The (Im)moral Justifications of Duterte’s Anti-drug War


War on Drugs [Photo source: Philstar]


By Edgar Lores

“Human rights are not worthy of the name if they do not protect the people we don’t like as well as those we do.” Trevor Phillips

Three ethical doctrines have been asserted to justify President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war. These are:

o The utilitarian doctrine
o The ethnocentrism doctrine
o The self-defense doctrine

The first doctrine can be gleaned from Duterte’s utterances and the last two have been articulated by his supporters in the news and social media.

The Utilitarian Doctrine

To my knowledge, Duterte has never explicitly explained his rationale for mass killing. What he has expressed, time and time again, is his willingness to kill. During the campaign, he exclaimed, “Kung hindi ka handing pumatay o mamatay, hindi ka puwedeng mag-presidente!” [Translation: “If you are not prepared to kill or be killed, you are not qualified to become the president.”]

In his inaugural address, he gave us a glimpse of the basis for his worldview: “I have seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined families.”

And in the SONA, he said, “Human rights must work to uplift human dignity. But human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country — your country and my country.”

From these two pronouncements, we infer that the moral philosophy underlying the anti-drug war is utilitarianism. I must point out the second quote perfectly embodies the “logic of victimization” of fascism.

Utilitarianism is “the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority.

It is one form of the school of ethics known as consequentialism. In this school, the measure of morality rests on the “consequences” of man’s actions.

In addition to utilitarianism, we can more particularly pigeonhole Duterte’s war as “state consequentialism” since we are dealing here with a state-sanctioned program. Under this conviction, “all actions, practices, and policies that promote the overall welfare of society are morally right, and those that interfere are morally wrong.”

From Duterte’s view, the consequence of the drug trade and drug addiction is the unacceptable tearing of the fabric of society. There is great truth in this. The pernicious effects of drugs, not only in the Philippines but in every country, can be seen in the compulsive search for ersatz bliss, in the waste of unproductive lives, and in the ensuing waves of criminality. All of these, plus the loss of hope, weigh heavily on the mind and on society.

But can the government use immoral means to achieve the moral purpose of cleansing society of drugs?

This is a tough question with seemingly no ready answers.

To my mind, there are at least two major reasons why the government cannot be allowed to do this.

Let me clarify that these reasons are not against the utilitarianism principle itself but against the particular method Duterte has chosen to achieve the principle. If it were possible to make changes that improve the general welfare without a single individual being worse off — the Pareto Efficiency — then the utilitarian principle would be perfection itself.

First Argument Against the Utilitarian Doctrine

The first reason is that our Constitution disallows it.

In this regard, the entire Bill of Rights, contained in Article III of our Constitution, is worthy of our study. There are two provisions worth quoting:

Section 1. 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 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

The import of the rule of law, human rights, and due process can neither be taken lightly nor be overemphasized. It has taken centuries for us, for mankind, to arrive at the formulation of these norms. They are the bedrock of modernity, and they should not be easily cast aside for dubious and expedient reasons.

To circumvent the constitutional grant of human rights, Duterte has claimed the influence of drugs has “reduced human beings to a bestial state.” Not only that. He has actually made the final judgment drug addicts are “no longer viable as human beings” and that “junkies are not human.”

Many commentators have noted that the dehumanization of a class of people, the denial of their essential humanness, is a tactic of oppression. When we dehumanize people we are saying they are beyond rehabilitation (a legal concept) and redemption (a spiritual concept). In this manner, we extend to others an open invitation not only to mistreat them but to inflict violence — and ultimately death — upon them.

It is true the Constitution recognizes that peace and order are “essential for the enjoyment by all the people.” But nowhere in the Constitution is the President granted the power, in pursuit of these aims, to disregard the rule of law or to abuse human rights.

In his inaugural speech, Duterte declared, “My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising.” Subsequently but not consequently, he also declared, “I don’t care about human rights, believe me.” And while reading a list of government officials engaged in drugs, he said, “There is no due process in my mouth.

As a man with a loose tongue, Duterte reveals what he truly thinks more in his off-the-cuff remarks — and expletives — than in his prepared speeches.

With these contradictory statements, it is obvious the President has a “striking lack of understanding of human rights, institutions, and the principles which keep societies safe” as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has stated.

Make no mistake: the indiscriminate killings in the anti-drug war, whether the killings are conducted by vigilantes or by police personnel, are contrary to the norms and ideals enunciated in our Constitution.

Second Argument Against the Utilitarian Doctrine

The second reason is that the desirable consequences expected from the war cannot be determined with absolute certainty. Neither can they be guaranteed in the long term.

To be sure, there is evidence in the short term that the war has produced beneficial results. As many have attested, there is anecdotal evidence a fitful peace now transpires throughout the land. And as the PNP has claimed, there is statistical evidence the crime rate has gone down.

Let us grant for a moment that these are true.

What cannot be granted, however, is that the beneficial effects of the war will continue through time, or even just up to the end of Duterte’s six-year term. History tells us otherwise. The parallels between Duterte’s war and the Thai and Indonesian experiences are remarkable.

In early 2003, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra launched an anti-drug campaign that, like Duterte’s, had overwhelming popular support. Like Duterte’s:

  • The promise was to solve the rampant criminality in a short period: 3 months versus 6 months.
  • The estimates of the death toll in the first 3 months were roughly the same: 2,800 versus 3,000 bodies.
  • The immediate gains were visible and significant: a tenuous peace and a reduced crime rate.

By 2005, however, the campaign had lost popular support and in the following year, Shinawatra was overthrown in a military coup. Today, Thailand is caught once again in a drug crisis. An addiction to yaba, the Thai version of shabu that is a mixture of caffeine and methamphetamines, is terrorizing the country.

Between 1983 and 1985, Indonesian President Suharto set off, not an anti-drug campaign as such, but more of an anti-crime wave dragnet.  The operations were carried out by military death squads named “Petrus” after the Indonesian name of Saint Peter, guardian of the pearly gates of heaven.

This happened at a time when Duterte served as Second Assistant City Prosecutor for Davao from 1983-86.  The proximity of time and place would suggest that Petrus provided the modus operandi and the inspiration for Duterte’s crackdown in Davao in 1989 and now throughout the nation in 2016.  In addition to the use of death squads, other similarities between the forerunner Petrus killings and Duterte’s war are noteworthy:

  • The estimates of the criminals put to death range from 2,000 to 3,000 — and as high as 10,000.
  • Suspects were asked to surrender and blacklists were created.
  • The lists were used by government forces to hunt down criminals who did not regularly report back to authorities.
  • The bodies of the dead were strewn in public places.
  • Some victims had no criminal records.

Today, Indonesia, despite having the death penalty, is caught in a drug crisis just like Thailand and the Philippines. And, in a reversal of roles, Indonesia is currently mulling to imitate Duterte’s war.

Other anti-drug wars have been conducted in other countries, such as Mexico and the American proxy wars in Latin America, Afghanistan, and Africa. By now, the lesson should be as clear as day: nowhere on earth and at any time has a murderous anti-drug war succeeded.

Before moving on to the second doctrine, there is a third reason I should mention why the option of mass killings is not acceptable. Countries like the Netherlands and Portugal have devised and are implementing solutions to the drug problem that are both non-violent and effective.

It is not beyond us to develop similar humane approaches.

The Ethnocentrism Doctrine

Ethnocentrism is the “evaluation of a culture according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of another culture.

The charge of ethnocentrism has been leveled by Duterte supporters against critics who use the ideals of Western civilization to criticize Duterte’s fascist tendencies and his anti-drug war. The exalted notions of liberal democracy and of human rights, they argue, are Western standards and do not constitute foundational norms of Filipino culture.

This argument is easily rebutted.

The Western values that are supposedly alien to our culture have been embedded in our various basic, organic and autonomy laws, starting way back from more than a century ago in the 1899 Malolos Constitution. While the Malolos Constitution was never fully implemented, the succeeding constitutions beginning with the 1935 Constitution were accepted and ratified by the people.

The Philippines was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945. Then in 1948 the world organization produced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and our country was among the 48 countries that voted in favor of it. The luminous document comprehensively recognizes the inherent dignity of all human beings and enumerates their universal inalienable rights.

Moreover, the country has adopted and ratified other international protocols, namely the:

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ratified in 1974)
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified in 1986)
  • Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified in 1989)

We have formally embraced the principles and enjoyed the benefits of democracy, justice, and human rights for more than three full generations. Therefore, we cannot plead ignorance and claim these universal values are not part of our birthright.

Duterte apologists will counter that a period of three generations is not sufficient time to overcome centuries of cultural conditioning in the social construct of datuship that Duterte and his family – and indeed the whole of Mindanao – exhibits. And they would be right… but only less than half-right. Culture is malleable. And the very fact that more votes accrued to Duterte’s progressive opponents — 20.5M versus 16.6M (not counting Binay’s votes) — show Filipinos have imbibed “Western” values and rejected death-driven and corrupt-driven political stratagems. The Silent Minority outnumbered the Vocal Majority.

The Biblical Justification of Self-Defense

In theory, the injunction “Thou shalt not kill” is absolute.  In practice, the Bible justifies killing in three instances: war, self-defense, and capital punishment. Our legal system accepts the first two and Duterte would like to bring back the third.

While the term “war” has been applied to the anti-drug campaign, this is by no means war in the formal sense. If this were truly a war, the enemy would be China from where the chemicals needed to manufacture drugs come, and where Duterte has admitted the drug lords reside.

The legal definition of self-defense is: “the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe they are in danger.

There are two elements to self-defense. The first is that the danger posed is not mere loss of possessions but the loss of life. The second element is that the danger must be imminent.

Premeditated and preventative killing is not self-defense.

Do drug personalities pose an immediate threat to life? No, not to ordinary citizens, they do not.

In my recollection, there has only been one reported case since June 1 of an innocent’s death caused by a substance abuse user, and the substance was not primarily drugs but alcohol.

There have been three types of killings in the anti-drug war: vigilante killings, police killings, and collateral damage.

Vigilante killings are illegal and, therefore, cannot be classified as self-defense. As of August 18, close to 900 such killings have been reported. These widespread killings have been triggered and encouraged by Duterte’s call to slaughter.

Police killings have been largely extrajudicial although the police have gone to great pains to paint the victims as “aggressors” with cheap guns and drug packets planted beside the bodies of the victims. A dozen police (and military) personnel have been killed so far as against 756 drug personalities. The lowly figure of 1.5% in police deaths belies the myth of self-defense.

In both vigilante and police killings, there has been collateral damage. The volume of collateral deaths in cardboard justice has not been established. The friends and families of some victims have denied their loved ones were engaged in drug activities.

That the death of innocents (and other non-drug related deaths) has clearly taken place makes the anti-drug war unpalatable and unacceptable. This is an indiscriminate and brutal war that totally disregards the sanctity of human life.


How long will this war last? This is anybody’s guess. Duterte has said, “We will not stop until the last drug lord… and the last pushers have surrendered or are put either behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish.

We may be talking of a long and oppressive six years. But events are moving fast.

It has become painfully obvious that in so short a time Duterte has brought the country to a new low in the eyes of many local and international observers.

During the presidential campaign, Duterte made the capacity to kill as the sine qua non for the presidency. This should have served as a forewarning of the turmoil that now engulfs the nation. It is a bitter lesson to be learned. In the future, it is to be hoped people will remember the ability to take lives is not the highest qualification for office. Rather, it is the opposite: the ability to foster life, the ability to move the nation forward socially and economically, and the ability to embrace all citizens inclusively.

358 Responses to “The (Im)moral Justifications of Duterte’s Anti-drug War”
  1. edgar lores says:


    “From July 1 until the 2nd week of September 2016, a total of 3,526 persons have been killed, based on data from the Philippine National Police. About 1,491 were drug personalities killed in police operations, while 2,035 were victims of extrajudicial or vigilante killings.”

    • Andres IV says:

      Lets add those who surrendered at 715,393, and arrested at 17,759 taken from the same source. When talking about numbers and statistics, it is wise to be comprehensive.

    • NHerrera says:

      To add to the citation of numbers, here are two mentioned by General de la Rosa in two successive days recently:

      * 80%-90%, the amount illegal drug supplies have gone down;
      * 70%, the success rate of the war on drugs

      But almost immediately Gen DLR’s assessment is countered by PRD — as is his wont before the captive armed forces — saying he cannot kill all the druggies, he needs help from them; and yesterday ask for time extension of another six months to solve the drug problem.

      My knee-jerk reaction to General Bato’s statement was one of relief. Let us take the percent number 70%. This means we need only 30% and we are done. In deaths due to illegal drug war, this means the critics only has to agonize over only an additional 1286 deaths (= 3000*30/70).

      • edgar lores says:

        I almost wrote, “Wish it were so.” But we are not talking about diseased chickens, are we?

      • NHerrera says:

        Just for the purpose of record here in TSH as of 2016-09-19, I post a link here which is aptly phrased as a chaos in numbers in the following link:

        Excerpt of this chaos of numbers from authorities who are supposed to have a sense on those numbers:

        1.24M, 3M or 3.7M?
        But such trouble with numbers extends even further. By President Duterte’s account, for instance, the Philippines has some 3.7 million drug addicts. PNP chief de la Rosa’s own tally is just three million. Then there’s DDB, which in its “performance indicators” of its proposed agency budget for 2017 says there are only 1.24 million illegal-drug users in the country. Based on a Sept. 10, 2016 news report, however, the PNP seems more prone to agree with PDEA than with its own head or the President himself, having placed the number of drug addicts in the Philippines at 1.8 million.


        No wonder we have such debates on the war on drugs.

        • edgar lores says:

          Nherrera, The 1.8M figure is most accurate. It corresponds closely to your 1.9 diseased chickens.

        • Thea says:

          These are what stunned me:

          1. That there is no Executive Order from Pres. Duterte about this war on drugs. (And he is asking for an extention of 6 months?) If this is so, General Dela Rosa is acting on his behalf,without direct order from his Commander in Chief and if this war failed, the president is free from command responsibility.

          2. The monetary reward on account of accomplishments by the policemen and police units. If the collateral damages/killing of innocents will be counted as “accomplishment”, well that’s a lot of money for Christmas.

          3. The present war on drugs is focused on drugs (pushers/users) and not on crimes that may be related on drugs or prompted by drugs. In the index of crime against persons, there is increase in murders from 755(July 2015) to 1,271(July,2016). Rape, which is the diatribe of the Duterte fanatics, is not abated that much, from 879 (July,2015) to 838 (July,2016). Meaning, with drugs or without drugs, these inhumane acts will percolate for as long as there are person or persons capable of doing the crime. For this is a manifestation that our society is sick, full of mentally ill people and deprived of values formation.

      • arlene bangsil says:

        From the data you have given, in 3 mos time, 70 % was accomplished, then roughly a month more and the drug war will be totally accomplished; that supposed to be a relief at least only a thousand will be sacrificed for this drug war.
        But PRD is asking another 6 mos more, so, how many more should die with the armed forces augmenting the drug war.

        80 to 90 % lowered the drug supplies but until when? As the writter, Edgar Lores, point the case of Indonesia and thailand, their failure to sustain the curbing of drugs.
        The drug trades emanate from China, yet, those who surrendered and captured are more than 99% percent Filipinos, there are no big syndicates involved, no convincing, plausible, indestructible evidences that could link syndicates. Surely, drug trades are run by big time invincible syndicates.
        It is possible it will be recurring, unless the killing continues and more bodies than before will be spewed in the street. Still, until when is the killing?

        How about the 715,000 who surrendered, what will happen to them. Addiction cannot be cured by every other week zumba with plain warning not to use drugs again.

        How about the 17,000 captured what awaits them Duterte mentioned he is not interested in prisoners.

        Let’s face the fact nothing can be resolved by violence. To treat these people as animals and have no right to life, when they are only under suspicion, well, it seems the animals are treated better.

  2. Looking at the Thai example, it seems there was a lack of follow through as they probably thought that they could just keep the momentum of a war on drugs going, which is, of course, impossible?

    Comparing it to that of Duterte’s, it seems that they do actually have plans to move from the current aggressive crackdown on drugs to then focusing on rehabilitation as there seems to be much effort in making more centers? So in a way, this seems to be becoming some sort of bad cop to good cop stuff, which may actually work? Because in a way, if you try to imagine the government starting rehabilitation immediately with no war on drugs, how effective would it be? I don’t know about you but a war-on-drugs seems to be a good driving factor for them to do so.

    So in addition to that, I think a more apt term for the current government is it is more pragmatic rather than utilitarian?

    • Joe America says:

      I tend to see them moving on from the drug war to attacking critics by labeling them as destabilizers and subversive, so I don’t see the next step as that constructive. As criticism rises, so does the need for authoritarian responses to bring obedience and order to “unity”.

      • edgar lores says:

        I concur. I notice the volume of criticism is rising in both news and social media, with the balance in favor of dissidents. So dissent and suppression will spiral until — resolution, synthesis, denouement is achieved. So far, a Philippine armaggedon has not occurred, but the price of the dialectical struggle is heavy.

      • LG says:

        More disunity will be sowed if ‘unity’ is ordered. Overseas Filipinos vs Duterte Supporters. FB is flooded with opposing posts. If I travel, I will not identify myself as Filipino.

      • LG says:

        Joe, am delighted about reversing your decision for the THS to continue its political nature. God bless us all. Edgar’s is the perfect comeback article to continue the journey.

    • edgar lores says:


      1. The momentum of war is sustained by two factors: first, the accomplishment of the objective(s), and second, the impossibility of accomplishing it.

      1.1. When you say there was a lack of follow through, you grant the second factor.

      1.2. Can an anti-drug war succeed completely? That is, kill both supply and demand? I do not think so. Why? Because one cannot kill human desire, globally or specifically. To kill human desire is to kill human nature, and to kill human nature is to kill human beings. Which is exactly what Duterte’s war is doing for two specific main desires — greed and addiction.

      2. The Duterte war did not initially provide for rehabilitation. It was all kill, kill, kill.

      2.1. Should the government have addressed the question of rehabilitation from the start? Certainly, if it knew what it was getting into. It had an idea of the numbers. It had a plan of operations. There is no excuse.

      2.1.1. It is now true that the war embraces rehabilitation, because of the sheer number of suspects and the sheer unthinkability and unacceptability of killing them all.

      2.2. When you ask this “may actually work” what exactly do you mean?

      2.2.1. Total eradication of the drug problem? Apart from item 1.2, Duterte has already admitted failure. He says we cannot fight China where the drug chemicals are sourced. And in the news this morning, he admitted he cannot “kill them all.”

      2.2.2. Minimization of the drug problem? The essay grants the war will result — has resulted — in minimization. It does not grant the results are guaranteed long-term. Neither does it grant that the war is moral.

      3. You have seemingly addressed the question of morality by suggesting it is pragmatic rather than utilitarian. What exactly do you mean by “pragmatic”? Is this the pragmatic ethics of John Dewey? I don’t think so because Dewey’s ethics was experimental and relativistic. So by pragmatic you mean the war is practical. The extension of your view is political pragmatism, which is “if it works we don’t really care why.”

      3.1. I conclude you have totally evaded the moral issue. Even so, what is the practical end of the anti-drug war to you? And is that practical end justified by violence and bloodshed?

      • Edgar Lores,

        1. & 1.1 I think I may have misused the term ‘momentum of war’. I think I should’ve said the momentum of support for war. So given this, I think what I meant was that most wars had failed to ride the wave of support as they had just let it die down. When in fact, they could have tried to redirect it to something more feasible and plausible.

        1.2 The drug war will of course never succeed completely. The only thing that can be done about it is to minimize it, which is probably what should be aimed at by the people and the government. And as of now, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what they are aiming at.

        2 & 2.1 How long do you think would it take to add new rehabilitation centers and how much would it cost? And from what I had observed, Duterte was actually very honest about this, calling rehabilitation impractical and what not. But if there is one takeaway with this, it seems that people had stepped up because of it. Because really now, Filipinos are reactive as hell and they’ll only do something about the problem once it is there, staring them in the face. Which is what is happening now. Even the church had just recently opened its doors for these people affected by drugs. If it was because of Duterte’s tirades about their hypocrisy and whatnot, I can’t say. But the fact is, people are now doing something about it.

        And it isn’t just with drugs as the government does seem to somewhat encourage the people to get more involved with what is happening around them recently. But sadly, this is both in good and bad ways. -_-

        2.2 When I said it may actually work, it was compared to just spearheading efforts for *only* rehabilitation. Because the way process this is a two-pronged approach would probably be best.

        3. Probably the “if it works we don’t really care why” pragmatism. But they do seem to be receptive to new stimulus so their actions seem to be ever changing and evolving.

        3.1. I guess I can’t answer that because the current government seems to be amoral.

        As for the practicality of the drug war, again, it seems necessary as it pulls people out of their comfort zones and they are now forced to get involved and whatnot. Because if there is a problem in this country, one of them is actually the people themselves . To copy-paste a comment from another post:

        [War on drugs]

        On the war on drugs, though I don’t condone it, I can’t help but think it somewhat necessary and the best we could probably do now is try to minimize the impact of it. So why this kind of mindset? Well, from what I’ve observed, I think the saying “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play. As I’ve mentioned in another post, we usually have to make things huge so that Filipinos will realize that there is currently a problem. As for making them move into action, it’s a completely different thing altogether as we don’t have just to make it huge, we actually have to make it *stupidly* huge for that to happen.

        And with this war on drugs, it seems that rehabilitation and drug awareness efforts were just spearheaded now because, well… Things got stupidly huge. Because really now, imagine if there were no ‘war on drugs’ right now: Do you think these kinds of actions would’ve happened? If we just stuck to what was always done, we would probably be at par with Mexico already when the people start to do anything about the problem. I don’t know if you’ll agree but most Filipinos always did seem to need to experience huge adversities before they started doing anything. (Very reactive.) Sure, it really shouldn’t be the case and there are surely better ways. But as of now? IMO, there really is no other way. I don’t think slow change like what most liberals here are advocating will work. The Filipino seems to have built a strong tolerance against it. Given that, it seems to be that stagnation will be regression and then slow change will be stagnation. That’s how much it sucks. Call me a cynic, but hey, I think it is warranted. =| As bad as the events are right now, I think it is a start so that the people can start to get moving. Once we’ve started moving, the option would then be to just try to redirect the direction [and ride the momentum]. And it seems that the current administration can actually be pressured in some ways.


        And in case you’d want to skim over the source of that comment for context, here’s a link to it:

        • edgar lores says:


          Thank you for the clarifications.

          1. The high level of support cannot be denied. In any effort, whether war or not, the level will wane because of fatigue, other priorities, unexpected consequences, and bad results, Redirection may not be possible.

          1.2. Agree.

          2 & 2.1. Again, agree that Filipinos are generally reactive and not pro-active. We are a people who (a) rarely think of tomorrow, (b) electing politicians with no platforms, and (c) allowing elected officials to implement programs that are not planned in detail. I still think (c) is inexcusable. We have to professionalize government service.

          2.2. I understand now you were talking of rehabilitation, which is one prong. But the other prong is the violence.

          3. Amoral means not being concerned with right or wrong. So, along with the excerpt you cite, you are not condoning the violence. However, you think it is practical but not immoral. I appreciate the candor. We all struggle.

          I have stated elsewhere in various posts here in The Society that good and evil, in the view of Eternity, are not opposites. They are twin water currents that interweave, but the river is one. Nevertheless, in the view of the Now, I think we are constrained to fight evil. I will define evil, in the Buddhist way, simply as causing unnecessary harm. All religions, all systems of normative ethics, agree on this point.

          • I guess we agree at most points. =D

            As for point #2 & #2.1, to add more details for why (c) happens:

            It is probably because of the following three factors:

            (x) Filipinos can’t seem to know how to complain with regards to many things. As is always championed by many of them, they are very resilient. But too resilient for their own good if I may add.

            (y) Little to no proper channels for complaints when it comes to things like these with no apparent and concrete resolution to said complaints.

            (z) Filipinos have a huge aversion to inconvenience. Given (y), they’d rather be ‘resilient’ (x) than do anything about it.

            So these three factors pretty much compound on each other and this pretty much leads to stagnation, if not even regression of work ethics and attitude. A negative feed back loop.

            But given the move by the current government of providing a no-nonsense means of entertaining complaints, it would surely be welcome and it will surely help in addressing this problem. And if you happen to stumble upon by testimonies of some of these people that had tried it, well, it seems that it is actually working. And this becoming a positive feedback loop si probably not far-off, so fixing this is probably underway?

            For #3, I guess it depends if you’re either consequentialist or non-consequentialist? To be honest, I’m a bit of an “end justifies the means” kind of guy as well. Heh.

            But as for my stance on violence, well, though I still stand by what I said that violence is not to be condoned, I do also think that it could actually never be avoided, thus still “necessary”, given the current situation. However, I do think that it could of probably be significantly minimized still. So I really do agree with what you say the we should really avoid causing unnecessary harm. But I guess the problem with this is the current administration seems to be toeing the line between necessary and unnecessary.

            • edgar lores says:


              If I think about it, we are all consequentialists to a great degree. We all judge actions by their possible consequences. It is just that some of us do not accept some actions to be permissible to achieve certain consequences.

              Yes, we agree on the peripherals but not on the central issue.

              I will note that you have not countered any of the arguments presented in the article. You just feel that the anti-drug war is necessary both in its aims and methods. I concur with the former but object to the latter.

              To highlight your argument: “…it seems necessary as it pulls people out of their comfort zones and they are now forced to get involved and whatnot.”

              That’s very vague. It is not a moral argument. It is about comfort and not about rightness or wrongness. But as I said I appreciate your candor.

              • NHerrera says:

                In the corporate world, a major or game-changing project or program is undertaken with much thought, not only on its goal or main objectives but the essential strategies and major moves-timeline.

                I find that this game-changing program of war on drugs is treated very much like a minor project with a lot of work-in-progress thoughts and actions thrown in. This is in contrast to the statement of my “favorite” Senator, Cayetano, who says PRD is a strategist. I just can’t recall right now what wonderful adjective he used in front of the word “strategist.”

              • edgar lores says:

                NHerrera, The Cayetano words before and after were: “Duterte is a brilliant strategist with a multi-dimensional character.”

                Such multi-dimensional sycophancy is brilliant.

              • LG says:

                First political casualty…..Senator Leila de Lima was just unseated as Chair of the Justice Com by a vote of 16 in favor, 4 not in favor, 4 abstaining. The senator was not in the room when the votation occurred. Sen. Gordon replaced the lady senator as chair.

                Will Sen, Hontiveros be next?

              • edgar lores says:

                More to the point, was Trillanes among the 16?

                The 4 who dissented – Drilon, Kiko, Bam and Risa.

                The 2 who abstained – Recto and Escudero.

                That makes 22. De Lima would make 23. Trillanes the 24th?

              • LG says:

                ThebTV news did not give names. Maybe the news tomorrow would specify who is who or Rappler did already. Our informant, Karl would let us know for sure😊.

              • Hmm… I guess I’m not actually countering your argument as I don’t actually disagree with it. As if I were to be verbose about it: Given the current state of this anti-drug war and the methods currently being used, then there is probably no argument that something is indeed wrong with it. However, I guess I’m still actually somewhat optimistic that this would be changed and redirected to something more feasible and fruitful if given more time. And why am I optimistic? As you’ve said, it seems that the current administration is very adhocratic. (I actually learned that word just now but it does seem to be very apt for the current admin.) They do seem to be open to feedback, however, it seems that it has to be given on their level and not from some moral high ground. Because they do have a huge tendency to uhm… “manumbat” (Can’t translate it properly currently. Can anyone help? :P). So if anything, I guess the approach would be very important. And this is probably not just with the government but even the Filipino themselves.

                Lastly, I guess I’d like to apologize for providing here some seemingly disjunct number of points. However, uhm… Do try to take these points in a generalized context? I’m currently having trouble putting it into words and connecting these up.

              • edgar lores says:

                intuitiveperceiving, You are coming in clear.

                It’s just that at the back of my mind, your handle needles me. I have a healthy respect for intuition and just the other day I was reading an interview on Richard Gere (actor) talking about the Dalai Lama.

                Here’s a quote: “I’ve seen His Holiness give bodhicitta teachings like these, and no one can walk away without crying. He touches so deep into the heart. He gave a teaching in Bodh Gaya last year on Khunu Lama’s “In Praise of Bodhicitta,” which is a long poem. Just thinking about it now, I’m starting to cry. So beautiful. When he was teaching on Kunu Lama’s “In Praise of Bodhicitta,” who was his own teachers whooosh! We were inside his heart, in the most extraordinary way. A place you can’t be told about, you can’t read about, nothing.”

                The terms used and the references won’t mean much to you, as they don’t to me, but the depth of feelings and insights we do not experience, much less have an inkling of, astounds me.

              • @Edgar Lores, my stance is usually considered fence-sitting, to the annoyance of many, from both sides of the spectrum if I may add. So I somewhat not surprised by it? haha Almost got blocked many times because of this but it seems that my only saving grace, as I’ve been told, is my calm demeanor.

                However, I don’t like consider myself as a normal fence sitter because rather than just point out the good and bad of each and not decide on who is right: What I usually do is I try to make an amalgamation of ideas by compromising all the points that seem to make sense. So in a way, what I do is I try to find weakness on the fence, which separates the two sides, then I try to find ways to break it down.

                As you’ve said, there are twin water currents that interweave, but the river is one. However, finding a middle ground is hard and people also seem to have a dislike of middle grounds. =(

              • edgar lores says:


                At worst, you are indecisive. At best, you are a peacemaker.

              • LG says:

                Trillanes n Recto were the only two who abstained per Rappler, 9/19/26 pm. Escudero n Lacson must be among the 16.

              • NHerrera says:

                Let me wade into this.

                I suggest that it is really a spectrum. Even the middle is not as sharp. Media and even the contributors here consider the positives of the other side whatever that other side is, but settle on their innate sense of values and so may be deemed to be to the left or right of that “middle” of the spectrum.

              • edgar lores says:

                I took a political quiz once, and it positioned me almost dead center on the horizontal axis (economic left/right) and a bit up on the vertical axis (authoritarian top and libertarian bottom). So I am a moderate — a conservative liberal or a liberal conservative — with slight authoritarian tendencies.

                The moral spectrum is less well defined. In fact, there are several spectra. I’m trying to imagine a viable model but there are too many criteria.

                When we speak of morality, we speak of the poles of evil and good. Evil is usually being selfish and good is being altruistic. These can be our horizontal axis, like so:

                Selfish — Indifferent — Altruistic

                o Utilitarianism would fall right of center.

                o The total sacrifice of others to self would be at the extreme left. The model for this could be Lucifer but he’s not real. For real, there’s Genghis Khan or William Vanderbilt. No, let’s use a local — Marcos.

                o The total sacrifice of self for others would be on the extreme right. The model for this would be, of course, Jesus.

                The vertical axis puzzles me. To use some of Jonathan Haidt’s moral foundations, it can be fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, or liberty/oppression.

                I think I prefer respect at the top and disrespect or hatred at the bottom.

                Publicly, I would position myself in the upper right quadrant. Privately, at the upper left.

              • @NHerrera, I’m aware of that and that is also one one the reasons why I really like this site as many here don’t seem to mind looking over the middle. However, I guess the problems arises when the situation seems to call for one’s value to be put aside in priority for the other. So the question is: who should give?

                Hmm… I’m reminded of the conundrum of the “Three Worlds Collide” By Eliezer Yudkowsky. If you haven’t read it, it seems to take the different schools of thought and it takes it to the extremes where things seem to start to break down. Interesting read to say the least.


              • NHerrera says:

                @IP, good question. So the question is: who should give?

                Got the pdf file on that link. I will read it. Thanks.

              • NHerrera says:


                Aha, baring your inner self. Interesting characterization of your Public and Private self according to your graphic Cartesian view of the two spectra.

                About our Congress and Senate: To the left of the center and right on the horizontal-axis — since no spine or too crude to veer off from the x-axis, e.g. Pacquiao.

              • edgar lores says:

                NHerrera, Agree with the “right on the horizontal axis.” But “left of center” escapes me.

              • NHerrera says:

                edgar, a language problem. Mathematically, if you have (x,y) as coordinates I can express it as, say, (x,y) = (- 5,0); zero being on the x-axis as far as y-value is concerned. See, I can express myself better in mathematical terms. Its the wiring of this old dog. 🙂

              • edgar lores says:


              • @Edgar Lores, what I did in two paragraphs, you’ve basically summed up in a few words and it couldn’t actually be more exact. haha

                But to elaborate more about my thinking process, I think I’m assessing the possible situations by iterations? Basically considering ‘time’ and taking into account the possible changes at each step? Because looking at it closely, it seems that we’ve been stuck in a stalemate for a long time already and no one seems to yield? People don’t seem to want to compromise hence the problem?

                However, as I asked NHerrera: Who should give? But to rephrase it better as it seems that compromise is actually unavoidable: How much should each side actually give? Should one really sacrifice one’s values to break this stalemate? Well, probably yes and no? Because from what I can perceive, one side would probably have to give way, but, only for now. And mind you, it will not be the current administration as they seem to have huge support from the people so they seem to actually have the momentum. Breaking it would probably be a huge waste as building up this kind of thing only comes around every once in a while.

                “So we should just let things be? That could actually be a slippery slope.”

                Well, though you may have yielded for now, I’m not saying that you should actually just let things be. Quite the opposite actually. Because isn’t it actually possible to try to have multiple small compromises? Go with the flow first, but slowly try reroute it?

                To use the recent ousting of De Lima as an example, she seems to have been asking too much when it seems that she could have probably settled for less, thus a possibility of improving the current situation that we have. Sure the short-term rewards if she succeeds would have been huge, but the risks seems to have been too huge.

                So in a way, I seem to be seeing this as something like investing in the market?

              • edgar lores says:


                1. It’s not bad to be cautious as a general approach. But caution cannot be exercised at all times.

                2. Basically, I think you are following situational ethics, which is seeing things in context. You evaluate, then re-evaluate, ad infinitum.

                3. Speaking of situations but not of ethics, life confronts us with situations in which we normally have to make a choice. There are situations of immediate danger and of no immediate danger. In the latter, we can bide our time and properly evaluate the situation. In the former, we have little or no time to reflect.

                3.1. The basic biological mechanism in the former is the fight/flight/freeze response. Your approach is to freeze.

                3.2. The basic mechanism in the latter is our cultural heritage. Your approach is to individualize the cultural conditioning. You say, let me think about it.

                4. Most of us rely on our intuition to evaluate a situation. If there is time, we will use reason. But reason, more often than not, is not used to objectively look at the situation. Rather, it is used to reinforce intuition.

                4.1. Important: Not all intuition is valid. It can be bias. There is a danger in relying on intuitive perception.

                5. The evaluation of a situation whether it is one of immediate danger or not is subjective. A situation where you think there is the luxury to evaluate at leisure may not be necessarily so to another person. The current situation of the anti-drug war is a good example.

                6. To you, the anti-drug war does not pose an immediate threat. To Senator De Lima, it does.

                6.1. How do you know she asked for too much? Her first witness may not have been her greatest weapon. Now we will never know.

                6.2. And how can you coldly judge the rewards or risks she faced? You are not in her place.

                6.3. And how do you know that the consequence of the danger she sought to fight will not engulf the whole country to a greater degree than it has now? There has been collateral damage.

                7. In sum, one may sit on the banks of the river and simply watch the water flow. At other times, one is constrained to plunge into the river and swim with and push the current of one’s choice.

              • LG says:

                👍YES to all arguments.

              • 1. Agree.

                2. Researching about it, the term contextualism popped up. I seem to agree with it, but Lots of reading to be done though. haha Thanks!

                3. Agree as well. But could you elaborate more on 3.2, especially on the cultural heritage and individualizing it? I can’t seem to completely grasp it.

                4. I’m aware of the dangers of relying on intuition, hence the attempts to continually re-correct it and re-calibrate it. That is actually one of the reasons why I’m here so that I can try to keep my bias in check. And in addition to that, I also present it to the extremes of both sides every now and then for more stringent calibration. =D

                5. Agree that the evaluation of a situation is mostly subjective.

                6. To an extent, I’d have to agree. But to add more to your point on mine: Yes, I think that it is not that immediate of threat yet. But still a threat nonetheless. Because if the current drug war will stay as it is and if it will not make any form of correction to how it is being done, we are surely going to have problems.

                6.1 & 6.2 How do you know if she asked too much and had risked so much? Well, just look at what happened. She could probably have slowly moved the situation to a better direction but she seems to have wanted a quick and instantaneous response. Using ship navigation as an analogy, I think that we do still have time to correct the bearings. Slowly, if I may emphasize. It is just that trying to turn the ship too harshly should be avoided as it may cause it to capsize.

                6.3 The move was surely commendable but it seems to have been done not in the right time. Again, look at what happened because of it. She could have probably first tried to slowly build up the changes needed for this war on drugs but she seems to have preferred having an explosive entry. And how did that turn out? As much as the intention is good, it seems that it had been all for naught. I’m not sure about you, but the consequences seemed to have been apparent. But re-reading this last part, I seem to be victim blaming. Hmm… But it seems I’m missing something. Umm… Probably has to do something with the current administration’s momentum? And one does not simply just reduce and stop momentum?

                7. So is it to plunge or not to plunge? Was it really needed at the moment?

                Lastly, I’d like to thank you for entertaining my replies. Even with the multitude of errors and incoherence of my replies, I had managed to make some sense of it thanks to you. It is very much appreciated. =)

                And as I suggested to NHerrera, may I also suggest “Three Worlds Collide” By Eliezer Yudkowsky if you haven’t read it? As said above, it seems to take the different schools of thought and it takes it to the extremes where things seem to start to break down. Interesting read to say the least and it does seem apt to the current situation that we are in. And again, thanks!


              • chemrock says:

                Thank you Edgar, for so much wisdom within this thread.

    • LG says:

      Let’s wait, what kind of public rehab centers will rise and develop. Sustainability is crucial. Professionally staffed? Or just baby sitters. Rehabbing with Tesda training is laudable. I don’t know what else, besides, sports and dance exercises.

      • edgar lores says:

        LG, good point. Given the number of addicts, will there be enough counselors to go around? The other thing that bothered me was some of them are main providers. What happens to the family while they are incarcerated?

        • LG says:

          Duterte (D) says, ‘Di ko problema…p…ina nila’! I can hear such probable scream if dependents of user-providers are brought to his attention. Before…. he gets to thinking seriously.

          D could order Judy Taguiwalo (J) to add the families of poor user-providers to the 4 Ps Program. D would likely order J to do much more than she can handle. J is new to all of her responsibilities as dswd sec. I hope she fits the shoes. She had been an academic at UP. Am not sure, if she had practiced before as a social worker with responsibilities of similar magnitude as being a dswd sec. I should wiki her soon,

        • LG says:

          Social work graduates should have no trouble looking for jobs now. And SW enrollment should go up. But I have not really heard yet of Wanted: Social Workers ads. They may just be looking for college level folks. No budget for professional SWs? Too many promises to keep. Heard the 8888 hotline is inundated with urgent demands for salary increases.

          • edgar lores says:

            LG, I wonder if they classify 8888 calls and keep statistics of calls, answers, and programs created in response to problems raised. Salary increases? Hah! If used properly, the data could be a fountain for future directions.

            • LG says:

              Excellent point, Edgar. 8888 calls can provide some form of data base that can direct even immediately doable future directions for all branches of govt. and departments. I wonder on whose charge the hotline falls under? I have not heard much of it in the last month….what other types of calls it receives and what actions were taken.

          • LG says:

            I might add… if Duterte truly believes “illegal drugs endanger the Philippines as a nation” and is truly serious about promoting a ‘clean’ Philippines through, among others, drug rehabilitation, he should call for the enhancement of college curricula on the various disciplines including, but not limited to, health care, behavioral, social, physical and military/security, particularly on the complex issues of alcohol and illegal drugs and their respective rehabilitation.The noted issues merit graduate programs on them.

            The noted enhanced curricula would require competent faculty prepared to develop such noted curriculum and teach the basic and advanced science based knowledge and understanding of alcohol and drugs, as well as the practice of drug treatment and rehabilitation by a team of specialists.

            Are there such noted faculty in Philipine colleges NOW who are also curriculum experts?

            • edgar lores says:

              LG, Duterte does not believe in knowledge. Remember he wanted to do away with Algebra, Calculus and Trigonometry to be replaced with Business Math. He thought steel was the only viable industry.

              There is a popular essay by Isiah Berlin called The “Hedgehog and the Fox.” He says there are two kinds of people: hedgehogs view the world through a single idea whiles foxes think the world cannot be reduced to a single idea. He thought Dostoyevsky was a hedgehog and Shakespeare a fox.

              Duterte is a hedgehog. He shuns all areas of government and leaves these to his cabinet, all except peace and order. And in this one area, he has only one idea: to solve the drug problem through killing.

    • karlgarcia says:

      By saying that the government is pragmatic rather than utilitarian,can be interpreted as it does not matter if it is for the good of the many or not as long as it works and my goals are achieved.

      Your version sight out if mind,if I understand correctly means people are not aware of their surroundings because there are no statistics to show it,or the dangers and implications are not obvious that we need an impactful wake up call.

      Alas,the president said he was not aware if the extent of the drug menace until he became president. So he even surprised him self .Now he is asking for an extension.

      • LG says:

        I don’t like watching to an eyesore or listening to earsore like D, so this is the first time, I read about his plea for an ‘Extension’.

      • And I think I won’t correct that interpretation as it is also probable. However, trying to analyze it more, I guess the two concepts are not exactly mutually exclusive? It seems Duterte is trying to wipe the slate clean and then build anew? Huge cost initially, but at the long run? Who knows if it may actually pay off. A possibility? Yes, but of course, still currently uncertain.

        As for people not being aware of these kind of things, well, I’m not exactly certain if the people are indeed just blind or are just acting blind. But it is probably a mix of both? Because I’m sure they are aware of it in some sorts as that is actually what they are talking about. Yan ang mga haka-haka at sabi-sabi ng mga tao kung nakakausap mo sila at napapakinggan mo sila. (That is the gossip and hearsay of people if you happen to talk to them and listen to them.) And when it comes to these gossip and hearsay, though it is usually not completely true, I think it can’t be denied that these things surely had some basis on some real life events. And that is probably another common trait of many Filipinos. Dismissing many things in jest. A coping mechanism? Maybe.

  3. LG says:

    Well done Edgar.

    • edgar lores says:

      LG, thank you. If one skeptic can be convinced or one supporter can be turned, it would be worth it.

      • LG says:

        Yes, indeed. Duterte Suporters are so fanatical in supporting the drug war, mindless of HR, and collateral damages. I know some in person, most through FB.

  4. gerverg1885 says:

    Confining those who surrendered in rehab centers would be a good idea if they had prepared for it thoroughly but preparing meals alone for thousands would be a logistical nightmare, not to mention the everyday amenities to be provided by the government, like beds and the sanitation requirements for such a huge number pf people.

    I had known people who were into drugs for several years now but had made complete changes in their lives because their families did not give up on them and they heeded advises from well-meaning friends without entering rehabilitation centers.

    The best description for hopeless cases are those that are called taong grasa which should be rounded up and brought to rehab centers, not those who surrendered because there is free meal for them every day without them having to work their butts out.

    • edgar lores says:

      gerverg1885, It is indeed a logistical nightmare. Photos of the overcrowded jail cells — with every square inch occupied so that not even a cockroach would dare navigate his way between the bodies — have been published around the world.

      In Oz, we refer to people who depend on the government for livelihood as “dole bludgers.” I cannot imagine though that people would be so desperate so as to tolerate such subhuman conditions for a free “meal.”

      Thank you for highlighting the possibility and reality of self-rehabilitation and redemption.

    • I remember a suggestion of community rehabilitation being floated up somewhere? I think that would actually be a better option and more cost-effective? Don’t imprison these people and let them stay with their families and let them continue on with their lives. It is just with this suggestion, they would just have to report, say, at a barangay health center for monitoring every now and then?

  5. We have formally embraced the principles and enjoyed the benefits of democracy, justice, and human rights for more than three full generations. Therefore, we cannot plead ignorance and claim these universal values are not part of our birthright.

    Duterte apologists will counter that a period of three generations is not sufficient time to overcome centuries of cultural conditioning in the social construct of datuship that Duterte and his family – and indeed the whole of Mindanao – exhibits. And they would be right… but only less than half-right. Culture is malleable. And the very fact that more votes accrued to Duterte’s progressive opponents — 20.5M versus 16.6M (not counting Binay’s votes) — show Filipinos have imbibed “Western” values and rejected death-driven and corrupt-driven political stratagems.

    Formally embraced, yes. In reality, I have doubts. Because the reality in the provinces is often more like this:

    In a study conducted by the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) on election-related violence in 2009, we already noted that private armed groups get their recruits from these civilian auxiliary units/militias and former rebels, hence the need to study the relevance of government programs targeting these players..

    Death squad members are doing multiple jobs for their bosses, including as household helpers, couriers, bodyguards, etc. Whenever they have no killing assignment, they do other things. They are all-around. This is consistent with our election-related violence study in Abra in 2009. In our study, we noted that the situation of private armed groups can be traced to lack of employment opportunities especially in conflict areas.

    The reality in the provinces has always been guns, goons and gold especially during elections. The nice words of the Constitution, international treaties etc. mean nothing to people who in practice know that the mayor’s goons can gun you down, the mayor is into jueteng business… This is not just Mindanao, this is all the areas where powerful families hold sway with impunity. Justice is very inefficient in the Philippines, takes too long and is often partial or even for sale. Simple people know what they SEE day-to-day – the practice in Western countries they don’t know, what they do know is the misuse of nice words by the local elites that control them and that are courted by ALL political parties as they bring in the votes during election time. The reality of urban professionals, all university graduates, is different from the reality of large groups of people. That many Duterte supporters are professionals does not make a difference – they often are the new crowd who grew up in other realities in their youth, were shaped by other values. They would have been easier to reach if they had the formally embraced values, but they don’t..

    • edgar lores says:

      Irineo. the overall picture is grim, isn’t it?

      You point out the gap between the rural and urban areas, and that many educated and well-off people in the cities supported Duterte. I might add that OFWs, a great proportion who actively registered for the first time, also overwhelmingly voted for him and Marcos. And let us not forget the Ampatuans when talking about election-related violence.

      The great paradox to me is that these people are using the benefit of the ballot to undermine democracy. And the other great paradox is that they chose Duterte after having “experienced” PNoy… whose satisfaction ratings remained high.

      I would have to agree with you that the mindset of the voters and of the leadership are not yet up to the expected norms of Western values. But even the West itself is not up to the norms.

      But I will stick with my numerical analysis of the election results and maintain there is hope in that the Silent Minority is, in fact, a Silent Majority.

      That saying about history repeating itself? I note this is partially due to the intergenerational discontinuity. The lessons are not passed over to the next generations. But some people, the intellectual elite, serve as bridges and keep the lessons alive. As individuals, we must do our part, learn the lessons, to the extent that sometime in the future the tipping point, which you wrote about in your first essay, will be reached. We live in hope.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Chempo and myself had a discussion of arming civilians,namely para-military and tanods.

      I was so focused on the abu sayaff situation that I even said that in some instances,it maybe necessary to arm so called force multipliers.
      Now with the fact that private armies are from militias and others.

      I submit that arming para- military or baranggay tanod peacekeepers is a recipe for further disaster,especially when you think of the war on drugs and the killings.Not even with training which is shorter than the prescribed training of those in the service.

      Even if the president said,he never ordered any killings.He might have trigerred it in more ways than one.

      The president implied that they are no longer human,so what human rights are there to talk about,supporters are mentioning where is the CHR when there are victims of crimes related to drugs.

      The comment of gerverg1885, made mention of self rehab and redemption.
      I agree we should remain hopeful,but debates like these should go on,because the killings has to be contained somehow,no matter if we are pro or anti Duterte,we should be ….if I may borrow Joe ‘s pro-Phillipines.

      • edgar lores says:

        Karl, In this morning’s news, Duterte noted that a number barangay captains are part of the drug trade.

        He is quoted as saying, “If you hold the elections now, drug money is still going around and the barangay captains, most of them are really into it, they would just stay in power and this time they have the money and they win and so [we] will have narcopolitics in the lowest government unit which is the barangay and that would be the start of our, maybe our perdition and agony.” [Bolding mine.]

        So arming these barangay tanods would concentrate the power of gun, goon and gold in these barangay officials.

    • I guess one of the main problems of this country has always been the justice system? Given it’s perceived useless state, I guess everybody who’s anybody now seems to have something hidden under their belts, may it be guns, goons, gold, greed, or grugs. (I liked that last one as well. haha).

      But to be honest, I’m not exactly keen on how the justice system actually works. All I know is, and as it has been already said: it is arduously slow, very inefficient, and is often partial or even for sale. So how does one actually fix this? Who would actually need to spearhead this? How can they be pressured to do something about it?

      And given this problem of the Justice system, I guess it had pretty much gotten clogged and backed up, however, things still continued to move quote-unquote, “forward”. Given this, it seems that all these things had piled up to the point that the MAD doctrine (Mutually Assured Destruction) has been set in place. And ever since then, everybody who’s anybody has been stuck in a stalemate ever since. But recently, it seems to have been broken as someone had decided to take the offensive, hell-bent on breaking the status quo.

      So now, what we’re probably seeing is everybody retaliating against each other until one side is reduced to dust. The one that stinks less would probably win, as is usually the case.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The winner in this battle of M.A.D. would be the one with better hygene,or has a pleasant smelling cologne.

        • Subtle. But I do agree. haha

          • karlgarcia says:

            Laughing part is over for now,this is serious stuff.
            You have a separate discussion with Edgar.

            You say Delima should be investigated and not treated as a saint.
            If you say what’s good for the goose must be good for the gander.

            Duterte has been accused of DDS where his supporters say is just a figment of our imagination. EJK also can not be blamed on Duterte because he never ordered them,and the police killings ate all self defense or done by ninja cops and the rest are done by vigilantes or criminals . He will defend those who just defended thenselves.

            And now Delima,let us not go to where LCX wanted to go. Deep throat was never about the sex tape when Nixon resigned.

            You like impactful results for something to be noticed,like your out of sight out of mind explanation.Sure politics is politics ,people had been investigated before and what makes Delima so special?

            Aguirre could have filed charges and present the same witnesses,but where is the fun in that?once filed,there is nothing to talk about except that truck loads of evidence have been submitted and the case would be forgotten and merits of the case not be disussed by Aguirre or the witnesses.

            I still do not like what is going on.

            OK that is all.

  6. caliphman says:

    Ahh what a refreshing and honest take on matters that should not be mentioned foisted upon the country by him whose name should not be said. Edgar, perhaps your piece has rescued this blogsite from the sterile moribundity it would have been condemned to were there no voices not susceptible to the fear and intimidation by Duterte’s minions. These killings are unlawful, immoral, and ineffective as you point out. They must stop and those who perpetrate it must be held to account.

    • edgar lores says:

      Caliphman, I have the feeling that the battleground has shifted on social media from blogs to Twitter and FB. Blog posts require a modicum of time, attention, concentration, and reflection. Whereas on Twitter and FB, one gets an instant sense of gratification… whether one is reading a pithy comment or pressing the Like button. And the Like button now offers so many alternative emojis, from profound like to profound dislike, that one does not have to formulate a thought.

      Yesterday morning, Duterte asked for an extension of 6 months to continue his war. Today, he is redefining the war as the government against the government. He is no longer just preparing the people for a protracted war but for an embiggened war (to use a Simpson’s neologism).

      The tide of the war is shifting as I see that there are now more criticisms of Duterte and the people around him in the news media. But I am sure I am biased in this regard.

      Our individual commitment against the slaughter must be recorded and our voices must be heard.

      Thank you for joining the foxholes where sanity, reason, compassion and respect struggle to survive.

      • caliphman says:

        There are a few of us who were digging trenches if not foxholes as Duterte’s star was but a glimmer on the campaign horizon. The problem is not with his avowed goals as ridding the scourge of drugs, achieving a lasting peace, or alleviating the plight of our poor. As desirable as these goals may be, they cannot be sought at the cost of trampling our society’s core values and principles embedded in our laws and cherished traditions. Unfortunately, this is a code of conduct he scorns and does not adhere to.

        Yes, things will probably get a whole lot worse before they can get better. Its not his need for more time to wage his drug war that is worrisome. Rather it is his and his disciples realization that more and more authority and force, constitutional or not, has to be secured and wielded to accomplish his agenda. As good intentioned as he may be in the beginning, absolute power corrupts and lead to an even more ominuous personal transformation.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Caliphman, looking on from afar in Australia, it seems that your statement
          “As desirable as these goals may be, they cannot be sought at the cost of trampling our society’s core values and principles embedded in our laws and cherished traditions.” obscures the real problem.

          Most Filipinos know that the ‘ core values and principles embedded” in Philippines laws and traditions are in fact just a pius myth, not reality, inherited from the USA.

          Reality is the inept & corrupt legal system with the rich & powerful always winning courtesy of ‘buying’ the best lawyers.

          I suspect that the major reason for Duterte’s popularity is that he wields power & influence cutting across many of the old old established lines of power,wealth & influence.

          • caliphman says:

            The issue is not if what Duterte is doing is popular or not but whether it is right. No president is authorized to violate the constitution in order to enforce or uphold it. That the quality of government is a mess is no revelation and it is not an excuse for state-sponsored vigilante style justice by any public official, regardless of how popular it may be.

          • “…the major reason for Duterte’s popularity is that he wields power & influence cutting across many of the old old established lines of power,wealth & influence.”

            That is more of a perception than reality. His words and his deeds counter that perception but his blind supporters turned idolatrous fanatics perpetuate the false image.

  7. I think there was never a rehab plan. The war on drugs is simply an election propaganda that he is trying to realize when he won. The 3-to-6 months drug-free Philippines is too short even for the rehabilitation and re-integration planning alone. The rehab plans were simply added by the people with conscience around him.

    • edgar lores says:


      Most of the news items about rehab centers are dated in early to late July. I think what is clear is that the government was caught unprepared by the massive number of self-confessed addicts who surrendered for fear of their lives. So definitely there was a lack of planning.

      In fairness, there are rehab centers in Davao City but they are not free. The free center that Duterte used to mention in his campaign speeches was a DWSD project that was turned over to the city government during Duterte’s 4th term. There is also a juvenile facility that Duterte built in his last term as mayor.

      One gets the sense that the present government is adhocratic. This is not surprising as Duterte speaks whatever comes to mind, and his spokesmen cross and stab each other in a frantic rush to explicate, reinterpret, or contradict the president’s message.

      • LG says:

        In my first class hometown, I learned that there are 3 or 4 private drug rehab centers, one in fact is located near the drug manufacturing den that was just raided and whose owner was busted about a couple of weeks ago. Visitors to such facilities, am told, come by cars, implying that the clients are not poor. Am not aware of other drug rehab centers in my province.

  8. dd coronel says:

    Wow what a refreshing difference from typical posts these days. A friendly suggestion guys, without meaning to be condescending to our countrymen, perhaps the exchanges should be done in simpler, layman-like words so we common people can benefit from your wisdom? Just a suggestion. More power to us all. — Ergo columnist

    • edgar lores says:

      dd coronel,

      Thank you for the friendly suggestion. We — I mean I in particular — have been charged with being high falutin’ in the best sense of the word… which is being idealistic. I plead guilty.

      My excuse is that complex ideas and high ideals sometimes inspire an equal manner of complex and high expression. And if we try to tone down our language we might fall into the gutter where most political discourses now take place. But we take your point and will try our best to keep it simple.

    • I’d been wanting to say this myself. Yes, if possible, use words that can easily be understood by a typical elementary-level student. Otherwise, the purpose – to educate and enlighten the readers with current events and issues, usually already complex in themselves. Thank yo

    • karlgarcia says:

      dd coronel,
      Please allow me to share here your article about the ugly side of Social Media.
      I too struggle with social media,nowadays.

  9. Fedelynn says:

    Hello! Thank you, Mr. Lores, for this article. There are so many ‘bites’ I can quote on FB.

    My horde of several centavos: Didn’t P-Duterte said that he’ll resign if he failed to nullify the drug problem? Said he’ll give the Presidency to Bongbong.

    Since BBM didn’t win, he can’t afford to hand over the throne to Robredo, hence, the request for extension.

    It could also be that he is really in love with the Power.

    The times remind me of Nazi Germany and The Burning Times of “The Crucible”.

    If we want the Intelligentsia to be really successful in passing on lessons to the next generation, then they’ll have to ‘go down’ to the level of the people. Use local languages/dialects, effective memes for soc media (bites of learnings).

    Has anyone seen this? “House drops use of ‘extra-judicial killings,’ calls them ‘deaths under investigation'”

    My comments:
    Future Time: “What #EJK are you talking about, UN? The Duterte government only has Deaths Under Investigation (DUI).”

    (2) Joke Time: DUI traditionally means “Driving Under the Influence.” Now, it could be DYING UNDER THE INFLUENCE.

    • edgar lores says:

      Fedelynn, your pocketful of centavos is, at turns, insightful, reminiscent, didactic, critical, and funny.

      The Holocaust was ethnic cleansing and “The Crucible” was witches cleansing. In that drug personalities do not compose an ethnic group but an ill-defined subcultural group of deviant behavior, I think the latter reference is closer to the mark. Someone mentioned Ursula le Guin’s story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” as a parallel to what is happening now. “Omelas is “Salem” in reverse. Salem is located in Oregon.

      A quote from Wikipedia about whitewashing: “Many dictatorships and authoritarian states, as well as democratic countries, have used the method of whitewash in order to glorify the results.”

      By using the euphemism “Deaths Under Investigation” and the abbreviation “DUI” the House sort of turn the tables on the victims. In DUI, the subject is to blame.

      • fedelynn says:

        Thank you :D. My fault, I was in a hurry to post and wasn’t clear about what I referred to — giving high salaries to the soldiers and the police so that they’ll follow P-D. It’s similar to Nazi time — I read an article once as to why most of the Germans agreed to Hitler’s atrocities. Aside from some ill-feelings toward the Jews (w/c the gov’t expertly stoked), Hitler gave a lot of ‘comfort gifts” to the people to keep quiet. (I had to look up the reason because Mom wanted to find out why the bad things happened in WW2.) :D.

        I’ve always found “…Omelas” sad. You do the right thing, but there’s no feeling of “being happily” heroic” at the end. Just going out into the desert with no idea how one will fare. (But refusing to participate in the Omelas society’s wrongdoing is still worth it.) [Sorry if I’m magulo again in my reply.]

  10. Bill In Oz says:

    Joe, am I blocked from commenting ? Twice recently I have tried to post a comment & they have never appeared.

  11. Ryan Robles says:

    All I can say is that the strategists behind the president must be very amazed as how easy it is to manipulate their followers. This is very apparent in their current campaign to silence not just the local but the international media as well. The home made placards denouncing all media outfits that write news that seem unflattering to the president are embarrassing to say the least.

    • edgar lores says:

      Ryan, It is troubling, isn’t it? The enablers in the House and the Senate are compliant tools. I see no evidence of spines except for a few in the minority.

  12. NHerrera says:

    I recall reading way back that the US is in deathly fear of a civilian or military coup because of the consequence of such an event — in the uncalculated future course or mindset such an event will unleash even when things go back to “normal.”

    That is my fear. Will things go back to normal in the sense of respect for the dignity and human rights of Filipinos. A big unknown if not a puzzle.

    • edgar lores says:


      I think I would have to agree with the US assessment. A coup, in effect, is throwing away the rule book.

      If it is a military coup, the road back to democracy is hazy and uncharted as what happened in Myanmar. A military dictatorship ruled close to half a century from 1962 to 2011.

      If it is a civilian coup, the road back to stability is equally fraught as what happened to us in EDSA I. I believe FVR’s deliverance of GMA was rooted in the US fear.

      A coup is unlikely to happen. The enablers of Duterte are well-placed in the Legislature and in the military. What is more likely to happen is a premature resignation or death. I mention it only because Duterte himself has indirectly alluded to the possibility. What is to be hoped for in such a case is an orderly constitutional transfer of power as provided for by the succession rules.

  13. andy ibay says:

    “Human rights are not worthy of the name if they do not protect the people we don’t like as well as those we do.” Trevor Phillips

    I might be wrong but I might just had seen Sen Tito Sotto sort of re stated in the De Lima Broadway production, the plea for truism of the above statement when Sen Tito emphatically asked the human rights advocates and fighters what they have done for the people they like whose rights had been violated by those (addicts, pushers, drug lords) people they don’t like (really?) by enumerating committed crimes like rapes, robberies, assault and physical injuries, murder etc.


    What’s the beef really? Ano ba talaga? The LAW regardless of any bull shit is the first and last BASTION of human rights. Now which of the three sacred cows este branches of the government should be accountable for human rights FAILURE? If these three branches have co-equal powers and privileges and what ever are they also co-equal in blame escapism. One branch passes not enough effective HR Laws; another branch execute the laws with gusto; another branch who interprets what is to become Law is also the Law are three branches more co-equal in not doing their job.

    What are the records on law enforcement on arrests and filing of charges? What are the records for prosecution, acquittal and conviction, and RELEASE of the arrested? Co-equal indeed in avoiding finger pointing as a matter of cultural courtesy enshrined in the constitution?

    • edgar lores says:

      Andy, Sotto restated what Duterte said in the SONA: that the real victims of human rights are the citizens and not the drug personalities. As I said, this is the logic of victimization.

      Usually, it is the Executive branch that would first violate human rights. The police, the military, and the DOH staff are under the Executive, and the personnel of these organizations are the first points of contact with the people. But you are right.The Judiciary may be the second violator of human rights if it makes judgments that do not observe human rights or if they do not render justice in a timely manner. And finally, the Legislature may pass laws that are violative of human rights. The Cybercrime Law, for example, had provisions that did not completely guarantee the right to privacy.

      • andy ibay says:

        Thanks Edgar L. As my Lola often says when piso is still wealth to a boy, Kung kulang ng isang sentimo, hindi mabubuo ang piso. to make a piso mine always need lots of sentimos and you just handed me or added one or more sentimos. Thanks.

        May be this is a sentimo too: it is not usually only the police would first violate human rights, others are also first like husband or wife in domestic disturbances before the police are called, the children even, neighbors too, plain people in the streets do it first too. But you’re right Edgar, the word FIRST creates powerful perception.

        • andy ibay says:

          in a lighter vein, fake or genuine sentimo, somewhere in the Bible it said the FIRST should be the LAST. Ang layo eh.

          • edgar lores says:

            Andy, there are two more similar dialectical sentiments:

            o As above, so below. Sometimes translated as “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew)
            o When you make the inner as the outer. (The Gospel of Thomas – Gnostic Gospel)

  14. andy ibay says:

    What is to a person who’s already retired and close to 80, who still need to know what to believe in the blogs if that person no longer teaches about knowledge, no longer fights for bread for his family; was never a priest to save souls and preach for morality, no longer able to go forth and multiply but read and must believe when bloggers like people in a coastal village say what some see say Hey it is a squid; and others say No it is an octopus, but it is big King Kong, Nah, it is really Godzilla. Wrong very wrong they are the Hollywood TRANSFORMERS. May be better: God, what I see are the ghosts of dictators who killed democracy.

    Was it the Mahatma the Mahondas who said that the five blind men are all correct in their own perception of the parts of the elephants they have touched. They were not blind at all per se.

    • edgar lores says:

      Andy, you ask age-old questions that are basically unanswerable.

      My take is:

      1. What the blind men touched is real. (Objectivity)
      2. What each blind man believes he has touched is real. (Individual subjectivity)
      3. What the majority of the blind men agree on that they have touched is real. (Collective subjectivity or consensus)
      4. What the majority of the blind men agree on that they have touched on may NOT be real. (Partial collective fantasy)
      5. What a blind man thinks that is accepted as the most complete explanation of what they have touched is most real. (Coherence)
      6. What the blind men touched is NOT real. (Insanity)
      7. What the blind men touched is NOT an elephant and they agree it is an elephant. (Total collective fantasy)
      8. What the blind men touched is an elephant and they agree it is an elephant. (Truth)

      • josephivo says:

        … 9. History will tell what they saw.

        • edgar lores says:

          Is history truly objective?

          It may be consensus? This would be 3.

          But your 9 is closer to 8. No, sorry, to 5 because history may not record what they saw was an elephant.

          • josephivo says:

            History tells more about the winners and the losers of the moment it is written than about history itself. So just be patient and wait to see from where the wind will blow, this will decide what type of animal they encountered.

      • andy ibay says:

        Put Edgar L in another way, some writers here may like it hot or dislike it cold the play with ideas the flippancy of thoughts, not dancing the twist but twisting the dancing words:

        1. What the Society of Honor (SOH) bloggers said about human rights violations are real. (Objectivity)

        2. What each SOH blogger believes about human rights violations are real. (Individual subjectivity)

        3. What the majority of the SOH bloggers agree on human rights violations are real. (Collective subjectivity or consensus)

        4. What the majority of the SOH bloggers agree on that human rights violations may NOT be real. (Partial collective fantasy)

        5. What a SOH blogger thinks that is accepted as the most complete explanation of what’s human rights violations are most real. (Coherence)

        6. To some SOH bloggers what’s said about human rights violations are NOT real. (Insanity)

        7. To some SOH bloggers human rights violations are NOT something else but they agree it could really be anything else. (Total collective fantasy)

        8. To the SOH bloggers what’s human rights violations are what’s defined and they agree are contextually human rights violations. (Truth)


        Laugh and the world of JoeAm giggles with you. Write dubiously and the world Googles with you. Corny as rice but not when logic is Haiku like:

        GOD IS LOVE
        GOD IS BLIND.
        habol (p,s.)

        • andy ibay says:

          I said it is elephant
          Josephivo said it is history
          Edgar L said may be
          It is long and meandering
          journey of our fertile kokote.

        • edgar lores says:

          Andy, Ahaha! Very good.

          To add Joseph’s contribution:

          9. History will tell human rights are inalienable.

  15. jp says:

    Thanks to all the gods that I found your site. Hopefully now I can keep myself sane from all of his nonsense.

    • edgar lores says:

      jp, welcome!

      We try to fly over the cuckoos’ nest.

    • andy ibay says:

      jp, just add two letters, merely two and you statement becomes

      “Thanks to all the goods that I found your site. Hopefully now I can keep myself sane from all of this nonsense.”

      If I may, I think you found sense herein.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Latest on the Senate Show:

    Senator De Lima ousted as Chair of the Senate Committee on Justice.

    • edgar lores says:

      Words fail.

      • edgar lores says:

        No, a day of infamy.

        • LG says:

          My heart bleeds for the. Senator. Who would have thought, after several years of public service that has to do with justice, she gets to personally experience the depth of the meaning of injustice. Media gets to feast on this Philippine “day of infamy” across the globe.

    • Thea says:

      I hope she is beaten but not defeated. She had successfully angered the gods by exposing the filth not minding the filth is around her. IMO, she took a very large step going up the thorny hill and missed the spots where she should safely tread. Next time,she should run with the wolves.

      Today, I stopped commenting in Fb.

    • caliphman says:

      The senate ousts a former comissioner of human rights and justices secretary and replaces her with someone advocating that the president be granted the unilateral power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and other rights. This from a collegial body of indicted criminals, plagiarists, party opportunists and presidential sycophants. The message coming across is chilling…it is not only Digong’s congress but it is also his senate. Dissenters and critics…beware!

      • jameboy says:

        Is ‘change’ really happening or is it just really more of the same game of politics that has been with us since we can remember? What happened to Sen. De Lima has happened before every time a political stablemate of whoever is in Malacanang, by sheer force of number, decides to force out anyone who antagonizes the leadership of the party in power.

        To see Sen. Manny Pacquiao in a robotic fashion moved to declare as vacant the chairmanship and entire membership of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee is to see how our politicians play hardball politics when things get rough. What Sens. Paquiao and Cayetano did, both allies of the president, was expected in order to stop the hemorrhage that was happening in the Senate HR committee. To arrest the embarrassing situation they have to muscle De Lima out. It’s really nothing new and I think people understand it.
        What I’m interested to find out, though, is what’s going to happen after Sen. De Lima’s gagging. Will the investigation on EJK stopped? Will it proceed under a new approach and different focus? With things ‘under control’ now, I suspect that there will be a gradual shift on the committee’s function in order to lessen the friction it has created with Malacanang. Again, same old song.
        Bottom line, there is really nothing concrete that shows change are a-coming or an indication that the game of politics and our politicians are changing. We have been “changing” since the downfall of Marcos.

        Sadly, while we ‘change’ we remain the same.

        • edgar lores says:

          I was still surprised to see the following among the ignoble 16:

          o Joel Villanueva (Liberal)
          o Ping Lacson (Independent)
          o Grace Poe (Independent)

        • caliphman says:

          I wish I could agree with you and this is a case of same old and its just politics as usual.

        • caliphman says:

          To put it as simply as I can, the danger is not so much a supposedly independent and coequal branch of government elected to keep executive arm from abusing and flouting the constitution appears to have collectively and willingly kowtowed to the president to silence any dissent in its ranks. If the senate and congress have been rendered inutile and the military’s loyalty is not to the constitution but solely to its commander-in-chief, is not the country in effect already under a state of martial law. Why even bother with the legalities of declaring it when brute force and intimidation can work just as well on a compliant public and potential opposition.

        • NHerrera says:

          There is, to my mind, a simple game-theoretic explanation for this.

          Forget the saner 4 who voted not to oust De Lima and the others who abstained or were absent. Supposing as a first thought, we have two virtual groups A and B of 8 each (= 16/2) who are thinking of the other group’s vote on the Ouster-No Ouster vote.

          We have a matrix of 4 situations:

          * Both A and B vote for No Ouster (NO)
          * Both A and B vote for Ouster (O)
          * The two symmetric cases of A voting for O and B for NO and vice-versa

          In the first option, both groups A and B have a value or payoff (in game-theoretic language) of, say, 2. In the second option, to curry favor to the “fearful, powerful” boss, the payoff is higher, say, 3 relative to the previous option.

          Now for the last-two cases, a mirror of each other. Voting for Ouster by one group will yield a higher payoff, say, 5, in contrast to say the other group who will live in anxiety for six years of their political life by voting No Ouster, and so rate a payoff of 1 relative to the previous payoffs. But A and B will be thinking of the same thing.

          Hence an Ouster for both A and B is the optimum move for both groups.

  17. gerverg1885 says:

    The move to oust her was to be expected because the party in power had the numbers and some LP senators also voted against her for reasons that are personal in nature.

    Yes, it was a day of infamy… and a day of celebration as well for those who forgot that they were elected to perform their jobs as legislators and not be mere lapdogs of their master.

  18. jameboy says:

    “To my knowledge, Duterte has never explicitly explained his rationale for mass killing.”
    True. His approach is simply to kill. He has the mind of a criminal. If you want to subdue and frighten your subject kill some and control a lot. That’s Duterte’s style.

    • edgar lores says:


      And that control is expanding in ever widening circles. The House. The Senate. I hope not the Judiciary.

      • jp says:

        It’s only a matter of time. I won’t be suprised if he includes academic institutions

        • edgar lores says:

          jp, that brings up a question. During the Marcos dictatorship, some of the students were activists, especially at U.P. What’s the mood of the studentry now? Any organized protests going on?

        • LG says:

          And business groups!!!!!!!. They act like sycophants???? Except stock investors.

  19. Here is PCIJ’s take on Duterte’s War on Drugs:

    It is interesting to note that the script for “Operation Tokhang” and “Oplan Double Barrel” touted by Bato came from “Oplan Kontra Droga Charlie” or “Plan for Revitalized Campaign Against Illegal Drugs” of the Benigno C. Aquino administration.

    • NHerrera says:

      JP, if I recall correctly, PRD, during the election campaign, was frank enough to say that he will copy ideas if he finds them useful when he is elected President.

      On the other hand, PNP General de la Rosa and his cohorts, including the communicators, are not honest or generous enough to credit the previous Admin for its ideas.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        As far as his supporters are concerned, ALL ideas when it comes to “peace and order” were PRD originals honed from his Davao days. He himself said that he will delegate the other aspects of governance because of self confessed cluelessness but he will spearhead and manage “peace and order” because that is his forte’ and campaign promise. To clear the popular misconception, shouldn’t PRD give some credit to the past admin?

    • edgar lores says:


      Thanks. To summarize:

      1. There is no Executive Order (EO) covering the anti-drug war.

      2. The war is largely defined by oral directives from Duterte and De la Rosa.

      3. De La Rosa issued an 18-page Memorandum Circular on July 1 entitled “PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign Plan: Project ‘Double Barrel.”

      3.1. Of the 12 top references, the first is a pronouncement from Duterte to get rid of illegal drugs in the first six months of his term.

      3.2. The other 11 references were cobbled from various documents produced during PNoy’s term from 2012 – 15.

      3.3. The double-barrel plan is a two-pronged approach: Operation Tokhang and Project High-Value Target (HVT). We know the first is ongoing. The second has not started?

      4. There has been talk — but just talk — of the creation of a superbody, the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs.

      5. On September 4, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 55 declaring a state of lawless violence in Mindanao.

      6. The classification of crimes committed is ad hoc and the figures are rubbery. The claim by De la Rosa of a decline in the crime rate due to the drug war cannot be logically inferred.

      7. The capture of the “big fish” of the drug rate is next to impossible because they are Chinese nationals living in China. (I can recall two drug lords that have been killed locally and one captured.)

      8. There is no utopia.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Thanks, edgar.

        8. But that is what his supporters want. They thought that is what he is talking about during the campaign period and he is supposed to deliver it in 6 months max.

        • andy ibay says:

          twisting the words away: utopia is no place, nowhere, even if it means a perfect state which does not exist; we are not nowhere really but somewhere in need of the good life as religions will define it.

          • edgar lores says:

            Andy, As Samuel Butler confirmed Erewhon, the reverse of nowhere, is a fictional country.

            • andy ibay says:

              Hah, hah, hah Edgar L to me Erewhon was a real place to kill otherwise my wasted time, is the artists’ bookstore for the starved; for a fictional village I prefer retirement in Brigadoon when in 1968 I did not find after searching Sherwood in Nottingham for archer Robin the goon of the forest poor.

              • edgar lores says:

                Andy, same here. I used to visit the shop along with Solidaridad. I understand Erewhon is no longer there.

              • andy ibay says:

                I googled Brigadoon to check my dates of the Gene Kelly movie and looked at the IMAGES, I thought I was really born yesterday and should have been born 60 years later so I could be painting now Brigadoon’s scenery like our Amorsolo. Brigadoon could be Amorsolo’s barrio.

          • andy ibay says:

            If what is being said is : we have not moved at all, we are static and stationary my take is we are still dynamic like bacteria that kills or heals doing Brownian movement albeit only microscope-pically and that’s how bystander me see it without being pro any politician or ruler.

  20. NHerrera says:

    Gee whiz.

    On the on-going Congressional Investigation on Drug Trade, after the preliminaries, the first item shown by Sec Aguirre is a video created like a trailer for a movie. Although it may be based on some facts, why begin with this movie-trailer like video with the huffing and puffing presenter trying his best to excite the viewers.

    Why not the witness make their testimonies. What value should be attached to this video presentation? Like the way video’s are made to excite customers on the forthcoming smartphone release?

    Laughable too, is the fact that the video is shown mostly in the dark, to giving impression of the secretive nature of the filming of the video, when it could have been with light, since it was produced for the Sec of Justice Aguirre (?).

    Ok, I am an old fogey. This hi-tech way of presentation escapes me.

  21. Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao – Ang Dumbdumb-min ng Senado – God, please open his mind and heart, give him wisdom so he cannot be used again and again by evil surrounding him.

    Joel Villanueva – Praise Lord DU30 I rue the day I had second thought and voted for this guy. I gave him another chance even after the JIL – HK openly showed their closed fist to support Duterte because he said he remains an ally of PNOY. Former spokesman Lacierda is correct. The country was “betrayed by one not worthy to be called an ally who could not rise above personal animosity “.

    by Edwin Lacierda

    She won a seat in the Senate and promised to insist on the rule of law;

    She headed the Justice Committee to fight for the rule of law and to do justice for all;

    She spoke out against the powers that be despite being forewarned to desist therefrom;

    She lobbied a verbal grenade on extrajudicial killings covered by media within and without and in response, insults volleyed and thundered from the god of gods himself, echoed by the man on

    Justice with scales uneven and eyes with no blindfold;

    She proceeded with her hearings on EJK and with cries of anguish from witnesses orphaned and widowed, came the hoof steps of international media thundering upon our shores, wailing and gnashing of killings that blighted a once hopeful nation;

    While most others cowered in fear, she with a few, ventured further with the EJK hearings and came forth Motabato;
    From whose mouth uttered the same senseless murders that the Great Eagle Father boasted during the campaign and which his defeated echo chamber tried hard to extinguish from the senate floor, only to be shamed by a simple answer: “Grade One Lang po ako”!

    Despite statements belittling his testimony, and the growing threat of a flow of credibility turning into a tsunami of truth, the Senate, through its wisest member, proceeded to declare the Justice committee head vacant.

    And so the Senate acquiesced, save with the Fantastic Four, who stood by their confrere, betrayed by one not worthy to be called an ally who could not rise above personal animosity, she lost her chairmanship.

    But in the end, she did not waver, nor did she lose this war of nerves. The people will remember this day as the day the Senate lost its cherished independence. And the day that started the ever tightening grip on our civil liberties and democracy as we know it.

    We will also remember today as the day that the last man standing in the Senate is a woman.

    Her name is Leila de Lima.



    • The wisest man in the Senate, the great boxer Pacman, deliver his left hook against a woman. From someone I respected, he has now fallen into the shithole in my esteem. I propose we all do this — hit him where it hurts most — appeal to all those associated in the boxing industry in the US, particular the fans of boxing. Publicise just what happened and demonise him for what he really is — someone who does not stand up for human rights and the rule of law, someone who is a really a coward. Hurt his purse in the next fight.

      • edgar lores says:

        Che, Pacquiao has a bout coming up in November against Jessie Vargas. We look forward to the results.

  22. I feel betrayed by my church, and all the other Christian denominations. I feel betrayed by my devout Catholic cousins who are choir members but are cheering for Duterte and his dirty mouth and even dirtier EJKs instead of listening to their priests and bishops.

    I am in great pain, physically, spiritually and mentally. Rehab and the strongest meds are not helping or showing even the smallest relief. I need to stop reading as stress is not helping, but I can’t help it. I can’t not do anything.

    God, please have mercy on all of us!

    • NHerrera says:

      I believe many here share your pain, although we have a different way of showing it. God bless you, Mary.

    • edgar lores says:


      I am a non-believer but I quote the Scriptures on occasion… not as the Devil, but as a seeker.

      I offer the consolation of your Faith in Matthew 13:36-43:

      The Parable of the Tares Explained

      36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

      37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

      • Thank you Sir NH, Sir Edgar for your kind words and the Parable of the Tares.

        I will add another one for possible source of calm, hope and strength:

        ◄ Psalm 46:10 ►

        New International Version
        He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”


        Verse 1

        Hide me now
        Under Your wings
        Cover me
        Within Your mighty hand

        When the oceans rise and thunders roar
        I will soar with You above the storm
        Father you are King over the flood
        I will be still know You are God

        Verse 2

        Find rest my soul
        In Christ alone
        Know His power
        In quietness and trust

    • Andres IV says:

      Are you Leila De Lima?

    • Chempo says:

      @ Mary / Edgar
      I’m trying to get more understanding of the Words.. The parable of the tares is really great and I think St Agustine’s interpretation is even more apt for us here :

      “O you Christians, whose lives are good, you sigh and groan as being few among many, few among very many. The winter will pass away, the summer will come; lo! The harvest will soon be here. The angels will come who can make the separation, and who cannot make mistakes. … I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all through His mercy escape the evil of this world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now in evil days; but in the evil days let us not blaspheme, that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.”

      These are indeed evil days.

      • edgar lores says:

        Chempo, from “tare in the Bible Expand. the bearded darnel, mentioned only in Matt. 13:25-30. It is the Lolium temulentum, a species of rye-grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific poison. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is discovered.”

        • chemrock says:

          Thanks Edgar — I was actually referring to the Word as in Bible. Thank you for the timely reference to the parable.

          • edgar lores says:

            Chemrock, thanks too. I wanted to understand the full meaning of tares in the parable. The bad seeds, like the misguided reps and senators, are tares. They look like decent people, like wheat, but they are not.

            There is an apt term I just came across which would be the modern version — shiny people. These people look good from the outside. They are well groomed and wear perfectly tailored clothes with just the right amount of accessories and shoes made in Italy. But they are rotten inside.

        • LG says:

          The foregoing parables, shared by Edgar, Mary n Chempo, bring tears to my eyes.

          I feel justified as a groupie of the Society.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Oh I share your pain Mary.

      I am undergoing my regular PT, medication and follow up checks with my neurologist for a condition similar to GMAs. Though I am years younger than her, at times it could be depressing to wake up with head and body pain and numbness and the news on what is going on in my country. My doctor has not recommended on me wearing a neckbrace but I know for a fact that my movements would be limited. I hope I would have a “miracle” just like GMA. Isn’t she amazing that suddenly after the SC decision she sort of sprung back to life – and bye bye neckbrace and wheelchair! I wish that am just acting and overthinking my condition.

      Some days I promised myself that I would bar all readings and news but we can’t be living in a cave and be indifferent amidst this reality. There is just so much anger and hatred, division even among families. My husband has stopped communicating with his relatives back in MNL. It’s not surprising anymore to unfollow people from FB or someone saying that this Christmas there would be less gifts to give and less reunions to look forward to. This administration has stressed people and families out, when it should still be on its first 100 days, the honeymoon period. Obviously there would be none of this.

      The only thing that’s making us sane and hopeful is our daughter’s entry to university.

      • Waray-waray

        No overthinking there, my friend. Pain is pain, and mine is way beyond the scale. I have the C-3 tp C-5 and lower back disk problem which manifested itself since when I was a teenager due to a trauma in my younger days while fetching potable water which we carried on our shoulders (I stumbled and fell with that heavy load). I have 3 sessions more to go at TMC, plus strong pain reliever meds,

        The ortho and rehab docs urged me to stay away from stress. Easier said than done. In real life, we cannot do away with that pest…it’s here to stay and alas, it’s hard to stay away from. The only way to deal with it is to change how we react to them. Hence, that Psalm 46:10 and the song.

        Mankind is so inconsistent, a steadfast faith in Him who never change nor falters is needed. I used to admire Alan, and former Sen. Nene Pimentel, Koko’s dad. Where have all their principles gone?

        Pacquiao, Villanueva, JIL, INC….???

        • Waray-waray says:

          “Pain is pain”… Thanks Mary, it’s true. We all have to go through that in our lives one way or another, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

          Someone said that pain is a process with a purpose. I would say yes and no because they are not created equal. Some pains are necessary some are not; some pains are productive and contributory to the society some are counterproductive and damage not just the moral but the physical and spiritual fibre of a society;

          Birth pains is one glorious example of a necessary pain. The miracle of a new life, of a new born baby kicking and crying…would be worth all the pain in the world for a mother.
          It is productive in its very essence of continuing the cycle of life.

          And there is that pain inflicted by a human being to another solely for the purpose of dominance and control and sheer ambition. Totally an unnecessary pain, counterproductive and damaging to the individual and the society.

          Is our country experiencing the sort of birth pains? Are we going to have a new life, a new beginning as a nation after the birth pains? Could were ever see joy and pride at the birth of a new nation washed by the blood of some brethren and countrymen who were deemed not worthy of compassion from the motherland?

          Or are we experiencing this unnecessary pain as a nation because some people’s ambition trumps all that is fair, true and just?

          • Well said, Waray-waray.

            PDu30’s enablers and supporters are of the opinion that the collateral damage, (loss of innocent lives) are a necessary pain in the war against drugs.

            You, I and all the other democracy loving Filipinos disagree. It seems 91% of the Filipinos want to go back to the dark age of dictatorship and sadly the 16 senators who agreed to oust De Lima from COJ plus most of the Congressmen are among them.

          • edgar lores says:


            If I may intrude, we need a guest column from you.

            • Waray-waray says:

              Wow Sir, coming from the sage of the Society. Thank you.

              • Waray-waray says:

                I have this idea in my mind about Mother’s Day and the infamous pambansang mura “Pnmo”… When the right occasion comes…

              • edgar lores says:

                Waray-waray. I just checked when Mother’s Day is celebrated. It’s either the first or second Sunday of May. That’s about 236 days from now. I am filled with anticipation.

              • LG says:

                Second Sunday.

              • edgar lores says:

                LG, thanks.

              • Sir edgar is right, Waray-waray. You have that gift of words, woven into logic and wisdom. Share that to us.

              • LG says:

                DITTO W-W. I take priceless gems, as well, from the wisdom n philosophy of EL. His article could not be more timely. It’s also likely timeless.

                The majority of comments the article generate wisely inform for their multidisciplinary perspectives as they tell the facts, largely known or not, of the issue/s in question.


        • chemrock says:

          Waray2 — about your slip disc problems, I suggest you read up on accu-pressure (not accu-puncture). I had a similar problem, ended up in hospital for a couple of weeks, expensive treatment. I was basically sleeping upside down to stretch the spinal cords. Had a few relapse over the years. Once it was so severe the surgeon recommended surgery which I rejected. Then by a stroke of luck I got a reference to an accu-pressure specialist. I walked in hunched-up, and walked out straight after a 15 minutes cheap session.

          I now understand where the relapse pain is coming from. The injured disc is weak and dislodged by nanometres. Each time you stress or not too careful and carry some heavy weights, you stress the area causing a slight swell. Because the spinal cord is such a sensitive area, a tiny micocospic swelling cause the blood to clot which then stresses the nerves and you experience severe pain. Accu-pressure sucks out the built up heat/air/blood in the area, thus immediate relief.

          • chemrock says:

            Sorry comment meant for Mary Grace

          • Wow, chemps….would you know of someone here in Metro Manila who knows about accu-pressure? The attack this afternoon was so severe I had difficulty breathing, can hardly move…and getting into the car to go home was literally torture. I’ve tried everything – PT which includes TENS, ultrasound, massage, exercise and finally traction machine….then tramadol IV injection and oral, liniment, hot compress…still the pain is so severe I’d like to cry like a baby.

            I’d like to try accu-prssure. It’s almost been a month of pure torture.

            Thanks for this idea.

            • Will read up on accu-pressure tomorrow, first thing tomorrow. Thanks again, chemps.

              • Waray-waray says:

                Mary a friend recommended neudyneum a magnetic sort device for slip disc. He used it and it was effective. I am considering that too.

            • chemrock says:

              I don’t know about neudyneum, if it’s cheap and work for others, why not try it.

              I searched for accu-pressure practitioners in Binondo last year when I had a relapse but couldn’t find one. I settled for accu-puncture — too costly and it’s a long term thing. P1,500 per session of 30mins for 2 weeks, everyday walking a long distance into Ongpin area. I don’t recommend this.

              Accu-pressure for me was just 3 sessions of 10 mins each. If you do find one, let me know. But to me effective, the accupressure treatment requires just one simple twist — the specific part is needle-pricked a bit so that choked blood can be extracted. It’s just a few drops of blood — but these tiny drops are what choked up the spinal cord that causes the pain.

              There is a saying that only a slipped-disc sufferer can understand the pain of another sufferer. In my time I have have some injuries — total of 12 broken/fractured bones, been through bone fixing where the local anaesthesia somehow didn’t work on me, been through a stage where, due to poor medical treatment (in the old days our hospitals were 3rd world standard), I checked out of hospital and went to Chinese bone specialists who had to break the bone again in order to re-fix it properly. With all these painful experiences I can tell you most definitely, the slipped disc pain is the worse I had to endure. So I understand you.

              • Thanks, chemrock, for making me feel not alone, oftentimes I bear it silently as from experience, I observe that people are uneasy when others keep on talking about illness, but I really need help, just a few minutes ago, I had to inhale aloud and hold my breath, the pain is excruciating and it returns at the slightest movement, even ordinary breathing, couldn’t find a comfortable position whether standing, sitting or lying down. (in my desperation I whisper to myself, it might be good lying inside a coffin, where there will be no more pain) I ask my Chinese co-workers if they knew of someone who knows how to do accu-pressure but my search for that someone turns negative as of this moment. I even called The Medical City Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center but still nothing. Will let you know if I succeed. I have compiled 35 pages of research on it, lots of info but without practical application and know how.

                BTW, what’s with Senator Lacson nowadays? I think that like Sen. Villanueva, he couldn’t rise above personal animosity…if everyone who was investigated by the former DOJ Sec, even those politicians who were helped by this gutsy lady in their election protests, will act like these two, what will become of our country?

              • edgar lores says:

                Mary, agree with your assessment of Lacson and Villanueva.

              • LG says:

                MGG, try searching at Chinese General Hospital. They might have leads for you. Acupressure, I believe is one of TCM’s (Traditionsl Chinese Medicine) flag treatments.

              • NHerrera says:

                Chemrock, Mary, Waray-waray:

                Thanks for sharing your experience on the slip-disc problem and associated pain and possible remedies. Good for us old folks to know and take care.

              • edgar lores says:

                Sharing lessens the pain. Also, kisses. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                Chemrock, Mary, Waray-waray:

                May I ask if mental stress such as coming from one’s reaction to the political news adds to the pain associated with the slip-disc. If it does then the remedy is of course obvious.

                Of course, watching cartoons, which I enjoy — I had fun watching the Leghorn and the Dog series posted by Irineo — may not be prescribed (?) because laughing which may be induced by watching these cartoons may be stressful to one suffering from slip-disc problem.

                How about mental concentration on things a yoga practitioner may do. Have you explored this? The practitioner have a way of taking their minds outside of the present pre-occupation. (I may really be writing nonsense here.)

              • Found this – might help fellow sufferers: (seems I’ve been doing it wrong with my shallow breathing because of the pain)

                Breathing is the most profoundly effective tool known for purifying and revitalizing the body. When your breath is shallow, all your body’s vital systems function at a minimum level. If your breath is long and deep, however, the respiratory system functions properly, and the body cells become fully oxygenated.

                Deep breathing helps the acupressure points release any pain or tension and encourages healing energy to flow throughout the body. As you practice self-acupressure and concentrate on breathing deeply into your abdomen, you will help your body heal itself and generate a great feeling of well-being.

                Concentrated breathing can especially help you better use a potent point that is painful. Close your eyes, focus your attention on the painful spot, breathe deeply, and imagine that you are breathing healing energy into the affected area as you hold the point gently. Inhale deeply into the abdomen, letting your belly expand. Feel the breath reach into the depths of the belly. Exhale slowly, letting the energy that you drew in now circulate throughout your body. Do not use a massaging movement.

                Focus on breathing into the pain for three full minutes. Often, poor circulation is indicated by a point that is sore when pressed. By taking long, deep breaths and pressing gently for three minutes you will close the nervous system’s pain gates and help the area heal. This breathing technique will enhance the healing benefits of all the acupressure routines in this book.

              • edgar lores says:

                Mary, Breathing is very important in meditation practices. I do combine meditation with visualization. Glad you found this. May it truly help you.

              • Sir NH,

                Thanks for your wise words. Ditto for sir edgar. I tried staying away for almost a month, but not knowing and worse, not understanding current issues is like walking through this life like a deaf and blind or like a zombie or a statue with no care in the world.

                When I hear our security guards and maintenance staffs maligning De Lima, or some of my friends asking what is my take on this hearing or that pronouncement, I feel so useless if I don’t say anything in defense of our cherished principles. Am not debating or insistent on my position, just not letting their remarks go un-rebutted.

                So here I am, trying to join in the fray, it even makes me not think of my own pain knowing how Sen. de Lima feels in the midst of this horrendous attacks from the executive and legislative branches of our so-called democratic government.

              • LG, thanks for the tip. Will call the Chinese Gen at once.

              • LG says:

                If CGH has no leads, check Philip Tan-Gatue, M. D., leading TCM, esp. Acupuncture, in the Philippines. Clinical Associate Prof, UP Col of Med, holds clinic at PGH n Medical City…. Per website.

                If you see him to get the Accupressure referral from him, u are more likely to see him sooner at PGH. I would choose PGH over Medical City, myself.

            • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Therapy

  23. “Congratulations to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for his triumphant victory yesterday, and for making me realize that a committee chairmanship is not the end of everything for me as a senator,” Senator de Lima said.

    “No committee chairmanship is worth it, if it means sacrificing my principles and surrendering the causes that I pledged my life to fight for,” the senator added.

    De Lima said many of her friends and colleagues have told her that if she did not call out President Rodrigo Duterte on the murderous consequences of his war on drugs and decided to be as “meek as a sheep,” she would not be in trouble and she would have still kept her chairmanship.

    “As the Bible says, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and yet to lose his soul? I choose to keep my soul,” De Lima said

    Read more:
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  24. edgar lores says:


    I am starting this new thread in reply to your post of September 20, 2016, at 2:17 pm.

    You have agreed with me on items 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. You have requested further explanations on 3.2. I will do this in a separate post.

    In this post, I mainly want to deal with item 6 on Senator De Lima and on item 7 whether to plunge or not to plunge.

    I have asked you a series of pointed questions in 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3. Basically, you have replied with more of your dithering.

    Let me begin.

    1. My first advice is for you to stop these mental calisthenics. Forget the ship analogy and the analysis of tactical moves. To paraphrase someone: S-T-O-P.

    1.1. Do I have your attention?

    2. My second advice is to look at the situation in reality. Here is a neophyte senator, a woman of great intelligence, integrity, courage, and spirit who is under attack by the powers that be. That power extends upward to the pinnacle of the seat of power in the country — to the very president of the land.

    3. Let me repeat my question in 6.2: “And how can you coldly judge the rewards or risks she faced? You are not in her place.”

    3.1. When I asked this question, I expected you to remind yourself of the risks she has faced. Are you aware of the vile things they have done to her?

    3.2. Let me enumerate some of the vile things:

    o They have invaded her privacy.
    o They have accused her of having an affair with her driver.
    o They have accused her of being a sugar mommy, building a house for her lover.
    o They have published a photo of a grand white house that allegedly was their love nest.
    o They have released a sex tape allegedly of the Senator.
    o They have spread gossip that she has a new lover starting with the letter “R”.
    o They have accused her of under-performance as DOJ Secretary in relation to the New Bilibid Prison.
    o They have accused her of receiving drug money when she was the DOJ Secretary.
    o They have released a photo of her in close conversation with an alleged drug lord.
    o They have concocted evidence of bank checks amounting to millions that were allegedly deposited into her accounts.
    o They have twisted the acronym DDS to mean something else about the Senator.

    3.3. I have typed all of the above from memory.

    4. I stated in item 6 that the anti-drug war may not be a situation of danger for you but it is for the Senator.

    4.1. The majority of the Senate has demoted her. Some of her colleagues that voted against her were her clients.

    4.2. Do you have sufficient empathy now to understand how dangerous it is for the Senator? Can you put yourself in her place and live her reality?

    5. On item 7 just briefly: I said one is constrained at times to plunge into the river. Let me ask:Would you rather plunge by force of external circumstance? Or by force of your internal character?

    6. Finally: there is one vile thing I have not enumerated. It may be true or false. This is your clue and assignment. If you can tell me what it is then I will further explain item 3.2.

    • andy ibay says:

      Edger L I beg to differ on 3.2 I will not mention those because I could hurt her and her cause to belabor points like a prosecutor does and just let the public digest the little or big the wrong or right they think she has done. To say those points in positive terms can also be damaging to the truth. Even if I don’t believe its efficacy, the Gobbelian dictum of constant repetition of lies makes them credible, the dictum could have a sinister ricochet.

      • andy ibay says:

        my point? I don’t want to hear: ANG DAMI dami palang ginawa niya. Hindi ganyan ang pagka kilala ko sa kanya. Edgar L pasensiya na ha, medio magulo naguguluhan din ako dami kasing anggulo dito sa gulo sa senado. Pero sa Congreso iba yun nabubuong Kangaroo parang korte hndi plantsado kaya laptop ko agad kong isinarado.

      • edgar lores says:

        Andy, I appreciate the point. You are a sensitive fellow.

        I will counter thus:

        1. The dialogue with intuitiveperceiving (IP) was sterile and futile. It was being carried at a level of abstraction that was not grounded in reality. Abstraction is necessary to enable us to deal with reality. On one hand, it is how we are able to construct our dreams. On the other hand, it is how we distance ourselves from the grimness. We speak in euphemisms and through analogies that are at times humorous, such as when we talk of diseased chickens. But beneath these, we must always be aware of the horrors we create. We have to open our eyes to see, ears to hear, and mouths to speak.

        2. My motive was didactic, like the rap on the knuckles by a Zen master. I am aware that the recitation of evil is a tactic of manipulation. Duterte, in the first quote from his inaugural speech that I cite in the article, used it to justify his past and present actions. The House committee on De Lima are using it to justify their future actions. I used it to shatter complacency. Motive is primary.

        3. The other purpose is to make people aware of how flimsy the charges against De Lima are. You will note that half of them are sexual innuendos. Unless paraphilia is harmful to others, we have no business here. And Duterte is a fine one to talk. His non-awareness of double standards is breath-taking.

        4. The recording of evil and its constant repetition may be good or bad. After the victory in Germany, General Eisenhower insisted that the horror of the concentration camps be recorded on film and in photographs for the future. He had an inkling history would forget and the Holocaust denied. On the other hand In our country, the depredations of the Marcos dictatorship were not properly recorded, and consequently, many in the new generations have no memory of them.

        I will note that IP has not come back. I am sure he/she is offended by my reference to dithering and the bluntness of my language. My basic attitude to criticism is: “If it’s not true, what does it matter? But if it’s true, I must change.” With his/her propensity for situational ethics, it is up to IP to evaluate and re-evaluate what has been written. Recognition is the first step to proper change.

        • @Edgar Lores, I’ve been overly busy in the past days so I haven’t made a reply yet. But just to let you know, you have actually gotten my attention and I am currently trying to suspend my propensity to look at too big of a picture as I try to make my reply. I won’t deny that I’m usually guilty of this so my reply might take a while… Maybe I’ll post it by later this evening? I still have to do some stuff today. =(

          But do know that I was not offended. Because I as I said before, I strive to continuously re-evaluate and re-calibrate my position. Given this, I even appreciate the bluntness as it usually provides a clearer picture of one’s stance. And in a way, I do agree with your basic attitude to criticism: “If it’s not true, what does it matter? But if it’s true, I must change.”

          However, do note that it is not always the case. Because it seems that it only applies when the people being criticized is rational to recognize “truth” given different points. And really now, we all know how , quote-unquote, “rational” many people can be.

          So in the case of criticizing this somewhat non-rational people, like many of the current administration supporters, heck, even the administration itself, this is something I’ve jotted down a long while ago:

          “You say that you criticize because you want someone to improve and change for the better. Well, if that was really the case, then you should have taken into account how that person may react given your criticism.

          Because if you know that that person will react negatively and you still insist, again and again that you are the only one in the right, then please do ask yourself the following: Are you really doing this to help the person out and change things for the better, or, are you doing this so that you can prove something to yourself?”

          • edgar lores says:

            intuitiveperceiving, very good. You have in effect answered for me the issue you raise in your last two paragraphs.

            I do take into account the level of intelligence of the person whose views I criticize. And I thought you were intelligent enough to take my criticism on the chin. And so you have.

            To be sure, I had doubts because of your silence. And if there was any re-evaluation on my part it was less that I had to prove something and more on my estimation of you and my method. The questions I asked were: Did I misjudge intuitiveperceiving? And was I too harsh?

    • 1.) As I’ve replied earlier, you got my attention and I’ll try my best to suspend my tendency to only look at the big picture.

      2.) Look at the situation in reality? As I said before, I even do commend her courage. However, to be blunt, it still seems to have been misplaced. A little moderation would have probably helped as if she did so, she could’ve done much more. To quote your point: “Her first witness may not have been her greatest weapon. Now we will never know.”

      Now, we will indeed never know.

      3.) To clarify my point when I talked about the risks and rewards she faced, I think our scope and context for it doesn’t match? Because I’m evaluating the risks of aggressively antagonizing the other party whom you are actually asking something for.

      3.1) I am aware of those things you’ve enumerated and most of them are indeed vile and were really unnecessary. It was bullying, plain and simple, and it should not have been done.

      4.) I can empathize and I really do see how dangerous her situation is. However, to be honest, I don’t think I can place myself in her place and live her reality as it isn’t really exactly clear as of now. As said by Andy Bay below, there does seem to be many angles to it and it is now indeed becoming very confusing. So what to do then? Well, what I’m trying to do now is analyze all these different angles and try to deduce from them a clearer picture, thus probably a better reality?

      5.) It depends on the direction of the current. If my preferred destination is going against the current, I’ll avoid as much as possible plunging in as drowning will be a bigger possibility due to fatigue. So I’ll only plunge in by force of external circumstance and conserve my energy if that was the case? But I think I’m now lost on the metaphor?

      6.) Hmm… That everyone just watched De Lima get put down even though she was fighting for the respect of human rights and due process? And no matter what anyone says, that is actually a fight worth fighting. But still, to reiterate, this fight has to be fought carefully and going in guns blazing would probably just be detrimental.

      As for an additional somewhat related point, but not completely in the context of the current discussion, there is another perspective that I’ve found. The gist of it is: Though the demand for the respect for human rights and due process is commendable and much needed: If the goal of bringing this up is to put down the current administration rather than help them improve and recognize it, is it still commendable? This seems to be one of the angles in point #4.

      • “There was a strategy by a few agencies under the Pnoy admin in 2013 to use one of the gangs in Bilibid as a resource in order to get to the bottom of the mess in the prison. Delima and company chose Sebastian, who unfortunately turned out to be a loud mouth. Under this arrangement they had to (certainly temporarily) placate Sebastian and gave him some leeway to play his own cards. In the process, Delima obviously stepped on lots of toes — Colanggo group, other rivals of Sebastian, some prison officials who connived with Colanggo. So it’s payback time for this group of people who lost out lots in Delima’s initiatives.”

        Personally, on light reading of this matter and based on my general experience with 3rd world gov’ts, I think de Delima is dirrrty (w/ three ‘r’s).

        It all goes back to the concepts of ‘possible’ and ‘probable’, ie. anything’s possible under the sun, but based on the totality of the evidence (even circumstantial) there’s enough there to say the probability is sufficient enough to take a leap of faith—- hence dirrrty.

        Is DU30 dirrrty too, I’m sure. When talking about Philippine politics we’re generally not talking about types but degrees in the spectrum of dirrrtiness. Then there’s what chemp said above, which is matters of practicality.

        Choosing an alpha group in prison happens here too, BUT the position of power never leaves the warden or the higher powers that be—- that means no sauna, or discos, or karaoke bars, or buying off guards and their families. An alpha group is designated to control other groups in prison, but power is never surrendered to them,

        Why was power surrendered to them? That is the question. Because everything else leads us all to suspect edgar’s list above (totality of the circumstance, leads me to believe that because power was surrendered in prison, and those who control inside control the outside, ISIS and Hamas, etc. were borne this way, same w/ prison gangs in California 😉 basically Delima was caught in the wringer——

        whether she’s just stupid (the prey not predator) or complicit, should now be the question)

        edgar, I saw bits and pieces of this sex tape and although fuzzy, it doesn’t seem photoshopped and is consistent with Delima’s person, but the question is her partner the drug dealer in question? Like I said stupid or complicit (ie. criminal) this is what’s at issue now, but there’s enough to seriously question Delima’s innocence here,

        all starting from chemp’s point of convenience turned criminal, you see. 😉

        • edgar lores says:


          1. “Why was power surrendered to them?” I gather it was prison administration policy developed before Senator De Lima’s term as DOJ secretary… due mostly to the ratio between guards and prisoners.

          2. I had no curiosity to see the tape. As I said we have no business going there. I do not know there is a drug connection. They are using prisoners to establish that connection. That tells me all I need to know.

          3. I think Senator De Lima is cleannnn (with 4 n’s).

          • ” As I said we have no business going there. I do not know there is a drug connection. “

            The honey trap (or in this case the sausage trap), is the oldest trick in the book. King David and Queen Bethsheba did the dirrrty and got dinged for it, by God himself (thru some prophet , I forgot his name). But since David did a whole poem on Bethsheda, one surmises it was true love , she just happened to be married.

            This whole sex tape business needs to be examined more, because there’s no assumption here that it’s simply Romeo and Juliet doing the dirrrty, the deed is connected to the criminal enterprise she’s being accused of partaking—- as stupid victim or mastermind criminal (big question mark there),

            But I submit that we should examine this sex tape, are there more? is there audio (transcript)? What was being said before, during and after? That position pictured all over the internet proves to me 😉 that this was no act of love, but pure lust, yuck!

            Where lust is involved like the case of King David and Bethsheba, there’s usually some crime in tow. So I disagree, we should examine this sex tape more and all issues surrounding, which all stem from her time at Bilibid, edgar.

            • edgar lores says:


            • Joe America says:

              I’m reminded of how easily it is to sway Filipinos to believing lascivious falsehoods. Fake meme’s here are a dime a dozen, and people consider them information, as if news. Your text is a kind of verbal meme, and I think Senator De Lima is getting quite enough of them thrown at her. At some point, we should defend innocence and stop the intimations of bad character, without proof. Also, I think it is wrong to ask those who believe in Senator De Lima’s good character to dig up information to try to prove themselves wrong. Putting fact and truth to the tape would be your job, not that for De Lima supporters.

              • I would , Joe, but the only websites I feel comfortable viewing is youtube, then there’s Google photos, I’m pretty good at spotting photoshopped or doctored videos, and I think there’s some merit to this footage—- that’s my assessment.

                If there are Filipinos here who know of the full video (in safe websites ) by all means lets examine this and not sweep it under the rug. JP asked for NCIS type evidence, and this is one we can all examine (thanks to video streaming, just find a safe website 😉 )

                Yours and edgar’s assumption is that this is a fake meme, mine is that this is an actual video of Delima’s. But let’s play what-if here,

                if this does prove to be Delima in all her natural grandeur, would it diminish or prove neutral to the bigger issue of her complicity in general? Why or why not? I like thought experiments 😉 .

              • edgar lores says:


                I am not assuming a fake meme. I am saying it is none of our business.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, so you don’t believe the presumption of innocence trumps slanderous intimations. I think there is a lot of kinkiness in a lot of bedrooms around the world, and if we spend our time there, we are beyond kinky and into the realm of perversion. Rather like intellectual peeping toms. So, you can inquire if there are any other peeping toms about in the Philippines to do the dirty work, but I think you’d have to go to the Duterte black propaganda sites to recruit investigators.

              • NHerrera says:

                That would be a variant of DDS >>> DKS. K = kinky.

              • “Okay, so you don’t believe the presumption of innocence trumps slanderous intimations.”

                Slander only if it’s not true, but if you watch (youtube it) it , it is Delima, Joe!

                “At some point, we should defend innocence and stop the intimations of bad character, without proof.”

                The sex tape is proof (whether you buy it or not is for the judge/jury to decide), but taken holistically with other probable/circumstantial evidence at hand , the scales of justice (or simply common sense) do point to Delima’s guilt—–

                how heavy that guilt is another story.

              • “I am not assuming a fake meme. I am saying it is none of our business.”


                Why not?!!!

              • edgar lores says:

                LCpl_X, if you cannot see it, I cannot explain it to you.

                As an analogy, how does one explain the color green to a colorblind person? It’s not impossible, I know. But it requires a paradigm shift on your part or a technological invention on the part of science.

              • edgar,

                Like I said to caliphman, if it connects to Bilibid then the sex tapes belongs in the scales of justice.

                That’s why I asked if the partner in these sex videos is involved in Bilibid, directly or indirectly.

                There’s only 3 possible scenarios here:

                1). These are Delima’s own videos, she’s just a kinky kinda girl. That I can totally respect— but if you ‘re kinky and you use digital videos, the chances of them ending up in the internet is close to 100% (especially if you’re well known and have enemies), so no empathy here.

                2). These videos are for blackmail purposes, there are another 2 possibilites—

                a. if they are Delima’s that’s fine too, Nixon had dirt on everyone, such is the game of politics. 2a would then be more related to 1. 😉

                b. if they are videos to blackmail Delima then the closest suspects would be those at Bilibid (criminal). If that’s the case then my point to caliphman stands, it’s part of Dilema’s grander guilt.

                3). Again, blackmail, but from her political opponents (non criminal, related to 2a but going the opposite direction), if 3 then this will actually work out in her favor, a lot of empathy here.

                So you see , it is very important—– 1 and 2a, we shouldn’t mine really; 2b we should mind which will be pro-DU30, but 3 I think would make her Joan of Arc, so as one biased towards Delima, shouldn’t you care about 3? 😉

                Whether you’re pro or against Delima; or pro/against DU30, the sex tapes are important, you see.

              • Joe America says:

                Ok, LCX, we know how you feel about it, so you can stop trolling the discussion on it now.

              • edgar lores says:


                I do not know whether the guy in the tape is a criminal or has criminal connections.

                JFK had a lover who was the mistress of a mob capo. Did that make JFK a mafia criminal?

                Real or fake, the purpose of the tape was to tarnish not to blackmail. Blackmail is a threat that is withheld. Once the threat is released, it no longer holds power.

                Tarnish is in the eye of the beholder.

                To me, tarnish is not in actors in the tape. it is in the people who released the tape and claimed it is evidence of immorality. And, perhaps, people who believe in the claim?

                This is my final word on the subject.

              • “JFK had a lover who was the mistress of a mob capo. Did that make JFK a mafia criminal?”

                That’s kinda too general, the Bilibid case is specific, there’s circumstantial evidence being levied, and if connected, ie. that sex partner is connected to Bilidid, then the sex tape further solidifies her connection, no?

              • “and claimed it is evidence of immorality. And, perhaps, people who believe in the claim?”

                I could care less if folks see it as immoral, I’m more interested in the sex tape as a legitimate investigative lead vis a vis Bilibid. That’ s my point , it is a legit lead people should be interested in whether or not it gets followed. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                LCpl_X, Then allow the investigators to investigate. We cannot do from our keyboards here.

              • That’s quite different now, from “we have no business going there” 😉 … OK, so do we at least agree that it’s a legit investigative lead, edgar?

                Yes it should most definitely be investigated, the fruits (pro or con) of said investigation should be added to Bilibib— like I said, if the investigative lead favors Delima either as the hero (ie. Joan of Arc) and/or victim here, more power to her, right?

                But the lead must be followed to its logical end, not brushed aside, “we have no business going there.” 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Lcpl_x, No, I do not agree.

                You are in your “Is it Filipinos?” mode of investigation of the Great Bangladesh Heist. How did that pan out?

              • If I remember correctly there was a Filipina bank manager implicated, about to board a plane to Japan, no? How many more I ‘ve not kept updated, but my hunch was correct, only the Filipino end was actually in the Philippines and not in Bangladesh.

              • edgar lores says:

                LCpl_X, Oh, yes, I forgot. She was the mastermind, wasn’t she?

              • “Lcpl_x, No, I do not agree.”

                Again, why not.

              • “LCpl_X, Oh, yes, I forgot. She was the mastermind, wasn’t she?”

                She was involved no? and she was Filipino? Whether mastermind or not, she played a key role in outing the money. So my hunch played out. Like I said , I’m really good with my hunches. 😉

            • caliphman says:

              What on earth is the logical and legal relevance of de Lima’s sex life in proving she was part of a drug ring or committed a crime? Duterte publicized the sex tape and affair with her driver to accuse her of immorality and not as evidence of her criminal conspiracy. She could have engaged in the latter using any bagman whether or not she engaged in kinky sex with her chauffer. Analyzing a purported sex or audio tape as authentic has to do with with judging her sexual mores and choice of partners but is that evidence of whether she is criminally clean and dirty as alleged? So even if this sordid tidbit makes the entire story salacious and more interesting but true or not, focusing on it is more character assassination and not proof of criminal complicity. Gentlemen, let me paraphrase Duterte…what the fuck?

              • NHerrera says:


              • “Analyzing a purported sex or audio tape as authentic has to do with with judging her sexual mores and choice of partners but is that evidence of whether she is criminally clean and dirty as alleged?”

                Doesn’t that mean she’s then complicit, caliphman? If she’s being accused of having partook in the corruption inside Bilibid, doesn’t this video then prove of her connection?

                If Lady Justice started out with even scales, add chempo’s ,
                “There was a strategy by a few agencies under the Pnoy admin in 2013 to use one of the gangs in Bilibid as a resource” (this would be then the original sin), then

                Delima’s involvement of it all would tip the scales away from Delima’s favor, add all other circumstantial evidence, then this NCIS evidence of the sex tape would surely further tip the scales away from Delima’s favor.

                Every evidence thus far would be based on probability of the truth, so when an NCIS eg. hard evidence (the sex tape) comes along to further solidify connection, that evidence should be examined, no? The name of the game here is preponderance of evidence,

                and the sex tape add’s to the nature of her crimes. Isn’t DU30’s presumption that Delima is either victim here (of a drug/criminal enterprise) or mastermind herself, enjoying the fruits of illicit means? What ‘s DU30 accusing her of?

                No gents, the sex tape(s) belongs in the scales of justice , so we can better assess Delima’s involvement, as stupid, naive victim or masterful criminal, we’ll see. But you guys seem to be cherry picking now.

                How could this sex tape be of no consequence? Riddle me that.

              • caliphman says:

                Excuse me but Lima’s purported sexcapades is neither hard evidence not hard logic of her having committed the crime she is is accused of, that of accepting payoffs from druglords to finance her campaign. Hard evidence and logic is sworn testimony by credible witnesses attesting to direct personal knowledge of her receiving said payments. Evidence can also be corroborating when multiple witnesses and documents support such testimony. The sex tape if authentic is only proof she had sex with her driver. Nothing more and nothing less. If its fake, it no proof of het innocence. If its not fake, its no proof of her guilt. Definitely in a court of law, if not in the court of public opinion.

              • “The sex tape if authentic is only proof she had sex with her driver.”

                If it’s the driver (or another man) connected to Bilibid then the probability of blackmail, and or, manipulation, comes to play no? Which then adds to state of mind, whether criminal or victim, yes? You see how that tips the scales of justice against her? It’s not just a privacy issue, caliphman, if there is a bigger crime being levied on her. 🙂

              • caliphman says:

                Thats all idle conjecture as to how Lima would choose a bagman.backed by not a single shred of proof. That is zero evidence that she in fact engaged in a drug payoff conspiracy which hoes back to my main and original point. That your obsession with whether she egaged in sexual intercourse with her driver has no bearing on her guilt or innocrnce of an alleged criminal conspiracy. I do not suppose you would care to point out what section in the current version of the Federal Rules of Evidence supports this remarkable legal theory of proof you are advancing? Please share so those of us who are lawyers and non-lawyers alike can understand the basis of your comments 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                He can’t. I suspended him. Good question, but it will have to wait 60 days.

              • Joe, the following status in your FB page made me understand your decision on blocking or suspension:

                “Fewer and fewer trolls. salesmen, and preachers have been visiting me at the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

                I own each of my spaces. They are not the public’s. There is no such thing as free speech in my discussion house. There is respect.

                My single most important criterion when new people comment is a judgment, “will this person listen to what I have to say?” If not, what’s the point? He’s not there to help anyone learn, but to instruct.

                I unfriend or block. If I make a mistake, sorry. I do my best.

                It is also pretty easy to pick out the moralizers or agenda pushers. They arrive with a contrary truth as if they were God on a keyboard.


                I’m not here for popularity, but to learn about the Philippines and its social and political dynamics, and to think about how to contribute to the well being of the nation using my skill set, fairly perceptive thinking and writing that is not boring.

                I figure if enough people stopped being so patient with the trolls, preachers and peddlers, trying to explain things to these bricks, we could block them all back into a wee little space so that they would only have themselves to babble to.

                We should work diligently to get rid of the social media poison and allow only earnest and kind people in our own discussion spaces.”

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I think it is time to claim our space back from trolls and salesmen.

          • LG says:

            With Sen. Leila’s intelligence, if indeed ” dirrrrty”, the ongoing investigation would not come as eeeeasy (with 4 ‘e’s) as it looks to appear. It’s no brainer to put together all these so called “witnesses” to testify vs. her, who would not hesitate to say anything damning to Sen. Leila to maximize their salvation from PRD and self respect,if any left.

            My anguish….the EJK investigation has become a Sen, Leila investigation, the table brilliantly overturned overnight.

            • “It’s no brainer to put together all these so called “witnesses” to testify vs. her,”

              I don’t know about the bigger case, LG, but in the sex tape specifically, I’m thinking just some good old P.I. work (private investigator) or detective work (police) can connect the partner to Bilibid or not. But that lead should be followed, is my point here—– no cherry picking. 🙂

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        What I am reading tells me that you are confused as to whether these Senate-House probes are the layman’s “tit for tat.” My take is: De Lima has her heart in the right place. She is fighting for what she believes in and doing the job that was entrusted to her by her voters. Did she commit the “crime(s)” Aguirre accused her? So far, all I am hearing and reading are “he said, she said” statements so I am in a wait and see mode about the veracity of the accusations against her. In MRP’s parlance, I want the forensic/hard evidences to substantiate accusations, not just notarized statements/ affidavits.

      • edgar lores says:


        “However, to be honest, I don’t think I can place myself in her place and live her reality as it isn’t really exactly clear as of now….Well, what I’m trying to do now is analyze all these different angles and try to deduce from them a clearer picture, thus probably a better reality?”

        I am sorry, this tells me you do not have the entire gift of empathy.

        There is a rational component to empathy and an emotional component.

        You possess the rational component in that you try to see both sides of an issue, right? You possess this quality in spades. And this is commendable.

        What you do not seem to have is the emotional component.

        You are still performing mental calisthenics; the whole of your post shows this. What I wanted you to do is to stop analyzing and start feeling. You missed the point of my post.

        The primary modality of your being is cerebration, rather than feeling and cerebration. You are mostly using the organ of your brain and not enough of the organ of your heart. You are living almost entirely in your head.

        You did try to answer item 6. What I had in mind was the claim of Matobato that Duterte ordered them to kill her. Now that is evil. And if you cannot feel the monstrosity of that — or the list of items in 3.2 — then I give up.

        Because feelings — heart — cannot be taught.

        • @Edgar Lores

          Call me a Vulcan cause I now feel like Spock. Which he does not. Haha

          But in all seriousness, I’m also aware of the lack of this emotional component as things like this do tend to fly over my head. But it is not that it doesn’t exist like of Spock. But rather, it seems that is being actively suppressed. As for why? I’m not actually sure. But trying to ruminate about it, I guess warning bells are sounding in my head because: If I try to empathize with De Lima emotionally, I’ll then become uhm… biased towards her? So to compensate this perceived bias, I’ll then also try to empathize with the other side. But doing so would probably make my reply very long as I’ll probably be writing about both by then. And it seems that it won’t also be that related to the context of the current discussion.

          So do throw me a bone?

          • edgar lores says:


            From the clues you give…. I am not sure I should offer these. But here are two links. Just read the first answer in the first link; it is an intro. The second is more detailed. See if it fits.



            The good news is that, if some of the characteristics fit, you are high-functioning, very high functioning. And remember it is a spectrum.

            • Now I’m BBC’s Sherlock Holmes. Heh.

              However, though I can relate to some of it, well, not all of it. And I’d actually prefer to be diagnosed by professionals.



              But my supposed lack of empathy and supposed sociopathy aside, can I ask if you would still elaborate on point 3.2? But let me quote it as there are two #3.2’s already:

              “The basic mechanism in the latter is our cultural heritage. Your approach is to individualize the cultural conditioning. You say, let me think about it.”

              And can I also ask if you may address the following questions:

              1.) If you think the goal of bringing up the DDS stuff is to help the current administration improve and recognize the importance of human rights and due process, how do you suppose would one go about it? Would it work? How? What would actually happen?

              2.) People here seem to imply that De Lima should not be investigated. At all. But to be frank, isn’t what is happening now similar to the Corona and Binay proceedings? That if there is smoke, there is fire? And it does seem to be always the case? And please do try to not appeal to her record. Even Carlos P. Romulo that had an even more sterling record tolerated something very wrong. As LCpl_X put it, is what you are doing really not cherry picking? Is it justified?

              Nevertheless, I would have also preferred if this would happen under a court of law. And, sorry LCpl_X, with no sex tape. That is really not definitive proof unless someone actually confirms that it was them and they are involved with the possible case.

              As for going through the court of public opinion first, well, it seems unavoidable. As much as it sucks, again, just look at the Corona and Binay proceedings. A fishing expedition seems to be a requirement before anything would proceed. And it also seems to be the same with the DDS case?

              X.) It seems I’ve open a can of worms and LCpl_X got suspended because of it. Uhm… Sorry? But probably too late to apologize…

              But, uhm… Mr. Joe? It’s probably not my place to ask this but would it not be possible to place LCpl_X under a moderation watch list rather than suspend him for two months? He does seem to bring up good points from time to time. Notwithstanding the tendency to be argumentative of course. Just throwing it in here just in case. =)

              • Joe America says:

                You had nothing to do with LCX’s suspension. He managed that by himself. He is in moderation, not banned, but I don’t forsee trying to weigh each submission he might make. Punishment is not punishment if it is not punishment. Also, I do think it is fair for Sen. De Lima to have a case filed against her if there is sufficient evidence to support it. Unfortunately, the DOJ has poisoned the well by using flimsy evidence and expert testimony from convicts, using the House as forum to stage a trial for public perception and abusing rules of fair evidence, accepting hearsay. A real judge would laugh at these proceedings, as do most principled observers.

              • LG says:

                Ditto, Joe. I support officially legal prosecution and defense of Lima in a true court of law. STOP already this comical legislative saga.

              • edgar lores says:


                heh, indeed.

                A. On 3.2.

                1. All living creatures behave according to certain patterns. For the most part, the behavior of non-human animals is pre-programmed by Nature. They behave instinctively.

                2. The matrix of human behavior is a little more complicated. You would be aware of the ongoing debate of Nature vs. Nurture. I will posit three layers of the human matrix of behavior:

                o Nature – The example given was the fight/flight/freeze response.
                o Nurture – An example is brushing our teeth after each meal.
                o Individual volition – An example is NOT brushing our teeth after each meal.

                2.1. We do not yet fully understand the boundaries of each layer. The Nature layer includes our physiology, our genetic makeup, our hormones, our racial memory, our collective unconscious. We are born with this layer.

                2.2. The Nurture layer is the cultural memes we imbibe from our parents, then from our teachers and peers, our priests, and the media all around us — radio, TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, and the Internet. We are taught/absorb this layer, directly and indirectly, mostly during our childhood years. But the process goes on our entire lifetime.

                2.3. The third layer of individual volition is there throughout our childhood but becomes more predominant when we gain independence in adulthood. In childhood, some girls prefer playing with boys rather than with dolls. In adulthood, they may doll themselves up in order to continue to play with boys.

                2.4. Usually, in our teens, we rebel against our parents and all authority and attempt to strike our own path.

                2.5. So, you can see we are conditioned by Nature first, then conditioned by Nurture. Elsewhere, I have called this conditioning our root gnosis. Most people live their whole lives in root gnosis. They conform to the pattern of life as set out by their fathers and forefathers. They wear the same clothes, eat the same food, work the same job, think the same way, and worship the same God.

                2.6. Some people, like you, may go beyond their cultural conditioning. This does not have to do with wearing different clothes or eating different food. Well, it may. But it has more to do with thinking and behaving differently. Like ceasing to be a Catholic and becoming an atheist. Like becoming aware of, and rejecting, the culture of impunity, patronage, servant/master mindset, and corruption. I call this individual development growth gnosis. Jung calls it the process of individuation, the process of becoming our own person.

                2.7. According to some mystics, total freedom is achieved when we rise above our cultural conditioning in our thinking and behavior. It is not that when we make decisions we will always decide against tradition. It is that we are fully aware of the influence of tradition and make decisions independently. Tradition is rich but it can enchain us.

                2.7.1. You would be aware, for example, that there is a lot of prejudice in our makeup in relation to race, sex, beliefs, and gender. Whites tend to look down on blacks. Men tend to look down on women. Each religion tends to look down on other religions. Straights tend to look down on LGBTIQ.

                2.7.2. And Duterte and his supporters tend to look down on drug personalities and upright Senators to the extent of trying to wipe them off the face of the earth.

                The above is just an overview. The Nature layer can be very complex indeed and we are still learning a lot in the new sciences of genetics, neuroscience, and noetics.


                I will reply to your other questions in a separate post.

              • edgar lores says:


                On Senator Leila de Lima:

                It should be obvious what my answer is. I am not implying, I am stating she should not be investigated. As far as I can see, the charges against her are irrelevant or trumped up.

                Look to the comments and analysis of Chemrock, Caliphman, NHerrera, Mary, Juana, LG, Jameboy, Lacierda, and JoeAm in this thread. And, yes, that of LCpl_X.

                It is for you to analyze these comments, search news and social media, and make up your own mind.

              • edgar lores says:


                On DDS.

                1. I would do exactly as Senator De Lima did before she was stopped: conduct hearings to establish the existence of the death squads and Duterte’s culpability.

                2. As social and news media, I would highlight the savagery of the anti-drug war in the number of bodies, the unacceptable collateral damage, and the possibility of rehabilitation.

                3. As an institution — government, religious or social — I should think independently and try to protect human rights.

                4. As a foreign government or organization, I should criticize Duterte and his war.

                5. As an individual, I would read, study and reflect on the Constitution, the UDHR, the Holy Book, and history.

                4. Will these work?

                o item 1 no longer works.
                o Item 2 is ongoing and should work in the long run.
                o Item 3 is ongoing. The Church has raised her voice. The Judiciary (at least Sereno) has raised its voice. Alas, the Legislature has not kept its independence.
                o Item 4 is ongoing but Duterte is deaf to their pleas.
                o Item 5 should work if one is sincere.

                5. What would happen? There are so many possibilities.

                5.1. The slaughter will not stop until the end of Duterte’s term.
                5.2. Duterte will come to his senses.
                5.3. Duterte will lose his political and popular support.
                5.4. Duterte will be charged with crimes against humanity.
                5.5. Duterte will fall ill and become incapacitated.
                5.6. It will take the death of a Ninoy to stop the savagery.
                5.7. There will be a military coup.
                5.8. There will be an EDSA IV.
                5.9. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

              • caliphman says:

                Let me just comment briefly on my discussion with Lance , the ongoing investigations at the House and Senate as well as the Duterte accusations as to their relevance of what is at the root of the problem in the sordid mess at Bilibid.

                Some months ago when many here were applauding the move to send in the SAF to the prison to halt the lawlessness in the heart of this maximum security prison, I pointed out that this was but a bandaid because the crux of the problem was the prison system here is astronomically under resourced, not only in pitiful staff-prisoner ratios but extreme overcrowded facilities.

                In concept, Duterte’s war to eradicate the drug problem, the Senate investigation to check abuses in the conduct of that war, and the house effort to delve into a conspracy Bilibid supposedly in aid of legislation are all for the the goid of the country. But all the three processes including the the discussions here have been sidetracked and been very frustrating because the accusations of illlicit sex and personal vendettas have instead dominated these efforts.

                Lance who I agree with on many other issues unfortunately did not agree on the irrelevance if de Lima’s sexual preferences to her character but more importantly on the criminal allegations against her.

                It is of course a onesided contest if the war is a vendetta between de Lima and the administration pariculatly since it apparently holds sway on both branches of congress. What is personally frustrating to me is there is no focus at all in dterminining why Bilibid and our prison is functioning as the command and control center of criminal drug enterprise.

                What should be the starting focus? Solita Monsod recalls my comnents months ago in her current column.


              • caliphman says:

                For instance, it is no big surprise that the government is dependent to have a gang lord or lords control and police the inmates and continue to run their drug syndicates from their luxury kubols since there are no other resources to do it. Is it a wonder that gang lord Sebastian was left in Bilibid and the others relocated because otherwise Bilibid would completely fall apart? The lack of resources which is the prime responsibility and power of congress shoulf be the starting focus of these hearings instead of functioning as a kangaroo court.

              • NHerrera says:

                @caliphman, thanks for bringing that up. If I may say, you, like Monsod (an economist), has a way of supporting commentaries with statistics.

                Reminds me about the traffic mess too and the non-appreciation of good statistics and lessons from other countries which had experienced such situations.

                A lot of Band-Aid type of measures coupled with the very slow pace of implementation of good recommendations — if at all — by people who have analyzed the situation and know what they are talking about. Instead we have the spectacle of the likes of Pacquiao pronouncing their wisdom on matters totally out of their depths and media giving prominence to their idiocies.

              • chemrock says:

                Caliphman, the deplorable state of prisons is an open secret. No one in the legislative or executive bothers to initiate any improvements because there is no political mileage to be had. It requires strong arm tactics to clear up the mess. That’s why I applauded Du30 when he uprooted the whole corrupt admin in Bilibid. But he didn’t do it for humanitarian reasons to improve the prisoner’s lots. For the better good, I’ll say it was to root out the drug trade, the apparatus, that’s the way he put it. Perhaps it was a Machiavellian pincer sweep to get at de Lima. In absolutely no way is it going to improve prison management.

                Corruption in prisons make one sick to the core. Of the daily food ration of about 50 pesos the guards take a slice. So prisoners are very dependent on their own outside support system. If follows that security protocols one finds in prisons in other countries are almost non existent as they are relaxed to allow a daily endless stream of outside food to brought in, which of course lots of other stuff flowed in that same stream. Foreign national prisoners suffer the most as they can hardly stomach prison food. I heard of friends who contribute thousands of pesos each month to support foreign inmates.

              • caliphman says:

                Chempo, I do not know how to make my and Monsod’s point any simpler and clearer except perhaps by restating it. That mess in Bilibid where drug or other gang lords operate their syndicates from the heart of the prison requires not a strong arm nor a show of SAF force that makes good press but in the end changes nothing. What is needed is adequate resources so that that the gangs do not end up policing themselves.

          • “If I try to empathize with De Lima emotionally, I’ll then become uhm… biased towards her?”


            I think the sunk cost fallacy applies here, ie. since there’s no one else publicly decrying DU30, your automatic hero, becomes the perfect hero, instead of objectivity, preference or bias consumes your view of her (Delima),

            but the sad fact is the 110% of Filipino politicians are dirrrty (some less so maybe, but dirrrty nonetheless), the presumption has to be that first, that way when dirt finally gets thrown around in the arena (by dirt I mean poop), your hero will stand a better chance if you don’t

            also make her a saint. The probability that she is complicit in this whole Bilibid affair should be entertained and examined in all honesty, no cherry picking. Be objective. So I commend you for your objectivity here, ip———– keep pushing on, don’t let anyone hold you down. 😉

            • Joe America says:

              I asked you to drop it. We have serious shit going down in the Philippines. Senator De Lima is being investigated by the DOJ in concert with the House, and was pilloried by the Senate. You are pushing the same topic that is the Duterte troll brigade’s topic of the week, and it was again highlighted by the President today. The Senator’s private sex life. Three respected members of the Society have given you a counter view and you dismiss all three. You are argumentative. You get personal by challenging our objectivity. I have no patience for this style of commentary. Suspended. 60 days.

            • chemrock says:

              Lance — I’m nit-picking some comments off the 2 or 3 threads above this. Just typing off my mind, so rather disjointed, sorry.

              a. Almost everybody in the Senate and Congress lied, have agendas, are pressurised / threatened — senators, congressmen, witnesses, resource persons, practically everybody, and quite possibly De Lima too. What the heck is going on. Edgar’s introduction of the parable of the tare was so appropriate. For me, under such circumstances, I fall back on character. A part of what makes a character are the companies one keeps and track records. De Lima outshines every one of those wheats and tares in those 2 halls of legislatives. The only crack in her shiny armour are those sex tapes. Leaving this concern aside, I have great faith in De Lima on the basis of the way I judge her.

              b. Sorry state of Bilibid management — as Edgar pointed out, guard/prisoner ratio is the underlying cause. That’s just one of it. Prison design is the damnation. No guards would ever dare walk alone in there, unless they are pally with the inmates. De Lima inherited an institution and practices that’s been there ever since when. No great senators or congressmen bother with this institution (they rather spend time conducting enquiries that served no purpose other than for personal publicity for political gains, or to pursue idiotic bills like registration of SIM cards), that is, nobody, until a tiny secretary of DOJ organised a raid and tried to make some changes. Nobody wants to touch this hell hole because they know they will step on lots of toes with evil circumstances. Well the owners’ of those toes are now throwing everything at De Lima now.

              c. Cleaning up Bilibid — During the Pnoy admin, one that works within the laws, nobody can clean up the prison effectively and comprehensively within a short time frame, not least of all De Lima. It required a strong person who can sweep all complaints aside and step outside the law in the process. And that’s what Duterte did — in one clean sweep he booted the entire prison admin out. I actually applaud the audacity to do that, and that’s precisely the kick in the butt that’s needed. But had De Lima done that, she would be facing a thousand lawsuits today for unfair termination of employment, and she would be executed in congress and the senate.

              d. Nothing that has been brought up so far in the congress enquiry can pin De Lima down in a court of law (ie if we still have faith in the last leg of Philippines democracy – the Judiciary). All money transfers were to third parties, bagmen or bag women. None of the cash were handed directly by the convict witnesses directly to her. Sec Agguire has been unable to enlist the assistance of these bagpersons. If these cash recipients are for real, obviously they are in imminent danger of either elimination or torture to cooperate. Now Agguire managed to produce some bank deposit slips earlier, but he has conveniently forgotten to produce these as evidence, and none of those great congressmen has taken him to task on this. We all know that these are fakes by now, because in the world of the internet, truth has a way of coming out from somewhere. Someone saw through the fakery and commented it online and it went viral. It’s a criminal act of great import on the part of a Secretary of DOJ, but how does one complain about this? Your complaints end up in the DOJ. Now on the question of reliance on character, whose voice carries more conviction — a current Sec of DOJ with the capacity to criminally fake documents, or an ex-Sec of DOJ with impeccable records (other than the sex tapes).

              e. Try complaining to Sec Agguire

              f. “We planted evidence. We arrested persons but we released them, [then] telling him that it was this person who squealed on him. And then when he goes out for the killing, then we said that it was this fellow who really did it, who did you in…We first planted the intrigues so that we would know… from where they came from,” Duterte Sunday, August 21, 2016 (on his stint as a prosecutor)

              What is the implication? Has this been scaled up to national level? Is this in play currently in Congress?

              g. Congress enquiry in aid of legislation? — One must have their brains located in their posterior to believe so. That honourable objective would be better served in private sessions through a special committee that would probably require them months to thoroughly go through everything and interview as many people as possible, down to the janitors. A working committee that dispenses with the stupid administrative mumbo jumblos that take up half the time in the daily sessions. So what then is the purpose of the enquiry? — To tarnish De Lima’s image. What better way than to provide immunity to the witnesses, so the public get served with unli lies. Never mind that Senator Dick Gordon has pointed out — Congress has no power to grant immunity.

              h. On the sex tapes — I have not seen them. You can photoshop images easily, but videos I’m not too sure. Some compromising photos in the internet De Lima has said are spliced, the video she has remained silent. But she has admitted to the sexual relationship.

              What goes on in the bedroom is none of our business, but if it concerns government officials, much less a sec of DOJ, then it is very troubling, as Lance pointed out. Of course Lance is more given to cloak and dagger intrigue stuff, coming from the US. She may not be directly complicit, but could have been blackmailed, who knows. This is a very real scenario which she needs to be forthcoming. I think Lance sees the driver Dayan as a drug operative who use the honey trap to get to De Lima. This is obviously wrong since Dayan has been with her during her days at CHR. It’s most likely the drug lords got to Dayan. It could well be Dayan is playing both sides with him keeping the payoffs to himself. It’s all just my speculative mind.

              • chemrock says:

                Sorry, 1 more point I forgot to add.

                i. They crucify her as sourcing drug money for the senate election. This can be easily put away. Winnie Monsod mentioned that she will check her election expenditure declaration with Comelec. Now why did’nt anybody talk about that. That would tear the DOJ/president’s claims against her to shred in one second.

  25. chemrock says:

    I read an article on the repetition of tumultous upheavels in human history and he said the story is always the same — :

    “…..Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable.”

    Sounds familiar.

    • edgar lores says:

      Chemrock, the details are spooky. With Marcos, the scapegoats were the communists and the oligarchs. Note that the scapegoats survived to live another day.

  26. NHerrera says:


    Are you one and the same since the same avatar is used with your handle/ name. Kindly clarify.

  27. NHerrera says:


    The recent events at the Senate and House of the House of Representatives have given prominence to the saying, “rules are made to be broken.”

    Even an unbiased but keen observer cannot help connect PRD’s reported statement to the effect of destroying De Lima and these actions of our (dis)honorable lawmakers — especially as the events unfolded in a very short span of time.

    It is straight out of the playbook from history: the actions that led to the assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, under the reign of King Henry II of England, who in exasperation said, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

    • edgar lores says:

      NHerrera, I am familiar with the tale of Thomas Becket. As a student, I wrote a short essay on him. And I watched the film “A Man for All Seasons” more than once.

      The spectacle of the persecution of Senator De Lima is horrific. It draws from me the memory of the Roman spectacle of “damnatio ad bestias” (damnation to beasts) wherein condemned persons were thrown to the lions.

      I would not compare the (dis)honorable lawmakers to the king of the beasts. So let us say they are hyenas now circling this female gladiator armed only with the scarf of her integrity and the spear of her intelligence.

      It is comforting to know that she has a few faithful backers in the Senate and a chorus in the media. Just now reading the Inquirer editorial “Shock,” I ask myself Ninoy’s question. The answer is not unequivocal.

      • NHerrera says:

        I agree. Sadly, that signature statement of Ninoy — The Filipino is Worth Dying For — has not been borne out by events after his assassination. It is supposed to be some sort of counter to Fallow’s characterization of a “damaged culture.”

  28. Bill In Oz says:

    I have just discovered an extremely informative article & commentary about Duterte and the war on drugs in the Guardian….Unfortunately the discussion is now closed but there are a wide range of views expressed.

    • edgar lores says:

      Bill, thanks. Describing Duterte as a “breath of fresh air” is as ironic as describing poison gas as an aromatic deodorizer.

      • caliphman says:

        I wonder if that writer feels the same way about Duterte quipping in candor that he should have taken first dibs in having a go at that poor murdered Ozzie missionary?

      • Bill In Oz says:

        There is a question going through my mind : “Does Duterte sincerely believe he is doing the right thing for the Philippines ? What are his motivations ?” I once said that he is a fascist. But I now think that wrong, inaccurate. Now the question in my mind is ” Does he see himself as another Hercules, cleaning out the Augean stables ?”

        • edgar lores says:

          Bill, your varying conclusions are not necessarily contradictory.

          Duterte is a fascist; he sincerely believes he is doing the right thing; and, yes, he is Hercules. All rolled into one.

  29. josephivo says:

    Not with the intention to offend anybody…

    The utilitarian doctrine and consequentialism have a lot to do with the “viewpoint”. Self-interest or universal benevolence? Preference utilitarianism or hedonistic utilitarianism? Utility and consequences for whom, when, where and most importantly what? The “whom” is theoretically everything (but with different weighing factors for humans, living creatures, other stuff?) The “when” is from now to eternity (the next generation more important than the current one?) The “where” is the whole planet or better even the whole universe (is close-by more important than far away?) The “what” or what is good and what is bad (hedonism as overall happiness, survival of the fittest or submitting to Devine commands?) Peter Singer’s viewpoint of the universe?

    Viewpoints have a very individual content. My children are more important than a grain of sand, today is creating tomorrow, what I can’t see will stay out of the equation. Individuals assess consequences partly rational, partly based on cultural values and partly emotional, the mix changing all the time. We are quite complex beings living in complex societies as part of a complex world, pulling just one string influences the whole universe.

    At the moment of decision we have to deal with incomplete information, with imperfect analogies, with probabilities and confidence levels. At the moment of decision we are guided by parental values, deontology, local values, and international accepted greatest common devisors. At the moment of decision we are in an emotional state depending on the surroundings, our recent and past experiences, the neuro-chemicals in our brains.

    The full consequence of a decision and the consequence of not deciding or postponing a decision can only be measured after the facts. The one who took the decision might be hurried, very selective or biased in assessing the impact. We all like echo-chambers too, hearing a similar tune, being part of a group of true believers. If in a powerful position, the danger is that surroundings are more focused on telling what you want to hear than what they really see, the emperor is often naked.

    Risks. A decision might miss all/some intended targets or hurt an innocent targets, culprits gone free or innocents punished. Err on the aggressive or err at the prudent side? This partly depend on the reversibility of the consequence, the dead penalty is final, prison terms can be compensated, a fine can be paid back.

    A good discussion of utilitarianism requires discussion of all these aspects.

    • NHerrera says:

      This is why, even as an amateur player — who only plays with the digital equivalent of a board and “stones” — I love the game of Go. After the initial stones are placed, the placement of stones on a big board of 19×19 as compared to the 8×8 of chess is a decision one has to make with virtually incalculable consequence for one side or the other — if “this then this” consequence is just too many to evaluate. One has to decide after some time, or end up paralyzed to move.

      (Sorry, for probably a wild analogy and inappropriate comment.)

    • edgar lores says:

      Josephivo, thanks. Questions that are asked seriously and sincerely should never cause offense.

      That is quite a number of factors you have listed, and it would have been beneficial if Duterte and those who supported his candidacy had considered them.

      I would hazard the guess that Duterte and the people behind him did consider some of the factors but not in a systematic and rational way. Neither did the people who voted for him.

      Ideologically, the people behind Duterte were/are FVR, Pimentel and Cayetano. Financially, the Marcoses.

      But the concept of the anti-drug war came from Duterte himself and was empirically based on his small-scale experiment in Davao. I have suggested the experiment was based on the Petrus killings in Indonesia.

      The Utilitarian factors you cite consist of a whole spectrum of colors, but in Duterte’s Davao it may just have been black and white.

      Just looking at the 4 W’s of whom, where, when and what of Duterte’s war, I would suggest this is how Duterte sees it:

      o Whom. There are two kinds of people. The first are the majority of good law-abiding citizens, and the second the bad drug-engaged criminals. The people who behead people were categorized as misguided, but now they belong to the bad category.

      o Where. First Davao, then the whole of the country.

      o When. Forever. (I have suggested the benefits are short term.)

      o What. The security of the people to live in peace and order. Therefore, hedonistic (?)

      You enumerate various classes of values, namely, parental, deontological, local and international. This is interesting. I would say the values of the war are parental and local as against deontological and international.

      o Parental. The state looks after the citizen’s welfare.
      o Local. The hierarchical and authoritarian values of Filipino culture as reflected in the high approval rating of Duterte.


      o Deontological. The Christain injunction of “Thou shalt not kill” is being ignored.
      o International. The Western values of liberal democracy, human rights, and due process are being ignored.

      As to risks, clearly, the decision has been to err on the aggressive side.

      • NHerrera says:

        I would think that with our shrunk world of the internet, with essential knowledge enough to fit a flash drive and last one’s lifetime, things will be different.

        Would such a person come to the realization like — “oops I bit more than I can chew,” and reverse course? Probably more important is the question, what does it take for one such person to reverse course?

        • edgar lores says:

          Duterte is neither cerebral nor reflective — as are the people who voted him in.

          I do not think it is in the character of such people to pause and doubt themselves. Duterte said he is prepared to die.

          In fairness, I have seen expressions of regret from some voters but only after they have experienced the horror.

          And there is the miracle of the Pauline conversion.

          • edgar lores says:

            I will add Duterte is also a nocturnal creature.

          • Studies were done on the psychological profiles of Trump and Duterte supporters using the Feldman’s Conformity Scale. Both studies concluded that those with authoritarian bent and conformist mindset are most likely to support Trump and Duterte:


            • JP,

              I think there’d be quite a few folks like me in Nov., who though supporters of Trump, are banking on his vindictive personality to bring some chaos into an otherwise corrupted system.

              15 years of GWOT, IMHO we’ve come full circle with what neocon foreign policy entails, ie. Democracy by force, and neolibs, ei. also Democracy by force, albeit w/out boots on the ground & from the air 😉 , but as Arabs say nuf si shey (same thing 😉 ).

              There was a concerted and much deserved effort to deny another Bush of the Presidency, and rightly so (I’m glad Jeb wasn’t allowed to run, if only to punish his brother, though I think he would’ve been a good guy);

              The Republicans again were right not to allow Cruz the honor of running (that guy’s Evangelical bent, like Joel Osteen’s, is dangerous, more so than Trump’s thought process —– he’s transparent… you can read him like a book, thus predict his moves accordingly).

              I’m pretty confident that there are enough anti- neocons as well as anti- neolibs (Hillary), to shift the favor towards Trump this Nov. (as predictions go, at the end of the day, I could be wrong 😉 ).

              BUT my question is,

              is there a similar populace in the Philippines? Trump and DU30 ‘s psychological profiles aside (remember sheep in wolves cloths? 😉 ) I think you guys in the Philippines haven’t had neolibs (like Obama & Hillary)… you’ve had a bunch of folks closer to neocons (in this case kowtowing to 1st World regimes), that when Filipinos finally had zumthing different (remember Zima? 😉 ) ,

              they all came out en mass and voted for him, so you’ve not had a taste of both neocons and neolibs to appreciate & understand, that those two seemingly different schools of thoughts, converge in the same place when it comes to using force to “nation build”.

              Will your Zima be able to “nation build” the Philippines—– like I’ve said before focus on DENR as the canary, not the drug trade 😉 .

              • So you like vindictive people and living in chaos, LCpl? Sorry to disappoint you but I choose to have nothing to do with either.

                I believe that there is science behind the old saying, “Bird of a feather, flock together.” That is, we tend like or favor those we perceive have similar worldview and mindset.

                I believe you are a mischievous sheep in a wolf’s clothing, LCpl. Case in point, you keep on coming back here. You like it here because you are flocking with your flock. 🙂

              • *That is, we tend to like or favor those we perceive to have commonality with our worldview and mindset.

              • JP,

                Like I’ve said before I have more in common with edgar than differ— same with most here, if not all. Me and edgar know where exactly we differ or diverge in the case of DU30, no need to rehash here.

                As for Trump, like I’ve said he’ll be the most looked after president in the history of America, so that chaos and vindictiveness will (I’m sure) be focused on the Koch brothers, Hillary and the like.

                I have enough faith on the American system at the state and local govt level to not be overly worried about an impending Trump presidency. So not necessarily flocking together (ie. that article you’ve linked) but using a candidate as an instrument of sabotage—

                which if a totally different calculus you’ve not considered re DU30.

                So if you pan out farther, my point is exactly that the opposite might be what’s at work here (at least over here, is what I’m reading); they needn’t be authoritarian or conformist bent, all they need to be is sick and tired of the the same old trajectory.

                How do you affect said trajectory? Over here, stick Trump into office—- I certainly don’t like the guy, but he (IMHO) is the right guy for the time, chaos & vengeance laser focused on the Establishment (both Republicans & Democrats);

                I’m sure something similar was going on in the Philippines a few month ago, not conformity or authoritarian bent, but to hold the trajectory hostage, pause botton if you will 😉 —- that course correction may be more difficult to ascertain in the criminal justice arena, but in the environmental (not necessarily criminal, due to loopholes & brides, but a bigger kind of justice),

                I think that’s the best litmus test for DU30’s brand of Justice , w/ a capital ‘J’. Focus here. Re mining and logging DU30 via the DENR sec. is kicking ass and taking names, this should balance out DU30’s legacy in the long haul, IMHO.

                Remember we saw this in California in the 1850s, after the Gold Rush, during the bigger, corporate mining rush, wherein Native California indian kids were kidnapped in the north, brought to the south and made to work in mines.

                Back then there was no meth or shabu, just simply liquor—- but the over mining and logging, was the source of despair, all else were just symptoms. So focus on mining & logging there, JP. that’s where you’ll find your answers re DU30.

            • edgar lores says:


              I wish these studies would include more variables. “Latent authoritarianism” is stretching it. Simpler explanations abound: traffic, antipathy of other candidates, regional affinity, neediness, authenticity of character, etc.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                Sometimes the more factors involved, the less control could be exerted in a study. They used a tried and true methodology that is widely accepted. It looks simplistic but social scientists swear by it.

                I think most Filipinos carry “latent authoritarianism” in their cultural genes. Obedience, respect and filial piety are deeply ingrained in our psyche so certain situations often bring out autocratic tendencies.

                As I told LCpl above, it is human nature to like those who like us and those who we have something in common with. I find it logical that people often vote for the candidate they think they can relate to.

              • edgar lores says:

                Juana, I will flesh out my intuition.

                The propensity for authoritarianism in Filipinos was brought out in the questionnaire. This is not to be doubted.

                “Latent authoritarianism” was trotted out as a possible explanation of why people who were not authoritarian in their outlook supported Duterte.

                I recall Jean, a commenter here, who despite being a libertarian, decided to support Duterte because of the traffic problem.

                The study is two-dimensional. I understand that. It would be too complex to consider many variables. Therefore, the study cannot present a full three-dimensional picture.

                To me, using latent authoritarianism as an explanation is a cop-out. We all have latentcies for any attribute one can name. The seeds of good and evil are within us. There are many seeds of different kinds.

                Therefore to my mind, to use the explanation of latent authoritarianism — when authoritarianism was denied in the first place — is contradictory and very weak.

          • andy ibay says:

            Edgar L sa edad ko ngayon wala na sa akin, iwas na akong pagkamalian meron kinakatalo. Not you Edgar at sinuman dito sa SOH ni Joe Am. Doon sa sinabi ko sa 3.2 mga paratang kay Sen De Lima, kompleto na yun, di na kailangang bawasan, dagdagan o ipaliwanag.

            I like to read you because I think you wear a Kevlar vest of intellect but once in a while by deduction you took it off as when you wrote these three paragraphs:

            “Duterte is neither cerebral nor reflective — as are the people who voted him in.

            I do not think it is in the character of such people to pause and doubt themselves. Duterte said he is prepared to die.

            In fairness, I have seen expressions of regret from some voters but only after they have experienced the horror.”

            I could be alone or just among very few hit by the extraordinary powerful words like cerebral, reflective and fairness to equate the being of one person to millions of voter supporters. Education and experience as between Marcos and Magsaysay, between A. Cayetano and Pacquiao can’t have sameness in being cerebral and reflective. I agree of course that experience can make a person reflective but not sure about happening to millions. Kasi Edgar ang dating sa akin eh, DUMBING down ANG DAMING TAO.

            • edgar lores says:

              Andy, thanks.

              Again, I appreciate your sensitivity to item 3.2.

              Important: generalizations are necessary for discernment. It does not mean that generalizations are 100% accurate.

              When I equate Duterte to his million of supporters — and,yes, ang daming tao — I am making the discernment that there is a similarity of mindset. This is not particularly a brilliant deduction. Neither is it illogical.

              Overview: the history of mankind shows herd mentality with few philosophical, religious and scientific outliers cropping up. The outliers lead the way, and the rest of mankind follows.

              Now, as you say there are different levels of reflection.

              So when I say people who support Duterte are not cerebral and reflective like him, I do not mean that they do not think about the joys and sorrows of life. Of course, they do.

              But to reflect means to think deeply. And I am certain Duterte and his supporters have thought deeply about some aspects of life.

              Specifically, however, I would ask: Have these people, like Duterte, reflected on the significance of “human rights”, “justice”, “due process” and “sanctity of life”? Have they really thought about these concepts beyond their narrow and selfish concerns? Have they weighed what “fairness” consists of? Do they know how long mankind has traversed to reach these notions?

              If they have, then, in my opinion, they would not so easily deny or give away their birthright of inalienable rights.

              In the light of these, I do not think I am dumbing down. I am making a fair assessment.

              • andy ibay says:

                OKAY, WHAT’S OKAY? the clarification of what you really wanted to say in those three short paragraphs. Those quite a number, eh hindi naman pala sila kasama kahit bomoto sila kay Duterte.

              • edgar lores says:

                Andy, I said there is a “similarity of mindset.” So kasama sila.

                If I criticize the people who voted for Duterte, I have reason to do so. My statement, “Duterte is neither cerebral nor reflective — as are the people who voted him in” rings true, does it not?

                Now you objected for the reason that I was “dumbing down” millions, and I explained why I used the terms “cerebral” and “reflective”.

                Generally, the chaotic situation that obtains now “proves” my statement.

                One has to understand that generalizations are not facts. But they may be facts. They are more statements of intuitions by which we try to uncover and understand the truth.

                A generalization approaches fact if it possesses the characteristic of coherence. That is, it is an acceptable explanation of how things are.

                In discussions, we use logic and reason — and generalizations — to support our intuitions and emotions.

                If you wish to rebut my generalization, then do so, but not by simply characterizing it as “dumbing down” millions of people which is an “argument by emotion” and the reverse of an “argument by numbers.” And also not by “argument by exception” — because exceptions always exist.

  30. jameboy says:

    I would like to give a shoutout to Sen. De Lima for singlehandedly taking up the cudgel and exposing the cabal who are determined to stop her by all means in searching and uncovering the truth behind the rampant extra-judicial killings.

    I admire her courage and tenacity in facing the enormous challenge facing the country. I suspect that there will be more attempts to destroy her because she remains to be a thorn in the throat of this administration.

    Having said that, I wonder where are the women whom I expect to come in support of the good senator?

    • edgar lores says:

      Jameboy, as the Yiddish saying goes, may your shoutout go “From your lips to God’s ears.”

      The women I know who support the good Senator are Senator Risa and columnists Rina Jimenez-David and Solita Collas-Monsod. The other women of the Senate voted to depose her.

    • Joe America says:

      There are no legitimate women’s rights organizations in the Philippines, as far as I can tell. Senator Hontiveros is supporting Senator De Lima. I wish Senator Santiago were still in the chamber, in her old style.

      • jameboy says:

        You are right Joe. Anyway, if there are no organized voices, individual shoutout for De Lima will go a long way. Let me register my voice: I’m with her.

    • jameboy says:

      Edgar, I maybe wrong but I can feel the deafening silence. I’ve scanned YouTube and saw a lot of anti-De Lima videos. Like the rampant extra-judicial killings there is an ongoing systematic demolition job against her.

      I don’t really know Sen. De Lima but I sympathize with her. She’s fighting a good fight and I’m with her. ✊

      • LG says:

        Count me in. Am with her.

      • edgar lores says:

        Jameboy, it’s hard to tell. There may be proper financing behind the YouTube videos. We know that the Duterte-Marcos cyberspace brigade is very active. When I visit FB, the streams I see are geared to my personal connections. As in Mary’s family tree, there are Duterte supporters in mine. Crikey!

        I think we will know the popular mood when a survey is conducted. I would be very surprised if Duterte’s trust rating of 91% goes down significantly by double-digit figures. I am that pessimistic.

        • A commenter in FB predicted that only about 6 million of the 16 million PRD voters are left with unshakeable trust in him. Joe mentioned that the “swarming” PRD trolls are not as numerous as they were before. Only about 2,000 “attacked” De Lima when her phone number was published for all to see.

          Magdilang anghel ka sana sa trust rating.

  31. chemrock says:

    For a while I despaired that there may be some truth in Delima’s involvement in Bilibid drugs, what with all these incriminatory stuff floating all over the place. Surely there is some small percentage of truth in there? The only reason I was still inclined to trust her is as what Winnie Monsod said, I relied on her untarnished character.

    Then I came across an article which makes sense under the controversial circumstances. There was a strategy by a few agencies under the Pnoy admin in 2013 to use one of the gangs in Bilibid as a resource in order to get to the bottom of the mess in the prison. Delima and company chose Sebastian, who unfortunately turned out to be a loud mouth. Under this arrangement they had to (certainly temporarily) placate Sebastian and gave him some leeway to play his own cards. In the process, Delima obviously stepped on lots of toes — Colanggo group, other rivals of Sebastian, some prison officials who connived with Colanggo. So it’s payback time for this group of people who lost out lots in Delima’s initiatives. Very conspicuously, Sebastian is not in Agguire’s line up of witnesses. My faith in Delima is restored. The brave senator is certainly under a lot of duress, but I don’t think she is stupid and may just very well have lots of trump cards up her sleeves.

    • chemrock says:

      …meant to say Delima may have trump cards up her sleves (or under her scarf) during her day in court.

      Regarding the video that NHerrera mentioned — here’s the dilemma for Agguire — One of the congressmen at the hearing (I don’t know his name) made a manifestation that the video cannot be presented as evidence if the people involved in the video cannot be presented for interrogation. So here’s Agguire’s problem — the guy in the video is Sebastian, what an irony. Unless of course the whole intent of presenting the video was simply to tarnish.

      • edgar lores says:


        I haven’t watched the House proceedings. I don’t have the stomach for it, so I am relying on news items. Representative Rocamora is of the opinion that all or most of the testimonies were hearsay. Aguirre is frantically awaiting a response from AMLC. This DOJ secretary is a piece of work, equally as law-abiding and long-sighted as his boss. He should know that AMLC cannot be used for political purposes.

      • NHerrera says:


        That chain of thought and bit of association from your memory,

        Your faith in Delima questioned by yourself >>> Monsod faith on her untarnished record >>> recall of a bit of speculative news to use Sebastian as a resource >>> the loudmouth Sebastian becoming a source of vengeful hate by rivals Colangco et all >>> Sebastian not called as Witness >>> but figuring in the documentary video which was rightfully questioned by a Congressman as hearsay, but used prominently in the Congressional Investigative Production >>> your faith in Delima restored

        is an inspired thought and a good bit of Sherlock Holmes thinking. You ought to be there in the Investigation saying your piece.

        Thanks for the thought.

        • chemrock says:

          NHerrera, after much TV cops shows and novels, one learns that diving into the details and emotionalism leads up the wrong avenues. Always sit back and look for the big picture, rely on motives, motivations, character, solid evidence. Based on these cardinal rules, those prisoners’ exposures are not worth one centavo. Edgar Matobato has higher credibility because he has everything to loose.

          • NHerrera says:

            And he has the killer’s eyes and cool demeanor. When badgered by the huffing and puffing Cayetano on the tapes displayed before him — “to me all these are masking tapes; and this (holding the packaging tape) is what I used.” Cool.

            He should have added — and if you like I can demonstrate on you how I used the tape. That would have brought the Senate Hall down.

            • NHerrera says:

              Flashed in the DZMM Teleradyo: Edgar Matobato haharap uli bukas sa Senate Hearing. This can be interpreted in different ways. One: “If you don’t allow EM to appear in my Committee, you can give the Committee to Pacman” — Gordon, the newly minted Comm Chairman.

          • Andres IV says:

            Granting Matobato credibility, hes statement is not relevant to the on going EJK probe. Remember, in the EJK probe the senate are looking at the 3,000 murders, Matobato has nothing to say directly about those murders. And when we say EJK, it is usually done by persons of authorities, usually cops, in this case its only about 1,100 of the said 3,000. What Matobato said only corroborate to the statement of Duterte that he had killed someone, which Duterte already admitted when he was running.

            • Joe America says:

              Andres IV is on the moderation list for prior trolling of the blog. He has entered by using a different e-mail address. I would ordinary dump him to spam, but he has not disparaged anyone, and I would defer to Edgar on editorial decisions on his postings.

            • chemrock says:

              Andres I to IV

              You are not learning. I said look for the big picture.
              The big picture that De Lima is trying to show is the pattern of DDS in Davao has now been scaled to national level. The pattern tells one that investigation into the national EJK has it’s roots in Davao, thus the perpetrators are the same players.

              • Andres IV says:

                Hi Chemrock

                The big picture you are talking about is this picture of Duterte behind DDS? Well, if it is its no surprise, Duterte being one of the top brass of Mindanao should have goons to maintain that status, may it be the DDS, the NPAs or whoever. But did the senate probe on EJK covers those 1,000 personalities killed by DDS or just the 3,000 suspected drug personalities killed when Duterte’s war on drug started? Is EJK covers those 2,000+ killed by vigilantes or only those 1,000+ killed by cops? Discussing about EJK i think it is best that we should all have common understanding what is EJK. We just cant confidently blurt out that this guy killed in the street with cardboard on his neck is EJK. Granting that the pattern in Davao that you are talking about is the same with that of the 3,000 is true, is it an evidence beyond reasonable doubt to convict the perpetrators? Why not De Lima pull that guy who witnessed how men in uniform shot to death that helpless drug pusher? instead pull Matobato who have been juiced out by the New York Times a day before he was given to the Philippine Senate?

              • chemrock says:

                Please refer to the one line comment by high five below. Or to Edgar’s comment on what we now will never know because the chair has been taken away from De Lima.

            • HighFive says:

              Investigation is putting the pieces together. It’s the relevance that I see there.

  32. andrewlim8 says:

    How do you explain Duterte to children? Perhaps a reader or member would like to tackle that in an essay.

    I have a few in the pipeline though I am willing to share ideas for future essays, if readers ask for it.

    • edgar lores says:

      Andrew, good suggestion. I hope someone will take it up.

    • karlgarcia says:

      My kid was watching news about martial law,and the proposed revival of the PC.
      My kid just a few minutes ago,asked what is the Philippine Constabulary, I said before during the time of Marcos they were another branch of service in the Military….befiore I got the whaat,I said in short they are now the PNP….then he asked are we going to have curfews again? i said,I hope not.

      On other matters.

      He is just nine,I don’t want to discuss EJK yet.Just told him not to cuss,just say toot toot or blip blip instead.

    • Andres IV says:

      Son: Mom, who is Duterte?
      Dad: Duterte is the one who kill bad guys.
      Son: like Batman?
      Dad: No, Batman could not kill. He is like Frank Castle.

  33. NHerrera says:


    The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported today that the price of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) has risen sharply from P1,300 per gram to P25,000 — the rise attributed to difficulty of moving the stuff around. (Guess who can move that stuff around with the greatest of ease.)

    In an online article I read a few days ago, the shabu weight of a low fix is 50mg and a good fix is 100mg. Take the low fix: the price of a fix has thus gone up from P65 to P1250. The latter number equivalent to about 10 Burger King Whopper Jr with fries and drink.

    • edgar lores says:

      NHerrera, what are the implications?

      o Will criminality surge because as an addict I would have to get more cash?

      o Will drug use decrease because as an addict I realize 10 Burger King Whopper Jr meals will keep me alive for 10 days or my family of 3 for 3 days?

      o Will nothing change because as an addict I am rich and a high is more important than money?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Those who say it(drug menace)is simply just the law of supply and demand,should eat their words, that law is anything but simple and just.

      • chemrock says:

        In economic terms we are talking of price elasticity here. If prices increase or decrease without much change in demand, then we say demand is inelastic to price changes.

        Because drogba is an addiction, demand is relatively inelastic. So 2 likely outcome follows:

        (1)The high prices will attract new dealers who deem the profits are worth the risks.
        (2) More likely, the high prices will drive the majority of addicts who can no longer afford them to switch to alternatives which are cheaper. From shabu to perhaps glue.

        • edgar lores says:

          Chemrock, thanks.

          • “(2) More likely, the high prices will drive the majority of addicts who can no longer afford them to switch to alternatives which are cheaper. From shabu to perhaps glue.”

            EXACTLY, chemp! glue (other solvents) and a wet rag of gasoline seems the norm in all 3rd world countries when w/out the luxury of illicit drugs, cheap or otherwise. If you lived in the jungle then you’d find some poor tree to bleed so you can ingest its psychedelic sap; that or lick the backs of colorful frogs or other reptiles, human history’s replete with these free examples 😉 , but the point is when certain folks wanna get high they usually find a way to get high, economics be damned, LOL!

  34. How can we reveal the lies, the propaganda, the evil plans of this administration?

    Laughter is the best medicine. I need more of this.

  35. NHerrera says:


    At least it is a puzzle to me.

    Delima was ousted because of bringing Matobato as witness supposedly as a demolition job on the Dutertes — father and son.

    Well then, Delima is out as Chair and so there is no need to bring Matobato the not-credible witness according to

    * Lacson because of the mention by Matobato of a year in reference to PAOC-TF when it was supposed to have been de-activated a year earlier; such Lacson assertion shown to be inaccurate by Delima

    * Cayetano — the “tape man” — because of Matobato saying he used masking tape on his victims when he should have said packaging tape

    Good riddance then to this incredible witness, especially since Delima is out as Chair. Then why bring him in again. A puzzle to me.


    With Matobato somewhere hidden by good Samaritans — per Trillanes — he will be a pestering sore which may become a very big sore in some future time. He will be a media news magnet, for another.

    So bring him in again to make him so incredible through further questioning by Tape Man Cayetano. So whether hidden later by good Samaritans or not he will not be a pestering sore — by then he may not even be worth a single fix of shabu.

    • edgar lores says:

      Nherrera, I think you are right: it’s to destroy Matobato’s credibility completely. He is a Damocles Sword hanging over their heads. And they must have new “evidence” against him.

      But the sword is double-edged. They may prove what he does not know — as with the masking tape — but they may not disprove what he knows.

      • NHerrera says:

        After integrating in my mind snippets of the Congressional Investigation led essentially by DOJ Aguirre (not by Chair Umali, he is just there to give a semblance of due process); and the previous one and today’s at the Senate Investigation chaired by Gordon — I am puzzled no more. No need for me to waste time on it. Others may make associated comments, but I am through with it. Thanks for your note, edgar.

      • LG says:

        Yesterday, Matobato returned to the shammy Senaterye. I watched for a few minutes only (can’t stand Cayetano anymore) when Cayetano bullyingly cross examined Matobato. Matobato can not answer fully well Cayetano’s questions as the latter kept disrupting.

  36. andy ibay says:

    If you have read even write of worth to this distance, may I selfishly suggest take a break since I found in google this forgotten piece and remembered a lady of unending love for artists and their art SAID she shed a tear when she read this piece about her labor of labor love.

  37. jp says:

    Before there was Benigno. Now the opposition lacks a convincing leader, aside from a few statesmen who are too afraid to bend the rules.

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