Of power and truth

Truth, power, morality, military, people. Guillotine workers.

By Joe America

Two political forces are at war in the Philippines. One favors power and its protector, impunity. The other favors truth and something called integrity that emerges from compassionate living.

Watch the angers and debates raging in the headlines and you will see these forces at work. They underpin the divide that is getting harder and angrier with each passing day. Power pushes. Truth answers back.

Sitting on his throne at the apex of the conflict, President Duterte proposes to form a revolutionary government. He is tired of dissent, tired of having to deal with truth, tired of human rights and that fucking Constitution. Individual rule is the ultimate power and he wants it. He wants to answer to no one.

But he is no god, has no lightning bolts, no magic spells.  He must face truth, and it’s human form, integrity.

I’m guessing he won’t form a revolutionary government. The most powerful voice for integrity under the Constitution is the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and if the military fails its highest mission, people are still there, people with honor and compassion as the anchor of their character. They treasure what the Constitution gives them. Equality, fairness, freedoms, and opportunities. They will fight for it, I have no doubt.

Yes, many who work under the Constitution are flawed, greedy people. But that does not take away the ideals, the hopes, the dreams found there. The Constitution is, after all, a document that defines for the world the truth of Filipino hopes and dreams.

Threat is a familiar tactic of those who live by and for power.

The Philippine government seems to live to intimidate. Look at the words and the deeds of Alvarez, Aguirre, Abella, Calida, Panelo, Cayetano, and Sotto/Pacquiao/Gordon. Impeachments, curses, jailings, “destabilization” behind every criticism. Ethics complaints for hurt feelings. Justifications of horrid behaviors. Killings. And more killings. Listen to the lies that go along with the intimidations, the deceits that mislead and threaten people who threaten the State.

I’m guessing that the powerful will eventually be isolated by their their deeds and lies. The government is abusing too many people. Killings, loss of jobs, increasing prices, loss of fishing rights, insults, abandoned promises, no progress on transportation or poverty.

We see the voices of truth rising, a minority still, but a stronger, louder minority than last month, than last week, than yesterday. People on the fringes of power are changing sides and going with truth and integrity. The seniors – FVR, Bello, Tatad – have gone to truth and integrity. The youth – students and those who teach them, a certain blogger known popularly as PAB, a whole lot of millineals – have gone to truth and integrity. The Catholic Church, an institution that knows power, has gone to truth and integrity.

The business community is facing a stark reality, that power is destructive if it is not deployed to help people. The business community will shift soon, as the pain becomes real.

The last to switch will be the lapdog legislators, the people who sold their oath for 30 pieces of silver. But they have already started to weaken, and this will continue.

You see, a basic understanding is at work here.

Power is fleeting.

Truth is forever.


203 Responses to “Of power and truth”
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    The Philippines is too small to fail. The world needs our loving service, our entertainment and enlightenment, our prayers. Such an imperfect people but not insignificant. Our yayas are treated like family, our actors, musicians, poets, writers hit the chords of our hearts and minds, and our prayers are perfected by our struggle, resilience, acceptance. We are great in our smallness. No tinpot dictator can ever win against us. We’ll just laugh him off the stage. Strange but powerful, our people will be missed if ever we go under like Venezuela or Myanmar. Our enemies foreign and domestic are under advisement: our love is a weapon unto itself.

  2. arlene says:

    Truth should prevail. Power corrupts. This is thought-provoking. Good morning Joeam.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Military and the people.
    Civil-Military Relations.


    I got to thank Irineo for not deleting this long post about civil-military relations written by dad.
    The link above is about civil-military relations during the Post-Marcos periods.

    • Thank you for referencing the articles which are precious to historians and military people. If Irineo ever deletes that posting, I’ll personally travel to Germany to pound him and his computer to a pulp. I’m somehow confident that I won’t need to do that.

      • karlgarcia says:

        🙂 Hahaha.

      • Here is an excerpt I found quickly, looking for insights as to the role of the military in preserving the Constitution, as the superior power to the civilian Commander in Chief, the President. Your father is a gifted writer, able to pull out the personal drama behind the dry facts of history.


        Paraphrasing “Oh noble Catiline”, how many lives, treasure, and dreams have been sacrificed in the name of “the people” deceptively instructed? The first paragraph of the November 20 FDNRM manifesto was Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution: “The AFP is the protector of the people and the State”. General Lim read the same in the November 29 declaration. I am not sure whether he rehearsed his role. Take 3, Danny!

        Parenthetically, Danny Lim hugged me like a lost older brother when I visited the rebels at Tanay with the Senate Chairman of the Defense Committee. I told him I am doing a book on military rebellion because I could not fight like Del Pilar (Gregorio) but I could try to write like Plaridel (Marcelo). Lim and Jarque worked with me in 1988 to write Defense Policy Paper 1998, un-updated up to now after 5 Secretaries of Defense (SND). The maverick Jarque is gone and the rebel Lim may be imprisoned for life. I am lucky to be between death and imprisonment so far.

        Unable to operationalize aforesaid Art 2, Sec 3 of the Constitution in the Defense Policy Paper, I recommended to SND to seek judicial declaratory relief. Since 1987, civilian gurus (Lichauco, Adaza, etc) were telling the military that said second sentence of Sec 3 is a “constitutional provision to stage a coup”. The living members even in the Senate of the Constitutional Commission were silent. In 1997, during the anti-chacha rallies, Senator Pimentel wondered aloud whether the military has already believed that it is “the fourth branch of government”. I told the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Tatad, while in a live-in seminar at the RAND that it was absurd because the second sentence includes the conveniently forgotten State and the first sentence of Art II is “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military”. Alas, in this country the No.2 may be more powerful than the No.1.

        But law is not common sense, according to Senator Defensor Santiago, to be played around by non-lawyers. I was told that the case was not justiciable for reasons too gobbledygook to me. It has to wait for EDSA 2. It turned out that the AFP became more than the fourth branch of government at least in that one fleeting moment. General Angelo Reyes, who claimed to look like me when he was a cadet, even latinized the rationale: “Salus populi, supreme lex”. Alas, the only Latin I knew was when I described as a young officer the declaration of martial law as “Rolex sed lex”. I got away with it because, among other considerations, the powers that be had a sense of humor. Then I called this disputed “protector” provision as Duralex sed lex because Duralex® is a brand of durable plastic glass. Alas, plastic is non-degradable like the Latin truism: Quie custodies custodet? Who will guard the guardians?

        • I see where you got your sense of humor, Karl.

            • As explained to me awhile back, when a Filipino repeats a word twice, ie. smuggling-smuggling, it roughly translates to small, ex. small time smuggling, as opposed to big time smuggling.

              Which reminded me of Sulu and the many speed boats over there with 3 to 5 outboard engines for smuggling. If there’s a market, legit market or black market, people will supply. I don’t understand why cops would have to do “smuggling-smuggling” over there when all they have to do

              is technically just collect from smugglers, big or small time, that would be the racket not the smuggling itself i would think, no? But I do get DU30’s point about not sweating the small stuff, same in the military, you can pretend you’re running a convent or see things realistically.

              • karlgarcia says:

                6.4 billion of meth is not just smuggling-smuggling.
                Durerte is pretending to be realistic.

              • From the link above, karl, it seems DU30 is differentiating between small time smuggling (of the non-illicit narcotics variety , I remember loads of sugar and clove cigarettes in boats in Sulu, weird of all things to smuggle) VS. narcotics (shabu, etc.).

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

                He’s being eerily quiet about his son’s involvement in the 28B (not just 6.4B) drug smuggling.

                Most netizens are wondering why they could not just provide a bank secrecy waiver so their account histories can be perused and to show a currently dated video of his son’s back to show that no Chinese triad tattoo exists thereon to once and for all silence Sen. Trillanes and everyone else who are sceptical of their drug war and anti-corruption stance. Their continued refusal to do so fuels the democracy fighting sector’s belief that they are indeed hiding or covering-up their guilt aided by all these distractions of the public’s attention.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks again Joe!

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thank you very much Joe for the selected excerpts!

          • I’m noodling on a blog that will pull some of the excerpt together on the topic of military’s dual allegiance to the Constitution and the Commander in Chief. I doubt I can get Sec. Lorenzana to post a guest blog. 🙂

            • karlgarcia says:

              I hope you will be able to noodle up a blog and if Sec Lorenzana writes a guest blog at TSH, I hope he answers the comments.

              • Wow, I wonder if Will could get an interview w/Lorenzana. Wouldn’t that be fascinating? Humanist meets military man for a heart to heart . . .

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yes Wil, if you can interview Sec Lorenzana that would be great. Maybe if you could contact Sen Trillanes again, his staff surely can contact Sec Lorenzana.

                Also an interview of VP Leni would be wonderful.

                Nagbabakasakali lang Wil.

            • NHerrera says:

              It seems a bright stroke of good sense, considering the Marcos Period, if not luck, that the 1987 Constitution provided for the needed dichotomy — of the Armed Forces being a Protector of the State; and the Civilian Government reigning supreme over the Armed Forces. [Akin to the duality of light as both a particle and a wave.] For, simplistically stated, that is what the Constitutional Provision was for — the check of a President such as we now have. The former provision may not be needed in a country such as the US, UK, France, but we certainly need it until the country mature to the one when that need will never be necessary.

              I may add the following general statement: that the Officers of the Armed Forces graduate from the Philippine Military Academy where noble concepts of service to country and honor is drilled over a span of 4 years — a collection of men so drilled in the honorable calling compared to the typical politicians who are drilled by oneself or similarly minded politicians, from day one, only on the concept of power, influence and money. Now prove me wrong over this general statement.

              Joe, thanks for the blog topic — something which come fluidly from the previous blog topics here in TSH — for opening up the discussion on the important subtopic of the role of the AFP in the present state of the PH.

              karl, thanks for your Dad’s piece on the topic.

              (I am enjoying the comments thus far.)

  4. Vicara says:

    If nothing else, this president and this administration have exposed the weaknesses of each government institution–and the depravity and/or cowardice of key officials–as nothing has ever done before.

    They have also–unwittingly–shown us exactly why we need to care as individual citizens for these institutions. And why truth, prudence, civility and the spirit of the law matter. (From the start the Duterte troll campaign focused on denigrating whatever is “disente” because authoritarianism controls through brutishness.) The hard lesson: democracy is a garden that forever needs tending. And for far too long, we’ve left it to die.

    Sooner or later, this administration will come to an end. We have to begin planning for the aftermath of this bloody, chaotic “drug war”–which will lead to disorder ESPECIALLY after he steps down–the wanton dismantling and degeneration of democratic institutions, the welter of fake news and destroyed reputations of good people, and the economic/security fallout of all of the above.

    I pray that someone, somewhere (Rappler?) is keeping tabs on how each craven member of Congress, the Senate and the Supreme Court has danced to the tune set by the likes of Pimentel, Alvarez, and Aguirre.

    • Yes, if I were writing a novel about these characters, the guillotine would be too quick and easy for about 10 of the demons behind the destruction of PH civility and sovereignty. I have to stick with fiction because I’m not a citizen. If I were a citizen, it would be a manifesto instead of a novel.

      • Vicara says:

        Never would have thought of myself as a Founding Father, LCpl_X (@LCpl_X). Or Mother. Did see myself as a fiction-writer, once. But the sheer absurdity and stupidity of all this going on is more extreme than anything a mere tale-spinner could think up. Manifestos it will have to be.

        That’s a clinical assessment by Jefferson, by the way, and an accurate one. But even he would not have foreseen the blood price being extracted in this “drug war” rooted in the systemic violence of Philippine local politics.

        • Local political practices taking over national. The principalia have clearly taken over Intramuros. Not since yesterday, but they have finally dropped all pretenses of acting like the old rulers.

          In that sense, less ‘hypocritical’. But not good at all. What lessons will be learned?

    • “The hard lesson: democracy is a garden that forever needs tending. And for far too long, we’ve left it to die.”

      Very Jeffersonian, Vicara 😉

      • “That’s a clinical assessment by Jefferson, by the way, and an accurate one. But even he would not have foreseen the blood price being extracted in this “drug war” rooted in the systemic violence of Philippine local politics.”


        I think Jefferson would be confused as to the absence of “patriots” exacting “blood price” on these “tyrants”, amidst said injustices taking place.

        • Vicara says:

          Yes, am still grappling with the overall desensitization of the public towards the injustice of the “drug war”. How so many caved in so quickly to the administration’s pre-election whitewashing of death squads, and how many–even in the growing resistance movement–have compartmentalized it as a peripheral issue that maybe will go away. But even if this administration steps down, as all administrations eventually do, one way or another, indications are that the technology of state-sponsored murder will live on, like a virus never quite eradicated, unless it is decisively dealt with.

          Patriotism is not just about marching in the streets and putting one’s life on the line (and not just online); it’s about grappling, as a people, with our biggest weaknesses and our darkest, most shameful impulses.

  5. Miela says:

    Sometimes I wonder if Duterte is trying too hard to project a “Hugo Chavez image”. “Revolutionary government”, rants against the West… It’s like he’s dreaming to be the next Chavez without the Chavismo “reforms”. Chavez, at least, gave the illusion that he is pro-poor by giving dole-outs to the poor and nationalized industries (even if detrimental to the national economy in the long run — the point is, he did quite a 180 in many aspects). Duterte gives dole-outs to the rich and the mainland Chinese. LOL.

    • He told the jeepney drivers recently that he doesn’t care if they are poor, or similar.

      And they all thought he is for them because he looks and acts and swears like them. This time the message is clearer than ever: NO.

      • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

        His exact words as posted by Maanne Adorna ·DUTERTE TO JEEPNEY OPERATORS

        “Mahirap kayo? P****g i*a, umalis kayo. Magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom, wala akong pakialam.”

        Rough translation from yours truly: You’re poor? Sons of whores. Suffer from hardships and hunger, I do not care.

      • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

        The phaseout of 15-year old jeepneys running on diesel and replacing them with e-jeepneys running on electricity has been a proposal being studied by the PNOY government. Now it is being revived by the current one. Excerpts of a January 5, 2016, article follow:


        THE chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development on Tuesday asked the national government to study the impact of a proposal raised by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to phase out old jeepney units that have been on the road for more than 15 years.

        Liberal Party Rep. Winston Castelo of Quezon City, panel chairman, warned that hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers and operators will be affected if the phaseout plan is implemented.

        “The socioeconomic impact should be addressed first before we can phase out the old jeepneys,” Castelo said in a text message.

        Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide President George San Mateo said the proposal to phase out old jeepneys will affect the livelihood of at least 600,000 jeepney drivers and more than 250,000 jeepney operators nationwide.

        For his part, the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations President Efren de Luna said jeepney drivers and operators should be given more time to prepare, and that loans should be extended to affected parties to buy e-jeepneys if the government wants to push through with its jeepney modernization program.

        The jeepney phaseout scheme, according to the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), is not a modernization program but rather a “corporatization and monopolization” of an important sector of the country’s transportation system.

        “We say no to the jeepney phaseout scheme. It will result in the loss of livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers and operators making a living out of the 300,000 jeepney units in the country,” the KMU said.

        “It will subject a portion of jeepney drivers to exploitative conditions under the so-called fleet management scheme. It will definitely result in higher fares for passengers who will shoulder the cost of new vehicles,” it added.

        • chemrock says:

          As I mentioned in my article re Jeepneys, phase out the oldies we must because it is killing Filipinos slowly with its carbon emission. But great care need to be taken because the proposed replacement programme cannot work without a hefty increase in fare structure. And that’s gonna cause social upheaval as the cost of living index will definitely go up when the increased fares cascade down the supply chain.

          • Miela says:

            Not a fan of nationalization, but I think LGUs need to take over local public transportation. The operator-driver structure doesn’t seem to work well. Not with customer service, not with stable employment/income for drivers.

            • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

              Mass transport system discussed by chemrock in a long-ago blog article is much needed to solve our long-time traffic woes and air pollution problem. To solve the resulting economic problems on the part of jeepney drivers and operators is the dilemma of the previous admin hence their decision to study this more.

              Philtrak has an all-Filipino solution but of course, left-leaning groups will still argue the jeepney drivers/operators displacement. Can’t say I blame them or disagree with their stand and for sure a win-win solution needs to be found.

              Or we can send all to-be-displaced drivers and operators to countries advertising their requirements for apple pickers, etc. workers with ample benefits (US and Canada) coordinated by the government?

              • popoy says:

                ANECDOTAL (kwento ng isang Lolo): Tapos na ang Martial Law. Anak na panganay nakabili ng second hand Bolswagen (FolksVagen sa German). Drive ko. Tumirik sa malapit sa Society Theater sa Echague, Quiapo. Tinulak para maepark ng isang watch your car man. Meron siyang tatoo hindi pa uso noon. Preso lang sa Munti ang may tatoo. Yung daw may tatoong Cora, siyota ng mga siga sa selda. Habang hintay ng mekaniko kwentuhan , curious gusto kasing matuto sa buhay ng tao. Preso daw siya, alaga ng pulis. Sundo sa umaga, hatid uli sa city jail sa hapon. 60-40 daw ang hatian sa kita sa watch your car. Araw-araw mahigit kwarenta pesos naman ang parte niya, naibibigay naman niya sa pamilya.

                Wala pa ang mekaniko. Merienda muna ng kakanin puto o kutsinta, tinda ng isang Ale sa bangketa. Nahuli akong tinititigan isang lalaking natutulog nakasandal sa semento. Sabi ng tindera tila asar: Mister ko ho yan, drayber ng jeep, nabaldado ng stroke kasi init at lamig, init at lamig sa pasada araw-araw. Hindi na kayang magtrabaho, sinasamahan na lang ako.

                Ang tagal pero dumating din ang mekaniko. Busy daw siya. Namputsa, pudpud na pala yung rotor kaya walang tumakbong kuryente, kailangan bumili ng bago. Hintay daw siya. Ako naman lakad, puntang Evangelista o Raon para bumili ng bagong rotor. Nap andar na ang Volks. Namputsa, alas kwatro na, kailangan sunduin pa si |Mrs. sa eskuela.

                Anong leksyon dito sa kwento ko? UNA: Maraming hindi alam ang publiko sa watch your car boys at parking fees. Meron lugar, parang holdap kinukolekta ng munisipyo, meron ding kidnap at ransom sangkot yung mga tow trucks sa mga illegally parked. Minsan paglapit ng kolektor biglang taas agad dalawang kamay ko. BAKIT daw? Sabi ko, nakatawa ako. hinoholdap mo ako eh. Asiwa at asar, sulat ka agad plate number sa resibo. Ang holdap sa parking ngayon, malinis at madulas at LEGAL na, sa mga Malls na nangyayari.

                PANGALAWANG Leksyon: Meron ba o marami ba kayong nakikitang senior o matandang driver ng jeep o ng mga second hand public bus. Masdan nyo ang mga driver na siyang tunay na larawan ng Lipunan. Trabahong TIYAK YUN, nagpapa-IGSI ng buhay. Tapos, heto puro reklamo, puro reklamo ang mga pasahero. Bakit sa Merika o sa Singapore hindi #$%^%$&*& ang mga taong gobierno. Sige mag STRIKE kayo hanggang gusto ninyo. Suspende lang ang Klase at trabaho, Ayos na. Mga WAKARANG.

      • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

        Another try, hope it gets through. FB has a suggestion on how to do it properly but my techie challenged mind can’t get it

        In case it fails again, it’s a meme with 2 pics and a question – Why are the jeepney driver striking? It’s because the Duterte admin wants to change this (pic of a diesel-run jeepney) into this (picture of an e-jeepney which costs P1.6 million each. (Drivers and operators might not afford this and loans cost a lot in interest – MGPG)

        Three more questions were asked: I offered translations and my answers enclosed in parenthesis

        1) Isang malaking raket ba ito? (Will this be a big racket? Possible, we’re not sure)
        2) Sino kaya and kikita ng husto dito – Who will earn big buckets in this scheme – LGUs?)
        3) Mawawala na ba ang traffic kapag ipinilit itong bagong jeepney design? – Will traffic be solved if they insist on this new design (Nope, but pollution will be minimized)

    • I think he is being guided by Marcos and the Chinese, but it ends up being ‘trying too hard’ when his statements ring hollow when heard by the educated people of the Philippines. So the early glow about a dynamic change-maker is becoming an ugly tarnish to people who can be honest about it.

  6. Edgar Lores says:

    1. When one listens to President Duterte making a speech, one is persuaded he is right.

    2. Somehow the power of his conviction, his absolute certainty in his rightness, dissolves and removes the fog of doubt in one’s mind.

    3. This is the power and allure of the demagogue — whether politician, priest, or pedagogue – who arouses and persuades by emotive arguments. By invoking confidence, faith, comfort, fear, anger, and humor.

    4. In the cold light of day, his arguments lose their power and the contradictions are laid bare.

    o How can he be right when he turns a presidential heel into a hero?
    o How can he be right when he falsely accuses an upright senator and has her jailed?
    o How can he be right when he ignores the rule of law and have thousands massacred?
    o How can he be right when he promised to resign after 6 months if he failed to solve the drug problem?
    o How can he be right when he pledged to open his bank accounts but refuses to sign a bank waiver?
    o How can he be right when he would dismember the Republic and create fiefdoms?

    5. So at the moment of speaking, he may persuade (the heart) but does not convince (the mind).

    6. In Duterte, we see the dimensions of a Greek tragedy visited upon the people. In his analysis of a tragedy, Aristotle in his Poetics marks the following acts:

    6.1. Beginning – the prosperity of the protagonist
    6.2. Middle
    …6.2.1. Hamartia – stimulation of the protagonist’s tragic flaw
    …6.2.2. Peripetiae – the protagonist’s reversal of fortune
    …6.2.3. Anagnorisis – the protagonist’s moment of realization
    6.3. End
    …6.3.1. Catastrophe – the protagonist suffers consequences
    6.4. Catharsis – the spectator is motivated to purge his own tragic flaw

    7. Duterte’s tragic flaw is his hubris, defined as “excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods.”

    71. We are now in the Middle Act, at the start of Peripetiae.
    7.2. It may be that Duterte will never reach the stage of Anagnorisis, but we spectators and participants already know the Dutertian tragedy is a Catastrophe and many have suffered the consequences.
    7.3. Some of us may go through Catharsis, as we did at Ninoy’s martyrdom. But many of us will not.

    8. And so after Marcos and Duterte, there may be another forthcoming tragedy. They say bad luck comes in threes.

    • I just responded to Miela before reading your post, and for sure agree. I said “So the early glow about a dynamic change-maker is becoming an ugly tarnish to people who can be honest about it.”

      Being honest about it means having the knowledge to understand, and having the strength of character to admit a mistake without blaming someone else.

    • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

      God help us. No, please God, don’t let No. 8 happen.

  7. Excellent! Reminded me of this by Aristotle:

    • I was on FB and twitter today complaining that PH artists and entertainers who support State killings aren’t really artists, because artists can touch the soul and truth and search for goodness and ideals and freedom from our crass humanity. From the dialogue flowed the term “crassist” for the opposite of “artist”, and from that flowed “crassholes”.

      I think Aristotle would appreciate that.

      • Joe,

        I’ve met artists (actors to painters to singers to poets, etc. etc.), and they strike me as reactionary and emotional (not that there is anything wrong with that), though mostly liberal, conservative too, spectrum of political and philosophical opinions covered,

        but one thing constant with artists (or creative types) i’ve noticed is when you label their creation or work unoriginal,

        So my point, though I like “crassholes”, Joe, you wanna hurt artists’ feelings, target their work (as mere copies, unoriginal). Artists are so predictable (I work in their bubble of a world 😉 ).

        • Hmm, I don’t find artists predictable at all, but rather depressing or inspiring or instructional . . . or if they are Mark Twain, all three. Now actors, they are predictable, and PR people, and marketing mavens.

          • I occasionally spend time working with a Facebook thread, and sometimes just let followers comment. Here is the thread on artists, which popped pretty well:


            Facebook flows hot and short, more elaborate than twitter, and some good points come out from the many contributions. I have reached the maximum of 5,000 friends on FB, and have a bunch of followers on top of that.

            The blog is the anchor to much of my thinking, and is the “reason for being”. I appreciate the insights you and others share here.

            • Since the Philippines is very much a star-struck nation (ie. Wowowee, AlDub, etc.) I wonder if that facebook short can be expanded to an article, Joe.

              As for predictable, Hollywood makes you think all artists (or creatives) are scum. So maybe we just have different ideas of artists and their worth. Or maybe i’ve just been exposed to “Good artists” (actually mostly Bad) and not so many “Great artists”, just a bunch of posers.

              Though I agree , the “Greats” make you re-think everything.

              http://peacefulanarchism.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Revolving-Dictator-Statue-2-620×380.jpg (EDSAs 1, 2, 3, 4 in a nutshell)

              http://streetasart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Banksy-Oct-2013.jpg (No greenery/trees , no parks in cities, de-forestation outside cities)

              “The blog is the anchor to much of my thinking, and is the “reason for being”. I appreciate the insights you and others share here.” Thanks for this assurance , Joe, as I was reading the fb comments, I got kinda jealous that you might not be spending more time with us here. 😉

              • I don’t engage as thoroughly here as I used to, and thank Karl, Edgar, NH, and others for anchoring the discussions recently. I’m trying to be as influential as I can be and social media seem to be where good ideas can emerge to influence major media and opinion leaders. I can get 40,000 “impressions” a day on twitter, probably about the same on FB, and a more modest 2,500 here for a regular article. Yet this is where I get my quality ideas for pushing out elsewhere.

                FB and twitter are as close to ‘the street’ as I can get. Free speech, but not protest.

              • Artists to me are like Charles Dickens or Mark Twain, whose writings have social value underpinnings, and can test emotions as well as intellect. Not so much John Grisham, although he is talented. Actors and entertainers are not really artists to me, except maybe someone like Robin Williams or George Carlin. Eric Clapton is an artist. Sonny and Cher not, ahahaha.

              • NHerrera says:

                Good for you and us, Joe. I say it is a good “business” plan. You know how to optimize your efforts/ resources.

              • “FB and twitter are as close to ‘the street’ as I can get. Free speech, but not protest.”

                Good on you for taking your show on the road, Joe.

                I hope you “infect” as many people out there as possible— as for me, although tempting (twitter and fb) I’ll stay with blogs like yours, it has a neighborhood feel, less “street”, less chaotic.

                We’ll do our best here to give you stuff to sell out there 😉

                As for Sonny and Cher , yes individually they weren’t much , but together, man, together, they were magic, and if i may say so Transcended Truth, they were beyond Art. LOL!

              • Sonny was a mayor of a rich man’s city and a voice of civic reason until a tree stopped him cold. Cher was the star witness in my master’s thesis, she and her shockingly skimpy clothing that filled CBS television mail boxes with complaints mainly from women, so I hold her in high regard. Her voice is from another world. Incredible. They were pop singer in a pot generation. I don’t think it is possible to get beyond art, but they were influential, nonetheless.

  8. josephivo says:

    Power: strong, stronger, strongest!!!
    Truth: true, truer, truest???

    This is the big difference between both. One can get more powerful in two ways, develop oneself or weaken the opponent. One isn’t more truthful by revealing false information of the opponent. So two ways to get stronger: form coalitions, communicate well, appeal to the masses… and/or weaken the opponent by division, imprisonment, provide false arguments… Integrity only has rational arguments, transparency, compassionate living… it’s a uphill battle.

    I’m pessimistic today, the rainy season has to end.

    • It’s the journey, not the goal. One answers to oneself, in the end, and God if He is so kind as to introduce Himself. I find my fulfillment in not being inert and find a lot of satisfactions along the way, friends, arguments won, lessons learned, and diversions that are enriching, like a good meal.

  9. Sup says:

    Wow…..And at the same moment there is a EU business delegation in the PH and PH lobbyist Cayetano is in the good old USA.


  10. cwl says:

    Duterte and his people, for all of their devilish actions and intentions, are apparently successful in peddling hope to a long suffering nation. This can be gleaned from surveys by the two polling firms. His numbers are decreasing but not enough to count him off.
    Misstep after misstep by this government yet so many still cling and support him.
    Could it be that the opposition is selling the truth while Duterte is selling hope?
    To a nation looking for salvation from generation of problems , it will be an easy choice.
    Ignore the truth and hope that that this man from Davao will solve their problems.
    A wrong notion indeed but Duterte managed to exploit the people’s impatience.
    How can we reverse the equation?
    Can we do it by just telling the nation the hole Duterte is digging which will sink us deeper?
    Or by telling not only the truth but also giving hope to this suffering nation .

    • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

      I don’t get it.

      How can people buy hope Duterte is selling?

      Hope coming from killing the poor and the youth (paid by the VAT component of the instant noodles, canned goods and coffee they had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), hope coming from telling lies 60% each time he is in front of a microphone and audience, hope from his enablers spreading fake news so they can be manipulated into believing this joker can deliver them to paradise, hope from different ways he alienate other countries and endangering their jobs and livelihood the w he did with the EU?

      Truth will give you hope.

      I just don’t get it from what Duterte selling.

      • Francis says:

        It is hope spoken in the vernacular. Policies like VAT are abstract things, and the average person—regardless of income bracket—doesn’t wake up in the morning reflecting on the contradictions of government policy. He or she instead tends to use his gut, which leads to him or her noticing the way Duterte carries himself, his rhetoric—that is, his words, his tone, his body language: how they convey a man who is genuinely of this land, with all the virtues and flaws.

        It is the common man (not necessarily just the destitute E who we assume as the masses, but also the aspirational working class D and the newly prosperoun, first-generation entrants of the middle class in the CB segments) who cannot simply relate emotionally to the well-intentioned—but generic hope offered by the reformist elite, which is far too “Western” (that is, foreign) a vision to swallow.

        Davos and TED Talks are foreign things. Cursing like an angry relative who sounds like he’s angry because you and him got screwed—sounds like home.

        My personal observation is the less Westernized one is, or the less attached one is to the “Western” aspects of Filipino identity—regardless of income level—the more likely you are to lean to the administration.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I ask you, do you think that Duterte is not lying at all?
          Don’t you think believing in those lies is a mix of gullibility and idolatry and fanaticism?

          • Francis, karl…

            There was an article shared here awhile back about a former shabu user/addict who stopped using after DU30 came to power, for fear of getting killed.

            JP just shared this quote: “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” ~ Roy Batty, Replicant, Blade Runner 2019

            If neighborhood users/addicts/good-for-nothings over there are turning over new leafs on life, and now on the straight and narrow– well behaved, less abusive, feeling powerful, I’m sure the B and Cs , who are in contact (physical, ie. in parking areas, trains, buses, local eateries, etc.) with D and Es , who make up the majority of these users/addicts,

            I’m sure seeing their neighborhood good-for-nothings (stand-by’s in Visayas they were called, sika in Tagalog if I recall correctly), now well behaved, that small minor change in behaviour right there , that for little improvement of B and Cs day-to-day lives,

            will translate into something positive for the DU30 administration. But aside from that article (which I cannot find , though I’m still looking) , there seems no polling on this tweak of behaviour.

            It’s results-based, kinda like ‘what have you done for me lately?’ approach to politics. You ‘do’ for B and Cs, and they’ll back you.

            So i tend to agree with your assessment, Francis, but it’s not the hope and lies, it’s results IMHO that you’re looking for. There’s results on the ground that no one seems to be uncovering, because as Vicara and JP below opine,

            it is very curious why the support is still there amidst EJKs, fake news, lies, etc. So there are results somewhere that people (your middle class) are liking, thus generating the support for DU30.

            Find these results and you’ll unlock this mystery confounding everyone at the moment. It’ll be in the little things, like parking your car, and not getting a shake down for “watching your car”; or not being forced to have to buy local good-for-nothings beer; or for women harassment just walking down the streets at night.

            It’ll be little simple results, which they can credit fear with.

            • I would find a few views of ground level that validate or disprove this conjecture interesting.

              When it comes to similar debates over here like the nighttime drinking ban outside of Munich Station, I know how it looks.

              Denial is never the best counsel in such serious matters.

              • Ireneo,

                During the campaign, I remember reading a legend (or maybe true) of DU30 telling some foreign tourist that there is no smoking in Davao, to which said tourist responded w/ a couple of choice words , so DU30 had the tourist eat his cigarettes. I could be recounting the story wrongly, but that’s how I remembered it (i’m sure I read it here),

                … if i’m against smoking and find the habit not only unhealthy but insulting, like farting in your face for you to breathe all in (not to mention lung cancer). Then the fact that there are less people smoking in my preferred places, would IMHO be enough for me to say, you know what this DU30 guy is not so bad (amidst EJKs, etc. etc.)

                So those are the little results, I’m looking for Ireneo, and whether or not it’s enough to give DU30 a pass for bigger transgressions that don’t really directly affect the person directly now benefiting from said little transgression, or many littler trangressions (controlled now thru fear).

              • Francis says:

                I think it was Agoncillio or was it Constantino who said that the middle class has two tendencies: to go with the elites and to be with the proletariat masses.

                My hypothesis (that attachment to Western aspects of Filipino culture directly correlates to dislike for Duterte and vice-versa) I think is most pronounced in the lower middle class—the leaders of the pro-admin movement. This is very evident in the background of many of the bloggers and influencers behind the administration; they were college graduates, but not from the “best” schools or if they were from the “best” schools, saw themselves as “alienated” from them.

                SWS survey. E reports heavy drop of confidence. D reports moderate drop of confidence. ABC remains steady.

              • “SWS survey. E reports heavy drop of confidence. D reports moderate drop of confidence. ABC remains steady.”


                This kinda validates what I’m hammering here re: B/C benefiting from DU30 EJKs.

                For A, so long as no one bothers them, they’ll be fine. I feel for D/E , but as Emmanuel Goldstein describes above mind numbing drudgery of day-to-day life will always relegate them to the whims of the Middle, then by the Top, then the Middle again, and so on and so forth.

                Glad D/E are wising up to the scam, per your survey.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Tambay and siga( standbys, neighborhood toughies)
              never were gone maybe they just cooled down for a while at the start of the Duterte admin, but they are still around.
              Remember there was a curfew imposed by local governments to show compliance to the new sheriff in town, when it was over, it was back to as it were.
              If thet were gone, why are there raids in the homes of suspected druggies,why are there proposals to rat on neighbors through drop boxes emails or anonymous tips.
              I don’t buy your argument.
              I am sorry to say that I don’t buy Francis’ argument ot thesis either.

              • I’m sure they are not gone, karl. 3rd world countries will have a surplus of good-for-nothings, economics as such.

                But I’m assuming most are now better behaved, how long this lasts, I don’t know. But I’m just focus on the beneficiaries of this time of quiet, ex. neighbors, students, call center workers, visitors, kids, etc.

                Where before many would’ve felt intimidated to go to these neighborhoods would now be open for business, it’ll be a lot more vibrant, comparatively. Kinda like NYC when the Guardian Angels were around, around the same the Charles Bronson movies got famous. That type of atmosphere, taking the night back.

                Who stands to benefit, answer that , and i’ll guarantee those are the same people supporting DU30 now. Because that polling is still pretty positive, I know its drastically gone down since. But the support is confounding.

                Don’t you think? Aside from lies and hope and hate, and fake news and Filipinos being gullible, what’s your take on this? Why the support? 😉

              • karlgarcia says:


                I am sure this is what you mean by “ because of ejks, the tambays and sigas are more behaved”.

                That is bullocks.
                In tagalog bulok or rotten or decayed.
                (bulok is not a direct translation but the pun fits)

              • Murder being up is EJK in action, karl.

                My point isn’t EJK here, it’s what happens when tambays and sigas are compelled to behave (directly or indirectly because of EJK… JP‘s fear in action here),

                and who stands to benefit from said change of behaviour. Those who stand to benefit, will support DU30. That’s all,

                as Ireneo stated above, the mission now is to find those who benefit and why. Possibilities I posed were call center workers, and their landlords (and the neighborhood they live in).

                Are there more who stand to benefit?

              • I wonder if like boondocks=bontoc ; your bullucks=bulok, karl.

              • karlgarcia says:

                tagalog bundok means mountain in english so it is said that bundocks is derived from tagalog bundok.

                But bollocks or bullocks is a castrated bull or steer.
                So I guess that is where bullshit as nonesense was taken by the chroniclers of the urban dictionary.
                But I read somewhere that shit was sperm before it was manure, so even street linggo evolves fast.

                bulok as I said means spoiled,rotten or decayed.
                But to say “style mo bulok “or your style is “bulok” means that won’t work because it stinks, is very close to bullocks.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Now I tried urban dictionary and wikipedia as to the origin or etymology of bs
                And I think what I said turned out to be bullocks. ( the sperm part)

              • ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww… ( i didn’t even know that!)

              • karlgarcia says:

                I mixed up my pejoratives.
                It was leche that meant sperm.
                leche is just milk when not used vulgarly.

              • I prefer milk to shit, karl. Remember I’m the one pushing for sperm/ejaculate as equal or more nutritious to mother’s milk. So all things are as they should be now, karl. sperm is milk. 😉

              • karlgarcia says:

                You always get your way. 😉

          • Francis says:


            I think there are multiple instances where he has categorically sad falsehood.
            As for what I think of President Duterte—I can’t help it; my instincts are irritated, even when I acknowledge his positives. I grew up on piles of Newsweek and TIME magazines, and comfortable with English. Personally, I view my identity as a Filipino as inherently a mixture of East and West.

            Duterte—and the whole zeitgeist behind his administration—runs completely counter to that. I feel intense revulsion towards Duterte. He makes me feel like a stranger in my own land; brown on the outside, white-skinned malansang isda on the inside.

            (And I can’t help but think: Duterte has a grain of truth there, mixed in his exaggeration and meandering.)

            What I’ve been feeling (the feeling of resignation) with Duterte in power, is what I suppose Evangelicals on the US and Christians in Europe have been feeling: they felt their old seeming “hegemony” in culture fade away, succeeded by secularism—I feel that the “liberal” consensus in PH political culture (despite fragile it was, it was nonetheless a consensus) is giving ground to nationalist populism.

            As for the fanaticism and idolatry—I don’t think guillibility is a sufficient explanation. I think that while fanaticism and idolatry cannot be completely eliminated in any human society—my guess is that they only become “mainstream” (that is: become dominant or significant in a nation) when there is something very wrong in the political, economic and cultural status quo.

            (I think of Weimar Germany. Yes, the economy was not in a good place—but there was also the cultural aspect, the feeling of resentment, to consider.)

            If there is something very wrong with the status quo*, than any promise to get out of that status quo is “hope”.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thank you very much for your reply Francis.
              Unfortunately by elimnating gullibility you say that most are fanatics.
              I don’t know if it means that it is good less people are gullible.

              Aside from presidents, where reelection is almost nil,
              explain why people keep on voting the same dynasties, same old same old is it more on fanaticism and less on gullbility?

        • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:


          I just mentioned VAT to emphasize that taxes the citizens pay are now being used as incentive payments for every accompllished EJK. In short we are paying someone to kill one of us. Ironic, eh?

          And I mentioned VAT because even squatters and those jobless folks are not exempt from taxes, income tax yes but the cost of every item we put in our mouth or water we use for drinking or cleaning or bathing ourselves, the lighhts we use in our everyday lives has taxes in them namely VAT.

          Maybe it’s time to tell them of these abstract things to help open their eyes to the truth. They cannot wallow in ignorance any longer. They need to use their brain cells or Du30 will kill them as well, their brain cells, I mean, and then they will be like zombies scrambling around searching for somone or something to devour. The truth should set them free.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Mary, you have superb intuition. See my post below in response to Chemrock.

    • I have a blog coming out on Oct. 23 called “to touch a dream” which addresses this. I suggest we roll up our sleeves on that blog. I don’t want to undercut my own work here, tee hee. But you have stated the question exquisitely.

    • chemrock says:

      So many physcho-analysis out there why do people still support leaders like Trump and Duterte. Most likely the answer lies in neuro science.
      Thugs and tards of the same amygdala, flock together. Just look at the behaviour of Nieto, Canete, Robin Padilla, Sass, and all others.

      Go scientific, read this.

      • sonny says:

        Hah! Thanks for this link, chempo.

        No.2 son (BSEE) worked for GE creating algorithms for GE MRI machines. He was on the moving (not stationary) organs (like the heart) team. 🙂 Need to educate myself (nuclear magnetic resonance) and whatever I can understand from him.

      • Edgar Lores says:


        1. That’s a fascinating finding of conservatives preferring clear distinctions between “insiders” and “outsiders.”

        1.1. This jibes with Paxton’s 5th passion of fascism: “An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.”

        1.2. This inclusive/exclusive divide seems to run through not only political convictions but religious ones as well. Christianity and Islam are “exclusive” clubs (conservative) while Hinduism and Buddhism are “inclusive” clubs (liberal). This is In the sense, that the latter religions are inclusive and tolerant of other religions.

        2. The other finding of conservatives being more responsive to negative emotions is significant as well.

        2.1. This jibes with Paxton’s 7th passion: “The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success in a Darwinian struggle.”

        2.2. Note how virulent Duterte supporters are in their language — including the Man himself! Their natural stance seems to be adversarial. As Agot Isidro noted: “Unang-una, walang umaaway sa iyo. As a matter of fact, ikaw ang nang-aaway.”

        3. The question is: Do people behave this way because of their brain structures? Or are their brain structures sculpted by the way they behave?

        3.1. In support of the latter conjecture, Buddhist mindfulness meditation appears to shrink the amygdala.

        4. My tentative conclusion is that Filipinos who support Duterte do so based, not on hope, but on hate. Repeat: hate not hope.

        • Some Duts trolls would find a perfect place in this video, Bruce Rivera singing and dancing etc.

        • edgar,

          I was trying to applying this “hate” narrative to the above results-based query I posted above,

          and I would conjecture further that those who hate and troll are exceedingly less than the folks actually carrying DU30 right now (ie. support in the pollings, not so much social media),

          I’m imagining call center workers employees pulling night shift, and having to deal with night species in the Philippines (from hustlers, gangsters, druggies, pimps and prostitutes, and taxi drivers),

          where before they’d feel harassed, now maybe feel like they now “own” the night— as they should, they’re the ones working. Those are the numbers i’d be interested in discovering, those DU30 supporters (those who’ve actually gained in the past year or so, however little, in their day-to-day grind)

          Slight improvements go a long way, i’m sure you’d know. How do you explain “hate” vis-a-vis these types of supporters , results-oriented (let’s call ’em that).

          • Edgar Lores says:

            Establish the particular results first. And characterize them. Are they good or bad?

            And who are supporting which particular results. And characterize them. Are they good or bad?

            Call center workers are just one group. And which particular result is in their favor?

            o Is it they are able to walk safely at night?
            o Or is it that they are afraid of losing their jobs?

            • re call center workers, specifically the night shift workers, walk safely at night would be the main concern. I’m picturing good-for-nothings , no work, hanging out drinking with other good-for-nothings, either harassing or bullying, productive Filipinos.

              And because of DU30’s EJKs these good-for-nothings are now better behaved than before, knowing now all those dead drug addicts, who I’m sure were too good-for-nothings, just standing-by (estambay, which I later learned was actually English, go figure! for good-for-nothings)

              result: quieter, less mean, streets (at night)

              night shift call center workers: in favor of said results

              thus results equated with DU30’s actions (ie. EJKs)

              night shift call center workers’ take: who cares about Ethics, I can walk un-harassed at night now! Go DU30!

              Other groups would be neighborhoods, say these night shift call center-workers are simply renting rooms in these neighborhoods,

              so those renting rooms (landlords) to these call center workers, see them out and about at night, why not keep their money here, which causes them to open up a small eatery or internet/gaming center, laundry at night, whatever, thus

              more business opportunities at night, since it’s not just the good-for-nothings messing around at night.

              result: happy night shift call center workers are spendthrift workers

              neighborhood they live in: don’t just rent out rooms anymore, but attempt to cater to their call center workers needs within the neighborhood.

              safer nights = more spending, equals everyone happy, thus go DU30! thanks for making our nights quiet!


              the cascading effect can go on, but you guys on the ground in the Philippines will have more examples, i’m simply imagining nights in the Philippines from my own experience awhile bak, and how less intimidating it would be for everyone now.

              because of DU30. But my question was how does “hate” play into the above narrative i’ve just outline, edgar?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Self-preservation is an “ingroup” thing. The istambays are seen as an outgroup.

              • Not life or death, but just the nuisance and harassing, edgar… not necessarily self-preservation.

                Haven’t you walked thru a side street in the Philippines at night, either by adventure or just drunk & dumb, and harassed by tambays/sigas (thanks karl!).

                Well imagine now a street at night with no more, or more behaved, tambays/sigas, wouldn’t you feel like hey DU30s onto something here, I can walk unbothered at night now, who would’ve known!!!

                Per Francis, forget VAT, I’m gonna enjoy walking unharassed at night! go DU30!

                I just don’t see “hate” in this scenario was my point, edgar. And that’s what I’m asking where’s the “hate” in this?

              • Edgar Lores says:


              • So they “hate” the tambays and sigas, then?

              • There is a range of negative drivers in social media commentary, and verbal or written statements. What emotion does it take for policemen to become killers? Greed? For educated people to give up their freedoms and economic well-being by backing an autocrat? Ignorance, spite, resentment, hate? Others have written about the crab envies and joy at putting others down, so I’m not sure why you are asking the question. There are many narratives that don’t involve hate, but its partner, fear. The angers toward Aquino were for sure hateful. The angers toward blogger PAB or VP Leni are for sure hateful. Duterte has committed gross blunders and ordered impunity for police and inspired killing as a problem-solver across the nation. No hate TOWARD him to speak of. Lots of applause. So there is clearly a case of inverted values, where incompetence and brutality is praised and competence jeered. Call it what you will, it is not good, either for people or the nation.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                In Buddhism, the Three Poisons, which cause suffering, are:

                o Ignorance (delusion, confusion)
                o Attachment (greed, sensual attachment)
                o Aversion (ill will, anger, hate)

                In a way, fear is the root of the poisons. Our most basic state is one of existential anxiety and, when we are faced with a challenge, we react with the fight/flight/freeze response. Very broadly:

                o Ignorance is freeze.
                o Attachment is fight.
                o Aversion is flight.

                Thus, when I tentatively conclude that hate (aversion) is the motivating force of Duterte supporters, my viewpoint is from this “second” tier of emotions.

                Each poison has an antidote — wisdom, generosity, and compassion respectively. The opposite of hate is love. So, in effect, one can claim that the motivating force is not hate but love.

                But, generally, the Three Poisons are a greater motivating force than the antidotes. There is more ignorance than wisdom; more greed than generosity; more hate than compassion.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                I will add that ignorance and greed also motivate Duterte supporters.

              • Yes, although I would put ignorance as a condition and greed a motivation. Greed motivates many of us. For sure, the educational system has missed the teaching of self-motivated fulfillment in favor of lessons on being downtrodden, and obedience.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Agree. Ignorance is a condition. Like greed and hate, it can be self-mastered.

                Wilful ignorance, unlike greed and hate, is not a motivating force per se but it can be a driving force.

              • I get that, Joe.

                My point about hating or fearing tambays and sigas, is this… are there Filipinos that “love” them? The mystery is why there’s still so much supporting for DU30.

              • I don’t think it is a mystery. People beaten on and fed no nourishment (Western style) will be attracted to what they are not, but want to be. The dominant dog. They hate those who get what they want on what looks like a silver platter.

              • wrong picture, sorry.

              • “I don’t think it is a mystery. People beaten on and fed no nourishment (Western style) will be attracted to what they are not, but want to be. The dominant dog. They hate those who get what they want on what looks like a silver platter.”

                I think vis-a-vis Francis’ original posting which precipitated this discussion,

                B/C crowd vs. D/E crowd is in play, so you’re conflating two groups here, where I’m talking about B/C (like call center workers, the cream of the cream, ie. English speaking Filipinos), you’re talking about “People beaten on” (D/E folks),

                The question is why would B/C folks (like call center workers) support (during campaign) and still support (like now) DU30. That’s not a mystery to you? That the “beaten people” will lash out and vote against their interests I get that, Joe (that is not a mystery 😉 ).

                But why still (you mentioned artists, etc.) the support from B/C, we’ve not gotten a sufficient answer I don’t think, Joe (it is still a mystery).

                Could they have benefitted from the DU30 regime, my contention here, yes of course— is it so hard to stomach? Hence the on-going support?

              • Awesome clarification, edgar. Thanks! 😉 Now let us continue…

                “The opposite of hate is love. So, in effect, one can claim that the motivating force is not hate but love.”

                Are there Filipinos who “love” these tambays and sigas? What percentage of the population do you think?

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Too speculative for me.

              • That not too many Filipinos “love” tambays and sigas?

              • chemrock says:

                LCP — to your point regarding safer to walk at night because of ejks …. to accept that line of talk is to succumb to the idea that the means justifies the end. The “Little Boy and “Fat Boy” vaporised hundreds and thousands of Japanese, but probably saved many others if the war was prolonged. Some sacrifices for the larger good.

                For me this type of scenario is very troubling. Difficult to philosophise at times, but sometimes it’s really easy. I guess it’s situational. In the case of EJKs in Philippines, it’s really easy to see the light. It’s just a question of is there another of doing things? Are there better means to achieve the desired ends? World experiences tell us there are. So those night-shift BPO workers that feel happy about a safer journey home are simply self-centred selfish types who accept a short cut solution to a problem. They will remain happy until an EJK tragedy strike someone in the family.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Interesting comment.

              • “So those night-shift BPO workers that feel happy about a safer journey home are simply self-centred selfish types who accept a short cut solution to a problem. They will remain happy until an EJK tragedy strike someone in the family.”


                This is the big conjecture (actually not so big) on my part. Having met the few call center types when in Manila (who were out for the gimmick) & my knowledge of night time Philippines (both Manila and Cebu, a bit of Zamboanga).

                The mystery is why still the support, I’m simply saying look at the results.

                I know there are Ethical and Economic argument for EJKs , chemp, but I guess this thread or line of query is more fact finding than an argument really, if you can provide (for or against) anecdotal or not, commentary like manangbok‘s below,

                that would be great, I know you’re closer to the neighborhoods I’m talking about around Makati parts.

          • *******
            I will add that ignorance and greed also motivate Duterte supporters.

            I would agree too, but more consistent with the D/E crowd; now the B/C folks, “aversion” is more relevant IMHO (i’m sure you’d agree). So let’s stick with “aversion” as hate. And whether or not that explains the support for DU30, ie. is DU30’s EJKs effectively separating these two entities from one another, thus creating the results=support4DU30 we are looking for here, edgar? thus,

            Mystery solved? 😉

            • manangbok says:

              “The question is why would B/C folks (like call center workers) support (during campaign) and still support (like now) DU30. That’s not a mystery to you? That the “beaten people” will lash out and vote against their interests I get that, Joe (that is not a mystery 😉 ).

              But why still (you mentioned artists, etc.) the support from B/C, we’ve not gotten a sufficient answer I don’t think, Joe (it is still a mystery).

              Could they have benefitted from the DU30 regime, my contention here, yes of course— is it so hard to stomach? Hence the on-going support?”


              I have a friend and she is a professional with a lot of brains. And I love her. She is also a rabid PRRD supporter.

              This is the reason she gives me why she likes PRRD:

              “Pnoy and the yellows are such high-and-mighty know-it-alls who are puro dakdak at kulang sa gawa. Nothing happened during Pnoy’s administration because he was an autistic abnoy. On the other hand, PRRD may have a bad mouth but he gets things done. Look at Davao. And yes people sometimes die, but drastic changes call for drastic measures. Elitists like you think you have all the answers, well for 6 years you had your chance and your president in power. Now this is OUR chance. OUR president has 5 more years to go so you had better just wait for your turn.”

              What can I say, I love my friend so I never muster enough grit to rebut her.

              I really really want to tell her this:

              “Girl, you are a delusional biatch. You believe in a lie and you cling to it so stubbornly you will, one day, self-destruct. That guy in power you support will probably send you to perdition the way he has sent his own wife and now his kids to their perdition. But you like him, I get that, he satisfies this little-girl desire of yours to be cosseted and protected. Hell, girl, fucking grow up!!! Men will never protect you. You can only do that for yourself. So quit defending PRRD because he’s a lecherous maniac who made you believe otherwise.”

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

                I’m sorry that you didn’t tell her those things, it might unscramble her brains into a rude awakening. She mouthed the PRRD propaganda, almost word for word, Abnoy, autistic, you had 6 years and have done nothing. No amount of logical response could satisfy such rabid, fanatic supporters. When she herself becomes a victim of collateral damage, maybe in the throes of death while trying to breathe her last, she might realize the folly of swallowing all those lies and black propaganda.

              • This is what I’m looking for, manangbok!

                Question: What exactly are her examples tangible that she’s feeling in her day-to-day life since DU30 won the presidency?

                (If she’s HOT— i’m thinking this is the reason we you’ve kept your views hidden right?— I suggest don’t engage her in verbal combat, take her to a short-time hotel, and show her how you feel in there. 😉 say something like, You want EJK, I’ll show you some EJK! 😉 I’ll spank you like DU30! LOL, right, karl? That’s how you do it.)

                But do ask her specific examples of how her life has improved. Tangible, examples that can directly be attributed to DU30 and his policies (legal or not).

              • Sup says:

                Maybe your frend can listen to Washington Sycip in 2015 about how good the economy went under Pnoy…?
                Yearly they did add 100000 BPO workers in the PH.

            • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

              Who would love tambays and sigas?

              First, they squander what little earnings they have, second they drink and smoke which is harmful for their health, third, they lose their inhibitions, their sense of right and wrong when already drunk and they resort to brawls, and when coupled with drugs, to rapes and killings and so they constitute hazards to factory workers and call center agents who are at the end of their shifts.

              They should be encouraged to leave the streets for people who want to return home from work in peace, drink to their heart’s content at their own homes or rounded up to precincts to spend the night there.

              But, they should not be killed without due process. That’s the POINT. DUE PROCESS. For even the criminals have human rights.

              We in the opposition are often accused of coddling the drug addicts, the rapists, and killers. What our accusers fail to understand is that we are one with them in condemning these drug addicts, these istambays and sigas but we differ in the manner they are being dealt with. You just cannot right a wrong with another wrong and who cares about human rights, who cares about rehabilitation, about human collateral damage, of youth and children who will no longer have the chance to be productive members of the society, is that hard to understand?

              Pacquiao was a drug addict before, look where he is now?

              • “But, they should not be killed without due process. That’s the POINT. DUE PROCESS. For even the criminals have human rights.”

                I get the theoretical/Ethical arguments, Mary.

                But we’re talking here of JP’s “fear” and Francis’ “BC” (he even added D with them) crowd. An EJK need not occur in said neighborhood where B/C call center workers live and hang-out. Just the “fear” that if these tambays and sigas act a fool , they’ll get dealt with, hence lately the good behaviour, JP’s “fear”.

                The good behaviour lately is the results, B/C folks feel it, enjoy the bounty of safe/quiet streets and respond according by continued support of DU30. Now the question is could a PNOY type president be able to deliver such results, i’m not talking about 5-10 years down the line,

                where economic prosperity increases, so too others’ (chemp has made that argument, edgar’s made the Ethical arguments) , but place yourself now as a mid-20something Filipina, with perfect English, earning what? +50K/month right? and you wanna enjoy

                the fruits of your labor and D/E tambays and sigas are preventing a certain level of quality in your life from unfolding for you, wouldn’t you want to either distance yourself from these low-lives, or somehow affect their behaviour to suit your needs?

                And if someone delivers this space between you and these tambays/sigas (ie. compels them to act a certain way), wouldn’t you view it as a big improvement in your life (not in an economic way, or ethical way) but just the day-to-day improvement , wouldn’t you appreciate it, Mary?

              • karlgarcia says:

                You will turn this into an endless loop again.
                Tambay or istambay behave the same, keep them out of the streets, then you will have more domestic violence.
                I don’t have the stats, but that is my guess.

                Your argument is a killer.
                EJKs are good because it lessens tambays.

                Bull shit!

              • “Your argument is a killer.
                EJKs are good because it lessens tambays.”


                That’s precisely not the argument! It’s how these B/C youngsters and how they are perceiving the no tambays and sigas on the streets. That’s key. And how they are processing said results— good or bad for them, what do you think?

                EJK and domestic violence won’t matter to them, that’s them; millennials are solipsistic like that. This is crucial in figuring out the ongoing support.

              • karlgarcia says:

                It will matter them once it hits them close to home.
                more than 15k families were hit close to home.
                And I am not talking of domestic violence.

              • “When she herself becomes a victim of collateral damage, maybe in the throes of death while trying to breathe her last, she might realize the folly of swallowing all those lies and black propaganda.”


                That’s the same thing Mary said.

                But I’m sure there’s a pattern to where these EJKs are taken place. I don’t know if an investigative reporter has taken the time to plot these dots on a map, but these pro-DU30 B-C-high D types will process yours and Mary’s wishful “I told you so” moments quite differently.

                Probability-wise, and I’m sure you and Mary would agree, you’d more likelier probably get killed crossing a busy street over there, than from a stray EJK bullet. So I’m sure a young B-C-high D youngster in the city will have similar cost-benefits, knowledge of terrain, knowing what’s possible and what’s probable in their neck of the woods,

                but the news that DU30 is one mean Dad, I’m sure most (if not all ) tambays and sigas would have already adjusted accordingly, so focus on this change of behavior (and who benefits from it), not so much the what-if’s, for example where you guys are now, what’s the probability of getting shot by some EJK taking place,

                if I remember it was madlanglupa who said there was an EJK near her parts, no? My point, it would be different for everyone, and telling some DU30 supporter that she’s gonna get shot (especially if she lives in a pretty decent neighborhood) is just not good argument IMHO.

              • karlgarcia says:


                This was December 2016 , this was supposed to be the year when Filipinos felt safer.
                I rest my case, in other words I wanna rest.

              • Rest granted, karl!

                Let me compare and contrast these two SWS surveys (one mentioned by Francis above) to see if the two together make sense, so D-E are now in fear; but A-B-C fine with everything?

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:


                I get the theoretical/Ethical arguments, Mary.

                Ethics and related theoretical applied to real life should lead us to sound and mature judgements and decisions in life. For all we know, they are aware of them all but still, they cling to being fanatic believers simply because they refuse to admit their mistakes. Or they simply box themselves in their own narrow world and their immediate survival never realizing that their actions are what threatens their own lives and survival.

                I am mortified but I understand for I too have dealings with those on fringes of society there in our province, our neighbors here in the city, and my less fortunate officemates – and that’s the tragedy of my country. The part-time construction workers we hire from time to time who could not wait for 2 days of work before asking for a week’s advance in their wages as they will not eat or pay for the weekly amortizations of the loan they got from credit and loan association. All they think about is how to survive and they can’t be bothered to think of the hows and whys of Duterte’s way of governing. That’s why we have presidents like Estrada, Arroyo and Duterte, even Marcos. They embrace the New Society, Change is Coming mantra and don’t bother to delve deeper, listen and analyze more.

                Like crazy folks, they have rare breaks of lucidity which gave us Cory, Ramos and Pnoy in between, only to revert back to madness just when we’re at the brink of economic progress and full democracy. There is simply no continuity of good governance, only decades of dictatorship and plunder under Marcos which was ended by EDSA 1, Edsa 2 prevented another thievery but was followed by another decade of plunderous government under Arroyo. Six years is simply not enough so we have yearned for a continuity of PNOY’s style governance under Mar to complete the recovery from an Erap/GMA/Marcos/Estrada remnants’ ravages in the economy but black propaganda and the gullible electorate, plus the Marcos legacy of multi-party system brought our dreams to just that, dreams and yet another struggle to bring back true democracy.

                After 4 centuries of colonization by Spain, you would think that in the advent of modern age and technology. with the advance knowledge available brought about by social media, we might have a semblance of independent thinking for ourselves but it seems to be limited to only a few. Masochists that most of us are, we simply enjoy our bondage, at leat the 80% do as they couldn’t discern manipulative, black propaganda in youtube and FB and the lure of unearned money and instant gratification versus the truth with its long lasting fruits of a free and democratic nation.

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:


                but A-B-C fine with everything? I could be wrong but, IMHO:

                A – the billionaires and lobbyist have their own interest they have to protect. They need to keep silent and not rock the boat, otherwise their business will be in danger of being attacked by Du30’s mouth and after their stock reach almost rock bottom, will be forced to sell to the cronies of the powers that be. Resibo (pahiram ng term, Jover/PAB) Ongpin and owners of Inquirer, ABS CBN stockholders and management?. Exeptions are few but there are patriots among them.

                B – upper middle clas – The need to have more and more at the price of surrender might affect their stand. They recognize that whom you know will be of great importance together with what you know. There are always exceptions, of course, and we appreciate them for their help in our fight for good governance,They are an enlightened group and are present in rallies, their offsprings compose the awake and aware millennials who are quite visible in large rallies together with their schoold officals on weekends and holidays. More will come around for sure.

                C – lower middle class – the young work force, call center agents and supervisors. Like the poor, they need to survive and they are victims of traffic problems, and they need to concentrate on to need to prepare for the future of their young family. They are too busy and lacking time for introspections, what sparetime they have are spent in the pursuit of getting together with their peers, sharing pictures of parties, foods and family occasions in FB, weekly drinks and chats with friends and relatives. They brows FB posts, but never finish meaningful posts (they complain if it’s too long), but they are fond of Mocha, Sassot and Badoy. Here, we may found a lot of exceptions, and those provide warm bodies and are willing to put themselve in line, not just on line. Yes, more will come around in the not distant future.

              • Class C, I think gaming has shortened attention spans, and social media. Even well-educated people don’t want to read for long. It’s like they have to move on to prove they are going somewhere. But many are not, I think.

              • chemrock says:

                You guys are going round in circles not listening to each other.

                Lcpl does’nt condone the EJKs. He is simply asking how do we explain the BCD classes who now feel safer in the streets at night, thus they support the D30. I’m sorry for sounding Abella-ish

                “Slight improvements go a long way, i’m sure you’d know. How do you explain “hate” vis-a-vis these types of supporters , results-oriented (let’s call ’em that).”

                Karl Marx called the lower middle class the “lackeys of capitalists”. Throughout the history of class struggles in various parts of the world, this class are fence-sitters, easily persuaded by the side that is wielding power. They are often leaderless. “… if (when) the representatives of the lower middle-class were really revolutionary in sentiment, it was only when faced with their immediate descent into the ranks of the proletariat.” Self-preservation is the name of the game for them. Thus self-centred and selfish in sentiment. As long as they get the BPO high pay, martial law is not a problem. Only when BPO jobs vanish will they finally realise too late their foolish empathies.

              • Off topic. I noticed a comment from the BSP guy that they expect to reduce bank reserve requirements to push more liquidity into the markets. That seems to me to be shaving the ice thinner upon which we all skate. Is that worth a blog (haha, by you)? Or what is your thinking? One comment said it could lead to hyper inflation. It would be phased in over an 18 month period during which other reforms are taking place.

              • Thanks, chemp!

                And I’d add, now knowing from whence the support comes— ie. perceived safety, cleaner streets, more responsive gov’t services, etc. etc.

                How do you leverage against that? Certainly by not saying, I hope you’ll get shot by these EJKs soon. NO! You’ll have to support quieter streets, more responsive gov’t, etc. as well. Essentially build on this administrations accomplishments, then…

                slowly introduce what Francis called “Western” values, Ireneo’s “democratic process”, so as to pry them from JP’s “fear” which now ironically fruits these clean, quieter streets and more responsive gov’t civil servants.

                I agree, with you chemp, there are better ways of doing all this, but I’m seeing these “results” that BChighD types are enjoying as more a stop gap, it’s allowing them to feel more like middle class, to do the gimmick and buy and enjoy,

                but historically we know their enjoyment is dependent on the very guy providing said reprieve, that’s Daddy D. How to convince them that they don’t have to rely on Daddy D. is the next part of the equation.

                Tough to untangle, chemp, but IMHO more tangible that talking fear and hate and love and gullibility, and Ethics. But that’s just me 😉

              • Adiks deserve to die. That’s what Lasco says is propping up the surveys. What a failure by the Catholic Church. Right to life becomes right to death.

            • manangbok says:

              Thank you Mary LCpl_X for your suggestions. I will keep them in mind.

              And LCpl_X, you are right:

              “And I’d add, now knowing from whence the support comes— ie. perceived safety, cleaner streets, more responsive gov’t services, etc. etc.
              How do you leverage against that? Certainly by not saying, I hope you’ll get shot by these EJKs soon. NO! You’ll have to support quieter streets, more responsive gov’t, etc. as well. Essentially build on this administrations accomplishments, then…”

              That is my dilemma. I do not want to go down to their level. The problem is when I ask for specifics or call them out with facts that rebuts their arguments, they go defensive and the discussion breaks down. So I just become silent.

              I am dejected. Raw power sometimes trumps truth 😦

              I am inspired, though, with blogs like Pinoy Ako Blog by Jover Laurio that just keeps on going despite the bashings. That’s why in social media, I stand up for her as much as I can because, I can never do so in my real life.

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

                manangbok ” I am dejected. Raw power sometimes trumps truth 😦”

                Don’t be dejected, don’t fret or get frustrated.

                Remember, Be still and know that He is God.

                He is the most powerful of all and He answers our prayers in His time, not our time.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Let us be clear … Whoever is the President of the Philippines Philippine Fake News destroyeth ….

  11. Vicky Garchitorena says:

    Wonderful assessment of the country and our people. Thanks, JoeAm. Mabuhay and God bless!

  12. manangbok says:

    What irks me about those currently in power is their cynicism.

    Case in point: my colleague who is a die-hard Duterte supporter said, “Demonyo nga si Duterte pero demonyo lang ang makakatalo sa kapwa demonyo. Kaya mabuti na nandyan sya para tumino tayong lahat.” Rough translation: Only a demon can vanquish other demons and this demon will force use to behave.

    I cannot even begin to explain to him the fallacy of his statement. (I am not even sure I want to, because then he would go on and say “siguro ikaw gusto mo manakawan/ma-rape/mapatay ng adik.” When the discourse go down to that level, my blood boils and all I want to do is hit him in the face — which will make me no better than he is.

    And like him, 16 million Pinoys actually believe like this — that’s why they support EJKs. For them, a certain group of human beings are just beyond redemption. (Ok lang mamatay, kriminal naman/addict/pusher naman).

    “Political will” is defined as forcing policies down people’s throats without meaningful consultation (the operative word being “meaningful”, because one can ask for another person/group’s opinion/suggestion but not listen to them anyway, because hey, what are we in power for?).

    What passes for effectiveness in this administration is nothing more than expediency. (“Kailangan magawa ito ngayon para matuwa ang botante, bahala na ang bukas.” — that is what happened with SSS when they increased the benefits of the senior pensioners, to the detriment of the younger workforce whose premiums will probably be increased.)

    It’s just that I do not believe that a cynical leadership is an effective one. Or maybe (as my colleague has pointed out) I am just naive 😦 😦

  13. “Threat is a familiar tactic of those who live by and for power.”

    The fear that threat induced will give citizens the motivation to turn their backs on the administration. Living in fear is excruciatingly painful for people who know what freedom means.

    “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.”

    ~ Roy Batty, Replicant, Blade Runner 2019

    The “druggies” were hunted and killed by cops and vigilantes in the War on Drugs. People of integrity in the government are being jailed, emotionally blackmailed or threatened with impeachment one by one the administration’s cronies. Citizens who resist to be “slaves” of the administration are bashed and pilloried by pro-administration trolls.

    PH needs modern day abolitionists to pry its citizens out of the grip of slavery and exploitation creep.

    • sonny says:

      obvious technical note:

      there is huge difference between a topical drug and an ingested drug. One messes the internal machinery of the brain (the hardware of the body) while the the other does not: “huwag guluhin ang aparato” works in so many levels. 🙂

      • I am guessing that you are talking about topical Fentanyl (patches, sprays) vs ingested (tablets, lozenges). Any form of Fentanyl affects the central nervous system.


        Fear, stress and anxiety also affects the brain. The brain releases chemicals (cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, etc) which could be toxic if continuously elevated. The psychobiological and psychosocial effects of being constantly threatened are devastating.

        • sonny says:

          Didn’t have fentanyl in mind, JP. I was just referring to an overall difference where something introduced as exterior as possible is less harmful due to the skin “firewalling” undesirable effects versus things that are internally applied that compromise other unintended systems, i.e. unintended effects. Intended (desirable) = the “highs” vs. the degradation (undesirable) of the nervous system itself plus the addiction that will guarantee continuous degradation. (Related concepts: drug interactions, health-to-hazard-to-toxicity thresholds, immune-system capability, etc)

  14. Sabtang Basco says:

    Donald Trump is an iconic epitome of what can power do to truth.

  15. Sup says:

    This is how you land yourself a job as USEC in PCOO

    Lorraine Marie T. Badoy
    October 13 at 10:10pm ·

    If there is anything at all that the unmasking of the hideous creatures behind the poison anonymous blogs teach us, it is this:


    You look at the repugnance of Cocoy Betlog and JoverGanda and you can’t help but see the poetic justice in all these.

    People who hide behind false names disown more than just their names but disown parts of themselves they can’t accept because they’d like so bad to believe the lie of their DILAWAN respectability and decency.

    But see, the Self you deny lies in the dark waiting for the day it gets its pound of flesh from you, exacting a toll that will be too painful for you to pay.

    The ugliness inside you that you deny –but give expression to in the vicious lies and fulminant hatred you spread–will overflow.

    Until one day, you pass by the mirror and see a monster staring back at you.

    I am betting this is the story of CocoyBetlog and JoverGanda.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Duterte: “Magbusina ka naman… #$%&”

      • Sup says:

        Sometimes i have the ”feeling” the government is doing it deliberately, hiring people and promoting people like this just to ”piss off” the still decent Filipino’s?

        Alson Andenar is not looking at brains but at boobs i guess? 🙂

        • Sup says:

          Sometimes i have the ”feeling” the government is doing it deliberately, hiring people and promoting people like this just to ”piss off” the still decent Filipino’s?

          Also Andenar is not looking at brains but at boobs i guess? 🙂

      • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

        yep, I wonder what Duterte sees when he’s in front of a mirror.

    • manangbok says:

      Poor Lorraine, nobody in the medical community really respects her now. She should stop claiming she is a doctor. She is a physician the way Mengele was one.

  16. manangbok says:

    I was reading the comment thread specifically the part where you guys were proposing personalities that Mr. W. Villanueva can interview. And I was thinking: can we interview Elizabeth Zimmerman (PRRDs ex-wife; as far as Philippine laws are concerned, but not as far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned as their annulment has not been approved by the church)?

    Then I googled her and saw that she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2015. And she still managed to campaign for her ex-husband in 2016. What a gracious woman! To do this for the sake of her children and grandchildren.

    In fairness to PRRD, the fact that Ms. Zimmerman is still alive is probably the reason why he is honor-bound not to marry Honeylet Avancena. That and the probability that Sara will go ballistic if he did so (a speculation on my part, of course).

    My point is, I may want to demonize Duterte, but realizing the facts of his life makes me feel sad for the guy for being all too human.

    He is a man controlled by his balls (or rather, penis like 85% of the time), prone to impulsiveness, narcissistic, controlling and has violent tendencies; however, he also has that occasional swagger which passes for charm (with some girls who don’t know any better), and he has an “honor-code” that he sticks to with ornery stubbornness (even when sticking to it is pure BS and stupidity).

    Would I want a guy like this to be the leader of a country?

    Hell. No.

    • manangbok says:

      Sorry for this long rant, but to continue my train of thought ….

      Why is PRRD not a good leader even if he is the cowboy-John-Wayne-type/Christian Grey? Because hello, we are living in 2017!!!

      And cowboys were de rigueur in the frontier – but sadly are less effective in a complex world like the one we are living in now. And Christian Grey is just, well, a sadist.

      Sadly, my Duterte-obsessed colleague is living an another era 😦

      I wish for a time machine to send him where there is no electricity, no internet, and where people still have to depend on gunslinging machos for their protection.

  17. “Tambays and sigas” – or hangarounds and bullies – became a plague at München Hauptbahnhof, or Munich train station over the past few years. A lot of them hung around the main entrance.

    Yesterday night when I came home from another city, it was easy to get to my bus. No having to be too alert while passing through them, or even taking another way out of cautiousness.

    I am not a scared type, nor am I defenceless – but I know what street people can do. A highly athletic 38 year old was beaten into a coma a year ago in front of the station. Some takeaways:

    1) in the Philippines, things that should be handled by LOCAL POLITICS are made national. The drinking ban from 10 p.m. onwards in public streets around the train station has worked. There was a long discussion in local papers especially the two tabloids – leftist-liberal Abendzeitung versus centrist-right Tageszeitung. The ruling Social Democrats and City Hall denied the issues based on stats and stuff, while people who pass by often, cops and the Christian Social Union said no it is much worse. Finally public pressure caused the city council to vote for this simple, effective solution.

    2) of course people care for their own safety, and tend to turn to radical groups when the government fails to offer safety. There may be the theory of the social contract of people banding together to have a democracy, but probably the older social contract is people going into walled cities protected by “Burgherren” (castle lords) who demanded that those inside the walls had enough money for business, had learned a craft or trade, while keeping the dangerous groups outside of the walls. Democratic leaders that want to survive should remember the inherent selfishness of most people.

    3) of course problems tend to move elsewhere when you zone out certain groups. I parked a rental car near the Botanical Garden of Munich, not far from the Hauptbahnhof, some weeks ago in the night and heard a lot of stirring. Common knowledge that drinkers and junkies fled there when the cops chased them away from the station. So probably it is unsafer to pass by there now – but the main station where people change lines – train, subway, tram, bus, taxi is safer now. Of course some of the drunks will go home earlier and probably hurt their kids and wives. You can’t solve all problems. 😦

    The references to Weimar are interesting – there is a new German series on Sky, Babylon Berlin, about 1929, and someone there, I think it is the police investigator, says that those who control what people fear control the people. Before anyone knew what that would mean just four years later..

    Modern German politics tries to solve such issues in local politics before they go national and are used by populists. District council meetings may have certain pubs and the kind of people coming out of them at night on their agenda. Public district meetings will have the police invited for Q&A sessions. Of course a society that is less mature in solving its own problems still needs a “Daddy” to take care of things. After World War 2, it was “Der Alte”- 73-year old West German Chancellor Adenauer. A liberal democrat in beliefs, authoritarian in behavior – exactly the transitional figure that was needed..

    Adenauer Germany was about all kinds of uncool stuff – people dressed like in McCarthy’s USA and lots of curfews, nuclear attack drills and former Nazis turned staunchly pro-American anti-Commies. But it helped the country transition into real modernity it wasn’t ready for in 1929 by around 1969.

    • Ireneo,

      Great take away here.

      Question: Don’t you think that EJKs (not the PNP, tokhang related ones, nor ones connected to Druglords) but the ones unknown… are local politics (barangay level) in action here? ie. instead of talking and democratic debates, local barangay level officials just make problems go away.

      • Could be.. there is a Filipino prejudice that democratic debates lead to no action.

        German democratic debates lead to plans that are then implemented into action.

        EJKs are I think a sign of weakness, of not being able to get order implemented otherwise. They have happened ever since, even Marcos had his so-called “secret Marshalls” and Cory Aquino called Alsa Masa in Davao and the like “the Dark Side of People Power”. Shortcuts.

    • When it was reported here locally that “outsiders have entered the province and they are packing really big guns”, I thought, wow, if they come to extract taxes from me, I’ll sign them up to a full-fledged security contract so that when government goons come calling, I’ll have backup. When we can’t trust the police, and government is obsessed with list-making, then its “every thug for himself”.

      • I don’t get it, Joe, are these provincial outsiders supposed to be police doing EJKs, who are they? And what are they doing in your neck of the woods? In something like this, how would your local barangay tanods respond?

        • Isn’t security usually a private matter in the Philippines? Every mall has its armed guards. Subdivisions i.e. gated communities have security at the entrances.

          The expectation that POLICE of all people protect you as a citizen is new. Western idea! Traditional Filipino mentality from hundreds of years of colonialism is to view all institutions as potential enemies – unless you can own them and abuse them for your own folks and yourself.

        • 1. I don’t know, and am not about to ask.
          2. See 1. I’d guess NPA. Their mainstream business is providing security for a fee, non-negotiable.
          3. See 2 and 1. They’d mind their own business and might mention it casually to others, if at all. They would not confront. They would not want to be identified as a troublemaker.

          • When I was living in Mindanao, it was not officials who would warn of collection parties coming in. It was locals whose kids knew people who were in the NPA, or had joined themselves. There is no clear dividing line between good guys and bad in the community. The dividing line is against anyone who would have the nerve to run against the mayor or barangay captain. The NPA is just a line of work for those with no decent opportunities elsewhere, albeit rather dangerous work. The AFP is also just doing its job chasing the notorious tax collectors.

            • Ah, I get now, so not so much EJKs in Biliran now, but the over all uncertainty peace & order -wise with more folks feeling they have to arm themselves.

              I know there is a foreign tax levied on expats living there, does the NPA ask more of from expats (if so, that’s not very communistic!), but are they fair in their tax collecting, ie. are they aware of not precipitating a Boston Tea Party type reaction?

              Taxation w/out Representation?

              I’m also wondering if with the rise of BPO, less BC types are going to the mountains to join the NPA; leaving only DE types and since much of communism is theory based, how that would affect the NPA,

              a lot of weapons with no ideology is more dangerous.

  18. Sabtang Basco says:

    GREAT NEWS ! Manila, which represents Philippines, has been added to Safe Cities Index of 2017 by the Economist.

    On the average of 72, Manila garnered 54.86 in Safe Cities Index
    despite …
    Personal Security is 69.83 out of the average of 74.4

    GOOD WORK TO DUTERTE? Should we give him the big thunderclap?

    Here is the link: https://dkf1ato8y5dsg.cloudfront.net/uploads/5/82/safe-cities-index-2017-eng-web.pdf

    • Great read, MRP!!! 😉 Thanks!

      Now I’m curious where Manila was ranked last year, if all this can truly be credited to DU30, I remember he promised to make Manila Bay red.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        Now I know who MRP is/was …

        You are asking me where Manila was ranked last year? Manila MAY BE in Dangerous Cities Index. This time it is now honorable mention in Safe Cities Index of 2017.

        Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok were in Safe Cities Index since 2015 Manila was not despite Davao was the safest city in the world.

  19. Sabtang Basco says:

    Am I personally safe in Manila ? Yes and No.

    I do not do drugs or trade with them: I AM SAFE
    I am not a Pilipino: Easy target to scammers, snatchers, pickpockets. I AM STILL SAFE BUT NOT GOOD
    Healthwise: I buy bottled water not from tap water. SAFE

    *** Vehicular Accident: I AM WAY SAFER THAN in NYC, Dallas, Frankfurt, LA and DC. Filipino drivers may drive crazy but they are safe crazy all the time. ***

    Thank Duterte again for cracking down on doping drivers Manila is safer. Do I drive in Manila? Heck no ! Why drive when a Manila crazy driver can take me from A to Z in no time.

  20. karlgarcia says:

    These may be execptions to the rule, but you know what they say about one too many.


    • If you were a 20-something, English speaking, B-C type, call center worker, earning good money, you’d probably read this news, and think… those tambays and sigas need to be dealt with , I don’t think DU30 supporters will think, man those EJKs is the reason this happened, from that news article it ‘s not EJK , karl…

      but maybe drug related, the expensive iPhone makes me think she was not just a call center agent, but a call girl, so business dispute?

      • karlgarcia says:

        OK Lance shit happens.
        Chemrock already explained what you meant, and I believe him, so I guess lets
        move on to another blog topic.
        What’s your take on Edgar’s latest?

      • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:


        I think these murders and other types of mayhem are common in other democratic countries, but we don’t see these other democratic countries decide in favour of state-sponsored killings just to get rid of these sigas and tambays.

        If “a 20-something, English speaking, B-C type, call center worker, earning good money, you’d probably read this news, and think… those tambays and sigas need to be dealt with , I don’t think DU30 supporters will think, man those EJKs is the reason this happened, from that news article it ‘s not EJK ”

        ..if that is their mindset, then it’s time for them to change it, right? We cannot live like this indefinitely, we must find a way to reach them, how to change the way they justify these killings just because of the false sense of security they have. I’m even in favor of curfews to rid us of these tambays and sigas, that’s a bit more acceptable to me than EJKs.

        I know this is no longer about EJKs, this protracted exchanges, that is. It’s how you want to understand why a certain segment of the population feel safe just because of Du30. But maybe they have now begin to think, In fact, 7 out of 10 surveyed said they are afraid of EJKs, They are starting to think about the truth that is staring right in front of our faces. That drugs are here to stay, that’s the truth and nothing but, with the rude way we are made aware about the 28 billion peso worth of drugs from China that the DAvao group were able to release from BOC. A new set of drug runners have to be found to distribute them, a new set of addicts to consume them and all these will be a never-ending cycle of addiciton and violence. When will it end when they agree and feel a sense of false security amidst all these killings?

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Lance, Mary Grace P Gonzales is saying if it happens in Vegas murder is also acceptable in the Philippines ….. so, why is she so mad in Duterte that cleanses the Philippines of murderers?

          Aha! Her predictable answer is “due process”. Are affidavits absence of forensic evidence “due process”?

          I do not know but in my country, The USA, affidavits are notarized by high-school drop-outs that take 3-month notarial classes just to notarize while in the Philippines they have to pass:
          1. Kindergarten
          2. Elementary
          3. High School
          4. 5 year Political Science
          5. 4 year Law School
          6. Pass Bar Exam

          *** and that is the only time they can sign-off on affidavits ***

          It means Philippines take affidavits seriously …. Americans must be wrong for having their affidavits signed by high-school drop-outs …

          Let us take a listen what Mary Grace P Gonzales has to say … I hope I am convinced so do others ….

          • I’m sure Mary Grace attended the University of the Philippines (Right , Mary? 😉 ) , what do you have to say about that?

          • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:


            Did you hear/read me say if it happens in Vegas murder is also acceptable in the Philippines ? Read again, please and don’t twist my words:

            I wrote: I think these murders and other types of mayhem are common in other democratic countries, but we don’t see these other democratic countries decide in favour of state-sponsored killings just to get rid of these sigas and tambays.

            What’s wrong with your word comprehension?

            ahaha…you keep denying you’re MRP, but you’re back with your favorite topic – that of affidavits…LOL!

            • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

              LCpl_X m

              “I’m sure Mary Grace attended the University of the Philippines (Right , Mary? 😉 ) , what do you have to say about that?”

              I have shared my education history in one of Joe’s earliest blogs that I was a commenter in.
              Definitely not in UP although I have tried, remember the sob story? I just don’t want to repeat it here, as we’re straying too far away from the topic of the thread.

              I’d rather see your response to my comment re the call center agents’ perceived security from istambays and sigas due to EJKs.

            • Sabtang Basco says:

              You and Lance alleged that I am MRP. I do not know who MRP is. I started Googling. Then Googled and Giggled and Giggling. MRP is Mariano Renato Pacifico. I do not know him from Adam but I do like his writing style. It is in-your-face and conversational not scholarly. No big words. No quoting dead men. I have not finished going over his comments. I will. Like what MRP said, “once read, always followed and read some more”. I do not think MRP use Grammarly because of his “intentional” grammatical errors and uncorrected spellings.


              Isn’t that awesome? After so many years MRP been attacking University of the Philippines, as what I read from his comments, regarding their BANNERED WARNING ABOUT STUDENTS TAKING UPCAT REVIEW now U.P. has acquiesced.

              U.P. Chancellors are reading MRP. MRP made things happen for the good of the Filipinos.



                Isn’t that awesome?”

                YES!!! It’s more than AWESOME! Welcome back, MRP. How I’ve missed you here! LOL! 😉 Mystery solved , Joe.

              • Sabtang Basco says:

                Lance, I can never emulate MRP. I wish I could but I cannot. Tomorrow, I am taking a ferry to Pagudpud a bus ride to Laog City. Stay there for the weekend so I’d be the first in line at DFA to renew my tourist Visa. Laoag is UNESCO protected. It’s like being thrown back in time until I see kids with cellcams taking selfies it slaps me back to the future.

                Good night … good day … wherever you are …

            • Sabtang Basco says:

              Regarding MRP incessant boring promotion of his idea of forensic evidence, HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

              My advise to MRP, if Filipinos cannot digest FORENSIC EVIDENCE … GIVE IT UP!

              Because I can see Mary Grace P Gonzales just love literary works of Affidavits the right word usage and the “precision” of their allegation that send people to perdition.

              That is why former President Binay, former President Gloria Arroyo, PDA-queen-that-was-accused-of-kidnapping went free because all they got … is …. AFFIDAVITS.

              • That’s how I feel like now, MRP (so happy you’re back 😉 ).

              • Sabtang Basco says:

                Filipino high-school students are now happy. They can take UPCAT Review. If they still fail UPCAT what they learned from the Review is theirs to keep … FOREVER. They have an option, though, they can go to alma mater of Mocha Uson, University of Santo Tomas.

                Mocha Uson has very vivid colorful background. Supported Duterte because NBI and the Justice System let her down on his Judge-father murder. She is pro Reproductive Health bill. She’s a member of Mocha Girl dance/singing group to finance her Medical School.
                She dropped her two-year Medical School to drop her clothes and bared it all to give sex tips to those who doesn’t know how to (of course, Philippines is a Roman Catholic country what does she expect). As you may already have known giving sex tips is taboo in the Philippines.

                It also cemented the fact that THERE ARE PRETTY BROWN TALENTED FILIPINOS IN THE PHILIPPINES including misinforming Filipinos and spreading fake news.

                [Edited by JA to remove offensive content]

  21. Sup says:

    Orange rainfall warning JoeAm…Maybe you can put some buckets outside to catch some and mix it with your Mango juice?


    Good AM

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