“Comical Phil”

‘Comical Ali’, also known as ‘Baghdad Bob’

By Joe America

I imagine many Filipinos do not know of the historical character from Iraq nicknamed “Comical Ali”. He was the spokesman of the late President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. The nickname was assigned by British journalists as a takeoff of the tag applied to Iraq’s Defense Minister, “Chemical Ali”, an unkind reference to his oversight of the weapons of mass destruction that were never found by the American invaders.

Comical Ali was also known as “Baghdad Bob”

The American and International press enjoyed Comical Ali for the riot of pronouncements he made during his brief stint defending Iraq to the world as America and her allies were taking the nation by storm. Here are a few of them:

“There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!”

“Our initial assessment is that they will all die.”

“I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly.”

“We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels – We have driven them back.”

Britain is not worth an old shoe”

We have placed them in a quagmire from which they can never emerge except dead”

“I speak better English than this villain Bush”

“We will kill them all……..most of them.”

“They are nowhere near the airport ..they are lost in the desert…they can not read a compass…they are retarded.”

“Yes, the American troops have advanced further. This will only make it easier for us to defeat them”

“Listen, this explosion does not frighten us any longer. The cruise missiles do not frighten anyone. We are catching them like fish in a river. I mean here that over the past two days we managed to shoot down 196 missiles before they hit their target.”

“It has been rumored that we have fired scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don’t know why they were fired into Kuwait.”

“The United Nations….[is] a place for prostitution under the feet of Americans.”

“Bush is a very stupid man. The American people are not stupid, they are very clever. I can’t understand how such clever people came to elect such a stupid president.”

“Bush doesn’t even know if Spain is a republic or a kingdom, how can they follow this man?”

“We managed to chop off their rotten heads.”

“We are winning!”

You can read much, much more at “We love the Iraqi Information Minister“.

Americans came to appreciate, and fondly admire, Comical Ali, for the impossibility of his task, his mix of metaphors and wisdoms, his outrageous bluster, and his patriotic determination in the face of certain defeat.

Comical Ali’s real name was Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf. Unlike Saddam Hussein, he survived the war and was never charged with a crime. He disappeared for awhile, then popped up in Abu Dhabi. He later lived in the United Arab Emerites. He was reported ill in 2014 and that’s the last we know of him.

I provide this little recitation because, if I tilt my head just right and squint as if looking into the wind, I find a lot that is outrageously funny in Philippine governance. It is not meant to be funny. But it is. It runs headlong into the absurdity of what is going on in the Philippines these days, and so there are but two choices . . . laugh . . . or cry.

I choose laughter for this particular blog.

Oftentimes, the President is the funniest of them all, if my squinting is done such that the carnage he leaves behind is off to the right in a dark alley I can’t see down into.

It is funny:

When Mocha Uson dares Leni Robredo to visit the wake of a man who died a year ago. It is funny when she runs a poll for DSWD Secretary that Leni Robredo wins hands down.

It is funny:

When the President says we should obey the laws out of one side of his mouth and instructs his police to kill with impunity out the other.

When Secretary of Justice Aguirre says “trust us”.

When Atty Panelo shows up, wearing what only he would dare to wear.

When do-gooder organizations like VACC and Gabriela support a President who believes killing people is doing good.

Haha, eh?

I thought about entitling the article “Comical Mocha” or “Comical Wiggy” or “Comical Dodirty”, but there is too much funny business everywhere, so ended up with “Comical Phil”.

What do you find most hilarious about this government?

If you tilt your head and squint just right . . .


97 Responses to ““Comical Phil””
  1. I don’t know about this being the most funny, but it is hilarious that the body commissioned to watch over the human rights of the Filipino people (and any non-Filipino people brave enough to loiter for awhile) doesn’t have enough funds budgeted for next year to fill up their gas tank…

  2. NHerrera says:

    What is most hilarious about this government? The mere sight of

    – Duterte
    – Bato
    – Alvarez
    – Aguirre
    – Gordon
    – Pacquiao
    – Sotto
    – VACC people

    that’s what — no need to tilt my head and squint. And yes, I would rather laugh than cry.

  3. Bato is funniest, for these reasons:

    1) absurdly resembling Mussolini
    2) yet crying in public often and
    3) running from firecrackers

    even Filipino fascism is corny.

  4. Wiggy is so funny! Is he delusional? Filing cases against Hontiveros because he was busted for destabilization of the opposition? What happened to his buddies who were caught with their dirty hands in Jack Lam’s cookie jar? DOJ should get P10 budget for 2018.


    • NHerrera says:

      Popoy posted in the previous blog a YouTube Haka tribute to New Zealand rugby great Jonah Lomu. I will convert my hilarity to a some admiration if the bunch I listed above do an honest-to-goodness Maori Haka — but how can Wiggie do that; he needs to use his two arms doing the traditional Haka in open air; but he needs a third hand to hold on to that thingy on his head. (Wiggie, get rid of that and do a Bato; you will gain a few admirers.)

      • popoy says:

        NHerrera thanks for the pansin and mention. I tried to sum it up in verse, this comedy of insanity which is happening in the Philippines and titled it: The Judiciary of Contradictions. I thought it it’s a crazy piece; has crossed the line of sane comprehension.

        For how can in the name of the most high can there be a country where failures abounds in its judiciary, even in contradictions. Like I am asking how can doing evil be a good thing? How can there be corruption of the meanings of abundance: there is abundance in the supply of illegal drugs as there is abundance in the killings of illegal drug users.

        This is the new math of the absurd: more drugs equals more deaths of drug users. Which contradicts the rationale: No more illegal drugs equals no more illegal drug users; a reasonable and logical GOAL because goals are never completely attained, only a significant amount of it.

        It is a long STRETCH to prove that a traitor can be his country’s patriot. It has happened before to some people, after a country has been invaded; but could it happen before a country’s invasion by another?

        In the physical (chemical) world you can not turn two-minute noodles by alchemy into gold. In the abstract world there are lots of contradictions that can not be obliterated. Fuck with them and you end up fucked.

    • NHerrera says:

      One more on my favorite. If we do the equation

      Comical Phil = Comical Wiggie

      that will sum it all.

      (Sorry, Joe, for the corn. I blame it on my coffee; I run out of my favorite barako and took instant this morning.)

  5. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Laughter kills dictators!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hilarious? Laughing till you cry? Laughter is the brother of grief, such as when we talk as if we know all the answers and we have shot down the clowns with superior heart and mind, but the following day, they are in control again, and we laugh and write, and they regain control. The rise and ebb. The incoming and outgoing waves. But wait. There’s such a thing as a tsunami that doesn’t ebb till every last one of them are singing My Way while we put them in handcuffs. Now, that’ll be funny.

    • It does because laughter reveals their impotence, as meaningful people. They feel like they have a small penis, I suppose (using the current presidential lingo).

      • popoy says:

        Re-cycled from a book of poems, hopefully it is an addendum not a subtraction:

        Pinoy Humour

        Worse than lethal injection
        That’s Pinoy humour.

        Mightier than
        “the pen is mightier than the sword”
        that’s Pinoy humour

        When Humour is the armor of anger
        against tyrants
        when humour is the hawk of doves
        who fear the legal criminals?
        when humour is a masked desire to kill
        the hydra of the anti Christ
        when humour is the only recourse of the

        humour can be worst than a curse to the
        legion of thieves.

        October 27, 2005
        POSTED as blogger in Ellen Toresillas Blog,
        June 18, 2005 @ 6:57 am
        Just read in Malaya newspaper that Filipino humour is turning out to be Filipino ridicule.

  6. Joe Dowling says:

    Visiting Cebu in July a man was shot dead outside the hotel I stayed in, he lay there in a pool of his blood, lifeless . No police came to investigate in spite of staff at hotel calling them , I though, wow that’s “funny ” . Then it got “funnier” an ambulance came , crew covered the body from head to toe and placed it in the vehicle . I scoured the papers for next few days and no report appeared , again I though , that’s “funny “. No laughter came with what I thought was ” funny ” just fear .

  7. McJoe says:

    I wish my tears are those of laughter. But no. There’s just too much of STUPID that is killing us.

  8. andrewlim8 says:


    The Duterte cabinet purchases the new IPhone X, the one with facial recognition lock.

    Printed on the box: “Will not work for two faced people.” 🙂

  9. Sup says:

    I did see big smiles at the faces yesterday from Jingoy and Bong…Sure they found something comical?

    Duterte needs new attack dogs because some of the old start disagreeing with him and he lost one to DFA….

  10. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Now this is not funny. Note the two North Korean missile tests sandwiching the 3 September 2017 Thermonuclear Bomb underground test, both missiles overflying Japan’s Hokkaido Island and landing in the North Pacific:

    29 August 2017

    Altitude = 550 km
    Range = 2700 km
    Missile overflying Hokkaido

    15 September 2017

    Altitude = 770 km
    Range = 3700 km
    Missile overflying Hokkaido

    Note this: Guam is 3400 km from North Korea. Of course, the missile test today, covering a range of 3700 km was aimed in a different direction, but Guam is definitely within range of that recent missile test. Of course tipping that missile with a nuclear warhead with the associated technical problems is quite another matter — notwithstanding KJU being pictured with a supposed HB device and a suggestive missile cone nearby. But the accelerated pace of development is worrisome. The scientists and engineers of North Korea, for one, are no bumbling Wiggie. I am not laughing about this.

  11. Sup says:

    Crying about privacy and willing to play a senator her (fake)sex tape?


  12. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    I find DOJ Secretary’s urging CHR Com. Chito Gaston to resign so its budget could be reinstated as hilarious. hahaha, huhuhu!

  13. karlgarcia says:

    Absurdistan, Comical Phil(ippines).
    Duterte thinks chemical(drugs) Phil is the biggest problem, so CHR must not be an obstacle?
    It is not funny any more, we must not just grin and bear it.

  14. canadadry says:

    Scene Straight from Saturday Night Live
    2 law fraternity brods applied to him to become assistant commissioners of Immigration as his agents vs corruption.. weeks later the 2 were caught on video carrying bags of money inside a hotel casino…bantay salakay

  15. Zen says:

    If I tilt my head and squint my eyes and see Duterte on the news with his slurry, whinny voice, I can’t ever laugh nor cry, I could only grit my teeth and turn it off. I could laugh if I want to at the absurdity of it all!

  16. grammy2342 says:

    VACC and Gabriela!?!&$&!

    And to think that l wishfully wanted to join Gabriela. Now l consider the group – a shame to the namesake Gabriela Silang – who fought for our freedom from the Spanish colonizer.

    And this group of women are supporting this du-turd who doesn’t respect women! They have certainly lost their marbles.

  17. Sup says:

    Comical Larry.

    Impeachment filer Gadon….

    I will kill all muslims in the Philippines


  18. Sup says:

    Comedy Capers….

    All 1,000 police personnel will be sacked after a controversial raid by a police team on a house without a search warrant, dzBB’s Manny Vargas reported.


  19. fedelynn says:

    Funny things in the Philippines…
    –when a Born Again pastor justifies EJK at the pulpit
    –when a devout Christian (both RC and otherwise) looks down on me for reading occult books but justifies the necessity of Duterte’s EJK “up to a point.”
    –Out of 2,000+ faculty of a Top PH School, only 156 sign a letter against EJK and other HR violations of the government
    –when a doctor, nurse, lawyer justify EJK more out of devotion to Digong (based on their statements)
    –when people think that devotion to Digong is the same as devotion to the country
    –that Duterte is still in power..and that we still haven’t literally dragged Mocha Uson from her post
    –the current VACC (muwahahahahHAHAHAHHA!)
    –the Left, Gabriela “sleeping” with Digong for a long time for a slice of the power (3x muwahahahahHAHAHAHHA!). Personally, I don’t think it’s over.
    –the Makabayan bloc terminating its relationship with Duterte government because its people were not appointed by CA (and not because of the EJKs, the government’s tacit support for China’s incursion in the West PH Sea)
    –that there are 25M(?) of Filipinos who did not vote for Duterte and we still do not think we can kick out his administration.

    • Haha! Ah yes, those are great laughers, that insane and illogical behavior is the way we do things. Nary a spot of shame or regret. Like a drugged bull in a china shop. Ha ha. China shop.

    • Miela says:

      — When law school graduates and lawyers think that it is okay for the executive and legislative departments to BLATANTLY violate the constitution — the bill of rights in particular

  20. edgar lores says:

    1. Tilting my head as I might and squinting my eyes as I might, I cannot recall a moment of genuine laughter at the goings-on in the Duterte regime.

    2. True, I have lolled many times at various spectacles:

    o At Duterte in camouflage
    o At Panelo garbed in Holstein cow
    o At Bato panicking away from a firecracker
    o At Andanar’s pretense of being a heavyweight
    o At Aguirre dewigged
    o At Gordon’s schmuckery
    o At Pacquiao being coached in debate and his struggle to pronounce consensus

    3. But my lols have not been belly laughs of delight but head laughs — nasal lols of ridicule and throat lols of incredulity.

    4. Clowns used to be funny. The head clown and his apprentice clowns are not funny. They still strut and have their way… but the silent majority will have the last laugh.

  21. NHerrera says:

    The blog topic is a gem: it brings out the absolute absurdity of the situation — a Bato as chief of police, an Aguirre as Head of the Department of Justice, a Gordon as Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee — and thereby provide some platform for a possible solution to the problem.

    • Indeed, at that very basic level, ‘the best and brightest’ are funny mockeries of that idea.

      • sonny says:

        “The blog topic is a gem …”

        It is life imitating art. Remember this?

        “Hawkins: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?

        Griselda: Right. But there’s been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!

        Hawkins: They *broke* the chalice from the palace?

        Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.

        Hawkins: A flagon…?

        Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.

        Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.

        Griselda: Right.

        Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?

        Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!

        Hawkins: The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

        Griselda: Just remember that.”
        — from THE COURT JESTER

        It truly is more fun in the Philippines. Most kingly courts have only 1 jester. The PH court has many, their function: to make the country cry.

    • popoy says:

      Is this the new Ph AI (artificial intelligence) insulting and downgrading beyond its shameful depths — MEDIOCRITY?

  22. madlanglupa says:

    Dante Jimenez’s face is so stony he can crack a diamond on his forehead.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      In my view that is the face of a man who has been consumed by a need for vengeance, unaware that he has become a monster himself, pretty much like the one he was mad about in the first place, Today the VACC has become a political tool for the Marcoses and the Arroyos – look at the key figures there.

  23. manangbok says:

    Great article! Now I am curious about Baghdad Bob. Keeping a low profile in Abu Dhabi, hmmm. The UAE can be such a haven (tongue in cheek). In any case it would do well for Pinoys to be more outraged once in a while. We have turned our tragedies into material for jokes for far too long. Sense of humor has a place; but sometimes I wonder … would we have become a better nation if we were less … funny? #it’s-more-fun-in-the-philppines 😦 😦 😦

  24. Naging parang talipapa na po ang Bayan natin. Ang mga Hari at Reyna ngayon ay yung mga tsismoso at tsismosa. Puro na lang intriga at mga salitang walang saysay. Bakit po tayo aasa sa pagbabago kung ang nagyayari ay pinangangalandakan natin ang mga negatibong karakter ng mga Filipino? Di ba dapat tuligsain natin ang mga masasamang ugali natin para umunlad tayo? Bakit po tayo nag aaway away? Di ba pareho lang ang ating ninanasa? Na tayong lahat ay makaahon sa kumunoy na ating nilikha? Hanggang walang pagkakaisa sa mabuting layunin para sa Bayan, walang mangyayaring mabuti sa pangkahalatan.

    • madlanglupa says:

      A mutual friend has recently advocated publicly that the next government, provided it’s neither any of the known demagogue faces in Malacañang by 2022, should *ban* social media websites for a year, in order to deprogram the population completely.

  25. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: I think “cyberswatting”, which is normally employed maliciously by online game players to harass opponents, has now arrived at our shores.


  26. gerverg1885 says:

    One thing I find the funniest is when the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee said that the NBI and PDEA were not focused on their investigations on the shabu smuggling issue. It will be four months soon since the contraband was brought out of the BOC unnoticed, and therefore not taxed, and somebody is yet to be charged with the crime.

    Maybe they must read this blog and learn how to squint their eyes and tilt their heads in hopes that they can find someone in the blue horizon that could resemble someone that they could pick up or shoot ala EJK to write finis to this funny episode of crimebusting.

  27. It’s hard to know where to start; Philippines political life has usually had a surreal quality to it, thanks to the importance of “face”, which frequently requires people to assert that black is white, and so on, but this Government is in a class of its own; more corrupt than Arroyo or Erap, less respectful of the rules of the game than Marcos, more brutal than any. But what a cast of bizarre and eccentric characters..

  28. cha says:

    Thank you, Joeam. Thank you everyone. You made me laugh, smile, giggle and grunt.

    I was amused, amazed, then horrified and depressed.

    And so now I weep, Can someone please send in the clowns?

    Oh wait, they already did. The Duterte circus is in town.

    • NHerrera says:

      All the words are there:

      Laugh, smile, giggle, grunt, amused, amazed, horrified, depressed, weep — capped with the Clowns of the Duterte Circus.

      That sums it up well, cha!

  29. Sup says:

    I think it is comical that a President who owns some very expensive watches still can be late for most ceremonies


  30. gerverg1885 says:

    I hope another blog like this could come up any time soon. This is much better than seeing Duterte on TV mumbling curses and threats and consistently being inconsistent with his statements and promises.

    People, men particularly, who attend those boring press conferences are made of sterner stuff than we imagine them to be because it’s not easy to hear such words that they hate hearing because the wife had already said almost the same curses and threats early in the morning and is sure to repeat them when they come home.

    P…..I..ka! Wala ka na ngang ginawa maghapon, lasing ka pa uuwi…..!!!!!Tarantadong kang bwisit kaa!!!!

    • andrea says:

      He..he..he..ganun na nga. everytime he is infront with a microphone he’s been saying the same thing over and over again…wala ng ginawa kundi magmura..and yet his audience would still laugh…he’s like a nagging wife…walang bagong sinasabi..dyuskolord kung ganito ng ganito 5 taon pa bubunuin natin..I am hopeful that more people would read TSH join the discussion.

  31. Micha says:

    Yes Duterte is awful.

    But Duterte did not came out of a vacuum.

    Duterte is what we got after years (nay, decades) of failures by the ruling political establishment to bring the country together and to create a more inclusive economic system.

    In our desire to get rid of this maniac, it is imperative that we must at the same time address the problem of disunity and economic inequality; otherwise, what (or who) will stand in his place will probably just be a mediocre version of the old guards paving the way for the rise (yet again) of a more virulent maniac.

    A neo-liberal economic system is not the answer because it creates more inequality and polarization.

    Neo-liberalism is the new feudalism.

    Corporate titans are the new feudal lords.

    • “Neo-liberalism is the new feudalism.” I suppose so in the sense that humanitarian ideals are impractical in a world energized by money. The corporate titans in the Philippines seem not to care about Duterte, or are powerless. Duterte even takes away their empires and they comply. Ongpin. Lopez. I guess they figure they will be rich no matter what. They’ll sell out to China and move to Paris.

      • Micha says:

        The poster boy of neo-liberalism in the country is Manny Pangilinan with his Metro Pacific conglomerate grabbing public utilities and infrastructures and turning them into a stable of milking cows. But of course SMC is right up there with him too, as well as the monopolist Lopez clan.

  32. I find this picture tragically funny:

    as if he is trying to stay serious, but wants to spin around in despair somehow.

  33. gerverg1885 says:

    The latest tirade by Senator de Lima against Duterte and his son was just too funny I have to share it here.

    She said that they were hiding in tandem.

    And I’d like to add…lying in tandem!!!!

  34. Ed Gamboa says:


    Joe – I follow your blog regularly. Funny that you are trying the comical angle now. Keep going, Joe. Let’s try everything in our resources. I tried the humanitarian and political angles before but didn’t seem to make a dent. This time I’m trying the theological angle, following Cardina Tagle’s lead. Please share and/or reprint the article (“A Nation of Killers?”) as you see fit. I’m very concerned that the Inquirer will soon be owned by Ramon Ang, a Duterte ally. This will leave the Rappler and blogs like yours as the only avenues for critical analysis.

    • I hope new information sources will arise to take the place of compromised publications. We will see what happens to Inquirer columnists. That will tell us if there are any redeeming values to the paper.

      • Ed Gamboa says:

        According to a reliable source, pressure will be brought to bear on editorial staff. How much pressure will effectively compromise fair and objective journalism is the question.
        Will you be covering September 21st protest in Rizal Park?

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