The Philippines and the US: finding a way to work together?

US Sec of State Tillerson meets PH President Duterte at ASEAN foreign Ministers Meeting in Manila, 2017 [Photo by Erik De Castro / Reuters, via NBC News]

By Joe America

Three pieces of information flew into my surprised face a couple of days ago, and out popped this blog.

One came from Phelim Kine, the Deputy Director of the Asia Division, Human Rights Watch, regarding US Secretary of State Tillerson’s conversation with Philippine President Duterte at the ASEAN foreign minister’s confab.

Kine said:

“Philippines Prez Duterte says Tillerson didn’t raise human rights in mtg. Appalling & unacceptable if true.”

Second was an article that came across my twitter feed from NBC News, an American national television network. It was a huge announcement, I think, that got little play in the Philippines, perhaps because of a certain distracting event (the Bautista domestic spat). Here was the headline with a link to the story:

The article said the US Pentagon (armed forces) was considering deploying drones to assist the Philippines in fighting against ISIS insurgents lodged in Marawi. This would be done under the Mutual Defense Treaty, presumably with mission and operational activities approved by the Philippine Armed Forces.

I have always thought this should have been done immediately once it was determined that foreign entities had, in effect, attacked the Philippine mainland. It would have brought American tools and urban fighting knowledge, and considerable firepower, to bear to end the incursion quickly and give the city back to residents. Residents are dying in the evacuation camps. AFP troops and Filipino civilians are dying in the extended fighting.

And . . . the third surprise . . . I received this tweet from GrrlScientistthat said:

“uuuuh, this [US drone strikes] would be a BIG mistake”

I asked if that meant she did not trust Philippine generals to manage American resources properly and, to date, she has not responded.

What do we make of these three items? Here’s my take.

First, it is likely  that both the US and Philippines will move forward together by compartmentalizing issues. This means military work will be considered separate from human rights disagreements. Essentially, each nation will respect the other overall, admit to disagreements, but work together where there is clear mutual benefit. Using American drones to root out ISIS forces would be one of the possible ways both nations could benefit, the US by putting a plug in global terrorism and the Philippines by getting Marawi back to normal and beginning the rebuild.

Second, both nations are engaged at the level of generals, keeping presidents in the background. This may mean that the presidents have given full prior endorsement, or it may mean the generals are doing what they believe needs to be done, and will try to manage their presidents after drawing up the mission plan. Either President Trump or President Duterte could pull the plug on the idea, and my guess is that President Duterte is most likely to do so. He would do this to please China, and at some risk of further alienating generals who are rumored to be displeased with many of the President’s activities, from talking rape to the troops to featuring Mocha Uson in uniform to trying to buy allegiance with cheap Chinese weapons and other obvious panderings.

Third, applying American weaponry in actual combat is fraught with several risks.

  • It risks making the Muslim community angry, fueling broader resentment and terrorist acts.
  • It risks being an affront to sovereignty in a way that China’s theft of sea resources has not been because of history and the kind of “envy/anger” toward the elite that makes America (and now the “yellows”) so distasteful.
  • It risks civilian casualties in a way somehow worse than the casualties caused by ISIS directly, or the deaths caused by poor relief efforts from Philippine government agencies. Again, it is the “envy anger” at play.
  • It risks making China angry, which would be bothersome to President Duterte. He might end the American presence for good if things went bad.

NOT deploying American resources, presuming they are made available, would also be a decision. It, too, carries certain risks.

  • Filipino civilians and troops would continue to die. Civilians in evacuation camps would continue to suffer.
  • ISIS and other rebel and terrorist groups would be emboldened to carry out more attacks in other urban communities.
  • The Philippine military would not get intelligence and “under fire” lessons that would help in future missions.
  • China would be emboldened to develop Scarborough Shoal or start exploring Benham Rise.

I rather suspect that my risk calculation would not be the same as that of President Duterte, or many Filipinos. I don’t carry the envy/anger bug, and don’t have ulterior motives other than winning this battle. And I think Marawi has already emboldened terrorists throughout Asia.

  • To Deputy HRW Director Kine I would say, “Thank you for your opinion, but Mr. Tillerson is responsible for the US, not the Philippines, so kindly actually DO SOMETHING about the Philippine HR violations.”
  • To GrrlScientist‏, “I would ask for a full accounting of the pros and cons before giving your opinion credence.”
  • To the generals of both nations, however the politicians decide, I would salute in the way a salute is meant, with respect and discipline, and say ‘Thank you, Sir”.


275 Responses to “The Philippines and the US: finding a way to work together?”
  1. NHerrera says:

    >> > Which means that in this imperfect world, nothing is 100 percent. Otherwise this will be a dull place to live in. Right?

    Abangan. Let us see what happens. Nice read, Joe.

    • NHerrera says:

      On the hearty laugh of Tillerson in the blog picture, Duterte seems to have said in parting: and please don’t forget to give my Greetings to my fellow sob over there — he seems to need lots of it these days.

      • Actually, I think President Duterte has a good sense of humor but his mind does not discern very well that most people are not so crude. If he were not such a bloodthirsty tyrant, he’d probably be fun to hang with down at the bar, or under the mango tree.

    • Thanks. Indeed, nothing is 100%. Sorting out mutual interests when dealing with two nations under autocratic democracies is rather fascinating.

  2. josephivo says:

    The dangers of Marawi are still far underestimated by the public at large. The danger that the Muslin unease with the colonial approach of a central government morphs into ISIS and a pure religious fight is scary. ISIS with its “sexy” belief in the immanent final battle, the return of the antichrist, Nog and Manog breaking though their iron fence, and eventually the return of Jesus to kill the antichrist. ISIS and its longing for a mediaeval desert society where prophets were allowed to seduce underage girls. ISIS promising martyrdom and a shortcut to a harem like paradise. These religious beliefs can be so seductive, they align so well with the virtual gaming world, they offer belonging and an escape out of the commonplace.

    Drones are more efficient and more effective or not than more conventional weapons and this should be the only consideration for accepting them.

    • “These religious beliefs can be so seductive, they align so well with the virtual gaming world, they offer belonging and an escape out of the commonplace.”

      That is so absolutely right. It is a different twist on: Henry Tudor‏ @KngHnryVIII: “If peasants wanted facts, they’d read. What they want is a daily dose of exciting illusion.”

      I agree entirely with the last sentence. Get rid of the surrounding drama and win the fight. I would only add that the determination should be made by Philippine generals, and not US generals or civilians anywhere.

      • NHerrera says:

        Right. There is a raging fire out there. It has to be managed before it gets out of control. And I agree the PH Generals should have the final say — not out of parochial sentiments, but on considerations such as, the PH Generals have the better overall feel of the situation and ramifications for the Philippines.

  3. Bill In Oz says:

    1 Human Rights Watch seems to think that as the only moral upstanding self appointed body, they should set the agenda for just about every nation on the planet.

    And so have been & are and will be ignored. Which is a good idea as nations have a huge list of other priorities beyond human rights. Human Rights Watch needs to live in and deal with the real world. Phelim Kine : Tough !

    2 : Following on from this : nations engage with & deal with people other countries that personally they would prefer not to deal with. That’s real politics. So your remark about USA “Generals dealing with Filipino generals” seems a bit inaccurate…

    3: As for using US drones to seek out and destroy ISIS in Marawi, well that battles been going on since late May ..3 months.. A a couple of hundred thousand Marawi people are displaced and without income all this while.
    Solution : kill the ISIS fuckers ASAP.
    How ? Using guided drones that seek out the terrorists and kill them dead.
    Then the Marawi folks can get back to their homes, their businesses and their own lives sooner rather than in a year’s time.

    • 1. Yes. I am contemplating on writing a blog about that because I agree. They have no accountability for the acts they inspire. If the US obsessed over the PH killings and Duterte threw America out and Mindanao became the new center of worldwide terror, who in HRW will step up to say “That is my doing!”

      2. Generals dealing with generals in dealing with the battle is the ideal. Nations deal in politics, true. The US until recently had been pretty good about keeping politics out of national defense acts. Of late, that has changed. But the ideal is the ideal on the field of battle. Let the warmakers make war to the best of their ability.

      3. I think that is exactly the idea, but I’m not sure that President Duterte will accept the engagement, for the reasons outlined in the blog.

  4. NHerrera says:

    Sorry for this insertion early in the blog, but this is a concerning item: now the spitting contest has escalated — Pyongyang is reportedly planning to envelope Guam with four missile hits, 30-40 km around Guam in response to Trump’s “fire and fury” statement.

    Question: assuming the missiles are on the way from the start of launch, with some 15 minutes to spare, what will Washington do? Hit the waters 30-40 km near Pyongyang in a tit for tat? But that is too close to the Dragon’s Lair. (May be the red phone — is there such a one? — to Xi will be used: see now friend, our blank missiles are on the way, but this is just to scare your young neighbor with the missile toy, okay?)

    • Children playing deadly games. Crazy. Lord of the flies.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        N’Herrera, North Korea has survived by devoting it’s resources to the military, thuggery, bluster & rhetoric, for the past 60 years. It has in the process also starved and killed it’s own people in the millions. And now even China and Russia have said “enough”.

        And today it is threatening to attack Guam. I suspect that the USA military has it’s plans to prevent and take down any such attempt.

        I am not worried by such a response. I’d be more worried if the USA did nothing.

        Bullies only stop when they are whipped good & proper.

      • NHerrera says:

        Nice pictures.

        The US satellite sensors and Guam-based sensors and interceptors can “kill” those four missiles from Pyongyang and demonstrate its capability — a demonstration of NK offense and US defense. But I doubt Trump will be satisfied; he may still want to do a tit for tat.

        Also some defense analysts are not too sure of the 100% accuracy-capability of those interceptors if a rain of missiles come, especially if nuclear-tipped. One is enough for tiny Guam. But I am writing here without the credentials.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Credentials don’t matter here, me, even offline, I shoot from the hip.
          Methinks there will be a series of intercepting test scheduled.

          Some Fail.

          How is that from a hip shooter.

          • Agreed, best to not have to shoot nuke missiles from the sky, that should be the ideal. I don’t think the US is relying on these missile defense as first layer of defense, they’re seen more as last layer, but i’m no Air Force guy, i’m just Googling here, NH.

          • NHerrera says:

            Thanks karl. The first link gave the following statistics of Aegis ship mounted SM family of missile interceptors: 35 successful intercepts out of 43 attempts against ballistic missile targets. This is a missile “kill” ratio of 81%.

            • karlgarcia says:

              As long as the 81 percent dead are missiles, ok with me.

            • NHerrera says:

              PH AND GUAM

              I hope when NK miniaturize its nuke to put on top of its missile and go for Guam, its guidance system is not up to par and veer away from Guam, assuming US interceptor does not catch it. But not bad enough for the missile to veer toward PH. (The red dotted mark is Google’s marker for Guam.)

              • NHerrera says:

                My grade-school compass tells me, Guam — so tiny in that map scale, it can’t be seen at the tip of the Google mark — presents a very small target compared to PH. So please guys, don’t monkey around with NK’s cyber system guiding NK’s missiles. I trust US anti-missile interceptor as against a dysfunctional missile guidance due to cyber attack on it.

            • NHerrera says:

              This is my last on this thread.

              China warns the US:

              China’s government says it would remain neutral if North Korea attacks the United States, but warned it would defend its Asian neighbor if the U.S. strikes first and tries to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime, Chinese state media said Friday.

              “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime, and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” reported the Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper controlled by the Communist Party.

              I am slow in the uptake here. So let me paraphrase and add a comment.

              China — Ok, US if NK strikes you first, we remain neutral, meaning US can strike NK back without China’s involvement.

              China — But if US strikes NK first, that will be a different matter; we will be involved and help NK to fight the US.

              The first message suggests to me that the message is addressed to KJU more than it is addressed to the US.

              BECAUSE HERE IS THE THING. If KJU carries out the 4-missile attack to within 30-40 km of Guam waters, who is to say that it is not an attack on Guam, a US territory; and that there is no nuclear or even a conventional warhead in the missiles? Shall the US just wait and find out knowing that their sensors picked up the 4-missile launch and the US has 15 minutes before the missile hits the areas close to Guam?

    • Two narcissistic leaders playing brinkmanship is my guess. As to who will back down and compromise and who will escalate the brinkmanship to mutually assured destruction (MAD), my guess is as good as yours.

      NoKor had said it so many times that it is not going to give up its nuclear capacity because it is the only deterrent it has from foreign invasion. It is willing to stop the testing if US stop the UN sanction, is what I heard last.

      The article below gave some insight on what other reasons NoKor has in being a nuclear state (invading South Korea is one), why China is not putting pressure on NoKor and how the US could diplomatically handle this delicate situation to avoid a MAD scenario.

    • NHerrera says:

      Just an update.

      The sequence so far:
      – KJU makes escalated threats on striking not only US territories but the mainland
      – Trump makes “fire and fury” threat on NK
      – Pyongyang counters with plan to shoot 4 missiles — blanks or not — to within 30-40 km of Guam’s waters
      – Trump counters with the LATEST

      And the latest made today, August 11 (dateline Manila) from Trump:

      “Let’s see what he does with Guam,” Trump said in apparent reference to Kim Jong Un. “He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before.”

      “You’ll see, you’ll see. And he’ll see.”

      A Game of Chicken. Let us see who swerves.

      • NH, see karl’s WWII facebook feed below, hilarious. I’d love to see one, in real time , with this N. Korea stuff. That’d be awesome. I hope the meme gods deliver.

        • NHerrera says:

          Yes, saw it and commented — “White Hot!”

          The sequence of dialogues, including those still to come will be memorialized — unless we are all vaporized with all the media records including those from your phone/ tablet/ laptop/ desktop (I am dated, nobody uses the word “desktop” anymore).

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Here are fire and fury swapped.


  5. “I have always thought this should have been done immediately once it was determined that foreign entities had, in effect, attacked the Philippine mainland.”

    During the Cold War the US helped the Philippines fight the NPA and communist elements in the country, while the Muslim irredentist problem was considered domestic, then after we left, Cold War over, we considered the NPA a domestic issue; fast forward post-9/11 now Muslim irredentist groups are our problem too (int’l), while NPA your problem (domestic).

    Foreign entities are always great justification to join in the fun, Joe (the US has a track record of this). But where do we draw the line now, mission creep and all that good stuff, ex. Presidential Security Group got ambushed in Mindanao just a couple of weeks ago, not by Muslim groups but by the NPA— do we send drones their way as well?

    But my bigger point all along here, and this is since our epic morality, amorality and immorality debates here re use of violence, is that Joe, et al. cry injustice with EJKs , but turn around and celebrate full on military operations? What gives? The body count of these EJKs will remain in the low thousands at best , you expand military ops (especially when we are involved) and that body count will be in the tens of thousands easily, not counting life altering injuries and refugees .

    My arguments when it comes to use of violence has always rested on results. And you’re familiar with my bias against the use of drones already, Joe… granted the fact that drones are there, means also other assets are in play. But keep in mind that our track record in this almost 2 decades long war against Muslim terrorism is pretty bad, we tend to over-react, depending too much on tech, when the fight is peer-to-peer.

    Though I think we’ve come a long way militarily in this type of warfare, where I’m sure the AFP will be taking lead, the US as supporting role only.

    My point here was just to highlight the irony of wanting to draw down EJKs (with all the arguments based on principle and all that good stuff), but turn around and wish for expansion of military ops (as if that’s a more honorable use of violence) , which will no doubt kill more people. Violence is violence no matter what (for good, for bad, it’s all same-same to me, Joe) , the calculus should always be in mitigating its effects.

    • NHerrera says:

      Oh oh, Lance has just stoked the fire — an item for debate. I am not participating; I will just come back to read. 🙂

    • I think the mission creep does not occur if the US makes itself available to the PH AFP as a resource. The Philippines decides. On domestic matters (NPA), the US has no legal agreement under which to be involved.

      The cost benefit calculation of deadly violence, I agree, is a tough call. Each action needs to be measured against both the tactical and global repercussions. Different people will have different measuring sticks on the results. American Presidents, I believe, think they will be judged on what they do to prevent another massive incident like the World Trade Center attack. You don’t like drones, but I’m guessing President Obama left office and said “Whew!”, “Not on my watch!”.

      • On Marawi, as an afterthought, the AFP has admitted to not having the tools and skills to do urban fighting. They are taking the town back one building at a time, and losses of life are piling up both in the fighting and the evacuation camps. How slow is okay, versus, okay, pop a few pinpointed drones and end it now. There are dead either way. There is no assurance the calculation will be right. It is the same debate America had before dropping atom bombs on Japan, but a smaller scale. My view is to support the poor son-of-a-bitch who has the authority and courage to make the call.

        • My guess is it would be Defense Secretary Lorenzana, for Marawi.

        • I’ll just comment on “one building at a time” here (and i see karl’s taken the EJK vs. AFP issue below), since we basically agree that this balance is tough , Joe. In 2004, we experienced something similar, that lessons learned during house to house fighting in urban areas was back in WWII, and we’ve since forgotten.

          We had to re-learn quickly, mostly taking from modern SWAT type tactics, which is still pretty lethal.

          Now these days our house to house game is up, even for non-combat units. The drones may save lives on our side, but eyes on, the dirty messy house to house is still pretty less lethal in comparison—- as to your a-bomb comparison, remember we were in a WWI type stalemate in Okinawa for a good several months, before the decision to drop a-bombs were finally considered (my point, you don’t go nuke without giving the guys on the ground a go first).

          So what do you do with all this new found expertise on house to house combat? Simple. Teach Filipinos , let them do house to house , yes sure it’ll always be far easier to say let our tech or drones assume the threats. But the danger in making it easy to kill is that more will die unnecessarily, that’s always been the pattern than not, Joe.

          The irredentist component of the Muslims need to be considered above all else. That there are social issues at play generating all this push against the central gov’t. It’s tied at the hip with ISIS (ISIS is just the new team in town, but the irredentist game’s still at play). And that’s exactly what we saw in Af-Pak and Iraq, now Syria and Yemen, the more impersonal you go with this use of violence, the more terrorists you create, its a positive loop.

          Again because it’s a peer-to-peer fight, less tech should be used. Let me ask you this, knowing a bit about the AFP now , having lived there, Joe, do you think they’ll exercise restraint with these new American toys? or simply let the drones and tech do all the dirty work for them (the underlying force being cowardice)? This was the biggest issue with drones in Af-Pak , joe, we trusted the friendly nationals, and they were essentially using drones to get back at opposing tribes or clans, impersonal from a tech stand point, but very personal for those 3rd worlders wielding said tech.

          • Regarding troops (or conventional arms) before nukes, I think you would get no argument, unless it is from Trump. Certainly in Marawi, the troops have been at it a long time. Those evacuated have been in dire straits for some time.

            Re. US training Filipino troops on house to house, I believe that is going on now, along with drone flying eyes. The two main problems the AFP faces are tunnels and snipers. And the ISIS troops were also using drone flying eyes at one point.

            On the Muslim reaction, I would defer to Vicara’s elaboration on the situation in Mindanao. It is excellent.

            I think the US will give equipment to the Philippine troops once they are confident they are trained and responsible in the use of them. I have high confidence in Defense Secretary Lorenzana, from what I’ve seen as he deftly balances his oath to the Constitution and his duty to his Commanding Officer. Beyond that, I don’t know enough to judge. I for sure don’t like it when upper commanders do the fist salute. I think they are not being respectful of the Constitution, as the fist salute is a sign of obedience and power, not defense or respect.

            • “I think the US will give equipment to the Philippine troops once they are confident they are trained and responsible in the use of them. “

              Maybe the smaller RC type drones, Joe. But the big killer , recon drones are still pretty top secret. I sure we’re not giving those away.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I will bite.

      This Marawi incident told me that:
      In any war be it world war or any protracted war, when the smoke clears and the dust settles,
      All Military can do after flattening a city is to say sorry,it could have been worse.

      We should not say that the lost homes, lives, livelihood can easily be charged to experience and eveything will come to pass and just grin and bear it.

      Would be apples to oranges if you question thr number if deaths in the Drug war.
      First, most deaths are denied by the police, what about thr deaths that they claim responsibility, it still because of collateral damage and self defense.
      Those are my pieves, denying by the police of any responsibility. Another is with this Customs case it s proven that the Chinese or the source will get away and only the small fry will die everyday.

      Will stop here, and wait for your reply, Lance.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Question on drones.
        It is the same killing machine to me as a small blade or small gun, so what is the difference?

        When I asked an airbus rep, why are the military people all over against drones, the French guy said, naturally, they are afraid to lose jobs. Is that your beef?
        (when they were trying to sell drones to our Navy, and they had to ask my dad to be their bridge, and I was just there to observe)

        • For me, karl. It’s like this, you have sin-eaters go out and do the dirty work for society. The sin-eaters have a face, they’ll either return or if dead their loved ones will remember, the sin-eaters (direct or indirectly) remember the sins they eat, thus society…. and that’s very important for society as a whole to remember their sins (no matter how honorable the war),

          These drones (with their pilots in Vegas, or the AI fully automated ones coming soon) will they remember? It’s a very different kinda killing now, karl.

          We had a great discussion on this,

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for that:@ We kill people based on Metadata” video.
            Man how can big data analytics br reliable with disposable sims and phones, how do they know thet the one from the US was talking to a terrorist in Yemen.
            Big data is subjective.

            Re:Different kind of killing .
            It is still killing, same difference.
            If you want to find the one who pulled the trigger, you would also want to find out the one who pushed the button or the joystick and have the same hatred, grief and helplessness burning inside.

            • Drones, as an extension of soldiers on the ground, I tend to have no qualms with. They’re on the ground, their directing this resource and using it according to their mission.

              Drones , as an extension of bureaucrats and 3rd world military or local friendlies, is my issue, karl. That meta data isn’t analyzed by soldiers on the ground (that’s why it’s a different kinda killing); 3rd worlders wielding drones, who are essentially fighting their 3rd world fights using our tech (that’s a different kinda killing).

              When W. Bush used drones it was very specific (ie. people directing strikes), when Obama expanded his use of drones, the whole concept became more democratic, ie. everyone got to do drone strikes.

              Read thru that thread on drones, karl. If you’ve not already, its a pretty good backgrounder on the issue of drones, which i’d rather not re-prosecute here, but it’s relevant.

      • yeah, karl, it’s apples to oranges when we consider PNP vs. AFP, police vs. military use of violence. But the type of violence is still the same, karl, with bullets, or bigger arsenal. The difference is that PNP don’t have tanks or bombs, etc. so by definition police ops (whether legal or extra legal) will have less body count;

        AFP with the use of bigger arsenal and now with American drones, in comparison will assume more casualty, that’s just a given , karl (unless it’s averted, but from the Presidential Security Group ambush, seems more likely to be expanding).

        The denial and cover-ups, in my calculus, doesn’t really come to play. I’m simply comparing police violence and military violence , by virtue of numbers, military deaths tend to go under the radar too, karl (not unlike denial and cover-ups), especially ones completely obliterated by bigger munitions.

        So if you compare violence for violence, if one were against EJK on principle, it just doesn’t add (IMHO) that the same person would be for military ops on principle (the principles don’t add up is my point). This dissonance means you guys are not accounting for deaths, but more the illusion of virtue, ie. deaths from EJKs bad, but deaths from military ops good.

        • karlgarcia says:

          less body count? they already number 8000 and counting.

          • How much so far in Marawi? But I’m projecting expansion of military ops, not just Marawi, karl, if we take into account the recent Presidential Security Group ambush by NPA, mission creep etc.

            8,000 compared to potentially 110,000 . That military ops produce more death is not at issue, IMHO. the question IMHO is why make the difference? If arguing from principle, both police and military killings should be seen as bad, no?

            This difference is what i’m driving at, karl.

            • karlgarcia says:


              700 so far.

              But potentially if they proceed with going after the ASG,BFF in Mindanao and the NPA nationwide, it could reach a few thousand, but I guess they already have their hands full.

              • OK.

                So we’re also in agreement that there is high likelihood of all this expanding across Mindanao.

                With the thumbs up on military ops against ASG, BFF, NPA, et al. the justification is that these individuals are a menace to society as a whole, no?

                But it’s a thumbs down for EJKs? Aren’t drug addicts/dealers also a menace to society, karl?

                Now I understand that there will be collateral victims in both EJK ops and military ops, i’d even go as far as to say that there will be a lot more collaterals with military ops.

              • Drug dealers and addicts are a menace. The problem is the presumption of guilt by unverified accusation, with death the penalty. Police ethics on use of force are gone. It is ugly here, and there is no way to put peacock feathers on this particular duck. Trolls try relentlessly.

              • Drug addicts have not advocated overthrow of the government or ambushed AFP troops on a relief mission. Kindly don’t stretch the argument outside the bounds of reasonable discussion.

              • “Drug addicts have not advocated overthrow of the government or ambushed AFP troops on a relief mission.”

                They are , Joe. Think about it, maybe not explicitly, but the very act implies undermining the state and society. They may have no manifestos, but narco industry in and of itself brings down a nation— look at South and Central America. But again that’s all tangental, again i’m talking about the effects of chaos, if sufferings your battle cry for going against EJKs , why conveniently dump it when expressing support for military action? I’ve not read a sufficient rebuttal yet—- if there’s none to be had, then i’ve done my part highlighting this discrepancy. I’ll stop here,

                unless there’s further. 😉

              • karlgarcia says:

                “I have not read a sufficient rebuttal yet”

                What am I, chopped liver?

              • A Hahahaha! We have the expression at our family dinner table conversations, “What am I, chocolate liver?”

              • karlgarcia says:


              • karl,

                By sufficient, i mean i wanna be stumped, i’ve not been stumped.

                Here let me get deeper in the weeds ,

                1). Communists (we fought them during the Cold War)

                2). Terrorists (recently of the Muslim variety, fighting them now)

                3). Narcos (we’re fighting them now too)


                Cold War, we were there in the Philippines attempting to stop the domino effect. Most of the wars during the Cold War were proxy wars, but still war (ie. people died). We’ve fought these wars over there, as well as in South America, Asia and Africa (also the ME).

                the War on Drugs for us, was too another war, figuratively ie. Nancy Reagan’s Drug War (D.A.R.E to keep kids off drugs, etc.), but literally as well Pres. Reagan’s Drug War, i’m talking here about the latter. people died, not here in the US per se (though much violence occurred), but abroad. Mostly fought in South and Central America.

                War on Terror, Islamic to be precise, very much a war too. Fought in Muslim countries.

                My point here is that i don’t see distinctions here re EJKs (Drug War) and your Terrorist War looming (hopefully it doesn’t expand). The NPA attacking the Presidential Security Group, is icing on the cake as it ties what i’m hammering here up in a neat bow (1 , 2 and 3 all in one country). So i’m asking you guys, where is this distinction, you’ve said denial, Joe’s was overthrow of gov’t, as the difference.

                Again not sufficient distinctions since both too can take place in a 2) or a 1) , 3) being Narcos. Our drug war too , though prosecuted outside the US, there were a bunch of EJKs, karl.

                I make no distinction, karl,

                i’m familiar with current ops in Mexico (Drug War), ops in Iraq/Syria (War on Terror), and in Afghanistan it’s both Drug War and War on Terror being prosecuted. There ‘s technically no more Cold War for us, but NPA , leftist guerillas are still around. If American support is welcomed when it comes to the War on Terror, why not also in the War on Drugs over there, karl (granted there’s no interest for us, but oblige this bit of thought experiment), or your lingering Cold War over there, ie. get the NPA with our munitions too.

                The U.S. has done 1, 2 and 3 , karl. If American support is good for 2, why not for 1 and 3 too? That’s basically my question here , karl. Does that make more sense?


          • “less body count? they already number 8000 and counting.”

            I also wanna add that of that 8,000 it’s not all PNP generated, ie. knock, notice & shoot , there are drug dealers cleaning house, people who have lived in fear of drug addicts/dealers going vigilante, some are just taking advantage of the permissive climate, etc.

            Well, expansion of military ops is exactly that, chaos sets in a region, amidst all the official violence are the regular violence, retributions, getting even, feuds, criminals running amok, etc. etc. So the size of chaos too also comes to play.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Re: Illussion of virtue.That is what I am trying to avoid by saying #livesmatter.

          This is not moral amoral whatever.
          It is the same syndrome everywhere wheter it is in Stockholm, Helsinki or Timbuktu.
          When rebels or group of criminals are killed people cheer or jeer, depending on the familiarity with the group or individual.

          But if you have the information that the one killed was an innocent by stander or a fall guy, you begin to ask questions.

          In short, I beg to differ that people give props to the military for a successful op and just hate EJK for no reason.

          • Innocents also die in military ops, karl. It’s actually more difficult to ask questions in war, since you’ll have less bodies to identify, more bodies also disappear (ie. because of chaos, other unrelated violent crimes are left unabated).

            • karlgarcia says:

              You lost me at less bodies to identify, what about nobody to identify?

              • karlgarcia says:

                nobody will identify

              • Cold War…………………………..good
                War on Terror…………………….good
                Drug War…………………………..bad

                All same-same, karl, for me.

                My issue is how you , Joe, et al. can pick and choose, which to favor and which not to? What are the standards involved in this favoring process, karl?

                “You lost me at less bodies to identify, what about nobody to identify?”

                You can’t favor military ops (with American help) and say with a straight face, “nobody to identify”, karl. All three are wars, people die. What’s the process of favoring one over the other? Therein lies the discrepancy.

              • The Cold War and War on Terror are waged by states within international and/or national laws against people who threaten harm to the state and/or its citizens. The Drug War is waged by the state against innocent (by law) citizens of that state, most of whom are have no money with which to protect themselves or defend themselves in courts. I’m surprised that you persist with this argument. It was over long ago. You are trolling in favor of EJK’s and that is just disgusting.

              • karlgarcia says:

                “Kindly don’t stretch the argument outside the bounds of reasonable discussion.”

              • There is a discrepancy , karl. Whether it’s answered or not, doesn’t really matter, but at the very least recognize there’s one. 😉

              • karlgarcia says:

              • Good point, karl.

                Let’s say around the 70s and 80s, the NPA and the Communists were the main focus, hence American support.

                Fast forward to now, the Communists aren’t the main focus anymore, but they still prove a threat to the Philippines, do Americans help the Philippines out?

                Your consistently inconsistent meme is like the ebb and flows of geopolitics, threats will shift, alliances too, so too priorities.

                Last time we cared about Islamic terrorism as a country (at the national level) was when Jefferson was still in office, post 9/11 Islamic terrorism’s back on the map.

                Same with Drug Wars, i mean your EJKs when compared to what we did in say Colombia or central America, pales in comparison, karl. But go farther back, cocaine was seen as coffee, hence Coca Cola.

                There’s an ebb and flow to all this, karl.

                You choose to favor the use of force here, but not there, that’s also part of this ebb and flow. Cause and effect and all that good stuff, but asking the why’s frees us a bit from all this cause and effect, ebbs and flows. it’s the why’s that matter.

                Why choose the use of force here, but not the other? the why’s are important. As far as constants…

              • karlgarcia says:

              • In this calculus to support use of force against War on Terror , or against the Drug War,

                I would just add that War on Terror, will tend to be confined to Muslim parts (though outside attacks like in Manhattan or London, Cebu and Manila there will happen),

                whereas shabu is less confined geographically, it’s more pervasive, and because of the big money involved will tend to affect the system too, terrorism unless the ideology spreads (ie. Filipinos convert to Islam) is less pervasive, at least as a corrupting element.

                That’s the main factor to consider, a realistic accounting of the threats involved. For me, given both wars’ threat to the nation,

                I would treat Marawi more as a police matter, more precise , more granular (it’s confined to one part, get locals involved per Vicara’s comment); the shabu epidemic would be more a military matter (just as Mexico’s treating this matter), with the assumption that cops are on the take (hence the Federal take over of Mexico’s Drug War).

                Hard to be on the take when it comes to Islamic terror, easier when it comes to drugs. That’s just my personal take, karl. 😉

                But make no mistake both necessitate use of force. Both War on Terror and War on Drugs can be done without American support, since any support by the Americans will only make things worst (see caliphman’s comment).

                Where American support would actually do some dent IMHO though is the Cold War (still going in the Philippines, NPA/Communists) . You don’t want American drones, munitions, tech, karl, the best weapons we have are actually our bright Military Engineers, seabees, civil affairs, builders of infrastructures, they’ll render NPA irrelevant quick, IMHO.

                American support,

              • josephivo says:

                To LCpl X

                “War”? For me the word has 2 meanings: as an intend, declare what you want to fight, and as an effect, the description of a set of battles.

                Cold war. The intend: bad. Why would you want to fight all that have different economic systems? The effect: bad. Although there never was a real war, so much energy was lost on the arms race, so many opportunities of common development lost.

                The war on terror: The intend: good. Terror has no place in this world. This violent ideology as part of Islam and the Koran has no devine reason of existence. The effect: bad. The “colonial” approach, the way Irak was attacked, the non-interference in Syria, the avoidance of addressing the root cause of Salafism and the infallibility of a divine Koran.

                The war on drugs: Intend bad. Drugs are a health problem of addiction and crime problem of illegal trade, guns and armies will not solve either of them. The effect: bad. Countries with drug wars see the drug problem increase, on the demand side and on the supply side. Countries legalizing see some progress.

              • Interesting parsing. I think the question is ridiculous, myself, as if we could categorize any war as good or bad without evaluating the circumstances. US fighting in WWII, good. Fighting in Viet Nam, bad. (By my judgment; other people could have entirely different judgments.)

                And what is a cold war, anyhow? It is political push/pull. The US/North Korea tiff is a cold war, in essence. Until someone shoots there is no basis for determining if it is worthwhile or not. How do you judge whether or not playing political hardball is good or bad? Or dropping A bombs on Japan? The US is generally considered to have won the earlier global cold war when the Soviet Union collapsed. But now it is back with Russia. Who is to say if that is good or bad? Lance? You? Putin? Trump?

                It’s a stupid exercise, a whole set of false premises in search of a debate triumph.

                And the idea that someone could actually judge the PH EJK’s as ‘good’ because they judge World War II as good is about the most ridiculous thing to come across this blog since it was started.

                Violence is bad. Killing, war, all bad. But nations do it because they have stupid leaders in complex situations where their interests clash, and the human capacity for mature judgment and ability to negotiate peacefully are woefully weak.

              • chemrock says:


                I think you are consistently misguided with a vision that the war on drugs here is like in Latin Americas with armed forces vs the drug cartels of people like Escobars and their private armies. The drug war here is PNP with their hired assasins vs small time round the corner pushers in dirty shorts and slippers and small time users who pedal their pedicabs in the day.

              • “I think the question is ridiculous, myself, as if we could categorize any war as good or bad without evaluating the circumstances.”

                You ask why EJKs are so popular there, this is one way of figuring it out, Joe. Not ridiculous at all.

                So lets evaluate the circumstances—- josephivo’s parsing is wonderful, it’s a start. Thanks, josephivo!

                I agree with you, as a baseline here, that all violence is bad. But it’s exactly from this point (that all violence is bad) that i don’t bother making arguments from morality, principles, virtue, unChristian this and unChristian that, and all that fluffy stuff, all violence is bad period.

                But when you guys argue from principles and morality, then somehow argue for another use of violence as principled and moral, even virtuous, then you’ve got a discrepancy, Joe, karl’s consistent inconsistent. So let’s talk results, let’s talk after math (per josephivo), let’s talk actual threat and if it’s proportional with the use of violence (per chemp below).

                my original point was that if you apply your principles here and there, and come up with different answers, then maybe your principles and morals are found wanting, Joe. So i agree that would be ridiculous, your principles would be different from mine (its like saying rainbows are beautiful, and I say no they’re not).

                Hence explore and evaluate the circumstances, without all the principles and morality talk, since we’ve concluded that’s inconsistent, Joe.

                Now this is the meat of the discussion (then i’ll circle back to josephivo’s parsing),


                I think you are consistently misguided with a vision that the war on drugs here is like in Latin Americas with armed forces vs the drug cartels of people like Escobars and their private armies. The drug war here is PNP with their hired assasins vs small time round the corner pushers in dirty shorts and slippers and small time users who pedal their pedicabs in the day.

                This part i’m open to, chemp. I’m not there, hence more on the ground reading (like Vicara’s) i’ll defer to. But EJKs are popular, this at least i know.

                The very first article I wrote here on the ACLU, mentioned the Ecleo case, that was a War on Drugs case, shabu was involved both the product and its profits. A bunch of cops/soldiers affected during the guys arrest. When it finally came time for justice to be served, the Ecleo family/cult , was able to bribe and threaten its way out. By threatening prosecutors and judges, his case was thrown.

                So am I misguided, chemp, because that’s some 1930s stuff (Chicago mafia, etc.). Because of shabu the courts were bought and threatened. Not to mention the Ecleo family has a standing Army, chemp. If that’s not like the Escobars and Mexican cartels, please correct me here.

                Though I concede, Colombia and Mexico were/are on the supply side, whilst the Philippines on the demand side, but the effects in a nation’s economy, court system, local government, etc. is the same , chemp.

              • Frankly, I have no idea what you are talking about or where the conversation is going. It’s like being in the deep dark jungle without a compass.

            • “The Cold War and War on Terror are waged by states within international and/or national laws against people who threaten harm to the state and/or its citizens. “

              Joe, that bit right there reminds of the scene in Godfather, where Michael turns the very essence of the use of violence by state, with “Who’s being naive, Kay?”

              • You asked for the standards and I gave you the ones people use. If they are naive, not much I can do about it. You’ll have to take your supremely well-grounded arguments up with them.

              • The first question asked in the US was, what is the legal basis for first strike on NK.

              • Legalities are actually usually the last questions posed & answered, Joe. First , the higher ups decide on something, in this case NK poses a threat to us, others and itself (in this particular case no need for legal acrobatics really), then they add on the legal justification.

                A better example was when we went in to Iraq 2003, Joe, manufacture the legal justification. But the decision to go in, happened waaaaay back.

              • What is the basis for the “last question posed and answered”? The question about legality was in the headlines the day after Trump’s first threat. Unless you have some inside or authoritative knowledge for that statement, I’d say you are making things up. Iraq was one instance and does not make a rule. It says America sometimes elects disingenuous leaders. Sometimes America elects lunatics. The more prevalent case is that America searches long and hard for legal justification, and is held to task on it by the public and human rights groups, as occurred in the Guantanamo torture cases.

              • Joe,

                You know there’s no actual evidence of those tortures, right? They did, they recorded everything after all.

                But higher ups decided to destroy evidence, and then had their legal counsel, bless it, justifying said action and poooof! no more torture evidence.

                It’s not an aberration, Joe, the whole point of lawyers is to find loop holes, after things are said and done. that’s how it works, joe.

              • The point is not the tortures, but the holding of government to account, which IS the rule in the US.

              • The proof is in the destruction of the torture tapes. The heat got too hot.

              • Youre missing my wider point re tortures , Joe. Yes people made a fuss, but in the end , no prosecutions (precisely because no evidence, no evidence because of legal manueverings). The presidential administration’s arbitrary, it could’ve just as well been Trump right after W. Bush, and thru legal maneuverings, tortures would be deemed a-okay. My point is the malleability of all this legal stuff, to fit an action, but the action (or the decision for said action comes first)— again, i defer you to Michael and Kay’s conversation.

              • Maybe you didn’t state the point clearly. I can easily miss what you don’t state forthrightly. You are into this business of redefining the argument with each posting, so we end up like the dog chasing its tail. You tried to force Karl and me into agreeing with the premise that all violence is either good or bad, and EJKs are to be judged just like the cold war or hot wars. Several people pointed out that this can’t be done. You asked for standards by which they would be judged different, and I outlined them, two being according to laws and one (EJK) against the laws. You said that was naive (ad hominem). (Edgar did a more detailed chart and you demanded more information to satisfy you, yet another diversion.) I illustrated that my argument was not naive by reciting how the US looks for a legal basis for any conflict, and gave an example of Guantanamo. You said Guantanamo is an example that legal rules are avoided, and I made the point that, no, the pressure of the laws caused the destruction of the tapes. You said I missed the point and here say that all the legal stuff is mumbo jumbo.

                Sorry, I disagree. The legal stuff is the tension between competing interests. It is messy, yes. People try to avoid some rules, yes. But the US is a laws based society. The tension between competing interests looks imperfect, but it is actually the perfection that brings the nation back to center line. Your whole line of reasoning to me lacks grounding. To me you are doing u-turns in the round-about in the middle of the deep dark jungle, and without a compass. My view: EJKs are bad, some wars are good, some are bad. People who argue that point are not inconsistent. They are not naive. They are not illogical. They are not wrong. No matter how many ways you try to spin it.

              • Let’s do a little thought experiment, Joe.

                Same one i’m trying to hammer in edgar’s chart below and chempo’s comment above,

                Let’s say the next day, tomorrow, we find out that Maute/ASG were just protecting their shabu racket (much like the Zetas, or Sinaloan, groups in Mexico). the ISIS connection was all for show.

                Same military operations, everything continues. But now it’s part of the Drug War, no more ISIS connection. Would said attacks from the gov’t still be moral or immoral?

                “You tried to force Karl and me into agreeing with the premise that all violence is either good or bad”

                I’ve been on record since early on here that all violence is all bad, Joe. But i’m also a realist, mitigation of violence is my point (i’m consistent here). So don’t try to pull that one over 😉 . As for the confusion, line of questionings, think of the Cave allegory—- i usually make my point.

              • I’d say attacks from the government would be moral, as they are earnest and founded on the best information available to them.

                If your point is to state with authority that all violence is bad, I’d say that is naive. I agree violence is tragic, but the nature of human kind sometimes makes it necessary. Otherwise, we’d all be living under an extension of Hitler’s regime.

                If there is some other point, I don’t know what it is.

              • I also chuckle each time you, our house amoralist, seeks to win an argument by going moral.

              • I would add that that drug operation would be wholly different from the EJK program.

              • “Sorry, I disagree. The legal stuff is the tension between competing interests. It is messy, yes. People try to avoid some rules, yes. But the US is a laws based society. The tension between competing interests looks imperfect, but it is actually the perfection that brings the nation back to center line.”

                As for this part. It’s simply a matter of perspective, Joe, i’m a realist, you’re an idealist. You see these maneuverings as necessary evils leading to some greater good; I just see ’em as maneuverings, same with combat maneuverings, same with arguments, same with fencing, same with boxing… I don’t see an ideal at the end, not necessarily.

                But you’re making this more complicated, I’m simply hammering at this discrepancy , perfectly illustrated by edgar in his beautiful chart, why one use of violence is considered ‘moral’, but the other use of violence considered ‘immoral’.

                if the threat to the nation is equal or more, why the discrepancy— if you notice chempo honed in to my point right away, stick with the point of the thread (don’t bother trying to paint me as this or that, Joe, you always do that 😉 goes nowhere)

              • “I’d say attacks from the government would be moral, as they are earnest and founded on the best information available to them.”

                Perfect, now we are getting somewhere, Joe! Just to be clear, Maute/ASG as Drug Lords (not ISIS or ISIS inspired) being clobbered by DU30 is moral, correct?

              • Yes, clobbered for their method of taking over government facilities, killing people, holding citizens hostage and other violations of law. Force applied would be appropriate to the task.

              • “I would add that that drug operation would be wholly different from the EJK program.”

                Ohh!!! You did a quick take away there, Joe!

              • But let’s continue regardless, why would it be different from EJKs?

                (take some time to answer, mull it over, play around with the why… it’s midnight here now and i gotta go, but you got my point now, right? 😉 where i’m trying to go with this?)

              • Read chemrock’s comment as to what the EJK program is about. Yes, I know where you are trying to go, and you cannot get there because your premise is wrong. Your premise is wrong because you keep denying what people are trying tell you.

              • “Yes, clobbered for their method of taking over government facilities, killing people, holding citizens hostage and other violations of law. Force applied would be appropriate to the task.”

                I think you’re confusing the aftermath with the initial operations, or purpose, Joe. Mautes were on the radar as narco-politicians, as Drug Lords no? Had pressure not come down on them (via DU30) it would’ve been business as usual—- no violent reaction.

                Criminal enterprises, yes, as per edgar’s chart below, focus on the competition (ie. other syndicates) vis-a-vis the gov’t they will tend to be in the background, like parasites they are getting fatter while they leave the host alone—— but as any parasites, the bigger they get , the more they eat, the host becomes threatened.

                Now you and chempo are of the notion that this parallel Narco state (with narco-politicians, drug lords) is a parasite still in its infancy, not an actual threat yet to the nation (a minimal threat at best). In mid-2000 when there, Joe, all prostitutes, all taxi drivers, hangers-on (stand-by’s) i met in the wee hours of the morning were hopped up on shabu.

                it doesn’t take a genius to put 1 and 1 together, and say this is gonna circle back soon, and bite everyone in the arse (as Bill would say).

                Like I said Filipino Muslims i noticed weren’t like Arab or sub-continent Muslims, lack of commitment, etc. Their motivation was irredentist and/or economic, never jihad for jihad’s sake. Maybe you guys are living in too gated a community or too quiet an island, but this Narco issue was bad then, and my bias is rooted in what i had seen there (maybe misguided as chempo said, but i think you guys are misguided as well, so we are at an impasse re optics).

                so let’s focus just on use of violence…

                re chempo’s characterization of EJKs, thats kinda too general.

                There’s the knock and notice type EJK , ie. actual police operations, in which they shoot first (one can argue officer safety). Then there’s the vigilante EJKs, where conveniently police don’t investigate further—- this can be broken up further, one vigilante EJK comes from the drug lords themselves, creating distance for themselves ; the other vigilante type would be from the community (pitchfork and torches time) against known drug dealers/addicts/lords.

                Then the EJKs that’s unrelated, ie. collateral and vendetta type killings taking advantage of the killing season. This i think is less, in comparison to actual narco related deaths (you guys can argue no, but in the end we’ll never know, but that’s my hunch, knowing humans don’t really go around killing for no reason).

                Now if we focus on the first types of EJKs. it is very similar to the military ops happening in Marawi no? There you’ll also have collateral deaths and violent crimes (unrelated to the military operations),

                my point is that society’s reacting to this parasite (hence, the popularity, which means it is past the point of no return, re parallel narco economy). Now focus squarely on the EJKs that’s narco related, then compare that to what’s happening with Maute/ASG, it’s same-same no? legalities, non-legalities, notwithstanding, its the state (and its people) reacting to the narco parasite,

                parasite will thrash and cut, and bite back, as its being dissected out, hence you’re talking about the after-math here, Joe (but it started with the identification & targeting first). Focus on the narco first, then gauge gov’t, societal reaction thereof—- the thrashing under EJKs will look different (because its one at a time), from the thrashing under military operations (its collective), but it’s all same-same, Joe. 🙂

                Now i’d like to proceed to josephivo’s, as promised.

                “Isn’t the intention of every war to be won? The war being just one step in a long process. What is the chance/feasibility of a lasting peace? Medicalization of addictions? “ and “Countries with drug wars see the drug problem increase, on the demand side and on the supply side. Countries legalizing see some progress.”

                I’m not sure if I disagree with this yet, josephivo (the jury’s still out), but here in California, sometime in the mid-2000s they eased off on imprisoning addicts and small time dealers, and let go them to state sponsored rehab facilities, a shift in public policy,

                of course there were no rehab facilities then (or very few, for profit ones) at the time, so they were housed in halfway houses for drunks, newly paroled out, along with wards of the state (special needs adults). it was a mess. Basically the cops arrested these drug addicts, who’d then go thru the criminal justice system, and they got spat out into the suburbs (in some half-way house), creating more issues there, where the local community gets affected.

                now due to more state funding (fast forward to now) , there are actual bigger facilities now, there are still rehab houses in the suburbs, but now with these bigger state funded buildings (those rehab houses in the suburbs are also state funded, there’s also a corruption embezzlement component to all this as well, but that’s beside the point), these bigger facilities are in business areas, and lo and behold more crimes now in these business areas.

                at least with imprisonment, they were kept away in the middle of the desert somewhere, and i’d argue at a cheaper cost. a more cost effective solution.

                Please convince me where it’s worked , josephivo.

              • NHerrera says:

                A most interesting read, Joe.

                My comment below may be superficial and does not do justice to the scope of the article. But here goes.

                It is a scholarly article. The threatened use of force and its effectiveness — related to the important item of credibility of the threat — in averting war, in the context of the Executive Power as constrained by the Legislative Process are discussed from both sides in its various nuances.

                The scope of the arguments in the article is such that I can see facets of the arguments being used by US, NK, Russia and China in the present setting.

                The credible threat of the use of force in deterring action of opposing force is relatively effective in cases of rationally-minded nations. However, cases such as non-state groups, e.g. ISIS, may be considered non-deterrable, and so instead of threatened use of force, more effective may be the alternative of pre-emptive strike. I do not know if NK comes under the category of non-deterrable.

              • Thanks for that snapshot of the “thick” article. I submit it as evidence that the US does soul-search the legal foundations of her military acts. Educational institutions play a key role in developing a national conscience, and they formulate the ideas of ‘critical thinking’ that underpin acts.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Lance, you keep on telling your interlocutors what they should do, you tell them to focus on this focus on that, why on earth would you do that?
                Then on one comment, I see ” That’s the answer I am looking for”, if that is your attitude no one would like to answer your questions, be thankful people still bother.

              • More and more don’t. I participate when the dialogue may be of interest to other readers, but the battle of wits is tedious and the opposite of wholesome and earnest mutual discovery.

              • “Lance, you keep on telling your interlocutors what they should do, you tell them to focus on this focus on that, why on earth would you do that?
                Then on one comment, I see ” That’s the answer I am looking for”, if that is your attitude no one would like to answer your questions, be thankful people still bother.”


                I tossed out an idea related to Joe’s blog re the discrepancy of supporting Marawi, but not EJKs and thus started a thread. You , Joe and josephivo (and edgar down below) — oh, and NH too! — were interested in the discussion. But me being the guy that introduced the topic, i kinda feel like I’m the driver of the discussion, thus navigating people thru.

                So when i say focus on this, not that, i ‘m attempting to drive the discussion to either some predetermined place, or someplace close, i had in mind. Sometimes we get there, sometimes we don’t… in this case though, in this thread we definitely got there IMHO, plus some joyriding to boot, LOL.

                i think we were able to squeeze as much of this EJK/Marawi discrepancy as humanly possible. I’m happy with the discussion, to me it was productive.

                I don’t force anyone to comment, when no one comments back on my post i never complaint (it’s a free country, people have priorities), if people feel it is as interesting as i do, then we talk, it is that simple, karl. if not, that’s okay too. But with this particular thread, i can say with pride it was productive. And that’s good enough for me, karl.

                Now i’m reading Joe’s link to “the Power to Threaten War” (thanks, Joe!), i feel blessed. all this knowledge like manna from heaven, karl. 😉

                No hard feelings, karl. My questions are usually pointed, if you don’t feel any pain, then i’d simply be engaging in group think (‘let’s all agree, all the friggin’ time!’ no that’s never been my style , karl)

                (oh, by the way, congratz on this consultant gig with the Senator, if i can help answer some questions , don’t hesitate to ask , karl , i’ll be your 10th man, )

  6. Vicara says:

    Although the common perception is that all Mindanao Muslims would automatically be against the use of drones against the ISIS fighters, the probability is that views in the region on this issue vary.

    There are the decent, idealistic people who oppose the taking of life by the state per se–any state, whether their own or in cooperation with an ally–who have seen the negative news reports on the use of drones, and are in touch through social media with others, abroad or in the Philippines, who oppose the use of drones. The fact that U.S.-backed drone bombing campaigns are taking place in predominantly Muslim areas across the world, and may now take place in the Philippines as well, will of course trigger a particularly strong visceral response among Moros.

    Other young Mindanaoans are not against killing in armed combat. The region has a warrior tradition, after all, and there is a thriving gun culture–as well as illicit collections of weapons that have been handed down over generations and expanded with the help of smuggling. These young people have grown up with sporadic outbreaks of gun violence (because of rido, criminal gangs, earlier conflicts between the AFP and separatist groups) taking place around them.. They sympathize with Islamic jihad taking place in the Middle East, although the extremism of their views–and their readiness to support groups like ISIS–seems to vary. As is often the case with the young, their ideological views are fluid and fast-changing. Drone attacks may provoke them to take up arms and actively engage in extremist asymmetrical combat against the state.

    There are other Mindanao Muslims whose lives have been disrupted, not just by the war in Marawi but also by decades of intermittent armed conflict, which they simply want to END. These are local business people, householders, traders, office workers and farmers whose livelihood and quiet, regular lives have been upset by the evacuations, bombings, checkpoints and outbreaks of shooting. They want a peaceful existence in which they can practice their faith in peace, free of the taint of extremism (although they are aware of, and naturally fear, growing anti-Muslim prejudice worldwide). They want their communities to be tranquil and prosperous. They oppose or distrust Islamic extremism, especially because it will disrupt their clans, their traditions, and the local balance of power and the economy.

    If drone attacks do bring a definitive halt to the violence, if the attacks are seen to be limited to small, specific areas and succeed in limiting their bombing casualties to known extremists (whether foreign or local) as well as to known criminal gang leaders, then many of these Moros would likely be OK with it, although they may not ever say so–partly because of strong reservations regarding drone attacks in general and military assistance by the U.S., and because it would be politically incorrect for Muslims sympathizing with their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world to voice any approbation. In that respect, they will close ranks with fellow Muslims. But they will be quietly supportive of the drone attacks IF these are perceived to have accomplished their stated mission with the least collateral damage.

    There is also another group: a number of Moro leaders–clan and tribal elders and elected officials, as well as professionals and academics–who have noted with growing alarm the fast increase of criminal gang activity in their provinces and cities with multi-country links, along with infiltration by highly trained, networked extremist groups engaged in global jihad, most recently ISIS. They understand from their wider perspective that security conditions in Marawi, which had long been a hub for criminal activity in central Mindanao, were untenable. The mix of criminality and the quick rise in extremism had become explosive. They fear that other Moro communities could become urban warfare zones like Marawi and produce radiating effects that would embroil Mindanao in a more deadly cycle of war–and in ASEAN regional extremist conflict as well. Now they will be weighing the cost of using drone strikes and the involvement of the U.S. (or any foreign power) against the cost of NOT using drones, with a prolonged period of ground fighting to follow, and probably even more casualties.

    A number of these Mindanao leaders will conclude: Yes, it has to be done.

    But will they publicly say so, and why?

    • Wow, thanks, Vicara. Most eloquent and enlightening. A “must read” for the decision-makers, I think. They would have to provide the words that would moderate a negative reaction to drone strikes, if they decided on drone strikes.

      • “although they may not ever say so–partly because of strong reservations regarding drone attacks in general and military assistance by the U.S., and because it would be politically incorrect for Muslims sympathizing with their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world to voice any approbation. “

        As for this, at least for Tausugs and those Muslims in Sulu, they were generally very pro-American, and from what understand that’s been the case since the early 1900s. Maranaos too i think would have no qualms with American assistance, since for Moros in Mindanao proper doing pretty well, Manila is the bigger Devil. Maguindanaos though I think would be very anti-American. But I defer to your readings of Moros on this, Vicara, just my 2 cents from experience.

    • “If drone attacks do bring a definitive halt to the violence, if the attacks are seen to be limited to small, specific areas and succeed in limiting their bombing casualties to known extremists (whether foreign or local) as well as to known criminal gang leaders, then many of these Moros would likely be OK with it.”

      Vicara, great insight into Mindanao as always!

      Just the above i’ll push-back on, where in the Muslim world do they think drones are OK? Use of violence I’ll agree with you, Muslims tend to be more understanding when it comes to violence (i think it’s because of the rules of engagement laid out early on by Mohammed and the Qur’an and jurisprudence open to the use of violence as justice).

      But drones are seen differently (one which I tend to agree with), as cowardly and impersonal use of violence as well as imprecise (this we’ll never know accurately ).

      • Vicara says:

        Thank you LCpl_X (@LCpl_X) and Joe. I’m not familiar with the wider Muslim world enough to comment on that, and my earlier take on the Mindanao situation was to try to see things from the ground level and local realpolitik. Many parts of Mindanao for many years have experienced growing prosperity and stability. But it’s also one landmass in which violence can spread quickly, and always at the back of people’s minds is the fear that everything will boil over into instability and violence at any time.

        It took me a while to appreciate how this mindset works its way into local decision-making. Many years ago, before drone technology was developed, I was shocked when a Moro remarked to me that he was OK with “surgical” bombing strikes by the military against a group of Abu Sayyaf, so long as what he considered the bad guys (armed outsiders allied with an extremist movement seen as a threat to his community) were decisively dealt with. He seemed to value these strikes for their accuracy and efficiency (no gunfights in which local people would be killed or injured), even though the strikes took place right in his locality.

        But the development and drones of use since then have shown what COULD go wrong. And yes, the asymmetry is seen as unfair and frightening because how could one defend oneself against this and against its misuse. What are the safeguards? And yes, Moros have a tradition of rules of engagement, both through Islamic teaching and in traditional rido. Perception is important. Formal and informal acknowledgment of the risks and radiating effects. Also, do they see this as commensurate justice for what they see as the evil of war perpetrated in their community by extremists? Are they prepared for collateral damage? My sense is there is a lot of discussion on this going on in the region. As Joe says, decision-makers have to provide the right words. And it would be best for Moros who support their decisions (despite reservations) to express that support.

        • “how could one defend oneself against this and against its misuse. What are the safeguards?”

          Well, i guess there’s a hold, awaiting some sort of ‘covenant’ (per Joe’s link shared). If used militarily, i think you’d have more safeguards , ie. ROEs, after actions, damage reports, etc. etc. If done by AFP (or local friendlies, as what happened in Af-Pak, Yemen, Iraq) or by American bureaucrats oceans away, then a lot less, safeguards.

          Here’s a good video re use of drones, Vicara:

  7. The United States are in a strategically good position there, having noticed that Duterte needs them after all, that China is more than reluctant to commit anything on the ground to Mindanao.

    After all, Duterte is a Mindanaoan ruler with mainly Mindanao-centric goals.

    The US wants to keep a foothold in the Philippines. China wants to keep the islands it occupies and doesn’t want the US too close to them. This is a tantalizing game, akin to the Cold War but not that close and with missile provocations as part of the game – and the Philippines is smack in the middle.

    Germany knew when to affirm its Western alliance (Adenauer), when to go for a pragmaticlive and let live with the other side (Brandt) but WITHOUT giving up US backing or open territorial claims, and finally when to deal with everybody, trading territorial claims for unity and Russia leaving (Kohl).

    Duterte is a fox for sure, but his perspective is that of a warlord, not a statesman. And I doubt he really wants to secure much of a future for the entire Philippines. It is all about Mindanao, probably, Mindanao under Davao of course. So I doubt the Philippines will play its cards well. May I be wrong?

    • It is a fascinating dance. Haha, the idea of AFP working with Chinese generals is quite amusing.

    • NHerrera says:

      I appreciate the take. It puts in a nutshell the geopolitical situation of the US and China in the context of the PH.

      I may add that the US — aside from your note of wanting to maintain its foothold in the PH — is quick to show its genuine and continuing concern and actual help on the Marawi terrorism. This is partly because the US wants to reduce the intensity and spread of this terrorism virus which comes back to the US in somehow, being number one in in the fight against terrorism.

      China on the other hand is happy with the PH “pivot” and what it has gained so far from the Administration. It is not inclined to dirty its hands with this terrorism conundrum except perhaps to sell arms — something that rates a low priority and does not affect them in the context of world terrorism, helped a lot with its authoritarian rule. It has always issued benign or pro-forma statements against terrorism, careful to maintain the cultivation of Muslim countries, especially now with its great OBOR project. “We are happy enough with grabbing ‘assets’ ala GO board game.” (A game by the way which takes a lot of patience; in the old days a game can last more than a day, with recess.)

  8. Sup says:

    The header mentions work..

    I did just see an add…Wanted, Senators……


  9. Micha says:


    It is doubtful that Trump’s “fire and fury” bluster did in fact originally came from him as many in the media suggest. He could have very well picked it up from one or two hawkish generals after a Pentagon briefing. Because of his failure to deliver on a number of policy agenda he promised during the campaign he is now effectively a useless president, a clown king unable to govern. The generals own him now. He stays in office only with their acquiescence. Them and their plutocratic friends.

    Nonetheless, when a narcissistic blockhead has his fingers on the nuclear launch code of the most militarily powerful country in the world, humans – in a pit of utter depravity and stupidity by its leaders – may well succeed in blowing itself up..


    Not if the madmen actually delivers.

    • Hi, Micha. It is the era of generals, it seems, as they move into power positions in both the US and Philippines, and the respective presidents, ignorant of anything about organized warfare, listen to them and do their speeches and photo ops, plastic kings with one thing on their minds. Securing their rule and power. The dukes in the Philippines have bought in, those in the US, not entirely.

  10. Edgar Lores says:

    1, The breakdown of the death toll per Karl’s link is:

    o Terrorists – 528 (76%)
    o Military – 122 (17.5%)
    o Civilian – 45 (6.5 %)

    for a total of 695 casualties.

    2. The terrorists count is a far cry from the original estimate of 50 rebels by a factor of 10. Military intelligence has been caught sleeping.

    3. Military intelligence has also been abysmal in the estimates of how long it would take to end the war. I recall the original deadline was Friday, June 2. Then it was stretched to Independence Day, June 12. Now, 80 days have passed. Close to 3 months.

    4. The ratio of AFP deaths to Terrorists’ deaths is 1:4.3. One AFP death for every 4.3 rebel death.

    5. The civilian toll is relatively low for a war zone. In most wars, the civilian toll is generally higher than the combatant toll. In a way, this low civilian casualty count can be attributed to the careful military strategy of “go slow” — which, in another way, is a strategy dictated by the rebel snipers.

    6. The decision to use drones involves many factors. Among others the lives of hostages, the lives of soldiers, time, and the degree of destruction. At this late stage, and mindful of Vicara’s input — and pragmatic hedging — I would say it would be wiser NOT to escalate to a higher technology. Not for moral reasons. I am not sure there is a clear-cut reason either way, but then I have not thought about the matter deeply.

    6.1. I am also of the opinion that the Marawi crisis and the drug war are not analogous, mainly because, as JoeAm has argued, one cannot classify drug personalities as violent combatants seeking to grab and control a portion of the republic.

    7. I gather the area controlled by the rebels has been reduced to a square kilometer, so if I were in command I would continue to pursue the slow-but-sure strategy.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Ah, good.

        • “We appreciate Pentagon’s reported desire to help the Philippines in the fight against Daesh-inspired Maute Group because terrorism is a global menace that the community of nations must unite to fight against,” he added. “However, such proposition, if any, has to undergo a process. And a covenant must be had between the commanders in chief of both nations before that option may be adopted.” (from the article)

          I think it’s more contingent on what transpires on the ground, if more AFP dead, then more drones. But i think that “covenant” is based on the various issues we’ve encountered with these drone wars, so good on them to hold off, IMHO, Joe.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      EDgar, the low civilian death count is a result of almost all the population fleeing in the first days of the conflict back in May. And that is good also as it indicates a very low level of support for the ISIS terrorists among Marawi residents. ( By way of contrast almost all the people living in Mosul in Iraq stayed when ISIS took over in 2014. There was such a low level of support for the Shia majority Iraqi government by Sunnis Muslims of Northern Iraq ).

      But the months have passed. The interests of people of Marawi who are now refugees with no homes or incomes and their businesses wrecked , now need to come first. And frankly that means expeditiously, quickly, killing the ISIS gang holed up in the center of the town.
      The ‘Slow & sure’ policy puts them last. And that is a joke. And there are no votes for Dutters in such a policy either

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Bill, I guess it’s true that the interests of the evacuated residents are paramount. So bombs away to hasten their return? It would sure save soldiers’ lives, but what about the hostages (if there are any left)?

        The slow-but-sure strategy is the strategy in place. Note that reconstruction plans are afoot. Julie Bishop has pledged $20M over 4 years.

        If we are talking X number of days to finish the war, what is the maximum X that is tolerable and acceptable by the military, the affected citizens, and the nation? 90 days (that’s 10 days from now)? 100 days? 120 days?

        What is your X? What is the military’s? It’s a hard call putting a numerical value. The war could end tomorrow, Friday, for all we know.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          As each day passes with slow & steady, the civilians of Marawi become more angry and disillusioned with the mlitary and the government. Lose them and they will go to the terrorists instead.

          So yes bombs away, destroy them., And thus ensure that the all know that direct action will be taken fast and effectively.

          • I tend to agree with edgar, here Bill.

            The operating word here should be precision . if you go balls out, here and now, how would that affect your ability to be precise? The cat’s out of the bag, Bill, i’m sure they are not confined to Marawi any longer. Proportionality of response is key, if bombs away the AFP will look weaker, not stronger, per Vicara’s calculus, will affect other flare ups in Mindanao.

            But you bring out a good point about optics here in which all civilians are out, because my issue with the death toll, and the civilian , military and terrorist categorization , is that maybe there is more civilians in that terrorist category.

    • Ah , welcome back, edgar! 😉

      “5. The civilian toll is relatively low for a war zone. In most wars, the civilian toll is generally higher than the combatant toll. In a way, this low civilian casualty count can be attributed to the careful military strategy of “go slow” — which, in another way, is a strategy dictated by the rebel snipers.”

      I agree. But let me place a wrench on this take (though—for now— with 700 or so, I think the “civilian” designation is pretty accurate; “military” label tend to always be accurate too) , but once military ops expand, chaos ensues, the ability to count diminishes, like i’ve said just the bigger munitions alone will cause bodies to disappear completely (difficult to identify), also they’re still finding mass graves , not as massive as the ones already found, in the Balkans.

      But here & now, the “terrorist” number i am dubious about, edgar. Who is a terrorist, this is the biggest obstacle for us in the past almost 2 decades. If some artillery, mortar, bomb lands in a small house or tunnel, are they automatically labeling those dead as “terrorists”? I think if there was some digging/investigative i gotta feeling you’d be subtracting from the “terrorist” column, and adding to “civilian”, that’s just my hunch. But please consider it.

      “6.1. I am also of the opinion that the Marawi crisis and the drug war are not analogous, mainly because, as JoeAm has argued, one cannot classify drug personalities as violent combatants seeking to grab and control a portion of the republic.”

      Think about it, maybe not explicitly, but the very act implies undermining the state and society. They may have no manifestos, but narco industry in and of itself brings down a nation — look at South and Central America. But again that’s all tangental, again i’m talking about the effects of chaos, if sufferings your battle cry for going against EJKs , why conveniently dump it when expressing support for military action? I’ve not read a sufficient rebuttal yet. (copy pasted from above, in response to Joe)

      But can you add more on this discrepancy , re support for military ops but against EJKs, edgar? thanks.

    • caliphman says:

      Just a couple comments.

      There have been news reports that ISIS including their Marawi incarnations have been using IDDs or Improvised drone devices with gopro cameras and grenades in Iraq, Syria and Mindanao. I doubt it makes any sense to use Predator drones controlled from continents away to surveille or shoot Hellfire missIles at house to house combatants in Marawi. I suggest instead the US involvement in offering done weaponry to assist the AFP involve sending gift certificates to Costco or Amazon for hobbyist packages.

      Seems to me the US concept of winning tactical battles is to apply tons or ordinance and the latest technology to wipe out friends, foe, and any civilians in the vicinity.

      There was a WW II saying, when the Germans bomb, the Brit’s duck. When the Britt bomb, the Brits duck. When the Americans bomb, everyone ducks.

      • LOL!

        ABSOLUTELY agree with you here , caliphman. You don’t want Americans involved, we tend to make a mess of things.

        RC planes, helicopters, those quadcopter, you can outfit things with RC alone, no need to go digital. The learning curve though is pretty steep…

        So look into these VR, first person view controls,

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Hey Caliphman, I’ve never heard that ‘saying’ ever before And WW2 is an area of interest & study for me. So I suggest it’s BS invented recently.

        • karlgarcia says:

          In this age of memes, who cares who said it first.
          -read it here first.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Karl, the question is whether it is accurate or just a recently invented porkie. I am not in favor of recently invented porkies masquerading as the truth.

          • You are hot today, Karl!!!

            • karlgarcia says:


              • Bill In Oz says:

                Karl here are some ofthe casualiies of Casualties of World War 2 :
                The Jews : around 6 million almost all non combatants executed in death camps
                Russians : around 12 million; many in the Red Army but also millions of civilians
                Poles ( separate from Jews ) around a million; including 30,000 Polish military officers POW’s executed by the Soviets at Katyn.
                British & British Empire : around 600,000. ( Australian military killed were 70,000 )
                Chinese : many millions. In the “Nanjing Incident” alone around 200,000 Chinese died in the course of 2 months of executions by Japanese troops of anybody they could find. The animosity that exists between China & Japan has it’s source in this time.
                The Philippines : I will not give a number. You can probably tell me more accurately. But if you do, pleas einclude the casualties of the Battle for Manila

                And then there were the millions of German, Japanese & Italian deaths. But they were arrogant fuckwitted agressers. So I will not bother to include them here to save space.

                But all in all it was no joke.m And Facebook ? It’s not worth the reading Karl.

              • karlgarcia says:

                There are painful lessons in history Bill and that is well understood.
                I just had a discussion about deaths here with Lance so everything is being considered.
                It is your decision to dismiss Social media. I am not an active user, but it is part of of my daily life now, so to each his own there.
                And jokes are not always meant to mock memories.

      • caliphman says:

        Sorry disregard that rather garbled post…the hazards of using a smartphone in the middle of business meetings to sneak a comment on TSH.

      • Zen says:

        Heard a British saying ‘ The Americans do things right as a last resort’. I think it was in the context of them joining in the WW2 fight against the Germans rather sluggishly. ‘The war that will end all wars’ was rather a naive saying in hindsight bearing in mind what’s happening in the world today.

  11. Micha says:

    Robert Mueller, a Vietnam war veteran and former FBI director is investigating Trump. The American security/military apparatchiks have this bonehead president in their cage.

    Putin gambled that he could manipulate Trump but US generals, steeped in cold war chess game have outsmarted him, so take that Vladimir, here’s another sanction for you, signed and delivered by your friend in the White House.

    • Micha says:

      Sorry, this was supposed to be in response to JoeAm’s comment above.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      John Kelly is the de facto president of U.S.A. John Kelly ordered Donald Trump to run his tweets by him before he hit the submit button.

      There is already a silent coup in the U.S. Trump’s fire and fury were allowed by Chief-of-Staff Kelly because the military establishment wanted North Korea repealed and replaced not by tweeter storm but by radiation storm.

  12. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: the love affair with fried chicken will be facing a grave threat.

    • popoy says:

      Noong kupong-kupong 1955 marami seguro, maski ako nagtataka sa Gate ng Department of Animal Husbandry sa UP Los Banos, pasukan ng mga tao laging may basa sakong tapakan ng mga tao. Mga sasakyan naman lulusong sa mababaw at mababasa ang gulong. Yun pala disinfectant sa pumapasok at lumalabas ng compound ng animal husbandry na kung saan pinagaaralan ang kurso sa cattle, swine at poultry husbandrys Panahon namin hindi pa kumakalat yang mga sakit na dala ng domesticated animals.

      Pati yang mga foot and mouth disease ng mga politician nagsisimula pa lang.

      Dapat segurong ipaliwanag na mabuti KUNG BAKIT ng Office of Typhoons, Earthquakes and Vulcanoes Oy yung mga lugar na nililindol na ngayon, sinu-sino ang mga kilalang politician diyan? Not that I am insinuating something that is part of political history.

  13. popoy says:

    Late comments resulting from napping in the noodle house resulting from “fast and furious” mastication of issues in TSOH. Attempt at translation: Nahuling komento kasi natutulog sa pancitan at dahil din sa bilis ng talakayan at pagpapalit ng isyu dito sa TSOH (Lipunan ng Dangal):

    Comment—In the public service, irrevocable resignation is caused and is demanded and required by PRINCIPLES and not by the eche bucheche of excuses like serving at the pleasure of the President, sue me in court, my conscience is clear, etcetera. Principles is the ESSENCE and ARMOUR of honor. Also in the public service unlike Shakespeare’s Julius, Caesar and his wife MUST BE BOTH above suspicion of –for example– thievery and adultery. Mere suspicion is enough cause and justification to invoke principles dictating irrevocable resignation. It might be difficult to follow but like an eleventh commandment for human beings, it is adult good manners and right conduct for life in the public service.

    • popoy says:

      So? So what about the PNP Director’s advice to local government officials tainted with illegal drugs to resign (to save their lives)? Will their irrevocable resignation be a matter of principles? May be yes, may be No. The eche bucheches will separate the chaff from the grain when hundreds of local government officials submit their irrevocable resignation which is like dreaming in the noodle house.

      Sorry kung napalayo sa usapan dito sa GIYERA ng para bang dalawang bansang nagduduruan lang. Pero alam ko ang mga Kanong presidenteng merong dalawang itlog: Si Reagan binomba si Khadappy, si Bush na Tatay dahil sa Kuwait binomba si Saddam, si Bush na anak tinapos ang sinimulan ng kanyang tatay. Sino-sino ba ang mga presidente ng estados unidos matitinik na naging dahilan kung bakit USA naging number one (dahil sa giyera?). Sino naman ang nagpahina dahil sa bocadura at eche bucheche?

      • popoy says:

        Kung magkakaroon ng giyerang ng planeta ang kalaban ng demokrasya ay isang dambuhalang may dalawang malaking ulo at isang isang maliit na ulo sa dibdib. Pagpinugot ng Merika and maliit na ulo, magdurugo ng hemorrhage at tuliro ang dalawang ulo ng dambuhala na dahil sa lakas ng bulto ay maging isa na lang unano. Sa dami ng
        hiwahiwalay na ulo ng demokrasya sa anuman giyera mahirap matalo.

        Isinatula (proactive lie)
        ng cargiver ko

        Kung magkakaroon ng giyera
        Dito sa ating planeta
        ang kalaban ng demokrasya
        ay isang dambuhalang
        Siamese twin
        may dalawang malaking ulo
        at isang maliit na ulo
        sa dibdib nito.

        Pagpinugot ng Merika and maliit na ulo,
        magdurugo ng hemorrhage at tuliro
        ang dalawang ulo ng dambuhala
        na dahil sa lakas ng bulto
        ay maging isa na lang unano.

        Sa dami ng hiwahiwalay
        na katawan at ulo
        ang demokrasya sa anuman
        giyera mahirap matalo.

      • popoy says:

        Sometimes just naming names makes a comment very long when all along TSOH Bloggers know the names like world leadership protagonists countries China, Russia and North Korea and the fighting democracies like USA, Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the EC and NATO countries, Countries of the paper tiger ASEAN need better not named.

        On US major war(rior) Presidents names could start with George Washington, J Adams, T Jefferson, J Madison, J Monroe, A Jackson, J KnoxPolk, Abraham Lincoln, W Mckinley, T W Wilson, F D Roosevelt, H Truman, D Eisenhower, J F Kennedy, R Nixon, R Reagan, G H W Bush, W J Clinton, G W Bush, B H Obama. What makes the different from each other could be merely a matter of style: diplomacy made fragrant by political correctness, statesmanship, and fearless leadership.

      • Istambay sa Kanto says:

        “Sino naman ang nagpahina dahil sa bocadura at eche bucheche?”
        Am not sure if you are referring to Mr. Obama or to his political party, para bang sala sa init, sala sa lamig.

    • popoy says:

      On the subject of principles in the early fifties, from Ph Congress a Senator was heard to utter in a debate: What are we in power for? You cannot eat principles. In contemporary times a few members of the same Congress believe the dictum. They and their constituents have honestly believe they CAN NOT really eat principles and so that got them into trouble with the Sanggunnian ng Bayan.

  14. Something about principles…

  15. Edgar Lores says:

    1. This is how I would analyze the difference between the Drug War and the Marawi Crisis.

    2. As previously noted, the two are NOT analogous by most, if not all, of the main criteria. There are no parallels, not in objectives, organization, combat status, innocence, and not even in the use of violence: one is occasional the other systematic.

    P.S. I rejoice that we are not accredited.

    • Right. The next step after accreditation would be to form a church. Heh heh

      Thanks for the chart. I think it is perfect. Every incident has its reason and context. Using one to establish rules or morality for another is like doing u-turns on a round-about.

      • edgar,

        Thanks for that chart, makes everything much clearer,

        Your 8. EJK; EJK; War —- maybe your definition of war is too official, but war is simply the killing of individuals opposed to you (or the state). The state also uses assassination (ie. drones, snipers, ambush, etc. etc.), isn’t EJK of the same stuff?

        But most importantly how about the fact that Maute and ASG, no doubt other Muslim groups involved or sympathetic, are involved in the drug trade? Not so sure about the NPA, ie. ambush on the Presidential Security Group, but safe to assume they too are dabbling in shabu too, no?

        Where would this fact be placed in your chart, edgar? Wouldn’t their complicity in shabu also associate them to the Drug War, edgar? Does this fact re-calibrate, your 10. immoral; immoral; moral ? Why or why not? thanks! 😉

        • Include the Ecleo example i posed to chempo too.

          • karlgarcia says:

            The Ecleo example is a template for goverors controlling provinces.
            But we have places like Misams were a powerful mayor rule in Ozamis, namely Parojinogs who happened to be connected to a powerful crime syndicate.


            Speaking of mayors, he Dutertes are now bring linked to the drug shipment, but since there are a lo of smokescreens and red herrings, that news is being poo pooed as mere gossip.

            Duterte’s convenient excuse whenthe ASG reached bohol is because of our porous shores and long coast lines.

            It has been like that ever since the world began, so what is the excuse?
            Now the drug problem maybe simple, but not easy. 😜

            The Mautes are still not on the Stanford database for Muslim militants.


        • Edgar Lores says:

          Simply add more columns to the chart because the entities do not belong to any of the existing ones:

          o MILF/BIFF
          o NPA

          then analyze according to the given criteria.

          • Too much work, just go with Marawi Rebels (Maute/ASG), pushing (and using) shabu then—- forget MILF/BIFF.

            Does this change your 10.? Why or why not? 😉

            • Edgar Lores says:

              Does drug dealing change the prime objective of the group?

            • Edgar Lores says:

              Does drug dealing change the prime objective?

              • This we don’t know, as that question is more about commitment to the cause—- some see profits and they’ll enjoy here and now, pretty easy to turn Epicurious when with money; others more committed will stay the course.

                But knowing what we know of Filipino culture (Moros are no different), safe to say they’ll throw out the Qur’an for some hanky-panky, edgar. So let’s assume here , it does not change the prime objective, that in fact they become essentially Drug Lords.


            • Essentially, what i’m asking you to do here, edgar, is to super-impose your Marawi Rebels column with your Drug Lords column (the new variable being shabu here 😉 ), I simply wanna know if 10. changes or not— why or why not?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Sorry, do your own analysis.

              • It’s your graph, I’m just adding a variable you missed, edgar—- we’re talking about the actual narco threat to the nation.

                If Marawi Rebels are also Drug Lords, then we come full circle don’t we, that other Drug Lords, once they too amass weapons , wealth and power (like the Ecleos), will too prove a force directly against the state? so your 10. ought to be 10. immoral; moral; moral , no?

                And since demand, creates/necessitates supply , shouldn’t Drug Addicts also be considered a threat to the nation? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

              • Edgar Lores says:

                It is truly said, one may lead a horse to water but one cannot make him drink.

              • Horses have short ears, mules have long ears. My dad got a donkey once, for what reason I never knew. He had a whale of a hard time getting it from the truck to the pasture. Indelibly etched in my brain is the picture of my Mom and Dad tugging mightily on a rope around the donkey’s behind. They tugged and tugged, dad swore, and the donkey sat down.

                Thanks for the memories . . . 🙂

              • Edgar Lores says:

                It remains immoral; immoral; moral.

                The categorization of “immorality” with respect to the “morality of state violence” against drug lords is not against the criminality of their (the drug lord’s) enterprise. It is for the State’s violation of the rule of law.

              • It’s a simple question, given that Marawi Rebels are complicit in the Drug War, essentially the are Drug Lords, does it change the Drug Lords column of 10. from immoral to moral.

                We have the Ecleos and the Mautes. Isn’t there a pattern here of Drug Lords undermining the state, edgar?

              • “It is truly said, one may lead a horse to water but one cannot make him drink.”

                It is truly also said,

              • *******
                It remains immoral; immoral; moral.

                The categorization of “immorality” with respect to the “morality of state violence” against drug lords is not against the criminality of their (the drug lord’s) enterprise. It is for the State’s violation of the rule of law.

                There you go! That’s the answer i’m looking for , edgar.

                But your 10. is conditional to your 1. correct? Your 1. is basically your threat assessment, When you super impose column Marawi Rebels , with column Drug Lords, doesn’t the threat assessment then change, thus permitting more leeway re use of force/violence?

                Your 6. also changes too.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                The conclusion (# 10) is based on all criteria rows not just # 1.

                One cannot superimpose one column over another because the values are different in each row, in particular, the prime objective.

              • Why not, edgar?

                Your 6. under Drug Lords in particular changes from “exercise of violence towards other syndicates” to “against the State” , no? Maute/ASG=Drug Lords, thus violence is “against the State”. Other Drug Lords, ie. Ecleos , have projected violence “against the State”.

                Is there only one way to undermine a State? ie. armed conflict? if say Ecleo was able to bring the criminal justice system to submission, is that not also undermining the state?

    • josephivo says:

      The objective in Marawi is not only to capture the city. It is to establish a caliphate in the east and prepare for the battle against the anti-christ and his helpers Nog and Manog who will escape their imprisonment in Asia at the end of time. It has a religious inspiration compared with simple human ones in the war on drugs. Extremist irrational religious inspired wars are difficult to combat with reason alone, force the only option. Many altenatives exist to fight addiction and criminal gangs.

      In the table I miss an argument on the expected outcome, the “peace” side of the conflicts (the long term objectives of the other parties). Isn’t the intention of every war to be won? The war being just one step in a long process. What is the chance/feasibility of a lasting peace? Medicalization of addictions? War against all other profitable activities of criminal gangs? Fight for enlightenment in the Muslim world?

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Josephivo, thanks.

        1. Totally agree on the ultimate objective of the Marawi Crisis. Totally agree also on the alternatives to fight criminality. Partially agree on the method (i.e., force) to combat religious fundamentalism.

        2. Also, agree on spelling out the expected outcome of the conflicts. From the perspective of the government and society, I would say “law and order” for the drug war, and “peace” for the Marawi Crisis. Or in a word, security. Personal and social security. If not total security, then at least containment of the conflicts.

        2.1. I am not sure if each war — whether against criminality or fundamentalism — can be won. Even if won, there would still be other wars, like those on poverty and ignorance.

        2.2. Individual enlightenment and social cohesion are definitely the ultimate (?) purposes. I am not sure that these, a utopia or a caliphate, can be achieved. Some mischief makers would be bored without conflict.

        2.3. Or that it Is even desirable? It would be the end of history in the Fukuyama sense that humanity’s evolution would have reached its final form of human coexistence.

        2.4. Not to worry, we are far from it. But it sure would be great if Philippine society can attain the present social cohesion of Singapore or Japan.

        • “The objective in Marawi is not only to capture the city. It is to establish a caliphate in the east and prepare for the battle against the anti-christ and his helpers.”

          I just don’t think Filipino Muslims think in these terms, josephivo. Muslim Filipinos are like Catholic Filipinos, they are just not as serious with all the mumbo jumbo . For example, ASG bubbas were known to eat pork all the time.

          I gotta feeling this Maute group is the same, they are aligning with ISIS out of convenience. This BIFF organization though I think would be more open to ISIS thought, you can gauge a true salafi by his action, ie they’re doing shabu, canoodling with local KTV girls, eating pork, drinking, best to assume they’re not really ISIS.

  16. popoy says:

    Sa likod ng mga Balita
    Kahit pekeng giyera-giyerahan
    Ng dalawang bansa
    Meron napapahiya
    Hindi nga lang halata.
    Behind the news
    Albeit a fake of a war
    Between David and Goliath
    It’s not obvious
    For a neighbor
    To pee in one’s pants.

  17. popoy says:

    Beijing warns Pyongyang: You’re on your own if you go after the United States
    The Washington Post
    Simon Denyer, Amanda Erickson
    5 hrs ago
    © Mark Schiefelbein/ AP Photo Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

    BEIJING — China won’t come to North Korea’s aid if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned Friday — but it would intervene if Washington strikes first.

    COMMENT [ but why say it only NOW and not from the beginning of bellicosity ? It’s always been LOCKED and LOADED which means No need to strike first because once (a few seconds then minutes) after the fool of a guy pushes the button he will have blown himself and his people to kingdom come. That should be the LESSON learned when Russia (in Cuba) chose wisely not to put to test Jack Kennedy’s theory into PRACTICE. Trump to say it’s already locked and loaded is being a diplomatic peacenick. Warlords are not verbose sissies. ]

    The Global Times newspaper is not an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, but in this case its editorial probably does reflect government policy, experts said.
    The stern Chinese warning came as government leaders and politicians around the world urged calm after a series of threats and counterthreats by the U.S. and North Korean governments. The brinkmanship has spread jitters and weighed on global financial markets, which were down Friday for a fourth consecutive day.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday called the escalating rhetoric “the wrong answer.” She pledged her country’s support for “any nonmilitary solutions,” telling reporters in Berlin, “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict.”

    COMMENT [The WWII Allied Nations did not think non-military solutions is the solution to Hitler and his Third Reich. Hitler made sure of that first by ACTION and second only by words.]

    Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said there had been an “overwhelming amount” of “belligerent rhetoric” from Washington and Pyongyang. “The side that is stronger and cleverer” will take the first step to defuse tensions, he said.

    COMMENT [Essentially may be, Lavrov’s comes from the spawns of Gorbachev’s Perostroika and Glasnost, Not Stalin’s or Khrushchev’s, nor Marx’s Dialectics.]

    China has repeatedly warned both Washington and Pyongyang not to do anything that raises tensions or causes instability on the Korean Peninsula, and it strongly reiterated that message Friday.
    “The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

    “China hopes that all relevant parties will be cautious in their words and actions, and do things that help to alleviate tensions and enhance mutual trust, rather than walk on the old pathway of taking turns in shows of strength, and upgrading the tensions,” he said.

    COMMENT [That’s China’s people, the Chinese (not the regime?) and its diaspora all over the world may be sincere VIEWPOINT.)

    In an editorial, the Global Times said China should make it clear to both sides that “when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand.”
    “China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” it added. “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

    COMMENT [Is that China’s Regime (not its people) talking ? ]

    On Tuesday, President Trump threatened to respond to further threats from North Korea by unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Pyongyang in turn said it could strike the U.S. territory of Guam in the Western Pacific with ballistic missiles. In his latest salvos in the war of words, Trump said Friday that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” and that North Korea would “truly regret it” if it attacked Guam.

    LAST COMMENT [ USA has long been traipsing the world stage of War and Peace and should now has been predictable to those who snooze not in noodle houses. From the Alamo to Bataan and Iwo Jima and Normandy; to the snowfields of Korea; to the jungles and rivers of Vietnam; to the deserts of Kuwait and Bhagdad to the Mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, US at war is already like copying Hollywood on the brink of being boring. Where movies end at a predicted right moment. ]

  18. popoy says:

    WHILE before
    The hippies and beatniks
    While Now
    Rappers and hip hoppers
    Prefer to make noise and loads of Bread
    While Un and Donald
    Spit venom on each other’s face

    Echoes reverberate the Himalayas
    To the Great Wall of China
    Two sleeping population giants
    India and Pakistan happy and
    Content with nuclear toys
    Just to tickle each other’s underarms
    India and Pakistan
    Like Sokor and Japan
    Are deadly variables conjoined
    With US in any nuclear war.


    • What a defeatist. He hasn’t even tried to cut off the supplies or provide more jobs and counseling. He is sleeping most of the time and the nation is being run by the agencies to the best of their abilities, which I am coming to think is not very great.

      • Sup says:

        The president would have a lots of time if he quit visiting all those 113 year BIR, 116 year PNP anniversaries etc. etc.
        All that wasted time to go to all……It consumes 50% of his working time..
        Better send some lower cabinet members to pin some medals and blah blah blah…
        You can use you time only once….?
        Other nations don’t do that yearly anniversaries….only like 25 year, 50 year and hundred year anniversary..

        My Sunday saving…


        • 🙂

          Ah, we are on the same page. My Sunday Facebook recital from earlier today:

          It strikes me that the best and brightest are doing a lot of duck and cover. Marawi drags on and residents suffer in camps. DSWD is doing self-promos and I have no idea what DILG is doing. The PH betrayed ASEAN and Sec Cayetano is trying to paste a happy face on it. Economic red flags are everywhere and finance people have turned apologist. Traffic is worse and no one cares. HIV epidemic and no one cares. Six billion in drugs and no one was responsible. Bird flu is infecting chickens and we are told to stay calm. The Captain is moving around doing photo shoots between naps and grumpy speeches.

          I wonder when the brainwashed emotionalists will catch on. They are the dunces in this drama of dysfunction.

        • Edgar Lores says:


          What? And miss the annual fiesta? In my time there, people lived for fiestas.

          Have to agree with you. It’s not only time lost but money lost as well.

          One-year and 5-years anniversary celebrations are too often but 25-years and 50-years perhaps too long? I’d go for 10-year celebrations.

          But is there a need to celebrate individual departmental (and sub-departmental) anniversaries at all? I don’t think so. Historically in most cases, they (or their predecessors) were established at the same time; they can be shuffled and reshuffled.

          Government departments are not private corporations that mark milestones in order to assess progress.

          I would propose modest departmental observance of Independence Day (not on the day itself, of course, but a day or two before). At these annual observances, which the President must NOT attend, recognition can be given to employees who have reached modulo-5 year anniversaries. (Top-tier employees who are appointed by a president should NOT be similarly recognized. What for?)

          The President MUST attend the national Independence Day rites.

      • Micha says:

        Hahaha..been pounding on this point the whole time since Dutertard started his drug war. That he now amazingly realize the futility of it after killing more than 3000 should, if he has any shame or dignity at all, be enough reason for him to voluntarily resign.

        If not, the whole country is being imposed upon to tolerate the occupation of the highest office by this shameless piece of shit.

  19. gerverg1885 says:

    Duterte is not a defeatist. He just happened to be a glib talker to people who gets easily impressed by words that made him something of a folk hero.

    He did not try to end the drug war as his son, or maybe the family, is running the business all the time and the promise to end the drug menace was just that, a promise, to divert the attention of the public from the illicit activities.

    Which is proving to be true with that huge shipment of shabu that went out of Customs as if the people there suddenly became blind. Maybe because the vice mayor of Davao city had prior notice to Commissioner Faeldon to just let the cargo pass through without any hitch because the owner is the son of the President of the Philippines.

    There will be many maybes in the coming days and weeks but this issue would surely be riveting.

    • Fascinating. And will be interesting to follow. Yes, defeatist is in corporate terms, not autocrat. He’s not defeatist, agree.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Disclosure: I just recently signed with the office of Senator Trillanes to be one of his consultants to replace my dad.

      If posting news articles involving the senator is unethical just advice me.

      • Congratulations, Karl!

        We can’t become a spokes-blog for the Senator, but I personally would like to know of his activities because I know he is pro-democracy and pro-human rights. Post away . . . people are free not to read.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thanks Joe.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Here is one more about Duterte’s treating the BOC incident as an isolated case, and about Trillanes request for the ombudsman to disclose the AMLC findings regarding Duterte’s bank accounts.

          • Thanks. It must be frustrating. He KNOWS the money is there, and Ombudsman knows it, but he can’t officially do anything. I admire his plain speaking. Everyone else, other than Senators De Lima and Hontiveros, is dipping their words in sugar.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Congratulations on your new role with Senator Trillanes. I hope that lots of good coems from it.

            I do not agree ever with drug smuggling. However from waht I have read and seen, smuggling past BOC is a national sport in the Philippines. Even low income folks have their hands out for stuff smuggled in without duties via balikbayan boxes or OFW’s luggage goods.

            And I remember reading about how a legal shipment of steel pipes ( ? ) was impounded by BOC on the complaint of a steel business competitor who had somebody’s ear in BOC.. No reason for the impoundent.

            Why is this relevant ? Because it determines the BOC operating environment. In that environment of course some folks will smuggle drugs. And Dutters son looks like the kind of thug who would be in it to his neck !

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thanks Bill,
              I hope I could be of any help there, but my dad is still around, so we will help each other.

              Regarding drug smuggling or any smuggling.
              The Customs Bureau is jokingly called Bureau of Customs and Tradition.
              If they just celebrated 113 years(?) Corruption there has been a tradition for over a century.
              There are many proposals to just Privatize it, but privatization did not improve services of our Water Utilities and others, so privatization is not a cure all.
              Peter Wallace has been suggesting privatization for the longest time.

              Computerization has been promised ever since the Ramos admin, but just like privatizationit is blocked by the employees
              So not all processes has been fully automated.

              The senator is in a quandary, his classmates in the Philipine Military Academy are in hot water because they are directors in the Bureau, so they may have integrity, but they may not have the necessary competence.

              The son of my former boss Senator/Cong Biazon was once Customs Commissioner, he too did not stay for a long time.

              Duterte must take this seriously,especially since his son’s name has been droped and his drug war is useless if he can’t contain drugs entering from abroad, and the length of the coastlines must not be an excuse.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Congratulations, Karl! I’ll have a Budweiser on you.

        Seriously, the Senator is one of the few men in Congress with integrity. And he is fearless.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I should have just kept it to my self, but I contemplated on stopping commenting totally, but nobody is telling or told me to stop. And when the senator told me that he has read my comments here at TSOH, and he told me it was ok then I decided to carry on.

          • caliphman says:

            Karl, the good senator can sometimes be foolhardy for his own good but his character, courage, and moral compass is such a rarity amongst the country’s political leaders. It is just fitting and admirable for someone, key in helping TSH become a voice and conscience for a nation that seems to have lost its way, should now support the senator in his lopsided struggle for a clean and honest government. Congratulations and as for me, both roles should be proud badges of honor here at TSH!

          • karlgarcia says:

            Forgot to thank you, Edgar!

      • Sup says: of the last rocks in Philippine democracy..

        May the truth prevail

      • NHerrera says:

        Karl, congratulations on signing for that consulting work with Senator Trillanes — one of the few credible Senators of the Land. I hope your dad is still ship-shape nevertheless.

  20. caliphman says:

    I have to love the incessant barrage of logic tipped intercontinental ballistic comments crisscrossing TSH on the EJK, Marawi, and NKH fronts. Methinks many of them are rather unguided if not untargetted, some MIRVed aiming at more than two birds with ten stones. Me,? I am roo busy to engage and at work with my spade digging not a bombproof bunker out in the back building a comfy hole to stick my head in should one of NK’s miniaturized fireworks make it to California.

  21. caliphman says:

    Well granted there can be duds even with nuclear warheads not to mention decoy and dummy payloads in both cases…but let’s be kind and I am so not going there, Edgar 🙂

  22. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: unlike former Commander McCain, the CNO is worth hooting for, in the light of disgusting turn of events. 😀

    • popoy says:

      Rationality and Reason must come into play and PREVAIL if SPECIFIC protests and counter protests are BANNED in the exercise of democratic FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

  23. Bill In Oz says:

    Off topic : A great risk of polluting my thinking and being misinformed, I occasionally go look at the Get Real Philippines blog site. Today there is a new article about the issue of the best ways encouraging economic growth. And this one is well written and has an argument included..without all the usual puffery. Something to encourage ?

    • I don’t read there as I am banned and think the stuff they have written is absolutely despicable, and often a pack of hurtful lies. I don’t think all the encouragement in the world will turn Benigno or Ilda into responsible people of dignity.

    • karlgarcia says:

      @Bill In Oz,

      Would agree with their Zero population growth proposals?

      Man, forced sterilization? 😳

      • Bill In Oz says:

        I have been away dancing tango. While there I had a discussion with someone about happiness. He said ” Life is not meant to be easy. BUt we can make it joyful. ”

        A very wise comment !

        RE GRP : as I said Karl, the site is full of puffery. I had not seen the article you linked to. And I have not read it now either. It dates from 2002. I don’t agree with the idea of forced sterilisation and never have. It’s a fair question to ask what the author thinks now 15 years later.

        But the issue of encouraging economic growth and lessoning poverty is a crucial issue for the Philippines.. The current mob lead by Dutters now has responsibility for that major major problem. GRP is as we all know is usually an ‘outlet’ for their propaganda. But now that their hero is in power, they also have the task of working out what to do.

        I suggest that any Filipinos with the capacity and the concern has some obligation to contribute to that discussion. The alternative is stepping back, doing nothing and hoping for the best.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Yes, we can make life joyful, and that would be a good rejoinder to what Lance posted about life being not easy.

          They may have good ideas,but I prefer to hear the ideas of others.
          Personally, I think Benedict Ignacio is a good guy, but I met him in the 90s and lots have changed since then or maybe he has a different attitude online and offline which could be nuts, if that is the case.

  24. Edgar Lores says:

    On overpopulation, I get the impression that the article is claiming a decline in the population.

    True, the fertility rate has declined from a high of 7.15 in 1960 to 2.94 in 2015 (from Index Mundi). For 2016, the estimated total fertility rate is 3.06 (from Index Mundi and CIA World Factbook).

    From my understanding, however, a decline in the fertility rate does not necessarily equate to a decline in the population.

    The replacement rate is “the number of children each woman needs to have to maintain current population levels or what is known as zero population growth for her and her partner.”

    For developed countries, the replacement rate is 2.1. For underdeveloped countries, it is 2.3 due to higher infant and adult mortality.

    The fertility rate of 3.06 is still higher than the replacement rate. Thus, the population is still expected to grow… albeit at a lower rate than before.

  25. popoy says:

    TIME TRAVEL between 2015 and 2030; a blast two years past; below is PART of a three-piece ruminations –written merely two years ago:

    “REWIND TO 2015, the PRESENT
    By 2030 some politicians in the news today (2015) may already be retired or just out of the scene. J.P. Enrile will be 106; J. Erap Estrada 93; J.C. Binay, 88; Mirriam Santiago, like Rodrigo Duterte will both be 85; G.M. Arroyo, 83; Panfilo Lacson, will be 82.

    After fifteen years the young leaders in 2015 may likely have already assumed the mantle of mature parliamentary leadership in the national scene or the many regional governments. If still alive and active like vintage wine in 2030 they are: Antonio Trillanes IV, 59; Grace Poe, 62; Koko Pimentel III, 66; Leni Robredo, 69; Kim Henares, 70; Noynoy Aquino III, also 70; L D Lima and T. Guingona both 71; lastly the old man of group Mar Roxas at 73. Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas could be the stirling figures straddling two decades as Prime Ministers and later appointed as Presidents, the ceremonial Heads of State.

    State governance by twelve regions in 2030 speaks of an exciting public administration by mostly young politicians, home grown, moved by goals and objectives-driven politics.

    The Prime Minister’s Cabinet and the Regional Premiers’ Cabinet will have adopted a sci-tech based approach to kinky problems caused by force majeure and disease epidemics.
    The departments instead of following traditional multi-disciplinary, division of labor, specialization oriented solutions like : you announced the typhoons, I take care of rescue operations, you take care of relief and relocation, he takes care of the flooding, you provide medical services, blah, blah, blah. This is strengthened by a proactive INTERDISCIPLINARY cabinet strategies synthesized by technical specialists in the PM and Premiers’ offices.
    It should be interesting to paint este write on the forest and the landscape of the parliamentary system that’s anathema to the Filipino articulate critical mass but could well be beneficial to the larger clueless masses. Next time, May be. ” ****


    Go ogle GOOGLE because it may be HAVE plenty good TO PREDICT today (August 1, 2017) about the future of the Philippines.….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..0.18.1793…0i131k1j0i10k1j0i10i46k1j46i10k1j0i13i10k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1.lo5HPeLB_Ow

  26. Zen says:

    I have enjoyed the crazy intellectual discussion above as usual. Joe, I like your take on the envy/ anger bug that has become a cancer in the Filipino psyche from top politicians and lawmakers, businessmen and entrepreneurs down to the poor struggling Filipinos working on the streets of this country. The sense of working for the common good has been slowly eradicated because of this. The idea that if you are not a dutertard then you are a dilawan is so rampant in all manner of political conversations across all spectrum of society. It seemed so hopeless and every little thing that you are trying to do concretely seemed not to create a ripple but i hope it does because I see some agencies of the government doing their bit to improve the situation. Here in my city, for example, the DSWD is teaming up with the Department of Health to create a program that find effective ways and strategies to involve the community and take it’s people out from the shackles and stigma of drug addiction through effective rehabilitation of poor recovering drug personalities. An endeavour that perhaps is just a drop in the ocean but may just slowly make a difference.

    • Yes, the leadership is committed to self advantage, the masses to the same, but they measure things differently. When people realize the leadership is delivering price increases, taxes, and fewer jobs, maybe things will change. For sure, UBER riders who voted for Duterte must be rethinking. So the issue is, can the ripple become bigger fast enough to stop destruction of the pond.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: