The Short, Short Lives of a Dilawan and a Dutertard

Cain killing Abel, by Reuben David

By Wilfredo G. Villanueva

It’s bound to happen sooner than later.

Greg, the Dutertard, and Mario, the Dilawan meet at last after avoiding each other since the new President assumed office.

Greg: Bro!

Mario: Hey!

Greg and Mario: (almost at the same time) Long time no see!

They embrace like long-lost brothers, which they are. They have the same father, but different mothers. They assumed a closeness warmer and closer than real brothers when they met in university. They looked somewhat alike, the same tilt of head, the same mannerisms, same stentorian voice, like an orator’s. Their father is a politician from Mindanao, Marawi city in particular.

Before they met, each would be mistaken for the other. It didn’t help that they have the same surname, Alonto, and their schoolmates would say: “Didn’t I see you just now in Engineering building?” And he would say: “No, never been to Engineering. I’m in Mass Comm.” And it happened that way until they came face to face with each other, mirror images, parang pinagbiyak na bunga (like a fruit split down the center).

“Uhm, are you also an Alonto?”

“Yes,” warily.

“I’m an Alonto. From Marawi.”

“I was born in Marawi, but grew up in Roxas district in Quezon city.”

And so it came to pass that they became close, born days apart to different moms, virtual identical twins by some genetic fluke. Years passed. They both graduated, took jobs, Greg to D.M. Consunji, Mario to the then Manila Bulletin. It was 1981 when they graduated, 36 years ago, they sort of drifted away from each other, but rediscovered each other in Facebook. They swapped photos and filled in the blanks accumulated through the years.

Close as close can be, until Greg became a Dutertard, and Mario, an unabashed yellow warrior.

They thought the same way, and they must have unfriended each other at the same time, without planning on it, because both have become entrenched in their politics and it was getting to the point where they would come to blows, verbally at one point, until they saved their friendship by unfriending each other. They picked a restaurant in the mall.

“So, how’s life, kuya?” Mario said. He was born a few days after June 15, birthday of Greg, and Mario considered Greg his elder brother.

“Hmm.”

Silence.

“You know,” both said almost at the same time. Each one was going to say that his politician of choice is delivering per image and promise, but they checked each other. It was an awkward silence.

“Duterte’s a bitch, kuya,” Mario said.

“There you go,” Greg said.

“Who in his right mind would ignore the ruling of an international court so that China can build a rail system in Mindanao?” Mario said, gaining strength.

“And who in his right mind would ignore the votes of 16 million and whip his followers into a frenzy to constantly put down the duly-elected President?” Greg answered back.

“Why? Do you really believe that it’s an Aquino versus Marcos thing, and Aquino will not rest until Marcos is stripped of all honors as President of the Republic? Why should Noynoy even try to derail the plans of your President? I can’t accept that,” Mario said.

“My President? He’s president of the whole country. Why can you not accept defeat?” Greg asked.

“He doesn’t speak for us. Since when did it become all right for a Filipino to disrespect women and curse and, mark this: hobnob with the Marcoses?” Mario said.

“Why can you not lay the Marcos issue down? You can’t move on. Stop carrying that cross. The country can’t prosper that way,” Greg said.

Silence again.

Mario stands up to say goodbye. “Got to get going, kuya,” he said.

“O, let’s have coffee muna. We’re brothers and we shouldn’t let politics ruin our relationship,” Greg said.

“But you’re helping Duterte to ruin the country by sticking with him in spite of his shameful behavior and egregious policies,” Mario said.

“You’re way too involved, brother,” Greg said. “Chill. Smile. The world will not end because Duterte is president. Give him six years,” Greg said.

“Six years is a long time. He has to step down if he listens to criticism,” Mario said.

“There’ll be no stepping down. Who do you think you are? What have you really done for the country? You support Noynoy even after Mamasapano, you support him after Yolanda when Mar pocketed the funds, you support him even if Abaya cannot produce a single car plate, and so on. Just who do you think you are? Stop playing God. You don’t have moral ascendancy,” Greg said, his voice now raised a smidgen lest people at the other tables overhear them.

“And who do you think you are, kuya?” Mario said with a slight quiver in his voice. “Your president is the worst possible leader at a time like this. He is squandering his resources, creating enemies among our traditional allies, giving bad example to children, imagine telling boy scouts that they should learn how to handle guns, I cannot even look at him on tv. I have stopped watching tv and listening to the radio. Media has sided with him, Congress is stamp-pad, and you, my brother is unrepentant even arrogant up to now for having supported him,” Mario said.

“Stop it,” Greg said. “Kuya mo pa rin ako.”

“You are not my kuya. You don’t belong to my family and I don’t belong in yours. Shame on you,” Mario said.

It was all that Greg could take. He drew his Glock and shot Mario between the eyes to the horror of people in the restaurant.

Mario slumped on his seat, the back of his head a bloody mess. Greg was crying, unable to control himself. Mario had said many hurtful things. He cannot let it pass.

That’s the story of Greg and Mario, two brothers in a country that has seen too much violence, too much acrimony, too much unforgiveness and unsettled issues. He never meant to kill Mario. His life is ruined now. He faces life in prison. He lost a dear brother. He might as well have died, too. Woe to all of us, active and passive participants in this story.

Comments
50 Responses to “The Short, Short Lives of a Dilawan and a Dutertard”
  1. arlene says:

    The things people do in the name of politics…senseless.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Reason and politics don’t mix. That’s why the reasonable ones have to dip their digital fingers into the mess we live in, try to make sense out of it.

  2. Zen says:

    This is just too sad, closer to home for many of us.

  3. cha says:

    There are stories people tell that are so far removed from reality to make us shudder in disbelief. Stories that start with preposterous claims, that are developed poorly and manage to become consistent only in being inconsistent. Their plotlines go astray, and the characters end up like pathetic caricatures of what otherwise should have been real human beings. Often too, their ending while providing some sense of relief mostly leave us detached and estranged from the world where such stories belong.

    And then there are stories that ring true, not because we know them to be real but because they mirror what is real. We may not all be a Greg or a Mario but we are all part of their world. And we may not be active participants in the stories of people like Greg and Mario as they unfold but in the end we shall all be affected by its conclusion.

    And so we want to do better. Because it is the right thing to do. Because it’s all that we can really do.

    Thank you, Will, for the clarion call.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      There’s far too much dissension, distrust and disbelief. Do we go the way which PDuterte want us to go, towards the cliff, or do we take heed and say, “This is our country. Let’s bind our wounds ourselves. Let the leader do his worst. We will do our best. We are known for the spark of love. The time to kiss and make up has come. Unless we all want to die, which is what the leader wants to happen, by some twisted logic.” Thanks, Cha. Missing cha-isms.

  4. Bing Garcia says:

    Maria was just telling us that Singapore believes the PH is the focal point of the ISIS threat, something like that. In our convo just now. Teddy Locsin Jr.

  5. NHerrera says:

    Wil, thanks. You did it again! A writing that otherwise loses its potency if put in analytic or philosophical terms.

    Creative writing that condense what has happened to the country — all over, not just in Mindanao — brother against brother, sister against brother, son against father, etc. It is as if half of the country is home to the citizens of one country, and half, another country. And what is most sad is that in a lot of cases they are living in the same house.

  6. lesson learned don’t bring your glock

  7. buwayahman says:

    Part of me wishes that this story were true. It would make people realize that there should be things more important than political (as well as religious) discussions.

  8. Sherry says:

    So tragic, so symbolic, the blind follower with blood on his/her hand, the dilawan, dead.

  9. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    We can only take so much acrimonious debate. They say what’s the use of our social media criticism of PDut, it doesn’t seem to weigh him down or he doesn’t show signs of changing horses midstream. So if he won’t change, we will. Enough debates. Nurture existing relationships or recover lost ones. God is calling us to love. Is there any other way to read the signs of the times?

  10. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    I have a friend, co-agent of mine in Manulife. He’s PDut’s neighbor in Davao. Goes with the mayor in the shooting range. That close. He used to follow me when I was hitting Binay. Even thanked me for my posts because the issues become clearer when I write he said, but when PDut joined national politics and I started hitting the man from Davao, my friend unfriended me in FB. Just like that. We are still friends, nothing’s changed. Been that way since 20 years when we first met. We don’t talk about PDut at all. I hold my tongue when we’re together, knowing that I will lose his friendship if ever I become critical of his friend the mayor. We’re civil but still warm. Friends are forever, politicians have expiry dates.

  11. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. There are several issues here, and the ones I would identify are:

    1.1. Reality
    1.2. Social cohesion
    1.3. The course of action

    2. Reality.

    2.1. The story is an allegory defined as “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.”

    2.2. It is interesting to me that a reader asked if the story was for real. One can interpret this as Filipino credulity or as cautious skepticism in the era of fake news. Of course, the story, in its symbolism, is as true as @buwayahman’s wishes and as real as @kamoteQ is a real person.

    2.3. There are many facets of the story that can be mined for meaning. The origin of the brothers; the shared paternity but dissimilar maternity; the occupations of the father and the brothers; and the brothers’ amazing similarity. Overall, however, the title of story points to the moral of short wasted lives because of uncompromising political discourse that turns to fratricidal violence.

    3. Social cohesion.

    3.1. The intolerant political discourse has resulted in social alienation. From the start, we were not nationally cohesive. But politics has exacerbated our lack of social cohesion. The fault lines run no longer along the tribal line or socioeconomic classes but through families.

    3.2. We are all bigots, intolerant “towards those who hold different opinions” from ourselves. And the political bigotry is captured and sustained by keyword labels, both group and individual. Dilawan. Dutertards. Wiguerre. Drug Queen.

    4. The course of action. This by far may be the most important issue.

    4.1. Will has recommended ending the acrimonious social discourse in our personal lives and social media. The reasons given are:

    4.1.1. It’s destruction, potential and actual, of personal relationships
    4.1.2. It’s ineffectuality in influencing Duterte’s behavior

    4.2. Do you agree?

    4.3. What would be the consequences of our silence?

    4.4. Perhaps we should distinguish between the personal domain and the public domain? We may choose to be silent in the former but not in the latter?
    *****

    • This is a representative of bigotry. May bigote kasi.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Edgar. In my narrative about a friend of long-standing and our disengagement from direct political discourse (in the personal domain), I did mention President Duterte to him once. I said, in case something happened to me—because he knew I was an active socmed oppositionist of the admin—to just tell his friend the mayor that I am/was a good man. Yun lang. That’s all I wanted my friend to hear and to appreciate. Love isn’t silent or passive, it works in ways we do not understand, but it is silent and runs deep, causes heart and mind to reposition its views along lines acceptable to both parties, preserving relationships rather than breaking them. In the public domain, he continues to wear his Duterte baller ID, and I my usual practices. When the time comes for face-to-face confrontation in public domain, our prayers and good works—we are both Catholics—will save us, maybe just like Gen. Tadiar and Col. Sotelo’s response to stand down in EDSA One.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. Generally, it’s good to be upfront and let people know where one stands.

        2. Do people actually wear Duterte Baller ID’s? OMG!
        *****

  12. NHerrera says:

    I read the post of Wil immediately above and edgars. My comment below responds partly to these two comments.

    Wil’s note is being a good Christian, also, pragmatic and an antidote to despair — especially if it leads to the destruction of relationships in the family or good friends.

    But I share the view too of edgar. In my case it is against the background of good fortune — not having the conflict Wil described, except those in the fringes of people I consider very close relatives and friends. But more important is because of my fear that putting even a partial cover to the bad smell for harmony’s sake, may soon make me accustomed to it so that the bad smell soon becomes normal — lacking as I may have with the necessary resilience to continue smelling the good as against the bad smell. (Sorry, for what may be my poor attempt at an analogy.)

    • I like the analogy of the bad smell. It is like the analogy why one should not tolerate Nazis in politics – from Germany… imagine a plate full of yummy stuff (in this picture, white sausage) – and sh!t at the edge of the plate – in this case it is sweet mustard, not sh!t on the plate.

      But then again, the Philippines hasn’t eaten enough Scheisse yet while over here people have had their fill of bad tasting stuff and what sicknesses one can get from it… Guten Appetit!

      • NHerrera says:

        Irineo: I actually like the items on that plate, including the mustard. While we are on this food stuff, I want to relate this. It was my first time in France in the 70s, out of town from Paris. In a restaurant we went to, the menu had something like saucisse ancien. I was curious, so ordered it. When my order came, the smell immediately hit me. The smell was so unappetizing — to say the least. I ended up not eating it and ordered another.

  13. One of the oldest rules of Swiss direct democracy was to meet on a town square under the free sky and WITHOUT WEAPONS. There is also the story that the distance between government and opposition in the British parliament is such that even if both sides stand, they cannot cross swords.

    Filipinos are usually weak at managing differences of opinion, I think. Usually a certain uniformity is seen as ideal within a group. But within social media, no real swords can be crossed, no pistols fired.

    The true danger is the mounting adrenaline in Philippine society as a whole and its possible effects.

  14. Anybody here seen the news about Kathy Griffin’s stunt about PTrump? It is politics gone too far. Both pro and anti-Trump netizens condemned her for crossing the line of civility. It shows that wrong is wrong regardless of political ideology.

    Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) · Twitter

    I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9…
    6 days ago · Twitter

    On the bright side: A Filipino group similar to the “White Helmets” of Syria calling themselves the “Suicide Squad” are risking their life and limbs to save lives in Marawi:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/01/the-philippine-suicide-squad-saving-civilians-trapped-on-isis-frontline

    • Some people also crossed the lines of civility by provoking Kitty Duterte recently.

      That she reacted to comments referring to her being born out of wedlock is understandable. Jozy Acosta-Nisperos of TSM by the way told people to leave Kitty alone, she is a teen.

      As for the solidarity shown on so many fronts – Muslims helping Christians, people collecting for Marawi, and now this white helmet group – this is what the Philippines should become more of. Duterte is a bit eclipsed now, which is good. People should count more than politicians I think.

      • Mike says:

        I agree with Irineo. Those of us who dislike or disagree with Duterte and/or his policies must remain aware of the actual value of our position in the total scheme of things and maintain a certain degree of professional, ethical respect for oneself, his/her circles and even for Duterte himself by not getting shallow and personal with him, with members of his family, his cabinet, and his followers even if we’re provoked. We cannot allow ourselves to become that which we hate. While we continue to fight for what’s right, we must also rise above ourselves, our personal emotions and biases; we must see the bigger picture and gravitate to a higher standard required by a noble calling.

    • Popoy will write about Griffin Friday. An interesting post.

  15. Mike says:

    Any situation is simpler to resolve in our minds at least if we can but see the “why” behind it. The country has always been divided but this is the first time that this ‘separate-ness’ has been manipulated in order to elect a candidate to the presidency.

    Everything, or at least most of what Duterte did during his campaign, was thoroughly thought out, well planned, generously funded, and executed with extreme prejudice.

    And the plan included creating divisions within our society to the point of chaos in order to achieve control. Duterte set one group against the other. Poor against rich. Commoner vs elitist. Masa vs oligarchy. He set fires by declaring early in his campaign that the country was in crisis and that the poor were poor because the country was controlled by the privileged few. This was heightened to maximum effect by thousands of political ads, memes, and fake news on social media, lies and deception. This tazered a cultural-political-economic nerve that went down to the marrow for many.

    It worked.

    This division continues to be used by the powers that be to their advantage and the country’s peril. But my real point here is that by being aware of this truth, of how these divisions came to be, how they were engineered, this realization will allow both dutertard and dilawan alike to fall off or away from the political stage and “see” the scene in its entirety, bcome aware of their individual places in that picture, and how they arrived at their respective points of view.

    Through this self- and group- awareness we will find the ability to be truly patient and compassionate with each other because we will know the ‘why’ of their being where they are socially and politically, because we realize that we share the same affectation. The same manipulation.

    It will then be easier to continue a frank, reasonable, fact-based discussion and plant seeds of reason and mutual respect within each other. It’s a start.

    A small voice within will hinder us from whipping out our glocks and shooting each other in the head, even if that’s exactly how we feel, have felt, at times. That small voice will whisper to us the words we need to speak in order to connect with each other.

    The foregoing may sound naive, overoptimistic, even unrealistic. But naive can come off as sincere in the ears of the other; overoptimism can fall short and come off as positive; if it’s unrealistic then there’s nothing to lose by trying. The worst you’ll get is a ‘No’.

    • You say that the country has always been divided, yet you say that it was created and engineered? So which is it? Care to elaborate? Though I understand that what you mean to say is that the existing divide was just exacerbated by Duterte, hence the current events, well, you’re wording seems to put much weight on the latter.

      Hmm… How about we try to put things into perspective by making it more concise?

      On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being total unity and 10 being complete division, how would you rate it before Duterte, then, after Duterte?

      But do know that I really agree with you when you say that we should continue to interact with each other and just try to build things up from there.

      ‘With persistence, a drop of water can hollow out the stone.’

      However, working on the premise that our shared commonality is that we are all manipulated? It runs contrary to what you said as it really doesn’t sound naive nor overoptimistic. So probably not a good premise to start on…

      • Mike says:

        Intuitiveperceiving, are you based in the Phils or abroad? I sense a certain “remoteness” in some of your comments, like you’re some distance away from the story. Just a thought.

        The country, to me, has always been divided, not only geographically, although that alone contributes greatly to the divide, like, for example in the number of dialects, I’m think we have like 81? There was a time when there weren’t a whole lot of land bridges hundreds of years ago so you come from one spoken dialect and cross over to a different one.

        A socio-economic type of division was created or conditioned back in the colonial era when survival was a factor in setting Filipinos against each other. We learned to backstab to gain an advantage over another, in order to gain more benefits from a colonial master by way of provisions for one’s family. Imagine how ten years of that kind of slavery will change your alliances. Now think that; we had over 333 years of that conditioning and other failure-programming embedded that in our psyche.

        Those divisions got a little more pronounced during the Martial law era. In order to survive, it was every man for himself in a society that favored the few over the many.

        The creation or engineering I referred to was the Duterte campaign strategy of taking the divisions that were already there and ‘making’ new ones out of them in order to attain a goal.

        You don’t have to take my words too literally. They are simply my attempt to convey the mental pictures I have into yours.

        I’ve been able to connect with many people from the other side by acknowledging their points of view, pointing out what they’re missing, and furnishing them with the truth to replace what they believe in.

        For example, someone told me to respect the majority vote and obey the president or get out of the country.

        I gave him actual statistics from the internet which showed the total number of voters whose votes were divided among 5 candidates, of which Duterte got 39% which revealed that the majority 61% did NOT vore for him. The president won by a plurality.

        I respectfully reminded him that we’re still living in a democracy which means I have the freedom to disagree with the government including the president himself provided I don’t break any laws and that no one, including him, can option my staying in the country or not. etc, etc.

        Anyway, I never actually mentioned that we were co-victims or co-manipulatees but the awareness was there for me which allowed me to continue communicating with him in a very frank, down to earh exchange which went over 4 or 5 discussions within which he responded to my mindset by expressing his respect for me and what he sensed in me. That came about because while almost everyone else was cussing him for his views, I afforded him mutual respect through my words and manner with which I acknowledged him while not agreeing with him.

        He stopped trying to bash me after that and I’m not going after him on some kind of rescue mission. All I did was to open his mind an little and plant some good seeds. I wish him well. I believe in the words, “..one plants and another one waters.” That I suppose is my lame farewell to the end of his spreading fake news and bashing people to turn them to his point of view.

        To you sir, I say that I’m not here to account myself to you or prove anything to you. I don’t feel the need to do so. I’m not angry, am smiling as I wrote that. This sharing is just to answer your query which bordered a little bit on, what, frustration? A little anger? It was something. Maybe I’m wrong and if I am, apologies, but for a while there I felt a little harassed and that surprised me a bit because everything I shared was for real. For me, anyway. I reserve the right to respond specially when I’m not busy finding a way to pay the rent or if i don’t feel like it.

        My intention in sharing my personal experiences and points of view is to edify and enable others. Peace to you and your family.

        • @Mike

          Hey, Mike. Thanks for your reply.

          I’d like to apologize if I may seem a bit aggressive. But do know that it wasn’t really intended as it is probably part and parcel of this perceived ‘remoteness’ on my part. (Yes, I am aware of it.) As addressed by Edgar before, it is probably because of my supposed lack of empathy. However, I’d like to contest that as I do seem to understand where people are coming from. Hmm… So rather than lack of empathy, I think a lack of sympathy would probably be more apt.

          Nonetheless, do note that the extent of ‘sympathy’ given does depend on the audience and the situation. I seem to have said it before, but I think that many people in this forum will probably take it on the chin (As they have most of the time) so probably no need to filter it that much.

          And on your perceived frustration and anger, and feeling a bit harassed by it: Do consider it as a situational parallel of how Duterte supporters react to the opposition? Because when you say that you sense a certain remoteness and aggression on my part, well… Try to internalize that feeling. It is surely how some of these supporters feel towards most opposition.** So as a general question: Why do you suppose that is? What can I/you/we do about it?

          **Actually, this is probably not exclusive to political support. This is probably a sort of cognitive dissonance applicable to many things?

          But then again, I think you’re probably already on the right track as I’ve also read your other reply about selling an idea by planting good seeds and patience. =)

          To phrase something I’ve said before, which is in line with your stance:

          // If you can’t acknowledge [Note: Just acknowledge, no need to accept.] their points, you are also not acknowledging their context. And by not acknowledging their context, you are also not acknowledging their experiences. And by not acknowledging their experiences, you are also not acknowledging them as fellow human beings. And herein really does lie the problem. //

          So given that, do know that I do wholeheartedly agree with your method and it really does seem to be the best, if not the only, viable option.

          However, it really is indeed a huge undertaking thus seldom do people seem to actually bother. But you really can’t blame them as it really is a bit of a hassle. Because when it comes to educating people with little or, even worse, with wrong foundations? “A bit of a hassle” is surely an understatement. But as I asked before: What other option is there?

          People talk of inclusivity and reaching out, yet how is one suppose to do that in a heavily polarized environment? Well, I’ve also said this before: It really is just a question of who should give way first and then just build it up from there. So again, I do agree with your stance.

          *****

          On a closing note, in line with the last part of your reply:

          Do also know that I’m also not here to account myself to you or prove anything to you.

          I also don’t feel the need to do so.

          I am also not angry as I am also smiling as I wrote this. Because seldom do I encounter someone who seeks to share and educate of one’s own position without being dismissive of the other.

          But still, also, the same with you, I did also sense a bit of anger and frustration with regards to your reply. I also felt a little harassed by it as what I am also sharing is real. For me, anyway.

          But as I said above, it is probably brought upon by cognitive dissonance and it really is a human thing. So given that, we probably can’t totally eliminate it. However, it also doesn’t mean that we should let it take over and be a slave to it. We could surely do better.

          And also, given that a week has passed already before I had replied, it is probably already obvious that I am also reserving the right to respond especially when I’m not busy finding ways to make ends meet or if I don’t feel like it.

          Lastly, the same with you, my intention in sharing my personal experiences and points of view is to edify and enable others. (And by extension, myself also).

          Nevertheless, Peace also to you and your family.

          [Also, to answer your query, I am based in the PH. Never been to any other.]

          • karlgarcia says:

            I was emotioonal in one of my replies to you, but you took it in the chin.
            It was exactly about this sympathy and enpathy. You said a mother’s reaction to a son ( addict, criminal or whathaveyou) being executed, would be something like this. “I am glad it is over, what a relief!”
            If you call that understanding where they are coming from, but the won’t get any sympathy from you, then that is a bit disappointing or upsetting. jmo.

  16. Thea says:

    1. Should it be the ” Short Life of Dilawan”? We see that Greg faces prison,he is alive whilst Cain, in the bible, begotten a wife and had a son,named Enoch. Bad grass lives longer.

    2. “It is bound to happen sooner than later”. I beg to disagree. “Dutertards” may have reasons to believe and praise Duterte for now, but they are Filipinos who, with “Dilawans”, jointly distrust China , denounce the EJK and show skepticism towards PNP. These Filipinos are questioning and detesting the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. These Filipinos, who have penchant for popularism, will be tired of Duterte’s antics and empty promises soon.

    3. There is no such real “Dutertards” among ordinary Filipinos. It is hard to believe their existence when there are thousands of paid trolls and fake accounts in social media. In five months I stayed in the Philippines, there are NO real “Dutertards”. Yes, they voted for Duterte but they are not blind to the ploy. Perhaps, if one is to define a real “Dutertards” based on Wil’s story, they can be found in the Philippine Congress and Senate who will/can “kill” their half-brothers in the name of politics and greed.

  17. Cha Coronel Datu says:

    People in general respond to or deal with conflict arising from differences in opinion or principles in five different ways : avoidance, accommodation, collaboration, compromise, and competition. Sometimes one approach works best given the nature of a dispute and the stakes involved should the conflict escalate. Or sometimes one may choose to employ several approaches over a given period of time as a way of breaking down resistance and paving the way for a lasting solution that actually works. The key is to be clear about one’s objectives and desired outcomes in employing a particular strategy and to be cognisant of the limitations of a single approach.

    Filipinos in general seem to favour Avoidance, Accomodation and Competition as their go-to response to most disputes. The first two because most of us may perceive conflict to be wrong and undesirable. We would rather everyone get along so that things look hunky dory on the surface, although underneath actually lies a simmering cauldron of resentment.

    When we are not avoiding conflict or capitulating and letting the other side have their way, we are engaged in do or die battles to win and annihilate, preferably humiliate completely and totally, our perceived enemy. Because among Filipinos, you are either with me or against me. Maybe this is why collaboration and compromise to achieve the greater good just do not come easy to most of us. But just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Maybe that is what Will’s story is trying to point out to us to look into.

    • Cha Coronel Datu says:

      Case Study: Collaboration and Compromise to stop EJKs (A Catholic priest’s approach)

      “As Feloni watched the killings ravage his parish, he talked with his parish council, which agreed that something had to be done. The council president had lost his brother, a police officer, in a shootout with drug pushers.”

      “We agreed that killing is not a solution to our problems,” Feloni said. “And we asked what we could do. The church has been denouncing the killings and getting feedback from the people that we are meddling. They say we’re talking and talking and talking and doing nothing. The message that we were totally in favor of the campaign against drugs wasn’t coming across properly. So we began to ask what we could do proactively, more than just stating that we’re against the killings.”

      “Working with local government officials and the police, Feloni garnered commitments to get help for users who were willing to turn themselves in.”

      “There is no real program being offered by the government. Once you surrender, you go home and it’s assumed you’ll stop being an addict. That is not real thinking. You cannot stop addiction just by fear. It’s a sickness, and you need psychosocial intervention to cure it,” he said. “If killing isn’t a solution, neither is surrender. It’s just the beginning. Unless you offer something, people cannot really change.”

      “Any successful intervention must also help users develop new sources of income.”

      “Almost all the users are also small-scale pushers. They get their portion free, but at the same time sell to others to get a little income. If you stop their business, they have no way to survive, no way to feed their children,” the priest said.

      “Feloni said that as the program took shape, he had some very frank discussions with the police. “I was also honest with them and said, ‘Don’t kill them afterward,’ ” he said.”

      https://www.ncronline.org/news/parish/detox-rehab-food-parish-works-fight-philippine-drug-problem

    • popoy says:

      TO UN-MATH DIVISION. I was trying to teach common sense to a nursery pupil grand daughter that 1 plus 1 equals 11 and 3 plus 3 equals 33. With dollar store ten decorative pebbles I was showing her how on the table ten pebbles can be physically divided by two, or divided by five. What happens when you divide 10 by 3 or by 4. It was by her side that I learned to color coloring books, and being alone as she left for kumon tutoring, I was able to sketch, draw and paint. So think what you may of what I mean when I write . . .

      There is no more than divided nation on earth than the one clearly cut and divided 1 into 50 states existing spatially like 50 nations. So divided that the pieces kept to themselves, minded their own business and pursued their progress in earnest. THAT’S THE UNITED STATES OF A. As if the people were saying : we’d rather be divided like a pearl necklace than be a solid gold choker worn by macho Pinoy OFWs. .

      On the contrary there is division that could lead to disintegration despite claims for iron glove union like the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic). Division of a whole cuts both ways for good or bad, be it a country or a cake. The point I conjecture is, it could be diversity: diverse opinions, diverse ends, diverse means to achieve the same ends. It’s tautological if not a cul de sac kind of discussion. When division ends up as no division at all.

      Division thinking in the Philippines is otra cosa, another matter. It is NOT only dividing thoughts and opinion galvanized into support between liberals and conservatives, between democrats and socialists. Much deeper than that, perhaps it’s about the mutants and variants amongst us influencing, even forcing us to believe them to the death. Perhaps It’s not only genetics because the aberration is somewhere else.

      • cha says:

        Division precedes the act of generosity. We can only give when we apportion what we hold as a whole.

        In life, as in math, one cannot give what one doesn’t have.

        And divide we must, so that then we are able to multiply.

        But how many Filipinos would rather remain in a state of inertia? Protect the turf. Stick together even when one or most of us are wrong. Hold still and refuse to budge.

        So hey, maybe the problem is not mathematical. Mqybe it’s Physics.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If inertia is resistance to change and resistance is voltage divided by current,to have less resistance we need less voltage if the current insist on remaining constant.

  18. popoy says:

    JoeAm said here elsewhere and elsewhen that there’s no out of topic here, this page being for discussion purposes . . . Well it’s 4 am June 6 in this part of the world and the press is raking PM Justin Trudeau over the coals for saying Canada for a long time needs a woman PM when the truth was a Kim Campbell was already once was a PM. Justin appeared clueless and is being demanded to apologise.

    Well, well, what Justin might subsconsciously have had in mind was a duly elected candidate who ran for PM and like it was directly by representation elected by the people. The first lady Canadian PM was PM by happenstance not by regular ballot. May be Justin dreamed his daughter could be historically the first woman PM elected as such in a national election. On the surface and being shallow Justin’s neurons went deeper than most viewers and journous.

  19. popoy says:

    Oh, By the way, this piece by WG Villanueva is really good; I find and feel could be a worthy case study in teaching a part of cultural anthropology. It’s an artifact of a story of Abel and Cain transported to modern times. If there is problem, what is really the problem here? What are the solutions, remembering that there is NO ONE correct solution to a case problem? In the UP College of Law I was may be correctly told that it was harder to study law via cases than by mere law textbooks. In Harvard Business School (which AIM in PH) attempted to duplicate a 30 year MBA (like that Australia \New South Wales Premier) can match and out experienced and outperformed a 60 year old real life CEO.

    I think TSOH is not on any subject, dire poor for useful case studies which explain the abundance of tireless conversation.

  20. NHerrera says:

    BREAKTIME

    Thursday, 8 June 2017, dateline Washington — a humdinger of a day for political news in the US of A: Congressional testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey.

    Also there is the snap general election called by British PM Theresa May for the same day, Thursday, dateline UK.

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