The beast in us . . . and presidential candidates

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If you are like me, you think you are an independent, autonomous being working his way through life the best way possible. You pretty much control things, get up, get out, get on with the day.

Alas. In reality, we are not independent. Far from it. We are a part of a greater environment that shapes who we are and dictates what we do.

I’m sure psychiatrists and sociologists have identified where and how the individual joins with his surroundings, because we are not apart from what’s out there. But lets skip science for now and just think though things. We can draw off a lesson or two from that.

We are a part of our surroundings. We are not autonomous beings. More, we are like cartoon characters etched into a storyboard by some extraneous entity. Let me call her Culture. We receive information or ideas from our surroundings. These include mental tests (the alarm ringing in the morning), physical tests (the flu) and emotional challenges (from tele-dramas to a death in the family) . . . and we react. The outer world . . . this Culture . . . is a bunch of Pavlovs and bells are ringing all over the place.

The idea that we even have much of a “self” is ludicrous. We are owned by others. Think of the thousands of little interactions you have with others or events every day. You are a fish and can’t be seen apart from the water. Not only do we receive stimuli (excuse the scientific word), we put some out. We drive down the street and cause others to swerve and brake, we call someone an idiot on line and he erupts, we argue our position, we sell our goods, we stimulate others, and they bug us. Rather like leftists, if you catch my drift.

Now the core of how we structure these interactions is often described as “Ego”, but as that term has technical scientific meaning, I’ll avoid it. I’ll instead refer to it as “the Beast”.

It is a Beast because, even though we think we are in control, often we are not. And the Beast gets the better of our mature judgment. We argue passionately about something that is wrong, or we hurt other people intentionally because we are angry, or we mistake sexual heat for love, or we stomp on others to lift ourselves up . . . many ways. The Bible might be inclined to call this beast Satan, but I don’t think it has bad will, really. It is not evil. It is just, well, ignorant or mistaken or good intentions gone bad or . . . human.

In any event, the Beast gives us a community personality that defines how we deal with others. We are introverts or extroverts, we are aggressive or passive, we are funny or serious, we are detail-minded or generalists, we are compassionate or cold, we give or we take . . . we form our way of interacting with others. Everybody from astrologists and tarot card readers to Maslow and Meyers-Briggs (I’m “INFJ”) are giving us insight on how we relate to others.

  • The way others see us.
  • The way we see them.
  • The way we see ourselves.

I came to this topic by watching the presidential candidates, each of whom has a peculiar Beast on display. The way they interact with others. Here’s how I would characterize them:

Jejomar Binay’s Beast consumes him. It is represented in ambition that overrules all kindness or or ability to give, unless the gift is a manipulation with ulterior motive. There is no sacrifice to the man, except as he sacrifices others to achieve his aims. His greed is unrelenting. His cunning shows no remorse. His sense of entitlement is beyond belief. He scares us. He wants to dominate every thing and every one. He’s the the leader of a forceful, malignant Borg hive on earth. Resistance is futile.

Rodrigo Duterte’s Beast is explosive, volcanic. At one moment he speaks great wisdoms and exhibits kindness and compassion, the next he is threatening to kill someone or wipe out Congress. Some days I, too, want to throw the Senate into Manila Bay, but I don’t say so. He is outspoken, unpredictable, and flips between a white hat and black at any moment. Does he control his Beast or does his Beast control him? We don’t know. He makes us a little antsy, nervous. Unsure. Hot and cold. We admire him or fear him, depending on the minute of the day of the year.

Grace Poe’s Beast is a balloon of self importance that has come to dominate her political persona and reason. She seems to have the ability to take but not give. Senator Escudero and others have been huffing and puffing into the balloon and now we think Grace herself has become fond of the effect, of flying high, of gaining the adoring cheers of the smiling masses down below. We have no idea what she is attached to at all, or if she could manage a Cabinet of 20 departments or deal well in a crisis. She’s floating free . . .

Mar Roxas has a closet Beast we can’t figure out. It’s like he can’t bear to let it out. He’s quiet and largely humorless. He blows up from time to time at little people. We want him to blow up at the scoundrels who are raging through the political landscape being unkind, but he only shoots at them with a pea shooter. People label him ineffective because he is quiet. More likely, he is capable, but way too mysterious. Way too hidden. His Beast skulks around, peeking through bushes.

What do we make of this? These are people who seem to have no rational connection to their surroundings. They are eccentrics, every one, responding to events and trying to control themselves and others but largely trapped by their own needs, their own Beasts.

  • Where is Jejomar Binay’s sense of compassion?
  • Where is Rodrigo Duterte’s sense of moderation?
  • Where is Grace Poe’s sense of humility?
  • Where is Mar Roxas’ sense of macho, of manning up?

Well, that last point struck another bell with me. For if we look at the outer world called Culture in the Philippines, what do we see? We see an admiration for toughness among the men, and service among the women. We see determination to get by today seemingly without the ambition to care about tomorrow. It’s a reactive way of living. We see loyalties to families and incredible sacrifice to care for them. We see emotionalism and superstition and hearts attached to hope, to dreams, to the stars we dream we could be, if only life were a little different or if the talent spotters at Voice of the Philippines could hear us at the Karaoke machine. We see envy and crabs and people who are incredibly stubborn and even vindictive.

Is there any wonder that Binay and Duterte are admired far and wide for their manly strength? Even corruption is a strength, to many. The corrupt have chutzpah, the courage not to take orders from anyone at any time. Binay is the A dog of Filipino Culture and Duterte is the A- dog. Poe is the hope, the child of a beloved actor who ALSO exhibited that manly character, who did what we imagine for ourselves, shot bad guys, got out of scrapes, took a beating and got back up. Surely his daughter is just like that!

And poor Mar Roxas. Mr. Proper. Mr. Good. Mr. Dedication to the Job. He . . . well, his Beast . . . clashes with the two main elements of Philippine Culture, macho posturing and star gazing. He . . . his Beast . . . clashes with his outer world. When he strives for macho, hefting rice sacks or blasting through the mud on a motorbike, he only generates ridicule because ordinary Filipinos . . . the main component of Culture . . . find this at odds with their understanding of him. So they laugh.

He doesn’t fit in. Or, rather, he doesn’t fit “out”.

Never mind that most people have absolutely no idea who Mar Roxas, the man and the executive, really is. Ignorance is something most of us wear with no amount of humility, because it’s rather like spinach between the teeth, we don’t know we have it. But it is a part of Everyman’s Beast, the knowledge we don’t have . . . the details about Mar Roxas, for example. The truth. And we are quite content to fill the empty patch with whatever the tabloid press, or our friends, or our need to be opinionated, tells us to say.

“Mar Roxas messed up DOTC and DILG, and then there were all those photos and that Tacloban run-in with the distinguished (cough, cough) Mayor Romualdez. And Korina Sanchez, boy, a maid-beater and stuffed-shirt talking head.”

There’s ignorance for you, and it is rampaging across the Philippines like Typhoon Titillation.

Well, let me say, I think there is about zero chance this outer world Culture is going to change that much between now and the election. And there is about a zero chance that the Beast who makes Mar Roxas tick is going to change much between now and the election. He IS Mr. Good, after all, Mr. Integrity. He just doesn’t do macho posturing or star gazing very well at all.

The only thing Mar Roxas can possibly do . . . or any candidate for that matter . . . is to speak across the chasm with a message that is sharp and clear, and zings through the macho posturing and the star gazing and goes directly into the “hearts and minds” of the denizens of Philippine Culture.

His message needs to be sharp, and focused. He also needs to sting the other candidates.

“I will not give your country to China, not one little piece of it, not one hectare of water, not one fish in the sea. Other candidates want to engage in bilateral talks with China. That means their starting point is recognition of China’s sovereignty over Philippine seas! No. We are for negotiations that settle the matter for us and our neighbors, within international law. We respect China as a great world power, but she should remove her presence from Philippine seas. We will not concede Philippine seas to China any more than we would concede our rice fields, forests or cities.”

There is, within a candidate’s platform, the opportunity to talk big. The platform is the message that passes between Beast and Culture, from candidate to voter.

Mar Roxas has an advantage. He is the only candidate who will be talking about BUILDING from where we are. The others must start with criticism, to establish themselves as different. To use criticism and accusation as a foundation for macho. It’s a lousy foundation for macho. It’s weak.

“See Binay run. See Binay whine.”

Mar Roxas can talk about a nation with muscle, with strength, with jobs, with money. He has a platform of proof upon which to speak, as President Aquino so well displayed during his 2015 SONA.

The others can only speculate, criticize, and pretend.

Mar Roxas can be the real deal.

But he must bridge the gap with between his Beast and Culture with words that are, themselves, powerful  . . . not just to you and me . . . but to the good people across the land who form the loyal, laboring backbone of the Philippines.


310 Responses to “The beast in us . . . and presidential candidates”
  1. Betty Engracia says:

    Maybe Mar can strengthen another trait that has long been set aside in our political society: Breeding. Add that to Patriotic dedication to duty and Wisdom which some may have nary a virtue of.

  2. I was alluding to this in precious post and fortunately the roxas team finally put it in a form digestible to open minded people.

    People criticizing Mar on DOTC and DILG please read through this first:

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      Thank you giancarloangulo for directing me to this site.

      The tribute delivered by my hero Ninoy for Mar’s father, the late Senator Gerry Roxas, has put tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat. This is the first time I have learned of the deep bond that existed between both men.

      In my own little way, I will help Sec Mar. I may not be finacially and physically capable but through prayers and talking to my immediate circle of influence, I will do what I possibly can to help Mar be elected President in 2016…both their fathers will surely rejoice that their sons were given more chance to lead the country to greater heights, the chance that were denied them due to their untimely death.

      We had quite a long political discussion, (our kasambahays and my brother-in-law), and we each vowed to spread Mar’s distinct advantage over the other presidentiables and that the country will benefit more ifhe will be given thance to continue what PNOY has started.

  3. Sarsi Bodhi says:

    Let us forget the beast character for a moment and add another filter to the equation . That is, who among the four possible candidates can do the most damage to what has already been started by Pres. Aquino? Prestige of the Philippines in the global scene is at stake here, and consequently the perception that has been slowly gained that our country is no longer the sick man in Asia. Judging from past events in the Philippine political scene in the past two years with Mr.Binay and also what was perceived as a pedigree entitlement by Ms. Poe, it looks like these two will not even pass the smell test to the filter. So now it has to be between Mr. Roxas and Mr. Duterte. It is now a choice between an establishment guy who is perceived as a failure by the general Filipino electorate. The other is an outsider who wears his emotions up his sleeves. With Mr. Duterte, there is no telling what one gets , because he is so transparent! The fact that he made Davao City one of the safest cities in the world is quite an achievement. And he will not shy away from a good fight . May the Filipino electorate be finally enlightened ! We are faced with finally electing a leader who I hope will not be afraid to handcuff his underling himself if they are caught messing with public treasury.

  4. Bing Garcia says:

    Joe is really famous now. In the Inquirer!

  5. “I am interested in how the wild beast lives in the jungle, not in the zoo.” All 4 beasts are worrisome, but Duterte’s is probably the least worrisome of the 4 (at least in this article’s presentation re the 4 cardinal virtues). At issue is whether all that tough talk is real or rhetoric. If rhetoric then question how Duterte surrounds himself, with sycophants or straight shooters, if the latter then his beast aside, we conclude he has Wisdom (Prudence below), Justice & Moderation usually follow. Courage looks to be his hallmark, but is this documented?

    Prudence (φρόνησις, phronēsis): also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time.

    Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosynē): also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue.

    Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosynē): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, and moderation tempering the appetition.

    Courage (ἀνδρεία, andreia): also named fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.

    • cjm says:

      I love to see how Joe America analyzes the potentials of Miriam Santiago. To me, she has all the qualities that are missing in all of the 4 beasts plus their good individual qualities. She basically represents the Messiah that the poor Philippines is waiting for.

      By the way, I don’t know her personally and she does not know me as a secret supporter.

      • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

        She has some health issues at the moment, a fact that rules her out in my list, among other facts.

      • Joe America says:

        Hi, cjm. I consider Senator Santiago too old and too infirm (health reasons) to handle the heavy duties of the Presidency. Plus she is a populist, and inclined to speak for effect, with her jokes and rages. She criticizes the VFA agreement, a cornerstone of defense, but does not identify how the Philippines can deal with China’s occupation of Philippine waters. I have no idea what the Laude inquiry accomplished other than angers. She’s way down on my list. Perhaps I’m not seeing the whole picture, and you could list her counterbalancing strengths.

        • cjm says:

          Hi, Joe. I think I don’t have to list her counteringbalancing strengths, but just her being considered as the Ïron Lady ” and the “Margaret Thatcher of Asia” says it all. I still believe that she could have been the President of the Philippines at one point instead of FVR in the same vein (hocus-pokus) as Mar could have been the VP in 2010 instead of Binay.

          • DAgimas says:

            im no fan of Miriam Santiago. she has not responded to JPEs narrative about a luxury car stolen from customs warehouse that was found with her husband. the car was never returned to its rightful owner. maybe that’s the reason she hates very much the old man..he knows too much. this speaks too much of her

            another during 1992 presidential campaign..there was a losing candidate who suddenly became rich. maybe this was from campaign funds but it was never declared to be so and as an income (if ever it was appropriate)

    • Joe America says:

      That would be good to know, indeed. What is the circle in which Mayor Duterte circulates. If he chooses to run, I think he will just waste a lot of money unless he can prove that his beast is tame and law-abiding. His hostility toward DOJ Sec de Lima is beyond reason, I think, and projects a vengeful beast.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      Prudence, justice, temperance and courage…worthwhile attributes we should all aspire to possess, not only by our leaders. But mindful of our being just human, sometimes we fail in these attributes, the important thing is how we and our leaders can overcome our temporary weakness and be able to rise above it. Mistakes need not define a person, his whole character counts a lot.

      • @ JoeAm, speaking of circles what’s Mrs. Poe’s circle look? I remember while there Pres. GMA had a problematic husband. I know the Philippines is in between patriarchal and matriarchal lines, but usually there’s a knucklehead husband, father, brother, son in the picture, so who does Poe surround herself with. And of Mr. Roxas is this– “He blows up from time to time at little people” — just your normal, nobility towards the masses perspective prevalent there, or is there more to this. Also what type of people does he surround himself with. You’ve already written so much of this Binay fella in the short time I’ve been here, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of the type of leader he’ll be.

        @ Mary, so true. Some of these virtues carry more, some less in weight, balance is the goal for any person. From my experience leaders, at this stage, tend to be the most fallible, ie. you have to be really flawed as a person to seek the lime light. So it’s always the advisors and friends these leaders surround themselves with that say more of their character, than the PR campaign & network they’ve built up for themselves. Maybe Joe can do an article studying each candidates’ circles, immediate and outer ones, past & present–and future possibilities.

        • Joe America says:

          I’m of the impression that Senator Poe’s husband is a quiet, unassuming business man who steers clear of politics. Her main questionable association is with Senator Escudero, who is deep into the trapo ranks of the wheelers, dealers and untouchables. Secretary Roxas surrounds himself with people like Jesse Robredo, and cabinet members on the Aquino staff who have the highest regard for him. I think he also has a lot of loyalty in the field among the straight-shooting LGU’s, and that will begin to become evident as the campaign advances.

          • Joe America says:

            The two blow ups I had in mind were a golf course incident in which he got angry with staff because his guest was not properly taken care of, and at the police who cleaned up a Cagayan de Oro bomb blast site before he got to visit there. To balance that, I think he also has under his belt the capacity to deal with crises, from having to deal with the Zamboanga hostage situation, the Mamasapano fall-out in which he remained reflective and loyal, and the various storms, of which Yolanda was most publicized, and generally not in its full context. He is emotional, but I think also aware that he must present the “cool” face. His response to Binay’s barbs are that “cool” face. Stinging quips without engaging in like diatribe.

  6. Jasmin G says:

    Hopefully voters will look past Mar’s lack of charisma and mass appeal and see his sincerity, honesty and capabilities instead. It will be an uphill battle for sure, so his team really needs to strategize and repackage him well – for starters, make Mar and his language “masa”.

  7. josephivo says:

    I would love to see Roxas as what he is, a professional. Put on a suit, have an aid carrying your briefcase, speak professional with figures and facts, explain where we are, where we can be, what the next step ought to be. Let the finger eating to Binay, the looking important to Poe, the macho statements to Duterte. The new Philippines needs professionals and the people understand this.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      If Mar can control his beast, he can run the country just fine. At this moment in time, the beast is in a cage with a trainer.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, I agree with this. Let us orient around a professional, rather than him trying to orient around us, where us is a lot of different people.

  8. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The question is who is the closet beast*h who will be running the Philippines? The President or the spouse? The voters should take this into consideration. Because the smallest and dangerous social unit in the Philippines is Crime Family: ie, Binay and Marcos Family. Remember the conjugal dictatorship run by Imelda. Compare it with widowed Cory and Bachelor Benigno. Forget Ramos spouse, they already experienced what happens if a spouse runs the country incognito.

    All the spouses will be thinking is travel, glitter and glitz meeting with simple brainiacs of 1stworld First Ladies chit-chat about fine wine. Making it sure they make it to Inquirer’s SONA Top Ten Glam.

    Benigno Aquino is effective because he is celibate and practice abstinence. The Constitution should provide the Prsident should be celibate, OR, from a Mestizo Class.

    The Mestizo Class (THE COLONIZERS) are still the honest people in the Philippines. Never tainted with corruption and bribery. WHO SAYS COLONIAL MENTALITY IS BAD?

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      Surprise!…i agree, at least on the 1st and 2nd para. Keep it up, MRP

      • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

        Korina is intelligent and discerning enough to know her place as first lady, maybe she can remind Mar not to fail to attend another coffin arrival (Heaven forbid, and let’s hope there will be no more widows and orphans in our elisted men in the Armed Forces, as well as in the side of our muslim brothers, let’s pray that a constitution compliant BBL will finally be passed into law)….that was one advantage that PNOY lacked as Joe has pointed out, a spouse to remind him of some protocol and heartful duties that needed to be performed as President.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          These candidates should be subjected to SALN Test
          Certified by COA as PDAF and DAP Free

          Please, Lord, if you are there, save us. We need divine intervention for a simple SALN Test. In the U.S., we subject potential employees to CREDIT CHECK !!!

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          Having known Korina since we were kids, I can say she most likely never had thoughts that she might become First Lady someday. This isn’t to say she didn’t dream big. She’s always been ambitious, but she worked really hard to accomplish her goals. And if you’re honest and sincere with her, she’s really quite easy to get along with. She may be very highly opinionated about certain issues (and I admit, she will have to learn to bite her tongue if Mar wins), but she’s actually quite respectful of other people. Even at a young age, Korina has always been highly regarded in her social circle. People who work for her may find her to be difficult to keep up with, but that’s because Korina is really so full of energy, and that’s the worst thing her subordinates can say about her. I have no doubt Korina will make a great FL if and when the time comes.

  9. Well, Joe, you’re famous now! Maybe you don’t expect this but you’re blogs are a force to reckon with come 2016. You’re way beyond in your alloted ’15 minutes of fame’. Your blogs could swing the undecided votes from the A & B and the C’s & D’s i hope…however, we need to get you to the latter’s attention. How could we do that? Radio blogs? TV slot without cable anyone? Facebook will do I guess. Many are now on fb for a reason…
    Mar needs an Olivia Pope to beat Binay….. He has the qualities, yes, but packaging him vs Binay is important if we really want him in Malacanang. But I guess since the last time I watched Scandal OP’s bid has skyrocketed to a billion mark ! Gosh! Maybe Kris? Hahaha. Just wishful thinking..
    Mar can be it. He just needs proper handling/packaging vs voters perception. Has been packaged for 5 years in DILG but now until election day is crucial….
    Duterte has been packaged already but for me, he can be a good and wise VP for now. And so with Poe.

  10. There is an aspect of Mar that can reach Filipinos in their culture: the compassionate aspect.

    What he should show is that he is working hard like a good kuya for his family and doing all he can to make the common house that is the Philippines a better and cleaner house to live in.

    That plus quiet firmness against all who wish to dirty the common house or steal from that house – no need to blow up, just be firm and show through quiet strength that house rules are enforced.

  11. blacksocks says:

    The Beasts have their loyal following who are beasts in themselves, lost in their own confusing culture largely influenced by superstition and blind faith, or by the make-believe world of their celebrity idols, numbed by the impunity of mediocre government services, while naively used and manipulated by their masters—the rich and powerful beasts whose concept of humanitarianism is a notched above an evolved Ardipithecus.

    Will a contrived transformation matter? Probably if they likewise dance Gangnam Style.

  12. Micha says:

    Mysterious Mar.

    Since it is now a given that he will continue and not stray (harinawa) from daang matuwid, the next crucial aspect to scrutinize in his political raison d’etre would be his economic policy proposals.

    As a Wharton graduate, does he embrace the the neo-liberal prescription? What lies beyond the conditional cash transfer program? What is his stand on the Washington Consensus?

    After daang matuwid, maka-kaasa ba tayo ng daang maginhawa?

  13. edgar lores says:

    1. And so the drive for – and to – the Palace begins.

    2. It was Mario Cuomo, ex-governor of New York, who said “You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.”

    3. He was speaking, of course, of America and not the Philippines. In our country, the sounds of campaigns are not the evocative pull of words that would summon us to that higher plane of longing and living that we dream of. No, the sounds of our campaigns are:

    o The blaring of loudspeakers on roving jeepneys
    o The religious screech of banners that denounce Team Patay and laud Team Buhay
    o The strained singing of candidates, their spouses and popular songstresses
    o The dull thud of sardine and tuna cans bumping each other in giveaway bags
    o The ka-ching of money exchanging hands between campaign leaders and voters
    o The bang of firearms
    o The wail of families mourning their dead in a political assassination or massacre
    o The blast of grenades in a Plaza Miranda

    4. God help us.

    5. Our inner self is composed of heart and mind. I do not accept for a moment that that inner self is a beast. What we are, what we become, is dependent on the seeds that are planted and nurtured in our childhood and dependent on which seeds we ourselves water and groom. We could be beast or angel… or in-between. I believe we are mostly in-between… although individually tending to either extreme.

    5.1. Having said that, I accept the convenient analogy of ego as Beast, as the projected persona for meaningful comparison of candidates and for political advertising.

    6. There was poetry in Mar’s acceptance speech. He thought that the Daang Matuwid was of great significance as the proper path to the future, and that there should no turning back to the old ways. He said, “Hinahamon tayo ng kasaysayan na isabuhay ang prinsipyong ito; na magpatuloy sa ating paglalakbay; na ipaglaban ang ating mga pangarap bilang lahi.”

    6.1. He spoke of our dream… and he accepted the challenge. Can we say his closet Beast has emerged? Can we say Mar has mojo? I said as much when he castigated Junjun and said, “You are not special. You do not own Makati City.”

    6.2. Or does he have to rip his shirt and reveal the big M that Korina has embroidered on his undershirt?

    7. Binay promises to deliver his SONA on Monday.

    7.1. Let us see if this Beast has poetry in his lost soul. So far all we have seen and heard are evasions, traitorous criticisms, lies and palusots. I expect more of traitorous criticisms. (I expect his speechwriters will drop some poetry as they are, without doubt, reading this blog.)

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      It never ceases to amaze me that you write as if you are living here with us, in ‘Pinas, with your keen observations of how political campaigns are done, Philippine style. even Korina laughingly commented during an ambush interview right after the LP gathering in Club Filipino where Mar was endorsed by the President – am now ready to sing and dance on the stage at campaign sorties….that’s how the masa are entertained, before, or after the various speeches.

      Informercials maybe be considered to tell the masa why Mar deserves another look. Since the courts and comelec have ruled that it’s not premature campaigning up until they have filed their Certificate of Candidacy, maintaining a higher moral ground while the others are at it at the expense of lagging behind in surveys is somehow frustrating. Poe is lucky that she is always in the news, being always sought for reaction on various issues of the day, personal to her or not.

    • Joe America says:

      The sounds of the campaign are classic, like dirt arising from the feet when walking. Superb.

      I do believe that Mar Roxas is stronger than characterized in this blog, and I hope he gets the venues and press time to show that. The LP gathering presented him as deeply emotional, with the same commitment we might have seen Noynoy Aquino make to his parents in 2009 and 2010. I wish that parallel could be emblazoned on a t-shirt. I’d wear it. Character counts. Personal commitment to those dear counts.

  14. chempo says:

    Kudos to you Joe. A masterpiece. I’ll do a re-read.

  15. ofwobserver says:

    what was tammany hall to american politics? although synonymous to corruption, its ability to extend assistance in exchange for political patronage worked well for decades. in as much as the philippines having weak institutions of law, justice and social service, the people will look for someone who can provide for their daily needs regardless of principles. pnoy’s admin aims to show that people deserve more from their government. but he is going against three generations who grew in a culture of unlike tammany hall.

    • manuelbuencamino says:

      Tammany hall in New York, Daley’s wards in Chicago, Long’s parishes in Louisiana, Binay’s barangays in Makati, Erap’s in San Juan, the list is endless. They all owe their success to ignorance and poverty.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Include Rizzo’s wards in Philadelphia.
        They all have one common bribing theory, dole outs and patronage.

    • Joe America says:

      Very astute observation, ofwobserver. I’ll have to read up on that period of American history to see if the fruits of favor were re-invested to get rich or shipped to foreign banks.

  16. manuelbuencamino says:

    The biggest challenge is still the language that will communicate Mar’s qualities. And it has to be concise enough to fit a bumper sticker

  17. nielsky says:

    For most of us already of voting age when – Duterte, Binay, Marcos, and Roxas – are already in government service in the various positions they held, elective [or appointive], do know that if compared to former Philippine presidents, neither one in this pack is much of a desired or preferred president-to-be, either

    No one may constitute him or her-self as a ‘once in a life time president’ like President Ferdinand Marcos and a handful more before him in terms of most attributes – that a president with political statecraft should possess. The aspirants in this upcoming presidential flight – if we can read their black box – do tend to crash, collide, explode or generally – self-destruct. With anyone of them, it is almost certain that the country cannot take off. In short, they failed to become ‘change agents’ in a society constantly mired in corruption, inefficiency, and mismanagement.

    Joe Am can only be most right to describe them as beasts or the beasts in them. And the fact that these types of candidates stand in the way of our better judgment; that these candidates do not give us much choice; that our collective future seems to fall in at least one of these ‘beasts’ – it seems axiomatic that we are left without option but to adjudge the candidate based on their last official act(s). For instance, Grace is associated with the Fallen 44 for whatever it was she failed to accomplish or report about Mamasapano. Bongbong is associated with the BBL for whatever it was he might have succeeded to revise from the original draft. Mar is associated with post-Yolando disaster and for whatever political reason his official act deprived constituents of the Romualdez. Duterte is a self-admitting author of extra-judicial killings. Binay is associated with political dynasty and corruption and it bears watching whether he will first be impeached before he can file his certificate of candidacy like a few before him (i.e. Ombudsman, SC chief justice).

    If there was any critical juncture in our country’s history against which we want to judge the presidential aspirants individually, then it can only be the more legitimate reason why we should vote for them. In short, each candidate has an individual niche – no further test is needed. Whatever little or remarkable contribution they have proved or shown is the single basis for our limited preference or choice. I like to think that each candidate’s highest individual role in critical junctures best exemplifies how he or she will be as president. Offhand, it is this broad field that the much prophesied Mar’s ascent to the presidency just might betray the man given how he figured in quite a number of less than desirable roles. In other words, Mar cannot have his cake and eat it too.

    Thus, no matter how TV, radio, print, social media, or other digital technologies could seem to ‘photoshop’ as if it were any of these truly ‘beastly’ candidates, pardon my saying but thanks to Joe Am’s profound metaphor in this article, no amount of grandiose exposure may still help. It is not strange how easy it is for voters across the socio-economic spectrum to actually chose the beast they can tame – the beast that will not kill or shoot them (Duterte), the beast that will not just role-play the part on camera for a make-believe (Grace), the beast who will not bring into the equation his father’s original sin (Bongbong), and/or the beast that says ‘bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo’ (Mar).

    Shame on the tri-media and its shameful claim as the ‘Fourth Estate’. We now have more branches of government than just four – so please play fair and square. No amount of media blitz, hypnosis, or misinformation can fool the viewing universe anymore. The class A to E voters do not give a damn hoot what you roll out on TV, radio, newspapers, or internet. They are not the true thinking class and the ‘new normal’ is, as I have said, is already within the range of understanding of every Filipino 18 years and above.

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful read, nielsky. Excellent characterizations of the four main characters yourself, and you hit the big nail on the big head, as well, the failings of the fourth estate and the fact that the great laboring masses have other things to worry about than what we argue about here. Thanks for this piece.

  18. i7sharp says:

    … The Bible might be inclined to call this beast Satan, but I don’t think it has bad will, really. It is not evil. It is just, well, ignorant or mistaken or good intentions gone bad or . . . human.

    In any event, the Beast gives us a community personality that defines how we deal with others.


    Please see this and kindly respond:

    … The Bible might be inclined …
    Pray tell, why you chose to use “inclined”?

    … the Beast gives us …
    Joe, you seem to have just proclaimed the Beast (Satan) to be more than generous.

    You have the right or prerogative, of course, to say what you will about the Beast
    – or even about God
    but …
    Excuse my French, but what the heck are you up to?

    Is your overarching purpose really for the good of the Philippines?
    I wonder.


    • Joe America says:

      These are literary devices not to be taken literally. And I don’t care to enter into a discussion about religious meanings. My overarching purpose is to consider the character of the four main candidates, how they interface with Philippine culture, and figure out why Mar Roxas does not fit into a culture of macho, and what he might do about it.

      • i7sharp says:

        Did you use a literary device when you wrote (I presume you did) this?:
        “My real name is Ronald Hertzenberger and I live in Cebu.”

        In any case,
        how are your readers supposed to interpret it?

        Fwiw, let me say my overarching purpose here is for the good of the Philippines where I was born and raised.
        Feel free to grill me.

        • Joe America says:

          Readers are left to their own to interpret and I am pleased that most are inclined to operate in the realm of ideas and leave the well-being of my family to me. I have no interest in grilling you. I trust that you are indeed here for the good of the Philippines. The rules of the game (the blog) are to generally stay within the topic at hand and not confuse message with messenger. I fear that most of your comments are digression and miss the point entirely, but you are not rude, and relate well to others, so I allow you to persist. But if you continue to confuse me as the topic of the blog, that is like personal confrontation, and you will not be allowed to do that.

          • i7sharp says:


            Speaking of realm of ideas, let us go, for instance, “barangay”:

            Regarding the well-being of your family, let me say I do NOT and will NOT – IN ANY WAY – knowingly jeopardize it.
            What was it that I had written that made you say what you said?
            If you will elaborate on what you have said on this, you would enlighten not only me but also many others. (Rest assured I will NOT be confrontational but will listen most carefully.)


            • i7sharp says:

              “But if you continue to confuse me as the topic of the blog, that is like personal confrontation, and you will not be allowed to do that.”


              Let us consider “context” – lest we misunderstand each other.

              To me the context of what you write is what I have seen or recall seeing in your postings in diverse threads of your own (blog) site.

              Perhaps for every 20 – even up to 50 or more – of your postings I have one or two, for whatever they are worth.

              The main goal in my postings is for them to redound to the good of my home country, the Philippines.
              If others (you included, of course) find them digressing (or confusing or confrontational), I would welcome even outright attacks on them – for the sake of clarification or mutual edification.

              You seem hesitant to comment on the ideas I have provided links to – ideas which I hope, at least Mar Roxas (whom I am rooting for, for now anyway) will find worth looking into, so let me just ask you to comment only on point #2 (about the well-being of your family).
              Please don’t call this a digression: it was you yourself who had broached it – to my complete surprise, btw. Not to mention confusion.



              • i7sharp says:


                I had meant to write,
                Perhaps for every 20 – even up to 50 or more – of your postings I have one or two, posted for whatever they are worth.
                So I hope you will look at my postings in the context of the relatively few others I have posted – and thereby see things under a more benevolent light.

                Salamat ulit.


  19. NHerrera says:

    Joe, you are wearing a Dr Freud Hat today. Off the cuff, I like the Hat. I may come back and comment again later, after I digest and spin the thoughts some more in my mind. Thanks. 🙂

    Meantime this simple thought. Like your bookie Sal and my magician friend, you seem to have sequenced your commentary on the Presidential possibilities — Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas — not only alphabetically but also on the serious nature of their beasts. Because the beast of Mar is not as “life-threatening” as Binay’s; and because Mar seems to have a wider scope of knowledge and not at all “maniacal” as Binay, I dare say Mar may have a relatively easy creative way of taming his beast compared to the others within the time span from now to May 2016. (Caution — I am no psychologist, friend.)

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I went from easy to difficult on the beasts and was pleased that it ended up alphabetical. Good point, on Mar taming his beast, and also interesting that the ease of taming goes bottom to top on the list.

  20. Johnny Lin says:

    Beast in Mar to be unleashed is understanding or learning. Mar was never street educated, the reason he failed to appeal to the masa. He does not have problems with the upper class because they understood him considering the lived similar surroundings.

    When he tried to portray himself as Mr Palengke his handlers put him on a tricycle. Masa are not stupid, dumb or ignorant. They knew he will never ride tricycles to make a living. It would have been better if he was tasked giving away tricycles through cooperatives and credit union banks or with NGO through his business or charitable entities he was associated with.

    In Yolanda he was pictured carrying a sack of rice. That was another blunder. Would have been better if he was carrying emergency medical kit wading in knee deep water trying to reach a person in distress along with nurse volunteers. Image is very significant to the eyes of believers. Every professional in extreme situation would do that. That’s the theory of medical missions.

    His handlers forget that he comes from a different class to appeal convincingly. Ramon Magsaysay, Dadong Macapagal, Erap and even Noynoy would not appear awkward riding a tricycle or shouldering a sack of rice because they are visualized as natural. Compare Mar, he is recognized as entirely different so his appearance was for showbiz effect that could not fool anybody.

    He needs a crash course in street education, cram, if need be. But has to be designed befitting his persona and class stature, not necessarily do what a poor working man does. They say, there are many ways to skin a cat. One has to teach Mar the right way to tame his Beast. Polishing is what Mar needs.

    Other than his tarnished image, he is a pedigreed honest, dignified, respected leader flashing with integrity! If he were entering the UN hall, his persona is that of an ambassador, don’t make him look like the limo driver.

    Mar, call me if you need street education. Not Joeam, he is front page now, he will only hand you Kickapoo juice😀😉😍

    He he he!

  21. may abriol says:

    very well said johnny lin. Mar roxas is a presentable and decsent man . He can face foreign dignitaries and evry filipinos will be proud of him. i have my feelings he will be our president next year.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      If he learns how to strike the jugular, he will prevail.
      Cross your finger Grace will not disappoint the Filipinos truly seeking the best for for our country started by après Aquino.

  22. Broparinski says:

    I think Mar Roxas really needs you as his consultant. Very good analysis, Joe.

  23. i think if all the educated citizen of our country will vote for Mar, Binay will never get a chance

  24. Vicara says:

    Seems to me the key message–maybe even the overarching message–of the SONA was when Aquino referred to Daang Matuwid as a national aspiration that antedated his presidency and will exist beyond Roxas’ administration. We are just public servants, no more, no less, he seemed to be saying, carrying out the will of the people. This linking of the past to future is particularly resonant because of the family histories of both men, about which one suspects they’ve had ambivalent feelings about even in the best of times. Could be we’re in a transformational moment in Philippine political life, when people whose backgrounds scream “trapo” and “dynasty” and “entitlement” appear to be in the process of dismantling that very tradition they’ve descended from, or at least moving it into new directions. Neither has amassed wealth. Aquino has no child, although there are nephews who will likely trade on the family name for at least another generation. And while Roxas has an acknowledged son, there’s no carefully orchestrated dynastic succession evident. Neither has the easy charisma traditionally demanded of Filipino politicians. The awful rictus smile of Aquino, the clumsiness of Roxas’ attempts to craft a public persona-for-the-masa–aptly described by Manolo Quezon as “maladroit”–may have a distancing, distinctly de-glamorizing effect, but… approval ratings for Aquino are still higher than those of his predecessors in the last year in office. Could it be, voters now appreciate seeing a person grow and mature while in office, as he has done, while inevitably making blunders here and there, and always–this should resonate with every Filipino–navigating the push-and-pull of family history.

    • Joe America says:

      Very interesting read. Yes, I believe the President sees his straight path as a culture shift, not just a fight against crime. Excellent point that I’ve not quite realized before. Also, I agree that President Aquino has prevailed against the expectations of many of us that he would be mediocre. He has been strong. I’d imagine Sec. Roxas to be much the same.

  25. OzyBoy says:

    JFK, whose beast was his womanizing ways, was elected by the American people, in a tight presidential race, winning over Nixon. JFK was, like Mar Roxas, a member of the elite, from a political family, considered “prim and proper,” – a Catholic. He was adored by the people because of his boyish looks, military service, and his name. I look at Mar, and I can see a JFK. Mar looks like a dreamer just like Kennedy. Korina can become his Jackie thru channeling like what Mrs. Obama did. The Filipinos (A to E) classes could easily relate to a soap-opera like setting. So instead of his being rich, not masa-oriented becoming a liability, these can be transformed into a Gatsby-like persona, a JFK, minus the womanizing.

    • Joe America says:

      JFK’s womanizing was not popularly recognized until years after he was dead. He was elected on his charisma, yes, and his family name, and the intelligence of what he said.

  26. red rod says:

    What’s with downplaying Roxas’ beast? Why not expound on how he talked down to a duly elected mayor about being “a Romualdez” while the president “is an Aquino.” We all know what he meant by that. Does not matter what the poor mayor says or do. He’s still going to be wrong and they (this administration) are going to be right because they Aquinos are on the right side of history. How about Roxas’ outburst at Wack-Wack when he cursed and berated a caddy that got him suspended at said golf club? Oh right. That’s covered. Perhaps that’s what you meant by directing his beast “at the little people.”

    And you got it wrong. When people laugh at Roxas for having his picture taken carrying a sack of rice or onions, it’s not because it is not how people understand him, it’s because people see right through the photo-op. People are saying, “look at this buffoon insulting our intelligence by trying to send a message that he’s one of us.” Mar Roxas’ problem is not because he’s not macho and he’s much too sophisticated and humble and soft-spoken who only cares about the what’s good for the Philippines. His problem is that people are aware that he has a temper yet he tries to conceal it. Mar Roxas not only has a vanilla problem, he also has an authenticity problem.

    • Vicara says:

      A duly elected Romualdez in Tacloban is different from a duly elected Romualdez in, say, Marawi. Context was everything. And frankly, given the mayor’s behavior during and after Yolanda… he acted according to political dynasty type.

      Golly, are all trolls supposed to quote in strict order from the same fact sheet of Roxas misdemeanors? It’s always the Tacloban thing first, followed by the caddy thing next. About the temper– half the (well-intentioned) people who want to help Roxas spruce up his image tell him to continue to try to be nice, while the other half tell him to be himself and let rip. In real life, it’s usually only the truly inauthentic who exhibit remarkable consistency.

      • red rod says:

        You just bolstered my argument that Mar Roxas lets it rip behind closed doors. When he thinks noone is looking, he flexes his political muscles and at the top of his lungs, screams at and berate people he sees are not his equal. Therein lies the problem for Roxas. He’s only Mr. Potty mouth when he thinks the cameras aren’t rolling or that the witnesses would stay silent out of fear.

        The funny thing about it is (in a screwed up kind of way) that his Jeckel and Hyde personality is his most authentic trait, if we are to believe Mar’s apologists.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        WE ARE ALL TROLLS !!!

        Trolls are those who do not see their way and those trolls who do not see their way are also trolls, therefore, logically, WE ARE ALL TROLLS !!!

        Does anybody knows here the early 90s definition of TROLLS? It has have evolved to what is now defined today?

        • red rod says:

          Funny right? There seems to be an aversion to criticism by supporters of Roxas that makes it impossible to have a nice civilized discourse with them. Anybody that don’t agree with them is a troll. SMH

          And I meant Jekyll. LMAO

          • Of course not. Not anybody that doesn’t agree with what we say is a troll. As I observed here, after much discussion and when neither of the 2 or more arguing has converted the other side to his way of thinking, they just agree to disagree, but there’s little personal attacks, insult or slurs. This has been reiterated by Joe time and time again as his blog site policy. I do get a calm exchange of opinion here, and respect each other’s take on a given subject matter even if it sometimes differs from mine.

            Personal attacks, insult or slurs constitute trollish remarks and anyone posting them is a troll and is at risk of being suspended from the site at a mere push of Joe’s button as the blog site owner and moderator.

    • Joe America says:

      Who do you prefer as President and why?

      • red rod says:

        I don’t know yet. All I know is that Roxas is a hard sell, you couldn’t sell Roxas if he was a blanket in the North Pole, Grace Poe does not meet the basic qualifications to run, Duterte (and his followers) can not possibly be serious, and there are too many cooks in the Veep’s kitchen stirring the pot. Toby Tiangco needs to STFU, that much I know.

        • Joe America says:

          I would just suggest waiting for the next two polls before concluding that Roxas can’t sell himself. I actually tend to think that both Mar Roxas and Grace Poe can run a good government.

          • red rod says:

            Roxas couldn’t even gain ground after all the allegations thrown at the Veep and the Veep’s family. It was Grace Poe who benefited most. And let’s be honest, Roxas has been building his network, cultivating relationships in the grassroots level, handing out cash doles to LGUs, and essentially running for the presidency since taking over at DILG. After all is said and done, he only has 10% support (according to Pulse Asia) to show for it.

            Pnoy’s endorsement would clearly benefit Roxas’s numbers. It doesn’t take a fancy Ivy League PolSci or Sociology degree to conclude such. But let’s be honest. Would a bump in numbers an indication that Mar Roxas woke up one day oozing with that elusive charisma and developed the skills to sell himself despite the lack of success in the past? Or would a bump be a result of Pnoy raising his arm?

            • Vicara says:

              Thank you, red rod, for helping to prove a point I was trying to make, that new leadership models (not just in this developing country) are moving away from the highly personal, God-bestowed charisma model, and moving more towards on-the-job training built on shared expectations and evolving political culture–the whole Daang Matuwid past/present thing. The office ends up being bigger than the flawed human holding it, who has to grow into the office. And so what if Roxas is Jeckyl and Hyde? Who would have thought (I certainly didn’t) that Aquino would have done so well in the eyes of the people? In the end, these character ticks and flaws, and the odd caddy or sack-toting incident are just red herrings scattered by trolls according to the playlist.

              • red rod says:

                In 1992, Jovy Salonga was the integrity candidate who could live up to the massive expectations of the office. In 1998 and 2004, it was Raul Roco. In 2010, it was Gordon or Teodoro, depending on who you ask. These days, it’s Mar Roxas.

                One of these days, people like you are going to be right. I just don’t think it’s in 2016. There’s simply no evidence, if we’re going to take a look at any election post Marcos (with the exception of the 2004’s highly questionable results), especially the last two cycles in 2013 and 2010, that we are moving towards that candy coated direction you think this is all heading to. 2013, Grace Poe, daughter of FPJ was the big winner. 2010, Pnoy parlayed the people’s admiration for his parents for a six year ticket to Malacanang.

                It’s still about personality and charisma. There’s no evidence to suggest that it would all be different.

                But cheer up. What you lack in the ability to read the political wind you more than make up for your enthusiasm. WTG

            • Joe America says:

              We’ll see, won’t we. All I can say is that time and circumstance define the future, and now is just now.

              • red rod says:

                Think about it, why has Roxas so patiently carried Pnoy’s water over the course of the latter’s presidency? I mean Roxas has carried more water than Gunga Din, for heaven’s sake.

                Even after Pnoy kept Roxas out of the loop on Mamasapano which resulted to Roxas’s inutility to once again be in full public display during the senate hearings, Mar swallowed his pride and continued to be at Pnoy’s beck and call. A man with integrity being treated like he was useless would have quit then. But no. Roxas stood by Pnoy and for what? For this, of course. Everything Mar Roxas has done since losing in 2010, nay, since giving way for Pnoy to run months before that was going to lead to this. For the president’s endorsement. Because Roxas knows all too well that he can not sell himself and win by himself.

                Take off those rose-colored glasses for a second and see for yourself.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I don’t pretend to be able to project myself into Sec. Roxas’ mind. You could certainly be right. Or it could be that he is respectful of the President in ways that we cannot comprehend. In his acceptance speech, it is clear that he holds President Aquino in very high regard. It may also be that he chooses to be respectful of the LP selection protocol and is not inclined to disrespect those LP members who are behind Grace Poe.

                At any event, the campaign is about to take off in a serious way, so we will see how Mar the Candidate handles himself.

              • red rod says:

                @Mary Grace

                That’s exactly what I was saying. So Pnoy tells Mar, his most trusted and most influencial aide, that he had to sit Mamasapano out. That Mamasapano is not your average Martilyo incident at some department store that required Mar’s “expertise.” It was bigger than that, hence the exclusion. And Mar was supposed to feel good that he had to sit it out and couldn’t be trusted with ANY information BUT be forced to explain the whole thing in front of a televised public hearing?

                A person that does not need anything from his boss (contrary to what others may say, Mar as DILG head reports to the president) would’ve quit. But since he’s obviously after that ever-so-beneficial endorsement, he sat there obediently and barked at anyone who questioned Pnoy’s motives.


                Perception is reality in politics. I’m sure you know that. I’m saying there is a sizable number of the population who question the president’s actions on the Mamasapano carnage, as evident by his numbers taking a dive during that period. To top it off, Mar Roxas, the man whom the president put is trust on to be this country’s next president, is perceived as a guy who couldn’t be trusted with vital information and be involved in a critical mission. Pnoy wants to hand over the car keys to Roxas when it was only several months ago that Roxas wasn’t deemed worthy to even sit quietly in the backseat. So we’re supposed to trust Roxas when the president couldn’t?

                On a lighter note, I refuse to believe that you work for the palace or you are who they say you are. For one, maintaining this blog requires quite a bit of time that you couldn’t possibly the president’s speechwriter AND have quite the presence hereabouts. But more important, I refuse to think that tax payers money is being spent to do this. It’s one thing to spend money making sure the president’s message reach the people minus the negative spin from detractors, it’s another to spend money on putting lipstick on a pig. And no, I did not just call Mar Roxas a pig. That wasn’t a dig. That was a rhetorical expression that according to wikipedia, is “used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.” Just being clear.

              • @ red rod

                It was a simple police operation to begin with, simple but necessitated a secured few head honchos in the PNP to be involved to avoid leakages that spelled failure in the previous similar operations. A limited engagement was expected based on information fed by security partners. In hindsight it turned out that it was not that simple operation due to the delay in the plan’s execution, daylight came so soon and they were spotted, they should have called off the plan but did not. I heard that it usually happens in ultra secret, confidential, off the record operations, death and failure are risks acknowledged by every police and military operatives in the conduct of their duties. No one expected they will be spotted, and that a pintakasi would ensue.

                Are you one of the lucky few whose all plans are faultlessly, smoothly, and seamlessly executed that they can judge so rigidly and harshly those who encountered difficulties?

                Mar was briefed after the deed, he got the overall picture and tried to do what he could in the face of so many judgmental critics out there. He was kept out of the loop presumably because as DILG head, he will be blamed for not involving all the other generals (which cannot be done to avoid repeated leaks that they still could not pinpoint the source)

                Mar did not quit because of that, he has a job to do and he did it, notwithstanding the opinions of those who had 20/20 hindsight.

                He is not a quitter he is a team player, and I admire him for that even if others don’t.

                My last post in this thread.

            • Vicara says:

              “Mar swallowed his pride and continued to be at Pnoy’s beck and call. A man with integrity being treated like he was useless would have quit then.” Are you saying that humility and integrity can’t possibly mix? “Roxas knows all too well that he can not sell himself and win by himself.” Thank God, enough with the egomaniacs who think they can slide into public office by flinging enough money and charm around.

              • red rod says:

                “Are you saying that humility and integrity can’t possibly mix?”

                I’m saying when the president heeds the wishes of the Dir. Gen. of the PNP to keep you out of the loop and then be made to look like a fool for all the public to see, it’s time to go.

                “Thank God, enough with the egomaniacs who think they can slide into public office by flinging enough money and charm around.”

                In other words, more with candidates who think that sincerity and integrity are exclusive village to them.

              • It could be because Sec Mar sees the whole picture and you do not.

              • I hope you don’t mind, Joe, for the 2nd time today I am reposting your clear analysis on this matter way back March of this year.

                It explains too, why Mar is kept out of the loop due to the confidentiality of security aspects of the Mamasapano operations. This issue is forever being unearthed to point Mar’s “inutility in full public display “. Take note too, that previous operations have been leaked such that the targets have always evaded arrest by the police, it had to be extremely confidential to the point that Mar and the top honchos of the PNP had to be excluded.

                “Joe America says:
                March 19, 2015 at 3:42 am

                Take out all the 20/20 hindsight judgment and slip back to before the operation. Consider three factors.

                1) Espina is a temporary head, interim, just assigned a couple of weeks ago. He has no security clearances and does not have the President’s trust and confidence yet.

                2) Purisima, on the other hand, had intimate knowledge of prior operations, the American engagement, and all the players involved, including secret intelligence channels. The working arrangement with the Americans requires absolute confidence because it could reveal American operating secrets in the global war on terror. In exchange for the silence, the Philippines gets the best of the best, in information. Satellite, drones, undercover plants, whatever.

                3) Napenas gives a bad briefing to the President. He suggests there will be only a few dozen enemy forces in the village where Marwan and Usman are located. The mission is postured as routine. This explains the President’s reaction to Purisima when he was informed the mission was in trouble. Why are they in trouble from a few enemy forces?
                Given that set-up, and the big prizes available at one place at one time, go for it. Simple, no need to make it a huge national exercise because it is just a local police operation.”

                The President could have explained this to Mar and the latter got the complete picture, hence his subsequent actions.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m reminded of how the inclination is to use speculation to make up a reality, and then argue as if it were true. I recently received this first hand, about why President Aquino mentioned JoeAm in his SONA. There MUST be some kind of behind the scenes manipulation going on. JoeAm is being paid. People REALLY believe that, and it becomes their truth. No. It is just two people who respect the other’s thinking, independently. People make up a reality for Sec. Roxas in Tacloban, and one for Mamasapano, and the reality just confirms their prior bias. It is the condition of minds that are closed to other possibilities and even truth. It is the way Binay argues, in fact . . . and China. They define their truths and act accordingly. Any one who has a different idea is a troublemaker. Anyone who wants or knows the truth is a troublemaker.

    • jameboy says:

      I think the Romualdez-Roxas dialogue has been milked for all it’s worth that it’s time to let go of it. I mean, I saw the entire video and those wrong things attributed to Mar Roxas are just twisted narrations and misinterpretations to make Roxas really look bad. It’s really not surprising anymore that such issue is being revived now that the campaign season is just around the corner. But no right-thinking voter or even an ordinary man on the street will get hoodwink by the intention behind those issues.

      If true that Roxas has temper problem that only means he’s still better, a notch above over corrupt politicians, opportunists and simply trapos that adorned our political landscape. If the issue about him is he wear his emotions on his sleeves because he cannot stand people who play politics and try to game him, the more I would vote for him. Why will I go against someone who prefers to be real than be plastic? Why will I vote for someone whose obsession is all about image and form when there is somebody who has the capability to simply get the job done?

      Why do I have to complicate the options when there is really a clear choice as to who has the track record of service? Ah, well, maybe it’s just me. 🙊

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    5 years ago, Roxas marred 2010 election throwing election protest against BNay.
    Roxas withdraws Protest against BNay yesterday.
    What gives?

    5 years is so long, whatever happened to “investigation”? Lack of witnesses?

  28. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    The answer is here:

    GetReal People are turning in their graves. They never got the mention in SONA. Take that Benign0

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      … just in case you do not know who Benign0 is. Benign0 with a zero at the end is different from our Benigno with a alphabet “o” at the end.

      • Just wondering here, will there be a time when you can address PNOY as President or as plain PNOY as he prefer when asked early on his presidency, short for President Noy… I am quite uncomfortable reading your post where you continuously refer to him as Benigno. Reminds me of the GRP people as well as all the trolls in the mainstream electronic media who do just that. Ah, ok, I get consider yourself a troll and red rod commented on it.

  29. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Each SUCCESSORs requires 1/3 vote that requires coin-toss for a tie breaker.
    It requires 2/3 anti-BNays and 1/3 BNays for coin-toss
    2/3 anti-BNays are broken down: 1/3 Pro-Korina + 1/3 Pro-Grace = 2/3 anti-Bnays
    To win over BNays, The SUCCESSOR requires 35% of the vote to win. That leaves 34% for the anti-Bnays and BNays will get 31%

    The question is, there has got to be 69% anti-Binays to smoother the 31% Pro-BNays.

    Let’s call on SWS and FalseAsia. How many are there Anti-BNays and Pro-BNays? To make my scenario work?

    If pro-BNays falls below 31% I’d advise Jojo should not run, I mean not run for presidency. Keep the money and run ….. to the U.S. There BNay cannot be touched. Before the U.S. government deport a crook, the Anti-BNays has to present incontrovertible proof that he pocketed the overpriced Parking not the contractor.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      … which they cannot prove … although Monsod made a point-by-point passionate argument, yet, she did not prove that BNay pocketed the money. Based on Monsod’s and anti-BNay’s argument it will not prosper in the U.S. where Philippine Laws are plagiarized from. Monsod happen to be educated from my country at Princeton. Well, it is economics that she went to not Law. But Economics involved logic. Economics are numbers that requires numerical logic. Yet, she still missed the point. Well, she is a Filipino. Remember that Filipino from Harvard that plagiarized Swiss’s “It is fun ….. ?” Yes, the origin was from Switzerland.

      Will the current state of Justice prevails? Then, Filipinos do have a problem. As we all know, Alphonse Capone killed many people, yet, he got a slap in the wrist for 7 years for tax evasion.

      Americans take their constitution and laws seriously. That is why Filipinos “prosper” and “immigrate to the U.S.” excluding me.

      I’ve been EXILED by the Philippine Government.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippines have condonation policy officially called Aguinaldo Principle. Many crook-elected officials have been condoned because the Filipinos elected them.

      If there is a synonym, there has got to be an antonym. Therefore, if BNay lose the election, he will be found guilty. And he should be hunged !!! at High-Noon.

    • red rod says:

      The Veep is all in. There is not a scenario that Binay does not run. The Mc Carthyesque senate witch hunts are, for all intents and purposes, done. Members of the Blue Ribbon Committee are in some form or fashion going to be involved in campaigning and yet another Binay hearing will be seen as attacking a candidate by political opponents for political gain (as if that hasn’t been the case all along). And as the administration saw, attacking Binay does not, will not benefit its candidate. Roxas was not the biggest benefiary of Binay’s slide as a result of all the mudslinging, it was Grace Poe.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Villar skidded down the slide faster than a glider after he was tagged fake.
        Binay will never recover from the word Magnanakaw. Barrio people despise thieves more than anything because they know the miseries of losing valuable products, fruits, animals from their hard work. Magnanakaw is tattooed in their mind. That will not change.

        Proof that politicians understand the sentiment of their constituents: nobody wants to become Binay Vice President. List of senatoriables under Binay announced by Maceda:
        Alma Moreno- Diyos por Santo
        Kiram- claiming Sabah for her family but not for the Philippines
        Atienza- Gave away natural resources to his friends, manila Bay would have been expropriated to bar owners if he did not lose to Lim
        Manny Pacquiao- good boxer but a pathetic carpetbagger, claiming to be preacher, singer, lawmaker.
        Romualdez- people still remember the biggest thieves during martial law were Marcos and Romualdez families.New York dinner with GMA is like a Teflon to his integrity.
        Makalintal- is it really worth to double dip or litigate few pesos of senior citizen discounts from struggling restaurants while earning millions? So much for principle.
        Roque- where there is a chance to find free publicity as human rights kuno, he is always in the limelight. He says Binay is presumed innocent until he is found guilty so there is no impediment to his candidacy. As a lawyer he should advise Binay to clear his name in court and senate first before running for president and that is the conscience of an officer of the court.
        Gatchalian- Valenzuela fire killing tens of people tell tales of corruption in his city.

        Is Binay proud of hese names who are not ashamed to defend Binay from corruption? though alleged so far, Binay would not explain with proof on how he and his entire families became millionaires since 1987 by being government officials only. Kundi galing sa Nakaw saan galing kayamanan? Not surprising, he is gathering trash in his slate.

        Cardinal Tagle has been wearing his shirt for months now
        Huwag kang Magnakaw
        Good Poe benefited. Target has always been the thief and his family of thieves.

        • red rod says:

          Wow, it’s as if Roxas has a ton of options for VP.

          – Grace Poe. All we have to do is read this whole website. The same arguments used by Roxas supporters against Poe for president can be used against her running for VP. Roxas supporters are going to all of a sudden sweep those arguments under the rug hoping people forget.

          -Lenny Robredo. Please. That resume is thinner than Grace’s.

          -Jun Abaya. Charges just as bad as the three senators currently detained. Yet walks around free and is serving as a cabinet member, and a horrible one at that. Just as bad, if not worse than his predecessor at DOTC. How’s that for “Daang Matuwid.”

          -Alan Cayetano. An empty can. Makes a lot of noise that people mistake for action that as a result is gven way too much undue credit. The Ombudsman recently affirmed her decision to file criminal charges against the wife who incidentally is Mayor of Taguig. What was that line in the SONA again about political dynasties? How’s that for Daang Matuwid?

          -Vilma Santos. Let’s not short-change her credentials. She is a three term mayor and a three term governor. But let’s be honest- she’s being considered not for her vast executive experience but because she’s the “Star For All Seasons.” Husband is a sitting senator. Again, what was that line in the SONA about political dynasties? Daang Matuwid?

          By the way, with the exception of Robredo, none of the above mentioned are with the ruling party. So the next time Roxas supporters talk about the Veep’s lack of options for a runningmate, perhaps they should examine their candidate’s predicament first.

          Huh! there it is! So the target has always been Binay. Wow, that’s takes cojones to admit. Veil of anonymity behind a keyboard notwithstanding. Out of the many corrupt officials, it was the VP and his family that are singled out. Thanks for admitting.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            You are able to recite many names to run with Roxas yet no one for Binay. Did your brain cells die with Binay’s name? Same, no answer with those senatoriable names.

            Targeted Wanted men are numbered from top as bottom as 1-10.
            Binay is number 1 corrupt for decades.
            Or your brain cells could not figure that either.

            A known thief is indefensible except for blind followers.

            • Joe America says:

              Or well-paid followers . . .

              • red rod says:

                So the shoe is on the other foot. Seems like Joe Am is being accusatory in the same manner that there are those who accuse him of being a well paid palace employee who’s using tax payers money to play politics.

                How do you like being on the other side of accusations this time? 😉

              • Joe America says:

                My job is blog moderator and editor. I am permitted certain license to strive for a level of discourse that is high. You are a newcomer and have not earned the right to perform as moral custodian of the blog, especially with regard to my own engagement. These little personal digs that you are inclined to make are unrelated to the topic at hand and are highly irritating, like fingernails across the blackboard. I’d ask you to step back, recognize that you arrive here with a certain amount of ignorance about what has transpired before your arrival, and re-set your conversation to one of grace and courtesy to account for that. If you cannot do that, you ought not participate as you bring the quality of discussion to the low road, of personal character, rather than the high road, of issue.

                Thank you for receiving this in the constructive vein it is intended, and I hope we get quality discourse from you going forward.

            • red rod says:

              Luckily, and basing it on the comments I have read so far, the type of seemingly averse to civilized discourse such as the kid (Johnny Lin) above is in the minority.

              • Joe America says:

                See my comment above. Kindly don’t pit readers against one another. Let the comment stand for itself.

              • red rod says:

                What’s with the onion skin, Joe Am? I mean, I don’t know you at all but I should think that as Moderator of a high traffic blog you’d already acquired the necessary patience and the ability to laugh off and shrug at statements you disagree on. I alluded to the whole “the shoe is on the other foot” in jest, hence the winky emogi at the end of the comment. What little digs? Do you take my observation of Roxas’ inadequacies and shortcomings as digs? You said yourself, I am new here. I don’t know anybody here. I did not even know about this blog 24 hours ago. How am I hurling personal digs?

                In any case, I am not in any way trying to police your blog, nor am i trying to pit commenters against one another. As a matter of fact, I said the people who leave comments here are by and large, mature and seems to be for a higher level of discourse, which is also what I’m looking for, with my profused engagement as evidence. I mean you can see, the kid tried to insult me, but did I “return the favor?”

              • Joe America says:

                How to explain this. “The kid”, is like your lolo, perhaps. Been around the blogging battles, is highly respected for his wit and instincts, speaks more directly than a blunt American, and has earned the right of consideration of “where is he coming from?”. I’d suggest your first response ought to be to re-read what you posted, try to discover what set him off, and re-calibrate your own speech. not try to re-calibrate his. Johnny had the same response I had to your rather snidely written piece. My reaction was to ignore it because you are likely here to talk, not listen, so discussion with you is futile. Johnny shot back. He has earned the right to shoot back by contributing tons of brilliant insight here.

                The “kid” here is you. And if you keep dripping these personal aspersions around, like “onion skin”, I can assure you that you won’t be around long. This is not a battlefield, it is a place to teach and learn. Consider this my second attempt at encouraging you to contribute as if EVERYONE here were your lolo. And soon you may rise to that distinction yourself.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Tell me how I insulted you?
                I contradicted your line of thinking and when you think you used your brain cells. You claimed I was hiding my name behind a computer which is personal and had nothing to do with our discussion.
                I asked question what happened to your brain cells why you could not figure out why Binay was number 1 target, Corruption. Brain cells are related to your writing the opinion you posted, same as using a keyboard. Where is the insult?

                You participated in a quorum where opinion matters, you should have been prepared to debate. Instead, you’re whining.

                Who is onion skin now? No harm done to me and you’re welcome to continue participating, speaking only for myself.

                Relax, enjoy the blog and have fun!

              • red rod says:

                @Johnny Lin

                I wasn’t accusing you of hiding behind the keyboard. What I meant was, and it’s a shame I have to explain this, being in an online comment section of a blogsite, there is some level of anonymity which is a given. I was saying how you stepped up and absolutely admitted that it was all along about the VP and his family is cojones grandes. You admitted what others who loathe the VP couldn’t admit.

                Now, about Mar Roxas’ prospective VP choices, I merely pointed out the VP is not the only one who finds picking a running mate a challenge. That whole passage in the SONA about political dynasties that was meant to score cheap political points at the VP’s expense in the short-term is seriously biting the administration in the butt now. A couple of those options have, in some form or fashion, dynasties of their own.

                Regarding the senate slate, that’s another thing to examine. What is being masked here is that the LP does not have really good numbers. There’s currently only 4 LP senators and the leadership is insisting on keeping the coalition in tact just to field a complete slate. And you know, that’s not even coming from me, that’s coming from the mayor of QC, who may have to forego running for a third-term and instead run for senator because he acknowledged that the LP “does not have a deep bench.” The LP is so thin that Mrs. Robredo, whose qualification to secure herself a seat of congress was being a widow of a really honest DILG secretary who died in a plane crash is being considered to run not for the senate, but for VP, after a single rather uneventful stint in congress. Indeed, the old saying of not throwing stones from inside the glass house rings true.

          • You appear intelligent, please don’t be the enabler of the Binay dynasty. Intelligent enablers are one of the reasons why corrupt government officials manage to stay in their positions. If we consider his family as corrupt, he is to be blamed as he did not want to stoop to the level of the Senators to confront his accusers, or let Limlingan and Baloloy to appear and shed light to the AMLC findings. Verbal denials, even affidavits when not confirmed in person during the hearing do not count.

            “Out of the many corrupt officials, it was the VP and his family that are singled out”

            How about the three detained senators, how about a former mayor now also detained, how about Purisima, and other administration allies that were included in the investigation, (not detained because the funds allegedly scammed did not reach the plunder category) – all of them do not count?

            red rod handle is not a veil of anonymity behind a keyboard?

            • red rod says:

              Firstly, I have never declared my support for the VP. It may seem that way because it’s obvious I do not appreciate the way this administration has treated him or his family. It baffles me that people (mostly yellow supporters and/or the young, easy to sway misinformed lot) are in denial that the allegations against the VP and his family was designed to level the playing field. In order for the VP’s numbers to come down to earth after consistently polling in the 40’s in order to give the administration candidate a fighting chance, of which he (anointed one) has failed to capitalize on so far.

              Secondly, in a campaign, there will always be supporters, staffers, consultants, advisers, and the like. Roxas himself has his own set of “enablers.”

              Thirdly, not appearing in Mc Carthyesque senate witch hunts was the right thing to do. Jojo Binay refuses to set a precedent for the senate to possess extra-constitutional prosecutory powers. Senate investigations are supposedly conducted “in aid of legistration.” Exactly what legislations are being crafted? That whole circus was a complete waste of tax payers money. The people elected lawmakers, not glorified prosecutors.

              Fourthly, Tanda, Sexy and Pogi are all members of the opposition and Sexy and Pogi were, at the time the whole PDAF scam was unearthed, planning to run for higher office in 2016. Like the Binays, they too had to be neutralized. Please, let’s not talk about Purisima’s slap on the wrist and the Ombudsman’s recommendation as we know it will not prosper. If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past 5 years, it’s that the president protects his friends and allies.

              And lastly, red rod is my name and the email I’m using is my personal email. But you completely missed the point. I was complimenting the kid for his brave admission and it didn’t matter that such a brave gesture was being done behind a keyboard. That’s all I was saying.

              • Thank you for the clarification as well for saying you are not Binay’s enabler…You will notice I said, please don’t be… rod is an unusual name, btw…

              • Tanda, Sexy and Pogi were the first batch, filed first because of the amount of money allegedly scammed and the volume of evidences presented, the second batch I already enumerated which included administration allies, aren’t you echoing their “selective justice accusation” ? I think it’s what is generally known as peanut butter defense, pointing to others who committed the same offense and not using counter evidences. Like a child who was walloped by a parent and complaining, why only me my brother also did it…, in effect admitting the crime but whining, saying, why only me? Instead, offer evidence to support administration allies’ crimes as well as your evidence to prove yourself innocent.

                I used enabler as to mean abettor (to borrow sir edgar’s term)… one who supports an evil doer by helping him to do, hide and justify the evil deeds. We believe Limlingan and Baloloy are living examples of this kind of enabler, they are still missing from the hearings.

                Supporters for righteous cause, like anti corruption, anti-destabilization acts… that is a totally different matter.

                What they discovered in the Senate investigations could be basis for filing a draft law aimed at tightening loopholes found in manipulations done to make possible a non-resident of Comembo to buy a property exclusively for residents of the same, the fact that 8,000 plus sqm was sold to a single individual in excess of 300 allowed for enlisted military personnel on the basis of a mere assignment of lease from an allegedly Binay corporation to the Chinese businesswoman. Only those that are protecting the corrupt will find something wrong in the Senate investigations being done. We, the citizens are mightily glad they did and wish they will continue doing it, if only for a review of the court’s decision to allow that sale which is blatantly against public welfare.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Red rod
                You deny supporting Binay yet certainly you wrote your piece defending him and made accusations against administration BASED ON YOUR BELIEF. You said people who believe the charges on Binay are in denial.

                I pointed to you the reason in my mind,BASED ON MY BELIEF, he was targeted # 1 because of his and family Corruption. You are also in denial that he is corrupt.

                Since you posted first, your denial takes precedence on my denial after I explained to you why he is number one corrupt to be targeted. History proved that Estrada, Enrile and Revilla corruption investigation followed. Hence the issue is corruption with supporting documents unlike your belief of leveling the playing field which is mostly conjecture by those supporting Binay.

                It is either one supports or opposes Binay for corruption and leveling the playing field.
                Where do you stand on both?

              • jameboy says:

                If the purpose really was to level the playing field, how come the Binays don’t nip it in the bud by showing their sincerity and innocence in confronting those people alleging corruption on their part? If everything is really about poll ratings how come graft charges against the VP has been going on since 2006?! And you know, among his supporters against the ‘ghost employees’ allegation were Cory Aquino and Susan Roces. Mothers of PNoy and Sen. Grace Poe, respectively.

                Maybe it’s really all about the polls, his poll.

                I’m not buying the idea of a Senate witch hunt. What is there to be afraid of if you are innocent? Truth is, the VP don’t want to go the Senate to break the trend of guilty people coming there and be exposed further. He doesn’t want to follow the footsteps of Ms. Janet Napoles and her right against self-incrimination. Not good for his image and I agree just don’t give us the crap about the Senate investigative power. The Senate, as powerful as an institution, cannot just invent stories against anyone much less against a powerful Vice President and his powerful and influential family. Either you have something to do with those allegations or you are simply clean of any wrongdoing. It’s as simple as that. 💩

            • slap in the wrist you say, you calling the loss of your retirement benefits and pension a slap in the wrist? The guy is not even a millionaire like those detained opposition senators.

              • red rod says:

                Speaking of righteous causes, I’m big on government spending on social programs. That said, were I to support the VP (still undecided, there are only two declared candidates so far), It’s because of the social programs that were instituted in Makati when he was at the helm. Now I realize sending a few thousand children to school free of charge all through out is different than doing it on a national scale. Or that “universal healthcare” in Makati is different from expanding and removing restrictions of Philhealth nationally. Or what he did for teachers, the police and firemen with their salaries and basic food subsidies for those who couldn’t otherwise feed their families would be tough not just to implement but sustain nationwide with a nine-digit population. Logistically, what he did for the entire city of Makati may not even be entirely feasible for the entire country. But with Binay, you’re getting a president that has a track record of implementing social programs that benefit the have nots. He’s not going to be able to feed every hungry person in the Philippines, but with Binay, he presents the hope that the the poor will be paid attention to. In the coming months, I expect that we would hear more about the growing inequality and the inequitable distribution of income in the Philippines that has been left unaddressed by this president. And I expect that we’re going to hear how President Binay will change all that and pay attention to the needs of those who are at the wrong side of the economic spectrum. I might just decide then. 😉

              • jameboy says:

                red rod,
                Fair is fair, I completely agree with what you said above not on the idea that the poor will get exactly the attention they need but on what to expect from an experienced local executive like Binay. Frankly speaking, between him and Grace Poe, Binay is miles and miles ahead in terms of knowledge and expertise on public service and how to connect with the poor and to press the right buttons. He knows the ropes, so to speak, and therefore will not waste a lot of times figuring out what approach to take or who are the people he needs to accomplish a task.

                HOWEVER, he’s stuck with the corruption allegations and hidden wealth issues that seemed to cast a pall over his ambition to be president of the country. Aside from that, he is running with another candidate, Roxas, who is seen as his opposite in terms of transparent governance. The puny edge he has on popularity surveys is expected to further decline as the race comes close and the issues against him remains unattended.

                As it is right now, there is no redemption for Binay. He has no choice but to tackle and confront the corruption issue head on to at least regain a part of the credibility and trust aspect he lost by maintaining his silence. 💩

              • red rod says:


                I am able to get past the corruption allegations because I know the law. And because of the seriousness of the allegations (plunder carries a life sentence), it is in the VP’s best interest to address all the allegations against him in the proper forum. What is the “proper forum?” It’s in the Sandiganbayan, where any and all criminal cases against him are going to be heard. It’s in the Sandiganbayan where public officials face criminal proceedings. It is where public officials are prosecuted. To that end, I am willing to allow the VP to stay silent about the corruption allegations and not to address the issues and say something that may or may not implicate him all the more. It is, after all, in our constitution that every defendant be given his day in court. But I understand that public opinion has no law degree and he will continue to take heat for rightfully staying silent about the allegations. As a result, it’s going to continue to hurt his candidacy. I’m sure his political circle wants him to say tackle the issues head on in order for his numbers to stop hemorrhaging, but his legal team is saying the opposite.

                Someone mentioned, I think it’s Johnny Lin, that “galit ang mahihirap sa magnanakaw.” He’s right in the sense that the commonfolk tend to beat the snot out of some guy who was caught by the tanod breaking into someone else’s home. But is that true in politics? No. Erap, a convicted plunderer is serving as Mayor of Manila. His numbers (Pulse Asia) are tied with Roxas at 10%. He placed second to Pnoy in 2010 with 9.5 million votes, thanks to the poor people who continue to support him. If we examine where the drop in Binay’s numbers are (Pulse Asia- Nov. 2014 vs. Jun. 2015), it’s not with the poor. It’s with the ABC class, where he dropped from having 29% support to 17%.

                Speaking of Erap, he may be the true kingmaker of 2016. His endorsement may even be more valuable than the president’s. He has made it known that he’s torn between the Veep and Grace Poe. With that in mind, to those who have the “anybody but Binay” mentality, you better hope that Grace Poe runs and Erap ends up endorsing her. Because if Poe doesn’t run for president or runs with Mar for VP, Erap may end up endorsing the Binay and support Grace’s VP bid. If that happens, it’s game over for Mar Roxas.

                So that’s the legal and political part of that argument. If you want to talk more about policy, lets.

              • jameboy says:

                red rod,

                Erap was able to stage a comeback because even though he was convicted sympathy with him remains the manner in the way he was treated by the opportunists and losers which did not escape the sttention of the masses who made him president. That and envelope that was supposed to do him in, which caused the EDSA II, was actually a dud. And worse, the one who replaced him was proven to be the mother of all corruption. Erap is the Nora Aunor of politics. You cannot make him the standard, he’s the exception.

                With regard to proper forum, the ordinary man in the street doesn’t care for that. That legal tactic is better left to legal strategists. Public opinion dictates what a person being accused should do in order to counter the balance in his favor and that is, to answer back. In our culture, if somebody accuses you of a wrongdoing people expect you to confront and respond to it not only with gusto but also with intent to inflict damage as a counter-offense. And I’m not talking about court or legal procedure. Right or wrong, taking an accusation in a silent sitting down approach will not sit well with rhe people. What makes Binay look bad is the lame noises her children are doing in his defense. Obviously the kids, not really camera friendly, are not making the situation better for their father.

                The Senate falls in the category of a proper forum simply because they have the authority to conduct investigation in aid of legislation regardless if whether they can come up with a related bill or not.

                The only credible defense Binay can avail of is to complain about not being allowed to exercise his right to freedom of expression. That it is only the other side that is being heard and he is prevented to speak out his mind and defend himself. However, that option is not available because he simply abandoned his right to it by voluntarily shying away and avoiding forums where the issue can be threshed out and discussed. 🙈

            • perakoy says:

              red rod is parekoy????

          • I haven’t heard yet from the news that Mar has been rejected after he considered anybody as VP, he had just declared his candidacy, right? My understanding is they are still thinking about it, the LP, I mean. What I heard was that M. Pangilinan, Poe, Duterte?, and who else, have rejected the Binay’s “offer” to be his VP.

            You have enumerated a number of possible VP candidate for Mar and quickly dismissed them all. Please.

            And you are saying you are not Binay’s supporter. Ok, I hear you.

            • Joe America says:

              I find interesting the near-simultaneous arrival of jean and red rod who both take up the position of undermining the candidacy of Mar Roxas in the guise of reflecting on all the candidates. It’s pretty slick, their work.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, so they are poseurs? If so, take it as a compliment. The site must be making deleterious inroads on the fast-falling campaign of their man.

              • jameboy says:

                Joe, that and also the publicity your blog got from the SONA which i think is the reason for the sudden spike in postings under new handles which to me is a positive sign. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                No lack of intrigue, and I’m glad it is no longer just me who has to peel back the layers of deception. I appreciate your engagement here, along with Mary Grace . . . wow . . . and many others, of course.

            • Joe America says:

              I find interesting the near-simultaneous arrival of jean and red rod who both take up the position of undermining the candidacy of Mar Roxas in the guise of reflecting on all the candidates. It’s pretty slick, their work.

              • Joe,

                Is there anyway we can click on each others handles and get a clear running list of each’s comments? I was trying to locate a post Ireneo dropped about a month ago, and it was near possible to do–way too much work. And on your post re jean and red rod, it’d be a lot easier too to just click on their names and get some sort of pattern of what they’re all about. It’s getting crowded and a lot more difficult to read these posts, I’m fans of a few, some not. I know there’s livefyre and disqus. Worth a look.

              • Joe America says:

                I can do it here via the Word Press comment threads, but the closest you can come is to try to use the search box for a given blog thread, or from the home page, with the contributor’s name the basis of the search. I have not tried that so I don’t know what will come up. Both jean and red rod are only in recent threads, and maybe only this one.

              • Joe America says:

                And another overlay of intrigue, I dumped some 30 comments last night into spam, as they were multiple comments from the same 3 computers under different screen names. They, together, did quite a destruction job on Grace Poe. Clearly the politics has begun and the teaching and learning may be corrupted.

              • red rod says:

                Joe Am, I have no other motive other than to comment on politics. I used to be a supporter of Pnoy, I voted, nay, I campaigned heavily for the president. So much so that it caused irrepairable damage to friend and kinship. Somewhere along the way, I stopped being a buyer and became a seller of “Daang Matuwid” (the philosophy is well-meaning, but the drivers of it are ill-intent hypocrites). The first sign for me was the purchase of the Porsche early in the president’s term, that’s when I started having doubts, which was already too late. At one point in time, early in his tenure at DILG, I did consider Roxas. If you’re interested to know more about my background (ones that I’m not willing to share outright), shoot me an email.

                I promise, no lies.

        • chempo says:

          Johnny, Gatchalian’s albatross is the 2009 sale of their family’s Express Savings Bank. The law works slowly, but the storm over this scandal is brewing, that is why he has be so vocal in his anti-admin diatribes and he his placing his destiny with Binay. Small thief needs a bigger thief for protection.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Thanks for the addition.
            Sherwin for senator was never mentioned by Maceda in his column but it was in the news before. Lately he has been missing in Binay’s camp prompting the rumor to be true that the family is trying to change sides thinking about their big problem

  30. John Thompson says:

    I have been in out of the Philippines since 1979, and a permanant resident. for 7 years. In all of that time the Corruption in the Philippines has never changed. It seems that alll the backdoor dealing and Family Dynasties. Has never changed. It is very obvious Philippinos will never learn from their PAST

    • Joe America says:

      It’s changing, slowly, at the top. It will hopefully work throughout the nation if the direction in 2016 is not backward. LGU’s are starting to clean up, too. Taxi drivers . . . not.

  31. Buddy Gomez says:

    This is so very completely off topic…. pardon my exhuberance but I must share this with y’all……… I have just gotten back from the grocery to buy me a few sundries. As I approached the cashier, I found out that I had forgotten my wallet and did not have any cash in my pocket. Embarassed, I requested if I could have my stuff held, while I rush home and get my wallet. I was directed to the middle of the floor where customer service was. As I was making my request, being told that they will hold for thirty minutes…..a middle aged lady—-a total stranger— evidently having heard of the fix I was in……gently intervened and said “let me pay for his groceries, let me pay it forward.” Surprised and incredulous, I said, “Pardon me Ma’am, but you don’t even know me….why are you doing this?” “This has happened to me before… is a blessing to the same for somebody else…,” she said. “But you must also pay forward for somebody else in the future….it is a blessing!” I was so stunned and simply could not deny this expression of goodwill. When I asked who she was and her address so I can reimburse her, she said: “That’s not important….just pay forward for someone else. It is a blessing!” After she settled with the cashier….$27.56….. on her credit card ( I am keeping the receipt)….She shook my hand and said, “I am Elisa,” and was about to leave but I gave her a hug and told her that I just did not have the heart to say NO to the unexpected kindness she offered, promising to do the same to someone in the future. Before I could pick up my plastic bags, she had walked away!!! It was a WOW of an afternoon!

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Hi Buddy
      You are Blessed because you have the image of a trustworthy person who will do the same.
      If you don’t mind, don’t tell anyone the deed when you do. More satisfying and Godloving especially to those really in need. Tears can’t be help when that profuse thank you is heard many times.

      Trust me!

      • Buddy Gomez says:

        I do not ever mind good counsel. Thank you for your kind advice, Johnny Lin. You know, as I rushed home to relate my story to the family, I had to fight off tearing . I just had to share my little story. The responses to my FB have been overwhelming. I am truly blest. No one need ever know of the acts of kindness that we do. Elisa’s $27.56 is worth a million bucks! Thanks, again.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          What I mean the person paying it forward should not tell the story of kindness. Let the recipient tell the good deed which you did so magnificently and humbly with watery eyes. May God forever Bless us all especially you

    • cjm says:

      Buddy, you are right for saying this off the topic. The lady, Elisa, must have watched that movie “Pay It Forward”. What I find interesting is how JoeAm relates this feel-good story to any of the the presidentiables. He can exclude VP Binay to maybe make it easier?

      • Joe America says:

        On the scale of who of the four presidential candidates would most likely behave as that woman did, I think Mar Roxas would top the list, followed by Mayor Duterte. I don’t know if Grace Poe would do it for the kindness of the deed, or for the show of the kindness of the deed. Binay would steal Buddy’s groceries.

        • I’m still trying to get a read on this Mar Roxas guy (I’m late to this whole national politics re 2016 here), but I got that same impression of Mayor Duterte, based off of what I read and heard about him in the mid-2000s.

          Not sure though how this all converts to electability or one’s competence in office, but this whole pay-it-forward idea, every since Haley Joel Osment popularized it, does give us a peek into one’s character.

          I’m curious why Mar Roxas would perform similarly, when his reputation from my reading seems to be of the stuffy, George Bush Sr. in the grocery, type guy. So is he paying it forward cuz he can (he’s rich) or like the Duterte persona, because he’s the regular guy on the street–and that’s just what regular guys do.

        • chempo says:

          “Binay would steal Buddy’s groceries.” … I have tears in my eyes with laughter.

        • hahahahahaha…nice one joeam

      • Buddy Gomez says:

        Thanks, cjm. This ‘feel-good’ story is a lesson in humanity. I will cherish the experience and pledge to be a better person.

    • edgar lores says:

      Forgive me, Sir Buddy, but you sound like a little boy who just received his first Christmas present. And what a gift! The best gift of all — kindness.

      • Buddy Gomez says:

        Edgar, your insights have always been impressive, a source of good counsel. Yes, kindness is “the best gift of all.!” …..and let us never outgrow that “little boy” / “little girl” in all of us. Thank you for seeing through me. Good night!

    • Joe America says:

      A very touching incident. I think each of us operates on a scale between goodness toward others and goodness toward self. We all have some of both, but some have progressed further up the line toward kindness that encompasses others, (and is thereby very good to self). Others are busy mainly tending to self. I can’t help relate it to the outpouring of good will that has followed the Aquino mention for this blog, and the few, scattered snipes of jealousy. It gives me heart and hope, that Filipino voters will fall back to the essential community good in selecting a new president.

      So it is a very relevant comment, after all.

  32. Gerry says:

    Hi Joe America. I’m glad I discovered your blog via Pnoy’s SONA. I am Filipino. I moved to the States in the early 2000’s and am now a citizen of Canada. I am still connected to the events in the Philippines. I visited the Philippines several times in the past 5 years. I am in touch with my friends back home.

    I am very interested in the 2016 elections. Pnoy has framed it as a referendum on his reform program and a vote to continue the reform agenda begun in 2010. Here are my thoughts on the presidential candidates:

    A. Grace Poe – I wanted her to run as the presidential standard bearer of the LP. Note my use of the past tense. I saw her as the best presidential candidate for 2 reasons:

    1. She has the best chance of defeating Binay
    2. Having lived a middle class life in the US, she will not have an “entitlement” hangup and will be in the best position to undertake the kind of reforms that will bring the Philippines closer to becoming a modern, progressive, and developed status.

    I developed reservations about her in the past 2 weeks. My reservations are as follows:

    1. I thought about her executive experience and figured she still needed policy exposure and exposure to the rough and tumble world of Philippine politics. I don’t mean that she needs to play by the rules. But I think she needs to develop the necessary fortitude and experience to overcome the entrenched and entitled business and political interests that may be a hindrance to a true reform agenda.

    2. Her alliance with Escudero. I don’t consider Escudero the devil. But I saw her very dependent on Chiz and this to me was a sign of weakness. Bringing Escudero in her negotiations with the president showed to me a lack of confidence to negotiate on her own terms and on her own.

    I think she would be a good VP candidate for the LP. I am glad that in the past few days, she has done the following:

    1. Distance herself from Escudero
    2. Praised the Daang Matuwid agenda and promised to continue it
    3. Keep the door open by not hitting Mar Roxas
    4. Confirmed that she voted for Aquino in 2010 – -and thereby indirectly confirming that she didn’t vote for Erap who is her dad’s best friend. It showed she has a mind of her own.

    I think she should think hard of her political strategies. If she runs for president and is supported by people who have not been associated with integrity or who appear to have ulterior motives or who were closely aligned with the Marcos dictatorship or who are supporters of the very corrupt Erap presidency after he was ousted, then I think that will destroy her “brand” of being a potential heir to Daang Matuwid. I am thinking of Sotto, Villars, Marcos, Estrada clan, and the Danding Cojuangco clan.

    Honestly, she doesn’t have much of a choice but to run for VP if she wants to maintain the good brand of incorruptibility that she has. The only way she can run for President is if Mar’s survey numbers are hopeless and if there is a big faction of the LP that will decide to abandon Mar Roxas and decide to support her. That way, she will be seen as a credible continuation of the Aquino reform agenda.

    I also hope she will reconfirm her support to see that justice will be done in the case of the 3 senators charged of plunder. The more she distances herself from the Estrada clan, the better.


    B. Mar Roxas

    He just doesn’t appeal to me. Mind you – people say that Mar should appeal to the educated class. I think I’m part of that class. My friends are also part of that class. But I just don’t know – he doesn’t appeal to me or to many of my friends.

    I know he is smart, honest, credible and the most prepared to become president (well, Binay is probably prepared too from an experience perspective). If he wins, I know that the Philippines will be in good hands.

    But he is a hard pill to swallow. He is definitely good medicine. But he is not some delicious vitamin chewable. He is more of milk of magnesia.

    There’s one thing going for him. Pnoy’s endorsement. I honestly think that Pnoy’s endorsement carries weight. It is his endorsement and the stories he said at the proclamation at Club Filipino last week that made me reconsider Roxas.

    I spoke to my friends and they seem to have had a change of heart about Mar Roxas because of Pnoy’s endorsement.

    Likely, we’ll see a bump in his survey numbers.

    But if Mar Roxas is to keep moving up in the surveys and be the man to beat or at least be 2nd to Binay by January 2016, I think the following needs to be done:

    1. Mar Roxas needs to connect better with people. He is just plain boring. I don’t want him to suddenly change and appear not genuine. But I think he needs to talk with more zeal and with more passion about the issues.

    What he wants to achieve is this: Make people want him to be president rather than settle for him to become president.

    He wants to make people want to vote for him rather than just to vote against Binay.

    2. Come up with 3 main ideas captured by 3 easy to remember slogans.

    He should stay on message. His answers should be simple enough to understand. They should not be long winded. Simple, easy to remember, and memorably said.

    I don’t want him to dumb down the issues. But he should have simple, easy to remember responses when he is on tv.

    I think he needs to be reintroduced to the public. Perhaps in the next 2 months, videos of his story should be said and demonstrated (cue in touching music).

    3. Remind us less of Korina Sanchez by not including her that often in his campaign sorties.

    4. Have Aquino and the more desirable people of the Aquino administration tell anecdotes about Mar Roxas. People need to humanize him. People like De Lima, the tourism secretary, the health secretary, Belmonte (for example) and less of Abad, Abaya, and Drilon.

    It is my hope that Roxas has a true heart for the poor and will want to shake things up in order to bring more people to the middle class. This means having an agenda that at times may go against the ruling classes of the Philippines. Mar is thought to be an elitist. I don’t have a problem with this is we’re talking of his upbringing. This becomes a problem if he sides with entrenched classes in endorsing policies and legislation.


    C. Binay

    I don’t have much to say about him. He was never an option.

    It is unfortunate that he won VP. Had he lost, we wouldn’t have to deal with him at all.

    He represents an older generation with their own set ways of doing politics.

    It is a very patronage-based politics. It is not attuned to the changing times. And it is not a progressive, 21st century way of thinking.

    Power has definitely corrupted him and his family.

    The Philippines will be in a very bad shape if he wins.


    D. Duterte

    I completely agree with you. He is too unpredictable and is a firebrand for the wrong policies.

    Human rights is very important. He doesn’t seem to value that. Philippine politics is characterized by violence. He seems to endorse that kind of politics.

    Surprisingly, he seems to be liberal in some of his thinking. I read recently his comments about the GLBT community. His thoughts seemed to be progressive.

    Likely, he won’t run.


    Those are my thoughts on your post.

    • Joe America says:

      A very very good assessment, Gerry. It mirrors mine almost to a T, except I think your profile of Senator Poe is deeper and richer. As for Mar Roxas, you echo the reservations of many. What convinced me about him was recognizing that the closer people are to actually KNOWING Mar Roxas, the more certain they are that he is the best person for the job. Their likes are not purchased. There is just a fundamental respect for his earnest way, and kindness, and hard work. Now can he manage the Aquino cabinet? Take a decision that goes against’s President Aquino’s wishes when he is ex-President? I frankly don’t know. But he is the only candidate who has earned my complete trust, on the matter of character. I do think the job makes the man, if the character is good, as it did with Noynoy Aquino.

      Thank you for that superb profiling of the top candidates.

    • NHerrera says:

      Gerry and JoeAm,

      May I have your permission to share Gerry’s notes on Poe, Roxas, Binay, and Duterte in Raissa Robles Blogsite? It has the kind of balance and well-thought out comments I greatly appreciate.

      I will wait for both your go-ahead signals. Thanks.

    • Surprisingly, he seems to be liberal in some of his thinking. I read recently his comments about the GLBT community. His thoughts seemed to be progressive.”

      Great summary of the candidates, Gerry! Thanks. I had to google the above news. I’m wondering if this is a political move, like every politician here is all of the sudden gay-friendly. But knowing how Catholic the Philippines , I’m guessing this is actually a values issue, and that this announcement is big. Am I right here?

      “He is too unpredictable and is a firebrand for the wrong policies.”

      My reading of Joe’s take on Duterte is that he is predictable– we can count on him being unpredictable, but his character seems to be that of the Dark Knight: “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” or Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus”. Can you give more insight into these “wrong policies”? Thanks, man.

    • inquirercet says:

      brilliant insight gerry, thank you.

  33. jernasha says:

    Hi Joe, what about Chiz Escurdero, he might run for President as Independent too. Thank you he he he

    • Joe America says:

      He can run but he will be wasting his backer’s money. He’s said he is running for VP. I’m not even sure he can win that. If Leni Robredo runs for VP, I suspect she will dominate. She has character, ability and popular appeal.

  34. chit navarro says:

    There is this article from a young man who was another face in the President’s SONA – Sergio Gabriel – and I quote: (This can be another validation that the President does not really know you but used you and your blog in his SONA to give a face to thank foreigners who believe in his governance! – me saying)

    ” I’ll be honest when I say I was very touched by the short time under the spotlight. There’s no denying that. But, as I wrote on my own Facebook wall, what continues to fill my heart with great joy is knowing that so many people in my generation were actually watching the SONA that day.

    In the midst of a widespread culture of hate in this country, I am reminded that my generation – the millennial generation, does care about the welfare of the Philippines.”
    I strongly believe that the millenial generation is the game-changer in this election – no longer the bobotantes. Because the millenial generation are the children of those who have experienced Marcos’s martial law era. And because the millenial generation, be they be children of farmers or scavengers or the rich and the famous and the middle class, they are citizens of social media and so are acutely aware of what’s going on in our government. And of course, every one looks forward to a better economic welfare in our country… And most of those belonging to this generation work in contact-centres or call-centres of the growing BPO industry introduced by the anointed presidential candidate of the ruling party, MAR ROXAS.

    Although the problem with Sec Mar is he can’t shake off his high society persona, this can be easily solved by a proper training and repackaging of how he projects himself to the people. He should exert extra effort to show sincerity in talking to people, get a firm grip in a handshake and show interest in an individual as a person not as a statistic.. He should be more open and let himself loose among the people in order to convince the masa that his heart is with them.

    Unlike PNoy, to whom the Filipinos have identified their struggle with, against Marcos, and Poe, against Arroyo, Sec Mar has none so he has to find a way to connect with them. Perhaps, his handlers can capitalize on PNoy’s endorsement of him (Pinagkakatiwalaang magtutuloy nd Daang Matuwid) or he can go back to his lineage, “Apo at Anak ng Presidente ng Republika ng Pilipinas”; as a way to build that charisma with the common tao…He does not have to stage-act or play dumb – he simply has to be himself but MORE FORCEFUL, MORE EMPHATIC, A PROFESSIONAL THAT UNDERSTANDS THE PROBLEMS OF THE MARGINALIZED MEMBERS OF SOCIETY AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE COUNTRY

    Also, his handlers should be more INCLUSIVE of the party coalition. As Speaker Belmonte mentioned after the endorsement, Sec. Mar should go out of his way to seek the support of the members of the coalition party and include them all in his development of a program of government that will continue the DAANG MATUWID. He, himself, should start the initiative to connect with them and ask for their support.

    But honestly, the best reason to vote for MAR ROXAS as our next President is what the President stated towards the end of his SONA:

    “Sa kabilang banda naman, kung tayo’y babalik sa baluktot, habambuhay tayong mag-aabang sa wala. Muli tayong mapapag-iwanan, at mababali ang pataas na trajectory ng ating ekonomiya.”

    And I believe you and I and majority of the millenial generation will want to see the trajectory going upwards, towards a first-world country. And so will help disseminate the proper and correct info on why we need Mar ROXAS to be our next President.

  35. Jean says:

    Pick your poison – People generally have different levels of tolerance. Some can swallow a human rights violator who professes to act in the name of the greater “good”, others can abide by those who shamelessly posture, then there are those who can turn a blind eye to “acceptable” levels of corruption and let us not forget the little darlings who are not put-off by political inexperience and know-how.

    Humans are amazing in that, we have been known to have the ability to trade-off pretty big bad things, for itsy bitsy little good things.

    This is most evident in the Philippines. Given our history, we have learned to put up with crap, hoping against hope, that it can be used as fertilizer at some point in time. So far, from what we can tell, this coming election is going to fit the mold quite nicely.

    So, we are presented with another ” Let’s choose the lesser evil scenario”. Which beastie are we going to back this time?

    Mar? I’m afraid I can’t swallow the little pill of a man. He may look good on paper. He may have some serious backing ( respectable people even ). In terms of calculated risks, all fingers point at him being our best bet. That being said, I rather go with the long odds and hope that I am pleasantly surprised.

    Mar, has not won me over in the least. He has no charm ( and no I am not saying charm is a nonnegotiable quality for a president). What I am saying is that he does not inspire. He may have a plan to get us out of the rut, but if he can not enroll people, what will his plan amount to? He is good at going through the motions but I can’t shake the feeling he lacks substance. They say he is a man of integrity, I don’t see that but lets say for a moment that I do, what is integrity without sincerity? The times I’ve seen him answer questions on the fly, I realized how shallow he really is.

    People, I feel are, enamored by what he represents and will vote and back him for that. That is what they are voting for, not the man himself. Should they bother to look, they would realize he does not amount to all that much (at least on a political level) This coming election, I perceive that people will vote for him, not for who he is, but for who he isn’t… and if you ask me that is a terrible basis for a vote.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippine Election is always picking the least corrupt. Corruption is already a given. At least, vote with your conscience. A little crookery is fine.

    • Joe America says:

      Okay, jean, I can’t argue otherwise. I think you speak for millions and it is up to Sec. Roxas to figure out how to speak with you and gain your respect. If he can’t do that, he will lose. You would today vote for Poe, right? Just confirming that.

      • Jean says:

        I’m not quite sure ( or just too stubborn) I want to say yes, I think Poe is the way to go, but your arguments are sound, she may do well now but surely will do better if she settles for VP first to get a better grasp of the arena. By doing this, she may help the PNOY’s plan bear fruit. Pnoy->Mar-> Poe… 3 generations (18 years) of presidents aligned with one plan is enough time to lay a solid foundation for positive change. That certainly sounds dreamy… but I think Mar will drop the ball and break the chain. If so, why not pre-empt the disaster by banking on Poe and hope she does well by learning on the fly and when the time comes, hope they find a worthy inheritor of the dream. I’d like to risk that BUT I won’t because, your counsel ( and that of many others) give me pause. I don’t mind as much the lack of experience, I fear for those who whisper into her ears and those who would “help” her. I think Poe knows what but not who to fear and combat.

        My vote is still in the air, I’m waiting and hoping for more options. May be a Gibo, maybe a Gordon, maybe maybe maybe…. sigh!

        • NHerrera says:

          Benefit-cost/ risk analysis. Not an easy thing to do even in good circumstances. But — hope springs eternal. Meantime …

        • Please dont think I am attacking you.

          Characterize Gibo? Ehat is the difference between Mar and Gibo?

          I can only think of the looks part.

          If Gibo convinced you why cant Mar?

          • Jean says:

            @ Gian

            Actually that’s a good question. I ask myself the same thing. I can not, with confidence, say why I would choose Gibo over Mar. At the time Gibo, stirred something within me that made me buy into him, Mar has yet to do the same. I know empathy is not the most scientific way to go about this but I could emphasize with Gibo, Mar not so much. I use empathy as a consideration when choosing who I will back because, presidents will always have plans, some of those plans I might not understand or even agree with but if I emphasize with them, they will have my support despite the fact.

            I think it is important that people lend their support despite their “better” judgement to get things done, or at least moving in one direction. A way to make that happen, is when the president can earn people’s confidence through a level of faith (Belief unsubstantiated/unencumbered with facts ). A president needs to win over those who did not vote for him, else the president will have to face people pulling him back, whenever he strives to move forward. We’ve seen this all to often. Too many good things lost because of lack of support and suspicious minds because of old loyalties.

            If he wins, I don’t see Mar winning over a significant number of people who won’t vote for him during his term. He won’t accomplish much cause those who won’t vote for him will be many and loud and Mar has shown us on occasion, he does not handle loud well…neither does his wife… but I digress.

        • Joe America says:

          Fair enough. Wise position to take. I fear that too many are making up their minds too early. Not me though ahahahahaha.

          • NHerrera says:

            Eeny, meeny, miny, mo! That’s what I should do, my grandson tells me. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Ahahahaha, Sal’s scratching his head, says that’s not a bad election strategy this year. You can put your slide rule away and he can go back to horses, which I think he has more trust in. ahahaha

              • NHerrera says:

                My magician friend agrees with Sal, especially about the slide rule and the horses — makes for good horse sense that, he says. 🙂

  36. Joe,

    I don’t know if you’ve done a compare and contrast of these 4 would-be Presidents vis-a-vis American policy. Have any of them spoken about their plans for more American interaction, outlined their stance on China & the US and hints to wider strategic plans/posture re the ASEAN FTA, Obama’s TTP (in the next iteration), etc.–I remember your blog on Pres. Aquino’s Japan speech & the Philippine Sea federation you outlined. I know of late there was some issue with SGCC/NGCP (I’m sure there’s connections to cyber sabotage related to the ZTE scandal while back), what are each of them’s take on PLA front companies operating in the Philippines?

    If you haven’t done so already, would really appreciate more of an international take on these 4, ie. within Asia, with the US and globally. Thanks.

    • Joe America says:

      Only Sec Roxas and VP Binay have even indicated they are running, so it is early for that. Last year, UNA (Binay) had no platform at all. LP had a platform. We only get hints of what they might formally adopt (Binay and Poe and Duterte to soften against China). I suspect we’ll get this later this year. The filing for Certificate of Candidacy occurs in October.

      • Joe, I’m starting to google on this and came up with this story on Duterte hosting military attaches in Davao:

        Several military attachés of various embassies met with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte here in Davao City Thursday. The foreign military officials came from China, United States, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, among others.

        Duterte said they were discussing with security matters in Mindanao, the country and even with the problem in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte said he personally explained to the China military attaché his position on the disputed area.

        The military attachés were also briefed by Davao City Public Safety and Security Center head Frank Villaroman on the city’s security plan.

        Aside from the military attachés, Duterte also met with Iran Ambassador Ali Asghar Mohammadi in a separate occasion.

        Duterte said they both agreed that Iran must have a strong presence here in the Davao Region considering that Iran is a major buyer of the banana products of the region.
        Duterte revealed that the Iranian ambassador also raised the possibility of having a sister-city agreement with Davao. The mayor said the ambassador also invited him to visit Iran one of these days.

        Iran’s out maneuvering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia anywhere it can, and they’re talking about bananas, granted those small bananas are a lot more tastier than the Cavendish-types sold here–but, seriously, I hope the Philippines hasn’t sold-out and gone the Cavendish route, there’s a lucrative niche with those smaller, tastier bananas (variety’s always a good thing).

        But my question is, do any mayors in the Philippines host international type summits like this (big or small)? Doesn’t the Philippine AFP or DFA play a role in these types of meetings? The banana thing I can understand, int’l sister cities happen all the time, but int’l military summits?

        • Joe America says:

          This is the first such summit I’m aware of, and as I understand it, both US and Chinese reps were there. What was headlined here was Duterte telling the American rep that Americans will never die for the Philippines. He also told the Chinese rep that China was behaving badly. That must have been one loaded session. I was unaware of the banana situation with Iran. That’s a little spooky, knowing Iran’s global ambitions. Not unlike China’s or Binay’s national ambitions. I dropped my write-up on Duterte when he said again, point blank, that he is not going to run for President. Another news item with him is his vindictive attitude toward DOJ Sec. de Lima because she is pursuing the vigilante justice law-breaking. Duterte has threatened to run for President if she runs for Senate, and he has warned Roxas not to have de Lima on the LP senatorial list. To me, this is an attempt, ala Binay, to use power and intimidation to influence national politics, or control it, and that makes him unqualified in my eyes.

          • Vicara says:

            Was disconcerted years ago when Mindanao businesspeople matter-of-factly told me that a bunch of them had been on a trade mission to Iran. As discombobulated as when I found out that U,S. brand (Chiquita) bananas were being grown in Mindanao by ex-combatants of the MILF, with Italian backers (and an Israeli technician) for export to Saudi. The summit mentioned above was probably an AFP-organized event, and the foreign participants paid a courtesy call on the local mayor, as is customary for multi-country events held in Mindanao–and there are more of those than one would think. Davao regularly hosts ASEAN sub-regional talks. So does Makati–but the courtesy visit would more likely be to Malacanang or a Cabinet department, not to a host local government. So the visit above was milked by Duterte for media mileage, but it points to how Mindanao is sometimes more plugged in sometimes to what goes on internationally, than behemoth, smug Manila. Duterte aside, of course, none of the other likely candidates appear plugged into Mindanao. Of the presidents since Marcos, it was only FVR who truly understood it. Right now, a lot of groups in Mindanao are grudgingly going along with the administration, despite Mamasapano, because they want BBL. But they’re just not warm to either Aquino or Roxas (whose grandfather is seen by some as having messed up matters in the region). So some serious stump work has to be done during the campaign period. And it better not be about photo ops with sacks of onions.

            • Joe America says:

              Thanks for the briefing on the summit. That’s all new to me, and most interesting. So also is your pointing out that Mindanao is not hot on Roxas, and I suspect, either hot or cold on Poe, given her and Escudero’s panning of the BBL (initially phrased to be a rejection of the draft law). If I were Roxas, I would have my writers working on a standard stump speech that would outline a platform for Mindanao, including the BBL, generous infrastructure investments, and investments focused on lifting communities out of poverty. It would speak of Mindanao as the future of the Philippines, for its resources and diversity, living together in harmony and purpose.

              • Vicara says:

                Agree totally on that, Joe. As former DTI chief, Roxas definitely has the background on the MIndanao’s ongoing economic activity and potential, he knows about the agribusiness sector and its massive contribution to exports and GDP. He just needs to be updated and to show some focus regarding the region. Have seen myself public schools in some pretty remote areas in ARMM whose only computers ever had been those provided 10 years before through a program he had spearheaded, which distributed more than 20,000 PCs in high schools. Detractors keep on yelping that it was GMA who got the BPO sector going, but it was Roxas as her DTI head who laid the foundations and got the initial tranches of investors in. He negotiated on behalf of the tuna sector in southern Mindanao. And people don’t remember this because it’s not being recalled and communicated. I’m recalling this myself only now (it’s been a while) and think: Claim it, you people running his campaign! You could tell he was at more at ease in DTI than in DILG (the source of all grief and shadow puppetry, if political horse-dealing isn’t your forte). There should also be an effort to convey a more nuanced understanding of Mindanao. Why would armed groups (NPA and in ARMM) even talk to gun-toting Duterte? Because they know he gets them through and through. Even the gun-toting warrior yearns to be understood. No, am not suggesting Roxas start forming death squads; but there should be a perceptible effort by him and his team to tease out the complex overlays of power and aspiration. And maybe learn a thing or two from those already skilled in negotiating that region.Thing is, Manila-based officials tend to parachute into Mindanao, head for CDO or Davao as soon as possible, then scoot off again.

              • Joe America says:

                Good thinking.

            • Thanks, Vicara! That makes more sense now “courtesy call” being milked. Agreed on your point Mindanao being “plugged in”.

              On the Iran thing, did you know a bunch of Filipino doctors, dentists and nurses immigrated to Iran in the 70s? There are plenty of Filipinos in the Mid-East, especially in the Gulf, but Iran was a complete surprise to me. And that they had been there since the 70s, was even more of a surprise–I met a Filipina doctor whose parents went to Iran, she was born there, they lived in a small town where her parents were the only doctors, around the time she was ready for college, they left to go back to the Philippines, where she studied medicine, now she’s a doctor in the US. From what she told me these Filipino doctors, dentists and nurses were pretty close when they were in Iran and have since been–some stayed but most returned to the Philippines or moved here.

              I realize this whole banana business is just that, they like pineapples and bananas in the Mid-East, but I’m wondering if the Philippine DFA keeps tabs on these programs and leverage all that experience into something positive for Philippine-Iran relations, or any other int’l relationships for that matter. How many Filipinos speak fluent Persian and how many can say they grew up in Iran? But then again I’m reminded by one of Ireneo‘s other post re the Philippine DFA and how they treat their own citizens abroad, as servants, menial workers and wives of non-Filipinos. International-wise there’s so much untapped potential from Filipinos when it comes to language and knowledge of foreign cultures.

              • Vicara says:

                Some DFA are better public servants than others, let’s just say. Filipino-Iranian relations also are built on the presence of quite a number of Iranians taking medicine and nursing –remember that tragic bus accident in Cebu in 2010 in which two dozen Iranian medical specialists were killed? Just getting in another mention of Mindanao: go to the top hospital in Jeddah other ME cities, and you’ll find up to 70 percent of nurses, medical technicians and doctors are Muslim Filipino. Hoping the next president keeps things like this on radar.

              • I didn’t know about Iranians studying medicine in the Philippines. I wonder if this stemmed from the Filipino doctors, nurses & dentists that went to Iran in the 70s. Are there plenty of them there, and do you think it will continue or is this more like a fad like Koreans and Chinese studying English there?

                I’m not familiar with the hospital scene in Saudi Arabia or other ME cities, but I am familiar with the fact that many Arabs (mostly in the Gulf) have a very peculiar view of Muslim Filipinos, ie. if they are Maranaw, Magindanao and Tausug, that they are not “Muslim” enough. And then the non-Muslim Filipinos who do convert after living there for so long, are seen as gaming the system, converting to gain the benefits of career/status.

                All Filipina women, Muslim or not, are treated as loose–and the benefit of the doubt goes to the Arab male, while Filipina women get punished or are fired and sent back to the Philippines.

                The old Christians of the Middle East, ie. Assyrians, Catholics from Lebanon/Syria/Iraq, who also work in the Gulf, love the Filipinos and admire their chameleon-like abilities and their flexibility to religion–don the hijab and profess Islam at work, and return to their homes to pray to their statues and eat pork.

                I can’t see Saudis studying medicine in the Philippines, but Iranians studying medicine there seems about right. I don’t think Filipinos have the same reputation (good or bad) they enjoy or are cursed with in the Gulf.

                So Iran represents a better cultural partner, when compared to Saudi & the Gulf (those guys are screwed up, but the Filipina reputation there of being loose is not w/out merit), the DFA should have programs to ensure that Filipino reputation continues to be unsullied in Iran.

  37. chempo says:

    In the language of the brothas, Mar has no street cred. How does one deal with this?

    Jennifer Lopez got into the bed of Big Daddy for immersion with the brothas and build her street cred. The strategy worked for her and record sales reflected that.

    There are many that suggest ways for Mar to project himself closer to the massa. I don’t think Mar should prostitute himself like JLo to gain street cred. There should be no Mr Palengke, no photo-op carrying rice, etc. As others have mentioned, he simply cannot pull that off and will be ridiculed for the fakeness that it is. The PR will explode like Pinatubo in his face.

    Mar should simply be Mar. His PR team should project in more creative ways what he is — professional manager, team player, gets the job done, mild in public (meekness is not weakness) probably strong, demanding, robust behind closed doors (I assumed this, if not he could not have gotten tough work done) etc.

    If I were Mar’s handlers, I would play on his “endorsement” from Erap. There have been 3 ocassions I think where Erap praised Mar in public. Some of Erap’s glitter with the massa will rub off on him for sure.

    As Joe so aptly summarised the psyche of the Filipino massa – the males admire toughness, the women admire service. For the male audience, Mars’ message need to be in tough lingo. For the female — this is where Mars tremendous advantage lies. Let them see a Mar who is a hard worker, who does not go with drink buddies after work, who does not gamble, does not steal, does not womanise. who goes home to his wife and family after work, who manages his personal finance well, etc. (not my words, but testimonials of others that I came across). Which babae does not appreciate a man like that? It’s easy to sell Mars to the female votes.

    When I look at the predicament of Mar I see a similar situation in Singapore long ago. Lee Kuan Yew was stepping down and handing over the baton to Mr Goh Chok Tong, his annoited successor. Goh at that time was a doppelganger for Mar — bespectabled (same type of frames), brilliant (a Rhodes scholar), very experienced in govt, awkward mannerism in public, does not project strength, a good man with high moral standing, does not project leadership. Except that Mar smiles a lot, Goh hardly smiles. In public and on TV, Goh’s facial demeanour is that of a very strict diciplinarian. He could hardly tell a joke. In other words, Mr Dull & Plain (much like PM Major of UK). He came across as a good technocrat, that’s all. Lee Kuan Yew’s People’s Action Party had a hard time selling him to the public.

    I am sure that some deportment guru descended on Goh during the transitional period. He morphed into a smiling face capable of cracking a few jokes in public. His persona then fitted his promise of “a more people-friendly government” (Lee’s tenure was a very strict, patriarchal style).

    Just like Goh, Mar’s public personae can do with a makeover.

    • Jean says:

      I agree but Isn’t that troubling thought though. The change has to be more than superficial. From the accounts I’ve heard (2nd hand unfortunately) Mar is a bit of an elitist. He cares for the masses in as much as they can get him to where he wants to go. Aside from that, it seems he could care less. The Mr. Palengke skit was just that, a skit. He doesn’t need a PR team, he needs a life coach, a retreat or two and a beating heart (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

      Mar, does not need to project that he is sincere and caring. He needs to be sincere and caring, that will project itself, if it were true

      • chempo says:

        Jean, I can’t tell what is true or what is not. I don’t know if what I see on TV is a skit or not. But I have seen him in action, in the mud, in the flood. I have seen lots of good things happening in your govt and within DILG which foreigners see but I just don’t understand why local Filipinos cannot see.

        “Mar, does not need to project that he is sincere and caring. He needs to be sincere and caring, that will project itself, if it were true” — Therein lies the very problem for Mar — all that he is, does not come across in his personae. Assuming his sincerity and caring is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) it still will not project in his public image.

        • Jean says:

          Noted, +1 to perhaps winning me over to Mar. I need more points to get me there but every little bit helps. You got me, I never had a face to face encounter with the guy, perhaps, his sincerity does come across tv and the net. What can I do, its all I have to go with for now.


    • Joe America says:

      I wonder if his emotionalism is a hit or miss with the girls. It seems to be a miss with the guys. (His parting comments to DILG.) I find it fascinating that people were hard on Pres. Aquino for being insensitive (unemotional) and hard on Sec. Roxas for being emotional. I think that’s why actors politick so well. They can be tough or soft as the occasion warrants. All the world is a stage and Sec. Roxas better learn to play on it.

      • Jean says:

        One of the few things I liked about Aquino was that I never caught him displaying or subscribing to emotions when it was uncalled for. Despite what others may think, how he handled the Mansapano debacle was right on the money. To give into emotions or crowd sentiment then would have hindered/obscured the process.

        Anyway back on topic, aside from a great speaking voice and masterful delivery, he could sell sincerity. It, on occasion, came across as an attempt at a two-way conversation even when he alone was the one speaking rather than a stuffy monologue speech that had to be heard but not listened to.

        Mar, has the right words but they ring hollow. He has the right moves but they seem staged. If that were not truly the case, than this issue wouldn’t be one. But alas I am being redundant and will hold off from this thread, hence on

        But before I go, if I may… If all the world is indeed a stage… let’s review the roles. Binay is the villain, Duterte an understudy?, Mar, the lead?, Miriam, the comedic relief? and Poe the orchestra conductor? who did I miss?

        • chempo says:

          Bongbong and Lacson? Maybe Gordon?
          You’re not redundant Jean.

        • Joe America says:

          Lacson. The guard, or is it usher? I note that he, too, is warming up to campaign against the accomplishments of the Aquino administration. He has been critical of the budgetary process (pork exists) and lays blame for slow Yolanda relief on DBM under Abad. So tedious, all these people who tear down to prove they are accomplished and wise.

          • chempo says:

            You just wrote the epitaph of may :
            “So tedious, all these people who tear down to prove they are accomplished and wise.”

            I have been, and more so now, suspicious of Lacson. Then Gordon – does good work at Red Cross, went to Subic and did well, then turns up in Binay’s camp. What a waste.

            Meanwhile, a good man stood obediently by the side waiting for the proper time to thrust himself forward. And many disapproves of him simply because he is not made in their image.

        • jameboy says:

          One of the few things I liked about Aquino was that I never caught him displaying or subscribing to emotions when it was uncalled for. – Jean
          Well, the Luneta hostage-taking always comes to mind when the issue of uncalled emotional display is the topic. Remember how PNoy was criticized for “smiling” during the ocular inspection of the place of the crime? 🙊

  38. andrewlim8 says:


    The crowd here has many new faces and everyone is talking a lot! That is great.

    Anyway, here’s another writer who is now quoting you, gadzooks! Check your hat size! 🙂

    If I’m not mistaken she is the mother of the singer Martin Nievera,

  39. jameboy says:

    The beast. What a peculiar way to describe people and the surroundings they are in. According to the article, the candidates themselves are also beasts for they display beast-like characters with regard to their needs in the habitat where they interact. Since the essay confined the narrative to the four presidential wannabes, I deemed it proper to share another angle of why the so-called ‘beasts’ are not really on equal footing.

    But first, to the Duterte supporters, my apology. I really don’t think he should be in the line up. He’s the big fish in a small pond like Davao City but I don’t think he belongs to the big league. At this late in the game, he is better off monopolizing power in Davao as long as he can. The Philippines is an ocean not a canal or a river that Duterte can easily navigate on and do what he do best just like in Davao: bully. The threat of ‘kill or killing’ as a management style or the philosophy of ‘violence begets violence’ will not work on a national stage where numerous institutions of checks and balance exists. There are a lot of control handles that Duterte is not used to that will make him uncomfortable to the point of being rendered inutile. As the president, he cannot just shut off everybody if he wants to have some peace and quiet like what he does in his backwater bailiwick. A ‘beast’ like Duterte who have been confined in a cage that caters to his psyche, his comfort, his security blanket, his tantrums and all will not be able to function well in a space he has no control of. Unlike Davao, Manila have lots of ‘CCTV’ that will document Duterte’s excess and abuses, if ever, which will practically immobilize him and expose him as weak and naked before legal and procedural matters which he is not a fan of. The backwater scenario is really the ideal setting to a hippo-like ‘beast’ like Duterte. Just the same, he was in the line-up so let’s include him in the assessment.

    If we are to judge the four presidentiables (assuming they’ll all run), we can do so in terms of substance and image/form. Binay and Duterte, being chief local executives since God knows when has the advantage in substance and form because of their experience in running the affairs of a particular area under their jurisdiction and authority. In a way, they are ‘little’ presidents running their respective ‘country’ which their supporters and constituents are proud of. The substance of why they are popular comes from the fact that they have the power over area and people which they exercise some sort of a paterfamilias or being the head of the family like a father. Their official function and the public service they render directly creates a relationship that bonds them with the people they are mandated to serve. It’s no surprise then that they are really the “alpha beasts” in their respective territory in terms of image.

    Being the central figure, the one people can rely on in times of need, they are seen as the boss, the protector or the patron. While they endear themselves in the process with the people the latter also knows that life is simple if they don’t cross with them. The two ‘beasts’ are really the best personification or image of political patronage in the country.

    As with Duterte, the crocodile-like ‘beast’ image Binay have was really not surprising because it had been talked about in silence in some quarters about his and his family’s involvement in corruption issues. They were just concretize when the expose about his hidden wealth and the corruption in Makati were officially made. It only goes to show a crocodile, when put in an area where he can do whatever he wants, can really devour whatever is in sight because he needs to feed his entire crocodile family!

    With regard to Mar Roxas, after all those things I’ve said about and in support of him, let me apologize, too, if you think I just repeated myself on this paragraph.

    Like Binay and Duterte, Mar can also be assess in terms of form and substance because he has been in government service in various capacities for a number of years. However, it’s very noticeable that the issues about or against him are more on the form or image side rather than substance. Some say he cannot relate to the poor because he’s rich. He has no mass appeal, trying hard. He is this or that, image-wise. Some even drag his wife to the picture just so they can have a brick to throw at him. In other words, he’s the beast that you want to bring to the parlor to have some make-over and not one you are scared of that might eat you. In the years that he’s been in government, like PNoy, he has never been linked to corruption. No allegation of wrongdoing or stories about hidden wealth, etc. Not even in gossip columns of tabloids. Also, how can one contradict the opinions of three presidents that Mar Roxas served under with? He’s ‘unacceptable’ not because of wrongful deeds but because of wayward impression by the intrigue-dominated beasts like the general public.

    His low ratings? That’s true. If I was the one who distanced himself with two presidents having corruption issues by resigning my positions, I, too, will expect repercussions from the followers and loyalists of those two leaders. He’s just an underling in the scheme of things hence it’s expected that he will get his comeuppance for ‘abandoning’ his bosses. But as a ‘beast’ of substance, what he did was proper regardless of the consequence because it was against his principles. Mar is a cat-like ‘beast’. He’s cute but not cuddly or lovable like a puppy. He projects superiority without intending to which is discomforting to some. He’s a ‘beast’ you cannot make ‘sit’ nor do a ‘meow’ for he is his own man. He’s not a ‘tuta’ and that’s what annoy some people and connect it to his being ‘different’ to attack his image.

    On the other hand, I consider Grace Poe as an anomaly in the sense that I cannot evaluate her on the same criteria that I did with Binay, Duterte and Roxas. In a way she is like a dodo-like ‘beast’ to me. Didn’t know that she exists until I saw those teledramas about her life and how she came to be. We don’t exactly know her the way we ‘know’ the other three ‘beasts’. Her popularity was not brought about by years of exposed public service nor administrative undertaking that has national significance in terms of impact. The projection of her being a good leader, or to some the best one, is a self-created mirage by those whose personal interest is given more importance than the national interest. The ‘proxy effect’ created by the death of FPJ and the extension of his underdog image in the way he was treated by the previous administration practically pushed Grace Poe in the middle of the political limelight. She was ‘brought to life’ that is why I see her as a Jurassic ‘beast’ also.

    Right now, majority of what she is all about comes in the context of form or image rather than substance. The little substance she had for heading a movie censor office and subsequently as a senator of normal standing before the Mamasapano exploded gets to be drowned out by spiritual-like experience on how she is being sold to the public. Her being the daughter of the King ‘delivered’ to us by none other than Cardinal Sin is really one for the books. Mother Lily can make billions out of such storyline if she decides to make a movie out of it. To her supporters, it’s all about the image. Your image will convert to winnability. The form is the norm. Image kills. Experience is nothing. Forget about substance. It will come later after the image has spoken and everybody is put in a trance. After the oath-taking, we can agree to look for substance if there is really such a thing.

    And I dearly hope so. 👀

    • Jean says:

      Interesting, I complain about Mars substance and you profess it. If I may, image and form is more important than how you’ve sold the idea here. Both image and form is substantial in itself because they are usually the first things factored in by most. Image and form lends credence because image and form are reflective of things that can not readily be perceived. So what if Mar is a good guy, so what if he is able, if people can’t see that, then he can not enroll them. If he can not enroll them, then he will be ineffective at the post.

      He may not be corrupt, it doesn’t mean he is competent. He has done somethings right, but he has had his fair share of doing things wrong as well. What does it say about him, if people remember him for his short-comings. Marcos was one of the most “evil” presidents we have had but a significant portion of people don’t forget the good he accomplished. Ask your average non-researching bloke, what good Mar has done and most would come up with nada!

      I don’t see Mar as viable just because I don’t want to. I am trying to keep an open mind. I am trying to base this on my experience of the man which apparently runs opposite to yours. As I said in a previous post, unlike many of the voters, I won’t vote for Mar because he is not Binay, he is not Duterte, He is not Poe…if ever I vote for him, I will vote for him for who he is, but he hasn’t give me much to go on …. yet.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        I will give a shot trying to persuade you.

        Image or charisma seems to be your concern. Being a woman, it goes with your territory. Remember when as a young girl you swooned over popular idols and projected the image to your crush and sometimes focus was on one’s appearance similar Mar’s demeanor. But history points to Hair as a common affection to male idols.
        Elvis sideburns with swagging hips. how many girls swooned on him? Bald was sneered at.

        Followed by the mop style of the Beatles with harmonized voice. how many girls were crushed on their stampede.?Bald was still sneered at.
        Travolta flawless hairdo with his ever present comb and stomping feet- girls were trampled to BeeGees tunes. Bald men remained shun.
        Then came the athlete, not a singer or actor – Michael Jordan-
        Bald young men is in, became the fad. Girls started to fantasize their virility, charisma and charms and after a couple of years when Jordan won his first NBA ring young men trooped to barbershops for the look. History is foolproof.
        Imagine Mar charisma as Bald since you knew him so consider the new horizon for Philippine progress similar to a bald man, though laid down by PNoy, and from all indication Mar is going to fight for to continue and defend. Compound that with his integrity and incorruptible persona, the trend seems to be shaping up. Jordan took a couple of years inspiring baldness the new look, Mar’s baldness may take the same route but so far from all indications he is the best among the bunch.

        No doubt about it!

        • NHerrera says:

          JL: sorry to interpose this note between your comment and jean’s reply, but can’t help it. Whenever one gives good words about bald men, my day is made. You have just made my day.(Disclosure: I still have a little more hair than Pnoy, but he is my guy because of his balding pate.)

          • sonny says:

            “the bald and the beautiful” has a certain ring to it? 🙂

            • I remember Ireneo commented, I forgot which thread, on the legitimacy of Duterte along ethno-linguistic lines, basically (and I’m paraphrasing here) that each ethno-linguistic group has had their time under the beautiful Manila sun and that Duterte doesn’t just represent the Visayans but also the Mindanaoans — all ethno-linguistic groups there, the indigenous peoples and the Muslims. It was a great post, one which gave pause (re potential surprises), hoping he’ll re-post it here. You remember that particular comment, sonny? Remember which thread?

              • sonny says:

                Beautiful thought, and so I shall look for it with equal gusto. i won’t be surprised at all if he gets to it first, LCplX.

              • sonny says:

                I have not the thread. But I did get to re-view some of Irineo’s other threads about Filipino ethnology and your first foray into Joe’s blog (April 17). Still fresh in approach.

              • sonny says:

                Irineo’s ethnologic threads are inTaga-bundok’s piece Mindanao … an opinion.

              • sonny, thanks for looking. I’ve gotten a headache scrounging thru these various threads, no luck. Hopefully Ireneo will know the post I’m talking about and re-post and elaborate on it here–he always does.

      • jameboy says:

        Interesting, I complain about Mars substance and you profess it. – Jean
        I don’t know about that. All I remember is you talked about image/form in saying the reason why you will not vote for him.

        If I may, image and form is more important than how you’ve sold the idea here. Both image and form is substantial in itself because they are usually the first things factored in by most. Image and form lends credence because image and form are reflective of things that can not readily be perceived. – Jean
        Really? You think Noynoy was elected because of his looks or his image? Are you telling me Noynoy’s “swagger and the way he carried himself in public” inspired credence and confidence and was the first thing factored in by most voters that is why he ended up in Malacanang?

        Well, image and form is the meal ticket of the likes of Lito Lapid, Tito Sotto, Ramon Revilla Sr. & Jr. Jinggoy, FPJ and even Grace Poe and other popular celebrities who has nothing to show why they are running because it comes with the territory. But to the likes of Noynoy, Mar Roxas and to others who were overshadowed by the accomplishments of their politician-parents, image and form is even a disadvantage sometimes because they are usually compared unfairly with them.

        Ironic but go back and look at the main reason why people elected Noynoy in Office and you will see that his election was made possible by form/image, like what you are saying, EXCEPT it was the form/image NOT of himself but by someone elses.

        So what if Mar is a good guy, so what if he is able, if people can’t see that, then he can not enroll them. If he can not enroll them, then he will be ineffective at the post. -Jean
        Yeah, so what if he is a good guy? But on second thought being a good guy is also a reflection of form/image. So why are you taking it against him when you just said form/image is more important?

        Actually, Mar being a good guy is beside the point. Iimage can always be circumvented or disputed if one can show a skeleton in his closet or expose anything about him showing he’s the opposite. That’s no substance. Actually his critics mostly attack the image/form side every time they talk about his non-winnability status. They completely ignore the performance, the accomplishments, the credibility, the substance side in favor of popularity or winnability because those are the things he has advantage of over his rivals.

        He may not be corrupt, it doesn’t mean he is competent. He has done somethings right, but he has had his fair share of doing things wrong as well. What does it say about him, if people remember him for his short-comings. Marcos was one of the most “evil” presidents we have had but a significant portion of people don’t forget the good he accomplished. Ask your average non-researching bloke, what good Mar has done and most would come up with nada! – Jean
        What good Mar has done as president? None. But he sure did a lot for him to still be around this time. As to competence, go ahead and ask the three presidents he served under with. For easier reference watch a portion of PNoy’s recent SONA where he talked about Mar’s quality as a person and a public servant. Or better still, read again PNoy’s statement why he chose Mar as the best person to occupy the Office he is vacating next year.

        Unlike Noynoy, who didn’t have administrative background to back up his campaign for presidency, Mar don’t even have to speak about it because everybody knows it. Wrong things done? Sure, sure, he’s no god. Nobody’s perfect. Even ‘good guys’ like Binay and Duterte gets to make mistakes or wrong things sometimes. Only thing was, unlike Mar, the two make more wrong things than innocent mistakes. And they do it deliberately, lol!

        Marcos? Are you kidding me? The guy has been president/dictator for more than 20 years. And before that he’s been accused and convicted of murder and went on to become a congressman and later on senator. I don’t see a point of comparison. Why not turn to Binay instead? Aside from marrying stunners, you’re basically comparing apples and oranges.

        I don’t see Mar as viable just because I don’t want to. I am trying to keep an open mind. I am trying to base this on my experience of the man which apparently runs opposite to yours. As I said in a previous post, unlike many of the voters, I won’t vote for Mar because he is not Binay, he is not Duterte, He is not Poe…if ever I vote for him, I will vote for him for who he is, but he hasn’t give me much to go on …. yet. – Jean
        Well, for someone who still expressed her hesitation to acknowledge PNoy’s accomplishments even though the facts are staring her in the face, I don’t take it against you in doing the same thing with Roxas. He’s not the ‘in-your-face’ kind of guy. Not a bombastic nor a photo-op, or selfie person that social-media generation expects one to be. Mar Roxas is really an old-school kind of player that simply wants to get the job done. If he’s image don’t get the kind of reception one expects, his outputs will.

        And that, to me, is the most important. 👨

        • Bert says:

          Alright, jameboy, so Mar is clean and he is a good worker being in government for very long time serving three presidents. Those are his images, right? Do you think the Filipino voters don’t see those images? They do. If you think otherwise then you are insulting the intelligence of you countrymen, the Filipino people.

          Now we agree on the image. But, pray tell, please tell us the substance of Mar Roxas.

          • Bert says:

            And, jameboy, please just don’t tell us his substance as a good worker and a good servant, and his impeccable cleanness. Please tell us about his substance as a good leader and a good decision maker worthy to be proud of, someone worthy to be voted for as our president in the 2016 election. Please convince us.

            • Joe America says:

              You must have missed the testimonials delivered at the LP get-together, or the statement of the PNP brass yesterday that they want another DILG secretary “like Roxas”. Or the crime statistics, down. The testimonial that I found most heartening at the LP gathering was from a young man, a BPO worker, who started, I believe, in 2004 and is now Assistant Vice President at the firm where he is employed. His gratitude toward Secretary Roxas was straight from the heart and powerful. You keep asking others to prove what your mind appears unwilling to accept, that Mar Roxas is not just Tacloban or rice sacks or falls on motorcycles. He has a track record of accomplishment that puts Senator Poe’s little pittance of achievement to shame. He’s been everywhere, done everything, commanded the police force, upgraded storm and emergency response for the nation, dealt with crises (Zamboanga hostage situation), WAS instrumental in the founding of the call center industry, and has received accolades from three presidents of different political persuasions. I think the only true objection you have is that he is not popular enough, or charismatic enough, for your taste. That means you should choose to vote for either Poe or Binay, in the middle of next year, as if then were now.

              • Jean says:

                Of course LP would have nice things to say about Mar, it is expected after all, Mar is their dog in this fight, isn’t he? The PNP, played it smart… no harm trying to earn brownie points with someone who might be president, besides, the brass always have something pretty to say to those who “honorably” exit, it is expected (bridges and all that). The BPO industry would have penetrated the Philippines at one point or the other. he was just in the right place at the right time to capitalize.

                Yup, he has been at it for awhile now hasn’t he, got moved around often to. Got a few merit badges along the way.

                1.) Anyone can stay in government long through either loyalty, craftiness, connections, money ect… length of tenure is all that great an accomplishment.

                2.) He has been placed and has held many positions. This can be taken as if he were able and seen as a trouble shooter of sorts. It could also mean the opposite, he wasn’t all that good to be able to hold it down.

                3.) I take what Presidents’s say about people with a grain of salt. The granting of presidential accolades are not always about the recipient.

                Am I actively trying to be tedious? Nope, at least not intentionally. I just haven’t heard, seen or read anything thus far to make me believe that Mar should be my president.

                Am I trying to keep an open mind or do I just enjoy hearing my own voice? I hope it is the former. I persist because, I want am ignorant and a fool, looking for someone to believe in.

              • Joe America says:

                Here’s what I would suggest, rather than ask others to convince you, is take the position, “maybe I’m wrong”. Then go hunt for achievements that prove you wrong. Look at laws passed by Roxas when he was in congress, look at the complexity of the agencies he headed and find out if they languished or improved (e.g., how is Philippine storm readiness and response today versus Yolanda in 2013). If you are open minded, I am confident you will find what others say is there, but you always have an excuse not to accept (BPO industry). I mean, the guy was instrumental in hand-walking new BPO companies around, and getting an association of BPO firms set up, and you shrug it off that anybody could do that, in time. Yet he was the only DTI head at the time. I think you will have to convince yourself. It is clear that we cannot.

              • Joe America says:

                ps, it is perfectly fine for you to pull yourself out of the debate with your current position. But if you re-insert yourself to argue the case, then you are not allowing us the privilege of having our own positions. No need to help Bert. He is most capable of handling his own arguments.

              • Joe America says:

                pps. I’m getting the idea that you actually have an anti-Roxas position that you are advocating in the guise of not having made up your mind.

            • jameboy says:

              Please convince us. – Bert
              😎 I’m not here for that Bert. I argue on points not to recruit people on my side or on Mar Roxas side. For the most part I focus on those statements that I consider weak, twisted or baseless or inaccurate or the complete opposite of the facts that I’m aware of. And I’m not always right or wrong in going about it.

              In Mar’s case, like PNoy, if he gets to be president and commit blunders, mistakes and stupidity on the job I’ll be there as his critic banging on the doors demanding his explanation, debating with his supporters and making it known to him that he blew it. I crossed swords with Joe here on certain issues about PNoy but I mostly went along with him when PNoy is on the right track.

              And I intend to continue the same approach on a Roxas presidency. 😎

          • jameboy says:

            Bert, you missed it again. Mar serving three administrations is not an image, it is a fact that speaks substance. Having titles of lofty position is an image, delivering and accomplishing the mandates of those positions are substance.

            Being clean or being a good worker is an image back-up by substance. It’s fine to mix up the two as long as you have the facts for it. To look for substance in Mar Roxas when it’s already staring at you in the face is, I would call, a denial phase. You assume all about him was image completely forgetting the fact that some of those images have been created by substance.

            On that scenario, I’m afraid it will take sometime for me to agree with you on image. 😦

            • Jean says:

              @ jameboy

              I think what Bert and I are trying to illustrate is this…. How do we qualify Mar as the main proponent for a projects success? He has some note worthy achievements under his belt. but are they really HIS achievements?

              I work for my boss, who (on occasion) gets a lot of praise from her boss, for work I did. Sometimes I did all the work from conceptualization to actualization, all she contributed was ordering me to do so. This isn’t an uncommon scenario, is it?

              Now, who is to say that Mar isn’t like my direct? I understand, the positions he has held are those where it would not only be wise to delegate, it would also be required. I don’t hold that against him, what I am looking for here is something that would make me believe he was instrumental rather then just a figure head. The basis of why I’ve questioned his substance, is that during ambush interviews, he seems at a loss and his answers uninspiring. I do not give as much cred to rehearsed speeches and the like. I will admit I don’t know the guy and base my accusation of shallowness on how he projects himself. Here is a link that encapsulates my sentiments almost to a tee

              • jameboy says:

                Frankly, I do not understand what you are saying. I can sense an attempt to convolute and confuse a simple scenario of one person doing a job and attributing the output to him. You questioned Roxas’ substance because according to you, during ambush interviews, he seems at a loss and his answers uninspiring” but on the same breath you also admit you do not “give as much cred to rehearsed speeches”. What does that imply? Regardless of how Roxas responds to interviews, rehearsed or not, his substance is a question mark to you.

                I know where you’re coming from and I’m not about to stop you from proceeding to where you are going. Only thing is, you tend to confuse the issue and rob the sense out of it instead of engaging to clearly expressed what you need to happen. I’ve read enough of your posts to conclude that your rabid anti-Roxas position is chocolate-covered with expression of hesitation and/or reservation. You are pretending to be still on the balance as to whether to accept Roxas or not.

                I say you have all the right to reject and oppose Mar or whoever you think is not worthy of the position. You are even encouraged to argue or debate even to push for what you think is the right view or opinion. Just don’t pretend and set-up other people in a situation where they end up sounding as if they want to convince you because you happened to still not be sure of whether Roxas is a good or bad choice. I just don’t buy the approach of expressing opposition and at the same time send a “convince-me-if-you-can” type of a message.

                It’s either you are for it or against it. If you are neutral, it’s fine but so far there is nothing in what I’ve read that indicates neutrality on your part. In short, there is a lack of sincerity and candor in what you are saying. Just saying. 🙉

              • Jean says:

                @ jameboy

                From what I’ve caught, you are the 2nd to voice such sentiments. It gives me pause. Unlike, my previous posts I shall be brief. All I want to say is that there was no conscious effort on my part to be deceptive of my positioning. In my mind, I truly am undecided of who I want for president. I am truly undecided if Mar is worthy. I “attack” Mar because I want to stir the pot and see what rises to the top. The only reason I have not attacked the others is because, I am not considering them for president. From those mentioned, if I were to vote now, its between Mar and abstain.

                I think I’ve said my piece, and I’ll take Joe’s advice and quit the floor.

                P.S. oh and to everyone. sorry, I thought I was being constructive and was contributing. Shames me to know that I wasn’t. Truth be told this is the first time I have ever talked about politics outside the family table

              • Joe America says:

                Listeners usually listen, and advocates advocate, and your words to me seemed to me to be the latter, advocating that Mar Roxas is not worth considering. There will be other opportunities to discuss issues besides this one, so you are welcome any time to present your point of view.

            • jameboy says:


              You are perfectly correct, Joe has already posted a similar observation ahead of me.
              But honestly, I only found out that I “copied” him after posting mine. And it made me realize that, yes, people will think I’m just expounding or parroting in a different way what he already said. Based on time difference, you are right to say that I was the second person to express the same view or suspicion about your message.

              Joe – August 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm
              Mine – August 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm

              Actually, after reading Joe’s I thought of responding to him and express my agreement but decided not to for it might appear that we’re ganging up on you. Also, usually when I agree with someone I always reply to them for continuity purposes. Believe me it’s just a coincidence. 🙂

              Anyway, the realization of me coincidentally sharing a similar view or suspicion with another observer on what your possible agenda was has given me comfort that maybe I’m right all along. And I said that because I’m not used to seeing people posting their reservation or hesitation or doubt and at the same time impliedly provoking others that he/she is open to be convinced. Usually, people are already convinced on an idea or view and will post it to support and argue for that conviction.

              Lastly, no need to be sorry for. You expressed your idea and it generated a reaction which you think failed to appreciate what drove that idea. We can always reconcile the difference by continuing the dialogue and clarify the air of misunderstanding.

              No quitting, you did nothing wrong, you’re fine. 🙂

      • edgar lores says:


        Almost everyone has put up his two cents trying to persuade you to their side. Let me put up mine.

        Imagine this is a marriage deal for you. There are four suitors at the moment:

        o A 72-year old man who is allegedly a stealer
        o A 70-year old man who is allegedly a killer
        o A 58-year old man who is charmless (your take)
        o A 46-year old lady who is inexperienced (your take)

        Let us put aside for the moment that the marriage may be of a different-sex nature or a same-sex one. Let us assume that the going will be good regardless of gender.

        Now there are just two rules to the deal:

        1. You must make a choice, your best choice, no matter how unpalatable the choice is.
        2. If you do not make a choice, you will end up in an arranged marriage.

        I would like to think that, being outspoken as you are, you would prefer to exercise your own volition.

        Your criterion for choosing seems to be primarily your emotions, how you feel about each suitor. For you, the reasons of the heart are of greater importance than the reasons of the mind. This is a very sensible approach. I am a firm believer in chemistry. And, after all, we have to take to bed the choice we make… even if it is ewwy.

        It is unfortunate — and I agree with you — that you are saddled with a “lesser evil scenario”. It is, as JoeAm characterizes it, a beastly situation.

        So, who is it going to be? Who is The One?

        I leave it up entirely to you. My contribution is simply to highlight the unenviable position you find yourself in… a position many people with open minds share.

        I have watched with fascination the twistings and turnings of your mind.

        Thank you for the invitation to tea. Make mine green with no sugar, thanks. Would you like some popcorn?

        • I consider myself very very lucky then, that I knew as early as NOW my preference. If Mar, for some reason or another will not be able to file his candidacy on time and thereby gets disqualified, I would be in a quandary, a real dilemma it will be for me. The second choice Poe (with those questionable people around her plus her inexperience) is as unpalatable to me as Mar is to Jean.

        • Bert says:


          1. For most men (I don’t know what for most women), it is fair to say that they would pick the 46-year old who is a virgin. That is not to say that I am of the same inclination.

          2. A 58-year old who is charmless will be so boring it will make life so miserable.

          3. A 70-year old killer will snap the life out of anyone so out of the choices.

          4. A 72-year old who is a thief will steal to enrich the family but so risky. The law, if not the people (the victims), will catch up to him eventually thus will leave the family as miserable as before.

          • edgar lores says:

            Despite your, ahem, disavowal of certain inclinations, I read you clearly. 🙂

            All in all, you show good judgment.

    • Vicara says:

      Am not in Duterte’s camp, but would suggest seeing Davao as more than a “backwater bailiwick.” More accurate to see Mindanao as one increasingly integrated (logistically) land mass with multiple centers of political power–Davao being a key city–that are increasingly working to together on economic integration (ask any business person, local or foreign, who’s been operating there in the last 20 years). That the BBL has gotten this far has already had ripple effects, there is a lot of business movement ongoing–as well as a higher level of political ooperation among LGUs than in Luzon or Visayas. To dismiss Duterte offhand as a small-town mayor is to ignore the kind of support he’s manage to generate across the political spectrum ( far left, business sector, key bangsamoro groups–and even among members of the LGBT community). He’s consistently worked on federalism as a policy platform for years, and this has garnered him support as well in the Visayas, which like Mindanao has long resented the dismissive attitudes of “Imperial Manila.” In many ways, Binay is much more a blinkered small-town mayor than Duterte, counting on junkets for Sister City officials and the Boy Scout thing, and the splash of cash, to win. In his public pronouncements of the past weeks, he comes across as petty and a little desperate, even. Duterte is more cool and measured, playing Dirty Harry to seize the national imagination. But there’s more to him than thuggishness. Not to be easily dismissed, as an opponent. Political or otherwise.

      • sonny says:

        I, too, would hesitate to attach the ‘backwater’ epithet to Davao and to Mindanao. The history and potential geo-politics and future economic importance of this longest/largest of leeward regions of the Philippines should give us pause. The combined promise of Malay Christian and Malay Moslem dynamics pulling together will give our country a national identity that is youthful and vigorous.

      • jameboy says:

        On the “backwater bailwick”, that’s partly why I apologized in advance. I exaggerated, yes and sorry for that, but I have to leave it there to emphasize the difference in the environment.

        With regard to Duterte for what he is, after one or two terms the image of him as Dirty Harry should have taken a backseat over good leadership. If he is still seen as the alpha thug, the strong man, the Dirty Harry at present it only means one thing, he continues to kill criminals because they are not letting up on him. They continue to exist and flourished in Davao hence they still need him there.

        What we should see right now in his city, if things are really good, is a system that runs effectively and efficiently and not a city that runs because of him. I’m not comfortable in a place managed ‘correctly and smoothly’ by a person instead of a system or process where such person operates in accord with what is just, fair and legal.

        Let the Davaoenos enjoy his service. Let’s not take him away from his constituents only to be destroyed and exposed as a phony. He’s a local treasure, let him stay that way. 👮

        • jameboy,

          What’s your take on Duterte’s LGBT stance and gay marriage there? Why would a Dirty Harry make such comments when 1). it’s really not necessary 2). doesn’t really help his cause –ie. I don’t think the lumads and Muslims and staunched Christians (there’s a big Evangelical movement down there) and Catholics from all over who’ve settled in Mindanao, appreciate such statements.

          Unless he sees something we don’t.

          But it does point to a progressive mind. Whether that converts to policy, who knows. And if the people in Mindanao support him still in spite of this specific stance (which is a very Western fad right now and akin to sin there), the whole backwater statement goes down the drain and the possibility of Davao becoming the next San Francisco/Silicon valley of the Philippines becomes even more likely.

          My favourite parts of fiestas in the Philippines were the beauty contests because they were just weird, and every fiesta had a beauty contest. And you can tell from the background that it was the gays (bayots/baklas) running the operation. That was in Mindanao, in Manila you can definitely tell that gays had economic power. I don’t know if Duterte is just talking out of his butte, but from Ireneo‘s post on Duterte–I would include the LGBT community’s support, both there and abroad if he keeps this up.

          And if you are a fan of American politics these days, they are a force to be reckoned with, so don’t write-off Duterte just yet, jameboy. I hope Ireneo or sonny re-post that comment I’ve mentioned above (I’m still looking for it), but give some pause to a more Mindanao centric Philippines–it behooves everyone to flip their mental maps of where power resides there.

          • jameboy says:

            To be honest with you I’m not really not that deep on Duterte. All I know is what I read on the papers which is seldom. His stand on the LGBTs and gay marriage is fine. He could be tapping a gold mine there but I’m sure other contenders also hold the same view although they prefer to keep mum about it in the meantime. I happened to share the same thinking and I think most Filipinos do. It’s just that tradition and religious influence takes time to adapt to change.

            Anyway, I’m not writing Duterte off I’m just thinking that he’s so good in Davao that plucking him out from there and putting him in a bigger aquarium might drowned him in the process. Look, the man is over 70-years old. He deserved to reap the benefits of his labor and just relax and continue to dictate how Davao City should be run. He doesn’t have to be bothered and challenged on the national level by people whom, in his mind, can easily be liquidated or erase from the face of the earth for being criminals. We’re paying employees and judges in our courts, let’s have them work for it. 🙂

            Joking aside, if Duterte is still in his 40’s or even 50s I might given him the second look. With younger generations sprouting all over having brilliant minds and exceptional experience and determination I don’t see any reason for the need to recruit an old soldier to be put on the national scene only now. It’s just crazy to have somebody who obviously have spent the best years of his life serving his people to repeat him self again on a grander scale with diminishing physical and mental capability.

            We’re just punishing the man doing that. 👳

            • That’s an interesting point about age.

              Just did a wiki search,

              Binay– 1942
              Duterte– 1945
              Roxas– 1957
              Poe– 1968

              I was a Ron Paul supporter for the longest time and he was born 1935, age does play into electability concerns but in the end it’s presentation of idea, how fresh and or popular. Here the only contender to Hillary Clinton (born 1947) right now is Bernie Sanders (born 1941). Elizabeth Warren, she’s not running though, was born in 1949.

              On the other side is Jeb Bush (born 1953) and popular right now Trump (born 1946)–August 6 should be an interesting debate.

              So unless, people over there age much faster, Duterte seems on par with American nominees. Did you catch that Duterte hosted a mini- int’l military summit in Davao, what’s that all about?

              “To be honest with you I’m not really not that deep on Duterte. All I know is what I read on the papers which is seldom.”

              Me neither, but among the 4, Duterte is the one I’m most familiar with.

              When there, although on the other side of Mindanao, I heard a lot about Duterte. But what was interesting was that he seemed to be a unifying force than not. You got military and police, who usually butt heads. There were the Tausugs and Samals who didn’t agree. There were the folks educated up north and less educated local folks. non-Muslims and Muslims. Basically all these seemingly different factions and groups all (most all) agreeing on Duterte.

              If you talked to military/police they like the Dark Knight persona, if you talked to businessmen they like his managerial skills, if you talked to Muslims there they liked the fact that he was fair/just. Most liked his compassion and empathy. For example, the Samals, if you asked them (especially their educated) they were the original inhabitants there. If you asked Tausugs, the Samals were refugees from Indonesia, foreigners.

              The Samals and Badjaos are related but I never caught on as to whether the Badjaos came from the Samals or vice-versa. But the Samals (I’m gonna include Mapuns and Badjaos with them, but not the Yakans) are the 4th largest Muslim group down there, but they are treated beneath the first 3 groups.

              Samals and Tausugs tend not to agree, but they agreed on Duterte. The military there tend to play as go-betweens for the Samals and Tausugs, and all three agree when it came to Duterte.

              So when I asked Joe to do an article on Duterte awhile back (which he already had readied), I’m trying to balance out the northerners’ (I’m assuming you are) perspective of Duterte and the Mindanaoans’ take on Duterte which I am more familiar with.

              So aside from the Dirty Harry version you’re espousing, there is a much deeper connection with all classes, all peoples in Mindanao and then his ethno-linguistic group the Visayans–that to me is a powerful bloc, hence more focus, at least on this blog, should be afforded to attempt to understand this dissonance–ie. your take and that of most of the people in Mindanao.

      • By his own admission, unless he’s just being coy, he’s not keen on running due to age and health. Let’s be practical, we already had one strong man rule and it did not do any good for the country in the long run. His brand of vigilante justice is prone to errors and abuse by his supporters and friends with vested interest. He so hates de Lima who had the gall to question him with regard to that DDS (Davao Death Squad) that he is now openly critical of PNOY and Roxas… by extension, I don’t know.

    • Jean says:

      I think I am screwing up the chronological order of replies, you must excuse. I find myself overwhelmed with everybody’s share and have lost track. I will just attempt to summarize my 2 cents here.

      1.) First thing I want to get off my plate: Jean = french influence, pronounced “John”, yup I’m a guy, as straight as they come….

      2.) Some of you seem to think I rule with my heart instead of my head. Forgivable, as I review my comments, I would have assumed the same. Idealistically speaking, I would like to think I make decisions based on the marriage of the two. Um imagine a boat, my mind would be my rudder, my sail would be my heart. The only reason why I pushed the emotion aspect of things here is to counter balance everyone who is using “statistical data” to champion Mar.

      I’ve said image and charisma is important/vital, but I do not believe I said they should be the foundation/keystone of a presidential candidate. Else, I would find myself defending Erap… which I am not.

      3.) My intention is not to be pig-headed here. I’m digging because I see many brilliant minds backing Mar which indicates something must be there. I don’t see it. I will prod and I will probe. I will challenge and I will question, in an effort to uncover what I may be missing. You all have shared strong and valid statements, at times you have me changing the direction of my rudder, unfortunately there is a lack of wind to fill my sails

      4.) I am not trying to discredit Mar. I just call em as I see em. When it comes to politics, I must confess that I am a cynic, I don’t readily believe, what I do not experience first hand.

      5.) I am blessed with much hair but if I could get a way with it, I would shave my head. My company has strict rules against err intentional baldness.

      phew… Anyhow, I think I bit off a little more than I can chew on this thread. I need a breather

      • Joe America says:

        Ahahahaha, it can be intense, and you have expressed yourself well, Sir Jean. No need to carry on as the point is clear, you understand the foibles of the candidates and will watch what happens. There is no argument to wage, it seems to me. You have represented yourself well, and are a most welcome addition to the conversation. Do return often when your batteries are recharged.

  40. nielsky says:

    In Binay’s [contra] SONA, the speech itself is the first and last part of the event – nothing more, nothing less.

    Substance-wise of the speech, again, same fashion [nothing more, nothing less] – true data confront false data. Figuratively, when PNoy et al journeyed forth the ‘straight road’ they must have boarded an air-conditioned coaster. When Binay journeyed back, oh well, he must have come on foot so logically he saw all the ‘hidden assumptions’, matter-of-factly.

    PNoy’s own reaction to Binay’s speech in a press conference right after it was delivered – quite surprisingly – made the former look like “once in a lifetime rather ‘different’ president”. Am sorry, let others say the more obscene term now.

  41. maya pula says:

    Mar is tempered by his Ilonggo background. Ulikid means one has an obligation to family that ultimately extend to the town folks, or kasimanua. In a national context, all Filipinos share the same value system, the bosses are all kasimanuas.

  42. If Duterte wants to run for President, he needs to do less media interviews and control his outbursts. Case in point is this one:

    It makes him look petty, vengeful and obnoxious.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Spot on, he has a shotgun mouth too.

      If in the 3 way contest its Duterte, he will pull away votes from Binay’s Class D & E and macho men who are ambivalent to Roxas and fanciers of wild wild west. And that is good for Mar.

    • red rod says:

      Digong Duterte is in a no-win situation. IF he dials it down, it will not be the same Duterte that certain people have come to admire and people are going to lose interest.

      IF he continues to go down that road, he’s never going to be taken seriously.

  43. Well, Binay gave his “True” SONA earlier today, in an auditorium full of students who were apparently requested to attend. He has some valid criticisms but it’s painfully obvious that he’s only mad at the administration because he did not get what he wanted. He’s like a child who throws a tantrum when he doesn’t get a candy. Strangely, the militants were nowhere to be scene, nor have they reacted to the TSONA (whether positively or negatively). In fact, practically everyone who isn’t Binay’s ally is distancing themselves from the occasion. One of the few who came to Binay’s defense was none other than Harry Roque.

    Now, this is a late reaction to the article as I haven’t had the time to comment, but here it goes. One thing I notice is the description of Duterte, which basically boils down to views that can change with the flick of a switch, just like Duterte’s plans: one day he doesn’t want to run, the next day he wants to, then suddenly he doesn’t want to run, and so on and so forth. At least more people are getting more sense so more people are now disowning Duterte, including some of his former supporters. And I like the part about Roxas: it acknowledges that he doesn’t exactly have the best popular appeal and acknowledges that he has to work on his popular images if he wants to have a chance.

  44. Johnny Lin says:

    The sole TRUE message of Binay SONA is revealing his TRUE character:
    selfish freeloader, ingrate and a moocher.

    He attacked PNoy administration that it was inept, that the poor were not taken cared of, that PNoy cuddled his enriching friends and allies. He said all of these happened in the last 5 years he was a cabinet member.

    During this 5 years he was using the facilities of his office to travel and campaign, put his friends and allies in his department as high ranking official. He was a FREELOADER or SCROUNGER at the expense of taxpayers money and PNoy friendship. He never said a word about the inadequacies of PNoy which was his obligation as cabinet member.

    After PNoy refused his overture to endorse him, he maligned the guy who gave him a position to facilitate his free use of government funds for his campaign sorties in the guise of official business. That is being an INGRATE to the lowest level. He forgot that without the Aquinos generosity to him, he would not be well known. Unless he thinks he had repaid by keep praising the name and sending flowers to Cory’s grave.

    When Binay was active in martial law protest together with Joker and Rene, he was the poorest of the 3. He has been known as a MOOCHER then and now. Proof is by asking those people who knew him in that famous BBQ corner along Southsuperhiway near his home when he was struggling in early eighties.


    • edgar lores says:

      I could not detect any poetry in Binay’s SONA. Could anyone?

      As expected, the entire speech was a diarrhetic explosion of traitorous criticisms against an administration he was part of.

  45. bauwow says:

    @ Mary Grace, I hope you won’t mind that I reposted what you posted at Raissa’s blog.
    I just thought that it has to reach more people, so that they may at least understand the bond between Pnoy and Mar.

    This eulogy from Ninoy was written in New York, April 1982 – a few days after the death of Senator Gerry Roxas. Gerry was Mar’s father.

    When a just man dies, lamentation and praise, sorrow and joy are one. When I was asked for a comment on Gerry’s passing, I could not find a better expression than that Gerry was a perfect gentleman. That he was a unique politician because in more than 40 years of association, I never heard Gerry saying a disparaging word about any man or a fellow man. I have always felt that I was the brother he never had and all the years that I remember of our relationship, we have always called each other ‘brod’. He was the guy [whom] when I was impetuous he was sober, when I was impulsive he was meditative, and when I cried for blood, he always cautioned me for peace.

    Three weeks ago before I left for a long voyage, I saw him here in New York. There was no inkling of death. In fact, there was only a hope of a renewed meeting. He looked forward to the day in April when he, Jovy and I would meet and discuss how better we could plan for the freedom of our people. That last meeting of ours, in the privacy room, I poured my heart and I told him that I was beginning to lose all hope, that it appears that we are fighting a lost cause, fighting for a people that refuses to be freed, Gerry told me,

    “No, brod… we cannot give up, not now.
    You must continue as I must continue to fight
    because we have been pampered by our people.
    We have been elected to serve and in service we must give all.”

    I remember those words because there are many, many, many times that I remember his advice.

    In my seven years and seven months in prison, Gerry never failed to visit me at least once a month and it seems ironical now that I stand here because on two occasions when I went on a death pass and I was on the brink of death and then I was sentenced to the firing squad, Gerry visited me to give comfort and said:

    “I do not know, brod, what will happen but rest assured that I will always be beside your family and friends.”

    And so tonight, to this elder brother of mine, ironic as it might seem, I give him the pledge he gave me then: “I shall be the brother to his children and hopefully, the brother especially to his two sons.”

    When Judy asked me to speak tonight, I retired and wrote this brief message to Gerry:

    “The other night, when I returned from a voyage afar, they told me dear friend that you were dead. They brought me bitter news and bitter tears to shed. I wept and remembered how often you and I had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky. I wept and remembered the dreams we shared, the hopes we entertained for the people we cared, we pledged to serve. I wept and remembered the senate battle spoke, the victories we saw against the ruthless enemy we dared. I wept and remembered the solemn pact we made — ‘Better to lie in a grave than to be a slave.’”

    My friend was a real man. In the nation of tongueless men, he dared to speak for the tortured, the oppressed, the unjustly imprisoned, and the weak. My friend was a son of a noble stock, sat in a tyrant aching milk that would not make him cry. Now, death has come, he taketh all away, but then his memories he cannot take away.

    Long time ago, a poet read and I quote:

    God give us a man a time like this demands:
    Strong mind, great heart,
    True faith and ready hands.
    A man whom the lust of office does not kill.
    A man whom the spoils of office cannot buy.
    A man who possesses a principle and a will.
    A man who will not lie.

    Dear God, if you really love and care for the Filipino people, give us another Gerry.

    And so as we lament tonight the passing of this true man, let us be consoled in our Christian faith that, as we bid him goodbye from the shore, there is the Father waiting for him across the great divide.

    • Of course I won’t mind, giancarlo provided the link to Mar Roxas blog site… I got it from that site. We share the same goal – to “reach more people, so that they may at least understand the bond between Pnoy and Mar. “

  46. ella says:

    Very well written article and wow the comment thread is so very interesting and thought provoking and open the minds of open minded readers to the nitty griities and craziness of politics in the Philippines.

    I really hope and pray that Mar Roxas will be the next President of the Philippines!

    Keep writing Mr. Joe!

  47. Johnny Lin says:

    Why Grace Poe should decide not to run for president!

    After reading many blogs and columns, questions that often arise is the question on why Grace should have slides down a notch in favor of Mar?

    I myself have been posting( joeam and Raissa blogs) many times that PNoy should anoint Grace to be standard bearer for the simple reason that her chances of beating Binay is greater than Mar and downplaying and dismissing the criticism that she needed experience and residency issue would be stumbling block. These necessities were hurled because there were no serious legitimate issues that could be ascribed to her.
    Pres. Aquino tried to meet with her a couple of times, the gist of the topics of conversation were never revealed by all parties concerned. They never arrived at a compromised which I put the blame on Grace.

    Up to now Grace has been adamant, reluctant her true intention to run for higher office. She kept saying from the start she was ambivalent and indecisive. Many months ago, the first time her name was mentioned as possible presidentiable she announced publicly that she was raw, inexperienced and would like to finish her current term. That was a great blunder despite its factuality. That showed his rookie political nature. She compounded it by keeping repeating the same mantra until after her stint in the Mamasapano hearing where she was complimented on her agility as a leader and legislator.

    When PNoy talked to her for the first time, she should have made a stance and pronounced publicly that she was ready to take the helm of presidency with or without PNoy and should have placed PNoy on notice that she was the best viable candidate to continue Daan Matuwid with greater than winning chance against Binay. She didn’t and that was her second blunder. She was given another chance by PNoy on their second meeting, still she kept saying she was undecided. Not a sign of a true leader. She missed seizing the opportunity I was talking about.

    On the question why she has to skid down instead of Mar while she was topping the survey? Her failure to announce her presidential intention or undeciveness was the same reason she should slide down now. She was the antithesis of PNoy when Mar gave way. Remember in 2010 when Roxas was lower in the survey too and the clamor for Noynoy to run was high. Noynoy and Mar talked and The former never hesitated or was undeciveness in his decision. He did not claim he was inexperienced or unqualified. What did he announce publicly? “Noynoy said, I’m going to a retreat to compose my spiritual self and commune with my inner self with respected counsellors”. Thereafter he announced he would accept the challenge and appreciated Mar for giving way to his candidacy. Grace should have been firm and steadfast to PNoy’s first invitation to talk, not only for her principles but towards an honest mandate to the people. She had an obligation to declare her intention early since October filing deadline of candidacy is forthcoming.

    Compare her decision to marriage. There is a reason why there is a period of engagement. That is the time given to assess the compatibility of the coupling. Time to find the faults, shortcomings, the goodness and other characteristics. October filing is similar to agreement to set the wedding date which in turn is similar to Election Day. As a bride, Grace kept saying he was not ready to marry but open to elopement which is always beset by problems from the very start. Preparedness is not only a Boy Scout motto. Its also the guiding principle of intended couples.

    Grace should accept VP or not run at all. She destroyed her credibility for presidential run now.

    • red rod says:

      I wholeheartedly agree and would even go further to say that Grace Poe should not even run for VP. The dynamics of the VP ship in the Philippines is different from that of, say, the US. The job description may be the same (stay breathing just in case the president stops, no presiding over the senate in the Philippines), but locally, we look at the VP as the next in line. That’s not necessarily true in the US, not anymore at least.

      What turns me off is Grace Poe’s indecisiveness. She’s dilly-dallying. I understand that it’s a huge decision that requires her complete commitment and that’s what’s frustrating. If she has to question whether she has it in her, she doesn’t have it in her. We’re talking about the presidency. The job of president is for someone who thinks the gods have conspired to make her lead and that destiny demands of her this service. If she doesn’t have that kind of urge to serve, that hubris to think she is absolutely equal to the task, how in the world is she going to make the kind of decisions that stump every other person in the country? How can she hold so much power in her hand and be uncomfortable with it?

    • Hi @Johnny Lin, missed your post’s am happy to have stumbled back reading your comments here in JoeAm’s blogsite. The discussion here and comments are getting very very educational in our pinoys political arena. Me thinks more and more will be joining this blog after the SONA praise from PNOY and that is big thanks to JoeAm,

      Manong JoeAm, keep it up! and thank you for sharing for us to enjoy reading and no end to learning.

    • NHerrera says:

      On being asked when she will declare her candidacy to a higher national office, she had and still repeats variation of the statement — hindi madaling sabihin; kailangang pagisipan ng maigi kung papaano makakatulong sa ating mamamayan.

      But she is ever so quick to respond to words which may even indirectly refer to her, as in the use of the word “hinog” by the President during the SONA — ang hindi pa hinog ay tumatagal. Meaning her speedy response to all these indirect, probably “baiting” words overwhelms her better self as expressed in her oft repeated words expressed in the mantra of paragraph one above.

      I believe her apparent anxiety these days compared to her composed, dignified demeanor very early on is affected by the following, perhaps, unconscious thoughts:

      – Sure, giving time for her full ripening is sensible, but probably on advice, six years is a very long political time; a better ripened rival may come and so good bye the Presidency after six years of ripening; so better to seize the moment now;

      – The “lust” for the Presidency — under the oft-repeated guise of serving the mamamayan — is reinforced by her COMFORT BUDDY, Escudero who is equally “lustful” of a higher office, which he cannot get otherwise, considering his history of betrayal (shades of his former BFF, Binay, in that respect).

      I have the gut feel that commentaries here in JoeAm’s and Raissa’s Blogs — especially their being “kapit tuko” — have forced them to lately announce that they will be making their decisions separately, individually; but that they will support each other nevertheless. Cute. The Koronadal sortie and the FVR visit of the this Inseparable Duo and the ensuing negative commentaries must have hit home.

      • Joe America says:

        Her lust for the Presidency pales only slightly from that of Binay, if I read her body language right when she is tossing off juicy quotes for the pack of media hounds tracking her for such juicy quotes. She positively fills with herself.

        But don’t get me wrong, as did the Inquirer. I LIKE Grace Poe, and hope she comes down to earth and connects her heart to the best interest of the people, rather than her own stature in her own eyes. She could be very good for the nation . . . serving the nation.

        • NHerrera says:

          I do not know if you have noted. I believe it was in a post at Raissa’s or even here, where I effectively put her on a pedestal early on. Notwithstanding my recent comments, I too believe that if she agrees heart and mind to be a VP of Roxas, and works hard for the country, she will have a great future. She can start by ditching Escudero, metaphorically, off the ship.

    • jameboy says:

      On Grace Poe’s so-called ‘indecisiveness’, I for one don’t buy it. Maybe the reason why she’s undecided up to now was because the other side or those wooing her were also showing indecisiveness. Could be what they’re offering her or the absence of it forces her to hesitate into entering into a compromise or agreement that will settle the issue about her political plans.

      We are all looking at Grace Poe and her adamant, indecisiveness and reluctant demeanor forgetting that there is another or several parties in the story that could also be having hesitation issue. 👀

  48. Ka Enchong says:

    VP Binay sounded more like reading his own mistakes using third person pronouns.

    He blamed government for officials who are stealing the people’s money.

    He was, until recently, a part of the government he is blaming. He is yet to substantiate his denials on allegations that he stole the people’s money bigtime. Was he actually blaming himself for being himself?

    • Joe America says:

      When one looks at the omissions in the Binay speech, which was not a State of the Nation address, but a political campaign speech, the omissions were glaring. Noting about corruption in Makati, nothing about the nation’s rise in global rankings and ratings, nothing about the investments made in improved education (K-12, classroom construction, teacher hirings). It was a selective, self-serving political speech.

  49. Jose Guevarra says:

    Just read some of Binay’s rants against the Aquino administration:

    In Mamasapano, 44 officers gave up their lives for the country. But their heroism was neither acknowledged nor mentioned in the Sona. They did not even get a “thank you.” The hair stylist and fashion designer were more fortunate, as they were dutifully included in the long “gratitude list.

    In Tacloban, in the midst of the damage brought by super typhoon Yolanda, while bodies lay scattered, people roamed hungry, thirsty, crying, pleading for relief, did the administration not say, “Oh, but you are all still alive, aren’t you?”

    There is some truth in these. I am not saying Binay is entirely correct, but this is how he will keep portraying the Aquino government and I am sure Binay will continue to use every bit of this against Mar.

    Mar has said he has no problems with being pegged as Noynoy 2.0. He might want to explain that better if he wants Aquino’s “baggage” not to adversely affect his run for the presidency.

    • red rod says:

      Speaking of Yolanda, I remember when that PNP regional director candidly said that the death toll was 10,000, which the president flat-out denied and said that estimates from the ground (ehem, Roxas) was “only” 2,500. Said cop was relieved of his duties soon after.

      Yet, as the weeks and months went by, final death toll figures was closer to 10,000 than it is to 2,500.


      • Joe America says:

        That incident to me gave me insight that President Aquino is a product of the power culture, not unlike what exists in provinces, cities and municipalities across the land. There are loyalties (and favors) and there are enemies (and vindictive attacks). Local politics is very vindictive, and the Tacloban response to Roxas/Aquino has been in that vein. They (National) tried to show the Romualdez clan up, and by God, that is not going down in this town! (Tacloban). It cuts both ways, and ought to be condemned both ways.

  50. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    SONA is positive dig of the Administration
    TSONA is negative dig of the Administration
    Both of them are boastfully truthful INQUIRER IS NOT !!!

    SONA got 1,000 words compared to TSONA’s 3 videos attached and 1,500 words

    • Johnny Lin says:

      SONA is basketball played by humans while TSONA is same game played by monkeys
      He he he

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! ha!ha!ha!
        On the side, Do you know it took the Chinese less than 6 months to defend, reclaim, build airstrip in speck of island in the middle of nowhere whose materiel came from Shanghai which is thrice the distance to Manila? While it took Torre de Manila 10 years from planning to build phase? The Build phase alone took 2 years?

        • Johnny Lin says:

          Eight of those years were for securing signatures from different city hall offices including the mayor, vice mayor, council ouncil and barangay. Long delay was due to change in power from Atienza to Lim to Erap

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            … and when they are about to FINISH, they wanted it torn down !!! FOREIGN INVESTORS ARE LAUGHING ….. so is OBAMA. To this day OBAMA has not given the Philippines the REWARD MONEY on Marwan. OBAMA told Benigno, a Finger is not proof MARWAN IS DEAD.

  51. josephivo says:

    On Binay’s beast. Just look at Makati, take out the 6 Ayala barangays and look at the remaining 27 barangays, look on how the poverty incidence did change there over the last 28 years. What will become very clear is that if there is one man in the Philippines who cannot address poverty, even with all the wealth of all the largest companies at his feet, it is Binay. Some should listen to his TSONA again with this in mind. Talking and walking the talk are often the opposite, even if you have ever slept on a hard floor and eat with your fingers (for the cameras, not when you fly first call).

  52. Bing Garcia says:

    Osmeña said that based on a survey he commissioned, Poe would win even in a crowded race contrary to an analysis of House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales that Vice President Jejomar Binay would only lose if the administration fielded a single candidate.

    Prof. Popoy de Vera said that this presidential election is not about administration vs opposition.

    • NHerrera says:

      Between a scientifically-based survey and top-of-the-head statement (pundits and even degreed-political-scientists abound on election time), I will believe Osmena more. Osmena is not only a sharp political strategist but knows his numbers — and I don’t believe he lies when he says he commissioned a survey; he is a believer in scientifically based surveys. Of course, that is true at the time of survey and the political wind changes even more than physical wind.

  53. josephivo says:

    Thinking about it. Forget about the beasts, corruption or dynasties. “Evidence based medicine”, compare treatments on the improvements achieved, nothing else.

    1. Poverty. As fire there are 2 phases, firefighting and fire prevention. Firefighting is always by definition too late, it is expensive but spectacular too. Fire prevention is the more humane, more efficient but less the visible skill. “Firefighting” is keeping as many poor alive as possible. For “fire prevention” evidence shows that there is only one way, breaking the inheritance cycle. Give poor children during the most important 1000 days of their life the right nutrition, give them the education to equip them with the right skill set for the jobs of tomorrow. This requires time, more than a generation.

    2. Binay. He was in charge for more than 28 years in a set of poor barangays with close to unlimited resources at his disposal, due to the successes of others in the 6 Ayala barangays of Makati. Check his track records, check how many poor still depend on his hand-outs, how little has changed over 28 years. Now blaming the President that he did not eradicate poverty in 5 years’ time?

    (Is there correlation with corruption and dynasties? Yes. Is there causation? Most probably. But it all should starts with evidence of results.)

    3. Binay bis. He will be 80 at the end of his term, an octogenarian is poorly equipped to prepare a country for the future, especially in this age where change is faster than lightning.

    (And Reagan? He was an actor, actors can effectively bring a script written by others. But Binay is not an actor, he is a micro-manager. Soto for president if he can get the right script writers.)

    • NHerrera says:

      A refreshing change in perspective — Binay, “dying to serve his poor countrymen” when he himself will be mentally and physically dying at his age.

      • NHerrera says:

        I qualify that. Men at that age, especially in modern times may not be that old. With character of integrity and intelligence and true love of country, the mind can still be sharp, never mind the crutches and all that. But with a mind with a lifetime of greed embedded in his DNA, cannot have the trait of equanimity needed for an old man at the helm.

        • josephivo says:

          Result is quality x acceptance. A result depends on the quality of a proposal and its acceptance, 0 acceptance is 0 result. I might agree that at 80 some still have a well-functioning brain, but do you remember how you looked at 80 years old when you were in your most productive years, late 30’ies, 40’ies early 50’ies, were they really inspiring you or did you look at them a sympathetic relicts of gone by times?

          In top the future does not belong to the 80 years old, it belongs to the youth and to their parent who have to nourish and educate them, they should take ownership, don’t let them avoid responsibility by relying on a lolo sa tuhod.

          • NHerrera says:

            Agreed. There is nothing like fiftyish man at the helm all things being equal. Probably, I am talking of the fact that in the early 1900s, 60 is old. The new old is not 60. But I generally agree with you.

            But I declare — at his age now or at 80, Binay is old from the simple basis of character. (By the way, I am 77. May it be, I am unconsciously justifying my old age? :))

        • Joe America says:

          I was reminded of the reality of age when I asked my older brother (73) how things were going. He has had a quadruple bypass heart operation, and briefed me on recent visits from three of his school friends, one dragging an oxygen canister about, one with a pacemaker, and another with carotid arteritis. Boy howdy, not the kind of vibrant leadership the Philippines needs if it is going to master corruption, fight for peace and build a vibrant economy.

        • edgar lores says:

          Thanks! For excluding me and yourself… and some others here.

        • josephivo says:

          I believe that wisdom comes with age, when many pieces of the puzzle of live fall together. But I became less agile too, get tired a little faster, can’t party at night and work the whole next day, it seems as if a day has less hours, I value fixed routines more… For the next generation I’m still relevant, I belief. The generation after that sees me more as an interesting pre-historic relic, they are growing up in a digital and global world, take change for granted, with new apps or gadgets daily, not with a new toy once a year at Santa Claus.

          Sharing thoughts, playing consultant, by all means. But daily direct line responsibility for dozens of people at our age?

          Nancy Binay at 43 will have a better age to be president, let her father be an advisor on how not to reduce poverty and keep the family in power.

    • chempo says:

      Dementia is a good excuse for Binay by the time he appears in the court to answer plunder charges.

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