Understanding President Duterte #3: The President’s Internet Army


“General” Nic Gabunada, from his blog site

By way of clarification, I am putting forth this series of articles on “Understanding President Duterte” NOT because I do understand him. But I am trying to. I’m trying to grasp all the intricacies of his methods.

“I seek neither to praise nor bury Caesar, but to understand him.”

Hopefully, readers will add their own information and insights regarding the issues we put on the table for discussion.

Previously we talked about “Trial by NPA” and “Poverty“. This article will deal with what turned out to be a profound and successful program of internet communications deployed by a Duterte general, Mr. Nic Gabunada. The general directed the army of voluntary keyboard warriors who advocated relentlessly, both above and below the belt, for Candidate Duterte.

Google Trends shows the force in action in the Philippines as it dominated other candidates’ on-line activity:

Google Trends 06102016

Rappler ran an article detailing how the program worked (“Duterte’s P10M social media campaign: Organic, volunteer-driven“).  The brainstorm master, Nic Gabunada, Duterte’s social media director, clearly has talent.

Nic Gabunada is the former CEO of Omnicom Media Group Philippines. He retired in May, 2015 after a three-year stint there. Omnicom globally manages top-tier advertising, marketing and media companies, and the Philippine outlet handles in-country clients. Prior to Omnicom, he was an independent consultant in the fields of “Marketing Communications, Marketing and Business Development”.

Let me just bullet-point the highlights of the Duterte social media effort as reported by Rappler:

  • A disorganized mass of Duterte support groups was aligned to fit within four main groups: OFWs, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
  • The program was almost entirely volunteer driven and executed.
  • A weekly topic or statement was determined based on events or survey trends. The topic was pushed out by all volunteers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. (For example, beating down Senator Trillanes “black propaganda” about Duterte bank accounts was one of the initiatives.)
  • Negative campaigning was a part of the strategy, using whatever was available. The goal was to amplify the opposition’s weaknesses and build Duterte strengths.
  • Bots were not used; the effort centered on 400 or 500 volunteers. However, the volunteers had their own resources, generally internet “groups” from 300 to 6,000 each, with the largest having 180,000 members.
  • Efforts were made to control the aggressive, negative people via published requests from Duterte and others asking for civility. My impression is that this appeal had very little impact, and was done more for show than effect, as thuggish comments did not let up.
  • The key message after the election win was “#HealingStartsNow.”
  • The effort will continue going forward as the new President did not win by majority. The objective is to continue to build support.
  • The network will also be used as a sounding board for criticisms.

For sure, the keyboard army seems still to be working and some portion of it remains in attack mode against those who have refused to profess allegiance to President Duterte, or who continue to criticize his words and deeds. The matter of how aggressive the Duterte internet force will be after he takes office, and whether it will work on information or propaganda . . . the former being data and the latter slant of the data . . . is unknown. Above the belt is information and advocacy. Below the belt is lies and manipulations. We don’t know the approach, but I know for a fact some of the ongoing Twitter and Facebook attacks against the “opposition” are harsh. It seems much like an attempt to intimidate people into silence, and thereby tacit support.

That isn’t the style of government I personally respect, but it may work for the style of the new Administration, in terms of results. It’s like the election, I suppose. Principles of civility or even human rights are set aside in the interest of achievement. That is what the electorate wants, after all. Or what 16 million voters want, at least. What the UN or US or Human Rights organizations prefer is largely irrelevant. Some measure of collateral damage (like the vile internet bashing that occurred during the campaign, threatening opponents with rape or death) is possibly acceptable to the incoming administration.

That’s a guess.

Any official spokesperson from the Duterte camp is welcome to join the discussion and enlighten us as to how the internet will be used administratively by the Duterte Administration going forward. I’d ask the Duterte keyboard warriors not to use the blog as a part of their battlefield effort. This is an above-board discussion forum, not a marketing platform. By policy, I have to delete offenders as trolls.

I would note that we did have a few pro-Duterte troll visits right after the election, but they have all moved on. I deduce that they either consider the blog earnest and not dangerous . . . or irrelevant. (Or they are considering how to silence the blog if it goes nega on Duterte.) If they are sincere about using the internet for INPUTS, they will use the blog and discussion forum as a good place to get ideas, reason and civility in a tabloid world run amok.

They will see the blog as a place that will not offend by policy, but may criticize by reason.

We (or at least, I, the editor) start with the intention of supporting the Duterte Administration. Enduring support must, of course, be earned. There are no puppets on the Society roster as far as I can discern.


211 Responses to “Understanding President Duterte #3: The President’s Internet Army”
  1. mmynxjewelry says:

    Please continue to write these very well-researched and thoughtful pieces. I seriously doubt Duterte’s vast internet army had a budget of only P10M and that they were mostly volunteers. The quality–or rather lack thereof–of their posts points to their being paid: shallow, full of irrelevant cusses when they could no longer reply logically to sincere efforts to engage them, and downright lies.

    Bottom line: while Duterte’s army was an effective Machiavellian strategy to effect his win, it has resulted in the overall deterioration of the national level of discussion and engagement. May Mr Nic Gabunada think of that on his deathbed.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, it did result in a deterioration of discussion, but I think Mr. Gabunada, who is undoubtedly paid, will hold onto the end result, that he got his boss elected. What would be troublesome to me would be if this basic method, to push lies and propaganda, were to become an official part of the method of governance going forward. Or if the internet army would continue to assault people who are simply exercising their free speech rights. It seems that right now, the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission is the sole voice of conscience in the Philippines. It would be nice if the Duterte government developed one, as well. They do serve all the people, no matter their opinions about issues.

      I’m glad you appreciate the articles.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Another general:Tonyo Cruz

    Joeam, PNoy have aired warnings over “threats to democracy” or the defeat of Roxas. No chaos if they accept election results.
    1:54 PM – 1 May 2016

    PNoy’s favorite blogger spewing the politics of fear. How original at patriotic. https://twitter.com/societyofhonor/status/726667746130419712

    • karlgarcia says:

      More on Tonyo Cruz.

      [–]tonyocruz -2 points 17 hours ago
      Thanks for sharing my article here.
      Full disclosure, I’m actively employed by PDP–Laban to handle the social media for the Duterte-Cayetano presidential campaign.
      While I admit using Manila Bulletin as a platform for promoting Duterte, everything I’ve written about other candidates is true to the best of my knowledge.
      For anyone interested in joining the DU30 social media wave, just send me a PM and i’ll sign you up to our semi-automated platform.
      Alternatively you can follow me on Twitter @tonyocruz
      One of our recent and most successful campaigns has been for the Kidapawan farmers where we managed to produce over 6 million tweets in a single day. Albeit the majority of them were automated bot tweets from one of our IT guys.
      Again, thanks for sharing!


    • Joe America says:

      That was an Andrew Lim article, so good old Tonyo is not very up on things.

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    I think now that the elections are over and Duterte has won, there will be a marked change in how this internet army of his will engage:

    1. The objective during the election was to win at all cost, never mind the barbarism. It was likely marketed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a Mindanaoan to become President so you can imagine the frenzy of everyone who had a connection to the place.

    2. There will be far less army volunteers who can engage now because it will become more and more issue-based. They have no choice, because it becomes less about Duterte the person and more about his policies and choices.

    That requires articulation, knowledge, understanding and analysis, and there were so few of them who could do that. Take the complex topic of federalism for instance. Will they remain one-and-done, shoot-and-scoot, smart-aleck commenters? Will they become cut and paste warriors or turn into comedians like those who retorted that the UN’s Ban Ki Moon is responsible for North Korea’s bellicosity because he’s Korean?

    3. Their usual line of “look what he did with Davao” or “we know him intimately” won’t work anymore because we will have Duterte actually implementing the policies, speaking, explaining, negotiating and he will be accountable for that. Only the results matter now, not the fill in the blanks which his internet army was doing for him.

    4. The only place I can think of where they will still thrive is Twitter or Facebook where there is no need for much analysis and everything is compressed into a mindless meme that goes nowhere, with the sole objective of scoring “points” in one’s head.

  4. chempo says:

    In attack, numerical supremacy is key. So they masterfully employed the internet.

    In defense now that they will be incumbents, they will find the numbers changed. It’s now 7 to 3 against their favour.

    The quantitative is against them, and as you enumerated, the qualitative is also against them.

    Not to forget, many are those that will hold Du30’s 6 months time frame to see results.

    Interesting times ahead. When the hunter becomes the hunted.

    • Joe America says:

      Very interesting framing of the change that occurred. Being in office is a whole new ball game.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      My own prognosis is that Metro Manila will become critical of him on the second to third years, keeping in tradition with its being anti-administration, regardless of who it is. Traffic won’t likely ease up, and there will still be plenty of poor for anecdotal purposes. And if Bongbong gets a Cabinet position….

      Only those related geographically or ethnically will remain steadfast – of the person, not his policies that is.

      • Joe America says:

        And those benefiting in a tangible way . . .

      • Vicara says:

        Even those from the same geographic area (i.e. Mindanao) will react negatively if he is seen to disproportionately favor one group over the other. I think there was disappointment in the absence of Muslim Filipinos among the Cabinet appointments. And there must have been even more disappointment (to put it mildly) over reports that Duterte will prioritize federalism over the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), as floated by some lawmakers (e.g. Davao del Norte Rep. Bebot Alvarez, mostly likely the next Speaker) who say that the next Congress will no longer pass the BBL and instead focus on the shift to federalism.

        In other words, the carefully-crafted BBL, the product of years of good faith by both the MILF, civil society, OPAPP and other Bangsamoro groups, will likely be watered down beyond recognition or even replaced by a one-size-fits-all federalist model to be adopted by all the Philippine regions.

        A few days ago I asked a Moro friend about this—an ardent pro-Duterte election campaigner–and the friend said some Mindanao Muslim proponents of the BBL preferred that Moros be kept out of the limelight at this time, perhaps given all the negative post-campaign furor generated by Duterte’s questionable statements and appointments of Leftists who in contrast had shown no goodwill or sincerity in finalizing a peace deal with previous administrations. They wanted to believe that Duterte would somehow make BBL come true, but are now waiting to see how events unfold.

        There is no doubt that in Mindanao’s cyber universe prior to the election, support for Duterte among the young and the social media-savvy Moro groups was immense. One has to set this support within the context of Mamasapano and the BBL’s rejection by lawmakers more than a year ago, as well as perceptions that anti-Muslim sentiment was on the rise in reaction to Mamasapano, including incidents of harassment against Moros living in the NCR. For these supporters, Duterte was the candidate who most understood Moro aspirations and could strike power-sharing deals; whereas the other candidates, at least on social media, were made to appear against or indifferent to Mindanao concerns.

        Well, this just came out a few hours ago:

        “When he went to Darapanan to visit us, he promised the Bangsamoro people, through us, through the MILF, that if he becomes president, he will try his best to get the Bangsamoro Basic Law passed in order to establish the Bangsamoro government,” an MILF official is quoted as saying.

        Possibly other Moro leaders of the same generation as Murad, who had directly experienced Martial Law and had seen the coming and going of different administrations, had anticipated post-election disappointment. How the younger generation of Moros will deal with scrapping the BBL and the dashing of hopes remains to be seen.

  5. Micha says:

    This is over analyzing and over estimating the role of social media in Duterte’s election. No amount of internet brigade will convince the electorate if the man is a hard sell to begin with. Duterte is a walking propaganda – he explodes, he is crudely honest, he gets attention and, like Drumft, is quite adept at marketing himself.

    Contrast that with the boring and lousy and contrived and inauthentic messaging of Roxas campaign and we get the result that we have. For sure, all of the candidates have their own social media army so that cancels out any advantage one might have over the other in this particular matrix.

    Bottomline : the man is the message.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Perhaps, but the concern now that he has won is the results he will produce. And personality cannot account for that.

      • Micha says:

        Let’s wait and see. I’d be willing to give him 2 years to make significant policy results.

        • chempo says:

          I don’t think you can see policy results in 2 years. But 2 years to see implementation of fair and good policies is reasonable position to take.

        • Gemino H. Abad says:

          You’re right, Micha! “the man is the message.” He himself has got to change! and earn people’s respect (no fear, no sycophancy). Didn’t he himself promise his own “metamorphosis”? (or is that his usual unthinking boast) He needs to build trust for what he says.

          • Micha says:

            He’s in the spotlight now. Your guess is as good as mine on how he will handle the heat.

            • Vicara says:

              So far, his reactions to post-campaign heat–to even relatively mild criticism–have included holing up in Davao; telling media to shut up (he can’t do more than that until after July 1) before he ended up shutting them out altogether (no press cons); treating his incoming vice president as a pariah; and dissing recognized international bodies such as the U.N. This is a man who’s held power in his corner of Mindanao for decades, accustomed to everyone tip-toeing around him and whispering, “Hush, don’t wake the baby.”

              But as John Nery pointed out in the Inquirer, there have been other presidents who won by a mere plurality and yet were able to unite the country–among them Ramos, who was seen in parts of the North as a traitor to Marcos, and who had led the AFP in waging war against the Moros during Martial Law. However imperfect the peace agreement of 1996 with the MNLF may have been, it was Ramos who got it signed. Some of FVR’s front guys in Mindanao are now with Duterte. There are people with proven competencies. Duterte will hopefully realize that the trust he earned from Mindanaoans has still to be earned from other Filipinos. It can be done, but he will have to learn to operate outside his comfort zone.

          • “metamorphosis” by Kafka is about a man waking up as a cockroach. The normal form is a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. How will Duterte’s metamorphosis be?

            Or is there a form of metamorphosis for durians? These are the relevant questions today.

        • uht says:

          Duterte gave himself three to six months. I will hold him to his own words—it is the challenge he took upon himself.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Combine social media with word of mouth chismis,it will no longer be over rated.
      The seemingly corny Tatlong bibe got all (word of mouth,youtube,tv,radio even print) mediums.WWhen domething goes viral,I usually learn that it became viral,because somebody said it became viral and not that I have seen the video myself.
      Sure Duterte was the propaganda himself,but for evey propaganda you need a medium.

      • karlgarcia says:

        An old iphone (3 or 4) can be bought for a thousand pesos,even technology is accessible and affordable now,spend another thousand for pocket wifi and you already have access to social media.We were once the texting capital ofthe world or so we claim to be,that could easily translate to social media capital of the world.

        • NHerrera says:

          Interesting item for me — the price of an old iPhone 3 and 4 — never had an iPhone. I still have my old sony-ericsson non-smart phone working well and it serves me and the missus well when out on Sunday’s to buy grocery and do some mailing. But it seems I being kept up to date though some years behind. My niece just sent me a hardly used iPad 2 and that is what I am using now. Resting my Asus laptop for a while. But for doing serious word doc and spreadsheet items, back to Asus I go. It is only now I am Iearning the nice features of Apple’s iPad.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I just learned to use the ipad,last year Manong N.My kid taught me.
            Me too I use the laptop for the same purpose,but I am amazed that you still do spreadsheets manong NH. Do you run a family business, or teach ?

            That one thousand figure I got from asking a cell phone shop attendant,when I asked how much he will buy my phone and he said 800 ( kuripot).(they buy cheap then mark it up.)
            As Gary V said. Di bale na lang.

            • NHerrera says:

              No I am not running any business. I use excel just to do some numerics when a thought comes to mind. We somehow adapt to these things — the new gadgets and related items — although behind our young relatives, by some sort of osmosis. 🙂

  6. Andres III says:

    Social media didn’t help the win that much. All that happened is that, before netizens of both parties start tapping the keyboards they have already chosen their candidates. One cannot convince the other to vote his/her candidate as they have already chosen. It was just a clash of some senseless arguments of who has the best or the worst candidate. 180,000 individuals is less than 1% of the 16M who voted for Duterte. It was the destruction of other candidates among themselves that pave a way for the rising of Duterte. Roxas was the admin bet, and its the trend that admin bets always losses. Binay was destroyed because of corruption issues which was brought by Roxas camp. Poe is just not enough, she has nothing to market about except the image of being clean, it was just those who voted her hates the admin but also hates Duterte’s lack of decency. They don’t need to destroy Miriam. The medium was the TVs and the radios that features the remarks made by Duterte whom 16M crowd really bought it. Then we have also the local candidates who greatly influence the voters of their own districts who supported Duterte after seeing his overwhelming advantage in the surveys. Duterte silently moves in the shadows, seeing the contenders already destroyed themselves (Roxas, Binay and Poe), like a viper he strike. And it was too late for Roxas camp to put countermeasures, out of their radars, Duterte popped. In the election, everyone uses all the weapons they have access to, it was fair then, everyone got social media armies, got commercials, got local machinery, its now up to the candidate to sell out himself, and Duterte did the best out of them.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, he had the best branding, for the voting audience. Your assessment makes a lot of sense. And if we accept that social media was a small part of the equation, we don’t have to be so concerned about the thugs who prowl there. Ignore them and they will go away, perhaps . . .

      • Andres III says:

        Trolls will stay if you entertain them, and will surely go away if ignored. What happen last election was that, yellowtards go head on with dutertards, it boasted the popularity of both candidates. But again, before the clash they have already chosen, and neither can covert the other. Right now, Duterte’s social media supporters are in defense mode. When i say defense mode, its either, countering all the negative issues thrown at Duterte, or promoting Duterte’s idea. Criticism on Duterte’s barbaric remarks and decency issues is not a good weapon against him, he already show that attitude during election time and it was an advantage. Human rights violations is not that effective too unless back up by solid evidence. No issue on corruption yet, as it also needs evidence. Hes “I will kill them” trademark makes him more appealing. I think the only thing that can make Duterte’s fall down is that if he fail to deliver result. Thats why, i think, in his first year he will do what he had promised, destroy drugs and crime, no matter what it takes. Human rights violations? I think few will care about it, but whatever, there is result. Result will justify the means.

        • Joe America says:

          Hmmmm, it is not the slippery slope I would want to go down, and I worry a lot about innocents caught in the dragnet. But I appreciate the point of view, as I think it fairly represents the Duterte camp’s thinking.

        • Bert says:

          All speculations, but I agree with Andres III.

          Let’s us judge Pres. Duterte not on what he says but on what he does when he starts in his job as our president on July 1 and onward.

          I’m holding my breath. Can’t wait to see those most expected results.

        • jeff says:

          Because the Philippines will solve crime and drugs where ever other nation in the world hasn’t.

  7. edgar lores says:

    1. I initially agreed with Micha’s view that the impact of social media is overrated.

    2. But on second thought, if the “man is the message,” how did the message spread? Primarily, one would say, through the traditional media of print news, TV and radio.

    2.1. And I would think that’s right, with TV being the dominant medium.

    3. But let us look at the statistics.

    3.1. Social media is both computers and cell phones. The degree of social media penetration is now quite high. The January 2015 snapshot of We Are Social counts that out of the “population of 100.8 million (with urbanization at 49%), there are 44.2M active internet users”, with “40M (90%) having social media accounts.”

    3.2. The voting age population is 60% so one can say that out of 44.2M active internet users, the number of internet voters is 26.5M. This means that 44.17% of voters could have been influenced by social media.

    3.3. The ripple effect of these 26.5M voters cannot be underestimated. Being connected to the internet, they would be aware of what was happening, and indeed may have been contributing their opinions to what was happening. Being connected, they would also be influencing opinions in their households.

    3.4. But Micha makes the valid point that “No amount of internet brigade will convince the electorate if the man is a hard sell to begin with.” To this, I would counter that while Duterte was a walking bomb that exploded, social and news media enhanced the explosion, as the Google Trends’ graphic shows. If people vote by name recall, then the name “Duterte” was being recalled everywhere and every time. To this add the fact that the other candidates had become unpalatable for one reason or another.

    3.5. Except for Miriam, Duterte spent the least on TV ads. As at March 31st, Binay spent the most (P345M), followed by Poe (P331M), Roxas (P158), and Duterte (P110). Ironically the last two garnered the highest number of votes. In fact, on second look, the ranking of the candidates in the final results… is exactly the opposite of their ranking on TV ad spending!

    3.6. Clearly, of the four main groups targeted, I would think that social media had the greatest influence on OFWs. The Internet, after all, is their umbilical cord to home. This is borne out by the fact that Duterte won an overwhelming 72% of OAV votes.

    4. I think I disagree with Micha after all. This may have been the first Philippine election that was – perhaps not decided – but partly decided by social media.

    5. So gird your thighs, my fair lads and lasses, for more social media battles ahead.

    • edgar lores says:

      3.4.1. The influence of social media would be primarily on undecided voters. Remember Giancarlo’s thesis? Many undecideds make up their minds late in the contest.

    • josephivo says:

      Indeed you made me think twice on Micha’s statement.

      On top there might be some bias. Does everybody decides independently or do some listen to kuya, ate, neighbor, priest…? Internet literate people might have a large influence among voters.

      • Joe America says:

        The internet plants the seeds (Roxas used Yolanda funds for his advertising), and the ever gullible public, oft victimized by such REAL shenanigans, buys it. That was the information base for this election, plus what ought to be termed Duterte’s absolutely brilliant debate style. He was everyman’s flaunt in the face of the establishment, a regular hero.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I almost misread that as a declaration that Roxas used Yolanda funds for his advertising.

          • Joe America says:

            A guy pushed the meme at me just the other day, well after the election. Clearly, Roxas still bugs people. He’s moved on but they can’t. I summarily blocked the guy. I’m getting a lot of new followers on Facebook and, although I try to screen them so as not to accept thugs and girls seeking a date, it is not a perfect process.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Yeah before if I see you as a common friend,I approve,but sorry I have to unfriend some,I regretted doing so because they might be a commenter here and might find me to be a snob,but sometimes you have to hit the unfriend button.
              I even unfriended a Mar Roxas account because I thought it was bogus because of the wrong birthday…everybody kept on greeting him Happy Birthday on a wrong day.Before I left I said today is not his birthday.

    • chempo says:

      Great clarity Edgar. Your usual logic plus Nherrera style quantifiers.

    • bill in oz says:

      Well analysed Edgar…..and clearly presented.
      This is the ‘how’ of Duterte’s victory

    • Micha says:

      Hey edgar I didn’t know you’re still here. I thought you’ve already given up on the country’s affairs after Duterte’s election. Sorry I’ve missed this post of yours yesterday.

      Anyways, my point stands : no amount of social media gimmickry will suffice if you’re trying to market an unsalable product.

      Take the case of that Montero SUV which had problems with sudden unintended acceleration for example. Do you think Mitsubishi could pull off a sales surge of that particular product if it merely resorted to social media PR campaigns without actually fixing the defect?

      • edgar lores says:

        Micha, the blog life is enticing.

        I believe your point is very valid. There are people who know their minds, and know which candidate to vote for immediately after — or even before — all the COCs have been filed.

        But there are a lot of undecideds, who keep their minds “open”, and make a decision at the last minute. There are also a lot of decideds who change their minds.

        These last two types of voters would be swayed by social media.

        The Society is no different. At the beginning, Poe seemed to be the Great Mestiza Hope against Binay. Duterte was not even in the race at that time. Then sentiment turned against Poe and settled on Roxas. It is only when Poe’s citizenship woes came to the fore that Duterte ascended. But even as late as March, Binay was still — sometimes — at the top of polls.

        The poll results show the wavering of undecided minds.

        • Micha says:

          And 16 million voters thought Duterte is/was the better candidate based on what they heard, read and seen on TV, radio, newspapers, social media, and yes, even on bulong-pulungan tambayan sa kanto.

          In other words, no single medium could claim sole or major credit in the propagation of Duterte brand. 16 million people do not decide whether to buy Coke or Pepsi, Colgate or Close-up merely by checking inputs from Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

          • edgar lores says:


            In a way what you say is true. But traditional media is not dynamic, not interactive. Whereas digital news media and social media have an in-built feedback loop. Social media is not only blogs. It is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and almost any digital messaging system. The activity, the volatility in social media is greater and so would the ripple effect and the multiplier effect.

            This is mostly speculation as we have no means of quantifying and measuring the impact of the different media except through logic and things like the Google Trends graphic.

            Bottomline: you cannot prove that social media is overrated, but at least I was able to point out that TV exposure had an inverse affect on the results, and I have forwarded clear reasons to support my thesis.

            And I did say that the results were “partly decided” by social media. I did not say “wholly decided” or even “greatly decided.”

            • “ripple effect and the multiplier effect.” I know a good social media marketer.

              Attended one of his lectures two years ago. He told me the key is to make it look as if something is the “talk of the town”. Give a topic a bit of a nudge and “make it so”.

            • Micha says:

              We could safely assume both the Mar Roxas and Grace Poe campaigns have significant social media presence too. Why were they unable to pull off significant traction to deliver a win?

              Bland uninteresting products to sell compared with the Duterte bombast.

              For example, polite folks may have been shocked and awed when Duterte openly cursed “putang inang Pope yan!” on live TV but for most protestants and non-practicing Catholics who were contemptible of the church’s excesses and hypocrisy that was actually music to their ears.

              A week ago the Inquirer ran a story captioned, “Catholic Church Breaks Its Silence On Duterte Attacks”. It quoted Socrates Villegas who limply vowed that the best response to Duterte’s charges of church corruption, pedophilia, sexual predation, and hypocrisy is to, guess what, remain silent.

              Absolutely priceless!

              • Edgar Lores says:

                The proper way to view the social media scene during the election is to see it as a battlefield. From this view, all the candidates had presence — naturally.

                All candidates had keyboard warriors fighting for them. Some warriors fought as individuals, other warriors formed or were formed into armies (refer to mcgll’s post). The Duterte forces were organized. Poe had her own brigade. But the Duterte army had a general (refer to the main blog). This might have spelled the difference in that a strategy and tactics were developed.

                For each candidate, territory was lost and gained. At the end, Duterte won the most territory.


                I agree that the Church’s response and that of the flock was disturbing. In the latter’s response, one sees the disconnect between professed religious belief and practiced life choices. (JoeAm had a blog about this which LCpl_X described as pulling the Jesus card.)

                In the Church’s response, one sees the “spiral of silence.”


              • Micha says:

                How else would the church hierarchy respond to those charges when it most probably know it’s guilty as hell anyway.

  8. NHerrera says:


    A — social media as a factor in the PE Camp’s election campaign and by how much? Is it a case of 30-70 case or 70-30 in favor of the social media as a force? (30-70 being used as a NOMINAL scale here which if one wants can be made equivalent to 20-80 or even 40-60.)

    B — assuming it was a 70-30 case DURING the PE’s campaign, what does it imply post-election? For obviously the situation pre-election is different from post-election.

    C — while still on social media, what does our theory say about the cases of Robredo, Marcos, Poe, Binay, Escudero? In the sense that our theory to be reasonably plausible, should be applicable to other instances during the same election period?

    • NHerrera says:

      Re C — or the case of the PE is a singular case: the social media force and how it was packaged worked for him but not for the others?

      • It boils down to the “barangay mind” I mentioned below… it is surfacing in social media.

        In the online barangay, wise old men like Edgar, sonny and yourself are often relegated to the role of “Pilosopo Tasio” in the Noli. The kind of “discourse” the peasants had in the Noli wins. There are some Isaganis, concerned and knowledgeable like Karl and Gian. There are the well-meaning friars (Joe) and the ones with a strange agenda (Wallace). Rizal would probably facepalm himself if he saw all of this – it is different yet so similar.

        • Joe America says:

          Hahaha, I’ve been called many things, but never a “friar”. I wonder, who is closest to Rizal on modern media today? Literate, well-traveled, speaks many languages? The place is populated by provincial minds, even those overseas and in the cities. I think if you mixed elements of all of us, you, Edgar, Josephivo, me, the elders, the youngers, the playboys, the sticks in the mud . . . then we’d come close. Which underscores what a remarkable man this nation, in an older configuration, killed.

        • NHerrera says:

          Nice use of Rizal’s Noli characters to classify the commenters hereabouts — the oldies, the concerned and knowledgeable, the well-meaning Friars, and those with strange agenda. Well-meaning friar or Jesuit? 🙂

      • edgar lores says:

        1. I don’t think “packaging” was necessary. Certainly, not for Duterte and Robredo. These two just had to be themselves. Their true personas “shone” — if the term can be applied at all to the former.

        2. Of the presidential candidates, Roxas and Santiago were also not packaged, in the sense of presenting themselves other than they were. Roxas did not shine, except to those with keen perception, and Santiago retained the original image — perhaps more than a little bit dimmed — of her ballistic self.

        o Poe was packaged as Miss Goody Two Shoes — to hide her inexperience.
        o Binay packaged himself as Mr. Experienced Administrator — to hide his corruption.

        3. Of the vice-presidential candidates, only Marcos was packaged as Mr. Not Martial Law Again — to be other than his infamous forebear. Cayetano was his usual voluble self, and Escudero his usual duplicitous and oily self.

        4. Most comments on the candidates highlighted their negative aspects. I believe the most praised were Poe and Robredo.

        5. The thing with Duterte was that his bad man image worked for him. He was real, authentic, and not pretentious — as against, say, Poe’s kaplastikan, her movie star image projection.

        5.1. The other thing that worked for Duterte was his personalization by the voters who claimed ownership of him. In social media, I was struck by the constant reference to him as “My President.” This phenomenon reminds me of Magsaysay who was “My Guy.”

        • NHerrera says:

          Persuasive notes on packaging or non-packaging in the social media.

        • Thea says:

          …or “Tatay Digong” which connotes a more personal inherent attachment to youth. I just wonder why he wasn’t tagged as “Daddy” by the mocha girls. That will reverse the meaning perhaps.

  9. Oldmaninla says:

    OFW and Oversea Filipinos in general activism is now awaken…… 11 million overseas Filipino has great impact through Internet social media to change the Philippines. I think this trend will continue, it’s great…just wait and hope for the better Philippines.

  10. mcgll says:

    At the start of the campaign many of us willing to volunteer (gratis et amore) for our candidate were made to understand that the more effective way of communicating our message to voters was via television, radio and newspaper ads. But ads are expensive (which we could not afford) so the decision was made to put our efforts on groundwork campaigning. When someone suggested that we should try using Facebook, the suggestion was not given much interest since according to those who “knew” best, Facebook coverage gives minimal exposure since only 1% of voters have access to Facebook and “smart” phones.

    It was only when I listened to the canvass of votes that it dawned on me that all those votes coming in for Duterte from all over the world were products of an Internet campaign launched by somebody with access to the directory of Filipinos spread out all over the country and the world. And who has/had the list of Filipinos with email addresses and Facebook accounts?

    Joel Villanueva claimed that since he took over Tesda, the government agency had trained 9 million Filipinos who are now gainfully employed, many overseas. Joel Villanueva, who started out at 24th or even less in the ratings before the official campaign period, ended up the 2nd highest vote getter in the Senate, beating even the highly popular Paquiao.

    Joel Villanueva endorsed Duterte in a video ad aired over You Tube or some social media app, sometime in November 2015. which turned off many but was actually taken as a forceful endorsement by those who felt they owe their jobs to Villanueva of Tesda. (9 million- Wow !!) It would be interesting to compare the tally of votes cast for Duterte and Villanueva in each locality. I am almost certain that votes for one would be equally high for the other. Those were the voters identified by Tesda to Gabunada for targeting by his internet “army”. Lies against Duterte’s opponents were repeatedly regurgitated and with the speed of one click on the “send” button, became the “truth” to sink other candidates unable to respond as fast and as widely as possible.

    And why didn’t Cayetano win despite being Duterte’s running mate? Maybe his votes went to Marcos. However you look at it, Duterte (and not his oppornent/s) is to blame for loss of either Cayetano or Marcos. Maybe he did not give Gabunada strict instructions on who to choose between his defacto running mates – Cayetano and Marcos.

    Good for the country. The best man who is a woman is now our VP. Leni Robredo clearly won in the race where her weapons are truth, honesty. hardwork and manifest dedication to public service.

  11. manilamac says:

    My online experience during the election period was somewhat different from what’s discussed here. What happened w/ most of my issue-oriented comments & the pieces published by my media friends was not so much direct countering to issue statements & more a kind of massive (Chinese “half-dollar” style) nyah, nyah, nyah fingers-in-their-ears “I can’t hear you.” Dozens & dozens of motherhood type pro-Duterte posts. Of course, we have no choice but to wait & see (hoping the while that the collateral damage won’t be to great to either human life or the economy). However, the style of simply burying issue-oriented info under a huge pile of “He’s the Greatest!” commentary would probably be a very good way to distract the populace.

    • Joe America says:

      Your comment was delayed because it was put into moderation by the spam system. That generally suggests a history.

      It is hard to start with ‘he’s the greatest’ on the backs of a 26% trust rating. That may be the strategy, but there are a LOT of skeptics just waiting and watching. Most, I suspect are silent. Right now.

      • Andres III says:

        The 26% trust rating by SWS? i think was done on May 1-5?, not sure about the period, but its before election. But i could not reconcile it with the 32% voting preference that the same period. I know trust and preference ratings are different, i could not fathom yet the implications of this statistic.

        • karlgarcia says:

          It might mean vote for him without knowing if he can deliver as long as change is coming.I think it is called the basta factor by manong NH.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The Greatest was already buried last week.

  12. From the book I am currently reading:

    The idea that newly experienced scarcity is the more powerful kind applies to situations well beyond the bounds of the cookie study. For example, social scientists have determined that such scarcity is a primary cause of political turmoil and violence. Perhaps the most prominent proponent of this argument is James C. Davies, who states that we are most likely to find revolutions where a period of improving economic and social conditions is followed by a short, sharp reversal in those conditions. Thus it is not the traditionally most downtrodden people—who have come to see their deprivation as part of the natural order of things—who are especially liable to revolt. Instead, revolutionaries are more likely to be those who have been given at least some taste of a better life. When the economic and social improvements they have experienced and come to expect suddenly become less available, they desire them more than ever and often rise up violently to secure them.

    Gian here:
    Woe be to the President who does a little bit worse than PNoy for he will reap the whirlwind of discontent that may dwarf the one we saw with PNoy. Good luck to the next President. He will definitely need it.

    • That is quite clear – because after having gotten wealthier from having been poorer, many will have lived beyond their means. They may have borrowed money even, finally they will be WORSE off than before if things to into the red for them.

      And of course many who are suddenly better off live beyond their means, wanting to feel “big time” finally – I have seen that cycle with many and have been in it myself before.

      Add those who blame politicians instead of themselves. Then you have a perfect storm.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve read a number of similar “reality” messages, that Mr. Duterte has yet to face it. He doesn’t control it, no matter how much spin his spokespeople put on things.

    • NHerrera says:

      Gian: the observation in that book you referred to is supported by the exit poll of SWS in terms of demographics and socioeconomic classes — those who have experienced eco social improvements but suffered sharp reversal, (eg traffic, etc eating greatly into those gains) turned to the perceived savior of their pains forgetting the origin of their improvements. BPO beneficiaries turning against and bad-mouthing Roxas.

      Which if not met by the next Admin — as in your last line — may be woeful to the PE. Hence the strategic move to grant the incoming President emergency powers. This gives me cause for concern. If this EP on the traffic problem turns out successful, then there may be further timely move to grant EP on other matters. Nothing like success, as they say. A step by step approach.

    • bill in oz says:

      My history reading supports this Gian. Revolutions begin in cities not in the rural areas..And I wonder if one of the short sharp shocks was El Nino. It caused crop failures this past year but maybe it has had a major economic & psychological impact in cities? Not sure….

      • What this means for me is that PE cannot fail because his failure may cause so much damage to the republic, more than what one would expect. Erap’s failure and it’s setback of the capital markets etc would be dwarfed by a revolution because of government failure.

  13. The Philippines has urbanized rapidly – Edgar’s figure of 49% be noted – but within most of us are still rural people. Chempo’s “barangay mind”, a very fitting term for the ways of the Filipino.

    Social media are like village gossip, remember that Filipino literacy is only partial, sorry to say.

    I still remember people coming to the Embassy in the late 1980s with the wrong papers, saying that their friend had told them this was what was needed. Many of us will believe and trust based on whether we think the person is “one of us”. Those who can create a buzz are winners there.

    • bill in oz says:

      With the added complexity of needing, being required to deal with home language, tagalog & english…It is taken for granted – normal. But for many it is a ource of misunderstanding & confusion

  14. NHerrera says:

    Many of us will believe and trust based on whether we think the person is “one of us”. Those who can create a buzz are winners there.

    I share that view when I hear my relatives and friends — the educated or literate ones we speak of — discuss the election campaign. And it is not only a lack of logic. They do have that when discussing other matters — the selective use of logic then. Not that we are immune to that ourselves.

    • chempo says:

      I wonder if this “lack of logic” can be attributed to K-10. In my personal experience I am fully aware of the difference the 2 additional years make. With K-10 we are out of school at age 16, and K-12 we are 18 years. It is not a matter of the additional academic knowledge gained in the 2 years (of course that’s well and good). I felt that up to age 16 we are by all measurements just adolescents, still playful and up to our tricks at every turn. Only a tiny fraction of us have the capacity to think maturely and plan for our futures. However the standard of education of the country, whether rot learning methodologies or not, the capacity for critical thinking has not been well engrained. I felt age 17 and 18 were the two most formative years, where we really blossomed into out own individual selves. I am relating to my own experience where these 2 years were spent in a curriculum heavy on critical thinking, like in literature, history and creative writing. Of course if it’s in a vocational curriculum environment, it might have worked differently.

      On this point, I’m glad Duterte listened to some good advice and changed his mind on K-12. Whereas previously he was not supportive of this idea, he has no agreed to its implementation. Shows that the PE needs to surround himself with good people.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes, the Incoming and outgoing Secs for education touring together during the first day of classes was very refreshing.
        They must convince the few hundred thousand still unenrolled for senior high to enroll and those already enrolled not to drop out.
        I still hear complaints of college professors teaching minor subjects that they will be jobless next year for two years.They must find a temporary solution like changing the definition of overqualified.

      • NHerrera says:

        I buy the thoughts: k-12, formative years of 17-18 and maturity. And the PE’s change of mind. He may surprise as yet with more. And yes, he should surround himself with good people. Who knows, he may start with friends and those he somehow owe some favor. But then when they don’t perform, he may — unlike Pnoy — may be more decisive in replacing them with good ones. Well, we can hope, can’t we.

      • bill in oz says:

        As former secondary teacher in Australia Chempo, I agree entirely.. Students at year 12 have an entirely different level of maturity.. As for the non enrolling students, the stick works as well as the carrot…No entry to university or college without succesfull completion of year 12

  15. sup says:

    Since you guy’s are busy typing i”ll read the news so you don’t need to do that… 🙂

    Lets start to reunite the country……………………………………………………………….

    ”The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has informed Vice President-elect Leni Robredo that he wants to hold his inauguration separately on June 30.

    “We were informed by the team of President-elect Rody Duterte about their preference to hold the inauguration separately,” Boyet Dy, head of Robredo’s transition team, said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “While we have been preparing for a joint inauguration, we respect their decision and will begin our own preparations for a simple and modest ceremony,” he said.”


    • NHerrera says:

      All these unorthodox things we have to grant the PE for as long as no Constitutional constraints or some such are not violated. He probably wants to be different or for some purpose. My own view is that this matter of doing something different from traditional practice may soon become boring — as in we are past the election campaign already, etc. Just my knee-jerk reaction.

    • bill in oz says:

      What are the precedents ? Is this demeaning or belittling to the office of VP ?

    • chempo says:

      Tsk tsk…ridiculously childish tantrum.
      The world watches in amazement at the political immaturity of the nation.

      • Juan dela Cruz says:

        My thoughts were similar, “parang bata kung umasta.” (Acted like a child). So far, the elected VP is acting more presidential than the elected President himself.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Sup, thanks.

      I checked the 2004 and 2010 inaugurations. In both, the President and Vice-President took their oath on the same day and in the same place, with the latter being sworn in before the former.

      o A majority of nine inaugurations have taken place either at the Quirino Grandstand (7) or at Malacanang (2).

      o The Arroyo-De Castro inauguration took place in Cebu, and the Aquino-Binay one at the Quirino Grandstand.

      o On YouTube, the last 2 inaugurations were replete with much pomp and ceremony. Military band, honor guard, sword-salutes, troop reviews, and singing.

      o PNoy’s inauguration was attended by his predecessor. There was a sense of the passing of the baton.

      o After swearing his fealty to the Constitution and the nation, the sworn in President gives his inaugural address.



      In the US, the presidential inaugurations are ceremonies of sacred place and historic reenactment of a nation coming together. Opera divas sing, and poets recite. The atmosphere is one of renewed hope and anticipation. The inauguration addresses of the presidents set the pace for the incoming administration. The speeches are laden with deep insights and unclouded visions that are couched in noble words. Words that are pressed into memory and much quoted thereafter.


      Duterte wants a frugal ceremony. According to Rappler, he will invite 150 people and give a 5-minute speech.


      Have the people elected an ignoble man who will skulk into the palace sans sense of tradition, history, honor and pride? I hope not.

      Will the people be able to smile and wave the flag proudly on the inaugural day? I hope so.

      • sup says:

        Duterte underestimate how many people voted him AND Leny………….like Rene Ipil, Baycas etc etc…they will feel not good by this kind of ”Leni abandoning”
        Welcome to the USP………….
        The United States of the Philippines. 🙂

      • “Have the people elected an ignoble man who will skulk into the palace sans sense of tradition, history, honor and pride? I hope not.”

        There are enough Filipinos – the commoners – who have NEVER identified with the rituals of the nation. I am talking about the kind that asked their friends the requirements for what was needed at the Embassy in the 1980s, who did not trust their own government at all.

        There are enough Filipinos who identify with the nation. There are others who don’t – and I include a Mindanao historian whose name I don’t remember who wrote that “the Philippines is a post-colonial elitist state that is not for the real people” or similar.

        Who is going to be proven right? Who will be the majority in the future?

        Leni is taking her oath in front of a barangay captain from the poorest part of Camarines Sur. She is taking her legitimacy from the very core and origin of the country. This is the spirit that may be needed to revitalize an idea of nation whose legitimacy is tainted.

  16. manuelbuencamino says:

    You gotta hand it to guy. He knew how to use social media.

    • Vicara says:

      I’m sorry to say that it was more the case of Aquino and Roxas completely underestimating social media’s force. Duterte’s campaign team made a good investment in getting social media professionals, but creating an election groundswell is different from the more complex post-election scenario, in which messaging becomes immeasurably more complex.

  17. Donna says:

    Sad to say the internet has become a manipulative tool for the weak and the gullible…Critical thinking must be instilled in the minds of the youth before they are exposed to the World Wide Web but that seem to be an impossible task where 2 year olds are already handed gadgets by their parents. If we go by the theory that PE Duterte was elected because of his internet army through which that kind of marketing strategy employed by Mr. Gabunada, was executed, then our world is really in big trouble.

    • Andres III says:

      PE Duterte was not elected because of his internet army alone, and it was not even the tide-changing factor. It was about the “timing” of everything. Also, the destruction of other candidates triggered advantage for Duterte. Binay corruption, Roxas and Poe break-up, Miriam’s health. Consider also the TV and radios. In terms of the medium, i will still consider television as the most influential. Median age for internet users is 24-25? Most of the older generation never bother to use resent technologies. While TV is always there in almost every household. Also, don’t forget the Iglesia and local candidates who can greatly influence their districts.

      • edgar lores says:

        With respect to TVs, please refer to item 3.5 of my June 14, 8:16 pm comment.

        • Andres III says:

          Good comparison there based on the candidate’s spending. However, TV does not only brought popularity through paid advertisement, i think direct TV advertising is not that appealing anymore, because everybody knows that it is an “advertisement” and we usually put a negative connotation if it is an “advertisement.” This may also explain the inverse parallelism between TV ads spending and the votes garnered. I have concluded that TV is still the best medium because of the simple fact that almost everyone can access the television, but only i think 40% of the population have access to social media. TV, other than paid ads, also present news which usually feature the candidates. This gave them popularity, may it be a positive one or a negative one, still popularity. And i think you will agree during the first few months of 2016 until the election time it was the name of Duterte that showed the most among the presidentiables. While in social media, i think it was the name of Duterte and Roxas that appeared the most. And if you go in facebook or twitter or youtube what you can witness are endless senseless arguments between the supporters of both parties, and thats how the Yellowtards and the Dutertards was born.

          • edgar lores says:

            The adage that “any publicity is good publicity” may not hold true.

            If the publicity is relentlessly negative, as happened with the Senate hearings into Binay’s overpriced parking building, then the negativity takes its toll.

            If the publicity is good or neutral but repetitive, there can be such a thing as overexposure or over-saturation. Familiarity breeds contempt… or indifference.

            In Duterte’s case, the publicity was almost always completely new, out of this world, and completely shocking. (At least, from my view.) As such it perversely attracted adoration because Filipinos may indeed be… perverse?

            • Andres III says:

              Filipinos in general simply wants something new. 😀

            • Bert says:

              I don’t think so, Edgar. If my family is to be any indication, two of my seven siblings, both male, are avid Duterte supporters. That’s because they hate drug addicts and drug dealers so much also corruption in government they’ve been taken in completely by Duterte’s promise to eradicate those scourges within six months.

              Naive perhaps, but never perverse.

              • Bert says:

                It helped that Duterte has that very negative reputation of being a killer so easy for the naive to believe Duterte can do what he promised, :).

              • Edgar Lores says:


                I chose the term “perverse” for its ambiguity. The word has mainly two meanings.

                The first meaning is “persistent or obstinate in what is wrong.” To me, Filipinos almost always seem to get it wrong the first time.

                The second meaning is that of being “contrary.” If you have seven siblings and two have a different opinion from the majority, are the two not being contrary?

                You take the word only in its first meaning.

                When I looked up the word before writing it down, I saw the second meaning. But before I checked, I understood the word in its first meaning. Like you.

              • Bert says:

                Ah, okay, Edgar, got it.

                ‘O, ano Pare ko, come here now, my Paradise Island is waiting and the summer season is almost over. Punta ka na rito.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahhhhh, Bert, Bert, Bert.

                You don’t know how much I appreciate your invitation. I will keep it in mind… as Bill sings praises of Bicolanas in particular. Thank you, my friend.

  18. Donna says:

    And now, snubbing VPE Leni on Inauguration Day, wow! I am tempted to curse too but I won’t stoop down to their level. VPE Leni will be the best VP of our country because she has the heart and mind for real public service and even without a cabinet post she will make a lot of good for us. Mabuhay si VP Leni!

    • Edgar Lores says:

      I suspect the continuing rebuff of Leni has to do with the political ambitions of Cayetano and Pimentel in 2022.

      • Joe America says:

        That would be small of them. I prefer not to think that of these stalwart Binay investigators. I for the life of me cannot figure out what this gains the new President. Drawing lines to dictate who is “in” and who is “out”? Unity be damned then.

      • NHerrera says:

        As politicians, Pimentel and Cayetano, among others, will have to do a balancing act even unconsciously:

        – to serve the Incoming President
        – keep in mind their political future — reference: the milestone date of 2022
        – keep in mind the shine of the incoming star, Leni Robredo, especially since Leni freed of the work of a Cabinet position is relatively free to chart her advocacy, etc

        By “the others,” I mean the likes of Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Antonio Trillanes, Chiz Escudero, Grace Poe — the latter 3 to try mightily to re-invent themselves.

        An interesting political dynamics among these young Turks.

        • bill in oz says:

          Andree, Leni Robredo was elected VP by over 14,000,000 voters…She got the highest tally of votes..Are you claiming after the elecion is over that she is a “nobody’ and not to be given the honor of being recognised as VP…

          You know that works 2 ways Duterte was virtually ‘unknown’ outside of Davao/Mindanao before standing and winning 16,000000 votes to become president..

    • Andres III says:

      Im not trying to be the antagonist her, but forgiveness if I sound like one. You put Leni upon the pedestal, and i know its your prerogative, and i understand it as i may do the same to any candidate i like. However, can you mention any of Leni’s achievement, as a representative, or as a public servant, that can stand above the rest, and will qualify her as the best VP to be?

      • Worked very well as a Congresswoman – I am not familiar with her work in detail but she has passed a lot of bills, those in the Philippines will HOPEFULLY no more about that.

        Social work, what I have seen is that the Sumilao farmers were helped by her before. Also it seems she was a pro-bono lawyer for the poor. The whole “tsinelas” thing is about her really going to where the poor are, and she is also not one of those elite people who rely on their drivers to take them everywhere, she takes the bus home to Naga. Guess her being middle class unlike Roxas who is rich makes a difference in her exposure, and also in her way of being able to talk to people. But I guess the locals here can fill in details. Maybe they still have to learn to not give silent treatment to those who ask questions.

        • Joe America says:

          I’m sure it is not silent treatment. Some people don’t follow the commentary as closely as others.

          • I sometimes wonder. Watching the Philippines has been like watching “Rashomon” by Akira Kurosawa. Nobody is telling the whole truth and each has his own version.

            The old monks at the temple are sad and say “people are liars”. Edgar please help! 😦

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, that’s true. Mostly people are so intensely interested in winning the argument, they reshape the entire base of facts, and then start insulting people to make sure the lies are protected. Good old plain critical analysis, looking for meaning, is rarely done. That’s why people find this blog refreshing. They can come here and get a fairly objective view, except when I am in my drooling yellow advocacy like a raving lunatic on psychedelics.

            • edgar lores says:

              I don’t believe you need succor. You are holding up your own. And JoeAm is simply saying that what you call silent treatment may be unintentional omission and not intentional commission.

              • The final scene of the old monks in Rashomon just reminded me of you that’s all… 🙂 But the entire scenery I see now is so much like the Noli and the Fili. A few well-meaning people are there, a few wise old men, the rest are honestly bad, hypocritical or just weak.

                It is the country which Ibarra barely managed to escape from, and which drove Simoun to suicide because in the end NOBODY really stands up for anyone else in that place. Just a bit sad at the moment, because MRP might be right that Filipinos love repeating history. Leni is a sign of hope, but seeing memes of her HANGED drives me nuts, I have to admit. Where is the country headed to. To the dogs maybe, but not Will’s dogs, other dogs.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, your exposure to the Filipino Underworld is deeper than mine because I do not visit FB and other sites. I have not seen the memes you refer to. I think certain areas of the Philippines are even more hellish than MRP’s worst imaginings. The ASG areas of Jolo for example. The people who draw these memes have minds that might as well reside in these diabolical parts of Jolo. If Duterte is able to rid the country of the ASG, his rise may not have been in vain. He would be fighting fire with fire.

                But I have thought that the granting of Muslim autonomy should be contingent on the MILF’s ability to unite the various paramilitary groups and control the peace and order situation in the areas they seek to govern.

      • chempo says:

        She stand out for her non-achievement in entitlements and corruption and scandals.

        • Cory stood out for that too, but Leni has loads of achievements more than Cory had when she assumed the Presidency. Leni is Cory plus achievement minus the elite background, which is a handicap in dealing with a nation that lives differently. There are a lot of people who voted for Leni even if they do NOT like the LP. I have a FB friend who voted Duterte-Leni and said on FB he trusts Leni but not the Liberal Party. Food for thought.

          • Vicara says:

            Irineo, my local contact said ARMM voted Duterte-Leni despite the fact that the LP there is disliked. This is the same contact who sensed last February that people in the region–including those solidly behind Duterte–were responding positively to Robredo, although she wasn’t really known. But there was an eagerness to know more about her. It seems that Leni’s team, in the remaining month of the campaign, arranged sorties for her in ARMM without tying up with the local LP. Her daughters helped campaign for her there ahead of the sorties, as well. Contact says that if this approach hadn’t been taken in the crucial last weeks, Marcos money would have prevailed in ARMM and Robredo would have lost. But to ARMM Leni went, and this got the votes. Despite the Marcos money.

            By the way, can’t say I care for the LP either, at this point. 🙂

            • I have not forgotten that you were critical of how Aquino handled Mamasapano. There are few people whom I consider unbiased in the Philippines. Few who give truly substantial information like you do, not OFF because it has a strange touch, something is missing…

          • bill in oz says:

            My lady voted Poe & Leni. Her mother voted Duterte Leni. My comments in favor of Roxas were water off a duck’s back.. Strong women with their minds, Bicolanas ! 🙂

        • Donna says:

          Totally agree. With regards to LP, I wonder if the bashers/haters actually hate the party per se or just some of the personalities in the party. I hope our citizenry will reach a level of political maturity where party ideologies will be studied and assessed vis a vis its members and most importantly its leaders. As most politicians are inclined to love and serve only themselves, an enlightened and politically matured citizenry would be able to scrutinize those aspiring for public office and elect only leaders that would work for the common good. I expect VPE Leni to really be the best woman for the job and she will show the way.

      • josephivo says:

        Naga, also if only 50% of the stories were true. Experiencing this transformation together with her husband must have been very formative and… nothing dissonant so far. Enough to make me believe she can bring real change for the poor. One cannot always solely rely on the achievement section of a resume.

        • Besides, she was actively involved in Naga.

          Her detractors try to make her look like Cory, who basically served coffee for Ninoy before. This is another day and age, and another kind of woman than Cory Aquino.

          • edgar lores says:

            The question is: Does Leni have the killer instinct like Merkel does?

            I would have to say yes. She attacked Grace and Bongbong during the campaign. And I like what she said to Duterte: that supporting him included making him aware of alternative courses of action.

            She does not mince words, but her delivery is not antagonistic.

            She kills softly.

        • Andres III says:

          Naga is Jesse, Leni only came out after he died. Before that i think Leni was doing the lawyer’s things.

      • Joe America says:

        Information is readily available. From Wiki:

        As a member of the 16th Congress, Robredo was one of the principal authors of the house version of “The Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA)” (Republic Act RA10708, House Bill 05831) which was enacted on 2015-12-09.[49]

        She also co-authored the house version[50] of the following laws:

        The “National Children’s Month Act,” Republic Act RA10661 (HB01641) enacted on on 2015-05-29, declaring the celebration of the national children’s month on October of every year.
        The “Charter of the Quezon City Development Authority,” Republic Act RA10646 (HB03899), lapsed into law on 2014-11-08
        The “Open High School System Act,” Republic Act RA10665 (HB04085) enacted on 2015-07-09, establishing and appropriating funds for the open high school system in the philippines
        Republic Act RA10638 (HB04089), extending the corporate life of the Philippine National Railways for another fifty (50) years enacted on 2014-06-16
        Republic Act RA10707 (HB04147), amending the “Probation Law of 1976”enacted on 2015-11-26, rationalizing and strengthening the probation system
        The “Graphic Health Warnings Law,” Republic Act RA10643 (HB04590) enacted on 2014-07-15, prescribing the printing of graphic health warnings on tobacco products
        Republic Act RA10655 (HB05280), decriminalizing premature marriages enacted on 2015-03-13
        The “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act.of 2015,” Republic Act RA10742 (HB06043) enacted on 2016-01-15
        In addition, Robredo was one of many co-authors of the National Budgets for the years 2014 (RA10633, HB02630, enacted on 2013-12-20), 2015 (RA10651, HB04968, enacted on 2014-12-23), and 2016 (RA10717, HB06132, enacted on 2015-12-22).[50]

        Robredo was also a key supporter of:

        HB 4911: People Empowerment Bill to create a partnership between local governments and civil society through the establishment of a people’s council in every local government unit. This act also prescribes the powers and functions of the said council.[36]
        HB 3432: Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination to prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, language, disability, HIV status, and other status, and will provide penalties for it.[36]
        HB 4021: Healthy Beverage Options to regulate the availability of beverages to children in schools and for other purposes.[51]
        HB 19: Full Disclosure Policy to require the full disclosure of all information on fiscal management from all national government departments, bureaus, agencies and other instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporation, and their subsidiaries and local governments. This act will also provide penalties for violations of the said requirement.[52]
        HB 3905: Participatory Budget Process to institutionalize citizens’ participation in the budget process and for other processes.[34]
        HB 3237: Freedom of Information to strengthen the right of citizens to information held by the government.[52]

        • Andres III says:

          Guess what, i voted RO-RO last electtion, RO-RO for Rodrigo and Robredo, not Roxas. LOL. I always think that the vice president, assuming there is still the president, is not necessary at all. That’s why, I voted for Leni even not knowing her that much. I know about the late Robredo of Naga, he was good. Another reason i voted for Leni is that if Duterte runs amok and rouge the one that will replace him will be from the yellows, this means a “reset” back to May 9, 2016. Notice that Duterte and Leni are from the locals, compared to their rivals who are mostly senators yet they won, any worthy to note conclusion on this win? When we say Naga, however, we cannot associate it completely to Leni, since it was Jesse. While when we say Davao, no doubt it is Duterte. Leni can be compared to Cory, as that Jesse to Noynoy. But i guess unlike Cory who is a housewife, Leni has something. The vice-president will always be overshadowed by the president, this is in the Constitution, even the appointment of VP in the cabinet is not mandated in the Constitution, the VP is just there to replace the Pres if something goes wrong. With this constrains, i can conclude that it is not yet the time for VP Leni to shine, unless the party will aggressively f*ck-up Duterte whenever a slight opportunity appears.

          • Bert says:

            The LP coalesced already with Duterte’s so no reason for the party to f*ck him up. Leni Robredo is Leni Robredo and Rodrigo Duterte is Rodrigo Duterte, people of their own identity and of strong character. They will shine in their own time, Duterte now, Leni tomorrow. Nobody can f*ck Duterte up. Except himself.

            • Andres III says:

              That’s a good thing, unity ;-))) When will be that tomorrow?

              • Bert says:

                Hmmn, let me see, Andres, hmmn. I think, maybe, maybe, after Duterte f*ck himself up, 🙂 :).

              • Andres III says:

                If Duterte do it himself then that would be very valid, afterall this is the reason why i voted for Leni. However, we cannot move out the possibility that some guys will go for the f*cking up whenever a slight opportunity appears, like how they did to the late Ex-Chief Justice Corona. Until then, Leni…

              • Bert says:

                Will not happen, Andres. The ‘super majority in Congress and the Senate will not allow it.

                My take of it is that if Pres. Duterte f*ck it up himself, his avid supporters themselves but not the rabid ones, out of frustration for botched up expectations borned out of broken promises will be the ones who will initiate the f*cking up, this time against their former idol. Everything else will follow smooth as rough rocks but not as silk, hehehe.

  19. chempo says:

    Just picked up a conversation with a taxi driver. Guy does not use internet type.
    He said support for Duterte is already dropping.
    I said hey it’s too early to tell. Can’t be that fast, still not into his 100 days yet.
    He said it’s true, he can feel it.
    Guess he must be having lots of conversation with his passengers.

    • Trouble is that the social media attacks and negative portrayals of Leni are going up. There is a lot she will have to weather. Philippine politics grows meaner by the day.

      • NHerrera says:

        Although she is definitely not a newbie in politics, she may need to have a crash course on the DARK SIDE OF POLITICS 101. She needs to get that fast from intelligent, knowledgeable and trusted lieutenants, if she has not already. I believe she is a fast learner. “Forewarned is forearmed.” I just hope she does not turn cynical thereby — if you work with dirt you may get a little dirty?

        • NHerrera says:

          Immediate reading materials: Items from Aquino, Ramos, Merkel, Thatcher, Obama. (Another hours-long sit down with Aquino and Ramos.) Definitely not to be touched — items from Poe, Escudero. Sorry, if I sound like on election campaign mode. Just continuing from the previous post.

    • jeff says:

      Attaching himself to the disreputable Bongbong is a huge mistake.

  20. NHerrera says:

    By the way, for days I have been encountering a rather bad wifi connection with my PldtHomeDSL. It’s off and on. I wonder if regulars here have encountered the same problem if connected to the PLDT system.

  21. Micha says:

    The hatchet job pulled off by AP a day before the California Democratic primary favoring Hilary Clinton demonstrate the still significant power of traditional media to egregiously influence election results.

  22. NHerrera says:


    The PE listens.

    Ernesto Abella, a former kidnap victim who President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was able to help before, is the newly “designated presidential spokesman” of the Duterte administration.

    Abella is an educator, social entrepreneur, and a former pastor.

    There have been a lot of criticisms of Panelo. I will only add this — I do not like the way he combs or un-combs his hair.


  23. cwl says:

    Off topic. Is there a brewing political constitutional crisis? Tonight, the Comelec decided Not to extend the deadline for the filing of SOCE throwing uncertainty to Liberal Party candidates who won in the last elections. And the list includes the VP- elect, incumbent senators and hundreds of governors, congressmen and other officials. What is happening? Is this deliberate?
    Although the ruling is not final, the initial ruling surely agitates a broad sector of our society. It also emboldens those who are mapping out an authoritarian system in the country.
    If the LP people were disqualified en masse, I think that is the time to reassess everybody’s political plans.

    • NHerrera says:

      While the Campaign Finance Office (CFO) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has denied the request of the Liberal Party (LP) and its presidential bet Mar Roxas to extend the filing of their statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE), Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview that the Comelec enbanc will look into the CFO’s recommendation and other considerations.

      “Dito kailangan naming tignan kung ano ang ginawa ng mga dating komisyon at ano ang ginagawa ng ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan, for example, yung paghain ng income tax return. Kung late, ano ang nangyayari?” Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview with radio dzBB’s Mike Enriquez on Wednesday.

      My own gut feel is that the enbanc decision will be different from the CFO recommendation.


      • cwl says:

        I hope your gut feel is correct.

        • NHerrera says:

          If I recall correctly Commissioner Guanzon (?) recommended the junking of Duterte’s COC, but the enbanc decided to allow. It is not a similar case, but the Comelec in this important case with the many views of the Commissioner may accept the late SOCE but with some fine (?) I am speculating of course.


      • cha says:

        “Failure to submit the SOCEs in accordance with the requirements provided in these Rules shall subject the non-compliant candidate or party to penalties provided by law, depending on the whether the non-compliance is the candidate’s or party’s first or subsequent offense, following this Scale of Administrative Fines:”

        Note : Penalties range from P10,000 for Municipal Councillors up to P30,000 for Presidential dent/Vice-President.


  24. madlanglupa says:

    > Bots were not used

    During the last three months of the most vicious campaigning I ever seen, possibly greater than the 1969 elections, I saw a rather disturbing pattern in that the comments sounded like they came off the same template, and noted that some of the avatars don’t seem to fit the profile of the commenter but were instead looked they were pulled from the Internet.

    There exist local specialists who, for a fee, would produce results not only that they will provide thousands of fake “likes” for a Facebook page, but also post fake testimonials and comments favoring the personality, product or service; they either deploy individuals (who would generate a fake name and address, use a throwaway simcard to activate the one-time account, then start liking or making comments) or special bots for which to saturate comment forms favoring the client. But even then these crafty proprietors, having known their presidential preferences, would personally use these mechanisms aggressively to favor their favorite candidate even for *free*.

    Whether right or wrong, I still regard this election as won partly by mass and social media, and partly because of other candidates’ failings, and partly by *hatred*. To Duterte, any news is good news, free publicity, his words that shocked the world but awed his supporters like how Khrushchev banged his shoe while in a UN general meeting.

  25. bill in oz says:

    Ummmm not quite the comparison …Krushchev never faced an election in his life..He wa promoted with Stalin’s favor..And later on was sacked by his own politburo in 1964.. Why..They thought he was too radical whatever that meant in the Soviet Union in 1964

  26. edgar lores says:

    Speaking of Duterte’s campaign strategy in traditional and cyber media, let me present a thesis.

    Now, I am not a marketing guy, but I know that companies pitch their products to a certain audience. Knowing one’s audience is knowing how to sell one’s product. What the product will do for you. What features of the product are useful. What features are attractive. What features to emphasize. And what features to hide.

    This strategy is called “market segmentation.” Wikipedia gives the definition of the term as follows:

    “Market segmentation is a marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses, or countries that have, or are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them. Market segmentation strategies are generally used to identify and further define the target customers, and provide supporting data for marketing plan elements such as positioning to achieve certain marketing plan objectives. Businesses may develop product differentiation strategies, or an undifferentiated approach, involving specific products or product lines depending on the specific demand and attributes of the target segment.

    Now, what if the genius of the Dutertian strategy was to appeal, not to the best citizen subset, but to the, well not the worst, but definitely the not-best subset. I will leave the definitions of “best” and “not-best” to you, but we know it is not an economic distinction. It may be a moral or amoral distinction.

    The foundation of the strategy is in the belief that the majority of people are composed of that needy group, which, for want of a name, I shall call the Vocal People. As we have belatedly discovered, the majority of people are not in fact The Silent Majority but The Vocal Majority.

    It is on this belief base that the Dutertian profile was differentiated: uncouth, brash, loud mouthed, unfiltered ego. That the image was perhaps not far from the essence of the man was icing on the cake.

    Does this remind you of someone else? Trump, perhaps?

    With respect to Duterte, most are still flummoxed as to whether the image and the essence completely overlap or not.

    While Mar and Poe grounded their campaigns on a belief in the intelligence and the goodness of the voters, Duterte went the opposite way. He exhibited indifference and nonchalance; he antagonized women, the Church, foreign embassies and decent people; he swore, he rambled and mumbled, and he raised his fist.

    And he won.

    • bill in oz says:

      Excellent analysis Edgar ..Thanks for putting this down on paper/screen..
      Who were the target market ?
      The alienated ! And how do the alienated ‘know’ each other ? By being quite distinctive in language & attitude…. Think rappers for example in the USA context..

    • chempo says:

      But that does not explain the NCR votes.
      Your description fits exactly this observation I had. Duterte number one fan and supporter Robin Padilla fits the bill to a T. All of Padilla’s screen and advertisements persona you see the loud mouth and exxagerated macho alpha male swagger. Case of birds of a feather.

      • Joe America says:

        It does, actually. The neediness does not have to be poverty, it just has to be unmet, to generate the kind of anger that demands a shocking solution. The election was a grand spit in the eye of the established order.

        • chempo says:

          Ah this idea of “unmet” makes it so much easier to understand this election and Duterte’s appeal. I didn’t even know that unmet is actually in the dictionary.

          • Joe America says:

            Well, we use the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary in these parts, where a word means what you define it to mean, and you can make up words if you need one that convention does not deliver. You can even toss grammar aside. The only thing that matters is the meaning.

      • edgar lores says:

        True. The NCR subset was another market segment composed of middle class commuters angry at traffic and substandard public transportation services and of the upper class elite angry at traffic and other substandard living conditions in the capital region. Their attraction to Duterte was perhaps not in his uncouthness and indecency but in his unorthodox no-barriers boldness that gave truth to his promise for drastic change.

        The Duterte target audience may be seen as a Venn diagram holding independent or overlapping circles that represent different market segments. For each subcircle, Duterte offered a “product feature” that provided an answer to their common needs.

    • Joe America says:

      That is precisely the point of next Sunday’s blog, Edgar. There is a step beyond the needs, and that is not having them met, and that generates a kind of anger that Mr. Duterte appealed to even better than Binay did.

    • Micha says:

      There is no marketing strategy. Duterte is the strategy. His behavior, his actuation had always been like that even before he catapulted in the national stage – foul mouthed, brutally honest, hotheaded – but with a seemingly genuine care for the masa. He is Erap Estrada with an attitude. May charisma pero medyo bastos.

      It’s the alienated voters, methinks, who had been looking for just such a politician because they have, in a way, grown tired of diplomatic Mr. Nice Guys promising all and delivering nothing.

  27. LG says:

    Before this post, I was not aware ‘Internet Armies’ were employed/deployed by the 2016 presidentiables. Boy, was I so ignorant? Thank you again, Joe.

  28. cwl says:

    After all is said about the power of the social media or its contribution to the victory of Duterte. Still, we cannot deny the fact that there is no scientific study conducted nor empirical data presented to prove which will validate social media’s potency in winning an election. I doubt if there is, even in developed countries.
    Social media, as a platform, in espousing political causes is still under study, so to speak.
    How did, Duterte, attract so many voters?
    I tried to pry open that question but I will not claim that my method is scietific.
    I profiled my friends, relatives and neighbors who are to be considered Duterte die hard.
    Two neighbors are former PNoy supporters who got disillusioned by everday traffic woes, three relatives are Marcos loyalists who will vote to anyone they perceived as Anti- Aquino, ( first Binay, then Poe, then Duterte) and two nieces working at a BPO who considered Duterte as a fresh air of change, whatever that ,means..
    In that profiling, where will I insert the power of Internet or social media?
    Or are we just overrating social media’s power?

    • Joe America says:

      You are correct, we don’t scientifically know. It was certainly a part of stirring up the desire for change. Along with tabloid media, the Duterte camps challenge to convention, and word of mouth that collected people of like mind into an unshakable force through mutual reinforcement.

    • Micha says:

      Tumpak ka dyan kapatid. It’s just that Rappler article and that braggart Duterte sycophant Nic Gabanuda (maybe he wants to be rewarded with a juicy position or contract) propagating this myth of social media’s potency in influencing election results.

      • cwl says:

        That also entered into my mind. Another case of scamming?

        • Micha says:

          I don’t know if Gabanuda is a scammer. Pero sabi ng Rappler at sabi ni Joe America at ni kuya edgar, sya raw ang SG (social-media general) ni President Rody.

          • cwl says:

            Well, I still give credit to him for excellent presentation and I am sure given his talent, he will go a long long way in the country’s scene. Too young and too bright.

    • Chivas says:

      Because Duterte, according to J. Zafra, which I agreed, is your Id. That’s the simplest possible angle why he garnered votes.

  29. karlgarcia says:

    OFF topic?

    How did social media work for Obama.Let us here from someone selling a book on the power of the social media.


    Involvement through Empowerment. This was the mission of the Barack Obama campaign. The first political campaign in history to truly harness the power of social media to spread the word, garner support and get people engaged. The Obama campaign reached 5 million supporters on 15 different social Networks over the course of campaign season; by November 2008, Obama had approximately 2.5 million (some sources say as many as 3.2 million) Facebook supporters, 115,000 Twitter followers, and 50 million viewers of his YouTube channel. “No other candidate has ever integrated the full picture the way [Obama] has, that’s what’s really new about his campaign,” said Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute.

    • cwl says:

      Nobody can dispute that. But that tells only the engagement of huge sector of population in the platform called social media with the campaign of Obama.
      What I am asking is if that engagement is potent enough or converted enough voters to propel Obama to win.
      Put it in another way, if Obama failed to use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, will he lose the election. Hard to predict, I guess. He could have lost the election or he could still won because of the potency of his message and the availability of various forms of media.

      • karlgarcia says:

        His opponent was John McCain.Maybe his anti Iraq war stance won him converts and yes social media could have hammered that anti Iraq stance to people who had no clue who Obama was.That same social media countered the anti Obama posts that he was a Muslim and the enemy saying his name is Husseim as in Sadam Hussein and all that stuff.

        Now as to the Philippines,not everyone needs a computer or a phone, the news programs shows the tweets and facebook posts.
        The newspapers show screenshots,the gossips gossip about what they hear from their children about what is in social media.

        Over rated or not,social media may have also buried the closest rivals,and the so called tough sells.

  30. William Jacinto Juan says:

    May 2, 2016
    I want to share this recent experience I had in Davao City over 2 months ago. A friend of mine invited me to a site visit in Bukidnon to his construction projects in Malaybalay City, in Valencia and in Don Carlos. We left the NAIA Terminal 3 early that morning and arrived at the Davao International Airport at around 7AM. A Hi-Ace van came to pick us at the airport as soon as we arrived. After a quick breakfast at a resto near the 911 headquarters, we drove for Malaybalay City mindful of the need to reach the project site before 1PM. The driver who was once drove a taxi here in Metro Manila decided to take a route along a mountainous part of the city thinking of avoiding possible heavy traffic on the main road.
    As we were cruising this less traveled route, a policeman suddenly came out from his post and stopped our vehicle for overspeeding. We were actually moving between 70 to 80KPH. The driver moved the van to the shoulder of the road and went to the policeman to ask for consideration, telling policeman that we are in a hurry because we have an appointment with a government official there in Malaybalay at 1PM. The policeman issued to him a citation ticket just the same. As we were cruising again, we asked our driver if he tried to give something so that the policeman would not have fined him. He said “..no, it is not our way here in Davao to bribe..” We also asked our driver if the policeman tried to ask for money, he said “..no way, policemen here would not do that, not like in Manila.” After a while, we passed the Davao-Bukidnon boundary and our driver drove between 70 to 100KPH speed. We just barely met our scheduled meeting at 1PM in Malaybalay City. Everything went on okay with the remaining appointments in Valencia and in the town of Don Carlos on the next morning.
    On our way back to Davao after lunchtime, we did not notice much our time traveling back to the city as we were quite dead tired. Our flight to Manila was scheduled at 10PM. As we were entering the city of Davao, already at around almost 6PM, we noticed the main street so very well clean, free of fallen leaves, wrappers, or other rubbish things. We asked our driver how often street sweepers do the cleaning. He said that before day break, the streets are already cleaned. And at any time during the day, every Davaoeno is so conscious of the maintenance of cleanliness in the streets. People would place their trash in the trash bins or they would pick up any trash they see on the street and put it on the trash bin.
    We went to a quick dinner so that we could be at the airport on time for our departure. After paying our bill, we rushed to our van. As we were about to leave the resto, I noticed my shoulder bag was missing! I asked our driver to stop and as I opened the van door to get out, one of the waiters was there in front of the sliding door of the van, handing my bag. I immediately checked the contents if they are in tack – some cash, my smart phone, etc. Everything is complete! I thanked the waiter and I tried to give him some cash but he politely declined to accept it.
    There were several incidences in this trip where I noticed the discipline of the people of Davao City. One is the policeman doing his job rightfully to implement the law to maintain peace and order. Second is the driver being conscious of not trying to bribe the policeman. Third was the culture of cleanliness maintained by the citizens of the city. And last but not the least is the common trait of quick service and honesty of the ordinary waiter. How I wish that this kind of discipline would also be adopted by the entire country.
    There are only a few no-nonsense leaders of our land in the likes of Mayor Duterte who have instilled discipline and real good governance in their turfs. The others worth mentioning are former MMDA chair and Mayor Bayani Fernando of Marikina, senator and former PNP chief Panfilo Lacson, senator and former SBMA chair and mayor Dick Gordon of Olongapo, Mayor James Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa and the late secretary and mayor Jessie Robredo of Naga City.

    • Bert says:

      Testimonials are dime a dozen. What I would like to see is how the new administration manage to run the government after July 1. That I’m dying to see the results.

    • Joe America says:

      Meanwhile, yesterday 7 “drug dealers” were shot dead. All resisted arrest. We’ll unplug the courts quickly at this pace. No one will dare testify on behalf of the accused. I won’t mention the kids hauled off to jail for breaking curfew. Who cares about them?

      • bill in oz says:

        But there will still be TRO’S in abundance.. I wonder if Duterte has a solution in mind for them. Like the one this week stopping 700,000 vehicle license plates being distributed…

        Ahhh just what is needed here…700000 vehicles without their id plates..I rea that this rather curious TRO was issued by a SC judge at the request of a congress member.
        What ere they eating or drinking ? Magic mushroom ?

        • Joe America says:

          Good question. I don’t know how one stops judicial overreach. New laws, I suppose. But Congress has to pass them, and it was a congressional rep who asked for it? Peculiar. Without question, the SC is more involved in operations than it ought to be.

    • chempo says:

      @ William

      I share your observations on Bayani Fernando of Marikina, Dick Gordon of Olongapo, Mayor James Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa, Jessie Robredo of Naga City. Lacson I’m not too sure.

      Duterte I’m not too sure also. Let’s say I grant you he did well in Davao and the people there loved him. But his leadership style is dangerous and the danger lies in the vast number of underlings that will now sprout and which he cannot control because Davao is not Philippines. Once the genie is out, it cannot be controlled. It’s already happening, and he is not even in office yet.

  31. karlgarcia says:

    What can emergency powers do to stop the traffic.

    Show me the money!

    And with debt levels in many countries, including China, already high, everyone is looking for private and multilateral bank funding. The Wall Street Journal reports that about $45 billion worth of major Chinese construction projects are facing delays due to lack of funding.

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila allocates at least $10 billion each year to infrastructure. The soon-to-be launched China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will begin lending next year with $50 billion in capital and 57 founding members.

    Even so, the World Bank estimates that there will be at least a $1 trillion -per-year gap in infrastructure funding.

    Now I understand why they still expect growth to slow down even with the promise of infrastructure spending if 5 to 7 percent of GDP.
    They can not fund their promises with out a Public private partnership in steroids.

    Where do we get the money?Emergency powers can not speed things up,even if no judge issues a TRO.

  32. Chivas says:

    I am extremely face-palmed with those trolls about arrogance on tech, it is just one piece of many things.

    Since tools are all said and done in various expensive conferrences on echo chambers. I don’t make words up like some may doubt or joke that I am writing draft for a cutesy science fiction. You gotta back up your HOW with WHAT and WHY.


    How To Build Your Own Social Media Army(a mini idea guide)

    Aside from mastering Robert Greene’s Law 27 on 48 Laws of Power or J Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws, gone are the days of calling cards and flyers.(though they still work!)

    Cory Doctorow once said that fame won’t make you rich but you cannot get paid without it.

    Well, he’s damn right. Having 1-3M followers on Twitter or Facebook will make anyone think twice about crossing you on payment for services you rendered or anything you have done or said.

    A talentless couch potato, single-dad-sympathy-abuser, selfie-wasted dude is more likely to get chicks or get hired or get paid than you because he’s got those numbers higher.

    No one will dare to offend or malign you, you can even shout: “Do you know me?!”, but that’s an a-hole way of doing it.

    Social Media followers are a must.

    Note: DO NOT start before you have this one intact. You have to streamline the core 3P’s: People, Process and Product(results) yourself or you can HIRE one who’s good and experienced at this, things will be smooth. Cross-favors if you want.

    How you do at anything is how you do at everything.

    Now, what’s up? You will require four essential and non-negotiable things: 1.)Patience 2.)Time 3.)Money and 4.)Tools. Notice that’s in order.

    Skill? Not much. You can MAKE, FIND, HIRE or BUY your way to get the first three things.

    I want to help.

    Here are the small yet powerful tools and platform you can humbly start with online with little to no budget, all in no order because you can remix and restructure all of them.

    These tools may have won elections here and out. These may have saved careers, ok’d budgets and hopefully used extensively as spreading of goodwill, knowledge and compassion.

    Here they are, you can look them up, many of them are free.





    Social Oomph
    Post Planner


    Tweet Jukebox
    Crowdfire App

    Google Data Studio

    Data Nitro
    Apache Spark
    Javascript frameworks: Node JS, Phantom JS, Casper JS

    It covers everything from soup to nuts. Check all their branches and you will see more. I hope this may help anyone venturing out and thinking or just studying social media.


  33. AL says:

    i want to give you people some insight, peoplo who keep using the words democracy and poor(o mahihirap), in public speaches or in reasoning can never be trusted, as to why, research it on your own, then you’ll understand why d30 does what he do.

  34. AL says:

    our country was dying, if miriam or duterte didnt get elected as president, the future of this country will be already in the grave.

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