The line of sight


Lines of sight. Perspective.


By josephivo

The line of sight. I realize that the old surveyor practices are getting outdated, with GPS becoming the more rapid, easier and more precise method. Destinations are now expressed in coordinates or with a code name. A line of sight is becoming irrelevant. GPS will calculate how to proceed step by step. Are lines of sight less relevant in these post-modern times just as in the prehistoric ones?

Also Philippine politics are post-modern or prehistoric, but still it would be nice to understand the candidates better by understanding their destinations. Their parties are just temporary umbrellas and have little weight in setting directions or explaining policies. I hear and read a lot of piecemeal initiatives, partly as vague dreams, seldom as concrete actionable initiatives. But we never see the complete picture of how the goal justifies the means. So what are the candidates’ ultimate beliefs? What do they eventually want to achieve? What are their political strategies? How does it all fit together? What is their “line of sight”?

Is a line of sight unique or are different lines of sight possible? Isn’t life non-linear? Why not just enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the mystery of life? Personally, I would answer yes to all these questions, but unfortunately one should expect from leaders that they lead. They ought to be more than just fellow travelers.

When we follow Archbishop Socrates Villegas’ advice (instruction?), we should first assess the candidates’ political beliefs before we judge their ability to implement their plans and we should not start by evaluating their chances to win or not, choosing the lesser evil.

For the sake of discussion, I tried to represent political options in a rational decision tree, but I realize that this “frames” reality. Things are not that simple. They are often interwoven more organically, actions influencing motives or strategies and the other way around.

Beliefs, strategies and action evolved over time as the challenges and opportunities of society changed.

  • Survive another day, primitive societies (nomads, diversity by nature, many spirits, every man making and using tools, but it is the clan that counts)
  • Abundant food, agriculture revolution (sedentary, selection and breeding of the most performant species, specialization and craftsmen make tools, markets, one ruler at the top, one God, but it is owning land that counts)
  • Abundant muscle power, industrial revolution (urbanization, machines, workers, uniformity, clocks, monopolies, banks, but it is money that counts)
  • Abundant brain power, current revolution (a virtual world, diversity created by m@n, information technology and artificial intelligence, global village…, but is it creativity that counts???)

The Destination / Ultimate Motive

If we keep asking the “Why?” questions, somewhere it will end, somewhere we will have to reveal and justify our ultimate destination. Some alternative final answers could be:

  • Pursue Happiness
    • My happiness comes first. Each individual has to care for himself. The “invisible hand” will take care of the rest.
    • Total/everybody’s happiness comes first. Look from the point of view of the universe. What is best for the planet as a whole? I should sacrifice myself for the betterment of the group.
    • In between, my happiness but the essence of my happiness is seeing the ones around me happy. Giving is receiving.
  • Please the “Creator”(and I know who the Creator is, what the correct religion is, what the correct interpretations of his revelations are and how we can please him.)
    • I know what and how because He told me directly, made me perceive, feel…
    • I know what and how via messenger(s) or message(s). Verbally as by “priests” (I trust their anointment by the Creator) and/or by wise men (I trust their human rational, perceptions…capabilities) or by something in written forms, written divine revelations.
  • Please a “Creator”
    • My rational mind tells me there must be a Creator. But I don’t know for sure who it is or how He manifest Himself. His manifestation might have different forms, expressed in different religions. But for sure we have to please him, we have to follow a (any) religion.
    • I don’t know how to please him other than believing that he gave us the rational and emotional strength to pursue happiness, back to tolerance, respect as fundamentals.

Man as in mankind, men, women and everyone in between.

Political Strategies

We can not get there alone, so we will have to work together, we will have to develop a “political” strategy. The Era of Enlightenment reacted to people split up in classes mainly based on birth. It came up with “Human Rights”. Since than these values are supposed to drive all political actions:

  • Liberty as the prime driver (- liberalism, we can all do what we want and we have to do nothing more. The state is only to intervene on the citizens on explicit request)
    • Equality as the prime driver (- communism, comrades the state will organize all spheres of life)
    • Equal opportunities (education, jobs, healthcare…), rights, income, wealth.
    • Equal obligations (defense, civil, environment…), contributions/taxes.

Accepting a random distribution but with mandatory corrections to keep the distributions small and normal (not askew).

  • Fraternity as the prime driver (– the golden rule, solidarity)
    • Benevolent, each one contributes according his own mood and strength.
    • Mandatory, the state has to organize solidarity between have and have-nots, sick and healthy, different regions, religions, peoples…
  • A good balance of all 3 of the above (- socialism, the state to keep the three drivers in balance)

In many Western Europe countries, socialists and Christian democrats aimed for a good balance (the first was driven originally by secular motives, the second by religious motives).

I’m glad that when my parents passed away I could go to high school, college and university on the government expense, graduating without any debt or liabilities to anybody. I’m glad that solidarity was organized on a national level via mandatory taxes (individually I might have contributed too little). Also, health insurance was organized nationally with mandatory contributions to avoid cheap insurance for the strong and healthy and very expensive insurance for the sick and weak. But social democrats are losing ground fast to “American” liberalism combined with a race to the bottom due to global competition and to simplistic populism.

Social mobility is higher in socialist countries than anywhere else. Obscene inequality became a rather new phenomena since the mundialization and oligopoly powers of the financial institutions.

In the USA, unlimited individual freedom is the main driver and a belief that everybody can achieve everything by working hard. Monopolistic powers, being the biggest and the limitless influx of the best brains, makes them achieve a faster growth. (Freedom to work long hours, double shifts, freedom to carry lethal weapons, freedom to pollute,…)

  • Authoritarian powers
    • We have to follow
      • The king who thinks he knows best
      • The strongest general who thinks he knows best
      • The high priest who thinks he knows best
    • We want to follow
      • We think the “elected” president knows best.
  • Bahalana attitudes
    • I don’t care, anarchists
    • Opportunists, organic thinkers, we will correct when necessary, trial and error

Political Actions

Once we know where we want to end up and how we want to get there we have to take actions.

  • Way to develop
    • Driven by rational
    • Driven by gut feel / emotions
    • Shoot, than aim
  • Style
    • In a civil way
    • In a combatant way
    • In a principled way
    • In an opportunistic way
  • Means
    • Change convictions / behavior
      • by charisma,
      • by explanation
      • By coercion force
    • Collect taxes, pay for actions
204 Responses to “The line of sight”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    This is refreshing. Getting sick of Duterte.Thank you Joseph.

    • Joe America says:

      Josephivo is also traveling so I don’t know if he can respond. I’m sure he agrees with you. Time to strive for discipline of thinking.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Enjoy your vacation Joe and Joseph.

      • “discipline of thinking” OK, I will hit Karl on the head if he is not using his coconut.

        But only with a balloon not with a baseball bat – DISCIPLINE (imagine the Marcos accent)!

        • karlgarcia says:

          ok I am thinking don’t discipline me,not even with a balloon.

          the tripartite motto :liberte egalite and fraterne is a euphemism for a tripod used by surveyors,for their political strategy…it is what drives them.

          dont deeseepleen me.

          • You have the self-discipline of thinking. And we have all been thinking aloud by discussing, you much longer than me, me for almost one year.

            Functioning societies produce good leaders. I have come to the conclusion today that Philippine society is still growing up and has a lot of lessons to learn.

            A world-class leader like Angela Merkel comes from a society that has learned a lot of very hard lessons in its history – including self-destruction by putting false hopes on a idolized leader.

            Lee Kuan Yew came from the solid, no-nonsense Confucian ethics of overseas Chinese. I fear that in the Philippines, he would have avoided politics and just built malls like Henry Sy.

            Yes, I am saying that Mar Roxas is mediocre by international standards – the 100 percenters like for example RHiro judge him that way but you don’t have anyone better. But at least he can help lay the foundations for a better society and better future leaders. Especially with 4Ps, BUB and K-12 with continued economic stability. The other way to a first-world life is to go where I am – but make no mistake, I had to adjust my attitudes which were disfunctional and had to learn many hard lessons. Life knocked me on the head.

            Perfectionists like RHiro know what is right in theory but have no plan to get it done in a country that has many issues. You have to start somewhere – like you said about starting in communities in the article you wrote in my blog, or like your father said that maritime awareness starts by cleaning up the trash in Manila Bay. Josephivo is also very right – you have to have an itinerary where you are going while taking care of stuff, step by step. Software companies have so-called roadmaps – where is the Philippine roadmap?

  2. “Fraternity as the prime driver” 😀

    Many APOs are supporting Binay.

  3. “We want to follow” DUTERTE! DUTERTE! 😀

  4. Vicara says:

    Rational political decisions appear to be so rare in the current political climate, they’re almost bizarre, like, frogs falling out of the sky. But the extremes exhibited by some candidates and their supporters (whether in terms of graft or homicidal tendencies or outrageous public statements) perhaps may make people a little less lazy in their civic participation? Or am I being too optimistic?

  5. The “line of sight” is missing in all candidates that is true… if bosses ask their employees, where do you want to be in five years… they should say, where do I want the country to be in six years.

    All are to some extent “playing by ear” – the Filipino mentality, most prominent example is DU30.

    Manong Sonny has a great summary of the three factors a well-balanced society must fulfill: subsidiarity, solidarity and humanity – liberty, equality, fraternity (not college ones!) is just one possible example of a model for that balance. I hope he will elaborate a little more on that… 🙂

    • sonny says:

      Best example, Irineo: the Theocracy of the Roman Catholic Church – One Message (Scripture & Tradition, “Love one another…”), one Exemplar (Jesus Christ, “…as I have loved you”), one Vicar (the pope, “Thou art Peter…”), one goal (get to heaven), one means (obedience), one mission (share the Good News, “… that you might have life, and that, abundantly”). This paradigm can be used by governments, nations, communities, families, individuals (kings and serfs). Failure is often that of communication, at the top and on the ground, at home and in the marketplace, inside and outside of one’s person. Be the message and the messenger.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Line of sight is about perspectives,not different from The elephant and the blind men.The blind men did not have wrong opinions(no wrong opinion), they had the wrong conclusions.

    This lateral thinking of joseph which most often involve multiple choices,makes you draw your own conclusion.

  7. Bill in Oz says:

    @Irineo..Your comment about Germany and the lessons it learned 1914-45..set me thinking..The Philippines went through a very tragic time in 1942-45..I rememberreading that about 500,000 died in that war. And Manila was destroyed in the battle of February – March 1945.- Like Warsaw in Poland !

    So why have the lessons of that time been built into the political system here ?

    I wonder if it has to do with the extraordinary high birth rate. So now fifty percent of the Filipino people are aged 24 years.or below…

    And old timers ( such as seem to be among us on the blog ) are rare as hen’s teeth…Thinking aloud here….

    • I think the difference was that Germans were honest with themselves, Filipinos were not.

      If you lie to yourself, how can you change things? For most Germans 1945 is basically like yesterday, the stuff we wrote about in my blog is like myths and legends for most Filipinos.

      But that time is VERY instructive and we have not even scratched the surface of it… how Roxas (the first) was universally hated, someone tried to kill him for the parity agreement with the USA, most teachers in school (yes that was Marcos political propaganda) said Roxas was a traitor, a weakling, a sell-out to the USA after being a Japanese collaborator – but I realized now 1946-1948 was the first Yolanda – he went in and was blamed totally….

      There is a Filipino trait called “tulak” – pushing people forward to do something, then leave them alone in front and blame them if the results don’t come the way they want. I have seen this happen in Filipino overseas associations, to President Aquino, to both Roxases.

      Yes it also happened to Marcos – the opportunistic new middle class that pushed him into power went to EDSA to oust him. It was a similarly opportunistic group as the Dutertistas. MRP was one of the few who called things out, and was an outcast for it so often here. BUT – German self-examination did not happen overnight. It took the next generation in the late 1960s to reopen things and ask the generation of their parents – what the hell did you do?

      Even the Marcos period was conveniently forgotten after EDSA – because similar to the wholesale collaboration during the Japanese period, many people had stuff to hide.

      Filipino so often rationalize things, act as if they were harmless. During UNCTAD V squatters were hidden from foreign visitors – during APEC recently it was the same thing. UNCTAD V was during Marcos days. Trouble is you don’t really change by pretending you are something that you are not. Get Real Philippines BTW is a huckster site, it pretends to be for revealing the truth but is pushing Marcos. Well most Filipinos seem to be pushing an agenda and not telling the whole truth if you ask me – it is all about “my group winning” and pushing the others into the gutter. Good thing that Daang Matuwid does have more substance than the fakery of Marcos, even if they do echo some of the old behavior. But those are simply cultural habits almost everybody has there. “My own group counts more”..

      • karlgarcia says:

        very enlightening in this age of entitlement.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful response Irineo..I have not heard of ‘tulak’ before. My lady says ” tuma tulak ” is it. !

        And so now

        So was Aquino pushed forward in 2010 to try and solve the problems left after the corruption by GMA & Estrada from 1998 to 2010 ? And now that Aquino has ‘failed’, Roxas, the man he thinks will continue the good work, is also regarded as a failure..

        So Iron fisted killer Duterte will be given the job ?

        • karlgarcia says:

          my urban dictionary definition for tulak is drug pusher.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I want to add something to my comment above…a realisation which may upset some folks here. But as you said Irineo ” If you lie to yourself, how can you change things?”

          We needed to go to Makati this morning from Quapo. Gogle says there is a regular bus service from Quezon Bvld Quiapo to Makati.So we left out hotel and went to Quezon looking for the Ayala bus service.

          Quezon Blvd was gridlocked going South from way past Recto. So we walked a good way along Quezon almost to the bridge over the Pasig. There the traffic was moving freely.
          Quezon Blvd going South is 5 lanes wide. Why was it grid locked ?

          There were lots of jeeps stopping in the 3 left lanes to pick up and drop off passengers. The innermost lane was for parking. But the jeeps could not pull off the road into the right lane and drop passengers because the second lane out was clogged with trikes & stationery jeeps, vendors selling stuff : buko drinks, cooked bananas, cell phone screens, etc etc etc !! The footpaths next to the shops were also clogged with vendors as well.So pedestrians were also forced to walk on the road.

          It was complete chaos !!

          Why were vendors using this dangerous traffic lane to sell stuff ? Well for a start the police and security staff all allowed them to. Nobody ordered them off the road. That is they were incompetent at doing a normal policing job.

          I asked what was going on to a few people. They said It’s Friday. Crowds of people are going to the Black Nazarene Church at Plaza Miranda on Quezon…..And outside the church the chaos was being added to be a bank of very loud loud speakers. The clergy definitely wanted to blast there way into everybody’s brains.

          But very curiously Quezon Blvd immediately outside the church was free of any parked cars; free of any jeeps; free of any trikes; free of vendors. This area of public road. it seemed was sacred ground forbidden to ordinary folk except for walking on.

          Why am I bringing this up now ?

          Well all through this election campaign there have been complaints about the Manila traffic gridlock. And the Liberal government it being condemned because it has not sorted this problem.Duterte seems on the verge of winning the election because he is willing to take charge & sort Manila’s traffic mess.

          Here in Quiapo is one of the biggest of Manila’s traffic messes. And what is causing the gridlock ? The Black Nazarene Catholic Church. I’m sure that the clergy know this and have known for decades. But the clergy have never done anything to sort the problem. Moving that Black Nazarene statue to another better location would clear the problem completely. Maybe if elected Duterte will do exactly this.

          But why was this mess sorted long ago ?.

          PS WE did not get that bus. WE gave up and went back to our hotel…

          • The government has been in persistent denial about how bad it feels to be in traffic.

            THEY are not affected and do not know how it is – or just see it from their cars, even if they are in traffic they might have a driver. Mar Roxas USED to take MRT but that was around 10 years ago if I remember, when things were NOT like today – it used to be a very nice conveyance. Countries were the lifestyle of the powerful is too different from that of the normal people are always in danger – Angela Merkel does her own groceries falling in line and paying, goes home to cook for her husband, she needs just 2-3 security people.

            The head of the other political party – Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel – recently said something very respectable, which speaks of empathy for the people – “we must remember that the job we politicians have is easier than that of most normal people” – the discussion now is to raise pension age to 70, because the pension system is moving towards a funding issue due to the longer life spans of people and not enough children.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Next time you get stuck in Quiapo on a Friday.

            just walk to Lawton near the Post Office,there are many options :jeep,lrt,

            or walk to SM Manila then ride a cab.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              It was hot here yesterday 36 degrees. Not the day for a longish walk though I actually like walking around the streets on Quiapo & Binondo and over to Intramuros and Ermite etc.
              But I will remember that idea next time Karl, thank you…

              • karlgarcia says:

                bring umbrella and coleman water jug when that happens.Intramuros is farther than the post office,if can you walk towards Intramuros from where you are at,then my suggestion is feasible.

      • manangbok says:

        Mr. Salazar, I should clobber myself in the head for not visiting your blog more often. Your ideas are lucid and thought-provoking 🙂

        Which just goes to show that Filipinos (of which I am one, and a typical one at that, I might say) find it very hard to exercise real self-reflection. Nakaka-nosebleed po kasi!

        Nakakatamad po mag-aral. Nakakatamad po magbasa. Nakakatamad po mag-analyze. — can’t fully translate those three statements in English without losing their “flavor”. It’s not that we are (I am) “lazy”, if by “lazy” we mean the dictionary-definition of “unwilling to work or expend energy”. I am willing to dig through things and not just “rationalize”. But digging to the bottom of the truth hurts a fucking lot. It may reveal hurtful things like “my mother was a semi-prostitute” or “my dad was an egotistical weak slob. ”

        There are things in our history as a nation that we have never fully examined. Because we have chosen to be resilient … or happy — in a superficial way. And that is just … sad (I think)

        • A German writer diagnosed Germany’s issue in the 1960s as “inability to grieve”… now those who are incapable of grieving cannot let go of the past and learn from it… the stages of grief are defined as:

          1. denial
          2. anger
          3. bargaining
          4. depression
          5. acceptance

          Psychological literature also speaks of the vulnerability that one is trying to shield oneself from through these stages of grief. Facebook has expanded the like button – what I have seen recently as a reaction to much of the stuff on Duterte has been the “crying” icon.

          A lot of Filipinos however are still in the anger stage – we can perfect things, we can make a dictatorship or kill people to improve things. NO. That will not help, a new cycle will start.

          Some are in the bargainign stage – like the Duterte supporters who are going through a lot of rationalizations, the biggest example being the exchange that Karl posted…

          MRP must be in the depression stage… he has not shown himself even in my blog.

          Those in the acceptance stage – know there is no perfect leader who will fix the country. That it will take at least two more Presidential terms if everything is done properly. But hey, the Philippines is a semi-tribal society making the adjustments Europeans had centuries for, there is NO reason to feel inferior for that – they just had a head start because of different history. This is what many articles in my blog are about. Different developments.

          • superficial happiness is the denial stage I think.

          • Waray-waray says:

            @Ireneo, I agree to the German writer’s diagnosis – inability to grieve.

            But the question is, why do people grieve? Are people supposed to be grieving has that sense of awareness? Can a person deny what he does not know in the first place?

            • Waray-waray says:

              Let me rephrase one sentence for clarity;

              Are people supposed to be grieving have that sense of awareness that they are in a state of grief?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Before I was told sometimes when comforting someone it would be better just to sit beside them and speak only when spoken too.I tried it,I just sat beside them saying nothing and made them cry…they were holding back their tears.

            • manangbok says:

              “why do people grieve?” — good question. I guess because it is part of the process of moving on. Nothing is permanent. We grieve for the good things that won’t return. And we grieve for the bad things that have caused the good things to disappear.

              Far too often, shit happens (WorldWar II and the atrocities of Martial Law are classic examples); despite that, the world is (or can be) a beautiful place. But we cannot see how nice it is if shit is in our eyes. And so we have to grieve (and cry) to wash the shit away. To paraphrase Pope Francis: suffering must be understood with words born out of our tears.

              Unfortunately, crying and grieving can’t happen if you cannot even acknowledge a loss. For example Martial Law — ano ba talaga sya good o bad? Kung may 10 or 15 years old na magtatanong, ano isasagot natin? Yung isang uncle ko na Ilocano, ang sagot “very good”, yung pinsan ko na may kakilalang namatay na aktibista, ang sagot “very bad”. So malilito si 10 or 15-years old. At mapa-paralyze sya sa kalituhan. Apathetic na lang sya, kebs na lang or … mag facebook na lang. Kaya lang, hindi magandang medium for introspection and facebook (lalo na kapag 10 or 15 years old ka). Nakakaaliw lang sya, kunwari kasi nag-iisip ka, kaka-share mo or kaka-like ng eloquent statements ng ibang tao. Pero yung talagang analysis, yung pagkilala mo sa isang bagay para ma-acknowledge mo sya… it takes time. Education takes time. And effort. At usually (aminin na natin) nakakatamad gawin 🙂

        • NHerrera says:


          Indeed there are many of @Irineo’s posts and also the notes of many others here — one of who is Joe, the Blog owner himself — at The Society of Honor which help us Filipinos here and abroad to be more critical thinkers and balanced in our views for the short and long term. It may be slow but we are progressing.

          The fact that you posted what you have above is gratifying, as far as I am concerned. I, too, at my age of 70+ continue to learn.

          I presume that of the two registered voters groups — 18-35 years group and the 35+ group — you are with the latter group and thus have an appreciation of our political history from the time of Marcos Sr. (At age 35, the boundary of the first group, those at that age are too young at 5 years old when the plundering and human-rights- violating Marcos family left the country.)

      • madlanglupa says:

        They’re “lazy”, and yet… they’re stuck to Facebook until two in the morning!

    • NHerrera says:

      Bill in Oz.

      Since our impressions recently have been influenced by surveys of registered voters yielding high survey number for Duterte and still significant survey number for Binay, I find your note about birth rate and the apparent low lessons learned from political history reasonable.

      If one divides the registered voters into two age groups — the 18-35 years old group and the 35+ age group — one finds that the total registered voters of about 54 million is roughly divided equally among these two groups (that is, 27m in each group). Now, the first group don’t have first hand recollection of the martial law years being too young even at 35, only 5 years old, when the plundering and human-rights- violating Marcos family left the country.

      Here is how I see the arithmetic:

      – Easily half of the 27 million from the 18-35 age group can go for Duterte or Binay

      – Easily, too, half of the other 27 million from the 35+ group, because of poverty and the appealing siren songs of Duterte and Binay going for either one

      – This makes roughly 27 million prospective voters going for Durterte or Binay — that is 50% going to one or the other

      – Hence 30% going to Duterte and 20% going to Binay becomes explainable in spite of what we as critical thinkers know about these guys.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Thanks N’herera for your comment about this..I suspect you are right….

        .I am perplexed by one thing. I wonder what percentage of the population over 18 is registered with COMELEC.
        In Oz voting is compulsory and so is registration on the voting roll at age 18. ( Nowadays young folk tuning 18 get a ‘reminder invitation’ to enroll based on their birth certificate as all birhs are now registered electronically. So in Oz the percentage of registered voters is close to 100%. But I have no idea what it is here.

        • NHerrera says:

          I did some googling and regression over some data. I found that the registered voters above age 18 is about 90 percent of the population above the same age 18.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Thank you Nhererra. So there 54 million registered voters and another 6 million unregistered who may decide to try to vote and not be able.. A huge job for COMELEC.

      • cwl says:


        Pardon me, but you solve the puzzle of the “arithmetic of voters” by cutting the Gordian knot just like how Alexander The Great did.

        Isn’t it too simple an explanation?

        • karlgarcia says:

          There is only one who could cut through a gordian knot of statistics and probability and his name begins with N.

  8. Bill in Oz says:

    I wonder what will happen in Bicol. Will Bicolanos ignore Leni Robredo the respected & admired local to advance the cause of Chiz Escudero? Escudero’s father comes from Sorsongon but Escudero was born in Manila and has lived almost all his life in Manila

    But I also find interesting Salceda’s comment ” “I made a personal decision in performance of my prophetic mission to guide our people at this crucial (time)…”

    This is language and thinking I have not read before in this election campaign from a highly respected thinking politician

    • Bill in Oz says:

      And he said it about backing Grace Poe.

    • Bert says:

      Bill, Albay is for Leni Robredo.

      Joey Salceda was angry because he was expecting for the timely opening of Albay International Airport for this summer anticipating the influx of tourist from around the world but so frustrated due to the delay. The delay was caused by the cancellation of the winning bidder for the finishing touches of the airport and was attributed to Abaya’s inefficiency. And so Mar Roxas suffers for that.

      • According to unreliable sources, some inhabitants of islands in Albay saw flying saucers over Sorsogon around the time Chiz Escudero was allegedly born. Some say he is a robot sent to the earth to take care of the alien deposited in Iloilo by the same spacecraft.

        • Bert says:

          It’s true, I saw one, but I doubt it was over Sorsogon because as I recall it was thrown at me by my wife when she found out about my frequent visit to another island. Your unreliable sources were not so reliable, Irineo.

          • I have question on the Bikolano language which I know only in bits and pieces:

            would parakayo sa gadan be the best description of the perversity of Duterte’s “joke”?

            • Bert says:

              The answer is yes, but also often used by Bicolanos to describe the best of friends, :).

              • Thanks… a bit like “mothafucka” among blacks I guess.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Are you talking about necrophilia?

              • Bert says:

                Yes, karl, you got the idea.

                Actually, karl, we’re talking about one way of how Bicolanos describe another person whether friend or foe, fondly or in derision, and one of the terms we used was the one asked by Irineo which in direct translation to English could mean an act similar to being a necrophiliac.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thank you Bert. There is a sweeter way of saying Mofo in tagalog.Magingat ka baka madapa ka. 😄

              • karlgarcia says:

                What about parakayo sa urig or orig??

            • Bill in Oz says:

              My lady says it’s “parakayos”…= necrophilia as Karl suggested

              • Bert says:

                Bill, if your lady is somewhere from CamSur or Naga City then that figures. We in our place such as Irineo’s in Tiwi or mine in the first district of Albay we used the word without an s. My take is that that word is a noun, meaning someone who did something to a corpse as necrophiliac I think is a noun but just guessing. I’m not good in English as you can see. Necrophilia on the other hand I think describes an act.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                @Bert..You are spot on about my lady..Born in Naga and grew up in Barcelonita till college at Daet.
                Necrophiliac is the noun form in English..And that feels appropriate..The odd thing is that it’s from Greek : necros = ( dead ) + Philia ( love )

              • So we can tell Kuya Will that Duterte DOES know love…

                he loves the dead in every manner possible.

  9. Bill in Oz says:

    I hope so Bert ! But there is always a back story. : And you have provided it…. Abaya’s inefficiency ! It seems we have heard that before.

    All I have read about Salceda says he s well liked and honest as the governor of Albay and Legaspi is certainly growing and developing. And religious maybe also. That’s why he comment struck me as unusual.

    The new international airport will be at Legaspi I assume. I wonder how many airlines will fly in there from overseas. Naga would be far more acessible for us if there are flights in from Oz.

    • Bert says:

      Bill, Legaspi City has its own domestic airport but located too near the foot of active Mayon Volcano so always at risk. The Bicol International Airport, that’s the airport we’re talking about, is situated in the adjacent town of Daraga farther away from the volcano. If you’re coming from Naga City to Legaspi, Daraga is the town before Legaspi, but the International Airport is way off to the right before the town proper of Daraga, going way to the upland area.

      • I remember starting at Legazpi City – the propeller plane went straight towards Mayon which was erupting at that time… it was a nice view into the crater, June 1978 after the burial of Atty. Irineo Salazar, my grandfather… but thinking about it now it was risky.

  10. caliphman says:

    It is utterly incomprehensible for me to grasp that the Philippines is on the verge of electing a prospective dictator who has no self-control and so brutish in behavior and the son of a tyrant and plunderer to serve as his replacement if something happens to him. This is nothing short of mass political suicide and it speaks less of the evil portent of these two but the utter tragedy that we as a country are willing to discard whatever progress or good our society has been able to achieve in exchange for empty promises of dramatic change. We would have brought upon ourselves a monumental disaster not so unlike a modern Germany resurrecting once again a Hitler or Japan a Tojo or Cambodia a Polpot in these countries top leadership. Its not as if the seriously flawed character or the dark origins of these two candidates are plain for not all to see but more that a mob mentality has taken over the masses blinding them to the danger of the sheer precipice up ahead in an unseeing clamor for change. To our countrymen on the eve of elections…fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Caliphman, the voting surveys so far say that only 33% of the population intend to vote for Duterte & Bong Bong. That means that 63% intend to vote for one of the other candidates.

      I suggest that only a very faulty or flawed electoral voting system could lead to a candidate with 33% of the vote winning and becoming president. In Australia we call this type of voting system “first past the post” as if the winner was a horse in a horse race.

      But forming a truly democratic government is far more important than winning in a horse race.

      That’s why many nations now use either a preferential voting system ( like Australia ) or if no candidate gets a true majority of the votes ( over 50% ), arrange a second election with only the top 2 candidates allowed to stand. Argentina does this and so does France.

      I suggest as an interested outsider that the Philippines needs to move beyond the primitive ‘first past the post’ system you inherited from America. The Philippines needs to do it to help build a true democracy and to build concensus among the Filipino people about future direction and development.

      The current situation with Duterte & Marcos just illustrates the urgency of such a change

      • caliphman says:

        Bill. I am familiar with that electoral system. It should in most instances lead to a winning candidate elected by a majority vote. A couple of immediate questions come to mind. What happens if the voting public is so disenchanted with the two remaining candidates, neither of them are able to secure more than 50% of all registered voters? If its just which of the two has the more votes, is not the idea for the winner to get a true mandate meaning at least 50% of voting public support his or her leadership? In parliamentary systems, is not the requirement that members in total must have such a majority in order to form the administrative government? Its the same majority issue Justices Morales and Carpio dealt with on how an SC majority should be counted. Finally, it may not fix the real crux of the perennial problem that the Philippine electorate can and often prefers the worst choices for its leaders regardless of the form of government and how the winner is determined. For example, under the true majority concept discussed earlier, if the elections were based on the most recent full PA and SWS surveys, Duterte and Poe for president as well as Marcos and Robredo would be in the runnoffs. Similar if not the same problem as Duterte and Marcos would have to be the odds on favorite. But yes, in summary I would agree that overall your version is better than the current system but I am not sure it addresses the real problem at hand.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          ” I am not sure it addresses the real problem at hand.”

          I disagree Caliphman….Preferential voting systems tends towards the middle ground in politics…And redical groups or parties are marginalised..
          Why ? Well the preferential voting system encourages groups and parties to swap ‘preferences’ via preference voting cards on election day..

          Imagine this with the 5 existing presidential candidates.. Which candidate would Roxas put as second on the Liberal ticket ? Despite their differences probably Poe.
          Who would Binay give his second preference to ? Possibly Poe as well
          And Duterte, who would he recommended his supporters vote for second ? A question that I cannot really answer because Duterte is such a radical ..
          Who would Santiago recommend her supporters to vote for as a second preference ? Maybe Poe but I reaaly do not know..

          But the point is that preferences voting systems encourage coalitions of groups or parties before the election day…And so capturing the middle ground is the key to winning..And that is by consensus…

          It is hard to imagine unless one has actually seen a preference system in operation..But think of this by way of example : In France recently the National Front was the party with the largest vote on the first round in the regional elections with about 30% of the vote. . And it won not a single region in the second round because all the other major parties banded together to stop it winning..

          • caliphman says:

            Bill, I was not aware that such a preferential voting system was also involved so thats good to know. Still, Filipinos tend to vote based on personalities and not so much based on parties and platforms which is what I was trying to explain in my earlier post. Poe supporters tend to switch to Duterte and Binay and not to Roxas because largely because of the appeal their respective personas have on the masa. Its probably more apparent in the senatorial races where Sotto, Nancy Binay, Aquino, etc. were the favorites because of who they were rather than what programs or parties they stood for. I do not know how that preference system would work with voter behavior that is entirely different.

          • Jonathan says:

            You can make a decent case that instead of marginalizing radical groups, instead it further radicalizes them. To use your National Front example… your methodology just left 30% of the population without representation, disaffected, and likely to be angry with “the system” as a whole. It’s a formula good for keeping political power in the “middle ground”, true… at the cost of radicalizing anyone outside. Now, some may view that a A Good Thing, but it sounds like a formula for long-term dysfunction.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Jonathan..The national Front in France got 30% of the vote at the regional elections..They ‘lost’ the other 70%. The leaders of the groups in the other 70% won the regional elctions. That democracy.. Are you suggesting that minorities should have power ? Now that is nOT democracy. It is up to the National Front to gain majority ( over 50% ) support..Their policies and leaders have to think this one though..That’s democracy mate ! OK ?

              By the way Hitlter and the Nazi won government in Weimar Germany in 1932 with just 32% of the vote…

              • Jonathan says:

                Minorities should have influence proportional to their vote. Even minorities should have a voice in a democratic regime. There’s a word for when minorities have no say in a democracy… it’s called “disenfranchisement”. You just disenfranchised a significant part of your population because you find their views “extreme”. How’s that good for the long-term health of a democracy, if you leave a third of the voting population without a seat at the table?

      • butod says:

        Bill, the experience of post-Marcos “minority” presidents show that many in fact move on to widen their base of constituency support than the narrow numbers they won with.

        Among the most accomplished presidents post-Marcos I know is Fidel Ramos — he won with just 23% of total voter turnout in 1992, but enjoyed very high trust and approval ratings throughout much of his term because he proved he wasn’t just a one-trick Edsa hero but a good visionary (broke up monopolies), an excellent manager (very focused about meeting KPIs on “here and and now” problems), a great coalition expert (brokered a broad party “sunshine coalition) and a good enough peacebuilder (ended the RAM-era of coup attempts with a peace agreement, ended the MNLF-era of Moro secessionism — until of course succeeding presidencies dropped the ball with implementation and stopped talking to the self-important Misuari — and somehow blunted the Maoist rebellion with interim agreements ).

        Same thing with Pnoy. He won big, over 40 percent of TVO, but was still a minority president at the end of the day. That however, didn’t stop him from getting phenomenally high trust and approval ratings throughout much of his term.

        The inverse example might be Erap, who won even a larger percentage of votes in ’98 than Pnoy did 2010, but proceeded to quickly squander that support by his notorious ad hoc-style of governance, not to mention his associations with shady characters and propensity to directly get involved in corrupt big-money deals (Filipino have a word for it — garapal).

        So, no — one’s share of the votes doesn’t necessarily equate to the same amount of support during one’s rule.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          @Butod..Thank you for the history lesson and the detaills I do not know..I agree with you that these presidents did well..The beauty of the preference system is simply that voters know **before** the election that the ‘coalition they vote for, will implement a publicly known platform of policies… It’s not a vote and hope system…

    • Wethepeople says:

      I would not complain the peoples and their choice however ask myself what made them choose this direction as this is the result from the previous President(s).

      For me it points into a direction that the basic needs were not fulfilled by the Government.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I do not deny the poor & the poverty in the Philippines.I see it every day here in Manila. In places it is overwhelming for the mind & heart as it was this afternoon walking along Blumetrit Rd and towards San Lazaro mall….

        Yes there is a need for change in this society.

        So how to do that change ? Any & all major changes needs ‘agreement’, consensus, from a big majority of the citizens.
        Why ? Because then there is a mandate for change and the policies adopted have legitimacy….And unless there is consensus there will be major opposition and undermining of efforts to make change.

        But ….poverty will NOT be eliminated by the government just giving stuff to the poor to meet their basic needs. The government is not some magic genie ( djinn ) which can satisfy all our wishes. The poor need to change as well.The poor need to send their kids to school so their kids can learn how to escape from poverty. The poor learn new skills and new jobs. And the poor need to learn about ‘reproductive health’ so that they can take good care of themselves & their children.

        This current government has overseen major improvements in the Philippines. BPO offers jobs to Filipinos and salaries and a way out of poverty. OFW Jobs overseas bring a huge amount of income flooding into the Philippines. In February it was US $2.1 billion or 96 billion pesos – in one month ! That is money is peoples pockets and jobs as well.

        You “Wethepeople”say that the current government has failed because it did not solve the problems of generations in 6 years. But it took the previous incompetent governments decades to create the present poverty.It will take a good time to solve the problem.

    • Wethepeople says:


      “to discard whatever progress or good our society has been able to achieve”

      Gasoline is at least 1$ per liter, we have rotating power interuptions 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 discribe them. well, 98% of them are Corrupt. No sir, our institution is not in progress.

      • Joe America says:

        I’m wondering, Wethepeople, if you are able to factor the dimension of time into your equation. Poverty is the core problem. You have that right. What you don’t address in your complaint is the solution, and provide a date when you expect poverty to be gone. Crime is the symptom, not the disease. Curing it puts a bandage on the sore but does not correct poverty. The Aquino government has increased conditional cash payments to the poorest Filipinos from less than 1 million beneficiaries to over 4 million. Provided GDP growth (the engine to reduce poverty over time) as the second fastest in Asia and one of the tops in the world. Built roads across the land, making them safer and trying to keep up with all the demand caused by all the new cars on them, because so many people have good jobs. Improved airports. Built defense. Built alliances. Built 100,000 school classrooms. And jailed the corrupt. Your 98% figure is ludicrous, as it pertains to the national government, so clearly you are going for the emotional argument, not factual.

        So how does the nation cure the core problem of poverty if everything is disrupted? Where does the money come from? What do you figure happens if the finances of the nation are poorly run and the GDP growth drops? What is your timeframe and method for curing poverty.

        Mine is 15 years if stability is maintained and good GDP growth.

        • Wethepeople says:


          What ever my exceptions are, i did hire a Manager and i want to see performance.

          I don’t care whatever the GDP growth is as long my road don’t get fixed, i still have power interruptions 3 times daily, …. .
          The Manager failed If i don’t see improvements in my needs.

          The presidential election featuring a corrupt politician, an aspiring dictator, a showbiz daughter, an ex lady judge in cahoots with the son of the late corrupt dictator, an incompetent ex transport secretary.

          How could i suggest a solution as this isn’t my assignment.
          The Manager needs to deliver, not me.

          There must be a reason why people perhaps vote for an “…………”. Why ?

          • Wethepeople says:

            exceptions = expectations

            Sorry for the mistake.

          • Joe America says:

            Okay. I question your analytical capacity. And you are not here to listen or discuss, but to sell pig’s ears. I can assure you that there are no buyers here, so you can stop infesting my blog with troll work.

          • karlgarcia says:

            You do not consider cct as a means to improve well being.That is more chances of winnng.More people graduating from High School.

            In mindanao your brownouts are exacerbated by frienemies of Digong,by bombing transmission lines.

            There are infra plans,plans made easier for the next admin to implement.
            DOTC- Abaya is not Mar.

            For IRA dependency of Mindanao,it is a problem,but would you opt for no ira and just fend your selves? Then blame imperial Manila pa more? In federalism how will that change IRA dependency? Who will assist poor localities in a state, Richer provinces or cities? Then it is the same old problem,sliced into smaller pieces.


      • Bert says:

        Wethepeople, all you’ve been doing is complaint, complaint, complaint, and complaint. What is it actually that you want to say that will benefit the Philippines, can you tell?

        • Wethepeople says:


          You still didn’t get it, WHY people want a dramatic change ?

          1) Why?
          2) Why on 1
          3) Why on 2

          Let me ask you, do you know what the majority needs / want ?

          • Bill in Oz says:

            When you wish, you write good English.But your reply here is gibberish.So nothing further for you here…

    • Jonathan says:

      Blaming the Filipino voter seems to be popular, but it’s probably better to ask: why do they feel frustrated? Why is there such an appetite for change?

      Simply put, Tuwid na Daan has done an absolutely piss-poor job of selling itself to the Filipino people. It’s had its share of successes, sure… but it’s also had its fair share of failures. The trouble is that many of the failures have been exceptionally public – transportation, taxes, tanim-bala, etcetera.

      Even worse is how the administration has reacted to these failures. Instead of attempting to calm down the public and do something, instead they will issue some bland statement promising investigations, etcetera… and end up doing nothing,

      Take the numerous foul-ups that have hit NAIA. Tanim-bala, multiple instances of falling ceilings, the recent power failure… this is a corrupt, failed institution. If this was a private company, the CEO would have been fired or resigned long ago. How do you expect people to react when Honrado not only clings on to power, but invokes the President himself, saying he serves “at the pleasure of the President”?

      The perception – which is at least partially deserved – is that this administration is indifferent to the concerns of the citizenry. It didn’t have to be that way, but that’s how Malacanang chose to do things – and Mar Roxas is reaping the results.

      So no, I can’t be too angry at the Filipino voter reaching for Duterte. He has his own problems, for sure. But calling his rise incomprehensible? It isn’t. People are disenchanted with Tuwid na Daan, and Malacanang only has itself to blame.

      Worth reading, even the foreign media can see the disenchantment:

      • The failure of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Mang Dolpo (Hitler) was similar:

        1) nostalgia for the old authoritarian regime (the Reich of the Kaiser in the German case)

        2) massive urban poverty and crime (Berthold Brecht’s Threepenny Opera was about this, Mack the Knife was written by him, presaging Hitler and his murderous sidekicks)

        3) distribution of wealth to very few (Jews were the target as they owned mainly the retail sector and agricultural trade, German oligarchs and Nazi opportunists were spared)

        4) tabloid press (the oligarch Hugenberg helped Hitler become popular)

        5) an irresponsible elite (there were those like Hindenburg who thought they could use Hitler like Cayetano thinks he can use Duterte – Hindenburg was proven wrong)

        6) victim mentality (the terms of the Versailles treaty, massive inflation in the 1920s, the legend that the founders of the Weimar Republic surrendered to the United States)

        There even was a coup attempt – by Hitler himself. He was forgiven and allowed to return to politics, in the hope that politics would civilize him.

      • Bert says:

        Blaming the government for its petty failures is more popular with the Duterte supporters. They would rather gamble with their lives under a Duterte presidency than see the positives of the Aquino gov’t. That’s like wanting to jump from the frying pan into the fire. That is nuts.

        • Jonathan says:

          I don’t consider a pattern of lack of accountability hardly petty, Bert. If Aquino wants to proclaim a message of continuity, they’d better be good at holding people accountable too. So far, they have not.

          Otherwise that message will ring hollow – just as it is to a lot of people now. And yes, people are wanting to jump from the frying pan into the fire – but if they believe that they’re not gaining from the status quo, that “continuity” means “more of the same failures”, then what exactly do they have to lose?

      • Caliphman says:

        Jonathan, I would not equate Duterte’s lead and Roxas’s lackadaisical popularity as necessarily indicative of general disenchantment with the Aquino administation’s overall achievements and policies. As the NYT article itself narrates, the administration can be credited with many notable accomplishents whereas Duterte and Marcos supporters have no equivalent record to base their candidacies on. In fact, the lack of clear and well thought out campaign platforms or policies are admitted by Duterte’s managers and dismissed as something that will be dealt with by experts that he can be expected to hire. In fact, his crude and erratic behavior in public is excused as not at all like how he would conduct himself as president.

        In fact, Aquino has pretty much garnered among the highest trust and performance ratings from the public over most of the course of his administration. Moreover Poe who has professed to continue Aquino’s Daang Matuwid programs remains very popular and still is a serious contender in the presidential elections. A very large part of why Roxas is doing so poorly in the polls is because of who he is. I believe it is partially because he is a lightning rod for the frustrations of many voters due to the failures of the Pinoy administration inspite of what is considered its overall success during the last six years.

        Duterte’s rise is incomprehensible not because people are disenchanted with Malacanang as I have tried to elaborate above. It is because Duterte’s promise of change which seems to be resonating with the frustrated masses, as devoid of substance as it is, is more likely to plunge the very same masses, if not the entire country into much deeper political chaos, poverty, and misery.

        • Joe America says:

          Stratford non-commissioned poll has Roxas on top at 26.2% over Poe’s 25.9%. Duterte is around 20%. 1,200 respondents. Best to say top 4 are neck and neck . . . inconclusive . . . not shape minds by declaring Roxas weak. Certainly his sorties have not been weak.

          • Joe America says:

            One of the primary methods of Duterte, Poe and Binay followers is to persist with the myth that Roxas is “weak”. The greater weaknesses are with others.

              • caliphman says:

                Lets try and understand what makes one survey more credible than another survey more credible than another. Firstly, I do not believe the criteria should be because it presents results that favors one’s preferred candidate or disfavors those one does not favor. Otherwise, this judgement could be questioned as biased or wishful thinking. Second, dismissing surveys because their results are what the opponents of one’s preferred candidate would find helpful to their campaign strategy insinuates that the survey is rigged without presenting the slightest bit of evidence to support such an allegation.

                Thirdly, one of the most reliable and solid criteria of whether surveys are in fact reliable and credible is to look at how long they have been in operation and whether they have an accurate and established track record for anticipating actual election results.

                Both Pulse Asia and SWS have been engaged in election polling and forecasting for many decades whereas whereas Stratfor has only recently incorporated and only just released its first survey of the May presidential election. Moreover, the survey results of both Pulse Asia and SWS was extensively researched, analyzed, and validated in an extensive report covered in an article reported in Rappler last year. This analysis covered the accuracy of PA and SWS surveys made for all major elections since 1990 and whether or not survey results matched aactual election figures. Stratford has no such record being so new on which to base the strength of its credibility. In short between PA, SWS, and Stratford whether one likes or agrees their survey results or not it is the first two firms that are the most credible and Stratford the least. Unfortunately the surveys of both aforementioned clearly more credible two firms have consistently over the past two years shown Roxas as the weakest among the four leading presidential candidates. If there is any basis for claiming on an objective basis why Stratford and its untested surveys should be more credible than those presented by PA and SWS, by all means please present that basis here so it can be examined and analyzed in detail

              • Joe America says:

                That will be done May 9. The article explains the different methodologies.

            • Juan dela Cruz says:

              When this survey was first posted in the Silent No More FB page, I was waiting for the major news site to carry it (GMA7, ABSCBN, CNN Phil, Inquirer, etc.). After several days, it still didn’t appear. I wonder why. Not reliable enough for them? It did appear online in Philstar, Sunstar, Abante and Manila Times. There was a followup news article about a D’Strafford statistician explaining their survey and why the other surveys were wrong in their approach.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                This voter survey is interesting. It attempts to make the number of respondents in the survey proportional to the number of voters each area of the Philippines : MCR, Rest of Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao…That’s why their survey result is different and possibly more accurate of the actual election results.
                The interview is also interesting.It asked voters why they would not vote for a given candidate : Duterte’s comments about Australian gang raped and murdered missionary Jacquie Hamil were very important among the people who said that they are Not voting for Duterte.

              • Joe America says:

                I some time ago concluded there is a program to avoid covering Roxas among the media you cite. Most are a part of the Poe brigade that was represented at the Escudero wedding as sponsors. It is rather despicable journalism, but it is the way of power and favor in the Philippines. Roxas is striving to overcome that via his sorties and ground game, which is by far the strongest of the batch.

                Thanks for the link to further comment on the strafford methods, and the explanation of how the rape remark hurt Duterte in a major way.

              • caliphman says:


                This firm is completely bogus and this can be confirmed by just examining the rudimentary quality and thinness of their website. Or just make a very simple test, any firm alleging to gave a field force of 1200 pollsters conducting face to face interviews in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao would have to maintain a presence in the Philippines, ie. local address and phone hber. Never mind the lack of such an address but click the only phone number given on the home page. Click, copy and paste the number on a google search field. When Search is clicked, the trunk line of Trend Micro Corporation a very well known antivrus software here in California shows up. Enough already!

    • sonny says:

      @ caliphman

      I really appreciate this jeremiad-like comment on Duterte and about things to expect if he becomes the president. It must be said until his supporters come to their good sense and disengage themselves from him and his ideas.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Cailphman I just did exactly what you suggested. And I got this search result :
        “2 results (0.22 seconds)
        Search Results
        Contact Us
        D’ Strafford Research & Strategies Inc. Telephone: +63.28836138. +63.25096240. E-mail: STAY IN TOUCH. Name: *. Email: *”

        The website is simple & easy to use with actual contact number & email. That is the NEW simplicity way. It is substantially different from many companies and government departments which are big bloated web sites full of fluff and bumph..But no way of getting to the heart of things..

        I think on this we are not going to agree..

        • caliphman says:

          Bill, I have no idea what you did but even from the home link you published, I produce theTrend micro US HQ phone number when I click on the phone icon. I am here in California and using a smartphone but that should make no difference where and how the person is accessing the webpage.

          As for how the webpage of a professional public polling firm is supposed to look like, it is not all undeveloped and sparsely or even unpopulated as in the stafford webpage. Simple but bogus is the apt description for it. Compare it with the Pulse Asia website and see for yourself.

          Perhaps it is more of a facade because a whois search on the website shows the stafford website was created and registered just this April in time for the release of their survey. Not much time or perhaps even money to work on it, eh?

          And just for your information, there is no new approach this firm uses different from the more established two firms that would explain their vastly different findings. Adjusting regional results based on the relative percentages of registered voters counted in each region is precisely what PA and SWS does on their surveys. If one understands sampling theory and what these firms do, whether one uses samesized samples for each region such as 300 and then weights the regional results according to the aforementioned percentages that is arithmetically equivalent to varying the sample sizes by region which purportedly is what Stafford did.

          This is not just a matter of opinion but how the math and statistical techniques involved operate.NHerrera who is a bit more sophisticated and knowledgeable in these fields can confirm this. He should because one of his recent postings explained thoroughly everything I have just stated.

          Personally I do dread what more credible surveys show which is Duterte and Marcos are the frontrunners and not Roxas and Robredo as of the present. But I understand the science of how these numbers were put together and Stafford’s survey and the firm itself reeks to the high heavens.

          • caliphman says:

            I did in fact find time to figure out why the simple google test yielded different results for Bill and me. The reason is that D’Stafford in its rush to come up with a webpage has been unable to develop a smartphone and tablet version that is even more unfinished than its desktop version. That is why if one uses and Ipad or an IPhone to access its website, the address info is blank and the phone number given belongs to Trend Micro. The desktop website is itself is a straight copy from a shell used by a similar company here in the US as this blog and commenters point out. Rather than just attempting to dismissing this other blog as partisan, those seeking the truth about this bogus Stafford website and survey may establish for themselves what makes it so suspicious. Knowledge is power.


            • Bill in Oz says:

              @Caliphman..I did indeed check out the link you mention..It is an anti Roxas site with it’s own biassed motivations & agenda.So I choose not to trust it’s conclusions about the character of the Straffor voting survey..

              On the issue of ‘survey methodology’, you may be right..I will do some more checking around and see what I come up with. I am open to being corrected on this.

              However I am disappointed by your comment that “Many here in this blogsite are lazy or too biased to think critically for themselves as to whether ideas or messages have any substance….Instead they focus on who the author is and his supposed motivation.”

              Caliphman were you refering to me here ? If so then that is ‘below the belt’..I offer my contributions here in a spirit of being open to new information and changing my mind. And I reject that I am lazy or biassed..

              As for the others who visit here, there are many people who visit this blog. Some have the time, skill and energy to contribute a lot. Some do not perhaps have the time, the energy or the skill and so contribute less. And others simply wish to read and be informed. But to say that some are ‘lazy’ or ‘biased’ is a emotional and perjorative remark. It is not worthy of an intelligent informed conversation. And I feel not worthy of you.

              • caliphman says:

                Bill, thanks for expressing your disagreement in thesame gracious manner that I have learned to expect most Aussies who are my personal friends here in the US. Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, do yourself a favor and try and verify for yourself whether its purported facts including Staffords website is indeed hastily copied or not. You do not have to believe the phone interviews of the author about their staff not having a statistician onboard but you can at least google their names to see if you can get any hits. I did all this even though if I have little time but their survey results are so radical its a shame if people dismiss whatever verifiable facts it presents because it is antiRoxas or pruDuterte. The idea is not to jump to a conclusion that Roxas or his camp rigged it or Duterte’s followers deviously concocted the whole scheme to show how evil or desperate his rivals are. That just plays deeper into the fallacy of presuming motivations which I abhor. For me it is enough to establish whether the survey is bogus or not which is what is in contention. If it is bogus, then someone else has to show with verifiable proof why it was done but that is “another kettle of fish”.

              • caliphman says:

                Bill, I have addressed the “lazy and biased” remark in other comments on this thread. I do not approve of ad hominems as a general rule and most specifically “half-brain” which demeans people with an unfortunate congenital abnormality. But bias accusations are admitted or alleged here as a matter of course, some even accepted proudly. Where I am unhappy with it is when it used as an invalid argument or rebuttal for lack of coming up with a more convincing way to support one side of an issue. You may or may not agree with me but in a true quest for resolving an issue, accusing another person or site of bias instead of pointing out where his arguments or facts are incorrect is tantamount to intellectual dishonesty. This is also true when one agrees or disagrees with an argument merely because one favors or dislikes the conclusion.

                The only exceptions are as Joe mentions when he and other administrators have to make quick judgements to maintain order in the blogsite when trolls or unknown commentors make disruptive or offensive remarks clearly different from normal or agreed upon language found in the site. Joe has a definite proAquino and proRoxas bias and he is unashamedly proud of it, and I try to give him grief about it every opportunity I can. I myself have an antiBinay and antiDuterte bias, but when one is discussing an issue here we all try to listen and respond without resorting to our biases because many if not most of us are trying to learn from each other.

              • caliphman says:

                And as far as hitting you below the belt, you are one of the few people here who would defend Poe which I often myself doing. I would not even insinuate anything personal if that sort against you, mate.

          • NHerrera says:

            Caliphman, Bill in Oz, and others in The Society:

            I did what is known as Monte Carlo Simulation using the concept used by SWS and PA versus that used by D Strattford. I found that the difference in accuracy if any between the two is little, if any, in favor of D Strattford way of taking the sampling proportionate to the voters registrants in the region PROVIDING the TOTAL number of respondents used are the same in the two cases.

            Technical details used in the Monte Carlo Simulation:

            Two candidates Juan and Maria with total respondents of 400 in the two cases. Regions A and B have voter registrants weights of 30% and 70%, respectively.

            Assuming sound random sampling are done in all stages and cases, the average percentages in the regions should come out close or the same subject to different standard deviation or margin dependent on the size of the sample size. Take Juan getting 80, 60 (percentages) in regions A and B, respectively. Take Maria getting 20, 40 in regions A and B, respectively.

            Case 1 — SWS and PA way: respondents used in A and B are 200 EACH, for a total of 400 respondents. The Standard Deviation or statistical margin in A and B are thus both at 7.07 (with the total A and B regions having an SD of 5 percent; but this latter number is not used in the simulation — only 7.07 for regions A and B)

            Case 2 — D Strafford way: respondents used in A and B are 120, 280 for regions A and B, respectively, for the same total of 400 respondents as in Case 1. The 120 and 280 respondents used in A and B reflect the same proportion as the percentage of registered voters in A and B — that is, 120 divided by 400 is 30 %; and 280 divided by 400 is 70%. The resulting SD for A and B regions are 9.13 and 5.97, respectively. (Again the total SD for 400 of 5 is not used in the simulation)

            – the use of a small total of 400 is intended to magnify the differnce of Cases 1 and 2 if any

            – using a scheme known to simulators, numbers such as 80, 20; 60, 40 are allowed to vary randomly with the same SD 7.07 in Case 1

            – in a similar manner the numbers 80, 20 for region A are allowed to vary randomly with an SD of 9.13; the numbers 60, 40 for region B are allowed to vary randomly with an SD of 5.97

            – for each simulation, the regional results for Juan and Maria are multiplied by the regional weight of 30% and 70% for regions A and B to get the net result.


            For a 100 simulation tries, the result for

            – Case 1: Juan 66.08 with SD of 5.43; Maria 34.72 with an SD of 5.52

            – Case 2: Juan 66.41 with SD of 4.35; Maria 33.62 with an SD of 5.00

            For a 500 simulation tries, the result for

            – Case 1: Juan 65.89 with SD of 5.27; Maria 34.12 with an SD of 5.43

            – Case 2: Juan 65.96 with SD of 4.70; Maria 33.95 with an SD of 4.97

            • NHerrera says:

              Which means to me that the complete change in the picture compared to the numbers obtained by other survey outfits may be due to reasons other than the suggestion of D Strafford that their use of respondents size being proportionate to registered voters in the regions makes for a more accurate survey, hence the picture shift that we observe relative to SWS and PA results taken at about the same period. The major reason must be somewhere else.

              I note that Ronald Holmes of PA said, in an interview, that PA is going to come out with another survey in a week’s time. (When we may know the FULL impact of recent developments such as Duterte’s rape joke, etc.)

            • caliphman says:

              Manong, you are proving my point precisely. I was saying that two statistically equivalent procedures should be producing similar if not the same results which was not the case with Stafford versus the PA and SWS findings. As an aside, a Monte Carlo simulation provides little value or information to the matter at hand. Any such simulation will only show the probability distribution assumptions used in the model and those are not at issue. It only serves to muddle up what is a simple arithmetic question. Namely, assuming sample sizes are large enough to be an issue, does it make a difference to use same sized regional samples and weight the results as compared to using samples sized in proportion to how they appear in the actual subject population? The answer is NO and it is dramatically more cost effective which is why SWS and Pulse Asia use this method. You should know this because the info on how SWS uses the latter in a recent post of yours.

              • NHerrera says:

                Right: for relatively large sample size which is being used in SWS and PA simple statistical feel about how averages go will point to that view which I have too. But I needed to see for a relatively small sample size what the variation is via MC Sim. Which is no problem really using Excel. In fact since Strafford used 2800, equal division to the four regions NCR, BL, VIS, MIN already give 700, a sizeable size and so the average for BL which is the largest of them at 44% will already give a good average % for the candidates. In “theory” there may be a small improvement for Stafford approach especially for small sample size, but not for the sizes usually used.

              • caliphman says:

                Oh well, Manong, what ever floats yout boat 🙂 but sample sizes of 300 which is what SWS uses gives 3% percentage margin of error with 95% confidence interval. So what Stafford does with 700 and more interviews on a region is pure overkill. Now the SWS mobile experiment is dubious methodology but thats a separate matter.

              • FROM EDWIN LACIERDA’s FB POST.

                Maybe NHERRERA can calculate the weights based on Lacierda’s weighting

                Edwin Lacierda
                3 mins ·
                I read the results of the latest April 18 -20 SWS survey and the first thing I asked my staff was to review the weights of the different regions, meaning what was the division of the 1,800 respondents among the regions, namely, NCR, BALANCE OF LUZON, VISAYAS and MINDANAO
                As SWS showed, the division among the respondents were the following: 300 respondents (or those surveyed) for NCR, 600 for Balance of Luzon, 300 for Visayas and 600 for Mindanao.
                According to SWS, the “area estimates were weighted by the 2016 Comelec data on validated voters to obtain the national estimates.”
                So, I asked my colleague to check Comelec data on valid voters and here is what we found based on the comelec data:
                Nationwide – 54,363,844 100%
                NCR – 6,253,249 12%
                Bal of Luzon -24,164,541 44%
                Visayas – 11,316,789 21%
                Mindanao – 12,629,265 23%
                But based on the estimates, the SWS weights did not seem to tally with the actual %age of voters. Here is how it looks and how respondents should have been distributed:
                SWS What it should be
                NCR 300 216
                Bal of Luzon 600 792
                Visayas 300 378
                Mindanao 600 414
                In other words, the SWS respondents in Mindanao which should only have 414 respondents were almost doubled to 600, NCR was also increased while Visayas and Luzon were both reduced.
                So, did the survey have an actual representation of the total number of registered voters in all the areas? Based on the actual area where the voters are, the answer seems to be NO.
                I may be wrong but this is too troublesome not to put it out there because many people will rely on the survey, which should not be the case.

              • caliphman says:

                Gian, maybe Manong can explain it better than I can as I touched on this issue in my response to Bill Oz.

                The weights 12%, 44%, 21%, and 24% are not used to determine the sample size for each region. The size of the sample to be interviewed for each of the 4 regions is determined more by the level of accuracy SWS wants for that region and other factors such as cost, time, etc. What happens is that each of the regional samples are polled to determine what percent would vote for each of the candidates. When all the regions have been surveyed, each candidate will have four separate percentages that have to be combined to arrive at that candidate’s nationwide percentage of registered voters. It is here where the 4 weights are utilized, being applied respectively on each of the candidates regional percentage and then combined to arrive at his or her national total. As one will notice, it is not the size of the regional sample but the percentage of voters choosing each candidate which the weights are applied against.

                If this is simple and clear enough an explanation then maybe a numerical illustration is not necessary. But if it isnt, maybe Manong may have more time and patience to do one so it is easier to follow.

              • Joe America says:

                – 300 respondents from each of 4 major regions.
                – Candidate A gets shares of 15%, 20%, 25% and 25%.
                – Apply those percentages to the respective total voter populations in each region.
                – Total up the voters for each region for candidate A based on his share.
                – Divide the total of his regional votes by the total voter population to get his overall percentage share.
                – Total share is accurate (within specified tolerance).
                – Regional shares are accurate (within specified tolerances).

                If no biases enter the picture, we can conclude that the surveys are meaningful for that point in time.

              • caliphman says:

                I read there were talks between the Roxas and Poe camps which Duterte claimed were about colluding together because of his big lead. But those are just rumors and if I were involved, I would not be telegraphing my punches.

              • Joe America says:

                To that point, I found this article to be interesting. It points to the collapse of the Poe bubble and sees the race as between Duterte popularity and Roxas’ LP money.


              • caliphman says:

                Gerry Sicat was a superb economist advising and working for the government 20 to 40 years ago. Any comments of his on candidate economic and tax platforms would be worth listening to. There is not much to analyze because these platforms are so thin and have little or no detail.

                As a legal, political, and election pundit? It is best that he stick to his knitting…economic analysis.

              • caliphman says:

                When a runner has lapped his rival in a 1,000 meter race and is still pulling away, which is equivalent to Duterte’s 34% versus Roxas’s 17% latest figures, how can anyone possibly call that a tight two person contest going into the final 50 meters of the home stretch?

              • Joe America says:

                Possibly they don’t accept the absolute truth of surveys and cling to hope for a great awakening.

              • Thanks for the survey/statistics lesson .

              • it is very clear.

              • caliphman says:

                Muy Correctamundo, Don Jose!

              • Joe America says:

                Statistics. Hate the little buggers. Chi squares and t-tests and regression coefficients . . . detestable creatures, along with the null hypothesis.

              • caliphman says:

                Actually thats the long way but still correct. The short way which I probably did not explain well:

                CANDIDATE A ( NCR% x 12%) plus (BL% x 44%) plus (VIS% x 21%) plus (MIN% x 23%) =
                Percentage of Nationwide Voters

              • Joe America says:

                Yeah, that stretches my simplistic mind though. I do remember a lesson on sample size, something which causes the most trouble for people. Small samples, work statistically. In the US, the television schedules – what shows made it and did not, multi-million dollar decisions – were based on a Nielsen survey population of around 1,000 for the entire US. 1,200 voters in the Philippines produces meaningful findings. I flinch when I see people dismissing them for the wrong reasons. The important thing to bear in mind is that they represent a point in time. I know the survey firms identify major events that may have influenced the results. That is a part of the detailed package that I think may not get released popularly.

              • Joe, there was an article I read at Raissa’s that said that the Stafford survey excluded people in government and those affiliated with parties or candidates – so they MIGHT represent the “man on the street” better for all we know.

                And with the complexity of the Philippines, I wonder if the sampling can ever be done right. Take 50 people from Davao, 50 people from Makati for example, what results are to be expected? The polls in Germany BTW did not predict Schröder winning in 1998.

                Why? Because society changed very rapidly in the times from the fall of the Berlin wall to the early Internet, private TV and mobile phone age of 1998. The major polling institutes had to remodel society based on different groups than pre-1990 Germany and adjust their samples based on the new model which proved to be more accurate. How do we know that Philippine society hasn’t changed much in the last six years? What you have told us Joe makes me think it has. Those who are (from) there notice such things less.

              • Joe America says:

                The problem is that the major media play the polls as absolute truths, and that likely affects people who tend to need comfort in going with a guy like Duterte. So they are, in effect, making this election. Media favor the loud, not the diligent. There are some biases left to play out, for sure. What one tells a pollster and what one does is one thing. The share of people of different classes showing up at the polls is another. And events twixt now and election.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    To fellow reader Mary Grace Gonzales,Get well soon!

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Bill do you have contacts in Sydney?
    Are white supremacists really out to get Pro-Duterte prople?

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Karl that is interesting. My home state is South Australia not NSW where Sydney is. .I had not heard about it.It is not in any of the mainstream media yet. Not this morning or in recent days.
      Unfortunately Australia has it’s share of flag waving extremist idiots and they are noisy durng this type of rally. But I are a small small minority…The advise is sound but I am not sure where their ‘hangouts’ are.
      The curious thing is how would these idiots know a Filipino from an Indonesians or Malaysian or a Thai or a Vietnamese..

      • karlgarcia says:

        maybe they just pick all of the above.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          In recent years the ’cause celebre’ of this right wing racist groups has been trying to prevent Muslims in Australia from building mosques. And reducing the number of Muslim boat people refugees. Migrants as such have never been an issue. And never have Filipinos been a target.

          I checked out the source of the photos..It comes from a very wacko left wing radical magazine called ‘New Matilda’..And yes, as part of it’s program to gain attention ( which is pretty lacking) the New Matilda emphasises such stuff…At least in Oz they have not gone the NPA path which is something..

    • Yeah bill. Very curious about this.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        The lack of photo from a distance is telling Giancarlounga..If there were we could make an acurate count of how many idiots were involved..My guestimate is about 10 … And any half baked groups of thugs can raise that number for a ‘rally’

  13. Juana Pilipinas says:

    The final presidential debate is supposed to be in town hall format. What burning question do you have for any candidate that will assist in cementing your vote on May 9?

    I would like to ask Duterte’s view of extrajudicial killing and the rule of law. What about you?

    • Sup says:

      I would like to ask Poe if her father could be from Transylvania…every time she talks i see 2 sharp teeth in her lower jaw…


    • Jonathan says:

      To everyone: what do you think is the “right” tax rate, and should it be flat/progressive/etc.

      To Mar: how do you respond to the paralysis-by-analysis accusations? Can you tackle the problems of Metro Manila with a sense of urgency?

      • Have you noticed the discipline of drivers because of the No Apprehension Policy?.

        This was made possible because of the drive of DILG for greater number of CCTVs in a lot of places in NCR.

        The reason a lot of politicians and outside observers think there is analysis paralysis is that few people have undertaken the sheer size of the projects that the DILG/DOTC/DTI have undertaken. They think slow when people who do business with government know that it is actually fast.

        • My IT experience has shown that it is hard to explain to end users, sometimes even key users the complexity of IT systems, especially when all they see is “it doesn’t work”. Causes could be the network, the PC, the database, the users, or the system.

          Finding ways to explain work in progress in a way that users understand and accept it is an art in itself – Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) has mastered the art of public announcements when they have to shut down major stations or lines for maintenance.

          Of course these public announcements have to be done on time and people have to see results after a while, then trust is re-established. I have been through major crisis projects and know how that works – and was lucky to see some great communicators in action. Now it is very hard to communicate with a fragmented country. You need someone who can speak in tongues, or a group. What the Aquino administration might have lacked is those who speak to the common man in a language he understands – and people on its team who ARE common men and can give feedback, hey don’t talk to them like that it will not work. For all the good work, Aquino himself has suffered and still suffers from a certain degree of smugness in that regard. The “Dalai Lama” / living saint sort of aura.

          • Jonathan says:

            Irineo – you are completely right when you diagnose the administration’s communications skills. They seem to have forgotten how to talk to the public right after the 2010 election ended and reverted to their preferred elitist, technocratic language.

            • Joe America says:

              Can you point me to an example of this elitist language? I’m not sure what it is. When we have a case maybe we can figure out how to popularize the wording.

              • Joe, for my part I can only talk about how it is done over here…

                Deutsche Bahn used to be hated, especially Schröder’s apointee Hartmut Mehdorn was the lightning rod equivalent of Abaya. After him they introduced this friendly groundhog to inform people on the Internet – and more importantly on huge placards placed strategically in train stations – about necessary maintenance, how long, how much delay and more. 2005 I experience a near riot situation where a batallion of Federal Police secured a station – things were really bad then with the train network rotting and delays common.

                Nowadays in case of total shutdowns, people are informed on time about them and shown alternatives including “Schienenersatzverkehr” – busses that take the same route to carry the same load as the trains. They have set up information booths in every station where people can ask just in case. They pay compensation for delays in form of partial or full ticket refunds. Those who miss the last trip get taxis paid to get them to wherever. OK overland busses now are allowed again and compete with the train system, good thing.

                True, DOTC now has the P2P busses and is informing about them on the Internet. But are there placards in every MRT station to tell the man on the street about them? I doubt it. Besides, just doing things pre-election is a bit late. People might not believe anymore.

                The thing about today’s world is that people no longer have much of a civic mentality – it has been replaced by a consumerist mindset even towards the government. Of course one very negative aspect of the consumerist mindset is low frustration tolerance.

              • Jonathan says:

                I would cite as an example of such language the over-emphasis on foreign credit rating agencies on why certain fiscal policies were enacted. Using that language makes sense if your audience was bankers… as the speakers themselves were versed in the language of finance. Finance Secretary Purisima is, by the standards of international finance, a smart and capable man.

                However… the policies still have to be defended in a democratic space. The language of technocrats was completely unsuited to the political sphere – Purisima’s plea to “think of the credit rating” when it came to tax reform was not particularly well received. He could have chosen other language to defend existing tax policy, but instead he used the ratings agencies – which was politically noxious.

                It’s not a problem limited to the Aquino administration, mind. Experts in any field like to talk in their own language. (IT is a field particularly prone to this as well.) When you use “expert” language to talk to the public, however… problems ensue.

              • Joe America says:

                @jonathan. Actually, I agree with that assessment. The step-up in debt rating has been profound, and indeed, Sec. Purisima speaks financialese. So the next question is to figure out (1) how to make the profound and favorable debt rating improvement meaningful to the common man, and (2) who would be responsible for the communication of that message. I think most democracies leave that to the media, but here the media fail miserably at serving as the neutral “fourth estate” between the masses and government. I know the storm readiness program now reaches broadly across the nation, generally because LGU’s don’t want to be another Tacloban. So the barangays are involved. But debt ratings? Hmmmmm . . . How does a government make that meaningful, and what is the channel for making the connect broadly?

                I confess, I’m stumped.

              • “When you use “expert” language to talk to the public, however… problems ensue.”

                Exactamento – I had that learning curve as an IT consultant – you can be a geek but NEVER use geekspeak on users. I have been there, close to being lynched…

              • Bill in Oz says:

                @Jonathon..The Philippines is not the only country which suffers from this sort of langauge’block..In Australia too there are commentators and the odd pollie who think that the ratings agencies are to be listened to at all times..
                But it was not so ong ago that the ratigs agencies were being paid off by banks to be given a good rating..
                Rating agencies are but private corporations with their vested interests and share holders and mates..

              • Joe America says:

                Two separate issues. (1) How a government communicates technical information to the common man, and (2) the value and integrity of credit rating agencies. On the former, I am stumped. On the latter, the agencies are what they are, guidelines in lieu of actual first hand work at understanding a debt issuer’s financial standing. If people rely on the debt rating agencies as the sole basis of risk assessment, then we get what we got in 2008. If they are used as guidance pending further research, they can be helpful to point toward sound issuers of debt, versus weak issuers. I use Morningstar ratings to scan a lot of mutual funds, but then examine the individual funds for holdings and history. The rating agencies are no different. They provide a valuable service. If investors don’t do their own homework, however, it seems rather cheap-shot to criticize the rating agencies. I would add that the US has begun to regulate the agencies, and welcomes more players, but the “big three” remain dominant because people trust in their expertise.

              • karlgarcia says:

              • “How a government communicates technical information to the common man, and (2) the value and integrity of credit rating agencies. On the former, I am stumped. ”

                Someone like Poe to sell it on the media, lots like Duterte to sell it on the street.

          • I remember almost exactly a year ago I had a heated argument with a middle manager in one agency I told the manager if your bosses are requiring stupid things you should educated them and not create weird software requirements to satisfy them. I hate to say it but change really is gradual. The old science story of old scientist dont learn new tricks, they die and is replaced by a generation who understand.

        • Jonathan says:

          I just came back from a fairly extended vacation, so I have not yet been out on Manila roads since the implementation of this No Contact Apprehension Policy.

          If the projects are too big because of “sheer size”, that suggests an architectural issue. Government planners, being central planners, are always fond of large centralized projects. Perhaps its time for a more decentralized, data-driven approach – as is usually done by the private sector.

      • Joe America says:

        I would guess that whoever is elected will continue the existing tax policies with some modest tweaking for “show”. To do a major overhaul places the entire revenue flow at risk and I think it is politically difficult to get done via the Legislature. Roxas has been straight-up in saying taxes ought not be a campaign issue because of these impacts, versus how easy it is to say “I’ll cut taxes.”

        I think the burden of proof on paralysis by analysis rests with accusers to cite any damage being done by Roxas tendency to actually understand the details of how things work. I’m not aware of any, and this is just another case of “myth-making” by opponents such as yourself. You’d probably argue for the opposition method of promising the world but understand nothing about how to actually deliver it. Which is quite ludicrous when you think about it.

        • Again IT analogies: the stuff I do – enterprise systems – and office networks or even fixing PCs are totally different ballgames.

          I know people – some are even street people who happen to be gamers with highly tuned PCs which is something I don’t have. They can tweak Windows and other stuff and I just look in awe, these are the Dutertes of our trade. Some stuff they do is “extrajudicial”.

          Most of them know they would fail on an enterprise system. There if you make one mistake because of not analyzing, you have a Titanic running into an iceberg. You have to look before you leap at that scale (national or enterprise) because of the consequences.

        • Jonathan says:

          I happen to disagree with your premise that tax rates shouldn’t be a campaign issue – taxes set the foundation for the relationship of the citizenry to their government. I don’t deny that there will be impacts – which should be part of the discussion. But I have no problem at all becoming a part of the campaign.

          Who has the burden or not is immaterial – it’s not an academic debate. The accusation is out there. If Mar can’t respond effectively, then he deserves to have the accusation stick. Unfair? Perhaps. But politics is not about being fair.

          My preference is to get the government out of the way of things when they have clearly failed and let the private sector have its shot at fixing things. Uber and Grab have done more to improve Metro Manila public transport in their relatively short lives than the LTFRB has – by providing private competition in a highly regulated environment.

  14. Debate starts in 3 hours. It’s the final countdown…

  15. Bill in Oz says:

    @Caliphman …”Lets try and understand what makes one survey more credible than another survey more credible than another.”

    My earlier comment I think offer a good reason for thinking that Stratfor survey is more accurate. But perhaps i did not explain it clearly.

    There are roughly 54 million voters enrolled in the Philippines. But there are major differences in the popularity of the candidates from one region of the Philippines to another. Obvious ones : Duterte is very popular in Mindanao and Roxas in the Visayas..i suggest that Leni Robredo as a VP candidate will be very popular in Bicol while Marcos will be popular in the llocos provinces of Northern Luzon…

    The Stratfor survey uses a sample survey of 1300 voters. And that is a fairly common sample size in elections. However it ‘weights’ the number of voters in the 1300 sample voters according to the percentage of voters in each region of the Philippines. From memory the MCR has 6 million voters. That’s 11% of the total. So MCR gets 11% of the 1300 in the sample survey : 143 voters.The same was done for each of the other regions : Rest of Luzon, Mindanao & Visayas.

    In my opinion this is a more accurate way of doing a sample survey of voter intentions. I remember reading that Binay’s win as VP in 2010 was a surprise as the other surveys predicted a Roxas win. So these sample surveys do get things wrong and can be improved.

    The Stratfor survey could be further improved bu dividing up the ‘rest of Luzon’ region. This region is huge with a huge voting population.And it is will probably have sharply divided differences within it. I suspect that the Cordillera will be different to Bicol which will be very different to the southern tagalog area which will be different to the Ilocano speaking areas. And I suspect that Muslim Mindanao will vote different to the rest of Mindanao.

    A final note : the name Stratfor is new.But it is the result of a merger of two other companies that have experience in doing survey work for a number of years.So they are not completely the new kid on the block.

  16. R.Hiro says:

    I am afraid that Richard Javad Heydarian has also neglected to visit West Rembo in Makati but his biting critique on the rise of Duterte in his recent article in the Huffington Post is worth revisiting as it may serve as a pre-assessment of Duterte’s rise to the Presidency.

    It would seem that both Benedict Anderson and James Follows also have both never visited West Rembo in Makati.

    A clear line of sight…..”Democracy Fatigue” Will Duterte finally end Cacique Democracy in the Philippines? I doubt it very much.

    I think the late switch of Gov. Salceda to Poe was a sign that the ruling classes including the foreign business community would not like to see a Duterte Presidency as the man is not easily defined. In one of the latest surveys he has almost doubled his standings in the surveys over Roxas. Salceda used to run a foreign fund company here. He has got contacts and is well placed.

    “The demise of Marcos dictatorship in 1986 provided a perfect opportunity for the country to rebuild its foundations. After all, as the late Benedict Anderson explains, “uncontrolled and parasitic plundering of state and private resources” under the Marcos dictatorship “tilted the Philippines on its long plunge from being the most ‘advanced’ capitalist society in Southeast Asia in the 1950s to being the most depressed and indigent in the 1980s.” Heydarian

    “For the past three decades, the Filipino people have been promised freedom, prosperity and peace — but to no avail. The country’s peripheries continue to be racked by insurgency and mayhem; foreign powers are chipping away at its maritime borders; political dynasties have ruthlessly carved up the country into fiefdoms; poverty and underemployment rates are still in double-digit; and systematic corruption continues to persist on all levels of government.” Heydarian

    “It’s hard to defend or retain faith in Philippines’ cacique democracy when the country, after years of above-average growth rate, is still home to one of the largest slums in the world and suffers from the highest unemployment rate in Southeast Asia. Newly-created wealth isn’t trickling down.”

    “Rural areas aren’t doing any better. For more than half-a-century, farmers have been promised their own land to tilt, and yet the Philippines continues to have among the world’s most stunted land reform programs. As Joe Studwell, in How Asia Works, argues: “Nowhere in Asia has produced more plans for land reform than the Philippines. But equally no ruling elite in Asia has come up with as many ways to avoid implementing genuine land reform as Filipino one.”Heydarian

    “The country’s infrastructure conundrum is no less daunting. Residents of Metro-Manila have had to bear the daily struggle of coping with what is considered as the worst traffic jam on earth, according to the 2015 Global Driver Satisfaction Index. What has the government been doing to resolve this? Well, according to The Economist, “Manila’s transport plans have been terrible—among the most foolish adopted by any great city.”Heydarian

    “Yes, there is growth, but it is concentrated. Indeed, there is formal political freedom, but it can’t be actualized by mostly impoverished citizenry. The status quo isn’t sustainable. The post-Marcos Philippines has been hobbled by a toxic combination of sheer incompetence, cynical neglect, and chronic corruption. And this has paved the way for strongman figures to regain the momentum.” Heydarian

    I promise when and if I meet Heydarian once again as he is an acquaintance which I rarely meet, I will remind him to visit West Rembo in Makati…

    They guy though half Iranian and half Filipino is an excellent political observer.

    • Iran and Cuba, as well as Japan for some centuries, managed to consolidate themselves by isolating themselves – they had to deal with their own stuff first.

      OK, vote Duterte. Close all embassies except China. Send home all the OFWs. Don’t sign the Free Trade Agreement with the EU which is a market for agricultural products – Guimaras mangoes are being promoted by the EU, Germany is helping farmers grow moringa in Bulacan and has given them equipment, send home the K-12+ people from Germany who are training poor Filipino kids in San Pedro National Relocation Center National High School – in metalworking which could be useful for building industries.

      Get your own act together, if you can. The lessons learned might be VERY useful for you.

      • Caliphman says:

        Things worth noting in the latest SWS face-to-face survey released Monday. Duterte picked up 7 percentage points inspite of being crucified in public for his rape joke and at 33% is now almost 10 points ahead of Poe. Very dismaying and with 2 weeks to go, it will take a miracle to avert a Duterte presidency. What happened? The short answer is he got almost of it from Binay who is now now in fourth place behind Roxas who hardly lost ground. Poe whose numbers gained a smidgin therefore did not benefit from the mass defection of Binay defectors. This, in addition to Duterte’s widening lead, is a huge surprise. Why? For some time now, both SWS and PA have been been releasing supplemental surveys showing that if Binay supporters could no longer vote for their candidate, almost half of them would switch to Poe. Obviously, these new supplemental surveys are not very reliable.

        I have seen many comments explaining Duterte’s rise to the masa clamoring for change because the improved economy has not trickled down to alleviate their poverty. That may be true but I wish to point out the ABC segment which spans from the very rich to high middle class households are actually more proDuterte than the masa. Almost half of this supposedly wealthier, more educated, and one would presume more discerning voters support Duterte whereas only a third of the masa favor him. Why? I have no frigging clue and I am upset and frustrated because I firmly believe if he becomes the chief train engineer, we are headed for a massive national train wreck and most everyone in my circle of friends agree with me.

        The only silver lining is Robredo who is leading Marcos by a nose in the VP race. She is the only hope for avoiding a double train wreck and she seems to have some momentum,with Marcos holding steady, and questionable Escudero losing a lot of steam. Maybe those ABC Duterte supporters have enough sense that a trustworthy backup engineer is needed in case their lead one goes amuck or gets the train off its rails. Oh well, if Robredo wins I suppose that might make up somewhat for the Pacman placing third behind Sotto in the senate race….Ughhh!

        • karlgarcia says:

          Bad news,a hostage was beheaded, in another place hostage were released then welcomed By Duterte.He is becoming an accidental hero.Then rub the tanim bala…mrt break down. UGH.

          if he wins,we weep,but we who will not vote for him will watch every move he makes and every word that comes out of his mouth.

          Just more than a week people,if you can not convince other people at least convince yourselves on whom to vote.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Cailphman, Duterte is elected it will be a consequence of the fairly primitive “First past the post” electoral system used here….Winning the position of President with just 33% of the popular vote is not true democracy. It means 63% of the people will have voted against him. There is an urgent need for electoral reform here…And if that means constitution change then for the sake of creating a really democratic nation here then that is what needs to be done.

          I have spoken supporting Poe in the past. And been roundly criticised for it. But the truth in this election campaign is that Roxas has failed to gain sufficient support to win the post of president. That is what all the polls since they started have said.

          So the Liberal party & Roxas are faced with a dilema : continue to actively campaign and so contribute to a Duterte victory or ‘withdrawing’ and so assist Poe win : she is, for the Liberal party & Roxas the ‘ least worst ‘ choice in this campaign. And that seems to be what is already happening with the switch of support by Salceda in Albay to Poe last Friday. And the report yesterday of switching by 3 other other Liberal province governors in Bicol to Poe. ( But note well, continued support for Robredo as VP )

          This may be disheartening for Roxas.He has tried his best for the past 12 years to be an honest politician and do his best for the Philippines. But if a good man cannot gain enough voting support, to achieve office, and can see the calamity that faces his country if Duterte is elected, then it is time for a good man to as we would say in Oz, ‘run dead’ and let Poe gain enough support to win.

          • Joe America says:

            My own criticisms have not been directed at you, but at Poe. No way will Sec. Roxas resign. He’s been there, done that, and is by far the most qualified for the job. If the electorate is not inclined to see that for reasons that chempo has explained in today’s blog, I expect he will accept the decision and move on unless there is some explicit evidence of poll tampering. He will feel badly for the many many loyal supporters who have trusted in him and Leni Robredo, and worked hard for his campaign, but he will not feel sorry for himself. If Roxas wins, you can believe that the other three main players will not accept it and move on, and thus we have the primary character difference among the four top contenders.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Joe, Some still say that Roxas pursuing the political position at all costs is paramount.

              But given the situation now, I think that Poe & Roxas, have a moral choices to make…Any other path ( as Chempo clearly outlines ) will lead to the abyss.

              • Joe America says:

                Poe has always argued “popularity” as her strength, but that strength is not so clear now that the top four are all within striking distance. What is clear is that Roxas has more depth of experience and knowledge and some of us would argue character than Poe. It is bizarre to me that the calls are for the highly qualified guy to step aside while the greenie is given a pass. No way. If anyone steps aside it should be the newbie. I mean, have the CEO level guy step aside for the OJT? No way.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Joe, I have talked about a ‘Preferential voting system ‘ and it’s advantages as a better more democratic method of forming governments.

            The Australian Prime Minister has announced that there will be a general election in Australia on July 2nd.

            If you agree Joe, once the campaign gets under way, for the benefit of readers and commentators here, I will post some links so Filipinos can see how such a system works in practice.

            • Joe America says:

              I would agree to a link or two, for the lessons, but this is a Philippine blog and the focus should be on relevance to the Philippines. I think comparisons that suggest “here is a better way” are not as useful as “here’s how to get from where we are to where we need to be”, pragmatically.

              • Joe America says:

                As I have said before, I think there is a tendency among foreigners to “instruct” Filipinos from their platform of greater success. It does not come across well. Australia is for sure not the Philippines, and what matters here is what can actually be done.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                It is not my intention to instruct. I spent 11 years in the teaching game some of them in the adult learning area. .Rather provide opportunity for Filipinos to see how an election process happens in another English speaking country which is in the region..I think that would be relevant and of interest to readers of this blog…But I will not bomb the blog with lots of links..I don’t believe that doing that is good for readers or commentors..

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Thanks for this analysis Caliphman ! It helps me understand what is happening and so be able to suggest as I have just done in my other comment.

  17. caliphman says:

    You’re welcome, mate. I support your suggestion for a Roxas run dead strategy. The VP race is very tight and Robredo hopefully can edge out Marcos. But as I mentioned, the main event is another story and Duterte now has an almost insurmountable lead and still has the momentum. How else does one describe a 9 point lead over Poe and 15 points over Roxas?To put that in perspective, the margin for statistical error is 2 points and total undecided/dont know left is 6-7 points. So assuming all undecideds vote for Roxas and the the statistical error mistakenly lowers Roxas points by 2 and inflates Duterte by 2, then the best possible case still has Duterte winning by 4-5 points. Conclusion, the only possible chance for denying Duterte the presidency is to go all in with Poe. That call will have to come from Roxas and Aquino and they have to agree that individual and party ambitions are secondary to avoiding a colossal national catastrophy in the person of a President Duterte. But that has to happen soon or even such a strategy will be too late.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      I agree with you on this Caliphman..And I hope it can be arranged..The odd thing is that Poe seems to be ‘running dead’ at the moment..There is hardly anything about her in the English language papers..I saw just one item on a far back Enquirer page today..And no advertisng on GMA that I have noticed.. By my understanding of election campaigns this is the ‘hot time’ for publicity..So what is Poe up to ?

      By contrast I just saw a Duterte 30 -45 second ad in Tagalog & English ( at 8.00 PM Prime time ) .It concluded with the slogan “Let’s Fix this Nation”

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