Fear and intimidation as government policy

Strongman DuterteI support President Duterte for what he said in his inaugural address, that he would restore trust and confidence in Philippine government. Well, I thought President Aquino had been doing that, too, but if others need something more, who am I to argue?

That said, I have some reservations about the early weeks of President Duterte’s Administration. His SONA did not give me ease.

I see a lot of intimidation tactics emerging from leadership rather than inclusion and confidence-building.

Perhaps we have different definitions of trust and confidence.

The cynical me believes that, to this government, they are saying “have trust and confidence or I’ll make you pay big time.”

  • Take the case of the five generals who had their reputations smeared in public without evidence or proper civil process. Talk about a chilling effect.
  • Take the case of Senator De Lima who said she wanted to hold investigative hearings on the large number of killings and suddenly found the Speaker of the House waving documents threatening an investigation into the Senator’s doings as DOJ Secretary.
  • The Speaker subsequently broadened his targets to include former cabinet secretaries Roxas and Abaya, a clear intent to intimidate political opposition.
  • Take the police and their shoot first and investigate never mode of operation.
  • Take the way normal citizens have become killer agents for the administration, spreading fear and intimidation across the land. A special 888 phone number is being set up so citizens can rat on citizens. Boy howdy, THAT will breed trust and confidence.
  • Take the way popular media no longer have benefit of press conferences because a few reporters were impertinent with their questions. “That’ll teach them!” 
  • Take the way the national government is moving to control everything we read or see, with close-up shots of the President thumping his heart when speaking passionately during the SONA. Weird, man. We are being programmed.
  • Take the way that the Administration’s troll armies remain in full force labeling and threatening upstarts who would dare to disagree with the Administration.
  • Take the case of President Duterte commenting about critics of the way the war on drugs is being waged: “That’s the problem with Filipinos, many pretend to be bright when they are not.”
  • Take the way human rights advocates were cited as a danger to the nation in the SONA: “Human rights must uphold human dignity. They can’t be used as an excuse to destroy your country.”

Labeling citizens as stupid seems to be a strange way to gain their trust and confidence. Implying that critics of the flood of killings are out to destroy the country is one step short of gestapo. The good are defined as bad, and as a sovereign threat. Then the dogs are sent after them, only in modern society they look a lot like a social media trolls.

What’s next, hauling the Human Rights Commissioner off for treason?

These deeds for sure don’t build my trust and confidence. I would add that President Duterte demanded in the SONA that the efforts to rid the nation of drug dealers and criminals be doubled or trebled. It was a call to slaughter. As if 500 recent killings are just an appetizer for the Philippine’s blood president.

Well, we run into trouble, do we not, when we believe we have the right . . . nay, the moral OBLIGATION . . .to speak of these matters . . . but the government would rather that we did not.

I don’t know what to say. I’m not out to destroy the Philippines. I’m for compassion and care for the outcasts our society has created, those who need the crutch of drugs. Killing the outcasts is holding THEM responsible for society’s ills. No no. NO!

The outcasts were generated by entitled people running government and failing to take care of the nation and the poor. Today’s killings are the work of yet another set of entitled people who add murder to their roster of backward, incompetent deeds.

Accept accountability for the drug problem, eh? Do REAL change, not some fake slogans you paste across the nation to rationalize a whole host of human rights violations.

One is inclined to think the Administration has absolutely no idea how to build trust and confidence among the educated and liberated . . . the humanists . . . unless it is to have an agent sidle up to them and offer them cash, a cushy job or a death sentence.

Let us zoom back to a bigger historical point of view on this matter of intimidation, and its brother fear.

It seems to me that the Philippines, as a collective of peoples, has never been a confident nation. Spain laid waste to the sense of nationhood. The Philippines was a Spanish realm, not a nation. Spanish rule was followed during the 20th century by fits and starts and occupations, this daddy then that one. The nation’s many localized tribes and regions never signed on to the idea of aligning with “National”. National is a bastard, after all, born of unwed parents. While National was busy philandering with an assortment of self-involved bums, the children – the regions and tribes – were left to fend for themselves . . . and so they gathered up the angers and insecurities that lead the abandoned to bad thinking.

The tribes and regions are the abandoned step children of a wayward and untrustworthy parent . . . the parent who would just as soon beat you and steal your savings as feed you and wrap you in her arms.

And so the people expect abuse. It affirms their sense of powerlessness, and it indoctrinates them into the view that the powers of National are supreme. If our lives are to become better, they think to themselves, we need power in National, someone who can cut through the crap and give us definition. We need the biggest badass we can find to put the other abusers into line. Give them their own medicine, so to speak.

The unloved . . . seeking love in all the wrong places.

Seeking trust and confidence in all the wrong ways.

Well, I certainly agree that President Duterte is the biggest badass the Filipino children could find. Never mind that these children are adults now, way past their teens, yet are so tormented as to not have figured out yet why they struggle so.

President Duterte is a town mayor, and we all know, those of us who live in the hinterlands, that the mayor is not to be messed with. He, or she, carries a big stick and uses it. Well, this particular big stick is now President, and he knows that intimidation tactics work. They keep others off balance. Keep them compliant. Keep them quiet. No wonder he admires the NPA, because he governs exactly as they would, except that he is burdened with troublemakers like Senator De Lima.

As President Marcos was burdened by a guy named Ninoy Aquino.

There are not very many of such courageous character in today’s Congress, I think.

The historical perspective suggests that it is unlikely that this will end well.

  • The Philippines has gone from a nation rising to a nation afraid.
  • From a nation building to a nation tearing down its institutions (it certainly looks like the Legislature and Judiciary have been compromised and are no longer focused on the law and national well-being, but on personal advantage and allegiances).
  • From a nation gaining a glowing international reputation to one gaining the reputation of an abuser of her own peoples.
  • From a free work force emerging as competitive and competent to nation of subjects cowering to a stern and ruthless strong man.

And the President, rather than offering calm and reason and a sense of safety and well-being to Filipino citizens, wants what exactly?

He wants more troops and more police to help him build trust and confidence . . .


282 Responses to “Fear and intimidation as government policy”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    I say if Delima,Abaya and Roxas accepts an invite for any hearing,then why prevent any hearings to investigate EJK?
    I know it is just a dare of some sorts.
    Delima already said she will not be intimidated,but she is also not an obstructionists when it comes to other matters being part of the majority.
    Now as to the minority,Baguilat seems to be the minority leader,or is he?
    I do not know if the majority will let his resolution about investigstions pass.
    Will 40 or even less minority counting number of abstentions plus votes for Suarez be an effective minority?let us see.

    • Joe America says:

      As I understand it, there is only a minority leader in the House because Suarez screwed up and voted for Alvarez, which disqualified him as minority leadeer. Had he voted for someone else, than Duterte would have controlled both the majority and minority posts. This illustrates the backroom gameplaying going on to eliminate any and all dissent.

      • Joe America says:

        (Not sure if I got the names right; I’m going from recall and the old memory banks are far from photographic.)

      • karlgarcia says:

        To clarify my last sentence,it was about the number of those in the minority
        Baguilat 8 votes,Suarez 7(for votes for speaker) and 20 plus abstentions.
        If all of the absentions stick to the minority that means they are more or less 40.
        But in the post Sona interviews,it was reported that some abstentions may end up in the majority. Who knows Danilo Suarez,et al might also move to the majority.

        So I guess Baguilat is the minority leader.Unless some new developments state otherwise.(and if someone will correct me)

        • Joe America says:

          Baguilat is noisy, I’ll give him that. He is the main voice of the humanist in the entirety of Congress.

          • Jake says:

            He is the only one who, as far as I know, has spoken vocally against the EJK – unapologetically.

            I think him being a “cultural minority” is quite a plus, in addition to some of his family members participating (and dying) in Mamasapano.

            How can those “barbaric” and “half naked Kiangans(Ifugaos)” outdo the civilized and “westernized”(hispanized) lowlanders?

            End of sarcasm

            TBH I quite fear for his life. Not only is he attracting pro Duterte vigilantes but also pro Duterte NPA.

  2. Eunice Anne Blanco says:

    How far different are we from Turkey then? Seeing a policeman these days gives me anxiety attacks.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, out the window goes “protect and serve.” In comes “shoot to kill”.

    • andy ibay says:

      I was not afraid before of policemen because I have and can make a deal on anything. Now the policemen should be afraid of me when I try to make a deal. If reason there be I shall always be afraid for what I am regardless where. Why is Duterte not afraid of the consequences of his presidency?

  3. Teresa says:

    Joe, thank you for your cautionary posting. I hope the level headed and reasonable advisers who might have the ear of the President can enlighten him.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s in part why I wrote it. I do think he has an intelligent staff. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to have much control over his contradictory policies or eccentricities. They should really set out to say, “How can we remove the contradictions people are seeing between what the President says one day, and what he says the next day. Or between what he says and what he does.” If they really want trust and confidence, they have to be consistent and make good sense, where sense is defined by laws, international conventions, and the well-being of the nation and its peoples.

  4. NHerrera says:


    From a clinical viewpoint,

    * We may grant that there is a clinical positive objective;

    * But to destroy the institutions in the process, contrary to cheap talk, is a big negative;

    * And when is the processed stop, and we say now let us go back to the institutions as we had before?

    No, my sense of balance, as an old man, says this is wrong.

    • Joe America says:

      The objective is good, it is positive. The institutions are being destroyed by signing on to the essential premise that the victims are the culprit and therefore must be punished. Unfortunately, the institutions created all the druggies, and ought to correct their own priorities and policies. Otherwise they are just pasting over it and excusing it. Government accountability for social ills . . .

      Stop blaming and killing off the victims of decades of abuse by the entitled elite running things badly.

      • NHerrera says:

        There is of course a variant of this cheap talk — signaling. And it is the scary part. Signaling the agents, capable of acting, to do the kill, and it is OK.

        • NHerrera says:

          Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest? asked King Henry of England to no one in particular. But this resulted in four knights seeking the Archbishop of Canterbury Becket murdering him at an altar and splitting his skull.

          • Joe America says:

            The power of suggestion or tacit endorsement. Yes, for sure, that is the mode of the day, leading to the mood of the day. Freakin’ fear to go against the grain.

        • Joe America says:

          Right. And yesterday he called for doubling or trebling of the effort.

    • andy ibay says:

      If I may as an old man dizzy with smart alecky thoughts have some naughty questions:
      I read in Mrs. Arroyo’s time about damaged institutions? Are they also destroyed institutions? Can damaged institutions be still destroyed ? What institutions are being destroyed by the new administration? Can destroyed institutions of the Judiciary be re build or change entirely? Institution building (go google) implicates LEADERSHIP as most critical of the theoretical variables. Lolos and Lolas may agree that one cannot remove the dirt in one’s face unless one accepts its presence there and it is wipe out entirely. But that is not absolute as when absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Your colleague in UP Clarita Carlos,wrote democratic deficits in the philippines.


        • andy ibay says:

          In the academe, one has to stick to a noble purpose, even a calling like priesthood and nuns’ vows of chastity, poverty and whatever, if you join the bureaucracy for a livelihood, or be actor in the political arena, you play a ROLE not unlike a Dollywood or Hollywood movie actor, you get paid for the role you play to do it good. Actors in politics and in the bureaucracy loses restraints demanded of academicians to be wary of self-interests. Believe what they write at your peril, as I do.

          The clueless just don’t get it. Pres Duterte is not interested in sowing FEAR, he believes in FINALITY. He said it loud and clear before he took the oath, and he does it with the intention to FINISH things, NOT SHOW EXAMPLES . DEADLINES are his breakfast and supper. As a pilot he understands the meaning of the POINT OF NO RETURN and will do whatever for his passengers safety. He may not be interested on whether FEAR can be a by-product of his crusade against drug addiction. To attempt to READ Pres Duterte is NOT to endorse him or admire him if one knows the difference between cold science and quest for truth of philosophy.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Wait,he is a pilot? About believing at one’s own peril.Duly noted,thanks.

            • andy ibay says:

              Sorry about that : My BAD, I should have written: Like a pilot I think he knows the meaning of THE POINT OF NO RETURN and will do whatever for his passengers safety.. . blah, blah, blah. Here’s the beef. I joined long ago a small group of jokingly called “flying” professors lecturing all over the place so public school teachers taking week end masteral program can earned masteral units because the law says they can mean pay raises if they have graduate units.

              On the flight home from Isabela State U (in Echague) in a PAL’s two-engine de Havilland, passengers thought of air pockets when the plane started to rock up and down but rocking continued and the pilot announced: “Do not be alarmed we are flying on ONLY ONE ENGINE but we will make it home, we can not return to Cauayan because WE HAVE JUST PASSED THE POINT OF NO RETURN, so hang on and don’t worry”. We were above north east N. Ecija.

              After about 20 minutes of rocking (helter-skelter?) praying and morbid farewell thoughts of dying: the pilot announced: “We will land at the International Airport (MIA) instead of the Domestic airport. They are waiting and ready with the rescue units.” More prayers. After two or three bumps, we were clapping and shouting Thank you, Thank you. We tried to stand in glee, but we were buckled to our seats. Then we heard the pilot: Thank you for flying PAL, enjoy your stay in Manila. Drama? Bola? The truth might still be there.

              To drop names, If he is still alive, he might still remember me, I mean the former PAF Pilot of the late architect of rice self-sufficiency Rafael Salas, my co trainor PMAyer Col Canding in AFP-CGSC during the time of Gen Manipula and PMAyer PN FOIC Jardie Jardininiano ; Col Canding told me to be LIKE a pilot to conquer my phobia of flying. God ! If you have five kids in the grades and high school who would not want to stay alive?

              It was a good feeling being able to do something for teachers needing a pay raise. It was while on flying-teaching sortie that I first met brainy (fresh radical?) attractive young Leonor Magtolis of Siliman U who was to lecture in Cag de Oro while I had to proceed to Mambajao, Camiguin to do my two-day lecture. There in Mambajao I learned not one Hibok-hibok but ten other volcanoes in the island, about what they call the “miracle of the middle” when burning lava spared and passed between two nearby Chapels full of sanctuaried locals.

              Don’t get me wrong people. I am not endorsing or applauding the appointment of Educ Sec Leleng Magtolis-Briones, ( Erap’s TOP) by Pres Duterte and I think she knows me enough to understand why.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Of the names you mentioned,I know the Former PN FOIC Jardiñano,my dad was in the Navy too.Continue with your stories of your rich past.

                Sorry for my corny response to the mention of the pilot,heck ,at least I got a good story out of it.

  5. Javier Gris says:

    One word comes to mind: bipolar.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve read that on numerous instances, and his inconsistencies make sense in that light. If someone is ill, though, they need counseling or medication or treatment. And they have to want to not be dysfunctional. Those who are not ill ought not have to make an adjustment, other than being compassionate for the ill person and help if it makes sense to. Signing on to gross violence from the police and others I don’t think falls into the category of what we should do to help a person who is ill.

      Or if he is not bipolar, he and his staff need to do more to get rid of the inconsistencies that undermine trust and confidence.

    • Nate says:

      I beg to disagree, I’ve lived with a Bipolar for 20 years now and Duterte is not Bipolar. He is a Sociopath. A completely different disorder from a Bipolar. The report on Duterte by “Dr. Natividad Dayan, former president of the International Council of Psychologists. Duterte suffers from “Antisocial Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A condition characterized by gross indifference, insensitivity and self-centeredness, a grandiose sense of self-entitlement and manipulative behaviors and pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights and feelings, a tendency to display violent behavior.

      • LG says:

        Am with Nate about Duterte.

      • I disagree, DU30 is a psychopath:

        “Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard, disorganized and spontaneous rather than planned.

        Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.”


        “The cause of psychopathy is different than the cause of sociopathy (1). It is believed that psychopathy is the largely the result of “nature” (genetics) while sociopathy is more likely the result of “nurture” (environment). Psychopathy is related to a physiological defect that results in the underdevelopment of the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and emotions. Sociopathy, on the other hand, is more likely the product of childhood trauma and physical/emotional abuse. Because sociopathy appears to be learned rather than innate, sociopaths are capable of empathy in certain limited circumstances but not in others, and with a few individuals but not others.”

  6. karlgarcia says:

    I still see posts about giving premium to the lives of criminals.
    Maybe this guys want a retro active death penalty,If they are not 100 percent shoot them in sight types.
    If death penalty passes, are they allowed to make it retroactive?

    • Joe America says:

      Attorneys OUGHT to be making cases today, on behalf of the victims. There is such a thing as “reasonable force”, and laws that define what is right and just in a conflict situation. Whatever book that is in has been tossed out.

      • andy ibay says:

        If the premium and premiere law offices in the country are damaged institutions can we expect them to do the right thing for the victims? The incumbent president is a lawyer will he or does he not want justice for the victims? Shall we wait and see? What is he saying about law assistance to the poor? Nada? Is the President as bad or worst than his targets ? Of course he is worse. To be better and outdo them offers no other way. History is the Lady with a blindfold. Where angels fear to thread, the Lady runs the thread mill seeing no bloodbath and hear no wailings of the innocents for mankind must survive because mankind are no sissy dinosaurs.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The commander in chief directed the military to obliterate even those who are raising and waiving the white flag.so all criminals are enemy of the state now.
      what if they are NPAs or ASGs or Moro’s….
      man,ambiguities abound from economists ,diplomats,lawyers and our president,who always says one thing and always says on the other hand,and they have more hands than an octopus.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Hahaha! The octopus jab is very funny. Thanks for the laugh, karl.

        • karlgarcia says:


        • andy ibay says:

          Mr. Karl like young Einstein you are DEDUCTIVE, and the older physicists who proved him right to prove his notions of RELATIVITY and won their Nobel Prizes were INDUCTIVE. You generalize, Mr. Karl, you use a 12-gauge slide action, or a Kalashnikov instead of a single shot Crossman .144 to hit your target. Pres Duterte is INDUCTIVE, very specific, trained by education and experience in the foul meanderings, short cuts and the hairpin curves of the law. By DEDUCTION Justice Secretary De Lima is no better than the inmates of Munti who were under her watch; which took those mere military minded canalized thinkers special forces (I am inducting) to clean up the stinking shits in De Lima’s backyard. Salience and resilience, if not political genius is the ability to paddle upstream of both the deduction and the induction rivers of reason at the right time.

          • Joe America says:

            Senator De Lima won her current position by virtue of her service to the nation as Secretary of the Department of Justice, and the firm principles and adherence to law that she pursued. She had a busy time of it, and one rather gets the feeling that pro-Duterte people are trying to undermine her credibility as she prepares to investigate the extra-judicial killings in the latter part of August. I really don’t like this throwing of dirt on people when it has apparent political aims. One can compliment President Duterte for his aggressive handling of the prison, and respect Secretary De Lima for pursuing the many, many cases she dealt with, within budget constraints, and following the law whilst doing it. That, after all, is what the handshake at the SONA between the President and the Senator meant. It isn’t politics or persons. It’s a job.

          • karlgarcia says:

            For the compliment thanks,but beg to differ on Delima.

            • andy ibay says:

              Thanks Joe Am for proving the point of the power of induction; as specifics disconfirm deduction of wrong doing of Sec De Lima. My generalized statement proved how weak it could be. Let me just say to the best I can I am more interested in ways of seeking the truth than throw dirt with apparent political aims. In my youth I have been told and it stuck in me: politics (authoritative allocation of values in society) is good it is PARTISAN politics that AT TIMES make it bad. And politicians ? that’s otra cosa.

              • Joe America says:

                Induction and deduction are ways to learn, but at some point, it is well to say, time to build something. For me, I’d suggest the Philippines try to build a more harmonious, more generously understanding, less me-centered nation. I’d like to hear what Secretary De Lima would say about the prison, how it came to be such an abomination, but would not judge until hearing her viewpoint. I’m guessing she let her lieutenants run the prison, as she is a woman of law (books), not a policeman. And I think the demands on the job were very very heavy.

              • andy ibay says:

                joe am, joke only if you are not pikon. About De Lima, USA’s Patton will yell: EXCUSES, EXCUSES soldier, are not allowed in my command.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, point well made, and accepted. But if Congress sat to judge every perceived incident of incompetence or mistake in government, we’d be in an even sorrier state than now. That is not an excuse. It is just a statement that it is a better priority to move on.

              • andy ibay says:

                I accept your (good) last word joe am. Pero . . . ah. . sige na nga.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              The Bilibid story broke while we were traveling & I missed the details.

              But if De Lima presided over a prison system where prisoner drug gangs ran the prisons, that is a major, major stuff up..And a serious black mark on her tenure at Justice secretary…I suggest that De Lima has indeed lost ‘credibility’ as a senator as a result. And it would be a very rare & generous politician who did not use that loss of credibility against Senator De Lima in the future.

              ( By way of comparison : In Oz such a politician would have NO future )

              Joe, you mentioned “budgetary constraints”. Yes they may exist. And those constraints were what were handed to her by Aquino & the treasury secretary. But with such a serious breech of the law, De Lima had the choice of going public & offering her resignation to gain more funds.

              I remember reading that the Aquino government handed over power to Duterte with a 67 Billion pesos surplus in the bank. There was money Joe to sort this issue.

              • Joe America says:

                I think Senator De Lima is one of the most knowledgeable, principled people in Philippine government, and if mistakes were made, I’d harken back to the superb speech by President Obama the other day when he acknowledged that Hillary Clinton had made mistakes, he had made mistakes, and a lot of good people make mistakes because they are TRYING.

              • edgar lores says:

                ( By way of comparison : In Oz such a politician would have NO future )

                So Attorney-General George Brandis, Indigenous Affairs ­Minister Nigel Scullion and Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles should all resign for the mistreatment of aboriginal youths in detention in the Northern Territory?

              • Bill in Oz says:

                I do not know De Lima. And I do not know how she has responded to the Bilibid prison story. But if she is a person of such great personal integrity, she would acknowledge that this happened on her watch.And that it was wrong. We are all human and make mistakes. Hiding them is the problem.

                By the way I am disappointed by both candidates standing for the USA presidency : Trump & Clinton. I think Sanders would have been a far better president than either of these two. Better for the United States and better for the world. But I have not kept a close eye on the conventions.Too much else happening in our lives the past month.

              • Joe America says:

                What is the source of your conclusion that De Lima hid anything? I think she had no idea because she did not engage directly in running the prisons. She let that to the people under her. Now maybe she should have known, and that is her mistake. But the leap from that to her “hiding” the matter is a nasty jump of logic that needs to be supported, I think.

                It is amusing to me, you first cite your opinion and then you confess you have not watched anything, or in different terms, are ignorant about why Hillary Clinton was the nominee. I suggest you just listen to the Obama speech. Maybe you will have some information holes filled in.

              • Joe America says:

                Or if you want to know what motivates Hillary Clinton, listen to HER speech, and you will understand.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Nothing was hidden.
                I googled delima jail inspection I can see that in her 2011 inspection she already discovered the good lives of the gangs.


              • Bill in Oz says:

                Edgar re your comment “So Attorney-General George Brandis, Indigenous Affairs ­Minister Nigel Scullion and Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles should all resign for the mistreatment of aboriginal youths in detention in the Northern Territory ?”

                I think that Minister & the head of the corrections Dpt. in the Northern Territory should resign immediately. They are the persons responsible for this appalling mess.

                Brandis & Scullion as Commonwealth ministers do not have ministerial responsibility for NT issues. What ministerial responsibility Giles has, I am not sure

                But there is a general election in a month in the Northern territory. The current CLP divided and mob are definitely on the nose and look likely to be wiped out by the voters. Not just because of this issue but for a string of stuff ups over the past 3 years…

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Joe. The link provided by Karl to the Enquirer om 2011 makes clear that De Lima did know what was happening in Bilibid..She went there & saw it all and was told in person by prison officials….And she seems to have even spoken to some of the gang bosses as well..

                So, I was wrong to say that this was all hidden…My ignorance..

                But the Enquirer article goes on to say that De Lima ordered that the way the gang bosses ran the prison stop. It wasn’t stopped.And in 2016 was exactly the same as 2011..Who bears responsibility for that ?

                Thanks Karl for the link.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m not interested in researching it as the world is in a new phase by now.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Ok Joe But something does not compute.

                On one hand : “Senator De Lima is one of the most knowledgeable, principled people in Philippine government”

                And on the other “De Lima presided over a prison system where prisoner drug gangs ran the prisons”

              • edgar lores says:

                From the article supplied by Karl:

                “Jail officials admitted at the House committee hearing later that they had relinquished much of the operational control at the heavily guarded facility to 10 gangs and to their leaders the task of maintaining order.

                Supt. Ramon Reyes, the NBP chief, described the arrangement as a “best practice” to keep the peace and prevent riots.”

              • Joe America says:

                I once was an executive in a large corporation. The company is not built on one person, but on a lot of executives who are given considerable accountability to run their areas. Subsidiaries, divisions, branches. I view the prisons as a division of DOJ that didn’t perform, and De Lima was remiss at doing something about it. It does not at all define her character or overall capability. She was previously Human Rights Commissioner, swimming upriver against the flotsam and jetsam and doing it with integrity and her peculiar outspoken way, and as head of DOJ was handling major incidents like the Sultan invading Sabah, Taiwanese fisherman’s shooting, Mamasapano, INC dispute, and such. She was in charge of investigations and prosecutions and keeping the President in line with the laws. Extend yourself, Bill, and get into the positions of the people you criticize so easily. Then we would not have to go round and round, you criticizing and me defending. I would add that Senator De Lima is one of the very, very few people speaking out against the PNP and vigilante killings. She expects to hold hearings in August on them, under various threats from here or there. She’s one of the few that have integrity to the very core.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add, take care not to bite on the negative propaganda that is going around to undermine Senator De Lima ahead of the hearings. Otherwise I’d have to consign you to the bucket of the gullible social media mavens who believe anything they read on line.

              • chempo says:

                @ Bill
                The idea that the wardens surrendered their responsibility of maintaining peace and order in the prison to the gang leaders is the most preposterous explanation there ever is. The thought that police leadership can stand in front of congress and offer that explanation is absolutely ludicrous.

                Bilibid Prison system was one of the most broken institution in the country. It requires a sacking of the whole bloody bunch of the prison admin, including the janitors, in one big swoop. That’s exactly what the new admin has done. However, don’t be too quick to blame delima and others in the prior admin. It is as I said Bill, such an action taken recently can never be accomplished during the previous admin. It will be TRO’d to death and delima and others will definitely face legal suits from both admin enemies, prison workers and perhaps even the prisoners themselves.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                And the former Philippines secretary for Justice ( De Lima ) is now a senator. She has not withdrawn from politics and retired.She is now one of 24 elected national senators.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Joe, the comments are getting out of sequence so this is a response to your comment at 10.07 am..

                I hear what you are saying about De Lima being the head of a large government corporation with many branches headed by executives…

                But those executives were responsible to her from 2010 to 2016.I read in the ENquirer that she ordered the prison system to be reformed in 2011.That did not happen.So her branch executive stuffed up in his job.And De Lima did nothing about that failure. And I think we agree it was a major failure.

                I accept your remarks about her good work in other areas of her portfolio and about her personal character and her previous work in the Human Rights Commission.

                But Justice is also about the management of prisons effectively and competently. Allowing the prison administration to hand over most of the management to gang bosses is bizarre and not acceptable.

                If De LIma could not or would not institute reforms, it was President Aquino’s responsibility to put in charge someone who would.

                I am not asking for very much Joe : just ‘accountable’ government regardless of who the persons involved are.

                By way of contrast, you hold President Duterte ‘accountable’ for much of the bad that has happened since May 9th…. I am still in a waiting frame of mind so far.But agree that yes whatever goes wrong will be a responsibility of President Duterte & his government.

              • Joe America says:

                You are asking for the impossible, that real world government would manage to the ideals in your head.

              • Joe America says:

                I wrote a blog on the SONA that praised President Duterte’s action agenda in the main. I am not out to crucify him. As for the war on drugs, I refuse to join the silence of the lambs.

              • Joe America says:

                Actually, I’m growing rather fond of the guy, President Duterte. If he’d stop killing people and selling the nation’s sovereign rights down the river, or sea, I’d be his biggest backer.

                Sorry to keep adding ideas. You have my adrenaline pumped up.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Joe. you said “You are asking for the impossible,”

                I am asking, suggesting that Philippines governments should be accountable for their policies and actions and stuff ups.
                And that includes a De Lima who whatever her successes in the justice portfolio, presided for 6 years over a prison system where the prison officials allowed gang leaders to run the prisons.

                It feels to me that you are giving De Lima a “get out of goal’ card on this issue.

              • edgar lores says:

                In the same manner that John Howard should be made accountable for his stuff up in the Iraq War during his 3rd term?

                And yet the Australian people awarded him a 4th term.

              • Joe America says:

                I agree accountability is almost non-existent in the Philippines and saving face is prominent. So I agree that, in the main, a lot of people could be a lot more accountable than there are. That said, I think there is a difference between someone being incompetent and not making mistakes, and someone competent making mistakes, the distinction being the extent of effort, load and risks undertaken. I also object to judging a person’s character or calling for their termination on one incident or mistake. If that is giving a get out of jail card, that is preferential to executing someone making a material contribution to an honest, earnest, productive government. There just aren’t that many people of De Lima’s character and competence to bring into the job. In a perfect world, sure, fire her and Aquino. On to Jesus in the wings . . .

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Fine Joe….On the wings of angels all would be well..But this is such a flawed, flawed world.


                Hey Edgar..Yep, Howard got back in 2004..But don’t blame me.I didn’t vote for him.

                As for the Iraq war, well lot’s of folks thought Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction..And Saddam put out lots of propaganda saying that he did…Not a wise move IMO.

                hindsight is always 20 / 20.

                Foresight is roughly 0 / 0

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill, the point is you are asking for total accountability on a single issue.

                I might ask for Turnbull’s resignation on account of his NBN stuff up.

                There are other factors to consider as JoeAm has been explaining. These factors have to be weighed, and we have to judge whether the scale on the plus side is weightier and more valuable than that on the negative side.

                Not to make an excuse, but the conditions in Bilibid existed even before Senator de Lima assumed office. Prison officials accommodated the gang arrangements. It was official NBP policy before Senator de Lima assumed the DOJ post.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Yes Edgar that is the way that politics often happens in Australia.. So it is my default methodology and from your earlier remarks it has become yours also after 30 years here…..And I think the Philippines would benefit from this as well…

                But it’s important to distinguish between the politics of an issue and how competently an issue is handled. The politics of an issue is the stuff settled at an election.

                However I think it fair to know who was the minister responsible in the Northern territory asleep at the wheel while teenagers were being abused & mistreated in the juvenile detention centre there. I think it fair to demand his resignation NOW..

                But it looks like the Chief Minister there is desperate not to lose a vote in the assembly and so will not sack him. Never mind there’s an election is a few weeks and this tawdry divided CLP mob are rated high to lose …

                You mention NBN. Don’t buy the labor line to strongly. My brother here in a rural town in SA has just got it. He is entirely happy with the speed etc…And he watches a lot of videos..No waiting at all.

                The Labor government plan pre 2013 was fibre optic to the door. Turnbull said that’s too expensive. We’ll do fibre optic to the node ( what’s a node ??? ), and copper from the node to the door. Whether that will work at my home, I do not know.Still trying to get my head around it all.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill, buy the Labor line?

                I am a computer man, although not a cyborg. I fully understand and appreciate Labor’s conceptualization of the NBN… and the bastardization of it by the Abbott-Turnbull duo.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Ahhh Edgar spoken like a True Believer !!
                : -)

                My brother is one too.But he is happy with his film downloads in his rural town. The NBN is being rolled out here at home now and as I said I am trying to get my head around it..As I do not watch movies online or much TV…

                Budgetary constraints as Joe Mentioned yesterday can be an issue…

                But let’s not argue about Aussie stuff here. An NBN in the Philippines would be a really good investment in the countries future..I was in Quiapo, in Manila and internet was slow even there. Not to mention Joe not having enough speed to see movies in Biliran.

              • edgar lores says:


                A true believer is one who adheres to the tenets of a particular faith. My rejection of Turnbull’s version of NBN is based on reason and not on faith.

  7. Randolf says:

    We must accept we are not westerners we have a different culture. Filipinos cannot and will not follow rules and regulation without use forces it is our nature. Filipinos are not politicaly mature we abuse power and leverage for our own interest. Filipinos are tired of talks we desire drastic change. Action even thou it is unconvetional. Because we are tired to be poor and to live with criminality and we want peace and order. Not in a western concept but in our own way of thinking. Joeam you are an american accept it democarcy is not for all for type of democarcy is not for us. Why becuase as filipinos we are not yet ready and educated to apply it. Not politicaly mature. May be it will happen but not in our life time. Look around you same old faces running the show same old names make the show. We are still a backward country. I believe what you say and do understand. I was also a supporter of Mar and Pnoy. But I guess at this point in time we need a benevolent dictator and people wants it. We need it for drastic action we are tires of noises rallies at other political stuff we want results concrete results. American style is not yet for us

    • NHerrera says:

      Benevolent Dictator. Can we apply that too to the victims such as the drug addicts?

    • Joe America says:

      But if you don’t change, you stay the same, and the current “change” to a power and favor government is NOT change. And human rights standards are not American, they are international. They are what gave women equal power and Filipinos the right to stand side by side with whites as equals. They are principles of how we treat each other. They ought to be taught and learned. Acceptance of the killing mentality means a continuation and justification of abuses.

      • Joe America says:

        You are basically arguing for a backward Philippines, not a modern nation.

      • “Civilize ’em with a Krag” – but with Filipinos doing it to each other this time. Somebody wrote a comment that you can’t stop a wild-eyed drug dealer with anything but force – now that was the reason the 45 was invented, to stop Moro huramentados in the Moro wars…

        Now if that is what Filipinos think of their own, maybe Angela Merkel was right to get Syrians into the country after all – and not smiling but potentially more lethal Filipinos.

      • Randolf says:

        You know it will be hard for you to understand common filipino from where they are coming from. Westerners would always says that there principle at their way is the norm to follow. Well that cuase a lot of problem look at syria impose democracy now it gave way for isis. Iraq impose democracy endless killing. There some cultures that your way of government is not applicable to us. Westerns say its bad to eat dogs but it our culture. What if india tell you its bad to eat cows?… you know you cannot impose things to us who are tired of your talking your studies your utopian ideas. We are practical people

        • Joe America says:

          If you are tired of it, why are you reading. Are you trying to suggest I shut up? That is, I do not have the right on my own blog to say what I wish? People read, or they do not. They agree or they do not. What are you afraid of?

          • Joe America says:

            By the way, I don’t object when my neighbors drag a dog off for a meal. In Viet Nam, I once ate raw dog brains, so you need not put me in some box of your making. I think it is you who carry the biases around, not me.

          • Randolf says:

            Calm down it is not what I am try to say. I have been an avid read of your blog for a long time. What I am trying to point out is that there are things we cannot see that this masses saw in Du30. He is a man of action and filipinos specialy the masses are tired of the long route they want fast action. Because for the longest time the long road seems has no end. I do not adhere vigilantism. But intemidation and fear at this point is indeed needed.

            First so that the kurk politicians might think twice to do something fishy and to fast face the needed laws and action long delayed

            Second that the criminals and lawless elements will understand that dura lex sed lex the is hard but it is the law.

            For so many government has pass only now the a hundred surrendered because of fear. Streets at night at is silent. Only now that builibid had been reform. Laglag bala was resolve. and other stuffs…see people need a force to push people. Yes this addicts want to change but they need a force to push them…it is like palo in our child days that make us dicipline

            • Joe America says:

              Kindly mind your manners in my house. You are not qualified to judge my emotional state.

            • Belle says:

              Correction, laglag bala stopped as soon as the election was over. It was clearly sabotage.

              • Randolf says:

                Given that it is a political sabotage. If pinoy sucked all those people there and satisfy the filiponos cry for a rough justice roxas might be our president. Remeber the romans held power becuase of the poeple by satisfying them with galditorial games and rough justice. But pnoy failed to roll some heads so we lose the game

            • Vicara says:

              The new laglag bala consists of bullets deposited through violence with intent to kill, in the bodies of victims who may possibly be guilty of drug crimes, but who also may be innocent. Either way, when police shoot and kill whomever they want to tag as “pusher” or “drug dealer” without due process, even if given leave to do so by a superior, they are engaging in summary execution.

              God knows the PNP had its corruption, its tie-ups with the drug lords and smuggling cartels; but in less than a month, Duterte has succeeded in turning the national force into one big Davao Death Squad.

              Every single person who voted for Duterte despite his stated intentions to do the above, bears responsibility. But most responsible of all are the people of Davao, who not only knew EXACTLY what he was like, and pretty much knew what he was doing, but kept silent according to the mafia law of omerta. It is becoming increasingly clear that if they had not caved in to their laziness and cowardice by allowing him power, again and again, the country would not be saddled with a sociopath as its president. Also to blame is the self-muzzling, regional loyalty-before-truth Davao media.

              • Randolf says:

                Ok given that fact but the fast dropped and surrender and change of system Bucor is good start. Casting fear to petty and somehow big lawless elements. But I do not like the vigelante killing made by civilians

        • karlgarcia says:

          This Indian boy was fed dog milk.Inspired by the jungle book.


          • karlgarcia says:

            Supposed to be a reply to the dog meat and beef comment.

            Anyways,Joe here understands the Filipino and Asian culture and psyche.If you have been really reading the blog for so long,you can see that he even understands it more than us.

            • Joe America says:

              Ahahahaha, you are positively brilliant with wit today. Wheaties for breakfast, or Labrador?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Ahaha.thanks, I wonder if the kalderetta goat that i ate in Baguio once was really dog meat. Speaking of wheatties,I want to try wheatgrass,but Duterte might have me arrested for trying grass.

      • Randolf says:

        You know it will be hard for you to understand common filipino from where they are coming from. Westerners would always says that there principle at their way is the norm to follow. Well that cuase a lot of problem look at syria impose democracy now it gave way for isis. Iraq impose democracy endless killing. There some cultures that your way of government is not applicable to us. Westerns say its bad to eat dogs but it our culture. What if india tell you its bad to eat cows? We are all different accept it we have a different norm we want and we are stified with it. But it does not make us not equal to you no matter what our principles and belief we are all equal

        • Maybe the present development will lead to a really Filipino form of democracy. The Philippine elite played democracy to get American patronage… Filipinos learned the habit of acting “plastic” to please new masters each time out of centuries of colonialism..

          The older, probably more native form of leadership is that of Jesse Robredo – not the weak copy of Spanish oppression that Duterte represents, leaders like Leni Robredo and Congressman Baguilat (no doubting his native credentials) its representatives today.

        • Joe America says:

          Right, we are equal. What in the world makes you believe that I think we are not? We are talking about how people relate to the law, about issues.

          • Joe America says:

            It struck me that you are new to the blog and don’t understand what it is about, or how the dialogue is conducted. It is not me lecturing Filipinos about how to live their lives. It is me writing articles that readers (mostly Filipino) react to, and from that, we learn about the issues, the culture, and ourselves. You are looking at it that I am an ugly American lording it over Filipinos.

            Spend some time here. Read a few articles. Take up a part in the discussion. Don’t judge so quickly. That would be my recommendation.

        • mel says:

          well. in pinas eating dog is now illegal. i like to eat dog too ( huwag lang akong pahuhuli). i grew up with it like some koreans, igorots (or other luzon mountain people), vietnamese or chinese, the dog is a delicacy to us like the goat or pig or cow to others. eating dogs is a cultural thing and some culture would like to legislate their culture to other culture groups. this kind of legislation is what i don’t like because it favors some only and unfavors the others. what is the difference in eating dog, cow, goat or pig…they are all animals and they can be your best of friends too or your pets.
          when one culture group impose their cultural norm among the other culture group…the first can easily control the other… it is all a matter of control…the christians among the pagans…the mohamedans against the infidels…the civilized against the uncivilized.

        • Diego Masken says:

          Randolf, ipagpaumanhin mo pero Filipino din ako at di ako sangayon sa mga pinoy na kaugalian at kultura ng masa na sinasabi mo. Yang ikinikilos at pagsasalita at pinaplano ni DU30, diba pinagdaan na natin yan (15 years na personal kong naranasan at nakibaka) sa bakal na kamay ni “bayani” daw na si Macoy? Ang mahirap sa tulad mo ay hindi natututo sa kasaysayan at itinuturo sa mga anak at kabataan ang leksyon ng kasaysayan!

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          I am familiar with both Eastern and Western ideologies. I disagree with your statement that ” Westerners would always says that there principle at their way is the norm to follow.” I think that it is more of the Eastern mindset that presume that the Westerners are always lording it over, though I would grant you the leeway that SOME (but not all) Westerners may also have the presumption you mentioned. It is the “US” (tayo) and “THEM” (sila) in both cultures that institutionalized this way of thinking.

          Respect begets respect.

          Marami po tayong mga maling akala. Hindi lamang po ang mga banyaga ang may pintas sa ating prinsipyo. Tayo rin ay namimintas sa prinsipyo ng mga ibang lahi. Ang nararapat lang po ay makinig tayo sa ibang suhestyon para lumawak ang ating pananaw. Dismissing or diminishing someone’s suggestion because of deeply rooted cultural norms and values is not kosher. We need to revisit these norms and values and evaluate them with honesty and open mind.

          We live in a global community, what we do affect others in more ways than you can imagine.

          • Randolf says:

            Our words define concrite concepts. Un ang sabi ni Dr
            Co ng ust philosophy dept. When I was still studying A.B. Philosophy. Our language defines our culture language defines thinking. If people love the way duterte speak and accept it as pure masa then it is filipino. May be us humanist or people here are already influence by western concepts. That is why we can understand global thinking as well like norms and principle. Masa less exposed and educated will never understand it

    • Jake says:

      Extrajudicial Killings and calling for vigilantiam is FAR from “benevolent dictator”.

      I guess the Maranao rido (clan revenge) should just take over the Philippines then? Hey, it’s a native concept and not “western”

    • andy ibay says:

      Many and most Filipinos like the OFWs and the immigrants KNOW and live by the laws of nature like the law of gravity. They follow and obey OVERSEAS law and culture (without losing theirs) like frogs in water or in dry lands; NEEDLESS of the threat and use of force. ADAPT is a Pinoy superior trait of their UNCORRUPTED culture which repossessed them once and upon landing in foreign soil. No force is required even for those who fell in the cracks. Because of impunity and tumours caused by corruption, some cultureless Pinoys are no longer the real Pinoys in their homeland.

  8. edgar lores says:

    1. My sense of President Duterte is that he is a troll.

    2. If I may paraphrase the Urban Dictionary definition of a troll: “One who posts a deliberately provocative message to the nation with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”

    3. Not only is the President a troll, he is also droll. Yes, a droll troll. His rolled-up barong sleeves, his off-the-cuff remarks, his unexpected handshake with Senator Leila and the faces he made afterwards — all of these points to a spontaneity of character that is both endearing and grievous.

    4. We are hyper-aware of both aspects: the endearing aspect that won him the presidency… and the grievous aspect that has won the Grim Reaper a bumper harvest.

    5. Leaders who are/were fond of long rambling speeches include Hitler, Castro, Arafat… and Trump. Hitler was noted for a 3-hour speech and Castro for a 4-hours-16-minutes speech. Duterte’s SONA was a drop in the bucket. We should be thankful for small mercies.

    6. We should not, however, be thankful — like the majority of the populace seem to be — for the transgressions in the Rule of Law.

    • NHerrera says:

      Droll troll. How to ponder on the implication or how to deal with it.

    • Joe America says:

      Right. Agree.

      I would have gone out and written a fundamentally positive review of the speech except for his comment, early on, that implied we ought not let human rights (advocates) damage the Philippines. I viewed it as a threat. Well, hey, that got to me personally, because I was in the streets on race rights in the 60’s (against threats) and against the war I fought in during the 70’s (got me an FBI file in LA) and supported my wife with her agenda for women (70’s; lots of tears). These passions and advocacies may have been PAINFUL to the establishment, but they were only damaging the ESTABLISHMENT, not the nation. They BUILT the nation and are what led to a black president, perhaps a woman president, and a lot more compassion toward those who are disenfranchised or shunned by ‘normal’ society.

      I don’t like drugs, I don’t like criminals, but I do like real people with real issues, many of them caused by another Philippine president behaving very much like President Duterte. On human rights, if he represents change, it is backward.

      • “they were only damaging the ESTABLISHMENT, not the nation” – many Filipinos confuse the establishment with the nation… much of what passes as “national” dialogue is only the self-referential dialog of the entitled among themselves, with new entitled from time to time.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, that fits. Personalities are the government, and the establishment. There is no such thing as national interest above that, for most. Thanks for that vision.

      • Randolf says:

        Well you have a point joe but we can that kurks abuse this term to get away from the law. May be DU30 is telling chr to know it limits. Yes every human being has an inate right but. With what is going on right now people use it to get away which hinders justice

      • mel says:

        if one is on the right, one can ask for his rights. if one is on the wrong one can expect to be dosed with a wrong.

        a right for a right and a wrong for a wrong. for mathematicians two positives make it positive…two negatives make it positive…a negative and a positive or positive and a negative is still negative.

      • andy ibay says:

        Perhaps like many readers, that statement made me paused: human rights doing damage to the nation. What kind of thinking is that; will that be book length enumerating the ways how human rights can do damage to a nation. If not from thin air what was the bases of that statement? Has it happened already? Where can you connect the human rights dictum in may be three of the Ten Commandments ? Is that statement anti-Champions ? Against wannabe Champions of whatever? A Filipino I think (UP President Salvador P. Lopez?) was signatory to the UN DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. a TIME FOR US is this when we need to google what it is all about.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    Sorry for this insertion but Nery of Inquirer offers a glimpse of the behind-the-news look, by one who is a childhood friend and high school classmate of Sen Pimentel:


    At the very least I hope that Koko can serve to parry some excesses.

    • NHerrera says:

      If Koko balances things reasonably well, he will be the Giant “killer.” Meaning all potential aspirants to the throne will have to contend with him. Sorry, Escudero, Poe, Cayetano but that is how things look to me. He has the experienced politiko father for an adviser too.

      • Joe America says:

        It is somewhat amusing to me how the losing presidential candidates became totally irrelevant. Roxas, Binay, Poe, Santiago. So did Marcos, interestingly enough. And Escudero is but a wee little person sneaking about with his gorgeous wife. The nation really does not like losers.

        • NHerrera says:

          No renaissance then for Marcos and the like. And of course that includes the “twins” — Poe and Escudero. I recalled how media gushed over the two and how the SC Justices displayed their legal brilliances for poor rich Poe. Aren’t they a little embarrassed? Now …

  10. chempo says:

    I struggled through the SONA, don’t know about you guys. I am scratching my head as I read and hear so many commenters, including Teddy Locsin, gushing what a jolly good SONA it was. I saw diplomatic corps fidgetting in embarassment and droopy-eyed. What is apparent to me is the president is picking up a following of hurrah-hurrah groupies in social media and in congress that remind me of the entourage of the Norkor Kim JI. What I can’t see at this time is the Filipino equivalent of the guy in the Norkor entourage who is ever present on the heels of his president, ever so busy scribbling onto his notepad at every word spewed forth by his leader.

    • NHerrera says:

      Hahaha. The scribbler.

    • Joe America says:

      I feel a poem coming on, something about sycophants all in a row, gushing . . .

      The PNP chief was clapping like . . . well, never mind . . . over-much exuberantly . . .

    • Francis says:

      He was sincere. Or—to the cynic-eyed, appeared to be.

      He spoke “real” talk. The honor that one finds in the “rustic countryside” imagination. The honor that filthy and plastic city folk of Sodom and Gomorrah so seek. Heck, I didn’t mind those missteps because what honor this man had. That good ‘ol common sense!

      My mind tells me, “Look. He will fall. He has no vision. He is a mayor and not a president.” But my heart admonishes, telling me: “What have you done, you bum! He walks his own talk! Look at how sincere he is, how true! It is unpatriotic and selfish to not believe!”

      Democracies don’t fear the Kims and Hitlers. They fear the Dengs and the Lee Kwan Yews. Those that threaten the dictum that “people’s rule” (“demos” and “cracy”) is the people’s choice.

      That is why the intelligentsia drool. Because Abel the Hunter was always morally above Cain the Farmer.

      • “Because Abel the Hunter was always morally above Cain the Farmer.”

        In the topsy-turvy world of Alice in Wonderland, yes. In the real and civilized world, not so much.

        Your sarcasm is appreciated but a lot of Filipinos do not get it.

    • Randolf says:

      I had the same thought before. But you know we tried to live like westerners and think like them act like them. What is formal is the way they do things. But come on why not think this is the filipino way that is why people love it.

      • Maybe the way for Filipinos is not to act Western… nor try to act Eastern meaning like North Koreans or like Chinese out of rebellion… but simply as themselves.

        The question is which version of Filipino will prevail – Duterte, or Leni and Cong. Baguilat.

        • Randolf says:

          Yes you are right du30s style is not yet perfect but it could be a good start for cleansing the government. I do not adhere vigilantism. But to cast fear on the kruk politicians is a good start. So that when leni at baguilat time comes it is now a pure filipino style of democracy

        • josephivo says:

          Two approaches:

          “You are my bosses, I’m here to serve”… One said and some Filipinos thought this was a strong statement… bottom-up, participative, grass roots movements….

          “Be our strong boss, we will follow as you children”… majority of Filipinos said in the last elections… top-down, be part of the family or be out, behavior of an alpha-male appreciated…

          • Joe America says:

            Right, very good. And the population is probably evenly divided as to which they prefer. Poe would be in the service realm, and Santiago and Roxas. Binay in the strong leader realm.

            • You forgot about the boy trying to be like his father… but not quite making it…

              • josephivo says:

                Too much money (lacking “need” motivation, one sensed mama’s push), too much cheating (but systems improved faster than anticipated, thus suspect others), too little alpha-male qualities (wearing a green fatigue on a presidential balcony doesn’t make one an alpha male)

          • edgar lores says:

            Josephivo, very good.

            1. I am working through a different typology of presidents in my mind. My types are transformational, transactional and transitional.

            2. Before I attempt definitions, let me give examples starting from Marcos:

            o Marcos was transformational… but in a bad way.
            o Cory was transitional… from bad to good.
            o Ramos was transactional… in a sort of a good way.
            o Estrada was transactional… in a bad way.
            o Arroyo was transactional… in a very bad way.
            o PNoy was transformational… in a good way.

            3. To me:

            o A transformational president alters the landscape to a large degree. The transformation may not be immediately realized. Ultimately, a transformational president is a servant of the people in your terms.

            o A transactional president maintains the status quo of patronage by horse trading. There is a quantum of change for good or for worse, but the quantum is middling to negligible. A transactional president tends to be a master of the people in your terms. He tends to be a server of himself.

            o A transitional president serves as a bridge that spans two landscapes. A transitional president may be servant or master.

            4. The question in my mind is: Is President Duterte transformational, transactional or transitional?

            4.1. My feeling is that Duterte is not transactional. He does not horse trade. He commands.

            4.2. Duterte could be transitional from the transformational landscape that PNoy sought to form back to the status quo before him. My feeling is that Duterte’s administration is too revolutionary to be classified as transitional.

            4.3. Therefore, Duterte is transformational. The question arises: Is the transformation for good of for bad?

            4.3.1. Pre-election, my analysis was for bad. He would encourage the environment of neediness and dependence on authoritarian leaders. His promises would be a mirage.

            4.3.2. My feeling is that his drug campaign through methodical violence will succeed for a while but will ultimately fail… as it has in other countries.

            4.3.3. But there are other changes being wrought. Chempo has mentioned Bilibid, a change for the good. There are many others, such as FOI, death penalty, traffic, federalism, parliamentarism, etc. We do not know and will not know whether these changes will be effected — and whether the effects will be largely good or bad.

            4.3.4. At the same time, there are some pressing changes that will not be attended to, such as anti-dynasty and divorce.

            4.3.5. And there are changes that are double-edged swords, such as the SSS pension increase and lower tax rates.

            5. A president may be categorized into either one of the types. I think a great president encompasses all types. Lincoln was transformative, transactional and transitional.

            6. We should remind ourselves and ask question 4 this same month for the next seven years.

            • josephivo says:

              I saw two types of Filipino voters. On the president side I see customer oriented presidents and self oriented presidents.

              Du30 and Pnoy/Roxas are certainly customer oriented, but the read the customer differently. And this time it seemed that more Filipinos wanted to walk on the hands of a strong father. So Du30 is parading with the scalps of his enemy around his neck, loud applause, creating a strong feedback loop.

              There is a second dimension, economical beliefs, the role of the state in guiding the economy. (Faked or not) Trickle down distribution of wealth by individual initiatives or mandatory redistribution of wealth. Pnoy/Roxas more liberal, Du30 more socialist.

              But sickening for me are all the other politicians. All scared, just opportunistic or plain incompetent and having no clue what running a country is all about. All switching from one extreme to the other, from bottom-up to top-down, from liberal to socialist, who cares or who understands the difference.

        • mel says:

          KISS. keep it simple stud. live and be happy. do no wrong to thy neighbor as that is the right thing…and this is not a duterterer, a lenirer or a baguilater but a KISSer.

  11. Tyrants and terrorists (or huramentado/amok types like Ali David S. last Friday in Munich) have the same make-up I think… but I prefer the occasional threat of ISIS over here to most Pinoy cops or the really powerful with crab on steroids… they want you to bow… in Transylvania there is a saying that “he who submits to the sword may save his neck, but may bend his back so much that he may never stand upright again” – Transylvania never submitted to the Ottoman empire.

    “whoever submits to tyranny loves it” – said Padre Florentino to Simoun in Rizal’s El Fili classic.. the mountain people of Germany (Bavarians) no longer submit to tyranny or love it like before.. the use of cardboard here to show courage in adversity shows it – beer gardens remain full BTW.

    “we shall never fear human power” is the most important part of the Rütli oath of the Swiss… which Rizal once translated into Tagalog. Fearlessness (De Lima) is what the entitled among Filipinos do NOT like at all. They may wait years to “teach a lesson” to those who are “too proud”.

    The prize for best fashion and pride statement at the SONA goes to Congressman Baguilat… those First Nations among Filipinos who have not assimilated the Spanish dominant-submissive pattern of things, who will stick together and take no shit from anybody and not want to be tyrants.

    The most respectable among the rebels against Marcos were Father Conrado Balweg and his Cordillera Liberation Army. Never went the extortionist and subjugationist way of the NPA…

    • Ireneo,

      First Nations , including Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders , over here also suffer from obesity— something about their inability to process starch and sugar. Base on that picture, I’m assuming that’s also true over there, though among the lumads in Mindanao I hardly saw obesity, I think only when they start living in cities, they take on the heavy starch, too much sugar and fat laden meats diet.

      • Vicara says:

        LCpl_X and Ireneo, you may not be the aware that the congressman in the photo is Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr., who within a week of Duterte’s inaugural courageously called for a congressional investigation into the spate of killings by police of suspected drug criminals.

        From the Philippine Star: “In a resolution filed in the House of Representatives, Baguilat said ‘the Constitution mandates that no one should be deprived of life without due process of law, and that all accused are presumed innocent.’

        “Baguilat, a member of the Liberal Party, expressed alarm over ‘the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug criminals by people we expect to uphold the law.’

        “He said this indicated a disrespect for the Constitution and the deterioration of the rule of law. ‘And if we don’t stop it or look into its causes, soon enough, people will take the law into their own hands, leading to anarchy and the disintegration of society.'”

        It appears that, due to a technicality–the unintended result of machinations by the UNA party–he is now the Minority Leader in Congress. (To his own surprise.) If he is confirmed, it will be a welcome miracle that someone who is able to speak out courageously on behalf of the rule of law and against summary executions will actually occupy that post.

        Clothes maketh the man–not.

        • I see, thanks Vicara… What was the reason for the costume show? Was it simply to promote his tribe? Or is he fighting for lumads and natives in the Philippines? or is this his everyday, office attire?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Not an everyday office attire. The rest is more or less accurate.

          • Vicara says:

            He wore that to the Inaugural, where minority or minority themed attire is traditional While the new administration forbids the “SONA red carpet glamor” look of before, ethnic attire is acceptable, it seems. As congressman in his ethnic region of origin, I assume Baguilat is fighting for their rights.

            But it’s good to note that it is someone from a minority who is speaking out on behalf of all Filipinos for the rule of law, and sticking to the gutted LP party, unlike the other craven turncoats.

            Also, it would have been nice to have someone from an ethnic minority be head of the Minority of the House of Representatives. But that seems to have been taken from him.

            • Vicara, I met some folks who hailed from that region, and supposedly the old eye for an eye and duels (fights to death) are still the norm in solving problems over there, either for honor or for certain rights… so I’m also catching a whiff of irony here re Ifugao’s standing up for rule of law… am I wrong here? I mean isn’t this why the gov’t isn’t up north? Steve has mentioned this in passing also.

  12. Joe,

    Did DU30 mentione Sec. Gina Lopez, environmentalism, and/or eco-tourism? How about fossil fuel divestment? If so, how is DU30’s stance on the above and related subjects different from other past Presidents, especially PNoy?

    As for peace & order stuff, I hope jolly cruz writes that article, I really want to know what the ground truth of this whole scare tactics translates to, so far I’m reading more surrenders daily, but is the feeling on the street, that your usually neighborhood “bad boys” are now in their best behavior?

    The squatter issue was the most significant in mid to full size cities over there, was this also addressed in the SONA? If so, how? What’s the proposed logistics for this?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, he highlighted Gina Lopez and said he and she were of the same mind and commitment. He is pro-preservation. He also talked about the squatter issue and property rights. He spent a lot of time on the war on drugs, at the beginning and the end.

    • chempo says:

      The law and order stuff — I salute what they did at the Bilibid Prison. DOJ Sec Agguire and PNP chief dela Rosa practically diverted the Pasig River to cleanse the mess that is the Bilibid Prison. I shout BRAVO for this Herculean effort. They literarily ripped the whole corrupt prison staff out and put in place SAF personnel.

      This prison administration is so corrupt as to be unbelievable. Prisoners ruled the place, drug lords rule their empire from prison cells, drugs and weapons move in and out of the prison, handphones are plentiful to the inmates, cash is stashed all over the place, cigarette sales is a thriving business, competing no doubt with some ladies of the nights. It was a prison with no standards — conjugal visits are allowed, Visitations from Tom Dick and Harries are allowed. Food/cash are allowed. We all want to scream what the Hell is going on.

      I have often voiced the opinion that Delima, Purisima and Mar Roxas ought to be kicked in their butts for their non-action on Bilibid. Congratulations to dela Rosa and Agguire for doing what I have felt all along should have been done. But then again, in this new age, the duo can get away with it. I can only imagine had the previous admin taken exactly the same action, what would have become of them? They would have beed TRO’ed to death.

      • Joe America says:

        Right, to that point, when the system is rotten (the legal/judicial system), a strongman can get done what a legally bound man cannot. There were other good points in the speech, too. Conservation, stopping the nonsense at agencies and pushing back renewal dates for drivers licenses and passports), and the cease fire in Mindanao, with an appeal to the rebels to take the opportunity, not game it. I think the whole killing/human rights matter is staining what could be a strikingly productive administration.

        • “I think the whole killing/human rights matter is staining what could be a strikingly productive administration.”

          Or maybe that’s the motivation everyone needed all along. 😉


          So why couldn’t those past administrators done the same, or did they just think it was unimportant? Because like the saying goes here, Who controls the Inside, Controls the outside— so best to keep a sharp eye on prisons. 😉

          • Randolf says:

            May be they are also part of it and gaining something for the system. It may be hypothetical but it was the story of an indi film OTJ

          • Joe America says:

            LCX, You appreciate data. I’d be interested in your take on this compilation of police records during recent presidencies, up to the present. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) does some of the best fact-based reporting in the Philippines. The last few lines are rather disturbing for an administration that just passed an Executive Order on transparency. If they stop recording the data, they can’t report it.


          • chempo says:

            Lance the answer is very simple. The previous admin is the old world. Today is the nouveau monde. Old world system was burdened by excessive legislation and there were lots of very very brave folks from much older worlds, in Congress n senate, and political foes, and even the judiciary and academia, all ever ready to throw the thick law books at the admin. This audacious act of sacking the entire prison admin would have been impossible in the old world. In the new world today, they can throw away the law books and we sing where have all the brave folks gone

            • Joe and chemp,

              Again the assumption here is that the rule of law and due process is broke in the Philippines. This view was re-affirmed when I wrote the ACLU article last year. 😉 So keep in mind that I’ve argued for all that before. Now I just want to study results.

              Which brings us to Joe’s articles (thanks by the way, Joe).

              “Under Duterte’s three-week war on drugs, the police’s harvest of drugs seized pales in comparison: 5,615 sachets, 230 kilos, 1,636 packaged grams, and 29 packs of “shabu” or methamphetamine; 13,413 plants, 138 sachets, 64 leaves, 41 rolls, 22 bricks, a seed, 0.4 kilos of marijuana; and one tablet of Ecstasy during its first 21 days.”

              1. I don’t get that statement, and I’ve combed the article. What’s the basis of “pales in comparison” here? 3 weeks vs. 2010-2016… of course the numbers won’t add up, no?

              “In 78 months of the war on drugs before Duterte, the PNP said it had confiscated various drugs (shabu, marijuana, ecstacy, cocaine, ephedrine, as well as acetone, chloroform, rugby, etc.) worth a grand total of P24.89 billion.”

              2. Do we have the first 3 weeks of PNoy’s War on Drugs campaign to use as comparison here?

              “Yet even as they continue racking up numbers of operations, arrests, and killings, the PNP seems to have become less generous in sharing other details. Its latest reports do not show the number and kind of operations, and the cases that the police have filed against the suspects. Too, the new reports do not classify the suspects as pushers, users, cultivators, user-pushers, or minors that earlier PNP reports had done.”

              3. Is the PNP not sharing because they are busy , new reporting system in place , too many unknowns ie. vigilante stuff, dirty cops offing their dirty sources, etc. ?

              4. I’m pretty sure over here we don’t classify by position within the illicit economy, because the assumption is that a criminal involved in illegal drugs can be all 5 of the classification… instead the classification is in crimes arrested for and their convictions (ie. a rap sheet).

              “Before Duterte’s war, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said that from January 2010 to June 2016, it had filed a total of 19,843 drug cases in court, while other law-enforcement agencies contributed another 81,422 cases — or a total of 101,265 cases.

              Project Tokhang, according to the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) has reportedly triggered the filing of 3,477 court cases from May 10 to July 10, 2016. The PNP’s later reports on Tokhang that starts on the first of day of Duterte’s term as Commander-in-Chief of PNP do not show any updated data on cases filed.”

              5. I’d like to see a comparison of PNoy’s first 3 weeks and DU30’s first 3 weeks re cases filed.

              If there is truly less cases being filed, could this be because of surrenders? Also extra-judicial killings (by citizens or dirty cops or drug lords) would render cases less no?

              6. The industrial chemicals, and hospital grade drugs like Ketamine (Special K here) IMHO represent less of the drug trade and should be treated more as a trade and profession level control issue, same with ephedrine— that’s the stuff you use to make shabu (but also used for making cough medicine, etc., either shabu is already cooked then smuggled in, or ephedrine is smuggled in then cooked in the Philippines (“Breaking Bad”).

              Marijuana (its legalization is now very popular here) isn’t so much a concern IMHO— resin oil is being pushed as a miracle drug here now. This is the perfect starting point for Micha’s de-criminalization program. Though keep in mind not all drugs are created equal. 😉

              I don’t see heroine or pharmaceutical opioids (that definitely should be in the list).

              If it’s not a thing there yet, it will be— basically doctors get into the habit of prescribing pain meds to patients, once they see patients get addicted they suddenly remember their Hippocratic oath, and stop prescribing, now w/out their pills, addicted patients turn to the street pharmacy for more of said opioid pills or something cheaper and readily available heroine (from Mexico) .

              Synthetics too is not on the list (from China).

              The true problematic illegal drugs on that list are Meth (from China) and Cocaine (from Mexico, or maybe by way of China, kinda like the Mexican silver currency the Manila Galleon trade was all about 😉 )

              But to the point of drug seizures, I know police love to take pictures of drugs seized, but in the bigger scheme of things, these things represent only a drop in the bucket— but very important to know where seized drugs go.

              When talking about drugs better to name families and cartels responsible— ie. when it was Colombia, newspapers here did features on Colombian cartels and personalities; when it shifted to Mexico, then it was the Mexican drug cartels. I’ve not seen this yet, a list of cartels and families in the Philippines as well as outside of Philippines.

              That’s where this Investigative center should focus, Joe.

              “Then as now, the anti-drug war has yielded very little harvest of the supposed drugs of choice of the affluent.”

              Ecstasy isn’t for the affluent! It’s all over the place in Las Vegas for EDM venues and raves in Socal.

              7. Cocaine is the drug of choice for the affluent (not crack mind you, that’s diluted, poor man’s cocaine).

              But even cocaine is passé , noo-tropics is the drug of the future, in line with josephivo’s Acceleration article, popular in the Silicon Valley as well as the professional sports industry.

              But that’s more for the future, for now focus on Coke, Meth and Heroine. And then on top of that is the Synthetics coming from China.

              Joe, I really didn’t see the point to the two related articles, which was essentially comparing the 6 year trend of PNOY’s to DU30’s 3 week trend. But the filed cases was interesting, I hope they keep a list of that. Also, if you know someone from that center, can you tell them more pie charts or even bar graphs. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for your review. I know nothing but what is in the article. There are no more data, I can’t direct PCIJ to do it differently. The challenge is to find meaning in what you have, not give up because the information is not perfect or put together “right”.

                What I learned is two things: record keeping may have stopped and the increase in the haul of drugs does not appear to be proportionate to the increase in body count. But we’d have to have more data to confirm both of those facts. The articles are red flags. Red flags are valuable. I commend PCIJ for writing to information rather than sensation. There is so little of this kind of reporting here.

              • Joe America says:

                Oh, third takeaway. The prior administrations were actively working to suppress the drug trade. The new effort just overlays summary executions on the framework and information already in place. That’s how the “kill lists” were put together. From prior investigations.

              • “The challenge is to find meaning in what you have, not give up because the information is not perfect or put together “right”.

                I agree, they should definitely continue this reporting (albeit with better infographics 😉 ) and more context.

                I hope they do a 6 month compare and contrast between PNoy’s 6 months and DU30’s 6 months.

                “record keeping may have stopped and the increase in the haul of drugs does not appear to be proportionate to the increase in body count. “

                Are they simply forgetting the drugs, or not bothering to look for it?

                But to be a drug dealer one needs not be with the drugs 24/7, so could just be they are killing ’em off (dirty cops, cop cops, drug lords, citizens, etc.) w/out the drugs … which means the drugs coming in, needs to be pushed to market, like a bunch of new cars, without car dealerships 😉 . Or are stuck in storage.

                I hope they cover that story. 😉

                “I commend PCIJ for writing to information rather than sensation. There is so little of this kind of reporting here.”

                Maybe they’ve already done it, but a good categorization of drugs would be a good start, Joe.

                I suspect this Ecstasy stuff is simply rich Filipino kids hanging out in Las Vegas, or other venues, visiting the http://www.electricdaisycarnival.com/ , then smuggling a couple of pills or more to the Philippines, that’s how Ecstasy got to the East Coast-Mid West from Western EU in the early 90s—- there wasn’t even an actual cartel or illicit trade going on, simply small smuggling operations thru customs, then straight to parties.

                So a differentiation of the drugs mentioned, and the process to get it to market.

                The persons or team writing these articles don’t differentiate,

                which tells me they’re not really hip to this narcotics seen (or simply over-looking it, focusing on the numbers instead). Listing this stuff out, w/out explanation of what these substances do, the context in which they are used and the process used to bring ’em to market, need to be looked into further, IMHO. Then it would truly be an information driven series.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t pretend to know or understand the resource constraints PCIJ deals with, or how they make money. I’ll restrict my critique to praise for the work done, and express a hope that they continue their fine work.

              • “The new effort just overlays summary executions on the framework and information already in place. That’s how the “kill lists” were put together. From prior investigations.”

                The very definition of actionable intelligence is to take action, LOL! 😉

                But seriously though, Joe, this third take-away is where the idea of results kick in. And since DU30 already gave himself the 6 month time-line best to tally up the data and compare after 6 months— 3 weeks is just too early, IMHO.

              • Joe America says:

                The prior administration followed the laws of the land. lol. The new administration’s action taken is to ignore human rights conventions and the laws of the land. lol.

                I agree three weeks is too early to draw definitive conclusions. It is not too early to raise red flags.

              • chempo says:

                Lance, I get what you are saying.
                Re drugs, Du30 is producing results (in terms of drug hauls and body counts), compared to all previous admins. The issue is, does the methods matter. That is the subject of this blog. I would have shamelessly gone ga-ga with this new admin had they achieved the same results without all those body counts, had they fast-tracked cases, and get the judiciary to speed up the prosecution and put the criminals behind bars pronto. Wait a minute, the judiciary is part of the problem, isn’t it? Du30 knows he can’t get the courts to fast-track cases, everybody knows that. Hence the summary executions and viola problem solved. But has Du30 solved the judiciary problem? NO! What has he done to solve the demand side? He is fixing the criminals without fixing the problems.

              • chemp,

                I agree the judiciary has to be fixed but criminal justice— I don’t think is the route to take here. Too much divide between the rich and poor, makes simply buying people off so much easier, than going thru the process. I can empathize with these strongman tactics,

                up in San Francisco, the mafia only got as far as Emeryville (trains stopped there), plus SF City was a lot smaller, and there were the Chinese who cornered the vice activity. San Diego was similar to SF, a military town, but also unlike the East Coast, Italians in the West Coast were more entrepreneurial, compared to factories… Bank of America, was called Bank of Italy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_America#Bank_of_Italy

                But it was in Los Angeles the mafia never penetrated–and they really wanted to because of the film industry, less entrepreneurial and more union based–mostly because of police tactics which were extra-judicial in nature.

                I only way I see reforming the judiciary via criminal justice is if you guys have a dream team of prosecutors, and cops, your Untouchables… but after what Ecleo did in Cebu and the reluctance to bring him back, I doubt the Philippines has these individuals… If they existed I’m sure DU30 would have put them to use.

                So the only sector of the law I think where you guys might have momentum is in int’l law, with the UNCLOS win, and now ASEAN integration, so reform the judiciary by having more Filipino lawyers versed in int’l law as well as ASEAN specific laws.

                You guys wanna reform the judiciary over there, fine— forget the criminal justice system for now, and focus on where idealism can still thrive… no doubt corporate law will also render lawyers corrupt, but environmental law seems the place to begin really reforming the judiciary over there.

                Forces against the environment will surely buy people off too, but the delineation between good and bad seem a lot clearer, ie. abuse of environment is abuse of humanity. Whereas the drug issue, tends to frame a humanity vs. humanity narrative. So fight for something bigger than humanity.

                Focus on environmental law, as a means to introduce Filipino lawyers to Ethics. 😉

              • Joe America says:

                I’ve always had trouble with the “you guys” perspective. It suggests Filipinos live in a zoo for others to observe and comment on, but not really participate in. Rather a washing of the hands approach, or a condescending approach, or a lecturing approach. Not to mention a sexist approach.

              • ooops, you’re right , Joe, pls. change ‘you guys’ to ‘the Philippines’ …

              • Joe America says:

                It’s okay. Most get that you are well studied and well intended. I was just flying top of mind, doing my editor’s bit.

            • Joe America says:

              This is absolutely poetic, chempo. Set it to “where have all the young men tune”. The old men, the brave men, are home snickering in their knickers about the booty that is about to be theirs. Uncle Cojuangco was a brave man, calling for his son’s resignation with the power of INC behind him warbling like a greek choir under the direction of a lunatic conductor.

              My, my, you do inspire the literary in me . . . but to cut to the chase, you have nailed it.

      • mel says:

        kudos to the two. hope they can think of isolation concept for the offenders. solitary confinement is not inhumane but a disciplinary action in order to conform with the prison rules. if the rules are followed no disciplinary action. maximum hi security prison is indeed a misnomer.

      • caliphman says:

        Excuse me if I let loose on a brief rant. It does not take much of an idiot to understand how Bilibid came to be a drug lord paradise. Its at best criminal negligence and incompetence by past administrations and legislators, at worst an indication of collaboration or connivance on their part in permitting Bilibid to operate as heart of drug and crime activity.. For the longest time, it has been absolutely clear that prisoner congestion and staffing at this maximum security prison has been increasingly out of control. California penitentiaries on average have a ratio of 1 guard for every 5 inmates. At maximum security centers, this ratio is tightened to 1 to 3. Well at Bilibid where the worst gangs are kept, the overcrowding has become so bad and security so lax that the ratio has deteriorated to a disastrous 1 guard to 64 inmates with an acknowledged optimum target of 1 to 7. As a result, the leaders of the 14 prison gangs have been given responsibility over housing, policing and disciplining (oddly enough) their own gangs and amongst themselves. In exchange, the prison authorities look the other way at whatever the ganglords do or possess in their suites and fiefdoms.

        What PNP Chief De La Rosa and Secretary Aguirre has done in bringing the SAF to guard Bilibid makes for great headlines and will definitely disrupt organized drug and gang activity and the laissez faire attitude prison administration has given it. But without alleviating the overcrowding, pumping in more resources and competent staff into Bilibid, the effect of introducing the SAF may only be to disrupt drug activity and may not prevent the gangs from adapting and fluorishing under the new conditions.

        • Jake says:

          The SAF in bilibid says a lot. The SAF is a “military-level police” usually utilized for anti-terrorism. If the PNP had the need to bring the SAF to bilibid, it says a lot about the quality of the regular PNP and the warden.

          I would not surprised if the next suggestion will be: replace mall guards/school guards/bank guards with military people (perhaps, the NPA?)

        • chempo says:

          Caliphman, you are absolutely right. The SAF can only be an interim measure. Long term solutions are required. Years of neglect was perhaps due to lack of a prisoner party list? I’m being sarcastic of course.

  13. Ed Celis says:

    “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
    ― John F. Kennedy
    ‘Freedom from fear’ could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.
    — Dag Hammarskjöld
    Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.
    ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
    — Thomas Jefferson
    No cause can justify the abuse of human rights.
    — Irene Khan
    There is no excuse for human rights abuse, whether in the name of security or in the name of liberation.”
    — Irene Khan
    Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.”
    — Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.
    — Mary Robinson
    Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them.
    — Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign. … You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth.
    — Mother Teresa
    Liberty, freedom and democracy are very fuzzy words, but human rights is very specific. Joichi Ito
    Democracy is not the end product, but the means to the end, which is the enjoyment of human rights by all.” Alfred de Sayas
    No man is above the law and no man below it.
    ~ Theodore Roosevelt.

    “Human rights must uphold human dignity. They can’t be used as an excuse to destroy your country.” Duterte…
    Note: Human rights, the rule of law is the basic principle of a democracy in the first world countries. It did not destroy those countries. Duterte’s human rights is shoot to kill.. .


    • Randolf says:

      Yes you are correct in say that but they are educated. Look at the difference of their masses to us. Our masses just cant understand this. For only they know is bad guys should be punish. To the people who abused them they must get even. More so thet have a good justice system. So may be we must educate them. Second reform the justice system to fast track cases and be fair. So that ordinary people will not be impatient to justice and would believe in us and know the value of democracy and long route of due process. Thus they will also learn the value of respect to the law and life

      • Joe America says:

        What is interesting is the role of entitlement in the history of the nation’s laws and judicial findings, the politicization of the courts and people dealing in favors rather than public interest. I don’t detect that the Duterte Administration is breaking the mold that made the Philippine justice system what it is. Rather, favor and power and entitlement are mainstream. Certainly some of the pragmatic plans are good. I wonder if the Administration has the capacity to teach the masses much though. Obedience, maybe. If they find that fulfilling, then those of us who advocate for liberty as a foundation for self expression and growth can mosey off to play Pokemon Go.

        • Randolf says:

          I guess mouths must be feed first to that they will be willing to listen. Poor people needs concrite things and not just concepts. I guess this is the reason why DU30 won and popular.

        • Jake says:

          He is empowering it. Empowering entitlement among the people in power while putting all the blame on the commoners. After all, we either “criminals” or “drug addicts”

      • chempo says:

        Congratulations Randolph, you have finally agreed with what the majority have been saying here. The system is broken, fix it. The system can’t be fixed by a killing rampage.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Chempo..Correct me if I am wrong, but my memory is when Lee Kuan You was elected to power in the 1950’s as the British were leaving, he imprisoned indefinitely ( not killed ) all the disruptive radicals, unionists and communists to restore order in Singapore…And he maintained a very strong elected authoritarian police state well into the 1970’s. Rights got short shrift. I used to have friends at Uni who had fled Singapore as a result. And foreigners coming to Singapore who were hippies or into drugs were refused entry. Why did LKY do this ? So he could create a strong prosperous society. The Singapore we know today.

          Could Duterte be taking a similar path ?

          • chempo says:

            Good question, Bill.

            My gut feel is that Du30’s make up is that of a wild west sheriff. He has good intentions, but his methods I don’t agree with. The major dangers with this kind of strong personality is 3-fold :
            1. Little Du30s will be replicated all over the Philippines. It is already happening. Over time, he will not be able to haul them in. Once the dark genies are released, it becomes the problems of the next few admins.
            2. Power is intoxicating. The hero that stays too long becomes the villian himself. With a servile congress and senate, and executives throughout the whole govt organisation structure swayed over to his style, and a 91% trust rating of one and sundry, the checks and balance are gone. All these developments and personality traits point to a high possibility of a bad outcome.
            3. Du30 is not about strenghtening institutions, he is about stamping his personal will on the land. However good intentions he may have, there is a tragedy in the making. He will leave behind a huge power vacumn, thus uncertainty and instability.

            Both Lee and Du30 have such strong presence and commanding delivery on stage (although Du30 does’nt have Lee’s worldly wisdom and prowess of articulation). Both are equally decisive and have deep commitments to see a job through. They are however, worlds apart in their psychological make up. Many have already voiced their opinion of the Du30’s sociological and psyhcological signs, and they are not comfortable to say the least. . Lee was very much molded by Confucianist morality and British sense of fairness (from his Cambridge days). When you stand in front of Lee, you are in awe of the man. I have never met Du30 in person, but I imagine if one meets him for the first time, one probably stand with some fear.

            Lee “…imprisoned indefinitely ( not killed ) all the disruptive radicals, unionists and communists…”
            Some clarification needed here — the ‘ALL’ is incorrect. But yes, many were imprisoned without trial, but under a law we inherited from the British. The disruptive radicals and unionists were communists agitators (knowingly or unknowingly), which means basically, Lee acted against the communists. (Du30 as we all know, coddles the communists.) Many of those arrested were released simply by making an oath never to continue to take the path of violence in the streets. We had one longest serving political prisoner in the world, Dr Chia Thye Poh. He served a long spell in prison and further years in ‘exile’ in one of our small islands. He was free to return home by simply swearing non-violence, but he refused because to do so is an admission that he participated in street violence, something he steadfastly denied. Such is the ferocious principles of communists.

            Both Lee and Du30 take unconventional approaches to solve some serious problems. There are major differences
            – Lee was not trigger happy, nobody was killed.
            – Although there was no trial, those arrested were properly investigated.
            – Lee faced street violence, the country was already in turmoil and collapse of govt was a real possibility. Whilst criminality is a serious problem in Philippines, the country is not about to collapse. Lee’s was a political life and death problem, Du30’s is a cops and robbers problem.

    • Joe America says:

      That about covers it. Kudos to the few in government who “get it”, and are not willing to roll over for personal benefit.

    • edgar lores says:

      Ed, thanks. I like the Alfred de Sayas quote. It’s similar to my “the journey is the destination.”

    • josephivo says:

      All true, but individually I need someone to protect me when emotional. I’ll kill a pusher luring my kids into drugs and cut the hand of the snatcher of my cellphone or castrate the one who fondles my daughter indecently. My pain is unique, my pain justifies the strongest reprisal. For me the Old Testament, an eye for an eye. But for the others I expect restraint, see the big picture, reading the New Testament of love and understanding.

      Human rights is a cultural thing, to correct/prevent our ancient instinctive reactions. Human rights is something for society to guarantee, not for the individual. Representatives, senators, president where are you?

  14. madlanglupa says:

    Well, it seems that the Maoists’ love affair with El Presidente — despite the welcoming, open arms yesterday, as if their dreams would soon come true — is starting to show cracks, as his speech emphasized much on destroying drugs and asking for discipline, discipline, discipline, while giving labor and education — both of which should ultimately solve the problem of chronic crime and poverty — a very tiny mention.


  15. NHerrera says:

    I do not know about downloading games such as the latest craze, Pokemon Go. Whether variation of the game may be downloaded or there is only one version.

    Suppose PRD is a game with variants. PRD1 is the full-bore version, warts and all including the the item on killings of druggies, most of which are poor ones. PRD2 is the PRD variant without this killing aspect and without his pre-inauguration pronouncements.

    Then we may judge PRD going forward based on PRD1 or PRD2 much like judging Jollibee chicken joy with or without the spices. Will that be a fair way of doing things? (I myself like the spicy version, but that is my way with food.)

  16. Jack says:

    Oh! Yes, yes Joe this is how “trust and confidence” is built in the Philippines and you couldnt argue with the 91% approval ratings. Amen.

    Keep in mind that this is a Filipino culture; quiet different from the American’s and wish to remind you that I have been exposed and trained from those two cultures. For example: When one is involved in a car accident hitting a pedestrian the owner/driver shall pay for the hospitaliztion and some cash hand out; rarely no insurance involvement, thus the traffic mishap didnt happen. That is how things is done in the Philippines. At first I objected and agnrily said that I will call my insurance and let them take care of it. I lost my argument; I thought I will just have to make some adjustment.

    Do you want to hear another one Joe? Do you know how is a friendly loan (money) is handled in the Philippines?

    Trust and confidence requires intimidation which we call “gulpe de gulat” and it works in most cases. Why do you think the Philippines Supreme Court gets involve with just about averything when the lower court could have done it?

  17. An unprecedented trust rating, a super majority in congress and at the senate, a stable and strong economy, plenty of international goodwill……with all these aces stacked in its favor, this administration, or any administration for that matter can literally aim for the stars..it may not literally get there, but think of the possibilities, the opportunities, all the good it can muster and accomplish. You would think that strong arm tactics should not be a necessity…but, such is the reality of our time. So much power, so much to do, so little time…

    • Agreed, Elmer. The challenge to the present administration is to use these positive political capitals for the good of the nation. It should be cognizant that the passive-aggresive behavior a lot of Filipinos display was borne out of the “strong arm tactics” that past administrators, foreign and domestic, employed. Let the Filipinos’ brave new world be built on rule of law, decency and civility instead of totalitarian tendencies. PH as a nation deserves better and I hope PRD’s administration drives it to its ultimate success.

    • Joe America says:

      In the end, we will all be subjects of the realm, and the pace of things will not be of our concern.

  18. gubatvoces says:

    I watched Duterte give a speech at Fort magsaysay this afternoon. He said he will not allow any policeman to be prosecuted

    • Jake says:

      It’s only a matter of time when the scalawags will start targeting the middle class (but the upperclass will always be protected, unless they are opposition). Right now, they are targeting mostly poor people

      Let’s see if they’ll still sing the same song

    • Jack says:

      Hey gubat, perhaps you misunderstood him. I know he said: “Do not abuse your authority or there will be hell to pay.”

  19. Juana Pilipinas says:

    “He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of them all.” -PRD, SONA 2016

    Something he borrowed from criminal law. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cause

    Did I hear right that he was saying that the Filipino users and pushers are the root cause of the drug proliferation in PH? That smack dab of victimizing the victims, don’t you think?

    • Joe America says:

      That is the common technique of the intimidator, is it not? It is what riled me up, when human rights supporters were effectively accused of being in the business of damaging the nation.

      Abu Sayyaf is the victim in this scenario, along with the NPA and CCP. That seems to make the AFP the guilty party, but don’t tell it to the generals.

      Right and wrong get turned inside out, and as chempo has said, the brave have gone quiet. In truth, I think the brave were not so very brave, they were just loud.

    • edgar lores says:


      That’s just two-level deep. It is not… profound.

      The 5 Whys template challenges us to go five-level deep to arrive at a root cause.

  20. Jake says:

    It makes me wonder how the mayor’s fans would react once the Philippines dethrones Honduras or El Salvador in murders…

    Whatta goal! Numbah 1, numbah 1

  21. It reminds me of the extreme nationalist country like Venezuela, give the poor so much even it will not balance the budget like spoon feeding policy, protect the President elite & make everyone happy. They pump their oil so fast to fuel this craziness to make everyone happy. And look where they are now still a very poor nation, no proper justice system, corruption still rampant, inequality in all level.

    • Joe America says:

      Good example. Right and wrong get twisted backward, so sense can never come up with solutions that work. There is always a villain and it is someone other than the people in power.

    • madlanglupa says:

      And death… Currently one of the world’s murder capitals, not even sparing a former Miss Universe contestant gunned down.

  22. Cha Coronel Datu says:

    “The tribes and regions are the abandoned step children of a wayward and untrustworthy parent . . . the parent who would just as soon beat you and steal your savings as feed you and wrap you in her arms.

    And so the people expect abuse. It affirms their sense of powerlessness, and it indoctrinates them into the view that the powers of National are supreme. If our lives are to become better, they think to themselves, we need power in National, someone who can cut through the crap and give us definition. We need the biggest badass we can find to put the other abusers into line. Give them their own medicine, so to speak.

    The unloved . . . seeking love in all the wrong places.

    Seeking trust and confidence in all the wrong ways.”

    Dear Mr. JoeAmerica,

    We, the underestimated, are so impressed with the great thesis you have put forward in your blog.

    We are hereby pleased to inform you of your nomination for the honorary degree of Master’s in Filipino Psychology from the University of Learning It the Hard Way.

    With any luck, the Bored shall approve this nomination on the day the rest of the Filipino people finally see the light. In the year of their enlightenment.

    Should you be less inclined to so wait, may we also recommend for yourself and your avid readers an application for a Doctorate degree on the Art of Pretending Not to See What’s Right in Front of You, offered by our College of (It’s None of Your God-damned) Business. We promise swift executions, I mean quick action on the very day y’all decide to give up thinking for yourselves. Completion of the requirements for this degree will automotically entitle you guys to membership in The Society that Looks the Other Way.

    Looking forward to your unfavourable response.


    Filipinos Forevah

    • karlgarcia says:

      yeah I move to close da nominations forevah.

    • Joe America says:

      I take this slap upside the head as one of the highest honors I have received, right up there alongside dining with the President and one who aspired to the job. Knowing the truth, of course, makes one adept at burying it.

  23. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, I am still settling in here in Oz, recovering from injury, dealing with a mountain of built up mail etc..So I have not had time to read all the comments.

    But I feel you hit the spot Joe with this remark in your post “It seems to me that the Philippines, is a collective of peoples”…Thus we come again to the nature of the Philippines as a state : more an empire than a nation. An empire evolving towards a nation certainly. But an empire all the same.Courtesy of it’s colonial history with Spanish conquest, American conquest, Japanese occupation and finally being thrown into Independence in 1946 by the USA after a brutal war with no period to restore stability and peace.

    As Duterte is from the far South. from Mindanao with Cebuano ancestry, I think that he is very aware of these issues…

    In thinking about all this I have been looking for an model to frame his position as ‘president’.

    In so many ways he reminds me of a Roman Emperator with the status, power and authority of an emperor to solve the urgent problems facing the Philippines empire. ( In some ways he is like Putin in Russia 1998.Elected yes. But elected to sort out the mess of the Yeltsin years. And now he bestrides the Russian political stage as an emperor. )

    So I do not expect Duterte to behave like a duly elected constitutionally bound, USA style ‘president’. And that may be for you Joe,a major problem in thinking for I think that is your expectation.

    Is it not interesting that the 120,000 drug users, sellers have now reported to police. They were ordered to do this by the Emperor. And they are also faced with local community people sick and tired of drug criminals infesting their baranguays. Wanting it to stop NOW. As the alternative is being shot I guess that is to be expected.

    And this morning the Enquirer reports that the SC has issued a TRO about the curfew on youngsters roaming the streets at night after 10.00 PM…I wonder what Duterte will do. I do not expect him to respect the SC’s TRO. He thinks that the SC is a cause of many of the problems. nd I suspect he is right.

    I still do not have a personal opinion yet about the new leader. I am still trying to describe and be informed. It is easier now I am not actually living in Manila. But is the real peace & quiet of Oz. But we will return.

    • Francis says:

      “But I feel you hit the spot Joe with this remark in your post “It seems to me that the Philippines, is a collective of peoples”…Thus we come again to the nature of the Philippines as a state : more an empire than a nation. An empire evolving towards a nation certainly. But an empire all the same.Courtesy of it’s colonial history with Spanish conquest, American conquest, Japanese occupation and finally being thrown into Independence in 1946 by the USA after a brutal war with no period to restore stability and peace.

      As Duterte is from the far South. from Mindanao with Cebuano ancestry, I think that he is very aware of these issues…”

      Very aware.

      “Punta muna ako dito ha, itong federalism. Ewan ko kung tama. Alam mo, itong bayan natin, if I may just repeat. I know that you know — on 1521, Magellan landed in Leyte. Kumare ko man ito. [Salamat, mare ha.] Mindanao was already Islam by 100 years. So, ano ito, it’s an imperialism thing.

      There’s a historical injustice committed against the Moro people. We have to correct it. But it is well possible now. Kaya kayong mga kapatid kong mga Moro, alam naman ninyo. Ako, I’m mixed. Migrant ang tatay ko doon. So, mixed-blood ako. Moro pati Christian.

      But, you know, intindihin na lang natin ito, that we can return to you all. Iyong nakuha ng mga Amerikano, Español, pati yung mga Pilipino, mga kapitalista, those who exploited Mindanao with that thing sloganeering go to Mindanao because it is a land of promise.

      With the vast entry of so many people, basically coming from the Visayas, magkaroon tayo ng… We cannot solve it the way you want it to be. We have to understand each other then you have to live with each other, but we will try.

      Ang sinasabi kong babalik ako, dahil ako sa federalism. Both Misuari, Sema and all, at least the politiko leaders ng Mindanao will agree to it. We do not…Remember that ako ‘yung… Hindi ko dinidikdik yung masyadong Abu Sayyaf because it is really connected with the first talks between Misuari, the President, subsequently President Marcos and now, until now, until now.

      The only way they said that we can have this. Iyong BBL, ibigay na natin, minus the things that you do not want. Iyong mga Constitutional issues.

      Tanggalin muna natin. Ibigay ko yung area. Nandiyan na yan eh. So I ask you pass it minus the Constitutional issues that are contentious. Ibigay na natin at when the federal system comes, isali mo na sa package, together with Misuari.

      That is the solution for Mindanao. Nothing else. Believe me. Nothing else will do. Please sleep on it, ponder on it, because that’s the only way to proceed.”

      • Francis says:

        Addenda: The long quote above is from Duterte’s SONA speech.

      • Joe America says:

        What I find, um, ironic or amusing, is that President Aquino spent years working on the BBL. A LOT of work went into that agreement. Then Senator Marcos tossed it into the trash can, along with Senator Cayetano’s exuberant (and ambitious, we soon discovered) help. Now President Duterte says “give me the BBL or give me death”.

        Both Presidents understand what is needed. We can, I suppose, find comfort in knowing that. Now, if they would just take the political edge off things, we might actually be finding a path to peace and harmony in Mindanao. And the economic prosperity the prior elite national governors failed to produce.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ll be doing my critique of the critiques of the SONA a little later today. Maybe you will find it helpful as to figuring out my expectations, and the Philippines under a new leader who is either the best or worst imaginable, or somewhere in between. 🙂

      • Joe, I can talk and read at length about peace & order stuff and rule of law in the 3rd world, but specific to the Philippines , I think the environmental and energy stuff should take center stage, IMHO 😉 .

        So if you can also touch on DU30 and his relationship with Sec. Gina Lopez, that would be great! Also in line with those articles you shared re drugs , are there articles and studies, or groups compiling Sec. Lopez’s work?

        karl’s already shared that river article and DENR’s interface with Energy over there, but would love to see some data driven articles concerning Sec. Lopez and DENR, and how solid DU30’s backing of her truly is. Thanks!

      • NHerrera says:

        IS A PUZZLEMENT. But I would say somewhere in between.

        • NHerrera says:

          He has already said a mouthful even before the SONA. And at the SONA he stated a comprehensive to-do list, with quite a few he labeled as a priority. Now it it is time to really prioritize. Mainly because as Karl stated in so many words, we are not a land flowing with milk and honey in Pesos. Pruning out is part of the prioritization process. And spending political capital on divisive moves by him and his allies is also part of the process.

          * An improved non-divisive PRD and allies a priority
          * For a feel good immediate item, relieving the traffic mess at NCR even with a reasonable emergency powers
          * The China issue a priority
          * BBL a priority
          * Unhurried but well thought out agreement with CPP
          * Let the economic and financial managers do what they are good at.
          * Rethink the ideas and schedule about the change in form of government — meaning less priority.

          • NHerrera says:


            The US, through Sec of State Kerry, has taken advantage of the development coming out of the ascension of PRD and his warming up to China. A pragmatic and face-saving stance on all sides to decrease tensions in the WPS.

            Kerry praised the very responsible and measured way that the Philippine government has responded to the decision.

          • NHerrera says:

            Meantime Bayan Muna had their rally at the US Embassy on the 10-4 SC ruling that EDCA is an Executive Agreement and not a Treaty. It urged PRD to scrap the Agreement.

        • Joe America says:

          Just dropping this off, a little off topic, but given today’s shenanigans to fix a minority leader, it seems right.

      • Francis says:

        Much pardon for the length. If I might offer a few suggestions as to what possible expectations should have regarding our new President and the administration, especially given the recent SONA speech.

        If I would be asked, I’d go at it in two ways. One from the standpoint of a pragmatic liberal and democrat. Another from the standpoint of a Filipino considering the long-term path of the PH before all ideological—including democratic—considerations.

        From the standpoint of a pragmatic liberal and democrat, the key question is: “How does one deal with the precarious position of human rights under this administration?” In concrete terms, “What’s best for the victims/those likely to be victims?” I think that in pragmatic terms, this can broken down into two questions. First, “Is there/Will there be a critical, yet collaborative working relationship between human rights advocates and the administration?” Second, “What are the relative strengths/compassionate spots of the administration on human rights that can be used as a way to maintain a productive middle ground?”

        My personal answer to the above questions: The administration’s mandate is overwhelming. Vox populi, vox Dei. And as some have pointed out—as in the case of Bilibid—this tough approach has yielded real results. One cannot do anything about the administration’s wariness of criticism, especially given their current position; yet, it is imperative that one must work around this in order to achieve the maximum good. One must therefore retain a working relationship with the administration—especially in order to take advantage of key middle ground issues that can be “cracks” in the harsh facade of the administration. Take for instance, the issue of rehab. HR advocates can critically work with the administration to ensure that rehab gains just as much importance as prosecution and punishment in the war on drugs.

        One can be pessimistic and see the disparity between the attention given on “rehab” and “drug war” as a bad thing. Or one can be optimistic and see that “rehab” itself gaining a spot on the SONA as a crack that can be widened, so as to shine light for the people…the powerful grace of FOI means one can truly grill the agencies/LGUs on rehab now… 🙂

        One can be critical, yet collaborative—despite holding differing ideological paradigms. I can’t help but think of the Washington DC—Moscow hotline; public opposition, but willingness to work together and maintain a degree of trust behind the scenes/low-key fashion, is an approach worth considering.

        As a Filipino focusing on the long-term path of development of the Philippines, the situation is clear. The principles of liberal and republican democracy—and by extension, a path of development grounded on those principles—has been (to put it charitably) somewhat rejected by the Filipino people via Duterte and their enthusiastic support for his policies. The people want Change. The people want DISCIPLINE.

        Okay. But recognizing this reality DOES NOT MEAN UNCRITICAL recognition and analysis of it. If Filipinos are truly going to recognize that they may want to adhere to non-democratic principles in their path to development, then they owe it to themselves and their children to CRITICALLY analyze those principles and their implementation.

        Level-up na sa commentary. Enough with the articles gushing over how curfews will instantly turn us into disciplined people like Singaporeans and Japanese. Never mind that Singapore was a city-state. Never mind that Japan never was dominated by one personality/father figure—no, the Emperor doesn’t count, as he was symbolic for the most part. Now, I am not saying that articles talking about “how you can do your own part in being a disciplined citizen!” are bad. They are needed because society’s problems are individual problems too. But, the thing is, society’s problems…are also society’s problems. Which means that they ain’t just individual, they’re also (emphasis on this) systemic.

        Take the kiddie gloves off the analysis on administration’s progress. The time for admiring the novelty (“How unprecedented! Oh my!”) strongman leadership is over. The people have spoken, and have expressed a yearning more for “Singapore” than “America” as a model for our path to First World. Okay. Let’s take that seriously. That means—as Filipinos looking towards the long view—we’re ought to seriously benchmark with Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. We should seriously look at what they are doing and what they’ve gone through to ensure success for our own path to development.

        The two burning questions are: “Will True Change last beyond the President? Will the State be significantly more effective?” My personal questions: Will Duterte leave behind not only a happy people—but effective public institutions that can be both autonomous and capable enough to recognize and quickly achieve national goals. Will Duterte leave behind a culture of meritocracy in public service buttressed not only by sentiment, but by a reasonable and fair system of incentives and costs—all compatible with Filipino sensibilities?

        As recommended reading, I highly—HIGHLY—recommend reading this research paper. Seriously. I recommend a read of this paper. I read this when I was starting to get politically aware and conscious. It proved to me that culture was malleable, that enough force could change a culture—yet, to a democrat: at what cost? Nevertheless, eye-opening read.


        In brief: How Japan turned Korea from a state resembling…us…to a frighteningly effective and penetrating mercantilist state. Yet, this is how effective (but not necessarily democratic) institutions and institutional paths were formed in a few generations.


        In general—our expectations should be that we should take Duterte seriously. And not just the man, but what he either explicitly or implicitly represents or is a vessel of: the paradigm, the principles, the context. The odd taste of his administration is precisely because he goes against some foundations of status quo. That should be taken seriously.

        • Francis says:

          Addenda: Does not preclude a synthesis of the two paradigms (democracy and strong-state rule) or mixed paradigm.

          • There are many forms of democracy, the mistake made in the Philippines was to think the American model is the only one. There are also many forms of due process…

            A Filipino lawyer refused to believe that German state prosecutors offices work on the guilty until proven innocent principle – no TROs possible. What balances this is that they also must look for exonerating circumstances, then decide whether to press charges.

            Innocent until proven guilty is then the principle left to the courts. It is more detailed than my short layman’s summary, but it can all be read about. BTW Japan and South Korea adopted the German judiciary system in the 19th century, it works well for them.

            Countries with old Spanish penal code like the Philippines are the Latin American countries which tend to be a mess. Rizal already criticized the 1884 penal code which only is revised not revamped until today, while praising English colonial justice in Hongkong.

            Nobody touches the Philippine system though, with its loopholes and obstructions.

        • You should write a guest article .

        • Joe America says:

          I appreciate the elaboration, Francis, and the paper. Rather than try to respond, let me just take it in, digest it, and let it come out in further writings as it shall.

        • NHerrera says:

          I would like to latch on to some of the concepts of Francis post above.

          Francis provided a link describing Korea’s historical lineage with Japan or Japan’s tutelage of Korea. Japan provided the Authoritarian regime which, among others, resulted in Korea to pull the country in one direction instead of the cross-purposes of the many fractious units of Korea while disciplining it. Freed from Japan’s regime or tutelage, Korea used the lessons learned to make it the economic powerhouse that it has become.

          Now let us take the Philippine case. For the purpose of this post, I would like to start with a fundamental assumption: that the whole government machinery and some non-government institutions as well is so corrupted (while acknowledging some of the gains of the President Aquino) at all levels that one needs to transform it drastically.

          I can subscribe to the idea that the only way to do that, time being of the essence, while world events are accelerating without letup, is an authoritarian leader. We need a transformational authoritarian leader.

          We are fortunate in being handed in a silver platter, as it were, by circumstance, such an Authoritarian Leader. And here I get interrupted in my thoughts. Earlier, edgar essayed on the concepts of transformational, transactional and transitional leaders. His conclusion which I share is that PRD is not a transformational leader but rather a transactional one (reference: Marcos Sr, BBM and GMA).

          Now I can adjust this academically – transformation being by its nature a path dependent one. Is it possible that this early transactional regime is just a necessary part of the path to be traversed and that the road ahead will make drastic turn towards major transformations? Something like this diagram:

          Pre-election path, transactional elements used >> Immediate post-election path … transactional regime … >> Preparatory Transformational Regime >> Major Transformational Regime.


          • The killings of the druggies as a graphic metaphor for instilling of the required discipline.

          • Aside from transforming the government machinery and attitudes, the combined elements – of the Muslim problem, the CPP insurgency, the China problem – argues for the Authoritarian Path as the most efficient path towards its resolution, again time being of the essence. Note the wrangling on the BBL brought by BBM and Cayetano and Poe via Mamasapano – who may not be as obstructive and noisy next time around with their transactional comrade in arms at the helm.

          • karlgarcia says:

            For me a transaction is compared to a relationship ,both can earn loyalty,but we all know which is lasting.
            in terms of leadership,you may be transactional and yet you may still be transformative.
            You gather all the temporary loyalties in order to achieve an end.
            It happens everytime in legislation.

            To soon to say if Duterte is a transformational leader,without the results.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > And now he bestrides the Russian political stage as an emperor.

      More like a Tsar. Stronger and decisive than Nicholas III, despite his policies, so many Russians now throw their lot behind him.

  24. karlgarcia says:

    The light at the end of the tunnel is more rehabilation facilities are to be built,and the assets of the military will be used.
    Still there without the money,they will eat their words about government spending.

    And with all the plans and promises, they will realize that the Abaya studies(mostly JICA)are really meant for future implementation.

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe they will recruit Micha as Economist in Chief, and just start printing the stuff.

    • “The light at the end of the tunnel is more rehabilation facilities are to be built,”

      I hope rehab doesn’t mean they treat these addicts as invalids like substance dependents of the rich and famous (a bunch of these fancy expensive facilities in Malibu ),

      So long as they get 3 square meals, some hot soup and clean water, and a place to sleep, put these people to work, like FDR’s New Deal.

      Work’s probably the best rehab anyone can get, gain skills and past the time productively! Plus the gov’t can keep a close eye on them!

      • Karl’s barangay-centric stuff comes to mind.

        They can start by clearing the garbage.

        • karlgarcia says:

          The tanods went haywire in implementing the curfew, they were supposed to bring the kids home,and discipline the parents.Notwithstanding the TRO,they can still convince the parents to mind their children,not by force,they can do it slowly but surely.

          • I realize that shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight (Wikipedia). I think this is being used today by the government in their effort to the eradicate drug problem and human rights and due process be damned…..but maybe, just maybe, the parents should cooperate in this specific instance (the matter of curfews) and coordinate with authorities in search of sensible, doable and permanent solutions…I mean SOME of today’s youth are flagrantly ignoring parental authority, no amount of discipline could prevent them from staying out late at night in the streets thereby risking their safety and well being.

            If parents, together with these hard headed kids, will be thrown out in similarly situated groups to perform civic duties (like cleaning streets of garbage, etc) as a form a punishment for violating the curfew, then these minors might listen the next time the parents or guardians will require them to stay home at night and do their homework and/or be useful in their respective homes instead of choosing to succumb to peer pressure.

  25. karlgarcia says:

    I have not forgotten that the DBM already said that the salaries of police and the soldiers can not be doubled yet.They reminded the palace of the ballooning pension arrears,perhaps.

  26. NHerrera says:


    Today, I feel like I am in a maze, a maze of solid rock caves. I’ve already lost a starving and thirsty friend. But still, I am trying to understand this maze. Is there a chance I may come out of this alive? Then kindred ones in TSH appear with nourishing water. And my hope is given a good shot in the arm. Let’s understand and reason out with the god of the caves, strive and live. We may yet get out of this maze.

  27. manuelbuencamino says:

    He governs through fear and intimidation not through trust and consent that’s what happens when one trashes the Bill of Rights

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Manuel Buencamino : Always in all balanced countries & societies there is a balance rights and obligations. As a member of society I have both some rights and I have some obligations..Again speaking as an outsider, there seems that the obligations side of things has got lost in the Philippines.

      An example : At a very basic level all have an obligation to obey the traffic & parking laws.Full stop.

      But then I know from seeing, that this obligation is pushed aside. Why ? So some folks can exercise the right to earn a living. So people set up vendor stalls that block major roads; or run ‘parking businesses’ that also block the roads; or hire out space & block the footpaths with stalls, forcing pedestrians out on the roads and so blocking the road; or staging various ‘processions’ or protests at peak hour that again block the roads.

      I saw all of this on a daily basis in Quezon Blvd in Manila.

      This is just an example.Generalizing, I say that unless all accept the obligation to abide by the laws, then there are very few rights left at all….

      I suggest that almost all Filipinos want to live in a country that actually ‘works’; that is not disfunctional.

      And so many Filipinos are drawn to support a leader to uses fear & intimidation as part of his way of governing. It is a very ‘Roman Emperor-ish ‘ way of governing. A heritage of the over 300 years Spanish Imperial rule in the Philippines with appointed and largely unaccountable ‘governors’.

      But these are the thoughts of an outsider seeing now from far away.

      • Duterte said he had crossed the Rubicon when he declared his candidacy.

        Caesar is now in the palace once used by the Spanish governors.

        Maybe someone should make him wear toga and sandals.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          A woolen toga would be tooooo hot in the Philippines Irineo..And the toga was the gear worn by Senators and Equestrians..Not by the emperor who was above all the commander of the military..As indeed is Duterte…Ummm.

    • Joe America says:

      Seems that way to me, MB, it does indeed. Trust and confidence are what we should have if we know what is good for us.

  28. josephivo says:

    Lawfare, Lawfare and Lawfare.

    Lawfare as “the negative manipulation of international and national human rights laws to accomplish purposes other than, or contrary to, those for which they were originally enacted”.[Wiki]
    When Du30 opposition to human rights when hindering national interest in this context I could support. But I’m afraid he means that he want unhindered killings of petty criminals, something I could not support.

    Lawfare as, “the depressing reality that the Philippines remains at war with itself over the laws governing its use of lethal force to eliminate criminals by police and others.” [based on Wiki] Who can be killed, gravity of the crime, under what circumstances, who decides to pull the trigger, who controls all happens within the agreed context… ?

    Lawfare as “it refers both to the use of law as a weapon of conflict”.[Wiki] How can we use our laws and legal machinery better in fighting crime? What new/improved laws are required to achieve this? Where do we have to strengthen the police force, the prosecutors, the judiciary. A type of lawfare I would really appreciate.

  29. Jake says:

    I wonder if this is the end of the nation

    They say nations end when they become self-destructive, because they become weak

    300 extrajudicial killings in three weeks. That translates to 100 death per week.

    52 weeks x 100 deaths = 5200 extrajudicial killings. If it intensifies three times then 5200 x 3= 15,600 in a year. Just for EJK, does not include other murders and homicide

  30. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3710940/Harrowing-pictures-brutal-truth-Philippines-war-drugs-s-seen-300-killed-just-one-month-president-ordered-police-bars-ground.html

    Harrowing pictures show the brutal truth of the Philippines’ war on drugs that’s seen 300 killed in just one month after president ordered police to ‘put them behind bars or below ground’

    Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has been dubbed ‘The Punisher’ because of his brutal war on drugs
    He ordered police to carry out summary executions and also urged citizens to kill drug users and dealers
    Ordered drug pushers to be ‘put behind bars … or below ground if you wish’ after winning elections in May this year
    Almost 300 people have been killed since the start of July and the death toll is set to rise even further
    Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said 60,000 drug dependents have surrendered to authorities


    By Sarah Dean and John Carney for Daily Mail Australia

  31. Bill in Oz says:

    @Edgar. please..enough of parochial Aussie stuff..

    But NBN for Philippines ? That’s a big issue. What do you think ? Given the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines, could it be done ? Technologically a real challenge Also the population of the Philippines is 105 million much more than Oz..So potentially the demand would be much much higher..Is this manageable ?

    • edgar lores says:

      Bill, just to clarify. I have brought up examples of Oz imperfections because of your tendency to make what I consider to be hasty judgments on Filipino imperfections.

      As to broadband for the Philippines, a combined optic fibre, microwave and satellite solution might be best. Optic fibre/microwave for large land masses and microwave/satellite for inter-island communications.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        “I have brought up examples of Oz imperfections because of your tendency to make what I consider to be hasty judgments on Filipino imperfections.”

        No country is perfect Edgar…But I suggest that Australia has fewer imperfections than the Philippines..As indicated by your long residence here.

        As for my hasty judgments..Well this blog is a conversation not a research study. We each speak what is in our minds at the time..And listen to others with a view to becoming better informed and change our minds, coming to conclusions which have hopefully more ‘validity’…

        As for De Lima, who’s actions or inactions, brought on this discussion, I still think what I thought at the start of this conversation….In 2011 she was informed of a major, major problem in Bilibid prison. That the official prison administration had co-opted gang leaders in the prison to run the facility with significant benefits ( lurks perks & quirks ) for the gang leaders and their followers. On June 30th 2016 after 5 years of her leadership as Justice Secretary, that was still the situation. That is a major failure.And a blot of her time as Justice Secretary all the other work she has done which was excellent.

        By contrast Duterte’s Justice secretary took less than 3 weeks to go in and sack the prison administration and replace the guards. I hope that this major change will be a permanent change. But we will see.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          PS It would be useful to see what ( now ) senator De Lima has said or written about this issue recently. I have not seen anything yet..

        • Joe America says:

          The blog is indeed a conversation, but it has as its method that we are here both as teachers and students, speakers and listeners, and one of the things we ought to be working on is how to converse in absolutely the best way possible, replacing name calling with respect for opposing views, and opinions based on ignorance with opinions based on knowledge. Bad conversations are just that, they don’t build and too often they tear down.

        • edgar lores says:

          Bill, I agree that Oz has fewer imperfections — quantity-wise and quality-wise — than the Philippines in the conduct of government officials. But I would say, magnitude-wise, that John Howard’s decision to join the Iraq war has no Philippine equivalent in the cost of lives and resources.

          I agree we speak our minds. But the other half, as you point out, is listening. Despite JoeAm’s enumeration of Senator de Lima’s many concerns during her stint at DOJ, you still persist in questioning her integrity.


          We now have a strongman who approves of strongman tactics. Again, this has been explained to you by chempo.


          And here you are still insisting on your interpretation. You are now better informed. I do not expect you to change your mind. But there is a point when a discussion becomes tedious.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Hi Edgar, There is one argument which never moves me : an argument from authority.Give me the facts plus what others are thinking, like Chempo here a few days ago and I’ll work out my own opinions.

            I went looking for facts just now. There are some interesting ‘hits’.

            One is a Wikipedia entry about De Lima lead raids on Bilibid in 2014..Short on details but a nice counter to my views earlier today..

            A second is a Youtube of DE Lima in Bilbid singing her heart out for a friend who was an inmate for his birthday : Herbert Clongco ( No idea who he is guys. )

            The search turned up 394,000 hits. A lot are new dating from the raid on Bilibid a week ago. I will peruse some and see whether De Lima has actually spoken about this matter.

            • I read that the YouTube Video is spliced or faked from two videos… I dunno.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Apparently this Youtube video was not taken inside Bilibid for Colangco’s birthday party…She said the video supposedly showing her with Colangco was actually taken during her own birthday party at the Department of Justice (DOJ) quadrangle back in August 2015.

              She also said that he person sitting next to her and who was speculated to be Colangco is actually Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas..

              Quite a campaign is being mounted against De Lima by the Duterte government..

              • Joe America says:

                My suggestion would be that, if you don’t accept the views of authority – for the integrity of that stance – perhaps you should refrain from being one yourself until you have done sufficient research to know what you are claiming. Especially when demeaning someone’s character.

            • chempo says:

              Bill, I’m surprised you fall for a vid like this. You are exactly playing into the hands of a dark group out to destroy certain righteous and strong personalities. They want these lies propagated and to spread like wildfire in the internet.

              Expect more of such falatious propagation ahead.

              • alicia m. kruger says:

                The knives are out for De Lima most especially from people who have an axe to grind. Sadly, many Filipinos are too judgmental and quick to condemn. The comments whenever this photo comes out in the internet are disgusting to say the least. Equally sad is that people have lost their ability to question the veracity of what they are seeing.

              • madlanglupa says:

                It’s clearly agitprop. Whether this was done with official sanction or by right-wing individuals, the purpose is to destroy her reputation. The objective seems to be removing any remnants of the old administration.

                Do note that her predecessors, previous Justice Secretaries, may have either (1) kept in the dark, they have no idea about what was going on the inside of Bilibid or (2) they have full knowledge but kept it to themselves and did nothing about dealing with it. It was only when De Lima looked into it that it was… beyond disbelief, at just how influential certain convicts were, much like mafia bosses who manage to run their rackets while behind bars.

                > The knives are out for De Lima most especially from people who have an axe to grind.

                Or seeking more likes and shares… like-whoring by sensationalist and triumphalist websites who think this regime is the best ever since… Marcos.

  32. chempo says:

    Consider this:
    No single solitary drug lord ever bring a country down. Narco states suffer when the country is overrun by cartels. But by plunder a single person can bring a state down, or bring the state to financial calamities. Need I state examples? –Marcos, Fujimoto of Peru, Chavez of Valenzuela, the Argentinas, the Mozambiques, etc….

    • edgar lores says:

      chempo, I would say your argument is pretty conclusive.

    • karlgarcia says:


    • LG says:

      Chempo, your post on 7/31/16, 2:56pm. 👍 You nailed deep my reason for beheading government plunderers. Taking down a government is possibly the most adverse effect plunder can do. With all intent and no remorse in the plunderer.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Reading this quote:

      I can’t help but say there’s a group far worse than druggies, those crocodiles who allowed this to happen and profit from it.

      Someone brought this up to best describe our situation:

      “Police are inevitably corrupted. … Police always observe that criminals prosper. It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available.”

      ― Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune

  33. You are a candle in the wind, my friend. Perhaps, just perhaps, we have reason to hope.

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