What’s a President supposed to read around here, anyway?

reading 01 gazetteIt struck me that the President does not have much good reading material around here. I mean, sure, he has lots of paper in front of him or on screen, if we are talking about bills to sign or briefings from his Cabinet secretaries. But how much fun is that?

What does he read to gain enlightenment about his nation, or for entertainment or educational enrichment? Do you figure he reads the Inquirer?

Ahahahaha, that ethically challenged journalistic rag that takes some notable’s casual remark and makes a huge headline about it?

“Speaker: Poe unstoppable”

Never mind that the Inquirer got it all wrong, as to what Mr. Speaker meant.

The Inquirer editorializes its headlines and has about as much information in its stories as you’ll find in a box of Kleenex. I know it is pictured there on his desk in this staged photograph, but I’m guessing maybe he scans it in two minutes to see if there is anything with any promise at all, and mostly finds nothing. Or throws it across the room when he sees the Inquirer gift the Binay crooks, liars and manipulators with a huge lead headline describing the Aquino Administration:

“Lazy, slow, indecisive”

That headlined earned the Inquirer the Society of Honor’s award for distinction as “Binay Enabler Extraordinaire”. There are a lot of these enablers running around in the culture of impunity:

  • The political press masquerading as journalism media
  • The Board of the Boy Scouts
  • Legislators who won’t speak up
  • Judges who can be intimidated or purchased
  • Mayors of sister cities who sell their city’s allegiance to a crook
  • Oligarchs who hang in the background as if stability and continuity of the Philippines doesn’t even matter

I’m confident the President does not read the Manila Standard, that obnoxious political claptrap intent upon diminishing the President’s every step.

There is no Philippine Wall Street Journal, or Atlantic Magazine, or New Yorker to challenge his intellect.

He possibly reads the South China Morning Post for regional updates, or the Manila World to keep up on business and economic events. Maybe he reads FHM if he can get a copy. I don’t know how he does that without a wife. That’s where I source my lookie lookies.

What about blogs? If he has a moment free, do you figure he reads Get Real Post? ahahahahaha Recipes and travel? Probably not.

Harry Roque , Psychology Today or other writings dealing with lawyering and mental instability, two related fields?


Raissa Robles? Sure once in a while, in the evening, it’s worth a skim if the CPMers aren’t busy bickering like teenagers amongst themselves. He can pick up the gist of political debate there, with a slant toward legal implications.

The Society of Honor by Joe America? Probably now and then, why not? It’s about the only place in town that actually tries to project itself into the President’s shoes and is not shamed by being labeled “yellow” by people who think tearing down others is a good way to build a nation.

I mean, think about it. The social/political blogs are packed with bitter old ladies claiming to be journalists or overseas sharpshooters who believe they hold some superior wisdom and morality over Filipinos. Anti this and Get Real that. The honest and earnest writers like Cocoy and J have real jobs to attend to. The choices for honesty and uplift are two: Riassa and JoeAm.

A nation of 100 million people and 2 blogs that are in favor of the Philippines over a narrow personal or political agenda.

Social/political blogging in the Philippines is an arid desert with way too many prickly cacti and only two drinking ponds.

I’m guessing the President uses his communications staff the way I use Twitter, to scan for relevant articles that have some meat to them. So he might get a thoughtful piece from Rappler sent over to him via e-mail, or from any of the various print and on-line news sources. Like, if China burps, he gets a link. Or if any notable US publication writes about the Philippines, he gets a link. I’m sure he knows who James Fallows is.

So he gets a lot of material, but I’d venture to guess, not a lot of satisfaction.

I mean, really, how many articles in the press defended him about the Mamasapano coffins? How many realized that the President has a legitimate right to a personality and feelings, or the legitimate right to decide granting honor to Japanese investors is very, very important to build the jobs that will take care of poverty? The Inquirer during this period kept running the most horrid picture of the President they could find, one with him struggling to hold back tears while meeting with the families . . . as if humiliating the President of the Philippines were good journalism and diminishing the nation is something that gives the editors great glee.

Media thinking, which caters to popular thinking, seems, frankly, very shallow, to me. Self-absorbed. Political. Aroused by titillation and conflict.

The people are to blame, for sure. For sure. They are the audience that buys the pap.

The popular demand for perfection is so intense. Everyone is looking for someone to tear down. All the tabloidian media have to do is run around town looking for juicy bones to toss to the ravenous perfectionists and they can sell a million papers a day.

I don’t know about you, but the people’s need for perfection seems a tad obsessive-compulsive to me.  I figure most people had no idea what the Pope was talking about in his “mercy and compassion” message. I guess they think he meant we all should RECEIVE those things. Not give them.

Is this an arrogant outsider’s view, or real?

You tell me.

But I wonder, why does the President have to carry the needy burdens of an entire nation? Why doesn’t the nation help him carry HIS burdens? You know, simple things like throwing trash in a container so the President doesn’t not have to be blamed for flooding. Or giving him the benefit of the doubt instead of doubting the benefit of every single decision.

Why are media seemingly against Philippine well-being and in favor of strife and condemnation?

Why do so many media owners and journalists and bloggers want to earn a living by chopping out the nation’s heart and soul?

I can’t figure it out.

All I know is that the popular media represent a vast wasteland of objective, meaningful information and reporting. Most blogs are vanity efforts, people pushing their personal intellectual fetishes or political agendas. The best material seems to come from opinion columnists.They at least provide some context to important issues. A lot of good information comes from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, going out, rather than in. That information does often get picked up by the national press, pretty much as material to reprint, but not explore.

“What’s the point, Joe?”

pnoy-at-fort-magsaysay-gani1-wwWell, the point is that the President doesn’t get a lot of help in running a quality nation. We, collectively, make sure he has to swim up river.

The popular media are busy generating conflict and anger and misrepresenting what is important. Does Nancy Binay really define the Philippines? We see her often enough. And lately, Senator Escudero seems to be everywhere. Is he focused on building the nation, do you figure? Or political conniving?

The people largely want perfection and have no compassion for human mistakes. They are in receive mode and not give. They have a timeline that says, unrealistically, take care of all these problems NOW! And if you can’t do it, you are a failure.

What would you see if you said down at the President’s desk and started reading?

I don’t know about you, but if it were me, I’d quickly click over to some computer war game where I’m taking potshots instead of receiving them.

We may be the President’s bosses, but we aren’t very good at doing support or inspiration.

Not only for the President.

But for one another.


242 Responses to “What’s a President supposed to read around here, anyway?”
  1. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Jesus !!! I thought the President of the People’s Democratic Republic of the Philippine Islands reads HuffingtonPost or New York Times or listen to TEDTalks. HE READS INQUIRER? Jesus !!! American Presidents read the condensed short version of the news gathered by their Chief of Staff !!!

    Benigno is like those Filipinos in America in their hospital scrubs pull up in a Mercedes for hot pan-de-sal in the early morning grab FREE Philippine Journal, Balita and other goofey Filipino newspapers read it intently at the same time watch Korina Sanchez on TFC delivering wacky news.

    It is no wonder Filipinos have very little knowledge how justice works in the U.S. and should work in the Philippines because their daily news diet are news made for Filipinos by Filipinos. These are the same Doctored and Nursed Filipinos who believes that justice in the U.S. should be like in the Philippines that rely on witnesses, affidavits by Eng-get Jealous Back-stabbing Filipinos.

    These are the same Filipinos who are really really really mad when the freeway is closed because NYPD are shoulder-to-shoulder across the turnpike looking for bullet casings for evidences instead of he-said-she-said witnesses.


    The Filipinos do it the easy practical way.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Of course, I read THE PHILIPPINE INQUIRER !!! I read it responsibly !!!

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, I was guessing. MLQIII informs me on Facebook that his favorite read is the Economist. He also listens and reads on war history, and enjoys documentaries.

      In that context, I find the Inquirer on that photo shoot most interesting. I think it is meant to project a popular image, and having the Economist there would project him as elitist.

      I also find amusing that here we have a cerebral, well-read President, who knows government inside out, and over half of the tabloid-reading public thinks they can do a better job than he can.

      • neo canjeca says:

        Daily news, rubbish and constructive opinions in a habitat of 100 million (Ph), 300+million (USA) are routine matters like breakfast and bowel movement. ROUTINE. A President in the extreme do not need to know how to read. The likes of Helen Keller or Stephen Hawking can be President. She/he can just listen. May be just may be the US President listens more and reads less every morning so also probably is the Canadian PM. It’s been routinized for them by trusted staff to get rational raw info before the start of the day. These staff members devoid of self or partisan interest do nothing but gather, process, and report and clarify unedited information to the President for his independent cogitation and reflection. It’s ideal for these people to have come from the academe; fresh graduates or retired professors. They should have no opinion on anything except when the President ask for such.

        These Mass Comm readers for the President should know the names of those who purveys information daily. By their names and gathered intelligence , the staff can separate the street walkers, the AC/DC, Chefs of dung, sewage deodorizers from the real journalists/broadcasters or TV anchors. If there are any. From the staff’s garbage dump, the President can use garbage facts to gently remind publishers and media owners of the existence of garbage producers in their profitable info business, let along or left alone can turn the clueless citizens into zombies.

        I write this after reading the first two paragraphs. I could go on but got to do other things than reading this morning.

        • Joe America says:

          I think the “readers” do know exactly who is who. As with most of my blogs, there is more than one target audience, and in this one, it is editors of papers and blogs, so that they know they cannot operate in a world of impunity in the digital age, and regular readers, who should understand that what they are being fed is a diet of little nutrition. Maybe they should hunt for some vitamins.

        • neo canjeca says:

          Joe Am, I just resumed reading. About comparative justice in Ph, USA, and Canada I am not so sure. I see it better administered in the first two countries than my own where there is no justice at all but only INJUSTICE. We have what satirists call Department of Injustice and Justiiis who interprets the law to fit and perpetuate the practice of injustice.

          In Ph there’s injustice both for the powerful and the powerless. To the poor and powerless they received injustice from the elite and powerful who inflicts it with a clean conscience. Of course there are aberrant exceptions. However this viewpoint could only be true only to 95 million of the 100 million population.

          In USA and in Canada racial profiling by the authorities are always denied. When alleged profiling results in death of the suspects, the authorities as much as possible braced for the consequences and punish the offending policemen. Asians and Latinos are profiled; recent developments increasingly include Muslim looking individuals. Why profiled Asians and Latinos are seldom brutally beaten if not shot to death compared with blacks could give effective leads to help authorities wipe out the practice. Why among profiled blacks more Afro-Americans apparently become victims than blacks from other countries can help the Afro-American themselves provide the solution. To arm policemen with minute recording cameras could minimize fatal mistakes
          The classic S-R model of behaviour where there must be stimulus (S) to get a response (R) applies. Of course under varying complicated situations. Authorities are always superior. No citizen should behave more superior and should not even for a moment disprove that. NO one is superior over the law and must submit to what they call lawmen who are instantaneously more superior than lawyers.

          Law abiding Fil-Ams should do something to other Fil-Ams, TNTs, and Pinoy green card holders so they don’t get profiled then brutally beaten and shot. Thanks God Pinoys don’t have to. Where they come from the law is the law and the COP is a COP no matter how harsh. Recent events in Canada and the USA (do Google them) prove that cops can not be too careful. I have always been courteously helped by cops in these countries. For sure these cops do serve and protect law abiding citizens but they also must protect themselves from physical harm and verbal abuse.

      • People equate the studied and deliberate way of decision making/implementation as a disability of some kind. People seem to respond to the shoot from the hip cowboy style of someone like Binay or Erap

        • Joe America says:

          Now that is most fascinating. Rather like people hate achievers from their own community because they, by being successful, are showing them up. Mar Roxas is showing up the thousands and thousands – or the millions – who cheat or use favors instead of work and intelligence to find their way to success. That fits absolutely perfectly, but you can’t explain that to anyone, because those who have that kind of envy cannot listen, because it is pointing the finger of “shortcoming” right at them.

        • edgar lores says:

          Studied and deliberate has depth. We are a shallow people,… able to see dazzling reflections on the face of the waters but unable — what’s more, unwilling — to see what lies beneath.

      • neo canjeca says:

        About The Economist, I got introduced to it when I did my secondment work in Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire Regions in England. Decades later I consider it No. 1 ahead of the Atlantic Monthly and the New Yorker. I can’t afford them so I read them only in public libraries when available .

        Decades later I seldom encounter these three meaty magazines, I am into new ones like the Walrus and Macleans for contemporary knowledge. Thanks to the Internet. IF P NOY has a degree in Economics and being a bachelor President standing tall in the company of world leaders, he should read the Economist once in a while even if only from the internet.

        • Joe America says:

          As I gather it, the Economist is his preferred reading, so I’m guessing he reads every issue. I find it funny that his critics get on his case for playing computer games and driving fast cars and dating pretty women, as if to paint him as shallow. The truth is, he is not shallow. Which, in truth, paints the critics as scurrilous manipulators.

    • Karl garcia says:

      You are not very particular of witnesses because as Dr House MD says,everybody lies.

    • DAgimas says:

      as if justice is perfect in America? stop and frisk without prima facie evidence that the suspect has committed a crime? just because you are black or latino? that is search without warrant

  2. Karl garcia says:

    Last night,I saw a mini docu in the news (abs cbn )about the legislation.So it is also the presidents fault for not having many ledac meetings? Sona is near,and they are building up stories.

    • BFD says:

      Karl, the interest groups are just paving a way for a scapegoat, of course. The President is the shiny object you can point the finger to, for he is to blame of all this. Never mind that the legislators really don’t want the FOI bill to become law and the Anti-Dynasty bill also. In fact, it’s the Congress, both of them, are dragging their feet on these super important bills, not to mention the BBL….

      Blame the President, he’s an easy target… What a joke these interest groups are whoever they may be.

  3. I am pleased to read such article about the President. At last someone has good words for the President and the good things he has done for the country.
    For once he wasn’t blamed for the hard life that we ourselves brought to our own.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, Karkoor. I think as we move toward the end of Mr. Aquino’s term, more and more people will recognize the quality of leadership he introduced.

  4. “I mean, really, how many articles in the press defended him about the Mamasapano coffins? How many realized that the President has a legitimate right to a personality and feelings, or the legitimate right to decide granting honor to Japanese investors is very, very important to build the jobs that will take care of poverty?”

    Perhaps there were no articles defending him because the act was indefensible. As President and Commander in Chief, it was part of his job to meet the coffins, personality and feelings be damned. If my cook or driver didn’t do their jobs because of personality or feelings, I would be upset too.

    If you look at the big slide in Aquino popularity that now hounds the LP, it all started with Mamasapano.

    • Joe America says:

      If you look at his current rise in popularity, you will see that it was an emotional moment detached from reason, which is now returning.

    • Karl garcia says:

      The one who sparked thr fire was a former president who understands that you can’t always be there.

      I was looking for incidents abroad about fallen soldiers,and I found this.


      No important people around,just baggage handlers.

      • chempo says:

        Karl the scene here is just a transit airport.

        In the US their fallen are treated with great respect and honour. Each fallen is escorted all the way to their home town. In the video you see two military officers (one for the soldier, one for the dog). Their duty is to escort the fallen on their final journey. I’m sure at their home town they will be well received. In transit at various airports, it is so touching to see everybody that is close by will stand to attention when the caskets are moved. The baggage handling crew did much more.

        There is a poignant film “Taking Chance” with Kevin Bacon as an escort. You can see the way the US honours their fallen. They have come a long way since the Vietnam War. Lessons were learnt.

        • Joe America says:

          My father served 6 years during WWII, rank of Warrant Officer. He died at age 91. The Army sent three people to the funeral to honor him for his service, a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal. The lieutenant gave a short speech thanking my father for his service and expressing the Service’s condolence at his passing. A recorded version of taps was played and they held their salute throughout. The enlisted men took the flag from his coffin, carefully and precisely folded it, and presented it to me to honor me for my service. They saluted me, and I returned the salute, an automatic reflex.

          President Bush was not there. But America was.

          • i7sharp says:

            @Joe America
            “President Bush was not there. But America was.”

            Hmmm …

            Do you know (or care to know) where Bush was?

            • Joe America says:

              Hahahaha, absolutely not.

              • i7sharp says:

                Where could America be – except … er, … be “there”?

              • Joe America says:

                Try to grasp a touching tribute granted by your nation to a loved one. Don’t read the words literally, read the symbolism. I’m sure if you extend yourself, you can get there. The Philippines has granted immense care and attention to the families of 44 of the 67 Mamasapano deaths. I rather think it is the small of heart who think otherwise.

          • DAgimas says:

            an acquaintance who is a navy reserve told me that once his tour of Afghanistan was finished, they flew them in military transport planes all the way tot he nearest commercial airport where they took chartered flights, again to the nearest airport of their residence, which in his case is LAX. he is the only one from Bakersfield, more than one hour away. so the Navy chartered a private jet just to bring him home.

            sometimes you just want the defense budget to be cut more..but if I were in his shoes, I would be very grateful to the American taxpayers too

            • Joe America says:

              Must have had a high rank, or been a hero. The Army did pay for my way IN to get from Denver to Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training, but I’m pretty sure I had to make my own way home, from Travis AFB to Denver. I was a lieutenant and no hero. The US has a bit of a culture of entitlement too, come to think about it.

              • DAgimas says:

                maybe this private jet is really under contract by the Navy for such purpose it just so happens he is the only one in that situation but still its an overkill. they could have hired a limo and it still cheaper

              • Joe America says:

                I can assure you that every discharged serviceman or woman does not get that treatment, so there must have been unique circumstances. No doubt, America spends a lot for defense, and there probably lots of discretionary funds about, or personal favors done. Which reminds me of the time I hitched a ride on a C-130 from Saigon to Cam Ranh Bay in Viet Nam to spend a day on the beach, under the pretext of looking for a generator. I think Cam Ranh Bay is being developed for tourism and I’m proud to say I was one of the first. It is a lovely beach, windswept, looking out on that famous South China Sea where WWIII will start.

                Not enough girls there, at the time, though . . .

                Yes, a limo would certainly have sufficed . . . 🙂 🙂

        • Karl garcia says:

          They do that here too,Chempo, but the January incident that happened here was that a former president,questioned the absense of a current president during the arrival of the fallen.

          • chempo says:

            Ya I remembered that. Just wondering did that ex remove the cigar when receiving the fallen?

          • BFD says:

            Karl, do you have any knowledge if ex-President Ramos welcomed the fallen of the Al Barka Basilan Philippine Marine massacre in 2007?

            • This I am interested to know.

            • karl garcia says:

              I am not sure,but I doubt it.SAF was founded by him that is why he was there.Marines were also killed durring his time as time as president .February 1993, I remember that well because one Marine who died was my neighbor in BNS a fellow military brat.I don’t rememer news about FVR welcoming the coffins ,but maybe he did,he ordered a retaliation the following day.

              • BFD says:

                Ordered a retaliation is another thing, but did he welcome the fallen during that time would be great to know, but I don’t recall any news of that happening on the scope like the news coverage that the Fallen 44 has gotten.

                With the tight schedule that Pres. Ramos had at that time, I doubt if he could find the time to go to that event unless it’s been docked on his schedule.

              • DAgimas says:

                I am also baffled by the attention given to the SAF, compared to the Army. i think the PNP is more maPR than the AFP

            • DAgimas says:

              he wasn’t the sitting prez at that time

    • What? I thought it was the President’s job to run the country, not attend to every single frickin funeral. Sure, that incident was a cluster-fudge but that wasn’t really as much of a priority as making sure that our economy keeps rising. As Joe often says, it was just a matter of taking care off the country’s emotional problems, as if we were 3-year-olds. People blew it out of proportion and made it a circus rather than an orderly investigation. It was just utterly ridiculous…

      • Joe America says:

        The President was also criticized for not attending the Laude wake, by some. So I guess he is the super-mama of the Philippines, as well as its president, responsible for curing everybody’s oopsies, boo-boos and sadness. Here’s a concept, rather cold I know. But the dead are dead. The living are living, and a whole lot of them are poor. Now WHAT exactly are the President’s priorities???

        • BFD says:

          If he does it for one, he must do it for all. It would be unforgivable if one was ignored by such a distinguished person. Would that make the critics happy?

        • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

          That reminds me of a passage in the bible wherein a man justified not following Jesus because he has a relative to burry…i think the verse went like this, “Jesus then said, let the dead bury their dead” ..or words to that effect…(can’t access the research in this ipad the way I can in my desktop, even my bible is an e-book .)

  5. Micha says:


    On the subject of reading, on your must-read section is the 2016 briefer on national budget and it’s Php 3 trillion without “butal”. It’s an amazing feat of accounting that they could come up with that rounded number.

    I suppose it’s already been approved by congress too, right?

    Php 2.42 trillion for salaries and overhead expenses, Php 580 billion for fiscal space. I wonder why they did not round off that fiscal space to, say, a trillion to help nudge growth by at least a couple more percentage points.

    • Joe America says:

      My experience with budgeting is that there is a lot of thumb in the sky exercises in judgment, and it is not an exercise in detailed accounting before the fact. So it would be easy and common to round some areas up or down to get to a total that is an easy metric for reference. If they had had your guidance, maybe they would have done that.

      • Micha says:

        Yup, government spending is good for the economy. But the bastards in congress and other policy makers apparently think it’s only good if they can directly benefit from it or how much kickback they can kupit in the process. So when building public infrastructures like roads and bridges and airports, the government has to outsource funding to the private sector when it could, because it is monetarily sovereign, very well afford it.

        That’s the case with the recently approved construction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway awarded on a BOT scheme to Metro Pacific. Totally gratuitous and scandalous scheme that will only net Manny Pangilinan more billions by collecting toll fees from motorists on a 30-year plunder contract. The country says bye-bye once again to another of its crown jewels courtesy of free-market privatization from the Washington Consensus.

        • Joe America says:

          Well, for myself, I think it would be best to just authorize corruption as an official method of conducting commerce in the Philippines, but mandate that all money remain within the Philippines. Money will be flying around so fast building mansions and piggeries that there will be jobs for everyone, and more yummy pigs, and we can stop wasting valuable resources on investigations and courts. The banks will be rich with deposits and able to lend and leverage growth up to, oh, maybe 18% a year. In 10 years, you won’t even recognize the place.

          • Micha says:

            The problem in the Philippines is not money resource. It is that those resources are being parceled off to cronies and oligarch to the detriment of the rest.

            • Joe America says:

              Well, I rather think that is why Philippine companies should be banned from operating overseas and taking the profits they earn here elsewhere. It’s like the foreign currency argument. Keep it in Philippine currency. Who cares where the money goes if it circulates here. Soon, the masons building the mansions and the ag people feeding the pigs will be rich, too. This is JoeAm’s economic theory of letting corruption win, and going to the beach to smoke a cigar. It is impossible to clean up a nation that does not really want to be cleaned up. It’s a big Borg hive. Resistance is futile.

              • Micha says:

                Metro Pacific is just a subsidiary of First Pacific, a Chinese investment company.

                Why would the Philippine gov’t give concession contract to a Chinese company to build and operate a highway? Why was the PNCC left out? Or, for that matter, why couldn’t DPWH do it?

                Why must we instead enrich Manuel Pangilinan and his Chinese partners?

              • Joe America says:

                Right! Exactly! I can tell I am getting the first convert to my new relig economic plan. Enough of the Philippines being its own worst enemy. Invest in the Philippines. And only the Philippines.

              • Micha says:

                There are capable Filipino companies to build a major highway system. We don’t have a shortage of capable engineers and architects. We have a pool of masons and construction workers. The gov’t has enough funds to build highways from Aparri to Maguindanao.

                Why must the Philippine gov’t gratuitously grant a BOT contract to a Chinese company for CLEX? What’s the rationale?

                I can only think of one : crony capitalism.

              • DAgimas says:

                MIcha, Metro Pacific is Indonesian Company, the owner is a crony of the Suhartos

              • Micha says:

                1. Metro Pacific Investments Corporation is a Philippine-based unit investment holding corporation of the First Pacific Company Limited through Metro Pacific Holdings, Inc. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water, sanitation, and sewerage services and also operates in real estate, and infrastructure projects. It also invests in some hospitals in the Philippines.

                Key People : Jose K. Ma. Lim, President and CEO, Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman

                2. First Pacific Company Limited (Chinese: 第一太平有限公司) is a Hong Kong-based investment management and holding company with operations located in Asia. It involves telecommunications, consumer food products and infrastructure. Its chairman is Anthoni Salim (Chinese: 林逢生), an Indonesian Chinese entrepreneur.

                Key People : Anthony Salim, Chairman. Manuel Pangilinan, CEO, Managing Dir.


              • karl garcia says:

                Ok Salim is Indonesan Chinese.

              • maru0907 says:

                same government who sold the National Transmission Company to National Grid of China.. err Corporation.. and including system operations to boot! I won’t be surprised if the Philippine’s Electricity Transmission can be controlled from China.. i heard the chinese changed the system to one of their own..

  6. Karl, this is how a proper President and Commander in Chief behaves. Obama meets 18 US soldiers fallen in Afghanistan in the middle of the night.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Thank you for that Charles.

    • Joe America says:

      I somehow take offense that you judge the Philippine President against circumstances that are wholly unique “one off” examples. Many bodies arrive in the US with no presidential attention. “A proper president” suggests Mr. Aquino is not one. Pardon me for feeling Filipino, but that is really rude.

      • Joe, am surprised: are you going to go onion skinned on me now after all our other points of disagreement? Mamasapano was a one off. And it proved very illuminating.

        • Joe America says:

          President Aquino ordered the ceremony to honor the arriving caskets, and made sure the Nation’s respect was delivered in a solemn and appreciative way. He explained that he did not attend because he wanted the families to have their private time with their lost loved ones, an opportunity he was denied when he was a young man and his father was killed. The idea that he is not a sensitive man is horrendously cruel. No one has walked in his shoes and no one has the right to judge his personal values and feelings. If I am onion skinned to believe that with all my heart, I am proud to be so.

      • I just dont agree with the premise that if you are critical of Aquino, you are against the Philippines. One does not equal the other. In fact, one of the biggest faults of the Filipino is that he does not demand MORE of his leaders and representatives.

        • Joe America says:

          Yeah, you’ve said that before, and I agree that any official is open to constructive criticism for decisions and deeds in the public arena. However, the premise that an elected President who performs his duties responsibly must be driven relentlessly higher with criticism is a very negative and not uplifting premise to live by. So I shall push back against those who believe a leader should be whipped rather than respected and supported.

      • Joe America says:

        The way the “anti’s” work is to start with a premise: “Mr. Aquino is a bad president.” Then they filter through words and deeds with a calculated context wholly unrelated to the real context, which is unique and often spontaneous, with the objective of proving their contention. They leave out certain truths, put things together the way they did not occur (the Tacloban Roxas video), omit positives or rationalize them into negatives, and otherwise compile a list of distortions they consider evidence. I certainly hope that this is not your methodology. If it is, I’d heartily suggest you try a different premise, either positive or objective, because the social arena is packed full of people ripping at the Philippines, and it is unsightly for an intelligent person to add his views to the shrill observations of those intent upon proving Filipinos and the Philippines to be a incapable of good things.

        • abemargallo says:

          The way the “anti’s” work is to start with a premise: “Jejomar Binay is a bad vice-president.” Then they filter through words and deeds with a calculated context wholly unrelated to the real context, which is unique and often spontaneous, with the objective of proving their contention (Jojo Binay is a crook). They leave out certain truths (Binay is also scared of Trillanes – another calculated context, but, in fact he was a pro bono human rights lawyers who defended activists and militants during very perilous times of the republic, a hero of the EDSA revolution and a tenacious opponent of the Marcos dictatorship; also, when Binay, as Makati mayor, barricaded himself inside the city hall to defy a suspension order, Grace Poe’s mother, Susan Roces, publicly expressed her support for Binay’s defiance), put things together the way they did not occur (the senate committees investigating the Binays are political, not impartial judicial fora, and that even a vice-president is entitled to his constitutional rights to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise beyond reasonable doubt), omit positives or rationalize them into negatives (the modern school buildings, social and health services Jojo Binay provided for Makati have been unprecedented in the country but somehow claimed by his accusers to be high-priced or “overpriced,” or sources of corruption), and otherwise compile a list of distortions they consider evidence (the largely hearsay testimony of a spurned erstwhile Binay supporter, Mercado). I certainly hope that this is not (the) methodology . . . being pursued in this punditry which to me is truly becoming more and more imperative.

          I agree: The popular media are busy generating conflict and anger and misrepresenting what is important.

          Yeah, but is the PH media (as well as the blogging community) able to set the agenda that strikes at the heart of the matter? That is: How the oligarchs (they are so few in PH you can count them with your toes) will “build the jobs (inside the country) that will take care of poverty,” so that down-to-earth politicians like Binay may no longer promise to the poor false teeth, diapers and coffins?” That’s the “corruption” (i.e., perversion) the media should make huge headline about. That should also be the central issue (more than the continued pursuit of the “right path”) in the 2016 elections. Do you agree, my dear Joeam?

          • Joe America says:

            Well, Abe, you always were an intellectual challenge, and it is good to see you here. It is becoming an old-timer’s gathering center.

            The press can influence the agenda, they can’t set it.

            The matter of the oligarchs is worth a different blog. Too big to respond to here.

            As for your defense of Binay, it is so rare as to be precious. The Binays received a gift from Cory Aquino that was priceless. In Boston Consulting Group terms, it was both a cash cow and a star, a growing metropolis able to generate huge tax revenues and yet had modest expenses. The methods of channeling the funds directly to support Binay power were ingenious and successful.

            The Philippines is a democracy that is founded on the American framework, but the American framework is based on information and the Philippine framework is based on power and favor. Binay excels at it, I agree, but the values clash with my personal principles, but not those of you and others who work from the power side of the equation. Me, I seek to promote American values in a Philippine power system and I am a gnat on a karabao’s behind.

            But, still, we do our best.

            So tell me, the Garage was appraised at something less than P900 million, but the taxpayers paid P2.3 billion for it. Testimony showed that the reasons offered up by the Binays were wrong: green, special foundations, world class. Where did the money go, really?

          • Karl garcia says:

            Glad to see you here.As to the oligarchs,they are all wedding sponsors of Chiz.

          • Bert says:

            Hi, Abe. It’s been a long time. Nice to see you here and really glad to hear from you again, really I am. We used to be at the same side of the fence during those times, me even looking up at you as some sort of a hero, discussing political issues like we are doing now and always siding with you, supporting your contentions as if there was no other issues to the contrary, trusting in your right judgment fully and wholeheartedly.

            Now we are here in Joe’s blog, the initial impact upon reading your post now somehow jolting my drowsy stupor, thinking and fearing that perhaps we might now be standing on the opposite side of the fence.

            So you think Binay is the better choice and the accusations against him in the Senate investigation and in the Ombudsman mere political demolition jobs? If Binay’s position in those cases is defensible, why did not he attend the the Senate hearing and defend himself?

            • BFD says:

              @abemargallo, thank you for sharing your opinions on “down-to-earth” VP Binay, but you are right, he is down to earth, which is synonymous to “practical” in the Filipino sense of the word.

              Or he could attend the Senate hearing, I’m sure he would say what Napoles had said, “Your honors, I invoke my right to self-incrimination.” And that’s it, he’s free to go, he defended himself in that august body.

          • jameboy says:

            “The way the “anti’s” work is to start with a premise: “Jejomar Binay is a bad vice-president.””
            How I wish the ‘antis’ are thinking and doing exactly like that for it would give VP Binay more leeway and courage to come out and defend and dispute allegations of him being a “bad vice-president”. But that is not what they are really thinking and saying. It’s not about him being a bad president but him being a bad person. It’s not even a secret that Jojo Binay has been hounded by corruption allegations even before be became Vice President.

            “The senate committees investigating the Binays are political, not impartial judicial fora, and that even a vice-president is entitled to his constitutional rights to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise beyond reasonable doubt.”
            That is true. The Binays and the vice-president, just like any other Filipino, are also entitled to the presumption of innocence. However, having said that, the Binays must also realize that their right to presumption of innocence coincides with their right to be heard which up to now they continue to refuse to exercise. And that’s what make the situation bad for them.

            I don’t buy the idea that the Senate committee investigating the Binays are political hence not impartial judicial fora. It’s an investigating body not a court of law. And why is a veteran politician like the vice-president be afraid to engage in politics if that is what he thinks it’s all about? That is not a defense but an alibi.

            I also think there is an attempt to machination and deception when one calls the vice-president “down-to-earth politicians like Binay” in comparison with the oligarchs simply because the Binays and the oligarchs share the same stripes making the Binays themselves as down-to-earth political oligarchs. 🐊

            • abemargallo says:

              JOEAM: I seek to promote American values in a Philippine power system.

              ABE: In PH, according to Forbes Magazine, the 50 richest Filipinos and their families have a combined wealth of $65.8 billion — around one-fourth of the country’s $267 billion GDP. Henry Sy, the richest, has controlling interest of BDO, PH’s biggest bank.

              Now, listen to Bernie Sanders who is drawing big crowds in the USA in his bid for the US presidency: “Today, six huge Wall Street financial institutions have assets equivalent to 61 percent of our gross domestic product – over $9.8 trillion. … The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of major Wall Street firms plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.”

              The gnat will be equally at home on the (Wall Street) bull’s behind.

              JOEAM: … you and others who work from the power side of the equation.

              ABE: I confess to that but with certain correction . . . because I actually try to work from the (people) power side of the equation.

              JOEAM: Where did the money go, really?

              ABE: I don’t know either. Although, just like you, I can also speculate. But speculation is not sufficient proof for guilt.

              JOEAM: The Garage was appraised at something less than P900 million, but the taxpayers paid P2.3 billion for it.

              ABE: That’s the bone of contention. Is the appraisal that the senate committee relied on correct? Ultimately, this will come down to a clash of expert testimonies on the approaches to property valuation, which, it seems, the Binays prefer to engage the prosecution in the proper forum – the judicial courts.

              BERT: So you think Binay is the better choice and the accusations against him in the Senate investigation and in the Ombudsman mere political demolition jobs?

              ABE: Hi Bert. Well, before Binay surfaced into the national political scene, I had actually thought “The Mar who would be the Man” (please google this and you would hopefully appreciate more what I’m talking about). But I personally believe that Jojo has the poor man’s plight in his heart. He is a genuine man of the masses. However, Mar, a “state interventionist” and Jojo, the poor man’s champion, are both a threat to the Philippine oligarchy. Jojo during the last elections had a better campaign slogan, something like “I will do for whole country what I have done for Makati.” Of course, Makati is not a microcosm of PH. The warped symbolism offers hope nonetheless. And besides, pragmatic Jojo seemed more manageable (by the powers that be) than technocratic Mar. So, the way was set for Jojo to become the vice president because Mar as VP would be unstoppable as the next man at the helm who would carry his interventionist policies. Jojo caught up with Mar, won the vice presidency and no sooner got more comfortable with greater power. And a little man of “radical” bent with immense power must have jolted the elites from their stupor, to borrow your expression.

              BERT: If Binay’s position in those cases is defensible, why did not he attend the Senate hearing and defend himself?

              ABE: It looked like a tactical legal move to me that probably Jojo will eventually regret because the burden of going forward shifted to him given the work of what Joeam calls “the ethically challenged” journalists in PH.

              JAMEBOY: It’s not even a secret that Jojo Binay has been hounded by corruption allegations even before he became Vice President.

              ABE: Allegations are just that, allegations.

              JAMEBOY: The Binays must also realize that their right to presumption of innocence coincides with their right to be heard which up to now they continue to refuse to exercise. And that’s what makes the situation bad for them.

              I don’t buy the idea that the Senate committees investigating the Binays are political hence not impartial judicial fora. It’s an investigating body not a court of law. And why is a veteran politician like the vice-president be afraid to engage in politics if that is what he thinks it’s all about? That is not a defense but an alibi.

              ABE: The Binays, I presume, would certainly want to be heard but as explained in Jojo’s affidavit submitted in his defense (yes, he did defend himself before the senate committee), they want it done in the proper forum – the courts of justice (where senators cannot arrogate upon themselves the roles of prosecutors, judges and even hostile witnesses). Besides, Jojo may look physically like any run-of-the mill Filipino but he occupies the second highest office of the land and allowing himself to be dragged into a political circus will likely diminish that office – not that I dislike political circus because I do believe in it as healthy to our democracy. What’s anomalous about the whole affair however is that at least three of Jojo’s inquisitors in the Senate are after his position or the position he is aspiring for. Is it rational to say then that they are also out to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the country’s vice president?

              JAMEBOY: I also think there is an attempt to machination and deception when one calls the vice-president “down-to-earth politicians like Binay” in comparison with the oligarchs simply because the Binays and the oligarchs share the same stripes making the Binays themselves as down-to-earth political oligarchs.

              ABE: Very perceptive Jameboy. Well, I could be mimicking, wittingly or unwittingly, the ethically challenged journalists who, to demolish the late FPJ, they repeatedly attached the “high-school dropout” label to his name in their news reports during FPJ’s presidential campaign against GMA in the same way that the “new survey leader” is now being conveniently used this early to qualify his daughter, Grace Poe.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I live on the Karabao’s behind, so that is what I write about. And there certainly are a lot of fleas about trying to disguise themselves as ladybugs.

                I watched the testimonies and saw the breakdown of lies told, and of bidders listed who did not attend or were trapped in elevators. I saw Hillmarc’s people sweating bullets, caught between a rock and a hard place, as the plaintiffs railed confidently as to the bags of money delivered. I’m not stupid, Abe, and no amount of rationalizations will sway me to believe that Mr. Binay does not own the Queen’s estate or that his family did not gain tremendous riches any way but by feeding the children of the Philippines dirty bread.

                You will have to forgive me for saying, for I have always enjoyed discussions with you for the superior quality of intellect, but I believe you are using that intellect for shameful purpose, and I am heartily dismayed.

              • was about to write something in the vein of you are just like Roque. Thanks for writing a more measured reply.

              • edgar lores says:

                “ABE: Allegations are just that, allegations.”

                ABE: The Binays, I presume, would certainly want to be heard but as explained in Jojo’s affidavit submitted in his defense (yes, he did defend himself before the senate committee), they want it done in the proper forum – the courts of justice (where senators cannot arrogate upon themselves the roles of prosecutors, judges and even hostile witnesses).”

                “JOEAM: Well, Abe, you always were an intellectual challenge…”

                The “intellectual challenge” is NOT that much of a challenge. Its a potpourri of half-truths and half-lies, with a small bow to other commenters (before the uppercut is thrown in), and with a smattering of off-center references (e,g, Forbes Magazine) meant to dazzle.

                It is truly election season: the spinmeisters are coming out of the woodwork.

                The spin is wobbly… like a spinning top losing steam.

              • abemargallo says:


                It’s not just me, JoeAm, but two former senators, Rene Saguisag and Joker Arrroyo, who have questioned the impartiality of the Blue Ribbon committee that investigated the Binays. Sen. Saguisag was blunt: “Parang umiiral na naman ang walang habas na batas militar sa Senado.” (It seems that unbounded sweep of martial law is obtaining in the Senate again.”) And Sen. Arroyo was similarly distressed: “There were a lot of instances where the committee committed violations. I should know because I was chairman (of the Blue Ribbon Committee) for eight years.” I don’t think the positions of these two senators and intellectuals who have been human rights lawyers also are “shameful” at all.


                In a serious debate like this you have to be more specific than make a gratuitous claim of “potpourri of half-truths and half-lies.” And please take on the idea, not the messenger.

              • Joe America says:

                I would not expect you to find anything shameful about compatriots with similar values.

                Legislative deeds are almost always about politics. Poe’s Mamasapano hearing, Marcos’ BBL hearing, Santiago’s hearing on Laude/VFA, and Blue Ribbon Subcommittee. That’s why they are not called courts. But their investigations, if thorough and pointed, can be extraordinarily informative. The Ombudsman, COA, AMLC all respected the revelations. Independent agencies.

                Only political animals themselves do not respect the output, if it is to their advantage to diminish good works.

                People here have noted Senator Saguisag’s disturbing stance. I don’t recall Senator Arroyo’s name being mentioned. So now there are three that I can hold up as shameful, based on my values.

                Which are clearly different from yours.

              • edgar lores says:

                Anyone with a discerning eye should be able to winnow the half truths and the half lies.

                But just for OP’s enlightenment and — more importantly for others — just look at the first quote I cited about allegations. There is the instant dismissal without the proper stance of inquiry: What is the truth of these allegations? The implication of the easy dismissal is to say that there can be no possible truth to them… and, if ever there was, not to take them seriously. The easy dismissal serves to discourage readers in any attempt to find out what the early allegations were and to determine whether there is a kernel of truth in them.

                Or look at the squid tactic to question the correctness of the appraisal of the Garage by the senate committee. The magnitude of the difference between P900M and P2.3B is so enormous — as enormous as a black hole — that no amount of fudging can ever explain away the discrepancy.

                And that last sentence of taking “on the idea, not the messenger” is again a misjudged arrow. As I asked another OP, who evaded an answer to the question, where have I maligned OP?

                I could go on and on… but will allow readers the benefit of exercising their own minds.

                I was not debating with OP. I do not wish to debate with OP. In all seriousness, OP is not at all serious in the first given meaning of the word as provided by Google and, therefore, I cannot engage in a serious debate with him.

                As OP sows his seeds of lies and deceptions on behalf of an immoral dwarf, so I will sow the seeds of virtue and decency.

              • Bert says:

                Abe, I’m a bit disappointed by your mentioning of Joker Arroyo and Rene Saguisag defending a comrade-in-arms and personal friend Binay as a way of justifying your defense of Binay, as if defending a friend and comrade-in-arms the highest virtue that the two esteemed former senators can possibly contribute to the betterment of the country and the people. Please, you can do better than that.

              • jameboy says:

                ABE: Allegations are just that, allegations.
                And vice mayor Mercado who admitted he is corrupt like Binay is just that, a vice mayor. 🙂

                ABE: The Binays, I presume, would certainly want to be heard but as explained in Jojo’s affidavit submitted in his defense (yes, he did defend himself before the senate committee), they want it done in the proper forum – the courts of justice (where senators cannot arrogate upon themselves the roles of prosecutors, judges and even hostile witnesses).
                Same conclusion: They refuse to exercise their right to be heard. Saying you want things done in a proper forum is not a defense but an avoidance of something that one fears he cannot overcome: Guilt.

                ABE: Besides, Jojo may look physically like any run-of-the mill Filipino but he occupies the second highest office of the land and allowing himself to be dragged into a political circus will likely diminish that office – not that I dislike political circus because I do believe in it as healthy to our democracy.
                Well, Jojo is JUST a vice president. I don’t think you can say the same with a straight face about that to Richard Nixon or even Bill Clinton. Political circus? If I’m the vice president and my and my family’s reputation is being shredded into pieces every minute every day, I’ll go even to the vilest and stinking carnival in the country to confront my accusers and settle scores. Huh! I’ve been in public service all my life and for anyone to suggest that I’m afraid of political circus is just !*%*>€*+! No such thing sir. 🙂

                ABE: What’s anomalous about the whole affair however is that at least three of Jojo’s inquisitors in the Senate are after his position or the position he is aspiring for. Is it rational to say then that they are also out to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the country’s vice president?
                Well, that’s the irony of it all. If true, why can’t Jojo go and prove to all and sundry that those who are after his position is really just out to get him by showing their evil ways in how they treat him? I’m confident the public will know who is mistreating who at whose expense. 👳

              • jameboy says:

                It’s not just me, JoeAm, but two former senators, Rene Saguisag and Joker Arrroyo, who have questioned the impartiality of the Blue Ribbon committee that investigated the Binays. – abemargallo
                Question, who are Rene Saguisag and Joker Arroyo to Jojo Binay? Birds of the same feather MABINI together? Biro lang! 🙂

            • abemargallo says:


              If the likes of Cayetano and Trillanes were not absorbed in publicity to up their political ante and only interested in crafting the appropriate legislation to address the perceived graft and corruption in Makati, they would have done so without preempting in the offices of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Graft Court. But they went for the fanfare and wasted the Senate’s time (and taxpayers’ money), because after all the circus and the senate committee report, Binay is still free – free to aspire to become president and the whole shebang will have to be redone again in the proper forum. Congress has the option too to impeach Binay, the appropriate constitutional process to remove from office an erring public official of Jojo Binay’s standing, but that was not decisively pursued. Cayetano and Trillanes wanted an immediate exhibition of political power via the Blue Ribbon Committee to derail the Binay bandwagon and evidently to obtain political advantage for themselves.

              At this point, where are the proposed corrective legislations?


              Rene and Joker are certified human rights defenders. And when we try to condemn before we hear (I mean proper hearing), I could see how their sensibilities are threatened based on those values alone (and they are not “shameful” JoeAm) that they hold dear rather than on the bonds of friendship.

              At this point, I’m not sure if Binay is guilty or innocent. But let’s render judgment only after proper trial. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Bert; these values are dear to me too.

              • karl garcia says:

                Senator Joker never said anything about concentrating on legislation only during his time as chair of the blue ribbon committee.in fact he never said anything during that time.

              • Bert says:

                I believe you, Abe. I’ve known you and read you a bit too long already and there’s no questioning here of your patriotic fervor for our beloved country and people. Just want to add here again that I am glad you come here in Joe’s blog imparting and sharing and exchanging great ideas and views beneficial to all of us here denizens of the Society of Honor.

              • edgar lores says:

                My word! You have the shiniest and sharpest scalpel that I have ever seen a surgeon wield.

                What magic ingredient was in that avocado ice-cream? I must have a portion of that frozen delight. Or name the potent ingredient by secret post to me, sensei.

              • karl garcia says:

                As a witness to the long bond betwen Bert and Abe (mlq3 days) he was not using his scalpel that time.

              • Joe America says:

                You continue with the rationalizations, like Houdini trying to escape from a box, shifting the burden of proving things to me, to deny yourself of any responsibility for feeding Philippine children dirty bread. Senator Pimentel has a list of legislative items pulled from the hearings, and investigation itself, with no legislation is a legitimate Senate function, as we saw on Mamasapano. Really, you try too hard. The problem here is not Trillanes and Cayetano, but Binay and those who enable his rotten deeds.

              • abemargallo says:

                Hi Karl, please don’t get me wrong. Rest assured I will always be a stout and consistent defender of the congressional power of oversight which includes the inherent power of congress to probe into government agencies and public officials to expose corruption. If you recall, I have harshly criticized Neri, the ruling relied on by Jojo Binay in his affidavit, in various blogs before. In fact, I believe the majority of SC in Neri committed culpable violation of the Constitution and hence would have been impeachable. Unfortunately, the Neri ruling, just as the Aguinaldo doctrine (of condonation), remains to be the law of the land. So, I’ll not be surprised if Joker said nothing about congress or the Senate concentrating only on legislation. My concern however is basically against the use of the power for the personal aggrandizement of the committee members at the expense of a sitting vice president which I believe happened during the Binay investigation.

              • Bert says:

                Edgar, my leg…:).

              • karl garcia says:

                I remember your Stand on gr 180643 or Neri vs senate.
                what is the difference?
                You were against executive privilege then,and niw since it is the law of the land and there is nothing you a do about it, you are no longer aganst it?
                gr 180643 no matter if it is one day old,a week became law,but you were against it when it was still a new Supreme court decision,now it is the law of the land?

                So ayone who questions the law of the land is grand standing?
                Let us say,grand standing is involved,so what?

              • karl garcia says:

                I am no laywer Abe and you are,so I may not artculate well,but you get what I mean.
                Do correct me when wrong, congress as law makers can do something about that Aguinaldo doctrine and Neri doctrine. Is it not?

              • jameboy says:

                At this point, I’m not sure if Binay is guilty or innocent. But let’s render judgment only after proper trial. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Bert; these values are dear to me too. – ABE
                That’s the problem ABE, the public don’t buy that view about guilt or innocence. In the court of public opinion the chances of an accused for conviction is as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Let’s leave the legal angle of the case to lawyers. Right now, the entire Binay family is being pilloried, shamed, humiliated and insulted because of corruption allegation. And they prefer to hold their peace? For what purpose?

                I say to the Binay family, stop doing a Bill Cosby! 👮

              • jameboy says:

                At this point, I’m not sure if Binay is guilty or innocent. But let’s render judgment only after proper trial. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Bert; these values are dear to me too. – ABE

                But I personally believe that Jojo has the poor man’s plight in his heart. He is a genuine man of the masses. – ABE
                ABE ha, you do not render judgment in the first paragraph but you showed the reason why so in the second paragraph. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                I am not afraid to commit mistakes and make a fool of my self.
                I was making no sense,it seems like I am saying it is ok to violate the law.I am questioning your consistency,that you want the justices to be impeached when it was about Neri /gma and now when it is Binay,you are singing a different song.Just because you say you are consistent,then say something that show inconsistency.What can I say?

              • abemargallo says:


                This I can tell you. I’ll have no qualms about hungry Filipinos being feed with dirty bread, especially those who couldn’t scrape together one full meal a day.


                The Neri ruling is supposedly constitutionally grounded based on what was held by SC. So, it may not be corrected legislatively. But the SC can correct itself when opportunity arises. It seems however that the 54 year old “doctrine of condonation” can be reversed via legislation as a form of congressional check on the SC. On the other hand, the SC may also reverse the doctrine and preempt what could be a humbling congressional action.

                My position on Neri is that the ruling impinges on the well-nigh plenary power of congress to conduct inquiry in aid of legislation. Well-nigh plenary but not plenary (or complete) because it is also limited by the separation of powers principle. The Blue Ribbon Committee appears to appreciate this limitation which is why while it proceeded to compel the attendance of Mayor Binay at its hearings, it dithered to use the same power against VP Binay.


                I have to agree with you here that while Binay has all the right to insist on judicial hearing where the exacting standards of evidence are prerequisite, he may have compromised his case before the court of public opinion given the behavior of our “ethically challenged” media, as JoeAm puts it. His lawyering impulses (and I believe he used to be one of our finest trial lawyers), banking on the idea that the burden of proof stays on the lapse of his accusers until he is proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, may have gotten the better of his political instincts.

                I am not sure however if being a genuine man of the masses and the underprivileged is directly incompatible with the guilt or innocence of Jojo Binay.

              • karl garcia says:

                Abe, like Bert, I have well-nigh known you for about ten years,so I would not say there is nothing else to talk about,if that is your stand.Thank you for answering some stupid questions.

              • karl garcia says:

                Abe, you are being literal on the dirty bread.Dirty bread came from pope Francis meaning money from corruption.Iam giving you the benefit of the doubt that you took it literally or namimilosopo ka lang.Now tell me is vote buying ok even if it only feeds you for one day?

              • karl garcia says:

                Ah forget it.

              • karl garcia says:

                IT is all about MABINI solid pala kayo.

              • Joe America says:

                What is the Mabini connection to Abe? I google it and come up with an intellectual who helped frame Filipino policies during the revolutionary period. Is there a more modern connotation that would help me grasp why an intelligent man like Abe is rationalizing away grossly corrupt acts?

                This seems like a case of a collective of attorneys who have created a mad reality by concocting words to excuse ever vile act, and place the blame elsewhere.

              • Joe America says:

                Like, their lifelong work as lawyers, which involves some measure of defending the indefensible as a professional obligation, has extracted every ounce of compassion from their non-professional souls.

                It’s a borg hive of lawyers devoid of conscience, and Binay is the leader of the hive.

              • karl garcia says:

                I am really dissappointed,I tried to understand, I even said that he took the dirty bread literally which means he will contribute to food poisoning if he has no qualms about it.

                Abe was or is a human rights lawyer, he was one of those who defended Ninoy,and one of the organizers of MABINI


                “”He was one of the organizing members of MABINI , a human rights association , together a handful of other faceless lawyers who are now prominent in Philippine politics.As a young attorney he directly participated in the preparation of the pleadings in Ninoy’s defense before the military tribunal and in the instigation of 1978 noise barrage for the incarcerated Ninoy.”

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for the background on MABINI. This the conclusion Abe led me to, that I shared on twitter earlier today:

                UNA is a borg hive of lawyers devoid of conscience or human kindness. Binay is the leader of the hive.

                Disappointment is an understatement. I’m shocked. I have so much faith in the human mind and goodness. I simply cannot grasp people with these kinds of values. Manipulations, justifications, deceits, dishonesty. I’ve not dealt with such people before, in school, in the military, in 30 years of corporate work . . . until now. I don’t like them. They represent the worst of the human kind. Little better than animal. They even game the Pope.

              • karl garcia says:

                Me too I am shocked I even lost my appetite earlier,if this is a sign of things to come.Got to find a way to stomach this.

            • abemargallo says:


              Well, before the next stone is cast, I ask to be granted the same opportunity that I am in fact asking you to grant Jojo Binay in the first place (the reason why I have decided, after a five-year hiatus, to participate again in the exchanges of our blogosphere) – the basic human right to be heard before being condemned.

              It appears that your reactions here serve only to authenticate the apprehension that it is quite easy even for otherwise discerning and well-meaning people to arrive at conclusions, based only on pure surmises, that may be hurtful or harmful to one’s repute, even liberty or life.

              I am befuddled myself and I don’t know where to start. I know I wrote something about Jojo Binay in Filipino Voices, but the site is defunct, so I searched for drafts of my old blogs in my file. I found the following (I hope this will shed some light):


              I’ll bet on Jobama

              By Abe N. Margallo (Nov. 12, 2008)

              I had the following exchange with The Ca t at mlq3’s blogsite in May 2007 about a “preventive suspension” issued by the Ombudsman a week before a mayoral election in Makati City the incumbent Mayor Jojo Binay was certain to win. Makati is one of the premier cities in the world of which Binay, the subject of the suspension, has been the chief executive for two decades.

              The Ca t was harsh but apparently clueless of the mayor’s true grit. She rushed to charge that the mayor “would rather hide behind his loyalists.”

              “What a coward,” she continued. “Parang bata. Tapang lang pag may mga nakatakip sa kaniyang mga tao.”

              I replied to The Ca t to set the record straight:

              Cat, you don’t seem to know what you are talking about.

              When Marcos declared martial law, one American official was reported to have said that the Philippines is a country composed “of 40 million cowards and one son of a bitch,” claiming that not a single Filipino has risen to fight the destroyer of their freedom.

              Indeed, during the dark days of the dictatorship, many Filipinos cowered in fear and many more Marcos turned into cowards. I have known personally Jojo Binay as a nameless human rights lawyer at that time defending victims of the tyranny.

              Marcos might have hidden “behind his loyalists” but not Jojo because then, as now, he’s a son of a bitch even when fighting for his or others’ rights – by himself.

              The year before, or in 2006, Binay was ranked fourth as “World Mayor” by a London-based international think tank on urban affairs, the City Mayors. But the well-esteemed mayor has become a thorn in the side of the Palace. So, the political persecution of Mayor Binay by the Arroyo administration did not come as a surprise; it was not Binay’s first time.

              On October 17, 2006, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of the Arroyo government also suspended the gutsy and popular mayor, his vice mayor and all his councilors for allegedly hiring ghost employees. Binay denounced the suspension and said he would not follow the “illegal order.”

              “They might as well kill me here but I will never run away from this fight.”

              In connection with the heightening imbroglio then (Binay has staged a mini “people power” in the country’s financial capital to protest his suspension), Manolo Quezon reposted in his blog an old piece he had written (in 2001) about the mayor:

              This writer once accompanied a sortie made by candidate Locsin, and ran into Jejomar Binay, who knows that this writer has been no fan of Binay. But Binay, instead of pandering to this writer, merely acknowledged that they once stood on opposite camps: “So, you are the one who has hit me, and hit me hard in what you have written,” he said to me, and then finished off by saying, “good.”

              Sitting beside Binay as he sat down and shoveled rice into his mouth is to see why all the earnestness of people like this writer will amount to nothing compared to what people like Binay do. In between handfuls of rice Binay’s eyes rove, and his mind probes: “Two corners away, there is garbage on the sidewalk,” he informs an anxious Barangay Kagawad; and then, pointing to mass housing he has put up and been attacked for having set up, he points to a street lamp and tells another nervous local leader, “that lamp has burned out and needs a new bulb.” He gulps down some water, and then looks up at the ceiling: “when was this barangay hall last painted? You have adequate funds, why haven’t you attended to this?” People are not only kept on their toes; they are doomed to accountability.

              The writer must confess to renewed respect for Binay, whom this writer observed in action even when Binay no longer knew that this writer was observing him. It is not just palabas on Binay’s part; it is the nitty-gritty, the hard work, the attention to detail that wins loyalty house by house, street by street, barangay by barangay and returns an overwhelming mandate election by election.

              In the exchanges that ensued in the same blog thread, I reacted in the following:

              When Jojo Binay said he would have to be killed first before being forced from his office, he meant it. I just know. It’s vintage Jojo.

              The Jojo Binay that I knew more than two decades ago was someone whose guts I couldn’t simply catch up with. A nondescript lawyer at the height of Marcos dictatorship, he defended alone or with a handful of activist-lawyers some of Marcos’ harshest critics. He was relentless in his quest and on certain instances he would spend his own money if only to make the right to counsel of his poor but deserving clients a living reality. Jojo and Rene Saguisag (who were pals) in their own perilous pursuits were like the crusading streetwise cops Starsky and Hutch. We were their junior helpers.

              I watched Jojo, his size notwithstanding, refusing to back out of physical encounters with mean toughies, whether they were the feared goons of Marcos lieutenants or some drunkards or bullies raising havoc in his backyard.

              I have not seen, or talked to, the man for more than 20 years although I passed by his office many times whenever I’ve been in Makati; I had nothing important to tell him and didn’t want to waste his time. That’s how I respect the man and his position.

              I have heard some claiming that Jojo has somehow succumbed to human frailties as a public servant. Maybe, maybe not. I really have no idea. There’s something I’m quite certain though. He has served his city better than most Filipino presidents have served the country.

              Many a time I have fancied that Jojo could be the alternative to GMA the Filipinos are looking for. Well, accidents do happen, you know. He’s a wild horse (no pun intended), but given the status quo I’ll bet on him.

              After more than 30 years since I had last seen Jojo, I finally met him in Philadelphia. He was already vice president. He didn’t recognize me. My hair was short and grey where as a young lawyer in PH I kept it shoulder length in protest to the Marcos regime. I give him a copy of my book telling him something like: Jo, you’ll be the man someday; please read my book ,or at least Chapter VI, on your trip back to the Philippines. I have some ideas there for you to ponder. I also gave him a copy of another blog (I’m still searching for it and I’ll post it here if I find it) where I posed the question whether Jojo and Rene are abandoning the Project of “86 (The Spirit EDSA). I was pretty sure we parted ways without him remembering me on the that very brief encounter.

              When I visited the Philippines a friend of mine told me that he had met the vice president in a social function. Jojo recounted our meeting in Philly when my friend mentioned my name. He finally remembered, I guessed.

              I have no other encounter with Jojo, or any encounter with Rene or any MABINI lawyers for 35 or more years now. I’ve been however a proud MABINI lawyer.

              JoeAm, contrary to your assumption, I have no connection with UNA whatsoever.

              Now, I’ve been forced to come out of my sabbatical because I thought Filipinos owe it to Jojo Binay to give back to him the basic human right to substantive and procedural due process that he so valiantly fought for and so closely guarded for others during a very perilous time in our country’s history, when so many chose to cower. Deprivation of such sorts easily rouses my sensibilities as it probably did to Rene’s and Joker’s.

              Karl, I also wanted to say that as far as I’ve known Jojo, he probably has the intrinsic ability to take away something from those who have so much and hand it out to the less fortunate without compunction. I have seen firsthand his compassion for the underprivileged. If you call that dirty stewardship, I can probably live with it.

              If Jojo did the crime, then he must do the time. That’s rule of law. But, hear him yet in the proper forum according to the processes established by the law and the Constitution -before you condemn.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, the borg acquires and assimilates from outside, and you are clearly assimilated. I understand a lawyer’s position to defend a guilty party in the court, as a measure of professional obligation that says even the most vile murderer deserves defense. Most do that because the state says to, or they get paid really big money.

                Your position is that the nation is a grand courtroom and your job is to make sure the defendant gets a fair trial. So you hold that defending rights of Binay is a position of honor because he has not yet been proved guilty. And I am wondering, who tells you to do this, and what do you get from a position that is clearly, based on the evidence in the public arena, indefensible.

                Frankly, I think your rationalizations suck, because you are not interested in justice and truth, but process. The testimony before the senate was vivid. You don’t care what happened to the missing P1.4 billion pesos. You don’t care if Filipino kids starve. Pardon me for not holding you in high regard any longer. You are willing to work in, and defend, a different reality, one I find disgusting.

              • Joe America says:

                It was reported today that hunger in the Philippines is coming down, and is now the lowest since 2005, something like 12.4%. Yet there are those who are content with taxpayer money being stolen and given to a family of entitled barons who live ostentatiously. Over 10% of the nation is hungry, day after day, and . . . hey . . . that’s okay with Abe. Because Binay deserves due process.

        • abemargallo says:

          JoeAm, you are not saying that because you found Jojo Binay’s case “clearly indefensible” all others should stand down, and that your peculiar sense of justice is good enough, thus to hell with the Rules of Court, the rules of evidence and the Constitution? End of the story. I thought you hailed from the land of honey now content to straddle a Karabao’s behind – not from Mt. Sinai. Do you even take off your sandals on those holy grounds?

          • karl garcia says:

            Like Robin hood eh,means to an end.So you are also telling me just live with it.Pro poor ka,what about the rights if those who are not poor.Human rights is for all.

            Since the VP is not poor,you have that covered.

            If he showed up in the subcommitteee hearings,he can use his right against self incrimination ,or not,but we will never know.So will you tell me now that we should be thankful because he did not bother to waste our time.?

            • @abe

              Binay has seen fit to put all the legal obstacles that he can muster to bear against .

              This is someone that does not want the truth to prevail.

              There is a court of public opinion and this is why betrayal of public trust is an impeachable offence.

              Do you deny that the VP has put every obstacle from independent investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman?

              • abemargallo says:

                Gian, you too already know the truth at this juncture like JoeAm? Citing grounds for dismissal of the case solidly anchored on law and the rules are legal defenses not obstacles.

              • @abe

                The cases are too grave to not merit consideration.

                The Philippine court system is slow. Is this statement fair to you?

                The possibility of Binay winning would be more detrimental to the majority of Filipinos.

                Thus I believe that the COMELEC should not allow Binay to run pending resolution of his corruption cases.

                I have not pre judged him.

                The same reasoning for flight risk would apply here, the risk of him winning outweighs the injury that is caused him by limiting his rights.

            • abemargallo says:

              Karl, in Robin Hood’s time, he was a villain to who?

              There is a proper procedure in place if the Senators and the Ombudsman are not after the derailment of Jojo’s presidential run. Remove him via impeachment, once removed the Ombudsman proceeds to prosecute, if found guilty, the lawbreaker gets locked up. Why can’t they not follow those simple steps?

              • karl garcia says:

                Are you going around the blogosphere to defend Binay?Want some lawyers to debate with?try raissarobles.com

              • @Abe

                What about the latest anti democracy move of VP?

                Filling a 200M libel case against the Office of the Ombudsman, Senators and prospective state witness?

                The VP does not want the truth and if your part of MABINI means anything to you you should take to task the VP for this wanton exercise of impugnity/ raw power.

                Everyone knows libel laws in this country are about protection of the rights of the powerful.

                I am even willing to bet what 1000 pesos (humor me I am not rich like the VP) that somewhere in one of the MABINI’s pleadings or court cases someone from MABINI said something similar.

                Why because people for whom democracy is not about process but about giving people a fair chance not only as one vote per person but as a fair chance in a good life.

                Becoming like the MABINI lawyers Gonzales/Binay/Joker Arroyo is my fear. People who once knew right from wrong blinded by all their legalism.

                I am disgusted at the thought that one day for a few million pesos or a position of power I become like these people. I shudder at the thought.

              • abemargallo says:


                No, I’m not going around the blogosphere. I think the Society of Honor is doing fine.

              • karl garcia says:

                My way of exchanging with you went overboard. I really tried to be civil,but emotions and biases got the best of me,you have your biases and convictions and that should be recognized. Sorry.

          • Joe America says:

            You are the expert at riding Karabao behinds, I think. That kind of nasty characterization would never even enter my mind.

            • abemargallo says:

              “I am a gnat on a karabao’s behind.” Why complain, that’s your post, JoeAm.

              • Joe America says:

                It wasn’t a complaint, it was a description of the way you went from arguing legalistically to personal attack, which suggests you know you cannot win the debate in any way but arguing legal due process. My presumption is that you are on the Binay legal team, or gain something from the argument you make, which is totally consistent with such a position and antithetical to a robust, corruption free, healthy and wealthy Philippines. For I know you have a conscience, even if you choose not to deploy it here.

              • abemargallo says:


                I’ll let your readers decide as to who is engaged in personal attack in your site.

                Btw, have you noticed the commonality now between The Society of Honor and the society of the Binays? I have. You both think that what now and then the PH media feeds the public is “rigged.” If you also notice from my very first post here, I did indicate that that’s part of agenda-setting power of the powers that be.


                I agree with you that serious exchanges (particularly in regard to the forthcoming presidential elections )should instead be “about giving people a fair chance not only as one vote per person but as a fair chance in a good life.”

                I’m just somewhat more specific than you in my said post: “ . . . set the agenda that strikes at the heart of the matter? How the oligarchs (they are so few in PH you can count them with your toes) ‘will build the jobs (inside the country) that will take care of poverty,’ so that down-to-earth politicians like Binay may no longer promise to the poor false teeth, diapers and coffins?”

                Now, who among those aspiring to be president is best suited to attain the goal for the good life in terms of executive leadership, principle, moral character and track record?

    • BFD says:

      The important words to remember in this video are

      extraordinary moment in history

      in the dark of night

      at midnight

      meeting privately with their families

      first time a President has participated

      Clearly, this is not a common occurrence.

      Now, the question that I need to ask is how many did a Commander in Chief must go to satisfy the clamor of the family of the fallen soldiers that is killed every day?

      Just asking.

        • My point is Mamasapano was not even a plain case of soldiers dying in armed conflict. Mamasapano was soldiers dying accidentally, needlessly, savagely, due to breakdowns in chain of command, ineptitude, the invovlement of a suspended purisima, AND against a hostile force which the Philippine government had a CEASEFIRE agreement with, and with which it was signing the BBL. THAT is why Aquino should have met the coffins especially in this particular case.

          • Joe America says:

            Okay. We are allowed different perspectives on that. I suspect that even he, in hindsight, would agree that he made a mistake. It would be great if we could trap hindsight for all our decision-making, we’d sure be smart. I grant him sincerity in his decision-making before the fact, considering his own personal circumstance, which I feel very awkward judging. My father died a natural death, and was not yanked from me by violence.

          • hackguhaseo says:

            I don’t understand this premise. The people under the President messed up, not him. Should he have met them? Maybe? Was he required? Heck no! Why do Filipinos insist on acting like little brats? The President didn’t take a piss on them, did he? So get over it!

          • BFD says:

            Now, I’ll give several examples of massacres that occurred from 1970’s to 1990’s.

            1. 1997 Patikul, Sulu Massacre of Gen. Bautista and 43 soldiers

            2. Massacre of Marines in Al Barka, Basilan in 2007

            Did the Presidents at that time went to welcome their fallen?

  7. Micha says:

    The CALAX project is the 10th PPP project awarded by the Aquino administration since 2010 with a total indicative cost of P191.88 billion ($4.25 billion).

    The other projects awarded by the current administration are:

    Daang Hari – South Luzon expressway link road
    PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase 1
    Philippine Orthopedic Center
    Ninoy Aquino International Airport expressway
    Automated fare collection system project
    Mactan – Cebu international airport expansion project
    Light Rail Transit line 1 Cavite extension project
    Integrated Transport System (ITS) – Southwest Terminal


    This Public Private Partnership thingy seems like another form of consensual rape.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ll do a blog on this, as it is a very important topic, and is off track here. Then we can roll up our sleeves and get wide input on it. Expect it for next week. Thanks for raising the issue.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for reminding me of that article, Sir Librarian. I am impressed with your dewey decimal-like recall, likely honed by years of rote memorization in Philippine schools. It is a good jumping off spot. Basically what I want to focus on are the public private partnerships within that list, I think. I am deciding how to set the blog up now, and the first one may be broader, as in “Plugging the leaks in the Philippine economic sieve” to identify ways that the economy is sluggish. Of course, corruption is one of the ways. Sending profits overseas is another (PLDT does that). If partners are foreign firms, that is a double whammy, both for expenses sent overseas (e.g., design work done overseas) and profits sent overseas.

          • karl garcia says:

            I will be looking forward to that article of course and glad to be of service.Funny,my memory did not tanslate to good grades during college,maybe because of alcohol.

  8. Tambay says:

    The Scuderoo Factor in Grace’s Trajectory: Plus or Minus?

    By Tomas Gomez III

    Posted at 07/15/2015 11:23 AM

    The recent prominence of Senator Francisco “Chiz” Escudero in political matters that concern the future of Senator Grace Poe invites critical comment. Good people do notice, you know. And it does not seem to look good. For Chiz. And for Grace, too, if she is unable to shake off the Scuderoo!

    This boy is bright. Attractive and articulate. A solid educational background—-a UP lawyer! A well-studied photo-telegenic smile and posture. He garners an expanding hands-on political experience, both for good and for bad.

    He has self-confidence. Cocky self-confidence, that is. Of recent memory, a high society wedding celebration (his second), a paradise isle reception with glitter and prominence, genuine, ersatz and some, acquired and climbed. Chutzpah, definitely, which has begun to exibit amoral tendencies if not an inured bent. He has developed and is already in possession of a coldly calculating and ambitious streak. It is widely known. It is an inevitable reputation. Were Mayor Arsenio Lacson still on earth, would he have found another neck to hang around the enduring epithet “so young and so corrupt?”

    Perhaps the most astute and successful businessman-politician the country has produced is tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, in whose stable – the Nationalist People’s Coalition – the young Scuderoo Chiz was once an acolyte. His sustenance, in fact, as political infant starting out on his chosen career’s baby steps, was provided by Danding and NPC. It is noteworthy to recall that in late 2009 Chiz, barely 40 years old, was actively pursuing his political ambition to become President hoping that Danding would find in him a viable and worthwhile candidate to promote and fund during the 2010 elections. Evidently, the NPC Chairman Emeritus thought otherwise. Wisely!

    Failing to get his ambitions bankrolled, da Chiz harrumphed and press-conned his breakaway from Danding. A compliant media acceded to the slant provided by the Scuderoo press handouts: “Escudero junks NPC, Cojuangco.” Many elders did say: “Some gratitude!” But that’s OK. Danding does not suffer ingrates.

    Chiz, obviously dejected and hurting was now nebulous about his earlier salivation for the Presidency. He claimed that he could fulfill his role that he is bound to play in connection with the elections, “not as a member of any party or a companion of any person,” but “just as me!” And wtf was the role that Mr. “just as me” wanted to fulfill? He engineered the victory of a moral dwarf to spite Mar Roxas, whose ascendancy would skew his presidential calculations. Mar Roxas stood as a formidable obstacle to Chiz’s ambitions. As far as Chiz was concerned Mar had to be destroyed because becoming PNoy’s Vice President would place Mar Roxas in closer proximity to the Presidency, automatically casting astray the Scuderoo schedule.

    There are several factors that contributed to the demise of Roxas’ vice presidential run in 2010 but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Chiz contributed more vastly than others. It is known in knowledgeable political circles that he volunteered his well-oiled media machinery and pool of seasoned political gofers to assist the Noynoy Aquino Presidential campaign efforts (instead of his own which has now been scuttled because of Danding’s refusal to waste a peso on him) with a sub-rosa “buy one-take two” proposition. It was a surreptitious agenda truly pushing for Jejomar Binay. Certainly not for the love of Jojo’s stature and complexion but to spite Mar Roxas. The bothersome mess attending the Binay ascendancy to a still potentially formidable Presidential candidacy is a crown that Senator Escudero must wear, whether he relishes it or not. Incidentally, has anyone ever heard of a comment from da Chiz regarding L’Affaire Binay?

    It is quite evident that with the Scuderoo Chiz attempting to hitchhike with the fast rising political star of fellow Senator Grace Poe, the latter could possibly suffer an aberration in her stellar trajectory. In an earlier blog, we had the opportunity to cite Senator Grace Poe for the tremendous amount of promise that political fortune has showered her with this early. I did unsolicitedly recommend that she take advantage of the propitious time available to prepare for the inevitability of her Presidency by 2022, if she were to postpone responding to the wiles of popularity poll siren songs, when she will only be 54 and her youngest child already 16. My opinion and conclusion have not changed although it is indeed very possible that a sweeting talking Scuderoo may be providing very self-serving temptations.

    Wedding as political networking and a “PAC”

    Normally, weddings and receptions are personal affairs with family, kin and friends. The memorable nuptials of Francisco Escudero and Heart Evangelista on Balesin island is beyond normal. But they are celebrities, after all. Thus it becomes open season for tattle-tales and commentary when you organize your life’s launching pad, even if it is the second time around, and design your bethrothal playbook not only as a media extravaganza but organize it as well as a veritable “political action committee” event. It is very obvious that the affair was hyped, calculated for sheer exposure mileage, plus, plus!

    It will not be too long a wait until muckrakers begin to dig the truth about Chiz’s wedding (Heart Evangelista’s parents did not want to have anything to do with the marriage, at the time) and his financial capability to have mounted such an opulent and ostentatious display of luxury with a financially-challenged pocketbook. His legally reported Statement of Assets, Liability and Networth attests to a monetary limitation that is severely overwhelmed many times over by the total cost of an ego-trip!

    The presence of wedding sponsors coming from the political and movie/media industries is easy to understand. But Hans Sy of the Henry Sy fortune, Ramon Ang of San Miguel, Fernando Zobel of the Ayalas, Andrew Tan of MegaWorld, Lance Gokongwei as sponsors?

    There has to be reasons for the inability of a polite no to have prevailed. Insurance, just in case?

    There, too, were Jerry Acuzar and Bobby Ongpin, also as sponsors. Their presence may be easier to explain and to be understood, if you are hep on current events and political gossip. Perhaps, PNoy could not say no to Chiz’s plea for him to be best-man, although only to be in-absentia at the last minute. Perhaps the President smelled something unwelcome. Staying away and keeping distance was a smart move!

    Truly, this business of matrimonial and baptismal compadrazgo in Roman Catholic Philippines is a much abused religious ritual. Has it become a parody? Farcical it might be but the reality is such celebrations are a well-practiced social plan for political networking. That is also when rent-seeking webs are first spun.

    Who would you rather trust: a second-hand car salesman or a politician who uses his wedding as a fundraising classic and network expansion?


    The Grit of Grace.

    Grace’s grit, as it stands under present circumstances, ought to be telling her that there is much much more to running for the Presidency than sheer popularity in political polls, especially as its source is a universe of respondents with candid but undiscerning answers. Don’t we remember the great Dolphy whose wisdom is always a useful waker-upper. Perceived to be a sure win if he were to take a stab at politics by running for a seat in the Senate, his classic response as he politely declines is: “What if I win!” An alluring fruit, low-lying it might be, picked unripe, is wasteful consumption and unwise.


    Amoral precocity.

    There is a little known anecdote about the young Chiz as a recent law graduate on his way to the US for his postgraduate studies.

    Before leaving, he wanted gainful employment in a government agency which was once under his father’s jurisdiction as martial law Minister of Agriculture. His Dad, Salvador “Sonny” Escudero was already an opposition Congressman in the mid-1900s. Well recommended, Chiz would have gotten the job, after all there was an unfilled vacancy and he was qualified having just passed the bar exams. Wisely and fortunately for the government, the administrators of the agency did not approve the employment. Chiz did not get the job. He had the gall to want to keep the job, continue receiving his compensation while he was abroad in the US furthering his studies.


    There is no doubt that the Scuderoo is aggressively whispering, sweet-talking Grace into making a run for the Presidency now with him at her coattails as Vice President. Grace’s grit would be enhanced if she were to first seek counsel from the political oracle that is Danding Cojuangco.

    There is much to distrust about Senator Francisco “Chiz” Escudero. Mayor Lacson peering through his Ray-bans from above the clouds is knowingly shaking his head! There is indeed an ethical difference between nursing ambitions and being ambitious.

    Chiz just has too much ‘cheek’ for moral comfort. Chiz will put to an early test Grace’s grit and moral judgment.

    Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

  9. Johnny Lin says:

    PNoy must listen to the sentiment of his bosses after filtering, scrutiny and digestion of his staff all what’s posted by bloggers and commenters.

    His primary dilemma now is whom to anoint as successor to continue the progress of his administration.
    PNoy has to consider many factors on the presidential candidate including, capability, honesty, integrity, experience but the most important are two factors: win ability and acceptability to the people. Roxas possesses all the qualities above except the two most important factors.

    Aquino must not be swayed by his affiliation to Liberal party or wishes of its current members since most of them have been political butterflies or party opportunists. He should not be beholden to his commitment to Roxas to support his candidacy because everyone knows political scenario is fleeting, changing times with the wielding power.

    As for Roxas, he should not hold Aquino to his promise of support. Both of them must realize the ultimate negotiators of their good political intentions are the people and the nation. Roxas must realize that sacrifices could be multi facets. Once is not enough many times when the greater benefit is for the country. How many times has a soldier need to go to battle to preserve or protect freedom? Being a govt official is no different.

    With regards to Poe, her time is now. She has the charisma, attractiveness and acceptability of the people, untainted, incorruptible so far, capable in her current status, maybe few years years of govt experience but not different from Obama along with nonexistent constitutional requirement of required years of experience before seeking presidency.

    Regarding those politicians claiming that Poe should sacrifice in favor of Roxas, run as his VP first to gain experience, their opinion is double edge. are they sincere or have doubtful agenda to favor Binat. They know very well that with Poe for president Binay does not stand a chance to win but against Roxas, Binay has a better shot of winning.
    If Aquino wants to make sure his administration is to continue his only choice is to anoint Poe and request Roxas to run for VP as compromise. Escudero should understand that unity and coalition of allies requires understanding, sacrifices and giving in.

    Opportunity knocks only once. Poe is the right person in all parameters. Roxas time is not now, hopefully in 2022 in which his age then is still not a deterrent compared to Binay’s age in 2016.


    Grace Poe is the only choice of Aquino to make it happen. Everyone knows it including UNA party mates.

    • BFD says:

      Johnny Lin? If you are him, welcome back. You may not know me, but I read your post on Raissa’s.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a VERY GOOD point, that we are demanding a lot of Poe, to understand Roxas experience, her lack of it, and what is best for the country. “As for Roxas, he should not hold Aquino to his promise of support.” Yes, and I hope he expresses that to Mr. Aquino provately, versus “you owe me one, pal”.

      With regard to Poe, yes, her time may be now, opportunistically, for who knows if the glow would be there six years from now. A lot happens in this country over six years. My resistance to that is I am not seeing the quality of character and thinking that others are seeing. I am seeing gameplaying and policy differences (China) that I really don’t like.

      As for Binay, a lot can also happen in 8 months, so I think it is early to play the “Beat Binay” rationalization. That can come a few weeks before the election.

      Always good to hear from you.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Sorry Joe, you’re dead wrong on postulation “best Binay rationalization” should come a few weeks before the election. Decision must be made in October BEFORE filing candidacy.
        if Rodas Poe and Binay will vie for same position, Binay’s mathematical chance of winning goes up because Roxas will dilute Poe’s votes though Poe might still win with less margin. So why should Aquino and Liberal party gamble the nation’s sake with this scenario. this trifecta of candidates is the one being wished by Binay’s camp and silent supporters of Binay in the LP because Binay’s chance of winning rises up. If the contest is between Binay and Roxas, Binay chance of winning is greater compared to 3 way candidates. If it is between Binay and Poe, Grace will gallop to the finish line leisurely and easily.

        Be mindful of paid journalists rooting for Binay putting out press reports of those prodding Poe to run as VP or promoting a Poe-Escudero ticket. The former is for Roxas to run and the latter is for a 3way race. In both cases, Binay’s chance of winning goes up because Roxas is on the ticker. This is the latest tactic by the propaganda machine of Binay camp. Aquino must see it as clear as black and white and not be blinded by his supposed allies.

        Since early last year, I have been posting in your blog as well as in Raissa’s that Roxas was “dead meat” for presidency and only Grace could end the evil scheme of Binay. I even posted last Fall in Raissa’s blog that based on survey trend and projection, by mid 2015 Poe would top the survey and Binay’s numbers would continue to fall, especially if Erap and Roxas names are taken out. Numbers don’t lie. Surveys and statistical projections are almost accurate. Dewey is passé!

        Thanks for your indulgence, Joe. No bickering in your site
        He he he!

        • Joe America says:

          I shall henceforth presume you are either channeling, or even representing, the Poe camp in this discussion. I dislike that inference that it is paid journalists prodding Poe to run for VP, as upstanding people like Osmena and JoeAm and people of independent thought are also advocating that. That is not a “bicker” per se, it is just me with my warning bells ringing.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      I hope someone in the media would ask what is her stand on the plunderers – a) Estrada father, mother, sons, b) Marcos’ loot still being tried by Bongbong to recover, c) Roberto Ongpin’s collusion with corrupt government officials. Her dependence on Escudero and her close ties with these plunderers are making me doubtful that she should be entrusted with the top post of the land. Will she listen to Estrada who, like Arroyo, has signed agreements with China which are detrimental to the benefits of our country.

      A commenter has posted that she is soft as butter with her buddies but angry as a bull with admin officials accused of misdemeanors whose corruption is just a fraction of what her buddies, compadres have allegedly plundered. I agree with his opinion.

      I also agree with your bottom line, Binay must not be allowed to win. But how different will Poe be if she is now demonstrating poor judgement in her choices of battles to fight and friends to listen to?

      We still have time, here’s hoping that Roxas’ numbers in the polls will shoot up to 45 in the next few months, by God’s grace.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Grace had made a stand on corruption, during her exchanges with the Binays in media. She declared that those found guilty of plunder and corruption should be punished. though it was not directed to anybody, the implication was applicable to everyone.

        What she should declare in addition that she would not interfere with her relatives, personal friends or friends of her parents in cases of graft and corruption as well as not to use her executive power of clemency to those convicted.

        Roxas problem is deep seated to lack of appeal from the grassroots. When push come to shove in a fight between Roxas and Binay, the poor sectors will incline to vote for Binay with the thinking that with Binay” manna from heaven” might drop in their doorsteps but that kind of wishful thinking does not ring on their minds with Roxas. Between Binay and Poe, the “manna from heaven” is non existent because they identify easily with their idol, FPJ and Erap, meaning they lean more towards Grace. This factor had been known to Binay camp since they commissioned a survey if Grace would run, who will benefit from Erap’s electoral base if Erap would declare neutral position. that survey was not released by Binay’s camp proven to be true in the survey done by Magdalo group.

        Obvious proof and offshoot of that survey was the attack on Grace residency qualification by Tiangco’s sudden press conference.

        Who should be watched with suspicious skepticism is Congressman Erice of Liberal party. He has softened his stance against Binay but has turned his focus on insisting that Roxas should run for president and Poe to sacrifice as his VP tandem. This guy was a political opportunist during GMA. Camp of Poe has rejected his underground overtures. He is sour graping.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for insight on Erice.

          What is Poe’s position on the China occupation and EDCA? What is her solution. (Background, Santiago always complains about VFA as a threat to sovereignty but offers no plan for defense of Philippine sovereignty against China.) Poe seems to be of Santiago’s persuasion.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Let’s be practical and pragmatic about China. Philippines by itself is no match to China in terms of warfare. The only choice for the Philippines is to make a stand protesting China’s aggressiveness in the Shoals. International diplomacy is the best resort for the Philippines. The question is “will China adhere to decision of International Court or UN if the decision is unfavorable to China? Who will enforce the decision? Will there be economic sanctions on China similar to Iran, Iraq? Answers to both is negative. China has veto power in UN Security Council. Will the U.S. initiate war against China if it does not dismantle what it has erected. The answer is No.

            Any Philippine president with or without experience has only one choice or judgment, that is to defend and protect the country if invaded and make a diplomatic stand against China buildup. That’s all our president could do. An experience president will not risk war against China nor will it unilaterally dismantle any construction by the Chinese in disputed areas because that is risking armed confrontation. Whether it’s Aquino, Binay, Roxas or Poe making the decision, they have limited choices and their best offense is to seek assistance from allies like US and Japan. Taking a stand thru Diplomacy is all the Phillippines could do. That is a fact! Experience is unnecessary on this matter. Seasoned diplomats and jurists will do a better job than an experienced president.

            The best Philippines could achieve is close door talk between China and Philippine negotiators alone to become economic partners in the area with China putting majority of capital while the Philippines will send many laborers and employees but profits will be shared equally as well as patrol the area with multi nation security forces and paying their military expenses from the economic bounty of the area. in this case, Philippines is in win win situation. Currently, Philippines is losing and China is thriving in the area.

            • Joe America says:

              I appreciate your assessment. Is that the Poe position? And on EDCA?

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Don’t know Poe or Escudero or anybody in her staff, but willing to join them as analyst if you are endorsing me to their camp.

                Check your old blogs on my early postings about her after she filed her senatorial candidacy and your retorts on the analysis that she would be in top senatorial winners.

                Filipino voters especially “masa” are predictable especially their adulation of idols and powerful personalities. Their adoration trickles down to family members. “Rosary bead Binay” has understood this phenomenon since appointed by Cory to be Makati mayor.

                Track his political careers and acumen in choosing friends by crook or by force centered on those in the limelights and adored by middle and lower class starting with leftist lawyers Joker and Rene and Makati politicians with singer Rico Puno and other actor politicians. Ending up as a very close friend of FPJ and Erap was not accidental, but by design of him towards his dream of becoming president. Binay sought their friendship thru his unsuspecting friends. Binay was not in the movie business, not even an extra playing original aborigine. How did he acquire the confidence of FPJ and Erap?

                What do you Americans say about the kitchen? “If you want to get hot fast enough, hang around the kitchen” That’s what Binay had been doing with people with extensive media exposure and adulation by the “Masa”

                Binay knew also the weakness of the FILIPINOS. “Freebies” in any form is the fastest way to their hearts and mind. What do you Americans say? “The fastest route to a person’s heart is through the stomach” Senior citizen cake, free groceries to families in Makati which he is promising to all the voters in the Philippines. Free funerals which is fastest way to the emotional mind of grieving families by removing the worries on how to properly pay respect to their dead with dignity.

                Ever since, Binay’s political strategy is pandering to the weakness of certain groups.
                His latest, “Free Viagra” which he knows is the weakness of men young and old anywhere in the Philippines. Removal of term limits of elected officials is pandering to local barangay and town mayors lording their territories. That infamous rosary bead? Designed to pander to religious fanatics conceived by an uninformed non religious adviser in his camp. Since Binay is never religious himself( he was lawyer of leftist agitators) he did not understand the intricate significance of the rosary among Catholics. All he understands is giving away “freebies” of any kind to be remembered easily by certain groups.

                “pandering and freebies” are political tricks Binay has almost perfected.

                Sowing “illogical fear” aimed to the poor understanding mind of the lower class is another strategy his camp is employing:
                1. Against Poe, her inexperience and non Filipino status.
                2. His inability to find a running mate; by claiming that anybody associated or defending him would be targeted for financial ruin by Aquino administration.
                3. His refusal to answer corruption charges; only political persecution.

                When Binay talks, his target is always aimed to the “bobotantes”

              • Joe America says:

                I appreciate the elaboration. Yes, he is a brilliant strategist and tactical executioner.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Opinions posted here are from a freelancer analyst? am not a spokesman or associated with anybody or a paid blogger.

                On EDCA, Philippines does not have a choice except to be military allied with a super power. Grace would never abrogate EDCA. Her stay in America was no fluke unlike nationalistic pretenders( remember Gary Olivar, who was vocal in his youth during the clamor to remove american bases and remove Marcos being an American puppet yet sought refuge in US during martial law)

                Nationalism is good for the dignity of the soul, but in reality without help from a superpower, Philippines could be easily vanquished by a military powerful nation like North Korea. That is a fact!

              • Joe America says:

                Your expressions are the most eloquent so far backing Senator Poe, and they are consistent with Poe’s remarks to the American Ambassador hinting at a change in foreign policy. So, in my imagination, you are speaking just as Poe’s analysts are speaking. The real problem I have is that going with a bilateral negotiation effectively tells those nations that Mr. Aquino has diligently been working to get on the Philippine side to forget it, we don’t care any longer about the multilateral approach. You’re on your own. It also goes against all the arguments made at the arbitration tribunal, undermining the entire case. And undermines Philippine dedication to rule of law. Those seas belong to the Philippines, and you want to cede them to China. No matter what international law says. Unless Senator Poe outlines a definitive policy supporting multilateral negotiations, I shall assume her analysts are thinking as you are. That way I can formulate arguments on a worst-case basis, that she would opt for bilateral, like Binay.

              • jameboy says:

                Filipino voters especially “masa” are predictable especially their adulation of idols and powerful personalities. Their adoration trickles down to family members.
                You think Grace Poe don’t know that? 💂

            • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

              Judging by China’s bullying ways – driving away our fishermen from “our” EEZ, I doubt that there will be equitable sharing that could happen, ever. With USA’s aircraft carrier hovering in the background and a favorable ruling from UNCLOS, maybe.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                By being equal partner in paper without putting up capital sum plus employment of thousands if not millions of Filipinos, Philippine economy is already a winner.
                That is the the problem(tuso) with us Filipinos; we want to earn something out of nothing but worried from being cheated of the profits.

              • Joe America says:

                And China will play fair, of course, and hold to the agreements, whilst snickering in the backroom about how those lesser Filipinos can be played for fools. I can hear them snorting from here.

            • jameboy says:

              Taking a stand thru Diplomacy is all the Phillippines could do. That is a fact! Experience is unnecessary on this matter. Seasoned diplomats and jurists will do a better job than an experienced president.
              But the President is supposed to be the one who, with his authority and guidance, conducts the foreign policy. To declare experience as unnecessary on such endeavor is practically endorsing suicide in international stage.

              If diplomacy is all about talks and rubbing elbows, I would submit to the idea of experience as unnecessary. But we all know that diplomacy is not as simple as that. Diplomacy is war in itself confine and conducted on a negotiation table. Even with seasoned diplomats it is not a guarantee that you’ll have smooth sailing in foreign policy front. You must also have to have a knowledgable and experience anchor or leader to thread the waters of diplomacy because almost always strong and big nations dominate and imposes their will engaging in negotiations with the end in view of coming out as winners. That’s the main agenda on both sides, to uphold what for them is most beneficial and advantageous. A weak and small nation such as ours should not have the ‘experience is unnecessary’ mentality because that to me is engaging on a wrong footing which is a dangerous thing in diplomacy.

              If you have a poor anchor, inexperience executives or just brutally ignorant leaders it would only mean that the heavy load will largely rest on the so-called seasoned diplomats. Is that really fair? Are we really giving the country our best shot to have a fighting chance if not in the battlefield but over the negotiation table to advance and pursue our national interest and security opposite to that of other nations?

              I don’t think so. 👎

              • Johnny lin says:

                Decisions could not be made until all the cards are on the table after cep the of diplomatic talks. That is the best decision a president could make. Afterwards the appointment of a panel.seasoned negtiators. Nobody could definitely say what would be agreed upon. Only when the time has come that presidential decision could be Mae based on n the recommendation of the negotiator including policy divers on national security, military, foreign affirs, finance, maybe including energy and environmental advisers. an intelligent educated r one could make the decisions based on expert advise. Who had experience in dealing with international land grabbing. This is where competent advisers are useful.

                be gazing happened because Obama an Clinton were inexperieced. Bay of pigs, anyone?

              • karl garcia says:

                President Dwight Eisenhower relied on intel provided him,it failed,so that was the example senator Grace used for her committee report.

                Because who said the buck stops here?

              • karl garcia says:

                Ay tanga ko,Truman said that not Eisenhower.

              • Joe America says:

                Eisenhower said: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

                I know who he’d recommend for the Philippine presidency.

              • karl garcia says:

                Mea culpa again,Eisenhower planned the invasion and it carried over to JFK.It was during JFKs time,the invasion happened.

      • neo canjeca says:

        just read this:

        I hope someone in the media would ask what is her stand on the plunderers – a) Estrada father, mother, sons, b) Marcos’ loot still being tried by Bongbong to recover, c) Roberto Ongpin’s collusion with corrupt government officials. Her dependence on Escudero and her close ties with these plunderers are making me doubtful that she should be entrusted with the top post of the land. Will she listen to Estrada who, like Arroyo, has signed agreements with China which are detrimental to the benefits of our country.

        and later this:

        Grace had made a stand on corruption, during her exchanges with the Binays in media. She declared that those found guilty of plunder and corruption should be punished. though it was not directed to anybody, the implication was applicable to everyone.

        EVERYONE ?

    • NHerrera says:

      Good points on Poe relative to Roxas about the 2016 Presidency. That and the complementary thought of Joe.

      I am of the view that in the “end” (when that crucial decision point is, is of course subjective with each of us) we may have to chose what we believe is second best if only to insure that the high negative impact candidate does not make it. In Bayesian probabilistic sense, the risk to the country may be too high with this negative impact that we may have to forego our best or desirable option with less probability of winning. We may have to wait a little longer for confirmatory data?

      In any case the after-SONA-endorsement by the President and our thoughts about that on its implication/ consequence may still be useful, seeing that it is only two weeks from now.

      Very nice to see your handle here. You are sorely missed at Raissa’s place.

      • Johnny Lin says:


      • neo canjeca says:

        ” I am of the view that in the “end” (when that crucial decision point is, is of course subjective with each of us) we may have to chose what we believe is second best if only to insure that the high negative impact candidate does not make it.”

        NHerrera: subjectivity can be reduced significantly by facts from science. It is subjective to rely on the Filipino belief that childless couples by advice of elders are very careful to adopt foundlings because they do not know enough of the parents and what the foundlings might turn to later; we don’t know the process undertaken for the approval of adoption by Hollywood celebrities for example Angelina Jollie.

        Science like DNA testing removes subjectivity in the allegations of parentage of Grace Poe. DNA testing of Grace purported biological parents who came out, of FPJ and Susana Sonora, of rumored Rosemary Sonora and her husband, of Ferdinand Marcos Sr or Jr, etc .

        Shouldn’t matter, what ever the objective results of the tests I can and will vote for her based on my judgment of subjective and objective criteria ; of Grace potential competence as President and the kind of people that can be identified who will help her make 90 per cent of her decisions. All qualified voters then will see her as she really is as their future President standing straight, proud and confident alongside world leaders. Her DNA will set her free and even make her President.

        • neo canjeca says:

          Political parties of long standing could still retain its political reasons for being even if it is already infested with political butterflies so long as some principled old fogies remain. Not so when a party is overrun by opportunists, thieves and scalawags. It is no different from a newly formed party organized for self-aggrandizement and pillage of the country’s wealth. The Liberal Party being the Administration Party should be exposed in detail as to the extent to which it was infiltrated by corrupting elements.

    • jameboy says:

      PNoy maybe in a dilemma now not because he has to choose between two candidates to-be having exact credentials and qualification for the presidency. Truth is, what brought the dilemma was mainly the popularity of Grace Poe.

      I don’t agree to the idea that winnability and acceptability to the people are two most important factors to be considered on a candidate. That maybe important for those who are after self-promotion or with self-interest. People whose sole motivation is to gain advantage and grab the opportunity when it presents itself often put more dent on winnability and acceptance for that is why they are in the game in the first place. Not so with people whose interest goes beyond their persons. Not so with people whose focus is not really what they are they to the public service but what they can do to enhance and improve it. To those people it is what they can offer and their capability to deliver based on knowledge and experience is what is most important because it is geared towards service to others.

      I’m aghast to learn that capability, honesty, integrity and experience, to some people, only comes in second in importance to winnability and acceptability. Why, the Binays possess the so-called “two most important” factors! Terrible!

      “Opportunity knocks only once. Poe is the right person in all parameters.” – Johnny Lin
      Very true. That is why when opportunity presents itself one should not waste time thinking of other things. When the opportunity knocks open the door and ask no questions. Just grab it and enjoy the personal amenities, power and authority and the perks that it will bring to you and your ego. Opportunity maybe blinding but to hell with those whose vision and wisdom is different from you. They’re not the ‘chosen one’ therefore they hush.The opportunity is yours and yours ALONE. Just always remember, it only knock once.

      What? What about the country? Don’t know ’bout that. 😎

      • Johnny lin says:

        Respect your opinion.hope you’re interpretation was not based “out of context”. I’m talking about election of a candidate looking at the subjective point of view. Comparing the two candidates PnoY had to choose. That is where winnable and acceptability come into play.

        I’m a general sense there better capable than Poe or Roxas Duterte or Binay to become our president. Yet, nobody is on top of the list for election because they don’t have winnability and acceptable factors, thereby good qualities become secondary factors in terms of beingelected.

        A summa cm laude astronomy graduate doesn’t have he guarantee to win the Nobel prize. More often he ends up teaching. Not different from winnability and acceptability in choosing tge best electable candidate.

      • Johnny lin says:

        Again, talking about about the present cast of characters, Binay, Roxas and Poe. Who should PNOY endorse? To PNoy, Poe has the best opportunity to win and continue his Daan Matuwid. Roxas would be the most ideal but could he win?

        During the 2012 US President cmpaiign, Governor Christie was the clamor of many Republicans to run. Christie was undecisive and declined. That was his opportunity of a lifetme. He passed. Now, he threw his hat in the GOP presidential run; he is deep in the bottom of preferable candidates.

        lesson for Poe in politics 101!

        • BFD says:

          Unfortunately, Johnny, you are not counting in Escudero. It’s only Poe you are talking about here, but from what I read, they’re glued together, in other words, a packaged deal. Poe as P and Escudero as VP, take it or leave it.

          Where does that leave Mar?

          • Johnny lin says:

            Chiz is a liability to Grace. Blog by Buddy Gomez posted above by someone is right on the money on Escudero. They don’t have the money to finance a campaign. They need LP or palace lkgistics. His is positioning himself thru Grace to get the leverage he wants like Co-campaign manager with PNoy.

        • jameboy says:

          To PNoy, Poe has the best opportunity to win and continue his Daan Matuwid. Roxas would be the most ideal but could he win? – Johnny lin
          Well, if we’re going to focus on the “win” factor I don’t think the discussion has to go deep because anybody walking down the street will tell you the one who is popular, the one leading the surveys will surely win the title. That’s very basic. No need for analysis, weigh the pros and cons or even think of the country’s concern and basic interests that’s put on the line.

          But let’s take a look at the past.

          Erap was very popular back then and he could have been president much, much earlier. But despite being local chief executive/mayor for many years he has the sense to consider running instead for senator. Not only that, after the Senate he did not grab the opportunity to run and win the presidency which he can easily do so and instead ran for Vice President.

          How ’bout Noli De Castro? Like Erap, he too is topping the surveys and was very popular that had he chose the presidency when he entered politics he could have made history. But what did he do? Llike Erap, he opted to run for senator and even though he continue to top the surveys as a presidential contender decided to go back to broadcasting instead.

          And Jojo Binay? Fair is fair, he ran Makati decently, at least, according to the people of Makati. He ran it so good that his constituents thought that he was still in-charge even though his wife and son had already took turns playing musical chairs on the Office of the mayor. I mean, that speaks volume as administrator whether you’re pro or anti-Binay. And when the time he was ready for the presidency he made a go for it only to backed down in the last minute when his friend, Erap, decided to run. A seasoned administrator and chief executive of the financial district of the country for decades, Binay, with all his expertise, experience and vast knowledge in public service decided to give way and slid down to vice president position. Can you imagine that?

          And Mar Roxas? Well, we all know what happened in 2010.

          What am I driving at? I’m merely trying to highlight what those people who had the best and unique opportunity at the time to capitalize NOT only on their popularity but also experience and knowledge to take advantage of the chance to run for the presidency but opted not to.

          In fhe case of Erap and Noli, the position is practically being offered to them in a silver platter. All they had to do was to declare themselves available and things will run by itself. However greedy or corrupt Erap and Binay maybe, the two former mayors had the common sense to acknowledge that even though they were big shots and chief executives extraordinaire in their respective jurisdiction the presidency is another animal that requires training and honing on their part to be able to fully comply with the demands of the job. They maybe opportunists to the max but at the time when the people themselves are giving them the go signal to unleash their cunning nature and selfish desire they sacrificed, they chose the other way. They passed. Wow!

          All the names I mentioned above, including FPJ, with the exception of Dolphy, I’m sure, have salivated and had wet dreams thinking of the presidency. Human nature. But surprisingly they were able to demonstrate that they can manage the greed, the selfishness and hubris in them when it counts. When it’s no longer about them but about the country they blinked.

          So, for anyone to tell me that Grace Poe should not sacrifice because she is the only one, the chosen one, the perfect one to run against Binay and win, I can understand.

          Human nature. 😎

          • Bert says:

            And what is the human nature of Mar Roxas, can you tell?

            • jameboy says:

              Bert and his usual question again. 🙂

              You read the post, everything you might want to ask is answered by it. 😴

              • Bert says:

                You sure everything’s there, jameboy? Hmmmmn, let me see again.

                Sorry, jameboy, all I can find there about Mar Roxas is this:

                “And Mar Roxas? Well, we all know what happened in 2010.”

                Hmmmn, this is hard. The nature of Mar Roxas can be found in what happened in 2010? Hmmmn, let me see. Could it be the 2010 election? Hmmn, in that election, Mar Roxas, having found out that he has no chance of winning either the nomination or the election as the LP candidate for president, sacrificed his ambition and gave way to Noynoy.

                EUREKA, I found it. That was Mar’s human nature.

                Thank you, jameboy.

              • Joe America says:

                You two have taken to bickering like old ladies . . . with my apology to old ladies everywhere.

              • jameboy says:

                Joe, with due respect, I have to object to your repartee. 😄 It’s very obvious Bert has something in him that he hesitates to let go of. He’s holding back or something. He cannot come out with his swing. He’s not throwing punches but just holler and whistle. And smirk and whine.

                I mean, I’m not complaining but you’ve seen most of my posts. They’re a bit lengthy because the action on the board is fast and the exchanges are animated if not provocative. I read posts that I comment/respond on. It’s not easy to follow the flow that is the reason why I put those little images at the end of each post to identify my post easily. To be posed by a question that has no significant relevance becausw of the absence of a premise or proper introduction, especially those fishing expedition type that comes from Bert, is a bit dragging.

                Bert, I don’t bite. Spit it out, pal! 🙂

              • Bert says:

                Huhuhu, Joe, hayan si jameboy, o, inaaway ako. Pagalitan mo nga, hikbi.

              • Joe America says:

                Huhuhu, I have no sides, I appreciate you both. Carry on.

        • jameboy says:

          During the 2012 US President cmpaiign, Governor Christie was the clamor of many Republicans to run. Christie was undecisive and declined. That was his opportunity of a lifetme. He passed. Now, he threw his hat in the GOP presidential run; he is deep in the bottom of preferable candidates. – Johnny lin
          I think you conveniently forgotten how the GOP ranted and criticized Christie for being too cozy with Obama during the latter’s visit in NJ and the subsequent bridge closure scandal that has been traced to Christie. Those and other scandals the governor was linked to has contributed to his star losing its luster. 👮

          • Johnny Lin says:

            You’re talking about “bridge gate” which came into serious focus after 2012 election and Chistie was cleared. That was the beginning of his falling out with GOP admirers plus other factors coming from his straight shooting mouth😉

      • neo canjeca says:

        If there is no choice, there is no dilemma. If what gives you a choice is the results of a series of surveys which an honest to goodness survey will debunk as dubious, if not downright spurious , your choice to believe the spurious could be suspicious as being moronic if not motivated by sublime or insidious purposes.

        When the party candidate gave way to P Noy as the party candidate, win or loss that became written in stone in the annals of the party. It becomes a party matter of honor, respect and gratitude if the party men involved are not thieves or scoundrels. If they are thieves and scoundrels then the party withers and die.

        IF P Noy wins (and he did) and pursued the straight path of good governance , then the expectation even among politicians is that he has no choice but to repeat an act of statesmanship on the man who did it to him. In a manner of speaking the country owes P Noy what P Noy owes Mar Roxas. Yes, yeah, it could have been worst for the country if Erap would have won over Mar Roxas.

    • noggy says:

      hey johnnny lin, i follow your posts on Raissa’s blog, and glad you started posting again. I think Grace’s running is being pushed by Chiz so he can run for VP. The problem is if they both win, Chiz and/or his allies might push for Grace’s disqualification as P (residency issues) and we might end up with Chiz as P. I think that is about as scary as Binay as P. thus, at this particular issue i dont agree with you. I believe it is still Roxas/LP Team who is/are in a better position to continue Pnoy’s reforms.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Thanks noggy. spot on! Chiz is not trustworthy. Parents of Kim might have more info on his character. Grace and Chiz could not run on their own without logistics and party machinery. They need PNoy not necessarily the LP. Coalition is their best option; in that case VP slot would be offered to coalition party. That leaves Chiz out despite him claiming he used to be NPC.

        Yet nobody in media or in blogs is talking about this scenario.
        Supposed Poe is anointed by PNoy and Mar decides not to run for VP, either he retires or run for senate. Who will be VP in a coalition? Of course, it depends who are party members in the coalition? If NP joins coalition, that would certainly change the spectrum of guessing game

        Think about it! Possible eh?

        • Johnny Lin says:

          Parents of Heart

        • Caliphman says:

          JL, its good to see you are are still alive, active, and still posting albeit here and not at Raissa’s. Its open season on foundlings and Poe there right now on the theory that Roxas’s chances of winning are much better if either legally she can be disqualified from running thus avoiding a 3-way race or she can be manipulated to be Roxas’s VP thus maybe capturing masa votes he cannot attract. I myself ever since you left see the folly in all this and have been defending Poe as being the only credible counter to Binay bring president in 2016. I just read all your series of posts on this piece. Unfortunately, your analysis of the political situation is spot on and agrees with mine. And I do not have a shabby record in prognosticating and being mostly right in the other blogsite either as examinining my past year’s posts will show. I very rarely participate here and I am not here to toot my horn.

          But yes, you are right that the threat of a Binay presidency has not disdipated and in fact has increased with Pinoy’s failure to to get a tandem that has Mar or Poe sliding back to a VP slot or even a Poe/Escudero LP slate. The basic myth or fantasy most Roxas or antiPoe proponents have is that the Binay threat will dissipate as either he will be prosecuted and thus knocked out of the race or his diehard bobotante followers will finally desert him due to all the charges of corruption, enough so that Roxas has a chance of beating him. Apparently the latter is news to his followers as they just picked him the most trusted official in the most recent survey with the AMLA freeze in the news. Its not happening unfortunately and maybe a year from now lets go back to this post and check for accuracy.

          Pinoy is in quite a pickle as it seems like he will now have to appoint Mar and hope the LP is not split apart by a coalition Poe may be able to form sponsored by another party with defections by LP factions seeking to join a slate headed by a more electable presidential candidate just as you seem to have suggested. It would not be too surprising to find out that Pinoy is using his own private pollers to guide his moves which probably is coming up eith same analysis and conclusions you came up with. In any case, it is the September surveys that we should wait for to prove who is right and who is wrong. My being wrong would actually be a relief to many people including me but I would not bet on it…hehehe

  10. DAgimas says:

    in America, its information overload. leaning left? you have the NY Times, LA Times and the major networks. leaning right? you have Fox, OC Register in our locality. want politics? tune in to TV during Sunday mornings. sports? you have ESPN, Fox. heck the Lakers even have their own dedicated cable and radio stations.

    you can practically just read or watch what you want to read or hear or watch, shutting others point of view.

    and information is very cheap

    • Joe America says:

      True, you can pick your bias in the US and support it, which most people do. Or sift through both sides and become reasonable, as a lot of people do. Versus the Philippine way, to run ignorant and support a bias. There is no way to find the reasonable solution because the information is usually missing or well hidden.

  11. hackguhaseo says:

    Whatever he may like reading, I just hope he stays away from the comment sections of some of these online news outlets. The stupidity that pervades those place is damning to a hellish degree, enough to make you want to give up on this country.

    • Joe America says:

      It is astoundingly . . . well, trollish, stubborn, rude and uninformed. If the President enjoys reading the Economist, I’m confident he does not plow through those inane discussion threads. I stopped attending to them, as the response was too often personal rather than issues based, and that’s a deal killer for me. But don’t give up. It is the same elsewhere as the electronic media open up such discussions to kids breaking through puberty, political fanatics, Chinese trolls and malcontents. When there is a good discussion thread, the malcontents go there to stir up trouble, which has happened more and more here as the blog has grown in popularity and influence. The gameplayers have arrived.

      You can identify them. They are not willing to listen.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      I see what you mean….I stubbornly try to read the comments, and just scroll when I deem it to be trollish…that’s where I encounter MRP (with different handles..he is easy to identify, his pet peeve UP, his boast of being an American and his disgust with us Filipinos). I suspect parekoy in there sometimes, he is fond of giving “nicknames” to public figures. Any mention of PNOY and Kris in the news and the trolls have a field day. That’s when my mouse comes in handy, scrolling past the catish, trollish remarks.

      Sometimes I encounter some good opinions on the day’s news. It’s there that I gauge the people’s sentiments on a given issue. The glaring drawback is the lack of moderator to reign in the trolls. A few minutes every morning and then I get out without commenting.

  12. Karl garcia says:

    re :Note from ed.

    No more RoRo possibility, but I am glad that she is accepted the invitation to run for the senate, I am also glad to be wrong that she might run again as a congress woman.

    • Joe America says:

      She has not yet accepted. She asked for two months, they said we need to know by the end of July. Something like that.

      • karl garcia says:

        I see.

        • sonny says:

          Dumbo me

          who is RoRo, Karl?

          • Roxas – Robredo 2016

          • karl garcia says:

            Giancarlo answered it,sorry I read your question late.

          • sonny says:

            many thanks to both of you. RoRo sounds reasonable. I hope they will gather steam.

            • juanlee says:

              i hope so too, RORO should be built up and media hyped. i am very afraid for a poe chiz tandem as poe is very moldable to become a trapo. many trapos are now parading around this tandem and special favors will be exchanged, i see poe is an ‘independent’ kuno dancing the TRAPO dance. where is the independentness that they are trumpeting. goodbye tuwid na daan…welcome mga BALIKTUWADS. hapi days are here again (for them).
              oh my my, how did pinoy misread the actuations of the tandem. hope is not all lost…mar ought to announce his intentions right after the sona and his marketing strategy effected. well, like one blogger has said…his accomplishments should be heralded for the widest consumption by any means and let the common tao do it, with the help of celebs from all walks of life. this is the true task of politicking for mar, rally the people to his side to have a wonderful philippines.

              • sonny says:

                @ juanlee

                This was an earlier exchange w/JoeAm. I think this is apropos to RoRo gathering steam for the homestretch for 2016. Here’s relying on the Society’s elite corps to fill in the blanks.

                sonny says:
                June 29, 2015 at 6:27 am

                Muscle, brain, money, network and the perception thereof.

                Joe America says:
                June 29, 2015 at 7:25 am

                Muscle to me means organization.

                Brain means a lot of what is being said here, how to speak to the CDE class. And AB, too.

                Money to get the message out in a powerful way.

                Network to deploy people in a powerful way.

                Perception, for people to see the competence.

  13. edgar lores says:


    1. If there is one non-fiction book the President should read, it would be the “Meditations” of Marcus Aurelius.

    2. If there is one fiction book he should read, it would be “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

    3. If there is one science non-fiction book he should read, it would be “The Accidental Universe” by Alan Lightman.

    4. If there is one science fiction book he should read, it would be “Dune” by Frank Herbert.

    He probably should not be reading that much now, but the first recommendation can be taken in morsel bites of wisdom.

  14. juanlee says:

    mar roxas, per most recent survery, is the least popular among the names of proposed presidentiables by the survey operators. as some bloggers have stated he has all the perceived good qualities of a leader (to lead the country at this time) except popularity which many equate to winability. like any product which needs to be sold, mar roxas is a product who needs to be sold. here in the philippines, many products have celebrity endorser or media hype to maximize sales. right now the tandem of poe and chiz is benefiting from media hype, hence their hi popularity rating. between now and election day, roxas needs to be sold. if media wants him to be leader then media needs to report about him positively, if popular upright politicos and celebrities want him to continue the TUWID NA DAAN, then they need to endorse him. issue of popularity is the present problem with mar roxas. his handlers need to work doubly hard and imaginatively to have ideas (new think ideas) to boost his popularity that is very saleable (true and befitting to the man) to the majority of the voters. supporters of mar need to sell their product so the voters will not be able to sell their votes. i for one do not want BALIKTUWAD NA DAAN, and i urge voters to give their votes to mar. maybe PNoy need to read something on how to sell mar to the voting folks IF PNoy wants his legacy of TUWID NA DAAN continue. gude.

    • I for one think that he should start his campaign for Roxas at this year’s SONA.

      1 outline where we were
      2 outline the challenges we faced
      3 outline where we are now
      4 outline where we want to be
      5 give Roxas a lion share of the credit

      He should really ask advice from his sister Kris on this.

      She shoots everyone else out of the water when being relevant with the masses is the issue.

      • DAgimas says:

        if he wants to run, he should just run. list all his accomplishments and sell it to the LP. if he could not convince the whole LP to support him, the more that he could not convince the whole population to vote for him

        better yet, he should court Poe himself to be his running mate, not the Prez doing the heavy lifting.

        • BFD says:

          I think he’s just being deferential to the President since it’s been a tradition that the outgoing President pick his candidate and present him/her to the people as an option.

          • DAgimas says:

            tradition? so who handpicked PNoy in 2009?

            • BFD says:

              GMA handpicked Gibo Cojuangco, remember? Mar Roxas, who was supposed to the Liberal Party presidentiable then, gave way to Noynoy Aquino, so Noynoy became the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party.

        • juanlee says:

          a wise and honest politician, long long time ago, said “RUN (or serve) NOT for the glory of thyself, but do RUN to glorify thy Lord and thy Country with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul.”
          besides courting poe, Roxas should also ligaw famous people and politicos who practice what the wise man said. politicking is the art of ‘ligawing’ people to effect a common goal. And for their hardwork reward them with positions in his administration and let the voters know up front the personalities who are going to help him run this country and effect his immediate visions (while in office, the people specially the massa can smell the difference in their lives) and programs to make this country a more happy and more fun to live in. together they will sell the product…the roxas administration…detailing the DOABLE goodies (not empty promises) that they will deliver for the people.
          reading material that inspire people, i think, should be in pnoys list and also on future president’s reading materials list’ gude

      • jameboy says:


        Nice suggestion but a at the same time a risky proposition.

        I say, the President can do that only after getting all parties on the same page about Mar as the standard bearer. We don’t want to disrespect Poe’s camp if we want a reliable coalition partner in 2016. 😇

  15. Bert says:

    “,,,maybe PNoy need to read something on how to sell mar to the voting folks IF PNoy wants his legacy of TUWID NA DAAN continue. gude.”—juanlee

    :), juanlee, Mar was/is on the market selling himself for quite a very, very long time already that if he’s a fish could be stale or ‘bilasa’ already at this time. It’s not the salesman but the product, actually, hehehe.

  16. Bing Garcia says:

    Grace Poe for President!

  17. sonny says:

    After listening to the Society’s pundits, I wish there were a mechanism such as primaries or caucuses that all the population (ABCDE) could actually get/learn a serious/official sounding of candidate viability logically leading to the real thing.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. I’d argue that there ought to be some standards at COMELEC that dismiss candidates with serious ethical blemishes that risk damaging the honor of the nation if they are elected. Rather like libel laws protect an individual’s honor. If Binay is on the ballot, the Philippines remains a banana republic in the eyes of many, and some of them decide if it is a place to invest in or not.

  18. jameboy says:

    Typical question-premise: Roxas would be the most ideal but could he win?

    Proper Counter-question: Can Poe deliver?

    Conclusion: Chicken and egg thing.

    By whose idea: Those who’d like to climb the trees because it’s easier than threading the forest. 😏

    • Bert says:

      Problem is, Roxas needs two questions to answer:

      1. Can Roxas win?

      2. Can Roxas deliver?

      Two chickens and one egg, :).

      • Joe America says:

        Inquirer poll, Roxas vs Poe vs Escuderon, as of this moment:

        Roxas 56%
        Poe 35%
        Escudero 10%

        Poe and Escudero came out today opposed to BBL. Suicidal. Puts them with Marcos. People have 8 months to figure out how half-baked and dangerous these two are. Roxas looks very stable in light of these knee jerk policy decisions.

        • Bert says:

          Really, Joe? I must have overlooked that Inquirer stat. I was reading The Inquirer before I open your blog. Anyway I have no reason to doubt the info you’re giving. If that Inquirer survey results tally with those of the SWS and Pulse Asia, then I would be glad to go with the Roxas bandwagon. Can you tell if Roxas 56% in that Inquirer poll exceeded Binay’s number?

          • Bert says:

            Now, jameboy, this is good news for us all, and most specially to you. Really now chicken and egg.

            The question now is:

            -Can Roxas deliver?

            • Bert says:

              No, not the checks. Silly.

            • jameboy says:

              Can Roxas deliver? – Bert
              Actually, that question should not only asked of Mar. All presidential candidates should be asked that question.

              Anyway, since you asked that of Mar, I’ll have to give you the facts. Mar Roxas, among others, served under three presidents. The first two, Erap & Gloria, he chose to distance himself from eventually because they were implicated on corruption cases. There were hurt feelings on both sides but we never heard the two former presidents talking about Mar’s incapability to deliver. Never. Instead, he remained in good stead with them mainly because they know Roxas is all about work. There was no politics in how he relate with his superiors.

              After serving two presidents and now about to end his term with the third one it is a bit funny and comical for someone to ask question if Mar can deliver. Since we’re in a comedy mode let me say this, stop sleeping in the pansitan so you can ask relevant and sensible question. 🙂

              • Bert says:

                jameboy, so Roxas is all about work, that he can deliver what’s asked of him by the three president is what you’re saying, is that right? Right.

                Now, that I cannot disagree with you, nor am I going to dispute the fact that Mar Roxas indeed is a very good worker.

                Now, please allow me to ask you another irrelevant and insensible question: Do you honestly think that being a very good worker translate to being a very good leader?

              • Bert says:

                Now, where’s your answer, jameboy? You can’t? I’m waiting.

                Because you see, if your answer to the question is ‘yes’, then I rest my case.

                On the other hand, if your answer is ‘no’, then I think that you will have to eat your words even if we are in comedy mode since it will be shown that between the two of us I am fully awake and you are snoring in the pansitan.

          • Joe America says:

            It is not a scientific study at all, but it gives hint that Roxas is not dead in the water. He has a fan base. Binay was not in the tally as they were looking only at the three who had met with President Aquino. Here’s the tally:

            • edgar lores says:

              We should not ignore the possibility of each respondent voting multiple times for his preference.

  19. jameboy says:

    Popularity surveys has become an instrument of guarantee and assurance. It’s like a lie detector instrument where guilt and innocence is establish without the backing of science and legal approval. No matter, more or less, it gives an idea or provide a map where we are on the subject matter with regard to our own personal view. All of us, with our respective biases, prejudice and preferences are captive audiences of survey numbers.

    But I refuse to argue on the basis of who’s up there and who’s not simply because the more relevant factor, the personal quality and professional credentials of the subject matter gets to be taken out of the focus and conversation in favor of numbers. The discussion always ends up on an alley named ‘winnable’.

    Anyway, there’s a lot of things that may still happen (campaign, debates, sliding down, withdrawal of candidacy, or even death) that those numbers coming out now could possibly change in favor of who is the flavor of the moment.

    Whether its Binay or Poe or Roxas who is up there, let’s continue to talk about them and how they can or can’t contribute and pursue the myriad interests of the country going forward. 😎

  20. VP Binay is all but done.

    You never go against the media.

    When the VP brought charges against PDI he has all but ensured that the media would be against him.

    If I know one thing it is that the media protects itself.

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