“Change for the sake of change” is not what the Philippines needs

change socratesPolitical candidates prosper by differentiating themselves from opponents, and doing so in a way that suggests they are bold and progressive, able to solve problems by doing things differently than they are done today. This leads to the unfortunate situation we see today in the Philippines that three candidates for President are running against Mar Roxas by running against the Aquino Administration, and by extension, against the Philippines’ recent successes.

Vice President Binay and Senators Poe and Santiago all emphasize how they will change things and do them better. They make the presumption, and the statement, that the current administration is inefficient, inept, politically biased, or otherwise deficient because . . . because . . . there are problems.

Haha. Well, there are problems . . . who can argue about that?

Never mind that the Philippines is the rising star in Asia, moving forward as she has never moved before, the envy of other states in Asia, praised by global nations and institutions, economically sound, addressing the deeply ingrained structural flaws of entitlement, poverty and corruption, building infrastructure like crazy, and building best practices into governmental works.

Still, it is true that political candidates can easily find examples they can put into the public arena that support their contention that change is needed.

Traffic jams or problems with trains and airports serve the purpose well. The rebuilding of roads and airports and flood projects across the land – which deteriorated because of neglect by prior administrations – is never mentioned. The record-high level of investment in infrastructure under President Aquino is never stated. Nor are the elaborate plans in place that show what is going to be done about so many of these problems mentioned. The past and future become irrelevant. Rather, there is a problem, here and now, and it is the Aquino Administration’s incompetence that is causing it.

Why would we want to vote for continuity of all these problems?

I have to laugh.

If I really believed ANY candidate could promise a problem-free Philippines, boy-howdy, I’d be out writing blogs left and right supporting him . . . or her. They can’t. All God’s nations have problems. My thinking is that these simplistic advocates for change are THEMSELVES huge problems, and their accusations of “inept” or “incompetent” are just political propaganda that reflect back on the bankruptcy of ideas and honesty from the candidates themselves.

And they diminish the Philippines.

I’ve never found much uplift in complaint myself, or whine. I don’t think you build a nation’s prestige and confidence by failing to praise her beauty . . . or her progress.

Furthermore, if you probe the calls for change, you find that they either make no sense or are potentially dangerous.

Grace Poe proposes to reduce taxes and increase infrastructure investment. That’s great. Sells well. But how is she going to do that? Borrow money? What does that do to the nation’s prized investment grade debt rating, earned through diligence and good work?

Senator Marcos, a candidate for Vice President, is also on the “change” bandwagon. He uses the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as his notable achievement to suggest he is a good leader. What has his single-handed halt of the BBL done? Produced an alternative that itself is constitutionally challenged (“The BLBAR is Unconstitutional: Pass the BBL“). Delayed passage of a stabilizing law that would allow economic revival in an area largely disenfranchised and poor. Put peace at risk.

Change does not always mean solution. It means different. It may mean worse.

VP Binay and Senator Poe propose negotiating with China and Senator Santiago has long advocated getting the United States entirely out of the Philippines. These positions are a dramatic change from the established three-pronged program of: (1) law-based, peaceful resolution of the dispute with China, (2) building of multiple alliances for both security and economic benefit, and (3) upgrading the equipment and capabilities of the AFP. None of the three has proposed how they will go about assuring Philippine sovereignty and security. They have just expressed dissatisfaction with the current effort. They use the conflict . . . the nation’s predicament . . .  to posture themselves as progressive and competent.

As if President Aquino invited the Chinese in and these candidates can easily get them out.

In truth, these candidates have no better way. No solution. Because the problem is China, not President Aquino.

Senator Poe has proposed changing Malacañang Palace into a War Room to deal with issues in a hands-on, pro-active way. This seems to suggest she believes the President must have day to day control of all agencies, and that Cabinet staff cannot be trusted to run their agencies without Presidential supervision. Every day. On every issue. Does she really understand the complexities of the issues facing the agencies? And is her hubris so huge that she believes the agencies can only be run the right way if she is riding herd? How many professionals will be willing to work in that environment?

Change is different. It can be counterproductive. It can even destroy trust and due process and efficiency. It can stop progress.

“But Joe, we DO need change to improve a lot of things!”

Oh, absolutely, I agree. There is a lot to work to be done. But the first step is to test the presumption that it is NOT being worked on today. I’ve been chagrined more than once by my own presumptions of neglect or incompetence, later shown to be erroneous. Candidate Poe is constantly touting “new” programs that are not new. A recent claim was that she would match school curricula to actual job needs. It is clear that she has no idea what is currently being done, yet proposes to change it. [“CHED lists in-demand, priority college courses until 2018“]

Step 2 is to consider the HOW of change, and Step 3 is to consider the RISKS associated with change.

The Aquino Administration is doing huge amounts of good work. I dislike these calls for change that try to paint the Philippines as troubled when the Philippines is doing exactly what she needs to do to climb out of the hell-hole created by other opportunists, those who favored their bank accounts over the nation.

Enough of this rise to power by diminishing the nation and her earnest people.

Now, if an opposition candidate CAN show that he or she has a better way, that would certainly be worth praise. But there has to be a lot more to it than erroneous assumptions or ignorance about what is currently being done. Or that is impractical in the implementation.

I’m astounded that those who criticize so robustly, and who demand change as the best way forward, don’t see the importance of stability to a nation that has for decades been in turmoil.

Change for the sake of change is exactly what the Philippines does NOT NEED.

The Philippines needs leaders who can be forthright and thorough in assessing problems, and who are skilled at building . . . not chopping down.

Thank you, Socrates . . .  and thank you, especially, to those many, many earnest government workers who are busy building a nation.

Don’t let the political game-players get you down.

And vote for the builders.


214 Responses to ““Change for the sake of change” is not what the Philippines needs”
  1. Any computer freak (like me) who has dealt with bigger systems knows that too many changes, too fast can lead to catastrophic results. Nothing running anymore. Of course not managing how change goes, in what direction, can lead to the situation nicely shown in the illustration below.

    So you need to know the big picture, and manage change with a purpose behind it, a nation is not a big barrio like many people think, it is a complex system just like Metro Manila already is:

    • Joe America says:

      That is exactly to the point. When the candidates simplify the argument to one of “inept” or “soft”, they are demonstrating that they have absolutely no idea of what Executive does, or how much is going on that THEY THE CANDIDATES don’t even know about. How can you apply for a job when you don’t know what it entails? The idea of running government through a War Room suggests it is crisis on all fronts. It is not. It is government working in very complicated, extensive ways. Some things don’t go the way a critic would like.

      • Right, the problem with Senators is that they don’t get to run a Department like Roxas did. Roxas managed to ride and partly tame the national dragon called PNP very well, that is no mean feat, and tame a lot of small dragons called LGUs. Poe and Santiago didn’t.

        Binay may even have more managerial competence than the two ladies, but his character is another issue, and his tasks miniscule compared to Mar Roxas, who was already gaining experience for being President as DILG head, not just prematurely campaigning for six years like Binay. And Duterte? Did well in Davao but might be just close to his incompetency level (Peter’s Principle) running MMDA, and reach it with the Presidency. These aspects are not understood by many citizens, just like many PC programmers think they can do database programming, and many database programmers think they can do SAP which is what Gian and I do for a living. Character questions aside, Henry Sy is more qualified to run the country than the owner of a sari-sari store, it all isn’t that simple really.

        • Joe America says:

          If you can catch any of Roxas’ recent interviews, you will find that he is definitely “on target”. Today he remarked about how important it is to measure progress. He’ll be a metrics manager, like Aquino, and NEDA will continue to play a key role.

          • These matters will have to communicated better to the public so they appreciate what is being done, ideally with simple bullet points like Governor Salceda does on his FB page.

            Evacuation of Albay 95% completed, something like that – Mayon erupted, but no dead.

  2. Micha says:

    Grace Poe proposes to reduce taxes and increase infrastructure investment. That’s great. Sells well. But how is she going to do that? Borrow money? What does that do to the nation’s prized investment grade debt rating, earned through diligence and good work?

    We borrow dollars, assuming we don’t have enough dollar reserves, to finance projects or programs that utilize goods and services payable in dollars.

    For projects or programs that utilize goods and services payable in pesos, our sovereign national gov’t will have no trouble financing those.

    Positive ratings from S&P or some such agencies reflect our country’s ability to honor our dollar debt.

    If Grace Poe proposes more infrastructure investment, that’s good. But I heard Mar Roxas is also proposing the same. Voters just have to decide who is more credible to fulfill those promises.

    • Joe America says:

      The truth is, they will all do infrastructure because the needs are so clear, and with the rolling economy, the means is there as well. The challenge is monitoring and managing it all, given complex bidding procedures, legal issues, funding, and so forth. What I would be looking for is a candidate who displays ingenuity in that investment. For example, if they argue “We need to unplug Manila congestion, yes. But we have the opportunity to take some pressure off Manila if we build Davao and Cebu into prominent, modern cities. That will be one of my goals.”

      Rather than “Manila is congested, the government is inept, so vote for me.”

    • Based on my simple understanding of government economics, if Poe wants to reduce taxes, that would mean a reduction of govt revenues which is badly needed for infrastructure investments. That means she has to borrow, but where would she get the money to pay for it when revenues are down? Then, this would result to the downgrading of the country’s credit rating and…..BOOM!!! Everything will just follow, back to the cellar once again.

      • Micha says:


        If you get to understand that taxes do not pay for gov’t spending, then the apparently conflicting platform of Ms. Poe will make some sense. I refer you to the discussion in the still active thread Money Matters. Thank you.

        • Not being an economist, forgive my lack of comprehension of your Money Matters article, Micha.

          Until that is explained to the Finance Department, in coordination with the Legislative body, safety nets in place to avoid abuse by a sitting President, etc. etc…. please forgive our obstinacy in clinging to the archaic procedure that is currently in place. I think that is drastic tool which, in the hands of a plunderer executive will be too risky for a small country like ours.

          I hear there is a significant oil find in Central Philippines, now that is one great factor towards our financial independence, to be energy sufficient, not to depend on fuel imports.
          Let’s support the search for new oil supply within the Philippines so we can be at par with other oil producing nations however small our country is… like Kazakhstan.

          • Micha says:

            I understand your concern Mary. More patience is needed to explain the facts and reality of monetary sovereignty.

            Re: oil find in central Philippines. It’s a real resource undoubtedly but with global warming and more virulent effects of climate change, it’s debatable whether we should be burning more of it. President Obama has just vetoed the XL pipeline from Canada recognizing the concerns about global warming.

      • BOOM!!! exactly describes the fallacy of the Poe proposal which panders to the populist demand of the middle class who understandably lament that they are made to bear the burden of revenue requirements of the Treasury. Senators, I hear are at it, too, I hope they propose the expansion of the sin tax law (doing an MRP here, repeating my previously posted idea.)

      • chempo says:

        That is absolutely correct. Simple people understands things in simple ways, why these politicians never do is beyond me. They can’t comprehend budgetting. You take away something, you need to replace it with something. To all those who say reduce tax, or build this and that, please stand up and ask them — (1) where are you going to increase govt revenue? — if they can’t answer that, ask them (2) if u can’t increase revenue, which expenditure are you going to cut?

        • Micha says:


          The Money Matters discussion thread is till active. Let’s go there to cover these concerns. RHiro and caliphman are there too but they post intermittently. Busy folks like the rest of us, I assume. I’m not working today so I have some free time.

          • chempo says:

            Hi Micha, I know your stand on certain issues, which I don’t agree with. Would be good to prod a bit more, but may I suggest we hold back until my Nov 19 article comes out. A lot of my thoughts are in that article.

          • Nov 19, perhaps?…welcome to my club, chempo…haha

            • chempo says:

              I realised that and I gave up haha.

            • Joe America says:

              I corrected the original and made the incorrect correction disappear. You are clearly Chempo’s idol.

              • chempo says:

                I did’nt know blog owner can intercept and edit a comment. Methinks it’s a security weakness.

              • karl garcia says:

                with my numerous syntax errors i no longer have insecurity weakness.

              • NHerrera says:

                Reminds me of someone. Myself. 🙂

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Welcome to my world, Karl. It is not about syntax errors what concerns me is logical errors.

              • chempo says:

                You are still sober at this time. I detect no errors, syntax or logic. Goodnight.

              • chempo says:

                Is there something wrong with the threading?. Seems to be generating new threads all the time. Or is it too late the time of night

              • Joe America says:

                Sometimes the threads go quirky. I don’t know why.

              • karl garcia says:

                ok MRP,I like the MRP that interacts.

              • Joe America says:

                It is a normal editorial prerogative that all publishers retain, used judiciously here to block Chinese trolls, suspend people who violate the terms of discussion, and correct minor typos so the discussion thread is not filled with groans and irrelevant corrections. It is never used to alter the substance of comments . . . which is why there are no complaints about how it is applied at the blog. It is FOR security and improved blog presentation. Put another way, no way I’m turning over editorial control of the blog to crooks, political advocates, hotheads, trolls, or Marcos Loyalists.

              • This reminds me of presumably Chinese trolls who are posting lewd sexual videos in FB discussions. Complained about it in the respective admins of the FB groups but I still can see more of them…The youth are so excited about these posts, and I don’t wonder why, with their raging hormones.

              • oops, the threads went quirky again, I was responding to this comment of Joe:

                “It is FOR security and improved blog presentation. Put another way, no way I’m turning over editorial control of the blog to crooks, political advocates, hotheads, trolls, or Marcos Loyalists.”

              • karl garcia says:

                That is the reason why I left some fb groups,I thought a hacker troll was hounding me by commenting lewd porn stuff on my posts. mary i see that JP,Gian ,irineo and yourself have been busy on FB…I will just share your posts, as much as I can.Sorry if I left the groups Irineo invited me into.

              • karl garcia says:

                this was supposed to be under the comment by Mary that mentioned trolls.

              • I still insist that some group is trying to muddle these discussions using those lewd porn stuffs, now that you mention your noticing it. It seems to limit our participation in the discussions of Marcos issues as we react by leaving. Freedom Wall or other FB groups’ admin must screen those postings the way Joe does them if they want the free exchange of ideas to be maintained. So who might be doing them, Marcos enablers with the help of their Chinese troll friends?

                There’s even a nasty suspicion expressed by one of commentators in raissa’s who thought that the OFW who was the first victim of the laglag bala “scam” or “sabotage” hailed from the Ilocos region and that the news was spread at a very surprising speed, followed by more cases to the acute embarrasment of the Pnoy administration.

                It’s been said that this election will be decided by social media to a large extent, as well as the press and TV coverages. Cunning but evil manipulators can take advantage of this current reality using whatever methods they can get hold of just to ensure the fruition of their dream.

              • karl garcia says:

                mine happened at a history group and a defense issues group.Remember I was even joking about it before,when Gian was posting a meme here unsuccessfuly,I told him it was mistaken for porn,then it happened to me.To see is to believe.

              • karl garcia says:

                Vicara is correct, it is tiring, but it is a matter of pacing.

                Now as to PR,he must have plans for DOTC a PR nightmare he once headed and still heads virtually because his men are the secretary and assistant and under secretaries.He can not detach himself from DOTC, and he can not detach himself from Abaya.

                The airport issue, pre APEC traffic will now be a Roxas issue no matter how you put it.
                APEC should have been held at Clark or Subic, I am not comfortable that it will be held in Metro Manila.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                When I was 4, my parents exiled me to the US to study kindergarten in 1993. That time the population of the Philippines was 64.0M. Fastforward 2016. 35,999,999 are now voting age. By now they are 23-years-old. I am 27. They use social media to connect, share selfish photos exclude me. I am not one of them. I do not have facebook account. I use Friendster to play games. No twitter. No instagram. These 36.0M-Minus-1 are obsessed about their selfish photos. So, therefore, they do not care about political world. They vote thru word-of-mouth, tsismis, gossips and smoke signals.

                So, 36,000,000 Filipinos are out of Political Social Media or Blogs. These are selfish people who are obsessed aabout their looks.

                Those 20-years-old when I left Philippines are now 43-years-old. Married. Busy. Busy making ends meet. They will have computer-hugging selfish-obsessed teens by now. Therefore, again, these 43-year-old demographics have no acce3ss to blogs or social media. They use office internet which are monitored by Corporate.

                So, these 43-year-old, married-with-selfish-obsessed-children-making-ends-meet rely on gossips, tsismis, word-of-mouth.

                Those 45-years-old is now 68-years-old. No care in this world. Retired. Spending their retirement money. Do not know Facebook. Cannot know how to navigate facebook or social media.

                The political news/analytics delivery system left is Television. All of the above demographics come home, turn on their TV of their choice and these University of the Phippines anchors spew misinformations.

                The minority go to blogs.

                So, having said the above, The Filipino voter minds are molded by the television run by graduates of University of the Philippines.

                I did not say Philippines is doomed. What I am saying whoever controls television controls the mindset of the Filipino voters.

                Don’t even bother newspapers. They are expensive. It is not cool to read newspapers. I still read newspapers despite me having 15″ Macpro and 13″ iPAD.

                I read newspapers to show to people at Ayala mall that I have time to kill. It is refreshing to see someone read newspapers instead reading it off iPAD.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Oh, I forget … MAJORITY OF THEM do not have time for political social media BECAUSE THEY ARE STUCK AT EDSA traffic. No time for love. No time for Facebook. No time to cook. No time for children. Children no time for Parents.

              • Maybe maids should be forbidden. Then some politicians will have to study cookery.

                Those who have cooked for themselves are unlikely to study crookery anymore.

              • karl garcia says:

                an advertisement makes use if the traffic so they can use their pocket wi fi to watch the abs cbn shows they missed,and now even cable.many own cellphones, i just don’t know if even a plan 500 is affordable to the masses.
                For family time,they buy selecta ice cream para masarap ang weekend and if stuck in traffic they have milk shake.
                For love,they must risk to be fined and jailed for vagrancy and exhibitionism if they do it in traffic

              • karl garcia says:

                The tambay sa kantos and tambay sa sari sari stores have time to discuss news and they may even have a rumble if they disagree on a petty matter,it maybe sports,politics,anything .For the ladies more time to talk about showbiz with sky mobile.
                For computers, they have piso net, just drop one peso then you can surf for a few seconds, that is all the time needed to update your status.
                Marketers have been reading you MRP,soon they will change the name of UP in honor of you to MRP University were future crooks graduate with pride.

          • caliphman says:

            My understanding is that debt levels and capacity is not a concern for the Philippines and that its balance of payments or currency reserves is not an issue as well. Government spending is a problem and not because of a budgeted deficit. It’s because authorized spending is lagging and projects are way behind schedule. While government investment in infrastructure in and outside Manila is important, it is also crucial for the domestic private sector and foreign investment to continue being incentivized and to resume the growth trajectory set in the early years of the administration. This can and should happen under either a Roxas or Poe administration and is problematical under a Binay or Santiago presidency. There is widespread recognition of which departmental officials should be retained and which should be let go with the change in leadership.

            • Joe America says:

              Nice statement of the reality, that many of these projects are very complicated. Huge, complex, requiring funding, acquiring land, whatever. I liked the statement someone made that “you can’t buy these down at the supermarket”.

              I’d guess Roxas would keep maybe half of the cabinet, or a little more. Poe, Binay and Santiago would generate a massive uprooting of cabinet leadership. Government would stall. Infrastructure would stall.

              • Duterte would not be able to run a cabinet properly, if his quarrels with De Lima are any indication of how he handles complex subject matters. He would mess with K-12 and destroy the long-term project of improving national education. He should know his limits.

              • karl garcia says:

                i am no longer holding my breath if dutere threatens to run.

              • Joe America says:

                He seems to be going whacko to me. Some of his pronouncements are downright bizarre.

              • He is a personality who can hold a lot of stuff together, like Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia.

                But like Yugoslavia fell apart after Tito died because everything depended on his person, the same would happen to Davao when he is not there anymore, or the Philippines even if he succeeds in doing what he did for Davao, which I am very doubtful about. What if there is a problem similar to tanim-bala again, will he go to every airport or place in the country where it is happening, like he is doing now at Davao Airport? His approach does not scale.

              • chempo says:

                Ain’t nobody going fishing with him anymore.

              • caliphman says:

                Joe, it really depends on how much of a mentorship role Pinoy can exert on his successor and among those you have named, Poe next to Roxas is more likely to be influenced by his advice, policies, and staffing recommendations based on competence and not personal loyalties. The last listed is the bane of Pinoy’s administration and which is amanagement style I fear Mar is likely to continue. Poe like any of the other candidates and perhaps much more than Roxas will have to dole out political appointments as payback for their key supporters but this is a test of their leadership and Pinoy’s post term commitment to extend his legacy. Definitely not change for the sake of change, but some changes are desperately needed. Silicon Valley saying on portfolio and personnel picks, ” Shoot the dogs and hitch the stars!”.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I actually agree with that, and perhaps every major initiative of the Aquino Administration should be put on the Boston Consulting Group chart that labels things Stars, Cash Cows, Dogs and Question Marks. Then the opposing candidate can praise and promise to build the stars, promise to get rid of the dogs and resolve the question marks, and let the cash cows serve the people well.

      • Joe America says:

        Perhaps that’s what you get when school teachers run the economy. I wonder if she ever took an accounting course, or economics in college. Not to get too sarcastic, but I wonder if she carries a calculator.

        • Waray-waray says:

          Ayay, I bet she didn’t. Remember one of the accounting principles, “Conservatism” which says ” Provide for all loses anticipate no gain “?

          • Joe America says:

            I hate to say it because I know Poe fans sometimes reads here, but I simply cant see that she has much grasp of anything but how to play the populist game and stir up issues to her advantage, and speak in broad popular generalities. She has to hold investigations because she doesn’t actually know anything.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Infrastructure is way to go! Infrastructures should not concentrate in Metro Manila. Metro Manila is already bursting at its seams. There is no more space to expand. It is crowded. Real Estate has shot to the roof.

      Expansion should go to the provinces and decentralize the government to spread the population all over.

      Hearing infrastructure, the crocs are salivating. The infrasturcturers will invest heavily in Grace&Mar so they win they will collect their debts.

      That is why it is important to divulge who are BANKROLLING THEIR CAMPAIGNS. Mar, Grace, TELL THE FILIPINOS WHO ARE BANKROLLING YOUR CAMPAIGNS.

      We wanted to know so we can know who among the political contributors wins the most contracts.

  3. Change for the sake of change…

    It’s not what the Philippine needs TODAY. So very true whether

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Meaning. If something is working adequately well, leave it alone.” http://www.phrases.org.uk

    As pointed out, problems exist, like any other countries in the first world. Ours are being addressed to, slowly but surely. Impatient citizens usually are those belonging to the oppositions and the sore losers of the 2010 national elections who could not get over their candidates’ defeat.

    My candidate lost too, but we soldiered on, supporting the duly elected President. I always subscribe to the well loved portion of Pres. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address quoting his headmaster ‘ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country’.

    The bottom line should always be Love of Country.

    • Joe America says:

      The Palace today ripped Poe for saying the infrastructure work is being patch-worked together for the election. http://politics.com.ph/palace-slams-poes-inaccurate-allegations-on-rushed-infra-projects/

      For sure, roadwork in my province has been active for the past three years. If there were none going on, you know she would complain about that. She (to me) is becoming such a nagging, negative person. She ripped on reporters for asking her about the four legal challenges to her candidacy.

      • Loosing her cool and poise in the face of pressure?

        She sure does not realize how a certain project is initiated, the budget allocation, bidding, availability of land subject to the the government’s right of eminent domain, the intransigence of affected landowners, weather considerations, etc, etc…

        She is the encouraging the wrong perception of the public that these projects are being done for election purposes, hence the “rushed infra project accusation”.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Borrowing my own thoughts about this in my FB post yesterday: Reporters from media are not part of her staff. Whether or not they have the right focus is not for her to determine. Media has autonomy. Media Relations 101 lang po, Senator Grace.

        • caliphman says:

          Sounds like a good ole mindless CPM Poe bashfest, Yeehah! If anyone needs bashing its those political appointees in black robes who declared the Ombudsman Act was unconstitutional because they were not consulted when Congress enacted the statute in 1989. Is this not pretty pathetic of them and as well as those who should be raising bloody hell when unelected public officials arrogate more power for themselves than the people’s elected representatives? I demand to know where in the Constitution does it say the Supreme Court needs to be consulted before any legislation can be enacted in order to be constitutional…no matter how idiotic or ridiculous Grace Poe might look as a scolding Lola Inidora! Hah.

  4. chempo says:

    “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.” … (Nikita Khrushchev — the guy who banged his shoes on the table in the UN…because a Filipino contingent blew his top)

  5. josephivo says:

    Build on strength, not on weaknesses. Yes recognize problems and change. But there are 2 kind of problems with things going worse than expected and problems with things going better than expected. The Philippines with all its flaws grows faster than the rest. Why? That is the most interesting problem. The negative things only need attention when they threaten to kill you, a traffic infarct, run away corruption, poisoning pollution, typhoons, quakes, flooding, eruptions….

    Waiting for the candidate who can recognize strong points and who wants to strengthen these strengths. Friendliness and the BDO industry, tourism, retirement… Resilience, self-reliance and living in the now on an island with less, stronger solutions than the slow movement… A strong global network of Filipinos, trade opportunities, diplomatic opportunities, change antennas… Roxas seems the only one with this mind set.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, it is her personal opinion. I don’t wholly share it. I think he does tend to get laborious in his explanations, but he actually has said some worthwhile sound bites of late. I think the greater problem is that the audience does not have the patience to listen and comprehend that his level of experience and knowledge is what allows him to talk the details and come across very different from the other three candidates, who are all populists, all giving the sound bites, all not giving the information that gives us confidence that they REALLY know what is going on and what needs to be done. I think Roxas is his own worst enemy only if we accept that the broader Philippine population is a bunch of airheads and doesn’t have an interest in listening or learning. In which case, Roxas is not really the enemy, is he?

    • chempo says:

      Joe the writer obviously reads this blog. See her “dumb down” comment — unless its pure coincidence, but I believe in the universe.

    • Bee says:

      Mar’s interviews so far seem to focus on slugging criticisms on President Aquino’s Daang Matuwid (Traffic woes, Yolanda aftermath, Mamasapano) rather than presenting his platform which does not look good.

      I agree to whoever said that “Daang Matuwid” has been used to the hilt.
      He should find another platform to stand on and ‘sell’ to the voters.

      Mar roxas (rather Joe ;)) has conviced me to vote for him but I’m having a hard time trying to sell him to everyone I know. They keep bringing up his past mistakes.

      • Joe America says:

        It depends on what “mistakes” they are referring to. Tacloban was shown to be a Romualdez set-up (he recently apologized), he wasn’t at DOTC long enough to get involved on MRT issues, and the photographs are not really mistakes of substance. For me, we have the crook, the empty vessel, the sick lady and the detail-minded hard worker. I’m perplexed that others don’t seem to see it this way. I mean, that Binay still holds over 20% of the votes? Gadzooks! So I admit I am the one who is out of touch with mainstream thinking.

        • Bee says:

          Sadly Joe, a huge part of the population is faced with the bad reality of traffic congestion, high crime rate, floodings, bad government service that they could not care to read thru and find out the truth behind these so called blunders made by Mar Roxas.

          They’ve become so pessimistic that rather than reading the news, they are focusing on their own survival.

          They only hear and see on social media a very limited picture of seeing Secretary Mar and his PR ‘mistakes’ and judge too easily.

          • Joe America says:

            Then the Philippines is in trouble, I think. The premise of democracy is that the people are educated enough to make intelligent choices. The Philippines may not yet be there.

            • I think many Filipinos are simply overwhelmed by the demands of rapid modernization, and that it is still incomplete and not yet fully working in some places, because those taking care of the modernization also partly have a learning curve – I am thinking of Abaya in particular.

              The benefits of modernization have also mostly reached those that are prepared for it, while those catching up might fear being left behind. So simplistic solutions are tempting.

              • Joe America says:

                Agree. Abaya is a horrid PR man, and it seems to me the Administration does not do enough to make clear the status reports on projects or what is being achieved. Releasing the Official Gazette is not enough. These are complex projects, but they can be explained simply for popular consumption and to project the idea that this is a nation on the move.

  6. karl garcia says:

    Poe’s ststements on inflating accomplishments as the reason to rush projects, here is what I have to say, if it is only implemented at this point in time,it is not rushed. if Poe lists all her bills as accomplishments she is the one doing the hyperinflation.
    what will she do with all those projects leave them hanging?

    • Joe America says:

      I struggle to keep my smart-mouth under control. She inflates herself every time she speaks. Yes, where are her projects? Can she give us a status report on each of them?

      • Bea says:

        I heard her say she’d rather have a lean resume as oppose to being faced with corruption charges – I would agree if she is running for the senate.

        We cannot afford an OJT in Malacanang!

  7. absolutely right dear sir. for the first time in my 40 odd years on this planet i am now seeing a Philippines with a government that has long term solutions. looking at things with sober pragmatism (muting all the chatter created by political hacks) I can only be hopeful of our direction. a lot of these policy directions will take time to have an impact and i am glad they were finaly thrust forward on us regardless of their popularity. the few that i am particularly glad about are: RH Bill, CCT, K-12 /Tesda Integration. Now there will always be winners and losers who have the tendency to kick and scream. unfortunately our politicians even the ones with the greenest of horns know how to egg them on for their own gains.

  8. arlene says:

    Oh, oh, bulls eye. I agree with you Joem even if the others don’t, Mar Roxas is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates. He knows what he is talking about. Sometimes the problem with us is, we go with the tide, just because this so and so is popular and we need a new face and a change etc. etc. Some of us think that every problem has an immediate solution at hand and when it is not done ASAP, we are quick to criticize and always blame the President calling unpalatable names in the process. These people, do they even think of long-term goals that would benefit us in the end? Do they even know that it takes more than just six years to see the positive change brought to our economy? I heard a broadcaster in a popular radio station lambasting the effects of APEC, kesyo daw it is a waste of resources and nothing good would come of it. Hay!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, arlene. That broadcaster does not want the Philippines to be a leader, or engaged in the first world. I presume he likes follower, third world, a lackey follower of the real nations, a place he can criticize for any pimple so that he sounds intelligent. Idiot. (Please excuse me; I go a little nuts with this negativity stuff.)

  9. Hector Sanvictores says:

    Joe,I hope someone translates your ideas into the national language so that more Filipinos can understand the real situation. Your thoughts and ideas are penetrating to the core of things.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you Hector. Sometimes volunteers do put up a translation, but the main audience for the blog is opinion-makers. Presumably the worthwhile ideas get multiplied out as they work, teach or talk.

  10. chempo says:

    Seems Mar coming from the incumbent admin is disadvantaged in that he has to defend every dept of the govt that is attacked by all the opposing candidates. whilst he can only attack the opponents solely as an individual. And the telling thing is that Mar has so far never attacked anyone at all. When he is out there, he is telling all those boring details, but he is doing what he does best.

    • Joe America says:

      Right. But he does have the administration behind them playing the “bad cop”. The President’s spokesman yesterday blasted Poe for her loose comments suggesting the administration was gaming infrastructure investments to do quick and dirty road projects for the election.

  11. Nice article joe.

    I’d like to interject that for me DAP was an issue that allowed me to peek into the minds of some of these candidates. I believe that there are more issues that reveal how much they know about how things works and how they can work.

    If the candidate cannot get Why DAP was needed. If the candidate cannot understand Why a lot of the DAP considered unconstitutional is really not, and why the constitution should really be thought of as a living document. Then they are far more less experienced or less intellectual than they would like to believe.

    Big failure from the SC and the candidates.

  12. bauwow says:

    A number of people I asked who will they vote for president this coming elections, did not even consider Roxas. They said he was soft and yes boring. I was surprised by their descriptions that I could not even counter their misconceptions about Roxas.
    I was thinking if Mar would benefit from a Rodmanesque type of enforcer who will get inside the head of his opponents, or who would do the “dirty” work of politics for him.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that is his weakness.He’ll need that kind of toughness if he is elected President, so he better figure out a way to get to it between now and May. And yet . . . and yet . . . man, the three alternatives are beyond boring. They are dangerous.

  13. bauwow says:

    The media should have blown this out of proportion. A school dean put Roxas on the spot and asked for air conditioning units for the school gym. But true to his character, Roxas said to the University Dean what happened to 6.8 million php for a multi purpose hall. Roxas also that he will not say yes or promise something that he cannot deliver.
    Probably the media chose to ignore this highlight of how principled Roxas is, because it is not sensational and controversial.

    • Joe America says:

      These principles do make it into tweets, but that is mostly people speaking to like minds. You’re right. It’s why if you tell people to LISTEN to Roxas or Robredo, and they do, they say “ahhh, they DO makes sense.” They are thinking according to the picture drawn by the media, often because of political opponent attack initiatives, rather than looking at the candidates themselves, first hand. Big difference.

  14. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Change for the sake of Change is more rhetorical. Lack of sincerity and meaningful content. Like me, I am more critical than solution oriented with no meaningful road to change.

    HEre are Obama’s slogan that are copied by Philippine Politicians

    Campaign Slogans of Barack Obama in the USA

    1. “Yes We Can”
    2. “Change” versus “More of the Same”
    3. “Vote for Change”
    4. “Change We Can Believe In”
    5. “Our Time for Change”
    6. “It’s about Time. It’s about Change”
    7. “Stand for Change”
    8. “Organize for Change”
    9. “We are the change we’ve been looking for. Change can’t happen without you.”
    10. “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington . I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
    11. “A leader who can deliver change”
    12. “Change in America doesn’t start from the top down. It starts from the bottom up.”
    13. “Obama Momma”
    14. “Women for Obama”
    15. “Obama for America ”
    16. “A New Beginning”
    17. “Help me take back America ”
    18. “My President is Black”
    19. “Eight [years] is Enough”
    20. ” America , we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.”
    21. “We must pledge once more to walk into the future.”

    It is easy for detractors to copy but hollow implementation.

  15. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Laison has been relieved of his post and reassigned to the District Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit after he placed Estabillo under arrest for allegedly acting arrogantly toward him on Tuesday morning.

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/739216/cop-who-arrested-radioman-earlier-earned-praises-napolcom-probe-on#ixzz3rId9h9uF

    NEVER MESS WITH PHILIPPINE MEDIA !!! They have the impunity !!!

  16. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Reduce personal and corporate taxes to increase disposable incomes. Increase in disposable income increases consumerism. In my country, the USA, one of our major indexes is housing. More disposable income, more buying houses, more buying houses, more buying fornitures and appliances. More furnitures and applicances more manufacturers. More manufacturers more employed. More employed more MAIDS to employ. More MAIDS to employ, less people farming. Less people farming more rice, onion, garlic import.

    It is called trickle-down-up-and-down economy. Sure they can find a balance.

    Manufacturing should be outsourced to the provinces NOT IN METRO MANILA!

    Increase private vehicle taxes. The more expensive private vehicles, less buyers, more people taking mass transport, less pollution. Less pollution makes American government happy.

    It is caled trickle-down-happiness.

    Increase teachers salary by 50%. Better pay, means more teacher. More teachers less crowded classrooms. Less crowded classrooms more happy and intelligent pupils. More intelligent pupils, better Philippines.

    Socialized school meals. Meals at schools attract children to school isntead of selling cigarettes and iced water and newspaper. More children at schoo.l less underage MAIDS. Less MAIDS, less agricultural workers. Less agricultural workers more mechanized agri business.

    Wouldn’t this be a wonderful country? IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ….

    DeFund University of the Philippines means less students at U.P. less students at U.P. means less crooks !!!!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      More Visit from Vatican Popes … more children living in temporary air-conditioned shelters …
      More APEC … more children happy.
      More children happy, the church is more happy. Church happy, more go to heaven.

      Very simple mathematics. Why does it have to be very difficult? Because of the crooks! Plenty of them.

    • Joe America says:

      Superb suggestions. One of the problems for the Philippines is when corporations take profits out of the country and invest it in other nations, or send dividends to foreign shareholders rather than invest in the Philippines. I have no idea how to “put the Philippines first” in the minds of the oligarchs. Or consumers who buy all the cheap Chinese goods. Well, in the latter case, I’d propose the nation make some cheap Philippine goods.

  17. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    One bad thing about politics is they can only know they are wrong once their favorite politician has sat in office.

  18. I think Mar should present his platform in accounting form. The credit part will be about what the present administration had done right and how he will maintain and/or build on them to make them more efficient and productive. The debit part will be about what went wrong, what factors is/are missing from the inclusive growth equation, lessons learned and new initiatives that will answer PH top 5 problems or any number less than 10. Mar should be able to ascertain the right number because he had been an insider in 3 administrations.

    I said top 5 problems because it is better to underpromise and overdeliver. Poe set herself up for failure when she promised to solve 20 problems in 6 years. IMHO, she is bound to underdeliver and disappoint those who voted for her with too many promises.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, I made a similar comment elsewhere just a moment ago, that political opponents should do that accounting. Then they would not seem like such scurrilous mud-slingers.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        If Mar does it, he can potentially silence the mudslingers and nitpickers. Even win votes for his honest assessment of the state of the nation.

        But then again, it might just give his opponents more mud because we all know how they twist the truth and edit videos/articles to suit their evil intentions.

        • Joe America says:

          He’s actually uttered some good soundbites. He needs a staff of social media advocates who capture them and push them out. Some of that is happening. Maybe he needs more press briefings to push them out popularly. Just edge away from the details a bit to repeat his key messages that then become campaign slogans.

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:



    (as of this publication I cannot know if these are graduates of U.P.-Dilliman)

    The tickeleria should hand over to the passenger a list of items banned.
    The airline website should also do the same. Agreeing to these list of banned items spits out the e-ticket.
    Once they go to NAIA and still bring these banned items, the full force of the law should be upon them … booth or no booth.

    In the U.S. at check-in counter a clerk perfunctorily asked passengers if “they packed the bags themselves if they know what is in there”. PERIOD. By answer “YES” they are already liable.

    That is how we do it in my country. Simple. Period. No “prima facie” Latin thingie.

    When we ask in immigration customs card if they carry “more than $10,000 equivalent in American money” WE MEAN IT. That is why a PHILIPPINE GENERAL and a WIFE OF PHILIPPINE SENATOR were herded by a U.S. TSA CLERK to holding area on the way to prison.

    We take our words seriously. In the Philippines, words can mean so many things. Take for example Grace Poe and Mar Roxas:

    1. Grace Poe was angry when her residency qualifications were questioned as deemed by Philippine Cosntitution
    2. Mar Roxas supported her by saying to the effect “Go, girl, fight!”

    If these two were in my country, THEY WILL NOT LAST ANOTHER DEBATE WITH DONALD TRUMP.

    AMERICANS take words seriously, whereas, FILIPINOS take grammar seriously not what it meant.

    So, they are changing for the sake of change in NAIA but not critically thinking.

    Of course, in the U.S., we do have bins on the long way to immigration clerk that says something to this effect “if you brought unprocessed meat, plants, throw them here” Yes, we give them the option to do so because origin country are not like US where we tell them what to do and not what to do and not what to bring to my home country.

    Placing a booth of last resort is rediculous.

  20. Gian says:

    As usual, a very well-written piece, JoeAm! One thing about us Filipinos is that we cant seem to rally behind a leader who has worked hard to restore the rotten and corrupt image of govt. He’s not perfect but has certainly done right by our country. But people like complaining about every single issue and will use that to discredit all the good that govt. has done. Poor Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      That is the pity of it all, the critics are failing to recognize the rise of their nation in the eyes of the global community. It’s like you have to be outside to see it. Most Filipinos seem blind to the achievements, some intentionally (crooks and political players), and some because they believe the tabloid media present a true picture of their nation.

      • RHiro says:

        At the present time I am entertaining some close friends who live in the U.S. They are astounded by the seeming incompetence of this government who has so far under spent close to Php700 billion of the allocated budget since 2011…..Also they cannot understand why last year more foreign capital left the country instead of FDI’s coming in….

        BSP recorded a negative Balance of Payments… A couple of them are money mangers who are well aware of the buzz created b y the financial media in the past concerning the BRIC’s and the N-11 which included the Philippines…

        They cannot understand why the government did not take advantage of the low interest rate regime wherein they could borrow long term for under 5%…

        It is the executive that proposes to Congress the items in the budget..Congress approves and allocates the budget… The executive then implements the programs… If the executive did its due diligence and requested allocations why was it not prepared to implement its

        I suspect that this was done to accommodate the private sector who were most ready to step in and take over the projects on a PPP basis…

        The serious backlog in infrastructure came about as a result of a lack of financial
        resources. As the former NEDA Chief Paderanga has clearly shown , the money creation brought about by the influx of remittances alone which has accumulated over the last 12 years gave a window of opportunity for the government to spend.. Yet they did not….

        The PPP was introduced as a new wrinkle of the old BOT program which was introduce when the government was strapped. That does not hold true today…

        • Joe America says:

          There are two points to make. One, the Philippines has never had a highly sophisticated and efficient infrastructure pipeline. Prior administrations did a few one-off projects, but never installed the kind of production line that NEDA, under President Aquino, has built, that lines up the needed projects, studies them, sizes them, gets them approved, funds them, bids them out, designs them, works out the issues, coordinates everything, resolves issues which arise, and builds them out. Two, these are multi-billion peso projects and the implementation is proving problematic. A bidding fails and a year is lost. A lawsuit occurs and a year is lost. The fact of the matter is that the Aquino Administration has out-built the prior three or four administrations. If your friends could travel to the provinces, they would see all the work going on.

          Everyone would agree with you. There needs to be more efficiency in the project development and follow-through. But the “infrastructure” for the planning and doing of infrastructure work is there with good work by NEDA, and as the nation builds a bigger pipeline, the delays on any one project will become less noticeable.

          • Joe America says:

            Before President Aquino came along, our roads in Biliran were crap. Two-lane, narrow, and crumbling. The road around the island was a pot-holed mud pit, and the road over the center of the island was dirt and rocks and impassible half the time. The first projects were to cement the road all around the island, and cement the road over the top. Then they set about widening all main roads to tear out crumbling roads, and put in a main highway lane plus a side lane for slow vehicles and tricycles. There were no signs with pictures of the President claiming credit for the work, as we saw under the Arroyo projects, which were one-tenth as extensive and took twice as long to complete.

            The lack of signs reflects a competence in values. The roadwork, airport work, dock work, and train work represent competence in production. Plus there has been rebuilding needed after storms. I think the charge of “incompetence” falls mainly to prior administrations, and this administration can claim competence at getting the nation off the dead-beat dime.

          • During the first 100 days the NEDA chief then was trying to get cooperation from DBM for information sharing. I believe that this did not go through because the NEDA did not have the manpower necessary. It was just too small for what it had to analyze coordinate and approve. No matter how fast you want to get fat even with unlimited food you are constrained by present conditions. NEDA knew its job, knew it was too small to be as effective as it knew it could be. This reminds me we need to check if the headcount and capabilities of NEDA was upgraded as necessary by the current administration.

            • Joe America says:

              Thanks for the background. Well, I’ve been impressed, myself, no matter the staffing. They are the heart of the President’s “measurement by metrics”, a discipline that Mar Roxas would most certainly continue. They’ve coordinated development of major planning efforts for roads and floods. They’ve had to approve all the big projects and keep track of them. Neda for sure has a huge plate of responsibilities.

  21. Bing Garcia says:

    Go Anti-Money Laundering Council!

    • My two cents • 18 minutes ago From PDI

      In a swift stroke of pen the Supreme Court invalidated an act of Congress and stymied the power of the Ombudsman rendering it inutile since its power was now diluted. Its decision now subject to the CA’s Talipapa. The SC’s invalidation of provisions of Sec. 14 of the 1989 Ombudsman Act which bars courts, except the Supreme Court, from reviewing its orders and decisions are blow agains the fight on corruption. With their ruling on the Aguinaldo doctrine being “prospective” is also favorable to Binay. Everybody is aware that it takes only a letter from Estelito Mendoza to bring back the assailed doctrine again this set of justices flip-flops in its decisions.

      • karl garcia says:

        Erap once promised to remove all the hoodlums in robes,maraming mga batang el kapitan pala ang uupo sa SC. We saw how small the budget of the judiciary is,they are supposed to be self sustaining but we are controlled by big business and trapos.

        Another thing that needs change.

      • Joe America says:

        @MGPG, I’ll look forward to reading the reasoning behind the Ombudsman ruling. Basically, I want to see what Justice Leonen has to say about it. He is a stellar voice of good legal thinking.

        • edgar lores says:

          The Supreme Court decision was unanimous on the unconstitutionality of Section 14 of the 1989 Ombudsman Act. Only Justice Bersamin issued a concurring and dissenting opinion, but his dissent was on the applicability of the Condonation Doctrine.

          The SC upended Section 14 which gave the high court sole power to issue TROs in cases lodged by the Ombudsman:

          Sec. 14. Restrictions. – No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.

          No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.

          The argument, in essence, is that since the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the Binay case, it has the power to issue a TRO since this is a standard ancillary function of having jurisdiction.

          The SC claimed to have the power to overturn Sec. 14 because (a) the issuance of TROs is a judicial procedure and judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court and all lower courts; (b) the procedure is an exercise of the courts’ inherent judicial power; (c) the Legislature cannot shape the circumstances under which the procedure is granted or denied; and (d) the 1987 Constitution, by the way, removed the power of Congress to alter court procedures.

          It is clear that Congress intended Sec. 14 to grant the Ombudsman sufficient power and independence to fulfill its mandate. The section was meant to free the Ombudsman from political influence and that of the lower courts’ judicial influence.

          The SC decision purports that only freedom from political influence was aimed for. This is a clear misreading.

          With this decision, the SC has effectively removed a check and balance on the lower courts with respect to Ombudsman cases. It has, more direly, also removed a check and balance on the Legislature’s ability to balance the power of the Judiciary.

          It has, in short, encouraged the culture of impunity. This arrogation of power is not the kind of change the Philippines needs.

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecutors_Office – this office in Germany cannot be stopped by anyone in its investigations, because of the old legal precept of “periculum in mora” – “danger in delay” regarding investigations:

            The Staatsanwaltschaft or public prosecutor’s offices are criminal justice bodies attached to the judiciary but separate from the courts in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland. This kind of office also exists in communist Mainland China, Taiwan and in some countries in Central Europe including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as Macau, which continues to follow the Portuguese legal system…

            In investigations and in court, the prosecution is supposed to be “objective” and “neutral”. However, instead of the legal principle of the maxim “in dubio pro reo” (Latin: “benefit of the doubt”, see presumption of innocence) which applies to judges, the maxim for the prosecution is in dubio pro duriore, that is presumption of guilt. The reason for this is that the courts would be stripped of their proper role if in case of a doubt there were not even a trial, and because proof may yet be found within the trial. Still, it is (or should be) common for the Staatsanwaltschaft to request the acquittal of the defendant if the evidence that came to light in the courtroom or before suggests he or she is innocent. Naturally the defense’s opinion often differs from that of the prosecution in this matter.

            In summary, an investigating body in the German legal system cannot be stopped by TRO, and assumes guilt – the presumption of innocence is what courts then follow.

            The public prosecutor’s office of Augsburg was instrumental in pursuing the “Amigo Affair” in Bavaria during the early 1990s, which went even up to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Streibl, the former Prime Minister of Bavaria. The public prosecutors coming from the Protestant part of Bavaria shook up the cozy “Amigo culture” of the mainly Catholic ruling party, which was further shaken up by the “relatives affair” in 2013 shortly before the state parliament elections, during which numerous members of Parliament were found to have given government jobs to their relatives. The relatives affair became public mainly due to investigative journalism, and a formerly hacktivist blog pushing doggedly. Just to show how long it can take to remove the roots of corruption in a clannish culture.

            • edgar lores says:

              I think the SC judges are too focused on the letter of the Constitution, the laws and the precedents.

              They do not have a wide-angled view.

              They do not give importance to the intent and function of the Ombudsman.

              They do not consider the doctrine of checks and balances.

              The reasoning and logic of the decision is very tight given the premises. But they do not question the premises and they do not allow for exceptions.

              They have blinders on.

              • They have blinders on.

                Yep, they do. Any legal student should normally learn where law, even Constitutions come from. The beginnings of law from natural law, then Roman law (Justinian) and Germanic customary law (still partly valid) are standard fare of every law curriculum in Germany.

                But going only by the letter, not the spirit was something even Rizal criticized in the Noli – he being Atenean mocked Santo Tomas students who discussed syllogisms taught them by the Dominicans – purely in a formalistic manner, without caring for underlying content. Therefore even Rizal, who has been reduced to an “anito” on a “lingam”-style monument by many who have not gotten the spirit of his works, already knew the Filipino condition.

              • edgar lores says:

                Lingam? I like that better than obelisk.

              • The purpose of anitos was to remember the spirit in which our great ancestors lived.

                Now the lingam style monuments for Rizal and Quezon do not serve their purpose if most of us only remember what their lingams did – they were oragon, Bikols would say, that multi-purpose word means powerful, potent and smart – and forget the spirit of their lives and works. Rizal’s Tagalog translation of Wilhelm Tell, Quezon’s cover version of Mabini’s decalogue are mainly forgetten, now Mabini did not do the Cha-Cha like many, or the Mambo like Magsaysay, but his spirit is great too, where is the ancestral monument to him?

              • karl garcia says:

                Yeah if the spirit is remembered, the relocation or demolition of landmarks would be a non issue. Heritage can be remembered through other means,that is why there are artists,imititations and photos.

              • This is how Rizal might look in today’s setting:

          • Sir edgar, Joe

            That’s exactly why I was mightily upset…we all know how the CA is seemingly under Binay’s influence…rumors of tens of millions of “consideration” abound after the TRO was granted on the 1st suspension of Mayor Binay, shades of status quo antes that somehow prevented the impeachment of former OMB Merceditas Gutierrez.

            IMO, this SQA was also the weapon that was supposed to be used to frustrate the HOR impeachment of the former CJ, they countered that by having a coalition meeting and handing out the prepared article of impeachment, time being of the essence such that it was not perfectly done, leaks could happen if too much time was spent preparing the said article. We all know that HOR prosecutors were rigidly subjected to ridicule and PNOY was accused of railroading the impeachment in the HOR….my cousins were all up in arms at their preceived injustice and dictatorial tendencies of PNOY (egged on by the GRP and the opposition, of course)

            I am in utmost wonder how our President managed to outfox them all just so his anti-corruption program can gain traction…an expert-chess-player-technique? Political moves, yes with a focused end in mind, to remove obstacles that persistently thwart his every moves.

            Now the SC has declared Sec 14 of the Ombudsman Act as unconstitutional, another SC overreach? I have to be content that the CA’s justification of the TROs (that SC sponsored condonation doctrine) was removedby the SC itself.

            Question what other justification will the plunderer’s wily enablers will think of that could be used by the CA to grant TROs on future Ombudsman’s suspensions and dismissals?

          • NHerrera says:

            @edgar lores (November 13, 2015 at 7:46 pm):

            “With this decision, the SC has effectively removed a check and balance on the lower courts with respect to Ombudsman cases. It has, more direly, also removed a check and balance on the Legislature’s ability to balance the power of the Judiciary.

            “It has, in short, encouraged the culture of impunity. This arrogation of power is not the kind of change the Philippines needs.”

            I AGREE — especially since we have the statement No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law. under Sec. 14. Restrictions.

  22. NHerrera says:

    In some sense change advocates in the Philippines are sort of doing or advocating either a
    – Change along the concept of Apples’ product changes; as against
    – Change along Samsung products’ way.

    A deep situation analysis before changes are made in Apple’s versus changes or offerings are made compared to what is done in Samsung’s. This may account for Apple’s continued growth and being awash in funds compared to Samsung’s.

    This feature is good; this one too; and that one too — so either incorporate it in an existing product or make a new one. That seems to be Samsung’s way. The result is a commercial fight on too many fronts. Confusing the customers and most probably most Samsung’s people too.

    The careful weighing-in or analysis of the SITUATION and most probable future and risks seem to be Apple’s way. (Sadly, the Blackberry people did not have the same sort of situation analysis and adaptation — to the looming future — of its unique, previously lead world-wide product as the Apple people. In short, BB was not nimble enough. And like marketing people like JoeAm.)

    Hey, fellows, this is not an Ad for Apple. I own a Samsung product and a BB, not an Apple’s.

    A long preamble to the mindset of politicians especially the Philippine kind. Building on a working product, instead of starting from scratch because the present one has problems. What is the situation about the problems? And the constraints. Little or no appreciation of the constraints. Example: the traffic congestion in Metro Manila, particularly in EDSA. Situation analysis brings out the MOST IMPORTANT FACT — that there are just too many vehicles on the road, with no constraints on more coming in with vehicles becoming relatively cheaper compared to yesterday. Oh no, the problem is always in the incompetence of the MMDA traffic managers; and no forward thinking on more roads — as if right of way, time to build, and funds for those are no object; and as if all these came about because only of the present Admin incompetence.

    And doing the right situation analysis and problem alleviation if not solution and explaining these do not make for good TV SOUND BITES.

  23. karl garcia says:

    Pnoy was correct in having just one major LEDAC, with the attitude of legislators acting like Paquiao by being absent most of the time,more meetings will just be a waste of taxpayers money.

    I wish that they just tackle what has been perrenially pending like FOI and NALUA and direct the leadership not to entertain Local laws like renaming of streets,or at least find the proper venue for such local legislations.

    Change is needed,let us start with no absenteeism in Congress, I hope the next president can do something about that.

    Charter change is another change in my wish list.

    • Joe America says:

      @Karl, yes, THAT kind of change, toward discipline and ethical standards would be very valuable. I don’t know about Charter change. Disruptive, I think. There are plenty of good works to be done under the existing charter.

      • karl garcia says:

        Eventually some disruption has to happen,but you are correct to say that it should not be just for change’s sake.

        • Fire is good, but it should be used to cook not to burn. Always adjust the gas cooker.

          • karl garcia says:

            congress must have the power to gradually amend the constitution.35 and 87 were like a one time big time twice done deal.

            • Constitutions are not there to be played around with… I like the Bavarian model… recommendation by Parliament or by a petition with sufficient number of signers, identified by national ID, then 2/3 plebiscitary majority… the amendments are usually widely discussed in the press, recently in social media for all plebiscites, the last one was not about Constitution but about no buildings higher the 99 meters in Munich, it won because those who wanted to preserve the historical look of the city had a majority, and no reopening of the issue for 10 years is the rule, same for the third runway of the Munich airport which was killed by plebiscite as well for landscape preservation reasons… Plebiscites were introducted by a politician who was in Switzerland, exiled during WW2.

  24. NHerrera says:

    Off topic.


    Whether believers or skeptics of surveys done by the Social Weather Station or Pulse Asia, the fourth quarter result of the surveys by these two survey outfits are nevertheless important political news items come end of December or early January of 2016.

    Being an incurable numbers man, I was curious if I can at least get a notion on the sequential ranking of the four Presidential Candidates in the Fourth Quarter before the SWS/ PA surveys are out. That is, A > B > C > D without giving the absolute percentage numbers.

    Such a numbers game requires making an important assumption on the voter-respondents thoughts — whether consciously or unconsciously made — as the survey forms or interviews are conducted by the field surveyors. I propose the following elements:

    1. First is not an assumption really and based on the percentage of the socio-economic classes. Of the numbers I used in my analysis this is the most solid: ABC, 10%; D, 60%; E, 30%.

    2. Next, I select three criteria which may be used consciously or unconsciously by the voter-respondents upon which they rank (again consciously or subconsciously) the candidates. These are,

    2.1 ACOR-LT = anti-corruption and mainly long term programs;
    2.2 APED-ST = anti-poverty and mainly short term programs including CCT, help in children’s education; and including freebies given in the form of bags of rice and sardines; and
    2.3 BASTA = the thought that basta “I will vote” for Binay because I ate with him in budol-budol eating group; for Santiago because she is a fighter; for Poe because I loved FPJ movies.

    3. The following may be indicative of how the percentage numbers may be assigned respectively by the socio-economic classes ABC, D, and E to the three criteria above:

    3.1 ABC = 50%, 40%, 10%
    3.2 D = 30%, 60%, 10%
    3.3 E = 20%, 60%, 20%

    4. The more difficult numbers to assign are the numbers for the four candidates corresponding to the nine combinations in 3.1 to 3.3. I will not belabor this.

    5. What remains is the calculation of the overall weighing for the 4 candidates which is easily done using our old spreadsheet routine (for Windows users, it is the old reliable Excel) or, if one has the patience to punch numbers repeatedly, a simple calculator will do.

    I tried the exercise doing a lot of WHAT IF numbers and all I am willing to write is a rough conclusion:

    — that Poe and Roxas will be at the top;
    — but not enough to conclude that Poe or Roxas will be on top of the survey. (Although, my numbers tend to show a Roxas edge; but then again, it may be my bias for Roxas.)

    I hope I am wrong and that the surveys by SWS/PA will show that Roxas will be at the top of the heap.

    Sorry if I kept the reader along and ending with a relatively unexciting conclusion.

    (Joe, if you are interested, knowing that my Magician friend and your broker-friend Sal are friends, I can send the simple Excel file. I don’t know your email address though. I don’t do facebook or twitter or some such activity. You know my email address and you can send me a note there if you wish.)

    • edgar lores says:

      I like the BASTA category. It summarizes so well the irrationality of the voters. It makes the contest exciting… and the consumption of popcorn inevitable.

      • NHerrera says:

        To make the model simple, I first thought of using only the first two criteria. But I thought something was missing. BASTA was my Eureka or Popcorn criterion. 🙂

  25. Vicara says:

    Among those who regularly comment here at Joe’s, there’s an almost universal sentiment that Roxas is clearly the superior candidate, the One to vote for, but that he doesn’t come across as he should. Well, that;s a notion that’s been bounced about for some time now–all the way back to 2010. I would say then to his campaign people now: Fix it. No excuses. He is as he is, a known quantity. He has had successes, and he has had failures. He has his style and his tics; make them work for him. EVEN the failures and the “putanginas.” He was burnt in 2010; Chiz helped Binay overturn the campaign of the running of one of the most popular Philippine presidents ever. There were harsh lessons that should have been learned and taken to heart about how he comes across to different demographic groups.

    There are now 20 skilled, disciplined staffers engaged in managing President Obama’s social media “presence” alone–not including those in charge of his mainstream media image on the large networks, his in-house photographers and speechwriters, etc. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/us/politics/a-digital-team-is-helping-obama-find-his-voice-online.html ). Some would say, well, that’s the WHITE HOUSE, sobra naman if Roxas has the same number. Frankly, I think Roxas should have more. Obama is close to the end of his term, Roxas is fighting for the presidency and for the good of this country in an increasingly virulent social media context manipulated by political operators with deep pockets and paid social media and news media troll armies.There are also masses of ordinary decent, intelligent people who will end up voting for him, but who are for now just irritated–not least because of a slew of incidents (quickly manipulated by the orc trolls) that show this administration in a bad light. In the current situation, a simple stance of “I’m not corrupt, I’m good” is not only stale–he used the slogan “HIndi Ako Magnanakaw” in 2010–it didn’t work even then. It just didn’t.

    Harking back to Ambition, Destiny, Victory by Hofilena and Go, there’s a quote from experienced campaigner John Osmena, who said: “You have to define the debate, shape the debate. Don’t let your opponent get away with it. Make sure your message dominates the campaign.” So I don’t know who Roxas’ team is, whether they’re longtime associates or if he got a shiny new PR group. But right now, I don’t see a gripping, central message coming from inside–I see a push here in Joe’s, and from those who comment–a reviving dose of fresh air–but not from the inside. Sure, he’s got PR stuff going on, but it’s standard political PR, with slips such as the photo of him and Robredo with that morose group of barrio people.

    Fortunately, none of his opponents has that grip on the center, either; Poe’s stardust is dimming, so has Binay’s (but never, ever forget how he grabbed the vice presidency from under Roxas’ nose in 2010), and Duterte’s slogans are starting to look less take-charge and more crude. Everyone’s already looking weary, with exhausting months ahead, but time enough for Roxas to pull ahead and take a decisive lead. Maybe I’m just caught in one of those little illusion bubbles where everyone talks with or reads only those they agree with. But I feel the underlying anxiety in the comments to this post. I’m anxious myself. He has to win.

    • NHerrera says:

      I have difficulty finding fault on your suggestion. And I believe like you — “Fortunately, none of his opponents has that grip on the center, either; Poe’s stardust is dimming, so has Binay’s (but never, ever forget how he grabbed the vice presidency from under Roxas’ nose in 2010), and Duterte’s slogans are starting to look less take-charge and more crude.”

    • Everyone’s already looking weary, with exhausting months ahead, but time enough for Roxas to pull ahead and take a decisive lead.

      Maybe Roxas would be well-advised – or is already – following Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy, tire out opponents to then knock them out in the end…I have a crazy vision of Mar in boxing shorts just while writing this, evading an angry Rody Duterte.

  26. @LCPL_X: slightly off-topic – this is good news in the direction of tool shops and maker spaces:

  27. http://www.localpulse.net/education/top-150-filipino-scientists-named-6604/ – for MRP 🙂

    Sixty-four researchers of the University of the Philippines made it to the Top 150 Filipino Scientists/Scholars by Webometrics….

    The list also mentioned researchers of other institutions such as Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas. So far, Ateneo de Manila University has only 7 scientists in the list.

  28. jameboy says:

    My thinking is that these simplistic advocates for change are THEMSELVES huge problems, and their accusations of “inept” or “incompetent” are just political propaganda that reflect back on the bankruptcy of ideas and honesty from the candidate themselves.
    In part, some, if not all, of them are themselves a problem. Clearly, how can a Jojo Binay advocate for change when his whole family is squirming in a mire of allegation after allegation of corruption? How can a Miriam Santiago propose to lead a problem and corrupt-free government when she chose somebody whose image and deed and family’s history is a synonym to ‘problem’ and ‘corruption’? Or how can a Grace Poe, as her vehicle for change, hold on or adhere to his late father’s memory or legacy or whatever she’s giving him credit for when practically he did nothing in terms of change during the period and beyond dictatorship? Doesn’t make sense.

    Change for the sake of change is right by me for we really need constant change. Even if PNoy is given two six-year term we’ll still be going to make changes after him because it’s inherent in governance. But surely we have to examine those representing themselves as agents of change because what we maybe getting is not an agent but an infiltrator to sabotage change.

    Marcos and his ‘new society’ was supposed to be the agent and vehicle of change, respectively. Well, we did change only for the worse. 😌

    • Aquino is changing things, but for a purpose – K-12 with all its ramifications to improve the education of Filipinos is a long-term thing with long-term effects, improving the PNP with help from Germany (Bavarian State Police) among other things is also long-term and more effective than Duterte (München is to Berlin as Davao is to Manila, I can go out at 3 a.m. anywhere and not fear because the police are really professional and good, even where the PNPA people recently went, to Bamberg, that is where they train the state troopers, the Bereitschaftspolizei that guard the Munich security conference every year where everybody comes even Vladimir Putin), CCT and Pantawid Pamilya give the poor a chance to eat and to study… these are all evolutionary measures with long-term, lasting effects…

      Revolutionary measures are too disruptive and cannibalize human and natural resources, which is why every dictatorship and revolution has failed in the long run – the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany. The American revolution is a notable exception, but they had resources to fuel their progress, an entire continent to themselves, and migrants to sustain it, plus ongoing democratization over centuries, Lincoln and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s completed equal rights for all people, George Washington still was a kind of dictator if you ask me, and after the semi-dictatorial reign of George Dubya Bush, Obama is further completing equal opportunities… this is my view.

      Democracy and progress takes time to build properly. Portugal struggled after Salazar, Romania is still in the growing pains of its democracy right now and fighting its corruption. Prime Minister Ponta who was ousted is like Binay in having many cases, President Klaus Iohannis is fighting corruption via the DNA national anti-corruption directorate. Swiss grew their democracy from a rebellion 700 years ago, but the canton of Bern was imperialist, conquering French areas that did not have voting rights for quite a while. Netherlands grew its democracy from fighting the sea and the Spanish, but they also were slave traders for many centuries. Now their Prime Minister goes to work by bike, and their jails are empty…

      The Swiss Prime minister takes the train without bodyguards. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau takes public transport also. Switzerland, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, Canada I would count as the most democratic and equal opportunity countries on earth.

      USA lacks equal opportunities in many ways, and civic society’s influence is still very weak. Germany lacks the direct democracy that the Swiss have, except for the State of Bavaria, and does not have a Freedom of Information Act like Sweden has one in full perfection. But if one looks at the world, many countries are now on the road to transparency, civic society and equal opportunities. Romania did it and is doing it with a lot of migrants and workers abroad pushing progress, especially those returning, who saw how things work elsewhere.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Marcos – NEW SOCIETY
      Mar – DAAN MATUWID
      Grace – NO CHANGE
      Cory – ?
      Ramos – ?
      Estrada – ?

      I like the cachet of NEW SOCIETY and BACKSLIDERS

    • Joe America says:

      @jameboy, Change that moves the nation forward is good, that which moves it backward or stalls growth is bad. I fundamentally agree with your clarification of the matter.

  29. edgar lores says:


    1. As I said in my earlier post: “The argument, in essence, is that since the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the Binay case, it has the power to issue a TRO since this is a standard ancillary function of having jurisdiction.”

    2. And as I also noted: “The reasoning and logic of the decision is very tight given the premises. But they do not question the premises and they do not allow for exceptions.”

    3. The question then arises: What supervening principle can be used to break the tight – and even impeccable – logic of the SC decision?

    4. Irineo has proposed the German model of “dubio pro duriore, that is presumption of guilt” instead of the current paradigm of “in dubio pro reo”, that is the presumption of innocence.

    4.1. It is a good suggestion… but I think the current paradigm is too embedded in our legal system to be changed. Also such a radical change, in this case, is fraught with danger as the adoption of the principle of “presumption of guilt” would be subject to abuse and contravene the principle of due process.

    5. What I think can be safely adopted is the principle of asymmetry that was introduced in the formation of the BBL. Basically stated with respect to BBL, the principle posits that a child entity may assume a different configuration from the parent entity.

    5.1. In this case, I would simply restate the principle as “court procedures may assume a different track from the normal course for Ombudsman cases.” And the different track would be what is stated in Sec. 14 of the 1989 Ombudsman Act.

    5.2. This would preserve the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman. It would also preserve the doctrine of checks and balances that the SC has so rudely and abruptly cast aside.

    6. I have not read Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” but I think the SC has erred here in thinking too fast. I am frankly disappointed with Perlas-Bernabe, the ponente, and Leonen in this case, both of whom I have classified as Progressives. Leonen was mainly responsible for BBL and its use of the principle of asymmetry.

    7. By curtailing the power of the Ombudsman and by declaring itself and the lower courts independent of the Legislature with respect to internal judicial procedures, the Supreme Court has assumed the disease of excessive power. This is a bit ironic in view of the fact that the Office of the Ombudsman was created precisely to curb the excesses of power in its manifestations of graft and corruption.

    • 4. is only true for prosecuting bodies – which the Ombudsman is. Germany also follows the presumption of innocence, but only by the time a case reaches a court, not before.

      • Communist China has the same system of prosecution as Germany BTW, but Chinese People’s Courts do not have presumption of innocence, they are like Nazi People’s Courts and not like modern German courts which have that and therefore go by due process.

    • BTW the Ombudsman was created by Corazon Aquino… and now all of a sudden there is a problem with the very same Constitution created during her time… let us have a look at how another country which is fighting against corruptions deals with it institutionally…


      The National Anticorruption Directorate (Romanian: Direcţia Naţională Anticorupţie (DNA)), formerly National Anticorruption Prosecution Office (Romanian: Parchetul Naţional Anticorupţie), is the Romanian agency tasked with preventing, investigating and prosecuting corruption-related offenses (such as bribery, graft, patronage and embezzlement) that caused a material damage higher than €200,000 or whose value of the involved amounts or goods is higher than €10,000…

      By 2015, acting under Laura Codruța Kövesi’s leadership, the agency had gained traction against high-level corruption, prompting praise from the European Commission. [1] The agency currently employs 120 prosecutors working on more than 6,000 cases, and has successfully prosecuted dozens of mayors, five MPs, two ex-ministers and a former prime minister in 2014 alone. Hundreds of former judges and prosecutors have also been brought to justice, with a conviction rate above 90%. [2]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi – its head:

      Laura Codruța Kövesi (born Laura Codruța Lascu on May 15, 1973) is the current chief prosecutor of Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (Romanian: Direcţia Naţională Anticorupţie) (DNA), a position she has held since 2013. Prior to this, Kövesi was General Prosecutor of Romania (Procuror General), attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice…

      Kövesi was described byThe Guardian in 2015 as a “quiet, unassuming chief prosecutor who is bringing in the scalps”, leading “an anti-corruption drive quite unlike any other in eastern Europe – or the world for that matter”. [2] She enjoys support both in Romania and across the EU, [2] with a recent poll suggesting that 60% of Romanian trust DNA, with only 11% expressing their trust in parliament. [2]..

      Victor Ponta, former prime minister of Romania and the biggest target currently under DNA investigation, accused Kövesi of being “a totally unprofessional prosecutor trying to make a name by inventing and imagining facts and untrue situations from 10 years ago”. These comments were posted on his Facebook page, following multiple forgery, money laundering and tax evasion DNA allegations leveled against him. [2]

    • Joe America says:

      There is a certain irony to it. I also see it in the Legislature, challenging Executive’s every troublesome act by forming investigative committees left and right, as if the nation can’t move forward without the legislator’s providing their expert management skills. Indeed, I think there is no fundamental respect for the balance of powers within either the Supreme Court or the Legislature. Undermining the Ombudsman is a peculiar stance for judges to take, as if their jobs had nothing at all to do with reducing crime.

    • The OMB should challenge this after the next President appoints a few more progressive SC Associates

  30. karl garcia says:

    I wonder what providion will be declared unconstitutional if a powerful man or family is involved.

    Press Release
    February 25, 2015
    Senate ratifies Bicam report on amendments to Sandiganbayan Law

    The Senate today ratified a bicameral conference committee report on the amendments to the Sandiganbayan Law geared towards the speedy disposition of corruption cases against erring government officials and employees.

    The Senate ratified the consolidated version of the bill, which resolved the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 2138 and House Bill No. 5283.

    Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, author and co-sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2138, earlier said the amendments will address the structural and institutional limitations encountered by the Sandiganbayan, “which is supposed to be the frontrunner in the fight against corruption.”

    The measure allows sessions be held upon the attendance of two members of a division constituting the majority of the members instead of all three as presently required. It also allows the addition of two new Sandiganbayan divisions to the present five, totalling seven divisions.

    The measure also modifies the voting requirement for the promulgation of judgment, decision or final order, and the resolution of interlocutory and incidental motions. The measure lowers the number of votes required from three to two in order to render a decision.

    Drilon noted that the Sandiganbayan Law or Presidential Decree No. 1606 last underwent legislative scrutiny almost 20 years ago. “The result is that a case in the Sandiganbayan now takes about an average of five to eight years to litigate and resolve.”

    “Despite the numerous advancements that have been incorporated in our judicial system through the years, justice continues to be as elusive as it has been during the infancy of our republic. As our judicial structure becomes more ingenious, so does graft and other malfeasance,” Drilon said.

    “If we are to outrun graft and corruption, it is imperative that we resuscitate and recondition our existing prosecutorial and adjudicatory institutions against this opponent,” the Senate leader added.

    Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and sponsor of the bill, earlier said that the amendments to the Sandiganbayan Law will strengthen the country’s anti-graft court’s structure.

    “The capacity of this court to decide cases efficiently and promptly has been stretched beyond its limits,” Pimentel added.

    Drilon said that once the bill is enacted into law, the jurisdiction of “minor” cases will be transferred to the Regional Trial Courts (RTC), which will enable the Sandiganbayan to “concentrate its resources on resolving the most significant cases filed against public officials.”

    He noted that during the last quarter of 2013, about 60 percent of the total cases in the Sandiganbayan are considered “minor” or allegations of damages or bribes not exceeding P1,000,000.

    To guard against being an ex-post facto legislation, the bill expressly provides that the amendments to the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction and voting requirement for promulgation of judgement shall only apply to cases arising from offenses committed after the effectivity of such measure.

    “The battle against corruption has never been this intense and we will be blamed by our people if their Congress does not adequately and aggressively equip our anti-graft institutions with the proper tools to defeat and arrest the abuses in the government,” Pimentel said.

    “Ultimately, the most potent deterrent against the spread of corruption is the certainty of punishment and expeditiousness of the proceedings, and we can only arrive at such a scenario by boosting the structural capability of our anti-graft mechanisms,” Drilon added.

  31. This is a shoutout to DPWH Secretary Babes Singson:
    Just found out Sec Babes, in 5 years has constructed more roads than Marcos-Cory-FVR-Erap-GMA COMBINED.”

    WTF dont you publicize this.

    WTF is this not shown on a loop in PTV 4.

    Why don’t you buy airtime in GMA7 and loop this statement ad infinity.


  32. Positive notes for today. An excerpt from NoyNoy Aquino and the great Philippines turnaround


    Published: 16 November 2015 3:32 PM

    The Philippines was left indebted and politically scarred by Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the republic with an iron fist for over twenty years.

    As a result, the archipelagic nation became a running joke, desperately poor and corrupt amid the predominant “Asia Rising” narrative of the 80s and 90s.

    Now, some 29 years after Marcos fled to Hawaii in 1986, the son of his assassinated nemesis Benigno Aquino Jr (“Ninoy”) has achieved the near-impossible.

    The soft-spoken and bookish Benigno Aquino III (called “NoyNoy” – the names are confusing) has shepherded the country to the top of the Asean GDP growth tables.

    According to the World Bank, from 2011 to 2014 (the first four full years of NoyNoy’s six-year term as president), the Philippines’ economy grew by an average of 5.95%, surpassing Malaysia’s 5.38%, Vietnam and Indonesia’s 5.7% as well as Singapore’s 4.2%.


    • Joe America says:

      And yet the citizens, too many of them, do not feel the uplift. The next president needs to take a big chop out of poverty with robust growth and jobs, jobs, jobs.

      • I sure hope the Japanese businessmen met by Pinoy on the day the SAF 44 coffins arrived at Villamor Air base would definitely put up some long term investments here soon for that job creation we sorely need. I read before that some Japanese manufacturing firms located in China will transfer here. We need to lick the high power cost to encourage more to come.

        • Joe America says:

          I rather think the Japanese are high on Mr. Aquino, and the Philippines, for the wrath he endured to honor them (Mamasapano, “the day of the coffins”), and for his speech to the Diet in a few months ago that was positively brilliant as it dealt with history and cultural nuance (Mr. Aquino granted much “face” to Japan in the speech). This relationship is one of those pieces of Aquino brilliance that gets overlooked in all the crab walking and talking done here locally. I’m confident it will bear fruit. Or, rather, jobs . . .

      • sonny says:

        Just a thought.

        From the likes of Karl & Gian & like-minded detail vettors in the TSH, maybe the latter can provide us ‘ordinary’ subscribers to good reason & behavior a go-to list of these Barons like DPWH Sec Singson who truly compose the Philippine Barony that will give this president-king and those the future will provide, our own national Magna Carta, in the compelling tradition of Runnymeade.

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