Open Discussion #7: Accepting nominations for the barons of a mature democratic Philippines

French elections, 2017 [Photo source:]

I suspect many of us are tired of the nonsense infesting Philippine (and American) governance. The abuses of civility,  childish fights, and overweening ego-arrogance are just too much. It is the kind of thing we had to deal with as pubescent teens facing off against kids out to prove something, when they were not old enough to know what, or why.

There’s too much posturing and not enough production. And for sure, not enough trust and harmony.

Let us imagine that the entire population decides to grow up fast, to aspire to maturity and dignity and civility to form a productive union that truly cares for its citizens. All of them. Especially those who have been disenfranchised by poverty or discrimination from birth.

Who do we think has the character and skills to lead such a transformation? Who would we nominate to be the barons of a mature democratic Philippines? The founding fathers of civility, sense, unity, and productivity.

I’ll cite some examples, with the main purpose of this open discussion being to seek elaborations from readers. We want people who are trustworthy and capable, and who are devoted to democratic ideals. We are not seeking opposition to the standing government, but a union of devotees from any and all sectors who want to reinvigorate the Constitution by bringing modern democratic values and ethical behavior to the nation.

As I think about nominees, I can sort them into two categories:

  • Category 1, those not politically damaged
  • Category 2, those bruised by political wars

Ideally, I think we would want those who are not bruised, but I don’t know if there are enough people of proven character and skill that are unbruised. The bruising affects people’s confidence and trust.

Here are my nominees from Category 1:

  • Former DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson
  • Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio
  • Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay

Here are My Category II mentions, people of high character and capability bruised by recent political battles:

  • Vice President Leni Robredo
  • Former DFA Secretary Albert Del Rosario
  • Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

I know there are several others who could be listed as well. One difficulty is that anyone associated with the Liberal Party or grouped in with the ‘yellows’ (Senators Trillanes and Hontiveros) is gifted with a bruise.

We would ideally expect the group of barons to number between 7 and 12, a group small enough for legitimate conversation but large enough to vet issues from all angles. Their task would probably be to organize a new political party focused on democracy, inclusion, kindness, fairness, and accomplishment. But you may have ideas for other ways forward. The practicality of getting something done must be considered because idealism on its own accomplishes nothing.

Who would you nominate? What are the criteria you believe are most important? How should such a group of democratic barons move forward to change the course of the Philippines to be more unified, widely respected and successful?

* * * * * * *

During open discussion, any subject may be raised. There is no such thing as ‘off topic”. However, respectful discussion is always in order. Rude language or crude photos are not appropriate, as this is a public space. Teaching and learning from original commentary, with relevant reference to outside resources . . . that’s what we aspire toward . . .

183 Responses to “Open Discussion #7: Accepting nominations for the barons of a mature democratic Philippines”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Where can we place Ombudssperson Conchita Morales? 1 or 2?
    If Delima is not in jail she is definitely number 2.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. This is a starting and tentative list. I do not know who the potential barons are in:

    o House of Representatives
    o Provincial governors
    o City mayors

    1.1. I have limited myself mostly to the Senate.

    2. I have eliminated the following for being too old on July 1, 2022:

    o Alberto del Rosario (81)
    o Conchita Carpio Morales (79)
    o Sergio Osmena III (77)
    o Franklin Drilon (75)
    o Rogelio Singson (72)

    3. I have disregarded bruising. My criteria are Integrity (40%), Intelligence (35%), and Experience (25%). The ranking, scoring, and weighted average I have arrived at are:

    3.1. Antonio Carpio (71) – 5, 5, 3 – 4.50
    3.2. Leni Robredo (56) – 5, 4, 4 – 4.40
    3.3. Mar Roxas (64) – 4, 4, 5 – 4.25
    3.4, Leila de Lima (61) – 4, 5, 3 – 4.10
    3.5. Florin Hilbay (47) – 5, 4, 2 – 3.90
    3.6. Teofista Guingona (62) – 4, 3, 4 – 3.65
    3.7. Ralph Recto (57) – 3, 3, 4 – 3.25


    1. Carpio will retire from the Supreme Court in 2019.
    2. I would discount the last 2 or 3 in the list but, as we know, stranger things can happen.

    • Excellent points, all. I had not thought about age because I did not consider that the barons would themselves be candidates, but would be the architects and engineers of a new political order based on principles over personalities.

      • NHerrera says:

        Sort of brain trust. I will think more about the idea of BT and the relatively young doer-barons. BT should have, I believe, some with intelligent but unorthodox views and a listener who analyze, synthesize well — there may contradictions here because of the attributes; and thus such a person may not exist.

      • edgar lores says:

        I’m sorry I misread the post. You are looking for a “union of devotees” that would create a new political order. That’s a tall order.

        The post seems to address the question of “Who”.

        1. A union of devotees who do not occupy government positions would not be that influential. So my first concern would be in what form will the barons constitute themselves.

        2. Usually, unions of devotees share common interests or objectives. They come in many forms.

        o Marginal political parties — like Akbayan
        o Business clubs — like the Makati Business Club
        o Civic organizations — like the Rotary Club and the Kaya Natin! Movement
        o Paramilitary organizations — like Magdalo
        o Religious political organizations — like Ang Kapatiran and Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)
        o Trade/Labor unions — like the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
        o Common interests organizations — like Ladlad
        o Council of Elders

        2.1. I believe a new union of devotees would have to form an organization to have any influence.

        2.1.1. That organization would ideally be a political party to attract adherents and to become politically influential.

        2.1.2. Alternatively, an existing organization could transform itself into a political party. It would be good if the union, whether new or existing, had wide grassroots support.

        2.1.3. A third option would be for these “union of devotees” to become members of a new constitutional convention. However, this would constitute a one-time influence and not a continuing one.

        3. My second concern would be “Who” will be the barons. Although identifying the barons first will help in answering my first concern.

        4. My third concern would be “What” the new political order will look like. But I suppose this, too, is a question for the barons.

        5. My fourth and final concern would be “How” the new political order will address the pressing problems that the nation faces. Identifying what those problems are and their possible solutions… these, too, I will leave to the barons.

  3. Francis says:

    The problem with any change-seeking group or individual in this country is that we’ve had too many Lenins and not enough Marx.

    That is—we’ve had no shortage of tactically brilliant reformers who can make miracles happen out of feudalistic democracy. We’ve had no shortage of reformers who’ve managed to squeeze their way into power to eke our change by any means necessary. Lots of Lenins.

    But Lenins alone cannot build a lasting party–a lasting movement. Lenins without Marx are personality cults waiting to happen. It doesn’t matter how principled the personality is—if the followers of said personality swear allegiance more to the personality rather than the principles he stands for. And beware—even good causes and good men can be cloaks for tribalism.

    No. We need more democratically-minded political figures in the model of Marx. Willing to build not a vehicle for their ambitions, but a vehicle for their principles that can and will outlast them. I have always admired the Philippine Left for this reason—say what you want about their ideology, but their movements and ideological currents run deep and can be traced as more than just the the history of personalities. The moment moderates build something that approaches the (relative) institutional strength of the communists—is the moment I can rest with ease, but I digress.

    Heck, it is worth noting that the most concrete manifestation of moderate efforts is a group that stems from the Left.

    If I were to be asked, that means I’d be willing to prioritize political figures who fit ALL of the following criteria:

    Above all—he or she must know how to articulate his/her principles. A solid ideological base can go a long way in creating a movement that can last.

    He/She must craft an organization that can eventually function without him/her. NOTE: This is not possible without the ABOVE. Also—my observation of PH Politics is that any individual/faction seeking a game-changer must be good at finding money/resources WITHOUT relying so heavily on the traditional trapo systems.

    There are certain groups of a reformist orientation that have had their hands tied simply because they don’t have an independent stream of resources. A few million pesos are pennies compared to the Benjamin’s that are the war chest of the dynasties here. Anyone who solves this or comes close to solving this, I would honestly consider a living saint. I am not kidding.

    >Leverages Media:
    Thankfully—media is a way for the Davids to slingshot Goliaths. AGAIN—media cannot be efficiently utilized without the FIRST TWO. Without ideology—statements become pwrsonalistic mudslinging. Without organization—principles are bull, people will just think you’re just some awesome guy without even examining your ideology because you just represent YOU and not a wider movement. Without both—well…

    There’s Duterte on the Right and Spain’s Podemos on the Left to illustrate the sheer power of media. It is annoying to deal with social media and the trolls within, but you cannot seize the debate without winning it over. It is indispensable. Especially if you’re a David.

    • NHerrera says:

      > Ideologically-Adept
      > Organizationally-Competent
      > Leverages Media


    • Hmm.. when it comes to somewhat principled organizations close to the political center, I tend to think of Akbayan (Social-Democratic) and Magdalo (Nationalistic-Conservative), which is why I do see Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes as two possible “barons”.


      There are three things that make German political parties strong and durable, worth noting because other countries have similar mechanisms in different variations:

      1) refund of campaign expenses by the state, based on seats won. I think Australia has this too. Makes political parties less dependent on big-time donors who look for payback.

      2) ceilings on campaign expenditures. France also has this. Also makes donors less powerful.

      3) broad membership base, especially among the two people’s parties, Christian and Social Democrats. The older of the two parties, Social Democrats, originally built its membership base on trade unions. Christian Democrats tend to be more the “disente” people, i.e. middle class.. Meaning you simply have a broad base of people who pay their party membership dues, help in elections, watch vote counting, are candidates at different levels. The best known politicians usually start their careers in the youth organisations of their respective parties and move up.

      Party membership in Germany is a bit like Filipino fraternity membership, almost always for life.

      Moves are usually out of principle – some Greens became Social Democrats a long time ago, some disgruntled Christian Democrats helped found the right-wing AfD, that’s all I can think of.

      Sometimes citizens leave a party completely to protest that they no longer feel represented, giving back their “party book”. There are of course some trapo-like phenomena as well, but the competition between political parties, the press and citizenry keep them in check and minimal.

  4. Matandang Bingi says:

    I used to dream of good administrators for President like Juan Flavier, but he’s dead.
    This may be a naive wish. Another administrator (???) due to her being mayor, then governor, is Vilma Santos.
    Bayani Fernando?

  5. With an administration that is bent on vengeance and squashing dissenters with whatever it takes, I am hesitant in naming names. I honestly believe that we have a few DDS members circling our waters, taking names for a list that will be to the detriment of those named. The problem that I see is that the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government are in cahoots to bring down those who oppose the despotic trajectory that the PH governance is taking.

    This is not a new issue for PH. The legislative turncoats make this unfortunate scenario happen. The lack of checks and balances within the top echelon of the government makes it hard to bring about a mature and democratic governance system. Where is the Justice system in all of these? In a corner cowered by a threatening Executive and taken for granted by the equally disrespectful Legislative.

    What can be done to correct this dilemma? Would an electoral system reform be effective in a country with weak rule of law?

    • NHerrera says:


      This brings an idea. Why not name Cayetano as our primo baron, so that the others in the snake pit, like Alvarez et al, will snipe at him — from the back, of course. Cayetano is far from well-loved in that pit. 🙂

      • Hahaha! Throw with him Tiglao and Uson (heck, let’s pitch the whole PCOO in the pit) for the triumvirate of brown nosed wickedness to be complete. As an Irish would say to them, “Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat”. (May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat).

  6. edgar lores says:

    My difficulty in making nominations is in the requirements.

    Do we want architects (dreamers) or engineers (doers)?

    Of the people named, predominantly politicians or technocrats, most are doers. I think Carpio is mostly a dreamer.

    If we are talking dreamers, I would nominate people from academia. People like Cielito Habito (economist), Randy David (sociologist), Walden Bello (sociologist), Tony La Vina (lawyer), Sylvia Claudio (doctor/psychologist), and many more.

  7. Sup says:

    Not sure about Hilbay…he took out a whopping 4.5 million extra expenses according to COA…

    • It needs vetting, as to reason, for sure. I’m wondering if it has to do with representation on the UN arbitration case. I personally think top people who do top work deserve generous payouts. He certainly expresses high values.

    • karlgarcia says:

      OSG on COA report: Issue of excess allowances ‘nothing new’

      Thursday, May 18, 2017

      THE Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has defended its officials’ receipt of alleged “excess” allowances from the government.

      A Commission on Audit (COA) report on Thursday disclosed that Solicitor General Jose Calida received a total of P1.123 million in excess allowance while his predecessor Florin Hilbay received P4.6 million in 2016.

      In a statement, OSG spokesperson Erik Dy said the issue of Solicitor General’s “excess” allowances is nothing new.

      “The issue of allowances between the OSG and COA is nothing new. Even previous Solicitors General have been subject of these audit findings,” Dy said.

      Dy explained that under the OSG charter, lawyers are authorized to receive allowances and honoraria for legal services rendered to client agencies.

      “This is due to the government’s intention to attract the best and the brightest lawyers to work and build a career at the OSG,” Dy added.

      The spokesperson said the OSG stands to its position that a COA administrative circular cannot abrogate the OSG Charter.

      Former Solgen Hilbay in a statement also said the allowances of all OSG lawyers have been guided by Republic Act 9417 or the OSG Law.

      “It’s an old, recurring issue between OSG and COA. Allowances of all lawyers of OSG, past and present, are allowed by a very specific provision of law, Section 8 of RA 9417 (OSG law). Obviously, the COA doesn’t have the authority to countermand an act of Congress,” Hilbay said.

      In its report, the COA recommended that the top government lawyers refund the excess allowances they have received from the government and deposit it to the OSG’s trust fund.

      As a result, COA issued a notice of disallowance, a move countered by the office of the government defenders.

      COA said the excess amount being received by the lawyers are “illegal” under COA circular, which states that extra pay to government officials must not exceed 50 percent of their annual salary.

      A Solicitor General receives P702,516 from the government annually.

      Aside from Hilbay and Calida, COA also disclosed in its report excess allowances of 15 more government lawyers. (SunStar Philippines)

  8. It will be interesting to follow the development of the Mindanao Martial Law:

    Third of the country on ML, 2/3 to go…

    Knocking on wood and hoping for the best…

  9. edgar lores says:

    As usual, truth is the first casualty in war.

    From my readings:

    1. Duterte left the country unattended with seemingly no one in charge. He went to Russia with the Secretary of Defense, the heads of the service commands (Army, Navy. and Air Force), and the PNP.

    1.1. Finance Secretary Dominguez was left in charge?

    2. The government says it is in control of the situation. And yet:

    2.1. Marawi city mayor Majul Gandamra and the city police are holed up in the city hall.

    2.2. A priest Fr. Teresito Soganub), a college professor (Ma. Luisa Colina), the parish secretary (Wendelyn Mayormita), and an unknown number have been taken hostage.

    2.3. There are unconfirmed reports of the beheading of teachers in Dansalan College.

    2.4. It is reported that the Maute Group and ISIS have left the city for surrounding towns, but there is no confirmation. Gunshots are still being heard.

    2.5. Davao City, the city of peace, is in lockdown.

    3. There was a failure of intelligence.

    3.1. The Maute Group and ISIS had infiltrated the city days before.

    3.2. Government forces were supposed to serve a warrant of arrest on Isnilon Hapilon, but the Maute Group created diversion attacks on St. Mary’s Church, the city jail, the Ninoy Aquino School, the state university, and Dansalan College.

    3.2.1. It seems the government forces lacked intelligence, numbers, and backup forces (shades of Mamasapano).

    4. Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao, but there is no clear basis of rebellion or invasion. These are the two reasons for which martial law can be declared. Lawless violence is not an accepted reason.

    4.1. Rather than assuring the nation, Duterte has said martial law will be harsh and will be imposed as long as necessary.

    • caliphman says:

      A ‘rebellion’ by a fugitive gang of 50 to 100 bandits and their desperate leader. When escaping capture and death leads the gang to hostage taking and killing 3 government pursuers is used as pretext for martial law, this Marcos admirer is on a course laid out by the footsteps of his hero. No Plaza Miranda or Enrile ambush here but Digong was never one for niceties or legalities. Besides who needs those when the nation’s sheep bleat their support whatever he does or wherever he leads the country.

      This sounds like a D grade horror movie. Only it’s real and if it’s a rerun, it does not have a very good ending.

      • edgar lores says:

        This is what I got from an FB post and a news item in August last year. The Marawi crisis is due to politics and not rebellion. And not about the caliphate.

        A. Cast of Characters

        1. Fahad ”Pre” Salic – non-winning candidate for Governor of Lanao; ex-husband of Alma Moreno
        2. Omar ”Solitario” Ali – non-winning candidate for Mayor of Marawi City
        3. Arafat Umpar Salic – winning vice mayor of Marawi City and son of Solitario
        4. Associated drug lords

        5. Rasmia – wife of Pre
        6. Farhana Maute – mother of Maute brothers and sister of Rasmia

        B. Relationships

        1. Pre and Soitario are brothers.
        2. The Maute brothers are the nephews of Pre and Solitario. Arafat is their cousin.

        C. Matrix

        1. Pre, Solitario, Arafat and their associated drug lords are the financiers of the Maute group.

        2. Duterte mentioned Pre and Solitario as narco-politicians who refused to turn themselves in. Duterte also named Arafat who is in hiding (?).

        2. Pre and Solitario are creating havoc in Marawi City to avenge their lost in the elections, partly as a result of the lack of support from Duterte.

        3. With their associated drug lords, they are fighting for control of the drug trade in Lanao.

        • Ah! That makes more sense now.

          Very much like the Zamboanga City “crisis” of 2013, edgar?

          Just a means to an end, the end being here … hey, give me some respect! (Nur Misuari); but here (Marawi) it looks like they’re playing for keeps, so the better analogy would be Mexico?

          But then again, we’ve seen this whole narco- / islamo- connection in Afghanistan too (though the Mexican cartels also have their own pseudo-religious movement that keeps their foot soldiers in line, Santa Muerta, etc. )

          (poppy cultivation mostly in the south)

          So the question is who were these cast of characters selling their narco to? Both Mexican cartels and Afghanistan groups , at least at the highest levels ensure no messing around with their product, they are well aware of what addiction looks like (for Muslims its just a matter of issuing a fatwa, plenty current now, with death penalty and/or chopping of body parts—– I guess you can say the same for say Mexican groups),

          like the British in the Opium wars to the Chinese,

          If this group is selling to the south (their own peeps) then it’s just narco, but if they are taking from the British, Mexican cartels, Afghan mujahids’ play-book, ie. selling north (to the Visayas, or towards Zamboanga) then there’s a bigger or worrying problem afoot.

          That is the question.

          • They may indeed be a danger – or just in the way of the Chinese competition. Hard to say.

          • Ireneo, did you mean the Chinese rail, mining, logging? re “competition”?

            Just looking at this railway proposal map,

            Phase 4 & 5 , will be problematic; Phase 3 too (but that’s more NPA stuff)

            I don’t think the Chinese are involved in ARMM , though I know most of these Moros datus (to include new rich) are of Chinese ancestry , but I don’t see the China involvement here, can you clarify this “competition”? thanks.

            • karlgarcia says:

              You were talking about narco so it (Chinese competition)was probably about narco. Focus, Lance. 😉

              • Are there Chinese narco orgs (from China) working in Mindanao, karl? Especially in ARMM? Now your dad might have inside info on this, but I’ve not heard of China muscling in ARMM—- China (under PLA) usually doesn’t touch areas that tend to be unruly, hence they’ll take a hands-off approach in South America, in Africa and even in Afghanistan (though road building is a passion of theirs),

                Now if it’s not mainland China operations but more organized crime but Chinese variety, again in ARMM it is still hard press, IMHO. Now corrupt families of the Filipino garden variety (even for Moros), totally feasible, but China in Lanao just seems far fetch, hence my interest here, do you have any reporting of China narco-organizations in ARMM or Mindanao in general , karl? 😉 That’s my point.

              • karlgarcia says:


                Though they are minoritities, they still are from mainland China.

              • When I say mainland China , I’m referring to PLA or Chinese gov’t affiliated, sanctioned by the Communists, as some part of a destabilisation effort against another nation.

                There’s reports of Uighurs in Afghanistan and also in Syria/Iraq too, I wonder if they’re taking from the Chechen playbook and essentially playing as many away games as possible so they can return to their homeland and exercise hard won expertise against Han Chinese.

                The Israelis used to do that, in the 50s, 60s, 70s, sending observers , units to pretty much every war they can get into, that’s why the IDF is pretty close with South African troops, it definitely paid off.

          • There’s this one Chinese connection specific to Lanao,


            I’m sure there’s logging and mining going on in Lanao too, front Chinese companies , not sure; but if this Maute family has mining/logging interests , then maybe it’s not just narco- but the muscling in off outside forces that is the story here, ie. what we’ve been looking for in the Ligawasan Marsh area is actually jutting its head in Marawi, threads need to be pulled.

            • karlgarcia says:

              To support your mining logging take.


              But you know the main theme of the admin is narco, so if martial law spreads nationwide, am afraid more evidence planting will happen.

              • It’s not really about just narco- , karl… it’s a state sovereignty being undermined by narco- or islamo- or Chinese- issue (or all three!) , hence my interest in the China competition of Ireneo. China has flooded the drug market here with their synthetics , though I’ve not heard of China supporting islamo- stuff to undermine a country, but I guess that’s what the US did when we supported the mujahadeens against the Russians in Afghanistan, so its been done before in recent history.

                The logging/mining stuff going to China is more chemp’s focus , which I don’t really buy since China pretty much already gets all the timber and minerals/metals , but i guess chemp’s point was to undercut the middleman, go direct in Mindanao (but see if they go direct route then they’ll have to focus on Islamo- terrorism, get entangled, which China really has no stomach for given their behaviour in their western front re Chinese Muslims).

                No matter how you cut it, this whole justification for martial law, seem to have merit. I’m not saying that’s good or bad only time will tell, but with a 80% approval rating, and a likely legit national security issue, DU30’s got this Mindanao martial law in the bag—- and if after 1 year, he actually produces some sort of semblance to peace (thru fear, this time), then he would’ve done something that escaped all Presidents of the Philippines.

              • There is a long way to go to get to peace (through fear), I think. The left is sharply opposed to martial law because, unlike social media youth, they remember the abuses of Marcos martial law. There is also a hardening of opposition from respected opinion leaders, so I can’t imagine such voices being silenced in a year, or if martial law is expanded to the whole of the Philippines. The AFP seems willing to obey orders, but will likely not participate in the PNP’s MO of breaking due process or laws. Chasing US intelligence sources away seems to assure the lack of information, and more, not fewer encounters.

              • I found the following write-up by MLQ3 most interesting for the historical/pragmatic background:


              • This map shows the absurdity of putting the whole of Mindanao under martial law, and is why some notables are arguing that the need for martial law reflects a failure of the Duterte Administration’s policies. Things are going downhill, not up.


              • “Although the plants are farmed legally for pharmaceutical purposes in China, the appearance across the border in Afghanistan has exacerbated a long-running headache for Afghan officials. For years, the country and international organizations have struggled to contain the ceaseless cultivation and multi-billion dollar sales of opium, widely considered to be Afghanistan’s biggest source of economic activity.”

                Thanks, karl! Interesting article.

                I doubt this was a concerted effort, China knows all too well the dangers of the last Opium Wars to its people (too close to home too). But the race to find that perfect opium plant, one which has all the pain relieving effects, but not the addiction , I know cultivation is also happening here though with more controls (poppies, marijuana and coca plants, etc.)

                But that islamo- / narco- connection in the Philippines should definitely be taken seriously. I don’t think the drug scene in the Philippines will ever take on Mexican and Afghanistan proportions, but still buying of arms, funding more ops, buying land, buying people,etc. there’s just so much you can do with narco -money, which renders it a national security problem, karl.

              • karlgarcia says:

                You have not forgotten about HK triad?

              • karlgarcia says:

                You know and I know that narco politics is never just about the narco.
                That is why, I never doubted the prevalence of drugs,I just hate EJK.With nationwide martial law, it will no longer be extra judicial even with all the safeguards against full blown ML, all he needs to do is play chicken with the SC.

              • “The AFP seems willing to obey orders, but will likely not participate in the PNP’s MO of breaking due process or laws. “

                I agree, Joe. The jig will up if DU30 takes that inch he’s given and demands a whole mile (whole of the Philippines)… easier to justify martial law within Mindanao, especially when that justification is flying the same flag the rest of the world is also fighting (ie., Manchester, UK), familiarity = easy justification.

                I’d imagine the AFP is enjoying their powers being expanded in Mindanao, I think they’d see it as a balancing of sorts to the PNP’s EJKs, no? ie., a chance for them to shine, “this is how you conduct anti-terrorism, counter-insurgency”… take that PNP!

                IMHO the DU30 experiment here is in his expanding the Davao model to the rest of Mindanao, i gotta feeling the bulk of that 80% approval lives in Mindanao, so they’re probably welcoming the whole Davao approach… kinda like Utah and Southern Idaho, with all those Mormon values (I was surprise at how many Evangelical Filipinos were in Mindanao, Joe!).

              • “You have not forgotten about HK triad?”

                They’re Cantonese , no?

              • You have a point there, Joe… was there martial law during the Zamboanga City siege in 2013? Sure this could be a big nothing and martial law is an over reaction, of course. In Mexico, they tend to be rolling martial law, region specific then lifted after clean up.

                Focus should be in what the AFP is doing under martial law, are they going berserker like the PNP or will they be measured? If anything, it’ll probably just mean lots of check points, more than already now.

              • The Department of Defense issued a policy memo today that instructs AFP to follow the rule of law and adhere to human rights guidelines and assist those who are under duress from fighting (innocent civilians). The memo clearly places the Constitution above President Duterte. That is evidently the only thing blocking nationwide declaration of Martial Law: AFP’s understanding of what the Constitution means.

              • NHerrera says:

                @JoeAm: thanks for the MLQIII link, the Marawi-Mindanao map and your 1:45 PM post.

                I agree, at least presently, the AFP is the single most effective moderating influence in this ML Train — effective because the few other critics are ignored; and the AFP may not be entirely sold, but following pro forma chain of command procedure.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Lance, Just going back to this Triad thing, I found this article.

                I can not comment on the Chinese government supporting Filipino/Foreign terrorists and separatists.(I do not know)

              • chemrock says:

                The Chinese govt has worked with triads in the past but don’t know much about the relationship now. Probably no longer. Pre -Deng days China was a closed country so they needed the triads amongst Chinese diaspora to do some espionage work. Long before we have Russians working on Trump, the Chinese worked on Bill Clinton through triads. Clinton was given several hundred thousand $ Chinese funds for his campaign and this came up for discussion. Then a lady by the name of Lewinsky appear and the media went wild over her oral prowess and the Chinese money was forgotten. Come to think of it, the whole Lewinsky thing could have been a deflectionary tactic.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Wow! Thanks Chemrock!

              • Thanks! karl, I have a better understanding of Chinese Triads’ history in the Philippines now, though the blog you shared didn’t bring this connection to modern day. But…

                With chemp’s Clinton-Chinese connection, I Googled one . Very very interesting.

              • karlgarcia says:


        • caliphman says:

          Oh goody Edgar, it’s also about a local drug war. What further pretext does Duterte need to declare nationwide martial law under the popular banner of stomping out drug and terrorist scum? Under such a regimen suspending constitutional rights and processes, Duterte arrogates to himself the power to stifle dissent and to make what us now EJK legal. Ughh.

          • – beware of the Duterte – Manila Times connection which is known.

            Who wrote that stuff anyway? With a paper that publishes Tiglao, I would be doubly careful.

            • karlgarcia says:

              It is more about the GMA connection, Faeldon and Danny Lim in major positions maybe is a para di naman masyadong halata ang Duterte-GMA connection.

              The attempt to balance to “display” diversity was shown in the mix of leftist and military men in government.

              • Ireneo,

                That makes more sense, since that Manila Times article shared by edgar above, does seem to lend credence to martial law. Whatever the machinations ultimately prove, there’s enough for people to worry is my point, dirty political families, islamo- , narco- , possible Chinese interference (which Ireneo alluded to, though I’m hard pressed to connect). Hence with that 80% approval, I suspect you’ll have plenty of support for martial law in Mindanao by DU30.

                There were a bunch of Maranaws buying up property in and around Zamboanga area, I wonder too if ultimately these guys are using narco- profits , and converting it into land grabbing, that’s the Israeli model of colonization. Very interesting.

        • edgar lores says:

          As of today, June 8, 2017, we have the following developments:

          1. Cayamora Maute, the father of the Maute brothers, was arrested at a checkpoint in Davao on June 6. He is accused of providing funding and logistical support for his sons’ activities. He was on his way to seek medical care.

          2. Farhana Maute, the mother and matriarch of the clan, sought to approach and talk with Duterte but he refused. On June 7, Duterte blamed the Maute clan for bringing ISIS foreign fighters to Marawi.

          3. On June 7, ex-mayor Fajad (not Fahad?) Salic was arrested for rebellion in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

          4. There is no immediate end to the Marawi crisis and there is now talk of a protracted war. Lorenzana’s 10-day deadline followed by Duterte’s 3-day deadline have come and gone. The initial estimates of 50-100 rebels have ballooned to as many as 500, including foreign fighters from Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

          5. It appears the military intelligence of the government, the US, Indonesia, and Malaysia have been caught flat-footed. The Marawi crisis was not simply defensive, diversionary attacks to save Hapilon but an attempt to dismember the Republic starting with the city of Marawi.

  10. caliphman says:

    First was Mindanao, can Visayas and Mindanao be far behind? There is little to stop him. Not the public who largely trust and support, not the military now governing Mindanao with him as CinC, not Tito Sotto or the Senate or Congress who kowtow to him, not those hoodlums in black robes masquerading as the Supreme Court, and not the media who can be muzzled or salvaged as was the fate of Pala, the Davao mayor’s broadcast critic.

    In the linked article, Duterte says martial law will not be much different from the Marcos variety, apparently to reassure the country. Bizarre but then again, if the public is willing to applaud his drug war and turn a blind eye on EJK’s, what’s different with mass amnesia on what a horror Apo’s martial law horror was all about?

    • chemrock says:

      Mindanao millenials will have a wake up call about Martial Law when they realise that Friday night gimmicks are forebidden from now on. The frustration will be further aggravated when internet services ceased and no more Facebook for them as social media postings of troop movements is a serious security threat.

  11. edgar lores says:

    Just putting this here as a reminder:

    So we expect martial law in Mindanao to be lifted by June 3, 2017 at the latest.

    No fudging, no extensions, no excuses.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I also want this to end ASAP, but it is 60 days.
      That is why many are questioning ML, it means prolonging the agony.
      Only Duerte can lift this, but he is not hearing the ” Everything is under control, sir!”
      He even had another rape joke, he said he will take full responsibility for every rape. Grrr😡😡😡

      • karlgarcia says:

        One more problem, because the rebels have what the military has, no one can tell who is responsible for the bomb that killed wounded many civillians .In this early stage of ML, collateral damage is easier to use as an excuse, aside from the bomb or grenade was not from us.

    • chemrock says:

      After ML was announced in Russia, they had a media meet, sans Duts, Phil press only. There was a very very very interesting moment. A deadly slip up by Abella. Someone asked him something to which he refused to commit, deferring to Duts and Abella said he (Duts) has discussed with his “own advisors”. One media guy jumped on it and pursued the matter, and asked ” he has other advisor? who are they?” As usual Abella wriggled his way out, dismissively….. Well, you know, he has other advisors.

      Who are these advisors? Bongbong? Chinese, Dominguez clique of oligarchs? GMA

      Explosive stuff. As usual, Filipinos are not concerned.

      • edgar lores says:

        This is what Chemrock is referring from the press briefing in Moscow, on 23 May 2017, by Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano:

        Pia Ranada (Rappler): Sir, may we know how the President decided? What was his thought process and what were the events that led to his deciding to declare Martial Law? Was he briefed? Who briefed him? Was his decision also suggested by Defense officials?

        PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He met with his own group and we will just have to leave it at that. The full details we don’t have.

        Ms. Ranada: His own group? Sorry?


        Ms. Ranada: His own group?

        PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: His own group of — his group of advisers, okay. We don’t have the details about the composition of the advisers.


        If Duterte has his own group of advisers apart from the official Cabinet and associated personnel, and if Abella does not know the composition of this shadow advisers, then what are the ramifications? My speculations are:

        1. The shadow group is possibly non-Filipino.
        2. Duterte is being led by the nose by this shadow group.
        2. Duterte and his official cabinet are traitors.

        • Outside DU30’s cabinet , could this “shadow group” simply be …

          Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go , plus maybe DU30’s close friends and family in Mindanao?

          And not necessarily foreign, or non-Filipino, edgar?

          I’d imagine his decision would’ve been Mindanao focus, by those either from Mindanao or have considerable experience in Mindanao. A great many of the Moros voted for DU30 , so I’m sure new Moro leadership would most likely have taken part of this “shadow group”, or simply as advisers.

          • edgar lores says:

            PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: His own group of — his group of advisers, okay. We don’t have the details about the composition of the advisers.

          • chemrock says:

            I think Arroyo was the king maker. The shawdows are Dominguez-led bunch of old wealth linked to the Macapagals.

            • edgar lores says:

              That little lady will sell the country (and she has) or let it burn (and she did) to save her own neck (and she has). So much malignancy in a small frame.

            • I’m sure they are part of these “advisers”, chemp:

            • karlgarcia says:

              One old trick for warlord/land grabbers- start war-end war buy land cheap sell land a hundred fold.

              Its modern day variant still applies.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Sad news .There are reports that 80 percent of Marawi is flattened.
                There is a humanitarian crisis, as Bill pointed out,
                Neighboring towns are all going to Iligan, The one week set by DND sec, does not include massive rebuilding.

              • edgar lores says:

                I wonder if the military has changed strategy from a house-to-house campaign to surgical air strikes in order to save lives and finish the crisis sooner?

                Duterte is showing political will and, if the ASG and MG are dismembered completely, I am sure his satisfaction ratings will rise. Inspite of the civilian death toll.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Scanning Inquirer, I saw a video of an airstrike.


                The 80 percent damage I mentioned, is just something I overheard. (hearsay) I hope it is not that much, though I am afraid, it might be accurate.
                I just hope the Maute and ASG are neutralized. My stand on collateral damage is on stand by.

        • edgar lores says:

          I have described the shadow group as “possibly non-Filipino.”

          The phrase may point to aliens.

          But the adverb “possibly” means the phrase may also point to Filipinos who are unFilipino.

          • Anything’s possible of course, edgar… what we’re trying to do is get at what’s most probable. If your expertise is in computers, knowing I’m not so versed in computer systems, would you seek my advise? Of course it’s possible you would, but not probable. Since I only know how to Google. That’s my point.

            To Bill’s point, I would add Muslims have been the main victims of Islamic terrorism than non-Muslims (though we react more when non-Muslims die). Consider that, not too many people do.

    • edgar lores says:

      The June 2, 2017 deadline for the government to end the Marawi crisis has come and gone… with no end in sight.

      The death toll is 175 — 120 rebels, 36 government, and 19 civilians.

      The excuses of the military include:

      1. The difficult urban terrain and the constant movements of rebels.
      2. The rebels have occupied commercial reinforced buildings as their defensive lairs.
      3. The buildings are in a dense area and there is no direct line of sight.
      4. The government cannons cannot penetrate due to excuses 2 and 3.
      5. The rebels have many snipers and have fired from mosques.
      6. The rebels have built tunnels as escape routes.
      7. The rebels are using civilians as shields.

      • The quality and quantity of arms held by rebel groups is amazing, so the difficulty of rooting them out is understandable. 500 people +/- dug in. I suspect the bombs dropped are not the most accurate. It would be interesting to see a virtual reality portrayal of the episode, after the fact. My impression of AFP operations is “manual”, with human error and poor logistics overriding operational precision.

        • edgar lores says:

          I was wondering if the military is using the correct tactics for urban warfare and have the proper equipment.

          Initially, they were implying a door-to-door search and then they used precision bombing instead. I guess to save lives. But some soldiers were victims of friendly fire. Are they using planes and/or helicopters to do the bombing?

          But snipers seem to be a large part of the problem. The troops seem to be pinned down. To counter snipers, don’t they have snipers of their own?

          Do they have night vision?

          The general in charge was replaced.

          I would rather that the troops take time, as they still have something like 49 days left. Surely, the rebels will run out of ammo. I just hope Duterte doesn’t panic and turn Marawi into Aleppo. Marawi is the center of Moro culture and learning.

    • karlgarcia says:

      One last.
      Citing a source in the presidential entourage in Moscow where the president was on an official visit and made the decision, The STAR reported that the president summoned Eduardo Año, the military chief, for an update on the clashes in Marawi City on Tuesday afternoon.

      Año told the president everything was under control, according to the source of the newspaper. Still, he went on to order martial law in the southern region.

      “Obviously, he decided on his own to impose martial law in Mindanao. He is obsessed with it and with replicating what the late dictator (Ferdinand Marcos) did,” the source commented.

      Sought by for comment on the account, Bong Go, special assistant to the president and one of Duterte’s most trusted aides, replied: “No idea.”

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, karl, chemrock:

        Thanks for the note about the possible early lifting of Martial Law, and the interesting item about General Ano reporting that “everything was under control,” but that the President declared ML nevertheless.

        What is gratifying in all this and even in previous events is the admirable behavior of the Armed Forces (excluding of course the PNP). And we at TSH are not the only ones noticing this. Thank goodness for every bit of good news — in the case of AFP, a big bit. I would like to add this to the list of Wil in the other blog as the ELEVENTH good thing about the country.

        • chemrock says:

          Not so fast. .

          AFP said no ISIS.
          President said ISIS is in Maindanao.
          Now AFP said they will take the President’s line. Meaning if President said there is ISIS, ok lang, there is ISIS.

          Your last line of resistance just collapsed.

          • edgar lores says:

            Duterte is trying to justify martial law to the national and international audience.

            We must remember that the crisis was brought on by a botched attempt to capture Hapilon by government forces. The Maute Group did not initiate a rebellion defined as a “violent action organized by a group of people who are trying to change the political system in their country.”

            They were simply trying to distract government forces and allow Hapilon to escape.

            The Maute Group are wannabe ISIS.

            The irony is that Duterte might create the monster he names.

            • edgar,

              ISIS is already there. If anything, the failure of MNLF-MILF to gain ground under the very President they campaigned for , suggests the banner has changed from federalism / continued BBL talks , to “IS in Mindanao and Sulu”.

              Martial law in Mindanao could simply be a defibrillator of sorts to bring back the peace talks, after all DU30 has considerable support among the Moros.

          • chemrock says:

            We all know what happens when the DDA guy stick to his scientifically obtained 1.8m drug users insteand of tow the president’s line of 4m.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Who else will be fired for contradicting the president?

              At least “You’re fiiiired!” is better than “off with their heads”.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Speaking of heads, the police chief who showed up after the president already reported his beheading, will he be fired?

              • He will have to report to work like the famous St. Denis, patron saint of Paris:

                What the President says is true and if not it will be made true!

  12. Bill In Oz says:

    I seen to remember commenting last yearb that ISIS was operating in Mindanao… aNd I remember getting pooh poohed for my trouble.

    Marawi city is now occupied by Maute terrorists. The Philippine defence forces are fighting them there in the streets. Most all the civilian population of Marawi, ( 200,000 people ) have fled. It is not a battle of Duterte’s choosing – after all he was in Moscow, Russia when it all started.

    But here all I see are folks blaming Dutete and for declaring martial law.

    Since when in the Philippines has the defense of the nation from ongoing terrorist attacks been a subject of partisan politics ?

    What a buggered up form of politics !

    • karlgarcia says:

      Until recently, it was the AFP and PNP who kept on telling us that Maute group are just wannabe ISIS.
      No ISIS presence in PHL – AFP, PNP

      The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police insisted Wednesday that there is no presence of the terror group ISIS in the country.

      “We don’t have ISIS in the Philippines,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office chief, told reporters.

      Arevalo said what the government troops encountered in Marawi City was a local terror group which is using the incident to get recognition from ISIS.

      “Ginagamit nila ang mga insidenteng ito upang sila ay i-recognize. These groups who are claiming to be ISIS, they are merely courting the acclamation of ISIS na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin nila nakukuha kaya patuloy ang kanilang ginagawang atrocities,” he said.

      In a separate press briefing, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the Maute group is not an ISIS group.

      “It is not an ISIS group, it is a local terror group. Walang ISIS dito. They are not even recognized yet by ISIS,” he said.

      Carlos reiterated that the Marawi City incident was initiated by the PNP and AFP in running after Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.

      “It is a joint operation to arrest Isnilon Hapilon. The action came from the government,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Well Karl, you go right ahead and believe them if you wish.

        Meanwhile in the real Philippines :

        1 The Australian government through its Foreign Minister earlier this year warned that IS was looking to declare a caliphate in the southern island of Mindanao.

        2 : The BBC recorded 9 attacks resulting in 50 casualties attributable to ISIS in the Philippines as of 2014.

        3: CNN reported that since 2014, there had been 7 separate ISIS inspired incidents.

        I suggest that your AFP & PNP have been operating on a “See no evil’, Hear no evil, Say no evii”, basis. Perhaps in order to live a quiet life. But Islamic terrorist don’t operate on that basis.

        I repeat :”Since when in the Philippines has the defense of the nation from ongoing terrorist attacks been a subject of partisan politics ?”

        • karlgarcia says:

          Anyone else wants to answer Bill’s query?

        • edgar lores says:

          I would say that most everything in the Philippines — including terrorist attacks — can be the subject and object of partisan politics.

          Binay tried to be the hero of the Zamboanga siege.

          There has been a suggestion that the Marawi crisis is the equivalent of the fake Enrile assassination attempt that was used to trigger Marcos’ martial law.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Edgar do you realise just how awful what you say is ? This is a huge flaw of character in the Philippines political sphere.

            • chemrock says:

              Bill, of course every body knows there is a huge flaw in Philippines politics. There were some quarters who actually felt a strong man like Duterte will be good, he can clean the Aegean stable of Philippines politics, me too initially had such thought. It’s turning out to be a disaster.

              According to Duterte, the Maute group was started by the Maute brothers. So it is strange that knowing the personalities they can’t pin them down all these years. It means AFP id their family members and relatives. With these connection, law enforcement agencies could have napped them long ago. Where is the intel? Unless of course,there is a political twist and they were allowed to exist, to serve some purpose. Now the Maute clan has some members running some towns, so it’s rumoured the terrorist group also served as someone’s private army. Another twist being circulated, dont know if its true. Maute guys have been seen moving around in security armoured vehicles of one security agency. Boss of the agency is a good pal of Bong Go Duterte’s PA. That guy has recently been roped in as Sports Advisor to the Admin. Have seen some photos, but no idea if it’s fake. So you can see where Edgar is coming from?

            • Edgar Lores says:

              Bill In Oz, I do realize. It is a tragic fact.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Edgar , Joe, Lance, There are some separate issues bubbling up here :
                1 : The existence of Islamic terrorist groups in Mindanao which in the past week have initiated an uprising at Marawi AGAINST the Philippines people.

                2 : The Duterte elected government of the Philippines has proclaimed Martial Law in Mindanao as a ‘legal’ step in order to destroy these ISIS terrorists.

                3 : Is this the best or needed step ? I personally don’t know. I am not an expert on Mindanao or Marawi city. But Duterte has lived almost his entire life on Mindanao and dealt with people in Filipino politics there since the 1980’s. I think he may actually have more expertise than any of us here.

                4 : So I wish him & his government success in destroying these terrorists and then restoring Marawi as a place where it’s people can safely live..

                5 : This Blog is named “The Society of Honor”. It is place where honorable people meet to swap information and to discuss issues about the Philippines.

                It is not honorable to use the current crisis in Marawi as an opportunity for partisan politics. Or is that just me, a naive speaking non Filipino ?

              • Partisan politics are sometimes based on principles, and are honorable. Sometimes they are bald-faced self-justifications or manipulations. One has to discern which is which. You may believe Duterte is forthright and honorable, and many who lived the Marcos martial law years are horrified that he thinks he needs such an autocratic power as martial law to fight a band of terrorists. Leftists/communists are among them, as they bore the heat under Marcos. Former senator Rene Saguisag described the President’s use of martial law as a sign of weakness. Former President Fidel Ramos, Vice President Leni Robredo, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno have all warned of the dangers of martial law. The government’s social media goons are on the attack against anyone who objects to martial law. Honor is where you find it, I guess.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill, thank you for your candor. Naturally, people will have different perspectives on your points. My general attitude is to examine issues from the widest perspective possible with an awareness of my biases.

                1. You use the word “initiated.” From my perspective, the Maute Group was reacting to the government’s attempt to capture Hapilon.

                1.1. Was the government right in doing so? Yes. In fact, there was an ongoing campaign to break up the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). What was wrong with the government effort in Marawi was that it underestimated the enemy.

                1.2. Was the Maute Group (MG) wrong in defending Hapilon? Yes. Both these groups are unlawful groups engaged in criminal activities. As Islamic militants, they are more revolutionary and aggressive than MNLF and MILF, seeking to establish ties with ISIS.

                2. The Duterte government declared the whole of Mindanao under a state of National Emergency in September 2016.

                2.1. Duterte is sympathetic to the Muslim cause. He did not see the ASG as bandits but nevertheless, he vowed to destroy the group in his State of the Nation address in June 2016. His priority, however, was to arrive at a basic law for the Muslims. Note that as late as August 2016 he allowed a ransom to be paid to the ASG in contradiction of government policy.

                2.2. In November, Duterte suspended the pending warrants for the arrest of Nur Misuari (MNLF) who was responsible for the Zamboanga siege in 2013. He seems to personally favor Misuari over MILF’s Al Haj Murad Ebrahim with whom the Aquino government crafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Misuari presided over the Muslim autonomous region (ARMM) with disastrous results.

                2.2. The MG is a relative latecomer to the terrorist cause. The Group’s bombing in Davao in September 2016 triggered the proclamation of the state of National Emergency.

                3. My personal opinion on the martial law decision? Many people are second-guessing the decision, but given the urgency of the crisis, I would limit martial law to the province of Lanao del Sur (and, possibly, the stronghold islands of the ASG — Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Sibutu — to complete military operations there).

                3.1. The fact the Duterte has lived in “wild” Mindanao may color his judgment for oppressive measures and, conversely, a tolerance of unlawfulness like paying revolutionary taxes to the NPA, killing drug addicts, planting evidence, and raping women.

                3.2. Given our experience of martial law, Duterte should lift it as soon as possible. As I suggested earlier no later than June 3 after the mopping up operations in Marawi are expected to be completed. There is no need to wait for the prescriptive 60-day period.

                3.3. Congress should have convened for a special session to record their votes on the question of martial law.

                4. Amen.

                5. It is imperative that the Marawi crisis be discussed openly.

                5.1. There should be no repeat of the Marcos martial law experience.
                5.2. Duterte has shown an inclination to disregard the Consitution and has a propensity for heavy-handedness many degrees higher than Marcos.
                5.3. Duterte’s administration has not shown an ounce of accountability.
                5.4. Congress is not doing its constitutional duty of due diligence.
                5.5. Duterte has not yet visited Marawi. This should be a priority. He arrived in Manila from Russia on Wednesday afternoon. He has had ample time to support the troops.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                How interesting Joe. You put words in my mouth which I did not write.

                I am ware of his government’s faults but Duterte is the elected legitimate president of the Philippines.

                And the principle here is obvious ” The unity of the Philippines come before the partisan interests of groups & individuals”.

                I guess Edgar is right. And that is a tragedy. And TSOH is just another forum for that tragedy to manifest.

              • Tragedy = truth. I trust you would not want people here to spin it to look good if it is not, in their judgment.

              • NHerrera says:

                A PAUSE

                If one has a nasty nasty itch in the upper part of his right arm and the medical procedure of bleeding is as it was at the time that was practiced (ref edgar’s Item 3), people may reasonably question (Items 5, 5.4) if bleeding the body far distant is correct.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Edgar, thanks for your detailed comment. There is much we agree on. And a couple of things we do not agree on.

                One is a simple matter of fact : Duterte is apparently in Mindanao now and was there yesterday as well. The ABC here reported him critically for his remarks to the troops there yesterday. ( Saturday )


                As he was in Moscow on Wednesday meeting Putin and had to reschedule his return flight, and conclude his talks in Moscow, and as he is 73 years old and also according to Joe suffers from a serious chronic health condition, I think this is fair enough .

                The other is the issue of Duterte & his experience in dealing with ‘Mindanao style’ politics. Your own comments on this support my suggestion that he is well experienced and willing to make exceptions. Personally I am ignorant of Mindanao. But here the Philippines has for the first time, a president who is from Mindanao and lived there all his life. Maybe his judgement on what to do in Marawi, is a lot better than the judgements of people in the political Manila establishment.

                Finally Emmanuel De Santos has an interesting take on the situation at Philippines Blog Watch.


              • 1.0 I don’t recall having offered a view as to the President’s health, as I don’t know about it.
                1.1 He does drop from view now and them and seems sometimes incoherent.
                1.2 He has said he has gone beyond his prescription when using drugs.
                1.3 It is reported in social media that he has health problems.
                2.0 Doy Santos offers a level-headed view, naming no culprits (refreshing).
                2.1 He acknowledges the complexities.
                2.2 Given the complexities, it is not surprising there are assorted opinions here at TSOH, and that some may not align with yours.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill in Oz, thanks.

                1. Duterte rules from Manila and Davao City. I gather he spends his weekends in Davao.

                1.1. The distance between Davao City and Marawi City is 157 km by crow’s flight. This is less than the distance between Adelaide and Tintinara of 169 km. This distance can be traversed in less than an hour by helicopter traveling at 230 km/h.

                1.2. The facts (a) that he is in Davao so often and (b) that he is there in Mindanao now give more reason for him to visit Marawi.

                1.3. Age should not be an excuse. If the man feels he is physically incapacitated, the right thing for him to do is resign. It is not a question of fairness but one of duty. He must be Lincoln at Gettysburg, Pnoy at Zamboanga.

                2. Whether his Mindanao experience is an advantage or a disadvantage is moot. I agree with you that it should be an advantage in terms of familiarity with the island’s problems. As I said though familiarity and proximity do condition his thinking.

                Thanks for the De Santos link.

              • edgar lores says:

                Bill in Oz,

                Sorry. I missed your point that Duterte had been to Marawi as only the island was mentioned and not the city. Accordingly, I withdraw my comments 1 – 1.2 of my May 28, 2017 at 4:19 pm post. Item 1.3 stays.

                My tunnel vision is very strong.

              • NHerrera says:

                Bill, thanks for the link. Thanks, too, to Emmanuel Santos.

            • You seem aghast, Bill, as if Edgar is at fault for stating a truth. No, the fault rests with the truth. All the indignation in the world won’t change anything. The Philippines is grossly flawed if one looks at the nation through idealistic Western eyes.

        • chemrock says:

          Bill, Karl

          ISIS threat in SE Asia is not existential at the moment. We are not high on the ISIS agenda, especially the past few years when they are loosing territories.

          In Malaysia the threat is political. UMNO the dominant Malay ruling party since independence, has been loosing ground due to growing disenchantment with corrupt leadership. UMNO has to use the Chinese and Indian bogeyman as threats to Malay race and religion. Thus UMNO and opposition Islamic party has been trying to out Islam each other. Result — religious polarisation. Outwardly they are boasting Malaysia is moderate Islam, and multiculturism. In reality, it’s not that rosy.

          Indonesia had a more serious problem which had its root in a militarised ideologically radicalised group that fought the Dutch and wanted to replace it with Islamic govt. That group was Darul Islam. Under strong man Suharto, the group was decimated, but it has clawed its way back. They are now linked with the Jemaah Islamiyah, the militant group. But these are Al-Queda inspired. They are low key now but consolidating.

          Philippines is a different story. MNLF and MILF are political animals. Abu Sayaf and Muate are criminals under Islamic cloak. What do chihuahuas do? They make more noise to impress. Abu pledged ISIS allegiance. I’m sure they are linked into some networks that link them to ME groups. I’m sure they received some foreign instructions. But Philippines is not a big deal for ISIS at the moment. They can say go ahead, form a Caliphate. But they are not actively participating. The Malaysians here are mostly radicals kicked out of their own country, The danger to Philippines has been Wahabi imams from Saudi Arabia. They have been here for a long time, funded by the Saudi Kingdom. These are slowly radicalising the ground, the process of Arabisation. Lance’s narration of Mindanao is quite correct. Today if you ask Mindanoans about Martial law, there is a clear divide. Those who say it’s good — these are the Christians. The Muslims will say NO. I read on my FB of some people reminiscing of Marawi. The older ones said they loved the old Marawi which was a centre of Islam in Philippines, of how the folks were living peacefully side by side with Christians, but the environment is not the same now, there is tension in the air. Arabisation has taken root, thats why.

          ISIS interest in our part of the world seems more specific at the moment – build training camps for international recruits for their Syrian fronting read. They had one in Indonesia not too long ago.

          This link is a very long but interesting read on the threat of ISIS in SE Asia,

          • karlgarcia says:

            Many Thanks for the informative comment. I will check on the link, I am sure it will be as informative.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Chemrock, thank for the informative comment. ISIS is being destroyed n in Iraq & Syria. By the end of the year Mosul will be completely restored to the Iraqi nation with it’s elected government. In Syria the Kurds are gradually tightening a noose around the ISIS capital. Already many hundreds of ISIS fighters have fled with orders to launch fronts elsewhere.

            The Philippines is one of those new ISIS fronts.

            But you really did not answer my question which is about the nature of the discussion I have read happening on this blog, faced with this terrorist crisis in Mindanao..

            Two hundred thousand Filipinos are homeless this night because of the Islamic terrorists war in Marawi.

            This should never be the subject of partisan politics. And those who make such, are not men or women of honor.

            • chemrock says:

              Your last sentence is both your answer and an understatement. Now you understand why Philippines is ungovernable.

              • Lance’s narration of Mindanao is quite correct. Today if you ask Mindanoans about Martial law, there is a clear divide. Those who say it’s good — these are the Christians. The Muslims will say NO. “


                I would just add that that “NO” from the Moros , at this point would more likely be a “Maybe it’ll work”—- precisely because the Muslim Filipinos voted for DU30. MNLF/MILF have IMHO squandered an opportunity, they backed DU30 precisely because he among other candidates was more amenable to the Muslim plight (ie. his grandma’s muslim/Maranaw, he has muslim grand-kids, in-laws/Tausug, etc.). So I would assume Moros at this early juncture would be in support of martial law, given the failure of their MNLF/MILF, kinda like PLO/HAMAS in Palestine (don’t really represent the people).

                Also that Muslim “NO”, would be unlikely this early on, because the moderate, non-Wahhabized/Salafized Filipino Muslims would see this IS in Mindanao and Sulu as an existential threat, no not to the Philippines state, but to their Muslim’ness , they’d not want this austere from the desert type interpretation of their Islam, they want to co-mingle with the fairer sex, have fun, enjoy being Muslim without all the compunction from the desert. IMHO, they’ll be in support of martial law, vis-a-vis IS , though all that support can dwindle depending on AFP/PNP’s actions—- ie. if surgical, and effective, I think DU30’s federalism will push thru, and DU30 would have more clout to form his own Muslim coalition and by-pass current leadership.

                Also this conspiracy theory that edgar’s pushing re

                My speculations are:

                1. The shadow group is possibly non-Filipino.
                2. Duterte is being led by the nose by this shadow group.
                2. Duterte and his official cabinet are traitors.

                … is probably the furthest from my reading of Mindanao, this is DU30’s backyard, why would he have to go foreign?! I agree with you chemp, that Macapagals and other Christians in Mindanao (stakeholders themselves) would’ve been consulted too. But this notion of seeking foreign advise re Mindanao is possibly the worst reading of DU30 and his intentions in Mindanao i’ve read (now, granted foreign interests would of course be weighed, ie. your mining/logging/maybe real estate interests) , but it makes more sense for this “shadow group” to be of Mindanao themselves, not foreign at all.

                Bill (i agree with your naivety assessment above), I also agree with chemp in that IS in Mindanao and Sulu is at this point more a pipe dream, in name only, than an existential threat for the state; But for Moros IS represents an existential threat to their brand of Islam. My thesis in that article was that you can pretty much break down the Muslim threat today in 3: a). takfiris (the terrorists, IS, Abu Sayyaf) ; b) political Islamists (Muslim Brothers, MILF/BIFF) ; c) Salafis (their weapon is in the manner they raise their kids, treat their wives and engage in the Muslim body politick in general) …

                Moros (like Muslims around the world can identify a & b )—– but what keeps ’em up at night are their relatives, friends, etc. who’ve turned c , grown beards, wear face covering, are a droll at family gatherings now, to actual harassment coming from these new Salafis. That’s the existential part, that’s what’s rising. So if martial law curbs that rise, they’d be all for it.

              • Lastly,

                If this martial law can keep the violent Christians in Mindanao at bay (which was a big issue in Marcos’ time), then it would be different from the Marcos martial law. At least from the Muslim perspective. Moro support for DU30 martial law hinges on this.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Lance, a group of Mindanaw based Muslim lawyers are against ML.


              • Thanks, karl. If you come across polling numbers of Moros or opinion pieces by Moros re DU30 ‘s martial law (in blogs and newspapers), post here. I’ve been Googling “What do Filipino Muslims/Moros think of Duterte’s martial law” (or variants of that search) especially the young post-Marcos martial law Moros , nothing so far

              • karlgarcia says:

                If you can’t find it, I can’t find it, you have a PHD in google, that is all my library can provide.😉

            • chemrockc says:

              How do you reconcile Moro support for ML when on the ground the army is seen as mounting assaults on fellow Muslims. You have relied on a conclusion that majority of Moros can see the danger of Wahabism and terrorist/banditry elements and thus they support ML. I think you may have erred on two fronts:
              1. On the ground, loyalty is still very much clan based,and datuship control. Thus anyone with any link to the terrorist groups, by family or economics, wont be enamoured of the soldiers at the checkpoints.
              2. Islam comes first to all Muslims. Religion is above family and state. Any physical threat to Muslim is seen as an affront to Islam. The moment they perceive ML harshness on Muslims, lines are drawn.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                You know Chemrock, traditionally that was not the case in SEA before the Saudi government started sending Wahibbist type preachers to the region. The exclusive Muslim first and last ideology is new in SEA.

              • chemrock says:

                Damn right you are Bill.
                The only place where Wahabism has not touched is Singapore. Because we are cognisant of the dangers. We are sensitive to foreign imams getting in. The brand of Islam in Spore is different. It is tolerant of other races and religions. The govt mostly leave the madrasahs alone except they are required to have a curriculum in line with national educational standards, apart from religious studies. So kids coe out well rounded and have skills for the job market. Elsewhere in Asean, the madrasahs are on their own, churning out Islamic scholars without job skills. Radicalised imams become loose canons.

                Islamic terrorism can only be combatted by Muslim communities committed to state wellbeing who are thus prepared to report on anything suspicious within their own community. All problems which had been nipped in the bud in Spore were due to relatives or friends who reported to authorities. This is the first line of defence which has failed everywhere in the world, including Philippines.

              • chemp,

                I’m looking for something similar to our 2016 Pres. election results by counties map, like this—- but over there:

                No luck. Maybe you guys have a similar map for Mindanao like the above. Within each county map you can even go deeper within each county’s polling districts (going red or blue).

                Either way, I’m basing my conjecture of Moro support for DU30’s Martial Law on the Moros’ support of DU30 as candidate then as their president.

                If you have friends/family in Mindanao maybe you can verify this, but despite MNLF/MILF folding , I think that 80% support DU30 comes plenty from Moros, because—- 1) perceived empathy for their plight (apparent during the campaign) and 2) the success of EJKs (from their perspective, DU30 is cleaning house, EJK when viewed thru Islamic jurisprudence, the punishment angle meets criteria)

                3) Among Maguindanao, I bet you most of these simply sat out the election, more most likely participated amongst the Tausug, but my bet is that exponentially more among the Maranaws voted for DU30.

                So, 1 + 2 + 3 = On the ground support , like I said DU30/AFP/PNP can easily lose this support when they become less precise and when Christian vigilante groups are let loose again like in Marcos’ martial law. So there’s a lot of caveat here, but I believe support is there now.

                As for your Islam = Muslims , not necessarily, chemp… Wahhabism/Deobandism ( whose founders were themselves students of Wahhab) is new 1700s. Before them Islam’s development enjoyed all sorts of variety. Their original idea was , hey instead of expanding, let’s start contracting Islam. Not every Muslim believes that, chemp. My personal experience of this was of a Moro family/clan party in Zamboanga where all sorts of Muslim Filipinos were present, no alcohol and pig of course, but still very enjoyable (like a Mormon party), but there were in that family , members who you can tell have gone Wahhabi, sporting beards and their wife with ninja masks.

                I don’t know if you’ve been to Muslim Mindanao lately, but if their rise is like that in Syria and Iraq and Egypt, pretty much the rest of the Muslim world, after 10 yrs I’m sure there would be more of them and not less. I got the “that’s just our cousin Imran, he’s too religious” , when there’s less of them and they know their place, you can joke about it, but when they become many and empowered (by numbers) then individual families will worry, their effect will be felt. it’s kinda like shabu, chemp. Wahhabi/ Salafi ideology (as you’ve perfectly stated) is foreign, it is seen as foreign among Filipino Muslims, so the fight is in this fault line.

                “The moment they perceive ML harshness on Muslims, lines are drawn.” I totally AGREE, chemp. So long as DU30/AFP/PNP are cognizant of this line, taking care not to cross it, IMHO they’ll have that Moro support.

              • “Islamic terrorism can only be combatted by Muslim communities committed to state wellbeing who are thus prepared to report on anything suspicious within their own community.”

                chemp, I totally agree that this is the best case scenario for these things, but absent of this, the state must act.

          • caliphman says:

            Chemmy, it’s clear enough from the above article and the current assessments by the military of the Maute and Isis-inspired threat in Marawi and the country is any basis for declaring martial law in Mindanao, much less the entire Philippines. It’s another matter if those who somehow have difficulty understanding or accepting this will say that such a martial law declaration may have a calming effect on those in the public who are are alared whether this threat is real or nonexistent. The real danger is this type of justification sets the stage for Duterte to be able to declare martial law and apply his proven successful formula that what the country wants and needs is a strong leader with unrestricted powers to fix whatever he says are the country’s most urgent problems while insuring the attainment of his personal agenda. The likelihood is that most of the public disagree with the need for martial law but there is little political will to oppose this powerful, popular, and blindly trusted leader if he just goes ahead and declares national martial law to fix terrorism, corruption, drug criminality, or perhaps reshape society just like Marcos did.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Bill, to be honest, I believe the Quiapo blasts were done by Isis, and I was also told so.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            I read ( the Enquirer ? ) that they were not ‘terrorist attacks” as they targeted particular individuals perhaps for particular reasons.

            But it did seem suspicious at the time..Maybe designed to force a change in leadership or policy at the Mosque in Quiapo ?

  13. caliphman says:

    Those who heeded Duterte’s campaign and presidential utterances will know martial law has always been in his mind, that ignoring or changing the constitution is his intent if laws stand in his way, and that includes the promises he made to the Marcoses such as a hero’s burial to their patriarch or elevating his son as his second and successor. The path to the country’s salvation from the curse of this dictator starts with not sticking one’s head in the sand but inanticipating and preparing for the dangers that lurk ahead. The seeds of hope rests not on the ruins of the constitutional safeguards and separation of powers designed to prevent dictatorships. It is that by and large, the populace disagree with the imposition of martial law, based on the same types of polls that continue to show widespread support for Duterte’s leadership. The strength and near unanimity of the public opposition to martial law needs to be publicized and built-on so that Duterte will understand that his continued popularity and support risks bring,significantly eroded.

  14. edgar lores says:


    Prior to these dates, the Abu Sayyaf was/is a kidnap-for-ransom group. The Maute brothers created Khalifa Islamiah in 2013. They formed the Maute Group in 2016 and initially engaged in the protection racket.

    1. October 2016 – The Maute Group held responsible for the Davao City bombing.

    2. November 2016 – Duterte confirms links between ISIS and the Maute Group. The military maintains there are no direct links, and that the group is merely courting ISIS support.

    2.1. The Maute Group occupy the Butig Municipal Hall. The military is able to retake control of the hall after weeks of military operations.

    3. December 2016 – ISIS contacts Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf Group with instructions to find a suitable area to establish a caliphate in Mindanao.

    3.1. The military (SAF) raids Maute compound in Marawi City.

    4. February 2017 – Hapilon pledges allegiance of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS. However, ISIS has not yet made an official “wilayat,” or province for the Philippines.

    5. March 2017 – Julie Bishop meets Duterte to warn that ISIS has named Hapilon as an “emir.”

    5.1. Abu Bakr is injured in Mosul.

    6. April 2017 – Duterte announces that Hapilon may have been killed in military airstrikes, but the fugitive is only wounded.

    6.1. An Abu Sayyaf detachment tries to expand into Bohol but is scattered to the winds.

    7. May 2017 – Military crisis. The military tries to capture the wounded Hapilon, and the Maute Group create diversionary attacks.

    7.1. Iraqi forces launch operation to capture the last ISIS enclave in Mosul. The central caliphate is about to collapse, but there are fears terrorist operations will increase in Europe, just like what happened in Manchester.


    1. True, the operations of the Maute Group last year were “ISIS-inspired” but cannot be classified as ISIS operations.

    2. The Abu Sayyaf’s attempt to penetrate Bohol may be said to be their first sortie as an ISIS affiliate. The Marawi crisis may be their second and last.

  15. NHerrera says:


    The following text of the Proclamation 216 — Martial Law in Mindanao Group of Islands — is transcribed from the image shown below:

    Malacanang Palace



    WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 55, series of 2016, was issued on 04 September 2016 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao;

    WHEREAS, Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution provides that ‘x x x in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he (the President) may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law x x x’;

    WHEREAS, Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 6968 provides that ‘the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, or any of their powers or prerogatives;

    WHEREAS, part of the reasons for the issuance of Proclamation No. 55 was the series of violent acts committed by the Maute terrorist group such as the attack on the military outpost in Butig, Lanao del Sur in February 2016, killing and wounding of soldiers, and the mass jailbreak in Marawi City in August 2016, freeing their arrested comrades and other detainees;

    WHEREAS, today, 23 May 2017, the same Maute terrorist group has taken over a hospital in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, established several checkpoints within the City, burned down certain government and private facilities and inflicted casualties on the part of Government forces, and started flying the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in several areas, thereby openly attempting to remove from the allegiance of the Philippine government this part of Mindanao and deprive the Chief Executive of his powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land and maintain public order and safety in Mindanao, constituting the crime of rebellion; and

    WHEREAS, this recent attack shows the capability of the Maute group and other rebel groups to sow terror, and cause death and damage to property not only in Lanao del Sur but also in other parts of Mindanao

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby proclaim as follows:

    SECTION 1. There is hereby declared a state of martial law in the Mindanao group of islands for a period not exceeding sixty days, effective as of the date hereof.

    SECTION 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall likewise be suspended in the aforesaid area for the duration of the state of martial law.

    Done in the Russian Federation, this 23rd day of May in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Seventeen


    By the President

    Executive Secretary

  16. karlgarcia says:

    Edgar from your 5.5 Comment up there.

    Duterte has visited Marawi.

    • edgar lores says:

      Karl, thanks for the fact check. I apologize and withdraw my 5.5 comment.

      • karlgarcia says:


      • Bill In Oz says:

        Edgar, Karl, Joe,
        1 : I suspect that there will be no prior announcements of the President’s itinerary while the emergency in Marawi continues – for security reasons.

        2: Tonight the Philippines is in our Australian headlines on ABC because of the execution of 8 non muslim civilians last week. Shot in the head & their bodies thrown in a ravine.

        It is a real source of annoyance to me, that my time in the Philippines was such a happy period, while the Philippines can only be reported in our media when here is a major tragedy.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I can only suggest to reread Wil’s blog entry, I reread it to remind me of the positivity.

        • Bill,

          I know 5-10 Quranic verses by heart (kinda rusty now), but for sure I can recite Surat al-Fatiha and Surat al-Kafirun (very short),

          It’s not only cool at parties or upon meeting Muslims the world over, but in times like the above situation you’ve posted, will come handy, at least it’ll buy you time or favor among your captors, by simply memorizing a couple of lines from the Qur’an. Youtube Surat 1 and Surat 109 , memorize it, it might come in handy especially if you’re in Mindanao… remember, the Qur’an is replete with Rules of Engagement, holy warriors have to ensure they are not killing fellow Muslims.

          • ps in Arabic not English,

          • karlgarcia says:

            What is this all about?
            Bill was discouraged by the news about PH, I read todays news, It is not encouraging.

            • From the article, Bill shared:

              “Marawi police officer Jamail C Mangadang told Reuters the eight men found dead were carpenters who were part of an evacuation convoy stopped by rebels late on Saturday.

              Recalling information provided by their manager, Mr Mangadang said the victims were pulled off a truck because they were unable to cite verses of the Koran, the Islamic Holy text.”

              • karlgarcia says:

                I see, I did not read the particular link because I read another version where it just said they were not faithful. Call it naiveté. Or lack of caffeine.

              • sonny says:

                Reciting verses of the Qur’an could be part of a shibboleth system of passwords. Should be easy for those educated in madrassa where rote recitation of the whole holy book is one big pedagogic objective. Makes sense.

              • sonny, karl…

                “Nine spent bullet casings were found on a blood-stained patch of road at the top of the ravine. Attached to one of the bodies was a sign that said “Munafik” (traitor).”

                Maybe just one Moro who didn’t pass the “Muslim” test, hence “traitor”, or he was actually working against them.

                But these crazies are called “takfiris” by their fellow Muslims, precisely because they go around labeling fellow Muslims , not Muslims, or not Muslim enough—– I’m sure you’ve met other Catholics like that, and it gets annoying, here particularly to Muslims who don’t want to memorize anything, or wear their religions on their sleeve.

                sonny, the short Suras , especially Surat #1 and a handful others are commonly known by all Muslims (learned during childhood), like their Lord’s prayer or ‘Holy Mary Mother of God’ prayer. So if one cannot even recite the Al-Fatiha (Surat 1) , the assumption will be , that one’s not Muslim. If you know it, then they’ll at least give you the benefit of the doubt, and if you know more, that means more brownie points for effort.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Lance, Karl, there is something being missed here. Knowing a couple of the Q’uran sutras means nothing. Probably 90% of the attacks by Islamic terrorists are by Muslims against other Muslims.

              The Religion of Peace website has updated the statistics for Islamic terrorist attacks. It now includes Marawi. But look at all the other bloody attacks.


              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks, I will take a look at it.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Saw it, thanks again,now I am going to check on the link shared by NH regarding the Saudis, I clicked on it earlier, but need to understand why Zakaria thinks Iran is not responsible for the terror attacks and Saudi should once and for all take full responsibility. Though the article is about Saudi and Trump, it is still important.
                Saudi Arabia is next to the US, in terms of number of Filipinos.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Good karl. Lance is stating somethi g important when he mentions the Madrasas : so called schools where boy children learn the Q’uaran by heart using just rote learning.

                So it does not surprise me that today the Enquirer has this story about some of the Maute terrorists being just teenagers…


                ‘Graduates’ of indoctrination at the madrassa in Mindanao.

                Part of the solution long term, is closing them down and replacing them with proper staffed ( schools where the curriculum is subject to Philippines education Dpt. approval and the staff are qualified with no foreigners or unqualified teachers.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Sonny also mentioned madrasas and a word I had to look up : pedagogy.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Here is a supplement to what has already been discussed about the role of Saudi Arabia in world terrorism. In contrast to Trump’s saying after his first foreign trip that the travel “hit a home run,” Saudi Arabia played Trump — and how: nothing was spared by the Saudi Arabia to welcome Trump in such lavish way, pushing all the right buttons.

    • NH,

      Two really good books on this is Robert Baer’s “Sleeping with the Devil” (his take on KSA) and “The Devil We Know” (his take on Iran). If you connect the dots with Obama’s ME policy, you can kinda see that his was based on these two books (except of course his moves on the Arab Spring, but then again that was mostly Hillary’s).

      But basically, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is bad for America (and the why’s) while Iran is a more likely source of alliance in that region. Their royal network is not like Western royalty, there’s a bunch of cousins, who are essentially princes (and princesses, who’s husbands also become prince) who are privvy to royal coffers (they are a clan after all, the house of Sauds) , so if you break it down (and this is just my own guesstimate) like 60% of those princes are actively supporting the Wahhabi/Salafi movement (thru mosques and care centers), while maybe like 30% are supporting the political Islamists like MB , etc. , and 10% direct or indirect give money to IS, Al-Qaeda , etc.

      When petro-dollars go out to the world, it is difficult to do accounting, because what goes to a children’s fund in some mosque , can easily be diverted for political stuff, and also to buy guns/ammo and bombs. While Iran looks more like a democracy, or a recognizable gov’t system. So when talking of petro-dollars, it is these Saudi princes that worries Baer, and should worry all of us.

  18. Magdiwang says:

    Bago ang lahat nais ko muna ibahagi ang isang artikolo na aking na basa. Sa aking pag babasa akin lamang na pag isip di kaya ang mga baktaktakan dito at artikolo ay isa nanamang uri ng pag bura o pag lilito sa atin?ito ay di pang huhusga kung di pag tatanong lamang… ano ba talaga ang pakay ng pahinang joeam? Pag liliwanag o muling pag bubura ng ating kamalayan?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Natural lamang ang kalituhan, kung me mga tanung kami sinusubukan naming pag-usapan at alamin.

      Di ko lang mawari kung pano mo naisip na nag brain wash dito, mabigat na akusasyon yan.Paki paliwanag kung pano ka umabot sa ganyang konklusyon?

    • NHerrera says:

      Sa palagay ko pag-liliwanag hindi pag-bura or pag-lilito. Merong sumasangayon, meron kumukontra sa mga bagay na isinusulat dito. Ikaw ay sumusulat dito ng iyong karamdaman at pagliliwanag na gaya nang artikulo na binahagi mo. Okay lang yan sa kay Joeam sa pakiwari ko.

      Salamat sa ibinahagi mong artikulo.

    • sonny says:

      Magdiwang, ang aking maimumungkahi tungkol sa pakay/tanong ay basahin ang mga pangunang mga ‘blog’ ni JoeAm, kahit alin, at mula doo’y sundan ang mga talakayan ng mga iba-ibang tanong at sagot. Sa gayon, meron at merong masasagot o masasang-ayunan din ang iyong mga tanong at pagsasaliksik.

    • The purpose is to teach and learn, and to avoid complacency of thought and deed. It is interesting that you post one of the historically rich articles, a macapili masterpiece, that helped inspire my blog writing many years ago.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      “From the day the American colonial administration was inaugurated in 1901 the new Filipino emerged, known today as the little brown Americans. These are Filipinos by appearance, but Americans in thought, word and deed.”

      Well I guess that cannot be said about Duterte !

      And I suspect that puts him in the same ‘nationalist’ and anti-colonial tradition as Nkrumah in Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya, Sukarno in Indonesia, maybe even Ghandi in India.

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