Is Marcos greed undermining President Duterte?

Destabilizing? REALLY? [Photo source: Rappler]

By Joe America

First, let me thank those who read and comment here, for you provide the insights that I use to try to simplify complex issues.

Second, let me ask readers to set aside the issues you may have trouble moving past because they are so troubling. We need to do this to understand the point of this blog. Let’s set aside the drug war and associated killings, and Chinese occupation of Philippine economic territory. Perhaps there are others, but we can come back to them after the discussion.

Third, lets break the social/political dialogue into the following six components:

  1. The avid Duterte supporters who back the President as if he were the government.
  2. The avid Marcos supporters who back Bong Bong Marcos as if he had a lot of money for them.
  3. The avid pro-democracy crowd who back the Constitution and human rights.
  4. The middle-ground opportunists who have no principles except personal advantage.
  5. The largely ignorant masses who worship stars and tough guys and are not really attuned to modern sensitivities about human rights, where to dispose of trash, or even their own religious faith.
  6. The AFP, courts and other (mostly) neutral parties.

There is a great battle going on between the first three groups on social media, and . . . taking the lead from the on-line issues . . . the mass media. The mass media are secondary players because they generally don’t take the initiative to dig for truths or original findings. They appeal to the largely ignorant masses by finding easy sensationalist material. Social media is where the real battle is taking place.

Groups 4 and 5 are the audience.

Group 6 is the referee. Some are biased toward the home team.

Fourth, let’s center on the Vice President as the litmus test or barometer of how the battle is being waged. We know AS A FACT that the Vice President is a hard-working, highly-principled, mature, intelligent and dignified public servant. In a different day, she would be internationally recognized and put on a pedestal for her outreach to the common man and woman, and she would also be a person Filipinos could point to with pride to illustrate the sophistication and intelligence of Filipino public officials. (Reference: “Tax reform, the Vice-President, and impeachment“; Business World)

Yet, there are those within the Duterte and Marcos camps who are out to destroy her.

Interestingly enough, one gets the feeling that it is the people AROUND President Duterte, but not the President himself, who are doing the nasty work. He has denied that Vice President Robredo is out to destabilize his administration, but his supporters . . . and Marcos supporters . . . say otherwise. I’d wager he knows that she is a good woman. I’d wager he respects that she has not attacked him, personally, but only the issue of human rights. And I’d wager that he finds her as charming in person as everyone else does.

I’d go further to wager that the ruckus has nothing at all to do with Vice President Robredo and it has not much to do with President Duterte.

It has a lot to do with the Marcos contingent.

The Vice President is a threat to the Marcos contingent because she is a good woman and gaining in popularity.

She is not a threat to the Duterte presidency.

But she must be portrayed as disloyal, destabilizing, and worthy of impeachment if Bong Bong Marcos is to succeed in reaching the presidency.

The Vice President’s supposed intentional undermining of the President is a totally ridiculous and concocted story.

It seems to me that the Marcos contingent is pushing the matter so hard that it risks backfiring and harming President Duterte. The only power the Marcos contingent has is through the Duterte Administration. But the Marcos push is unifying the opposition.

Vice President Robredo may be one bridge too far for the attack agenda.

The burial of President Marcos as a hero, the jailing of Senator De Lima as a drug lord . . . these are hard for the pro-democracy crowd to accept. Add in the drug-killings and China. The pro-democracy protests are getting broader and deeper and louder.

This power was demonstrated when the pro-Marcos blogger, Mocha Uson, was forced to withdraw from her planned participation in an AFP event and suspended from her broadcast show. There remains a core of decency to the Philippines even if it is under massive attack and poorly defended by legislators.

Oddly enough, protests are mostly against President Duterte, not Bong Bong Marcos. President Duterte is the front man for the wealthy Marcos contingent.

That’s the irony of this little tale. That’s the point.

If the President is a tool of the Chinese, and if he is a tool of the Marcos contingent, then he is not the President.

He is “the Tool”.

The nation would be better served if he were the President.

He would be better served if he were the President.


117 Responses to “Is Marcos greed undermining President Duterte?”
  1. madlanglupa says:

    There are parallels between this and talks of alleged Russian influence throughout POTUS’ new regime.

    I see this “Dear Leader”, cheered on by misled emigres overseas as he visits them, as but an agent of influence, a puppet, to work on behalf of several influential cronies who have bigger plans to acquire more power and, of course, money.

    I agree that anything he does tends to benefit BBM in any way, since what I’m seeing is preparing the foundation for the demigod of the North.

    • Chemrock will explore the China connection in depth in Monday’s blog. Indeed, the parallels are striking. The difference is that the FBI is investigating the Trump/Russia connection, but the PH has no investigative unit. Not the NBI, not the press, not the captured legislature. No one.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Is the so called Duterte Youth really Youth for BBM,
    Jim Paredes thinks so.
    After gondtonting them in Edsa, he was told thet they were also in the Anti-Marcos burial gathering, ovserving from afar.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Any supplemental impeachment complaint willbe rejected, so they cannot add Benham Rise.

    They are trying to make the West Philippine sea issue backfire on Trillanes for being the back channel of Pnoy before.

  4. Yvonne says:

    I’m inclined to think that there is an ongoing battle being waged in social media by the 3rd component against the consolidated force, or unholy alliance, of the 1st and 2nd components.

    Or simply put, there is an ongoing battle between those who seek and spread the facts against the those who seek and spread ‘alternative’ facts and false news.

  5. NHerrera says:

    The undermining of the Presidency: the political dynamics as I see it:

    1. BBM, using his political clout or considerable financial resources or both, pounds on the VP through his surrogate at HOR — same as done by the Admin social media trolls by pounding on the supposed “crimes” of or heaping insults on the already election-defeated LP with hardly any clout;

    2. This invites a counter from the opposition, of course, and in the process gives the opposition a chance to further strengthen their sound arguments against the EJKs and Foreign Affairs gaffes of the Administration; and as noted in the blog, this has gathered some strength; and

    3. Correspondingly, such, in turn, invites the confusing Reaction from the Administration — efforts best spent on the other areas of government to help the Presidency and the Admin.

    Truly, PRD’s supposed allies such as BBM and its army of social media trolls are the underminers or the destabilizers, which for completeness includes, too, PRD himself — wittingly or not — because of the loose statements he makes.

    I agree President Duterte should jettison those who make a tool out of him, starting with BBM.

  6. edgar lores says:

    1. I agree and disagree.

    2. I agree that President Duterte is a tool. I disagree that he is only a tool. He is a tool-handler, a bad actor in his own right.

    3. From the very start, the President has been disrespectful of the Vice President. From the separate inaugurations, the forced invitation to join the Cabinet, the rude dismissal from Cabinet, to the snub at the PMA graduation.

    3.1. I do not forget the misogynistic remarks on the personal attributes of the Vice President.

    4. It has been pointed out that if the Vice President were to be removed from office by impeachment, little Marcos has no chance of replacing her. Even though the President has the power to choose her replacement. Her replacement can only come from Congress.

    4.1. The better strategy of Marcos would be to continue his election protest. His chances with the PET are better than an impeachment.

    5. The President has admitted he sees the Vice President as the enemy. His reversal in asking his boys to stop the impeachment of the Vice President is a ploy because of item 4.

    6. Yes, the Marcos greed is undermining the President in that he is seen as a mere tool. It is also because such issues as the maintenance of a troll army, the arguably baseless electoral protest, and the surreptitious burial of the President have polarized society.

    6.1. But make no mistake. The President is a cad.

    • NHerrera says:

      edgar, when I was a young a child my worst moment of the day was when my beloved Mom comes around with a spoon and that bottle of cad liver oil.

      • edgar lores says:

        NHerrera, now you remind me of my own childhood. Gadzooks, that was bitter-tasting medicine, wasn’t it? Speaking of which, there was another distasteful remedy. Somehow, I remember urine (my own) being applied as a poultice to an eye condition?

        Well, those old wives remedies worked — and we are the evidence, if not the proof!

        • NHerrera says:

          I had the cad liver oil remedy but not the urine remedy for the eye. That means, you are the full-proof — I am only half-proof. 🙂

        • chemrock says:

          That urine treatment is meant for a few ailments per old Chinese grandmothers. But not all urines are the same. It’s only effective if culled, more like squeezed, from young kiddy males born in the year of the Tiger. I should know. I was a Tiger kid and thus very popular in my village days. Had to oblige several requests in my time. As to its effectiveness as a remedy, all my contributions in aid of my community’s sick were in the instances of ladies with fainting spells, and I swear it worked cos they all were revived rather instantly. Although I think just a whiff would do the trick, no need to sip.

      • sonny says:

        I’ve always wondered whether the large fish on the man’s back was for real. So big. There was always Paregoric. So effective.

      • josephivo says:

        Is cad liver different from cod liver?

        I remember as a kid we too got out daily spoon of sticky, odd tasting cod liver oil, but only in the darkest winter months to compensate for the lack of sunshine induced vitamin D. Never saw dark winter months in the Philippines. Copying of American beliefs? Spain didn’t have lack of winter sun… may be in the Bask part (and many colonizers came from there)?

        • NHerrera says:

          josephivo, you got me there, I believe the bottle — as sonny recalls it and I remember now pictures a man carrying a big fish at his back — contained cod liver oil. Edgar’s use of the word “cad” quickly brought the association.

          Cad of a man, or cod liver oil is not tasteful. 🙂

          • sonny says:

            NH, later on I came across advertisements published in Oriental-oriented US magazine called ASIA (1920-1935), ads about Paregoric which my mother used to give us for stomach aches. Turns out the main ingredient was opium in solution. No wonder it felt good. Immeditely shabu came to mind to dull pain. (Of course methamphetamine was not yet formulated then. Instead we had the real thing!). Edgar’s play on cod/cad is automatic for us old fogies. 🙂

            • NHerrera says:

              Now I remember about Paregoric; and indeed that tasted mucho better than cod liver oil. No wonder, as you said. we were getting the real thing. Hurray for old remedies.

    • Roger that. But as a tool of the crass and those who would steal Filipino sovereignty, he is a much weaker . . . and even vulnerable . . . cad. BBM keeps pushing him to the brink and he has to walk back again and again. But for sure, if he is comfortable being a tool, and it works for him, he will likely continue to stress out PH civility and government.

  7. I have to give credit where it is due. PRD telling his attack dogs to “lay off” on the VP and forget about her impeachment is commendable.

    Alvarez stated that he is not going to heed PRD’s suggestion and will push through with filing impeachment complaint. Looks like his “numbers game” may work in HOR but not in the Senate. Will he give in again like he did when he called for Bato’s resignation and PRD said “NO?”

    • madlanglupa says:

      Suffice to say, it was a rare thing he BLINKED at the chaos erupting around him, instead of the his supposed form of peace and order he wanted on a silver platter.

  8. ramon naguita says:

    I am sorry and here is my observation. I did not vote for VP Leni, because I campaigned for APC the running mate of Mayor Duterte. But due to my appreciation of the late Secy Jessie of being a man of action, based only on actual facts I gathered and learned about him, I thought otherwise that VP Leni was an excellent partner of President Duterte. I was only dismayed on what had happened last December when a Super Typhoon strike in the heartland of the Bicol Region and VP Leni didn’t to cut short that Holiday Trip and help her constituents in the Bicol Region. Secondly, I am doubtful that all actions going on with her pronouncement going to the International Area on her video message against the war on drugs. She is duly elected public servant and for delikadesa she would had considered the interest of the entire balance the impact of her video message. I therefore doubt that it is not her own decision but for somebody or someone else that she come out as a puppet. About President Duterte being undermined or enfluenced by the Marcoses, that would not happened. I know Mayor Duterte being a Davaoeno ( residents for 49 years ), what he did in Davao City, is what he thinks best for the country. Learned and know him more and you will come to know that he is simple, humble and patriotic enough to serve his people and country. Thank you.

    Ramon D. Naguita Toronto/Davao City

    On Thursday, March 23, 2017, The Society of Honor: the Philippines wrote:

    > The Society of Honor posted: ” By Joe America First, let me thank those > who read and comment here, for you provide the insights that I use to try > to simplify complex issues. Second, let me ask readers to set aside the > issues you may have trouble moving past because they are so tr” >

    • Ah, I fear you are like the trolls who pretend innocence, then take one incident they don’t like and label a person’s whole character “bad” with it, thus denying all the local outreach and visits the VP has done her whole civil servant life. You get a big fat ’10’ for this posting. Kindly stop infesting the discussion with this kind of stuff, it is what demeans the entire Philippines, that this is the nature of Filipino discourse.

    • chemrock says:

      About VP and the super typhoon —

      That holiday was probably planned 1 year in advance. From where she was in the States, even if she wanted to return, how soon do you think she could have made it? You are in Toronto – can you be back here tomorrow if you need to? Bear in mind Leni Robredo is no Imee Marcos. Back in the heydays of the Marcos regime, Imee was once on holiday in London but without her infant son who was too tiny to travel. She was breastfeeding. Daddy simply divert PAL flights to London to pick up her cold-stored fresh mummy milk. Leni has no planes at her disposal.

      The VP has no line authority in her region. There are governors, majors, and govt agencies — that’s right, Duterte’s cabinet people, who has prime responsibility for disaster relief. Leni’s role is plain and simple auxiliary and not within her scope. She has no budget. But she has real sponsors, all these she activated while not there physically. I’m sure her heart wanted to be there to lend moral support. But had she popped up everyway there, and photos show her carrying babbies or getting dirties, what would you have saied? — political posturing, right? If jobs were not done properly, don’t blame her, blame govt agencies, the people you love.

      Where were you when a Tacloban mayor from the Marcos clan skipped town when Yolanda strike? Where were you when COA reported the same mayor screwed up billions of pesos meant for the rehabilitation of Tacloban? Where was your bleeding heart?

      Regarding the video- you imply the world is so stupid and ignorant of events in Philippines. Everybody outside of Philippines know what’s going on here. From their own intel from embassies and business people, they probably know more than you and I. The VP’s video stated nothing new.

      To say her video puts the Philippines in a bad light is just like the silly comment of the Tourism Secretary that media should tone down reports of killings because that make it difficult for her to sell the country. To people like the good secretary and you, one FB commenter has the best response — the secretary and her family should go round the cities in the wee hours and retrieve all those dead bodies before the press and public can see them. You should volunteer too.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Define “patriotism” then.

      Enjoy your beautiful life in Toronto, where you have everything the average Filipino will be hard to get at.

    • josephivo says:

      Do I understand correctly that you are saying Davao transitioned from a drug and crime infested city under Mayor Duterte and therefor he gets my full support. I experienced the difference first hand, so don’t tell anything negative about our mayor?

      I fully appreciate the value of getting rid of drugs and crime as the prime requisites for progress. But this is not the discussion, most here will fully agree, so there is no need to try to get this discussion started.

      The discussion is about the best way to achieve this, EJT’s is only one way. Could you imagine that other cities in the world achieved the same through other more humane means? If so wouldn’t that be a more interesting discussion, how the Philippines could rise without having to fall back on nightly eliminations of less appreciated elements in society?
      We have plenty failed states in history, plenty of examples what not to do, even in the Philippines history.

      But if you have information that an eye for an eye is the only thing that will work here, please share your data.

  9. Micha says:

    As much as the Marcoses are disgusting members of the human species right up the alley of other infamous crooks the world over, it’s not quite convincing to portray them as the ones responsible for making Duterte behave the way that he does (undermine).

    Duterte, as he was quoted saying before, is his own man. He is in charge but, because he is ill-suited and unprepared for the requirements of the high office he now holds, he surrounds himself with all sorts of lapdogs, cronies, spinmasters, and sycophants. His recent instruction to Pantaleon Alvarez to stop the impeachment attempt against Leni Robredo because it obviously is based on very dubious ground is what you’d normally expect a human master tell his dog to heel boy, stop barking, the lady is quite harmless.

    In other words Duterte is Duterte and, in instances where his official actions and policies are a complete screw up, is the one who is undermining himself.

    • True. Even if he acts on behalf of his many benefactors, he is accountable for all outcomes.

    • parengtony says:

      Is the China-Marcos agenda real or fake news?

      Is PRD’s execution of said agenda pro bono or transactional?

      So, is he a tool or a mercenary? A patriot or bantay salakay?

      • madlanglupa says:

        There is a word called an “agent of influence” — he or she who holds the highest position of power and yet works secretly for a foreign power with malice intent to manipulate state policy is something we have to watch out for.

        • Micha says:

          Most (or all) of our past presidents are “agents of influence” acting on behalf of the US.

          In the case of Marcos on the latter part of his reign, he attempted to cease being an American tool when his personal interests are no longer served by the arrangement.

          At the end of the day, Duterte can or could do likewise with China.

  10. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Cielito Habito, an economist and former NEDA Chief wrote an article in today’s Inquirer entitled, “Is our press holding us back?”

    He notes how other ASEAN countries handle news compared to the Philippines. Exhibit A — is his observation that ASEAN matters — such as the impactful discussions two weeks ago, by the economic ministers of Asean’s 10 member-states were hardly printed and or broadcast in the media, compared to the news about Cam’s tantrum at the airport or Montano’s alleged irregularities at the Tourism Promotion Bureau.

    He quotes the familiar but worth quoting, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”

    I cannot help noting that the TSH blogs and comments discuss ideas galore, tut we sprinkle them with relevant events and people — if only to take a break from the mind-stressing grand ideas discussed. 🙂

    • chemrock says:

      Cielito is absolutely right. This has been my impression all the while. Local media is not educational compared to presses from other countries. When I first arrived here many of those that I came across were amazed at how much I know of the Philippines and I said from our newspapers back home. Remember I’m talking of pre-internet days. From Phils local press I dont see much coverage of other countries. For guys like me whose routine is coffee and newspapers in the morning, I felt cut-off from world news here in Phils.

    • madlanglupa says:

      From what I try to understand, what he’s talking about is that bad news supposedly undermines the good news, or I should say, the supposed accomplishments of this government. So he is not happy with what he sees as the mainstream media glossing over the small benefits.

      But at the start of the OP/ED piece, he compares Thailand with us and sees it as several levels higher than us because of blooming infrastructure, yet Thailand is now under a junta, so the press there is pretty much controlled, careful not to cross with the generals now running the Thai government.

      • josephivo says:

        Free (commercial?) media are “customer” oriented and write what people want to read. Entertainment.

        Media with no profit incentives (state sponsored?) can write what the people need to know. Education.

        Until not so long ago in Belgium we had every afternoon on the state (the only existing on am and fm radio) one hour for the farmers, run by the farmers association with detailed information on all type of farm issues and with at the end an overview or current the crop prices in the 2 main auction houses with grounds for their expected evolution in the near future. It had a very high listener share in the farmer population. (listening while working so much easier than reading while working). I always wondered why something similar doesn’t exist here where farming is so much more important.

        • madlanglupa says:

          > I always wondered why something similar doesn’t exist here where farming is so much more important.

          We then had the agribusiness TV show Ating Alamin, which was a staple among farmers; the well-known Liwayway Magazine also served the same role. By this time, three generations of farmers or fishermen would be online, even from their phones, watching lectures or reading or discussing with like-minded people.

    • Francis says:

      I sadly agree. 😦

      This is how I see things. Politico A has Ideas A. Politico B has Ideas B. The thought process rampant in this nation seems to be:

      -Politico A is Bad.
      -Ergo Ideas A is Bad.

      I find this logic fucking stupid. I am an agnostic on many things—but this just really pisses me off.

      Same goes for Politico B and Ideas B. The personal characteristics and life of Politco A/B somehow invalidate the ideas that Politico A/B have. What madness is this? If I may frankly say something a bit uncomfortable—assuming that the assumptions of the administration supporters are true: that the “yellows” do have skeletons in their closet, so what? Does that somehow invalidate the ideals of democracy—the ideals of citizens taking it upon themselves to rule their country with popular dignity (dignity “of the people”) rather than to cling on to an Earthly “Messiah” of sorts? Does that somehow erase the fact that even at its best case scanario—assuming that Duterte is truly changing the country for the better and is incalculating a lot of positive things into our nation—how the heck do the supporters of the administration intend to carry that for the long-term. How can your good populism be ever sustainable? How can the gains of such a populism be ever sustainable? So what? We just genuflect to the heavens and cry out: “O Lord! Bless us again with a benevolent strongman!”

      But if this was a discourse (not battle or even debate) of principles—as opposed to the trashy telenovela battle of personalities that somehow pass off as “politics” (Aristotle must be throwing up) in this nation—then I would think that the lines between the “democracy” and the “disciplinists”* would be far more even. Faaar more even. And that’s also another tragedy: the people on the other side (the “disciplinists”) do not get to properly articulate their principles in a healthy debate. In a healthy democracy—they would be the “Republicans” to #3’s “Democrats” except that we don’t have political parties to aggregate the voices and tune out the noise—so we just throw….mud at each other…I guess….? The pro-democracy crowd (just like liberals in America) can learn a lot from their fiercest critics and further refine their conception of democracy with liberty as the primary value. And the disciplinists–in this mess we dare term national discourse—have so much to lose from brushing all of their philosophical opposites as “destabilizing” rabble: who knows—maybe an honest discussion with people from the other side would allow them to tune-up their emerging model of populist governance into something more workable and sustainable. Worth noting that the Obamacare had a lot of similarities ( with some Republican proposals—we are better when we honestly spar with other as brothers and sisters on the ring of ideas.

      *I would like to amend six categories by adding another: the “disciplinists” or those who believe in democracy but tend to subordinate it or believe that the current situations calls for its subordination to other values—i.e. order or harmony. They tend to be the smarter bunch of administration supporters and do support him out of principle as opposed to patronage or personal gain. A counterpart, in a way—to the #3 or pro-democracy crowd.

      • “And that’s also another tragedy: the people on the other side (the “disciplinists”) do not get to properly articulate their principles in a healthy debate. ”

        There is rarely such a thing as a healthy debate in the Philippines. It is usually either no-holds-barred verbal jousting to “defeat” the “enemy” – or syncophancy with the “leader”.

        And then: Filipinos often are either inarticulate, tongue-tied, nganga – or the exact opposite which is shout, shout, let it all out… no healthy balance in between.

  11. gerverg1885 says:

    BBM’s greed knows no bounds because Imeldific wants to relive her glory days in the Palace that she had been missing so much. They had not understood the word shame even in those days that they were robbing the country blind.

    They saw in Duterte a willing tool in their quest to regain power and Duterte saw in them the willing and filthy rich sponsor on his way to the Palace.

  12. Gilda Rodriguez Dela Cruz says:

    Citing the President’s opposition to an impeachment case against VP Leni Robredo, I wrote about my observation that the President had always displayed an unusual, almost Utopian affection for the VP whenever they are physically in front of each other. He does not show the same fondness to anybody, except her. Gathering from his remarks on Sen de Lima before, he must be an old fashioned guy, who dislikes intelligent and independent women having affairs with married men, but has a very high regard for smart but soft spoken and fragile looking women who are loyal to their husbands and children, who are naive in a lot of ways – women of virtue. Either that, or he is a natural flirt. Regardless, he obviously believes the VP is a good person, hardworking and is the best person for the VP post. That’s why in accepting her resignation, it was with a “heavy heart”. He quietly parries the demolition jobs hurled against the VP, and I could hear him cursing Bongbong behind the Marcoses back, because, let’s face it, Duterte resents spoiled rich brats who never had to work a dime in their life. But he has an agreement with the Marcoses which he must honor and gamely accepted because the offer was hard to refuse. I wager that his only concern then was what he got out of these agreements made with the Marcoses, the Chinese, etc which maybe,he planned to build a new Davao or a new Mindanao with, the rest of the Philippines they all could fight over and he could not care less. Yes, he allowed himself to be their tool because first, he thought that’s all he would be and do – the tool that would help the greedy achieve their goals. Just watch the way he rules – no direction, no programs, no policy at all- and second, because of his own greed. But it wasn’t meant to be and he is showing signs of exasperation. The greed of a bunch of gluttons (GMA included, Napoles, Jinggoy, Revillas, etc) are slowly getting into his nerves. The way I size up the President, only either of two things will happen: he will fore sure, get sick of all of them, even disgusted. At his age, he no longer enjoys power play and mind games and just wants to quietly retire in his rocking chair and his millions. So he might just buy them off, return their money and tell them to go to hell and run the country as a real President. As expected, the greedy will not agree and the hard headed and flighty Duterte will fight it out. It ends with the President either assassinated or saved by some unexpected event in our history that requires the greedy to hide for many years. On the other hand, granting that he succeeds to fend off the greedy, will he finish his term as President? I don’t think so. When all is in order, my take is he will bequeath the Presidency to our VP Leni. There is a third probability: the pressures of being the tool of different groups and people take a toll on his health, leaving him incapacitated to rule. The Marcoses consider this possibility so note the speed and recklessness of their moves that it might just hit the fan soon. Robredo still wins.

    • NHerrera says:

      You describe the emergence of some noble or principled Duterte. I hope most of the positive things you describe come true. In my case, I would like to see, at least in the next six months, more evidence that that will develop.

      • Ascribing “benevolence” to Duterte’s regard for the VP is puzzling considering how he had (yet again) recently humiliated her by suggesting she marry him and even evoking physical contact . . . Too many mockeries belie any pretense of esteem he may have for the VP. Or is that Fentanyl causing the dizzying “zigzags.”

    • sonny says:

      On appearances only, the blog photo of PDu30 and the Lady VP reminds me of a wannabe Ulysses and Penelope.

      • Kahilahilakbot na paghalintulad.

        • sonny says:

          100% totoo ang sabi mo, MSR. Nasabi kong naalala (‘reminds me’) ko si Ulysses na haring walang katulad sa pagmamahal at pag-galang sa kanyang reynang Penelope, dahil sa komentaryo ni Ms Gilda Rodriguez de la Cruz – “… the President had always displayed an unusual, almost Utopian affection for the VP whenever they are physically in front of each other. He does not show the same fondness to anybody, except her.”

          • sonny says:

            I don’t know either the VP or the Pres enough to make any real statement about them. It is easier for me to talk about characters of Grecian legend and myth as reflecting the harsh realities of the human condition.

            • Maybe you meant Antinous and Penelope?

              • sonny says:

                Aside from being the major leech among the suitors Antinous does not figure much in this analogy, MSR. I’m trying to fit PDu30 such as he is into the ‘wily and strong protector-of-the-good Ulysses’ mold which we know he is not.

    • Very interesting read. As if punctuation, the President yesterday invited the VP and her kids to dine with him. I hope that happens.

      As further deduction, it would be easy to conclude that Speaker Alvarez marches to the Marcos drum, not Duterte.

      • NHerrera says:

        I believe you got it Boss!

      • edgar lores says:

        I would not accept the invitation if I were Mrs. Robredo.

        In the past, Mrs. Robredo has been treated with disdain — invited then disinvited.

        I am convinced the charm offensive is a ploy.

  13. Chris Ibarra says:

    Maybe this can provide a glimpse of what is really happening in the purses of the businesses.
    Makes it really nervous that some of them already bailed out. Hence we might see more negative news about economic impact of the Davao model being used nationwide and is becoming ineffective. We will see momentum slowing down after 6 years of Aquino administration

    • Like what I read on Twitter, politicians can fool the people and other politicians, but not the money men.

    • NHerrera says:

      Chris, thanks for the link.

      I checked the Peso movement. While it is mostly one way ticket to the present level, it is not quite so with the PH stock exchange index (PSEi) as the picture below shows. The peak A happened in July 2016, shortly after Duterte’s inauguration; the low B in December 2016. From then there is the usual stock index upsurge to welcome the new year. For the last two months or so it is stuck in a narrow band of up-and-down movement. To be fair the PSEi movement are not all caused by internal events but external such as US Fed action.

      What will be a big technical move of the PSEi is the breaching of the lower band level with a big quantum jump down, and more so if the B level is breached. Of course, talking technicals, if the upper band is breached with a big quantum jump up, we have the other case — good news for the stock players.

      • Chris Ibarra says:

        Good illustration here. Looks like its on a resistance level. Hard to say if its going up or going down in next 3 months. We have to wait for quarterly earnings and more news about US direction where Trump ‘s policies are headed. Keystone XL announcement will have an impact on Oil futures . OPEC maintaining cuts, but with keystone slowly being built, there’s Canadian oil, oil from Gulf of Mexico, from tracking in US shale areas… which could definitely impact Philippines since 90% of crude oil is imported. If the oil price goes down that’s good news. But we will have to wait and see.

      • chemrock says:

        There are so many events in US and Philippines that uncannily parallel each other. The stock exchange is one of them. Dut and Trump were supposed to be bad for the stock exchange but post inauguration the index climbed. PSEI had held high for 2 months before declining for 5 straight months. US markets also climbed for 2 months after Trump came in.

        Fed’s rate increase in Mar did’nt dampen market sentiments when it was meant to. Traders felt the 25 basis points were insignificant and markets are ignoring the monetarists. That signifies a big problem for Yellen – that their monetary tools are no longer effective.

        Markets are ignoring all the signs and this often happens before a huge correction. It’s always more suckers get in and then they pull the rug. However, there are signs of problems in the charts. For eg the S&P 500 shows the bank stocks, which led the bull run, is now into it’s downswing, pointing to a reversal of the upswing since election.Will this be the catalyst for a crash everyone is waiting for?

        The PSEI seems to be locked flat in a period of a band of resistance both upside and downside. Going forward I think all economic news will be more negatives.

        • Micha says:

          chempo, you’re reading too much on the Fed’s action and erroneously attributing intangible results in its policy when in fact its decision to raise rates did exactly what was expected, i.e. arrest inflationary pressure and too much market exuberance.

  14. edgar lores says:

    1. One will notice that there are two incompatible readings of the President’s posture towards the Vice President. There are:

    1.1. Gilda’s utopian affection interpretation
    1.2. My cad interpretation

    2. So which posture is true?

    3. Before going into answering the question, let me say that it is not unusual for men to hold incompatible views about women. There are several female archetypal forms but I will name six that are relevant to our discussion:

    o Maiden/virgin – the main attribute is innocence (or purity)
    o Mother – the main attribute is nurturing presence
    o Lover/Medicine Woman – the main attribute is physical/emotional intimacy and healer
    o Seductress/Whore – the main attribute is sexual passion
    o Hero/Rebel – the main attributes are integrity and strength
    o Crone/Sage/Wise Woman – the main attribute is wisdom

    4. Like most men, Duterte is a lover – and hater – of women. In terms of specific women, the ambivalence depends on the archetype the woman represents for him.

    4.1. Thus, he loves:

    o Maiden/virgin – represented by all the young women he fondled during and after the campaign
    o Mother – naturally represented by his own mother who also represented the Hero and Rebel archetypes in her anti-Martial Law activism
    o Lover/Medicine Woman – represented by his wives, the second also being a Medicine Woman

    4.2. He has an ambivalent attitude towards:

    o Seductress/Whore – represented by his paramours who he keeps in boarding houses. Not to mention, Mocha.
    o Hero/Rebel – as represented by his mother and Cory (who appointed him Davao mayor)

    He finds the first of the above categories “useful.” He feels respect and is threatened by the second.

    4.3. He hates:

    o Crone/Sage/Wise Women – represented by De Lima

    4.4. One will note his ambivalence towards the Australian missionary who he wanted to rape. I believe that for him she belongs to the Maiden/virgin and Seductress/Whore archetypes. Maiden because she was a missionary and Seductress because she was beautiful.

    4.5. One will also note his ambivalence towards the Vice President. I think that for him Robredo encompasses several archetypes all rolled into one:

    o The ones he loves: Maiden, Mother
    o The one he is ambivalent of: Hero
    o The one he hates: Wise Woman.

    5. Further, I think to understand Duterte’s posture, one must consider that he views women through his personal lens as well as through his political lens. Duterte’s natural ambivalence towards women using his personal lens is distorted by his political lens. This second lens is a composite of his own political instincts and those of his advisers, in particular, those working for little Marcos.

    5.1. The public political snubs of Robredo are probably the work of the Marcos advisers. However, at the same time, there is little doubt that Duterte has misogynistic tendencies and that he sees Robredo as a threat to the success of his administration.

    5.2. Like most men, Duterte is full of contradictions. The difficulty in reading his intentions rest on the tension between his personal perceptions and ambitions and those of others. It may be naïve to assume that those others are only the ambitions of, say, the Cayetanos and the Marcoses. One must not ignore the ambitions of foreign countries.

    6. As JoeAm says, the nation and Duterte ”would be better served if he were the President.”

    • edgar lores says:

      Forgot Imee and Imelda. For Duterte, these two belong to the Hero (also Boss) category.

    • chemrock says:

      What does he feel about the women killed in ejk?
      What does he feel about the women whose partner and children were killed in the ejk..
      What does he feel about Mother Mary?

      It’s what and not how.

      • edgar lores says:

        He does not feel, he does not care, he does not think about them.

        o Drug personalities are not human. By extension, anyone associated with them is not human either.
        o Collateral damages are incidental debris.

        I believe he uses the defense mechanism of compartmentalization in this regard.

        I read in the papers that he is setting up a trust fund for the children of policemen slain in his anti-drug war.

        He has only concern — I would not use the term “compassion” — for his tools, and not for his victims.

        Mother Mary would fill the role of the virgin and mother archetypes.

      • edgar lores says:

        Any increase in human understanding is of benefit.

        If we know the what, the how, the why, the where, and the when… then we are better equipped.

        Better understanding gives greater clarity to judgment.

      • sonny says:

        Chempo, I think if he felt as father to all his citizens then PDu30 would’ve taken a different tack regarding his solution to the national drug problem. I suggest also if he believed in the God-Man Incarnation from the Virgin, he will have a different state of affairs than what he has now. But …

  15. Lil says:

    Sorry Joe but I’m apathetic towards Leni. I may not agree with any of the attempts to remove her or Duterte (both scenarios would actually be destabilizing). But this woman is nothing more than Cory Lite. She only came to power due to necropolitics, an all too familiar ingredient in Philippine elections/politics.

    • NHerrera says:

      I beg to disagree. I don’t mean by this note to put down the much loved Cory, but Leni’s law and economics degree and her genuine concern and advocacy for the poor which she displayed before and during her stint at the HOR and now at the office of the VP makes Leni better prepared with or without the aid of necropolitics.

    • Okie dokie. I tend to see her as genius, for her balancing act is superb and her words are brilliant. So we can watch together and see which of us is closer to accurate.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Cite us an example, the kind of leader you want.

    • chemrock says:

      “Leno came to power…”
      Leno has no power. She don’t even have a seat in cabinet. Those with power at the moment are Dut, Bato, Aguirre, Calida, Alvarez, Koko, Gordon. All those power channelled to destroy and divide, nothing constructive.
      The right word to use is prominence. Leni came to prominence when she took up the mantle to stand for VP. Like Cory she is a reluctant politician. The push for her to enter the fray in 2016 was because she saw a very likely BBL victory which is unacceptable to all decent Filipinos. She started off with 1% polls but ended the winner because people saw her advocacies and the social work she did in Naga and people respected Jesse and people know she is untainted by any scandals. Most of all she came across as a breath of fresh air in Phil’s dirty political world. Her polls rose as she got more exposures and people saw in her an intelligent and upright woman – she is no blonde bombshell.

      And now with no cabinet post, diluted budget for office operations only, no discretionary funds, she has vowed to continue with her advocacies for helping the poor. She walks the talk and has garnered lots of private sponsors of individuals and corporations that she draws on in times of need. In the Sirigao earthquake duterte’s DSW had to beg for donation, but Leni was the first to despatch badly needed drinking water without being directly asked. She heard a request, and immediately made a call, and a company despatched truckloads of water.

      Now pray tell me, which other politician in cabinet, in congress and senate, name me just one, who use their office to build support for the poor? Villar the billionaire? Erjecito who prefers to channel money to his offshore accounts? the Marcoses who are keeping stolen money for their next 100 generation? Navy Binary who is still working on hiding dad’s stolen wealth? All those men in power mentioned above who are too busy working their power for all the wrong reasons.?

      Leni Robredo is the shinning star in this pathetic country. You have eyes but you can’t see.

    • chemrock says:

      “Leno came to power…”
      Leno has no power. She don’t even have a seat in cabinet. Those with power at the moment are Dut, Bato, Aguirre, Calida, Alvarez, Koko, Gordon. All those power channelled to destroy and divide, nothing constructive.
      The right word to use is prominence. Leni came to prominence when she took up the mantle to stand for VP. Like Cory she is a reluctant politician. The push for her to enter the fray in 2016 was because she saw a very likely BBL victory which is unacceptable to all decent Filipinos. She started off with 1% polls but ended the winner because people saw her advocacies and the social work she did in Naga and people respected Jesse and people know she is untainted by any scandals. Most of all she came across as a breath of fresh air in Phil’s dirty political world. Her polls rose as she got more exposures and people saw in her an intelligent and upright woman – she is no blonde bombshell.

      And now with no cabinet post, diluted budget for office operations only, no discretionary funds, she has vowed to continue with her advocacies for helping the poor. She walks the talk and has garnered lots of private sponsors of individuals and corporations that she draws on in times of need. In the Sirigao earthquake duterte’s DSW had to beg for donation, but Leni was the first to despatch badly needed drinking water without being directly asked. She heard a request, and immediately made a call, and a company despatched truckloads of water.

      Now pray tell me, which other politician in cabinet, in congress and senate, name me just one, who use their office to build support for the poor? Villar the billionaire? Erjecito who prefers to channel money to his offshore accounts? the Marcoses who are keeping stolen money for their next 100 generation? Nancy Binay who is still working on hiding dad’s stolen wealth? All those men in power mentioned above who are too busy working their power for all the wrong reasons.?

      Leni Robredo is the shinning star in this pathetic country. You have eyes but you can’t see.

  16. andrewlim8 says:

    Published March 24, 2017 8:16pm

    President Duterte is going back to China.

    In a speech delivered before Filipino-Chinese businessmen, Duterte said he would accept the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the One Belt, One Latay forum.

    According to Reuters, “One Belt, One Latay” is Xi’s landmark program to dangle carrots like billions of dollars in infra projects to countries willing to be subjugated by China, while simultaneously dangling sticks or punishment (latay) to those who dare oppose them.

    “After all, what is a belt for, if not for latay?” Duterte asked.

    “My Tourism secretary is complaining of difficulty in selling the country’s image due to the EJKs. I want to tell her, I have done much of the selling for you – ask China. They now control all our seas and properties.”


  17. Lil says:

    “Leni Robredo is the shinning star in this pathetic country. You have eyes but you can’t see.”

    I never said she was a blonded bombshell. You Leni fanatics jumped on me like I was a horde of Mocha Uson followers.
    This is another why politics is pathetic in this country. All you diehard followers attacking people with different political beliefs.
    I’ve had enough being attacked on the web before coming back to Joe’s blog. I’m out.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Are you being attacked? How? I don’t think you’re being attacked. It’s because it’s been several months after the elections.

    • chemrock says:

      Too bad you see it as an attack on you.
      It’s a counter to you views. You are free, nay, welcome, in fact, invited, to counter my counter.
      Please take note one big difference –I’m a die hard fan of nobody. I love the Beatles’ songs, I don’t care a hoot for them as a person, I respect Pnoy for lots of stuff he did — but I don’t love him cos I don’t know him personally, and I dno’t like his love for guns and inability to detach from friends who’s doing no good for the country. I love Philippines and I care for the well being of ordinary Filipinos, and I would support any govt action that is god for the Philippines. Killing is no good, non observation of laws is no good. Improve tpublic transport is good. Improve education is good. I don’t love Leni cos I don’t know her. But I respect her and have lots of adoration for the good she is doing.

      The challenge to you is as I mentioned, name me one politician who is using their own time and money to raise funds to help the poor. Name me just one. I know, many kowtow at Malacanang table to obtain discretionary funds to do self agrandisement projects, that don’t count. Now that’s not attacking you. In turn you should challenge me — what has Leni done. But I challenged you first.

    • Chris Ibarra says:

      When you go to a forum to debate be prepared to support your argument. Your ideas or beliefs are not under attack but under scrutiny. If you truly believe then be prepared to defend and explain your points by facts, figures, examples of public speeches etc. That is democracy. Just because there is contrary belief to yours doesn’t mean they are already enemies. The colour of leaves of a tree isn’t always green, brown, red etc. My parents always say that is why you have 5 fingers, they are all equally important even though there’s the longest, shortest, average. etc. Have an open mind , challenge yourself your normal way of reasoning in order to understand and learn better. There is no such thing as 1 solution or perfect system. Its up to you if you want to leave. Unless you are just looking for company or followers to agree with you, there’s plenty out there on the web.

      • Cris Tee Em says:

        Wow! Come t think of it, would it look nice if we have 5 fingers of equal lengths? Would its fist deliver a stronger or weaker punch?

    • andrewlim8 says:


      You have to come up with arguments, which is what those who responded to you did. When all you have are short statements e.g. “Cory lite” you have to back it up with evidence.

      I reviewed all the responses to you and they were all respectful, one even began with “I beg to disagree..”

      When your view is opposed, that is not equivalent to being attacked.

    • edgar lores says:


      Interesting responses here.

      You offered an opinion of Leni which was more emotional than rational. You used the terms “apathetic” and “necropolitics.” You offered no assessment of her personal qualities, qualifications, or character.

      Note the responses:

      o JoeAm’s was polite disagreement. He also commended Leni’s balance and her words.
      o NHerrera cited her academic qualifications and experience in politics.
      o Chemrock disputed your use of the term “come to power” and he cited her meteoric rise due to her own efforts and the public’s appreciation. He also drew attention to her advocacies and her dedication to these.
      o Madlanglupa quietly asked what qualities you desired in a leader.

      You will agree that the first three responses were rational — that is, they enumerated reasons — in their disagreement with you. And, yes, the third response did make that remark that you quoted and objected to. The last response was a query to draw your reasons.

      Your comeback to all of these was to make a further emotional response. Instead of rationally rebutting the arguments presented, you use such terms as “attack,” “Leni fanatics,” and “diehard followers.”

      This is a forum. We give and take in the interest of enlightenment — and in the interest of the nation. And when we offer an opinion, it is usually backed up by reasons.

      Yes, there are disagreements in opinions but, generally, the disagreements are always politely stated and framed. Generally also, we conduct ourselves without using “labels” and trespassing into personal attacks. Oh, there will be occasional lapses, and I have been guilty of many.

      Therefore, with all due respect, I invite you to support your opinion with reasons . I am genuinely curious as to why you feel apathetic towards Leni, and I am sure the others are.

  18. madlanglupa says:

    Oh, God, the gall of this man’s narrow worldview.

    He really never seen what life is like in a slum, as I’ve heard stories from young men I drank with, or by my observations.

    And what kind of prescription he has for their true ills? A cup of hemlock? Or a paper cup full of Kool Aid?

    • karlgarcia says:

      He has a point there Madlanglupa, But the thing he said by rejecting the health based solution of the EU is just nuts.
      He thinks builfing rehab centers is a waste of money.

    • chemrock says:

      I agree with Karl.

      • Chris Ibarra says:

        Totally agree on that point however, so is killing your citizens to get rid of drugs is not a good solution either. What are his economic solution/ offering to these poor folks? They certainly need education and training maybe special schooling to finish high school degrees, TESDA, etc. Livelihood projects – not selling shabu of course. And this is where PRRD needs to learn and accept that drug problem is a multifactorialissue which can be addressed by offerings of rehabilitation, education, training, housing, health services. Putting these people in graves without providing other opportunities and corresponding stiffer punishment like hard labor, or using their prison term to build roads, get trained in welding, carpentry, masonry, plumbing etc will make these people more productive and contribute to economy. Aside of course from building more modern prisons. But for now he is too fixated on implementing Davao city model nationwide..

  19. gerverg1885 says:

    It is not poor people alone who are mainly into illegal drugs. We must not forget that those who died while watching a show at Mall of Asia are children of parents who give them more that their daily allowances.

    And how about entertainers who are earning more than the common man/woman whose names Robin Padilla did not want published?

    Bato and his boss repeatedly said then that the campaign against drugs was successful. It’s hard to believe them because they are again into their murderous rampage as if those who are still into drugs did not have any fear for them and did not learn any lesson.

    Can’t they think of any alternative plan to change the lives of those who insist on living miserable lives? And why is Peter Lim still enjoying plying his business making the lives of so many who could not clearly see that big business and their protectors in government are the ones reaping all the profits?

    • madlanglupa says:

      > Can’t they think of any alternative plan to change the lives of those who insist on living miserable lives?

      This kowtow tributary government thinks that the magic of Xi Jinping would solve the country’s problems… as if dumping cheap knockoff goods wasn’t enough.

  20. Cris Tee Em says:

    Duterte reveals much of himself through his “ad libs”; no need to read between the lines; no need of any in-depth psychoanalysis. His already skewed perception of almost everything is being taken advantaged of by (in particular order), BBM and his minions, China, power-hungry politicos, and those who had stuck it out with him for so long to make money for themselves at this time, na Sa wika nga ni Erap ay weather-weather Lang ‘yan.

    Thus, I won’t give him much credit for showing “flashes” of respect towards VP Leni.

  21. NHerrera says:


    Sensing defeat of Trumpcare to replace Obamacare, Bannon the Underminer Extraordinaire of Trump’s Presidency — a sort of parallel to Duterte’s Alvarez — wanted Trump to make a list of his House GOP enemies so they might be punished.

    • Bannon is a serious nut case, a flaming idiot, and this kind of vindictive approach will accelerate impeachment once the GOP reps tire of being diminished by the big blowhard in the oval office. You may perhaps note that I have an inherent bias about these two characters, as they seem to represent values the polar opposite to those that I think represent America best.

  22. popoy del r cartanio says:

    This is not an advert which is verboten here in TSOH but an expression of appreciation to kind bloggers who had kind words, here from a long one are two stanzas of appreciation, the words to me of others are in the book too with their names and nom de guerre included there without there permission.

    There is no good bye Joe Am.
    Wala talaga . NADA. There is no stopping
    No cessation, no oblivion only pauses
    in short halting moments of battles
    in our infinite war on the side of affection
    for man’s beauty and justice in God’s image
    like it or not there is no good bye as we
    unknowingly struggle for perfection
    albeit mere words we humbly call
    a society of honor.

    As wannabe something, how can I paint
    A rainforest, a waterfall, a floating glacier,
    A clear or turbulent sky, a flock of geese
    A sick dying child, the face of a mother at childbirth,
    How can I portray in God’s image a
    Society of Honor? Hah, hah, hah.

    I wrote a donor’s book of wannabe poetry believing “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinangalingan..”

  23. osolev says:

    Dear Joe America, thanks for an interesting study.

    Tell me, when you look at Bong Bong Marcos, concentrate on his eyes, do you see any sign of drug addiction or habitual use of?

    I noticed that in Robert Mitchum, and also with Jackie Chan.

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  1. […] by @societyofhonor Read the rest of the story… (Click link above to read the story via […]

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