Brian Poe: “USA! USA! USA!”

brian poe Inquirer

Brian Poe (white shirt) at campaign rally in San Juan [Photo credit: Inquirer]

Okay, I’m fried.

I herein claim a “Right to Reply“!

I spend days at my computer sitting on my hands to keep them off the keyboard. I can’t tell you how many political articles I have not written and how many sharp-witted tweets I’ve refused to fire off because this is the official Philippine campaign period.

And I am an American.

The Bureau of Immigration makes it perfectly clear that aliens are not supposed to engage in Philippine elections. It is a violation of the terms under which we are allowed to be here.

And that is right and proper.

This is the sovereign Philippines, and nothing is more sacrosanct to democracy than its citizen participation in electing a leader.

So kindly tell me, what on God’s glorious green orb was an American citizen, the son of candidate Grace Poe, doing up on a stage in San Juan City extolling the virtues of his mother?

Here is how the Inquirer reported it in the story headlined “Brian Poe thanks mom’s allies in San Juan but bashed online“:

 . . . But since Poe was in Manila for Estrada’s proclamation rally, it was her son Brian who went on stage to formally thank the Zamoras on Monday night, addressing a crowd of around 2,000 on behalf of his mother.

The 24-year-old Brian enumerated his mother’s programs as a Presidential wannabe: the continuation and expansion of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), the reduction of income tax, and free lunch for public school pupils, among others. He also harped on his mother being an independent and the only Palace contender who hails from Greenhills, San Juan.

But while he drew applause during the Zamoras’ proclamation rally in Barangay Kabayanan, Brian took a bashing on social media over the lingering issue of Poe’s nationality and that of her family.

Reacting to Brian’s statement that his mother, once elected, would immediately form a commission that will look into tax reforms, Twitter user @Negastarr asked whether that panel will be “in the Philippines or in the US of A?” . . .

This is no teeny-bopper. This is a 24 year old man, born in Washington DC, USA.

I argued before the official campaign period started that Grace Poe lacks judgment. This is evident in her choice of running mate, senatorial candidates, endorsements, backers, and policy statements regarding China, BBL, Mamasapano, Iglesia ni Cristo, “Coco Levy” Danding Cojuangco and other issues.

She asks us to trust that her husband will abandon his American citizenship when she is elected president . . .

but not before.

She has made a set of lavish promises, to Mindanao, to Manila, to Cebu, to anyone and everyone . . . but neglects to say how she will pay for them. We should trust her judgment, trust her promises.

And now she allows her son to strut about the stage as if this were nothing but a goodie goodie, fun-time circle of casual friends and family.

Where is sense, sensibility, sensitivity? Where is courtesy and honor and gracious respect for Filipinos as Filipinos?

Is this a game show? A place of movie star glory, where any Poe can wade across the stage and expect a rousing cheer and worshipful adulation?

It’s not!

It is an election for the future of the Philippines!

And I personally don’t want any unethical, undiplomatic, intrusive, arrogant, self-entitled Americans up to their eye teeth making campaign pronouncements or whispering in our president’s ear in the bedroom or any other room. I don’t want an American at State dinners hosting the spouses of visiting dignitaries, confusing them about “who really runs the Philippines, anyway?”

Totally overbearing, disrespectful prima donnas . . .

Hey, Americans! Your place to campaign is America! Go stump for your obnoxious Trump or that commie Sanders.

But let Filipinos run the Philippines!


217 Responses to “Brian Poe: “USA! USA! USA!””
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    You’re beautiful when you’re angry, Joe. But you’re right, Brian what’s his name has the same right as a dog addressing a pack of cats on the wonders of cat litter. What does a dog care about cat litter?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, well, I’ll go shoot some hoops when it cools down. That helps. But I just think it was not a cool move, rather distasteful.

      I’m sure Brian Poe is a nice guy. The family seems like nice people. But they ought not buy into the movie star self-image, choosing entitlement over discernment.

      • VSB says:

        Ego ego ego.. Very few people could resist its siren song. Especially the showbiz sort with their weak characters with a moral compass to put stray dogs to shame- why do you think they are all entering politics? Messianic ego pure in simple. throw in a feudal/jueteng/drug lord marrying into the family mix and voila!
        Crimino showbiz elite to dazzle the Bobotante ; – )

        • Joe America says:

          I don’t blame the poor or working stiffs. Their perspectives are defined by what they have to deal with every day, and many of us should be fortunate we don’t have such relentless demands on our time, labors and health.

          • NHerrera says:

            I like that being (was) a working stiff myself. Now I can fire away at will rather than restrain myself; you on the other hand have to restrain yourself with the keyboard.

            (I have two small vises I use when the wife complains something about the house falling. I can lend them to you so you can ask your wife or son to secure those fingers from tinkering with the keyboard till after the May election.)


    Poe, Marcos embrace backstage at Erap proclamation rally

    MANILA — In deference to their respective running mates, Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., had apparently avoided being seen together onstage at Monday’s Liwasang Bonifacio rally of Mayor Joseph Estrada, who endorsed the two senators as his candidates for president and vice president. Poe’s running mate is Sen. Chiz Escudero, while Marcos is running as VP to Sen. Miriam Santiago.

    Though they were separately endorsed by the mayor, the two senators somehow met behind the scene: because after Estrada first declared Marcos his VP candidate – reserving Poe for a later, more glowing spiel – Senator Marcos immediately went down the stage, and had selfies taken with supporters waiting at the backstage leading to the post office stairways.

    As he descended the steps, Marcos immediately went to the car of Poe, which was parked behind the post office building.

    Poe suddenly emerged from behind and they embraced warmly, greeting each other like long-lost siblings.

    The two senators had a brief exchange of pleasantries. Her security personnel disallowed taking photos and videos, but managed to take several pictures of the two senators, who in the past had good-naturedly ribbed each other about the decades-long urban legend that Poe is really a child out of wedlock of Bongbong’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    in the age of selfies and cameras everywhere there is nothing than can be hidden anymore… aw nanang kanmo, kablaw pa nang similat is a Mandaya (Lumad) saying which means what is hidden in the night shall appear in the daylight and applies to many things

  3. Harry Tan says:

    Totally overbearing, disrespectful prima donnas . . .
    Hey, Americans! Your place to campaign is America! Go stump for your obnoxious Trump or that commie Sanders.
    >>Hahahaha, Joe. There you go. You’re drinking tuba again! In the hotness of summer afternoon, nonetheless. Hehe. Easy on that Visayan liquor, it makes your blood boil… 😀

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, as my wife instructs me, “breathe deeply, in with the good air, out with the bad, in with the good . . .” But this episode does signify that Senator Poe lacks finesse, or diplomatic grace, along with judgment. Diplomatically tone deaf, I suppose, as have been many of her public comments. I first recognized it many months ago when she spoke out of turn to the American Ambassador, intruding into DFA’s space. I think it will not be a Philippine administration under Poe, it will be an administration of the favored. Lots of luck to the disfavored, for she is also a vengeful woman, by my reading. Case#1 was her anger at Chief Purisima for not attending her first committee meeting. She gets prickly about any criticism.

      • Harry Tan says:

        Yep. Realizing it too based on her tv interviews, your pointing-it-outs. Her “lacks of finesse, or diplomatic grace, along with poor judgment” is surficing. Not to mention her oppotunistic tendencies, at the expense of some institutions like the Senate (e.g. Enrile’s Mamasapano shebang.)

        “She asks us to trust that her husband will abandon his American citizenship when she is elected president . . . but not before.”

        >>This makes me suspect her loyalty to Filipinas albeit SC did not DQ-ed her candidacy. Purgatory forbids that she’ll be the next president!

        • Joe America says:

          What I find interesting, Harry, is that these qualities are so evident to anyone who has worked with people, but they are not seen by most here. I was blown away by the idea that she won the second debate in the eyes of many, or that Duterte did in the eyes of so many others. Is it the air or the water that interferes with discernment hereabouts?

          Of course, I sat on my hands and did not type my observations about that debate. Foolish principled guy that I am . . .

          • Jonathan says:

            I maintain the second debate was a Rorschach test. People saw what they wanted to see, and no one “won” or lost; it just reinforced existing biases.

            It wasn’t a great debate – the format was bad, there was too much emphasis on reactions from other candidates… so far all the debates have been underwhelming.

            • Joe America says:

              Agree on the first point, that people saw what they came to the debate looking for. Disagree with the last point. I thought it was a excellent, robust, open, free-wheeling affair and that any neutral observers left could certainly distinguish between the candidates. Of course, I’ve watched some of the US Republican debates, and they are pretty much a shame and shambles.

              Democracy isn’t pretty sometimes.

          • chit navarro says:

            It is not the air nor the water that intervened to show her as winning the 2nd presidential debate.

            Mediocre Media is the culprit….

            I only wish media pracitioners or media moguls will really be independent of anything greasy or queasy in their palms…

  4. VSB says:

    This is really getting way out of hand- I’m surprised none of the legal vultures have filed a case of this blatant breach of election laws- This foundling showbiz daughter have singlehandedly trampled upon the countries constitution- Onli in da Pilipins!

  5. Waray-waray says:

    “Totally overbearing, disrespectful primadonnas”.


  6. chempo says:

    By the way it took the AMLC to get the court freeze order on RCBC, I’m thinking it will be May 10 before we can see a court order for some famous Americans to stop participating in the rallies.

    • diamante905 says:

      I don’t know if Brian Poe holds two citizenships (American and Philippine), but assuming he does, then does someone with dual citizenships forbidden to participate in the Philippine political campaigns? I believe that individuals with dual citizenships cannot hold public positions but can vote in an election. This may also apply to Joe if he is a dual citizen, he has every right to practice his profession as a journalist in a political campaign. What’s your take?

  7. Jonathan says:

    It’s an unforced error. Setting aside whether Grace Poe means or doesn’t mean well, she’s not a very experienced politician.

    Of course, having experience doesn’t immunize you from unforced errors either…

    • Joe America says:

      True. The American press would have chewed her up long ago for her lack of diplomatic grace and knowledge. Only here, where star quality outshines critical judgment, can she escape harsh reviews.

  8. Bill in Oz says:

    Sorry Joe I have a different opinion….An Australian opinion…My intuition is that the next President of the Philippines will be a Filipina woman with a USA/Filipina husband and with three children born in the USA of Filippino origins…The Philippines is awash with lawyers for hire willing to put out TRO’s and to stop progress in this country. But I see no reason why you need to help them out..

    The real battle worth fighting is over the Vice President : Marcos and his family are waiting their second coming..Now there’s trouble !

    • chempo says:

      Meanwhile somewhere else in one of the most backward countries in the world, Myanmar, the opposition leader with much more overwhelming support (almost the entire country) Aung San Suu Kyi was never allowed her to ascend the throne because here husband and children were Brits.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        But her father Chempo was Aung San..THE Burmese independence leader from 1943-47 until he was assassinated..A revered hero to all Burmese !

        • chempo says:

          That’s why she herself is revered.
          Much like Poe.

          But the political powers that be recognise the security issue of having a leader with a husband and children who has allegiance to another country. Seems Filipinos are not risk averse.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, we all know that you Aussies look at things upside down from spending your entire life at the bottom of the planet, heads down. 🙂 My objection is to the sense of entitlement this represents, and tone deafness about the whole issue of the SC DQ cases. I mean, knowing the sensitivities hereabouts about her “Americanism” and loyalties, how can she allow an American to violate Immigration policy and advocate on her behalf?

      • Joe America says:

        Ha, I have to laugh. I’m guessing she does not even know Immigration policy.

      • NHerrera says:

        Well, we all know that you Aussies look at things upside down from spending your entire life at the bottom of the planet, heads down.

        Sorry, Bill. That is rather “cool” of Joe.



        I have a hunch edgar will surface saying something about that cool statement.

        • Joe America says:

          No worries, Edgar contemplates his navel, which causes his head on occasion to go rightside up.

          • NHerrera says:

            🙂 🙂

            • Edgar’s special wisdom is due to upside-down Zen meditation.

              • NHerrera says:

                Now edgar will have his hands full with:

                – upside down land of Oz
                – navel contemplation
                – upside-down Zen meditation
                – aside from Brian Poe of good old US of A

              • NHerrera says:

                Slightly Off Topic


                Of the five Presidential Candidates, Binay and Poe in my opinion have “life and death” stake on the Presidency compared to Roxas and Duterte (we can set aside Santiago who really has even less of that stake as Roxas and Duterte)

                – Binay for obvious reason — possible jail for him and at least two more of his family if he loses; political and irretrievable financial losses — and so we can dismiss him from further consideration

                – Poe not only want to win the Presidency but win it with a BIG margin over the second placer for a “life and death” reason because of

                * the need to vindicate or at least partially erase all the lies, hypocrisy that propelled her to the Presidential Candidacy; and the shameful pandering, if not due to an innate low intelligence or judgment, to all groups that may get her the added votes

                * the unknown full consequence of a loss to herself and family if she does not win the Presidency

                * the consequence to her winning only by a small margin over the second placer, with the Damocles Sword becoming more real what with the SC ruling still a muddled issue

                * the latter, an issue Binay’s camp will magnify if only to delay his own political, financial, jail destination etc

                * Thus, for Poe the need to employ Brian Poe to leave no opportunity lost to increase that desired BIG win margin, poor judgment on her part or not; after all she has not been shy in using ALL efforts to increase her votes — changing gears only at some points, when the embarrassment has become intolerable — unmindful of what The Society “wise guys” say or not

                – Duterte, almost but not quite a “life and death” stake if only to vindicate his macho, foul-mouthed efforts; and partly erase his own lies to gain mileage to the Presidency

                – Roxas has a stake if only out of pride and to vindicate his own version of “daang matuwid” and to show that he is not incompetent or a wimp; that he can make the government run well without all the improbable implementation of the promises of his rivals.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Ahhh Joe….Up side down ? Right way up ? That is a matter of opinion.. I read once that you spent time in Sydney in Oz Joe. Did you feel up side down then ?..Meanwhile gravity has no opinion..It’s all down with gravity !!!

                In the English speaking world the USA has had since 1782, an obsession with not being governed by aliens..I guess it is an odd side affect of the revolutionary war with Britain by which the USA achieved independence. Other English speaking countries who separated peacefully from Britain, have not been afflicted by this obsession – except the Philippines. I think the Philippines acquired it from the USA – like a viral infection ?

                And so since 1935 the Philippines has never been ruled by an alien president or one who has lived for any substantial amount of time in another country. But in Poe maybe the Philippines will finally be governed by someone who has lived in another country for a substantial amount of time and knows how things work better there. ( By contrast Australia has had by my count 3 prime ministers born overseas in 116 years. One recent one was Julia Gillard 2010 – 2013.)

                Je you mention “law” but as you and I and everyone else here knows, law here is a very flexible thing. Just this afternoon I went in a jeepney for 20 minutes here in Manila. The law was broken every 1 seconds or..But we all survived and there was not a single collision..There is the law of the Congress here in the Philippines which is often simply ignored by all..And there is the ‘common law’ of the people which everybody knowsa nd lives without problems…

                Only in the Philippines : a unique interesting place to be !!!!

              • Joe America says:

                In reverse order,

                The law ought not be broken and to accept the lawlessness is bad discipline and character.

                Poe bringing a world view to the job would be refreshing. I wish her judgments today were more knowledgeable and deep and would lend confidence that she has that kind of intellect. Roxas does, for a fact. Read his MBC speech and Q&A. Even hard to impress Teddy Locsin called it “brilliant”.

                Japan ruled through compliant Filipinos seeking to end the brutality. Hardly a worldly view, that, though.

                Obsession with not being governed by aliens? That’s a new one to me. We are intensely security conscious and patriotic in a military way, but are almost all immigrants at some level. Americans have an obsession about right and wrong and pushing toward a greater vision of humanity, so it is not a static society. With occasional blips like Trump.

                I’ve been to Australia on several occasions, toured, swam, hiked, climbed, snorkeled, fell in love . . . but that is a long ago long story. It’s a good place with good people and lots to see and do.

              • “But in Poe maybe the Philippines will finally be governed by someone who has lived in another country for a substantial amount of time and knows how things work better there.”

                Bill, that same criterion applies to Mar Roxas who was abroad for a decade…

                “There is the law of the Congress here in the Philippines which is often simply ignored by all..And there is the ‘common law’ of the people which everybody knowsa nd lives without problems…” – that is true… the divergence between the two is still a major issue.

                The Philippines has Spanish + American laws… Spanish laws come from the Latin legal tradition and American laws from Anglo-Saxon common law so they fit in their countries.

                Somehow the gap in the Philippines still must be bridged but that is not going to be easy.

              • Thanks to Karl who posted this in the Learning Center… – the most relevant passages are:

                Nap also describes how court proceedings in English put many Filipinos at a disadvantage. One reason is that their poor grasp of English prevents them from following what’s going on. But language isn’t just a medium, it’s a setting as well. When judge and lawyers speak in English, they duplicate the existing power inequities: We, the English speakers, know what’s right and you, the speakers of the “vernacular,” of the “dialect,” are ignorant.

                Contrast our court hearings with our “barangay” [village or neighborhood district] justice system, where the protagonists can confront each other in Filipino or the local language, with barangay officials mediating. Again, language sets the stage. Being able to speak, even occasionally curse — in Filipino or Cebuano or Ilocano — allows people to bring out important information to argue a case. Speaking in Filipino, the barangay captain comes through as firm, yet understanding. I’ve seen a tiny woman barangay captain restrain huge bullies, calm fiery wives, admonish haughty mistresses with two words: “Makinig ka.” She wouldn’t have been as effective if she said, “Listen.”

                Now many of us here are at the English-speaking, educated, sometimes even rich, maybe even light-skinned side of the Great Philippine Divide which is a chasm sometimes… but it pays to keep it mind and not simplistically think we are talking about the United States…

                “Iyo ang Batas, Akin ang Katarungan” – Yours is the Law yet Justice is Mine – is a 1988 movie with Bong Revilla and Eddie Garcia… Of course the appeal of Duterte to some is that HIS form of “justice” is understood by many commoners who have a different sense of justice than us… some supporters have told me he is NOT unjust, he sends addicts to rehab, and he gives dealers one warning if they continue THEN they get killed so it is fair by their set of values… the huge elite/mass divide makes all of this possible.

              • NHerrera says:


                Re Roxas MBC speech which impressed the hard to impress Teddy Locsin who called the speech “brilliant” — I believe he is/ was a good speech writer himself. He was a speech writer of Cory Aquino if I recall it right.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, Locsin was still raving about the speech this morning. I’ve never seen him so enthused in a positive direction. Hahaha, maybe he wrote it. 🙂 🙂

  9. Ninotchka says:

    Bernie Sanders is not a commie.

  10. Sheila says:

    Why dont you mention that Brian and the rest of her kids are also natural-born Filipinos?
    And i think your memory is cloudy because I’m pretty sure Poe never said her husband will only renounce if she wins.

    I think you’re saying that dual citizens aren’t to be considered as Filipinos at all.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Had her husband renounced would you not think it would not be all over the news?

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, Sheila. Thanks for coming onto the discussion to talk forthrightly about the matter. I frankly don’t know the status of her husband’s abandonment of US citizenship, and I don’t know if Brian Poe has a Philippine passport. Is anything being done? I do believe the matter is material for the President of the Philippines, which is why her husband is going (or maybe going to go) through the steps to become a Filipino citizen and drop the “dual”. I think, given the COMELEC questions and SC cases, it is not a responsible decision to have Brian Poe representing the campaign. It is rather a flaunting of her entitlement to those who have questioned her right to serve.

      • caliphman says:

        As you may already know, the US is very recalcitrant about accepting citizenship renunciations which can be only given for very specific reasons and upon fulfilling certain conditions. A US citizen cannot just declare he no longer desires to be one. The main reason for this are citizens are taxed on worldwide income wherever they reside and the IRS and State department are wary of of those who use this ploy to evade taxation of US wealth and income.

        • Joe America says:

          Money grubbers, not patriots, eh? he he

          • caliphman says:

            Well way back in WW2 and then Vietnam, the idea was to catch draft dodgers but now its to catch all that hidden wealth and income stashed away overseas. If your kid becomes a US citizen, the IRS money grubbers will want Uncle Sam’s share of any fortune he makes in the Philippines even if his feet never touch American soil!

    • chempo says:

      Poe is on record saying husband n children will take up Filipino citizenship if she wins. In other words, their loyalty is CONDITIONAL. Which great leader he hearts like that.

  11. Harold Imperial says:

    Criticism and the scrutiny are everywhere. Brian POE is not working as a politician, why is he a free target? Senator Grace’ son was privately employed not until the election season began. All i know is that being a member of the first family is a huge responsibility. God bless Senator Grace Poe and her family. #POE2016

    • Waray-waray says:

      …her American family, you mean?

    • Joe America says:

      It is a huge responsibility, which is why COMELEC and immigration policies should be followed. And some measure of diplomacy, given the sensitivity of the loyalty issue that has been raised.

    • Neil Llamanzares is working for Danding… which is a non-negligible factor I think.

      OK they all have their business connections, but those of the LP and Roxas are the most transparent and normal looking at the rest of them. There is a reason why the EU has put more investment into the Philippines during the last 6 years than ever – German factories in the Philippines like Stihl and Continental, common projects like K-12+. Sure the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation seems to also have Grace Poe as a “side bet” from what I have seen so far, but not Duterte who might for all we know bring in the Chinese and their polluting factories so they can fulfill their emission levels and bring their smog over… the Philippines has potential for enormous trade but I am sure Poe will be watched closely if she wins and Duterte watched with enormous wariness just in case… under Aquino the Philippines has been “out on parole” but not yet released is my reading between the line of what the EU, ECCP and others publish… Poe would be a slight backslide in worst case.

      • Caliphman says:

        So one should be leery of ties to billionaire businessmen. I wonder what Donald Trump would have to say about that, scion of a wealthy slum lord and himself a megabillionaire. Probably same thing he tells everyone else…millions of American voters dont care and thats why they are supporting him. And since when should it become an issue when Aquino, Roxas, and other presidential candidates now and the past are themselves from billionaire clans whose fortunes are just as tainted?

  12. carmen natividad says:

    As election day draws near, you will notice how they find ways of criticizing politicians that are on top of the list. Some release black propaganda, other search for family issues while others try to end the lives of their opponents. Risking everything just to win. This is not new for Grace Poe, as she remains consistently on top, her opponents are releasing everything just to detract her from her supporters. But i doubt this will work. People want change and they want a leader who they can trust. And that is Grace Poe.

    • NHerrera says:

      People want change and they want a leader who they can trust. And that is Grace Poe.

      Let me parse that:

      People want change = check
      they want a leader who they can trust = ??
      And that is Grace Poe = ?

      • Gemino H. Abad says:

        Right on, Joe America!! May our electorate judge wisely!
        — our country’s future at stake! (so is America’s!)

      • arlene says:

        Be afraid, be very afraid…if Grace Poe wins. But I don’t envision her winning the race. Being consistently on top of several surveys does not equate with a sure win.

      • How can you trust Grace Poe who lies about her residency and dismisses it as honest mistake. How can you trust Grace Poe when she was not able to discern the right people to surround her? How can you trust Grace Poe when she ignored the simple problem of public buses showing too much violence and sex on their screen. This has been brought up to her attention and after several follow ups, she asks the complainant to detail the date time make of bus, carrier etc. No to Poe.

    • Joe America says:

      Who is “you” and who is “they”? So you disagree with all the earnest Filipinos who question the Poe loyalty, and believe any complaint is “black propaganda”? That seems like name calling to me, a form of black propaganda, aimed at silencing critics.

      I’m glad you trust Grace Poe. I wish I did, I’d have said as much before the official campaign period rather put me on mute.

      Most people who comment here just address me as Joe, or JoeAm. You may do the same, Carmen, and we can deal directly.

      • R.Hiro says:

        Joe am curious. This concerns American politics. Could you point out where in the U.S. constitution does it say that an individual born outside U.S. territory can lawfully be a natural born citizen of the U.S.A.

        Please note that Rafael Edward Cruz is a noted strict “contructionist”/”originalist” concerning the Constitution. His father a Cuban first became a naturalized Canadian and then much later became a naturalized American.

        Pls. note

        Is this true? How much of it is true?

        Why all the fuss about a son of the Presidential candidate representing her at a campaign rally?

        Even if he was a Martian what’s the problem? I believe when he was born he came out of a Filipina womb.

        He could apply for dual as his Mom is considered a natural born Filipina.

        • Joe America says:

          1) I have no idea if it is in the Constitution. My son, born in the Philippines, is an American citizen, carries an American passport, and draws social security benefits until he is 18. I have no idea as to the “natural” part of his citizenship or if he could run for President. I think he wants to play basketball or be a survival expert like his father. He also is a Philippine citizen and carries a Philippine passport.

          2) I know nothing about dual USIsraeli citizens.

          3) It is against the law for foreigners to meddle in Philippine election campaigns. It also reflects a certain level of disregard toward those Filipinos who are sensitive about her loyalty. Sort of an “in your face” taunt.

          • Sup says:

            Don’t you think the title of this article should be called ”Poe SA, Poe SA, Poe SA”? 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Ha, are you promoting yourself as the blog’s headline writer? I think they get paid well at the Inquirer, but not here . . . 🙂

              • Sup says:

                I leave that typing to you, i’m sure you type 10 fingers… 🙂

                By the way..the law is clear in the Philipinnes, only the enforcement is not… 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, so true, a law is as worthwhile as the enforcement, so there you go . . .

                Yes, I use all 10, but pale next to that speedburner Irineo.

          • R.Hiro says:

            1) Your son is a citizen at birth as long as you followed the statute that governs your and his circumstance similar to Rafael Edward Cruz. The Constitutional rule of jus soli is not absolute in the U.S. Citizenship by blood at birth is allowed by statute. He can run for U.S. President. Like Cruz he would have to renounce his Philippine citizenship. But a lot of small minds in the U.S. would object almost violently.

            3) Brian LLamanzares is not exactly a true blue foreigner. Coming from both natural born Filipinos who also reacquired Filipino citizenship.

            Now if anyone wants to be an absolutist about the law on foreigners meddling that would be their prerogative.

            But it smacks of a weak mind. Trump tried it on Rafael Edward Cruz but it failed.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Joe, by the USA constitution, your son cannot be elected president of the USA, even though he is a USA citizen…By Australian thinking it seems a trifle bizarre..

          • “I think he wants to play basketball or be a survival expert like his father.”

            Joe, if I had more time over there, I’d have spent it with Badjaos and Aetas learning survival techniques both jungle and water. There was so much to learn.

            You ever taken your son to this, A good start for a kid, but you’d want to actually go to Tawi-Tawi and spend weeks over there. I heard the island of Mindoro has some good training opportunities, not jungle per se but something in between.

            I couple of summers back I was in the Four Corners region, and spent time with some Navajos and Hopis. Navajos had some great stuff, but the Hopis (who were more secretive) had an almost celestial understanding of their environment– this I think is the key to all things survival,

            if you can look at the ground or sea you’re in and look up and understand that the two are the same, then you’ve figured everything out, including survival. There’s a mystical side to all this.

            The Badjaos and Aetas I met were like the Navajos, didn’t go as deep as the Hopis.

            • Joe America says:

              Tawi Tawi, is that where today’s headhunters prowl? I was thinking Palawan would be a better place to survive. I’ve been through Indian territory but never got beyond the reservation snack and souvenir shop, just off the highway. I did read Carlos Castaneda, and still walk in the wilds with my fists lightly clenched and bent to absorb the energy of the earth. Thanks for the tip on the Subic camp.

          • Caliphman says:

            Its not in the US constitution but just like the Philippine version, there is a requirement that presidential candidates be natural born. Unfortunately, the US one did not elaborate on what natural born meant so like in the Poe case, it is necessary to go back into British common law where the term was in use. This is where the supposed requirement that the citizen be born in the USA. Constitutional experts are divided on whether or not this is the proper interpretation. Professor Larry Tribe from Harvard Law is one of the most eminent of those but until the US Supreme Court resolves the issue, it is anybody’s guess.

    • Caliphman says:

      Hells bells… if anything is going to lose the election for Roxas, its his supporters launching unsupported attacks and generating a sympathy backlash. Couple that with stupid stunts like circulating also “unapproved” comic books portraying him as the hero of Yolanda. Is that supposed to make voters trust him when it is clearly intended to sucker the masa into believing an alternate version of the truth they saw or experienced? Hey, it might work…after all Marcos is doing well peddling a nostalgic if not fictional version of what martial law was all about.

      • Joe America says:

        Ahahaha, cracked me up. I haven’t heard “hells bells” since the 11th grade when Roger M., Roger B. and I would tool around in Roger M’s ’49 Ford visiting the drive-in restaurants on Colfax west of Denver. Roger would mutter the term if we didn’t get a cutie running the trays.

  13. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe will there be any post on Erap’s campaign to be mayor of Manila again.. He is a known convicted plunderer and he has been running Manila as mayor for the past 3 years and wants to have another go..Surely here is a topic worthy of information and discussion ?

    • Joe America says:

      I have no plans to write it, so I doubt it. My todo list is about 20 items long.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I was not asking that you do it..As an American that could be sen as interfering in the election. But as an Australian here I am curious about Estrada and his works..maybe quick fingered Irineo can fill us all in on Erap ?

        • Joe America says:

          That’s entirely up to him.

          • Fortunately my father already did the work of writing a 577 page book on Erap… BTW what is interesting is that though my father is pro-Erap and VERY anti-Arroyo (he attended Fernando Poe’s funeral) he is very pro-Aquino and is actively supporting Mar Roxas in this election…

            From a college dropout to Mayor, Senator, Vice President, and President — truly the ascent of Joseph Estradain Philippine politics is phenomenal. This distinction is heightened by the following facts — first, his election to the presidency by an astounding plurality (40% of the population), a feat unmatched in history; second, his sudden fall from power after serving for only about 18 months; third, the dubious distinction of undergoing an impeachment proceeding; and lastly, the reality that even while in prison with a plunder case against him, he is still vastly popular among the masses and possesses significant political influence. This stature has put the legacy of Estrada as the subject of a heightened political debate and has polarized the country. Against this backdrop, Estrada
            is shown through the lens of one of the country’s prominent historians, Dr. Z. Salazar.

            In general, the book tries to defend the legacy of Estrada — that is, to justify his rule, rationalize his tragedy, and establish his place in history. Estrada is presented as a political leader deemed as the champion of the masses, enemy of the elite, and victim of a
            conspiracy. In doing so, Salazar used the classic Marxist framework of class conflict. He
            states that the dynamics of class conflict between the elite and the masses is the primary culprit in the tragedy of Estrada — it is typical of the elite to conspire against someone with opposing interest, or one outside their class. He submits that there seems to be an inherent connection between Estrada and Bonifacio, as the fate of the modern-day hero of the masses (Estrada) is somewhat similar to the fate of the original hero of the masses
            (Bonifacio) — both are victims of elite conspiracy. He insinuates further that Estrada’s fate is part and parcel of the long process of the political evolution of the Filipino masses —
            the history of their struggle from the time of the Spanish colonization to the present…

            Estrada’s attraction to the masses would also develop his penchant for defending the weak and the powerless. This tendency would be manifested early on. As Salazar notes,
            on several occasions, Estrada’s willingness to fight and even get beaten up while defending his helpless classmates and friends portrays Estrada as somebody who is willing to fight insurmountable odds and suffer the consequences of protecting the poor
            and marginalized.

            So one could, briefly speaking, compare Estrada to a Tribune of the Plebs in old Rome – one should not forget that the Gracchus brothers were killed by the patricians. There is one caveat to the pro-masses outlook of my father that his former student Xiao Chua has explained – the “pagbalik sa bayan” of the elite is what he sees as necessary for national unity – the return to the country in spirit of the elite which had become foreign in its own country. Cha did write that this election is part of the process of national birth… Roxas is indeed reaching out to the common people more than every before and his Makati Business Club speech shows what I suspected – that he learned a lot being in DILG and seeing the entire country and its people. One should not forget either that Mar Roxas was the Senator on whose initiative Erap was pardoned by Arroyo in the name of national reconciliation. Of course Erap is still seen as a Robin Hood by many.

            • Waray-waray says:

              “Estrada’s attraction to the masses would also develop his penchant for depending the weak and the powerless.”

              I beg to disagree Ireneo. Depending the weak and the powerless only happens in his movies. It was in 1998 during his term that he with the Dept of Labor wrestled an agreement between the PAl Management and the Union. The agreement was too one sided everyone believed that the union was sold. A middle management officer was married to then Sec of Labor Laguesma. Now where is Mr. Laguesma? If I am not mistaken, he is now with one of Lucio Tan’s companies. Lucio Tan was one of Erap’s biggest campaign donors. It is now about 17 years and as far as I know, rank and file employees have not had an across the board increase because of the moratorium on salary increase.

              I am wondering if there was any concrete evidence that he ever defended the weak and the powerless.

              • Roboin Hood …. stealing so he could give away everything to the less fortunate..

                ….but it is not how it goes with Binay (or Erap), they retain most of the stolen wealth so they can live in mansions, buy haciendas, raised pigs in air conditioned pens, with fleets of cars for the family and security, giving away just the scraps to keep the poor happy and buy the votes to maintain their hold in Makati and the country…claiming credits for hospitalization, scholarship, funeral assistance when they are from our taxes, part of which are the billions hidden somewhere, remitted out of the country using Bautista and Philrem….

              • err..that’s Robin Hood…

                Estrada and her mistresses with Boracay mansions and bequeathed local positions for children, brother niece, nephew, grandchildren…dynasty ! same with Binay…while chanting to the masa during campaign, mahal ko ang mahihirap! tell that to the marines, plunderers!

              • Mary, waray-waray: a major weakness of many Filipino intellectuals including my father is that they have a certain disdain for monetary matters and economic stuff – they prefer to make histories containing heros and villains instead of also looking at the money facts.

                My brother did his doctorate on the late 19th century Philippine economy and especially German migrants and investors (Zuellig is one company that is still there until today) but there are few economic historians in the Philippines… RHiro knows a lot but he is a pure economist who knows some history, while most historians know little about the economy and stuff like you are mentioning now which is about mansions, business deals and more. Which is why my recent article about encomienda and hacienda was so hard to research.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Thanks Irineo, MGP and Waray-Waray for all the comments re Esrada..It fills me in a bit. I suspect Irineo that your father may be a bit blind sided by Erap…I am loking at the front cover of Biz News Asia with lovely glossy photos of Erap being saintly to the elderly and a bub…. It confirms one idea in my mind : Estrada is an actor/entertainer who wants appear .. to be an ‘action hero’ rescuer.. But I need to actually read the magazine…to gain a better handle on all this. More later !

            • Caliphman says:

              Estrada was a convicted thief and plunderer. No amount of historical revisionism is going to change that. At his impeachment trial. It was estabished that 2 billion pesos in unexplained wealth were deposited in a dummy account that was traceable to him. The fact that he was judged guilty and allowed to run for President again inspite of being banned from running public office is a perversion of the justice system. The fact that afterwards he ran for mayor of Manila and won is mind boggling. It is a testament to the crying need to reeducate and change the electoral priorities of the so called masa.

  14. Ron Angelo says:

    Didn’t know foreigners aren’t allowed to voice their opinion on our election. I don’t think I can support that rule since foreigners in this country are surely gonna be affected by whoever we vote for. I understand governments not interfering. But individual foreigners should not have their voices be locked down. At the end, it’s the individual voters who will decide if the foreigners’ opinions mean anything.

    Anyway, I can’t believe Grace was allowed to run. But since we’re here now, I can’t believe “experts” are saying she’s winning in the debates. Sure, she hasn’t done anything stupid. But on the other hand, she has shown a lack of leadership and understanding of the job; Duterte exposed the former with his hypothetical question last time around while her leaning to micromanagement shows the latter. Aside from that, her copycat stance on certain issues hasn’t set her apart. She’s like a female version of Aquino who won’t nearly have as much power because she doesn’t belong to a strong political party. Sure, some lawmakers may side with her for the first few months if she wins. But she lacks the political strength of Aquino to withstand the issues that will surely hound her administration. She shouldn’t be running for the presidency the same way Alma Moreno shouldn’t be running for the Senate. She is way in over her head.

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, Ron, it is a matter of judgment. The rules say not to engage directly or indirectly in campaigns “in any way”. It is very sternly stated. It would have to be tested in court, I suppose, and I’d imagine the court would opt on the side of free speech. I think participating in a campaign rally is beyond free speech and into the arena of “protest” in its positive sense. Still, none of the foreign protesters at APEC were thrown out, so I think Immigration is pragmatic about it. I see no reason to test them unduly, and think Filipinos should largely be free of my vocal intrusions into the campaign.

      I agree fully with your observations on Poe, second paragraph.

  15. If this man does not win the Presidency , we never deserved a president like him:

    • I transcribed his ending remarks for everyone who cant watch the video:

      We’re a great people.
      People work hard, they sacrifice, they do without so that they could give to their children all that they can you know.
      Even in the midst of calamity, Yolanda we we’re walking around there in a hovel, really tarpaulin cover, You know, voltz and I we we’re walking around inspecting tryng to figure out how to clear the streets Etc.

      People will smile at you and offer you a hot cup of coffee, because there is steaming coffee by the fire they are doing no,
      We’re a generous people and our people deserve so much more than what their getting and that’s what this journey is all about.
      It’s giving them what is their due.

      A due that many of us here enjoy perhaps even take for granted, but for them is still quite unreachable.

      All the way north from ambulog, all the way south to tawi-tawi people work hard fishermen, they do what they can to earn a living and they are quite innovative.
      In how they save their money and manage their resources meager as it is to try to make it through the day , to set something aside for the future.

      And their hopes and dreams when they talk to(pause) me is not very different from your (points towards business men) hopes and dreams, maybe just differentiated by the number of zeros (draws zeros in the air).

      Really, I mean di ba(shrugs). And I think that we you part of the governing elite, the businessmen the educated, those who have made it we owe them we owe our people what we can,

      Not because it’s a handout, not because it’s paawa but simple in recognition of what they do, the hard work that they do,

      Unfortunately their hardwork is not compensated properly,because of , just the system that is in place and those are some of the blockages that we have to remove so that we can unleash their own potentials and receive the just wage/compensation/income that they so richly deserve.
      We’re a great nation and we can do so much better.

      • NHerrera says:


        I greatly admire your patience and efforts in transcribing the text of the video of Sec Roxas speech before the MBC.

        The text version of the speech including the Q and A that followed, including the last remarks you quoted above, made in reply to Zobel de Ayala’s question:

        >> We’ll make this the last question, Sec. Roxas. And apologies to everyone who sent so many questions, I think the Secretary has addressed many issues on the economic front. And I’ll take the liberty of just asking my own question in the end which is not an economic one, but maybe to finish off the day.

        You’ve been travelling around the country, Secretary, and I’ve had a chance to see it at close range in many ways although you’ve had history, obviously, with the DILG and in various other posts. As you reflect on the country at this stage, has anything struck you on your trips, on your visits, you’re seeing the Philippines up close. At this time of the year, maybe as a parting set of remarks as we close this forum, maybe just some thoughts on how you see the country, what’s inspired you, how had you seen it as you’ve seen it up close across outside Manila? <<

        is found in this link I got from Joe in his post in the previous Blog-topic:

        for your information and those of The Society's other readers.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Just heard it from good authority that Mar Roxas must be stopped, must not be seen as a hero of Tacloban pure and simple. Why? The Romualdezes even then were contemplating a run by Bongbong Marcos for the presidency, and Roxas would be a formidable opponent. So if it’s about Mar’s virtues, deny, deny, deny. People, go for Mar-Leni. Bawal ang lukewarm. Even heard it direct from an unimpeachable source that what they say about Mar in the meeting caught in video is untrue. Mar has done his job. Never in the history of politics has so much mud been slung against a man of principle who has done a spectacular job. Mar in Tacloban, picture him as hero, because it’s nothing but the truth.

  16. Mar Talking among peers:

  17. I honestly don’t see the big deal, Joe.

    If it was that Wallace character (I know he’s a Filipino now), then I would definitely feign offense— he’s technically an outsider in every sense of the word.

    But this 24 yr old, is simply hanging out with Mom (whether he likes it or not), the same way all of the candidates over here tow there wives and kids along— for political brownie points, but more importantly for good/quality family time… whether politics or not that’s always a good thing, and should be celebrated.

    I’m youtubing and Googling this kid and I gotta feeling he’s there to stay, Joe.

    This kid’s either gonna be a politician over there or an actor/talk show host. This kid’s not going back to the US, I’m sure.

    But if I were his advisor I’d tell him to skip politics and entertainment.

    The God hustle is so much more lucrative over there. I have an imagined religion ready for a spokesman/saviour right now, which I can expound (I hope Brian reads this).

    It’s a mix of Mormonism and Scientology, not too far from the very recognizable Christian faith, but different enough to justify ownership, ie. the son of God is Brian. I’ve added Ireneo‘s ‘Bathala’ concept, we’ll mix the indigenous the same way the Mormons did for Native Americans (now there’s a Church of Latter Day Saints in every Native American reservation, from Idaho to New Mexico).

    It seems from Google image search, Brian’s developed a taste for beautiful women. Because the God hustles intersects into politics and entertainment over there, he will be the biggest Pimp in the history of the Philippines.

    Joe, have this kid contact myself and/or Ireneo and we’ll cobble together a new religion for Brian. We can probably do a two for one, along with Bam Aquino— if May 10 sees Duterte in office, then young Bam will know that he’s in the wrong line of work and should have a religion of his own, that or be a talk show host over there, but again the God hustle is where it’s at.

    Here’s a book both should start with,

    • NHerrera says:


      The god-hustle thing seems an idea worth exploring by Brian LLamanzares — oops — Brian Poe, because Duterte may just make it if you hear the noise from Duterte’s supporters and from Cayetano, VP candidate turned spox.

      Politics and show biz may not be the best option the way I see it. I agree with you the god-hustle business is the best option. If you look at the beginnings of Pastor Quiboloy and where he is now, imagine what the greater starting capital Brian Llamanzares — oops again — Brian Poe has and can do to entice and milk from those poor “suckers.” He can well end up with not only 6 million followers, but much much more.

      Yep, the god-hustle business is the THING.


    • Caliphman says:

      A career in godhustling is good but pales in comparison to how lucrative a presidential career in politics can be…look at the billions the Marcos, Binay, and Estradas have and are planning to amass. And for son of god Pastor Quilboloy and archangel Manalo of INC , they may be able to pass down the posts to a grandson of god and an archangelette, but in a political dynasty one can pass the post and riches to spouse,offspring, and the entire clan!

      But thats only in the Philippines and only to some extent in the USA, ie. the Clintons, Bushes, etc.

      • sonny says:

        Wow. Good ole syncretism is back (or has it left?) 🙂 I think Margaret Mead. woul’ve had a feast studying Filipino sociology/mythology. It is also a good place to start studying Greek mythology with its gods, goddesses, demi-gods. The tropics, full of many many life forms is the ideal place.

        • sonny,

          All religions (everything for that matter) are syncretic— save maybe Scientology, now that’s original stuff, out of this world. As for Greek gods, skip that and focus on this one Roman goddess,

          • But the goddess didn’t know about oysters, 😉

            “The solution to pollution is dilution”


            “A century ago oysters covered extensive sections of both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The formed massive reefs, often protruding from the water at low tide; in one case, off Long Island, a lighthouse was built directly on top of one such reef. Oysters became increasingly desirable as food during the 1800s, and people plucked them from intertidal zones by the billions. Studies show that in Virginia and Maryland alone, oystermen harvested 20 million bushels a year in the 1870s. The practice proved to be unsustainable, and oyster numbers dropped drastically after a decade. Increased pollution, disease, and loss of habitat contributed to their decline.

            The plummet in oyster populations, coupled with runoff into waterways of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, from agricultural and development, have led to many unbalanced coastal ecosystems. Nutrient enrichment spurs the prolific growth of algae, which blankets the surface of the water and makes it look like pea soup. Those algal blooms subsequently block light from reaching the organisms below the surface and deprive the water of oxygen. In the most extreme circumstances, such conditions lead to dead zones, where no organisms can survive. The number of dead zones has doubled nearly every decade since the 1960s.”

          • sonny says:

            In light of this entry by wiki on syncretism, I opened myself to your reply. I meant the narrower meaning under the Christianity sub heading: 🙂


            • sonny,

              I’ve always seen this word associated with Philosophy, not so much religion, I didn’t know Christianity had a more specific connotation of it.

              But having read the Christian sub-heading, wouldn’t Paul then be considered syncretic, when he went against James (brother of Jesus) here,

              • sonny says:

                LC, you’re more than a few steps ahead of me on this question. I will get help from my “rabbi” (priest/scripture scholar) in order to get in step w/you, for more enlightenment. 🙂 In the meantime this is what I found on the epistle to the Galatians, more than I have:


              • sonny says:

                LC, syncretism, IMO, to be called such, will be always a comparison to what one calls orthodoxy which in turns maps into or passes muster using whichever canons one accepts. For example, to me a Catholic, the canons will be the theology, philosophy, doctrines, scriptural traditions, history, etc. that are enunciated by the teaching function of the Catholic Church.

                To the question of Saints Paul, James, Peter and the Galatians, this narrative on the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem is good description of this dynamic, syncretist vs orthodox evolves into what is heretical and what is orthodox.


              • I’m now curious what James (Jesus’ brother) thought was orthodox besides the dining with the gentiles incident (or even circumcision). Did Peter really side with Paul, or did he simply keep the peace.

                I think the divide was greater, sonny, than just eating and circumcising gentiles.

                With the Antioch drama (which we only get a tiny glimpse of), why wasn’t Paul leveled the same charge as Simon Magus (from which the crime of simony came from), was it simply because the non-Jewish Christians were the victors, or

                did the Jewish Christians (represented by James) actually come around to rally for Paul?

                I don’t think they rallied around Paul, non-Jewish Christians simply took over the Jesus movement by making it easier in a lot of ways… (basically, most Christians took the Joel Osteen “feel good” route).

                It all goes back to the faith by belief peddled by Paul, vs. the faith by works which I think James, being true to the teachings of Christ, represented— the Ebionites come to mind,

                There was only one time when Jesus was asked how to go to heaven (and His answer was very specific), Paul on the over hand told people that if they were rich, they could stay rich, if they were slaves, they should stay slaves, etc. etc. they just had to believe.

                My bias has always been against Paul. But that’s just me and my reading of the New Testament.

                Which begs the question, what was James (brother of Jesus) teaching?

                sonny, How do Catholics cover James?

              • sonny says:

                LC, James the greater is not James the less; james the greater is the blood brother of John; james the less is james the son of Alpheus is the “brother” of Jesus; there remains james the writer of the epistle and james the bishop of Jerusalem; james the greater and james the less are both of the original 12 apostles. This is the equation I am clear about.
                The rest I leave to the biblical scholars.

              • sonny,

                Your count of 4 Jameses, is 2 more than mine.

                1). James the son of Zebedee is indeed separate.

                2). But James the brother of Jesus and James the bishop of Jerusalem, are one and the same.

                James the writer of the epistle though, I’m not too sure— could simply be pseudo-epigraphy, using James (whether the apostle or brother of Jesus, I don’t know), but the works focus seems to be invoking the brother of Jesus, but then again maybe James Zebedee also focused on works.

                The “writer” of the epistle I can merge with 1). or 2). or none. But the focus on works, though harmonized, is interesting.

                So among Catholics, the consensus is that James the brother of Jesus (playing a leadership role in the New Testament) and James the bishop of Jerusalem (executed in 62 AD) are separate?

                The first from Jewish Antiquities 20.9.1, Flavius Josephus:

                “but the younger Ananus who, as we have said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are serve in judgment and above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus as of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as lawbreakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.”

                Doesn’t it make more sense that these two James were one and the same?

      • NHerrera, Caliphman…

        I totally agree there’s other hustles out there that may look more lucrative, there’s only one (especially in the Philippines, since a great majority of Filipinos don’t seem to understand the connection between austerity and Godliness) hustle where you can place yourself above reproach,

        Brian can say, I’m the son of God, I can wear any damn shoes I want, knock-offs or real! No need to feel he has to hide his wealth, he can live ostentatiously and all for the glory of God ( which will be himself, Son=God ). Fly around the Philippines in jets and helicopters, while peeing out the window. The sky’s the limit.

        My point is that Brian will enjoy more freedom in the God-hustle, than entertainment and politics, where you are dependent on the public’s whims. Brian can totally leverage his Mom’s “foundling” status and insert some sort of magical, divine conception angle 😉 .

        • caliphman says:

          Lance, that rationale of being able to amass so much wealth and power at the same time emerging with an antiseptically clean conscience sounds so inviting. Is that similar to the spiel madrassa graduates are given? About the seventy naked nubile virgins waiting just for them in heaven and that they are following Allahs express command just as they explode their bomb belts killing and maiming scores of women and children. Must sound invting to them too, dont you think? 🙂

          • LOL! The idea’s not just for Brian Poe, Paulo Roxas, Bam Aquino & little cute Aimee Marcos can use it to.


            All religions play this game (power and piety), but Islam actually attempts to mitigate (ie. Buddha doesn’t cover it– he ate bad pork, Jesus never talked about managing a movement– it took Constantine to consolidate, the Mormons have an ever evolving set of dogmas–they’ll still consolidating…).

            The Qur’an has pretty good procedures and rules in place for governing people— I never understood our obsession to killing these ‘Number Two’s , when the very system is designed around the fact that number two’s and three’s die.

            ISIS and al-Qaeda (or revolutionary Iran) aren’t the best place to see this but if you look at Oman and Ayatollah Sistani’s movement over in Iraq, slow and steady wins the race, no need for virgins ( or grapes, Syriac is ‘Houri’ a non-Arabic word, )

            IMHO, it’s not just the 72 virgins, these martyrs-to-be actually think they get teleported straight to heaven— so simply showing their dead bodies (on TV, internet or print) should curb martyrdom operations.

            So actually our secret weapon is the age old Sunday school question: Do we go direct to heaven when we die? Answer: Apparently NOT. 😉

    • Joe America says:

      Now that was an interesting read. I wonder who will win the election in 30 years, Brian Poe, or Mar Roxas’ son, Paolo Roxas.

      • Interesting.

        How about a Roman-style Tetrarchy, with Bam Aquino and Aimee Marcos (the youngest adopted girl), with Brian and Paolo.

        It’s also interesting how every Philippine newspaper tends to describe these kids as always having “showbiz” potential— why not God-hustling potential? 😉

    • Waray-waray says:

      :)) Where is Sir Edgar and his satire?

  18. caliphman says:

    Joe, try settle down and not get your panties bunched together :). True Brian is an American citizen because he was born there. But he also happens to be a Filipino because his father was a natural-born Filipino. So he has every right to campaign for his mother during election season. For that matter, he may even run for President here in the US or in the Philippines when he passes the age and other requirements being a natural born cit status for both countries. Incidentally, same things are true for his father.

  19. DAgimas says:

    that’s why Grace Poe should not be running as President. don’t know what the other candidates are doing but their spin masters should be pointing out these ones already. they should be flooding social media about the danger of having americans in the palace. blah blah blah don’t know why they don’t follow the American practice of attack ads or negative ads.

    im sure there are a lot of sensible Filipinos who don’t want a first family with divided loyalties in Malacanan. and they should direct their campaign towards these demographics

    remember in 1992 when a black propaganda, most probably from the Ramos camp, spread “historic materials” that the wealth of the Cojuancos came from the treasury of the revolutionary government. these black propagandas are not addressed to the “ignorant” masses but to sensible Filipinos and it surely helps turn the tide. don’t know if the author of that “piece of history” is able to return to the Philippines already but it surely got me thinking “wow, maybe this is true?”

    I voted for Sen. Salonga though. was young then and was just like the Feel the Bern youth of today

    PS: My eldest brother used to tell me that Cojuanco was leading in the counting but after a black out, lo and behold, Ramos was now number one? hahahahaha I like him though. he solved the daily black outs, lots of jobs until the Asian crisis. I think he is a good politician courtesy of De Venecia

    • Joe America says:

      It’s interesting, DAgimas, I suppose if I had tons of respect for Grace Poe’s accomplishments in government, and her expertise at managing the state’s affairs, I would have a different reaction to her son’s campaign work. I’d know she is true-blue and loyal to the Philippines, and her work would show it. But his being there is piling poor judgment on top of shallow, poor judgment and questionable dedication and contribution to the Philippine nation.

  20. Tambay says:

    Out of topic. This is how you know something really works when regular moms find it hard to hire house help because of the 4Ps Program. Read the comment of Topaz Horizon.

  21. amelius23 says:

    Brian Poe has all the responsibility to campaign and stand in for her mother in this grueling path going to the Casbah and pointing an accusing finger on him with the other 3 finger pointing back at you, I am beginning to surmise that a “Portrait of A Cold Warrior” has resurrected in the Phil. from ages past. You are very up to date on your analysis on Phil. politics and I am beginning to believe that you are living in the Phil. or are you a Filipino mongrel yourself?

    • karlgarcia says:

      He is an American with a Filipina Wife living in Biliran. OK?

      • amelius23 says:

        Oh yah, but is he authorized to dabble in Phil. politics just like the real McCoy doing back in the USA?

        • karlgarcia says:

          He knows his limits that is why he posted the immigration memo or circular.
          He wants it to be applied to Brian as well.
          But let us wait for Joe’s reply.

        • Joe America says:

          @amelius23. Hey, that’s exactly the point. I voluntarily stop offering political commentary during the official campaign period in respect of Filipino rights and sensitivities. Brian Poe – senator Poe – has not done that. It is an untested area, in legalistic terms. For sure, you are absolutely free not to read what I write.

          • Joe America says:

            I would add that my son is Filipino, living in the Philippines, and I would not be doing my job as a parent if I did not advocate for a vibrant, healthy, honest, productive Philippines, rich with opportunity and rid of corruption in its many shapes.

    • Joe America says:

      I live in the Philippines. I’d argue that the Poe camp has a responsibility to be respectful of Filipino sensitivities about Senator Poe’s unproven loyalty to the nation. Flaunting her American son is the opposite of this. Is her husband really going to give up his American citizenship? Is she vested here, or taking advantage . . . It is not just me asking these questions. I just speak it out, no matter how the fingers point. No one has a monopoly on fingers hereabouts.

      You can go to the home page and do a search of Grace Poe to find the many articles I have written as I went down the path of fan to skeptic. You’ll have to flip back a few pages to get to the older posts and the arguments in her favor.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Thank you Giancarlo for the link. One of the compelling reasons I am not voting Poe. I had always been wary of her from the start, I did not vote for her in 2013.

      She and Chiz have said that they were independent, but who are they fooling?

      Few days ago I was browsing through old documents and I saw my parents old Cocofed shares certificate. I did not know what to do with them, makes me think, are they worth anything at all? How many more poor coconut farmers are holding on to these worthless Cocofed shares certificates? Would they ever get their dues if ever Poe is elected?

      I wonder if she would.

      • amelius23 says:

        If you watched the last presidential debate in Cebu you would know how Sen. Grace Poe answered clearly VP J. Binay on how she will deal with the coco levy funds now amounting to around P70 billion pesos which is now in govt. coffer.Certainly the coconut farmers will be receiving their dues when she becomes president elect.

          • Waray-waray says:

            Thanks Ireneo. Did Poe again committed an honest mistake by signings the EO? Seems to me her inconsistencies are consistent.

            Really a big question to me is her impartiality and independence.
            Her husbands employer is SMC and her financier is SMC. Couldn’t it be more obvious than that?

          • Waray-waray says:

            Thanks Ireneo. Did Poe again committed an honest mistake by signings the EO? Seems to me her inconsistencies are consistent.

            Really a big question to me is her impartiality and independence.

            Her husbands employer is SMC and her financier is SMC. Couldn’t it be more obvious than that?

        • chempo says:

          The dish back to the farmers is not Poe’s credit to take. Pnoy has already issued Executive Order for the return of the coco funds to the farmer. Why it took Pnoy so long? — Legalistic issues needed to be cleared.

          • R.Hiro says:

            The SC has ruled that coco levy funds were public funds and are to be used to benefit the coconut farmers. The “farmers” want the assets converted to a trust fund and used similar to a pension fund. Government wants to use it to improve the state of coco farming in the country and establish links with the downstream industries.

            Since government does not have very good track record in this kind of program there is a pending suit challenging governments role.

            Firstly the problem going forward is to identify the legitimate farmers or their heirs.

            Looking at the track record of the DA during the GMA period and even this government, the DA is riddled with graft.

            This government had problems spending the budget after asking for allocations.

            What does one do with state institutions that are riddled with inefficiencies.

            • chempo says:

              Thanks for making it clearer with brevity.
              Looks like everybody agrees it should go to farmers, but the manner of distribution is debatable.

  22. Part of Grace Poe’s documents submitted to COMELEC is her reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. Included there are the names of Brian and her 2 sisters who are all minors at that time. When Grace Poe reacquires the Filipino citizenship, they also reacquired her citizenship. Therefore, Brian is a Filipino. In fact, a natural born Filipino.

    “July 31 – The BI issued Identification Certificates (IC) for Poe and her kids. This means Poe and her 3 kids re-acquired their Philippine citizenship as per the law. At this point, they are now dual citizens of the US and the Philippines.”

  23. Justinnes says:

    I like Grace Poe even after reading your article. She will be the president.

  24. caliphman says:

    Okay, Mar must be reading this blogsite. If Grace is going to let her son stump for her, it should ethical for him to unleash his son Piolo on the campaign trail. Lets just hope the spouses do not get into the act . Korina has not been doing well defending her hubby against Americans the last time against CNN’s onscene Andetrson questionning his credibility criticizing her husband and the government’s rescue and retrieval efforts in Tacloban while away from the gruesome mess and in the safety of a remote studio.

    • Joe America says:

      Paolo is on the campaign trail and is evidently popular. A very nice, intelligent kid. He didn’t grow up in the US, and his father never abandoned his PH citizenship, so the issues are not parallel.

      • Joe America says:

        Digging on Korina is just a cheap shot, old news. She is the best of the “first spouses” by far. So give a balanced report of all spouses so we can assign credibility to your judgments.

        • Her remark on radio re the guy not knowing everything at Yolanda site was taken way out of context, made as a tool to further shame her and Mar, done by his political rivals who are at him since June 30, 2010 with eyes firmly focused on the May 2016 election. In heaven’s name, he is the wife of Mar, who we all know by now, was at Tacloban City the day before Yolanda struck, stayed there for weeks directing the initial relief and recovery operations, setting up communications, meetings and ocular inspections. Of course Korina would know, Mar has gotten hold of a satellite phone the soonest possible time so he was probably in touch with her daily so she is also updated while doing her daily radio program.

          The CNN guy and Mar’s political opponents made a mountain out of that molehill remark. And some of the Filipinos chose to believe the CNN who was there in all of 2 days or so instead of Mar who is with is first responders in every calamity along with Voltz Gazmin and Dinky Soliman, who stayed there for weeks long after the CNN guys were gone.

          • Joe America says:

            The spite of anti-Korina remarks reveals a lot about the critics and nothing about Korina, other than she works impromptu with thousands watching, and will never be perfect. They write from an armchair in front of the dog and only pretend some greater moral vision.

        • Caliphman says:

          When the spouses begin stumping maybe I will but they have not. To do so right now risks inflicting collateral damage on family members who have chosen not to be involved. One would have to look no further than the personal smears being hurled by the Trump and Cruz camps at the wives of the opposing GOP candidates. If its going on be open season on the whole family, maybe the candidates should be wearing masks like Superman and Batman to protect Mrs. Kent and Mrs. Wayne from verbal attack.

          • Joe America says:

            Actually, Korina and Paolo accompany Mar Roxas to a lot of venues. They are a wholesome family, at least to loyal fans. Opponents, of course, see them with inside out values, as if the Roxas family were showing them up by being so good, loving and honorable.

      • caliphman says:

        Its not the stigma that people like to attach to having one’s citizenship stripped unwillingly because they seek to be a citizen of the the place where they and their family live. The Philippines changed that law in 2003 because it was not fair to OFW’s like myself. Poe and I did not choose to aVery few nations have laws like that.

        • Joe America says:

          Nothing is “stripped unwillingly”. Lots of choices have to be made based on laws we don’t like, but exist. The libel law is an example. The correct approach is to change the law, not blame those who adhere to it.

          • Joe America says:

            Loyalty and dedication to one’s nation are legitimate issues.

            • caliphman says:

              That would make many of the 2 or 3 million Filipinos who chose a better life elsewhere and the millions upon millions of Irish, Italian, European, and even Germans who immigrated to the US and made the country it is today disloyal, wiuld it not?

              • Joe America says:

                It would raise a question as to their suitability to be president of the Philippines, for sure. Many of us find ourselves in the predicament. Our word is our word, and if we take it as anything less, then we are not to be trusted. A president must be trusted. Grace Poe has convinced many that she is a good, loyal Filipino. But that does make her one lousy American. Because of her choices, and her abandoning professed loyalties.

                We ought not be asked to violate our principles so that she can be seen as loyal to hers.

          • Caliphman says:

            Well the fact is they did change the law because it was unjust in the same way that the SC found the Comelec ruling unjust to foundlings. Besides libel law analogy does not quite work out here. No one is breaking any law in this situation. The issue is about an Philippine law which unlike the US and most countries does not allow dual citizenship and forces a Filipino to choose between family and Filipino citizenship.

            • Joe America says:

              I think the issues are trust and allegiance, and the laws are the way the people who put the Constitution in place, and the courts who interpret it, decide what is best for the social good. They aren’t crafted for convenience, but for order. The courts have determined that Grace Poe is a legitimate candidate. Great. That’s the ruling. But it is up to her to prove her allegiance and develop trust. I can tell you that, for me, she has done just the opposite by her choice of associates and statements on issues. And allowing her son to campaign, which suggests she has a tin ear about the whole “American” issue, and expects the nation’s citizens to adapt to her whims.

        • caliphman says:

          OFWs, Poe and myself who were so stripped did not do so by choice and I personally resent anyone suggesting there was a willful intent to abandon or be disloyal to the land of my birth. With all due respect, Americans who choose to reside and become naturalized Filipino citizens do not deserve credit because US laws and now the Philippines as well permit dual status. But neither should they be accused of being traitors if the laws allowed them no choice in the matter if that was best for them and their families. Its good that you do not have to face that predicament but I and many others in a similar situation did. There are many reasons to vote for Roxas and not to vote for Poe, but that is one of the shakiest arguments in my opinion.

          • Joe America says:

            No need to get hostile. The law that is problematic, and the one you need to have changed, is the American oath that says you disavow allegiance to the Philippines. That is the one that troubles people. You said the oath by choice. I’m sorry your predicament made you face that choice, but it was a choice, and you did recite the oath. I don’t know why you would expect people to think that you did it under duress, or didn’t mean it.

            • caliphman says:

              Sorry my friend. You are a gracious host but I find your political bias a bit disturbing at times 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                My only bias is an interest in the well-being of the Philippines. We have different backgrounds, different principles, perhaps, and can’t always see things objectively – honestly – the same way.

              • caliphman says:

                Joe, it is quite plain that you and many others here are not very fond of Poe and disagree with many things she says and does as a candidate. Heck, some of those things I might even be in agreement with you. That is just the nature of political contests but as heated, emotional and partisan as this election might be, it is a shame to see so much mudslinging and negative campaigning in in a blogsite known for its refined, intelligent and diverse discussion of differing and opposing views.More so when the mudslinging is more likely than not counter productive to its ntended goal. The idea is not for Poe to lose but rather for Roxas to win, isnt it?

              • Joe America says:

                I would welcome anyone coming to the blog to extol the strengths and platform of Senator Poe. They might start with the specifics of time frames and how she plans to fund all the lavish improvements she is going to make, giving Mindanao 30% of the budget, getting everyone seats on trains, arming up with missiles, and building social programs while cutting taxes.

            • caliphman says:

              Yes, I say it on every July 4 and I say the philippine version of it EVERY June 12 and see nothing wrong with it. Some day persons in your immediate family who are dual citizens may have to recite both oaths including the one you refer to. How would you feel if others will be as judgemental and accuse of them of being duplicituous and disloyal? Its one thing to say if he runs for emperor that people ought not to vote for him because of lack of trust. Its another thing to smear someone and engage in character assasination for being a dual citizen and doing what a loyal citizen is supposed to do.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Dual citizenship is a fact of the modern world…I could be one myself if I chose as I was born in the UK though I migrated there to Australia when 4 years old…So I see myself as Aussie through & through with a UK ‘second string’…But some folks are more old fashioned …I once knew a good friend who was a triple decker !! Canadian, USA & Australian. She wore them all with grace and no thought of disloyalty to any…

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I’m a two nation loyalist myself, so understand that love and loyalty can go two ways. But the laws are there for a reason. It is not me being judgmental. It is the people crafting the laws. It is not a smear to ask people to abide by their oaths, or explain in terms that make sense why a presidential candidate voided that allegiance on two occasions. It’s rather a trend, eh? Consistent with other seemingly opportunistic decisions.

                Do you think Senator Poe should accept an Arroyo endorsement, if it is offered?

              • caliphman says:

                Would you care to be specific and explain exactly and clearly what law you are referring to? I happen to know a little about the Philippine Dual Citizen Act and the law preceding it. I know no part of either law that was broken in reciting the US oath of allegiance in becoming a naturalized citizen. And it is a smear on ones character if he or she is described
                duplicituous and disloyal. Just how precisely can those slurs, and that is what they are regardless of how one tries to spin it, be conflated now with the insinuation that Poe, or any dual citizen including myself and perhaps even you at some point, is not abiding by their oaths?

                Since you use the curious term “voiding” in relation to these oaths, perhaps you meant to say “renouncing”, which is what Philippine law requires of dual citizenships when they are asked to serve the country in a senior post at the request of the president himself. Renouncing is more apropos since it is a legal term applicable to such oaths taken by dual citizens as required by said law to avoid conflicts in dual allegiances. Voiding is different in that it is when an event or a committment never took effect, such as a marital oath which is voided or annulled in the Philippines and in both our cases, renounced by our divorcing spouses here in the US. My point is that in renouncing her allegiance to the US Poe abided with what Philippine laws requested of her and there is nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with ending or voiding a marriage legally in order to begin a new relationship or marriage, just like we did. There is nothing morally or legally wrong with that and the Vatican itself would say so.

                As for opportunism, i believe we have discussed this before and its continued use of the trait to describea character flaw. We live in a capitalist democracy which values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, the basic primer on our economy was the textbook The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith which stated that a market economy works best when it can be presumed that the individual acts only in his or self interest. To be taking advantage of opportunities to assure or improve what is encouraged by our laws and our society should not be something used to disparage any presidential candidate.

                But lets get to the bottom of why many in this blogsite are focusing on teariing down Poe and her candidacy instead of concentrating why others should vote for Roxas, their favored candidate. Perhaps this altered focus and the smearing and character assasination that go with it are principally because that whatever positive attributes Roxas possesses have no resonance with most voters. This strategy simply is rather strange since it has been established by many surveys that supporters who desert Poe by the success of such a strategy will tend to switch to Binay and Duterte and not to Roxas. The very two candidates who if elected will spell disaster for the Philippines. So much for justifying these scurrilous negative attacks by claiming it is motivated by what is good for the country rather than a misguided concept of whats good for their candidate.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t speak for others. For me it is a lack of trust occasioned by Senator Poe’s choice of associates and pattern of playing issues for popularity, like visits to church with cameramen in tow. Or backing INC vs DOJ, the fruits of which appear about to be collected. Or inserting herself into defense issues by questioning the current investments and plan (she wants missiles and macho confrontation). I don’t think my conclusion is scurrilous. What would be scurrilous is if I sat on my thoughts rather than put them into play. Which reminds me that she attended zero subcommittee hearings on Binay and only attacked him when he attacked her. Has done nothing to pass laws protecting foundlings. Has done nothing to get Coco Levy funds released from the Senate. There is more, but I know you don’t really appreciate hearing it. It is scurrilous to voice these reservations and lack of trust.

  25. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe I think that Califman has a very strong point when he mentions that voters supporting Poe tend to support Binay & Duterte as a second preference….So damaging Poe will strengthen Binay or Duterte..And for the Philippines w probably all agree either of these two becoming president would be a disaster…Is this good sound strategy Joe ?

    Roxas may be the best candidate from a character & policy perspective..But so far that has not translated into good strong voter support….And Filipono voters are the deciders in this contest; Not you, not me nor any of the other guests among us commenting on this blog, here in the Philippines.

    Good politics in Australia is about building ‘consensus’ voter support for good progressive policies & actions. It means finding allies and working together to deny the evil, the immoral, the criminal, the stupid, the opportunity to gain power & authority..

    Is it any different in the Philippines ?

    • Joe America says:

      Roxas platform and proposal are outlined in detail. He speaks to issues in detail. The popularity of Binay, Duterte and Poe is emotional. It is a reaction against a straight dealer, it is squeezing timeframes into untenable boxes to argue that poverty can be cured in six years or crime in six months, it is biting on the lies and sound bites of Binay and Duterte and the star power of populism that Poe wields so well. I agree with you that Roxas does not compete well on those terms. If Filipino voters vote on those terms, then they choose badly. But that is democracy.

      • Joe America says:

        I personally would cast my vote for the best presidential candidate, not for the candidate who has the best chance of beating Duterte and Binay. I simply could not be that disloyal to the person whom I believe has what the Philippines needs, integrity, knowledge and talent.

        I’ve written several positive blogs that present Roxas strengths. I would be repeating myself to continue that.

      • R.Hiro says:

        “Roxas platform and proposal are outlined in detail.” “He speaks to issues in detail.”

        Roxas has described himself as part of the governing elite. Since the early nineties the problem of supply side bottlenecks has been thoroughly discussed. In his MBC speech he proclaimed that this was systemic. The supply side is part of the economic/political system. Systems create constituencies or power blocs.

        Roxas has been with the Trade department for over 7 years with gaps. Plus 6 years with the present government. What programs and proposals are detailed in detail. He even once lobbied in Congress as DTI head for lifting the economic provisions regarding land and other items as part of a liberal economic package to gain favor with thew IMF-WB. I was present at one committee hearing. Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo and now Congress wants total economic liberalization through amendments to the Constitution.

        Point to a policy prescription to address a systemic problem both short term and long term proposed by Roxas.

        Point to a policy prescription to address a systemic problem both short term and long term proposed by Roxas.

        The Foreign Chambers and the neo-liberal economists have been suggesting policy changes to address these bottlenecks since Arroyo’s government.

        Government and Roxas has been totally silent on this issue. Duterte has made some suggested programs.

        Donald Trump for all his bluster has said that he would renegotiate trade agreements which he has himself judged unfair to America. That is a massive policy shift.

        Spill the details…..

        The world awaits.

        • Joe America says:

          Nope. I am confident he is better than the others. The ones you should be questioning are Duterte, Binay, Poe and Santiago. See if they meet your exacting standards.

          • R.Hiro says:

            Essentially I have said this in the past that Duterte and Poe are part of the system. Duterte though has said that he will upset the political system by moving to a federal system. No difference between Poe and Roxas as far as the status quo of the so called system. Binay may not last long since he brings an unsavory flavor to government. He is already pandering to big business domestic and foreign.

            • Joe America says:

              I’m wondering if you have ever made a mistake in your assessments, in your life. hahaha I decline to object to your assessment because I’ve found the practice is fairly futile. I also know when to stop arguing with my wife. It’s when her arm starts sneaking toward the nearest knife. 🙂

              • R.Hiro says:

                Yes two or three times and I could be living on some beach with all the amenities today. During the Philippine debt crisis when we were invited by Citibank here to buy some of their distressed loans with the Philippine government. @$0.25-$.030 to the dollar.

                Then in New York before the bubble burst as mortgage companies and brokers were selling paper like hotdogs on the corner.

                Even the 1972 oil crisis and the eventual inflationary wave that changed the world.

                Anyway my son prospered from those mistakes.


                Here in the Philippines due to the benign financial conditions we are still somehow shielded but the underlying current makes the whole political system vulnerable to a type of demagogue style of popular politics. A lot of people are living on the edges. A large percentage of them are waiting for their pied piper.

                Can anyone imagine an executive run by Duterte/Marcos or Binay/Marcos?

                You have constructed a yellow bubble in your blog here.

                But what kind of political and economic system allows this state of affairs? Big Money, name recognition plus billions of pesos spent on Radio and TV to manage the perceptions. In your own country a pure blow hard demagogue is less than 500 delegates from winning the Republican nomination for President. democrats who always shoot themselves in foot could hand him the presidency. Cause or Effect? Imagine 20% of Republicans really believe abolishing slavery was wrong.

                Look at what happened in Kidapawan. The leftist forces naturally will take the cudgels for their constituencies. It is totally legal. Their intent is to heighten the contradictions to show the failure of government. Why is that a secret? Communist infiltrators? That language is the language from a bygone era. Crowd control and protocols are part and parcel of modern police forces. They have had to evolve since the infamous Haymarket Massacre in the 19trh century.

                When African Americans hit the streets with the slogan, “Hand’s Up, I Surrender” clearly meant to challenge the police mindset when dealing with them. Unfortunately you have
                criminal elements who take advantage of the lack of police presence and mayhem ensues.

              • Joe America says:

                I have not intentionally constructed a yellow bubble, but it has formed as people from within and outside the Philippines apply reason and knowledge rather than insecurity and need to figuring out what is best for the Philippines. There is no idol worshipping, or expectation of perfection. That is different, too, as people sift through to find understanding rather than blames.

                I understand the role of the entitled, the rich, the corrupt, the architects of the laws that grant impunity to the powerful and favored.

                I just don’t find much use for relentlessly condemning people who are caught in a system not entirely of their making. It seems somehow more righteous to look for ways to build.

    • karlgarcia says:

      pre-elections it is called defections post election it is called coalition building,not thst there are no cialitions before elections

  26. caliphman says:

    Well that part even if its repetitive at least sounds principled and heroic but to cast that aside and focus ones efforts in doing something that botders on or is character assasination idf Poe that ends up hurting Roxas even more is utterly senseless if not mean spirited.

    • Joe America says:

      Let’s be clear on the difference between words focused on deeds and principles and ideas, versus character assassination. Character assassination is accusing someone who presents an opposing idea as character assassination. Here is character assassination. I don’t do that, and the track record of blogs on Grace Poe will show that I have thought long and hard about her, and her ideas.

  27. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, You are am American so you know the USA electoral system best. If US during the primarys there is all the room in the world for the kind of discussion you are promoting.

    But once the GOP & Democrat candidates are selected, these arguments are put aside and coalition building starts. The focus is then on the best candidate likely to be elected. Even Trump is now doing that in the GOP.

    Here in the Philippines, Poe was selected by Pinoy and her political career promoted as part of the Liberal party. Roxas invited her to be his running mate.

    But there is no democratic primary system here. It’ s all about self selection if you have the money and backing from other politicians. So Poe ran as an independent..And is far more popular with the voters in recent surveys..

    In US terms it’s now the time to start building a coalition of good honest men & women who will do good for the Philippines. Encouraging more brawling will inevitably lead to the allies of Binay or marcos or Duterte sliding into positions of power. Is that really a good idea ?

    • Joe America says:

      It is a good idea that is impractical for the way things work here. Mar Roxas stepped aside for President Aquino, lost the VP race due to some late skulduggery in favor of Binay, and has been cast as a loser ever since. Stepping aside is not accepted as admirable. No one would step aside for Mar Roxas, certainly not Grace Poe, who could have conceded to his seniority and experience and taken the VP slot, but did not. It is a plurality system by the ground rules, and that’s what we have. The challenge is to respect the winner, just as a party would respect a primary winner in the US. People in the US bow out when it is clear they have no chance and spending money would be in vain. Or their money dries up. Here there seem to be a lot of big money backers of all the candidates. I don’t expect any drop outs unless Miriam Santiago decides to.

      • caliphman says:

        It is almost always the case that the candidate with the lesser chance of winning and yields to the one with the better prospects and not the other way around. When Aquino was considering to anoint either Roxas and Poe as his chosen candidate Poe was significantly ahead of Roxas and eve. Binay if I recall correctly and unlike him did not belong to the Liberal Party. Those were valid reasons then and continue to be so now why it should be Roxas and his supporters now who should bow out of the race and instead help Poe avert a Duterte or Binay presidency. Its not a question of whether it is his turn to be president now because he withdrew in favor of Ninoy before. That would be a partisan and rather self-centered view on his part and I fail to see the logic of it then as I do now given a Poe withdrawal would benefit Binay or Duterte even more. However this is ground that has already been covered and even if not responded to or rebutted, I choose to no longer belabor.

        • chempo says:

          On the matter of selecting Poe over Mar on the basis of probability of winning as criteria, perhaps Pnoy’s decision was dictated by what he felt was in the best interest of Philippines, under the assumption that a more experience Mar is better. Perhaps Pnoy was never in the popularity game.

          • caliphman says:

            Thats a possibility but in my opinion highly unlikely. Pinoy was torn between the issue of electability and party loyalty. Any president including Pinoy has to consider a candidate with good winning prospects because if he cannot win then all maturitykl,
            experience, or whatever else is good for the country would never be put to use.

    • Joe America says:

      If there were two parties in the Philippines, this would be one and LP the other:

  28. caliphman says:

    Here is Wikipedia’s definition of character assasination so its meaning can be clarified.

    Character assassination is an attempt to tarnish a person’s reputation. It may involve exaggeration, misleading half-truths, or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. It is a form of defamation and can be a form of ad hominem argument.

    It is almost synonymous to the mean of the legal term libel under Philippine law. The definition of libel is as follows. Under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to discredit or cause the dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Thus, the elements of libel are: (a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of malice. [Daez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 47971, 31 October 1990, 191 SCRA 61, 67]

    Please note carefully the words ” a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or a vice or defect, real or imaginary”. The mere fact that reasons or the basis for defaming a persons character is not a defense against libel unlike here in the US where one can argue successfully in court that nothing but the truth was being stated in public.

    I can cite so many instances where the the term character assasinatipn and even libel can properly describe attempts to smear and defame a presidential candidate in order to improve the prospects of their favorerd candidate in the upcoming elections. Evaluating and comparing platforms or experience and qualificatipns is a far cry from ad hominem attacks.

    • Joe America says:

      I think the meme writers of today don’t much care about those details. Libel is generally filed when there is a clear and malicious attempt to destroy someone’s honor. It is almost never filed because it is a hard case to win when we have free speech rights. Should Aquino sue Duterte for saying he has “blood on his hands” over the Ctoabato incident? If Grace Poe abandons her nation twice, it is hardly libel for a person to point out that that her main loyalty is to opportunity (unstated, “in his opinion”). You may not like it, but it is not libel because you don’t like it, or feel your own honorable arguments are being slighted.

      • caliphman says:

        How much libel risk to take is a journalist’s lookout. My point was to explain what character assasination means rather than to have a semantic dance around it based on on its supposed to be true or not, or whether there was a basis for disparaging a candidate’s character or reputation. If you wish to ignore that point, then this discussion is futile I regret to say.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ve felt the futility of the discussion for some time. I find the same in discussing economics with micha who has ideals that drive the conversation, always critical of the way it is. He rejects the pragmatics and is relentlessly critical of everything. Saying the argument is “semantics” is the same thing. A way of rejecting that which you don’t wish to hear. We live in the real world and it is messy. So sorry.

          • caliphman says:

            Joe,it is no coincidence that Bertrand Russell centered his philosophy in the study of semantics. There has to be agreement on what key words mean or the discussion deteriorates back to Babel. Inspite of all this, discussing opposing points of view is often the key to learning and its great to have a forum like this for it. Thank you.

  29. Bill in Oz says:

    Califman so somebody can be a ‘real’ vice ridden, defective, ignoramus and not be allowed to say it publicly in the Philippines ? Duh !!
    If that is Philippines law, then it does not deserve respect from law abiding people.
    Pollies in Oz know that if they tried this sort of nonesence we will all ignore their ‘law’ and laugh …

    • caliphman says:

      The libel law in the Philippines is insane and I am not as familiar with it as I am with the one in the US. Here a person is innocent of libel if he can show what was written in public is true. A couple of years ago, the Philippine Congress extended the law to cover what is said online and made the the law worse and more punitive. One of the principal authors was Senator Sotto who himself was bring vilified by the public parti ularly online for plagiarism. The same Sotto who is up for reelection this may and is leading the Senate race. Go figure.

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