The Anatomy of Fascism In Duterte’s World

Duterte more funeral parlorsw

By Edgar Lores

The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our head and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.” — Michel Foucault

I came across Robert Paxton’s classic study “The Anatomy of Fascism” which examines fascist movements in the twentieth-century.

The study admits fascism is difficult to define and, indeed, the dictionary definition is a mouthful:

Fascism is an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

In Paxton’s view, the difficulty can be lessened by comparing the various forms of fascism that emerged in the last century, and by inferring their commonalities.  According to him, the different forms — notably the rules of Benito Mussolini in Italy and of Adolf Hitler in Germany — share seven “mobilizing passions.”

The seven passions are:

  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group’s enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the groups decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success in a Darwinian struggle.

Let me examine whether these passions are present in Duterte’s world, and what these passions augur for the country.

The primacy of the group.  In Duterte’s world, individual human rights can be sacrificed for the sake of the collective.

The universal rights to life and liberty, as well as the rights to the assumption of innocence and to due process… all of these are made subordinate to the purported welfare of the group.

The seductiveness of the notion of group supremacy in fascism lies in its resonance with Utilitarianism’s rule of “the greatest good for the greatest number.”

Marxian utilitarianism has established for all time the dire consequences of unthinking surrender to the seduction.  Communism, the God that failed, caused the deaths of 65 million in the People’s Republic of China and 20 million in the Soviet Union through famine, disease and systematic violence.

The logic of victimization.  In Duterte’s world, the victims are the common folk who are seen to be at the mercy of the enemy who are the criminal elements.

This simple dichotomy has given rise to the sentiment that any vigilante tactic against the enemy, including the use of immediate lethal force, is justified.

The tactics, far from being adjudged unlawful by the norms of civilized modern society, are seen as necessary… and even heroic.

The decadence of liberalism.  In Duterte’s world, the prevailing political philosophy of liberalism, which emphasizes freedom and equality, is discarded in favor of the philosophy of Hobbesian authoritarianism.

Duterte has promised to declare a revolutionary government if things do not go his way in the first year of his term.  And, of course, they will not.

Paxton observes that revolution is an intrinsic, though ambiguous, concept in the fascist lexicon.  Duterte intends to use revolution as the moral vehicle for change, but he fails to examine, and to tell us and himself, whether his revolutionary methods are ethical.

In Duterte’s proposed solution of a top-down revolution, the free political institutions of Congress and the Supreme Court will be shut down.

From his view that, I might add, many of us share, these institutions are responsible for the decline of the nation: the once august Congress turned into a house of do-nothings and corruption, and the once lofty Supreme Court turned into a shop of justice for sale and undelivered justice.

We have no idea how long the shutdown will take.  Certainly, the Supreme Court can be reconstituted almost immediately by appointment.  How about the Legislature?

Among Duterte’s proposals are a parliamentary form of government and a federalist structure.  These will entail the formation of a constitutional commission, and the drafting and ratification of a new constitution.  Then after the ratification, there must follow the formation of new political parties, the preparation for an election, and the selection of parliamentary members at the federal and perhaps regional levels.  At a minimum, we are talking of a year and a half.

Many questions regarding the thorny issues with the current constitution will arise and will have to be resolved.

But, after all is said and done, the burning question will be: if the same people that serve now are elected into the new parliament, will things have really changed for the better?

And another burning question would be: will absolute power be easily surrendered after the taste for it has been acquired?  

What is the evidence of history?

Community integration by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.  In Duterte’s world — or in any world for that matter — the likelihood of communal integration by common conviction is, well, a well-nigh impossibility.

At present, if there is any common conviction at all shared by Duterte and followers, it would be the belief that there is an overwhelming nationwide crisis that cries for extreme solutions… one of which is the use of exclusionary violence.

The term “exclusionary violence” was originally associated with antisemitism, a one-sided form of collective violence exercised by an ethnic group against another ethnic group.  In my take of Dutertian fascism, the term pertains to collective violence that is wielded by the exclusive group that holds the reins of power… and applied against outsiders who are considered to be undesirable elements.

And who are the undesirables?  Certainly, this is a matter of definition and differentiation that will be left to Duterte’s mind.

Is this mind to be trusted?  I do not think so.

This is a mind that is no respecter of human rights and of political and religious institutions, a mind that is incapable of appreciating the long journey man has taken through time to arrive at modern day’s state of civilized consciousness.

An enhanced sense of identity and belonging.  In Duterte’s world, there is only certitude and no room for doubt.

This certitude has attracted a large following of weak and lost souls.

Here in this blog site and elsewhere, observations have been made about the solid sense of identity and belonging these lost souls, now turned faithful true believers, have displayed.

The faithful mirror the confidence, self-esteem and arrogance — in a word, the braggadocio — of their adopted leader.

As is the case with confidence born of ignorance, the faithful exhibit a vacuity of ideas and a deficiency of politeness in the contentious exchanges on social media.  Myths are propagated and vituperations abound.  In the end, threats of violence issue from the faithful, spewed out in a viciousness of tone and expression characteristic of their unrestrained chieftain.

Authority of a national male chieftain.  In Duterte’s world, he is the glorious chieftain who alone can lead the country to its rightful destiny.

Although it escapes this author, the magnetism of Duterte’s macho persona is undeniable as shown by the enthusiastic reception for his candidacy in survey results.  It is there for all to see in front-page photos of him with compliant women.

Women are attracted by the aphrodisiac of brute power, and men, like senators Alan Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel, are attracted by the lure of participation in the exercise of limitless power.

As the prospective powers that will be behind the coveted throne, the two kingmakers and minders hold the mistaken belief that their superior intellect will enable them to manipulate the forceful brute.  They see themselves as soft-spoken consigliores to the Mafia boss.  But fascistic extremism — as incarnated in Il Duce and Die Fuehrer lunacy — can never be truly contained.

An idiosyncratic feature of Duterte’s self-assurance and magnetism is his coyness.  Like a coy pretty maiden who hides her eagerness to wed, he disavows interest in his own pursued goal.  He dithered in filing his Certificate of Candidacy, and he openly invited disqualification from the COMELEC or at the invitation of the Church.  These acts of indifference, this bit of reverse psychology, are designed to make him look attractive.  The hard-to-get and I-don’t-care ploys, to which women often fall prey, goes so against the normal grain of political behavior that it has fanned the flames of devotion and adoration in the needy.

Did I say pretty maiden?  More like the charm of a serial killer.  He is, after all, a self-confessed killer.

If current-day Davao is taken to be the vision of rightful destiny, we are presented with an idyllic urban utopia of peace, progress and prosperity.

Beware!  Spread over the pleasant and placid city are the silk strands of the huge spiderweb of fascistic controls: curfew for minors that can be easily extended to the entire adult population, mass surveillance to identify the targets for death squads, vigilante methods, and summary killings.

The beauty of violence and of will.  In Duterte’s world, violence is beautiful, and the human Will is awesome.

Violence is beautiful because it eliminates the problem — almost any problem, really — instantly.

And the human Will is awesome because it is the transformative power that makes dreams come true.

Many believe that Duterte’s future regime of violence and of the human Will… will crystallize into reality the Promised Land of peace, progress and prosperity.

The envisioned Promised Land appears beautiful from a distance.  It may be attainable, and we all wish it to be… and perhaps in time we will.

But not in the next six years and certainly not with Dutertian fascism.  Duterte’s glowing promise is nothing but a mirage.

As the Welsh hero-politician Aneurin Bevan put it, Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”


The bulk of Paxton’s study goes on to enumerate the implementation in time of the five stages of fascism within a political system.  I will stop here.

I am raising an alert to a probable onslaught of a powerful super typhoon named Digong that will come from the southeast.  The alert is for Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) Number 5, the highest level which denotes very strong winds and “very heavy to widespread damage.”

The difference between this super typhoon and the natural ones is that… we can choose to avert it.

If we do not heed the warning signal, we may well inherit the wind.


362 Responses to “The Anatomy of Fascism In Duterte’s World”
  1. Jorge Barba says:

    So much bad data inputted and interpreted in this article. Duterte has no plan to dismantle SC. Where did you get that? The man has no delusion of “being the glorious chieftain who alone can lead the country to its rightful destiny”. If you closely examine what he normally does, he just keep on saying that he is just doing what he is sworn to do. Duterte does not believe in violence is the all and be all. Have you not heard him saying that “you cannot solve a problem by killing people”?

    Can we just stop being a slave to western abstraction and just concern that Philippines is geographically located in the east and hence a concrete person is more fitting?

    Is the article writer guilty of ethnocentrism?

    • Joe America says:

      Your description conflicts with what emanates from Duterte’s own mouth. I’ve not heard about abolishing the Supreme Court, but his remarks that he will abolish Congress have been widely reported:

      He clearly has delusions of being able to invalidate the Constitution because the Legislature is a separate branch of government outside Executive purview.

      His speech at the Century Park Hotel in Manila a month ago will go down as a classic of uncivil language and promises:

      You can try to re-define the man in your own words, but I’m afraid you have to figure out how to take his words out of the picture to give your own any credibility.

      As for “ethnocentrism”, I’d say that someone who claims there is some kind of Western abstraction and Filipinos need a “concrete person” is putting forward the ethnocentric point of view. What, really is Western abstraction? Can you explain that? I’ve not heard it before. I’m aware of American exceptionalism, but that is a pretty concrete attitude.

      • Max says:

        Abolishing congress is the most patriotic act a candidate for president can promise. Of course, it follows he would declare martial law, too. He might succeed where Marcos failed.

        This comment was marked as spam — edgar

        • He might succeed where Marcos failed? This is unlikely. For one, the upheavals during Marcos’ time was in greater magnitude than in today. And yet Marcos failed. Perhaps Max could enlighten us more on this contention.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      That’s the problem and it’s on Digong and his handlers, not the electorate. He comes up with bombastic statements without much elaboration and nuance and you expect people to second-guess him and re-interpret it?

      Are having people killed extrajudicially part of “what he is sworn to do”?

      He is running for the highest post that will be valid for six years and he expects his statements not to be taken as policy?

      Lastly, I do not understand the part about “western abstraction” and “ethnocentrism” . Are these not universal values that must be upheld? Can you come up with justifications for the uniqueness of Duterte’s policies due to his Eastern heritage? And what exactly is ” a concrete person” ?

      • what exactly is ” a concrete person” konting bato, konting simento, Monumento.

        Rizal and Bonifacio are now statues, not alive anymore. We need living people not heros.

      • edgar lores says:

        I agree: there are universal values that must be upheld.

        As a species, we are constantly moving towards the crystallization of what constitutes the fundamental values and virtues.

        The attempts to define universal values extend from Aristotle’s virtue ethics through (Alasdair) MacIntrye’s virtues of a heroic society to Rawls’ Theory of Justice.

        In the latter, the fundamental values are freedom, equality and fairness.

        Each society disagrees on the degree of freedom, equality and fairness each individual should have, but if we were to ask an educated individual in each society, I have no doubt that each would demand a high degree of these values, a higher degree than what he is accustomed to and currently enjoys.

        In Duterte’s world these values are not guaranteed and can be sacrificed for the greater good.

    • Jov Quio says:

      “Ethnocentrism is the belief of superiority is one’s personal ethnic group, but it can also develop from racial or religious differences. Ethnocentric individuals believe that they are better than other individuals for reasons based solely on their heritage.”

      I didn’t find it in this article as it was all based on articles written by certain individuals and was acknowledge by the author himself?

      As I am always saying “Duterte will just lead the country to the road of perdition”; too much double talk, using other name for the sake of popularity, riding on emotions of people rather than intelligence, using threats after threats to acquire his intended goal to be known as the tough guy, using people’s desperation much just like Mao did in China for people to see he’s the messiah?

      My unsolicited advice to him, he has to walk the talk before opening his filthy mouth, as he is becoming synonymous with haters in the social media. He is just reinforcing the mad cow mentality of these trolls.

      If there is an ethnocentric person in this topic it is Duterte himself.

    • “Can we just stop being a slave to western abstraction and just concern that Philippines is geographically located in the east and hence a concrete person is more fitting?”

      Culturally, the Philippines is its own blend of Eastern and Western, like Turkey also is.

      Modern thinking goes by abstraction. Modern Japan and South Korea followed the German model of organization in many ways, building strong institutions, not personality cults. Of course the German model is a bit more adjusted towards order than towards freedom, so it is quite true that many modern Filipinos are a bit too enamored of the Anglo-Saxon model which is a perfect fit for their cultural conditions, but is not the way of Continental Europe, where you have two major models – the French and the German way of doing things.

      Even Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and Turkey’s Kemal Atatürk used the cultural preference for an idol to build strong institutions that would outlast them. Same with Bavaria’s Franz Josef Strauss, who had strongman appeal but built institutions for the Alpine Tiger State.

      President George Washington acted a bit like a dictator at times, but respected institutions, without him the United States in its present form would not exist, even Washington D.C. was his personal project, the US Marines the only troops under his direct command, semper fi.

      Duterte’s approach and that of his followers is IMHO way too simplistic for a complex nation.

      • sonny says:

        deja vu:

        “The Filipino concept of national leadership is a distinctive one, rooted deeply in Philippine history and culture. It embodies the personification of government to a degree not found in the West. Three centuries of authoritarian Spanish civil rule, the extensive governmental functions performed by the priest in administering to the needs of his parishioners as well as the feudalistic system of mutual rights and obligations characteristic of the Spanish system of land tenure reinforced the Malayan concept of paternalistic political leadership. The increasing isolation of the American Governor-General as the Philippine independence movement contributed to the maintenance of the Filipino tradition of paternalistic, personal, national political leadership” — Frank Golay, 1961

        • edgar lores says:


          The immense powers of the president has been noted. No major bill gets passed in Congress without his say so. Note how GMA ruled the roost.

          Imagine then the danger of handing out these awesome powers to someone as rash as Duterte.

          • sonny says:

            This prequel to the summer elections seems to point to the necessity of the stimulus-response (martial law-6yr presidential term) duality. Are we now normalizing but one more aspect of our Constitution? This is my takeaway.

            • edgar lores says:

              I interpret your question to mean that the 6-year limited term (response) was indeed necessary to counter the possibility of another dictatorship (stimulus).

              I do agree. At the same time, I do hope that the duality does not become normalized in a regular pattern in reality. That is, we have a consistent succession of a good president followed by a bad president. Let’s have a succession of at least three good presidents before we get another flop.

              • sonny says:

                You read me right, edgar. Thank you. Additionally, you pointed to the developmental nature of our governance in this form, i.e. non-parliamentary, and the importance of how different the Filipino constituency is from others.

                I specially appreciate what your article surfaced in the different threads. Growing up with the early stages of our form of government (post-1946), we didn’t have the same consciousness of history, government and politics that our present counterparts have plus the social tools that are presently available. Being expatriates during Marcos’ regime further colored and refracted our political lenses.

        • Every country has its own distinctive concept of national, regional and local leadership. The Weimar Republic failed because it did NOT give enough consideration to the German concept of paternalistic leadership, copying the “Western” idea of liberalism way too much. The German need for a Vaterfigur or father figure led to a Darth Vader (Luke, I am your father) seizing power. After the war, Adenauer, Brandt, Schmidt and Kohl fulfilled that need in a democratic, albeit authoritarian way. Now there is matriarch Merkel.

          Postwar Mayor Thomas Wimmer of Munich fulfilled the need for a pastoral figure by having his office open to the people every day for certain hours in the critical period when Munich lay in ruins and had to be rebuilt. The pastoral patriarch Prime Minister Alfons Goppel of Bavaria was in charge of rebuilding and modernizing this agricultural Catholic state after the war, followed by the controversial authoritarian patriarch Franz-Josef Strauss. Even now Prime Minister Seehofer acts like a modern pastoral leader at times.

    • edgar lores says:

      There are too many sources to quote to prove that Duterte is a man of violence.

      He has boasted about killing personally; he has offered to kill; and in answer to the rhetorical question as to how Davao became the 9th safest city, he has said, “The best practices in the city are the killings (of criminals).”

      Stories of his death squads abound.

      As to the dismantling of the Supreme Court, I have secondary sources for this claim.

      It is true that he says “he is just doing what he is sworn to do.” And what he has sworn to do is to use the beauty of violence to solve the problem of criminality.

      • I know from what direction the “ethnocentrism” accusation is coming from.

        The Anglo-Saxon model – as opposed to the French and German models – does give individual liberty a higher priority as opposed to the interests of the state and order. For example the entire European Continent has national IDs and residency registration, something most raised in the Anglo-Saxon school of thought see as being against liberty. OK the NRA will see the gun ban in Oz as being against individual freedom as well.

        The Chinese school of thought sees the state as above the individual, a huge contrast to the French and German schools which do acknowledge human rights and liberty, only less than in the United States. I don’t really care if the German state knows where I live and police can identify me quickly if needed. I don’t care if I can’t TRO state prosecutors, I can prove my innocence in court and that is enough. But Chinese thinking negates the rights of the individual, akin to the Nazi slogan: “your nation is everything, YOU are nothing.”

      • nadia santos says:

        Correct,aside what platform with his running mate that they will form new government(bagohin ang pilipinas) meaning all constitional and institutional structure be dimolish??no concrete meaning at all nonesense , Its Hitler doesnt prosper.

        • edgar lores says:


          Duterte said he would eliminate crime within 6 months. Cayetano chimed in by saying that he and Duterte will halve the crime rate with a year. He went so far as to warn criminals to change their ways… otherwise it will be the last Merry Christmas they celebrate as free men.

          The abolition of Congress may have to do with the elimination of criminals in the two houses.

          It is, as you say, nonsensical. Or Kafkaesque, to use JoeAm’s new term.

      • edgar lores says:

        The primary source for shutdown of the Judiciary is this quote:

        “I will give myself six months to one year to do the reforms I want to do. If the system becomes obstructionist and I become inutile, I will declare a revolutionary government,” he said in a television interview.

        “He indicated that he would padlock Congress and the judiciary.”

        I could hardly find it again because I was googling “shutdown supreme court.”

        So it’s even worse than first thought: not only the Supreme Court but the entire judiciary. Why would one need courts when one can execute each and every criminal?

        • chempo says:

          Did he actually mention “padlock”?.
          To do this, he would need Mao Tse Tung’s real political power — the barrel of his guns.
          Man, I can’t even padlock my errant tenants.

          • edgar lores says:

            I am not sure what word Duterte used, whether it was “padlock” or “shutdown.” Most papers quote him as using the word “abolish” for Congress.

            His intent is to declare a revolutionary government first, the definition of which is “an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.”

            So, yes, he would be able to do pretty much, more than Marcos permitted himself to do… because Duterte could justify it by saying we asked for it. Come to think of it, he already has said that.

    • Beware of this article..this are written by foreigners mostly filthy lying Jewish who controls the West right now.

  2. josephivo says:

    I agree with most of the threats you describe, but fascism?

    I miss the reference to the glorious past and the need to restore its luster. Also the definition of “we” and “they” is too vague. Trump is much clearer in all that. Making America great again, “we were the greatest nation but incompetent leaders are destroying us”. ‘They’ are clearly defined: the Mexicans, the immigrants, the Muslims, Washington. More and more powerful guns will solve the problem, our great soldiers, our army will be strong again…. I’m your leader, I will turn America around. “I am the alfa male”.

    Filipinos are not so good in understanding or living ideologies. May be Catholicism, but as a national version, based on old beliefs in spirits and intermediaries. Free market, capitalism? For the happy few. Liberalism, personal initiative? For the happy few. Communism, nationalization of means of production? Maybe Sison understands.

    Filipinos live in a much smaller world. My family. The local leader who will rescue us and thus respect. “We”, the original dwellers of this purok, barangay, maybe province and “they”, the intruders. Not we Aryans, we Americans, we descendants of the Roman Empire. Our great past? Yesterday when Miss Wurtzbach won the title on Miss Universe. Not the Romans, the Crusades, the Age of Enlightenment.

    Duterte line of thinking? Family and clan dynamics, the omnipotent local warlord, Chinese pragmatism… all equally dangerous, but opposite to fascism.

    • have a look at the typical slogans of Duterte and his followers.

      then compare them to Mussolini, Hitler, Mao and others…

    • edgar lores says:

      Yes, fascism.

      The glorious past is embodied in the fabled peaceful city of Davao. The luster is the propagation of that peace throughout the country.

      The attraction of Duterte’s ideology of fascism lies in its simplicity.

      In political theory, there are three distinct historical versions of the social contract:

      o Hobbes – the state is (almost) absolute in its sovereignty over the individual
      o Locke – representative popular sovereignty with respect for the individual
      o Rousseu – direct popular sovereignty with respect for the individual

      Fascism is authoritarian government born from Hobbes philosophy. In the political spectrum, it rests on the extreme right.

      There is no doubt that Duterte stands for authoritarian government with little respect for individual rights, and that he will rule with an iron fist. He has said so.

      Internally, is not the division between “we” and “they” stark? “We” are the citizens who obey the law. “They” are the criminals: the rapists, the drug dealers, the rice smugglers, the corrupt politicians.

      But that is just at the beginning. The great danger and real fear is that “they” will become anyone who stands in his way and opposes his rule.

      Also, internally, “we” is Mindanao and “they” is non-Mindanao. In a way, this perspective is fair because it tends to re-balance the Manila-centric nation through federalism.

      Externally, it is true Duterte has not defined the enemy. He has taken a pragmatic stance on China, but that may be because his focus has been on the domestic side. It is to be noted, however, that he has warned China that he would seek American help to the extent of re-establishing American bases here if necessary.

      There is no doubt Duterte will use violence — an instrument of fascism — to accomplish his avowed purpose of eliminating the criminal class without due process. He has said so.

      In the process and in the end, we will have a fascistic society where the people are cowed into submission and there is nothing… but the silence of the lambs.

      • my model sees Duterte as Level 4, meaning pre-moral and pre-legal in thinking – basically Pharaonic leadership.

        Binay is Level 2, meaning pre-warlord datu-style thinking, very much like the way datus shared their loot with allies and followers like in the book Raiding, Trading and Feasting. Marcos was Level 3, meaning a warlord similar to some Filipino rajas of the past.

        So josephivo has a point – Filipino thinking is not that evolved yet among many. I would see Miriam Santiago and Bongbong as Level 7 (authoritarian but legalistic) – Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo as Level 8 not yet defined in my article (legal but democratic/humane). Cory and Grace are both Level 5, i.e. prophets, Noynoy is Level 6 (moral lawmaker).

        Fascism as a description is valid, but may fall too short. Much in the Filipino mindset is archaic with a democratic and institutional facade due to colonialism. Miriam and BBM have at least understood the Spanish colonial mindset in a Filipino way, while Ro-Ro have, 70 years after Independence from the USA, understood and Filipinized what McKinley, Wilson and McArthur were trying to teach and what probably only Quezon really got then. It will be their job to sell this to those Filipinos whose mindset is stuck at another level.

        Edgar, I wouldn’t call you ethnocentric, but your mindset is definitely very Western and Anglo-Saxon. Mine is Western and Continental European, i.e. democratic but a bit more authoritarian and statist. Not totally Locke, not totally Hobbes, but more on Max Weber. From that perspective, I see that Roxas is no longer one of those who blindly tries to apply the American model to the Philippines, but with his PNP, LGPMS and Walang Iwanan Fund has more of an ordoliberal than a purely liberal approach, more appropriate to the country.

        • edgar lores says:

          I have been called many names. The best label I’ve earned came from Micha. It was so brilliant I have forgotten what it was.

          Now I am being called ethnocentric, a slave to Western abstraction. In political theory, the West is identified with liberal democracy which is founded on the notions of liberty and equality.

          The antithesis of liberal democracy would be totalitarianism, which is where the state has complete authority and is in total control of its citizens. In the East, the countries that come to mind are China, Myanmar (until recently) and North Korea.

          Is totalitarianism the highest form of Eastern abstraction?

          And should we aspire to totalitarianism in the form of Dutertian fascism?

          I think that the answer to each question is a firm and unequivocal “No.” In which case I would be happy to be called Western ethnocentric.

          But I have said that liberty and equality (and fairness) are universal values, cherished as much in the East as in the West. I do admire the Singaporean model which is close to the mindset of Continental Europe, where individual freedom is bounded, not by social neediness, but by mutual respect and social consensus . In which case, I do reject the label. Nevertheless, I will consider it as a compliment.

        • josephivo says:

          The West is strong on “Beliefs”, belief in principles as all people are born equal, pursuit of happiness, equality, liberty and fraternity…. The East is more in trust (or distrust) and keeping (restoring) balance.

          But the western “religion”/belief of progress and capitalism created a military superiority and thus moral superiority that strongly influenced the rest of the world.

          The progress/growth religion in the Philippines is not universal yet, too many struggling just to survive. Blind believe in capitalism is the religion of only a few oligarchs, saving/investing are two foreign concepts here, only consumption is understood.

          We can trust our family that’s the most basic belief. We (would like to) trust that our local leader can protect us. We will be trustworthy to our family, to our neighborhood. There is balance, karma, every single action can influence everything.

          Fascism is a Western invention, a word with many meanings, but now basically an insult for authoritarian people. Musolini’s belief in the efficiency of nationalistic, cooperative, police driven principles are for me basic elements of a fascist regime.

          They are far from Duterte’s “trust me” I will be the strong leader that will restore balance, create peace, eliminate criminality. “I am the man!!! and by the way Western principles and institutions just hindering us”

          • NHerrera says:

            Trivia on the word “trust.”

            There are variations in the meaning of the word. I consulted an online dictionary and picked this one:

            trust — reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

            On that definition, Duterte fails, except to his unthinking supporters. Where do we place Cayetano and Pimentel in their “trust” for their Big Brother Duterte?

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Joseph.

            The divide you cite between Western belief and Eastern emotion is mirrored in the individualistic versus collective nature of the opposite societies. The nuances you describe are real.

            But most Eastern societies have adopted the political beliefs and practices of Western societies — both the libertarian and authoritarian strains of political governance. One might claim that the native structure of Eastern societies is essentially authoritarian. And this is true. However, the institutional trappings are Western in so many aspects, from the separation of powers, to the existence of political parties, and to suffrage. Only China and North Korea differ in these respects. There might be others.

            It is true the term “Fascism” is a Western invention. But what is in a name? It is the characteristics of fascism that define the term. And these characteristics — a male chieftain, total power, police-driven peace and order, disdain for liberalism, the logic of victimization, the suppression of human rights, nationalism in the sense of bringing back into the fold the NPAs, BIFF and MILFs — would apply in Duterte’s world.

            Yes, Duterte has threatened to abolish Congress and the judiciary… but only for a time until a parliamentary form of Western government can be put in place.

            As Paxton says not all forms of fascism are alike, but there are commonalities.

            Marcos dictatorship was characterized as fascist. How is Duterte different from Marcos? Not much I would say. Marcos also said “trust me” in so many words. (Actually, he said, “It is my honor, to be here, in an inauguration as the President of the Philippines. I thank you all my beloved Filipinos to choose wisely, to trust me as your guidance, your leader, your light in this crucial times.”

            The main difference between the two strongmen that I can see is that Marcos had more legal finesse and Duterte is more openly a man of violence.

            I would contend that there is an Eastern version, and not only a Continental Europe version, of the term.

            • In Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the Western model has delivered, i.e. the Continental European model. This a reality the still postcolonial Philippines has not yet reached.

              In the Philippines you have those who live in safety and a pseudo-Western society, in a modern version of Intramuros, and those outside “Intramuros” and subject to the impunity of the “principalia”. Duterte promises them to be a harsh but “just” native raja, even challenging a symbol of “Intramuros” = the Catholic Pope, Binay promises to be a devious but “kind” native datu of the “dark” Filipinos. Roxas will have to make the whole Philippines just and humane, like the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution promises – raze Spanish walls.

  3. cvjugo says:

    Insightful, but leaves out the role of the middle class as prime driver of the Duterte phenomenon.

    • Jov Quio says:

      Is the middle class the prime driver of Duterte’s phenomenon? Come on the middle class are the silent majority of our society and very seldom you will even notice them, as they are not the desperate ones. You call all those cussing maniacs in the social media the middle class?

      • andrewlim8 says:

        The last SWS survey this December showed Duterte tumbling down to fourth, after all his statements had been digested.

      • cvjugo says:

        I think so, his appeal is to those who already have property to protect against petty criminals. In fact, I think as the PH grows richer and more and more join the middle class, the appeal of a Duterte type candidate will grow at the expense of a Binay-type (or Erap-type) candidate

        • This simply means that Roxas, if he wins, will have to continue the work he started in making the PNP more effective, and the work De Lima started in reforming the Criminal Code and the justice system – to show people the state can protect those with property.

          BTW both police and justice reforms have been and are with German assistance, best practices from a country that has a working system – it is up to Filipinos to make them work.

        • edgar lores says:


          In the last Pulse Asia survey. wherein Duterte ranked second, the breakdown by socioeconomic class shows that Duterte draws the greatest strength from the ABC crowd. (ABC=28; D=23; and E=20). This trend is also true for Roxas, but not — significantly — for Binay and Poe.

          This would bolster the dichotomy between “we”, the upper class, and “they”, the criminal class.

          I have not been able to find the class profile in the latest SWS survey. If it does replicate the Pulse survey, then I think the conclusions you draw are sound.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            I find it disturbing that the some in the ABC class would support this nutcase and band-aid measures, despite their supposed greater intelligence and literacy than others. But then I suppose that some of them are macho gun owners who would not hesitate to turn their homes into veritable fortresses, would drive armored vehicles, and of course gun down that kid dropping rocks from a pedestrian overpass in C5.

        • karl garcia says:

          Nice to see you here!

      • sonny says:

        @ Jov Quio
        In general I would say it is quite difficult to assign “those cussing maniacs” into the ABCDE categories. All we can say is that the responders are tech-savvy enough to read, write & use the internet.

      • Jonathan says:

        There are at least some parts of the middle class that are behind Duterte. His campaign derives its strength from:

        – law and order
        – frustration with the current ruling leadership classes

        Both of those themes resonate strongly with some parts of the middle class, particularly the CD part.

        • edgar lores says:


          I had not considered that second factor you cite. It does make sense. There is not only a downward dimension against the criminal class but also an upward dimension against the ruling class.

          • Jonathan says:

            I honestly think that the second factor is the one that most energizes the most… hardcore Duterte supporters that appear a lot on social media.

            Most political campaigns have some underlying campaign theory that underpins their strategy. I may be giving him too much credit, but: the underlying campaign theory of Rodrigo Duterte is: that there is a lot of long-standing disaffection in various segments of the Philippines towards their lot. Ergo, the strategy is to show that he, and he alone, can take decisive action to improve that (and against those holding people down). The law-and-order aspect is primarily to demonstrate that he can take that sort of decisive action.

    • Hitler also appealed to a disoriented German middle class that feared crime and poverty.

  4. andrewlim8 says:


    If I may add a very disturbing feature of Duterte’s psychology, at least what I derive from his ads and public pronouncements:

    While his iron fist and violent ways are presented as an anti-crime strategy, I detect a bloodthirstiness, a revelry in blood letting that overwhelms him. While it starts out as “morally justifiable” (to stop the bad guy) it ends up consuming him and becomes his only reason for coveting the presidency.

    This dovetails with his disdain for the spiritual, his irreverence for church authorities, his overwhelming desire to impose rules (while exempting himself e.g. his womanizing) and the utak-pulbura mentality (quick to ignite, without thinking first) as evidenced by the Wharton issue.

    It is indeed fascism and it must be stopped.

  5. – I wonder what is the progress of this in Congress, because it is really good and would facilitate getting crimes tried and punished. Duterte is a troll using the evident weaknesses of the justice, penal and police system to his advantage. The criminal code was drafted with German help, but adapted to the Filipino value system, and is to replace many laws – and is one of De Lima’s main projects, might be she is running for Senate to push it more: – Book I was already filed in Congress in 2013. I particularly like the levels of punishment that replace the old Spanish penalties of reclusio perpetua, aresto mayor and aresto menor which are totally outdated:

    Life Imprisonment – 30-40 years, Level 5 20-30 years, Level 4 10-20 years, Level 3 5-10 years, Level 2 1-5 years, Level 1 10 days to 1 year.

    Book 2 defines crimes against persons, I particularly like the definition of murder, which is more advanced than in both the French and German civil codes, and avoids the usual endless discussions in Philippine legal proceedings by being enumerative, just like Edgar Lores:

    Any person who shall kill another, under any of the following circumstances shall be punished by life imprisonment: 1. With evident premeditation; 2. Using means to weaken or avoid defense by the victim; 3.Taking advantage of superior strength; 4. In consideration of a reward, price or promise; 5. Using a motor vehicle; 6. On occasion of fire, earthquake or any other calamity; 7.
    By means of fire, explosion, shipwreck, derailment of a train, stranding of a vessel, or fall of an airship; 8. The victim is the offender’s natural or legal father or mother or child or his spouse; 9. With cruelty by deliberately and inhumanly adding to the suffering of the victim;
    or 10. Other base motives. An attempt to commit murder shall be punished within level 5. Any person who acts as accessory to murder shall be punished within level 5. (RPC Art. 246, 248, 255)

    • edgar lores says:

      1. Leila de Lima has served the country well and she would be a good addition to the Senate, raising the mental and moral bar of the house. She is also Duterte’s foil.

      2. I speed read through the second attachment, and noted the improvements cited. I was vastly amused that we still have in our current penal code such archaic crimes as “challenging to a duel” and “qualified theft of coconuts.” My guess that the modern equivalent of the former is Duterte’s magsampalan and the latter would be “grand auto theft.”

      3. I am a bit surprised, though pleasantly, that the country is looking to Germany to update its legal codes. We have a hybrid system, civil law from Spain and common law from America. The German system is based on civil law, from Roman law, and adopted (so I learn) by Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan.

      3.1. Now if only German efficiency could be transferred to our judiciary in the speedy but fair delivery of justice, then Dutertian vigilante justice would not be so attractive to certain segments of the population.

    • sonny says:

      Go mr. gearbox. 🙂 Is this still in your mind or can I read this at your blog, PiE?

      • Not at that level of detail, although I mentioned it in the “Seguridad ni Duterte” article… It is an idea for a future article though, even if I need to research more on a lot of stuff to seriously tackle the details. What I particularly like about the code is this part:

        Section 3. This Code shall be governed by the following principles:
        1.There is no crime unless the act is defined and penalized by this Code or other laws…

        This is of course the old legal principle of nulla poena sine lege.

        8. When a single act violates a national law and a local law, the national law shall prevail.
        The penalty of imprisonment above Level I is imposable only by national laws.

        This is similar to the principle of Bundesrecht bricht Landesrecht in the German Federal Constitution – federal law supersedes state law. Now just like Karl I am pro-Federalism, but not American-style federalism where you can have different penal codes in different federal states – Sharia in Bangsamoro and caning in Ilocos, anyone? Fine for me if Sharia applies only to Muslims and in marriage/family matters, but not penal.

        Subsidiarity – who is allowed to make rules on what – should be very finely calibrated for Filipino federalism to work. Possibly it should only be allowed when all LGUs have proven they can fulfill LGPMS, i.e. have the maturity to federalize. Philippines IMHO isn’t ready yet. German federalism allows states and LGUs to make their own noise pollution curfews, their own ecological and zoning laws, but youth protection curfews are federal for example. So you don’t have any mayors here making their own local curfews, it is illegal.

  6. karl garcia says:

    To be honest I am pro parliamentary/federal government.
    They say thay that Philippines is small, have they tried to travel all over, She is not that small.
    I would like more consolidation of regions after all the gerrymandering that hsppened.

    But that is beside the point,I don’t want Duterte to lead us.If he wants to be taken seriously he must be serious. Ok PNoy wont allow himself to be run over by a train,and Miriam lied when she told us that she will jump from a plane.Will he also say not to take him literally in everything that comes out of his mouth? If he said he has killed and will kill and kill again,I don’t want him to be my president.
    I do not like his actions on revolutionary taxes.ap Ah basta ayoko sa kanya.

    • sonny says:

      Spot on, nephew, the federal gov’t part anyway.

      Net: “ah basta ayoko sa kanya.”

      Yes!: “They say … Philippines is small … like more consolidations of regions after all gerrymandering …”

    • edgar lores says:

      I have become a federalist after Josephivo’s piece, “Stop Complaining, Start Dreaming”.

      I am yet to be convinced about a parliamentary system. (I think it would be very hard to displace a majority party once it has become entrenched in power.)

      May the “basta” factor against a Duterte rule resound: the risk is too high.

      • karl garcia says:

        With our political butterflies,we will never see a permanent majority.Unless turncoatism will be banned. Maybe all it takes is a mathematical formula to make it easier to take over from the majority.But strength or equity of the incumbent is only good for the presidential system,I guess.

        • sonny says:

          Nephew, archipelago is the buzz word: “watak-watak sa paningin …”

          I came across this:

        • edgar lores says:


          Take a look at parliamentary systems all over the world. Note how long the majority parties have been in power. Lee Kuan Yew served for 31 years. Mahathir of Malaysia for 22 years. Menzies in Oz for 18 years. Thatcher in Britain close to 12 years.

          • Merkel since 2005, next election 2017. Kohl from 1982-1998. Adenauer from 1949-1963.

            In less corrupt countries, parliamentary can mean continuity. In the Philippines: disaster.

            @Bill: the Weimar Republic had many small political parties, which lead to enormous volatility. The Federal Republic fixed this with the 5% clause for the Federal Parliament and the 3% clause for State Parliaments, effectively excluding “nuisance parties” etc.

          • karl garcia says:

            Well, there are also those like Irineo mentioned. Dissolves every now and then, which is also not good.Our history with pork barrel will make that majority last for a long term,like you said.

            • Happened only two times in postwar Germany: vote of no confidence in 1982 against Helmut Schmidt, and vote of no confidence against Schröder BY HIS OWN PARTY in 2005, because he wanted a snap election against Angela Merkel – which he lost. The 2005 vote was controversial and its legality was contested before the Federal Constitutional Court, which decided quickly – imagine that before the Supreme Court… no. see my experience of how I made the mistake of voting for Schröder in 1998 – I think those of us here who have been long-term migrants in developed democracies like Oz, USA, Germany can give a lot of input on strengths and weaknesses of political and administrative systems, worldwide.

              Finally I think that political systems are like IT systems – you have to consider the habits and skills of the admins and users for a successful rollout and operation, don’t make the system too different from what they are able to use, but also make sure they use the system properly by training and monitoring them. What I have seen very often is that if you don’t watch the users in the beginning, they will go IBM – it’s better manually – or game the system. Also if you have multiple sites, too much freedom or parametrization is bad, but also too little flexibility. How to fine-tune central vs. decentral properly is truly an art.

              • sonny says:

                Of course gaming the IT system means hacking and counter-hacking and it’s Alfred Newman all over again.

              • Audit trails, security concepts and reporting plus a certain acumen in detecting games with spot checks is very important, plus ensuring the normal way becomes a habit after a while.

                My experience is that 1-2 trustworthy leaders on the ground are most crucial to success.

              • sonny says:

                In my experience, the extent of motivation to maintain a shadow of index cards was to ensure job security not subversion.

              • edgar lores says:

                I find that the rigor in the disciplines of various methodologies in IT systems account for the high success in the implementation and maintenance of many complex applications.

                The gaming of computer applications is usually performed by the users and by external hackers. The gaming of political systems, however, is done by the implementors (the public servants) and the victims are the users (the citizens).

                The extent of the gaming vary from country to country. Limited in countries like the US, Germany and Oz. But practically unlimited in countries like Syria and the Philippines.

                To a large extent, the gaming of a political system is bounded by institutional controls and public expectations and vigilance.

                What is frightening in our country is that the people in high positions, like senators and representatives, are gaming the system … and that a Binay and a Duterte can be seen to be viable presidential candidates. The general public not only accepts this situation as a given but expects it as a norm.

              • sonny says:

                Sad and really scary. 😦 Where Dr Jekyll is so also Mr Hyde.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            It’s both sad and funny to consider that during the Noughties (2000-2010) plus 2012 Japan had undergone some six prime ministers. It’s only when PM Abe got back into the seat did some sort of stability came about.

            • edgar lores says:

              Yes, Japan’s musical chairs in the Prime Ministership is another example of the fragility, not of the parliamentary system itself, but of the fortunes of political party leadership. Since the 90’s, only Koizumi and Abe have served for more than 1,000 days. The average is about a year.

        • Jonathan says:

          Most Filipino turncoatism takes place when the Presidency changes hands. At the local level, incumbents are heavily favored. A parliamentary government based on geographic divisions in the Philippine context is a formula for a one-party government.

          In theory a parliament based on nationwide proportional representation might work. However, the local experience with the party-list system is… not encouraging.

          • Germany has a weird mixture of party-list and local representative systems, with some quite complex math to reconcile the two, and the size of Parliament changes depending on the additional seats that may ensue because of a party winning both at list and local level. Not something the Philippines could adapt that easily, it has already been a subject of a number of Federal Constitutional Court cases, imagine that before the Supreme Court…

    • Karl, sonny, Edgar – my take:

      1) subsidiarity should be in a future Federal Constitution. Meaning what laws may be passed by what level: National, State and LGU. Otherwise you have total chaos.

      2) changes to Länder (Federal States) in Germany are not permitted, no gerrymandering. Only the state of Baden-Württemberg was formed by a merger of two former states by an exception in the 1949 Constitution, and by a referendum with a 2/3 majority in both states. A similar referendum pertaining to Berlin and Brandenburg lost, so no changes there – this was also a special rule because Berlin was divided and Brandenburg joined in Oct. 1990. My suggestion: Filipino states if ever should be fixed by initial referendum, then basta!

      3) the Philippines is not ready for Federalism. Make sure all islands and LGUs are first properly governed as per LGPMS, warlordism and rebellion completely eradicated.

      4) Parliamentary in the Philippines would lead to maximum pork barrelism at this point.

      5) At some point parliamentary might be OK, if real citizen political parties already are established, not before. Some kind of mechanism for national, regional and local petitions and referenda similar to what Bavaria has had since 1949 (Swiss-inspired) might also help.

      6) I like Mar’s Walang Iwanan – it is similar to the provision for “equivalent living conditions” and financial assistance between states and from federal funds in the German Federal Constitution. Once the Philippines has equivalent living conditions, federalism could make sense, but also with provisions for states to assist one another financially in case of one state lagging behind in a major way, or a calamity in a state like the future Waray Republic.

      So all in all it is not that simple, I would say fix the present system first, then change it 2028?

      • Imagine if the Presidential election were a Parliamentary election, % are speculative:

        around 25%: Mar Roxas, Liberals
        around 20%: Grace Poe, Social Democrats
        around 23%: Jejomar Binay, Democratic Socialists
        around 20%: Rodrigo Duterte, National Socialists 🙂
        around 10%: Miriam Santiago, National Democrats

        Now even if Mar Roxas had the most votes, he would need to find a coalition partner or two to be able to get voted as Prime Minister with a majority. How about Poe and Miriam? Now what if Binay manages to forge a coalition with Poe and Miriam, or Poe and Duterte? At this level of political maturity, a Presidential system has the advantage of forcing people to be decisive. Italy once had Parliament dissolved every 6 months, with new elections…

        • Joe America says:

          Fascinating analysis.

        • josephivo says:

          Yes, but the art of compromise will have to kick in too and compromise on the decisions not on how to share the loot.

          In a parliamentary system 51% of the population (and civil servant with all proportional) will support the decisions. In the current regime it would only be 25%, meaning the 75% will have to prove that was the wrong decision.

          When Mar has to rule together with Binay, knowing what he knows, Binay will have difficulties in making the same profits on the next parking building.

          Outcome more important than principles?

      • edgar lores says:

        Except for the number of federal regions — fourteen (14) — I don’t know whether the specifics of Duterte’s concept of federalism have been thrashed out. Things like the boundaries, the governmental structure, the rules of interaction between the regions and the national government, the funding split for government services, the establishment of standards for most everything.

        There is a lot of thinking and planning that has to go into this.

        Again, we will have to borrow from foreign models, and just like our republican form I am not sure that we will turn the blueprint of a palatial home into a squatter’s hovel. Well, I know it’s not as bad as that, but why don’t we improve the system we have before thinking of major structural changes?

        Or perhaps it is worse than I think it is. For example, why does it take 6 months to get new licence plates? In Oz, I can get licence plates for a car within the hour. Why does not the LTO have a stockpile of plates? Why hasn’t the demand for plates been projected with a comfortable margin of error?

        • In Munich if I want a driver’s license or license plates for the car I don’t have, I go to the Straßenverkehrsamt (LTO equivalent, just put in the word because Joe is a Mark Twain fan and Mark Twain made fun of long German words) and all I have to do is present my car registration to one of the private companies just beside the Straßenverkehrsamt and they make my plates for a minimal fee. Some things can be done in such a simple way.

          I think just making the present system work the way it should will do a lot for the country.

          • Joe America says:

            🙂 My German teacher in college was Thai. Go figure. I had trouble even pronouncing “ich”, much less Straßenverkehrsamt, and never took year 2.

          • josephivo says:

            In Holland license plates are linked to cars, seeing the plate you can estimate the age of the car. But in Belgium plates are linked to a person, seeing the plate you can estimate the age of the driver. When I buy a new car in Belgium the dealer links the car to the plate to transfer his responsibility for the car (taxes, fines…) . If you don’t have a plate yet he might give one of his “dealer plates” starting with a Z, You’ll have to apply on line for a new plate (mostly the dealer will do it for you) and you will get the plate by mail within a week. If the transfer is between individual citizens, you’ll have to all this yourself, but mostly with the assistance your insurance agent, filling-out two forms on line.

            • edgar lores says:

              This digression on license plates is interesting. Someone should write a blog and infer the traits of nations and individuals from how the plates are manufactured, how the numbers are assigned and what do they mean, and how long the delivery periods are. And how much they can cost as a collector’s item. The record is $14.3M.

              • Joe America says:

                You can do it. I’m into drive trains and gear boxes. 🙂

              • David Murphy says:

                At least two commenters have referred to delivery of auto license plates by mail, which raises an issue that has bothered me for at least a decade. In the US I sent and received checks by mail without concern and received credit cards, contracts and other valuable and important documents by mail. Experience has dictated that this is not wise in the Philippines. In one incident a replacement credit card mailed by a naive US company was intercepted and the entire balance, some $16,000, was used up over a period of several months. I was unaware that the card had been intercepted because the perpetrators also intercepted the subsequent credit card statements.The implication is that the theft was not random but the work of an organized system. I discovered the situation only when I contacted the company to ask why my replacement card had not arrived.
                It seems to me that the basic assumption in the US is that most people are honest, while in the Philippines the assumption is that most people will take advantage of any opportunity to appropriate anything of value if they can do so without being punished. The end result is that the system in the US is more efficient and convenient while in the Philippines cumbersome and inconvenient procedures must be in place to avoid all possible opportunities for misappropriation in commercial and in governmental affairs.
                This raises a question: Are these two outcomes, one in which assuming honesty largely works and one in which assuming a propensity for theft merely stimulates more ingenious approaches to stealing, the result of a difference in the basic nature of the people involved or is this a case of self-fulfilling expectations? Did the systems evolve as a response to the reality of a situation? Or are people in the US more honest because they are expected to be and do the people in the Philippines steal because they are assumed to be dishonest?
                I do not believe that the answer is that most people in the US do not need to steal while in the Philippines the level of poverty is much more prevalent and more severe. (A significant proportion of grossly obese persons that you encounter in the US .are receiving welfare payments. You do not see obese poor people in the Philippines.) My experience here is that the poor are generally more honest and genuinely generous than their better-off countrymen. And many of the greatest thefts are at the hands of the wealthiest and most powerful.
                Perhaps the difference is that severe poverty in the US is largely invisible. In the Philippines it is always present, not only physically, as with beggars and squatter areas, but also temporally, in parents or grandparents. Perhaps this generates a fear of poverty that dictates a constant imperative always to have more. Greed is always a manifestation of fear. One can never have enough to assuage the fear. Dishonesty becomes a defense against the fear and continues long after a realistic threat of poverty has been eliminated.
                Whatever the cause, it seems to me that the response must be to increase the certainty that thieves will be caught and punished in a timely fashion. And a good place to start would be in the Philppine postal service.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ooh, Dick, such a series of deep questions.

                I do not feel qualified to answer; however, I will give you my take.

                1. Is the result of a difference in the basic nature of the people involved?
                1.1. No, it’s nurture rather than nature. I don’t think there is a stealing gene in the Filipino DNA.

                2. Is this a case of self-fulfilling expectations? Do the people in the Philippines steal because they are assumed to be dishonest?

                2.1. Partly, yes. I believe there is a culture of stealing in the postal and customs services. I would go so far as to say the culture of stealing is institutional.
                2.2. From your narrative, this stealing is a team enterprise. The interception of your private communication cannot be carried out by just one employee alone because he is due to take some days off.
                2.3. Some people actively seek employment in these services because of the known “perks.”
                2.4. Honest people who find employment in these services often succumb to temptation. The options are (a) to turn a blind eye and keep silent or (b) leave.

                2.5. One other part is lack of parental training in morals.
                2.6. Another is the failure of moral training in church.
                2.7. Another is the failure of moral training in school.
                2.8. Another is the absorption of stealing lessons from peers.
                2.9. Another is the thrill (frisson) of sin.

                2.10. Another is what you have noted: the external environment that shows a constant reminder of Darwinian struggle.
                2.11. Another part is what you have also noted: need. The need may not be for basic needs (subsistence) as such but for higher expectation needs such as fancier clothes, jewellery, dining out, education fund and cars.
                2.12. Another part is habit even when the employees (and politicians) know they have reached a level of existential comfort and know they have enough to see out their days. This is the greed part you mention.

                3. Almost any response will be inadequate because every level of staff is involved. The government would have to do a clean sweep, boot out everyone and bring in new staff. But it would also have to change the external culture outside the office at the same time.
                3.1. The only adequate response might be revolution.

              • karl garcia says:

                speaking of the postal service.
                Now my dad always calls customer service to check the balance because the bill always arrives late .

              • “I don’t think there is a stealing gene in the Filipino DNA.” let us have the Binays tested.

                2.1-2.12 fully agree. In fact it is expected that you take part in stealing in most organizations like that because then you are as guilty as others and cannot “sing”…

                3. the Cory government tried to do this in some sectors starting 1987 but had difficulties. You can put in a few good folks but the existing groups will either continue or just lay low, in order to continue later on. Or even worse, they will find ways to screw the good folks. Even including unfair methods like administrative charges dropped upon “cooperation”. In an Byzantine system like that of the Philippines, you are always violating at least one rule.

              • edgar lores says:


                1.1. Thanks for my first belly laugh today. Let’s include the Marcoses.

                3. That’s sad.

              • 2.6 and 2.7. just like U.P. had its greatest insight with Prof. Ver Enriquez’s Great Cultural Divide between elite and masses in the 1970s, Ateneo had its greatest insight with “Split-Level Christianity” by Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J., published in 1966.

                Deeply Catholic fathers of families going to Maalikaya Sauna on Quezon Avenue (Macho Steam Bath is probably no longer on Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, I think DILG is on that site now), prostitutes praying to St. Mary Magdalene in the afternoon, probably for good business in the night, maybe even for a Marine Lance Corporal or two :-), thieves confessing they stole 6 mangos and the priest asking for half of the loot to give absolution… 🙂 the land of Padre Damaso and Padre Salvi of the Noli is alive and kicking.

              • josephivo says:

                And Edgar, don’t forget that ‘a fish rots from the head down’.

        • karl garcia says:

          the plates were changed for new and old vehicles, it should have only been for the new. plus our procurement system has always been a head ache. maybe a supplier/bidder was trapped in the elevator or other reasons.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Edgar, In most Australian states registration plates are made in state prisons by convicted criminals, as part of a policy of keeping prisoners busy and also making an income from selling something useful. But please note, they are paid a very paltry hourly rate. This process does tend to make sure there is an ample supply of car plates available at any given time..I have had the interesting experience of being offered a choice of plates depending on which letter number combination I thought was best for me…Curious !

          • edgar lores says:

            Ahaha! I was asked if it bothered me that the licence plate number offered to me started with the number 4… that being an unlucky number in Chinese numerology. I said I wasn’t superstitious.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Irineo, You miss one interesting point : parliamentary government has driven the development of political parties in every example I know. Presidential systems tend to drive the development of ‘personal’ groups promoting their presidential aspirants… within a very loose party umbrella.. ( As in the USA, Phillipines, France, Russia, Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, Egypt etc etc etc

        • – ain’t that simple:

          Elections in the Philippines are generally characterized by analysts as a democratic farce dominated mostly by political dynasties that control the “guns, goons and gold” (McCoy, 1993; Co, Tigno, Lao & Sayo, 2005). This situation is worse in the ARMM. Elections in the ARMM are driven and dictated by the region’s powerful clans.

          but also:

          Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Philippines Office together with its institutional partner, the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), have started the project “Democratic Party Development Bangsamoro” (DEPAdev).

          This EU-funded project aims at advancing the development and support of genuine political parties and movements under a parliamentary system within the future autonomous region Bangsamoro in Muslim Mindanao. For this non-partisan technical support, seminars and training activities will be conducted in 2016 which are addressed at existing political parties, members of civil society groups and members of both religious and non-religious groups inside the future Bangsamoro entity. Local and international trainers will lecture on both basic and more advanced political issues.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Where executive power lies in the legislature, there is a natural process of parties forming & emerging to gain & maintain power.The parties are themselves coalitions of interest groups & factions & major policies & decisions are negotiated at that level. The process is party unifying.

            By contrast in presidential systems, where executive power lies in an ‘elected king’, the king deals and bargains with legislature members ( and senators ) to get the various bits of his agenda adopted into law.This process is ‘disunifying’ for parties as individuals are persuaded in exchange for favors.

            But then often the whole thing comes unstuck especially towards the end of the kings reign.

            A major example is Obama in the USA. His legislative agenda over the past 7 years has faced major hurdles because of opposition from members of his own Democrat party. On a few occasion legislation has passed with support from Republicans !!

            Aquino in Philippines has faced the same dilemma. Key legislation has not passed because of opposition from people who ( theoretically ) were part of his own legislative group. ( Grace Poe is an example ) An interesting example of legislation being blocked: the Autonomous Bangsa Moro legislation.

            Bill In Oz

            • edgar lores says:

              Bill in Oz,

              Thanks. You summarize beautifully the advantage of parliamentary systems over presidential ones.

              Not to dispute anything said, but I just want to point out that it is not smooth sailing all the way in parliamentary systems using the Oz model.

              The first spanner in the works would be the existence of a senate (in a bicameral system) that is not controlled by the majority party. In this case, bills could still fail to pass. A nice feature of Oz’s system is that so-called supply bills (budgetary bills) cannot be blocked. If they are blocked, parliament is dissolved and elections are scheduled.

              There was a time that John Howard controlled both houses, but even then he was not entirely successful. I cannot recall the exact circumstances.

              A second spanner would be the situation where the government (or administration) is formed from a coalition of parties. As Irineo has highlighted in some countries such as Italy, this has resulted in short-lived administrations because of the inability to unite to ensure the passage of controversial bills. The coalition fragments and elections have to called all over again.

              A third spanner is the deposition of a seating prime minister due to unpopularity even though he initially led the party to victory. This deposing process has been labelled “unconstitutional” because the replacement prime minister did not win office as such but became one through internal party infighting. Nevertheless, it has happened several times in Oz. We have had a succession of 4 prime ministers in the last 8 years.

              A fourth and last spanner (I can think of more but will stop here) that I dislike is the vindictiveness of a newly installed majority party that has won office from opposition. This vindictiveness takes the form of thrashing implemented legislation of the previous administration, undoing the work of many months if not years, because of a claimed popular “mandate.” Tony Abbott, for example, repealed the Mining Tax (arguably good) and the Carbon Tax (arguably bad). He also initiated Royal Commissions to investigate programs of the previous administration, such as the one on the Home Insulation Program and another on Trade Union Governance.

              I will repeat Irineo’s, Jonathan’s and my assessment of the viability of a parliamentary system in the Philippines. I think a party that wins the first election will become entrenched and will remain in power for many years… because of the country’s disease of endemic corruption. This is the “equity of the incumbent” that Karl has referred to, and the likelihood of it happening is higher in parliamentary systems than in presidential ones. And this can happen whether parliament sits for a fixed term or a floating term. (Oz has a mix of fixed and floating terms, senators serve for a fixed term of 6 years but for the House or Representatives elections can be called at anytime within the span of 3 years.) In effect, there are no formal term limits in parliamentary systems in the sense that a reigning Prime Minister can serve for many years as long as he can lead the majority party to victory in successive elections. This is the equivalent of Binay’s one-to-sawa proposal.

              • edgar lores says:

                I should add that anyone who thinks Duterte’s proposal for a parliamentary system is something to look forward to should study the experience in neighboring Asian countries.

                Do not swallow his easy solutions hook, line and sinker.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                An interesting response Edgar…And for the most part I agree. However your comment about prime ministerial ‘churn’ ignores something important. Since 2007 in both major parties the leaders elected have had major flaws which became very apparent to the electorate before their 3 year term was finished…Their disapproval ratings plummeted. Party MP’s responded by changing the Parliamentary leader and thus the Prime Minister….from fear of losing their own parliamentary seats….This happened to Rudd in 2010; to Gillard in 2013; to Abbot in 2015 )

                I suggest ( strongly ) that this reflects the very Australian gut, visceral, near universal belief that politicians are our servants not our masters..And any pollie who thinks otherwise will get a big kick in the arse at the elections and thus be lost to history. Even Prime Ministers have lost their seats in Australia at elections. John Howard in 2007 was the most recent example. He lost his blue ribbon Liberal party seat of 25 years !! Prime Minister Bruce lost his blue ribbon conservative seat in 1928.

                This is very direct accountability to the general Australian public Edgar. It is in fact very clear, straight forward democracy. Such is the power of the Australian voting public. It has been characteristic of Australian politics in times of prosperity and in times of great poverty.

                It is in fact yet another pioneering development in western Democracy from Australia. Others were : Allowing persons born overseas to be elected and become ministers in the 1900’s; Giving women the vote in the 1890’s; Allowing women to be elected as MP’s in the 1900; Compulsory voting in the 1920’s; Preferential, voting in the 1920’s; Proportional voting in the house of review the Senate in 1949 ( so that governments rarely have the numbers and can game the system); One single national Australian Election Commission independent of government control in the 1970’s. Allowing migrants with 3 years permanent residence to become citizens and vote in the 1970’s – even if they are dual nationals. And I think these are all fantastic..

                What is really interesting the level migrant participation in Australian political life and their ready understanding and acceptance of the rules and processes. Among Australia’s parliamentarians are individuals who migrated from Greece, Turkey, Italy, China, Viet Nam, The UK Ireland, South Africa, Cambodia.Fiji, Croatia & Serbia etc, Poland. ( There may be Philipinos but I do not know of any.)

                This may all sound like boasting. I do not intend it to be though certainly I am proud of the Australian political democracy..

                The key to nearly all these progressive developments has been the the will of very ordinary Australians to have a political system which is fair, representative and accountable to the people. Thus Australia has never had a dictator. Nor has a politician with dictatorial tendencies ever been elected as Prime Minister.

                I think those among the Philippines educated, richer classes who think that most ordinary Philipinos do not want a political system which gave them some thing similar, who think that they could not understand the rules that ensure it, are being elitist.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill in Oz,

                A very fair assessment. Oz is a nation of immigrants. In the office where I worked, there was only one true blue, dinky di Aussie.

                On the last paragraph, I think Irineo’s comment is on the mark where he agrees with you.

                However, his last sentence is also telling. The people are not mature enough to make proper judgments; this is shown by the simple fact of Binay’s and Duterte’s candidacies. They do not have the “universal belief that politicians are our servants not our masters.” Aussies have that; Filipinos still have to grow into it.

                Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Edgar : I do not understand your comment about Binay’s “One-sawa proposal” Could you explain ?

                Your comment about “the Mining Tax (arguably good) and the Carbon Tax (arguably bad).” indicate that you do not understand the fundamental reason for both these things being dumped, repealed.

                A fundamental of politics in Oz is that pollies tell the people what they intend to do in government at an election. Honesty and truth is prized as we know that they like to lie and fudge

                In 2007 Rudd as Labor PM said nothing about a mining tax. But he just sprang it on the electorate out of the blue. So naturally there was considerable opposition on the basis that he had no authority to pass the legislation. So in 2013-4 Abbot repealed it.

                In 2010 Gillard then Labor PM, was asked in the election campaign ” Will you introduce a Carbon tax ? ” She said No. She was elected – just. Then is 2011 proceeded to introduce the carbon tax as law supported by the Greens. Again there was massive opposition because of the electorate thought they had been deceived. And in 2013 Abbot won government because of that opposition.

                Politicians of any political party deceive the public at their peril in Australia. We rejoice in the idea of putting steel capped boot up arses of liers and cheats. I suspect that Shorten the current ALP leader having been shown to be corrupt and conniving when a leader of the Australian Workers Union before entering parliament, is a lame duck and facing retirement in the next year or so.

                Yes it’s very rugged version of political democracy. But the honest ones, the fair ones, the ones who try to represent ordinary Australians will be respected and re-elected.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill in Oz,

                1. Binay’s one-to-sawa proposal is to do away with term limits for the presidency which currently sits at 6 years. This was changed from two 4-year terms to disallow the rise of another dictator after Marcos.

                1.1. “Sawa” means surfeit or tired. Thus one-to-sawa means a president should be able to run for office from one term to infinity until he gets tired or until the people tire of him.

                2. The Mining Tax was actually cobbled together by Guillard and not Rudd.

                3. My assessment of both the Mining Tax and Carbon Tax was not from the viewpoint of advocacy, of the “he said/she said” political game. It was based on the benefits to be derived from them in the interest of the nation. I strongly believe this should be the basis for determining the validity of any bill, economic or otherwise. Arguably, Abbott repealed the Carbon Tax not on an objective determination of the pros and cons but on the basis of belief. He is a climate change atheist.

                4. As a general rule, all politicians lie and cheat. The history of any country is littered with the broken promises of politicians. That Australians hold politicians to their promises is in a way good. The bad side of this is that politicians become timid and populist. Great innovative programs that span the short election cycles are seldom proposed and, if they are, they are either repealed or changed by the opposition party that gains government because of the so-called mandate. Example: the National Broadband Network (NBN) that would deliver internet speeds of 100Mbps has been emasculated to deliver about a third of that.

                4.2. But apart from holding politicians to their promises, the Aussie voting public is fickle, and can be swayed, say, by the Murdoch press. They are easily surfeited and cannot be bribed, which is why the parliamentary system works in Oz.

                4.1. I believe Filipinos, unlike Aussies, do not have the political maturity to hold politicians to their promises. They do not vote on the basis of platforms, but on personality. In Filipino politics, there are no well thought-out fixed platforms, no basic party ideologies and philosophies.

                5. I seriously do not know of any Aussie prime minister who has not lied. Can you name one in the last 20 years?

              • “I think those among the Philippines educated, richer classes who think that most ordinary Philipinos do not want a political system which gave them some thing similar, who think that they could not understand the rules that ensure it, are being elitist.”

                I think most ordinary Filipinos want a similar system. Duterte’s appeal has to do with that longing, except that he is rude and abrupt and not rough and straight which would be OK.

                People are so fed up with elitism and hypocrisy that simple rudeness passes for honesty.

              • Joe America says:

                “People are so fed up with elitism and hypocrisy that simple rudeness passes for honesty.” You should copyright your material. You’ve just hammered out the key to understanding the Philippine political scene in 2016. I would also add that “A great many are also tired and hungry.”

    • We are one in the same in belief, karl. I am for lifting the economic restrictions and a parliamentary/federal government. But what amazes me is that how Duterte supporters achieved a higher level of deception when they start using this system of government as a part of Duterte’s platform of governance. From what I remember, our current constitution was approved through a plebiscite. This is a separate from the national/local elections. There must be a clamor for change of the constitution and at the same time a change of the form of government. There is no clamor for now, as far as I know. In fact, if there is a clamor for it, we must first call a plebiscite for a new constitution and a new system of governance, before the election of would-be officials that would occupy it. I think, Duterte supporters are not even aware the difference.

      • karl garcia says:

        Yeah, maybe they are hoping for the mid term election to synchronuze with the plebiscite, or 2022, I don’t really know.Thanks.

      • edgar lores says:

        Remember Duterte would declare a revolutionary government, and padlock Congress and the Judiciary.

        The declaration of a revolutionary government would, to my mind, have the effect of suspending the Constitution. There are no precise limits as to what a revolutionary government can or cannot do.

        • mizmerize says:

          That would be fine if Duterte has no dictatorial tendencies. He said his government will be a dictatorship. He doesn’t even have to fulfill his promises if he does that.

          • edgar lores says:

            He did say he would declare a revolutionary government if things do not go his way. And, for sure, they won’t. A revolutionary government, by definition, is a dictatorship.

            Therefore, he does not have to fulfill what promises? Please clarify.

        • karl garcia says:

          Forgot about that revolutionary government pronouncements.

  7. Palmer says:

    I’m pretty sure most people wont mind the change given that our current situation hasn’t really been any better. The ones who are afraid of major changes are those who are living a good life, eating 3x a day, has enough provision to live, a house where they can comfortably sleep etc.
    Democracy as if it’s being fair while the truth is those who have power only uses and abuses those who are weak and ignorant.
    And don’t forget the fact, the state of Philippines right now, it’s a place where convicts are voted upon to govern.

    • edgar lores says:


      I am pretty sure that some would agree that the current situation hasn’t really been better. But I am also pretty sure that many would agree that the current situation is going to get better.

      Both the Pulse Asia and SWS surveys show that an overwhelming majority of people are optimistic about 2016 in all socioeconomic classes — 89% for Pulse and 92% for SWS.

      Would not a Duterte win be a major change for the worst… instead of for the better? Would his win mean more concentrated power to abuse the weak and the ignorant?

      Progress has been made under the current administration as evidenced, among other metrics, by the growth in GDP and by international ratings. Would it not be better to ensure that that progress continues… rather than have an abrupt major change towards uncertainty?

  8. gerverg1885 says:

    karl garcia

    Duterte thought he was earning points with the Communists when he talked about imposing revolutionary tax but he did not think about its implications to the military and the business establishment.

    He is a simple man with a simple mind who could only be good at making threats at people who knows how to use their minds, someone whose breeding is much lower than the askals we see roaming on city streets.all over the world.

    • karl garcia says:

      Yeah,agree on most if not all points.

    • edgar lores says:


      A simple man with a simple mind could be a saint… or a disaster.

    • Lim says:

      I don’t think he’s got a simple mind especially how far he’s come. Unsuccessful ‘people’ of his kind are the simple-minded ones, with low IQ and the stupidity to kill and kill which is why they get caught. Get thrown in jail.

      He on the other hand belongs to the ‘successful’ types: those that are “high functioning” and get away with murder. These kinds of people as I’ve mentioned are narrowminded, a one-track ‘my way or the highway’ arrogance. Like a horse with blinders , eyes crazed up and body sweating bullets to get to the single point ahead of him.

      He is cunning and manipulative. Uses ‘effective’ words to appeal to sheep who only use emotion for judgment. Take note of how people were waiting or anticipating his acceptance of Dino’s COC. He had people at the edge of their seats, but those who knew better already figured he would run. He was just staging the ‘perfect’ moment, days before the deadline. In layman’s term – and et’s just be frank can we? – he did a “pabebe” move. A game well played. And the people, the country are the chess pieces.

      • edgar lores says:

        I appreciate the distinction between the “successful” and “unsuccessful” types of his “kind.”

        Certainly, every man is complex as a human being. But a man may not be complicated in his thinking.

        It is in this regard that we say Duterte is simple. Simple in his vision and in his solutions, such as steel manufacturing as an economic solution and violence as a peace-and-order solution.

        I read his indecision differently. I think he was genuinely stumped by the number of variables — his age, his health, campaign financing, his inner awareness of the immensity of the task and his competency to face the task, the long odds, the candidacy of weaklings and foreigners.

        The “perfect” moment was, to a large measure, left to chance. It was not well-planned at all. There was happenstance, and the happenstance happened to fall his way. As it is, there is still a legal challenge to his candidacy. In this, I think there is a certain fatalism in his attitude. This is shown in his genuine I-don’t-care pronouncements: he is leaving the capture of the presidency to destiny. And I find this attitude dangerous. If one doesn’t care that much for results in a huge undertaking and make the proper and necessary preparations, one should not venture to participate. I shudder to think that he will carry this insouciant posture into the palace.

        • Joe America says:

          insouciant, adj, showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent. Pronounciation is: inˈso͞osēənt,ˌaNso͞oˈsyäNt/ . . . and good luck on that . . .

        • Lim says:

          Joe wrote what his kind might be in “Who wants to be a dictator” and my reference to his kind I wrote in my comments. In some way once you get to know these kinds of people they fit in the stereotype; their wants, ambitions and means of attaining them can be described and followed.

          So to think his vision is simple-minded only shows that he only follows his rules. His supposed ‘dislike’ of drug smugglers and ‘bad people’ precede his want to control his subjects. So he has no qualms of killing people who may just be like him; the winner is the one that comes out alive. Though they can envision a nicer world free of things they deem “bad”, nothing will stop them from using the same lethal force, public hangings, mutilation, whether to punish the accused alone or to even include the family too. Take note these kinds of people have little to no remorse and guilt. In short, no conscience. They have to observe us and pretend to be human because it is so foreign to them. Which is why their sense of justice is skewed. The DDS are his minions, mini versions of himself.

          Also, these people have an utter hate of leaving things to chance. I’ve personally observed and listen to one ramble that they loathe it to their core. Why leave things open-ended when you can move the strings of fate through manipulation of the elements surrounding man-made events? Why be envious of another’s wealth or cellphone when you can get it from them yourself? Thus their moves are calculated in their brains, every single movement and word uttered needs to be thought of.

          • Lim says:

            Their sense of justice, sense of right and wrong is skewed.

          • edgar lores says:

            In this morning’s Inquirer, Duterte is quoted as saying, “I will not accept money and contributions from people and groups who have transactions with government because I will have to pay them back with favors when I become President.”

            This confirms your first observation that he follows his own rules. One could say there is a consistency and even integrity in his makeup.

            At the same time, although he won’t accept money with strings attached… he has no compunction, no “qualms in killing people like him.” This confirms your other observation of a sense of skewed justice.

            Of the five candidates, he might be of the greatest interest to psychoanalysts.

            • Lim says:

              His rule is Law. These people love power; they salivate over it. One reason I surmise why they hate “god” is because that kind of unknown, unscientific entity is open-ended, unscientific, not proven, intangible. A god is a figure of worship, whose rules of law can command millions, billions without lifting a finger. An influence so vast it is incomprehensible. How can a dead, intangible entity command so much power? Promise people “hope” and “salvation”? That is illogical, they would say. They hate and do not believe in a religio n’s god yet they yearn for the exact same power and control. Their vision of a world where they rule it. A vision where humans must fit to their lovely paradise, or else.

              Though he may not accept money from people already bribing the current government, that doesn’t mean he won’t accept special favors. He says his campaign comes from his supporters, but there is little doubt that they are helping him to protect their personal interests and to curry favor if he wins.

              I’d like to see how he is discussed in the medical sphere. Though one must note that a number of psychologists themselves are “those” kinds of people as the profession gives them immense knowledge on studying how to be ‘human’.


                odd: unstable
                even: stable

                1. Bands: Khoisan, Agta
                2. Villages: kraal, barangays

                3. Warlords: Nebuchadnezar, Ampatuan
                4. God-Kings: Pharaoh, Duterte

                5. Rebels/Prophets: Moses, Dagohoy
                6. Moral lawmakers: St. Paul, Mabini

                7. Secular lawmakers: Justinian, Quezon (unstable if buy-in not there)
                8. Democratic pioneers: Jefferson, Robredo (my new addition and tentative)

                God is the abstract embodiment of moral order. The ancient world did not HAVE God as an idea. It had warlords who imposed order, but were seen as harsh and capricious, while God-Kings sold themselves as embodying order. Rebel/Prophets were those who challenged God-Kings and postulated that no man can define order by himself, so they invented a man in the sky, and later made rules that they said came from that man.

                Secular law is based on logical principles to regulate how people should limit themselves, that build on moral principles. Now someone who doesn’t even have a moral code cannot grasp what law is truly about. Cleopatra was married to her brother, and had him killed…

              • Lim says:

                That run-down of small history was quite a treat. I had a concept of the creation of ‘god/s’ throughout history but when you write it that way it makes it a little more streamlined. When man were still nomads and thus life was hard for without sustained agriculture they could only leave things to chance. They had no real ‘god’ in the sense, they were pagans who believed in magical/supernatural qualities that animals represented, which they thought that if they embodied the animal, they could survive longer.

                The period of ancient to ‘classic’ of western history that you state seems to be between 3500 BC to 1000 AD. The institution of today’so major religions came from those who believed in those Prophets, or rather decided to use religion as means of political power, taking positions in their religion. Hence why there was a race of which religion built the most places of worship for to the winner goes the spoils of power as well religious offerings and donations used for their own political gain. The power of using moral principles and twisting these laws to suit their personal perspective.

                Am I correct to assume that you were hinting that the current political candidate in question has no moral code? As how many studies have shown that they do not have conscience or remorse.

              • Thanks: my inspiration for this is anthropologist Jared Diamond – an American Southerner who studied in Munich among other things. His postulate is that all forms of human rule started as kleptocracies, and he is very right. Humanizing that was always a struggle.

                Bands only had “big men”… villages had chiefs like datus or barangay captains who solved conflicts among villagers in a simple way based on agreed-upon customs. Ancient Filipino datus formed alliances with the wealthier ones buying allies, much like Binay.

                The advent of the first civilizations brought about warlords – Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, the Warring States of China – who imposed order among many communities that could not get along. God-Kings imposed order of their own – Pharaohs, Chinese Emperors.

                Moses challenged the Pharaoh, setting the foundation for larger, more abstract communities with moral codes that at least theoretically constrained the power of rulers – witness the conflicts between Popes and Kings in Medieval Europe. Abstract laws made the resolution of what is wrong and right easier, more logical – no need to ask a Pope or a Caliph anymore, but then laws were not always for the people but for the rules, so there had to be democracy to make sure the state does not abuse the little people just like God-Kings abused slaves – which the Jews before Moses were, and even before that they were captives of warlord Nebuchadnezar in Babylon. So it is always about the balance between order and humanity. God-Kings are an improvement over warlords, absurdly…

                As a God-King like the Pharaoh, Duterte I think does not have morals in the sense of rules binding even him. HE is the law and he is God, with the power over life and death, deciding who is good and bad. Compared to Ampatuan he is of course an “improvement”.

  9. flintfleece says:

    Maybe, just maybe, what you’re saying is that Filipinos deserve the leadership of the oligarchs that have been ruling this country, first as proxies for the colonizers and then on their own.

    Or maybe we deserve Elly Pamatong as President.

    • – let us have a look at what different Presidents may represent:

      – Mar Roxas – possibly the oligarchs, possibly a truly modernized type of government
      – Miriam Santiago – possibly Marcos loyalists, possibly an old-school Filipino government
      – Grace Poe – possibly a new kind of democracy, possibly Ongpin and others behind her
      – Jejomar Binay – possibly a people’s democracy, more possibly a kleptocracy of his own
      – Rodrigo Duterte – possibly a truly Filipino democracy, more possibly a dictatorship

      Remember that Rodrigo Duterte, who is related to the warlord Durano clan of Cebu, is part of the principalia just like Marcos and Aguinaldo were. Roxas is of course partly ilustrado, partly “Americanista” in family origins:, Miriam is a product of the Filipino state and Nacionalista cum KBL mindset, Poe and Binay are new populists and products of the Marcos and Cory times, with their respective flaws.

    • edgar lores says:

      I am saying learn from the lessons of history. We had an authoritarian president before, and he wrought disaster on the country.

  10. bauwow says:

    The problem is Duterte and his supporters are not talking to each other. They are not synchronous with their stand and with their press releases. Can you imagine Allan Peter Cayetano supporting Binay if Duterte is disqualified?

    What I don’t understand, is that his supporters asks us to closely examine what he normally does and not to take his words literally. Like what happened, when Duterte cursed the Pope due to the traffic he was trapped for five hours. Now, I can understand why his supporters hide behind big boy words such as “ethnocentrism”.

  11. Bill in Oz says:

    I am naturally biased as I have lived most of my life in a federal parliamentary system of government in Australia. But in my informed opinion it is more effective and democratic than any presidential system.

    Having learned a lot about the Philippines in the past 4-5 months, it is clear that as a country, the Philippines is far more like an empire of various various different regions ( governed from “Imperial Manila” ? ) than a unified nation state. In fact part of the problems that face the Philippines come about because contradiction between ’empire’ & nation state.

    Why is all this relevant ? Well Duterte ( originally a trained lawyer ) comes from Davao in MIndanao on the very southern edge of the Philippine empire. Popular wisdom has it that in Davao he has created a peaceful and effective government by using extra legal means. And he has done this while a many other parts of the country suffer an abundance of chaotic lawlessness supervised by the law, and the legal industry.

    And now having decided to seek the presidency, is it any surprise that there are many Philipinos who want for the entire country what popular wisdom says exists in Davao ?

    As for previous examples of such leaders, there is no need to look at Hitler or Mussolini in Europe. A closer to hand local example is Suharto of Indonesia from 1965 to 1998. Suharto fits all 7 “mobilising passions”. He was a leader who saw his country facing a situation of grave threat from an internal threat- the PKI. And so he went about organising the complete elimination of the PKI via para military groups and partisans. A year or so later the threat was dead and so were 450,000 – 500,000 people.

    I do not think Duterte is capable of quite such ruthlessness. Also the times have changed. Suharto succeeded in doing what he did largely hidden from sight. Modern technology allows such the flow of information world wide in real time that this is no longer possible.

    Still Duterte is scary. And I wonder at the nature of a political system which allows him to seek the presidency.

    • My mother – who speaks Indonesian – said that the “Lamat” short story published here reminded here of similar Indonesian short stories and novels from the time of Suharto.

      As for the Filipino “nation-state”:

    • edgar lores says:

      Bill in Oz,

      I believe political theory supports your contention that a parliamentary system is superior to a presidential one… mainly in that it is more efficient because the executive and the legislature are combined.

      Be that as it may, I think the quality of the people in the system are more important in delivering services than the quality of the system itself.

      The popular wisdom about Davao has been proved to be a myth lately. And the style of leadership used by Duterte to achieve his claim is unnecessary.

      The nature of the system that allows Duterte to run for the presidency has been described as Darwinian.

      I cannot imagine, as I am sure you cannot, that a man of violence like Duterte can stand for any public office in Oz.

      • This book says a lot about the patronage system in the Philippines, local and national:

        Especially Page 246-252: “The Hobbesian or Weberian view that the state has a legitimate monopoly of violence is, on these islands, thus far no more than an interesting proposal” – see also:

        • Warlord Ramon Durano of Danao, Cebu is also mentioned on those pages.

          Duranos and Dutertes are related and Digong very much like Ramon Durano.

        • There are those who might say some form of favoritism exists everywhere… even in developed countries you might have national-level corporations cozy with national politicians, local businessmen cozy with local politicians… or unions cozy with left-wingers.

          But the degree of harrassment described in the book stifles opportunities and growth, stories of farmers basically coerced into selling their produce to local wholesalers and other stuff are Mafia-like stories. The Mafia stifled growth in the South of Italy for very long.

          That some people doubt Daang Matuwid has its reasons – Marcos’ New Society started with the promise of eradicating “Old Society” abuses as well. But trusting a violent man who might be the worst Mafioso of all, Putin-style is foolish. There are enough signs of at least some people in Daang Matuwid being honest, and a democracy is the best way to continue nudging the nation towards straightness – unless people prefer cushy patronage because they can conceive of no other way, since they never saw it otherwise in their lives.

        • edgar lores says:

          The anecdotes of violence in the book — at the non-state level — are fascinating.

          The author notes that the use of coercive force has been at the clan/dynastic level — by some and not all — and not so much at the national level.

          Duterte would advance the Hobbesian view as more than an “interesting proposal” at the national level. He would make it a reality.

          • It just goes to show that for many people, especially in the provinces, rule of law is a myth.

            We who live in well-organized countries – or in the parts of Philippine society not subject to impunity – look like hypocrites to them. Because Davao IS in fact more ordered and less scary than many parts of Mindanao, or even many parts of Metro Manila, those that are not protected by subdivision walls or by private security firms like large parts of the Central Business District i.e. Makati and Mandaluyong. Delivery of order and justice is one of the state’s main jobs and it is seen as not delivering, so some people get desperate.

            Showing people that army, PNP and justice can do their job is the challenge for Mar Roxas. Smoke out crime and impunity, replace it with real law and order on every island.

  12. Caliphman says:

    I am not at all convinced from this blog article that Duterte fits the emotional and perceptual mode of a fascist in the way Hitler and Mussolini were. The historical conditions in Germany and Italy were such that it allowed the rise and reign of very widely supported absolute power and tyranny of figures with these traits and delusions. I would find little difficulty in describing and fitting my ex-mother-in-law within Paxton’s 7 passions and while she tried to impose an iron-fisted rule over our household during her visits, that was the extent to which her fascist tendencies were realized.

    But make no mistake that I take the prospect of a Duterte dictatorship lightly. As a thuggish megalomaniac with a borderline schizoid personality and a lawyer who acts like he is above the law, the thought that great masses of our electorate are ready and willing to hand him the presidency is an absolute nightmare. It makes even the prospect of a Binay kleptocracy less dreadful and at least to me, the choice of Poe or Roxas a mere quibble.

    • . I would find little difficulty in describing and fitting my ex-mother-in-law…

      MOTHER-IN-LAW is an anagram for WOMAN HITLER… 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Your description is scarier than Edgar’s “fascist”. 🙂

    • edgar lores says:


      Ahaha! Fortunately my ex-mother-in-law did not fit the stereotype.

      I share your assessment of the presidential contenders. As to Duterte, his “vision” and traits — together with those of his followers — fit Paxton’s seven mobilizing passions… with the possible exceptions that Josephivo pointed out, in particular the grandeur of the past and the external enemy.

      The prevailing conditions in the country, one would hope, are not favorable, nor the people susceptible, to the rule of a fascist. But Duterte has by no means an insignificant following… and we have witnessed how easy it is to turn Filipinos with the carrots of wealth and power and the stick of fear.

      Also, we have are seeing a resurgence of support for the Marcoses, for Bongbong. And yet we are barely a generation away from the dictatorship which was fascistic in character.

  13. NHerrera says:

    Wow, what a day brings in this blogsite. A great, timely article together with the associated commentaries. Thanks guys, especially to edgar.

    A further simple commentary. Edgar set out to list Paxton’s “seven passions” defining the essence of fascism; checked-out Duterte against this list; and the consequence to the country of a Duterte’s Presidency. I say, he has accomplished what he set out to do. The article and commentaries, including variation in definitions and nuances, bring home the point of the blog.

    fascism — a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    If a fourth of what edgar projects happening if Duterte becomes a Chieftain happens, I do not like to live in that world even with the assistance of his consiglieres pretenders Cayetano and Pimentel advising and moderating him (? hahaha — good luck to both).

    Indeed a great article to greet the New Year. That effectively rounds-up the discussion on the Presidential Candidates from Binay to Santiago — the discussion on the others scattered over several previous articles.

    But more pa. Too early to end the fireworks?

    • edgar lores says:


      The fireworks are guaranteed to continue for sometime yet. If some of the names on the ballot are disqualified later, after the elections, we will have “Bin Laden” and “Goodbye Philippines” firecrackers up to June and maybe beyond.

      If none are disqualified, the results of the contest will be a close call, a nail-biting finish.

      Nail-biting pa more? I dunno if I can take it. But the excitement does energize and sharpen our senses and mental faculties.

  14. NHerrera says:

    Slightly off topic


    John Forbes, senior advisor of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines reports that in 4 years Metro Manila will be uninhabitable because of vehicle traffic. That is tomorrow if we are talking about MM, but tomorrow is practically now in EDSA.

    First some technicals before I go on.

    Theoretical and empirical studies shows that at 200 vehicles (combination of private vehicles and buses) per mile (1600 meters) per lane, the traffic comes to a standstill effectively. Traffic may still flow but very slowly at 150 vehicles per mile per lane.

    At V vehicles per mile or 1600 meter per lane (at an upper limit of about 100 vehicles) , and a speed of 60 km per hour, the throughput for a 5-lane highway is

    T = 60,000*5*V/1600 vehicle per hour.

    At V = 50 vehicles per mile per lane T is 9,375. At V = 100 vehicles per mile per lane T is 18,750.

    At the “standstill” traffic of V = 200 vehicles per mile per lane, T = 37,500.

    In a September 2014 LTFRB reported that especially on a Friday, one lane of EDSA has 327,000 vehicles plying it. If we estimate 10 percent of that runs during the peak period, we have already 32,700 vehicle near the standstill number of 37,500.

    Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) reports the following country vehicle sales

    2010 168000
    2014 269000
    2015 310000
    2016 350000
    2020 500000

    If we add only 10 percent of the 2015 number of 31,000 to 32,700 we have 35,800 — thus, causing a virtual standstill even using the 2015 number.

    (The above vehicle growth in sales comes to an average yearly growth of 12-13 percent in 2010-2016; moderating slightly to 9 percent in 2016-20120.)


    What are the plans of all Presidential candidates — Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas, Santiago — to manage the traffic in Metro Manila especially EDSA.

    Will there be an order from Malacanang on Day 10 of a new Presidency to ban private vehicles from using EDSA except the vehicles of those favored by Malacanang? No ifs or buts? No further discussions of rights; of who gets favored. What happens if there are rallies? What happens to the effect on the economy since the present public transport system cannot accommodate all workers?

    May be the “war room” mentioned by Poe at one time may help?

    • NHerrera says:

      Another corollary item. Stop the assembly of private vehicles except to a trickle for a favored few? No ifs or buts?

    • edgar lores says:

      Frightening nightmarish scenario. And it will happen tomorrow.

      o Make cars prohibitively expensive?
      o Carpooling?
      o Hovercars?
      o Teleportation stations?

      • sonny says:

        Could it be that Gene Roddenberry had MetroManila in mind when he thought of Transporter Rooms where genome IDs are fed for reassembly at desired turnstiles? 🙂

        • edgar lores says:

          Ah, Roddenberry the visionary!

          I was just reading about DNA yesterday, and it seems it is not as unique as fingerprints.

          A person can have several variants of DNA genotypes depending on where the samples are taken.

          o The genes of a man taken from his cheeks and semen did vary.
          o Women who have given birth could have absorbed fetal DNA from their children.
          o Twins could have exchanged DNAs in the womb.
          o One in eight people could have different genes because of a twin lost in the womb.

          A person with different sets of DNA may be known as a mosaic or chimera, that mythological beast with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. Mosaicism occurs when different genotypes arise from a single fertilized egg; chimerism when from more than one fertilized egg/

          If my understanding is correct, teleportation by genome ID is a no-no.

          • sonny says:

            🙂 Drats! I thought it was just a matter of time. I vaguely remember an episode of House, MD dealing with something like this and there was the Mengele bunch from Brazil. Really scary.

            Seriously, I suspected by some free association that hydrogen bonding is involved in the chemical behavior of the DNA helix and that this is in turn related to mutations in the cell that can lead to desirable/undesirable outcomes. This topic of teleportation lead me to this text from Wiki that makes the connection that shows “teleportation by genome ID is a no-no.”

            “The base pairs of a DNA strand is connected by hydrogen bonds. In essence, the genetic code is contained by a unique arrangement of hydrogen bonds. It is believed that upon the replication of a DNA strand there is a probability for proton tunneling to occur which changes the hydrogen bond configuration; this leads to a slight alteration of the hereditary code which is the basis of mutations. Likewise, proton tunneling is also believed to be responsible for the occurrence of the dysfunction of cells (tumors and cancer) and ageing.”

            Thank you, mr lores! 🙂

      • NHerrera says:

        Duterte or another one as President has to confront the issue. Car pooling, moving centers of activities away from MM, and other ideas expressed here in previous blogs as well as by others just have to be examined, analyzed and implemented fast. The technicals cannot be talked away in the way politicians have been doing. A big constraining factor of course are time constraints on infrastructure projects and the constraints on “individual rights” which have to be credibly explained and credible alternatives from car pooling, two- three (?)-weekdays ban on vehicles on certain hours have to be imposed, OR ALL SUFFER. Filipinos seem to like extremes to occur before a bayanihan. If bayanihan can be made to work on this one, may be this example can lead to some education on other matters — not waiting for extremes to occur before acting rationally.

        • edgar lores says:

          If this crisis were in totalitarian China, the solution would have been forced mass migrations at specific moments in history.

          o There was the migration to the countryside for collectivization (communal farming)
          o Then there was the migration to urban areas for industrialization
          o Now there is the migration back to the countryside due to unemployment

      • I’m from Mindanao but I’ve had the taste of the heavy traffic in Manila. IMHO, the following is my line of attack on solving the problem:
        1. The President should declare the heavy traffic as a public menace, endangering the general welfare of the population.
        2. With general welfare of the public as the standard (picture smog, long hours spent on the road and loss of productive man-hours), the government can then exercise police power.
        3. The valid exercise of police power would justify that some property rights be surrendered to serve the general welfare of the public.
        4. Create disincentive to owning private vehicle which could be attained by doing short-term and long-term measures:
        • Anybody buying a private vehicle must submit a garage certificate or proof that it has access to a public park. This is being done in Japan and other notable countries in the world. (Short-term)
        • Strictly enforce the building code that commercial establishments must allocate parking spaces in front of the premises to prevent the roadsides from being used as instant parking areas. (Short-term)
        • Make the mass transport system so efficient that people would not think of owning a private vehicle. Certainly, Japan with its “shinkansen” trains and model cities in Europe, among others, will be excellent subjects. This rather long-term and requires a lot of strategic planning.

        • edgar lores says:

          Excellent proposals. I like 1, 2 and 4. Number 3 has to be fleshed out some more: what would be the specific purpose(s) of exercising eminent domain?

          • Mea culpa. The way No. 3 is stated invites the reader to interpret it as an exercise of eminent domain. No. 3 actually proceeds from No. 1 and 2. The property rights that is referred to is the privately owned vehicle. In this scenario and upon the premises laid down, the individual’s property right, specifically, private ownership of vehicle is subordinate to general welfare of the public, under the exercise of police power.

            Most likely, the eminent domain will be exercised with respect to the lands on which the “comprehensive” mass transport facilities will be built.

        • karl garcia says:

          Right Of Way. The skyway from NAIA to the casinos was delayed and its plan to be finished before APEC never happened because the property owner is Meralco.Now they changed the plans to let it pass through a river.
          We see in social media pictures of unfinished bridges at the end is a house. All because of Right of Way.

          • chempo says:

            There’s your argument against pure democracy and its freedom, liberty and individual rights. In Singapore, we take care of such issues easily. The individual rights, in this case, ownership of the plot of land or building, is subjucated to state needs. However, we do this by relatively equitable way. Land accquisition is only for national development objectives and compensation on some fair market valuation is dished out. Very often the government assists the affected individuals or corporates in their relocation requirements.

            As I indicated in the article on Metro Manila Traffic Congestion, Philippines do not have this power. Sorry old chap, your hands are tied.

          • Yes, I’ve seen those weird unfinished bridges and my immediate conclusion was they may be subjects of inconclusive exercise of eminent domain by the government. MERALCO, eh? It figures.

            • edgar lores says:

              One would expect that the exercise of eminent domain had resulted in the acquisition of the property — before construction started.

              • Foresight is UN-FILIPINO. You are way too Westernized. 🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                Nah-ah. It’s not the Western influence. It’s the computer work discipline!

              • Right on, edgar. That should be the case. So, the thing about these weird bridges is queer. Well, I do not know the real story but we hope improvements on this aspect would happen.

              • josephivo says:

                What about “parallel engineering” and calculated risks? (And what about hidden benefits?)

              • edgar lores says:

                In certain aspects of life, like building infrastructure, I expect things to be straightforward. In other aspects, like gambling and marriage, I expect calculated risks. Still in other aspect, like the arts, I expect beauty and mystery. 🙂

        • karl garcia says:

          Road widening has removed parking lots in some establishments,and it just resulted to more vehicles parked on the road.
          Park and ride maybe.Develop Mass transport and let them leave their cars in designated park and ride.
          Phasing out of old vehicles.
          Making it expensive to own a car is not the way to do it. Because the rich can have many cars as proven by the number coding scheme.

  15. edgar,

    I think there’s a danger in overhyping someone.

    In matters of security, overhyping a threat or individual, poses the issue of over-reacting (under-reacting the opposite). I’m less versed in politics, but I think the concept of “No BAD Publicity” comes to play here.

    So comparing some small-time mayor to history-making personalities (whether famous or infamous) will only give him credence. I’m not sure if the Philippines is as tuned in to the media as we are over here, since most of what I saw in local election was still parties and parades over there— ie. people giving free tshirts away, ripping other folk’s campaign banners or posters, etc.

    But the best example of “No such thing as BAD Publicity” is Trump’s campaign. The lesson’s there.

    My greatest teacher on here is Wil (with Ireneo at close 2nd), so taking his principle of speaking to your target audience to heart, I think this article preaches to the choir. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not read Paxton, so that’s another one on the book list, which you’ve always added to.

    But I’m with caliphman above.

    My reading of Duterte is that he’s just another son from a landed family, who went to the top schools over there, didn’t have to apply himself (like Bong-Bong Marcos, and Mar Roxas at Wharton too?) because whether or not he goes into politics or business or just decides to raise and/or cook pigs all day long,

    he’ll still get laid, drink every night, go to bars, hang out with his Brads, shoot guns, belittle his servants, etc.

    He’s popular, not because he’s a giant— he’s a dime a dozen, (and this where Ireneo‘s reading of him intersects or confirms with mine) but because he’s Visayan and from Mindanao—- and for those not Visayan and/or from Mindanao, the guys who hang out drinking beers all night next to sari-sari stores.

    So they are the indirect level of Duterte’s popularity, then for the more direct (those who have received the benefits of his management/leadership style to those who know friends/relatives who know friends/relatives who’re are familiar with Duterte’s results) witnesses mostly the poor, lumads, rebels and Muslims.

    If you want to do the opposite of preaching to the choir, IMHO opinion, you (or the next anti-Duterte blog article) should target Visayans, those from Mindanao, and those gullible enough to buy all this macho crap, the guys drinking in the corner.

    Then target those who ‘ll testify to Duterte’s results, you’ll not convince these guys, but by targeting them, you’ll affect the indirect supporters above. Schopenhauer’s Stratagem 30 is still in effect here.

    I’ve not read Paxton, but I am a big fan of George Orwell’s take on Hitler (.pdf below). I’ve not yet read Duterte invoke self-sacrifice and struggle, nor the use of drums, flags & goose-stepping. So level 5 storm should be down-graded to match actual conditions on the ground, but proceed with preparations… just don’t give him more credit than he deserves.

    Cut him down where he stands, don’t place him on a higher pedestal, because you’re giving him the higher ground (I’m sure un-intended).

    I’d like to see Wil tackle this—- it won’t be about love, but I think his frat experience will prove valuable if he chooses to undertake. The question is how to win-over Visayans, Mindanaoans & stand-bys 😉 — the last, IMHO, Wil can win-over, the trick is the first two and so far only Vicara on here has exhibited this familiarity.

    “The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. […] Hitler … knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.”

    Click to access v18_i007-008_a010.pdf

    • edgar lores says:

      While the reach of the Society has increased, it’s penetration of the general population is not that wide nor deep. The danger of overhyping is not that large.

      I think it is better to define and be clear of the danger that Duterte poses.

      The popularity of Will’s contributions cannot be underestimated. His AlDub post had a different audience. I do not know what percentage of that audience follow the other posts here, if any, but the readership waxes and wanes.

      I would be very surprised if this post on Duterte garners a high number of views and readership. People are still in holiday mode.

      And how do I (or we) target the Visayas and Mindanao and, more importantly, the stand-bys?

      Indeed, Vicara has painted a darker picture than I have of how the future might unfold under Duterte.

      • “And how do I (or we) target the Visayas and Mindanao and, more importantly, the stand-bys?”


        I totally understand that the target is Duterte, much like Trump and Sanders are over here. But the two’s utility is in exposing farther right or left sentiments, in order to calibrate, the eventual candidates’ positions.

        So for me, the why, in why is Duterte popular should first be tackled. What sentiments does his candidacy bring to surface and how can Mar Roxas placate them.

        Figure out those missed sentiments first, then list them, then divide the Visayans from Mindanao proper (ie. not all of Mindanao is Visayan), focus why they support Duterte, and continue from there to finally Duterte’s mistresses— if all his mistresses are happy, then you (we) have a problem, related to your DNA & semen comment above. 😉

        Has Vicara proposed any type of strategy against Duterte, ie. specific to Mindanao?

        • Joe America says:

          As I recall the survey results, they show that Roxas is strong in the Visayas, okay in outer Luzon, rather weak in Mindanao, and very weak in Manila. President Aquino is well-regarded in Mindanao. If I were campaign manager, I’d develop a Mindanao plan, and have Mr. Aquino help sell it. It would basically call for peace, economic revival and generous investment. It would feature some emotional messages, Mindanao as the anchor of Philippine prosperity going forward, enough with gunslingers killing innocents, local empowerment through programs such as “Leave no one behind”, and so forth. Jobs and promise rather than fear and massive poverty. A strong alternative to Duterte.

        • edgar lores says:

          The why is partly in the seven mobilizing passions.

          I have reviewed Vicara’s comments in chempo’s post, “Who wants to be a dictator,” and six other posts and cannot see any proposal of a strategy… just a description of some attributes of Duterte.

          Perhaps she will read your comment and give us some input.

        • The theme song they have now is “You Raise Me Up”… original AND Visayan. And I think the title and the words are no coincidence. Sentiments of humiliation and marginalization.

          Binay and Duterte are beneficiaries, while Roxas is the punching bag. Poe is a figure many see as being able to address both sides of the great divide. Postcolonial stuff.

    • “Better an end with horror than a horror without end”… this echoes some of the stuff I have seen Duterte supporters post on Facebook… things like “the Philippines is messed up anyway so better go for violent solutions with casualties than continue going down”.

      This is in great dissonance with the data on economic progress, so the perspective of those saying things like that is highly interesting – WHY are they so desperate? It can’t just be the mass media it must be the stuff on the ground, next door to them, on the street… Because they can’t be that stupid, the only thing they probably have is the worm’s eye view of things, because they are possibly too far from the end of the tunnel to see the light…

      • “so the perspective of those saying things like that is highly interesting – WHY are they so desperate?”


        Desperate is one way of looking at it,

        but the Hopey Changey stuff (Sarah Palin) seems the source, and I think is largely why Trump’s so strong here also—- the presumption is that some one with experience, skills, knowledge, once placed in higher office will change in that office, as oppose to pulling the office down.

        “the worm’s eye view of things, because they are possibly too far from the end of the tunnel to see the light…” Hopey Changey doesn’t necessarily mean these people are voting for more horror and violence, they’re voting for someone who can empathize—- that’s enough.

        Stratagem 30, hard to reason out hope (much like faith).

        Hopey Changey means that pass empathy (change), they are hoping Duterte will grow into the office he’s elected to, and become “Presidential”.

        I think Joe‘s on to something with his Mindanao plan, and I hope Mar Roxas takes notes.

        It’s a good plan, but I’m a lot more interested with Joe‘s (she’s Visayan, if I remember correctly) wife’s thoughts on Duterte, and other Visayans & Mindanaoans.

        If we tap into the groundswell, we’ll get a better reading of this Hopey Changey stuff, and focus more targeted articles to address Duterte’s campaign.

        Ireneo, you seem to be closer to this groundswell, any chance you can get one of those Duterte supporters to do an apologia article on here? If not, then maybe more cut/paste of the sentiments they’ve gravitated towards re Duterte, like the videos and quotes above?

        Isn’t Duterte matching Trump’s poll numbers, near 40%? Even with 3 other likely contenders those numbers sure look Presidential.

        • Hopey Changey – the most common symbol of Duterte is the Philippine Eagle.

          another symbol is the “iron fist” or “kamay na bakal” which they often show.

          they are hoping Duterte will grow into the office he’s elected to, and become “Presidential”. – more on that coming up.

          • Hopey Changey, especially “last hope” was also part of Hitler’s campaign BTW.

            • Back to Duterte… I think the symbolism speaks for itself:

              even DDS is glorified as decisiveness… because politics is perceived as indecisive…

              my readout of Duterte’s world is from folksy and down-to-earth up to and until fascist…

              • edgar lores says:

                On the first poster, I cannot make out the shape upon which the tattered flag has been superimposed.

                What does it represent? Can anyone make sense of it?

                I first thought it was the top part of Luzon or the island of Mindanao.

              • It’s the kamay na bakal, the iron hand… similar to Mussolini’s “take the white gloves off”.


                “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence!” HITLER

                “A leader must be a terror to the few in order to protect the lives and well-being of the many who are good.” Duterte

                “Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” HITLER

                “I could make this sacrifice if only to save this country from being fractured!” Duterte

                “We believe that God has sent us Adolf Hitler so he may rid Germany of the hypocrites and Pharisees” – Robert Ley

              • edgar lores says:

                Thanks, Irineo. Now I see it. Now I cannot unsee it.

                The parallel quotes you cite between Duterte and Hitler underline the truth of Duterte’s fascistic tendencies.

              • josephivo says:

                Thanks Irineo, your pictures tell more than 1000 words. I’m changing my opinion. If it walks like a fascist, if it talks like a fascist….

              • Joe America says:

                It ain’t a duck . . .

              • edgar lores says:

                I just noticed on the second poster that DDS is highlighted. Davao Death Squads.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                Heck, I’ve seen some zealous car owners spelling out Duterte’s and Cayetano’s names with the model nameplates.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                Oh, this fanboy who spelled out TRD (normally spelt as Toyota Racing Development).

                I hope in his idol’s regime (where speedtrap radars might become commonplace and traffic nonexistent) he doesn’t break the speed limit on EDSA.

            • edgar lores says:

              That’s mobilizing passion No. 6 right there — the glorious chieftain hope, the last hope, the only hope.

        • Joe America says:

          I asked my wife, on your behalf. She says she does not like Duterte because he is too mean (killings), but she also thinks we need a thug to deal with all the other thugs in power. She said some people who were for him before his ranting speech (pope) have stopped supporting him, but others still want him. I asked her about Romualdez and she said he is totally political and has not done anything for the people. I would add that she snarls at his television commercials, but I don’t understand what she says. It is not nice, I can tell, because it is the same tone I get when I complain about doing the dishes.

    • “… she also thinks we need a thug to deal with all the other thugs in power. She said some people who were for him before his ranting speech (pope) have stopped supporting him, but others still want him. “

      Thanks for your wife’s perspective on this, Joe. Ireneo convinced me awhile back that Duterte’s legitimacy in this race is largely ethno-linguistic, as well as geographic, can you ask the missus how much of the support for Duterte hinges on Visayans and Mindanao? Does she think there are Visayans or Mindanaoans, who will just vote for him because Duterte is a Visayan and from Mindanao? Will they be the majority or minority, and why does she think so? I’m trying to get the Visayan perspective (even Mindanaoan) which there seems to be a lack of pulse on, especially in these anti-Duterte articles so far—- can you seek the Visayan perspective for the next Duterte article (for or against)?

      Hell, get the missus to write the next article, Joe! ➡ 💡

      Of the 92 million Filipinos, how much of that are Visayans and how much of that number are from Mindanao? Is it possible to predict the election in May on purely ethno-linguistic and geographic info? Is Mar Roxas embraced as a fellow Visayan?


      Like josephivo, you’ve tipped me towards edgar ‘s view, but only slightly.

      Campaign slogans and ad campaigns are one thing, so I’m inclined to ask what all those slogans and ads translate on the ground, is there a Duterte brown-shirt group? I know the Guardians supports Duterte—- but I’m talking more of fanatics on the streets.

      Talking tough is one thing, and a lot of politicians talk tough.

      Has Duterte incited large scale violence similar to Modi in India in the past? Aside from targeting crime (both on the street and in the halls of power) has he pitted one group against the other? Class warfare happens here too, but there’s a difference when specific groups are pitted against the other—- over here that line is clear (even Trump will tread with care).

      • Joe America says:

        I am quite confident the wife’s response would be “huh”, because her range of interest in politics is fairly narrow and local. And passive.

        Roxas is strong in the Western Visayas, and so-so in the Eastern Visayas. He is solid in northern Luzon, a little weak in Mindanao and very weak in Manila. I’d have to research to find the numbers and am not inclined to do that with my sh very bad internet connection these days. There are some statisticians here who may be able to help. You can go directly to Pulse Asia or Social Weather Station web sites to get tons of data.

  16. chempo says:

    To fight the fascist, you need to understand the types. Trotsky distinguished 2 types of dictatorship — fascist dictatorship and bonapartist dictatorship.

    FASCIST DICTATOR — He rises from the rank and file of a spontaneous movement of large masses, which is a plebeian movement in origin, directed and financed by big capitalist powers, it springs from the petty bourgeoisie, the lumpenproletariat, (parts of the layers of the middle class) and even to a certain extent from the proletarian masses;

    BONAPARTIST DICTATOR — His power is based solely on the forces of state repression. It could not sink deep roots into society. He is the military supremo. Marcos brand of dictatorship was bonapartism.

    Based on Trotsky’s description, I think Duterte’s threat diminishes somewhat. Fascism is a mass phenonmenal and that is simply not the status in Philippines. There is no class struggles of the proletariat and bourgeoisie. There are no big independent class organisations fermenting hateful issues ready to be exploited. There is no mass movement of frenzied discontent for Duterte to ride on. The military and the police under Pnoy admin has stabilised. Civilian command is entrenched.

    The danger of Duterte is he will likely be tyrannical and a loose canon and will spawn many Little Dutertes all over Philippines.

    • My thoughts exactly, chempo.

      When you get manifestos like these (or Hitler’s) , then maybe, but otherwise politics should be fought with politics, ie. finding Duterte insiders, finding Visayans who don’t like him, Mindanaoans, lumads, Muslims, mistresses who want to kiss & tell, etc.

      Calling him Level 5 will only enliven his base.

    • edgar lores says:


      Based on the description, Duterte is is a Bonapartist like Marcos.

      But I think the distinction that Trotsky makes is artificial and not entirely accurate. Trotsky thought in terms of communism and Bolshevism.

      But Hitler was not the product of a class struggle. He was not a socialist but a racist. He promoted the ideology of racial conflict.

      I am not familiar with Mussolini and not too sure about him. From what I read he was initially a socialist but later denounced socialism and the notion of class struggle. From Wikipedia: “He no longer advocated a proletarian vanguard, but instead a vanguard led by dynamic and revolutionary people of any social class.

      I am applying the term “fascist” not according to Trotsky’s distinctions but based on Paxton’s perceived commonalities of fascist dictators.

      A “Bonapartist” dictator is no less frightening than a “fascist” dictator.

      • chempo says:

        You are right. Hitler had no class ideology. Sent to infiltrate the German Workers’ Party (DAP), he ended up eventually becoming the chairman of the reformed NSDAP. He took advantage of the class struggles going on in Germany. Basically, he rode the fascist tiger and emerged as a bonapartist dictator.

        Whether Duterte can emerge as a bonapartist depends on whether AFP and PNP command structure has the strength to stay true to democracy, or will they simply bend with the wind to kowtow to the warlord sitting at the throne. I like to believe that Pnoy admin has done their job well in stabilising these 2 institutions. What are the chances of having another Fabian Ver and FVR cozying up to Duterte in Malacanang?

        My comment above was simply that Duterte does not have the pathway to fascist or bonapartist dictatorship based on present circumstances. However, if he wins the presidency, he has the sole right to appoint the AFP and PNP chiefs, thus the danger that you see which I agree.

        • edgar lores says:


          I read somewhere that Duterte has a retired general in his retinue, no less than the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces — General Hermogenes Esperon.

          The thing is the military and the police will always follow orders. “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.”

          • chempo says:

            The most troubling thing in Philippines is that feudalism is alive thank you very much. So yes, there will be lots of Esperons within the military I guess.

            “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.” — that’s military madness, but necessary in the throes of battle. Otherwise, the Light Brigade may not charge, and Custler may not have his Little Big Horn infamy. But there are times that soldiers need to draw a line, such as 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force, led by Colonel Antonio Sotelo who refused to open fire on the EDSA crowd.When a president orders you to shoot a politician, that’s when you abandon your post.

          • karl garcia says:

            There are three partylists that is connected to the military and retirees.
            Magdalo of Trillianes
            Guardians of Danny Lim/Honasan
            Abante Retirees of Plaridel Abaya

            Based on my guesses mAgdalo supports Poe
            guardians -Binay
            abante – Roxas

            I dont know who the AGFO supports
            And there is one more the PMAAAI

            Maybe Duterte will get his support from some of the AGFO
            and the PMA alumni

            Plus the campaign of Duterte is handled by Atty Vitaliano Aguirre cousin of Napenas so he has Napenas sympathizers as probable supporters.

    • karl garcia says:

      All I know was Trotsky was not able to escape Stalin and Stalin’s death squad whacked him in Mexico.

  17. Palmer says:

    While we agree that the three candidates, Binay, Poe and Roxas are very poor promises for the filipino’s future.
    We disagree that Duterte is another leftist & muslim loving filipino only but has seen, performed and keeps his city well not only is peace but also beyond the corruption that surrounds all the other cities in the Philippines.
    He understands the frustration of the filipino people whom you call Neo-fascists just because they now refused to accept any excuse to secure the country which they want to behest to their children which is a proud peaceful and non corrupt one.

    • edgar lores says:



      First of all, I do NOT agree that the other three candidates are poor promises. I think Duterte is the poorest promise of the five contenders.

      Second, I do agree that Duterte is not a leftist and is Muslim-loving. I concede that he has made improvements in Davao. However, I do not see this as exceptional as compared, say, to Naga and I certainly do not agree with his vigilante methods.

      I will grant that he understands and empathizes with the sufferings of the people. I have never called the people neo-fascists.

    • Duterte himself is the source of claims that he supports the left (NPA) buy paying hundreds of millions of revolutionary taxes annually.

      The frustrated Filipinos that you mention are the ones not acknowledging the improvement done by this Admin and the former DILG chief in the PNP as described and posted by Irineo the ones who would possibly join him in his violent ways.

      What is Duterte’s arrogant answer to the COA’s findings that like Binay, there are a lot of ghost employees in Davao City? Isn’t that a source of corruption as exemplified by the Binays as exposed in the Senate hearings?

      Other cities have records better than Davao City, without the human right violations and disrespect of due process.

      The presidency is a serious job, and Duterte is not taking this seriously at all, he is treating this as a game with him uttering unpresidential speeches and curses? His speeches of his plan to close Congress, SSS and other government institutions, his saying in an interview with Rappler that his government will a dictatorial one with the military as the main backbone of his rule, a military who is critical of his coddling the NPA? Even his filing of the CoC was not treated seriously, the PDP Laban had to reserve a slot for him using a rushed and as a consequence, a faulty CoC to beat the deadline in October last year.

      • Palmer says:

        “improvement done by this Admin”

        Philippines Foreign Direct Investment

        The graph shows how good the current Admin did.

        • Joe America says:

          That is called finding the worst tree in the forest, the one that is beetle infested and rotting, and declare the forest as worthless. Do us a comprehensive look, including GDP growth, transparency international score (corruption), debt rating (Moodys et al) and give us a comprehensive picture of the forest. Here’s a different tree:

        • chempo says:

          Palmer, thank you for the link.

          By the way, I wonder if you have selected the “max” option, that would display the chart all the way back to 2001 so you get a comparative of what the current admin did vs the precedent admin.

          Don’t be blinded by hate and develop selective charting syndrome.

          • edgar lores says:

            This is literally “turning the tables” on someone.

          • Joe America says:

            For the convenience of other readers, here’s what the longer term chart looks like:

            • Palmer says:

              Don’t get me wrong it went up since 2010 and achieved his peek in 2013, after that it went down (like GDP growth rate does).


              • Joe America says:

                I suppose that does raise the questions, how will Duterte attract FDI if he destabilizes government with rash acts, stops infrastructure spending for a year, and behaves as a coarse thug, swearing and insulting women (that he won’t take advice from them), and speaking rashly in blustering fashion off the top of his head? How will his lack of humility go over with the Japanese? How many of the cabinet members, anchors of steady growth rate second fastest in Asia, would agree to work for him? Who are the experts he would bring in to replace those leaving? How will international economists judge a man of his erratic style, when they want steadiness and assurance?

              • Joe America says:

                I couldn’t help but think of your comment in reading this news article this morning. FDI may be on the decline because investors are wary of getting a president who would not take proper care of the Philippines. They are looking forward. So, indeed, your argument points at the wrong culprit.


              • karl garcia says:

                “Don’t get me wrong”. You are just wrong,we don’t have to get you.
                You said the graph shows how good the current administration did.what is there to misunderstand? You are clearly using stats to present that this admin sucked.Good thing we have bs detectors.

              • chempo says:

                @ Palmer …”Don’t get me wrong….”

                Yes the FDI dipped in 2015. It’s so simplistic to point fingers and blame the admin. It would be interesting to find out the reasons for the dip. Given the liquidity in the global markets, it certainly was not due to lack of foreign funds. There can really never be one single cause, but if we were to generalise, there is one major factor — INVESTOR SENTIMENTS. What could have dampened investor sentiment? As a business person, I can tell you two major recent events in Philippines that I did not like — (1) the Aguilnado Doctrine in favour of Jun Jun Binay, (2) the special judicial treatment extended to Senator Enrille.

                FDI is not a given. You need to fight for it, to attract it the best way you can. In short, you need to sell your country, and by selling your country I don’t mean the way Binay family understands it. There are many things you need to do to make the country attractive to foreign investors. One major thing is building INVESTOR CONFIDENCE. And that my friend, is getting the country’s international credit ratings up. Is’nt that what the Pnoy admin has been doing the past 5 years, and look at what they have achieved. Today, Philippines bonds are no longer junk bonds. I don’t know whether you even understand what that means. In the business world, that means a whole lot of positivity. It means HOPE. What do you thing a Binay or Duterte presidency can do to this hard earned achievement?

                FDI is a good indicator of investor confidence. To make it more meaningful, historical comparatives are useful. Better still, are comparatives with other countries. The sick man of Asia may no longer be sick, but the stigma is still there. To get a sense of perspectives, out of the total FDI into Asean of US$63.8 billion, Philippines attracted a mere 2.6% or US$1.7b. Where do foreigners put their money in?. Mainly in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. 50.3% of the investments went to Singapore.

                Credit ratings have gone up, but it is still not good enough. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done. So here we are, discussing who can do it better — a thief, an impulsive erratic womaniser tough-talking human-rights violator, an opportunistic un-tested seemingly pure lady who starts her presidential run with an act of disloyalty, supported by shady characters, or a tested but boring manager who is a good family man who has has made self-sacrifice for national interests?

              • chempo says:

                Now Palmer — don’t get me wrong. My reference to Jun Jun Binay and Enrile has nothing to do with politics. We don’t care about your politics per se, we care only about the outcomes of who you put in power because if affects your country and countrymen. The Binay and Enrile incidence tells us your laws cannot be trusted.

          • Joe America says:

            I don’t think it is hate at work, it is just manipulative advocacy. Certainly, the economy is the Aquino strong suit, and to try to paint it otherwise is just more of the peddling of a pig’s ear as a purse. By the way, I was mulling this over. Although FDI is a valuable source of investment capital, when an economy is growing as it is, and the base is historically thin, the nation can actually fund its own investments and do quite well, right? In other words, FDI is nice but not critical. Icing, not cake. Is that accurate?

    • Joe America says:

      By”we” I presume you mean the followers of Duterte because you obviously cannot speak for the 80% of the voters who in the most recent survey selected another candidate for president. Also, I think maybe you misread Edgar’s post, because I can’t find where he called Filipino people neo-fascists. The “People” are made up of many different political persuasions and all socio-economic classes. A large share of them find Mayor Duterte’s behavior disturbing. Some find it disgusting. If he keeps talking dirt, those segments will most assuredly grow, no matter how much you or Senator Cayetano try to explain that Duterte is really selling us a purse. We can detect a pig’s ear when we see it.

  18. Not sure if anybody has given this link, but here’s the one of the FEU Townhall of Mar and Leni.

  19. Jonathan says:

    OT, but:

    I am not impressed by the Duterte/Cayetano camp’s grasp of economics (or reality), to put it mildly.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      I am a bit busy but I encourage other Society members to debunk this myth of Cayetano. Just a basic understanding of economics and the national budget will show how untenable this is, resulting in distortions to the entire government salary scale.

    • karl garcia says:

      the recent salary increase will make the allocation for personnel expenses to be around 810 billion of the the three trillion budget.
      if we continue doing this,we will bleed dry.
      AFP and PNP are not part of GSIS, their pensions are part of the budget.
      Another case of band aid solution to stop the bleeding,now we hear Cayeyano promising another round of increases?

      • karl garcia says:

        The whole bureacracy got 50 billion additional for an average of 3000 per head.
        Duterte Cayetano wants to increase from 18000 to 100 k that is more than 80k increase.
        Nowif there are 200 k police multiply that by a hundred k

        That is 20 billion if spread by three years that is more than six billion from our national budget.

        NHerrera could do a better numbers presentation.

        • karl garcia says:

          This was 2010, it is 2016, the problem has worsened.

          “Crisis over AFP, PNP pension fund
          by anna | Sep 13, 2010 | Social Security |
          MANILA, Philippines—A crisis involving the pension fund of military and police personnel is looming, with the government facing the prospect of forking out more money for the retirement benefits of soldiers and policemen than for the salaries of their comrades in active service.
          Under Malacañang’s proposed national budget for 2011, P100.597 billion is allocated for the salaries of the 250,000 to 300,000 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
          A total of P53 billion is set aside for the pension of retired military and police personnel, or one-fifth of the projected budget deficit next year.
          There are roughly 120,000 retirees in the AFP and 50,000 in the PNP.
          Sen. Ralph Recto, chair of the ways and means committee, said the P53-billion pension allocation for the military and police personnel was glaring when compared with the P22 billion in annual benefits given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). More than 1 million government employees are members of the GSIS.
          At this rate, Recto said the government would be paying more for retired soldiers and police personnel by 2019 than those in active duty.
          “The government has to address the problem before it explodes in our faces and we end up spending more for the retirees than those in active service,” he said in an interview.
          At a Senate hearing last week, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. raised the possibility that the government would be spending more for the pension of retired soldiers and police personnel than the salaries of those still in uniform.
          “That is an area of concern not only for the uniformed personnel of the PNP and the AFP, but also for the judiciary because these institutions do not contribute to the pension fund like GSIS. (The benefits) to members are coming out of the appropriations,” Abad said.
          Retirement age
          Another factor contributing to the pension problem was the retirement age of soldiers and policemen, Recto said.
          Soldiers and policemen retire at 56 years old, lower than the norm of 60 to 65 years old, thus giving them a longer period for enjoying benefits.
          The national government has to shoulder the pension of soldiers and police personnel because they have no retirement system.
          The military was supposed to have its own self-sustaining pension fund through the AFP-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS), which was formed in 1973. The agency was shuttered four years ago when it went bankrupt due to gross mismanagement by generals on its board.
          The police have been getting their pension from the National Treasury since the PNP was spun off from the defunct Philippine Constabulary in 1991.
          Recto said the collapse of the AFP-RSBS was the main reason the government was spending heavily for the military and police pension fund.
          Pampered lot
          Recto and Abad noted that compared with other government workers, soldiers and police personnel were a pampered lot. Besides the early retirement age, they get monthly pension equal to those received by counterparts in active service.
          For example, a general who retired 15 years ago would be getting the same amount due a four-star general in active service, according to Recto. In addition, soldiers and policemen retire at the next higher rank, he said.
          Moreover, their pension increases by P5,000 when they reach 65 and 70 years of age aside from the total disability benefits amounting to P1,700.
          “We have to look at all these factors and assess the viability of the military and police pension fund system because the government cannot sustain this for long. We must have a self-sustaining pension fund in place,” Recto said.
          Abad said the Department of Budget and Management would conduct a study of the military and police pension fund system and recommend how to make it more sustainable without being a huge burden on the government. –Gil C. Cabacungan Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer”

    • chempo says:

      Wait a minute. Now let’s just check around and see which govt department has the largest number of employees. Just promise to increase their salaries to Php100,000 min. That should top Duterte/Cayetano’s bid.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      When I looked at this year’s budget, much of that is given to DepEd, which means they’re supposed to combat the root causes of crime and poverty — the lack of affordable and much-needed universal education which should translate to better means of livelihood and giving younger Filipinos the proper foundation to know the difference between right and wrong, and hopefully genuine discipline through reappreciation of positive Filipino values — rather than “discipline” through the use of fear and force.

      If they have their way, of course, the armed services and law enforcement would be better armed and equipped on par with our SEA neighbors, best prepared troops to fight… But given how in his Davao Digong is treating the Maoists with velvet gloves whereas he obliterates smokers with an iron fist, that they, the AFP and PNP, may switch (as in opposing his murky policies) than fight.

  20. chempo says:

    Jonathan : “His (Duterte’s) campaign derives its strength from:
    – law and order
    – frustration with the current ruling leadership classes
    Both of those themes resonate strongly with some parts of the middle class, particularly the CD part.”

    Jonathan is right on 2 scores:

    1. A rising fascist is a don quixote with evil instead of romantic notions with key focus on whoever or whatever he fathoms as the enemy. For Hitler, it’s racism. For Duterte, his windmills are the druglords/criminals and the ruling elite dynastic class. What an irony that Cayetano and Pimental do not understand they are actually the enemies.

    2. In the class struggle between the burgeois capitalists and the proletariat workers, the middle class is often made use of. Mussolini once pointed out — the middle class is incapable of independent leadership. This layer of the middle class – the petty burgeois (small shop owners, the civil servants, rather high level salaried office workers, the professionals — doctors, etc, etc) are the educated and frustrated with numerous complaints — the traffic jams, the corruption, poor judiciary system, low pay etc. In their frustrated world, the detailed, slow and steddy work of Mars do not resonate. In this environment, the demagoguery of Duterte gives them a banner.

    • Jonathan says:

      I would add one caveat to that. “The detailed, slow and steady work of Mars do not resonate”… if there is nothing to show for it in the short term. I think the middle class is fine with steady work… if you have something to bring to the table in a reasonable time frame, not years from now.

  21. Joe America says:

    Thoughtful assessment on my Facebook page:

    Eric Claridades Fascism yes, but also I think this is reminiscent of tribal culture albeit a bit more sophisticated. There is political expediency in allowing armed groups and the terrorist NPA into Davao to attain peace. That could work in a small territory like Davao.

    But will that kind of expedient arrangement work nationally? I don’t think so. First, while armed groups behave themselves in Davao, they do their sorties in other provinces then come back to Davao for R&R. So it’s hard to imagine how that expediency would work in a national setting.

    Second, because Mindanao is tribal, they have a lot of headstrong leaders who are quick to impose their will on other tribes. When I say tribes, that includes armed groups whose cohesive affiliation is based on the pursuit of money and power, not because of something noble like bloodline, tradition or ideology. I think this is why Mindanao was never peaceful.

    Even Duterte’s rhetorics come with the “imperial Manila” against the “south” dichotomy. Careful observation would reveal that Imperial Manila has done very well compared to the south which has been constantly mired in some sort of conflict, Manila has seen a steady stream of Mindanaoans coming into manila over so many decades because of the unrest. Over the years, a lot of foreign investors have set up shop in MIndanao but ended up scurrying out of the country. The NPA imposes a revolutionary tax, and they burn plant equipment and kidnap and kill workers if they are not appeased. The NPA claims to represent an ideology. Balderdash! I think it’s indolence. Why work when you can get easy money, with lethal power to boot.

    Duterte cannot control Mindanao, he has enemies there who are also war-freaks and powerful. Yet Duterte thinks he can use his blueprint for Davao in Manila where he claims he can stop criminality in 60 days.

    So yes, Davao is safe.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m reminded of a fortress castle from which the King is fearful of leaving. Beware the walls he will build about Castle Manila.

    • edgar lores says:

      Duterte’s solution then is not to uplift the social conditions in Davao (and Mindanao) to stop it from being the breeding ground of armed ideological rebels. His solution is one of accommodation and appeasement, to lie in bed with the enemy.

      And the ideology of the armed rebels is not communism but indolence. (There is a certain ring to the phrase “ideology of indolence.” It rings a bell with Rizal’s “The Indolence of the Filipino.”)

      The author of the piece is right: appeasement is a strategy of and from weakness.

      Dduterte applies his iron-fist against the weak, but is too weak to apply it against the strong.

      • butod says:

        Hey Edgar.

        Re your last sentence: doesn’t this subvert your whole theory about Duterte being a fascist strongman to begin with?

        Which peg should we now then attach to him for which we must truly worry — an ogre of an alpha male who’s got everything figured out, and who takes no prisoners to get things done his way every time; or ultimately just another spineless blowhard who — far from playing them — routinely gets played by irrepressible forces swirling about him?

        Assuming a fascist local boss used to to getting his way urges “accomodation and appeasement” only in the face of an imminent threat — are the insurgents there even remotely a threat to his domain? Or are they at worst a mere annoyance? If the latter, then why even preach restraint when it only makes him look weak? That’s a huuuge blot on anybody whose governance is nearly always characterized by authoritarian rule, don’t you think?

        And mind you, Duterte does have more than his share of annoyances in Davao, not just the armed left (although it’s arguably the only one capable of fighting back violently). It’s home as well to a large spectrum of civil society, a healthy minority opposition (the Nograleses and their proxies have had control of the central district for the longest time), and even an eclectic mix of players in his own majority coalition that he regularly butts heads with about details to proposed legislation. And in all his dealings with them, he has always struck me less as a bully but as a shrewd negotiator who pushes hard to get his way, but who’s ultimately prepared to reach across the aisle to break a stand-off.

        By that measure, he cuts losses, not his opponents’ throats.

        • edgar lores says:

          There’s no contradiction. A strongman may appear strong in appearance, in that he projects that image. He will take actions to bolster that image, and many will take that image to be true. But it may be bluster. It depends on who the strongman is facing, whether it is someone weaker than him or stronger than him. He will only cut the throats of those weaker than him. Duterte is wily enough to size up his opponents and knows where he stands. But not all of the time because… he is rash.


        DAVAO CITY – City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had this advice to agri-business players who might be asked for ‘revolutionary taxes’ by the New People’s Army: just pay them.

        The mayor raised this point, along with other concerns on peace and order, in his address during the opening day of the Davao Trade Expo 2013 last Thursday at the SMX Convention Center.

        “It’s a fundamental question for business: is it good to do business in the mountains? Do we give in to them?” the mayor asked.

        He said as mayor of a city in Mindanao dealing with “revolutionary” and “ideological” groups such as the Communist Party of the Philippines and Moro revolutionary groups, the way to deal with them is to talk to them.

        “It’s a matter others want to avoid. But it’s a reality that has to be talked openly, since the NPA is more active now in Region 11, notwithstanding the statements from the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Duterte said.

        December last year, Duterte drew flak when his pronouncement during a visit at the Communist Party of the Philippines quoted him as saying that he pays revolutionary tax. A youtube video later circulated accusing him of giving P125 million as annual revolutionary taxes.

        • chempo says:

          As regards the NPA, he has my sympathies. The containment and eradication of the NPA is the central government’s responsibilities, not the LGUs.

          • Joe America says:

            But extortion is a crime. How does he reconcile paying off the extortionists, creating more of them, with the “discipline” he proposes to bring to the nation. It makes no sense to me. I go along with Edgar’s reading, he bows to the strong (paying them off), and savages the weak. As President, he will have over 100 million weak people to savage.

            • chempo says:

              He has my sympathies in that the problem he, and all others in areas where that pesky problem persists, have to live with the failures of the central govt to eliminate that internal threat. But of course I agree with the sentiment that his chest thumping strong man self-created persona falls flat in the face of NPA might. He does not walk the talk.

              • I am following a Philippine military group on FB. They are not at all amused about his coddling the NPA and being pro-China. These are public postings not confidential stuff.

                Can you imagine what some military groups might do if he actually lets NPAs protect him in Manila? It is already rumored that many of the Davao Death Squad people are former NPAs – what they do is typical NPA method known from so-called Sparrow Units. Don’t know if Trillanes and his Magdalo group might go for another coup if Duterte goes too far, but who knows who might react how if he “makes friends with China” like he once said.

              • chempo says:

                As the Japanese are wont to say “Ah So”, that’s why Duterte wants to increase AFP salaries generously. And the tandem swallows it all in without batting an eyelid.

        • Jake says:

          If I were a business person, I would rather leave the Davao region and relocate to a place in the Philippines where there is less NPA and/or where NPA crimes are not tolerated by the LGUs.

          Imagine having to pay business tax, “grease money” and then revolutionary tax. It defeats the purpose of investing for profit. Add to the sad fact that many people in the Davao region don’t really have that much professional skills due to being one of the poorest area in the country

          I’d rather invest in the Ilocos Region, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon over Davao region – better HDI, more educated populace, less NPA.

          One thing that should be kept in mind is that the NPA was also in the Cordilleras during the 70s and 80s. The NPA also started in Pangasinan (JoMa founded it there), but the North Luzon area was able to limit what the NPA can do post-Marcos.

          The question now is: what did they do RIGHT? Worth a case study esp in the Cordilleras where they even had their Cordillera People’s Liberation Army. Worth noting is also Benguet being the province with the highest HDI (trailing behind Metro Manila by just a few points which is not a province).

          Another province with high HDI that is VERY isolated from the main islands is BATANES. Their HDI is around the 0.80s. Crime rate is also low. The biggest irritants of the inhabitants of the islands are probably the Taiwanese fishermen who “steal” fish in Batanes waters.

          My take: a lot of responsibility on development goes to the LGU. If you have been to Benguet, you will know how difficult the terrain is. Yet, the people and officials don’t see it as something to whine about but something to overcome.

    • edgar lores says:

      The last paragraph in the thoughtful assessment that JoeAm posted from Facebook would negate Duterte’s ability to put a stop to the senseless destruction wrought by the “armed groups” mentioned in the article:

      Duterte cannot control Mindanao, he has enemies there who are also war-freaks and powerful. Yet Duterte thinks he can use his blueprint for Davao in Manila where he claims he can stop criminality in 60 days.

  22. VSB says:

    Problem is Digong has hit a nerve not only among the “weak and lost souls” as you said but even from the hard-working educated elite who fall prey to the stealing crimino-showbiz elite who are firming their grasp on the state apparatus especially with a Binay victory amidst Poe’s disqualification and Mar’s feckless image. People are definitely scared- scared of the impunity of the ERAPs, Binays, Pinedas. Chavits, Ampatuans. A judiciary that’s for sale and the lack of memory and closure of the Marcoses that could result in a Bongbong VP victory with a solid North and Leyte vote since the other VPs all come from the same bicol region They are misguidingly looking at Digong as their savior since they helplessly watch the crimino-showbiz elite win the elections and those who have wronged the country continue their plunder unmolested.

    • Joe America says:

      Anger causes people to lose touch with rationality.

    • edgar lores says:


      “Crimino-showbiz elite.”

      That’s a new term for me. I suppose crimino refers to Binay, showbiz to Poe, elite to Roxas and the hyphen to Santiago.

      That Duterte is seen as the alternative to the crimino-showbize elite is strange. Should he not fall into the crimino category as well?

      I can see though why he is considered a real alternative. He does represent radical change in comparison to the others, and from the status quo as well — which is “complicated” to use Facebook lingo.

      The question each voter should ask is: Does Duterte represent a change for the better or for the worst?

      Given all the red flags we have noted and the alert we have raised, the probability is the change will be for the worst.

      At the end of the day, people will decide… and realize their wish. Let us hope they will be careful with their wish.

      • Joe America says:

        I think Roxas represents “elite” in most people’s minds. Just as people consider this blog elitist, or condescending, for the intellectual superiority that most a lot of people associate with it. And the strange thing is, the harder we work at solving problems, the more “elite” we become. Showing off like that.

        • VSB says:

          Well as your name suggests it is “un-Filipino” to save the world or Philippine society for that matter- the minute we start pontificating- the Masses start with “akala nyo kung sino kayo” translated- who do you think you are? In effect saying we are all sinners and crooks so might as well have OUR crook in power- read ERAP-Binay- Pineda-Chavit- at least they share vs the elitist Roxas who have no clue and only his cronies get to keep the loot- Hence the appeal of Duterte who will expunge the system of the crooks- BY the way Digong has only been vocal against smugglers and drug lords- no mention of Gambling lords and corrupt feudal lords- He also has to explain how he will control his abusive kids

          • Joe America says:

            Or the legions of mayors and police captains who are inspired by his tough, “I am the law”, frame of mind. I can see it now, cigarette eating becomes common, and dead people in the streets.

        • jolly cruz says:

          Mr Joe, I think you hit the nail on the head. “the harder we work at solving problems, the more “elite” we become.” Maybe, just maybe, its the way the Mar supporters present their arguments in favor of Mar that turn people off. Me thinks its not Mar, per se, but rather the supporters that piss off people.

          We, the poor and underprivileged, feel the arrogance and the snotty attitude of the Mar supporters, especially when you call us “bobotantes” for not thinking the way you do.

          Even now when Mar can hardly be described as a sure winner, his supporters look down on us non supporters as stupid and non thinking, what more can we expect if he wins. We are more scared of a Mar win than a win by any of his rivals.

          Its not being unpatriotic or thinking less of the country. Its more like, it is an earnest belief that it is definitely going to be more difficult for us poor in case he wins.

          • I once had a conversation about this topic with my brother-in-law – a Londoner who comes from a working-class family, whose grandfather was born in Northern London slums….

            The poor are usually better at short-term solutions, at improvising, because they have to, while the educated/rich are better at planning and long-term, because they can afford to – afford to think about it and afford to wait because they are already OK fundamentally.

            It is very hard for someone like Mar to really understand how it is to be poor. I am “elite” but not as elite as Mar, U.P. Diliman originally, but leaving the Philippines has made me understand poverty also. 5 Euro is a lot if it is the last money you have left, little if you have several thousands in your bank account – I have been to both places and am now in the middle which is a good place. I have experienced having to pawn my Swiss watch, bought in better days, to pay the rent because I nearly went bankrupt some years ago.

            Mar Roxas and some of his supporters will have to learn to listen better to the poor and/or less educated, because they have reasons for their feelings, only most of the are not able to express these reasons in a more sophisticated way does not mean they are not valid.

            • edgar lores says:

              I would give Mar a sum of credit for understanding and having empathy with the poor. He has been around the block many times, seen the conditions, the highs and the lows.

              Reverse the picture: is it easy for a poor man to understand the rich? To imagine how it is to be rich?

              The poor man may just imagine the appurtenances of wealth and not really get into the mindset of a rich man, but seeing how the rich live there will be a kernel of understanding of how it is to be rich.

              • It is much harder for the poor to understand how wealth is truly created – i.e. by being productive and/or delivering a service that is needed by someone else. Somebody who is rich or even just simply well-to-do will usually have something to offer – an idea, a capability, our even just savvy in making stuff available for people. Of course he could also be a crook who games the system, has an unfair kind of monopoly because he knows the right people and keeps the competition out – which is the case in many poor countries.

                Confucius say: “In a badly-run country, be ashamed of being rich. In a well-run country, be ashamed of being poor”. Or Oscar Wilde: “behind every great fortune, there is a great crime”… of course old wealth is generations removed from any crime, has been civilized.

                The problem in the Philippines is that many people assume that all wealth is thievery, and that it is of advantage to hang on to crooks if they give them a piece of cake or crumbs. Similar mindsets can be found the more you go East in Europe, especially in Russia.

                People with that kind of mindset will prefer a Binay type who makes “balato” of his loot to someone like Roxas who is considered “swapang” because he does the work that is not visible to them: making opportunities available by persistently reforming the whole system.

                They may also prefer a Duterte or a Putin who eliminates all who are in the way of their own good life, and choose to be with the “berdugo” because their view of life is totally Darwinistic. You have that too in Latin America: middle class people who like death squads that kill poor street children – as long as they are out of the way and their own life is OK. These mindsets are totally alien to those with modern sensibilities like us “ethnocentrics” – but are belief systems that are hard to shake. The stuff we value are just words for them.

              • edgar lores says:

                The last two paragraphs are brilliant.

              • “It is much harder for the poor to understand how wealth is truly created – i.e. by being productive and/or delivering a service that is needed by someone else. “

                I’m sure this can be included in the new k-12, TESDA or the Negosyo Centers— is there a Filipino word that’s equivalent to Ikigai?

          • Joe America says:

            Point well said. I should listen more to myself . . . in all its implications. 🙂

          • Thea says:

            It must be put in mind that nobody among the presidential candidates are poor. But, nobody among them except Mar and Leni speak of education which is the solution to eradicate this stain between the rich and the poor. Once people are educated,they will develop a pride of being themselves and not hide behind the wall of this wrong perception. Whoever they choose, most likely, have merited their scrutiny. I do not side on the rich or “elite” for I am poor myself. Only, I see it objectively. We,the poor, benefit from the companies they open, from the investments they put on,from the researches they funded,etc. We have to stop this mentality, this will not set us a free nation.
            And let me say, not only the Mar/Leni supporters have this “bobotantes” in their dictionary. I have read and seen this a lot in all parties. There are threats and name-calling too.
            The blame must not be put on the thinkers,for they open our minds rather the focus must be on the parties who constantly blind all the peoples with their hatreds and half-truth videos,propaganda and articles. These are the parties we should fear of than a candidate who ,and not his fault, is born as rich and intelligent.
            @Joe, yes it is always good to listen to oneself. But one has to have moral foundation to arrive at a good decision and judgement. I hope,the rich and the poor, will listen to themselves too. Sometimes.

          • karl garcia says:


            I have to apologize for a misunderstanding on a previous blog entry about pre-need.No intentions of insulting you.I am sorry.

          • Jolly, maybe some but not all supporters of Mar are like that, most react and respond to those who are super sensitive when their candidates’ issues are discussed, feel that they are being unjustly persecuted. Most supporters are just talking about issues and the supporters on the other side will respond by personally attacking the supporkters of the opposite side, which should not be the case. The choices made by Poe for example, lead us to believe that she is still green, that belief will then make you and the others to attack us personally. I, for one, refrain from calling those not yet convinced as bobotantes, and, most of us never expect any special treatment when our candidate do win, continuity and a level playing field for each and every Filipino citizen is all we ask, since most of us belong to the private sector and willl never dream of hitching to the victors’ ride.

      • VSB says:

        Sorry did not scroll up- as on an old hand in politics (don’t ask please)- I can attest when I was younger criminals were in the periphery of society- in the shadows- only whispered as -“Madame X/ The Master ” or some scary code name- after Marcos decimated the elite opposition you saw the emergence of a cabal between criminals who married their kin to nicer looking showbiz royalty who found that their popularity over the voting masses could be transalted into votes.. So nowadays the criminals no longer go by Dr. No or Madamme X but as Governor, Senator, Mayor. It really is worthy of an anthropological piece… The best analogy I have is if in the US they have John Gotti or Al Capone and his family featured in society pages/ paparazzi as the “n crowd” which they are in these beautiful Islas Filipinas where its perfectly ok- remember MJ?

  23. chempo says:

    Saw on Fox news last night. O’Reily had a small segment titled ‘WHO WANTS TO BE A …PRESIDENT”. Title sounds familiar.

    Could the US be reading this blog? Might be because they are after all, dealing with a similar problem — they have a dead ringer for Duterte.

    • karl garcia says:

      When I read the title of your blog piece,this came into my mind.

      • edgar lores says:

        That’s “Who wants to be a… millionaire?!”

        • karl garcia says:

          Yes. Ican’t post pictures like Lance Corporal X 😖

        • chempo says:

          Who wants to be a millionaire
          Who wants to be a dictator
          Who wants to be a President

          Karl, posting picture is simple.
          First go the the web page where that picture resides.
          Next click on the picture, which will take you to a webpage where you see only that picture and nothing else.
          Then copy the URL of the picture webpage and paste it onto your comment

          That’s posting other people’s pictures.
          To post your own picture you need to publish that picture on the internet.
          First make sure the igae is in JPG or GIF format.
          The publish it somewhere. Easy way — just upload it on your facebook.
          Now your picture has a URL address. Just obtain this URL as in above instruction.

          Hope this helps.

  24. josephivo says:

    And nobody talks about his VP, Alan Cayetano. What tells it about his characters lining up with a fascist?

    • Lim says:

      He has his tail between his legs. As one analogy puts it: Duterte is the alpha while Cayetano is his b****. Sorry for the use of the word. But that is what I see of him, especially after seeing early promotional posters of Cayetano with Digong. He looks hella a wuss. Riding on this macho man’s persona.

      • edgar lores says:

        I see Cayetano’s tail happily wagging at the moment. Is it possible to have it between his legs and wagging at the same time?

    • edgar lores says:

      Marcos had his henchmen and cronies.

      Cayetano seems to be playing the initial role vis-a-vis Duterte as that of Enrile vis-a-vis Marcos — that of an enabler.

      And the motivation appears to be the same — self-aggrandizement. I think this is the main telling point about Cayetano’s character and those that are now surrounding Duterte. As Brutus said of Caesar, Cayetano is an ambitious man.

      There is, however, another role that Cayetano is playing that Enrile never had to — that of a babysitter. In a way, Duterte is like a baby, hair-trigger temper, all primal emotion and basic instinct.

      The last role that I can think of that Cayetano is playing is that of coach (or consigliore as mentioned in the article). Duterte, like Poe, has great gaps in his knowledge of national governance. Cayetano, with his many years in the Senate, is filling up those gaps, in the same way that Poe had help in formulating her 20-points platform.

    • Joe America says:

      I was just starting the noodling on a blog about Cayetano. Talk about a guy meeting his Peter principle level and crashing and burning.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        The picture of the Two Fists, those of Duterte and Cayetano’s, says it all. Duterte’s is take-charge, like a ram charging. Cayetano’s is limp, almost womanly, like he’s holding a dead bird. Pitiable. The sad fact is that people who believed him about Binay may be back in the VP’s fold.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, it is a weird photo when you think about these being the President and Vice President of the Philippines. And people mock the way Aquino smiles . . .

          Brother . . . gimmie a break . . .

  25. Madlanglupa says:

    On a somewhat related note, just read this piece:

    This wasn’t written by a fan of any of the candidates, but someone, an essayist who just won a couple of Palancas and in this piece imagined an Orwellian world by piecing much of what Digong said in the last six months on media about how he would remake the country in his (terrifying) vision and what policies he would impose should he come to power.

    Naturally his fanboys diss her out for scaremongering. I hope they be careful what they wish for.

    • edgar lores says:

      Madlanglupa, thanks for the link. I do follow Ms. Sison when I can. Missed this one.

      P.S. The comments are terrifying.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. It’s great for the favored few, the powerful. For the powerless, pure hell with 100 times the tragedy we saw at Mamasapano. Or more, even. But the grieving won’t dare air their grief, or demand compensation.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        Having watched the live-action version of The Man in the High Castle last year, the serial only heightened my concern of this alternate reality he may present to everyone.

        What I would like to suggest to the piece is: in such a regime some night workers (i.e. call center reps — yes, the very ones who are very active in social networking yet want Digong to eliminate traffic and MRT problems and hail death to cellphone snatchers, catcallers and bus molesters) will have to carry special identification permits and ride special buses, but even having those supposed privileges may not save them from being singled out at the wanton leisure of the monstrous armed militia described therein.

  26. arnelsite says:

    Thank you Edgar Lores for painting a clearer picture of Duterte. I hope the Filipino people will heed your warning signal.

  27. Ma Ru says:


  28. Ver Otto K. Gabilan says:

    Duterte appeals to the animal fears in us of, say, threats from criminals. The quick and simple way to deal with that threat is extra-judicial killings. Never mind if innocents are killed in the process.

    So let’s keep it simple: Give what people want. Duterte has raised the stakes so high, we really need to simplify it. Or give what people need. Sacrifice one for the other. Is Duterte a threat to democracy or not? I really don’t give a shit what the unthinking masses want, I give a shit that our nation is once more in danger of submitting to a dictatorship.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Ver Otto, thanks.

      Your first paragraph describes in a nutshell the simplicity of the Duterte solution and its danger.

      Your second paragraph confronts us with the choice we have to make. Simple people, who have not thought things through, are attracted to the simplicity of the Duterte solution. Not so simple people who, like you, have done some reflection on the sorry past of fascism are rightfully wary.

      To end on an optimistic note, I can only say that the arc of evolution is towards more complexity in most everything — life forms, organizations, technology, thoughts, consciousness. The ideal outcome, of course, is for complexity to be hidden behind a facade of simplicity… as you suggest… and as embodied in cellphones. But that takes genius.

  29. Steve Huff says:

    Forgive me for copying and pasting, but it is essential to make the point.

    “Fascism is an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.”

    This is a political fallacy started in the 1940’s to cover the support of Leftists for the dictators. Fabian Socialist/Progressive, George Bernard Shaw, the Hollywood playwright, created the concept of the gas chambers around 1922, eleven years before Hitler. He befriended Hitler in 1935. The intent of the “Early 20th Century Progressives” (socialists) was to rid the world of the “social trash”. This idea was first conceived by Marx in his paper “Rheinische Zeitung” in several articles by he and Engels from 1848-1856. Specifically Marx said they people, “should perish in the revolutionary holocaust.”

    All labour unions were derived from various national communist organizations starting in the 1880’s. In the US, they controlled the labour unions until the 1950’s. In Italy there were 3 communist labour unions, individually known as the “un fasci”. But today they were known as the “un fascio”. Under Mussolini, who was removed as President of the Italian Socialists Party in 1915 (communists) they were known as the, “Milan Fascisti”.

    So what happened? Mussolini read a book by George Eugene Sorel in 1914. The book, “Reflections on Violence” – 1908, was the Theory of Fascism. But it had not name, just a political theory of governance. The theory was this: “A nation deeply entrenched in private property will never give up that property to a proletariat revolution. It must be seized from the top down.”

    And the way to do that was through the labour unions. Sorel wrote, “There will never be enough radical labour union members to overthrow Capitalism. You must combine them with cultural groups with a grievance. And if they do not have a grievance, create it!” Though this concept you could have, “The Theory of the General Strike”; the collapsing of the Capitalist system.

    Hence the Black Shirts of Italy and the Brown Shirts of Germany. Those radical and militant labour union members who caused chaos in the streets. The “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” was not right wing, and no right wing movement has ever been associated with communist labour movements.

    The first time “Right-wing Fascist” was used was by Nikita Khrushchev in 1936 in reference to the more liberal Mensheviks. They and Bolsheviks split in 1903-04 in the London Conference and thereafter. They were not as supportive of the “dictatorship” as the Bolsheviks, thinking all registered communists should have a vote. Lenin and his legions said 5 men will decide how much toilet paper to produce,
    The next time the term was used was 1937 by Stalin, when he named the POUM Marxist coalition forces in Spain, “right-wing fascists”. That was a pretext to kill them, which he did, 105,000 after the treaty in the Spanish Civil War. Or 104,999 actually. There was a lone survivor named George Orwell (“1984”, “Animal Farm”).
    When Hitler invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, he called the Poles, “right-wing fascists” in his interviews and radio broadcasts”. Stalin said the same before invading Poland on 17 September. Interestingly, they do not even teach the Soviet invasion of Poland in American schools! Why?
    Next the term was used by Russia for the invasion of Finland, and Germany before invading Norway and Denmark. And the Nazis were supplied at Murmansk, Russia’s nothern most port.

    So after all the American communists who supported both Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler were disgraced, they with the cooperation of the media, they changed their name from Progressive to Liberal in the 1940’s. They then took up the banner again starting in the 1970’s. Hillary Clinton fawns over these American leaders. And their intention wasn’t Capitalism. It was as Mussolini said in his acceptance speech, “Corporatism! The marriage of government and business (crony capitalism). What I do not seize, I will intimidate. And not one Italian business is entitled to 1 Lira of profit that does not benefit the State!” That was what he explained was Fascism, named after his 3 communist labour unions.

    Fascism was not right-wing, though 12 degrees of separation from communism. It allowed private property, because as the most radical communist in history, Sorel, explained above. It also promoted nationalism. All nations promote nationalism. But in 1919 Mussolini and Lenin stopped writing to each other. It can be explained by the Muslim invasion of Europe today. Lenin was mad, because he said borders were an affront to the basic communist principle of NO BORDERS, so that the “poor could go to take what was rightfully theirs,” They did not write again until late 1922.

    In Paxton’s view, the difficulty can be lessened by comparing the various forms of fascism that emerged in the last century, and by inferring their commonalities. According to him, the different forms — notably the rules of Benito Mussolini in Italy and of Adolf Hitler in Germany — share seven “mobilizing passions.”

    The seven passions are:
    The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual. (Collectivism)
    The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group’s enemies, internal as well as external. (Progressivism’s racial divide)
    Dread of the groups decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism. (Today this has changed and the enemy is the church and tradition)
    Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary. (Capitalist Liberalism, at least that of the Founding Fathers of the US Constitution believed in absolute individualism)
    An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem. (Anyone who disagrees with a modern Socialist is a Neanderthal and dismissed off-hand)
    Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny. (It has been almost always male. Though communism was more open minded and even was the first to make homosexuality legal – Lenin 1918)
    The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success in a Darwinian struggle. (What did Marx say about the “revolutionary holocaust?)

    • Joe America says:

      That’s all well and good, Steve, but I have no idea what your point is. I think this is your first contribution to this discussion blog. It might be helpful to me and other readers if we had an idea of your nationality, location and interest in the Philippines.


    • In short..Adolf Hitler was right and the real enemy is Jewish Bolshevism,Communism,Capitalism,Bolshevism and Zionism.

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  1. […] late Edgar Lores wrote about fascism and Idolatry, JoeAm has written about critical thinking, confidence of the dumb and that Duterte is […]

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