The Philippine Legislature: Heathens at the Pulpit


Speaker Alvarez takes oath [Photo source: Rappler]

By Joe America

A few articles ago, I did a story about faith. The gist was that idolatry and faith, not facts and acts, are propping up President Duterte.

A reader was sharp enough to point out that democracy is also a faith.

My first reaction was, “huh?”, but as I thought about it, I had to agree.

The “god” is community welfare or the common good. The book is the Constitution. The pope is the President and the legislators are part priest and part scribe, re-writing the doctrinal rules (laws) that flow forth from the Great Book.

Citizens have faith in democracy. They have faith in its goodness, in the freedoms, the fairness, the opportunities for prosperity, the security, and the inspiration that comes from being deeply involved in all of this. From many, one, and a nation that does its democracy well generates so much that is good. Appreciation of diversity and equal voices for all. Breaking social barriers based on knowledge rather than superstition. Responsible health care. Crime control. Innovation. Working on climate change. Adopting common principles that seek to bind nations together rather than make war.

Democracy inspires pride in one’s nation, one citizen caring for the others, one citizen being cared for. It’s a team and when it works well it is better than Gilas or the Cubs or Warriors. Because it is not a game. It is how we choose to live. And it defines the PRINCIPLES by which we choose to live.

Democracy is not perfect, but it is dynamic, adaptive, and generally better than any other model of governance. Dictatorships typically devolve into power-mongering, infringement on human rights, and greed. Socialism doesn’t generate economic productivity and the jobs and prosperity that come from a managed, competitive, and fair economy. Plus socialism tends to restrain human rights. We can’t really be us because we have to fit into the State’s mold.

The Philippines is a democracy, but most citizens have never been inspired to take it on as a deep personal commitment akin to a religious faith. It is not a cause they would throw their lives behind. Well, that is because the priests have been out cheating and molesting the congregation since Aguinaldo took cattle from the people to try to bribe Admiral Dewey into speaking well of him. Unfortunately, the congregation’s faith has become one of cynicism and envy. And their method has become one of cheating, a laziness of mind, dishonesty . . . and, for too many, drugs. And they shirk accountability for anything and everything.

It is easy to shirk accountability when you don’t see it in your leaders.

The current crop of legislators, our democratic priests, are no different. Well, they may be worse. It’s hard to discern that they have ANY regard for the common good, the Constitution or any of the ideals we attach to fair government. Like human rights. Rather than serve as custodians of diversity, inclusion and fairness, they are enablers of the killings now running wild across the land. Drug users, who are the people government has taken care of WORST, are being accused of causing all the problems of Philippine society. They are being made into scapegoats . . . and have become nothing more than animal prey  . . . while the priests hold a kangaroo court trying to stop those who want to stop the killings.

Talk about men of little courage or conscience.

Read it and weep. Those Filipinos killed are people who surrendered, kids whose only mistake was being with their parents on the wrong day, people begging for their lives, fathers whose kids just don’t deserve such pain, almost 5,000 innocents who never saw the inside of a courtroom. And witnesses.

As for all the trolls and congressmen who presume the dead are guilty, in what godawful hellhole have you earned the right to dispense such smug moral judgment on REAL people?

Hundreds of the priests got their positions by wearing the color of Cory Aquino. They swapped the color, and the integrity it represents, for personal gain. They know no shame.

These priests are also stealing the nation’s integrity by rushing through a cavalier show of due process on a Federalism law that is being done NOT BECAUSE of economic and social benefits, or security, but because a warlord wants to divide the Philippines geographically into Mindanao, Manila and a dozen throwaway, poor federal states of no economic means whatsoever. The guy who has always hated Manila is in charge of Manila, and he does not care a whit if BPO’s flee, high rises go dark, and Chinese bosses move into town. As long as the wealth of the nation, and even its sovereignty, can be spent on building infrastructure and independence for Mindanao.

The Legislature stands idle as soul-brother America is pushed away and gangster China, her ships sitting impudently in Philippine seas, is embraced. No voices are raised as a terrorist leader, the killer of AFP troops and innocent citizen hostages of Zamboanga, is welcomed to speak at the Presidential pulpit.

Any person or group that stands up for decency and principle, from Americans to Catholics to professional journalists to direct-speaking senators like De Lima and Trillanes, are insulted and denigrated. They are portrayed as undermining, or betraying, the nation. Meanwhile, thieves, killers and convicts are praised as patriotic, and granted power.

Such is the integrity of Philippine democracy under the stewardship of the legislative priests.

I wonder what VALUES these priests endorse, if not those of the Constitution and its crystal clear demand that legislators take good care of citizen well-being from security to human rights?

Where is decency? Not in the Legislature? Where is fairness? Not in the Legislature. Where is courage and patriotism? Not in the Legislature.

What book are they thumping, if not the Constitution?

Today the Philippine democracy, as a religion, is self-sacrificial. We stand back wide-eyed and slack jawed to watch as the priests jump into the fiery hot volcano along with the virgins, accomplishing absolutely nothing of courage, honor and integrity on the way down.

I say to ye verily, my dear democratic brothers and sisters. There are heathens at the pulpit.


147 Responses to “The Philippine Legislature: Heathens at the Pulpit”
  1. edgar lores says:

    Powerful preaching from the pulpit.

    Softly and tenderly, democracy is calling.

    May there be many conversions.

    • It seems to me that the Legislature is being reactive rather than contemplative. I think it is time to think in bigger terms, if they have that inside them. I see it in a few people: Hontiveros, Robredo, Trillanes, and De Lima, in the main. Everyone else seems to have absolutely no patriotic grasp of democracy. Self destruction of people and values and institutions is a horrid thing to watch.

      • Zen says:

        It is so and how things play out in the end is unpredictable. That is where the suffering as a nation comes from, that sinking feeling if we should ever rise as a nation once again when everybody is just protecting their own backs. Still there is hope with all the people. you’ve mentioned above and especially you Joe because you give us hope and steady our nerves with the thought there are still people out there who thinks and acts differently.

        • There are a lot who think of the modern democratic principles, but they lost the election. It is now a tug of war for the middle ground. How much can someone take when he has recited an oath to serve the nation, and not an oath to play politics? For sure, if the PH goes down again to the wretched depths of poverty, we can look at today’s congressmen and say, “There is the reason why. Smart people who did not have what it takes to lead a nation.?

      • karlgarcia says:

        even in “making or writing” laws and budget process, they just approve drafts / proposals and remove disagreable parts and compromise on the rest. They were never built for proactiveness.

      • andy ibay says:

        I apologize, forgive me for the intrusion. this is my blow by blow watching of the
        results of the US Presidential election. Hope Joe Am tolerates this as long as I am kept awake by the unfolding results:

        On the US Presidential Election 2016 THIS MY TAKE. It is 11:00 PM in Ontario, Canada and the Electoral College numbers are 172 Donald Trump (Red Color) and Hillary Clinton 132 (Blue Color). I DON’T KNOW WHO WILL WIN. I don’t care who wins because I am only a DISINTERESTED (no interest at all) Bystander.

        But I know it is a very close fight between the old and genuine America (Trump) AGAINST the New, sophisticated techno-savvy, politically-correct America (Clinton). I can’t care less WHO WINS for the little simple reason because America at this point of its history is still the strong America, still world’s strongest. I looked at TV now 11:10 PM the electoral numbers: 191 Clinton; 187 Trump.

        • andy ibay says:

          11:18 PM Wed

          Clinton: 198; Trump 187 electoral votes.

          • andy ibay says:

            To me the old America are the old west General Store, Wells Fargo transport Wagons, Geronimo and Sitting Bull, General Custer to Modern Cunningham hardware store owner of Happy Days, to James Dean, to the Italian Western copycats. Old White America, the upsurge of American functional strong cars . To Trump that’s Great America and he wanted America to be great again. White America has been changed by a deluge of modernizing post modernization values brought by a new breed of celebrities, of billionaires; blah blah blah media.

            THE SCORE NOW 11:33PM Ontario time Nov 18. : Clinton: 198 Trump : 222.

            No repeat No NBA All Star or Season Championship game can duplicate this see-saw scores.

            • andy ibay says:

              What’s this take of mine Old Great America against the New hybrid modern America? Behind the hot issues are the new democracy of individual freedom of choice and free speech of the New prim and proper America Hillary Clinton is fighting for. The new America some people see in the brave expressions of the well off celebrities who promised to leave America for Canada if Trump wins the election. In a way these Americans of steel convictions about their kind of democracy, there is no way to live in the ethos of the past. Their present and envisioned future is so good for them no alternative can be better than that.

              THE SCORE NOW 11:50PM Ontario time Nov 18. : Clinton: 210 Trump : 244.

              • andy ibay says:

                I was in England in 1967-68 doing postgrad course in Soil and Water Eng (a rare course) . Next door dorm mate who became a close friend was so frank about us foreign students. Learning I stayed for sometime in Notting Hill Gate in London, he was telling me of race riots before in the area done by colored people. I asked him why lumped us all as colored people. I told him from that time on I will call or write about them white people as colourless. Humankind or homo sapiens by the colour of their skin regardless of everything else shall be then distinguished as coloured and colourless . Never mind that night and day, black and white indicates the absence of color.

                To a bigot and a racist this is how it should be on what is really a distorted view of the gladiatorial fight between Hillary and Donald. This is a test of US demography of more than 330 million of coloured and colourless population. Not that it should be simplified to what is good and what is bad based on race and skin color alone. The supremacy of one skin pigment does not mean it can change overnight the characteristic quality of a leading nation of the free world. It’s almost impossible for individual racialism or bigotry to constitute national personality. Australia’s white immigrant policy can’t even come close as an example. But there could be in the annals of inhumanity to man.

                What’s this take of mine Old Great America against the New hybrid modern America? One would be indicator, behind the hot issues are the new democracy of individual freedom of choice and free speech of the new prim and proper America Hillary Clinton is fighting for. The new America some people see in the brave expressions of the well off celebrities who promised to leave America for Canada if Trump wins the election. In a way these Americans of steel convictions about their kind of democracy, there is no way to live in the ethos of the past. Their present and envisioned future is so good for them no alternative can be better than that.

                THE SCORE NOW 12:13 AM Ontario time Nov 19. : Clinton: 210 Trump : 244, still no change after more than 30 minutes ago. I am getting sleepy now.

              • andy ibay says:

                few will notice; ARRGH Nov 9, I typed Nov 19.

                anyway the score at this moment, 12:35AM Nov 9, 2016

                Trump: 244 ; Clinton: 216

          • andy ibay says:

            When TV coverage show live footage of followers and supporters in the campaign headquarters of both Trump and Clinton you see the unique face of America of sadness of uncertainty and joy of victory; of strong commitment and loyalty to their belief of what is good for their country; you probably see the face of patriotism , of the sacredness they give to their politics.

            This I have not seen portrayed in TV on how other countries show the faces of their voters as they await the fate of their candidates. In sadness by defeat, in celebration of victory these hard working campaigners should realized that change crawls and creeps to what is almost the same as before like changing temperature in the whole course of a day and a night.

            The electoral college score is still the same 244 Trump; 216 Clinton at 1:11 AM Nov 9, 2016. But the faces of Clinton supporters have shown sadness of probable defeat. Trump’s campaigners on the other hand seem to be prematurely confident or rightfully rejoicing for victory.

            • andy ibay says:

              I would like to be glued to the TV, but thoughts flashes by with recent dissimilar events. By God, how can one watch TV to keep abreast of developments and write persistent thoughts at the same time. Must leave TV to write this about BrExit (Britain’s exit from the EC) . Just short thoughts: some personalities including celebrities took the adverse position of BrExit I surmised because of good reasons and gratitude to the entire EC peoples. Celebrities could have been benefited much, sourced their wealth from EC population.

              Those who wanted to leave EC had lives stagnated or adversely affected by EC amalgamation. These may be are the common Brits, Scots, or UK citizens. Like the US common Americans they like to control opening and closing the country’s doors to outsiders who might come in droves to disturb their homeostasis.

              Democrat Americans prefers leaving their country rather than controlling the doors. So those Brits wants to leave a consolidation for the purpose controlling the door passage of outsiders, while the Americans wants to leave their country because among many rationale reasons they don’t want controlled or closed doors that could affect their way of life they called their democracy.

              The Society should enlighten me on this, shooting from the hips a very narrow view.

              No change still in the electoral numbers: Trump 244; Clinton 216 at 1:59 am Nov. 9, 2016. Daylight saving time makes Canada NorthEast nightime one hour behind Manila’s daytime.

        • I appreciate the observations and updates. Very thought provoking, and stabilizing. And definitely relevant to the Philippines.

          • andy ibay says:

            Thanks Joe Am. Many of us Pinoys need to know the higher carat of the American way of choosing, then electing their President. Hah, hah, I thought history could repeat itself when the first time I was in disbelief because Democrat AL Gore was unquestionably winning the popular votes against Republican George Bush when he without much ado conceded to Bush. How come? Al Gore won the popular vote but George won the electoral votes.

            Hah, hah, it could be a repeat if and when Hillary wins the popular vote yet loses the electoral votes thereby also the US Presidency to Donald. Nevertheless If Donald wins by any which way, US would have just duplicated the new Philippines way where the real voters of common people and citizens NOT the minuscule elite have elected their paramount leader.

            2:30 AM Ontario time Nov 9, 2016 IT IS NOW 246 FOR TRUMP AND 218 FOR CLINTON.
            52 more electoral votes are needed by Clinton to reverse the wind direction.

            • NHerrera says:

              NOW 268 FOR TRUMP AND 215 FOR CLINTON (CNN).

            • andy ibay says:

              DARN ! I missed the change of numbers of Trump from 246 to 276 winning THE USE PRESIDENCY. May be it’s about 2:46 AM here in Ontario. Now I can say the real people of UK started it and shown the way for change followed by Filipino voters who elected Duterte; Did the Americans followed the example of Filipinos by electing Donald Trump.
              NO WORRY, human kind is still human kind as the PREMIUM GOD’S CREATION.

              Ayun, puede na akong matulog.

            • andy ibay says:

              To continue the Hah, Hah, Hah, not in derision but more in innocent giggles, the high carat of the US Presidential election process can be stretched into highfalutin level of abstraction. The sum of Electoral College votes is simple DEDUCTION of who is the true winner while the total popular votes are merely INDUCTIONS hoping to support deductions. Like misleadingly saying that like SYNERGY the electoral votes are more than the sum of all popular votes.

              Albert Einstein was and probably until his death remain DEDUCTIVE. As a physicist he wondered whether he could have been more effective BEING INDUCTIVE if he had studied mathematics the real language of physics. His deductions about the relationships of mass, speed and energy lead to the theory of relativity. Some scientists later proved by mathematical inductions that Einstein’s deductions were accurate and won the Nobel Prize for their efforts. Read about this may be 15 years ago. I could be senilely (no such adverb yet, eh?) wrong. Just as DEDUCTIONS (George W. Bush?) could be a little bit wrong if history says so.

              The electoral college had deduced Donald Trump should be President. And that’s that. But Albert E. kept on deducing notions which are difficult to prove by induction. Like when he said : “God does not play dice with the lives of men” or something to that effect.

          • Thea says:

            Trump’s victory will change the policy of US towards Russia and NATO.


            And a setback in Asia, specially China and Philippines


            Let us see,if he and the Republicans can change the game. Can he bring impact in the WTO? My poor hairdresser and dressmaker are complaining that Chinese entrance in the fields brought unfair competition.

            • madlanglupa says:

              > My poor hairdresser and dressmaker are complaining that Chinese entrance in the fields brought unfair competition.

              As if obliterating our toy and textile industries weren’t enough. 30 years ago there were a lot of locally-made plastic toys in the public market. Now the stalls are full of bright Chinese toys, some with little or no assurance of safety.

          • andy ibay says:

            After the end of the election readers and bloggers Pinoy o Kano can now read Julie Pace and Robert Furlow of the AP to compare Digong with Donald. Who’s got Congress, and later the Supreme Court and a lot of what ever in governance.

            About that WALL to fence out Mexico in term of details and necessary resources that can be politically correct; for Trump to pass the buck with common borders to implement and concretize the “wall” federal policy to design and spend for the low or high wall —to the States’ powers that be which have borders with Mexico.

            With regard to Muslims and Islam significant desiderata, and immigrant intakes from rogue friend nations, the fifty-nation states know what Donald wants, what cats to kill; the states know there are many ways to skin a cat, they should find one acceptable to Mr. Donald, in addition to what is fair and just to the cats.

            • andy ibay says:

              Pinoys (not sleeping in the kangkungan) and Kanos should not be surprised if soon enough Digong and Donald will behave like they are DNA brothers.

              • andy ibay says:

                this should be an addenda info not to displaced or undermine other info posted in this blog site.

  2. ronzim says:

    Socialism is not an alternative to Democracy. Democracy is a method of government, Socialism is a system of finance as opposed to capitalism. Democratic Socialism is a consistent concept as pointed out by Bernie Sanders.

  3. josephivo says:


    We life in a post-factual age. Your jacket is blue because I declare it blue because I believe it, guessed it, read it on internet… , regardless what you think or the scientists, journalists, artists or priests… say. IT IS BLUE, dialogue impossible, compromise is as suicide.

    Too many are pleased being released of any burden of proof. We have equal voices for all, isn’t it? Those having a megaphone on Internet is what set the agenda, the number of clicks more relevant than the soundness of the reasoning.

    Consumerism promoted us as customers in every sphere of live and. All his requests are legitimate, they do not require proper justification anymore. Authorities in domains that did not belong the “market” as politics, education, religion… still have problems accepting we do have the voice, not only equal voices but the voice of customers, the ultimate cradle of all knowledge.

    We live in a crisis not because of warlike conditions, rampant crime or economic collapses, we live in a crisis because I Donald Trump or I Rodrigo Duterte or many other populists say so. Populist as no others understand this detrimental post-factual philosophy and escaping consumerism.

    • josephivo says:

      Am I growing old? Sounding like my father: …”the Huns at the horizon?” … “the good old days”?

    • josephivo says:

      Am I growing old, too lazy to proofread my postings?

    • It can’t end well. I saw this tweet today:

      This is the full article.

      Taking the knowledge out of analysis takes the sense out of decisions and we get counter productive activities.

      Your father seems well-spoken to me. Typos are a part of the character of writing, rather like dents in the car.

      • andy ibay says:

        forgive me for this intrusion:

        Just for INFO to make a blogger smile or smirk or asked: Will Canada
        Opened its borders to American Celebrities big bucks earners
        and Hillary’s common Americans who won’t like a President Trump?

        Potential big and small tax payers eh?

        • They would have to impose restrictions on tourism entries I suppose. A lot of draft-age Americans went to Canada in the Viet Nam era to avoid military service. Canada did not take any action to stop it, I think.

          • andy ibay says:

            Phenomenon involving rights of individuals is no longer a rare happenstance. It is constantly testing the limits of political correctness. Regardless of outcomes homeostasis gradually restores sanity and balance after disturbance has died down only to prove growth and change still exist enriching human relations with its environment. My point? Okay lang yun for good or bad ending into something good for people of both countries.

            • andy ibay says:

              Come to think of it: What’s a country’s neighbor for? For good or bad eggs, Canada could be USA’s Mexico; Mexico could have USA its Canada, etcetera. So long as foreign relations stay friendly, belligerence don’t beget belligerence of equal measure, there could be no war, only plastic and deceitful diplomacy.

  4. Schweinepriester (pig priests) is the German word for characters like that.

      • andy ibay says:

        Schweinepriester (pig priests) is the German word for characters like that.

        I don’t know the meaning of this German word and who are the characters it is referring to which TSOH says Perfect so I turn to the internet and google indicated as . . . . :

        “For me the emphasis here is on non-adherence to religious rules rather than on type of meat. Perhaps a n.s. will know another term that combines religious and culinary meaning.

        e.g. “Get out of here, you swine”
        According to Wikipedia, “Schweinepriester” originally (12th century) was a highly derogatory term for a swineherd at a monastery and describes an uncleanly person
        The term is not all that mean-spirited as ‘filthy this or that…’ would suggest. More in the sense of ‘ihr kleinen Schmutzfinken’. So, ‘Get of of here, you darn pork-munchers’ would be fitting.
        schweinepriester – [edit]

        Literally pig priest = traitor and someone without scruples
        Practical Usage use this for someone who screws their friends over”

        • andy ibay says:

          I was young, in teen age years when from newspapers and TV I learned the New York city cops were referred to as PIGS. I thought that was very unfair to many policemen and their families. Now that kind of police name calling is gone now. NYPD I think has won respect of the world.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    A few months ago Direct Democacy was discussed. It is akin to confessing without the need of a priest and confess ditectly to god. One day when there is 100 percent direct democracy, there will be no need for legislators.If it is to start from the barangay, no more barangay council.

    Let us face it, as long as there is infrastructure or projects, and congressmen who insist that everything has to pass to them, no matter howmany times the supreme court rules against pork, there will still be pork in our diet, I mean system.

    • sonny says:

      Very apt analogy, Neph. Very apt. I like!

      • sonny says:

        From Religion 101 and PoliSc 101, this is precisely the reason for mediated authority, law and the common good are for real.

        • karlgarcia says:

          btw unc, your recommended viewing ‘The Accountant’ i recommended it to my sis and she watched it and she was touched because the main character was autistic and it reminded her of my two brothers who went ahead. I have not seen it yet.

          • sonny says:

            I understand, Neph. I also came out with more empathy for persons with the syndrome. Peace and Godspeed to your brothers, Karl. Would love to get your feedback too.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Many thanks unc! I am sure that it is a nice movie.

              • karlgarcia says:

                had to watch it online and Affleck was great as an action star, ala Jack Ryan,daredevil and Bat Man, I see the traces of Rain man in his adult character with his math skills and when something was rearranged and unfinished. The jigsaw puzzle solving was what remided my sis of my bro. The character of her friend, the daughter of the institution head was a surprise.I was surprised she through a computerized communicator was the one he was always talking to in speaker. I knew that other killer was his brother.

                You are right, it was nice! Thanks!

              • karlgarcia says:

                hire the accountant for marcos ill gotten wealth, pdaf, and bangladesh heist. money will be back in a few days.

              • sonny says:

                I might have to buy dvd for the wife. Schedule a Thanksgiving showing with the two guys and manugang. Best to you.

          • NHerrera says:

            karl, like sonny, I wish your brothers “who went ahead” Peace and Godspeed. Deducing from your many comments in Joeam’s blog, they, through common DNA, most probably have nice traits that you show here.

  6. Gemino H. Abad says:

    And our Supreme Court? — we shall soon see!! on the same day America will see: Trump or Hillary?

  7. madlanglupa says:

    > What book are they thumping, if not the Constitution?

    Their bank books… in Zurich. Or the Bahamas. Or Isle of Man.

    Most of them desire not of improvement to the human condition, nor to enlighten, but rather to kill democracy, protect their own possessions, control their constituents, and then concentrating all power to reign over a feudal province or a state like monarchic sultans and datus of old.

  8. gerverg1885 says:

    …and then the title of HONORABLE that goes with the position…as if they have any sense of what it really means to be one that must be called as such….!!!!!!!

  9. Our cups are filled to the brim to accept any new teachings.
    A few million lost fate and decided to worship in another faith.

  10. manilamac says:

    Well, this certainly touches a nerve. Our legislature has been remiss throughout its history. The rancid halo-halo of our 21st century laws–a mix of Roman/Spanish & English/American law–testifies to that. (Until a few years ago, rape was a “crime against chastity” rather than against persons & there’s still a double standard of adultery (for women) & concubinage (for men)…to say nothing of libel remaining a criminal offence.)

    As is the case with many things governmental, the pre-martial law legislature was far from perfect. But the Marcos years reduced legislators to mere cronies. Post-EDSA, while a number of legislators of old-school integrity were still around, most of he work that went into the 1987 Constitution was focused on trying to make martial law as impossible as possible. Even the present “state of emergency” could probably be successfully challenged in court if anybody had to balls to try…which I suppose grants a measure of success to that one issue–thank God for small favors.

    Subsequent to that, the old-school guys began retiring and/or dying and it’s been a downhill ride all the way. Parallel to that, we have the resumption of free press (if you own one) and electronic media. Despite our disgust with the excesses of social media, radio & TV have added more to our legislative woes. Commercial media created the monsters we have today. Now only are celebrities & sports stars elected, any trapo who wants to buff his reputation can do so just by providing profitable headlines or viewer stats. Entertainment is king.

    As an artist myself, I must also point out the way the arts & culture of the nation have been neglected over those same years. The Aquinos, mother & son, shunned arts & culture because it was “an Imelda thing.” Our non-Aquino presidents have just been philistines by nature, to one degree or another. Entertainment is all we have.

    Television doesn’t help. Talk radio (which a *huge* portion of the population listens to day & night) is even worse. It’s a wonder we’ve seen any meaningful legislation at all over the last 15yrs or more. Why legislate when you can have all manner of investigations &c that reap headlines & airtime. But the current legislature is the worst I’ve ever seen…and I’ve watched them since 1968.

    Not only have dynasties taken over almost completely in the House, many of them are the more-incompetent children of previous incompetent fathers. Turncoatism has always been a feature of the legislature, but the present 99% rate of it is a fair measure of Congressional integrity.

    The “august body” of the Senate could pass as a TV talk show…add to the Representatives’ dynastic strength people elected on no greater claim than fame (or notoriety) than name recognition and money.

    Now comes Cha-cha. The House is a goner. They have their 3/4s supermajority & to spare. The entire question will soon rest on whether seven Senators will vote no on the Cha-cha resolution. If they do, we will have a con-con, with delegates elected (according to yet-to-be-formed rules) by vote of the people. If fewer than 7 vote no, the Senate too will have passed the resolution by a 3/4s supermajority and Con-ass it will be. In addition to a government of trapos, we’ll have them serving under a trapo-written constitution.

    If we go to parliamentary federalism, my conjecture is that we’ll see Mindanao in the hands of Duterte and Luzon & the Visayas in the hands of the Marcos-Romualdez axis…w/ Bongette as PM, of course.

    It disturbs me no end to write all this without offering any solutions, but it seems to me that what we have here is a cultural problem, and cultural problems can take years, decades, centuries to change…though their *best* elements can be destroyed in a matter of months. We are now in that time of destruction. Lord help us all,

    • The solution has to come from within the legislators themselves. They either see the stark significance of what they are doing, and develop a greater intellect akin to that of the American founding fathers, or they continue to act as tribal chieftains, doing the bidding of their very human god.

      I appreciate your take on things. The thing that strikes me is that we ordinary people can figure it out, but the leadership, it would seem, cannot. Or they simply don’t have the personal strength, emotionally and culturally, to reach the bigger picture.

      • manilamac says:

        A major problem is the way patronage politics never sinks very far below the surface. Many of us concerned w/ the establishment of genuine development politics as an alternative were already daunted (if not depressed) by how little could be accomplished in a 6yr term of office. In the absence of anti-dynasty laws & FOI, it will take more than 12yrs…maybe more than 18…for a generation to grow up *expecting* police who are peace officers, judges who are judicious, legislators who legislate & executive leadership that leads. Every one of those things remain a novelty.

        In electing PNoy, the country made the right decision for the wrong reasons. Ok, we had an honest president for 6yrs…so what? All that happened was that the patronage & corruption went a little deeper underground for a while. Put a Duterte or a Binay or a Marcos in the palace & it all resurfaces almost immediately.

        We *knew* the legislators at & post 2010 were for the most part play acting. If we ever manage 18, or even 12, years of reality-based leadership, it’s possible that some of the “artistas” in the Congress will be exposed as bad actors & their performances will get panned by a more critical public than we see today.

        One of the real tragedies of 2016 was the splitting of the 18 million liberal democratic votes that were cast *against* Duterte. Another big one was the Aquino failure to get the masa to understand what development politics is & how it works. As happened, the poorly informed, faced w/ the choice of continued development or return to patronage were predisposed to choose covered basketball courts. This was especially true in view of the meagerness of improvement in inequality.

        I’m not surprised that our legislature is little more than a convocation of rent seekers. They absolutely *never* will enact the laws we most need–that would go very much against their self-interest.

        The way things are today, I can hardly get myself to even think of solutions…my attention keeps getting drawn instead to how to *prevent* the possibility of any solutions getting wiped out forever. Con-con could nail the coffin of liberal democracy, human & cultural development shut in a distressingly long-lived way. Serfdom produces even dumber voters than simple poverty.

  11. caliphman says:

    Its disheartening that unlike the clergy it is we the faithful are responsible for electing and reelecting
    this scurriluous rabble that is supposed to be one of the pillars of our representative democracy.There is no one else to blame but ourselves and raises the question if a society can expect anything better if the best it can do is elect a legislature that mirrors its prevalent values and traditions.

  12. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic but nonetheless disturbing:

    If so, given his environment, circumstances, IMHO it’s too easy and convenient for witch-hunter… este, Secretary Aguirre that Espinosa executed and signed the supposed affidavit naming hundreds of narcotic conspirators but under *apparent duress*.

    It is a matter of time before Aguirre would satisfy the bloodlust of the “masses”.

  13. chemrock says:

    Philippines was a cesspit as expansive as the Aegean Sea and Pnoy was no Hercules. He did managed to start the cleansing process and made some headways. This admin could have been the anchor runner in a relay race to take advantage of the gains made by the previous runner and sprint to economic take-off. But horror of horrors, he dropped the baton.

    What is happening is the Aegean Sea being filled with dead bodies of criminals, addicts and innocents. And pulpits overflow with false preachers unashamedly pointing to the bodies as the tough love being applied to clear the shits from the pits.

    Tomorrow is a day of reckoning. Will there be 8 SC justices to show us there is still hope, or will they ring the death knell that Philippines has gone to the dogs.

    Personally for me, tomorrow is the day that I have to make some important decisions for my family’s future.

    • NHerrera says:


      My crystal ball, cloudy as it is, says the SC will not disappoint us non-MDS (Marcos Diehard Supporters). I will offer my lamentations if wrong as I have been wrong a lot of times before.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am in my sackcloth now.

        I would have donned on my sackcloth earlier but persisted in waiting. hoping that the SC of the Judiciary is made of better stuff. The reason why I had some hint of the decision is because of the uncharacteristic behavior of the Marcoses:

        – Imee a day before, while sympathizing with their supporters, advised them to pray that SC decides in favor of the Marcos burial; and that they the Marcoses will accept whatever the SC decides;

        – BBM was also uncharacteristically silent a day before the SC decision.

        (Decoding — of course, the Marcoses will accept whatever the decision of the SC is because they already know.)

    • caliphman says:

      Chempo, this admin has gone on record repudiating the 3 million Filipino Americans who live and work here in the United States. I find it difficult to maintain any goodwill to this government or hope for the country under its stewardship. Collectively the OFW’s here and elsewhere send home 25 billion dollars yearly of their hard earned income savings. That is more than a third of the national budget and the only words of gratitude Duterte has for us is essentially Fuck you?

      • chemrock says:

        You know Caliphman all it needs to screw the admin is for OFWs to delay their remittances for 3 months. The impact on the country’s balance of payments would be immediate. The peso exchange rate will be hit and the country will have short term liquidity problems

        This is a president that does not understand nor care about economics. He does not know the country’s economy is proded up by OFW remittances. He does not understand that the country’s export of services exceed our export of goods. Yet he is publicly condemning the 2 pillars in the services that’s pulling in the cash — the OFW and BPO.

        Is there no one in the clergy that can give him a homily on this.

  14. Andres10K says:

    Sounds like Democracy is a failure here in the Philippines. There are always alternatives, and more suited.

    • madlanglupa says:

      The reigning demagogues (who are really feudal warlords) say that the “people” ask for draconian rules, security and handouts, not democracy and human rights.

  15. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    We indeed live in a fast-pace world.

    – First, Clinton cleared by FBI investigation on the email fiasco
    – Second, Wait … FBI is looking at the matter further
    – Third, Clinton cleared again

    Well, we will know what all these, among others, have done to Clinton or Trump Presidential Bid by Nov 10, Philippine Time.

  16. NHerrera says:


    There are non-heathens in part of the Philippine Legislature — the Senate Pulpit. But even them are not heathens for different reasons.

    Let me just take the case of non-heathens Gordon and Lacson.

    After Gordon and Lacson gave PRD a clean bill of health on EJK, the bad taste in the mouth of their critics must have rubbed off on the two. So, without taking away their genuine concern on the unusual circumstances of the Espinosa killing — screaming in big sounds of EJK — they are planning on reopening the EJK investigation but confined I understand to the Espinosa killing. A chance to make-up for the two and of course to hug the Senate limelight again in good measure.

    I hope that this hearing on EJK Part II (or is it Part III?) will do a better job and open the Pandora’s box for the benefit to the country. (Hope springs eternal.)

    • karlgarcia says:

      Slightly another topic.
      Delima’s test case is now turning in to hiding behind gender vs hiding from immunity from suit.

    • edgar lores says:

      A. For me, the non-heathens are:

      1. Leila De Lima
      2. Antonio Trillanes
      3. Kiko Pangilinan
      4. Risa Hontiveros
      5. Bam Aquino
      6. Franklin Drilon
      7. Ralph Recto

      B. The heathens are:

      8. Alan Cayetano
      9. Aquilino Pimentel
      10. Tito Sotto
      11. Manny Pacquiao
      12. Cynthia Villar
      13. Loren Legarda
      14. Joel Villanueva
      15. JV Ejercito
      16. Sherwin Gatchalian
      17. Juan Miguel Zubiri
      18. Sonny Angara
      19. Francis Escudero

      C. The selfish-heathenish are:

      20. Richard Gordon
      21. Panfilo Lacson
      22. Nancy Binay
      23. Gregorio Honasan
      24. Grace Poe

      The B and C senators all voted to oust Senator De Lima as Chairperson of the Committee on Justice, with the exception of Escudero. (He must have been absent.) Apart from voting against De Lima, the B senators have spoken to support Duterte’s plans and policies. The C senators have spoken against some of Duterte’s plans and policies.

      *** The B Class ***

      I believe there is not even a scintilla of a doubt that the B heathens firmly belong to the Duterte camp. There is no need to comment on heathens 8 – 11.

      o Villar is firmly in Duterte’s camp with her son Mark occupying a Cabinet post.

      o Legarda supported Duterte in not honoring the Paris pact on global warming. Ironically, she heads the committee on Environmental and Natural Resources.

      o Villanueva is an LP turncoat.

      o Ejercito spoke in favor of giving Duterte emergency powers and joined Duterte’s trip to Japan.

      o Gatchalian praised Duterte as “really extraordinary” and wanted to join Duterte’s trip to China. His brother went in his place.

      o Zubiri has been particularly sycophantic in praising Duterte’s foul mouth, his independent foreign stance and going to the extent of presenting a special wine, a Chateau Dutertre!

      o Angara supports the war on drugs and Duterte’s “tax reform.”

      o Escudero and Heart joined the Duterte delegation to Vietnam.

      *** The C Class ***

      o Binay clarified her vote to oust was conditional on Cayetano not gaining the chairmanship. She has characterized the attacks on De Lima as “below the belt.”

      o Poe has opposed Duterte on reducing the minimum age of criminality, but she has been particularly expedient in her judgments. (But this is not new.)

      o Honasan has spoken against summary executions and Duterte’s “trial by publicity.”

      o I reserve special venom for Gordon and Lacson as pretenders. While these two make pronouncements that seem to show independence, they did scuttle the original hearings on EJKs. These two are out to protect their own skin and not the country.

      I stand to be corrected.

      • NHerrera says:

        Exhaustive — none not enumerated. No correction from me.

        But if I may modify my post above:

        Gordon and Lacson = non-heathens with heavy baggage = non-heathens pretenders.

      • chemrock says:

        Tricky Dick and Slippery Lacson are doing what Trillanes termed the Tipping Point dance routine. These dancers sense the changing tide, they feel a surge of sentiments against the president. They timed their move to display their new colour and sure as hell will do it in a way for max publicity.

        They are fooling themselves that people believe they are out to flush the truth in aid of legislation.

        • edgar lores says:


          • Sup says:

            After the heavy hauling the elephant, Lacson and Gordon take a relax in a sauna…..When the elephant looks at the small dick of Dick he start laughing and ask Dick ”Are you sure you can eat with that small slurf? 🙂

      • I think the list is very well constructed. No corrections.

      • karlgarcia says:

        imagine nancy saying that she wish her dad had the numers in congress, his dad would have not been humiliated. kung madami lang daw silang kakampi di daw nangyari sa kanila.

        the only good thing is she is still mad at pimentel and cayetano, but unfortunately also trillanes.

        Poe should fulfill all the win or lose promises to Trillanes and not drop him like a hot potato and put him under the bus.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Yehey. Mocha Uson has her maiden article in Philstar’s Opnion Section.

  18. Edgar Lores says:

    There are also heathens on the bench of the High Court.

    The Executive has fallen to the heathens.
    The Legislature has fallen to the heathens.
    The Judiciary has fallen to the heathens.

    The domination of the heathens is now complete.

    • madlanglupa says:

      And the return of the Bozanian Empire. Dark times again.

    • Waray-Waray says:

      Happy days are here again!

      Congratulations to us. Bring it on cronies, politicians, rent seekers, epals, envelope journalists, trolls the list must be endless they are scrambling to position themselves in bastardising this country up to the hilt.

      Sky is the limit – to Impunity and Beyond.

  19. Waray-Waray says:

    Allow me to post my lamentation:

    And the heavens wept.
    The men gnashed their teeth.

    Widows wailed in desperation
    Youth disgusted with shame and desolation.

    Where have all the years of pain gone by?
    The thousand of deaths without goodbyes?

    The future slipping fast from my grasp
    The present is just a mirage of the past.

  20. Thea says:

    We have democracy in the Philippines which is based on fake belief. It is the freedom of speech being endorsed by the Mocha Usons and PhilStar. It is the democracy in our justice system of being silent about the EJKs. It is the election of the most popular. In the Philippines,it is just a pretext by the authority to placate a decision to bury a dead dictator in a heroes burial site by thwarted votes. It is sponsoring a candidate in the election to gain a chunky seat in the government. It is donating a school to get a seat in the Senate. Democracy in the country does not mention about the responsibilities and duties attached to freedom. Rather it is a freedom by the executives,legislatures and powerful to do what it takes to stay in power.

    Democracy in the Philippines is akin to its religious faith,Joe. Why? Because we have fake faith too. We, Filipinos, pray to God because we want Him to bless us. Our faith is focused on “me” and “us”. It is focused on what we want from God. It is holding a rosary while marching for a father’s heroes burial while there are many children still begging for justice whose fathers were victims of that dictator-father. Our faith in God is parallel to giving donations to churches and the authoritative tithe in a poverty stricken country as a way to salvation and heaven. And perhaps,a solid vote next election. It is appearing in public with heads down in deep prayers before the start of any convention. It is not the faith centered on God. For we want God to serve us and not serve him.

    Democracy is not in the hearts of many rather it is in the hands of the few in a country of fake believers.


    Filipinos love fakes too. Fake Valentino bags, fake Ray-Bans, fake faces, fake news,fake democracy. Name it,you will get it in every corners.

  21. caliphman says:

    Today was a day of infamy. Justice was turned on its head. Nine shameless Supreme Court justices
    soiled their souls burying a tyrant and despot in sacred ground. What more to say of a Court who stayed on the sidelines while this tyrant stole the life of a nation and pillaged its treasure?

    A Court showing no courage, no conscience, and now no heart.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    if the sc decides above 8 on the test case agsinst duterte, then i have no confidence left with this institution. ❗️❗️❗️

    • edgar lores says:

      Among the nine errant justices, Estela Perlas-Bernabe is the is the most disappointing for me.

      Before, she used to vote in consonance with Sereno, Carpio and Leonen. She would usually write a separate opinion on a fine point in law.

      However, in the case of Gloria, she voted for the ex-president’s release along with the GMA-appointed majority. It seems she has turned or, worst still, been turned.

  23. karlgarcia says:

    if the sc decides above 8 on the test case agsinst duterte, then i have no confidence left with this institution. ❗️❗️❗️

  24. The current events no longer make sense. Sham after sham coming from the three branches of the government. No separation of powers, they are all united in giving the living Bathala what he wants.

    Woe is every Filipino! The hard-knock life is upon each of us. The government of, for, and by the people is now perished from PH.

    • edgar lores says:

      Did you find it hard getting out of bed this morning? Were you filled with lassitude?

      I was.

      When evil seems so pervasive that the very air is thick with it and hard to breathe, vigor is lost and the spirit dwindles.

      Of course, the spirit will rise. There is no alternative.

      • Yes. It is a sad, sad day.

        It is as to be expected. The SC decisions to free Enrile and Arroyo herald the resurgence of unbridled impunity. It will not get any better because PRD will soon appoint more clones of the 9 INjustices.

        BBM is making his rounds around the country vowing the Marcoses will rise again. 2016 is just the beginning of the Filipino nightmare?

        Where is Hercules when he is needed to slay the PH Hydra?

        • JP…

          A double whammy during my sick leave….I purposely did not read or listen to the news to help me heal….now back to reality…the SC failed us again in a big way, and a Duterte-like figure is at the helm of our old ally, the mighty US of A. Is it true the next POTUS is BFF with Putin and China?..chance upon a meme with a picture of Duterte, Trump and is that Xi?, mocking the yellows to call for help somewhere else…..Let’s do exactly that, have courage my friends, God is in control. Let us all be STILL and know that He is God.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            Putin, maybe because he has businesses in Russia. China? He lambasted it several times on the campaign trail and vowed to raise its export tariffs. Filipinos should call on the American people if they need help. That meme is vile and false.

  25. OFF TOPIC:

    A nail-biter. Glued to ABC election count coverage and constantly checking Nate’s live blog.

    Nate Silver’s 2016 US ELECTION LIVE BLOG:

    • PRD might meet his match soon. Chances of Trump winning the US Presidency just got better. Trump promised to raise tariff on China but he is chummy with Russia.

      WTH? Trump and PRD might turn out to be best buds.

      The populists are taking over the world!

      • NHerrera says:


        A certain Wang (PhD, neuroscience; Undergrad, Physics) earlier said he will eat a bug if Clinton does not win. He must be preoccupied now thinking what bug to eat. After all he has to be true to his word or lose all credibility.

        Just making light of the day here (night for you).


        But there is still a chance for Clinton although the odds now greatly favor Trump?

        • Yes, but very slim. Right now the returns not counted are trending on Trump’s favor. This is bizarre. I never thought this could happen. They are saying that rural people turned out in numbers at the polls. The Canadian Immigration website crashed from all the traffic from the US (fact). The stock market is going crazy on the downward trend. This world had gone wacko and the sane ones are outnumbered.

      • chemrock says:

        A Trump win is a major problem for PRD. A small bully can’t F around with a big bully. Trump is not going PRD’s nonsense whether it’s jokes or not. Trump demands respect and kowtow to him. This admin will have to deal with an entirely different USA

  26. edgar lores says:

    The END is NEAR.

    • NHerrera says:

      Oh oh. The guru talks about THE END. I hope not in eschatological or theological terms.

      • edgar lores says:

        The END is HERE.

        • josephivo says:


          The future is the past. Welcome on our way back to romantic nationalism and great heroes on the battlefields. Welcome to creationism. Welcome to a world where women have no more voting rights unless they are perfect 10’s. Welcome to a world with landlords and serfs. Welcome to creationism and a sun turning around the earth, a flat earth with Jerusalem’s Trump tower in the center.

    • Bert says:

      Don’t be sad, Edgar. Let’s take comfort in what Pres. Obama said the other day that whatever the result of the presidential election, the sun will surely rise again tomorrow.

      If however you’re referring to the administration here, I don’t think I can disagree with you.

  27. It is all over but the crying. I am turning in to cry myself to sleep. The world is now upside down. I am so disappointed.

  28. karlgarcia says:

    It says the real winner is China.
    Let us see how Taiwan,Korea and Japan reacts. Will they seek alternatves like their own nukes to guard against NOkor ?

  29. NHerrera says:

    Turning in much earlier than usual. What did the lead female character say in “Gone with the Wind” — tomorrow is another day? Goodnight or Good day wherever you are. And don’t forget to kiss that special one before you turn in tonight.

  30. andrewlim8 says:

    My gut tells me that just like the victims of extra-judicial killings that wore Duterte ballers, the disasters that Trump will bring will harm the white, rural, non-college educated demographic the most.

    He won’t be able to bring back manufacturing jobs he promised, and he will be forced to acknowledge that immigrant labor is indispensable already to the US economy.

  31. The election of Trump will test the mettle of US democracy and its citizens’ principles. The grain will be separated from the chaff. Democracy will prevail. The Americans will always fight for truth, freedom and justice for all. They will defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with their life if necessary. Good things do come out from adversity. America is emulated and envied today because of all the lessons learned from its dark days. It will overcome all tests, no doubt about it.

  32. caliphman says:

    In the Philippines, the triumph of Duterte was the coming of our Red Dawn. Yesterday, the elections here resulted in the surprise victory of his twin,Trump, threatening the age of White Amerika. Can the Third World be much different from the First when male misogynist know-nothings with the unpresidential manners of a buffoon are swept into power by its citizenry? When we who have dual allegiances are faced with such dual disasters, the real tragedy is the betrayal by the citizenry and leaders of both countries of its principles upholding basic human rights and decency.

    • caliphman says:

      If I had known Trump would win, I would have grabbed the Wueen’s offer in a heartbeat!

      • Cheer up, caliphman. We both have to remember that in America, the man in the office is in service of the people. Does Trump has the authoritarian populist bent? Sure, he does. But WE, the people, are not going to let him turn the government into a one man rule. WE will fight for what is right. WE will not hand over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to a dictator without a fight. WE both know that is a FACT.

        • caliphman says:

          I do not know about becoming cheerful in the face of dreadful news but I am certainly all buckled up to defend and stand up for what is right. It helps that the legislative and judicial branches of government are less swayed by bullying and despotic political leaders and can be trusted to protect the people from abusive policies and practices. Perhaps this is why my family and I chose to be here.

    • edgar lores says:


      1. Is the END really HERE?

      2. It is… and it is not.

      3. Let me explain. I have said the journey is the destination. But if the destination – that is, the END – is here then so also is the journey.

      3.1. If A = B, then B = A. Is that not so, Sir NHerrera?

      4. So what we have is a continuation of the journey. To use another of my central metaphors, which is that life is a river, we have just gone around a bend. And, boy, what a bend it is. I see phantasmagorical shapes of rocks and trees along the banks. And I see rough waters ahead with rocks jutting out of the roiling water.

      4.1. Put on your life jackets! This is a perilous stretch of water!

      4.2. The journey has become an odyssey.


      5. It is time we re-examine democracy, that ideal of government “of” the people, “by” the people, and “for” the people.

      5.1. “OF” is alright. It simply means the people are sovereign. We do not want one person or a cabal to possess supreme power.

      5.2. “FOR” is also alright. It simply means the purpose of government is for the general welfare of the people. By “people,” we mean each individual within the society regardless of race, color, sex, age, gender, creed, property or other status.

      5.3. “BY” is the problem, isn’t it? It means that the people perform the functions of government either directly or indirectly. Actually, it is not “either.” It is a mixture of both. The people rule indirectly by choosing representatives but they also rule directly by virtue of being employed by the state.

      5.3.1. The core of the problem is two-fold:

      (a) The chosen representatives do not serve “FOR” the people’s interest but for themselves.

      (b) The people do not choose the representatives that will best represent their interests.

      6. What to do? There are three ways of mitigating the problem:

      (a) Limit the people who can choose the representatives. Currently, the most important criterion is age.

      (b) Limit the people who can be chosen to be representatives. Currently, the most important criteria are citizenship and age.

      (c) Improve the institutions (e.g., political parties, separation of powers) and processes (e.g. method of voting) of choosing representatives. Currently, we allow multi-parties that do not stand for anything and we practice first-past-the-post voting.

      6.1. Be well aware that any form of mitigation is either a redefinition or a refinement of the concept of democracy.

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, yes on the journey. Some refinement and adjustment, as humans move on; partly some wave or cycle — not a smooth way forward.

  33. karlgarcia says:

    How many SC justices will retire within five years?
    Will that matter after Duterte steps down and the next king takes over?

    Same with the legislature who cared if PDP Laban had just a few members?
    It is always dependent on the president, and if he is a push over or not.

    I remember a blogger named Patricio Mangubat who proposed to scrap the palit ulo (head change) system,and replace it with direct democracy.
    I do not know how direct, because in Europe the heads still changes.

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