Now seeking applications for the President of the Philippines

Job-Application-Form-in-the-Philippines-001 gozambiajobs dot com

[Original photo:]

Corporations that are sophisticated in their Human Resources management write job descriptions for every position, from lowest clerk to highest manager. These job descriptions can be simple or complex. A sophisticated one might include:

  • Responsibilities
  • Education Requirements
  • Training, Skills, Knowledge and/or Experience
  • Authority (Decision Making/Authority)
  • Supervisory Responsibility
  • Interfaces
  • Working Conditions
  • Impacts of Errors

This information can be matched to the credentials of an applicant as produced on his or her resume and during one or more personal interviews. This rigorous screening allows both the applicant and employer to come to an understanding of whether or not the job requirements can be met by the applicant, and if any special training will be required after hiring.

We can rough out a quick job description for the position “President of the Philippines” that might look something like this:

  • Responsibilities: Manages the Executive Branch of government to meet constitutional mandates. Oversees all national government agencies, bureaus and offices. Serves as Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
  • Education Requirements: College degree.
  • Training, Skills, Knowledge and/or Experience: Has a demonstrated understanding of national government agencies, functions, staffing, projects and issues. Deep experience with complex project management. Superior personnel management expertise; must manage high-powered technical managers. Ability to delegate without losing control. Sound understanding of legal processes, finance, economics. foreign affairs, and defense. Demonstrated ability to plan and do strategic conceptual thinking. Demonstrated skills at problem solving and organizing action plans. Demonstrated oral presentation skills.
  • Authority (Decision Making/Authority): As Commander in Chief, has life or death decision-making authority over armed forces and civilians. Oversees prudent expenditure of approximately 3 trillion pesos. Makes decisions with material impact on the services provided to over 100 million citizens. Is ultimately responsible for the well-being of all Filipino citizens.
  • Supervisory Responsibility: Oversees approximately 30 agencies, bureaus, offices or commissions having approximately 1,300,000 employees.
  • Interfaces: Works closely with the Legislature on the annual budget and laws, and with the Judiciary on prosecution of cases, legal defense of the government, and testimonies.
  • Working Conditions: High stress with significant public visibility.
  • Impacts of Errors: Enormous. Can severely disrupt or cost lives. Can impose severe economic hardship. Can break a nation.

Well, it is evident that voters do not consider these qualifications in making their decisions. Most people seem to have little idea about the education or work history of presidential candidates applicants, or the extraordinary demands of the position. They see the President’s job as it is portrayed in headlines. Sensationalized and dumbed down. Anybody can do the work and probably better than the sitting president. For sure, they would have fired Sec. Abaya a time long ago and they would not have ordered any police operations where people got killed. Roads would not be jammed, everybody’s internet would work fast and there would be no more poor people.

Hahaha. People have NO IDEA what the job is about.

That leads me to believe that the REAL job description – not stated or even known, but applied subconsciously – is more along the following lines:

  • Star Power: Does this applicant light up a room or arena upon entry? Is he or she a singer, actor or sports figure, or related to one? Do news reporters claw one another to get up front at news conferences?
  • Macho Image: Does the applicant project decisive, autocratic authority, promising to remake government or kill people?
  • Angel Image: Does the applicant project as sweet, nice, kind, compassionate? Is the applicant close to God?
  • Crab Factor: A negative quality. How much envy do other people express at the applicant’s character or achievements?
  • Crook Factor: A negative quality. Is the applicant associated with any criminal complaints or convictions?
  • Experience: How much knowledge of National government and experience with executive responsibilities does the applicant have?
  • Intelligence: Does the applicant have a college degree and other achievements (e.g., law or economics school/work) that demonstrate exceptional intellect? Can he or she crack witty jokes?
  • Composure: Is the applicant cool and composed in stressful situations? Does his/her reason command his/her emotions?
  • Health: Is the applicant in good heath?

It is my contention that the first three of these qualifications are primarily what drive Filipino voter decisions, so I have doubled the weights on those factors. Here is my “top of mind” profile for each presidential candidate. If you are good with a spreadsheet, you might want to copy the chart into your sheet and run your own assessment. Each factor is rated from 1 to 10 with 1 being low or weak, and 10 being high or strong.

Job Description 01

Obviously, there is a flaw in the ointment as it pertains to Senator Santiago, who has serious health issues. Whereas the other four candidates are very close to one another on election surveys at around the 25% mark, Santiago is below 5% in those surveys. Either health requires a large negative weighting in our methodology, or we must simply conclude that people don’t really consider her as a serious, viable candidate.

We can also see why the other four run so close together. Voters are using very general reasoning and all the arguments balance each other out.

Finally, we can get an idea of what applicants need to do to improve their standing. For example, at the last debate, we saw applicant Poe quoting a lot of numbers from her head to project specific knowledge about National Government. She wants to raise her experience score. Applicant Binay is often seen doing some version of the famous Nixon quote “I am not a crook”. Applicant Roxas is seen drawing huge crowds around the Philippines and being smiled and hugged to death by ordinary people. This is aimed at giving him some star power. Alas, the mass media are ignoring him, thus the best laid plans of mice and campaign strategists oft go awry. And we have Duterte just being Duterte because he does not have patience for all this intellectual bullroar.

I do. Haha.

Have a good day.


140 Responses to “Now seeking applications for the President of the Philippines”
  1. arlene says:

    Santiago is not really in the loop. Duterte is funny. Can it go beyond those dirty words that seem so normal from his lips? Poe is just that – “feeling” she knows everything and can solve every problem this country has. In my book it has always been a big NO to a Binay presidency. I have made up my mind who I will vote for. He may not have the star power like Duterte or Poe but his credentials are the best, make that (his CV is impressive). Yes to Roxas 🙂

  2. Happy Easter everybody! Joe that model of understanding how voters choose is excellent.

    1) the weighting may be different for different people. Crab may have a larger weight…

    2) There are two further factors that I would add to the evaluation:

    2a) “one-of-us” factor – related to the crab factor. Duterte’s jab at Roxas being a “pretentious leader” is crab, his saying “those are just programs I will take the best of what Roxas at Poe have to offer” an obvious play – look I am not a smart-ass, I am just as simple (and real?) as y’all.

    2b) “punish-the-admin” factor – it is a pull factor for those seen as anti-admin. – sometimes it even goes against factor 2a)

    He is young, middle class, upwardly mobile, and urban-based. We can hardly call him poorly educated or stupid, as he belongs to a skilled profession. He is part of the most tech savvy, socially connected generation, being in his mid-thirties, so we can assume he has access to a lot of information…

    The good governance agenda often focuses on creating processes that mimic first world institutions, to appear to be doing things right (isomorphic mimicry it is called), rather than doing the right things. The “results” of this approach speak for themselves: underspending on development projects, snail-paced outflow of the PPP pipeline, bottlenecks and breakdowns in economic infrastructure, all in the name of doing things “above board”…

    Now blogwatch has some connection to Cayetano I have found out… but that article DOES quantify what Duterte may have meant with “pretentiousness”… “hey we ain’t first world let’s stop pretending to be, let’s do things the third world quick and dirty (and sometimes bloody) way”..

    So in the end, we are left with a situation where many voters feel frustrated with the slow, often snail-paced progress of reform. They are feeling desperate, and are now calling for desperate measures. What Messrs Duterte and Marcos both offer in the minds of these voters is a way to untangle what they perceive is the unnecessarily complicated way government operates to address intransigent problems in our country.

    Now as for the “macho” or “leadership”/strongman factor… the true reason for that neediness can I think be found in a comment by MRP here: (I have given him political and mental asylum in my blog 😀 )

    “Somehow so many Filipinos have a sense of not being able to move forward. Could it be a form of learned helplessness?” – IRINEO

    HELPLESSNESS. Thank you for the word, Irineo. The Filipinos are helpless. They do not know it. They do not know they are helpless. They have been helpless throughout their lives that it became part of their being.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent. I agree “crab” could bear a higher weight. It is what seals people to a certain deaf quality about sucessful people. And “punish the admin” deserves to be in there, for sure.

      Need and neediness are peculiar qualities. Need is what the poor demonstrate. Neediness is what smart people who vote for dumb candidates demonstrate.

      Thanks for refining the scale.

  3. I was talking with my officemates about who they will vote for and why? Mostly Duterte or MDS. Of course my follow up question was Why not Mar? Why not Grace Poe?

    Why not Grace Poe? The swearing allegiance to another country is a big thing for some people.

    Why not Mar? Here we hear stories about being Suplado and/or Elite. The next question was do you know this to be true and most has a friend who knows someone who knows Mar.

    The next question would surprise some. What the fuck is wrong with being Suplado and/or Elite?

    The sense that I got was people were looking for father/mother/best friend/awesome uncle figures.

    Basically we’re doomed.

    As a side note the 4 candidates are bunched up within 1-5 percent from each other. I guess that a certain group will be decider?

    • Joe America says:

      See my remark to Irineo about the distinction between need and neediness.

      They are orphans looking for their real father or mother. It is rather the persona of the nation given anthropomorphic qualities. The envy or even hate for the elite is the same as a young orphan would have for a kid that has all the good things, like a lot of love.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. I think you have captured nicely the factors in the “irrationality” that Scott Adams says underlies elections.

    (Refer to

    2. I agree with all the factors except perhaps “Composure.” I would substitute “Competence.” In this all contenders would have equal scores (all 8’s) except Roxas who would have a lower score (4).

    2.1. I would also give greater weight, say (15), to the negative qualities.

    3. Santiago is a “black swan.” In the first 3 factors, I would give her a score of 3 in each row.

    4. With the above changes — but still using your scores in all other respects — my weighted totals are:

    o Poe – 575
    o Duterte – 515
    o Roxas – 465
    o Binay – 380
    o Santiago – 340

    5. The totals reflect a far greater differentiation than yours. It reflects:

    5.1. Poe’s expected “surge” from the SC decision.
    5.2. Binay’s expected “decline” from the second debate debacle.
    5.3. Duterte, being the most irrational, still represents the wild card in the pack.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, when you posted the Adams article in the other thread, I smiled, knowing what was about to be published.

      I think your fine tuning is excellent. I actually toyed with giving the negatives higher weight, and am glad you did. Yours does make good sense.

    • NHerrera says:

      If Joe will permit some numerology.

      I took edgar’s generated numbers for Poe, Duterte, Roxas, Binay and Santiago,

      575, 515, 465, 380, 340

      normalized these in percentages and got for Poe, Duterte, Roxas, Binay and Santiago, the following (which totals 100, of course, as normalized), respectively:

      25, 23, 20, 17, 15

      Now it may not be UNREASONABLE to expect that Santiago’s eventual election number to be around 5, so I deducted 10 from 15 of Santiago above and used this 10 to be equally shared by Poe and Duterte so the resulting adjusted numbers are, respectively:

      30, 28, 20, 17, 5

      Now what prompted me to do the numerology? Reason: in an earlier post at JoeAm’s I said that I expect by election time, that the numbers for Poe, Binay, Santiago to be:

      Poe — in the neighborhood of 30
      Binay — in the neighborhood of 15
      Santiago — in the neighborhood of 5

      leaving 50 to be distributed to Duterte and Roxas. In that earlier post, I said I was non-committal to who gets more from the residual, Duterte or Roxas (“my crystal ball is murky”). In the above numbers the 50 — more accurately 48 per edgar’s normalized number — is distributed as

      Duterte — 28
      Roxas — 20

      Summary — I belabored the above to say that analyses such as done, for example by edgar and myself, by DIFFERENT ROUTES and with some adjustment, yield almost congruent results.

      CAVEAT: this is not to say the numbers at election will come close to this. As Will said in his recent post there may be “intervening” events that may change the picture.

      • cwl says:

        Is it time for RoRo supporters to throw the the towel?

      • edgar lores says:

        Remarkable synchronicity.

        Speaking of intervening events, the major factor in swaying the results of our necropolitics seems to be death — specifically the deaths of Ninoy and Cory.

        I have had two thoughts on this matter:

        1. I will not put into words the first, as reality is often the result of expressed thought.

        2. The second is why — if Will’s theory of godly intervention is true — why does God strike down the virtuous rather than the wicked? The usual answer is that God works in mysterious ways. And the only reason I can see for mystery is to jolt us out of our complacency and raise our consciousness… for us to act in deliberation for the triumph of good.

        2.1. This is the problem with divine intervention though: if God is the author of good then he must also be the author of evil.

        2.2. Either that… or good and evil are not polar opposites as we would like to think.

        • Hindi si Bathala ang bahala sa Pilipinas ngayon… no deus ex machina this time I think, possibly the Filipinos will not go for martyrs this time but for God-Kings like Duterte or Prophets like Poe… or they will take charge, sila ang bahala at kakayanin nila…

 is about the possible consequences of both Presidential and Senatorial elections… thinking ahead.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            “god-kings” in lower case, for Duterte, “false prophets” for Poe. Thanks, Irineo!

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Evil becomes evil when we allow the testing to overwhelm us and surrender to it, like deer in the headlights. EDSA One was EDSA One because we looked at evil in the eye and said, “Enough! This sacrifice is for you, God. The outcome is up to You.” People have forgotten basically two things: the evil that was Marcos, and the good that was God, and Mother Mary. Forget these two things and we will be stuck in the quagmire of brokenness, ready to embrace god-kings (picture Duterte on top of the pyramid in the movie Apocalyto sending captives to their deaths), false-prophetesses (removing her angel mask to smoke, reeking of bad breath), and Judases with their pieces of silver (Binay). What a movie. Thanks, Irineo.

          And @dcmeyer83, all hands on board.

          • Edgar Lores says:

            Should God be brought into this election?

            So what happens if the god-king or the false-prophetess ascends?

            Would it be because people have forgotten God and Mother Mary?

            Or would it be because of the absence of His intervention?

            Even if Roxas triumphs… the basic question on EDSA I still remains: Why was Marcos allowed?

            And it goes back farther and further into history into all that evil that has been done and perpetuated.

            (Is there evil in Poe smoking? PNoy smokes. Why the double standard?)

            • Joe America says:

              I don’t find there is evil in Poe smoking, but there is a low-kid of evil (using the Lord’s name in vain) in the visits to church that are photo ops done for political gain. The smoking just balances the distortion out so that people know that what you see, with the church shots, is not necessarily what you get.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add that you seldom see the President with priests or in prayer, although I believe he is a man of faith. (The fact that I don’t know for sure speaks to how well he treads the secular line.)

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Agree. I would go further. Poe’s use of divine postures and poses borders on — no, is sacreligious.

              • Waray-waray says:

                The late President Cory Aquino was a deeply religious woman but I could not remember the media making a hype or news about her in a prayerful situation as that of Poe. In fact the late Cory when needing of divine guidance would often go on a reclusive retreat with the Pink sisters.

              • Waray-waray says:

                First there was this MRT ride and the photo ops. Then her church visits and photo ops. And may I add her Hong Kong family Christmas holiday and photo ops with OFWs. The news landed in the Filipino-Hong Kong circulated newspapers. The news had it that Poe and her family were spending Christmas holiday in Hong Kong and were billeted at the Mandarin Oriental in Central District. On Christmas day she took a walk at Chatter Road (a street just back of their hotel) and lo and behold, she discovered Filipino domestic helpers taking their holiday off in Chatter Road of all places! And by divine coincidence, there were reporters and photographers at the same place at the same time.

                Btw, Chatter Road is closed to vehicular traffic on public holidays and Sundays and this area is one of the places in Central District where our Filipino domestic helpers congregate on their days off.

              • Joe America says:

                My family was in Singapore last May. I think my wife made more friends there than she has in the Philippines. Shopkeepers, people wandering the malls, hotel workers . . . she didn’t use it as a self-promotional photo-op though.

            • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

              Hi Edgar! PNoy had no pretensions. She dares wear white.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Smoke and Mirrors

                She got me at hello,
                Who wouldn’t, with her kind face,
                angelic is the word, her wersh-wersh,
                low tones, take-charge image,
                I did vote for her, helping make her
                number one senator, but wait,
                there’s more, what’s this, Taikee Calleja
                told me she smokes, I was flabbergasted,
                and stories of her drinking, hmm,
                not an angel after all,
                and when she said she would continue
                what her father had started,
                the pieces fell into place,
                she’s huwad, a fraud, too many
                skeletons in the closet,
                like a chameleon, changing colors
                depending on the tilt of the wind,
                because she can, number one senator,
                flushed with pride, “Stop me if you can,”
                she says, “I’ll be president of the republic,
                I’ve got charm and smarts, everything
                is easy with me, I can explain why
                I abjured my Filipino-ness, I can explain
                why my family will turn Filipino but
                only when I win, I can explain
                everything because my base will
                understand, see I’m up to the 30s
                already in the surveys, floating,
                hello Malacañang, you won’t be as
                fragrant as my mansion in
                Winter Oaks Way, excuse me,
                I’ve got you figured out, you like
                mestiza, check, you like Fernando Poe,
                check, you like English, check,
                you like action agad, check, you like
                puso, check, never mind if you are
                second priority, life in the United States
                is for me, sorry to say, I’ll be the
                parachute president, I can leave because
                I have an exit, will I fight for you,
                depends on which way the wind blows,
                you see I am a winner, and you are losers,
                how easily you believe, angelic mask
                I will take off, so I can smoke and smoke
                and drink and drink, the smell of
                Pasig River in my breath, thank you,
                Philippines, for that wonderful
                question, hardy-har-har!”

                March 28, 2016

              • edgar lores says:

                “Parachute president.” I like the phrase.

              • It is so true
                PNOY smokes, too
                But in our tradition
                If a girl does that
                even in an air-conditioned
                radio station, (bawal yun!)
                allegedly drinking, drinking till
                the wee hours of the night
                then that girl, a lady she is not.

                kneeling, praying publicly
                together with paparazzi
                palusot while campaigning
                ay di pwedi.

                no no no…Poe
                for us, it’s RORO.

              • edgar lores says:

                I have heard about the smoking… but not the drinking.

                Is this rumor, propaganda? I note the qualifier “allegedly.” I note further Will has referred to it as well without the qualifier.

              • haha! the nerve… pardon my attempt to respond to Will, feeling lang…

              • karlgarcia says:

                You are just trying to mirror him.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! Made me laugh there. You’ve got a point.

              • karl…guilty as charged…trying hard nga to mirror Will…alas! can’t match his eloquence. just a few minutes spur of the moment attempt on poetry…if that can be called that..hahaha!

              • sir edgar, I need to put in that qualifier, just in case Poe like Binay is a bit onion skinned and turn loose Cojuangco’s lawyers for cyber bullying….accck..have no moolah for defense…

        • chempo says:

          Edgar — on Philippines necropolitics — Ninoy, Cory….Next FJP?

          God works in mysterious ways….
          – Acts of God — all the bad stuff done by Him? — earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, floods….
          – Add insult to injury — one cannot insure against such acts?

          Are we seriously waiting for divine intervention to throw up a good leader for the country? It certainly seems so at this stage. Afterall, Philippines do not have a strong scientific culture.

          Check out
          (Only 4 Phils universities got into the worldwide gradings – 120th-150th rankings — all for art subjects, nothing in science).

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            Real work and divine push, Chempo. Nothing more, nothing less. Filipino survival tip number one.

          • edgar lores says:

            Chempo, I had another figure in mind… but never mind. It was an intrusive thought.

            I think the claims to God and godliness should not intrude in the election contest… neither on the part of the supporters nor that of the candidates (as Poe has done).

            The immorality of Binay and Duterte need not be judged from the viewpoint of religious morality. There is sufficient basis in secular law to hang them.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Just enjoying reading blog and comments.Happy Easter!

  6. My message to some Duterte/BBM supporters on my FB page in Filipino, distilled a little:

    Wala akong tiwala sa diktador dahil karamihan sa kanila iisa ang prinsipyo:

    ako ang bahala, ikaw ang kawawa – tapos sila pa ang tumatayong Bathala.

    Tignan natin ang mapapala kung Duterte/BBM ang manalo at saka na tayo mag-usap.

    The English stuff many of us ignore… Filipino speaks straight to our hearts and souls.

  7. Caliphman says:

    I am kind of unsure whether to look at your presidential job description as descriptive or prescriptive. If descriptive, is its purpose to capture what the bulk of Filipinos look at in voting for a presidential candidate? Or is it prescriptive as to what factors ought to be considered? If one goes by current surveys or past elections, the consensus prescriptive criteria is either omitted or given very little weight. My guess is it is a mishmash of both and even though it may muddle up any message to its readers, it serves as a kind of a bridge between hope and reality. I am like so many of you here wanting to double weight experience and intelligence as positives and crook pulldowns as negatives, as well as underweighting star power and macho image. But one has to deal with the reality of the situation and my take on that is none of the candidates clearly would make it past my first round of interviews based on qualifications. Binay and Duterte would be clearly eliminated based on evidence of past criminality and Poe and Roxas would be my least worst choices, as I have always maintained. I have no qualms crunching numbers or developing a statistical model which can try to simulate or forecast the survey results of the candidates but aside from the possible fun factor involved, I am sort of dubious if it adds much value to the discussion.

    • Joe America says:

      It is descriptive, searching for a reason that people of strange credentials are leading at the polls. The traditional method a corporate executive uses to consider applicants is clearly not being employed here.

  8. Happy Easter, everyone! Hope your ham is yummy and your mashed potatoes is lump-free…

    I am giving up on PH politics for now as it makes me super grumpy. I’ll be in my “happy place” till May 10.

    • Hi, JP….Happy Easter to you and thanks.

      I cannot have the luxury of giving up on PH politics even if it makes me grumpy, too…or HB, or stressed out. am too politicized to do that…hahaha, blame my maternal grandpa and mother for being that way. I visited the province this holy week vacation and talked to anyone willing to listen.

      Take care and be happy!

      • karlgarcia says:

        Mary Grace,
        Happy Easter!

        I have found the balance.

        going back and forth to Irineo’s is a little help too,I don’t know why reading MRP there has a different effect.Maybe just my imagination.

        I stopped talking about elections with my folks,so I would not get the “you don’t know what you are talking about speech”.We have different Pres,but same VP.

  9. josephivo says:

    Monday morning after a long weekend of dreaming and I know it is unrealistic, but…

    Once I worked in a company where we defined who would make or break a new employee in his new job. Then those people would make the final selection of the shortlist of 3 or 4 candidates picked by the future boss. The rational was to create “ownership”, fight the “not my baby” attitudes. In most cases the peers were considered as most influential.

    Who makes or breaks a president? Who were the motivators/inspirators and the supporters/defenders of our good presidents? Who were the trouble makers, the brakes on decision making/implementation? Just a guess: close friends, political associates, the press, the judicial with the Supreme Court, tycoons…

    Star Power, Image, Crab or Crook Factors do not fall out of the blue sky, they are manufactured by promoters, spin doctors, marketers. Experience, Intelligence Composure and Health are to be validated by reliable experts.

    The president will not live on an island. Shouldn’t we look at a whole cluster of people in picking the best candidate?

    And shouldn’t this cluster of main influencers have a stronger voice in the selection? If we, the bosses could make our “irrational” preselection and leave it to a critical core group of influencers to pick the eventual winner.

    • Joe America says:

      Good to know we are thinking similar thoughts. Look for the “Functional Federation” article on April 5. A group of 24 people selects the President.

      • maru0907 says:

        I am thinking along the same lines, my example before was the Guardian Council of Iran. The Guardian Council is also elected. For the Philippines the council will be elected by popular elections but nominated from groups by representation much like choosing constitutional convenors (the goal here to get a good representation and large enough not be easily influenced). They will do the vetting process and decide who will finally be allowed to run based on a set criteria. Campaigning is to paid for by the government and of the same format for all candidates.

        • Aspects of the could be interesting:

          The Federal Council[1] is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the collective head of government and state of Switzerland.

          While the entire council is responsible for leading the federal administration of Switzerland, each Councillor heads one of the seven federal executive departments. The position of Federal President rotates among the seven Councillors on a yearly basis, with the year’s Vice President becoming next year’s President.

          Switzerland is tribal in nature, with three main language and a fourth minority language Romash which is a kind peasant Latin spoken only in certain valleys in the East…

          That kind of system with a group collectively responsible (and sworn not to go public with their internal discussions, always find a common consensus) might balance out things in the likewise tribal and disparate Philippines… but it may have to find it’s own model.

 – this might be interesting for the Upper and Lower Houses…

          Members of the Second Chamber, generally considered the more important House, are elected directly every four years with a list proportional representation. Members are chosen on personal title, so in the relatively rare case that a member no longer agrees with his (or her) party, the member can decide to stay in the chamber, either as an independent representative, or connected to another parliamentary party. If a member decides to resign, the empty seat falls to the original party collecting the votes, and can be filled by a member of that party. Coalition governments may fall before their term ends, which usually results in early dissolution of the Second Chamber and new elections.

          Members of the First Chamber are elected indirectly by provincial councilors, again every four years, just after the elections of the provincial councils, via a system of proportional representation. This election method reflects the historical roots of the First Chamber as a representative body of the different regional entities that formed the Netherlands.

          any system considered though will have to balance out political dynasties and give the people enough representation, not leaving it in the hands of the usual families… this is a hard nut to crack, so I really don’t know the final answer to this.

    • edgar lores says:

      Which cluster would that be? I have suggested before that the electors and the elected be filtered by IQ and education, but at bottom the question always arises: who guards the guardians?

      If filtering is done at all, it should be done at both ends.

      The cluster in a democracy is composed of all the citizens that have attained a certain age.

      • sonny says:

        just trying to fit this human filtration process & results to the situation of Maxwell’s demon and entropy-defying systems such human idealism. 🙂 my attempt might be futile and all wet. The democracy analogy was too tempting to pass up.'s_demon

        • Joe America says:

          Gadzooks, I just got a brain cramp.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          St. Peter sounds like Maxwell’s demon to me.

          Question is: Are the hot molecules the one that St. Peter sends to hell? 🙂

        • sonny says:

          Ha ha, I’m glad we can extract some humor from Maxwell’s thought experiment. Yet some time back I came across some discussions on the nature of hell and heaven in light of Christian philosophy, theology and analogous human experiences.

          On heaven: similarly but hazily, a relationship of love and its absence is the most understandable analogue to heaven and eternal afterlife. lt’s happiness when one can map his/her personal relationship with God as the object of love, then one is pointing to the happiness in the afterlife;

          On hell: I borrow from Pascal’s wager: my conversion to a life of total obedience and commitment to faith-impelled behavior will absolutely make sense. Christianity is all about this consonance with the Revelation and recorded life-model of a Redeemer. This was the way Pascal loaded the dice so that chance is not a factor.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Rappler today has a report about Mar in Mindanao..e is reported as saying that Federalism is not needed and would be bad for them…..In my book that counts as shooting himself in the foot….If the people of Mindanao believe that a Federal system is needed in the Philippines and that they will be better off in a Federal system, then it is pure arrogance for Roxas based in Manila a thousand kilometers away, to tell them they are wrong…..He will lose votes there as a result I think

      • Joe America says:

        The problem is that Mar Roxas believes federalism is inefficient and will require higher taxes, so he said so. That is Mar Roxas. He would rather speak the truth and lose than jack people around. I rather admire the principles of the man, and we who criticize because we want him to win are asking that he become “not Mar”, or just another scurrilous politician, so WE can win. I suggest we tell voters that this is an example of Mar Roxas being honest and not playing them for fools. Not ask Mar Roxas to start spinning us, too.


    Here’s what he said:

    It’s not about being weak-hearted, more of having “different” values.

    I cannot enjoy a so-called peace if it’s at the expense of innocent people getting killed for having their identity mistaken, for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or for being poor (Death Squad Killings in Mindanao).

    And no, I’m not against the mayor ONLY for his macho, rough-talking, rude, nagpapakatotoo image; he can be the nicest, kindest, most articulate, soft-spoken candidate but as long as he is ok with extra-judicial killing, then no, he should not be president. Whether he is directly involved or simply tolerating it in his city, it’s simply not acceptable (Duterte admits links to Davao Death Squad) (Philippine mayor calls for extrajudicial killing).

    I, and actually we, should not be callous about this just so we can claim security. Besides, how long has he been mayor? It’s not like he was able to eradicate crime, so why are we expected to believe that he can do it for the country in 6 months.

    I often get asked, “Why are you so against this mayor?”

    Do you want a list?

    I don’t agree with extra-judicial killings, directly involved or not, the fact that he’s ok with the idea that criminals are killed outside the confines of the law should not be acceptable.

    I don’t agree with bilateral talks with China. Saying that the country will tone down it’s claim if China will build a train system for Mindanao is basically selling the dignity of our country (Duterte tells China: Build us a railway and let’s set aside differences for a while)

    I don’t agree with his tolerance of NPAs (NPA taxation a reality, just pay them – Duterte)

    I don’t agree with walang pakialam ang COA kung saan nya ginagastos ang mga funds nya at meron syang 11,000 contractual employees (Duterte tells COA: “Ghost employees” none of your business).

    I don’t agree with killings of journalists in his city, specifically journalists who are criticizing him. Whether he’s directly involved or not, these incidents definitely put to question the so-called peace in his city (Jun Pala’s Ghost Still Haunts Duterte) (Radio man killed in Davao).

    I don’t agree with the idea of removing algebra, trigo, calculus in high school, specially with algebra. Thinking business math is sufficient enough shows ignorance on his part. Removing these math subjects is a move that’ll dumb down our country’s educational standard (Duterte wants Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry replaced with Business Math).

    I don’t agree with the thought na we sacrifice core freedom for a bit of security, neither did Benjamin Franklin.

    I don’t agree with people who would still vote for him after all these facts.

    At this point I think the question should be, “Why are you NOT against this mayor?”

  11. Amy says:

    I love this blog. An antidote to irrational thinking is reframing, or when you look at issues from another perspective. I think PNoy wanted the people to reframe their perceptions of the Presidency as a position – an actual job – where the people are, in effect, the boss. In this vein, the elections can be reframed as a hiring process. How do you elect hire a president?

    The standard hiring procedures in many Filipino companies are:

    1. Document review. Is the applicant basically qualified, as defined by our (ahem) standards? We refer to our job specifications. Can the applicant read or write? Is he or she at least 40 years old, a natural-born citizen etc.?
    2. Assessment. Is the applicant mentally and emotionally capable? There are good tests to determine this. An intelligence test will reveal if he or she has the slightest chance of having, you know, intelligence. A personality test will divulge important tendencies relevant to the position, like, say, the potential for evil. A risk profiler will answer such crucial questions as, “Is the applicant likely to lie or steal from the employer?”
    3. Series of interviews. Tons of possibilities. At least presidential debates made this possible.
    4. Background check. Was the applicant ever charged or convicted? Will his or her former employer release a certificate of good moral character?
    5. Medical examinations. Is the applicant unlikely to drop dead during the period for which his or her services are contracted?

    Following this process seems to promote objectivity, but much still depends on the people doing the hiring decision. In real hiring situations, the most qualified candidate may not necessarily be deemed the “best” candidate. Why? One word – FIT. The question then morphs from “Who is the most qualified?” into “Who fits best into our existing culture/organization?” Cultural fit opens the door for people to judge any applicant based on some personal or random criteria, such as likeability, or star power, as mentioned in the blog. It also becomes problematic when people start looking to hire a buddy, a mother figure, or a puppet, instead of a public servant.

    I was initially optimistic about the elections, but I feel a little downhearted at this point. I liked the tone of the previous blog, and if even if it might be labeled as “fatalism,” believing in some form of divine intervention to occur cannot hurt. So here’s hoping for a happy “accident” to occur.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Amy!

      Here’s hoping!


    • Joe America says:

      It is true that top corporations do a lot of vetting of people to be hired, especially for the top jobs. Then we take one of the toughest jobs on the planet, being the president of the Philippines, stuck between east and west with a history of occupations and coups, and hire the top person based on what the tabloid press present in their headlines.

      Seems less that rigorous to me, and certainly, when we see crooks, killers and populist airheads recruiting, not just followers, but worshipers . . . it is hard NOT to get discouraged.

  12. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August

    I just began reading Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August.” Although now shown by some critics not to be quite accurate in some facets of her narration, her book is certainly a very engrossing read.

    I find very interesting some paragraphs relating to Russia in the portion of the Tuchman’s book relating to the anxiety of the French for Russia as one of its allies to mobilize Russian forces along the Eastern Front of Germany to draw out some of the Germany’s forces from Germany’s Western Front ranged against France:
    >>> “This insane regime,” its ablest defender, Count Witte, the (Russian) premier of 1903-06, called it; “this tangle of cowardice, blindness, craftiness, and stupidity.”

    The regime was ruled from the top by a sovereign who had but one idea of government— to preserve intact the absolute monarchy bequeathed to him by his father— and who, lacking the intellect, energy, or training for his job, fell back on personal favorites, whim, simple mulishness, and other devices of the empty-headed autocrat. His father, Alexander III, who deliberately intended to keep his son uneducated in statecraft until the age of thirty, unfortunately miscalculated his own life expectancy, and died when Nicholas was twenty-six.

    The new Czar, now forty-six, had learned nothing in the interval, and the impression of imperturbability he conveyed was in reality apathy— the indifference of a mind so shallow as to be all surface. When a telegram was brought to him announcing the annihilation of the Russian fleet at Tsushima, he read it, stuffed it in his pocket, and went on playing tennis.

    When the premier, Kokovtsov, returning from Berlin in November 1913, gave the Czar a personal report on German preparations for war, Nicholas listened to him with his usual intent, unwavering gaze, “looking straight into my eyes.” After a long pause, when the premier had finished, “as if waking from a reverie, he said gravely, ‘God’s will be done.’ ” In fact, Kokovtsov concluded, he was simply bored. At the bottom the regime was based upon an ant-heap of secret police who penetrated every ministry, bureau, and provincial department to such a degree that Count Witte felt obliged each year to deposit the notes and records he was keeping for his memoirs in a bank vault in France for safekeeping. When another premier, Stolypin, was assassinated in 1911 the perpetrators were discovered to be the secret police acting as agents provocateurs to discredit the revolutionists. <<<

    I wonder if any of Trump, Clinton; Roxas, Santiago, Binay, Poe, Duterte have similar shallowness or characteristics of Nicholas II as described above in Tuchmann's book.

    Additional note: Tuchmann's "Guns of August" is replete with descriptions of the strengths and weaknesses and character-traits of the dramatis personae involved in the outbreak of WW I. It is a feast of a book on this matter. I am glad I am now reading this book, though belatedly.

    I have a hunch a lot in The Society have read the book. For those who have not, you may find it worth your while and interesting to read it when you find the time. It is specially interesting to read as a complement to the political events in the country.

    It is available in ebook form.

    • Vicara says:

      Fortunately, we are not laboring under a monarchy; instead we have the executive office of the presidency hedged by a complex system of checks and balances at the disposal of the citizenry; now whether we choose to exercise them, and do so wisely, is another matter.

      Histories of the fall of empires and monarchies make for gripping reads, because of the excesses and violent ups and downs flowing from personalities without systems of checks and balances. Histories of democracies in day-to-day operations: Not so exciting. Boring even.

      So the wiseguys, the sangganos, who are addicted to the rough-and-tumble of politics divorced from actual governance, think up all sorts of gimmicks to game the system–and entertain the public. These wiseguys (most devoid of real wisdom) are the ones who are really enjoying the exhausting excitement of this election season: The wannabe advisers and future cabinet secretaries (they think); the big business intermediaries who course campaign money in return for future insider connection to BIR, DPWH, etc,; the media people who farmed out their services (You want positive news coverage? You want negative news coverage for your opponent 24/7? We can make that happen for a price.); the ad types who dreamed up the unrelenting black ops campaigns of these last six years against the President, against Roxas. No lack of unfettered, manic egos among these wiseguys.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m working on a little theory that the poorer the leader in terms of character and talent, the more convinced followers are that he or she is the chosen one. They become worshipers, to justify their own negligence at thinking well. They make up facts about the opponent and lie about their own choice, building his character into one almost godlike. It’s weird to try to think normal thoughts when the environment is so whacked out with intelligent people arguing passionately for a really embarrassing head of state for the Philippines. Then follow Trump and the US Republicans around, and you see that this pandering to emotional neediness of voters is not strictly a Filipino thing. The human condition is not all that advanced, in some respects. Maybe AI will do better.

      HAL for president.

      • NHerrera says:

        Hail HAL version 2016! 🙂

        • sonny says:

          i do remember 2001: a space odyssey 🙂 HAL derived from IBM (one letter difference). good ol’ days.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          That’s 2 votes but I here that someone ( from COMELEC ? ) has lodged a DQ already….I wonder if HAL 2016 will appeal to the SC. ; – )

      • “this tangle of cowardice, blindness, craftiness, and stupidity.”

        “who, lacking the intellect, energy, or training for his job, fell back on personal favorites, whim, simple mulishness, and other devices of the empty-headed autocrat.”

        “the impression of imperturbability he conveyed was in reality apathy”


        NHerrera: these three descriptions of Czar Nicholas are what GRP is portraying President Aquino as for the last 6 years…

        “the wiseguys, the sangganos, who are addicted to the rough-and-tumble of politics divorced from actual governance, think up all sorts of gimmicks to game the system–and entertain the public.”

        “The wannabe advisers and future cabinet secretaries (they think); the big business intermediaries who course campaign money in return for future insider connection ”

        “Fortunately, we are not laboring under a monarchy;”


        Vicara: lots of content in such a short posting:

        1) wannabe advisers: Tony La Vina
        2) big business: Cojuangco
        3) monarchy: GRP and others want to make the sons of sugar barons: Aquino and Mar – look like “aristocrats”… sometimes they unfortunately and unwittingly slip back into the diction they learned as children of the oldest Philippine elite since the 1830s… 😦

        “the poorer the leader in terms of character and talent, the more convinced followers are that he or she is the chosen one. ”


        Joe: isn’t that what GRP would like to make us all look like?

        Against all available evidence they cherry pick, making them liars and contortionists.

        Manila Times (with Tiglao whose daughter posted Marcos glorification in FB) is another main propagandist of the New Caudillo or Napoleon III/Ferdie II, take your pick, Tatad as former propaganda I mean information minister of Marcos is another.


        The relatively small slips of Aquino and Mar fall on the fruitful ground of centuries of resentment against the Philippine elite – something Napoleon/Ferdie I also used, in a time when the monarchy, I mean the oligarchy of the time was truly bad in entitlement.

        The present administration is similar to a reformist monarchy in many ways… but Rizal in “The Philippines, A Century Hence” also warned the Spanish liberal reformers to hurry up, as Sancho Panza (The Philippines) might rebel… and tried to calm down would-be rebels.

        So there we have it: a would-be rebel (Duterte), a false prophetess of hope (Poe) and a wannabe second coming of Palpatine/Napoloen (Bongbong) against elite reformists who are perceived as not doing their job quickly enough because of opportunistic media…

        Robert the Bruce in the final scene of Braveheart says: “you have fared worse, now bleed with me”… winning the hearts of people disheartened by the Scottish aristocracy.

        Mar has already said: “trabaho lang ito, walang drama”… the outcome is yet open.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Didn’t HAL try in 2001 ? And got aborted by nasty humans who did not like his murderous ways ?…Need to update and reboot HAL and somehow get HAL safely back to earth if he is your preferred candidate ! 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          He wasn’t murderous. He had a mission and was determined to complete it. He only turned murderous when there was no other option by his calculations. “Daisy, d a i s y, a l . . .”

    • josephivo says:

      Two opposite things happened since Nicolas II.

      In his time people’s horizon was their neighborhood, it provided a livelihood, security, entertainment, everything. Today the world is our village. Pnoy give us safe and diverse food, good healthcare with the latest treatments, good education in competition with the best, security to protect us from sneaky neighbors and from natural or manmade disasters, split-second communications with the entire world, 24 hours a day entertainment, affordable housing, and, and, and… You fail I some of your assignments and we will punish you in the next elections.

      On the other hand Nicolas had absolute power, only one boss, the absent minded Creator. Today Pnoy has to govern with checks and balances, economical power moved to tycoons or multinationals, financially the international market with IMF and Worldbanks has its minimal requirements, science driven by the Silicon Valleys, threats from fanatics in every corner of life, religious, scams, hackers or from megalomaniac China or US…

      Pnoy’s room to manoeuver is getting smaller and smaller and still we expect more and more. Someday we will have to democratize the economy and the international organizations too.

      • “we expect more and more”

        Filipino serfs always expected the landlord to pay for sickness and funerals, be the Godfather for weddings and baptisms, lend money they did not pack back just in case…

        IN RETURN FOR BEING SERFS… and that has been the way Philippine society was from the time of the datus and rajas through the time of the sugar and tobacco barons up to and until the Age of Trapoism… many who voted Aquino in 2010 still had that mindset.

        Remember around 45% voted Aquino. Wonder how many of the former Aquino voters of 2010 are now for Duterte and Poe because the Lord did not deliver the goods wanted.

        Ako ang bahala – means I am in charge… but Bathala/God also means the one in charge who takes care of everything and is related to the word bahala… bahala na also means Bathala na… God will take care of it… or the President or Bahala na si Batman.

        • we have Dean Michael Tan of UP saying:

          “The reason I’m pessimistic is that I believe—and this is one of the biggest problems we have—we are still held by the throat by a feudal system.”..

          “A horrible part of feudalism is what psychologists call ‘learned helplessness,’ where you are told so often that you are convinced you cannot do something,” said Tan. “[The poor are always told that] they will never be able to do things on their own, that they have to rely on the good hearts [of our leaders and elite], and that is why they are so ever grateful to the people who oppress them.”

          Forces within the feudal system keep the poor shackled to their sense of helplessness, producing in them a deeply ingrained belief that they are beholden to the elite. Tan recounted his visit to Dapitan two years ago, where he went around asking people what they thought of former Zamboanga del Norte representative and convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos.

          “It was always the same answer: ‘Oo nga, hindi maganda yung ginawa niya, pero alam mo, mabait siya. Tinutulungan kami,’” he shared, referring to the peculiar dichotomy between the terms “mabait na tao” and “mabuting tao,” which do not necessarily mean the same thing. “People almost accept that, of course, there would be kickbacks.”..

          On the flipside, this system also creates an elite with a distorted sense of entitlement and an arrogance stemming from over-attachment to hierarchy and its perceived privileges. In the face of this unconscious sense of entitlement, personal responsibility and concern for the greater good often take a back seat.

          To illustrate, Tan offers the continuing battle against littering in his college.

          “When we say [to the students], collect your own trash and use the waste basket, the very common answer is: ‘What are janitors for?’ Yes, these are UP students. Look around: they leave their Styrofoam boxes here and there, they leave their trash in the classrooms.”

          This sense of entitlement is not limited to those occupying the loftiest perches in society. Tan shared his own experience at a University Council Meeting: At the end of the meeting, he took up some of the food boxes that had been left behind to throw in the trash, only to be admonished by a faculty member who told him it wasn’t his job to clean up. Another common example: In the US, people eating at fast-food restaurants bus their own tables, while in the Philippines, fast-food patrons leave their used boxes, trays, wrappers and utensils on the table, because “what are waiters for?” Tan asked wryly.

          Russia and the Philippines share a feudal history, culture and mindset!

          Russian officers to this day have non-comms work for them as drivers and houseboys just like some Filipino officers do… neither democracy nor Communism changed things.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          > or the President or Bahala na si Punisher.

          Fixed that for you, given the current mindset in that Batman still respects due process without killing crooks, but the Punisher will just pull the trigger.

  13. – Manong NHerrera… my sci-fi outline of DDS-3 robots in Filipino slums is already there as a movie last year… all from a filmmaker showing neofeudal dsytopias a bit similar to Metro Manila today… – as for the Duterte brand of justice… the simple explanation why it resounds with some common people is found in one comment by me inspired by a posting of Karl… conditions that spawned a monster.

  14. Candidate running unopposed? I wonder why?

  15. Kanto Boy says:

    Hi joe, lurker here. I am pinoy from oz. Can you also add the criterion getting-things-done-no-matter-how? I think duterte fans even educated ones see this in him.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s an interesting point, Kanto Boy, but I think it is already covered in the existing criteria. “Getting things done no matter how” is an outcome, rather than a quality of character. The quality of character is a combination of experience, intelligence, macho image and crook factor, where the latter covers extra-judicial murder and human rights violations.

  16. Bill in Oz says:

    I have just read a copy of Biz News Asia for March 2016…It’s color cover announces that Grace Peo will win the election and that the SC verdict supporting Poe against the DQ by COMELEC “is esily worth 4 million votes over her rivals”. Basically the entire issue is about Poe. Worth buying even though it cost 195 pesos. A very interesting read.

    • NHerrera says:

      About numbers:

      – including out-of-country registered voters, the total number of registered voters is about 55.5 million; and with an assumed Presidential voter turn out of 80 percent this gives 44.4 actual voters

      – 4 million votes as a result of SC verdict favorable to Poe means 9 percent. If before the verdict she was at 25 (average of SWS Jan 8-10, Feb 5-7, Mar 4-7 numbers of 24, 24, 27, respectively), that will give her 34

      – with Santiago at 5, Binay downgraded to 15 — more like 17 and I will use the latter — and Poe’s 34 from above, this gives a total of 56

      – leaving 44 for Duterte and Roxas

      – with Roxas almost irreducible at 20, that gives Duterte with 24

      – With Duterte riding high and eating at what little he can get from Binay and Roxas, the larger diffusion will come from the supposed 34 of Poe

      – It seems unlikely that Poe will have a margin of 10 percent (= 34-24) over the second placer be it Duterte, Roxas or Binay

      IN SUM — Biz News is as good or as wet as we are here in The Society in divining numbers.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        N’Herera..I agree with you..It all feels a bit like Roman priests reading the entrails of a sacrificed ox 2000 years ago !

        I was interested to know what the basis of the Biz Asia view n 4 million more votes for Poe. But there is no statistical evidence presented that I could find…Still the issue is worth the read..

  17. Bill in Oz says:

    And today the Manila Enquirer, page A7 quotes SC judge Castillo as saying that the Sc majority verdict would ” open the flood gates to election protests on candidates eligibilty in relation to citizenship and residency, as it reversed the jurisprudence set in earlier cases”

    It goes on to quote him saying ” I do not want to wake up some day and see my beloved country teeming with foreigners and allens posing as natural born Filipinos, while the real natives are thrown into oblivion or relegated to second or third class citizens who have become strangers in their own homeland”

    Well at least Castillo is being honest here. His opinion is not based on legal perspective but on excessive nationalism. But in a world of great migrations ( especially by Filipinos ) it is slightly old fashioned.

    • Joe America says:

      Nationalism is a strange quality. It is the stuff of soldiers that leads them to sacrifice themselves for the cause, and given the number of malcontents roaming the planet, I am not sure I agree that Filipino nationalism is excessive. It is only excessive to those of us who might want more access to the Philippines. That is, I would like to buy land and a business here and make hay whilst the sun shines, but laws prevent me from doing that. They also prevent me from meddling in the election, like by contributing money to a campaign or marching in the streets. Whether I can say “I like Roxas” is out for judgment. I’d like to think that we are entitled to a measure of speech. But I do agree it is up to the Philippines to make those decisions. So, by definition, there cannot be “excessive nationalism”. It is what it is.

      I’d argue there is not enough nationalism, frankly. I think a more nationalistically passionate nation would not allow crooks to run for President and pervert the ideals that make a nation worth dying for. I also think a more nationalistically passionate nation would convict smugglers who are gaining personally by selling ore to China and line them up in front of a firing squad. The same for presidential contenders who cavort with the enemy, such enemy today called NPA and BIFF.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Joe I do not disagree with much you have said here….Nationalism that leads to pride in country and homeland is very good in many ways..But migration is a major, major feature of the modern world…There are now 300,000 legal Filipino migrants in Australia for example. And almost all of them in the past 30 years..There Filipinos after 3 years can become citizens without rejecting the Filipino citizenship. And they are all welcome to buy land, houses or businesses. ( BTW one of Australia’s oldest, best beers “Boags’ is part of the Sam Miguel group ). This is now normal across the world.: The USA, Europe, Argentina, etc.. That’s why I think Castillo’s remarks are excessive.

        • karlgarcia says:

          There is an excessive something bordering racism,discrimination,hate one on end to patriotism in the other if Joe thinks it is not excssive nationalism, then Taking cue from RHiro’s new favorite color, it is grey nationalism. I thought grey is just a mixture of black and white,it seems that it is a mixture of ROYGBV.

          True immigration has been a thing from the very beggining, ever since people begin to name places, if you are from another place and settle to another,you are an there no more room for national pride,love of country,in the new age of immmigration.
          They say war is just manufactured,so the soldiers are just reduced to being pawns in the chess game of the War makers if unknown origin.
          The leftist,rightist and the ambidextrous are nationalists in their own right.
          Grey Nationalism.
          It is what it is.

          • Joe America says:

            Most interesting. I sorta kinda am inclined to disagree. I think nationalism is 100% but what is adjustable are the ideas within the national enclosure, which we are free to debate, at least under democracy. None of us has 100% of the answers but each of us should command 100% of the respect and loyalty available within the enclosure. Immigrants ought to be 100% for their land of citizenship and Grace Poe should have made a decision before running for President. Divorce her husband or switch him to Filipino citizenship. Marriage is subordinate to nationalism. We ought not settle for gray. Or even grey.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Ok Joe,thanks for your perspective. nationalism should be 100% not 100.000001% because there is no such thing as excessive nationalism and not 99.99999999% because that is Grayish or greyish.


          • Joe America says:

            Most interesting. I sorta kinda am inclined to disagree. I think nationalism is 100% but what is adjustable are the ideas within the national enclosure, which we are free to debate, at least under democracy. None of us has 100% of the answers but each of us should command 100% of the respect and loyalty available within the enclosure. Immigrants ought to be 100% for their land of citizenship and Grace Poe should have made a decision before running for President. Divorce her husband or switch him to Filipino citizenship. Marriage is subordinate to nationalism. We ought not settle for gray. Or even grey.

        • caliphman says:

          Bill, I am constantly readiing that argument about the floodgates being thrown open for hordes of foundling poseurs to enter as a fifth column ala ISIS to seize power in the country or as a shortcut to Filipino citizenship. In Australia, Europe or here in the US there is a very long queue for those seeking permanent residency much less citizenship. But in this country, the few seekers of a legal Philippine residence of citizenship status are mostly those who have significant business interests or are drawn by marriage, lower living costs or the natural beauty of the islands. As for making it easy for enemy states to fake a foundling so he can run for and be elected Philippine president while serving as a deep penetration agent, it is so inconceivable that China or any probable future enemy would need to undertake a harebrained scheme when it would be so much easier to recruit a natural born Chinoy or any non-Chinese Filipino for that matter to aim for a top elective office. As the history of the Philippines or any country will show, blood or ethnicity is no guarantee that a countryman will not becone a traitor to his nation

          • karlgarcia says:

            What about Chempo’s comment- another Floodgate? not of foundlings but dqd natural borns.

            “Floodgate has opened.
            An unseated district representative, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes of Marinduque province’s lone district, called the SC ruling “double standard”. In 2013, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) nullified her proclamation as the winning candidate since she lacked the one-year residency requirement for elected officials. She said by the same SC ruling, she would have been qualified.”


            • Bill in Oz says:

              Yep in the light of the SC POE decision, ..COMELEC stuffed up.. And now this particular avenue of DQ’ing an opposing candidate has been closed….Frankly the whole idea of DQ’ing a candidate and not following the vote of the people smells of dirty politics in my honest opinion..So this change in Philippines law is a major improvement..

            • caliphman says:

              When using the word ‘floodgate’ lets stick to the usage Justice Castillo referring to aliens becoming citizens by the droves by exploiting the SC ruling on the presumed natural born status of foundlings. The Ongsiako Reyes vs Comelec case Chemo mentioned is a separate iseue. It became recent news when petitioner Reyes in that 2013 SC case declared she would have been qualified under the set of rulings made by the SC in the Poe case. The issue in her case was not related to foundlings but was on whether the Comelec has the authority to rule on whether a candidate for Congress or higher office possesses the qualifications for that office. In the case of Reyes who was gying for a congessional seat, Comelec ruled she was ineligible and cancelled her COC. She appealed to the SC and the Court affiirmed the Comelec, saying the latter had the jurisdiction to rule on eligibility in deciding whether her COC should be withdrawn. In the Poe case, on this particular issue, the SC ruled in favor of Poe and although there,are significant differences in the two cases, the SC seemed to reverse itself and declared Comelec cannot decide on eligibilility when it is disputable in the course of a COC challenge trial.

              Many lawyers and legal experts forget the fact that the Poe case and the SC decision involves resolving multilayered issues. At its core, the chief issue is whether the Comelec erred in canceling Poe’s COC because she made material misrepresentations in her certificate. It involves issues of eligibility on foundling citizenship and residency where the Comelec and the SC reached opposite conclusions. The SC also ruled on the issue of whether a foundling has the burden.of proving being natural born or those questioning it, saying the latter had that burden. In addition, there was a,separate issue of how the Comelec did not conduct is proceedings properly as the SC cited its failure to deliberate adequately on evidence presented by Poe to show she probably was of Filipino parentage.

              In summary, we are talking about different gates and there is no flood, and NO the sky is not falling either. It helps to understand the complexity of the case and the SC decision resolving many of the multilayered issues. It explains why tthe majority count is confusing with many sets of numbers thriwn around.And oh by the way, the Reyes in that news article
              must have read the dissent of Justice Perlas-Bernabe who in her opinion cited her 2013 Reyes case in disagreeing with the Poe majority decision. I would say that flood is not even a trickle if the personal reacting to the Poe decision is the very same obne named in one of the dissenting opinions.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thank You Caliphman.

              • chempo says:

                That’s enlightening. Thks.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                I also thank you Califman for this clarifciation..But I still think also that the whole idea of DQ’ing a candidate and not following the vote of the people smells of dirty politics in my honest opinion..So this change in Philippines law is a major improvement..My understanding from the Enquirer is that Reyes traveled abroad for a while before standing for election as a congress woman ..And was therefore disqualified..Bizarre !

    • Madlanglupa says:

      I remember an ardent ultranationalist who first tried to have then-Mayor Alfredo Lim outed because he was of Chinese extraction. If anything, such nationalism borders onto outright racism.

      I end up asking myself, if a naturalized alien would be more patriotic than the natives.

    • chempo says:

      Floodgate has opened.
      An unseated district representative, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes of Marinduque province’s lone district, called the SC ruling “double standard”. In 2013, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) nullified her proclamation as the winning candidate since she lacked the one-year residency requirement for elected officials. She said by the same SC ruling, she would have been qualified.


    new article on many things… the development of the Philippine economy as the big picture I have seen so far and how the three candidates with their directions figure into it…

    I do welcome inputs as it is a big picture explaining a lot of things but it may lack some details or some may need additions or corrections… it is finally about how the culture of entitlement, impunity and helplessness came to be and how it could possibly be corrected… thx in advance.

    • One could say the article has two parts…

      Part I: History of Crookery and Discrimination – which plays into today’s Philippine society

      Part II: how this core problem could be solved (mapped to programs and candidates)

  19. Edgar Lores says:

    Today’s Shower Thought: Duterte is Erap in wolf’s clothing.

  20. Bill in Oz says:

    Bur Erap is still around..Yesterday there was a big procession in Manila by his ‘supporters’. And on Sunday the Enquirer showed a photo of him raising & supporting ding dong Marcos for VP ! The thieves are sticking together in mutual support

    • Madlanglupa says:

      God knows why he allowed the infamous Torre de Manila to be built.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      A Cloud of Dust

      Okay, children, you’ve had your fun,
      now come back to mama and papa,
      and learn from your mistakes:

      Binay is now less than five per cent,
      isn’t that fun, the vaunted army of Xerxes,
      lie decimated, on the run, subject to
      the sword and spear thrusts of Mar’s 300,

      Duterte’s hoaxes have been exposed,
      the Calgary Nurse who saw the man
      in the blue shirt eating delicious food
      alone in his tent, has vanished, found
      untrue, photoshopped, thought so,
      nurses don’t usually write for one,
      the letter was written by an English major,
      so there, Duterte’s keyboard warriors
      are on retreat, leaving their boots and
      keyboards on the road, scared of Mar’s 300,

      Ah, Grace Poe, beso-beso with Bongbong,
      great shot behind the scenes, told you so,
      she’ll side with all and anybody just to
      complete what her father had started,
      wise girl, now which flag will she fly,
      as she claims victory with Erap,
      convicted plunderer (I thought she was
      the real deal, going after Purisima
      and Abaya, but what’s this, Erap?),
      she looks over the horizon, she’s ahead
      for now, in the 30s, but what is that cloud,
      dust stirred by sandaled feet
      in hot pursuit—Mar’s 300.

      And so it goes, Mar-Leni continues
      the fight, Binay-Duterte-Poe-Xerxes
      shall not pass, not in Thermopylae,
      the Spartans will hold, the brave 300,
      fighting to the death, victorious this time.

      March 29, 2016

  21. Bill in Oz says:

    This evening I am perplexed.. I have travelled a bit on Luzon…Manila, the Cordillera, Bicol, Albay,Batangas..But until this afternoon I had never been to Makati…But today I went there..It is clean.It is uncrowded.The foot paths ( side walks ) are not blocked with trader stalls.There are very few beggars. There are traffic police who actually try to manage the traffic It is a modern prosperous city…

    Yet this is also the city which Binay was mayor of for 20 odd years and his son was also mayor …
    It seems to me judging from results there, that they did a good job..

    A contradiction ! I would be grateful if someone here could explain this clearly..I am puzzled.

    Could Binay be a well qualified candidate for President based on this track record ?

    • the land between Buendia Avenue and Pasay Road mostly belong to the ayala family. the clean places you cite are controlled by a private corporation. the ayala Avenue is not controlled by the mmda, Makati city etc. it is a private road according to an interview of Francis Tolentino. Basically what Mar Roxas. says of there being two makati is true. Have you been to UP Technohub?, UP Town center? basically the Ayala family knows their stuff. Visit where I live in Poblacion Makati, or where some of my friends live in PEMBO or guadalupe Viejo and Nuevo. I am sure you will see the difference.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Giancarloangula, I dance tango..One of the few milongas here in the Philippines is in Makati at an upmarket restaurant called The Society Lounge in the Atrium building on Makati Ave.

        So today I went by LRT to EDSA and by bus to Ayala. I did not know that the Makati area is privately owned by the Ayala Corporation. If Ayala can do it this well in their subdivions and malls and in Makati, maybe they should be invited to manage the whole of Manila. They might make a better job of it than the corrupt pollies…

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