The Philippine Inferno

Legislators in caucus

Senate in caucus

By Joe America

This is personal opinion. The whole thing is alleged. Make up your own mind.

Being reasonable is not easy.

  • First of all, we get angry or sad. Emotions always drag us off the center line of reason.
  • Second, we are all ignorant. There is a whole lot of knowledge we don’t have. But we make decisions as if we had perfect knowledge.
  • Third, each of us has an individual history that differs from the next guy’s, so we can’t possibly see a lot of things the same. One of us is one degree toward delusional, from the standpoint of the other.
  • Fourth, we are creatures of ego, id, and superego, hidden drives we cannot control by way of rational thought. It’s the same with our bodies. We are beyond our own control. If we have high blood pressure, it is not because we want to have it, it is just that our bodies, like our minds, have a life of their own.
  • Fifth, we are moralists, judgmental about what is right or wrong. Religions are bands of people who moralize from the same rule book. But we each, in our own way, make up rules. That’s why a Christian might advocate for the death penalty. Morality often is the business of turning ignorance into truth.

The perfectly rational Spock in Star Trek always looked at humans with a deep mix of curiosity, confusion, irony and disdain, and rightfully so. We are unpredictable. Out of control. In denial much of the time. Delusional the rest.

The contradictions and apparent lies or manipulations emerging from the Duterte Administration are beyond legion. They are well past laughable, and have left regret and pity in the dust.

But it is not just the President.

Legislators cite oaths testifying that they will uphold the Constitution and then go silent as judicial process is denied to thousands of innocents. They know kids are being killed, cops are engaged in rub-outs, and excessive force is being used.

And they turn away.

If they were walking down the street and saw a 9 year old girl being accosted, they’d zig cross to the other side of the street and duck quickly down an alley. “Huh? Didn’t see a thing.”

Then they would go to bed that evening and fall directly to sleep without passing conscience along the way.

They are scared, you see. Scared of losing their position of privilege and power. Afraid that their family and friends will scowl at them if they are not doing what the powerful majority is doing. Afraid of getting kicked off the gravy train.

What’s a 9 year old girl in the scheme of things, to a legislator, eh?

Everyone knows the President makes things up on the fly, that propaganda is the way of government, that the Constitution might as well be bathroom tissue. Most citizens and legislators are fine with this. Satisfied, according to polls. After all, the Philippines is . . . and her needful people largely are . . . an orphan child beaten and abused from birth. Emotions drive interpersonal decisions, not sense.

Bullies are admired by the abused if they can extract revenge against their punishers, the entitled.

All the foundations of reason are knocked silly. Go down the list. Debate is emotional, not factual. Knowledge is neither sought nor applied. There is complete denial of accountability and an amazing ability to rationalize, blame and excuse. The drives of ego, id, and superego form a block wall against which reason falls away as a drop of rain on an elephant’s butt. Everyone makes up their own version of right and wrong and sticks with it even if they harm themselves, as they invariably do.

Circle back to emotions.

Emotional voting. Emotional defense of unreasonable decisions. Defense of lies. Gleeful demolition of good people. Emotional patriotism, found in boxing champs and beauty contest winners . . . but not the principles of democracy.

Democratic principles are the shining glory of reason. They represent the best aspirations of compassionate, fair, intelligent peoples. Democracy grants each of us freedom, sovereignty and independence as an INDIVIDUAL. It grants respect to all. But Filipinos can’t relate . . . and that is the final, exclamatory point of proof, the grand QED at the end of the lesson.

Oh, for sure, for sure, the Philippines is not the only nation behaving badly. Just look at all the chaos and conflict around the globe. People are hard at work abusing and killing people.

But it does seem to me that the Philippines excels at it.

There are precious few here with the courage and honor needed to get the nation back to sense. One person who stood up boldly, Senator De Lima, is being set upon as if she had kicked a hive of human killer bees. Her mistake? She sought information about Filipinos being killed by Filipinos. She asked the nation not to be ignorant.

The nation, under this Legislature, opted for ignorance.

From that, they can make up laws just using their imaginations.

inferno

Dante’s fourth circle of Hell. Greed.

One can only thrive in the Philippines by being a thug, I suspect. Or having the kind of deadened conscience that looks around and ignores what is going down. One that favors manipulation over reason. Senator Cayetano. Senator Gordon. Mocha Uson. Secretary Aguirre. Atty Panelo. Spokesman Anadar. The House leadership.

Fine, fine models for our kids, eh?

This is an entire nation ducking quickly into an alley.

Tom Hanks is starring in the movie version of Inferno.

You likely recall that author Dan Brown was ripped in the Philippines for his portrayal of Manila in the book of the same name. Nasty streets. Poverty. Child sex trade. That kind of thing. He called Manila “the gates of hell”.

In retrospect, I think Brown was too easy on the place. It’s much, much worse than that.

He forgot to address the horror of the Philippine Legislature, where the fairness and compassion . . . and reason . . . built into democracy are supposed to be put into laws that guide the nation.

The Philippine Legislature is where duck and hide is an art form. Courage, compassion and honor seem not to be in the language. And nasty is what the people get because of it. Innocent lives snuffed. Millions fearful and intimidated. Resources and sovereignty gifted to China. Propaganda as the soul of the nation. Brutality, threat, oppression and killing as the mainstream method.

Reason is suppressed. Delusion and manipulation are everywhere.

An entire nation is being trafficked into oppression.

I’d say the nation is well past the gates by now.

Congress . . . the gatekeeper . . . has abandoned its post.

 

Comments
203 Responses to “The Philippine Inferno”
  1. arlene says:

    We are in a rut and it would probably take decades before we are all mature enough to choose someone who wins not because he has the money or he has the right following but simply because he is the right man for the job – self interest and “utang na loob” always pay the usual rule in our politics today. So sad.

    Just shouted this out a few hours ago on my FB wall: Instill fear and when the people becomes desensitized, they would think this is the new norm and it may reach a point where they would just keep silent and indifferent to what is happening around them. So sad.

    Where are we going?

    • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

      PDuterte instill fear only to druggies and criminals, not to everyone. I suggest you to keep calm if you are good citizen. Here is Q&A video with our president about the most controversial issues…

      http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2016/10/exclusive-rodrigo-duterte-war-drugs-161015100325799.html

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Is Senator De Lima a druggie or a criminal?
        *****

        • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

          Their allegation is that she sponsored the big time druggies, received money from them and used it in her campaign. And it’s a house probe, not PDuterte. The word war between Du30 and D5 is their own, one accused of doing EJK, the other accused as drug protector.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            For someone who has publicly opposed propaganda, you seem to be making silk purses out of pigs’ ears.
            *****

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              I said “allegations” and I expect both of us know what an allegation is.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Hiding behind :allegations”, eh? Is a matrix an allegation? Or more than an allegation?
                *****

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                I think investigations are going on that matrix. We could wait.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Don’t you think that the matrix is the outcome of investigations?

                In effect, it has been presented — by Duterte no less — as documentary proof of a network of connections.

                So why wait?

                Either the matrix is true or false. Draw your own conclusion — now.

                Because to wait is to sustain an unwarranted (?) belief in Duterte’s judgmental capabilities. To wait is to put the reputation of persons in danger. To wait is indicative of a lack of intelligence, of an inability to separate the wheat from the chaff.
                *****

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                Are we the jurors now that delay in our conclusion will deny someone of justice?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Yes, we are jurors. Don’t you know that?

                We are jurors in the court of public opinion.

                What Duterte and his minions in Congress have been doing is trial by publicity.

                Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to make the correct judgment.

                And to let Duterte and his minions know that what they are doing is not acceptable.

                If there were no protests, no resistance, Congress would have entered a prurient film as “evidence.”

                As JoeAm has said, the next death or the next lie is on our heads if we permit it.
                *****

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                Being jurors in the court of public opinion? I think we are not. It is good to hear being a juror but we cannot, who are you/me to be the juror of the court of public opinion? How guiltless of De Lima to declare foul of trial of publicity and subsequently gain our support while she herself presented Matobato agaist Duterte not only here but also abroad? The weapon of one is also the weapon of the other, it is bloody fair.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. Question: Who are we to be jurors?

                Answer: In a democracy, every citizen is a juror.

                2. You miss the points.

                2.1. Point 1: Duterte is in a greater position to do damage to De Lima.
                2.2. Point 2: Why is Duterte using the weapons of innuendo and insinuation?
                2.3. Point 3: Who is in possession of the truth?

                I urge you to reflect on what is being done and said here — here in The Society and here in the country. There are enormous consequences for whatever decisions you — and everyone — make.

                Thank you for the discusiion.
                *****

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                1. Not in any bill or law that says that in democracy the citizens are jurors. However, we have this freedom of speech which we always use to express our opinions.

                2.1. It is Duterte, notwithstanding that he is the president and the other is a senator, majority of the public is with him.

                2.2. Delima uses the same weapons. Fair.

                2.3. This is behind our meager knowledge, all we can do is to speculate.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I am sorry. You are not listening.
                *****

              • Pardon me for intruding on this interesting debate. I take issue with the term in 2.2 that Senator De Lima used a “weapon”. She made clear at the outset that she supported the anti-drug campaign but was very concerned about the killings. That would be expected of an attorney who was formerly the Chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission. Can you imagine how hard it must be for her, a woman of integrity unless shown otherwise, to accept the rampant killing of innocent Filipinos? Yet to act on her conscience, she is judged to have used a “weapon”, which suggests a vendetta against the President. No, it was an effort to confirm that unlawful killings are taking place. Exercising one’s conscience is hardly a weapon. It may feel like a personal attack to those afraid of information. But it was not. One’s conscience and appreciation for human rights is not a weapon except to the guilty.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                I believe that acknowledging the result of democracy and supporting whoever it given its mandate is the better choice. Everyone, in oneway or another, wants his country to be a better place. It is the methods and ways that we usually disagree. But unity is the key.

                Thank you.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society. If she is disturbed by her conscience because of the rampant killings she could go on the policemen who do the shooting. Why go on the president? Because he is the commanderinchief? Because he inspired the killings? One could speculate her motive that it is a move to implicate or further unseat the President.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Don’t you see the answers in your questions?
                *****

              • Because she is a senator and it is her job. Speculation such as yours is wild and dangerous. It’s like the executions taking place because a neighbor points a finger and the cops shoot to kill. It is very bad behavior by civilized people. The presumption should be innocence.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @Edgar

                “…because he is the commanderinchief”

                You could not jail the commanderinchief because of a mishap of a policeman.

                “…because he inspire…”

                PDuterte said to kill them if they resist arrest, this is in accordance with law. PDuterte said he will award civilians If they happen to kill a drug pusher on the act, so far I have yet to hear news that PDuterte awarded a civilian of killing a pusher.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society,

                Then we will go back to the first question, why not go on the abusive policemen?

              • Sorry. I’m finished speaking with you. The gulf is too great to bridge.

      • Grace Lim Reyes says:

        It’s utterly foolhardy to assume that if you’ve done nothing wrong, you are safe. We are not. No amount of convincing will make me believe that wrong is right and right is wrong!

        • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

          Safe as use in this context doest mean safe in everthing. It specifically means you will not die because of the war on drugs.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Tell that to the victims and the families of collateral damage.
            *****

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              So you are not safe because of collateral damage. Let’s see, how many collateral damage, like the 5 year old child, on record as of the moment? Is it 10? 20? Let’s say 50. 50 collateral damage in the first half of PDuterte war on drugs, 4 months to go and the number of collateral damage will rise to 100. We are 100,000,000 Filipinos, that means 1 out of 1,000,000 Filipinos will die as collateral damage. I don’t think the war on drugs will compromise your safety, it’s like being killed by a lightning strike.

              • Grace Lim Reyes says:

                Every life is precious no matter how low you might think about them. I believe many consider those “collateral damages” as varmints. One life lost because he/she is “collateral damage” of a drug operation is not a justification for the continuing war on drugs. Below is an excerpt from one of the remarks of the president:
                “Pagka bumunot, patayin mo. Pag hindi bumunot, patayin mo rin putang ina para matapos na. Eh kaysa mawala pa ‘yung baril. Ako na ang bahala sa inyo.”

                Is this the kind of narrative we want our children to learn? Is this the kind of justice we want to proliferate in this country?

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks Grace Lim Reyes for that quote which I repeat below in bold letters:

                “Pagka bumunot, patayin mo. Pag hindi bumunot, patayin mo rin putang ina para matapos na. Eh kaysa mawala pa ‘yung baril. Ako na ang bahala sa inyo.”

              • Saan action movie galing iyan? Dirty Harry, Unforgiven?

              • Grace Lim Reyes says:

                @ Irineo Salazar… Feeling superstar. Once upon a time, everyone dreamed of being a movie star. Typical Asian trait of putting the movie star on a pedestal as we might be doing by voting them into office?

              • Grace Lim Reyes says:

                I coudn’t resist. Have you ever thought na yung 1 na yun eh ikaw yun?

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @Grace,

                We are talking here about the threat to someone’s safety because of the drug war. Not the morality of killing. That’s why, to understand the degree of danger I presented figures, it’s an estimate. I could imagine I am that 1, like I imagine I won the lottery. I would like to point out that our fear is far far from happening, like 1 out of 1,000,000.

              • Yes, people are paper. Just toss a few out. Who cares about the lives they were never able to have, the loves lost forever, the pains of those near. I can’t comprehend such heartless statistics. By my mind, the collateral damage is 3,500 so far, all who were stripped of the right of defense.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                “Pagkabunot patayin mo…” this statement he spoke was addressed to the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. They hunt AbuSayyaf and the likes, not some drug addicts, it’s the PNP that do them. You don’t need to wait for an AbuSayyaf na bumunot nang baril bago mo tirahin. PDuterte knows what and whom he is talking. We cannot apply that to someone else other than the members of the 10th Infantry Division. How I wish we will present the whole story not only the clippings.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                See the contradiction between the first sentence and the third sentence.

                Third sentence: “You don’t need to wait for an AbuSayyaf na bumunot nang baril bago mo tirahin.”
                *****

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society,

                Again, we are talking about the threat to our safety. You are insisting on the morality of killing. If we talk about justice then it is just right to punish those policemen who abused their power and those vigilantes who put the laws n their hands.

              • The morality AGAINST killing. I agree, they should be investigated and punished if it is discovered they broke laws or regulations about use of force. For me, it isn’t about safety, exactly, but about peace of mind and the knowledge that Philippine leaders cherish every Filipino as if he were a brother or sister. The confidence that we are bound in a kind of patriotic loyalty to one another, prepared to defend one another. I think the leadership today sorts Filipinos into good and throw away. I suspect I am in the throw away group. It is not a pleasant place to be. You are likely in the good group. You might not be able to relate to us throw aways.

              • “Again, we are talking about the threat to our safety.”

                sounds like Col. Nathan Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men..

              • karlgarcia says:

                Jessep: You want answers?
                Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I’m entitled to them.
                Jessep: You want answers?
                Kaffee: I want the truth!
                Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
                We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!
                Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
                Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
                Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
                Jessep: You’re goddamn right I did!!

              • 🙂 One of the best scenes in all of movie history.

              • NHerrera says:

                @The Society of Honor,

                Aah, that changes the lottery to: 1 in about 30,000. Ouch, it is not 1 in 1,000,000. I wonder how our friend here like that death lottery. THE LOTTERY OF DEATH. Rather macabre lottery isn’t it?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Call me a bleeding heart but that is….

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society,

                “…peace of mind and the knowledge that Philippine leaders cherish every Filipino as if he were a brother or sister…” now I am getting you. I don’t know what assurance that someone could give to a person who thinks that he was left behind. We were divided by our political beliefs and this division dates back since the beginning of civilization. It is inherent to society I believe, and if it is inherent there is no establish way to tweak it. With regards to the President he is doing a very difficult job, that is, to cater the needs of EVERY Filipinos. It is impossible to please 100,000,000 citizens. I can understand the President if he chosed some compromise to put the nation forward. With regards to individual human rights it is not unusual that it will contradict with the common good. Say, your right to live as a drug lord if you are poisoning the members of the society.

              • Generally, a nation has the goal of preserving the lives of its citizens< and modern nations work hard on inclusion rather than political or social divisions. The Philippines does not see its citizens as worth preserving, nor does the government seek inclusion. The first step to demonstrating to all citizens that they are worthwhile and cherished is to stop killing so many of them, and then work to listen to and understand those who feel outside the embrace of the state. The Constitution does not make a distinction between citizens who are in or out. All are in. I'd say the current government is out of step with the Constitution, civility, and compassion. That is the gulf between you and me. You are fine with the distinction between worthwhile Filipinos and those not worthwhile.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @NHerrera,

                That would be the estimate if each of us 100,000,000 are all druggies. Since that 3,500 are combination of users, pushers, and collateral damage. Mine of 1/1M was limited only to collateral damage.

              • You are presuming guilt for all 3,500. I presume innocence.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @Edgar,

                Kindly expound on the contradiction you are talking about.

              • NHerrera says:

                @YC,

                Tell that to the numerous non-druggies including youngsters who were killed, and including the 51 year old crime crusader who were killed by policemen riding in tandem — one with a bonnet and jacket, and the other with a wig and mask. This collateral damage thing is just a bunch of s..t. One of those two was even awarded by your General Bato.

              • NHerrera says:

                Meaning rather than collateral it is intentional damage. If it is honest-to-goodness collateral damage one may debate that but the case of the crime crusader’s death is very suspiciously intentional damage. Can you kindly report to us the status of the investigation of these two assassin-policemen, noting that you seem to be very current on news about collateral damage in this “drug war.”

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @NHerrera,

                Sir please, the award by Gen. Bato was done before the incident. The two gunmen where shot by the police until then they know that that two are also policemen. Those two gunmen are already facing murder charges. Emotions, oh emotions…

              • NHerrera says:

                … the award by Gen. Bato was done before the incident. That is a classic. Thanks.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society. Many of them (the guys killed by policemen) where caught red handed. Ok, the others killed by vigilantes are innocent until proven otherwise, let’s call them as murdered.

              • You were there? What due process occurred that proved they were caught red-handed, and that lethal force was necessary? Not one case has gone to a court. Well, one has, and the Australian citizen, thanks to CCTV, was able to prove the police were lying and entered his room to plant drugs. I think you have taken to believing all the trash talk being pushed around by the propaganda people. Stick with principles. The law assures every Filipino will be presumed innocent until a court finds him guilty. You are not entitled to dictate who lives or dies, and who is good or bad. Nor is the President.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                @The Society,

                I am not there, reports said they were “killed in shootout” or “killed in buybust”. Cases are invistigated, filed and solved. We uphold due process, that’s why police doest kill everyone, in fact, 700,000 surrendered, unharmed. And those who abused their power were punished accordingly, see case I mentioned somewhere. You alleged that the government failed to consider the constitution, civility and compassion, if they have those 700,000 should be dead by now. The government next phase is rehabilitation, it does not stop at jailing them only.

                The Constitution, the Law, is not blind, it separates the rotten and the not. What are jails and punishments for? There are cases that someone could get away with killing by using a law. Dura lex, sed lex.

              • LG says:

                Y.C. I so look forward to the touted “rehabilitation” of the surrenderers. To date, I have not read nor heard about any projected rehabilitation program for the affected.

                So far, the buildings they build and to be built are being called “rehabilitation centers”. Buildings that house people, without the benefit of programs in operation adequately and appropriately staffed by personnel prepared and experienced in substance abuse rehabilitation that is culturally sensitive and congruent, will not be any different from ANY prison in the country.

              • karlgarcia says:

                The reason why eveything seems to be ad hoc,because of no continuity. Not even partymates can assure continuity(president),because they will have their own people.

                Now for dswd staff,and doh staff.
                Budget will be spread too thin because the priority of this government budget wise is infrastructure.

      • madlanglupa says:

        Reading enough of your justifications, I saw no more need to emphasize the fact that we are living in a police state. Enjoy your life under your Great Leader, while we have to struggle to be alert and cautious all the time.

  2. Vicara says:

    Most of the representatives of Congress are gutless and wouldn’t know a principle of governance if it stood on its hind legs and bit them. Those who seen their campaign purses filled with donations from their local drug and jueteng lords–or with funds THEY collected as drug and jueteng lords themselves–are terrified that Duterte’s fascist minions will finger them, shoot them, or extort money from them.

    Others don’t even have the virtue of being scared: they’re raring to be in on the action and will endorse and profit from whatever becomes the next sunrise industry of this administration: whether drugs, mining (for favored friends only), smuggling, etc.

  3. LG says:

    At least 90% more to go of the 3,000,000 for “slaughter”. The Inferno will need all the seas and oceans on earth to flow blood + for illegal drugs from the Philippines. The hype on rehabilitation centers is only about buildings. Have not read about projectiobs regarding professional staffing and resources to make the buildings worthy of its name. Much less about solid plans for funding and operation other than reported donations and calls for donations for building construction.

  4. Grasya says:

    Here’s news to cheer you up: “Leni Robredo has launched an inspiring program on poverty alleviation. that centers on partnerships between local governments and the private sector. The Office of the Vice President has now become a vibrant leader and innovator in the war against poverty.” — Elfren Cruz

    Someone’s picking up the slack. There’s hope for us yet. Better yet, get involved!

    http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/10/13/1633116/leni-summit-against-poverty

  5. Anton Lau says:

    Masakit basahin ang artikulong ito kasi totoo.
    Our sovereignty is being undermined by local thugs, and foreign operators. I suspect that even the trolls are being mass produced in China. Judging by the grammar that reads like a users manual for a penis enlarger. Makes no sense, toxic elements, and won’t really work.

  6. Reason is suppressed. Delusion and manipulation are everywhere.

    An entire nation is being trafficked into oppression.

    I’d say the nation is well past the gates by now.

    Florante at Laura, a 19th century poem written in jail by Franciso Baltazar

    https://tl.wikibooks.org/wiki/Florante_at_Laura/Kabanata_4

    “Sa loob at labas ng bayan kong sawi,
    kaliluha’y siyang nangyayaring hari,
    kagalinga’t bait ay nalulugami,
    ininis sa hukay ng dusa’t pighati.”

    “Ang magandang asal ay ipinupukol
    sa laot ng dagat kutya’t linggatong;
    balang magagaling ay ibinabaon
    at inililibing na walang kabaong.”

    “Nguni, at ang lilo’t masasamang loob
    sa trono ng puri ay iniluklok,
    at sa balang sukab na may asal-hayop,
    mabangong insenso ang isinusuob.”

    Inside and outside my unfortunate country
    evil has become the ruling king
    capability and goodness are thwarted
    thrown into the trench of suffering and bitterness

    Good morals are thrown
    into the sea of scorn and confusion
    good intentions are covered
    and buried without a coffin

    Instead, evil and resentment
    have been placed on the throne of honor
    and for the perfidious intent with animal behavior
    sweet-smelling incense is being burnt

    approximate translation, as the Tagalog of Balagtas is old and ornate

    • Thank you, Irineo. That is it, elegantly and powerfully stated. Over 100 years, and nothing has changed.

      • The man was born in 1788, his poem published in 1838… he died back in 1862. A powerful, entitled man (Capule) had him sent to jail on false charges – because he wanted the same woman. The cruel frame-up game isn’t that new in the Philippines, in fact it is a classic.

        All his manuscripts burned down, luckily that great poem had a published version. And a personally transcribed version that Mabini made for himself – another tragic figure. Seems the good guys never really managed to stay for long, while Capule, Aguinaldo etc. stay.

    • NHerrera says:

      I am embarrassed, as a Filipino, to admit that at my age I have not appreciated Balagtas until today when you have translated three stanzas of his. You have so modestly stated that your translation is not up to par with Balagtas. I sincerely believe you are wrong; you have done a wonderful job at it, Irineo.

      And like Joe, it is a wonder too that Balagtas wrote as if doing it today!

      • Thanks everybody… interestingly, these three verses are a legacy of my Grade 4 UP Elementary Filipino teacher, who slogged us through the very old Tagalog of Balagtas.

        interestingly that man was a fervent Marcos loyalist, who saw the “Old Society” as the epitome of those evils and was blind to the evils of Marcos’ “New Society” then.

        The endless cycles of Philippine history – “rinse and repeat cycle” (MRP) or “the land of constant beginnings” (NYC-based author Ninotchka Rosca) are tragic yet fascinating.

        Every ruling group tries to “fix” things, yet is blind to the faults within its own ranks. BUT whatever absurdities there were in Daang Matuwid pale towards the present admin.

        Even the absurdities of the “New Society” might pale against what is going on now…

        To quote Joe: “Everyone makes up their own version of right and wrong and sticks with it even if they harm themselves, as they invariably do.”

      • andy ibay says:

        This is not an attempt or a pretension to be like FranciscoBalagtas. Just from millions who’s only one who writes for others of similar thoughts and anger:

        Don’t Cry For Me Filipinas,
        Cry for Your Elite Who Serve You best

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
        I have done nothing for you, nothing of significance.
        I may have loved you, but didn’t fight for you
        I may not have rob you, steal from you,
        I may not have raped you,
        but I am not your patriot.

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
        Being born in you, nourished in your bosom
        Tutored in your schools, grown in your natural wealth
        I was your child, your boy, your man, your citizen
        I am not the kind of your success who live the good life.
        So I have done nothing deserving of your tears.

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
        Envious and angry I saw you cry to high heavens
        For your criminal politicians, thieving bureaucrats.
        Greedy, power hungry, insatiable, shameless.
        I saw you bury them alongside your heroes
        And you have cried for them my Filipinas.

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
        There are tens of millions of me you don’t and didn’t cry for
        There are tens of thousands of them deserving of your tears
        Your shame is known to the world because of them
        And not because of the toil of the millions of us.
        Never had so few so deserve your tears
        Never had so few of your heroes dishonoured so many.

        If you must cry for me Filipinas, cry for millions like me
        Then face the mockery of your tens of thousands heroes
        Because you did cry when Rizal choose to die by musketry
        Instead of fighting your oppressors. History remembers no tears
        Were shed for Andres Bonifacio, Gregorio del Pilar, Diego Silang . . .

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas who deserve your river of tears
        I am no bishop, not a justice of the courts, nor a member of Congress
        Not a police or army general or a greedy businessman?
        Why cry for me?

        Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas? So arrogant and proud?
        Who can not say much less beg: Please cry for me my Filipinas
        For not standing by you, for not risking my life for you.
        It is I who must beg you, please cry for me Filipinas
        For knowing not like many of your children,
        I have lost my soul.

        August 16, 2008 Eight years ago.

        • andy ibay says:

          here’s another short one:

          Statistics Of The Bitch

          The good life is always ahead of the bad
          that never come
          In the statistics of the bitch
          Forty percent dirt poor
          Is peanuts to one million jobs

          Two minute noodles
          Is good for imports
          Good cheap substitute
          For the nation’s staple

          Claimed growth six percent GNP
          Upsets real skyrocket per cent growth
          In hunger and poverty

          Four hundred percent more for toll
          Is better than eight hours delay
          In the expressway of rich highwaymen

          April 5, 2005 written 11 years ago.

          COMMERCIAL: The above are two wallops from AMIHAN, HABAGAT and BUHAWI a wannabe forthcoming book of poems hopefully. Not a cent ain’t earned yet for my writing,
          but will spend exponential cents to donate my books if any to public schools library.

    • karlgarcia says:

      👍🏻 I agree that it is Powerful!

    • cha says:

      Love this. Thanks Irineo.

  7. Kamote Procopio says:

    We are heading to the inferno indeed. We react too late to realize what’s happening just like the past martial law. Are we really that deaf and just let things go by as here we are again going to the same dark road? Or is it we lack patriotism? Every Filipino for himself, a sad reality. We just act until our personal lives are affected. We have to make a stand now but when would that be? Is it when the people that fight for us like Delima or Trillanes pays the ultimate sacrifice?

    • As far as I can tell, there is no genuine pride in the Philippines about being a democracy, with the freedoms and values it promotes. There is pride in emotional victories, like singing contestants or boxing, because the “orphan” child seeks validation of his esteem. In fact, the nation is immature, emotionally, I think. That is a vast generalization based on the lack of POSITIVE patriotism, versus defensive. It would take a great, dynamic leader to get there, to rally the team, and I don’t see such a person around. President Aquino was good, but not dynamic. Secretary Roxas was high principled, but not dynamic or willing to challenge. Senator Santiago, in her younger years, could have provided the dynamics, but I’m not sure she had management talent.

      It is amusing that a nation with such a talented group of entertainers and actors can’t field a charismatic leader who is also competent.

      • NHerrera says:

        Ouch! That hurts. The job description is just so formidable.

        But let me connect this quickly — that is why De Lima cannot be left un-destroyed. The effrontery. Why does she not behave like the rest of the Kowtowing Senators.

  8. NHerrera says:

    In short, the Bully and the bullied Senators and Congressmen who by their being elected as Legislators and as Checks to the other branches of Government need not be bullied if they choose to. But succumb they have because of the greed of missing out on the Gravy Train or because of sins that may be reflected in their or their close relatives being in THE LIST.

    I agree the greater sinners are those (dis-)Honorable Lawmakers.

  9. Francis says:

    I think there still cause for hope.

    Liberty—like many things in this country and many things in this nation’s character—is like bamboo.

    Bamboo (and reed, if I can recall my old storybook from childhood) looks quite weak, but it is not. It bends, yes. It bends, bends and bends. But, that is not weakness—for when the storm comes, it survives what supposedly firmer trees cannot.

    What does not kill you, makes you stronger.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I thought you just made a new Aesop fable of the Bamboo and the reed.
      I know that you know that it is The Oak and the Reed.

    • There’s no question about the resiliency of Filipinos but it seems that lessons are not learned from past trials and tribulations. The same selfishness and bad habits often come back when the turbulent times are over.

      Ah, sweet, sweet liberty but in PH, it still has an exorbitant price tag: life. Filipinos could not scream, “Give me liberty or give me death!” because it only takes a nod from the powers that be for the audacious to be given the latter.

      • Francis says:

        The Philippines of Rizal is far away fron the Philippines of Ninoy. The America of Lincoln is far away from the America of Martin Luther King Jr. In between the Philippines and America of now and today is the accumulated, trial-and-error experience of how these nations have dealt with the issue of liberty in their respective societies. That is priceless—that is sort of thing that no amount of billion-dollar “nation-building” can buy.

        Liberty in democracies can sometimes ebb. But should it be preserved and not destroyed entirely in the interregnum—then, I have faith that in the long run, it will come back stronger.

        That is why I think liberty—in the long run—is like bamboo.

        • Francis says:

          Addenda:

          Lesson have been learned. It is just that our democracy in our nation has had to cope with so much change all at once—19th to 20th to 21st century is quite a whirlwind. It is also because most of these lessons are likely silent and “hidden in the engine” so to speak.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Bambo is panda food.

  10. ramon naguita says:

    Their is No Oppression! De Lima is neither The Modern Day Gabriela! She The Root of All Drug Menace and her own miscalculation. The bleeding hurts and Oligarchs plan take over of Governance. If we really love the country, assuming our ardent desire to see the ray of hope among the unfortunate Filipinos, abused by the previous administrations due to massive and collateral corruptions, this is worst than the EJK concern and issue. Try to live with us in Mindanao; Suing chaos by not providing the very basic of infra required for it’s growth, until it boils down with groups, rising and resisting the Philippine Style of selective governance. How then, the Oligarchs will handle to control if the ASG and the BIFF and the MILO and the Maute Group, who are aspiring to embrace the ISIS ideology? Will you bring in the dreaded US Navy; Marines; Special Forces; the Tomahawk; the Aircraft Carrier; the Stealth Bomber to pulverize, the entire Mindanao; and then celebrate Victory? For good once those planning are successful in booting out President Duterte; Mindanao will be lost forever. Your concern for this criminalities cause by dysfunctional brains, hardened by Shabu is nothing comparable to the stealing of Yolanda Funds and Foreign Aid, sending victims on their knees begging for help. Go around the countryside, travel the whole of Mindanao passing the improvised communities, see what is the effect of several years of abandonment. Do not stay in hotels, experienced that young Canadian ( Becoming Pinoy by living with them ); or if you have the guts, go to visit Jolo or Basilan and there anchor your judgement and conclusion, why, oh, why? Mindanao Still The Land of Promise. Thank you so much for your kind and generous understanding. God bless,

    Patriotic Pinoy Movement!

    On Sunday, October 16, 2016, The Society of Honor: the Philippines wrote:

    > The Society of Honor posted: ” By Joe America This is personal opinion. > The whole thing is alleged. Make up your own mind. Being reasonable is not > easy. First of all, we get angry or sad. Emotions always drag us off the > center line of reason. Second, we are all ignorant. ” >

    • Istambay sa Kanto says:

      Ramon, please check this out.

      http://www.gov.ph/2016/02/22/717-projects-northern-mindanao-completed/

      http://yolanda.neda.gov.ph/

      http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/rich-media/pork-barrel-special
      ——————————-
      About drug menace, it is not what you say but how you say it.

      • Sorry for the delayed post, Istambay. Three links sends a post to moderation. I appreciate that you responded with facts and not argument. I just threw my hands in the air.

      • Zen says:

        I know what you mean. He did say it like he is Chinese living in Mindanao. Try to read Ramon’s comment loudly, it sounds Chinese isn’t it? Never mind the grammar and sentence construction- it’s too much for my ears.

    • Oldmaninla says:

      Tumpak! We need more reality, not politically correct imagination statements….we do not need butterflies philosophies but realities how to clean the streets of the Philippines.
      We need more honest and righteous men who can perform not just talk..not just talk….

    • Ramon, you are preaching. This is a discussion forum. You basically recite the mistruths and exaggerations that make internet dicourse largely a wasteland. I believe it is futile to respond to you, and ask that you stop posting such materials here.

    • chemrock says:

      Ramon is a coward who props up to give praise to his almighty idol with flimsy logic, but never stay to Ross swords with those who will challenge him, because he knows his logic is Davao contaminated and easily destroyed. Take his innuendo to the previous admin for the thievery of Yolanda funds. He knows very well billions of peso were turned over the the local govt unit of Tacloban but the mayor mis-spent the funds through direlection of duties or mismanagement as what the Commission of Audit uncovered. The mayor just happened to be from a family of thieves who financed the election of Ramon’s idol, and the idol now wants to bury the great dead thief as a hero. You scratch my back, I scratch your Bach coziness, let’s keep the dumb massa out of the way. Ramon is the sucker who still doesn’t know it.

  11. Istambay sa Kanto says:

    So true… don’t know what to say but I guess the main root of the problem is the multiparty system. Unlike before, we had Nationalista Party (conservative) and the Liberal Party (progressive). The current set up produces lots of political butterflies that the electorate wonders “ano ba talaga?”

  12. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Strong medicine, Joe! — I await with dread the Supreme Court decision on the burial of Marcos as a “hero”! That will be the final test whether we’re in Hell! for right now, the Supreme Court is the only remaining bastion of justice and freedom and honor. I take comfort these days in the ancient Greek saying, “They whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.” Whatever happens, though, we must stand up and be counted: we shall prevail!

    • I wrote the piece. Put it in trash, thinking of the futility of changing what is deeply cultural. Then pulled it out again, my puny effort at standing to be counted. At least my conscience is not grousing at me.

  13. Amalia says:

    Thanks for this link joeamrrica,hope this will be an enlightenment to our kababayan, will keep sharing your posts for them to wake up.God bless the Philippines.

  14. cwl says:

    The behavior of the legislators per se and the political elite in general in the face of blatant disregard of the democratic ideals by current administration is not surprising at all.
    Countless reasons have been cited as why we were not able to produce a political class which will actually stand and fight for democracy or whatever principle, democratic or not.
    The current breed of politicians, including those in the lead, were just thrust into the political arena by virtue of being a member of a political family or moneyed family or famous family.
    How can you expect them to fight for the so-called independence of legislature when they themselves have a shallow understanding of their roles in a society.
    Politicians cannot be cowed into submission if they know what platform they are standing.
    Perhaps part to be blamed is the lack a strong political party in the country and the immaturity of the electorate but then it will be like the question of chicken and egg. Which comes first?

  15. Cha Coronel Datu says:

    I remember the furor raised by that “gates of hell” attribution given to Manila in Dan Brown’s novel, which sought to describe the deplorable living conditions in the city if I remember right. Many manileños and Filipinos in general protested. And rightfully so, for the most part.

    But beyond that it seems, not much has been achieved to improve what Dan Brown sought to capture, perhaps rather unfairly in those three words. And with the blood now spilled in the same dark alleyways, with duct-taped and placard bearing bodies dumped on the garbage strewn streets of Manila, one is tempted to think this is beyond gates of hell.

    This is hell on earth itself.

    At least for the hunted. Like stray animals that need to be put down.

    For those who take refuge and move about in the dark, wondering if they will be the next to die.

    Hell on earth it is, for those who live in fear for their own and their lived ones’ lives. They speak in whispers, reminding themselves and warning others to lie low, to shun attention to themselves so they may not be targeted.

    Manila is hell on earth for the poor, weak and unconnected.

    Then and now.

    Only this time, barely any of their fellow manileños and Filipinos care to protest.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Cha,
      Remember Claire Danes,”How ghastly!” comment.
      I won’t be as angry as hell as before if she says that again.

      • Cha Coronel Datu says:

        Wasn’t it Atienza who banned her movies from being shown in Manila cinemas?

        If only they would also ban extra-judicial killings in their city. That should get them a few extra notches up the stairway to heaven. (No need, they probably think. All that glitters is gold. And they’re buying the stairway to heaven.)

        • karlgarcia says:

          Now Erap supports 100 percent the War on Drugs(his all out war with MILF failed). I support W.O.D too,but to deny existence of EJK is like denying the existence of DDS.

          The direction of plans for rehab of the interagency team led by DOH,is on the right track,and the better path for W.O.D

          for now the PNP must first shift to verbal judo,as suggested by one of its generals.

  16. NHerrera says:

    NEWS ON SEN DE LIMA

    Reynaldo Umali, the head of the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives said that the committee will spare Senator Leila de Lima from criminal prosecution in its final recommendation. Umali said the committee report will dwell “more on the legislation” needed to beef up the country’s laws to combat illegal drugs and their trade inside the jails.

    He said:

    On the matter of determining culpability and liabilities of individuals involved there, in additional to Secretary or Senator De Lima, it seems it would be unfair to make that kind of recommendation.

    Perhaps, we will say that the Department of Justice should dig deeper into the culpability not only of those who are already charged.

    BUT OF COURSE. Most of the testimonies were from hearsay accounts of convicts under the control of the Administration, granted Immunity to testify. The Committee Chair just saved the HOR from making a complete monkey of itself (my apologies to monkeys.)

    http://www.interaksyon.com/article/133385/house-justice-committee-spares-de-lima-from-bilibid-drugs-criminal-aspect

  17. NHerrera says:

    MORE ON THE DECODING OF THE PRESIDENT

    THE TECHNIQUE seems to be the following: make outrageous pronouncements complete with trademark expletives, then soften or back off on related item. Then a lot are made happy or gets relieved.

    Exhibit A — Statements crucifying De Lima versus statements about Argot only exercising her right of free speech

    Exhibit B — Strong statement in support of Marcos burial in LNB versus recent statement to respect SC on Libingan burial

    Exhibit C — Embrace of China and dis-embrace of US verus ‘We’ll insist on what is ours’ preparatory to the visit to China October 18-21

    The technique seems well suited to the love of the Filipinos for drama, zarzuela. For decades we have not gotten rid of the noontime TV show of the kind which used to star Sen Sotto and his brother and of course tear-jerkers after the noontime show.

    Puzzle no more — there is a key to the puzzle.

  18. Zen says:

    I don’t know why even if the President has been decoded, the people still believe in him. I wonder it the Filipinos just love to stay ignorant, Is there a DNA explanation to all of these, I wonder -because much as we have great heroes like Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini etc. good schools and modern means of learning, we are still so wanting in foresight, hindsight and common sense.

  19. josephivo says:

    We are not stupid, most of us know that we were not born as alpha males, we are content being a follower. We just want to follow someone strong. Where we differ is in our definition of strength. For some it is brute physical strength, for some it is emotional strength, for some it is moral strength, and for some it is intellectual strength. (And money can buy it all, guns, charismatic figures, information or knowledge)

    Filipinos start understanding democracy, they start believing that they are the “bosses”. Politics is no more only for the elite, vote buying becoming less prominent. Voting becomes an expression of what strong leader one wants to follow. Many measure strength in the ability to use strong language, to bully, to kill. (and Filipinos are not alone, all over the world “staggered democracy” with a middle field and representatives is disappearing, we ourselves will select the leader no need for advice, we think to recognize strength when we see it)

    Policies and direction are less important than the belief of following the right person, the strongest person, the one that can change the system. (and because he is “our” leader he will change the crooked system for our benefit)

    • sonny says:

      Quite an assessment of human nature, joseph, and the external institutions and social forces (e.g. governance and political struggle with others) that impinge, limit or multiply individual and group freedom. It would seem that the colonization of the Philippines by Filipinos counting from martial law years through the years of the 1987 Constitution to the present have not yielded much by way of national definition other than a discontinuous odyssey of marking time. The suggested pathology by JoeAm that is being carried out by the ship of state seems undeniable, IMO.

    • One can also see that worldwide trend in Germany. In fact German democracy always went for figures perceived as strong in one way or the other even in the postwar period…

      – Konrad Adenauer (Der Alte or the Old Man who became Chancellor at 73 years of age, the conservative patriarch with his motto Keine Experimente – No experiments) from 1949-1963.

      – Willy Brandt (originally Herbert Frahm, Brandt was his underground name as a socialist against the Nazis) with his Kennedy-style charm and a lot of women voters, from 1969-1974

      – Helmut Schmidt (down-to-earth: “those with visions should see a doctor”) – 1974-1982.

      – Helmut Kohl (son of a mayor and former State Prime Minister, very much a provincial politician in his way of dealing with things, said a lot of stupid stuff on his path to becoming a real statesman, a patriarch also, “Adenauer’s grandson”) – 1982 – 1998.

      – Gerhard Schröder (called “Das Alphatier” – the Alpha Male and also “Cäsar” – Caesar by the tabloids) – a consummate populist, an Attorney of humble origins – 1998 – 2005.

      – Angela Merkel (called “Mutti” = Mama very often by tabloids, even if I have no longer seen that since the refugee crisis, an astute backroom dealer much like Hillary Clinton) – 2005-now.

      All of these leaders handled their respective political parties and their coalition partners to form some sort of supermajority as well. It was less about changing the system though, because the system in the main has worked so far, even more important most believed it. Whether the new populists from East Germany will overturn that is yet to be seen – I know East Germans and they do tend to feel like the losers of unification until now, somewhat like Trump voters and Brexiters in spirit. THEY are fooling us. THEY are “bias”. WE are angry.

  20. NHerrera says:

    A nice dream I had for a change.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I concur.

      The recalibration of external affairs — to the optimum point of not posing a security threat and of maintaining reciprocal exchanges and assistance — would enable each country to concentrate on internal affairs.

      The military budget could be reduced and the excess redirected to internal development and the uplifting of poverty.

      Swords into plowshares. It is nice to dream.
      *****

  21. OFF TOPIC:

    The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) 8th summit were held in Goa, India this week (October 15 &16). Though few pundits as well as the leaders of the BRICS nations are upbeat about the future, it cannot be denied that most of the member countries have their share of economic problems at present. Why is this important to the wellbeing of PH? PRD had been repeating for the past few days that Russia and China will be his “go to” countries for PH’s growth and development and he had shunned most of PH historical western allies. Is he right in making that policy decision for all Filipinos?

    “The Brics economies have been hit by falling global demand and lower commodity prices, while some have faced corruption scandals.

    Brazil and Russia are both in recession, and Brazil on some counts is suffering its worst downturn since the 1930s.

    South Africa narrowly avoided a recession last month, while China is going through its slowest economic growth in 25 years.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37671745

  22. Sup says:

    Good…now he want to learn the PH army and coastguard to lear how to shoot Filipino fishermen

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he is open to joint military exercises with China and Russia, and reiterated he will no longer allow war games with the United States.

    Duterte made the remarks in an interview broadcast Monday with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television ahead of a four-day visit to Beijing, which begins on Tuesday and is aimed at improving ties that soured over competing claims in the resource-rich South China Sea.

    Asked if he would consider joint military exercises with China or Russia, Duterte said: “Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers.”

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/585340/news/nation/duterte-open-to-war-games-with-china-russia

  23. edgar lores says:

    *******
    WHAT BEING A JUROR MEANS

    When I said that in a democracy everyone is a juror, I meant this in a literal as well as a figurative sense.

    1. A juror in the literal sense is “one of a group of people who judge a competition.” Is this not what voters do at election time?

    2. A juror in the figurative sense is “one who serves on a deliberative body analogous to a jury.” As citizens, we deliberate and make decisions that affect the body politic, not only during elections but all the time.

    2.1. When we bribe a policeman, or ask a political patron to sponsor our wedding, or ask a government official we know for employment, or do not condemn state-sponsored killing, we are making deliberate decisions that adversely affect everyone.

    The essence of democracy is participative — and hopefully positive — engagement by each citizen.

    If in a democracy, one does not participate in government, if one does not deliberate about good government, then one is not a true democrat — and not a juror.

    Why this needs an explanation at all is distressing.
    *****

    • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

      @Edgar
      1. Agree. Election time, the only time we can do the juror thing.
      2. No, we could not make political decision but we could influence. And to influence we need to be collective, as much as majority. To influence is not to judge. Look at people power, it was not done by a citizen, or by a group, it was a collective effort. But what it had done is only to put someone on the sit (like election).

      Overall, in democracy, I agree with you, we can (need to) participate (voting in election time) but we cannot always deliberate, thus, not always a democrat, nor always a juror to be less of a citizen.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. Thank you.

        2. “No, we could not make political decision but we could influence.

        2.1. Before one can influence — politically — one must make a political decision. “Political” means “of or relating to the government or public affairs of a country.” Not only presidents make political decisions. In a democracy, we all do.

        3. “And to influence we need to be collective, as much as majority.”

        3.1. Nonsense. Individuals can exert influence. Prestigious persons have affected other persons and events. As an individual, Senator De Lima exerts influence. Or a better example, Rizal, as an individual, influenced the Philippine revolution.

        4. “To influence is not to judge.”

        4.1. Again, nonsense. Before one can influence, one must make a judgment. What does one use in trying to influence? Usually, one uses reasons — either of the heart and/or of the mind. These reasons form a judgment. A judgment, in its lowest form, is an opinion.

        4.2. Furthermore, if one tries to influence someone or something, one has made a preliminary judgment that that someone or something requires influencing. Is this not so? You post your opinions here not only to express yourself but also in the hope of influencing the members of The Society.

        5. …but we cannot always deliberate, thus, not always a democrat, nor always a juror to be less of a citizen.”

        5.1. That is a palusot.

        5.2. No matter if we deliberate or not, we act as a juror when we make a decision as a citizen. The country is saddled with an atavistic president precisely because many of the juror-citizens did not deliberate.

        5.3. And no matter how brief, we do think when we make a decision. Making a decision is an act of consciousness, whether we spend a second or hours on it.

        5.4. Deliberation, which is careful thinking, is either by induction or deduction.

        5.5. Arriving at a decision without deliberation is usually an instinctual act. As Josephivo, somewhere in this thread, points out, many of us are herd animals. We detect an alpha male, and we instinctively follow him. But following an alpha male, no matter how instinctive, is still a matter of conscious choice in human beings.
        *****

    • karlgarcia says:

      Then time to destress.

  24. Gerald Trinidad says:

    The Philippines for me is a collection of tribes, rather than a single Filipino race. We are so divisive, geographically, cultural, religion, schools, rich and poor. But I am hopeful that each and everyone, can really respect and accept individual differences. If only all can accept the obligation to be responsible to one another, what a country Philippines will be. But until then, politicians will always take control and manipulate the system in this country. If we continue to close our eyes, turn a deaf ear and remain silent then we truly deserve what we have right now.

  25. jp says:

    He belittled US’ Yolanda aid, then blamed them for global warming. As if china isn’t also a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Such an ingrate. Obviously desperate at pleasing Xi.

    Imagine what will happen if he leaves the US without any other peaceful option0

  26. caliphman says:

    I have absolutely no sympathy for Congress in reading Joe’s utter condemnation of that pack of corrupt carrion masquerading as guardians of our democracy. It is of no surprise that 120 of these jackals or the vast majority of these senators and congressmen were caught with their hands in Napoles’s cookie jar. That now these sycophantic scoundels are collectively trying to gain power and favor from the new imperial president and busy baying for the blood of his political enemies is nothing new as these carrion clans have no loyalty except to their political ambitions and purse strings. If this was to be another EDSA it would perhaps be more just and fitting that maybe it should be a Bastille instead with an enraged citizenry marching with the heads of the worst of these villains on a pike. Too bad it is we the citizenry who keeps electing and reelecting them!

  27. NHerrera says:

    The Third Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey: Net Trust Rating of Countries shows the chart below.

    http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/sws-survey-filipinos-trust-the-us-most-and-china-least/ar-AAj4dqd?li=AAb280R&ocid=spartandhp

    The President might lately be bashing old friends like the US while cozying up to neighbor China that the government sued – and won against – in a global court. But for Filipinos, it seems America remains their most trusted country and China, the least trusted, according to a Social Weather Stations survey.

    The chart is in Net Trust = % most trust – % little trust. US at 66%, China at -33%

    http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/sws-survey-filipinos-trust-the-us-most-and-china-least/ar-AAj4dqd?fullscreen=true#image=1

  28. caliphman says:

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/826311/senate-panel-set-to-clear-duterte-on-extrajudicial-killings

    So Gordon, Duterte’s close ally and advocate that the president be handed the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, is announcing that the committee he now chairs will declare thatthr president is absolved of any guilt. The basis?… the hearings did not produce proof of the president ‘s guilt as alleged by the key witness tnat the Davao mayor headed the local death squad. Of course there is another corroborating witness, none ither than Duterte himself who stated…er reclassify that now as joked…that he did exactly tha and was responsible for the death’s of a 1,000

    It is this very same Gordon who prematurely terminated the hearings, prevented Matobato continuing his testimony, stopped de Lima and Trillanes from drawing out the detailed accounts by tne witness, and allowed Duterte’s senate henchmen to bully, badger and impugn the witness who was deprived of legal counsel or help from his senate. committee allies.

    By what right does someone neither a judge nor lawyer but merely interim head of committee hearings held for the avowed purpose of aiding legislation and by his own admission did not want his committee to hear testimony or proof of the president’s guilt in deafh squad killings…now assume the court, legal, or moral authority to declare before the public that he president absolved of any guilt as alleged by witness Matobato in the killings by the death squad he was a part of? One would assume that our senate and HOR committee members were Australian from their penchant to hold kangaroo courts to establish the innocence of the president and the guilt of his po,itical enemies.

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