Understanding President Duterte #1: Trial by NPA

Duterte-PNP philnews

[Photo credit Philnews]

The purpose of this writing is to think through a recent statement attributed to President Elect Duterte and to decide how to deal with a president who believes change requires a ruthless set of actions. In the end, I will ask readers to give their view on this rather complex matter.

In referring to a Philippine National Police (PNP) officer [police chief of Gov. Generoso, Davao Oriental] held by the New People’s Army (NPA), President Elect Duterte is reported to have said:

“I’m sorry for that guy. I leave his fate to the NPA”, Duterte said.  Duterte also said the NPA should try Olgachen in its revolutionary courts and sentence him to 10 years of hard labor. [Duterte tells NPA: Try captive cop; Inquirer] [Duterte: Captive cop chief’s fate up to NPA; Philstar]

The purported situation as explained by NPA representatives is that the PNP officer was found to have a packet of drugs (shabu) in his possession.

Now this is an exceptional statement by the President Elect because it appears to promote extra-judicial punishment by an armed element of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which is engaging in acts that are clearly illegal. The Mayor has not yet been sworn in as President and is acting as either a private citizen or the Mayor of Davao City. That adds to the peculiarity of the moment.

Let me list some statements, rather as a quick briefing on the various elements of context and fact pertaining to this situation:

  • Mayor Duterte is President Elect and has no official position with the national government. He has taken no oath.
  • The NPA was delisted as a terrorist organization by the Philippine government when peace talks were initiated with the Aquino Administration in 2011. The group is still branded as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.
  • The NPA conducts illegal acts, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion (“taxation”), and destruction of properties (utility towers; buses). The group engages in deadly armed conflict with Philippine police and armed forces.
  • As a private citizen of the Philippines, Mayor Duterte has full right of free speech.
  • The Mayor’s speech carries a certain exceptional weight because he is the incoming president. Therefore, many would expect him to demonstrate a certain exceptional responsibility when speaking. It is possible that the NPA will view the comments as having actual authority, or sanction, for the trial of a private citizen outside the courts of the land.
  • There is no provision in the Constitution for such an extra-judicial act.
  • We don’t know if the PNP officer had drugs, or if the drugs were planted, or if he would be found innocent or guilty in an actual court of law.
  • It is possible that rank and file PNP officers will have great concern about the Mayor’s statements as there is no assurance if they are also caught in a compromised position, real or mocked up. The PNP, as an official organization, would be seen to have left the captured man behind (PNP officials have stated they will continue their efforts to free the man from captivity.]
  • PNP officers are open to extortion in the future if copycat abductions are carried out.
  • The incoming Head of the PNP has vowed to execute the will of President Elect Duterte.
  • There is a potential for conflict within the ranks of the PNP if the new chief is seen as not supporting his troops.
  • Voters elected Mayor Duterte to the presidency fairly and legally, and with a clear mandate to “change” things.
  • The PNP has primary responsibility for investigating criminal incidents by PNP officers, and recommending and carrying out punishments, via its Police Board. If the police officer were to be investigated for drug offenses, it would fall to the PNP to investigate.
  • The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has primary responsibility for investigating administrative crimes of public officials under various laws, including the Code of Conduct and Ethical standards [Memorandum of Agreement; pdf file]. If Mayor Duterte were in violation of the law, this would be within the purview of the OMB.
  • President Elect Duterte has promised reconcilement and peace between the national government and CPP/NPA. He has offered cabinet secretarial positions to leftists recommended by the CPP. His opinion on the captured PNP officer can be seen as another conciliatory move aimed at peace.
  • Mayor Duterte and his spokespeople have asked that we grant him the right to put in place the changes he wishes to make.
  • There is no question that Mayor Duterte believes extra-judicial solutions can bring about change faster than working through the nation’s back logged, procedurally hidebound courts. We can confirm this through his own words.
  • The dilemma for citizens is whether or not the gains from extra-judicial solutions, with increased probabilities of innocents bearing punishment, will be better than gains from slow justice through the courts. It seems (to me) that no one has the wisdom to make this decision and that anyone with an opinion is guessing.
  • International human rights groups clearly frown on extra-judicial solutions. They have also been critical of the slow and politicized courts of the Philippine judiciary.
  • President Elect Duterte expects us to give him the benefit of the doubt. Senators and others are generally giving endorsement to Mr. Duterte’s initiatives.
  • Peace is not possible without granting concessions and respect to the NPA and CPP.

Given this background, what position do you recommend be taken?

  • Wait and see what develops.
  • Protest the Mayor’s statements; encourage the filing of charges against the mayor by the OMB.
  • Advocate for speedy extra-judicial solutions. Support his initiatives.

Or is there some other position you think would be best?


318 Responses to “Understanding President Duterte #1: Trial by NPA”
  1. bing945 says:

    Protest the Mayor’s statements; encourage the filing of charges against the mayor by the OMB.

    • Joe America says:

      Roger that, thanks bing945.

      • LG says:

        Who is to police Duterte? The OMB CCM had said that she would inhibit if Duterte is to be tried where she would be involved. Why? She is related to him by virtue of one of her nephews being married to Sara Duterte Carpio. But had said, she is not afraid of Duterte.

        • methersgate says:

          Of course the Ombudsman is not afraid of Duterte – what could she have to fear – she is a relative!

          She should have resigned, but of course she won’t – she is a part of his circle of cronies.

          So don’t expect anything like justice from the Ombudsman.

          • Gemino H. Abad says:

            methersgate is mere speculation! — if charges are filed against Mayor Duterte, the Ombudsman will investigate (she does not fear anyone!). — Protest Duterte’s appetite for extra-judicial executions. Insist that he change himself first to be worthy as our President!

  2. Tem says:

    Your first option is my preferred path. The second option is a good fall back option, if things deteriorate and shades of martial law begin to creep in. The third option is a no-no.

    • Joe America says:

      Got it, thanks.

    • purple says:

      Duterte’s war-on-drugs assassination program is to train people to accept the behaviors of dictatorship. By practicing on a hated minority no one can defend.

      An old story. But I do believe this guy and the heavies behind him are dangerous.

      Plenty of Arroyo people had thoughts of martial law.

      • Joe America says:

        The pattern of destabilizing all of the platforms we rely upon, from the judiciary to journalists, is very clear to anyone who wants to itemize them. Human rights? Demolished. Courts? Demolished. Free speech? Demolished. Civility? Demolished. Police? Demolished. Open expression on social media? Demolished. And we are told the purpose is to get rid of the old way of doing things, like impunity and the entitled? Fat chance, as favors are doled out to turncoats and lackeys. Yes, if I let my thoughts roam free, I can see where you are coming from.

        Is there an opposition, I suppose becomes the question. Right now, there is none. It is demolished, too, I suppose, and all that is out there are lonely cries from the woods.

        • purple says:

          The opposition will come. It may be the start of something truly new in the Philippines. Not this fraud Duterte.

          I can’t see how the country moves forward without an understanding of the rule of law. Without rule of law, massive corruption will always be prevalent. People just doing what they want because they feel it’s good.

          • Joe America says:

            Who’s law, seems to be the question. China’s law or the UN law? Duterte’s law or the democratically developed law? I suppose we will see what kind of allegiance the Philippines really has to democracy and its ideals.

  3. bing945 says:

    Addendum to my comment: this situation is an emergency, otherwise the cop would be sentenced to die, if we wait.

    • Tem says:

      The cop’s life matters, of course. It must not be taken lightly. On the other hand, we do not know what is really going on – are there behind-the-scenes negotiations?

      The NPA is not likely to squander an opportunity to score brownie points from the way they handle this situation. They have here an excellent window to show the rest of the country that they are not the blood-thirsty bandits that media has painted them to be. If they do not take this opportunity, then the h…k with them. May they rot in you-know-where.

    • Joe America says:

      I think the sentence would be 10 years hard labor, if they went by what PE Duterte said. If they did more, they would likely turn him against them.

    • victoria says:

      Assess the situation properly and treat it as it should be.. an emergency, or otherwise. The military would know best, I believe. We cannot take all those facts for granted and just wait and see but rather prepare to prevent trouble to happen. The mindset has to be close to prevention as possible because peoples lives and future are at stake hear. We cannot afford to be under dutertes bizarre mentality the way his voters were carried away. And, I suggest our suggestions or solutions should be managed privately, possibly sharing your impressions with the pnp and the admin. Whether it is high alert or an emergency or prevention, it should already have been initiated considering duterte as a dangerous man. I dont want to talk a lot here for security purposes. I can only hope our common goal to protect our country as peacefully as possible will succeed and prevent further damages.

      • Joe America says:

        I appreciate the input, victoria. The danger of excluding public discussions from the mix of ideas is that it leaves some people isolated. People don’t know if it is government that is isolating them, or people are just going underground. Numerous people have asked that we continue writing, and the intent is to do it in a context that is supportive of President Elect Duterte, with criticisms offered when they are warranted. This piece rather “feels out” the situation, and your view contributes to that discussion. Thanks.

  4. Adrian says:

    I’d go for option 1. Option 2 is like a tanod with club chasing a drug lord with guns and goons. Dangerous and ineffective. By now, I’ve accepted (grudgingly) that the guy from the Davao Crocodile Park, together with his “intrinsic values”, is our President. Right now I’m very confused, flight or fight.

  5. josephivo says:

    Conflicting laws, hierarchy of laws? Very difficult questions, legally and philosophically. Natural laws, human rights laws, Philippine legislation, efficiency versus legal red tape, results of actions versus the intention of the actions….

    For peace and order it will be necessary to make peace with your enemies (or friends?) the NPA, MILF, MNLF, war has proven the last 50 years to be ineffective. How far can one go in words to make peace, how far in deeds? But what with the war on drugs, being ineffective for 50 years too?

    Question one. A police officer (allegedly) involved in drugs (user, dealer, protector…?), he is (might be) my enemy and do I choose for war or peace? Throw him before the wolfs? Hand him over to our unreliable legal system? Or do I try to make “peace”, send him to rehab and/or reeducate? If I throw him before the wolfs, is the NPA the most effective? Is the NPA less sensitive to bribes, harsher in its punishments?
    As a president I would defend the legal system, if it is not reliable and I would give this problem my highest priority.

    Question two. On the way to peace, is it effective at this moment to acknowledge the NPA as an entity with the power to arrest, judge and punish?
    As a president I would never negotiate in front of the media and before the public opinion.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Option 1. my choice

    Option 2 is good only if hypothetical,but in the real world, If Omb will inhibit in cases involving Duterte,how will her deputies respond?

    No to number three.

    • Joe America says:

      I think OMB will fall into line to grant PE Duterte every benefit of the doubt, and tend to think this does not rise to the level of ‘hard crime’ that they would pursue. If it were plunder, I suspect the deputies would pursue it, but that is a different topic . . .

  7. Jose says:

    I cringe every time I hear the PE opens his mouth, so I choose not to read or watch the news anymore. Like many, I am thrown off by his demeanour as well as his way of thinking, but since he is the PE, elected by the majority, I will have to be hopeful for our future. Sigh.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the observation, Jose.

    • grammy2342 says:

      Like Jose, l cringe at his preposterous statements. He is like a runaway train with no emergency brakes. He just talks and talks – most of the time his words sound nonsense to me. When he announced that he would reward anyone who “kills” a drug lord, l thought l was having a nightmare. It turned out he really said it. Nakaka pagod si PE. I don’t want to react anymore because he gives me migraine that may lead to vertigo. And l haven’t had such attacks for the longest time.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, outrageous things come from his mouth. What is the thinking, the emotions, the character that lead to that. And how is it that so many important people, legislators and influential people, run TOWARD it rather than away. I am gobsmacked in the extreme.

        Senator Trillanes has been quiet. I wonder what he is up to.

        • grammy2342 says:

          That’s the weirdness of it all – he talks trash and people run TOWARD him with tongues out as though trying to catch the MANNA flowing out of his mouth. It’s absolutely discombobulating!

        • chempo says:

          LP Party is now in discussion with joining PDP-Laban in the majority group in Congress. What dies this all mean? Pnoy in his last few days can speak up against killings, hero burial for Marcos — and then in Congress LP to support his bills for killings ?
          Hindi ko maintindihan

          • Joe America says:

            President Aquino’s sway within the party is probably about zero these days as LP people look out for good old number one. The absence of principled people in Philippine national government would make Thomas Jefferson look a lot like the facial contortions of “The Scream”. I can count the number of principled people on one hand. Right now, I’m up to two, Leni Robredo and Bam Aquino. The rest, it seems to me, have the principles of a sea slug, and I am sorry to insult the sea-slug that way.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Yes and in the news 18 said to support Pimentel including LP, I think Trillanes will be lone wolf.

        • gubatvoces says:

          The psychology report on Duterte by Dr. Natividad Dayan, former president of the International Council of Psychologists illuminates it all, his thinking, character, actions, what kind of a man he is. https://kami.com.ph/5077-dutertes-psychology-report-released.html . Relate this to “How to Spot a Sociopath”, http://www.wikihow.com/spot-a-sociopath and his character, his actions all start to make sense.

          • Joe America says:

            That would make his constituency those within the Philippines who like their lunacy in a position of power. Okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy . . .

            • grammy2342 says:

              Just now listening to Gerry Baja of DZMM just to hear the news. And he’s calling D a hero with the song “we need a hero” – ??? I can also wait and see

      • jolly cruz says:

        Which is more preposterous ? a) Having drug lords in the national penitentiary but still able to practice their drug dealing operations and living like a freeman complete with all the amenities of a very rich man or b) having these drug lords killed.

        Just a thought on why educated people believed in Duterte. The question really is, which is more acceptable. Letting these scum of the earth continue with destroying the very fabric of the nation in the name of human rights or eliminate them before any one of our loved ones are victimized by drugs.

        • Jose says:

          I would be in favour of option B, but with due process, OR leave this solely in the hands of the police. Many innocents may fall victim because of this condonation endorsed by this PE.

        • grammy2342 says:

          It’s true that these drug lords are scum and should be obliterated from the face of the earth. But to encourage citizens to kill them for reward money appears so drastic and would encourage lawlessness. It’s just not acceptable. The law must be IMPLEMENTED to the letter. And the Bureau of Prisons overhauled completely. Those who coddled these jailed criminals so that they can do business as usual must be incarcerated themselves and in solitary and be given life sentences and all govt pensions revoked. They must be punished as well. If we allow killing of drug lords as though we are in the Wild West what will our young ones learn? What will happen to the values we are teaching them at home?

  8. Sup says:

    It feels a bit like 16.000.000 did put the wellfare ”on the line” of 105.000,000.
    Hope i am wrong….
    Compliment to the owner of this blog for putting items like this one open to discussion…must have a lot of gigabytes in his hard disc in his head,,,


  9. bill in oz says:

    Duterte has not learned yet, that innocuous phrase “No Comment “. He needs to now urgently !

    Are the media baiting him with hard questions designed to embarress him ? Or is the old man just out of his depth ? Probably a bit of both.
    But one thing is clear now : any coppers doing a bit of dealing or protecting, on the side, are putting their lives in jeopardy. There are other groups in this land beside the NPA who would love to act against their own drug involved coppers.

    • Joe America says:

      Seems to me that this could become a rather dark battlefield of murderers as drug lords plant packages on cops who threaten them, and eliminate them, and if there are territory battles, they could become bloody . . . I don’t see much upside to this, which may be why the innovative concept of laws was invented.

      • bill in oz says:

        I agree with you.. There is no upside here..The concept of laws seems voluntary & old fashioned here

      • purple says:

        The police are infested with drug pushing. And they always have a big stash to plant on people. Just a reality in the squatter’s areas. Much of the killings going on are probably either non-police aligned gangs or witnesses who shouldn’t have seen anything. And cops trying to look good for Duterte. When he ignores them they will turn.

        Btw, the new top cop jumped over a lot of people at PNP. There will be a reaction to that. The plotting has probably already begun.

    • Adrian says:

      No need for media to bait him. He’s just so used being interviewed by subservient media people. Faced with decent journalists, it’s completely a different game for him, new players and new rules. They just have to let him talk.

  10. purple says:

    -any coppers doing a bit of dealing or protecting, on the side, are putting their lives in jeopardy-

    Coppers are doing it with approval from above in more cases than people can guess. House cleaning the competition will look good for Duterte and open up new markets. Win – win.

  11. arlene says:

    I am giving him the benefit of the doubt (at least for six months) and I am being kind that way. I always wonder what words will come out of his foul mouth every time he speaks. Granting that police officer is guilty as charged, does the NPA has the right to execute and punish him the way the president-elect wants?

    He talks tough and he thinks he is the only one who understand what the Filipino wants, he thinks he is the best man for the job and it goes in his head, the result…..I could not imagine.

  12. uht says:

    I would wait and see what develops, if only because of the sheer fickleness of his mind….

  13. cwl says:

    The official “relation” between the GRP and the CPP-NPA-NDF is that of adversaries.That is rebels vs government. The government is careful in not defining the relation between the two as in state of war because it will grant the rebels belligerency status. But that is somewhat technical and obsolete because PE Duterte virtually granted them the status as he recognized the right of the CPP-NPA to try a member of the police with their own judicial system.
    Is it bad or good?
    Good if it will further the cause of Duterte to end the longest running communist insurgency in the world.
    Bad because it diminishes the inherent power of the State as the sole entity to enforce laws in its territory.
    My option? I will give myself time to assess if Duterte is worthy of the trust of 16 million Pinoys.
    By the way, who started that six month-deadline? I hate that proposition. It could be 1, 2, 3, months or 3 years.

    • Joe America says:

      Nice assessment. I agree that his approach is weakening established institutions, from law enforcement to human rights to the judiciary.

      I think Mr. Duterte started the six-month timeframe with his goals for eliminating crime and drugs. It is nonsense, I agree.

      • bill in oz says:

        I wonder, is Duterte still consciously still in ‘campaign mode’. He has won the presidency but now seeks to discredit or bring over to his side, those institutions which may attempt to stall or stop his proposed changes : the church, Congress, the judiciary, the HRC, PNP, etc.
        It might be helpful to list what groups he is not attacking or discrediting..
        And all this before he takes office !

        • josephivo says:

          In this blog we complained a lot about the quality of the media, not reporting the core only emotional side aspects, the corruption in the media… About the Church and its direct involvement in politics, even its corruption. About the judiciary, police, politicians… It seems that Duterte was listening in and took over our messages, shouting them loud (too loud?) and clear (too direct?)

          Shouldn’t we better differentiate between form and substance? His style is clearly not ours and Joe doesn’t allow foul language. But a lot of the content makes sense: journalists for sale?…(80% some say). Bishops for sale? Judges for sale?….

        • Joe America says:

          It does seem like he is still in campaign mode, or else is establishing the ground rules for his supremacy over those institutions. His ideas about inclusion seem to be that if you accede, you will be included. It’s a very different leadership style than I know, but maybe it will work here. The macho rules.

        • bill in oz says:

          He has not attacked the senate yet,, And today the reason for this became apparent. He has been working on the senators to get a majority there as well.. So 17 of the 24 now support his choice of senate president – Pimentel.. And he is wearing kid gloves when dealing with China, the NPA, big foreign business and Muslims.
          However the media corporations and ‘mining companies who do not implement sustainable mining practices in Mindanao ‘ have been burned.

          It’s curious that Wallace wrote about good mining in acolumn of his some weeks ago. It seems he had an insiders ear…

          A question from a foreigner : Is the senate & congress compelled to meet in Manila ? Or could they be summoned to meet in Davao ?

          • Joe America says:

            The President cannot summon the Senate to Davao. I suppose the senators could agree to meet there.

            PE Duterte in a way diminished the Legislature when he did not show up for the pronouncement of his win, an official obligation of Congress. He has also threatened to abolish Congress if they get in his way.

            Wallace is basically a lobbyist, in my book. He’s been around a long time, and was close to the Arroyo leadership. He probably has more contacts around town than anyone.

            • bill in oz says:

              Ummmm !I think you just answered my question with a yes…He now has ‘ super majorities ‘ in both the senate & congress..Wat better way to diminish them than by summoning next month to assemble in Davao..I am looking in a crystal ball and that is the image !

              • Joe America says:

                If I were a senator, no way I’d abide by such a summons. I know some of the early conversations regarding the appointment of Pimentel as President of the Senate, and LP joining the decision, is that the Senate remains an independent institution. The remark is pointed, senators in effect saying “we support the incoming President, but we are independent”. If Duterte wants a tough time, all he needs to do is challenge that independence. This goes back to my article that said the office makes the man. There are a whole lot of “new rules” for the President Elect. He does not march in as king.

  14. Donna says:

    We need to express our disgust or even outrage to the following: 1. Extrajudicial killings 2. His advocating of violence because the means do not justify the ends 3. His disrespect for journalists
    4. His DOM ways ( very unpresidential)
    5. His trash talks
    Let us all be vigilant and let our voices be heard for afterlall 40M of us did not vote for his brand of justice and governance.

    • Joe America says:

      I wonder if Duterte’s staff agree with you. Or either of the Senators Cayetano. I’d like to hear a policy speech from them as to how the Philippines can gain more respect from international observers . . . or do they think it is irrelevant, this idea of treating women with respect, every day, in every way.

      • Donna says:

        We had a Marcos, an Estrada and we all booted them out of the Presidency. Just wait and see Joe. Now I hear the more sober Duterte followers telling each other not to be just blind followers. Hopefully they will see the light and the countdown begins July 1

    • purple says:

      The ends are pretty bad to. Sorry, drug addicts don’t deserve death. Most drug pushers either. Never mind the mayhem , mistakes, over reactions and vendettas going on.

  15. Joann says:

    Everyday after May 9 seems to be a road to perdition. I am really at a loss on how we can solve a problem like Duterte. Ignorance can be solved by education. I do not know how madness can be solved. Haay….

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, we could recommend that Mr. Duterte add a new position to the cabinet: “Department of Psychological Affairs”, charged with the job of providing free counseling to all the Filipinos going lunatic trying to comprehend their president.

      • Harry Tan says:

        Ahahaha. Sounds right, Joe. Perhaps, it should be headed by Sen. Koko Pimentel III. He seems to be bright ray of hope in the Phl political landscape. And now he’s turning into the dark side (the old trapos color) with his association with PE Duterte and his indecent shoot-’em-all imprudent mouth.
        Ditto at loss with you in the silence of Senators Cayetano. Change into the Arroyo-same has come!

  16. B. T. says:

    Option 2 – I like some of what he stands for but I’m worried about extra-judicial killing, no due process, foul mouth, temperament, disrespect, immorality. If he changes himself once sworn into office, he is to be forgiven. But he should be held accountable for what he had done already.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    If peace ralks with CPP succeed, there might be integration to the AFP like what they tried with the MNLF.
    Zamboanga siege still happened because only one group sat in the negotiating table.
    All belligerent sectors must settle and resolve their differences with the Govmnt simultaneously,IMO.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting points. There is an upside to all this, I suppose. Inclusion means providing opportunity to former enemies. It is a mind-hurdle to get over, to think of extortionists as a part of the AFP. But, really, much of the US military, which is entirely voluntary, has a lot of people who would be gangsters back in the US if they didn’t have those jobs. Hmmmmm . . . . adjusting mental hat here . . .

  18. Oldmaninla says:

    Mindanao Visaya Filipino pragmatic mentality is different from western idealistic mentality.
    Mindanao way is culturally different since Spanish-American pre-colonial way.
    Just wait and see……..the southern Filipino Davao way is not our way.

  19. Edgar Sullano says:

    I would like to protest Duterte; filing the charges of him to the OMB.

  20. NHerrera says:

    The clock starts July 1. The Cabinet and other major officials appointments though yet unofficial have not acted yet along with PE Duterte. His many pre-swearing in pronouncements strictly are not government policies yet. Some believe those pronouncements are part of a strategy — there may be some truth to that belief. The Senate President though we can assume will generally be sympathetic to the PE, we cannot assume as a rubber stamp in the same way as the House Speaker. The Senators calculus of their political future does not depend ONLY on their rubber-stamping all the PE’s Legislative moves. As President I believe the PE would soon learn the big-ticket items and their relationship to his pre-swearing in pronouncements. The PE though unorthodox in many ways is intelligent and I do not believe he would want to be remembered as one who led the country to its essential destruction unless for reasons of health his mind snaps.

    So “wait and see” is my preference.

  21. LG says:

    Before Duterte’s election, I already feared the legitimization of the NPA, of fast no process vs slow process to get rid of criminals’, among others. I realize there is more to be feared and he has not even taken his oath! Before the elections, Ping Lacson: “God help the Philippines”. Who, among the new and old government officials, would have the political strength and credibility, as well as personal character and moral ascendancy, to publicly oppose Duterte’s style and form of governance? And who would dare write an opinion clearly damning him? Nery, Panganiban, David, Oscar Tan, Monsod, Jurado? Anyone? His closest men, that is Panelo, Cayetano, Go, have not been more than toilet bowl janitors….sanitize after him. Could it be Evasco who suggested to him no more press interviews during his term, to stop sanitizing. He looks realistic enough to do so.

  22. madlanglupa says:

    One thing for sure: I found it rather fishy, too convenient and timed, in that the NPA kidnapped five Davao City cops, held them for a few days, then were released unharmed to Duterte.

    Now again, whatever he says still carries weight, regardless of whether or not he or his acolytes disowns those statements as “jokes” or “lapses of judgment”.

    It’s a wait-and-see stance that I’ll have to take, because in our history he’s nothing like everyone else, even Marcos. But I’m expecting the worse because he’s quite the first “Thug Life”* president.

    *reference: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thug+Life

  23. We all know the big Drug Lords over there are politicians and landed families (who may have legit businesses, but have ventured into the drug trade since its lucrative).

    What you have in the Philippines is similar to the cartel situation in Mexico, only there are more Drug Lords/families so there’s not quite the consolidation factor seen in Mexico…

    So my advice,

    Where the courts are strong, use the courts,


    where the official courts have no reach (like Dinagat, or where ever this PNP cop was captured), use as much of an objective process as possible (ie. Muslim shura, or NPA courts)… remember extra-judicial is DDS, the NPA courts have a system in place, so in a way it is official (to the NPA), only not Philippine gov’t official.

    But keep in mind the end game (or DU30’s end game) is to rid the Philippines of drugs, especially police and military who traffic,

    he’s been consistent.

    So my only objection here (and it’s been the same all along) is that DU30 should start catching big fish, not just small time. You can’t make DU30 into Mar Roxas, but you can convince him to go to the logical end of his thought process… ie. to rid Drug Lords you have to kill/capture Drug Lords, not Drug pawns.

    There are two points here, 1). emasculated criminal justice system and 2). the drug problem. Address those two first.

  24. methersgate says:

    Every citizen should ask himself or herself the question, “If this is how President Duterte treats a policeman, how will he treat me?”

    • josephivo says:

      OR, every Drug Lord should ask himself or herself the question, “If this is how President Duterte treats a policeman, how will he treat me?”

      • methersgate says:

        With respect, I beg to differ on this.

        Every citizen -EVERY citizen – is entitled to be protected by the State – headed by the President – against kidnapping. This policeman has been kidnapped. Duterte says “that is fine – he is a drug dealer”, but it is not fine. The President must protect all citizens against kidnapping.

        • So protects the policeman’s victims? Answer: the NPA, sure the NPA’s coopting the role of the gov’t but if the gov’t is found wanting, you can’t really argue for gov’t powers , no?

          The NPA’s playing a productive role here (this specific case), maybe as a peace offering the Philippine criminal justice system can send emissaries to observe the proceedings?

        • josephivo says:

          Every? Even if all are equal, some are more equal than others. E.g. children are more equal, drug dealers are less equal. The president could be setting priorities, I don’t know how solid the evidence is that this policeman was a drugs dealer, I don’t know how “civilized” this fraction of the NPA is and I don’t know how it might move the peace deals forwards.

          Again, we should never accept the president elect’s foul language, in only because children are listening in, but we could do an effort in understanding the intentions, the backgrounds, the “new” logic.

          • Adrian says:

            I still think that this NPA incident is just a farce, with PE Duterte as a supporting actor, made to look NPA good.

            If PE Duterte is for the strengthening of PH justice system, the better way is to ask the NPA for the officer and provide justice (Duterte’s way or the Court’s way) himself.

          • “we could do an effort in understanding the intentions, the backgrounds, the “new” logic.”

            Thanks, josephivo! This what I’ve been saying, focus on his moves!!!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. And they said President Aquino lacked empathy? Gadzooks.

  25. Adrian says:

    Some random thoughts:

    1. PE Duterte is giving the NPA what they want when their force is significantly reduced. Militarily, PH has done a good job in capturing and neutralizing the key leaders of NPA. Also, government programs, such as CCT, to alleviate poverty are gaining ground. Just when the time PH has the upperhand, the government suddenly is willing to bend down?

    In this context, I think the move of the NPA to kidnap the police officers is just their way of staying relevant. The PE is just legitimizing their actions.

    2. Some parallelism of what’s happening to PH with Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
    a. From sheeps chanting “Four legs good, two legs bad”. It has to be simplified that way as it’s the only thing their simple minds would understand. Support Duterte, good, otherwise bad.
    b. The intelligent version of ‘a.’s are chanting “I will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right”. Duterte to their eyes is not capable of committing any mistake.
    c. ‘Squealer’s (the pig propagandist) under Duterte makes every mistake of Duterte to be a tactic or those who are calling it out are missing the correct context.
    d. I have not seen yet the nine puppies turned to rabid dogs.
    e. I am expecting Duterte admin to blame somebody else for failures, as seen on the Farm when the windmill fell. They’ve shown it during the campaign to make Aquino and Roxas a ‘Snowball’.

    • Joe America says:

      Frightening . . .

    • madlanglupa says:

      > c. ‘Squealer’s (the pig propagandist) under Duterte makes every mistake of Duterte to be a tactic or those who are calling it out are missing the correct context.

      The Facebook brigade, led by, of course, a certain woman of questionable virtue.

      > d. I have not seen yet the nine puppies turned to rabid dogs.

      Those who look nice on the outside, but become rabid stormtroopers when logged onto Facebook; agree with us or be crushed.

      • Joe America says:

        I wonder if that kind of structured outreach will continue under the auspices of the President’s communications group. If so, and if it is that thuggish, it will come back and bite the new President. What a horrid posture for a President to have, a communications group out marauding and misleading and harassing specific individuals.

        • madlanglupa says:

          I am told that the man who would be taking over that office (which includes the operation of PTV4) is a respected reporter who worked for TV5, but I hope that he’ll not fill that office with social networking goon squads.

          • Adrian says:

            Mr. Andanar has a morning radio program with Erwin Tulfo. Their jokes are condescending to women. The times that I heard him, his stand on issues is populist. Among the two, Mr. Tulfo is more dominant on his commentaries and Mr. Andanar just usually agrees.

            Let’s see if there will be a transformation.

  26. LG says:

    Option one may throw us or throws us into a Kalyeserye mode, ala AlDub, at the right time, a happy ending. Or may be not. Duterte’s (The Mighty One) tamang panahon for his To Do List is NOW NA.

    Option 2 is my absolute preference. Some movement can initiate the process at the OMB. The CHR had shut up on the order of the Mighty One. These times are testy of bodies who purportedly have a recognized voice. BUT. Even the UN was told to shut up. Have they? Smart (?), the Mighty One has been exercising all the freedoms guaranteed by any democratic government to its citizens, unapologetic and fearless of any dire consequence, civility is not his self mandate. X him, you get a XX. Even XXX. Instantly. I recall, he said, he does not pray to a God for guidance.

    Given the free reign the Mighty One directs himself to, likely will tragically end to the relief and happiness of most of civil society.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m waiting for him to tell China to get lost.

      • josephivo says:

        Or even more interesting how he intend to get the legal system working. Background checks on all judges, “kill” corruption, rationalize processes, promotions on merit, review the code of law, correct budget….

        To fight criminality in a civil way he will need a functioning legal branch of government. Did he meet the Chief Justice already?

        I’ll have difficulty to support him until this is set in motion as top-priority, he is a lawyer after all.

        • Joe America says:

          Lawyers are some of the most conniving, amoral manipulative beings on the planet. Some are not. Which category to put Atty Mayor PE Duterte? Hmmmmm . . .

          I doubt that he has met with the Chief Justice. As far as I know, he detests being in Manila, the City by in the Bay.

          Bodies, bodies, floating floating,
          The City in the Bay,
          a Pearl gone to rot
          in plastic and street kids
          thieves and murderous presidents.

          Where is Will when we need a pithy poem?

  27. bill in oz says:

    Off Topic but worth noting

    “A United Nations envoy has described Rodrigo Duterte as “irresponsible” and “unbecoming”, weeks before the president-elect of the Philippines is due to take office.”


    The world is noticing Mr Duterte

  28. Thea says:

    None of the three choices.

    I will apply my non-political,housewife/mommy wisdom.

    1. NO for wait and see. I will not watch my kids quarrel until they hurt themselves

    2. Yes and No for no. 2. Yes, I will protest. No, to filing of cases to Ombudsman. Ombudsman should have not permitted long ago the Marcoses to run for government posts based on the gravity of their case. I don’t think I will trust them the Duterte case which is not factual but moral in context.

    3. Support his(Duterte initiatives)? NO!!! I will never see my children beat each other or beat their neighbor or neighbor’s dog.

    Joe, can you give us more choices? Ah, that’s the problem when the father himself is causing the rift in the family.

    • Joe America says:

      Civil protest is the only thing I can think of. I think that is unlikely as the mood of the nation’s elite is to wait until he is in office and doing official deeds, and there is no leadership for such actions.

      • Feroperetic says:

        I think yes to protest but no to filing of cases is a valid choice. For no other reason than just to give the PE pause. I wouldn’t want to make him think that we are overly pliant. His reaction can certainly give us a glimpse of his critical processes (if by chance those are still unclear to one as they are to me). The thing with Duterte is he is too unpredictable for me. I don’t know if all this is just an act, and if, in like manner, everything that has happened in Davao has been an act. I may be overthinking this attributing devious schemes and convoluted plots where there are none.

        As you might guess, I am at two minds with Duterte – I am hopeful and at the same time fearful of what could ensue once he gets into office.

      • Thea says:

        And the majority is now PDP Laban in the 17th Congress.

        Next topic please.

  29. Edgar Lores says:

    1. The Constitution states that judicial power is vested in the Judiciary. Therefore, the adjudication of any criminal case should fall within the purview of the courts.

    1.1. At the same time, the Executive is responsible for the maintenance of peace and order. The President is at once the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces as well as the police force.

    2. In this case, should the Judiciary or the Executive be in charge? What is the current situation? Is the Judiciary operative? Or have things gone so badly that the Executive must resort to extrajudicial measures?

    2.1. My assessment is that the Judiciary is still operative.

    3. Therefore in allowing the NPA to judge the fate of an alleged rogue police officer in its revolutionary court, President Elect Duterte has ran afoul of the Constitution in several ways. As I have realized and as LCpl_X concurrently observes, Duterte has co-opted the NPA to possibly be a death squad.

    4. But Duterte has not taken his oath of office as President yet… in which he would swear to uphold the Constitution. If he had, there would be grounds for impeachment — culpable violation of the Constitution.

    4.1. Do mayors take a similar oath of office? I believe they do.

    4.2. If so, should Duterte be allowed to take the presidential oath? Does he qualify? Can someone raise a TRO against the oath-taking?

    4.3. And if he is NOT qualified, does Leni take over?


    P.S. I post this in the hope that the possibility in 4.2 exist. More so the probability of 4.3. Am still in retreat.

    • bill in oz says:

      Thank you Edgar for your logic & clarity.

      • bill in oz says:

        In another country, such as Australia, the ‘attourny general’ or solicitor general ( official, professional officers of the civil service) would have an obligation to present this matter urgently to the Supreme court. Going by what you state, the current president, Aquino, has that constitutional obligation in the Philippines.

        • Joe America says:

          Only if the offense were egregious and evidence gave the complainant reasonable assurance of winning. Also, the incoming administration has taken on the position of being compliant to the wishes of the incoming administration. They would not contest the matter as a legal issue.

    • Joe America says:

      The tenor among legislators is complete deference to the incoming President. There is no tangible opposition to file an objection, I think. There will be no challenge, I am sure.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        That’s true. The sycophancy is sickening.

        But I am not talking of impeachment. We are not there yet. I am talking about blocking the oath-taking. It is not necessarily the legislators who can file for a TRO — to determine whether Duterte qualifies. Any losing candidate, or even any citizen, should be able to.

        It would be unprecedented, I know.

        • edgar lores says:

          Item 4.1 is key.

          • Joe America says:

            Executive Order No. 292 [BOOK I/Chapter 10-Official Oaths]
            Signed on July 25, 1987
            CHAPTER 10
            Official Oaths

            SECTION 40. Oaths of Office for Public Officers and Employees.—All public officers and employees of the government including every member of the armed forces shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend the Constitution; that he will bear true faith and allegiance to it; obey the laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities; will well and faithfully discharge to the best of his ability the duties of the office or position upon which he is about to enter; and that he voluntarily assumes the obligation imposed by his oath of office, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. Copies of the oath shall be deposited with the Civil Service Commission and the National Archives.

            I don’t know if it has been updated, but I doubt the obligation would be any less specific. It is so fundamental.

        • Joe America says:

          Centerlaw (billed as Human Rights law specialists; Harry Roque’s group), did register objection with a statement, but made no legal filing.

          • bill in oz says:

            Who has the balls to do this ? Only one name comes to mind.That wonderful beserker Senator Trillanes

            • Joe America says:

              It isn’t a matter of courage, but judgment. Will a complaint prosper? On what legal basis? If a band of human rights lawyers determine it will not prosper, that seems fairly definitive to me. In their judgment, a complaint would not prosper, so why advocate for what is likely to be a loss, and hurt the cause more?

        • caliphman says:

          First of all, a challenge to a PE’s qualifications is lodged not by the senate but by any of the other presidential candidates who garnered at least a million votes. The quo warranto petition is filed with the PET court the judges of which is the Supreme Court sitting en banc. Secondly, proclamation and oath taking by the PE do not preclude the PET from removing him from office if he is found unqualified. One significant difference between a successful impeachment and disqualification of the PE via a PET proceeding is in the former Robredo assumes the presidency. In a PET court proceeding, it is the eligible candidate who had the next highest number of votes who replaces the PE. In this case, that would be Roxas since he placed second. it should be Roxas perhaps who should file the petition be because he has the most to gain. But if he does not, the most likely reason is the NPA comment by Duterte is not grounds to render ineligibility such as would be the case for example if a foreign or illegal campaign donor was involved.

          Unless sufficient another ground for disqualification is found, then the best course of action in this case is to wait and see.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Caliphman.

            It is a gray area, more a neglected area.

            There are prohibitions on qualifications and deeds before and during the election period. There are none for the hiatus between the proclamation and the oath-taking. Not even for culpable violation of the Constitution.

            I guess no one wants to rock the boat in the transition period… and thwart the verdict of the electorate.

            So prevention is out. This leaves the option of impeachment — which, as JoeAm concedes and I agree — is highly unlikely.

            Alas, the country is in for a rough period. Deservedly?

            • caliphman says:

              Well the PET and the SET deal mostly with ineligibility and disqualification issues. Most of these issues relate to acts, events or conditions relating to the election process. Still there are acts which can occur subsequent to elections which can render an official ineligible to hold office and could result in years after being elected. I do not think NPA related comments fall under this category.

              I see nothing wrong with it

    • NHerrera says:

      Under Article VII, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution, before the President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect enters into the execution of their offices, the President shall take the following oath or affirmation:

      I,_______________, do solemnly swear [or affirm]before the people that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.

      [In case of affirmation, last sentence will be omitted]

      Suppose, while the PE has his right hand still raised says: “and may I add, subject to my interpretation of what the Constitution says and my belief that it is right.” WHAT HAPPENS in this case?

      • NHerrera says:

        My point really is that since the PE has upended just about everything so far, it may not be surprising that even in the traditional process of Oath Taking, there will be a surprise too.

    • “As I have realized and as LCpl_X concurrently observes, Duterte has co-opted the NPA to possibly be a death squad.”

      hey, edgar!

      Just to clarify, I’m not saying DU30 is making the NPA into his DDS—- the two are very different, DDS is extra-judicial, while NPA court here is alt-judicial (where the national courts have failed, another system has to mete out justice— which is what’s happening here, NPA are acting as Robin Hoods).

      The genius in this move is that unlike previous Manila gov’t reps, DU30 seems to have a solid working relationship with the NPA. There are no illusions of Rule of Law, both recognize that the national gov’t is wanting.

      DU30 as a local gov’t rep pleaded for said police chief’s return, but once evidence was presented by the NPA, he gave the NPA room to make their next move. It’s not a kow-tow, not “coopting”, but simply recognizing that the NPA too has a mandate—- and if the nat’l gov’t cannot perform, then another court (an alternative to the national courts) has to exercise the people’s will.

      • That’s why corruption has to be stamped out, that’s the strategic, but in the mean time, tactical, certain moves has to be carried out—- DU30 isn’t coopting, he’s enlisting every individual and every group in the Philippines to carry out his policy of no more Drug Lords in the Philippines. Indeed he has a mandate for that per the election results.

        Again very similar to the situation in Mexico. 😉

        • There are institutions that will carry out his policy of a drug free Philippines but he can’t put the law in his own hand, that’s should be no argument on that at all, we have always have to work within the parameter of the law.

          • If the parameters of the law, can’t find and prosecute their very own, you’d kinda have to outsource justice, no?

            If there’s no other positive spin to this story, it is this….

            if this police chief gets hard labor under the NPA court, we’ll know DU30 has a very solid working relationship with the NPA in Mindanao (mutual respect)—- that IMHO is a very good start.

            What’s the alternative really? Aside from espousing the Rule of Law here, do you expect DU30 to give some kind of ultimatum? then another Mamasapano raid? because that’ll open up inquiries to other possible raids not currently undertaken (for reasons unknown) such as the Ecleos in Dinagat—- see the hypocrisy now?

            DU30 ‘s anti-drug campaign no matter how grotesque… is consistent. Read josephivo’s comment.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Point taken, Our realizations differ then.

        In my view, what Duterte is doing is exactly co-opting. That is, allowing (adapting, assimilating) a non-constitutional agent to perform a constitutional function — which is the rendering of justice — that should be the preserve of a constitutional power.

        I don’t think it’s genius at all. I think it is the surrendering of a state legal function to an outlaw army. And it is a dereliction (misfeasance and malfeasance) of his duty as a government official, whether as mayor, president-elect or president.

        • edgar and James,

          The point here is a weak national government.

          Is DU30 derelict, sure if the national government could perform its duties, and able to bring gov’t officials (as well as big named families) to justice.

          Obviously malfeasance is the norm.

          What was keeping the gov’t criminal justice system from finding & prosecuting the police chief?

          So if the will of the people, or at least the interest of society, is served by this NPA capture, what really is the issue here?

          I believe hard labor is DU30’s only request having farmed out the punishment of this police officer to the NPA,

          the question is,

          Isn’t Mindanao better for it, that this Police Chief was captured and be punished?

          Maybe the nat’l gov’t can learn a thing or two if they studied the NPA procedures undertaken to capture and try said policeman, and ask why they themselves were not able to perform this basic gov’t function for the people, no?

          We can argue ends justifying the means, but the root of all this, should be if the interest of the people in Mindanao are served? Conversely, why the courts in Mindanao were unable to perform their basic function.

          • edgar lores says:

            The issue here is not that of a “weak national government.” It is more of a weak people.

            But, really, the basic issue is the rule of law.

            The principle is: the rule of law must be observed to maintain a civil society.

            The corollary is: one does not break the rule of law to uphold the law. That is a contradiction.

            The exception is: one can break the rule — and the corollary — in extremis situations.

            Are we in that situation? Obviously, assessments will differ.

            As I have noted, the Judiciary is operative.

            Beware the law of unintended consequences:

            o Marcos imposed martial law to suppress communism. And what happened? Yes, you guessed right — the movement grew.

            o The US declared a war on the drug trade. And what happened? Yes, you guessed right — the trade flourished.

            o Duterte is declaring a war on drugs by all means. What will happen? No, we don’t know if it will succeed… but the chances are it will not… because of human weakness. This is not to say that the use of illicit drugs should be allowed, maintained or encouraged. There are other legal ways to mitigate the problem.

            Beware collateral damage — not only in lives but to the concept of a civil society.

            Again, the spiritual lessons:

            o Follow the gospel of simple living, of austerity.

            o “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

            o The journey is the destination.

            • “The exception is: one can break the rule — and the corollary — in extremis situations.

              Are we in that situation? Obviously, assessments will differ.”


              Therein lies the difference, my friend 😉 .

              Recognize boldness of action.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Isn’t the bold thing to do the right thing — constitutionally, ethically and spiritually?

              • It may not be constitutional, but how do you know it’s not ethical and spiritual? Again back to ends justifying the means, no? 😉 If you can convince me of those two, I’ll make a U-turn for you (since you don’t come so often anymore 😉 ).

              • edgar lores says:

                Convince you? An impossible task – either you have it or you don’t.

              • a special U-turn just for you, but your argument has to be air tight.

              • That’s my point, edgar.

                When it comes to ethics and spirituality vis-a-vis security & survival, no one’s ever “right” or “wrong”. Don’t get me wrong, I love to wax philosophic too (not more than you, but definitely more than many others I’m sure 😉 ), but what DU30’s doing isn’t philosophical, he’s taking action (he doesn’t know it’ll work, nor do we… but action is needed, a decision was made).

                Spirit of the law, vs. letter of the law. 😉 I’m sure DU30 is well within the spirit of the Constitution, when it comes to security.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Thank you for proving my point that it is an impossible task.

                If you think there is no right or wrong when it comes to security and survival, then what you are positing is this view: that this world is nothing more than a dog-eat-dog world.

                You are saying we humans are not ethical and spiritual beings capable of rising above the law of the jungle. Or, if we are capable, it does not ultimately matter.

                That consideration of others… and love… and kindness… and compassion… do not matter.

                If this is the case then there is no utility, no sense in arguing with you. Essentially, you are rejecting civilization and all its advances.

                And the paradox is you believe that supporting incivility advances the cause of “civilization.” It does not. Again: the path to civilization is civility.

                As a marine — if you do not recognize right from wrong — then what are you fighting for? Mere survival? Anarchy?

                Existence, without essence, without meaning, is not worth living — or dying — for.

              • “As a marine — if you do not recognize right from wrong — then what are you fighting for? Mere survival? Anarchy?”

                There’s order and there’s chaos. Not necessarily good vs. bad, right and wrong, hence my long argument with Joe re Obama’s drone wars.

                the Rule of Law represent order. We all know this is simply an ideal, the U.S. is closer to that ideal, compared to the Philippines. But even with this close proximity we are still sent to fight unjust wars, unjust assassinations (ie. drone wars), etc. etc. not just in wars or policing, but other facets of the American system.

                What we are talking about are all tactical moves being made by DU30, I’ve stated I agree with josephivo that the end game is a strengthened court system, DU30’s witch hunt of drug lords is better served if he’s actually targeting lords not simply the dealers.

                Sometimes (not all the time) the means justify the ends, that’s where we differ, but you need not play the ethics or spiritual card here.

                Read down to my comment with chempo re DU30’s decision tree, let’s get out of the clouds on this one, and examine the ground level, then from there we can expound stuff at higher elevation 😉 .

                But let’s start on the ground first, edgar 😉 . it’s way too easy to wax philosophic on this one, and confuse the issues.

              • edgar lores says:

                “the Rule of Law represent order. (sic)”

                Forget all your waxing and the diversion to drones. The fallacy is in the above simple equation.

                Yes, the Rule of Law represents order. But it represents more than that.

                It represents civilization and all the positive values that allow the prevalence of a beneficial and progressive life — a good life — for the individual and the community.

                Important: Note that I said “the individual and the community.” As a marine, one is supposed to uphold “The Warrior Creed” the first tenet of which is: “Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.” So NO to collateral damage.


                To extend the simple equation:

                The true equation is: The Rule of Law is coded ethics (morality).

                (Don’t you know this? This is very basic.)

                Rationale: Ethics is necessary to regulate interactions in communal living.

                Exception: Not all law is ethical.


                o The Rule of Law is morally good. It is right.

                o Anarchy is morally bad. It is wrong.


                Therefore, the issue is right vs. wrong.

              • edgar lores says:

                Anent to drones: you oppose the use of drones. But isn’t that what Duterte is doing? Using the NPA as a drone?

              • Is DU30 using the NPA as drones? No! (against there’s a difference between the NPA here, and DU30’s DDS, good luck proving that one in a Philippine court of law! 😉 )

                He requested the NPA not to kill the cop but sentence him to hard labor—- so no executions in this particular example (not the same as drones). Also unless you have details of the NPA court system, you can share, the assumption is that court process is not arbitrary, so no ‘Judge, Jury, Executioner’-in-one, there’s a process. 😉

                edgar: “Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.” So NO to collateral damage.

                Again this is where we differ, edgar, this is patently false, when violence is chosen, ideals go out the window. The exact opposite happens, when the military is used to wage war NO ONE IS SAFE!

                Waxing philosophic doesn’t mitigate violence, only more violence mitigates violence when unleashed, ie. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight! Hence violence should never be taken lightly, DU30 here is exhibiting restraint— “NO to collateral damage” is actually what he’s espousing here.

                edgar: “Don’t you know this? This is very basic.”

                As I’ve said, edgar, that’s the ideal, reality is different. You don’t make security decisions based on high falutin Philosophy. Notice you prefer to wax philosophic, but shy away from analyzing DU30’s ground level decision. Hint: you can use your ‘Anarchy as morally bad principle’ 😉 . Come on down from up high, edgar!

              • edgar lores says:

                This is very basic: ideals — or norms — are or should be the basis of daily living.

                One does not dispose of principles for mere survival or convenience. They are what makes life worth living.

                If you cannot accept this, then there is no use arguing with you.

                I refuse to step down and join your dog-eat-dog world.

                I am done here.

              • Joe America says:

                I came to the same conclusion, Edgar, but expressed it differently, that the views expressed by LCX is the problem, not the solution. But his views, less rigorously thought out and defended, are essentially the views that got elected in the Philippines. Some 16 million people voted for such autocratic, summarily determined justice. Their decisions were likely as much on emotion as thought out, but the result is the same. LCX’s thinking will move into the Palace on July 1 . . . or wherever Duterte sets up shop. It becomes a dog-eat-dog leadership.

              • edgar lores says:

                This is for readers.

                The argument against the drone analogy is that there is a “court process.”

                Yes, granted there is a court process… but it is a kangaroo court.

                A kangaroo court is defined as “an unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanour.”

                Emphasis on the term “unofficial.”

                The NPA revolutionary court is a kangaroo court.

                Same with the “unofficial court” that uses drone weaponry.

              • Joe America says:

                Drones are an unofficial court, I agree, but so is warfare, once it is declared. The drones are deployed in the war on terror, where the targets are also in the business of using unofficial courts to murder innocents, in the name of terror and intimidation and, ultimately, dominance. The NPA trials are not a part of the Philippine state’s unofficial judicial process, but a part of the shooting/abuses done by the unofficial enemy in this long-running, undeclared war. For the head of the Philippine state to sanction NPA trials would be like the US drone operators giving tacit approval to terrorists to kidnap those they determine are bad for society. Like drug users or people of a different religion.

                I think the two unofficial programs are in no way the same.

              • Joe America says:

                That is, if we look at the roles and responsibilities and behaviors of both sides of the judicial battlefield.

              • edgar lores says:

                The distinction is that drone courts are a part of the state establishment and the NPA revolutionary court is not?

                That is true, and I agree.

                “Drone courts” are not part of the Judicial branch of the state because… the miscreants are not within state territory. This is another distinction.

                There are others. The miscreants are externals engaged in terrorism. They are, in fact, not only enemies of the state but enemies of war. Whereas drug lords and rogue police and military officers are enemies of the rule of law but not necessarily enemies of the state and certainly not enemies of war.

                So the analogy is imperfect… as all analogies are.

                The pertinence of the analogy, as I drew it, is in the operative word “unofficial court” and in the use by a president of this unofficial court. In this sense, the ethical dilemma is the same. That the NPA court is outside the state establishment increases the dimensions of the dilemma.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, very good digest.

              • edgar: “Yes, granted there is a court process… but it is a kangaroo court.”

                And the national courts aren’t?!!! 😉 . c’mon. Again return to reality, edgar.

                edgar: “One does not dispose of principles for mere survival or convenience. They are what makes life worth living.”

                Always easier said than done when said in luxury, edgar.

                Hence the defeat of Mar Roxas (and his wife’s dog who thinks it’s human 😉 *thumbs up*)—- as Joe’s aptly described (you guys still have not learned your lesson, instead of seeking to understand, you’re opting instead to keep kicking the dogs… the fable applies, heed the fable and adjust your course of action—– you’re in a “new” logic, as josephivo eloquently stated).

              • “For the head of the Philippine state to sanction NPA trials would be like the US drone operators giving tacit approval to terrorists to kidnap those they determine are bad for society. Like drug users or people of a different religion.”

                Your analogy fails big time, Joe— because drug dealers are criminal both in the eyes of the State and the NPA. In DU30’s calculus, better to let the NPA handle (per my response to chempo). Shared, not surrender, is the operant word here. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, good point. A case is where the US sides with terrorists in Syria because they also want the ouster of Assad, or sides with the Kurds who are considered terrorists in Turkey, because they want a stable northern Iraq. Point taken. Also, the NPA/PH confrontation is not a declared war, but a criminal activity being fought. So it is possible to be more fluid with steps taken. There is no “treason” involved, for instance.

                But I still hold it is a bad idea, for what it incites downstream. But we can watch and find out. Evidently the NPA intends to stop its confrontations on July 1, the day PE Duterte takes over.

              • Joe: ” or wherever Duterte sets up shop. It becomes a dog-eat-dog leadership.”

                Joe, so far those of you who’ve opined about not “surrendering” the courts or rule of law have not described a better decision DU30 could’ve taken. What took DU30 a couple of hours to decide, you guys are still waxing philosophic when the likelihood of playing chicken with the NPA (what you “good” and “right” and even possibly angelic folks are espousing) in this particular play will prove deadlier—- so much for the high horse, huh? 😉

                With DU30’s move, no deaths, & one gets hard labor. Simple, clean, effective, with the added bonus of keeping criminal cops on their toes.

              • Joe America says:

                We are holding a conversation about issues here, and when you declare that someone is on a “high horse”, you are back to the old you who got suspended because he could not refrain from couching arguments along with personal remarks aimed to demean the person making the argument. I suggest you stick with the issues and stop propping your arguments up by demeaning others.

              • Joe: “But I still hold it is a bad idea, for what it incites downstream. “

                That’s fair.

              • So we’re all done with this thread then? Unless chempo decides to re-engage, I think we’re done, I’ll skip the poverty article since that’s above my pay grade. I’ll just read. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Well, I would invite you to join us “up here” where the air is fresh and clean.

                Reality, Soldier, is what you and I and everyone — individually and collectively — make it.

              • Joe: “I suggest you stick with the issues and stop propping your arguments up by demeaning others.”

                LOL! That’s a funny way of looking at it, Joe! “LCX is the problem, not the solution” and “high horse” are same-same in my mind, so consider us even, LOL!

                edgar: “Well, I would invite you to join us “up here” where the air is fresh and clean.”

                LOL! Too bad the rest of the Philippines doesn’t have that luxury, edgar! Join me down here. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                The Philippines is not the hellhole you make it out to be. Nor is the world for that matter.

              • Joe America says:

                AGREE! The thing I really hated about the Duterte TV ads was portraying the Philippines as a dark and troubled place. It is a vibrant and colorful place, a place of character, and for sure not grainy black and white with druggies on every corner and crime everywhere.

              • Again luxury does not vindicate your views.

              • ” It is a vibrant and colorful place, a place of character, and for sure not grainy black and white with druggies on every corner and crime everywhere.”

                Joe, if it’s so honky-dory over there, why have an escape plan?

              • Joe America says:

                Because the President with your dog eat dog values may change the whole character of the nation.

              • Joe America says:

                This comment from a facebook friend illustrates the conundrum of a people doing well electing a President with authoritarian and crude values:

                “I’m not the only one waking up daily with mixed feelings of dread and nausea over what is to come under–and after–Duterte. I feel blessed by not having children and grandchildren who will have to live with the long-term consequences of what he has started. I walk in malls and sit in restaurants surrounded by well-clothed, well-fed, supposedly educated people who believe in this fraud, this hypocrite, this self-confessed extrajudicial killer; and the horror of it washes over me in waves.”

              • And edgar, why are you in Australia?

              • Joe America says:

                And why do you persist with personal questions? One for me, one for Edgar. It seems like you resent being challenged and want to take matters personal.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                I don’t have to justify my life to you but… I am a citizen of the world.

                I grew up in Oahu; studied in Manila; worked as an OFW in Jeddah; visited Taiwan, Singapore, New York and Frisco; and migrated to Oz.

                Home is where the heart is and, for all my wanderings, my heart is situated in a little town of Ilocos Sur. Of my one decade and three score years, I just spent 4 years in that little town. But the murmuring of the heart always tells me that that is where I came to be grounded on Earth. It is the locus of my heart and I consider it to be my earthly home.

                As Tommy Bennett croons, i left my heart — not in San Francisco — but in San Esteban.

                So my thoughts and cares are for the whole world but, in particular, they are with and for the Philippines.

                As it is chempo’s and it is JoeAm’s… and perhaps as it is yours.

                At times, one cannot ignore the dictates of the heart. At times, the passions of the heart are beyond rational examination. They just are. It’s as simple as that.

              • @Joe: “dog eat dog values”…

                Where is Will when we need him?

                He knows all about dogs and people.

              • Joe America says:

                Will cannot abide by the position of the blog of being supportive of incoming President Duterte so he has taken leave.

              • Joe: “And why do you persist with personal questions? “

                They are fair questions.

                I’ve attempted to steer the discussion towards ground truth & being objective, and both of you have insisted on staying up in the clouds individualizing values—- as I’ve said values will differ based on levels of luxuries.


                You’ve stated time and again, that you have an escape plan, so if you make a statement about how perfect the Philippines is (relevant since the subject is security), then I’ll have to examine your pronouncement (notice you chose not to answer 😉 )

                I’ll even ask it of myself… LCpl_X, why are you in the US? answer: Because I’ve travelled around the world and I prefer living here. Do you have an escape plan: NO 😉


                Thanks for an honest answer, but you skirted what I’m sure you knew I was after (remember this is a security thread, your heart’s secondary 😉 ). When was the last time you visited Philippines, if indeed it’s so close to your heart?

                Notice you guys are skirting the issue, be honest now. This is a test of your purported “values”— I’m yanking you two from up on high, to ground level, since you chose to take shelter in the clouds. Let’s put your values to the test.

              • Joe America says:

                I suppose I did open up this line of discussion by concluding you are the problem and not the solution. So I did personalize the discussion. I find your comment strange though, for the need it represents, to try to tarnish two of the intellectual anchors of this blog by suggesting they are cowards for hiding in the clouds and have not been honest in their arguments.

                To your points, I did answer your question about escape plan so perhaps you should re-read the commentary. I have an escape plan because, with the election of President Duterte and his value-deficient dog-eat-dog method, similar to that you are arguing for, the PH has become a much less secure and stable place. Witness the death threats received by Raissa Robles and others who are doing nothing but advocating for their principles, something you also evidently find offensive. Principles are the standards by which our deeds conform to civility, and your rational justification of personally-determined justice and “right” is a sure path – consistent with that of the incoming President – to disunity, disharmony and potentially life-wasting disputes. Principles are not “up in the clouds”. They are the anchors for our on the ground deeds. When you toss them aside, as you are advocating, then . . . well, dog eat dog. I laughed when you reported that you have no escape plan from the US, as if that somehow makes you brave. LOL LOL LOL

                I do also note your fine use of smiley faces.

                Well, LCX, no matter how you cut it, you are trying to sell pigs ears like every other Duterte or Chinese troll who descended on this blog to demean and rationalize that which cannot be rationalized. I can only figure that you are trying to justify, to yourself, your support for Donald Trump, who is of the same mind and method as Duterte, except people with principles in the US are calling him out.

                I must agree that there are a lot of people who evidently think as you do, which I can only figure has something to do with some deep-rooted psychological neediness, because Socrates would long ago have left the forum laughing.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                I might add we are not skirting the issue.

                I have defined the issue in the broadest terms: it is about civilization and the rule of law.

                Our personal lives, how we manifest our loves and passions, are not the issue.

                Neither are these the issues: a weak nation, security or so-called reality.

                These are sub-issues — well, except perhaps for reality. But as I have said, reality is what we make of it. True, reality is a given, but even as a given how we perceive it is individually subjective. And it is not a constant, it is a variable that we can — we must — shape to our hearts’ desires.

                So the principal issue is observance of the rule of law, which is the observance of principles and norms.

                Be aware of how the issue is framed. This is very important. As an IT professional, I have been taught problem definition is the heart of matter. If there is no clarity as to what the issue is, then any offered solution will be improper, skewed.

                In the broadest terms, Duterte may kill all the drug lords, but the problem of drugs will remain. It is a hydra.


                Because ultimately the monsters are not the drug lords. The monsters are, the monster is, in our hearts. (As I have noted, the US war on drugs is a massive failure, and the collateral damage in the country and that of neighboring countries is massive and unacceptable.)

                The monster is not our desires which are natural… but the waywardness of our desires. In drugs we seek — what? — a separate peace, a temporary high, escape from reality, escape towards altered visions.

                So in the final analysis the solutions are not a red tide of blood nor to suppress desire.

                There are many solutions. A life of simplicity and austerity. To mitigate our wayward desires, to redirect them to safe channels. To raise our awareness that life is a gift, and that it is — as it is and without the distractions of gadgets and the artificial augmentations of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, etc. — magical.

              • “values will differ based on levels of luxuries.” practiced values, yes.

                If I am so poor thatI need to steal, my values will be your valuables hehe.

                Back to serious – Duterte has the luxury of NOT YET being the President.

                As soon as he is, he will have to be careful not to lose face towards rebels.

                He will face exactly the same conundrum as Aquino when he dealt with the MILF.

              • “I laughed when you reported that you have no escape plan from the US, as if that somehow makes you brave. LOL LOL LOL”

                I didn’t say that, Joe.

                Bravery is something totally different.

                No escape plans means I’m committed. Having escape plans means non-commitment, which is fine in and of itself, but when speaking about how fun it is in the Philippines, a little dose of reality goes a long way 😉 . Remember we’ve talked about about having an escape plan (out of the Philippines) way before DU30 getting elected (and w/out mention of DU30), if I remember correctly it was regarding the general situation of the Philippines (so your little addendum on DU30 falls flat, IMHO, it’s an added layer to the original sentiment).

                edgar, that’s a fair answer.

                Though it still an answer up in the clouds, we’ll just leave it at that. My advice, give DU30 a break, he may have screwed up other decisions, even others still in future, but this particular one, passes my bs sniff test. Commendable even, but optics will differ depending on how high you’re viewing the decision. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                My commitment is visible in over 1,000 blogs written, yours on a bit of braggadocio. It’s not your position to judge my life’s circumstance or character. Just the issues and ideas expressed. You . . . you slow learner you . . . 🙂

              • “I can only figure that you are trying to justify, to yourself, your support for Donald Trump, who is of the same mind and method as Duterte, except people with principles in the US are calling him out.”

                Again, my support for the Donald is precisely for his lack of principles—- I’m counting on his vindictive personally. If he spends his first term in office just targeting the Clintons and the Kochs, my vote will not be in vain 😉 .

                We’re discussing DU30’s decision here—- I’m saying judge it in context, you guys persist on creating some sort of philosophical trap. There’ll be plenty of other opportunities to ding him for other stuff both big an small, but on this one he did good.

                Based on what I know of the Donald he will do the exact opposite in this situation— he’ll opt for scorched earth (more in line with what you two are suggesting, but since you won’t come down from the clouds, won’t care to admit 😉 since you two won’t follow the logical end of what you’re proposing philosophically 😉 ). Totally different from DU30’s calculus.

              • “My commitment is visible in over 1,000 blogs written”


                Then why say you have an escape plan on one hand and then say that everything’s safe on the other? See the disconnect? Two things that just don’t balance out. Explain.

              • Joe America says:

                Perhaps I was joking or blowing smoke, or perhaps I’m already in the US or maybe Manila at a swank condo with lots of security guards. Who the hell are you to intrude in my personal space?

              • Joe,

                You made the statement, I’m simply clearing the dissonance (or would you like to strike it off the record? LOL! I’ll allow some back-tracking)… so is it safe or must one have an escape plan over there (edgar’s safe & sound in Australia, so he has the luxury of being sentimental )? Let’s get to the bottom of your statement. I’m a big fan of logical ends. 😉

              • If you choose to back-pedal we can strike it off the record, and you’ll not have to explain 😉 .

                But for the sake of discussion re security in the Philippines, it’ll be good to push the thought farther and explain why the two views.

              • Joe America says:

                The Philippines is a vibrant, growing nation, rising on global rating indexes for the effort and accomplishments of the past six years. Manila is jammed because growth in offices and residential towers have outstripped woeful infrastructure. Cities are dilapidated from national poverty, corruption, neglect and incompetence. It is a nation of different character here to therre, with simple, provincial outlying cities, dynastic barons and warlords and civic-minded mayors running things. It is the urban clutter and congestion and jobs. It is a dark underbelly of drugs and human trafficking, and guns guns everywhere, and quite an easy way to pay for a hit, at P10,000. Resorts are a mix of modern and rustic, and tourism is up. People can find whatever they want here, and more are finding it.

                The nation teeters between the accumulated rage of poverty, the simplicity of genuine living, manipulative power-mongers, and the dog-eat-dog world of commercial conquest, ruled by the oligarchs and the bold. China wants PH resources and appears willing to fight to take them. The path has been toward enrichment, stability, safety and honesty. But we are not there yet.

                It is not incorrect to say that the Philippines is a vibrant place full of riches and fun and opportunity. It is not incorrect to say that it is a risky place full of poverty, threats and real danger. I would guess that most people with the means to have a contingency plan, have one. It is not a test of commitment to the Philippines as much as a test of commitment to common sense.

                Me, I am committed to the Philippines, my family, living well and stayin’ alive. There is no order to things as I long ago learned it is possible to have more than one love.

              • “It is not a test of commitment to the Philippines as much as a test of commitment to common sense.”

                Common sense. Now we’re back on the ground. 😉

                Pragmatism I can buy, Joe. The spectrum from hellhole to paradise may differ person to person over there, but so long as people are pragmatic all’s well.

                Now back to DU30’s decision, scale of 1 to 10, how Pragmatic was it?

              • Joe America says:

                Depends on what you use for the measure. His first benchmark net trust rating came in at 26%, and I believe that was before the NPA trial endorsement. Aquino’s was 83% when he went into office. So if gaining the confidence of the people is the measure, about a 1. If carving out peace is the measure, about an 7, if he plays all the other cards well and does not sell the PH down the drain of leftist ideology driving national policy.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                If I analyze the final decision, which was to allow the NPA revolutionary court to render judgement on the rogue officer, it was not a decision at all. It was a fig-leaf.

                A decision is where one has choice. Duterte did not have a choice.

                His first decision was to plea for the return of the officer. This was proper. But the NPA rejected the plea.

                In that rejection, the truth that emerges is that Duterte has no power, no authority over the NPA. He is impotent. This is shown in his allowing the renegades to collect revolutionary taxes. So he surrendered, with that face-saving recommendation of a sentence of hard labor.

                As if. As if the NPA would heed his words. The NPA can impose any judgment on the poor cop.

                This is why I said Duterte, in his capitulation, is in effect co-opting the NPA as a death squad.

                To my mind, he could have bargained with the NPA for the cop’s release. He could have said he would disallow the return of Joma Sison or some other offer, a threat or a promise.

                On a scale of 1 – 10, I would give a score of 0.

                You may have been right, LCpl_X. Duterte may be a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

              • “He is impotent.”

                Meron namang bayagra!

              • edgar lores says:

                Heh heh

              • “If carving out peace is the measure, about an 7, if he plays all the other cards well and does not sell the PH down the drain of leftist ideology driving national policy.”

                Now we’ve landed on the ground, Joe! 😉 It took us awhile to get here (I’ll own part of the responsibility, but this is what I’ve been prodding for). I’m not too worried about confidence, since that’s dependent on hard results.

                I’d put it around a 7 too, being realistic, more a 6 even.

                “To my mind, he could have bargained with the NPA for the cop’s release. He could have said he would disallow the return of Joma Sison or some other offer, a threat or a promise.

                On a scale of 1 – 10, I would give a score of 0.”

                The NPA doesn’t mess around with Davao as much as surrounding places (Why, edgar?), so there’s some heeding going on, IMHO— heeding , or a good working relationship.


                I ask you to game, analyze, this bargaining/negotiation process further. With honesty, keeping bias to a bare minimum. It’s what you do best, let’s see it. Then go back to the scale, re-evaluate.

                (going on with this Understanding Duterte series, maybe start with this scale, Joe? 😉 thanks, I appreciate the turn in the discussion)

              • edgar lores says:

                Why in Davao? Simple: because the NPA has co-opted Duterte to cooperate in their collection of revolutionary taxes. He is on record encouraging businesses to submit to the extortion. (What heppened to Trillanes’ allegation of the movement of hundreds of millions in Duterte’s BPI accounts?)

              • “This is why I said Duterte, in his capitulation, is in effect co-opting the NPA as a death squad.”


                Definition time. Coopting means taking over something; Capitulation means to surrender… so which one is it? Is DU30 impotent or is he a fuck-machine… can’t me both. Pls. explain further, and add to your re-evaluation. Thanks.

              • edgar lores says:

                I take the term co-opting in the sense of assimilating, absorbing. Not taking over.

              • “Why in Davao? Simple: because the NPA has co-opted Duterte to cooperate in their collection of revolutionary taxes. He is on record encouraging businesses to submit to the extortion. (What heppened to Trillanes’ allegation of the movement of hundreds of millions in Duterte’s BPI accounts?)”

                Didn’t Trillanes’ case fizzle, no evidence?

                As for Davao City’s businesses having to pay the NPA this is new to me, edgar. Was it more suggestion or a must pay, thou shalt…? If mere suggestion then we go back to the whole point of pragmatism, but honestly, businesses in the city of Davao having to pay taxes to the NPA, just seems dubious… if you have more on this I’d be open to reading about this.

                Will you be doing a tree analysis of said bargain you’ve mentioned above 😉 , yes or no? You’d definitely add legitimacy to that 0 , without it, it’s just sour grapes against DU30 IMHO, not really an honest analysis. Joe was able to give him a 7—— 0 to 7 is a big spread.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. I believe JoeAm gave him a 1 or a 7, depending on what criterion is used.

                2. Here’s one link on Duterte’s condonation of revolutionary taxes. There are many. This item talks of agribusinesses, which are presumably outside of the city, but in it Duterte admits that he himself submits to extortion.


                3. Trillianes’ allegation is on ice, neither proved nor disproved. It is unlikely to be unfrozen. There were rumors that the transactions were drug trade money. I have neither seen nor heard any rumors that the funds were a slice of revolutionary taxes.

                4. Nope. My analysis coincides with option 3 of your decision tree analysis. I’m saying it was not a decision but a capitulation. Therefore, my score remains as is.

            • josephivo says:

              Rule of law, due process. What if the legal system is crooked? Following the system will result in a crooked process.

              Isn’t the Philippine system very crooked? Snail speed (here I might be insulting snails), see Ampatuan case. Judges for sale, see all celebrities getting a (illegal) divorce (sometimes more than one) calling it annulment and paying judges good money. The justice system only available for a fraction of the population as most cannot afford the associated costs. Bias for procedures over core issues, the letter over the intention, affidavits over physical evidence… Basketball rules and empires only make sense when the players intend to play basketball, they are useless in cockfights.

              Again, waiting to hear from Du30 how he will beef up the legal system. Only after that we can have a meaningful discussion over this NPA/police case.

              • edgar lores says:

                Then correct the legal system within the parameters of the law?

              • josephivo says:

                A evolution / revolution discussion?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                From my perspective, it’s devolution.

              • bill in oz says:

                Edgar we are trying caught on a barb wire fence here…Try to ‘reform’ a corrupt legal system is what has not worked for the past 70 years…And Duterte wants to throw out the bath tub as well as the baby. Hobson’s choice!!

                It has been done before to my knowledge : Napoleon did it in 3 years in 1800–3 in France by Emperor’s edict.And that is what French law is still based on.

              • Joe America says:

                It is a barbed wire fence. How much collateral damage is acceptable? And how does summarily killing people correct the judicial system? These are the questions I ask myself, as we see one tagged body in Cebu gifted to Duterte, with the main offense apparently that he was gay, and we see the chopped up body in a bag in front of the senate, and people on line being taken off line and gifted with death threats, with no word of restraint coming from the Duterte spokespeople. The judiciary is separate from Executive. When will we start to see execution of judges to try to incent them to do better work? I find the cause is just, the method a horror.

                How about instead of letting citizens loose to murder, we: (1) fund the judiciary more generously, (2) upgrade DOJ investigation and prosecution capabilities, and (3) get rid of bank secrecy laws so illicit drug money can be traced?

              • josephivo says:

                @ Joe.

                Totally agree if it has top priority and Du30’s turbo-implementation speed.

                The alternative is a complete restart via a return to the Middle Ages.

            • chempo says:

              I’m 100% with Edgar in this thread of arguments.

              The key question as asked by Lance is what happens when govt fails, such as the case of Mexico that Lance mentions. But the point is, Philippines is not exactly as to where Mexico is now. The breaking point will come when it comes, just as in EDSA 1.

              I see the PE allowing the NPA to hold court over the cop not as a strong leader proposing an unorthodox way, or as Lance would have it, an alternative people’s justice because the judiciary has failed. I see it as something that’s beginning to show in the PE character — an inclination to walk away from a difficult problem with a seemingly bravado pronouncement. See ski-jet to islands, kill criminals, “F” to US, UN, CHR etc.It’s a hand waving solution to complex problems, the kind that enchanted crowds cheer on.

              • chemp,

                What do you think, he should’ve done? These revolutionaries types are the same as Muslim terrorists, when it comes to criminals they are usually right, when it comes to their enemies, political and religious, usually wrong all the time.

              • chempo says:

                I think you give them too much credit. Who knows if there is a political play behind all these recent capture of cops?

                What I would advise him to do”
                Well first, he isn’t the president yet, so just zip up.
                And if already president, have a pow-wow with your security team before making a declaration.

                I can’t suggest what to do, it’s not my call.
                But if I were president, I know I would not surrender my duty to a militant group.

              • chemp,

                From all indications it looks like a run of the mill Robin Hood operation (ie. as oppose to kidnapping or extortion). Usually when a “revolutionary” power sets-up shop in one locale, they’ll provide criminal justice service when not provided for by the nat’l gov’t.

                And that’s usually a bottom up process, generated by the public. Political enemies (religious if it’s a religious thing) is a top down process, generate by the NPA, hence my confidence of their intentions here, they arrested those officers because of public complaints.

                The local public demand for justice to be done seems well documented on paper and at face value seems in line with NPA mandate— when gov’t forces are criminal, they’ll protect the people.

                I’m sure DU30 conferred with his new police apparatus (they’re his old buds forcrissakes), because at first he demanded release. Upon receipt of evidence, he went the ‘you can have ’em’ route… his security team probably chimed in against this cop, with yeah he’s dirty (had they pleaded that said cop had to brought home, I’m sure you’ll see some haggling done).

                So this cop’s not worth fighting for.

                Conferring with the NPA and his security advisors, DU30 makes a command decision.

                OK, so with all the above aside, let’s break-down the decision tree:

                1). Not do anything since he’s not President (1 month remaining),

                either way this problem’s falling on his lap, but what can Pnoy’s administration realistically do? Of his 6 yrs in office is his record of negotiating release and/or rescue really that good? List examples. Convince me this would’ve been the best course of action.

                Also, keep in mind that the NPA approached DU30. 😉

                It’s already 1 month, nothing was done… Now it’s his turn.

                What’s DU30 to do?

                2). Don’t surrender his duty to militant group… two things will happen,

                a. negotiations — let’s say DU30 gets his way, now he has this criminal cop, he’ll not be tried based on NPA evidence since the nat’l courts, so he’s let out. business as usual resumes. I know with all the ethics and spiritualizing, you and edgar probably think this is the best outcome (and we’ll differ).

                But how’s the greater good served here?

                b. rescue —- for an alleged drug dealer? no one in their right minds would risk another Mamasapano for this one.

                3). “Surrender” his duty to the militant group… nominal justice served, the PNP at wherever this place is, finally starts behaving… with this decision there’s no waiting, no negotiations and no added deaths.

                Plus there’s a greater good served here.

                You can argue though that it will embolden the NPA further, but remember there’s a balancing act to all this Robin Hood campaigns, so

                if they are emboldened & start capturing and trying all sorts of police, the Law of Diminishing Returns will apply, and they’ll cease to be a revolutionary outfit to replace gov’t justice. I’m sure DU30 knows this,

                so they’ll behave, giving DU30 extra eyes and ears to watch over corrupt rich and gov’t officials.

                So unlike edgar I can’t wax philosophic about this… Choice number 3 was not only the safest option (less death is good, right?), it’s the one with the most return of investment.

                Unless you have other possibilities in mind, shoot… I don’t see any other moves.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                “So this cop’s not worth fighting for.

                In a nutshell:

                o Surrender of the rule of law.
                o Resort to extra-judicial means.
                o Judge. Jury. Executioner.

              • Joe America says:

                Related note, PE Duterte has evidently warned the Legislature not to investigate extra-judicial killings and the Congressional leadership has said it will not interfere with Duterte’s efforts to stop drugs and crime.

              • Joe America says:

                Ha, but there will probably be Mamasapano III. [Joke, I think.]

            • Hmmm… LCPL_X I think I know what you are getting at with the “Davao ceasefire”…

              You have been to war zones. The key word I think here is called “modus vivendi”. Finding a way to live somehow and de-escalate. Since people, like all animals, are territorial, the deal will usually be to accept de facto territory held by your opponent. West Germany had to find a way to deal with East Germany, even if it NEVER officially recognized it as a state. It took Brandt (a former Berlin mayor who knew the frontline situation) to work on that deal in the 1970s, something many at that time saw as betrayal. Yet he was smart enough to keep options open that Helmut Kohl was able to use in 1989-1990 for reunification. What I think the issue many have is more one of “can we trust Duterte at all”? I don’t really know.

              President Aquino was met with enormous distrust when he tried to make the peace deal with MILF, i.e. BBL, he was seen as selling out to Malaysia. Trust/loyalty are not a given…

          • Joe America says:

            I have several problems with your argument.

            1) The problem is not the government, but the culture of impunity, which the current government has been moving away from by adhering to the rule of law. You want to go back to entitlement.

            2) You presume the police chief is guilty, and that a band of extortionists has the moral foundation to conduct a fair trial. This is a gross violation of human and civil rights.

            3) You don’t consider the downstream effects, of kidnappings and planted drugs becoming another tool in the extortionist’s toolbox.

            4) You accept Mr. Duterte’s statements as the only thing he could have done. I tend to think a diplomat would argue both the law and empathy for the NPA cause, pushing forward both on discipline under the law and negotiated peace.

            • 1) I’m pretty sure the current admin didn’t destroy this culture of impunity, it is still very much part and parcel of gov’t there. Am I correct?

              2) Do you think the nat’l government can be as fair and as punitive? C’mon they have karoake bars inside prisons for chrissakes, you know who’ll not have karoake bars in their prisons? the NPA 😉 .

              3) That I’ll give to you, Joe. But in fairness both of us don’t have a crystal ball, we are working on individual values and biases to color our predictions.

              4) I think both the NPA commander and DU30 have a history of working together. Explore this relationship further, and you’ll get a truer measure of the man and how he works, than any assumption will ever give you.

              • Joe America says:

                1) Yes, as evidenced by the cabinet appointments of Mr. Duterte. President Aquino was moving well toward a technocratic government, and rational management practices (measure by metrics/performance). You are arguing for staying within the system of impunity.

                2) Yes, they can, and demonstrate it regularly. An exceptional incident is no reason to undermine the proper role of the judiciary in a nation striving for first world stature.

                3) The presumption of innocence is what separates us from animals. It is hard to do, and we are supposed to have the intellectual capacity to do it.

                4) I don’t think I have the means to research that, and would prefer to judge by the acts I can witness. That is, the deeds, real time.

              • Joe America says:

                PS, I know you like links to enhance your message, I think you might enjoy the following, which tends to reinforce the views held by many:


              • Joe America says:

                I would add, re #4, if you have the info to support your presumption, it would be helpful to present it here. The obligation for research falls to you, I think.

              • 1) Joe, you’re seeing it as in and out, with DU30 going back in, what if he’s doing something different but still towards where PNOY was heading? A different path, not necessarily backwards.

                2) Then why weren’t they able to investigate & capture the Police Chief in question?

                3) Wasn’t this Police Chief captured among other PNP officers? While others were released? Tells me there was a vetting process. And DU30 first demanded release then upon receipt of NPA commander’s explanation decided to defer judgement to him, that tell’s me working relationship.

                4) Presumption is based on experience, not necessarily provable, your presumption is just as good as my presumption, but I think yours is more assumption, where I’m banking on my experience w/ how these alt-judicial stuff proceed— hence my confidence (but you need not share in my confidence, Joe 😉 ).

              • Joe America says:

                You are working up a sweat trying to justify that which is unjustifiable, ending the march AWAY impunity and strengthening of judicial process, accepting guilt without trial, empowering extortionists, and enabling bad behavior by the incoming President. As I have said on more than one occasion, that is why you are the problem and not the solution. You join the likes of the Cayetanos and Pimentel, following the elephant around and cleaning up the leavings.

              • Joe, I can’t understand half of this link you’ve posted, just copy/post your point (also these Philippine newspaper links always freeze my computer, too many ads!)

              • Joe America says:

                Here’s the text of the message. You can use Google translate to translate the parts you can’t grasp from context. It is satire and there are many points. I can’t adequately summarize it without destroying the power of the message.

                A UP law student named Chad Osario has a unique message to the incoming president. His post in facebook went viral after the law student “Congrats Mayor” message to Duterte.

                Here’s Chad Osario’s message:

                Congrats Mayor!

                We love you po! ❤

                We should give you a chance and not criticize you, even though you keep contradicting yourself, because you’re infallible and your every decision is perfect. 🙂

                Kahit obvious na na mali, give you a chance pa rin. 🙂 Malay mo may surprise ka pala samin. 🙂

                Either that or sadya lang kayong mapagbiro. HAHAHA. You’re so funny talaga, Mayor!

                Nakakalungkot kasi you’re always taken out of context eh. Actually di ko rin alam kung may context ba talaga dapat ang rape jokes, pambabastos sa mga babae or the culture of impunity, but whatever, it’s you so dapat masanay kami.

                Also, thanks for appointing some of your friends AND the son of your campaign funders to your Cabinet. 🙂 I’m sure you want to surround yourself with people you trust, even though they’re not qualified. As long as you trust them, we trust them as well. 🙂

                Thanks for trying so hard not to want to offend Bongbong. Surely his political ties mean more to you than your doing your duty.

                Thanks also for asking China for permission for our fishermen to fish in the West Philippine Sea. So what if atin yun and you just gave them faux legitimacy to their claim? Nobody in the Philippines understands international law anyway LOL.

                And imagine, we can have millions worth of RAILWAYS. In exchange for the trillions of resources the West Philippine Sea offers, totally worth it. 🙂

                Thanks po for promising to end criminality in 3-6 months! And then afterwards saying you can’t. Not sure if you were joking or you weren’t supposed to be taken seriously, but sanay na naman kami sa broken promises eh, so okay lang yun! 🙂

                Thanks din for wanting to bring Federalism to our country. I don’t understand it, but since sabi mo, OKAY lang kasi lawyer ka. Eh ano kung legal experts disagree? Mas magaling ba sila sayo? Diba hindi? Kasi wala nang mas gagaling pa sayo. 🙂

                Kahit Supreme Court bawal nang mag-issue ng TRO pag sinabi mo. Eh ano kung judges sila at mas matagal pinag-aralan ang batas kesa sayo? Basta sabi mo Sir eh hindi dapat mababali. 🙂

                Also, totally agree with you. Drug addicts deserve to die. Basta sabi ng pulis, drug addict, patayin! Pag galit sayo kapitbahay mo at sinumbong ka sa pulis na drug addict ka, patayin! Kung may kaaway kang pulis at pinatay ka niya, tapos ang report eh ‘drug addict’ ka kahit hindi, okay lang! :)Kung mayaman ang kaaway mo at binayaran ang judge na hatulan ka ng ‘death penalty’ eh okay lang! Go summary execution and death penalty, yey! 😀

                Basta sabi mo eh, you know what you’re doing. I mean, 16million people voted for you, right? They can’t all be wrong. The 25million who didn’t vote for you, sila ang mali. You’ve been a Mayor for decades, so it’s the same banana, running a country. Right? 🙂

                Thanks for being there, Mayor! You’re so perfect. 🙂 You truly deserve a spot sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. 🙂

                Please watch over our every action and make sure we do good.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add that the author has since received multiple death threats. But of course, Duterte’s encouragement of citizen executions has nothing to do with it. The cause is obviously slow courts.

              • “You are working up a sweat trying to justify that which is unjustifiable, ending the march AWAY impunity and strengthening of judicial process, accepting guilt without trial, empowering extortionists, and enabling bad behavior by the incoming President.”

                The majority of us concluded that the judicial process is a joke over there, re ACLU article thread— very arbitrary.

                As for guilt without trial, that’s my point, there was trial, no? Though an alternative court, one not recognized by the nat’l gov’t but recognized by the incoming President (whose had relationship with the NPA since being Mayor of Davao, hence a working relationship).

                The “empowering extortionists” I’m not too sure of, are you saying the NPA actually kidnapped them for ransom? Of those PNP officers released, was ransom paid? Is the NPA asking for ransom for the Chief in question?

                re “bad behavior”, again you’ve not fully made your case, Joe (nor edgar). An incident happened, DU30 made a decision, whether it’s unConstitutional is debatable, but certainly not “bad” or “good” nor “right” or “wrong”.

                DU30 simply made a command decision, consistent with what he’s done in the past.

                re that article, I know it’s meant to be tongue in cheek, but the only relevant point re your blog was summary execution… which this NPA court deferment is not, again extra-judicial execution vs. alt-judicial, there was a court proceeding (NPA), and from what I’m reading no death penalty in this particularly case.

                so we’re doing circles except for the “empowering extortionists”, was this extortion or an arrest of a Drug Dealer?

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for offering your opinions on the subject. I’ll leave it to readers to contemplate the arguments.

              • ” I would add that the author has since received multiple death threats. “

                Joe, my one solace of keeping up with the Philippine election is this quote. A place where life is cheap indeed, but this below is one bad-ass perspective,

              • Joe America says:

                This is what your advocacy is enabling, LCX:

                UP Law student Chad Patrick Osorio came under fire from Duterte supporters after he posted a satire piece on the recent pronouncements of the tough-talking mayor.

                Osorio’s “Congrats Mayor” went viral on social media and it was not long before he received death threats online.

                A Facebook user named Dann Navarro threatened him that he will personally track the law student down and kill him: “hahanapin ka namin putqngna mo! Ako na papatay sau!ruwang tuwa ka g*go ka!!! nagpost kp animal ka!!!”

                (We will find you, you [expletive]! I will be the one to kill you! You’re happy, aren’t you, you [expletive]! You even posted, you animal!!!)

                Responding to these threats, Osorio only hoped that Filipinos would wake up from a “fascist, uncultured, nightmare of an administration” soon.

                “I wrote a sarcastic article to criticize an incoming politician, which is well within my right to speech. It’s less vulgar and less insulting than a President of the country catcalling a female reporter on live TV. But his rabid fans are angry at me for mirroring the way they think…Good night, Philippines. May we wake up from this fascist, uncultured nightmare of an administration soon,” he said in a separate Facebook post on Wednesday.

              • Joe America says:

                I wonder what the chances are that the young man would find the PNP out defending his right to free speech and tracking down the thug who threatened him? The PNP will be under the direction of one of Duterte’s strong-arm executioners.

              • Joe America says:

                Continuing with the issue of collateral damage, when the dogs are let out and they are ravenous pit bulls . . . I mention this, not to flood the discussion with examples, but to make clear that the results are very real. The targets are not drug users, but innocent people who did nothing but speak their minds.

              • Don’t blame me Joe, I’m simply exposing your bias, by offering an opposing opinion (josephivo’s doing the same, why not blame him as well?)

                “The cabinet choices of President Elect Duterte suggest he is genuinely interested in getting people on his cabinet who can do a good job, and whom he trusts. They are generally older (experienced), and have backgrounds in their respective agencies. It is an adjustment to get used to new faces, and set aside biases (Arroyo), but not at all hard to give them some wiggle room to let them get adjusted and start to perform.”

                The problem with nickel and dime’ing (to included these sarcasm pieces that’s all the rave now) is that when there is actual incident worthy of criticism, we’ll not know if you’re being sarcastic, or flippant, or what, since you’ve dug yourself in as a naysayer… you’ve effectively become jameboy, Joe, when it comes to DU30. For example,

                are you serious when you say that above?

                Focus on education for example instead (and other ways to better the Philippines), then when DU30 actually truly screws-up and you can nail him, or have something convincing, the pen will be mightier than the sword time. The boy who cried wolf, Joe. Remember jameboy.


                You guys might lionize these kids doing sarcasm pieces, but don’t you think their voices would be better served if they actually made solid critiques not based on politics, spirituality or ethics? Sarcasm I don’t mind, but knowing that these are privileged Filipinos (an educated guess 😉 ), it does come off as annoying.

                As for online bullying, you put yourself out there & you go viral, and if your stuff isn’t #AlDub, if what you’re writing is designed to incite, don’t be surprised 😉 . Am I right? These sarcasm pieces aren’t Pulitzers, they’re a form of trolling designed to get a rise out of people. I’m sure the fact that this kid’s a Law Student at UP doesn’t help either.

                You kick sleeping dogs you’re bound to get bit, so don’t give me this victimhood crap, Joe. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                Josephivo agreed that it is preferential to operate within the law toward some specific achievements at a purposeful pace, and that the trendline of violence is “dark ages”. His view is very different than yours. He is not an enabler of anything but thinking things through.

                Victimhood crap is what all people who are subjected to civil rights violations do. They advocate for fair and decent treatment and are name-called and diminished by those who enable the thugs. Or are thugs themselves.

              • Joe America says:

                Footnotes: (1) Someone who disagrees with your arguments is not “biased”, he just disagrees. (2) Satirists like Jonathan Swift changed the world, and are not considered trolls by any but the anti-literates. (3) You are trying to tell me that I ought not speak when you say “Don’t give me this victimhood crap . . .”. I can see your affinity for the techniques used by thugs, as you are now trending toward that methodology.

              • Joe, I wrote the ACLU piece and everyone gave me crap for it (actually constructive criticism 😉 ). So I’m in agreement with josephivo’s Rule of Law, we also agree on this,

                ‘Again, we should never accept the president elect’s foul language, in only because children are listening in, but we could do an effort in understanding the intentions, the backgrounds, the “new” logic.’

                The difference is I’m going the extra distance to ‘understand’, where most everyone seems happy doing sarcasm pieces.

                As for this UP Law kid, I’m sure it wasn’t one sided, Joe… these two knuckleheads are playing chicken. Online bullying protocol for those with common sense is ignore/ban and carrying on, this guy’s making a stand with his ‘rights’, and he ‘s the one who wrote the troll piece.

                I don’t fault one, I fault both, those two jokers deserve each other. Let them play chicken (but I hope he reads that blog above first 😉 ).

              • Joe America says:

                The difference is I’m going the extra distance to ‘understand’, where most everyone seems happy doing sarcasm pieces.

                That is absolutely wrong. The official position of the Aquino Administration and VP Elect Robredo is support (and understanding) of the Duterte presidency. A WHOLE LOT of people are willing to wait, and a number have made that statement here. The subject of this blog was presented neutrally to the best of my ability, and it was the comments that shaped responses and allowed me to express my personal view. You are namecalling two “knuckleheads” who did nothing more than express themselves, and say bullying them is right. You are on the side of the thugs.

                I’m sorry, LCX, but I personally find these values inside out, or upside down, or every which way but civil, as I understand free speech and civility.

              • 1. You’re not biased for disagreeing with me, Joe… I said I’m calling out your bias against DU30 (two different things).

                2. Sarcasm (especially ones designed to insult) isn’t satire, Joe. Mark Twain’s an accomplished satirist, these two pieces posted here don’t even pale in comparison.

                3. I’m simply saying, your victimhood angle is crap, I’m not buying it (because the two knuckleheads are playing chicken), if you choose to cuddle this UP Law student as an innocent victim, that’s your choice, Joe—-

                but I wasn’t born yesterday 😉 .

              • “They advocate for fair and decent treatment and are name-called and diminished by those who enable the thugs. Or are thugs themselves.”

                LOL! This is so far from that, Joe, these are simply two kids trolling each other online (happens here too, only no DU30 to blame).

              • “You are namecalling two “knuckleheads” who did nothing more than express themselves, and say bullying them is right.”

                Unless there’s also drama involved in the other Rappler sarcasm piece, I’m obviously referring to the UP Law student and his “bully” online as the “two knuckleheads”— why would the two anti-DU30 “satirists” be playing chicken?

              • “The subject of this blog was presented neutrally to the best of my ability, and it was the comments that shaped responses and allowed me to express my personal view.”

                EXACTLY! I’m not saying your piece was biased, I’m saying you’re biased (against DU30)… and your diminishing your voice. My point since the last thread.

              • Joe America says:

                Read the right column. I am for Duterte’s success. But it ought not come at the expense of civility or human rights. That is not a bias. It is a principle. You keep trying to instruct me not to speak and have left the path of logic and are into name-calling to advocate for your position.

                Here’s what the right column says:

                The cabinet choices of President Elect Duterte suggest he is genuinely interested in getting people on his cabinet who can do a good job, and whom he trusts. They are generally older (experienced), and have backgrounds in their respective agencies. It is an adjustment to get used to new faces, and set aside biases (Arroyo), but not at all hard to give them some wiggle room to let them get adjusted and start to perform.

              • Joe, I quoted the right column above, I don’t know if that’s sarcasm or what anymore, since you’ve left objectivity behind re DU30.

                As for name calling, two knuckleheads playing chicken on fb is pretty apt. Consider what the two are doing, before you accuse me of being thuggish 😉 .

              • Joe America says:

                I’m biased toward civility and human rights, I agree.

            • “A WHOLE LOT of people are willing to wait, and a number have made that statement here.”

              That’s exactly what I wrote above, Joe. Hold your fire, until you have something significant, otherwise you’ll be another jameboy.

    • Guys, I have a suggestion based on the discussions I have seen in this thread…

      Why not establish barangay courts? Let me outline the reasons for this…

      1) Philippine courts are often distant and ineffective – a postcolonial legacy.

      2) Kangaroo courts are often arbitrary and tyrannical – even if the original idea of NPA courts was to fix injustice in a more effective way than the postcolonial Filipino courts.

      3) The origin of Anglo-Saxon justice was in the Germanic tribal justice system by a court of village elders, supplemented by a jury of ones peers in the community.

      Since the Philippines IS is in many ways still an archaic culture – with a colonial overlay – why not start with the realities and fix based on the realities that exist? How:

      a) supplement barangay justice by council with juries to prevent bias and impunity.

      b) limit jurisdiction to smaller crimes – thievery, first-offence drug dealing, minor violence

      c) limit punishment to community service – this is where I like Karl’s ideas of cleaning esteros. Self-discipline is often learned by DOING something useful – having no maids abroad taught this formerly entitled brat a lot of useful self-discipline and healthy pride.

      We have established that there is a genuine problem in many townships, er barangays.

      Let the barangays discipline themselves and clean up their act, bottom-up. Let the damaged tribal culture fix itself, bottom-up. Assist that by top-down measures.

      Give communities a chance to regain their dignity and self-respect, something they lost over centuries – thereby eradicating one of the root causes of so many issues.

      • Joe America says:

        Federalism squared. The difficulty is the inconsistent level of competence and I suppose resources within the barangays. The judicial process would end up being somewhat rustic in some communities. Favoritism is common as well, a bad setting for conflict resolution beyond simple neighborhood complaints. I agree the promise is there, but I think the follow-through might be about 15 years away. The municipalities and cities themselves have to upgrade their civic awareness and rigor at defining local adherence to laws. They are the bosses of the Barangays, and barangay captains seem to take their lead from the mayor.

        • Favoritism – plus annoying slowness due to procedural rigidity – also exists in Filipino courts. Plus nearly all central functions in the Philippines are a potential source of “personal revenue”, to put it kindly. I include Congress approving hospital beds / schools…

          In Spanish times, the position of village scribe was SOLD – historians have noted that the assumption seems to have been that a village scribe could earn that money back easily. Civic awareness can only grow if communities start learning to truly manage themselves.

      • chempo says:

        In theory, brilliant idea. In reality, you have a ghost of a chance to put in practice. Maybe the Japs can do it. Swiss, probably too.

        • So it boils down to the root cause of most problems – the Filipino mentality. Finally being the problem means you can also be the solution – if you want to. Change starts with the people themselves.

          • bill in oz says:

            There are 2 aspects of British local courts you glossed over.
            1 ;There is always a legally qualified “clerk of the court/ registrar” who advices the judges on precedents/legal issues.. The clerk is accountable to the the justice dpt.

            2 : ‘Common law’ has always been the basic given..Not statute law.. Parliament’s role has always been to modify when needed, local common law. Here in the Philippines the statutes of Congress are the basis of the law

      • edgar lores says:

        I can appreciate the idea. It certainly solves the greatest problem of the Judiciary which is the Why and the When – the timely dispensation of justice.

        And you have added control measures as to Who, What, Where and How. There can be more controls, such as a national uniform code of penalty for each identified infraction.

        As to the professionalism of the Who, you rely, not on legal training, but the innate wisdom of elders and peers.

        There are other matters to be considered such as record-keeping, the mechanism of appeals, the potential for abuse, and compensation. These would require institutionalization and infrastructural support.

        In a way, this idea is an extension of the current quasi-judicial functions of the barangay. You are just bringing it to a higher level of implementation. I believe barangay councils can arbitrate settlements but are not allowed to impose penalties?

        That’s all the feedback I can provide for the moment.

        • “As to the professionalism of the Who, you rely, not on legal training, but the innate wisdom of elders and peers. ” – Manong Justice, so to speak.

          The BBL provides for tribal justice – I suspect the sense of right and wrong is better preserved among the truly tribal cultures such as Lumads and Igorots, somehow it was still there in the older generation of Filipinos but something I think gave in the last 60 years…

      • Thea says:

        We already have Barangay Justice. It is composed of 4 elderly and most respected persons appointed by the Brgy. Captain, being the head. All complaints must be heard by the Brgy. Justice before one can file a case to the Town/City tribunal. Once the case is filed, the Brgy. Captain will summon and hear both parties for at least three times. There are limitations of scope though. Say, the case involves money (which is so common in this level),the amount must not exceed Php5000. I just don’t know if they have already modified or increase it. More than the said amount or if the case is not settled, the complainant can proceed to the municipal court for hearing within 30 days. We have Barangay tanods/police too who patrol the barangay every night. Simple. There is a live culture of respect to elders and superiors mostly in the smaller barangays,wherein everybody knows everybody. The complexity arises in bigger barangays where these units have been politicized for the past 30 years. Federalism in practice. Duterte must not make this form of government seems new. The Barangays have ways and means to collect fees aside from the allocation they get from the town/National. A percentage of such collections will proceed to the municipal treasury.
        They can spend the allocation on defined and approved projects like improvement of Barangay Halls,etc. Collections therefore depend on the location, status and density of population and economic standing of the barangay. The catch here is that they can vote to increase the monthly stipend of the Captain and Brgy. Council leaving aside the services they are supposed to do.

        • Joe America says:

          Thank you for this info, Thea, which illustrates the promise of the barangry as a part of governance. People will be people, but the promise is there.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          Is it correct for me to assume that these are more arbitration courts rather than trial courts?

          The distinction would be in the jurisdiction. Arbitration courts settle neighborhood disputes. Trial courts adjudge infringements (and perhaps minor felonies). The difference is like between civil and criminal cases.

          I believe Irineo had both types of cases in mind.

          • Thea says:

            The Barangay justice system has no judicial powers. It is not like trial courts where each party is represented by lawyers. In fact, representation(by lawyers) is prohibited. However, all cases (civil and criminal) must be filed first in the barangay. There it will be decided whether the case is under their jurisdiction. There are criminal cases like estafa,swindling, acts of lasciouviosness, etc. that are being heard in the barangay level. But then, the process is of conciliation and amicable settlement between parties.

  30. uht says:

    Off-topic: Sir Joe, the link in the previous editor’s note (from Slate) was incomplete and as such returned a 404 when I tried to read it. There’s a new editor’s note now, but I would still like to read the article—could you link it again? Thank you!

  31. bill in oz says:

    The resistance has been started ! And by a young Filipina Ana P. Santos on Rappler.
    Sarcasm & black humor gallore. Dare you to laugh as well !

    “Oooh, Digong, what have you done to me? To us?

    Ummm…every day we wait breathlessly for what I know will be another day of biting remarks, expletives and verbal ejaculations like that most recent wolf whistle.

    Some people say it is the product of a complex mastermind but you and I both know that you’re just being yourself – a bad boy. A very bad boy who gets excited by incensing people, annoying them and sparking discord in an already divided country.

    Oooh, Digong, you’re so bad you should be spanked.

    You are not even officially President yet, but you certainly don’t disappoint. Every day you give it to us, harder, deeper than the last time.

    You were annoyed that you, as Mayor, were not given first dibs to an Australian missionary. You cursed the Pope. And then admonished the United Nations, the multi-agency group that is one of the Philippines’s largest donors. My eyes cannot help but widen each time you brazenly show us that no one could possibly be bigger than you.

    Whenever you display your manhood like that, it makes me bite my lower lip in anticipation. I know you won’t stop. You will just keep it coming and coming.

    I know. I shouldn’t be talking like this to the highest elected official in the land, the one who will represent our country and stand alongside other world leaders. I know. You’re old enough to be a grandfather. But I can’t help it. This is what you bring out in me, what you bring out in every person you touch with your words. You are a madman, wild and drunk with power and you are unstoppable.

    You always need to be the man on top. Wolf-whistling a female journalist (would you do it to a male one, I wonder? C’mon, haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like to get it from behind?) to make a joke at her expense, to make her feel uncomfortable and unsafe? To annoy and insult her husband – just because you think you can. Just because you cannot pass up a chance to show that you’re the man.

    I imagine you watching from your throne as the country tears itself apart. Filipino against Filipino, all in the name of Digong. Some screaming, “Digong, yes!” Others chanting, “Digong, no!”

    You like that, don’t you? You like it rough. You like it dirty.

    You need to show that you’ve earned the nickname “The Punisher” even if, by your own admission, you need to pop a Viagra pill first to do it.

    Oh, have I insulted you? Or have I flattered you?

    Like you, I won’t take back anything I’ve said. You shouldn’t take things too seriously. I’m just being playful, Digong. You already know how this game of mindfucking is played. You started it. But trust me when I say that you’re not the only one who’s good at it.” – Rappler.com

    • bill in oz says:

      Not a single comment from anyone in the Society of Honor ?? Here is a young woman journalist with the balls to mock the foul mouthed old man. And none of us want to applaud her ?
      I hope that some of us are beyond being prudish old men or women, grumpy at her for using sexually explicit writing to bring him down off his pedestal !!
      My gosh, even the GRP goons are horrorfied so it must be good. :- )

      • Joe America says:

        There is no mandate that people comment. If you are so inspired, that’s great. But there is no need to lay your personal disappointments on others when they are the foundation of what is such an outstanding discussion forum.

      • Personally something’s off with the article and it’s not the language nor the explicitness. It sounds like a child throwing a tantrum but that’s just me.

        And if I were so inclined to applaud I would do it there rather than here.

        • I agree. She should grow up to become a real woman. Like Mocha Uson.

          • bill in oz says:

            Irineo,Mocha Uson is a bisexual band entertainer. Ana P Santos is a journalist -yes one those people who Dirty Derte thinks deserve execution ! And to the best of my knowledge not gay or bisexual..
            As a journalist she has been brave & clever & witty and given him back a dash of his own medicine.. And you cannot give her an elephant stamp for it…Booooo !

          • Amidst all the uproar the message is lost to me. Now plenty others may like her creativeness but it’s not my cup of tea. In imitating the target of her criticism it does seem to point to a lack of other options in her part. Is the situation that desperate now?

            I do admire her bravery (or foolishness? naivete?) but in her moment of passion, forgive me the phrase, she may have invited more harm than good to her cause, to others like her, and to herself.

            • bill in oz says:

              Thank you for your considered opinion. I think it is hilarious because it mocks and belittles the foul mouthed old man datu. And so she offers a way to oppose him when there is no opposition. But yes it is not some peoples cup of tea or coffee.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Fret not Bill,silence means approval as far as I am concerned.And the smileys would have helped.😉😜

  32. caliphman says:


    It seems that Peter Wallace is very sensitive and vulnerable to Joe’s prior comments against the anti-Aquino articles he published some time ago. The pronounced injury to his ego is evident from how he opens his most recent piece with a viscious personal attack against Joe. For a supposedly distinguished and learned business consultant to descend to invectives and slurs to rebut reasoned arguments questioning his commentaries is to be very kind….surprising.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I am Filipino now, ha ha. And a lackey, which suggests I am unprincipled. You are right. He is Captain Queeg of the Caine Mutiny, artfully played by Humphrey Bogart, and is rattling marbles whilst defending his rights of entitlement.

      He may not know that I was mentored by famed advertising exec Jerry Della Famina, who published an eye-opening book “From those wonderful folks who brought you Pearl Harbor”. Even bad news is good publicity . . . free . . . if you spin it right. The articles and commentary here is my ‘spin’, which anyone can check for themselves. I appreciate Wallace’s contribution to driving readership of the blog to record high levels.

    • chempo says:

      I will not try to throw him off his high horse, but rather I would love to see anyone with anything to counter the cases he illustrated. There are always more than one part to a story, especially in Philippines. As far as the MRT story goes, his simplistic line is an exasperation to me. The complexity of the issues is lost to him.

      • Caliphman says:

        If that approach failed the first time around, I fail to see how repeating it will produce anything other than the same type of derision and scorn in response to the original counterarguments made from this blogsite. If the point is to inform readers who read his original views about the contrary evidence and arguments against them, that point has already been made. The more discerning observers will already have noted Wallace’s pompousness is likely a sign that he is unable to muster any serious response to counter these arguments.

  33. madlanglupa says:

    All right, it seems that symbolically somebody is really pushing too far.

    Like Enrile’s bullet-ridden car.


    • madlanglupa says:

      And… ah! This is very interesting, too, knowing who’s who put the moolah into the kitty!


      > Documents submitted to the Comelec also showed that former Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., son of the late banana magnate Antonio Floirendo Sr., made the biggest contribution to Duterte’s campaign, P75 million, or 20 percent of the total contributions to the electoral war chest of the longtime mayor of Davao City.

      > Among his other top contributors were Dennis Uy of Davao-based Phoenix Petroleum (P30 million); Samuel Uy of Davao farms and Davao Import Distributors Inc. (P30 million); Lorenzo Te of Honda Cars Davao (P30 million); Tomas Alcantara, chair and president of the Alsons Group (P12 million); brother Nicasio Alcantara (P16 million) and Felix Ang, president of CATS Motors Inc. (P10 million).

      As for the veep… He nearly won by revisionist propaganda because of the neo-loyalista Facebook goon squads and dozens of apologists.

      > Her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., reported that he spent only P140.54 million. Of this amount, P9.8 million was his own money. He received a total of P130.7 million in cash and in-kind donations from various sources.

  34. bill in oz says:

    @Edgar.. just a clarification re ‘kangaroo court’..I do not know where this term originated..But there is no tradition in Australia of having unofficial courts or trials..

  35. nowasencit says:

    Wait & see. But start to prepare for filing of a case with the OMB if he doesn’t change after he takes his oath.

  36. karlgarcia says:

    Lance, I keep on reading Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.That is a myth.

    • LOL! a Filipino actually did this first in the 70s, karl:

      But the scenario I’m speaking of is more duel related (more on the hierarchy of violence) and not a surprise attack or ambush (both of which are the correct ways of using the knife)

      • karlgarcia says:

        The one above is a simulation of a duel. It would have been better if it was with a circus knife thrower,he would not have to charge to attack. Or a ninja with shurikens.

        • You’re right, you’re right, karl… I thought they were reenacting the Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s friend) video from the 70s.

          I have an issue with the scenario though. If you have an outside holster, open carry, you’ll have a round in the chamber already (that’s the whole point of open carry). As comparison, the Dan Inosanto video is more realistic , of a surprise/ambush scenario.

          I wonder if Myth Buster also ran a scenario with round already chambered.

          Not to take away from your video karl, and this is more FYI just simply step to the side, at full sprint unless the guy is an athlete, his running with knife is disadvantageous, then once drawn out (w/ pistol, assuming round is chambered) no need to fully extend your arm simply hold the pistol close to the hip and fire. 😉

  37. karlgarcia says:

    They call it Revolutionary Justice,The Human Rights Watch calls it murder.
    I was googling for recent NPA trials,and found this article.

    MANILA, Philippines – The New People’s Army’s execution of a mayor and his son broke international humanitarian law and is “plain murder,” the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, October 29.

    The communist guerrillas have claimed responsibility for the killing of Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, and his 27-year-old son Daryl, calling the act “revolutionary justice” for Otaza’s alleged close ties with the military.

    Posing as law enforcement agents, the rebels raided the Otaza home in Butuan City on October 19 and abducted the mayor and his son. Their bodies were found a day after in a village about 12 kilometers away from the city.

    “The killing of the Otazas – like other NPA executions – is just plain murder,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The NPA’s actions and claims of revolutionary justice handed down by people’s courts are flagrant violations of international law.”

    Human Rights Watch said that the NPA is “obligated to abide by international humanitarian law, including common article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Second Additional Protocol of 1977 (Protocol II), to which the Philippines is party.” This law “prohibits killing civilians, mistreating anyone in custody, and convicting anyone in proceedings that do not meet international fair trial standards. Article 6 of Protocol II specifies that criminal courts must be independent and impartial, and the accused shall have ‘all necessary rights and means of defense,’ among other guarantees,” the group added.

    The rebels said the Otazas assisted the military in displacing indigenous communities in the region and torturing children, and that father and son masterminded the killing of at least 3 people.

    “Claims by the NPA that defendants receive a fair hearing during its people’s court proceedings are not supported by the facts,” Human Rights Watch said. Philip Alston, the former United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions who investigated extrajudicial killings in the Philippines in 2007, described the people’s courts as “either deeply flawed or simply a sham.”

    When he is president,will he still allow Kangaroo courts?
    Will the NPA continue to abduct local executives or anyone supporting the Military?
    They should finish peace talks ASAP, with the ultimatum of surrender and laying down of arms.
    But will those who murdered people be integrated to the Military and police?
    Should Political prisoners be released,all in the name of peace?
    I maintain my previous stance on simultaneous peace talks with all the rebels with or with out a cause should commence.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Do you still view the NPA as Robin hood ?

      • karl,

        Joe and I talked about the NPA before, they are location dependent, ie. it depends which NPA you’re dealing with, in Bohol they are very respectful. So too other parts in Mindanao. You’re not dealing with a coordinated effort, hence Robin Hoods.

        Remember I did differentiate between political enemies and criminals, the revolutionary types always seem to screw up when dealing with political (religious) enemies; but pretty good at routing criminals, since the population generates the criminal complaints, and they are simply obliging the population. 😉

  38. One only needs the Urban Dictionary (thanks to cha for this) to understand Rodrigo:


    1. A person who wants everything with reproductive organs. A walking hormone. Even though a rodrigo is usually harmless you must have firm handle on his outgoing attitude. But rodrigos are still usually well-liked, everyone knows a rodrigo.

    2. An individual who’s style has no limits. Who accomplishes much regardless of all opposition; just when you think you have him figured out, he surprises you yet again. Some say Rodrigo’s stress easily but yet no one understands the amount of pressure these individuals place on themselves in order to succeed. Rodrigo’s are generally very well liked: with that instant smile, playful nature, and outgoing attitude.. Who can resist them!

    3. Rodrigo is the type of guy you can trust with anything. He is very outgoing and funny. He has a great personality and will treat you right, also very loyal. He is super sexy and has nice eyes. Great kisser and fun to be around. The life of the party. Get yourself a Rodrigo.

    4. person that actually knows what he is doing. Everyone loves rodrigos just not in that sexual way. Rodrigo are usually short tempered and if not loved, hated.

    5. Tall, dark, handsome. Known to have a small penis, but knows how to use his hands. Loves to show his emotions but is still a bad ass. Get to know your Rodrigo. You will not be disappointed.

    LCPL_X is right, forget all the highfalutin articles we are writing Joe, the street knows a lot more.

  39. karlgarcia says:

    The sari-Sari store owner is a vice enabler. Providing drinks and smokes to those who can not pay.
    Where will the do nothing tambays get the money, from their spouses or kids selling sampaguitas?

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