Noynoy Aquino’s legacy is now being formed: President of ALL the people

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[Photo credit:]

Well, I don’t apologize for much but I’ve decided I’d better apologize to a lot of Filipinos today, to make amends. The reason?

I admire your President.

In the doing of that, I get never-ending grief from those who call me a blind follower or yellow moron or Aquino hack. So I apologize to all readers who are offended by my admiration for the leader who was elected by Philippine citizens back in 2010.

In my opinion, voters made an excellent choice in that election.

I wonder if we should demand an apology from them, too.

Perhaps not. Perhaps not.

To those who aren’t proud of their President . . . may I suggest a heart check-up? Or cranial reconditioning, you know, the way mechanics overhaul old motors?

If the office makes the man, the Office of the President made Mr. Aquino into a statesman and a gentleman, a manager of the executive style, and a president of ALL the people. He has done more to elevate the reputation of the Philippines around the world than any prior president as far as I can tell. That is, the Philippines as a nation standing alone, on its own two feet, sovereign and capable and respected, just like other developing and developed nations around the world. Poor, yes. A tad rustic and rusty here and there, yes. But modernizing, open and free, becoming prominent, and even leading ASEAN’s peaceful opposition to China’s aggression.  Under Mr. Aquino’s leadership, the Philippines is heading toward a new economic prosperity, a new place on the world stage, and a new social construct:


It seems to me that Mr. Aquino has done more to build the Philippines into a respected nation than we could ever expect. And he has done it by working through the harassing checks and balances of democracy and a whole lot of mean-spirited attacks from malcontents. It’s like all the criticisms just made him stronger and calmer and more reflective about his need to be more grown-up than the rest of us. So he gained strength as the years passed.

If you doubt his accomplishments, just look at the global rankings and you can see the nation on the upward track, steadily and definitely. Stable. Financial book in order. Building everywhere, roads, airports, ports, military bases. Rooting out corruption. Striving for peace and order. Transparency up, red tape down. Good relations with all neighbors except one thuggish giant, and even that one is half-good.

This progress will continue if voters are smart about it again in 2016.

Oh, yes, you will never get the anti crowd and naysayers and leftists and crooks and political opportunists to stand tall and truthful and acknowledge that, beyond all the perceived mistakes and flaws they are prone to pound on, Mr. Aquino is a stellar president who has done the nation proud. Who elevated the Philippines as a vibrant, diverse, wholesome nation, rather than a pack of coup-mongers, thieves and indolent natives.

What is amazing . . . and amusing . . . is that the President accepts that he is president of them, too. The malcontents, that is. He did not chop antagonist Jejomar Binay off at the knees when he was out of line as Vice President. When the VP skipped past the chain of command and tried to negotiate a peace agreement with the terrorist who led the Zamboangan seige. When Mr. Binay failed to show up at a Senate hearing, or was shown to have stolen taxpayers blind every way from overpriced toilets to ripping off the Boy Scouts on a property transaction. When VP Binay began criticizing the President directly as inept, or his staff as incompetent. President Aquino has not fired back at the relentless attacks. He has also not fired back at the other presidential wannabes who cheaply try to elevate their own standing by crab-talking the President’s programs.

Well, of course there are only several thousand important projects going on during any given day, from police operations to diplomatic negotiations to new fire trucks to finishing 100 new classrooms, so it is easy to find one to be indignant about. It is easy to sharpshoot and claim “I could have done that better!!!” But the statistics are with the President. He’s doing a whale of a lot of good work through the fine efforts of a fine, earnest, honest cabinet.

President Aquino is even president of the crabs, graciously presenting the vice presidency to Grace Poe even if she did do a political hack job on the President at her Mamasapano hearing, and dissed the President’s prized BBL effort and handling of the INC protest.

He is the president even of the political opportunists.

I’ll be frank. I do not have the capacity to be as gracious as the President. He seems able to remove himself from the day-to-day hostilities and say, “I am president of this entire nation, from the fishermen to the oligarchs, the clan leaders, the rebels, the leftists, the political opportunists, the old, the young, the poor, the rich, the middle class, the Moros and the AFP, and the human rights advocates, the Filipinos overseas . . . ALL of them.”

I get crabby and self-righteous myself. And I think most of us do, about this or that.

So I admire President Aquino’s ability to consider that even those who are bitter with their criticisms, or uninformed, or playing loose with the truth . . . have rights to complain and criticize and protest. I admire his stoic resolve to think tough issues through, to take his time, to get information first and reflect on implications, to avoid being driven by the press or popularity or anger, and to put in order a response that embraces all Filipinos, even his loopy aunt and uncle. Even the leftists who burn him in effigy. Even the Bishops who play politics. Even Iglesia ni Cristo members camping on EDSA. And especially Muslim Mindinao, a huge community he seeks to welcome into the Philippine mainstream after years of disenfranchisement.

Noynoy Aquino is President of ALL the people.

And again, I know I am only a guest here. For sure, I am told to “go home to America” often enough to remind me of that. So I apologize to all Filipinos who are offended by my admiration for your President.

But you know what? Mr. Aquino even makes YOU look better.

Even though you may choose not to live by his principles.




202 Responses to “Noynoy Aquino’s legacy is now being formed: President of ALL the people”
  1. andrewlim8 says:

    My definition of his legacy: with malice toward none, he tried to do his best, and accomplished a lot. And that’s saying a lot since you cannot say the same for Marcos, Arroyo and Estrada, all of whom had evil intent to harm the people- either through corruption or oppression. Aquino’s failures and mistakes were just that- failures and mistakes, with malice toward none.

    • Joe America says:

      Nicely put. I suppose he has become strong because his cabinet supported him, as he supported them. Otherwise, he has not had much of a support network. I mean, how much can Kris carry, after all? His loopy uncle and auntie hating him, his mother and father gone, no wife to grouch at. His fast car and fancy women taken away from him by a compassion-deficient public.

      He has just worked.

      • Thank you Joe, it’s all true.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, it is all true, Allan. Thanks for making that simple point. Filipinos ought to be proud of the President their free, democratic system chose. They don’t have to agree with him on everything to get there . . .

      • Well, his not having a family of his own may in fact be the reason for his dedication to the Philippines – otherwise Filipinos tend to prioritize their own family. Even not having a woman may be an advantage – some say Imelda was the one who corrupted Marcos, although that in my point of view is a simplistic explanation there is some truth to it. Thrust into his office by popular demand and unprepared, he had no possibility of retreating – like the man in Gattaca he swam without thinking of saving strength for the way back to shore.

        • ykve says:

          Yes, it is a fantastic observation thank you JOE AMERICA . I am a Filipino who noticed that too, but sad to say some Filipinos are keep closing their eyes. I’ve just keep on praying and hoping that they wake up before it’s too late..

    • grammy2342 says:

      That is so well put “with malice toward none.”

    • DIEGO V. NARZABAL says:

      “WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE” is a befitting definition of his legacy as a President.

  2. Very correct, Joe. But the present issue of the Lumad killings is something where he has not been very present recently, and Mar Roxas was again a bit clumsy in handling public perception.

    There is one candidate who no longer is a candidate who is doing better in this area, and I have always made no secret of my bias for him, because he is TRULY closer to the common people than any of the elite politicians without being a crooked populist. Duterte of course:

    Now contrast that to how Mar Roxas handled the issue. Of course it is already campaign time and everything is being watched closely, and everybody is trying to earn brownie points where possible. BUT this is once again an example for the typical (maybe perceived) elite insensitivity, to their being tone-deaf when it comes to the normal Filipino. Yolanda, Mamasapano are examples. In fact Aquino is more able to hit the right notes for the masa than Roxas is – or Roxas’s wife. And Roxas will be up against Grace Poe, who unlike Binay is acceptable for many middle class people, so LP will have to be very careful in handling public perception. This is a challenge to be faced.–deaf-dumb-and-blind-to-lumads

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, well, I am working away from the presidential contenders and all that politicking. If we go by President Aquino’s prior patterns, we can expect that he is gathering information about the Lumad killings to be perfectly sure he understands what happened and what his position should be. After all, he is president of both the Lumads and the police. One of the things I have learned to do is not be too quick with judgment, because he does NOT do top of mind responses. But that does not mean he is not on top of the matter. It is just that we don’t know what he knows . . . and we can guess he is not ignoring the matter.

      • “we can expect that he is gathering information” which is good considering the precedents.

        My gut feeling tells me it is a typical Mindanao situation where you don’t quite know who is who – the militia that allegedly killed Lumads reminds me of the “lost commands” from before, they may or may not or no longer be under military control. From what I have read about that place – never been there – it is probably difficult to know who is on what side at what moment – Ilagas, Muslim groups, NPA (which has strong Lumad participation) etc.

      • neo canjeca says:

        Are we there yet? Naahh,,, No. We are
        still sleeping in the pancitan. Talaga Po.

        Joe and your honors of this society,
        so much is happening in our planet now
        Earthquakes and floods every now and then;
        here and there people getting massacred,
        while Pope Francis went to kneel, say a Mass
        to a country whose leaders turned their backs and
        Mock the faces of Jesus and His Mother Mary.

        Today, immigration being perhaps the new colonization
        Deserved or undeserved backlash pain to old colonizers
        Refugees with an excuse for a life of piety and peace
        Broken , unmindful and clueless of their power of humanity
        Would rather leave than fight evil sickening their country.

        There’s too, too much change now even in the Philippines
        That even the evil amongst the people are shaking in their boots
        A supposed lame duck of a President becomes not a dead duck
        But a target sitting duck of vitriol and poison darts of the very afraid
        Of what he has done, of the social upheaval he has begun
        They attacked him instead of his supported candidate
        When the fact is, Noynoy is on his way to recent memory,
        And could by his struggling people, be easily FORGOTTEN.

        Evil has attacked for what many his candidate has not done
        Gloating and drooling to a well cooked viand for the starving
        They have grabbed and swallowed whole with gusto
        Noynoy’s tuwid na daan as theirs to continue
        They of honor deprived and most people saw
        depraved by opportunism always raw.

        So much fight between good and evil
        has changed our world today
        The good must be brave to be very afraid
        NOT to fight the coward’s courage of knaves.

    • Steve says:

      Aquino is not the disaster he is sometimes made out to be… but there’s little doubt that he has generated a great deal of frustration and resistance, even (indeed especially) among the middle class, which should be most positively impacted by reduced corruption and a stronger economy.

      A few reasons:

      First, Manila, and the mess that is Metro Manila. I can be argued that Manila is a victim of its own success, that its relative economic dynamism has attracted unmanageable migrant inflows, that increased vehicle ownership (a good measure of increased prosperity) has a major role in creating traffic, etc. Still, the lack of visible, apparent reaction to the traffic mess, the LRT/MRT mess, the disaster vulnerability mess, the perceived rise in criminality and ineffectiveness of the police… all this creates friction. Ok, Manila is a hopeless mess of overlapping jurisdictions and self-paralyzing politics that make actual progress very difficult to manage, but some visible ideas and some visible effort would help. Since a disproportionate number of middle class individuals are based in the capital, the situation there has a major impact on middle class perceptions.

      Second, DOTC, which is a full on disaster. From impossibly slow internet to a complete failure of ideas on traffic management to inability to perform such simple functions as issuing a drivers license , registration sticker, or license pate, this is a hopeless morass of inutility, and again, one that directly impacts the middle class. You don’t expect the President to fix it, but you do expect him to recognize that the agency is not working and take visible action.

      Third… this administration just doesn’t know how to posture. That’s not altogether a bad thing, but there are times when the public needs some posturing, especially with an unsophisticated electorate that often confuses posturing and leadership. A more skilled politician would have treated Haiyan, Mamasapano, and too many more as opportunities to get out there, get on TV, wave the flag, show the stiff upper lip, and provide the visible reassurance that people expect. Of course none of this actually helps resolve the situation, but people still expect and in some senses need to see it. Effective leadership behind the scenes is more important, but what’s behind the scenes is by definition not visible to the public, and when the public sees a vacuum, they get first uneasy and then hostile.

      So we have a President that gets more hate than he probably deserves, but the reasons for that are best understood, especially by those who would succeed him…

      • karl garcia says:

        I asked someone from DOTC about the internet and he said forget about the C,we are just DOT. I thought NTC was under them.

        • Metro Manila, traffic situation, Internet speed, government service (including Customs, BIR, LTO among others, and e-government) plus effective police and justice system (get rid of hulidap and other terrible stuff that undermines trust in the police as first priority)…

          This is my list of 5 things that the next President must address without delay or excuses – outline what will be done in the first two years and report on progress with every SONA.

          • Why five things – because the Stone Age brain we all have (the rest is on top) can only grasp five things at a time, meaning five things are easy to remember and to track. Twenty items like in Grace Poe’s program is too much, and these points are too general anyway.

            • Sa madaling salita – unahin iyong mga bagay na importante, huwag na muna magsayang ng oras at pera sa ibang mga pautot diyan. Kung nakikita iyan ng mga taong-bayan, unti-unti silang magtitiwala ulit sa gobyerno. Dahil may pakinabang para sa kanila.

              Ayusin ang Maynila, ayusin ang trapik, pabilisin ang Internet, ayusin ang serbisyo ng gobyerno, mas ayusin pa ang pulis at hustisya. Ipakita na may ginagawa at may resulta.

              • ykve says:

                Sa palagay ko dahil yan sa wala tayong own na satellites, ikaw may naisip kaba kung paano yan makukuha sa galling mong yan ….sige nga …

              • karl garcia says:

                opo satellite,broadband network,etc.

                me punto po sya sa konteng pangako na di mapapako.
                Kung ang kongreso daan daan ang bill, wala pa sa one fourth ang papasa bale wala.

                kung sa malacanang kaunti lang ang focus mas sigurado me mangyayari.

              • karl garcia says:

                mas murang teknolohiya ang drone, pwedeng tumagal ito ng ilan buwan sa himpapawid.

              • Ang nakikita ko dito sa Germany, hindi satellite ang ginagamit at hindi lang landlines dahil kulang – para sa Internet at telepono. Gumagamit sila ng microwave technology, antenna sa matataas na bubong na may katapat sa kabila, parang linya na rin iyon na mataas ang capacity. Richtfunk ang tawag dito sa ganoon na teknolohiya – directed broadcasting, kung baga sa ilaw katumbas ito ng laser dahil bundled ang radiation.

                Iyon lang ang nabasa ko, hindi ako exsperto, pero sa Oktoberfest na ginaganap ngayon sa Munich, nakakapagtayo sila ng higt sa 50 antenna para sa mga bisita na umaabot ng iilang milyon. Kaya nandiyan ang teknolohiya para may magawang paraan.

                Total malaki na ang tulong ng JICA sa Pilipinas, bakit hindi sila ang tanungin. Siguradong kayang-kaya din ng mga Hapon iyong nagagawa rito sa Alemanya, o kaya iyong mga South Korean. Punong-puno din naman iyong kanilang mga siyudad tulad ng Maynila.

              • ang tamang English term para sa itinutukoy kong teknolohiya. Sa mga islang magkakalapit, magagamit siguro ito sa halip ng mamahalin na undersea fiber optic cable.

                Malamang meron na nito sa CBD (Makati at Fort), hindi ako naniniwalang mabagal ang Internet sa mga BPO companies. Baka hindi lang nag-iinvest masyado ang mga telecoms sa linya doon sa ibang lugar dahil hindi sila napipilitan tapos matakaw pang kumita, total nagbabayad naman ang mga tao kahit mabagal ang linya. Iyon sa tingin ko ang problema sa mga negosyo sa Pilipinas, gustong kumita agad ng malaki pero ayaw nilang gumastos.

                Mga ideya lang naman ang ibinibigay ko, sa software at SAP lang talaga ako eksperto, pagdating sa teknolohiya bata pa lang mahilig na talaga akong magbasa tungkol doon pati na iyong science fiction – magtrabaho sa NASA ang pangarap ko noong araw… 🙂

      • “provide the visible reassurance that people expect” it is important because you need the people’s hearts and minds too, or buy-in like they say in today’s managerspeak. If one analyzes it using the movie everybody seems to be watching, General Luna got that part right when it came to forcing the Philippine Army then to wear the same uniforms – to give soldiers a sense of pride and unity, he got it wrong in how he dealt with certain officers. But then again, before and now it has been always hard to lead Filipinos.

        “they get first uneasy and then hostile.” very well characterized. The Filipino experience is one of being constantly betrayed, leading them to distrust. The hard work of managing that distrust is definitely a challenge, and building up more trust is a long-term project.

      • Joe America says:

        I’m glad you stopped by, Steve. In reading Irineo’s prior comment on the Lumad shootings, and President Aquino not stepping in, I was wondering if you had a take on that incident.

        • Steve says:

          First thing to note is that this is nothing new: these conflicts have been ongoing for decades, with the violence ebbing and flowing. Neither are the conflicts as simple as they are sometimes claimed to be. The military have at times organized militias, and some lumad groups have deliberately joined them, even offered to organize them, in order to get arms and support in inter-tribal conflicts. People with a grudge may use allegations of NPA leanings as an excuse to have a go at someone who has something they want, or with whom they have a dispute. Big and small companies organize and arm paramilitary groups, and there are numerous less formal groups associated with local landowners, politicians, and “small scale” gold mining operators, often the same people. There’s a long history of charismatic individuals, often with a military history, organizing what amount to freelance militias for their own purposes… look up the careers of Carlos Lademora or Alexander Noble for examples.

          The NPA also hides behind the lumad, and recruits their youth as cannon fodder, and the NPA and their pet groups can be counted upon to shriek about lumad rights when they want the military out of areas they consider their havens. When you hear groups using deep left rhetoric calling for military pullout from one area or another, it’s good to be suspicious.

          Governments in manila have generally tried to pretend that all of this isn’t happening, because there’s not much they can do about it. Central government control in much of Mindanao is nominal at best, and often not even that. Of course it could be said that it is the government’s responsibility to re-assert control, but at this point it seems a remote possibility at best.

          The recent cases are real, but they are also being manipulated for political purposes, and you can be sure there’s a lot going on that isn’t being said. As is so often the case, the government is not presenting it’s case well or effectively.

          • Joe America says:

            Thanks. Exactly the perspective I was looking for. From the first sentence to last, and all in between.

          • Bert says:

            I will take that as an expert opinion on the matter and very enlightening, too. Thank you, Steve.

          • Steve, many thanks. What I am curious about: what is your take on Duterte, as someone who has lived in Mindanao. Considering that it is the Wild South, his alleged methods are not surprising – or how did High Noon go, did they wait for the cavalry, or arrest warrants?

            My question is: do you think he is for real? Or is something wrong with the picture of the accomplishments he has been able to present – making Davao into an organized city?

            Is he really Wyatt Earp, or is he just another of these gunmen pretending something?

            • Steve says:

              Well, he’s not Wyatt Earp, but Wyatt Earp wasn’t Wyatt Earp either, in the sense that the actual person’s career was nothing at all like the legend that grew up around the name. A better question might be whether a Wyatt Earp type, even if the legends were true, would make a good President.

              I like some of Duterte’s positions, which in many cases seem surprisingly progressive given the reputation. I am not at all impressed by the whole vigilante justice idea, the obsession with drugs, or by the promise that a Duterte administration would be “madugo”, a promise I expect he’d keep. I observe that his reputation in Davao seems largely built on having small time street hoods whacked, and I see little reason to believe that he could or would stand up to the sort of criminal that really threatens the country… the sort that drives a BMW, has a close-in security team, and has holsters full of judges and generals, not pistols. His few foreign policy pronouncements border on the naive (let’s just talk to China about territorial disputes) and the whole federal/parliamentary idea has always struck me as a bad idea based on an inaccurate diagnosis of the nation’s problems.

              In short… thanks but no thanks, though I can’t say any of the candidates running makes a very positive impression. Once more we face an exercise in selection of the lesser evil. I do wish more people would realize that unless the nation elects a generally better level of legislators and local officials, even a really good President is not likely to accomplish much.

              • Steve, many thanks. What would interest me is why you see the federal/parliamentary idea as a bad one. Isn’t extreme centralism a bottleneck to regional progress? Wouldn’t parliamentary decrease reliance on just the President which is a weakness of the system?

                On the other hand, the danger of the Philippines becoming a country run by regional despots is extremely large, and a Parliament could become a worse cesspool than pork barrel Congress. Given the way things have gone in the Philippines until now.

                A generally better level of legislators and local officials – but where do you get these people from? There are a few citizen’s initiatives like CANA, but I wonder how much influence they really have in the fiefdoms that you often have in local politics.

              • Steve says:

                I think the core problem is feudalism, and the continued domination of economic and political life by a small clique of feudal dynasties, especially in the provinces. A Federal/Parliamentary system would place even more power in the hands of this clique, which would inevitably dominate Parliament (just as it dominates Congress today) and the Federal governments. The central government has not so far acted as a check on the provincial dynasties in any organized way, but at least it has the capacity to do so. In a Federal/Parliamentary system who or what would provide even hypothetical control?

  3. quijano de pampanga says:

    I hope they we can bring Pnoy back if we ever chose the wrong president in 2016. But either way, I hope he can have a stress free and a love life in 2016. And he deserved that white Porsche!. He earned it!

    • neo canjeca says:

      Don’t worry, Mr Quijano de P. Mark this post and save .

      Noynoy will be back if some body say like Popoy and the other brain matters that matter here will think and write the draft of an apolitical, and an anaoppoturnist , ( ever heard of our carica papaya, an anaphrodisiac counterpart of viagra?) form of government so that Mar can lead Consti Change for a Prime Minister and a Parliament elected President (Noynoy will be the first) of a country of United Regions of the Philippines. Ahaa Hah, hah, hah, Eh?

  4. karl garcia says:

    Mea Culpa. I remember just a few days ago when I was blabbering my own alternate version that he gave credit to the MILF instead of SAF. I respect how you defended the president’s position, and correct hip shooters like yours truly.

    • Joe America says:

      It struck me sharply when I got the inside details on the INC protest. The security plan actually made sure that the protesters would be escorted and made safe as they moved from DOJ, where they were protesting Sec. De Lima, to Edsa, where the President already knew he was going to become the target. “Maximum tolerance” was the policy until the end, when it would have become “no tolerance” had INC defied laws and kept blocking traffic. He was duty bound to serve commuters, too.

  5. Chit says:

    Oh my Joe America! The President is my idol…and so are you! Oh wow! What more could anyone say! Loud and clear you have said it all! may the blind see and the deaf hear!

    • Joe America says:

      🙂 Well, Chit, the President has the harder job, but for sure, he has done good things for the Philippines, in the face of a lot of criticism from vested interests. I’m glad we see things the same about his contributions.

      • grammy2342 says:

        I admire President Aquino with all his failings as perceived and as actual, because he is the ONLY President who is NOT CORRUPT and is HONEST. Period.

        • Joe America says:

          I wonder, who, really, could run this nation and not make what people perceive to be mistakes. Poe? Roxas? Binay. Without question, they would make their share, too, and whether they are all honest or inclined to put the PEOPLE first, is highly questionable in a case or two.

          • Duterte would put the people first – or those he perceives as honest, hardworking folks. The problem is who he perceives as people worth putting first – and being kept alive. 🙂

            The ideal President would have Duterte’s sense of serving the people, Mar Roxas’ administrative competence and Poe’s capacity to communicate with the people – plus Noynoy’s very Western, in fact somewhat “un-Filipino” magnanimity and FAIRNESS.

            • Am mighty glad Duterte decided not to run. Poe with her Marcos era friends, and he, with Marcos’ vigilante style of justice,….to divide the votes against Binay will make a double whammy for my stress level. Here’s hoping Lacson will not do again what he did in 2004.

              • Duterte recently said something like this: “Poe is competent, but I still have to decide who I will back for the Presidency”. Knowing him that can mean anything, but I think he is speculating on who will offer him a cabinet post. He knows the value of his support.

    • neo canjeca says:

      If I May say so, Chit. Solving the problem is one thing. Solving while actually fighting the problem is a stupid thing. Fighting rather than enlarging solutions to the problem is the thing of the imbeciles. When what I humbly think is best when Joe Am is saying/doing the right things as he also strive and does things RIGHT . Unlike Mark Antony, Joe Am came to praise Caesar, este Noynoy, NOT TO BURY HIM. For the good he has done is still with Noynoy not yet interred with his bones like Caesar.

  6. Betty Engracia says:

    Thank you again for putting words into well thought analysis, about what we know yet what you can express better. The President deserves so much gratitude from the Filipino for enabling us to walk chin up again.

    • Joe America says:

      You are exactly right, Betty. I truly am impressed with the “style” of a man that many crab about because he does not look like Fernando Poe or speak like John F Kennedy or have a wife looking like Heart Escudero. What, is everyone around here nuts or what? The Philippines has risen into PROMINENCE and respect around the world, and so many locals can do nothing but run down people who appreciate the leader who had the courage and stamina to go against the tides of corruption and self-dealing?

      “Give me a break!”.

  7. grammy2342 says:

    And I admire you, JoeAm because of how you are able to express what most of NoyNoy’s fans would like to express. He has indeed managed to place the Philippines once more as a rising tiger in the international community. And we, ungrateful wretches as we are, continue to bash him at every turn. Why can’t we love our own. We only think of “me.”

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that is what is bizarre. I am FOR the Philippines, and her leadership, and people insist on calling me names. Peculiar. Every staunch realist and Aquino supporter undoubtedly has had similar experiences.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      • In a country where betrayal is part of both history and personal experience, it is hard for people to comprehend idealistic values, a personal/group agenda is usually assumed.

        After all, Aguinaldo probably had General Luna killed because he believed what some people told him – that he was planning a coup to gain power, most probably all that Luna wanted, fanatically, was to win the war and have a properly run army for the country…

        Things have not changed much today – everybody suspects the other side of an agenda even when actual values and preferences are involved. Now those who have actual values tend to fanaticism and hardheadedness (Santiago, leftists) so someone who thinks flexibly and changes his mind based on facts and analysis is seen as truly weird. So for many Filipinos you are a strange American supporting an “Abnoy” – which is just their akward name for a kind of leader never seen before in the history of the country.

        • Sorry, there was a leader before similar to Aquino in quiet analysis and smartness – Apolinario Mabini. Forced to lead with words and brain because of his condition, but unfortunately he was not the top dog. With him, things would have gone differently.

          But in a country where posturing is often mistaken for leadership, a lamed man did not stand a chance. And even now a non-macho leader like Aquino has a hard time – Ramos was not openly macho but he did have the military card to play to his advantage.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, and the choice for me is to accept the way it is, or push for something different, if even the tiniest wee nudge.

  8. edgar lores says:

    It is impossible, of course, to say what the verdict of history will be 100 years hence.

    I think history will be kind to the Aquinos — father, mother and son.

    The father for sacrificing his life to end a dictatorship.

    The mother for restoring democracy.

    And the son for consolidating the gains made by his parents and charting a new path for the country.

    The common theme underlying these three lives — which will be called the Aquino Legacy — was, is and will be the fight against the disease of corruption in government.


    My crystal ball tells me that MLQ III, as an insider, will write the definitive biography of PNoy. It will be a balanced hagiography, warts and all, but it will nevertheless be a hagiography.

  9. Once again, thank you for saying what most Filipinos refused to acknowledge for fear of being labelled apologists and ass kisser or yellow army member…🎶

    Not only his aunt and uncle, he has townmate and friends bringing him down. Just look at V. Torres, with her name dropping style in order to assist a certain Mr. Sy in his smuggling in of substantial sugar imports from wherever …is it Thailand? Even saying it’s for the 2016 election funding!!! If it’s true that she is a member of the INC, she is adding fuel to the already hot issue of this group’s clout in the BOC…I think she should be disciplined by the INC.

    When you have to depend on friends and people you know who turned out to be unreliable, and with his usual S.O.P of a comprehensive investigation of any controversy involving them before acting, he is pictured as protective at worst and blindsided in the least.

    He has to work hard to steer this contrary nation towards a better future, the remaining months will be horrendously difficult as am pretty sure he will be campaigning hard to assure a Mar victory to assure continuity of his programs, with some maliciously implying that he will do his best to escape being detained once he steps down.

    • Joe America says:

      If Mr. Aquino were to be jailed (like for DAP) it would be the most horrendous travesty ever done in the name of justice, a justice incapable of seeing the demands of the job and the heavy burden the Constitution places on Executive.

      I find perplexing the side-by-side existence of delicadeza and betrayal. How about going with principles, and anyone who can’t find them or adhere to them is not worth delicadeza.

  10. I read somewhere that Poe has made a promise not to attack PNOY in her campaign trail. Another ploy to get the best of both world ? Why can’t I bring myself to trust her again?

    • Did you ever trust her? I never did. Of course she is trying to position herself as a candidate for all Filipinos – masa, burgis and middle class.

      I did hope she might find something beyond self-interest even if it is just to assure herself a place in the history books – at least Cayetano would act on such a motive, being vain. But no more, it is obvious she does not care and is an opportunist in every way like Chiz.

  11. President for all is a fitting legacy. Save for his stubborn stance in taxation I’ve always respected the President’s decisions. Based on the previous administration october means an almost standstill in change in government. Corrupt people can just wait out their good bosses and vice versa. His last gift to us should be a different kind of elections. Push for a better kind of debate. If candidates have ten point agendas then require abs cbn and gma7 to air these 10 debates. Make these policy centric. Be the first president who dorcrd fed education tobthe electorate.

    • Joe America says:

      On taxation . . . that’s interesting. We’ve not discussed that to my recollection. A huge omission. As I understand his policy, he was opposed to putting in new taxes or raising existing tax rates, but believed there was significant room to improve revenues by getting deadbeats to pay what they owe. That seems to me to be an admirable position, and what he adhered to, with good results. What is your criticism?

      As for engaging in how elections are run, I think he would have a hard time doing that, to impose upon COMELEC’s independent authority to run elections. He might encourage Mar Roxas to lay out a specific platform and/or challenge other candidates. But that is not the same as crafting policy.

      • Mary mentioned it briefly this week – he did not want to lower taxes because the government needs revenue. From what I have read at Raissa’s, the middle class bears a comparatively very high tax burden because they hardly can avail of deductions, while the businesses of the oligarchs can of course find ways around taxation. But that is a problem even in developed countries, I can assure you. Multinationals especially find ways to move losses to high-tax countries and profits to low-tax havens. One simple trick: have your products and services done from a high-tax country, sell them at a high rate to your Swiss company in a low-tax canton and sell them internationally at a margin, so in your high-tax country you just break even, in Switzerland you have profits that are hardly taxed at all. Or go free-lance instead of being an employee like me, means more work and you need a good tax accountant but you can avail of more deductions, but that is not for everybody.

        A radical recipe for tax reform is what is done in Romania: 20% tax on all income and hardly any possibilities for deductions – for private people and for corporations. Keeps the administrative overhead low and government income relatively constant and predictable.

        It is a good thing that President Aquino often thinks things over – because sometimes when he does react, he reacts in a somewhat hardheaded and pissed-off sort of way. Maybe this matter should be rethought, because it does hurt middle-class net income.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ve not known him to react in a pissed off way and be wrong, as I reflect on it. He blasted the Supreme Court for overreaching on DAP, and that is indeed a legitimate complaint. I’m trying to recall other times. Roxas, I know has blown a fuse a couple of times when he would have been better served by being reflective.

          The President could have raised taxes on the rich, and the large corporations, I suppose. But thinking like a Republican in liberal clothes, I’d guess he did not want to do anything to slow the engines that produce economic well-being. So I think his tax position was reasonable, and consistent with his anti-corruption effort. And it is hard to argue with the financial stability that came quickly under his policies, or the steady, healthy growth that has occurred. Now there is a demand for tax cuts, and Poe promised them, while promising to build more roads and do more for the poor and on and on . . . Oooookayyyyy, what grades did Poe get in arithmetic, I wonder, the classes on addition and subtraction?

          • Forget about Poe – her entire program is what we call “Seifenblasen” in German – soap bubbles. Actually more like a prank some kids played once in Bonn, putting an entire package of detergent into a fountain, thus filling the main square with soap bubbles.

            Yep, that is exactly the point – the money has to come from somewhere and it is impossible to please everybody – even “mature” democracies have that problem of populists promising stuff but not knowing how to fund it, this is not just a Greek issue…

            This is the kind of stuff that needs to be discussed in public debate, Roxas has to confront Poe on this and convey the hard facts in a way that people get it. And not only giancarlo, some contributors at Raissa’s have suggested public TV debates based on real topics. If you ask me, this is a sign of democracy maturing, to want “boring” discussions like they have them in Singapore instead of just showbiz. Bert also made his wish list to Roxas.

      • Like most laws in the Philippines the tax brackets are not inflation indexed these brackets have remained unchanged since 1997. This creates what is called as bracket creep. People who pay more taxes on their income have less to invest on things like education and income generating endeavors. This creates a situation where children are worse of tham their parents.Government underspending is 500B.The tax adjustment eould only.cost 29Billion according to the DOF. The budget increase of the DOF for 2016 amounts to 35Billion. I am typing this on the phone so I have to cut this short. Will expound later. This stubborn stance can also be called a careful stance. Mar could gfo the trapo way and tell PNoy I need this make this our vote buy. The poor have PPP, subsidies on Philhealth and public schools even vocational education through tesda. An extra 3000 pesos per month for people earning 30k is a 10 percent increase. Where are the economists of the society. The people getting this adjustment would surelynspend this boosting our economy.

    • I understand his hesitating to reduce income tax rates without a corresponding replacement in revenue collection. He promised that he will not raise tax during his administration, the sin taxes do not count because its primary aim is to improve citizen’s health and well being. He did not promise to lower the income tax rates.

      I will repeat my humble suggestion is to expand the sin tax coverage to counter the lowering of the IT rate. How about including soft drinks and junk foods, as well as those juices full od chemicals and fructose sugar…make the prices of these addictive foods which harm our children’s health prohibitive by including them in the category of cigars, cigarrettes, wines and liquors.

      health is wealth, and all that.

      • Put an extra congestion tax on businesses that are in already full areas like Metro Manila.

        This would give an incentive for business to go elsewhere – but bring revenue very quickly!

        Of course this is something I would not tell the public until assuming office – too unpopular.

        • I understand everyone who wants a little tax break to ease the strain on each budgeting for living and other expenses. But if we want our country to move forward, we have to make sacrifices, we need improve roads and mass transportation system – we need funds; we need flood control – those need fund;, we need defense upgrade so we can protect what is ours – , we need funds… we need to help the poorest of the poor so PPPP (Conditional Cash Transfer) can be expanded – we need fund. We cannot contract any more foreign loans just to finance what needs to be done. The government needs to explain what the billions of budget funding is for Department of Finance (is that for more computerization for BIR and Customs, tell us, please), what is that billions of Land Bank budget is for, it is the depository bank of the Philippines, are you giving behest loans to cronies like Marcos did in his time?)

          Talk to us, so we may understand.

  12. mssyj says:

    Been thru several presidents from Marcos. PNoy was the only one who didn’t make me feel I’m being ripped off. My taxes especially after Napole et al were arrested , are now willingly paid because I know my President won’t steal them. Honesty is his best trait which his mom wasn’t able to sustain because she was controlled or taken advantage at by her own relatives then. PNoy learned fr her mistakes. PNoy is the country’s best president so far. He has lapses, promises yet to be fulfilled but he still is the best .

    • Better than Magsaysay and Quezon? OK it is hard to compare, different times.

      Usually it is easier to judge many decades later, with historical perspective.

      • caliphman says:

        It depends on one’s basis of comparison. If one sticks to the theme of the current blog I would say Magsaysay as was considered the eader and champion of the masses. He was so beloved and trusted by the people and the Huks, the latter surrendered to him on his promise of jobs and reforms. Remember the communist insurgency was its strongest, their numbers swollen by WW2 and many were afraid the Hukbalahap was unstoppable. At the same time, he was very tough on corruption and in fact he was tougher on his family and friends than anyone else. The best politcal biography of him was written by UP Professor Abueva in the 70’s and was funded I think by the Rockefeller Foundation who paid for a two year sabbatical so he could stop teaching and just research and write the autobiography.

      • mssyj says:

        I was clear with the presidents within my lifetime. I am not that old 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Yep, that’s exactly how I see it, too, mssyj. I did have a reader on Facebook point out that Cory Aquino actually changed the direction of the nation more dramatically, which I can agree with, for sure. But I think she would also be pleased with the effort of the blog to raise her son’s work up above the noise made by all the malcontents.

      • I remember an anecdote I read regarding Cory’s administration. One of her little grandsons asked her if the chocolates in her grandma’s refrigerator belongs to the Filipino people, if not, could he have some?

        Another is Cory’s personally footing the bill of one of her daughter’s (who was acting as her secretary) transportation cost in her trips abroad and not including it in her official travelling expenses.

        Just little anecdotes like that which proved their personal integrity and honesty, traits that did not trickle down his aunt, uncle, friends and kabarilan in the son’s admin and kamag-anak, inc in her mother’s.

  13. mcgll says:

    As always JoeAm, you have articulated exactly how I regard President Noy – with great admiration and respect and gratitude for being president of all Filipinos. Thank you.

  14. Annalissa M. Valdez says:

    Again, Joe in behalf of my family – thank you. Your patriotism to ‘our’ country is touching…One day, I would like to be given the opportunity to hug you

  15. Donna says:

    Thank you. Your blog is much appreciated. If you can just have it translated in tagalog and published for the majority of pinoys maybe then they will be proud of our President.

    • Joe America says:

      The translation would have to be done by a volunteer, as you wouldn’t much like mine. ahahaha Thanks for the kind words.

      • Donna says:

        Thanks to Juana Pilipinas for the translation of your great article. Now, can any mainstream Pilipino publication please feature the legacy of PNoy and his honesty and integrity be the standards that will be used when electing public servants from the Barangay level up to the President of our birth country.

  16. ella says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Joe, you said it all and expressed it well for all the readers to understand. you are really more Filipino than most Filipinos.

    Just wondering, maybe one of the reasons why the Filipinos see what you see in President Not as plusses and positive is because the Philippines never had a leader of his calliber, integrity and honesty.

    • Joe America says:

      No, for sure not more Filipino, but my typewriter works pretty good some days.

      That’s an interesting point, that Filipinos are so wrapped up in being untrusting and critical that they look past Mr. Aquino’s earnest work and accomplishments. That has a ring of truth to it. Plus, the media are always harping on the negative.

  17. i7sharp says:

    Let me comment, fwiw, on this,

    The skies over the Philippines are different every day. A lot like her politics . . .

    The clouds are often these gigantic cumulus stacks that build and turn grey at the bottom. It’s like they decide for themselves to either go away, poof, or dump a ton of water to keep the land green.

    The greatest omission in the Philippine flag is the color green, I think.
    before it disappears.

    Cbs (Cumulo-nimbus clouds)

    btw, did you see that end-of-times cloud they recently saw in Costa Rica?

    The color green in the Philippine flag?
    Hmmm, …

  18. Leonida S. Bautista says:

    Mr Joe , how I wish that all Filipino people could read this and made them realize that how blessed we are having a Predident in the person of his highness Benigno Aquino, III
    He’s the Pres. Who fear God more than what people will say and the way he handled things are for the
    Good of the People not for himself.
    Thank you so much again Mr. JOE for having a chance to read your article. It’s worth reading.

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The legacy of Benigno is: HONESTY

    1. Not HONEST on Mamasapano, getting incredible and bizarre by the day.
    2. Not HONEST on Binay, why Benigno was tough on Corona to the point of meddling but not on Binay who allegedly stole Central Bank kitty.
    3. Who took down Benigno Aquino’s name in Boy Scout of the Philippines website as Master Boyscout after Binay was accused of buying his family Historic Mt. Makiling. To this day, Trillanes and his attack dog bizarrely stopped investigating Binay on Mr. Makiling. Because if Trillanes did it will lead to the doorstep in Malacanang. For Mt. Makiling to be sold to Binay it requires Benigno’s imprimatur.
    4. Napoles. Yes, Janet Napoles. Janet ordered no less the President of the Philippines to pick her up at a cemetery in the wee hour of the night. Who does Janet think of the President a taxi service? Benigno did just that. He sent his presidential emissary. Picked up Janet. Upon arrival in Malacanang, no less the President offered her Indian Tea THEN personally delivered her to NBI. After Benigno left NBI, the NBI director “resigned”. NO NEWS TO THIS DAY. NO SCANDAL. COVERED UP !!! Very honest. Of course, majority of the Filipinos cannot know this because newspaper is very expensive they cannot follow up the events.
    5. The 2nd hand Hamilton and helicopter waste. Chinese frigates are marauding a marooned ill-equiped Filipino marinesin the middle of Philippine Sea wasteland enconsnced in post-apocalypse troop transport not worthy of OSHA.

    In Philippine Politics, HONESTY has been defined. It means NEVER STOLE A SINGLE SENT not Honesty in general as defined in Meriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries.

    These not became a scandal because it never was covered by UP journalists because UP journalists cannot know from fiduciary honesty from political honesty. to UP journalists HONESTY means about MONEY which Benigno never stole a cent.

    Other than the above, I AGREE WITH JOEAM. Benigno is the best Preident the Phlippines have ever had for the past 550 years since Magellan wade into his death in Mactan.

  20. Another well written article and every word is true…Keep it going JOEAM…

  21. Joe, this blog is right up there with Pres. Bill Clinton’s defense of Pres. Barack Obama in the 2012 DNC, . Well done.

    “Even the Bishops who play politics. Even Iglesia ni Cristo members camping on EDSA. And especially Muslim Mindinao, a huge community he seeks to welcome into the Philippine mainstream after years of disenfranchisement.”

    I enjoyed your INC article and the tactics used. What are the tactics when dealing with Catholic power brokers over there, how is that different from Pres. Aquino’s handling of INC shenanigans, and possible criminal enterprise? Is there a clear trajectory or strategy here that you can blog about?

    What are the tactics and overall-all strategy for Muslim Mindanao? For the expanding Salafi ( Wahhabi ) tide coming to the region, ie. Malayasia, Aceh Indoneisa & Brunei. What’s being done to promote and legitimize the local strain ( Adat, or more commonly as ‘Urf in the Arab world, ) as counter weight to the petro-dollar funded stuff.

    Does UP, Ateneo, UST, La Salle, other good schools over there have programs that study Islam? By study, I don’t mean in a seminary setting, but academic, with Anthro, archaelogy, Textual criticism, etc. Subject Islam to the same rigors that the Jewish and Christian traditions have already gone through,

    focusing on the preservation of the Islam that developed in the Philippines prior to Saudi/US petro-dollar funded Wahhabi Islam imported over there.

    • Joe America says:

      Superb questions. Let me rumble them around in my mind a bit. The forces of religion in the Philippines, from the standpoint of who is pushing in what direction. And how is government pushing? That has some promise.

    • – this article looks at the BBL from a risk-management perspective only, well almost IT like just checking out the articles. It was my second article, using my original shy pseudonym over here.

      Looking at the aspect stemming the Wahhabi/Salifi tide, I see very gross negligence:

      1) the BBL pretty much gives control of the natural resources in the region (natural gas/oil is suspected in the Ligwasan marshes, drilling was already tried and stopped at request of Malaysia, palm oil is also considered an option with Malaysia as a partner) to the MILF.

      2) the BBL could effectively give control to a group (Moro ISLAMIC Liberation front) that could make the Bangsamoro region a kind of Saudi Arabia, meaning Filipino-style regional despots who are strongly influenced by the newest trends in the Islamic world.

      3) What I noticed later about the BBL (link to the full text in my article) is that it is quite careless in allowing the Bangsamoro government to set up Islamic charities – often a conduit for money laundering to fund Islamic movements. Not to mention the Sharia, which unfortunately is already allowed in ARMM even though it has not been used. No mention of the Tausug Adat which is the homegrown alternative based on Malay customary law. In fact too much power for MILF (Maguindanao) is something the Tausugs are not too happy with.

      BBL is now lost in all sorts of discussions, some of the points I addressed were in amended versions but it is doubtful whether it will be passed in Aquino’s term – don’t know the status.

      Ateneo de Cotabato might be doing some stuff about Islam. I had some contact with Dean Tony La Viña from there, he was a resource person for my BBL article and wrote some stuff about it in Mindanews as well. But I doubt they really dare touch things the way you suggested, the way you went through the Bible with i7sharp in your article, because they don’t dare do that with the Bible in the Philippines. IMHO too much respect of the wrong kind for religion of any kind in the Philippines. Aquino’s RH Law nonwithstanding. – this article by josephivo is also interesting. But I would say the situation re Filipino Moslems is in suspended animation at the moment. Might be worth a new article.

      • neo canjeca says:

        This retort is far fetch. BBL is Noynoy’s gamble. PNoy Like a gutsy single Father (far fetch analogy) have enough trust for his son to give him a loaded gun which can empower him or use it to kill himself. Nature and its resources belong to the sovereign people. Within their environs they have the power of preservation (no utilization) or CONSERVATION (wise utilization) of the natural geology or agriculture in their area.

        PNoy is somewhat like Abraham Lincoln who was alleged to have said: “I don’t love the negroes or the whites, I want to protect the Union, I don’t want the Union to disintegrate.” (guilt on embellishment is mine). God and Muslim’s Allah (if the two is not one and the same) should bless PNoy’s BBL Team for believing in him. Statesmanship does not come in a silver platter; it has to be paid with blood and courage (Mamasapano).

        The higher the stakes the lesser the chance of victory for stupidity. It’s law and punishment, stupid as far fetch PNoy should say as he started brandishing the law against the behemoth of Christianized corruption. Name the mogul or the datu or sultan who became billionaire by and at the degradation of natural resources in Mindanao. Pray tell why there seems to be no of a scale of Ondoy or Tacloban disaster there, yet. If you blame the past, the centuries of neglect and abuse of the Filipinos in Mindanao, half of the blame and guilt might end up at the doorsteps of their own Muslim leaders.

        It is far fetch to think of the Tamils in Ceylon, Nagaland in India, of Aceh’s Hinduism in Indonesia. . . .

      • ” But I doubt they really dare touch things the way you suggested, the way you went through the Bible with i7sharp in your article, because they don’t dare do that with the Bible in the Philippines. “


        This is actually what I wanted to get at, after that discussion w/ i7sharp— but I guess we can make it here. The reason I can make those points is because of people like Spinoza and others a few hundred years ago, who’ve decided that living under tyranny of others’ shady interpretations of dubious sacred books, is just not cool.

        Granted that argument I had with i7sharp would’ve been better served had I also been a Christian, just one that doesn’t put too much weight on the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. That would’ve been a more relaxed debate. My default is not diplomacy, so you guys got what you got ( sorry, karl ).

        The whole point is to attack the sacred texts. Spinoza did it with the Old Testament, others later turned their sights on the New Testament– not only do Christians today not think that the Bible is “the” word of God, they accept that it could have mistakes ( and they’re fine with it ).

        But no one has yet to attack the Holy Qur’an– the closest are probably Salman Rushdie’s novel ( int’l recognition ) and recently Syrian writer Nabil Fayyad’s “Mother of Believers Eats Her Children” ( regional recognition ), .

        I think this is the closest so far to academic Quranic criticism, I guess people just value their heads attached to their necks a little too much. I think the Germans again are leading this charge, so if you can ask around over there, it might prove fruitful.

        But academic work to promote the legitimacy of local SE Asian Islamic traditions is more a comparative enterprise, I think that’s more an anthropologic pursuit, should be do-able over there, with only national resources brought to bear on this plan.

        josephivo is right in his article, that Wahhabism is only a 1700s phenomena, and represents a downward spiral for Islam. The people who have been fighting the Wahhabis ( and their supporters/benefactors ) are the Omanis ( they have a different strain of Islam, more related to the Kharijites ), for almost 3 centuries now. So maybe the Philippines can reach out to them.

        Attack the Qur’an, but do it not with atheists or Christians, but other Muslims. There’re Arab Muslims right now that want to re-edit the Qur’an, and take out the verses “received” in Medina ( Yathrib ), leaving only the verses “received” in Mecca– guess what it is they’re trying to redact?

        It behooves everyone to start attacking sacred texts– I guess just attempt to do it in a more endearing way, not my way.

        Good article, by the way, man. I wonder if they made those changes you’ve suggested to the BBL.

        I think in the case of Islam, the Philippine gov’t will have to take the Hobbesian approach of coopting Philippine Islam for the better ( promoting local Islamic traditions, thru art, academic, diplomacy– by reaching out to Oman and other non-Salafi Arabs ),

        while shielding its Muslim citizens from all that Saudi crap ( money and bad ideas ). This is the responsibility of the government after all.

        • There is one retired UP professor who did studies on Filipino Muslims – half-Syrian Cesar Adib Majul but as far as I know no one came after him.

          As for BBL, the Congress draft and the Bongbong Marcos draft made changes similar to those I proposed, but I have lost track of the discussion.

          Co-opting the Filipino Muslims is perfect, but then all the ethnic groups should be considered, MILF is mainly Maguindanao and probably too close to the Salafis.

          • “Co-opting the Filipino Muslims is perfect, but then all the ethnic groups should be considered, MILF is mainly Maguindanao and probably too close to the Salafis.”

            I can appreciate that the Maguindanaos’ have an “Islamic” irredentist movement,

            but the Tausugs I think are more inclined towards Arab thought, there were more “Hajjis” (those that have performend the Haj, requires some travel money ) among the Tausugs and there were more from them that are out living/working in the Gulf and KSA. The Maranaws I’m not too familiar with, but I think the order ( education and wealth ) goes: 1). Maranaw, 2). Tausugs, 3) Maguindanao, 4). Samals, 5). Yakan ( correct me if I’m wrong ).

            So focus the academic and cultural posturing against the KSA stuff, starting with Maranaws and Tausugs. These guys will be more receptive to ideas, others more on economic stuff.

          • Here’s more, in case, folks in academia over there get interested in this pursuit.


            And if Pres. Aquino would like to task his NICA ( a very worthwhile mission ) to locate and collect ancient Qur’anic documents in the ME & Africa– with Filipinos already over there.


          • Ireneo,

            Maybe you can be the Philippines’ special envoy over there and take part in this ( Joe can put a good word on your behalf from the current or next administration ),


            What do you say?

            • Thanks – I am quite sure I can get an interview with these guys for my own blog some time. They are from the Free University of Berlin and I would have access to them via my networks.

              BTW the FU Berlin was founded during the Cold War in West Berlin, in the then American occupation zone to be precise, because the Humboldt University in Central Berlin (Russian occupation zone at that time) was being taken over by Russian-supported Communists.

              What makes this all very interesting is that Berlin has a sizable Muslim population – something like half a million Turks if I am not mistaken, making it the largest Turkish city outside Turkey. And areas where Arab clans have their turf, I think Kurdish-Lebanese for the most part.

              • i7sharp says:

                “… the FU Berlin …”

                This brought to mind an old joke about three brothers from Hongkong:
                Chu, Bu, and Fu.

                The first two went to the U.S. and soon were called
                Chuck and Buck.

                Fu … well, his siblings insisted he stay home.

              • Very good stuff, man.

                Kurdish-Lebanese? Seems like an odd pairing.

                But, keep me posted. Just to make sure, yours, josephivo and this, are the only blogs related to Islam on here?

                Cuz I’m looking at my notes, and I think I can cobble together some sort strategy ( Church and State type ) article.

              • Kurdish minority in Lebanon, they do exist there. Lebanon after all is very diverse.

                Yep, the articles you found seem to be the only ones about Filipino Muslims/Islam.

              • Our anti-Trump ( Dr. Ben Carson ) just said this,

                “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

                I can respect delusions, but to pick one over another seems bad policy. A bunch of Muslims are helping us out in GWOT, key American players in this fight are Muslims themselves– plenty of guys like this,

              • Correct – it was in fact Arab-Germans who pointed out that among the refugees coming over, there were some posing as Syrians who lost their passports. Arabs know where somebody is from by the dialect – and probably features. Just like I know typical Ilokano or Bikol features…

                Berlin police is specifically looking for cops with Turkish or Arab backgrounds, because they have the knowledge to be able to deal with gangs and such in West Berlin ghetto areas.

                BTW some Lebanese Kurdish clans are a problem all over Germany. At a trial in Cologne involving a major clan, police guarding the courthouse wore black head masks. At a trial near Hanover, they threw a witness out of the window during proceedings and broke court windows.

              • I gotta read up on this Kurdish-Lebanese racket, this is the first time I’m hearing of this.

              • correction, Assyrians, but the tabloid press often mistakenly refers to them as Kurds.

              • That makes more sense now! Assyrians and Kurds are essentially from the same stock, most Kurds going the Muslim route, but their Islam isn’t like the Islam of the Gulf region, men and women dance together and touch hands regularly. Some Kurds stayed Christians and they’d be closer to Assyrians. Thanks for the link, will look further into this.

                The term Lebanese is like saying Filipino, there’s Maronites, Druze, Shi’as, Alawis, Armenians, Assyrians, etc. etc. it’s a mess.

                When I was in Amsterdam, I notice their brothels and other places were runned by Hells Angels, very weird seeing them there, because Hells Angels started in California– mostly by WWII Vets. Same phenomena happening now with Iraq/Af-Pak vets, most are with the Mongols.

              • Didn’t know about Af/Pak vets going to the Mongols – in Germany the Mongols are mainly Oriental migrants – Turks, Assyrians etc. while Hells Angels is practically “Whites Only”. Bandidos – originally formed by Vietnam era veterans in the USA – are a mixed bag in Germany, meaning not mainly Oriental like the Mongols and not mainly white like the Hells Angels but a mixture of “native Germans” and migrants mainly Turks.

                Hells Angels and Bandidos had a fierce war some years ago, followed by a territorial truce – territory meaning their respective pieces of the action in different business especially red-light.

                German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder – elected to power in the same year as Estrada and like him a “man of the common folk” (and married four times) – was close to the Hells Angels, his law office partner was the lawyer of the number one Hells Angel in Germany at that time, Frank Hanebuth. Strangely enough, the full legalization of prostitution took place during Schröders term – it definitely favored his buddies if you ask me. Who said it’s cleaner here?

              • My understanding of Motorcycle Clubs is that they’re more like the Chamber of Commerce ( or Masons, Kiwanis, etc.). Every individual or sometimes clique have their own racket and they use these Clubs are a means to network.

                Both Mongols and Hells Angels came out of the Porn capitol (SFV). Hells Angels here isn’t “Whites Only” it boasts int’l membership. But it is very exclusive, so Mongols are basically the rejects. Since they are based in the other side of SFV, they had more non-Whites (most were Mexicans).

                In the 90s, Mongols basically taking the 18 Street/MS playbook of inclusivity instead of exclusivity, their number sky rocketed. But most new members were Mexican gangsters, who didn’t even ride motorcycles– so they ended up running the Mongols like any other Mexican gang ( no finesse ). In no time they got in trouble and the Mongols got dismantled by the Feds.

                Mongols 2.0 is run more like a proper MC, with the illegal rackets, in the background. They’ve distanced themselves from the gang scene, and to replenish their personnel, they are actively recruiting former (and sometimes active) military– who, like the Hells Angels of WWII, basically just miss the camaraderie and adventure and combat.

                I think the ground’s pretty much even here, there are street gangs, prison gangs (who controls the inside, controls the outside), mafia type enterprise, MCs, corporations, unions, police depts. prison guards (unions are dirty), etc.– usually when they bite more than they can chew, Federal entities swoop right in and dismantle them.

                So there’s a sense of balance, when it comes to the little rackets.

                The oil companies represent the most lucrative racket, which pose the greatest danger to the American people. Coopting Obama’s non-dependency to ME oil policy, he opened up our nation to more and more drillings and fracking. But if you look at all the pipelines, they all lead to various ports, for export to China– more profitable over there.

                The oil companies get to drill in our backyards, we don’t get a say, all proceeds get sold to China. Companies win, American people lose.

  22. Ferdinand lim says:

    Well done joe is a shame to Filipino didn’t love what Mr. Aquino did. Me I admired what he doing for Filipino people. Thanks

    • Joe America says:

      Thannk you for stopping by with your endorsement, Ferdinand. I think as Mr. Aquino’s term draws to an end, more and more people will step forward to express appreciation for his leadership.

  23. caliphman says:

    Nonoy’s legacy is more what lasting contribution amd memorable footprint he will leave long after he has left Malacanang. That he has been an all inclusive president to almost everyone during his administration can be considered by many to be a significant and unique accomplishment. In my case, it is also in my opinion one of the biggest shortcomings of his presidency.There are too many examples of favoritism and different policy standards applicable to friend and allies as opposed to enemies and those outside his favored circle. True he made significant progress in reforming corruption at the BIR, the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court, the Senate and Congress by appointing the right leadership and supporting his appointees and their agencies in prosecuting key public officials and appointees which would have been inconceivable in previoys presidencies.His appointments in finance and foreign affairs were instrumental in the country’s economic success and regionally well received diplomatic counter to the Chinese offshore incursions. He has done a lot in his presidency but what really is his lasting legacy? It would have to be the continued pursuit and perhaps more thorough and blind application of Daang Matuwid and the institutional reforms started but not competed. Any lasting legacy would be questionable with a Binay presidency for obvious reasons.

    The long awaited latest SWS presidential survey and it shows Binay behind both Poe and even Roxas, so this is great news for Aquino if leaving a lasting legacy is very important to him. Both Poe and Roxas will require proven, honest, and successful leaders, advisers, and managers in their cabinets and Aquino can ensure that will happen in playing a large role in transitioning whomever wins. This is his opportunity and he can well utilize his role and talent of being an inclusive mentor and still president to both parties. Its not easy given the size of Poe’s lead but he seems to have the political smarts and the candidate’s goodwill at the momenf to swing it

      • I read this at Raissa’s (in Tagalog) – I summarized it as follows: “Bagong Umaga (New Dawn) kinda like Bagong Lipunan (New Society) of her Marcos era friends. Walang iwanan (No none will be left behind) when she left the Philippines (rumor has it due to rebellion, not for economic reason) she left the coalition party, left PNOY who gave her her first taste of being head of anything in government. Her VP candidate left his first wife (or was it the wife who left him for what reason kaya), left NPC, left NoyRoxas and slyly supported Binay, the scourge of the Filipino).”

        The people are sadly still preferring the likes of Sotto, Lapid and the stars, these movie stars will lend their false glow to Poe to attract survey respondents and voters.

        Poe the action star has helped a lot of small movie staff as well as the big ones who became his leading ladies and character actors, easy to do with the use of his millions from movie proceeds from tickets bought by people who idolized him, who was the hero in the big screen, who fought for the downtrodden in the big screen.

        Now the adopted daughter is using the people’s star struck mentality to support her and never mind her state of unpreparedness for the complex task of leading the Filipinos.

        Who will guide her, all those Marcos cronies and friends, who will she assign in various positions, those around her who are remnants of the Marcos government that made the country the sick man of Asia after he left?

        These people who are now scrambling to be with her are only interested in bringing back the glory they lost when the current president’s father became the martyr, so that his mom could restore democracy, and now the son who is a threat to their plundering ways.

        • chempo says:

          I’m just wondering. Poe had tears in her eyes when she narrated the public onslaught on her foundling story. She has my sympathy on her personal story, but the office of the presidency calls for someone with tremendous mental strength. The tears display her softness. If she assumes office, I’m just wondering will she crumble when tough men crash in and try to dictate policies. The likes of Cojuanco, Ongpin, ex-Marcos cronies are not there for love, but positioning for personal agendas. Will she be strong enough to ride the Tigers that are now in her camp.

          • She is playing the emotions of the masa, playing the pity aspect, the helpless and bullied foundling. Enough of that, she was lucky enough to be given the best chance in life, to make herself better , which she did, a senator at that. I have nothing against foundlings and the sector of society that bullies them should account for their actions. But she wants to be President so it’s but natural for people to be clear on her qualifications. The constitution is explicit in their definition of a natural born citizen, one that does not require anything or process to be considered NBCF and foundlings do not enjoy that. The courts have to decide on that to clarify the future of other foundlings. It’s not nitpicking, it is compliance of a simple Constitutional requirement. If she and her group cannot respect the fundamental law of the land, what else will they not be respectful of?

            And you are so right on the personal agendas of the people she is associating now, the people she chose to surround her, over that of Mar and PNOY’s group. This is more important than any other things thrown at her.

            You made your bed, lie on it, Sen. Poe-Lllamanzares.

        • caliphman says:

          Mary, I too read Raissa’s last piece giving her thoughts on Poe and Chiz running without a party and her prior piece reporting her observations on Poe’s announcement party. With all due respect, I have to disagree with your summary of what Raissa wrote. Raissa is very professional and very fair in her opinions and she seldom if ever makes insinuations or is very judgemental about subjects or events she covers in her blogs. In fact, a lot of what she said in her opinion piece re the partyless poe/escudero pairing was more positive rather than negative of Poe. She mentioned how strong, smart, and fearless Poe seemed, she could have used the word foolish, but she did not. She also said how easy Poe wins support from the masa and how popular she is, and she took the thoughts from my mind when she observed, “and she hasnt even began campaigning yet!”. I have much admiration for her and her hubby Alan who I had many very good discussions regarding the media here and Mamasapano.On the other hand, I regret I have very little good to say about CPM which to me has become very much an online Grace Poe lynch mob for little more motivation than by demonizing and belittling her, they would be advancing the presidential career of their candidate, Roxas. This is the last I will talk about my opinion of CPM here, some who are also visitors here and a few who remain my friends.

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed, it will take continued building to cap what President Aquino has started. Thanks for the poll reference. Saved me from checking for the info and links.

  24. Enrico Audencial says:

    No apologies please Joeam! I got your back in defending our president, everybody’s president. You have put into words things I would dish out every time Pnoy is attacked. Noytards we are but proud to defend an honest and patriotic president.

  25. Garth Noel Tolentino says:

    PNoy has to be the loneliest, most maligned honorable leader of the Philippines. To the eyes of his jaded critics, including his power hungry aunt & uncle and his cousin Maria Montelibano, he can do no right for as long as they sit powerless. Even if all the facts stare them down to their faces that the country has achieved milestones worthy of a developing nation. I am saying there is a lot of work left to a worthy successor to accomplish and fortunately for him, there has been a lot accomplished for the next successor to build from.
    The Filipino people are blessed to have PNoy to apply himself totally to the task of rebuilding and building this nation towards progress and modernity. He has decided to focus and apply himself to become a worthy President of this country. Though he always says he can hear his parents Ninoy and Cory say: “Yes, you did well but you could have done so much more.”
    In the eyes of his own Mom and Dad, he could have done much more.
    In the eyes of the people of this country, if they would take time to sit, read, and do their own political assessment and analysis, get the facts straight from UN Reports, International Transparency Reports, Millenium Achievement Reports, people will slowly realize the diamond in the rough that resides in the core of President Benigno Aquino III. Unfortunately our people take too much time to realize what a treasure they possess under the leadership of this man.
    That is our tragedy as a people, the only time they will appreciate the great treasure they have is when that treasure is long gone.
    I urge our people to wade away from the media muck and focus on the best analytical writers we have and the best providers of data to finally see the diamond in the rough we’ve been unfortunately kicking around. God bless President Benigno Aquino III. God bless our people that they may finally open their eyes.

  26. juanlee says:

    weeelll. i agree he is president of all the people. how about vice president of all the people. if roxas can not find a tandem, what is the constitutional restriction as for pnoy to run for vice president? if exp-gma can become a rep, why can’t pnoy be vice-pres? whoever wins, people will demand (or call for codeta) for the sitting president to resign and re-seat vp noy…then he becomes pnoy again. no need of chaha, all legal…wakeup juanlee, you have eaten a lot of pork. gude. such is the wisdom of God. We praise You and give thanks for a wonderdul president of the people.

    • Joe America says:

      If I were President Aquino, after six years of pressure, I’d go buy another smart fast Porsche and date fast intelligent women.

      • to a certain point, maybe, and yet if he takes after his mother who helped her poor, small countrymen via micro business (like Bam Aquino), monitored the democracy she restored during her time to the point of spearheading rallies( even when she was already sick and weakened by cancer) against Arroyo during the height of the Hello Garci scandal where she was sooooo disappointed, hurt and frustrated with the Church who left her alone in the fight (most were bribed like the mitsubishops) and by her countrymen who went back to apathy and let Arroyo steal the 2004 presidency, he will still involve himself in monitoring the progress and continuity of his Straight Path, as a private citizen Noy. From P-NOY to PC-NOY. My apology, Madam ex-President, I could not join you in the street, I was with my mom who was in and out of the hospital at the time.

        • ooops, the looooong sentence was not finished……

          ….and let Arroyo stole the 2004 presidency, he will still involve himself in monitoring the progress and continuity of his Straight Path, as a private citizen Noy. From P-NOY to PC-NOY.

  27. Jeffrey Jonathan P. Padua says:

    Then please tell him to stop using his Yellow Ribbon pin and instead use the PH Flag pin instead….

    • Nothing wrong with the yellow ribbon pin….why are his critics soooo sensitive to that yellow ribbon pin, I wonder…

      as a compromise why not retain the yellow ribbon pin and add the PH Flag pin.

      • mcgll says:

        Hi Mary Grace, I have a pin ( a souvenir of past campaigs) just like what you proposed – a yellow ribbon with a rendition of the PH flag. If I can find another one, I’d give it to you.

        • wow thank you mcgll … where did you buy it?….maybe I can buy more for my circle of influence…paging Mar campaign HQ guys, can you post where we could buy campaign materials in Mar’s blog? Pins and stickers for our cars, although it would still be prohibited until official campaign period starts, wouldn’t it? Would like to buy direct, a small contribution for the cause of continuity, if I may say so.

  28. P-Noy has been a sincere and hardworking president and has managed to provide decent governance. But imperfect like everyone else he has had some lapses. He has failed to complete implementation of agrarian reform which would have lifted the countryside from incessant poverty. He could also have done more against corruption which has been his main election campaign agenda. Overall I think a B+ is a fair assessment.

    • Joe America says:

      A fair assessment. I’d toss in a National Land Use Act as missing, and it goes along with the agrarian reform. I’m not sure how you see it shaping up, but I don’t know if small farms well be enough to feed the nation, particularly as young people refuse to follow their father’s steps through the fields. And the mandated cooperative business structure is weak. So, to me, the whole agribusiness/farming model needs to be organized and fit together to generate food, not necessarily provide jobs and livelihood. Or provide the jobs in the processing, packaging and shipping of goods.

    • chempo says:

      Marcos laid out a grand agrarian reform and he was on record saying that his presidency shall be measured by the success or failure of his agrarian reform. Even a dictator, unchallenged by anyone in executive, legislative and judiciary, and indeed feared by one and all, was unable to push through his agrarian reform. He failed miserably, completing less than 1% of his reforms. What more can one expect from Pnoy who has so much detractors and interferences in almost everything his admin tried to do.

      • Even Marcos could finally not go against the vested interests that block so much in the Philippines – there are other contributions that refer to houses or businesses that block projects. Compared to the power to get things done that some democratic but highly organized countries with powerful institutions have, Marcos’ dictatorship was a typical banana republic thing more like Haiti’s Duvalier than Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.

        Day-to-day you had the same mess as always – I experienced it – only that it was not reported in the state media and people pretended to do things in an orderly way when certain authorities watched – then reverted to messy ways just seconds later.

      • that 1% included even awarding large tracts of land to his cronies – to the banana king Floreindo, to Cojuangco in Palawan ranch (if my memory serves me right)

  29. Sup says:

    Yeah…Go Go Go Pnoy !!!

    Reyes brothers arrested in bangkok

  30. OzyBoy says:

    Well written, Joe. I admire you for admiring and standing up for Pres. PNoy. I hope that ALL FILIPINOS, will respect the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, even if some do not like the person occupying the postion.

  31. neo canjeca says:

    This comment posted in the middle as comment to Irineo B.R.S. I repeat it here to conjecture that PNOY’S BBL AS A GAMBLE IS NOT A MISTAKE.

    This retort is far fetch. BBL is Noynoy’s gamble. PNoy Like a gutsy single Father (far fetch analogy) have enough trust for his son to give him a loaded gun which can empower him or use it to kill himself. Nature and its resources belong to the sovereign people. Within their environs they have the power of preservation (no utilization) or CONSERVATION (wise utilization) of the natural geology or agriculture in their area. PNoy is somewhat like Abraham Lincoln who was alleged to have said: “I don’t love the negroes or the whites, I want to protect the Union, I don’t want the Union to disintegrate.” (guilt on embellishment is mine). God and Muslim’s Allah (if the two is not one and the same) should bless PNoy’s BBL Team for believing in him. Statesmanship does not come in a silver platter; it has to be paid with blood and courage (Mamasapano).

    The higher the stakes the lesser the chance of victory for stupidity. It’s law and punishment, stupid as far fetch PNoy should say as he started brandishing the law against the behemoth of Christianized corruption. Name the mogul or the datu or sultan who became billionaire by and at the degradation of natural resources in Mindanao. Pray tell why there seems to be no No Ondoy or Tacloban disaster there, yet. If you blame the past, the centuries of neglect and abuse of the Filipinos in Mindanao, half of the blame and guilt might end up at the doorsteps of their own leaders.

    It is far fetch to think OF RELEVANCE of the Tamils in Ceylon, Nagaland in India, of Aceh’s Hinduism in Indonesia. . . .

    • David Murphy says:

      Neo Canjeca, bad analogy at the beginning. A gun, in this context, really has only one purpose and that is to kill people. Or perhaps that is a valid analogy for how funds might be used. I’m not sure about the body of the comment. I haven’t seen much evidence to support the granting of so much financial autonomy to certain groups in Mindanao. (The same goes for the rest of the Philippines.) I would prefer to see some sort of graduated support, with additional funding predicated upon proper use of the initial funds and I think that proper auditing is mandatory.

  32. chempo says:

    Another example of how the Legislative screws Pnoy at this very moment as we are chatting.
    Congress refuses to repeal the Banking Secrecy Laws. Banking secrecy for the protection of depositors is a good enactment. Unfortunately, crooks exploit it to the max. Marcos and many other corrupt leaders of various countries park ill-gotten wealth in Switzerland for years. It has gotten so bad and the scale so large it is mind-boggling. Countries have been economically devastated by their crooked leaders, that under extreme international pressure, the Swiss are now relaxing their world re-known banking secrecy laws. But the crooks here masquerading as congressmen are not going to make records of their ill-gotten wealth an open book.

    No criminal act should ever be allowed to take refuge behind any other enactment of the land. The banking secrecy act should not be repealed because it has good intentions, but criminal investigators should be given access. This is what other developed countries do.

    Kim Henares should not ask for a repeal of the act, but for amendments for right of access under criminal investigations, including tax-evasion.

    So once again, we see a presidents’ hands tied.

    • A president’s hands tied… each and every time he attempts cleaning the government of the corrupt and plunderers, the courts, the legislature, the church, the citizens themselves are resistant…and we have the nerve to ask for more, more, to ask why, why ?

      chempo, you understand the hardship a chief executive of the Philippines faces, as you are a Singaporean, used to extreme discipline and cooperation shown by your government and citizens, as opposed to the contrariness being displayed here. You and Joe, an Amercian understand, why can’t the Filipinos?

      • sonny says:

        Ay naku po! So many things going on, so little time. Where is Forrest Gump when you need him? Or Maxwell’s demon? 😦

  33. David Murphy says:

    Blast! I promised myself that I would only read the blog and skip the comments because I have so much to do. Now I’m at the end of the comments, entertaining and enlightening as always, and all those things are still undone. Joe, for your new readers and possibly as a reminder for your regulars, I think you should preface the comments section with a statement such as: WARNING! READING THESE COMMENTS MAY BE ADDICTING AND RESULT IN SLEEP DEPRIVATION, FAILURE TO COMPLETE IMPORTANT PROJECTS ON TIME AND OTHER SIDE EFFECTS.
    i am only partly joking about this. Although I know the only true solution is self-discipline it’s a real and recurrent problem for me.

  34. Jonathan says:

    In my opinion, Noynoy’s legacy depends on whether you evaluate him as a leader or a President.

    As a leader, Noynoy has been excellent. He has set the right tone with the tuwid na daan. He is, without a doubt, the most honest person elected to the President in many years. BBL (in theory) solves the long-running peace problem in Mindanao.

    As President, however, the record is mixed. As President, you look much more at day-to-day things, and to far too many people the Aquino record there is one of essentially benign neglect, to downright negligence. See: high tax rates, slow Internet, the fiasco that is Metro Manila traffic, and an overall neglect of infrastructure. In other cultures, Jun Abaya and Francis Tolentino would have been fired, resigned, or committed suicide for his failures.

    Mamasapano was a stunning failure in execution, top to bottom. Even if one believes BBL is the right way to go, the process of selling it to a skeptical public post-Mamasapano has been a failure.

    There’s also a recurring theme of utter tonedeaf-ness that keeps happening: the “buhay ka pa” comment from Yolanda. Abaya’s “not fatal”. The balikbayan box issue. The refusal to seriously consider any income tax cut unless the money was instantly made up somewhere else. For an administration that professed to proclaim that citizens were its boss, Aquino officials seemed to be quite well-equipped in the art of foot in mouth.

    That’s not to say there were good spots. But there are too many dings in the day-to-day record of the past six years. That’s how I evaluate Noynoy: a good leader of the big picture, but hugely disappointing in day-to-day matters.

    • Each of us has our own bad days and good ones. To judge a President when he is having one in 2,007 days is not fair. That is called nitpicking in my book. In my book, I look at the whole picture, the destination, not the stops and starts in the journey. You are expecting a Godly President, a superman, a batman.. those exists only in the respective authors’ imaginations. Anyways, even the President knows he cannot please everyone, imperfect as he is.

    • Joe America says:

      Who among the 2010 candidates do you believe would have done better? And who do you support in 2016?

      My reason for asking is that there is a reality to this, in democracy. You have a forced choice question at the ballot. It appears to me that the information you are receiving is very limited, that which is usually cast in negative terms by the tabloid press. You did not cite the record infrastructure spending, the 100,000 classrooms built, the far better preparation for storms, the improved military equipment, the peace-based, law-based ITLOS filing, the successful policing of the Pope’s visit and the INC protest, the calm and mature response to international flare-ups (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia – the Sultan), the improved transparency and reduced red tape . . . the things that 20 departments are working diligently on every day. Rather, you tabulate the popular complaints. How can you ever hope to feel positive about the nation when you are so focused on finding fault, and ignoring good works?

      Incidentally, I’ve done six or seven blogs on Mamasapano, studied it inside out, did my homework, and come down very differently on it than you do. I think you need to recognize that there may be perspectives on the issues that you aren’t catching. I suggest you ride along with this blog and enter the discussions to see what bounces back at you. It will be respectful, as that is the commitment most regular readers and commenters have made here.

      • Jonathan says:

        2010? Dick Gordon or Manny Villar may have been better day-to-day managers, but I doubt the basic honesty of both men. I was not registered at that time, but I would have voted for Noynoy – in the hope that he would be as good a manager as a leader. He has been a disappointment in that department.

        As for the achievements – I will grant those are factually true. Of the record infrastructure spending, I will note that while the money was spent, as far as Metro Manila was concerned we didn’t see a lot of that. However, none of that negates the dings against the Aquino record either. Boo Chanco has been raking this administration over the coals over the failures of managing Metro Manila and infrastructure, and I largely agree with him.

        2016: I haven’t made up my mind. If anything, I am displeased with the quality of candidates with have. My preferred candidate would have been Sonny Angara, but sadly he’s not running. Grace Poe is an opportunist, and Jojo Binay is a world-class thief. I can be convinced to vote for Mar, BUT I need to see what he will do for Metro Manila and the suffering middle class. Otherwise, I will turn in a blank vote for President.

    • chempo says:

      On first take what you mentioned seem to be fair criticism as all bucks stop at the President’s desk. But to be fair, let’s look at the issues :

      1. High tax rates — It’s so easy to give in to populist demands, a weak President would have taken that easy road, a responsible president would study it properly. When govt revenue from tax collection is reduced, you have 3 choices of action — (a) increase revenue from elsewhere (b) curtail some expenditure or projects (3) increase borrowing. And that was what the President did — Kim Henare’s proposal to repeal the Banking Secrecy Act to allow BIR to go after tax cheats, that’s where the replacement revenue will come from. But Congress is junking this proposal. Let’s put the blame on the irresponsible branch.

      Having said that, I agree to a reduction of income tax, not to pander to populists demands but on account of 2 considerations (a) the propensity to consume is very high in Philippines. Why is this important — if tax rates go down and people put the extra money into savings a/c, then the economy does not benefit. But if people utilise the extra money to consumption, then it’s good for the economy. (b) with Asean economic integration in mind, Philippines had better do something about its high income tax regine or loose out in competitiveness.

      2. Slow internet — PLDT’s stranglehold on Philippines is not Pnoy’s doing. The monopoly was established long time ago. Communication is an industry that requires huge infrastructure investment and very long term strategies. It is not easy to open up Philippines to other international players but I’m certain that unseen, unheard by you and me, the Pnoy admin must have explored this for some time. Finally, a new playing may be entering the market – the SM+Australian Telstra venture. Only competition can improve services. But watch for the news — there will be detractors who will surface to try to put up roadblocks to this new venture.

      3. Metro Manila traffic — it’s not fair to put the blame squarely on any single person. Yes I agree the Pnoy admin has not been able to improve the situation much. I doubt any other admin can either. I seriously doubt if God can do anything. As regards MRT/LRT, it’s easy to criticise, but the mess there is extremely complicated in terms of the operation is structured and the legal webs. Seems pretty admin appointees were mired in corruption, but there are lots of other issues. But finally, improvement is creeping in. New trains are in, new maintenance being worked out. Let’s give it a chance.

      The only way the Metro Manila traffic mess can be solved is to follow through with the JICA road-map that Pnoy approved last year. While we were all criticising, good people were working with JICA and helped to lay out this road map.

      4. Neglect of infrastructure — it’s because there are quite a few infrastructure maintenance works going on that’s why we are having this mother of a traffic jams lately. I don’t know if you been watching news — how much infrastructure fundings were blown by all those crooks who pocketted those PDAF money.

      5. I share your opinion on Abaya, on Tolentino I’m not so sure.

      6. On Mamapasano — so much people made so much comments. There is something nobody every brought up. But I can tell you Joe and Lance can attest to what I say (because we have military background). Here’s the thing. The Chief of staff does no planning. It’s left to operating commanders. (Pnoy’s problem was he utilised a suspended commander, but that’s his call). Not every operation requires the CIC’s participation or approval – if that were so, no President can function. Only certain operations where he will make the call. Mamasapano was one. Once the operation is on the way, the field commander takes over. When it comes to strategies on the ground, it’s always the field commanders’ call. No higher command sitting in aircon rooms thousands of kilometres away can tell the field commander what to do. If a decision he made based on what he assessed was the best at that time and it turned out wrong, though luck. You skin him only if he made those decisions negligently (as in the Manila bus hostage incident). So let’s be a bit kinder to Pnoy in this tragedy.

      7. Balikbayan box issue — that’s a bobo, I don’t know how much of that is Lina’s idea and how much Pnoy’s. If it came from Pnoy, I would be terribly disappointed. But credit to him that he hauled in Lina immediately, whether it’s for show or a sincere reaction. My 6th sense tells me Pnoy is not that insensitive to OFWs.

      • Ana says:

        Ano ba yan puro excuses at turo blame sa ibang branches ng gov’t from 1 – 7. kaya nga sya naka upo dyan pra solusyunan ang mga problema pero di yun ang nangyayari lalo lang lumalala. maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw kapag kaalyado nya palpak at may anumalyang ginawa deadma lang at mag dadahilan pero pag di nya kaalyado pakitang gilas may kaso. In short his not effective as president. Ang problema sinusulusyunan hindi iniipon, ina aksyunan agad hindi lang tinatalakay.

        • Ana,

          Bakit si chempo na taga Singapore at si Joe na American ay naiintindihang mabuti ang mga issues dito sa bansa natin at hindi naghuhusga kaagad. Bakit tayong mga Pilipino ay di makaunawa at agad agad ay umaatake, naninisi. Tingin ko naunawaan mo ang mga tinuran ni chempo kaya ka nakasagot, pero bakit sinasabi mong puro excuses ng kaalyado na dinededma lang ng pangulo. Tila yata ang pinapakinggan mo lang ay yung maiingay na media na wala ng ginawa kundi umatake, umatake at umatake araw araw. Tingnan at analisahin mo rin ang ibang ibang pananaw. Huwag mong lunukin ng buong buo ang mga atake nila.

  35. It’s a good thing I have top notch staffs, and the operating wheel is well oiled… Joe, I am in and out of a number of active articles, I can hardly keep up… the challenge you give us is truly something. David M is right, it’s addictive. The Recent Comments section is worth a ton of gold, thanks again!…see, going for literary effect, too!

  36. rosalinda jubilado says:

    Ako ay humanga kay Pres. Aquino. na punong puno ng karunungan at isang tunay na Pinoy dahil sa paggamit nya ng wikang Pilipino sa bawat sona nya. Tunay na nauunawaan siya ng lahat ng Fiipino . May isa lamang akong pintas sa kanya ang pagsa -batas ng RH law. Ang Tuwid na Daan ay dapat sang-ayon sa batas ng Diyos.

    • Angelica Jaranilla says:

      I admire Pres. Aquino and we know how religious their family are.Presidente siya ng buong Pilipinas hindi lg ng Catholics,alam niya na isang problema ng bansa ang malaking populasyon.Mostly, ang mahihirap nating kababayan are the ones not practicing family planning at masyadong maraming anak na d nila kayang mapakain. Hanga ako ky Pnoy to push for the RH law kahit ayaw ng Catholic church dahil alam niya na makabubuti ito sa ating mamamayan

  37. i7sharp says:

    Dear President Aquino,

    So far, no one (it seems) has commented about the airport that is named after your good father.

    But is this good enough for you?:
    NAIA-1 no longer world’s worst airport?

    I have asked the people here at the blogsite you have cited in your last SONA to check about the firefighting and rescue capabailities of the airport:

    Wala po akong makitang response.
    Tamad po ba sila or they simply don’t care?

    • i7sharp says:

      Dear President Aquino,

      Puwede po bang idagdag ang tungkol dito?:
      (Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan)

      Where can one find an online copy of it?
      It is supposed to be 8,000 pages long – but perhaps one can at least find the pages related to the most devastated of the barangays.

      Salamat po.

  38. Obed says:

    Seems everyone forgot, 30 reporters got killed during his governance and we still lead in the rankings not only to have one of the worst airports in the world but also one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters.

    • Joe America says:

      You should read more, I think. These one-liner dismissals of the President, with absolutely no context to the statements (the one about airports is flat out wrong), are just easy pot shots. How about making a whole argument, that is complete with the pros and cons. Like, you know, balanced. Without that, you are just peddling an agenda on slogans.

      • Obed says:

        Aquino is great but failed in:
        Reducing the fact that the country is one of the most dangerous for reporters (30 got killed because they weren’t balanced).
        Dealing with some of the major events reckless naive as to rescue Hong Kong tourists hostage causing heavy casualties.
        Embarrassing stories to tell, shooting and deny of killing a Taiwanese fisherman.
        and last but not least poor performance in tsunami typhoon aid.

        • Joe America says:

          I believe your expectations of the President are extreme. He cannot do everything for every Filipino and has to rely on others. He is also bound by laws and culture and the weaknesses of the Philippine social and government processes. Really, I think you want a baby sitter, not a president.

  39. Jake A says:

    This is the reason why Philippines will never ever be great again.We accept blindness with open eyes, we accept to call themselves hero/s with blood flowing from our people, then we cry for good governance, then we cry for the poor, then we cry for future but then, we let them mold our history by their terms, and we say we are proud to Filipino.

  40. Eleanor Amino says:

    It is very unfortunate that most of the people who who can not realize the truth of his goodness as a leader of the Philippines are the very people in residence. I am not sure if it is denial caused by idolatry or just plain ignorance. I have read a lot of comments against the President and some are even questioning his accomplishments as a leader. Some even say that they don’t feel any growth and prefer the lives they had some decades ago. How will our country evolve if a big portion of the population refuse change? He totally is a Leader with Class.
    I totally agree with you. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Jake Austria says:

    I do agree with what’s written about our President. I am proud to be a Filipino. There are just few things that needs fine tuning and calibration.

    First is the lack of empathy, there are some statements that PNoy have made like “Buhay ka pa naman” sometime after the Yolanda tragedy. Or some acts like going to a plant in Laguna instead of going to Villamor Air Base at the arrival of the SAF personnel that are killed in Mamasapano. I wish, someone would just have gag his mouth.

    Secondly, sense of urgency. There are delayed actions on his part that you can equate to inaction. For example, the passing FOI act as one of his campaign promises, his delayed apology in Mamasapano Incident. Also, he never had convened his National Security Council when needed.

    Thirdly, protecting non performing and controversial Secretaries. The likes of Alcala, Abaya, Almendras, Torres, Lina, Puno of this world. He might be honest and not corrupt, but he has done nothing to reprimand or investigate those being involved which gave him the impression of implementing selective justice.

    Despite all these, I am still proud of him as my President, and I will give him a passing grade of 7 out of 10.

    • Joe America says:

      A very direct assessment, Jake, and I’m glad you were able to deal with what you see as his failings, and balance them with the achievements. I’m no psychiatrist, but I rather think that his “deafness to compassion” as exhibited after Yolanda and Mapmasapano is also the stoic strength that allowed him to face down the emotionalism of a whole lot of people regarding a whole lot of critical incidents: the Sultan’s invasion of Malaysia, the Zamboanga siege, the Hong Kong anger about the bus massacre, the Taiwanese President’s rant about the fisherman who was shot, the ongoing insults coming from the Chinese, and a lot of criticism coming from crooks, leftists and political opportunists. If he were soft and weepy, or prone to over-emotionalism, I think it would have been a horrendous time and he may not have even made it through his term.

      It’s a tough job.

      Thanks for the point of view.

  42. Mon Babasa says:

    Mr. Joe,
    Seems all your readers are one in saying that Pnoy is a good president, better than his predecessors (GMA, JEE AND FVR). Sorry I cannot agree with you and your fellow yellow fanatics. He is the most incompetent president we ever had. I am an ordinary citizen who feel the hardships everyday, dealing with the worst traffic, high prices and increasing criminality. Perhaps you and your fellow yellows are living in a different Philippines. Honesty? Wow, he said a mouthful of lies on the Mamasapano aftermath.

  43. Joe America says:

    Well, Mon it was good of you to stop by to pass along your . . . version of things. I think I wrote about you in the article. Yes, yes, I see that I did. I even apologized to you, so there you go. Have a great day there in your wee little black cloud . . .

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Translation: Noynoy Aquino’s legacy is now being formed: President of ALL the people […]

  2. […] Source: Noynoy Aquino’s legacy is now being formed: President of ALL the people […]

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