Building a Philippine Parliament and Federalism


Poem and Article by Andy Ibay


The Poem – C I R C L E

I knelt before the wisdom of creation, knowing
yet not doubting the purpose of it all.
To come to life, nay, to decide to be re- born is to
understand, agree and accept the reasons why
all living creatures must live and die.

I grew up in blissful ignorance of the power to
exist and vanish; of the connections between man and beast.
Like the caveman I awakened every morn agitated like fire,
more cunning than beast, more patient than night I yell,
ignorant no more of the nexus between predator and prey.

I slowly open my eyes and blink to years of brightness
of the eternal sun, heating, wrinkling my skin into old age.
I snort and exhale the season’s wind; angry storm, spanking
mountain trees, serene breeze, calming smoldering seas;
yet nature’s helpless to lend resilience to my aging flesh.

I am water filling my organ, tissue, cell and protoplasm.
Water I am not from brooks and streams, free flowing spring
and gurgling fountains; they seem to last forever while
my organ, tissue, cell and protoplasm dehydrate and die.

Barbarians and their cavemen ancestors live and die
knowing, worshiping earth, fire, wind and water.
Earth, fire, wind and water; Are these not the essence
of their existence? I am caveman, I am barbarian
till I learned God’s circle, His creation equation.
November 22, 2004



The Philippines President is the Head of State and shall have the power to abolish the Federal Parliament, call for new elections of members and formalize a newly elected Parliament. The President is appointed from among non-politicians, outstanding citizens, for a non-renewable term of five years, by the Prime Minister with concurrence by the majority of the Members.

The Prime Minister is the Head of Government. He exercises the dual awesome powers of legislation, and implementation and enforcement of enacted laws. He is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The Parliament, made up of the Senate and the National Assembly, constitutes the legislative branch of the government and is responsible for enactment of laws. The present Senate shall be unchanged in numbers, in status quo, except for additional three senators to represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to be appointed by and be coterminous with the Prime Minister.

Only members of the PM’s cabinet shall be allowed to perform executive functions of policy making and policy implementation. All members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister, shall not enjoy and should eliminate earmarks of all nature of projects funded by the publicly detestable “pork barrel”. It is important that the new Constitution must provide measures that will avoid role displacement from lawmaking into program implementation clout and authority.

The Chief of the Federal High Court (composed of combined defunct Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court) shall exercise administration of Regional High Courts and all other inferior courts. The Federal High Court increased in size follows the Greek example that more is not merrier, but will be more difficult to bribe when passing judgment as a whole body. In effect, the abolition of the Court of Appeals eliminates an extra tier for appeals at the national level since the establishment of regional high courts decentralizes and brings down the administration of justice closer to the 111 million Filipinos.

Any decision of the Federal High Court declaring any law unconstitutional shall not be accepted as law and will be sent back to the Parliament for rectification. The Federal High Court or any other court shall not engage itself in lawmaking of any form. The Sandiganbayan remains at the Federal level to try and deal out maximum penalties to public officials and private persons who renege in their public accountabilities.

The four constitutional bodies namely: the Commission on Audit (COA), the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Ombudsman shall be independent bodies directly reporting only to the President who has the power to abolish the Federal Parliament and call for new elections. The terms of office for chairpersons and members of these constitutional bodies shall be fixed and one time only, specified by number of years. As the example for all appointive officials, the Constitution must provide measures to avoid their overstaying in particular positions in order to maintain opportunities to provide new blood and dynamism to positions of responsibility. Appointees shall not be rotated among these four agencies.

The chart and the elucidation above are illustrative of full implementation that will be very costly to taxpayers. The piece sets aside the bric-a-brac of pre-conditions and obstacles to adapting a form of government tried, adopted or tested elsewhere; if only to kick the butt of negativism.


The main feature is massive decentralization and devolution of democratic powers for capacity building of citizens and empowerment of local politics for nation building.

  • FEDERAL (National) LEVEL:
    1. PRESIDENT – Head of State
    2. PRIME MINISTER – Head of Government
    3. Deputy Prime Minister for Federal Ministries
    4. Deputy Prime Minister for Federal Regions
    5. Federal Executive Ministers
    6. Federal Supreme Court and Appeals Court

The President need not be elected by the people, but upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, will be elected by three-fourths vote of the National Parliament (Government of the Day) for a non-renewable term of six years.

The Prime Minister, being the leader of the party winning the largest number of seats in a federal election, shall be elected by simple majority of the members of the Federal Parliament.

The Prime Minister shall appoint from members of his political party his two Deputies: Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for Federal Regions.

The Prime Minister shall appoint from elected members of the Federal Parliament irrespective of political party affiliations to head the Federal Ministries of Health, Education, Federal Defense, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Justice, Federal Police, and others he may so determine. The Prime Minister, subject to the approval of the Federal Parliament, may abolish, merge, or reduce or expand the functions and personnel of any federal ministry.

The Prime Minister shall appoint all heads of government corporations, and other instrumentalities of the government operating at federal level and jurisdiction.

The President shall appoint all justices of federal courts and all heads of federal and regional heads of constitutional bodies on election, civil service, federal and regional audit and the Ombudsman upon recommendation of the Prime Minister.

  • REGIONAL (sub-national) LEVEL: Each Federal Region shall pursue the never ending goal of becoming a self-sustained, self-contained unique nation of honor powered by its own local people and natural resources .
    1. NATIONAL PARLIAMENT (5 X 12 REGIONS = 60 MEMBERS) elected at large region-wide
    2. TWELVE Regional Premiers elected by Governors in the region
    3. Members of Regional Parliaments (three from each province)
    4. Provincial Governors
    5. City Mayors
    6. Town Mayors
    7. Secretaries of Regional Departments
    8. Judges and senior officers of regional courts

All the EIGHT named government officials above shall have the power and authority to appoint the senior officials in the respective jurisdiction as provided by the Federal Civil Service Commission. No elected public official or former politician, but only bureaucrats or technocrats, shall be appointed to head or work in any federal region’s department. Political has-beens should join the private sector.

The Regional Parliaments shall have lawmaking jurisdiction on all matters not included or covered by the powers granted by the Constitution to the Federal Parliament.

Finally, if President elect Rodrigo Duterte happens to read this, just a cup of coffee with one refill will suffice for him to decide to throw this to the waste basket or hand this to his orderly for whatever. In a manner of speaking, if and when the new President asks for it, then here it is: ***** 17 0516


190 Responses to “Building a Philippine Parliament and Federalism”
  1. methersgate says:

    I certainly don’t like the appointment, rather than the election, of the President. Given that the President has the power to dissolve Parliament, the President must – repeat must – carry the confidence of the people. In a Philippines context, a President appointed by the PM and by the Parliament will automatically be seen as, and probably will be, a friend of the Prime Minister. In which case…

  2. Food for thought in any case. I like the idea of merging Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court. The idea of too many to bribe is interesting – I heard from someone this is the reason why cops always come in pairs, to keep both from getting tempted.

    The President could still be voted directly by the people though, and the Senate could be voted with two Senators per State (former regions) – in a semi-tribal culture, give each region a face. Now if this means Marcos for Ilocos, Escudero for Bikol, so be it if it is the will of the states.

    My more radical proposal in an older article in my blog was: abolish provinces and municipalities. Create CANTONS – the area a typical Filipino can reach via jeepney or tricycle. Tiwi to Tabaco in Albay could be an example of a typical canton. Direct democracy in each canton.

    Barangays – cantons – states could be the hierarchy of organization in a federal set-up. States if possible ethnically similar or even homogenous. Bikol, Ilocos, Samar/Leyte as examples. Give implementation of education, culture, economic promotion, healthcare to federal states.

    National: army, policing. People think of their own interests, culture and mores help them work together, states and laws help maximize the strengths of cultures and minimize their weaknesses. In order to make people work together more effectively, for themselves and for the whole.

    • Looking at Duterte’s idea of Federalism, looking back is worthwhile to get the “cui bono”? Whom might HIS Federalism be for?

      Cory gave LGUs substantial authority without responsibility in the Local Government Code. Robredo’s LGPMS put more controls on LGUs. Duterte’s Federalism forum met with mayors for the last two years I think – could it be they hated the performance monitoring?

      Someone here wrote that before LGUs paid for schools and hospitals themselves, now they just get the IRA. Can anyone fill in on how it was before? But they had less power, Quezon could suspend even Governors and Mayors. 1935 Constitution. Cory might have been ill-advised but also dependent on her OIC Mayors and Governors (Binay and Duterte were appointed by her) and the Local Government Code her gift to them, so to speak. One wonders who will benefit from the Duterte model of Federalism, what the tit-for-tat will be…

      • bill in oz says:

        I suggest the following changes to your proposal :
        First a directly elected president who is head of state and commander of the armed forces. the president shall be elected by preferential voting needing 50% plus 1 vote to be elected.

        Second the head of government to be appointed by the president from the members of lower house of Parliament who has the support of the parliament. Further that the PM hold office only while he/she has the support of the lower house of parliament. Other ministers to be appointed in the same way on the recommendation of the PM. All ministers are accountable to the parliament for their performance in office.

        Third, That there also be a Crime & Corruption commission charged with investigating major crime & corruption in the Philippines.

        Fourth, that all Presidential Commissions ( COMELEC, COA, etc) be appointed by the president & confirmed by parliament, as permanent positions to be held until reaching statutary retirement age.

        Fifth that the senate be made up of 5 senators from each ‘state’ by proportional representation for a 6 year term.

        Sixth, that each lower house member be elected from an electoral district by a preferential vote with each member elected needing 50% plus 1 vote to be elected to the parliament. And that each district have an equal number of voters,

        Seventh, that all provincial governerships be abolished.

        Eighth, that each state have a state governor directly elected by the people by preferential voting.

        Ninth, each state shall have a house of assembly. Members of the house of assembly will be elected by peferential voting . Members of the assembly shall elect a premier & state ministers who shall form the government of each state.

        There that’s enough for now !!

        • Thanks Bill… the idea is that we look at what aspects and what details serve the Philippines best – and figure in the realities of culture and politics while doing so.

          We are not operating in a theoretical vacuum, this has to work with FILIPINOS (c) MRP… 🙂

          “Seventh, that all provincial governerships be abolished. ” Yes – abolish provinces, abolish municipalities as well, put them together into cantons. The reason is to break the control of mayors and governors on local politics. Anti-dynasty law would be needed as well…

          • The budgeting aspect and how taxes are distributed is highly important as well..

            Looking at how Duterte is NOW forming his cabinet, there is enough reason to suspect that Federalism is just a new way of dispensing patronage – i.e. funds to be used…. and of course if all most Filipinos are interested in is how to be a recipient of “dilihensiya” then it will always be a corrupt system. If not, then a properly crafted Federalism could make funds more easily audited by FOI at state and cantonal level, plus plebiscitary elements.

            • andy ibay says:

              I think I said something lethal about that: Only members of the PM’s cabinet shall be allowed to perform executive functions of policy making and policy implementation. All members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister, shall not enjoy and should eliminate earmarks of all nature of projects funded by the publicly detestable “pork barrel”. It is important that the new Constitution must provide measures that will avoid role displacement from lawmaking (If may add now: LAW INTERPRETATION) into program implementation clout and authority.

              If the cabinet abuses the use of the purse, the constitutional Dobermans have the ears of President who have the power to abolish Parliament and call for new elections.

              Do remember too that there will be constitutional watchdogs offices at sub federal levels and the Head of State will also have the power to abolish Regional Parliaments and call for new elections. Expensive, yes, precisely, honest governance does NOT COME CHEAP. It is expensive to build penitentiaries in every region and hope for low occupancy.

          • bill in oz says:

            Irineo.. i think I said this once on your blog about abolishing dynasties…Rich powerful feudal familiies dominate the politics of the Philippines because they are rich & powerful. Only communists have ever succeeded in getting rid of rich powerful feudal families : by execution & confiscation & forced flight. And none of that is going to happen here..

            Therefore I suggest that the families need to be tamed s they work for the nation..So why not set up the ‘states’ so these families compete to serve the state & the people : ‘noblesse oblige’ was the old term.

            How to arrange this ? well what about a compulsory 5 period of exile in another country, studying working, whatever, before being eligible to stand for any elected position

        • andy ibay says:

          Many countries have it in their heart of hearts but USA have etched them in metal “In God We Trust. They know so they stopped there. it is plastic to say in US (all of us, tayo, kami) WE TRUST. It is presumptuous to say we trust all our government officials to do the right thing. I am, I am one to think of a government built on TRUST. why build walls, why give them armor and ammo in anticipation of conflict among themselves? Why think of abuse of power. Why not trust them and put them in jail if they break that trust.

          My point is that my piece is carpentered on trust, as I have seen it WORKED in other countries. I was born yesterday to learn a father does not dictate to his sons this is what you can do so your brothers can not do this. Those born today experience that too but only see its significance after some years of living it. Pasensiya na po , parang nagse sermon yata eh.

  3. andy ibay says:

    I said and wrote here I do not KNOW enough and I get additions from comments both from positivists and negativists. I and everyone I am certain do not know enough about anything. The three comments above can be spin into more than one book. It seems like this, a good poem is good if read and changes made 14 times, so says a poetry advice. To do that is INSANE. The poem above looks okay after only may be being read 4 times over the years. On ideas I wrote before, additional things came to mind mostly to expand it not to change it. I may start with a ping pong ball of an idea, rereading it a few times can make it into a medicine ball. No matter what the changes, it should not end up a Stonehenge or a pyramid in Gaza.

    On my pieces I prefer to read the comments to learn more, to regret my mistakes, to be happy and bask in glory even for just a word, yes a single of word of phrase. Like an artist I drew and painted something; if I sculpted an oblation with six inches penis, let others admire it and more others attack it like a monstrosity. It should stand the ages as my monument of failure.

    But here [THANKS JA] in Joe America’s kingdom este empire, este Society of Honor the write-ethic is to paint and sculpt to the last atom of what is honorable in the service of one’s fellowmen. For those who do otherwise: Go Git.

    • We are all trying to get to know more here, collectively. I look at your idea as a mock-up – similar to the mock-ups engineers make of new cars, trains, even entire city quarters.

      Now we have to go around the elephant, i.e. the mock-up, and look at what aspects are good in reality and which are less and need to be improved. What is good for example is the COA and Ombudsman remaining central to prevent a swamp of local corruption…

      I have some practice, having written a critique of the BBL in this blog. Federalism goes on step further. The questions should always be what is the overall goal, and what are the risks. The risk of local corruption swamps was real in the BBL and is in Federalism as well. The risk of local warlordism fueled by local corruption swamps is also there in the extreme. Quezon and others were for Centralism for good reasons – they knew their own people. Centralism though has bred a centralized culture of patronage, micromanagement, pork…

      • andy ibay says:

        To be harsh and negative or to be wise and positive, is a stupid and moronic question (not you but the idea dear commenters) let our Muslim brothers fry on their own fat or live modestly to live like and have their own Sabah in Malaysia, their own proud Cuba or their own multi-ethnic successful Singapore, or their Monaco BUT let no gadamn law restrain them from doing that. For centuries they have been denied that in exchange for their blood and tears. If world powerful countries can grant independence to their colonies why can’t the elite of third world countries do that to their teeming masses? To be or not to be is the quandary of despots.

        • Now we are getting to the core issue – that “Felipinas” (the words of one Duterte supporter in a comment here) was founded top-down by the will of King Felipe Dos…

          In a way the Philippines is a bit of an accidental nation, lacking inner unity, except for the elites who run the show. But the centuries-old accident has mingled the Christian lowlanders more, the Cordillerans and Moros less. Federalism, constructed correctly, could be a way to resolve the tensions between centrifugal and centripetal forces in a very diverse archipelago. Constructed badly, it could be like Soviet Republics or Yugoslavia? Unfortunately all of us do not have the final answers, or more questions than answers…

      • andy ibay says:

        I agree on the word mock-up it clears the mind, the model, the replica, the facsimile, the war game, etc. Lots of activities or events are mere dreams, empty dreams and negativist’s blah, blah, blah. like this present piece if no part of it happens. But it is free as in a democracy to be laughing all the way to one’s grave.

        • In fact I would like to see a better country before I die… if I live as long as Enrile in more than 40 years, but hopefully sometime when I reach pension age in around 20 years…

          We can only give ideas, mock-ups, improve them – implementation is up to the people.

    • andy ibay says:

      Go Git? I don’t exactly remember where I got the command, in comic books or post WWII Hollywood movies. It seems to me like in USA Arayat slopes where a hillbilly mom is telling her hillbilly raucous son to scram like not yelling but firm: Get the hell out of here, NOW.

      • andy ibay says:

        In a lighter vein, a scene not in Broadway but in an E-tech home in Manila, a Mom. was telling a child: do it this way, not that way, that is not good, it cost money, do as I say. and the child, wide-eyed and insistent asked his Mom: Why Mom? WHY? Tell me More, Mom.
        and the Mom, started thinking and said : Go Git.

    • LG says:

      Andy, I find your articles (and poems) refreshing, elevating, even shaving what I see should (after digesting) as the comments that follow. While at it, the articles, both Joe’s and the guests’ ARE! As well. For the reason, the subjects were not the reads in my profession (before and during) where I had spent more than half of my life, now past it, into DOs I had no priority before. Did read beyond work’s but not what fascinates me now.

      Me, a ‘groupie’, if you will, of The Society of Honor BAND, since I googled JoeAmerica only recently (credits to PNoy’s 2015 SONA) and began listening to the songs….I mean reading the posts😉. I regret not googling much earlier. A lot to catch up on.
      Y’all, keep playing (posting). Am listening.🤗

  4. NHerrera says:

    Appropriate video to go with the topic: balancing the power and authority of the constituent units and the federal or national government; and the relationship of the unit to the national government. Its a tightrope walk.

    However hairy-scary Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk is, I find it rather hairy-scary too the walk to the Federalism idea. If the Filipinos do not effectively participate and allowed their say in this “cure for our national ailments” we may find the cure worse than the ailments. I say this because with all the hoopla associated with the new government — considering the serious intent and associated work of the new Admin to fulfill the expectations primed to the max while being constrained by the existing constitution and laws — the 2019 deadline for this federalism train may be rather short. A case of too much too soon.

    I am glad the blog-topic and comments are doing its part in promoting awareness of the idea.

  5. Bert says:

    “The President need not be elected by the people, but upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, will be elected by three-fourths vote of the National Parliament (Government of the Day) for a non-renewable term of six years.”

    Megalomaniacs elected by the people choosing an outsider to be their president? That could be the day, :).

  6. Ben Zayb says:

    To aid in the disscussion—a link below providing a thorough review of previous federalism initiatives. It is a bit dated though—dating from the Arroyo administration.

    If I may ask—is your proposal based on any previous federalism initiative? If I’m not mistaken, Pimentel (of PDP-Laban) has his own proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 10, 14th Congress (not listed in link).

    • andy ibay says:

      Ben Zayb I don’t remember basing any of my ideas on any source that I believe are more self-serving garbage (notice the MORE) than what is expected of the pay and perks they received from hard earned taxes paid by the people. The righteous call them names which insult animals, and I try not to do that.

  7. Ben Zayb says:

    Off the top of my head:

    Two interesting things in the proposal—the idea of having two PMs and the idea of a non-partisan President as de-jure head of the judiciary.

    #1: Two PMs: More power to the political parties and a check on PM

    At first glance—the PM seems to have inherited the powers of the Philippine Imperial Presidency. Yet the existence of two DPMs with such wide-ranging powers is interesting. Now if a similar mechanism was placed in a presidential system—one Super-VP for cabinet and one “above-the-cabinet” Super-DILG-Secretary-VP figure—the President, having the ability to dismiss at will, still is virtually unaccountable. However—with a parliamentary system—the PM is dependent on the goodwill of his/her party (the Damocles of No Confidence) and most likely the DPMs will covered by other equally ambitious party members. A virtual triumverate—and it would also make for very interesting Shadow Cabinets…

    #2: President: Caretaker of Institutions

    The idea of a president with no pork holding “only” ultimate constitutional and judicial power (assuming “reserve” powers) over a PM with pork-greased (because you can never eliminate pork like you can never eliminate tit-for-tat deals) executive and legislative powers is interesting. It’s an unimaginable political dynamic I can barely fathom. On the tip of my tongue—a way to fulfill the personalism-oriented political needs of Filipinos by giving them not just any Messiah—but a CONSTITUTIONAL MESSIAH; a savior who can—and more importantly ONLY—dispense Rule of Law as he or she cannot dispense pork which is the PM’s luxury. A guy who can essentially order Constitutional Commissions to bust the butts of wayward executives Duterte-Style but at the same time doesn’t have to face the temptations of actual governance. Something that both satisfies the Filipino (that is human) desire for quick results and the need for institutional soundness. I would like to suggest two little but significant changes to make this possible though:

    -Remove “upon recommendation of the PM” in the powers of the President to appoint
    -Make President the ultimate symbol of the will of the Filipino people (and make him or her only accountable to them) by making him or her elected through direct vote.
    -Insert campaign reform somewhere there. In the US, if I’m not mistaken, they have a fund that matches small donations to public money (say ever <10$ donation is matched with a set amount of public money). It's what allowed relative outsiders like Carter and Reagan to compete…

    • Ben Zayb says:


      Holding the Presidency is frankly idiot-proof. You could elect certain actoes and athletes here and I’d doubt it would be hard to point legal guns to the obviously guilty. All the authority to crack heads and none of the bothersome governing. Leave the morally gray compromising to the PM…

      • andy ibay says:

        MY problem about the Head of State being apolitical, disqualifying any politician who filed candidacies win or lost In any past election even as lowly barangay kagawad, disqualifying bishops or priest or pastors because there is little or nobody to choose from , I think NOW is no problem at all. From 111 million people now (go Google) with remarkable number of state universities and colleges competing with their private sector counterparts I ain’t got no problem no more.

        All the professionals retired, active or young ones (not once), will qualify and ready to serve for a sure one-shot five or six years of noble service to his country and people . . . No one will say it is great honor I will think about it to a Prime Minister offer of nomination. Some politicians and bureaucrats have rendered it worthless and corrupted the significance of being addressed as Your Excellency, or Your Honor. Noble should be the word for the Head of State, Noble is the word not even available for the PM who is a politician.

        Noble is the word retained by the lowly teachers. The Head of State chosen to be nominated by the PM is already a measure of the PM’s Integrity. If both are crooks and voted on by a Parliament of crooks, then the people must pray for the Nation’s soul.

    • andy ibay says:

      Ben Zayb : thanks for the comments: Where did the two PMs came from, I proposed two deputies; Did I say the Supreme Court by reporting to the President makes it under him. All constitutional offices and the SC reporting to the President under a Parliamentary system reporting means providing accurate information as basis to abolish Parliament and officiate a newly elected one and no more. Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that. Even the structural chart can be deficient in its command and control, line and staff relationships. But certainly, your comments really adds up to the submitted framework of a wannabe Parliamentary form of government.

      • andy ibay says:

        Because of your comment now I see a possible change in position nomenclature they should be APMs (Assistant Prime Minister for .. ) staff positions and not Deputies since they should not have command functions. My mistake, the chart is not adequate and detailed enough.

      • Ben Zayb says:

        My bad. I meant 2 DPMs. With one DPM supervising Federal Ministries (essentially the sum of Federal Government) and one DPM supervising the regions (a super DILG/Liason to the States)—my point was that what was particularly interesting about this part of the proposal was the sheer power in the hands of these two men. Like one senior emperor with two junior emperors—since a PM’s no President; threat of no confidence over his head after all.

        • andy ibay says:

          I am expecting questions on redundancy of federal ministries considering power and operations devolve to and functions decentralized to the regions? Fed Ministries shall be core staffed only providing orchestration for national harmony of the goals for human development (example using UN Human Development Index;) Fed expertize to backstop Fed regions requirement since in theory the Feds will have the biggest resources. Foreign relations and defense cultivated with foreign allies is the business of fed departments. Country-wide problem solving is the business too of fed departments acting as interdisciplinary teams to help regional or multi-regions issues.

  8. andy ibay says:

    I looked at the chart again, dotted lines should connect the consti offices box to the box of the Head of State; need also to re-label DPMs boxes into Asst. PM for .. the two boxes stays in position. Another box should be added labelled as Federal Ministries (needs another organization chart to indicate the numerous yet undetermined ministries because the Prime Minister assisted by Staff may at anytime create, merged and abolish offices under him) under the command line of the PM.

    Look at the chart again and see on the same line three power hydra heads against corruption. No legal bs about equalization of or balance of power principles. Together the three powers are not only multi-authoritative but inter-authoritative in theory and practice. three behemoth members of a team entrusted with the well-being and the good life of a 111 million people.

  9. Nas Escobar says:

    Abolishing dynasties by congressional action is ideal but hard to implement given our cultural preference for powerful families (datus, boss, etc.). Maybe a way to dilute concentration of power to a few families is to double the number of congress members to roughly 400 to 450 from the present. also to double the number of senators, half by regionall votes and half by at-large votes. I think parliamentary federal system is a good idea as it pushes the level of governance closer to the people. Kind of leveliing the present too centralized pyramid to to make it somewhat a more
    horizontal system.

    • andy ibay says:

      The national Institution heavily infested by dynastic blood is Congress, If I may suggest the application of the Pareto Principle, 20% of the causes come from the dynasty lineage in Congress producing 80% of the bad effects to the country.

      • andy ibay says:

        Increasing the number of congressman was a tandem object to give representation to the amorphous masses which they dubbed as PARTY LIST. A think tank should study the party list accomplishments in Congress to debunk criticisms it turned out to be one of the biggest joke in democratic representation.

        • andy ibay says:

          On the Head of State position as key change in governance I was afraid I may not be able to give names for Potential appointed President. Thinking of People I know I have a few who can be it in dignity and competence. Number one is a Doctor of Medicine, he is president of his kind in the Association in Asia, He was a lecturer in his Harvard, field of specialization, he knew and does it to skip biopsy and do real surgery, lately Dr. Gerardo Legaspi I heard to have accepted the position of UP-PGH Director which will consumed much of his time that otherwise will earn him big bucks as most skillful, competent brain surgeon.

          Number two, three, four, five etc. the names are there, may be in the internet to verify if they are still around like that Dr Avenilo Aventura former Director of the Philippines Heart Center– a , leading Heart Surgeon. I might be asked why do we need surgeons as Head of State? Well, we need a doctor to place the Parliament in induced coma, then revive it by fibrillator These doctors had been trained to save lives not to put their hands in peoples pockets to do whatever.

          Women too can do wonders as Head of State: Oh women lawyers like retired Justice Flerida Ruth Romero and Dr. Irene Cortez, Educator Emerlinda Roman and of course you can object and Critique former Cadette Colonel former Corps Sponsor Manang Winnie Solita Collas-Munsod, professor turned opinion maker. Were they still alive, UP Law Dean Alfredo Tadiar and FPJ will be in my list. If others will only list down their choices, I like to think there will be about or more than a hundred in the list.

          No active or retired generals of the uniformed forces (AFP or PNP) in my list, After their public service they should join and strengthen the private sector.

  10. Nas Escobar says:

    The political party system also must be strengthened. Each member of parliament must live or die based upon the vision, philisophy and principles their chosen party represent. In order to discourage turncoats party switching has to be penalized—by losing their seats and the governor of the concerned federal state may then appoint a replacement for the balance of the term. I would suggest that each taxpayer contribute a nominal amount like 50 pesos to an election fund to support each party’s election expense. The matter of coalition to form a majority government must be a party decision agreed upon by a majority of its members.

    • andy ibay says:

      I like that if I may say so. Belonging to a party and sticking to it is a matter of stainless steel conviction and principle. To be a political butterfly is to have colorful mesmerizing wings of opportunism.

  11. Sup says:

    Change is coming………………….The government employees will start working at 1pm…


    • uht says:

      It changes things, for sure. The ungodly hour for most people is early in the morning, but for me it is the first three hours of the afternoon–from 1 to 3 pm.

      I should get used to reading breaking news in the evenings rather than the mornings, that’s for sure….

      • LG says:

        Yea, why not tweak working schedules depending on the best time one is at most productive. Sounds like such is Duterte’s work approach. Have night owls be night owls; morning people, be them and those in between. Self scheduling promotes production, job satisfaction? Homes can be converted to offices; some, if not a lot are already functioning as such anyway. No need to report to some office to work. Convert travel time to production time. (A smart grader, on top of his grade 4 class at DLSU, does his homework on the school-home car trip that he is ready to play by the time he gets home). Compensation ought to be based on quality of production not quantity of time worked. No use for clock in machines. Pay schedule would vary depending on scheduled production delivery not the usual monthly or bimonthly. Traffic solving? Commute stress reducing? More take home pay? Overhead cost effective? Employers to get more creative and employee oriented; employees to get more production quality oriented? Just rambling here🤓. U know already the negatives of my rants?

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, a new definition of discipline arises . . . “what ever the frick I want, and stay out of my way” kind of discipline.

          • LG says:

            Duterte: Basta ako, eto gagawin ko, kayo, bahala kayo sa sarili nyo. On his 1pm to 12am work schedule. Some will be like👹🤖💩💤, others 🙃😋

        • uht says:

          Yeah, took some time for me to read, but I got it in the end. 🙂

          His style is disorganized. coming off the heels of a relatively organized President, we’ll be in for a wild ride. But I guess that is the good side of a strongman, the ability to keep the people around them on their feet.

          I prefer the leader who can make the people walk without fear. Looking to the future. But many people wanted the strongman. Who knows? Maybe if he can do what he does best and improve on the bad, maybe we will look back on his scheduling quirks as an eccentricity of a man we can respect, the way Singapore (and the fans of strongmen everywhere) respects Lee Kuan Yew. Maybe. One can always look at the bright side.

          • Joe America says:

            I write tweets that are critical of Duterte and can’t help but think that somewhere my name is going onto a list, and the more critical the tweets, the more selective the list. When the list gets really selective, then I am “resolved.”

            Fear, you say? The people who voted want voices of criticism silenced? Or they just did not think things through very well?

            • uht says:

              I don’t think the people who voted wanted to silence criticism, actually. The fact that they voted for Duterte alone is proof of that. It is the fruit of their criticism against President Aquino’s administration. Duterte, on the other hand, is perhaps the ultimate incarnation of the “_______, so shut up na lang” mentality. It’s not a good quality for a President.

              But there are many who still follow him because he still says things people want to hear, and does things many want him to do. Upending the established norms for one. That’s a product of criticism. But heavy criticism is also a norm in the Philippines, which is why it is so hard to be President here. Duterte has shown signs that he will upend this norm too. There are things to improve with our media, yes, but censorship isn’t one of the ways of doing it. A change in the way we look at our country is much better.

              So yes, I think a lot of things were not thought through when the ballots were cast….

              • Joe America says:

                I believe there is a reality to the intimidations that one receives, as they accumulate. They leave the realm of ideas and enter into the routines and steps one takes to remain safe and keep one’s family safe. I can assure you that there is a reality to these intimidations. You may not have to deal with them, but I do. And any journalist who writes a story critical of the Duterte administration WILL face them. Fears or worries or the feeling one gets when one steps into an unknown place blindfolded. Duterte could calm these fears, or temper the thuggery of his supporters, but he does not, because he either enjoys them or wants to use them. So let’s define the term “security”, and ask if he provides it.

              • uht says:

                I agree. I would define security as an ease in living, without fear hanging over your life at every step. Unfortunately others restrict security as merely zero crime, and that’s where Duterte comes in. People want him to clean up everything. No matter what the cost is. I have never been much of a believer in “the end justifies the means” myself…..

                So in terms of security, he does not provide much.

                And speaking of, I think we have a misunderstanding here—I don’t support Duterte’s means of getting things done. If he could get things done without resorting to vigilante means, people will remember him well. But he is not showing signs of this right now; he is backtracking on things he said (especially on Leni—ARGH) and is, like you just said, doing nothing to reel in his supporters. I feel rather betrayed by this….

                I am also sorry if you misunderstood my points—and I pray that you and your family stay safe.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for the concerns. I understand where you are coming from, and President Elect Duterte might surprise those of us who are locked into ‘conventions’ as the way to run a government. My point was to readers in general, that there is a line for people who work in the public arena when intimidating behavior from leadership starts to shut off the flow of ideas and information. It may behoove people to be aware of this early and start to advocate for presidential backing for free and open speech, and even opposition . . . as healthy for the Philippines.

          • LG says:

            Lee Kuan Yew was extremely organized, methodical, principled, his vision of Singapore unbendable from the start. Hated by some, he is loved by many enough to be named for eternity, The Father of Singapore. English being his primary tongue, by the time he stepped down, he had learned to communicate to the various ethnic groups in Singapore in their native tongue. He made Singaporeans stay in Singapore. Abroad, when you meet them, at least those I met as tourists are truly proud to identify as “from Singapore”. Incidentally, LKY also married well. One who he thought was brighter than he is!

            • NHerrera says:

              This is not to diminish LKY. But at this time the Philippines probably needs at least 3X the character and capabilities of LKY for the needed change. I am not convinced that is filled by the PE.

              • NHerrera says:

                Exhibit A — the compact city state of Singapore versus the Philippines’ 7000 islands populated by 103m and still growing relatively fast.

              • LG says:

                You n I got it. That many islands and too many dialects with a good majority possesed of minimal functional literacy (the group that grows the fastest), am continually amazed by the number of candidates for any political office each time an election is held, from the barangay kagawad to the president. Dolphy: “madaling tumakbo, paano kung manalo”.

              • LG says:

                Indeed, may be a hundred 3x more. If DU30 has basic adjustment issues…bedtime, bed, pillow, banyo, etc. for comfort, can he make some serious adjustments such as learning to communicate to those who voted for him in Pampanga and Ilocos in their respective dialects? Ah, simple.. sa tao ko na Lang yan. Good morning to you😊

              • NHerrera says:


  12. karlgarcia says:

    Turncostism will be more controlled in a parliamentary setup,you vote for the party.
    Coalitions is acceptable,but not turncoats.
    With a strong lean and mean party system,the party list system must go.
    The party funding concept will be the norm,and no more anonymous donors,no Super PAC types.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    In a Federal setup I still do not know,how the poor provinces will progress,will there be a adopt a poor province within a state concept,where you subsidize the poor neighboring province,in everything.
    How will that be sustained?

  14. Joe America says:

    Interesting proposal and discussion. Rather than respond to individual comments, I’ll offer a general analysis. The main flaws, recognized by several, are dynastic control, break-down of national unity (which has never even been generated), and establishment of federations which will be rich or poor, competent or incompetent, and cooperative with national or uncooperative. The proposal depends a lot on trust and that is a hard commodity to come by in the Philippines. No one trusts anyone, and there is a reason for that. Principles are fluid, just as parties ebb and flow based on who can gain the most rather than how the nation can gain.

    On the other hand, I ask who is most likely to make Mindanao a vibrant economic state, and I’d say probably not Manila. Nor will Davao, where President Elect Duterte will make his center of the nation, give Manila the resources it needs to get unlocked and thrive. He has already declared it a “dead” city, even though it was the zombies of Manila that voted him into office.

    The national government has to be strong. Otherwise the nation is only a collective of federated states which are just another term for feudal or tribal.

    • NHerrera says:

      National or federal government versus component states: may turn out to be out of balance in power and authority — no cohesive relationship. Not a Wallenda walk.

      The current trend seems to be to upend everything, including normal courtesy and practice: skip proclamation; 1-12 pm office with all others to adjust, including business? In fairness it has some positives. I think I will go to my cave for the moment, brain-wave communicating with edgar.

      • Joe America says:

        Strange way to promote unity, for sure. To snub protocols. It tends to make me think there is a very narrow definition of unity. “Unify to do what I say, or else . . .”

  15. Nas Escobar says:

    For sure it will be messy to start any new system. Sure we are a collection of tribes left’s accept that but we could turn this into an advantage where more active participation in governance may unlock the peoples’ energies and collective wisdom. Mistakes will be made but we should learn from those mistakes. But most of all we have to learn to trust ourselves each other and our institutions because without trust we are not a nation, We would just be a mob. Self gain could be channeled into the nation’s gain with wise leadership. People work hard/harder if they could see the benefits for themselves but it has to be managed because extreme self aggrandisement could be destructive and corruptive. We have so many examples of these in the past and present. I guess what I am saying is it is good to foster competition but fair. Learning to manage any new system will certainly involve trial and error constant tweaking and adjusting. Tje work is never done.

    • Joe America says:

      It is fascinating, this matter of trust. On one hand, President Aquino has held the highest satisfaction ratings of any modern president. On the other, it seems that a large share of the population is willing to accuse him of bad faith on this matter or that, because his decisions are different than theirs. That they have none of the information or accountabilities he has does not even enter the picture.

      It seems to me that trust can’t exist without sacrifice of the individual for the whole of the nation. So before trust, there must be sacrifice . . . And before sacrifice, there must be principles . . . like freedom under laws over discipline imposed at the barrel of a gun.

  16. LG says:

    As written, appealing, worth the consideration with tweaks here and there by Duterte. Hope Duterte has a guy who reads the Society several times daily for ideas to steal/copy and to feed his boss or his designate to table. Saves them precious think tank time, the Society looks to have been doing well😊 already.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    I head a rumor..4As plus T will be prosecuted and they will start with Abaya..

    plus a corny one. Trillanes and Kris has a destab plot.
    what did Jaworski once said?”That is Propisterous!”

    • Joe America says:

      I’m reminded of mob rule where popular whim forms the basis of prosecution rather than laws. Some kind of vague notion of the “Vengeance of the Arroyos” is also forming there. This throws the idea of unity and harmony under the bus, and so I guess that concept, duly repeated by PE Duterte, was meant to be in the realm of preposterous.

      If the rumor is true, of course . . .

      • karlgarcia says:

        That proclamation snub is a bad start,let us see if he really will not attend.He can not afford to snub Congress,if he wants cooperation and unity.
        If He prosecutes Aquino,Abad,Abaya ,Alcala plus Trillanes Then I will believe that PE Duterte is an Arroyo proxy.

        • Joe America says:

          It is a bad start. Unity cannot be had without granting respect to the institutions of government and the people who work hard to allow democracy in the Philippines to prosper. It sends a signal that he doesn’t respect the institutions of democracy. Not good.

          • NHerrera says:

            Your comment relates in a way to my post below on the Coalition Game at the Senate. For indeed how does the thinking Senators view this move or “attitude.” It certainly does not work well towards a Senate Coalition that is intended to further the Legislative Program of the New Admin. In a perverse way Drilon or Sotto and allies must welcome this move.

          • I think mlq3 said that proclamation attendance has not been tracked. I guess this is congress being very sensitive.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, nevertheless, missing a significant national event leaves one thinking that Mr. Duterte has little sense of the Philippines as a nation, distinguished for its democratic history, principles and institutions. One runs a chalk board on “deeds” and I can’t help but put this one under a column headed “Severe Disappointment”. It is right next to “Totally Disillusioned”.

              • LG says:

                No respect for protocol, embarrasses his voters. How is he going international without knowledge of protocol?

        • LG says:

          There are now 300 congressmen declared as PDPs, from 3. Unity is forming, although superficially. He can snub them all he wants and give their allegiance for as long as it benefits them,

      • uht says:

        A “Vengeance of the Marcoses” seems to be forming too, if his proposal to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is any indication.

  18. NHerrera says:


    The House of Representatives is a completely different animal from the Senate. The House has already been won even at this time by the coming Administration. Not so the Senate, at least at this time. It is obvious that the Senate should also be won to put a head-start on the many plans of the new Admin, including the Federalism idea.

    Depending on further development which is very fluid, the matter of majority and Senate Presidency is not yet certain. Because of uncertainties, including the federalism plebiscite, the Mid-term election in 2019 and the election of 2022 must figure well in the respective calculus of the Senators, even or more so by the young Turks in the Senate.

    Even though Pimentel or Cayetano may give way to the other, the matter of Drilon, Cayetano/Pimentel, Sotto Senate Presidency is far from a settled issue in my opinion.

    There may be migration from one group to the other in the groups below, but a starting grouping for the Coalition Game may be the following:

    1 Bam Aquino LP
    2 Franklin Drilon LP
    3 Kiko Pangilinan LP
    4 Leila de Lima LP
    5 Joel Villanueva LP
    6 Ralph Recto LP
    7 Risa Hontiveros Akbayan
    8 Antonio Trillanes IV NP
    9 Panfilo Lacson Ind

    1 Koko Pimentel PDP
    2 Cynthia Villar NP
    3 Alan Cayetano NP
    4 Manny Pacquiao UNA
    5 Migz Zubiri Ind
    6 Nancy Binay UNA
    7 JV Ejercito UNA
    8 Grace Poe Ind
    9 Chiz Escudero Ind
    10 Gringo Honasan UNA

    1 Tito Sotto NPC
    2 Sherwin Gatchalian NPC
    3 Loren Legarda NPC

    Group X
    1 Dick Gordon Ind
    2 Sonny Angara LDP

    • Joe America says:

      Hmmmm. Interesting. Thanks for that, NH. I think I’d align Angara with LP (he is a reasonable, decent person and I can’t see him aligned with UNA people) and Gordon with PDP (he ran under UNA in 2013).

  19. Steve says:

    I see no effort here to address the issue of finance, which is a major stumbling block. At present over 85% of the national tax collection is in the NCR, and the provinces and regions, almost without exception, require massive subsidy from the NCR to survive. Most receive more in IRA alone (not including expenditures from DPWH, DepEd, and other national agemcies) than they remit in taxes. Does this Federal structure propose to continue those transfers?

    The assumption that Manila is the cause of provincial underdevelopment is not consistent with observed reality. Development varies widely among cities and provinces: some prosper and progress, others are left behind. The key variable is the quality of local administration. Regions and provinces dominated by feudal dynasties typically have the most stagnant economies, the highest internal inequities of wealth distribution, and the least hope for their residents. How does Federalism address the need to reform governance in the dozen poorest provinces, the pockets of misery that constitute such a high percentage of Philippine poverty. Take for example the province of Dinagat, where over 70% of the populace lives below the poverty line and the Ecleos, the ruling dynasty, live in a 350 million peso palace. How will handing the Ecleos even more power in the guise of “bringing government closer to the people” serve the interests of the province?

    • Joe America says:

      Zing! Yes, national can re-allocate wealth better than independent federations can create it, if they are poor. Trying to get rich Federation X to support poor Federation Y is like getting the EU to agree how to deal with Greece.

      • bill in oz says:

        Joe, don’t be silly..The Philippines is not the EU…National governments always serve to redistribute wealth…

        Re the question : “How does Federalism address the need to reform governance in the dozen poorest provinces, the pockets of misery that constitute such a high percentage of Philippine poverty ?”
        Quick answer, it doesn’t.. But if there are growing cities which need employees then people will always move from poor provinces to the city to get jobs and a better life. That’s been happening since 1750 in Europe, the USA, Australia, China India etc…

        • Steve says:

          In countries like the Philippines migration from the dynasty-dominated failed provinces exceeds the absorption capacity of the city’s employment market. Many of the migrants have few if any employable skills, and a modernizing economy has less and less need for unskilled labor. What you get is ever-growing slums filled with people who have fled from nowhere to nothing.

          • bill in oz says:

            Steve, I see what you are saying every day..Homeless and jobless..As a social security issue it’s awful; as a look for Manila it’s not good.But the alternative is to have all these poor peasant families stay in remote, poor villages where there is no future except being exploited by powerful oligarch families, but they are out of sight and forgotten about…

        • Joe America says:

          Hey, Bill, don’t be an idiot by calling me silly.

          The point is that Federalism is not a panacea, it would be a nation of states out for themselves first and other states second. If that is silly to project discord and use the EU as an example, just explain why a rich state would underwrite the debts or development of a poor state. Steve’s point is that financial inequities need to be addressed, and are not in the proposal. Are you saying we don’t have to worry about it?

          • bill in oz says:

            Sorry Joe, I misunderstood your previous comment…I thought you were saying a federal Philippines would be the same as the EU…Stupid of me..
            Re the very real issue of some states being rich & others being poor, I do not have an answer for the Philippines…In Oz the constitution specifically states that the Federal parliament has authority to make funding grants to states as needed for the welfare the country.

            • Joe America says:

              Those are the details that I think need to be worked out before any kind of constitutional revision is proposed. What taxing authorities fall to national and what authorities fall to the states? How does national get the money it allocates to the poor states? Can it levy assessments against rich states? Maybe Australia would be a good model. I hear people talking about a constitutional rewrite to go to federalism during the first six months of the new administration, and that is for sure the lunacy of “fire, ready, aim!”

              • bill in oz says:

                How to set up the taxation regime is not just important. it is crucial…but I am not an expert on taxation in the Philippines…That needs local knowledge and views.

                In Oz income & company taxes are only collected by the Federal government. Ditto for customs & exise duties. And these are credited to the Federal treasury … there are also a range of federal government fees etc..The federal government in Oz is thus the major taxation collector.

                In Oz the states collect taxes from mining royatlies ( a big revenue item), and from all land sales. ( All land Titles are registered at state based title offices. No change of title is recognised unless it is registered at the state title office. And the sale of land and apartments requires payment of a fee based on the value of the property..This system guarantees security of title and a significant taxation flow.)
                States also gain All the revenue from the 10% VAT. The VAT is collected nationally but it is redistributed on a needs based formula by an independent council set up with state & Federal appointed members to decide the distribution formula every three years

                Local governments aso raise money by levying what we call ‘rates’. this is a tax base on the value of the property(0.3% is common). the local governments & cities use this for local roads, parks, gardens, Ca facilities etc..

                there are other details but that is the broad outline..Maybe it will help here.. But circumstances will make a big difference

    • karlgarcia says:

      Yes,amen to all points.👍🏻

      • NHerrera says:

        I can see that this federalism thing — the national government and the component “states” and their power, responsibilities and relationships among them, including the all important sources of financing and fund transfers to the poorer components — will occupy TSH for some time to come as the idea evolve. That is if it does not become a State Secret until it is presented in a plebescite.

    • sonny says:

      Seems like the generic problems and issues on the ground must be addressed whether they be in one form of gov’t or another, e.g. compliance and penal loops of the legal system. Hence the inequitability in dynastic environments. This is almost endemic and pandemic even, country-wide.

    • bill in oz says:

      @Steve.. That’s a good question..I looked up Dingat in Wikipedia as I knew nothing about it..What I read described a classic tiny province of 1000 sq. ks with 120,000 very poor peasant farming & fishing based people.And no city at all..And yes it is the Eclos personal fiefdom…. elections not withstanding.
      What to do ? Dead simple : abolish it as a province. Make it part of a larger state with better finances. And thus . make the Eclos just another powerful family among other competing powerful families. And change the attitudes of the families. . the idea I suggested the other day that nobody can be elected to a state position unless they have lived in exile ( working studying, just plain living tsomewhere else ) overseas for 5 years would do this by changing mentality..

      As for a future industry for Dingat o achieve prosperity ? Tourism seems the obvious choice to promote..

      • “Take for example the province of Dinagat, where over 70% of the populace lives below the poverty line and the Ecleos, the ruling dynasty, live in a 350 million peso palace. How will handing the Ecleos even more power in the guise of “bringing government closer to the people” serve the interests of the province?”


        I completely agree with our take on this.

        What about a whiping out process? Basically DU30 ‘s DDS-concept re-purposed to take on bigger fish, instead of just tadpoles?

        • ps… it doesn’t have to be ala Game of Thrones ‘Red-Wedding’, it can be via tax codes, ie. dismantling wealth.

            • From Dictatorship to Democracy, A Conceptual Framework for Liberation is a book-length essay on the generic problem of how to destroy a dictatorship and to prevent the rise of a new one.[1] The book was written in 1993 by Gene Sharp (b. 1928), a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts.

              From Dictatorship to Democracy contains a preface and ten sections. Its first appendix includes 198 Methods Of Nonviolent Action that were taken from Gene Sharp’s The Politics of Nonviolent Action (1973), Part Two, The Methods of Nonviolent Action. The main sections of the 4th US edition are entitled:

              1. Facing Dictatorships Realistically
              2. The Dangers of Negotiations
              3. Whence Comes the Power?
              4. Dictatorships Have Weaknesses
              5. Exercising Power
              6. The Need for Strategic Planning
              7. Planning Strategy
              8. Applying Political Defiance
              9. Disintegrating the Dictatorship
              10. Groundwork for Durable Democracy
              Three appendices are included in the fourth US edition of FDTD:

              Appendix 1. The Methods of Nonviolent Action
              Appendix 2. Acknowledgements and Notes on the History of From Dictatorship to Democracy
              Appendix 3. A Note About Translations and Reprinting of this Publication
              For Further Reading
              Appendix 3 gives a step-by-step procedure for effectively translating FDTD into other languages.

              • Steve says:

                Nonviolent resistance doesn’t work so well when the other side has the will and the capacity to use violence. You’re right on how to break the dynasties, though. The dynasties survive by being able to break the law without consequence, so they break the law a lot. If you sent a team of auditors and investigators to (for example) Dinagat, you would very quickly find sufficient evidence to lock the whole Ecleo family up for the rest of their natural lives, and confiscate all of their assets. This is true of most of the other real core dynastic families as well… they are so used to being exempt from the law that they don’t even hide it. It would take an aggressive and committed national government to do it, though… not likely to happen in a Federal structure.

      • Steve says:

        The reality is that the families won’t compete. They will respect each other’s fiefdoms and take a “kanya-kanya” attitude, essentially letting each other do as thy please with what is considered “theirs”. There will be occasional conflicts between or among families seeking to dominate a particular area, which will be settled extralegally. In short, feudalism. I don’t think you could legally demand overseas residence as a qualification for office, it would exclude too many people and the right to run for office is pretty fundamental.

        Dinagat is not xactly a tourism haven. It’s a north-south sliver, the west coast fronts on Surigao Styrait, which has heinous currents, and the east side fronts the Pacific ocean, which has huge waves. Fisherman rarely stray far from shore. There aren’t many beaches. It is not fertile. There is a shitload of chromite though, and of course the exploitation is run by you-know-who.

    • Joe America says:

      They can pursue it as a case, I suppose. Others could also seek to root out cases of vote buying by this bitter VP candidate or that, as well.

      • LG says:

        Who is to say these alleged witnesses are not paid to manufacture lies. “Whistle blowers”…my foot!. Just there mto create noise, break the credibility of the elections, especially Leni’s. Haaaaaaay.

        • NHerrera says:

          I heard on TV news at the tail end that these face-covered witnesses do not have evidence (except as personal eye-witnesses?). Whatever. How convenient methinks.

          • LG says:

            I happen to watch the news, too…after I had turned off the iPad). Faced covered with their hoods, walking like shamed culprits, they can’t be into something good. Good morning in your neck of the woods. Bright and sunny here after a light rain, thunderous night😊

    • karlgarcia says:

      MRP would demand forensic evidence.

  20. Sup says:

    Now i know why Duterte did not go taday to the sessionhall…………….

    Proof of how disinterested Duterte was in congressional work, he described his stay in Congress as “boring”. So boring it was that he ended up going to the movies instead. According to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report, he would go attend the flag ceremony in Congress then proceed to the canteen, after which he would watch movies when the opportunity presented itself.

    Duterte was quoted as saying, “…When I became a congressman, I’d go to the mall, naglalakad-lakad ako, tapos magdadaldal, wala namang kakwenta-kwenta…kayo na diyan, uwi na ako.” (When I became a congressman, I’d go to the mall, I’d walk then chit-chat, which was a waste…I’m leaving you behind, I’m going home.)

    • Sup says:

      Today……sorry…… 🙂

    • bill in oz says:

      I agree with Duterte here. He is too busy actually organising his cabinet still & preparing for government to attend ceremonial stuff..I suspect he will find the ceremonial stuff a huge waste of time

      • LG says:

        Unfortunately, Duterte has to deal with rites n ceremonies fast. Will he delegate hosting or being hosted at state visits, giving presidential speeches, leading national celebrations, etc. where ceremonies are a given? He is NOT a mayor anymore. Maybe he struggles with Identity Crisis, you think?

      • Joe America says:

        I disagree. It was an opportunity to rally the nation as a nation, a point of recognition and passing the baton, and celebrating both the formality of his election and the vibrancy of the Philippine democracy.

        • andy ibay says:

          About the new president’s stance on ceremonies and celebrations, If I know me and lots of other people Presdu30 will change and will make exceptions. I know because I am old and was born yesterday. Unless he is incapacitated and when he reach the stage Gloria Arroyo is in right he will welcome attending important occasions even in a wheel chair. Newly married and I know what it cost I said I will not attend any children’s party I AM NOT A CHILD. But Joe Am knows the kids, blood relations of the other people I got to go just to show my face there. for being both Head of State and Head of government the concern for personal security and safety prevails over official and social obligations.

      • If that me that won 16 million votes I will be very proud to represent those people that supported me, those who want change.
        Saying that I am very emotional to see Robredo officially proclaimed, it’s our democracy start to bear fruits, that an ordinary citizen can dream again of holding one of the highest position in land. If the playing is level everyone can dream again.

        • sonny says:

          JdeV, I totally agree with you. Ms Robredo’s trajectory from entry to her election is sweet vindication of right over might for her and her constituency. The success of the next stage of that ascendancy is what we will be vigilant about.

        • LG says:

          Ah..but Leni is no “ordinary” citizen!

          Woe is me. I hope not every ordinary citizen dreams of becoming a president and then becomes One!. Scary😱. I don’t even want my mayor to be ordinary. I need him to be extraordinary.

      • Bert says:

        I think it’s not a matter of whether Duterte is busy or not.

        I think he’s just, simply, a NONCONFORMIST, having the urge to go against the grain, that’s what he is, by nature or by personal inclination/choice. Anyway, let’s just let him be what he is if that would make him happy, give him some slack that would suit his taste so to speak, who cares.

        But we will watch him how he runs this country as president, we will applaud his good deeds, whack him if he abuses his power and subject this nation to ruins. We will be vigilant!

        • chempo says:

          Since when is nonconformity an excuse for one’s behaviour. I think it smacks of an emperor’s sense of above everything. It displays a disregard for etiquette and protocol meaning no respect for others. Just watch out this streak disrespect for protocols in the years ahead to create international scenes. Imagine him not wishing to meet visiting heads of states at the last minute.

          • Bert says:

            Agree with you, chempo. But teaching a dog new tricks is one thing, watching the dog’s behavior is another. So to be aware of what that dog can do to us, bad or good. and watching its moves is the more prudent thing to do rather than teaching it new tricks to satisfy the clamor. That is not to imply that Pres. Duterte is being likened to a dog but if he does not want to learn new tricks like for example be diplomatic or subscribe to the norm as dictated by proper protocol and wants to make a fool of himself so what’s that to us ordinary citizens? Not much.

    • uht says:

      I would have imagined that one who had won the presidential elections so resoundingly would at least pay his supporters a favor by showing up to represent them against the Congress he detests….

      But clearly Duterte thinks otherwise.

  21. NHerrera says:

    Joe, re Notes from the Editor, about taking to using military gutter language to acclimatize Junior to the evolving social standards, I believe you have preceded that with a thorough groundings on Satire 101?

    • Joe America says:

      He he, yes indeed. He knows bad words, knows not to use them, and is the biggest jokester in the house. He calls it ‘pranking’. He also knows his father is a literary game player and ought to be taken seriously only now and then.

  22. NHerrera says:

    Cesar Polvorosa Jr. wrote an interesting article “Duterte presidency: Another EDSA in the making or advent of real progress for PH?” which lists a rather good summary of the big-ticket items in PE Duterte’s Presidency. Cesar Polvorosa Jr. is a business school professor of economics, world geography, and international business management in Canada. He is also a published writer in economics, business, and literature.–duterte-presidency-another-edsa-in-the-making-or-advent-of-real-progress-for-ph

    • Joe America says:

      Superb article. Expresses key issues, unknowns, downside and upside. It will go into ‘must read’ column.

      • NHerrera says:

        Polvorosa caps his article with one from Machiavelli:

        “there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

        I did not know that Machiavelli crowns his other statements with such an enduring gem.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Federalists would say that EDSA is so imperial Manila.

      • bill in oz says:

        Karl,I am a believer in federal governments because they makes dictatorships very unlikely. And thus an EDSA type event is not needed…

  23. NHerrera says:

    John Nery in his article “Duterte’s China”


    has this to say about his (Nery’s) interesting phraseology about the PE’s “strategic ambiguity” or “ambiguous strategy” with regards to China:
    IN BEIJING, China, this week, as in Siem Reap, Cambodia, four weeks ago, conversations among Asia News Network editors often revolved around, or returned to, the Duterte phenomenon. In the last month or so, some of the most-read stories shared among the 21 member-organizations have been about the unlikely candidacy or unexpected victory, the unsettling rhetoric or unconventional habits, of the Philippine president-elect.

    (The most shared story on ANN in the last seven days? “Duterte: My day starts at 1 pm.”)

    He has met with the Chinese ambassador in Davao City, in a formal luncheon complete with printed menu, and praised Beijing for easing restrictions on Filipino fishermen. But he has also reasserted Philippine claims to parts of the Spratly Islands (and Sabah). This is something out of Sun Tzu, yes?

    The current uncertainty provoked by Duterte’s approach to the South China Sea issue may confuse China or unsettle the United States and Japan, but would that he take care to keep his own people clear about right and wrong.

    I particularly like the last line:

    … but would that he take care to keep his own people clear about right and wrong.

  24. andy ibay says:

    Between this and a probable next one THIS IS MY FINAL WORD (a long one as usual) IN THIS PIECE of mine. I am content, I am thankful there are both additions and subtractions which happened here in diagnosis and prognosis even placebos for the issue of Changing the form of our democratic government. This piece with some alterations is written to be APPLICABLE and USEFUL to whoever won the presidential election: to Digong, Mar, Grace, Mirriam and yes even to Jejomar. This essay of concoction, conjectures and conviction and conjunction of public service principles has attempted something: to be relevant, “to be of service, to make a contribution, and to be useful” to the Filipino Society and the bloggers of the Society of Honor by Joe America. Those in quotes will surely remember hearing them first from Noel Soriano, the only UP System EVP.

    Addition and subtraction is the wisdom of creation and of the universe behind the poem. People are blindsided, clueless and even dubious about plus-minus, add-subtract, positive-negative signs before an entity. Hint: We have now and have had in our lengthy political past plus-minus combinations of Presidents and Vice-Presidents. As to who will be the plus and who the minus is (was) you hip shooting yakkers or judicious sharp-shooting pen snipers who always get their target know it for sure: Go back to as far as Elpedio and his VP, to fast forward Cory and Doy, then Erap and Gloria, Gloria-Teofisto-Noli, Noynoy-Jejomar AND NOW (bugle and trumpets please of reville not taps) IT IS DIGONG-LENI.

    The arithmetic is wisdomic (if there’s such a word) and almost physics : As arithmetic (+) and (-) they cancel each other out to the benefit or misfortune of their people. Imagine (feel like the song of Beatle Paul McCartney) if Digong have the negative sign before a bigger number and Leni have the smaller positive sign. By intent or accident every election turns out that way even when guns, goons and cash rules or when honest e-tech triumphs. I am caveman, I am barbarian when I can not believe such creation that the computer’s DNA is only 0 or 1, a binary case of it is not there or it is there.

    Even our politicians and pundits who make a living out of the spin of politics SEEM clueless about that arithmetic aspects of politics . The late Amang Rodriguez (self-confessed no- read, no- write) esteemed Mr. Nationalist postulated that POLITICS IS ADDITION. David Easton said politics is the authoritative allocation of values (including wealth, of course) in the society. I say MISALLOCATION of values for centuries in our society is the lingering kind of cancer that do not kill but keep our society in constant chemotherapy and radiation. The political oncologist who tries to arrest that being, will ride the tiger and will likely become the tiger’s LUNCH SPECIAL. PNoy did not ride the tiger, he preferred RUNNING just alongside, so he was only bitten, not eaten. Easton was made clearer by Harold Dwight Lasswell when HE defined and refined politics as: “Who gets what, where, when, how and why” .

    PNoy was tarred and feathered but not quartered for not knowing infantile arithmetic. A plus here (for the poor) but a minus there (from corruption) could spell for him media crucifixion. For Noynoy the backlash of his efforts and results against corruption could well be explained by the Pareto Principle: which seemed to explain 20% of the causes could be 80% of the results. PNoy knew the cardinal principle of Opportunity costs of capital : will he and the country profit more if he got money of the corrupt and invest it on the poor?

    To be theological without treading the borders of sanity: there could be an unchanging sum total of souls FIXED to populate both heaven and hell. A minus in heaven will be a plus in hell, and hell is always heavier than heaven. Could be a pity but Albert Einstein said: “God does not play dice.”

    There is good comment in this piece about the lack of mention about the Financial Aspect of the Proposed Parliamentary government. First to clarify : financial management is the lingo for Business Administration whose raisson de etre is PROFIT more PROFIT. It is NOT SERVICE SIR. Governance in whatever form the ultimate goal is SERVICE , PUBLIC SERVICE never PROFIT. Reasonable deficits, breaking even, and surplus means national and international THUMBS UP for the fiscal-wise government.

    Secondly, to inform, government funding is FISCAL ADMINISTRATION that have three main disciplinary divisions: Governmental Budgeting, Governmental Accounting, and Governmental Auditing. My unfulfilled wish as a teacher is to teach the masteral course in Gov’tal Budgeting. When I was taking Gov’tal Auditing, my professor was COA Provincial Auditor of Rizal Province Conrado Declaro who was guarded during the whole semester by two soldiers armed with Browning Automatic Rifles (light machine guns) because he had exposed gross anomalies in the MVO’s office in the province.

    I thought that If I write on Parliamentary Fiscal Administration , it should start DEDUCTIVE, its big universe of how far it can go, not how little it should be. In a parliamentary system the government of the day fails and get abolished because it can not budget correctly. That’s how powerful and weak is the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) . Every year the ruling party’s PROPOSED BUDGET is the PM’s jugular. The budget to be INDUCTIVE about it must contain the specifics for the year on how many JOBS it will CREATE, what’s in it for mothers and infants, and the elderly UNDERSCORED as all of them will be impacted by the allocations and allotments to Personal Services, Maintenance, Monitoring and operating Expenses and Capital and Investment Outlays.
    It is not humility or a cause for shame for members of parliament (MPs and MRPs) to attend courses and training for knowledge and skills of their interest but which they do not have. Organizing such courses should be included in the job description of all Parliament Committee chair. It is “Know thy self” by knowing your job. First on offer is computerization and cyber communications technology.

    I read here that the country is under-educated. That I think is not the issue. Our OFWs is number one in Education attainment. As a student in the 1960s, we were already asking : If Education is a pre-condition for development why is the Philippines still UNDERDEVELOPED? It is the wrong question now. Being educated, OFWs are planting the seeds of goodwill and competence all over the world.

    • dennis declaro says:

      Hello Mr. Ibay,

      I hope my note finds you well. I was pleased to come across your post mentioning my dad, Conrado, It was from a time long ago.

      Warm regards,

      Dennis Declaro

      • andy ibay says:

        A jewel of gladness comes in a rarewhile. I won’t forget the image of your little in physique but giant in courage of your dad, dennis. I had a big whole then in fiscal admin having taken only budgeting and auditing, nothing in accounting but your dad got the patience to enlightened us on the nust and bolts of debit and credit. To be a teacher-practioner is most rewarding and helpful to students of applied science and the arts. Thanks to JoeAm for calling attention to your Sept 9 comment in the sea May 30-31 comments which I have already forgotten. .

        • Dennis Declaro says:

          Salamat din po sa iyong pagaala sa kanyang naitulong sa iyong kaalaman. Matagal na po siyang wala sa piling natin, ngunit sigurado ako, natutuwa siya sa pagtapong ito….

          By chance lang po na nakito si JoeAm, sa dinami-daming mga website tungkol na mga nangyayari ngayon sa ating bayan,….

          Be well sir…

          Salamat din Joe Am, Ok ang mga articles mo…para sa mulat.

  25. NHerrera says:


    Former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. made the call to the incoming president as he and fellow advocates began their bid to educate people about federalism, which Duterte promised to bring about under his administration.

    “It’s good if it’s done immediately because the glamour of the president will still be fresh in the minds of the people. It’s easier to convince people now than later,” Pimentel told reporters at Club Filipino in San Juan where he and newly elected Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas led a forum on federalism.

    However, Duterte’s actual timetable differed from Pimentel’s suggestion, according to Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate who was said to be helping him craft his legislative agenda.

    Cayetano told Senate reporters on Monday the Duterte administration planned to start the motions for shifting to federalism in the “middle of (his) term.”

    He said Duterte wanted a “massive consultation” since he noted that “federalism” was not a simple issue.

    Cayetano seems to have a better sense of the matter considering his note that “federalism” was not a simple issue.

    But former Sen Nene Pimentel is of the “strike while the iron is hot” type. Yes, but the PE has a mountain of items on his plate requiring urgent attention too.

    Well I suppose we will know soon enough after June 30.

  26. andy ibay says:

    three pointy points of view:

    The cake has been handed to us. let’s enjoy half of it first, then baked another LATER , a new bigger cake. we are hungry let’s start eating NOW. worry about a new cake later.

    Let’s not appear to be that starved. let’s be more rationale, the cake isn’t fresh and may be bad tasting from a not too good recipe, so let’s baked another one, the flour and yeast are good for dough, come let’s start cooking now and share some to those who paid for the ingredients.

    Guys, WAIT. Eating and cooking can be concurrent activities to achieve a desired event which will end hunger. Let’s just eat while we are cooking, we can be cooking while we are eating. For God’s sake let’s be Chefs instead of being seasoned politicians.

  27. Jose Guevarra says:

    I do like the idea of federalism until we have a strong anti-dynasty law in effect. Given, however, that this is a very real possibility, I do not think that Filipinos are willing to give up their right to directly elect their President.

  28. karlgarcia says:

    According to Mareng Winnie,changing to federalism is not easy.

    And according to a certain Orion Perez,the Monsods are stupid(his words) for saying so.

    Who on earth is Orion Perez???

    • madlanglupa says:

      > Pinoytrendingnews

      One of many of those agitprop clickbait sites used to steer public opinion to the favor of the demagogues and the right-wingers, as well as providing ample income for its owners.

    • NHerrera says:

      You meant who on Orion is Perez? Sorry, karl. Just trolling you and unleashing my corny sense of humor today. Nothing new from Davao-land that is why; and the minions remarks do not help my sense of humor.

  29. karlgarcia says:

    Remember this article by Ben Diskurso.

    All about the Parliamentary form of government.

  30. LG says:

    To all who care to reply,

    What’s your take on Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel’s “expertise” on Federalism? Has he lived in a federal country?

    • karlgarcia says:

      If living in a federal country is the measuring stick,then some of our commenters here are more qualified than Pimentel when it comes to Federalism.

      • Joe America says:

        Agree, although I am shifting to the idea of backing Federalism so my own state, which I presume to be the Eastern Visayas, can be its own kingdom and apart from the Federated State of Davao, and the Federated State of Manila. I’m going to go out and buy a somewhat used Romualdez/Marcos bumper sticker for my car, hire some private guards, and start to monger some power and favors to the limits of my bank account, white skin and 6′ 4″ frame. My sitio will be my tribe and I intend to use it to become the Duke of Biliran.

      • LG says:

        He, Nene Pimentel, seems more passionate about converting the country to federalism than DIgong himself. What makes him so knowledgeable about federalism if he has only read about it? Not even living in one for several years qualifies one to be an expert. He wants Digong to “strike while the iron is hot”. Vintage trapo? Is he not one of the ‘respected’ former senators? Unless, I wiki him,I don’t know him at all.

        • Joe America says:

          The Pimentel briefer I read on Federalism was very shallow. I thought I would learn about how it would be funded, what functions would remain with national and the like, but it was just mom and apple pie. Voting for it would be like jumping off a cliff without first checking to see if there really was a parachute in the backpack they gave you.

          • LG says:

            When I wiki Nene, the write up claims that, as a senator, he authored a bill on converting the Philippines’ form of government to federalism. Did not pass. No spectacular info on him that I can tell.

            • Joe America says:

              Here is the bill:

              I retract my comment that it is mom and apple pie. There is a lot of detail here, and I suspect it may be the framework that will be proposed by the Duterte Administration.

              • LG says:

                I bet, it’d be the main reference. Then Nene would be a household name and for the history books before he bids the earth goodbye……if Duterte pursues Federalism. Thanks for taking the time to send the copy of the bill. Hope I comprehend it.

              • Joe America says:

                If you’d care to do a critique on the bill, I’d be happy to publish it. I think a LOT of people would be interested.

              • LG says:

                Darn, the page in question is currently “not available”. Being tweaked?

              • Joe America says:

                Weird. There is a convention to the link that I don’t understand. On the URL, type “!.pdf” behind the document number (without the quotes). That is, exclamation point.pdf.

                I can’t get WP to state the convention properly.

                Or go to google and search on “federalism Pimentel bill” and it will be listed, and link over from there.

              • LG says:

                Opened it, lengthy but not tough to comprehend. Nevertheless, am not qualified to offer a critique ….me, no aprropriate background to do so. One like you should take the task when the aprropriate chance arises. Thank you again for sending the file. I appreciate your passion and dedication to engage your readers. Fist bump.

              • Joe America says:

                I may go through it. Thanks.

              • LG says:

                Your critique would be worth the wait. If and when a Cha Cha happens as a prerequisite to a change to Federalism and the House/Senate takes on the challenge of submitting the bill in question, critiques to the bill, as dubmitted, would be the most opportune time to send such critique/s by concerned citizens/residents of the Land. Till recently, I was in favor of federalism having lived/worked in the US for a little less than 4 decades of my life. Lately, am not sure anymore, since you brought up the issue of culture (NOT form of government) as perhaps the main ‘driver’ of the growth and development of a country.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m thinking it will be fun dissecting that beast. So it might actually happen.

              • LG says:

                Why, of course, it will be FUN, especially for the reader. In 3 years or less?

              • LG says:

                Okie dokie.

  31. bill in oz says:

    Lets get something straight : Federalism means dispersed legal power & authority. In Oz each stte runs it’s own police force, fire fighting services, anbulance service etc.The schools are state organised and managed. Ditto roads ….Thus we have never had a dictator. And the odd state leader who was a fuckwit or corrupt, (yes we have had them ) faced limits on what damage he could do.

    By contrast the Philippines is a centrally managed state dominated by a single leader – a president and that one person can go off the rails as illustrated by Marcos & Estrada & Aroyo…

    Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it : so watch out here comes Duterte ! Odd thing as as a man from Mindanao he wants a federal Philippines. And that will be a huge blessing

  32. madlanglupa says:

    This writer mirrors my sentiments regarding federalism, or more preferably, neo-feudalism:

    Without ways of curbing their powers as well as oversight on the use of public funds, and regardless of any system or change in status quo, the corrupt will do anything to keep themselves in power and awash in riches, all the while keeping the masses in chains as serfs.

    • bill in oz says:

      Hey Madlanglupa, would you use a knife to ‘carry’ food to your mouth, instead of a fork or spoon ? Probably not.

      Corruption exists. OK. What are the solutions to it ?

      Federalism is not a solution to corruption. It deals with an entirely different problem. Imperial Manila and concentrated power leading to dictatorship and all the ills

      • madlanglupa says:

        To begin with, meritocracy should be the norm, not the exception. And young would-be government employees ought to be trained by those who are committed to public service than pursuit of wealth.

      • madlanglupa says:

        I also insist that children ought to be educated on good government and why corruption cannot be tolerated in their generation, and even be taken to field trips to see how things actually work at, say, the municipal hall or the provincial capitol. Well, such visitations may also force bureaucrats to keep a straight arrow and say nice things to the kids.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes. enough of that and maybe the Senators Cayetano and Pimentel would realize they are building young people’s lives . . . and are they doing it responsibly? The excuse making on behalf of PE Duterte’s mouth is straight from Dumb and Dumber, only it isn’t funny at all.

        • bill in oz says:

          All of these ideas are good suggestions. But let’s think about the origins of corrupt behaviour by officials…One is the low likelihood of being caught or punished, because the legal system is also corrupt..( again nothing to do with Federalism )
          Another is that the rewards of corruption are significant for both sides… So a punishment regime that includes siezing all assets gained by corruption would be a big disincentive.. Ideas to brood upon..

          • bill in oz says:

            heres another way to get rid of corruption ; allow modern divorce laws ! I wonder if the new President will introduce changes in the Divorce Nightmare Situation. Getting an annulment is a first class corruption path.So allowing “no fault” divorce would destroy that particular way of being corrupt. And another step forward for the Philippines into the modern world and away from the Feudal Catholic one. 

            • bill in oz says:

              I see no one has responded to my suggestions about getting rid of corruption. considering that it is such an important prominent complaint that is disappointing. Or maybe it is not really important ?

              • Joe America says:

                Perhaps the comment just came in late to the thread. For myself, although I favor a divorce law, don’t really see corruption as the reason for doing it. Compassion is the reason for doing it.

              • bill in oz says:

                Of course, compassion is important. But corrupt law drives corrupt practices in law. The current lack of a divorce law, but being able to buy an annulment is corrupt. Who can respect such ‘law ‘ ?

              • Joe America says:

                Well, it is an interesting topic, but I was just responding to your query as to why no one responded to your comment. For sure, corruption is a big, important topic. Your solution was either late on the table or didn’t resonate with others, either.

              • Joe America says:

                What would be an interesting topic, I think, would be existing laws, or lack of laws, that contribute to corruption.

                Bank Secrecy
                Land Use
                Until recently, Anti-Trust

                I just learned that there is no law that can be put on the table when someone pays a journalist for a slant or story. It is perfectly legal to buy the news in the Philippines.

                Probably there are others that can be highlighted as promoting the culture of impunity (and corruption).

                I doubt that I’ll do the blog, but you can if you want.

            • bill in oz says:

              Sorry Joe with my right arm still no good, it is not feasible.Everything I write is still one fingered left hand..And I am unable to do any outside research..My lady will not allow it still.And in my head unwritten is the one I promised you :”Islands of order :Malls in the Philippines”.

            • LG says:

              Duterte has no personal need for divorce, nor annulment anymore. There are live-in arrangement takers naman with privileges to adventure out without penalty. He learns well.

    • bill in oz says:

      Re Federalism, As Edmund Burke remarked “A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation” from his Reflections on the French Revolution, 1790. The absolutist french monarchy was then being destroyed because it lacked a way of changing itself.

      • bill in oz says:

        Dare I put here a link to an article by Carlo de Leon from Get Real Philippines ? It deals with the ‘signature industry’ and all the corruption this brings with it. He believes that Duterte will get rid of corruption in this field as well..
        Can it be done ? I suspect many hope so. including my lady. She returned earlier today from Pag Ibig after waiting an hour in 2 queues to pick up her membership card. That’s on top of a three hour wait in 4 queues a month ago. I gave up and went to a 7/11 for a drink in an air conditioned space. Not the public service process of a modern state !

        • Joe America says:

          I personally don’t read GRP because they don’t allow me to comment there. Are extra-judicial killings a form of corruption, I am inclined to wonder. It seems to me that if I were a warlord mayor, I could seal my position in the gravy train by just killing the opposition. Maybe it is even worse than corruption.

          • bill in oz says:

            Yes they are Joe !

            But from what I have read extra judicial killings at election time, has been normal for a long time in some parts of the Philippines. The 40 odd journalists killed in the Ampatuan massacre in 2004 were ‘bystanders’ in a tribal war for elected power & position…

          • LG says:

            I went to the GRP site. Not worth the effort. Trashy.👎🏿

            • Joe America says:

              They sponsor a political advocacy that demeans and undermines the Philippines and Filipinos. I find the place quite disgusting, frankly. Benigno is a great mind gone to waste, and Ilda has values and perspectives that make my skin crawl. Such hate I cannot imagine . . . Must be a dark soul to inhabit.

            • bill in oz says:

              GRP is a Duterte & Bong Bong Marcos promotion site. I think of it as paid propaganda. In general it is abusive especially of Aquino, Roxas or Robredo. But the one article about the ‘signature industry’ is interesting.

  33. andy ibay says:

    THERE was a gathering crowd and I threw a whistle bomb that fizzled in their feet. They look at it and saw nothing. but the crowd was agitated and started to talk about bombs and was I there silently listening and watching. What I threw was nothing. Not even the smell of a weak firecracker.

  34. LG says:

    Have some Filipinos been too conditioned to their disadvantage? Or is this a reflection of over resiliency? Idiocy? Or being out of touch with reality? Any of the above forebodes danger.

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