When women of power in the Philippines abuse women who have no power

Cayetano- executive chronicles dot com

Senator Pia Cayetano [Photo sourced via executivechronicles.com]

This article continues my series that attempts to explain to foreigners why the Philippines may put unsavory characters into the top positions of government during the May 9 national election. Thieves, liars, plunderers, self-proclaimed murderers, womanizers, people who consort with the enemy, and opportunists who care very little for the nation Philippines in relation to their own well-being.

The broadest social stratification in the Philippines breaks the population into two distinct classes:

  1. The class of impunity, entitlement, wealth and power
  2. The class of working people with little opportunity, power, and wealth

As with any general characterization, there are bound to be exceptions. But this stratification works for the point I wish to make in this article.

This article is about Filipino women.

What is happening in the Philippines is an obscenity by international norms. Yet, here, a lot of people seem unaware that there is anything unusual going on. Even when they are hurt by it.

There are also two broad classes of women in the Philippines:

  1. The class of impunity, entitlement, wealth and power
  2. The class of abused, objectified, and used women

In the first class are high government officials – cabinet officials, legislators, judges, mayors, governors – as well as entertainment stars and an occasional notable business woman (the oligarchs are men). Also in the first group are the notable leftists who pretend to speak for the betterment of women, the most notorious collection of women’s rights advocates going by the name of Gabriela.

Prior to this year, I would have put Gabriela on the other side of the divide, with the class of abused women, as their representatives. But something happened this year . . . this campaign season . . . that gave the lie to this idea.

Gabriela threw its support behind presidential aspirant Mayor Rody Duterte of Davao.

They had a choice to make. Political interests or women’s interests. And Gabriela chose political interests. They sided with the New People’s Army (NPA) and their BFF, Rody Duterte. Never mind that this notorious group of gangsters, extortionists and murderers kills lawful members of the nation’s armed forces and police. And officials who don’t bend to their whims, and even innocent civilians.

Rody Duterte says he will welcome the NPA to his cabinet. And he advises people to pay their “taxes” to the NPA on demand.

Well, this Duterte fellow is quite a piece of work to us outsiders. He is a rare left-over arch-chauvinist from the 1950’s before modern social enlightenment worked its way around the world but largely skipped the Philippines. Duterte has shown that he is perhaps the most crass objectifier of women in the modern world. Some would say he is sick. I’m not a medical expert, so I will only say that his behavior would be considered disgusting to every educated, compassionate, pro-gender-equality woman I have ever known in my life. And most enlightened men, as well.

This Duterte fellow:

  • Is a self confessed adulterer, woman beater and womanizer.
  • Makes a joke about rape, saying the attackers should have let him go first.
  • Kisses women who don’t want to be kissed.
  • Fondles woman in public.
  • Says pretty women are good for being assistants.
Gabriela statemenht about rape

Gabriela objects, but still backs Duterte for president.

Gabriela backs Duterte, as does a certain Senator by the name of Pia Cayetano who claims to be an advocate for women’s rights. Her brother is Duterte’s Vice Presidential running mate, Senator Alan Cayetano.

Senator Pia Cayetano is Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality. Her advocacy was exhibited in 2011 when she took Tourism Secretary Jimenez to task for downplaying the US Ambassador’s statement that 40% of American male tourists come to the Philippines for sex. She said:

“The Palace and Sec. Jimenez appear to be in a state of denial regarding the existence and continued proliferation of sex tourism in our country.” [Palace downplaying prostitution, sex tourism issue]

My how opportunity has turned the worm.

It is clear that Senator Pia Cayetano’s choices now line up this way:

  1. Politics and self-advantage
  2. Women

The Senator is using her position as legislator for personal gain. Not for the nobler gain of helping women. She is just another user, it seems to me. Worse than that, in backing Duterte as the nation’s highest official, she is willing to let him represent what the nation stands for.

So she not only supports an outdated chauvinist who sneers at, uses and abuses women, she thinks young girls across the Philippines will have a better life with Duterte as President.

With millions of men across the land emulating their leader.

What the nation will stand for under a Duterte presidency is the abuse, objectification and use of women.

  • It will stand for backward.
  • It will stand for ignorant.
  • It will stand for obnoxious.
  • It will stand for cruel.

Today, a lot of important women are standing silent while the likes of Gabriela and Pia Cayetano pursue their personal aims over the well-being of women. Or they stand silent as women governors and mayors back Duterte. They enable the enablers. I’m sure Senator Pia Cayetano and other women of stature believe they have earned their positions through good works and upstanding values. But when push comes to shove, they today are tossing aside the well-being of women for their own advantage.

Gabriela has issued a statement condemning the Duterte rape joke. Good for them. Senator Cayetano has said she will “reach out” to Duterte. Wow, that’s bold.

These things are like pasting a dab of salve on the sore while refusing to recognize there is a deep and dangerous rot within Duterte, and within their own values and decisions. Gabriella and Cayetano refuse to hold themselves accountable for enabling the horror of Duterte and his values toward women.

By the standards of the modern world – the outsiders to whom I write – the Philippines has a very weak social conscience.

Self-sacrifice for high human rights principles is not done in the Philippines. Impunity is done here.

It is incredible to this observer that mothers of girls would vote Duterte into office. There are women within both the powerful and the powerless classes who accept the subordination of women. They evidently like men with a certain macho flair.

Woe to the kids.

Truly, woe to the daughters.

Women of the powerless class in the Philippines are likely to be sealed to their fate . . . abuse, objectification and use . . . for yet another generation thanks to women of influence who turn away, who remain silent while a rape of Filipina humanity is going down.

Women of the Philippines can only be free and equal when all women, no matter the social class and power, are treated with respect by men and women everywhere.

With no exceptions.


136 Responses to “When women of power in the Philippines abuse women who have no power”
  1. Pia, Why is family more important than principle.

  2. Tem says:

    I have been following your series with great interest. I mostly agree with your views. You asked for help in understanding why the Filipino voter is behaving the way (s)he is. Let me try. We have tried all sorts of leaders since the time of the dictatorship of Marcos. We’ve had mixed results, which were further complicated (obfuscated?) by media. People are anxious.

    This may be the same anxiety that your Abraham Lincoln felt when his union troops kept losing battle after battle. When he meet with his generals to explore who should have overall command of the troops on the ground, Ulysses S Grant’s name came up. The generals reacted strongly saying he was a drunkard with a mean temper to boot. Abe is reported to have said said something like, “He may not be a gentleman, but he is the only general who has been winning battles.”

    Perhaps my people are tired of brilliant people who impress so much with their ideas. They likely want someone who literally leads. Of the candidates, he seems to be the only one who has shown that ability. Cut to the chase, get it done; and I will lead.

    I am not a political analyst, just a concerned citizen, trying to make sense of what is happening.

    • Duterte refused the DILG post several times, saying he was not qualified for it, ever.

      In Congress he did nothing, admitted he went to the movies most of the time.

      As Arroyo’s anti-crime czar, what were his accomplishments?

      Seems there is too much of a legend about him.

      The Philippines is nearly impossible to lead because Filipinos are nearly unmanageable.

    • Joe America says:

      That makes sense except for two points: (1) information shows that the Philippines is thriving and it is just a matter of 15 to 20 years to eradicate poverty; it will be more if change chases investors away and ends the vibrant growth and development, and (2) leadership includes the values that anchor the nation’s behavior on human rights, respect for laws, and social development; going backward is not leadership.

  3. http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2016/04/18/dont-joke-rape-murder-says-australian-envoy/

    Now that woman would certainly not arouse Duterte’s perversion, nor my healthy living sexuality..

    If Duterte wins, all missionary organizations should make sure they send ONLY women like that.

    THAT is an example of Filipino street humor – Duterte’s “humor” sounds like jokes from addicts. What had me laughing and laughing was BINAY calling Duterte a “crazy maniac”… haven’t heard what Erap has said about Duterte’s comment yet, but I am sure he is angry and therefore silent. Even Parekoy who likes to make sexual innuendoes is hopping mad in Raissa’s blog, there are things even street people (Filipino, Irish, Australian, U.S. Marines hehe, Bikolano Northerners like Parekoy, Bikolano islanders like Bert, Bikolano hill people like my father) don’t joke about….

    My father does make some comments that may sound vulgar to Westerners, like what he told me when I was much younger: “don’t spend too much money taking women out, they actually should be the ones paying, after all we do most of the work in giving them pleasure”. See the difference?

    • Joe America says:

      I do see the difference. But I’d like to focus the discussion on women who accept being objects. Duterte is beside the point. How does one raise the level of acceptance and kindness toward women if women . . . especially those like Senator Cayetano . . . are a part of the problem instead of the solution.

      • “How does one raise the level of acceptance and kindness toward women if women . . . especially those like Senator Cayetano . . . are a part of the problem instead of the solution.” a large part of the entitled are the problem…

        human rights, freedom of speech, economic opportunities – have usually been limited to them, so these words MEAN LITTLE for so many common Filipinos, have been used to mean something totally different so often that they sound like bullshit bingo to them.

        • Joe America says:

          Right, but it should not mean bullshit bingo to Senator Cayetano, and if she figures she can “get away with it” because most women don’t have the vision or speak the language of equality and human rights, then it falls to others to haul these value trend-setters before the court of public opinion. Even if it takes men to do it.

        • Joe America says:

          I find it of some . . . ummm . . . irony that in a blog that aspires to raise awareness of gender equality and fair treatment, even your joke goes the other direction. It stands as an example of visual objectification.

          I suppose that is natural to the male of every community, but I think it is rather like learning new disciplines. When to curse, when not to. When to exhibit sensitivity and when to be a gross male.

  4. Tem says:

    It has been said that perception is reality. Even now, Marcos, the son, is in the top two positions in the polls for VP. Apparently, many are not aware, or have forgotten the horrors of the martial law period. Duterte’s supporters likely believe he is a good leader. Mar Roxas is likely perceived by a good portion of the voters as a brilliant, but bungling, person. Which may be why he is doing so poorly in the polls. Grace Poe’s story may be similar to the incumbent president. They both benefit from idolized parents.

  5. uht says:

    Speaking of women….I haven’t heard about Gabriela’s stance on Leni and Grace. Sir Joe, has Gabriela said anything about them? I just find it odd….

  6. karlgarcia says:

    the quezon city ordinance against verbal harassment of women in the streets should be emulated nation wide. And it should be given teeth. No more whistling allowed,or even calling one sexy.

    i know The work place has administrative rules for sexual harrasment.
    I hope cyberbullying laws will include sexual harrasment as well.

    • “No more whistling allowed,or even calling one sexy.” hmm… OK. 😀

      But that should not go as far as typical US rules which would get most charming Continental Europeans especially French and Italians (or Quezon and Rizal) into trouble.

  7. chempo says:

    Gabriela slammed LP for stag party at event in Oct 2015 and mulls raps vs Tolentino, Agarao for organising that. I’m not saying scantily clad girls are OK for public political events, but merely to show Gabriela’s hypocritical stand. As far as Gabriel is concerned, scantily clad girls are not OK for LP, but it’s OK for Du30 to fondle and kiss and talk of women in disparaging manners.

  8. madlanglupa says:

    Until yesterday, Gabriela thought that they had a potent hero-king who defied popes and traditional political animals beholden to only a few, even as they looked the other way around as this so-called cultural hero kissed his admirers at odd angles.

    Look who’s talking now, as they blew off their top, seeing that their “hero” turns out to be a closet lecher who thought he could score the woman easy if he rescued her like Errol Flynn, but no, she lay there, naked and dead in a pool of blood, dignity reduced to no more than a slab of meat.

    Hoping they have wised up, they better look for another candidate to back up their Maoist goals. Sanamagan, as the late Max Soliven would say.

    • You have analyzed Duterte well… bantay-salakay siya.

      Ang hirap lang, baka iyong tiyak na nagawa niya sa maraming babae magawa niya sa Inang Bayan…. kawawa ang Pilipinas dahil ugaling bugaw ang hahawak.

      Ibubugaw ang Pilipinas sa Tsina. There is that sort of men, that act as charming rescuers but use women or even sell them out. Women with a history of being abused fall for them, and the Philippines IS an abused nation – will it fall for a fake rescuer or be smart this time?

      • madlanglupa says:

        Which is why this year’s election is the most critical: for our survival. The world’s also watching us.

        You notice that the forward clenched iron fist that has become the hallmark of his campaign? Suddenly I am disturbed by its near-similarity to the “Heil” salute.

        • Joe America says:

          “Raise your fist and join us, or we will crush you.”

        • https://joeam.com/2016/01/03/the-anatomy-of-fascism-in-dutertes-world/#comment-155309 – I was one of the first to notice it, as I have been watching Duterte the longest.

          Some months ago I was at the same stage as “intuitiveperceiving” who sees the cons but the many pros… the article Seguridad ni Duterte was the turning point when I started questioning certain things… in a nice way even and got a firestorm from Dutertistas…

          The administration’s PR has been so weak – and/or papers plus many parts of the elite so hostile I hardly saw the good sides of the last six years. BTW Hitler’s first economic gains were simply based on the foundation the government before him had laid, but did not get there quickly enough for most, and were torn apart by an oligarch-owned tabloid press. What is also interesting is that the superhighways North and South were by Macapagal, but Marcos just continued them… funny how history does not repeat itself, but rhymes.

      • Maria says:

        I don’t see any justice on your comment but rather instigating a person whom you really don’t know. Talking non-sense here doesn’t help anyone, instead let us help each other to find the right oerson who will lead & will stand for us Filipinos. Condemning a person or a candidate because of is wrong with him instead to look after the possibility of good governance. U might dislike my reply on your post but as what made you free to speak your mind, so i may do so.. Just saying! #talktrash

        • If that is your representative, and he thinks it is OK to rape a white woman, which is what his comments are truly about – he will make many enemies, especially in Europe.

          We are bleeding here from terrorist attacks, there are young assholes who call themselves Muslim who believe raping all women who are not according to their standards OK… those who gang-raped women in the Cologne station on New Year’s Eve were condemned even by Muslim leaders over here in Germany. Take him as your leader, you will have us over here as enemies, so help me God, and I will tell all German women I meet DO NOT GO TO THE PHILIPPINES, you might get raped, killed, then mocked by Digong.

      • J. Bondurant says:

        On the other hand, we might get a train that goes from Manila to Mindanao if we give up our claims to the islands in the West Philippine Sea. Isn’t that the price that Mayor Duterte is asking for from Beijing?

        • Rocky Balang says:

          Why would a sane person ride a train from Manila to Mindanao when airlines have been offering reasonably priced air fare flights to Mindanao?

          Flight to Mindanao takes less than 2 hours from Manila.

          Train ride would probably take almost a day. Besides which hundreds of billions would be needed to create the infrastructure to enable trains to travel from Manila to Mindanao. That money would be better invested in other things like education, agriculture, improving intra-island transport, etc.

    • sonny says:

      Apo Max (the Almighty rest him) also said: Salamabit! 🙂 (my favorite)

    • Kalayo says:

      It’s rather telling that they’ve known all along that their guy is a lecher (sorry, not a closet one), still chummy with him anyway

  9. Gemino H. Abad says:

    “Strong medicine,” Joe, as the late Franz Arcellana would say. Digong and Bongbong would be a national/global shame for all of us. I wonder whether, after May 9, we could have a reliable percentage of the women-voters and the men voters who voted for Duterte, for Bongbong. If reliable, that would give us a true image of ourselves as a people.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve learned that there are several images, and those who would vote for a scoundrel hardly share ours. If there is a failure to be found in the Aquino Administration, it was to not do enough to change people’s image of themselves, as it pertains to being a vital part of nationhood.

  10. Maloloki aki sa mga gawain ng kapwa ko babae. Gusto ko pa namang mag join ng Gabriela dati, but sometimes, I was not in favor of the causes they got involved in – and therefore decided not to. And here is one perfect example that I am glad I didn’t become a member of Gabriela. Nakakaloki! Our pet cat is named Loki, and he too would be maloloki. How can you uphold women’s rights and still endorse Duterte when for all intents and purposes he objectifies and humiliates and treat them like mere sex objects. What a real prick!

  11. grammy2342 says:

    Woe unto us women of the Philippines and woe unto the Philippines with this kind of thinking coming from supposedly protector and upholder of women’s rights. I am glad that I am an immigrant and can escape this tragedy when needed.

  12. Bill in Oz says:

    So Gabriela has a double standard !She’s not really about empowering women. She’s only about empowering her left ( ‘right’ ? ) women. In left wing circles world wide that is not new unfortunately.

    This afternoon my lady was at a Leni Robredo rally at the Chinese General Hospital. Nobody was paid to attend.But I am told there were far more people there than when Binay paid staff double time to attend one Sunday morning a month or so ago. That is a good sign I think. Roxas was not there. And that is a pity as he needs to connect with voters at this level of society. Many nurses very are pissed off with a government that has not approved the pay increase already approved by the Senate & HoR.

    So the experienced nursing staff are voting with their feet & seeking work overseas with salaries of $1200-1500 US a month in Kuwait & Dubhai. Compared to 15,000 pesos ($330.00 US ) a month in Philippines…

    How does this relate to the this log topic ? Well Filipinas do indeed want to be free & be respect and want to be treated equally. But they want wages & salaries that allow a decent life for them & their families…But I wonder of anyone in the current government is listening to them…Lenni certainly does. And that is the reason why her approval ratings have grown so much since October last year from virtual unknown to well known and liked.

  13. madlanglupa says:

    Looked into Twitter today, and the hashtag #RapeIsNotAJoke is going the rounds. However, some Duterte fanatics — including young women supposedly to be educated in the best universities but are discontents — stood by their man, justifying that his lecher “joke” is nothing compared to the purported weaknesses of this administration, claiming they were screwed over…


    BUT! Would they want to be shamed twice or thrice — pila-balde? — if he sits in the Palace and starts taking his personal absurdities to new abysmal lows worthy of a Robert Mugabe?

    • Sup says:

      ”including young women supposedly to be educated in the best universities” Those so called educated woman are nothing but paid hacks……….trolls, what ever you want to call them………..sell their souls for a hamburger… 🙂

      • madlanglupa says:

        An unpaid troll, a volunteer, would be called a religious zealot blinded by hatred, and thus near-impossible to reason with.

        • Ong-Lo says:

          Sometimes I wonder which group of voter wins after the election, those poor who voted for the politician who gave money, or those supposedly educated people who got fooled by social media and voted for the most hyped candidate for free?

          For candidates, victory will be known just days after May 9 but for the nation, it will be six months and a month after. We gained a few yards for the past six years and I do not want spend the next six years running in place, or worse, in reverse.

  14. CrisM says:

    Vox Populi, Vox Dei… Or… Whom the gods wish to destroy they make mad first.

  15. Vicara says:

    Today attended a meeting in Club Filipino of women leaders and representatives of women’s organizations and legal groups. Some of them are backing Roxas/Robredo, others are not; but all are united against Duterte. Among them was Leticia Shahani, who authored landmark laws such as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 and the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998. There will be a press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) at Miriam College in Quezon City. I don’t want to preempt them, and so will say no more for the time being, but action is being taken.

    One interesting comment, by a psychiatrist who had treated women who had been victims of abuse: Such traumatized women often support leaders whose profiles are similar to those of their abusers.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetition_compulsion – on a national level this could even explain why certain patterns repeat themselves… until the trauma is overcome somehow.

      Repetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. This “re-living” can also take the form of dreams in which memories and feelings of what happened are repeated, and even hallucination.

      The term can also be used to cover the repetition of behaviour or life patterns more broadly: a “key component in Freud’s understanding of mental life, ‘repetition compulsion’…describes the pattern whereby people endlessly repeat patterns of behaviour which were difficult or distressing in earlier life.”

    • chempo says:

      Vicara, the last para —
      That is known as the “Stockholm syndrome” – a term that is used to explain the apparently irrational feelings of some captives for their captors (in this case, the abused and their abusers). It derives from the Patty Hearst kidnap incident. She is a heiress of a US newspaper, was held as hostage by bank robbers and held for many days. Eventually she fell for the leader of the gang and followed the gang in other bank robberies.

  16. OT: Joe there are lots of people only on free facebook.
    I think lots of people would benefit if you started publishing Instant Articles.
    Would love to help because it is a bit tedious initially with the formatting.

  17. Jonathan says:

    The month of April seems to have had the theme of, “how insane can we make the Philippine presidential election?”

    Of course, I have no idea what most of it is about since I’m on vacation and sort of disconnected (not completely by design) from current events.

  18. arlene says:

    I don’t know what to say. In the end, it all boils down to proper discernment. I wonder if some of us are still capable of that. Are we blinded by what is happening around? Respect is earned and the man from Davao doesn’t have my respect.

  19. Jessica Zafra hits the nail on the head on why a lot of Filipinos love Duterte with her article below:


    Here is a review of Freud’s Personality Theory, a Psych 101 staple, which Jessica used to buttress her argument:

    Is Duterte stuck in the id/psychosexual stage, or what?

    • Joe America says:

      Duterte’s words are not calculated to impress the voters. He doesn’t have to calculate. He’s just saying the words that are already in your head. He is your walking, talking, preening, strutting id. The id is the part of your personality that contains your most basic instincts. It is where your needs, wants, desires, impulses, sex drives, aggressive drives come from. It is not affected by reality, logic, right or wrong. It only has one master, and that is the pleasure principle. It wants immediate satisfaction, it does not care how.

      The id is your infant self, your inner monster, before civilization got to you.

  20. Bill in Oz says:

    Truly the entire world is watching and wondering about the Philippines after Duterte’s fuckwit ‘joke’ about this raped and murdered missionary in Davao….

    If the Filipino people elect such a fuckwit as president, will the Philippines will be raped and destroyed as well ?

  21. Cringe inducing moment is when you tune in to National Public Radio (NPR) and there is a panel of political analysts discussing the latest Duterte foot-in-mouth incident and the PH’s fate if he wins. Then, Googling his name and getting 214 articles, some from several countries, most of which are not flattering to the PH and Filipinos. Dios mio! Looks like my 3-6 months guesstimate of when PH will lose face because of him is the understatement of the year. Here comes my grumpies…

  22. http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/130014-duterte-apology-rape-remarks

    ‘There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime. Sometimes my mouth can get the better of me,’ admits Duterte

    Too little, too late… the other stuff cannot be erased anymore… he has shown his true colors and those who still vote him are outside civilization, outside the pale of humanity in my book.

  23. Joe,

    The Hopis were proud of their matrilineal society, but if you scratch the surface, behind every woman was a brother. I don’t know if it applies here, but usually when you see a woman screwing up, there’s a guy behind it.

    So I’m curious if you can test that observation, and actually line all those you speak of compared to the ones fighting the good fight, like your gal, Leni. I’m not saying women can’t do no wrong (Hillary and Samantha Power screwed up the Arab Spring)— but balance positive, balance negative, I’m a big fan of Women’s intuition.

  24. Cat says:

    Boooo to Pia Cayetano. We are so disappointed..

    • Joe America says:

      What is interesting is that she is bearing a lot of criticism on social media. The pressure on her and Senator Alan Cayetano must be huge. Their political lives are at stake. And yet . . . they can’t do the right thing, in compassionate and humanistic terms. They can’t disavow Duterte’s horrid behavior. Senator Koko Pimentel also gave Duterte a free pass on the “story” he told.

      Three political careers are crashing.

      Duterte is a litter bug.

      • and his supporters piss on houses of RoRo supporters…

        Filipinos that have any decency will turn away from them.

        • Joe America says:

          He is already proving to be a disaster for international relations. Worse than Trump and Mexico. His followers have bludgeoned the web site of the Australian Embassy here with overload. They have a storm trooper mentality, for sure. Right becomes wrong, by their declaration. Execute first, ask questions later.

    • madlanglupa says:

      The other thing overlooked is how the family now runs Taguig; asides from bickering with the Binays over Fort Bonifacio, under the Cayetanos the Taguig side of C5 has degenerated to the point where unruly youths drop rocks and chunks of concrete onto passing cars as a form of entertainment.

  25. Fred Escobar says:

    Joe Am, I beg to disagree with this article of yours for the first time. I think the country as a whole need an iron fisted hand man like Duterte to clean up the corruption, crime and drugs that is plaguing the country for quite a while now. \the women issue that you are trying to defend here is not that important compared to corruption and crime in the government. Stay focused Jo Am.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, for sure, a lot of people agree with you, Fred. I see crime and corruption to be functions of the economic state of the Philippines, so poor that many people struggle to eat and those that have jobs have to cheat to get to the kind of world class wage that allows them to buy cars or send their kids to college. To correct the underlying poverty, the nation needs about 15 more years of the kind of trending that has taken place under President Aquino. Economic growth so jobs and salaries catch up with the rest of the world, and values growth so that corruption starts to bear a stigma of “no!” rather than “okay, if you can get away with it.” I think the Aquino administration has made sizable strides in this direction, and a guy like Duterte would bring back the old-school values of favor (the Duterte in crowd) and backward. Investors won’t want to invest. Not so many jobs. Continued poverty.

      Had he advanced a plan to assure economic growth, okay. I’d listen to you. But crimes are the symptom, not the disease. Poverty is the disease.

    • J. Bondurant says:

      Sir, it is very often a Filipina who bears the brunt of disrespect, intolerance, and outright hatred in this country. I daresay that women are an important issue for the whole country, whether it be an election year or not.

    • Marg Choco says:

      Wow … really not the first time hearing that women’s issues are not as important. /facepalm

    • andrewlim8 says:

      @Fred Escobar

      When Hitler vowed to clean up Germany and restore its economy, he convinced many not to mind the other things he would be doing – eliminating Jews, invading other countries, etc while he worked on achieving his promises. And the German people gave him that.

      Like Duterte who promised a 3-6 month time frame to eliminate crime and corruption, Hitler asked for 10 years. and “you will not recognize Berlin from what it looks today. ” Well, after 10 years, Berlin indeed looked unrecognizable in the aftermath of World War 2.

      You may say, he is not Hitler and he will not do those things. But you have asked us to give up principles in favor of other goals. What is to stop him from violating other principles then?

  26. Joe America says:

    From our friends at the FilipiKnow blog, an article suitable for archiving here.


  27. Marg Choco says:

    Thank you Joe for fully elaborating the current situation of women here in the Philippines. But, to put it quite plainly, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.


  28. b says:

    i just want to understand this better, so i’m open to correction. i knew that gabriela was presumed to have supported duterte in the past, because in february, one outspoken member declared her support. but in march, the entire organization of gabriela declared their support for poe. http://bilangpilipino.philstar.com/news/2016/03/04/1559256/gabriela-backs-poe

    as for pia cayetano, i’ve always admired her for fighting the good fight, championing the RH bill in the senate and advocating women’s rights on the side. if there’s a woman senator who absolutely MUST be taken to task for abusing her authority, i feel it should be loren legarda. http://www.rappler.com/nation/118991-cayetano-difficult-trust-legarda-rh-budget-cut

    i’d like to think that pia’s endorsement of duterte is mostly because of family relations. also, in spite of his misogynistic behavior, he HAS been involved in pro-women initiatives in davao, so that at least is in line with her advocacies.

    she’s recently issued a statement about duterte’s rape joke, which is even stronger than her brother’s. http://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016/nation/04/17/16/pia-cayetano-joking-about-rape-not-funny

    sorry if i’m missing anything important. it’s just that i’ve long admired sen. pia for forwarding the cause of feminism in the country, so i don’t believe her endorsement of the candidate her brother decided to run with should be used to imply that she’s become a power-hungry enemy of women.

    • madlanglupa says:

      The Cayetanos… I find it very embarrassing in their capacity to run Taguig, that they allow unruly youths to drop concrete blocks onto passing cars under walkways over C5.

  29. Bill in Oz says:

    Hi b ! Your thoughtful comment deserves a thoughtful reply. I am an Australian man. In my country any man who dared be so abusive of a woman raped and murdered would be absolutely canned in all the media.
    No one would respect or give him the time of day.The idea that he could be seen a strong candidate for a political position would create such anger among so many people, that he would be dropped by all political parties like a piece of hot shit.

    People overseas and in Australia are puzzled why this is not happening here to Duterte. They are asking “Is the Philippines some bizarre violent backward part of the world like Pakistan ?”
    I know many Filipinos and Filipinas who definitely answer this question with a loud “No”,.But are there enough of them ?

    Now I hope that Pia sees Duterte for what he really is. Filippina women’s rights to be treated equally and without abuse or harasment are the same all over the world. End of story.

    • b says:

      thanks for your reply, bill. i do wish our society was more progressive in terms of handling macho politicians who shoot their mouth off, but each country has its own challenges. and given how difficult it’s been to forward the twin causes of gender equality and woman empowerment in this country, i think it’s short-sighted to condemn pia cayetano for endorsing duterte.

      for one thing, i don’t believe she’d endorse him at all if her brother had not run, although she may praise his pro-women initiatives in davao. for another, if duterte wins (which is looking more and more likely), her projects get continuity and extra funding – a shrewd political move, easily misconstrued as ambitiousness.

      but for the record, i share your hope that she and other decent people in government drop duterte “like a piece of hot shit” for his myriad thoughtless remarks.

      • “each country has its own challenges.” yep. Shootout in Munich yesterday evening.

        40 year old Iraqi and his 24 year old Syrian ex-girlfriend quarrel, her 24 year old Syrian boyfriend is now in the hospital in coma, some police bullets hit him as well.

        Big shit in that neigborhood just half an hour door-to-door by public transport from my place, police ordered all people to stay in their houses and shut the windows, police in helmets and armor came to help their regular colleagues who were hiding behind cars.

        The right-wing AfD party has over 20% in the Saxon state parliament now, there is an internet atlas of the distortions propagated on social media by groups like that, a Munich tabloid has taken a right-wing politician to court for distorting it’s headlines on Facebook…

        A German comedian is now facing charges for insulting Erdogan – there is a libel law in Germany against insulting Presidents of foreign states, Erdogan pressed charges and Merkel referred the matter to the court… a President Duterte will have the same rights…

        • Radyo Bombo Munich: it was jealousy!

          40 year-old Iraqi ex with white hair, 24 year old Syrian woman, 24 year old tatooed Syrian.

          That is what I saw in tabloid headlines, waiting in front of Munich city hall today…. whew!

          The 24 year old tatooed Syrian is in artificial coma, gunshots from both Iraqi and police.

  30. Waray-waray says:

    And so today we said ENOUGH.

    I apologize for going OT here but I just wanted to share that some Duterte supporters who are in fact friends and relatives have really gone overboard.

    On our FB wall a friend shared a picture of an ISIS in the act of decapitating two hostages who were wearing that all too familiar orange suit. The heads of the hostages were superimposed with Pres. Aquino and Mar Roxas’ heads with the caption something like; Pnoy at Mar ngayon, susunod na kayo mga Noytards”. I was really angry basically because this ISIS thing should not be made a joke. They think it was cute and funny…wow just to annoy us or something?

    And then today a friend from our charismatic community posted a meme with Duterte supposedly hugging Korina and Mar on the background angrily shouting at Duterte. These are just two of the most recent offensive memes on our FB walls. My spouse tried to have an intelligent discussion with them complete with facts, figures and links. When they could no longer rebut they resort to these trash. I would understand trolls but they were friends and relatives some of them from our charismatic community.

    I was fuming mad. We felt insulted. They were like our house guests and there they were mocking us with those memes. Told my husband either block them or tell them to shape up or else…

    And so we did. We told them to be respectful, to argue their cause intelligently and not resort to offensive memes. That we do not want to make enemies out of this election. That we should not go this low, that we could do better than this. We even directed them to the Comelec advisory on this election. But we issued one caveat, the next time anyone post an offensive meme, we would instantly block that person.

  31. karlgarcia says:

    Unfortunately, an inlaw posted this,I did not react on FB,FB is becoming tense lately even among relatives.
    I just face palmed and forehead slapped my self.

    Pls let me share this with you…

    Yesterday after i saw the video of the “Rape Scandal” i was hesitant to call my Mom (she’s a human right lawyer and shes voting for Duterte) because i’m thinking that there would a big possibility that she changed her mind overnight because of those videos! But after lunch i really needed to talk to her about it, maybe because I’m a woman i am affected with those videos. So i called her up!

    Me: Mom, did you open your FB?

    Mom: yeah! Why?

    Me: have you seen the latest issues about mayor Duterte?

    Mom: yeah! Kaninang umaga pa!

    Me: hmmm so what can you say about it? As a human right lawyer, as a Woman?

    Mom: why? Are you having second thought of voting Mayor Duterte? You see my Dear, Election Day is not that far and We can’t deny and even big media stations can’t deny that Duterte is surging fast. They will really do everything in their power and money to throw muds and dirt to Mayor Duterte. Try to watch the whole video its not as bad as the edited one. If Mayor Duterte is not the big name in 2016 election they will not mind that joke! They will just let it pass. But then, for now all eyes were in Mayor Duterte, they can’t dig anything to destroy his records especially his achievements to his supporters that’s why they are using this tactics. Believe me, dear joke will be forgotten next month but the problem in our country is thousand folds more important than that joke!

    Me: so are you trying to say that you are okay with his joke?

    Mom: No, dear im not saying that his joke is okay with me. But look at the bigger picture. Mayor Duterte’s mouth is his only failure, he’s not a good talker why? Because its not his attitude to impress his supporters or his people, his attitude is ” okay lang if iboboto ninyo ako, if ayaw nyo okay lang din” now compare him to other candidates? Other candidates promised a lot of things, all the government projects, bribes, etc but use your brain my Dear, they are already in highest Government position for the longest time bakit di pa nila ito nagawa? And how sure are we that they will do their promises in the next six years? Other Candidates have their own problems and issue but they don’t face it, they just kept quiet, they don’t deny or confirm it, all their speeches were the same in every rallies, they have advisers along with them. While Mayor Duterte he spoke directly with his heart, he don’t have prepared speeches to impress the people. I am for Mayor Duterte because he is indeed human, he had flaws, he made mistakes and apologized. He got balls to accept his mistakes. Candidates who are too perfect, refined and respectful is kind of scary for me, it seems to me that they are hiding something in public. Now dear, if you are still in doubt just remember the vote that you will be making for May 9 is not just for you, its for every Filipino in this country. Because i am sure, crime rates will go down the moment Duterte enters Malacanang, believe me.

    Me: so you are still for Duterte?

    Mom: ofcourse Dear, me and all of the other Human Rights are still with him. His mouth problem is only petty problem, compare to bigger problems if any of the three undeserving candidate will win. Crimes, oligarch, corruption is much bigger problem if you think of it wisely.

    Me: ok Mom, thanks.


    If all the human rights lawyers share this view,we are doomed‼️

    • karl,

      I take it that they are both from Davao— so I guess the Sunk Costs fallacy applies.

      How about if you pan out and look to the Visayas , do you think we’d see a different pattern? It all depends on how much they’ve invested.

      • As a man who used to gamble, I KNOW how fatal that fallacy can be.

        There is a point when you have to stop… even progressive betting (doubling your bet to recuperate losses) at some point will exhaust your resources… I HAVE BEEN THERE.

        The Philippines itself may yet come to that point of sunk costs fallacy in the future – Duterte is someone who does not know when to stop, does not know his own limits.

        • “There is a point when you have to stop… “

          Exactly, like making a sharp U-turn…


          “he was one of the first waves of supporters of Duterte who came out in the open simply because that was what precisely happened here in Cebu. The Davao City mayor clicked with his bold, passionate and unconventional pronouncements. That he would rid our country of criminals in three to six months of his presidency sounded like it should be as quick as preparing 3-1 instant coffee. Certainly, it got the imagination of my caller as it did many of our countrymen. No one among the presidential candidates made such a daring proposition. And so, our people, maybe because we are fed up with usual motherhood statements of politicians, felt that the mayor was something else and he was worth our gamble.

          Then, the second shock came. It was like the second earthquake in Japan at the lesser intensity of 6.0 compared to the first jolt. My caller said that he was sad to make a quick U-turn. He threw me off with a declaration that his admiration for the Mindanao candidate for Malacañang came to a stunning halt. That was why he called me. He shared in the fear that I wrote about. According to him, when he reviewed all the bits and pieces of gruesome information about the candidate, he realized that indeed, the Malacañang aspirant was a dangerous proposition. Claiming to be a patriotic citizen of this country, he said he would not, (make that never!), be a party in giving the reins of government to a person whose aura is soaked in blood and whose vision is not anchored on time-tested due process of law.”

          Rest easy, karl, hope springs eternal. 😉

    • The election is Filipino business, that is true… but think of the consequences. Those who know me know that I can change my mind… but there are things I stick to, this is one… Wonderful, the Philippines will gain the RESPECT of the whole world with Duterte haha.


      When asked for his reaction to the two ambassadors’ statement, Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Duterte as saying, “You’re not Filipinos. Shut up. Do not interfere because it’s election time.”

      Digong, an AUSTRALIAN woman was insulted by you, Australia has as much right to defend the honor of its women as anyone.

      If Duterte wins, I will tell my German relatives especially the women not to visit the Philippines, the President will not protect you if something happens, he might even insult your memory.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I wonder if the Chinese embasador in Manila will issue a statement condemning rape and trivialising rape and murder via jokes ? Probably not as Duterte is their man.

  32. Kuya Pultak says:

    The Fundamental Problem of a Duterte Presidency

    The Disintegration of the Rule of Law Core Principle

    RULE OF LAW Defined

    The Rule of Law is a principle of governance in which ALL PERSONS, institutions and entities, PUBLIC and PRIVATE, including the State itself, are Accountable to Laws that are Publicly Promulgated, EQUALLY Enforced and Independently Adjudicated, and which are consistent with International Human Rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.

    A rule of law framework that includes the following:
    Constitution or its equivalent, as the highest law of the land;

    A clear and consistent legal framework, and implementation thereof;

    Strong institutions of justice, governance, security and human rights that are well structured, financed, trained and equipped;

    Transitional justice processes and mechanisms; and

    A public and civil society that contributes to strengthening the rule of law and holding public officials and institutions accountable.

    Department of Justice, Republic of the Philippines

    This is something NOT to be TRIFLED Upon.

    The gains of the past as well as the experience from its mistakes must not and should be sacrificed for messianic solutions, a nation, free and progressive can only be built BRICK by BRICK.

    God Bless Us All at Mabuhay ang Lupang Hinirang

  33. Bill in Oz says:

    Well, well well…It seems that having asked Duterte for an apology, the Gabriella Women’s group is now a target for idiotic Duterte supporters…
    Here is the Enquirer report this morning, page A15.

    I guess this may help progressive Fiipinas understand the nature of Duterte’s fascist movement.It may help them think about who else to vote for.

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