline. We have no coverage of all the actions in Mamasapano, only for people to have discipline in one situation and not in another is unlikely. I might agree that the victims were disciplined and overpowered, but there were more people involved at many levels and if a few players, coaches, fitness trainers… do not perform disciplined and to their best abilities a team playing a top match will fail.

          For the Chinese it looked very much like the bus highjack event of 5 years ago. The overconfidence, the attention for the cameras instead of the task at hand, the unnecessary deaths and the selfies (pictorial or verbal) afterwards.

          • jameboy says:

            Lack of disciple based on ‘reactions after the facts’? I’m sorry lack of discipline, to be credible, should be cited before the happening of Mamasapano. And it should be cited in exclusion of the President, that is, if we want to distance him from the debacle, liability-wise.

  17. karl garcia says:

    Hindsight is not 20/20, Knowing is half of the battle the rest is 90 percent if you ask Yogi.

  18. karl garcia says:

    Failure is not an option.


  19. i7sharp says:


    “The Troubled King is an earnest man, something difficult to be in the Kingdom of Deceit.”

    There is absolutely no doubt in this little mind of mine – of the very fallible me – that the best thing the Troubled King can do is to go ever so humbly to the “King of Kings” … to Him who has said:
    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
    Matthew 11:28 KJV

    I was a … a Troubled Wretch.

    I remember very clearly the very first time in my life (in the early 90s) that I uttered,
    “I praise You, LORD.”
    My future, looking very gloomy, like the weather that late afternoon two decades ago, my prayers seemingly unanswered, I praised God anyway (while alone in my car waiting for the green light). I had come to realize, being God He deserved to be praised regardless of my situation.
    I believe that that was the time I began to have a real personal relationship with God.

    If I may add, …
    Two decades before that (on January 22, 1972, to be exact), I came within minutes of perishing atop the then MIA (Manila International Airport) terminal.
    I thank God for His mercy and his patience with me.

    PIE, I don’t know if you have seen my posting where I said I will pray for you.
    I have indeed started to do that. (I pray for a lot of people.)
    For some months now I have been awakened at 4 by my alarm clock … to pray for PNoy. (Frankly, most of the time my prayers are very short. Sometimes, very, very short because of sleepiness.)

    Regarding your forthcoming blog (in a few weeks), may I suggest that you might be able to find something useful at this site:
    I have been merely collecting from various sources. I think I stlll have to add something from Chuck Missler (who I think you will find interesting, given your line of work).


  20. PinoyInEurope says:

    @i7, many thanks. I have seen the posting.

    One more thing: a former classmate of mine, a Muslim lady Ph.D. from Cotabato in a headscarf, told us on Facebook that PNP were all over the area on the Friday preceding the Sunday that everything happened, and in a close-knit rural community you can expect everybody to know.

    Meaning that MILF was probably not fully surprised. The first shots came from the direction of Usman’s place. In my opinion they did not care too much for Marwan, let him get killed so that they are not guilty of sending away a Muslim “brother”, but Usman was one of their own…

    It surprises me that strategically, this was not considered at all – that people in villages talk a lot.

    Possibly the shifting, treacherous landscape of the Ligwasan marshes was also underestimated.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Not just PNP, SAF were everywhere in the area according to her…

    • Joe America says:

      It seems to me they were not surprised, based on the numbers and the tactical elegance of their positioning. That was not explored at all during the hearings . . . not that there was anybody there to explore it with. The “Marwan Betrayal”. Sounds like a good book.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        My former Tamil Tiger child soldier grocer sees it similarly. Sometimes local rebels have to accomodate some international “brothers” out of courtesy but hate them for their arrogance. The matter is sometimes solved by “friendly fire”, sometimes otherwise.

        • Joe America says:

          I think “arrogance” is one part derived from the speaker and one part from the listener. That is, I can write a sentence, and I, you, and Parekoy will all view it differently. Same sentence.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Of course. Sender and receiver, my theme below. There is a German saying: Niveau schaut von unten gesehen immer arrogant aus – high standards always look arrogant when seen from below, could be seen as an arrogant statement in itself.

            Sometimes it is a form of jealousy that leads people to believe someone is arrogant, especially if that person is perceived as an “other” – not part of the herd, the tribe.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              In difficult situations where people misunderstand each other – Balkan-style, it is important to have people play the role of “Albanian interpreter”. These underdogs in the Balkan where everybody hated and killed each other usually spoke several Balkan languages.

              Not only that, they understood the mental models of different groups and found ways to reconcile them, there is a story about how an Albanian interpreter forged peace in a town.

              There is also the other variation, Albanian interpreters who caused trouble and profited.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Communication theory goes many ways. It is actually a miracle that people understand each other at all. And language was not only created to foster understanding – it is also used to divide, to keep others from understanding, to create “ins” and “outs”.

            Language is not only a tool to transmit the truth, it is also a tool for manipulation – the positive version being to convince and educate. The line between the two is very thin.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, I have come to conclude that we all live a fiction, the accumulation of mis-truths and our own mis-interpretations that comprise the images and memories in our mind. Part of discovery is outward looking. Most don’t bother looking within. You are among those who do. Some who do are not honest about it, generally because the fictions have crusted over to block vision, rather an emotional cataract.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Every mental model is by definition incomplete, being just a model. The map is not the territory. Edgar Lores would know a Buddhist saying about this – maya and so…

                Those who recognize this incompleteness grow. Those who do not stagnate.

  21. Rose Faith says:

    I beg to disagree about the Roxas-Duterte tandem. It should be Duterte-Roxas tandem. Duterte was the first government official who went to Tacloban City to assist/help the Super Typhoon Yolanda victims. Electric connections were made possible because he brought his men from Davao. For all his work, there were NO MEDIA, NO PHOTO COVERAGE. Mar ROXAS was in Tacloban when the Super Typhoon landed. Instead of helping Mayor Romualdez, who is a victim himself and almost died, he demanded the resignation of the poor Mayor. He ended his tirade by saying ” remember you are a ROMUALDEZ and the President is an AQUINO.” I go for
    “DUTERTE for President” so the entire Philippines will be like Davao -disciplined, peaceful, safe and progressive !!!

    • sonny says:

      I can live with your configuration, ms Rose.With the additional reason that Duterte has a clear, i.e. equitable, posture with Muslim, Philippines, with or without BBL and most probably also regarding our Chinese”engagement”. He seems to have his legal persona n mandate in tune.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      I am also primarily for Duterte. But the political reality is that the money class is more powerful than the masa and Manila is more powerful than the provinces. Thank you for the information about Yolanda, I did not know that and that just adds to my respect for Rody.

      Duterte is also LP, but I doubt they will field him as a presidential candidate. But then again if they are realistic, they will see the groundswell of support for him and field him as the only one who can beat Binay. The masa are more and see who is really for them, not the sons of planters who have not lived like them and cannot really understand. Eventually, the rich will have to become more Filipino, more like the masa in ways, to survive in Philippines. Bam Aquino is one of the first to have understood this and who lives by this megatrend.

    • Joe America says:

      Describing the Roxas confrontation as a “tirade” is generally the view of those from Tacloban, but not elsewhere. I had not read that the Mayor was almost dead. I recall him saying he went to the window, looked out at his city, and saw that it was mostly under water. I also understood that Roxas tried to find him, but he appeared not to want to be found. If Roxas is that scurrilous a rascal, it would make more sense to go with Poe for VP.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        In the Kingdom of Deceit, it is hard to know what is true.

        The story of Roxas saying you are Romualdez, we are Aquino so you must officially apply for help may just be a fake Internet meme. If it is true then it would be disappointing.

        • Joe America says:

          He did point out that there was a Romualdez/Aquino political divide, but his statement was published out of context. In context, he was making the statement to try to help the situation, not embarrass or demean Romualdez. Romualdez has played it politically from the getgo. It is interesting that people are so rabid about President Aquino accepting responsibility for 44 deaths, but I have never heard Romualdez accept any responsibility for 8,000. Maybe the scale is too much for one human soul to carry.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            See, I am now trying to question the statement which was circulated on many of my former Pisay classmate’s Facebook pages – highly intelligent people who got caught by emotion.

            In that sense, I am adjusting my mental model so that it does not become a prejudice. That is a mental flexibility many of my countrymen unfortunately lack. You have to lead them like stubborn, strong carabaos. More on mental model below. For other readers…

  22. edgar lores says:

    1. Speaking of discipline, I have always wondered why we need a strong man as leader. Why do we need someone to discipline us? Why can’t we discipline ourselves?

    2. I don’t know far the Filipino has advanced but when I was there the easing of bodily functions was less than private. Do we still urinate whenever and wherever the urge arises? Do we still defecate beside moving waters? Do we still hawk and expectorate in public places? Do we still throw our rubbish in the streets?

    3. We yearn for a Marcos. We wish for a Duterte. For heaven’s sake, why?

    4. We are like children. No, no, we are children. Undisciplined. Unruly. Immature.

    5. It should not be that we get the government we deserve. We should get the government we do NOT deserve. And then we should become deserving.

    6. It would be good to have an inspirational leader, a Merkel or a Bloomberg. Or even a Clinton. Not strong in the sense of behavioral discipline, but strong in economics, in administration, in the ideals and practice of public service.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      A. Number 4 gives the answer to 1 and 3. Also I am for Duterte because he produces results in the Philippines. A leader like him is respected by people, Noynoy often is not respected.

      B. Regarding 2. I remember how a security lady in Munich once caught me spitting on the platform floor of their S-Bahn = MRT. She told me do you do that on your own floor when you are at home? I bowed my head down and she passed me. I never forgot the lesson.

      C. “Why can’t we discipline ourselves?” Discipline requires future-orientation as defined by time researcher Phil Zimbardo. You have to be able to think in future results. I lacked that kind of time-orientation too before, a happy go lucky Filipino street dog living in the present. Learned it by hard knocks after almost losing everything. Couldn’t blame anyone but myself because I was isolated from almost everybody by then, so I had to change. According to Zimbardo, cultures and people with future-orientation are more successful.


      The real issue has to do with what Zimbardo calls “time perspectives.” To simplify Zimbardo’s elegant theory, some individuals are primarily present-oriented. These individuals focus on immediate pleasure and gratification. They are more likely to be aggressive, less likely to wear a watch, and more likely to gamble or seek other short-term gratifications. They also study less, and have less impulse control. Other people are future oriented, and ask themselves what the cost-benefit of certain future actions will be, and they make their choices based on those calculations. Future oriented people are less aggressive, more likely to use a planner, wear a watch, and floss their teeth. They have better impulse control, and study more. For a fascinating discussion of this basic idea, watch Zimbardo himself discuss what he calls the “marshmallow experiment.” In this experiment, young children are given a marshmallow and told that if they can refrain from eating the marshmallow experiment. Most eat the marshmallow, but some are able to delay gratification. The experimenters follow up with the children 14 years later. The children who delayed gratification are remarkably different from those who ate the marshmallow immediately; their SAT scores, for example, are 200 points higher.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Duterte has future-orientation. His successes show it. He will also teach his approach to all Filipinos if he is their leader. Unlike Marcos who was present-oriented. Pawned the future to finance the present.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          In mountain climbing, they say that those already on the mountaintop cannot guide those still moving up the mountain. Those that are just a little bit ahead of the group can.

          Duterte is that kind of mountain guide for the masa, a true leader and not a misleader.

      • edgar lores says:

        1. Sorry, no, I disagree. Item 4 is NOT the answer to items 1 and 3.

        1.1. If item 4 is the answer, then we will forever be looking for someone outside ourselves to transform us. True transformation comes from within.

        7. Re C: Zimbardo is not wholly wrong, and only partially right. For an adult, discipline is in the now, in the present moment.

        7.1. The marshmallow experiment is interpreted as an example of delayed gratification. From an immature child’s viewpoint, that is correct. But from a mature adult’s viewpoint, it is incorrect. The reward of discipline is not future reward but presence… which is the mindfulness of the moment.

        7.2. In the morning when you rise, you make your bed, luxuriating in the wonder of being. The simple task orders the mind… enabling it to receive with equanimity whatever the day may bring.

        7.3. And the results of the experiment may be inconclusive. The sole criterion is intelligence. What if the criterion is happiness? People who live in the present — like Filipinos — are usually happier than people who live in the future. In fact, people who live in the future will never be happy… simply because they will never get there.

        8. I think the answer lies somewhere in-between. Plan for the future, but live in the moment.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Zimbardo in one of his books I read also wrote about 7.3. and came to 8. as a conclusion.

          As a Sicilian-American who strove hard, guided by his Anglo-American teacher as his first mentor, he remembered the joyfulness his Sicilian family had. It takes both to be happy.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Re 7. True, mindfulness is the true state of adulthood, living in reality and in the moment.

          In NLP, you have the model of three selves:

          – parent-self: critical and preaching

          – adult self: realistic and mindful

          – child-self: alternating between servility and rebellion

          NLP is controversial, but this model is useful. One consulting trainer taught us to try to avoid being parent or child self and bring the counterpart into the adult self as well to have a truly adult communication. Many Filipinos are in the child self. GRP is parent-self.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          As for 1, the fixation of the Filipinos on a President to save them is part of the problem.

          Duterte may actually make a difference. He leads in a participative style, he is only dictatorial when he needs to be regarding law and order. Too much prejudice about him.

          He involves his community in decision making, teaching and learning. He has representatives from all ethnic groups in Davao. His Federalism Forum, nationwide, is an example of how he would lead the country. I know why I am for him. I have researched.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks for that info on Duterte.

            Was aware of Robredo’s principle of participative democracy. Hadn’t heard the same of Duterte.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Duterte is more masa in culture, which is why “burgis” media see him with prejudice and ignore many of his achievements. The Great Cultural Divide of the Philippines goes both ways, many masa do not trust “burgis”, it amazes me how many here ARE for Duterte.

    • sonny says:

      Even in the most managerial of games, American football, there is one single objective – to cross the goal line and score. To achieve that in a single play has the most odds against. So there are shorter running or passing plays and lots of luck. All are open options at each play. All the players/positions must be in prime condition, physically & mentally.

      In our hierarchical country there is the top-down action and bottom-up action …

    • Joe America says:

      2. By observation, slightly less each year.
      5. For the life of me, I can’t name a candidate who fits that picture. Duterte may actually come closest. Or josephivo.

      Other than that, I agree, but it is hard to get that kind of message out to the broad masses who think in very practical or superstitious terms.

      • edgar lores says:

        Oh, without a doubt, I would go with Josephivo. He da man.

        I haven’t heard Duterte speak, but my impression is that he is a bully. That may be a mild description.

        From the Senate hearings, I would go for Cayetano, warts and all.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Research on him and what he has done, on his leadership style and community building.

          He has to be a bit tough, the Wild South shaped him. Some Filipinos need that as well, but he will listen and talk to people who are civilized with him, and has a sense of fairness.

        • Joe America says:

          I haven’t figured Duterte out myself, but PiE has opened my mind a bit. He may have two personas. One for the people in Manila to see and worry about, and one for his own people.

          Cayetano is one smart, aggressive dude, of generally high principles. I find it interesting that he gets even less traction than Roxas. It must be the style of shirts they wear. If I were Cayetano, I’d swap for a black “No Fear” T-shirt, or whatever is in style these days. Trillanes is “best dressed” among the aspirants, no offense to Senator Santiago intended.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            The reason why Cayetano does not get traction is that he is unconsciously perceived as “too white” by many Filipinos. His mother is German-American (Sandra Schramm of Michigan) so sometimes they call him “Amerikano” in a lot of Internet postings.


            My Mom, the wind beneath my wings

            My mom grew up on a farm in Michigan. She met my dad when they were both studying in the University of Michigan. A few years later, she left the only country she knew and migrated to the Philippines, a country with a different culture, lacking in modern facilities that she was accustomed […]

            Being half-white can be a blessing and a curse in the Philippines, where people have all sorts of things associated with skin color. I know because I myself am half-white, it was a source of admiration and hostility, even though in my features the Bikol+Negrito shows. Some of Cayetanos aggressivity in the Moro issue I see as overcompensation, trying to show that he is truly Filipino even if he doesn’t have to. Philippine society is what it is…

      • josephivo says:

        ??? Did I see my (additional Christian) name? And how do you know that I could be the one they don’t deserve?

        If the Philippines deserves a powerful president, than you are right. I once I tried to become president of our house but failed miserably, so I settled to be president of my room.

  23. PinoyInEurope says:

    Editor’s Note: Do you ever ask, “What would Jesus say or do?” when faced with trying circumstances? It seems to me that few people do, or else I have a bad understanding of what Jesus was all about.

    @Joe: many Filipinos represent a damaged culture. There is a cultural trauma from centuries of being lied to by colonialists. They are like women who have experienced only assholes and cannot believe or even screw the nice guys that come along. Knew women like that. Horrible.

    Spanish priests that preached Christianity and screwed our women. Americans who invoked God and took our natural resources. So even a nice foreigner who comes along is not believed.

    My father told me once: we Filipinos have to learn to trust in our own selves first, then in our fellow Filipinos, then finally we will be able to trust foreigners. Kailangan natin ng tiwala sa sarili, tapos sa kapwa nating Pilipino, sa wakas maari tayong maging tunay na bukas sa banyaga.

    Come on Joe, even I who discussed with my father for decades am only beginning to understand his message just now with some platinum catalysts like you and Parekoy. The Filipino nation still has a long way up till it reaches the mountaintop. Until it goes up its helix from a vicious cycle.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      So some Filipinos who read your message will only hear President McKinley, who invoked God in order to colonize the Philippines. That is where many of us are stuck at, looking at the sender and not the message, looking at the language and not the content.

      Communication requires a sender and a receiver. If they are not tuned to the same code, they will not understand each other. It is as simple as that.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Models_of_communication – I do agree Joe that it is not your problem if the decoder on the other side is skewed. The other side also has to work on listening without prejudice. Filipinos have much difficulty with that. But not only we do.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Also, people all have their mental models. People like me who are willing to listen and learn – and you as well Joe I see and respect that – review their mental models.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_model – in the ideal case, the loop goes like this:

        • karl garcia says:

          Your mental model remind me of Peter Senge’s Five Disciplines
          The five disciplines of what the book refers to as a “learning organization” discussed in the book are:

          “Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.”[2]
          “Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.”[2]
          “Building shared vision – a practice of unearthing shared pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance.”[2]
          “Team learning starts with dialogue, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into genuine thinking together.”[2]
          “Systems thinking – The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other four.”[2]
          Senge describes extensively the role of what it refers to as “mental models,” which he says are integral in order to “focus on the openness needed to unearth shortcomings” in perceptions. The book also focuses on “team learning” with the goal of developing “the skills of groups of people to look for the larger picture beyond individual perspectives.” In addition to these principles, the author stresses the importance of “personal mastery” to foster “the personal motivation to continually learn how […] actions affect [the] world.”[2

          • josephivo says:

            🙂 Got a one week introduction training in Holland by a extraordinary South African assistant 20 years ago, changed my life and I became consultant not long after that. (the Field Manual is more practical)

            • karl garcia says:

              🙂 That is nice to hear Joseph. I lost the Fifth Discipline book, but I still have the Field Book. I agree that it is more practical. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      In my next iteration of the blog, like if Binay becomes president, I’m going to become a preacher. The blog will present Bible lessons and I will rant like a holy roller, with gospel music in the background.

  24. Socorro Quintos Hipolito says:

    mar 25.Account name is john c.enriquez. sqbi ng teller or account daw yun but name does not appear

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”The Society of Honor by Joe America” Date:Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 15:03 Subject:[New post] When military is undisciplined, failure follows

    Joe America posted: ” There is always some risk when I overlay American ways on Filipino ways. For one thing, it is often okay for there to be two different ways. No problem. But I think in the matter of military discipline, the codes are universal. So I will overlay my”

  25. Not really discipline but leadership.

    Specifically, small unit leadership. At the squad level. If you can develop good Corporals and Sergeants in 4 to 6 years, then you’re set. The LTs and Captains need to trust their NCOs, that is usually the rub— in the 3rd world, they see their NCOs as idiots that need babysitting. Many times the educational/cognitive gap between the two are big, justifying the officers treatment of their NCOs (SNCOs included).

    Solution, give ’em leadership rein, allow them to make mistakes. Inspiration/Intimidation, balance, repeat. Making mistakes is key.

    The movie Master & Commander laid this out perfectly.

  26. Rusty Koenig says:


    You tried to explain this and laid out a problem and a simple solution. You mentioned you were taught the dicipline of “no excuses”.

    Can I suggest one more “rule book” to fall back on? One that is probably…… well….. IS the best ink put to page in all of history that tells you how to wage war?

    Tsun Tzu’s “Art of War”. Your title is almost a direct quote in his “commandments”.

    Together with your post you spent a whole post to explain something Sun Tzu summed up in 1 single sentence. “When men are undisciplined, the only fault lies with the commander” PERIOD. Your “no excuses” dicipline you say the men need? No….. they dont need it because if they dont have it….. they are not at and should not be faulted for having no dicipline. The ONLY one who bears ANY of the fault is the commander who leads them. If the Commander does not have the “no excuses” attitude, the men dont need to bother to learn it.

    If you have not read Art of War (the BIBLE of how to wage war) written around 500 BC with a serious mindset to “listen” to it…… I highly suggest it. The rules and commandments to waging war that was valid for the armies of 500 BC is just as valid for any modern day war faught. Even since the Germans introduced the WORLD to modern warfare that changed how the whole world fight wars…… comparable to hacking enemy to death with swords going into the world of gunpowder…… German style of warfare was greater than even THAT. While they were Blitzkrieging through Europe with state of the art war machines….. and when USA decided to get into the fight…… We litterally went to war with WW1 technology….. even using horsedrawn cannon and if Japan didnt sink our navy…. we would have went to war with antique WW1 (Japan did us a HUGE favor in Pearl Harbor….. Not blowing off the men who died….. but they sunk our outdated war boats forcing them to replace entire old antiques with brand new state of the art navy vessels)

    Even with the style of warfare the Germans gifted the world with….. Bible of war written in 500 BC is still valid….. and not even “snippets” of the text….. COVER TO COVER.

    If you have not read it…… your whole mindset and way you think about “procedures” and shit and how to instil them and WHY you do it….. will be forever changed like finding a light switch in a dark room.

    You mentioned the “president’ in the process……. its not the supreme leaders fault….. The general recieves his “orders” from the commander in chief and that is where influence of the “king” ENDS….. if all these things happen….. leave the head hauncho out of it…… the men should not have even been asked why this why that….. that conversation should have only included 2 people…… Top Dog and the general who commands the military forces. Then shit rolls downhill and as you say “no excuses” why this why that should not even be MENTIONED or ASKED……. YOU FUCKING PUSSY…… YOU FUCKED UP!!!! FUCK THE 20 GIVE ME 150 YOU SORRY ASS EXCUSE OF A SOLDIER!!!!! 🙂 Period…..

    Discipline is only a BYPRODUCT of a “Good Leader”….. If you try to POUND dicipline into the men then you rule by “fear” give me a group of men who LOVE me and RESPECT me (if the respect is freely given and not forced) rather than a group who “fear” me any day of the week. The same can be used in ANY management environment weather it be over 3-5 people or 500,000 people.

    It all boils down to the one who COMMANDS, the buck stops there, if they are not and do not have the qualities you describe then you might as well throw up the white flag at the outset of the first sign of enemy forces….. because the men are innocent and if you send them into battle you just murdered a whole army of your OWN people.

    Here is a good “audiobook” version of “Art of War” you can listen to.

    The man was a GENIOUS and you could say he was equal to Einstein of how to wage war.

  27. You probably could have used one sentence as well. Thanks for the link and promotional message.

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