I Choose to Believe in Mar Roxas

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Mar Roxas teaching a child how to make the “L” sign. [Photo credit: Rappler]

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By Wilfredo G. Villanueva

(In Pilipino and English)

Para sa mga maka-Mar, at hindi maka-Mar pero:
hindi pa rin bilib maski kanino—pwede pang magbago ng isip, medyo nagugulumihanan na kay Duterte, nagtataka bakit ganun si Grace sa coco levy fund at kay Danding,
‘di na masikmura si Binay, 

Alam ninyo? Pagbinabasa ko ang mga banat kay Mar Roxas, pipiliin ko pa rin maniwala sa kabutihan ng tao.

Hindi ako maniwala na may taong manhid o ‘di nag-iisip pagkaraan ng Yolanda sa Tacloban. Mahina dumiskarte, walang pakialam, pakitang tao, mahilig magpa-picture. Hindi siya yun. Duon pa rin ako sa kabutihan ni Mar.

Ang komiks ay panangga ni Mar. Walang tao sa buong sangkatauhan na nakaranas ng bigwas ng Inang Kalikasan na katulad ng naranasan ni Mar. Para siyang lumapag sa ibang planeta. Kung buo ka pa rin habang napalilibutan ka ng dalamhati at taranta, mga patay na kailangang iburol at ilibing at mga buhay na walang mapaglagyan ng lungkot, na walang makain, nasa labas ka ng kinaugaliang sarap sa buhay at sa sarili mong palikuran, wala kang telepono, malamang nararapat kang maging pangulo ng isang bansa na kakambal ng kalamidad.

Kung kaya naman panay ang pula nila kay Mar, kasi nga naman kung malalaman ng tao na mala-bayani siya ‘di lang sa Yolanda kundi pati na rin sa ibang pagkakataon, eh, mahirap siyang kalaban sa pagka-presidente ng Pilipinas.

Tandaan ninyo ito: siya lang ang pwedeng huminto sa pagbabalik ng Marcos, siya lang ang makapagpapatuloy ng mga kasong katiwalaan, alam niya ang pasikot-sikot sa mga problema ng bayan gaya ng pantawid sa kahirapan, hidwaan sa Mindanao, ang dagundong ng Tsina, libing ni Marcos, infrastrukturang pang transportasyon—para patuloy ang ikot ng ekonomiya, para manatili tayong strong man of Asia.

Sobrang daming bala na ang pinaputok laban kay Mar. Mabuti na lang at hindi siya pikon o mahina ang loob. Pero patuloy pa rin ang banat ng mga kalaban niya sa pulitika, pabalik-balik sa mga alegasyon na nasagot na naman. Hayaan natin na maka-hilagpos na siya. Siya naman talaga ang pinaka-angkop para sa trabahong pagka-pangulo, isang sugatang mandirigma na babalik at babalik sa digmaan alang-alang sa Inang Bayan, samantalang pwede naman niyang iwan ang lahat nang ito at mabuhay ng matiwasay sa ibang bayan. Anim na taon ang hiling niya para maipagpatuloy ang Daang Matuwid.

Kahapon, kausap ko si Joseph (tunay na pangalan) na isang waiter sa isang franchise restaurant sa isang malaking mall. Nagpakilala ako. Ang sabi ko:

“Joseph (binasa ko ang nameplate niya), nangangampanya ako. Roxas-Robredo tayo ha.”

“A, eh,” sabi niya, nakatawa pero medyo nagulat.

“Joseph,” sagot ko, “tingnan mo ang paligid mo. (Tahimik, hinayaan kong tumingin siya sa labas ng salamin ng restaurant.) Ang daming tao, ang daming shops. Ekonomiya ang tawag dyan. Gusto mo bang magbago ng isip ang mga may ari ng shop na banyaga kung sakaling ibang tao na hindi Daang Matuwid ang manalo sa eleksiyon?”

“Oo nga po, ano?”

“Ang gusto ng iba, magbago tayo,” sabi ko, “ang gusto ng Daang Matuwid, itama ang mali, ipagpatuloy ang tama. Tama ang ekonomiya, ‘di ba?”

“Oo nga po, ano? (Tahimik ulit, nag-isip.) Maaasahan ninyo po, Roxas-Robredo po ako.”

“O, gusto mo ng baller (dilaw na rubber bracelet) ko?”

(Nag-isip ulit.) “Opo, gusto ko po!” (Inalis ko sa pulso ko’t ibinigay sa kanya ang baller.)

“Ikampanya mo rin sa mga kasama mo, ok? Ekonomiya.”

“Opo, ikakampanya ko po. Maaasahan ninyo po!”

Sulong na tayo at maging kabalikat ni Mar Roxas at Leni Robredo, parehong sugatang mandirigma, na walang ibang nais kundi dalhin tayo sa minimithi nating bayan. Ipagpatuloy ang Daang Matuwid para sa ekonomiya, para sa nasa laylayan ng lipunan, katulad nila Joseph. 

***************************

For those who are pro-Mar, and those who are anti-Mar but are:
still undecided—may switch at the last minute,
disturbed by Duterte’s intent to kill,
quizzical about Grace’s attachment to Danding,
can no longer stomach Binay,

I choose to believe in the goodness of man.

How can anyone be so insensitive or irrational in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda? Incompetent, insensitive, pretentious, a publicity hound. That is not him. I choose to believe in the goodness of Mar.

The komiks is self-defense on Mar’s part. No man in history has experienced the same shock to the system he felt post-Yolanda, like he had landed on a different planet. If you can keep your head surrounded by grief and confusion, the unburied dead and the mournful living, on an empty stomach, outside of comfort zone and comfort room, with no sat phone, then you deserve to be president of a country prone to calamities.

That’s why they fire away at Mar, knowing that if people realized how heroic he was not only in Yolanda but in other assignments and concerns, he will be a formidable foe in a presidential contest.

Mark this: he can stop a Marcos comeback, he can keep the corruption cases going, he knows his way around problems that bedevil the country, like poverty alleviation, Mindanao conflict, the China menace, Marcos burial, transportation infrastructure—to keep the economy humming, to maintain the country’s new image as the strong man of Asia.

Mar has received withering fire. It’s a good thing he is not crippled by criticism. Yet his political opponents and trolls keep on hammering away, pinning him down for charges already adequately answered. Let the man break free. He is the best man for the job after all, a wounded warrior coming back to fight again and again for country, when he can say goodbye to all this and live a life of luxury abroad. He asks for six years to continue Daang Matuwid.

I struck up a conversation with a waiter of a franchise restaurant in a large mall yesterday. His name is Joseph (real name).

“Joseph, (reading his name plate) I am campaigning for Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo,” I said.

“Huh?” (Taken aback, smiling.)

“Look around you, Joseph,” (pausing to let him look through the glass wall of the restaurant) “Do you see the people walking around, the shops? That’s the economy. Do you want the foreign owners of the shops to hesitate if somebody else aside from Daang Matuwid is elected?”

“You have a point, sir.”

“Other candidates want to change things,” I said, “Roxas-Robredo want to correct the errors and to continue the good things. The economy is good, is it not?”

“You have a point, sir.” (Pausing, thinking for a while.) “Yes, I’m for Roxas-Robredo, sir. You can count on that.”

“Do you want my baller (yellow rubber bracelet)?” I asked.

(Thinking for a while.) “Yes, sir!” (I took off the bracelet from my wrist and handed it to him.)

“Please campaign for Roxas-Robredo, ok?” I said.

“Yes, sir! I will help campaign. Count me in.”

Let’s fight alongside Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, wounded warriors both, with no other agenda than to lead us to a better country. Let’s continue Daang Matuwid for the economy, for those who living below or near the poverty line, for people like Joseph.

Comments
166 Responses to “I Choose to Believe in Mar Roxas”
  1. thank you for the refreshing optimism. Ginebra ka siguro never say die.

  2. Troy says:

    Salamat! MRT / LRT
    Mar Roxas Tayo / Leni Robredo Tayo!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Troy! Campaign, campaign. Four weeks to go. We should be getting our second wind by now.

  3. NHerrera says:

    A nice short, to the point, article on Mar Roxas. In your current piece, I particularly like your gesture of turning your “yellow rubber bracelet” to Joseph.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I made a connection, NH. There are millions of Josephs out there. Please, people of Mar-Leni, reach out. Touch is important. Eye-to-eye communication is key.

      • NHerrera says:

        In the latest Bilang Pilipino-SWS survey conducted on March 31, here are the registered voter’s sentiments on their preferred candidates:

        59% = Definitely will not change their minds
        22% = Probably have decided already
        14% = Can still easily change their minds
        05% = Don’t know

        Wil, you have a sizeable audience, 19% (= 14% + 5%)

        Your blog article is timely, 34 days before the election.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Thanks, NH. Twenty percent swing vote. Ligawan (courting) ito. One-on-one.

        • cwl says:

          If we use that Bilang ng Pilipino- SWS survey as basis even if the methodology of that survey was earlier criticized as flawed than we are for a catch 22 syndrome. That same SWS survey showed that those 14 percent who can still change their minds have one candidate in their minds just in case.
          Unfortunately it is not Roxas on their minds. It’s either Binay or Poe. With Poe getting the most of those who will change their minds.
          Roxas is in tight situation now, whether we like it or not. Hate to say this but we need some sort of miracle.

          • Aris Sunio says:

            I dont think so. Mar stands on the solid ground. Have we ever elected a President that is leading on the surveys up to the last minute? Mariam nearly loses her mind because she thought its already in the bag because she was topping the survey against Ramos. Now the man standing after election is Mar due to his political machinery, the LP and the financial backing which is solid.

            • Juan dela Cruz says:

              I think Roxas already experienced what Meriam did. He was leading Binay in the 2010 VP surveys, 30% to 40%. But Binay catched up in one of the surveys a week before election day. If we supported Roxas then, we could have believed that he was a shoe-in as the next VP because Binay was just trailing him in the surveys. But not so, Binay’s local network built through his sister city programs delivered.

              I’m pretty sure the Roxas camp learned a valuable lesson there. I agree with Aris, the LP political machinery can still deliver through their allied Mayors. The SWS survey after the 2nd presidential debates is still not in, let’s see if that could give some lift to Mar’s survey rating.

              • Hi everyone! I’m just curious, is there any relevance with Pnoy’s high trust rating to Mar’s standing in the survey? How does it affect Mar’s campaign? Thanks! Im solid Mar-Leni

              • Joe America says:

                Hello, Maria. Thanks for visiting the blog. It gives the president authority but hard to know if he can move votes or not. I suspect we will see a good number of speeches by the President during the next few weeks. Maybe he can get the headlines the newspapers refuse to give Mar Roxas, no matter how huge his crowds or important his message.

  4. amelius23 says:

    Si Sen. Grace Poe ay ikinakabit sa pangalan ni Mr. Danding Cojuangco dahil siya ang inindorso ng NPC na kung saan si Mr. Danding Cojuangco ang siyang titular head emeritus ng partido. Kung ang NPC ba ay nag endorso kay VP J. Binay, Ex-DILG Sec. Mar Roxas o di kaya kay Mayor Rody Duterte, pag aksayahan bang tuligsahin si Sen. Grace Poe tungkol dito? Sa huling presidential debate na ginanap sa Cebu noong Marso 20′ 2016, tinanong si Sen. Grace Poe ni VP J. Binay ng ganito “pabor ba kayong ang coco levy fund na nag kakahalaga humigit kumulang ng P70 billion pesos ay ibabalik sa mga coconut farmers?” Ang sagot ni Sen. Grace Poe”OO, katunayan ang fund ay na desisyonan na ng SC na pag mamay ari ng libo libong mga coconut farmers at ang pondo ay naka lagak na sa National Treasury?” Ang tugon ni VP J. Binay ” sigurao ka ba, wala ng pondong natira dahil ito ay napasakamay na ng iba at papel o recibo na lamang ang natitira.” Ang sagot ni Sen. Grace Poe” ang pag ka alam ko ay nasa National Treasury pa po ito ngunit kung totoo na wala na nga ang pondo ng mga magsasaka doon, pag ako ang nahalal na pangulo, sisiguraduhin ko na maibalik ang pondo ng mga coconut farmers sa pag kuha ng porsyento kada taon sa savings ng gobyerno hanggang ang kabuuan ng P70 billion pesos ay maibalik sa tunay na nag mamay ari nito!!”Hindi pweeng sabihin ng nakinig at nanood sa TV na hindi nila narinig ito.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi amelius23! I hear you. And I heard her. I admit that she’s a formidable opponent. She has killer instincts versus Mar’s bookish, slow-by-slow demeanor. But Mar has track record, controversial, yes, but a performance history just the same. She? Hmm. Talks well. Looks kind, approachable. FPJ touch. What else? PNoy was right. Given six years training as VP she’s a shoo-in in 2022. But not now, not yet. Too many loopholes on digging in her heels. INC rally statement is indicative of buttering up to all, pleasing no one. And thank you for your kindness. Nowadays, you’ll get your share of colorful language from other adherents. Mabuhay ka!

  5. JVS says:

    Dear Mr. Villanueva, thank you for this. So encouraging at this time when there seems to be so much hate. I love how you won over the guy. I will work on the guts to do the same. Eat out pa kayo ng marami before May 9! 🙂

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, JVS. Marami naman tayo. Hindi nga lang tayo showy and clingy. Passion. That’s what we need. If we show the universe (God) how much we want something, the universe will conspire to give us what we want.

      • Juan dela Cruz says:

        Wil, that was a very good way of showing others why they should vote for Mar-Leni. It was not confrontational, simple and to the point. I tried convincing a friend in FB by showing Mar’s accomplishments. She just brushed it aside and said it was natural that Mar did what he did because he was in government but he should have done more! Wow! She just justified her preference for Duterte by saying Mar is insincere. I realized then that for die-hard supporters of other presidential bets, whatever I say has very little chance of changing their minds. The fence sitters and the undecided may be indeed the key for Mar’s chances.

        Tides of sentiment can still change. I find it disheartening that Duterte is attracting unruly supporters in social media. He’s not yet president and look at the manners and ways his supporters are promoting his candidacy, by threats, by bullying, by lies, and by twisting the truth. What happens when he becomes president? What kind of people will congregate around him and carry out his policies?

        • thirdy says:

          i agree. most filipinos are hard headed. most of my friends/officemates are for duterte. they even keep posting/sharing articles in FB targeting Mar (why do they target Mar anyway?), and when i comment back with links disproving those allegations, they just ignore it.

          And on discussions when i point all the lies/ill advised comments made by Duterte (mar isnt a stanford grad/cursing the pope/admitting he’s a dictator/and that bit about establishing a revolutionary govt which he’s abolish congresh, which i always say would reverse our 6yr gain in the economy), they just brush it off.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Hi Juan! Thinking of writing an open letter to a friend of mine, goes by Christian precepts, yet solid Duterte. I pray I can get inside his head.

          • I’ve been trying to unduterte a few christian friends and I just cant understand how they can be so dumb//stupid/unreflective?

            I think it all boils down to education, the old critical thinking articles, and ireneo’s surface education. Lots of Filipinos are living unexamined lives, reflection on a lot of things are not the norm. For a conservative culture we are unreflective and in some ways shallow.

            This creates situation where illogical fallacies triumph over thought.

            I was challenged to a fist fight the other day although probably half joking. Offended by my bold declaration NO TRUE CHRISTIAN can be for DUTERTE or BINAY. (This is a statement I may regret if we do not support POE or ROXAS I shudder at the thought). The person was offended I questioned his christianity when he cannot fathom that he is making a mockery of christianity by declaring DUTERTE as the ONLY hope.

      • Nhe says:

        Exactly and correct sir…God bless..

  6. arlene says:

    For the win – Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo! That’s a subtle way of campaigning for our future president but the best that people would understand. Thank you once again for this post.

  7. Candy Alfonso says:

    Salamat po. Akala ko dati strong supporter na ako ni Sec. Mar kaya lang hindi ko ring maiwasang manlumo sa sobrang tindi ng mga binabato sa kanya. Foul na po kasi yung karamihan. Hindi ko akalaing may mga kaibigan akong ganyan pala kasama para magkalat ng mga impormasyong mali naman talaga para lang ibaba ang isang taong hindi naman nila kilala. Natatakot na po ako sa extent ng hatred nila. Bakit biglang hindi ko na sila kilala. 😦

    Nagtataka po ako. Bakit hindi natin kinukwestiyon si Binay para ibalik ang mga perang atin naman talaga? Bakit hindi natin tinatanong si Grace Poe kung ganoon lang ba kadali manumpa ng katapatan sa isang bansa tapos ngayon mag-aasam ng responsibilidad sa isang bayang tinalikuran niya naman dati? Bakit po natin pinipikit ang mga mata natin sa imoralidad ni Duterte? Bakit okay lang kahit wala siyang respeto sa buhay, sa kababaihan, sa due process? Bakit biglang okay na ang anarkiya? Bakit biglang okay lang maging masama? 😦

    Natatakot po ako pero salamat po. Humugot ako ng lakas sa mga kwentong tulad ng sa inyo. Gusto ko pong patuloy na maniwala sa kabutihan ng tao pero bakit ba nila ginagawang mahirap. 😦

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Oo nga, Candy. Cry-cry tayo in private pero fight tayo to the end. Sorry to bring out these words, pero good versus evil ito. Well, walang perpekto sa mundo, pero naman, mahusay na mga tao ang Mar-Leni, kitang-kita naman. Magsasawalang-kibo na lang ba tayo? Hindi! Itatayo natin ang bandera ng kabutihan sa mundo. Sulong! Duguan pero sulong.

  8. Asuncion Maghopoy says:

    Yes I will surely vote for Mar and Leni Robredo

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Go, go, go! Each one brings two. Pwede, Asuncion? Pwede, people of Mar-Leni? Two converts, meaning hindi dati Mar-Leni pero na convince natin.

  9. Will, I am not a convert even if you BILIB in Mar Roxas – but I do support him fully.

    Why? Because he will continue to create conditions within which Filipinos can do it themselves. Free from impunity and hopefully when time comes with less bank secrecy and better justice.

    The others embody the hero cult (Duterte) and vision cult (Poe) which were both discredited in my other country (Germany) in the “zero hour” of 1945. Adenauer with his “Keine Experimente” (no experiments) and Schmidt who said “those with visions should go see a doctor” ruled the day.

    Gods were dead, just like after Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. The idea of the Superman, started by Nietzsche and abused by the Nazis, was just as dead as Superman at the end of the movie “Batman vs. Superman”. Human beings took charge, women cleaned up and men rebuilt.

    The Roxas comic by supporters shows him as too heroic. I prefer Mar as Clark Kent with glasses, not as some kind of Superman. Hero cults are for weak people. Strong people take charge just like Leni Robredo. http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/who-needs-heroes/ if there are good people?

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Irineo, did MRP hack into your account? Joke. Critical collaboration, that’s what the Left said they would support Cory with in 1986. Look where it got us. Too many voices, too little done. All projects tackled in suits regarding bidding. It’s the system, I know. But look where it got us. Too much analyses. That’s why The Mayor is ascendant. People are tired of opposing views, hence, a strong leader hogs the surveys. The other is being star-struck. Who wouldn’t want a Poe as president? Oops, I forgot today’s voters have hardly heard of Panday. But see we’re in such a desert experience that we will follow every mirage, every false hope, every wrong turn, just to keep on walking on trackless desert. Why? Because we are separate republics. The balanghai which brought us here had a strong leader. You can’t be having debates while the waves roll. Duterte would have been my choice if he wasn’t to shoddy in behavior, put up your feet on the table shoddy. He is way too strong for modern Philippines. Let’s not discuss Poe, Binay and Santiago. I think it’ll be a toss-up between Duterte’s fighting force and Mar-Leni’s silent majority. I’d put my last money on Mar. Why? He can take a hit. He’s sanay with criticism. And he’s old-rich enough not to have self-esteem issues, so we won’t be misruled because of some petty issue, like getting caught with a Dovie Beams. So, Mar.

      • I like the ship analogy – balanghai. The Philippine’s problem is that Mar IS a modern captain – trabaho lang, walang drama. BUT too many of the crew and the passengers seem to be either crooks, pirates or dreamers – they support a crook captain Binay, a pirate captain Duterte, or visionary Poe. Those who are further in thinking have to convince the rest who are undecided and prevent the ship from steering off course. My method is “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”.. speaking at an angle to convince the undecided, to help them think of the consequences of where they will lead things to.

        Jose Marti, Cuban contemporary of Jose Rizal, said ““The first duty of a man is to think for himself” – his influence may be one of the reasons they are ahead of the Philippines now. Now if we can convince the hardheaded, not directly but indirectly which is my specialty, to come to the point where they will say to themselves “oo nga pala” after thinking themselves instead of just believing like before, there will be a greater result in the end.

      • “Critical collaboration, that’s what the Left said they would support Cory with in 1986.” They said critical collaboration but meant “pahamak” – undermining things as always. Discussions are good if they have a common purpose in mind, not destroying people. Seems the present hearings about the Bangladesh Bank Heist are being constructive. Probably because the others are watching, not because Filipino behavior has changed. Incapability to discuss, decide and THEN pull in one direction is the issue the country has.

        Another issue is the inability to follow the rules which are after all self-imposed – who votes its Representatives regularly – and needing fear to follow them. If Filipinos are still like that, they do not deserve democracy. Rizal once said: “he who submits to tyranny loves it”.

  10. Bill in Oz says:

    Wil On Sunday my lady & I were at Manila SM mall. We bought some Frutas drinks from a vender stall in near the Food Court…

    When he poured our drinks he reached for paper cups emblazoned with Duterte’s face… But my lady said no she wanted Poe’s paper cup…I asked the vender which was most popular..And he replied Duterte ! Now that was disturbing until I saw that he automatically reached for Duterte paper cups for all his customers…So wonder if the Frutas franchise group has been encouraged by the Duterte camp to use paper cups with his face on them..As publicity ?

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Saw the same thing, too, Bill, in 7-11 last Sunday. Duterte leading in the poll for paper cups for some ice cream I think. Oh, well. We can just look at our standard and press on. Thanks, Bill!

    • Madlanglupa says:

      It was intended apparently to gauge the public interest on which candidate they’re rooting for by counting how many cups they used for each candidate, but even then it looks more like automatic campaign PR materials.

      Oh, God… he’s now a merchandise. What’s next?

      I’d better get my Gulp in the ordinary cup.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        And Frutas too Madlanglupa..
        I think it is a Duterte promotion program actually…You could promote Mar or Poe..

      • Jake says:

        They should do one for Starbucks

        Duterte expresso
        Roxas Frappucino
        Miriam Shaken Iced Tea
        Grace Poe Flat White
        Binay Iced Coffee

  11. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Have to type in my fraternity brother Beppo Alampay’s comment on the article by way of text:

    “I remember telling my nephew who is a young executive in a multinational. He said he is not decided yet. I said, ah you’re not happy with the traffic maybe. Look in the 80s and 90s traffic was a lot better. You know why? It’s because there were no container vans on our streets, no cement mixers, delivery trucks of construction material and no infra being built. Our economy was dead, no business and of course no traffic. Do you prefer that, I asked. Look around your when you are caught in traffic. Notice the young drivers enjoying their first car. Those cars cause traffic because young people have work. Look at you, you don’t want to continue your financial success? It’s not only you who made it possible. It’s the economy giving you room to grow. You want to exchange all these for no traffic? Same ending as yours, cobat.”

    • The ending might be like the macabre medical joke they have here in Germany:

      Operation successful, patient is dead.

      Wala na kayong problema ang labada’y ninakaw na..

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Wil I am staying in Quiapo..The main road Boulevard Rizal is almost always completely road blocked. North & South. Why ? The main reason is that Jeepneys stop in the middle of the road to drop off passengers.Why ? Because the side of the road is blocked with parked cars. and pedestrians walking on the road. Why are people walking on the road ? Well the foot paths ( side walks ? ) are blocked with vendor stalls.

      I have lived & visited many cities.Almost all ban parking in their main roads at peak hours to ensure traffic flow through. Vendor stalls are organised in designated market areas that are off road. Pedestrians walk on foot paths not the road.

      The other issue in Quiapo is the Black Nazarene Church with it’s frequent processions and spill over of people attending mass onto the plaza & road….

      These issues all seem to be the result of poor local government..

      • Exactly… and how many Filipinos will vote a possibly good Mayor of Davao while still voting poor local governments into office come May 9th, hoping he can accomplish a miracle?

        Too much concentration on the President is the biggest mistake many are making… Quezon if one looks at some diary entries by Francis Burton Harrison in my blog still had the power and the time (less people them) to suspend even school teachers, mayors etc.

        So many islands and people still expect a super-datu to fly faster than a speeding bullet…

        • I recommend chempo’s Metro Manila traffic article regarding this…

          Bill your observations are spot on and his article says similar things.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          A micromanaging President can spell disaster.

          • caliphman says:

            There are reasons why the 6 million voters in the national capital region give very low preference to Roxas and trust ratings to Aquino. The overall chaos and traffic in Manila is so bad that no spin or finger pointing elsewhere will prevent or lessen these residents from holding the administration and its candidate accountable in the presidental races. Its a clearly region specific thing but the abysmal popularity of Roxas in the NCR is a major reason why he has never been in the lead pack in the surveys. Whether he should shoulder the responsibility is irrelevant, his campaign continues to be a failure because this issue has not been successfully dealt with.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Absolutely Madlanglupa..I was not suggesting that..Local government is best suited to deal with local prolems like traffic, parking, etc.

            • Madlanglupa says:

              LGUs are supposed to implement solutions and manage their localities. However people angered by municipal incompetence but believing that they aren’t heard enough, they often expect the President to come down and lecture their governors or mayors.

              (Interestingly, I was told that during the Marcos regime, Imelda was then appointed as Governor of Metro Manila, regarded as a very powerful position second only to her hubby, while mayors were reduced from feudal lords to the role of “action officers”. Meaning to say Imelda would direct them to do this and do that.)

              • The excellent technocrat who took care of things for Imelda was Metro Manila Commissioner Ismael “Mel” Mathay – in fact there are two things one can credit the regime for: it was the creation of regions on top of provinces, and the creation of Metro Manila.

                After 1986 the MMC eventually became the MMDA with much less powers, and Cory’s Local Government Code gave LGUs more powers than before, which they sometime used well sometimes abused. Imagine giving today’s regions the status of Federal States…

                It is documented that Quezon for example suspended even the Governor of Albay – obviously the 1935 Constitution had a lot more Presidential power, shaping expectations.

      • Juan dela Cruz says:

        If I may add, incompetent local government lacking in political will. I remember Bayani Fernando as Mayor of Marikina and former MMDA chairman who tried to restore the sidewalks to the pedestrians and forced vendors to sell on designated areas only. In Marikina, the system he started is still there. Vendors are out of the sidewalks. Is it perfect? Of course not. The vendors now play cat and mouse with the inspectors. They sell on the sidewalks when they know that the inspectors are not in the area. The inspectors in turn try to catch them when the vendors think they are safe selling their stuff on the sidewalks.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Story of our lives, Bill.

  12. JK says:

    I have always been for Mar Roxas despite everything that’s been thrown at him this campaign period. Main reason is that he’s the most qualified in terms of experience. I accepted the fact that he’ll never be seen as charming or “masa” unlike his opponents. But when he spoke at the MBC event, his statement that our country, our people deserve so much more… It really resonated to me. That was the moment I realized that not only is this man qualified but is also sincere and determined in his own silent ways to make this country rise above. Thank you for this inspiring and positive read, Sir Will!

    • Juan dela Cruz says:

      Mar’s speech at the MBC event was impressive. He knew what he was talking about, he showed his plans and how to get there. That event showed what his vision is for the Philippines, something that the 2 presidential debates did not give him an opportunity to do so in detail.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, too, JK!

  13. Rovilla Rosales Copp says:

    Thank you for this article. I will post this on my timeline.My choice is RoRo and I am doing my best to convince my family in the Philippines to do the same. I have some success and some failures as well.It is really disturbing that some of my friends and relatives are leaning towards Duterte. After all that what has been said and done, all I can do now is to pray for their enlightenment. God bless Mar- Len and God bless the Philippines!

  14. RoxasRobredo2016 says:

    Nakakatakot ang hinaharap kung si Duterte ang mananalong Presidente. Hindi pa siya nananalo, kakaibang ugali na ang naipasa nia sa kanyang mga taga-hangang walang kamalay-malay. Ang bigat na ng puso ko sa lahat ng kasinungalingang binabato kay Roxas. Wala man lang nagsisikap pag-aralan ang totoong karanasan ng mga kandidato at ang kanilang plataporma. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin akong nakikitang kongkretong plataporma mula kay Duterte, pero mukhang siya ang magwawagi. Simpleng meme at photoshop at kwentong kutsero lamang, iboboto na nila si Duterte. Hinuhukay natin ang sarili nating mga libingan. God save the Philippines

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Malinaw na malinaw na karamihan sa ating mga kababayan ay politically in infancy, sanggol pa lang ang mental age kung pamamalakad ng sambayanan ang pinaguusapan. Tanggap na nila na hindi nila kayang magkaroon ng good habits, kaya hihintayin na lang nila ang palo ng tsinelas (hmm, tsinelas na pamalo, hindi para mag reach out sa laylayan ng lipunan) ng isang striktong ama. Itong grupong ito marahil ang core group ng Duterte fan base. Anong klaseng bayan ito, na hindi motivated to do good for its own sake, kundi doing good kasi masakit malatayan? Kailan pa tayo magma-mature? Ayan, makulit kasi tayo kaya isang human-rights violator at negative role model ang maaaring maging pangulo ng bansa.

      • tristanism says:

        Si Duterte ay hindi isang istriktong ama na nagdidisiplina sa mga bata. Siya ay isang lolo na kung ano ano ang sinasabi at hindi na relevant ang mga nalalaman.

  15. What I do believe is that Mar Roxas is the best person to prepare the ground for a Leni-Bam tandem to run in 2022 and successfully implement a really Filipino state that works properly.

    There are Duterte-Leni supporters who believe Duterte will do it – I don’t because he will break a lot of things in a state that he does not understand or even care for much – especially education.

    The problem the Philippine state has is that it has evolved out of colonialism and elite rule. Therefore it is seen as a foreign body by the barangay mind which most Filipinos still have.

    The barangay mind expects a datu, and expects a certain uniformity among the people in it. Which is why churches manage to unite Filipinos – there have been anthropologists who saw things the same way among US blacks, the preacher as the tribal chief the church as the tribe.

    Bridging the gap between modern necessities and tribal mindsets requires Roxas on one side and Leni on the other. Roxas’ BUB will do a lot more for barangays to develop than the vague “Federalism” of Duterte ever will. When the barangays nationwide are more developed both economically and democratically – I think the Robredo approach will contribute to the latter – then some form of “functional federalism” or Swiss-style cantons could work without turning the country into a preserve of warlords and impunity which is what would happen with Duterte’s vague model.

  16. hector says:

    Yes, emphasize that among all the candidates it is Mar that can attract more investors and improve the employment situation. It’s the economy and employment that should be highlighted more than anything else.

    • Trouble is, it could be that a large number of Filipinos are like the relatives of migrants and OFWs (or people who go to the cities) who are left at home and get money sent to them.

      Economically illiterate, basically – no understanding of how money is earned in case of the relatives and no real understanding about why investors come and stay in case of voters. Well, they can work in Chinese factories that Duterte will bring in if he becomes President.

      • Jake says:

        They might as well say bye bye to the BPO jobs that made them afford to purchase Starbucks and Smartphones.

        Hehe

        They can work in a Gulag-like factory

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Hector. Economy, economy, economy.

  17. caliphman says:

    http://dulangan.com/article/its-final-sc-says-poe-can-run-inquirer-net/

    Not more than an hour ago, the Supreme Court announced that it had affirmed its decision to let Poe run in the presidential elections this May and that all foundlings can be presumed natural born Filipino citizens. This is the end of the road for those Roxas supporters who were willing to sacrifice the right of foundlings to be considered full citizens so Poe could be legally disqualified in the mistaken belief that would enhance their candidate’s chances in winning the elections.

    When Aquino gave him the anointment ball, he announced it was up to him to run with it and perhaps even dunk it in the hoop.Aside from the one time boost in his ratings due to Aquino’s announcement, his campaign has been perennially lagging behind. Its now well into the fourth quarter and time is fast running out. No dunk shot, no 3 point plays, and now no disqualification. Roxas is no Stephen Curry but he still has the ball. Lets put the Poe case behind us as it was more than anything a distraction from the real task at hand since his declaration, to mold a new game strategy and image that offers him better winning chances. Its not enough to be a good guy. Unfortunately, good guys often times finish last.

  18. http://northboundasia.com/2016/04/05/mar-leni-proclamation-rally-agusan-del-sur-draws-thousands/

    BUTUAN CITY — The proclamation rally of the Liberal Party presidential and vice presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo drew thousands upon thousands of attendees, coming from the six municipalities and a city of the first District of Agusan del Sur on Monday evening.

    • Joe America says:

      Nice photo-shopping, Irineo heh heh

      • VSB says:

        Yup- Good luck to Mar and Binay….. It’s appearing to be a 2 person race- you know who.. and in the end the one with the substance is already clearing the field- unless Bibeth Orteza and the LVN scriptwriters come up with a tear jerker or Susan Roces feigns a heart attack campaigning for her foundling. still very possible but then again.. People are sick and tired of impunity– good luck to us all!

        • VSB says:

          Just to add- the Senate hearings are becoming an orgy of perjury.. just shows people are really not afraid of anything anymore- Money rules! and as the forgotten Joe de V. says- everything is for sale…
          Cheers!

          • Joe America says:

            The Senate failed to hold anybody accountable for flaunting the Blue Ribbon Subcommittee hearings on Binay. Key witnesses are still hanging out within the circle of impunity laughing.

  19. karlgarcia says:

    I posted this in the wrong blog article.
    ——

    I already shared that I am Ro-Trill
    Mary Grace even messaged me to change my mind and go RORo,at first I said that Trilla might lose anyways so why not but if that would be my reasoning then that is believing in the surveys,and not the candidate,so win or lose I am going to stick with Trllanes.
    and I already shared my folks and sis are for Grace and most of my relatives in Davao are for who else.
    My solution less fb.

    • Joe America says:

      Senator Trillanes would be a great back-up guy for any president. He’d also help immensely with the raising of military morale, I suspect. He would be a responsible president, if it came to that.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes,I believe so. 👍🏻

        • caliphman says:

          Trillanes has stood up against Binay and Enrile, and he will not waiver in his beliefs against seemingly insuperable odds when he believes he is fighting evil or for a good cause. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed but the Philippines needs honest politicians like him. I would prefer him over Cayetano as VP who has the smarts but not the attitude of absolutely no compromise with crime or corruption. Its a shame Trillanes does not yet have the electability, the money, nor the popular support in this coming election but maybe in time. I am glad to know there are others in here who believe that ex-convict that he is, he unlike Estrada and others deserve to be trusted for a top public office.

          • karlgarcia says:

            👍🏻 He has potential to be sharp,he graduated Cum Laude afterall.
            When he called my dad for his reaction on the debate, my sister briefed my dad (before the call)the social media reactions about his winnability,which is the caveat for all his pluses.
            Plus my dad reported to him the cnn philippine guys recap of the debate.

      • Jake says:

        If he does not become VP, he’s one of the best to become DND chief.

  20. Bert says:

    “I choose to believe in Mar Roxas!”—Wilfredo

    Willy, good decision! That’s expected, pero nakakagulat pa rin, hehehe.

  21. bauwow says:

    Thank you for the cold water in this hot humid day!
    The most important survey is on the 9th of May. Thank you Will for the reminder that we need to show our support for Mar and Leni until the end.

    Last two minutes!!

  22. Bing Garcia says:

    The Panama papers mention Imee Marcos. I hope in the coming weeks we will know who were the Filipinos who were using these offshore accounts for questionable reasons.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The reports got flip flops from news reports,today they say there are no Filipinos,but last year or oast icij reports say that in 2013 Icij included the Manotocs,et al.

      Of course Putin’s associates will deny.

      • http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/panama-papers-haeufige-fragen-zu-panama-papers-und-antworten-1.2935507 – haven’t found the English version of the FAQs straight from the horses mouth – Süddeutsche Zeitung is a Munich paper – but here are the main points:

        1) they will not release the entire Panama papers as they are not prosecutors

        2) they have reported on stuff where there is public interest, meaning about major global politicians – there will also be people with legitimate reasons for offshore companies.

        3) they are working together with the ICIJ which is an internationally recognized group of investigative journalists in looking at and exposing the source materials.

        putting this together, it will be up to Filipino investigative journalists to approach the ICIJ. For sure there are a number of Filipino names in the Panama papers, just like in the 2013 leak which contained the usual suspects. Raissa might be a candidate for looking at this.

  23. cha says:

    Wonderful, Will. You and many others like you who who continue to fight wholeheartedly and honourably for their vision for their country, you all are the bright spot in this otherwise disconcerting and increasingly disturbing period leading up to the May elections. Just to be clear, I am not saying that only Roxas and Robredo supporters are fighting wholeheartedly and honourably, I suppose there are those too.

    Anyway, I do hope, for everyone’s sake, that whoever wins this election live up to the expectations of those who picked them. Most of us will go back to our normal lives after this, losing candidates included. But for many more Filipinos, their hopes and dreams for the future are probably more tied up to the outcome of these election. These are the ones most dependent on their government’s sincerity and ability to assist them in their efforts to better their lives. I hope the winners will not let them down.

    As for Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, in my book they are both winners. They stepped up and put their hands up for a difficult job that most Filipinos seem to think they can do better but are not willing to take on themselves. This is why most of those who do run for office in our country (I’m not saying all) are those with vested interests or put up by those who do. Many decent and hardworking Filipinos are often discouraged from a life in public service because they see that those who are brave enough (or is that crazy enough?) to do it are often punished instead of rewarded for being good. Sad, isn’t it?

    If neither Mar nor Leni win, I believe they will have the respect and admiration of the many Filipinos who joined them in this journey and their well wishes for both of their future undertakings. Mabuhay kayong dalawa!

    • NHerrera says:

      Yes, especially the last paragraph.

      • VSB says:

        Cannot accept- to early for concession speeches….Small comfort Binay is freefalling…

        • cha says:

          Oh sorry if that sounded like a concession speech. It’s not. It’s an expression of admiration and respect.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            Hi Cha. In ’86, no one was really sure if Cory would make it. We just lived by the day, from point A to point B, like groping in the dark. No one talked of losing, only of doing the right thing, with a tug in the heart. We were never disheartened, in fact we were proud and smiling inside, honored that we were fighting a despot and his band of thieves, murderers, rapists, wayward military. It was like we were walking on water, faith in full panoply. Today: is the yellow army intact, waiting in the wings?

            • It’s the same this time – while before, what we faced were Marcos and his cronies and dummies – today what we are facing are the remaining Marcos mafia members and their billions they so willingly contribute to the campaign kitties of Poe, Binay, Duterte, and Escudero; we face the weekly surveys bent on mind conditioning of voters and respondents who are so afraid of peer pressure or being identified with possible losers that the principle of right and wrong are so blatantly ignored; swallowing the call for change instead of continuity, expansion and fine tuning of Daang Matuwid which have been proven to have place us in a position where we can soar to the heights like the rest of the world economy.

  24. Sup says:

    Gerryjun Abaluna

    I checked on facebook, may Arnel Takyawan and his nag from cotabato his from davao and works as HDepartmentHvy.Equp.Operator 3/Supper Visor. picture looks exactly like him.

    If it was an actual sniper, you would not have see him and a sniper would not have targeted your leg.

    from rappler..

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/128395-sniper-firetruck-kidapawan-protester

  25. from Oswald Magno

    GRACE POE NOT THE BREATH OF FRESH AIR I HAD HOPED SHE WOULD BE. AND I AM DISAPPOINTED BIG TIME.

    She takes the cue from the Pope who traditionally wears white cassocks as a symbol of holiness and purity, and deliberately chooses to wear white garments as if to make a statement that she, too, like the Holy Father, is immaculately clean and above reproach.

    But in no time at all, after meeting with business mogul and NPC founder Danding Cojuangco on March 2 to obtain NPC’s endorsement, did she manage to reveal her true colors.

    For me, her actions in recent days do not resemble white as she constantly projects herself, but black, as in the proverbial color of darkness and sin.

    First came her announcement that she will appoint an ex-coup plotter (against Corazon Aquino and GMA) and now San Miguel Corp. security consultant as her crime czar if elected President.

    Then came her unabashed defense of Cojuangco himself deflecting the blame being placed on the NPC kingpin for the more than four decades long non-release of billions of pesos taken from San Miguel Corp for the benefit of coconut farmers who were affected by the coconut levy scam.

    After that, her bold announcement to reform the Constitution to allow foreign companies to invest in the telecommunications industry, revealing nothing about her connections to Cojuangco and SMC honcho Ramon Ang including the fact that her husband works as a consultant to Liberty Telecoms, an SMC company which had been trying to enter into a business arrangement with Telstra of Australia to set up wireless communications in the country.

    Then, without a tinge of decency, her shameful public acceptance of a convicted plunderer ex-President’s endorsement of her presidential bid.

    And, only a few days ago, her declared openness to being endorsed by still another former President who is currently in detention for plunder.

    I have long dreamed of a Philippines blessed with righteous and morally upright leaders – leaders who have the guts to shun every form of crookedness, leaders who can set a good example for our children, leaders who have the will to set us up along the straight path and convince the world that we are a country worth investing in.

    What can we voters make of this presidential wannabe’s actions? Is she any different from the rest of the politicians Filipinos have come to derisively label as “trapos”?

    You can make your own judgement, but for me, she is not the breath of fresh air that I had imagined and hoped she would be. And I am disappointed big-time.

    There is a better choice for President – Mar Roxas.

    ~ O. Magno

        • The problem with Charisma (from the article)

          Charisma is the compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Some say you’re either born with or without it. Some say it can be acquired with practice. It’s an important trait that a leader should possess in order to get the obedience of his constituents. The problem is that great charisma is almost often associated with narcissism and self-centeredness. We’ve seen how highly charismatic leaders have turned into monsters when they prolonged being in power (e.g. Marcos), hypnotized people to do unimaginable things (e.g. Hitler killing six million Jews, Jim Jones asking his thousand followers to drink the kool aid – the juice drink with cyanide, fed to their children first, then to themselves, that resulted in probably the world’s largest mass suicide). Their charisma has a hypnotic effect that makes their followers follow them despite the absence of logic.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Come now MGP, you have been dead set against Grace Poe since she declared her intention to stand for President…You are not an unbiased participant here in this discussion..I do not have a vote in this Philippines election..But I trust the judgement of my Filipina partner who will vote for Poe & Robredo both in the hope that both positions will be held for the next 6 years by women..

            By way of a PS : I wonder what would be happening in these elections now if Roxas had accepted Poe as the Liberal candidate for President with himself as VP …I wonder would this discussion be quite as bitter..And would Duterte be in quite as strong position in the polls..

            You have expressed many critical remarks about her even standing. And Poe has been the target of many unwarranted attacks by COMELEC & members of the legal profession.Now they have been ruled wrong & out of order by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Can you now see that perhaps Poe has a right to run for president and a right to voted ( for or against ) by the people of the Philippines. ?

            • NHerrera says:

              Bill of Oz,

              I hope you don’t mind, but may I comment?

              You said you do not — because you cannot — vote in this election. So I will give you the benefit of doubt: that you are not biased AGAINST Poe. But is it probable that your lady is biased for Poe?

              Mary has given a lot of reasons for not wanting Poe as President compared to her wanting Roxas instead as President. May you express the reasons your lady is voting for Poe as President? You indicated her preference for a woman President. I want to believe that is not the only reason.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Yes sure Nherrera…Since the first time we discussed the candidates in early November..my lady has been pro Poe…We watched Poe’s announcement on TV of her candidature together. My lady glowed as Grace Poe made her speech. She identifies with her a lot- as a woman. Also she lost her own father when she was young and was affected by it a lot. So I guess Poe being a foundling evokes a level of sympathy.. She admires the successes that Poe has made in her life.

                As for Leni Robredo that is simple : Like Leni, she also is a woman from Naga and finds her inspiring….

                Today’s Enquirer has a huge advert from the Hospital Association asking Aquino to veto Senate Bill 2720 which gives hospital nurses a long over due pay rise. She is a nurse and I know from personal knowledge of her situation that she ( and other nurses ) are overworked and underpaid. Her contract specifies an 8 hour day.Yes she almost always works 10.And the extra hours are not paid ever. On occasion she is required to work a double shift.This is paid but months in arrers.

                If Aquino does indeed veto this Senate bill, Roxas can kiss goodbye to any votes among the almost entirely female nursing profession in the Philippines.IN Australia this type of behaviour my hospital managements lead to nurses going on strike and picketing the hospitals as well. The nurse posted big banners at the pickets asking patients for support & passing motorists to toot if they supported the demands….The nurses got it overwhelmingly.

                The first strike in Victoria lasted 3 weeks..And then the state government learned not to mess around with powerful women.

                And maybe in this is a part of the reason why my lady supports Poe & Robredo

              • NHerrera says:

                Poe does give a narrative of her life which appeals to quite a few — the only item lacking to complete the narrative, it seems to me, is to say that she came from a dirt-poor family. And Poe gave a 20-point program at the start of her campaign which covered a lot of grounds: music to some ears. I can thus understand your lady’s view.

                Thanks for responding to my query.

              • Caliphman says:

                I do not know that coming from a “dirt poor family” would have been qualifications that Aquino and Roxas would have met either. But then perhaps a few billion pesos does not have the status nor purchasing power it used to have?

    • VSB says:

      Watch out the foundling has already brought out her secret weapon in her ads- Susan Roces- the epitome of wisdom and advise for a confused, culture damaged nation! Tugging the heartstrings- this conniving wolf clad in white sheep’s clothing

    • jolly cruz says:

      O come on. You were never a Poe supporter.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Who Mary?
        She was quoting a “disappointed” or former supporter,I think.

        • Another reading suggestion for your lady love, Bill in Oz

          http://opinion.inquirer.net/94100/nothing-capricious-in-comelec-rulings-on-poe

          Fifteen justices of the Supreme Court deliberated on the case involving Sen. Grace Poe. The issue was whether the Commission on Elections had committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying her from running for president.
          The Comelec’s First and Second Divisions, on different cases, cancelled her certificate of candidacy (COC) for the presidency, on the ground that she made material representations that were false (i.e., she lied in her COC) with respect to her natural-born citizenship and 10-year period of residence in the Philippines.

          When her motion for reconsideration to the Comelec en banc was denied, she went to the Supreme Court.

          The Court, voting 9-6, sided with her. The majority ruled that the Comelec had committed grave abuse of discretion. Not only that, it seems (it is disputed) that the Court also said she was a natural-born citizen and complied with the 10-year residency rule.

          What is grave abuse of discretion? Here is what the Supreme Court said in one of its rulings: “Grave abuse of discretion” defies exact definition; generally, it refers to “capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction”; “the abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough; it must be grave.”

          Given this definition, do you agree with the Court’s majority that the Comelec had committed grave abuse of discretion? I don’t. I’m not a particular fan of the Comelec, but I read its rulings and there was nothing whimsical or capricious about them.

          Did Grace Poe lie in her COC? She did: 1) She said she was a natural-born citizen because she was born to Ronnie and Susan Poe (in an official document of the Bureau of Immigration), and 2) she asserted in her COC for senator in 2013 that she had been a resident of the Philippines for six years and six months, which means that by 2016, she would have been a resident for nine years and six months. That does not add up to 10 years, the requirement for the presidency.

          But the majority said that those were not lies, only honest mistakes. Well, gee whiz. If those were honest mistakes, then Grace Poe doesn’t deserve to be president. Committing those honest mistakes makes her less than intelligent. Besides, what is so honest-mistake about saying that one was born to parents who had adopted her? What is so honest-mistake about not being able to add up to 10?

          The Supreme Court’s decision on Poe must qualify as one of the most disputed decisions, based on the number of written opinions of justices. I counted 10 separate opinions, dissenting or concurring, and I read every one of them.

          But there is one interesting thing I want to point out to you, dear Reader: how (some) justices can write polar opposite opinions on the same subject without batting an eyelash. Do you remember Regina Ongsiako Reyes—who was disqualified from Congress on the basis that she did not satisfy the citizenship and one-year-residency requirements—complaining that the Court was using a double standard?

          In the Reyes case, the Court upheld the Comelec, and the ponente was Justice Jose Perez, who happens to be the ponente in the Poe case, where he has taken the opposite view. A not so trivial aside: Reyes’ loss was the gain of Lord Allan Jay Velasco, whom she had beaten, and who is the son of Justice Presbitero Velasco.

          Justice Teresita de Castro brought up this anomalous viewpoint change in her dissenting opinion to the Poe decision. She quotes from Justice Perez’s ponencia in the Reyes case: “At this point, the burden of proof shifted to petitioner, imposing upon her the duty to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has not lost the same, or that she has re-acquired such status in accordance with the provisions of [Republic Act] No. 9225…. All in all, considering that the petition for denial and cancellation of the COC is summary in nature, the Comelec is given much discretion in the evaluation and admission of evidence pursuant to its principal objective of determining whether or not the COC should be cancelled…”

          Given the above, how come the Supreme Court came down hard on the Comelec this time, with some justices implying that the poll body must have been partisan? Justice De Castro, in her dissenting opinion: “With the above, I am at a loss how the Court, through the majority, could rule the way it did in this case when not so long ago it took the opposite position and dismissed the petition of Reyes.”

          How, indeed? Justice Velasco voted with the majority in the Poe case. Does that mean that if he had voted in the Reyes case (he recused himself), he would have sided with Reyes and left his son twisting in the wind?

          At least one justice implied that the Comelec, in its judgment against Poe, was being partisan. Maybe it takes one to know one. It seems that the Court majority in this case voted, not on the basis of the law, but on other considerations.

          Justice Mariano del Castillo (his was supposed to be the majority opinion, but the vote changed at the last minute, so his became a dissenting opinion) hit the nail right on the head when he said:

          “In ending, I wish to reiterate that the very precept and principle that is at once the capstone and the polestar that had guided the undersigned in drafting his opinion in this landmark case: this statement from the December 1, 2015 Resolution of the Comelec’s Second Division in SPA No. 15-001 (DC): ‘A person who aspires to occupy the highest position in the land must obey the highest law of the land.’”

          Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/94100/nothing-capricious-in-comelec-rulings-on-poe#ixzz4576fVCIN
          Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

          • ” I so love this last sentence of Justice Mariano del Castillo:

            “A person who aspires to occupy the highest position in the land must obey the highest law of the land.’”

            I heartily agree.

            ….and the highest law of the land is the Constitution, until it is amended in a proper procedure through a convention and ratification by the majority of the Filipinos, it should be respected, obeyed and defended. The Supreme Court cannot amend that all by themselves or even legislate citizenship or even go against a jurisprudence they themselves established (the Reyes case).

      • I did write “from Oswald Magno” to introduce my shared post, jolly.

        Bill in Oz, in this presidential election I clearly am not for Poe but for RORO although I voted for her in the Senate, a mistake that I have discovered now that I am aware of the constitutional violations that she committed in running for that Senate seat. In my book, she is not qualified to be senator nor Presidential candidate. The seven SC justices who ruled that she, as well as all other foundlings are qualified to run, for me, made a monumental error in amending the constitution all by themselves, even legislating citizenship, a function that is not theirs. This is a voter’s opinion although I’m happy to be in the company of the 3 SC members of the SET and the minority in the SC.

        It does not mean that if even a billion says it is correct or right, I’ll just be a mindless follower. A wrong is wrong even if a billion says it’s right. I respect your lady’s choice but I still hope she can read more about Poe, about her defense of Danding Cojuangco re the coco levy, which shows as early as today that she is beholden to her campaign contributors to the point of distorting facts and hiding truths. Here, let her read this, please:

        http://www.thinkingpinoy.net/2016/03/ang-buong-kuwento-ni-grace-danding-at.html

        http://www.thinkingpinoy.net/2016/03/ang-buong-kuwento-ni-grace-danding-at_11.html

        • jolly cruz says:

          Im sorry Mary. It wasn’t for you. It was for Oswaldo Magno. Ive always espected your views even if we don’t see eye to eye on our choice for president. I was commenting on Magno’s statement that made it appear that he was for Poe before. My bad. Mea culpa.

  26. uht says:

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a Duterte supporter–I would just like to hear the thoughts of the people on this blog on this video I found just a few minutes ago

  27. neo canjeca says:

    The ph survey firms is/are mirror(s) of the Filipino character, responsibility and accountability and SHAME; the haves and have nots of INTEGRITY. If what the results of the surveys they dished out are WAY OFF MILES from the results of the election, the firms’ men who profited most should explain and if need be apologize to the people. These pooling companies should close shop. The people should whack these pseudo kingmakers.

    • Jose Maria de Jesus says:

      Is it not the objective of the surveys to condition the minds of the electorate on who should they put their ‘bets’ on to win? Who does not want to bet on a winning candidate? Nobody would want to bet on a loser. Even the financial backers would not want to have a losing bet, is it not?

      For me, pre-poll surveys are not a real representative of the peoples’ sentiments. Exit polls are far way more accurate.

      • “Nobody would want to bet on a loser.” I think this mentality stems from datu culture…

        http://www.thenewstoday.info/2006/07/28/the.pre.colonial.government.of.the.filipinos.html

        The primary duty of the datu was to rule and govern his subjects and to promote their well-being. In times of peace, he was the chief executive, legislator, and judge. And, in times of conflict, he was the supreme commander of the warriors. In Western Visayas it was not uncommon for the datu to be the babaylan, as well. The very influence and mystical ability of the babaylan, especially if he was a man, made him the most likely candidate for community leadership.

        According to Renato Constantino (1975), the datu was not an absolute ruler. The scope of his authority was given limits by a traditional body of customs and procedures. His usefulness to the community earned him respect so that services were willingly rendered to him. He could be replaced if, for some reasons, he was found incapable of leading the community and his position was weakened. The subjects, on their part, served the datu during wars and voyages….

        The datu usually obtained his position by inheritance. However, one could also become a datu through display of his prowess and valor in battle, or by proving his leadership skills or other traits useful for the barangay’s survival.

        It is quite clear that a timawa or commoner who supported a certain datu had benefits… but also given the belief in babaylan/healers and in the “prowess” of the datu – something similar to the nearly magical “Heil” attributed to Germanic chieftains of old – being with the winner probably was believed to convey nearly magical strengths to those siding with him. The attitude of typical old-school politician supporters in the Philippines still shows this.

        This “being found incapable of leading” is also what plagues the present administration. For those with a pre-logical mindset, it does not matter why the MRT has its troubles…

        Or Yolanda… remember Ondoy 2009 which contributed to Arroyo’s fall? The Chinese used to believe that when calamities came, it was a sign that the ruling dynasty had lost the “Heavenly Mandate”… dynasties fell and were replaced on that basis long ago.

  28. jpgoroy says:

    Thank you for your article. I have shared it to my friends in Facebook. Of course joe am.com blogs is very popular to my colleagues in the aviation industry in Hong Kong.

    I think it is time we counter the black propaganda being hurled by Duterte followers. I do have a lot of friends who are die hard Duterte fans and my way of countering their false statements and black propaganda is to join in to their Facebook postings. You can imagine what happened next. A lot of heat comes down on me but that’s okay as long as I stand firm on my belief- RORO is the best for our country.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Wow. Wow, jpgoroy. Just wow.

    • Joe America says:

      jpgoroy, and HK is very popular with my family, Disneyland for Junior, and my wife has a close friend who works there. It is good to know there is a Society fan club in Hong Kong. Regards to all of you!

      • JP says:

        Yeh Joe, I been reading and sharing your articles most of the time. It is enlightening and will help readers to broaden their perspectives on thing Unknown to them. Your open letter to Cayetano is very well written and comments here are second to none. As a Pilipino, I would like to express my gratitude of having you to write for us. Btw, I was up very late as I was able to penetrate the Duterte die hard site and you can just imagine the heat I was in but for the sake of educating others and to counter the false and black propaganda, I feel happy for at least I engaged them on issues that matters to us. Sorry by the way as I might have directed the “thugs” in. 😄

        • Joe America says:

          Hahaha, that’s good, JP. If we are visited by 200 thugs and 3 people with open minds who decide not to put their nation at risk, we have done good work. Thanks for pushing forward . . .

  29. OT: We pile on Korina but we Laugh at Digongsters.
    On Korina we have a dismissed case because of the history of making stories by the Maid of Korina.

    On Digong the confession through a funny story makes the audience laugh instead of making the audience cringe.

    • @ giancarlo

      yes, the people at his side and his audience as well are expecting to be entertained, notice that he still has not delivered his punchline and yet they are already smirking or trying to control their laughter.

      We cringe and protest in FB and in blogs, his supporters, even those educated and well-to-do crowds are all lapping it up, taking it as a normal thing to do – normal for a presidential candidate?

  30. cwl says:

    At the end of the day, people will vote not because of anything but due to strong faith that the man or woman they voted represents the solution to their problems.

    Be it Poe, Duterte or Roxas, we cannot question the wisdom of the electorate for it is only them who can decide who is best for them. “At a particular time.”

    Cory was the person in 1986, Erap in 1998 and Noynoy in 2010. Those three elections are when people were confronted by critical issues which resonate to their being.

    Cory for democracy, Erap for the poor and Noynoy for good governance.

    This coming election will define what the people really want at this “particular time.”

  31. manangbok says:

    Hi Mr. Villanueva! I like your piece … but that’s because I am for Mar and Leni. Other people of different persuasion would probably think you were paid to do this and swing all sorts of crap at you. But then, we know we are sincere in our hearts and people (if they are smart) shall/will recognize that. So … I am praying that you will remain strong in your convictions despite the trolls of this world 🙂

    That being said, I also think we can only persuade those 15% or 4% (that N Herrera mentioned) that are still undecided. The problem is how to pick these people out. We don’t want to be preaching to the converted or trying to change the minds of the rabidly fanatic 🙂

    • cwl says:

      Correct. Preaching the choir so to speak. I think the die is cast.If Mar loses so be it. There are mistakes, lots. Failure to see the narrative of the 2016. Poor Mar. Good man but misunderstood. And his people also misunderstood the mood of the people. With Pnoy behind him and good credentials as well as huge political machinery, he could have been a sure winner. But I think his message to the people did not resonate. But still Mar, you are a good man.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi manangbok! Dr. Espie Cabral once said that doctors should have a business or a source of income other than medicine. Why? So that they will not make curing people a source of livelihood. I am happy that I am well provided for in my own business, and I can write to my heart’s desire without expecting monetary return. Had to be said.

      A lot of things will still happen. Watch out for the deus ex machina, if ever. Ro-Ro!

  32. “do not choose depending on who is topping or trailing in the surveys.

    You are called to take courage and make moral decisions.

    Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God desires it.
    – Archbishop Socrates Villegas

  33. NHerrera says:

    Yen Makabenta, opinion writer of Manila Times, has an interesting piece today, citing a US-based study by a professor and his student on the concept of “air game” — TV/radio ads versus “ground game” — touching the flesh in the Presidential campaign.

    He notes that the two months past was essentially an air game, of course, continuing this last month of the campaign. But the ground game will be intensified in this last month.

    So the notion of throwing the towel for any candidate not in the lead in the many surveys that have sprouted lately need not throw that towel too early. The intensified ground game by those with the resources, time, and strategy-tactics to mount such ground game effectively may still upset the survey leader.

    The link:

    http://www.manilatimes.net/the-air-war-versus-the-ground-game/254545/


  34. One day at a time, sweet Jesus

    • cwl says:

      Is Mar hopeless?

      • No, God will not forsake us….He was with us during EDSA 1 and 2…He will be with us again, this time….survey or no survey…He will open the eyes of those still not seeing what is best for the country…just trust Him

      • Joe America says:

        I find people who ask that question to be mainly hopeless to try explaining things to, perhaps because I find them mainly being opponents who use the question to undermine Roxas supporters. So they deny the facts or any truthful answer. I have no idea what your motive is. For sure, the thousands and thousands showing up at his rallies every day do not hold that he is hopeless.

  35. Jon says:

    Isa ka pa ding Gunggung! That’s all I have to say!

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Anong gagawin mo pag pumalpak ang binoto mo? Eh di magrereklamo ka uli?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Stop calling blog authors and commenters gunggong. Please.

    • Tingin ko Jon sa mga taong sumasagot sa mga issue sa pamamagitan ng galit at pang iinsulto ay mababaw o walang masabi dahil wala syang makitang magandang sagot. So, mang aasar na lang, hoping na yung maaasar, talo agad. Ito nga ang ibig sabihin ng Demokrasya. Dapat we can “Agree to Disagree”. Ibig sabihin, pwedeng magkaiba tayo ng pili, pero irerespeto natin ang bawat isa. Ipag darasal ka na lang namin na sana mawala ang init ng ulo mo at ng mga kagaya mong puro mura at insulto ang isinasagot sa mga usapin. Baka naman masama lang ang gising mo. Ngayon, kung talagang mainitin ang ulo mo at gusto mo ng kaaway, open yata ang CAFGU recruitment sa Basilan. Madami kang pwedeng pagbalingan ng galit mo doon.

  36. Joe, Will, I receieved the following from a friend in facebook. I believe this and other “preconditioning” articles help explain the level of anger directed at PNoy, Mar and bloggers who support them. People who read and believe will no longer look at the arguments no matter how compelling. They will merely be ditched as products of a “poisoned tree”. I believe you and your blog has been singled out as a ‘Kraken’ or secret weapon by the administration. This came from a blogger named Tonyo Cruz who I believe is rooting for Poe.

    “We just obtained a copy of a secret Palace memo immediately given to the Yellow Army’s bloggers, trolls deodorants, and apologists after the Kidapawan incident.

    This memo explains the Signal No. 4-levels of bullshit, mindfuck and unconscionable statements rained on everyone by the Yellow Army and even high government officials who we thought should know better.

    Here is the memo in its entirety:

    In the face of so much hatred against our dear President and our dear Next President coming from those who support these farmers who don’t know their proper place in society, please be guided by the following rules of engagement on this issue:

    1. Do not answer questions about El Nino rice subsidies and other relief aid. Portray the farmers as mendicant and inconsiderate fools who cannot wait. Invent dates when government supposedly helped farmers. Tell people who ask questions that they are “tools of the Left”, and “maraming masyadong alam”.
    2. Do not sympathize with the farmers. Ignore facts like the authority given to police to bring and use guns with live ammo against the farmers. Invent stories about the farmers bringing and using stones, hollow blocks and even guns. Pretend that you were there so you could say that you know better.
    3. Accuse the farmers of being ignorant fools and merely manipulated by leftists. Demonize the leftists. Sow intrigue about their participation in and support for farmers. Do not at all costs honor their long-time support for farmers, and do not remind people of the long history of farmers’ revolts against hunger and landlordism. Promote the idyllic view that farmers are living happily and peacefully, and were only manipulated by leftists to leave their homes in the middle of summer to wage a barricade for several days against duly-constituted authority!

    4. Confuse the public by raising fantastic and crazy questions like: Why did the farmers bring with them their kids? (Pray that no one points out the obvious answer that their communities are in the middle of a deadly drought and leaving the kids to die is the irresponsible thing to do.) Why were they raising issues about militarization if they were only after rice subsidies? (Pray again that the public would be reminded of military killings of Lumads.)

    5. While demonizing farmers, also demonize their supporters. Accuse everyone else of being leftists or conned by leftists. Raise unnecessary suspicion even about the pro-farmer hashtag and the web posters. Try to make it look like the supporters planned the hashtag and webposters ahead of the dispersal operations. That the supporters wanted the dispersal operations to be bloody in order to use the hashtag and the web posters. Use the hashtag #BigasHindiPropaganda for effect. Disregard the possibility that many people are supporting the farmers, including many bloggers, netizens and social media strategists. (Pray that you wouldn’t be respected after this.)

    6. Praise the police, especially the injured. Highlight their injuries. Spread the notion that policemen also “have rights” to stun them into forgetting that the police are “alagad ng batas”and thus bear heavy responsibility for the proper discharge of their duties. Ignore and kill any discussion about the proper role of the police as protectors of people. Do not entertain any attempt to remind the public how these policemen brought and used guns to mow down the farmers.

    7. Laugh at people supporting the farmers. Tell them they are unintelligent and easily manipulated. Make it cool to look down and belittle farmers and their supporters.

    8. Attack people who are raising questions to the President, the administration and the next President Mar Roxas. Do not take prisoners. Insult them until they get quiet. They don’t deserve the attention of the President and the next President. They have better things to do than to entertain these pobre people and their manipulators.

    9. Call for sobriety but direct it to the farmers and supporters. Make it look like they were the ones who started this problem. Make the people forget that this is about El Nino. There must be peace and quiet, and it will only come if the farmers go home and the supporters give up. Make the police look like as immaculate and blameless as the President.

    10. If circumstances force you to discuss the problem, belittle the issue of drought and El Nino and make every effort to change the conversation. Use loaded terms like “opportunist groups”, “irresponsible actions”, “manipulation”. This way, the discussions will descend into chaos and intrigue.

    We will also unleash the two Krakens, codenamed The Hexplainer and Joe, to give us a semblance of intellectual strength and level-headedness. All the other bloggers and journalists worship them. Those jerks go nuts over whatever these two Krakens will write. Proceed to retweet and repost whatever our two Krakens will say. Make it look that their views are the most reasonable. Make the others look petty, merely manipulated, unintelligent and below par.

    At the end of this episode, the immaculate President Aquino and the next President Mar Roxas would personally make separate statements. We will portray them as the best president and best next president. Mar Roxas will be the hero of Kidapawan. They are the best people to handle any crisis.

    For strict compliance and immediate implementation.”

    With so many arrayed against Daang Matuwid, maybe prayers for “Miracles” are needed.

  37. Bill in Oz says:

    This document is a plant ! It does not have the feel or language of a genuine government document..Who planted it ? From my experience, It feels Chinese to be frank. Why ? To discredit Roxas and encourage voting support for Duterte.

  38. Bill in Oz says:

    It’s Friday night…the 29th of April..GMA tv just did a 6 minute item about president’s wives.It was in Tagalog…Interesting..They talked about what work many of these wives did..The program completely omitted to mention Mar Roax’s grand mother, the wife of President Roxas 1946-49.And it did not mention either that she was executed by the Hukbalahup communist guerillas in 1949..She is unique in being the only wife of a president to be executed. A genuine heroine.Yet omitted from any mention.

    Clearly GMA have an agenda : do not give any good news about Roxas. It might help him win. In Australia we say such media are ‘bull shit artists’.They paint with bullshit. Crude like Duterte, yes but to the point & fair. No more GMA for me..

    • Joe America says:

      You will find that this is common among the major media, not just GMA. I’m glad you discovered it for yourself, because, had I tried to explain, you would have resisted the idea. The Philippines is a personality driven place, and that includes politics, business and media. The ethical values are different. There are those who say Roxas “lacks personality”, which is obviously not true when one watches his debate performances or speeches (rich with humor) or sees the crowds behind him at his sorties. But if the media are out to intentionally ignore him, it appears he is “weak”. Plus, when their publication philosophy is tabloid, focused on dirt, a clean candidate warrants no coverage. The Inquirer’s reporter following the Roxas campaign is a Duterte supporter. ABS-CBN was a sponsor of the Poe-Escudero wedding and news anchors Failon and de Castro are relentless at ridiculing Roxas. The intrigue is whether the LP ground game, which is proving masterful at planning and carrying out large local rallies, is enough to beat the major media’s passive stance of “anyone but Roxas”. So far, it has not been, as it does not touch enough of the working poor.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Bill. Thank you so much for your interest in Philippine history, but it was Manuel Quezon’s wife Aurora and her daughter Baby who was ambushed and killed in 1949. Manuel Roxas’s wife Trinidad died in 1995.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Duhhhhh ! My mistake..Thanks Wil for the correction….Now that is a clear lesson for me : Check & double check before writing !

  39. fyi says:

    Going to have to latch onto another loser Joe since Roxas was rejected like a boss. Thankfully the nation does not have to endure another 6 years of liberal party scandals. Maybe you can get back on the cheerleading squad if Roxas runs again in 2022.

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