Why Binay, Poe, Escudero and Marcos all sound alike

binay poe inquirer

[Photo credit: Inquirer]

Have you noticed that Vice President Binay and Senators Poe, Escudero and Marcos all sound alike?

They are running campaigns, whether recognized officially or not. And they criticize. Relentlessly.

Targets? BBL, DOJ, MRT, infrastructure, poverty . . . every popularly identified shortcoming of the Philippines or the Aquino Administration. Criticism is their platform. It is their launch pad to the front pages of the tabloidian Philippine press and their way of stoking indignation among their followers.

It is the price that Mar Roxas bears for being FOR the straight path and running as an extension of the Aquino Administration’s achievements, good and bad. He has to respond to these four’s wild, often irresponsible claims in calm, dignified fashion, which is rather like JoeAm dealing with trolls.

escudero and marcos untvweb dot com

[Photo credit: untvweb.com]

According to all four of these likely candidates, it is the Aquino Administration, of course, that brings us our problems. That brings us poverty and slow trains and traffic jams and conflict with China and crime and religious discrimination against the holy roller INC and that treasonous Bangsamoro law.

Do you laugh about the absurdity of that? I do, too.

I’ve never witnessed four less candid, less forthright, less gracious people. Well, except in the American candidate list this year . . . but that’s beside the point. The Philippine candidates, other than Mar Roxas, talk about transparency and then go out and distort the truth, play coy, take good people to task, and even undermine legitimate government agencies. They demand top performance from others, yet themselves deliver nothing but small-minded, shrill complaints, political posturing and precious few new ideas.

Where’s the honesty? The dignity? Where are the domestic diplomats who can raise the Philippines up to citizens, for what the nation has become, today? Hold the nation high? Represent the Philippines in a dignified way on the global stage?

We don’t need small, shrill, negative minds pecking away at the nation like buzzards on road kill. Minds that represent a vibrant, healthy, growing Philippines as a broken down rag of a nation.

The Philippines is NOT broken down. She is recovering – at long last – from deeply embedded poverty and corruption. Ask international observers, not trapos grinding their self-serving axes.

The four also try to steal credit for themselves when it has been earned elsewhere. REALLY earned.

It has been earned by an Administration that fought corruption from high to low, got the economy stable and humming, put the Supreme Court on the path of integrity, invested more in infrastructure than Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo combined, built new roads across the land, rehabbed airports, upgraded ports, brought in new military equipment for an AFP that had gone begging for years, trimmed red tape, handled international crises masterfully (Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan), rose on every global performance ranking known to mankind, brought in tourism and trade and investments, built a hundred thousand classrooms, and rose as the rising star of Asia and leader of peaceful, principled opposition to Chinese thuggery.

Ignoring all that, the four political aspirants relentlessly portray the Administration as under-achieving, inept and wrong-headed.

Well, what else are they going to do, eh?

They have nothing to sell because everything they would sell, that is positive, is already being done. Want faster spending, that’s what’s happening. Want poverty reduction and inclusion? That’s what’s happening. Want jobs and opportunity? That’s what’s happening. Want a reasonable, firm approach to China? That’s what’s happening. Want better education and opportunities for young people? That’s what’s happening. Want less corruption and better local governance? That’s what’s happening. Want global leadership and respect? That’s what’s happening.

Pardon me for going exaggerated and cynical here to make a point:

I mean, how is a thin-thinking school teacher like Grace Poe going to keep this booming nation running?  What’s she really going to ADD, to improve things?

What is that alleged master thief Binay going to do, put the national government on a “cash only” basis, like Makati? Bring that kind of innovation to National?

What is that softie political player Escudero, who has never held a real job in his life, going to do when he is in charge of actually producing something other than conflict and headlines?

What is the flamboyant and inane Marcos going to promise on top of what we have going? More fancy, blustery words and firing squads?

And so we get instead their negativity. Their look alike, sound alike anti-campaign, hunting for any sore to pick, any soft spot to poke. Crabby. Bitchy. Tiresome blame and complain. Devoid of uplift, of promise for the nation.

I tend to have a visual mind, and I can’t help it. They look like the four stooges to me, running around carping, throwing cream pies at the nation, our nation; face-slapping earnest and honest people. Making nonsensical pronouncements and grand statements, but being, at the core, absolutely empty of anything positive, anything new.

They aim their criticisms at the gap between perfection and the good works now actually being done, and say they will bring us perfection.

Ahahahahaha . . . oh, my . . .

Yeah, right.

Here’s an idea for the four, offered absolutely free and with constructive intent:

How about complimenting the Aquino Administration for raising the performance and promise of the Philippines? You know, be honest. Praise the nation and its people. Like the international experts do. You ARE as patriotically proud of your nation, are you not? It should not fall to foreigners to praise your country, when praise is warranted, should it?

Then explain – in forthright, transparent terms – how you would keep this going. State the truth about the Philippines and the successes achieved under President Aquino. Then explain how you will continue the improvement better than the other candidates. Show us that you are honest and honorable. Show us that YOU know how to do what Mr. Aquino did, and what other candidate cannot do. Convince us of that.

Don’t undermine him and the achievements of the PHILIPPINES. Don’t paint the nation as a dog when she is finally rising to stand tall. Don’t raise yourselves up by bringing the nation down.

Sell us hope and uplift instead of bitterness and complaint.

You can’t do that?

Then you aren’t qualified for higher office.

But don’t you worry about that. We’re covered.

There is someone who can.


303 Responses to “Why Binay, Poe, Escudero and Marcos all sound alike”
  1. mcgll says:

    My goodness, JoeAm, you’ve done it again. You have expressed in understandable language what all Filipinos who love our country really think and feel. Thank you.

    • Joe America says:

      For sure. Filipinos should be rightfully proud of the direction and achievements of their leadership, nation and people, but these characters keep beating on everything.

      • I’d like to share this but is there anyone who can do the translation in Pilipino. we’ve got to reach those who are better equipped to read in Pilipino.

        • Joel Bagay says:

          It would be an honor to transliterate this to the vernacular, with Joe’s permission, of course.

          • Joe America says:

            I’d welcome that. Put it in doc or txt format and ship it to societyofhonor@gmail.com. You’ll be given credit as the translator.

            • sonny says:

              Joe, I’d volunteer too but it’s risky. I’d suggest an editing function whose forte would be using what is called dynamic-equivalent where transliteration is not enough.

          • doris says:


            • mercedes santos says:

              The problem is not translation; the blog can easily be understood if bloggers come off their pedestal and not sound highly pedantic. We all know that these bloggers are highly literate but can they be more pedestrian to the benefit of us 99%. I don’t bloody well care if one is a commissioner of some high offices or high bureaucracy and is being ferried by the company’s vehicle but can one do massa’s speak ??? Otherwise it might as well be preaching to the converted. Can some Pinoys ever get off their high horses. Do an Ireneo and speak the speech I pray you ####

              • mercedes santos says:

                Sorry I misspelled ur name Irineo ☺

              • Joe America says:

                A translation will broaden the reach of the blog, and is requested regularly here, facebook and twitter. I’ll publish one this afternoon for this article.

              • karl garcia says:

                Mercedes I write barok English,so I apologize to uncle Sonny pero kung di ko sya maintindihan tinatagalog ko sya. kaso minsan sinagot nya ako ng Ilocano lalong lumabo.

              • ouch, I feel alluded here as I was the one who posted how thankful I am to be provided with a company vehicle and driver. But if I may say so, I came from a very mediocre school so my English is so simple. Commenting in Tagalog is not easy for me considering my typo problem, most tagalog words are marked red, in English, it’s marked red only when typo is committed, helps in fast editing. Too busy at work but so eager to rebut, that’s my problem.

                I have a vertigo problem, one time I tried horseback riding I almost fell down, unconscious, so I hurriedly get off…joke! Corny I know, just trying to lighten the mood.

                Please disregard this comment if its not intended for me. No offense meant and received.

                Peace, mercedes!

              • karl garcia says:

                Mary, read Mercedes ‘nice comment to you below.

              • sonny says:

                ROTFL! this is ur uncle speaking,

                Karl, barok (nephew or my young man, in Ilocano), remember noong ginamit natin ‘ung “pedantry” and “pageantry”? Dagdag ko: kapag pedantry ang ginamit, pageantry ang dating. ‘ndi ba? 🙂

                (Also, I like you to know I will wear the title worthily. Also, did you know immortal Pugo, aka Don Mariano was my favorite since childhood. At that time, he was second banana to Pogo & Togo, comedic duo. My last enjoyment of him was with Bitoy and Aling Charing.)

                (Shsss, silence in the library … Ok, ok.)

              • karl garcia says:

                Thanks for reminding me of another of my Yogi Berra moments.
                I7sharp showed me a video of Pugo recently. Naabutan kong sitcom nung seventies last sitcom na nya eh.

              • sonny says:

                Karl, ikaw lang sumalo/nakasalo noon! 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          Someone has to volunteer. They only need to the translation and send it to me, I’ll post it as a separate blog.

      • raul says:

        Like what achivements?

      • Mooey says:

        Hello joeam, thanks for articulating what we ordinary citizens who love our country and are silently watching the spectacle that is playing out in our nation in the throes of choosing the next leader who can consolidate and pursue the gains that Pnoys administration has achieved.. IApprehensive of the future of our children, we are wary of these candidates who can run these gains to the ground because of their self serving ambitions..and we are disappointed that the political discourse keeps on dwelling all the negatives that happened during Pnoys watch…Hardly anybody harps on the positive things that happen.I think even more than these politicians jockeying for the presidency now we also need to look at the current crop of commentators on radio/print/broadcast..because they drive the discussion on the political life of the nation…and they keep on talking about everything that is going wrong in this country, you hardly hear anything positive to uplift our souls and be proud of our country and where it is now compared to just 5 or 6 yrs ago..especially the radio commentators who preen before their audience early in the mornings addressing the majority of our people especially the cde classes. One of them even served as the second highest leader of the land, you would think after holding that lofty position, they would think to act like a former statesman and yet they just slink away like a reptile hiding behind their bully pulpit everyday….

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for dropping off a comment. It is astounding, isn’t it, that the Vice President of the land behaves so badly. It is hard to keep up with the lies, distortions and insults he is busy throwing out. I hope the awakening will push out broadly.

      • lorenzo r. alcantara iii says:

        Thank you sir, for this very inspiring article. people from media, specially commentators and columnist should also read this. most of these people also find fulfillment in bashing the government, its officials and programs. people in media is in the best position to influence perceptions by being positive.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for reading and stopping by to comment, lorenzo. Indeed, Philippine media are key to the nation being relentlessly negative, or more uplifting. They do read the blogs, for sure.

    • grammy2342 says:

      I echo this comment, JoeAm. I love the way you are able to express our views regarding our country and how these four stooges are going about it the wrong way.

      I also have criticisms of the Aquino government, but I still respect our President. Why? Because he represents our country and us, Filipinos. And if we bash him, it’s like we are bashing ourselves before the international community. Let us love our own.

      But what I notice in the Philippines is that, generally, we lack the cooperation and spirit to work together for the greater good. And what better example than these politicians who have nothing positive to say, as though they hold the magic wand that will miraculously solve all the country’s ills, that was – brought about – and I repeat – brought about by the degradation of the moral trapestry of the Filipino nation due to the dictator Marcos. That was years ago, but the evil that he planted continues to prevail. And President Aquino has a really punishing time trying to stamp down this evil and work instead for the upliftment of the country.

      And, instead of criticizing the present administration, why don’t they list down their own individual accomplishments? In the same manner that one sells oneself to an employer by presenting a resume of one’s educational background and achievements and how these achievements can improve further the country’s progress.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, their accomplishments in honest, non-inflated, terms, as well as a list of their priority targets for achievement, or the metrics they will shoot for, plus a detailed elaboration of their stand on crucial issues, FOI, BBL, ITLOS, constitutional amendments, etc.

        • grammy2342 says:

          That should be the way. Not the mudslinging
          that works so much for the masses. I just pray that the Filipinos wake up from their slumber and work against becoming a nation of zombies.

          • Joe America says:

            You know, I was just a B student in school, all the way through college. If I can get it, you’d think top political candidates could as well. Be FOR the Philippines first, and for yourselves under that umbrella. They each project themselves as the nation’s savior. We don’t need one. We need a manager with integrity and at least a B brain.

            • Who cares about grades, Joe? Einstein did not do well in school but he’s a genius nonetheless. The wisest person I have known in my life is a Vietnamese woman who never went to school and can not read nor write. She is a very successful entrepreneur and a very generous person. When she speaks, she makes a lot more sense than people with Ph Ds. That is the bottom line: If you make sense, people will listen to you.

  2. josephivo says:

    Would you expect them to do the opposite, to praise the government? Blaming the current administration is what opposition candidates do, the world over. Praise them for their courage instead. Selling their perception versus the perception of international institutions, international private investors, their perception versus the perception of the majority of Filipinos, not an easy job.

    • josephivo says:

      I say perception, because discussion of facts excludes emotions, the bread and butter of politics.

      • Joe America says:

        I believe the overall perception of the Philippines is still that of a broken down, under-performing corrupt nation. When that perception is changed to a rising star that is getting her act together, then the successes will start to outweigh the failures, because they will become the way work is done.

        • Cristina L. Diez says:

          This is absolutely Right….Every Aspiring Candidate to any government post if elected/chosen should adhere to these Perception Change…Positivity…going forward without blaming anyone in the past, not pointing every outgoing President for some failed advocacies, do corrective measures to gain success.
          Philippines is a very dear and rare country, a pearl who never ceases to be Worthy, after all the natural calamities it experienced, look at how it transpired, we must be always PROUD, instead of dragging down our Government Leaders let’s support them in their drive to uplift every Filipino, for those who are selfish, leave them alone with their greediness, Karma is now digital. They will soon see the consequences of their actions, God is always functional anytime.
          Thanks Joe Am for these enlightenment that every Filipino should consider in choosing the rightful selfless President.

    • Joe America says:

      I would expect all candidates to convey pride in their nation, and the progress being made.

      • stpaul says:

        If only our people would become big picture thinkers and appreciate where the country is heading :(. Thank you Sir for your very uplifting message :)!

      • ernielacorte says:

        I certainly agree with you Joe. But what’s happening is the candidates are looking down on the achievements/improvements that our nation is going through. What solutions do you think they will offer other than what is already being done.

        • Joe America says:

          We’ll see what kind of platforms they develop. I understand that Senators Poe and Escudero are putting one together. It will be interesting to see how much negative vs positive is in that. UNA (Binay) never did put together a platform in 2010, although they had promised one. I have no idea what Senator Marcos will do. The point of my blog is to urge them to think of uplifting the nation rather than ripping at her all the time.

          • “Senators Poe and Escudero are putting one platform together” …. that in addition to infomercials on TV with FPJ on the lead aimed directly at the masa who adores him…And she’s still being coy and not admitting that she is planning to be a presidential candidate. If she is not, what are those infomercial for, that must be costing her a lot, she’s quite busy hopping from one vote rich provinces to another…hmmm….coy and not completely honest.

            • Ericdraven says:

              It could be also that those infomercials were paid by those backing her candidacy hoping that she would run…its like “paid by friends of” whatever…one thing is clear though..she should think harder after that INC debacle…dont know if she can recover from that…and the wildcard that is duterte is slowly gaining momentum

    • andrewlim8 says:


      That ain’t “courage”. It is demagoguery.

  3. Bisdak says:

    BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO. Joeam, you are more Filipino than the 4 mentioned above!

  4. ramon naguita says:

    Wow! What an awesome observation and advice! God bless JoeAm!

  5. NHerrera says:

    Before I post a more substantive comment, may I first say — naughty you, Joe. You have a highly developed sense of picking the right pictures to introduce your topic. You have yet again outdone yourself: that picture of Grace Poe is the latest evolution of Poe, an epal, like the other three; not the picture of the fresh-looking, Amazing GP. “Ouch.”

    I note too that your blog topics are reaching a crescendo. So, too, are the commentaries. Let us keep that up.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, those pictures are fantastic, aren’t they? You can see the scheming. It virtually crawls off the page. Well, you know, when the President puts you up on the big screen, it is best to write something people can relate to. Makes him look good, too, as we yellow-breathing apologists are wont to do.

  6. Emi Pascual says:

    Hi JoeAm. Well said. What irks me the most is the way all newspapers and columnists and so-called political analysts and commentators would fan the fire, giving all four wannabes front-page coverage. Balanced and objective journalism is now dead. Reading some of today’s columnists make me think that they’re retained by some of these “presidentiables”.

    • Joe America says:

      The journalists indeed are not challenging themselves very hard. Easy fly-by-night articles, little research, play it for emotions. It does get tiresome, and I agree they play a big role in portraying the Philippines in a negative light.

      • Ericdraven says:

        Its a balance between government trolls and those critics who also do their research….anything goes n between..whats unacceptable is the thought that all those critical to the government are labelled as against progress and good governance….god help this country if all are in the same page…this is the very reason u are here and this blog exist..to provide balance…u clearly on the “good” side…and the critics….the people reading has a wealth of knowledge from both sides which is a good thing for any democratic country…sometimes you can see so much emotion on both sides,this would have been a rarity in the past

    • Ericdraven says:

      Who would they rather give the front page instead? Certainly not every frontpage is an advantage…binays case in point…and now grace poe…its a balance in itself….

  7. Oh JoeAm, it’s only words but it made me cry…

  8. h says:

    they sound the same because they have nothing to say.

    they talk a lot without nothing to say.

    as the adage goes, “Thos who can’t, criticize.”

  9. What success? Aquino’s minions in the government financial institutions are making a killing earning millions in super high salaries and bonuses while the ordinary junior management and rank and file are not given what is legally due…Government banks are employing people form the private sector with rates at the maximum level while those inside the banks who has proven loyalty and productivity have lower income rates compared to those new hires who are now proving to be idiots… have you heard of the wash sales issue of one of the government banks? This has not happened before these new hires came in. And there are even those new hires who have dual citizenship which is not in accordance with CSC rules. They even justified their hiring that there are no one inside the agency who can do the job. Look at what is happening to these banks because of these new hires who became VPs but from where they came from they are just nobody. Just research on those government banks…The government employees are getting restless already because of these new hires.

    • Who are they? what are their names?

      • Bobby Cadag says:

        I agree with Lennie dela Rosa… be more specific.

        • Ticong Nava says:

          This is the problem when you make assessment from the USA. Have you been to Manila in the past 5 years? Did you try taking a ride at the MRT , LRT ? Do you know that the present credit outstanding of the Philippines is already US$6.3 Trillion? Do you know that local working class is taxed 32% of their salary income? Do you know that we pay 12% value added tax for everything we purchase locally? including Toll Fees of expressways have an added on 12%VAT! Did you learn about the PDAF pocketed by administration senators and their allies? Do you know that we have the highest cost of power , higher than that of Japan? Do you know that basic utilities are already privatized, like power, water, even expressways! Do you know the traffic gridlocks experienced by local citizenry due to poor management of infrastructure and mass transit? Have you gone through the airports MIA !, 2 & 3? I wonder how was your experience.

          • Joe America says:

            Best issue in this litany of complaints: tax inequity. I also think the line “the PDAF pocketed by administration senators” is misleading. The senators were UNA party, not LP, and the Aquino cabinet is notably straight dealing and productive, working for the nation over self. Same with the Ombudsman. And Aquino installed a non-corrupt Supreme Court Justice. Decades of neglect cannot be corrected in six years.

          • chempo says:

            Ticong, all that you mentioned are true except for the PDAF part.

            For PDAF many many politicians/executives are involved. Admin and non-admin people have dipped their hands into the piggy bank. But I think you are missing the key points — (1) Aquino has the political courage to go after these thieves, (2) Why go for Enrille/Bong/Jinggoy? — to clean up a mess of course you for the dirtiest part part first, the big fishes, (3) It is trickling down to lower levels including admin people.

            For all the other issues, I share your angst. But come on, explain it to yourself. Where did all these came from? All these were inherited by Pnoy admin.

            Re LRT/MRT – Yes I agree the admin could have done better. Yes I agree some buddy buddy deals were there. Yes I agree there are new corruption issues that need to be fully investigated and personalities nailed. But whoever is put in charge, not just this admin but the ones before, are faced with tremendous legal impediments. The way the ownership/ operation/ maintenance/ regulatory is structured, coupled with govt ROI guarantees to the private enterprise — there was no way anyone could have solved it other than by nationalising them and in Philippines, with your laws, this is impossible. Remember it was the FVR admin that created the monster. Not to mention that every move the executive takes, they face legislative, judiciary and political interference and roadblocks. Funny many people like you never direct your angst against these interferences. But I do believe that finally, the momentum for improvement is there now. New train coaches are coming in from China and new maintenance budget is in place. In 2016 things will improve, unless something else screws up. (I fear the China trains may have issues of compativity with existing sofwares).

            Re MIA — When was the last time you went there? Improvements are on going. Still not a very good airport by international standards, but this admin is paying attention and addressing the shortcomings.

            Re power & water — Once again we see the same structural problems that were created by prior admin. Does anybody really understand how the power/water system works? Philippines govt past and present included, seems to not believe simple way of doing things are the best way. It’s so complicated that certain parties can and do take advantage and play mickey mouse with the executive. I don’t see this admin having the ability to unravel the problems. Do you have any suggestions?

            Re Traffic — Consolation — Bangkok and Jakarta traffic are worse. Current Metro traffic woes are the accumulation of 30/40 years of neglect. The Pnoy admin did not create this. In fact, in a prior admin a Japanese organisation did a free-of-charge survey and recommendation to the govt with offers of financial aid, but it was not taken up. As you can feel it, Pnoy admin is now concurrently doing lots of road works projects. The bad news is, its gotta get worse before it gets better. Why are you not commending these new projects — oh yeah you will probably condemn these projects being conducted at the same time and creating all these awful traffic mess. You want improvements you need to sacrifice the agony of the traffic.

            Re income tax and VAT — Yes I do agree 32% income tax and 12% VAT is really high compared to other Asean countries. But I think 32% is incorrect, it’s much lower after deducting allowances. But hey, is this Pnoy’s fault? One of the reason why the personal taxes and VAT are high is because Philippines do not have a wide revenue base. Initiative for lowering taxes must come from the legislative. Who is the rep in your hometown? Adjusting tax rates must be in line with the economic planning for the country. There are lots of issues to be tackled. So far, no politician has taken any initiative on this. There has been some talk only.

            Re Philippines’ US$6.3 trillion credit outstanding — I don’t know where you got this figure from and what “credit outstanding” means. If you mean govt outstanding debt what I know is that at the end of last qtr it was only Peso 5.76 trillion out of this only Peso 1.83 trillion are foreign. Tetangco (Pnony’s guy at Bangkosantral) has managed the external debt well to minimise foreign exchange risks. By the way, he has won some central banker awards recently in case you don’t know. But the figure peso 5.76 trillion does not tell much. What you should look for is the country’s debt to GDP ratio which I think currently is about 37.3% compared to 2010 which was 54.7%. If that is not very good performance, I don’t know what is.. Compare 37.3% to say Malaysia (49%) and Thailand (54%). I say give your president a break when he is doing a good job in the economy.

            • Ticong, you are a Filipino, right? You posted a litany of your woes and angst without making an effort to research on them. You represent many of the Filipinos. Chempo, a Singaporean living in the Philippines has taken the effort to be interested and concerned enough for the country he lives in, same as Joe here, to rebut you, supported by verifiable facts. You are so intent in looking at our country as totally hopeless under this admin, I wonder why, to paint whoever is your previous president and your future presidential candidate as the better one?

              Can’t you be little kinder and patriotic to see what foreigners can see?

              My thanks to you, chempo for once more taking the cudgels to explain to the misinformed and judgmental Filipinos like Ticong and MRP the true facts. May your (and Joe’s) tribe increase.

            • sonny says:

              “Current Metro traffic woes are the accumulation of 30/40 years of neglect. The Pnoy admin did not create this.”

              In fact the MMDA leadership (Chairman & Gen Mgr) is a full executive action by Pnoy. You be the judge of then and now.

            • marise says:

              Thanks Chempo, that was a very enlightening reply. I get these goosebumps when I hear Filipinos lambast this government instead of saying thank you for what it has done to bring us to where we are now. It is not perfect but it has managed well. This government has given me the pride to say once more that I am a Filipino.

              • eric says:

                Others also get goosebumps when they turn a blind eye and be blind fanatics

              • Joe America says:

                What is a “blind fanatic”? I’m curious as to how you define that. I see very few of them about. Most advocates seem to me not to be blind, but intelligent. Most have reasons or causes for their advocacies.

          • Ed says:

            Creating a Taxpayers’ Congress or Association would be a good move to check abuses of the People’s money.

      • Ericdraven says:

        We should try this on all arguements here….who are they? Where they from? Who’s their dentist?

    • Bert says:

      Yes, Vincent, your gripes are worth looking into by this administration. Give the names and what government offices those are happening. Joe’s blog is read by people in Malacanang. You cannot expect result from your complain if you cannot come out with the specifics. Don’t be afraid, social media had already shown its clout on getting the attention of this administration to the reforms demanded by the netizens.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Anywhere in the world, In politics, patronage is common.
      As long the appointee is not corrupt, receiving large sums of salary is not the fault of appointee. If laws were violated in providing excessive remuneration charge all those high ranking responsible officials.

      After Aquino those newly hired dual citizens are co terminus. Gary Olivar is the shining example. Those complaining are sour graping for failing to land the juicy posts, perks of banks,They have permanent jobs, meaning accumulating earned income for many years plus big pensions on retirement. Not different from appointed ambassadors with political connections.

      Vincent must be acquainted and received info from someone who was denied advancement to sought after post.

      Try getting more influential padrino.

    • karl garcia says:

      In the corporate world they hire ceos,evps,svps,vps,avps who were just managers from the company they came from,so what else is new?

      Line agencies in the entire bureaucracy experience having New hires every change in administration.

    • chynx says:

      indeed, success accredited to the present administration is all bull…….. GMA has been accused of so many corruptions. but has she been convicted? was there any proof to substantiate all the accusations? it has been almost 6 years into the Aquino Administration and until now they still do not have enough proof to convict GMA. I am not saying GMA is a saint, she also had her faults but the way Aquino is persecuting her I believe is something more than just the accusations he has hurled against her. I believe it is vindictiveness in behalf of his mother Cory…. remember how cory would run to wherever there is a rumor of a protest or coup de etat against GMA, to offer her support? remember how GMA was not welcomed in the wake of Cory? and remember how they welcomed the Marcoses in the wake? I mean, how grave was GMA’s fault towards Cory that even the Marcoses (who people believe, even the Aquino’s) who had Ninoy killed, was welcomed in the wake? there is definitely something going on between Cory and GMA that earned the ire of the Aquinos. It is not about corruption but about vindictiveness! have you read about the Fitz (spelling?) rating that came out about 3 years ago that the Philippines is on its way to an economic recovery and the report says “thanks to the efforts and the economic programs initiated by the GMA administration…….” and the opposition senators were ecstatic… but the Aquino Administration was mum about it? never a thank you to the GMA programs that brought the Pnoy administration to where it is right now, economically. and instead reaped all the praises that was planted by the previous administration? and where is the madaang matuwid of Pinoy when this is only applicable to the people opposite the fence? where is the warrant of arrest of P. Lacson (remember he ran and hid somewhere). Remember when Aquino took office, lacson resurfaced and even made a courtesy call in Malacanang? what happened to Abad, soliman and the other former GMA cabinet members that were accused of corruption before but now are in the Aquino Administration. GMA admitted to the Garci tapes, but so there were also many senators who admitted to calling Garci…. but why only GMA? Pnoy is vindictive. if you are not for him, then you are against him…. watch out! thankfully his term will soon end and 6 years is long enough under this inept administration!

  10. ofw from abu dhabi says:

    again.. a great read.. i just do hope that 4 stooges could read..God speed mr. joeam.

  11. ivyemaye says:


    Thanks yet again for another detailed account but: Politicians in most places all sound the same.

    Jon Effemey

    • Joe America says:

      To some extent that is true. The distinction here is that the Philippines has been beaten down for so long, there is no sense of “up”. I know in the US, the starting point is typically “to keep our nation great”, or somesuch. So if they are serious about running the nation, they ought to start to fix the nation’s self-esteem and confidence.

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Benigno and Mar chose Grace Poe.
    Benigno and Mar were head over heels, on their knees to woe Grace Poe.
    Therefore, Benigno and Mar are wrong in their decision to have Poe as Mar’s VP
    If Benigno and Mar are wrong, therefore, they are wrong in their future decisions?

    So are Grace Poe, Escudero and Binay.

    Benigno was right in drib-a-drab against Binay. Benigno and Mar is wrong on Grace Poe. Therefore, Benigno’s drib-a-drab against Binay is wrong.

    If Grace Poe, Escudero and Binay are wrong … and Benigno and Mar chose Grace Poe, therefore, THEY ARE ALL WRONG, logically speaking.

    Since they all sound alike, MAR and BENIGNO SHOULD NOT OPEN THEIR MOUTH.

    Less talk, less mistake. The lesser the sound bites the lesser the mistake the lesser the Filipino people knows. The less is known. The better the chances.

    Politics in the Philippines is about chance. It is a gamble. Philippine Media pit Filipinos against Filipinos.

    • chempo says:

      First time I agree with you MRT. For me it takes a bit of shine off Mars when he “romance” Poe to be his VP. It’s the usual strategy down the populist road. Now that Poe has really blundered on her stand on the INC, it will do Mars well to declare at this opportune time that he is no longer interested in her.

      • Joe America says:

        Of the four people listed, I think Grace Poe has the most upside potential, and would benefit most from a material role as VP. It would open her mind up to what the “other side” is really like. The no-win situations, the need to always be diplomatic, the need to separate personal feelings from job demands, the need to think through five levels rather than one. I’ve not written her off, although I do believe Leni Robredo already has a lot of those skills and would be a superstar.

        • chempo says:

          Initially, she was a breathe of fresh air to me, notwithstanding lack of experience. As time and events unfold I see character flaws revealing slowly. For a while, I remain undecided on her but her stand on INC tips me over to the non-believers.

          • Joe America says:

            When one sees the first hints of political/personal will, over public duty, it opens the mind. My first hint came during the Purisima hearing when she was clearly personally livid that he skipped her hearings, and exercised her vengeance on him. Seemed a little overmcu to me. She carried her spite into the Mamasapano hearing. That the Mamasapano hearings ended up producing nothing but an irrelevant political jab at the President rather sealed the deal for me.

            • NHerrera says:

              A THEORY

              Roxas may know something we do not know. A related item — to me at least — Poe is rather so enamored with her June SWS/PA survey numbers that she is still waiting for the September survey, an item supported by her so-called decision to run or not run to be done only in late September. This fascination with surveys is supported further by her dumb Binay-like statement on the INC brouhaha.

              Here is another one, this one a rather DUMB theory of mine: Roxas and Poe are jointly playing a smoke and mirrors game on us. Hahaha. (As Yul Brynner in the “King and I” may have said — “Is a puzzlement.”)

              • Joe America says:

                I can’t figure it out. Poe seems to burn her bridges with the Administration all the time, yet they don’t tell her to take a hike. I think it is all politics. With Poe on the Roxas team, it is easier to beat Binay. Simple, di ba. But if her numbers go DOWN, who needs her? She’s quickly adopting the look of albatross.

              • NHerrera says:

                “Is a puzzlement.”

            • mcgll says:

              At this time, the only way for Poe to recover from her fall from grace (in the eyes of many enlightened citizens) is to give-up her intention to run for president or vice in 2016. If she insists on running in the 2016 elections, win or lose she will be regarded as damaged good and will face attacks she may not be able to withstand specially if her present allies continue to steer her direction.

              She should use her remaining 3 years in the senate to create laws that will benefit the nation, she must actively advocate total clean-up of corruption. She must disown the perception that she is willing to sacrifice principles for friendship’s sake, use her persuasive power to promote peace and harmony among all our citizens and dis-associate herself from those who use her popularity to advance their own selfish interests detrimental to the interest of the Filipino people. By 2019, I expect she’d top the senatorial race which would give her the momentum to win the presidency in 2022.

              • Joe America says:

                I frankly think she blew it big time by not accepting the Roxas VP slot when offered “softly” by President Aquino. I’m thinking Bam Aquino will be tough to beat in 2022. He is out producing every day, important bills that are remaking Philippine competition and opening it up.

              • mcgll says:

                I was looking for a way out of the awful mess Grace is in. No matter my dislike of her as a presidential or vice presidential candidate, I think she deserves some compassion – as a victim of political machinations of Escudero et al. I lost trust in her way back when I saw her give Jinggoy an embrace right on the senate floor and my distrust grew even more when I watched her grill Dennis Cunanan who was a witness against Jinggoy.

                But then there was a point in time before PNoy endorsed Roxas when my confidence in the anointment of Mar Roxas as presidential candidate of PNoy was shaken. My confidence in getting Mar Roxas nominated and elected president bounced back big time on that beautiful day of July 31st at the Gathering of Friends held at the Club Filipino. I was euphoric after hearing PNoy announce Sec. Mar’s name as the Liberal Party’s candidate for president. But the big question on everybody’s lips was “Who is Mar going to choose for his vice”. Even you Joe, once said – not in these words but something close to the sense of it – A Roxas /Poe ticket would be unbeatable. Much as I didn’t like Poe, I thought I may have to swallow the bitter pill of accepting her as Roxas’ vice just to beat Binay and whoever else would agree to run with him.

                But now, well now it’s different. Those Liberal Party members still hoping to get Poe to consider dumping Escudero and choosing to run as Roxas ‘ vice might clear their brains a bit and accept the fact that Grace is no longer the fabulous star to hitch on to.

                But she can recover as she must if she sincerely wants to help this country move on along Daang Matuwid. And by the way, Between Poe and Bam in 2022 – I’d vote for BAM.

              • Joe America says:

                We have trekked the same path on this, exactly.

      • Ericdraven says:

        Consider this scenario….what if poe decides to be mars vp now?

    • This validates the overall plan of this admin, for Grace to hone her talents and gain more experience, in 6 more years, when she can think for herself and not depend on what people around her say, she will become a seasoned leader, not a half baked one. She is still on a learning curve, and should learn that riding on a popular sentiment may not be necessarily the right thing to say or do. She was invited to be the VP team because she has shown promise but her recent pronouncements are proving that she is valuing the advice of persons with questionable motives instead of the continuity of this admin’s thrust which she is acknowledging to be an effective economically not to mention its non-corrupt nature. October still a month away, let’s see.

      You are expecting perfection from PNOY and Mar, less talk, less mistake – well let me add another – less achievement, or less things done. We are prone to make mistakes now and then, human as we are, not trying to act or speak for fear of making a mistake is non-productive. What is important is recovering from that mistake once it is realized and move on to do a better solution, or in this case, to choose another worthy VP candidate.

  13. Tony Lim says:

    They’re all trafitionals, greedy, opportunist, & son of the bitches politician! So Binay 👎 👎 Poe 👎 , Marcos 👎 👎, Rscudeto 👎!

  14. Enrico Audencial says:

    To the non Filipino joeam, bravo!

  15. Rasec3 says:

    Thanks Joe, this article really moved me,, also this article Senator Soto can copy/paste/plagiarize and surely I will not object..LOL

  16. VSB says:

    Unfortunately, all of us netizens and people who belong to the 1 percent can shout till the crows come home and it will hardly have a dent on the lumpen masses controlled by Binay and the crimino-showbiz elite. There has to be a way to have a massive PR campaign that the “robin hood syndrome- they are all thieves anyway so might as well elect mine” mindset can be reversed- otherwise we are doomed to muddle along and even witness the country’s disintegration as Mindanao would likely secede in a scenario of a corrupt cromono-showbiz run country.

    • Joe America says:

      Gadzooks, VSB, I’m striving for a little uplift here. 🙂 I’m not so sure the Binay hold will hold. We’ll see . . .

      • VSB says:

        But he’s got billions and a strong patronage hold on the Mayors/Governors/ Lords in the provinces who have the command votes. Lets also hope Binay’s megalomania continues as this will be his downfall.. Very long way to go for the country to shake his kind,,especially since the judicial slip is now showing with the serial CA inhibitions on Binay’s cases and the supreme court boo-boo on Enrile.. Lets see

  17. chempo says:

    “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”

    Different interpretations —
    Binay : Some of the taxes are Caesar’s, some are for me.
    Marcos : What my dad took from Caesar has nothing to do with me.
    Escudero :: Caesar should give way to INC’s God
    Poe : Yes Ceasar should give way.

    • Joe America says:

      Ahaha, that is an excellent characterization of each. lol, lol I especially enjoyed Poe.

    • edgar lores says:


      Duterte: I am Caesar.

      • Little Prince says:

        Duterte: I am god …. and caesar….

        • Kenneth Tan says:

          Have you been to Davao sir? Have you all the people there if they think that Duterte acted like Ceasar or a Dictator? Why do people of Davao loves their mayor? Why does people of Davao feel so safe of their city? Can you say that to the people of Makati or Metro Manila? If you can give me one presidential aspirant who can duplicate what Duterte did in Davao, then he has my vote…

      • chempo says:

        hahaha good punchline

      • I am presently reading a book from Ateneo de Manila University Press: “Raiding, Trading and Feasting – The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms” by Laura Lee Junker from the University of Western Michigan. Haven’t gotten very far yet, but one of the most important statements is that by the time the Spanish came, the Philippines was controlled by chieftains in relatively volatile regional alliances, held together by forms of patronage.

        A lot of Philippine local and regional politics, even national politics still bears traces of this form of rule. The Spanish formed a bit of a state, but coopted the datus as principalia, the Americans coopted the more “educated” parts of this group during their very short rule.

        The tension in the Philippines is still one between formal institutions – the Spanish started building them in the 19th century, after indirect rule by Mexico was over, and the Americans built on them – and “informal” authority or chieftainship which is more respected.

        Binay is a very traditional datu with his alliances and his utang na loob / birthday cake patronage – giving benefits to allies and followers is very well described in the book as the way datus and rajas kept their power. Now people are basically egoists and think of what’s in it for me, even in modern societies, only in modern societies institutions are truly rooted in the culture, which is not yet the case in the Philippines, where institutions always were there for the respective ruling class to exploit, whether ilustrado, pro-US elite or republic.

        Noynoy and Mar are desperately trying to make institutions work while everybody still sees them as members of the ruling class that benefits from those institutions to the detriment of everybody else not “inside” – something which is still partly true, but is already changing.

        Duterte is a “modern datu” who has understood the importance of institutions and has proven that he can build them in Davao, and bases his authority on consensus, not on patronage – in Davao and among his allies in the Federalism Forum and is therefore “proto-democratic” in his approach, not “pseudo-democratic” like many provincial warlord politicians before him. To the Filipinos who are more Westernized, his approach may seem strange, but it makes perfect sense to “real Filipinos” who still are tribal in their thinking.

        • Joe America says:

          Wonderful scan of history, and its impacts on today’s politics.

        • edgar lores says:

          Irineo, thanks.

          1. I agree with you that there are two main power structures:

          1.1. There is the “formal” one which has been adopted from the West, is republican in form and comprised of the tripartite branches. The domain is essentially national.

          1.2. Then there is the “informal” one which is native, is datuship in form and comprised of a chief and subordinate followers. The domain is essentially regional.

          2. The tension, I would say, is not between the formal institutions… but between the formal and informal structures. The formal structure is weak due to the tendency of the people to behave according to and rely on the informal structure. Philippine culture is heavily paternalistic and patronage-based. This can be seen in the phenomena of the Ampatuans, the Binays and the INC.

          3. Your thesis is that Duterte would make a good president because he is a “modern datu”.

          3.1. I would question that Duterte understands “the importance of institutions”… and by institutions I mean the republican-tripartite form. He has proposed the establishment of a revolutionary government, and threatened to disband both the Legislature and the Judiciary. In his eyes, the formal structure is not working. This is on record.

          4. To me, the republican-tripartite form of government — despite its drawbacks and its particular deformation in the country due to inordinate influence of the oligarchy — is the best devised so far in terms of the proper use and the transition of political power.

          4.1. My objection to the informal structure is that it is mainly personality based, whereas the formal structure is based on pre-established roles and functionality.

          5. It would then seem to me that the better way to move forward is not to return to datuships… but to strengthen the formal structure while customizing it to the informal culture in various ways. The barangayship is one such modification. The regional federalism touted by Duterte is another. The reduction of tribalism through the rationalization of dialects and the promotion of inter-regional sports could be another.

          5.1. The Binay way, the datuship way, is the wrong way.

          5.2. Duterte reshaped Davao in three stints spans a quarter of a century. His first stint lasted 10 years from 1988 to 1998. His second stint lasted 12 years from 2001 to 2012 (this includes his vice-mayorship under his daughter). His third stint is the current one of 3 years. If elected president, he will have just 6 years to reshape the country, a well-nigh impossible task given so many factors, such as his age, the scalability of Davao solutions to the national level, and the recalcitrance of the Filipino.

          5.3. My sense is that while Duterte may indeed be a good president in the short term, he will not be good in the long term… primarily because of the weakening of the formal structure. His resort to extrajudicial methods is also unacceptable.

          6. Quo vadis, Philippines?

          • Welcome – I think this discussion is about the fundamental issue the Philippines always had. As long as this is not resolved, the problems will still continue no matter what.


            re 2.: culture must carry the institutions on top of it, just like the BIOS of a computer must be compatible with the operating system. The Philippines is buggy when it comes to this.


            re 4.: fully agree, there must be some form of continuity beyond personalities.

            a. This was the weakness of Philippine chieftainship that Laura Lee Junker details in her book, not even having clear rules of succession within chief’s families.

            b. Larger entities like the Manila Bay Area or Cebu were held together by shifting alliances which the Spanish easily broke, for example, one nephew lusting for his uncle’s power was enough leverage for Legazpi to use, unlike Magellan who made the mistake of helping Humabon against Lapu-Lapu – the first foreigner to go under in the shifting maze that is Filipino politics, while Legazpi was the first to use its weaknesses in the right way.

            c. More permanent entities only came to exist in the Philippines based on religion – the Sultanate of Sulu (Sultan is also a religious title, with a special role in Islam) as an example, the INC another. Political parties only mask groups based on personalities/clans.


            re 5.: the Philippines needs some form of convergence between BIOS and operating system so that the two become more compatible, this is already happening now.

            a. Meaning those who still think like datus must respect institutions more, and those building institutions must sometimes act like datus – just like Mar Roxas recently did by showing balls against the INC.

            b. Fully agree that barangays (one good legacy of Marcos for all his faults) are one example, stronger federalism would be another way to bridge the gap which is also a cultural gap – between the “real Filipinos” and the “educated Filipinos”.

            c. Duterte wants to strengthen the Army and PNP if he becomes President. His respect for institutions is mainly for the operational institutions, not for the democratic ones. At the local level he does respect democracy – he even called upon people to support an elected Lumad leader in Davao, a woman, even if she was not from his group. He forced a cop in Davao to give him a speeding ticket after accidentally catching him. The question is – would Duterte be able to build a foundation for better institutions in his 6-year term?


            re 3.: Ergo I am not fully convinced that Duterte would be the best choice. But Mar Roxas also has his weaknesses, like not being able to truly reach the more “native” Filipinos. But then again, he may be able to improve if he keeps up the way he dealt with INC recently.


            re 6.: Very good question! The only two Presidential Candidates that in my point of view may be taken seriously – Roxas and Duterte – must clearly state what kind of country they want the Philippines to be in 20 years. The country kids being born right now will inherit.

            From what I have seen in social media recently – and my network is very wide and varied – emerging national consciousness no longer takes the likes of Binay, Poe, Escudero and Marcos seriously and is ready to ask itself the question of where the country should go, how the institutions should be formed, how the culture should evolve. Social media, OFWs and rapid modernization have already caused the culture to evolve at lightning speed.

            • P.S. Duterte as PDP and NP bet with Cayetano as running mate might work out.

              Please refer to my comments in a discussion with Joe elsewhere in this read.

              • sonny says:

                I’m still staying with your “strands of History” analogy. Powerful analogy!! 🙂 Just say also when the 10-member IT team is apropos anything and every thing Philippine.

              • sonny says:

                I must admit, the operating system analogy is the workable framework. What with the different speeds the CPU, cache memories, main memory, I/O devices. Tandem systems mimicking organic nature of the beast is also called for, etc., etc. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Wow, there is a Batman. Just my fantasy, anyway!

              • karl garcia says:

                Uncle Sonny,
                In Irineo’s fantasy Batman and Superman are Marvel Superheroes.(joke)

              • sonny says:

                Alam mo nephew, nostalgia kataku-takot ang dumating tungkol kay Batman, Superman, etc. Maski ang salitang Marvel, si Captain Marvel, Captain Mrvel, Jr at si Mary Marvel ang aking naalaala. SHAZAM ang magic word ni Billy Batson para maging Captain Marvel siya. (SHAZAM = acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Apollo, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury), all the qualities for Captain Marvel. Sigh…

          • chempo says:

            Good piece, Edgar. My thoughts :

            1. Republican-tripartite form of government — theoretically it seems the best form. But in reality, bi-partisanship will be a great problem as evidenced by what’s going on in the US. Personally I think the British Parliamentary form is better. The party that gets voted runs the show, period.

            2. Federalism – as proposed by Duterte. I don’t think this is the panacae for Philippines’ ills. Philippines main problem is not the form of govt, but the moral fibres of the people. Whatever form you choose, is not going to change anything. The ineptness, corruption, impunity will prevail. Philippines as a society need to do some soul searching, accept that moral standards are lacking, that that is the major cause of what’s wrong with the society, determine to change that, and then lets work on ways to change that.

            3. Duterte keeps cropping up. What he has done for Davao is indeed remarkable. Has been said before, indeed no less by yourself, whether the success of Davao can be replicated for the whole country is questionable. Even if Davao’s process is scaleable, legislative roadblocks will pop up everywhere for sure when he tries to implement at national level. Remember how Jesse Robrero told his wife how difficult his DILG job was (and he meant the politiking and interferences).

            There is something that no one who promotes him has realised, no has anyone ever expounded before. Duterte’s style is basically personality driven. Davao works because of him. He is no admirer of institutions. What he has done in Davao may not have been properly institutionalised. Students of Michaevelli know very well that this type of governance vaporises when the personality is gone. Continuity is a great problem. There are some who compared him to Lee Kuan Yew. In the sense that they were both tough statesmen, the comparison is valid. A major difference is LKY was a firm believer of institutionalising the system because continuity was a great concern of his.

            • edgar lores says:


              1. I have lived under a presidential system and a parliamentary system. I agree the benefits of the latter would be good for the Philippines, such as the formalization of party structures, the development of detailed political platforms, and the consequent accountability.

              1.1. The downside, as I see it here in Oz, is (a) the lack of long-term planning and implementation due to the short election cycles, and (b) the stagnation as one party tends to dominate over several cycles.

              1.2. In terms of stability, parties in parliamentary systems have had to resort to precarious coalitions to form government. And, in bicameral parliamentary systems, the Upper House can stymie the efforts of the elected government.

              1.3. The Philippines have a natural political and ideological divide between the oligarchy (conservative/ Republican) and the masa (labor/Democratic) to be the basis of a two-party parliamentary system.

              1.4. Strangely enough, the parliamentary form here in Oz as been transformed into a presidential form with votes hinging on the perceived character and personality of the leaders of the parties rather than those of local members.

              1.4. And if one thinks about it, the Philippine political structure, while presidential in form, appears to be parliamentary in practice with a dominant Executive leading a compliant Legislature.

              2. Your second point sort of contradicts the first. But I am in full agreement with you: it’s the people not the system.

              3. I don’t think one can compare Duterte to LKY. LKY was a statesman in every sense.

      • Ericdraven says:

        Mar: im vipsania agrippina

  18. Oh my! I hope that the Filipino people absorbs every word you said like the teleserye lines… I’ve been telling colleagues the same thing… May God have mercy on us that He won’t allow the country go back to the dust. We deserve better than these 4 crooked stooges…

  19. Johnny Lin says:

    Nothing unusual for oppositions to belittle achievement of administration. Fair game in politics. But the INC protest is not about politics. It’s about performance of duty under the law.

    Putting Faith and religious right ahead of implementing the rule of law to gain favor for their political ambition is disdainful. Coming from educated aspiring leaders aggravates the grievous concept. Compound their position as minority opinion speaks of the state of mind or content of ideas of these officials.

    Mar came blazing like a knight in shining armor with his different concept and opinion on the rule of
    Law. His was very distinctive plainly understandable even by the uneducated.

    • Joe America says:

      Yep. He stood calm . . . and tall.

    • NHerrera says:

      To Mar or His Staff if they are reading the Blog which I am confident they are — some lines from Rudyard Kipling:

      If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you …
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

      And may I add: you will make yourself a great President.

    • Ericdraven says:


  20. Zer says:

    While reading this masterpiece it give me chills. It made me realise that our country have come a long way because I have never thought that our country will breakthrough from its bondage.
    I know a lot things are still yet to be done but is it not proper to thank the current administration for leading us to the right direction? Getting THERE is not a dream anymore.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, yes, yes. That is EXACTLY the awakening that is needed to seal the deal, that the nation is on the right path, and straight ahead it ought to be. Enough of this downtrodden self-perception.

  21. NHerrera says:

    This is more appropriately placed in the previous blog, but may still be relevant since it touches on the four automatons or zombies (in so far as getting the votes are concerned, otherwise an empty brain of zombies) — Binay, Poe, Escudero and Marcos.


    First, my definitions of a set of two-letter acronyms:

    CR = INC Continues with its Rally
    SC = INC Stops rally Conditionally
    SU = INC Stops rally Unconditionally

    US = Administration (plan of the) Use of State police powers
    UP = Administration Use of Persuasive powers


    1. Public Relation is hurting INC and associated epal politicians (Binay, Poe, Escudero, Marcos, et al).

    2. Public Relation is giving the Administration (including P-noy, Roxas and De Lima) pogi points.

    3. Both Administration and INC realize that the status quo cannot remain indefinitely.


    a. The Administration decides to use the strategy of “speak softly and firmly but carry a big stick” — that is, diplomatically act along the lines of UP (see definition above), but leave no doubt through some hint to implement US.

    b. Unless logic and realpolitik have completely escaped the INC, it has only the options — CR, SC, and SU.

    c. In view of the premises and UP and US — on display in no uncertain terms — option CR is out, leaving only SC and SU.

    d. Which of the two — SC or SU? My gut feeling, with the State’s coercive power (big stick) and my earlier premises and notes, SU may just win out with INC agreeing. With the Administration leverage on its part why settle with conditions? Will you have the “stubborn” P-noy give way in such a strategic decision. No way, my Magician friend tells me. And I agree with him.

    e. However, the real end was in that meeting, there is no doubt in my mind that the Asian concept of face-saving loomed large. Something like, “Ok, we acquiesce, but may we ask kindly that we state that a deal has been agreed.” Hahaha.

    • NHerrera says:

      “And further, without your asking for it be assured, come Election 2016 …” Hahaha.

    • NHerrera says:

      Joe, I ran over to Raissa’s and saw your post — that connects with my thought that there is no deal against the larger interest of the country.

    • Joe America says:

      I think you nailed it exactly. I believe this was that exercise in “walk softly” but keep the “big stick” at hand. Had INC not relented, they would have suffered the embarrassment of having been dispersed by force. The only “agreement” was that the rule of law should prevail. What is INC going to say to that, really? “No, it does not apply to us!”??? They were stuck in a box of their own making, and the Admin proved its competence (and experience) in dealing with (not over-reacting) crises. I mean, this was a cakewalk compared to that siege at Zamboanga. INC didn’t even take hostages, and their star speakers were, in the main, from the lunatic fringe.

      I think this was a comedy, now that I think about it.

    • Little Prince says:

      Nailed it again….

  22. raul says:

    Why would you not criticize the short comings of the president? Whats so bad about that? Joe America … no wonder your okay with the BBL and MRT mess. We criticize the president and love the philippines , we love our country thats why we criticize him. Two different entities. I would guess your an american who lives in the philippines, tell me this do you really believe Aquino improved our country in 2 yrs time or he just inherited the from his predecessor? IMF even said they credit his predecessor for jump starting the economy and him for “SUSTAINING” it.
    There are a lot to criticize because there are a lot to improve and we are seeing little action.

    • Bert says:

      The only problem I see in your opinion is that you’re praising the administration of former President Gloria and criticizing President Noynoy as if in your estimation the former is the better president compared to the latter in terms of what are good for the nation and the Filipino people.. For that alone I would suggest that you review your thinking again.

      • raul says:

        True, but not praising but giving credit. Because Noynoy loves to grab credits and blame others. If he has been more accepting i would not be pointing that out. Just like imprisoning the 3 stooges (jinggoy, bong and enrile), was he the real instrument in getting them behind bars, or was it Benhur? A lot people here are praising him even the ones which he was not reponsible. Like being a patriot .. how can he be a patriot when he did not even fight for the well beings of the hacienda luisita farmers? He was not even planning to run for president if it wasnt for Roxas nagging, so that Roxas can be near the presidency.

      • raul says:

        What did he accomplish?

    • Joe America says:

      “We are seeing little action” I think that view is common across the Philippines when nothing changes for people, specifically. But if you look around, you see people lined up at ATMs getting their CCT payments, new roads going in, a lot of new classrooms added to schools, congestion in the major cities and a lot of construction, and in Manila, work on expressways, ports, and airports that can be “seen” in the congestion and transportation overload. You can see what you look for, and if you see nothing, I’d suggest you are not looking hard enough, and ought to read the international ratings on the Philippines for such matters as competitiveness, technology, transparency (corruption), and economy.

      I’ve been in the Philippines almost 10 years now, and, yes, you have a president you ought to be proud of, for his earnest, honest work and accomplishment.

    • Zer says:

      @raul please let me give you a background. Throughout the years or even decades, corruption have rooted into our system. Corruption have seeped in even in the lowest and basic offices of the government – from the President to the barangay level. Would you agree with me that corruption deprived us of a decent services like public transportation, efficient government transactions, a reliable internal and external security or police force, smooth roads etc? Who have dared to shake up the system? While the administration is doing the clean up, all the gates of hell have opened!
      It is not an easy task for the administration to clean up the system because even us and our family are patronising corruption. Was it easy or not painful for the administration to have a head on with people who have supported their family in fighting the dictator (Binay)? I tell you, it is not an easy because even us are corrupted. Does Noy (which I did not vote for in the past) does not deserve my credit because his admin gave me hope that someday, I can conveniently buy my MRT ticket and arrive to my destination on schedule.

  23. I never thought that someone like you could evoke so much patriotic emotion.

    Corruption, Pilipino style is best represented by the morally bankrupt Binay. Blame. Blame. Blame. And he is very good at it. He makes promises just like the rest of the corrupt politicians then rub the people blind once they are in office.

    I dreaded the thought of having another Marcos in the office of the president with Imelda crying crocodile tears yet again. Sadly some of us seem to be a glutton for punishment and foolishly idolize a tyrant’s family.

    Poe showed that she gives in easily to future unreasonable demands to jeopardize the nations stability. Escudero will be there just for the ride.

    President Aquino may not be perfect but he has the Philippines at heart, given us dignity and international recognition and Roxas has the making of a statesman. I hope what they have started will be carried on.

    Pilipinos were fed an almost daily diet of political lies, double dealing and duplicity since I can remember until now, thank goodness!

    It’s about time that people exercise their rights and duties of a good citizen. Please keep on reminding people that we are getting there.

    Thank you Joe America!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I think the impression of the Philippines have is formed in the relentless negativity of the press, and the corrupt who get more attention than the honest.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

    • chempo says:

      “President Aquino may not be perfect but he has the Philippines at heart, given us dignity and international recognition”

      Alicia, that is a good line. I’m not sure if people like Raul travels, but if he does I’m sure he can sense a slight change in the perception of Filipinos by people in other countries. In the past, a Pinay in a foreign country was automatically presumed and treated as a “maid”. I’m not casting aspersion on maids, they are just like you and I doing our best for the family. But that is a stigma that nobody wants.

      Pardon me if I sound boastful, I just want to share what “dignity” and recognition” means. I travelled quite a bit in late 70’s and 80’s. As a Singaporean, my passport is one of the greatest gift my country gives me. Every western country (Europe and Australia) and India/Sri Lanka/Maldives that I visited I cleared customs in a jiffy – nobody checked me. Every passport counter staff smiled and said “Oh Singapore huh” and visa stamped in seconds. In every train whenever I frisked out my passport the security personnel smiled and waved me off. Strangely, I only faced unsmiling and stern looking airport personnel in Middle East and Asian countries, Philippines included.

      Unlike Raul and still many others like him, there are those like us who believe that whilst Aquino is not perfect, he has done much to put the country on the right path. That “dignity” and “recognition” needs to be earned and that means the govt and every Filipino need to work for it. Every commenter in this blog who is for the Philippines (including Joeam) is doing their tiny bit to help. For guys like Raul, I like them to just explain to themselves how the names Binay (a suspected plunderer), Duterte (a suspected human rights violator), and Marcos (a dirtied name) can ever promote Philippines to the rest of the world to earn “dignity” and “recognition”. Raul and people like him has to understand people in other countries are not stupid.

    • Ericdraven says:

      I like your phrase…”Blame,Blame,Blame”….reminds me of someone,not the one who just bolted out from the cabinet

  24. Mario says:

    101% agree!!!!!!!

  25. Neo Canjeca says:

    CONGRATS joe am you said it as the best of the best of Pinoys can do it. Kept on reading this time since may be because only 2 to three termites wandered in this thread. gladly saw there ‘s plenty of new names truly Filipino who did not make hay while the crooked had their suns shone on them.

  26. Maxie says:

    The four of them sound alike? You mean like trapos? Tsk, tsk Grace Poe. I was an early crusader for you. Thank you for showing your true color.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve decided that Grace Poe has a tin ear about national good, versus personal politics. She just can’t seem to rise above the carping and complaining to adopt a diplomatic point of view.

  27. Annalissa says:

    Oh, Joe. Oh, Joe. Thank you for articulating what the silent majority like us have in mind who are on the sidelines observing, evaluating our leaders and would be ‘successors’. The past events made our (at least for my family) choice much clearer. I think this administration will go down in history as the one where every facet of governance came under scrutiny – and where every corrupt and false beliefs came into light – everything was exposed from the Supreme Court practices, to the customs, to the wheeling and dealing senators and congressmen, the presidentiables topping the surveys, religious organizations fronting as lobby groups, ‘hardhitting’ mediamen who are actually biased. Only a few good men (and women) had withstood the intense heat of the current events. And all in play for us to see in broad daylight! The winnowing wind has come…..and has exposed the bad grains!

  28. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    For the Good of the Country, Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, Mar Roxas should resolve their differences, of course, with the presence of Duterte if no one objects. Definitely not Binays. Binays are already irrelevant.

    They should tackle the issue of:
    1. Enrile
    2. Supreme Court bias
    3. Philippine Media ignorance
    4. Senate welcoming of Enrile
    5. Trillanes and Cayetano’s ignorance of investigation and laws
    6. Contested Islands and 7-dash-lines
    7. Cranking out crooks from government funded government institution University of the Philippines
    8. The Binay comic investigations
    9. Heavy reliance on witness accounts and affidavits over evidences
    10. Too much noise on corruption instead of covert investigation Blago and Monica style
    11. Legalized blackmail thru SALN
    12. State witness program in which crooks gets part of the loot and go home free.

    Where they stand. How they are to fix the issue. What are they going to do about it. As we all know, most of the crooks are graduates from government funded government institution Universty of the Philippines.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Democratic Republic of The Philippine Islands should withdraw funding to University of the Philippines pending outcome of investigation why all bigtime multi-billion peso crooks are graduates from University of the Philippines. Not only they produce the most crooks why they are monopologizing crookery.

      Investigation should not be done inept comic Trillanes and Cayetano, this should be investigated by US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act agents not some another U.P. investigators.

      It is already given the Senate and Congressmen are crooks. They are tainted by Napoles stigma. It is also given U.P. graduates are crooks. Their capo de tuti de capi are in high places. It is like having crooks investigate crooks.

      Let us get real folks. I have nothing against U.P. What I have against them is they are crooks. I did not fail UPCAT which most of them accuse me of. Why would I apply for UPCAT when I can ace SAT in the US. High-school drop-outs in the US can ace UPCAT. One Filipino high-school drop-out in the US confided to me UPCAT is for sissies. He is now a rapper. Guess who?

      So let us get real. What good we put in Malacanang if our “premier” schools are cranking out crooks.

    • Joe America says:

      Now that is a REAL agenda, focused on the REAL problems. I might argue on one or two or even six, but correct those problems and the ethical bearing of the nation would rise sharply. It is the weak ethical standing that is the bed for corruption.

  29. She_canada says:

    Come on! I can’t find any achievement/s of Aquino administration than being the official ‘boy sisi’, he’s not an effective leader! Do I need to say more? Too much yellow is a shit!

  30. heidi says:

    Sa nabasa ko, sorry ha pero may mali yata. Hindi sinisi ni Sen. Grace Poe ang Aquino Administration. Malaki nga ang respeto niya kay Pnoy. Sabi dito “Dont undermine him and the achievements of the philippines”. Di ba dapat ganun din tayo sa kanila? Di ulit teacher ka dati wala ka ng kakayahang mapaunlad ang bansa? Ibig sabihin ba kapag mahirap ka wala ka ng kakayahang umangat sa buhay? Nung bata tayo at nag-aaral sinasabi ng mga teachers natin isa sa inyo pwedeng maging presidente ng Pilipinas. Lawyer na ba tayo nun? Experienced politician? Di pa di ba? Yung hindi nakapagtrabaho, ibig sabihin ba wala na silang alam gawin na ikauunlad nila at ng nakapaligid sa kanila? Yung ang ama o miyembro ng pamilya na may nagawang di maganda? Ibig sabihin ba ganun na din ang gagawin ng anak niya?

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      (For Joe, this is what heidi said:

      Sorry, Joe but based on what I read, you may be wrong. Senator Grace Poe did not blame the Aquino Administration. She has a lot of respect for Pnoy. You said, “Dont undermine him and the achievements of the philippines.” Shouldn’t that apply to Grace too? An ex-teacher does not have the ability to affect the progress of a nation? So if you are poor, you do not have the ability to succeed? When we are young and in school, our teachers said, “You can be the President someday.” Were we lawyers then? Experienced politician? Not yet, right? If they have no experience, does that mean they do not have the capability to induce progress and the capacity to uplift the masses? If a father or member of a family have done something wrong? Does that mean the child will do the same?)

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks, juana. I think everyone has the wherewithal to lift the Philippines, and fellow Filipinos, higher. Grace Poe, in siding with INC, for instance, and suggesting that DOJ had other higher priorities (Mamasapano), was widely seen as undermining President Aquino’s primary prosecutor against the criminal and corrupt.

    • venus says:

      Elementary pa lang ako developing ? country na ang Pinas, 3 decades had gone still, ganun pa rin ang nababasa ko sa libro ng aking mga anak. And the current Admin had somehow made some progress at sana tuloy tuloy na. Impokrita lang at bulag ang nagsasabing walang nagawa ang Pang. Aquino.
      With what the current Admin had achieved and also with the people being hardheaded and not that disciplined like our neighboring countries, hindi lang isang guro, like Grace Llamanzares na walang paninindigan pag merong krises na dumating ang kailangan natin but someone na may alam sa batas and with an iron fist.
      This is my first time to comment in here co’z am not that really good in English and how I wish this blog can be read by majority of the Filipino voters so that they will be enlightened of what is happening in our country and whom to choose this coming election. Every election, I exercise my right to vote and am thankful that the Admin endorse Roxas instead of Llamanzares as Pres. or else di ako boboto.

      • Joe America says:

        Welcome to the Comment Club, venus, a special section of the Society of Honor. A translation of this article will be provided later today thanks to the generous effort of another reader.

  31. Joey Villegas says:

    Mas maiintindihan ng lahat ng Pilipino kung ang komentong ito ay isasalin sa wikang tagalog. Napakaganda ng nilalaman ng komentong ito.

    • NHerrera says:

      Sangayon ako. Meron contributor dito na sa palagay ko naniniwala sa sinulat ni Joe at mahusay sa wika natin. Kung puede sana ako, pero sa isang sentence na ito hirap na hirap na ako. Mahusay and suhestyon mo.

  32. caliphman says:

    person who should be commended the most in this INC protest was the one who would have benefited the most from pandering to the church’s 1 million bloc vote. When she runs as senator in 2016, that bloc vote would probably be much more crucial to her being included in the magic twelve winning senatorial candidates than to the four wanna be presidents who mouthed whatever they calculated was needed to win that bloc vote. Thank you Secretary Lima for sticking to your principled position. Thank you President Aquino for backing her to the hilt and , if the stories are true, for not being the one who was forced to blink!

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      There is a three part write up by Aries Rufo on the dynamics of the present administration and the INC at Rappler. It details the President’s stand against patronage politics, the Gatdula story and much more.


      I think that the INC’s bloc vote is history. The 3 million votes that they could supposedly deliver through “unity” is quickly becoming null and void. If the recent “show of force” in EDSA is to be analyzed, it seems that the division within INC ranks has already trickled down to its members and that division will be reflected in their votes in 2016.

      • caliphman says:

        Thanks Juana. I did read the series and found it interesting. It confirms my point that Lima had most to gain and the best estimate early this year of an INC bloc vote of about a million which can certainly tip the balance in senatorial and certainly in local races. Whether the current internal crisis within the INC will make the leverage of the bloc vote a historical relic remains to be seen in 2016. Obviously, its all about perception as far as susceptible politicians are concerned, and that includes Binay, Marcos, and regrettably Poe who had the least reason to pander based on her survey numbers. Its not as if the administration itself is not surrounded by controversy in giving in to INC requests to have their choices promoted to key government positions, case in point the Bureau of Customs. Koko Pimentel is right, any obit on the political power or the unity of the INC will depend on what happens to the cases against the Sanggunian, which in turn depends on who is appointed to succeed Lima when she resigns shortly.

      • Joe America says:

        One of the most fascinating political reads in a long time. We get a sense of the tensions between INC and the Aquino Administration. It goes into the Must Read section, right column, later today. Thank you for the reference, and the very, very important point. INC has been busy shooting its vaunted bloc voting power in the foot. Both feet.

      • DAgimas says:

        I think their block voting is only effective if you are kulelat. the front runners will always win. just like dagdag bawas in the old system, it only help the laggards


  33. surfer sison says:

    In the Finance Manila forum where we argue about politics as rabidly as we do about the stock market, ” small, negative , shrill minds” also keep on focusing on the negative. Using statistics to ridicule the corruption of the Philippines compared to Singapore.

    What this critic failed to mention is that if you use this same statistic he quoted,and put it in the proper context, the Philippines actually did an excellent job compared to other countries in the region in Pnoy’s presidency.

    here it is:

    corruption index by transparency international :

    2009 ranking in the Asean

    3. Singapore
    56. Malaysia
    84. Thailand
    111. Indonesia
    139. Philippines

    2014 ranking in the Asean

    7. Singapore
    50. Malaysia
    85. Philippines
    85. Thailand
    107. Indonesia

  34. karl garcia says:

    “brought in new military equipment for an AFP that had gone begging for years,”

    True, but election laws just gave a November deadline on all pending transactions.
    Bad news for the big ticket items like frigates.

  35. surfer sison says:

    From GMA news opinion: “….. What if every motorist and passenger stranded for hours on EDSA last night filed a case against the Iglesia for damages? As a matter of fact, why not make it a class suit. For physical suffering, moral shock, sleepless night, missed flights, lost income, lost sanity… Wild applause and instant fame awaits any lawyer who has cojones grandes to file it and make it stick…..”
    – See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/534826/opinion/why-occupy-edsa#sthash.GyMe6gX4.dpuf

    calling lawyers with cojones grandes….

  36. Kenneth Tan says:

    Hi. Why focus on the 5 Presidentiables? Have you not heard about Duterte? The 4 you mentioned plus Roxas are all from Luzon and are all TRAPOS… Why not give a chance that is from Mindanao? We never have a president who is from Mindanao, maybe this one can give us an alternative thinking. Look at Davao, it’s been the 4th safest city in the World and one of the 5 most competitive city in the Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      You are welcome to write an article. I have taken Duterte at his word, that he is not running for national office. If I ought not take him at his word, please explain in your article how we are to interpret his “in then out” stance, every blowing, blowing in the winds.

      • He is only acting “coy”, the Filipino way. Same thing Cory and Noynoy originally did.

        Present status is that he is still talking to his family and that PDP-NP may field him as Presidential Candidate (source: Manny Piñol) possibly with Cayetano as VP running mate.

        • Joe America says:

          Duterte-Cayetano would be a strong team.

          • Ever since he attacked poor Iqbal in the Senate, Cayetano has been to Mindanao often and to Davao several times to get an idea of how things are on the ground.

            He says that he has talked to Duterte exactly four times in his life, and that he is more favorable to being Duterte’s running mate, even though he has had more contact with Mar Roxas his impression is that they are very fixated on having Grace Poe as VP candidate.

            • Joe America says:

              Duterte and Cayetano would be fun to watch. I have a feeling their minds would click along, lock-step in agreement, and no meeting would require more than 7 minutes to conclude. This is not good cop, bad cop, but two bad-ass cops. Speaking personally, they would have to convince me that they are for the law, would not tear government apart, and respect International Human Rights norms.

              • They might in fact balance each other out in major aspects:

                1) Duterte would keep Cayetano real, having much experience on the ground.

                2) Cayetano would help Duterte manuever in and respect established Manila institutions.

                And last but not least, Duterte might groom Cayetano as his successor for 2022.

                It would a slightly different road than Aquino/Mar, but it might be worth looking into.

              • NHerrera says:

                This is not good cop, bad cop, but two bad-ass cops. I like that, nuanced by Irineo’s comments immediately before this note.

  37. surfer sison says:

    The Chinese say “Fu bu guo san dai” – wealth never survives three generations.

    Does this apply to the INC ? hehehe

  38. Ben Luna says:

    Any thoughts on Duterte, Joe? He comes off as a Charles Bronson vigilante and I’m afraid people are taking him seriously.

    • Joe America says:

      I have not organized all my thoughts in a comprehensive way, and have taken him at his (latest) word that he will not run for national office. I think he has good qualities but has made some rash statements, and it is hard to get a fix on exactly who he is and whether he would build or tear down. I consider him too “high risk” for my liking.

      • Davao proves that he has built. If I were to invest in a country I would prefer a place where criminals are dealt with and normal folks can live and earn money peacefully.

        Mar Roxas is also good, but better for the big business crowd. Many OFWs that want to invest their money in the Philippines would still be too scared of holduppers, KFR gangs and much more. And don’t want to wait 30 years until Philippine police and courts work.

    • mercedes santos says:

      Or the Texas Ranger, for that matter.

  39. Kenneth Tan says:

    Here’s a link on how safe Davao City and so progressive under Duterte… Enough of the TRAPOS from Luzon (Poe, Binay, Roxas, Escudero, Marcos). http://opinion.inquirer.net/85269/dutertes-safe-city#art_disc

  40. David Murphy says:

    Hi JoeAm, Early in your blog you asked critics of the present administration’s policies a series of rhetorical questions about their concern for poverty alleviation, building new schools, infrastructure projects, economic advancement and similar issues. As I read those and the remainder of your blog, it was plain to me that the answer to those rhetorical questions is “No.” Those politicians are not primarily interested in those issues. They are interested in their own personal gain, whether in power or in financial benefits. Once that becomes clear, the question becomes how to negate the vote-getting power of these trapos among the masa so that men and women of integrity can be elected to continue to work for the good of the nation.

  41. bgie says:

    Thank you Joe. I’ve been following your blog and always gets interested in reading your post. Your comments and opinions and from other people as well have help me decide who to vote this coming election. I too don’t understand as to why these people continue to criticize Pnoy. If they really meant to serve the country then why not participate in achieving the goal? Well, anyway, their actions speak louder than words. If we, people would just so serious in observing on how they (P, E, M, R, B) reacted on issues then we would know who among the 5 is certain in serving the nation, sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa!

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for following and offering up that crisp summary of what the particular article is about. I’m glad you’ve found the blog helpful in your own thought formulations.

  42. Fred Escobar says:

    Joe Am……………….Perfect……..!!!!

  43. OzyBoy says:

    Joe, I’ve been scanning mainstream newspapers and read that there are many opinion shapers/writers insinuating that there’s a shady agreement made between INC and PNoy administration (INC – we go home. PNoy – yes, I will cut De LIma, you vote for Mar). The public iwill be quick to pick up this propaganda, I’m sure. Mar should rebutt PRONTO PRONTO.

    • Joe America says:

      Tomorrow’s blog will deal specifically with this matter, OzyBoy, particularly as it pertains to the mess in Customs, and apparent infiltration of staff there by INC. This will be one of the more pointed articles I’ve done on a specific issue, with very considerable collaborative help by reader Caliphman.

  44. Oliver says:

    Hi Joe sent a tagalog version as per google translation

  45. Dick S. O'Rosary says:

    Now, this is where I disagree.

    “They have nothing to sell because everything they would sell, that is positive, is already being done. Want faster spending, that’s what’s happening. Want poverty reduction and inclusion? That’s what’s happening. Want jobs and opportunity? That’s what’s happening. Want a reasonable, firm approach to China? That’s what’s happening. Want better education and opportunities for young people? That’s what’s happening. Want less corruption and better local governance? That’s what’s happening. Want global leadership and respect? That’s what’s happening.”

    Faster spending? – This administration can’t do it without DAP as you’ve defended previously.

    Jobs and opportunity? – Philippines has basically stood still. Worse, it looks like all of our growth is a bubble waiting to pop.

    Reasonable approach to China? – It looks like a war might break out and all we have is a shiprwreck outpost. I know that he’s been acquiring military equipment but all the purchases have been inadequate in terms of number and quality.

    Better education? – I’ll grant you this. K12 is an improvement and I am for that.

    Less corruption and better local governance? – No way. Services in government offices have slowed to a crawl. An ID which would have been available within the day now takes months. Pork Barrel (until it was declared unconstitutional) has increased. People see nothing but favoritism under the LP.

    Global leadership and respect? – I’m sorry, but this administration has made so many gaffes and blunders that its hard to see anyone taking us seriously. You can ask the Belgians trying to sue us. The Pope will be more charitable with his assessment though. I wonder if he’s lulled the Malaysians into thinking that Sabah is their yet.

    Basically, I think your main argument here is: “This current administration has done nothing wrong, so prospective candidates for the next administration need not criticize.” The way I see it, criticism is valid and while it is true that Binay, Poe, Escudero and Marcos all sound alike, they must debate on these criticism and offer their own vision and plan in order to differentiate themselves from one another and to generate a following out of those who remain undecided.

    Ah debate… I understand a person from the western/intellectual/1st world has taken debate for granted and most Asians/3rd worlders must see debate as unnecessary and irrelevant, but I cannot, in good conscience, recommend skipping debates.

    Before you ask me where I got my facts, this is a mix of personal experience, observation and some research. Lets just agree that how a man on the street perceives government performance is an essential counterpoint to statistics and surveys. May I also point out that you didn’t mention any facts yourself but I’ll just chock that up to difference in perception/values dissonance.

    (Note: I didn’t read the other comments before writing this)

    • Joe America says:

      We disagree on so much that I have no inclination to start responding. The one point I will make is that the idea that I think the administration makes no mistakes is flat out wrong. I simply look for positive rather than negative, and typically find a lot of it. The evidence of your error on this will be in tomorrow’s blog, which is “in the can” awaiting its publication time of about 9:00 am in the morning. The rest I put down to you hanging around that GRP site too much and getting a bit of a bend in the brain. But I don’t hold that against you. I used to do that too, until I called benigno a hypocrite and he threw me out. 🙂 He was the major incentive to start this blog, so I owe him a lot . . .

      • Dick S. O'Rosary says:

        Our disagreement may start from fundamental differences in the way we think. Some of us do look for negativity, but it isn’t because I desire governments to fail or have vested interests in certain politicos or movements. We all want this country to get better. I do look forward to seeing your latest essay. I do enjoy reading your blog, even though I may at times disagree. When you wrote “Manila is to New York as Davao is to Los Angeles”, we were smoking the same weed.

        • Joe America says:

          Ahhh, well, I’m happy with a hit now and then. Check in after you’ve read the next blog. It’s rather long, but more “operationally engaged” than a lot of these cerebral or passion pieces.

    • Bert says:

      Excuse me, Joe, but I find this a very negative view of what are actually occurring in the Philippines under the present administration and, as Mr. Dick S O’Rosary mentioned that he has not read other comments here in this thread, may I repost here commenter Annalissa’s view for his discernment. It’s not a rebuttal but just to show the impact of a negative and positive comments to the reader.

      Annalissa at 10:54 pm:

      “Oh, Joe. Oh, Joe. Thank you for articulating what the silent majority like us have in mind who are on the sidelines observing, evaluating our leaders and would be ‘successors’. The past events made our (at least for my family) choice much clearer. I think this administration will go down in history as the one where every facet of governance came under scrutiny – and where every corrupt and false beliefs came into light – everything was exposed from the Supreme Court practices, to the customs, to the wheeling and dealing senators and congressmen, the presidentiables topping the surveys, religious organizations fronting as lobby groups, ‘hardhitting’ mediamen who are actually biased. Only a few good men (and women) had withstood the intense heat of the current events. And all in play for us to see in broad daylight! The winnowing wind has come…..and has exposed the bad grains!”

  46. jameboy says:

    It is the price that Mar Roxas bears for being FOR the straight path and running as an extension of the Aquino Administration’s achievements, good and bad. – Joe
    I see it as more of a blessing than a price to pay. Let me explain.

    The four (Binay, Chiz, Marcos, Poe) sounding alike is understandable because they are not with the administration. In fact, one (Binay) has already declared his intention to run against the administration bet (Roxas), while the other (Poe) remains coy and continue to demonstrate her budding trapo character by playing both sides of the fence. Anything that will make her stay afloat in the ratings game she’ll do.

    Their criticisms against PNoy or his administration will not produce the desired impact because it is not really about Roxas but about the president who is heading to the exit door. Sure they can blame PNoy for the missteps, mistakes and spotty decisions he made in six years. They can lie about him and be super dishonest about his accomplishments and be in perpetual denial on anything he has done during his term. So what? What’s that got to do with Roxas, who, as everybody knows by now, is not a Noynoy clone? There is no sense on the sounds they make because they’re barking on the wrong tree!

    It is Mar Roxas they have to contend with and not PNoy. For them to make sense, they should raise issues against Roxas and not against the exiting president. While they can fault PNoy and downplay his accomplishments they cannot do that by lumping Roxas with him and still sound credible. By dragging PNoy it only goes to show that they really don’t have anything solid against Roxas. They drag the president in their fight against Mar Roxas and hope his mistakes will rub off on him? Good luck on that.

    Roxas’ advantage was he can ride on the accomplishments of the administration for being a part of the team and can distance himself with those issues that are not really personal or that does not fall under the jurisdiction of his department.

    For sharing characters and credibility issues, of course they will all sound alike against someone their opposite. 🙊

    • Joe America says:

      Today, Binay claimed that Roxas is responsible for the floods in Manila. What is a person to do when the reality is so grossly distorted and assigned to a guy who had nothing to do with building a city in the flood plains or cementing over the green absorption basins? I mean, this Binay character is about the nastiest, most scurrilous rascal I’ve had opportunity to witness in a public election campaign. He is papering the Philippines in shit.

  47. sonny says:

    Joe, Cincinnatus has been here all this time. I’m just saying. 🙂

  48. DAgimas says:

    now joe is criticizing like americans criticize their “professional” polticians. for the 3 mentioned above, only Poe held a “real job”. ( I am not pro Poe)

    • Joe America says:

      True. But those jobs seemed not to have developed within her a deep appreciation of magnanimity. Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magna great, and animus, mind, literally means greatly generous) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Google

    • Joe America says:

      True. But those jobs seemed not to have developed within her a deep appreciation of magnanimity.

      Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magna great, and animus, mind, literally means greatly generous) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Google

  49. Calataguena says:

    Gee, you hit the nail hard on this one Joe, great stuff. And the zooming in style with sharp sticking points made me somehow wished that you had written more. We need true leaders who show their love of our country, proud of what we have, and appreciative of what our government have achieved (enough of this crab mentality). With the INC mass action fiasco, we had seen their hollow attempts to capitalize on the situation for their political ends. Thankfully, they failed. They definitely underestimated the mostly critically thinking netizens. Graceless tears, huh!

  50. yesnoy46 says:

    Hello, Joe! Did you co-author yesterday’s PDI editoial column? The similarity to your blog dated 2015-09-01 is uncanny! By the way, I will attempt a Cebuano and also Zamboanga Chabacano translation. More power!

    • Joe America says:

      I smiled when I read that editorial, too. No, I had nothing to do with it, and, indeed, I found it remarkable coming from the Inquirer, which is itself rather tabloidian and inclined to lead with emotion over fact. But it is a good sign. Maybe there is an awakening going on that ethics DO count.

  51. Gemino H. Abad says:

    As Abe Lincoln says, “You can’t fool all the people all the time.”

  52. Manolo F Galvez says:

    Great article. Excellent run up for Mar Roxas’ campaign. However, I beg to disagree on one point. Of the 4 aspirants for higher office who were totally grilled here, Grace Poe has gone on record that she is all for the administration’s Daang Matuwid. And given a chance under any capacity, she has articulated numerous times that she would work to continue Pnoy’s programs of good governance. Her recent stance on the INC fiasco, I think, is an anomaly.

  53. https://incsilentnomore.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/let-the-truth-prevail/

    Iglesia Ni Cristo – Silent No More by Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista – a minister of INC

    August 27, 2015

    “Brethren, it is not the Church that is being subpoenaed by the Dept of Justice (DOJ). The subpoenas are for the individual members of the corrupt Sangunian (church council). Let’s call on them to face their case at the DOJ and stop spreading the lies that Bro. EVM will be arrested or that the government is against us. Let’s think hard about this brethren. Don’t allow ourselves to be used by them. They want to hide behind us to avoid facing the charges against them. Because the case is strong and valid against them, they are very scared and are deceiving the innocent brethren with lies that the government is fighting the Church. Please pass to all brethren.”

    The Dept. of Justice of the Philippines is currently trying to deliver subpoenas to members of the Sangunian based on highly valid evidence submitted to them. This evidence is so sensitive that it warrants attention from the Judicial branch of the Philippine government. No laws were manipulated to conduct this procedure.

    How did the Sangunian react to this? They continuously used the lessons to spread propaganda to claim their innocence and present themselves as ‘victims’ of persecution. They claim that the ‘illegal detention’ that was conducted on the ministers was strictly an internal matter. To make matters worse, they are inciting the brethren to a government rebellion by calling them to arms to ‘fight for their faith’ in EDSA.

    It is very important to emphasize that the DOJ is not addressing an internal Church matter. The DOJ is addressing laws of the land that have been violated and further investigations have deemed these issues under their jurisdiction. For many months now, the Sangunian has been claiming that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE to their corruption. Up to this point they are continuing to quote verses from the bible to explain themselves. But as our Lord Jesus said in Mark 12:17 “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” The Sangunian may have been able to exploit their ranks in the Church to protect themselves from judgment of the brethren BUT it stops there. There is no verse in the Holy Bible that can erase the evidence and crimes committed before the laws of the Land. The Sangunian may not be forced to answer to the brethren but they are by law required to answer to the government.

    Brethren… Isn’t this the moment we have been waiting for? Many of us have given the Sangunian the benefit of the doubt because THEY CLAIMED THERE WAS NO VALID PROOF. Contrary to the popular belief propagated by the Sangunian, THERE IS EVIDENCE and it has been submitted to the Philippine Government. As leaders of the country, it is not only the duty of the Philippine Government to the people, but it is also their right to investigate valid claims filed by citizens of the Philippines to find out if laws have been broken.

    This looming issue of the credibility of the current Administration lies on this investigation. If you really love and care for the Church, then you should allow the truth to come out once and for all. Our faith has always been based on TRUTH. We serve God and not man. It is our duty and right to protect the Church from all forms of harm. In this case harm that may have been inflicted by the Sangunian. Let’s allow the TRUTH TO PREVAIL. If the truth vindicates or indicts the SANGUNIAN, then let’s find out once and for all. This is the true FIGHT for our FAITH, brethren. Our duty to God and to the Church is to defend the TRUTH, so let’s fight for the TRUTH to be revealed.

    We have been taught to entrust everything to God. What if this is God’s will to finally answer all the doubts and questions we all have? What if God is using the Philippine Government to reveal these truths to us. Brethren, the government is not our enemy, the devil is. Let’s support due process and let God’s will be made known.

  54. eric says:

    A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, esp. for an extreme religious or political cause. Zealot. A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals. If you’re looking for adjectives or[t]he pursuit or defence of something in an extreme and passionate way that goes beyond normality.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent definitions. I don’t personally see too many around in the Philippines. VP Binay perhaps. Most people are advocates, which means they have decided to support one person or perspective. But that, to me, seems normal. Not excessive. In the US, many sort themselves into Democratic or Republican camps, and they are assertive with their opinions, based on ideology or policies. In the Philippines, people sort them out according to people they support. Or don’t. Normal, in the main, it seems to me.

  55. eric says:

    Excellent indeed…what one person considered as normal is indeed excessive by what others see…we can always manipulate things to look as if we are open minded as such but if u look closely theres a certain pattern or clues…u can always twist something to defend a person to the point of being blind on his shortcomings….its like..haters always hate but its the other way around this time….what would be a philippines if its all a jim paredes as a citizen or a bobi tiglao for that matter ron

  56. Jeffrey Jonathan P. Padua says:

    Last I check, Senator Grace Poe was pushing for the FOI bill in the Senate, while JoeAm’s straight path and ever transparent President can’t even prioritize the same. So if ever Binay, Poe, Marcos all sound alike..griping and complaining, it is all just what the Yellow Spin wants us to believe, to distinguish (kuno) their candidate as the only one that can bring us to the Promised Land. All I ask for Joe Am to do is to ride the MRT everyday to home and office…walk around Manila in early morning to witness poverty….

    • mcgll says:

      Rather than ask Joe to ride the MRT and look at poverty all around us, it will serve the country better if you ask Sen. Poe to explain what is FOI. Isn’t it odd that one who is so hot on getting the FOI bill passed into law would ask Sec. de Lima to desist from doing her job to investigate and in fact get more “information” about the matter that INK (Iglesia ni Kristo) seems so adamant to keep hidden from public scrutiny? Aren’t you at least a little bit embarrassed to give credit to Grace for advocating the passage of a bill which she has so easily defiled. No ba yon? Doble cara.?

      • eric says:

        The FOI has been a hot topic during the past election…ang poe only mentioned it anew during pnoys sona expecting it would be given importance….but sadly there was none….ur barking at the wrong tree on INC incident…

  57. jerry bien says:

    Thanks JoAm for giving 50% enlightenment for the Filipinos, nevertherless, America wanted a weak leadership in the Philippines to gain control and serve your interest in the struggling nation.

    A big NO to Roxas he have’nt shown potential, strength, right discretion during those days of Tacloban disaster, did nothing about the Bilibid drug lords, nor the SAF44 but instead he softspokenly sez’ sorry for the victims. He is in right position to have done something with results and not just say sorry like a poor child.

    Anyways, we are still eyeing for one leader and not in those mentioned name of yours! I hope this may provide the remaining 50% light.

  58. Ceri says:

    I wonder what accomplishments Roxas can claim in the posts he had under the Aquino administration i.e. DOTC, DILG.

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