Manila meltdown. Suicide city.

charliesheen abc vs yeahnah dot tv

You say Manila traffic is getting to you? [Photo credit: ABC news via]

Manila is in meltdown mode.

Never has a city of so many millions so misread an election.

National Capital Region (NCR) residents want change in the 2016 presidential election. They do not want continuity. They do not want a continuation of the current way. They are fed up and in a mood to punish.

Many of the people in that “mood” have jobs. BPO call agents, mall clerks, taxi drivers, police, construction workers, bankers, butchers, bakers and the candlestick maker. Educated people, in the main. Some 90% of them want change . . .

Woe to them, and to us. Woe to the mood of Manila, perhaps the most classic self-punishing meltdown of all time.

Suicide city.

Residents blame government for their frustration, for the traffic and the poor electricity and lousy Facebook connection. They hold that DOTC Secretary Abaya is the culprit, public enemy number one. Candidate Roxas is number two. He represents “more of the same.”

They are right that Government is the culprit. I don’t know about Abaya. They are flat-out wrong about Roxas.

The maniacal Manila meltdown is when residents prefer a murderous dictator to stability and growth. When change is seen as a solution.

But is not.

Lots of people are watching. Closely. Investors are watching. And leaders of other governments are watching. They see. They know.

Manila residents are reading the situation wrong. They have it as about wrong as thinking people can get.

Manila residents are right in one sense. The government IS the cause of the problems. But NOT by being incompetent. The national government is the cause of the problems by being COMPETENT. By doing what they were elected to do.

  • By running things better than they have ever been run before. Honestly. Productively.
  • By operating a stable, growing, multi-dimensional economy that investors have confidence in.
  • By building roads and airports that prior administrations neglected to build.
  • By operating steadily and maturely against the wind of criticism from political opponents, crooks, leftists and media operators who are not interested in the nation’s well-being, but in their own profits.
  • By making mistakes, learning and continuing to push for the well-being of Filipinos at home and around the world.

Media portray Manila as ever in crisis. When Manila is thriving.

Manila is more vibrant, modern and successful than it has ever been in the history of the Philippines. Just look at that skyline. At the new cars. At all the people with real homes instead of shacks. Look at all the jobs!!

Investors . . . very differently than Manila’s frustrated residents . . . LOVE what they see. They LOVE stability. They worship predictability and steadiness. They like to see congestion because it means the city is vibrant, growing, working . . . NOT DEAD IN THE WATER.

Investors hate change. They hate risk and uncertainty. They love growth, and the confidence that they can earn a good return on their investment.

When a radical change artist, a “strong man”, is elected, do you know what those investors are going to do?

Stop investing.

Do you know what will happen to the nation’s prized investment grade rating?

Back to junk.

It is not what that “strong man” will do or will not do that matters. It is the FEAR of what he will do that matters. The lack of confidence, the lack of predictability. The lack of assurance that, if investors invest, they will make money.

Better to invest in Viet Nam or Myanmar than into the unknown.

Frankly, I wonder why Manila residents need a strong man to fill their lives with satisfaction anyhow. It doesn’t seem well thought out to me. I mean, a womanizing dirt mouth or an economist!!  How hard is that to figure out? Really!

But I digress . . .

These are the facts of what good government produces, in the eyes of investors. The people with money. The people making the jobs happen:



[Chart preparation: investphilippines]


The drivers of these trend lines are CONFIDENCE, smart financial management and steady growth. It started when President Aquino took over. And for six years, the nation has had the kind of stable, productive good governance that investors respect.

As we can see, what goes up can also go down, as it did under President Arroyo from 2003 to 2006.

An autocratic, unpredictable, flip-flopping strong man president  would interject risk far greater than anything brought in by President Arroyo. That kind of change brings in fear, not confidence.

Voting for change may make the baker and the butcher happy. They have punished Abaya and the other people they think are behind their troubles.

But as certain as the storms are coming, so, too, will Manila melt down . . . and the credit rating chart step sharply down . . . under a “strong man” presidency.

Uncertainly is a frightful monster to investors.

And economic collapse would not be pretty.

A lot of people would lose their jobs.

And crime would increase. No matter what was promised.

I hope the candlestick maker can at least keep his job.

He is one of the 10% who “gets it”. Stable foundations matter. You can’t build without them.


439 Responses to “Manila meltdown. Suicide city.”
  1. Jake says:

    One trend I notice:

    Most of Mar haters come from the BPO industry. Many of them, nursing graduates who were not able to go abroad during rhe nursing bandwagon.

    Basically, they are hatin’ on the person who saved them from being bathroom cleaners in Hong Kong or Singapore (by bringig foreign BPOs).


    • Joe America says:

      Oh, the irony. Hahaha, indeed.

    • Germany is looking for nurses.. there is a Triple Win Program with the Philippines.

      If they lose their BPO jobs they can come over here and live in this cold country. 😀

      • Adrian says:

        Unfortunately, I think these are the nurses that you don’t want on your hospital room.

      • pelang says:

        i was just going to say that, Ireneo. Germany needs 200,000 nurses from the Philippines. Some are already here. they were featured in the tv local news (in germany) and are now in hospitals in Tübingen, Freiburg and in many places. I hope many will apply.

        • Jake says:

          I think most of these nursing want to go to Murika. Because “stateside”. Lol

          • If they think they have that choice, fine… there will be enough who will still apply.

            And if not, Germany will look for nurses elsewhere – Filipinos including the government often make the mistake of thinking the world revolves around them, the only choice.

    • NHerrera says:


      Joe —
      I hope the candlestick maker can at least keep his job.

      Jake —
      Basically, they are hatin’ on the person who saved them from being bathroom cleaners in Hong Kong or Singapore (by bringing foreign BPOs).

      Irineo —
      If they lose their BPO jobs they can come over here and live in this cold country.

      Adrian —
      Unfortunately, I think these are the nurses that you don’t want on your hospital room.

      If one is a playwright, one can’t improve on that dialogue.

      Joe, I am glad you have this new blog article. Frankly, I was getting sort of bored with the dialogue on secularism and faith-based discussion. (I enjoyed it in the beginning though. Then it became repetitive.) 🙂

      • Joe America says:

        Sure. Two days then onto to a new topic. That’s the routine, with Sunday off for church . . .

      • “Frankly, I was getting sort of bored with the dialogue on secularism and faith-based discussion.”

        I made my points, but Joe kept on mentioning my name through-out (after I promised to go on reading mode), so I had to re-make ’em, NHerrera —- sorry, for the repetitiveness 😉 but then again, it worked for this guy,

    • madlanglupa says:

      > Most of Mar haters come from the BPO industry.

      Another thing I noticed about them is… the prodigious quantity of Instagram posts about their latest vacation to El Nido, their outfit of the day, or their expensive gadgets, or how often they drink Starbucks.

      They want Duterte so that they feel safe in their comfort zones while playing beach volleyball, or walk the sidewalks of Fort Bonifacio with the latest smartphone from Samsung or Apple in their hands, or ride the MRT without being squeezed.

      This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given to it… – Luke 11:29

      • Jake says:

        Very true.

        It is very ironic that the supporters of Duterte are the middle class. I think these are the “new middle class” who wants to “show off” their new wealth.

        I think most Duterte fans are social climbers – people who want to ape “alta sociedad” .

  2. Maan Briones says:

    SI will be a morgue operator when Dugong wins. hahaha.

  3. Sup says:

    off topic, sorry………..

    Renato Reyes Jr….ppppppppffffffffffffff

    A militant group on Thursday claimed that President Benigno Aquino III’s government is threatening Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries with a P500 deduction in their stipend should they fail to show up in the “unity walk” in support of Liberal Party (LP) bets Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Camarines Sur Representative Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday, April 15 at Luneta Park.

    Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that they have received reports that the beneficiaries of the government’s dole-out program based in Manila are required to attend the said LP event.

    “We have received information that CCT (conditional cash transfer)-4P’s members in Manila are being required to attend a ‘unity walk’ for Mar Roxas in Luneta tomorrow under the guise of the monthly Family Development Session of the 4P’s. The 4Ps members are being threatened with a P500 deduction from their monthly support should they fail to attend,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.

    Sought for comment, Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid spokesperson and Akbayan Party-list Representative Ibarra Gutierrez III denied the allegations.

    Gutierrez also slammed Bayan for spewing false information against the administration.

    “Completely false. This ‘militant group’ Bayan is supporting the (Grace) Poe-(Francis) Escudero campaign. They have long been attempting to throw mud on the government and the Mar-Leni team to further the political agenda of their chosen candidates,” Gutierrez said in a text message sent to

    • Joe America says:

      It’s a good thing there are not too many psychiatrists in the Philippines. I am confident one or a dozen would by now have declared Reyes to be a certified “nut case”. He has the scruples of a worm, it seems to me. Personal opinion only, of course, not medical diagnosis. This is based on some of his loony pronouncements that are predicated on bashing first and facts never.

      • Joe America says:

        ps, you are are a regular reader, a loyal Society member with certain rights. One of them is to declare any old off the wall comment as relevant. ahahahaha Reyes is actually on topic because your comment confirms the point that people soooo misread the Aquino Administration, and it is largely because of the nut cases the media adore.

      • NHerrera says:

        Sounds like a Colmenares – Reyes duet to me. (Isn’t Colmenares a Senatorial Candidate under the Poe-Escudero slate?) It’s just my 77 year old ear whispering to my fingers on the keyboard. Hahaha.

        • Waray-waray says:

          The whole family went to vote last Thursday. Family consisted of me, the spouse, the daughter, the kasambahay and the dog.. Unfortunately the dog was not registered so it had to stay and guard the house.

          The 3 of us were wearing yellow except for the daughter. She did not vote that day as she said she had to read up some more about the candidates and she was asking lots of questions about them.

          Being a weekday, the polling place was quite and peaceful. But outside the venue a number of Colmenares people were distributing his leaflets. It had always been like that.

  4. “An autocratic, unpredictable, flip-flopping strong man president would interject risk far greater than anything brought in by President Arroyo.” Duterte has a lot of Arroyo people around him.

    Can’t find the article where I read it, but I am sure I saw that… and he wants to free her.

  5. Jean says:

    There are two employees in a certain department of a company. One of the employees likes his supervisor, the other one doesn’t. One day, the supervisor walks into a room where both employees are working. The supervisor then looks around, scratches his head and releases an audible sign. He then promptly turns around and walks out, never saying a word to either one. The employee that likes his boss is thinking that his poor boss is over worked and should file for a much deserved vacation. The employee who hates his boss is thinking that the idiot is wandering aimlessly around and to think he gets paid more than me!

    Apparently, knowing the real reason behind why the supervisor did what he did is inconsequential. It seems people will believe what they want to believe about a person and will filter accordingly.

    Duterte is an acquired taste. The people who support him see commitment, where others see stubbornness. Du30 people see a trail blazer and not a back peddler. They see sunshine, instead of clouds. Some even choose to see him as a lover instead of a womanizer. ect ect

    Anyway, I am curious. If Duterte does win, what do Mar, Poe, Binay and Santiago supporters do at that point?

    • Duterte is like a department head or branch manager who has made his far-away branch work well – while often ignoring corporate policies out in a wilder area.

      Roxas is like a board member trying to be CEO, but his way of talking does not reach those employees who see the branch manager as a hero for making workarounds.

      There are those who see Mar’s analysis as paralysis and not as thoroughness, those who see his ways as weakness, and think the outback branch manager will be a better CEO.

    • Joe America says:

      I would hope that most would accept the vote as a legitimate, lawful result and remain upbeat and forthright participants in whatever citizen dialogues they participate in, family, friends, work or elsewhere. I’m sure a lot of people will be bitter and will spend the next six years hunting for flaws that will confirm they were right. If the President is forthright and earnest at building the Philippine economy and citizen services, I am sure people will recognize and appreciate that. If he chooses to violate the laws and democratic values that got him elected, I’m sure impeachment complaints will arise. If he tries to command the military to operate against normal citizens, I’m guessing he will be rebuffed.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Joe I have ben walking around Manila fair bit the past 3 weeks..Today it was Binondo & Quiapo.. I do not see any signs of a meltdown..In fact I saw huge signs of confidence.I saw at least 25 building construction sites in Binondo in a 4 ks walk..The place is literally booming.. So wonder what do these big investors know that we don’t in this conversation ?

      • Jean says:

        This is the reason I brought this up. You know I have stubborn reservations about Mar but should he win, I have made up my mind not to take part in any action to pull him down. Indeed he will have my reluctant support till he either confirms my fears or proves me wrong.

        Every president deserve support and the benefit of the doubt at the start of their run. I think the reason why we were so unhappy with the current string of presidents is because we never really gave them a chance to operate unencumbered. All of them have been forced to play defensively since they took the seat. That cycle, I hope will end soon. Thats the change I am after… and that change doesn’t start with the presidency, it starts with us

    • pelang says:

      If Duterte wins, what do the other candidates’s supporters, like me do? I have plenty of things to do, but first thing first, Duterte has to win.

    • Juan dela Cruz says:

      “If Duterte does win, what do Mar, Poe, Binay and Santiago supporters do at that point?”

      For ordinary folks like me, we’ll just move on and live or get a job overseas. We’ll hope and pray that Duterte will become a good president. If not, move on and still live, we have endured unsatisfactory presidents before and wait for another good president to come again. For those supporters who has the resources to fight, I’m sure they will fight for their causes peacefully and watch Duterte’s every move if he ever he shows signs doing the things he said he would do during the campaign, like shutting congress down if they don’t cooperate with him or if he declares a revolutionary government just like he said in one interview.

  6. Gian says:

    Are these the same ratings agencies that graded MBS and Sub Prime loan investments as AAA? No valid arguments in this one Mr. America. Just pure unadulterated ass kissing to Mar Roxas The Hacienda is crumbling….

    • I might not put my full trust in certain American institutions for the same reasons as you.

      But the fact that the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is very active these days, I consider a good sign. Now the question is: do you replace the “hacienda” with a modern economy or with a pro-Chinese bootcamp? is about this aspect, and I think that especially Senator Bam Aquino is doing things towards creating a modern and Filipino way of creating national prosperity.

    • Joe America says:

      Gian, I see you are one of these perfectionist sorts who thinks humans who are educated and skilled can read the future like Mama Fudducio’s Tarot Reading Club. They are the same agencies that millions of investors use to invest billions. I have no idea what you would use. Probably straw in the wind or SWAG, or Mama Fuddicio’s Tarot Reading Club. Who are you for, if you don’t mind me asking? Are you one of these graceless Duterte near-bots populating social media with incivility and insult?

      • Gian says:

        Well for me, one just needs to look back at what the ruling cacique has accomplished in order to deduce that as a country and as a people we are so capable of so much more. I’m sorry if i came across as a “Graceless Duterte near bot”..I see how low your regard is for Duterte’s supporters, but believe me, there are civilized non violent variants. And i do not believe investment grade sentiments paint a picture of how far along this country has progressed. The ruling elite have only themselves to blame for the rise of a Duterte. I admire your insights, but this one just takes the cake on being a stereotypical Yellow Zombie.

        • Joe America says:

          “The ruling elite have only themselves to blame for the rise of a Duterte.” That’s true. I agree with that.

          How will Duterte assure economic stability and growth? That is the point of the article. He changes his statements so often that I get dizzy and lose track of what is latest stance is. Is the 3 to 6 months on crime still good, or did he drop that is unfeasible? Is he still going to fire Congress? Fill Manila Bay with bodies? I did read today that he would continue the UN arbitration case against China, and that was good to hear. Can I trust him not to change his view next week? You see, THAT is the subject of the blog. The insecurity people have. Investors. It is not that way with Poe and Binay and Santiago. They advocate proactive policies and stick with them. Duterte does not. You should really be labeling him and not mislabeling me as a yellow zombie. Clearly, you have not read many blogs here.

          • Gian says:

            Well, the guy is a bitter pill to swallow especially if you’re so used to a Mar Roxas. 3-6 months, of course that’s impossible! In the same breath as “iaahon ko kayo sa kahirapan” or “hindi ako magnanakaw”. I guess you follow his talks in the campaign trail and indeed it is unsettling, but he speaks in a way that average people like me understand. I’m sure forming foreign policy specifics especially for WPS and how to deal with China is as complete as blank piece of paper, the Duterte camp i’m sure are not planning that far ahead. The LP/Grace Poe/Binay campaign machinery is a behemoth, who would dare cross them??

            And please, don’t be so finicky about labels, you just labeled the man a murderous dictator. I maybe wrong, but i think you’re mustering all your strength not to write “STUPID” in referring to the rest of the electorate who refuse to believe in this continuity.

            • Joe America says:

              He labeled himself with his killer comments. I don’t think Duterte followers are stupid. I think they aren’t well informed and have emotional needs I don’t really comprehend.

              • Gian says:

                Really..he labeled himself a murderous dictator? must have missed that..As for the emotional needs, i have one word – “TELESERYES” If there’s one thing Duterte should kill, aside from criminals, that is it!

          • zer says:

            Gian deflected your questions Joe.
            To Gian, isang tanong, may isang salita ba ang iyong candidate? If yes, can you please enlighten us.

            • Gian says:

              Deflected? How? I believe he has a firm stance on issues, but i’m sure you will cite statements from his sorties and reinforce your point. If anything, he is resolute in his vision for the Philippines. I do not share your unbridled belief in this continuity that is why im voting for the man. People on here are self indulgent in your words, basking in your intelligence but blind to the real suffering of people. GDP , Investment Grade, these are just numbers that unfortunately do not feed the millions who are hungry, jobless and homeless because wealth is distributed among the upper 10% of society.

              • zer says:

                The gentleman asked you a series of questions but you answered him only one and attacked him with your poisonous mind and dirty fingers.

                Let’s say you right with your belief towards Du30 and he can be good president for the Phils, then why there are still poor, hungry and homeless in Davao considering he lorded it over for more than 20 years?

              • Gian says:

                This is in response to your comment below Zer:

                “The gentleman asked you a series of questions but you answered him only one and attacked him with your poisonous mind and dirty fingers.”

                Wait, what? How did you come that conclusion? Are you sure you comprehend my statements and reply to Mr. America? Please. Re-read and try to understand what was said.

                “Let’s say you right with your belief towards Du30 and he can be good president for the Phils, then why there are still poor, hungry and homeless in Davao considering he lorded it over for more than 20 years?”

                He was a Mayor, managed a city in order to provide security, a level playing field for its citizenry. How people make use of the opportunities accorded to them determines if you succeed or stay poor. And on this note, can you name a country with zero incidence of poverty?

          • @Joe America, it seems Duterte has recently clarified his stance to just supressing crime in 3-6 months. Of course one can never totally eliminate crime. I think that was just supposed to be common sense?

            Nevertheless, I am still awaiting more information on what his plans are for criminal 3Rs. (Rehabilitation, re-education, reintegration). Depending on whether he elaborates on this or not, I think this’ll be what’ll make or break my support of him.

            As for the UN arbitrations, he has already said a long while ago that he will indeed give it a chance, however, as a catch, if it seems to be going nowhere after 2-3 years, he’ll just proceed with bilateral talks. Given this, from what I can see, its not that he’s changing his mind every now and then just because. Rather, he seems to actually prefer entertaining different possibilities and the answer he gives will depend on what is the most practical and realistic given the present situation and who he is talking to? I seem to relate as I seem to have that kind of thought process. But I do try to make it a point to mention the other possibilities. However, that usually just bores the hell out of most people so I tend to avoid it as well. But then again, I may just be projecting myself onto him.

            But as for how he will ensure economic growth, well, as mentioned somewhere in the comments here, it’ll really depend on his economic advisors so he really has to get good ones. But what I’m sure of is he’ll really refocus development on other areas like Visayas and Mindanao. And really, law of diminishing returns anyone? For example, allocating 100B for development in Mindanao will surely have better returns than 100B in imperial manila. I don’t know if I just have a bad case of tunnel vision but it does seem like that the current ‘ruling elite’ will never really let go of the place even for just a second to the dismay of everybody outside it. As said before, its a freakin’ obsession. Even their campaign is having problems because of it:

            And do please read the article above. It is about how the campaign of the liberal party on Negros Occidental is being stymied by those from the Metro so they just decided to go solo which would make things easier. I think this is a good parallel of what is happening in this country.

            • Joe America says:

              Haha, well, it pales into insignificance compared to what the Republican Party is dealing with in the US. And evidently the Sanders camp is having problems controlling supporters who are behaving much like Duterte’s more thuggish supporters, using unkind womanly aspersions against Hillary Clinton. I have mixed observations about the Roxas campaign. The sorties are impressive in terms of number held and numbers of yellow-clad supporters showing up. It’s impressive. The inability for the campaign to cross the river to speak directly to Manila working voters, as cited by commenters here, is disappointing. I have no real idea as to the personalities or problems of carrying off the campaign. Certainly there is no lack of critics of the effort. Still, the other campaigns are not exactly masterworks of effective campaigning, either, as Duterte arrives everywhere late or not at all and continues to make rash statements. Binay is doing better, with bigger crowds. Poe’s have not ramped up and she was hit by a walk-out from one of her speeches because people were not there specifically for her talk.

              It’s a people business. Flawed.

            • ffziebert says:

              “Nevertheless, I am still awaiting more information on what his plans are for criminal 3Rs. (Rehabilitation, re-education, reintegration). Depending on whether he elaborates on this or not, I think this’ll be what’ll make or break my support of him.”

              What 3R’s? The man has repeatedly (and consistently in all his campaign sorties) said he will kill these criminals!

              As mentioned in other comments, he is flipflopping and back pedalling on many of his words, but he was very consistent on this one. No 3Rs.

              • I know. I won’t deny that it really does confuse and irritate the hell out of me. However, would you really believe everything a person says? I try to take everything with a grain of salt. Both good and bad. And according to people from Davao that I have contact with, they actually have some form of 3Rs. They have a rehabilitation center for drug users and the government supports those willing to undergo rehab and show signs of improvement. A form of social services for minors especially for those out in the streets like free shelter, counseling, and transportation to their homes. Livelihood trainings and programs for those in jails and rebel returnees. And also probably more?

                Though yes, there are still killings. But why not try to look at it this way: If you were given resources for helping a thousand people but you have more than a thousand and then there are also outliers who readily lowers the effectiveness of you’re already stretched resources, what’ll you do? As for Duterte, he chose to nip the outliers on the bud regardless of collateral. In a way, Duterte does seem to be a bit too pragmatic and utilitarian. However, as you may have already heard, people are actually warned more than once to change, leave, or die. But then again, extra-legal killings are still extra-legal killings so I really can’t support it. But then again, AGAIN, nipping the outliers won’t be that necessary if resources are made readily available so more focus for the 3Rs itself rather than its efficiency?

                But looking back at what is written above, it seems that what Duterte is saying is somewhat contradictory of his actions? Actually, scratch that. Looking at it closely, he will actually do what he says but he also has other plans but he won’t show it yet? What he is always saying now is his short term action plan. But surely, he has a long-term action plan right? If that is indeed the case, why not reveal it already? Is this deliberate? I really can’t say for sure but I am getting a hunch that he is just playing his cards and he’ll do something about all this bad PR then convincingly reverse the tables for instant good PR? I’m guessing he is going for an explosive finish? But no matter what, prepared to be surprised…

              • Joe America says:

                You know, I hardly think Duterte is worth giving any benefit of the doubt to, or laborious thinking to rationalize that he may just be good in some way. He is bad for the Philippines in so many ways, I find myself shedding credibility for those who would idealize him in any way.

              • @Joe America, You really can’t avoid idealizing candidates because what we are just holding onto are only their ideas and how they back up these ideas. So let me ask you this: Do you not also idealize your preferred candidate in some way? But do note that I’m not saying that we should put our candidate on a pedestal like what most of the people are doing in this country. I think what I want to say is, in a way, we would always be just assuming that the candidates will do something despite the lack of certainty right? Isn’t that actually idealizing? However, as for Duterte, I cannot of course ignore that there is much uncertainty involved with having him as a choice. But doesn’t bigger uncertainty warrant much deeper thought? Given this, I may indeed be idealizing much more than you are. But do let me try to elaborate the thought process that I may have:

                First, what I am trying to consider is the ‘net change’ a candidate may have. Hmm… I have a hard time putting it to words… Think of ‘Net Change’ (NC) as being something like Max Positive Change (MPC) vs Max Negative Change (MNC)? Uhm… Let me elaborate more?

                On a scale of 1-10, let’s say:

                Duterte can offer up to +5 MPC and -7 for MNC. This means that Duterte can offer a range of NC from -7 to +5. A wide range of values so there is indeed lots of uncertainty. Now, assuming he’ll keep all his negatives and positives, he’ll give a net change of -2 which means that he will have a detrimental overall effect. If that is the case, he really is not an option.

                For Roxas, say he can offer up to +2 MPC and -1 MNC. This means the range of NC is from -1 to +2. A smaller range of values so Roxas’ effect is more predictable. Again, assuming that the candidate will keep all his positives and negatives as this seems to be how you view Duterte, he will be able to offer a net change of +1, which is, uhm… okay. Predictable but it will probably take a long time.

                Lastly, do note that this is just a very rough example.

                To parallel this kind of thought process, I think this is somewhat akin to making a business investment? Risk vs rewards? But going back to the examples before, could we not actually reduce uncertainty, minimize risk, and maximize net change? Like influence the candidate to increase MPC and reduce MNC? And from what I can see, the people can and will play a huge part in this. We seem to have been underestimating the power of the masses for a long time as they’ve been silent for also a long time. Though thanks to the internet, the freedom of speech & expression of an individual has much more impact now. We do not need to rely as much and wait on big media like before. As with people voicing there thoughts like what is happening now with the various issues surrounding candidates, they actually now have more power to influence the outcome of this election and how a candidate should do his job.

                And with this power to influence a candidate, wouldn’t it be easier to minimize negatives than increase positives? You know? Easier to tell a candidate what he can’t do rather than tell a candidate what he should do? And given this, on Duterte, is it really not possible to minimize his MNC? If ever that we can minimize it, he would be able to yield better returns, no? Though yes, he could be stubborn and it will of course be considered. Because how he’ll react to these current issues may actually be used to determine how he may act in the future if ever he does win. As of now, it is still uncertain but it is leaning towards negative. But as said before, there is still time so there is still a distinct possiblity that he may actually turn the tables. IMO, this is something to really watch out for.

                I’d also like to apologize in advance as this reply seems a bit incoherent so I’m not sure if I made much sense. I seem to have trouble with putting my thoughts into words. But writing this out does also help me understand my own stance much more so do point out any inconsistencies or what not. It would be appreciated. =)

                Relevant link:

                ” …The next best thing to a president who doesn’t make mistakes is someone who acknowledges it when he does.
                A gentle reminder to the Filipino electorate: Your candidates are not infallible, and it’s OK to call them out for their mistakes even if you still want to keep supporting them for other (overriding) reasons. “Nobody’s perfect” is not a justification for someone’s faults, but a reason to correct them and make them less imperfect. Indeed, we ought to critique and challenge our preferred candidates to make them better, instead of emboldening them to be firm to the point of being stubborn.”


              • Joe America says:

                IT, I’m heading out on vacation at the moment, and will hopefully be able to give your comment the thought it deserves in a day or two. I definitely agree that it is hard to move forthrightly if people refuse to accept accountability for mistakes.

              • ip,

                This is my exact calculus of Trump over here (I’m pro-Trump), but unlike you I have no illusions of Trump— I’m counting on his MNC.

                I can do this because I know, our local and state governments can protect us from Trump’s MNC— so those that will suffer from it , are folks like the Koch brothers. So it’s a calculated risk, but I’m betting on Trump’s MNC (to shake things up).

                Your Duterte on the other hand, will cause a lot of heart aches for the common folk. The establishment you’re attempting to punish all have escape hatches, the people don’t.

                When has Duterte ever fought the powerful/rich in the Philippines? If you can list a handful, then you have a Hero— if not, you have a Pretender.

                As far as your MPC and MNC goes, if you’re a gambling man, you know when to hedge your bets and when to go all in… this election, a safe bet is wise.

                Duterte is no Hero.

                “He’s the Hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our Hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.” – Lt. James Gordon

                I just realized that he’s talking about Mar Roxas. 😥

                ip, focus on the little things— tiny steps.

        • Vicara says:

          “Rulng elite.” What you will get in turn is southern Mindanao ruling elite–a network of political families who made their money in agribusiness and resource extraction (banana, pineapple, logging, mining) etc–that have backed Duterte from his earliest forays in politics–and who have expanded their circles of friends to include Malaysian conglomerates and PRC business contacts. Davao City includes large rural areas, but Duterte has no agri programs to show for small-scale land owners. For him, it’s all about protecting big business.

          Sure, you’ll dislodge the current ruling cacigue in Manila–and replace it with a different (southern) ruling cacique that has been very clever in whipping up support for Duterte among impatient NCR dwellers and hipsters who kinda like a guy who shoots his mouth off and APPEARS to tell it like it is. But Duterte is merely a cacique tool himself, as were the Davao vigilante death squads which rose to counter communist/maoist groups in the late 1980s. He didn’t invent them, by the way; these vigilante groups arose with the blessing of the AFP under Fidel Ramos, as a way to ease “regime transition”; Duterte just inherited the technology and the contacts.

          See the chapter on the Philippines in Death Squads In Global Perspective: Murder With Deniability, ed. by Bruce B. Campbell and Arthur D. Brenner (Palgrave, Macmillan 2002). This chapter has as its epigraph the Alsa Masa checkpoint slogan in use in Davao in 1987: “Kill for Peace! Kill for Democracy!”

          • Vicara says:

            Years ago, an American businessman told me he found Davao the most tricky of the larger Mindanao cities to invest in–compared with, say, Gen San or Cagayan de Oro–as those old families had a strong grip on who would be allowed in. You have to be prepared to partner with them. In that respect, it’s not the most competitive investment destination. You may need to get into that circle of friends.

            • Vicara,

              With the coming of the US-SEA cable, do you think it’ll change? That’s the thing with monopolies, like the mob in Las Vegas, there will always be bigger fish that’ll come.

              I think with Cagayan de Oro it’s because it faced Cebu, while in Gen. Santos, the Japanese and other foreign businesses were free to operate. Those ruling Davao, I’ve been told can trace their lineage back to one town in Cebu— surprise, surprise it’s the same town known for gun manufacturing (the dad of that governor implicated in the recent Kidapawan fiasco, same game).

          • Gian says:

            Interesting. So a Mindanao ruling elite which has a net worth of what? Then compare that with the Aquinos, Cojuangcos, Ayala, Tan, Sy and everyone else in Luzon. Who are Duterte’s mining cronies? The ones in Diwalwal? Peanuts. As far as mining cronies are concerned, the only one that matters is allied with the Disente Guy.

            “Sure, you’ll dislodge the current ruling cacigue in Manila–and replace it with a different (southern) ruling cacique that has been very clever in whipping up support for Duterte among impatient NCR dwellers and hipsters who kinda like a guy who shoots his mouth off and APPEARS to tell it like it is. ”

            Very clever is an understatement man, Genius, at the very least. The Duterte campaign has overcome the oligarch controlled tri-media with an unlimited war chest at their disposal! 🙂 Going by Duterte’s latest interviews, he has distanced himself from the so called Death Squads.

        • eag97a says:

          Well that ruling cacique you are referring too is behind Dutertes’ campaign as well, in fact his running mate is a member of that clique. Those investment ratings are just a credit rating of the Philippines and nothing else. It might come with commentary but its just actually a recommendation on the ability of our gov’t to pay its debt. There are a lot of issues which makes us suspicious of Dutertes’ single-issue campaign and very shallow platform. And this campaign strategy against crime and corruption is a time-honored one stretching way back to the Roman Republic and its very effective for getting votes, but for getting results? Not as much I’m afraid.

    • chempo says:

      There is a reason why “sup-primes” are called sub-prime. They are junk and hence never been AAA. YChange your investment consultant.

    • ponkawolla says:

      The same rating agencies that foreign investors rely on to gauge the investment environment in the Philippines. Influential enough to not ignore. If the Big Three CRAs downgrade the Philippines’ borrowing status below investment-grade, believe me, the country will be in a world of pain.

  7. uht says:

    The investment grade is one of those things I fear we can’t keep if we go on like this. So far, I’ve never heard any candidate besides Roxas who seems to care about it. Sir Joe, do you know of anything the other candidates have said regarding it–how they plan to keep it? It won’t change much I think, but it is worth a conversation pondering that, I think.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, uht, you make a good point. You would think a candidate would have that front and center of his platform: economic policy. But only Roxas speaks to it. I think it is because if the others acknowledged that the investment grade rating is important, that would be a kudos to Aquino, and a plus for Roxas. So they don’t do what they OUGHT to do if they are really interested in the well-being of the nation. Put economic stability and growth top place on the platform.

      • Jake says:

        Roxas’ biggest problem is his PR team. Basically I think the admin has a bad PR team.

        I used to be hestitant on Roxas before. He has an image problem and it does not help that a lot of Filipinos do not read beyond memes

        I was impressed with Roxas when I saw his MBC speech. He really bas a solid plan ahead and it’s not just mother statement.

        I’d even dare say his economic and social plans are WAY better than any US presidential candidate.

    • uht says:

      Mhm. All Duterte is talking about is how he is going to flush crime as if it you could flush it like water down a drain. Binay is….Binay and Poe, what is Poe even doing? I find her hard to understand at times.

  8. chempo says:

    A Binay, Duterte or Poe win is a change with very serious diplomatic implications.

    Binay and Duterte are left-leaning towards China. Both have indicated they would co-operate with China and somehow solve the sea/islands disputes by suggesting Philippines will benefit economically if we are not hard n China. Both failed miserably to understand that China has said repeatedly and very clearly that they are willing to co-operate economically with Philippines, BUT the sea/islands are not subject to discussion. Poe, meanwhile, has not made her stand clear.

    Any joint development of the seas of other areas at the expense of relenting on our claims on the islands is a clear violation of the Philippines Constitution that a president vows to protect.

    All 3 have no foreign policy or diplomatic experience. Any mis-step with the China issue has very very serious diplomatic implications. Binay and Duterte’s approach on the China problem is similar to Arroyo’s preference. So a Binay and Duterte presidency will see Philippines flip-flopping on their foreign policy 3 times under 3 presidents. What do you Washington, Tokyo and Assean capitals will learn of this? Philippines is UNRELIABLE. If that happens, how do you think they will react? Economic co-operation will be hard to come by. But then, Duterte and Binay may cosy up to China even more to compensate for the loss of economic interest by other countries. Way to go Philippines…be a satellite of China in next 6 years.

    • uht says:

      That is also assuming that a foreign head of state would have the patience to sit down with Duterte, especially if they already knew about his Pope and Mexico incidents beforehand.

      He and Trump seem to like to draw ire from the same crowd, eh?

    • I have mentioned quite often that Duterte has the old jeepney or tricycle driver mentality.

      Weave from one lane to another as the situation “demands” – not sticking to one lane.

      Unfortunately those who have that mindset understand him better than modern Roxas.

      Most Filipinos don’t understand the importance of reliability in international relations.

      Many still hate Cory until now for not just repudiating the debts that Marcos made.

      • “Weave from one lane to another as the situation “demands” – not sticking to one lane.”

        They’re saying similar about Trump, but the Trump campaign has always spun as, he has great instincts… I’m wondering if they too are claiming great instinct for Duterte.

        • Duterte also has good instincts – he did what he did in Davao based solely on instincts.

          But he may reach his level of incompetence nationally, in a country that does NOT yet have institutions that are as stable and established as in the United States.

          And the nouveau middle and moneyed classes that support him are fatally similar to those classes that supported Marcos in the 1970s – having come up within a short-lived boom in the 1960s that was essentially because Magsaysay got rid of the Hukbahalap. Strangely it was basically the same crowd that went to EDSA when Marcos no longer delivered on economic benefits FOR THEM in the early 1980s – so let us see what happens this time.

  9. cwl says:

    Seems to me the bulk of the Duterte supporters are from the middle class or the upper class C. BPO employes, young students and young professionals.

    Remind me of the struggle against the dictatorship in the late 70s. hard to convince those kind of people to join the anti-dictatorship movement.

    It is only when the dictatorship crumbling in the early 80’s when the middle class rose and “hijack” the anti-dictatorship movement.

    This middle class is the opportunist of all the social stratra.

    • Joe America says:

      “This middle class is the opportunist of all the social stratra.” You know, that is a very interesting point. I have been holding the middle class up as the hope of the nation for social stability and fair practices, because that is the way it works in the US. But it seems they don’t see it that way. They want the same gifts and easy path that the poor legitimately wish for. Little sense of self-dedication to self-fulfillment. Little personal accountability for building a nation.

      Where is the “dismayed” emoticon?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        “the middle class,……. BPO employes, young students and young professionals.”
        I am curious about this section of society being described as middle class…BPO folk are not paid that well..College Students tend to be in the midst of learning about the opposite sex & relationships, when not actually studying academic matters..

        In my own experience the attitudes and concerns of being middle class come with steay work and family…Then stability becomes important. There are kids to bring up and a home to create & pay for…

        • When I was there (at least the folks I spoke to) they were making 10,000 – 15,000 easy a month (some were up there at 30,000 pesos/month). I didn’t think they were middle-class either— when I think middle-class I think a home, 2 cars, wife and 3 kids, throw in the white picket fence.

          But since gov’t workers in the Philippines are taking home the same amounts, with a family to boot… and all the stragglers related latched on your teets (welcomed or not, Mary has some stories),

          I think the BPO industry truly represents a middle class, but it’s a middle class like the one Detroit created for itself in the 60s, once companies leave, it’ll be a disaster. I didn’t get the impression that these BPO workers, know that the party can end at anytime (like Detroit, but unlike Detroit it’ll end in blink of an eye)—

          with current trends in A.I. those Filipino kids can easily be replaced.

          The question is, how to convert the new middle class’ economic power to prepare for the coming end of BPO? Are there local economies being created, ones ready to withstand the leaving of BPO outfits?

        • Joe America says:

          My own definition is not strictly economic, but of social standing to have a career and opportunity to make more of oneself. It is the drive toward good values, ethics, and good work that I was hoping to find from this bunch, to form the natural democratic force away from corruption and bad thinking and toward fairness. But it seems that the social conditioning is so severe (self-involvement), that this drive may not occur.

    • Jake says:

      Duterte supporters to me seem to be the new middle class and the new rich. Not the old rich or middle class. It seems that just because of their newfound wealth, they feel they are above the poor people, hence the need to “eliminate them by summary execution”.

      It’s the “social climbing” mentality.

      The reason they hate Mar and Aquino is because they are from the old rich. Old rich who try to address the needs of the poor. I read Mr Zobel de Ayalas page and I’m seeing hate there because they are not supporting Duterte.

      Duterte fans are insecure babies who get butthurt when other people do not support their idol

    • caliphman says:

      One observation that has not been made about the main topic is the capital being down on Pinoy and Roxas as his candidate is to be expected. Manila in fact has always tended to be strongly anti-administration in past elections. Why this is so is unclear but in past comments I have expressed the belief that income inequality is greatest and more acutely felt by the urban poor. Pinoy and Mar, its nothing personal…but I bet it hurts just the same.

  10. cwl says:

    Or should we say the middle class is the weakest link in the country’s chain of development.

  11. chempo says:

    “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

    I hope those guys in BPO offices have comfortable seats.

    • Gian says:

      what is this fixation on BPO employees? Do they hold sway on the elections like the Iglesia? SMH

      • chempo says:

        These are educated people who has a comparatively good job but they are screwing the govt that helped sustain these jobs. Many working in BPOs have mentioned they find most of their officemates are pro-Duterte.

        • Gian says:

          Ah ok. So a Duterte choice negates their education and renders them as ungrateful pricks? Got it.

          • chempo says:

            Gratefulness is not the issue Gian. One need not be beholden to the govt. But we expect people with brains to analyse properly on something that is of such import as an election.

          • Joe America says:

            Start with presumption of respect for people who take the time to respond to you, eh? Take the edge off the conversation.

            • Gian says:

              Hmmm.. Forming a conclusion, disrespectful. Generalization of a working segment, not disrespectful. It’s either my manners have escaped me or this space operates on a different one. Either way, no disrespect intended.

              • Joe America says:

                I wrote that to you because I believe you have the character to be a constructive member of our Society even if our political views may differ. If you hang around, you will find that the debate here is different than elsewhere for the respect people give others. I monitor the discussion actively to try to keep it free of insult and the kind of one-upsmanship found elsewhere where winning the argument is considered more important than discussing the issue intelligently and civilly. MontyWest is also intelligent, but is locked into those needs for victory or what I term “peddling a pig’s ear” as a purse. He has much further to go to become a Society regular, and will likely self-select himself out of the picture when his selling job is done.

            • LOL! The whole time I was reading, I thought it was our gian— I was like, man, this guy had one too much coffee today.

        • Jake says:

          Maybe because they’ve been working in BPOs for too long that they’re mindset has been easy to “automate”. In this case, it has been Duterte-automated.


        • madlanglupa says:

          Of late, myPhone has decided to create Duterte-themed phones, which are… suffice to say, reminiscent of Mao Zedong merchandise.

          • BFD says:

            Which is not really entirely true since D30 is pro-NPA or Left-leaning, that is, so propaganda-wise it will show like fist raised high, uttering pro-NPA rhetorics, kangaroo-style extrajudicial killings. It shows, but the pro-Duterte fan base just doesn’t see. It’s as if they’re blind to his every whim and caprices.

            • Or maybe the Socialist brand is just ascendant (ie. people are very aware). Bernie over here is gaining traction, just yesterday he gave the finger to Israel and AIPAC (in Brooklyn no less) during the debate, and people went nuts. The fact that Israel started out socialist was not lost.

              Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist.

              When Duterte threw his support LGBT last year, that surprised me (in the Philippines?). I think what Duterte is doing is looking to the US and that’s why he’s successful amongst millennials there— who are hooked into a the wider internet culture.

              I see Trump and Bernie in Duterte (with Sheriff Arpaio sprinkled in).

              • – now who wonders when Carmen Navarro Pedrosa (exiled by Marcos but now rabidly pro-Duterte) says that Duterte has sex appeal to both men and women? 😀 Even Spanish chronists noted that there were flamboyant gays in the old Philippines – to some extent Duterte is about the old Filipino warrior (and gay, and polygamous etc.) culture resurfacing – even his anger at the Pope appeals to those who never were truly Christianized within, remaining headhunters inside for all the outward appearances…

                “Bakla ako noon, na-reform lang. (I used to be gay but I was reformed).”

                Though spoken in jest, the tough-talking, macho Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte delighted millions of Filipinos again on Sunday when he showed his soft side with the help of the proudly, flamboyantly gay TV personality and comedian Vice Ganda.

              • I’ve never understood this about the Philippines, but I can see pre-Magellan Philippines with sacred gays running around—- Native Americans revered their gays, and endowed them with powers.

                They called them “Two Spirit” people,

              • Filipino gays are permitted to say nearly everything… things the real men are NOT allowed to say because it would cause loss of face and could lead to a fight… which is why gays in the media are the most forthright of all.

                Duterte, seen anthropologically, has a bit of the allure of the most powerful chieftains in the Eastern Visayas who were both warriors and witches… not “bayogs” or “bayoguin” which is what the cross-dressing priests were called but a mix seen as very powerful.

                “Bayot” which is what Duterte called Mar Roxas is the modern form of “bayog”… Mar Roxas has occasionally joked that he is a witch… so you have ancient sorcerers fighting for power in a tribal society dressed in modern clothing and sometimes cross-dressed…

    • NHerrera says:

      Wow. Didn’t know Honest Abe to use such graphic and pointed language.

      • Joe America says:

        Abe was pithy. Also suffered from depression. Complex guy.

        • NHerrera says:

          I must read some more of Lincoln sometime. But subject to my later readings, he is my sort of depressive-complex guy. His moniker “Honest Abe,” must mean something though — compared to most of our crop of Presidential and Senatorial Candidates.

          • Joe America says:

            He is generally held in highest honor for having risen from humble background to the presidency and his willingness to hold to principle in one of the bloodiest civil wars imaginable, that man is entitled to be free. He gave an excellent speech (Gettysburg) and got assassinated, securing his place in martyrdom as representing what the rest of us Americans should aspire toward, earnest effort to make more of ourselves, high-minded principles, intelligence, nationhood and courage.

  12. Bronn says:

    “Woe to them, and to us. Woe to the mood of Manila, perhaps the most classic self-punishing meltdown of all time.”

  13. Vicara says:

    Underpinning the support for Duterte by supposedly educated people is a smug assumption that they will never be caught in the cross-hairs of the kind of vigilante control he’s implemented in the past and has promoted for use once he’s president. It’s different, though, for people who have a less overblown sense of entitlement and invulnerability.

    My longtime employee, who grew up in a poor district of Davao, recalls that her uncle, one of the tauhan of Duterte, resigned from his job because, as he said, “delikado na”–he feared he would find himself in the position of being involved in some extrajudicial sentence being carried out on one of his own relatives. My employee recalls that, all the same, Davao continued to have its share of criminals and drug addicts; and this is borne out by current crime statistics. During the years I lived there, I witnessed for myself people strung out on something or other, and read in local papers about raids on local shabu distributors. Certainly no paradise, despite the Davao death squads, which are now reportedly being subcontracted by other LGUs in Mindanao, and by private entities. Did they clear this beforehand with the Boss, or did are they just following their free market instincts?

    The thing about vigilante groups like the DDS is that they are very useful if you want to make yourself feared, and to build up an image for yourself as a tough guy; but they’re not altogether that easy to control. Given the continued incidence of crime in Davao which ran parallel to, say, the killing of kids on rugby, I would suggest that Duterte hasn’t got it all together–any more than he has total control of his thought processes or what comes out of his mouth. No matter how cold-blooded or indifferent to human life any investors may be, this sense of a leader and regime which may come apart at the seams–bringing a whole country with him–will certainly give investors pause.

    • Vicara,

      What’s the timeline of your analysis, then compare that to Davao now (from what you know if you haven’t been recently).

      Then lastly, what do you think will happen if Duterte does become president, turns the Philippines upside down, essentially making Davao the capital, inviting bigger fish (ie. bigger companies, int’l money, etc.)— won’t the very presence of big money, usher the rule of law in Davao, thus diluting the powers of the established families from Cebu in Davao?

      I’m sure Duterte knows this, so maybe his calculus is that strongman/DDS is great for election, but foreign investors, will bring in better security for the region. Or is your reading of Duterte that he will not grow in the office? He seems a pretty smart guy– I know he was really well loved (not feared) in Mindanao.

      • Duterte himself comes from one of these established families.

        He is related to the Durano clan, known as highly violent warlords in the past.

        • Vicara says:

          LCpl_X, Duterte is 73 now, and he has had grave (unspecified) illnesses about which he has gotten defensive during this compaign, while refusing to reveal anything. Should he last out his term–evading everything from illness to coups–he will be 80. At this level, politics is not a young man’s game, and we are, collectively, a very young people on the cusp of what is potentially the best economic decade we’ve had in a long time. But for all this to come to fruition, there has to be a leader with strength and focus, who can see the big picture and let it happen.

          Just some thoughts: Duterte functioned well and at a specific time at the local level, period. No national experience, although Davao is, as has been said, the gateway to the ASEAN region, etc etc. No one is ever perfectly prepared for the presidency–there will always be an OJT aspect to it. Those advisers who served him well on the campaign trail will not all be able to function in the Palace (required skills sets are different). There will be the inevitable jockeying for position. Those who will help him run the show are Mindanaoans–some but certainly not all have real ability–who have long argued for a bigger slice of the national budget, etc–their key word through the years has been “measly”–without ever giving credit to the Aquino administration for what it has accomplished.

          And those who now accuse Aquino of putting too much blame on previous administrations ain’t seen nothing yet. A Duterte presidency will be one long carping about the past sins of “Imperial Manila.” Excuses, excuses. Of course, excuse-making and disorder could be expected of any new administration. Poe’s transition into office would be even more messy. Mindanao is arguably the most cohesive and economically dynamic at the regional level–being a single land mass helps–but the mindset is essentially “us” against “them.” That binary split is obvious even in the way Duterte’s campaign has been conducted–nothing unifying about it at all.

          • “No national experience,”

            I’ve always found this curious, Vicara. Over here Senators, Governors, VPs (or cabinet Secretaries, w/ US Congress experience) run for the Presidency.

            What do people mean when they say “national experience” over there?

            • Vicara says:

              VPs, senators, representatives and Cabinet secretaries have a hand in how things work at a federal/national level in the U.S. Governors, not so much; mayors, even less.

              To return to the eternal Binay Binary: Much of his effectiveness during unstable times in Mindanao was due to his sheriff-like management of Davao. He’d tell the warring clans and rebel groups: Do what you like out there in the rest of Mindanao, but in my city of jurisdiction, you behave. He’d cut different deals with different groups (one of the reasons the AFP find it hard to trust him).

              From a national perspective, there is no longer an “out there” for Filipinos who aren’t into the rule of law. So what’s he going to do about such? What deals are in the offing? (You can see this pattern even in the way he talks about China: Let them build a railway in [my] Mindanao, and I’ll let them do as they like “out there.”)

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, smug it is, to believe that the consequences of vigilante justice can have only good ends, or is benign. Open discussion forums such as this may be gone soon, and the only information available will be that which is managed for effect.

  14. NHerrera says:

    Off Topic

    My take — strategy straight out of Rand Corp and Game Theory.

    MANILA, Philippines — In a rare move, United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter revealed on Thursday that at least 200 American servicemen will stay behind after the US-Philippines military exercises Balikatan for joint air and maritime patrols in the South China Sea.

    Speaking at a press conference with his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin, Carter bared that the US and the Philippine militaries started joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea—a move decided at a ministerial meeting with Gazmin, US State Secretary John Kerry and former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Washington in January.

    To compliment the maritime patrols, a contingent of US aircraft including their crews and pilots will remain at Clark Air Base in Pampanga for air missions, Carter said. He also admitted that this will be the first among many contingents that will regularly maintain presence in the country.

    This initial unit will include five A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft, three HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopters and one MC-130H Combat Talon or special operations plane.

    My fertile mind — do something that result in the death of one of our people, and you will be in for something … Don’t you act funny now.

    • I can’t think of any better use for the A-10s (which they’ve been trying to get rid of). These to Marines are angels. The only reason these aren’t part of Marine arsenal is that they’re too heavy to lug around in ships (armor’s too heavy),

      • Love the A-10s

        The aircraft is designed to fly with one engine, one half of tail, one elevator, and half of a wing missing

        • I heard these things will fly with just the cockpit and Gatling gun in tact, LOL! I hope the Philippines gets the A-10s, since they’re trying to replace ’em here.

          But they should only be flown at sea (pointed towards China), I shudder at the thought of ’em being flown, say in Mindanao— even for a fly-by.

      • caliphman says:

        I do not think the A-10s or any USMC air support aircraft were designed to be carrier based. There are naval aircraft that have been used in that role in the past but very much less in recent times. For example, in World War II, Marine Corsairs were used as fighter bombers and in many cases as fighters against Japanese Zeros because their gull wings could match the turn capabilities of the latter in dogfights. However they made for poor carrier aircraft for the same wings obscured visibilty in carrier landings, a critical concern given the short and narrow flight decks of flaptops in heaving seas.

        • Yeah, the A-10s are too heavy; but as far as carrier based, there’s these:

          But for the most part they try to fit it all in Amphibs,

          • To deal with the Chinese on those islands, amphibious vehicles are needed that jump.

          • caliphman says:

            Those are amphibious assault ships and helicopter carriers, the latter of which can carry VTOL Harrier jets which do not require any runway . You wont see any of those stocking any shipboard F14 TomCats 🙂

            • caliphman says:

              You reckon the Philippine Navy can afford a couple of defunct Enterprise class full scale attack carriers anytime soon?

              • The only place you’ll see F-14’s these days is in Iran

                and here,

                I know they send moth-balled ships over to Suison Bay, but I honestly don’t know where they moth-ball fighters— they probably strip ’em and send ’em to museums.

                With a friend like the U.S. I seriously think that all the Philippines needs are a bunch of riverines and Coast Guard type cutters— no subs, no carriers.

                Hell, A-10s are probably the only fixed-wings they’ll need, no need for fighters. With the A-10 replacement set, the Philippines should vie for ’em— I’m sure they can get ’em for next to free.

              • caliphman,

                More than anything what the AFP and PNP needs are leadership seminars and repetitive situationals designed to hone leadership decision-making. The bulk of funds should be used to improve the NCO cadre and junior Officers.

                Fancy toys should not be the priority at this point.

              • caliphman says:

                Lance, I am with you on the small craft Philippine Navy/Coast Guard as my pisting below on a defense buildup. Do not know much about leadership and tactical training issues in the AFP to say much about it so I defer to you. Thing is what I have read about the SAF and recent ABU SAYAF AFP encounters leads me to believe at the battalion down to the platoon level, the units are very brave but poorly trained and led. For example, in Mamasapano the company that got massacred chose a waiting site that exposed them to enveloping enemy fire with little or no cover. In Basilan, an AFP special forces platoon was wiped out because they were caught in the open and exposed to enemy firing around them and on high ground. The fact they were ambushed is little excuse as one wonders if there were any patrol protocols that should have alerted them of the Abu trap. Seems like our elite government units are so susceptible to falling prey and being bested by these Islamic group of bandits. One would think unlike the Vietnam War, the Abus do not have the inside advance intelligence needed to set up execute murderous ambushes in the face of superior government forces and firepower.

              • caliphman,

                What I wish for the AFP (and PNP) is that they retain their lightness, as in a true light infantry, like the Viet Cong and Afghan Mujahids, Filipinos were light as fuck in the WWII during their guerilla days, and then ROTC (even Boy Scout) training since WWII…

                (I think karl and/or sonny can talk about that ROTC aspect, we talked about it before).

                Somewhere along the line, the AFP “modernized” adopted American soldiering (no real light infantry, aside from Green Berets and Marine Raiders anymore) dependent on heavy weapons/gear and became a bureaucracy. By true light infantry, I’m talking about forces who can live off the land, traverse human terrain.

                True light infantry units, is one point. That can easily be AFP’s strong suit, and leave the heavy weapons/gear, fancy toys, to the US.

                For leadership, IMHO this notion below is lost (and should be stressed),

                “Strong combat leadership is never by committee. Platoon commanders must command, and command in battle isn’t based on consensus. It’s based on consent. Any leader wields only as much authority and influence as is conferred by the consent of those he leads. The Marines allowed me to be their commander, and they could revoke their permission at any time.” ~ from “One Bullet Away”

                As for bravery and training, you can be as brave as humanly possible but if leadership and training is lacking, you can only go so far. A lot of it is actually just repetition. I’m not sure what happened in Basilan over the weekend, but I’m sure there was room for repetition there—

                these things tend to be pattern dependent and the more you do it, the more instinctive it is. Same with crowd control.

              • For example, how about tasking some Filipino soldiers with language and culture expertise? or Civil affairs, with interrogation/info gathering capability, aside from providing service, instead of the posture of an occupying force.

                Like I said before here, locals seem to always know when stuff went down, so information, signs, are there, but if you ‘re not plugged in, not in the same cultural frequency, a lot of that stuff is lost. It’s about the little things.

              • caliphman says:

                Lance, I understand what you are saying about light infantry. One would think the SAF at Mamasapono could be characterized as such a unit. No armor, no heavy weapons, no airpower or artillery and no reinforcements either. I am just going by the official but detailed reports but the failures were more at brigade and battalion but not at platoon level. Napenas was not able to get his platoons to the positions where they could support each other and thus assure their safety and exit. So many things occured different from plan which could have been avoided but at the end of the day, two platoons pretty much acted on their own. One heroically but tragically making the wrong decision and getting wiped out. The other, reaching its objective and even at half strength pursuing its mission and succeeding at the initiative of its leader, superintendent Train. These soldiers trained at Fort Bragg and so I assume did the AFP special forces battalion in Basilan, the emphasis I presume is on light infantry and small unit training. Go figure.

              • Yeah, man. Special training state-side is great, but at the end of the day if you go back to the Philippines, and the AFP still moves as companies & battalions (hell, in brigades even), instead of in squads and platoons. They’re setting ’em up for failure.

              • sonny says:

                @ LC I tend to believe that the training for counterinsurgency specially at the squad and platoon levels are terribly inadequate and fighting skills are just as inadequate. Intuitively I say that AFP combat personnel don’t seem to have an accumulation of combat skills that are part of what is learned from operations failed and successful, Fort Bragg training notwithstanding. The decimation of the Moros during the Moro Wars was accomplished by the American fighters under Pershing’s and Wood’s command because of superiority of arms, tactics, skills that were tested and accumulated from the American Indian battles with American forces stateside. The PMA class that my brother tried to get into was sent to fight Moro uprising in early ’70s lost almost one half of their classmates, fresh graduates deployed immediately to the battle field.

              • sonny,

                Yeah, it’s sad that the Philippines didn’t retain any of their WWII guerilla traditions. But I think it’s as simple as empowering your Sgts. and junior LTs. But that requires Cols and above loosening up their grip. Micro-management is the bane of Counter-insurgency.

                When do you think, WWII guerilla tactics started disappearing? I forget if it was you or karl, that mentioned ROTC as the last institution to house these guerilla tactics, since it was WWII guerillas who stayed in the Philippine military, later running ROTC programs big and small throughout the Philippines, who imparted their knowledge— the Boy Scouts too was another institution.

      • chempo says:

        All land bases and installation in Philippines are within range of the Chinese missiles on the islands. Within seconds they will all be wiped out rendering Philppines defence crippled. If it comes down to military action, Philippines only hope is to have a ‘first strike’ strategy. Once all those missiles are wiped out, further direct action from China mainland will have to consider the reaction of the rest of the world. It won’t be an easy decision for them.

        For first strike capability the best bet for Philippines is the CHAMP (Counter-Electronics High-Power Advanced Microwave Project). Any resemblance to my name is pure coincidence. This is a friendly state of the art weapon in warfare. It goes in and knock out all the enemy’s electronic systems, their missiles will be useless.

        EMBs (electro-magnetic bombs) idea has been around for a while. But this is a wide area weapon and it is indiscriminate it its nasty impact on the weaponries of both enemy and friendly forces. CHAMP is basically an EMB but improved technology allows it to only do damage to a more precise smaller area.

        Hit them with a CHAMP and disable all the missiles. Nobody dies so the outcry will not be that loud. Buildings are all left intact, so Phils can use them eventually when the islands have been retaken.

        • NHerrera says:

          Say, CHAMP … er chempo, that sounds like the toy I like. No body bags needed — except the one meant for the island base Commander for “failure”. Do they do that sort of thing as in the good old Russia under Stalin? And the follow-up delayed reaction at a comfortable distance from Mainland and the consequent world outcry. Nice, CHAMP; I mean chempo.

    • DAgimas says:

      it wont stop the Chinese. the only way to stop them is match their force like we did in panatag before the US ordered the Philippines to withdraw. that’s the only way. eyeball to eyeball, or man to man guarding kumbaga sa basketball

      • That’s only effective if you have the logistics to back it, otherwise it’s symbolic— while the Chinese are playing for keeps. If you want to do a symbolic protest in the high seas, don’t go with the AFP, outsource it to private int’l groups…

        But as Joe already indicated, Pres. Aquino wants to play it cool: (which is very Obama, playing Go that is, instead of Mexican stand-offs).

        • DAgimas says:

          thats the only thing that will stop them. patrols will keep the sea lines open but it wont stop the Chinese in creating more islands or getting more islands. patrols will let you know what is going on but thats it. if they start reclaiming a reef, what will the patrols do? nada

          if they send 100 fishing boats to fish, the patrols can not do anything.

          • I agree that these patrols are more symbolic at this stage than anything.

            But your mano-y-mano scenario need logistics, how do you match China… Does the AFP have the capability to hold ground, be able to support those posts whilst expanding? Most of those guys don’t even have proper individual gear, much less sufficient supply to carry on their mission of a Mexican stand-off.

            In the short-term with what happened in Basilan over the weekend, one thing should be clear, you guys have foreign fighters now in your midst, in no time the Moro groups will coalesce and submit to the ISIS franchise, once that happens you’ll have a steady influx of non-Filipino Muslim mujahids in Mindanao.

            No doubt China will see opportunity in this development.

            The short-term is Mindanao, the long-term is China, AFP’s energies are better focused in Mindanao— playing Mexican stand-off will only drain resources, especially when the guys you’re playing chicken with has the full backing of the Chinese gov’t.

            • DAgimas says:

              that’s the problem or theres really a lot of problem. and these politicians are not helping. security, both internal and external , is just one of them. and most of these problems require a lot of resources. its also exacerbated by lack of foresight or their self interest.

              even Ramos who should know better didn’t implement the AFP modernization in his time. the funds went knowwhere

            • caliphman says:

              No way no how should the Philippines engage in a military conflict with China nor should it have to unless an invasion and occupation of part of its land mass is involved. In that case, its not a matter of win or lose but an issue of sovereignty. The Chinese are of course arguing the same but their territorial claims on these rock outcroppings and submerged reefs are tenuous and in dispute. This is why the primary recourse is to gain international acknowledgement of how immoral if not illegal these claims are.

              The main priorities of our defense buildup and scarce military budget against an external threat should be one focused on self defense and deterrence. It should address contingency planning in the unlikely but possible event of an invasion, which I believe are non-existent at present. During WW II, these were in force with the plan being not to contest the enemy at the beaches but at Bataan and with Corregidor as fallback.

              Against a superior Japanese army, it was unsuccessful but organized resistance would have been impossible without these plans. Secondly, a credible deterrence is key. Whether it is in the form of EDCA or a regional mutual defence agreement, the idea is to confront an aggressor a risk and reward ratio that is so unattractive, he has to think twice before undertaking an aggressive move. It has been suggested that an arms acquisitions program should include submarines but while they could inflict a lot of pain on an aggressor with overextended shipping supply routes it would be a very expensive deterrent option and only against an invader intending an extended and prolonged occupation. Of better value would be coastal defense light craft with small ship to ship missiles such as in use by Israel, Iran and Vietnam. This plus the use of drones to loiter around and monitor suspicious or potentially hostile activity within territorial waters make more sense than a squadron of military aircraft to engage in patrolling our long coastline and interisland waters against external threats.

              None of the candidates have elicited a defense program that makes any sense in my view. Of course, this does not include proposals to collaborate with the Chinese on commercial projects or to have them buy our government’s acquiesence to a their military buildup adjacent to our beaches. Hopefully this can be attributed to just plain inexperience on the part of all of them with the issue and its policy complications and that eventually a legitimate defense team of experts can be appointed whose number one priority is which personal contracts are advantageous to themselves or friends and family.

              • DAgimas says:

                I didn’t say we go to war with China. what im saying is the only way to stop them grabbing more islands or creating more islands in the Philippines EEZ is to put up more ships to guard whatever territory the Philippines is claiming. absent of ships, forget about all these claims.

                Panatag shows that they could not just seize whatever they way if they know you are going to put up resistance. they know they could not just sink our rickety ships even if they wanted to coz they don’t know what the US will do or the international community. its an aggression plain and simple if they sink one of those old cutters

                even in Thomas Shoal, they could not seize it because we have a “ship” there with Marines.. and that ship is as good as an artificial reef

                the only way to go now is negotiate when the ruling comes out, that they may occupy those artificial islands but not allowed to exploit the area . its our EEZ

    • Joe America says:

      From the American perspective, I would hold that the Philippines is an untrustworthy ally because there is no tolerance here for human error, and that is totally NOT the military way. These are killing machines, these guns and ships and planes and landing craft. Loud, noisy pieces of metal driven by people who are flawed creatures of some intellect, but also emotion and misjudgment. There has already been one death in training (a Filipino marine who missed his parachute landing and got dragged under water), and a minor bar brawl on Palawan that was more a sissy pushing match but headlined as something evil. When there is a battlefield loss, the whole nation goes berserk (Mamasapano). In my view, the Philippines is not yet ready to fight and I hope the US factors that into thinking and only keeps a few people here.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Joe, what about Basilian last Friday…Then 18 Philippino army soldiers were killed.They were ambushed by IS fighters while heading out to set up an ambush of the IS ! That sounds suspiciously like someone spilled the info to the IS…Again lightly armed platoons..with no armour or aerial support…

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, the sense I got from reading President Aquino’s remarks on the deaths is that someone obviously did not do their job right. The inquiry as to what actually happened is going on now. It is being done internally within Defense, rather than the floor of the Senate, which is as it should be.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            I read in the Enquirer this morning that IS has claimed this attack was carried out by it’s forces..And a Singapore expert on IS said the same last Monday…

            Meanwhile the the Philippines army spokesman ( General Padilla) says it was not an IS attack..Duhh ? If it acts like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a ‘duck’..Ditto IS in Basilan….Or is that fact simply too embarressing ? If so he does not belong in the job.

            • Joe America says:

              The PH has plenty of home-grown terrorists. There is no need to play into IS intimidation tactics by giving them voice. By giving them credibility. The US I believe has said they are not yet here. Now radical Islam is here, and to the extent that can be considered an offshoot to the IS ideology, one can make the point. I tend to accept what PH people say as truthful, or, if it is not, it is misinformation for a good purpose. I feel no need to undermine them and join with IS in doing so.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Isis is now present in Iraq, Syria, Egypt & Belgium. Boko Haram in Nigeria claims to b a branch of IS. Earlier this year there was an affiliation ceremony in Mindanao by Muslim fighters pledging alleigance to IS. And after the attack last week IS has claimed it was responsible…I am a realist…

              • Joe America says:

                Being a realist doesn’t make your conclusion right. ISIS is on its heels in the Middle East, is losing leaders left and right, and the anti-terrorism push in the Philippines is persistent and aided by US intelligence. You won’t catch me raising my voice to give ISIS any credence. You of course can do what you believe is correct for the well-being of Filipinos, Australians, and any other nations you would care to favor.

              • caliphman says:

                Someone explain to me why it matters if Abu Sayaf ambushed the two AFP battalions in the name of ISIS or not. The Abu bandit army is just as battle ready, effective, and brutal as ISIS. If I understand the news reporting on the incident, the ABU ambush was set to prevent their homebase from being attacked by,AFP forces, elements of which were caught in their trap. There were a couple of,Moroccan fighters who were with the bandit group but they could have been foreign trainees from the main ABU base camp and not ISIS fighters. Al Qaeda influence has been present in the Philippines for some time now which is why Marwan and the Malaysian bomber Marwan and his Filipino understudy were engaging in terrorist activities against Chistians and civilans in general. The only difference an ISIS presence in the Philippines would make is to increase targeting of Westerners or the resorts they congregate in. Politically and militarily the goal would be to hold territory and impose their brand of Islamic fanaticism on the residents of occupied and controlled territories. What the Abus are doing which is mainly kidnappings for ransom and fighting the AFP are things they have been engaged in for decades. There are more ISIS fighters in Belgium or France or even the UK than there are full time Abu fighters. To say the Basilan ambush was ISIS directed, motivated, or influenced or indicative of its presence in the Philippines has little meaning or significance for the reasons cited.

              • Joe America says:

                That makes a whole lot of sense. I appreciate the background on the incident.

              • Remember ISIS is a franchise, so them claiming it doesn’t need boots on the ground on their part, simply Filipino jihadis claiming it is enough to legitimize the ISIS brand.

                But remember there was a Moroccan on the ground (assume other non-Filipinos were there).

                Whether it’s ISIS proper like the Paris attack, or simply a nod to ISIS, with that Moroccan there, best to assume ISIS is there— not embarassing at all, simply leverage that with American funding, like Pakistan does.

                Just keep in mind that there are a good number of Arabs who visit, live, have family in that region, so finding an Arab per se isn’t so much a clincher.

              • “The only difference an ISIS presence in the Philippines would make is to increase targeting of Westerners or the resorts they congregate in. “


                ISIS is basically Zarqawi’s outfit, 2.0. So based on their past strategy, it’s not just Westerners, they intend to create chaos, period. And from that theoretically, the new Caliphate emerges.

                But my point, is that the AFP should be playing this up and not down— time to milk Uncle Sam.

              • caliphman says:

                Uummm Lance, that is assuming that US intelligence paid operatives on the ground in Syria and Basilan have no idea as to the extent of ISIS involvement in Abu activities that AFP can pull the wool over Uncle Sam’s eyes. There is a reason why the Predator strikes against Al Queda, Taliban, and Isis leaders have been so successful and its not the drone technology. Its the quality of intelligence pinpointing the location and movements of these high value targets. Ever wonder how US drones were overhead when the SAF teams were hitting Marwan in his hidden encampment?

              • You give the IC too much credit, man.

                In ops, drones can be used as ISRs (eyes on) or even close air support. But in general, when you hear about drones striking targets, it’s usually not because they had eyes on— folks state-side are relying on patterns, to justify the strikes, me and Joe spoke at length about his here,

                But going back to my point, caliphman, money is there for the giving, and i’d rather see the Philippines get some, than more to go to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. So no matter how tenuous (personally I think it’s stronger), that ISIS connection should be played up, not down— counter-terrorism is still a very well funded component, so too the int’l aide aspect of this gravy train.

              • caliphman says:

                Maybe so, Lance but that sounds like the story being fed to the Islamist fanatics so they fo not look closely at their ranks. As far as I know, it still takes surface level intelligence to get identity and movement info as well as issuing a kill order with risk of minimum collateral damage. You may be giving drone video analytics too much capability to recognize and identify facial features 🙂

              • This is above my pay grade, but as I understand it, these budget allocations stuff work well, when money is given out, thus guaranteeing an equal or increased budget for next cycle— so an ISIS is now in the Philippines scenario should be seen as a God-send, no?

              • “You may be giving drone video analytics too much capability to recognize and identify facial features”

                That’s what’s so scandalous, they weren’t doing facial recognition, they were basing their kills thru group movement, ie. people milling about, in or around the area suspected— hence party’s and weddings were common targets for a while, til the powers that be in DC, figured out that regular Afghans liked parties too.

              • caliphman says:

                Lance, I just do not think its going to sell at State or DnD. State is not even willing to release the $5 million Marwan reward to the paid informer in his entourage that alerted the US and Purisima to his presence and precise location, mainly because I suspect they knew where he was already. Probably a better bet to shake some loose DnD greenbacks is to ride the US concern over Chinese militarization of the Spratleys and the need to build up AFP resouces, training and combat equipment. As I said earlier in this thread, the ISIS brand carries no significance except to Abu leader Hapilon himself and largely because it legitimizes his bandit band as a mujahedeen movement and perhaps attract more followers. He lost a lot of men a couple of weeks ago that now needs to be replaced.

                Also, back to the issue of Predator targeting. There are two separate operations using drones to take out high value terrorist targets, one run by the DIA and one by the CIA. Recently, CNN ran a documentary of how the CIA contracted for a Finnish spook double agent to penetrate ISIS Yemen American Awlaki’s organization and plant a carry case with a tracker for his use. In this instance, the spook got Awlaki’s fiancee who he procured for him to deliver the bugged case so a drone strike could take him out. I believe this is how the Mossad and Israeli intelligence operates except they use rigged cellphones instead of carry cases. Why the CIA would depart from this approach and use guesswork from primarily info seems like zero dark thirty and other sanitized Hollywood versions of how these operations are actually targeted. It must be recallled that the use of drones for battlefield surveillance and intelligence originated with the Israeli’s. While the CIA may not have boots on the ground, there are thousands of ISIS recruits from Western countries and friendly Arab countries who might be persuaded to do contract work while serving on their Syria or Iraq stint.

                Anyway, this all guess work since neither of us work or have worked at the CIA…or at least not allowed to admit or announce it in public. 😉

              • caliphman,

                There’s money for China and there’s money for CT. State from what I understand is always broke (US AID is State’s Santa). CT, although involving a number of entities/agencies, is it’s own bureaucracy— Google Dana Priest’s continued work on this.

                I’m not familiar with the reward for Mamasapano (can you post a link?),

                but if you say it’s State’s $5 million, then DSS (and FBI) gives out those rewards (by way of funds from Justice), and it’s very much like old school law enforcement rewards, ie. public citizens who offer info leading to the capture of so and so— no cops, no gov’t entities can get it. And they vet the information you gave, to ascertain quality leading to the capture.

                To not give it because of a technicality, IMHO, would undermine this whole process, DSS’s rewards have captured a bunch of good people, and they’ve always paid. So if there’s a reward promised, they’d want to give it out.

                When the DoD runs a reward program, it’s ops specific— not like the DSS’s where the reward can stand for years until capture.

                As for the drone stuff, I agree your guess is as good as mine. The best coverage on it hands down is Showtime’s documentary (straight from the horse’s mouth, several horses actually),

                But back to my point, there’s money, if Pakistan can make it rain trillions, the Philippines should be able to dance a similar rain dance (copy from Pakistan 😉 , those booger-pickers fleeced us 😥 🙄 ),

            • Joe America says:

              Hahaha, but I also think Snowden is a jerk, while many think he is a hero. I go with National Security over transparency, is another way to put it.

      • manangbok says:

        “From the American perspective, I would hold that the Philippines is an untrustworthy ally because there is no tolerance here for human error, and that is totally NOT the military way.”

        Ouch! My Filipino ego got a bruising there …but I would have to agree. One only has to look at the way Filipinos have waged our revolutions to see the lack of military culture among us. Not a bad thing in itself; but it will not win us any war … against anyone.

        We are so ego-sensitive as a people and that is one thing we have to work on first, I think. Not to take things too personally … that sometimes a job is just a job that has to be done professionally and that results do matter. Sometimes mistakes can happen; learning from our mistakes requires us to what happened in an impassioned way, to analyze and to think critically. Something a lot of us have never learned.

        We are a passionate people who think with our guts, and our hearts, sometimes with our balls — rarely with our brains (or with the part of our brain that does not involve the limbic system).

        That’s why it’s very difficult for us to be warm to a presidential candidate that encourages us to think — it is just too painful and requires too much effort 🙂

        • NHerrera says:

          I appreciate that observation.

          We are a passionate people who think with our guts, and our hearts, sometimes with our balls — rarely with our brains (or with the part of our brain that does not involve the limbic system).

          That is the big challenge. That reasonably overcome then we become FIRST WORLD class in short order.

  15. Niteowl says:

    There’s only a simple explanation to Duterte’s surge – he listens and listened well from the common Tao ! The common Tao, the majority of citizens who worked hard labor, spends longer hours than their bosses, the laborer who toils from dawn to dusk, the OFWs who risks their lives to support their hungry families, the middle class who find impossible for any promotion – these are people who want change ! The Elite, the stabilized privilege group worry about their century old fiefdom to be shaken by Duterte’s win are now calling the common Tao stupid or bobo ! Everything comes to an end, there is no continuity in everything under the sun !

    What good will those super structures, high rise building, conglomerate mega corporation when poor juaning is still pushing his cart along selling mangoes or buko? He is still breaking his back trying to feed his family. His children may never see higher education and will inherit his push cart in the future. He is constantly harassed by big belly policeman asking for a free meal.

    They see in Duterte hope to stop all the blunders, the big talk, the huge promises, the corruption in all levels of the food chain, the constant subservient they have to endure, ‘yes sir, yes mam’ – who want to be a slave for life ? They see the same oligarchs, same political dynasty, the stupid and dumb celebrity who they know , knows nothing but are there high up the pedestal .

    If we are blind to all these, then we better prepare to accept what’s coming to the coveted seat of power. It might not be to our liking for we have never really been hungry, everything was laid out for the elite and their friends. Yes, the corrupt, the plunderer, the scrupulous, the pretentious brats, yes we cater to investors who think we are the money hungry morons who still have the dictator’s family in high power, the cohorts, the new wealth military clans, and the dizzy wannabes politicians turn elites. Yes, we created Duterte in all aspects of deterioration of society and the masa find him their hero in real life. Duterte has rob Binay’s role of being with the poor who then amassed a huge money chest, he overstepped on Poe’s celluloid popularity and knockdown Mar’s inability to act immediately to protect them, this is reality, amigos ! Sawa na raw sila! They need a voice a strong mighty voice …they have been ignored and forgotten and politicians only use them, this time no more big talk, please listen ! We are set for a bumpy ride to reevaluate who we really are as a nation of Malays, inclusive of the Moros in the south . Don’t blame me for my opinion, I’m just a mere visionary! The meltdown is on the elite, the oligarchs, the privilege class but definitely the common Tao does not care about the meltdown and are willing to risk anything as their lives actually never did change under any administrations. Impatience breeds discontent ! Go get down from your high horses and feel their pain, Duterte did !

    • are similar… but different.

      The Katipunan was mostly composed of the new lower middle class, the only somewhat ilustrado type among them was Mabini. Bonifacio worked at a German import/export firm.

      So the crowd that wanted to move up, impatient with the economic progress and with the reforms – Rizal warned the Spanish LIBERAL reformers (another coincidence) because Sancho Panza (the Philippines) might get impatient, and warned the revolutionaries that it was too early and that the slaves of today might become the tyrants of tomorrow – he was right. But today there is no Bonifacio, Duterte is more of a fatal Aguinaldo/Bonifacio mix, it is obvious that he will junk his consigliere Cayetano much faster than Mabini was sidelined.

      Unlike Bonifacio, who respected his intelligent sidekick Jacinto and even admitted his stuff was much better than his. Unlike Bonifacio who really cared, even if he too was violent.

      It took until 1920 until Manila was back to where it was in 1896 – 24 years. CU IN 2040. 😦

    • Bronn says:

      Explanation for Duterte’s surge?
      Duterte understands people’s behavior, he knows the secrets of Multi Level Marketing.
      “Piso mo gagawin kong million in just 6 months, ‘or kill me'”

      People who are impatient don’t like to wait for stuff, that explains why impatient people are vulnerable to scams..
      Impatience is our worst enemy.
      “You get the chick by hatching the egg not by smashing it open.”

      • Vicara says:

        Bronn, you are right in ascribing the Duterte surge to clever multi-level marketing by his campaign advisers such as Evasco and Peter Tiu-Lavinia. They encouraged him to let it all hang out and stun the public with his outrageous pronouncements, calculating that the votes garnered would be worth any fallout.

        Thing is, the marketed Duterte the public is going for is not the Duterte we’re going to get should he be elected. I think it was LCpl_X who noted he is “loved” down south. Certainly in other venues I’ve been shouted down by Davaoenos who say he really cares about his people etc, and that the killer image is all for show. Yes, well, that may be true—and already we have a problem with night-and-day false advertising right there. Because maybe the Duterte the millennials and cab drivers of NCR want is the Enforcer, the one in total control. So right now they’re being sold a fake bill of goods.

        So let’s say this fake Enforcer Duterte wins, and another Duterte emerges: an older guy who gets tired and who finds his abilities can carry him only so far at Cabinet meetings with a bunch of strangers as Secretaries, or at international meetings (I remember watching Estrada–another loved mayor–at his first APEC shambling into the photo op for heads of state and squinting at the teleprompter and stumbling over the words).

        This post-election Duterte, a more real, human one, is not going to be anywhere as funny, or as in control, as the campaign Duterte he’s been built up to be. What is worse than strongman rule? The point at which a strongman is seen to be slipping. Particularly a strongman who has yet to prove that he commands respect from the police and military forces, who haven’t relished being referred to as his glorified bouncers and hitmen. That’s the point at which the troublemakers come into play.

        • ‘I think it was LCpl_X who noted he is “loved” down south.’

          As opposed to being feared,

          I think the anti-Duterte narrative has been that people fear him. And the sense I got from regular folks, poor, Moros, indigenous, etc. was that Duterte was well balanced— like Robin Hood.

          The phrase ‘fair but firm’ comes to mind.

          • Vicara says:

            OK, perceptions of “fair but firm” then, rather than “loved.” As valued in a town sheriff or tribal lord. And that is possible in a place and among people he has known from birth, with its own peculiar dynamics that he is completely familiar with, and especially when compared with dysfunctional leaders in the neighborhood, like the more psychopathic Ampatuans or even his next-door mayor in Tagum, who has his own trail of extrajudicial killings. Maybe, for a particular place and time, Duterte was the right local leader. Emphasis on “local.” But the campaign message is one of strength and ability to get things done. So why does Davao still have such high crime rates? What was the point of all those extrajudicial killings then? Not so fair, not so effective a leader, it seems. The anti-Duterte narrative is not that he is feared, but that he is misrepresented by his campaigners as an extremely effective enforcer. Which he is not.

            • The thing with security is that you never really get the luxury of knowing what could’ve been.

              So his record could easily be explained as, had he not done what he did, Davao would’ve been worst off. But I think the point that’s not lost to many Filipinos, is that he got his hands dirty— and to many that’s enough… that’s his bona fides,

              then it’s just the common sense/instinct that carries him thru for the national election.

              At least that’s my reading of his ascendance. It’s very similar to Trump, though he’s never claimed to kill criminals. But his experience with unions and mafia-types is well known, similarities abound.

    • Joe America says:

      A clear vision. The holes in solving the problem are ignorance at two places. One, among the poor, who fail to see how decisions they make DO affect them, either now or in the future. Two, among the elite, dynastic politicians, how to relate to the poor in that “backyard gossip” communication medium that allows bad thinking to go from one person to another so profoundly. Roxas has certainly been making the effort through his local sorties. May 9 will determine whether or not he is getting into the backyard conversation, or it is just facade for his followers.

    • Bert says:

      Very good vision, Niteowl, 20/20 at least, probably 20/5.

      I totally agree.

    • chempo says:

      @ Niteowl

      So you are basically describing the Filipino crab mentality on the national level. The massa pulling all the elites, the rich class down with them. Goodness, even God cannot help Philippines in that case.

      • The crab mentality – envy of those who have already made it, and instead of making one’s own success pulling them down, was behind both the 1896 revolution (at least partly) and the Hukbalahap rebellion after 1945 in my view. In fact I am starting to get a new view of the troubled and short administration of Manuel Roxas I, who died of a heart attack – his hair did not stand on end as those were the days of pomade, but I think it would have.

        Roxas I in “historical folklore” (much of Philippine history is like the stories in Philippine politics i.e. group-oriented and slanted) is seen as an idiot, a traitor and incompetent but in fact he was working under the hardest of circumstances – a ravaged postwar country.

        If one knows that most Filipinos DO NOT look at the facts, but believe first what their own folks tell them – often without explaining and offended if one does ask why, an attitude which I call pre-Enlightenment – then one can see one more reason for views of Roxas II.

  16. Once in a rare while, I let my fevered mind run free.
    A Bleaker Vision

    Consider these facts. By population density, Metro Manila is the 4th densest (15,400/ km2) metropolitan area in the world after Dhaka, Bangladesh; Mumbai, India; and Karachi, Pakistan. The first three densest cities in the world are Manila (42,857/km2), Pateros (30,546), and Caloocan (27,916). Joining them are Malabon, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, and Makati which (with the first three) belong to the 35 densest cities in the world. Quezon City (the largest city in Metro Manila comprising 26% of its land area) has the largest population in the country (2.9 million) and has a population density of 16,617/km2, denser than that of the whole metropolis.

    Mix the suffocating congestion with ubiquitous poverty, snarling traffic, bad mass transit, pollution, crime, and what not; the metropolis is not only Dan Brown’s “gates of hell” but Dante Alighieri’s 5th Circle of Hell. For most of its tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning for the next week’s wage, the metropolis is like a putrid river where “the wrathful fight each other on the surface, and the sullen lie gurgling beneath the water, withdrawn into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe.”

    The 5th Circle is not a place for dispassionate discernment where its wrathful denizens can choose a wise leader. Their expectations have been raised by rapid economic growth, but they feel left out. They are physically and psychologically oppressed, day in, day out, in one cruel way or another like traffic that make roads into parking lots, blocking their way to their miserable, low-paying jobs. If the metropolis is indeed thriving, it’s unlikely that they are. Conditions may be somewhat improving but the ever-increasing cost of urban living keeps life precarious, especially with a looming food shortage from a devastating drought.

    Like rats, ceaselessly increasing in number, in a seemingly ever shrinking maze of slums, up to a third of Metro Manilans who rate themselves poor will not give a hoot about foreign investments.
    In these upcoming elections, they represent about 60 to 65% of the electorate. They will seek an avenging messiah to strike down those who keep them poor and who add to their miseries. They will follow a demigod who can promise to build oases of opportunity, security, peace, and order. They will be out for blood, and they want a strongman to takeover to the Palace by the Pasig, a very putrid river.

    Growing up in Metro Manila from the early 1960s through the late 70s, I lament that the once fair metropolis has only grown worse, less livable, uglier, and physically harsher year after year, decade after decade. Metro Manila was already teeming with impoverished slums then, and not once have I seen qualitative and lasting progress, save for some upper and middle class enclaves and towers of insulated peace and comfort for the moneyed classes.

    If there are some genuine improvements, they are few and far between to make an impression. Yes, shopping malls abound, but they are temporary respites for the working stiff and cash cows for its monopolist owners. Malls, casinos, hotels, and condominiums sprout like maggots feasting on the hard-earned cash of Filipinos returning from overseas. Legions of BPO workers engage in conspicuous consumption but can hardly afford paying rent in those new condominiums.

    Metro Manila keeps chaotically growing like a cancer in the nation’s armpit. Woe, indeed, for its people swirling in Hell’s 5th Circle. Woe for the country that has kept it so because, on May 9, its angry and hungry lot may just launch a revolt. And, it will be televised.

    • The 5th circle of hell… BTW Dante being an Italian politician put all his enemies in hell.

    • Joe America says:

      A wonderful description. Fifth Circle of Hell it is. Now the assignment I drop off for you is to apply your same vision to solving the problem, with the condition it cannot be pie in the sky, it has to be doable in six years. At least the fundamentals do, so that people in Hell at least notice there is a doorway out . . . even if it will take them a little time to climb over the bodies to get to it.

      Thanks for letting your fevered mind run free.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Thanks for the figure bout population here in Metro Manila. The religious allegories from Dante do nothing for me..Just skipped all that..But I see here each day the over crowding, the poverty, the homelessness. And I ask why does this happen ?
      Well the answer is simple : Metro Manila is attractive to the poor over populated unemployed and landless in the various villages and provinces…

      The Philippines the Catholic Church has for generations discouraged contraception and even knowledge about contraception..And couples with hardly any land to support them selves have children early and often. ( After all sex is cheaper than cigarettes, drugs or alcohol ) There is little work or opportunity or food, so the kids drift to the cities, especially the big city, Manila with dreams of a better life. And there they join the homeless living in back allies, along the Pasig banks, under bridges..And in a sense clutter the lives and streets of urban Malineros. And they respond by seeking to live in separate enclaves like Makati…

      • Bill in Oz says:

        By the way, this process has happened before : Ireland with big famiiies, in the 1840’s when potato blight wiped out the crop, saw the population of Ireland drop by 2/3’s…People died of hunger; people migrated to the cities of England or to the USA. But Ireland was not the only country where this happened. It happened in the Netherlands and Germany and in Russia..It happened in Italy also…And now the same process is happening in the Philippines…It truly is an example of lemming like behaviour.. ( Though recent research states that lemmings actually don’t jump off cliffs in mass ‘suicide’ episodes )

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I do not like Communism. But I have to admit my admiration for the Chinese making and enforcing the one Child policy back in the late 1970’s. early 1980’s.

          There is now a huge prosperous middle class and wealthy elite in China. But there is also still a massive 300 million desperate poor living in isolated rural areas away from the East coast. Imagine what would have happened in China if they had continued unregulated population growth for the past 35 years…

          I suggest there would now be humungous deep poverty all over China even if there had been economic growth…

          The second thing that the Comunists did was prevent huge population movements to the cities.To live in Beijing or Shanhai etc each person had to have a residency permit…And even if you got a job in Beijing most times the family did not get a permit…This prevented the development of huge slum areas such as are now in Manila..

          That was the alternative path : it was the path not taken. Now the consequences are here and avoidable.

          • The whole thing about requiring residence (and work) permits for cities was first implemented by the German Reich of Bismarck – including national IDs I think, and the post-WW1 Weimar Republic abolished it – paving the way for Hitler via growth of urban poverty (Brecht’s Threepenny Opera is all about that) and a supply of street thugs for both Communists and Nazis. Russians (Lenin) and later Chinese copied the old system.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Ahhh, Bismark !! I did not know that nor that Weimar abolished it… I guess Bismark had the same problem in Prussia : massive movements of poor desparate peasantry. But on a slightly smaller scale to China’s

              • Yes… and I think it was also to keep the tenants of the landlord class that Bismarck belonged to (serfdom was abolished very late in Prussia) from moving to industrial areas without a job… work permits (Arbeitserlaubnis) and residence permits (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) were mandatory within the Reich… the comedy based on a true story of the Captain of Köpenick is about a Berlin bum who buys a captain’s uniform and commandeers Köpenick City Hall because he can’t get a job without the permits… at least in the comedy the Kaiser laughs and says this could only happen in Germany where all people believe in uniforms, pardons him and orders city hall to give him the permits…

                The poor tenants of landlords lived in places like Silesia, many moved to the Ruhr area to man the steel plants and coal mines over there… many were of Polish origin which is why Polish surnames are common to this day in places like Dortmund, Essen, Oberhausen. The Poles were to the Germans as the Irish and Welsh were to the English… and yes they also have an old culture of victimhood… to this day there is a “Polish loser’s club” in Berlin but that is more an ironic thing. Silesia BTW was grabbed by Frederick the Great because of its agricultural power… Brandenburg was permanently hungry due to its very poor soil.

  17. caliphman says:

    As I see it at this point, the nightmare scenarios between a Duterte and Binay presidency is quite different in this respect. With Binay, it is one where systemic corruption reigns supreme and so long as one plays ball, one’s life and liberty is less at risk as the country’s coffers are bled dry. With Duterte, as volatile, impulsive, and with his willingness to take extralegal shortcuts, everything is at risk including his presidency. I would be very surprised if he finishes his term as either an EDSA will unseat him, a military coup takes him down, or more likely congress will try to impeach him and he will end up seizing power as a dictator. Its a very grim choice between the rwo but would one rather have a plunderer or a dictator at the throne? And do not forget, Marcos II might be waiting in the wings. Which is why Poe and Roxas even if at worst they are trapos are the best outcomes for me as these are risks the country has weathered before.

    • caliphman says:

      Its always been a mystery to me why Roxas supporters did not understand that in averting a disaster, choosing the good or not so bad may be a viable option than insisting on perfect, when there dim prospects for the latter. Whats worse is the declines in Poe’s chances snd Duterte’s lead have been attributed to the negative attacks against her mainly from Roxas supporters. Its only lately at CPM that some bloggers are getting it that Duterte and not Poe is the worst enemy of Daang Matuwid and should be the focus of their attacks. No one is saying that one should not vote for Roxas but why do anything that causes others to support Duterte? There is a saying, the enemy of my enemy is my ally.

      • Joe America says:

        Both Binay and Duterte have attacked Poe on the “American” issue. The decline in her standing is due to her own decisions and little more. We should expect people to lay off her for some reason of valor? She is a woman or poor orphan and we can’t pick on her? Laying it on Roxas is more of the same o same o reverse attack mechanics that understand, ROXAS IS THE BIGGEST THREAT to Poe, Binay and Duterte, so we better hammer him as weak and trapo and whatever. Binay has even been candid enough to say so.

        • caliphman says:

          Thats not supported by information from the surveys which indicate that any defections from Poe help Duterte and Binay. That smear on Pie or her family is a bunch of crap but I see it all the time coming from Roxas supporters. Even Philippine election laws distinguish the difference between a Filipino serving in a foreign army or one where the country has a mutual defense treaty like the US. The point is its okay to vote for Roxas and not Poe but its mindless to go negative on her when the expected outcome is to help Duterte become president instead of Roxas.

          • caliphman says:

            The biggest threat to Duterte and Binay is not Roxas. The election outcome is going to be decided by the masa and Roxas has not, is not, and most likely will not be their hero. Its a horse race between Poe and Duterte and maybe Binay so I can understand the latter two going negative on her and each other because they stand to gain defections from her.

          • Joe America says:

            Well, neither of us has budged from our starting points, so there is a certain futility to the discussion. Roxas gets smeared infinitely more than he smears, but his followers may indeed be willing to go where he, himself, does not. The smears of Roxas tend to be soft as to his style rather than hard as to his stand on issues. Those are avoided, in fact. So I have no idea why you think Poe should also not be grilled on the soft issues, like oaths abandoned and citizenship of her family. You have always argued “hands off of Poe” because she is the best bet to block Binay. No. No. No special treatment. She wants a tough job, she better to learn to walk and talk and function in that arena.

    • Joe America says:

      Agree. I do think Robredo will win the VP position.

      • caliphman says:

        I am not optimistic as you are about Robredo winning. But do not het me wrong. I want her to win and intend to vote for her.

      • R.Hiro says:

        For the very first time I am voting for a national executive leader, Robredo. Even if Duterte makes it she would be probably around to succeed him as I believe he will not last the full term.

        I am attaching a link in which most will not understand but it is crucial. No matter who becomes president little will change. All this talk of credit ratings downgrade etc are bull’s manure.

        As Joe has frequently stated in the past he no speak da English when it comes to economics facts that matter.

        We have today over $100 billion in forex reserves (counting FCDU accounts). BSP overnite rate remains at 4% to Fed’s 0.05%. Can Grace, Digong or Binay change those figures? Sources of forex so far are still sustainable.. Fiscal problems remain as to how to broaden revenues. Smuggling expected to get worse as steel overcapacity is already resulting in intermediate steel products coming in very cheap. It expanded greatly due to the over valued peso and weak law enforcement. Low incomes and jobs that pay very little are fueling massive discontent in an era of plenty for the lucky few.

        Oil is still low and will remain so as China shuts down its industries which have tremendous overcapacity which will help us with the process of disinflation still ongoing.

        The ruling elite of this country have spread their bets among the challengers. All their economic and fiscal advisers are all the same old faces drawn from the acolytes of the IMF-WB. They also have all been vetted by the U.S. government.

        You saw them all at Escudero’s wedding.. Zobel, Sy, Tan, Ang, Ongpin. Even Poe’s main man for anti-crime is the personal friend and security man of Inigo Zobel..

        Right now the Liberal party only weapon are the beneficiaries of the CCT which they have organized as the main source of bodies for rallies of Roxas.

        Even using the China card will not work for the government. The largest claimants to the Spratlys is not China but Vietnam. They occupy almost 3-4 times the territories occupied by China.

  18. ExESGO says:

    I question the sanity of a lot of people nowadays.

    Anyways, the only ever gripe I ever had with the national government was never ever choosing Federalism. Maybe shit would be much different, maybe it wouldn’t, who’d know. I just grow tired of the national government becoming the shitting ground for anything and everything (because you know, clearly the MRT/LRT is a national issue, because overcrowding in Manila is a national issue, list goes on).

    The national government that has the run an archipelago of countless people all with different dialects.

    How wonderful.

    • Joe America says:

      Check in on next Tuesday’s blog, ExESGO. I will be discussing a variation of federalism. I actually think the National Government has made significant steps forward the past six years. Agencies that provide social services, build roads, improve defense, prepare for storms, hunt criminals, and build infrastructure have done a lot of good works. These achievements are usually buried under the popular complaints, which is unfortunate, because I think people have no idea how close to a modern, functioning government they have.

  19. Reymart says:

    Tot the author Joe America,
    1.) Do you even have the right to claim that you are Filipino? 2.) Do you even know the real situation happening on the grounds? Yes, you’re all saying that the Philippine economy is an all time high, but the majority of people don’t see or feel it, only the elites and powerful can. Why? Because their simply boosting the economy for them to corrupt. Admit it or not, these so called growth (which equates to wealth) doesn’t reach the people on the ground. A classic example is the Yolanda funds. Did it even reach the victims? Please, stop nullifying their previous and current situations, they themselves said that they barely had help. The evidence is right there… NGOs and private sectors were able to build better shelter for these victims, than the government, who got BILLIONS worth of donations. That’s only one example, there’s a lot more happening of it happening in the Philippines.

    You’re in no position to tell us that the economy is growing and insist that it’s actually happening when it’s not. Cos if it is, poverty would have been minimized.. But hello??? You’re trying to turn a blind eye on that reality. You’re the only ones who could feel that “economic growth” because your stocks and other investments might be getting huge returns, while the simple Filipinos still live pay check to pay check because continuous inflation, with no signs of wage increase.


    I’m not a Duterte Supporter mind you. I have yet to decide who to vote for, but one thing is for sure… It’s definitely not Roxas and not daang matuwid, The Aquino administration hasn’t event fixed that MRT issue, which is if you think about it, a very simple case compared to other economic uphills that they have to battle, pero wala pa rin. How can we expect that this administration can live up to its promise when it can’t even deliver the simplest one.


    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog, Reymart. I’d respond, but you are not here to listen, so thanks for saying your piece. I hope some day you learn to seek information genuinely, with an open mind and respectful heart.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      I am not Filipino either..But if you are willing to read and actually ‘think’ a bit you may learn things which help you and other Filipinos..
      1 : In this world there are basically only 2 different ways of dealing with mass poverty
      First get rid of all the rich by taking away their wealth and redistributing it among the poor. This helps the very poor for a short while.It’s called communism. It is the same as taking a big bowl of rice and emptying out between everybody..But there is a big problem.The rice bowl does not get refilled.
      Second : help the economy grow bigger and bigger and tax the wealth to help the poor. That’s called capitalism. And it works over the longer time because the rice bowl gets being refilled..

      Now ……You spent 5 lines of your comment with the key board on caps lock. That’s shouting mate. If a total stranger SHOUTED AT YOU would you listen ? I doubt it. I wouldn’t.

      Clearly you are concerned about the position of the poor and lower iddle class Filipinos. Good ! But be civilised in the way you express it here. That way we all listen to each other.

      • reyserve says:

        Sorry for the caps lock. It was meant for emphasis. I apologize if it seemed very offensive. Actually, I stopped reading when I read the part that says we should continue the current administration because it’s doing really well, it’s stated as if the entire Philippines will eventually find salvation if they’re (the daang matuwid) able to go on… The author should do a reality check, not from where he’s standing, but from down below where economics should really matter.

        From then and there, I could see that the author of this post had no single idea what the real scenario is in the PH. His exaggeration about the economy and how the PH is doing really well can only be considered as a rich man’s dream. I don’t see how this supposed to be enlightening post is genuinely concerned about the real Pinoys, the ones that should matter. The solution that’s being presented here is a huge insult to the middle and lower class, because it’s purely depicting a capitalistic solution, one that strives to get more money out of the the people.

        I’ve been reading quite a lot from this blog, and I hate how the author is depicting Roxas as if he’s some kind of a hero. You’ll see that he’s a total opposite, if you just set aside your own personal interest – which is to make more money out of the Philippine economy. The whole of point of boosting the economy is to empower the majority – the mass where the middle and lower class are dwelling. Mar Roxas is only a solution for the Rich and the capitalists of this republic. If he’s elected as the president, the investors and the elites will be happy because their business will flourish, but surely that won’t be the case for every Filipino living in this country. It has never been that way. It will continue to be the living cliche that it currently is: The Rich gets richer, the poor becomes poorer. Let’s face it, that’s our current reality.

        It’s sad how elites and those half baked Filipinos get to enjoy the so called economic growth of the PH, when the people who owns the country couldn’t. That’s when you realize that the government has failed its people. The Philippines is becoming a stranger to its people, if this so called economic growth that we are all experiencing is really happening. How come the majority can’t feel it? Is it happening only to a certain social status?

        To the author of this blog, I am aware that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, you must also consider if you are actually qualified to give out such opinion. You’re talking about the future of the Philippines here as if you belong in this country. Yet, it’s pretty clear that you don’t even belong here and that your intention is just to save whatever money it is that you have gambled in the PH economy. So, No. You don’t get to tell us what’s good for the entire Philippines, cos you don’t genuinely care about the people in this country anyway.

        • Joe America says:

          The nice thing about it, reyserve, is that people here are free to read or not. Think for themselves, or not. Listen to you, or not. It is clear that you are new to the blog, have no idea what you are talking about, and come swooping in as a super-moralist who believes he can decide who can say what, or who is important or not. It is people like you who scare me most, mentally unhinged, totally uncivil twerps empowered by a guy like Duterte, shouting first and asking questions later. I give you space of my own choosing, so that you can display the horrors of Duterte, straight up.

          • – Joe, this recent article is in the same tenor as the posting above:

            And if Duterte doesn’t win, I want the next president to be majestically scared to death to irritate this Duterte-led movement. I want the next president to think that if they turn their back on any of us – the women, the LGBT, the idealistic millennials, the leftists and the clamoring Filipino who is fed up of the present system – they will face the fury of the Duterte-engaged and enraged Filipino.

            I want the next president to be made fully aware of what kind of politics this new breed of enlightened Filipino aspires for that they will start working on getting their presidential ass in the left lane and never, ever contemplates on swerving back the yellow line. We want freedom. We want equality. And we want it now!

            This is why I am voting for Duterte. To assist the million of other Duterte supporters send a translucent and resounding battle cry: we’re fucking here. And we’re watching you. And you have got to serve our interests. The interest of the people, not just the privileged few. The interest of the oppressed and the marginalized, not just the elites. Because if not, there will be blood. And there will be chaos. And you’re not going to like it.

            You vote how you will. I won’t contend or vilify your choice. We’re a democracy and I am voting for Duterte. Both my head and my heart are in perfect harmony.

            Namaste, fuckers.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, the incivility of our kind. Cave men, still. The Duterte formula, the NPA formula, the BIFF frmula, the ISIS formula, all the same. “My way or die, MF.”

        • eag97a says:

          Well if you have been reading this blog my first suggestion is support all of your allegations about Mar with hard data (links to documents and not just links to opinion pieces.), Secondly instead of ranting I also suggest you provide concrete alternative solutions to the problems we’re facing. By the tenor of your post it seems you care about income inequality and poverty in general but has not provided any solutions at all. And lastly and I can’t stress this too much but if you want to be heard do your research, provide your solutions (or Du30 solutions) with data and you will find that we will be engaged and will debate it constructively to your hearts content.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Reymart/Reyserve…On behalf of all of us here, thanks for the apology about the caps lock..And for myself, thanks for going on to explain what you think the way you do…

          I am an Australian and I do not really think it is my job to tell Filipinos how to run their country. Neither am I here to invest money and gain a huge profit and leave. I am here for purely private & personal reasons.

          But I do have opinions about some of the candidates as people. And whether they should be accepted as candidates for election to be president of your nation.

          I don’t think anyone who is charged with mass theft should be accepted as a candidate.Binay is charged with massive billion pesos theft. In my country he would be have been before a court years ago.And either convicted or found innocent. That is justice. Here the president & vice president have immunity. In my opinion that’s nuts. But changing that is up to you Filipinos, not me.

          2 I don’t think anyone who has admitted killed people or organising death squads to kill people is at all qualified to be elected as president. Duterte has publicly admitted to killing people and organising death squads to deal with individuals he thought were criminals or who disagreed with him in Davao. In the eyes of law abiding people that makes him a murderer. Since when has a murderer been acceptible as presidential candidate ? What other national leaders would want to deal personally with such a man if he became president ? Maybe China & North Korea. But few others

          3 I think it is very, very weird when an election candidate states that she is sick with a cancer which could kill her. Miriam Santiago is sick with cancer.She is under going a new cancer therapy that may cure her.I wish her well as an individual in her battle with this cancer.But it is nuts to stand as a candidate for president. She may be president for all of 6 months and they die or have to resign.

          This means to me, that there are just 2 candidates who are suitable to be standing for election as president. Roxas & Poe. And there have been numerous long discussions on this blog about both of them.

          I don’t have an opinion worth listening to about these two. I do not know enough. But my Filipina partner intends to support Poe & Robredo. I think she shares some of your views about Roxas. She knows personally how hard it is living here in Manila. She is not to happy with some of the actions by the current government.

          ( She is waiting for Aquino to approve the senate bill giving nurses a salary increase so that their income is a liveble one. I read in the Enquirer how nurses just finished nursing degrees get paid 175 pesos a day or 875 pesos a week or 3500 pesos a month. Duh !!! Does the government really expect graduate nurses to live on this a month ? If so then really the Liberal party does not deserve to be in office. But maybe Aqiono will hear the cries of these woman..Or maybe Roxas will whisper in his ear. )

          But more important for her is simply that she wants to vote for a woman as president and vice president.

    • Jean says:

      @Reymart: I don’t believe in Mar. I think he will go through the motions expected of him but deep down he could care less. He is in it to feed his ego. Likewise, I think Pnoy is an poser as well but one that is wise enough to know that he needs to throw the dog a bone every once in awhile to keep on with his charade.

      I feel where you are coming from… BUT there are a few things I want to address from your rather strong stance.

      1.) we both have to agree that PNOY, has done well by this country, better compared to the latest string of presidents. Economy is better. The people on the ground (I am one of them I think) don’t feel it much. True, but that is because such things need time to take root and grow. Besides people like us are to busy complaining and are too immersed in our indignation to notice such things.

      2.) Joe is not Filipino by blood. He is “Filipino” by choice. This kind of citizenship isn’t tangible form a legal perspective. He is Filipino in spirit (Where it most matters if you ask me). He does more in an effort to uplift national pride, consciousness and respect than your average blood born citizen. He doesn’t just spew, he does his homework and his positioning has basis. While I often disagree with how he draws his conclusions, his contributions in the conversations is always aimed to be constructive.

      Oh, he does get on my nerves but I believe that its part of his charm

      3.) I used to use the yolanda issue when I needed to bring out my big guns to attempt to shoot Mar down. I stopped doing that. If you dig around a little bit, you’ll find out the money really should be there. if they didnt get it, it isn’t Mar fault at that point anymore.

      4.) I think you are fed up with people telling you Mar is the only legit, rational, intelligent, moral and ethical choice when you can not for the life of you see why that is so… let me tell you, you are not alone.

      5.) While ranting is a totally acceptable reaction, its not always the best way to get a solution and isn’t a solution what we are all after?

      • Joe America says:

        Charm. Hahahahaha.

        By the way, here is a brief prepared by NEDA as of last November providing a snapshot of the various Yolanda programs, all within NEDA’s development plan:

        Click to access December-Yolanda-Updates.pdf

        When something seriously damaging occurs, and incredibly tragic, I think we would do well to stop playing politics with it, thereby dishonoring those who died, those who suffer and those who have worked so hard to help the nation recover (a feat recognized internationally as being well done).

        • Jean says:


          The nerve comment refers usually to you coming off with a rebuttal that I have no answers for. It normally means you are right and I’ll admit I am not very graceful or dignified in defeat

        • “When something seriously damaging occurs, and incredibly tragic, I think we would do well to stop playing politics with it”

          it’s simply in the end.

          • Joe America says:

            Right. Storm season is approaching. I was reflecting on it this morning whilst outside in the unbearable heat of this brutal dry season. Global warming is some serious shit. Why the hell are we acting like children?

        • Joe America says:

          I would note, if one considers what Sec. Roxas was responsible for on the list, one goes down the line to “Municipal Facilities Restored”. Social services, roads, agriculture and fishing . . . all other departments of government than DILG. Roxas was in Tacloban when the storm hit, along with with Sec. Gazmin. Defense is responsible for immediate disaster response, Roxas for representing President Aquino. There is a lot of ignorance or gameplaying going on to make Roxas any kind of culprit. Only one city had any problem with Roxas’ work.

      • BassB says:

        Gasoline is at least 1$ per liter, we have rotating power interruptions 3 times daily, our Traffic is like hell, Crime is everywhere because of poverty, and our Government officials are … i can’t find a word to describe them. well, 98% of them are Corrupt. No sir, our institution is not in progress.

        • Joe America says:

          @BassB, My guess is that 12% of national agency officials are corrupt (excluding PNP, which may be higher) and some 58% of local officials are corrupt (using their jobs to collect extra cash). My guess is you don’t know anything about economics or how to cure the Philippines’ endemic poverty. You are just another angry person looking for a gun to fire and you don’t care who it hurts.

          • Joe America says:

            As a note, the Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT or PPPP) has been internationally recognized for its structure and intent, to both assist poor families and keep kids healthy and in school. It has raised over 1.2 million families out of poverty. Enrollment under the Aquino Admin. has increased from around 1 million in 2010 to 4.4 million today.


            As of August 26, 2015, there are 4,353,597 active household-beneficiaries, of which 570,056 are indigenous households and 217,359 have at least one PWD. The program also covers 10,235,658 schoolchildren aged 0 to 18, from the total registered with an average of two to three children per household.

            High compliance rates were recorded for the months of March and April 2015: 99.91% for the deworming of children aged 6-14; 98.99% for school attendance of children aged 6-14; 98.33% for school attendance of children in daycare aged 3-5; 97.05% for school attendance of children aged 15-18; 95.95% for health visits of pregnant women and children aged 0-5; and 94.84% for attendance in family development sessions.


            It is easy to complain about poverty. It is quite something different to DO something about it.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > A classic example is the Yolanda funds.

      *sigh* I am amazed that hizzoner Alfred Romauldez has escaped culpability in this disaster, when he could’ve taken the warnings seriously and sent his constituents to safe ground. But he just passed the buck to this administration.

      And even more amazing that he’s now running for office — again!

      • Joe America says:

        Wiki: Hizzoner is a corruption of the title “His Honor”, used in particular to refer irreverently to the mayor of larger cities in the United States, especially the Mayor of New York City.

        Very good. He is a propaganda mastermind, though, so he might have some utility . . .

      • chempo says:

        And he will win again !

        That is the horror story of this blog.

      • Jake says:

        Everytime I hear him talk about Yolanda, I cringe. He usually always talks about *his* or *his family’s* “hardship”, barely about his constituents.

        And let’s not even talk about what Lucy Torres revealed about the LGU response to post-Yolanda. It’s horrible that it’s no wonder Eastern Visayas remain 9ne of the poorest region in tbe Philippines

    • Peter Penduke says:

      I am from the lower class, Filipino, and I DON’T SHARE your view.

    • Bronn says:


  20. cwl says:

    Judging by the behavioral pattern of the Filipino voters, it is almost certain that we might pick the wrong candidate again. As we made the wrong choice in the 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010 elections. Good that FVR was able to squeeze out of the tight race in 1992 and bested MDS, by the “narrowest” of margin.

    What with presidential bets Imelda, Danding C and MDS.

    In 1998, we made again the wrong choice electing a populist Erap and thrashing the likes of Roco and De Villa. And then EDSA 2.

    We can redeem ourselves in 2004 as it was clear that we have a replaced a corrupt populist with a corrupt “economist.” No, FPJ, was not good choice but Roco and Lacson are much better than GMA.

    .In 2010, fed up with corruption of GMA regime, we elect PNoy over the much qualified Gibo because of the latter’s identification with the GMA presidency. Too bad for not seeing beyond Gibo’s endorser (GMA).

    The only consolation of the 20101 elections is that PNoy turned out to be a good President.

    And we are on a roll now because it seems another bad choice is coming.

    • Joe America says:

      Cycles of self punishment (orphan metaphor seeking to prove oneself worthless) and rising gloriously from the mat (Pacquiao metaphor for resilience and heroism). EDSA was a magnificent rise. Then staggering on the ropes, and down under Arroyo. Aquino rose valliantly. Maybe now its back to the mat. Yep. Might be you have that pegged right.

  21. chempo says:

    A Binay or Poe presidency will see a paradigm shift in the oligarchical sphere of influence. Perhaps Ongpin will end up running MRT. Cojuanco may well end up with all his coconuts.

    A Duterte presidency will be a nightmare scenario. (I am putting my personal plans for a small biz here on hold).

    All 3 of them do not have experience managing a struggling economy in a complex economic environment of the 21st century. Binay and Duterte have no patience for detailed planning.

    Whilst un-informed Filipinos play with the dice on May 9, most do not know of a new terrible rumbling that’s on the way. It’s more terrible than 2008 or sub-prime crashes. In the past few weeks, Obama has been having a series of hushed meetings with Fed chair Yellen. Such meetings are very rare and the intensity and numbers of such meetings in recent weeks have led many to believe something unthinkable is coming. The bets are its about Wall Street again. This time it is more terrifying. US banks have US140 billion exposures both funded and unfunded, to the energy sector. Many of these oil plays are on the verge of bankruptcy, in fact many are already under water. The background, in brief, is the fact that govts and corporates purchase their oil forward based on planned fiscals, every thing is budgetted ahead. They would have bought lots of oil in the futures market months ago when the price was in the $80-$90 region. Many did not hedge thinking the $60 prices is short lived. They are deadmeat come delivery time. With easy credits and an economy awash with liquidity, banks poured in huge loans to the sector. What is worst is that this time, its not the investment banks, but the commercial banks thats the culprits. Watch out for Citibank and Bank of Amerca woes. JP Morgan too, being the only investment bank to get caught this time.

    We need cool and experienced hands to navigate through such difficult times ahead.

    • what a nightmare scenario. got blind sided by the futures market, forgot how much exposure the banks have with all the energy concerns. but in this case the opec nations, the US and Russia even. Raise the price of oil. something easier said than done.

    • eag97a says:

      Yup I remember reading about 2 firms in the oil and gas sector declaring bankruptcy. Bloomberg has been covering Wall Streets’ (meaning investment and commercial banks) exposure to the sector. I’m more worried about negative interest rates and the prospects of the world economy in general. We as a nation might be buffered and more resilient against external shocks but we are still interconnected with the world economy.

      • chempo says:

        Not so my friend. You need to deal with the droves of inbound OFWs whose jobs get terminated, mostly indirectly, from these oil problems. As it is, we are already seeing a lot coming home from the Middle Eastern oil producing countries. It’s a double whammy — unemployment and negative impact on the Philippines balance of payments.

    • “cool and experienced hands to navigate” like Angela Merkel over here.

      There are people who hate her cool, chemistry PhD demeanor, but her chemistry training (consider all the elements before mixing things) is perfect for the stuff going down now.

      The recent refugee crisis was yet another test of her leadership, but she managed to get two macho party leaders (Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel and Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer aka Chief Crazy Horst for some) together to draft a new immigration law.

      Fortunately the German Bundestag is NOT the Philippine Congress, individualism among the MPs is reined in by party leaders, the Bundesrat or Upper House is not the Senate, but indeed the Länder or Federal States represented in it (especially Bavaria) may ask for last-minute changes to that law and bring it into the Vermittlungsausschuss (bicam-like), but experience shows that laws like that take at most half a year to pass including the Ausführungsverordnungen (similar to IRRs in the Philippines). Just in time to calm down the anger of the people before the 2017 elections and prevent right-wing groups like NPD and AfD which just came into state parliaments from being too large in the Federal Parliament or even derailing a majority for Merkel in that crucial election year, trumping things up…

      The Greek crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the refugee crisis – three European crises which Merkel has had to deal with. Brexit she has chosen to remain silent about, let the Brits sort it out themselves – in fact Cameron being in the Panama Papers has helped in this stuff.

      Süddeutsche Zeitung (the Munich paper behind the leak) has been flying a blimp over the city in the last few days – I wonder if that is their idea of a joke sometimes, of showing how they have caused a commotion. Saw the blimp this weekend when I was close to their HQ.

    • caliphman says:

      I would not weep for the the multinational oil corporations on any losses from their oil futures positions. Those are generally erected as hedges meaning any gains or losses would be offset by their long term pricing contracts on gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products. If there are reported losses, its mainly from required accounting inventory writedowns but over the long term should be offset by increased operating income from cost of goods reflecting LIFO accounting and the huge drop in oil prices. From an economic standpoint, its the oil exploration companies engaged in high cost extraction processes like shale oil fracking as well as that are getting clobbered. Much of the financial analysis on the impact of the oil price drop is too complicated to discuss here. But the point is, its not necessarily the case that oil companies are losing their shirts because of their lisses on oil futures hedges.

      • Ah, there it is. Thanks for that, caliphman. Any chance those oil rigs off coast and fracking on land will stop? Or is it more likely that we’ll see more of the same.

        • caliphman says:

          Thats the whole point of why the Saudis have not stopped pumping. Among other things to reduce Iranian oil revenues from the relaxation of sanctions and to knockout high cost oil producers elsewhere.

    • “Many of these oil plays are on the verge of bankruptcy, in fact many are already under water. “

      Are these related to my favorite topic of fracking, chemp?

      You just made me pee my pants with that post. Thanks.

        • Supposedly its Kern county and Ventura county seeing the bulk of these frackings, Joe (LA county too, I think towards Long Beach). Off coast you can see oil rigs as far as Morro Bay. The map doesn’t seem to represent this. Wonder why? I know they’ve attempted to keep all this on the down low… let me Google other maps. thanks.

        • This one is what I’m familiar with,

          Here’s a better map,

      • chempo says:

        @ Lance

        It seems the exposures to the Exploration & Production sector is lower, as it should be. This is the most risky sector, and your frackers are here. The longer the price of oil stays at todays price level, the worse their situation day by day.

        Banks counter their funded exposures to the energy portfolio is a small percentage of their over-all loan book which remains good quality. How many times have we hear them say this. The problem is oil business, as Caliphman say, is very complicated. It’s in the trading part, the unfunded part, that may be the puncher. When the trades unravel, there may be lots of casaulties.

        There is a worry the Feds may raise rates a bit to improve the profits of the banks.

        Anyway, I threw in the comment just to express that we need real capable hands to manage the economy. I dont see Binay, Duterte or Poe favorably here.

        • caliphman says:

          One thing to bear in mind is here in the US, any large consumer of oil or other downstream products whether government agencies or corporates have pretty sophisticated risk management departments.Any large exposures whether it be interest rates, foreign exchange, even power rates are typically hedged either through the futures or commodities markets or via derivatives and swaps. The last named is what brought down AIG during the subprime and Lehman collapses because they wrote the credit insurance and swaps the major banks and corporations used to protect themselves. It would be considered management negligence if any large exposures including those from long term contracts to purchase or sell oil were left unhedged. Any large corporate losses from such negligence would bring on shareholder suits against the board or management. Even smaller companies and municipalities lacking the expertise or financial clout to hedge these exposures can resort to banks and other institution to perform this function for a fee.
          Hence, there will indeed be a few companies who were caught with unhedged oil exposures when prices fell off a cliff but these would be the exceptions rather than the rule, and perhaps not from any intentional speculation by management.


    In a wider sense, the emergence of Duterte on the national stage is part of growing frustration in Asia at the established elites who have been running governments for decades. His supporters have more in common with the middle-class farmers of northeastern Thailand who backed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra against the establishment in Bangkok or the frustrated voters who pushed for the nomination of Joko Widodo as the presidential candidate of Megawati Sukarnoputri’s party. Malaysia, with popular frustration growing at Prime Minister Najib Razak, may be seeing the rumblings of this trend.

    Investors are likely to feel unease with Duterte’s rise because of his lack of national economic policymaking experience and unproven ability to manage a larger bureaucracy. For this, he will have to rely on economic advisers and managers, whose identities are yet unclear, and seek the cooperation of Congress, which could deflate his promise of quick action.

  23. rxcluezer says:

    Just watch the political implications of the hunger games trilogy thats what happening now in philippines…

    • Duterte is like the head of District 13 who wants to gain power against what is seen or made to look like the Evil Capitol (“Imperial Manila”) and pretends to be for the people.

      He may yet reap what he has sown if he is not careful… if his folks kill the wrong person just like Katniss’ sister he may yet end the same way as the short-lived President Coin from District 13… those who live by the sword (or the gun) often die by the sword – or the gun.

  24. Bill in Oz says:

    Irineo, you are emphasing the drama qualities here..And I do not watch TV…here on in Oz for that matter..

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahahaha, Binay = Yoda and Duterte = drug lord. Poe = rich lady. Santiago = cruel auntie. (I always thought she looked like the Queen of Hearts in Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland; very similar). Roxas’ glasses = trustworthy.

      That all seems fairly accurate to me. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. Comic relief from the drama…

  26. TheBrit says:

    Stop blaming the government – it’s you citizens who need to change your mindset. If you don’t change the way you think then you will still get the same people who will run the country. Filipinos need to be educated that these civil servants should serve the people and not the public serving them. It is your tax who is paying their salary, therefore, whoever is going to run the country are your employees.

    Duterte – how is he going to represent the Philippines in the international world? Lack of finesse, scaremonger, lacks human rights value, ‘bastos’, cannot hold a decent conversation without being sexually malicious, creepy – a dangerous candidate. to elect him will be the country’s suicide.

    Binay – do we need to say more? how did he acquire his wealth? you get a corrupt person you get the whole of his family running the country. another dangerous candidate to lead the country. to elect him too will be the country’s suicide.

    Poe – at whose interest she will be siding when the US/Philippine relationship goes into shambles, or does she have a hidden agenda to ask US to be their 53rd state. She mentioned she is fulfilling her dad’s ambition. Well if this is not her ambition and her heart is not into this leadership but because of her late father then she is another questionable candidate. to elect her will be the country’s prostitution to the US.

    Defensor-Santiago – fierce, strong, independent minded, intelligent, quick witted, has intelligent sense of humour, very knowledgeable and highly educated, very experienced in foreign affairs, all boxes ticked to be the best candidate to run the country……but you will get a Marcos along with her. Sadly a very bad choice for a running partner and because of this she may not get elected.

    Roxas – is the only one electable along with running mate as vice-president, but he needs to have Defensor-Santiago’s fierceness and strength.

    • Joe America says:

      Gadzooks, TheBrit. Did you steal my notes, or what?

    • madlanglupa says:

      > it’s you citizens who need to change your mindset.

      It is said that Alexandra, wife of the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas, advised, “Be firm,” she wrote to him in real life, “Russia loves to feel the whip – it’s their nature – tender love and then the iron hand to punish and guide.”

      Perhaps this might explain why there is strong support for Duterte: to “discipline and civilize” all the Filipinos.

      • “Russia loves to feel the whip – it’s their nature – tender love and then the iron hand to punish and guide.”

        A Russian woman living in Germany once said in an interview: “we like it that German men are loving and don’t beat us up like Russian men do. What we miss is that they don’t raise their voices or hit the table from time to time to be the man, to show who is in charge”.

        Jessica Zafra once mentioned in her blog that Russian novels remind her of Filipinos: the religiosity mingled with superstition, the sudden kindness interspersed with brutality.

        Guess it is the common feudal experience… Dead Souls by Gogol BTW is about a mayor who makes the dead vote in elections… Duterte supporters have made memes that show Digong as the Putin of the Philippines in Russian letters and are even proud of that.

        Russian officers to this day often treat their non-comms as orderlies – drivers and houseboys, much like some Filipino officers do.

  27. karlgarcia says:

    The BPO industry has a self deprecating phrase for this brain meltdown, sabaw ang utak.
    With close to a million sabaw ang utak voting on May 9 ,election gods have mercy.BPOs dont care if its election day,I doubt many bpo employees wil be allowed to vote anyways.

    • Sabaw na utak… gugustuhin siguro ni Hannibal Lecter iyon… o ni Digong. O kaya iyong mga zombie-killer-thugs na hawak niya… kakainin nila kapag trapik sa EDSA. Gawing komiks siguro itong vision of Hell’s 5th circle… iboboto nila si Satanas bilang Presidente.

  28. Bert says:

    “Roxas – is the only one electable along with running mate as vice-president, but he needs to have Defensor-Santiago’s fierceness and strength.”—TheBrit

    😀 😀 😀 🙂 🙂 🙂

  29. Jose Guevarra says:

    So three weeks before the election, you guys are now blaming Manila for wanting change in the country’s direction and not going for Roxas. How about blaming Roxas for not understanding the way Manila residents think, given that he and his family have been in Philippine politics for three generations now? How about asking Aquino why he would not give Manila residents Abaya’s and Honrado’s heads, for instance, as the price to pay for Manila’s support for Roxas?

    • Joe America says:

      “you guys” did not write the article, Jose. I did, and you can just direct your comment to me. Others say what they want, freely, as you have just done. If you want to write a guest blog to get more prominence for your wisdom, put it on paper. If it is reasonably well laid out, I’ll publish it. As for the questions you pose, they are excellent. Even better would be your ideas about the answers, and even better would be if you stretched yourself to try to imagine the reasons President Aquino or Mar Roxas have different ideas about things than you do. I suspect that there are legitimate reasons (a little matter about information) and management prerogatives (who to replace people who know these technical agencies). You really could benefit, I think, by trying to walk in another’s shoes, in an imaginative way. It is not easy doing that.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        “you guys” did not write the article, Jose. I did, and you can just direct your comment to me.

        But you, Joe, are not alone here in blaming Manila. Others, like Ireneo and karlgarcia, who have given their comments are with you in saying that Imperial Manila is at fault for not supporting Roxas. So by “you guys,” I mean the collective “you.”

        “You really could benefit, I think, by trying to walk in another’s shoes, in an imaginative way. It is not easy doing that.”

        I am not the one running for President, am I? And You (and this time, I mean YOU, Joe) could say the same thing to Aquino, Roxas, and theor cohorts in government. Have they really put themselves in Manila residents’ shoes for a change? Do they really know how it is to be just one of the ordinary guys up and about in the streets of Manila? Have they realized that for instance, increased conditional cash transfers does not buy votes from Manila’s poor? After having been in office for six years, have they really learned what they needed to do to reverse Manila’s perennial oppositionist stance to whoever is in Malacanang so that we would go with them for a change? I bet not.

        • Joe America says:

          Perhaps they have not done so. Perhaps they have tried. Perhaps they have more to do. If they lose the election, that is democracy. It doesn’t negate the point that stability is important to investors.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Jose, I am staying in Manila – in the old ‘downtown’ North of the Pasig. And I stayed here last year for months. So I will make a few comments about this.
          Yes, Manila is Imperial Manila ! It is the capital city And that gives it some advantages over other cities and regions in the Philippines : the spend that comes from having the government based here. the spend that comes from all the foreign visitors; the spend that comes from all the educational institutions based here; and the networking that happens when all these things are gathered in the same region. Etc Etc….

          And these same things are also disadvantages : Imperial Manila attracts hundreds of thousands of people here every year from the provinces.Some are students or people with some job skills seeking work .Some have no skills at all or money or networks..So they wind up homeless on the streets or on the river bank or under bridges, setting up small vendor stalls on the side walks, or begging or selling themselves as prostitutes.. And the Imperial city becomes clogged and cluttered and dirty and smelly and chaotic with people…
          Think ancient Rome but with hundreds of thousands of vehicles as well….

          You are keen to blame Aquino & Roxas for this.That’s bull. Imperial Manila is the creation of generations of assorted conquistadors, Chinese settlers, US colonists and the Filipino people as well..

          What can be done about it ? Well building a properly functioning public transport train system would be good; the three existing lines are a drop in the bucket. Building a network of skyways would also help. However building these take a huge long time here.Why because any change will affect some body’s else’s private ‘interests’..And these folk litigate like mad here.And the courts meander for years because there is no over riding public interest.

          From all of this comes one simple conclusion : Malinenos created this mess collectively. The solution has to be a collective one.No presidential ‘hero’ has the time or capacity to sort out the mess in 6 years

          • “Malinenos created this mess collectively.” yes, after this:


            Filipinos were independent but without a concept of how to handle the legacy of colonial powers (the Spaniards and Daniel Burnham with his original urban plan of Manila) and Quezon who had EDSA and the North and South diversion roads (now NLEX/SLEX) built. Yes Marcos especially his technocrat MMC head Mel Mathay ran Metro Manila – created by decree in 1975 – relatively well, but it was already chaotic then their stuff was Band-Aids not a long-term solution. The LRT/MRT lines a product of foreign studies, nothing original from Marcos himself – has a lot about this… Filipinos have muddled through things since 1945, slums and gated communities started soon after the war, probably a product of Huk insurrection and people leaving the countryside.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Yes Irineo, MacArthur and his soldiers did play a ‘special ‘part in 1945…But I did not really want to blow any trumpets here about it…

              • Neither did I… the main fault is that of Filipinos who did NOT have a blueprint for their nation and their capital city… unlike many other similarly destroyed nations and cities.

                You mentioned Warsaw… Munich where I live was also nearly completely bombed down… there is a big hill north of the city which is basically postwar rubble… nearly everything was rebuilt, which is why 19th-century buildings over here look too fresh, somewhat like a Disneyland version of the 19th century, unlike Paris or even more Lisbon (not damaged at all during World War 2) which look really old. Filipinos simply neglected their city and their country after the war, perhaps because they did not care enough, inspite of “nationalism”. Richard Cavosora cares, but he is an exception I think – the others are mainly egoists.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Wow,thank you for the mention,but how did I blame Manilenos?I mentioned BPOs and sabaw ang utak.It is just like going out to vote intoxicated, you fall in line sleep deprived,or caffeine boosted you can’t think straight.That was all that I meant.If it is about my collective past comments,oh well,I have no excuses.I won’t even ask why me?

          re Jun Abaya and Honrado.
          Abaya happens to be an FB friend (family friend)so I can tag him when I want to say something,Which I did a couple of times. That fatal thing,Antonio Luna,laglag bala….

          He may not give a damn even if I tell him face to face.

          He did not and will not resign because the president,does not want him to resign.That is what he told the public,but he did nor word it that way. He gave the serve under the pleasure of the president line.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Wait, when you said heads,you mean off with their heads????
            Your comment below made you sound like the Queen in Alice in wonderland.

    • ” How about asking Aquino why he would not give Manila residents Abaya’s and Honrado’s heads, for instance, as the price to pay for Manila’s support for Roxas?” Like this? 😀

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        If that is what it takes, why the heck not?

        • O sige, balik kayo sa pagka-headhunter tignan ninyo ang mapapala ninyo diyan.

          Hindi basta-basta solusyonan ang Maynila, sobrang dami na ng tao diyan – baka naman masolusyonan ni Duterte, pero walang sisihan kung may mapatay na angkan ninyo, OK?

  30. Gabriel says:

    We all know how this story ends. Duterte wins, hands down. No rhetoric from the other candidates can change that. Some folks are so concerned about how the Philippines appears to the international community under a Duterte presidency. Perhaps the elites will agonize over this, but the majority of Filipinos living below the poverty line won’t give a flying duck about it. Some want continuity. Continuity? For six years the current admin has allowed my province in Mindanao to waste away due to large scale mining without any regard for the environment. The same miners who are now supporting Mar Roxas (theres no debating this, he openly admitted to using their planes). The same miners who were allowed to operate under a small scale license despite extracting millions of tons of ore each year. And yet you want continuity. Well your continuity can go fish because there’s no way in hell Mar is winning this.

    Huge crowds in Mar’s rallies? Pssh, in my home province, the 4Ps guys were “motivated” to attend his rallies so they can gather bodies. Poe? Binay? Tch.. No chance at all.

    You guys can go on and on about how terrible Duterte would be as a president but at the end of the day, he will win.

    And he will disrupt the status quo.

    • Peter Penduke says:

      Duterte’s presidency ends on May 9.

    • uht says:

      Duterte will disrupt the status quo. You are right, I will give you that. What does he plan to replace it with? Perhaps you should ask that question yourself.

    • Jake says:

      Is it cool to have a president who makes rape jokes?

      Dapat daw siya ang unang nanggahasa

      • Jake,

        This video below came up after I clicked on your link, are they both related (the incident in question)? I can’t make out the Filipino (also can you elaborate on the joke made? thanks),

        • Forget it, Jake… figured it out, it was a whole lot of drunken posturing over this (LOL!),

        • Jake says:

          Basically Duterte is making a rape joke.

          He said he basically says that in the case of the raped girl (gang rape), the mayor should have been first (to rape her)

          • I agree, that’s not cool at all.

            Is this rape recent? Did it happen in Davao? What was Duterte’s involvement, did he kill or prosecute the rapists? If this is recent and fresh in the minds of Filipinos, then I can see it somehow affecting his polls, but if it isn’t or not a well-know rape case (was in the media, like Jennifer Laude), I don’t see it gaining traction, IMHO.

            Also, if anti-Duterte folks were to run with this story, they should attach a photo of the women raped, to humanize, causing empathy to Duterte supporters still on the fence. But that Chinese funding IMHO opinion is a juicier story.

            • madlanglupa says:

              It was an incident more than two decades ago. Most voters today — Duterte’s target audience — weren’t even born yet.


              • Thanks, madlanglupa.

                August 16, 1989|By Teresa Albor, Special to The Tribune.

                MANILA — An Australian woman and four other hostages were among 20 people killed during a two-day drama that ended in a shootout between troops and prison inmates Tuesday afternoon.

                Military authorities say Jacqueline Hamill, 36, an Australian lay missionary, was raped and had her throat slashed by a gang of inmates before troops stormed the prison in downtown Davao, 600 miles southeast of Manila, killing all 15 hostage-takers.


                This isn’t just rape, Duterte was talking about a raped, then murdered, victim.

                So when he looked at her and thought she was HOT, she was laying dead w/ her throat slashed. That’s just sick.

                I gotta feeling this “joke” will turn some pro-Duterte (even rabid ones)— there’s a big difference from socio-path to psycho-path.

              • Keep an eye out on social-media, you’re gonna have a bunch of pro-Duterte’s turning. This is sick.


                MANILA, Philippines – A video of Davao City Rodrigo Duterte saying he was angry at a group of rapists not just because they committed the crime, but because their victim was so beautiful, “the mayor should have been first,” has earned the ire of netizens who see it as another joke done in poor taste…

                Duterte was holding a political rally and in the middle of telling the story of their pursuit of a group of criminals who had raped a number of women. He said he saw one of the victims, an Australian lay minister, whom he described as someone who looked like a beautiful American actress…

                Australian lay missioner Jaqueline Hamill, 36, was among those killed.

              • Ireneo,

                This is being billed as a rape joke, when it’s something completely different. It’s a peek into a piece of memory he had.

                I’m very leery when it comes to rape allegations, so rape jokes I can appreciate (even seemingly misogynistic ones). This guy’s spot on,

                That old grandmother joke (and Bert‘s one tooth addendum to the joke) , that’s a joke. And from the looks of it, can only come out of the Philippines (maybe in the US, but it would be told differently). There’s a level of irreverence to it, you ‘ll not find say in the Mid-East or East Asia, or South Asia (it’s about a grandmother forcrissakes).

                But what Duterte described when taken in context, him uncovering a corpse that day, seeing her throat slashed— and thinking he should’ve tapped that… even a psycho-path knows to keep this type of thought private. That’s how bad that bit of fantasy is.

                So it’s not a joke, it’s a glimpse into his mind.

                I hope journalists and anti-Duterte folks offer more context to what Duterte is describing, telling and stop labeling it as a joke, because that’s not a joke— it’s something totally different.

                It’s a tell.

              • If Trump said something close, I’d turn. I wouldn’t even know how to rationalize something like that.

              • It is about a WHITE woman… and some Filipinos are insensitive to that… I remember an American movie about a lawyer who sways the jury to be more sensitive about a black girl who was raped by telling the audience to imagine she is white and cries while saying that.

                That is why I used the analogy of Mayor Sanchez… the mayor who raped a UPLB student brought to him by his goons, then killed her and her boyfriend… a total nut case but even now in his town, people revere him and vote his son I really wonder sometimes…

              • For me the fact that she was White, means nothing,

                it’s the circumstances surrounding the death and the knowledge of it. Hence it’s a very telling tell.

                I’ve seen dead bodies, and for the most part you’re not privy to the why’s and how’s, you just see it— in all forms. Then there’s killings, on port in Bali we saw a thief get run down into an alley & with tourists watching get pummeled to death (this is supposed to be routine in Bali).

                So there’s deaths you can wrap your mind around, and some you never will— like kids’ bodies laying in the middle of the street.

                But usually when you see a dead body, thoughts of sadness, reverence, mystery, etc. come to mind. The last thought, if it does come to mind, is sex (I don’t think Duterte meant he wanted to be in front of the train, I think he meant before the whole incident transpired).

                So that’s the norm. No normal person looks at a dead body and says, I should’ve tapped that.

                Now imagine a corpse who you knew was just raped repeatedly, then her throat was slashed, Duterte’ s seeing all this, he knows all this (as he’s recounting it), then he adds on top of that memory a sick fantasy (one I’m sure he thought of originally, 25 yrs or so ago).

                That is what’s sick about it— not the race thing, she could’ve been Filipina. It’s him remembering that corpse, and the manner in which he remembers. That should worry his most ardent supporters.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Should he ever come to Oz he will get a warm reception from the police if he wants to play that game. Gang rape is not a joke.That’s what a group of Lebanese 20’s something thugs discovered a few years back in Sydney. Sentences for 20-30 years in jail may smarten them up. It certainly took them off the scene for a good while.

      • The rate of rape in Davao is high… I wonder how much comes from his own goons.

  31. Bill in Oz says:

    Well Gabriel, you are free to invite a man who admits to murdering people, into your home and be boss of your nation. But I have a sneaky feeling not many other nations will extend an invitation to him to come visit..But maybe you want the Philippines to join the other pariah nations on the planet like Zimbabwe or North Korea or Eritea or Venezuela…

    • Duterte can go to Beijing to pay tribute to the friendly giant panda.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Yep, the pariah nation leaders all go there…

      • Kapag iyan ang kaharap ni Digong, takot siya… at baka imbes na kamay na bakal ang lumabas, hetong kamay na bakla na naman ang makikita natin…

        • Vicara says:

          Gabriel, if your province is one of the Surigao or Agusan provinces, you don’t have to look as far as Manila for someone to blame for irregular/illegal mining practices–look to your own people there, your own LGU leaders and government officials who sign permits they aren’t suppose to, or look the other way in return for profit. These are not people exported into your province by Manila, and they are not helpless. Now there are mining companies that follow the law, and mining companies that don’t. But if there’s one thing one can be sure of, mining and coal plants will flourish under a Duterte presidency.

          • And Chinese steel plants… so that China can meet ITS climate change goals and smog will no longer be in Beijing but over the whole Philippines – he wants that industry…

            and he will call Western countries “hypocrites” while kowtowing to Emperor Xi Jinping together with his friend Joma Sison, who will finally come home from Utrecht in glory… they will have starving people cheer them… and give them rice afterwards as a reward. NPepal.

        • NHerrera says:

          Irineo: Hahaha; that hand on his cheek doesn’t look like a “kamay ng bakal” to me. Let us just say — that is the soft side of the man. 🙂

      • chempo says:

        Hahaha…. but only after the panda has given Duterte his railways. He is very smart man you know, this Duterte.

  32. Jessie Intia says:

    Sana maisalin eto sa yagalog. Mas maraming Pilipino ang hindi nagbabasa at walang access sa mga ganitong bagay.
    Kung meron man..sana maisalin sa tagalog para maunawaan nila.

    • Joe America says:

      Some articles are translated when a volunteer steps up to do the work. I don’t have those skills. I would add that the Tagalog versions generally don’t have the readership of the English versions as the audience of the blog is generally well educated. The ideas presented to the broad masses would have to be simplified into slogans, I think, or stated in a way that word of mouth statements could be made. Anybody with initiative can do that.

      • NHerrera says:

        Joe: about readership volume, it is not so much that the English version gets more than the Pilipino or Tagalog version because most readers here are educated.

        (I speak Pilipino with the wife; we two were raised in Metro Manila; she was born here; I, in the Visayas.)

        But the printed Pilipino word is soooooooo… long. pananampalataya for faith. And there many of those in a typical sentence. We of course know that some German words are very long too; but not too many in a sentence? And I remember reading once that the Thai has a kilometric long word — a whole paragraph for a word?

        • Bill in Oz says:

          No it’s not quite like that in Thai Nherrera. A Thai friend years ago explained that there are no gaps between words in a sentence in Thai script. So a sentence & a paragraph are full of short words but we would never know ……It’s what they inherited from Pali or Sanscrit So reading becomes slightly problematic there..

          I do not speak Tagalog.Occasionally I will try to pronounce a tagalog word for my lady..And she will break down in laughter..There are sounds not included in the spelling ( especially H ) and letters that are glided over and effectively missing when pronounced..Just like in English 🙂

          • NHerrera says:

            Bill in Oz,

            Thanks for the info on the Thai script.

            You may have heard this. Ask your lady.

            Two foreigner were in an elevator going down from the top floor. At a stop, a would be rider of the elevator asks of the attendant,

            Bababa ba?

            to which the attendant replied,


            This exchange was repeated in another stop.

            On exit at the ground floor, one of the foreigners said to the other. Amazing. They can communicate with just one sound, “ba.”

            • Bill in Oz says:

              I know the story not Nherrera ! Never heard it..But at a guess Bababa means ‘up’ but ‘ba’ can also mean ‘?’: a question ( Malay uses ‘ka’ to indicate a question.

              • NHerrera says:

                Bababa ba? = Going down?

              • sonny says:

                The example given by NH is meant to be humorous. Tagalog inflects around a root word: “ma”+root word is usually an adjective. Root word = “lakas” (strength or loudness); “ma”+”lakas” = the adjective “strong” or “loud” The same root word can be inflected as a verb: “i” + “lakas” = make strong, or make loud

                root word = “baba” = low, down; “ma”+”baba” = adjective denoting “low”; “i”+”baba” = put (it) down, :-); “baba”+”ba”; “down”+”?”; “ba”+”baba” = “going”+”down” (action inflection)

            • Bill in Oz says:

              @Sonny ( again ) It had to be either Up or down. I guessed wrong !

              But thanks for the explanation..of Tagalog..Interesting Suffixes and prefixes are a big part of Javanese as well I am told and Javanese Indonesians tend to use them when speaking Bahasa..The Malaysians less so..

        • Joe America says:

          That may be true, but whatever the reason, the readership statistics are what they are, and the Tagalog versions get read at roughly 10% to 20% of the readership of the English version.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Irineo..have you any thoughts on this language issue ? You are the Tagalog guru !

        • Waray-waray says:

          Worked for a time as part-time court interpreter. I told my supervisor after I took the written and oral exams that it was easier to translate from Tagalog or Ilongo or Waray to English than the other way around.

          He said it is because of the context.

          • sonny says:

            Makes sense. Just compare thickness of English dictionary to Filipino-Language dictionaries. (number of word entries, i mean)

  33. Bill in Oz says:

    @Irineo..The comments about Duterte present him as a left leaning, pro gay, secular dude…So he is that sense the ‘only’ alternative for many less conservative Filipinos…After all Roxas & Poe both have similar stances on Gays and seek to appease the conservative religious groups here..Ummmm..So what is his view of contraception & RH ?

    • karlgarcia says:

      If I may.

      Contradiction 4: Womanizer and women’s rights advocate

      A known womanizer, Duterte has also funded and supports women’s rights. A lead activist for gender equality, Irene Santiago, says he has done much to empower women in Davao. Santiago gained global prominence as a key organizer of the Beijing Women’s Conference in 1995, personally thanked by Hillary Clinton on the main stage.

      Duterte supported the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill through the years it languished in Congress, pushing family planning and population control in his area of influence. In 2012, while Congress and the Church debated RH, Davao City was already giving out free contraceptives.

      • Joe America says:

        I’ve come to the conclusion that Principle #1 in the Filipino value chain is that Principles are fluid and inconsistencies are not, of themselves, bad. They are what pragmatic people . . . subsistence people . . . do, like driving without a helmet because no one can afford one, so the police look the other way because they are realists, too. This principle extends all the way up to the mayors, governors and legislators to become that circle of impunity we recognize so well. One only violates the subordinate principle #23 “follow the law” if one is careless and gets caught.

        Principle #1 is what allows Catholics to vote for sinners and Santiago to pick Marcos for her VP and Cayetano to join the Duterte ticket. It is the reason there is no Ethics Committee in the Senate and why crooks are allowed to run. Looking the other way is what we learn to do, because we expect people to look the other way for us. It is not really self-involvement, but rather is a community value that allows the community to function when a lot of people don’t have the means to follow strict rules or ethical standards.

        Eureka! Thanks for the enlightenment, Karl.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I also conclude that consistency on being inconsistent is part of our value system.

          On helmets and saftety gear. Everybody is a cow boy, have your kid wear an elbow and knee pad and add a helmet ,and you are already depriving a child his childhood.

          And yes,they say it is too expensive,until they see the hospital bills.

          For the rest you say,I enlightened you,no you enlightened me,once again.

          • sonny says:

            Joe, welcome to the world of a high context language! 🙂

            • sonny says:

              I should say also, high-context communication. 🙂

            • One very high-context word is: KAGINHAWAAN. It can mean comfort or convenience but in its best form it means well-being. My father, Senator JV Ejercito and President Aquino have used it to mean NATIONAL well-being… and it has a strong connotation not only of economic well-being, it is more holistic in nature and includes harmony and spirituality – fans of Carlos Castaneda like Joe and friends of Native Americans like LCPL_X will get it.

              Metro Manila is an example of what certain Native Americans would call Koyaanisqaatsi, a world that has lost its balance, it’s kaginhawaan – the anger of many residents a sign of it.

              Used to be Manila could manage being a collection of villages, before the critical mass.

              Used to be that Filipinos could make do with just making do – before the present times and population and complexity of society. OK a mayor stole, but he also paid for things of the poor and that was balanced – at national Binay level how do you prevent an imbalance?

              Even headhunting was a form of population regulation and weeding out the weak in the Mountain provinces. In the olden days a warrior got his first tattoo and was considered a real man after his first kill – Duterte’s stuff towards Mar reflects that old mindset. But as old Kankanai Manong Pete, who has gone to his ancestors would say – “that is not applicable today”. Fighting with swords was a true test of prowess, shooting a gun way too easy to do.

              • Ireneo,

                Your Koyaanisqaatsi, reminded me of a joke told by a Visayan Sgt. over there,

                I’m sure it’s better said in Bisaya,

                but here goes…

                So there was a bus going from Cagayan de Oro to Davao (or Cotabato to Davao).

                Once in the lonely country side, a road block.

                Bus stops, and robbers come out with their guns from their hide.

                “Everyone get out!”

                Passengers all line up outside the bus,

                And a beautiful woman accompanying her old grandmother steps off the bus.

                Robbers: “We’re here to rob all of you and rape all the women!!!”

                Panic ensues…

                And the beautiful woman pleads to the robbers,

                “You guys can rape me all you want, but please don’t touch my grandmother, she’s old.”

                And her old grandmother pinches her, and urges her granddaughter to shut-up and tells her,

                “They did promise all of us will be raped!!!”.

                LOL! That’s KAGINHAWAAN, IMHO. 😉

              • Bert says:

                The leader of the robbers, seeing that there’s so few women around, farther announced:

                “We will rape you according to the number of teeth you have!”

                The old grandmother, exasperated, whispered to the bandit leader, pointing to her upper molar, “‘Toy, I still have another one up there.”

            • Joe America says:

              It’s a delight. Such wonderful discoveries, from just wandering around, head up.

        • Joe, what’s this Principles list you’re talking about? Could you post the complete list? Thanks.

          • That list is secret. We don’t want to be colonized again.

            Joe has gone native so I am sure he will not tell it to you. 😀

          • Joe America says:

            I haven’t concocted the list yet, other than number 1, which is pretty clear, and 23, just a fiction.

            • karlgarcia says:

              23 is Mchael Jordan’s jersey number, Kobe’s last game reminded you of him,because his number was 24.
              Not good at making things up.

              • Joe America says:

                The last two minutes of the game were scripted by Disney, I think, with the gallant hero staggering off under his own power, exhausted but victorious. I understand the most expensive seat for the game was priced at over $27,000. They get bid up in an open market for available seats. Jack Nicholson was there. He hasn’t aged a year since he was in his courtside seat watching Jerry West do his thing in the 1970’s. I was up in nosebleed section back then. I’ve somehow aged.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Speaking of Jack Nicholson, I have seen a rerun of “The Shining”,though shown years post Jerry West’s LA Laker’s years,basing from that movie,you are right,he hasn’t aged at all.

              • Joe America says:

                Although contemporary responses from critics were mixed, assessment became more favorable in following decades, and it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made. American director Martin Scorsese, writing in The Daily Beast, ranked it one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time.

                Stephen King based his novel The Shining on The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, right in my back yard where I grew up as a kid (the Rocky Mountains). Without question, it was the scariest novel I ever read because I made the mistake of being alone and reading it at night when the reader (me) finally grasps that the topiary creatures are moving. I finished the book the next day, in the light, and have not read a horror novel since. I also don’t watch horror movies. Intuitive, feeling people (INFJ) ought not engage in such flights of fancy reading.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Me,I can close my eyes on some scenes,but I can not do that when reading horror stories.😳

              • sonny says:

                I eliminated horror movies from my to-see list ever since I saw THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!


                I tried to watch THE EXORCIST. Big mistake!!

  34. vince says:

    Hello Joe. My husband and I campaign for Mar-Leni tandem. I was hoping maybe you can relay this to Mar or whoever. I have come across a patient in a hospital who happens to work for Araneta Group of Companies. So, I asked him are you gonna vote for Mar? Surprisingly, he said no. I asked why? Because, if he loses then he would take over and run the company much better than, if memory serves, Greg Araneta because of his great managerial skills. He added that if Mar cannot take good care of his employees , what more the whole country? He also said that they didn’t vote for Mar in 2010. They can do it again this year. They want their benefits to be at par with that of the Ayala Group. I told him, Kuya, you have to see the bigger picture here. Would you deprive our country of a good leader because …? You have to see past employee-employer issues. In the end, he agreed with me that there is no better choice than Mar. Employee sentiments clouded his judgment. How big is Araneta Group of Companies, anyway? I think what I’m trying to say here is that someone has to let Mar know. Thank you.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, I wish you well in your advocacy, vince. If Roxas staffers read the comments here, they will pick up your remarks. I would not myself directly make a recommendation to the campaign as I am barred from being involved by Immigration, nor would I be inclined to anyway, because I think the Roxas campaign has plenty of skilled people providing information and insights, and so many people are offering up guidance . . . often conflicting . . . that they simply can’t accommodate everyone’s ideas.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        A quote from RaisaRobles new blog this morning Joe..About Roxas…It is almost the same as a tax driver told me the other night on the way to a tango milonga…

        “Mar Roxas has failed to address two important issues that many people of Metro Manila are most concerned about – trains and traffic. The third issue – bullets being found in the luggage of departing airport passengers – has been addressed, but continues to be a wellspring of criticisms against Mar Roxas.

        The lack of trains and too much traffic are a constant source of cursing for many, many residents of Metro Manila. And Mar Roxas and his handlers have not adequately answered why Mar Roxas, the former Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), should not be pilloried because there are so very few trains running and the roads are clogged with constant traffic.

        Yesterday, Mar Roxas had an event inside Club Filipino. But I have yet to see him go around any urban poor community in Metro Manila shaking hands or doing a whistle stop. Or wooing middle class and rich voters to his side.

        The votes for Duterte in Metro Manila, I believe, are protest votes against Roxas’ snub. He could lose the elections to Duterte or Jejomar Binay or Grace Poe mainly because of this. Metro Manila residents still affect the national debate on who deserves the presidency but Mar Roxas doesn’t seem to care.”

        • Yeah I read that too… and there was a brilliant comment by someone that he could just walk all the way down from Cubao where he lives to Quiapo… it is a straight path more or less via Aurora down Sta. Mesa past San Miguel (used to be the Dilao or yellow quarter, because it was the place were the yellows of before, Catholic samurai who fled Japan lived, their patron saint was the warrior St. Michael is the story I know) up to Recto…

          Facing the music could be the homestretch of his campaign to win hearts and minds – show that he has the guts to face people’s anger, talk to people like Leni Robredo does.

          Penance for the perceived sins of his colleagues… in a yellow shirt, jeans and tsinelas.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Raissa Robles also made this comment about Miriam Santaigo

            “To those who are wondering why Senator Santiago paired herself off with the young Marcos, she herself once frankly said that she used to write speeches for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. She also worked under the late Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, younger brother of Imelda and uncle of Bongbong.”

            The ancient Greeks had a way of dealing with this type of situation: Exile. A fallen dictator’s mates & family were exiled – for keeps. The Romans were more ruthless : execution

            • sonny says:

              Our revolutionary hero, Apolinario Mabini was humanely “executed” by exile to Guam. He was allowed to die in Manila, two months before his demise.

              • The Spanish also loved to exile people to places like Mexico (the first datus to rebel against Spain in 1588 were sent there) or Fernando Po of the coast of Africa.

                One million middle-class Filipinos exiled themselves to the USA until the mid-1980s… 😦

          • Bill in Oz says:

            I’ve done that route by Taxi & by jeep Irineo..But I would not want to walk it..Too hot here this Summer ( 35 yesterday – that’s Aussie Summer heat ), too much traffic, ( especially near the flower markets ) too crowded, too much rubbish and flowing drains to avoid and step over…

          • NHerrera says:

            Facing the music could be the homestretch of his campaign to win hearts and minds – show that he has the guts to face people’s anger, talk to people like Leni Robredo does.

            NO GUTS, NO GLORY.

            Roxas may do that — with or without Leni in tow. But he has an analytical, calculating mind: what are the options, the upside, the downside. It may not be for lack of guts but with the object — the goal — in mind that may make him decide if he will do that or not.

          • sonny says:

            Better yet, Irineo, the time for commuting by bicycle has come, a la Shanghai. I did Cubao to Luneta using my crusty, balloon-tired, Huffy when I was 13. 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          I can’t argue with that. Mar Roxas will either address Manila or not. It has been clear for some time that Manila is his weakness. His campaign is not unaware of that. The best I can do is write this particular blog that addresses the concept of economic stability, that most Manila residents seem not to factor into their emotional reactions. Their need to be taken care of.

    • Jake says:

      The Aranetas are not even part of the Philippine billionaires compared to the Ayalas. I think even Manny Villians would be richer than the Aranetas

  35. andrewlim8 says:

    Above in the thread, there is a discussion between “zer” who posed a question to a Duterte supporter, “Gian” (not giancarloangulo).


    “Let’s say you right with your belief towards Du30 and he can be good president for the Phils, then why there are still poor, hungry and homeless in Davao considering he lorded it over for more than 20 years?”


    “He was a Mayor, managed a city in order to provide security, a level playing field for its citizenry. How people make use of the opportunities accorded to them determines if you succeed or stay poor. And on this note, can you name a country with zero incidence of poverty?”

    What I find amusing in Gian’s response, specially the last two sentences, is that it nullifies their very own criticisms of the Pnoy/Roxas camp. They complain that there are still a lot of suffering poor, etc so they advocate Duterte. But ask about Davao’s poor and they sound like the Society. 🙂

    Which is the point I want to make: there will always be poor no matter who becomes president. So you just look at the numbers, which they pooh-pooh if they do not fit their preferences. One cannot just go anecdotal and say look around, because they will always be there. Always. Even Christ did not tinker with economic systems, emphasizing only charity and helping the poor.

    Frequently absent in discussion like these are personal decisions of people, which impact more on their lives more than any president. Number of children, when to marry, what course to take, what career/business to go into, who to choose as life partner, what school to go to and how you perform there, whether to stay informed or go ignorant, health habits, etc. Sufferers due to poor decisions made on these matters often put the blame on the incumbent, since it eases the pain. But it leads to nowhere. And voting for plunderers and vulgar, undemocratic people worsen it even more.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, sharp observation, andrew. I’ve noticed that most of these political arguments are very contrived, canned form-letter arguments that are totally detached from sense, when you think it through. I was just reading Rene-Ipil’s rationalizations for Duterte at Raissa’s web site, and I had to laugh at how dumb has become the new smart.

      Rationalizations in search of a win.
      Not truth or accuracy or insight.

      Plus, since I stopped following the Inquirer, I’ve found a new peace entering my life. It’s like going on vacation and checking out from the rat race for a while. Ignorance is better than that pile of editorialized crap they pump out. At least ignorance is genuine.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        At home I rarely buy the daily newspaper : just the local town weekly and the National Weekend Australian..I read most of my news online. But at both methods I find myself skipping the crap and just reading what i think is important.

        here in the Philippines I do it different : I buy a newspaper regularly dump the life style ads stuff and I read through the rest carefully..

        And so I am gradually adding to & building up the big 20,000.000 piece jig saw which is this country.

        Yes there is a lot of junk and also long winded obtuse stuff. But there is also some real gems. : – )

        Today’s enquirer had an interesting article about OFW remittances in February : $2.11 billion US or or 97 billion pesos. That is a huge flow on money and I suspect it is under pining the growth of the new middle class here.

        • Joe America says:

          Actually, I have trained my Google news reads to scan Philippine papers, so did manage to pick up the remittance article. Indeed, it is a huge stabilizing inflow of money. But I’ve also seen the effects on families, and it is not always easy. I suppose, for amusement, we could also do an index for the candidates running for office to see their likely impact on the OFW population overseas. Over one year:

          Duterte: +7%
          Binay: +2%
          Poe: -3%
          Roxas: -5%

          • NHerrera says:

            That averages out to be about 0.25 or nominally zero. So if this game continues, we are ok (or not so ok because of some negative effects on families), while the world zooms past us.

  36. Bill in Oz says:

    @Sonny : The Australian Army has preserved it jungle warfare traditions and fighting skills since WW2..when they were need fighting the Imperial Japanese army in Papua New Guinea.

    And there is a jungle warfare training base in Qld. called Enogera. It’s closer than Fort Bragg in the USA and as there is no jungle in the USA probably more relevant to the training needs of Filipino troops fighting Abu Syafef & terrorists in Jolo & Basilan and Mondanao.

    • There’s already a Jungle school in Luzon staffed by Aetas, its was the best Jungle school hands down while American forces were around before Mt. Pinatubo— hopefully they will reinvigorate and breath life to it, semblance of it is operating as a tourist attraction catering to Clark/Angeles.

      The next closest American run Jungle school (there ‘s one in Thailand/Malaysia) is in Okinawa. But it’s not so much Jungle training that the AFP needs but small unit movement and tactics, they can do that anywhere in the Philippines. Abu Sayyaf aren’t like the Viet-Cong for the most part they’ve proven to be pretty urban themselves.

      • For the Marines who’ve been to Darwin, Australia, though not quite Jungle, I heard they’re getting their butts kicked. I’m not sure if Indonesia has a Jungle school opened to foreign forces. Singapore’s wasn’t quite Jungle, but I was surprised they still had a forest.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Pinatubo blew a lot of things away..And even cooled the planet with sunlight being reflected by volcanic particles…

        The ‘proof’ re jungle training, as in all things is always in the pudding .The USA armed forces are now doing a lot of training in the Northern Territory along side Australian forces…But no bases and no nuclear weapon stationing

    • sonny says:

      Good for Australia, Bill. Equatorial Australian territories should be good candidates for jungle fighting. How does one simulate a tropical rain forest jungle?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Ahhh Sonny..It’s a big continent..About 1/3 desert ..But there is no need to simulate. There is enough rain forest jungle country. Enoggera the jungle training base I mentioned is close to Brisbane. The old settlers name for it was ” The Big Scrub”

        I have never seen or heard of Wycliffe Well..But from the look of it, ii is probably out is the middle of nowhere in dry desert country

        • sonny says:

          But I love the Australian “exports” – Rachel Griffiths, my favorite and the Motown group, Human Nature. 🙂 and the movies of Baz Luhrmann.

  37. NHerrera says:

    Solita Monsod in the second part of her “Presidentiables sans the spin,

    mostly enumerates what we already know, but there is a line she writes at the concluding part of her piece about Roxas:

    I haven’t caught him in a lie.

  38. The mindset of many desperate who see Duterte as a solution can be summed up well by this high-context – (c) Manong Sonny – native proverb:

    Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim kakapit.

    The rough translation – one can only translate Filipino into English very roughly if one wants to convey the true context and meaning – is:

    Those who are drowning will even hang on to a knife if necessary

    Those who wish to give the drowning a sense that they don’t need to hang on to a knife… have to at least hand out a stable branch across the river they can hold on to, make them see the branch which may be a few feet downstream instead of focusing on the knife which is before their eyes.

  39. NHerrera says:


    (See note below the table)

    There is a glaring difference in the results of the survey. Because of the same panel used in the BP-SWS there is the consequent “persistence” of the numbers in its average (for example, Poe’s average of 33 in the series of BP-SWS surveys.) Compare that result with XX, the SWS survey done in the traditional way.

    I know; why even bother with the effort. Yes, I am a sucker for punishment. (It does provide this 78 year old man something to do; sort of help in delaying the onset of dementia.)

    BTW, the latest BP-SWS survey is the one labeled EE done April 13.

    BP-SWS survey:

    AA BB CC DD EE XX P- Candidate
    29 33 35 34 34 23 Poe
    23 24 26 31 33 27 Duterte
    19 18 17 17 16 18 Roxas
    22 20 18 17 15 20 Binay
    03 03 02 01 01 03 Santiago
    05 02 01 01 01 09 (No vote)


    1. Format of table made in an effort to align numbers

    2. Bilang Pilipino – SWS set of the same 1200 panel offered smartphones to use for fast survey with only some 750 responding in the later surveys except the first one :

    AA — March 8-11, BB — Marc 18, CC — March 22, DD — March 30, EE — April 13

    3. SWS survey done in the traditional way: XX — March 30 – April 2

    • karlgarcia says:

      You just had a birthday,you were 77 the last time you mentioned your age.Belated Happy Birthday.

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks but no, it’s close, so I count it that way when it is close. Sort of saying — hey I am still alive; but not quite old man Enrile who wants to live like Abraham? You know, if he forgets politics the way he practices it and join us in the fun here, it may just make him live to Abraham’s age.

        • karlgarcia says:

          So Advanced Birthday greetings Manong NH. Mabuhay ka !

          • NHerrera says:

            That’s my hope, Karl. And I hope it lasts at least until 2022, most especially if Roxas and Robredo win (oops, at least Robredo, considering the division of your family in the case of the Pres candidate.) 🙂

    • NHerrera says:

      Talking about the VP, the survey with the BP-SWS methodology (the latest being done on April 13) does not show that “persistence” of numbers as in the Pres case. Is it possible the panel is not as firm in their views on the V Pres candidates as they do their Pres candidates? BTW, the latest BP-SWS has Robredo in the lead. But the statistical margin is still at +/- 4%.


      22 24 23 25 30 19 Robredo
      25 26 28 26 27 26 Marcos
      28 31 30 31 25 21 Escudero
      12 11 11 13 13 13 Cayetano
      5 4 4 3 3 5 Trillanes
      4 2 2 1 1 5 Honasan
      4 2 3 1 2 11 No vote

      The footnotes is the same as in the above.

      • Caliphman says:

        Manong, I am quite leery of the Bilang Pilipino results and methodology as much as I would like their numbers showing Duterte and Marcos losing their lead. My concern is that the Rappler historical study of the validity and accuracy of survey results concluded that the traditional facetoface interviews were credible and reliable. It showed the Pulse Asia and the SWS polls closely tracking each other. When the Bilang Pilipino numbers are radically different from the SWS traditional results and the last Pulse Asia polls echo the the last SWS traditional results, Its difficult not pur more credence on the latter poll.

        • NHerrera says:

          Agree with you! The traditional surveys of both SWS and PA are — in my opinion, like yours — superior in quality to the BP-SWS where the respondents are the same pool of original 1200 respondents, expected by SWS most probably wrongly to follow political developments, discounting the big human factor of this unchanged pool of respondents on their original views: impervious to the nuances of political developments.

  40. madlanglupa says:

    Oh, damn. First time to discover that Rody has his own Goebbels. Which may explain why we have this IQ-destroying deluge of fiery comments that makes useful online debate utterly useless.

  41. cwl says:

    Just sharing.

    Reading comments here about Mar and and his handlers miscalculation of the mood of Manila gave me mixed feelings. One is of despair as it becomes apparent that Roxas is in danger of losing bad and humbled as my simple analysis of the campaign proved to be right.

    Back in February, I was almost “lynched” Roxas supporters at Raissa’s blog for dishing out comments they deemed critical of the campaign of Roxas.

    The last straw was two weeks ago when I was accused of being a Poe supporter and that stopped me from commenting on her blog.

    I still read her blog and the saddest part is that some of those who accused me of being a mole of Poe out to spread intrigues are now themselves supporting either Poe or Duterte.

  42. HighFive says:

    I am not really convinced that there is a large number of Filipinos who don’t appreciate the good governance of the present administration. And I don’t believe as well that Filipinos are haters. Filipinos are not haters, they are generally respectful to each others. I think there is just a well-organized group that spreads hate and criticism aimed at undermining the achievements of the present administration.

  43. Fred Escobar says:

    Joe Am
    This is the second time that I will disagree with your article. The issu here is not focused just in the investors. You have specified that they are the important issue here, NO. It is the peoples frustrations of the ever corrupt government that is the issue in this election. The investors have a lot of choices but the the people have not. They want change NOW. They are fed up with same politicking that has been goin on for years. I am sure that if I fed you chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday all of your life, you wont like it either, RIGHT?

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