Juan’s Upon a Time


[Photo credit: filipiniknow.net]


By Cha Coronel Datu

Once upon a time, in a kingdom ruled by an overstaying tyrant, there was a man named Juan who held the keys that could either set his master’s enemies free or lock them up with the  prospect of being tortured, raped or even murdered. Known as the Butcher of Martial Law in certain circles, he was feared and loathed in equal measure. With enormous power in his hands, it was the best of times for him and the worst for those that displeased him or his master.

But everything changed one February night, 30 odd years ago, when the Juan that the hapless people of the kingdom feared became the one that sought their protection. Found out for plotting against his master , he would have been captured and suffered the same fate as those he sent to the gallows himself. But having confessed his crime of conspiring to stage his own ambush, the people came to his rescue and the rest as we know, is the short history of a highway called EDSA.

Oh, how Juan must pine for the glory days. Nowadays, it seems that people are mostly just afraid of him dying on them, to be quite frank. You see, while his previous master did not succeed years ago in demolishing his hiding place with a military tank to flush him out and punish him for his betrayal, some very brave men and women on the side of the law have finally set in motion the judicial process that would have landed this old Juan in jail; this time around for allegedly stealing the people’s money that salivating politicians like him regularly set aside for a budget item called pork.

But eight men and women that called themselves Justices (out of the apparent kindness of their hearts), set him free despite the non-bailable nature of the crime he was being held for. The very generous and merciful Justices, it seems, were afraid the frail-looking Juan was too sick to be in a hospital bed in the make-believe prison where he was being held. And so they let him go. To wait and dream of better days ahead. (Perchance to sleep. Permanently?)

To date, none of the Justices have come out to express incredulity at the supposedly very sick one’s promptly marching back to work after his release and even stepping up the stage thereafter to retell a story called Mamasapano. (The effort by the way, mostly sent his audience to sleep, but that’s beside the point). You would have thought that with the collective wisdom of the eight Justices, they would have figured out by now that they have been played, if they weren’t in on it in the first place. Perhaps the Justices are what might be called legally blind, if you catch my drift.

Also Iikely to be wary of  losing the old man is presidential candidate Binay. He needs this Juan ally to be around at least until he gets to the Palace by the river ; a dream he’s had way back when he was still tending to pigs in his uncle’s farm.  For who else then will do the huffing and puffing for him when his opponents bring up the matter of an overpriced parking building that is so expensive it might actually cost him the presidency? Who else has vowed to howl Mamasapanohhhh, like Tarzan, for everytime anyone even just begins to wonder what songs a certain duo named Baloloy and Limlingan might be able to  sing? There is just the Juan and only.

But wait, what fairy tale would be complete without a damsel in distress?  Equally or perhaps even more so afraid would be the erstwhile queen of the Senate Hall, she who was called Ma’am Gigi. Left behind in the make-believe prison they used to share, she must dread the thought of her stem cell powered knight perishing in the battle against old age, and leaving her alone to pay for the designer bags, err I mean the sins that she only probably did for love. (Of money, that is.) Her knight hopefully powers on for her sake, she must pray every night. Or it’s goodbye Louis Vuitton and hello orange jumpsuits for her daily fashion parade.

So then where are the brave men and women that battled with monsters and giants and dynasts in our story? Where are the Davids to Juan’s Goliath?

The Female David

After mostly exhausting the political goodwill he gained from being hailed a hero at the Battle of EDSA through successive attempts to violently wrestle control from the people’s chosen leader; a time finally came when he started gaining inroads in once again consolidating his power base. This was mostly because of his leadership role in the dramatic retaking of the crown from a judge named Corona. Corona was unseated as the controversially appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in impeachment proceedings that Enrile chaired with much legal flair. Buoyed by his newfound popularity and seeming redemption in the eyes of the Filipino public, Enrile made an outrageous attempt at boldly re-writing another already mostly well-known story. He called it his autobiography.


[Photo credit: PH Senate]

But the fair maiden Yolly Ong called his bluff and wrote in a widely circulated opinion column:

  • “Just when we were about to forgive-and-forget Juan Ponce Enrile’s checkered past, he himself reminded us of what a wily, shifty chameleon he truly and naturally is. His stellar performance at the Corona impeachment leveraged enough glory for his son and namesake to become a strong contender for the Senate. Then he launches his autobiography and bio-documentary that attempt to revise history. It’s almost as if he can’t help but shoot his own foot.”
  • “And as history and some unassailable sources avow, this would not be the first time Enrile “shot himself’. In Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir, and bio-documentary “Johnny” that aired in ABS-CBN— he recants his previous recantation of the assassination attempt on him, which Marcos used as one more reason to justify Martial Law.”
  • “Did he expect national amnesia to afflict Filipinos who know the truth? Are we expected to forget the press conference that he and and then Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos called on Feb 22,1986 in the Ministry of National Defense when they withdrew their support for the dictator Ferdinand Marcos?In that life-and-death instance, he confessed that the attempt on his life was bogus. The following day, the headlines blared: “Enrile, Ramos lead ‘revolt’ against FM.” One of the subheads read: “1972 ambush fake—Enrile.”
  • “In his attempt to leave an acceptable legacy for posterity and bequeath a Senate seat for junior, the nonagenarian is sanitizing his recollections instead of asking for absolution. Stem cell therapy can deter dementia but it cannot regenerate an innocent man.” (1)

Yolly Ong was promptly hauled to court by the protesting Enrile who sued her for P31 million for besmirching his reputation and causing him anguish of the mental kind. But brave Yolly was not to be intimidated. She filed a countersuit claiming moral and exemplary damages for Enrile’s violation of her freedom of speech based on unfounded claims. Unfortunately for the brave one, the lower court ruled in favor of Juan, with the Court of Appeals later upholding said ruling. The case against her has yet to be resolved. But she certainly got on Enrile’s case. While the well-oiled wheels of Justice barely squeaked carrying the weight of Juan, the once shiny and impenetrable veneer of his self-polished public image nevertheless got nicked by Ong’s sharpened pen.

The Political David


[Photo credit: ABS-CBN News via Pinoy Journalist]

And then there is the young senator Trillanes who astounded his colleagues and spectators in the Senate hall when he defiantly stood up announcing his leaving the Senate majority block over disagreements with its leadership (Enrile’s) on a bill seeking to divide the province of Camarines Sur. Here’s part of the Inquirer’s Maila Ager’s account of the tussle:

It was Trillanes who first stood up on the floor and announced that he was leaving the majority bloc to join the minority group after he exposed the alleged caucus called by Enrile in his office in the Senate last July 24.

Trillanes did not reveal what they discussed in the caucus but said “suffice to say that I was shoved aside for the nth time.”

“I got out of that caucus feeling trampled upon by a bully determined to get his way,” he said.

“My neophyte instincts were telling me then to just keep the peace and get out of his way. But then the public servant in me just couldn’t let thing pass,” said the senator.

Enrile said the bill should be passed immediately “to immediately relieve him of the pressure”, Trillanes recalled.

“What, the great Senator Enrile could be pressured? I remember him saying otherwise during the last impeachment proceedings,” he said.

“Is the pressure coming from Congressman Villafuete who we see often loitering about the senators’ lounge, the Senate President’s office and even possibly lobbying on [the bill] while we are in session?”

Trillanes said he kept on looking for a possible explanation for Enrile’s “irrational behavior” until a news report came out alleging that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called the Senate leader to speed up the passage of the bill.

“With this totally unexpected twist, everything seemed to fall into place. Now, there remain only two possibilities: That our Senate President is deeply indebted to GMA [Arroyo’s initial] or the he is a GMA lackey,” he said.

“Either way, I have lost trust, faith and confidence in Senator Enrile’s capability to lead the Senate along the path consistent with the reform agenda that I espouse.”

“I, therefore, manifest that I am leaving the majority and consequently joining the minority effective this day,” Trillanes added.  (2)

Enrile’s fuming response to Trillanes that afternoon exposed a vengeful and spiteful old man with an unjustified sense of entitlement; a far cry from the mirage of a competent and erudite Chief Judge that people thought they saw during the Corona trial. The cracks in the ceiling of the House of Enrile just got a little more visible to the naked eye that day, thanks to Trillanes’ slingshot.

The Many Nameless Davids

But the dagger that pierced the heart of the ageing warrior came from where he least expected it. The people he once lorded over and who Juan’s upon a time rescued him from his own murderous master have come to reject his heir apparent, the son that he has prevailed upon to run for Senator in the 2013 elections. Despite being the top campaign spender among the candidates for senator that year, the voting public that has become increasingly disenchanted at the father delivered nothing but the son’s resounding and humiliating defeat. The great Juan Ponce Enrile was finally stripped of his cloak of invincibility, his political ambitions for his son killed in broad daylight.

Back to Juan’s Future

And so moving fast forward,we go back to present times where Juan Ponce Enrile’s humiliation is almost complete. Almost but not quite. He stands accused of plunder and graft in relation to the infamous Janet Napoles pork scam and has been held in detention for months up until eight affable Justices of the Supreme Court let him out on bail for what is a non-bailable offense. He can now wait it out, in comfort, until the next President steps in and possibly absolves him of his sins against the Filipino taxpayer.


[Photo credit: VOA News]

If you do not like where this story is going, brace yourself for an even worse horror story coming your way.

The next President of the Philippines will have the power to appoint the replacements of 10 Justices of the Supreme Court who are set to retire through the duration of his or her 6 year term. (3) Yes, 10 Justices when all it takes are 8 from the lot to look kindly on someone like Juan Ponce Enrile and leave those yearning for an equal serving of justice  looking to divine intervention instead. What hope is there for true justice when any number of Justices can just so casually look down on her already downtrodden body and then spit on her face.

So if the next President is of the wheeling and dealing kind,  beholden to grafters and plunderers, murderers, smugglers and cunning corporate criminals; or worse – is actually one or more of any of those himself or herself then we all can say goodbye to ever seeing the likes of Juan Ponce Enrile actually paying for their wrongdoing. Chances are this President will fill up the Supreme Court with Justices who can be influenced if not just as keen to rule favourably towards his or her benefactors.  And we may all just as well start sending invites to impunity’s grand welcome back party. Juan Ponce Enrile, Bongbong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and the more than forty assorted thieves that stole taxpayers’ money can start queuing for their get-out-of-jail passes, one cooperating Justice at a time.

So the Filipino voters will have to think about this when they choose their next President.

And when they choose the Vice President too, because one never knows what can happen to the President.

And likewise the next batch of Senators and Congressmen. (Because if a Senator or Congressman gets picked for the Judicial and Bar Council, he or she too can have a say in who gets to sit in the Judiciary.)

They may not have a say on who gets to be the country’s Supreme Court Justices but every voting Filipino certainly has a say on who gets to have the power to do so. They have the ability in that one vote to finish to their satisfaction this story that’s been rambling along for a little over a half century by now.

So, will the people vote into office a trustworthy President, as well as a  Vice-President and legislators who they can all rely on to choose or push the appointment of men and women of uncompromising integrity to fill up the Judicial bench, men and women of law who will commit to reforming the justce system and end the culture of impunity? If they do, then there should be a chance for justice. And we may yet get to see –

The End.

(To the power of Juan. And 2 Bongbongs, 3 Estradas, 4 Binays…)



(1) I Case You Missed It – Like Father, like Son? by Yoly Ong

(2) Enrile, Trillanes word war erupts in Senate over Scarborough Shoal negotiations

(3) Aquino successor to appoint 11 SC justices


181 Responses to “Juan’s Upon a Time”
  1. Time to give my impression of what the “February revolution” was when I witnessed it in 1986 – I was following it from afar and also saw how the Embassy where I worked was falling apart and everybody was scurrying to find their place in the new order. I saw the telex that came from Wack-Wack Golf Course where the new government was, not too long after the last telex from Malacanan came. I saw yellow oligarchic hypocrites ousting a brutal cacique and his Mafiosi.

    Now you Cha have proven to me – as a Filipino I am the one who decides when to believe people, my suspiciousness normal to me – by the RH article that you are one of those who truly is on the side of goodness and also the common people, not a sakada or katiwala of a sugar planter’s clan.

    Marcos’ group – logging and tobacco Mafia, Aquino/Cojuangco/Roxas, sugar hacienderos.

    Been with Cubans this weekend, dancing, and I told a Cuban friend funny how the crops the Spanish introduced – sugar and tobacco – we both have. Only the Philippines is like Cuba without a revolution that ousted the exploitative bastards, you have fixed your society now, we have not.

    I looked at the Hacienda Luisita case, the decision of the Supreme Court of 2012 is final and executory. Meaning the suspicions that the only reason the “yellows” want to stay in power is just to make sure the Supreme Court gives them back the hacienda is probably nonsense. But still I remain skeptical and hope that the LP are not just more sophisticated crooks who manage to do everything legally. As they say, those in La Salle (ask Karl) learn how to wash their hands after pissing, while those in Ateneo (ask Mar and Noynoy why they grin all the time) learn how to piss without getting their hands dirty, the Jesuits teach them that. Vitangcol is charged, but not Abaya.

    James Fallow described the February revolution as a restoration of the old oligarchy – so do I. Marcos was like Napoleon, a parvenu cacique, a newcomer. After Napoleon left, it was said that the Bourbons (French royalty) had learned nothing and forgotten nothing. This led to Napoleon III being eventually elected as French President on his uncles(?) reputation and name. Now the Bourbons have learned a bit (especially Bam Aquino, but also Mar) but some of them have not forgotten certain things (spiteful over-vindictiveness of Noynoy against Arroyo, “namatayan din ako, patas na tayo” which he allegedly said to some SAF relatives, yeah Ninoy was killed by PC but most of the SAF boys were not even born then and PNP is another institution!) which is why the followers of Bonaparte, I mean Marcos are able to throw stones at the followers of Bourbons.

    Why do I like to use the “Irineo method” (Joe called it something similar) of finding lessons for the present from history? Because looking back to similar occasions gives us the distance to be able to see the present more objectively and dispassionately, distance ourself even from ourselves.

    Bam Aquino has understood the most the saying from “The Leopard” – we must change, so that everything can stay the way it is. It comes from the mouth of a Sicilian feudal patriarch. It is nice that there are villains to point at, but the people at the bottom don’t really care, and they are not as stupid as you make them out to be. The Aquinos, Roxases and Cojuangcos are NOT old feudal dynasties. They became rich when the Americans sold friar lands. Some Chinoy families like the Tuasons (thanks caliphman for the Son Tua 1760 story!) and Ongpins are way older. Ayalas and Ortigases are not that old either – they happened to be lucky that their friend Quezon built Highway 54 near their land – or maybe they were even his Baloloys and Limlingans? Just because some people behave in a more refined manner does not mean they are less crooked.

    If the true point of the article is to convince people to vote Mar Roxas, I can tell you that you will NOT reach the unconverted with this. I don’t care if you don’t listen to me – from the beginning you have known my stance, I toned it down over several months and have also seen that Mar has many good programs and has ideas – or his staff have good ideas. Sometimes I do agree with James Fallow who wrote that Filipino universities are more like finishing schools than real institutions of learning. Marcos’ good programs especially in Metro Manila were the work of technocratic advisers and economic experts in the background. My father who also worked for Marcos (but was part of Ninoy’s coffee rounds as well believe me or not, but I also say this so I don’t get pots and pan thrown at my by fervent yellowists) said Marcos was just cunning, not intelligent. Because the incapability of the government to communicate what it is doing may just be because they don’t really understand the good stuff technocrats or even paid consultants are giving them. Because they never went to any real school, just finishing/pissing school, i.e. Ateneo.

    Those who know me here know that I seriously considered both Poe and Duterte for their realistic, childs view of the naked emperor. But they have no idea of how to sew new clothes so they are not alternatives either. Seems Mar at least has good tailors, so he deserves a chance.

    But if he is really not sincere – for example actually does the BBL and then the Cojuangcos, Aquinos and Roxases share in business (palm oil plantations, natural gas and/or oil) with some Bangsamoro new sheikhs, then be prepared to reap the whirlwind, Filipinos might truly revolt.

    Don’t think that Joe will be the J.R. Ewing of Mamasapano by then, he has shown himself to be a truly good person. Now I wouldn’t have a problem with them being in business as long as the Filipino people truly get lifted out of poverty. This the Cubans managed to finally do, their infant mortality is LOWER than in the USA, they are an upper-middle class country now opening to the world, still socialist in name just like Vietnam but that is more face-saving. Now I hope that the Filipino soul manages to find its way out of poverty without a bloody revolution. I really hope.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I think AVSECOM is A unit of the Philippine Air Force back then, now PNP handles aviation security.

      • I think that Noynoy not going to the airport also may have been – unconsciously I am speculating here – influenced by the fact that it was the same tarmac is father died on.

        Come on, he has a bullet in his neck from a coup attempt, I can assure you that all of us who somehow experienced that period – you are 1971 generation and young enough to have seen hope coming when you were 15 I joined the left out of desperation at that age – have a scar that is very deep. Why did it take Xiao Chua who is also a Gen X-er to write about Marcos torture? Because those who experienced it are VULNERABLE like you described the Filipino soul, the pain was too great to talk about it. Why do you think my father never told anyone about the executions by samurai sword on Sundays during Japanese occupation? The deep pain. My mother told me about it, something he must have told her in Europe, far away from the pain of the nation like so many before him.

        • karlgarcia says:


          • Pain that people don’t get over with can become anger that destroys. A very violent man once told me that hurting people sometimes comes out of pain that is unbearable.

            Much of the support for Marcos was by the generation that suffered under the Japanese. People wanted a STRONG nation, not a weak nation that could be bullied by the strong. Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia had the same reason for support, the bully there was Germany.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I would call that another Mr. Fantastic view,but It was not only you who has that POV about oil,palm,natural gas.

      But Would Russia be Russia,without Siberia?

      • It’s all fine if it benefits the nation and creates wealth for everybody.

        A corrupt Saudi Arabia in Mindanao, maybe even with US backing? No.

        A truly democratic Bangsamoro, with revenue shared to uplift both Moros and poor Filipinos? Definitely! One only has to find a win-win scenario, and openly sell it to everybody. Like Binay does – I steal and give you cake. Only fairer and squarer than him.

        • “It was not only you who has that POV about oil,palm,natural gas.” of course…

          I can imagine you are aware of that POV especially from military circles… I know from both my listening posts and my unreliable sources that it is strong among former FVR people.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I heard the Republic of Mindanao rumor during FVR’s time.

            • An old saying from old Filipino folk wisdom – something many ilustrados (Rizal and Luna are notable exceptions) and some Ingleseros looked down upon in colonialist disdain: when you point at someone, three fingers are always pointing back at you.

              Now who knows how FVR may have wanted to make deals with some Moros (we must remember that the Tamanos, Maranaos, were favored by FVR) and with China? How the Marcoses were dealing with some US scumbags but now Bongbong is all pro-China? But nonetheless the suspicions raised about why the Maguindanaos and the MILF are being favored over others must be dealt with. I don’t pass judgement quickly, one thing former judge, fiscal and Atty. Irineo Salazar (BIR was the final stage of his career, guerilla and alleged rice smuggler via the Bikol-Manila train line a part of the legends told, but my father said some things you do when necessary but only then) passed on to me was to judge is always very hard, one must look at all sides for the truth. Audiatur et alter pars.

    • cha says:

      I find that our perceptions, attitudes towards events we have witnessed or participated in in the past almost always change through time. How I felt about EDSA then as a young Filipino fresh out of college is so different from what I think about it now as a mother of two young adults myself, one of which is just fresh out of college himself too.

      Time is not a fixative, time doesn’t preserve our memories and understanding of events exactly as they were when they were first created. Time is sometimes a solvent, it softens some images, perhaps dilutes our understanding of some. But time coupled with experience and wisdom gained through our journeys in life, can also enrich, expand and open the mind and the heart to a new way of looking at the same event and those who figured prominently in its unfolding. That is what has happened to our EDSA. You, I and the many others who were there then would all have our own ideas about it now. In some ways we might think similarly, in many others perhaps not. But one thing for sure, our understanding of that experience, as it is now, is what drives us to do what we do in responding to the current political situation in our country.

      As for the true intent of this article, if it was to convince people to vote for Mar Roxas then you would have read a different article, I would have written about Mar Roxas.

      • That is true… the Irineo of 1981 was dead inside, Kasamang Ryan the shell around him.

        As for the true intent of my posting, your answer in the last paragraph shows you have passed a classic Filipino “shit test”. My mindset may be educated, but deep within I still have the deeply distrustful street mindset. Only I go by what a German project coach taught me – it is good to have gut feelings – but then search for facts to prove or disprove them like a detective so that you are sure. Now if more street Filipinos did that instead of just assuming educated Filipinos are all bad people and hypocrites, things might change. My true intent is to promote more understanding. I have been between fronts so often that I am not only an “instant anthropologist” like Karl once called me, I am also a mediator. Edgar once said I am a peacemaker not a wild man – now I am truly flattered, I could not thank him then out of embarrasment. Irineo comes from Greek Eirene – it means peace. 🙂 Sometimes I am a bit like internal auditors who smoke out stuff before the tax folks come.

    • sonny says:

      People should watch Bill in Oz’s youtube on 4 Asian consuls’ MacArthur legacy.

      Note: it’s 1 hour long and also requires a balanced background on MacArthur. Am recommending it for knowledge of the man and his relevance to South China Sea SEA politics.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    MRP will copy this anyway,so I will do it for him.

    “Mariano Renato Pacifico says:
    February 15, 2016 at 10:00 pm
    ENRILE will not be vindicated. ENRILE will make a huge comeback. ENRILE in cahoots with PHILIPPINE PRESS will refresh the Filipinos that it was ENRILE who liberated them from Marcos 20-year conjugal corruption. It is EDSA fake “REVOLUTION” once again. ENRILE, HONSAN and RAMOS will hold a grand reunion, all supporters of Marcos, who had a englorious falling out.

    WILL BONGBONG BE THERE? Of course, the son of political dynasty, Benigno Aquino will be there to honor his accidental hero/president mother’s Statue of Liberty, Cory Aquino.

    Wittingly unwittingly the Philippine Press will cover ENRILE! The Hero! There will be photospread of ENRILE with HK slung around his chest with magazine belt.

    Abangan !”

  3. edgar lores says:

    And the eight foolish justices are (with the year of their retirement in parenthesis):

    1. Arturo BRION (2016)
    2. Jose PEREZ (2016)
    3. Jose MENDOZA (2017)
    4. Teresita Leonardo DE CASTRO (2018)
    5. Presbiterio VELASCO Jr. (2018)
    6. Lucas BERSAMIN (2019)
    7. Mariano DEL CASTILLO (2019)
    8. Diosdado PERALTA (2022)

    All eight were appointed by GMA. The only GMA appointee who dissented was Carpio.

    The next president may just appoint 10, instead of 11 justices. Martin Villarama resigned earlier last month and was replaced by Alfredo Caguiao.

    The current balance of the court is 6 (PNoy) – 8 (GMA) – 1 (Independent Carpio).

    Peralta will be last GMA appointee still standing after the next president’s term.

    • Enrile told Drilon in the matter of the bicam veto on COA appointments – don’t concentrate the power too much on yourselves, you may be out of power someday and regret it.

      Now Enrile is a rascal and a scumbag par excellence – a true bastard in both his ruthlessness and his drive to make it. I know how it can be to be outside, my folks came from outside the better circles and made it up. Now my father studied in Europe, my grandfather was very high up in the BIR towards the end of his career – go figure but I don’t blame my grandfather, and what my father is doing for the intellectual progress of the country more than makes up for it – I include his “eléve” (student) Xiao Chua in that, now he is not a parrot like most Filipino followers, he is to my father as Plato is to Socrates. 🙂

      Not that my father has corrupted the youth in any way, except for some of his female students, but that is NOT an issue for me, it was when he did it too openly and humiliated my mother by doing so. Kissinger said power is an aphrodisiac, my father said intelligence is sexy. Erap said that his problem with Duterte is his lack of finesse in dealing with women. The excessive moralism of many yellows annoys the normal Filipino. Cha won me over with her RH article and when I saw her articles on sex education. I prefer Kris Aquino to Cory. 🙂

      Back to Enrile: his statements betray old Filipino factional thinking. Even though his statements are sometimes refreshingly bastardo-sincere. When he criticized the murder of Ninoy – his first indirect move away from Apo Lakay, he said “you do not just kill anyone who is important. That is simply not done”. Now Joe might say that those are the ethics of impunity laid bare. The question now is: how factional will the PNoy justices be?

      Somebody once wrote that Marcos, by being reelected, violated an unwritten rule of Filipino politics – that factions take turns in exploiting the country. This unwritten rule was also violated by GMA if one goes by those old rules, which are still subliminally there.

      Now the only way that Mar can win the trust of the Filipino is by showing that he has overcome old factionalism. That his appointees will be for only one side, that of the Filipino nation. Not for just the yellows – his having been with so many sides and having worked for the Filipino people in the end is a good side, also his having moved for Erap to be pardoned, some may see that as trapoism I give him the benefit of the doubt – for now. Because my father also got accused of switching sides so often, of being a fence-sitter, of being a snake. He once told me – everything I did, I did for the country. He gave Poe the benefit of the doubt but dropped her in an open letter after the Mamasapano hearings, with the authority to do so as an old friend of both Erap and Da King and as ex-MTCRB. The more there are new politicians who are there mainly for the nation – I count Trillanes in even if what woke him up was Camarines Sur which not even the Spanish dared divide, then the country will be on its way to betterment. Carpio even if he was appointed by GMA is a shining example of a TRUE JUSTICE, dedicated only to principle, not to a faction.

    • Micha says:

      We are essentially kissing goodbye to the naive idea that the supreme court is an impartial, independent, de-politicized government body.

      • It often isn’t… in theory it is and one always has to fight against hypocrisy which erodes the credibility any form of ethics and morality, Church or non-Church.

        Epal commercial: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/panahon-at-distansiya/ in this article I mention how the Pontifices (not Popes, Roman pagan priests) juked the calendar which they were responsible for in favor of politicians. One Pontifex Maximus – Julius Caesar – did away with that nonsense and instituted the Julian Calendar. His judgement on the calendar was FINAL AND EXECUTORY. Only his successor 1500 years later, Pope Gregory (also Pontifex Maximus) made a slight adjustment to that. The Orthodox church did not accept it, which is why the Russian October revolution happened in November… What I am tryting to tell our countrymen is that in order to have stability, too much “weder-weder” is not good. Philippine jurisprudence has not even agreed on certain principles – no wonder given Three Constitutions, all somewhat self-serving. The US already has…

      • cha says:

        Or just issuing a reminder.

    • Cha Coronel Datu says:

      Ah yes, thanks for the catch Edgar. I forgot about Villarama’s early retirement. Dang, I wish I hadn’t forgotten, I could have used a catchphrase to describe the merry band of Justices. I was toying with The Hateful Eight but wasn’t sure people would have gotten the reference, except that I was probably just making an apt description. But 7 would have been good. I could have gone with The Seven Deadly Sins. or The Seven Dwarves? Hi ho, hi ho.

      • karlgarcia says:

        “While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff. Hoping to find shelter from a blizzard, … More
        Initial release: December 7, 2015 (Los Angeles)
        Director: Quentin Tarantino
        Running time: 3h 7m
        Music composed by: Ennio Morricone
        Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino”

      • cha says:

        Oh wait, what am I talking about, the eight are still eight. But the 11 is now 10. Geez, time also made me bad in maths. Or is that comprehension? 🙂

  4. Bing Garcia says:

    I wish this article can be translated to Tagalog.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. I’ve been racking my brain trying to find which mythological figure prefigures Enrile.

    2. The historical figures of famous advisers to kings that come to mind are Cardinal Richelieu (1616), Otto von Bismarck (1860), Grigori Rasputin (1915), Zhou Enlai (1949), and Henry Kissinger (1969). And let’s not forget the original — Niccolo Machiavelli (1498).

    2.1. (There’s another famous name that I forget at the moment.)

    3. But try as I might, I could not come up with any mythical hero or anti-hero. Then it hit me. Enrile had to be… Lucifer!

    3.1. Lucifer in Hebrew is Helel. In a reconstruction of Helel as the mighty warrior Helal, it is told that his ambition was to “ascend higher than all the other stellar divinities, but who had to descend to the depths.” – Wikipedia.

    3.2. Is this not Enrile to a tee? Adviser to king (Marcos) and queen (Cory), ambitious rebel to both, detainee?

    4. Enrile was a consigliere but could not ascend to be a Don. I have wondered about this.

    4.1. Without doubt, he was respected and feared – but never loved.

    4.2. He did not have the folksiness of a Binay, the machismo of an Erap or Duterte, the purity of a Cory or Grace, or the charisma of a Marcos.

    4.3. And because he was never loved, he did not have a broad popular base. His only support was loyalty that could be bought… in the military – and in the Supreme Court.

    4.4. His non-Malay features may be the reason for this disaffection. Long of face, stern of visage, cold of personality.

    5. I just noticed I used the past tense in the item 4’s above. There goes my Buddhist bent.

    5.1. It is chilling – is it not? – when the only love people will proffer to one… is the love to see one die.

    5.2. There will be great sigh… of relief. And if there will be weeping, it will be weeping for joy.

    • You forget Talleyrand, foreign minister to Bourbons, revolutionaries and Napoleon. The latter called this balimbing par excellence a pile of shit in stockings. Men wore stockings, high heels and powdered wigs then – almost as cross-dressing as Lola Nidora. Napoleon was macho and rugged as Duterte by the standards of those days, always wore uniform, and he had a creole wife not liked by aristocratic circles, Empress Josephine not Imelda.

      The old conflict between red and yellow will hopefully end with the Trillanes generation – now Trillanes is classic rightist in his background, but he is dedicated to what is right.

      The Filipino soul may lead to a Magdalo junta if things do go wrong in the coming years.

      Like I told Karl, his generation which is more or less the same as Trillanes grew up free of the fear of Marcos and the pain of the dictatorship, and can overcome the factionalism which sometimes hampers President Aquino’s intentions and those of his supporters.

      The rift between traditionalists (royalists), Bonapartists and ex-revolutionaries took very long to heal in France. One only needs to read Victor Hugo and Dumas closely to get it.

      The rift between Carlistas (Franco was the last avatar of that) and progressives took even longer to heal in Spain and for the country to find its modernity – only recently have true political parties by, for and with the people won the elections against the trapo parties of the post-Franco period – that was just last year. Now the Spaniards do not have trapo in the Filipino sense, they only have trapos as rags, but they do have traditional politicians. Now if the death of Enrile is the death of trapoism, long live Trillanes. Tignan natin!

      • karlgarcia says:

        Fuck Reverence! Fuck Enrile!

        • Enrile was good for everybody, I guess, when he helped oust Corona.

          To what extent are we all a bit Enrile, as in slyly opportunistic as opposed to principled. And when I talk about principle I don’t mean the one who was in charge of our schools. Trillanes is principled. Escudero is another Enrile in the making. Between principled and Enrile or Escudero, there are many shades of gray or grey. There is Binay, there is Duterte, there is Grace, there is Miriam, there is Noynoy and Mar. In that order of principle.

        • Joe America says:

          Can we get back to less expressive poetry? Thanks.

      • edgar lores says:

        That’s it! The name that popped up in my mind was Mitterand. Talleyrand — close but no cigar.

    • chempo says:

      Edgar, I’m inclined to think Chou EnLai and Machiavelli are in the wrong company here. Poor Machiavelli, his name has always been used to portray the devilish charsacter of which he is not.

      How about Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Goring, Albert Speer — take your pick.

      • More Speer or Hess if you ask me. Göring and Himmler were politically inept. Hess was kept in Spandau for the rest of his life by the British, because they new he was a very dangerous turncoat and political player – he attempted an advance truce with them.

        • FVR was more like Himmler. Who said that? His own father when my mother went to him to ask him to intercede when my father was detained. We knew Letty Shahani, FVRs sister because she was both my mother’s and my father’s classmate in Paris, back in the days.

          I’m not gonna swear on this statement because I don’t have to – Bilibid or not, see me as Walter Mitty or Forrest Gump, credible or not, Mr. Fantastic or Mr. Bombastic I don’t care.

      • edgar lores says:

        Chempo, great additions to the list of able — but crooked — advisers.

        • Shall we add Mar Roxas to that line? He served both Erap and GMA.

          Sometimes you have to compromise in order to be able to serve the nation.

          • Why I am talking to you Edgar? Because I see that you see not only the shades of gray or grey, but also the various colors with all shades and brightnesses. The extreme moralism of some pisses me off to be very honest, because history and life ain’t that simple. Kudos once more to you Edgar for NOT seeing Duterte as pure evil. This is not a Manichean thing, because as Nietzsche said those who fight dragons may become dragons as well.

          • chempo says:

            Perhaps I’m naive, or un-informed, but it seems to me that Mar was above all those political frays, focused only on the executive role during those past admin. I used to be like that in my working life — simply doing my job and heck care all those political games being played by my peers and the various superiors.

            • Correct… there were also Marcos people who were honest technocrats who wanted to do their job for the country. I count Metro Manila Commissioner Mel Mathay among them, as well as Labor Minister Blas Ople (that could be contentious I know).. Escudero’s dad I really can’t tell… Tatad NO he was part of the apparatus but too inept to stay in power, Virata (also an Aguinaldo descendant) I really wonder, Gapud was Marcos’s bagman – thing is both Virata’s and Gapud’s daughters were in my high school batch in Pisay.

              I’m just mentioning Roxas as an example because some people take the fact that someone worked for Marcos as the mark of Cain. My father also worked for Marcos. He was the ghost writer of Tadhana, History of the Filipino people – an excellent work about the early Spanish period that many will NOT read today because of the name on it. My father was detained, Susan Evangelista “mock deported” – she is mentioned in Cha’s article – and when the Don made him (with a German wife, deportable any time, the mock deportation I think now was addressed at US not the Evangelistas, even if it was horrible when the kids called – dad also in jail, mother picked up, and my mother fetched them to play with us the whole day) an offer he could not refuse, what should he have done? Many of the yellows only cared about Marcos when their comfortable Greenhills lives were affected by the economic crisis of the late Marcos years. They did not give a FUCK (Karl is using it now so I am using it too) about us intellectuals when the Marcos people came for us. They don’t want to know even now because that upsets their goddam yellow piousness and perfection, pointing moralistic fingers at everybody not as “pure” as them.

            • Joe America says:

              From Wiki: His stint as Congressman was cut short after he was appointed by President Joseph Estrada as Secretary of Trade and Industry.[3] He resigned from the position at the height of the EDSA Revolution of 2001 and was later re-appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her new Cabinet.[4] He resigned again to run for a Senate seat in the 2004 Philippine election.[5] He was elected as Senator with 19 million votes and the highest ever garnered by a national candidate in any Philippine election.

              He was not with either president long enough to become a part of the “good old boys and girls”. Basically, he was in demand. His ceding to Aquino and loss to Binay tarnished his winning image.

              • In fact he showed principle when he turned his back on Arroyo and even challenged her – the famously passionate speech where he said the same thing Duterte likes to say, except that Arroyo deserved it if ever and the Pope did not.

                Filipinos – real Filipinos, not those who aspire to become Americans, with all due respect to your ways – are keenly aware of moral shades of grey or gray, it ain’t black and white.

                My father once said Gloria deserves to die, and he didn’t even with that upon Marcos.

              • Joe America says:

                Not all of us (Americans) are black and white. Some may look that way because they adopt principles and stick with them, but they are able to converse with others about issues. Some are black and white.

              • You are right, I was unwittingly being prejudiced. I have written an article about the factionalism part so as not to sidetrack from Enrile: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/on-filipino-factionalism/ and all and sundry are invited to comment if they want.

                As for Enrile, it does frustrate me that he WAS good enough for everybody when he was needed but now is seen as the Devil – now isn’t that black and white? He is a truly bad person no doubt about that, but why was there never a tribunal trial for all the crimes of Martial Law? No need to go Romanian on anybody – they shot the Ceaucescus. But these folks should all have been put in jail just after February 25, 1986. For at least 15 years. “Soft and forgiving” first and vindictive later when not needed – it is not that convincing.

              • Joe America says:

                My first response is to ask “Who really knew Enrile?” The public’s “need” for him was built on illusion, I think. Then suspicion set in. Then the Ombudsman put him in jail. And now he can no longer do what he did then, master the illusion. The people are just being honest with their observations. Also, I think the crimefighting organization in the Philippines is not exactly of the J Edgar Hoover temperament.

    • cha says:

      Lucifer sounds just about right.

      I find it fascinating how he and Imelda who share the same humble beginnings and were both the subject of scorn and ridicule in their early lives (bastardos the two of them were) also both found in Marcos their opportunity at ascendancy and how they in fact both became the powerful figures that they both came to be using two very different tracks. One explored the culture and the arts as the way to her people’s hearts, the other relied on brute force. It’s like Beauty and the Beast gone wrong.

      • http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/1987/11/a-damaged-culture-a-new-philippines/7414/ – time to put this into the discussion, because the elitism of the Philippines – a mangled bastard of datuship and Don mentality is a disease that breeds new “Humiliated and Insulted” – a Dostoevsky novel Mar Roxas may have read as I know from Jessica Zafra’s blog that he likes that novelist – who will hurt the country once more:

        Carmen Navarro Pedrosa, a writer some of whose work was banned under Marcos, recently published a debunking biography of Imelda Marcos. Its killing blow, in its final chapters, was its assertion that while Imelda always pretended to be an aristocrat, Corazon Aquino really was one: “Her jewels were truly heirlooms, not recent purchases from Van Cleef and Arpels. She was a true blue stocking, educated in the United States, and fluent in French. She represented all that Imelda had ever aspired to.’

        Funny that CNR is now supporting Duterte, when she wrote such elitist stuff against Imelda. The Filipino soul is there – just like the Russian soul is deep – but the Filipino psyche is often as mad or even madder than the Russian psyche, this I tell everybody.

        The yellow moralist elitism – which you Cha and Edgar do NOT represent – is a mangled bastard of datu and Don culture plus American moralism. Kris Aquino’s sex life and Noynoy Aquino’s RH law represent a departure from the old yellow moralism of Cory, which was nonetheless too weak to punish both Enrile and Ramos, in fact depended on FVR too much. In the Karpman triangle Ramos was both pursuer and rescuer.

        Let us say that some unreliable sources from way back then gave me the impression that the coups were staged by one group and other groups helped Cory, but the great manipulator and kingmaker behind everything was Ramos. One never really knows. Finally one has to be careful in judging, because we do NOT want to become the yellow mirror image of GRP which is obviously pro-Marcos. The moment we become THAT, I have my own blog to retreat to until there is more sense again in people’s hearts and minds. Hell, the entire Philippines is a bastard, an azkal dog, but does that matter in the end? The bastard grandchild of Spain, foundling of America. The soul matters, and in the end both Enrile and Imelda lacked in soul, just like Chiz does. Erap has a soul for all his faults.

        • Joe America says:

          Ach, to label is to divide. To wrap all “yellows”, or even most, up in lingering Marcos bitterness I believe is just your personal anguish looking for a place to go. I don’t think many people here are pushing agenda without willingness to listen, and that is the discerning quality between a thoughtful yellow and a peddler. Also, I’d opt for less harsh language. I’ve just been gloating about what a great discussion thread we have here, and on twitter invited young people to read the blog. I’d hate to regret either stance.

          • Don’t worry, I have said what I wanted to say… and I don’t even see most “yellows” in that category. And I don’t think most Filipinos have a problem with clear language, it is an American thing to beep over stuff or even start the music playing during the Grammys, like what happened when Michael Moore started to talk against Dubya Bush. Elitist language, racist asides against Binay are worse, they alienate many Filipinos we all try to reach.

            Since my name is not Duterte, I know when to stop. It did get me a bit worked up that some are dividing the country into those somehow connected with Marcos and not. Because it is not a mark of perfection to be part of President Aquino’s group either. What counts is what people do or don’t do, not their pedigree, not their group affiliation or anything. I would even have accepted Bongbong if he had not personally taken part in certain things, and if he had found a way to learn from his father’s faults like President Weizsäcker of Germany, son of Hitler’s foreign minister, did. But it seems, it seems, that many Filipinos lack such a thing as a conscience while others lack the spirit of forgiveness. They talk about being Christian but they really ain’t, they just said “yes sir” to the frailes, said “yes sir” to the Americans and parroted democracy by rote as usual without understanding anything. Maybe it is personal, a personal view from what I have seen and experienced. I know there are real people there, not only lapdogs and attack dogs. Hope I get to see more of that.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Just because My avatar is yellow skinned you are labelling me yellow?
              Or are you talking about Mary? Mary is green.

              • I have no problem with present-day Daang Matuwid.

                This Cory revival annoys me a little bit, that is all – MRP is right the people did it and one should not make a politician into a kind of Virgin Mary statue – it is in fact blasphemy. The 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal was the first People Power, and what they did was to put a “Cristo Rei” statue, a huge one like in Rio de Janeiro, by the riverside as a symbol of triumph – that is fine because it does not create a personal idol, it stands for everyone.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Who is worshipping Cory? There is already a people power monument,Cory and Ninoy have their own monuments.If there was a recount,Cory would have won,alas,there was Fraud,so people power had to happen.

            • butod says:

              I share pretty much the same discomfort with the impulse to paint Mar’s opponents too dark.a shade of grey, or an outright black even. I’m not inclined towards Poe simply because I think she’s too green (as opposed to yellow?) to competently rule as President, but I think the impulse to connect Marcos dots her way simply because she counts some ex-Marcos men as her supporters is rather an overreach. The late Sal Escudero (by way of Chiz) and Bobby Ongpin served Marcos till his ouster, yes, but they were never in the league of Marcos loyalists nor materially benefited from his patronage. Tar Ongpin for his behest loan from GSIS to buy the same GSIS bulk Philex shares and sell to MVP for a huge windfall, yes; snipe at him for his wheeling and dealing in the BSP-Alphaland tradeoff; but to pin him as a Marcos loyalist is quite the stretch. It was their spines, not sycophancy, that was their problem before EDSA. Baka si Rene Cayetano pwede pa.

              My point is, given how we have such a narrow middle class and in the absence of campaign finance regulations, any candidate that seriously wants to win can’t afford to be too proud as to be picky with their choices of benefactors and supporters. And so we had Pnoy in 2010 having to welcome Lakas stalwarts (of all degrees of GMA loyalty) to the fold of Liberals, and even accepting generous contributions from Danding sibling Ramon (and I suspect from Danding himself — given how the tres Marias profusely and publicly thanked him post-elections). Mar himself is not averse to courting the support of any of the extended Estrada clan, and recently we saw how the Liberals had to turn its back (grudgingly I imagine) on its own good governance advocate Grace Padaca so it could fully embrace the Dy clan to prevent a repeat of his devastating defeat to Binay in Isabela in 2010. Duterte himself, who just before confirming his decision to run late last year was still trolling his long-time foe Prospero(us) Nograles, gladly accepted the son’s very public endorsement of his candidacy not long thereafter. And then of course there’s Binay with his come-one-come-all clarion call.

              In the States, you have the Clintons who never denied their strong base among Wall Street types. The only top of mind candidate right now who has been able to defy this rule and yet has remained firmly in contention is Sanders, and I don’t know how far this will get him.

              I can understand the need for “brand differentiation” to set Mar apart from his rivals, but I still think there’s room for even just a little more nuance for making one’s case rather than oversimplifying the landscape.

              • cha says:

                Excellent point Butod. I doubt there’d be anyone standing if we were to cross out any candidate who can be connected in some way to Marcos through six degrees of separation, oftentimes less. Neither if we cross out everyone that’s had to make political compromises, coalesce with some undesirables just to protect their base or capture new ones. In Philippine elections, most of the time, one’s choice of a candidate essentially becomes a matter of choosing the lesser of several “evils”. but no one wants to sell their candidate as such. Because the people want a hero, a superman, Jesus Christ himself it that was possible.

              • I got you, loud and clear, butod.

                I concede that the likes of Ongpin are not exactly loyalists of Marcos but we cannot deny that they have benefited from that regime. I consider him one of the mafia members, the head of which we were able to drive away to Hawaii. They still remain, after having been a party to the corruption of Marcos, they connived with Binay for Alphaland and other DBP officials and the stock exchange commission for insider trading. So the game goes on after a Binay or a Poe presidency.

                My point is, there are unfinished court cases involving them arising from the above mentioned anomalies, couple that with the next president having the chance to appoint 10 new SC associate justices who will form the majority, not to mention those at the lower courts, the CA, allegedly engaged in TRO business.

                One analyst (I forgot who) stated that Escudero effectively emasculated himself by his getting all these ex-mafia members as wedding sposors, notwithstanding his public affirmation of his independence, and we know wily he is, and who Poe listens to most of the time being a green politician that she is.

                So what will happen to our fight against corruption if the court of last resort is packed with justices appointed by Poe (as influenced by Escudero, who in turn will be influenced by his ex-Marcos mafia wedding sponsors? Or a Binay set of appointees who will take care of all his court cases for alleged plunder activities?

                Politicians are not lily white clean, I am enough of a realist to acknowledge that, but with this glaring and public manipulations that we know of, do we ignore these manipulations just because there MIGHT be the same goings on which we do not know as of now?

                Just how will Escudero return the generosity of that grand Balesin wedding sponsored by the ex Marcos mafia? That mafia will tempt and use him the way he tempted and used Binay.

                A level playing field, my foot.

              • To normal Filipinos there is not much difference (yet) who is at the top.

                Some will say: one Mafia works illegally, the other legally by the rules they created.

                The challenge is to overcome the sense of victimhood so many have, and that will only work when the triad of 4Ps/K12/BUB shows real effects – but that will only happen if you manage to convince the Filipinos that Mar is sincere and that something will really happen.

    • sonny says:

      1. I vote Sisyphus. He was in every god’s business. So they gave him a boulder and a ramp so he does occupy himself to no one’s harm.

      • edgar lores says:

        Sisyphus? I know only of his punishment and not his crime. But he certainly was a piece of work.

        • What was his punishment? Lifetime President of the Philippines?

        • sonny says:

          “… every god’s business”

          The gods who mattered anyway.

          (From D’Aulaire). Sisyphus, king of Corinth snitches on Zeus and paramour, Aegina nymph and daughter of river-god Asopus. Irate Zeus asks Hades to take Sisyphus down to the underworld. His brother obliges and personally goes to take the king. The king asks why Hades came for him not the usual Hermes. Hades hesitates long enough for Sisyphus to chain him down. Hades so tied down like a dog, nobody can die and entangles the threads of life disrupts the job of the Fates and puts the world in confusion. So Hermes comes for Sisyphus who expected his coming and instructed his wife to skip his royal burial which meant he did not have the coin to present for passage across the river Styx. So Hades sends him back to the living. He lived for a while but he had to die of old age. Hades just had the right punishment for him that will keep him out of mischief: the live boulder and the ramp.

          ( (:-) I knew there was a reason for keeping my son’s mythology book. No consolation for Enrile.)

          • cha says:

            Well Sonny, thank you for holding on to your son’s mythology books. I too would never have thought of likening Enrile to Sisyphus. But knowing now he was a snitch and a sly operator, well why not.

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Thank you, Cha! Thank you very much. EDSA was not a revolution. It was condonation of Enrile and supporters of Martial Law the military strategists that produced widows and magic sleight of hand that disappeared many. There was no shots fired! There were no deaths! There were heroes! And the heroes were:
    1. Defense Minister Enrile.
    2. Lieutenant Honasan, sidekick and aide-de-camp of General Ramos cousin of Ferdie Marcos
    3. General Ramos that succeded Accidental President Cory Aquino
    4. French-speaking former Accidental President Cory Aquino, wife of political dynasty that bore the current president who is the son of a political dynasty. A good one! Dynasty is not bad after all
    5. The Mestizo class! They were the reason the Filipinos fought against in late 19th century that is now adored as handsome, beautiful that made Megan Young, Wurtzbach and all those Miss Sinulog-Miss-Cebu who all of them are foreign-looking with French lastname to boot
    6. The Church! They tried to grab credit labeling EDSA event as MIRACLE OF EDSA a credit to God not credit to the original first-responding revolutionaries: The Balut Vendors, Ice Cream Vendors, Iced Water Vendors, Bar-B-Q Vendors, Cigarette Vendors, the Osyosos, Tsismosos

    The Vendors and the Osyosos were never acknowledged. They got no class. They were never heroes despite they were the first-responders. Cory Aquino’s Statue of Liberty does not show the Vendors and Osyos. Only Cory Aquino. Cory Aquino was in Cebu. He was nowhere near EDSA. But Cory Aquino was the rallying cry of the Filipinos thrist of freedom.

    EDSA Event went into many last-minute transformations and credit grabbing:
    1. Enrile-Honasan-Ramos called it EDSA REVOLUTION
    2. The Church called it MIRACLE OF EDSA
    3. The Filipinos who were not there called it PEOPLE POWER

    To this day, EDSA is a failure. There is still a struggle at EDSA. The struggle to get home to make it to Family Dinner. The struggle of humongous traffic that is billed by international observers as the worst traffic in the world. Yes, Virginia, The Worst.

    To this day there is still a struggle aside from traffic. The struggle of working-class commoners. The struggle of browned skin colored Filipinos to be accepted as beautiful. The adoration of the mestizo class. The hatred against Chinese traders. Those OFWs wanted to come back to be with their families and be given dignity of jobs and living wage.

    • MRP, it just occured to me while on errands outside my home office – the main issue of the Philippines is that it is an ACCIDENTAL NATION, with a very long colonial period and many different languages that make communication within the nation very, very difficult.

      Indonesia and Malaysia are also accidental nations, but there is Bahasa which was the lingua franca of the entire Malay world including the Philippines. The Philippines could have had English or Tagalog but both were not taught properly, only around half of the country understands one of the two. If there are differences it should usually be possible to find a way to resolve them but communication is hardly possible, besides people are not open because of very old distrust, you rarely know if the other person or group is honest.

      Now if you replace mestizo class by the entitled – because some are also former slaves, Rizal was right, what if the slaves of today become the tyrants of tomorrow? – I would fully agree with you. It is a culture of humiliation and insult, a culture that breeds resentment.

      • The ososyos is also not fully right – there were so many who went because they wanted change – but they did not yet know what change they wanted. Duterte and Poe supporters also want change but don’t really know what – that lack of direction already proved bad.

        I do think Joe’s next articles are ideas on the way to a solution – civility and inclusion as well as the land title thing. I think it has the following reasons:

        1) the groups in the accidental nation are unable to be civil to one another, and exclusion is the norm. It is a habit from centuries, carried forward.

        2) A lot of bad blood is due to land controversies. For a basically peasant people it is the greatest horror for one’s land to be grabbed. A lot of hatred stems from that.

        Finally it is about communicating properly to find win-win solutions. The vicious cycle of centuries must be stopped so that the basics for a successful country can be built. What I would add is one thing, because Supreme Court is not the only important issue:

        3) a justice system that truly protects the citizenry by punishing bad people at all levels. Why should people care about a state that does not protect them but only the entitled? For many simple people this is all just a fight among different ruling groups, not more.

        What use is talking to them about morality and rule of law if they have not seen what it can be in practice? In practice if you want to be protected in the Philippines, hang on to one of the powerful to be sure. Forget the police – OK that might be changing – forget the courts.

        Enrile is free but innocent people rot in jail for years without trial until now – the Layman Pinoy has an article about that. That is a scandal for a nation that wants to be first-world. In a way, Duterte is humane, he just would have them killed and not suffer for a lifetime.

      • Joe America says:

        Box it up, Irineo. Tie a ribbon around it. Write a book. Short, crisp, pithy chapters. “A culture of humiliation and insult.”

        • No need for a book the blog has all the relevant stuff, and the article “The Accidental nation” sums up the most important conclusions that I have drawn as of now.

          What people make out of it is their thing, or read it in 30 years like Fallows’ article.

    • cha says:

      EDSA is what it is, is what it was. We can choose to be on a standstill, paralysed just trying to make sense of where we are, where we’ve been in this maze; fighting for space to get heard amidst the intermittent noise coming from UP graduate journalists, political analysts etc. (UP people are noisy people. Haha. Me, especially, according to my daughter).

      Or we can choose to move along, deal with one breakdown at a time. And one breakdown is caused by 8 lousy Justices on the wheels and their one geriatric passenger who is in a bad mood. Do we deal with the Justices, give them tickets for their unruly behaviour and get them and their passenger off the road?

      Or maybe we should just teleport our way out of EDSA and let Justice run amok over there. Maybe Katipunan Rd. is a better place to go. it’s near Ateneo. Lots of heroes are from Katipunan. But it’s been taken over by mestizos and indios that buy skin whitening products. And worse, I heard there are UP people in Ateneo also. Teaching the Atenistas. OMG! Take me back to EDSA!

      • I think it is in general a problem that many people rot in jail for years without trial – especially the poor. Those like Enrile get out, but the core issue is that true justice is not served with the present system. Not for Arroyo either but George Looney’s wife is wrong in her priorities – there are enough poor and powerless who stay in jail too long and don’t get swift trials, much less fair trials. They don’t even have the education to understand the laws or the arcane justice system most of the time, or the money for proper lawyers.

        But this is but one aspect of my analysis http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/the-accidental-nation/ which is my answer to George Fallow’s Damaged Culture article which I only read thanks to Manong sonny recently – it puts things together in my point of view.

        It is a major step I am taking in the http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/revolution-in-mind/ that somewhat puzzled Edgar Lores… we educated folks have a distorted mental model from the Philippine educational system which includes UP but not only.. that mental model is often abstract, based on concepts that are not the reality of the Philippines but came fro abroad where the development of society was different. Christianity, justice and democracy are three foreign ideas we have only partly assimilated, even we educated, and even if we apply them to each other, we often act like the denizens of Intramuros towards our less educated countrymen. Now your RH article is going out to the “Indios” and is laudable… but we must distill the ideas of Christianity, justice and democracy and put them in practice before we try to preach them to our countrymen, they may not have education but they have horse sense, and will call it bullshit… in the Accidental Nation I give the poorly expressed ideas of MRP more erudite expression so the point gets across!

        • cha says:

          You do know that I was poking fun at Mariano’s constant reference to UP graduates and skin whitening addicted Indios in my posting, don’t you? But I don’t really think in those terms, just to be clear. I am not comfortable with your saying the RH article goes out to the “Indios”, that’s not the spirit in which I wrote it.

          I write not to preach but to share a point of view, a way of looking at an issue that I think needs to be articulated. If people find themselves in agreement, that’s good then. If not, then tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to get the point across.

          And I think MRP is doing well on his own, for his own purposes. He sings with his own voice. A Capella most of the time.But I get him. 🙂

          • “I am not comfortable with your saying the RH article goes out to the “Indios”, that’s not the spirit in which I wrote it. ” guess my sarcasm is sometimes a bit over the top, and I know you didn’t write the article in that spirit, the ones mentioned are seen as PEOPLE, not the amorphous MASA which is the modern word for Indio if you ask me. Could be that the spirit of your article plus MRP’s stuff has flowed into my latest article, if you all make single malt whiskey I am the one who makes the whisky that is a mixture of many single malts.

            Good that you get him, but many don’t. His style gives certain groups the blame, when the causes for the issues are systemic and social, and the solutions also are. My articles look for solutions, ideas, proposals – here is specific, my stuff is generic, both are needed…

            • cha says:

              Both are needed. Yes, absolutely. We are all just different oddly shaped peas from the same pod. MRP is the black-eyed one. Haha. Peace Mariano.

      • sonny says:

        Not to worry Cha. Our would-be lawyers and doctors and sometimes one or two scientists opt to go to UP. 🙂 (our Chem top PhD became UP Chancellor)

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > The struggle of humongous traffic that is billed by international observers as the worst traffic in the world.

      With increased individual wealth comes the need to acquire a status symbol. Like a automobile. And many have gone to buy their own to show that they have succeeded, but at the price of infrastructure and government misdecision.

      More vehicles were assembled and bought since 1986 without limit as successive administrations have stumbled badly and their attentions focused elsewhere that the needed infrastructure came in too late.

      • cha says:

        I think Manila’s ranking as worst traffic in the world is based on experience of users of the traffic app WAZE.

        Another recent ranking of major cities of the world in terms of traffic ranks Jakarta as no. 1. Manila doesn’t even figure in the list because it’s based on information gathered from the Tomtom navigation system, which is probably not yet available in Manila.

        So I don’t think either of the two lists actually correctly capture how Manila compares with other cities in the world. Suffice to say, it’s not good.


        Mar Roxas also talked about the doubling (or was it more?) of the volume of new car purchases in the Metro area in recent years, in an interview where he was asked about his plans to address Metro Mla’s traffic mess.

        Maybe a car is a status symbol to some but I suspect it’s also seen as a necessity by a lot more, given the unreliability of transport services, if they are even available at all. There’s a limit to what additional infrastructure can be built to ease up the flow at EDSA, an efficient mass transport system will just have to be part of the solution. I believe Mar Roxas has identified plans to address this issue, I wonder if any of the other candidates have likewise any proposed solutions?

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Regarding the other candidates… Honestly some of them are focused elsewhere, with no concrete plan at all.

          Yes, I insist on having the mass transportation system fixed up *completely*. In this day and place we cannot simply afford to have the jeepney TODA style to run the bus network; with the old Marcos-era MMTC dismantled in favor of the franchise system, it has run amuck, what with poorly trained (as of now, there is NO formal training center for heavy vehicle drivers, given the complete lack of foresight in LTO, a completely red-taped organization) drivers who are often after the boundary quota by packing in as many people as possible, then drive like hell, break rules, every-man-for-himself, and clash with private motorists, some of them who are just as worse. No wonder why Top Gear Philippines has now become Hoy Gising! of gearheads.

          • cha says:

            Maybe the new Admin will need to look at it also in terms of how the government is structured to be able to address the problems effectively. EDSA and the roads leading to it span through several local government’s area of responsibility and authority. The MMDA has responsibility for traffic management but what role does it play when it comes to policymaking?

            And then you have the DOTC that should probably be split up in two to better focus on each of the two streams of transportation and information technology and communication.

  7. Corellation of Google Trends vs SWS survey from March 2015 survey to Feb 2016 Survey

    Binay -0.438925393
    Poe -0.12011759
    Duterte 0.822984439
    Roxas 0.385429642
    MDS 0.100353427

    Binay’s sws ratings have Strong negative correlation with that of google trends.
    Duterte sws ratings have Strong correlation with that of google trends.
    Roxas sws ratings have moderate correlation with that of google trends

    While POE and Miriam have low correlation with that of google trends.

    Gut feeling is that Majority of Poe’s supporters are not well represented by the 40 Million Internet Users in the Philippines

    Duterte’s google search profile span that of the whole world and he is far and above the Internet President

    Grace’s google search profile is concentrated in Luzon and NCR
    Binay is concentrated in Mandaluyong and Makati
    Mar is concentrated in QC, Makati, Cebu.

    • mercedes santos says:

      What does that tell you ??? Vulgarity has always been sensational !!!!! Dude dirty is being searched for his impudence; it gives peeps a kick and a LAUGH ☹ . . .as for affirmation of his politics, THAT is the question.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s interesting. So if we take SWS as the tangible facts of popularity and Google as the emotional edge that could tell us the direction popularity is likely to take if internet attitudes shape the facts, then we would project Binay going down further, Poe sliding down, Duterte remaining strong and getting stronger, Roxas creeping up and Santiago showing the slightest of gains.

      I think Mercedes has hit the key on Duterte. If all the candidates were earnest, honest people, what I have just written would be true. But it could be that the Google search on Duterte is just entertainment. So I’d say my statement about “Duterte remaining strong and getting stronger” could be false, but the rest is true. Still, I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

    • NHerrera says:

      Comments on gian’s note on the correlation of Google trend vs SWS survey

      Binay -0.438925393
      Poe -0.12011759
      Duterte 0.822984439
      Roxas 0.385429642
      MDS 0.100353427

      On correlation coefficient — the higher the google trend measure or “volume,” the higher the SWS numbers. A correlation of 1.00 is perfect correlation. High google trend volume can come from bad or good media (traditional or social media) commentaries Then:

      1. Binay’s SWS numbers has reasonable correlation with google trend or “volume” of media play albeit in a NEGATIVE way: less volume better; more volume not good. No wonder his strategists adjustments lately has borne fruit — less media play but active provincial/ town sorties.

      2. Poe and MDS are in the same category because of the low correlation (the sign + or – is essentially insignificant because of the low correlation coefficient). In the case of Poe her google trend volume is not affecting her numbers more than other factors: changes in the numbers of the rivals, etc.

      3.The “volume” of media commentaries on Duterte — whether good or bad for him — correlates well with his numbers. So he can fire away at will because the VOLUME of media pickup is the key. After all he is not our “Trump” for nothing.

      4. Roxas’s SWS’ numbers have reasonable non-random correlation with google trend volume. Because of self-imposed restraints, his mostly rational actions/statements, as may be reflected in media, correlates reasonably with his SWS’ numbers. There is something here for Roxas strategies.

      5. In the case of MDS (see also Item 2 above), the youth idolizing her is old hat and her other political statements, although always news-worthy are taken for granted. Of course, her low SWS number is because of campaign machinery and since her number is stuck in the low 5’s, is rather self-fulfilling — the Filipino concept of “not wasting one’s votes.”

      (Of course my comments above are rather obvious and may be seen to be contrived to fit the data from gian.)

      • cha says:

        I agree, I think Google searches indicate the level of noise surrounding each candidate and the higher volumes may not necessarily be reflective of the candidates popularity or voting preferences in favour of one candidate vs the others. Like I would think that Manny Pacquiao’s Google search stats would have gotten an upsurge in the last 24 hours but that, like in Binay’s case, may actually have negative correlation to his voting numbers.

        What’s puzzling though is the low noise level on Grace Poe considering the coverage her citizenship issue is still generating. Could it be, as Gian said above, that her followers are not really internet users? Or is it more because, both mainstream and social media already come out with an almost daily dose and updates on Grace Poe’s debacle and people are already in a state of overdose on all things Grace Poe? Is that a good thing or a bad thing that people may have lost interest in the Grace Poe story?

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > 3.The “volume” of media commentaries on Duterte — whether good or bad for him — correlates well with his numbers. So he can fire away at will because the VOLUME of media pickup is the key. After all he is not our “Trump” for nothing.

        Because this Disqus user is using the picture of a former Haitian minister, it’s too clear that there’s astroturfing going on, whether paid or provided gratis by a Duterte fanatic.

      • 🙂 thanks for making this chaos a little bit readable.

  8. cha says:

    Dean Tony La Viña has just written the first of series of articles that walks through the Supreme Court cases where Enrile has been respondent/petitioner (particularly those involving human rights violations) with the end In view of relating the Supreme Court’s decisions on these cases to the current state/ failure of the justce system and their possible implications on the outcome of the May 2016 Elections:


    • caliphman says:

      Enrile has always been an opportunist throughout his life. Starting from his childhood when he left behind a life of penury in the provinces to live with his rich lawyer uncle which opened the doors to Harvard and later a career in politics. Again as Marcos’s right hand, his chameleon character allowed him to operate in support of a powerful leader not as a toadie like Ver but in the shadows where he could make character compromises and amass power and wealth without committing himself to excessive risks.

      Chameleon-type opportunists like him excel in laying low and prefer to lurk in the shadows and behind the scenes, waiting for the right turn of events before pouncing and asserting themselves. Thus it was more comfortable for him to have Honasan and the other RAM leaders take the initiative in plotting and acting against Marcos and then later against Cory without being in the forefront himself. What is remarkable is that his success in remolding himself and thriving in radically changed situations now makes him believe that he can do the same with the public’s perception of who he is and what he has said and done. The sad thing is to a large extent he can still influence the courts and the senate to follow him but perhaps not so much with a forgiving but less gullible public.

      I doubt if he ever truly aspired or was capable of becoming president himself. If he were in a character from the hit series The Sopranos, he would be more a capo or a consiglieri but not a powerful don himself.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        Sometimes, as I learned in an Eric Segal novel, the real power lies not in being the President, but rather be the one advising the President. Or at least having power in a position different from the presidency — either as a Supreme Court Justice or a Senate President — these are the positions that are part of the checks-and-balances system that counters the powers of the other two.

      • cha says:

        Maybe he’s more of a wartime consigliere, the kind Sonny Corleone was looking for in The Godfather. He is in his element inside a war room planning how and when the best time is for a kill. He feels lost in times of peace, unsure of his place where there is no tension to fuel his survival instincts. I think that is maybe why he opted to go after a leadership position in a revolutionary government, he would know how to function in that set-up. Having lost that opportunity, he has been content to play the role of agitator, the destabiliser. He knows not how to build, but is a master craftsman at tearing down and destroying whatever good there is still left in the country’s political system.

        • andrewlim8 says:


          Joe and I had a previous discussion where I theorized that Enrile may have been so damaged by his circumstances of being born out of wedlock to a laundrywoman (and as far as I know he never really warmed up to her or lived with her, choosing to go live with his successful father).

          It is a situation one cannot change no matter how rich or powerful you become. The shame may have been so great, so he takes it on the country, often not to do the right thing, but to mess it up.This ties up with your view on his tendency to destroy, rather than build.

          • andrewlim8 says:

            Over the years, I’ve read literature on how psychological damage in the early years carry on for life. E.g. child molesters were themselves molested/harmed during childhood. Extremely violent criminals see their acts as a way of dealing with the unbearable pain of a memory.

            Nihilism, or the belief that society’s morals or ideals have no value and that a society’s institutions should be destroyed is a recurring theme among the disenchanted youth. ISIS and Marcos recruits exhibit this behaviour, I think.

            • The latter paragraph also describes the attitude we had as young leftist recruits. Well, if you experience hypocrisy firsthand – meaning that what is done is radically different from reality – as a young person you might generalize, no Santa Claus so they are all liars… 🙂

              My latest article analyzes the disjoint between what I hear from some and here – and the conclusion is that three waves of civilization – Christianity, justice and democracy – never reached many people, or were used as tools for power/subservience and groupthink.

              How do you teach people principles, if the only principle they have seen is the principal of the school? These people might vote Miriam Santiago because she looks like a principal, and acts like one. The conclusion I have made is that long term people will only believe in these things if they see real effects on the ground – real opportunities, real justice, real participation – can’t really blame them if they think it is all just bullshit because in their reality they haven’t seen them. The civilization of the country must finally be completed.

              • cha says:

                How do you teach people principles? I think there is no more powerful lesson than to actually live them. Teaching by example beats any other carefully crafted lecture or presentation anytime. All the time, if you really think about it.

            • cha says:

              Yes, it’s almost always something to do with one’s childhood, isn’t it? For a while there I thought Imelda is also a bastarda but upon checking back on Pedrosa’s writings I realized she was instead her father’s daughter from a second marriage that the children from the previous marriage resented and subjected to cruelty. Isn’t Gloria Arroyo also the ex-President’s daughter from a previous marriage? Hhmmm.

              Then there’s Binay who was made a muchacho by the uncle that took him in.

              it should be interesting to see the names of key players in Philppine history all lined up and sorted according to the kind of childhood they had. We’ll include the bishops too. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Resentment abounds enough for everybody for the taking. Yet grace prevails if one avails. There’s the rub. 😦 🙂 🙂

              • @Sonny, does that mean we should avail of Grace? 🙂

                @cha: Karl mentioned his father having been houseboy to richer uncles… my father was houseboy to the father of Ambassador Mabilangan and his sister who later became part of Clinton’s staff: Maria Mabilangan Haley… to give him some Manila exposure I guess…

                The poorer nephews and nieces of my grandfather worked as maids, houseboys, drivers for him in the province and also with us when we arrived… when they proved unreliable, mainly because they did not like being “housesslaves” (c) MRP, the Ilokanas came…

                My mother sent my Ilokana yaya to evening school because she saw she had talent, but no jobs for her inspite of her commerce degree because everybody said “katulong dati” – maid before – so she migrated to Germany soon after we did, does secretarial work.

                Her daughter has finished German K-12 and is soon going to do her bachelor in a German university… which proves that the Filipino “caste system” wastes a lot of talents.

              • sonny says:

                @ Irineo

                Yes we should avail of Grace if she is the carrier of the divine type that is free and for the good always. 🙂 Time was and probably still is when the name we carry signifies what we bring to others – goodness, consolation, love, virtue, strength, etc. Irineo, for example, is for serenity, peace. When our deed does or does not jibe w/ our name, the effective association is made even just at a subconscious level. But such is no longer true. Yes?

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, I typed virtually the same thing to chempo, before reading your remarks.

        • chempo says:

          He is a gadfly.

  9. VSB says:

    All I know is that the supreme ruler of Hades keeps giving this old man life extensions as Satan is genuinely scared to be be ousted when this epitome of darkness & deceit kick the bucket and reaches hell

    • cha says:

      Hah! A lot of people will agree with you there, myself included.

      As someone with a background in the social sciences, I find Enrile an interesting study on how a man’s character can be so corrupted and I wonder at what point does such a man turn from basic decency to complete self-absorption and total disregard for the well-being of others and the general society he lives in? Is he what he has become because of our supposed damaged culture or was our culture damaged by characters like him having their way and taking away from us what made us whole and what made us good to start with? I’m thinking it’s a little bit of both.

      But we’re past even wanting to repair the damaged Enrile but our culture can probably still be salvaged. We’ll just have to start by excising the viruses like Enrile from the system. Or we can throw it to the universe and wait. Not for long anymore perhaps?

      • VSB says:

        From my pedestrian view any repair or healing must come from closure- With Bongbong statistically tied with an equally cunning Chiz it is hard to imagine where the country would get its closure to heal and reclaim its soul- I won’t even repeat LKY’s diatribe about our weak and forgiving culture- Not to be barbaric but until the masses see these people hang- they will never begin learning to discern between good and evil

  10. Another great article, cha. Congratulations once again. You now join Yolly Ong as one of my favorite writer. I wish I could comment more, but urgent reports for BIR and stockholders cannot be delegated.

    We must emphasize to the masa voters the reality that you pointed out in this article – the next President can change the composition of the next Supreme Court. The genuine fight for corruption hinges on the reforms in the Judicial Department. With one alleged plunderer candidate fighting for his survival (another six years of immunity from court cases) who is still lording it over in the surveys, we are truly in a dilemma – “Between the devil and the deep blue sea” i.e., to choose between two undesirable situations (equivalent to “between a rock and a hard place”), what with the next popular contender who is surrounded by the rest of the Marcos mafia.

    Survey or no survey, I will stick to MY principled choice, and will help them win, limited as I am with this erratic BP and work schedules. The fight against Marcos seemed hopeless then, same with the Estrada regime, but the people won. I have said it before and will say it again – this is a fight between good and evil, if that makes me yellow, then so be it. I’m proud to be yellow, I’m not being overly moralist as I am a sinner just trying to be good, although failing most of the time. My preferred candidates are not perfect, but no man is, they are the best candidate for me.

    NEVER AGAIN to a Marcos style regime.


    • NHerrera says:

      Take care of that BP, Mary, erratic as it may be.

    • cha says:

      Ah Mary, you’re too kind. I also like Yoly Ong, and Solita Minsod, Raissa Robles, Sylvia Claudio. But I’ve got nothing on those women.

      We’re just lucky, you, me and them all, to have been born women in a culture that accepts and tolerates (?) our being forthright and the absence of filters in how we communicate. We have learned instinctively or perhaps from experience that we can speak our mind out, and our menfolk will protect us from anyone that dares shut us up. And then they just pray behind our back that we will get sore throat or something to quiet us. Haha.

      But I digress. I’m just glad you are supportive of the whole point of the article. That there is so much more at stake in this presidential elections, and that includes the continuation of reforms in the Judicial branch. The Aquino government has barely scratched the surface on that and a new President can run riot at whatever little has been actually accomplished.

      And though getting increasingly harder, I still share your optimism that good will prevail in the end. What choice have we got anyway?

      • cha

        I burst out laughing with your “our menfolk will protect us from anyone that dares shut us up. And then they just pray behind our back that we will get sore throat or something to quiet us”.

        But you are correct, only a high BP can shut me up, haha, outspoken, spontaneous, argumentative – that’s me, err, in political issues only. I usually hold my tongue in personal ones. When I’m overly quiet, the family knows that my BP monitor is right beside me.

        Praying here that good will prevail, and let’s not stop clinging to faith and optimism.

        • cha says:

          Ok watch out for that BP of yours then coz we don’t want you to have to shut up. 🙂

        • sonny says:

          Who’s the stronger sex, men or women? No question, hands down, women are! During the question on women as priests. Of course, why even ask. Why make women equal to men? by being priests? They don’t need to be. Who makes priests? Women, of course!! 🙂

      • Yep, Solita Monsod, Raissa Robles, Sylvia Claudio….the late Letty Jimenez Magsanoc and Eugene Apostol. Nines Cacho Olivares also way back when we are still fighting Marcos. After that, most of her writings are getting harder to comprehend.

        Taking a stroll down memory lane:


    • edgar lores says:

      Oz has something like this called “myGov.” With just one account and password, one can be linked to several important offices: Taxation office; Medicare; Centrelink (social services and benefits); Child Support; Veterans Affairs; National Disability Insurance; Job Search; My Health Record; and Australian Business Number connections.

      The system has had teething problems, but seems to be working. I am a user of the system and am linked to the first three offices.

      • chempo says:

        Same for Singapore. We have one user ID called “Singpass” and we use this for all government online services which are wide-ranging.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Curious Edgar..I have been bombarded with texts telling me to use MyGov..And I have never bothered even once…It feels like yet an other attempt to introduce an “Australia card” Keating’s pet little scheme back in the 1990’s which helped only to see him kicked out of office…Good riddance was my thought then and still. An arrogant bastard…

        • edgar lores says:

          Bill in Oz,

          I mainly deal with Centrelink, although I am linked to Taxation and Medicare. I really should update my Medicare, if only to be able to have refunds from medical procedures credited directly to my bank account; like yesterday I had a laser treatment on my eyes on which I received a 62% rebate. And Centrelink only because of issues regarding my foreign SSS pension and one other personal matter.

        • edgar lores says:

          And, oh, I like Keating. He he.

  11. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Goodness. A $7.30 smart phone. That is P350. We are not talking of the traditional talk and text variety, we are talking of a smart phone. That is P18.8B for the 54 million registered voters. If she limits this to the 30% E class (anyway most of the D class would not want that P350 phone) we are talking of P5.6 B. Senator Miriam can promise that and perhaps boost her numbers. That is cheaper than the many expensive — not likely to be fulfilled promises — of a Presidential rival or two. She can propose a measure for this once elected — for some easily crafted laudable purpose.


  12. Madlanglupa says:

    Somewhat related to this article, Enrile joins into the bruhaha involving Pacman’s (I say Pacfail) dig against same-sex marriage.


    • cha says:

      Finally able to cach up on my reading. Thanks for sharing.

      Enrile is doing all of us a favour and really digging his own grave now.

  13. Waray-waray says:

    Congratulations on this great article, Cha.

    Ah, that character named Juan, the once upon a time character that people pray would never have his happily ever after.

    • Waray-waray says:

      The (broken) child within Juan;

      Enrile maybe ninety-two,
      Yet somehow he’s still a kiddo.
      Something in his past made it so,
      And he cannot simply let go.

      • cha says:

        Hah! You have condensed in 4 lines what we were all taking volumes to articulate. Bravo!

        • edgar lores says:

          See, Cha. There’s something about you that inspires poetry.

          Bravo, Waray-waray!

          • Waray-waray says:

            Thank you very much, Cha and Edgar. Coming from the both of you, that’s just wow.

            This is Joeams “fault” and the rest of the best commenters and contributors here. Just like the other lurkers here before, I am encouraged to sharpen my once rusty pen and contribute my one centavo worth of my thoughts. I know sometimes it’s a mess.

            In this blog, folks have different strokes, different styles, making it the more interesting, diverse and insightful.

  14. offtopic again:
    DOTC Insider view of the MRT fiasco:

    Posted by Kat Usita on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  15. caliphman says:


    Political zealots from the anti-Poe and anti-Roxas camps raise a horrendous ruckus and sensationalize the most trivial items, ie. the $10,000 Nike shoes Poe’s son wore or Roxas’ magic copter ride. Turns out it the shoes were a cheap knockoff and when you have a candidate from a billionaire family, who the effing cares whether he copped a lift from a family friend’s spare helo or just hailed it from Uber? So what if somehow it does not jive with his revived Mr. Palengke image, its no secret his campaign is run by buffoons.

    I get so sick and tired of the petty politics and smear campaigns practiced by the supporters of these essentially decent candidates especially when they are pitted against two rivals accused of crimes but leading the surveys whom these camps are willing to hold their fire against.

    From what planet are these bloggers from that they demand honesty from everyone else except accused thieves and murderers?

    • cha says:

      The exhortation is right; honesty must indeed be demanded of every candidate, but like you point out, the case examples ought to be better.

  16. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The TRUE REVOLUTIONARIES, major revolutionaries, in EDSA REVOLUTION if we are to use the word “REVOLUTION” were:
    1. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile;
    2. General Fidel Ramos; and
    3. Lieutenant Gregorio Honasan

    They did not revolt !!! They were running scared !!! Yet, they were bouyed by the presence of FOREIGN JOURNALISTS. If it were some U.P.-graduate journalists their courage would have sagged all the way to the floor. THANK YOU FOREIGN JOURNALISTS !!!

    And to continue, using foreign journalists as shield, they hunkered down. Then came the first-responding osyosos and tsismos and SIDEWALK VENDORS !!! They were not responding to the call of arms. THEY WERE THERE TO WITNESS AND WRITE AFFIDAVITS !!!

    Marcos was mad !!! HE SENT VIETNAM-ERA tanke-de-guerra. Reagan was afraid it might become full blown carnage like what happened in Zamboanga where they use howitzer to free the general who was taken hostage he called Marcos to “cut it clean”.

    The military were divided. In shambles. They were ordered to shoot but they did not. They were afraid of Reagan’s F-16s fly-byes.

    So, that was the story. There was NO EDSA REVOLUTION !!! It was petty squabbles between crooks that protected and propped up Marcos.

    The mass of people at EDSA? No! They were not uprisers !!! They were not revolutionaries !!! IT WAS A BLOCK PARTY !!! You can see me in one of those pictures enjoying my ice cream squeezed between a hotdog bun smiling!

    Those who believed it was a REVOLUTION do not know the meaning of REVOLUTION!

    That is why, folks, The Tearing Down of Berlin Wall is celebrated worldwide … and the 2nd Russian Revolution against Brezhnez is also celebrated annually …

    … EDSA REVOLUTION? EDSA What? Where is EDSA? This is what my white friends ask me whenever I tell them I am going to Philippines to celebrate “EDSA REVOLUTION” !!! They never heard of it. Revolution is the result of media hypsters and hybrid Filipinos.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Filipinos never won major battles and revolution.
      Conquered and colonized by Spain …
      Revolted against Spain … FAIL
      Liberated and colonized by Americans …
      Revolted against Americans … FAIL
      Conquered and raped by Japan …
      Revolted against Japan … FAIL
      Liberated by Americans … again
      Americans gave Philippines Independence on July 4th …
      1960 Philippine Senate moved INdependence from July 4th to June 12 …

      From then on, The Philippines was given back to the Mestizo former colonists. To this day, The Mestizo Class and the Chinese owns the Filipinos.

      Before I forget, there was a modern day Revolution. Called EDSA Revolution … FAILURE !!! One good thing about this “revolution” is corruption has been decentralized … this time the crooks are freed and liberated Filipinos …

      • cha says:

        Aha, Mariano, back with a vengeance today aren’t you? I have two words for you , Balangiga Massacre. We got 40 or so of them that day. Of course they got more than a thousand of us when they retaliated, but let’s savour that one day of triumph, no matter how fleeting it was. We might even get our bell back. Eventually.

      • edgar lores says:

        o Revolt against Spain failed? So where are the Spaniards?
        o Revolt against America failed? So where are the Americans?
        o Revolt against Japan failed? So where are the Japanese?
        o EDSA revolt against the dictator Marcos failed? So where did Marcos go?

        o MRP failed? Well, he is still around… spouting about failures.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Where are the Spaniards? They are still here. Adored by Filipinos of their beauty and money.
          Where are the Americans? The Americans are gone. Filipinos gladly surrendered to America on Tuesdays for immigrant Visa today
          Where are the Japanese. The Japanese are gone, paid our comfort women and left. Today Filipinos followed them to comfort lonely Japanese men.
          Where did Marcos go? He went to Hawaii. Died. Risen from the dead. Resurrected. He is now a Senator and gunning for President.

          EDSA revolt?
          It stops and go like peak hour traffic.
          Sometimes they get home
          Sometimes do not

          Odd numbers run MWF.
          Even numbers TTh.
          MRT everyday
          Rain or Shine
          1 in 3 MRT do not run
          NO! NO! NO! They are not Even
          It is Odd
          for 1 in 3 do not run
          Contractors on the run

          Wang – Wang – Wang -Wang
          Powerful well-connected
          part EDSA red traffic lights
          Dilliman, Los Banos where art youse intelligent graduates?
          Please fix EDSA traffic before filling your pockets.

          • edgar lores says:

            Preach your Gospel of Failure
            Wallow in despair, hater

            It cannot be plainer
            Faith’s Gospel is truer.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        MRP, I missed you. There’s nothing like an early-morning workout courtesy of your adorable wit. Bear in mind, not just once but always, you exist because we like you. We can pepper you with darts, but you keep coming back to charge, so the sword will have to wait. That’s a good sign. It means not everything is lost because MRP, a Filipino (tama ba, Pinoy ka ba?), will not give up, will find other ways to be of service, will not entertain the word “fail.” So, thanks, MRP. You are a showcase of Filipino purpose and ingenuity to create an impact in and of yourself. Now, if you can kindly switch your default from “Negative” to “Positive” we will all live happily ever after. And the happiest person in this group will be you. I guarantee you that. Try it.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gomburza – on February 17, 1872, three priests – one mestizo and two natives – were killed by garrote – Gomez, Burgos and Zamora. They were accused of having incited the Cavite mutiny – by Filipino soldiers and workers on January 20, 1872.

      This was a major moment of anger for the Filipino soul… Rizal said he might just have become the usual Ateneo graduate (pro-Church and pro-Spain) if not for Gomburza. There are certain emotional moments that rouse Filipinos – Rizal being shot was another. Ninoy getting shot, especially the video footage by hidden camera that showed him being taken out of the plane and where one could hear the shots outside, also roused the people.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    • he called Marcos to “cut it clean” not Reagan, his friend Sen. Laxalt.

      Marcos’ response was allegedly “I am very, very disappointed”. Now who is surprised now about Bongbong wanting to deal with China – lapdogs need a new master of course.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Here is the problem, the U.P. journalism-graduates are not informing people the way they should that is why BongBong got some poll numbers.

        • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/philippine-history-part-iii-nation-section-2-marcos-period/

          Batasang Pambansa elections were held in 1981, with the opposition parties UNIDO and LABAN boycotting them and the pitiful rest of the Nacionalista Party running as a symbolic opposition against Marcos’s Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, which won by a landslide, giving Marcos a third term as President, while technocrat economist Cesar Virata became Prime Minister. During Marcos’s inauguration in June 1981, then Vice-President George H. W. Bush said: We love your adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic process, and we will not leave you in isolation. The “New Republic” had begun, yet the health of its leader was fading.

          Benigno Aquino Jr., who had been allowed to leave for the United States for heart treatment, was killed at Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, with vital moments of his return by airplane recorded on videotape and spread around the world. Support for Marcos decreased, with Enrile starting to distance himself carefully and Ronald Reagan no longer giving that much support, the previous administration of Jimmy Carter having already been very critical of Marcos with regards to human rights. There was an impeachment attempt against Marcos in 1985 which did not succeed, but widespread dissatisfaction and the movement that had formed around the martyrdom of Aquino caused Marcos to call snap elections which were held on February 7, 1986.

          The COMELEC count showed Marcos as having won, while the count of the newly established NAMFREL showed Aquino’s widow Corazon as having won. The People Power Revolution erupted on February 22, 1986, with Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile withdrawing support from the government. Citizens flocked to EDSA and blocked the way to Camps Aquinaldo and Crame on opposite sides of this major avenue. More troops defected, TV stations were captured and the entire world watched. Upon suggestion of US Senator Laxalt, Marcos left the Philippines for Hawaii with US help on February 25, 1986. President Corazon Aquino had already been sworn in by Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee. Twenty years of Marcos rule had ended.

          As a typical authoritarian ruler, Marcos had focused on infrastructure and institutions, but had enriched himself and his cronies while plunging the country into deep debt by heavy international borrowing supported by the United States. President “Cory” Aquino was in power, with Enrile and Ramos at her side, heavily Catholic and indebted to Jaime Cardinal Sin who had supported her. Democracy was back, but later events were to prove that it was very fragile, and that getting the country back on track would be extremely difficult.

          The nation still has not overcome the deep scars and divisions left by the Marcos period. By 1986, the population of the Philippines had reached around 55 million, against around 40 million in 1973 and around 30 million in 1965 – in that important aspect, the regime had also failed. That the population would almost double again in the next 30 years did not make things any better. Large numbers of Filipinos had left to work abroad during the Marcos period. In the beginning, they were forced to remit money, until recently they had to pay taxes to the Philippines even if living abroad. The 1976 Tripoli agreement had only temporarily halted the Muslim insurgency – and resettled some Filipino Muslims to Taguig. The NPA insurgency continued, while Cordillera autonomy was to bring peace to that area, where tribesmen poured pig blood on a Mount Rushmore type bust of Marcos as a further chapter in the old tribal conflict between “highlanders” and Ilocano “lowlanders”. American support for Marcos rule and assistance in helping him escape poisoned the relationship between the United States and the Philippines, making it very complex until today.

    • cha says:

      Excuse me Mariano, you are correct many things but you not right who is the real revolutionaries, true heroes of EDSA is WOMEN!! How you not figure that when you so smart all the time?

      Who stopped tanks? Women with beautiful rosaries,gift from Rome, young girls with flowers, picked from Greenhills garden. Even old lady in wheelchair got soldier scared. And who the statue that scared off the soldier riding tank? Mama Mary. Mama Mary is woman, not like Sotto.

      Who said yes to husband and sons to go EDSA and make usi? Why the wives and mothers who are women, duh! And who cook food for soldiers and everyone. Of course women. Men too busy talking talking, asking pilots not land their helicopter, asking each other are you Marcos or you Cory team? Yellow or mellow. My goodness! Us women we do everything while you all talk talk talk. Ramos, Enrile talk to foreign looking media invite everyone to come. No RSVP. Just come ASAP. Women said to husband, son, go go go. Take water, take biscuit, umbrella if it rains, towel for wipe off when perspire. Who else do that for you all ha?

      So you give credit to one who collect money for you. We women did it and you know it,

  17. caliphman says:

    I do not know that I would agree with “the nation still has not overcome the deep scars and divisions left by the Marcos period”. Not when those scars have not deterred the nation from electing its chief military architect as senator, permitted the Marcos cronies to again enrich themselves and become king/queen makers. Not when its history texts and schoolbooks fail to lay bare the evilness of the regime, plunder of the national coffers, rape of its democratic and judicial institutions. Not when the family of the tyrant and dictator continues to wield enormous political powers and to hang on to the untold billions he stole from the nation. Not when his son is poised to be elected by a forgiving and forgetful electorate to a post but a heartbeat away from that which his father held before plunging the country into the heart of darkness.

    Not much scarring there it seems but perhaps it was but mere flesh wounds. And the only divisions Marcos left was how to divide the power and plunder he had seized from himself and the corruption he had so efficiently and effectively organized and centralized.


    • chempo says:

      Indeed, it’s Filipino tragedy of Shakespearean stature.
      Filipinos are playing out their telenovas in real life.
      Someday, someone will write an award winning novel, such as The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marcos, and Filipinos with great wisdom from retrospect will see how smart or stupid they have been for honouring or abusing their sacred right to vote.

      • From the common people’s perspective, the February revolution changed little. One group replaced by the other and they stayed poor, or had the “chance” to become OFWs. Those who are smarter might think: same rich bastards I don’t care about any of them, some who are less smart might think: hey the Marcoses act like us, or Grace Poe is like us, or Binay, they might do something for us, more than the “rich” LP/Makati crowd.

        One should not forget that the lower middle class benefitted from Marcos, many got government jobs during the regime. For the most part, Filipinos don’t care about the nation, and that gos through all levels, some say nation but mean their group exclusively.

        • For the most people, three things are lacking:

          – real opportunities (being slaves of Arabs who look down on Filipino doesn’t count)

          – real justice (for poor people it is not there, while anti-Poe people discuss about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, much like medieval monks did)

          – real inclusion (people who are not that good in English, or the more than half who don’t even speak Filipino, are excluded from being taken seriously their concerns ignored)

          De facto there are still INDIOS only they are called MASA nowadays. But the smartest might see that:

          1. 4Ps are giving a chance to overcome the cycle of poverty

          2. K-12 is there to cure the age-old miseducation of the Filipino

          3. BUB is there to distribute opportunity to the ignored countryside

          If the work on real justice is completed in addition, and the “educated” classes start treating everybody as real people which some already do – the RH article of Cha proves it, now I know Susan Evangelista always had a special attitude, but then again she is from the Peace Corps, she is not an elitist Filipina she is an American who believes in equal opportunities, then the de facto caste system will cease to exist or at least be mildened, the social apartheid regime that has always been Filipino reality will be a thing of the past.

  18. bauwow says:

    Let’s not lose hope. We still have the super Ombudswoman Conchita Morales. I just can’t find the article but she said that one of her big regrets in life is seeing Enrile set free. I’m quite sure she will be keeping an eye his every move. Besides, I’m quite sure that Enrile will not escape poetic justice.

  19. Bart Reyes says:

    On Feb 16, 2016 3:00 PM, “The Society of Honor by Joe America” wrote:

    > Cha Coronel Datu posted: “w By Cha Coronel Datu Once upon a time, in a > kingdom ruled by an overstaying tyrant, there was a man named Juan who held > the keys that could either set his master’s enemies free or lock them up > with the prospect of being tortured, raped or even murdered.” >

  20. karlgarcia says:

    Allow me to share to you two papers on Civil-Military relations post Marcos.We all know Enrile was behind RAM.


    This one is more about Trillanes,the man Enrile calls “boy” (punk)


  21. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Nike cut relationship with Philippine National Hero Manny Pacquiao after abhorrent anti-gay comments.
    MGM doesn’t want him. Because MGM is pro-gay
    More companies will cut Manny Pacquiao
    Vegas do not want him

    Those who vote for Manny Pacquiao votes for anti-Gay.
    And those who vote for Manny Pacquiao cannot come to America.

    What will Benigno Aquino say?
    What will Filipinos say?

    • mercedes santos says:

      Dump Pakwan and let them grow in Mamasapano fields, I say, I say ☺

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Mayweather, of course, didn’t gave a flying f. Just said something that he’s neutral to it and walks away to ride his Bugatti Veyron.

    • VSB says:

      Do you believe in miracles? Pacquiao will lose for Senate- So will Binay and Chiz.. Unfortunately- even God cannot reverse Aldub so Sotto will still be # 1

    • chempo says:

      Thanks for sharing this bitsy, MRP.

      Some blogs back there was a discussion on a pro-active campaign to protest directly to corporations who are sponsoring crooks and murderers and rapists and skunks. Too bad I think this fizzled out. This is the only way that the helpless can squeeze the balls of the crooked powerful. When I read of the rape of Pepsi Pamplona and possible murder (from Marry’s comment) and I see the popularity of the Sottos in Senate and on TV, it makes my blood boil … both at the duo and at the dumb stupid public who suckers up to them. Their sponsors are the only ones that can do them damage.

      When we talk of an individual doing his small bit to fight for a better Philippines, I think the most damage can be done by directing our individual protests to the various sponsors that we are aware of, especially the foreign head offices of the local sponsors.

      Only the sponsors can give Pacman a knockout blow. And by extension, some damage to those he fooolishly support.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    MDS summarized Enrile’s crimes

    “Santiago charged Enrile with command responsibility for human rights violations committed during martial law, masterminding the P10-billion pork barrel scam, maintaining a smuggling hub in Port Irene in Cagayan province, operating a gambling empire, owning an illegal logging concession, “hypersexualized” womanizing and underdeclaring his net worth at just P118 million.”

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/540501/santiago-accuses-enrile-of-committing-7-sins#ixzz40USvgAVD
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  23. karlgarcia says:

    According to Enrile,It was Ver who should be investigated for the death of Alfie Anido.


    • cha says:

      At first I thought the implication was that Ver or one of his men who pulled the trigger.

      Still, even that Ver was the one pinning down Jacky for murder, I never heard that during the time.

      Katrina was my classmate in freshman Math at UP. She had at least 4 to 5 burly men,(security guards), handguns tucked inside their shirts, always waiting outside the classroom and everywhere else she went around campus. I find Enrile’s account of Anido cutting off the car Katrina was in just like that , quite hard to believe. There would have been a car before that one and possibly another after. Anido would have been fired upon by her armed security if that actually happened. Unless….

      Trivia : Gigi Reyes nee Gonzales was in the same batch at UP. Oh, and Irene Marcos too. Interesting times.

  24. Madlanglupa says:

    Oh, looks who’s talking.


    And what he accomplished? Becoming a divisive figure.

    • cha says:

      Thanks for sharing Madlanglupa. Enrile is spending way too much time with Sotto, he’s beginning to sound like one of the Escalera brothers. 🙂

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