There is Love Everywhere

ai tojoeam 0206w

by Andy Ibay

There was this writer maybe he was a poet too who wrote long paragraphs that he wrote pages of just to narrate a chapter of a novel. Someone here could have met his works sometime, somewhere. Below is a wannabe poem written to impress a classmate which re-titled took me some time to decide because the thoughts were long and uncertain to be just gibberish or plain rubbish like this title:

Two But One Poem: Small is Not Really Beautiful

Because Ugliness And Bigness Are So Pretty; 

She was a Country Girl Never a Dorian Gray

But She is John Keats’ Joy Forever.


POEM  I:  Falling In Love  

October 1, 2009


1967 You came, then you noticed

In her unpreparedness

you saw the girl, she seemed ordinary

like the other girls, but fascinating.

Unexplainably you like her

The differentness  struck you as puzzling,

Captivating. She’s a bit mysterious, beguiling.

She’s not sexy or voluptuous,

But clean, almost virginal  teen ager;

Then you like her presence everyday

As if you have known her all your life.

But you have to go. Leave her.

For many decades you didn’t see her again.

Yet you remember her, in her youth

And innocence,  probably in your senior years,

You haven’t seen yet, Anyone like her.

That’s why unashamed like a shy boy

you write in 2009, I loved  her.


POEM  II:  There is Love Everywhere, Geographically


You came again in 1974, then you noticed

In its  unpreparedness  you saw Davao City. 

Davao seemed ordinary

like  other cities, but fascinating.

Unexplainably you like Davao

The differentness  struck you as puzzling,

Captivating. Davao’s a bit mysterious, beguiling.

Davao’s not sexy or voluptuous,

But clean, almost virginal  teen ager;

Then you like Davao’s  presence everyday

As if you have known the city all your life.

But you have to go. Leave Davao.

For many decades you didn’t see Davao again.

Yet you remember the young city, it’s youth

and innocence,  probably in your senior years,

You haven’t seen yet, Any city like Davao.

That’s why unashamed like a shy boy

you write in 2009,  I loved  Davao.


October 1, 2009



If I recall right the last time I was in Davao City was when Jolo, Sulu was burned down. Martial Law was still deep digging the socio-political trenches and I was one of four Directing Staff commissioned from the defunct UP Philippine Executive Academy by the Mindanao Executive Development Academy (ad-Hoc Unit of Mindanao State University) conducting a six-week course for Mindanao (Muslim) Executives. The first time was in June 1967. I spent the first night in Bago Oshiro before crossing the heart of Mindanao with my Bureau Director, after two days ending the trip in Cagayan De Oro City. The paradox of the City during Martial Law when the Manila-Davao air fare was only 130 pesos was for a nobody like me a premium PAL Jet seat was always available because I knew not the PAL Manager but a nobody luggage porter. I was always a wait-listed passenger getting a sure seat.  

But that’s an irrelevant wayward thought. Timely and relevant will be musings and explorations, for the mind to fly along the lines of making Mindanao the new Luzon; of making the Davao Provinces the New Capital Region; defunckting (obsoleting) Malacanang into a Politics Museum (the Ombudsman as Curator Adviser) and building in the slopes of Mount Apo a DAVAO MALACANANG, relocating the Congress of the Philippines either in Kidapawan or Pagadian, and shielding from corruption the Supreme Court in Basilan City. The new President elect – Presdu30 used to: he dreams and neutralizes; he now seems hell-bent to: stay awake, bulldoze politico-socio-economic barnacles of the nation with a wrecking ball; build, build, built instead of change, change — the empty slogan of political scoundrels. Many Filipinos do not and did not like the TACTICS, but a lot more, lots lots more had voters’ epiphany and saw the STRATEGY. For Presdu30 to nation-build a new one. So every Filipino worth his race as long as he stays the course, should — including nobody me — help him. If the Society of JoeAm indulges or just even provides space, I shall recollect my scattered thoughts on a fundamental law and post them here.

By the way the two poems (recycled) above were inspired by the civic mindedness of classmate Anggie (Sebastian Angliongto)  who is an aggie-technocrat known in the annals of Mindanao struggle for development of a begrudged land of promise.

His Excellency Presdu30 shall begin his term from a scratch. My poem below is just a dot in the long line of the scratch. It’s the Filipinos’ call of other islands to move their butts and build on their dots.


Bulabog Mindanao

Why is there no peace in Mindanao?

Forefathers’  land of promise, this vastness of restless potential 

This home of tribals, this melting pot of strangers

Now our wasteland of denuded forests, of exploited mines,

Polluted shores and drying dying marine life

Small  world of tears, desolate prairie of widows and orphans,

Grasslands cratered by bombs and mortars

Singing armalites, whistling bullets, roaring howitzers

Sands of dried blood, ashes of burned homes

Baptismal fonts of passed lieutenants, Oases of  generals

Graveyard of yes sirs. Broadway stage of  decapitated heroes 

Paradise of the Haves, hell of the have nots

A piece of toy, a piece of cake, a treasure trove

Shangri-La of political warlords

Eden of the second coming, second original sin

Mindanao is where the soul of  the Philippines was born

And where it will finally die. UNLESS . . . .


Written September 14,  2007


103 Responses to “There is Love Everywhere”
  1. The conflict in Mindanao rooted beneath it’s very long historical past, it’s land ownership problem not religion. Muslims are already settled in the south before spaniard discover the visayaz & Luzon & win the war against the occupiers to retain the land & their religion.
    So think how important that is to them that majority of us the Filipinos doesn’t understand.
    Just think about the Republic Of Ireland giving up the North to the British is a very painful one but in the end they achieve peace if not it difinetely reduce the level of violence.

    • Jake says:

      There was no “muslim settlement” in Mindanao. What happened was people from south of Mindanao came to convert the Austronesian-speaking people who practiced a version of Hinduism and other Indian religions along with native religions either by force or voluntary. Why do you think the Maranaos have their version of famous Indian epics? Or the Sarimanok symbol. Most of these are pre-Islamic.

      Also not all natives of Mindanaos are “Muslim settlers”. What of the Lumads who are NOT Muslims?

      If you go back and read historical accounts, one reason why the Visayans welcomed the Spaniards was because of Muslim piracies.

      Do not also forget the invasion of Islamic Brunei of Kingdom of Tondo in the early 1500s.

      Much of the tension in Mindanao is tribalism and warlordism. Why do you think the MNLF and MILF dislike each other. Most MNLF are Tausug and Yakans. MILFs are mostly Maguindanaos and Maranaos

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks, Jake. I appreciate the succinct accounting of the factions and fractions of Mindanao. If you have not read Taga Bundok’s popular article about Mindinao, you might want to take a cruise through it:

        • Jake says:


          It seems to be fixated on MILF. But what of the MNLF? Are they not opposed to BBL because it will dissolve their ARMM? Just think of what they did in Sabah and Zamboanga.

          The Muslim areas Mindanao problem seem to be worse than it seems

          • Joe America says:

            Good questions. Clearly MNLF needs to be a part of the solution and I believe Mayor Duterte is close enough to the leadership to make that happen.

          • Vicara says:

            That was a great article by Taga Bundok. Fortunately, the situation is less fraught now than it was a year ago, The focus then was on the MILF because of what happened.

            Jake, one should keep in mind that there is a certain amount of fluid overlap between the MN and the MI, in the same way that rankings in both organizations can overlap with hereditary titles and–to complicate things further–elective positions, e.g. one may be an MN commander AND inherit a datu title AND be elected mayor in a fair election AND marry into a clan that supports the MI, and so forth…

            The situation is complicated, but not insurmountable. Suggest we follow the lead of OPAPP over several administrations in seeing this not as “the Moro problem,” but as a number of separate issues and challenges, some of which are already being successfully addressed. Of all the proposed Cabinet appointments, that of Jesus Dureza as OPAPP to me is reassuring. Perhaps to both the MN and MI as well.

            • Joe America says:

              The following article writes of an initial rough patch between the MNLF and Duterte camp. Evidently the MNLF presumed they could walk into the office of the President Elect and get a meeting. I hold the MNLF responsible for the rift for not respecting the heavy demands on the President Elect. Such hubris. I suppose that’s why they are still fighting, believing the Philippine government should cater to their every whim.


              • Vicara says:

                If I may add, this is a breakaway group of the MNLF. True, it’s under the leadership of Nur Misuari, who was the founding father of the MNLF in the 70s. But after the MNLF under his aegis signed the 1996 peace agreement, Misuari went in all sorts of directions–classic case of a revolutionary who does not know what to do with himself in peacetime–and has been destroying his own legacy in his twilight years. His “MNLF spokesman” the Reverend Cerveza (translation; beer!) who tried to talk to Duterte’s team appears to be a Christian pastor of some kind. He has been interviewed by Malaysian media, saying a lot of unlikely things.

                The MNLF main group, along with the MILF, are probably watching and waiting to see how things will fall into place. They have been discreet, so far. Which is not to say they haven’t been in touch with Duterte’s team. 🙂

              • Andres III says:

                This Cerveza thinks he is a VIP, eh? Because MNLF campaigns for Duterte then he thinks he can come in anytime he want? And he is now complaining for being snob? Guys like this makes my blood boiling. He should have sit in the corner and weep instead.

              • Joe America says:

                Always pleased when we agree completely, Andres.

  2. NHerrera says:

    There is a big potential positive consequence of the coming in of PE Duterte at this time. There has been discussions and analyses of decongesting Imperial Manila and developing the Land of Promise which is Mindanao. Now we have this singular opportunity with the PE coming from that place and a firm believer. Managed properly — along with genuine peace with justice –we can yet taste the fruits of this development within the decade.

    • NHerrera says:

      And then there may be love in the Philippines such as may be gotten on this our “shrinking” planet earth along with the dreaded Climate Change. (I am not a poet like the Andy Ibay our blog author, but some thoughts brings the poet in a non-poet like me.)

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Davao was like a puppy love a teen age crush that you have to leave and miss so much.
    Good thing there are no right and wrong answers in interpreting a poem.
    Moving on.
    Mindanao so much potential in agriculture,abd many things.
    i hope James analogy of Ireland does not mean Republic of Mindanao.I hope not.

    • Joe America says:

      There is a risk that Federalism and dynastic reigns would create a batch of little empires within the Philippines. I am sure that argument will crop up. We can judge the sensitivity to this if anti-dynasty legislation, appropriate to the Federalist model, accompanies or precedes the Federalism debate.

      • Joe America says:

        Miscellany: the latest list of potential Duterte cabinet appointments. There is considerable criticism of the Villar Public Works and Highways appointment as a conflict of interest with the family’s construction business. The Villar party aligned with Duterte and people are also saying it is a traditional political payoff.

        • karlgarcia says:

          The Villars might say that they are into mixed use development,but the Daang Hari PPP was delayed because of the Villar’s family’s objections on the design, so expect more access roads to all their developments,and expect more c5 extention type anomalies.

          I hope Gibo accepts the DND post.Manny Pinol has many plans for mindanao agriculture,I hope he won’t firget the rest.

          As for the rest,I don’t know them yet.

        • NHerrera says:

          Come to think of it. Villar’s NPC has Marcos, Cayetanos — Alan and Pia — and Trillanes. And Cynthia said early in the campaign the three VP candidates can go their separate ways with NPC’s blessing. Shrewd. Now the juicy payoff. Can you beat that? Three-way insurance indeed.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Where will Trillanes go? If he is not going anywhere,how will he fit in?

            • NHerrera says:

              I think Trillanes will remain to be in fashion in the Philippine scene — taking on Enrile in the Senate; taking on Binay; taking on Duterte before the election when Duterte was considered a sure win (but tempered at the moment); his Magdalo group compared to Honasan’s RAM — these tell me he will do his own thing and survive politically. His Senate seat I believe is secure limited only by the breathing spell required for re-elections.

      • karlgarcia says:

        There are lots of places where there are local government execs who ran unopposed,how can an anti dynasty bill change that?
        Maybe it can encourage new leaders,which is the exact purpose of an anti dynasty law.

        • Joe America says:

          Good question. I think the whole political party system is broken. With legitimate, permanent, policy and platform-based political parties backing candidates, there would be few empty slots on the ballots, I think. So maybe that is the solution. Certainly the fact that the presidential winner typically has a hard time getting 40% of the votes is another problem.

          • karlgarcia says:

            The two party system lead to defections and fragmentations leading to the creation of multi-parties,so election runoffs and preferential voting may solve the election part,but what about the policy making and legislation?

            • Joe America says:

              Maybe that’s because politicians don’t commit to principles that are bigger than them, personally. It’s “what’s in it for me”. I don’t know. I hear lots of talk of sovereignty, but I don’t see much of the kind of sacrifice that it takes to be a patriot. One word captures Philippine politics: Salceda

              • karlgarcia says:

                Will he now get the Bicol Airport? He defected to the wrong candidate.

              • bill in oz says:

                he can always defect again… isn’t that part of thr way the game is played ? ; – (
                a more important issue : pres. duterte is now president for 6 years and so are all his appointments to executive positions. if he does well great.

                but if not there is no quick simple way of changing president. another edsa revolution ? not feasible i think. impeachment ? too destructive as brazil illustrates right now. There have been 15 presidents so far in the phiipines. but perhaps only 4-5 good ones promoting economic growth and prosperity for poor as well as rich. the rest well not so good members of the oligarchic families acting for these families..

                That rates as a broken political system in my book.

                so system change would be good. parliamentary government i suggest be better. in that political system the pm or cabinet minister can be changed if they are incompetent or act in ways that lose party or popular support.

                but do not just accept my opinion. do a bit of research. i may be wrong. i am still an ozzie foreigner here still still wishing & hoping the very best for the philippines.

              • karlgarcia says:

                You know me Bill,I ask questions after digestion,hope I won’t ingest something bad though.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Salceda IS the epitomy of a Political butterfly.Let us see if Duterte will heed his advice for the economy.Sorry Irineo,i know he is your man.

      • Ben Zayb says:

        Semi-related, but possibly useful in any debate about federalism. A bit outdated (Arroyo era) but a good briefer on the (relatively) recent history of federalism in the Philippines.

        Click to access cureg_and_matunding_federalism_initiatives_in_the_philippines.pdf

        I am highly curious and awaiting with much excitement as to how these varying plans and versions of federalism (not to mention the groups behind them) will influence Duterte’s own plan for a federal plans. It seems that federalism has never been a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” and “how”.

        • Joe America says:

          A guest author will be presenting one possible scenario, in considerable detail, in a little over a week. I’ve just received the draft and will be putting it into the lineup of blogs (schedule shown in the right column). It is an excellent discussion document and I look forward to your reaction to it.

  4. Nordin Pumbaya says:

    Thank you Joe for making some sense out of these misery or political uncertainty our beloved country folks have made for us.I did not vote for Duterte but he is going to be our president in a few weeks, it’s nice to know there are greater and better men and women who intends to monitor the progress or lack of progress in the philippines in the next few years.. From your previous posts, i realize there is too much to be done in our society that begs the question how can we who are outside the government and therefore the majority help the government undertake these idealized transformation? are schools enough? do we need some kind of brotherhood organization who can work behind the so called democratic institutions? how did the church fare in all these efforts?  sincerely,Dr. Nordin PumbayaOFWRiyadh, KSA

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, you ask such important questions, Nordin. Education, for sure, could contribute. A new brotherhood? Maybe so. Hard to put together though. If you’d ever care to elaborate, I’d welcome a guest blog, for sure. I think in terms of a principled political party that frames compassion in a simple way, and solutions in a proactive, honest, productive way. LP has come close, but is still bound in personal politics and lack of popular charisma among the leadership.

      • bill in oz says:

        but joe there are no principled political parties in government even in the usa or Oz or nz or uk or canada or france.. the ‘principaled’ parties are all small elitiste ones that get no popular support.
        a good political system provides good long term government despite the coalition self interested character of the major political parties in virtually all countries.

        • Joe America says:

          Hmmmm, yet the Republican Party in the US strives mightily to shrink the Federal Government, keep guns and God in the picture, and advocate for (big) business interests. The democrats try to take care of those disenfranchised by the Republicans. Those commitments distinguish the memberships of the respective parties, and people are generally party members for life. So if there is a better word I could use for that than ‘principles”, someone will have to tell me what it is.

  5. NHerrera says:


    (Pardon this post if it seems more like rambling, especially if incoherent.)

    Elements of the the framework:

    – Going from A to B;
    – B is PE Duterte and his Team’s goal and objectives;
    – A is a realistic, studied — not glossed over — assessment of the current Situation;
    – The Variables or Factors, F, that are available for use and prioritization;
    – The major constraints, C, that either hinders the use of the Variables or more importantly stands as a big hindrance to achieving the goal/objectives.


    – Setting down B, the goal/ objectives, is generally the easiest;
    – But without a realistic assessment of A, the current Situation, B is akin to a student attempt at an exercise; it is not an easy task; but doable and must be done;
    – Assessing the available factors, F, can only be done well after A is done; and has to be seen in the context of A; and iterated with the goal/ objectives, B, which may be changed or adjusted and importantly prioritized and time-phased;
    – Recognizing the major and minor constraints, C, assuming A, B and F have been done is all important.

    Does the man make the Office or the Office, the Man?

    I know this will be treated by Joe in his forthcoming blog on Thursday, but I will use the framework above to illustrate the usefulness of the above framework.

    CEO of High-Tech Company — a brilliant, experienced ideas man makes the Office. Example: Steve Jobs of Apple

    President of the US — the Office makes the Man, although the Man’s initiatives and drive are contributory. Example: Barack Obama

    President of China — the Man makes the Office (with the generous consent of the Politburo?)


    Take the first example. I assume A and B were done. The big idea B drives the game and I assume the Factors F such as finances, venture capital, and power generally accessible. Most importantly for the High-Tech Company, the Constraints such as regulatory requirement and competition are reasonably manageable with some creativity. Hence the Man may easily make the Office

    With the President of the US, the Constraints, C, the institutional requirements such as the Constitution and the institutional procedures, Legislative and Judicial is no kids-game The Factors, F, generally acts in concert with C with C being the major item to manage. So it is understandable that the Office makes the Man.

    With the President of China — with its rubber-stamp equivalent of Legislative and Judicial Branches — the Man with its Politburo colleagues makes the Office. Resources F are under the control of the Politburo, so is manageable. Constraints is very much an external: US, Japan, UN, etc.

    Now the Philippine Case

    F — not easy to manage with financial resources requirements, internally through taxes or foreign loans; cohesive talents both as Cabinet members and Heads of Bureaucracies.

    C — the biggie in the four-item framewor of A, B, F and C. Internal constraint of culture-driven politics; NPA and Muslim conflicts; big expectations needed to be filled; EXTERNAL Constraints posed by China-WPS item, relationship with existing allies without whom the economy may be greatly affected, consequently diminishing PE’s ability to meet a modicum of expectations. A change in constitution with plebiscite in his midterm 2019 and its implementation is still a question mark.

    My conclusion: I cannot see how PE Duterte can “Make the Office” short of Dictatorship which I believe he may not undertake. He can spend his considerable political capital and “charm” though to make his stamp on the Office felt however that is defined.


    F is a big item, but C is a big big item. Management of the that big set of Constraints is the game.

    • Joe America says:

      Fascinating. Please visit Thursday’s blog to see how we arrived at the same answer differently. I rather think, however, that we are in for a period of turmoil as he tries to manage an office that is incredibly complex through simple, grand decisions (amnesty!) and finds that results are not predictable or controllable. He will have to get used to a lot of criticism, and it may be that, as the criticism intensifies, he has no choice but to take control of the critics, lest they do as Andres III warned us about, start to turn out the “light” of the rebellion.

      That is highly speculative, but needs to be factored into possible scenarios. He may not WANT dictatorship, but could be forced to it.

      The thing that troubles me is how nastily the pro-Duterte advocates waged the political battle. I don’t think there is much conscience behind the movement, much as Duterte himself seems to feel nothing about snuffing out the life of someone, without trial or evidence or defense. As if these people did not have mothers and kids, themselves. Whose graves they will never get to weep upon.

      • Vicara says:

        “It takes one set of driven and risk-taking individuals to run a campaign and another group of cool strategists and tacticians to efficiently manage a government.” –Aprodicio Laquian

        Noting numbers of fighting forces in the country:

        CPP-NPA: Estimates range from 4,000 to 6,000
        MILF: Estimates range from 10,000 to 15,000
        AFP: 125,000 regulars + 130,000 reserve forces

        “A” should include the AFP and its internal factions. The AFP has grown markedly more professional in the last six years, but there are holdovers from earlier administrations, including retired officers who are not without influence. Or malice.

        The current number of Cabinet “concessions” (the word used without irony by pro-Duterte online commenters) to the Left seems oddly disproportionate, wouldn’t you say? And where are the Muslims or women (or Muslim women) that one would expect in a Cabinet that presumptive president Duterte said would follow Trudeau’s model of diversity?

      • NHerrera says:

        I revise my penultimate paragraph on Dictatorship. Your second paragraph — a more than even chance. Which means we should be on the watch for turmoil.

      • Andres III says:

        The “extinguishing the light” statement specifically refers to “losing the presidential election.” If Duterte lost the May 9 election, it would be havoc, protest left and right, protest in the streets and in the social media. But he won so… The strategy of Team Duterte looks like “show performance->gain support->strengthen the base->convert enemies->success.” To elaborate further, “show performance” is Davao City, then show Davao City to everyone and gain support, show everyone how Davao City came it to be by doing so it strengthen his claim. With overwhelming support some players will have no choice and will jump into your ship, and the rest is history. It all boils down to “performance.” Without performance no one will believe you. What would Duterte do now that he will be the President? First, do what he promised, obliterate crimes and drugs, again this is “performance.” And the public will say “Duterte is very good” and supports will come down like raining. After this Duterte will say “Im planning to go for federalism,” and the public will say “Yes President, you are the best, anything you do now is for the good of the nation.” Then, the overwhelming public support for federalism is creeping, and Duterte will further say “Federalism is very because of this and that..” and the public will believe him to the point of being a fanatic. Those who are against to federalism will be left with few choice because of the overwhelming public support for Duterte.

        Speaking of collateral damage (extra judicial killings, etc.) who will care as long as there is result? Of course few will care. The norm of the public is “performance” and “result.” Result that will be felt directly by the public. Compare, Aquino did “results” (GDP increase, officials in jails, etc.) but it was felt by the public? It was not, only few felt it. That is why, its to easy to overturned that performances with failures. MRT problems, traffics, etc can be directly felt by the public. Some will say, why Duterte doing only some barangay-level performances and not addressing nationwide problems? Pity this guys, because they have not realize how important it is the “direct relation with customers.” Increase in economic growth by x%, increase employment rate, decrease interest rates, this are chart figures, the general public cannot appreciate it.

        • NHerrera says:

          Show performance in the drug-crime and petty (general?) crime reduction in 3 to 6 months as promised — with a few justifiable or rationalized killings — and the rest as described follows. Makes sense. The fly in the ointment is the collateral requirement that the critics, well meaning or not, are silenced for prudence or fear, as may be the case of the relatively small Davao City. Will the same silence happen in Imperial Manila and the big areas of the 7000 islands that make up the Philippines. Just asking.

          • Andres III says:

            Duterte will abandon Manila. It was already factored in the equation. Well, not really abandon, but put it in stagnation. In return, focus will be given to some other regions, lost Manila and gain the nation. Critics, how to handle critics, silence them? maybe not, let them be, while Duterte is “performing” as promised, public will be on his side. Depends really on the performance, if public is satisfied with it then critics will be viewed as the antagonist. The question is, how to satisfy the public? The answer is, yes, do what you have promised, eradicate drugs and petty crimes. It was not only drug and crime eradication, comes with it also, some simple measures to discipline the hard-headed citizen like no-loitering, drunks, etc. You may say that it is petty, yes it is, but it can be felt directly. Also, he will address some other petty issues that irritates the public, delayed processing, traffic maybe, etc. Remember, MRT issue is one of the issues that pull down Roxas, yes, it was petty. What we should look into is how and how long Duterte can accomplish what he had promised? Because if he fail on this, he will fail as a President.

            • josephivo says:

              Also Pnoy started with “Wala Wangwang”. This was immediately felt in Manila and all over the country “entitlements” became less obvious for those who with money or those who where well connected. Then reality sunk in, not all secretaries equally capable, 24 senators with immense egos, a judiciary stuck in a prehistoric world, tycoons used to rent…. After the first shock many of the old politics reappeared. Same might happen this time.

              • Andres III says:

                This was the result of poor management. They plan, they organize, they direct, but no control and monitoring. And not to put down PNoy, but the guy was a congressman and was a senator, have no executive position before he became president.

              • Joe America says:

                I hardly think a legislature bound in trapo, a judiciary bound in politics, and a nation bound in favor and power reflects “poor management” on the part of President Aquino. President Elect Duterte was “just a mayor”, so I think we ought not be in the business of lifting one president up by bringing the other down. In fact, President Aquino introduced very important management disciplines into Executive Branch, honesty (forthright management), quality hires (a strong cabinet, for the most part), performance metrics, delegation, and transparency. And, most important, results. Also, he is similar in some respects to President Elect Duterte, demonstrating the strength of character to do what he believes is right rather than bending ala Poe to every wind of complaint and criticism.

                The quality of Mr. Duterte’s hires will be weighed soon, and on an ongoing basis, according to results.

              • Joe America says:

                Also, “the guy” is President of the Philippines, and ought to be accorded the same respect that we owe President Elect Duterte.

              • Andres III says:

                Oh, sorry, i was not particular in addressing the persons. Even called Duterte an old man.

                In my opinion, i prefer that a mayor will become a president than a senator will become one because a mayor, same as the president, is an “executive” while the senator is a “legislator.” Again, just my opinion and i am not looking it into the persons themselves but the position. Similarly, i would hire a nurse over a doctor to be my personal assistant because the nurse is generally more caring than doctors.

              • Vicara says:

                Senators differ in quality, and so do mayors. There is no such thing as a generic, factory-assembled mayor-executive who can solve all problems.

                Andres III, You don’t have to go far to find an example of a mayor-turned-president: Joseph Estrada, convicted plunderer and probably the worst of all the presidents after Marcos. Not just for his plunder, but also for his woeful lack of the skills needed for running a country’s executive branch. The quotation in my comment above is from The Erap Tragedy, Aprodicio Laquian’s depressing memoir of his months working in the snake pit that was Malacanang under Estrada. Erap’s old team, which had served him well during his decades as mayor of San Juan, found they simply could not cope at the national level.

                Let us hope that mistakes made then will not be repeated.

              • Joe America says:

                I find such judgments rather artificial, as to whether a mayor or legislator will make the better executive. One of the best executives around, in my opinion, is Senator Bam Aquino. And I see today that President Elect Duterte will appoint an interim DFA secretary because the Mayor knows him (school mate) and has confidence in him on a personal basis. He is not a technocrat and has no particular strengths or experience at international affairs, as far as I can tell. This basis for appointments is consistent with the “personal” friendships President Aquino has with some of his appointments, and for which he was roundly criticized.

                We can get away from these damaging kinds of judgments if we concede to the President certain rights to do things his way and look mainly at results.

    • Joe America says:

      Fascinating. Please visit Thursday’s blog to see how we arrived at the same answer differently. I rather think, however, that we are in for a period of turmoil as he tries to manage an office that is incredibly complex through simple, grand decisions (amnesty!) and finds that results are not predictable or controllable. He will have to get used to a lot of criticism, and it may be that, as the criticism intensifies, he has no choice but to take control of the critics, lest they do as Andres III warned us about, start to turn out the “light” of the rebellion.

      That is highly speculative, but needs to be factored into possible scenarios. He may not WANT dictatorship, but could be forced to it.

      The thing that troubles me is how nastily the pro-Duterte advocates waged the political battle. I don’t think there is much conscience behind the movement, much as Duterte himself seems to feel nothing about snuffing out the life of someone, without trial or evidence or defense. As if these people did not have mothers and kids, themselves. Whose graves they will never get to weep upon.

  6. caliphman says:

    Does this candidate, followers, campaign and outrageous statements and behavior seem vaguely frighteningly familiar? Hopefully there will be a different outcome come November.

    • NHerrera says:

      Goodness, are they twins separated at birth?

      • caliphman says:

        What is even more remarkable is there is the same clamor for change in the US public that is fueling Trump’s campaign success not withstanding his proposed changes are vague, unworkable, or abhorrent given the values of a supposedly advanced and developed society.

        • Jake says:

          Trump and Sanders – both populists an rabidly anti-China. “Foreigners” steal US jobs mantra. Only that Sanders says it covertly while Trump is overt about it. Despite being from opposing parties, they have a lot in common

          Clinton is the only centrist here. Republicans hate her. Democrats think she is a “Republican”.

          I read somewhere: Duterte is Trump and Sanders in one

  7. john c. jacinto says:

    mark villar to the dpwh is a big joke. it forebodes what will be a bad duterte presidency.

  8. Bert says:

    Speculations, speculations, speculations. All speculations. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Please, let’s give President Duterte the rope:

    1. To tow the nation to greatness…
    2. or sink it…

    Two years should be good enough to see the final result.

    And that will be the day the fat lady sings.

    • baycas says:


      I call that day “The Rod Awakening” (be it good or bad for ‘Mayor’ P.Rody; be it good or bad for the nation).

      The ‘soft’ reboot in the last 6 years possibly didn’t work, thus, a ‘hard’ reset probably is now needed. [We must remember that P.Noy himself set the stage of the 2016Vote as a “referendum” to his cause (last SONA and speech at the start of the election campaign) and the overwhelming ‘minority’ aka constitutional plurality had spoken.]

      Nevertheless, the ‘spare tire’ that will come in handy if ever it will eventually be required, MUST not be a flat one like in the past since Erap’s time.

      Nevertheless2, from the looks of it, your “rope” and timetable inevitably had the nation in suspense.

      • karlgarcia says:

        the say of the VP will be tested on the proposed reimposition of death penalty.

      • Joe America says:

        By what standards do you conclude the last six years possibly didn’t work? The Philippines has been the rising star of Asia, fer cryin’ out loud.

        • josephivo says:

          PERCEPTION. Perception of 70% of the population, the Duterte voters, the Poe voters, the Binay voters. Who cares about figures and facts? Perception guides our decisions.

          • Joe America says:

            Right, but that is not the issue. The issue is did the Aquino Administration perform well, and those who are informed should know. If the Admin was ineffective at proving the point to the people who only read the tabloids or watch Failon, well, that is a different issue. Baycas is informed enough to know that the Aquino Admin was honest, earnest, grew the nation, and did many good deeds, like putting the military back on its feet, crafting BBL, investing in infrastructure, rising in global ratings, increasing CCT payouts, building lots of local roads, building a sound financial base, worked out of tough crises (Zamboanga), protecting the Pope, etc, etc. This political disinformation is what helps the masses see things wrongly, and if the nation is to be clear about things, the political crap trap should be called out.

            • NHerrera says:

              Meaning — calling a spade a spade, or if you will, a dirty shovel.

              • Joe America says:

                I realize it is a political world, but if we are to be fair to the Philippines, we need to recognize the good along with the bad, be fair about it, promote the good, criticize constructively. The propaganda and deceits foisted on people who are malleable during the campaign was horrible. It should stop with the election and now we should be honest and as objective as we can be. For the nation. If President Duterte gets good results we ought not bury it under a heap of political bitterness.

                Some of the LP loyalists are coming close to doing a “Roxas Tacloban tape” to reconfigure information for political attack and I really think that is not a good idea. (The DepEd cabinet sec. appointment is being labeled a “Marcos Loyalist” because he allowed Marcos to speak at a college campus. ANYTHING to paint the cabinet appointments as bad.) Let’s at least STRIVE to be fair and accurate.

                But that’s just me.

      • Bert says:


        You’re correct…the nation will be in suspense for two years.

        Within that period we can already see a glimmer of things to come…whether the “rope” provided by the people to the new president would be of good use to him and to the nation…

        Or not.

        We will see.

        As to the “spare tire”, if it will be required eventually, well, the road is not as bumpy and thorny as under the present new presidency. It will be easy to predict the outcome of a travel under that kind of road condition, assuming of course the “spare tire” is brand new and not recapped. As we can all see, the new “spare tire” is brand new and of good quality brand.

        For the mean time, let’s just all hope that the ‘bus’ we’re going to board next month does not suffer serious ‘tire blow outs’, :).

      • caliphman says:

        Its good to see you here, baycas. It tends to be more civilized here and the insults less personal specially when one’s views goes against the grain.

        • NHerrera says:

          I have visited Raissa’s site lately. The site is still suffering from access error or slow access at times — which is strange because it is text-based, Raissa having even dispensed with avatars associated with the contributors handle.

  9. bauwow says:

    Spot on Bert!

  10. Sup says:

    PDP-Laban, Lakas-CMD sign ‘coalition for change’
    Hmmmmmm………if i google COC i get only Clash of Clans?


  11. karlgarcia says:

    the author is like Will in more ways than one through his poetry and love for love.

  12. NHerrera says:

    I note the following items of the SWS exit poll of the 2016 election taken from
    – As of May 10, Duterte’s lead over Roxas was a massive 48 points in Mindanao, and a large 22 points in Metro Manila.

    – As of May 10, Duterte’s lead over Roxas was 26 points in urban areas, but only 2 points in rural areas.

    – The higher the class, the more the appeal of Duterte: His lead over Roxas was 26 points in class ABC, compared to 17 points in class D, and only 7 points in class E.

    – The more the schooling, the more the appeal of Duterte: His lead over Roxas was 28 points among college graduates, 19 points over those with some college, 8 points among those with some high school, and 7 points among others.

    – The younger the voter, the more the appeal of Duterte: His lead over Roxas was 33 points in ages 18-24, 26 points in ages 25-34, 14 points in ages 35-44, 10 points in ages 45-54, and 4 points in ages 55 and up.

    Thus, the great expectations on PE Duterte has definitely been set or primed for

    – the urban areas
    – for almost all geographic areas particularly Mindanao and Metro Manila
    – those at the higher socioeconomic class
    – those with higher schooling
    – those of younger voting populace

    This is instructive because these are the sectors with the more discerning capabilities because of schooling, relative comfort, more time to reflect, and more access to information on both sides, if they so wish to get both sides of the coin as we do here in The Society.

    The actions of PE Duterte — not the words this time — will be more likely watched by these sectors. And PE Duterte will be greatly praised or, being disappointed, greatly criticized by them. So his actions in the coming days, weeks, months will be under the microscope. I hope he does not disappoint them. Or if disappoint, only slightly. For woe unto the country and him if the disappointment is great.

    • chempo says:

      Thank you NHerrera, for making good sense out of statistics. Would have been absolutely fantastic if you can tell us in terms of schooling, which academic courses support Du30. Of course you can’t drill down to that info, sayang. But I get a feeling it’s non-science based courses that supports Du30.

      • NHerrera says:

        I will try to do some googling to see if something useful comes up; but I am crossing my fingers. I have a feeling though that this is only a partial SWS report which will be amplified later and may just give the info you seek.

  13. LG says:

    Refreshing entry. Much enjoyed it.

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