Attack is the best form of defense


By Chemrock

In this post-truth age, where everyone is armed with a tool and can, in safety behind anonymity, maim characters and destroy people’s lives, decency and good-heartedness can no longer survive if we chose to believe in the pacificistic “truth will have its way”. VP Leni’s team learned the hard way after heinous false news tried to pull her into the mud. They have since announced that they will respond to such slurs henceforth. Respond they must, but a non-proactive stance is a very weak defense in the face of such onslaught in social media.

I believe in the freedom of expression with responsibilities and accountability. Those that step beyond the invisible red line needs to be hauled in. To the innocents who have been mauled, such as Leni, my strong advocacy is to sue like hell for libel on each and every incident. This is especially necessary against people who are paid to do the devil’s work.

There has been a paradigm shift in the way political battles are fought ever since Obama won his presidency with tiny contributions from hordes of ordinary people. Looking back at 2016 and with the wisdom of hindsight, it’s so strange that the intelligentsia had no social media game plan and allowed the Duterte-Marcos axis to occupy that space. Obviously, social media alone did not win the war for Duterte, it certainly didn’t work for Bongbong Marcos in his VP bid. But there is no denying their social media initiatives did a lot of damage, and continue to do so.

A little while back, we discussed here in TSH the mathematical or philosophical question of what happens when an irrepressible force meets an immoveable force.  Whilst there appears no answer to that question, one thing I know for sure. From my soccer days of long ago, we learned that going into a tackle, we need to go in tough. The weaker bones end up on the ground. Politicians who are fearful that the country may be headed down the fascist path and who have 2022 in mind, need to construct a proactive social media strategy right now.  And they need to be as well constructed as the opponents’.  They need to make a tough stand.

Is there only one Nic Gabunada, who runs Duterte’s social media program? Of course not. People with his technical skills are a plenty. From what I have heard in reports and interviews, he has done a good job technically, but it is not the best to be. There are lots of other possibilities that they barely exploited. I believe that it is possible to pool a group of people capable of undertaking the job of protecting democracy in Philippines by retaking the social media space.  Let’s call this Tean D for ‘Democracy”. The essential expertise for Team D includes IT specialist familiar with all forms of social media, IT forensics specialists, network experts, marketers, digital graphics experts, copywriters, content writers,  librarians, lawyers, big data analysts, amongst others.  A separate blog is required if we want to get into the details.

I also strongly believe that the righteous and anti-fascist purpose of Team D can attract hordes of volunteers prepared to work pro-bono. A small full-time staff is of course essential. A huge intelligence funding is not necessary, but certainly financial support is required.

We have to face the fact, like it or not, that the way of communication has changed forever, no thanks to technology. Blogs such as what we see in TSH are only appreciated for its substance and literary value by only a handful. For mass communication, success depends on the ability to capture attention by brevity, shock value and visualisation. When someone clicks on a link, you have less than 30 seconds with him. That’s the fact. This is the environment for Team D.

By way of demo, I like Joe’s kind indulgence to display an example of bringing up an issue in a different manner. I put this together, somewhat hurriedly, so it’s not really a good job.

Note for grammar cops:

In deference to the blog host, American English is adopted here. In particular, ‘defense’ is used instead of ‘defence’ as we give way to American preference for ‘s’ generally.
In the Queen’s English, ‘defence’ is a noun, thus we have Ministry of Defence in all Commonwealth countries.
English has something the Americans don’t have –  a ‘passive’ and an ‘active’ sense.

  • ‘Defence’ is usually used a passive role — eg “His only defence was he didn’t know.”
  • ‘Defense’ is used in an active role — eg “We are for the defense of democracy.”


153 Responses to “Attack is the best form of defense”
  1. “In the Queen’s English, ‘defence’ is a noun” this is how it looks if you attack defence:

  2. NHerrera says:

    We have discussed lofty goals, objectives. Good we paused from that and go to the nuts and bolts.

    Way to go, chempo. Great job.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The irrepresible force and the immovable object was also discussed. The mathematical solution was mumbo jumbo even for you, so we defer to the philosophical answer which was divorce.

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    Trump should count his lucky stars. If it was the Philippines instead of Mexico sharing that border, building a wall would have resulted in Filipinos building their houses along that wall using that wall as one side of their house. This has been referred to as “gillage” (gilid ng village). 🙂

  4. Teddy sevilla says:

    I am very much willing to help and contribute. I like this site for its profound and intellectually rejuvenating insights. But there is a huge need to organize and out up an organized propaganda group where the intellectual firepower of this group can be harnessed. Remember, we can only do very little if we just keep talking to ourselves and agreeing most of the time. I see not much need to convince the already convinced. The greater need is to engage.

    • The blog can’t be used to organize, as I’d get in trouble regarding my visa. It would have to be elsewhere, and each person is free to do as he or she wishes. There is no endorsement from the blog. That said, I admire your passion.

      • a distant observer says:

        I understand that you’re cautious not being perceived as an “enabler” of opposition against the Duterte regime. I think you’re pursuing the right strategy at the moment. One can see that there is a demand for “walking” and not just “talking”, a demand for action, as expressed by Teddy and pilgrimsurgeon. And is it any wonder that people with anti-Duterte sentiments are drawn to your website? However, I think you’re doing more than enough Joe. Politics is all about language and talking, and that’s what you do. That said, I admire your passion.

  5. pilgrimsurgeon says:

    Count me in for Team D.
    When do we start?

  6. I see that readers are taking this as something other than a discussion forum. The blog (me, the editor) endorses no action whatsoever, but recognizes the intellectual merits of the argument.

    The ‘attack’ idea of course can provoke attacks in response, and that’s how things like martial law come to pass. So one should not think that willy nilly rioting generates solutions, always.

  7. chemrock says:

    Woooh fellas, hold your horses. Before anyone gets too exuberant, please note this is just a discussion blog. It is not a call to arms. Sorry for not putting a caveat at the article end.

  8. madlanglupa says:

    Attacking headlong will, of course, cause more damage. Instead, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Aguirre may have won the battle today, but not the war.

  9. edgar lores says:

    1. in the just concluded Super Bowl LI, the best offense team, the Atlanta Falcons, faced the best defense team, the New England Patriots.

    In the first half, the Falcons sped to an insurmountable 21 – 3 lead. In the second half, the Patriots tied down the Falcons to just 7 points, and with a superb offense tied the score at 28.

    In overtime, the Patriots completed a 34 – 28 victory.

    2. There is a time for offensive play and a time for defensive play.

    3. I am not for the notion of using marketing to disseminate the truth. And I am not for the notion of suing for libel at every turn.

    4. Why?

    5. Truth should be propagated but not promoted. I take these terms in this manner: “propagate” means to spread and “promote” means to sell. There should be no need to commodify and sell the truth.

    6. Indiscriminate suing produces a litigious society, a society of lawyers and liars.

    7. In the cut-throat world of today’s politics, I do recognize the need at this time for the De Limas and the Trillaneses to combat the Dutertes and the Aguirres.

    8. But truth is not a football that should be punted by one team then another… and life is not a game.

    9. If I had my druthers, I would prefer that men adhere to ethical principles and develop the ability to discern truth. Then no one can trick us. There would be no victories for any Duterte or Trump.

    9.1. We have talked about developing critical reasoning. We have talked about developing judgmental ability. We now read of what I referred to as “projection,” the ability to work through the “implications” of people, beliefs, actions and events.

    10. Life is a journey, and we should spend it in constant wonder and discovery and not in perpetual strife. And truth is… are the blooming flowers and the shining stars that bless and guide us on our way.

    • chemrock says:

      1.Patriots and Falcons met 14 times since 1972. Patriots won 8-6. It’s statistics. By your reasoning, Italy (Italians are great defensive teams) should have won all FIFA world cup finals but they did’nt.

      2. True, but also depends on what is the game. If someone is going to drag you into the mud, you better do something first. That’s what we are talking about here. Not real warfare.
      Lord Cardigan should’nt have ordered The Charge of the Light Brigade against the Russians.
      Then again, Custer should’nt have made his last stand at Little Big Horn.

      3/6. In politics I’m all for libel. Drilon’s recent victorious libel case against Manuel Mejorada is a good example. I’m all for suing for libel in Philippines because people take such things too lightly compared to other countries. Especially now in this post-fact era. You see litigatious society, I see discipline.

      5. Yes I appreciate selling has a bad taste to it compared to propagation. Jesus propagates Love. But today’s real world is different. Dog bites man is no longer news. Nobody wants to listen to the story. Man bites dog is a big story. My contention is truth conveyed under defensive circumstances appear weak. Try to get Mar to explain the failures of MRT- it’s going to be difficult for him to propagate it. Consultants are the marketers of ideas, which needs to be sold. Nic Gabunada is the consultant/marketer but they peddle lots of false news.

      10. How very true, the perfect world that we all want. But the rough and the thugies are lined all the way and they reach out and grab what they want. What do you do.

      These article advocates proactive action, not reactive responses. It could be war on proverty. It could be war on dirty sidestreets. It could be political character assasinations. Nobody need to die here.

  10. junior buelva says:

    I’m in, should anybody need a fittingly intended “bad copy” for an upcoming team “D”. My forte is to harangue and anguish! Haha!

  11. popoy del r cartanio says:

    If I may, Chemistry of Rock – interesting piece; fertile blog discourse; a reversible jacket: Offense (note the s) or attack is the best defense (that “s” again) and that oxymoron, defense (superior nuclear armaments) is the best attack. Take Trump’s and Duterte’s attack politics as the best defense against constant encroachment of their people’s safety and well being (kuno). Take bullying attack as a means of defending some forms of personality inadequacies (otra cosa of course). Take our Lapu (square), Tony Luna, Andres B., Vibora. also their Napoleon B, Rommel, Monty, Douglas M., G. Patton, Ike E. Schwarzkopf, the dukes and princes of the seventh coalition etc. — their strategy using tactical attacks, historic battles winning wars. It’s different from the here and now battles happening in media cyberspace, but could be useful for a look back for even a shallow understanding of tacticians Dutertics, Trumpstics, Putintics, XiJintics . . .

  12. Bert says:

    Speaking of attack, Senator De Lima is under attack today. Will she counterattack? The PNP has her arrest warrant and may arrest her when she goes out of the Senate premises anytime. She said in her press conference after the Senate Hearing today that she is going home to get her things and be with her family before going to jail but will be back at the Senate tomorrow morning and will wait for the arresting officers there.

    In the press conference today, was the good Senator telling the truth? Let me consult my most reliable cryatal ball. Hmmmn, its hazy, but I am not seeing the Lady Senator leaving the the senate premises. And I am not seeing her entering her home to get her things. Hmmmn, is my most reliable crystal ball not reliable anymore? I wonder.

  13. NHerrera says:

    This is a very interesting blog article because — at the very least — it stimulates TSH readers and contributors to ask what their thoughts are on the subject. Already chempo’s article and edgar’s comments present, in a manner of speaking, two candies both of which are appealing.

    Before I go ahead on this note forget for the moment our reference to personalities like Duterte and Trillanes. Let us consider instead

    – Politicians X and Y — both of whom are equally capable of “attacking” or “defending;”

    – That their attack or defense will not be a one-shot activity; in other words repetitive for say a period of six years;

    – That there are four combinations of the Attack (A) and Defend (D) decisions;

    – That after a series of decisions over the period mentioned, involving (A, A), (A, D), (D, A) we may also have (D, D) but this last one is strange and needs explanation; I take this as one of a “rest” decision for both from the exercise of the other combinations; or a case of no attack from either one — a live and let live case.

    Let me now offer a Game Theoretic table where the numbers are the payoffs for combinations of decisions. The numbers and the labels are color coded for the two “players” X and Y. Again the numbers are only important in their relative values and not their absolute values. We could have been using 10, 20, 30, 40 instead of 1, 2, 3, 4 that we used. There is also “symmetry” in the table because X and Y have the same capabilities.

    Some notes on the numbers:

    – Because of attrition the (A, A) decision gives a lower value 1 for both compared to the (D, D) decision giving a value of 3 for both;

    – Along the line of chempo’s article the (A, D) decision gives a higher value of 4 to the attacker and 2 to the defender.


    Suppose the series of decisions are — (A, A), (A, A), (A, A), (A, D), (D, A) — then we have net average payoff of

    (1 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 2)/5 = 1.8

    This is to say, if X thinks he gains with an attack, Y can think the same so that in the above scenario there were three (A, A) one mixed decision (A, D) that favors one and one mixed decision (D, A) which favors the other, resulting in a net of 1.8 for each.


    1. This is rather esoteric and I did not mean it that way, but it is my way of saying that an Attack Mode can be employed by both and depending on the circumstances the result is not clear cut and that decisions should be made with care considering the associated circumstances.

    2. Even in a game theoretic sense, this simple game can be discussed and go to some lengths which is also not my intent.

    3. For the Game Theory enthusiast, there are three Nash Equilibria here represented by

    – cell (A in blue, D in red);
    – cell (D in blue, A in red);
    – and a third which is a mixed strategy for both X and Y involving (for the repeated game) a random choice of A with probability 1/2 and random choice of D with probability 1/2

    Note: the third NE can be effected this way — flip a coin, if tails decide on A; if heads decide on D.

    • edgar lores says:

      The way I read the Super Bowl is like this although I don’t understand football:

      o First half: The Falcons launched a blitzkrieg, attacking brilliantly. The Patriot defense was porous. Key was offense. Result: 21 – 3.

      o Second half: The Patriots defense was solid, and they staged a counter blitzkrieg. The Falcon defense was nowhere. Key was defense. Result: 28-all.

      o Overtime: The Patriots won the coin toast, and elected to receive. After gaining possession after a touchback, they did an all-out attack. Key was offense. Result: 34 – 28.

      Per your Game Theoretic table, it was Cell(D in blue, A in red).

      • NHerrera says:

        X = Falcon
        Y = Patriot

        UR (Upper Right cell) = cell (A in blue, D in red)
        LL (Lower Left cell) = cell (D in blue, A in red)

        With the association of X with Falcon and Y with Patriot, the Game Table and the relative numbers seem to fit well the case of the game shifting from UR in favor of Falcon early in the game to LL in favor of Patriot in the latter part of the game — and the concept of Attack-Defense of chempo’s blog. CHECK!

  14. Joe, I can see my comment of last night registered in the Recent Comments ticker, but it’s not there… usually if it didn’t pass muster, my moderated comment doesn’t even register on the ticker, just quietly disappears, this one did though, was it published then went back to moderation?

    If so, it’s fine— just curious why it got on the ticker. I was just trying to oblige chemp’s ‘shock value and visualisation’ ; but now reading edgar’s comment above,

    I ‘m with edgar, shock value and visualisation is easy. Making people think, much harder. I would add, and I’m speaking as Chief Troll here, playing down to the level of trolls will shed no truth, just creates more noise.

    I think a better advice to Filipinos, especially for those living up north, is to visit Mindanao. To truly understand the thought processes of your Leader, go to the source. He was elected with a 40% in a 5 way race, you have to, have to, respect that.

    You’ve been there, Joe, though in the northern coastal area, not sure if chemp’s been, though for expats who are retired, you guys should just enjoy period; but for all Filipinos, especially the younger ones, who live up north, hell even in the big cities in the Visayas, go

    to Mindanao.

    There’s 2 main ways to make your fortune there, real estate and mining—- exactly like 1849 in Northern California; and 1870s in Southern Arizona. There’s also stuff like palm oil, but that’s more work (or even Joe’s cremation service), though real estate is the easiest, there’s a war going on, so you buy up lands being abandoned on the cheap (even free);

    mining, stay away from big operations, get a bunch of guys to dig for you, do your small dig.

    My point here is if you don’t tame 1850s California and 1870s Arizona (get your hands dirty), Mindanao will always be the sinker that sinks the Philippines. Instead of trolling, why not go to Mindanao, visit first then maybe stay longer… if nothing else happens at least you’ve attempted to understand where DU30 and his supporters are coming from,

    and that’s half the battle, closer to where edgar wants to go. And that’s where everyone should be headin’. 😉

    • My comment explaining the rejection evidently went away with yours. I did not wish to encourage using this discussion space to ridicule the President. The discussion was tilting toward revolt, and that is not appropriate for the blog.

  15. Chris Albert says:

    Count me in for Tean D (not sure if the m was changed deliberately here). I agree with Joe’s concerns this needs to be set up separately of his blog

  16. Bill In Oz says:

    Very off topic but also important to TSOH : The Indonesian president in visiting Australia currently. And has raised the idea of joint Indonesia/Australia patrols of the South China Sea.

    • Most interesting, and relevant? Would you think the PH should do that? Would Australia have an interest?

      • If Australia does have an interest, it’d be same same with US interest– though I think Australians think of Indonesia like we think of Mexico, ie. Baja=Bali.

        No matter how you cut it though, an Indonesia, PH, South Pacific (with US and Australia) cooperative (like the Shangai Cooperative, ) , would be a good idea, separate from ASEAN (though in addition to)… set it up now, than having to re-do the whole Pacific island hopping campaign ad hoc during WWII.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I am just inserting this comment here because of your map showing China’s Mine dash Mine.

          Apparently Yasay irked the Chnese and a huge trade delegation canceled their Manila trip just because Yasay reacted to the installation of weapon systems in Spratlys as “unsettling”.

          • chemrock says:

            20 over Chinese companies are interested in getting into the mining act in Mindanao. It’s mine, mine, mine.

            • karlgarcia says:

              😉 Our minerals have been theirs, Gi-Lo put a halt to their mining, at least for now.

            • NHerrera says:

              This brings a thought: I hope that the environment crusader Gina Lopez does not wake up one day and finds that she has been used in a high stakes game. Closing some of the existing mining companies, only to be replaced later by these Mine-Mine-Mine guys.

              • NHerrera says:

                After reading karl’s post above and combining it with my post — this is sort of edging out the non-favored competition?

              • chemrock says:

                I suspect so. It’s already happening in the gaming industry.
                If Gina is indeed the fall guy, then in this particular case, I would say the game is well played. How better to get an environmentalist to clear out current players. As folks looses their job, how better to explain getting rid of Gina.

              • NHerrera says:

                The word “smooth” comes to mind.

                Smooth = to remove obstacles from a path

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yes , why only 45 percent of Philippine’s minerals, it should all be mine,mine,mine bwahahaha says the Chinese.

              • That’s a good point, NH.

                What’s your reading of Sec. G. Lo?

                She strikes me as a True Believer, a Cascadian if you will, you think she’ll take such deceit lying down? Will she have dirty laundry herself for blackmail—– she seems clean to me? Will she use her family and connections to push back, when push comes to shove?

                Unlike DeLima, Lopez seems to have a Gandhi-like appeal to her, at least from my Googling of her. Mother Theresa meets

                But honestly, my personal reading of Duterte re mining and logging, coming from what I know of Mindanao (which is very short time span, hence Vicara‘s input would trump mine) is that he’d be in agreement with G. Lo—- not for all the environmental stuff (Cascadian), but

                all the trouble that have stemmed from this sector.

                Keep an eye out for Duterte and his moves in Ligawasan marsh , this too will telegraph his intentions clearer (i’ve read nothing still), but like I said, I think he and G. Lo see eye to eye re environment and foreign entities pillaging.

                His plays in the South China seas, I don’t connect with his movements re environment. But as karl has noted, China and East Asia are already the benefactors of Philippine mining and logging—- it’d be like replacing ZTE with Huawei, same same. So here I don’t agree with chemp,

                but I ‘d be interested to hear more on Chinese take-over of gaming industry there, I think mid-2000s it was the Koreans and Japanese that cornered this sector. But if I remember correctly chemp’s Bangladeshi heist article, Chinese via casinos were involved, right?

              • NHerrera says:

                Just expressing a hunch with no good basis. I, too, have good feelings about the hard-working Gina Lopez doing her best as DENR Chief who knows what she is talking about. I hope Duterte and Lopez agree on environmental concerns especially in the watershed areas. Also, any President in the situation of balancing environmental concerns with the loss of hundreds of thousands of mining jobs, has a tough balancing act, especially as it pits Lopez with Dominguez, the Finance Chief.

              • NH,

                I think it’s a good hunch, from which to take action, ie. go on attack. If at least to cause Sec. Gina Lopez to think, hey, am I getting the short end of the deal here? a pawn? Definitely the idea of being used should be addressed to her, and ask her what she intends to do if this happens. I’m sure, she’s done the calculus already (she seems like a worldly type, not naive), but the public should make this possibility known too. So it’s a good hunch, NH, an actionable hunch for sure.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Lance I doubt that Australians think of Indonesia as Americans think of Mexico. There is no large Indonesian migrant group here and hardly any illegal Indonesian migrants as there are Mexicans in the USA.

          In 1945-49 when the Dutch tried to re-conquer the ‘Dutch East Indies’ when Indonesia under President Sukarno, had declared it’s independence, Australia has officially supported Indonesian independence. And in the 1970’s Indonesian language became widespread as a subject in Australian secondary schools.

          So there are long term close bonds between the 2 countries despite the strains that emerged when Timur L’Este ( East Timor ) became independent in 2000

          • “Lance I doubt that Australians think of Indonesia as Americans think of Mexico. There is no large Indonesian migrant group here and hardly any illegal Indonesian migrants as there are Mexicans in the USA.”

            Sorry, Bill… I shoulda been clearer. That’s why I said Mexico, not Mexicans, i wouldn’t know how Australians think of Indonesians, but since i did see many in Bali, I figured like Baja (and the Yucatan before all this cartel stuff) , it’s a cheap place and near place to vacation.

            That I surmised was the only connection , since I saw more official looking Australians in PNG , but more vacationing types in Indonesia, especially Bali. Though I didn’t know Bahasa was taught in schools there, sort of like Spanish for us in jr. and high school.

            I think your equivalent of Mexicans for us, would be New Zealanders, no? or maybe Canadians for us (we miss Lorde by the way, hope she comes out with another album), I did see more Chinese both in Perth and Sydney, as the prevalent Asian community. Weirdly, there were a bunch of Lebanese also.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              No not New Zealanders ( Kiwis) Australia & New Zealand have a special reciprocal treaty which allows Aussies to live and work in NZ and Kiwis to live & work in Australia, without any visas needed. It used to be that Kiwis could vote here also & Aussies there in New Zealand. But that ended about 20 years ago.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Got curious so I checked handy dandy wiki.


            The are about 63,000 of them.
            Yup, that is quite small.

            • NHerrera says:

              Curious about the other Australians with Asian ancestry, so used wiki too and got the following with the most Asian Ancestry (2011):

              Chinese Australians 866,000 (0.062%)
              Indian Australians 433,000 (0.032%)
              Vietnamese Australians 205,000 (0.215%)
              Filipino Australians 171,000 (0.165%)

              That totals 1,675,000. The numbers in parenthesis are the percentages of the numbers relative to the population of the country of ancestry.

              Since it is estimated (2011) that the total Asian Australians is 2.4 million out of 22 million Australians, the Other Asian Australians totals about 725,000.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Oz is a country of immigrants. In the offices where I worked, you could count the number of true born Aussies on the fingers of one hand.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                I suspect that the Chinese & Indian figures include a large number of tertiary students from India & China. Educating full fee paying tertiary students is a big industry here. from On the other hand the figures for Vietnamese & Filipinos does not include children born here to these migrants…They are registered as simply Australian.
                Last time I saw figure for the ‘Vietnamese community’ here is was about 550,000. Other Asian migrant groups include Lebanese, Iranians, Thais, Malaysians, Singaporeans, Sri Lankans, and maybe Turks ( not sure if they are classified as Asian or European. )

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Yes Joe I think all the nations with coasts on the South China Sea should do this. As for Australia, we have have an interest in trade, open seas, security & stability.

        • Noted. I agree with your multiple nation strategy, but would keep the US in it. I would note that there seems to be a certain balancing act going on within the Philippine military which wholly disagrees with the President’s efforts to push the US away. As the PH Sec of Defense said, “we can trust the US”. It is also reported that China threw a hissy fit because the PH Sec of State said that China’s placement of military gear on the artificial islands is ‘unsettling.’ I mean, gadzooks, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who would best promote Philippine independence.

          Also Chinese miners are drooling all over themselves at the prospect of being granted rights to mine Mindanao.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            No intention to exclude the USA; just a mental lapse…..
            I laughed at the comment about buying tapes of ‘Oz lang’.Good luck with that one. . Even after Americans have lived here for decades, it’s easy to pick out an American accent

    • chemrock says:

      Bill, it’s on topic.
      That’s an attack move. I had expected Malaysia and or Indonesia to do something like this. They can’t go to the Americans because they that will raise Islamic tensions. Malaysia is not in a position to partner western nations in a venture like this. They are having too much political problems at home. So Indonesia takes the initiative. This need not be any special long term engagements, it’s just showing a strong signal to China. I hope Australia is positive in this. Now this is Indonesia understanding geopolitics.

  17. Sup says:

    Maybe in a few day’s nobody will talk politics anymore?

    ”According to the Netherlands researcher, Philippines might be in for big one earthquake between Feb. 24 and Mar. 8, 2017.”

  18. chemrock says:

    I realised the slideshow is not mobile-friendly so probably not seen by many. I had hoped for some discussion on the Data Privacy Act which I don’t remember having been spoken about in TSH. But I stand corrected.

    Data Privacy Act means the President cannot waive his right to ‘fundamental’ right of data privacy, so it is illegal for him to tell the AMLC to disclose his banking transactions, nor to sign a waiver to BPI to disclose his bank statements. It is only the account holder himself who can show his own bank statements, so nananabooboo.

    The Congress sure is a cosy place.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I was not able to see the slideshow because my laptop has long retired and hopefully my ipad and iphone would not yet retire.

      Yes Duterte was just bluffing.
      This data privacy act is like a first ammendmend right.
      I read that Amazon did not allow the police to use data possibly recorded in the echo device by a murder suspect because it will violate his first ammendment rights.

      • karlgarcia says:

        oops I was thinking of the fifth amendment. But the issue about the Amazon echo recording of a murder suspect was about the first amendment rights.

      • chemrock says:


        Try this link on your phone to watch the slide. Pls tell me if ity works

        • karlgarcia says:

          I am not having luck yet, maybe slow internet

          • NHerrera says:

            It worked before on my laptop. Tried this now on my iPad — worked fine.

            • NHerrera says:

              Worked also on Microsoft Lumia 535 phone with Windows 10 — Microsoft has discontinued manufacture of that series. I checked my PLDYmyDSL. The speed normally hovers between 3 to 5 Mbps depending on the hour and day. It was about 4.5 Mbps when I checked the phone and iPad.

              Karl, it may be your network speed when you checked?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Sorry for late reply, I tried replying earlier, but my pocket wifi is so slow. Sometimes I can’t even scroll down.
                I switched to DSL, still slow.
                I will get back to that slideshow one if these days.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Finally. It worked

              • NHerrera says:

                Good for you karl.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I am so proud of Trillanes. I don’t want to hate Aguiire because he has done a lot for me personally, but I resent all the lies and what he is not doing as justice secretary, he is supposed be the embodiment of justice.
                I don’t care if this comment reaches him.

              • chemrock says:

                Good of you Karl to be able to separate indebted for kindness and national issues. I always believe national interest over-rides personal, understandably, it sometimes tears our hearts.

              • karlgarcia says:

                🙁It does tear our hearts.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          It works for me in Oz ! Great slide show !
          Go Trillanes !

  19. popoy del r cartanio says:

    Tawag pansin: Aching for notice. Kasasabi lang dito: When defense is the best attack. “Take Trump’s and Duterte’s attack politics as the best defense against encroachment of their people’s safety and well being (kuno).” I don’t hoot for these guys or being critical of any blogger, just trying to analyze what gives.

    “Trump wants to make sure US nuclear arsenal at ‘top of the pack’

    ”The United States is in the midst of a $1 trillion, 30-year modernization of its aging ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles, a price tag that most experts say the country cannot afford.

    Trump also complained that the Russian deployment of a ground-based cruise missile is in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans land-based American and Russian intermediate-range missiles.”

    Heto naman reposting yung natabunan rightfully by the concern of the hour news : the arrest of Senator De Lima.

    Interesting blog discourse; a reversible jacket: “Offense (note the s) or attack is the best defense (that “s” again) and that oxymoron, defense is the best attack. Take Trump’s and Duterte’s attack politics as the best defense against encroachment of their people’s safety and well being (kuno).” Take bullying as a means of defending some forms of personality inadequacies. Take our Lapu (square), Tony Luna, Andres B., their Napoleon B, Rommel, Monty, Douglas M., G. Patton, Ike E., Schwarzkopf, the dukes (Wellington etc.) and princes of the seventh coalition bringing about Waterloo? etc. — their strategy using tactical attacks, historic battles winning wars. It’s different from the here and now battles happening in media cyberspace, but could be useful for a look back for even a shallow understanding of Dutertics, Trumpstics, Putintics, XiJintics . . .

  20. NHerrera says:

    Break Time

    CPAC = Conservative Political Action Conference

    Because of the obvious influence that Trump will now exert on CPAC, where before he was ignored even booed in previous such gatherings, I read that CPAC may be renamed TPAC. Now in Pilipino, that rhymes with Tupak. If Joe does not know that, he needs to consult the good wife or Junior. Then Joe can delete this post or suspend me or both for sacrilege.

  21. Micha says:

    “Politicians who are fearful that the country may be headed down the fascist path and who have 2022 in mind, need to construct a proactive social media strategy right now. And they need to be as well constructed as the opponents’.

    First of all, fascism is already here. 2017. Where have you been all this time failing to notice it?

    Second of all, a social media strategy to battle fascism will not only be ineffective (because that means you have to come up with bigger lies), it also shows just how substantially, morally, and ideologically bankrupt the opposition is to Duterte’s reign.

    Remember that Duterte did not just came in and stole the thunder from Mar Roxas. He won by a wide margin in a multi-pronged contest because of widespread dissatisfaction among economically alienated voters over years of neo-liberal old establishment policies. Instead of wasting time posting propaganda posts on facebook and twitter, the opposition needs to go into ideological soul-searching and reclaim the moral high ground for fairness and decency in governance.

    Two things to hope for in 2022 by those who seek to dislodge Duterte policies and his anointed successor :

    1. Hope that he fails to deliver on the economic front (even a slight improvement will be claimed as a vindication of his policies) or,

    2. A morally upright popular progressive will come out of the woodwork.

    • chemrock says:

      Fascism already here? No storm troopers yet, but I’ll grant you that, as a matter of difference of degrees of perception. Actually it’s a crumbling democracy.

      Social media strategy is only to retake the space. It needs much more than this strategy for 2022, that’s a no brainer.

      “… the opposition needs to go into ideological soul-searching and reclaim the moral high ground for fairness and decency in governance.”
      Yes we want leaders like these. But what’s the point of ace-ing these but unable to sell themselves, just like 2016? It’s about selling, marketing.That’s what I’m talking about.

      Your points 1 & 2 are good certainly. But if fascism is entrenched, there won’t be 2022.

      The reality of the current situation requires mass awakening and action of some sort. I don’t suggest of the militant type, but what, I don’t know. I’m just talking of the social media space here. We have reached a stage where many govt actions are simply too revolting.

      Milton Friedman : Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States (substitute for Philippines) into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.

      • Micha says:

        1. “No storm troopers yet…”

        – Your storm troopers are the PNP goons mindlessly obeying a murderous autocrat’s order to shoot addicts on sight.

        2. “Yes we want leaders like these. But what’s the point of ace-ing these but unable to sell themselves, just like 2016?”

        – Mar Roxas is not an ace candidate in 2016. He represented the rottenness of an old establishment system that took care only of the few and neglected the many.

        3. “We have reached a stage where many govt actions are simply too revolting.”

        – And again Duterte’s chutzpah and impunity was made possible and even approved by many because he’s promising them “change” and improvement from their current oppressive economic condition. Whether he’ll be able to actually do that still of course needs to be seen.

        8 months and counting…

        • chemrock says:

          1. PNP are cherubins compared to Hitler’s Youth. Yes they do the bosses’ bidding, yes they do indiscriminate stuff, but it’s still within the bounds of anti-drug program. But ominous signs are all there — drug-free stickers, the kilusang pagbabago.

          2. In 2016 mall shoppers found only 4 brands on the shelves — Duterte, Mar, Poe and Binay. 16.6m bought Duterte. Give me a Mar anytime.

          3. Agreed.

          • Micha says:

            1. Cherubims eh? Planting evidence and shooting victims whose arms are up in the air is hardly my idea of a cherubim.

            Fascism is authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization with strong emphasis on discipline.

            If one views the so-called “drug problem” as merely the symptom and not the cause of an underlying social and economic malaise, then the violent approach to curb it is hardly justified.

            2. But who says it has to Mar Roxas to carry the flag of the Liberal Party? Shouldn’t there have been a vetting process or a party preliminary to root out the best choice? Wouldn’t Leni Robredo, for example, been a better choice and have a better chance of winning the presidency?

            • chemrock says:

              2. Who were there in 2016?

              • Micha says:

                If there had been an intra party preliminary it wouldn’t be hard to find a suitable candidate. A parallel scenario happened in US elections. Bernie Sanders was the stronger candidate against Trump but the party bosses in the Democratic party rigged the preliminary process in favor of Hillary.

              • chemrock says:

                Micha I understand what you are saying. I agree with you views of the leadership quality. All I’m saying is 2016 there were only 4 brands in the market. People picked the Duterte brand, I would hae taken Mar Brand.

      • chemp,

        re Milton Friedman’s quote, the policing strategy on the streets has always been to attempt to turn casual druggies to turn informant, and so on and so forth, all the way up the chain.

        But he’s right though, I don’t know what year he said that, but in the 80s and 90s it was jail everyone—– late 2000s to now, it’s now treat addiction as illness. But the laws still in the books, so arrests still happens, but its in the sentencing (hence now the rise of these halfway houses/ treatment facilities— theyre mostly scams too).

        But my point here is that you’re suppose to keep going up the chain. I’m sounding like a broken record, but until DU30 goes up the supply chain, he’s doing something else and simply using War on Drugs for other ends, now if it’s for bigger nefarious ends like fascism (Micha’s right) OR smaller scale purging of police/military (and small time druggies/civilians are just collateral)… personally, I think he just wants a streamlined, less corrupt, military/police.

        He’s using the War on Drugs to fix the police/ and military. Like giving opposing factions one enemy to fight, its a means of consolidating.

        The mantra we got in Afghanistan 2008-09 was that deaths weren’t an accurate measure of the success (or failure ) of the mission, it was how well these new institutions (built from scratch) responded to its citizenry. Of course, both metrics failed. But there’s some wisdom in looking past the body count and measuring responsiveness.

        • Micha says:

          Quoting Milton Friedman espousing the value of democracy is like quoting the devil espousing the value of ten commandments.

        • chemrock says:

          There is no mortal who has ever walked on this Earth, and those yet to come, who can be so perfect, even for robots of the future.

          Milton has his flaws like everyone else, but we point here to a few seconds of his life when he uttered that speech, which I drew on in correlation to the situation now in Philippines.

          Thanks Lance, for a bit more insight. Yes to going up the chain. Too bad it’s not happening.

          • Micha says:

            To say that Milton Friedman is not perfect is the understatement of the decade. He it was who laid the ideological foundation for destructive and exploitative neo-liberal free market fundamentalism which casts a blind eye to brutal dictatorships in much of Latin America and to a large extent also in the Philippines.

            • I’m sure you’d agree w/ Friedman ‘s take on Drug Wars (regardless your views of his economic theories, hell I could label yours printing of money out of thin air as destructive and exploitative, right? 😉 ). Swings both ways, Mich.

              But here’s a better quote to put chemp’s Friedman quote in context,

              “When government—in pursuit of good intentions—tries to rearrange the
              economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the costs come in
              inefficiency, lack of innovation, and loss of freedom. Government should
              be a referee, not an active player. In the United States, government has
              gone far beyond the basics.”
              ~ Milton Friedman

              chemp, I don’t know if you’re aware but the quote you shared was actually part of an open letter addressed to Drug Czar Bill Bennett —– Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush—- read in full here, very relevant for the Philippines (and I’m sure Micha would agree 🙂 )

              • Micha,

                you and Friedman are in agreement, like two peas in a pod,


                “Alcohol and tobacco cause many more deaths in users than do drugs. Decriminalization would not prevent us from treating drugs as we now treat alcohol and tobacco: prohibiting sales of drugs to minors, outlawing the advertising of drugs and similar measures. Such measures could be enforced, while outright prohibition cannot be. Moreover, if even a small fraction of the money we now spend on trying to enforce drug prohibition were devoted to treatment and rehabilitation, in an atmosphere of compassion not punishment, the reduction in drug usage and in the harm done to the users could be dramatic.”

              • chemrock says:

                Lance, I don’t know about the letter. However it is, the quote in the context of a specific comment cannot be invalidated by an extension into a wider scope of the person’s entire life or ideologies. I’m not saying you are doing that here, it’s just my thought.

              • Totally agree, chemp. And the irony rubs even more raw when one (in this case Micha) is actually in agreement with the very guy one is disparaging (in this case Friedman)—- at least with the specific quote presented 😉

                I don’t agree with decriminalization, but i do agree with compassion as balance to militarization/ over-criminalization of said problem, where i would differ with everyone else here i guess is how i view compassion, ie. drug use is a form of suicide a very slow one, ergo and as the Soylent Green proponent here, euthanasia.

                So maybe instead of (or along side) DU30’s current drug war, make this available in the Philippines for druggies and others in the same, or similar , predicament: (hasten the slow suicide process, its cost effective for everyone).

              • Micha says:

                In as much as decriminalizing drugs, yes, I agree. But the government will still have important role in regulating its trade and distribution. Libertarian leaning Friedman would probably totally frown on the regulations aspect.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    If offense is the best defense, then the trolls win, because they are very offensive.

    • edgar lores says:


    • NHerrera says:

      This offense-defense thing is taken to heart by the way the White House is dealing with the news reporting of media companies the WH does not like. I understand CNN and BBC were excluded, among others in that recent off-camera briefing/ gaggle. But this will be a repetitive battle and it is not clear WH will win the “war.”

      • karlgarcia says:

        Until when will the Donald avoid the media?Until when will he keep on attacking the media?

        • NHerrera says:

          Until Vit Aguirre’s hair turns white. Sorry, I know he is your friend. Just making the Sunday light with Aguirre on the rampage. If I were him, after that “triumph” over D5, he should have stayed low. He would have gained more than his post-D5-arrest behavior.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Trillanes just laughed when he heard he is next.
            My dad put me in a spot recently when told someone( retired rebel officer and anti Duterte) that Sya (pointing to me)kaibigan niya si Aguirre. I wanted to walk out because of shame, but I just laughed(nervously) And said he was good to me.
            But honestly, this is serious stuff, first time to experience being associated to personalities on opposite sides.

            Actually not my first time because Tatad (Binay man)was also aquianted to my dad, but I do not know Tatad, I know Aguirre and Trillanes and they know me.

            I wonder what he (Aguirre) is up to when he involved former senator Jamby Madrigal in his exposes.

            • NHerrera says:

              Thanks for that personal tidbit, karl. You are in good shape then unlike us ordinary mortals. 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                regarding that playing to the crowd stunt by Aguirre on who do the crowd want next and the crowd chanting Trillanes, all I could say is gago.

                He thinks dissenters will crumble in fear, matagal na silang takot di na kailangang takutin pa.

              • edgar lores says:

                Aguirre’s question clearly shows the arrogance of power.

                “I can do this. I did it. Who’s next?”

                One implication is that the Secretary of “Justice” has used all means, fair or foul, to pursue and bring down Senator De Lima. And he will not hesitate to do so again.

                The other greater implication is that of malice. Malice is the “desire to harm someone.”

                This is so unlike Lincoln’s “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

                Malice seems to be at the center of the Justice Secretary’s black heart.

              • karlgarcia says:

                There is nothing in what you said that I can disgaree with.
                Aguirre is a secretary of injustice and malice and kuryente.

            • a distant observer says:

              More power to you Karl!

            • sonny says:

              Neph, speaking of ‘laughing nervously’ a week after our (yours and mine) abortive meeting, our high school class celebrated Sen Bam Aquino’s dad’s (Paul) birthday; ex-Pres Pnoy was also there. I dunno how I got to be seated beside Pnoy. Wrong mistake! Unless I knew anything about personal electronic gadgets or hand guns or fast cars (eg Porsche), I should’ve given up my seat much earlier. No entry point for conversation. ( 🙂 nervous one)

              • karlgarcia says:

                Haha Unc, unlike in blogs and commentary when you can’t relate you can google.
                But you can’t do that in a gathering. Maybe in handguns you gave an input at least(historical)? 🙂

              • sonny says:

                How true, how true. Even if I knew how to navigate a smart phone, just imagine me fumbling through Google just to leverage my place in the table. The tablecloth had more justification for being there. 🙂 With Joe, he was invited by name and special mention. What was I thinking.

    • chemrock says:

      That’s exactly what I’m saying. Take back the social network space. Be on the offfensive. There can be bad trolls and good trolls.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes both sides have trolls. But we also know that we are dealing with bots, and fake accounts.Just an example are the crowd estimate articles comment threads-Where you have multiple accounts laugh at the huge disparity between police estimates of Luneta and that of EDSA.
        Its asar or pikon talo. who gets piqued or blinks first loses.

  23. NHerrera says:

    The news report on the February 25 crowd numbers at the EDSA monument (Anti-Admin) and the Rizal Park (Pro-Admin) gave the peak numbers of 3,000 and 215,000 as reported by the Police.

    Now, I hope that the dear readers forgive me about the credibility of this crowd number estimate coming as it does from the police. I can grant the EDSA number to be lower, but the 215,000 at Rizal Park?

    I used google map to look at the Rizal Park area. There is a big rectangular green area and smaller rectangular areas at the flanks, one of which is the Rizal covered area where dignitaries sit on celebrations. This is probably where the speakers were located and most of the crowd were. The other rectangular flank of green is where the Museum of Natural History, Binhi ng Kalyaan, Nayong Pilipino, Children’s Park and other building structures are located.

    Since google map has an accompanying scale, I carefully scaled the left flank and central area and come to an area of 270,000 square meters. (I took out the area where the Museum, etc where located; besides this is far from where the speakers were located).


    – With that area, it comes to about 1 person for every square meter of that area taking out any structure that may prevent occupancy.

    – Dividing 215,000 by 50 (some assumption here that the crowd at Luneta were bussed-in) one gets 4300 buses. Ok not all were bussed-in, say, 3000 buses. Did our intrepid reporters see a lot of buses by the hundreds instead of relying on police estimates?

    (Just exercising my calculator for the day, if the reader wants to put it that way.)

    BTW, this goes along with chempo’s Offense-Defense theme — bring in our own crowd by the tens of thousands to counter the crowd at EDSA.

    • chemrock says:

      This Du30 rally is a damn irresponsible act by an incumbent admin. It’s purpose is offensive, it’s consequence is divisive, it’s objective is to trigger THE event to justify call for martial law. Sit back and let two opposing rallies at heightened emotional levels clash. When a Secretary of Dept of Justice stand in front of a rally and ask “Who do you want next?” it tells you what their agenda is. That man should be charged for sedition. That a govt would intentionally organise a populist rally on such a day is an act of pure abhorrence.

    • Micha says:

      A pro-administration rally is usually deployed by embattled regimes.

      In an urban setting like Metro Manila, if you want to supply the numbers for a big rally you need to mobilize the urban poor or at least those who live in the periphery of gated villages.

      Who has the ability to gain their sympathies, mobilize, and deploy them will have the upperhand in crowd size contest anytime.

      The same dynamics apply in social media. Chempo suggests to regain that platform but what use would that be if you are unable to actually gain the sympathies of the majority? To be effective, the opposition need to reset the narrative on social and economic issues – an ideological soul searching that will ring a bell.

  24. chemrock says:

    We should’nt be so presumptious to say we have been heard. But I applaud this timely move.

    Note – I see the slides in the article are’nt showing up now. I think it’s a problemwith the extension apps. With apologies.

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  1. […] via Attack is the best form of defense — The Society of Honor: the Philippines […]

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