Mar Roxas and a matter of trust

roxas - rappler

Mar Roxas being Mar [Photo credit: Rappler]

I’ve observed that Filipinos don’t trust their leaders very much, and I can for sure understand why. The leaders end up in jail way too often or spend their working days playing for popularity, misleading people, and seldom doing much earnest, productive, nation-building work (Senate).

Which reminds me . . . take any political group with “bayan” in the name and you can guarantee that they are even more self-serving than most, and illogical to boot. I mean, where else can you find the cry “No US bases!” residing side by side with “We endorse Grace Poe”, that former American!! Or take that Gabriela band of whackos that criticized the finest woman to grace the Philippine political scene since the death of Cory Aquino. Gabriela, a group that SAYS it is for women, crabbed “political suicide” at Leni Robredo the day she accepted the Vice Presidential pairing with Mar Roxas. Isn’t it strange that Gabriela cannot find pride in a classy woman VP candidate? They’d rather she not run and leave it to a scrabble of male second-stringers!

Personal politics is more important to Gabriela than the principle of women moving ahead.

There are a lot of nut cases in Philippine politics.

“That’s the way we do it here, Joe.”

Boy, don’t you though?

I’ve pondered and pondered, and finally come to the conclusion that trust is the issue here. I figure it is the inability to trust that has most Filipinos tied up in knots, justifying the ridiculous. That’s why thinking becomes so contorted that confirmed crooks get elected. I mean, people even justify the virtues of the populist sloganeering son of a murderous dictator.

“That’s the way we do it here, Joe.”

Would I be rude to suggest that perhaps you ought to change the way you do it?

You see, it gets so strange that people decide that the only person anyone can really trust hereabouts is themselves, and if they form an opinion, even if on the shallowest of terms, they are locked into it for life. Because if they changed their mind, they would reach the final frontier and NOT EVEN TRUST THEMSELVES.

If that ever happened, we’d find them in the corner of the living room curled up on the floor, babbling nonsense and sucking their thumbs, rather like famous columnist Boo Chanco has been driven to do of late since he gave up on President Aquino.

Most of you know that I walk around with a yellow stamp on my cranium because I have for years cast my lot with President Aquino. Not being Filipino, I basically decided to trust him, back in 2012 or so, after it became clear that he was going to exceed my expectations of him. Well, my brand of trust does not come with a need for perfection attached. It comes with trust attached. I trusted then, and still trust, that President Aquino is earnest and honest and diligent and FOR the Philippines and FOR Filipinos.

And he has one extraordinarily hard job to do, in the public limelight with literally thousands of critics in the wings waiting to pounce on a misplaced facial expression or slip of the tongue or decision they can posture as wrong (even though it is likely right). I’d guess that this ravenous pack of highly critical humanoid creatures will eventually be recognized by biologists as a new species of animal, the Philippine Political Hyena, lurking and looking for faults so they can wail their screeching complaint and ridicule.

That screech of complaint is the soul of the nation on some days, especially when the Daily Inquirer is on a sensationalistic rampage, looking for blood and guts and reputations to demolish.

Never mind that on every other day, it is the President of THEIR nation they are undermining.

That Inquirer is an ethically challenged wasteland on way too many days of the year. And it is the best paper in the nation.

So on Mamasapano, President Aquino did not let me down. The people who laid the blame for a police operational failure on the Commander in Chief let me down. Senator Poe let me down. And all the senators who signed her high school term report subtitled “How to lay waste to your nation’s Executive branch and military in five easy meetings.” The CBCP political bishops let me down (aren’t priests supposed to be healers?). The relatives of the dead let me down. The press and public let me down.

President Aquino did not. He had my trust. Something that politicians and Poe and critics and the press have not been able to win.

What is interesting, with the great healing power of time and circumstance, a whole lot of people have edged back to the spot I never left. Trusting President Aquino.

One is inclined to wonder, what do people think trust is? Something flimsy or fickle or “here today, gone tomorrow”?

Hey, here’s the deal.

TRUST is what you hold tightly to during bad times. Not just the good. Otherwise it is just called “expedience”.

TRUST is letting go of your own neediness, that’s what it is. It is granting another person full rights to do things his way, for YOUR benefit. Unequivocally. You let him work, support him, guide him if necessary, and work hardest on his behalf during the times of trouble.

Trust is hard. It is also healthy. It’s how to build a nation:

“In Filipinos we trust.”

But all this is just set-up to the point I wanted to make.

I’ve written a lot about Mar Roxas here. Good things, in the main, because that was where the study of his character and qualifications led me. The bad things were mainly reflections of what others have said, that he is not a tough, macho kind of leader. He is not decisive, loud, outspoken. He is quiet and appears passive. People wonder if he will lead others or others will lead him.

But I’ve had a breakthrough lately, an accumulation of the things he has said at his own acceptance speech, and at Leni Robredo’s, and at other public appearances. I finally saw the mistake most of us have been making. For sure, I was making it myself.

In one of my articles, I gave this advice to Mar Roxas: “Just be yourself.”

That was wrong. I was speaking to the wrong people. I should have been speaking to myself, and likely to you, and to all the critics. What I should have said was:

“Let Mar Roxas be Mar Roxas.”

Let him be intelligent, a little shy and geeky, personable with a great sense of people and humor, earnest, honest, hard working, sincere, straight-talking, humble, and emotional.

Emotional. The guy can cry, as he did knowing what Leni Robredo gave of herself to join his team . . . and he can lose his temper.

He is honest that way, too.

No candidate is more genuinely Filipino than Mar Roxas. Certainly not a shallow American flip-flopper. Certainly not someone dodging a lot of evidence showing he has been ripping off everyone from taxpayers to Boy Scouts.  Not a bunch of political opportunists who are angling for the Vice Presidency because they think it might be a fast track to the Presidency, and they can’t win the job any other way. As far as I can tell, there is only one VP candidate in the race because she heard the people calling. In service to others.

Well, here’s the point I’m driving at. The point I reached when I finally realized that it is RIGHT for this Mar to be hauling sacks of rice and standing in the wreckage of Tacloban arguing with a political thug and slipping in the mud to get to where Typhoon Ruby struck and directing traffic in the rain and blowing his stack at the police for cleaning up the crime scene before he got there. It is RIGHT for this Mar to be choking back tears for Leni Robredo’s commitment . . . and for President Aquino’s trust in him.

That’s our Mar. That’s who he is. Why do we want him to be some other guy?

It is RIGHT for the father of the BPO industry, our Mr. Palengke, the guy who has toiled for three presidents and stepped aside for one of them, who has been at Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro and care-taking Pope Francis and INC protesters alike . . . for the people . . . because it is his duty . . . and who genuinely wants LGU’s to thrive, with politics aside, and helps them any way he can.

It is RIGHT . . .

It is RIGHT that we appreciate him for who he is, and what he stands for. We don’t need to make him into Fernando Poe or Manny Pacquiao or Coco Martin.

He’s Mar Roxas, always has been, always will be. That is PERFECT for me, and he’s earned my trust. A year ago, I was nowhere close. I had written him off as unexciting.

How wrong I was. My condition was one of gross uninformed ignorance, since remedied with a little research and study, and keen observation of his personal style.

I trust Mar Roxas and I’m excited for the Philippines.

Through the barbs of the critics, through the mistakes he will undoubtedly make, through hell and high water.

I trust Mar Roxas.

Now, he may lose the election.

“It’s the way we do it here, Joe.”

Hahaha, yes, well, there are . . . after all . . . a lot of nut cases in the Filipino electorate, as well.

But, hey, I’m good with Mar. I like the guy. I respect him. I trust him.

I wish there were a whole lot more people of his character and style in politics, and in government.


158 Responses to “Mar Roxas and a matter of trust”
  1. From Edwin Lacierda’s FB Note:

    Mar Roxas dared to walk among giants. This is the story.
    “From the Mar Roxas Archives: Written by Johann Bernabe who used to be the DTI commercial attaché in Geneva. This event transpired while Mar Roxas was DTI Secretary.
    I’m surprised how MAR’s brilliantly played out role as the Philippines’ chief negotiator held last November 2001 in Doha, Qatar did not get the attention and praise it justly deserves. Anecdotes and situations where MAR’s keen judgment, composure and leadership qualities were very much evident spring to mind quite easily.
    There was for instance the confrontation with EC Commissioner Pascal Lamy regarding our refusal to agree to the EC’s grant of preferential treatment in favour of ACP (African Caribbean Pacific) countries unless the resulting adverse trade effects suffered by the Philippines were adequately safeguarded. Unknown to many, the successful conclusion of the Ministerial Conference hinged on whether this issue would be resolved.
    On the last day of negotiations, Lamy finally decided to engage MAR in a face-off, walked imperiously with his army of lawyers and advisers into the meeting room where the Philippine delegation had been consulting– and receiving intense pressure– from various delegations, and condescendingly issued an ultimatum: either the Philippines (and Thailand) accept the EC’s last offer or accept responsibility for a failed Ministerial.
    Lamy then berated the Philippines for “holding the entire negotiations hostage” on account of a single issue (which obviously was untrue, since it was the EC which was forcing acceptance of the ACP preferential treatment upon us, since they needed the support of the ACP countries for the agenda the EC was pushing in Doha).
    Cutting him off, MAR stared down Lamy, saying, “I resent that. The Philippines is not holding anyone hostage here. If anyone is doing it, it is in fact the EC which is holding us hostage by insisting on our agreement to a deal which was never part of the Doha agenda in the first place!”
    Trying to rectify his faux pas, Lamy stammered that he “really didn’t intend to mean that we were holding anything hostage,” and that he “meant something different.” At which point MAR said sharply, “C’mon, Pascal, you’re far more sophisticated than that. We both know that you knew what you meant.”
    Still trying to regain his balance, Lamy said that “English was not his mother tongue and that…” MAR pounced on him again before he could finish, retorting “Well, Pascal, English is not my mother tongue, too, but if you want, we can negotiate in Filipino instead!”
    Minutes later, Lamy huffed out of the room, standing an inch or so shorter than when he came in. The EC had taken its best shot, going with its top honcho against MAR, and ended up contributing to MAR’s growing stature in Doha instead.
    Of course, the best part of it was in the end the Philippines got a better deal than even what the EC was prepared to give– a mechanism for addressing our concerns that went beyond what the WTO rules obligated the EC to do at that point. Plus, by getting our deal and removing this final obstacle to the adoption of the Doha Declaration, MAR had essentially saved Doha. Otherwise, coming on the heels of a failed Ministerial Conference in Seattle, the WTO itself would now be teetering on the brink of irrelevance.
    I wonder how many people realize that.”

    • Joe America says:

      There you go. This idea that Mar Roxas is passive and indecisive is urban myth, Manila myth, fostered by the likes of Binay spokesmen. You know, those icons of virtue and honorable dealings.

    • “I wonder how many people realize that.”

      Not too many, judging from the low ratings he got from surveys,

      Come to think of it, all three presidents he served before relied on his business expertise when in foreign trips to encourage investment inflows.

      His vast experience will come in handy when he gets be elected. Poe’s and Binay’s camps will surely say that they can get talented ones to advice them but it helps when the executive himself knows the ropes and will not be led by the nose.

      Painting Roxas as emotional or snobbish or indecisive is just their way of belittling his stature finding no records of corruption that he can be accused of.

      We want an able president, not a saint. And his name is Mar and not Perfecto.

  2. A year ago Mar was damaged goods, Leni was too raw and had no national following. Oh what a year and a few months can do.

    • Joe America says:

      You sound like my bookie, Sal. He kept laughing and slapping his thigh as people were descending into apoplexy and running for Poe or anybody but survey bottom-dweller Roxas. “Time and circumstance, time and circumstance . . .” he kept saying.

    • NHerrera says:

      Gian, thanks for your two notes above. Wow on Mar.

  3. arlene says:

    The problem with us is not just trust Joeam. Filipinos easily forget and never learn from past experience. We vote for someone who is popular with the masses, some of us never see the true intention of a candidate “magpayaman habang nasa pwesto”. My family are voting for mar and Leni. If you would compare the other “has beens” and neophytes in the presidential and vice-presidential election, they are the most likely candidates who would continue what PNoy has started. I just checked our biometrics online just to be sure that I can vote.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I don’t know why people allow suspicions and hobgoblins and myths to infest their thinking. I suppose it is all the propaganda and deceits out there from political players and the media, who give substance to the most trivial of complaints. While ignoring the good works being done. If the Administration tries to point out the good works, then the cry of “bragging” is raised. But the first rule of order for a nation that has dearly lacked order is stability. The second rule of order is economic growth. The third is to get rid of the inefficiencies, of corruption and bad thinking and red tape. The fourth is defense, health, education. The ONLY reason to choose Binay is self gain, for the local mayors and players. The ONLY reason to choose Poe is . . . gambling, like at the lotto, with someone who has absolutely no idea of what it means to run a nation. Now I understand Miriam Santiago is entering the race. She’s good if you like to go with respect of elders as the main theme, and to hell with stability and common sense.

      • arlene says:

        Knowing how powerful social media is, I really hope we would discern and really think who is the best duo to run this nation in the next six years. Sometimes I think the problem lies on how we choose a candidate, not because he/she is on top of those so called “surveys” but because he/she is really qualified in all aspects.

  4. may abriol says:

    Yes, sure winners mar roxas and leni robredo. Me and my family prefer this tandem.

  5. josephivo says:

    Trust. An interesting concept. The trust is not about what we wish for, rather it is accepting consistency of the data or habits. Trust starts in the family, at the age of 2/3 children start trusting parents and sibling. Later when the environment grows, trust of other people can kick in.

    “Consistency in data and habits”, the only way to build trust. Positive it creates trust. Negative it creates mistrust as in jumping parties and alliances, accepting kickbacks, changing nationalities…

    In the Philippines there is a huge gap between the family and the rest of the world, many can’t bridge it. Trust stays limited in the family. This reliance on family is reassuring, it provides safety and a strong feeling belonging. (A clan, a dynasty as natural extensions.) But the over-reliance on family is a curse, it hinders integration in larger clusters, to develop additional coping mechanism. Where 80% consistency allows an American to trust someone outside the family, a Filipino expects 99.9%. Many politicians are consistent in the negative hence mistrust and the need to project a family feeling. Even if your sibling steals your money it still stays in the family, so what?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that 99.9% expectation for consistency is what kills trust in the Philippines. It is not realistic, and produces the need for constantly changing gears in search for perfection that will never be. It also leads to wild justifications because, intuitively, I think people know failure is ahead . . . as it always has been ahead. The self-justifying behavior becomes the pattern that assures the failure. The reality is that the nation is so much better off today than it was in 2010, yet people don’t even trust the data. They don’t trust their own eyes and analytics and stick with myth or what someone famous says.

      • juanmiguel says:

        The Filipino psyche has been uploaded with seriously flawed programming that dates back to the colonial era. Programming such as “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”, accompanied by the unspoken threat of punishment if the directive was unheeded.

        400 years has indelibly etched this programming into modern-day Filipinos who do what they do without knowing why they do it. But they do it anyway, i.e ningas-cogon, crab mentality, doble-kara, etc, all of which are behaviors hammered out over a very long time.

        They don’t trust their leaders because historical experience bears them out. It’s under their skin. And with an impaired psyche, they have an awareness, deep down, that if they were in a position of power, that they themselves, having been deprived for so long, and with mostly bad role models to go by, might do that which they don’t want to do but can’t help themselves. They can’t trust their leaders because most Filipinos, as you pointed out, do not, cannot, trust themselves.

        But if a leader steps up and actually serves the public TRUST, and serves the people’s interest, this may provide a helpful, cathartic effect on Filipinos to somehow come to a safe place in their core and trust that leader, and perhaps at some point, come to trust in themselves once more. Then maybe they can believe as that leader believes.

        A famous Filipino witnessed the systematic displacement of our culture and wrote that the key to self-realization was to look back into our history for the answers to know our true identity as a people. In that knowing will come a measure of self-realization and with it, self-esteem, trust, character, honor and other values buried under ‘faulty programming’.

        The right leader will bring Filipinos to a new level of self-fulfillment.

        I like what Mar said in an article, “It’s possible. It can be done.”

        • “A famous Filipino witnessed the systematic displacement of our culture and wrote that the key to self-realization was to look back into our history for the answers to know our true identity as a people. In that knowing will come a measure of self-realization and with it, self-esteem, trust, character, honor and other values buried under ‘faulty programming’.”

          Correct. I think that the Filipino culture is presently in the process of self-realization.

          And the culture has the values needed: HONOR (karangalan), PRINCIPLES (paninindigan), TRUST (tiwala), SELF-ESTEEM (pagmamahal sa sarili), CONFIDENCE (tiwala sa sarili) – they were just buried under the rubble of centuries under the yoke.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I notice this article was posted in Facebook. That’s a good move. Facebook is still the center. A lot of nut cases, but hey, what’s free of them? Thanks, Joe, for this article. Mar is ascendant. In investment parlance, Mar came from a trough, he is now in expansion, but he must not peak too soon.

  6. Karl garcia says:

    All the so called check and balances in our laws is because of a sense of trust, all the signatures required that causes red tape is because of no trust.Ecpediency is not trust,but things would be a lot faster if we are a trusting nation. now as to Mar Roxas, I know this is not the place to voice at issues at our homes,but I already mentioned here before that my dad,my mom,my sister are for Poe.It is their choice,I just won’t let them force me to join them,but I am with them in voting for Trillanes, but I am not asking Leni supporters to vote for him.Leni is a fine woman for sure.

  7. Karl garcia says:

    What if believed in surveys, those nut jobs who would pay for all our loans did not believe in surveys,they were not even it it.

  8. NHerrera says:

    Nice long preamble or whereas on Trust on the President to introduce Trust on Mar, and Leni, too. And I like the military sounding “through hell and high water.” That is, using the 80% consistency measure that @josephivo spoke of.

    Sorry, josephivo, since I am an un-curable numbers man, I will reinforce that with Pareto’s generally (and interestingly) applicable concept — 20% of the facts are critical to 80% of the outcome. Thus, Saintly perfection is not needed for our trust on P-noy , Mar and Leni; we need only the important and critical 20%. (BTW, a correction — no such a thing as perfection in Saints.)

  9. For Mar to have any chance of winning, he needs to gain the trust of the majority. He needs to show that he can go beyond “Mr. Palengke”. He needs to show that he can connect with the masses. He needs to prove that Korina will not cause problems (I know a few people who would have liked Mar if only he was married to someone else). He needs to explain how he handled the problems at the DOTC and later during Yolanda. Only then would he probably stand a chance against Poe. It seems the upper classes have already been convinced, but what about the masses? Have the masses actually felt any of Mar’s accomplishments?

    Also, in other news. Miriam announced she is running. I know a lot of people want her to run for president, and while I like her as a senator, I don’t want her to run for president (again, since this would be her second attempt after 1992 when she nearly won). I’d rather have her as vice president instead. Apart from her health issues, her attitude is not really “presidentiable”, if you know what I mean.

    • juanmiguel says:

      Binay, et al, had been saying that the MRT started breaking down during Mar’s time at the DOTC.

      According to many online sources, and I’ll just present one for brevity, an article by Getsy Tiglao in the Manila Times, the MRT first broke down on August 13, 2014.

      That was when an MRT train broke down at the magallanes station and a train that followed pushed it from behind to the taft station. But due to an error by the operators, when the second train braked upon approaching the taft station, the first one kept going and overshot the barrier and landed on the corner of EDSA and Taft. Who can forget that? That was more than a year ago.

      But here’s something no one seems to know or cares to know:

      According to practically all news reports online, from the DOTC, Mar Roxas was appointed to the DILG on August 31, 2012.

      That’s two (2) years BEFORE the first time the MRT broke down on August 13, 2014. Please don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and check. I did. Search ‘When was the first time the Metro Manila Rail Transit System broke down?

      Search ‘Manila Metro Rail Transit System breaks down’.

      If you’ve finished verifying, here is what we have in front of us…

      It is IMPOSSIBLE for the MRT trains to have started breaking down during Mar Roxas’ term at the DOTC because he left it that agency TWO (2) YEARS AND TWO (2) MONTHS BEFORE the MRT’s first breakdown on August 13, 2014.

    • juanmiguel says:

      A blogger eloquently accused Mar of approving that anomalous MRT maintenance contract which resulted in substandard servicing and the subsequent breakdown. So I checked and investigated, looking for facts. So I pieced together a semblance of a timeline.

      June 7, 2011 – Mar Roxas was appointed DOTC secretary. here is the link:

      The maintenance agreement entered in December 1997 between MRT Corporation (MRTC) and Sumitomo Corporation, the former maintenance service provider for the safe and proper operations of the trains, including the provision for labor and supervision expired way back in June 2010 and had undergone four extensions from June 2010 until October 2012.

      Aug 30, 2012 – Mar Roxas was appointed DILG secretary. Here’s the link:,-abaya-to-dotc-reports

      Fifteen days prior to the Oct 12, 2012 expiration of the last extension, the MRT Bids and Awards Committee adopted a resolution to undertake the procurement of an interim maintenance provider for six months and negotiate its terms and conditions. They did NOT renew the contract with Sumitomo Corp. of Japan.

      The MRT negotiating team recommended that the project be awarded to PH Trams – CB&T joint venture in the amount of $1.15 million monthly.

      October 20, 2012 – The project was awarded to PH Trams-CB&T and was renewed three times until September 4, 2013.

      Later, according to the Ombudsman, Former Metro Rail Transit (MRT) general manager Al Vitangcol III had used his power and authority being “the MRT-3 general manager/chief end-user, head of the negotiating team, member of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), all in one, to dictate the proponents invited for the preliminary negotiations of the maintenance services.” They awarded the contract to Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corporation (PH Trams), owned by Arturo Soriano, his wife’s uncle, which would have automatically disqualified PH Trams.

      The link is here:

      And here:

      The purchase of 48 new coaches was delayed by a TRO that was enforced after Mar joined the DILG and had nothing to do with him. Read this link:

      And here too:

      So, as far as Mar Roxas knew or was concerned, SUMITOMO Corporation of Japan had been, and was, the maintenance contractor AT THE TIME HE LEFT THE DOTC. The MRT manager WAITED for Mar to leave so he could finally have his chance at making money by installing his uncle in law as the new MRT maintenance contractor that replaced SUMITOMO. But since then, that bad guy was removed from the MRT and charged by the Ombudsman.

      That TRO has passed. The purchase and installation of additional new coaches is in process. Let’s all pray for its success and keep faith with those managing the MRT for our mutual benefit. I’m an MRT rider myself.

      • juanmiguel says:

        This means that Mar Roxas had already left the DOTC TWO (2) MONTHS before the MRT general manager awarded the maintenance contract to his uncle in law.

      • Joe America says:

        Thank you juanmiguel for doing the research and setting the record straight.

        • A lot of the achievements of Mar Roxas – and the Noynoy administration for that matter – get drowned out by the loud voices in the fish market that is today’s Philippine democracy.

          And a lot of stuff that doesn’t amount to much if you look at it closely is made to look like grandiose achievements by the loud supporters of Marcos. Many Marcos projects were bombastically proclaimed and quietly scrapped, I can say as one who lived in those days. Think Mussolini and you get an idea. Add Imelda and you have the zarzuela/telenovela aspect including catering to mass appeal and dumbing people down, which the regime did. I know why I have not yet made my history articles on Erap/Arroyo and Noynoy, because I noticed while researching that so much is distorted, the picture not really clear.

      • Further research will also show that the MRT deal was (allegedly) very one sided in favor of the private corporation headed by Sobrepeña. Allegedly, they did not maintain the MRT for years and it was close to impossible for a new contractor to catch up on the maintenance. I don’t have the links but I hope someone provides them. Also I read a comment by Arnel Casanova of the BCDA that this is the same group that is swinding the government for billions of pesos in the case of Camp John Hay.

        I wish I could provide the links to this information. Sadly the information is not out there and most people will not go out of their way to read them. I think its very important that the campaign of Mar finds a way to shorten all this info and let the public know their side.

  10. Jasmin says:

    I don’t think lack of trust is the problem with Mar, but more of lack of emotional connection. Kasi to be able to trust someone, you’d have to use your brain to analyze the person, his motives, his decisions. In many voters, unfortunately, that part of the body totally did not develop – so it can’t be trust. They have hearts, yes, but these only respond to ampon (adopted), api (oppressed) and maralitang (poor) politicians – even if these candidates are running for personal ambition alone, facing corruption allegations or surrounded by supporters with dubious motives. It’s an uphill battle for Mar and Leni, pero kaya yan! (I’m disappointed though with some of LP’s senatoriables. Petilla = dynasty. Villanueva = corruption charge. Wala na bang iba???)

    • This. I’m happy with choices like Drilon, but Villanueva? Seriously? After all those allegations against him? Well, at least they dropped Tolentino. Those two obscure candidates are a nice touch though given that they’re from Mindanao, but because they’re obscure I can’t make any comments on them yet as I have yet to know of their performance.

      • “Joel is the ideal scapegoat. Predictably as a Reborn Christian, he’d rather pray than fight back. Not an LP, he’s in the way of jealous party sycophants, as P-Noy often admiringly praises his work, in SONAs and town hall meets. With Joel fallen from grace, the LP would have room to spare in its 2016 senatorial ticket, for the party that would put up a VP running mate. Best of all, it would live down the “singling out” tag. When Joel was put in the third batch of pork indictees — still all Opposition except him – a Malacañang spokesman gleefully claimed: “See, we’re not selective with justice!”

        Yet it’s selective injustice. Perplexing is the NBI’s picking on Joel now. In 2013 at the height of the pork exposés, the agency had declared bogus all 21 documents linking him to kickback fixer Janet Lim Napoles. Joel’s signature was forged, Questioned Documents Lab chief Carolyn Pitoy and Deputy for Forensics Edward Villarta swore then.

        Other “evidence” do not tally with Congress records. Inexistent are two state-salaried staffers who supposedly aided Joel, in a Compostela district office he never had. He’s not a district congressman but from the party-list CIBAC (Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption). Neither Napoles nor PDAF scam whistleblower Benhur Luy mention Joel in testimonies.
        Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

        Here’s more. Joel allegedly pocketed P10 million PDAF in 2006. Yet, being in the Opposition then, he got not a single centavo from the Arroyo tenure. An ex-public works secretary admits to seeing a separate fabricated request, in unsuspecting Joel’s name, for cash doles in Central Luzon. In the PDAF scam, the counterfeiters clearly were confused. The faked stationery of Joel states not his CIBAC but “Buhay Party List.” That party’s founder is famous El Shaddai Catholic charismatic Bro. Mike Velarde; Joel is the son of equally famed Jesus Is Lord evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva.”

        As I belong to the JIL non sectarial, Bible-based Christian denomination, I dare not offer my own opinion in defense of Joel. Suffice to say that I trust him, just as I trust Mar and P-NOY.

        • The above link is from the PhilStar columnist Jarius Bondoc.

          Also so we may know more of Joel Villanueva in addition to all those allegations against him”

          This one from: FROM THE STANDS By Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 3, 2015 – 12:00am

          • Domini M. Torrevillas writes: “Of the President’s men, Joel Villanueva, without a doubt, is a big asset in the administration’s efforts to develop the country’s human resources and give it a good image.

            No less than P-Noy heaped words of praise on the director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

            The President’s words, spoken in Pilipino at a special function, I liberally translate thus: “You can trust no one but Joel for his sincerity in serving the Lord and the country. We should retain people like him who truly serve the country. He has proven this through the TESDA.”

  11. Jimi says:

    I trust Mar Roxas Joe. I hope and pray Filipinos in whole walk of life will wake up in their slumber and vote wisely in the coming election.

  12. This is so cool. Somewhat off topic but this shows how much work is happening under are noses to deal with past issues encountered

    To give a little context mesh networks were one of the suggestions that we need to build up because of its resilience and fault tolerance.

  13. Caliphman says:

    There is the world of difference between the the two words faith and trust. When the latter is blind and is not based on proven facts and behavior, then that is faith which is borne more out of bias and wanting to trust somerone, something I would do for God but certainly not for any politician.

  14. If I’m going to sound like a Mar Roxas Kool-Aid drinker, it’s because I am! I’m also a JoeAm fan! You nailed it again, JoeAm! Based on this blog, I predict that whoever has the TRUST of the Filipino people will be the next President of the Philippines. I cannot think of anyone else who can fill the shoes of PNOY, but MAR ROXAS! (Told ya!) – Daisy Amos Laag

  15. Filipinos have been politically abused so much that they have lost their sense of trust.

    They trusted Marcos, who promised them that “THIS NATION CAN BE GREAT AGAIN!”
    My grandfather placed great hope in him and was very angry when things turned out different.

    They trusted Arroyo, who promised competence and professionality after corrupt populist Estrada.
    My father told me “what I have not even wished upon Marcos, I wish upon Gloria Arroyo – DEATH”.

    Trust, but based on asking questions, inquiring what the policies of the candidate are going to be.
    Then check, and demand that promises be kept. Be an active, concerned citizen at all times.

    But do not carp and whine – be clear in what you want from a candidate, and express it clearly.


    The two extremes of hoping for a Messiah or a Führer, and being destructively against are bad.

    Trust, but inquire. Trust, but demand. Trust, but check. But NOT. Inquirer, demanding, choking.

    Between blind following and being a blocking force, there is a constructive check and balance.


    Political culture in the Philippines has some lessons to learn before reaching maturity.

    • How could a good scenario for the Philippines look like? One possibility…

      February 25, 2056. President Boy Bastos commemorates the 70th anniversary of the February revolution. Due the anti-dynasty law passed by President Bam Aquino in 2029, candidates from non-political families have become common. Political party laws have eased the formation of citizen parties, carried by the owners of small and medium-sized businesses. The Philippine Senate was abolished President Leni Robredo in 2025 and replaced by the Council of Provinces, which is in each province elected by the Council of Barangays. The 2025 Constitution was promulgated by plebiscite. Direct democracy was implemented at all levels: national, provincial and barangay during the time of President Aquino IV in 2035. The Philippines uses three languages: Ilokano, Tagalog and Cebuano. English, Spanish and Bahasa are the three languages that can be chosen from as the one foreign language that must be learned in the revised K-12 curriculum implemented by President Robredo.

      President Mar Roxas used his term to push through a major revamp of the justice, penal and police system, thus restoring people’s confidence in the rule of law. The Corruption Amnesty Law of 2017 gave those who had ill-gotten wealth the chance to be amnestied under the condition that they returned the money, with the only penalty being barred from public office and public service for life. The Bandit Amnesty Law of 2018 likewise allowed NPAs and other groups to return to normal life, with the same penalty as the Corruption Amnesty Law. This all boosted the country’s economy. The Resettlement Act of 2019 forced squatters to build their own houses on allotted land outside of the cities, but with industrial development areas to give them jobs nearby. Mar endorsed Leni in 2022.

      In 2020, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame are no longer in Metro Manila, just like many other government agencies which have been distributed across the country. Tax incentives and the improved internet have caused many businesses and people to leave Metro Manila, which has a population of only 8 million in 2020 as opposed to 11 million in 2015. High-capacity train lines with stations along Manila Bay connect Metro Manila to Cavite, Batangas City, Angeles, Olongapo, Tarlac City and Atimonan, allowing for efficient commuting. The Manila Bay Barrier project to counter rising sea levels, with a train line and expressway on top between Mariveles and Looc, has been started, to be finished in 2026 with Dutch expertise. Similar train and expressway projects are being done in Mindanao.

      The EDCA agreement passes the Supreme Court in 2017. The alliance with Vietnam is forged in the same year, blocking further Chinese expansion in the Spratleys. The ITLOS filing was won in 2018. Faced with the possibility of an impasse, China entered into trilateral negotiations with Vietnam and the Philippines. Resource exploitation licenses for China with a 15% share of the profit for each of the co-owners of the Spratleys, Vietnam and the Philippines were finally agreed upon in 2021.

      The Philippine Navy in 2028 consists of a large number of missile and drone-carrying boats and a given number of helicopter carriers. The Philippine Cybersecurity Agency monitors the Internet against possible threats.

      Now contrast this with another, more dystopian vision:

      So the best thing is to define short-term objectives for every SONA, medium-term goals for one term, and a long-term Vision for 30 years. Know what direction you are taking and adjust everything according to it, so that things do not go anywhere or Down South…

      • Nice picture of continuity. Note, the 2025 Constitution allowed an 18 year old President Aquino IV in 2034? Who is President Boy Bastos? ah, ok, a product of the anti-dynasty law. ok… wished he had his surname changed legally before election in 2052.

        Nice picture of the Mar Roxas presidency. I only wish the baby boomers will get to witness these up to the Bam, Robredo and the Aquino IV Presidencies, mostly octogenarians by then!

        Continuity in all its splendor. Oh what it is to dream!

        • Aquino IV is Bam Aquino…

          And dreaming is important – you have to have a vision of where to go. Even if reality often makes it hard to realize, step by step you get closer…

          But if you lack the vision, you just fix things on a day-to-day basis, which is what the Republic has been doing since 1986. At least Aquino III (Noynoy) had a 6-year plan for his term. he knew more or less what he wanted to accomplish. Didn’t accomplish everything, but at least if you have a checklist you have an orientation and know what is still open – unfortunately his plan for 2011-2016 was hardly mentioned in public discussions.

          • Mary, I recommend the 1980s movie “TimeCop” – it is a keen lesson on how minor changes can lead to a completely different future.

            There are other novels and movies in this genre as well – one of the most chilling is “Fatherland” by Robert Harris. It plays in 1970s Europe ruled by Germany under Hitler.

            I really think the 2016 election – and how Mar Roxas handles his Presidency – will decide the future of the Philippines for the next 50 years. Either something like the hellish vision I had like Edgar called it, very much like St. John’s Revelation – or the above dream…

            But I think now that Mar Roxas is more like his father, Senator Gerry Roxas, Ninoy’s friend, than he is like his super-trapo grandfather President Manuel Roxas, who failed to continue Quezon’s legacy and was instrumental in leading the postwar republic into chaos.

            Now the awareness of his grandfather’s mistakes may make Mar Roxas extra careful – to build a lasting legacy, maybe even redeem his family name. Because a lot of the distrust towards Mar comes from his grandfather’s bad reputation in the national subconscious.

          • P.S. Cory actually had a plan in 1986 and reformed a lot more than people give her credit for… it is just that it did not get through to the people, she, her son, Mar are all so quiet and Philippine democracy is loud like a palengke so the modest voices get drowned.

            The history series in my blog shows what Cory did… inspite of not having the background for it. Local Government Code, PNP and a lot of other things… holding out against coups…

            • Try telling Parekoy that, he is of the opinion that Cory is simply palpak….

              • I did not read your discussion with him… but I have seen some of his postings about her… The errors he is criticizing are there, but you have to balance them with the accomplishments to get a full picture, and add to that the exceptional situation at that time.

                Maybe, in retrospect, it was too much to try to rebuild the entire state immediately, the lesson learned by her son is that you don’t tinker on too many things at the same time.

                Kay Marcos naman, you have to look behind the curtain to see how many of his so-called accomplishments had substance and how much of it was just window-dressing or short-lived projects that were bombastically advertised. Then deduct the stuff that was palpak.

                I saw Cory’s leadership just once, when she was in Germany for a state visit in 1989, I was part of the Embassy staff. She delegated a lot, she trusted people with their jobs. The problem is that some Filipinos think they can just do what they want if you delegate to them.

                Dictatorship is not the way either, because it does not teach self-discipline, much less the different levels of leadership up to Level 5 that you need for success. Experiences with dictatorships from Russia to Nazi and East Germany to the Philippines is that extreme pressure will cause it to cannibalize its resources both human, financial and natural, and also for people to lie about mistakes instead of correcting them on time – they all collapse after some time. Democratic systems are actually stronger because they manage to correct their mistakes. But you need a commitment from at least 90% of people so that they work.

              • Joe America says:

                “The problem is that some Filipinos think they can just do what they want if you delegate to them.” I wonder if President Noynoy Aquino does not have the same difficulty. I’m thinking about Customs, Purisima and Ochoa angling for Lina. Or Abaya . . .

          • Hokei…Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aguirre Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977 from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), thanks, I didn’t know that… I knew him only as Bam….hahaha..and here I was, thinking PNOY will have a son in 2016 or 2017 who will be Benigno Aquino IV…my bad!

            True, vision is truly important. Ninoy’s plan for 2011-2016 should have been published regularly, the monitoring of each and every one of them should have been shared not only on government websites but on FB pages, YouTube and other social media outlets. In this, the PNOY government was beaten by the Marcos propagandists who have brainwashed our young and the not so young people.

            • Exactly… but Philippine democracy is a fish market where the loud voices drown out the more quiet ones. Reminds me of how I had to learn to speak louder when I became on of the heads of a Filipino association in Germany, with a lot of people of masa background.

              Like I have written elsewhere in this thread, many Marcos projects were proclaimed bombastically and shelved very quietly. Some had continuity like BLISS or Sandiganbayan. But Cory’s reforms like the Local Government Code and democratizing the PNP by removing PC-INP from the Armed Forces – while restabilizing a country in ruins, withstanding coup attempts and more – are mostly forgotten. Marcos propaganda was “brilliant” while Noynoy’s communicators were not really good. In a country where “postura” and “porma” is valued more than quiet values and achievements, mahirap…

      • chempo says:

        It’s OK to dream Irineo

  16. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Out of 291 congresspeople, 76 or 26% are congresswomen …
    7 of 25 senators are women or 28%

    Disregard accidental women presidents: Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo. Due to unavoidable circumstance they became presidents.

    Therefore, Mar has bigger chances of becoming a president as long as:
    – there are no pictures of Korina and Mar
    – Korina keeps her last name “Sanchez” instead of “Roxas”
    – Korina keeps her Anger Management training
    – Voters cannot know about what she did (newspapers were so expensive, therefore, they cannot know)
    – Voters have no access to internet to know what happened between her and CNN Anderson Cooper
    – She should not name drop Mar’s name

    – Mar should concentrate his campaign in the bailiwick of 26% controlled by congresswomen and 28% of women senators.
    – Mar should wear his palengke-looks
    – Always a gentleman
    – Never mudslinging
    – Maintain his uncombed hair
    – Answer audience questions politely and courteously.
    – Never eject hecklers and kooks from the audience
    – He must at all times tag along a photographer that take pictures of him in good light
    – Please do not bring Korina with him at all cost.

    Of course, there are no perfect recipe to live in Malacanang.

    In Mar I Trust …

    • mercedes santos says:

      Humor us Mariano, try to be positive about Korinne . . .

    • Joe America says:

      She is introduced on television as Korina Sanchez Roxas. With a subtle exclamation point to the Roxas. I personally believe she is an asset to his candidacy and, as is typically the case, it is the minority who are shrill with their complaint, as if it were mainstream thinking, such thinking being leveraged by the pandering press for mileage. Take care as to whom you join forces with . . . 🙂

      • neo canjeca says:

        I apologise because this old paragraphs posted here before and a sample of copy and paste of my own thoughts. It is more about Mar than Korina, a Filipina who’s likely not to join or be accepted as Gabriela. Pardon too the shallow comparison to ladies of exceptional talents. Here it is . . .

        How they criticize, judge or even vilify their women I believe more or less defined (needs to be refined) Pinoy national machismo. Among TV anchors and newscasters, I watched before they went their own way the team of Manang Winnie, Max Enriquez and Korina Sanchez cut current issues to pieces. Korina struck me as the young upstart, anti-establishment , the young and the reckless after being suspended for digging her high heels on some untouchables, feeling entitled bunions or corns (kalyo).

        Korina struck me if she’s not struck down early will be a maverick in skirt, because of her tenacity and kevlar attitude she will be the subject of derision by some balls-less men. It will take a higher form of machismo to try get Korina’s confidence and affection just as it took Sean Pean to get close to Madonna, Billy Bob Thornton to wed Angelina Jolie. It is like Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie as it is Mar Roxas to Korina. Madonna and Angelina are not thieves adorers. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Very LAUGHABLE ain’t it? It is not of course, not even respectful to say that only morons and imbeciles–who are not judgmental– who will not recognize what’s made of sterner stuff. Mark Antony did and won Caesar’s Cleopatra. In this particularly case, Mar is E Hemingway’s admired some man .

    • Joy Oh says:

      you always make my day MRP! 🙂

  17. Manny Castro says:

    We might not win! But that should not stop us for doing our share for our beloved Philippines!

  18. cha says:

    I like this definition of trust by author, David Horsager, in his book The Trust Edge :

    “Trust is a confident belief in someone or something. It is the confident belief in an entity 1) to do what is right , 2) deliver what is promised, 3) To be the same every time, whatever the circumstances.”

    Horsager also identifies 8 components that form the foundation for building trust. He calls these the 8 Pillars of Trust:

    1. Clarity: “People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous.”
    2. Compassion: “People put faith in those who care beyond themselves.”
    3. Character: “People notice those who do what is right over what is easy.”
    4. Competency: “People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable.”
    5. Commitment: “People believe in those who stand through adversity.”
    6. Connection: “People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends.”
    7. Contribution: “People immediately respond to results.”
    8. Consistency: “People love to see the little things done consistently.”

    I think the situation with the candidates for President at the moment is that different people give different weights to each of the eight components and then choose their preferred candidates accordingly.

    Some put a premium on character. Others are looking for consistency and results. While some are looking for a connection. And so on.

    I reckon the candidate who will get the most votes will be the candidate who can eventually convince voters that he or she ticks the most, if not all the items in the list, thus appealing to a broader base. Likewise, their supporters can best help by articulating how their candidate fares better than the others with respect to each of the 8 pillars, and not simply focus on one overriding consideration or at least fill in the gaps where their candidate is perceived to be weak.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Joe’s term bottom fishing applies to the catch of presidential and vice presidential aspirants at the Comelec this week. Big fish, small fish, plastic toys, old shoes were dragged out by the net. Bongbong Marcos was part of the early catch. Is he a substantial fish or an old shoe? Old shoe, old shoe! When the whale sharks—Liberal Party bets—are trotted out, will the electorate recognize them as such? I certainly think so. Hey, this blog is not called an LP arm for nothing. Joke. Good thing we have Leni and Mar on board. Lends the catch a certain shimmer, like gold amongst old shoes and plastic toys. Poem coming. Hahaha!

      • bauwow says:

        Hey MRP! Where were you when we needed you?😄 your mere presence proves that Joe’s blog is NOT an echo chamber.
        As for Mar Roxas we need to support him and do our part. Mar-Leni2016!!!

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          I am all for Mar. In Mar I Trust. His wife I do not.

          Does anyone knew that Cayetano is an American Citizen? His father is a white American. Cayetano will not attack Grace Poe because Grace is a Filipino turned American turning Filipino, whereas, Cayetano is an American by parentage. If Cayetano attacks Grace on her qualification, Grace will attack back he is an American by parentage.

          BongBong is a crook becausse his father and mother was a crook. If anyone here believes in religion, they should know better. According to God, Christians and catholics are crooks because Adam and Eve were crooks. Look it up in the Bible. It is written somewhere.

          Those who have not sinned throw the first stone: “Did Korina beat up her housemaid? Was she acquitted because of her power, connection and she’s with the media and can afford to buy witnesses and lawyers?” If a houseslave is RAPED by the slavemaster, WHO WOULD YOU BELIEVE? Of course, your answer is better than mine. If an 8-year-old says she’s been molested, would you believe her or not?

          There is a farmer who styles himself as Lucifer gunning for Malacanang. I am an atheist, therefore, I do not believe in Lucifer. This farmer should stay put and plant camote.

          Santiago will do another run for presidency.

          So does Duterte.

          With all the characters above, BINAY IS LAUGHING.

          Do these candidates know math? If they are against Binay they should coalesce. They should not fall into Binay Division-by-Multiplication Math Trap (The more they are divided the more multiplicands run) But they only think of themselves. Each Filipino thinks they are better than anyone else that is why everybody is running. Binay is obviously lucky. Filipinos do not know math. They spend their time perfecting their English instead of math.

          Will Obama congratulate the Presidential winner? Obama said, “… after the election all the candidates will be suing each other presenting paid witnesses and typewritten affidavits … by that time I will have left the office maybe Donald might congratulate the winner … in his second term”

    • Dzandueta says:

      Learned a new way to look at and understand, so thank you. 🙂

    • Old wounds that seemingly refuse to heal, mainly because the cause of that woulds are still strutting their butt in our political horizon….NEVER AGAIN PLEASE!!

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        The return of the horrors are not a reflection of their character, for they will always be bad, but a reflection of our voters, that we are collectively easily herded and manipulated.

      • From U.P. historian Michael Xiao Chua:

        Click to access chua-tortyur-human-rights-violations-during-the-marcos-regime1.pdf

        To help Marcos achieve his disciplined new society, he launched a massive militarization campaign. Military membership grew from 55,000 in 1972 to 250,000 in 1984, and its budget ballooned from P 608 million in 1972 to $ 8.8 billion in 1984. Military personnel, especially his Ilocano friends, where appointed to various posts in government and civilian bureaucracy (Nepomuceno-Francisco and Arriola 1987, 177). The president’s former military driver, the loyal Ilocano General Fabian C. Ver, was eventually appointed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The military were given a free hand in implementing peace and order (Hamilton-Patterson 1998, 177, 301).

        now many today claim there were never any human rights abuses:

        Statistics on the extent of human rights violations were hair-raising. Danilo Vizmanos, a West Point-trained Navy Captain turned activist, estimates the extent of suffering under martial law: 7,000 victims of torture, 2,000 salvaged or summarily executed, 1,000 people disappeared (Malanes 1999, 16). His estimate is similar to the number of legal claimants of human rights violations against the Marcoses in the Hawaii case: 9,539 (Rosales 1999, 12)

        In addition to this, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines gives numbers to more specific inicdences. In their record, from 1965-1986, the numbers were as follows:

        2,668 incidents of arrests
        306 total number of arrested individuals
        398 disappearances
        1,338 salvagings
        128 frustrated salvagings
        1,499 killed or wounded in massacres (Magsaysay 1999)

        But Amnesty International, 1977 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and respected activist organization on global human rights, gives a not so conservative estimates in the whole Martial Law years: 70,000 were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, 3,240 were killed (Tiongson 1997).

        These were the different methods used:

        The listings by Ninoy Aquino and Primitivo Mijares (Aquino 1984, 2000, 89-105, 110-113; Mijares 1976, 276-324) gives the names and faces to the different techniques of torture. Aside from deadly weapons, unassuming everyday items like water, pliers, thumb tacks, ball pens, flat iron were used to create constant and enduring pain that even time can hardly heal:

        Electric Shock—one of the frequently used techniques. Usually, the electric wires were
        attached to fingers and the genitalia of the victim, as inflicted on Charlie Revilla Palma and
        Wilfredo Hilao. Sometimes, wires were attached to the arms and the head, just like what
        happened to Romeo Tolio. Other victims were Reynaldo Guillermo, Alejandro Arellano, Victor Quinto, Pedro de Guzman, Jr., Reynaldo Rodriguez, Julius Giron, Armando Teng, Santiago Alonzo, Romeo Bayle and Agaton Topacio.

        San Juanico Bridge—the victim lies between two beds and if his/her body falls or sags, the
        victim will be beaten. This was just one of the many tortures inflicted on José Lacaba and
        Bonifacio Ilagan.

        Truth Serum—administered at the V. Luna General Hospital. It made José Lacaba “talk
        drunkenly.” It was also administered to Victor Quinto.

        Russian Roulette—the victim is forced to aim a revolver with a bullet at his/her own head and then pull the trigger. This was used to further terrify Rev. Cesar Taguba and Carlos Centenera while being subjected to other tortures.

        Beating—another favorite technique where a group of soldiers would beat with “fists, kicks and karate blows” manacled victims. Almost all those who were tortured where subjected to this beating, among them Julius Giron, Macario Tiu, Eugenio Magpantay, Joseph Gatus, Rev. Cesar Taguba, Reynaldo Guillermo, Alejandro Arellano, Charley Palma, Victor Quinto, Pedro de Guzman, Jr., Reynaldo Rodriguez, Ma. Cristina Verzola, Julius Giron, Armando Teng, Romeo Bayle, Agaton Topacio, Reynaldo Ilao and Ramon Casiple.

        Pistol-Whipping—beating with rifle butts; one of the techniques endured by Reynaldo
        Guillermo, Roberto Sunga, Joseph Gatus and Nathan Quimpo.

        Water Cure—another favorite technique. Huge amounts of water would be forced through into the victim’s mouth, and by beating would be forced out. This was applied to Guillermo Ponce de Leon, Alfonso Abzagado and Andrew Ocampo.

        Strangulation—Done by hand, electric wire and steel bar to Carlos Centenera, and for two
        months his speech was impaired. Others who claimed to be strangulated were Willie Tatanis, Juan Villegas and Reynaldo Rodriguez.

        Cigar Burns—bonus you would get under torture. Received by Marcelino Tolam, Jr., Philip
        Limjoco, Charley Palma, Ma. Cristina Verzola and Reynaldo Rodriguez.

        Flat Iron burns—Despite being old in his fifties, Cenon Sembrano’s foot was heated with a flat iron. His foot became swollen and infected.

        Pepper Torture—Meynardo Espeleta’s bonus was a “concentrated peppery substance placed on his lips and genitals.”

        Animal Treatment—victims are manacled and caged like beasts. For three days, Leandro
        Manalo was caged inside a toilet handcuffed and blindfolded. Because of the experience he got viral hepatitis. For long periods of time, manacles were not removed from Alexander Arevalo, Manuel Daez, Marcelo Gallarin, Romualdo Inductivo, Faustino Samonte and Rodolfo Macasalabang, even if they ate, discharged their waste, took baths or slept. Food was given to them as if they were dogs, “shoved under the iron grilles.” And they ate without even knowing what the food was because there were no lights in their cell. Inductivo, despite his old age, was mercilessly slapped and electrocuted under torture. Rev. Cesar Taguba was made to drink his urine. And Monico Atienza, in his nakedness was threatened to be fed to dogs.

        and what was done to some women:

        Etta Rosales, a teacher at the José Rizal College, was brought to a safe house in Pasig where she was tortured. She was stripped naked when she suffered the Russian Roulette, electric shocks, strangulation, and candle burns. His torturers only stopped when she pretended to be dying. Years later, one of her torturers, Lt. Rodolfo Aguinaldo, even became her colleague at the House of Representatives (Magsaysay 1999).

        Hilda Narciso was placed in a small room where she was raped. She was fed soup of worms and rotten fish. She would be awoken right after falling asleep in order to be tortured once more. “Yung torture, mental torture, ang sakit. Tapos yung sexual abuse, mas lalo na, dagdag yun. Physical torture baka sabihin ko pang… mabuti pang pinukpok na ako ng pinukpok kaysa nirape ako e.” Currently, she was the executive director Claimants 1081, a group that filed human rights violations against the Marcoses (Magsaysay 1999).

        Judy Taguiwalo, a student activist and community organizer was brought to a military office in Iloilo. She was stripped naked as she was subjected to water torture. The next day, she fought a soldier attempting to mash her and make her sit on a block of ice. She still felt lucky she wasn’t raped. She now teaches at University of the Philippines (Azarcon-dela Cruz 1999, 4).

        Fe Mangahas, a historian and an active member of the faculty union of the University of the
        East, was arrested along with her husband-poet, Roger. Although she was just detained for one night, her husband stayed 19 months more. She described that night in Camp Aguinaldo where “people [were] walking around like zombies.” She confirmed the existence of a building called the “white house” where screams of women molested were regularly heard. To her, the thought of how long martial law would last was very difficult (Azarcon-dela Cruz 1999, 4).

        Isabelita Guillermo was arrested with her husband Reynaldo. She unwillingly watched her
        husband’s torture. Pregnant, she was threatened with rape and abortion. She was still under
        military custody when her child was born (Aquino Jr., 1984, 2000, 96).

        Erlinda Taruc-Co, wife of a political detainee, was told that they would be fine in detention
        with her 5-year old son. The next morning they were separated from each other. While
        “blindfolded and handcuffed to a metal bed,” she was beaten and was molested. She suffered this for twenty-five days (Aquino Jr., 1984, 2000, 101, 102, Canoy 1980, 70).

        Lualhati Roque, twenty-five years old, was “sexually abused and tortured” by constabulary
        elements. Despite her rheumatic heart ailment, she wasn’t permitted to rest or given medical attention (Aquino Jr., 1984, 2000, 102).

        Maria Elena-Ang was electrocuted, water cured, deprived of sleep, pistol-whipped and was
        subjected to “sexual indignities”. She was threatened that her relatives would also be harmed (Aquino Jr., 1984, 2000, 104).

        Murder as well:

        Liliosa Hilao, a writer of the student movement at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. In 1973, she was arrested, sexually molested and died in Camp Crame under constabulary custody.The military claimed she committed suicide by drinking muriatic acid in a men’s bathroom. But the autopsy said otherwise. Her mouth became an ashtray full of cigarette wounds. Her mother recounted how much Lily’s body was maltreated: They cut her body up with a saw up to her vagina, and they also cut her head. They took out her brain and stomach, tore them into pieces like “dinuguan,” soaked them in muriatic acid and placed them in a pale and was brought to the wake in that manner. During her funeral, there was heavy military presence. She was 23, the first case of death under detention during Martial Law (Hilao-Gualberto 2007).

        Murders were more likely committed in the countryside, where not so many would see.

        Noel Cerrudo Tierra was a member of the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan and the UP
        Nationalist Corps. He was a poet and a community organizer in the farms of Quezon Province and the slums of Quezon City. For these activities, he was arrested many times. His last detention was in a camp in Quezon where he was tortured and for two weeks was paraded around in several barrios “lugging a sack of rice, hands tied to a pole.” Then his body was found thrown in a basketball court. He was 21 years old (Bantayog ng mga Bayani 1995b, 6 at 11 at Bantayog ng mga Bayani 1999, 32).

        Antonio “Tonyhil” Hilario was a member of the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan and the
        UP Nationalist Corps. In 1971 with Marcos suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus, he went
        underground. His hut was raided in Aklan killing two comrades including the pregnant wife of a farmer. He was hit in the chest and as he was being saved urged his companion to just leave him to continue the struggle. It was said that he was arrested, tortured, and after making him dig the graves of his comrades, he was shoved in also, burying him alive (Bantayog ng mga Bayani 1996, 7-8, 11). Another version from a family member suggests that he was shot before being buried. He was 26 (Hilario 2008, 128).

        William Vincent “Bill” Begg was a Filipino-American seminarian who became a member of
        the UP Lipunang Pangkasaysayan. He was arrested during Martial Law for his participation in the underground movement at the Ateneo. He left UP to join the New People’s Army in 1974 and in 1975 was captured in a military raid in Isabela. He was tortured with “seventeen stab wounds, eleven gunshot wounds, a broken rib cage and smashed hands.” He was 24 (Montiel 2007, 15-28).

        Emmanuel “Eman” Lacaba, is a very young poet and writer who wrote literary pieces on the
        Lapiang Malaya and the Rizalist Kapatirans of Mt. Banahaw. In 1974, he went to Mindanao to join the New People’s Army (Ventura 1997, 203-215). In 1976, he was wounded in a raid in Davao del Norte that killed two of his companions. He was captured alive with an 18-year old pregnant comrade. They decided to execute both of them firing at the young lady first and then shooting a .45 calibre bullet to Eman’s mouth and then to his chest. He was tied in his ankles and dragged like a pig to a common grave. He was 27 (Montiel 2007, 72-72).

        Lorena Barros, a graduate of BA Anthropology at the University of the Philippines and an
        officer of the UP Writers Club, was a participant of the First Quarter Storm and the Diliman
        Commune as member of the Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan. In 1970, she became the founding chair of the Makibaka women’s organization (Gomez 1997, 53-63). She went
        underground during are Martial Law and was assigned to the New People’s Army in Quezon. In 1976, her hut was discovered; she was able to fire three times but her gun jammed. She fled to a deep ravine and was discovered the next day bleeding but still alive near a stream. She died in military custody en route to the military camp (Gomez 1997, 78).

        Juan Escandor is a cancer doctor from the University of the Philippines Manila-Philippine
        General Hospital who organized the protest movement in Sorsogon and joined the New People’s Army. In 1983, the military claimed that they killed him in an encounter in Bohol Ave. and Bayudan St. in Quezon City. But the residents said they did not hear a single shot fired that night. He was last seen with Yolanda Gordula, who disappeared without a trace. 52-days after burial, he was exhumed to be re-autopsied and the fact-finding team said he was shot at close range and not in a shoot-out and there was evidence of torture: They found his skull filled with dirty rags, socks, briefs and plastic bags! His brains and other organs were all placed inside his stomach! One of his eyes was missing, his head and bones severely broken, and his body was filled with black marks of hematoma. Because of his commitment to the people, he was hailed as a doctor of the masses (Jamoralin 1997, 69-86, Escandor 2006).

        Edgar “Edjop” Jopson was a moderate activist from the Ateneo de Manila who led
        demonstrations against Marcos during the First Quarter Storm; he even bravely negotiated with Marcos himself in Malacañang at the height of the siege of Mendiola on 30 January 1970 where he asked Marcos to sign a covenant not to run for a third term. Marcos famously replied, “Who are you to tell me what to do! You’re only a son of a grocer!” (Pimentel 2006, 43) Martial Law radicalized him and joined the New People’s Army. In 1979, he was captured, tortured and escaped by bribing his guard. In 1982, he was hunted and killed by a constabulary raiding party in Davao del Norte. Many claimed he was captured wounded but alive, and then executed. His body sustained nine bullet wounds in the chest, legs and right arm. Soldiers where overheard being amazed by his courage in the face of death (Kalaw-Tirol 1997, 172).

        Just a few names, so that it is not just about numbers.

        • In a BBC documentary, Sen. Pepe Diokno featured a young girl remembering how her village was raided by soldiers and how they were shot. Her mother covered her and when the shooting stopped she was covered with her mother’s blood and brains. She saw how her brother was cut in half. Another boy climbed a coconut tree when the raid happened and from it he saw how her father was stopped by soldiers, they tied to his feet, and his head turned sideways. Then they cut his head, played with it and pushed it with a stick to a coconut tree and covered it with leaves. The boy wanted to avenge his father’s death, he said “Even a small chick can grow into a fighting rooster.” This incident was known as the Las Navas Incident (Diokno 1983).

          On the eve of the anniversary of martial law in 1985, 7,000 people gathered peacefully in front of the Escalante Municipal Hall in Negros to protest the dictatorship. To their shock, combined government troopers and para-military men fired on them, leaving 21 dead and 42 injured. This incident went down in history as the Escalante Massacre (Gomez 1999, 14).

          As in the dark days of colonialism, the brutality of the murders aim to instil fear for those who were fighting for a more democratic society. They had become commonplace, as Fe Mangahas described, “Every week, someone we knew was being buried.” (Azarcon-dela Cruz 1999, 4).

          The corruption in all levels of Philippine society today is an example of what happens to a country forty-years after wiping out many of its dreamers and idealists…

          And if we forget about the brutalities, and if we forget these martyrs, another dark era will be
          experienced by our children and grandchildren. We will only continue to remember as a people if we will all be storytellers of our history, to our friends, to our family, to our children and grandchildren. In doing so, we secure their future. For in learning history, we can avoid
          repeating its tragedies.

          • “The corruption in all levels of Philippine society today is an example of what happens to a country forty-years after wiping out many of its dreamers and idealists…”

            And I remember… that it was not good to talk about politics then… our reaction was to push away what we knew was happening by hedonism and consumerism… it was not good to appear too smart… what I have noticed abroad is that those who are of the older generation and left before the Regime like Manong Sonny are usually well-educated compared to the average Filipino today or at least they are prouder of it… possibly the anti-intellectual attitude started in the days of Marcos because appearing too smart was a risky thing then. Also the tongue-tied attitude of many – because you did not know who was in front of you.

            Distrust was also part of the culture then – you never knew who might betray you. The regime used disunity among Filipinos, just like the Japanese did before. People tried to use the grapevine because the press was censored – rumor-mongering laws were the result.

            the consumerist and hedonist reaction did not help for long with some of us – what was bottled up eventually came out as rage… first passive-aggressive resistance to everything coming from the government… then for some of us true resistance to the regime, ANGER.

            Self-imposed ignorance, lack of civic involvement, inane consumerism and hedonism plus distrust today could all be part of the damage to society that started during the regime.

            • Joe America says:

              I read your point about self-imposed ignorance and then I read “Juan Felipe’s” comment: “Is Andrew lim Filipino? Leave the Filipino people alone.” That’s regarding the Marcos blog. I couldn’t figure if I should laugh or cry, because there it was . . . in action . . . any voices opposed to “mine” should be shut up . . .

          • Due to media censorship, we did not know of these tortures and killings until after Ninoy was killed. We went on with our lives blissfully ignorant about the cessation of lives for all those young idealists and freedom fighters. We accepted the “system” – outwardly disciplined, peaceful, progressive as shown by infrastructures being built never knowing that for every one of those projects, a percentage goes to those Swiss accounts in the name of William Saunders and Jane Ryan, others in trust for the conjugal dictator’s children.

            Ninoy’s death rudely awakened us from our apathy, the mosquito presses became prized possessions, eagerly devoured as we just realized we are starved of the real news, the real situation; manipulations and betrayals were uncovered and soon apathy turned to awakening which eventually turned to anger and need for action. We rallied behind Cory, campaigned for her and monitored the counting, grateful for the presence of foreign dignitaries and press that came to monitor it as well; joined in her Tagumpay ng Bayan Rally in Luneta, prepared to participate in tax boycotts, also the boycott of all products and services offered by the business cronies. Then the call for EDSA 1 People Power. The rest is history witnessed by the whole world.

          • Song for liberty
            G. Verdi – Arrgt A. Gotaguer / P. Delanoë – C. Lemesle – J. Johns
            Interprète : Nana Mouskouri (my mother’s favorite)

            When you sing I’m singing with you liberty
            When you cry I cry with you in sorrow
            When you suffer I’m praying for you liberty
            For your struggles will bring us a new tomorrow

            Days of sad darkness and fear must one day crumble
            For the force of your kindness and love make them tremble
            When you sing I’m singing with you liberty
            In the void of your absence I keep searching for you

            Who are you dream illusion or just reality
            Faith ideal desire revolution
            I believe you’re the symbol of our humanity
            Lighting up the world for eternity

            I can see why men die to defend you
            Try to guard to protect and attend you
            When you sing I’m singing with you liberty
            With your tears or your joys I love you
            Let us sing and rejoice make our own history
            Songs of hope with one voice guide us to victory
            Liberty, liberty

        • We can start a 200 days of torture series where we entice everyone to post a specific story about martial law torture. So that people will never forget. At least to counteract BBM.

        • Crews says:

          A true litany of horrors, and yet, they and now Santiago say there is no apology due?

  19. NHerrera says:

    LET US TAKE A BRAKE. Let us take a look at some numbers.

    Philstar has conducted an online survey on the question: “Who is your VP bet among those who declared to run in 2016?” It is an interesting one, among others, because only the percentage numbers are shown and not the totals. As of 2015-10-14 10:12AM, we have in percentage numbers, the following:

    Robredo 45
    Marcos 38
    Escudero 9
    Cayetano 6
    Trillanes 2
    Honasan 0


    1. The 0 number on Honosan is strange. It may be because his name came late as a declared VP candidate.

    2. The 3 million votes (?) in the Bicol region seem to be going mainly to Robredo.

    3. The “solid north” votes seem to be going mainly to Marcos.

    4. The polar pull of these votes — along with the non-polar Bicol-Ilocano votes — seem to be reflected, roughly, in the Philstar survey on the VPs.

    5. This survey is certainly non-scientific, no random sampling in all regions, but if we have to get even a little nugget of implication of these numbers AT THIS TIME, it may be this — that Robredo and Marcos are VP candidates to watch. This seems to jibe with the waving of partisans of the neo-Marcos banners.

  20. Bing Garcia says:

    The senator said that if the Ombudsman refuses to file charges against Binay while he is in office, any citizen may file a mandamus case to compel the Ombudsman to do so.

  21. OT:

    Just finished watching the Democratic debate. And the guy that really stood out for me on National Security was Sen. Jim Webb, ( Do you know him, Joe? )

    Basically he relegated ISIS to a tactical problem, Russia/Iran as operational in scope, but China and Cyber threat as THE strategic issue.

    These guys don’t get it:

    I’m gonna reach out to the Jim Webb campaign to see how I can be of help to them.

    There’s a guy who gets it when it comes to China over here. I hope your Presidential candidates get to talk about the the China threat in detail– it was just glossed over over here tonight.

    Here’s Sen. Webb’s full comment and the exchange with Andersen Cooper as he pushed through it:

    COOPER: Senator Webb, you said as president you would never use military force in Libya and the attack on Benghazi was in your words en inevitable.

    WEBB: I’m trying to get in this conversation. Let’s start with why Russia is in Syria right now. There are three strategic failings that have allowed this to occur. The first was the invasion of Iraq which destabilized ethnic elements in Iraq and empowered Iran. The second was the Arab spring which created huge vacuums in Libya and in Syria that allowed terrorist movements to move in there and the third was the recent deal allowing Iran to move forward and eventually acquire a nuclear weapon which sent bad signals, bad body language about whether we’re acquiescing in Iran becoming a strong piece of the formula in that world.

    I say as someone five years in the Pentagon and opposed the war in Iraq, whose son fought in Iraq, I fought in Vietnam. But if you want a place where we need to be in terms of our national strategy, a focus, the greatest strategic threat that we have right now is resolving our relationship with China. We need to do this because of their aggression in the region. We need to do it because of the way they treat their own people. I would say this. I’ve been waiting for ten minutes. I will say this.

    COOPER: You’re over your time.

    WEBB: You’ve let a lot of people go over their time.

    COOPER: You agreed to the debate rules.

    WEBB: On the elected authoritarian government of China, you do not own the South China sea. You do not have the right to conduct cyber warfare against tens of millions of American citizens and in a Webb administration, we will do something about that.

    • bauwow says:

      Thanks for the updates!

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t know of Webb. I agree with him on the threat levels, tactical, operational and strategic. It’s the clearest statement yet that distinguishes the incidents.

      • In the Philippines, China represents all three.

        It’s understandable why the Presidential candidates over here don’t talk about China (in depth), all of them are from the East coast. Carly Fiorina (originally from Texas) can claim West coast, but she was one of those CEOs who sent jobs to China– see doesn’t get it. So for now only Sen. Webb’s really got the China pulse. Hopefully from his lead (he’s not a contender), everyone else will start talking about China from the West coast perspective.

        For Philippines, this should be #1, with the BBL/Maguindanaoans as #2, for national security. China encompasses all threats, not only militarily. Usually, if the #1 is a big player (in this case China is), they’ll leverage a nation’s #2, to their advantage. So it all connects.

        All threats in context though, Filipinos will still be more likely to get killed by other Filipinos (crime), starve or get sick with no access to care (health) or natural/man-made disasters (environmental). Many times all three, crime/health/environment, are one and the same problem. So focus on the things that bite you first. Just start discussing the looming big picture, #1 and #2.

  22. Bing Garcia says:

    Drilon said former President Joseph Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile have apparently abandoned Binay and his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

    “The three are formerly known as UNA’s three kings. But Erap and JPE have endorsed the vice presidential candidacy of Sen. Bongbong Marcos, instead of Binay’s running mate, Sen. (Gregorio) Honasan,” he said.

  23. Joe sees clarity through the muddled political arena littered with so much issues and black propangada to say the key is TRUST.

    As to the components of a good government, Confucius said “The requisites of good govt are there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their rulers”. When asked if it can’t be helped, which would he dispense with. He said “military equipment”. When asked further of the remaining 2, which would he dispense of if it can’t be helped. He said “food sufficiency”. Clearly, to him, “trust” is the foundation on which states and govts flourish. Without which, the rule is not justified, social order cannot be maintained and the state will perish.

    In terms of trust, Mar and Leni stands out from the rest. Pnoy has much to bring an improved level of trust back to the govt, but there is still a long way to go. I believe that Mar and Leni are the best bets to make Malacanang a trusted institution.

    • chempochem5148…

      chempo? I would say yes as you are describing Confucius…sometimes the email user name and the handle get interchanged..

      “In terms of trust, Mar and Leni stands out from the rest. Pnoy has much to bring an improved level of trust back to the govt, but there is still a long way to go. I believe that Mar and Leni are the best bets to make Malacanang a trusted institution.”

      I agree. And we need to convince the masa voters that they are indeed the best bets for the continuity of the Straight Path that would lead this nation to sustained prosperity and security.

  24. Bing Garcia says:

    RR: So Senator, you did have US$200 million in Credit Suisse?
    Sen. Bongbong Marcos: That’s what Mike said.

  25. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Didn’t know Cebu will have a humongous SM mall !!! Problem is like Torre de Manila, their government have not finished the roads around it YET !!!

    Nice Filipinos ! Nice !!! They dilly dally to make oil grease the …. ahem …. palm ? Like, they waited for Torre de Manila to almost done when they complained ?

    Overpricing is soooo 2015 …. they came up with something … unfinished road when SM is about to open ….

    When it comes to corruption, Filipinos have ingenuity to corrupt.

    It is also like Grace Poe. They waited and waited and waited …. when Grace Poe was intent on running for President that is the only time they asked for her residency qualification ….

    It was done originally to Jejo Binay, when Jejo decided to run and never backed down he and his family is inundated with investigations ….

    Nice Filipinos !!!! Nice !!!! Genius !!! Original !!!!

  26. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    This American is helping the Philippine economy …. but ….. arrested …. for running a business with a tourist visa and without business permit. YOU! YOU! YOU! FILIPINOS !!!!

    I wish this would reach the desk of Obama so all TnTs in the America are hunted down and deported in exchange for an American.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s interesting (to me). He really should follow the rules. I’m wondering if I monetize my blog with ads, am I conducting a business? Is the internet in the Philippines? I think my blog is hosted in San Jose or Peoria. Do I need a sign over my garage? Where is a newspaper of general circulation around here, I wonder, for the required notifications? So many questions. Maybe I’ll just lie on the beach instead.

      • Most of the buy-me-drinkie bars and small hostel type hotels, they call pension homes, are owned by non-Filipinos, from Europe, Canada, the US, etc.– but not the short-time hotels, those tend to be owned by Filipinos (though the hybrid version found in big cities, legit hotels w/ short-time rooms on the side, seemed owned by legit hotel establishments, it’s weird, like AT&T getting into the amateur porn business over here).

        The trick was really simple, marry a Filipina and have your wife run the show. And keep everyone happy,

        ” The issue stemmed from a complaint filed by another business process outsourcing (BPO) company against Gentry. “

        This guy failed to do his homework. But most importantly didn’t “contribute”.

        So long as this blog is not a business, I think you’re fine, Joe.

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The power of internet !!!! It took sooooo long, like generations maybe centuries for University of the Philippines to realize that it is OK for teens to take UPCAT reviewer. In the early years of immaturity of niversity of the Philippines in 2014 they have a HUGE BANNER IN THEIR UPCAT WEBSITE DISCOURAGING CHILDREN TO REVIEW FOR THEIR UPCAT. YES, I POSTED IT SOMEWHERE HERE IN JOE’s AND EVERY OTHER WEBSITE WHO DARED TO LISTEN TO THE TRUTH AND IDIIOCY OF UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES …

    Now they listened. It took PhDs and gaggle of regents to allow them to take UPCAT reviewer. They even have REVIEWERS ON-LINE IN THEIR WEBSITE !!!


    After haranguing them for years arguing that American teens, like me, have to go to UCLA Extension classes to buff our English and Math just to ace SAT. Parents have their teens go to Harvard-Westlake to grab that SAT magic number of 850. UCLA did not discourage them. So does Harvard, Brown U, Princeton …… IT TOOK U.P. AGES AND EONS TO REALIZE if they fail UPCAT at least what they learned from review is BELONGS TO THEM FOR KEEPS !!!

    Here is my problem with the reviewer. Many Teens will ace UPCAT meaning there will be MORE POTENTIAL CROOKS GRADUATING !!!!!!

    MAR SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS. Why the slow pace to adapt UPCAT reviwer. If UPCAT reviwer is discouraged so are CPA reviwer, Engineering reviewer and other review schools. That is how slow the regents of U.P. are and their professors.


    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      How many generations of Filipinos can know that forensic evidence is better than Affidavits? How many more hundreds of years? How many hundreds of thousands of innocent Filipinos died in prison because of faulty prosecution and paid witnesses? The Binay prosecution will be a game changer … It is faulty from the very beginning and do people know who the prosecutors are? Yes, THE LAWMAKERS !!! SENATORS !!! They are the condoned Trillanes IV and American Cayetano.

      Well, prosecution like truth is cultural and geographic according to anti-Binays. If so, please, do not come to my country and study sciences and laws. Nor go to West Point or Quantico. Because we did not teach you witness intimidation, witness buyout and typing Affidavits.

      oH, university of the philippines, NO THANK YOU for allowing and encouraging UPCAT review. You should have known the moment I took the issue 5 years ago. And to Raissa and Alan, protector of UP, You Lost. I wonned.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      At last I found the WARNING BANNER that I copied from UPCAT website years ago that was streaming before they took it down with embarassment. Here it is:

      WARNING: UP does not authorize no individual, group or entity, public or private, is authorized to conduct Upcat review sessions.”

      Authorized or not authorized, 1+1=2 is the same from Timbukto to crooks in Philippine Government. The equation holds true whether UP are in the Philippines or Americans in Mars.

      How dense can these people get !!!!

  28. ultimate observer says:

    Why then the slow gain into Mar’s ratings? Why are these stories kept in cult like forums or treated passively in the news when the administration is given enough resources to enlighten the citizenry. Why did it take an Aquino endorsement, a party endorsement and a reluctant VP agreement to induce public and ratings support for Mar’s presidency? There is youtube, facebook, and townhalls that could have been used for the four or five year work he has been doing. Or maybe meeting with his provincemates and shown getting positive reaction to his local tongue speeches just to show that there is a loss in translation that makes him appear as what they criticize him to be.
    To be an effective president, you must also be a good communicator as there will be a lot of explaining to do for your decisions and the blunders of people under you. You must somehow endear yourself to the filipino consciousness or make something click in their heads to be “presidentiable”. The tiff with Romualdez could have been for me, the single shining point in his career that had all the elements and drama of doing just that, but it made me sad to hear him say that ignominable line that seemed to say all that is wrong about our leaders. Yes, they can turn blue in the face explaining and watering down that episode but boy the timing was pretty surreal.
    So for now, the people wait for more stories about Mar that will convince them he is indeed the one to “trust”. Btw Joe, the trust that people had for Pnoy was in my opinion, a carryover of the trust his parents had already earned. My trust in him being that he will never do anything to bring shame and dishonor to the memory of his parents with whom the filipino masses had already placed much trust. Before Pres. Cory’s death, there wasn’t much to base his presidency on. His track record in government was blah.
    Maybe it will also help Mar’s people to please set him up to represent a tangible, identifiable set of people who can give him a “face” over the phone. With his tuwid na daan and good governance, what comes to my mind are faces of mayors, governors, LTO people, the taxmen, the traffic enforcers, the MRT operators, the airport customs people all of which sadly have not made a very good impression on me. Make him identifiable with us, the harrassed commuter, the pressured family provider, the separated OFWs, the hardworking taxpayer, and show us what he can do for us. That is my two cents marketing idea for his campaign. God bless his journey…

    • Bert says:

      Very clear. Things that are in my mind but can’t articulate. Food for thought for all Filipino voters this coming presidential election. Let Mar himself convince them. Me, I’m convinced already. Credit to my friend Joe.

    • Joe America says:

      It is rather saddening to me to see intelligent people cherry pick the facts (Tacloban), just as do the fish market voters, and seemingly fail to comprehend that presidents are just ordinary people with a big big big job. This ability to focus on the flaws and ignore how much better the Philippines is today . . . and to fail to ascribe any value to continuity . . . makes me wonder how in the world Mar Roxas can succeed. People want him to showboat rather than be Mar, want him to cut Romualdez to the quick rather than be Mar, do it “my” way rather than be Mar.

      Mar is just an ordinary guy and people want him to splash about tabloid style, and be an actor, like all the other people elected. Even intelligent people want a show.

      He is just Mar.

      That’s the point of the blog. If you can’t appreciate him . . . without having to force feed him through some marketing program to people . . . neither will others.

      So I find that discouraging. Genuine is not good enough. People want fake.

      • “People want fake” –

        that’s why the masa are attracted to the likes of Binay and Poe.

        In fairness, ultimate observer might want to help in increasing people awareness with Mar, in the context of the ordinary people’s perception of what a good leader should be. Not ideal as what the AB class would prefer, but in the eyes of the CDE class who wants their candidate to talk and joke with them, even sing and dance when the music is good and the weather is fine…for Mar to go down their level so they can understand Mar and Mar to understand them. The CDE class decide the election, whether we accept that fact or not…it’s why Estrada is mayor of Manila and Binay had a 30-year love affair with the poor people of Makati.

        • ultimate observer says:

          I just gave my two cents, communicate more to the masses via videotaped townhalls and publish them. Give him an identifiable people base. Answer this question, when i say MAR ROXAS…what comes to your mind? Is it Korina? Yolanda? His challenge to Larmy? Pnoy? Small anecdotes and trivia? Then ask this to a worker at the pier…

        • Yes, communicate more. Communicate better. Videotape town hall meetings and put them on Youtube. More one-picture shockers about the Marcos regime like the one Mary pasted here – but also one-picture masterpieces showing Mar Roxas accomplishments.

          The common people are looking for a leader, instinctively. Great leaders like Magsaysay who can do good work – and dance the mambo like him plus talk to the people – are rare.

          Well maybe Mar and Leni should make AlDub-style memes with both doing pabebe wave. In separate frames of course, Mar IS the shy, gentlemanly Alden Richards type and Leni is the empathic Yaya Dub type. Unfortunately Santiago cannot play the Lola Nidora for them.

          • Mambo Mambo Magsaysay was the meme back then… but the Philippines had only 20 million people in those days… 2 million were at Magsaysay’s funeral…

            with 100 million Filipinos now, the country too big to be reached like a single barangay – it is rather a rajahnate with many barangays… so you need little Magsaysays, the datus around the somewhat shy Rajah Mar Roxas to reach the timawa and the uripon.

            • Just like our timawa Bert – timawa are the common but independent people in ancient Philippines, the uripon are the dependent ones, some live in the house and are kasambahay in modern parlance, some have their own humble huts and are namamahay – had his doubts to, but Joe convinced him that he can trust Mar, Joe being his Datu Puti, we are here under Datu Puti, fleeing from the evil and corrupt Makatunaws of our day. Datu Puti is a legend, but finally he and the ten datus settled in the Visayas – Biliran?

  29. Sharing a feel good news item. I find it really strange that some parts of the world are impressed with how President Aquino has steered our country to a 6% GDP during his almost 6 years term, while their leaders have not had the same luck. The Filipinos are still whining, that is most of the press, TV – the tabloid media – and as a result, most Filipinos.

  30. ultimate observer says:

    I’m sorry to discourage you Joe. I meant to help you understand the goings on in my fishmarket mind after reading your blog. AND help Mar Roxas WIN to continue the matuwid na daan.

    Im sorry again to have to say these painful words, but a failed presidency, a failed vice presidency, poor uptake in the ratings (for now) even after a presidential, party endorsement and a vice presidential courtship, really means there is something AMISS in his connection with my countrymen. Im not making this up.

    Let Mar be Mar by all means…no showboating, genuine and true…and let the consequences prevail.

    (About the tacloban thing…oh well never mind)

    • Joe America says:

      I disagree with the failed presidency, obviously, but will not go through the likely fruitless labor of debating the point. You are entitled to it. I would be inclined to ask, though, who, among the 2010 candidates, do you believe would not have failed?

      The ratings are a point in time. Mar Roxas had not even started outright campaigning until recently (Binay has been at it for 5 years) and had not marshaled the backing of the people backing him now. His uptick was huge in the last survey. It was impressive to his followers and I guarantee you has scared the hell out of Binay. We will have to await future surveys to see if that rise continues. Time and circumstance. Best to consider them . . .

      • Does this mean the Society has a spy inside the Binay Camp?

      • ultimate observer says:

        Sorry, I thought i pressed that post button.
        I meant a failed presidential bid, then a vice presidential one.
        I would have voted for Richard Gordon if Pnoy was running for vice p.
        Good move for Mar to give way and Pnoy had my vote.
        Our experience with past presidents have made it a roll of the dice to predict their success.The continuity issue carries the heaviest weight so far, but there is still time as you say Joe.

        So yes, to trust, confidence and my third need INSPIRATION.
        I know that the next six years will still be HELL for short. None of the traffic, mrt, plunderers, corruption will go away overnight. And so i need a president who.will inspire me to hold on till things get better.
        Nice chatting with you Joe.

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, thanks for the re-statement. Sorry I got it wrong. You are right, the next president will get a lot of criticism for things that are not really his doing. So he will have to have durability. I do think Gordon would have been Flash Gordon from time to time had he been elected. He has a temper, and thinner skin than most. 🙂

          Nice chatting with you, too.

    • “there is something AMISS in his connection with my countrymen.”

      Of course there is… just like there was with Noynoy who had Kris for the empathy.

      The new “National Empath” (Joe’s term for Kris) is now Leni Robredo, hope she helps…

      • And Joe’s Empath is Mary Grace, of course… Joe sometimes lacks the connection as well, my name is not Primitivo but I am sometimes primivitive in feelings, so I FEEL what ultimate observer is talking about.

        “you FEEL me” is a term often used by Afro-Americans… people with a long history of slavery are sometimes more emotional and less rational… empathy must come across.

        • Primitive comes from prime and means the original people, so it is not a bad term.

        • Joe America says:

          That’s what Parekoy says. He says I can’t ever relate to Filipinos because I am not one.

          Which is quite okay with me if Parekoy is the example of a well-attuned Filipino. I’d rather be outside a couple of standard deviations from that mean.

          • Parekoy does not represent the whole Filipinos…there are more of us who appreciate you.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, thanks, Mary Grace. I could have worded my response better, because I am infinitely grateful for the many Filipinos who accept my participation in the great Filipino dialogue as an individual, whose views can be accepted or rejected based on their merits. Irineo’s classification of me as a non-empath just reminded of another time I was so branded.

              • stpaul says:

                We’ll be here Sir Joeam to back you up against the DJB’s and Parekoy’s of the net :)!

              • Joe America says:

                And that gives me great comfort. Thanks, stpaul.

              • “Joe sometimes lacks the connection as well” is what I wrote, therefore I did NOT brand Joe as a non-empath – only as someone who does not come across as one at times… like Mar does not come across as one at times, or Noynoy sometimes does not to many people.

                Joe you are a corporate tortoise, very much like Will is a political tortoise… hard shell, very soft inside… you do have the emotional intelligence to admit that my words set off an emotional reaction. Mary has the emotional intelligence to show solidarity to you – and she is a major factor in my being here, being a master of pakiramdam = empathy and getting the message through to people emotionally. Karl the cornypath also played his role in this…

                Now Parekoy BE my nigger, but he BE more like Malcolm X who think no white man can be on our side, I want to be more like Martin Luther King, more inclusive of all possible allies. Sorry if my message came across the wrong way, I understand you are often frustrated…

                By the lack of understanding and acceptance of differences among Filipinos. Parekoy too did not accept me in the beginning, we had to clobber each other and then find our way, and he has analyzed me well in his classification of commenters at Raissa. He is smart but still carries a lot of hurt inside him, the kind of hurt that MRP so well characterizes – a UP guy who worked his way up from working class origins and bears the scars of that struggle.

                Now my Noli type characterization of the Society and surroundings in another thread says a lot about how we are still very different and far from understanding. What Rizal understood a hundred years ago still applies to the present day. And might apply a hundred years later.

        • josephivo says:

          “I’m a human not a dog, so I can not relate to a dog”, until you see how a dog whisperer as Cesar Millan relates to dogs, amazing.

          For me Joeam is the Filipino whisperer, should have a TV program too.

          • Joe America says:

            That’s an idea. I should do a tape . . . concoct a demo . . . it would be an interview show, one part Christiane Amanpour, one part Jon Stewart, and one part George Carlin. That would be the monologue at the beginning.

    • “When we commended Mar Roxas on the contents of his library, he explained that it used to be his father’s office and many of the books had been acquired by his father”

      So which ones are his and which ones are his father’s?

      Mar Roxas strikes me as someone who reads a bunch of History, Management & Policy-type Books, so goes light on novels, ie. Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.

      I’ve never seen a personal library use the decimal system. That’s hardcore. I love this stuff , Chivas, so thanks for sharing.

      • What has now finally convinced me that Mar will not be the elitist many including me thought he was is that he has Dostoevsky in his library. Dostoevsky showed many ills of Russian feudal society. Which in its divisions was very much like Philippine feudal society.

    • 1st photo, top shelf, 8 books from the right,

      Collier’s primary conclusion: democracy, in the superficial, election-focused form that tends to prevail in these countries, “has increased political violence instead of reducing it.” Without rules, traditions, and checks and balances to protect minorities, distribute resources fairly and subject officials to the law, these governments lack the accountability and legitimacy to discourage rebellion. The quest for power becomes a “life-and-death struggle” in which “the contestants are driven to extremes.”

      A couple of years before the Arab Spring, but Collier called it on Egypt w/ Sisi. But I like that this book is in Mar Roxas’ library.

      • chempompo says:

        Lance, that Collier’s conclusion sure is concise as to why democracy is difficult to thrive in certain countries. The Liberal democratic notion is a government elected by the people and operating by rules of law. The troubling part of democracy is the people, and it is this aspect I think, that the US does not fully appreciate in it’s export of US values. Democracy behoves on the people, the common man, to have the capability of evaluating issues and personalities and decide their vote. The reality on the ground is that educational levels are often an issue. If one has the capability to evaluate, then one would not have sold their votes. Poverty, however true, is just an excuse.

      • “democracy, in the superficial, election-focused form that tends to prevail in these countries, “has increased political violence instead of reducing it.” Without rules, traditions, and checks and balances to protect minorities, distribute resources fairly and subject officials to the law, these governments lack the accountability and legitimacy to discourage rebellion. ”

        Note the warlordism that characterized the postwar Philippine republic – Moises Padilla who was killed by the goons of a governor and carried away dead and bleeding by Magsaysay who came to late to help him symbolizes that – also the tank found in a politicians garage when Marcos disarmed everybody in the Philippines except his Army and Police – which unfortunately became his national goons, like the posting on human rights abuses proves.

        Weimar Republic Germany in the 1920s was not fully democratic as well – Communist streetfighters fought Nazi streetfighers. The Bavarian Soviet Republic of the early 1920s in Munich – Hitler is suspected of having been on the Commie side at that time – was crushed by rightist Free Corps. The Feldherrenhalle coup attempt of Hitler together with some right-wing officers who did not like the Republic was another symptom of democracy lacking roots. Minority protection and resource distribution – the German Catholic South like Bavaria was ignored by the Imperial Protestant North while Jewish-Germans grabbed the big business both in agriculture and retail, to become the culprit for failed politics and be the minority that was nearly completely destroyed. Postwar Germany learned lessons from this.

  31. Percival says:

    Watch Cong. Leni Robredo now on CNN Philippines.

  32. Rein Holic says:

    I don’t know much about Mar, and I worry about his perceived softness in the face of an arrogant China; but I know that P-Noy trusts him. that’s enough to get my vote. Hopefully, I’d learn more about his plans in the days to come that I would choose to vote for him even without anyone’s recommendation.

    China is probably supporting a candidate(s). I’m convinced Binay is one, his platform supports this. I fear Poe-Escudero are wolves in sheepskin because why on earth would they allow “white/yellow” votes to get split when they know that Binay’s “red” votes won’t (at the time)? Hopefully, Miriam-BongBong takes a big chunk off the “red” votes too. I wonder if Miriam ran for this very reason? I doubt it. Bottom line: Poe shouldn’t have run.

    By the way, a very late congrats to Joeam. I was surprised by the SONA and just had to know how you’d react to it.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Rein. I think as you study Mar (read his remarks on the economy in the right column) you will discover that his softness image does not hold true. He is precise and knowledgeable and decisive. I’ve not heard him speak to the China issue, but my presumption is that he would continue the course of building military capacity, following law-based protest, and build alliances . . . which I think he’ll be very good at. He is a diplomat, which is like the positive side of “softness”.

      Thanks for the mention of the SONA. Not much has changed except my hats now are all a little snug.

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