All young children born in this country



[Photo credit: Nandor Studio]

A letter to future generations about corruption in the Philippines

by Andrew Lim

Congratulations. You have been born into a country blessedly rich in resources, from the fish in the sea to the farms that bear fruit and produce, all sun-kissed to perfection. Its islands are like jewels strewn across the sea, providing home to a hundred million citizens like you.

Its people are a hardy race; they have overcome much adversity thrown their way – wars, foreign conquest, storms, martial law. You will admire them. They accomplish so much with so little.

But alas, all is not well. You will have to do a lot to correct things in your lifetime as your forebears were unable to accomplish some very important things.

It is a land where its people are famously hospitable and friendly and eternally smiling, although the same people turn into inconsiderate and dangerous maniacs when driving through Manila’s streets. Strive to resolve that contradiction.

But there is something else you must do, something far more important.

It is a land where the concept of right and wrong is just a matter of belief, not a certainty. And justice is just a concept, not a principle, debatable, like who’s the prettiest in class.

It is a land of many lawyers, people who shuffle papers and ideas around a lot, without producing much of tangible value. Unlike little kids like you, many of them do not know the difference of right from wrong. Everything can be twisted and re-defined, all for a fee.

It is a land of religious people, and you will discover this soon enough. But it is also a place where corruption has woven itself so deeply into the culture, one wonders where all that religiosity is applied to.

Your mommy and daddy will teach you that stealing is wrong. And they are correct. Hold fast to that lesson, because many adults in this country you were born to treat stealing as a sport, and they say if it cannot be proven in court, you did not do anything wrong.

It is a country where anything and everything can be forgiven, just like the thief nailed to the cross. Remember that guy when they tell you the story in religion class. At the last minute, he asked for forgiveness, and he got it. So many have interpreted that as a last-minute reprieve, and that if you ask for it, no matter what evil you do, you will be forgiven. And so corruption never ends, because it is treated as a light matter, something that can be brushed away with confession, much like the cookie crumbs on your shirt. Please do something about this when you are grown up.

It is a country where reconciliation is sought without justice by the corrupt. You will learn the meaning of these big words when you grow up, and that reconciliation without justice is meaningless.

It is a country where every loophole, every crack or crevice in the law is exploited to serve selfish interests.

Do not be proud of grown-ups who call their children “ma-abilidad” when they mean that their kid can go around the rules, cheat and gain advantage over others!

There was once a man whose father was murdered by an evil king who had plundered and terrorized the country. Destiny thrust him to become king himself.

He fought the good fight. He steered a large ship in the right direction with so many voices shouting to him to go this way, that way.

He did the best he could, but he is just one person. Evil never rests.

The rest is up to you.


155 Responses to “All young children born in this country”
  1. panget says:

    Thank you Sir Andrew Lim and Sir Joe Am for this very moving article (lump in my throat).

  2. Mom@law says:

    Thank younger such an honest assessment, lightly presented with humor. Indeed, indeed, what has gotten into our system? That’s why even if people dissuade me with the good fight, what kind of Philippines would I want my descendants to have? Everyone complains, but refuses to sacrifice and contribute.

    The latest decisions from the Supreme Court regarding the bail, doesn’t give much confidence on maintaining principles. Apart from PNoy, I salute J. Leonon for such strongly worded dissent.

    While I am truly alarmed and saddened, how do we turn this around, for the general welfare?

    • nielsky says:

      From the heavily drawn outline, it seems that the man referred to is no less than PNoy and the children – quite generally but specifically – referred to Mar, hence the line, “The rest is up to you.” It might be my poor guess, but anyway.

      I like reading it, even on guard on a ‘slice’ that as much as remotely cuts a conceptual bias. There probably was but at least it seems to have occurred at the Y intersection – a car of a message that goes outward in twin directions.

      It is pretty fair – vocal on its indication of who the man was and suggestive only on who those children were – perhaps, with Mar no less than a child in that universe.

      Fine, as a whole – except as to the murderer or evil king, but it’s no important anymore.

      One point though,not even that serious a concern. The essay is a manifest ‘dislike’ of – law, lawyers, and lawlessness – the last as if were the end-product of the whole conception of justice being within the commerce of man catering to the rich, the elite, the thieves.

      It was a message of hopelessness and helplessness It calls for an end to corruption – by children and adults alike. We begin anew – a cycle of 6 in the making.


      • zenesque says:

        While I do understand the subtle dislike of lawyers, it is perhaps, the overstretch of eagerness, creativity or brilliance, that oversteps morality. One should hold core principles unshakable. The price of any answer with reason (and fluctuating principle), is sadly, a product of a fluctuating jurisprudence. While the laws are decent, the legal interpretation of it, sometimes, as correctly mentioned, devolves on the networks.

        For trying to “change” the system or how judicial processes are made, I commend Pnoy in making sure our Chief of Justice, outlived at least 3 presidents, and make the necessary reforms.

    • andrewlim8 says:


      The cliched answer is “it is a never-ending fight vs human nature”.

      But I also believe that a situation where corruption is very low is possible. If it were not, then all countries would have the same ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Index. 🙂

      • Johnny Lin says:

        When the topic is about corruption, those who feel guilty have tangential ways of showing their feelings of pain. Means like distortion, projection, rejection and guessing to blur the topic.

        “Kung ayaw mong humapdi ang sugat, huwag Maligo sa dagat”

  3. andrewlim8 says:


    The more I re-read and re-read Justice Leonen’s dissent which was supported by 3 other justices, the more I am convinced that it was not just your usual dissent – in the sense that it was about some arcane legal concept or some complicated doctrine where a divergence of opinions are expected.

    No, it was an appeal from an insider, a crying out to the larger public that something had gone wrong, terribly wrong and since he is just one vote, he is telling the Filipino people to get in on this. Get involved, he seems to be saying. There is such a thing as right from wrong, no matter how others (the corrupt) tell us that all is relative.

    Quoting from the dissent of Justice Leonen:

    “Special privileges may be granted only under clear, transparent, and reasoned circumstances. Otherwise, we accept that there are just some among us who are elite. Otherwise, we concede that there are those among us who are powerful and networked enough to enjoy privileges not shared by all.

    (Other accused) … remain in jail because they may not have the resources to launch a full-scale legal offensive marked with the creativity of a well-networked defense counsel. After all, they may have committed acts driven by the twin evils of greed or lust on one hand and poverty on the other hand.”

    The Filipino people should let the justices know, as well as the Arroyo and Marcos loyalists: we are watching you.

    • zenesque says:

      @andrewlim I sensed something, a frustration, of what the noble institution is no longer is. It is brave of him, and even patriotic, to emphasize the core values of what they should represent, so that, when the justices are replaced, can his dissent, be what should be a uncompromising principle, for truth, justice, and peace.

    • I agree. The image I am left while reading his dissent is anguish and silent screaming.

  4. “It is a country where anything and everything can be forgiven, just like the thief nailed to the cross. Remember that guy when they tell you the story in religion class. At the last minute, he asked for forgiveness, and he got it. So many have interpreted that as a last-minute reprieve, and that if you ask for it, no matter what evil you do, you will be forgiven.”

    Great letter, Andrew!

    This to me is the root of corruption over there, the interpretation of said story and the story itself, ie. theft is a misdemeanor forchrissakes! Maybe there was a tack-on charge like association with Zealots, but the point is that the Romans were pretty good at delegating lesser stuff to local government. Not to mention this story only gets mentioned in 1 out of 4 Gospels. Salvation by faith alone gone awry.

    “It is a land where its people are famously hospitable and friendly and eternally smiling, although the same people turn into inconsiderate and dangerous maniacs when driving through Manila’s streets. Strive to resolve that contradiction.”

    Moral acrobatics is the second issue, ie. how a seemingly religious, God-fearing, family man, can just as quickly be seen bar-fining or getting pretty girls delivered to undisclosed locations by his underlings; While his wife as modest as he is God-fearing, becomes the very definition of tyranny towards her own underlings at home.

    Over here, it’s the comedians that present these types of societal problems, ie. The Daily Show (are there satirists or comedians over there whose mission it is to shed light on these contradictions? hypocrisies?)

    • andrewlim8 says:


      You’re welcome. Re your first paragraph, that deserves a piece in itself, though I have written on it here in the past. It is quite controversial, since it challenges the implementation of doctrines. I argue that people here are more prone to be corrupt because at the back of their minds they have a parachute: I will be forgiven anyway at the end, as long as I time my confession right.

      Alternatively, one can look at confession as a very portable washing machine with a very quick rinse cycle. You can avail of it repeatedly, and consequently you can commit corruption repeatedly as well.

      The CBCP sees the problem as cultural, and only conversion can turn the tide:

      But I argue that our people are very religious, but misinterpret the doctrines badly.

      Re your second paragraph, I often wonder: if I had met these people in a different situation- say office or a party they might be the most wonderful friends one can have. Perhaps we can refer to the “split-level” Christianity the late Fr Bulatao wrote about. For so many all that they care about are the rituals, not the application of the faith.

      Lastly, there are not enough satirists or comedians here that do this. They are seasonal, like Jon Santos and Willie Nepomuceno with their political humor come election time.

      • sonny says:

        a. very important: forgiveness, repentance, justification by Catholic confession has a very short duration. Beyond that ontological second-duration that completes the cycle of guilt-to- pardon-to firm purpose of amendment, the penitent needs the grace of the Almighty to carry on a life of righteousness beyond the confessional on to the marketplace.

        b. in this age of e-information overload, i wonder if the age of radio-only had it more right: the weekly commentary coming from EDONG MAPANGARAP nourished all family members of every age listening every Friday night to that 4″ x 8″ soundbox with just the right amount of humor, reflection and entertainment.

        • I remember Ireneo (what happened to that guy?) mentioning that having servants contributes to this “split-level” problem, ie. instead of seeing all as people, people over there see hierarchy and act accordingly.

          • NHerrera says:

            I am wondering about Irineo myself. Miss his thoughts on our blogs lately — his historical and cultural perspectives cross-country. I hope all is well with you @Irineo. Work keeping you busy, busy, busy?

      • edgar lores says:

        “Villegas admitted that the problem of corruption is already deeply engraved in our culture, and that only moral conversion can serve as an antidote.”

        For the first and perhaps the only time, I would have to agree with the Archbishop.

        I would have to disagree though that the Church is in any position to initiate or foster moral conversion.

        o She continues to place barriers inhibiting the full implementation of the RH Law.

        o She has not fully disclosed the extent of clerical sexual abuse and cover-up, in number and in kind. She has shown some contrition, in three papal apologies, and some penance, in the reparation given to some victims, but the issue remains largely unresolved. There has been no real accountability.

        The religion practiced by the people is one of form… and not of substance.

        It is not just merely misinterpreting doctrines badly. It is absolutely not following the moral code.

        o How can Senators and Vice-Presidents misinterpret the commandment, “You shall not steal?” Yet Bong, Jinggoy and Binay pere et son broke this commandment in allegedly directing government funds into their own pockets.

        o How can Justices misinterpret the commandment, “You shall not bear false witness…?” Yet Bersamin broke this commandment in lodging as final a ponencia that was not the one voted on.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          I disagree with Villegas because Catholics were taught that being religious is moral conversion. Corrupt men in government uses religion as their moral facade, they learn from their pastors and bishops.

          Thieves believe they are absolved from their corrupt ways if they are religious, go to church every Sunday, invite priests to say mass in their home or office or give donations to church functions and fund raising events.

          Villegas is absolutely wrong on his analysis to deter corruption. They should be punished by law for criminal acts to deter them. Conversion is their current excuse while continuing to steal.

          Look at Imelda, Corona, Napoles, Binay. They made sure their pictures hearing mass were always front page.

          • edgar lores says:

            Agree to a certain extent, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

            My take: Punishment is the “cure” at the individual level… and moral conversion is the “prevention” at the individual and collective levels.

            The jury is out whether punishment is an effective deterrent. But punishment (and justice) must be rendered regardless.

            • Johnny Lin says:

              Sorry to disagree at your concept on the dictum.
              The level of corruption in the Philippines now is beyond the dictum. it’s widespread epidemic already, containment is no longer applicable. Isolation by extreme measure is what’s needed plus treatment.

              leper colony was established in Palawan because leprosy could no longer be contained at prevention and treatment level. Isolation was the sole remedy then. Corruption in the Philippines is worst than leprosy level because it is propagated by children and taught to their grandchildren. Extreme measure is the best cure.

          • chit navarro says:

            The catholic doctrine on Confession and forgiveness of sins is greatly abused and some Catholic priests fail to explain the real concept of this to their favorite “paying Catholics” because, well, the thieves pay them huge amount anyway….

    • Micha says:


      This is hilarious too.

  5. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Andrew Lim, thank you! JoeAm, thank you! But it’s not just the children. Let’s not allow the adults get off too easily. Until my last breath, being 63, I shall be like a child, with a finger to the leak in the dike. I am alone, I know, but through the days and months of driving like gentry in my town (Las Pinas) in Metro Manila, for example, I am astonished when the other car stops at the intersection when I have stopped to let me pass, when my wife and children say that this car or that stopped for them to cross the street. Evil is infectious, but so is good. Aah, corruption is such a huge whale of a problem that we may or may not solve in our lifetimes as baby boomers, but with the small fish thrown our way daily, we are able to weed out the bad, keep the good. So there. Everybody, your shoulder to the wheel. It’s not over till our wives say so.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Ah yes, I like that – “evil is infectious but so is good”. While there is no such thing as zero corruption, a state where it is so low is possible.

  6. Geng says:


    Thanks for this finely written piece. I am hoping this will become the reality when we are all gone.

    The one thing I am wondering is, in whose generation should this be properly addressed? I posed that question because I see no hope in the youth of our troubled times who are growing up or grew up to be inconsiderate even in the smallest matters that would show their concern for others.

    We could see it in the blank stares of young people oblivious of a standing senior citizen hobbling with joint pains or a pregnant woman in a jampacked train or a crowded bus or young men never giving way even to old women just to get the comfiest seat in the bus,

    Enough for now because I know it would be sort of a litany to enumerate those acts of simple courtesy we learned and practiced on our way to adulthood that most young people today seems to never have even the slightest idea of.


    • andrewlim8 says:

      We should fight the tendency to think that the past is always better than the present. Is that called “recency bias”?

      Heck, only twenty to thirty year old neo- Marcos loyalists should think that way. 🙂 Imagine, basing that view on a bunch of links to disreputable sources, many of which were probably supplied by the Marcoses themselves.

  7. edgar lores says:

    And the evil king had an evil henchman who continues to plot nefarious deeds with the help of eight courtiers appointed to the bench by an evil queen who ruled the land after two and a half interregnums.

    And the evil king has an evil prince — waiting in the wings, biding his time — who seeks to ascend the throne.

    Boys and girls, watch out. The darkest evil lurks — not in the hearts of beasts like snakes or wolves or dragons — but, alas, in the minds of our very own kind.

  8. nielsky says:

    The prince has all the 5 essential qualities, foremost of which, is charisma except perhaps of ‘morality’, it being placed in question.

    Be that as it may, the belief of an evil prince is both unfair and unfounded. It is absolutely without proof. Meantime, the prince honed himself to make a name of his own, by his own.

    And many people love the prince.

    • Tambay says:

      Lying about his education is one of them if I may add.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Prince made a name of himself, on his own by robbing the coffers, dividing unequally, riches to his family and cakes to the poor disguised as kindness.

      and post many times, not for Binay.

      Happy days will come again if Binay becomes president- motto of corrupt people attacking Daan Matuwid.

    • edgar lores says:

      And even here, boys and girls, evil does not rest.

    • chempo says:

      And the prince has a little princess who tried to cheat my ex’s company in Singapore for some curtaining job they did for her. Imagine, just a lousy S$2K job they tried to cheat. What if you put a 2 billion peso project on the table.

  9. i7sharp says:

    I take notes on practically anything Philippine because it helps me know about my home country – her fauna and flora, her geography, her biodiversity, her possibly being the biblical place, OPHIR, …
    Of course, I have this site (albeit puny) about the Philippine youth
    (btw, the shortcuts I use are all in lower-case)

    I hope some will be patient enough to visit the site – because one of the two images they will see is of young kids having a heck of a time.
    It has been quite a while since I visited the Yahoo Groups site (which, btw, has a membership of a GRAND TOTAL of … (drum roll) … one: no other than moi.

    Anyway, seeing the said picture, I said to myself,
    “Those were the good ol’ days!!!”
    I know I had those kinds of days in my then barrio, now barangay. of San Vicente.

    But things are, most likely, not as good now.
    The youth in the picture of this particular blog, “All Young Children …”
    is probably a representation of today’s youth.
    Dr. Jose Rizal would probably grieve about it.

    If you try the links at RP-Youth, you can learn about the NYC (National Youth Commission) from its own website and through Wikipedia.

    I clicked on the link “– Forum” (of the NYC) and it did not work.
    You can probably read that as, “There are no conversations. Due to lack of interest, lack of interested youth – or government leaders.

    Frankly, I don’t quite recall what I have posted there. All I know is that when I came upon something related to the Philippine you (directly or indirectly) and felt like posting it, i “archived” it there at the site.

    This was the last (of the few) I posted there:

    (I probably posted the same thing at RP-Teachers, to name one.)


  10. Johnny Lin says:


    BUREAU OF CUSTOMS New rule on BALIKBAYAN BOXES is exactly the result of CORRUPT culture i
    of government employees.

    Commissioner Lina said that OFWs have nothing to worry if they are not hiding anything and he is only implementing the law.

    Exactly, his words is the big problem. We all know that custom employees create a problem when there is no problem to extort money from forwarders or harass the senders or recipients. They have “abolished” to stir non existing problems. how many takes have we heard of returning residents who bring cars paying more than they should pay fro free import taxes because custom men delay the release by creating ghost rules, unnecessary delay instead of immediately releasing car as long as ownership and neccessary import papers are in order.

    These are the kind of people working in Customs. Basically the order of Lina to inspect BALIKBAYAN boxes is tantamount to


    • Johnny Lin says:

      Ifon typo “Abolished” is abilidad

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Customs men income from corruption from bigtime smugglers have dwindled, that is why they are after the small fishes, BALIKBAYAN a forwarders, senders and retailers.

      In merchandising, when wholesale is unprofitable, recoil to retail. Customs men dirty tricks or ” Tara”to finance their lavish lifestyle, big houses, fancy cars, Friday nights, spoiled children, many queridas. this is the truth customs men show and teach their children and other people.

      • Joe America says:

        There are two subordinate issues to the complaint. (1) corruption opportunity, and (2) punishing Roxas as a presidential candidate because he is a part of the party that runs most things in government, including Customs. If it were me, I’d say “vote Roxas so we can continue to clean up this pit of corruption and have more confidence in BoC”. I don’t understand the vindictiveness toward Roxas. The intimidation tactic of saying “do it my way or I won’t vote for you”.

        All God’s citizens got complaints, but expecting the President to care for me, personally, is a little much . . . it combines selfishness and thuggery.

        • edgar lores says:

          But if, in the eyes of OFWs, the present dispensation is not doing enough to clean up BoC and, indeed taking advantage of the mess, what guarantee can they get that Roxas will clean up the mess?

          Once an issue becomes personal, objectivity flies out of the window.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Christmas is coming so CUSTOMS personnel are lining up their targets. Last year, around the same time they delayed delivery of BALIKBAYAN boxes with the reason of congested port so they could extort extra money from forwarders wishing early release of goods.

            Now that big time smuggling is tightly controlled, customs are targeting again Balikbayan forwarders for extra money this Christmas.

            it’s not co incidence that Balikbayan boxes become the casualty every year around September to December. Xmas in Philippines start on “Ber” months.

            Lina said it’s the law, it’s not about the law, it’s about the money. If it’s the law, he should have made the directive on his first day of office. It’s his men complaining that their Tara is not enough.

            The victims are always the small fishes. In customs bureau, it’s balikbayan boxes. So simple.

        • Percival says:

          And (3) to divert and douse the fire of the people’s anger and indignation on the ‘Arroyo 8’.

    • jerick2 says:

      is this the same Lina who made the ‘lina law’ favoring squatters?

  11. Johnny Lin says:

    As posted in previous posting, only way to get back to those SC justices who released Enrile on bail.

    POST THEIR NAMES AND THEIR CHILDREN’s NAMES in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to shame their families. Let their grandchildren become pariah so they will not be imitated by other children. Like Binay, Marcos, Arroyo and Corona children and grandchildren.

    To have fun in the Philippines – To fight the devil, start acting evil.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Match these pictures with names of their children and where they live, pictures of their cars and their children schools and pictures abroad enjoying their vacations.

        These are the SCOUNDRELS of the Philippines.
        Corruption is rampant in the Philippines including the Supreme Court. They live in luxury.
        How could they afford luxurious lifestyle?

        Circulate in Facebook, Teitter and Instagram with the pictures like what happened to Corona children in their US condo and Jeanne Napoles in her Porsche.

        This is the only way we can get back to the SCOUNDRELS. SSHAME THEIR FAMILIES!

        • jameboy says:

          I have to disagree with you on this, Johnny. Let the children and the innocent out of this. It’s not a good investment and will only backfire on those who disagree with the SC decision. I think the emotional registration and violent reaction condemning the decision is enough. We don’t have to drag those who have no participation nor knowledge of the issue and make them suffer or lump them together with those who we disagree with and treat them as bad too. There is a certain limit to protestation or opposition on something we see as important and that includes the preservation of others who have done nothing wrong. That, and the fact that at some point we have to move on. 🙊

          • chempo says:

            Good point.
            The sins of the fathers should be theirs alone. That’s why we should give Bongbong some space. My beef with him is that he remains unapologetic of his father’s misdeeds, is a revisionist, and his goal is more to re-claim the crown rather than for the progress of the country.

            • edgar lores says:

              Not in the case of the Binays. Wife and son continued the shenanigans.

              I would not give Bongbong a pass either. He lied about his educational accomplishments. And as to to the sins of the father, read Raissa piece:


              • chempo says:

                All I stand for is that the sins of fathers should be distinct. We should not chop off the whole families’ heads as in ancient times.

                But where the offsprings partake, and do acts in furtherance of the fathers’ acts, knowingly conceals hidden illegally ill-gotten wealth, etc than bring the hammer down on their own acts by all means. As to Bongbong, Imelda, Imee — they have lots to answer to the Filipino people. not for Marcos’ acts per se, but for their active concealment and non-coperation.

              • sonny says:

                @ chempo

                i often wonder for those Marcoses who will have a change of heart, how would they return ill-gotten wealth, who would they return it to.

              • Joe America says:

                The Presidential Commission on Good Government:

              • chempo says:

                Simple and good question Sonny. I’m scratching my head also.

              • chempo says:

                For info, just compare the way Philippines go after stolen wealth and the way China does it. Not to mention the types of punishment they dish out. There they face firing squads, here they get re-elected into high positions.

              • Joe America says:

                It was also recently reported that China has agents in the US who are busy hunting down those deemed corrupt. A good number have been returned to China. The US protested this affront to American sovereignty.

              • edgar lores says:


                Good observation.

                It would be funny if it were not so tragic.

              • “The US protested this affront to American sovereignty.”

                I think law enforcement types are better at coordinating than the intelligence types. It’s also in the best interest for the US to rid themselves of these corrupt Chinese, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s been a good level of interaction between cops, and that it’s only become an issue in the run up to Xi’s visit over here.

                At least the Chinese aren’t doing this (now that’s an affront!),

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Name boy
            That’s the problem with Filipinos too forgiving.
            Bongbong is senator now and all Binay children are govt officials. They are still denying that their riches were ill gotten and teach small children the wrong idea.

            Even if they are children, at a certain age they understand they live luxuriously from stolen money. they are equally guilty without denouncing where their parents obtained the money spent for them.

            When children start to denounce their own corrupt parents, that’s the time we can kill the cancer of corruption. As of now, corruption has become familial not medically genetic but homegrown. Marcos, Estrada, Enrile, Binay, Arroyo, Corona, Napoles, Romualdez and others locally.

            Until we realize children of corrupt people are part of the extinction, “corruption will continue as a culture from the words of Bishop Villegas.

            We never learn, we are trying to eradicate not only the first and second but also the third generation of corruption to go back the original culture when the Philppines was almost corrupt free in the fifties.

            Make examples of prominent high powered corrupt officials and their children, then the lesser ones will think and learn.

            In Singapore, strong deterrent made good citizens.
            In the Philippines we need strong examples.

            • Joe America says:

              Do you have any idea, Johnny, why university students show no strong ideological bent for fair dealing? They are the people who will bear the price of corruption, unless they can become masters themselves. Others have said they are distracted by social media and less serious endeavors. The leftists ideologues seem to be older and maybe even paid malcontents, like the Junjun Binay “supporters”. It is just so strange to have a vacuum where the drive for better ways ought to emerge.

              • zenesque says:

                I was thinking before that apart from values reorientation for the youth, will be to build accountability, and service to country. Sadly, while there is an existing law, de-criminalizing malice in minors, can we just revert to bits original ages, as contemplated in the law, or in such a way, that parents should share the responsibility with their minor child. Punishment for kids, would be community service (depending on gravity of crime), and a separate punishment for parental negligence for parents.

                As to mandatory service to country, like other states, the young are trained to serve as junior police, junior firefighters, and junior first aide. We get a young population so interested with themselves, and are absolutely with no concept of service, honesty, and sacrifice.

              • Joe America says:

                I very much like the proposal presented in your last paragraph.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Trapped inside the vacuum are the minds of young children.
                Sometimes to save lives, limbs have to be cut.
                We are trying to save the mentality of young ones.
                At least shaming is not cutting limbs.

            • jameboy says:

              The question is what law will support the act of dragging and punishing innocent children of people in power suspected of wrongdoing? We’ll have to rewrite the Constitution as well as revise the legal code in order to justify going after the children which I think is impossible to do.

              Corruption cannot be eradicated, it can only be contained. And there is no such thing as guilty by proxy. Everybody is subject under the constitutional dictum that “one is innocent until proven guilty.” We go after innocent children we jeopardize the future of the country. Attacking by shaming and scandalizing the family of an individual through act of vengeance is regression to incivility.

              I highly doubt anyone here will go along with the idea of retaliating against innocent children or people because it will free us from corruption. It will only create further animosity and hostility that will not be good for the country.

              Try to think of some better ways to address the problem without collecting unnecessary collateral damages. Like changing or strengthening the law? Or electing people who have the political will to impose the proper sanction or punishment against erring officials.

              Spare the children. That is, if you expect to have a better future. 👼

              • Johnny Lin says:

                There is no law either to punish the children who are benefiting from the spoils of stolen riches.
                When somebody commits murder ordered by a principal and an accomplice. Accomplice is guilty of crime. When corrupt people steal money and subsidize paramour, wife and children, only the corrupt gets punished.

                What can we do?
                SHAME THOSE BENEFITTING FROM STOLEN RICHES to give them a lesson.
                Time to cut the family culture of corruption with unwritten law, People’s way!

              • Johnny Lin says:

                The better culture is children realize the wrong deeds of their parents and fellow children understand that their contemporaries are living luxuriously from stolen money and should not be emulated or envied. That is the right way

              • @ Johnny Lin

                “The better culture is children realize the wrong deeds of their parents and fellow children understand that their contemporaries are living luxuriously from stolen money and should not be emulated or envied. That is the right way”

                I agree.

                I remember Bong Revilla complaining that his kids (and grand kids?) are being ostracized in schools “just because he was accused of having plundered his PDAF funded projects”. IMHO, those kids doing the ostracizing has a deep sense of what is right and what is wrong. His kids and their children are wallowing in allegedly stolen riches, it’s about time that they learn the the riches that they are enjoying did not come from honest labor as for sure those are not being discussed in their palatial homes, they are “spared” from the bitter truth; they are being raised to be the future mayor, governor, congressmen/congresswomen and senators, being trained to do just what they have done in order to maintain the lifestyle that they have been so used to without realizing that it was wrong, Bong and Lanie has set the examples to their kids and grand kids much like the same way that the the elder Ramon Baustista / Revilla, the Estradas, the Marcoses, the Binays, the Arroyos has trained their kids.

                Jailing the plunderers, confiscating their plundered wealth are just the beginning, examples must be made in righting the wrong so that justice will be served equitably and level the playing field between the kids of the plunderers and those of the poor ones. If these kids had to suffer because they will be impoverished as a consequence of justice, so be it. “dura lex sed lex” The law is hard, but it is the law.

                Society must do what the parents refused to do, distinguish evil from good, make it clear that stealing is a crime that has to be punished for.

              • jameboy says:

                “I remember Bong Revilla complaining that his kids (and grand kids?) are being ostracized in schools “just because he was accused of having plundered his PDAF funded projects”. IMHO, those kids doing the ostracizing has a deep sense of what is right and what is wrong.” – Mary
                But what is the basis of those kids doing the ostracizing? What will you do if the situation turns violent? What if things developed into a mob rule? What’s gonna happen if every neighbor in your area start shaming one another because they suspect wrongdoing is being done?

                “If these kids had to suffer because they will be impoverished as a consequence of justice, so be it. “dura lex sed lex” The law is hard, but it is the law.” – Mary
                Again, what is that law that will punish the innocent children? What is that law that will allow and give us the right to ridicule, insult, shame and make fun of kids whose parents were alleged to have committed wrongdoings?

                Is the shaming of the parents implicated on wrongdoing not enough that we also have to go after their innocent children to hurt and damage them? What have become of us? Why will we regress into something so despicable and so wrong?

                What kind of society are we going to evolve into when each one of us can be a fair game anytime because of the wrongs allegedly committed not by us but by our relatives? What will become of us when we can no longer enjoy our right to be secure in our person and property if people can just attack and shame and expose us to emotional blackmail just because our parents were allegedly accused of wrongdoings?

                Do we really think we’re better off becoming a nation of rudeness, vileness and moral hypocrisy than a nation of law and order?

                I don’t. Never. 😯

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I agree. Kids should be protected, not used. Thanks for expressing that so well.

              • This is a desperation move in our part.
                If the parents refuse to acknowledge right from wrong and fail to teach their children what is our recourse as a society?

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t see the desperation, myself. The SC judges will retire and be replaced. There is an election to win. Win it. I don’t see myself in a kid’s face screaming “your father is a bad man!” Can’t get there.

              • @ jameboy

                “But what is the basis of those kids doing the ostracizing? What will you do if the situation turns violent? What if things developed into a mob rule? What’s gonna happen if every neighbor in your area start shaming one another because they suspect wrongdoing is being done? ”

                whoa… I was responding to a specific situation (Revilla’s children) not in a general way.

                Ostracism is generally defined as exclusion, by general consent, from social acceptance, privileges, friendship. My understanding is that it is not shaming in a confrontational manner, or a face to face verbal assault, more like a decision to distance themselves from such children to show their disgust. The basis? Why..the plunder charges that made them a detainee, the court found sufficient evidence to detain him without bail, and before that detention, the published efforts of investigative journalism detailing the shameless theft of the taxpayers’ money. I guess parents of those kids discuss those things openly or the kids themselves has read about it from various social media. And I’m talking about the CONSEQUENCE OF REVILLA’S ACTIONS RATHER THAN THE ACTIONS OF HIS CHILDREN.

                If I may, I’d l’d like to share this:

                The Sins of the Father

                Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.”

                “As the Father Goes, so Goes the Family

                What God is saying is that if a father misleads his family, the family will pay for it. Each will have to pay for their own sins but the father could have prevented many of the sins that his children and grandchildren would fall into had he led his family in obedience to the Law of God. The effects of this fatherly mismanagement would be felt by multiple generations because what has been sown will be reaped because God cannot be mocked (Gal 6:7). God is not punishing the children for their father’s sins but they are feeling the consequences and having to pay for them. That is what God means in Exodus 20 and 34. These verses deal with the descendants of those children who would follow their father’s example of disobedience but each one of us are ultimately responsible for our own sins and this is what Ezekiel 18 and Deuteronomy 24 is saying. The father’s disobedience to God’s commandments have a ripple effect that keep on going until some other father in his lineage breaks that cycle.”


              • Exactly. Day 1 in elementary school, we’re taught these values but easily thrown out the window when greed creeps in.

                Children who benefit from these tainted food and luxuries have no choice but to take them. What makes it worse is when they continue their parents’ crooked legacy, recycling the corruption all over again.

                I was in a family dinner situation when the eldest adult child, without mincing any words, blamed his highly-principled father who chose to resign from his powerful government position, resulting with the family losing its comforts and perks.

                The poor man just bowed his head, without uttering a word, having regrets probably, having subjected his family to such a dilemma.

                Daang matuwid is not an easy road.

              • “Again, what is that law that will punish the innocent children? What is that law that will allow and give us the right to ridicule, insult, shame and make fun of kids whose parents were alleged to have committed wrongdoings? ”

                Let me be clear about this… to ridicule, insult, shame and make fun of kids whose parents were alleged to have committed wrongdoings are not ideal but let’s be realistic here… you and me and Joe and the others here might not find that to our liking but others could and that’s where CONSEQUENCE of the ACTIONS previously done comes in. I’m trying to understand here where they are coming from. Theirs will be a reaction to the slow pace of the wheel of justice, the plundered money doing everything so the guilty ones remain free to do more plundering, to even go back to government service. Violent verbal and physical actions towards the children of these guilty parties I believe have adequate preventive measures and punitive procedures in place in our society so the interest of innocent children below 21 are protected. Ours is a civilized society, proof is that even cyber bullying protection has been enacted already.

                For every action there is a reaction; consider the options and consequences before making a decision (By Deborah Pratt, Your Weekly Motivation)

      • Erwin says:

        May I ask Permission to post this pic in my FB page.

        • Joe America says:

          I am not the creator of the picture, but I for sure have no trouble with your posting it in Facebook. I believe it is fairly in the public domain given the wide circulation on Twitter.

          Thank you for inquiring.

  12. NHerrera says:

    According to Buddy Gomez, Ninoy Aquino was fond of quoting the following:

    How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith. — Archibald Macleish

    How about violence when it is attacked by violence?

    The Arroyo 8 Justices had done violence to the Constitution and Rule of Law (meaning 6 of violence below). We should attack it with violence in equal measure short of physical harm equivalent to the violence they have done. Otherwise we are left with nothing to fend for ourselves as a people. We cannot wait for this incorrigible people to have a change of heart. (See meaning 5 of violence. Or meaning 3 rephrased as exertion of power through rallies and program of shaming against perversion of the Constitution and Rule of Law the Arroyo 8 are supposed to uphold. )


    1. swift and intense force

    2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment

    3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws

    4. a violent act or proceeding.

    5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language

    6. damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Add to MacLeish “By evil when attacked by devil”
      Those Devils – 8 SC justices

    • chempo says:

      I learnt one thing playing soccer in my younger days. When an opposing player lunges onto you, you have to meet him with equal or more brute force. If you don’t, woe to your gardless shins

      • NHerrera says:

        These Arroyo 8 Justices are members of the Supreme Court and we generally should confer on or honor them the respect befitting their being members of the last line of defense in our three branches of government.

        But these despicable 8 do not now command the respect they deserve as Supreme Court Justices. They have forfeited that respect and honor. They are only 8 and we represent many of the 100 million Filipinos. We should be more than equal to guard our shins against these poor excuses for Justices of the Supreme Court.

  13. ramon naguita says:

    JoeAm, absolutely right; Evil will never rests, because the enemy ( the devil ) sowed and polluted the seed planted into Adam through Eve, the evil of destruction and corruption. All others are history. Thanks and God bless.

  14. Rasec3 says:

    Nice article, thanks Andrew Lim… I would like to say our Philippine youth is getting taller but short on character,, more opo and po and oho but accomplish less. 😦

  15. NHerrera says:

    Consistent with the national criticisms of the Arroyo 8 ruling, today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial page carries a piece entitle “Twisted Ruling” of the 8 Arroyo SC Justices of Bersamin et al. On the same opinion page we have the piece of Oscar Franklin Tan, a lawyer who usually writes sound legal pieces. But not in his article today, “Would you grant bail if it was not Enrile?” Which article was soundly criticized by rather well written commentaries.

    I have yet to read of other commentaries from respected writers in the traditional media favoring the ruling except that one above by Tan. Also, I have not read yet of the comments of the Presidential wannabes including the “coy” ones. Of course, we have heard of Quicho — one of Binay’s many mouthpieces in retort to DOJ De Lima’s comment that the SC ruling has yet again caused the Philippines to be pictured as a banana republic — that if the Philippines is a banana republic, it is not the SC’s ruling. This is consistent with Binay’s abiding principle of politics is addition — that is, Enrile supporters votes should not be set aside, hence Quicho’s aka Binay’s comment.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Off topic. But may add to our woes. As of now (11:36 am) the China Shanghai Composite stock index has already gone down 8.48 percent. It stands at 3210, lower than the previous low of 3507 in June and 5178 earlier. Along with concerns in the US and Europe’s Greece, it has dragged worldwide stock indices down. Currently, the Philippine index is down 6.37 percent.

    • NHerrera says:

      Consistent with China’s wont, it tried massively to use government intervention on its stock market, but to no avail. I suppose, the government can’t bully its way in the stock market, the way it does its ASEAN neighbors in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea.

      • I truly hope that the shield that the Central Bank is saying publicly will continue to protect our economy. As it is, our peso is weakening already, hovering on the 47:$1 level. The continuous plunge of the oil prices globally is being offset now by the US$ strengthening. Good for the OFWs and Joe here (lucky you) but not so for the rest of us most specially for the unemployed and poor.

  17. Well written Andrew. you hit the nail on the head. If only the Filipinos can give up corruption, the Philippines will e the number one country in Asia.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, I agree, zorro. What other nation is as dynamic, as beautiful, and open, and diverse and has such rich warmth and traditions? This is not Japan, or Korea, or Malaysia, or Singapore, or China or Viet Nam. Man, this is THE PHILIPPINES! No place like it in the world. Not just Asia.

      • Hear, hear MRP!

        Of course I agree, main reason that I declined an offer of a US company to directly hire me, later one US citizen wanted to marry me, is my nationalistic fervor (one less brain drain I thought, forgive my swollen ego) but mostly because I don’t want to leave my sickly father and mother. I like it here, warts and all. My cousins who are now US citizens thought I was crazy, can’t blame them, really. But that’s me, the unpractical one.

        • USA’s loss, Philippines’ gain UR! 😘

          You’re a valuable Global Citizen though.

          If I were a school guidance counselor here, I’d pound that – Global, not local nor OFW – on my students’ heads.

          That’s the kind of residency/citizenship they have to strive for to effectively market themselves in the www out there.

          Just saying.

  18. Bing Garcia says:

    Given the polarizing opinions on Enrile, again without necessarily agreeing with the decision and recalling that to grant bail is not to acquit, it is important to ask whether the critics would be willing to apply Bersamin’s rule to other 92-year-old accused. Oscar Franklin Tan

    Not willing. Bersamin’s rule is a blow to anti-corruption.

  19. Bing Garcia says:

    When majority of the Supreme Court Justices reverse a long standing just principle to simply accommodate an influential politician, a democratic nation claiming to have been founded on the ideals of justice, equality and fairness for all leaves its existence open to question.

    It leaves more questions as to whether any man of lesser stature can hope to find justice when his turn to be judged comes. It leaves an open wound to mothers whose children languish in jail just because they have less in life. It validates that decade old festering suspicion that in this land of ours justice is just for the rich. For hard working manual laborers langusihing in Muntinlupa, in their seventies, who happen to get caught stealing an extra bag of rice for their hungry families, they who could not be given an extra hour to go home and embrace their loved ones, this smacks of privileged living.

    For an ex executioner of Martial Law to be rewarded this way on the anniversary of Ninoy’s death sure is a nice gift for the freedom these Justices and our society now enjoy. Nowhere in any civilized country today can one find a bunch of Justices simply relegating a just principle the way the eight Honorable Justices conducted this Enrile affair.

    What holds our society together is this sense of fairness and justice, when that sense of fairness is thrown to the winds, dear Justices, you have just broken our country apart and found cause for your irrelevance. Is this what you truly want?

    It`s time to make a stand.

    By canadadry

  20. jameboy says:

    The story is an amalgamation of stories we read in the past about hopelessness, struggle between good and evil, the irresponsibility of the adults and why the future is a challenge to the youth of today. In other words, it’s an emotional expression of disgust about the mistakes or abuses committed by people and institutions that makes a beautiful country like ours look bad and in dire need of fixing.

    I sympathize with the idea but the wrong things mentioned are part and parcel of our system, psyche and culture. It will take forever for us to get rid ourselves of the excesses and corruption handed down to us by our elders. And I’m sure change is not going to happen in the next two or three lifetimes based on what the story just insinuated. A “the rest is up to you” ending is not really an inspiring message.

    The absence of sincere and serious suggestions or advice really put the young ones on the spot in terms of what the future holds for them. The adults of today have done nothing to change the course of hopelessness, apathy and indifference.

    The rest is really up to them. 🙉

    • Johnny Lin says:

      the rest is not up to the children

      Gist of Andrew blog is similar to this
      We have to teach children a lesson to learn liked getting spanked to learn from our mistakes.

      Until we shame their families alongside their parents to teach them a lesson, culture of corruption in the Philippines will not subside. PNoy is shaming the guilty but his efforts are hindered by those against right pathways.

      Pictures tell a thousand words. When children see their pictures with their parents in bad description, they start asking questions from their parents why their pictures are portrayed badly.

      To fight the devil, start acting evil

      • jameboy says:

        No lesson can be had in shaming only reprisal. Shaming has not been known to cure social ills. And who will carry out the shaming, the blameless and the immaculate?

        To fight evil by acting evil is perfecting evil life. Not good. 👮

      • nielsky says:

        The kind of suggestion that only a rather ‘deranged’ mind can even conjure. I have no metaphor for that now. It keeps rubbing in throughout his articulated view.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          Hate to say it but it seems there is a history of corruption. Possibly an adult now who benefited from corruption if parents or corrupt themselves and hate their guts now.

          Shaming the family proved right in fighting corruption in other countries.
          Only the guilty would vehemently oppose it. Guilty by deed or as recipients or hypocrisy. No other way to insinuate.

          How could someone oppose to shame daughter unemployed Jeanne Napoles flaunting her Porshche and LA condo on Facebook bought from stolen money by Janet Napoles!
          If she did not post on Facebook nobody would knew her yet the shamelessness of her purchase remains the same!

          So why not SHAME the children of CORRUPT people especially the power brokers? Who in their right mind would disagree condemning the children of the Napoles?

          • Joe America says:

            I would agree if the children are above age 21, otherwise they deserve protection, not abuse, as they may not have the emotional tools to deal with shame at a young age.

            • Joe America says:

              Shame as it would be used in this case is rather the inverse of patriotism, a community appeal for better behavior and values.

            • Johnny Lin says:

              In the Philippines rich or poor parents use their children for personal benefits. Children as young as 10 years or below. No longer surprising that at this age Filipino children are already aware of the source of family income.

              Corrupt people use their children as alibi for stealing money because their excuse is they want to give to their children the best of everything like what rich families enjoy.

              Poor parents use their children to beg in the streets, peddle dugs, commit crimes.
              Time to involve the children in ferreting out the crimes of parents by shaming the entire family.

              Or else culture of corruption will never cease because the children are reared with tainted riches. Can’t teach a 21 year old dog with new tricks!

              • Joe America says:

                I’m sorry, Johnny, I would not support such initiatives. They may be 10 in years, and they may be working, but they have not yet developed emotional comprehension or intellectual maturity. I’d rather err on the side of protecting those who are, by law, assigned to the care of adults until they reach majority. What good is it if we discount the intent of the law, to protect children, in an effort to reduce law-breaking? We become what we criticize. We also open the kids up to bullying in school, which will seal them forever in an emotional state of anger and mistrust.

              • Johnny are you familiar with this book,

                “Kids lie, they ­inform us. In fact, 4-year-olds lie once every hour. Still, Mr. Bronson and Ms. Merryman are impressed by ­research showing that “lying is an advanced skill,” ­supposedly demonstrating both social and cognitive ­sophistication.

                As for teenagers, well, they lie too. Parents shouldn’t worry about them, though; they fib not ­because they want to get away with stuff they shouldn’t be doing but because they don’t want to ­upset mom and dad. ­Depending on your point of view, you might not be ­surprised to learn that permissive parents don’t get more truth-telling from their teens than stricter ­parents. In any event, teens like conflict because, it is now claimed, they see it as enhancing their ­relationships with their parents.”

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Just for the sake of expressing opposite view on tolerance.

                US laws and Philippine laws have similar concepts, different implementation and enforcement. Health and Human services and juvenile courts and family courts are very effective in USA, not in the Philippines. Philippines Juvenile laws are used as conduit as excuse for criminal acts.

                As Andrew wrote I this blog, “ma abilidad” ang anak.

                Ride a jeepney, when it stops, right in front dancing children show their skills and inside the jeep is another child no more than 10 years old distributing collection envelopes. That idea did not come from the child it came from adults. In the Philippines children are taught to tell lies compared to those other children mentioned in the books, it’s natural instincts from their growth environment.

                Corrupt people tell their children to be silent on the source of their wealth. Don’t brag, but being in different environment where rich kids brag about their toys, they could not help themselves and being away from the influence of their corrupt parents they start to brag about their toys. Social media contributed to loquaciousness of such kids. Still their parents taught them first to lie. This is not natural instincts. It’s homegrown developmental lesson of a child.

                We want to eradicate corruption in our culture? Until we instill in the mind of children that receiving stolen properties from anyone including parents is a crime, corruption will continue to be part of Philippine culture.

                In other countries receiving stolen property is punishable severely. In the Philippines receiving stolen property is flaunted in Banawe and pawnshops(so many pawn stars in the Philippines). In essence, stealing is condoned by Philippine government.

                Reason why small children learn fast that stealing in small amount is not crime to them. In the provinces, junkyards accept everything including stolen cables. Small children run thru other people yards, look for copper wires discarded or u discarded without asking yard owner to sell them to buy small stuff. Some say it’s petty theft and these small children must be ignored. When they become adults and end up big time thieves, the adults would only say ” that child has been a thief since he was in grade school”. Problem, he was tolerated by adult society in print and in act.

                In families whose environment and developmental growth instill the idea that stealing is not ony a punishable crime and religious sin, corruption is detested among family members to the extent of staying away from working in govt or being involved in politics. Sometimes, despite being poor, one could observe a family telling their children not to be close with some relatives visiting their province although they are received with dignity and respect because that visiting family is perceived rich from corruption. How many times have this kind of behavior observed before? Many times! Nowadays, if one works in govt and is not corrupt, he will be teased as dumb and stupid for not being able to get rich from corruption. This is how prevalent is corruption and cancer ridden Philippine culture is.

                Regret is always late,that’s why REGRETS are only expressed, never put into action.

                Related are introverted facts observed by majority favoring anti corruption. They differ on solution of permissiveness and punishment.

                “Where Art Thou”
                Tolerance is the opium of Filipinos.

              • Joe America says:

                Interesting point of view, and I agree that we should not be tolerant of ignorance among parents and children, and permissive toward abuses of children. That is, children ought not be ignored. They ought to be taught and encourage and given hope. But the lessons we teach should be based on principles of good social behavior, and not bad (vengeance). I actually think the barangay structure of government may allow some simple lessons to be promoted among families. That children are not tools like a hoe, but vessels into which we can pour strength, to improve their chances. That theft is like lying, it becomes a way of life, and can only lead to pain and sorrow. The teaching becomes easier as the economy grows and there are more opportunities, and there is more hope. There are also more teachers if the middle to lower-middle class also adopts high-minded principles for living. That class is also expanding. So I think there are changes coming down the road, and if you shot a picture of now, and a picture of 25 years from now, family values will be a lot different for much of the population.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Reason I’m advocating to shame the children of these 8 justices because of all people they should be first in line to give examples to their children that they are intelligent, fair, justifiable, kind and incorruptible physically and mentally. They violated the SC principle of interpreting laws. Instead, they adapted corrupt ways to accommodate a powerful person not aligned with their sworn duty. They are traitors from the confidence of the people of the Philippines.

                And that’s the court docket on Enrile ” People of the Philippines vs Juan Ponce Enrile. Need we say more!

                8 justices families and children need to be shamed so their parents would not be emulated like the children of Marcos, Estrada, Enrile, Binay, Corona, Napoles and Revilla.

    • nielsky says:

      In fact, very candidly, it sounds familiar. Otherwise translated, it flows from the vein of one who said “bahala na kayo sa buhay ninyo”.

      Or worse, “buhay ka pa naman, di ba”?

      Both ways, very revolting. The piece is poorly written.

  21. chempo says:

    The theme of this blog sounds to me like the paradox of the unstoppable (or irresistable) force paradox, or as some put it in the form of the question “what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”.

    The “immovable force” here is of course the ingrained systemic corruption and the “unstoppable force” is the people’s cry for anti-corruption initiatives. The paradox is if everyone is corrupted, how can you have anti-corruption initiatives There is no answer to this paradox. We can all argue to a higher philosophical level or in terms of pure physics, there is still no answer.

    Not too fast you say, there are some who are not corrupted. I’ll quote Howard Huges the multi-millionaire industrialist aviator who said “everyone is for sale, it’s a question of how much” (not his exact words) … for me, it’s a billion pesos with a few exceptions that I will never do — such as murder someone, rob the poor, betray my country.

    • I totally agree with you chempo, this whole framing of the problem into Good vs. Evil narrative isn’t helping (it’s actually making things worst, a positive loop–like US vs. China, ‘hey we don’t have to be part of it because we are Philippines small & weak’, gives way to excuses). Good vs. Evil narrative works for the Hobbit, Star Wars and Narnia. But to fix problems you gotta think like Howard Hughes, realist.

      “Every man has his price”, is much better than the Good vs. Evil approach. (or if the Thomas Paine approach is too bitter a pill to swallow, go with Jesus’ original intent, salvation by austerity )

      Christianity’s been caught up in this Good vs. Evil dilemma since Constantine rallied everyone under the banner for Good, and the exact opposite has transpired–is it an accident that the most Catholic countries in the world are the most corrupt? Or that under Bush Jr. a proud “born again” Christian not only sent us down the wrong rabbit hole, but created a gov’t-contract industry that’s surpassed Eisenhower’s wildest dreams, all for this Good vs. Evil narrative.

      There’s a positive correlation between how purportedly religious a society is and its output of “Evil” (from corruption to violence).

      The US had similar problems, our corruption is more nuanced these days though taking great care to cause less affront to people’s better sensibilities. But it wasn’t always so. It took men like these, to steer the course of social norms to the straight path (and these corrections are constant, though with less lead these days):

      • Joe America says:

        I laugh, because I just framed it as black and white in a comment here. Yes, everyone has a price, no, the distinctions are not always clean and pure. But the value systems are easily defined, one the well-being of the Philippines as the goal, and fairness and opportunity the way, versus the well-being of self as the goal, and power and favor the way. It seems pretty stark to me, and people are now sorting out for themselves into which bucket they belong. They are also trying to guess which value system will dominate after 2016. I think it helps with the sorting if they are pitted against one another, good vs evil. But that’s because I believe in the good values.

        • Are there cops/attorneys modeled after the Untouchables over there?

          And how far is their reach, if there are such units there, can they perform Operation Fox Hunt type renditions?

          Black or white, good or bad, solid or liquid, day or night, silver or gold, whatever dichotomy used to simplify,

          at the end of the day, you’re gonna need a far reaching arm with a very firm grip at the end to nab these guys, and keep ’em close,

          • Joe America says:

            I frankly don’t know. I think investigative powers, CSI style are weak. There may be teams that do field work to chase down witness accounts. My guess is they range between poor and average, rather like journalists. The Anti-Money Laundering Council is getting involved in the plunder accounts, but I have no idea of what goes on in the back rooms. Everything here goes down slooooowwwwwwwww.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            In the Philippines, any police, military, govt office covert, investigational office is rife with corruption indulged by the officers of the unit themselves. The officers commit the crime themselves, especially petty crimes. Policemen get commissions from known snatchers and pickpockets in Quiapo, Cubao and public markets.

            If it’s PDEA, agents do “hulidap” meaning they pretend to confiscate drug money and drugs but the officers picket the money and sell the drugs. Carnapping syndicates are run by police officers apprehending carnappers.

            If one is a victim of crime and ask for police investigation, police will not work until the victim or his family provide financial support to investigators for operation expenses because the policemen claim they don’t have logistics to carry extensive investigation.

            PCSO has billions of intelligence fund that run thru the office of the president. Why does a lottery need billions of intelligence funds?

            NBI create task force to extort money from foreigners and rich victims. NBI director was implicated in one operation by detaining victim in NBI building.

            Although in other countries crooked investigators also exist, it’s rare. In the Philippines it is the norm, that’s why the best solution for being a crime victim pay the media to publish the crime and results are faster than going thru the police.

            It’s more fun in the Philippines on crime. Tourists avoid crime ridden countries and the Filipinos complain when other countries give cautionary advisory travel to their nationals to avoid tourist spots in the Philippines.

            Best solution on EDSA traffic is make the entire length from North EDSA to Ayala a safe, flood free pedestrian lane along with MRT yet it could not be done because safety of walking citizens could not be ensured for a short distance. New Yorkers and Japanese walk thrice the length of EDSA yet in the Philippines it’s only a dream because of uncontrolled petty crime.

            • chempo says:

              Johnny, very detailed, yet it’s just the tip of the ice-berg. Would be interesting to have a blog just to list the things that are wrong. List, catalogue, group them meaningfully. Understanding the totality of what’s wrong, only then can one proceed to talk about fixing them.

  22. I’ve started running targeted ads on posts.

    For this piece by andrew lim I tried reaching women 18-65 who is interested in The Daily Show.

    • gian,

      This sounds interesting, how are you doing this? Thru that facebook account? How do you “target”, do you have an algorithm in play? And lastly, is the Daily Show popular over there?

      • Joe America says:

        I’ve never seen it over here.

      • Yes through the facebook page manager app of facebook.

        I am presently calibrating.

        The Daily Show is not popular but it is for people who try to keep up with US news.

        The targeting is still experimental at this stage.

        Suggestions on what to target is welcome.

        I am thinking targeting local telenovelas/teleseryes for the recent zombie post.

        • So, basically anyone who favorited the Daily Show, you can “target”?

          I’ve always wondered if there were an increasing amount of Atheists and agnostics over there, can you calibrate and target that audience, I guest say thru Spinoza, Paine, Dawkins, etc. Humanist, maybe Buddhist, Jain, etc.

          Besides the Daily Show, try this show,

    • From your linked article above, I find this a confirmation of Enrile’s role in the human rights violations of the Marcos regime.

      “And as a medical doctor, I rail about the number of times we certified women, men and children rotting in Marcos prisons for release because they were truly ill, only to have Enrile deny those repeatedly.” – Sylvia Claudio

  23. Johnny Lin says:

    many Filipino women went to US to give birth to US citizen children.

    Trump wants to amend this provision of US citizenship as part of his immigration control plan.
    When asked how he planned to do it, his answer “by MANAGEMENT.
    WOW, and he wants to be president of the US.

    At least our presidential candidates are not as dumb as Trump.
    Nobody answered yet that to control corruption is by ACCOUNTING.

    Maybe ACCOUNTING is the next answer of Trump to control US federal deficit.

    He he he

  24. NHerrera says:


    Heres is Justice Bersamin letter to Chief Justice Sereno:

    Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes P. A. Sereno

    Re: G. R. No. 213847 – Enrile v. Sandiganbayan

    Dear Madam Chief Justice:

    May I respectfully request that the above-entitled case be included in the agenda for August 25, 2015 to enable the Court En Banc to take up the following matters:

    (a) Justice Leonen’s UNPRECEDENTED INVASION of the anatomy of the Majority in arriving at its Main Opnion; and

    (b) RECTIFICATION OF THE GROSS DISTORTIONS contained in Justice Leonen’s dissent that have not only put me in a bad light but worse also impugned the integrity of the seven members of the Court who joined my ponencia by claiming that they signed the ponencia without knowing the version they were joining.

    I will circulate after lunch today the REJOINDER that will contain the foregoing that I will submit for discussion at tomorrow’s agenda

    Thank you.



    – The criticisms/ shaming against these Arroyo 8 have hit home.

    – Between the Justice Leonen who knows his law (former UP Law Dean) and superb in articulation and debate, poor Justice Bersamin — he will appear like a poor student before the former, in my opinion. So to “mother” CJ Sereno he went.

    – I can just hear Justice Leonen’s thoughts — bring it on.

    Here is the link:

  25. Divine says:

    1 Peter 3:9 Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing

  26. Johnny Lin says:


    Justice Bersamin asked for SC en banc session to discuss matter of Leonen dissent. He says his name along with the other 7 justices were impugned.


    Let us continue posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram SHAMING these JUSTICES a until they reconsider and rescind bail of Enrile.

    Put the pressure on them on the en banc session.
    Everybody is asking what we can do? Now is the time to shut up and put up.
    Condemn and shame the 8 justices with their pictures.

    Let’s Fight the Devils

  27. Johnny Lin says:

    Justice Leonen did the right thing to expose the personal malady of other SC justices, signing agreement to a ponencia without understanding the details.

    SC Justices are supposed to interpret the law based on the written pleading of the parties. Bersamin wrote the ponencia pleading of humanitarian kindness favoring Enrile.

    Bersamin should be decapitated and the other 7 justices hang themselves.


    He he he!

  28. macspeed says:

    Hi Joe Am…

    Greed is the culprit, lawyers burned their eye brows only for fixed price? Being a lawyer was and now the greatest and best course one would and will have. There is money in garbage. The robbers are mere trash in society but if they pay good, greed drives these lawyers to break all hell lose…that is the way and will never change at all unless the Philippine government turns to Islamic society.

    In Islam, only 4 witnesses is required to convict a criminal. Once convicted, the criminal will be punished according to what he did. For that amount stolen by these senators, the verdict is beheading….

    Now, since it is not possible for Philippines to changes to Islamic state, what is the solution? See the massacre in Maguindanao? They criminals are Muslim but able to play free with Philippine justice system. The solution is, a law shall be made in the upper house that the guilty ones, should not be given an independent class A lawyer but a government paid lawyer, who is neutral and a procedure approved with the upper house where the lawyer cannot accept corruption or fee from his client. This is to avoid the temptation from client who is able to pay the price of the tempted lawyer….

    • Joe America says:

      Sounds rather intricate to me, mac. It is a novel approach, for sure. I think I would focus on court rules and procedures, mandating that cases be resolved withing a set time frame (ala Pemberton) by empowering the judge to control the calendar by dismissing frivolous procedural gameplaying. Furthermore, rules of judicial ethics would be tightened to give an independent panel the right to censure judges and attorneys who abuse their positions, such as the Arroyo 8. An Ombudsman for the courts, if you will. Or Harry Roque for his shenanigans. The existing lawyer’s council is either inept or a part of the gameplaying I think.

  29. Has anybody here even considered joining this Asian-based anti-corruption group?–recovery-asia

    With the recent SC’s crowning of the old crook, I got no more words to say.

    Only action can undo and prevent these centuries-old cancer!

  30. jameboy says:

    I understand the impatience and desire to make an impact promoting accountability but let us not forget the dire consequence if we rush things just because of rage and a thirst for revenge instead of doing it in a proper and legal way.

    The problem with shaming is it can easily turned into lynching. The problem with revenge is it attracts retaliation. Do we want a society that constantly in chaos because the people simply ignore the proper and legal way of doing things? We have a system where fault is assigned and accountability imposed. Let’ not veer away from that basic and civilized way of settling disputes and imposition of retribution.

    Shaming would be a violation on the law on libel, defamation or slander. It is not really a wise decision to shame or defame the reputation of the innocent and those that are not a party to a case. Especially the minors.

    An illegal act cannot be corrected by another illegal act. 👀

    • chempo says:

      Shaming as a form of punishment for certain misdemeanours are in fact a practice. US and Singapore shame litter offenders by making them sweep the streets.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Shaming is not illegal act not it is libelous. It’s actually protected by First Amendment.

      It’s repetition of what’s in the paper and naming of family members of the culprit. They are all true facts

      Stretching illegality is similar to 8SCJ stretching decision to bail Enrile.

      “Only the wounded feel pain when skin is rubbed with salt”

    • jameboy says:

      We don’t have to look far for examples of shaming. Remember Manila mayor Fred Lim’s “spray paint shame campaign” wherein he authorized paint spraying of bright red paint on houses of people charged of selling illegal drugs? 😳

  31. mstamaray says:

    Hi Joe, I never let a day pass without reading your blogs, thank you for inspiring.
    This article just brought me to tears. It honestly makes me sad to see where this country is headed.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for checking in, mstamaray, and for your regular readings. This article was done by Andrew Lim, a regular guest contributor, and it indeed strikes right to the heart. The 2016 election is crucial.

  32. sonny says:

    @ Mary Grace @re: your post on ostracizing Bong Revilla’s children (Aug 25, 9:43 am)

    (Just a recollection)

    I would’ve loved to compare notes w/ your dad & mom. (My children, you and Karl & others are pretty much of the same generation.) The notes to compare would’ve been about the in- and out-of campus behavior of the children of the rich & powerful, e.g. children of Army high officers, senators, governors, industry leaders, etc. What I remember was the difference between behaviors of “normal” vs “problem-laden” scions of the rich & powerful. The problematic situations occurred when behavior like throwing one’s weight, sucked in their parents into facing school authorities. There seems to be differences then & now. Then, the moderators were the elders and more often than not actions were clear and swift and accepted. (in one case though, sanctions were carried from extraneous “atrasos,” like one classmate was stabbed 17 times by unknown wronged party). Whereas now, judgments and penalties were meted by the peers (the children) themselves, as per Revilla example. I could be wrong.

    • @ sonny

      You’re right. I remember my mother who wrote directly to the grade school guidance counselor to complain about my kid sister’s tormentor (she’s a cute 2nd grader that time). The actions were clear, swift and effective as you say, parents of the boy were summoned, from then on my sister was able to resume her studies in a protected environment. I think nowadays, bullying is the norm with some schools unable to control the big kids bullying small ones outside the school premises as when in the confinement of school service vehicles. Drivers and their assistants don’t take action for fear of reprisals from their clients-parents. It’s only when victims are brave enough to ignore “sissy label” and threats and tell their parents about it that parents can take action like transferring his kid to another vehicle.

  33. Johnny Dariagan says:

    It has been said time and again that for evil to triumph, all the good men (and women) have to do is to do nothing. Let us all unite and elect not only good but better and honest men to a position of power.

  34. I guess most of the ppl in this forum already know that.

    The big question (?) is how to get this message reach the ears of #bobotantes #StupidVoters

    BTW is there such a thing as #PresidentialDebates in this country?

    I overheard that SONAs are also now delivered in the Barangay level. 😉

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t think voters are stupid, they have a different set of priorities and emotional needs. If we were in their shoes, we’d do exactly as they do, so one ought not be too righteous about it, I think.

      • Maybe “too righteous” for the person who originally coined the word but I simply used the B-word as a common Phil media word, as used here:

        I sit and spend time with contract laborers (referred to as voter D as described in aforementioned news item) to get a feel of their knowledge and opinion on current political events and they’re right on whom not to vote for along the line “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”.

        They have my utmost respect.

        I’m not going to defend the real bobotantes, most of whom are riding along the coat tails of the Binays and company, stupid and enabling supporters whose selfish motives, priorities, needs and wants are pretty obvious.

  35. Plunderers – and ppl of bad will – should know the consequences and the dear price to pay for their selfish deeds. The worst of which is to be written down in history.

    Who wants to be associated with a notorious lineage even a century from now?

  36. cic_x says:

    What I cannot stand about the Philippines is that when someone calls another person out on their wrongdoing, the person who is doing wrong is the first to get angry rather than ashamed.

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