The rage of the bound

abe lincoln monument

Abraham Lincoln Monument

Understanding President Duterte #4:

I was reading a review of a recently published book about the life of US President Abraham Lincoln (“New Bio Delivers a Full-Length Lincoln”; The Daily Beast).

Lincoln is one of the most highly regarded presidents in US history, for his rise from poverty to his eloquence in office to his principled stand in leading the Union during the bloody American Civil War. The book review shed light on why President Lincoln was so determined to win that war. The Civil War was largely about state’s rights, slavery and freedom.

Here’s the excerpt from the book review that struck a chord:

. . .  One finds in every Lincoln biography his hatred of slavery; I’ve read in at least four biographies of his resentment and humiliation when his father rented him out (at a price of ten to thirty-one cents a day) to split rails, work on farms, and perform whatever other manual tasks someone wanted done for a dime an hour. I did not know of the degree to which the young Lincoln seethed under such a yoke. “I used to be a slave,” he announced at a campaign event.

His father collected his son’s wages, a practice young Lincoln hated. He felt degraded, imprisoned “in a world of neglect, fecklessness, and ignorance. It was at the root of his fierce desire to rise. It was also at the core of his belief that “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”

Well, slavery is wrong. Lincoln felt the degradation of bondage, in his own personal way. He was exorcising his inner rage. The Civil War was deeply personal to him.

So was the 2016 election to at least 16 million voters in the Philippines. It was, in a way I think, a statement of rage.

Rage at gridlock in Manila, rage at poverty, rage at lack of jobs and hope and opportunity, rage at an entitled class getting all the goodies. It was a rage at inequality, in the main.

It was a rage against the bondage of no way out, of helplessness, of being subjected to humiliating visits to government offices, of being used, of being abused. Of being trapped.

It was a rage against the oppressive, dogmatic, arrogant ways of the powerful in the Philippines. I don’t think the rage was against Mar Roxas or President Aquino, personally, they were just symbols. It was a rage against the collective of Abaya and bullets in bags and the humiliation of Mamasapano and stupid traffic and the lunacy of not being able to get a license plate from that screwed up LTO. It was the rage of having to borrow money for medicine and scrounge food and clothes from relatives and getting ripped off by anyone with a little power, and at the bottom, sending the kids out to split rails or hew sugar cane or pick through the trash. Or get undressed on the cam for some fat white guy in another country.

It was a rage against being trapped in this pit of life, day after day, week after week, generation after generation. While those of the privileged, connected class get the easy path, the big back SUV that runs my pedicab off the highway, the jobs, the good schools, the stylish clothes, the big houses. And my kids have to hunt birds to put some meat onto the rice or stick their hands into mud holes to try to get a crab. Or wait hours for trains so jam-packed they don’t stop.

It is the rage at eating kamote once again.

I’m sick of kamote.

Well, sure, we can cast our blames, we the educated elite with our tablets and phones lecturing the bound, “then don’t have 10 kids”, or “go get a job” and “if you have a job, be on time and work diligently”, or “stay in school”.

How is it that we can always live other peoples’ lives so well for them?

Maybe because we don’t have to eat kamote every day.

President Duterte jumped right into the middle of this rage during his presidential campaign. He did it with grainy black and white advertising showing innocent people being victimized. It didn’t matter how. Drugs, robberies, whatever. The point was that he tapped into the hurt of those who have had it up to their eyeballs with getting no respect, no favors, no help. He got his social media masterminds pounding the internet about screw-ups and incompetence and lack of compassion and how we the people are bearing all the burdens.

And he was the people’s savior. The tough-talking, ever-joking guy just like our drunk Uncle Eduardo out under the mango tree cracking risqué jokes at passing girls. Stroking his prize fighting chicken. A little wacko and a little scary for being wacko.

Willing to spit in the eye of our captors.

He won. Easily.

His early work, his cabinet appointments and comments, suggest he is decisive and he is old-school political, doing the honorable thing back to those who were honorable to him. Giving them appointments and power and importance and the ability to get rich, some where down the line. He remains loose of lip, but powerful of message. He is larger than life.

Maybe he will earn his own monument, down the line.

He scares people, though. He tips them off balance. A lot of people don’t trust him. They wait, and they watch. They wait . . . and they watch . . .

We know . . . and he knows . . . that the real test of the Duterte Administration is yet to come.

Results, not words.

How will he free the people from their rage? From their bondage?

Will he order them to sacrifice? To not be victims? To do as he instructs? Will he game the whole nation? And hide the truth behind a wall of propaganda?

Or will he make the nation genuinely rich, not just with money, but with opportunity and hope?

Well, a federalist nation will not feed people by being a federalist nation. The death penalty will not give people opportunity or a job. Lowering the age of criminals will not keep them in school.

The Philippines has already had a game-playing Marcos family enriching themselves at the expense of the bound. It does not need another pretender.

So I’m thinking President Duterte will do his best. For his family. For his mother. For his people.

It won’t be our way, I suspect. There is a certain efficiency to being decisive, and being bold. So his way may be more daring and out of the box than we are used to. Maybe that is needed to break through the poor thinking, poor service and corruption that seem deeply rooted in key areas: transportation, electricity, broadband services, customs, and way too many LGUs. Maybe it is needed to create jobs.

I don’t know.

It’s not going to be easy. It can’t be done with hopes or magic.

Case in point. Can he get a land use law done? Land use represents that undisciplined Philippine way that benefit the few, versus the many. Or will he push land use laws off to the states under his federalism scheme? Will that protect the nation’s forests and seas, do you think?

I tend to think that Federalism itself is not a solution. HOW it is deployed COULD BE a solution. Federalism under the same self-serving ways will just be spinning wheels in a different pile of sand.

There are also huge risks of failure attached to being bold, without question. So I hope President Duterte gets it right.

I hope he succeeds.

For the sake of the bound . . . the hungry and the angry . . .  and those of us who join the bound by being relegated to irrelevant . . . I hope he succeeds.

Rage does not look good on the Philippines.

 

Comments
141 Responses to “The rage of the bound”
  1. A lot of his tactics look familiar to me… they are typical Kabataang Makabayan tactics… he was a member of the KM in his youth just like I was… it was our conditioning to speak like the masses… it helped this mestizo blend into the crowd at Recto just after waving the usual placards…

    What I did not like about the left was how I found out it was only out to USE the people AGAIN… one of my former comrades stayed, one of the idealistic old school NPAs, he is still a wanted man, a Kumander whose name I will not mention until now… freeing the bound remains his cause…

    For Fidel Castro, freeing the bound also was a means to an end… the end seems to be reached, Cuba is a country doing well now… it has overcome it’s PCSD (not PTSD which is what some veterans of Vietnam and Iraq get, postcolonial stress disorder) and has reached out to the USA.

    Cuba also had it’s battles – after its own independence under American “protection” – it was sold by the Spanish to the USA together with the Philippines and Puerto Rico, there was a very bloody Black Uprising in the first decade of 1900s…. Afro-Cuban dialect has many West African words.

    Now Cuba has a certain unity within… the old issues of color (MRP is in my blog BTW) have been largely overcome… healthcare and education were key focuses… Castro followed Che Guevara’s adage that a revolutionary must know LOVE… Will’s Don Quixote article is about exactly this.

    • Joe America says:

      Often we scribes writing, as we profess, for the betterment of the nation are often described as “the intellectual elite”, as if we are out of touch by striving to be relevant. The way you describe it, the left is “the intellectual elite”, too, in seeking the release the people from social bondage, and using their poor’s predicament to pursue those goals, is both an intellectual and physical elite. What is strange is that I can’t get a sense of who the Duterte Administration is serving. It does not seem to be the people, broadly. That’s why I wrote toward the end, my last revision this morning, that many of us have joined the bound. We are now objects, not bosses of anything. VPE Leni Robredo stands as a symbol of our own disenfranchisement from the incoming government.

      But it is early, so I just set the idea aside and join others who wait, and watch.

      • Meanwhile in Palawan the true leaders of the people are among the youth… Happy Birthday Jose Rizal, born on June 19, 1861 who had his tragic character Simoun say in El Filibusterismo “where are you youth, who shall rekindle our fire of enthusiasm”….

        “I am so impressed to see youth leaders namely, Edgar Tano Lozada and Eam Nerron Bungalso making an initiative to start new group of youth advocates in their community. Their small hands do more while their lips say less.”

      • karlgarcia says:

        Is calling someone elite and not elitist already a form of name calling?
        What about calling them just intellectual,would that be insulting as well?

    • Donna says:

      I personally know of a family- mostly businessmen and professionals from Cuba who sought asylum from the USA and are all doing very well in life. As recently as five years ago, this young professional Cuban lady arrived in Florida and was so amazed to find that food are not rationed. The USA govt gave her housing allowance and food stamps while she established herself. She got accepted to pursue her carrer in an American University and is now practicing her profession living her American dream. Fidel Castro freeing the bound at what and whose expense? Now, for PE Duterte, what is his plan really? Does anybody know for sure? Everyone’s watching….

  2. josephivo says:

    Does he believe in the invisible hand and a uncontrolled free market as all previous administrations fed by money of the .01% affluent at the top benefiting from this free market? Or does he believe as a true leftist that the state has to flatten the playing field and to redistribute wealth that is the result of rent? (rent as the added value of being connected, or having monopolistic powers, or having advanced information…)

    A lot of irrational things are happening in an economy, confidence or trust, believe in opportunities, feelings of fairness… and opposite fear, lack of dignity, irrationality because of under-nutrition or lack of education. Simple solution do not exist. Or is his motivation the belief that change start with “unfreezing”, breaking of the current paradigms?

    The anger you describe is the same as the anger in Rizal’s books. The Filipino psyche doesn’t seem to see change as something one achieves as individual but as something an outsider has to provide. My little corruption is OK, but a powerful president has to root out big corruption, my little alcoholism and wife beating is OK, but a powerful president has to root out all other drugs, my driving counter flow or blocking an intersection is OK, but the president has to solve all traffic problems…

    Ambot… Unfreezing is scary. But unfreezing even human rights will lead to disaster.

    • This reliance on single heros is so… Iberian influence. I see it when I see Cristiano Ronaldo going through the same stuff yesterday against Austria Luis Figo went through before.

      They expected Luis Figo to do everything, he was the “Rodrigo”/El Cid hero of his team, but when he got too old on the soccer field, he was a Don Quixote, a tragic figure but even worse all the Sancho Panzas deserted him and let him do his stuff alone…

      Soon after Portugal’s tragic losses and Luis Figo retiring, a young man named Cristiano Ronaldo scored a terrific goal and took off his shirt, women in Lisbon where I was then swooned for him… he became the new Rodrigo but could soon be Don Quixote… funny that he reminds me of Coco Martin, just a little harsher in looks because he is after all a veteran soccer player… MRP would say that is the mestizo ideal of guapo Filipinos have… do Filipinos also have a crazy idea of heroism from Spanish influence as well? I wonder…

    • Joe America says:

      The Filipino orphan, neglected, abused . . . by outside forces. No pathway to success is apparent. Go to Manila, is the pathway, but the jobs aren’t there, either. It is easy to believe (feel) that correcting the wrongs must come from a new parent-person who strides into the room and makes everything whole.

      I get a sense that the new administration is a collection of transactions (free irrigation water for all farmers! and we’ll deal with the 2 million in lost revenue elsewhere). Prediction: debt starts to climb as all the ideas are put into place but they don’t add up right, the way a businessman would look at it. He would force them to add up right in the plan, not throw transactions against the wall and fund them later.

      • Joe America says:

        Bill will be happy that nurses will likely get their raises soon, another transaction hitting the wall. Plus the police will be getting huge raises, I believe.

        • bill in oz says:

          Well written blog Joe..It draws together a lot of the threads.. that explain the recent election results.. The outsider won by appealing to all the alienated …But cam he do what he promised ? I think that his promise to break through even if it meant being a dictator, is a positive fo many of his voting supporters… Not a problem or a threat.. Because they are sick & tired of waiting since 1987..
          And Federalim seems to be a priority.. So that change is coming

          • bill in oz says:

            PS I saw that the new health secretary Paulyn Ubial wants to have the Nurses bill go again to congress & senate for signing by Duterte..
            Maybe she can organise to preserve the salary relativities of dentists and other medical professions, while going through the process..

            • bill in oz says:

              And if anyone knows her contact details, there is that Australian project to ‘contaminate’ mosquitoes with a naturally occurring bacteria that stops mosquitoes spreading dengue ( & Zika ) virus. Why go to the expense of vacinatng about 2 million young kids each year, when stopping the mosquitoes spreading the virus is so much cheaper

          • Joe America says:

            I put Randy David’s column over in the right column as “Must Read” because it does such a great job in considering that federalism is not a solution if the same values drive governance. It weakens national unity, something the PH has not really been able to develop, for all the provincial and tribal allegiances. The weakness today is too much power in the LGU’s and an absence of appreciation for the national mandate. So the PH is already a federation along power lines, if not geographic lines. I tend to think federalism is a big waste of time unless someone can show how manufacturing and job growth and GDP will be given a boost. Just re-aligning power does not create wealth. Spinning in the sand.

            Well, that of course presumes poverty reduction is a primary goal, as opposed to making dukes and duchesses.

            • bill in oz says:

              Check history Joe, there was corruption galore in the USA in the 1800’s But still a functioning federal system.. Ditto in Oz.. Corruption is driven by poverty sitting side by side with great wealth.. Corruption is not caused by Federalism

        • David says:

          The government veto the salary adjustment for Government Nurses, claiming that raising the nurses salary who work for the government will upset the current fiscal budget. Reading the article is confusing, why the editors sometimes do not differ the differences of Public Nurses and the private nursing industry.?

          • bill in oz says:

            Exactly David.. Government employed nurse got salary increase in March..Nurses employed in private hospitals just hung out to dry…

      • Tax the oligarches more is my proposal. We once looked at the top taxpayers – Kris Aquino and Manny Pacquiao pay way more than some very rich oligarch families…

        Somebody explained that it is because of how profits are taxed – less than income.

        In Germany ALL income a person or a corporation has is INCOME and is subject to progressive income tax – whether it is earned from dividends, real estate rent or work. Bank secrecy is non-existent, they even paid spies to get data from Swiss banks…

        • Joe America says:

          That does seem just, but I don’t think there are enough oligarchs to make much impact. Now property taxes, that I think is a gold mine. And professionals who are cash basis.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Remember Margallo, he says he can count them with his ten fingers.

          • Hard to do, because most of the well-off use of private stuff because nearly everything in the public domain in the Philippines sucks – they send their kids to private schools, live in subdivisions where security is private, go to malls that are well-planned enclaves…

            If I contrast that to the public schools here, the well-planned cities with beautiful shopping zone plus efficient police and justice system over here – I gladly pay around 40% taxes.

            • bill in oz says:

              Tax fuels ! And use the funds gathered to create better road & transport infrastructure. In Oz we all it fuel exise..It increases car/ truck costs and helps encourage use of public transportation
              I suspect that land taxes will be very problematic.. Remember a lt of land has squatters on it..Other lands are owned by dead persons.. But the families have never sorted out dividing up the land..No wills, no money for lawyers, no real capacity by the family members who operate the land, to try & pay out the others, ( My lady’s relatives have a 500 tree coconut farm like this. ) .So who owns it to bill the land taxes. A taxation nightmare when multiplied by millions of people

      • josephivo says:

        …. why fund then later, there is enough money in the system but if all flows in one direction, and that’s not in the direction of farmers. Just a few less helicopters and Porsche Cayenne’s in Manila could pay for a lot of irrigation.

        • Joe America says:

          By golly, you are starting to sound a lot like Duterte advocates. I don’t have a problem with the re-routing of resources as long as there is a cogent plan for defense and the sum of all the various projects does not break the nation, as it did under Marcos, who also threw stuff against the wall and into Swiss vaults. The irrigation is just one example, and that is over P2 billion is forgone revenues. The 2017 budget will be one of the first working priorities of the Legislature, working to do Duterte doings. It will be fascinating to study the shifts.

          • josephivo says:

            Long live Bernie Sanders. Someone has to start his revolution here in the Philippines too.

            (Sanders as Duterte advocate but the with respect for human rights?)

      • Micha says:

        @JoeAm

        What is wrong with free irrigation water for all farmers?

        • Joe America says:

          Absolutely nothing. The nation builds roads and charges nothing for them. Irrigation canals can easily be in the same category of investment. I use the example because there ought to be a plan before the fact that is fiscally responsible. We heard a lot of campaign promises and now let’s see where the other shoes drop, when it is all added up.

        • bill in oz says:

          I believe in a user pays system. Water in the dry season is a precious resource. Putting a cost on it encourages farmers to grow higher value crops.This moves peasant farmers towards a farming system which will generate higher incomes for them

          Also there will money for maintenance of irrigation & improvements.. Eg replacing open channels with pipes that lose less water..
          Hard nosed ? Yes but better in the long term. Who amongst us wants poor peasant rice farmers to just stay poor peasant farmers forever ? Surely not you Micha !

          • josephivo says:

            Bill it is not as simple as that. In my previous life in an aid program for DAR we insisted on an integrated approach. Irrigation makes no sense without farm to marked roads, community development, micro financing, education including feeding programs, health care, marked development and added value activities… After 5 years irrigation systems build according the same standards were not only maintained but extended and improved in some ARC (agrarian reform communities) and they went back to nature in some others. The difference? Some local mayors saw the possibility to improve the life of their ARB’s (agrarian reform beneficiaries) and had their municipal officers very much involved in the projects, other mayors saw the big political context and tried to get their share of the development money (some wanted upfront cash to allow us to help their constituents!)

            • bill in oz says:

              Re” other mayors saw the big political context and tried to get their share of the development money (some wanted upfront cash to allow us to help their constituents!)”
              I guess Duterte has an answer to that corrupt ripping off… A lead injection !
              And of course the NPA has always been willing to help.

        • Bert says:

          Free irrigation water for all farmers is a wonderful idea and personally I approved of it.

          The thing is in a place like in the Philippines where household and industrial/commercial water requirements are critical due to water shortages, this promise of free water for all farmers seems to me just a hollow promise, just like all the other hard to attain promises.

          Anyway let’s just wait for the outcome out of these promises after July 1.

          I’m dying to see results.

    • canadadry says:

      Bukas na Maganda?

      Duterte’s believers say “move on”
      Yet past baggage, he keeps bringing on..
      KM’s Joma/CPP coalition government,
      FM’s burial, Marcos comeback,
      Arroyo must be free and Davao killing spree..
      Police can just kill anyone drugs connected.
      What if they are themselves drug connected?
      He says corruption must stop,
      Yet he coddles the biggest plunderers of all.
      He says he is for unity and openness
      Yet he is for killing journalists.
      He says he is all for respect and womanhood
      Yet all he mouths are sex and smelly vaginas.
      The atmosphere seems to be more of fear
      and less of possibilities for ordinary folks.
      The atmosphere seems to be more of “watch out”
      No longer “Go and follow your dreams”.
      The atmosphere seems to be
      Kill kill kill
      No longer that of hope and goodwill.

      Where is the civility,
      where is the respectability?

      The atmosphere instead of
      “Bukas na maganda”
      Has become more of
      “Putang ina”…

      • bill in oz says:

        Here is a slightly more balanced perspective..
        I wonder if being a man from Mindanao means that the criticisms of the English speaking elite, simply does not care…Sort of like a British aristocrat harping on how uncouth folks from the ‘colonies’ are..A different mentality

      • Joe America says:

        I posted your comment to my Facebook page and got the following comment, which is standard “push” social media advocacy, but constructive nonetheless:

        Guillermo Prat Hundreds of big businessmen are expected to attend the economic forum called for by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte which would start on Monday, June 20, here in Davao City.

        Dubbed as “Sulong: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran”, the consultation workshop with the business community on promoting inclusive growth aims to generate recommendations from the business community for the incoming Duterte administration regarding its proposed 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda namely:

        1. Continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary, and trade policies.

        2. Institute progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation. A tax reform package will be submitted to Congress by September 2016.

        3. Increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business. This effort will draw upon successful models used to attract business to local cities (e.g., Davao), and pursue the relaxation of the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except as regards land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investment.

        4. Accelerate annual infrastructure spending to account for 5% of GDP, with Public-Private Partnerships playing a key role.

        5. Promote rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism.

        6. Ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments, and address bottlenecks in land management and titling agencies.

        7. Invest in human capital development, including health and education systems, and match skills and training to meet the demand of businesses and the private sector.

        8. Promote science, technology, and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity towards self-sustaining, inclusive development.

        9. Improve social protection programs, including the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, to protect the poor against instability and economic shocks.

        10. Strengthen implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable especially poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.

        The 2-day economic forum is in strategic partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Mindanao Business Council.

        Duterte is expected to attend the event and give his response on the business community’s recommendations on Tuesday.

        Among the tycoons seen boarding a plane for Davao was Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific who surprisingly boarded a Philippine Air Lines economy flight Sunday.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Kamote.
    Student could not answer the test exams because he says he is nangangamote (brain turning into sweet potato),then teacher will ask student to go home and plant kamote.

    It is the teacher’s fault that they eat kamote every single day.

    • Joe America says:

      I can’t discern any flavor with kamote. It seems like mashed paper to me. I don’t think sour cream, chives and bacon bits would give it a boost. But then I don’t like halo halo, either, so I know the problem is my taste buds.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I do not like the french fries version. salt or catsup would not work.
        I like the one dipped in sugar then fried,but not good for diabetics like me.

      • bill in oz says:

        Frozen sweet potato chips are marketed by McCains in Oz as low GI chips and so good for diabetics

  4. jose ma t paredes says:

    Mr Salazar, you strike a note on some similar lines of thinking. Having be a KM, too, but schooled with semi-intellectuals, worked with FFF and fishing folks, etc. anyway, on a quick note( once belonged to a 1st division soccer team in Manila, 11 yrs PFA champion). The president does not operate like the highest goal maker in soccer. besides, it also up to the coach to pressure one like Ronaldo to be assigned that role, being hired and paid to do the job. The coach considers all transactions possible, and because, all have to be funded, whether on a short term basis(projects) or long term (4P’s), he has Dominguez to do some numbers crunching, income collected from taxes, earnings earned by gov’t banks/owned corporation., funds(like Coco funds), wealth distribution programs and other sources of income(potential). With supercomputers fed these figures, and what if scenarios played out, the billion pesos corruption factored, including the effects of a smaller drug economy…., is Joe America’s fears of the coming administrations transactions really hitting the wall is far fetched. I currently live overseas and I see Filipinos being more appreciated as contributors to other countries economies. I wish I were younger and bring home my savings which I earned overseas and invest in a more level playing field that I foresee. And to my countrymen who love to sing and karaoke their frustrations away, more leeway, sana!….singing is also a form of prayer… just my 2 cents contribution..

  5. Bert says:

    Please don’t take for granted the lowly kamote, or sweet potato. It’s one of the super foods according to nutritional scientists,

    Some varieties taste bland and not too sweet but the sweeter kind taste heavenly specially if taken with fried fresh fish or fried eggs, or fried prawns, or guisadong miki na may sahog na alimango. or tortang alimasag.

    Subukan ninyo….hmmmmn, sarap.

    • Joe America says:

      Hey, my taste buds have perked up, and maybe I should try harder.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Bake the kamote, Joe. Then eat it with the skin. Gives it a toasted flavor. Down with coffee or tea. High in dietary fiber, vitamin A and other vitamins (google).

        • mercedes santos says:

          Ditto that : Baked sweet potato with a dash of cinnamon is nutrilacious, fiber and complex carbs and all ☀

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, I love baked potato skins. I appreciate the culinary counsel.

          • Bert says:

            Be careful, Joe, Submerge and soak the raw potato in water for an hour or more then meticulously scrub off the soil or you’ll be eating the skin and soil and maybe some residents in it, :).

            • Joe America says:

              Ha, well, you certainly know how to convince a skeptic to try kamote. hahaha But you re talking to the wrong person. I’m always helping my wife cook by staying on my computer and out of the kitchen. Interesting that we never have kamote for some reason. Either she hates the stuff or she doesn’t like to see me scowl.

              • Bert says:

                Hey, hey, Joe my friend, kamote is really good. We were talking about kamote skin ain’t we? I would not advise it.even if it’s Willy’s favorite part.

                I’m proposing a deal. You’ll try eating kamote, boil it and then peel it and then we’ll give the peeling/skin to Willy. You eat the kamote with tortang alimasag while Wilfredo is enjoying the skin.

                Deal?

              • Joe America says:

                You should be a peace negotiator somewhere. 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                😄

    • karlgarcia says:

      Might give it a shot.

  6. bill in oz says:

    Can I ask an off topic question re the Marcos coconut levy.. Duterte says the money wil be refunded to farmers =20000 pesos. But there is a lot of debate about this.. Some saying no use it for farm research. What do folks think.. And what are the issues ?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Found a paper :all about the coconut levy.

      http://serp-p.pids.gov.ph/CPBRD/PB2012-02.pdf

      • bill in oz says:

        Thanks Karl..Will read it

        • karlgarcia says:

          Just ten pages.

          • bill in oz says:

            Read it Karl.. A bit out of date as the SC has now made it’s decision. The money was ripped off the coconut farmers illegally by old corrupt Marcos.. So it belongs to them. Full stop.

            But there are so many people who want to use it for ‘the farmers benefit’.. taking a percentage on the way through no doubt..

            And in the back of my memory is one fact not mentioned in the paper : coconut farmers have to get permission from some government authority to cut down old trees.. What the fuck ? Why & for who’s benefit ? So most of the trees are old and low in production harvest.. So farmers do not bother to care for them or fertilise them…

            I do have one idea that would be useful maybe : set up coconut farmer coops to manage storage & processing..This would maximise returns to farmers.. and give the farmers more control of their future

            • There are laws specifically on coconut trees and this is the reason why you have to ask permission. Blame senate/congress.

            • http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8048.htm

              AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE REGULATION OF THE CUTTING OF COCONUT TREES, ITS REPLENISHMENT, PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

              • bill in oz says:

                Micro management really worth it’s weight in carabao dung… A stupid way to turn a agricultural industry into zip.. I wonder who the idiots in congress who set this up…

              • karlgarcia says:

                In congress Danny Suarez in the Senate Jinggoy Estrada.

              • chempo says:

                Bill there may be a law on the use of carabao dung.

              • bill in oz says:

                Ahhhh yes ” Thou shalt not serve carabao dung pies to politicians”..It is such a temptation !!

              • bill in oz says:

                Is there no comedian like John Cleese who could get the whole nation laughing at the clowns who organised this wonderful bit of nonsense by Filipino politicians?
                a person wwho cuts down a tree wwithout a permit can be fined 500,000 pesos ! Lunacy !

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, a Cleese fan. Indeed, and perhaps the series could be called “Fawlty Laws”. Pacquiao could play himself.

              • bill in oz says:

                ‘Faulty Lawyers’
                or
                “Pollies want crack coconuts”

              • Bert says:

                Bill, why is a law regulating the cutting of coconut trees a stupid law? The coconut industry needs to be protected because it’s one of the country’s leading source of livelihood You might not be aware of it but indiscriminate and rampant cutting of coconut trees were being done in the past by irresponsible entrepreneurs turning them to coco lumber, a cheaper alternative to wood in the construction industry.

                Left unabated what do you think will happen to the coconut industry?

              • bill in oz says:

                Bert..If coconut farmers earn good money from their trees they will protect them.. If the value of the crop falls and they become impoverished they have the right to cut the trees down and try something different.

                They might plant new hybrid coconut varieties that are more productive. It might be planting their land to other crops which earn more money..That’s what happens in a free market economy.

                Bert, try this mental exercise out : You have 1,000,000 pesos saved in the bank.. But the government passes a law telling you to invest in something that gives you a very low income…when you would like to try something better . Would you be happy ? I think you would be very annoyed.

                So try putting yourself in the minds of coconut farmers caught in exactly this position

              • Bert says:

                Bill, your coconut analogy to business investment is so hard to understand. Here’s why.

                1. Coconut plantations can’t be categorized as instant business investments. They were there standing and producing fruits for decades, most lasting and producing for more than fifty years.

                2. It’s not like you cut down fifty coconut trees, plant a replacement of fifty young coconut trees and expect the new coconuts to produce after so many months or a couple of years. It will take at least ten years for a young coconut to produce fruits.

                3. Coconuts don’t interfere with the productivity or non productivity of your land. Just leave the coconut be and you can do whatever you want with your land to make the land productive.

                So, tell me again, Bill, your reason why you have to cut down coconut trees.

              • Bert says:

                And, Bill, tell us why Filipino politicians are idiots trying to protect an industry so vital to the Philippine economy?

              • Bert says:

                And, Bill, I know this is a dumb question but have to ask just the same for enlightenment: Do you think Australian politicians are smarter and would do differently if faced with the same predicament?

              • karlgarcia says:


                Deejay Hybrids also yield products much faster than ordinary tall coconut palm varieties. While ordinary palms need seven years to yield and ten to stabilize, Deejay Hybrids start yielding after two years and stabilize in five. Special agricultural practices also add to success. ”

                Bill,I googled hybrid variety of coconut palm.
                Bill,you are the farmer,where in the above sentence does it say how long a hybrid coconut tree bears fruit. Is it in stabilize or yield?

                Bert has many valid points,Like Philipines has rampant illegal logging and coco lumber is one of the products of rampant illegal logging.
                If it takes two years for a coconut hybrid to bear fruit, then maybe the law of cutting coconut trees should be reviewed and repealed,so long as no livelihood is to be destroyed.

              • bill in oz says:

                Ok Bert, I will try again. From first principles..
                1 : I was an organic farmer in Australia from 1985 till 2015 when I retired. As a farmer on my land I was the expert’ and I was the manager…If others, outsiders, bureaucrats or politicians, barged in to tell me what to do, then fundamentally they were/are controlling ‘outsiders’..And unless they could prove that they knew what they were talking about, they deserved to be told to bugger off. That’s free enterprise. Farms are lands to be cared for & productively managed to gain a good income for the farmers

                2 if a Filipino family owns a coconut farm, it is also wrong for outsiders to tell them how to manage it. They own the land, They do the work. They take the risks. It happens that my lady’s mother is a member of a family that owns such a farm in Bicol. There are about 12 hectares of trees. They are old and tall and unproductive. Harvesting them is awkward & time consuming & a safety hazzard. The bureaucratic law stops them from chopping the trees and selling the trunks for wood. It demands that they seek permission & fill out forms for bureaucrats in town and pay a fee for each tree cut down . ( And the bureaucrats want their extra share of course !!!!! And if they want to change crop there is another ‘baksheesh’ fee….

                None of this happens because it’s all toooo bloody hard.

                So their old tall coconut trees join …..”thousands, possibly millions of hectares of senile coconut trees that provide very little income to farmers” ( Source Pablitto S Pamplona PhD. Agriculture magazine, January 2016, page 50 )

                3 : The coconut industry is declining also because it is not competing with the newly expanding coconut industries in Malaysia & Indonesia. These countries are planting new hybrid varieties that start producing at 5-7 years and grow to only 8 meters high when mature.. And they are more prolific producers…..( Source check out the May issue of Agriculture magazine pages 48-51 same author with his wife April Pamplona )

                4 : The net result of all this meddling by outsider politicians ? The Philippines coconut industry is dying..There are lots of pretty trees which I suppose are fixing CO2.. But basically unproductive.

                5 Roughly 45% of the coconut industry in in .? Yes Mindanao ! And we know what Mindanao folk think of laws from Manila.. They just voted overwhelmingly for Duterte so they could “Get This Country Working”

                Now if you want to get up to speed on all this, the Agriculture magazine is published by the Manila Bulletin each month in Intramuros. An issue costs 85 pesos. It’s a really good well written and researched magazine and published in English.

                And so I hold strongly to my view : the Coconut Preservation Act 1995, is a complete bit of stupidity.

                And if I met any Filipino politicians I would happily tell them so. But I guess I am an arrogant impatient Australian.

              • bill in oz says:

                Hi Bert re “Do you think Australian politicians are smarter and would do differently if faced with the same predicament?”
                I would never, ever say that Australian politicians are “smarter ” In general there excellent, good, indifferent, bad & bloody awful..all mixed up together in the parliaments..

                However in the country areas of Australia, there is a political party which is mostly made up of rural people and lots of farmers from all over the country. It has been in existence since 1922.It used to be called the Country Party but changed to National Party in the 1980’s. the current government is a coalition of that party with a city based pro business party. The leader of the Country/National party is the deputy prime minister.

                That means that actual real working farmers have major input into all laws about farming and rural issues generally..

                And as it happens I cannot think of any Australian law that tells farmers that they have to leave senile unproductive trees crops in the ground. There are laws about preserving areas of native bush / forest to stop it being completely destroyed.. And most farmers in the areas where I farmed are happy with those laws. And we even plant more bush trees…( And yes there are the odd ratbags who don’t like it)

              • Bert says:

                Bill, let’s go to the nitty gritty and talk about your lady’s 12 hectares of coconut farmland in Bicol. Let’s assume there is no law prohibiting the cutting of coconut trees. With your wise advice and help you cut down 12 hectares of coconut plantation and turn them into coco lumber. That will make your lady’s family rich for a while, maybe a month. Then you replenished the felled coconuts with your hybrid variety all 12 hectares of them, and then what? You and your lady wait for seven years for them to produce anything. Meanwhile, your coco lumber is long gone. Good for you and your lady you’re both staying in an air-conditioned hotel in Quiapo. But your lady’s mother is watching and waiting for the new coconuts to bear fruit there in Bicol. And where may I ask are you going to get that 12 hectares of hybrid coconut seedlings? How sure are you that this new coconut variety can thrive well in the Philippine environment? You are the expert, please tell us. Or is that a trade secret?

                And so the politicians are idiots for preventing you from turning those productive coconuts into coco lumber. Nice.

              • Bert says:

                karl, I live and grew under the shadow of coconut plantation, still is. I have hybrids that bear fruits in three years and just about my height. They don’t live long enough to be of economic value so just relegated for ornamental use.

              • bill in oz says:

                Bert it is being done right now in Cotabato province by Dr Pamplona as a research experiment.. Philippines government law is preventing farmers adopting the technology…

                Your statement about me being an expert goes to far..In Australia I think I am. Here I am not. But I have read the research and listened to my lady’s mother etc.

                Do you know that in Malaysia the government helps peasant coconut farmers by distributing ‘baby’ hybrid coconut trees free on request. But I doubt that will ever happen here.

                And as for replanting the 12 hectares, after 20 years not being able to freely manage the trees they have long ago given up hope.. The trees are there. They harvest for personal use. And seek their real income elsewhere. They have to as the trees are senile.

                However it feels to me that I cannot persuade you. So do your own research : check out the facts for yourself. Go buy the January & May editions of Agriculture. Or borrow copies from a library. There is..good scientific agricultural research being done here in the Philippines by Filipinos..

              • Bert says:

                It’s alright, Bill, this is not a matter of you persuading me or me persuading you. We are discussing something and that’s all there is to it.

                Cheers, man.

              • karlgarcia says:

                OK Bert.
                Cheers to you and Bill.🍻

  7. The coconut levy fund were used to buy shares of some companies in the Philippines during Marcos era & still today those people own significant amount of shares. All of them are cronies of Marcos.
    My grandfather was a generation of coconut farmers, lost all the documentation to prove the contribution to the fund but we are not going to cry over a 20k share from that. I think 20k will not do anything drastically to lift those farmers from poverty but what they can do is set-up a research program to enhance the production & products that they can make out of it because coconut is turning to be the new so called “superfood” & I could see the coconut industry in the Philippines could be revive.

    • bill in oz says:

      For actual coconut farmers out in the provinces, it would do an immense amount of good…Help send kids to school…for a start..
      As for using it for other purposes.. your research program will give expensive salaries for a short while to educated urban people..
      Duh.. the money was stolen, stolen, from poor provincial farmers …Time to give it back to them or their descendants

      • I think scholarships and some form of pension fund can be done instead of direct 20k deposit.

        • bill in oz says:

          Gian, scholarships for whom? The kids of poor coconut farmers who rarely get past elementary school ?
          I still think giving t to the farmers themselves is best..That way they can choose the best way to spend it…Tree replanting for example or fertilising poor soils or even banding together and setting up their own co=operatives..Or sending their kids to high school

  8. pelang says:

    Well, i’m a descendant myself. My mother when she was alive collected some of those shares whenever she sells her copra to the traders. Many typhoons have passed over our poor province and each time it does, we loose some of the shares along with other papers which have gotten wet and got torned thru the storm. My mother passed away 10 years ago, even if we find some of these shares, they would probably be worthless now. How could the govt. determine which farmers are entitled to it and how much each farmer get? I remember, it was thru this cocofed collected from the coconut producers, cojuangco was able to establish the cocoplanters bank which went bankcrupt.

    • bill in oz says:

      A different perspective..Forget the levy certificates of more than 30 years ago

      Marcos enforced his coconut levy. . So the new government needs to assume that ALL coconut producers during his dictatorship were stolen from.

      So they are entitled to have that money refunded..And if they have died their descendants are entitled to be refunded.

      There is an international precedent : the Jews who were ripped off by the Nazis in 1932-45 have been recognised as having the right to have their property restored to them or their descendants And Germany has done this officially..

  9. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Sobriety for now … deeds as proof, not words and blather … rage (if needed) for later … yet rage is needed now over Duterte’s plan (out of friendship with Bongbong) to bury Marcos as our (!) hero! Is friendship a criterion in public service?

    • Joe America says:

      Right, I don’t understand a new government that seems intent on offending. The only thing I can figure is that they want to break all the molds, all the conventions that might impede their goals. The question is, is a vibrant democracy one of the goals? Is civility?

  10. NHerrera says:

    STARTING RIGHT

    Here is good news on a Monday morning.

    According to Jesus Melchor Quitain who is crafting PE Duterte’s inaugural speech, the inaugural speech will be straight to the point. Without spilling any further details, he said Duterte’s message will be a call to each and every Filipino to help him uplift the country. The inaugural speech, however, will be devoid of swear words the tough-talking Duterte is fond of using.

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/570564/news/nation/no-long-winding-profanity-laden-speech-for-duterte-on-june-30

  11. NHerrera says:

    With reference to Joe’s series on Understanding PE Duterte Dr. Clarita Carlos offers an interesting way of doing this via what she calls the possible “operational code” of the PE.

    Clarita R. Carlos, PhD, is a retired UP professor of political science, former president of the National Defense College of the Philippines, executive director of the StratSearch Foundation Inc., and one of the pioneers of the field of political psychology in the Philippines.

    Dr. Carlos writes:
    ************************************
    President-elect Duterte is in his 70s, and we can assume that his personality attributes are more or less stable (i.e., they are less likely to change). Thus, he will be an excellent subject for this construct.

    Offhand, and on the basis of what I have read from various sources plus stories of friends and colleagues who worked with him at various periods of his political life, I can surmise that he views the world as an anarchic or chaotic one, and is a fairly optimistic person who will make things happen rather than allow things to happen to him. He will be a high risk taker rather than a low risk taker, and will choose strategies and any and all courses of action that will advance his desired ends.

    My “reading” of his operational code is necessarily a very rough one as I would need to go through the torturous content analyses of all available sources of his articulation, undertake both quantitative and qualitative methods of analyzing his beliefs, and, whenever possible, even conduct probe interviews with him. It is a dream to be realized.
    ************************************

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/95287/dutertes-operational-code

  12. Mike says:

    May I share this story. On the night of the elections, when Duterte’s lead was well on the way to 4 million, an old high school classmate nudged me and said, “You won’t believe the conversation I just had with an old former client. (My classmate used to, and occasionally still does, provide security to VIPs). His former client is one of the members of the inner circle of Duterte. My classmate called him up to say hi, and they ( the inner circle) were celebrating that early. His former client told him that they had planned this whole thing and executed it back in 2013. He was in association with former officials of Gloria Arroyo. Some “retired” generals were in there too, as they were retired because they were caught sellin g arms to the communists, so they had an axe to grind. But the former GMA officials had a different objective: To free her. To do that, they had to win the 2016 elections. So they looked for a suitable candidate. Several of them knew Duterte. My classmate’s client was a former schoolmate of Duterte. never mind if he was a leftist, he was also a player, he said. He was relatively unknown and corruption-free, he had charisma and a hardline stance against crime and drugs. They chose Cayetano for his youth, he had his own resources. They hired specialists on filipino culture and psyche. They hired a core of young, tech-savvy people and experts i social media marketing. They in turn recruited their own followers. They expected Mar Roxas to be endorsed and planned a campaign against him. The only way to beat Roxas was by going black on him. They spun the reverse of what his records said of him and they did it continuously, they did it repetitively. they waged a campaign that connected with people’s anger and angst, an “Us against Them” positioning. My classmate’s client expressed surprise that it was well played out. I kept this in my head until Wednesday morning when Duterte issued his frist press statement, the usual reaching out and let the healing begin thing. But in the middle he mentioned the names of 2 people he wanted in his cabinet. One was Jess Dureza and the other was my classmate’s former client: Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez. I was stunned that Duterte had validated my classmate’s story. Later that Saturday, I shared the conversation with a friend who contributes to The Economist, who said that she heard the same thing. She said that Carlos Dominguez is too affable to make the tough, ruthless decisions, that would be his brother, Paul. She also told me that the inner circle may have borowed a page from China’s gov’t, where they suppress facebook and twitter, using their social media network, Weibo. They use a software that connects to the internet that allows them to monitor the trend of public opinion. They see dots on a computer screen converging on a particular topic or person. Clicking on a dot reveals the name, profile and comment of that “dot”. An operator logs into that conversations and either neutralizes or redirects the conversation. During the campaign, I had the opportunity to view this software in action. All the different camos were using it. Duterte’s camp had it since 2013. They were already waging a social media campaign to discredit anything connected to mar Roxas, Pres. Pnoy, Daang Matuwid, their respective parents, Tacloban, Yolanda, the MRT, traffic, Bullet-planting at the airport (the supplier of plastic wrapping at NAIA has been appointed a post under the incoming govt), Anything and everything that had to do with Mar was attacked. They won the election.

    • Mike says:

      They won the election on malicious and false premises. They campaigned to win regardless of the moral price it cost. Now that they’ve won, let’s ee how they’ll fare. For the sake of the Filipino people, I hope they do good by them.

      • Joe America says:

        Ah, you took the words right off my typewriter. Thanks for the ‘ps’.

        • karlgarcia says:

          That is what I wanted to say to Micha,they burried Roxas notwithstanding him being a “tough sell”.(back at understandng..Internet army)

          • Mike says:

            The results of the elections show Roxas was second to Duterte, albeit a far second. but the big gap is attributable to 3 years of preparation and black campaigning. He became a tough sell after they did their work on him.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Agreed.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Micha,
                I mentioned your name because you are familar to me,if not I just could have said according to some commenters,Mar Roxas is a hard sell.I had know intentions of escalating the argument or starting a fire.

            • Micha says:

              @Mike

              Not buying this. Mar Roxas is a hard sell long before that. Heck, he could not even win the VP race against Binay back in 2010. No charisma, Judy Araneta for a mother, too establishment entrenched with MBC backing, plastic Korina for a wife, mediocre performance in P-noy’s cabinet, etc.

              All that and more already filtered into voters’ consciousness with or without social media coverage.

              Besides, polling leaders in the run up to the elections were Duterte, Poe, and Binay. Why are the Duterte internet army braggarts not divulging the black ops they’ve done on Poe?

              • Mike says:

                Let’s be objective, shall we, to avoid projecting opinion as fact, which by the way, was a common tactic of the black ops people. One week before the 2010 elections, Binay’s camp released a video showing Mar applauding GMA’s signing of the eVat into law. Except that no such video existed. Mar’s camp protested, Binay’s team apologized and withdrew the offending video. But the damage was done. The eVat bill was a highly emotional issue as Binay’s camp pushed it as anti-poor. That brought Mar’s numbers down but not enough. 2/3rds down the race, some 2 million votes in Mar’s bailiwick were not counted. The pcos machines failed and the votes were set aside as null votes. Binay won by a marging of 700,000 votes, which was described by election experts as the smallest margin in a vp race since the 5th Republic. However, Mar’s team found evidence of tampering which was verified by a forensic examination. Said evidence together with a formal complaint was lodged with the Electoral Tribunal, which upheld the evidence and found to to be more than meritorious. That case is ongoing. Binay has since filed 2 petitions with the ET to dismiss said case, but those petitions were dismised.

                You’re very much mistaken that there was no push in social media. It’s a fact that Journalists can be bought not only to write up stories but to keep repeating them. I have personally observed these attacks over time. I myself was harassed when I defended Mar against what were brazen lies.

                Such as his performance under Pnoy’s cabinet. if you would be so kind to point out specific instances, i will be more than glad to rebut you with facts. The Tacloban crisis fior example, was blamed on Roxas. And yet a little known report by the wall Street Journal proved that Mayor Romualdez was away on vacation and arrived in Tacloban a scant 1.5 days before the storm, to take over preparations. said report quoted city hall officials who admitted they did not force anyone to evacuate, unlike neighboring provinces such as Guian, Dolores, san Francisco island, who did, and minimized casualties, while Tacloban had 6,300 fatalities. Moreover, their mayor held a party at his newly built house along the beach, where they were inundated by the storm surge the next morning.

                Because of Mar’s efforts on Day 1 of the storm, he had the airport cleared (TV5 video), was able to get a satphone the same day and called in 2 AFP C130’s whch brought emergency personnel and one ton of relief goods. I can go on to include the Bahala na kayo statement to prove how it was distorted to destroy Roxas and shift attention away from the Mayor’s negligence. How the doctored video was given to the (Manila) Standard, owned by the Romualdezes, to make public.

                So, please, Micha, may I invite you to bring out specific instances to prove what you said about mar, and i’ll be glad to provide facts to disprove them, if I can.

              • Mike says:

                The movie, “Our Brand is Crisis” is compelling to watch. It’s exactly what was done, and more, to win the phil. elections. But here, thousands of fake facebook and twitter accounts were created and operated by several techies. These were positioned in social media to spread the doctrine of Du30 and to quash opposition. On twitter, tweetbots were set up to automatically generate at scheduled intervals, up to 33,000 pro- opinions or tweets, in 2 hours. That was why Du30’s trending went through the roof. He was referred to one time as “the king of social media” – google that phrase.

                Why do you think the SWS survey shows Duterte with a 26% trust rating while on social media, he has 95%?

                Because they have little or no influence offline where the SWS surveys were conducted.

                One day after the elections, Facebook management stated it would study and analyse how Duterte’s camp used its system to win the elections.

                Just because you “don’t buy it” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I saw the software they were using to monitor comments and trending online. They could identify which comments were negative by its color programming. But nlike tgheir opponents’ camps, their response was to send in operators to neutralize the commenters.

              • NHerrera says:

                Mike:

                Thanks for your posts starting from

                Mike says:
                June 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

              • Micha says:

                @Mike

                1. Mar Roxas is un-electable as a president for the reasons I already stated. Sure, he could always point to his stint as a public official, and it’s debatable how much of it can be sold to the public as virtue or non-virtue, but as election results show there’s just simply not enough voters who were persuaded to make him win.

                2. I’m standing by my point that the so-called Duterte social media brigade is making exaggerated claims of having played pivotal role in his election. There’s no quantifiable data to be had, as far as I know, as to how many out of the 16 million who voted for him were persuaded to have done so based solely on their exposure to his propaganda on social media. I’d be generous in my guess and put a few thousands on it.

                3. I maintain that it was the voters themselves who were looking for just such a brand as Duterte’s, and that they were able to know him based on what they’ve heard, read, and seen on all available media he used in the course of his campaign (be it shaking hands with people, grabbing a microphone on rally stage, putting ads on TV, radio, newspapers, etc.).

                4. The candidate is the message, the medium is neutral.

                5. Since all candidates have their own social media partisans anyway, it just cancels out any advantage one may have over the other in that particular medium.

                6. It wouldn’t matter how many battalions of social media army a candidate would deploy out there if the candidate himself is a hard sell or having difficulty connecting with the voters. As it happened in this election cycle, being foul-mouthed and brutally honest (putang inang pope yan!) is fine and dandy as far as the 16 million voters are concerned.

                7. Geography mattered. Duterte is our first president from the south and the whole of Mindanao went for him.

                8. More than the so-called social media, it was the Mindanao and the Cebuano speaking regional vote that tipped the scale in Duterte’s favor.

              • Mike says:

                You pointed out a number of reasons for Roxas’ unwinnability :

                1. No charisma – So you say. But I was there, front and center, and witnessed how people reacted to him during his campaign. he was the senator with the highest votes at that particluar time, with 19 million votes. Again I say, he was second to Duterte.

                2. Judy Araneta for a mother – I have no idea why you would even say that about Roxas’ mother but again it reveals you have a decidedly unpleasant mindset towards him and his family. I’ll not honor your remark with a reply. I’ll leave that on your head.

                3. You may be right that he was too establishment entrenchedPerhaps you’re right, and that was certainly played up by almost all of his opponents. But almost all of his landmark laws and actions were pro-poor, not pro-rich. That’s a fact. i.e. cheaper meds, bpo jobs, Public Employment Service Office (PESO), tax exemption for min. wage earners, to name some.

                4. Plastic Korina for a wife – I notice that your statements are mostly subjective and personal. The case against Korina by her househelp was engineered by a political opponent and was subsequently dismissed. That’s just to point out that she was attacked non-stop throught up to the elections because she is married to Mar Roxas. Plastic? I’ve met her in a close forum and threw a lot of questions at her. There was no guile or evasion in her replies and she was forthright and engaging. Many people were poisoned against her by the media projections about her.

                5. Mediocre performance under Pnoy – Really? Is that factually based or a manifestation of your bias?

                Oplan Lambat Sibat, a brainchild of Mar’s, brought the crime rate in the NCR by 60% at one point. It’s found to be effective even by skeptics. The incoming PNP head stated they intend to keep using it for its effectivity.

                The purchase of the additonal MRT coaches as well as the ongoing construction of the first connector road between SLX & NLX were among the fruit of Mar’s 13-month stint at the DOTC. The MRT breakdowns (manufactured attacks) that were blamed on Mar started on Aug 13, 2014 – two years after Mar left the DOTC. The anomalous MRT maintenance contract was done 2 months after Mar joined the DILG.

                The Bottom Up Budgeting program (BuB) and the 4Ps was pushed by Mar Roxas nationwide. What you describe as mediocre was hard work without fanfare. I personally observed Roxas in dialogue with ordinary farmers and fishermen, identifying their challenges so that the BuB could be utilized to deliver specific solutions. Again little or no fanfare. A 410 Million project, a combination of Mar’s Salintubig program, BuB and 4Ps, was executed in Bgy Sainz, Mati city, Davao and went completely unnoticed even by Duterte himself. It’s only documentation was on the gov’t website. http://www.gov.ph/2015/05/06/roxas-highlights-success-of-bottom-up-budgeting-projects-in-mati-city/
                See, this highlights Mar’s workstyle: No drumbeating, no fanfare. Most Filipinos need the glam and glamour of media coverage and the approval of many in order to be convinced that one is competent or acceptable. This is how the social media campaign against Mar succeeded. It was easy to sell the lie that Mar did little or nothing to be worthy of higher office. They even accused him publicly of theft and corruption. there are videos of Duterte himself at his miting de avance shouting that “magnanakaw si Mar”. I’ts on youtube. there are thousands of memes and comments trumpeting the same thing on the internet.

                The Duterte insiders were not, and are not, “bragging” or exaggerating about how they conducted their campaign. Read my post again. It was a very private conversation. In fact, the new incoming presd’l spokesman, Ernesto Abella, did not deny the existence of an internet army of thousands, but he played it down, but made no exaggerated or boastful statements. he subtlely confirmed their existence. Watch the interview if you care.

                The information I shared in my post was a private conversation between my classmate and his former client. No exaggerated claims.

                But Mr. Duterte was referred to as the King of Facebook and twitter on magazine covers. I sbmit that this is a direct manifestation of the internet organization supporting him.

                Joe America wrote something about the angst and anger within many Filipinos. It is this inner turmoil that Duterte’s brand appealed to. The threat to life and limb by crime and drugs was communicated in a personal way. They often declared that the country was under a crisis. Then the relational crisis was inserted, them against the oligarchs, the elitistas, the haves, the corrupt politicians and they offered to change all this, in 6 months. The people’s inner ambivalence was stoked and fired, brought out in the open with loud curse, “P*******a!

                The candidate is the message, the message is the message, and the medium is crucial. Specially a black one to neutralize and erase all the good things an opponent has done. Highly effective and well played out. See, you seem too focused on Roxas. It could have been someone else, and they would have still tailored their campaign against that candidate other than Roxas. My post was about them, not about Mar. That it was Roxas they targeted was according to them, as per the conversation bewteen my classmate and his former client.

                “Since all candidates have their own social media partisans anyway, it just cancels out any advantage one may have over the other in that particular medium.”

                – Except that theirs was organized back in 2013, almost 3 years before the elections. That alone is a definite advantage. A solid core of internet warriors was organized, thousands of fb and twitter accts created operated by several people. A battle plan of outrageous lies and deception was fought.

                Number 6: Duterte had an army of internet warriors whose instructions, among others, was to destroy Mar Roxas in any way available, using falshood. It’s not about your insistence that Mar was a hard sell. This was about what THEY did. Why don’t you go ask THEM. But they were more fluid, organized, and numerous. Foul-mouthed I can take. Brutally hones is good but slander and libel was desperate and calculated.

                “Geography matters”. I could agree with that. Can’t say I have enough data to say anything more except that mind-conditioning blinded the people from taking in the profanity and crass social manners, specially the lies.

                8. “More than the so-called social media, it was the Mindanao and the Cebuano speaking regional vote that tipped the scale in Duterte’s favor.” – Don’t forget the GMA funds that bought out the LP machinery. In the places where Mar campaigned in, the convenors’ “assets” assured victory but later it was found out that they pocketed the logistics, took money from the other side, and told the people on the ground that Mar had abandoned them. By 4 pm on electon day, those assets weren’t returning calls or texts. How’s that for pre-planned elections?

                My original post was about Duterte’s campaign and the unusual way it was executed. The insight that they focused their negative campaign on Mar Roxas didn’t come from me, it came from one of Duterte’s closest members of his inner circle.

                That connection to Mar seemed to have triggered a reaction from you which reveals some personal bias on your part, even loathing, for and against Roxas. So let me say up front that you clearly have a problem with Roxas, and since I have no issues with that, I urge you to please go ahead and resolve your problem on your own but leave me out of it.

                You’re just one person saying these things about Roxas, an honest man, while I’m directly and personally in touch with about 500,000 people who would disagree with you.

                I feel that my energy has been misdirected for replying to you. But no more. Whether you agree or not, whether you believe it or not, it is so that the elections were taken by force, an unusual force I submit, but taken they were through the power of mind conditioning, pretty much the same way they do it in China, through weibo. Social media propaganda.

                Now, the whole point of my original post was to expose the immoral path taken by the organizers of Duterte’s campaign. In this election, truth was one of the early casualties.

                A line in the movie Our Brand is Crisis said, “The truth is whatever we tell the electorate the truth is”. I recommend that everyone watch the movie for its uncanny parallel to the past election. May our level of awareness grow to the point where these manipulative tactics can be identified and countermeasured, perhaps even outlawed. Due to our historical colonial experience, the Filipino psyche is, in my opinion, very much vulnerable to manipulation.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for taking the time to elaborate, Mike. If your energy was misdirected in replying to Micha, which is likely true, it at least stands as a rebuttal to those who will simply not see Mar Roxas accurately, for whatever thrills and chills it gives them. Another month, and Mar Roxas would have won. He didn’t, and has moved on. Best to Mar Roxas, a first class guy.

              • Mike says:

                Thanks Joe. I appreciate that. May I say that in contrast to Duterte’s social media team which was organized in 2013, Mar’s own team was formed in November 2015. He waited to be endorsed first before putting things together. Every aspect of his persona was measured and taken down through cold and foul practices. But cheers to them for a game well played. Now, to govern, and govern well, that is the challenge. Was this prepared for as well as the elections? Together with everyone else, I shall wait and see.

              • bill in oz says:

                Thanks Mike for your contribution to the ‘history’ of this election campaign. I am a social media novice & will stay that way as fb & twitter hold no attractions for me. But again thanks for revealing how these new communication mediums via smart phones, have a major impact..

              • Mike says:

                Thanks too, Bill. Ultimately the greatest enemy of Filipinos are themselves. Many who accepted the gospel according to Duterte’s media campaigners did so because they were too lazy to verify or research claims, finding it easier to believe the lie. They chose to be taken in by their own emotional responses to confrontational stimulation which satisfied ther need to find a connection. They set aside objective and factual observation of facts, giving in to the temporary experience of something new and unusual, falling back on familiar automatic responses to awkwardness. This was evident, for example, in the outbreak of laughter when a joke about a dead rape victim was uttered and a catcall was made to a beautiful married woman on national television.

              • Micha says:

                @Mike

                1. You are right about my subjective view on Mar Roxas.

                2. What you got wrong is to assume that politics is anything but.

                3. Politics and elections in general is about winning the hearts and minds of the people.

                4. That is a subjective exercise.

                5. It is the job and the burden of Roxas and his campaign team to increase his likeability among voters.

                6. If they were unable to fend off or counter the negative propaganda from Duterte’s camp – the substance and efficacy of which is still debatable – it only shows they were not good in this game.

                7. If the Roxas campaign team is not good in this game, they have no reason to complain that Duterte’s negative propaganda did them in.

                8. Excuses for strategic campaign lapses do not count in tallying the votes.

              • Mike says:

                1. You are right about my subjective view on Mar Roxas. – Thank you for admitting your slanted view.

                2. What you got wrong is to assume that politics is anything but. – I’m from an old political family. That’s your view, not mine. And if that is your view, you would be a dangerous candidate and I would likely campaign against you to stop you from holding public office.

                3. Politics and elections in general is about winning the hearts and minds of the people. – Perhaps yes, based on a platform of truth, integrity, achievements and most importantly, service to the people; not lies, deception and manipulation in order achieve a self-serving agenda.

                4. That is a subjective exercise. – It is not subjective to base one’s vote on a candidate’s solid record of achievements, plans and programs, that will benefit the country.

                5. It is the job and the burden of Roxas and his campaign team to increase his likeability among voters. – True enough, against like-minded competition who conduct themselves with sound character and dignity, not character assassination and a host of other opposites. But with 3 years of advance preparation, the results are not surprising.

                6. If they were unable to fend off or counter the negative propaganda from Duterte’s camp – the substance and efficacy of which is still debatable – it only shows they were not good in this game. – By “Not good” you mean that Roxas did not match them slur for slur, libel for libel, then I support the “not good” any day. In fairness to Mar, he was the only one with a 70-year old campaign manager (Belmonte) who insisted on running his campaign as if it were Pnoy who was running. Mar’s campaign team, both socaail media and ground, were completed only last November 2015, while Duterte’s circle had set up operations in 2013. Like Joe America pointed out, if the campaign period had been extended by one or 2 more months, Mar could have caught up with Duterte. Another little tidbit: Grace was ready to endorse Mar during that Call to Unity. But something happened at the last minute and Grace changed her mind. Now who benefited from such a move? Which, if unsuccessful, and Grace endorsed Mar, the latter would have won. There’s a lot you don’t know because you weren’t front and center in this election. I was. I have some access to practical knowledge of what transpired.

                7. If the Roxas campaign team is not good in this game, they have no reason to complain that Duterte’s negative propaganda did them in. – You see, that’s where you’re wrong about Mar Roxas. Up to the end, he NEVER complained; that’s called character. He conceded gracefully and conducted himself like a statesman.

                8. Excuses for strategic campaign lapses do not count in tallying the votes. – Neither should malicious slander, libel, defamation of character. In Mar’s case, his was a perfectly imperfect campaign. For his main foe, it was disgraceful and an embarrassment to the world. At the end of the day, the worst thing mar committed was negative campaigning.

                Micha, you appear to have a somewhat shallow and opinionated view of the world. You make assumptions of people and events based on your own personal conclusions. Now that’s an observation, not a judgement. I understand it’s human nature to want to be right and everyone else wrong but I’m not inclined to further your desire to win this conversation. You can have it if that’s what you want. I’m not interested to engage you anymore. I’m on a different path from yours. I will gladly cross swords with you again on a different occasion.

                But not today. I will not drag Mar Roxas’ good name in this level of discussion. But thank you for your time and effort.

              • Micha says:

                Joe America,

                I understand that you’re a Mar Roxas partisan, but why do you have to interject that Mike here is misdirecting his energy in replying to my post?

                Could you at least be a gracious host and just allow us to continue this conversation?

                If Mike here thinks that he is misdirecting his energy in replying to me, then that is his decision to make and I will have no problem if he indeed decides to terminate this discussion. You don’t have to play the “miron” in the sidelines and say, yeah, do that.

              • Joe America says:

                Gracious is in the mind of the beholder I suppose. I appreciated Mike’s elaborate explanation. I generally tire of your apparent need for intellectual dominance and the associated put-downs that invariably roll out. I was being honest with an opinion.

              • Micha says:

                @Mike

                This made me laughing so hard I really did fall off my chair. You said :

                “May I say that in contrast to Duterte’s social media team which was organized in 2013, Mar’s own team was formed in November 2015. He waited to be endorsed first before putting things together.”

                If I remember correctly, Roxas merely gave in to Noynoy back in 2010 because there had been strong popular clamor for the latter to run for president, so Roxas slide to the VP role with the tacit agreement that he will be the presidential candidate in the next election (2016). Noynoy gave him important post in his cabinet to prepare and prop up his eventual candidacy. He’s been gearing up for that job as far back as 6 years ago.

                And now you’re telling us he only formed his social media team in 2015? If anything, that only shows total incompetence.

                I’m sorry Mike, I have to laugh some more.

                *************

                Also, wasn’t it Duterte who was persuaded to run for president at the last minute, only replacing that Juino guy after he was disqualified?

                **************

                PS.
                I’m not into winning arguments. It’s just that I find some interesting inconsistencies in the Roxas loss narrative.

                Have a great day too, Mike.

              • Mike says:

                One last thing, Micha, just to demonstrate how little you know.

                Duterte was picked by his inner circle long before Mar was endorsed. In fact, they chose him back in 2013.

                That whole thing with the last minute decision of Duterte to run? It was all staged for the benefit of people like you. They gave Filipinos what they wanted, an unfolding drama which they picked up straight out of the Aldub phenom.

                I don’t mind if a better candidate won. But I mind getting played.

                Mar didn’t know about any sinister plot so he played it as he was dealt his cards.

                I sensed something was amiss when the person I was debating with would change gis writing style in the middle of a conversation.

                But you, on the other hand are still in the dark, believing their storybook. I don’t feel like laughing as I don’t see the humor in it. But if I were to laugh, I know I would have had the last laugh.

                Yes, I think I will have a great day, indeed.

              • Micha says:

                @Mike

                Okey, I would grant the plausibility that the last minute decision was stage-managed for Aldub drama effect and that there had been a behind-the-scene concerted effort to push for a Duterte candidacy since 2013.

                Question : why did the Roxas team not prepare for that eventual campaign scenario and only managed to form a social media effort as late as 2015?

    • madlanglupa says:

      It is, and an election won mostly by social networking and hatred, and whoever planned it must be a most cunning one, about the same as the planner behind Marcos’ near-victory.

      Now I am keeping a wary eye on what would happen after July 1, as I never bought this romanticized image of the President-Elect.

  13. bill in oz says:

    @ Gian..I think you mentioned once you live in Makati.. but not the elite part..It’s voting time so I went to the Ozzie embassy this morning in RCBC tower Makati Again I was amazed at the wide open unblocked footpaths, with no on the street vendors; the lack of motorised or pedal trikes blocking & slowing down traffic; the cleanliness of the whole area …

    You said it is all private property owned by Ayala Corporation.. even the roads.. But I am still amazed.. Surely beggars, street vendors etc all want to move in there.. What stops them..I saw no barriers or swarms of guards…

    • karlgarcia says:

      I want to say discipline,but Who am I kidding?
      Before the flesh trade reaches the Rustan’s area past midnight.I don’t know if that is still the case since the place no longer sleeps,with the call center,bpo boom.

    • chempo says:

      Bill, that’s my part of town. Actually I dont know who maintains the streets — is it Ayala or City council? But the devt work is all Ayala’s.And Binay took credit.

      I think you have not been to BGC — Bonifacio Global City. That’s really spanking clean and modern, better than many other great cities in other countries. That’s also Ayala’s. What strikes me is the developer'[s ability to develop a whole new business estate. And all within a very short time fram, and capable of pulling in tenants. It’s bustling township now.

      Compare BCG to Alabang West — which I first visited 2 days ago. It’s a huge land bank of the Villars, lots of residential projects going on — but it’s a dead slow crawl of a development.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Alabang West is Mega Word of Andrew Tan,but yes itis very near the huge land bank of Villar’s.So is Ayala Alabang of the Ayala’s

      • bill in oz says:

        Yes I have been there.to BGC – Taguig, .twice. Unfortunately both times at night..So I saw little beyond the street lights. The venue we went to was expensive though..

        Ps Icannot find if you replied to my comment about pag ibig..
        Still resting & sleeping a lot

      • bill in oz says:

        There is a new way of directly comparing rich & poor areas – by drone. Here is a new article in the Guardian from South Africa where an academic set up a drone to fly over various suburbs of Cape Town..Both rich & poor

        https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2016/jun/23/south-africa-divided-cities-apartheid-photographed-drone

        It is profoundly disturbing with slum & rich elegant, houses with pools just a hundred meters apart – with high subdivision walls

        I wonder what a drone would show here in Manila

  14. Mike says:

    The Du30 phenomenon: How social media won the presidency in the Philippines

    The average age in the country is 23.5 and so ‘millennials’ are estimated to be 46 percent of the electorate. ‘Free facebook’ deals from the country’s telcos mean unprecedented social reach: In total there are an estimated 44.2 million active internet users, 42 million active social-media users, and 36 million active mobile social users in the country. Facebook reported 268 million conversations about the election—leading it to call the 2016 Philippine polls the ‘most engaged’ elections in Asia Pacific.

    Nic Gabunada (a former country head of OMD), director of Duterte’s social media team, said,
    “When we want certain things to trend on Twitter, we have our Twitter warriors who post like anything or keep the same post just to have a quick trend.” In some cases, they just copied and pasted messages.

    “We were able to amplify in the sense that each one of the volunteers was handling groups with members of around 300 to 6,000,” he explained. “I think the biggest group had 800,000 members.”

    Not everyone was happy with the tactics of the volunteers, of course: “We can safely proclaim the biggest loser in the May 9 elections: the truth.” wrote one commentator in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Social media has not made people more gullible, but it has exposed how gullible people are. All it takes is a photograph and a paragraph to come up with an endorsement from an overseas Filipino worker.”

    Read more at: http://www.campaignasia.com/article/the-du30-phenomenon-how-social-media-won-the-presidency-in-the-philippines/426945http://www.campaignasia.com/article/the-du30-phenomenon-how-social-media-won-the-presidency-in-the-philippines/426945

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