AFP: Running dogs of the Chinese master?

Running dogs of the Chinese master? [Photo source: Asia Times]

By Joe America

President Duterte is a man of action, a risk taker, a gambler, a man who sets aside civility, laws, and tradition to uproot convention. He encourages . . . nay, demands . . . that we take up the Eastern mindset and set aside the Western. In the Eastern mindset, laws are guidelines, fluid, adaptable to need. Need is whatever the highest power on the totem pole declares it to be.

Everyone else finds their subservient, loyal place.

It is an orderly, if somewhat vengeful, society, with people climbing over one another to secure the greatest personal advantage.

In the Philippines, the master is President Duterte. No question.

But . . . but . . .

But when the Eastern mindset is applied globally, we find that the President can only be but an obedient servant to that most greatly powerful Eastern nation, China.

We can further witness that the Philippine Congress is an obedient servant of the President, in the Eastern tradition, and thus is also willing to do China’s bidding. Oh, a few legislators object, those who see the human goodness in democratic ideals like freedom, fairness, equality, and compassion, but these legislators are only irritating, they don’t have much influence. Most in the House and Senate see their oaths as guidelines, not commitments of honor, and they are willing to toss convention and courage to the winds to cater to the President’s whims. And China’s.

In the stacking of Eastern authorities, and obedience, the rumple in the stiltskin is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This is a hugely conflicted organization, for it operates where East meets West. The AFP’s Commander in Chief is President Duterte, an Eastern operative of the purest kind. Yet the highest marching order of the AFP comes from the Constitution, that bastion of Western democratic integrity crafted from the American model by a group of esteemed, smart but Western-thinking Filipinos.

The way I figure it, the AFP will decide for all of us which direction the Philippines goes. East or West. By tradition, values, and operations, the AFP is of the Western model, calved directly from West Point in the United States. Promotions, though, come from the East, from the President.

Well, perhaps we can find some grim amusement if we turn to China for a colloquial question that seems to pop up as we observe the Eastern stacking of China above Duterte above the AFP.

Is the AFP willing to be the running dog of China?

Running dog is a literal translation into English of the Chinese pejorative 走狗 (Chinese: zǒu gǒu), meaning lackey or lapdog, an unprincipled person who helps or flatters those more powerful and often evil. It is derived from the tendency of dogs to follow after humans in hopes of receiving food scraps.

For sure, President Duterte has been throwing the AFP a lot of manly scraps, promises of raises, the right to rape, frequent speeches bestowing his personal honor face-to-face, and engaging in the boastful man-honor of fist thrusting. The President is doing his best to mold the military into the Eastern model.

“Honor or personal advantage?”

That is the question.

The AFP’S institutional answer will very likely define the Philippines.


126 Responses to “AFP: Running dogs of the Chinese master?”
  1. madlanglupa says:

    On the outside, the military seems to obey as PRRD is trying to ensure their loyalty by offering gifts and rewards. But his speech involving the word “rape”, even if he claims to be a joke as much as his other terrible speeches, was tantamount to betraying their trust to the people they meant to serve.

    The military, as I see, isn’t the same as it was three decades ago, as many of those who served under then-General Ver are out, replaced by younger generations who are also training with other countries under the Balikatan aegis, with familiar equipment and techniques.

    PRRD is seeking modernization but doesn’t want any Western “interference” because of his overriding iron-fist program of eradicating narcotics, so he turns to questionable powers to supply him weaponry without “any strings attached”. However, he’s unlike Chavez, a former military officer with the strong support of the military.

    > Is the AFP willing to be the running dog of China?

    It would be the greatest betrayal to the the Marines stationed inside that beached ship are ordered to leave for the first time in years.

    I’m sure they’ll be doubting the quality of the equipment they may soon acquire (just as the Indonesian navy’s Chinese missiles failed to fire while demonstrating them to President Jokowi), as they were accustomed to American equipment and weaponry for years.

    And I’m also sure, sir, they’re wary of this regime trusting in a hegemonic power led by a very ambitious leader.

  2. Bing Garcia says:

    Like what Ben Diokno said the GDP was rising during the Marcos martial law. It was only the assassination of Ninoy Aquino that triggered the fall of GDP.

  3. Bing Garcia says:

    Lee Kuan Yew: First Order, then Law.

    • karlgarcia says:

      First order then eat-anonymous

    • chemrock says:

      Here’s the sequence.
      First establish Law.
      Second educate the public.
      Third establish disciplined agencies that manage Law and Order
      Then go after law breakers
      No shoot to kill orders. In Spore every police weapon is checked in and checked out every day, every bullet spent is accounted for.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Chemrock, Singapore ( like Australia ) is lucky. You inherited the British tradition of police being unarmed and weapons being very restricted. The Philippines unfortunately inherited the USA ‘right to bear arms’ tradition.

        One of the few things Marcos did in the 1970’s was confiscate a lot of guns. When I was in the Philippines in 1974, hardly any police had guns. But he then buggered that all up, by issuing guns to his cronies gangs to maintain his dictatorship..

        • Bill In Oz says:

          And now weapons are all over the place. For example today in the Enquirer :

          ” COTABATO CITY-Government forces in Maguindanao province on Sunday arrested a man wanted for illegal drug peddling and seized high-powered firearms from him, military reports on Monday said.

          Capt. John Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division, said Mike Diocolano, 49, a resident of Barangay Marquez in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, did not resist arrest after policemen and soldiers from the 19th Infantry Battalion served a warrant to search his house.

          The government team found three rifles, a shotgun, two pistols, four rifle grenades, handheld radio and bullets in Diocolano’s possession. “

          • chemrock says:

            Yes Bill, I concur about the Brits. The taught us law and order and civil administration.

            In Phils, a machismo culture and easy firearms is a toxic mix.

            • Bill, chemp, that ‘arsenal’ is about par for Mindanao, especially western Mindanao. Christian Filipinos would have more than 3 rifles, more than 1 shotgun, etc. Many Christian Filipinos in Mindanao, especially ones with PNP/AFP connection, were engage in arms deal with their Muslim neighbors, but they’d ensure to sell them their oldest , least dependable firearms, same goes for ammo too. The underlying philosophy was, ‘I want them to kill each other, but when they point their guns at me, I ‘d like to have the better gun’. Very similar to the Wild West over here, cowboys and indians type of dynamics.

              Now I’m not so sure if Filipinos inherited our gun culture , I know the Philippines inherited out Wild West criminal justice (ie. bonds, bounty hunters, circuit courts, etc.) , folks in Mindanao all pretty much carry machetes (farm blades) and knives , same as our indians before Europeans came with their long rifles, muskets, etc. My point is, like the indians here, violence is already embedded , so leveling up to firearms is only natural, whereas less people would probably have firearms in the North.

              Some of the best blacksmiths , and gunsmiths I’ve seen I saw in the Philippines, whether backyard small batch or full blown manufacturing , like this company since the 1900s,

              As for the 2nd A. ‘right to bare arms’ , although that was a reaction to what King George III did , ie. took our guns , the actual cementing of the 2nd A. in American culture, was during Manifest Destiny. Where guns were used for warfare and hunting. What’s missing in the Philippines love affair with guns is the hunting aspect, and I would argue is what’s causing such disconnect for us here now… you see hunting is where you learn that firearm is but a tool, it doesn’t make you any more “manly” than if you were holding a hammer. Hunting is where you learn , like a kid learning how to fix the fence with his dad , to simply get the job done.

              So I agree with chemp, there was something revealing in the way a typical Filipino male, Christian/Muslims, or otherwise, tended to fetishize firearms, somehow connecting it with his idea/notion of his own manhood (very similar to how inner city kids here, mostly Hispanics and blacks, many without father figures, hold firearms). Firearms is a tool, how society interprets it, says more about it than the tool itself. In end, the tools purpose is for an individual’s self-reliance and survival.

              On a historical note, I know both Canada & Australia have similar frontier’s history, aborigines for Australia, indians for Canada. Is the difference in how American’s view firearms with Australians, simply the Revolution, thus the 2nd A.? I’m sure just as in the Yukon and Northwest Territories for Canada, Australia will have regions where homes will have arsenals (ie. shotguns, rifles, revolvers, pistols…), regardless of liberal ideas that sprout in the cities. No? Were the Aborigines as violent as the indians we came across to the West, ie. the Lakotas, Commanches, Apaches, Blackfoots, etc. etc. or how about wild animals in Australia, grizzlies and wolves.

              I’ve always thought it interesting how we (the US) differ from the rest of Anglosphere when it comes to gun rights, the closest I guess to our view, specifically responsible gun use , are the Israelis—- though they too lack the hunting aspect of gun use.

              • Hmmm. I think hunting is very much a part of American gun lore, developed as we hid in the trees and popped off the Brits neatly aligned in their colorful garb. I learned to shoot jackrabbits on the plains of Colorado, Indian territory, at the age of 8, my grandfather being the teacher. These skills were later honed in boy scouts as I earned one of my 3 merit badges killing little paper circles. The army did not increase my aim any, but merely payed for more explosive gear, and they offered generous expense-paid tours not unlike safaris. Today, I’d probably shoot first and ask questions later at any threat that entered my property or got too close to the car, in tandem.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Lance, Joe, here is a brief history of guns in Oz. Maybe it will help Filipinos think about this issue and what is possible.

                1 :Frontier type societies tend towards weapons as tools. That was true in Australia as in the USA.

                2 : Later as a settled farm type society evolved here, it was very rare that farmers did not have a shot gun or a 22. to deal with foxes, wild dogs, or to put down livestock that had been injured or mauled etc. And people went rabbiting for food and skins. Military weapons were always rare as it was the defence forces job to defend the country not ordinary citizens.

                3 This changed as Australia changed. The percentage of people living on farm decreased and now it is probably only 7-8 %. Most people live in cities and guns are not seen by city people here as a needed tool.

                4 : In the 1980’s military weapons began to become available here to ordinary folks as Australia was seen a market by gun manufacturing companies and as some Australians were influenced by the USA gun ownership tradition via the media.

                5 : As a result there a number of mass shootings in the late 1980’s and 1990’s by individuals with these weapons. ( Google Port Arthur massacre ). And the Commonwealth government under a conservative prime leader named John Howard, lead a push to restrict public access to automatic & semi automatic weapons. This was followed up with laws to restrict ownership of revolvers and pistols. and laws ensuring safe storage of weapons.

                6 : There was a compulsory buy back scheme of all automatic, semi automatic weapons and pistols. About $750 million was spent in the buy back.

                7 Compulsory registration of gun owners was introduced also, even for people owning a shot gun or a 22. And before purchasing these guns a potential purchaser has to have a gun license. Here in South Australia, a gun license is gained after a 2 day training workshop and a payment of a hefty fee.

                8 : There was substantial opposition by some local folks to these laws. There was a publicity campaign to try & stop the changes. A lot of that opposition was supported & even funded by the NRA of the USA and by USA gun manufacturers.

                9 : But that made it easier to gain major public support as it was seen as attempted US interference in our politics and laws.

                10 : There have been NO mass shootings in Australia since these laws were introduced. : about 20 years ago. And the murder & suicide rates due to shootings has also dropped substantially.

                And yes there are attempts by some groups to undermine these laws & regulations. Members of bikey motor cycle gang ( Mainly Arabic/Lebanese back ground ) were recently found to have imported disassembled pistol parts from Europe via the mail. Those thugs are in jail awaiting trial.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      But remember that Lee Kuan Yew had the one thing most Filipinos lack, despite being fervently religious: integrity and solid moral values consistent with their avowed faith.

      Who’s the moral leader – the one who makes the rape jokes?

  4. caliphman says:

    I am not sure I agree with the basic premise of the blog that it is the AFP that is the wild card determining whether or not Duterte can successfully implement a martial law and a dictatorship as draconian and absolute as his idol Marcos did. The above link is Raissa’s narrative of how the latter engineered this feat including the changes within the AFP to insure the military was a willing and loyal tool in carrying out and maintaining his tyrannical tool. I submit that much of the top level restructuring is probably in place and among the rank and file, Duterte is just as popular and trusted as he is in the populace, unfortunately. The AFP is perhaps more professional than the PNP even though commissioned officers may be from the same PMA that supposedly instills the values and code of conduct that guides their ethical conduct. The prime directive drilled into the DNA of AFP officers and soldiers is to obey orders and adhere to the chain of command. They are no more likely to abide by any oath to the constitution first and foremost as the president, senators, justices and other public officials have collectively shown in serving the public and their country. As long as Duterte is perceived as a popular and trusted leader by the public, it is a stretch for me to think AFP command and control officers will second guess and block his orders as conflicting with the constitution az they might be. One of the principal reasons why he was elected and remains popular is that the public has lost faith in constitutionally established institutions and processes in fixing sociial problems. If anything, it is to his unit and the welfare of his people and not so much to the constitution that a soldier will not follow the chain of command.

    • Thanks for the viewpoint. If you are right, then President Duterte has captured the Philippines in the sense that there are likely no institutional roadblocks. The SC can issue decrees, but not field troops to enforce them.

  5. caliphman says:

    I am gladly open to viewpoints that can show why the reasoning above is wrong but it’s just that the AFP unlike the Thai military is not known for actively intervening during times of constitutional crises. At best, a return to barracks or noncompliance to orders has been the response when an unpopular president issues a command attacking the people they supposed to protect.

    If there is any wildcard that might cause Duterte to backtrack seizing absolute power, it would probably the Supreme Court particularly the Chief Justice acting in her executive capacity to order the lower courts to continue functioning and following the constitution where martial law orders contravene what is specified in its provisions. In the case of Marcos, he made sure that the SC was in his pocket having appointed many of the justices and coming to terms with the CJ. Sereno and her SC is another matter . I am guessing that Duterte like Marcos will not resort to clearly illegal and naked use of military force to settle a confrontation with the judicial branch even if the legislative branch is literally in his pocket. He is crude and certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed but he is no fool.

    • popoy says:

      Like history Martial Law has spatial and temporal dimensions. As AFP being running dogs of war go back to space and time then think of JP Enrile, Ferdie’s own cousin Fidel (like a Shakespeare play, eh) ; Think of Rangers’ General Tadiar, Vanguard PA General Josephus Ramas; Think of the Oakwood Captains, then think now of a loner AT IV. Go International, think of the armies of Italy’s Muzzolini, Romania’s Ceaucesco, Chile’s Pincochet, etc. Why are all? the branch commanders abroad with a President at the time of declaration of Martial Law? It’s COMPLICATED, eh. But the country’s AFP being the running dog of another country? I beg your pardon.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Remember the Pentagon Kidnap for Random Gang of former MNLF members ?
    I was looking at the old articles of my dad that has to do with Mindanaw.
    Allow me to share.

    The pentagons of our insecurity
    Plaridel C. Garcia
    ​It is said that destiny with a sense of humor is serendipity, irony if you please. The shape and form of our national insecurity is pentagonal. The discovery is not exactly unexpected and happy, but we seemed to be destined to it. However, this is not about a new apparently well-funded “discovery movement” that we are American citizens and the Philippines is a territory of the United States.
    ​Consider security policy. It is effective when it has a bipartisan–multi partisan–formulation and a cooperative implementation. A nation with “80% fence-sitters” is an insecure state. When we are utterly divided there are too many fences to sit-on and walls to piss against.
    ​Because our “national fruit” is the balimbing: It has five faces and five inside angles, a pentagonal fruit indeed. It is also called “five fingers”, pointing at others except itself. When it is cut, the cross-section resembles a star. That is why it is also called star fruit. A nation that is star-crossed has a star syndrome, It is star-talk, stupid! The Spaniards call this fruit carambola which means chamba, suerte and the like. In policy studies the closest is “contingency planning”. Our insecurity seems to be a fruit of the balimbing. We fly like a (political) butterfly but we do not sting like a bee.
    ​Going down to earth from the balimbing tree, what we hear is as dreadful if not more than the Abu Sayaf. The Sayaf sword is at most double-bladed, but the Pentagon kidnap gang’s sword has five! The recently arrested leader is reported to be one of the five. The code-name is quite ingenious. When they kidnap an American national it would be Pentagon vs. Pentagon. The thermobaric bombs are yet to completely succeed for sand and gravel operations in Afghanistan. The “thermobalik” bombs may succeed for logging operations in Mindanao.
    ​The forest more than the trees, we see over-the-horizon the Chinese pentagonal structures at Mischief Reef. I surmise the structure faces frontally the other five claimants to Spratlys. It may be consistent with the Five Holy Mountains of China or the five five-pointed stars of Mao. But the penta-magic may be making a political statement: The Chinese Pentagon is in the neighborhood. The US Pentagon is not in the South China Sea.
    ​But the new US Pentagon is back in the Philippines as if it has never left after the Senate or Mt. Pinatubo sent them off. I recall visiting that weird structure in the section attacked later by the Al Qaida. The diplomates se was not warm but it was not cool either. Now the Pentagon is hot on a new war against terrorism. It is bound to be hotter in the Philippines if it is true that 50% of Bin Laden’s personal staff are Filipino members of Abu Sayaf. Plus a Filipina girlfriend, Osama must be under a plurality Filipino influence, something for the new Pentagon Office of strategic influence?
    ​The US Pentagon used to be less hawkish than the State Department. Now it has an old conservative as Secretary and an Undersecretary publicly open on what to do with the “axis of evil”, I recall then Professor Wolfowitz greeting me with a business card in early 1998 at Singapore when the Pentagon Secretary Cohen announced the initialing of the VFA agreement after skipping the Philippines on his first visit to ASEAN. I recall Pentagon Secretary Cheney now Vice President who was not invited to Malacañang by President Aquino. The new Secretary Rumsfeld reportedly postponed his trip to Asia. Certainly it would be nice if the Burnhams are in the welcoming party, I hope not after Bin Laden is captured and his reported Abu Sayaf bodyguards change sides.
    ​When the sides of the pentagon are extended both ways until they intersect, a pentagram said to be a “satanic symbol” is formed. The President was recently reported to have ordered its removal in the former Presidential Bedroom now the Office of the Press Secretary. Now we have an “exorcised” Office of pentagonal Influence to do away with the structures of our insecurity.

    • NHerrera says:

      A Contrived Check and Balance Pentagon with reference to Martial Law:

      Judiciary and the Constitution
      AFP — (strictly) part of the Executive
      The Citizens

      Or if one wants a Hexagon, add


  7. edgar lores says:

    1. The East-West conundrum in the Filipino psyche is an interesting topic worthy of reflection, study, and analysis. Is Duterte purely East? And will the AFP tilt East or West?

    I will not attempt to answer these questions now. I am more interested in the dynamics of power with respect to martial law and the three branches of government.

    2. The question posed, if I may rephrase it, is: Will the AFP follow Duterte’s dictates and ignore its duty to protect the Constitution and, ultimately, the People?

    2.1. The underlying assumption is that Duterte’s dictates may not coincide with the Constitution or the interests of the People.

    3. Before I proceed, a little review of the 1987 Constitution articles on martial law can be summarized as follows:

    3.1. The President, in the cases of invasion or rebellion, may place the country or any part thereof under martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days. Duterte proclaimed martial over the Mindanao group of islands on May 23, 2017.

    3.2. Congress, voting jointly, shall convene in regular or special session and by majority vote may revoke the proclamation. Congress has not performed this duty.

    3.3. The Supreme Court may review the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law in a proceeding filed by any citizen. No citizen has yet questioned the legality of the proclamation, although the Philippine Muslim Society may do so. And Duterte has stated he will defy the Court.

    3.4. So the checks and balances to martial law are the Legislature and the Judiciary. However, to repeat: Congress has not convened and there is no case before the Supreme Court.

    4. Now, there are many forms of power. There are economic power, religious power, and the power of the press to name three. But speaking of governmental power, the republican form of government has divided political power into the Executive to enforce the laws; the Legislative to enact the laws; and the Judiciary to interpret the laws.

    4.1. Generally, the State has the monopoly on Physical Power as violence. This power is concentrated in the Executive with minor restraints from the other two branches as established in the Constitution. Furthermore, this power is concentrated in the hands of the military and the police.

    4.2. There are several methods of controlling Physical Power. The system of checks and balances is one. The self-restraint of the Executive is another. And, finally, there is the force of public opinion. As we now observe, these three methods are presently absent or ineffectual.

    4.3. To my mind, the best method of controlling and containing Physical Power is an opposing Physical Power. We see this in war. We see this in Marawi. We saw this in the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship.

    4.4. Duterte has gone to great lengths, as Marcos did, to court and own the Physical Power of the military and police forces. He has visited most if not all of the military camps, promised pay increases, appointed generals to the cabinet, and openly wept at the wake of one slain soldier.

    5. I am sorry. After all that analyses, I fear JoeAm is right. Unless a divine act intervenes, not the AFP itself but perhaps a portion of it will stop the imposition of martial law throughout the country.

    • caliphman says:

      In chess, it is an axiomatic principle that the threat is more powerful than the execution. This may also apply to your physical force paradigm if Duterte decided his actions were no longer bound by the rules of the game and is willing to make execute moves clearly against existing laws. His spokesman made a clarification that his verbal threat to ignore critics and implicitly the SC and constitution did not mean he would defy the latter. My feel is that while he is given to letting loose with threatening and unconsidered verbiage he is still not ready to be seen as openly violating the rules of the constitution. If it was chess, he would certainly appear to have a winning material and strategic advantage but there are still risks and it is not yet a won game.

      • edgar lores says:

        Caliphman, you are right, of course.

        1. I failed to state explicitly that the actuality or the threat of an opposing Physical Power will win the day, but it is implicit in the examples. In war and in Marawi, we find the actuality, and in the downfall of Marcos, the threat.

        2. The Marcos case is instructive.

        2.1. Marcos had superior Physical Power over the ragtag army of Enrile and Ramos. He exercised great self-restraint in not unleashing this power despite the promptings of Ver.

        2.2. But his capitulation was due to the greater threat of Physical Power residing in Clarke Air Base.

        2.3. There is another form of power in his downfall: Moral Power. This was manifested in Cardinal Sin’s call for the people to join together in EDSA, the presence of nuns to stop the tanks, and the moral suasion of Senator Laxalt.

        2.3.1. I think the exceptionalism of America lies in the tenets of “liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, republicanism, democracy, and laissez-faire economics.” But mainly in its moral beliefs in the first two.

        2.3.2. In contrast to the American exceptional paradigm of “Morality is Right,” there is the paradigm of “Might is Right” of China and Russia, the two countries to which Duterte is trying to align the country.

        2.3.4. Russia’s belief in Physical Power is absolute.

        2.3.5. Whereas China’s belief is attenuated by its faith in Economic Power. Money is Right. These dual beliefs drive Duterte.


        3. “My feel is that while he [Duterte] is given to letting loose with threatening and unconsidered verbiage he is still not ready to be seen as openly violating the rules of the constitution.

        3.1. I think what Duterte says in his unguarded moments is what he truly believes in. It is only his spokesmen who varnish his true beliefs to make them palatable.

        3.2. Duterte believes he is a Man of Destiny. There he was at death’s door, his days numbered, and — miracle of miracles! — he was handed the presidency. Being a Man of Destiny, he believes that Fate has validated him in two things:

        o The primacy of his personal Beliefs over every other entity, whether person or institution
        o The primacy of his Will to realize his Beliefs

        3.3. This is a great danger facing the country, and it begs the questions:

        o If there is such a thing as a Man of Destiny, then aren’t we all men of destinies doing what we are predestined to do?
        o And how do we know that what we believe and act upon is to bring about the opposite of what we believe in?

        3.4. The twin undercurrents of good and evil interweave in the river of life. Are we predestined? I am not sure. I believe in the illusion of an open-ended universe.

        Sorry for the lengthy reply. I wanted to record the perambulations of my thoughts on awakening this morning.

        • edgar lores says:


          2.3.6. The paradigm of “Morality is Right” is absent in Duterte’s mindset.

          • caliphman says:

            Let me just say that the fact Duterte regularly uses his spokesmen to modify and backtrack on his rash utterances really admits to a higher level of self-awareness that his views and actions are subject to change after further deliberation with the help of trusted and hopefully more knowledgeable advisors. Certainly it will take greater effort on his part and the men who manage the country for him to seize absolute power as he neither possesses the length and breadth of vision nor the intellectual capacity Marcos had at his disposal in planning a complete takeover of government as an absolute dictator. The other observation that should be made is that those who believe they are men of destiny are also driven by the need to be judged favorably by history as having done good for their people and country. I do not think neither Marcos nor Duterte had aspirations for the legacy Hitler, Stalin and other infamous despots left behind.

            • karlgarcia says:

              latest example’s
              Pernia: he was just senstive to criticism,he will retract.
              Aguirre. Taken out of Context.
              Lacson: By now,we should be used to his rhetorics
              Sotto: There are people who can not take jokes.
              Paquiao: Pag Presidente ka, bawal na ba magbiro.

              • NHerrera says:

                Except for the economist Pernia, what a bunch of rationalizers — have all those other guys ascended to the level of Paquiao? (Don’t get me wrong, I purposely used the word ascended. )

              • karlgarcia says:

                It there is a school called Ascension, they are graduates of that school.

        • karlgarcia says:

          2.3 Laxalt’s call was enough to convince Marcos that Reagan won’t help him, but would assist his exit.

  8. popoy says:


    Palace Clarifies: Duterte Won’t Defy Supreme Court On Martial Law

    Smart-Alecky Headline: A faked headline with no content;

    Palace Clarifies: Supreme Court Won’t Defy Duterte On Martial Law

    WHICH ONE WILL YOU BELIEVE? Not a Fake News, Read On please:

    • Ah, The PRD and PCOO’s “moro moro.”

      Here is the PH President’s oath of office:

      ”I,_______________, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation.”

      I’d say that preserving and defending the Constitution and executing its laws had not been foremost in PRD’s mind. There is some indication that he will strong arm the Supreme Court and “do a Marcos.”

      As for the AFP, the question is: Where do their loyalty lie? In PRD or the People of the Philippines?

      • NHerrera says:

        Wouldn’t it be altogether simpler if we have Divine Rights of Kings a la France’s Louis XIV; no Constitution and Laws to bother about, no conflict, except what the King says (tongue in cheek).

        (By the way, my bad side says that if I were to be king, I would like it to be Louis XIV — what a guy, his life sounds almost like fiction.)

        • Yes. The Sun King had it good, especially with the backing of his Army but the Alliance of Three foiled his invasions.

          In line with PH, I think Maximilien Robespierre comes to mind.


          A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

          ‘four commercial aircraft were hijacked by terrorists’
          ‘a suspected terrorist’



          Unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

          ‘a terrorist organization’
          ‘terrorist attacks’

          – Oxford Dictionaries

          Who is the real terrorist in PH?

          • popoy says:

            “Philosopher king, idea according to which the best form of government is that in which philosophers rule. The ideal of a philosopher king was born in Plato’s dialogue Republic as part of the vision of a just city. It was influential in the Roman Empire and was revived in European political thought in the age of absolutist monarchs.”

            • Alas, we have no such luck. popoy. Joe can’t even find any Filipino on social media to “name a majority legislator who speaks civilly, earnestly, and wisely.” Puro pilosopo lang. No philosophers.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Lalo na ngayon na dapat daw ngayon we should be used to Duterte’s rhetorics.
                Everything is a joke pag di mo maintihan, bahala ka.
                Juice ko!

              • popoy says:

                to continue, spruced with yarns on “philosopher kings”, I was a young recruit in Rizal Hall, P. Faura when walls in the ground floor corridor got decorated with posters campaigning for Philosopher-King rule for the Philippines. Turned out a new arrival, an Aklanon with DPhil from U. of Sussex in England who became my boss was source of the idea. He was officially verboten to lecture in the military during martial law. He became Director, then Dean then passed while being UN Expert in the land of Kublai and Genghis Khan.

                Disembarking, I started reading on Canada’s politicians. Three guys topped my list: Louis Riel (hanged but was First Nations defender), a MacKenzie (as PM consults his dead mother on state issues) and Pierre Trudeau (should have been PNoy’s model).

                And a fourth, a wannabe teacher who left his political job as COS in Ottawa went west to earn his Masters. He asked his professor who are the Philosophers to read but was told that’s not done anymore. May be he did some readings. Quirk of fate or his character his fate, he became PM and may be unknowingly did try to rule as a Philosopher-KIng. He even played the piano and sang with a young Pinay girl. But NO GO! NOTHING DOING! Not with the Gods of Press Freedom. I predict he will be an extra ordinary teacher of governance.

                Two guys four hundred years apart; one a philosopher 399 B.C., the other a prophet and God at ZERO A.D. left undeletable marks to mankind despite the fact that Socrates and Jesus Christ did not write or left behind any written works. The former was sentenced by more than 300 members of the Athens Supreme Court to die by poison (hemlock) because he poisoned the minds of Athen’s youth. There were more than 600 members of the Supreme Court for the mere purpose of preventing bribery.

                Jesus Christ was alleged to have been convicted by men of God to die by crucifixion because he violated God’s law (blasphemy) not Caesar’s law. Rule by Philosopher-Kings? What and How is that?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Re: Triple Alliance.
            Louis XIV bribed Charles II, signed treaty of Dover then they went against the Dutch.

            The golden rule was followed here.
            Louis XIV started young(5 yrs old),but his 72 year reign is maybe about 15 years of him personally leading it, because his trusted minister died.
            Cool character, nice choice NH.

            • NHerrera says:

              karl, talk about cool, boy oh boy the number of beautiful favorites that enlivened his life. But enough of Louis XIV; back to the serious business of the blog, besides at my age I should not be posting this. 🙂

          • NHerrera says:

            JP, you are right about Robespierre.

            Wikipedia writes: Robespierre made himself the embodiment of virtue and of total commitment; he took control of the (French) Revolution in its most radical and bloody phase: the Jacobin republic. His goal in the Terror was to use the guillotine to create what he called a “republic of virtue”, wherein terror and virtue would be imposed at the same time. He argued,

            “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie [the “fatherland”].”

            Now why does that sound familiar to our situation. Only in the case of Robespierre, the statement is not expressed in coarse or obscene language.

            (Interesting that in the end Robespierre himself was guillotined.)

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Yes N’Hererra, but the state he ‘created’ ( L’ Etat, c’est Moi ! ) lead to his grandson being guillotted in 1791 and a revolution that lead on to 23 years of war across Europe.

          • NHerrera says:

            Yes, by a revolution championed by a trained lawyer Robespierre — who promoted the motto Liberte’, Egalite’, Fraternite’ — who himself was guillotined. What an interesting turn of history.

        • chemrock says:

          I’d rather be King Henry VIII.
          Happy happy. Good for beer houses. No need to rape.

          • NHerrera says:


          • Bill In Oz says:

            But Chem he failed in his main aim with all those wives : a son to continue the Tudor dynastic line !

            Yes he did have one son who succeeded him at age 7. But he died of TB at age 14. All that effort and change for so poor a result. It was his daughters ( Mary & Elizabeth ) who reigned after him. And both died childless.

            Was the Tudor royal family cursed then ?

  9. Sup says:

    Be careful AFP…Chinese also like to eat dogs……. 🙂

  10. NHerrera says:

    I hope the AFP officialdom is reading The Society of Honor Blog. They should know that the blog and the average commentaries are fair to them. Do the “fist salute” in deference to the CnC if he does it in your presence. But please do your duty in the best tradition, especially officers trained in the Philippine Military Academy.

    Know that the 1987 Philippine Constitution has under Article II, Section 3, which states

    Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.

    Please distinguish when protection of the people and the State is being done; and when it is not.

  11. Sup says:

    Hahahahaha MOCHA!!!

    MANILA, Philippines – She wanted to rally support for troops in their fight against terrorists in Mindanao, but in doing so, newly appointed government official Mocha Uson is caught yet again sharing an unverified image.

    The new assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Sunday, May 28, asked for prayers for the Philippine army and shared a photo of soldiers kneeling in prayer.

    The troops in the photo, however, are not Filipino.


    • chemrock says:

      And what about PNA showing a Vietnam War photo passing of as AFP in Marawi.

      • NHerrera says:

        Gee whiz, with all the funds to do the work, why do they resort to these fake photos? This is not doing the AFP a service, if service it is to boost the morale of our soldiers risking life and limb. Fake photos muna, saka na tayo kumuha ng photos na hindi fake. Goodness.

        • chemrock says:

          If one makes mistakes, even if it’s due to downright laziness, that’s not so bad as done knowingly with intent to persuade minds. PNA is not in the business of providing info but for persuasion.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Just a few days ago they were hitting at inquirer for showing a file photo shot a few years ago about a burning car.

    • NHerrera says:

      If she has to rally the troops, she should use the Marilyn Monroe style — go to the field, and talk to the troops, but that may be too risky for her and she may not be welcome there; better in the confines and comforts of the Palace and just use fake photo of Honduras Police kneeling in prayer.

  12. Bing Garcia says:

    Read Rigoberto Tiglao’s article Duterte’s martial law: Risky but bold, required move.

  13. NHerrera says:

    It is interesting and useful to me that TSH’s blogs and commentaries — like the current one — are in a lot of cases ahead of the traditional media. Today’s Editorial of Inquirer on “Constitutional duty of Congress” is illustrative:

    I recall some readers here saying that if they want political news with the appropriate nuance, they need only go to this blog — of course, they have to wade through the blog and the many commentaries, including some tangential items of humor, etc., from yours truly. 🙂

    • karlgarcia says:

      Variety is a spice of life.
      Speaking of variety, I will bite to Bing’s suggestion.

      The problem is Tiglao implied that the so-called Yellows would love to have martial law to prove their narrative thst Duterte is a dictator.
      He may have been against the rape joke and suggested Duterte to do Dutetrte speak that if they rape ( or abuse)abyone, he will hang them by their balls.
      But Duterte did not do that, he just exacerbated the fear of the people.
      Those who say you are not from Mindanao like some of my relatives do and what do we know, and they are at peace with ML,etc, let me hear them say that if this reaches 1 year.

      A systemic problem can not be solved by ML, unfortunately.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Tiglao using his 20/20 hindsight said that if there were stats of the 3000 police and soldiers dismissed due to abuse people would not fear ML.
        Say, What?

  14. Bill In Oz says:

    Joe, 2 days ago I posted a comment which included a link to Bob Martin’s web site, Live In the Philippines. He lives in Davao and posted a blog about martial law and it’s impact there. And there have been some interesting & informative comments from other ex-pats living on Mindanao.

    However the comment has not appeared on TSOH. Do you know what’s happened to it ?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Maybe you can remember the link of that article from mindanaobob, I tried looking at his web site, and hemanages a lot of blogs.

      • NHerrera says:

        Karl, for info — I posted the probable link Bill referred to but Joe said it went to Spam just as Bill’s post on the matter. I will not post it again in deference to the note of Joe. I suppose WordPress filter “knows best.”

        But if it helps at all, Bob Martin, the blog writer is a long-time resident of Mindanao and said that as far as he is concerned his life has not changed post Martial Law. He admits to wanting to see more developments on the effect of Martial Law, etc.

    • The link appears to have sent the comment to spam. NHerrera also posted it twice, and it went to spam both times. I’ll not pull it out as I don’t know what is there.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Joe, Karl & N’Hererra, thanks for the response re this. Bob Martin posted his blog on the impact of Martial law in Davao on the 26th I think. So the post itself is a bit out of date. However there are a large number of comments as well, up to today by Filipinos & other ex-pats in the region. Their comments fill out my understanding of the situation there.

        If you Google “Bob Martin & Live in the Philippines” you will easily find it.

  15. Bill In Oz says:

    The Guardian has published a photo essay about the Marawi situation.I am not sure what is ‘new’ and what is not. But here is the link

  16. andrewlim8 says:


    If Def Sec Lorenzana and the military brass did not recommend Martial Law for Mindanao, what does that make of Angara and Ejercito who surely spend more time on armchairs than the Def Sec and the soldiers?

    Armchair dilettantes?

  17. NHerrera says:


    Bill, edgar:

    My admiration to your land of Oz for this news:

    Australia plans to deny passports to convicted paedophiles

    I make the comment because I imagine that if such a thing is proposed at the PH Senate I can imagine a hypocrite Senator, a favorite of some Church officials saying, “why do we care — the crime will be out of the country, if ever; let those countries beware; it is not for us to restrict our citizens’ travel.”

    Back to Australia’s proposal: that is indeed being friendly of Australia.

    A related news about the efforts of an Australian couple to fight for justice and the awareness of other families as a result of the abuse committed on their two young daughters by a paedophile priest some 27 years ago:

    • edgar lores says:

      Clerical abuse is a big issue here.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        N’Herrera, The Fosters lived in Sacred Heart parish, Oakleigh in Victoria. It was the next door parish to where I grew up for 9 years in Melbourne. ..Just a couple of kilometers away. I have read their book but gave it someone else to read afterwards. It is a terrible, terrible story. The entire family came close to being totally destroyed as well as their 2 daughters

        There were rumours about incidents when I was young; students moved by parents to another school away from contact with him. But nothing was ever proved. And the priest involved was important to the Melbourne archdiocese because of his financial/investing skills. So he was ‘protected’. He actually retired f & later inally died when he should have been jailed.

        The Royal Commission into sexual abuse of kids by members religious organisations was initiated by the Commonwealth government largely as a result of the Fosters efforts.

        The new initiative to cancel the passports of convicted pedophiles to prevent them leaving Australia is a great idea. It will help prevent them exploiting other kids in neighbouring countries like the Philippines or Indonesia or Thailand. I hope it gets through the parliament ASAP. But frankly there are too many lenient judges who sentence these bastards to short sentences and allow them back out into the community.

        Here is the local ABC’s report of this decision

        • NHerrera says:

          edgar, Bill:

          I still can’t quite stop thinking on the graciousness displayed by that proposal. I hope it passes without great dilution. It shows the mature side of democracy — to think comprehensively or globally compared to the current self-absorbed concerns of the other democracies. (I may be unkind here because of different urgent circumstances in those other countries.) Thank you for your notes and additional info link.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            N’herrera, This issue is close to my heart. One of my younger brothers was sexually abused by a lay teacher at an ( Irish ) Christian Brothers secondary school in Melbourne. I saw the police letter to my brother. They had 107 sexual complaints from former students about that one lay teacher. The Christian Brothers order knew of his abuse but after parents complained, simply ‘moved’ him to another school.

            My brother received a payout $49,000 from the Christian Brothers on condition of confidentiality ! Most of the money was taken by the legal firm ‘helping out’. He has had a difficult life. Mostly self inflicted and I cannot help wondering what would have been his life if he had not been the target of this man’s attentions.


            The ABC article mentions Senator Derryn Hinch. He is a former radio program presenter who went public on air about pedaphiles despite the Victorian law courts prohibiting any mention of their names. He did it numerous times to win some justice for the victims. And as he did it on air, numerous ordinary people rang in with stories of what happened to them or their children. Hinch was sentenced for contempt of court by a total fuckwit of judge and sentenced to detention & community service for his for his efforts.

            Then last year he ran as an independent senator at the general elections and was elected as a Victorian Senator with the support of ordinary Victorians; no party or big business backers. In doing so he & the voters spoke their contempt for the judges & lawyers who sought to protect these predators of children.

            The first speech that Hinch made in the senate last year included chapter & verse on the pedaphiles he knew of in Australia : their names and addresses. In speaking in the senate he is protected by parliamentary privilege and so beyond the courts attempts to silence him.

            So yes this is a GOOD story. And if Australia can help protect children in other countries, then let’s do it.

            • Edgar Lores says:

              Bill, thanks. I have held a biased view of Hinch for some time and you have cleared my mind.

            • NHerrera says:

              I regret the unrecoverable loss of the better life your brother would have had and I would imagine the entire family; and hope somehow the situation is better now.

              The rise to prominence of Derryn Hinch to the Senate where he can be influential seems like one of those improbable story that comes true.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Sorry to hear about your brother.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                A final comment on this matter. Here is a story this morning from the ABC about Cardinal George Pell, about whether he will be charged by the Victorian police with pedaphillia crimes. Pell is a former arch bishop of both Melbourne & Sydney. ( Yes archbishop of both dioceses one after the other, A very unusual thing I know but it happened. ) And currently based as a staffer in the Vatican.

                I do not know if he will be charged. And have no personal knowledge of the cae. But accusations have been made by former students of Catholic schools where he was a priest in the 1960’s.


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