The Country’s Only Shield Against Bongbong Marcos

wLeni Robredo 23April2016 036

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

I wrote about her in this same blog but hadn’t seen her in person. I have seen her on tv, heard her voice, saw her in posters and leaflets.

Little did I know that she stood a little over five feet tall. I thought she would be commanding in height because she had big ideas and she could take a crisis without flinching, such as her husband’s sudden death. But she had command of her audience, and when she flashed her Leni-Robredo smile, it’s all done, the charm kicks in, and you listen enthralled.

When did I feel like this last? In the Cory days, of course. Which may have led Ballsy and Kris Aquino to say that she reminds them of their mother.

Cory the First versus Marcos the First. Cory the Second versus Marcos the Second. It comes down to this. God provides contrast for clarity of purpose.

A few more days and we’re off to the polling precincts. After hearing all the arguments, after taking part in office, home and friendly discussions, watching the debates, reading reams of paper or soft copies in social media of the reasons they should be the chosen one, we are down to perception. Which one will we vote for?

Oh yes, one may say, I will not waste my vote, a natural human response to anything that’s counted, as in a race or contest. I will go with the winner. In the vice-presidential race, Leni Robredo looks every inch, every sound byte, every flash of recall, a winner.

She did say it in her rallies. She doesn’t promise anything. But as a lawyer, she cannot provide legal guidance if you have money to pay for legal services. Her first job as a lawyer was at the Public Attorney’s Office, and she was cheek and jowl with the poorest of the poor. She gets the loudest applause when she says this. Really? The audience would say, she doesn’t charge a single cent for legal service? Wow. Loudest applause.

I followed her sorties last April 23, her birthday. It was the first time she spent her birthday away from Naga city, in Bicol, her hometown. Maybe that’s why her mother Sally Gerona was in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass held to celebrate the occasion in the Camarin civic center in Caloocan city. It’s a clean and well-organized community at the edges of Caloocan and Quezon city, where the air is both city and provincial.

Joy and Comfort. She had her balloons, song, birthday cake. She blew out the candle, and people shook her hand and she’s all smiles as if born to campaign, at home in all socio-economic classes, finding joy and comfort in Filipino ordinariness.

Presidential sister Kris Aquino was there to give support. She was early by an hour, respecting everyone’s time. The Mass started on call time, at 8 o’clock in the morning. About 2,000-3,000 people were crammed in the civic center, a covered basketball court actually, with many more ringing the audience on the streets surrounding the venue.

In Montalban, Rizal inside the cavernous hall in stifling heat where a few electric fans gave relief from 30-degrees Celsius, Cong Leni recounted the time in August 18, 2012 when she insisted on looking at her husband’s remains for the last time. She can still remember the smell of the sea in the former secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government, retrieved from the plane three days after it crashed and sank in the sea off Masbate coming from Cebu. He was still wearing his polo barong with a DILG seal, a pair of black pants, black shoes, his watch still keeping time, the only thing left alive in the person of the spark-plug 2000 Ramon Magsaysay awardee in government service. Mayor Jesse Robredo is credited for moving Naga city from a “dispirited former queen city of the Bicol region” to a first-class urban center, regaining its former robust self when the mayor gave flesh to programs that basically gave power to the city’s 120,000 inhabitants, especially the poor. The mayor wanted to be one with his constituents, and would be lost in the crowd riding a bike, wearing t shirt, a pair of shorts and tsinelas (slippers) which has become the symbol of his brand.

Part of the citation read: “Robredo prioritized the needs of the poor. Through his Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) program, over 4,500 once-homeless families moved to home-lots of their own. They became part of Naga’s revival. So did a revitalized city government. Applying techniques from business, Robredo raised performance, productivity, and morale among city employees. As a culture of excellence overtook the culture of mediocrity at City Hall, Naga’s businesses doubled and local revenues rose by 573 percent.”

What’s a 47-year-old widow to do, having honed her legal skills in cases handled pro bono, having three children to feed, clothe and educate, and a husband who didn’t engage in under-the-table deals and therefore didn’t grow rich in the job?

Nilakasan ko ang loob ko (I bit the bullet),” she said. Jesse was the center of the family, but when trials come, womenfolk find the strength to take on the challenge, she said, addressing the women in the audience.

She had wanted to lead a quiet life with her daughters, to be both mother and father to them, but Jesse’s political party could not find common ground, because their leader was gone. At the last day for filing of candidacy, upon the prodding of her party mates, Leni became the candidate for congresswoman of the third district of Camarines Sur. She couldn’t stand to watch the dissolution of her husband’s political legacy, not while she could do something about it.

Leni Robredo 23April2016 038She was up against an entrenched dynasty, having ruled the province for 40 years. Of the 80 mayors, only one was with her. Of the 186 barangays, only 25. Everyone was afraid of the consequences of going against the tide.

20-Person Meetings. The grieving widow proved equal to the task. The opponent could summon audiences by the thousands with rallies complete with brass bands and raffle prizes. Leni could answer with small meetings, 20 people tops, with a small public-address system and a lapel mic, going house to house. She didn’t look back, making every 20-person meeting count. At poll tally, she won 80 per cent of the votes.

“Money is not that important,” she said, “what’s important is what’s in the heart.” Passion and conviction is what Leni is all about. (Hey, isn’t that how we managed in 1986, when Cory ran against Marcos?)

A congresswoman for the first time, she would spend Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Batasan Pambansa, catch the long bus ride home Wednesday night, reach Naga at 7 in the morning, shower, and work her district going up mountain trails, crossing rivers and tiptoeing across rice paddies the whole day up to Saturday. Nighttime Saturday, bus back to Manila. Sundays is when she’s a mom.

Robredo is considered a champion of the Freedom of Information Bill, has been a strong supporter of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and was one of the primary authors of the Tax Incentives Transparency Bill. Robredo has said that the burden of paying income tax should be placed upon those who could afford to pay it. Robredo initiated the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) to help alleviate poverty in the Philippines (Source: Wikipedia).

As a candidate for vice-president, she started at the bottom. The survey leader had 44 per cent preference, she one per cent. In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted April 18-20, she climbed to 27 per cent, is now frontrunner, in a statistical tie with Senator Marcos who has 26 per cent.

Frontrunner. What made this happen? The debates have a lot to do with her rising in public opinion. In the first debate in the University of Santo Tomas on April 10, she insisted that the Marcoses should return stolen wealth. To which Senator Marcos replied, “I cannot give what I do not have, I have no knowledge of.” Cong. Robredo wanted him to acknowledge not just the human-rights abuses but his family’s ill-gotten wealth, asking for its return.

Addressing Senator Escudero, she asked if he did anything about discretionary funds such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund—PDAF—during his nine years in the House of Representatives. Pressing, she asked if the senator had taken steps to get rid of the PDAF before the controversy broke out. Escudero said he implemented the Supreme Court order abolishing the PDAF and wrote it into the General Appropriations Act. Robredo replied: “Even us in Congress we implemented that. But that’s not my question. You were in Congress for a long time. What did you do to remove the PDAF?”

Such is the way the lady jousts in debate. She is quick to clarify issues, such as the Freedom of Information Bill. Coauthor of this bill in the House of Representatives, she said her version of the measure was “different from the Senate version,” in that it requires government to release public documents even without demand.

She said that in the fight against corruption—accountability, transparency, as well as people’s participation is important. A believer in equal opportunity, she pointed out the importance of passing the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill. A recent study showed that the presence of political dynasties ties in with poverty, she said.

Her closing statement in the first debate brought the house down, sealing her reputation as the audacious lady congressman: “I am a mother who will always look after her children. I will always look after our country. To the six of us, may the best woman win.”

Robredo and Cayetano emerged as the perceived winners in the first debate.

After the first debate, Robredo was alarmed that her rival Senator Marcos leads vice presidential surveys.

She, however, emerged as the winner of the second vice presidential debate organized by ABS-CBN last April 17. This was validated by Bilang Pilipino Social Weather Stations Mobile Survey. (Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net)

Last Monday April 25, Cong Leni took the lead in survey, with Senator Marcos right behind. SWS conducted the survey April 18-20. She had a preference rating of 26 per cent, one point better than Marcos in the poll first published in BusinessWorld. The two candidates are statistically tied in the survey of 1,800 registered voters with sampling error margins of ±2 points.

Robredo posted the biggest jump, improving by seven points from her rating in the previous SWS face-to-face survey conducted on March 30 to April 2. Senator Marcos dropped one point from his previous rating. Senator Escudero was at third with 18 per cent, a three-point drop from his previous rating. Senator Cayetano followed with 16 percent. Senators Trillanes and Honasan took five and two per cent, respectively. (Source: www.gmanetwork.com)

Idealism is Back. Yes, who would have known? Less than four years since she was widowed of a man who was the center of their family, 25 years married almost to the day she lost him, dutiful wife with no other purpose other than to serve husband and children—much like Cory but with a background giving free legal aid to the “laylayan ng lipunan”—Leni is now the country’s shield against a dreaded Marcos comeback.

She’s come a long way since 1983, when as a second-year Economics major in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, she was touched by the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. That event began her journey in political activism. Thirty-three years later, she stands in the way—the country’s shield—against the return of the Marcoses to the pinnacle of Philippine politics. confident that the country hasn’t forgotten the egregious excesses of the dictatorship.

Listening to her talk to audiences in Camarin, Caloocan City, Montalban and San Mateo in Rizal province, I am transported to a time when I was young and a dreamer. That was the time when youth made you dream of how things should be, without compromise. You hear her talk, and you ask yourself, is she for real, that she can talk of ideals again, a widow of a person recognized for his ideals, herself invested in the same perfection in government service?

She comes from Naga City, commercial and educational center of the Bicol region, center as well of Marian devotion in the country. It’s not farfetched to say that she is an answered prayer for a leader: a new face, check; honest and straightforward, check; unblemished of character, no vices, simple lifestyle, check; a family name to protect from allegations or even just a whiff of corruption, check; a stand against political dynasties, check; street smarts, check; legislative experience, check; executive experience, check; vision and sense of mission, check; and don’t forget, having fun doing it to connect with the new generation, check. The Robredo brand of tsinelas leadership has captured hearts and minds across the country.

Bring it on, Senators Marcos, Escudero, Cayetano, Trillanes, in electoral battle. The lady congresswoman has got you in her sights, not the sight of a gun, but the sight of a better country for us all.

From the odd politician struggling with a tiny mic reaching 20 people, she is the aspiring vice-president, with a mic that reaches thousands upon thousands, millions even, counting traditional media broadcasts and social-media shares, telling her own love story with the man she misses, reminded of her mission every time she sees her children who were raised in politics of the ideal from birth, reminded of her distinct love for the poorest of the poor, that they may attain what Ramon Magsaysay said, that “those who have less in life should have more in law,” a living and breathing Mother Teresa of Philippine politics, impoverished as it is.

Is she for real? Is she the gift we have been waiting for? All signs say yes.

 

Comments
203 Responses to “The Country’s Only Shield Against Bongbong Marcos”
  1. Sarah says:

    VERY well written. I have personally met Leni, twice in fact. and she strikes me as a very smart, genuine and humble person. We need her tenacity, passion and love for our country in the government.

    again.. very well written!

  2. The Philippines is the out-of-wedlock child of Spain, a foundling of America, raped by Japan, out on her own after the war, controlled by Marcos, freed by Cory, disciplined by Ramos, ran off with Estrada, ran to Gloria, then to a balding bachelor who did well in taking care of the money but is a bit of an autist who cannot relate to people so it was a frustrating time with him.

    Will the country now seek a strong gangster type to protect her, go with a foundling like herself, trust a clean-cut man like Roxas? It is unlikely she will go for the thief, he is way too obvious, the dying old teacher not even a short-term prospect for most – even if she is an honest and intelligent but somewhat funny, wacky lady. The choices are not easy for the orphan nation:

    – the gangster type is violent, might even pimp her to China
    – the foundling might be just as lost and dependent as she is
    – the clean-cut man might be too weak or some think dishonest

    Finally the country (meaning its people as a whole) will have to learn to take care of herself. No leader can solve the deeper issues of an orphan nation. Only provide the right conditions.

    What I am personally happy about is Leni’s high numbers. Because the Philippines definitely needs a woman like Leni to help get her act together. A woman with three daughters.

    Leni understands that fixing things starts at the community level. She also understands that one cannot just dismantle the state inherited from colonialism. Still a foreign body for most Filipinos.

  3. Not only beautifully explained, but any reader could feel not only the sincerety of the one being described, but also the writer,thanks for your sharing!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Nestor! Nasama tuloy ako. Hahaha!

      • Giselamay Leggington says:

        WE ARE FOR SEN. BONGBONG MARCOS…OUR VP…HE IS THE BEST….NO TO ALING LENY…

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          See, Giselamay, that is democracy. In the time of Marcos, you could not, must not, at the pain of death, say what you just said in the midst of say, a KBL meeting. Appreciate your blessings.

  4. Bert says:

    I’m thinking aloud here. Leni is easy to sell to the Filipino voters just on her merits alone. Using Lemi to attack Marcos has no discernible effect. On the contrary it is counter-productive The more the LP people attack Marcos the higher Marcos rise in the survey. Leni Robredo will do well, she will win, without being used as a battering ram. Just thinking.

  5. Bill in Oz says:

    I have been reading Rappler..here is part of an article by law professor Dean Tony La Vina on the surveys and the up coming election. He is an advisor on the election Poe campaign. I find his personal remarks about Poe, having worked closely with her, a needed source of optimism. He also has some interesting positive, encouraging comments to make about Leni Robredo :

    “The appeal now must be to Poe and Duterte voters to choose her over others. That’s already happening but it must be actively encouraged while respecting those voters’ presidential choices. One must be aware that Marcos has tied up a lot of support of local politicians and has invested in a personal nationwide machinery. If they go to the elections on a statistical tie in the pre-election surveys, he is likely to win for that reason.

    One option people could do now, given the consistency of the polling by the established firms, is to consider these surveys as a runoff election. Leaders and citizens alike should just now choose between the top two candidates for both presidential and vice presidential positions. The remaining candidates themselves might consider withdrawing and choosing to endorse an erstwhile rival. President Aquino might want to bring like-minded leaders and candidates together to come up with a united front. I am not proposing this myself not being in any position to do so but recognizing that many now are thinking about this as an option.

    This practical option can only happen if the candidates themselves and top leaders make the hard decisions. While there are many voters (40% according to one analyst) who can change their minds, there are those who are core supporters of a candidate.

    I am one of those with Grace Poe. Her intelligence, diligence and respect for the electorate always strike me as she engaged with us who helped prepare her for the debates. It also amazed me how calm, collected, and grounded she was given the noise and chaos surrounding her in the last stretch of the campaign. While contrasting herself from her rivals, she has never gone negative, do personal attacks, and call her rivals names. Some are upset that she wasn’t as aggressive during the debate, against Duterte on the rape joke but that is just not her style.

    As President, Poe would be so good, so deliberate and organized, and yes so inspiring. Truly a servant leader, someone who will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the presidency. I say this without qualification, as someone who has taught and mentored hundreds of leaders in the last 35 years.

    What struck me most in my working with her was her sense of mission and her passion to do the right thing for this country and our people, and particularly for the poor. Clearly, this is not about her or her ambition but for a cause greater than herself and each of us. It’s about where to bring the country in the next six years and how to unite all of us for a greater purpose. It would be so exciting to have her lead the country to a better and happier place.

    I am glad I share the vision and values of my presidential candidate. In the next few days, I will write down the reasons why she is the best choice for President, including why this woman will not be unduly influenced by any of us, including the many funders of her campaign. But for now, suffice it to say, that it is her compassion and ability to connect to others, especially the poor, that attracts me the most.

    In last Sunday’s debate, Poe delivered a beautiful, definitely the best, closing statement. She was the only one who remembered Jessa, for whom the closing words were supposed to be spoken. Jessa’s mother had tears in her eyes when Grace looked at them tenderly, promising a compassionate government. How I wish that would come true.”
    Rappler.com

    • Bill in Oz says:

      An Off topic comment re Duterte..
      I am told Duterte asked to have an election rally last Sunday at the Chinese General Hospital. This morning I found out it did not happen. It seems the hospital management nixed it. I have made 2-3 critical comments about CGH . I fairness I should also report this as well…

      • Bill in Oz says:

        In Rappler Dean la Vina makes the follwoing remarks about Leni Robredo ;
        ” This is also a critical moment in the vice presidential race. Leni Robredo is now within reach to win against Bongbong Marcos. But it is not certain and it is tricky because of Roxas’ precarious situation.

        The appeal now must be to Poe and Duterte voters to choose Rbredo as VP over the others. This is already happening but it must be actively encouraged while respecting those voters’ presidential choices. One must be aware that Marcos has tied up a lot of support of local politicians and has invested in a personal nationwide machinery. If they go to the elections on a statistical tie in the pre-election surveys, he is likely to win for that reason.”

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Hi Bill. We’ll never know with the electorate. Ma’am Leni has moved to first or second place in survey from dead last in three months. You can imagine the force of her presence and message on the ground.

          • If Robredo wants to win, I agree that she really would indeed have to differentiate herself from Roxas much more because the candidate’s ties with the current administration is really holding them down. But in a way, she actually has a clean slate so she is not really associated with them that much. She actually need not to have to carry these baggage like Roxas has to, which is good.

            As for appealing to other candidates, she can actually do it easily because from what I can see, she is an on the grounds person and that is something that is actually missing from most of the candidates. And IMO, that something is also THE something that the country really needs. So given this, she would be a good complement to anyone who wins. As for Marcos, he only has his loyalists so I’m guessing he has already reached his peak? Robredo however, well, you can probably expect her rise to continue in the following days.

            And on a side note, coming from experience, a possible way to campaign for Robredo to Duterte supporters? I’ve already managed to convince a handful already because of this.

            “The way I see it, both Duterte and Robredo are both hands-on, on the grounds people. However, one is very pragmatic and one is idealist. But its not a conflict per se because if you look at tit closely, these two would be a really good complement to each other as they can balance each other out. And I’m sure you also have some fears of Duterte becoming a dictator, no? Well, Leni could keep him grounded and help the tough-talking candidate to control himself at times. And to be frank, we’re speaking of Duterte here. I’m sure a firm woman’s voice would be something that can put him in his place. The possible synergy is undeniable.

            And as for Leni being LP? She’s a fresh recruit. She is still not ‘tainted’ by them. If you partner her with Duterte, she will be forged by fire and she will even be more of a good prospect for presidency in the next elections. Please vote Leni. =)”

            • Vicara says:

              From observation, one can see that for Robredo, winning this election is not the endgame, but the means to an end–effective public service under a concept of governance espoused by her late husband, Mar Roxas, and herself. Victory will count for not much if she is rendered unable to fulfill that function.

              Duterte was built up as a bogeyman–and at first we all saw him as that–but his campaign is starting to crack at this point; there seems to be a gap between what he says and what his people want him to say. At the Makati Business Club talk yesterday, looking past the usual coarse jokes, those present were mightily dismayed to see that he had nothing yet to offer by way of economic policy, not even memorized pieties. Just two weeks before the election.

              If his own campaign strategists are unable to help him out here–not even getting him to cram even a little, what chance will Leni have to “keep him grounded and help the tough-talking candidate to control himself at times [sic].”

              This is absurd. It’s bad enough that so many of the best women in the country are OFWs; must we relegate someone of Leni Robredo’s character to serve as nanny to a hollow man who will likely not last out his term if elected?

              • But the question is: Will Robredo be rendered unable to fulfill that function? Would she really be a nanny or can she be one of the voices behind Duterte? The thing with uncertainties is that it is open to possibilities.

                And also, the thing with an empty vessel is it can be filled quite easily. I was actually waiting on the MBC-Duterte meeting as depending on how it goes, it was supposed to be one of the key ‘markers’ if Duterte should be supported. But basing on previous interviews and the news coming out now, I think it is still consistent that his economic policies lack substance, if not even almost non-existent. However, he does seem to make it a point that he will be open, if not even reliant, to private partnerships for development of the country. He’d give them autonomy and really open up the country to foreign investments. He also does seem to always makes it a point that he is not an economics persons so he’ll rather have to ask his advisors in the know to speak about it. But I still haven’t watched the full Interview as it seems to be currently unavailable so i still can’t really say…

              • Vicara says:

                Intuitiveperceiving, I would give your Leni-Duterte post-election scenario some consideration if anybody had any clue as to how a Duterte administration would even begin to function.

                A winning candidate doesn’t just step in and say hey, presto! and everything gets done. It is expected that she/he will bring in the standard retinue made up of campaigners, old pals (from the Davao City Council likely, in the case of Duterte), lawyers, financial managers, go-fers and sycophants, as well as a Cabinet lineup. The MBC yesterday were stunned–not by the usual coarseness, which they had expected–but by the utterly blank slate Duterte had to offer in terms of his economic plans. Not even memorized tidbits fed to him by whoever. The few people whose names have floated up online as his possible Cabinet members are nonentities.

                It looks likely to be worse than the mayhem of the Estrada administration, as recalled in depressing detail in Aprodicio Laquian’s memoir, The Erap Tragedy.

                And someone of Leni’s caliber is going to be thrust in the middle of that mayhem, to serve as some sort of calming oil? A lot of people, Robredo included, certainly don’t believe she’s “tainted” by being associated with the current administration (ah, those pesky high approval ratings for outgoing President Aquino). But she certainly will be tainted, and her abilities will be wasted, by her accepting an active, central role in an administration under the name of Duterte. No-win situation there.

                As a woman voter and a supporter of Robredo, I resent her being put forward as the steady, pure presence that can be safely tossed into Malacanang, like some sacrificial maiden being tossed into a volcano. You know, a lot of people made that very same mistake in their assessment of Cory Aquino. Who, as it turned out, knew her own mind, and exactly what she wanted to do with herself, thank you.

                Guys who are intent only on dealing with the anticipated mess of Duterte can go and clean it up themselves.

                The rest of us will vote for Mar Roxas as president and Leni Robredo as vice president. The suggestion is that you do the same, and get Miriam and Grace to endorse them double-quick.

                Already, there has been for months growing support for Robredo among Duterte supporters, including many in Mindanao (although admittedly there is support there as well for Marcos). They haven’t forgotten Cayetano’s coloratura, pa-epek denunciation of the BBL.

                And also, it’s the Leni magic.

              • @Joe America, guess what I said wasn’t actually far off? Thanks for the link. You still owe me a reply on another post. 😉

                @Vicara, I know the ‘tainted’ comment seems improper but I do have to appeal to the nuances of these people to convince them to vote for her. Because regardless if Duterte will be good or bad for the country, assuming if he even wins ot not, it would still be a detriment to development as long Marcos wins.

                As for what I think may happen under a Duterte presidency, uhm… I’ve made a simplified flow chart of the possibilities? =D

                As for some possible parallels that had already happened: Joko Widodo of Indonesia *[1], Park Chung-Hee of South Korea *[2], and many Latin American countries *[3]?

                *[1] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/05/jokowi-we-voted-for-a-humble-man-now-youve-taught-a-new-generation-about-killing

                *[2] http://newamericamedia.org/2013/03/why-late-south-korean-dictator-park-chung-hee-is-the-most-popular-president-ever.php

                *[3] http://halalan.up.edu.ph/viewpoints/by-experts/196-how-the-left-won-in-latin-america

              • Joe America says:

                Three links puts a comment into moderation. This is actually a discussion forum and people seldom click on links. I’m not aware of any obligation to respond that I have.

              • Sorry Joe. The links are just there as reference for anyone interested. I’m aware that most people seldom click links but I’m sure there are some who are interested in them.

                Oh, the reply I was pertaining to was in the Manila Meltdown post. I’m not obliging a reply fom you of course. Was just reminding if ever as you’ve mentioned that you were headed to vacation then?

            • jolly cruz says:

              Robredo must win. We actually don’t know the state of Duterte’s health nor his real intentions regarding the presidency, if elected. If marcos wins, we are in danger of having pres marcos 2. If only to prevent this from happening, I will vote for robredo.

            • PARDON ME. LENY AN IDEALIST YOU SAID, STILL NOT TAINTED IN MY OPINION IS FAR FROM TRUE. THERE IS SSS PENSION, FOI, BBL AND LATELY THE USE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CHOPPER WITH HER ENDORSER KRIS AQUINO. SA MAIKSING PANAHON KASAMA NG MGA AQUINOs AT L.P. ANG BILIS NAG-IBA NG IDEALISMO NYA. (SHE EVEN DEFENDED THESE ATROCITIES ) EXCEPT OF COURSE HER PASSION FOR MARTIAL LAW. BUT MAINLY BECAUSE SHE SEES THAT AS HER MAIN STRATEGY TO CRASH SEN. MARCOS. THAT MADE HER SOUND SO STUPID FOR STUDENTS LIKE US. UNDERSTANDABLY, SHE NEEDS TO GO THAT DIRECTION CAUSE SHE CAN NOT MATCH THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF MARCOS OR CHIZ. MAYBE WISE FOR HER BUT NOT FOR US. WHY, CAUSE DI PA BA KAMI NAG SAWA SA MGA DRAMA NG MARTIAL LAW NA LAGING PINAPALABAS SA ABS CBN? AT PAAWA EFFECT NG MGA POLITICO? NAMATAY ANG ASAWA KAYA KAWAWA. WILL THESE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO FEED ON THE EMOTIONAL SIDE OF OUR KABABAYANS. YOU ARE A GOOD WRITER BUT NOT FOR POLITICS. FOR ROMANCE YES. SHE IS A POLITICAL DWARF COMPARED TO MARCOS (for crying out loud). SINCERITY.? ONLY A CORY FAN CAN SAY THAT. BUT WE DONT NEED ANOTHER CORY. WHAT WE NEED IS TO UNITE OUR PEOPLE AND MOVE ON WITH NEW STORIES. HAD GERMANY CRIED OVER HITLER, THEY WILL NOT BE AS PROGRESSIVE AS THEY ARE NOW. THE ONLY GOOD THING THAT HAPPENED WAS; THE DEBATE REGARDING MARTIAL LAW WAS BROUGHT OUT-TO LIGHT, WITH MANY LIKE US FINDING THE TRUTH THAT NINOY AQUINO IS A LEFTIST AND A TRAITOR. NOW THAT PUT US ALL IN A BIG CHALLENGE. WHY SHIELD THE COUNTRY? FROM WHAT? FROM THE TRUTH THAT AQUINOS ARE NOT SAINTS NOR HEROES. IF YOU WANT THIS COUNTRY TO BE PROGRESSIVE AND GREAT AGAIN, FERRET OUT THE TRUTH – NOT SHIELD FROM IT. LENY MUST BE A GOOD MOTHER, WIDOW. MY MOM TOO. DOES THAT MEAN SHE CAN RUN FOR V,P. A V.P. CAN BE A PRESIDENT ANYTIME. THE COUNTRY CAN NOT AFFORD TO HAVE A WEAKLING AS V.p. IRREGARDLESS OF THE TUFFY-NESS SHE IS NOW SHOWING, ADMIT IT SHE LACKS THE TRACK RECORD TO BE IN THIS HIGH POSITION. THIS SURVEY REFLECTED THE OPINION OF ONLY 1,800 VOTERS. GET THE PERCENTAGE OF THAT FROM THE OVER 52 MILLION VOTERS PLEASE ;THEN MAYBE, I WOULD PERSONALLY FIND OUT WHAT THE H..L IS GOING ON WITH THE VOTERS.. THANK YOU

              • Joe America says:

                Martina, the caps reflect anger and lecture. A closed mind I’d guess. I gather you are young. Do you grasp diplomacy or grace or consideration of others? They are the civil skills. I might suggest you work on yours before returning to the blog. Also, you write what seems to me to be little pieces, selected to seem important, but they miss the bigger picture for all the omissions.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                It’s interesting to note that this is supposedly from a woman “Martina”.But from reading it it is clearly written by a man witha vey loud voice, trolling with lots of disinformation…Ah well something else to ignore or edit out.

              • Joe America says:

                Or laugh about, considering the extreme of expression.

              • madlanglupa says:

                I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        The CGH decided that Duterte’s rape remarks about Jacquie Hamil were beyond the pale.

  6. Gemino H. Abad says:

    THANKS, Willie, Joe — this brings tears to me eyes, hope to me heart!
    Right on! walang atrasan!

  7. CARLILAY says:

    Ganitong ganito rin ang tanong ko” is she for real? ”

    I was rooting for her para maging vice president pero napakababaw lang ng pagkakilala ko sa kanya,
    Asawa ng yumaong DILG na naging Congressman.

    Pero ng May magtanong sa akin na kasama ko sa work” Bakit si Leni hilaw pa yan?”
    Napaisip ako! Siya ang gusto Kong maging vice president pero hindi ko naman siya kilala.
    I started Google-ing… YouTube reading articles about her… I watched the VP debate. Grabe sobrang ina -admire ko siya.
    Yung speech niya sa Alabang “moves me”
    Kung paano ang leni Robredo bago naging pulitiko.
    I was like t*ngn*(sorry for the word just to express my strong feeling) Sarap maging Pilipino.

    Mapalad ang pamilya niya,Mapalad ang taga Naga, Mapalad ang distrito niya at Mapalad ang Pilipinas dahil may Isang leni Robredo.

    Salamat sa Mga anak niya for sharing thier mother to us. Alam Kong hindi madali ang lahat ng ito.

    Isa na lang po ang tanong ko Paano maging isang Leni Robredo?
    IDOL ko po kasi kayo.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Carlilay. Ang sarap mo naman magsulat. Mabuhay ka!

      • Carlilay says:

        Wow! Sir, Salamat po. Nakakakilig hehe
        Paumanhin po sa Maling pag gamit ng tuldok kuwit o ano man,
        Nag aalab ang aking puso habang sinusulat yan. 😊

        Mabuhay po kayo!

  8. Vicara says:

    And her best partner in office could only be Mar Roxas.

    Presidential and vice-presidential election tandems are so often just temporary marriages of convenience, with “pre-nup” arrangements for dividing the political spoils should both candidates win. This has been glaringly, nauseatingly obvious this campaign season. But the partnership of Roxas and Robredo promises to be authentic, strong, mutually supportive, and of potentially great benefit to the country.

    Last week, I heard Robredo recount to Makati corporate executives, bankers and lawyers the trajectory of her acquaintance with Roxas. They first crossed paths when her late husband Jesse was DILG chief. When Roxas was offered the post after Jesse died, he immediately called Leni. She was the only non-family member invited to his oath-taking. Roxas kept in touch and would call regularly to ask how she and the children were doing. Leni pointed out that at the time, she had no political clout that could have motivated him to cultivate the association; she was just a widow, with her congressional run still in the future. He was simply being kind.

    When the offer came up for her to become Mar’s running mate, Leni’s children were firmly against the idea. It’s a family which knows full well the heavy cost of living a life devoted to public service. Mar returned again and again with the offer. Leni turned it down repeatedly, and urged Mar to just go with an alternate choice. She says he told her: “There is no Plan B.”

    Eventually, her children agreed to her running, for which we should give thanks. We should also be grateful to Roxas for recognizing early on Robredo’s great potential. There promises to be a fruitful synergy between the two. With his considerable experience, he should be able to provide mentoring in national governance, and she–with her own considerable experience–should be able to help him connect even more with grassroots governance. Roxas has always been a team player, to a degree incomprehensible to the average political alpha in the Philippine context. The chances are high that they will collaborate well, with relatively little friction, jealousy and drama. And always with the long-term welfare of the country in mind. They are both oriented that way.

    I hear what you’re saying, Bill in Oz. But there are those using scare tactics to nudge citizens into voting Poe-Robredo, as if Leni were just a pocket talisman useful for warding off the dreaded Marcos. This is a contemptible notion. We all know that Escudero is running Poe in preparation for his future presidential run. If he does not win the VP post, he will almost inevitably be appointed Poe’s Executive Secretary. What do you think the chances will be for Robredo then? It’ll be thank you and goodbye, here’s an marginal little government sinecure to keep you occupied until the end of your term.

    There are those, myself included, who are looking ahead to the possibility of a Leni presidential campaign in 2022. The next six years will be preparation for that. Roxas and Robredo it has to be. He and we have shown our mettle, in recognizing her potential as a major public servant. It’s up to us to make it happen.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Vicara. Ma’am Leni tells this story: When Jesse Robredo’s body was found, she received a call from Mar Roxas. She knew it was him because of caller I.D., but he wasn’t saying anything, and she could hear sobbing. Finally, when he had mustered enough courage to speak, all he could say was, “Sorry.” You are right, they are bonded in blood, sweat and tears.

      • Vicara says:

        Indeed, Wilfredo. “Blood, sweat and tears.”

        • Maria Almuete says:

          This is the first time I have read about how Mar Roxas persuaded Leni Robredo to be his running mate. The mere fact that Mar had no “Plan B” speaks volumes about how he intends to lead – with decency, transparency, and real concern for the people. That is why he did not settle for anybody other than Leni. He wants a VP who reminds him of what serving the people is all about. I am so sure of their commitment and “genuine-ness” that even if they do not win – God forbid – they would still find ways to serve their countrymen, which strengthens my resolve to do the same in my own small way. It is true that change should start in oneself, and having a President and Vice President who are great role models might just inspire every Filipino to do their part in nation building. Can we still dream? My answer sir is, YES, we should never stop dreaming and never stop fighting for our ideals, for what is good and what is right. Just imagine what great things could happen if we could multiply Mar and Leni just a thousand times! Never ever lose hope!

    • Gener T. Mendoza says:

      Agree with this fully. Only a Mar presidency can assure that she develops her full potential as a public servant and leader.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks, Gener. Right you are. Pair her with another and it’s like you received a red Lamborghini as a gift and you just parked it in your garage.

        • jolly cruz says:

          Lets get this straight. Are you saying that if roxas loses, a vote for robredo is useless? Right now, the chances of roxas winning is so slim. So are you advocating that we should not vote for robredo because she would be useless without roxas, like a parked Lamborghini in a garage? Please don’t discourage people who are not for roxas from voting for robredo. She is our only chance of prfeventing a return to marcos rule.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            I didn’t say don’t vote for her if you won’t vote for Mar. I’m just saying she’ll be firing on all cylinders—in her elements—if Mar is her president. If you really want Leni to succeed, vote for her because she’s our only true shield against Bongbong, and in the same breath, you have to bite the bullet and vote for Mar as well. He isn’t perfect but Leni chose to go with him. Knowing her now as I do, she could have said no.

    • Really good writing, Mr. Villanueva. Glad I caught this in the avalanche of opinions as May 9 breathes downs our necks. Your balance of heart and mind prods me to throw in my two centavos worth. I agree with your unspoken premise that Leni Gerona-Robredo must be God-given. And so I ask: Don’t you think we should give her sharp political instinct the whole nine yards? Not only is that instinct talking when she says Mar is the perfect president for her “full effectiveness.”

      As Vicara points out, he’s proven to Leni who he is when she was still “just” a devoted wife, mother and lawyer to the poor. I, for one, am ready help her take the next step to being a great national leader with Roxas, the rich boy who’s become a scapegoat for the failings of his friend Noynoy. I’ve examined his record closely the past month and see what Leni sees in Mar.

      Grace Poe may be a bright and diligent quick study, but she seems like too much of a wind-up doll to her “experienced” political mentors. Promising, but much too inexperienced in the dangerous dark labyrinth of Philippine politics.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        You make sharp analysis, Sylvia. At bottom, the elevator close (in seconds only) would be: Vote for Mar because Leni chose him.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks, Sylvia. Agree with the points you raised. No to Po-Ro. Most of all, no to Du-Ro. Bi-ro is of course a joke. Sa-Ro? MDS deserves a rest. Ro-Ro all the way!

    • jolly cruz says:

      I think its time for roro supporters to stop linking robredo to roxas. AS @intuitiveperceiving had posted, her relationship with the administration is “holding her down”. I beg the roro supporters to dissociate leni from roxas. Lets prevent marcos 2.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        But Jolly, she has never distanced herself from Roxas, and yet she climbs and climbs up the charts like an eagle in courtship.

  9. Christina Astorga says:

    Thank you for this piece. When Poe refused to be the VP of Mar, I was disappointed. I said had she accepted, their team would have been unbeatable. But had Poe said yes, we would have not have Leni, and we would have lost a true treasure. There are some groups pushing for a Poe-Robredo. They said that it is the team that can stop a Duterte win. I beg to disagree. There is not much to work on Poe, really. Her candidacy is made of flimsy material. What has she done for the country to deserve the highest honor any Filipino can receive in a lifetime? There are no marks in her hands, feet, her heart, for years of labor for our country, for our poor. The coco levy farmers have lost their trust in her, because they see that she is more beholden to her padrino, Cojuangco, than to their cause for justice. It is a no to Poe-Robredo! Leni compares her team with Mar to cooking bibingka, may apoy sa itaas, at apoy sa ibaba. As fire on top, Mar leads in the realm of national and global issues. As fire below, Leni leads in the realm of local and grassroots issues. Walang maiiwan sa kanilang pag-aaruga ng bayan. Bonded by their love for Jesse, and by his vision of governance, Mar and Leni shall lead us to the future with dignity, decency, and honor. Vilma Santos puts it well, Mar is the pillar of the nation; Leni is its guiding light.

  10. Smallville says:

    MarLeni ang karapatdapat..at Hindi si Poe na nilabag ang Constitution…

  11. Suzy says:

    Poe isn’t ready to go toe to toe with Hillary and the like. Only mar and Leni will make the cut

  12. Lem de la Cruz says:

    Well said. Kudos to the writer.
    I am a schoolmate of Leni in a Daughters of Charity School in Naga City, her mom is my teacher, and my dad served as city councilor for 3 consecutive terms under her husband. Leni, like JMR, has that special charisma which stems from a good, humble heart and a strong faith in God.
    She has proven that she can rise above dirty politics in our province, that success in projects, programs can be achieved thru tsinelas leadership – that is, leading the project herself, walking the rice paddies, riding the banca, meeting her constituents in person, and empowering everyone to work towards achieving the best for the community.
    She is indeed a breath of fresh air in Philippine politics. Wait till you meet her. Then you will believe again that something good, right, ideal still exist in this troubled world.

  13. Rank says:

    I have a soft spot for Leni Robredo. The pilot of the plane in which Jessie Robredo died was one of my best friends, nay, even more like a brother: Jessup Bahinting. Come to think of it, Jessie and Jessup died together. What I know about Jessie Robredo was from my readings. What I know of Jessup was very personal. Jessup would not have agreed to take Jessie on his plane if he was not a believer in Jessie. They were both servant leaders.

    My farewell to Jessup is here: http://underthetalisaytree.blogspot.com/2012/08/farewell-my-friend.html

    With Leni, I think my friend’s death was not in vain.

  14. Mart says:

    Beautiful article. You are a very good writer, be it in Pilipino or English.
    The first time I read about Jessie Robredo was when he was a new mayor of Naga City. Naga was one of the few LGUs which established an interactive website to inform and to allow transparent transactions with the city. I thought, wow!, this young mayor is very good. It was no wonder he won the Ramon Magsaysay award for local governance a few years later.
    As secretary of DILG, his style did not sit well with political sycophants but he did very well despite the odds. Too bad we lost him. But as one of the commenters here said, his death would not be in vain. We have Leni whose political path and values are the same as that of Jessie’s. May God bless us with Mar Roxas as president and Leni Robredo as vice-president.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Mart. May God bless us with twin victories for the top positions. The impossible is now possible.

  15. Won’t it be good to have a President and a Vice-President from the same party? I refer of course to Roxas and Robredo.

  16. Caliphman says:

    If Duterte ever wins the presidency, he will need someone with unsullied reputation who can balance his brusqueness and street language. Robredo has the intelligence, sophistication, sensitivity and humility where Marcos brings with him the tainted baggage with plundered loot that ls part of his candidacy. For those who want to put Duterte’s name on the ballot, someone like Robredo would be the perfect complement to his strengths and his style.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Robredo with a ten-foot pole, Caliphman.

      • NHerrera says:

        Or Robredo while frankly advising him at ten feet distance, puts on her nose clip to avoid or get infected by the stench. Yes, I sincerely agree with Caliphman with that proviso. Hopefully after a few years he would have mellowed and she will not need that nose clip anymore.

      • NHerrera says:

        THE SHIELD MAY NOT BE UNSHEATHED AFTER ALL

        While I share with what is coming out to be majority view that Leni Robredo with get the Vice Presidency, that shield may not be used after all.

        MY VIEW BY THE NUMBERS

        The SWS April 18-20 and Pulse Asia 16-20 numbers of the Presidential candidates are close to each other. For Duterte, Poe, Roxas, Binay, Santiago, Undecided, we have from SWS April 18-20 survey respectively:

        33, 24, 19, 14, 2, 8

        And For Duterte, Poe, Roxas, Binay, Santiago, Undecided, we have from Pulse Asia 16-20 survey respectively:

        35, 23, 17, 16, 2, 6

        The two surveys done at about the same period are very close to each other. Taking the average we have (rounded):

        34, 24, 18, 15, 2, 7

        NOW FOR A PEEK AT MY CRYSTAL BALL

        Come election time these numbers MAY evolve to:

        26, 26, 27, 16, 3, 2

        This is to say that there is a chance that the three — Duterte, Poe, Roxas — will be closer to each other in numbers than the latest PA and SWS numbers suggest what with the recent developments including Trillanes hot on the heels of Duterte, painting Duterte with the Binay brush of corruption; the ground machinery talking; Poe, Roxas and Binay fighting mightily. By the numbers:

        Poe from 24 to 26
        Binay from 15 to 16
        Santiago from 2 to 3
        Undecided reduced from 7 to 2
        Roxas from 18 to 27 coming from
        – 5 from the undecided through machinery
        – 4 from previous allocation of Duterte due to machinery, etc

        Resulting in Duterte of 26.

        CONCLUSION: My thoughts are not at all a statement of a Roxas win, but a suggestion that the recent survey numbers can evolve into a closer match for the three than the those survey numbers suggest.

        So, @Wil, better advise Leni to have that shield ready but she may not have to use it or as often.

  17. Sup says:

    I.N.C……………….. ”serve the Lord”………..the ”black Lord” it is…

    They support Bong Bong………….and before the father………

    I.N.C.

    Indefinitely Nominating Criminals

    • Letz says:

      Criminals?????…..then why marcoses never go to jail????….after marcos left how many presidents seated in malacanang ..why any of them didnt able to bring marcoses in jail?….as we all know those presidents im talking abt was under the yellow wings …so can u explain why?…..or better for u to wake up and analise everything….dont be deaf and blind…

      • Joe America says:

        Stick with the issues, Letz, and not the character of the person who commented. That is rule #1 at this blog for retaining your right to comment. Sup is not deaf or blind; a comment suggesting so is not polite. Or perhaps Sup is deaf, or is blind, in real life . . . and then how does your comment play out?

      • Sup says:

        How i wish i had 500.000.000 in my SALN only by hanging around in government…

      • Waray-waray says:

        Hi Letz kalma lang. Were you a former officemate?

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Hi Letz. Pity that we have to converse this way just because as brother and sister we were put asunder by one of the world’s biggest thieves, former president Ferdinand Marcos. But no, I shall not make a recitation of the cases filed against the dictator, for it is meaningless to you. If you prefer to regard the Marcoses the way you do, you are within your rights. Those rights, by the way, were returned to all Filipino citizens when the entire family fled under cover of darkness one night in February 1986, to uncertain future. If again you will refuse to acknowledge that the people power revolution accomplished the expulsion of a tyrant with the least blood and turmoil, it is still up to you. But if by an act of God you will be objective again, shorn of your undying love for the Marcoses, remember that the nation will welcome you back with open arms. Democracy and religion makes us civil and restrained, forgiving to a fault.

        • Sup says:

          If i could type as good as you i would have told the same to Letz…but because my one finger typing i keep it with one liners… Thanks Wilfredo G. Villanueva……….. 🙂

      • Just because the Marcoses were never jailed doesn’t mean that they are innocent. There are many people who are as guilty as hell walking around freely, even running for high office.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Ferdinand Marcos converted from INC to Catholicism when he married Imelda. Bit of a heretic as far as INC were concerned from m reading of the time

  18. Letz says:

    Kng gnun pala pkisabi sa knya na kung mangampanya xa ikampanya nya kng ano yung mga nagawa nya ….hindi yung batikusin nya kapwa nya kandidato….para lng iangat yung sarili nya….it doesnt make sense…ang tanong ano ba mga nagawa nya?….hindi ba xa sunod sunuran lng sa mga dilawan?

  19. Bing Garcia says:

    Cayetano said the bank secrecy waivers that he and Duterte had signed and publicized could be used for all their bank accounts. “Our waiver is good for all the accounts,” he said.

  20. Filipina says:

    Have you seen this movie? Our Brand is Crisis.

    The movie has an eerie similarity to the strategy of Duterte’s political campaign.
    Here’s the plot summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Brand_Is_Crisis_(2015_film)

  21. This is Duterte at the Makati Business Club. Where is the “strong man” gone?

    He will not even last a year where Erap at least was able to last 2 1/2 years.

    • madlanglupa says:

      I recall him blurting out “SusMARyosep” after he was challenged by Mar.

    • Lita Guiao says:

      Dutuerte is not up to the job. The body language give him away. I believe most businessmen are generally scared of a Duterte presidency. Already the PSEI is losing grounds. Prospective international investors are on a “wait and see” mode. International/foreign relations with our BFF allies would sink.The NPA might visibly surge again in towns, making “unlawful” demands of businesses and landed folks or “else”. Pass the NPA Revolutionary Tax or be shut. Joma would come home to be an adviser, if not a cabinet man. I pray for a Mar-Leni win, a bow and arrow set, to achieve optimum results.

  22. I really find the exchanges very interesting and enlightening. What makes rather fascinating is that I find 90% of the points raised really coincide with what I believe in. At this point, I sense that a great wave of support is sweeping the country, with much of the population coming out more vocally to support the Mar-Leni (RORO) tandem. I believe this going to be a miraculous uprising of the people against two unwanted possibilities: A Duterte winning the Presidency and a Marcos winning the Vice-Presidency. Let us join and push the wave.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Heard from a reliable source, there is friction in Poe & Escudero camp. coz, Chiz already promised all the cabinet post.

  24. madlanglupa says:

    Binay as veep was divisive, and his personality bordered on the opportunistic type. He smells of something other than the slick pomade of his hair.

    I’m sure Leni would bring back the dignity of the office, as well as become a moderating figure, the conscience of any presidency, should anybody other than Mar would be elected.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Yes, madlanglupa, 2022 looks like a bright star, with Leni Robredo gaining ground every single day. But we haven’t given up on 2016 yet, they ain’t seen nothing yet, unless we don’t believe in the power of the people to cast aside prejudice and sharpen its spear point first toward Bongbong, then to Duterte, Poe and Binay. Gird your loins, for male warriors.

    • chempo says:

      So bad…Chiz was eyeing the Coconut Palace so he’s got a very apt place to meet with Cojuanco now and then. The palace beongs to a coconut king

  25. Ric Santiago says:

    This aptly sums up the Leni Robredo I came to know in this campaign. Thanks for this piece. May I share?

    On Wednesday, 27 April 2016, The Society of Honor by Joe America wrote:

    > Wilfredo G. Villanueva posted: “w by Wilfredo G. Villanueva I wrote about > her in this same blog but hadn’t seen her in person. I have seen her on tv, > heard her voice, saw her in posters and leaflets. Little did I know that > she stood a little over five feet tall. I thought she would be ” >

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Ric. I believe you can share the entire link to preserve the layout for proper acknowledgment. Thanks, Ric!

  26. madlanglupa says:

    I AM FURIOUS [YELLOW]

  27. Here are my thoughts.

    I support Leni Robredo 1000% because her grassroots experience with people “sa laylayan ng lipunan” (on the margins of society) outshines all the presidential and vice-presidential candidates combined. She has been more of a public servant (in the truest sense) than a politician. As an “alternative lawyer” with frontline practice, she is in the best position to address the problems and aspirations of the working poor and the utterly destitute who comprise about 65% of the country. For inclusive growth, this is already a major stride in leadership. In this, she will be better than Mar (who promises an administration which will bring the freedom to dream for ordinary folks) because Leni is the wind that will lift Mar’s vision.

    Discounting her loss, there are four probable scenarios for Leni: 1) she is VP to Mar, 2) she is VP to Duterte, 3) she is VP to Poe, and 4) she is VP to Binay. In varying degrees, all four post-election scenarios will bring turmoil to the country at least through the end of the year and will bring challenges to Leni personally. In the last three scenarios, Leni will most likely be sidelined in the cabinet because she will be perceived as a threat. Yes, she may be given a visible but politically insignificant role, one that will not threaten the new dispensation. But in cabinet policy decisions (even if her voice will be stifled), we can count on Leni to be an advocate for the marginalized. She will be a graceful thorn for any President, and she will always be a pea under the bed of those who have ambitions for 2022.

    The worst case scenario will be a Duterte presidency given all the outrageous positions he has taken. The Daang Matuwid coalition led by PNoy and Mar (and their allies in Congress), the business community, civil society, and activist groups will not sit idly by when the Duterte implements his most deplorable policies (declaring a revolutionary government while allied with the NPA, bilateral negotiations with China, elimination of suspected criminals without due process, etcetera). Such chaos and instability may result in the depreciation of the peso of up to P60 to $1. Imagine the economic havoc that depreciation will create.

    Moreover, the ASEAN countries, the United States, Japan, and Australia will not be fence sitters; the Philippines is in a very strategic location as far as global trade and freedom of navigation are concerned.

    In such a scenario under a Duterte cabinet, expect Leni not go gently into that goodnight; in her firm but polished way, she will “rage against the dying of the light.” The country will be thankful for her voice at table in Malacañang.

    Despite surveys showing Duterte to be the most popular, I am still hopeful for a Roxas victory, and there are ample reasons to be so. This is still a close four way fight. Duterte and Poe may be the most popular in the air war (that is the media war) that drives survey results, but Roxas and Binay are the most formidable in the ground war which drives the “hatak” factor. This pull factor will not manifest itself until the last few days of the elections.

    A well-oiled, funded, and on-the-ground political machine still trumps the airwaves and cyberspace even in this age of social media. Wars are not won merely by air or on the ground, logistics is the third pillar in waging war, and it requires money, resources, and a disciplined organization. This is the Daang Matuwid coalition’s competitive advantage.

    In my view (adopted from a Prussian of the early 19th century) elections, like war, are “the continuation of politics by other means.” Mar and Leni are my commanders-in-chief.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Very well said, Richard! Your thoughts are on everyone’s minds. May I add that the Marcos cancer was actually in remission in the last 30 years, and the results of the election will show if we have licked life-threatening disease. I can see that the contest is wide open until balloting in the sense that the five per cent undecided has ballooned to maybe 40 per cent because of the volatility of the Duterte stock. Mar’s debate performance, Leni’s quiet but steady climb in preference, and Duterte’s recklessness has freed the mayor’s diehards into the open market. Ma’am Miriam is not her usual self, Binay is yesterday’s news, questions on Poe begs answers, Duterte is on the ropes with P211 million, and hopefully the revitalized yellow army is kind and gentle enough to welcome rootless voters. We’ll see.

      • I too hope that the yellow army will be a force for good and be tolerant of rootless voters. Did you know that a closed group in Facebook called The Silent Majority is about 198,000 members strong (give a score or so of trolls). A few days before May 9, it may even be twice the size of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at 250,000. Now, that will be one big army.

      • Duterte is not only on the ropes for P211 million; he’ll be nailed with P2.4B in transactions in 2 BPI and 1 BDO accounts. Even if he wins, I see the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)being convened by protests from Roxas, Poe, & Binay. PET is composed exclusively by Supreme Court justices.

      • With Trillanes’ revelations, I guess the Presidential elections won’t be over even after “the fat lady sings.”

    • Lita Guiao says:

      The Duterte (D) rape joke had not caught up yet in the latest surveys as would D hidden wealth issue, if another one is to come. It takes time for the implications of such to sink in the minds of those surveyed, assuming the surveys are legit. But, by May 9, they would. I thank Trllanes for exposing D (I had no idea!), in time for D’s diehards to reconsider and the undecideds to consider. However, Leni is still my “best woman”.

  28. caliphman says:

    Maybe I am wrong but I thought this article was about Robredo being the only shield against Marcos. Instead I read so many comments trying to boost Roxas’s remote election prospects at the likely expense of her chances to catch up with Marcos and hopefully still edge out Marcos. Still focusing mainly on Roxas and not on Robredo, others declare that it is futile to vote for Robredo unless it it comes with a vote for Roxas, losing sight that the main goal is to help Robredo win and Marcos lose. Mention has been made of Roxas’s ground game to counter the obvious reality that his campaign has proven to be ineffective. Let me bring up another ‘ground’ topic which is much mire relevant to the primary issue here: the facts on the ground.

    Robredo is neck and neck with Marcos in the SWS poll while Pulse Asia which is the statistically more accurate poll has Marcos still maintaining a definite and vlear lead over her.In short, she needs all the hope and prayers if she is to won regardless of who the ideal president should be to avert a Marcos victory. Let me refocus the discussion on another fact on the ground. Robredo has 27% of voters wanting her to win and Roxas around 17%. In plain words, 10% of those who want her to win ,and the only eason she is even in contention with Marcos, are in fact intending to vote for someone else than Roxas for president. Does it not make more sense to encourage othets to join this 10% from Marcos supporters rather than diminish their numbers by insisting they vote for Roxas and possibly having drop Robredo and vote for Marcos instead?

    In an ideal world, this might make a lot of sense. But reality is a bitch. Logic and numbers do not lie. Marcos and Martial Law, Never again!

    • caliphman says:

      Sorry for all the typos.

    • survey numbers are opinions caught in snapshot of time; they do not represent fact. moreover, numbers are not cast in stone they can be shaped to form an opinion, not a fact.

      • caliphman says:

        In case it is not obvious to anyone, this snapshot was taken literally days from the election, virtually as the runners are breasting for the finish tape.

      • caliphman says:

        Surveys are not opinions but the results of a scientific sampling to determine an accurate picture of public preferences. This why all the candidate use them in their campaigns.

        • i guess surveys become a matter of epistemology.

          • caliphman says:

            Sorry but I am not so good at speaking in tongues and I do know the definition and usage of the term epistemology. But the surveys I refer to are definitely opinions or conjectures but have been validated fror accuracy and reliability over the past five presidential elections.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Richard : Here is a definition of epistemology , from Wikipedia ” Epistemology or theory of knowledge – branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge.”

            We are not anywhere close to such a conversation So I think your comment is a diversion from Caliphman’s basic & accurate contention : the surveys are accurate and scientifically founded…
            And so it makes good & better sense to talk about how to ensure a Leni victory. It does not help this aim to now try and persuade readers to go for Roxas.

            I have no vote here..But as someone who visited the Philippines when Marcos was dictator ( in 1974 !!! ) I can assure anyone reading here, it was not good. And Bong Bong is not to be trusted : he is a big chip off the Marcos block.

            It is an unfortunate conclusion.But that is what faces Filipinos here on this blog and throughout the world as they decide how to vote.

            Ex-pats can leave and go elsewhere -for them there is an escape route. Wealthy Filipino families will also be welcome elsewhere and so have an escape route. But the less rich and the poor have no escape route except as OFW’s. That is the tragedy.

        • Lita Guiao says:

          Only in principle, they are. The truth has many faces.

  29. NHerrera says:

    In this blog. notwithstanding the variation among the contributors-commenters, we have evolved into the practical aspect as we near the big battle that decides the “election war.” Meaning the main objective now — considering reasonable realities — is to ensure Leni’s win, no matter the President.

    But I believe, a secondary objective, through fact-based criticisms of Duterte, is to arrive at only a marginal win — if it comes to that — so that his mandate is not as strong as the present SWS-PA 34-24 picture suggests. This effectively results in a non-endorsement of his radical intentions that so enrages the sizeable portion of the population. That is, the part of the population who sincerely means well for the poor but who nevertheless thinkingly believes that the poor cannot be helped if the wealth producing part of the country is impoverished or leaves the country. For after all, who pays the needed bills for the poor?

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Nhererra..You are suggesting that 34% is a mandate ? Sorry mate in any democracy that’s a complete loss.. And definitely not a mandate..

      • NHerrera says:

        Ok, Bill in Oz, I am with you — narrow the non-mandate to a win not by a head, but by a hair.

        🙂

        • Bill in Oz says:

          A win is 50% plus 1 vote at the very least…. A mandate is soemthing like 55-60% of the vote…Consensus is up around 70%…Not complicated…

    • Joe America says:

      If we took the fan bases of the various candidates and said, what share would accept an opponent’s win without undue bitterness, the picture might look as follows, where we add non-bitter voters to the winner’s say 30% election votes:

      Roxas = 30 + 30 = 60
      Poe = 30 + 50 = 80
      Binay = 30 + 20 = 50
      Duterte = 30 + 15 = 45

      Just mulling things over. Although it is inexplicable to me, Roxas does generate a lot of envy and crab nit-picking. Poe is probably a better candidate for harmony, but maybe not for governance.

  30. karlgarcia says:

    Trillanes won’t withdraw as VP candidate. I hope if he does, he will support Leni and not Chiz
    Grace sort of threw him under the bus by not supporting him on Duterte.

    He must continue the fight with Binay,Duterte and BBM.

    SALN pinned Corona.

    The COA and the ombudsman were commendable.

    The AMLAC was disappointing after that by announcing what’s left in the balance instead of showing us the transactions that lead to that balance.

    The AMLAC was also disappointing during the RCBC -Bangladesh Central bank heist.

    I hope they redeem themselves with Binay,Duterte and BBM.

  31. ROdrigo LEni says:

    ROLE Model for the win!
    #ROdrigoLEni2016

    Both living the simple and humble life, never tainted of corruption, and both very willing to help. 👍👍👍👍

    Enough of fanatics, choose Change.

    #NoToCorruption
    #NoToBBM
    #NoToBinay

    • karlgarcia says:

      Rodrigo-Role Model? Ano daw?

    • Joe America says:

      You are repeating yourself. This is a blog for discussion, which entails talking and listening, not for trolling or peddling.

      Some icon of virtue you promote. Every high value from dignified language to human rights . . . he believes should be adjusted to suit his whim. Plus we have the matter of his bank accounts to sort out. Corruption comes in ways other than money. Abuse of women, disregard of laws, murder . . . little things like that . . .

    • madlanglupa says:

      Sorry. He’s starting to sound more like Erap 2.0.

  32. NHerrera says:

    On his accusation that Duterte had P2.4B transactions in the Duterte’s bank accounts versus Duterte’s repeated claim that he is a poor man, Senator Trillanes said that he will resign from the Senate if he is proven wrong.

    Trillanes dropped rather strong words:

    “Bilyonaryo po si Mayor Duterte. Itong kanyang pagpapanggap na siya ay simpleng tao, ordinaryong pamumuhay. Hindi po totoo yan. Lahat yan ay propaganda lamang.”

    “Ngayon sa akin, simple lang po yan. Pinagdududahan natin – totoo ba ito o hindi… Hinahamon ko po si Mayor Duterte: Pirmahan niya yung waiver ng bank secrecy laws dito sa mga account na ito. Tapos kung makita roon na mali yung akusasyon ko na umabot ng 2.4 billion pesos ang transaksyon dito sa kanyang mga account, then magri-resign po ako sa Senado. Yan po ang aking… ora mismo. Kasi pagnagkamali po ako dito, wala na akong mukhang ihaharap sa lahat. I don’t deserve to sit in the Senate anymore. Ayan mo po ang aking hamon.”

    “May mga impormante po tayo, mga nagmamahal sa bayan, natatakot sa posibilidad na maging presidente at maging commander-in-chief ang medyo hindi nasa tama ang pag-iisip.”

    @Wil, I don’t know if this is the proverbial One swallow does not a summer make, but may not this be a hint of the “miracle” that I recall you said before — I am paraphrasing here. (I have not searched the past articles you made.) After all the fat lady has not sung yet with still 10 days to go before E day.

    The link:

    http://interaksyon.com/article/127102/with-video–trillanes-will-resign-from-senate-if-proven-wrong-in-accusations-vs-duterte

    • karlgarcia says:

      NHerrera,
      as a numbers guy,is 2.4 billion in transactions in 9 years,is that mathematically improbable.?

      wihat are the channces that it has almost zero balance?

      • NHerrera says:

        karl,

        Chempo is best at this sort of thing. But yes, transactions amounting to P2.4B can easily be done, compared to the remaining balance.

        Example

        Say Duterte has 10m base amount at Bank1. First week 10m comes in (that makes 20m total); Second week another 10m comes in (that makes 30 total); Third week 20m moved to say a secret Offshore account in Cayman Islands — that leaves a remaining balance of 10m in Bank1.

        Repeat the above 3-week transactions for 200 weeks (that is only 200/52 = 3.85 years). At the end of 200 weeks

        – the balance is only 10m — a lot of Filipino middle class have that kind of balance at all times

        – but the total transaction is 2.67 billions of pesos (= (10+10+20)x(200/3))

        – at the 201th week he withdraws the remaining base balance of 10m. So then the balance is zero.

        Further

        – at the end of 9 years (or 52 weeks) with the same cycle of transactions, the ending balance still stands at 10m, but the total transaction si 6.24B (= 2.67x(9/3.85)).

        SO YES. There is a big difference between transactions amount and ending balance.

        • NHerrera says:

          – at the end of 9 years (or 52 weeks) = at the end of 9 years (or 52 weeksx9 = 468 weeks)

        • NHerrera says:

          To complete the picture, under the repeated cycle of fund movement described above for a period of 9 years, the fund moved to Cayman Islands is

          3120m or 3.12B (= 20x(9×52/3).

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      The Accidental Nation, NH, yes! This could be the accident (for the seculars) and the divine intervention (for the religious) that I said could happen. God is always our last recourse, even if we never return the favor as a country. Yes, Dut is melting like wax at the presence of God.

  33. caliphman says:

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21697850-danger-personality-driven-politics-fatal-distraction?fsrc=scn/fb/te/pe/ed/fataldistraction

    Nothing new that I have not been saying seems like forever. But now even BBC is saying it. Please note the comments section. Packed to the rafters with Duterte fanatics. Scary situation is an understatement.

    • Vicara says:

      Have just visited The Economist,–thanks for the tip–and enjoyed posting some cutting comments along with those of astute readers who had some pretty acidic things to say about Duterte. And they said it grammatically for the most part, unlike the trolls, including a couple who were desperately keying in maniacal “ha ha ha has” to earn their commission. And so the comments section is no longer quite packed to the rafters with troll drivel. 🙂

      But no, along with other voters I am not going to be frightened by this “scary situation” into voting for Poe. At least one Economist reader faulted the magazine for the last, panicked line in the article, which said that if Roxas’ “numbers” don’t improve by May 9, then we should cave in and vote for Poe, which in the same unflattering article is described as “vapid.” Whatever do they mean by that? The assumption is that we will trooping to the polls on May 9 precisely to determine those “numbers.”

      • caliphman says:

        I am the not the least bit interested who anyone votes for as long as its not Binay or Deterte. For all I care, you can switch your vote to Miriam Santiago since the whole point of that article has to with avoiding a national tragedy and not anybody’s self-centered subjective opinion of who the best candidate is.

        • Joe America says:

          What a fascinating way of saying things. So if someone has an opinion about who the best candidate is, that makes him “self-centered”? Hahaha. You go to the R. Hiro Academy of Argument by any chance?

          • caliphman says:

            Did you read the article, Joe? Its focus is not who to vote for but who NOT to vote for…I put a link to it because thats always been my position and for someone to suggest it was my or the Economist’s motive to scare any particular person to vote for Poe is unwarranted. To suggest that I am intolerant of those who voice their preference for any candidate when it is completely irrelevant to the main point of the linked article or my posting is misguided or pethaps did not read it carefully.

            • Joe America says:

              The job of connecting with the audience falls to the speaker, not the audience. When you said “self-centered”, that meant something to me, and it seemed to be unkind. So what did you mean by “self-centered”?

              • Joe America says:

                I’ve spent a good part of the day discussing the point of the Economist article that basically said Roxas was the best presidential candidate, but to avoid Duterte as president, people might want to vote for Poe. I thought that was a horrid conclusion for the Economist to make without discussing the risks associated with Poe. My opponent in argument was Dean Bocobo, who favors Poe and was making the argument that Roxas is a waste a vote and it is smarter to vote for Poe. He basically was making the point that going with the “yellow crowd” was being a sheep, and one should be strong enough think for oneself. My counter to that was that doing what he suggested was just joining a different herd, and what really distinguished a person who thought for himself was to vote for who one determined, for oneself, was the best candidate. I still believe that. If people want to vote to avoid a loss, that is fine. If they want to vote for the best candidate, and accept that he might lose, that is fine, too. I’m in the latter group.

              • caliphman says:

                FIrst of all, my purpose is not to connect and convince anyone’s views as to their voting preferences as I think I already have stated repeatedly. What one considers unkind is very subjective and since you are the wordsmith here, perhaps you could explain what the word ‘self-centered’ means to you and how you would construe it as unkind when I use to describe an opinion volunteered by someone.

              • Joe America says:

                To me it means selfish and unconcerned with some greater moral vision. Words have both a common meaning and a Humpty Dumpty meaning, tailored to a specific purpose by the speaker. Mine is similar to Google’s:

                self-cen·tered, adjective, preoccupied with oneself and one’s affairs. “he’s far too self-centered to care what you do”, synonyms: egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-seeking, self-interested, self-serving.

                It is not exactly a compliment and I believe you meant it to mean self-involved and not concerned by some (moral) greater good. I’d say it is not up to you to determine another person’s moral standing.

              • caliphman says:

                So it seems you read the article after all and maybe we have different ideas of what it was trying to say in the main and our reactions to that. Whatever risks a Poe presidency poses, it does not come anywhere near what a self-admitted murderer, suspected plunderer, and potential dictator like Duterte would bring to the presidency. The central thesis of the Economist author is that Duterte by far is the riskiest candidate even compared to Binay. Poe and Roxas are not riskless candidates and the suggestion to vote for Poe was because at the time she was a close second to Duterte. Perhaps you may think differently but that is what the more reliable surveys indicate and many people are not as anti-Poe as you are.

                I used to know Deany personally and he is a very clever guy. His grandfather was a revered dean at UP and his first cousin, a close online admirer of yours who also attended graduate school at Harvard and was GMA’s advisor. As bright as he is, I am surprised he and you favored the herd argument in discussing whther Poe or Roxas was the ‘smarter’ candidate,. Maybe neither Deany or you subscribe to the Economist view that the impending Duterte presidency is not such a serious threat to the country, the more significant consideration is who between Roxas and Poe is the smarter or more independent vote. I beg to disagree.

              • Joe America says:

                He subscribes to your view that Roxas supporters should move to Poe. I believe it is increasingly likely that Roxas will win and it would behoove Poe voters to move to Roxas to lock out a Duterte win.

              • Joe America says:

                Note Poe’s collapse from 30% dominance and Roxas’ statistical tie. That’s Pulse Asia, not the Stafford survey you don’t like for its findings.

          • caliphman says:

            Did you not get that I was referring not to the person but his opinion and not at all to the person’s moral character? And is it all right for you to accuse Poe of having questionable morals being an opportunist, disloalty, overambitionl and the litany of character weaknesses that are part of your anti-Poe diatribe? But its not alright for another to disagree or label an opinion or action as immoral? With all due respect, I find that type of behavior hypocritical and many people might just agree with me even if you do not.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Today I went for a walk here in crowded and busy Old Downtown Manila: along Recto to Reina Regente to Plaza Juan Luna, and then to LRT Carriedo and then to Blvd Quezon and home.As I walked I pondered the support that Duterte has gathered since last November when he announced his candidacy for president.

              And as I walked the answer gradually presented itself before my eyes. His supporters are mostly male and many are young. I saw them in the streets, idle or waiting; hot bored and poor with nothing to look forward to in their lives. They have left school or college and are in low paid, casual or part time jobs with little future : trike drivers, security men, shop assistants, carters, cafe waiters, etc…

              They would like to have the future so many of us here take for granted – a woman to love, a reasonable paid job, a home and children.

              But they see no future; just a rather bleak day to day existence with these low paid casual jobs insecure jobs.

              But they know now what the life of the more fortunate is like both overseas in other countries and here in the Philippines : they see it on TV, and on social media.

              So there is a great reservoir of anger and Duterte has tapped into that reservoir of anger.

              This process has happened in other countries : in France it lead to the revolutions of 1788, 1799, 1830 and 1849. In Germany it lead to Hitler; in Italy it lead to Mussolini. In Russia it lead to 6 years of civil war and the the triumph of the Bolsheviks. This process happened also in Britain. The 1820-40’s were a time of great social ferment and radical groups emerged. Here could have been a revolution. It was averted by reform of parliament, by massive emigration, by new laws on working conditions etc.

              There are always great risks when a traditional society begins rapid change. Under Aquino’s watch as president massive change has started in the Philippines. An example, I read 2 days ago that the population of Manila has increased from 18 to 23 million people in the past 6 years : 27% !!

              I think that all the presidential candidates are being assessed in terms of how they will manage the huge economic change to benefit all Filipinos but especially the marginalised young men. Roxas has not succeeded in connecting with them. Duterte has. But there is still some time to go.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                I would like to contribute to the conversation about the Economist article. But I have not read any more than the first paragraph still….Not able to access the rest of the article which is disappointing..

              • Full quote for you Bill and everybody else who can’t read all of it:

                FOR too long the Philippines was the sick man of Asia—cheerful, democratic but a chronic underperformer. In recent years, though, its fortunes have begun to turn. Much of the credit should go to the outgoing president, Benigno Aquino. The economy is booming and investors are flocking in. The country has gained in geopolitical importance, too, thanks to its resistance to China’s expansionism.

                But Mr Aquino’s achievements risk being squandered by an old weakness at the heart of Filipino politics: its love of showmanship and personality over policy and administrative ability. Boxers and film stars project themselves into public jobs while the diligent and competent too often languish. This year’s presidential campaign is no exception (see article).

                The foundling and the beast

                Ahead of the ballot on May 9th, the field is narrowing to two leading candidates. One is Grace Poe, a foundling, adopted daughter of an action-man actor (the late Fernando Poe junior, a failed presidential candidate), and now a telegenic senator. She promises continuity with Mr Aquino’s pro-business policies, but her CV is thin and her campaign lamentably vacuous.

                The front-runner, Rodrigo Duterte, is downright alarming. The mayor of the southern city of Davao, he likes to play the hard man. He has spoken approvingly of vigilante killings of suspected criminals, and promises to clean up the country by executing 100,000 lawbreakers and dumping their bodies in Manila Bay. Mr Duterte sneers at the trapos—short for “traditional politicians” and a pun on “old rags”. He appeals to those who have not shared in the boom. He is a proponent of a barely defined “federalism”. If he does not get his way within a year of being elected, he says he will declare a “revolutionary government”. He made unforgivable remarks about wishing he had been among those who gang-raped an Australian lay minister who died in a prison riot in 1989. When American and Australian officials objected, he dared them to sever ties.

                The leading candidates thus present voters with a ghastly choice between vapidity and vigilantism; neither shows any sign of being up to tackling the many serious issues facing an archipelago of some 100m people. The economic to-do list is long. For all the rosy growth figures, almost one-third of Filipinos, especially rural folk, live on less than $3.10 a day (a measure of poverty for middle-income countries). Cities remain crippled by gridlock; graft is still endemic. And despite Filipinos’ enthusiasm for democracy (the former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, was evicted by a “people power” revolt in 1986) politics remains dominated by a few wealthy families—including Marcos’s son, a leading vice-presidential candidate.

                A serious geopolitical threat looms in the South China Sea, where disputed rocks and reefs are being built up provocatively by China into what are almost certainly new military bases. The Philippines has filed a closely watched lawsuit at the International Court of Justice, and is forming closer military ties with America, Japan and Australia. Mr Duterte, in particular, risks damaging these vital friendships if he is elected.

                President Aquino (the son of a former president) has endorsed Mar Roxas, the competent interior minister (and grandson of an ex-president), in an attempt to institutionalise some sort of party system. Alas, Mr Roxas is a hopeless campaigner and is far behind in the polls.

                What should Filipinos do? This newspaper’s view is that the dull but diligent Mr Roxas would make the best next president. But if on May 9th he obviously has no chance of winning, then they should swing behind Ms Poe. Better the novice foundling, surely, than the beast of Davao.

            • Joe America says:

              Oh, I’m sure many people agree with you. My evaluations on Poe are based on a lot of study and evidence, that is, based on Poe’s acts. They are not moral judgments. Your opinion of others being “self centered” is based on your evaluation of what they ought to be doing, irregardless of their acts and behaviors. The slight (as I read it) was directed as a response to Vicara who has been nothing but forthright and reasoned in remarks here. It is based on moral judgment alone, not fact that would show Vicara is self-centered or egotistical.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                hey Joe, No slight was written or intended to Vicara..I read his comment hours ago…My comment just now was purely a reflection of my walk today here in Manila..Nor was it a pro Poe comment. I was merely trying to figure why some Filipinos are supporting Duterte & not Roxas.. Do I like my conclusion ? Not particularly..But the answer offs some insight as to how to change things…But maybe it’s too late now

              • Joe America says:

                That’s all he needs to tell me, actually. Humpty Dumpty is entitled to mean what he means, if he just says so. Or I question why the word’s “self centered” could not be struck from the sentence. It would retain its meaning without any risk of slight to those who think for themselves. Or perhaps I am reading things too carefully, after having put up with R Hiro and his incessant need to condescend.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                But in my rush to get it written I may have dropped my comment in the wrong spot here..I have just now been reading the exchanges between you & Caliphman….I think it may be reset button time on that one…Ummmmm

              • caliphman says:

                Joe, I doubt that you are dyslexic or saddled with ADHD that impairs your reading comprehension in any way. Please reread and refresh your memory on what I have posted in this thread. My criticisms are unlike yours which is personal in that they refer to somrene’s character. Mine relate to actions snd statements and usually are accompanied with why I question them. I have no special interest in having to say the same things repeatedly or cutting and pasting what I just posted. Maybe its getting a bit late so with your indulgence, I think I will call it a night.

              • Joe America says:

                Character is important for a president, is it not? Less so for a blog moderator, although I think it helps, as the success of the blog suggests.

              • Joe America says:

                But to be sure, in forming my judgments as to Senator Poe’s character, it is based on her acts, which include, among others I’ve forgotten in the relentless onslaught of her bad judgments:

                – Vicious, unprofessional attack on Chief Purisima after he skipped the meeting he was invited to. I recall saying to myself a the time, wow, this woman is vindictive.
                – Failure to attend subcommittee hearings on Binay or speak out against him for over a year during this inquiry.
                – Political attack undermining Executive during the Mamasapano hearings; report was never finalized.
                – Allowing Sen Enrile to command the floor on Mamasapano II without her having vetted his “information”; there was none.
                – Running against Aquino, and only grudgingly acknowledging the importance of his works. Inserting herself relentlessly into Executive’s affairs (Abaya resignation).
                – Teaming up with Escudero and his cohorts of oligarchs of questionable reputation (Ongpin)
                – Accepting Colmenares on her senatorial slate.
                – Inserting herself in Foreign Affair’s purview in making remarks to the American ambassador about China/US.
                – Siding with INC over DOJ, presumably to curry political favor.
                – Speaking out against the BBL, then reversing course the next day after being criticized (lock step with Escudero)
                – Shading the edge of qualification on citizenship and term; all for personal ambition (refusing the VP slot).
                – Siding with Danding Cojuangco on the Coco Levy funds.
                – Running on the reputation of her father and claiming she is out to see through his cause (although she could not vote for him because she was an American citizen).
                – Failing to hold Duterte to account for womanizing at the last debate; she wilted.
                – Platform which is apple pie, motherhood and generalities; lots of promises in conflict (30% of budget to Mindanao, missiles, a seat for every rider, cut taxes).
                – Questionable credentials of husband and his work and citizenship; not being forthright.
                – Smoking in the non-smoking radio booth.
                – Photo ops praying, the like act by Roxas which would have generated a crucifixion, and it is not even Easter.

                I am not just whipping unfounded accusations into the air. In my opinion, the lady has weak character, is subject to manipulation by powerful people, and knows next to nothing about how government works. But she is a charmer, I’ll give her that. It does seem, however, that it is wearing thin with a lot of people. Not you, evidently, but some people hold onto their positions in the face of new information. It is common even among Duterte supporters.

                Senator Poe is not the icon of justice and strength and goodness she entered on, stage left. That is a FINDING, not a character assassination. She is assassinating her own character through her statements and acts.

            • Lita Guiao says:

              I am with Joe. Mar is moving up slowly but surely.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Looks interesting !! Is there another link Caliphman which gives access to the complete article ? I got 2 paras from the start and then a demand that I subscribe..I hardly ever read the Economist nowadays..( I use to buy it every week ) ..So I don’t intend to subscribe…

      • karlgarcia says:

        This time you can still read the article if you just exit the subscription offer.
        I tried it. I read it till the last paragraph.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          No that doe not work for me Karl. On my screen there is no way of exiting the subscription box…Bloody Economist magazine..Or maybe Apple as I am running a Mac Book Pro.

  34. karlgarcia says:

    One hope is that at least 50 % if those who participated in surveys are not registered voters.

    The turnout from over seas voting in the Americas during the first week of over seas voting was 107.
    yet they are the most opinionated in the comment threads.

  35. karlgarcia says:

    I hope Andrew does a sequel to why the melancholy.
    A few moths ago we were having nightmares of a Binay presidency,now he is the great example that first movers do not always end first. more than five years of campaigning was put to waste.
    But BBM remains to be a nightmare.Unlike Binay who went around,BBM used the social media to his advantage,not what the Duterte camp has been doing.

    • Joe America says:

      Andrew has a blog coming out Sunday eve. It is in the theme of not being melancholy, in the sense that we ought not be inert, no matter what may occur.

    • karlgarcia says:

      i meant like what the Duterte camp has been doing.
      Good to know that Andrew has a blog coming.Vicara is correct,the survey that matters is the election.

      • Waray-waray says:

        Don’t worry @Karl, Roxas is gaining points per INQ. News today. Though Duterte is still leading, It only shows that the efforts of TSM (The Silent Majority) is really working. Survey or no survey, TSM is working round the clock on the ground and on air.

  36. Bill in Oz says:

    Yesterday I was waiting at a 7-11 for my lady with a Gulp drink and a copy of the Enquirer. There was a young man across the table from me.As I started reading the paper, he asked me if i supported Duterte.

    I said that did not have a vote but that I am Australian and that Duterte’s recent comments about the Australian missionary Jacquie Hamil who was gang raped and murdered in 1989, were evil
    he nodded at this.

    I also said that my Filipina my partner wants to vote for Poe..He gave me a high five at that news. And then asked about VP preferences.Ad I said that my lady is from Naga and likes & supports leni Robedo. He was not so happy at that and showed me an ID card stating he was a Duterte supporter.
    But we sat companionably for a while and when he left we shook hands when he left..

    There was no abuse.There was no shouting. It was a simple quiet exchange of views And perhaps in such conversations there will be more change.

  37. http://www.abante.com.ph/news/nat/46226/-wala-na-ubos-na-yan-duterte.html

    Nagastos na diumano ni Davao City Mayor ­Rodrigo Duterte ang daang milyong pisong ha­lagang iniregalo sa kanya ng kanyang ma­yayamang kaibigan sa araw ng kaa­rawan noong 2014.

    “Regalo nga sa akin. Sila na may nagsabi na nu’ng birthday ko mara­ming pumasok eh,” ani Duterte.

    Nang tanungin kung bakit hindi nakasaad sa kanyang 2014 Statement of Assets ang nasabing pera, sinabi nitong nagastos na niya ito.

    “As of ‘yun eh. Wala na, ginastos ko na. Nag-happy-happy ako,” aniya.

    Nilinaw pa nitong hindi galing sa nakaw ang pera nila sa bangko.

    “May explanation ako diyan. Hindi naman lahat ng pera namin ninakaw,” ani Duterte.

    Hindi NAMAN lahat ninakaw? Eh di wow! Bistado…

  38. Bill in Oz says:

    Thank you Irineo, for the text of the Economist article..The last paragraph just about sums it all up :
    “What should Filipinos do? This newspaper’s view is that the dull but diligent Mr Roxas would make the best next president. But if on May 9th he obviously has no chance of winning, then they should swing behind Ms Poe. Better the novice foundling, surely, than the beast of Davao.”

    I have just been reading Raul Palabrica ‘s article in the Enquirer ( page A10 ) “Popularity & Party Machinery”. He points out that according to the surveys 20% of registered voters are “Undecided”..That’s about 10.9 million voters are undecided, if the voting surveys are accurate…Whether the undecided voters decide to go and vote, and how they vote, will be crucial to the outcome.i

    • Joe America says:

      As posted elsewhere, at last reading, Poe and Roxas are statistically tied. Given that Roxas is considered by the Economist and others to be the more experienced and knowledgeable, should not the Poe supporters switch to Roxas? Poe has collapsed from 30 to 22, so the trend is profound. Roxas is plodding steadily along with slight upward trend.

      https://joeam.com/2016/04/27/the-countrys-only-shield-against-bongbong-marcos/#comment-173882

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I guess that is a proposition that Poe Supporters ( Like Roxas supporters ) will all need to consider on voting day..Informed by the most up to date voter surveys..

        I think it interesting that until early last year Poe was a Aquino /Liberal party supporter….She still talks about Straight Path, just like Aquino…So there is the feeling of a ‘house divided’ between Roxas & Poe….And that may be a reason why many voters are unhappy with them..

        With the focus on the election of the President, I wonder what the voting surveys are saying about who will be elected to the Congress and the senate ..Or is this ( given party fluidity ) not relevant ?

  39. Duterte’s watch (IWC Schaffhausen Mark XVI aviator watch) costs around €3000, 160K PHP

    http://www.chrono24.de/iwc/mark-xvi–id4264954.htm

  40. Vicara says:

    The last word, coming from the candidate herself: Leni says working with Duterte would be difficult, and that she would be “maximized” working alongside Roxas as president.

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/131361-robredo-working-with-duterte-would-be-difficult

  41. Bill in Oz says:

    Wil, Joe, karl, Vicara, It would be really good if you could tell me what is going on here with this article in the Enquirer yesterday re Leni, Jesse & Aquino..

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/782556/not-all-rosy-between-husband-jesse-and-president-aquino-admits-leni

  42. uht says:

    A rally for Leni Robredo is currently underway in Quezon City. When I left UP Diliman a few minutes ago they were stationed both at the entrance there and at the Memorial Circle.

    I wish good luck to them, and to everyone who supports Leni!

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