Why the melancholy?

bongbong-marcos rappler

Marcos rally. [Photo credit: Rappler]

By Andrew Lim

Preserving the gains of the EDSA 86 revolution and the Aquino administration

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in this country where men were free.”– paraphrasing Ronald Reagan

Of late, I’ve noticed an uptick on the pessimism-meters of several netizen/commenters here on JoeAmerica’s blog as well as Raissa’s. Worried for their preferred candidate’s chances, they lament and express disgust, resignation and talk of giving up. I’m not immune to this myself. When you realize that so many of us do not read history, or cannot distinguish a reputable source of news or info from the fake ones, you entertain thoughts like this:

While stuck in traffic, I reflected upon the much vaunted Filipino “resiliency”. I wonder if a huge component of this trait is actually ignorance and simple-mindedness? Because these two qualities protect you from worry, depression and enable you to smile, I ask: is the Filipino considered resilient because deep down he is ignorant and simple-minded? Is the Filipino resilient only up to the point of surviving with a smile, but not to rebuild back stronger since that requires knowledge and planning?

But I digress. Let’s leave that topic for some other time.

I am an unabashed optimist, one who loves to rile up an Angela Stuart Santiago or an Ellen Tordesillas, and in the business “of getting things done”. I’m not just a half-glass full type, I also love dousing water on the pessimists, causing them to feel even more miserable. Mind you, I’m not the polyannaish type, but I concentrate on what can be done instead of whining. It’s just the way I am wired.

Sure, there are several post-Aquino scenarios that do not look palatable, but they are not all the same. And they are not all hopeless, even the worst case one. This paper will discuss the worst case scenario, and cover some of the concerns for the less-worse scenarios as well. Believe me, there is much opportunity in the future, even if it means some medium-term conflict and instability.

Ranking the possible election results, I consider the Duterte-Marcos or Binay-Marcos tandems the worst-case scenarios. All others are far less worse in varying degrees and will be less harmful to the gains of EDSA 86 and the Aquino administration. I excluded considering Santiago, since her numbers are way off. Note that while Bongbong Marcos is merely running for VP, we consider the scenarios that he succeeds to the top post, or plots to run in 2022 for President.

To help us assess and analyze our situation let us review the institutions/segments that will matter:

MEDIA – Save for two newspapers which has served as retirement homes for has-been speechwriters and enablers of the discredited Marcos and Arroyo regimes, much of Philippine mass media will never be warm to the Marcoses and will never be friendly to a corrupt or abusive regime. After all, they were among those who suffered before – when all media save for the crony-owned were padlocked and staff jailed. They will remain as guardians of memory. In addition, the story of ill-gotten wealth st ill in Marcos hands is live and ongoing, and they will continue to cover this.

Internet-based news organizations and social media are extremely difficult to disable – unless Bongbong or Duterte has plans to cut the submarine cables that connect the country to the world. This is highly unlikely due to the immense political cost of adverse world opinion and the availability of redundant systems.

So media will remain a convergence point for future initiatives.

MILITARY/POLICE – Though not entirely impossible, it will take hard effort and considerable time for Bongbong to corrupt the military and police again, giving democratic forces a good chance of countering it. Much has been done to reform these services: the recent upgrades in the arsenal, the improvement in salaries and benefits to cite a few. Mamasapano notwithstanding, morale and pride in the service is high. Turning them once more on the civilian population will be extremely hard, unless they invent new “enemies” to justify it. Highly unlikely.

YOUTH/MILLENIALS– It has been noted that a power base for the Marcoses is the Facebook generation of millenials. What has not been discussed much is where their parents are. So many of them come from dysfunctional families – broken families, single parents, in the care of relatives, parents working abroad, so there is no responsible adult to educate them. They are flailing around and alone in their mis-education.

Banking on ignorance, Imee Marcos has nurtured several generations of students in Ilocos state universities in the Marcos mythology. They have effectively used peer pressure – where the lure of conforming to the pack is stronger than the need to think critically and learn the true historical record or apply the sense of right and wrong.

For reference, see this previous article: Return the ill-gotten wealth first, BongBong (#SAANGALINGANGPERAMO)

Take note though that today’s Marcos youth is much inferior to the activists of the sixties. The difference is like night and day. While activists before were willing to get hurt and die for a cause they believed in, today’s youth will throw a tantrum at the slightest inconvenience – say, losing internet/cellular signal or heavy traffic. Even more importantly, there is no moral basis, no ideal or cause to fight for these Marcos youth. Their only motivation is to be rebellious to their elders and to be different. It is arrogance based on ignorance.

These groups are very unlikely to mass up, study the literature and organize themselves for a cause like their older counterparts. They could hardly string together three sentences in their social media posts without choking on the sentence construction, train of thought or grammar. Other than sloganeering and shallow name calling, they are incapable of discussion; their social media commenters are of the one-and-done, shoot and scoot varieties. They also have no credible public intellectuals to represent them.

Their only power is the vote. I am confident that many of them will wither away once the problems of the next administration reveal themselves and pile up. The youth’s preference for counter-culture favors those not in power, so the roles will be reversed in due time. At some point in the near future, it will be cool to know the excesses of the Marcos Martial Law regime, instead of the opposite.

BUSINESS GROUPS – Though their number one concern is business, I am confident that today’s crop of business leaders are fully aware of the pernicious effects of cronyism, and will resist it. Unlike the rest of the population, they are keenly aware how much the economic environment has improved and would like to keep it that way.

CATHOLIC CHURCH- Though relations with the Aquino government was strained due to RH, I foresee a linking of arms once more because corruption and lack of integrity will be the core issues again under the worst-case scenarios.

UNITED STATES – I have one strategy to stop the Marcoses that involves the support of the US and intelligence agencies of other countries. It’s based on the following premises:

1.The Marcoses have no more “communist” cards to play. Back in the 70-80s, when the Cold War was at its peak, Ferdinand Marcos effectively used the US military bases as a bargaining chip in exchange for US tolerance of his corruption and brutality. The US was too concerned with Marxist expansion in the region so it was willing to play along. Today, the Cold War is over and the US has a very warm relationship with the Philippines with its EDCA and VFA agreement s.

2.The US has nothing to gain with the return of the Marcoses; in fact the opposite is true: they have more to lose since their return will result in new instability, a lack of integrity in the leadership, and a strong potential to send the economy downwards again. This threatens its economic and geopolitical interests.

The strategy: through diplomatic and backdoor channels, concerned groups will get in touch with sympathetic elements in the US State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Anti-Money Laundering units plus other relevant agencies abroad to do the following:

a. Get fresh information on the recent movements of the Marcos wealth. For sure, they have been exerting all effort to hide them in safe havens, but in today’s world, virtually anything can be sniffed out, if you do it well. The same technologies to track drug cartel money can be used. Come out with an updated catalog on all the loot recovered and those still missing.

b. Get this info out to the public in the broadest possible way.

c. Initiate new legal proceedings that will result from these findings.

What’s in it for America? It enhances its status as a world power that tries to do the right thing while simultaneously protecting its interests in the region.

What’s in it for the Philippines? This will keep the issue of integrity front and center for the entire duration of Bongbong’s term.

Even in the worst case scenario where Bongbong wins the vice-presidency, his political stock/future will be damaged so badly, he will not be able to rule effectively at all.


If he wins as VP, expect him to go for low-hanging fruit – burial for his father in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and weakening the PCGG while continuing to build his power base. He will push to change the historical records. But most probably, he will just play political judo in the beginning, avoid direct confrontation with detractors and back down if the protests get too loud. Will he turn oppresive and dictatorial in his first six years? Not likely. But as Senator Saguisag says, “yung mabolo, ang bunga mabolo rin” (fruit from the same tree will bear the same) so it is certain that he will plot a run for 2022. That’s when he will be most dangerous. So the time to act is now.


  • Remember that Pnoy and the Liberal Party will still be around (though it is likely to lose some members who will flock to the winners) to serve as rallying points and counter-weight to a corrupt administration. Who knows, maybe both Binay and Marcos will be found impeachable?
  • Keep in mind that the public has a short memory, reacting to only what’s in front of them. The anger directed at the incumbents for the traffic problem for instance, can be re-directed to the new administration in a couple of years’ time, because it’s unlikely to solve it in that time frame.
  • You think the allies of either Binay, Duterte and Marcos can keep their hands off the Treasury or behave ethically? You think those charged in the pork barrel scam will not attempt to get favors? Leopards hardly change their spots, and this will cause the next administration to be unstable. By this time, it will be easy to shift the narrative once more, and convince the public again that integrity matters.
  • The world economy is projected to be more problematic in the next few years, with low oil prices, more failed Middle East states, terrorism, climate change. Even a new financial collapse in the US is expected. The next administration will not likely operate in an era of global optimism, adding to its instability. High unemployment will remain and may even rise, the public will not like this, and disenchantment with the new administration will set in.

So there you have it – there are plenty of opportunities for democratic forces to use in dealing with a corrupt and oppressive post-Aquino administration.

Remember that EDSA 86 happened because people took action. We even have far more “weapons” at our disposal this time. We only need to act and counter the forces that threaten our hard fought gains.

Ephesians 6: 12-17

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


237 Responses to “Why the melancholy?”
  1. Vicara says:

    Thank you for this sober and heartening analysis, Andrew Lim. As you say, these are different times. Have also seen recent articles in which members of the defense and security forces counter the notion that they will serve as any president’s “vigilante” forces. People are better informed, and more savvy.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      You’re welcome. I had so much material for this essay, but it would have exceeded the usual length of a blogpost. As I write this, aside from the Ateneo university system presidents and the CEAP schools, groups of academics of different universities from all over the country have expressed their opposition to the revisionism of Bongbong.

      But just to guide our troops: the DEPED should check on the schools in Ilocos – the state universities, the high schools. They have been reported to be the breeding ground of these Marcos millenials, who are active in social media.

  2. I can see a cycle of repetition by now… courtesy of discussions with MRP:

    False Hope and Disappointment: Marcos from 1965 to 1986 (21 years)
    Consolidation and Partial Recover: Cory/Ramos from 1986-1998 (12 years)

    and as MRP wrote, it is EOF, loop and repeat:

    FHD: Erap/Arroyo from 1998-2010 (12 years)
    CPR: Aquino from 2010-2016 (6 years)

    So the next FHD will hopefully be just 6 years until people realize the cycles or don’t.

    MRP maintains that Filipinos have learning disability, and I think it is partly true.

    I venture to explain why. The barangay mentality (c) chempo is visual, emotional, gossipy. The Padre Damaso mentality is to use “Latin” to obfuscate instead of educate like true scholars do.

    Many Filipino intellectuals, lawyers, officials, businessmen even teachers – all who have an advantage – still have a Padre Damaso mentality – they use what they “know” to intimidate.

    However the Internet if used properly can bridge the gap between the barangay mentality and the real education that is still denied most Filipinos by virtue of rote learning without real explanation, just repeat what you are told to parrot and say “yes sir” and “yes maam”, don’t dare to question. Most people I think don’t want to remain ignorant, they have horse sense and see what is amiss. And the internet will have to remain just because of BPO… and some education… because the Philippines is No. 7 in BPO worldwide but the others are not sleeping either… so it will be basically sink or swim for the country… it will either get worse before it gets better, or go down down down.

    • edgar lores says:

      Seems like typical insincere Catholic behavior: sin, confess, repent awhile… then sin, confess, repent awhile again.

    • chempo says:

      Irineo if it’s a cycle of one step up and two steps down, how will the frog ever get out of the well.

      When my eldest son was 3 years old I posed the kiddy problem to him. If you were a frog that has fallen into the well, how would you get out. I was expecting a smart kid answer – wait for the rain and water level to rise. Instead, his answer — wait for someone to come fetch water and I’ll jump into the bucket and get hauled up.

      Filipinos are the frogs in the well. A good administration lowers the bucket. Will Filipinos jump into the bucket or wait for the rain. If you know the way wells are constructed, the water level never reaches the brim it does not overflow.

      • Filipinos vote bullfrogs like Binay who come down to party with them – inside the well.

        Or crocodiles like the Marcoses that eat a few of them as long as it isn’t their own kin. Finally everybody stays in the well… those that try to leave are pulled back down.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Chempo I imagine a longer version of your question.

        A frog is at the bottom of a 30 meter well. Each day he summons enough energy for one 3 meter leap up the well. Exhausted, he then hangs there for the rest of the day. At night, while he is asleep, he slips 2 meters backwards. How many days does it take him to escape from the well?

        Give your kid a break,he is just three years old.😜

        • chempo says:

          An answer from someone with business maths :

          ” um…er…. Well….er… Well…. Um…”

        • NHerrera says:

          Karl, Chempo:

          You have to put it in business terms to apply business math:

          Each year Duterte’s Finance Secretary raises 3 Billion pesos only to lose 2 Billion pesos through the unabated corruption even under his Presidency. Under that situation, the President asked his Finance Secretary how many years are needed to raise 30 Billion pesos.

          The Finance Secretary using business math — no more ” um…er…. Well….er… Well…. Um…” and this thing about frogs and well — answered quickly: 30 years.

          The President — correct. I was just testing if you know your business math.

  3. josephivo says:

    This are different times but the money is the same. And everything can be bought at the correct price. In my nightmare scenario Bong Bong is just a puppet, the front for a group of unscrupulous Marcos cronies who did multiply all the money they stole 30 years ago with rent and connections as their multiplying tools.

    Both Binay or Duterte could be planned to disappear, a health accident would be not a surprise. A legal impeachment action a good (but more expensive?) alternative. Poe as a president will only require 8 justices to be bought. Then the VP will take over for a few years and will be elected for another 7 years until new emergency powers install a North Korea like kingdom. Luxury and power for the inner circle guaranteed for generations. All under a populist banner of “We will make the Philippines great again!!!” Great meaning free cakes for all seniors. Great also meaning the lowest salaries in the world, expulsion overseas of everybody with some brains or initiative. Great as building prestige project on top of the victims of easy avoidable accidents.

    The US focusing on itself the coming years but also needing the Philippines to play bluff poker with China. The Church still more interested in sex and what you intend to do in your bedroom than in anything else. Tycoons and captains of business are able to make money in any environment, a dictator more predictable than democracy. For Millennials life reduced to working 12 hours a day followed by the “real life” of selfies on Snapshot and one liners on Twitter.

    Finished all my Belgian chocolate, will need something else tomorrow to feed my optimism again.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > For Millennials life reduced to working 12 hours a day followed by the “real life” of selfies on Snapshot and one liners on Twitter.

      Most people in this country forget or are unaware that Thailand is now under a junta, with social networking sites put on leash.

  4. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Mabuhay ka, Andrew! Been in this business so long to know that we have God on our side. Say something about the new media, that’s you, Joe, Irineo, Cha, Chempo, NH, Lance, Edgar, and the rest of us intrepid keyboard warriors. I for one am amazed at the power that we carry. Thank you for lining up our forces. Like an Independence Day parade. Thank you!

    • “Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive.

      Every writer since the printing press has longed for a means to publish himself and reach – instantly – any reader on Earth. Every professional writer has paid some dues waiting for an editor’s nod, enduring a publisher’s incompetence, or being ground to dust by a legion of fact-checkers and copy editors. With one click of the Publish Now button, all these troubles evaporated.”

      • sonny says:

        Just a thought from IT practice, LC. There were three information databases that have been studied to track and account for data relationships: (hierarchical, relational, and network). This is from Chris Date of IBM. To my mind the network type of database seems to fit what happens in weblogs. (As drawn above) The network database architecture was software implemented by Cullinane’s IDMS offering. Chris Date was principally involved in the hierarchical implementation of databases, IMS by IBM and the relational database, DB2.

        (A historical note from an outdated systems person, me) 🙂 The diagram of ecosystem piqued my interest.


        • sonny,

          The “power” that Wil mentioned got me interested in this collective enterprise we’re all participating in…

          On one hand, there this,

          “Social Media is a shared delusion of grandeur.”
          ― Michael P. Naughton, Deathryde: Rebel Without a Corpse

          and on the other, is this,

          “What has happened, in other words, is that ownership of the means of cultural production has passed from those who could afford their high capital costs in the old ecosystem to just about anyone who has a computer, some appropriate software and an internet connection.

          One doesn’t have to be a devout Marxist to realise that such a radical shift in the means of production will, in due course, impact on what Marx called the ‘superstructure’ – the culture that sits atop the fundamental economic realities of production.”

          Click to access art-blogging-and-the-emerging-media-ecosystem-naughton-2006.pdf


          “For most of our lives, the media ecosystem has been dominated by broadcast television… But our media ecosystem is changing under the pressure of technology and the new economics of information goods. The biggest change is the gradual erosion of the dominance of broadcast (ie one-to-many) television.”

          • Joe America says:

            Change of topic, LCpl_X, but I thought you might be interested in this article which talks about a joint project between DTI and DOST to assess and improve the start-up environment. It has the enthusiastic endorsement of Senator Aquino.


            • Great read, Joe! Thanks for that article.

              I hope Senator Bam Aquino watches the documentary film San Francisco 2.0, this whole internet and entrepreneurship thing can be great, but it can also usher into a new Industrial Age (a digital industrial age), wherein people are left out to hang dry, with no safety net.

              “He said these three points were a) the ease of starting and closing a business, b) the openness for failure, c) and the role of government in supporting startups, especially in financing.” I would add not just in financing, but get gov’t to support “failures”.

              In SAN FRANCISCO 2.0, Alexandra Pelosi returns to her hometown to document what the tech boom has in store for this historically progressive city, talking to various industry representatives, politicians and longtime residents hoping to maintain their place and not be left behind. Directed, produced and filmed by Pelosi, this insightful film looks at the price of progress, and the challenges of holding onto a collective past.

              Alexandra Pelosi has always been proud of San Francisco, in particular its “long tradition of embracing nonconformity.” She sets out to explore how the arrival of innovators – the so-called “IT invasion” – is reshaping its iconic neighborhoods and forging a tech paradise in the City by the Bay. Pelosi talks to a range of subjects, from ambitious trendsetters bringing an unprecedented wave of wealth, to the entrenched communities of artists and immigrants who are hoping to hold onto the place they call home.

              Pelosi interviews a wide array of insiders, including: Gov. Jerry Brown; Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; San Francisco mayor Ed Lee; former San Francisco mayors Willie Brown and Art Agnos; tech-industry notables Michael Birch (Monkey Inferno), Andrew Houston (Dropbox), Ron Conway (SV Angel) and Sean Gourley (Quid.com); economist Robert Reich; journalists David Talbot and Gary Kayima (Salon); and lifelong residents and small-business owners who have to face an increasingly unaffordable real estate market.

              The city’s tech boom was born out of Silicon Valley’s tech influx, which found companies shuttling young, newly affluent employees between suburban offices and desirable residential neighborhoods of San Francisco. Mayor Ed Lee jumped at the opportunity to move companies from the Valley into the city, offering tax breaks and incentives to those relocating to the run-down neighborhood of the Tenderloin. Angel investor Ron Conway touts the city’s “progress,” but acknowledges that housing affordability is becoming a problem.

              This change has been felt most acutely in places like the Mission District, where the immigrant community that’s lived there for decades is being uprooted. “The heart and soul of San Francisco is being ripped out from the city,” says activist Roberto Hernandez, who points out that the neighborhood’s historic murals are being painted over by new businesses. The number of no-fault evictions has spiked, and developers are squeezing out local businesses.

              SAN FRANCISCO 2.0 leaves Pelosi pondering the price of change, and wondering what “the growing divide between rich and poor [will] do to the fabric of America.” If any place can work through these problems and forge a solution, however, she believes it is San Francisco: a city rich in progressive history, which Pelosi hopes will “not leave its heart and soul behind.”

              (Remember the Tenderloin, Joe? Well thanks to gentrification, it’s just another run of the mill facade driven franchise)

              • OT: http://qz.com/629993/how-singapores-lack-of-natural-resources-yielded-a-model-contemporary-city/

                “Singapore’s other advantage in urban solutions lies in its pro-business policies, which make it attractive to companies eager to field-test innovative approaches and products in areas like energy management and air quality. And those companies have an appealing market to serve: Equidistant from China and India, Singapore’s strategic location offers access to 600 million consumers in the Southeast Asian region alone. Qualities like these have led major global companies such as General Electric and Siemens to tap Singapore’s networks to access these markets. ”

                The Philippines will not be as great as it could be without an environment where innovation is not killed by slow thinking politicians.

                This is why I believe the Philippines needs an Innovation Center Law, something akin to the Export Processing Laws except more towards innovation and not just processing/manufacturing.

                Calling Senator Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara!!!!

                I think that place should have a specialized category for innovations company that would allow it to be more nimble compared to the regular companies that go through the DTI Business Registry. The idea is create an island of innovation and that requires rapid failure and pivot. This means specialized employment contracts that would allow flexibility for certain types of employees.

                A way to access capital by creating a special investor class that .

                I think this deserves an article of it’s own LCplx.

              • Joe America says:

                The Philippines is a small nation in some respects. You can correspond with Senator Aquino’s team directly on Twitter (@bamaquino) and remove any “hope” that they may read or watch something. They likely will if it is presented in meaningful terms in less than 140 characters. His staff do follow me on Twitter, and I suspect read here. I seldom correspond directly with any political camps, and some people’s ideas of my inside track are greatly overstated. I even overstate it from time to time to promote the illusion of prominence. hahaha

                I first visited the Mission District almost half a century ago, and many times since. As much as San Francisco changes, it does not. They built a new Bay Bridge, and it is absolutely awesome. As was the old one. I often think of the Philippines without jeepneys and grow sad. Yet, that must happen. Still, the Philippines will be a dramatic and dynamic place. Unique in the world.

              • “The idea is create an island of innovation and that requires rapid failure and pivot. This means specialized employment contracts that would allow flexibility for certain types of employees.”

                EXACTLY, gian. 100% agree.

                The “specialized” employment contracts is something that the SF 2.0 film touched upon and is something the Obama admin. is pursuing, I hope the Philippines follows suit– safety-net and support for failures (risk-taking). I can see this being abused ala welfare, so I’d be interested to read more articles on how exactly to do this.

                gian, On your island idea, I think we return to the SEA-US cable and places that island in or around the Davao City area. I think all roads (on this) leads to Davao, sadly I don’t so much about Davao half of Mindanao, but I do know that the Americans had a listening post in the middle of the Del Monte plantation in Cagayan de Oro (“Puzzle Palace”), so any communications leap in Davao, will affect Cagayan de Oro, which will

                connect what’s going on in Davao direct to Cebu (via southern Bohol)— that’s the trajectory there, making that swath of area (on land and sea) your “Innovation Center”.

  5. Madlanglupa says:

    Today we’ll raise a toast to the late Jovito Salonga. Requiescat in Pace.

    • edgar lores says:

      I remember Jovito Salonga as one politician who lived a life of integrity. He opposed Marcos’ rule and was unjustly arrested. He was critically injured in the Plaza Miranda bombing. He lived briefly in exile in the US to avoid subversion charges, but returned after Ninoy’s assassination. He was appointed by Cory to chair the PCGG to recover the wealth Marcos had stolen.

      The timing of his death is particularly ominous with the Marcos heir on the rise.

    • Jovito Salonga Rest In Peace

  6. andrewlim8 says:

    I just want to add this under the “Business Groups” segment.

    One distinct feature of the Marcoses’ rule was to use cronies to consolidate power and wealth. Open competition was disallowed, and only those with connections can do business.

    I believe many of the local politicians backing Bongbong are anticipating this again. As early as now, these figures are salivating at the thought of being a favored crony once more.

    But this is an Achilles heel; if Bongbong tries to go in this direction once more, there will be much uproar and the government will be unstable. In this era of global integration, unfavorable world opinion will weaken the government. It will not last long before it falls down.

  7. Arnold Clavios’ reaction to the SC ruling on Poe vs Comelec


    He expressed what many are feeling – numb disbelief. R.I.P Justice, he says.

    Sorry, Andrew, I can’t help but feel melancholy, but, ….but still firm in my resolve. RORO!

    R.I.P. former Senator Salonga. The true soldiers of justice are going, going gone..one by one..Cant’s help but feel melancholy with the quality of our legislators now.

    Just a short note, and then back to BIR matters, have to help Kim meet her quota. Woe unto us if a totally corrupt one will replace her as what Binay is promising/threatening to do.

    • He expressed what many are feeling (which is more than the 2,000 respondents in various surveys) – numb disbelief….. R.I.P Justice, he says.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > Woe unto us if a totally corrupt one will replace her as what Binay is promising/threatening to do.

      Oh, he’s whispering promises of less taxation to businessmen, but he has other plans *wink wink*

  8. andrewlim8 says:

    Posting the link to Buddy Gomez’s column:


    For those still unaware, Buddy was Cory’s press secretary and prior to that, served as point man in providing intelligence reports on the Marcos’ activities when they fled to Hawaii.

    He is a walking treasure trove of historical information.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Why I tend to be cynical about these self-proclaimed prophets and magicians, especially when they make long promises that could be near impossible to implement.

    • A forked-tongue candidate – Duterte.

      The phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means to deliberately say one thing and mean another or, to be hypocritical, or act in a duplicitous manner.

      • WBAR says:

        I talked to a Filipina saleslady this morning and asked her where in Pinas she came from and she said “Tarlac” so I said to her” Your relatives will surely vote for Ro-Ro and she answered “No, Duterte..kasi gusto nila Martial Law”????

        • sonny says:

          It seems like the relatives are sensing what Filipinos were feeling the years before Plaza Miranda bombing or the times immediately after. It felt like a foreboding of civil unrest. So, I understand. The idea of a Duterte or Binay presidency is scary.

  9. Micha says:

    Policies have consequences. Filipino voters will always, and as usual, be voting with their wallets. The failure to institute inclusive economic development has alienated many of them. We may have seen, and bragged about, newly built malls. hotels, and large buildings as a sign of a robust, expanding economy but it only amplified the alienation of the poor – the very same constituency that are now being guiled to vote for the undesirable motherfuckers.

    Aquino and Roxas should have seen this coming.

    • Vicara says:

      What the administration has focused on through its private-public partnership program is infrastructure, and the effects of that will take a bit more time, but it’s happening. It will give a boost, certainly, to the lucky incoming administration. This was intended as a stimulus for business investment and expansion. So that’s one end of the socio-economic spectrum.

      For the poor, there’s the 4Ps program, which has been judged successful by donor community. Surveys, if you trust them, have shown that voters will gravitate to whoever promises to keep that program going. Which one can assume is an indicator of the program’s success. It’s also why none of the non-administration candidates is attacking government programs, except through hiccups to insinuate that the administration is mismanaging funds, for example, Philhealth in the news today–although solid defenses and rebuttals followed swiftly. At an forum a couple of weeks ago, it was pointed out that 90 percent of the policy statements of the non-administration presidential candidates actually overlap with each other– those of the administration. The presidential wannabes have seen the public perception surveys is which Aquino enjoys unprecedented popularity. So they tread carefully, or offer the same programs plus-plus, e.g. Duterte saying he will add a bag of rice to each family’s 4Ps allotment.

      So I’d suggest that dissatisfaction with this particular administration is not necessarily determining voter preference (with the exception of, say, voters in Tacloban or Manila, which traditionally–since pre-WWII–has always been against whoever is sitting in Malacanang). Novelty, showbiz-like projection, and control of the election narrative play a part. And the dynamics between local politicians and power brokers and the presidential and VP candidates.

      As consuelo I can offer what my cab driver said yesterday; he’s from a town in Cavite “controlled” by Remulla, but says he’s supporting the administration candidates. Roxas-Robredo. Because, he said, the new expressways have made such a difference for him as a driver and for local businesses.

      • Micha says:

        You’re talking about routine superficial administrative achievements which any self-respecting political animal in office could accomplish and nothing about significant overhauling of the socio-economic order. The very existence of the 4P’s program highlights the odious gulf between the super rich and the super poor.

        Binay is resonating easily because he has the “giginhawa ang lahat” slogan. Marcos junior is resonating because most folks still remember his father’s Bagong Lipunan project which, though fraudulent, is at least politically attractive. That’s what politicians do if they want to get elected; give hope, inspire.

        In the giving hope and inspiring department, Mar Roxas is, at most, malabnaw. He is malabnaw because he is a part, and a beneficiary of, the very same socio-economic order he doesn’t want to disturb.

        And so melancholy inducing political fortunes, like chickens, are coming home to roost.

        • Vicara says:

          Yes, the 4Ps does highlight an odious gulf–and is an effort to begin bridging it..

          The administrative achievements which you say are superficial and well within the power of any self-respecting political animal: Yes, they would be quite routine in a country that’s near enough to a textbook model of democracy. Which we are not. And that’s why our previous administrations were mostly incapable of them.

          I don’t see the current non-administration presidential candidates wishing to disturb the socio-economic order at all–other than to milk it for furiously their own benefit. The reasons you cite for the resonance of Binay and Marcos are in congruence with what I noted: novelty (it’s a new slogan); attractiveness; a narrative of hope. None of this necessarily has any connection with what they actually have to offer or plan to do once in office.

          Mar is not showbiz, as has been pointed out many times. But he is the only candidate running for president who’s actually interested in (or willing to take on) the nerdy nitty-gritty of governance. Those voting for him (his survey percentages are in the 20s–as are those of the other candidates, let’s not forget) are looking for stability, continuity of decently run programs, pragmatism, sanity, and a palpable absence of greed–whether for adulation, power or wealth.

          • Micha says:

            If Roxas is selling himself as a nerdy technocrat that is mostly attractive only to urban middle class voters, then good luck with the numbers.

            • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

              Is that the reason why Leni was mulling if she has to campaign alone without Mar?

              • Vicara says:

                Last time I checked, Roxas’ survey numbers are rather low among the A,B,C and urban socioeconomic class. He does better than one would think with the D, E, F. Walking Id Duterte is YUGE among the A, B, C. He brings out their inner Stalin–I daresay there’s a correlation between middle-class fundamentalism and support for extrajudicial executions. I’m not going to knock Mar’s campaign style, as I’ve already done so at boring length in previous posts.

                If Leni decides to do campaign sorties on her own, possibly she would have been encouraged by those who just want someone, anyone, out there with growing public support, who happens to not be on the Dark Side. I have no insider knowledge at all, but I would not be surprised if both the president and Roxas himself, and some of their advisers, would give her the go-ahead to do this. Interestingly, in my ongoing cab driver opinion survey, I’ve had six respondents in the last two weeks who said they’re voting for Duterte AND Leni. Also, happened to be in touch with a number of friends in Mindanao this week–from the NGO and business worlds. They’re voting for Duterte because they say he understands them and vice versa; but I was surprised to find that they’re keen on Leni as well. Interesting pairing. My contacts added that not enough is known of her down south, however, and they’d like more info, face-to-face meetings. (For whatever it’s worth, not a single one of the die-hard Duterte fans I know is voting for Cayetano; those not for Leni are opting for Marcos. Weird situation.)

              • Madlanglupa says:

                > Last time I checked, Roxas’ survey numbers are rather low among the A,B,C and urban socioeconomic class. He does better than one would think with the D, E, F. Walking Id Duterte is YUGE among the A, B, C. He brings out their inner Stalin–I daresay there’s a correlation between middle-class fundamentalism and support for extrajudicial executions.

                I read somewhere in that some upper-class Indians, including young wealthy professionals, express preference for an authoritarian leader. What’s more shocking is that some of them actually admire Hitler for his leadership acumen.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          > That’s what politicians do if they want to get elected; give hope, inspire.

          I am tempted to quote Bane who ponders on the word “hope”.

          Bane: Home, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There’s a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth… Hope. Every man who has ventured here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom.

          So easy… So simple… And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope.

          So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.”

          You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny… We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.

      • maru0907 says:

        Spot on. People appreciate and like what the current administration has done. They also want improvement where what is perceived as lacking as feed by media while at the same time expecting that the good now will continue.

        Being Filipino tangible benefit is truly what gets the vote. That where Mar has his plan fixed on. Its the Mayors and barangay captains that will give him the votes.

    • maru0907 says:

      Great article. Education I believe is the only tool than can truly uplift the Filipinos and the Philippines. My Grandparents were better schooled by the Thomasians than most university graduates being churned out. The country’s education focuses too much on learning to do instead of learning to think.

  10. http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/in-brief/us-court-slaps-353m-contempt-judgment-on-bongbong-imelda-marcos

    Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and his mother, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, have kept mum on a record $353.6 million contempt judgment handed down by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against them, reports Inquirer.net. It’s the largest ever award for a contempt case — for violating a US court order not to dissipate their assets, which have been earmarked as compensation for victims of the martial law imposed by Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the 1970s.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      That’s part of the political judo I was referring to. Deflect, refuse to comment, back down. Then sneak in your agenda if it will pass. But their problem now is, if he is VP, then everything is up for scrutiny. He will not have the company of senators anymore.

      So everyday they will have to parry the slings and arrows about the hidden wealth. Unless they plan to turn this country into a North Korea, which is cut off from the rest of the word. 🙂

  11. chempo says:

    Good job Andrew.

    Regarding Marcos’ cronies, there are two groups. Those loyal ones are salivating for the good old days. The other group that hang on to Marcos’ assets and laundered into their own names, they are shivering. Watch out for wealth flight. Remember, Imelda’s motive for tip toeing back to Phils was to reclaim what she felt was rightfully theirs — oops that means almost the whole Philippines. Watch out Lucio, Cojuanco, who else??

    Another thing Mary Grace touched on. A BB presidency will see many top notch govt professionals either resigning or forced out. Probably from DOJ, BIR, COA, Bangkok Sentral.

    • If the good ones leave COA, then no more reports about unliquidated funds like during this administration – stuff that was superstitiously blamed on Mar Roxas. No reports therefore everybody will be happy because no more problems. Which will prove only one thing – Filipinos prefer to be lied to. Honest people will either go undercover and quiet, leave the country, or become dishonest themselves because it doesn’t pay to be honest over there. Submit to your God-given fate, Filipinos, since you are incapable of shaping it yourselves.

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    “Take note though that today’s Marcos youth is much inferior to the activists of the sixties.” – ANDREW LIM

    TUMPAK! What Andrew forgot is 19th century Filipinos are superior than the current breed and Filipinos of Shindig days.

    In 19th Century, Filipinos were extremely intelligent. They read extremely expensive imported El Feli and Noli Me in Spanish. These two books created the Philippines what is known today. It sparked the revolution from Jolo to Babuyan Island.

    Noli was published 1887. El Feli on 1891. These books formed the KKK in 1892. Philippine revolution began August 1896 when Spanish militia discovered Katipunan, this secret anti-colonial organization.

    Within 9 years after 2,000 Nolis were published in 1887 in Europe, Five years after El Feli it created the revolution: a) WITHOUT U.P. HISTORY PROFESSOR translating and explaining what was written in the book; b) WITHOUT STARBUCKS INTERNET in every street corner

    Today, Filipinos require a U.P. History professor to make them understand the allegories and they still fail. I am one of them. And these books are now available in English not in Spanish.

    So, folks, 19th Century Filipinos were intelligent . They were voracious readers. They spent hard-earned money to grab one of these books.

    I salute 19th Century Filipinos !!!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      I thank Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr for running! (Auuurgh ! Why “Bongbong” in quote all the time in Philippine Media? Just do not get it at all. We do not do that here in America!). Were it not Bongbong running, the Mellineals wouldn’t have known the meaning of EDSA. Philippine Inquirer and the Philippine Media wouldn’t have come out with literary tra-la-las what Marcos did on Valentines Day of 1986.

      But it is too late! It is not the fault of Filipinos. It is the fault of Philippine Media run by U.P.-graduates ! Election is 2 months away unless postponed. 2 months to digest what Marcos did is too short for Filipinos to understand and marinate.

      It was also the fault of Philippine Media to sell Binay to the people. They wouldn’t have known Binay from Adam without Philippine Media help. I wouldn’t have voted for him. It is not my fault. It is their fault.

      It is too late to demonize Bongbong Marcos. We have to accept the fact he will be Vice-President. Binay have been allegedly an obsessive compulsive crook for over the years. The Filipinos in Philippine Media should know better Filipnios elect the UNDERDOG.

      BongBong and Binay are the UNDERDOGS, DEMONIZE, DEMONITIZED. Filipinos feel for them. Filipinos are Roman Catholics and Christians. They have been told to forgive-and-forget. Forgive-the-Man-not-the-Sins. They are not forgiven but not the sins. These two entities:The Sin & the Man. The Man will be elected but the sin is not.

      Let us stand. Let us join our hands together. Repeat after me. Let us pray.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      We are not crooks. Filipinos are not crooks. We inhyerited it from the Vatican:

      VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has imposed new financial accountability regulations on the process for making saints after gross abuses were revealed.
      Francis issued norms Thursday that require external vigilance over the Vatican bank accounts created for canonization causes as well as regular budgeting and accounting to make sure donations are being used correctly

      Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/208312/pope-imposes-financial-oversight-for-saints-after-abuses#ixzz42W7CIUAb

      The Vatican used money to lobby who will their be their annualized saints. So, take heart! It is not your fault.

      In the U.S. if someone commit crimes because of outside external forces that they cannot control, THEY ARE NOT FOUND GUILTY. SO DOES GOD !!! SO SHOULD THE FILIPINO PEOPLE. HEAVEN IS STILL OURS.

  13. Our leaders that succeeded Marcos did not implement any change, we did not change ourselves as a citizen of this country, nagkanya kanya ang bawat isa para sa pansariling kapakanan hindi para sa kapakanan ng bayan.
    Sa panahon ni Marcos centralised ang nakawan ngunit pag-alis nya naging kanya kanya ang pagnanakaw sa bawat sulok ng lipunan. Naging parang mga asong gutom na nakawala sa hawla.
    The new generation doesn’t really care about Marshall law, they care about what they experience now, they only know what is the state of the country at the moment which is shocking.
    We are poor because our enemy is ourselves it’s not the enemy from outside.
    Great article Andrew, mabuhay!

    • “The new generation doesn’t really care about Marshall law, they care about what they experience now, they only know what is the state of the country at the moment which is shocking.” Joe mentioned that the Philippines is like an orphan… guess they are also a bit.

      The story of Oliver Twist, who preferred to run with thieves for a while because he thought there was no other way and no other hope, is an interesting parallel to the Philippines now. How to give people a sense that there is another way and to trust that way is good is HARD.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      “For the sake of ten,” James, we will not be destroyed. It’s highly unlikely that the country as a whole will transform, but when the ten good ones, few as they are, persist in doing good, even heaven will hear and the universe will conspire to give us the Philippines we long to see in our lifetime.

      • You know what Will I am sure I will not see a better Philippines in my lifetime, the problem is too deep it will not be fix by improving infrastructure(I am not saying that infrastructure is not important) it’s the science of humanities problem, it’s not only physical poverty but also poverty of the spirit, they lost their soul of sense of nationalism.
        Base on my personal experience I gained back all of that when I went outside of the Philippines, Philippines as a society at the moment that doesn’t help you to think outside the box, it’s a kind of society that trap the goodness inside of you. The way of life make people shallow, the media is disgusting all the shows are catered for the sake of huge profit & not for something good for the country, they turn all those innocent young kids in the beauty pageant, our school curriculum is ineffective to solve the humanity crisis.

        We have here our young Scientist award every year, best performing school & universities, spelling bee champion for the kids etc., all kinds of recognition to make education more engaging, interesting. Why they could not all of the this in the Philippines? I saw so many schools in the Philippines having little Miss Valentines competition & dress the kids like gypsies, you know what I mean Will? The authority should stop those things that make people stupid.

  14. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    There are three kinds of justices in the Philippines:
    1. One for politicians like Binay, Napoles, Enrile, et al
    2. One for foreigners that has diplomatic consequences, ie Pemberton
    3. One for businesses, money laundering that has international economic consequences

    2 & 3 are being watched by international observers. Pemberton was found guilty the American way.
    Number 3 is being watched closely because the lowly bank manager is now a scapegoat a rogue manager. If international money managers finds fishy in the accusation, investment bankers will not look at the Philippines the same way it looked last year.

    This is where Mar Roxas should come in and comment because he was an investment banker for 7 years in New York.

    • maru0907 says:

      Only two kind of Justices:
      1. One for the moneyed
      2. One for the more moneyed
      If you have no money don’t expect any justice.

      Now on the bank manager, It is highly unlikely that higher-ups wouldn’t know about an 81M transfer in basically inactive accounts. I can even hear bells ringing, . So its the justice between the moneyed and the more moneyed.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Oh, poor Deguito. She will be crucified by fellow Filipinos. She was stopped from leaving the Philippines without hearing … without being in no-fly list … she was unceremoniously removed … NO JUSTICE IN THE PHILIPPINES ….

        • There is no justice in the Philippines… there are 15 Justices of the Supreme Court.

          Since you do not know that their are Justices, they will ask you if you learned what plural is.

          Plural and singular are not the same, therefore there can be no Justice if there are Justices.

          This is the logic of Filipino lawyers, who have memorized but not understood anything.

          But maybe we are just uneducated and deserve to stay abroad, where only the maids go.

          • maru0907 says:

            Justice is given by justices. No justice hence no justices. Except for the moneyed and more moneyed.

            I would say lawyers understand, they understand very well.In fact they understand so well that the laws are dependent on the amount.

            Where else can the uneducated, the maids make a better life.

  15. caliphman says:

    This may be a time for melancholy for those who only see this election as good news if their favored candidate tandem RoRo prevails. For those who see it as the danger of a prolonged period of darkness posed by a looming Binay or Duterte presidency, it is a time of guarded hope that a brighter future might not lay in wait for the country and for most of us. A future where government tolerance for corruption or suppresion of our basic freedoms are the paramount priorities and where our choices for top leadership is not limited to a popular plunderer, a would be dictator and an otherwise good man running a tepid unduccessful political campaign. No it is not melancholy but healthy paranoia that some of us still feel for the the threat of darkness has not completely lifted. Not only are B and D and a masa with a proclivity for preferring them and SM for the country still very much around. I also have a fear of electing once again a vice president only a heatbeat away from the pinnacle of power from restoring a dynastic dictatorship the scars of which are upon many of us who experienced it. Yes it is a time of hope, and not melancholy but healthy paranoia.

  16. a. Get fresh information on the recent movements of the Marcos wealth. For sure, they have been exerting all effort to hide them in safe havens, but in today’s world, virtually anything can be sniffed out, if you do it well. The same technologies to track drug cartel money can be used. Come out with an updated catalog on all the loot recovered and those still missing.


    Great article, by the way.

    On the above idea, unless your own police and higher ups generate this investigation & reach out, I can’t see our agencies doing this for you (maybe in the 1960s, but these days post-GWOT & post-Arab Spring, specific-kind of meddling is the furthest from many people’s minds).

    Though social-media may play a big role, like creating a petition to the White House: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/create

    Or getting Filipinos abroad, who are now citizens of say the US or EU countries, push their representatives and convince them that this is a good idea.

    I’m sure there are plenty of Int’l type sleuths, private investigators, who’ll snoop around, but those guys cost a lot of money. Or get Anonymous (or like minded hackers) involved and have them follow the money trail.

  17. Marlene Ocampo says:

    I could clearly see.

    What Bongbong
    Would do
    If he becomes
    Our pangulo.

    Ang bunga ng mabolo
    Mananatiling mabolo.
    Tulad ng gulong
    Paikot ikot lang
    Walang katapusan.

    Ang pag asa’y EDSA
    Sama sama,
    Marlene Ocampo

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:


      I keep seeing your posts in Facebook! It’s good you dropped by. Welcome, welcome!


  18. cha says:

    Your title reminded me of the book “Memories of my Melancholy Whore” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s about a 90 year old man who all his life has never slept with anyone he didn’t actually pay to do so, and who on his 90th birthday decided to gift himself with a virgin for what may very well prove to be his final paid for conquest. Part of that storyline could very well be a metaphor for many a Filipino politician’s life (and/or maybe those that “invest” in them as they rise up the ladders of political power). And the other half, well, I leave to your imagination what parallelism you might find with the present time.

    And then there is this line from the book;

    “And again, as always, after so many years we were still in the same place we always were.”
    ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Memories of My Melancholy Whores

    If that again doesn’t sound like an apt description of the state of Philippine politics and the general sense of this particular election, I don’t know what does. The country it seems is once again at the edge of a precipice; the future, once again uncertain. Hope teeters in the hearts of those longing for the continuing reform and transformation of Philippine culture and politics.

    I think we are where we are now not because of those who choose the wrong path. They could have won completely so many times before and this story would have already ended. I’d like to believe that we are where we are because always in our history as a people there have been and there are still those who are putting up a fight, those who refuse to give way and let the other side win, those who pull the country back and keeps it from falling from that precipice. So long as there are Filipinos like them, then this story is so far from over. And thank goodness for that.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:


      Watch out for my article coming out Tuesday March 13. Where did I read it, that in difficult times, prophets and prophetesses will come out, and everyone will be surprised, including the prophets and prophetesses themselves. There is a God.


  19. NHerrera says:

    A balancing of sentiments. Not giving-in to depression that comes from current political events. A dash of opportunities that give hope.

    Thanks Andrew for the article. My thanks too for the good read on the many fine commentaries in keeping with The Society’s tradition.

    Again, about balancing of sentiments, this one from caliphman:

    Yes it is a time of hope, and not melancholy but healthy paranoia.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Chinese sabi nya,hindi chinoy.Pwede pala yon.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        The rest of the day he goes on daring the government to file charges, while he is given rock-star treatment at UPLB, adoring fans who even want to see LP destroyed once elected.

  20. Mami Kawada Lover says:

    It must have been ages since I’ve commented on this website, and a lot has happened since then (most notably Mami Kawada announcing her retirement from music by the end of this year). But this piece here has made me reflect on the poor state of thinking among much of the youth. The fact that the youth are easily swayed by poorly-sourced YouTube videos and Facebook memes, and start to act like conspiracy theorists by dismissing actual reliable sources as “yellow propaganda” (or simply propaganda) is disheartening. The Aquino administration, and in fact all of the post-Marcos administrations, were not perfect, but at least they were democratic: you were free to say what you wanted to say. If we go back to Martial Law, then all the gains of the past 30 years will all be for naught. The argument that we may have failed the EDSA Revolution may be true to some extent, but the solution is not to take a step backward and go back to a dictatorship: it’s addressing the issues that emerged post-EDSA and finding solutions for them.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Welcome back,MKL. Mami Kawada retired,maybe there will be a comeback concert one day.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Soon, they may have no Facebook. No Twitter. No social media. No selfies. Because they voted for him, and in order to ensure that nobody talks or complains about his heavy-handed methods of eliminating crime and removing the “enemies of the people”, the media and the Internet must be controlled by the government.

      And if he or she is incapacitated while in office (being that they’re in their 70s), a vice-president is waiting to seize what he and his family thinks is “theirs”: the entire country.

      Out of the frying pan, and into the fire.

  21. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    Poor RCBC bank manager … she was jsut following orders and she got the boot and suspicion … WELL, THAT IS HOW JUSTICE IN THE PHILIPPINES WORK ….ALWAYS THE BOTTOM OF THE TOTEM POLE IN vehemently fanatically religious Filipins.

    I feel for you Filipinos but you are not feeling enough.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Sadness! Too much sadness! She was not allowed to leave with her family. She was not in hold-departure list. Sadness!n Sadness!

      We are talking about US$1,000,000,000.00 or Php47,000,000,000.00 or FORTY SEVEN BILLION PESOS !!!!

      And Philippine Media is so addicted TO POLITICS. Deguito the international banking system is watching. If the real culprits are not arrested the international banking system will react that Philippines is a cesspool of crooks !!!! It is still a sickman of Asia.

      Well, POLITICS is easier for Philippine Media because it is neither wrong nor right. But when it comes to numbers they fail because numbers are absolute. The Philippine Media is covering up US$1,000,000,000.00 hacking by not splashing it in every newspaper. It is buried in business section whose reportage can only be understood by Harvard graduates.

      Sadness! Sorrowful! Joyless! Dismally wretched!

      The Philippines will forever be in the graylist because they cnnot get the culprit. Let us not ask the wisdom of Supreme Court on Grace Poe the Filipinos deserve it.

  22. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    COMELEC should not question the wisdom of Filipino justices. If it takes 2 and a half hours to execersie their rights of suffrage so be it. What is 2.5 hours when they have suffered enough?

    Do voters really scrutinize their receipts? I doubt.
    They only scrutinize their receipts when their faved politicians loses.

    So, to do away questioning their receipts, their receipts has to be signed by the voters that they have reviewed it and it was according to what they have voted.

    These receipts should be signed. sealed. delivered. and drop them in the kambyolo .

  23. caliphman says:


    So the SC decision written by Justice Perez is finally out. In writing for the majority, he scathingly sums the rulings and process of the Comelec in the Poe as ” being diseased from root to fruits”. I have long wondered and commented here about the patent errors and weaknesses in Comelec’s conduct and conclusions in this landmark case. How can all these supposedly eminent jurists be so
    unanimously certain and yet so wrong? According to the SC, the Comrlec committed grave abuse of discretion from start to finish. Firstly, they should have never accepted the case as the questions on presidential qualifications is beyond their jurisdiction and properly belongs to the PET after the election. Secondly, they ignored prior rulings of the SC in arriving at their ruling on citizenship and residency. Thirdly, they ignored evidence presented by Poe by their arrogating an air of infallibility in their interpretation of the Constitution in the belief that foundlings are automatically excluded from natural born citizenship. Quite the contrary, the SC declares that foundlings are presumed citizens at birth. Furthermore, the SC found that the burden of proof belongs to those who question a foundlings citizenship. That the Comelec erred in asserting that electoral residency can only start upon gaining citizenship. There are so many fundamental points where Comelec erred I have not
    listed but which make the 47 pages of the decision worth reading for serious students and practitioners of law. Let me just say the issues are complicated and touch on bedrock principles of the nature and purpose of having laws, but it still leaves the quuestion of why so many who are neither ignorant nor stupid are unanimously so wrong?

  24. caliphman says:

    Its not just opinion and counter opinion, Joe. Its the majority decision of the Supreme Court which is now part of the law of the land. One of the Comelec’s serious errors was relying on Carpio’s dissenting read here, losing opinions and arguents in the FPJ case.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, I know who won, but it is important to know that there are different interpretations of law. Dissenting opinions become a part of case law. For me, it did not matter who won the case, as I long ago judged Poe for her character and capability rather than birth or citizenship duration. The case ruling did not affect that.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Part of the law of the land? That’s the worry, isn’t it?

      • NHerrera says:


        In arguments like in this mini-thread there is the conceptual tool — separating the issues:

        1. If I may express it — and I stand corrected, if this is not true — the majority in The Society believe that next to Roxas, we would like Poe to be the Philippine President, that is, rather than Binay or Duterte setting aside the sickly Santiago partnering with BB Marcos).

        2. Setting aside citizenship and residency issues — about which a lot have been discussed here including “lies” or “misrepresentations” that have been thrown at her in connection with these two requirements of the Presidency — there is the matter of integrity, character, and experience. This in comparison with Roxas who is not a saint himself.

        3. If we take out the name of Grace Poe Llamanzares from the decided case at the SC, and replace it with Juana de la Cruz — a hypothetical sixth candidate who has survey ranking lower than that of Santiago — and who in this hypothetical case has otherwise all the attributes, facts and evidences ascribed to Poe then we can view the SC decision another way.

        4. I do not set aside the concept that the what the SC says is what the Constitution or the Laws say — the SC being the end point of disputes on the Constitution and the Laws.

        5. But the SC is not infallible. And in this democratic country — in pretension at the very least — the citizens have a right to criticize or question the wisdom of the decision of the SC on Poe. Of course, we do it very delicately if we are lawyers who have the possibility of being disbarred. Not being lawyers or having the lawyerly credentials of a Panganiban or Tan, we may be more indelicate.

        6. I cannot accept the conclusion — using the fact that the SC has ruled 9-6 for Poe — that all those other criticisms or opinions that are contrary to the 9 are wrong! But then that is just my non-lawyer opinion.

        (You see folks that my training has affected me either positively or negatively. If an academic institution of large following says that 2 + 2 = 5, by reflex my differently-wired brain rebels.)

        • Joe America says:

          A minority concept or opinion is not invalid just because it is a minority concept or opinion. One becomes law, the other remains an idea worth understanding. Just as winning the presidency does not invalidate the loser as a citizen with rights to expression.

        • karlgarcia says:

          3. I thought the hypothetical sixth candidate was Juana Pilipinas. 😊

        • The thing is that unlike in mathematics, the axioms by which the legal people go are not always as clearly defined. The main difference between the majority and the minority opinion is this:

          1. the majority opinion goes by the axiom that a foundling can be assumed to be natural-born.

          a. They use statistics to prove that this assumption can be safely construed as valid. That for example 99.9% of the population of Iloilo at that time was Filipino hardly any foreigners yet.

          b. They also go by the opinion that even unratified general principles of international law can be seen as part of the legal culture of a country. They cite Filipino precedents for this.

          2. the minority opinion of Carpio goes by the exact opposite in terms of axioms/assumptions:

          a. a foundling has to prove 100% that he or she has Filipino parents.

          b. unratified international law is not valid in the Philippines and that’s it.

          Read both opinions and I find the majority opinion representative of a more modern legal culture. Not the post-Spanish legal culture of before which treated every “Indio”, ahem citizen, as a potential criminal and every lawyer and official as a demigod. In nombre del Rey Felipe.

          • NHerrera says:

            Yes and the Oscar award according to a panel of 15 judges goes to Sereno et al rather than the other nominee Carpio et al — both nominees saying they are going by their bible, the Constitution, Jurisprudence, International Law (ratified or not; customary or not) and their creative (or textual) interpretation of such. I should really go back to minding my arithmetic and the axioms and assumptions used. More fruitful for me than don a lawyer’s hat. Frankly, na he-helo ako. Also, the Constitution, Laws, etc are what the current SC says they are, subject to reversal, modification by later SC’s.

        • on the SC ruling on Poe’s DQ case:

          A single 9-6 ruling and therefore all 15 justices voted. The difference is that Peralta, Caguioa, and Castillo claimed that there was no need for the high court to determine Poe’s eligibility on the citizenship requirement; however, all three held that the Comelec committed a grave abuse of discretion since Poe did not make deliberate misrepresentation on her 10-year residency status. This is why Carpio is arguing the 7-5-3 decision and 7-5-3 does not constitute to a majority.
          Medyo Lang No – posted in PDI

  25. caliphman says:

    It is not legally valid under the Philippine or US system of jurisprudence until new legislation is introduced ir the SC reverses itself. Of course, one is free to present legal arguments to support any disagreements with the SC rulings but in the same vein, he or she should be prepared to defend it if it is rebutted. Joe, I do not share your or anyone elses bias against Poe. My views on the candidates are pretty well known and while I am yet undecided who to vote for, I believe many of the attacks or criticism against her are either unsupported or unfair. Much of it is because those many of those who support or campaign for Roxas find it hard to convince others why they should vote for him and easier to go negative on her even if the accusations are unsupported. I for one have no hesitancy in warning others of Bibay’s candidacy because there is a mountain of solid evidence proving his corruption and not just a matter of my personal opinion.

    • Joe America says:

      “unfair . . . unsupported” That is in the eyes of the beholder and what one expects of a President. One can record, for instance, time of service to the nation, and have a factual comparison. Or laws enacted. Or public statements made and then switched under public pressure. Or what interest groups or individuals one associates with. One’s basis of facts need not be crimes committed. One can go beyond the facts and into the area of judgment. Is a platform feasible? Can a candidate fulfill campaign promises? Are proposed steps unique or are they already being done? Does one accept accountability for mistakes or shift blame? Do policies fulfill one’s ideas about principle and security and sovereignty (e.g., position on negotiation with China)? Does one make good judgments in one’s job, for instance, as a Committee Chairperson? To say people arrive at unfair or unsupported decisions because you can’t get there is tantamount to namecalling.

      • Joe America says:

        “many of those who support or campaign for Roxas find it hard to convince others why they should vote for him” The same can be said of many supporters of all the candidates. Some of the supporters are notorious for their trolling and thuggery. I’ve been called a son of a bitch, asshole, coward, yellowtard, apologist and other names by people who support candidates other than Roxas. Poe supporters among them. Those are hardly arguments of reason.

        • sonny says:

          The ward is no different than the tutor. 🙂

          Trump’s rally in Chicago has been broken up by anti-Trump partisans. Chicago might as well be Manila.

          • sonny says:

            The U of Illinois at Chicago center holds 35,000. To hold an orderly assembly that stages Trump-like potential for disruption, I figure two scenarios: one-third pro, one-third anti, one-third security or one-fourth pro, one-fourth anti, one-half security.

            deja vu Faneuil Hall:

            March 4 – Frederic J. Stimson debates James F. Carey[38]
            March 19 – Protest “against the suppression of truth about the Philippines”

          • Maddows has a report where in Chicago PD never recommended the postponement. Trump’s is supposedly staging this.

            • sonny says:

              gian, everything seems to be in a state of critical flux here in the city. I get little sense about who is in control, be it state or city level. Everybody is against everybody. For example, in the state’s attorney campaign 3 women lawyer-candidates have removed the gloves from the gitgo and each have gone for the jugular. The current mayor is such a weakling and has no handle on many things, things which we all took in stride under previous mayors. The bond rating of the city is low.

          • Joe America says:

            Worse, for now, but it is not hard to imagine violence for Manila, depending on who gets elected. It is disturbing that Trump makes no connection between his words and the violence. That is consistent with several of the candidates here, denial of meanings or responsibility to what they say.

            • sonny says:

              Joe, we are still waiting for the real foot to fall regarding Trump. It feels like the Republican party is imploding before our very eyes and he is a true wrecking ball.

              • Joe America says:

                Yep, good description. I watched the last debate. I thought Rubio had a sterling night, his best. He is young and that sometimes shows, but he is for sure smart. I wish he would tone down the religiosity of his messages though. An aspiring president should not wear that on his sleeves when applying for a secular job. He’s mathematically out of it though, I guess.

        • caliphman says:

          First of all, I do not indulge in name calling here and I have not leveled those insults including son of a bitch, asshole, and the like. For me it is not necessary nor proper to do so in this website and to be fair about it, I have not been called any of these names either. With all due respect, you have publicly voiced your bias for Roxas and your dislike for Poe. To your credit, you buttress your partiality for Roxas and your criticisms of Poe with your judgements and reasons whether valid or not because many many others resort to unfair accusation and name calling against Poe without justification or strongly distorted and tainted by bias. I have not bothered trying to question your or anyone’s basis for pushing Roxas’ candidacy as I consider doing so may promote Binay or Duterte’s campaign. But I am inclined to speak out here when the law is cited mistakenly by many who are non-lawyers or know the area less than I do claim it as a basis for scuttling her campaign. And most of the time my rebuttals here have been vindicated including the recent SC ruling against the Comelec which many in the Roxas camp do not like or agree with without offering any legal grounds for challenging it. If that makes me unpopular here, so be it but I too should have have a right to voice my objections I have always taken pains to explain the legal arguments that support them.

          And for the record, if the biggest beef against Poe is her opportunism and her ambition, where in a free democracy is it legally or morally wrong to be in pursuit of a better life, liberty and more happiness so long as it does not violate the law or trample on another’s right to do so? You and I have made those personal choices as to how and where that pursuit should take place so perhaps Poe should not be faulted for her ambition beyond what others may claim is her capacityca and capitalizing on her opportunities.

          • Joe America says:

            We have to define “bias”. If you mean uninformed judgment and unfair conclusion, as the term is often used, then I would say that is name-calling. If you mean informed preference and judgment for one over the other, then I would agree with your assessment that I am biased toward one over the other. Indeed, this is the heart of our arguments. Most voters will make their choice on far less research and information than I have made. The democratic system respects their votes, and it ought not be up to us to judge them as uninformed or unfair when we don’t know their process. And even if their process is to guess, the system respects their votes.

            As for opportunism and ambition, yes, those are positive drives. But they ought to be weighed against qualifications. And a candidate’s sense of self is important. Does he or she have a clear sense of the job demands and his or her own ability to make good decisions. When they are in sync – drive and capability – we have high performance. When they are out of sync, we have disaster. Blames. Flip flopping. Excuse-making. Bad results.

            • Joe America says:

              Noted Poe/Escudero flip-flops which resulted in restatements of their views and blame of their critics:

              BBL (against it, clarified the next day to be against only parts of it)
              INC (supporting INC against DOJ, clarified the next day to be supportive of freedom of religion)
              Coco Levy funds (pro-conjungco, clarified the next day to be pro-farmer)

              There are other examples of proposing programs that are already being done, or proposing programs without addressing the funding of those programs. But my job is not to nit-pick or express my “bias”, but to illustrate the problems that arise when ambition and capability are out of sync.

            • caliphman says:

              Thats an example of an unbiased unsupported conclusion right there…that Poe does not have the competence or experience to be president. Let me cite just a few examples. Magsaysay was a driver, flunked out of UP and yet he was a successful snd well loved president. Take Cory Aquino, she had no rxperience even as a senator and her education was not even in political science like Poe. I rest my case.

              • superbalahibo says:

                It is illogical to cite Magsaysay and Cory Aquino to justify your support for Poe.

                1. Cory Aquino wasn’t elected. She became President because she was the figurehead of a coup against Marcos in 1986. To be exact, THE symbolic figurehead of the anti-Marcos political opposition. That’s it. It would be utter nonsense to compare Poe to her.

                2. It’s a bigger mistake to cite Ramon Magsaysay as your example. Read this timeline. http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Ramon-Magsaysay/timeline.htm

                Does that look like a greenhorn or inexperienced like Poe to you?

              • caliphman says:

                The issue is skills for presidency and not how they got the position.

              • Joe America says:

                Therein is the beauty of democracy. You rest your case for you only and not for me or anyone else. My conclusion is perfect, for me. If you fail to respect that, then I’d say that is your problem . . . unless you get elected to office.

              • caliphman says:

                It means I have cited solid cases which counters your claim that Poe does not have the capacity to be president. If your response is all you’ve got, then I have nothing firther to say.

              • Joe America says:

                It means you are in the discussion to win it for Poe, and I am in the discussion to refine my thinking of how best to deal with the fact that some people cast votes that are totally uninformed and “unfair” to the nation, and yet we should respect them for the votes they cast. It is easy to slide the language from “uninformed” to “biased” to “unfair” to “stupid”. Social media are filled with people who are somewhere on that slippery slope of not respecting others, and it is a sure path to Trump-like judgments and hostility. I’m currently writing a pair of blogs that speak to the forces that are guaranteed to produce a president who most Filipinos don’t respect, and to understand why people vote the way they do without degenerating into name-calling or being disrespectful toward those who create this outcome. Whether you have anything further to say or not is another of the wonderful freedoms we have in a democratic society, and also ought to be respected. Just like every single vote and voter.

              • caliphman says:

                How many times do I have to say I am not proPoe but profoundling and antiBinay. You however are proRoxas.

              • caliphman says:

                And sure, you are free to claim is inexperienced and incompetent to aim for the presidency but unless you can back it up with solid examples and arguments, it just that, an unsupported claim.

              • Joe America says:

                1. Well, you are still arguing Poe, and I only used the point of Poe to cite examples of how ambition and lack of capability can create problems. I believe that to be true from years of management experience, and I’m seeing it with Poe and a series of her troublesome statements. If you don’t see it the same way, no problem. It’s my personal assessment. You are entitled to have a different set of experiences, readouts and conclusions.

                2. As I explained, I am more concerned with how one is allowed to have a dissenting view and be respected for it. Or how one is allowed to hold a disagreeable opinion on a candidate and be respected for it. I don’t like being labeled “unfair” or “uninformed” or “biased” when I work very very hard to understand the issues and people and am forthright enough to lay it all out here. I’m trying hard myself not to subscribe to the simple notion that Filipino voters are stupid if they put Binay in office. There are reasons, and we ought to at least strive to understand them.

                3. My “bias” toward Roxas always always always starts with the question, “what is best for the Philippines?”

                4. We have different views on matters. You hold that people should vote for Poe because she is most likely to be able to keep Binay or Duterte out of office. I hold that people should vote for the best person for the job. If they are passionate enough, they should get out into the field to help out. If it were allowed, I’d be in the streets of Biliran in my yellow shirt, promoting the well-being of the nation.

                5. None of us has a claim to certainty in projecting the future.

              • Noggy says:

                If you are not propoe (hard not to think that though) then from what you have been posting, you are pushing for Poe because you believe she is our best chance to prevent a Binay presidency.

                Most proroxas supporters, I believe, supports him because we believe that he is the best man for the job. And any other choice aside from Roxas would not be good for our country. But admittedly, Grace is more acceptable than the other candidates, with Duterte winning as the worst possible scenario. Yes more than Binay. (Like the French election in 2002 where they opted for a ‘crook’ over a ‘fascist’, at least the crook just steals money while the other steals our freedom)

                To be honest, picking someone for this election is the easiest as Mar is so far ahead of the pack from almost all criteria I can think of.

              • caliphman says:

                Look, Joe. You can insist that I am a Poe advocate inspite of my denying it in English and my nev er ever coming on record that people should or I would vote for her. What part of that is difficult to understand? Is that not an another example of an unsupported claim? I would be quite happy if either Poe or Roxas wins as long as Binay or Duterte loses. I am also unhappy if anyone in Roxas’s camp or Poe’s or belonging to whatever camp engages in unsupported smearing or character assasination and I will not hesitate to speak out against it because we who are here should be better than that. I am willing to articulate and explain my views and if yours happen to be in opposition to mine, I am willing to listen and try to understand your point of view. Joe, if you reread my posts above, I have not specifically accused you of being unfair. I have however explicitly cited the specific assertions that in my opinion are either supported or unfair, as well as my reasons for deeming them so. Whether you care to address that or just state that you do not like being considered unfair, that is really up to you.

              • Joe America says:

                I agree with you that Senator Poe would be a better President than either Mayor Duterte or VP Binay, for character reasons. She would be better than Senator Santiago because of Santiago’s poor health..

    • karlgarcia says:

      A quick google search on Sc reversing itself yielded to renaming towns and cities,they reversed themselves three times.So it can happen,if they want to.

  26. Bing Garcia says:

    Nice Andrew!

  27. Marg Choco says:

    I always say this to the Duterte fanatics and (especially) the Marcos loyalists: they can’t spin doctor their asses like it’s 1970. Cutting submarine communications cables? They would have blow up communications satellites to cut off satellite internet access.

    *Pfft.* Even if Bongbong Marcos becomes president and would ban the internet … I can set up an underground VPN service even with my eyes closed. Just imagine what notorious blackhat and whitehat hackers with a messiah complex can do.

    The millennials? I just give out a shit-ton of serious case studies, reports and publications from the UN, the World Bank, Australia, etc.

    Pages like getrealphilippines.com (and yes, also manilatimes.net) are nothing more than web shites (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Webshites). Yes, the same RationalWiki that says Philippine politics is mostly bullshit/nonsensical claptrap.

    (Sort of off-topic) The RationalWiki entry about the Philippines is cute, especially about “the Philippine Dark Age”.

  28. NHerrera says:


    Although the the SC voted 9-6 to qualify Poe’s COC on March 8, the subsequent opinions, of the Justices, particularly that of CJ Sereno and Justice Carpio reveal that during the deliberation prior to the 9-6 vote, we have this detail:

    – on the matter of citizenship 7 voted for qualification, 5 voted for disqualification, 3 had no opinion/ did not participate

    – on the matter of 10-year residency 7 voted for qualification, 6 voted for disqualification, 2 had no opinion/ did not participate

    The end result does not contain those numbers when the decision was made on March 8. The details above give the impression of a thinner difference or conviction of the majority as against what is indicated in the 9-6 vote ruling.

    Here is CJ Sereno:
    With the majority of the Members of the Court declaring, by a vote of 9 as against 6, that petitioner Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares has no legal impediment to run for the presidency, it is most unfortunate that one of the Dissenting Opinions opens with a statement that tries to cast uncertainty on an already tense situation. The dissent gives excessive weight to the fact that there are 5 Justices in the minority who believe that petitioner does not have the qualifications for presidency, while ignoring the reality that there at least 7 Justices who believe that petitioner possesses these qualifications.

    Note that the fallo needed only to dispose of the grant or denial of the petitions and nothing more. Ideally, no further interpretation of the votes should have been made. Unfortunately, there are attempts to make such an interpretation. We therefore need to look to our internal rules for clarification on the matter to avoid exacerbating matters.

    If we were to apply the rules on voting in the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, it is clear that the Court decided on the matter of petitioner’s intrinsic qualifications in accordance with Rule 12, Section 1 of these rules:
    Section I.Voting requirements. -(a) All decisions and actions in Court en bane cases shall be made up upon the concurrence of the majority of the Members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues or issues involved and voted on them.

    Out of the 12 Members who voted on the substantive question on citizenship, a clear majority of 7 voted in favor of petitioner. As to residency, 7 out of 13 voted that petitioner complied with the 10-year residency requirement. These votes, as explained in the extended opinions submitted by the members of the majority, must be respected.

    Here is Senior Associate Justice Carpio:
    I dissent from the majority opinion.

    With the ruling of the majority today, a presidential candidate who is deemed a natural-born Filipino citizen by less than a majority of this Court, deemed not a natural-born Filipino citizen by five Justices, and with no opinion from three Justices, can now run for President of the Philippines even after having been unanimously found by the Commission on Elections En Banc (COMELEC) to be not a natural-born Filipino citizen. What is clear and undeniable is that there is no majority of this Court that holds that petitioner Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe Llamanzares (petitioner) is a natural-born Filipino citizen. This ruling of the majority will lead to absurd results, making a mockery of our national elections by allowing a presidential candidate with uncertain citizenship status to be potentially elected to the Office of the President, an office expressly reserved by the Constitution exclusively for natural-born Filipino citizens.

    This means that the majority of this Court wants to resolve the citizenship status of petitioner after the elections, and only if petitioner wins the elections, despite petitioner having already presented before the COMELEC all the evidence she wanted to present to prove her citizenship status. This will make a mockery of our election process if petitioner wins the elections but is later disqualified by this Court for not possessing a basic qualification for the Office of the President -that of being a natural-born Filipino citizen.

    Those who voted for petitioner would have utterly wasted their votes. This is not how the natural-born citizenship qualification for elective office mandated by the Constitution should be applied by the highest court of the land.

    The above details of vote-breakdown and the phraseology of the opinions will further embolden the petitioners (Elamparo, Tatad, Valdez, excluding Contreras who said he will not file an MR) on the MR they will submit on or before 15 days after the ruling. Not that they will be successful.

    It is interesting that CJ Sereno refers to a tense situation in her concurring opinion: … it is most unfortunate that one of the Dissenting Opinions opens with a statement that tries to cast uncertainty on an already tense situation.

    I did not know that the gods of Padre Faura are in a tense situation. Why that phrase in her concurring opinion?

    • caliphman says:

      Your own posts about how restive and agitated Roxas supporters here and at other blogsdites are stark evidence of that, for starters.

      • NHerrera says:

        Evidence that Joe’s and Raissa’s Blogs carry some weight in the scheme of things. No thanks to my own posts. There are others here and at Raissa’s, who carry more weight in “tensing” the CJ. I wonder if Joe is party to the stress on CJ ( 🙂 ).

        • Joe America says:

          Your posts contribute a good, mature, common sense logic, often with numerical foundations, to both blogs. I long ago gave up on trying to find a path on the Poe legal issues, and conceded all authority to the Supreme Court. That particular body has been tense since CJ Sereno took over, for reasons that seem to be a mix of politics, legal method, and ego. I think Edgar has the best reading of all of the justices. I’ve come to appreciate Justice Carpio more and CJ Sereno less, and Justice Leonen is . . . well, hard to figure. I find the COMELEC receipts case more interesting than the Poe case for some reason. Perhaps because I’ve got Poe into a category on matters of capability rather than qualification.

    • Edgar Lores says:


      There are 4 justices who did not proffer an opinion: Bersamin, Mendoza, Peralta and Reyes.

      My assumption is that the 3 who abstained on the matter of citizenship are among these 4.

      Eventually, the first 3 (B/M/P) voted with the majority, and the last (R) with the minority.

      Thus the 5-member minority became 6. My conclusion is that the sixth member is Reyes (a PNoy appointee).

      So the 2 justices who held the “balance of power” and tipped the balance in favor of Poe are among the remaining 3 (B/M/P). Needless to say, if these 2 had tipped the other way, the result would have been 7-8, instead of 9-6, in favor of Comelec.

      I believe one of the 2 is Bersamin, a dummy of Mendoza — that is power-broker Estelito Mendoza and not Jose. Between Mendoza and Peralta, I nominate (Jose) Mendoza as the 2nd.

      So far, 4 justices have kept quiet during all the oral arguments: Lucas Bersamin, Bienvenido Reyes, Francis Jardeleza and Jose Mendoza. – Rappler (03/02/2016)

      “It is the quiet ones you gotta worry about.”

      • Edgar Lores says:


        My starting assumption was wrong.

        On citizenship, the voting was 7-5-3 as stated by Carpio, and the three abstainers were Del Castillo (who wrote the minority opinion), Caguioa and Peralta.


        The latter two, Caguioa and Peralta, joined the majority opinion.

        On residency, the voting was 7-6-2. Who were the 2? Again, Caguioa is identified as one of the 2. Should he not have abstained, seeing that he was undecided on both substantive questions of citizenship and residency?

        Caguioa’s rationale is contained in a separate concurring opinion in which he mainly addressed the issue of “gross abuse of discretion.”

        But how can there be gross abuse when the Comelec’s decisions on the substantive questions were possibly correct? Ah, because Comelec is not allowed to rule on these questions.

        Philippine law is as clear as mud.

        I don’t believe the fat lady has sung yet.

  29. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    SADNESS! Pure utter sadness!! I am totally despondent over Filipinos!!! Why politics?

    Here are whys no candidators are fit to run the Philippines and a why the Philippine voters are not in their sound mind to vote.

    Let us start with the latter, voters not in their sound mind to vote. They vote when the candidators are not fit to run at all. They should have abstrained.

    Now with the latter …
    MAR ROXAS. Mar Roxas does not have a sound judgement. 4 years in Princeton in the USA. 7 years as “investment bank executive”. Lucrative job! Ludicrous pay. More than 11 years in USA! Longer stay than Grace Poe. He went back to Philippines as politician! So did Grace. He must know something that I do not know: Politics is LUCRATIVE in the Philippines. MUST BE. After a stint in Government he married Korina had a reception attended by 15 bishops, senators, business tycoons and all concentration of powers. LUDICROUSLY LUCRATIVE!

    Mar Roxas DECIDED and beg on his hands and knees for Grace Poe as his running mate KNOWING GRACE POE HAS NO EXPERIENCE. When Grace Poe dumped him, Mar accused Grace Poe as INEXPERIENCE. NOT A GOOD DECIDER.

    GRACE POE. Must be tired of herding Boston pupils. Went back to Philippines. From Llamanzares she now style herself as POE. She dropped LLAMANZARES! Herding American pupils is NOT A LUCRATIVE JOB. Politics is. She realized late in her age like Mar Roxas. NO EXPERIENCE LIKE CORY AQUINO. NO EXPERIENCE LIKE LAWMAKER TRILLANES. She just ran and won in the Guiness book of records as the most number of votes as Senator ever in history. That is why it is in Guiness book of Philippine records. She cannot know how to count the number of years she stayed in the Philippines. She cannot know how to fill up forms when she applyed for Senator. TOTALLY INEXPERIENCED. She does not have biological parents. no picture of them. No memories. She doesn’t fight back taunted as INEXPERIENCED because like Satan, believes in The Meek Shall Inherits The Earth and The Philippines.

    Supreme court granted her citizenship and qualification to run the Philippines.

    BINAY DUTERTE, BONGBONG. Leading the polls. Filipinos are thrilled. And scared. Dirty tricksters in the government released COA report on Binays. Duterte is investigated for murders. Bongbong’s father resurrected. Of course, it is dirty tricks no matter how I look at it BUT POLITICS IN THE PHILIPPINES IS DOWN AND DIRTY HANDS DOWN.

    MIRIAM. Not leading the polls. Nothing more to say. She is intelligent. Super Intelligent. BUT FILIPINOS HATE INTELLIGENT PEOPLE.


    And we have AMLC investigating $81,000,000 laundered money. Philippine Press has already pointed the finger at lowly branch manager Deguito. Wow! The International Banks and foreign Central Banks are watching. As always Philippines is a sick man of asia still.


    Bigboys of bloomberg did not point the finger at Deguito but smallboys of Philippine Press has already handed down their findings: DEGUITO DID IT. And the world is laughing.

    • sonny says:

      Don’t forget impunity, MRP. The culture of impunity makes the Filipino world go round. Like the carousel, riders get giddy and excited and the music will bring you anywhere you want to go and yet everything stays the same. It only seems we are catching up with the other horses. Just believe that it is so.

    • Lol! Mar Roxas wedding reception with 15 bishops.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Yes, Sir! 15 bishops! The story was in Inquirer long long time ago. Mar-and-Korina instead of having a reception, they gave it to their fans. They left and when they got home that is where the bash was. 15 Bishops waiting among other powerful people. The reception-for-fans and ogglers were actually for show.

  30. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The confusious response from Filipinos is typical like Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Mayweather.

    Here are the parallellism that defines Filipinos. Let us begin with Mayweather:
    Filipinos wanted Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao.
    When Manny Pacquiao lost to Mayweather
    Filipinos screamed “MAYWEATHER DANCED AND CHEAT”

    Past forward to present on SC decision on Grace Poe:
    They wanted Supreme Court to decide on Grace Poe.
    When SC favored Grace Poe
    Filipinos screamed “SERENO IS SICK”

    So, that is what defines Filipino.

    3 months down the future:
    Filipinos wanted election
    The polls are wrong
    After election … their faves did not win,
    They sue COMELEC.
    They run to Supreme Court that decided on Grace Poe
    When SC decides not in their fave
    Filipinos scream “SERENO IS SICK”

    Filipinos are just confuscious and chaotic.

    Benigno gave them good life and jobs in six years
    They did not want Benigno’s pet, Mar Roxas
    ergo, did not want Benigno


    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      What I cannot understand also is MARWAN. Why do they keep insisting MARWAN IS DEAD when Obama does not believe them. If Obama believed MARWAN IS DEAD, Obama would have given Benigno the Award Money but Benigno did not.

      Obama’s non-Award is a sure thing that MARWAN IS OUT AND ABOUT MISSING ONE FINGER.

      Filipinos still believe Marwan is dead. Americans do not. Therefore, no award money. Why do they keep insisting is beyond my understanding.

      PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT IS GOVERNMENT OF NO PROOF. It is all nothing but misguided stories telling-a-lie for Filipino consumption. No matter how many times they wring it dry of investigation and forever investigating Marwan is now in Spinboljak in the mountains of Afghanistan dipping roti in his dal chasing it with hot tea.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        … Marwan is laughing telling stories to Taliban recruits how naive and gullible the Filipinos are.

  31. Bill in Oz says:

    @Califman & Joe, There are 5 candidates.Hypothetically each could be supported by 20% of the voters..And one of the 5 then ‘win’ on the basis of gaining a few hundred odd votes than the others..That would be a very bizarre result. An in my considered opinion not good for the democratic process or Philippines democracy.

    There is a real & urgent need for preferential voting system to be introduced. It is not hard.Voters easily understand it. And it would candidates with similar programs and policies to swap preferences to elect a president with a substantial majority of votes.

    • Joe America says:

      Bingo. I was just writing to that point for the blog scheduled on the 20th. It is likely that the next president will have a mandate of 30% of the voting public, which means 70% will spend six years undermining him or her. It is indeed not good for the Philippine democracy. President Aquino had a mandate of 43% which explains the hostility he has lived with for six years. Many of the 57% who “lost” have spent the time getting even. That is essentially the GRP or anti agenda.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Bill,Joe,comparing instant runoff or preferential voting to runoff elections which takes two rounds,I think preferential is the “preferred” choice,because it is cheaper,and less time consuming.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Karl….it’s not just the cheapness aspect or the less time aspect which are important…Ensuring that the will of the people in the vote is reflected in the election result is key ! Democracy depends of legitimacy and acceptance….A preferential system maximizes legitimacy & acceptance.

        I wonder how many Filipinos vote ‘irresponsibly” for poor quality candidates simply out of a sense of not being heard or having a voice if they vote any other way…

        • karlgarcia says:

          I messed up in that comment,Preferential voting takes more than a round.I thought instant runoff is single round elimination.
          But to make up,I guess even if it takes two rounds,you are very correct,cost should be secondary.

          • edgar lores says:


            You were essentially right the first time. He he.

            Runoff voting may take the form of two-round voting. However, two rounds may not be enough to achieve absolute majority (exhaustive ballot).

            Preferential voting just takes one round. In voting, the voter selects his main choice… and at the same time indicates his second-, third-, n-preferences should his main choice lose. So it is the counting of the votes that goes through several rounds.

            Preferential voting is indeed “instant runoff voting.”

            • edgar lores says:

              Example of preferential vote counting:

              Round 1: Poe garners 30% and Roxas 25%. They are the two leading contenders.

              Round 2:

              o The primary votes for Poe and Roxas are set aside.
              o The second -preference of Binay, Duterte and Santiago are examined.
              o If the second-preference applies to either Poe or Roxas, the votes are counted and added to that of Poe or Roxas, respectively.
              o If the second-preference does not apply to either Poe or Roxas, the ballots are set aside for Round 3.
              o If either Poe or Roxas attains absolute majority (51% or more), a winner is declared; otherwise counting continues.

              Round 3:

              o The secondary votes for Poe and Roxas are set aside.
              o The third-preference of Binay, Duterte and Santiago are examined.
              o If the third-preference applies to either Poe or Roxas, the votes are counted and added to that of Poe or Roxas, respectively.
              o If the third-preference does not apply to either Poe or Roxas, the ballots are set aside for Round 4.
              o If either Poe or Roxas attains absolute majority, a winner is declared; otherwise counting continues.

              Round 4 to Round n: As above.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thank you very much Edgar,I needed that! 👍🏻😃

    • caliphman says:

      Bill, there has been much talk about the need for amending the constitution if foundlings are to be recognized as Filipino citizens at birth. I disagree. But I can assure you, what you are proposing will require with absolutely certainty revising the current Constitution which explicitly and specifically prescribes the way the Philippines currently conducts its elections. Those amendments would require convening a constitutional convention and a subsequent plebiscite so one should not hold one’s breath waiting for it to happen.

  32. NHerrera says:

    Off Topic


    1. We will not know until a few weeks — when the survey results post-March 8 comes — if the tsunami we just had is a minor or major political tsunami.

    2. For this fiction let us focus only on the four major players.

    3. Pre-March 8, B and D were acting rather kind or benignly towards P, expecting that they will get a windfall from the DQ debacle. Alas, that may not be the case.

    4. For their pre-tsunami game, B and D were content to do the usual punching bag of R, but R has hit his solid irreducible base — not a lot can be squeezed from that source.

    4. Now comes the reality of that tsunami. The drawing magnet of P is universally expected. It is not a question of if, it is only by how much.

    5. Whence does these additional votes of P come? Not so much, if any, from the irreducible solid base of R. It must come from B and D, especially from B whose number has a lot of fluff, considering his mountain-full of corruption-related problems, added lately by the recent woes of Jun-jun at Sandigan and the posting of HDO against him and his cohorts at Makati; and on B himself with the recent actions of COA and Ombudsman, who are very hot on his trail.

    6. Thus, the net migration of survey numbers will be from B to P and from D to P. The effect will be bigger if P will stay rational and intelligent in her moves and make less of the rather unwise (stupid) move of thanking her Financier/ Benefactor TOO EARLY for the SC Decision. Not too fast, My Lady. Hinay hinay lang. As it happened she, like in the fast, has to do some fast reversal of gears.

    7. As it happened, D was quick to take advantage. D — who labeled P a “puppet” — promised that if he gets to be President he will immediately work to see that the associated money go to where it belongs: the coconut farmers.

    8. Of course, B cannot let D alone draw from P’s well. He too will try to get “gold from them there hills.”

    9. The ensuing skirmishes and battles can exhaust P, B, D. If R does smart moves, he may profit from these raging 3-way battles.

    That is Part 1 of this amateur’s fictional story. Not an Oscar level fiction. It is rather low brow. Call it a fiction for pre K-12 students if you will. After all I am just starting.

  33. Madlanglupa says:

    As I see it now, if I judge my Facebook feed correctly, I am an island in a sea of Duterte and Miriam fanatics, most of them below the age of 30. They just took in the bait completely, the former’s thuggery which somewhat make even hot women fall for him (ah, the aura of power), and the latter for her witticism (thanks to that book published by the mass media corporation of which her running mate’s father once shut down long time ago in trying to remove the old oligarchy under the pretext of social justice).

    I remember how the Soviets successfully convinced the peasantry to join the revolution: their propaganda exuded very simple messages such as “Bread, Land, Peace”, things that would come if they agreed to their grand plan. In the same sense, some of the more wily candidates’ campaign managers have taken on the purported weaknesses of the administration, in the form of Facebook memes, second-hand news reports, gossip, hearsay, and turn them into agitprop weaponry, and at the same time exploit the anger of the voting public, build it up, weaponize it, and come the polls, destroy the enemy of the people.

    Now since they wouldn’t listen to what would happen if they made the wrong choices, if their god turns out to be a demon, I suppose they shouldn’t be come running back to me because I warned them so.

  34. HighFive says:

    DepED should keep the young informed about the time the nation’s democracy was in peril and how the nation joined hands, stepped out of their homes to protest the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. The protests was so massive. It put an end to the oppressive regime of Marcos. The DepED should publish a book about it to every student.

  35. @ Noggy

    I’m confused by people who claim to be for the country but keep on criticizing Mar at every turn, how he talks, how his hands move when making speeches, how he conducts his campaign sorties, his human imperfections, but quick to defend Poe re her citizenship and residency issues, very obviously silent on her shallow appreciation of issues, her “honest mistakes”, how she often demonstrates her lack of loyalty, honesty and integrity and related issues here and there.

    If they are really for the country’s welfare, and so against a Binay or a Duterte presidency, why undermine Mar’s chances? Surveys can change if only these nitpickers would join hands with the RORO supporters (instead of viciously attacking and/or ridiculing them) to lift the chances of the truly deserving candidate – RORO – who have no baggage like the Marcos cronies, ex cabinet men and mafia members surrounding Poe, Duterte, Binay and Santiago. These four will bring back the good old days of the Marcos era – corruption and plunder, selective anti violence (in the guise of peace and order) and anti drug programs who will say what is popular but not beneficial to the country.

    For those wondering how on earth a Poe presidency is linked to Marcos – here, let me count the ways:

    Ongpin – Marcos Cabinet member, one Poe’s financiers
    Escudero – the son of Marcos Agriculture Sec/minister with all the other Marcos cronies I missed
    Cojuangco – a major financier, Marcos crony – what did Poe say about coco levy fund?
    Estrada – a compadre, couldn’t decide whether for Poe or Binay, but let’s his mistress to go for Mar just to be sure
    Zamora – Marcos Cabinet member
    FPJ glamour, the hero on the silver screen, but in real life an avid Marcos loyalist
    Bongbong and the rest of the Marcos family of the solid north votes, the Poe – Marcos votes… pandering to get them, how about burying the dictator properly (by properly, whose definition, the Marcos family definition?)
    Enrile – Poe, Binay or Duterte is fine just not PNOY’s candidate

    For the country or what?

    And the SC, too, for the country, constitution and laws or for a particular foundling? They are even split on the majority ruling.

    Confusing, isn’t it?

    Let’s be still and calm. and know that He is God. He helped us in Edsa 1 and Edsa 2. He will help us again, let us help ourselves earnestly.

  36. yvonne says: Posted at raissarobles.com Inside Philippine politics and beyond
    March 13, 2016 at 11:05 am


    Does Poe know that, according to declassified cables, Marcos-Cojuangco owned FIL-SOV which dominated the transport of bulk Philippine coconut oil?

    The venture was very lucrative that the Soviets launched SOVFRACHT to compete with FIL-SOV in the Western Pacific region.

  37. so who is the ones desperately pandering to the targeted audience of the moment?

  38. chempo says:

    Something to cheer about:

    (1) At a recent convention of the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines they conducted a mock poll. Results :

    Mar Roxas – 48%; Rodrigo Dutere – 24%; Grace Poe – 22%; Binay – 5%
    (These are money guys. They know who to trust their money with).

    Leni Robredo ran away with 71%; BB – 11%; Cayetano – 9%; Chiz – 8%

    (2) ACI recent annual convention (financial brokers and treasury executives) also held mock polls. Results :-

    Duterte – 51; Roxas – 45 ; Poe – 25 ; Santiago – 4 ; Binay – 2

    After a keynote speech by Solita Monsod, they held second poll. Results :-[

    Roxas – 69 ; Duterte 31 ; Poe – 22 ; Santiago – 0 ; Binay – 0

    (These guys are financial brokers and treasury executives — again, money guys, they know who to trust with money).
    Note: The report I read indicated %, but I think they are just numbers cos the % don’t add up.

    Business.inquirer.net 11 Mar 2016

    • Thanks, chempo. you’re right, something to cheer about.

      Ironically that mock poll results are not reflected in the Pulse Asia Survey of March 1-7, 2016 wherein the ABC class in NCR and elsewhere prefer Binay and Poe. That is a disconnect, I think.

      Those who participated in that mock polls should speak up to the ABC class.

      Solita Monsod, should be a keynote speaker in NCR rallies where RORO is being consistently pummeled by the other candidates. Her TV program, I note, is not prime time..it’s so late in the evening. Why are these kind of programs not aired during the day, say at lunch time instead of noon time shows? No sponsors?

      Calling the campaign strategists of RORO, may I suggest you request a copy of that keynote speech of Ms, Monsod, replay it on crowds, translated in Tagalog and in other dialects?

    • NHerrera says:

      Chempo, thanks too for that survey on the money guys.

      … money guys, they know who to trust with money — meaning the “good guys.”

      If I may paraphrase this:

      the money guys trust the good guys/ candidates to protect and grow their money.

      This seems to be a corollary —

      the no money guys, meaning the poor, know who to trust to give them immediate money or equivalent in goods — the “bad guys” knowing that they do not have money to protect and grow; their urgent rational choice being to receive and be satisfied immediately.

      Since the survey was done on the money guys the result is as we expected; a parallel survey done on the non-money guys or the poor may have confirmed the corollary above, don’t you think?

  39. Madlanglupa says:

    Just came across this.


    If we are to fight, it would be great if The Conjugal Dictatorship be reprinted in e-book form, then distributed and passed around just like samizdat.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The youtube video that cha provided is also an indication that he has something to do with it, he summoned the suspects,the AVSECOM people.
      That blog was from JCC,he comments here once in a while.

  40. chempo says:

    Sorry folks, after something cheerful I drop something melancholic here.

    The Confederation of Coconut Farmers said they will support Poe and Bongbong. WHAT??? They will support the son of the man who imposed the levy on them and a woman who backs the very man who denied them for 30 years what was rightfully theirs? Zika must be prevalent in the coconut plantations.

    Can someone please explain to me Filipino logic! .

  41. Madlanglupa says:

    After Sir Jovy, the Greek fighter Psinakis is gone. SLN.


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