The rise of a new authoritarian regime in Asia


China’s Island Chain Strategy [Source: Wikipedia]

Let me get as dry and analytical as I can. Those who seek support for a cause, no matter what it may be, are unlikely to find satisfaction here. You might look for a particular Rolling Stones song, and play it loudly (Lyrics: “Satisfaction“). Even if this is a blog that absolutely no one wants, perhaps it may be helpful in this way or that. I hope so.

Let’s start by examining the title of the article so that you understand why I chose it. Of course, we are talking about the Philippines.

  • Rise means economically and socially upward bound. It does not mean crashing into a pile of misery, poverty, and rubble. It means the economy will, after passing through an adjustment cycle, regain its robust growth. It means there will be opportunities for self-fulfillment for a greater share of the population than is the case today.
  • New means President Duterte’s Administration, and so does authoritarian.
  • Regime means the whole of government. In its current democratic form . . . which may be fleeting . . . it means President Duterte commands the cooperation and compliance (authoritarian, remember?) of the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. Those who refuse to cooperate or comply will be removed from the regime, or their voices will be severely diminished.
  • Asia means Asia, and Asia will be the dominant integrated region in the world for the remainder of earth’s term.

Why do so many feel their Philippines is collapsing in a heap of bodies, unfairness, and nonsense, while so many, many others are inspired by what is occurring?  By the raw, manly power of what is occurring? By the opportunities for fulfillment available to them, soon?

The former will be removed from the economic and social equation, one way or another, perhaps faster than any of us expect. The latter will thrive, barring any unforeseen interference from the UN, Western nations or Philippine military.

Those who are discouraged and dismayed at what they see believe the nation is going down the wrong path, and this cannot end well. They live under . . . and passionately care for . . . global norms of civility and human rights, and compassion and diversity among peoples. They like the freedoms assured by democracy, and the chance to compete for a good job on a democratically fair playing field and operate competitively on a capitalistically fair business playing field . . . not fields where power and position determine what is fair. Figure that the discouraged represent about 9 percent of the Philippine adult population, plus or minus whatever you want to throw in.

We are striving for concepts here, not factually pure details.

I’d hazard a guess that what this small, well-educated, prosperous, high-principled (in democratic terms) segment of the population objects to is not the collapse of the Philippine nation, exactly. But the collapse of their own personal lifestyle. Their beliefs and values. Their opportunities.

The Philippine nation will persist . . . and that nation will change dramatically if President Duterte achieves his goals. For sure, it will NOT continue with a framework of democracy and lavish freedoms, or the values you and I live by. The Philippine nation will operate, and thrive or fail, on a completely new framework and set of values.

The socio/political/economic disease of the past . . . government cheating taxpayers . . . will be cured the way drug usage is being cured. By using authoritarian means that favor the now-entitled. The now-entitled will get their riches from commerce and the taxpayers, the latter allotted as decided by the regime.

You gotta obey to play.

I originally titled this article “The rise of Little China in Asia”. But that suggests an allegiance of the Philippines to China, in nationalistic terms, and I’m not sure that is what will transpire. I do think there will be an alliance of interests and values, better than that today between the Philippines and US. But the Philippines will not be a lackey of China, I think. She will stand on her own two authoritarian legs. Nevertheless, it will behoove China to make sure she coddles and encourages . . . and pays . . . the Philippines to succeed.

China’s interests are advanced because the Philippines will have removed herself as a key barrier to China’s expansionary aims. China can move past the Philippines. The Philippines will not care if China moves past her to the second island chain (Wiki: “Island Chain Strategy”), although there will likely have to be some deal-making on the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise. The US will care. But what, really, can she do?

Let’s get to the fundamentals here. The enthusiastic masses of people who support President Duterte. Why don’t they care that democracy in the Philippines will likely not exist in the future?

They don’t see the gains or esoteric values of freedoms and fair play. Plus, people in need don’t have time for democracy to work its slow, process-bound way forward. Democracy takes pains to listen to all voices and try to find the best path among them. It is not able to deal direct and fast and accept the risks of bad or unpopular decisions. Philippine democracy has not given Filipinos broadly what they have so long wanted . . . a sense of self worth and food on the table,

When people can’t get what they want, they may be able to get what they need . . . in this case, power acquired by helping to destroy the people and systems that did not give them what they wanted. Cue second Rolling Stones song. (Lyrics: “You can’t always get what you want“)

That idea is complex, but work your way through it. It is important. The nine percent are aghast that support for President Duterte is so broad and so passionate. They don’t have the same set of needs, resentments, or aspirations as do those who have been used and disadvantaged by Philippine government for so long. That government, term after term, has added to the normal lethargy of democracy by putting corruption and entitlement into the mix, thus abusing . . . and deeply offending and angering people far and wide.

The current movement is not attributable to the failings of any one President’s administration. Other than President Marcos, I suppose. This is not a revolt against President Aquino and his yellows. They are just a convenient means, a way to disparage opponents, a way forward.

And on that note, we move to the crucial distinction between President Duterte and prior Philippine governments, except President Marcos.

The Duterte value system is distinctly Chinese. The MEANS of achieving the goal are morally irrelevant. What drives EVERYTHING is the achievement of those goals. Acts may vary and contradict one another on the fly. This is necessary to make sure the march forward is successful. Barriers and roadblocks are consumed as they arise. Compassion and fairness and human rights, or what other nations try to impose on the Philippines, don’t matter. “Get them outta here”, and attach a swear word to the order to depart. The old Christian moral standards no longer apply. RH, divorce, death penalty . . . these are some of the means for the new value system.

Success matters. That is the only value.

What are the goals of the Duterte Administration? Their first goal (conceptually like a first island chain) is control of the mechanisms of government. Beyond that, I don’t know, but autonomy for Mindanao is probably in there (second island chain). Perhaps the third island chain is family rule, or long term endurance of the power and riches acquired.

How does the economy get through such a brutal change? How do we get from Western call centers and investments to something else? By trading little pieces of sovereignty, and the resources under them, to China in exchange for their investments and business engagement in the Philippines.

The business environment is soft right now. Weaker peso, foreign money coming out of stocks. The greatest risk is an abrupt pull-out of BPO firms and a real estate and banking collapse. So there is a certain incentive for the Duterte Administration to ease forward with the new model, and not just tell the West to “get out!” The Administration has to retain a certain normalcy and stability in commerce.

But as for free press and open governance? Forget it. You will know less and less about what is happening, and who is paying the price for change. In terms of Christian values? Forget it. The churches can operate under the new rules or close down. The Philippine government will get what it needs, and wants.

If you don’t accept these ground rules, you have three choices, as I wrote about a week ago: fight, flee or obey. Those who obey are likely to find a certain satisfaction in getting . . . if not what they want, exactly . . . what they need. They will participate in the rise of a very different nation, and that nation will be more successful at imparting loyalty and enthusiasm than any democratic president was able to pull off.

Those who fight will find they are meeting a powerful borg-style resistance, for the people in President Duterte’s inner circle are not dumb. This is a brilliant, dynamic, tough . . . yes, brutal . . . rising authoritarian regime. Don’t let President Duterte’s rambling, rude macho style mislead you. He has not changed that style because he is doing something important. He knows what any chemist knows, reactions occur faster when heat is applied. And he is doing what martial arts winners do. They keep their opponents off balance and guessing so it is easier to push them around.

Those who flee? They will take some brains, wealth and skills out, but not enough to cause Rody and Bong to blink.

I reflected for a time about this blog’s byline. Keep it or put it away.

“O’ rise, ye land of happy fools!”

But I think it need not change.  I think the Duterte regime will fail if the nation does not rise. And failure is not an option.

And as for me personally?

I’m hung up on “fight, flee or obey”.


240 Responses to “The rise of a new authoritarian regime in Asia”
    • andy ibay says:

      Giancarloangulo pasingit naman, di ba ganyan ang Pinoy kung meron pilahan?

      Below is one from a 100 pages book to be (kuno) of my wannabe fireworks poetry, written 10 years ago. I want Joe Am’s Societitans to enjoy reading a bit of my anger. Anger awakens and like food is good nutrition but could kill the weak accepting badness. Anger is of Timeless Relevance. Only a fool will think this is not for a wished book a commercial so Joe Am may delete it in his pleasure.

      Disquiets 2007
      By andy ibay

      I am an angry old man, says a friend
      I can’t figure, I don’t know why
      Disquiet I bring to those on high
      When I write something in the blogs
      I provoke, spit on the brains of these hogs
      No rebuttals, from these princely frogs?
      Why this name calling, aren’t there answers?
      As if to accept it’s okay today’s cancer.

      If I bring disquiet to criminals,
      I should have worked in penitentiaries
      With baton and rifle watching my quarries
      I might have served well, a sick society.
      ‘Tis not so, I know. Too late at seventy.
      I know in sorrow, never will that be.
      Wrong as the sun ne’er will rise, to jail never these crooks
      The police and the courts profitably, allowed them to be.

      Even when I write as civilized barbarian
      Trying to please, placate, appease and capitulate
      Readers just freeze to silence.
      Possums, lackadaisical, asleep with open eyes
      Catatonic chickens, minds locked. Impervious to calls,
      For the only cure: for social turbulence.

      Is revolution sold? Or bought?
      Who sold it? And who bought it?
      Suckers and minions, to the devils!

      DISQUIET 2

      Oh how I wish
      My thoughts pierce the brat
      Like the eyes of the feral cat
      Paralyzing pious birds and political mice
      Before they’re swallowed fresh and nice;

      Oh how I further wish
      My thoughts are like the warm embrace
      Of an awakened python
      Breaking bones squeezing juices of the crazed
      Those fattened by corruption.

      I say. Their wish those dead in their graves
      That my thoughts drool like
      The saliva of Askals (stray dogs)
      Spreading rabies,
      Crippling the minds of fools;

      It’s not a wish weak as sand bars
      Blown by wind, vanished by tides,
      That my thoughts boil and seethe
      Like a cobra’s venom
      Swift and merciless to finish
      Suffering embers of the doomed.

      It’s not just a wish
      Nor a dream of Luther King
      But more like Judas’ curse
      My thoughts become people
      Deadly as the teeth of the piranha
      Decimating flesh from their black bones
      These predators of billions of pesos
      Sucking plasma of the peoples’ poor.

      Not as—but more like—a Christian . . .
      I pray my thoughts argue and foist
      Not hate but end for demagogues and
      Intellectual rogues; for after all
      ‘Tis only my sickened vomit of desquiet
      I who am unknown; ageing homebound soul.

      June 19, 2006, second draft April 18, 2007.

  1. gerverg1885 says:


    I’m thinking that it will be an authoritarian regime that will eventually end up in Communism because Joma will always insist on what he had long dreamed of about this island chains. And him and Duterte are on the best of terms ever since.

    Bongbong Marcos’ dream of making it back to the Palace will be just that, a dream, since Joma had been a long time enemy of the family and had not forgotten that the patriarch sent him to jail or he could opt to fly to another country and stay there for good.

  2. andrewlim8 says:


    Here’s an article that points in that direction:

    It is very advantageous for the Chinese government, through its intelligence agencies, to engage in covert support of illegal drug manufacturers in its territory because it gives them several options they can calibrate, depending on how the West Phil Sea issue develops.

    The Chinese govt could be saying to these clandestine manufacturers: “We know you, we could roll you up anytime but we won’t. Instead, we’ll let you continue as long as you follow instructions from time to time. We will ask you to ramp up manufacture at times, and cut it down at other times.”

    They could either use it to further destabilize, or gain local Filipino support depending on how we behave re the resources of the West Phil Sea.

  3. Glad you’re back on the saddle , Joe! ( I hope this means I’m off the hook now, karl? 😉 )

    “What are the goals of the Duterte Administration? Their first goal (conceptually like a first island chain) is control of the mechanisms of government. Beyond that, I don’t know, but autonomy for Mindanao is probably in there (second island chain). Perhaps the third island chain is family rule, or long term endurance of the power and riches acquired.”

    What ‘s your reading of the DENR’s parallel witchhunt, Joe? Not as violent (right now), but IMHO more significant, which island chain would you place DENR’s enforcements? Simply a stunt or is there a bigger picture at play in the mind, and calculus, of DU30?

    • karlgarcia says:

      wink wink too.

      Also glad to read Joe again.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve not really followed the DENR’s deeds, but I would note that curtailing mining is consistent with the leftist agenda. It may be a negotiating chip or concession to achieve peace in Mindanao, and is a part of the first island chain as a launch platform for the second.

  4. Michele says:

    Joe, are you talking about North Korea? After reading your blog post that’s what entered my mind.
    China is breaking bad

    • Joe America says:

      That seems to be the direction. I have a hard time making a distinction, although North Korea was not in my mind at all when writing. A government that will kill over 3,000 of its own citizens is not a caring republic, for sure. And seems to have no qualms or remorse. There is no moral barrier between killing to reduce drug usage and killing for other reasons.

      But I did come to grips with the reason there was outrage about President Aquino missing the coffins, and people feeling no regret or compassion about mass killings. President Aquino represented government not attending to their pains, or needs. President Duterte represents a man striking back at Aquino and all the predecessors who treated them badly. He IS attending to their needs. It’s like tumblers in a lock clicking into place. There is no hypocrisy.

  5. Donna says:

    Wait and see till december2016, but what he is doing toSen. De Lima is another thing, it makes me wan to puke, maybe if those who voted for him knew what he was up to, maybe they would have second thoughts. At least, the American people know what they are getting into if they vote for Trump…Surely the 16m of us didn’t know his real motives…Sad…

  6. Francis says:

    Liberalism in the West is old. The institutions are aging into twilight and age cannot be argued with. I do not know if democracy and liberalism as it is can even evolve in the West. Yet, I have hope that the flickers of democracy are better served here, that if ever a 21st “evolved” version of democracy arises, it will arise here. In the young nations. In our young nation. Where the institutions are yet to be built and finished.

    I have hope. Our nation is still young and half-built. No decaying empire but an adolescent republic struggling to achieve greatness.

    I used to be quite depressed. That the insurgent pro-Duterte intelligentsia got the upper hand. Threw blow after blow. Mocked what they saw as pretentious and ivory tower academics and journalists. Shook with glee as they exposed the hypocrisy of the liberals who’ve turned from Crisosotomo from Simoun—forgetting that they made their own Faustian bargain with a Simoun of their own.

    A Simoun willing to set the house ablaze.

    To cut a long story short—I can’t help but feel the tide is shifting. The pro-Duterte camp only looked so good because those holding contrary (liberal) ideals were caught by surprise. Couldn’t formulate a response. Hence—one of my gripes (until recently) was that the leading liberal lights in social media and elsewhere kept on attacking the rank-and-file Duterte supporters, but not their opposite numbers: intellectual generals of the intellectual war. It was a bit off-putting that they ignored the existence of a strange, “pro-orderist” counter-intelligentsia—and yes, trolls are included in that count. As if they generalized Duterte supporters as dumb—and gave fire to the accusations that they were elitist snobs.

    Well, on a positive note, my gut tells me that it appears that the gloves are starting to come off. I’m noticing some interaction between commentators (the talking heads) of both sides. That’s good.

    The debate isn’t over. It is just beginning.

    • Joe America says:

      I need a ‘like’ button. The staff are indeed taking their shots and the trolls are getting heaped with ridicule. Love your last line.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Man, you CAN write. Will you gift the Society an essay?

      Re the Duterte intelligentsia, I think so few of them write at all, if any. Care to mention them? I think they come from the Arroyo and Marcos camps.

      I reserve first dibs on their latest recruit, the UN ambassador, the only one so far I think worth talking about.

      • LG says:

        The UN Ambassador, Teddy Boy Locsin, can write and speak. Me believe he got the post to shut him up from critiquing that makes sense.

  7. Martin says:

    From Spanish rule, to the American experiment, and to the Philippine republic the vast majority of Filipinos have lived on hope. That hoped is fuelled and encouraged by those in government. Politicians and successive governments promise the earth, and the Filipinos cling to those promises and hope that one day they will be delivered. In EDSA 86 the Filipinos saw a chance for the fulfilment of that hope. Sadly the promise of EDSA was never fulfilled. Not in the way the vast majority expected it to anyway. Enter Rodrigo Roa Duterte. An old politician who did not speak the language of the old politics. He focused on drugs, crime and corruption. Hot button issues for a lot of people. He declared that he will get rid of all three in six months. The people took notice. Never mind that the hottest button of them all, poverty, was never mentioned. He got elected by a huge majority. The killing starts. The people applaud. At last, a politician who delivers. i do not really know what the grand plan is. I do not know IF there is a grand plan. But if there is I would not be surprised if it will include some sort of emergency powers to further consolidate the government’s grip on power. Do I hear echoes of Proclamation 1081? Yes I do.

  8. caliphman says:

    Fight, flight or be assimilated…one must do what one must do to survive and still have dissenting voices heard and not be muzzled. It is also a personal choice not cast in stone but changes as cicumstances change. Thank you for choosing to open this site to political dissent and choosing not to be cowed or stifled.

    • Joe America says:

      It is also open to political affirmation, being objective and holding no particular allegiance to anything but knowledge and insight. If the tenor becomes political agenda pushing versus analytical, I’ll probably shut it off completely. So we should dance gracefully across the floor. But I’m happy you appreciate the blog.

  9. You are in ground zero so you have more insight on what is going on, Joe. I trust your discernment in what you have do. You always stand tall and you always do the right thing so I doubt that “obey” will sway you. Fight and flight are not the only choice, you can hide and be a “fugitive from injustice.” I will not consider that as flight since you will be still around PH albeit incognito.

    The latest news is that PRD does not care about the S&P economic prediction about PH:

    “…credit watchdog (S&P) said the stability and predictability of policymaking in the country has “diminished somewhat” in light of Duterte’s policy pronouncements on foreign policy and national security.”

    “”Go away. We’ll start on our own. I can go to China, Russia. They are waiting for me,” the president told police officers in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday.

    “Wala akong pakialam sa inyo (I don’t care about you),” he added.”

    What do Filipinos have to say about this latest pronouncement from PRD? Did Filipinos, who are the last admin’s “bosses,” morphed into the “yes men” of this admin? Do they like the association with China and Russia? What do they think about this “new” foreign policy direction?

    • Joe America says:

      His statements are rash, as if he has no concept of how confidence drives investments, or holds a belief that admiration of his policies and presidency is sufficient to encourage businessmen to keep putting money into the Philippines. If a great sucking vacuum is created, he will probably go to China (and Russia???) to seek to fill the capital hole back up again. The nation will effectively be sold to China because he could not mandate confidence among investors. He can mandate lots of things, but he cannot mandate that.

      • He’s not business nor econ savvy, for sure (self-confessed). He is also a talker but not a good listener. Not an ideal combination for a leader of an economy that is just starting its upward trajectory.

        Funny that the two countries he is banking on are China and Russia. Does he believe that alliance with these countries will benefit Filipinos? Similarities of post-communist China and Russia includes: parliamentary system, self-perpetuation of the ruling elites, deep suspicion of western countries and institutions, state controlled industries, and authoritarian leadership. Some of these are already present in PH. Quo vadis, PH?

        • Joe America says:

          He operates in a realm of emotions keyed to some innate rebellious belief that if he says it, it will come to pass. Meanwhile reality is out there reacting. Total disconnect. Russia? Just to put off the US? And so China moves forward, investors withdraw, and the US is busy with an election. Turmoil and instability rule. Strange way to run a country.

    • LG says:

      Concerned enough to close soonest all my higher interest earning 31- day TDs in non-commercial banks and put them in lower interest earning products in more stable n reputable commercial banks.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Better safe than sorry, LG. Still hoping that his behavior will not affect PH economy. If only he will take a vow of silence for 66 days to form the new habit of thoughtful reflection.

        Why 66 days? Because according to a study it takes 66 days to form a new habit:

        • LG says:

          Thanks JP. News are that the economy might be degraded by SnP, stocks to keep getting pulled by investors, peso anticipated to weaken further to P50:1US dollar which is welcomed by expats, OFWs n exporters but not importers.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            The peso-dollar exchange rate actually has a paradoxical effect for expats and OFWs. Less peso exchange rate equals more frequency and higher amounts of remittance (and vice versa).

          • Nate says:

            Now is actually the right time to invest in the stock market, maybe next year when it really goes down. Invest for the long term, wait it out until the next President.

  10. NHerrera says:


    Earth is a big place or a small place depending on the prism one uses to view it.

    Take a look at the world map. The main landmasses or continents are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Antarctica. (China is just below the landmass labeled Asia.)

    The island countries Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia and parts of Malaysia are island countries hardly seen in that world map.

    The reality is China (an economic and military power) has influence through massive trade and investments — with emphasis in extracting valuable world resources — in

    North America (US a military power)
    South America
    The countries of SEA

    It is probably premature to predict the demise of China because of recent economic problems.

    Added to this Go-game-like influence all over the place, employment of cyber-tech and illegal drugs are part of an unmentioned strategy.

    My point: the above, a reality in the global stage one cannot ignore. How one connects this with the present Administration, is not quite clear to me. Palatable or not, there is a connection which is more strongly implied by the present Admin compared to previous ones.

    This item should be part of the “debate” mentioned by Francis.

    • NHerrera says:

      I am not part of the just “obey” group, but as long as we are thinking big or out-of-the-box, I added my one centavo worth. The wind that blows my way lately prod me to such thoughts. Anyway Joe’s new blog after a short hiatus promises to bring lively ideas/ debates and I look forward to how the discussions develop.

    • NHerrera says:


      See the image below

      Our galaxy has billions of stars one of which is the star in our own solar system. And our galaxy — the red dot — is that small in the super-cluster of galaxies in the picture.

      That red dot is where our galaxy lives within a super-cluster of galaxies called Laniakea, meaning “immeasurable heaven.” We’ll leave you with these eloquent words from Sagan: “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”

    • Francis says:

      More than the world—the realm of ideas, I think.

      Sometimes—I can’t help but think that the two main “principled” currents of PH politics, the Liberals and the Leftists are more than a bit anachronistic. One is busy fighting the battles of the 17th-18th centuries (the Enlightenment; putting down the roots for democracy, establishing the importance of “reason” and “rights”) and the other is busy fighting the battles of the 20th century (defending the weak from the greed of Capital) but who is actually suggesting fighting the battles of the 21st century.

      We’re the youngster nation with the unfinished institutions still ready to be molded into anything—and yet one can’t help but feel that the old West is still a bit more inventive and nimble than us at this point. Their intellectuals are starting to grasp a few of the weighty issues surrounding the 21st century: the reality of postmodernism in the long term, the possible reality transhumanism and the possible end of capitalism-as-we-know-it (mass automation, “information” rather than “wealth” as the ultimate judge of power) on the horizon.

      Yet–I can’t help but feel that our intelligentsia is too focused on the past and present. As a Political Science major in the UP system—I’ve been required to attend a few (Leftist) seminars. And it is interesting to hear actual NDF consultants give their take—but if I will be frank: the young need to take over from the world. I was required to attend one such seminar myself today—and the party line of “genuine development” via national industrialization and, in particular, building steel mills was a bit strange to hear,

      I wanted to say quite a lot. What about automation? What of the effect of the digital revolution on the globalized economy of which the Philippines is a part of? Should not rather we “socialize” the data centres—I mean, let’s face it, isn’t it scary how much influence Google and FB hold? In the West, their intellectuals (Leftists especially) are contemplating what comes after capitalism and meanwhile, our Leftists seem to be (I hate to be blunt) stuck in the mountains. Look, I don’t want to sound elitist, but writing love letters to the peasantry does not a good national policy make. What use is defending the peasantry and the working class if all you have are the ideological equivalent of swords against others with laser guns?

      And Liberals aren’t much better too. I mean, yes—Human Rights and Rule of Law are good and admirable. But that doesn’t change the fact that all the good things Liberalism and Humanism has brought us are going to come under two pressures.

      One is immediate amd already a problem—the fact that you can’t ultimately separate politics from economics (food on the table) and that, related to this, liberalism is too tied to capitalism-as-we-know-it to propose (not socialist) alternatives/workable compromises. I mean, I don’t deny that capitalism-as-we-know-it has given us (and the symbiotic partner that is liberal democracy) a good run. But is should be stated in what terms that “good run” is: free rights and free markets for the individual yield an efficient and more productive economy (the pie’s bigger) which is invested in better tech which yields to more jobs, rinse and repeat. And the meat of the matter is—what if better tech (the job-deleting “knowledge (digital) economy” and automation) DOESN’T lead to more jobs? You get the angry Labour ex-steelworkers who voted for Leave. You get the jobless white Democrats who’ll vote for Trump.

      Yeah BPOs courtesy of FDI are good. Until they come up with cheaper automation to replace those jobs.

      Another is problem in the distance—transhumanism. Humanism (and Liberalism by extension) rests on one until-now firm assumption: all men are (or should be presumed) equal. Our advances in understanding (and possibly altering) human biology have unsettled that seemingly firm assumption. People are really (scientifically) unequal. And besides that, I mean, stuff like designer-babies, micro-targeted advertising that exactly plays to (courtesy of “free” social media) your needs, etcetera. Scary that human nature now seems so…malleable.

      You older people are lucky. We’re the lucky (unlucky) Pandoras who get to open the formerly-black box that is human nature.

      I don’t pretend to have the answers, but all I can know for sure is that a lot of old answers that used to work before aren’t gonna cut it anymore and that a lot more new questions not asked before need to be asked…

      • Francis says:

        *take over from the old, not the world.

      • NHerrera says:


        A continuum of our knowledge of the physical world from the smallest irreducible particles to the world of super-galaxies are continuously evolving or being challenged; so too, I believe, is the continuum of the world of ideas.

        Some of us may be stuck in the earlier and current part of these continuum but we cannot deny that there is no cut-off, no end. For even in the physical world the space-time concept replaces the old concept of time as a separate from that of space. And even this concept may undergo change.

        So much more the world of ideas. In mathematics there is the concept of infinity as countable infinity and uncountable infinity. I suggest that the physical world, vast as it is or infinite, is a countable infinity, but that ideas are “vaster” meaning the world of ideas are an uncountable infinity.

        In short oldies such as myself may have our favorites in the continuum but I agree with you there is new world of ideas out there. The least I can do is to still be open to them. Thank goodness The Society is generally open to ideas.

        • Francis says:


          Though, if I may add—the more things change, the more things stay the same. Not all new ways are good and not all old ways are bad. From the general philosophy of the Greeks came the numerous specialized and technical branches of today—but is it possible that the complexity of the world demands intense interdisciplinary efforts, thus going back to the style of the Greeks? Does the world, as it goea faster and faster, need more contemplation?

      • Francis says:

        On a positive note, a good (and pretty original) proposal :

        • NHerrera says:

          Yes, Senator Bam Aguino, a “working” senator, is quietly filing worthwhile Senate Bills — a result of thinking out-of-the-box, not just riding on the country’s flavor of the moment, as the other lawmakers are wont to do.

  11. Thea says:

    You did not consider the age,Joe and the “potential” of the next kin. Dictators started young. Bongbong Marcos wasn’t ripe when his father got sick, that sent a go signal for the crocodiles to change face. As for the present, the daughter(like Imee) will not get the macho support. The son, nil on charisma.
    Unless of course, in sickness or in death,from among his loyalists, one will change face to follow or not to follow the authoritarian governance.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent points, all, Thea. I always appreciate it when people examine critically these pieces. Here is one from Facebook that was particularly insightful:

      “Chris Albert Well written Joe America and scary. However there are a few assumptions in it that make this scenario rather unlikely. For a start there is not a single nation that allowed the Chinese in to their doors that prospered. (see. Zimbabwe etc.) So the economy will not prosper at all if this unfolds. Quiet the opposite it would be in China’s interest to keep the nation poor and unbalanced.. I can not really speak for what the USA is going to do as I don’t know how important the access to Subic, Clarke etc is for them now. I also think it depends who will win in November.. Your scenario would almost certain cause a massive change in visa and OFW work statuses and that could really throw a spanner into all this. The Filipinos might not react as you foresee it either as religion and the hate against the Chinese is fairly strong. Lastly the fact that the nation sits right in the Typhoon alley, has a overdue earth quake pending at the western Manila fault line and a few other uncertainties in that field will for sure mean a major calamity within his term. I don’t think China or Russia etc will help in any major way and without the west and the NGO’s this could be a decisive moment for the current Admin.”

  12. Michele says:

    My gut feel tells me that 2016 will be our last presidential election. What will the communist do after Pduts term? Go back to the bondoks & try to cease power again & Will China allow it? heck they can build a base in Batanes which is strategically located near Taiwan & also be one step closer to their arch enemy Japan. They can also launch submarines to the Pacific a big threat to India’s security.

    • jp says:

      Remember how he said that terrorism will be a national problem in the next 5 to 6 years? I think he’s already setting the country up for “his next term.”

  13. Michele says:

    China’s interest in us is very similar with North Korea. NoKor provides a security buffer to keep Americans out & we will be used as a staging area in invading Taiwan & attacking Japan. That’s why we should choose to ally with the Americans for the sake of peace & stability of the region.

  14. ArnelVC says:

    I definitely agree on your insights Joe, that a government willing to kill it’s own people is not a caring one. Sad to say it is the norm of the present administration to solve our countries drug related problems.

  15. JENNI Bulan says:

    Yes! Spot on.

    Sadly, I too see it this way, save for one or two points but overall, hell yeah. Watching the numbers pour in after polls closed on May 9, I felt my first pangs of stomach hyperacidity. My family and I left for the Visayas to ‘escape’ the inevitable and postpone having to deal with the new reality even for a few days. But seeing the numbers that night, I cried myself to sleep and couldn’t even enjoy the magnificent sand and sea laid out before me. And I don’t think I will again see the day that I will.

    But I’m old. I turned 50 a few months back. I was full of hope, confident that the past Admin has laid the foundations so deep and so solid that the country is set to feel its effects, down to the remotest barrio. It was only a matter of time. But today, merely 3 months later, everything is starting to crumble. Too fast.

    I will continue to fight. I have nowhere to go and I will never kowtow to bullies. So I accept my fate. I will die fighting for my time-honored principles if only for my children to understand that this will outlast shady, selfish and sinister motives. I will do this till my dying breath.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Congrats, the tide is turning. Like the zombies in the film “Train to Busan” people have figured the Duterte trolls out already and their old shock tactics don’t work anymore.

    • Joe America says:

      I wish you the best, JENNI. You represent the Philippines I came to love. Not those thugs and gameplayers in Manila govt.

    • JENNI,

      I shared your comment in my FB page as well as in the FB group TSM (The Silent Majority) with the following introductory words:

      A comment that will surely tug at your heart’s strings. The reply that followed made me almost weep for my country and the lost opportunities…sigh, if only the 16M Filipinos listened with open minds and hearts. (posted @ The Society of Honor: The Philippines)

    • Diego Masken says:

      Onward christian militants!!! Count me in on this crusade!

  16. josephivo says:

    Different dichotomies are mentioned as political drivers, potential differences creating the energy of change.

    – Left/right, or communism and capitalism; production means belonging to the state, guided economy versus capital and investments belonging to individuals, free markets.
    – Democratic/authoritarian, or we the people versus me the leader; conflicting ideas resulting in balanced decisions versus the vision of one man, slow cumbersome processes and fast moving dictates.
    – East/West, or Confusius or Budha and Jesus; community first and wellbeing of the next generation versus individual first and next quarter results on share prices.
    – A-B-C/D-E, or rational and emotional; education resulting in rationality, sophistication and higher needs on Maslow’s scale versus impulsive, horse sense and basic needs.

    Change because of large potential on one of these scales is straightforward, easy to discuss. But even small potentials when they work in the same direction can create a spark or even a current of change, more difficult to argue because less visible and interwoven.

    So far so good… But a new dichotomy is overpowering all the others fast. Open/Closed. We as all together and only us as all others are a threat; one blue marble, diversity as enrichment, seeking synergies versus my country/state/island, our culture, our belief is the only one, zero sum thinking. Trump and many populist in other countries are building on this potential, they are appealing to many of us that are afraid to be left out, have difficulty in keeping up with the rapid changes in technology. Also in the Philippines changes in attitudes brought by the “open minded” OFW’s and the shift to mall consumption is enormous. Would love to see a study on the influence of this potential on the current state of affairs.

    • edgar lores says:

      josephivo, Is not the Open/Closed dichotomy the same as the Us/Them dichotomy? I agree this is the basis of Duterte’s and Trump’s appeal.

      It is so easy to fall prey to this pattern in our thinking. But the pattern is necessary as we are forced to make choices. We just have to be aware that any dichotomy we face is real and not false.

  17. josephivo says:

    Fight, flee or obey? Grooming the silverback is the best strategy of the survival of the fittest, it is this that got baked in our genes. Getting close to the silverback (or rise in the picking order) is one skill, excellence in grooming the second.

    • Is it true that if there is already a silverback, all other male Gorilla’s potential to be silverbacks gets postponed , until that silverback weakens or dies? What’s the mechanism working here, some sort of DNA switch that turns off/on depending on social status in the group? I wonder if it applies here—- I’ve heard this also happens to Orangs, but not with the color of their fur/hair, but their cheeks (which gets big, to signify alpha status).

      • josephivo says:

        There is mating in full sight, a prerogative of the silverback, but there is much more sneaky mating going on behind the bushes. So a higher chance you decent from one of these sneaky encounters. To get access to the group being an excellent groomer of the silverback is a strong asset. (And often these skill are the best/easiest developed by relatives or “classmates” of the silverback.)

        … in nature some successful “solutions” do not change. Who made promotion in your previous job without these grooming skills when the boss acted as a silverback?

  18. jp says:

    Been trying to avoid substandard chinese products for a long time. Now he wants more of them. He’s really trying to screw my life

  19. NHerrera says:


    Ancient Mariner @ Raissa Blog posted a report by Nomura,

    which report cited China’s 309% total debt-to-GDP ratio of 301% in 2016 — where total debt includes financial sector, government, household and non-financial corporates — growing from about 120% in 1996.

    I don’t know if the Philippine number is comparable but wiki-source (I am no expert at all in this area) cites that as of 2014 the number is 27.3% for the Philippines where it says the debt is in terms of public and private external debt.

    The same report has charts showing the comparable 2016 figure for

    US — about 70%
    Australia — about 80%
    Japan — about 100%
    Canada — about 110%

    European countries — ranging from about 50% to 120%.

    I know the head of the present Admin is algebra challenged but this is mostly business math. The Admin bright guys should moderate our President about latching on to China and shedding off US and EU.

    • NHerrera says:

      This is really a cause for much worry when our supposed leader is gambling with the economic welfare (income) of Filipinos — OFWs and the likes of JENNI Bulan (see the post JENNI Bulan says, September 23, 2016 at 9:28 am) — out of pique with the reasonable statements of US-EU on the extra judicial killings associated with the undebatable need for war on illegal drugs.

  20. manilamac says:

    I see your well-drawn points, but I don’t think it will work, Among his support base, he’s spending his political capital too fast. The only buffer he has is that the present budget is the last Aquino budget. The poor face almost certain ruin–west coast fisher folk are already selling their boats, as China controls the maritime harvest–rice farmers are being told they can only count on cropping input help *this* year & are warned that they better put money in the bank for *next* year. NFA is being shut down w/ no alternative price support planned & major irrigation projects are being cancelled. Soon rice farmers, unable to compete w/ cheap imported rice, will join the fishermen in massive sell-outs of “means of production” (& *someone* will be buying rice-lands at a discount for some version of corporate farming–today’s farmers returned to landless serfdom).

    In a nation of poor people, every social service is being gutted. The social safety-net–which has been around long enough to feel like an “entitlement”–is vanishing. Gov’t spending is being increased to “buy off” pensioners & the uniformed services, but BIR collections are stymied. As if the poor didn’t have it bad enough, their children are being shot down in the street. Even if they willingly condone the war on drugs–agreeing that their “addicted” children are indeed beyond redemption–funeral expenses alone amount often to more than a year’s income for the poor…though they may support (even commend) the “cleaning up” of a “drug problem” that was in fact one of the lowest in Asia to begin w/, next year’s disappearance of health, education & social services are going to make a sizable dent in his support.

    But, even if his “regime” survives the fallout of all that, the biggest problem remains corruption. His supporters–whether they’re aware of it or not–*love* corruption. We all do. In a country where nothing works, corruption is the only thing that actually gets things done. Whether judicial, executive or legislative, if I want to get, I have to give. Not to a complicated government machine…to the guy behind the counter–the guy with the badge–the one in the judges robes. If we don’t have corruption, we don’t have anything & the whole idea of government becomes inutile.

    I’m not going to speculate or sketch scenarios, but I don’t think there’s much chance of the “Duterte regime” surviving long enough to construct a solid authoritarian regime. I think his present supporters (w/ typical Pinoy alacrity) will turn on him before he can get it sufficiently set up.

    On the other hand, I may well be wrong. He may pull the whole thing off. In that case, my advantage is that I’m already old…I am unlikely to live to see the worst of it.

  21. karlgarcia says:

    I did not like it when our soldiers laughed with him when he made expletives to Eu and others he cursed.
    All past humanitarian assistance from our allies during disasters are all forgotten and recent history does not matter(martial law) only ancient history matters now.

    Manilamacs implications is scary and I am hoping that he is wrong,but no longer quick to say do not worry next year,he would realize and reasses him self through deep reflection and things would turn out for the best. I am pessimistic,and I was a little depressed a few days ago,that is one advantage of social media,beyond the toxic environment,there still are happy moments, to smile about.

    But as Francis said this is just the beginning of the debates,if in fb,I shy away from politics,here I find refuge even if it is too late to change my gravatar back to bart simpson.I can not live in fear or even intimidation,life must go on.

    So Russia and China is the fall back of Duterte and the rest can go to where ever…
    In recent iphone news, the Russians will still buy iphones even if they don’t like America.
    And of course I do not see news of China telling apple to get the hell out of here,and we don’t need you.

    • Hope this will make you smile, karl. Kinda raunchy but a truthful analogy:

      • karlgarcia says:


      • karlgarcia says:

        In that editorial cartoon, Duterte says FTW,and he does not mean For The Win.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          He surely did, karl. What is new?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Now,the DBM secretary tells us to look at the forest and not the trees. The trees being Duterte’s pronouncements and the Forest being the 10 point economic agenda.

            This was when he was addressing the 7 year low dollar exchange rate,and was asked if it was due to the president’s recent pronouncements.

            • NHerrera says:


              This brings us the question as to whether his counterpart in Russia or China will take his word at face value or not. They would think they are dealing with a nut case. They will humor him surely. But they know how to deal with that kind. Poor guy. He thinks he is a brilliant strategist.

              • NHerrera says:

                He probably wants us to think from now on on Roubles and Yuans for our favorite foreign currencies. When we Google for a smartphone we should think in Roubles and Yuans.

                I wonder how our friend Chempo thinks about this business.

              • karlgarcia says:

                That Youtube video posted by Andrew showed how China will humor him.Russia will probably humor him too.
                I have heard of the Yuan replacing the dollar before,but that is far from happening.
                What does he want from Russia? Siberian oil,nuclear plants,vodka?

                I am concerned that our government is not worried of our credit rating, who will lend us money?
                China and Russia?

              • chemrock says:

                Where he is leaning to is delinking Philippines economy from the US in favour of Chinese and Russian economies. It’s egomaniacal decision made on a whim, never mind that such moves affect the lives of millions of Filipinos. The logic is incomprehensible. Even someone with just business maths can compute the plus and the minuses of such a move.

                Let’s not get into the details of trade stats. For all it’s debt problems, US is still the strongest economy at the moment. Russia will run out of reserves in a few months time. China is starring at a colossal banking crisis that if it becomes full blown will destabilize the country. Remember the economic grouping BRIC? The R and C stands for Russia and China. It’s gone the way of the dodo bird. Doesn’t that tell something?

                About roubles and Yuans. If the president is so maarte that he want Intl trade done in roubles and yuan, good luck to Philippines as you import the problems of these 2 countries home.

                US sanctions on Russia created a big problem for roubles. Delivery risk has forced the market to conduct offshore exchange contracts which means roubles are settled outside of Moscow. This makes Intl trade a bit troublesome and premiums on the rates, meaning more expensive.

                As for the yuan, in the first place the currency name is actually called reminbi. Yuan is simply a unit of measure. Rmb is striving to be an Intl currency and is gaining popularity. But the Chinese banking system is high risk at the moment. Businessmen can do with less risks.

              • NHerrera says:


                How about Russia’s Beluga caviar from the roe or eggs of the Beluga Sturgeon from the Caspian Sea – around which are countries like Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

                Market prices ranges from $7,000 to $10,000/kg ($3,200 to $4,500/lb) [Wikipedia surge on Beluga caviar] — the most famous and expensive are the Iranian and Russian caviar. Of course one does not eat caviar by the kilogram — it is rich in cholesterol and salt. How about 50gm size. That would be $350 to $500 per 50gm size. Of course lesser quality caviar not from Beluga sturgeon is much less expensive.

                Coming back to our main focus Pernia and Dominguez should be singing Halleluiah on this Russian and Chinese linking and delinking with US and Europe. I have not heard them sing. May be Panelo with his “electric” hair should do the singing. Followed by a “clarifying” statement from Andanar or Abella.

              • NHerrera says:


                Thanks for note on the risk of delinking with the country’s traditional partner on trade and other matters, while linking with the Bear and the Panda.

                I don’t know if it correlates and in what direction, but the following may be relevant.


                The World Trade Organization has cut its forecast for global trade growth this year by more than a third.

                The new figure of 1.7%, down from its April estimate of 2.8%, would be the slowest pace of trade and output growth since the 2009 financial crisis.

                It is also the first time in 15 years that international commerce has been left trailing behind the world economy.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Manong NH,
                Forgot about the caviar.
                Be bop beluga,I don’t mean maybe……

                So far only Yasay made an excuse to the delinking,saying that it is all dramatics…..

                That is from our top diplomat,who is trying to be a diplomat about the matter.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              Isn’t that PNoy admin’s 10 point economic agenda?

  22. Michele says:

    What worries me the most is what will he do with VFA & EDCA? Will he kick the Americans out & sign a new agreement with China. With the PLA on our soil we can kiss our democracy goodbye.

  23. Manny Calupitan says:

    First, 91% if at all true which I doubt, will dissipate as unwanted events and its consequences unfold. Second, US will not back off the WPS and PHL since this is crucial to regional and even world peace and many if not most Filipinos will support US. Third, with US backing, I think many Filipinos will choose to fight. Our country will be divided. Recipe for disaster.

    • Joe America says:

      Appreciate the point of view, Manny. I don’t see fighting in the mix. I don’t comprehend why the PH does not “hire” the US to fight its battles, but then, I am not the President. By a long shot.

    • Kamote Procopio says:

      It would be good to hear the latest survey from Pulse or SWS if still stands at 91% or it is actually a False survey to begin with. Regardless, I don’t believe Digong still gets high approval rating given the growing dissatisfaction from both yellowtards and dutertards.

  24. Francis says:

    Skimming through my assigned textbooks for history and one can’t help but note that Duterte feels waaaaaaay too much like Magsaysay—except without the CIA.

    • Are these the same textbooks with Bagong Lipunan song and claiming that the Martial Law years are PH’s golden years? Magsaysay must have stirred in his grave with your statement. Kindly elaborate on these similarities to disabuse us both of our delusion. Aside from the Malacanang “open house” policy (which I think is another of PRD’s joke), a school teacher for a mother, a president who was not a Senator and donning of Barong Tagalog, his promise of clean government and neutralization of rebel groups are yet to be kept. The similarities are superficial and temperament-wise, they are night and day. Magsaysay brought positive pride to PH and PRD is working on the reverse.

      • Francis says:

        Nope. Constantino’s Continuing Past, which covers things from a “people’s” (leftist’s) perspective.

        From a leftist perspective—Magsaysay was all bark and no bite. He made mountains out of a few programs that seemed more like molehills like his (EDCOR total farm population: 5,175 as of 1959) landsettling programs. That is—half-baked programs covered up by populist personality (he “fired” an aide many times on the spot and was often “hands-on) and gimmick-like (send a telegram w/ info about the Huks for only 10 centavos) programs.

        And there was heavy—I mean heavy—CIA connections.

        I may not agree 100 percent on the leftists when it comes to economics or their dogmatic self-righteousness but I do think they have a good (if overly agressive) suspicion of foreign influence. I mean—anyone that close to a foreign power (even if they share the same values and are close allies) is a bit…sketchy…

        Would be really ironic and funny if Duterte is the pekeng (get it?) version.

        • karlgarcia says:

          The peking version would be that he is the Manchurian avenger (no longer candidate,so a kungfu film title would suffice)from the ministry of state security.

          Wait a minute,6000 resetlled is a bad thing? If that happens today,it would still be a big deal.
          if 6000 rehabbed instead of DOA still a big deal.

        • caliphman says:

          The extent of US and CIA role in shaping and causing the success of Magsaysay’s political career and election to the presidency is grossly exaggerated. The seminal political biography of his rise is the work of now UP dean Jose Abueva back in the seventies. The main impetus in his path to the presidency was his spectacular success as secretary of defense in turning back the successful Huk insurrection which was so serious it was threatening Manila itself. Like Duterte, he had great charisma and appeal with.the masses because he was plain spoken, his down to earth manner, and his accessibility to the public. Lansdale helped as one of his advisors in developing programs in pacifying the Huks, but it was mainly Magsaysay himself with his experience in guerrilla and military strategy and leadership who was responsible for defeating the rebels in the field of battle. His success and popularity as Quirino’s secretary of defense was so great that the rival party courted him to become their candidate and he acceded when his boss decided to pursue another term with the same roster of very corrupt candidates.

          Duterte’s administration is a far cry from Magsaysay’s presidency. In the first place, the latter was not only very honest but also very respectful of the country’s laws and traditions and even of the rebels that he fought. He might having been a probinsyano but he was always polite and well mannered personally and publicly.

          Its very telling that Duterte regards Marcos as the best president most probably because the latter did not stop at killing or disregarding laws and institutions that stood in the way of his
          political and personal objectives.

          But Duterte and Marcos are the presidents that were duly elected by Filipino voters. It is no longer surprising that these very same voters continue place their trust in such brutal and tyrannical leaders in the futile hope that a Lee Kwan national utopia will emerge in the end and will make their abuses and i justices worthwhile.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for that enlightening take Caliphman.

          • Francis says:

            I see. Thanks for the interesting perspective.

            Though, if I can be allowed one bit: It sure says a lot about “populism” today that whereas Magsaysay’s “populism” was one of hope and polite humility—the “populism” of the Duterte era is one of cynicism and bombastic cussing.

            • caliphman says:

              Therein is an enigma which really needs to be better understood. Over most of the republic’s history, the masa electorate’s criteria has always been a black box bereft of those that we the supposedly more discerning voters would use in evaluating candidates. Maybe what is common in these two or other leaders is a combination of who the masa perceives can do most for their plight and who they can most identify with. Magsaysay was a traditional probinsiyano ala Juan Tamad, simple and incorruptible thperhaps a bit of a yokel, but

            • caliphman says:

              …perhaps a yokel but more a pilite one. His spectacular success as a soldier statesman in a time of war and unrest compares with Duterte’s record in Davao of allegedly ridding it of crime and making the city very progressive. These observations are too simplistic but what we may view as a change in masa values is more a reflection of how desperate they see the current plight and the need for change, regardless of how uncouth and dictatorial their chosen leader is. But yes, you are indeed right that over the last 60 years our society, culture, and traditions have indeed changed and perhaps for the worse…and that also partly explains what you are pointing out.

      • edgar lores says:

        Juana, I agree with you. Magsaysay not only stirred, he positively did a 360-degree turn.

        To compare Duterte to Magsaysay is odious. Not that I hold a very high opinion of the latter, but he does wear a halo. He is a saint compared to the former.

        There is a great thread about Magsaysay starting from here:

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Thanks for the link, edgar. That is a very enlightening thread. Took me a while to get to it so pardon the delay in acknowledging your post.

  25. uht says:

    When one looks at the stars in the sky, one must keep in mind that much of what you see is what the stars were years ago, millions even, if far away enough. The Crab Nebula, for example, was first observed in 1054, but is about 6,500 light-years away; so what you see of it was what it was 6,500 years ago.

    The star itself may be gone, but its impression, its legacy, remains for quite some time.

    In much the same way, it’s been 71 years since World War II, but the legacy and the many problems connected to it remain with us. In this, let there be a warning for the current administration: If it continues to go down this path, its legacy will remain on our minds, and on the minds of the allies of the Philippines for years, even if it dies.

    He must consider if it is the legacy his star wants to leave. But I guess drugs are the only things he has in mind.

  26. chemrock says:

    What is becoming clearer is a Machiavellian streak is showing. For those who don’t understand the term, it applies to someone who discreetly manipulates events to achieve a desired outcome. There has already been admissions of falsifying evidence and lying to provoke reaction to justify some preconceived allegations.

    The US bashing, claims of LP and Fil-Am plots to outst the president may be just another Machiavellian move. For what purpose other than to create a second public enemy when the drug war has lost its novelty. And whilst at it, create a US bogeyman. They can release the drug list of a 1,000 names but wont release a list of maybe 10 Fil-Am names? Did you notice the initial attempts to placate — the admin will not be vindictive, it will focus on the future not the past; de Lima was just doing her job at CHR. These are typical moves of a Machiavellian expert. Give a pat before the slap.

    • I remember reading somewhere that every now and then, Duterte likes to take ideas from Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ and Robert Greene’s ‘The 48 Laws of Power’.

      Given this, I won’t be surprised if he actually welcomes the idea of Machiavellianism.

  27. Michele says:

    Chemrock, they’re even planning to import Che Guevara clones to spread their propaganda to those without access to TV & internet.

  28. andrewlim8 says:

    This cartoon is made in Taiwan, and this is how they regard the President in that country.

    ha ha ha

    • uht says:

      1:15 was the best part for me, it shows that he does, indeed, have some foreign powers he is willing to concede to. The scary part is that we’ve known this ever since the reports of a Chinese jet in Davao airport…

  29. Here is an interesting report from Malou Mangahas of PCIJ about the existence of DDS and how past probes by PNP and CHR in the matter had been quashed culminating in a favorable decision by the SC in 2014. Point worth mulling over is an Edgar Avasola, not Edgar Matobato was the star witness:–sc-rules-pnp-can-search-quarry-for-bodies

  30. Michele says:

    Taiwan sees him as a national security threat. You can fire a 105 mm howitzer in Bataan & hit mainland Taiwan.

  31. edgar lores says:


    This tetralemma may be a false tetralemma.

    In Josephivo’s scenario of the silverback, the tetralemma is real. As part of a gorilla band, we are forced to make one choice out of four.

    But humans are not a gorilla band. The structure of a gorilla band is rigidly hierarchical. We, humans, have devised different types of organizations that are non-hierarchical (flat) or semi-hierarchical (hybrid, distributed or composite).

    An example of non-hierarchical is a round-table committee. An example of semi-hierarchical is a divisional company structure.

    The republican form of government is semi-hierarchical, where power is vested in three separate branches. We have to remember that a republic is a form of democracy, and in a democracy all are equal. The powers of government are derived from the sovereign people.

    So why is it that the sovereign people are faced with a tetralemma? Ridiculous!

    In Oz, elected officials are seen as servants of the people. In the Philippines, elected officials are masters of the people… in spite of PNoy’s effort to upend the perception. And the President is seen as a silverback.

    This should not be the case.

    • edgar lores says:

      The only sustainable conclusion I can derive is that Filipinos are gorillas. My apologies to the affected species.

    • josephivo says:



      The tetralemma is a figure that features prominently in the logic of India. It states that with reference to any a logical proposition X, there are four possibilities:

      X {\ X} X (affirmation)

      ¬ X {\e \neg X} \neg X (negation)

      X ∧ ¬ X { X\land \neg X} X\land \neg X (both equiv.)

      ¬ ( X ∨ ¬ X ) { \neg (X\lor \neg X)} \neg (X\lor \neg X) (neither)

      • edgar lores says:

        A dilemma is a choice between two unfavorable options. Tetralemma is a dilemma multiplied twice.

        – Flight and fight are negations.
        – Obey is affirmation.
        – Freeze is neither.

        I suppose to some, one or two choices may be “favorable.”

        • josephivo says:

          A dilemma is accept A and reject B or accept B and reject A

          A tetralemma is accept A or accept B or accept A and B as equal or reject both A and B

          With A,B,C and D alternatives the tetralemma options are enormous (too lazy to calculate now).

          • edgar lores says:

            Too complicated.

            From Miriam-Webster: tetralemma: an argument analogous to a dilemma but presenting four alternatives in the premises.

            In this definition, one can only select one alternative because the alternatives are mutually exclusive.

          • edgar lores says:

            This discussion on “tetralemma” may be edifying, but it eclipses the point of my original post — which is that we do not understand, appreciate or practice the essence of democracy.

            • NHerrera says:


              To add to the fun, not necessarily on the gist of your main post about democracy, on tetralemma:

              A = dog
              -A = cat, car, house, etc
              Both A and -A = dog, cat, car, house, etc.
              Neither A or -A = the empty or null set

  32. NHerrera says:


    Though unmentioned, I believe one of the objectives of the current series of blog articles here is to influence the country with the average of the thinking expressed in the articles and the commentaries.

    Though the surveys of SWS and Pulse Asia on controversial matters of politics have not immunized these survey outfits to criticisms themselves, its historical records lend themselves to be relevant and relatively accurate compared to what one gets from an average commentary in social media. The debates on President Duterte from social media may fairly be said to be a case of he-said-she-said. The results of these surveys are the best we may have of the country’s sentiments.

    Thus, I am awaiting eagerly for the results of the survey for October.

    Pulse Asia came out with its July 2-8, 2016 Trust Rating survey of PRD giving the President a 91% score, an all time high. If the result for October comes at the same level and within the band of +/- 3% then we may fairly say that as of the October survey period, the President enjoys the same statistical level of trust.

    Strictly on a play of numbers, can we have a gut feel on the results of the October survey, or at least in the direction it will take?


    First note (see table) that in the July survey, there is a discernible difference between the ABC group compared to the D and E groups.

    In my clouded crystal ball, I venture that the ABC group may still trust PRD but at a lower level of, say, 60%. I lowered the level of trust in the other groups, still relatively high, but lower for E rather than D since it is said that the poor in E suffered more than D, some of whom are in gated communities, and were treated with relatively soft-glove hands compared to them in “Operation Tokhang.”

    There is no basis for the numbers I assigned except my own gut feel. On this gut feel, aided by my play on numbers, I will not be surprised if the October survey number yield a lower 80s for PRD’s trust rating.

    • NHerrera says:

      Note that the overall result is not very sensitive to the assignment of numbers to the ABC Group because of its low proportion of 10%.

    • edgar lores says:


      I make the assumption that the result of the first survey was a honeymoon rate. My gut feeling is that the honeymoon is over, and therefore there will be a big drop in the rate. At the same time, I am pessimistic that the drop will be equivalent to the discovery by the bride that the bridegroom is Bluebeard, and that it will decline to 50 and below where it should properly belong.

      Accordingly, my score is 75 but with a different distribution: 70, 77, 72. Seventy-five is still a passing grade.

      • NHerrera says:

        From the two of us, we have in words — between the range in the neighborhood of 75 to the neighborhood of 85.

      • edgar lores says:


        Did we say 75 or did we not say 75?

        “The survey, which was conducted between Sept. 24 and 27 through interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide showed that 75 percent were satisfied, while 13 percent were undecided on Duterte’s performance in the first 100 days of his term.”

        According to the news item, the distribution among the economic classes is 56, 65, 65.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Yes,you guys called it. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

        • NHerrera says:


          Right on the money. Since you have given up dispensing popcorn, karl’s “three thumbs up” more than makes up for it.

          Next time you go to Vegas, please give me an alert. I may still be able to bring up my dwindling reserve. May be karl and Joe can do with a Sabbatical too. 🙂

          • karlgarcia says:

            🍿popcorn before the Vegas sabbatical.😊

            • NHerrera says:

              That checks with the distribution of 56, 65, 65 for the three socioeco class:

              64 rounded = 0.10*56 + 0.60*65 + 0.30*65

              • NHerrera says:

                Where SWS numbers of 56, 65, 65 are net numbers too. (Sorry, for these technical insertions.)

          • NHerrera says:

            Some technical and other notes:

            * Of course, as with previous Administrations, the Communication boys will make a very positive spin to those numbers; they are there to do that job for da boss after all.

            * Quite parallel to our thoughts, the more balanced views of the businessmen and professionals in the ABC group is quite a comedown — from net 78 (=89-11) in the July PA number (note that the current one is from SWS,’ I have not checked SWS July number) to the current 56.

            * So too is the “signal” that comes from the numbers of the D/E groups going from net 84 (=92-8) to 65.

            * As they say, one swallow does not a summer make. We will make another star gazing three months from now before we head for Vegas Part II.

  33. NHerrera says:


    We have probably thought, heard, read enough of the commentaries on the illegal drug investigation and the rehab of drug addicts but here is one more variation of the theme from The Standard opinion writer Alejandro Del Rosario:

    Short of asking what drug Duterte himself is taking, De Lima has thrown back the drug dirt to Duterte claiming he’s now allied with the convicted traffickers and is using them as witnesses to pin her down. That’s what happens when you throw mud at someone: the mud sticks in your hand. One cannot engage in mudslinging without getting one’s own hands dirty.  

    (On Panelo’s suggestion to move all the drug addicts to one of the Philippine islands.)

    Drug dependents according to Panelo, are potential robbers, potential rapists, and potential killers and ultimately, to maintain their habit, become drug pushers themselves. While true, Panelo didn’t provide the logistics of transferring more than a million drug addicts on an island and the cost of building them the necessary shelter and the airlifting or ferrying by boats their basic supplies, not to mention the qualified personnel needed to run and maintain the facility.  

    What about the relatives who want to visit these drug dependents? How will they go to the island? It is during this time in their lives that these drug users who want to rehabilitate themselves need the support and love of their family. Otherwise, they will feel forsaken, marooned on an island like the US island prison of Alcatraz in the bay of San Francisco.  

    While the island rehab center is a capital idea, this is a case of talk first, think later. Maybe Sal Panelo might want to head the island rehab center himself. Then he, too, would feel and understand what it’s like to be isolated and desolate.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Now we are talking of drug addicts,before Sec Aguiire talked about inmates being moved to a remote island with no cell signal.Now some of those inmates are his star witnesses.

      If Panelo is suggesting one big rehab center in a remote island,I could not understand this.

      On a related note,Chief Pnp bato has been to Columbia to observe,what has he learned? Has he learned that the drug problem there is still an ongoing problem and they are already studying the human rights approach and also less prohibitive policies.

      • NHerrera says:


        Yes, lots of ideas on the island-in-the-sun thingy for prison inmates and or for drug addicts, and new ideas for Gen Bato from his Columbia observation.

        Lots of ideas to think and do, but not enough time because the killing business is just too pressing and occupying good old Gen Bato’s and other Admin official’s time. The killing takes priority over the living?

        • karlgarcia says:

          Sad,this wont stop until they fatigue or next admn.Chief PNP says there is nothing to fear,we are here to serve and protect,including ourselves.
          No problem with that,but to say that they only kill because of self defense,and they are only responsible for a few,killings and most were done by criminals or vigilantes,is very reassuring. 😦

          • HighFive says:

            If PNP is disowning the killings of more than 50% of the total number of deaths in the “War On Drugs”, the government can do something about it by ordering the LTO to ban the Tandem Ride. Police patrolling the streets should immediately apprehend, relay radio message if there is a presence of two individuals riding in one motorcycle. The other thing the government can do is to ban the participation of vigilantes.

            • karlgarcia says:

              A highfive to that highfive,it would definitely slow them down.Like slowing down the ASG by confiscating their boats,which the AFP/Coast guard did recently.

      • chemrock says:

        Ahh…penal colonies … Papillon (Steve Mcqueen and Dustin Hoffman) comes to mind.

        • edgar lores says:

          Drug addiction is more of a psychological impairment that a physical one. However, I still thought of the Culion Leper Colony… and Oz, of course.

          I also thought that, instead of drug personalities, marooning Panelo and the sycophants in the Executive and Legislature might be a better idea. Arguably, they are a greater bane.

      • LG says:

        Bato wants to clone some of the policies, right? Hope he clones the righteous ones.

      • LG says:

        panelo needs to stop informing beyond his job description as President’s legal counsel. Public n media connections with him are colorum, made to cause intrigue.


    “Hindi tumalab yung death penalty noon kasi hindi in-impose. One, because of the Catholic church. Second, the bleeding hearts, because only God can kill. Ang problema niyan, I ask you, what if there is no God?” Duterte said in a speech before media professionals in Malacañang.

    “So where is now God when a one year old baby, 18-months-old baby is taken from the mother’s arms brought under a jeep and raped and killed. So where is God?” he added.

    • chemrock says:

      This is know as the “logical problem of evil” . Philosophers have a hard time trying to make sense of it.

      Edgar’s tetralema revisited :
      1. God is omnipotent
      2. God is omniscient
      3. God is good
      4. Evil exists.

      The above 4 taken together are inconsistent. Hence the logical problem of evil. How can it be proven there is no inconsistency, if at all.

      Those interested in high fallutin juxtaposition of the logics

      • chemrock says:

        Sorry this is in response to Irineo’s 18 month old baby comment. Posting from mobile is so tough. The fonts so small, the text box keeps jumping out of sight, the dictionary gets too smart and the damn screen rotation is so irritating sometimes.

        • NHerrera says:


          1. Put the mobile on the table
          2. Type with the fingers of one hand
          3. While holding a magnifying glass with the other.


    • caliphman says:

      God is in the same frigging place preventing lustful mayors taking a turn raping and murdering his lady missionaries doing spiritual and cgaritable acts in prison.

  35. NHerrera says:


    Duterta to Grigori-Chang: If you promise to love me as much as or more than Joe-Antoine does, I will cross the Rubicon.

    • karlgarcia says:

      He really is unpredictable and volatile,he said he won’t stop the war games because he does not want the DND sec and the military to lose face?
      So,we have not yet lost face.☹️😔

      • karlgarcia says:

        Criossing the Rubicon,point of no return. Wala ng balikan,wala ng bawian……the question now is for how long before retraction or claims of misquotation or misinterpretation.

      • NHerrera says:

        On predictability, we used to say — unpredictable as the weather. Now weather prediction has come a long way with science research, the satellite, and high capacity-speed computers. We have now a good metaphor for unpredictability.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Quantum computers would give up and will go back to playing chess,that is how unpredictable our president is.

          • caliphman says:

            There is one undeniable fact that no self-respecting financial or economics expert will deny. Duterte by his erratic nature, his utterances, and his actions brings risk and uncertainty to the prospects of investment in the Philppines. This unpredictability in itself is the cause of the current fall of the peso and the local stock market, regardless of hollow assurances by his cabinet their depressed state has nothing to with Duterte latest foibles but due to global factors instead. Its a universal investor principle in basic financial texts called risk aversion. And unfortunately from the look of things, this unpredictability and uncertainty is likely going to become much worse before it starts to become better. In calculus and Manong Herrera’s terms, the second derivative is worsening and the uncertainty is accelerating as Duterte’s stewardship or lack of it unfolds over the next six years.

  36. jp says:

    So which public sentiment holds more weight?: hate towards china, or D’s political support.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Some of his supporters are not fond of China like the fisher folk,and farmers,but you said political support,are they only the political elite?

    • HighFive says:

      @jp I think it’s not about the public sentiment, hate towards China or D’s support are the primary concerns for our country. It’s about the national security and full control of the nations’ natural resources. Allowing a foreign nation (that is occupying important portions of our maritime domain) to build Rehabilitation Centers in our soils can weaken the defense of the nation. It could also weaken our grip to the country’s natural resources.

  37. andy ibay says:


    To sing a song without lyrics is futile like it is to say something when one have nothing to give body to sound waves. Even echoes must have a source for substance. Jovito Salonga was sage wit of the Senate during his time there and could be remembered when he said “one can disagree without being disagreeable.” Read Louis Nizer for more quotes which I think was Salonga’s favorite trial lawyer. Salonga also may have been the one who quoted Richard Hofstadter in effect: intelligence is the ability to evaluate while intellect is the ability to evaluate evaluations. It is presumptuous but may be suggestive that a mentor to be useful to his wards in the academe should be able to evaluate credibly EVALUATED EVALUATIONS.

    A simplified example will be to use one’s brain for a blog perspective of the USA Presidential debate between Mr. Donald Trump and Ms. Hillary Clinton. Donald and Hillary and listeners particularly qualified voters must possess intelligence to be able to understand the issues, problems and their solutions affecting Americans, the USA and the free world. More than the voters Hillary and Donald must possess intellect to evaluate them. More than the two candidates the columnists and opinion makers to be worthy of their bread should be competent enough to evaluate the evaluations done on the issues, problems and their solutions.

    It is an ideal for the guts and juices of academicians to possess more than intelligence and intellect to be able to dismantle and reassemble the evaluations of one and all who want to have a part in charting a nation’s future. But and that’s a big BUT even a simpleton can start intellectualizing the issues and problems the USA will be facing or tackling in the next four years. The brass tacks that will dissect the issues are these: WHAT, WHY, and HOW in their STRATEGIC (macro) and TACTICAL (micro) terms. The WHO, WHEN and WHERE becomes very important only as minutiae of the ACTION or planned implementation.

    Last night on TV – I watched and listened with failing eyesight and hearing THE DEBATE of 2016. I generously gave Hillary a grade of 85 and Donald 70 out of 100 points. I shall adjust a little of the grades after reading the newspapers after writing this piece. Watching, I was focused in strategic terms on the HOW or the TO DO of the issues like “the immigrants, police killings, jobs, etc. NOT the personal history of mistakes and achievements of the debaters.

    Take the killings of blacks by white cops. They involved the killed and killers. What should the government do with both in strategic terms? How and how long will be the action to arrest or solve the problem. The solution will consume lots of government resources for the roles of agencies like THE FBI, or the uniformed forces to look into the part of killers and the health, education, labor and welfare agencies on the part of likelihood victims. Certainly USA is more than average on the issue. Both debaters should be generally specific (view the investments in billions not in millions of dollars) on the issue.

    If governance is the paramount umbrella, then the application of intellect should follow sign posts to clarify the issues and problems ending with tax money investments on timetabled solutions. What paradigm then should govern the debaters’ preparation? It is so darn easy applying deduction : From conceptualization of THE GOOD LIFE into NATIONAL GOAL into NATIONAL POLICY into PRIORITIES into NATIONAL PLAN into STATE PROGRAMS into COUNTY and CITY PROJECTS into ACTIVITES into TASKS. Then in US Dollar terms make rough estimates of the Ms in resources (not the five Mamoy, Maka, Manok, Misda and Mambing in a FILIPINO Restaurant Menus).

    It’s the rough estimates of the five Ms of Resources : Men, Materials, Machines, Methods and Metcetera. And BINGO any debate will be a cinch in the climb to victory. Think tanks cost lots of greenbacks but Presidential candidates can hire them to build each issue the paradigm on Police killings, immigration, terrorism, cyber attacks, jobs outsourcing, national defense, world dominance, etc. It is simple enough for the moderator to ask both debaters: What is your policy and programs on the issues of white cops shooting black men? Will you involve the FBI, the CIA, blah blah blah?

    To repeat I said above : I generously gave Hillary a grade of 85 and Donald 70 out of 100 points until I increase or lower the numbers after evaluating every statement on the specific issues. But don’t count on it because I am finishing lots of stuff

    The debate must start, proceed and end on a clean slate on issues not on the warts and ugly things about the candidates. They have passed rigorous vetting by their political parties. . As such they are already Kreme de la Kreme sort of the best USA can get from 321 million population as number one country in the world composed of 50 states or nations symbolic of solidarity and unity. People think of USA as a country with 50 big provinces. NAH. USA is fifty strong nations, peculiar republics solidified into one world power of defense and annihilation.

    • NHerrera says:

      May be the saying is outdated with the current period of the internet, google and the smartphone, but it goes like — you can put a Pacquiao in the US Presidency but the generally good professional staff trained in their kind of democracy will be a great obstacle to a debacle that we are seeing in the Philippines if it continues in a trajectory without drastic turn.

    • andy ibay says:

      Just read a few articles about the just transpired presidential debate; I felt my piece dealt more with the positive aspects of the issues and none on the negatives of the candidates. I thought vetting wasn’t flawed; both are really top of 321 million American heap. A particular issue according to Trump is that you can be telling the enemy what you will do; they can therefore defend and attack you. Not so if you stay strategic in terms of policies (e.g. capture territories and annihilate resisting forces) and programs (tactical use of missiles, air and ground bombs and allied ground forces); the enemy won’t know definitely where and when it is coming; but they will know in advance what will hit them.

      In the distant past, on the flaming issue of President Bush and Iraq, I wrote a leading weekly magazine their main correspondent was wrong about President Bush; the weekly replied they don’t publish or reply on the comments made on particular piece and writer. May be, just may be a lot of Americans centuries from now will see President Bush and Iraq in another light. Bush had established a kind of strength (a beach head?) in the Middle East so close to Iran. The economics of state strength for defense and offense is outside the compass of home and business economics; cost benefit analysis DOES NOT APPLY. All is fair in love and WAR. Apart from the Geneva Convention, a country must conduct its war regardless.

      Pres. Bush and his team of shock and awe knew Iraq is so close to Iran. The Philippines and other members of toothless ASEAN should realize they are so close to China and should behave like they are in a big ZOO and needs a few B2s and B52s in their cages.

      The illegal drugs crusade anywhere, more so in the Philippines is not a war. To make a crusade a monster that should be destroyed is like bloody hallucination. It is an enormous peace time law enforcement and social reform and assistance program.

      “CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz will team up to moderator (sic) the second presidential debate, with Chris Wallace of Fox News in charge of the third.”

      Subsequent or successor presidential debates should be better than the first; to be meaty and more focused to make current issues and problems eroded and hopefully, no more by 2020 or later in 2024. Also hopefully (with yabang) somebody had read and found useful my short piece on “Presidential Debate for Dummies”

  38. josephivo says:

    Indirectly related:

    Manuel Quezon’s well researched and documented article on drugs, part 1

    • edgar lores says:

      If this is true, the killing fields should not be in the barangays but in the offices of the Cabinet, the top AFP brass, and the halls of Congress.

      • NHerrera says:

        Right. Credit where due. And blame or punish where due. It seems our wigged-secretary is not doing the right thing.

        BTW, in England the judges are wigged aren’t they? Only the wig is white. If Aguirre wears white wig, I won’t mind since he is prosecutor and judge at the same time.

        Poor Aguirre. Now Delima is coming back with — his evidence against her is fake just as his hair is a fake.

        • NHerrera says:

          And what is wrong with a clean-shaven bald head. It makes one tougher or a clown. Exhibit A — General Bato. But no one can beat the original – Yul Brynner.

          • andy ibay says:

            next was KOJAK who’s always with a lollipop in his mouth.

            • NHerrera says:

              I enjoyed watching that TV series — NYPD Detective Kojak in the 70s. Those were the days one watches some favorite programs on TV without much distraction except for the ads.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Did you enjoy Kwai Chang Caine?

              • chemrock says:

                Did you know that Kway Chang Caine was Bruce Lee’s idea? He floated the concept and intended the role of the half-breed monk for himself. Bruce was pissed off when Hollywood tooks his ideas but did not offer him the role. That’s why he later on went his ways with Hongkongwoods and the rest is history.

                The Kway Chang Caine role was give to the guy who died in a Bangkok hotel room, naked and in a sort of self-sexual gratification act that casue accidental death. Can’t recall his name.

              • edgar lores says:

                David Carradine.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks for the info Chemrock,and yes it was David Carradine who got the role.

              • chemrock says:

                Yes grasshoppers….haha I recall now.

    • Francis says:

      So many coincidences. Truth is truly stranger than fiction. Hope TV5 tagalizes House of Cards—maybe someone will be inspired to make a telenovela adaptation.

  39. NHerrera says:


    A rather long historical view of the background on the “war on drugs in the Philippines.” A useful read.

    OPINION: The blueprint for the ‘War on Drugs’
    The Explainer: By Manuel L. Quezon III

    Posted at Sep 27 2016 11:08 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2016 12:36 AM

    From MLQ3 article this interesting note:

    Recently in the House of Representatives, when Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre said that the infiltration of drugs into prisons began in 2013, a PNP officer (Magalong) corrected him, saying their intelligence said it began in 2001. Which raises the question: if raids took place under Leila de Lima but none of her predecessors from 2001-2010 mounted any raids (one FB post lists them as Artemio Tuquero, Hernando Perez, Merceditas Gutierrez,Simeon Datumanong, Raul Gonzalez, Agnes Devanadera and Alberto Agra), what was going on from 2001, when, by all accounts, the drug problem, in the eyes of the government, reached crisis proportions? 

    • NHerrera says:

      Sorry, Josephivo: posted the above without noting your post immediately above.

    • Bien Velasquez says:

      It began even before 2001. Please watch Karen Davila’s interview with Robin Padilla on the height of Sec De Lima’s raids into Bilibid. Robin was telling Karen his first hand experienced because he was jailed in the 90’s.

    • chemrock says:

      Very interesting. What’s true and what’s not, God damn it. Seem to point to Ping Lacson as a prime player. Is it any wonder than for the way he played it out in the Senate enquiry on DDS. Won’t be surprised to find his name still in Du30’s list.

      • edgar lores says:

        Not only Lacson. Sotto as well. There were innuendos against him.

        It’s so confusing. The good guys are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys.

        Generals, the police, senators, representatives, and all levels of the provincial hierarchy down to the barangay captain — all are tainted. The country is one huge heap of dung.

        There may be one bright spot — the Church? But then religion is the opium of the priests.

  40. andrewlim8 says:


    I am referring to the Arayat, Pampanga site dubbed as the largest shabu laboratory ever uncovered here. I am not technically proficient on this matter so I hope this crowdsourcing of information will help.

    Perhaps a statement from PDEA, with the appropriate technical information provided would help.

    But here are the questions that make me skeptical:

    1. Why construct a lab at that scale- which would mean significant resources, significant losses if busted, with that kind of set-up? What I mean to say is, why construct it like that – gymnasium style with very high roofing, no enclosures that would hide it from outside view? Much of the equipment is even installed on a platform, which makes it even more visible from the outside. Yes, there are perimeter walls, but they can easily be scaled for surveillance purposes. Why do it that way? Why not enclose everything?

    Even if the site is quite far from populated areas, wouldn’t that set up make it too easy for detection and surveillance?

    2. Are the equipment you see there really for shabu manufacture?

    Now I do not discount that there was likely something being hidden there- why would the Chinese operators disperse and not show their papers?

    But my point is that the gear shown on TV may not really be for a shabu lab, but the COVER for the illicit laboratory in the premises (perhaps underground or hidden inside the other structures.)

    So it may be inaccurate and untruthful to make the assessment that this was a large shabu lab that never got off the ground based on the gear shown on TV. Are they overstating the case?

    Can the US DEA help on this?

    • NHerrera says:

      The Chinese DEA for help on this? (A joke, or may be not, with the expressed delinking from the US and linking with friend China.)

      • NHerrera says:

        Which brings the nasty kind of thought:

        – the accelerating use of meth use in the country from the small estimate of 20,000 in 1972 from the MLQ3 backgrounder to the present of some 3 million + for hardcore and occasional users

        – the many Chinese nationals, many undocumented, caught in the trade or manufacture of meth

        – the now expressed linking with dear friend China from which most of the base materials for the meth are manufactured

        – while expressing a delinking with the US which is not known to be a source for the base materials

        It is enough to make a mind go nuts. Or may be old age for this writer.

        • andrewlim8 says:


          In previous posts, we have discussed the naivete as well as the utter lack of leverage of Duterte vis a vis China (meaning the government). Which also means that in the West Phil Sea issue, he will be totally overwhelmed/outmaneuvered by China.

          One plausible scenario is that Duterte is being played by the Chinese govt – the manufacture, distribution, sending of drug manufacturing equipment is under the auspices of the Chinese govt itself, since it is a potent tool that can be calibrated to get the desired reaction from Duterte re the WPS. Make it easy, make it hard- depending on how agreeable we are with the resources of the WPS.

          When DU30 says the big fish are in China, the Chinese intelligence services may be nodding, “they are under our supervision as well.”

  41. NHerrera says:

    Ex-Senator Miriam Santiago just passed away.

    • NHerrera says:

      The passing away of one of the incomparables in the Philippine political scene. The youth has lost one of its shining light, but most probably not the memory.

      • josephivo says:

        … a lady that could defend her rationality with a lot of emotions.

        … a good joke more powerful in the long run than evidence planting?

        Let us analyze and discuss with facts and arguments her political viewpoints while knowing that she is listening in.

    • edgar lores says:

      RIP, Miriam. I never understood why she ran for the presidency. It’s been four and a half months since the election. Denial or fighting spirit. Or both in equal measure.

      • NHerrera says:

        I suggest it is in her blood: to go quietly is just not Miriam. Perhaps her last act even prolonged her earthly life. RIP, Miriam.

        • edgar lores says:

          Definitely, she did not want to gentle into that good night.

          But at the periphery of my mind, I was thinking of something else: how there is in us a lack of self-knowledge.

          I hope I am not speaking ill of the dead in speaking of the living.

          o Miriam had the mental capacity; she should have known she no longer had the physical capacity.
          o Duterte has the physical capacity; he should have known he does not have the mental capacity.

          This lack of a conscious and realistic evaluation of self abounds in a lot of people, especially people in politics. These people lack the nous, the capacity, the moral fiber or the proper motivation:

          o Manny, Nancy (and arguably Sotto and Honasan) in the Senate.
          o Erap, Jejomar and Grace in their runs for the presidency.
          o The Marcoses
          o Trump in the US

          It’s a failure to weigh one’s self coupled with a judgmental disability.

          • NHerrera says:

            The first two bullet items — I agree.

          • chemrock says:

            Damn right Edgar, that’s why I’m not in politics, not having the strength nor mental capacity although I like to think my moral compass is working fine.

            • I think so too, chemrock. That is, about your moral compass working fine. in fact, I will say it categorically – yours have been proven to be in fine shape – from your contributed articles and comments here and in FB. Most of the members of the Society, too despite the rare flare ups and disagreements. That’s why it’s so addicting to lurk here.

              Sadly, most politicians have seemingly lost theirs, and unfortunately, the 16M lemmings lost theirs, too.

          • NHerrera says:

            Re non-appreciation of capacities and proper motivation, perhaps they are believers of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” or letting the market decide. Unfortunately for us we a have a flea market — where favors and other items are exchanged often unethically or illegally.

            Now the US populace is not traditionally a flea market but then there is Trump-Hilary selling their wares as if in a flea market with Trump the louder barker attracting the crowd … (Oh, oh getting far afield now; I better stop.)

    • NHerrera says:

      Roxas, in paying tribute to Miriam, used words from “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, particularly the last two lines of the poem:

      Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
      I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

      In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
      Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

      Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
      And yet the menace of the years
      Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

      It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate:
      I am the captain of my soul.

  42. NHerrera says:


    Two days ago I got hold of one of my John le Carre’s books, The Secret Pilgrim, and began relishing le Carre again. (Used to have quite a few of those books. I won’t blame the good wife if he gave away the books with my clutter, he calls my books and other stuff, in some corner of the house.)

    In this book, the retired British master spy, George Smiley, one of le Carre’s characters figuring in several of his books in his novels about the British spy system, was giving a seminar to would be spies and spy-handlers.

    There is a passage where Smiley — in answer to the observation that Smiley has effectively wasted his life and implied that spies may be an endangered species — has this to say to the students listening intently to the guru Smiley:

    Spying is eternal. If the government could do without it, they never would. They adore it. If the day ever comes when there are no more enemies in the world, governments will invent them for us, so don’t worry. Besides — who says we can only spy on enemies? All history teaches us that today’s allies are tomorrow’s rivals. Fashion may dicatate priorities, but foresight doesn’t. For as long as rogues become leaders, we shal spy. For as long as there are bullies and liars and madmen in the world we shall spy. For as long as nations compete, and politicians deceive, and tyrants launch conquests, and consumers need resources, and the homeless look for land, and the hungry for food, and the rich for excess, your chosen profession is perfectly secure, I can assure you.

    I am making this post because it coincides well with what my wife said after my siesta today about PRD’s statement in Vietnam to a Filipino group that the US-CIA is out to get him.

    By the way, John le Carre’ is just the pen name of David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931) who really had some experience in intelligence work — in the 1950s and the 1960s he worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service. That passage above must then have good elements of wisdom.

    My question to the fictional Smiley is: in our present state with very high stakes, granted there are spies and their reports are pronounced Triple A grade, will these just be archived or acted on?

  43. andrewlim8 says:

    You have to give it to the guys who write for the President’s communications team.

    “Miriam’s passing signals the passing of an era of politicians with wide-ranging intelligence and the courage to express their true conviction. “- Ernesto Abella on the death of Miriam Santiago

    You couldn’t be more truthful than that – today’s politicians do not have wide-ranging intelligence and no courage anymore to express their true conviction.

  44. andrewlim8 says:

    How stupid of us to have interpreted “change” as progress. – Duterte supporter

  45. andrewlim8 says:

    It seems Duterte is telling the nation: “I promise you heaven but you will have to hold my hand and come down to the dungeon with me.”

    I know of an entity that does that, and he has a tail and pointy fingers.

  46. NHerrera says:


    A picture:

    • I beg your pardon but your illustration is wrong, Manong. Nabali na sa gitna yang seesaw sa katatalak ni PRD at sa bigat ng konsensya ng kanyang mga enablers. 🙂

    • informer says:

      Based on the FB posts by fanatics, the Hitler remark is not yet the tipping point. Why? The Duterte everyone else is condemning is still the Tatay Digong that they voted into office, the foul-mouthed firebreathing dragon. The firestorm only fuels/ reinforces their belief of their savior. I think his enemies should concentrate on Du30’s betrayal of his supporters: When I checked one of his pages and the topic was about shifting the alliance to the reds, china and russia, I think that’s where the soft spot is. Many were against the shift – this was not the Tatay that they voted into office, the drug/crimebuster. Some just let digong decide for them, “if digong think it is good, i am for it”. They did not vote for him so that they can be deluded with fake chinese goods and no Facebook. Too, most did not want to be communists. Another is unmasking his pretenses, that he is out for the oligarchs who are leeching on the poor. It must be shown that he is just replacing them with his own. That digong is no different from the rest of the trapos. That again is not the digong that they voted for. Those who want him out should think like his fanatics and think in terms of his supporters’ mindset and value system. They can be lectured later on the demerits of the EJKs. I even think he deliberately uttered the statements so the discussion shifts from his china pivot. Besides, evasco has said “that those who are against Duterte are now saying he is a communist to scare people and entice the military and police to join them by engaging in armed adventurism”. This is just me but what do you think guys?

      • edgar lores says:

        Informer, good points all around. Duterte is boxing himself into a corner with each outrageous pronouncement. I think you are right about the china pivot being his soft spot. It certainly will lose him crucial military backing. He is also losing the support of women on account of congressional moves to screen the fake De Lima sex video. A downturn in the economy is expected as worldwide criticism revs up and this would shatter business confidence. So the tide is turning against him.

  47. Grasya says:

    How will Yasay put a spin on that? He already used selective hearing as his excuse on the war games issue.

    It should be the red line for Duterte supporters, if they have a shred of humanity left in them.

    • karlgarcia says:

      US defense secretary Carter says US -PH relations are ironclad.
      All it takes is 1538 degrees celsius to melt iron and the heat that comes from Duterte will melt it.

  48. Bill In Oz says:

    The Guardian is inviting Filipinos to say how they feel about Duterte after his 100 days in office.Here is the link

  49. Grasya says:

    Show your solidarity with Senator De Lima by joining the #EveryWoman campaign.

    I would like to testify at the HoR. It was me in that video.

  50. caliphman says:

    The descent into darkness deepens…how dark and deep it goes, nobody knows! Here’s hoping its just words but there is a huge difference between a drug war and genocide.

    • LG says:

      Duterte even implied that the Jews were massacred by Hitler because they were criminals like the druggies, pushers n lords. To use “happy to slaughter” is truly a mark of Satanic possession. He needs to be exorcised. But can he if he does not believe there is a God?

      Paging Fr. Josis, Chief Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila.

      Wow, the enormous challenge all Church heads Christians and Justices of the SC have!

      Who and what will stop the DEVIL???.

    • Francis says:

      “You are just exaggerating! Judge him by his deeds, not his words!”

      Language is our world.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I ask you,why are his words acceptable to you?
        Sure, we are stuck with him,does that mean,we accept everthing he says.
        Ok so we judge him by his actions,his actions are unbecoming of a president.
        Should we just grin and bear it?

        • Francis says:

          Sorry. 😦 To clarify—I am ridiculing the absurd notion that his words are meaningless. Language defines the limits of our world—our potential.

          What potential do the words of our President show?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for the clarification.His words are definitely not meaningless,they are potentially dangerous.
            Sure, for him diplomacy and political correctness is hipocracy,.I for one am not asking him change his character,suntok sa buwan yan.He must still watch his words,the world is watching whether he was just begged to run for the presidency or not, he represents the people,not just those who voted for him.He must care,he must give a damn.

    • NHerrera says:

      He will be happy to slaughter the 3 million drug addicts.

      The thing here is this kind of statement is so unnecessary. So, apart from analyzing this statement from a psychological viewpoint along with the other “shocking” statements already made, there must be other reasons.

      Is it perhaps to prod his armed services — with only PNP currently involved, with resurrecting PC now in his cards — towards more killings to achieve the deaths of 3 million? Or as a message to critics? Journalists who criticized the former President and his Cabinet men, at every little thing are now timid in criticizing this President.

      Clearly the slaughter of the 3 million, happy as he is to do it — and in this, I believe him; his credibility on this point is 100 percent — seems impractical.

      Think for a moment. Even if we grant the time frame of six years to do the job of slaughtering the 3,000,000, consider that there are 3,153,600 minutes in that time frame (= 365*6*24*60). Meaning that The President has to slaughter about 1 drug addict every minute for six years to satisfy his “happiness.” But surely if he devotes his time to pursue this “happiness” activity, he will have no time for other things like continue his accelerating “shock” pronouncements.

      And thus, he will have to rely on his armed services to do the grisly slaughter. But I sincerely believe, that except for a few, the armed services do not have the same mindset to slaughter their brother Filipino, addict though they are. The armed services in general, I believe, has not turned from being their normal selves to being brutal barbarians in a short span of time.

  51. andrewlim8 says:


    Now I understand why director Brillante Mendoza shot Duterte’s State of the Nation Address from that perspective (from the ground, looking upwards).

    It is the point of view of a dying victim of extrajudicial killing, down on the ground. It is the point of a view of a nation on its knees, with its once vibrant economy starting to crumble.

    Good work, direk.

  52. karlgarcia says:

    The US senate is already taking notice.
    The US DOD may recently stated that US-PHK relations are ironclad.
    But in a personal note ,the DOD sec is alarmed by the hitler remark.
    No matter who gets elected president ,the US senate may vote to withraw all support,just to teach us a lesson.

  53. andrewlim8 says:

    TEDDY BOY LOCSIN: BRILLIANCE WITHOUT HUMANITY–obituary-for-the-formerly-brilliant

    I was endeavoring to write a piece on Teddy Boy, having admired him from afar all these years. Its title would have been “Hiring the Erudite and Eloquent to Defend the Egregious.”

    But Jessica Zafra, who knows him on a pesonal level writes it much much better. Teddy Boy has lost it.

    Thank you, Jessica.

  54. NHerrera says:

    Out with the old and in with the new — a Philippine-flag waving avatar. Nice Joe.

  55. andrewlim8 says:


    Instead of calling Duterte supporters “Dutertards” which actually demeans individuals with real mental problems, why don’t we call them: BROWNSHIRTS.

    This references Hitler’s supporters. Anyway, they are so fond of raising the “dilawan”, “yellowtard” and color coding anyone who opposes their ideas. So why not give them a dose of their own medicine?

    So let BROWN be the official color of the Duterte camp, and let’s start calling them BROWNSHIRTS, since many of them behave like the 1930s-40s supporters of Adolf Hitler anyway.

    The appropriate translation of BROWN in this context is : KULAY-TAE, which reflects their prevailing mindset

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