Do you make decisions according to surveys? Should the President?

benigno-aquino-rappler

[Photo credit: Rappler]

The Pulse Asia  web site provides public survey readings of Philippine governance, elections and social issues. The most current studies are listed on the organization’s home page. Information on Mamasapano and the BBL can be found there, along with government performance and candidate comparisons.

Lets think about these resources and how they might be applied.

I spent my younger working years as a bank executive overseeing the market research activities that guided our company’s product development and marketing activities. So I know that surveys have value, if they are well understood.

Survey results in the Philippines are tossed about like confetti, conclusions falling here and there as the numbers are used, manipulated, rationalized and justified. If the numbers aren’t good, they are diminished. If they are good, they are amplified. It seems that few really take them for what they are worth:

Some part truth, some part bias.

The numbers are numbers, facts by some definitions, but fictions if they are misread. There is always bias in the numbers.

  • The bias can be in the way the questions were worded, the selection of the respondents, or how calculations are presented. This is methodology bias.
  • It can also be found in the person who takes the survey. Who answers according to what he thinks people want to know, rather than the truth. Or who plays games. Or guesses.

Plus, information goes through two very important filters:

  • The survey respondent has an experiential history. Someone who was in Tacloban for Yolanda might have a different view of things than someone in Manila.
  • There is a third level of – well not bias – but filtered data. Maybe we can call it systemic ignorance. The information people are making judgments by gets filtered through media, friends, or other intermediaries.

Let’s take a case study:

The President’s performance rating from Nov. 2014 to Mar 2015

President's Performance Ratings

Numbers are percentages of respondents who approve of the President’s performance, are undecided, or disapprove [Source: Pulse Asia]

Notice the regional difference. Why is NCR more critical of the President than other areas? Why did disapproval move only a little among the poorest sector, Class E? What’s shaping these numbers? Media noise? Citizen reading habits? Outlying areas were more insulated against events that transpired during the period, the most notable being the Mamasapano incident?

How are we to take this?

Are NCR residents more well-read? Does that make them smarter? Or more vulnerable to tabloid influences? Should we be critical because they are critical?

How is the President to take this?

If one incident can shape judgments so sharply, is he to stop authorizing military and police raids? Fire some generals? Apologize? Does it matter if the public forgets five years of presidential accomplishment because of one incident?

We can go to other surveys to find out that President Aquino is POPULARLY held responsible for the deaths at Mamasapano. The Senate says so even.

I personally think the generals botched it. What should I do?

Change my mind because the FACTS say most people disagree with me?

Well, in reality, probably nothing. Just shrug. Perhaps hope the survey people interview me next time so they can get it right. For me . . . for us . . . the survey information is interesting.

But for the President, it is actionable.

He has some choices to make.

Very clearly, major events shape people’s impressions. If you read the entire media release from Pulse Asia, you will see that significant events are identified in the reports. In addition to Mamasapano during the Nov 14 to Mar 15 survey period regarding presidential performance, two additional negative events occurred: (a) rise in electricity and gas prices prices, and (b) Supreme Court reaffirmation of its DAP ruling.

Now events do not remake a president. He is the same before and after a given event. But they do shape our impressions of him.

So when we look at survey results, we have to understand:

They are not about the President. They are about us.

So it behooves the President to learn from the surveys, yes. But he has two control sticks, not just one:

  1. What he does about the events themselves.
  2. What he does to manage our impressions of him and our impressions of the events.

So let’s slip into the President’s shoes for a short while and figure this out. We know that:

  • If he is guided mainly by his own judgment and conscience, he may choose to continue to work forthrightly. He will do the best job possible and let the impressions fall where they may.
  • If he is interested in adulation and legacy, he will try to shape impressions.
  • If he believes shaping impressions is an important part of his job, he will try to manage them in the best interest of the Philippines.

The President took some hard shots for his speeches after Mamasapano. He was pragmatic, the public wanted tears and an apology. On the other hand, he has made assuring and stabilizing speeches dealing with crises such as the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman, the Chinese island incursions, and other incidents. He generally lets events speak for themselves. He does not cheer-lead. When he does . . . when he tries to take credit for economic progress, for instance . . . people accuse him of bragging.

If we look at other presidents’ trust ratings over time, we see that each president loses the public’s support over his term due to the grinding of events and accumulation of criticisms. And, near the end, politics enters the picture as prospective candidates posture for the next election. We have seen this posturing occurring recently with regard to the Binay hearings, Mamasapano, and the BBL.

What would you do if you were President?

Would you listen to your own judgment and conscience? Or would you adjust your decision-making to the popular will, as expressed in the surveys, knowing that bias and limited information affect public impressions?

Would you actively undertake communications programs to manage public impressions?  Or would you let events speak for themselves?

 

Comments
155 Responses to “Do you make decisions according to surveys? Should the President?”
  1. Bing Garcia says:

    “Natandaan niyo may ad na lumabas itong mga ConCom (Constitutional Commission) members who crafted the Constitution. Maraming beses kapag nagtatalo ang mga abugado, basahin niyo ang libro tungkol sa debate ng ConCom. Dito, hindi na kailangan basahin ang libro dahil ‘yung mga buhay pa na miyembro ng ConCom mismo na ang nagsasabi at ipinaliwanag ang constitutionality ng BBL,” the President explained.

  2. In the last presidential election (2010), I did not make my decision according to surveys. I was torn between Noy Aquino who was leading (40+ %) and Bro. E. Villanueva who was among those at the rear end. The first was the son of latest hero and democracy icon, the other for righteousness and meaningful change. Others might say mine was among the wasted votes, that could have spelled defeat for Noy had it been a really tight race. But it was a vote out of conviction, disregarding the survey results. You could say I justified my going against the wind then by saying that if my candidate lost because the bulk of the voters joined the bandwagon, my second preferred candidate will still win, precisely because he was leading his next opponent (Villar and Estrada) by 50%. My candidate indeed lost but I was glad Noy, (now PNOY) won. I prayed for him and supported him in my own little way.

    If I were President now, I will think twice. No matter these surveys are admittedly biased (even if they claim scientific procedures) people are influenced by results. Continuation of the programs and the fight for corruption must be sustained. I will wait for events before announcing my preferred candidate. My endorsed candidate, on the eve of the last day of filing his/her candidacy must have a strong showing at the surveys, he must be winnable otherwise the gains of my administration will be wiped away by another corrupt president. Then I will do all I can to help him have a comfortable lead in the ensuing campaign period. Six years is too short to effect a sustainable growth, there must be at least three consecutive administrations that will continue my programs or improve upon them.

    I (now back to being an ordinary citizen) could be wrong, not being a political scientist or analyst, and I’m willing to be corrected.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a very, very intelligent approach, Mary. Given all the dynamics in play, Duterte in or out, Poe LP or independent, Roxas still working and not campaigning, it is definitely early. I can see people favoring one or the other, but a lot is going to happen during the campaign period. Or before.

      That’s an interesting way to put it. The survey results are a part of the news. They are almost self-fullfilling in that way, hyping those in the lead and getting criticisms and dismissals of those at the bottom. Binay is reinforced because everyone loves a winner. Roxas is scorned because he has no numbers.

      Wha? Roxas is busy working for the Philippine people, and the PEOPLE don’t care. Because the surveys tell them he is a loser.

      When he is not.

      The surveys become an event, just like Mamasapano. Next people will be demanding an apology from President Aquino if his ratings are not strong. 🙂

    • I ended up voting Eddie Villanueva in 2010… My criteria was simple, integrity and competence. Eddie Villanueva for me was more competent and honest than PNOY. Although Bro. Eddie leads a religious group JIL but I noticed that his members are not restricted like those members of INC, there is democracy in JIL. He teaches the so-called word of God and its is up to you if you believe and follow or not. I am just amaze of Bro. Eddie’s kind of leadership. He remains to live a modest life even though he owns a printing press and several other businesses… He is Chairman of ZOE TV, the channel leased by GMA Network and President of JIL colleges foundation.

    • Atty. Rene (@ Raissa’s blog) posted that Poem even if she satisfied the natural born Filipino citizen requirement for a presidential candidate, she is still short by six months on another requirement – that she must have a 10 year residency in the Philippines immediately preceding the election. If confirmed, that means, she is not qualified to run as President.

      Mar, then has to catch up on his poll showing for it seems a Mar-Binay contest is in the offing.

      SC, Ombusman, please hurry up.

      • Certificate of Candidacy for Senator – Grace Poe Llamanzares… she declared the period of residence in the Philippines before May 13, 2013 as 6 years and six months

        http://www.comelec.gov.ph/uploads/Elections/2013natloc/COC/Senatorial/Llamanzares,%20Mary%20Grace.pdf

        • Joe America says:

          The point being, I believe, that by mid 2016, she will not have qualified by being in the Philippines for 10 years. I think that’s the gist of the debate going on at Riassa’s blog.

          • Comelec then must be very strict in implementing the rules and procedures re premature campaigning, maximum hours allowed for TV ads of candidates and most specially on matters of satisfying the required qualifications of presidential candidates.

            Chairman Bautista, please end this debate once and for all. Other political parties and politicians (including PNOY) are trying to beat each other wooing Poe just because she is doing well in the surveys.

            • Joe America says:

              I don’t think COMELEC has the courage or will. Binay is essentially saying they can’t draw lines and what he is doing is completely legitimate. It is kind of like a free speech argument. It doesn’t matter. He is not going to win, I’ve concluded. Why this is will come out in future blogs. Right now, he is just helping to recycle some of his ill-gotten wealth back into the legitimate economy.

              • I’ll go with that sweet lemon attitude, hahaha… the local TV stations will surely report a better- than- last-year-income to their stockholders and the BIR tax collections will in turn reflect that. I see what you mean. We usually hit our remote when his face and his ads are on.

                It also mean that Binay has a lot more cash hidden in his bath tub (Napoles style) or in his secret bedroom in Makati City Hall since his bank accounts will still be frozen for a period of six months (or less now). Oops, I realize now, Nancy’s and Abigail’s bank accounts are not included in the freeze order. Okay.

                The Comelec having no courage and will to effect a free and honest election really stumped me. awrrrrr….

              • Joe America says:

                Comelec is the body responsible for the qualification of candidates, and ethical considerations are evidently not in their qualification set. Indeed, that is supremely upsetting.

  3. There’s a sad reality regarding surveys that faces people in the Philippines. Whether it be television ratings or political surveys. And the sad part is that, in the case of political surveys, both pro and anti-government people are guilty of this.

    What is this reality? Imagine this scenario: let’s say SWS released a survey showing that P-Noy’s approval rating reached -10. The anti-P-Noy people will rejoice, saying that the Filipino people have turned against him. On the other hand, P-Noy’s supporters will say that the survey is biased and came as he is facing allegations that have been “trumped up by the media”, that there are problems with the methodology of the surveys, or that they do not believe in surveys at all. Now, let’s say, after a few more surveys, in a new SWS survey, his approval has recovered and is now at +30. Now the roles will reverse: all of a sudden, the pro-P-Noy people will suddenly believe in the survey and say that P-Noy has regained the Filipino people’s trust, while his critics will downplay the survey, for similar reasons to the pro-P-Noy people when his approval was at -10.

    tl;dr, Filipinos only want to believe surveys if the findings correspond to their beliefs. Why can’t Filipinos make up their minds regarding surveys? In my case, flaws aside, the people making surveys are very experienced and know their methodologies. During elections, their survey results are not too far off from the actual election results (even Binay’s quick rise in 2010 and Poe’s performance in 2013 were predicted by the surveys). Thus, I believe them. I even believe their surveys which show that Binay, at least for now, is still the leading presidential candidate (in this case, the results are probably not because of bias, but because in the areas surveyed, Binay either still has genuine supporters who will support him no matter what, or that there are still many, many people who are unaware of his corruption antics).

    By the way Joe, in your upcoming blog on the (in your words) “whacko leftists”, any mention of Harry Roque, Teddy Casino, and Juana Change?

  4. By the way Joe, off-topic to this article, but this link might be of interest to you:
    http://opinion.inquirer.net/85173/bayan-forthright-not-silent-on-binay-controversy
    If you read between the lines though, something seems to be off. Like they seem to be criticizing Aquino more than Binay in the said link.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, it does the same thing done in a prior argument. Take an intellectual position “that we have spoken against Binay”, and then takes a shot at Aquino, as if going after corrupt people were wrong. Then Casino blames the critics.

      How about a protest march, eh, Teddy? Or join the Paredes program and put your feet where your mouth is.

      On second thought, stay away from the Paredes program. Your reputation is stinko and might rub off. (See a forthcoming blog about how the Binays and whacko leftists have taken to digging their own grave. This article is another shovel full of dirt.)

  5. edgar lores says:

    *****
    1. “They are not about the President. They are about us.”

    2. The above statement is true if we judge the President by his intentions. It is not true if we judge him by his actions. This confirms the observation that we judge others by actions but ourselves by our intentions.

    2.1. On DAP, the President was judged by his action of prematurely tapping savings and performing unconstitutional cross-transfers — and not by his intention of accelerating economic growth.

    2.2. In the Mamasapano incident, the President was judged by his action of not welcoming the fallen — and not by his intention of giving space to the relatives of the fallen to grieve.

    2.2.1. Nevertheless the President is to be faulted for over-justification on Mamasapano. He fanned the flames of negativity by doing so. The worst light one can put on this is that the President is somewhat naive in managing public impressions. The best light is that he is honest, and that he follows his own judgment and conscience.

    3. But while we should primarily consider intentions in making judgments, we should also consider the import of actions. It is actions, after all, that trigger consequences.

    4. What can we make of Binay’s intentions and actions?

    4.1. His crystal clear intention is to win presidential power.

    4.2. His actions have been to support sedition in the matter of Cebu governor Gwen Garcia. His actions have been to keep a low-profile on all issues of national import — a man of no convictions — and to make himself a small target. His actions have been to amass wealth and allies – and then to deny wealth and to hide much-sought allies.

    4.3. Both his intention and his actions speak of self-aggrandizement. His response to calls for him to appear at the Senate hearings has been: “…I won’t dignify that kind of proceeding by attending it. Ladies and gentlemen, I am the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines.”

    4.4. The questions follow: What is his intention after he wins power? What actions will he take and how will they affect the nation?

    4.5. Binay is leading in all surveys. If you make decisions by surveys, he will be your next president.

    4.6. Ladies and gentlemen… be afraid. Be very afraid.
    *****

    • Joe America says:

      Powerful.

      I believe the President has good intentions and generally good actions. It surprises me that good intentions and good deeds build no equity. Only current events count. It is a fickle way to judge and to act and assures a roller coaster ride and lack of consistency and follow-through when a glitch hits the engine of progress. It’s like there is no long term plan, and no long term past.

      There is only now.

      Well, as Eckhart Tolle would say, now is what counts. But I somehow think there have to be tethers both fore and aft or the ride is rather bumpy.

      • Joe America says:

        Like consider the irony of today’s press reports regarding Filipinos being more optimistic about their situation today than ever in history. The Administration gets little credit for the thousands of acts that created this promise, and full blame for a police action that went south. The good deeds are erased from minds completely and the bad one moves front and center.

        Befuddling.

        • If you want to be fair, the same thing can be said about Binay. Corrupt, yes, but you have to give him credit for providing good levels of social service to Makati. Still, his good sides won’t redeem him from being King of Corruption.

          • I think this is why a protest march against Binay would be less effective than can be expected.

            It will just create an us against them dynamic. Something that Binay and his people have been trying to create since the beginning.

            People crediting him with social service projects started by Mayor Yabut.

            What we need to do is to debunk the myth.

            Find LGUs that are doing more with less.
            Find LGUs that have transformed the lives of their citizens through education/livelihood projects and the like.

            Compare and contrast.

            Make the 1.2 Billion overprice mean something.

            Take for instance the PPP program. If Binay had his own PPP program using the overprice amounts what could it have done?

            The housing

            • chit navarro says:

              “Find LGU’s that are doing more with less.” – check out Naga City and Davao City and compare these wih Makati City.

              See how these 2 cities have evolved into the most competitive cities in the Philippines and how the lives of its citizens are transformed through education/livelihood projects with EXCELLENT GOVERNANCE.

              Everyone knows,that the Ayala’s made Makati and not the Binay’s… Look at Davao City & Naga City – we do not read of billions of city government funds poured into social services for its residents; no birthday cakes nor free movies or yellow cards and claimed by the mayors as if its their own funds…. But Naga City & Davao City are alternatives to investors.

              • Which is what should matter – teaching folks to fish instead of providing them with one. With investors pouring capital to permanent business, providing employment to poor citizens, less masa voters will be taken as gullible fools who will exchange their votes with a few kilos of rice, canned goods, noodles, t-shirts and a few hundred of pesos, unless they are what we call “walang kabusugan”.

                Free movies are mostly offered in every cities for their respective senior citizens, one of their benefits as mandated by law, yellow cards for Makati, some cities are also into free medical services and feeding programs. The sad reality here is that these politicians are taking credit for these social services when the fact is, it is being funded by the respective cities’ budget which comes from property taxes, licenses, permits and regulatory service fees paid to each localities by businesses and taxpayers.

                It’s a running joke among us middle class taxpayers that we pay garbage fees to the city so they can take care of garbage being scattered by non paying squatter/voters. I’m not anti-poor as I was once among the poorest of the poor, my point is that a consistent discipline among them is a must to prevent flooding, to care for our tributaries and rivers which are being polluted by their septic waste. Some local governments who are constantly wooing their votes every 3 years are closing their eyes to this undisciplined practices.

          • Joe America says:

            Only a very vague similarity. One runs a nation that is poor and tries to do good deeds, so he invests wisely. The other runs a very rich business community and has more money than the city can use. So he invests it in himself.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            As edgar explained above, actions and intentions are often mutually exclusive. Providing good levels of social services in Makati (action) to win elections (intention) should not equate to credit for this Machiavellian leader.

        • manuelbuencamino says:

          Well you know the old Hollywood saying, “You’re only as good as your last blockbuster.”

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    If I were Benigno Aquino, I WOULD TAP POLLSTERS ABROAD with my own personal money to scientifically survey the Filipinos. Publish it. Side-to-side with Pulse Asia. With the schools they are coming from. Absolutely, Pulse Asia without Wiki-ing it are made up of University of the Philippines useless graduates. As we all know, U.P. cranks out the best of the crooks. The crook of the crops. Cream of the Crop. la Creme, de la Creme.

    Absolutely, whatever U.P. graduates touches turns into corruption, intrigue and controversy. It is unfortunate only the intellectuals from abroad can know. The people in the Philippines by force of circumstance cannot know that U.P. graduates are crooks because it is glossed over by perfection of their English.

    Ivy-Schools in the country where I came from would be very very very concerned if crooks are cranked out from their schools. There would be covert investigation. It seems U.P. is sitting in its laurels beaming at their graduates of crookery.

    There is this owner of Rappler accused me of failing UPCAT (I do not know what that is) because I am attacking U.P. What that guy, I forgot his name, is saying, If I had passed UPCAT I would never have attacked the crooks in U.P.

    …. so, therefore, in the Philippines crookery is in the blood … in the alma mater …. Now I understand de Lima is after the crooks because de Lima is graduate from San Beda and the crooks she is after are from University of the Philippines.

    What if de Lima was graduate from U.P.?

    • I’m a UP student and I’m slightly offended at what you said. It’s not that UP makes the crooks, it’s the UP graduates who choose to be crooks. They give the university a bad name.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        I feel for you. It is well known that Pulse Asia and SWS are run by graduates by U.P. graduates. I can enumerate big time glamourous crooks up and down the social and political ladder who are just naturally thick-face crooks from Marcos to Gloria and The Binays, Jinggoy, DOH Directors and acting Director to DPWH and Customs.

        It must be the culture of U.P. and their subsequent connections who are already entrenched in the government that protects them including their mouthpieces in incompetent ignoramuses in Philippine Media.

        Well, what do you know, University of the Philippines is a Philippine government-run institution which you alredy know that reflects the crooked culture of governance.

        Do not take it personally, we are trying to expose what is wrong with the Philippines and by circumstance and culture they come from U.P., majority of them.

        • The president of Pulse Asia is Professor Ronald Holmes who is a former professor of mine. He did not graduate from UP but from De La Salle. He is also the managing fellow according to the pulse asia website and it seems he is the one that runs it. The founder of Pulse Asia is Felipe Miranda who did not earn his degree from UP but is based in UP.

      • Joe America says:

        I’m with you. But I also question the hiring of professors like Harry Roque who are advocates for unethical behavior, manipulations of people and events, and poor values. The school needs ethical courage, too, I think.

        • Was about to say the same thing.

          @Joe @MRP @ MKL have you read the statement of the UP Mass Comm on the PDI coverage of Mary Jane Veloso?

          I found the irony very funny. I need an outside observer to confirm my misgivings:

          http://www.rappler.com/views/imho/92329-fact-fiction-cmc-deans-statement

          • Joe America says:

            I agree with the deans and applaud their statement. The Inquirer MAKES the news with irresponsible headlines and reports. They recently headlined that “Aquino defies china”, or somesuch, regarding flying over international territory. He didn’t defy China. He just said the Philippines would keep flying its normal air routines.

            The Inquirer risks an international incident with such provocative irresponsibility.

            • Joe America says:

              I don’t think UP is a huge pit of corruption and bad values. I just think it needs to tighten the ship a little.

              • As someone who grew up on U.P. Campus, I can tell you it is a snake pit of intrigues! The Senate is boring compared to some U.P. faculty meetings, there are stories of profesoras throwing binders at professors, compared to that Miriam Santiago is a yawner!

                It is a very mixed bag – it is a microcosm of the Philippines. Deeply ethical people like the late Prof. Espinosa, U.P. Law, Raissa’s father. And 30s bar topnotcher Ferdinand Marcos.

              • Joe America says:

                Wonderful characterization.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, that sheds a whole new light on it, I suppose. I’ll come down in the middle somewhere. 🙂

              • The ironic thing is that apparently Migrante had only heard of Veloso’s case early April, pretty much the same time as most Filipinos. By contrast, P-Noy had known about the case by the time of Jokowi’s state visit here back in February. Veloso was actually one of the things the two presidents discussed. If anything, it should be Migrante that should be at fault for not knowing about the case earlier.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Goodness !!! The Deans are listening. After decades and decades of silence THEY HAVE FOUND THEIR VOICE to CRITICIZE Philippine Media. Next they will criticize their very own crooks. I am looking forward to it.

                I was furious when I saw Veloso in her pink funeral dress smiling a big huge smile and a bow plastered in the front page of Inquirer with headline something to this effect, “VELOSO IS HAPPY AFTER AFTER A STAY OF EXECUTION”.

                That picture was taken sometime ago before she was caughted by Malaysian authorities.

              • Joe America says:

                It was a rather strange photo, I agree. Like she was attending a wedding rather than rotting in an Indonesian jail a hair from the firing squad. I do give her credit, though. She had the character to appreciate that the government was working on her behalf. As for Mama . . . I fault those who used her rather than helped her.

        • Dodong says:

          Harry roque is a member of APO , who will probably be hired by Binay if he wins the presidency. Jim Paredes is the only APO member who is very vocal against Binay

        • Steve says:

          If Roque is a tenured faculty member the university has very little control over his actions: they can’t just fire him. That system was of course set up to preserve academic freedom and ensure that university faculty cannot be forced to toe any particular ideological line, but there’s no doubt that it sometimes can be abused.

          • Joe America says:

            Then their reputations deserve to get trashed. When the hub of intelligence can’t keep an ethical staff, there is a shortage in the intellectual wattage.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      I Googled News “Pulse Asia” and “SWS” NO RIGHT THINKING INTERNATIONAL NEWSWIRE NEVER EVER QUOTE THEIR SURVEYS only Inquirer and the rest of the Philippine Media.

      It goes to show that their polls&surveys are not at par with international standards. Even Obama is not telling the world that Marwan and that Muslim guy was “killed” because Obama, White House, NSA and his other intelligence agencies cannot CONFIRM that they are dead despite U.P.-journalism graduates pronouncemeent that they are dead.

      Obama did tell the world some low-level bomber from Yemen was droned-out and Abu Sayaf ISIS was taken down by Delta Force but never on MARWAN and that MUSLIM GUY.

      Obama has written off bureaucrats and news from the Philippines. Mrs. Roxas was suspended over squabble with CNN Anderson Cooper. According to cover-up stories by Philippine Media, Mrs. Roxas is on “leave” to pursue her “studies”. In my vocuabolary, Mrs. Roxas is “SUSPENDED” again. I AM JUST HOPING SO.

      Mrs. Roxas happens to be the only first in the likes of Brian Williams and Britt McHenry to name a few.

      Does anybody knows who Mrs. Roxas is?

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Mrs. Roxas is “SUSPENDED” for the following reasons:
        1. So that there will not be any faux pas;
        2. So as not to jeopardize Mr. Roxas;
        3. Mrs. Roxas is too glammed up to be kissing dirty babies along with Mr. Roxas
        4. Most of all, Mrs. Roxas is not your traditional-looking woman-next-door squatting on plang-gana washing clothes with her hands.
        5. Mrs. Roxas looks more like a slavedriving slavemaster that work their slaves from sunup to sunup without Social Security, no vacation time, no sick time, no breaktime, no weekends off.

        Bad! Bad! Bad for Mr. Roxas.

        I like Mr. Roxas. He has down to earth looks. Most of all He looks like my typical traditional looking Filipino in the likes of Robredo.

        • Joe America says:

          What if Ms. Roxas in real life is a kind and good natured person? Doesn’t it trouble you to be a sucker for the stilted news format and media reports? Or do you really know her?

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            I may have PTSD as a Martial Law baby. What I see in Mrs. Roxas is beauty queen Imelda Marcos. Very traumatizing. I am hope I am wrong. If Mar brings Mrs. Roxas in his campaign sortie she’ll liekly eclipse Grace into “who’s running for what? Who’s running for vice-presidency?”

            Mar should rein in her glamorous mestiza wife. Goodness, in my church pew research nobody knows who the wife of Mar is. They are even more surprised it is Korina Sanchez. Korina? Really? Why is she not carrying Roxas last name? Is she making her own brand? She doesn’t like Roxas last name? What about hyphenated last name?

            Mrs. Roxas “STUDY” is preparatory of Mar Roxas-Grace Poe launching. It is apt because she’s in the media so The Binays will not make an accusation she’s using her show as a promotion for Mar. Wait a minute, very few people knows Korina Sanchez is Mrs Roxas.

            Philippine Inquirer will plaster Mrs. Roxas all over to confuse people who is who is running for Vice-President.

            • Joe America says:

              It is for sure an interesting side story. It’s like democratic candidates in the US who decide not to call in President Obama to help their campaign because his public reputation is so beaten down. So how is Korina Sanchez best dealt with. Put her in the closet or on the campaign trail? I’d put her on the campaign trail to work the local markets, myself. They love being attended to by stars. Get all worked up and chatter. Like, when arriving Sec De Lima passed the airport lounge in Tacloban as my family was on the way out of town, the whole place went abuzz.

            • Martial Law babies all have PTSD in a way. And those who read history or are older still remember how Ferdie and Imelda were touted as the Philippine JFK and Jackie Kennedy.

    • manuelbuencamino says:

      I know the chief statistician of Pulse Asia, Ana Luna Tabunda. She graduated from UP. But she’s straight and good at what she does. During a campaign several years ago, some of the people I was with asked her to include certain questions in a survey. Now a candidate is allowed to suggest questions to a polling group if he is paying for the survey and wants to get a specific read on a specific aspect of his campaign. So we presented the questions to her and she said, “we don’t do push polls.” And that was that. Pulse Asia was not going to allow itself to be used by any candidate whose questions are designed to elicit a certain response that would be favorable to the candidate and which the candidate could then publicize. Pulse Asia is straight, it can make mistakes but it will not participate in fakery. Mariano Renato Pacifico.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        I am not accusing Pulse ASia and SWS in faking their polls what I did not made clear was perceived INCOMPETENCE and their TRUSTWORTHINESS. Even Inquirer bannered Nielsen’s rating of Philippine Media not from so-called Pulse and Social Weather.

        • manuelbuencamino says:

          Nielsen is also a credible polling firm. It also has a good track record specially when it comes to “predicting” winners. What you have to do is check their findings against actual results i.e. did they predict the winners in a national or local election; how close were their predictions to the actual results etc. The work of polling firms is measurable against actual results. That’s how you test the credibility of a polling firm. Mariano Renato Pacifico

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks for that certification, MB. I had presumed competency and integrity based on what I had read, and the credentials of the main people. It’s good to get that confirmed.

    • Nate Silver could be commissioned to do the poll for Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. The masses will be impressed with this statistical genius. But, wait… It will not happen because Roxas, Poe and the LP party will be branded, “tuta ng Kano” by the leftists and nationalists. Please explain to me why some Filipinos overtly despise but covertly admire Western ideals and those who are “tainted” by it.

      • Sorry for being a pedant but I believe Nate Silver’s specialization is using all published polls to get a trend and a read on what is happening. Thus we can just hire nate silver to understand and interpret the SWS Pulse Kantanar surveys.

        • Nate Silver uses psephology in interpreting various data related to politics (historical and current polling precints’ outcomes, demographics, polls results, campaign funding, and anything that could be quantified including voters’ behavior) to predict election results. Published polls data is just one factor he inserts in his complex statistical equation.

          Yes, he can interpret SWS and Pulse Asia’s surveys but I think he will need other numbers/data in addition to the the surveys’ results to do an accurate assessment of Philippines’ 2016 election winners.

          We are here to learn from each other. Being pedantic is a great personal asset and is much appreciated by Society members so no need to apologize.

        • Joe America says:

          My bookie Sal can do that.

  7. karl garcia says:

    We say it is the masa vote that will make a president win, are these surveys tabloid material and am radio material? the premature campaigning done by Binay made his presence felt and now Binay is going toe to toe with Cayetano and Lacson with the TV commercials.

    • Joe America says:

      It’s good for the economy. Recycles a lot of money back into growth. For Binay, it is desperation, to do that so early. For the others, it is an attempt to stay relevant or get relevant. I think they all will fail, due to other circumstances. Still, I am disappointed that COMELEC badgers and nit-picks during the campaign period (no bank withdrawals) and is silent outside it. Ethics should exist year-round.

    • If we had an ACLU or an Election Reform party we could just let Binay have his ads and then petition the courts to overturn their pro media decision of not limiting the minutes in total ads effectively.

      BTW This is the point where I went fully against our fucking TV media. Their petition to declare the minutes as per station was gobsmacked with their personal interest over the interest of the republic.

  8. manuelbuencamino says:

    SWS published an interesting report. It found that opposition to the BBL was strongest among those who know least about it and progressively weaker as familiarity with the provisions of the law increased.

    A president must always have the pulse of the people, that way he can act accordingly, meaning if the people are totally or strongly against some program or initiative he can decide whether or not it is worth expending political capital for it or he can wait for a more opportune moment or he can, using the survey findings, adjust how he will sell his program or policy. Bottom line is the president must decide whether the survey finding is credible and if so then he must not ignore it because that’s the people giving feedback.

    • Joe America says:

      In other words, he has to attend to the issue . . . say strike down the BBL . . . or fix the wrong impressions. I must say I don’t see a lot of purposeful “image care” being undertaken. It’s like the President knows he is doing good, so he doesn’t need to prove it, or press briefings are enough. Perhaps he does. And they aren’t.

      • manuelbuencamino says:

        Image care is not one-sided. In politics, there is always more than one-side throwing images to the public. And that, to a large extent. is dependent on how media will play up your side of the story. For example, if media is friendly it can kill a story or play up your version of it and put you in a better light. So when one looks at “image care” one has to include the medium which is broadcast and print media and sad to say a lot of that will necessarily involve corruption, not necessarily through outright bribes but through “gentle” persuasion. Look at how BUsh was able to use media to launch a war under false pretenses. So here we come up against something basic – would it be alright for the president who professes the straight path to use all the means necessary for “image care” or does he do it with one hand tied behind his back so that he remains true to his principles to the extent of conceding the field to unscrupulous opponents?

  9. I just realized all my comments are off topic.

    The president has always had a problem with PR.

    I think he just has too much baggage that he has reached a point of I don;t give a fuck.

    I think he is surprisingly more cerebral than we give him credit for,

    I believe expectations management is a skill that is learned but seldom on the fly. This is more so when you are managing expectations of a nation with a united opposition and a tabloid media.

    Based on a lot of his interviews he is a student of history and as early as 2012 planned a biography to be co-written with MLQ3.

    I think the president wants to make the best decisions surveys be damned.

    • Joe America says:

      Nothing is off topic when it is instructive and interesting.

      Wonderful casting of the President’s position on PR. You nailed what has been wobbling around in the background of my mind as to what the situation is. I agree he is cerebral, and gets exasperated at the simplicity of the press and even the public views.

  10. Joe,

    I prefer Gov. Palin’s take on polls:

    “Polls, nah… They’re for strippers and cross-country skiers.”

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here are whys I do not trust Philippine surveys and polls:
    Filipinos are smart people. Culturally, “smart” is “wa-is” “maro” in local parlance. The word is not smart as Americans define it. Calling someone “smart” or “maro” hurts. Filipinos knows what to answer in polls and surveys for intended outcome. This “smarts” are not taken into account in crunching their numbers for surveys +/- margin of errors.

    It is like Fake American Filipinos knew very well that Americans demand evidences at the same token these American-wannabes prefer witnesses against Binay in the absence of evidences. They also know that if Binay were tried in 1stWorld countries Binay would go free.

    Filipinos have dual justice personalities. That is why Anti-Binays did not want Hustisya Matuwid American style. If Philippines were one of the States of the U.S. the venue of hearing would have been moved to the mainland because the jurors already have formed their opinion: GUILTY!

    U.S. Central Bank would also have been sued for violating AMLC. The banks would have been found guilty for not reporting over Php4,000,000.00 cash transactions to U.S. Central Bank. To this day, in the Philippines, there are no chatters of violation of privacy by the Central Bank and Banks Binay transacted with.

    Binays are so hated that Binays accusation of violation of privacy law did not create furor by privacy advocates nor get a play in the media. Whatever happened to those senators who were against the National I.D. system? They did not want the National I.D. system afraid of PRIVACY VIOLATION !!! Where are the Philipine Media who advocated against the National I.D. system?

    Filipinos are smart in a very bad opposite way. It is no surprise that Filipinos are derogatorily called “FLIP” because they are always on the wrong side of the coin despite knowing that they are.

    Do Filipinos understand surveys? And polls? Would their electoral decision swayed by polls & surveys? From my point of view, I do not think so. Phillippine Newspapers only have less than 2,000,000 in circulation of 100,000,000 Filipinos. While ABS-CBN as of May 22 to 25 has ratings like this:

    “The pilot episode of Kathniel’s teleserye “Pangako Sa’yo” won with a rating of 34.0% and surpassed GMA 7’s “Let The Love Begin” (15.0%) and TV5’s “Wattpad Presents (2.3%). Source: Kantar Media / TNS”

    http://abscbnpr.com/category/corporate/ratings/

    Filipinos are more engrossed in telesyeres than news. They may have given up knowing nothing comes out of it. Telesyeres is it.

    • Joe America says:

      In that context, we can figure that those Filipinos who are indicating a trust of Binay are merely posturing, maybe to receive more gifts? Could be. But they might also posture in a real poll, and vote for Binay.

      Too much thinking gets confusing. I understand why President Aquino might just decide to ignore the surveys and get on with business. Maybe he and you are on the same wave length on this. Now that is an amusing thought.

  12. jameboy says:

    What would you do if you were President?
    ========
    With the survey showing how popular I am? I’ll love and cherish it! So love it I would do what people want me to do with regard to anything that has to do with ceremonial process. If they want to hear me, their leader, speak and apologize for the debacle which resulted in the killing of “my men” I would do it. I would do anything for “my men” and their relatives and loved ones. I would even cry in public if I feel like crying. I would also emphasize that I will never rest until justice is done for them. Never.I would do what people expect of me to do in those times when national unity calls for it.

    Anything to pacify, reassure, commiserate and be one with my people, I’ll do it.

    However, in terms of policy decisions and governance, the ones that brought me atop those surveys, there’ll be no compromise. On that level, I’ll do what is good for the country regardless of what the people say. 👮

    • Joe America says:

      Very good. You would work on the impressions because you believe that is important to keeping your position esteemed, your office strong, and the nation unified. But you would make your decisions on the basis of information and the good of the nation.

      And if you believed a decision were good for the nation, but knew it was unpopular? Maybe like the BBL. Or ceding Sabah to Malaysia. Or whatever case you would choose. How would you handle that?

      • jameboy says:

        And if you believed a decision were good for the nation, but knew it was unpopular? Maybe like the BBL. Or ceding Sabah to Malaysia. Or whatever case you would choose. How would you handle that?
        =======
        On the BBL, if for example the majority of the people, through representation, wants the BBL to have a further study and review than the announced calendar for its approval, with reasonable justification, nothing’s wrong on extending such period. If the legislators will prefer to deliberate on it on the time they want to which is within the time frame my office will agree on with them on prior consultation or conferment, I would go along with that direction. Anything external from the bill that my office will be consulted on for approval, so long as justified and reasonable, I’ll welcome it.

        On ceding Sabah, if people want to let go of the claim, I say no. Popular or not it is not for me alone to decide to extinguish the claim on it. It has to have official settlement or arbitration where all parties are represented and be given the opportunity to prove both sides’ claim.

        Any decision on policy that will directly impact on the lives of the people and/or decide what course the country will take or end up to, unpopular it maybe, so long as it will reap greater benefits and goodwill on all of us in the long run, that’s what I’m going to uphold. 🙂

  13. Bing Garcia says:

    Q: Sa inyo po bang palagay o sa inyo po bang pakiramdam, majority ng mga kapwa niyo senador ay sumusuporta diyan sa BBL at ito’y ipapasa din kungdi man matapos sa June 11?

    Drilon: Sa akin po ay sa palagay ko ay basta makita ng mga senador na sang-ayon sa Saligang Batas sa BBL ay sususportahin nila ito. Ang majority po ay susuporta basta ang paghain ng BBL ay wala pong labag sa ating Saligang Batas at sang-ayon sa mga prinsipyo ng sovereignty ng ating bansa at kung hindi po tayo magkakawatak-watak dahil sa BBL. May suporta po ang BBL sa Senado.

  14. jameboy says:

    “If I were Benigno Aquino, I WOULD TAP POLLSTERS ABROAD…..”

    “Nate Silver could be commissioned to do the poll for Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. The masses will be impressed with this statistical genius.”
    ========
    There goes that penchant for thinking that anything from the outside is better. Like the UCLA-lawyering idea, why look outside when we have all the materials inside? Why make a caricature of ourselves being look at as if nothing is valuable or nothing is with merit in the country that we want outsiders to come in and fix everything? 😯

    • Joe America says:

      My bookie Sal lives in Manila now. He’s available.

      I agree with you, but I wish there were more “take charge” people hereabouts with organizational skills and a sense of urgency. Since I got on Facebook and wrote a few articles that seemed yellow, I got automatically drafted into about 20 groups that are either for Aquino or against Binay. I withdrew from them all because my name on their roster makes it look like I am politically engaged, which I cannot be. But why are there 20 groups talking mainly to themselves. Why is there no single force being a force? It seems to be a lot of disjointed vanity efforts.

      • jameboy says:

        It’s hard, Joe. It’s hard to clearly and concretely explain and in the process able to convince and make the other side understand the answer to (your) question. And since I cannot intellectually do that let me just do it in a less serious but from-the-heart kind of approach response.

        We’re a nation of multi-party politics. Unlike the US, from which we got the system, we have a lot of political parties having the same version of a Kennedy, Obama, Joan of Arch, Robin Hood or whatever is there in the chest of the political myth. Our political environment is a smorgasbord of a smorgasbord. Parties used to don the red, white, blue and yellow colors from our flag. But since we are also a Sarimanok (colorful bird) country we now have orange, green, black, white, purple, gold, or a combination of those as colors of political parties. I remember there is even such a thing called ‘rainbow coalition’. Nope, it’s not an alliance among gays. 🙂

        We’re an island-nation that simply means a country composed of three big islands and a lot of smaller ones. The geographical make-up affords us some kind of an island mentality hence tribal things happened. Datus and royalties still abound but no longer in physical form but more on mental. Not only that, we also have more than 100 languages or dialects which makes for a lot of noise and gibberish if we think about it. We are more like Europe than US, lots of languages but only one ethnic color.

        Actually, there are more take charge people in our midst only thing is they are not united. There may be differences in focus and agenda but what makes groupings sprout all over the place is the issue which is the main reason why groups is made. I don’t see any indication that such situation or arrangement, if you will, will going to change.

        As one pop song goes, if a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you? I think the composer was thinking of the Philippines when he wrote that line.

        It’s really hard, Joe. 😎

        • Joe America says:

          Ha, yes. Why can’t I paint it. I’ve spent 5 years trying to blog it and still can’t quite grasp why the momentum is toward division rather than unity. It’s like the big bang is operative in the Philippines and everything is blowing more distant. Then there is that strange fact that the analysts here, the Andrews and Edgars and you and others can dissect the issues and see the solutions clearly. There must be thousands of such seers in the Manila business community. Maybe we go MRP’s route and fire the government and hire the Ayalas to run things. The influence of favor, family and friendships dominates rational decision-making it seems to me. Well, favor, family and friendships are good qualities. But they are getting in the way, I think.

    • And who is the statistician in the Philippines that is comparable to Nate Silver in accuracy and fame? Bring him out. He needs to shine and he would be able to bring fame and glory to the Philippines.

      Outside is generally better? Closed mindedness and wishing to invent the wheel all the time impedes progress and prosperity. The Japanese and German learned how to capitalize on western know how to be able to make “new and improved” products. Now, they are leaders in technological advances. They are able to manufacture uniquely Japanese and German technology because they did not kick the gift horse in the mouth.

      I am all for Filipinos doing their thing and looking for available local resources to make something or do something. But all talk and no action is usually the root of the slow progress in PI. Couple that with the hostility towards western technological wisdom being brought in by foreigners to the country, we have Philippines in a slow motion track.

  15. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Filipinos are enamored with last names.

    Grace Poe is a political name. She is the daughter of famous actor. She is married to Teodoro Daniel Misael V. Llamanzares. Her full name is Grace Poe Llamanzares. Would you vote for Grace Llamanzares? Or Grace Poe?

    Korina Sanchez is married to Mar Roxas. Her legal name is Korina Sanchez Roxas.

    Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo another political name married to Jose Miguel Arroyo a nobody. Would you vote for Gloria Arroyo or Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?

    They cannot drop their famous last names. They do not want to. It is a brand. A name recognition that people vote not for platforms.

    Benigno’s mother is Cojuangco married to Aquino. Cojuangco+Aquino = Definitely more than name recognition. Benigno is not a political dude. I do not know who marketed him. Someone took a shot of him bawling over his dead mother. It was kinda cute. An unknown. A son of powerful family crying in public like a baby who did not get his lollipop.

    Two decades ago. Binay. Binay who? Where they came from? What is their pedigree? Why we vote the unknowns? Who sold them to the people? Who marketed them? They were a nobody? What made them? Who made them? ANSWER: THE PHILIPPINE MEDIA

    Filipinos vote for last name. Filipinos love dynasty like Americans watch Dynasty. Filipinos believe the Philippine Media. They never heard of them criticizing each other Brian Williams style. The Philippine Media is infallible. They are next to the Pope’s infallibility.

    • “Someone took a shot of him bawling over his dead mother. It was kinda cute. An unknown. A son of powerful family crying in public like a baby who did not get his lollipop.”

      Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing satire and metaphor in your various posts. Once and for all, are you posting for literary purpose, or are you serious? If you are serious here, I have to ask you to please share us this cute picture of PNOY bawling over his dead mother like a baby who did not get his lollipop.

      I lost my mother and father to horrible diseases but I did not bawl in public even if some well meaning people urged me to release what I feel. Some do it, some don’t.

      PNOY is not my idol, but I admire and support the thrust of his administration – sustainable growth and corrupt free governance. I admire his dead mother for her contribution to the restoration of democracy and his assassinated father for his martyrdom that opened our eyes and made us realize we have to leave our complacency and do something to throw out a dictator.

      I just don’t appreciate this kind of continuing insult towards a fine family that even in their imperfection, had been working hard for a better Philippines.

      • Joe America says:

        His points are completely serious. His deliver is almost never serious. The trick is identifying the real points and not getting lost in the delivery, which can be rude, insensitive and absurd. I always reflect back on Jonathan Swift (writer of “Gulliver’s Travels”) who once proposed that Ireland eat all the extra babies to solve the hunger problems and relentless poverty (“A Modest Proposal”). The reaction was strong and swift. The government introduced new laws to greatly reduce poverty.

        If he troubles you, don’t read his pieces. His work elsewhere is outrageous. His work here is sometimes repetitive, but often cuts to the core like Jonathan Swift. I’d find the blog a tad blander and mundane without his spice. I respect that he IS respecting us by not going troll on anyone.

        • Thank you for your clarification. My concern is for new commenters visiting who might take his posts as true because no one contradicts him. Of course I might be presuming that such new commenters do not have the common sense to distinguish the truth from the absurd, for that, I’m sorry.

          I just can’t develop the trick of scrolling to avoid his pieces, my eyes have a will of their own, haha…they are automatically speed reading everything, that is, when I have the time.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, that is a legitimate concern. Still, I’d rather have his participation than not, for what it means for intellectual stretch and freedom of expression. The discussions will never be perfect, I fear. But they are for sure excellent.

            • Fine, please humor me and expect though that, work deadlines permitting, I will regularly engage MRP in his absurd generalizations and insults. Just short comments, promise, no intention of starting an endless debate that will surely hurt other feelings. Just to make me feel better about not letting absurd things go unchallenged. He usually answers me and clarifies some matters, in a civil manner.

              • Joe America says:

                You are most welcome to express yourself freely. You, too, are a part of the fabric of the discussions here. You speak for many, many honorable Filipinos.

  16. If the MNLF wasn’t able to reign in all the groups, why does the Philippine gov’t now think the MILF can?

    And what of the newly, non-irredentist petro-dollar funded Wahhabi groups, who think they have more connection to the Arab region than to the Philippines (or SE Asian regions)?

    Once these vice/virtue and business/trade police are stood up, and they will abuse their powers (no where else have they exemplified fairness), who will regulate them?

    Saudi princes and rich foreign Muslims will partake in the experiment, they’ve done so in Aceh and parts of Malaysia, will the Philippines have the means to track them and their money? Will the Philippines have a way to forecast Salafism?

    The BBL seems like a good idea, but unfamiliarity with current trends in Islam, is to me the ‘unknown unknown’ here (to borrow from Sec. Rumsfeld)–it’s not irredentist anymore, Salafi is global (this one though, and I’m sure jameboy would be pleased, is America’s fault, petro-dollars).

    The Muslims in the South, have a great predisposition, but everyone else also said that about British and French Muslims. Although Muslims in the Philippines are less likely to up and go to the Arab world, the Arab world can now go to them (via the internet).

    So it’s America’s fault, petro-dollars made Saudi princes rich, Saudi princes gave money to Wahhabis, Wahhabi rebranded to Salafi (giving it a more 7th century legitimacy), and exported to the world with the same gusto as Mormon missionaries.

    The lessons learned from America is not so much from intel/mil/police, although deterrence eventually played an important role, but the act of knowing. Are there surveys or studies undertaken to get a feel for the Islam of South Mindanao, North Mindanao and Sulu?

    For example in Syria, up til the 90s women there didn’t wear hijabs, many expressed themselves according to Western norms. The Wahhabis gained a following in the late 90s, started wearing their thobes calf level, instead of length to the heel, to separate themselves, then encouraged first their wives, family then others (in an a-holely way) to wear hijabs.

    Then after 9/11, because of America’s heavy handed role in Iraq, the Salafi movement, called tiar (tide, I’m sure from Joe’s surfing metaphor), was fast tracked, then in a blink of an eye was the Arab Spring.

    Filipino Muslims, in the end, aren’t Arabs, but its worth keeping a pulse on. Are academics there on this? Are there think tanks there on this?

    • Joe America says:

      Filipino think tanks are mainly university professors, I think. I haven’t read all the writings on the matter so I don’t know if the Arab connection is in the thinking. I know the influence of Malaysia is. But as for foreign influences at the leadership levels, funding, and so forth, that is worth some research.

  17. jameboy says:

    Is there a problem on survey matters in the country? Are the Pulse Asia, SWS and other surveyors unreliable and inaccurate and politically bias that we have to entertain the idea of an outsider doing the measuring of the public pulse for us? Haven’t we experienced how capable and reliable those surveyors are?

    I mean, surveys said Erap is popular and he will win and he did. Is that questionable? Surveys opined that Noynoy will surely get Malacanang if his popularity is combined with Mar Roxas by the latter sliding down to vice-president, and he did win with Mar. Do we have to doubt that? At present, who doubts the surveys showing Jojo Binay leading the pack of presidentiables? Is the idea of ‘looking outside’ for help geared towards that scenario? That we believe there is machinations going on to make it appear that Binay is on top even though it’s not true?

    As for me, the local surveys are fine. There is no necessity for the expertise of outsiders because our own people have the same caliber, experience and education. Unless there is clear violation or commission of partiality, cheating, etc. on the surveyors part, let’s not fix what is not broken. 👎

    • Joe America says:

      I think the survey companies here are qualified and do good work. They can’t eliminate respondent bias or the influence of media on people’s thinking. They ask questions and report on the answers. The results are as good as anyone can get, and if anyone wants to spend the money, I’m sure the researchers can explore any question that anyone has in any class of respondent. That there is no “star personality” in the survey business here suggests the companies are just doing their work as professionals.

  18. @Joe (off topic): thanks for plugging my blog! New article on Federalism just out… 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Great, I’ll pop over for a look a little later.

      • Had MY Eureka moment about the Philippines in conjunction with Federalism AND civil society plus the stuff I read in the Duterte Facebook groups where I am reading now – and of course pitching the federalism stuff which I have a very clear admitted sympathy for.

        A lot of issues in the Philippines have to do with recognition and respect – because not having some importance can have very real consequences in a high-power-distance society like the Philippines – MARGINALIZATION, which means effectively less rights even if you formally are equal and also economic consequences. It also has to do with some Filipinos acting TOO important – especially those coming from groups that were less important like the Binay family, which is why you have all this “you know who WE are”?

        The solution eventually is to make ALL Filipinos feel equally important. Duterte and his supporters are similar to the Moros in terms of feeling marginalized and left out.

        And in a country where that can have real consequences, where the experience of colonialism and the oppressive Malay feudalism that it built on – datu culture was a slaver culture never forget that this is what Filipino nationalists often ignore – it is NOT neediness.

        It is based on a very real fear of being the oppressed person or group! Removing that fear takes at least one generation that sees that opportunities and equality are REAL and not just window-dressing done for foreign investors and press people. Many of us who went abroad know what marginalization can mean. This is why Bam Aquino with his very sincere appearance engenders trust – he looks like a man who inspite of his high origins will truly give equal rights and opportunities, not be pushy and exclusive like many elites.

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    “In a series of overnight busts, authorities arrested high-ranking FIFA officials over allegations of vast racketeering and corruption involving more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks spanning two decades in soccer’s controversial governing body, law enforcement officials said.” – ABCNEWS

    Without fanfare … without name-and-shame … without anyone knowing they are being investigated … BOOM! BANG! They were caughted. They were surprised. Wildeyed.

    If this were in the Philippines FIFA would have spun their yarn so tight that a batch of U.P.-Law Graduate Bar topnotchers cannot even untangle it. PDAF and DAP investigation is very unlike FIFA and Blago.

    I even doubt Mar Roxas straight from high school to U.P. ….. ha!ha!ha! Not that U.P. in Dilliman … University of Penssylvania School of Whartons that investigation should be done under the cover of darkness, then, surprise the crooks !!!

    I bet ya Mar Roxas would never do a FIFA and Blago or Monica.

  20. AMLC found 3 transfers from Binay’s account to dollar accounts(?) in Canada. His smokespeople explained them as payments to Synovate and David Rink Consultancies. Synovate is a polling/research company later sold to Ipsos, a well known polling organization in the US. David Rink Research in Canada is now a one man show, and he is supposed to be Synovate’s ex-honcho. Was Binay using a foreign consultant to validate local surveys?

    • Micha says:

      There is no doubt that Binay is a certified crook. The question is, what are the policy makers in the current administration doing to counter his popularity in the C and D class?

      • Joe America says:

        The current administration doesn’t care about his popularity, I think. They are focused on work. Popularity is something the candidates will have to deal with during the campaign.

        • Micha says:

          And yet here we are, wondering why Binay is in tops of the surveys despite revelations of his malfeasance.

          That only means one thing : policy makers are not listening to the message.

          • Joe America says:

            The national budget. Infrastructure development, CCT program, extra money dedicated to poorer regions, trickle-down of success from major corporations (Mercury Durg is now in Naval Biliran, Gaisano Mall is under construction). My community is D/E and it is popping with new development, four-lane roads, new laws, good behavior, little crime, and rising property values.

            • Micha says:

              Construction works and mall development maybe seen as signs of progress but construction jobs and sales clerk-ing at Gaisano and Mercury does not necessarily translate to better lives for the poor. Income inequality is high and opportunity through higher education is a stretch for most of them.

              Not saying that all these superficial signs of development has no value but income disparity increases feelings of both economic and social alienation which translates to increased preponderance and desirability of Robin Hood justice peddled by you-know-who.

              Some suggestions : 1. better labor standards 2. safety nets from globalization bandwagon especially for rural folks and farmers 3. full subsidies for higher public education.

              • Joe America says:

                Oh, I’m not saying things are perfect or anywhere near it. I’m saying the direction is right and the effort good. It takes time to raise an economy from the pits of despair to vibrant and modern. If you want to compare actual performance to ideal, there will always be room to criticize. But to say people’s lives are not getting better and little is being done does not conform to the facts.

              • Micha says:

                Hahaha…the economy had already been, for decades, in the pits of despair.

                Not for the 0.1 percent though.

          • Joe America says:

            It is not the Administration’s job to worry about Binay’s popularity, only his law-breaking, and they are onto that. It does not proceed quickly because of all the legalistic hoops. Really, why would you expect President Aquino to subordinate the nation’s work to suppress a political threat to Roxas? That is exactly a trapo style approach. I suspect he has encouraged Roxas to stick with doing his job, which is why we don’t see Roxas overtly campaigning. It seems to me you want the President to play politics instead of work.

            • Micha says:

              Nope, I do not expect President Aquino to suppress a political threat. I expect him to listen to the message of the surveys – the message, in effect, of people who are getting more socially and economically alienated

              • Joe America says:

                “People are getting more socially and economically alienated.” Source of that conclusion? People support Binay because he has been working the fields for well over 10 years, bestowing gifts and spreading mistruths (“those” guys are corrupt). They don’t read Monsod of the Inquirer. They watch talking heads on two channels of TV. They have their mayors bragging about Binay (they have been bought off by Binay). What does Aquino have to do with that?

                He botched Mamasapano on coffin day, and his ratings dropped by a third. That is no reason for us, who should know better, to discount five years of fundamentally good work to join the poor in their rant. Again, the recent SWS surveu says people are more optimistic about things than any time in Philippine history. So where are you drawing off the “alienated” conclusion?

              • “Tila yata napag-iiwanan din ang marami nating kababayang nangangailangan. Sa tingin ko, talagang hindi lamang sa paglilinis ng korupsyon kundi pagtulong sa mahihirap, ‘yan tila ang dapat tutukan (It seems that many of our needy countrymen have been left behind. I think they should focus not only on fighting corruption but also helping the poor).”

                ~ Grace Poe

                Seems like that will be Grace Poe’s platform for 2016. She confirmed that Mar Roxas had asked her to be his VP. She said that they have a lot in common but dropped hints that their focus somehow differs. She also reiterated that she is keen on staying an Independent candidate. There are rumors that she will run as an Independent candidate with Chiz Escudero as her VP. The campaign financier? Could it be Ongpin?

              • Micha says:

                Why do you think Binay’s Robin Hoodism resonates well with the poor? Yes, he’s been working on it for “well over 10 years” but they would have stayed away from the farce if they don’t feel socially and economically alienated, that is, if they have alternative ways and means to better their lives.

                Birthday cakes and free movie tickets might not necessarily equal better life but they. at least, feel that they belong – that somebody genuinely (or fraudulently) cares.

                How else would you explain the embrace of the poor of Binay’s method?

              • Joe America says:

                Yes poverty is alienating. If that is your factual evidence, that the nation still has over one-fourth of its families below the poverty line, then I accept it. Yes, as you say, the Philippines has always been in despair. But your solution, to blame the current administration for the alienation (poverty), is bizarre to me. Binay is leveraging the poverty, creating the class distinction, and you blame Aquino for not attending to him. It’s like the leftists who have finally realized that their silence on Binay has people questioning their legitimacy. So they whiff at Binay, then turn the case to whack at Aquino.

                To me, your argument seems political. Deny the facts, or spin them. Don’t give credit where due. Or blame where due.

                I’d rather you go back to work on the Church. At least there we can agree on a reason for the poverty, and the alienation. It is not Aquino.

              • Micha says:

                Manong Joe, the very state of poverty is automatic journey towards alienation.

              • Micha says:

                What is bizarre is that I did not offer a solution of blaming Aquino.

              • Joe America says:

                Then I misinterpreted the starting point to the discussion: “Binay consistently topping the surveys only means one thing : the economic gains (if ever there’s one) did not trickle down to the constituency where it matters most. That is where policy would have made a huge difference.”

              • Micha says:

                Yes, because that is not offering a solution. It’s stating a subjective fact.

              • Joe America says:

                Subjective fact. What is that? A subjective fact is an opinion. The real facts are different than what your subjective judgment is saying, as I look at them. You can discount the surveys that indicate Filipinos see themselves being in much better shape, you can discount what I tell you is occurring on the ground, you can discount the many constructive programs put in place by the Aquino Administration, and you can change the argument to poverty being alienating. Why are we even talking? I don’t think you are listening, but are in this mode of defending your original position. What’s the constructive takeaway?

                Mine is that Filipinos ought to be pleased with their nation for all the good, hard work being done, and the promise of sustaining that to reduce poverty in a meaningful way.

              • The solution is contained in this posting: https://joeam.com/2015/05/26/do-you-make-decisions-according-to-surveys-should-the-president/#comment-122446

                The whole 18-year thing someone mentioned makes sense – then you have one generation that has experienced that equality and opportunities are REAL, no bullshit.

                Maybe Grace Poe is joining that drive and will continue to support Daang Matuwid, as VP or in the Cabinet of Mar Roxas, then go for the Presidency in 2022 to continue it.

                Filipino supporting corruptos, or going abroad, is about cynicism. That all change so far has been mainly window-dressing for investors and journalists. It runs deep.

                My former yaya recently was in the Philippines and told me Manila is very clean and orderly now compared to 7 years ago. That was da moment I really bilib in Daang Matuwid. We are all conditioned – from experience over the years – to believe in practically nothing except what our own tell us. Too much bullshit and window-dressing in the past, not only Marcos did it, nearly everyone did. Now President Aquino is just a few years older than me, in my generation we started thinking wadapak this is all going nowhere, maybe his batch also started before us and every batch after us even more. Give Grace Poe the benefit of the doubt I say – because I can relate to her situation. Too many “burgis” people who see the ones who are not perceived as part of their crowd as dirt, no matter what they do to progress. Heard a comment from someone very recently – come on do you think Mar Roxas is cleaner than Binay, just because he looks like a clean-cut Ateneo boy? This is how deep suspicion of the established classes runs among Filipinos, the one who told me that is a Filipino who made it really big abroad. Now if Grace Poe is destroyed by the established classes with no real reason – with Binay there is – it will increase the conviction that no matter what WE do, the guys in power will make sure we don’t get our chances.

                Grace Poe may have made mistakes, but why are they given more importance than those of Mar Roxas? Grace Poe is also competent. What MRP is saying goes in this direction – that the Philippines has a hidden, unacknowledged CASTE system – josephivo says that too when he writes about social apartheid. It runs deep and causes much of the anger. Destroying Grace Poe will increase resentment. She was abroad and made it there. Now if she is denied all chances, WE will know the game is rigged and might just stop playing fair.

              • Micha says:

                Yes Manong Joe, it’s subjective because you could always agree or disagree on my assertion that economic gains did not trickle down. And then maybe we could explore the reality or the objective fact from that. But to say that I offered a solution just by blaming Aquino is inaccurate. I offered 3 suggestion somewhere in the middle of this, our mini conversation, viz.:

                1. better labor standards 2. safety nets from globalization bandwagon especially for rural folks and farmers 3. full subsidies for higher public education.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, very good. Those are very constructive proposals. My miss.

    • josephivo says:

      Or he doesn’t know anybody in the Philippines he can trust and he is willing to pay millions abroad for basic political advise, too bad for an experienced presidential candidate. Or he is just lying.

  21. Micha says:

    Binay consistently topping the surveys only means one thing : the economic gains (if ever there’s one) did not trickle down to the constituency where it matters most.

    That is where policy would have made a huge difference.

  22. Micha says:

    Granting that Binay becomes President, what will be the possible scenario of his reign?

    One, he delivers the goods on the economic front and is vindicated.

    Two, his scandal riddled past will catch up to him and will become so ineffectual in governance, country is divided, calls for his resignation will resonate and will be lucky to get past his third year.

    Three, all corrupt buwayas will make a grand alliance, Arroyo and Jinggoy will make a grand comeback, the looting and the party will continue and the rest of the country will slog along.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s about it. The way I see it, the race could be three-way, with Binay/Somebody against Poe/Escudero and Roxas/Somebody. In that scenario, Poe will do to Roxas what Lacson did to her father, and Binay will win. Amusing, that.

      • Micha says:

        Four, Juana Change succeded Binay after a coup de tat by Trillanes.

      • Poe might also be playing – for a role in the future Roxas government in exchange for withdrawing her ambitions for now. A lot of Filipino politics is about that kind of stuff.

        • Joe America says:

          We can only wait and see. Frankly, I hope Roxas goes with Leni Robredo as his ticket mate. On the campaign circuit, I suspect she can out buzz Poe.

          • Very good – Leni R. also has the bonus point of really having done stuff for the people.

            Poe just caters to the “she’s one of us” mentality. A kind of thinking that should be junked.

          • NHerrera says:

            JoeAm, Irineo,

            Agree more with the concept of the 18-year thing sequenced as Nonoy, Roxas, Robredo. What a refreshing thing that will be.

            A note from Raissa’s Blogsite: Rene-Ipil posted the matter of 10 years residency requirement by May 2016 for Pres/ Vice Pres in accordance with the 1987 Constitution. Poe will have only about 9.5 years by then. This seems more clear-cut to me than the natural-born citizenship issue discussed a lot and with passion at CPM. If COMELEC rules on the basis of that Constitutional requirement then Poe is out. (But then there may be legal creativity in defense?).

            On that basis, it may not be too late (?) to promote a Roxas-Robredo (RORO) tandem.

            • NHerrera says:

              But there may be potent objections from the LP Coalition. “Why not X, Y, or Z to team up with Roxas. We agree Robredo is honest, clean, but …” The recent pronouncement from Olympus is that the announcement will come on or after July 27 SONA. We have approximately two months to wait then.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, that is most interesting. It is a case of legalistic details taking precedence over well-being of the people, if Poe is indeed good for the state. So it is bizarre. No legalistic mechanisms to keep Binay out. A trivial one to keep Poe out. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

              • Joe America says:

                I’d rather she be in or out on her merits, so I hope the legalistic block does not prosper.

              • That 10 year residency requirement is there for a reason, if she does not satisfy that requirement, she does not qualify to run, plain and simple – to my one track mind….hehe

                Let us wait for her response to this latest item as uncovered by Atty. Rene. Anyways, she can support PNOY’s anointed one and try her luck in 2022, by then, she can more than satisfy that 10 year residency requirement and has acquired more experience so she can run for the highest post…. yes!…the 3 term program spanning 18 years of straight path governance so growth and corruption eradication can be sustained. No hurry for Poe.

                If we as a nation cannot enforce the rules on simple trivial matters, how can we expect us to solve the big ones like the saber rattling of China…. imagine, they have made a reclaimed, giant non-ship aircraft carrier near our shores, is developing (or buying?) STOVL (short take off and vertical landing fighter aircraft), even chasing away US Patrol ones…

                MARLEN RORO it is for me. Mar Roxas / Leni Robredo – let’s try 2 from Visayas and Bicol? region.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, good point. If they are going to start waiving the rules, let’s toss the age one and elect Bam Aquino.

                Won’t happen, so I concede the point.

  23. jameboy says:

    On surveys and decisions

    Jojo Binay remains on top of the ratings. People, prominently Sen, Trillanes himself, are predicting that Binay will eventually decide to quit the race because of the pressure of corruption charges and its effect on his standing in popularity ratings.

    I don’t think Binay’s rating will go down to the level that he will be force to give up his ambition and quit. Binay is in it for the long haul. If he run and lose, good. The court will just have to proceed to go after him for his hidden wealth, corruption charges, etc. However, if he wins, it’s going to be an all-out war against those who ‘sullied’ his and his family’s reputation. Payback time for the nice people.

    There’s a lot of time for survey ratings to go up or down for every presidential hopeful. Galloping Sen. Grace Poe can still catch-up and even overtake Binay. Halting Mar Roxas, while a distant third, has time on his side given the fact that the embattled vice-president has been slowly losing numbers that could end up on his doorstep. For Jojo, I think he already reach the summit. The time remaining on his hands will all be dedicated to keep steady the number he has and prevent further its erosion as the barrage of corruption allegations against him keeps on coming.

    My view is Binay will go for broke in 2016. Ratings or not, there’s no turning back for him. A couple of months ago, as reflected in his ratings, he has been the darling of everyone. A success story. The only mayor who got elected straight to the vice-presidency is also seen as the only mayor in history that would capture the Palace without going through the usual channels, Senate or Congress.

    Sadly that one for the books scenario is slowly fading in the face of a looming possibility of him losing everything. 👮

  24. jameboy says:

    Your question, Joe, is loaded. 🙂

    We’re so used to read one-sided comments about Binay in this blog. Practically, it’s all anti. I have yet to read a pro-Binay stand here and I’m not going to start now. The drought of having to read a piece in support of Binay could be the reason why a neutral view could sometimes be seen as leaning over the other side.

    The “sadly” description in the analysis was made from the point of view of the subject of your article. While yours is the usual black and white attack analysis expressing your opposite stand against the Binays and the danger of them occupying the Palace mine was spoken in reference to how a winner becomes the loser in the scheme of things. Anyway, let me buttress the idea of the post.

    Isn’t it sad that you were the toast of the town for the spectacular fashion you won the VP office and to be declared to be the most popular to covet the grand prize in 2016 just to see that possibility slowly nipped in the bud because of corruption charges you are about to face in a court of public opinion or most likely in the court of law?

    Isn’t it sad that after dominating the local politics of a small town Makati and becoming the second top man in the nation you are now preparing for your dream of getting the center and biggest stage of them all only to realize it is slowly slipping away from your hands?

    Isn’t it sad that the years of planning, scheming, strategizing and salivating for the position of power and see your family reap the fruits of such effort (your wife took over Makati’s reign when you had your “vacation” from office; your son becoming the mayor of Makati on your own bidding, and setting everything for your two daughters be become a senator and a congresswoman) only to see it erode by the day of charges of cheating and lying when it was your turn to get the key to the Palace?

    The celebration a few months ago for the perceived victory in the polls has turned to mourning for the death of a dream nurtured in the years of wooing and cavorting with the sister cities and bribing and massaging the hopes and aspirations of the Erap masa fan base.

    It’s really a sad ending for the Binays and a reason for celebration to the antis. 🎉

    • Joe America says:

      It wasn’t meant to be a loaded question. I’m not sure the Binays feel any sense of remorse. Today, VP Binay expressed, through a spokesman, that he was “saddened” by Senator Poe’s signing of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee’s report. He doesn’t get it, I think, that his family will pay for his choices. He is sad about other people’s choices, which he forced them to. Not for his own. Why should we feel any compassion for him? Or for his wife? Or for Junjun, who is a willing accomplice? I feel sorry for Nancy, actually. Abigail, I don’t know much about her. Parents should take care of their kids, I think, and it is sad when they don’t.

      • jameboy says:

        I think VP Binay gets it and his portrayal of not getting it, by being saddened, about the report is a means to project that he’s being singled out, that there is a conspiracy to deny him what he deserved and that everything is about politics.

        Remember a few weeks ago when he expressed his sadness on the apparent rejection of Sen. Grace Poe to his invite for VP position? He did it by saying, from the head down to the toes, he’s been loyal to her father (FPJ) and it will be wrong for her to side with those who cheated against his father. He’s good at portraying himself as the underdog even though he is the overdog.

        Jojo is a master manipulator. He’s a veteran politico with the rank of a trapo. He’s so good and cunning and wily and wise that nobody from the side of his enemies were able to expose him for what he is. It took somebody from his camp, a comrade, a consigliere, the right-hand man, the insider to do that. And that was Mercado, his spurned vice-mayor. Without him I don’t think we’ll even talk about Poe or Roxas here.

        With regard to the children, I don’t know, I don’t really hate them but every time I see them on TV there is something inside of me that makes me feel uncomfortable. The issue of sense of self-entitlement reverberates like a nagging migraine every time the faces of Jojo’s children flashes on TV screen. 😨

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