Too big to kill

isis beheadings reuters

New PNP uniforms? [ISIS troops prepare to behead Christians; source Reuters]

I never considered that I would have to address the strategies and tactics of mass murder before, but being a blogger in the Philippines . . . in 2016 . . . well, that’s the job.

The topic arose when a reader said the current spate of killings will eventually go from the lower class to the middle class. I wondered what would stop the extra-judicial solutions from moving from drugs to other threats to the nation.

Well, not the nation, exactly. But to the people running it. There is a difference.

But let me back up a step before addressing this.

The Duterte Administration has taken the highly successful campaign machinery that leverages the ideas of a few people skilled with communications strategy and tactics and deployed the ideas to promote the Duterte brand. Well, promotion has both an offensive and defensive component, in this particular configuration, with offense being a lot of positive messages talking about what a great man and program we have going here. Defense is an attack on the “yellows” or anyone else who questions the programs and priorities of the Administration.

There is a media component. Major media (no more presidential press conferences but wholesome photo-ops and programmed press releases are okay). Social media (the internet army). And new media such as the proposed government broadcast network patterned after the BBC. There is also an element of the message that I would call distortions, or propaganda, that could easily be be expanded to include managed transparency.

Propaganda encompasses a wide range of methods including criticisms outside of context, memes, lies, dirty tricks and all the techniques we saw during the campaign. I suspect it is no accident that we are seeing efforts to demean Senator De Lima who is proposing an investigation into the widespread killings emerging from the war on drugs.

Managed transparency would be if record keeping on the types and results of PNP drug incidents were stopped so that the transparency effort would be fulfilled by reporting nothing at all.

Social media represent a fertile playing field for distortions. We have an audience that laps up rumor and sensationalism and various discussions where nonsensical arguments are cast as wisdom. We see moralizing condescension toward those with different ideas, denigration of the opposition and praise toward the Duterte Administration. This is all is consistent with the global trends of the dumbing down and emotionalizing of debate. Media players love this playing field.

I think it is the ease and success of manipulating social media that may have led the administration down a dangerous path. There is a certain amoral nastiness to this kind of work, if it is pursued by a government. It is not a service to the people at all, except to the extent that the leaders believe the people belong to them rather than the other way around. It is for sure a large step away from the integrity of a free-speaking democracy built on service, honesty and being trustworthy.

Well, if you were the propaganda minister for any aggressive political entity, what would you do? You’d control and shape the information. And you would control and shape the ideas. And you would control and shape the media.

What are the hints that this manipulative mindset is now in operation? It is the same mindset that embraces the killing of drug users and peddlers as if they were alien creatures rather than Filipinos.

Are there other hints that amoral dishonesty, manipulations and expedience are the operating theme of government.

Well, we have DFA Secretary Yasay saying one thing in the Philippines, another to the US and quite another to ASEAN representatives. We have spokesmen arriving on scene and rationalizing any and all unfavorable publicity. We have a President relentlessly inconsistent in saying one thing and then another.

At a less prominent level, we see amoral gameplaying in the field of media, where all communication between government and the people occur.

Raissa Robles has been under attack since the release of her book on the dictatorship of President Marcos. Her site was shut down by hackers. Trolls are on the hunt here and there trying to denigrate her. The aim is to diminish her credibility as an authoritative source of information and ideas.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) published two reports on the history and drug confiscations of the current and past administrations . . . questioning the successes of the drug war . . . and immediately got hacked. The government is silent about this blatant, offensive attack on free speech and transparency.

In our own discussions here, we’ve seen a resurgence of that old nationalist attack: “You are American, Joe. You are not qualified to have opinions. Shut up.” It is a nonsensical argument because the blog is not just Joe America’s preaching, but is Filipinos teaching Joe America and each other.The trolls visited during the campaign but didn’t gain much. After all, when red-nosed clowns in floppy shoes arrive in the university seminar room, they are quite noticeable. Now this manipulation of ideas is not campaigning. It may be government-inspired operations.

So what’s next? We are now at the point where readers start to warn, “Take care, Joe. All they have to do is throw a bag of shabu onto your property and come after you.”

So it is natural to follow the amoral expedience to its terminal conclusion and ask, “What prevents the killing of anyone who is ‘in the way’?

It clearly is not conscience.

Look at the unfolding scene . . .

The administration is receiving blows each time there is another tragic case, two students today, a mistaken girl, a young honor student, a child bloody in the car seat. And yet the campaign persists. Nay, the President announces a trebling of effort during his SONA, because this is, after all. War.

So on the timeline of getting to a deadened, soulless population immune to the killings surrounding them, we are not there yet. But progress is good.

Progress is good.

But it’s still too early for a “name” killing, or for a killing outside the bounds of the drug war. People who are “too big to kill” include top government officials from the past, senators, oligarchs, media owners, journalists . . . even big drug bosses . . . the “public relations” damage would be too great.


The amoral strategists know they must, at all costs, avoid another EDSA or people’s movement. Because, once that arises, they are done. When people hit the streets, they lose control over the media and the message. A  thuggish response by government to innocents working their free speech rights would be the end of the line.

Bottom line. You know and I know that these deceitful manipulations and killings are not what we want for the Philippines. With them, we no longer have earnest governance in a modernizing land of wholesome friendship and fun. Gone is the generous nation that gifts a grand fiesta welcome to strangers from around the world. Now we gift fear. We have dead shoeless bodies in the gutter. Taped up bodies in the trash pile. Dead mothers and children, some just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Corpses to the left, gore to the right, great big puddles of blood on the ground. No explanation anywhere, no accountability anywhere. Guilt? Innocent? Who knows?

Who cares?

We have a whole nation of participants . . . enablers . . . of congressmen and media pundits and entertainers who add their endorsement to the slaughter taking place on the streets of cities across the land.

Integrity in the Philippines today is a bullet in the head of some poor addicted slob and thousands of “leaders” with their hands over their eyes. And ears. And mouths.

THIS is not the Philippines we have come to be proud of, that we have come to enjoy for the promise and the friendship and the goodness of its peoples. For its rise to prominence as a leader in Asia.

The war on drugs has taken the dark underbelly of the nation and put it on front pages around the world and said “this is us!” A troubled, crime-riddled, drug-addled dirty shoeless murderous sesspit.

This is what it means to be Filipino.

Well, that wasn’t us a few months ago.

We used to be a rising star.

These killings are not done in a vacuum, out of sight, out of mind. They are in our face every day.

We should be happy, I suppose, that it is not Christians being executed . . . and not yet bloggers and journalists and others who are defined as objectionable . . . but just people who use and peddle drugs. Just them.

Just them.



As I was wrapping up the article, this appeal came across my desk:

MANILA—Student council leaders from the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) and other organizations link arms and wear placards with their aspirations written on cardboards as their latest act of condemning the deaths of youth and students due to extrajudicial killings, in solidarity with the Commission on Human Rights.

“We again implore President Duterte, keep us alive. Don’t kill off the youth in this war on drugs,” said Nancy Fernandez from SCAP.

“Young people have dreams. It’s sad that all these hopes and dreams can be erased in an instant. We all want peace and order. However, these cannot come at the cost of innocent lives.” she added. She cited the death of Rowena Tiamson, a 22 year-old honor student in Pangasinan, who was gunned down after being mistaken as a drug user.

“We applaud the recent pronouncements of Ateneo and La Salle Presidents condemning extrajudicial killings. We must come together to fight against these acts of inhumanity,” she said.

“We urge Miriam College, the University of the Philippines, and other colleges across the country to issue similar statements,” Fernandez said. “

Growing clamor for vigilantism and police brutality should be countered by a sober and humane narrative.” she added.


138 Responses to “Too big to kill”
  1. josephivo says:


    For every victim there was at least one executioner. This large new guild of self-declared executioners. And let’s hope that these killers are not just guns for hire. Scary

    All this higher level of police officers admitting that none of the democratic processes to combat criminality works, that killing the little fish is the only remaining option. Scary

    The shift from “better 10 guilty to escape then one innocent being killed” to “its ok to kill 10 innocent if this eliminates one bandit.” Scary

    All Filipinos looking in the other direction out of fear or out of indifference. Scary

    Where is Roosevelt’s declaration of freedom? Freedom of fear?

    • Joe America says:

      It is scary, when you think that it is intentional killing outside of that essential protection that justice is built on, innocence until PROVEN guilty in a COURT OF LAW. That the PNP is the executioner makes the scene not too different from the ISIS photo, uniformed people, government people, deciding on their own who lives and who dies.

  2. Martin says:

    This is beyond scary. The mind conditioning that is happening. The desensitising of people to murder. Where will this take us?

    • Joe America says:

      It depends on how loud the voices of protest become. I was wondering how the President is going to deal with it, with prisons already filled to overflowing. Does he start letting people go, or what. It is a huge problem, outside of the killings, themselves. If he lets them go, his stern hand will be seen as weak. I’d say the pressure on the President will build but I have no idea how he breaks it.

      • Martin says:

        I am old enough to have been around during the Marcos years and what I find really scary today is Duterte’s endorsement and encouragement of these extra judicial killings. He has given these legitimacy that even Marcos did not. What’s more disturbing are the loud cheers we read on social media everytime a killing is reported. I never realised how morally challenged my countrymen are.

    • jeff says:

      This kind of lawless gangsterism combined with federalism could break up the country.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Some were already lawless gangs to begin with getting rid of liabilities,nonperforming assets,snitches and fall guys. But it also worsen the mob mentality amongst us.Online and offline.

        The lighter side of federalism it may divide,but it can also consolidate.A virtually secceeded Mindanao may hopefully be a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao,if they play their cards right.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I hope that segment of the left,our very own Will Villanueva had a chance to mingle with during the SONA can proceed with their movement.
    It is good to know that the student councils and admins of the colleges and universities are sounding off.

    • jay says:

      The youth will be devastated by a War on Drugs more than anyone, as in the US.

      Let’s also remember that drug addicts are innocent to, at least of the punishment of death.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Young people have been killed by mistake or in purpose by this war in drugs.Let them change the approach to this war.The President should not be the one encouraging killings and same goes to the PNP chief.

        Protest actions must continue until something is done.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    As per advice and commentary of intuitiveperceiving this should put is on our toes,time to be more vigilant against vigilantism.
    Time to encourage our policy makers to change their policy.

  5. Micha says:

    By viewing drugs as uncompromisingly evil that need to be eliminated, Duterte is setting himself up for failure from the get go because you simply cannot dis-invent both the source and the knowledge in the production of these mind altering substances. As long as it remains profitable, creative entrepreneurs could always set up those erlenmeyer flasks and bunsen burners even in a rented bahay kubo. Even primitive tribes know how to process those hashish and coca leaves for shamanic rituals.

    Will the shock and awe method of summary executions be effective in trying to cut off the demand side of the drug trade? Doubtful, unless partnered with remarkable reduction in the economic misery index among the proles…

    It is imperative therefore that Rodrigo has to deliver on the economic front or this war on drugs will turn around and give him a nasty upper cut to his vulnerable chin.

  6. Seedy Bloke says:

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to be born, a time to die
    A time to plant, a time to reap
    A time to kill, a time to heal
    A time to laugh, a time to weep

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to build up, a time to break down
    A time to dance, a time to mourn
    A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time of love, a time of hate
    A time of war, a time of peace
    A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to gain, a time to lose
    A time to rend, a time to sew
    A time for love, a time for hate
    A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

    • Joe America says:

      Those sentiments powered my moral upbringing. Social justice, and a larger vision of who we should strive to be, as people who understand other people. And care.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    This is a link to a petition to put a stop to Extra judicial killings.
    I signed it.I am asking you to join the petition.

  8. alanon says:

    Duterte and his fellow pensioners will implode. It is just a matter of time. They are already showing that they are out of their depth, out of date, and spending more time resting than working, and no time thinking.
    The only vision they seem to have is tunnel vision.
    They are reminiscent of the seven dwarfs, minus Happy!

    The reasons for their ultimate demise will be a lack of intellectual rigor, a limited perspective, an agenda driven by political interests, not social progress or economic prosperity, and most fundamentally, a misalignment of priorities with national needs.

    The legislative priorities of the administration (federalism, death penalty by hanging, criminal age of 9, emergency powers), bear no relation to the stated needs of the electorate (jobs, poverty reduction, reduced inequality, educational opportunity etc). The focus also contains a common theme of fear/control/conformity, not growth/innovation/diversity.
    The current administration seems to have dusted off a blueprint from the past and a solution looking for a problem. They are on the wrong track, using the wrong vehicle, and will soon hit bumps in the road.
    A cul de sac beckons.

    They need a better understanding of causality, macro-economics, and the factors which drive inclusive growth. To date they either state the obvious or motherhood statements. The only strategy seems to be an avoidance strategy, or that federalism will be the ‘silver bullet’ to cure all ills, and that lead bullets will kill all other problems.

    The ‘war on drugs’ and constant use of ‘killing’, appeals to the base emotions/instincts of a certain type/group, and is designed consciously & unconsciously to incite/accept violence, and it might even create a small ‘vigilante army’, but as time passes even their focus will stray, particularly if other more humanist/libertarian groups keep their own vigilance and countenance.
    A backlash and future conflict seem inevitable, particularly if the singular message from the government is one of death, destruction, and division.
    A dark age rather than a bright dawn.

    The administration will end up constantly ‘fighting alligators instead of draining the swamp’ and only create more unrest. An excuse for more emergency powers?!

    The enemy of any anti-intellectual movement, or movement without intellects, are those people/institutions with ideas/opinions/experience such as Media, Universities, Church, and Foreign observers/nations. They are the ones to be sidelined, along with any debate or dissent in Congress.
    Autocrats want the majority to become silent and for fear to rule the land. They consider that they have the monopoly on solutions, as all dictators do – ‘only i can fix it’. A messiah complex.

    Criticism provokes anger and irrational responses.
    Such people under pressure become unpredictable, impulsive, and angry. A narcissists response.

    A one way ‘information flow’ will be key to the administration, and clearly their intent, but what may have gained more traction 20/30 years ago will not succeed now, particularly in an age of social media.
    If the SONA made adanar cry then his plan to create a ‘world class BBC’ will make others cry, laughing.
    His communications strategy is no communication.
    In the long run slogans, tweets, and insults will not beat rational argument, common sense, and human decency, i hope!

    The Philippines will only create/restate the global view of a 3rd world country incapable of self-governance, become an also-ran in ASEAN, and lose international respect, support, aid, investment, and tourists.
    A cross between ‘the killing fields’, ‘lord of the flies’, and ‘animal farm’.

    The collective culture of the older generation has been replaced by the individuality of millenials who also embody a spirit of social responsibility, human rights, and equitable justice. Their numbers grow year by year. They understand that transformational change is about working together, being inclusive, adopting the best whilst adapting for the future.

    ‘Co-option’ of the police and army to ‘the cause’ through promises of higher pay and protection for killing will also fail to stimulate institutional murder, but only ignite unrest and confusion in the ranks.

    The ultimate goal of the mindanao political clans is control of mindanao, hence the rush towards federalism before the tide turns, and before the economic lag kicks in to show no real improvement in the things which matter to people.

    The only question is how many deaths, and how much will have been given away/compromised with china, malaysia, and the muslims.
    And how few politicians/officials will actually have been jailed for illegal activities/corruption.

    What next. Cuba as the model for isolationist Mindanao!

    It is seemingly all about Mindanao as the clans and cronies seize their one-off opportunity, and run with it for as long as they can, and get as much control and investment as they can.
    From federalism to feudalism to secession.
    Political decentralisation, and fiscal devolution are needed, but should not be built upon shifting sands, instead evolutionary gradualism upon solid foundations, strong institutions, party system, and political reform (anti-dynasty) as pre-requisites.
    ‘Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance’ – a mantra which this administration needs to apply, otherwise it will remain reactive and ineffective.

    A bi-polar government will create an adversarial culture and an antagonistic environment – Lose-lose – and The Philippines will become a suitable case for treatment!

    Ultimately the voice and actions of the people and politicians, or lack thereof, will determine what type of country the philippines is, and/or wants to be, and what it becomes.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Scary thought with what you wrote that the gains from the past administration, the respect we earned from international communities and governments and as the rising star of Asia might all come to naught. What a big big wasted opportunity we could lose.

    • jeff says:

      -From federalism to feudalism to secession.-

      China could easily fund secessionist movements.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Feudalism should be first on your sequence.There are already chicken and egg debates of anti-dynasty together with other laws must be prerequisites for federalism.

    • Joe America says:

      It is rather amusing, in an unfunny way, that the first words out of President Duterte’s mouth upon winning the election was a call to unity. Haha. Either he means commanded unity, in that we fall in behind him, or he has no idea, as the elected leader, how to inspire others to want to join him. He has a large segment of the disenfranchised masses behind him, and a lot of the power structure who see that it is in their interest to be behind him, and then there are the thinking independents with conscience, courage and high values. We’ll get to see how strong and courageous that latter group is, I suspect, because I surely don’t see it being welcomed into this government.

  9. edgar lores says:

    1. All governments need to inform, promote and educate the people of their plans and programs. To this end, most governments will have official TV and radio stations. In the age of the Internet, each government departments will have their own website. The Philippine government has its own Official Gazette portal. And there is an FB page, which may or may not be official.

    2. One has to ask: Why have Duterte supporters maintained a social media team to advance its cause?

    2.1. I agree that there is something unseemly (nefarious even?) in the continuing social media effort.

    2.1. If all the plans were aboveboard, there would be no need to maintain the team. Duterte has gained and retained massive popular support, and his administration can rely on this support.

    2.2. There must be a feeling of insecurity because the plans are not wholly honest and straightforward. So there is a need to sell.

    2.3. This feeling of insecurity is further evidenced by the need to control opposition in the Lower House. (Has this been mentioned in the post?)

    2.4. The tenor of the administration seems to be that they will brook no dissent, brook no opposition.

    3. In the legislative agenda, there are indeed controversial items that might meet with great opposition, such as:

    o The death penalty
    o Lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 9
    o Federalism
    o Parliamentarism

    4. A government that is not open to reasoned criticism and principled opposition is fundamentally weak. A government that uses propaganda is fundamentally dishonest.

    5. Some of the initiatives of the government are proper and beneficial; others are not. These others have to be discussed openly and thoroughly by citizens with no ulterior motives. The discussions will either result in refinement and acceptance… or rejection.

    • NHerrera says:

      Presently there is a pretend reality on which the Administration’s Program such as on the killings of the drug pushers, users are based on. But soon the honest-to-goodness reality will stare everyone and the problem is how to stop or get off from the careening vehicle propelled by this false reality without sincere, serious protest from the “enablers” in government and media — the same people who in the previous Administration treated a lower-scale situation as if it is Richter-8 scale in magnitude.

      I recall a line from a novel I once read; the novel I do not recall. Something like:

      Don’t play this game called Reality. It is a very scary or dangerous thing.

      (Meaning — to me — that Reality should be handled with due deliberation and care. We should not “play” or game it, employing tactics such as maintaining a social media team to troll or scare away the critics.)

      It is already scary. But the scarier thing, I agree with Joe, is that the whole killing business may graduate or escalate to those “too big to kill.”

    • Joe America says:

      Exactly. Well said. What is this enormous need to force the outer world into alignment? It is insecurity or lunacy, because if for sure makes no sense and is unkind to boot.

  10. Vicara says:

    I wish that Josiah Go, a marketing expert who has just posted on the “new logic” of Duterte’s successful political marketing, and how it has supposedly resulted in “best practices” that the industry should note.

    “Best practices”? It is true that Duterte’s team made effective, efficient use of online technology, tapping into grassroots creativity, and developing a massive, loyal fan base for the candidate. Duterte’s only instructions were to not project him as saying or doing anything that isn’t him. So the team structured its social media campaign on his every utterance and action, outrageous or not. And he won. The point in this political marketing exercise was for him to win, and he did. Mission accomplished.

    But if the Duterte communications group had marketed him as a retail product using this degree of negative campaigning, abusive language and distortion of the truth, they would probably be facing censure by some industry association. Maybe even lawsuits. But since this was merely a national election with the life of 120 million Filipinos on the line, they can just wash their hands like Pontius Pilate and walk away. The election’s over.

    But the fact remains that these so-called “best practices” have fostered national divisiveness to a degree never before seen in this country.

    These “best practices” succeeded in creating an online population raring to besmirch democratic institutions; trash the Constitution; break down logic–real logic–and all norms of civility in public discourse.

    This is a population that regularly launches online attacks against human rights and the rule of law when in fact it is our country’s recognition of human rights and the rule of law which grants THEM their freedom of expression. And which is supposed to keep THEM from getting shot and killed on the excuse that they are “drug suspects.”

    This is a population which will tolerate the PNP killing of any number of innocent people (whether these innocents are shot by mistake, or deliberately) because they’ve decided, using the closed logic of the campaign, that this the good of the country, it’s essential for survival, it’s getting things DONE.

    These “best practices” succeeded in creating a new class of venom-spewing, truth-denying, online fascists who, since the election, have been on the prowl looking for new targets to drown in hate, to hack, and to harass. Death threats and threats of physical harm are par for the course, online. In all the uncertainty and growing fear that’s gripping the country, one can imagine a narrowing divide between these e-threats and e-kills, and physical action.

    Nic Gabunada, the head of Duterte’s social media team, said in a post-election talk that their online campaign network eventually grew to a thousand different online groups of Duterte supporters. He admitted that while about 500 were under central control—or at least influenced–by the campaign team, the others were on their own. So he says.

    Maybe they haven’t all walked away since the election. Maybe they aren’t on their own. The online orc armies continue to move. FB pages that voice valid criticism of the administration disappear, as they are misrepresented by the orcs to Facebook HQ. Blogs by professional journalists, like those of Raissa Robles and PCIJ, are being hacked and taken down. Raissa Robles’ blog, in particular, remains under constant threat.

    Congratulations, Team Duterte. Congratulations, Nic Gabunada. See what you’ve begun. See where it’s heading.

    • Annie Kimseng says:

      Thank you, Mr Vicara, for mentioning the media and Marketing machinery behind D’s campaign…..I am completely aghast that people are paying and lining up to listen to Gabunada talk about his maverick nontraditional design ….What kind of “revolution” has he initiated, to the detriment of societal values and morals, and lives for that matter ?? Plus the future of the Philippines? Not completely to my taste, the kind of warfare that has gone out of hand, into the gutter, down under yet…..

    • Chivas says:

      I wrote a comment about this before.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      Social Media followers are a must.

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

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

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

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

      I want to help.

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

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

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





      Social Oomph
      Post Planner


      Tweet Jukebox
      Crowdfire App

      Google Data Studio

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

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


      • Joe America says:

        I’d think these would be very useful tools. It would be interesting to have a “pro good-thinking” and “pro-law” organization working to counter the nonsense that is out there, but I’d guess the missing elements are leadership, effort and money.

    • Joe America says:

      Exactly. He unleashed a beast and is continuing to promote it as a proper way to govern. It is the opposite of the values of FOI, that transparency and openness is important, and makes the whole government communications effort one giant hypocrisy.

    • edgar lores says:

      The term “best practices” brings to mind Binay’s “world-class.” These are business buzzwords.

      Next, we will probably hear that the next phase of the “come to Jesus” anti-drug “mission critical” strategy, conducted by the “best of breed” policeman, will “circle back” from the “low hanging fruit” that are the addicts and “drill down” to the drug kingpins to “close the loop.”

      The populace will continue to “drink the Kool-aid” but will reach a “pain point” when they realize they have to “eat their own dogfood.” Rather than being a “quick win,” the strategy will have “circled back” and began to “downsize” their own families, some of whose members have been “taken offline.” Too late, they will rue that the strategy was not “holistic” and would not “leverage” them “seamlessly” into a new problem-free life, but was an “event horizon.”

  11. Dr Ed Gamboa says:

    Keep on plugging, Joe. You are absolutely right. My essay in the Inquirer got battered with emotional tirades, ad hominem attacks, knee jerk reactions. But we need to stop extrajudicial killings.
    OP-ED: Duterte and the national frenzy

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Ed, and I appreciate the link to your column at the Inquirer. It is an inside out world when a call for reason and abiding by the constitution draws criticism. I think we are caught in some kind of interstellar time warp in which people have lost the ability to see outside their own needs, or to incorporate into their thinking such fundamental ideas that it takes time to climb from the depths of poverty to jobs for all.

      • Dr Ed Gamboa says:

        Joe, it is refreshing to read your essays and the commentaries from your readers. Restores my faith in intellectual honesty, logical thinking and moral imperatives. I cannot say as much to those who follow Duterte like the modern Pied Piper. And those who see extrajudicial killings as inevitable.

    • jeff says:

      Do to the Philippines’ clan sensibilities, outrage will only reach critical mass when enough people are personally affected.

      Too many people here have no sense of empathy for anyone outside of their clan. They just don’t care.

      But with killings surpassing the worst of the Marcos years, the moment of critical mass will come sooner than later. I doubt Duterte will last 6 years, and I think there will be many recriminations when he falls.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > My essay in the Inquirer got battered with emotional tirades, ad hominem attacks, knee jerk reactions.

      They have something that they cannot ignore at all, it forces them to be busy running their mouths and their fingers dancing — if they keep talking about why they don’t want your opinion, then they only manage to spread the awareness outward that this regime they’re supporting only increases growing international concern and later counter-criticism of this neo-McCarthyism against untried drug users.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    For unleashed beasts that went uncontrollable,there was project Hulkbuster and Project Anomaly.
    Maybe it worked the hulk formed his own team.

  13. Lang says:

    ‘Just them..’? That’s totally barbaric.These are human beings you’re talking about.

  14. after reading your article, I am reminded of Joseph Goebbels, and his so called elementary principle of social hygiene, referring to the persecution of the Jews, during the second world war. I am not saying that we are in the same boat, but there is some parallelism in the way things are happening and how complacent we are with what is happening in the current war on drugs. Today, our leaders consider those who use illegal drugs and those who peddle them as parasites, like a foul fungus destroying the culture of a healthy but ignorant people and the only way to deal with them is to cut them out! The same way Goebbels thought of the Jews then. But social hygiene entails not only removing these addicts, it also will target those with differing flow of thought, those who are physically lacking, those who do not conform to the perfect idea of pure race. I am reminded of pastor Martin Niemoller, his poem, now made famous as a protest against all types of social and racial attacks.

    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and Ididn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    Ever so slowly, our people are beginning to find their voice, Lawyers, priests, educators, students, the man on the street. Can a crescendo of protest in social media be able to stop the carnage?Let us all pray.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, people disenfranchised by the social conditions of the Philippines, namely poverty, and who have turned to drugs to get some promise into their life, are defined as parasites, as the cause of the problem, by the new order. That “new order”, which might be abbreviated NODA, New Order of the Duterte Administration, is very similar in its ruthless redefinition of certain elements of Filipino citizens. It consists of the Duterte Administration, his police, his legislative puppets, his 16 million followers, and anyone of voice who allows that voice to be silent.

  15. josephivo says:

    Lacson “I agree with the momentum” citing the number of addicts and pushers/peddlers eliminated by violent and peaceful means in July. But what was the real cost to create this momentum?

    Again, the 3 me’s in me are struggling. The “biological” me of fighting back, eliminating intruders, defend my family, the “cultural me” coming from a culture where life is the ultimate value into a culture where life is cheap, the “rational me” advising to slow down, think twice, look at similar situations and facts before selecting action.

    It seems that the majority wants to listen to there biological call and neglect whatever evidence there is that revenge and killing is not the most effective way to address the problem.

    • josephivo says:

      * Life is cheap in the Philippines

      Look at insurance policies what they pay for a fatality, look at the extreme high rate of abortions, look at the attitude of the road rage killer, look at Ampatuan, SAF 40, work safety…. all things I hardly can imagine, but here they seem a normal part of our existence.

      • Joe America says:

        15 mostly kids were killed here a couple of years ago when a truck rolled off the road and down the mountain. The brakes were bad, as if the brakes were the cause of it all. I’d imagine they are all buried in pauper’s graves, totally forgotten about, except for their parents and close family. They’ll grieve a lifetime. Well, I remember them, too, for whatever good that does.

      • Joe America says:

        15 mostly kids were killed here a couple of years ago when a truck rolled off the road and down the mountain. The brakes were bad, as if the brakes were the cause of it all. I’d imagine they are all buried in pauper’s graves, totally forgotten about, except for their parents and close family. They’ll grieve a lifetime. Well, I remember them, too, for whatever good that does.

        I’m not sure life is cheap. I’d say the ability of people to comprehend other people’s grief, or what we call compassion, is cheap or missing or defective. I mean, people can’t imagine the drug peddler might be a loving father or brother or son, just like you and me, but in a different line of work. If it were a different business line he’d be praised as an entrepreneur, but the new sheriff in town has most assuredly recast the definitions.

  16. karlgarcia says:

    For peace and order some say deputizing tanods will be a big plus.Arming them without training not to be trigger happy would make the current situation worse,where those supposedly trained when to use a gun,not only how to use it becomes trigger happy.

    The problem is,this is jump started from the top.How to stop it is our main issue.

    a gun ban to those who are not supposed to cary firearms will not work due to the prohinbition experience.
    But Bill in Oz says it worked in Oz.Maybe we could make it work.

    If the so alled untameable politicians,another seemingly simplistic solution like anti dynasty law,must take place.

    I suggest,not to arm the tanods,but once there is a policy change of stop killings,then a retraining program of our police must happen.

  17. josephivo says:

    Struck by something I just read from Peter Strasser, an Austrian philosopher: “The youth plays with fire because they never got burned. They grew up in a boring democracy” and their parents didn’t testify how it feels to get burned. It seems that some are (intentionally?) exploiting this.

    The political vocal part of the generation that experienced martial law is over fifty/sixty and not all got burned (the Marcos’es and Ramualdez’es not, Enrile’s and Ramos’es not, the Cojuangco’s, Tan’s and Disini’s not,… just to name a few.) The victims are a very small and less powerful part of the political class and many didn’t want to share their painful memories with their kin.

    Democracy, “we the people”, “rule of law”… all distant concepts for this generation. A great experience NOW and the possibility to share instantly is what motivates the millennials. These violent actions in the drug war with the lively pictures, the rumors about pushers, drug lords, vigilantes, all fit in these “experience now and share with friends” events. Hard work in research, intelligence gathering, judicial reform, education… does not.

    • Joe America says:

      Makes a good deal of sense, although I think education can lay the bed of intelligence for later real-life experiences. But it is not a quick fix.

    • “The youth plays with fire because they never got burned.” The amok killer in Munich seems to have belonged to that category – acted like in one of the online video games he liked playing (Counterstrike) when he started shooting outside the McDonalds…

      Killed himself when the cops were about to get him, probably his conscience came too late, just like the Quiapo road rage suspect who regrets. No reboot for the dead. Game over.

      • karlgarcia says:

        We didn’t start the fire,it was always burning since the world’s been turning.

        That song is like a compilation of Time-Life magazines.

    • Francis says:

      “The youth plays with fire because they never got burned. They grew up in a boring democracy.”

      A shame.

  18. Barrington Selby says:

    Been following you JoeAm since only a few weeks ago – Am mesmerized by your thorough and mostly accurate analyses, considering you’re an expat like me. Your new “Republic of Mindanao” possibility essay is so convincing – I even recently linked it partially in a FB comment (but shockingly, nary a soul gave a feedback). Anyhow, ANALYZE THIS:

    Bakit wala yatang pakialam si Duterte sa Jueteng? Isn’t this addiction as bad or worse than Shabu/Drugs since it seems like it affects more Filipinos negatively (and which caused the temporary downfall of big fish Estrada seems like a millennium ago?)

    • Joe America says:

      A good point, for sure. Betting seems to be a craze or addiction for many, in many lands. It is perceived to be more self-contained, perhaps, than harmful to others. It would make a good discussion point for a separate blog.

      I’m glad you found the blog and that it sparks your curiosity and thinking. Some of the ideas expressed here do not resonate with mainstream Filipinos, particularly if they are lengthy or numerical or esoteric (philosophical). It is a “give me some scandal” arena. But our readers have been around, for the most part, and can roll up their sleeves to deal with issues and concepts.

      • barrington says:

        Thanx much for the warm welcome! Where we immigrated from, with all its imperfection (especially with the sudden unlikely emergence of Trump), elections and their aftermath seem an eternity, but mostly free from violence. US campaigns started during the primaries a long time ago, yet real elections are still three (3) months away. Meanwhile, the Philippine counterpart had ended last May, with official campaign supposedly lasting only a short while. In the minuscule time I interacted via comments during local elections here on FaceBook, I reluctantly managed to unfriend/block more than 20 people/duterte diehards in order to regain my sanity, reduce stress, prevent clashes, etc. Yet, post-election came and continuing – they still mightily reign in social media, fiercely suppressing, repelling, if not forcibly continuing to try to shut up anybody and everybody whom they assume don’t support the new regime. Ang galing ng paandar ni Andanar! (Crying crocodile tears over a Master’s SONA speech?) So, it’s kind of refreshing to find your blog and the mostly supportive commentaries from readers – we who remain open-minded, reasonably argumentative -despite the onslaught of dumbing down and damning curses brought on en masse by duterte-bots with superiority complex, blinded by cunning propaganda tools they themselves fashioned out of non-sensible fiction. Cataracts can cause blindness, but fanaticism is really the top philosophical reason behind it!
        I do agree with you that the fight is probably not about the whole of the Philippines. Again, it may just be a figment of our imaginations. The clever machinations and deceptive brain-washing to eventually secede from a Federal Philippines to create a new “Republic of Mindanao” are very compelling. The bipolar characteristics are kinda hard to discern for the common tao, but with careful analysis, they become all too apparent: honeymooning with NPA warlords, Muslim insurgents/terrorists, campaign donor drug lords, nameless Chinese and Pinoy oligarch supporters, et al in secret bedrooms; and then publicly disavowing them depending on whether the current stage happens to be manic or depressive in real time! How a supposedly decent human being could just provoke extra-judicial killings (accompanied by promises of unknown rewards), and who could stop or even reduce the horrid blood-spilling ASAP, innocents included, with a simple, but direct presidential pronouncement banning such, but doesn’t do it in the name of Drug Monopoly and control is just beyond me. Never mind other crimes, rapes, carjackings, muggings, etc. – they’re all caused by drug addicts anyway, so they claim.

        Addiction can only be solved by science and medicine. Smoking is an addiction – cessation therapies abound. Alcoholic Anonymous, 12-step programs have been existent since time immemorial. Even gambling and sex addicts can be medically helped. Rehabilitation institutions for addicts are available, in addition to prison. But to resort to murdering “drug” suspects so competition is largely contained is like the heinous work of Hitler and his zombies during the ethnic cleansing era of yesteryear. The 6 million Jews, most of who got incinerated mercilessly (including Anne Frank) were their sacrificial lambs. Never mind that they weren’t drug addicts, but the general populace didn’t really clamor to stop the murders. Most of them remained silent throughout the massacres. The rest is shameful history!

        • Joe America says:

          It amazes me, the justifications of slaughter, now approaching 1,000 from early May. Count to 1,000, then do it again 10 times as an estimate of immediate family touched by grief. That is 10,000. If it continues, the nation will have reached that point of deadened soul that I write of.

          • Germany started small.. Dachau was first built as a chain gang place for criminals…

            some neighbors only complained about the stench of dead bodies being burnt when the wind went the wrong way.. the frog slowly got boiled.. then the goose was cooked.

            • Germany, oh no.. said many black Americans who had studied here.

              They had been in places like Heidelberg, away from then still racist USA.

              Which shows how places can go bad, nobody believes it until it happens..

              • Within each of us sleeps a bloodthirsty butcher. A monster who will slay all our better angels. And whose name is depravity. Our great sin, which the future will likely discern, is allowing a raving, narcissistic sociopath, under color of law, to awaken him. So now, the end begins.

          • He would deaden their souls first hardens their hearts.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > Bakit wala yatang pakialam si Duterte sa Jueteng?

      And other criminal offenses such as carnapping, robbery, rape (including child rape, which would’ve normally bring a crowd to lynching mode — hang the rapist, then be quartered), swindling, etc. have been squelched, almost forgotten in the press; anyone who bought his line would self-righteously justify that drugs is the root cause of all crime.

      Meanwhile, a freed Arroyo and her most influential friends, managed to enjoy Sunday mass together somewhere in Pampanga…

  19. NHerrera says:

    I am trying to be a give-the-benefit-of-the-doubter but my sense of it from historical record is that it is difficult to climb down from a high horse once started on this path. And so we, who do not have an interest to protect, such as the whole lot of them — the congressmen, senators, the police, the judiciary, the media, the businessmen — must keep on. We cannot have the modern-day stormtroopers believe that they can succeed where their historical counterpart didn’t.

    • edgar lores says:


      High Five! Welcome to the HF Club. Needless to say, HF does not mean high five.

    • NHerrera says:

      Sorry. Big mistake. We do have an interest to protect — our country and countrymen.

      • Barrington says:

        User’s widow: “We voted for Duterte. What’s done is done!”

        “Ma, I’ll just pretend Daddy’s in America.”
        This is how her 14-year-old daughter will start to cope, according to Myrin Rodriguez. Yes, the mother told the teener, “just think your father is working hard for us abroad.”
        And so it can be said that the daddy, Lamberto, “left” them around 3 a.m. of July 28, when a group of masked men barged into the family’s small home in Southville 3, Barangay Poblacion, Muntinlupa City. The men found their target sleeping on a cot next to his daughter and 10-year-old son. Myrin Rodriguez had just stepped out of the bathroom when the three intruders pointed a gun at her and the two children. One of the masked men then grabbed Lamberto and dragged him out to the alley just outside the house, where a fourth accomplice was waiting.
        “Then I heard five gunshots,” said Rodriguez, 38. The police arrived less than 30 minutes after the gunmen had fled.
        In an interview on Wednesday, Rodriguez could think of only one thing to connect to her husband’s killing: Two weeks earlier, Lamberto surrendered to the police under “Oplan Tokhang,” the campaign that has gotten thousands of drug users and pushers to come out and be registered.
        Rodriguez said she knew her husband had been a drug user even before they got married 17 years ago. “But he was not a pusher.”

        ‘He stood his ground’
        “When the police interviewed him, Lamberto said he was being forced to admit he was selling drugs; he stood his ground and told them he was only a user,” she stressed.
        Leopoldo Bernabe, deputy chief of the barangay police assigned to Southville 3, confirmed that Lamberto had surrendered and agreed this was a possible factor in his death.
        “We’re looking at multiple angles. He could have submitted names of people also involved in drugs who could have gotten word about it. Maybe he failed to pay off a debt. Maybe he surrendered because he couldn’t pay [his supplier] anymore,” Bernabe said.
        The village official said there was an earlier attempt on Lamberto’s life last year, when a man on a motorcycle tried to shoot him. If it was a drug-related incident, Bernabe could not say.
        Rodriguez, however, said her husband turned himself in with the intention of turning over a new leaf. The night before he died, Lamberto even cracked a joke about finally taking a bath because he was starting a new life.
        Asked if they had supported the antidrug campaign of President Duterte despite her husband’s activities, Rodriguez replied: “We voted for him. We are [members of] Iglesia ni Cristo, so we followed what our church told us to do.”
        It’s a choice Rodriguez doesn’t seem to regret, even when she’s now a widow left to raise two schoolchildren on her measly earnings selling vegetables. “What’s done is done,” she said wistfully. “In a way, I’ve come to accept what happened. My husband was guilty of a few sins.”
        She emphasized though that Lamberto was a good husband and a hands-on father. When not working as a tricycle driver, Lamberto watched over the children while she was at the market.
        Lamberto was laid to rest on Tuesday at a nearby cemetery; Rodriguez said her in-laws preferred to have the funeral done quickly. As a simple tribute, a lone photo of the deceased now sits next to the TV set.
        “I think [the kids] are slowly starting to accept his death, too,” Rodriguez said.
        However, her son, who was lying on the same cot where his father slept next to him for the last time, has since kept asking: “Ma, what does ‘condolence’ mean?”
        “Sometimes I find him staring blankly into space, like he’s still in shock,” Rodriguez said of the boy.
        “And my daughter, she was holding on to Lamberto when he was being dragged outside that night,” the widow recalled. “She’s a Daddy’s girl. But what’s done is done.” TVJ

        • NHerrera says:

          In this story, I do not want to use the word “scary” used often enough these days and is still true. But say — that that is a very very sad story especially for the family of Lamberto.

    • Joe America says:

      Likewise, I think it will be difficult for President Duterte to back down from his vicious anti-drug campaign. I don’t foresee a way it can end gracefully and soon.

  20. uht says:

    Machiavelli notes in The Prince: “…a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.”

    Duterte seems to have picked the path of being feared, which is very odd, since many people already love him…..

    Machiavelli also warns: “As long as you succeed and do them good, they are devoted to you entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children… but only when danger is far distant; when danger approaches they turn against you.”

    We are already starting to see the latter happen in action.

  21. andy ibay says:

    As a little boy I was enthralled everytime I walked (my Lola says umahon sa bukid, bumaba sa bayan) to the city from a sleepy barrio in Laguna. I was watchful under those congesting coconut trees waiting for the earth shaking sounds. Over many decades, now an ancient boy, I no longer pass that way again. But I still do it stuck in my old mind: STOP, LOOK, LISTEN. a DEED may be that is short of rationale or reason. But it is there to warn me of the possible lost of everything for me.

    Every new administration is a vehicle of steel, a locomotive may be of jelly and sponge but just the same hard or soft doesn’t matter, it does damage to the populace. EJK at anytime in any place everytime and in every place violates the single Commandment that stands for all Ten. THOU SHALT NOT KILL . It took a God to be a mortal man to demonstrate the eternal wrong, the sufferings and agony of Death; how unparalleled wrong it is to extinguish a life of a saviour or two criminals.

    With an old brain so full of sense and nonsense, there must still be one best way to macro or micro manage the nihilist problems of governance. A new search must be done. HOW CAN the authorities and populace stop or eliminate the supply of drugs; how can the source or the manufacture of illegal drugs be eliminated? It is surely not about the impossbility of obliterating chemistry. Countries with borders and wide frontiers (Mexico and USA) would like to build a wall physically or whatever. A few countries resort to the merciless death penalty. It is farfetched but how did they eliminate small pox, the bubunic plague, the HIV? Can we really not focus on the drug(s) itself?

  22. NHerrera says:

    Off topic
    I am rather late in reading Solita Monsod’s two-part opinion article, “How Sweet it is (1/2)” concerning some behind the scenes actions on how the Philippines came to the PCA on our Maritime issue with China.

    Related is the great initiative and work of Justice Antonio Carpio, President Aquino, Albert del Rosario, the approving role of the NSC, meeting for the purpose of deciding the course to take. Related too is the undermining work of Ochoa of the Samar faction of Pnoy’s advisers who — supporting Binay and knowing Binay’s favored plan for China — worked opposite to the majority views; and Monsod relates how China, as if on cue, said that China’s may look at the matter only after the Election 2016, assuming most probably that Binay will win the Presidency.


    • NHerrera says:

      Meantime, China’s Leadership has to do a delicate balancing act as it is pressed by some military hawks “to bloody the nose” of the opposition in the SCS/WPS. Give in to the hawks and risk war at a time when its economy has slowed and will slow down disenchanting the many poor Chinese workers who have funded the Leadership and the Military. Indeed very easy to mount the High Horse; not too easy to dismount it.

  23. I hope the Filipino youths heard the admonition of the Pope in Krakow, Poland to engage in politics and social activism:

    “Dear young people, we didn’t come into this world to “vegetate”, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark. But when we opt for ease and convenience, for confusing happiness with consumption, then we end up paying a high price indeed: we lose our freedom.

    This is itself a great form of paralysis, whenever we start thinking that happiness is the same as comfort and convenience, that being happy means going through life asleep or on tranquilizers, that the only way to be happy is to live in a haze. Certainly, drugs are bad, but there are plenty of other socially acceptable drugs, that can end up enslaving us just the same. One way or the other, they rob us of our greatest treasure: our freedom.

    My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal “more”. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, the joy that is born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy. To take the path of the “craziness” of our God, who teaches us to encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbors who feel abandoned. To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists. ”

    I can see with Joe’s addendum that Filipino youths are starting to take on social activism. I hope and pray that they will be heard and not punished like the vocal Martial Law youths.

  24. I have always admired your essays. This is among your best, and one I agree with entirely. As we speak the misguided majority, whether actively, reluctantly, or indifferently, is ushering in the arrival of — thinly disguised as the Age of Reform — our very own Reign of Terror. Oh the senselessness, severity, and savagery of it all.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you David. Good that you underscore the senselessness of it all.

      • Joe,
        There’s a book I’d like to send you from L.A. Where do I ship it? My email:

        • Joe America says:

          I appreciate the thought, David. It is best if you just refer me to the book and let me hunt it down.

          • A Country of Our Own / Published Los Angeles, California 2004 / by Yours Truly / Out of Print / But I sold some 1800 copies in RP [don’t like PH at all], so you just might get lucky.

            • Joe America says:

              Ah, I see the difficulty. If you had one important lesson you wanted readers to take away from your book, what would it be?

              • United we fall. That’s actually what we’ve been doing, quite feverishly, since July 4, 1946. A fabricated national identity, a fictive history, and a recurring failure of leadership have combined to ensure our permanent decline. We’ve passed the point of no return, having willfully embraced and completely internalized the religion of blame.

              • Joe America says:

                You are talking about the US? Or Philippines? In either case, I agree with the trend, but not the finality that there is no return to healthy, vibrant governance and participation in governance by people. There has to be a lot more work to understand, internalize, and adjust to the propensity to be guided by emotions and events “out there”. Democracy will always be messy as the extremes push the nation this way or that, but its tendency toward self discovery and the center line still exist, I think.

  25. Ed Celis says:

    Duterte has turned the Philippines as the murder capital of the world. The worse part is that the Police who are tasked to serve and protect the citizens, are the one executing the killings which makes them the criminals, because there is no death penalty under the Law or the Constitution. I hope somebody, a concerned citizen, a politician, a church leader or a lawyer will file charges to the Supreme Court against these illegal killings… ..How can a Leader of a democratic country promote a Culture of Fear, Killings and Violence..? Killings breeds more Killings…the 60% silent majority must stand up and fight for the rights, because the children are watching these killings

    1987 Philippine Constitution Article III, Bill RIGHTS Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor is any man deny equal protection of the laws. Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except on probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be look at the people or things that should be taken.

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed, I wonder if there are any activist attorneys in the Philippines who could take up this cause. I was thinking of exactly that yesterday, about how just the number of deaths of itself is a clear fact that excessive force is being used. I don’t know how the police get back to a service mindset when their bosses are demanding kills.

      • cha says:

        There is a group of lawyers that have come out with a statement against the extra-judicial killings. It’s a call-out as well to other concerned citizens and groups to take a public stand against the bloodbath. No mention though of future legal actions but I would think that this can be a direction that might be be pursued by this group eventually.

        The statement is published in their Facebook page : Lawyers Against Extrajudicial Killings and For the Rule of Law. They are also entertaining queries from the general public.

        Copy of their statement :

        We are lawyers who are against extrajudicial killings and for the rule of law.

        We make a public stand against the bloodbath involving the extrajudicial killing of suspected drug criminals.

        Since President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections in May during which he made an electoral promise that 100,000 would die in his war on drugs, more than 300 suspected drug pushers have so far been reported killed by police and death squads. The extrajudicial killings are likely to continue to intensify after President Duterte promised during his SONA that there would be no let up to the campaign to kill drug pushers.

        As lawyers with a duty to uphold the law, we assert that extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy like ours that is founded on the rule of law and not of men. Extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy that constitutionally guarantees against the deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and the presumption of innocence. Extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy that gives to the courts the sole power to adjudge guilt and mete out punishment. Extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy founded on the principle of legality that requires that the government act only according to law.

        As lawyers against extrajudicial killings and for the rule of law, we support the call of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for the government to “give due attention to the serious and credible investigation and resolution of these incidents and the prosecution of the wrongdoers to the full extent of the law”. We also call on other lawyers’ groups, lawyers, educators and other concerned members of society to take a public stand for the rule of law and against extrajudicial killings. The bloodbath must stop. The extrajudicial killings must stop.

        Signed by 260 lawyers:* (Names are listed in the Facebook page)

        • NHerrera says:

          It is heartening to know the Integrated Bar of the Philippines has issued the call for the government to “give due attention to the serious and credible investigation and resolution of these incidents and the prosecution of the wrongdoers to the full extent of the law” and that this group of 260 lawyers are making a call in stronger terms.

        • Joe America says:

          Kudos to the lawyers. Thanks for the update, cha.

  26. Harry Tan says:

    748 : Number of drug-related (?) Deaths. And counting!
    From May 10 – August 01, 2013.

  27. madlanglupa says:

    It’s been common for Japanese organizations, including government organizations, cities and municipalities, and even city police departments, have their own mascot representing a kinder face, a representative of their work.

    But around this week, the Showbiz General just brought out a mascot for the national police — except that it bears his likeness.

  28. madlanglupa says:

    De Lima takes back at her detractors; I am just as disgusted by the agitprop.directed against her by the triumphalists.

  29. An intruding country transforms reefs into islands: oh, the public hue and cry.
    The blood of the unarrested, uncharged, undefended, unconvicted and unsentenced begins to flood our streets: oh, the thunderous, ominous silence.

    • Joe America says:

      Before we get too deep into this, David, I would note that I moderate the blog with an awareness that it is easy (especially for non-Filipinos) to criticize the Philippines and hard to build. It is easy for the blog to descend into being another “anti” blog that is a collection place for complainers. You have said you don’t much care for the Philippines, and are in the US. Why are you contributing here? It is a question I ask of a lot of new visitors who seem to come in with a hard viewpoint or even agenda, rather than with the inclination to listen as well as talk. Well, in the case of the raft of killings, it is easy to be negative. But I wanted to make sure we have an understanding that this blog, for the most part, is a building place.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Joe, I think he only said he prefers RP over PH.

        • Having lawyered for peasants, among various other seditious crimes, I was among the very first arrested and detained the day martial law was actually imposed — Sept. 23 [not 21, subsequently substituted at the behest of Marcos’s goddess of numerology], 1972. Demoted to house arrest, fled to Sabah six weeks later with new-found Muslim benefactors and survived three months of cruel confinement in Tawau, seriously suspected of being a Marcos “spy.” On forced repatriation trip back to Bongao, miraculously persuaded the Tausug captain to take me instead to Mangsee, a dot in the ocean, from whence I would ultimately reach, and receive the reluctant protection of, the then-British Protectorate of Brunei. Sorry for the long story, but yes, I was a Filipino when democracy, or the dream of democracy, died. Later resettled in the U.S. by the UNHCR after I succeeded in smuggling my wife and two very young kids out of the country, we resettled in California in 1976. Been here since. Worked very closely with Salonga, Pimentel, Osmena, and Aquino opposing the regime from abroad. And saw that they, too, had feet of clay. It’s been a while now, but I’ve declined every opportunity to trade the citizenship of my birth with another. I’m not certain why.

        • You got it right, Karl.
          [All the Karls I knew/know had/have at least one parent/guardian/mentor who was/is a social or political activist, environmentalist, or nonconformist. Some, of course, more wild-eyed than the rest. And they all took, without exception, after their role models. Not so for the Carls. Only one of which, as best I can recall, rose to the level of the Karls. Which meant, of course, earning my admiration. Which I pretty much keep locked up and hidden in between those rare occasions when a worthy recipient comes around.]

  30. fedelynn says:

    Two responses I’ve found rather effective against pro-EJKs are these:

    Response 1:
    Don’t get angry with those against Extra-Judicial Killings. They’re just following these LAWS: [1] “Thou shall not kill.” — God (6th Commandment, Ten Commandments); [2] “…Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 19:16-19); [3] “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” (Section 1, Article III, 1987 Philippine Constitution); and, [4] “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence….” (Article 11, Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

    Response 2:
    “THOU SHALL NOT KILL” came from God, not the RC Church. It’s in His Ten Commandments. If you have trouble with it, I suggest you take it up with the Author.

    I crafted these responses based on the comments of pro-EJKs in articles and web pages.

    Of course, some will attack you, but I just come back with, “So what is your response to God’s commandment?” They usu. had no answer. If someone replied that he/she’s a Muslim, I tell the person, “Muslims and Jews follow the same commandments.”

    I’m not religious–have not been for a long time. But I think it might be useful to teach again the Commandments in Mass and Church Services.

    P-Duterte intimated in a news item last week that he thinks he is doing God’s work with regard to drugs (and EJK). [I hope I got that right.] If he is doing God’s work, why is he on the opposite side of the Commandment? Thanks. (Hope I didn’t ramble.)

  31. Who will stand against this madness? Who?

    • J. Bondurant says:

      “Who’s to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others […] [b]ut again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

      “I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. They were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.

      “Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor […] He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.” — V’s Speech To England, V FOR VENDETTA (2006)

      A lot of the movies I watched are now starting to take a new and disturbing significance.

  32. Summary extrajudicial executions. They’re much more fun in the Philippines. Just doin’t find yourself in the line of fire.

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