“Wake up, Philippines”֫—Jozy

Meme courtesy of Leopald Laset, done at campaign last year

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

Human Rights Commissioner Chito Gascon and she belong to the same generation in the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) when they were students. She’s the first female student to be accepted into a difficult quota course for her undergrad; finished academic units for a master’s degree at the Asian Institute of Management, although her thesis remains uncompleted. She’s the frizzy-haired woman with soulful eyes who is behind The Silent Majority Facebook page.

Her name is Jocelyn Marie Acosta-Nisperos, simply Jozy, a fiery pro-democracy fighter. She loves to write—would have taken up journalism were it not for her father who wanted her to be an engineer—but she is also good with figures and algorithms, having worked in a multinational market-research company, “a leading global information and measurement company, which provides market research, insights and data about what people watch, listen to and buy.” (Source: Google)

At first based in the Philippines, she transferred to the New York City office of that company and was a Director there for four years, but when President Benigno S. Aquino III assumed office, she and her husband packed up their bags and returned to the Philippines, believing in PNoy’s ability to lead the country to First-World status

Clothed in democratic finery.

But she wasn’t all that enthusiastic about politics when she came back from the U.S.—even posting articles in her Facebook page critical of PNoy—preferring to live a laid-back life, having earned her nest egg at a young age, coasting along until in April last year, a month before the presidential elections, she felt she had to do something because Mar Roxas was in danger of losing the presidential elections.

The numbers were against Roxas. A month before the elections, a Social Weather Stations survey said Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe were statistically tied at 27 and 23, respectively. Then Vice President Jejomar Binay followed at 20. Former Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, PNoy’s choice, came in at 18.

Not only that, PNoy’s favored candidate was being shellacked in social media, specifically Facebook, critics hammering away with regards Mamasapano, Yolanda, MRT, Metro Manila traffic, and receiving hundreds of likes and shares in a steady stream.

Jozy awoke from retirement stupor

and knew she had to do something to help Roxas win. “He was the least compromised candidate,” she said, and he had to win for the good of the country.

On April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan, the day of valor, celebrated by the country to commemorate the fall of USAFFE forces in 1942 in Bataan and Corregidor to the Japanese juggernaut, Jozy gathered her close friends—all former colleagues at the market-research company—to ask how they can help out in the Ro-Ro campaign.

Her former superior was not a particularly political person but she had a good head on her shoulders, according to Jozy, and she wanted to lean on the former for this patriotic call.

At 3 a.m. of April 10,

after agreements were made among them—roles and timelines defined—they launched The Silent Majority Facebook page.

At 12 noon of the following day, they were delighted to see 5,000 likers. (For perspective, likers for a post or a page usually trickle in and 100 would be a high number for the same time frame.)

In six days, likers reached 100,000; on the day of elections, 312,000.

Knowing what we know by now, Ro-Ro campaigners in social media were dreadfully outnumbered—or seemed to be so—because trolls and bots each armed with an array of 20-30 smartphones kept firing away with fake news and fake likes numbering in the thousands in split seconds,

Multiplying lie after outrageous lie,

Jocelyn Marie Acosta-Nisperos

making a Duterte victory at the polls a foregone conclusion.

It was only much, much later when the country discovered that likers to pro-Duterte posts came from bots and trolls who have Facebook accounts with no photos, no friends, no profiles, no personal messages other than postings which are exact copies of hundreds others. Broken English notwithstanding, entire messages were copied and pasted and dropped on unsuspecting readers as in a carpet bombing of hearts and minds. The gullible ones were especially susceptible to black ops.

Turns out the Duterte socmed warfare was not one of political conviction but of

Incredible fiction!

Facebook founder and chief operating officer Mark Zuckerberg was sucked into the numbers game. Since his platform makes money on number of likes and shares, it was his business to strike a working arrangement with Team Duterte, sending advisers to teach locals how to maximize exposure. If Donald Trump won the elections with the help of emails from Russia, Duterte won by Facebook posts clear and simple.

A Bloomberg Businessweek report, Dec. 7, last year, by Lauren Etter:

“As the campaign for the 2016 Philippine presidential election got under way, Facebook began receiving inquiries from candidates on how they could best use the platform. In January the company flew in three employees who spent a week holding training sessions with candidates. When it was Duterte’s turn, the Facebook team gathered with the campaign inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel. The campaign staff was trained in everything from the basics of setting up a campaign page and getting it authenticated with the trademark blue check mark to how to use content to attract followers. As an example of the use of unscripted video, the Duterte campaign was shown a live Facebook video of Barack Obama preparing for his State of the Union speech in 2016. The clip garnered more views than a video of the actual address in Congress.”

Without knowing it, Jozy and her force were like the Dutch boy in the legend who poked his finger at the hole in the dike to save his town from flooding. It was futile as it was heroic. A finger couldn’t have stopped the wave of the Duterte keyboard army who could navigate Facebook, but Jozy and The Silent Majority

Stuck their finger into the dike anyway.

A story of courage, that is the story of The Silent Majority. It’s interesting to note that TSM membership is still a going concern. Facebook analytics show that 265,000 still follow the page, a year-and-a-half years after the Liberal Party debacle. It has become a discussion venue and online newspaper for those who want justice and decency to once again take possession of our land.

Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Jozy worshipped her father who installed telco in that country. When it was time for her to enter college, in spite of her own preference to take up journalism, she applied for a slot in electrical engineering as mandated by her father and

Topped the entrance exams for UP.

(This information didn’t come from her. A fraternity brother of mine learned that I was going to interview Jozy Acosta, and he exclaimed: “Jozy? She’s the one who topped the UP College Admission Test in our time!” When I brought it up, she neither confirmed nor denied it, giggling girlishly. I took that as a yes. Geniuses are usually self-effacing, stable.) Her academic excellence made her more of a Daddy’s girl, being not only gifted but the youngest in a brood of five children.

Three of her sisters live lives of quiet contentment in Papua New Guinea and Australia, and her only brother teaches English in China. Achievement in life and career was drilled into the Acosta children early on. English is their language from the crib, which explains her facility of expression.

She and her husband have no children, “by choice,” she said. The Silent Majority grew by leaps and bounds partly because Jozy poured heart and soul into it from Day One, and her husband provided support away from public eye.

They found family in TSM.

Nowadays, in downtime, she’s either at home or hangs out with friends, although she’s not a party person, an introvert even.

“I’m a mousy person,” she said. I looked up the word. Some synonyms:

“Timid, quiet, fearful, shy, unassertive, withdrawn.”

Hmm. Didn’t know the lady is out of her comfort zone when she organizes rallies and attends core meetings of Tindig Pilipinas. I thought she was in her elements like Julie Andrews lost in song in the Sound of Music. An act of heroism, coming out of her shell, from being shy to being the spark that lights the flame. A public figure since Araw ng Kagitingan 2016, valor becomes Jozy. A recent post:

“Our democratic institutions are steadily being demolished. Congress is a rubber-stamp, the Senate is a circus, our legislators carry on with business-as-usual with their political plays as if the extra-judicial killings are not a thick red line that takes everything off the table. Both the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman are embattled; the CHR’s existence is jeopardized by the spectre of a new Constitution. Our public servants are composed of incompetent wannabes whose only qualification is that the president (small “p”) is indebted to them. But these are not what make me less optimistic about 2018.”

Which is?

“It’s that, despite all of the above, Filipinos have not risen up in righteous indignation and outrage.”

What she said is like being hit in the gut.

Tell me, where do people like her come from, people like Jozy? Defeat and disappointment doesn’t rattle her. Once her heart is in it, she doesn’t stop till the project is completed.

“Did you really start The Silent Majority out of thin air?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “More out of desperation than inspiration, becoming scared that this person so very bad for the country was going to win, and the person I thought we needed was going to lose.”

“What are the qualifications to become a TSM member?”

“When we started, kailangan R0-Ro,” she replied, “fiercely Ro-Ro kasi ang mga founders. We declined membership applications of about 100,000 netizens because their intentions were suspect.”

“We pored over the Facebook profiles of each applicant,” she added.

The painstaking way they built TSM from zero is a success story in and of itself.

“But it was too late the hero, right?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, without missing a beat.

No sadness or regrets,

just a straight statement from one who studies figures and analyzes events like she is to the manor born.

“Why did Roxas lose, again?” I asked for definition.

“Poe,” she said. “She divided the votes. She couldn’t sacrifice her ambition to give way to someone who was clearly more experienced and more qualified than her. In this way, ambition trumped country. But I wouldn’t say it’s the main reason. I think maraming pagkukulang, hindi inaddress ang ibang issues. PNoy’s humility led to his downfall,” she said, looking at me straight in the eye.

“It’s his work ethic, that he thought it was enough to be fully committed to the job. He felt dahil trabaho niya ito, hindi kailangang ipagmalaki.”

“It was a matter of projection. Because of the scale of Yolanda, malaki ang impact. Nakakaiyak,” she said. “Naging Waterloo in Mar ang Yolanda.”

“Somebody should write a book on that aspect alone,” she added.

“Do you see a shift in people’s perceptions?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m talking as someone who has gotten used to observing people. And it’s not only me. My husband talks to cab drivers, jeepney drivers, people on the street. He sees a strong shift.”

“Define trolls,” I requested.

“Trolls don’t have to be paid. They agitate, steer the conversation to another topic or stop engagement when pressed for a debate or conversation. Hindi kinocontinue ang conversation. Pwede paid, pwede hindi. Ayaw lang makipag-usap.”

“And bots?”

“Bots are automated commenters, may software, pwedeng iprogram na automated ang likes o shares, palaging single message, and many senders of the same message.”

“Mocha?”

“Three million followers ba yun dahil sexy startlet siya o supporters for her cause? Mahirap paniwalaan.”

“Too much credit is being given to Mocha, you have to look at the ratio of likes or shares to followers. If you do the math, given her base, she’s very, very inefficient in terms of moving people to online action, let alone offline.”

“What can we still do? But before answering that…”

“Are you tired yet?”

“Pagod na ako,” she admitted. “But I have high points. The people whom I met who inspire me: Mar Roxas, Susan Villanueva, Jean Enriquez, private individuals, role models ko, kasama sa kilusan.”

“But what can we still do?” she continued, echoing my question. “It’s time to organize outside Metro Manila. TSM already has chapters in key cities.”

“We can grow from there.”

“If you were talking to the nation, what would you say?”

“Wake up, Philippines.”

We parted ways after that. My feelings? That the country is what you and I make it to be. If Jozy, whose siblings are not even in the Philippines and are enjoying comfortable lives, can say and do these things, what is left for simple folks to do? Join the bandwagon of defeat or hearken to her wake-up call, a battle cry?

It has been a bumpy ride from the time she convened her colleagues in market research. I can imagine she doesn’t need the aggravation of political struggle. The couple didn’t have children probably because they just want to enjoy their lives in peace and quiet—no diapers, no tantrums, no drama. But here she is, having found her family, fighting every step of the way to defend principle.

Her message is clear and resonant. She has raised the standard, guided by values that were drilled into her since childhood—that of idealism, family, filial piety, use of talents, mathematical precision in thought, word and deed, being honest and moral.

The question is: How do we keep pace with her stride for stride?

It’s up to us. Does she care if she’s the only one left fighting for us? Perhaps not. Will a silenced majority deter her given the specter of martial law, charter change, federalism, no-el?

Will she give her baby away?

(Jozy celebrates her birthday today, January 8th. So do I. We’re twins that way.—WGV)

Comments
206 Responses to ““Wake up, Philippines”֫—Jozy”
  1. arlene says:

    The lady has guts. I admire her and I am a follower of TSM. Good morning Wil. Good morning Joeam.

  2. Sabtang Basco says:

    How many are the silent majority?
    Are the silent majority a mere minority?
    Or, silent majority is only a noun that is minority.
    I hear about silent majority but no numbers.
    Wonderful. Beautiful.
    People lie numbers do not.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      In the Philippines, numbers lie witnesses do not especially it is typewritten and notarized.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Do the math, 16 million out of Forty million voters voted for Duterte.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        16 milliion are direct voters … silent voters directly voted their representatives to the house to indirectly support Duterte. Therefore, 16M+Turncoat Congressmen+Turncoat Senators = SUPER MAJORITY

        • karlgarcia says:

          I guessed that you would add them to the equation.

          • Sabtang Basco says:

            You guessed it right. The people directly elected their representatives (congressmen+senators) to voice what is in their head and for their best interest.

            I put it in math equation, where:

            Direct Voters + (Indirect Voters = Vote for Senators+Vote for Congressmen) = Total Vote

            Total Vote = Voice of People

            It is unfortunate those TURNCOATS are not honorable men and has no loyalty because they were elected by uneducated voters that got swayed by “Social Media”+Radio shows+TV talking heads+Gossips

  3. Sabtang Basco says:

    Out of many that ran for President Poe is a scapegoat ! I trust the logic of this woman !

  4. Sabtang Basco says:

    Regarding Mocha. 3 million followers. How many followers before she supported Duterte? How many more after she became one of Duterte? Somebody got to break these down in numbers.

    Mocha already made millions before she joined Duterte, therefore, she only got a sprinkling of additional followers when she jumped in. Bet majority of the 3M were pre-existing subscribers.

  5. madlanglupa says:

    Speaking of regime-controlled social media, that monstrous war machine is now being directed to destroy a leftist leader:

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Emmy Award winning nightly monologue talk host Stephen Colbert took out a billboard ad for Trump’s Dishonest Media Awards.

      Philippines should pull the following awards, too:
      1. Dishonest Media Award
      2. Gossip Media Award
      3. Irresponsible Media Award
      4. Sensational Media Award
      5. Unvetted Media Award
      6. Kiddie Media Award

      Hmmm … I GUESS ALL OF THEM SHOULD RECEIVE ALL THE AWARDS … and they should also get the coveted excellence in Primetime and Datytime News Fakery.

  6. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Second Attempt

    1. In times of crisis, the hero archetype emerges.

    2. It is a strange feature of our country that, in recent times, the hero is oftentimes a heroine. Cory, Leila, Conchita, Kim, Risa.

    3. And it is also strange that the would-be heroine is a witch. Imelda, Gloria.

    3.1. Or a bitch. Mocha, Lorraine, Sass.

    4. If the last post was about C words and the C Factor, then Will’s last two interviews of the heroine archetype are J’s – Jozy and Jover. That’s just right.

    o Both are writers.
    o Both rose to fame on social media.
    o Both have a connection with UP and New York.
    o Both have adopted the country as their family.

    5. It is often the quiet introverts who are able to penetrate the veil of illusion and able to see the shape of truth.

    6. We need more J’s.

    o Perhaps Jesus
    o Certainly Justice
    o More JoeAm’s? Hmm.
    o Most certainly a fine sense of Judgment — which to me, apart from willful ignorance, is our greatest failing.

    Then we might reach and touch Joy — which is Jozy without the Z.
    *****

    • “A Bloomberg Businessweek report, Dec. 7, last year, by Lauren Etter:

      “As the campaign for the 2016 Philippine presidential election got under way, Facebook began receiving inquiries from candidates on how they could best use the platform. In January the company flew in three employees who spent a week holding training sessions with candidates. When it was Duterte’s turn, the Facebook team gathered with the campaign inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel. The campaign staff was trained in everything from the basics of setting up a campaign page and getting it authenticated with the trademark blue check mark to how to use content to attract followers. As an example of the use of unscripted video, the Duterte campaign was shown a live Facebook video of Barack Obama preparing for his State of the Union speech in 2016. The clip garnered more views than a video of the actual address in Congress.”

      Without knowing it, Jozy and her force were like the Dutch boy in the legend who poked his finger at the hole in the dike to save his town from flooding. It was futile as it was heroic. A finger couldn’t have stopped the wave of the Duterte keyboard army who could navigate Facebook, but Jozy and The Silent Majority stuck their finger into the dike anyway.”

      edgar (or Ireneo), as computer/systems folks…

      Can i get your impression on the two bolded quotes above, i get the impression from reading this that the Mar Roxas team was not sufficiently “trained” on using facebook (thus giving DU30 an advantage) , that the Silent Majority page was the only means the Roxas team had. I’m not familiar with facebook’s enterprise side, only the free use (as anyone well knows… if it’s free you’re the product).

      But from briefings ( military ) , when you brief different units, you give them the same briefings (unless you’re playing with need-to-know stuff). Or could it be that, the Mar Roxas team just didn’t ask better questions with the facebook trainers. Facebook is simply a platform, and the facebook training team I’m sure were just there to give ’em (equally) how-to’s,

      another side, not covered in Wil’s article is of course the China angle, like over here Russia’s use of facebook ads, to tip the scales. So this i’d agree would make things “un-equal” (… but the facebook training mentioned above is just that, briefing on how to better use facebook during an election), but then as SB says below (and my point of contention since last year re social media’s effects) sure you can prove foreign money ala facebook pages/ads , but how that affects votes

      that’s not an exact science. That’s another discussion.

      But my point, with the Dutch boy, or David vs. Goliath narrative re the facebook training team briefing Philippine candidates , and how Mar Roxas wasn’t able to fully utilize facebook, it seems to me all candidates were given the same briefing, how they used facebook was all up to them. Nothing sleazy with facebook.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks for bringing this up, Lance. I dunno. Would trolls and bots tip the balance? Would have Mar or anyone on the side of good use black ops? Things are aligning, and perhaps historians can answer our questions better.

        • No problem, Wil. Thanks for the interview! and introducing us to Ms. Acosta.

          “Would have Mar or anyone on the side of good use black ops? “

          As politician, your job is to win votes, then keep winning once in office. I dunno about black ops, but at the very least the only game in town should not have been TSM, that’s for sure. The fact that TSM was playing Dutch-boy was Mar Roxas’ failure, and only his.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Second Attempt

        1. As I understand it there are several methodologies FB may use to influence public opinion.

        1.1. First and foremost is the fact that its user is voluminous.
        1.2. Second is the fact that they are an ad platform that can configure ads based on its interpretation of a user’s recorded biodata and history.
        1.3. A third is the fact that they are a news distributor that can feed news from friends, friends of friends, and groups, in a manner that is not totally transparent. Both the ad and news streams may be filtered/unfiltered to support—or change — your bias.
        1.4. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that they have specialists in propaganda who can conduct training sessions of some length.

        1.4.1. We do not yet know the specifics of their propaganda tools, but we can assume a certain effectivity. The thrust of their tools is to “attract followers” (per the profile essay) and to create a bandwagon effect.

        2. ”Nothing sleazy with facebook.”

        2.1. Perhaps true insofar as offering the same briefing to all candidates. But may not be true in the streaming of content. (I would not use the word “sleazy.” I would describe FB as perhaps “underhanded” or “covert.”)

        2.2. On second thought, it also may not be true for the briefing. The dictum “Know your customer” is used to identify clients for government regulatory (anti-bribery and anti-laundering) purposes. For marketing purposes, the dictum can be changed to “Know your prospective customer.” If one knows, through some preliminary investigation, that Customer A is more likely than Customer B to take up your offer, then wouldn’t you use your best salesman armed with the best proposals to attract Customer A?

        2.3. It seems that the Duterte team was Customer A. They identified social media as the new must-have tool in the toolbox. Jozy and her team, and other groups, later realized its “potential.”

        2.4. This is not to say that social media won the war for Duterte. Certainly, social media was a battlefield, but it was not, in my opinion, the decider of the war. That it was Duterte’s Midway Island and Mar’s Waterloo cannot be proved.

        3. The norm that FB should observe is that it should be politically neutral. I don’t see how it can be.

        3.1. Its ad algorithms are governed by who pays.

        3.2. Its news algorithms are non-transparent.

        3.3. Its propaganda consultancy business is governed by who pays. It is questionable whether they should be in the business. Because they can manipulate and control output streams. (This is similar to the net neutrality issue.)

        4. Nevertheless, FB continues to be a tool used by Duterte and anti-Duterte forces in several innovative ways. If social media is credited with Duterte’s ascent, it may well be credited – later — with his downfall.

        4.1. In a way, except for NHerrera, we are all suckers.

        4.2. And the winner is… Zuckerberg.
        *****

        • Thanks, edgar!

          I’m curious who these guys training or briefing for facebook now. You’re assuming these guys are high trained hit-men (propaganda artists) ; where I’m just picturing 20-something programmers selling the advance version of facebook to paying customers.

          Now I want to know how this operation works.

          Jozy and her team, and other groups, later realized its “potential.”

          This to me is still problematic, was Jozy and TSM really the only game in town? Why didn’t Mar Roxas and team realize social media’s potential? If he was prescient enough to bring BPO to the Philippines, why wasn’t he as prescient when it came to social media? This was Obama’s strength in 2008, you mean to tell me Mar Roxas didn’t study up on social media’s potential, 6-8 years hence?

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Perhaps Mar was as prescient as you and me: social media could NOT possibly decide the elections.
            *****

          • LP had sophisticated social media analytics. They were not blind. I think social media were a part of a bigger picture, and it was the bigger picture that Roxas lost. The debates make the point. Roxas won among educated people, journalists, etc. But Duterte won the people’s allegiance through his disdain and bluster, his ‘jetski’ moment being the highlight. Well, he was on a playing field that Roxas could not match, as to style or content. The style and content being Duterte’s willingness to brag and lie and be impudent. The people needed that. Social media was not such a big deal against that. It just reinforced and sold the idea.

            • edgar, Joe, et al.,

              Agreed as to social media’s effects, but the sense I get is that most yellows are going around saying social media turned the tide, ie. Roxas lost because of trolls and bots, which I’m gathering is not your position now, where it was before, ex. chemp’s “minority influence” , when it should be that social media represented what the majority of Filipinos thought and felt, except unlike elections past they now had a say.

              • chemrock says:

                The “MINORITY INFLUENCE” comment was just my thought of the FB effect. It definitely has great impact as influencer. I’m not saying LP lost the election due sole tho this.

                To me, LP lost the election can be summed up in one word – “STREETCRED”. Mar never had this personality in him. It’s not his fault, it’s just the way you are perceived. There is no acceptability if you don’t have this. This cannot be acquired, If you try to acquire this, it almost always backfires and you look stupid and artificial. Did you see Mar’s video shot with Daniel Padilla? That was how it turned out. Some people go to great lengths to acquire streetcred. Like Jennifer Lopez turning black with Daddy Sean Puffy.

              • chemp,

                That I can buy. Like Oprah has no streetcred, though Martha Stewart sure does (hell, she’s even done time, LOL!)

                But this whole ‘we lost due to facebook’ excuse just seems very silly. Own it, face the defeat, own the defeat… soul search, so then yellows can go back to the drawing board and get things going again ready for the next go-round, I suggest getting Bam Aquino some starlets, 2 at once, then have him break their hearts, give the poor guy a chance, give him some streetcred.

              • An election is not a simple thing so any ‘one cause’ rationale is likely to be wrong. Had Poe not run, Roxas would likely have won. Had trolls not played dirty, Roxas might have won. If Roxas were an ‘electric personality’ or a ‘bad boy personality’, he probably would have won. As I reported here long, long ago, former Finance Secretary Purisima said something like “We were talking intangibles, voters wanted tangibles”. I don’t think anyone has changed their view. It just depends on how the question is framed.

              • I would add that, yes, yellows see government propaganda as influential, and untruthful, and damaging.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Addendum

          3.4. FB has the power to censor: it can close accounts and delete posts. And it can keep partisan accounts open. Is Mocha’s account, a purveyor of false news, still open?
          *****

          • As someone who gets censored here all the time, edgar. I get the sense that the power to censor is not so easy to do and requires a certain set of standards, otherwise the censor looks bad (ie. tough but fair) in front of everyone watching.

            I’m sure facebook also has standards, and the fact that Mocha’s fb (i’ve not visited) is still around is i’m sure because she’s playing within the rules, and not because Mark Zuckerberg and staff has some affinity towards her (they’re in Silicon Valley, like Bill of Oz in Australia not caring about Hollywood elites, why should facebook staff care about some Filipina celebrity , in the bigger scheme of things?)

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Who knows? I would not put it past FB, if the Duterte Team is a client.

              Note: The power of censorship is exercised in response to complaints from FB users. It is not administered by internal monitoring.
              *****

              • So you’re thinking, no one’s complained to facebook about Mocha’s page, edgar? Maybe Wil’s next article (since Wil consistently gets 1K+ hits) could be to get yellows to complain to facebook , thus censoring Mocha. 😉 How many complaints warrant an expulsion you think?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I have no statistics, no way of knowing, but what I am thinking is that many have filed complaints about Mocha’s account(s). She has attacked the Vice President quite openly.

                I don’t know if her account(s) are still open.

                I have read Mocha’s Twitter account and her radio program were suspended at various times.

                I really don’t know. I don’t follow her. Sup might know. 🙂
                *****

              • Just looked it up,

                https://www.facebook.com/help/reportlinks/

                Report away, folks! Case closed, problem solved!

              • chemrock says:

                FB censor is a numbers game. The number of yellowtards who have been censored for comments critical to the admin (not for fake news or threats) far outnumbered dutertards (for fake news and threats). It boils down to the reality that we seldom like to talk about here but which I have mentioned many times, also in my previous article. Commitment from Yellowtards are lacking. As what Sal E said — how strong is the desire to win. There were calls to report certain FD accounts, but not enough rallied. That’s the simple reason. But Mocha at el can launch a million complaints against FB accounts.

                FB censor is a numbers game. It’s algorithm based and subject to the tyranny of the majority. (AI is never perfect). FB have re-instated accounts when users seek their re-consideration, of cos after their review of the account (by humans). I’m not inclined to go Edgar’s way of the possibility of FB selling out to the more powerful crowd in their censorship function. It’s inconceivable that FB will risk a multi-trillion enterprise for the comparative pittance in grease money.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                This may be the article from which Will got his info about FB.

                https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek

                Here are some quotes from the article:

                1. “After Duterte won, Facebook did what it does for governments all over the world—it began deepening its partnership with the new administration, offering white-glove services to help it maximize the platform’s potential and use best practices. Even as Duterte banned the independent press from covering his inauguration live from inside Rizal Ceremonial Hall, the new administration arranged for the event to be streamed on Facebook, giving Filipinos around the world insider access to pre- and post-ceremonial events as they met their new strongman.”

                2. “The phenomenon, sometimes referred to as “patriotic trolling,” involves the use of targeted harassment and propaganda meant to go viral and to give the impression that there is a groundswell of organic support for the government. Much of the trolling is carried out by true believers, but there is evidence that some governments, including Duterte’s, pay people to execute attacks against opponents. Trolls use all the social media platforms—including Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, in addition to the comments sections of news sites. But in the Philippines, Facebook is dominant.”

                3. “Facebook is inherently conflicted. It promises advertisers it will deliver interested and engaged users—and often what is interesting and engaging is salacious, aggressive, or simply false. “I don’t think you can underestimate how much of a role they play in societal discourse,” says Carly Nyst, a London-based consultant on technology and human rights who has studied patriotic trolling around the world. “This is a real moment that they have to take some responsibility. These tools they’ve promised as tools of communication and connection are being abused.”

                4. “In November, Facebook announced a new partnership with the Duterte government. As part of its efforts to lay undersea cables around the world, Facebook agreed to team up with the government to work on completing a stretch bypassing the notoriously challenging Luzon Strait, where submarine cables in the past have been damaged by typhoons and earthquakes. Facebook will fund the underwater links to the Philippines and provide a set amount of bandwidth to the government. The government will build cable landing stations and other necessary infrastructure.”
                *****

              • Exactly, chemp, it’s small potatoes in comparison.

              • Sup says:

                I don’t follow Mocha…if i hear her voice….like a squeaking door….brrrrrrr
                Same Duterte’s voice…nasal voice..bbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrr
                I need to buy a voice detector ,…… one that will switch tv channel automatically when those people speak….

                🙂

              • I would add, Facebook would likely not delete official (or even known semi-official) government sites (Uson), but would easily delete a private account. I wonder if VP Robredo has a Facebook page hmmmmmmm . . . and if so, whether it has had any problems . . .

              • 1. Wouldn’t a livestream via youtube or facebook be the norm as to how events these days (political, entertainment, tech, etc.) are now being broadcast , edgar?

                2. So there were no “patriotic trolls” on the side of Roxas? Even paid ones? Was the Roxas campaign really this obtuse when it came to leverage social media? I remember we at TSOH were fumbling around trying to create memes at one point, Mar Roxas’ team should’ve lead this effort.

                3. Not necessarily. Why do you think cute kittens, babies biting fingers, funny videos/memes go viral too? Look at all those un-boxing, package opening videos, or people watching other people eat (popular in Korea and Japan). My point is you don’t necessarily have to go darkside for click baits and go viral.

                4. This last one, IMHO, is the keystone to your conspiracy theory here, edgar, so 1) isn’t this a good thing for the Philippines, and 2) wouldn’t facebook just as well have worked with a Mar Roxas administration?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I picked those 4 quotes at random just to give an idea of what the article was all about. I was not trying to present particular points.

                But those 4 quotes are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that we do not see in whole.

                They give credibility to my speculations (January 9 @ 8:24 am), which are just that — speculations.

                I would suggest to read the entire article and google “maria ressa facebook” to be able to form your own inferences and conclusions.

                o Maria Ressa is the CEO of Rappler, an online news medium.
                o She has had this ongoing debate with Facebook.
                o Her thesis is that social media, FB in particular, has “weaponized” the Internet.
                o There will be some items against Ressa, some for her.
                o Of particular interest would be her 3-part article entitled “How Facebook algorithms impact democracy.”

                The title of Will’s post may well be “Wake up, World.”
                *****

              • That we are in the middle of some kind of information revolution is nothing new, edgar.

                Yes, certain media are now being re-thought, rendered obsolete even, that facebook/youtube/Snapchat/Instagram are now also vying for, or wresting big chunks off information/knowledge peddling, is the new norm.

                What you’re positing is akin to claiming ‘Gutenberg has weaponized letters’. Isn’t Mark Zuckerberg and company just following the same well trodden path Hearst and Turner plied? Now it’s social media’s turn.

                If folks are re-thinking the world and the current norms they should be (praise it and fear it), cuz here’s what’s coming up next…

                My point, everything can be construed as weapon if not properly understood (and utilized). That’s history, edgar!

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I haven’t thought about it.

                But I would say there is a difference.

                Hitherto, propaganda media was not as customizable — not as individually targetted — as the Internet.
                *****

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I would also add that there is an ethical aspect to this.

                Media organizations are supposed to be politically neutral, but we know this is not the case. Fox News and the Murdoch Press back their own candidates.

                Rappler is anti-Duterte but not because it is pro-Roxas. It is “anti-Duterte” as a matter of adherence to journalistic and constitutional principles.

                Facebook, being one of a kind and serving members of different persuasions, should also observe political neutrality, religious neutrality or any isms neutrality.
                *****

              • But I think a corporate policy of working with governments is a form of neutral, self-serving pragmatism neutral, if politically in favor of the political bloc in power. In fact, it seals Facebook from having to make partisan decisions on who to block or help. Whoever wins in a democracy is who they work with. So the people make the decision. Wholly neutral corporate policy. It is not for Facebook to say Uson is ‘bad’. It is for Filipinos to say so. So Facebook does not infringe on sovereign rights.

              • Let me ask you this,

                What would your position be re facebook (and social media) had Mar Roxas won? (and let’s say he fully utilized the power of social media, instead of now crying a river over spilt milk)

                Answer honestly now. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                2.4 of my January 9, 2018 at 8:24 am post.
                *****

              • “2.4. This is not to say that social media won the war for Duterte. Certainly, social media was a battlefield, but it was not, in my opinion, the decider of the war. That it was Duterte’s Midway Island and Mar’s Waterloo cannot be proved.”

              • That’s an interesting question. Facebook is the medium. Roxas would have had a very different message than Duterte, who uses it to spread lies. If the message does good, the medium is good. If the message does damage, the medium is bad. My guess is that Roxas would have continued MLQ3’s program to build a powerful on-line history and compilation of documents available to anyone, leaving news to private companies and knowledge-building to online inquiriers rather than making news up and selling it. I think Roxas would spend money on building an economy or social services rather than an army of trolls.

              • “What you’re positing is akin to claiming ‘Gutenberg has weaponized letters’. Isn’t Mark Zuckerberg and company just following the same well trodden path Hearst and Turner plied? Now it’s social media’s turn.”

                True. Gutenberg’s press created such a spate of loony pamphlets that the phrase “Lügen wie gedruckt” (lying like printed) is still part of German vocabulary hundreds of years later. And of course Martin Luther was the great weaponizer of the printed word against a conservative Catholic Church that was used to having its monks transcribe books by hand. Plus he used a language everybody understood as opposed to Latin, but which was seen as barbaric Saxon dialect by the scholars of the day. Rome did not think he had any chance.

                Centuries later, just a few years after people in the US panicked at a radio broadcast of Orson Welles, thinking aliens had come to Earth, Hitler and Goebbels weaponized the radio. Every medium is of course more powerful than the one before – that is the nature of the game.

              • “Hitherto, propaganda media was not as customizable — not as individually targetted — as the Internet.”

                edgar,

                The only difference with social media as news (whether fake news or propaganda) is that where before most who produce/manufacture news were folks like you, logical & ethical (and bright and of a certain pedigree) , now anyone can produce/manufacture news.

                Before social media, you can technically call in to a radio program, even TV (get interviewed), or write a letter to your favourite newspaper, but always there were folks like Joe (in this case he “owns” the medium here) that can willy nilly say this passes muster, this doesn’t.

                There’s no editor in social media (that’s the whole point!. So in a way, if you want click bait you really have to know your audience… their vices , their virtues (like Wil, focusing on love).

                Joe,

                I gotta feeling that if Hillary and Roxas won, there won’t be any fuss re social media.

                I agree they’ll use the platform like old media, but eventually the notion that things are not what they use to be will eventually come to light, it was just fast-tracked—- and since they lost we are now discussing the virtues/vices of social media, waaaaaay before Mark Zuckerberg got to implement his plans for world domination 😉 (which by the way is every company and gov’t’s reason for being, whether they are benign or malignant is another story)

              • LOL! here’s a new word i learned while researching all this stuff,
                https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/crybully

            • “If the message does good, the medium is good. If the message does damage, the medium is bad.”

              You’re thinking like some censor, virtue/intellectual police, Joe… you’re spot on though with “I think a corporate policy of working with governments is a form of neutral, self-serving pragmatism neutral…” , hedge bets play all sides.

              Oscar Wilde was spot on here, read the whole, or simply cut thru the chase and go to “There is no such thing… “

              • edgar’s ethics and aesthetics addressed at one fell swoop.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Such simplification.
                *****

              • “a form of neutral, self-serving pragmatism” start there, and you’ll be out of the clouds in no time, edgar. But calling Filipinos dumb is the wrong move, i guarantee this. Calling people dumb in any human endeavor is a fool’s gambit.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                You said Filipinos were dumb.
                *****

              • Okay, you’ve earned your way into moderation again, LCX. I’m tired of you infesting the blog with dirty tricks. Sabtang has one more chance to contribute something original, new, and meaningful or he can go sit on his Scottish rocks and stare off at Taiwan.

              • I’d rather have no discussion than a discussion taken off-track by gameplayers showing off. It is really quite simple. Honor the people who offer their ideas here free and earnestly.

              • Ha! First tweet I found in my timeline this morning.

                “When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.”

                Edgar did. And I did my job as moderator.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Sweet. Sweet tweet.

                From here, I begin to see the significance of the Buddist insight that when judging actions consideration of motive is important.

                o Why did Jozy create TSM?
                o Why do politicians engage in politics?
                o Why does FB engage in “white services?”
                o Why do commenters contribute?

                Basically, motives are other-directed or self-directed. And to the extent that the intent is majorly or wholly self-directed, then the consequences are tainted. One can see the taint in the action itself and/or the results. At times, the taint isn’t obvious. But it is there and will reveal itself in time.
                *****

              • Yes. This balance between self and community is fascinating, as it rules how we contribute in a blog, and it determines if democracy works or not. Democracy presumes sacrifice of self and that is difficult if one is bending under the weight of poverty for generations. Subsistence turns us inward.

              • Poverty is not the only motive for turning inward. Greed will do it. Emotional neediness. I look at how legislators here and in the US turn deceitful and destructive toward democratic ideals.

              • What the hell does ‘thinking like a censor mean’? I’m trying to figure out Facebook’s thinking.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Copy. The comments unspammed. Thanks, Edgar. I tell the wifey of the three Jo’s: Jover, Jozy, JoeAm.

  7. edgar lores says:

    *******
    My comment has gone to spam. Thank you.
    *****

  8. manangbok says:

    Happy birthday Mr. Villanueva. Nice interview with Ms. Jozy. I have always loved the way she discussed issues in facebook (i.e. her article on the dengvaxia brouhaha that she posted on FB was very balanced and lucid).

    I like this statement from your article: “Does she (Ms Jozy) care if she’s the only one left fighting for us? Perhaps not. ” I think that should be the attitude of everyone who has given himself/herself a stake in the fight. People who stand for decency and humane-ness and honesty may be outnumbered. And in the end we may lose anyway (But who knows? History can move in circles, right?). So there is hope.

    I am reminded of a Dylan Thomas poem:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, manangbok! Last Saturday, I met with friends and of course we discussed PRRD and TRAIN. It was a sad meeting. I said, “People around this table should not be wearing long faces.” He has actually picked a rocked and applied it on his head. His tax reform may impoverish us because of the cycle of price increases brought about by excise taxes even on diesel fuel but it will hasten the demise of Team Duterte. Wise men, good men, wild men, grave men are on our side, and we will not go gentle into the good night. Resistance may be futile, but it does bring on courage, wisdom and the joy of life. Sad men, crazy men, wanton men, silly men go gently into the good night.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      What you’re saying, manangbok is The Majority of One. One who is right has nothing to fear. Is that the flapping of angel wings?

  9. I don’t know why but I cried reading this post, pero ramdam ko kasi. Several months ago, I wrote this https://cyrilbalungcas.com/2017/07/22/standing-up-for-my-family/ also out of desperation. I did my share of bringing voters to Mar’s side and after Duterte won I told myself to support the duly elected president 100%. However, I think the end of the tunnel is so far off that I still don’t see the light at its end. I agree the tide is turning and I hope we will see the calm very soon.

  10. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Standing Up For My Family
    by Cyril Balungcas

    It is still about my love for my country, still about my loyalty to the Philippine flag. I just have to open my eyes, that from where I am, I can’t fight the tide. “Don’t cross the river if you can’t swim the tide.” I remember this line from the song by America. It may not be in the same context but yes, why cross the river if you can’t swim? If you insist, then you will be courting trouble.

    Anyway, that’s how I describe the current events in the Philippines. First, I told myself, yes, we should not keep silent lest the negative things that’s happening in the country will continue. And then there was the fear for my family back home, how I can protect them and how can they protect themselves – they are young and they may not even understand fully what’s happening around them. And then there’s life’s principles based on the very teachings that my parents and the Church taught me.

    One year on from the first day that PRRD stepped into office, I have to adjust my sail. Not keeping silent still but with a noise that can be heard only by my family. For now.

    The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to swear, to lie, to kill. The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to make jokes about rape, about women, about infidelity. The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to take the life of fellow human beings just because you think that they are a menace to society. The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to turn a cold shoulder to those who have been orphaned, widowed, parents who have lost a son, a daughter, grand kids because a family member fell victim to the war on drugs.

    The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to simply shrug off our shoulders and say the collateral damage cannot be avoided in the efforts to rid the country of illegal drugs. The noise that will tell them that IT IS STILL NOT OK to talk like garbage in private and in public.

    The noise that will tell them IT IS OK to remain decent and stand up to your Christian beliefs and principles. The noise that will tell them IT IS OK to be a deviant amidst the very loud applause for a foul-mouth of a leader. The noise that will tell them that IT IS OK to stand up for what you think is right based on the values that we were taught while growing up. The noise that will tell them, that even in the silence of our home, we don’t condone the garbage talk, the killings, the alternative truths, the disregard of all that is decent, and the promotion of infidelity even in the halls of government. In the silence of our home, love and respect should still be practiced and promoted even with non-members of the family. In the silence of the home, the church, in all it’s frailties, should still be respected and prayed for, as we pray for each other as God’s children.

    At the end of the day, it is between you and your God. You will be held accountable for your deeds and you won’t definitely be spared just because you swam with the tide. You will eventually be called upon to clean the blood on your hands when you got them by applauding the inhumane actions of a leadership where you justified to be an authority appointed by God.

    At the end of the day, in keeping silent, we can still stand up for our family by making the noise that only they can hear. Because for now, this noise can only reverberate within the walls of our loving home.

    I am not losing hope though, that through it all, there is always sunshine after the rain.

    Thanks for this, Cyril. Keep on. We’ll never know. The next turn may be the triumph we all seek. — Will

  11. Sup says:

    In the early days we were asking ourselves who is feeding the trolls …
    Now the trolls are feeding the people..
    The higher the tax the more happy we are…?
    The more the government abuses the constitution the higher the ratings..Duterte now 80 % for trust and Sereno now at 26…..
    Maybe time the LP members start wearing mini skirts, leather bras, using curse words and start lying of course.
    I love to see Drilon in a mini skirt and leather bra…

    🙂

  12. Sherry says:

    Happy Birthday, Wil. Happy Birthday, Jozy!

    Wil, thank you for this yet again excellent write up, this post moved me to tears (i’m at work though so i have to stifle a sob). TSM, i am a proud member. Jozy is a ray of sunshine to the cloudy state of our beloved Philippines. More power to her!

    SILENCED Majority? Makes me sad to know their existence. Add, STUPID Majority (?) Just sad.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, Sherry! I have always wondered where Jozy gets her zeal and commitment. Now I know, after the interview. No strong winds from her, just a gentle, soothing breeze. Makes you want to inhale deeply.

  13. chemrock says:

    Move over Kian, here’s 21 year old Tutoy.
    Does this make you wake up.
    Does this make you wanna go to the window and scream “Enough”
    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/958192/relatives-of-20-year-old-mistaken-identity-victim-cry-for-justice

    This was too close for comfort. I spent some time near that neighbourhood.

  14. On the days WGV and Jozy were born, God must have smiled.

  15. Sabtang Basco says:

    RE: A Bloomberg Businessweek report, Dec. 7, last year, by Lauren Etter

    IN CAMPAIGN they use anything:
    1. Sample ballots
    2. Fake news
    3. Talk Radio
    4. Social Media
    5. Vote buying
    6. Grass Roots
    7. Text Blast
    8. eMail Blast

    Duterte won by SOCIAL MEDIA? Preposterous! It has been alleged that 16M voters are uneducated and ignoramuses. If so, they were carried away by Social Media postings? Social Media are in ENGLISH the uneducated and ignoramuses can connect. GIMME BETTER REASON.

    And those turncoat “LAWMAKERS” that were directly elected by the people must also be uneducated and ignoramuses.

    NOPE, DON’T BUY THE IDEA ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA. Social Media is one of the tools of campaign that everyone is using. MAYBE DUTERTE IS A STABLE GENIUS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      So, there were bots. Show me a Filipino who can do bots. Trolls? Other candidates were not able to parry the trolls comments? Meaning, Trolls are intelligent and those of opposing candidates are not? THEREFORE, they should not win because they cannot protect themselves from Trolls.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        I just love Filipinos bizarre outlandish unsubstantiated uncorroborated illogical innuendoes. I am not a Duterte fan. I am for rule-of-law.

  16. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    I am reminded of a Dylan Thomas poem:

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    thanks Manangbok, kindly re- read the last two (three?) poems written in the previous thread and I tell you that’s BEING GENTLE INTO THE NIGHT. Don’t cry for me Filipinas, is a lullabye for a child into the night. If one go harsh into the night, it’s SPAMMING into the nothings.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Happy Birthday Will! Happy Birthday Jozy!

    Joy and Will, thanks for rolling back that disaster stone, along with others of similar minds.

    Just like the Sisyphus, when that stone rolls down, almost non-stop, Sisyphus rolls it up again. But unlike the mythical Sisyphus, you both are doing the roll-back for love of country instead of as punishment.

    I have some sort of Sisyphean frame of mind — when I am down you nicely lift my spirits up. Thanks.

  18. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    “If you were talking to the nation, what would you say?”

    “Wake up, Philippines.”

    YOU CAN NOT WAKE UP THOSE WHO ARE AWAKE and enjoying the orgasm and masochism. And that’s the way of not being tigulang and being gentle into the night. My being may be is why my Vanguard brod hero Nestor Martinez Nisperos (UP Diliman ROTC Corps Commander) always join our table to ask me questions, why he twice asked me to join him in UP Tacloban and UP Cebu. Being Yabang is being not gentle into the night.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      I cannot blame the zombies because they are reading news reported by incompetent journalists who are also zombies:
      1) They are fresh out from schools
      2) They are young
      3) They sit there
      4) They take notes
      5) They do not ask questions
      6) They report
      7) They send it to their editors
      9) Editors publish it

      ZOMBIES ALL !!!! They are awake but they are asleep !!! They are the ones that screwing the brains of the Filipinos. “PINAPATULAN PA ANG AFFIDAVITS” and they talk about RULE-OF-LAW? Aw, c’mon !!! Everybody is sleeping while wide awake.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        Recommended watching: Jake Tapper interview of Stephen Miller, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU7v5A5P8BM

        These are big boys journalist that ask uncomfortable questions not Philippine Journalists that asked Hillary Clinton:
        1. Madam, who is going to win? Manny Pacquiao or Marquez? THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS IF YOU ARE A VISITING DIGNITARY.
        2. Mr. President Obama our adobo is the best do you like it? JEEZ, C’MON

        Stephen Miller is political advisor to Donald Trump. Mr. Miller was escorted out of the set and thrown out of the building not literally but HE WAS ESCORTED.

        I am waiting for Philippine journalists to ask uncomfortable unleading questions and if they do not stop babbling should be thrown out of the set.

        … but that cannot happen, unfortunately … Journalists should be above the fray, biases and must be independent but nut the case.

        • I’d like to see Jake Tapper tackle UFOs and the Federal gov’t, SB— our reporters here are like lemming too sorry to say.

          “WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.

          Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.

          For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.

          The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

          The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.”

          http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/19/us/pilot-david-fravor-ufo-jim-sciutto-outfront-cnntv/index.html

  19. Jozy Acosta-Nisperos says:

    Thank you, everyone, for the heartwarming comments. Will, I am honoured that you found me a worthy subject. I hope that at the very least, the article will help generate awareness that we need to actively resist the degeneration of our beloved country.

    Happy birthday! As8de from Prof. Randy David, ka-birthday rin natin si Elvis! 🙂

    • Thank you for being the subject, Ms. Acosta! I enjoyed reading about you. As you may well know now, Wil’s articles of people are quite the hit— and you ma’am are in good company. edgar calls ’em hagiographies, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagiography

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      We have another ka-birthday, but in hushed tones–Richard Nixon. Hahaha!

      You’re welcome, Jozy. Hats off to Joe America, for opening his platform for articles like these. You know what, Joe isn’t yellow, but by his own night-vision goggles, he invariably finds himself on PNoy’s and Mar’s and Leni’s and Jozy’s side. He’s as objective as they come, not choosing sides and acting as an apologist. He’s just on the side of truth and fair play, coming from the land the orange man seeks to despoil and invert.

      And to Jozy, what can I say? She’s humble, principally. Read her credentials again and then cast your gaze upon the worthiest fellow or fella in Team Duterte and see what I mean. Hagiographical as it may sound, if you strike gold, you have no other name for it.

      Thanks, Jozy, thanks, JoeAm, for staying with this clear-eyed optimist. No other word for it.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Thank you.
      *****

    • karlgarcia says:

      Belated Happy Birthday, Jozy!

  20. Sabtang Basco says:

    Here is a quote “People matures along with the maturity of journalism” – MRP at GetRealPhil

    It is apparent journalism in the Philippines has not matured but journalists can do a Donald Trump: “Journalist are mature the readers are not”

    PATAY !

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      If Rule-of-Law is not followed …
      If Rule-of-Law is slow …
      If there is a Rule-of-Law of the rich …
      rule-of-Law of the poor …
      the poor rise up, to
      elect a demagogue they never thought

      The principle applies that makes communism irresistible! Which the uneducated think everybody is equal in communism

  21. “Define trolls,” I requested.

    “Trolls don’t have to be paid. They agitate, steer the conversation to another topic or stop engagement when pressed for a debate or conversation. Hindi kinocontinue ang conversation. Pwede paid, pwede hindi. Ayaw lang makipag-usap.”

    “And bots?”

    Bots are automated commenters, may software, pwedeng iprogram na automated ang likes o shares, palaging single message, and many senders of the same message.”

    This struck me most in the whole article. as Chief Troll here,

    that bit about “stop engagement” shows lack of dedication. Someone who easily stops engagement by definition is not a troll. I’m not quite sure how to label such commenter , but most akin to a “bot”, or maybe a “lazy” troll—- but for sure trolling presupposes a certain level of commitment, whether ideology driven or some individual sense of mission (as Chief Troll here, mine is simply the logical end of a position, whereas edgar (et al.) it’s sense of decency , principles & morality).

    But my wider question here, Wil and/or Jozy, or anyone, why don’t the yellows or principle driven or democracy loving folks, have trolls and bots themselves (not counting the ones here, since I believe only Mary Grace goes and finds, searches for pro-DU30 to engage them, the rest just stays put here in TSOH)? They need not be negative or without manners just persistent. Why no trolls and bots on our team?

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Definition of trolls has evolved over the years since former Vice-President Al Gore invented the internet in 1994.

      From Wiki, “Trolling, identity, and anonymity
      Early incidents of trolling[32] were considered to be the same as flaming, but this has changed with modern usage by the news media to refer to the creation of any content that targets another person . The Internet dictionary NetLingo suggests there are four grades of trolling: playtime trolling, tactical trolling, strategic trolling, and domination trolling.[33] The relationship between trolling and flaming was observed in open-access forums in California … ”

      I define “Troll” as a person bearing inflammatory comment the other person do not agree. It means, a troll is dependent on the receiver of the comment. A negative view from OP-ED columnist could be a troll. A blogger could be a troll.

      “BOTS” Facebook has implemented anti-bots internal apps. For a Filipino to swarm political Facebook accounts with bots MUST BE AN EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT FILIPINO WORTHY TO BE WORKING IN SILICON VALLEY not in Philippines.

      That is why I totally disagree with the mention of Facebook account bombarded with anti-establishment bots unless that person works with NSA, CIA, and all the letter alphabet that deals with intelligence in foreign government.

      • “I define “Troll” as a person bearing inflammatory comment the other person do not agree. It means, a troll is dependent on the receiver of the comment. A negative view from OP-ED columnist could be a troll. A blogger could be a troll.”

        I totally agree. Kinda like Oscar Wilde’s preface to Dorian Gray, where he writes:

        “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          It also apply to political campaign. If they lost they blame it to bots, social media, newspaper bias, radio bias and all the biases in the world …

          Sending three Filipinos to the moon to show them how to bot is part of political strategy like political press releases by presstitutes.

          They are telling me that there are weaknesses and holes in Facebook a political operative can squirm to. WoW! Somebody gotta track those three stooges down. I want em. If they can do bots, they can use bots for good.

          • “If they can do bots, they can use bots for good.”

            EXACTLY!!! the fact that essentially not too many people went to bat for Mar Roxas is telling.

            • Sabtang Basco says:

              Mar Roxas political campaign was bland and boring compared to the hoopla and circus of Duterte. The presence of Duterte himself conjures grassroot down-to-earth political entertainment. Filipinos laughed and giggled at his use of dirty words not worthy in political and financial elites that Filipinos would be scratching their head, “say what again?” they asked often.

              Politics is dirty. Why not use dirt? Enough of kissing babies already. That is soooo old school. Duterte’s rape joke, pu***g ina resonated with educated unschooled Filipinos that incensed Barack Obama.

              Filipinos go to Duterte’s campaign for the entertainment and resonance not expecting much of content … but when Duterte spoke of his agenda it reverberated to all Filipinos … just like Donald Trump voters.

    • Micha says:

      Why no trolls and bots on our team?

      Because trolls and bots don’t win elections. It’s a case of over-hyping, a false narrative, false causation.

      As long as we continue believing this nonsense about trolls and bots delivering the win for Duterte, we will be incapable of an honest assessment – a soul searching if you may – as to why Mar Roxas came up short.

      Social media is an equal opportunity platform, not much different than the old medium of TV or radio or newspaper that candidates could use to attract, make their case, and convince electors. If the message doesn’t resonate or click, no amount of exposure to any of those medium will turn the tide in any candidate’s favor. Marcos had all the media exposure at his beck and call and all the sycophant media men and women doing propaganda work (rough equivalent of today;s trolls) yet he lost to low profile Corazon Aquino.

      It’s still the message that matters, not the medium.

      The candidate, not the trolls.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        Absolutely agree. Bots&Trolls are part of equation so are newspaper press releases, radio talk shows, one_can_sardines+kilo_of_rice, sample ballots, famous actors&actresses soires … these are part of political strategies … and of course Chinese meddling as they claimed.

        That is why I HATE POLITICS !!! Anything goes !!! I hate politics in America. In Europe. Anywhere. If it is politics IT IS DIRTY !

        • “these are part of political strategies … and of course Chinese meddling as they claimed.”

          At least here there’s proof of Russians buying up facebook ad/profiles

          (again how that affects votes is still up in the air), and other social media stuff, I’m sure the Chinese are buying up air time too, internet’s a free for all after all (everyone’s got internet access, whether individuals or states, hence a “Charlie bit me!!!” video can still rack up views til now). Are there proof for Chinese buying up ads for DU30?

          But my point, and I’m sure Micha’s and SB’s too, is if you have a meme or message that sticks, it will stick, it’s just up to you to do your damn homework, or simply be there for the money shot,

          • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChGJGhZ9SOOHvBB0Y4DOO_w/about

            That kid became a millionaire on youtube just for opening toys forchrissakes, why didn’t TSM get Mar Roxas to unbox some stuff and post it on youtube/facebook ? Obviously, for Mocha sex sells, so maybe Mar Roxas could’ve stuck his finger in PNoy’s mouth , then PNoy bites it and then Mar Roxas screams Ouch, PNoy bit me!!! Those two would be a hit.

          • chemrock says:

            Psychology 101

            “The term ‘minority influence’ refers to a form of social influence that is attributed to exposure to a consistent minority position in a group.

            Minority influence is generally felt only after a period of time, and tends to produce private acceptance of the views expressed by the minority.” …..

            Moscovici and Minority Influence
            Saul McLeod published 2007

            The effect of minority’s influence on the majority has been tested and supported in various studies.

            • chemrock says:

              The people tend not to believe in this psychology 101 minority influence are fiercely independent thinkers aka Micha and SB.

              But those of us who have been in various activities with large groups would have seen this minority effect clearly.

              • chemp,

                But isn’t the opposite true also, and arguably more consistent? that of majority influence? The power of Republicans for so long, and in their waning years, Trump pulls thru (i’d agree he represents “minority” influence) , but conservatism holds because of majority influence (ie. once upon a time, majority WASP in the U.S.)

                How do you square that with majority influence, is my question. Could you not also argue base on the votes won by DU30 that in fact it was majority influence working?

      • My sentiments exactly, Micha.

        Over here, it’s Russia buying up facebook ads/pages , for example Black Lives Matter memes, videos and photos, thus creating a rift…

        You don’t need Russians for that, having beers above, after the President essentially called that white police sergeant a racist, because he arrested that black professor (Obama’s friend) for being disorderly delaying a police investigation (neighbor called cops thinking the black professor was attempting to break into his house), that alone gives credence to the narrative that cops are racists, thus undermining the gov’t.

        • “But when Cambridge police Sergeant James M. Crowley arrived at the Harvard Square home of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a customary check quickly turned complicated and confrontational, according to police radio dispatches released yesterday.

          With a man’s loud voice in the background, Crowley reported that “a gentleman who says he resides here’’ is being “uncooperative,’’ and, referring to other cruisers on the way to the scene, said to “keep the cars coming.’’ In a terse, matter-of-fact tone, he radioed that the man had identified himself as “a Henry Louis Gates.’’

          Again, a man’s assertive voice is in the background of Crowley’s transmission. Then, as Crowley’s radio went silent, another officer calls for a wagon to take in the arrested scholar on charges of disorderly conduct. At least five Cambridge police officers responded to the scene. Harvard police also responded.”
          http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/07/28/gates_arrest_audio_indicates_race_was_not_factor_at_start/

          • Sabtang Basco says:

            Professor Gates reaction was acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances.

            • That picture above of the President treating the Sgt. and Gates to some beers, essentially paved way for #BlackLivesMatter (in which also the US media, cable TV specifically, was complicit, ie. creating the conditions for riots just by their camera lights). And from there, the bigger support of #BlueLivesMatter , thus voting Trump into office.

              So in way yeah I agree the Russians created more Black Lives Matter memes, news, fake pages, etc. etc. but in reaction more people sided with America’s First Responders, mainly because most Americans are well too aware of this Gates “acquired personality trait” (they’ve seen it for themselves), ie. I’m special so treat me like a superstar.

              • I’m of the opinion that Trump’s win had mainly to do with Comey’s comments about Clinton’s e-mails and, as Micha says, the social media chatter were a part of the medium. The message did the damage. Or the perceived character of the candidates.

              • For sure there’s a bunch of points that tipped Trump over ,

                like Beyonce (whose an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter) opening up for the CMT awards, just a week or two before the election; yeah Comey’s announcement too , but ever since that Obama/Gates drinking beer photo-op, up to the riots in Baltimore 7 years later , these flags became popular in response, red for Fire; blue for Police , you wouldn’t have seen these flags multiply exponentially over here, Joe… but it was significant.

                And the fact that Trump was not shy about supporting First Responders i’m sure contributed greatly as well, if you remember before Trump announce his presidency all cable News was covering were police shootings/use of force ad nauseum, then poof after Trump no coverage.

  22. Sabtang Basco says:

    Duterte won the message. Because he spoke the way 16M Filipinos speak and understand. Erap won because he knows how to eat with his hands and drink cheap rum with the locals.

    Most of all Duterte got Mocha. I bet Lance would be in Duterte’s rally if Mocha were present. I would, too ! Not to listen to his agenda but to see Mocha. When clueless newspapers splash the picture of sea of humanity attending Duterte Filipinos thought all Filipinos are for Duterte.

    Thanks a lot Philippine Media you got 13,000 dead in your hands. The Philippine Media should be tried in International Human Rights Court as accessory to Duterte’s murder for ignorance. It may be absurd and ludicrous that should drop an anvil their heads. They should also be ordered to cease and desist in practicing their profession for disorderly use of their heads.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I second. Sabtang Basco delivers the goods. Thanks!

      • “I bet Lance would be in Duterte’s rally if Mocha were present. I would, too ! “

        SB,

        It was Ireneo who told me about her around 2016. Although I agree that Mocha is “sexy” (Philippine standards, and i’ll explain further), she’s not particularly beautiful/cute.

        I think Mocha , in and of itself (the symbol/concept that she’s created for herself) represents the failure of the Rule of Law, law & order (ie. her judge father), but it’s her going against the Catholic church and the near convent hypocrisy/values that makes her “sexy”.

        so her sexy-ness is actually rooted in her rebelliousness , against Philippine norms, whether it be gov’t status quo or Catholic morality, thus she represents what most Filipinos want, or need to be, to be un-chained from illusionary “Rule of Law” and Church mores, which aren’t working.

        So my attendance would not be because Mocha is some lowly porn starlet , quite the opposite, it’d be because she’s kinda like Madonna. Don’t underestimate her is my point.

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          I agree, Lance. Despite my being liberal I still prefer a Filipino catholic who is docile loyal who believes sex should not be discussed in public good in the kitchen and demon in bed.

        • she represents what most Filipinos want, or need to be, to be un-chained from illusionary “Rule of Law” and Church mores, which aren’t working.”

          LCPL_X, something like this I guess: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/the-twelve-commandments/

          When the Spanish missionaries introduced the Ten Commandments to the natives from 1521 onwards, after Magellan and his men introduced the missionary position to native women, the natives were genuinely confused. What if I want to kill my enemy? What if I feel lust for someone who is not my wife? Some say according to Manny Pacquiao, if she is not your neighbor’s wife it is OK. What I have heard from the diwatas of old is that the natives introduced two more commandments, in order to be able to adjust old ways to the new order of things:

          11th Commandment: Thou shalt not get caught.
          12th Commandment: If caught, thou shalt not admit.

          When the Spaniards of the 19th century introduced laws like the 1884 Penal Code, the natives were even more confused. But being creative and resilient, it seems that they amended the Twelve Commandments. The tikbalang of the forest have told me they looked like this:

          11th Commandment: Thou shalt not get caught by the police.
          12th Commandment: If caught, thou shalt have a good lawyer.

          Then the Americans came and introduced democracy. According to some duwende under a balete tree, the last two commandments were further amended to read this way:

          11th Commandment: In order not to get caught, thou shalt support a politician who covers up for you.
          12th Commandment: If thou art too stupid to be on the right political side, thou shalt have a good lawyer.

          (the point being that Church, law, democracy are foreign concepts not yet fully digested and therefore internalized by the native mind, especially because they were often practiced in a totally different way from where they were invented. Most Filipinos are NOT Edgar Lores)

          (of course Duterte’s swearing also began as a sort of ritualized rebellion against the “duty” of lower-ranking people to be nice and polite to the higher-ups, a “right to be rude” – but recently it has become more like the old right of the entitled to be rude to the “ordinary people” – like what he said during the jeepney drivers strike “if you are poor I don’t care, starve”, but that is also the social climbing aspect of Dutertians who want to lord it over others http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/who-are-you/)

          ..the Beatles and their aides were kicked, punched, spit on and yelled at with angry epithets. “We treat you like ordinary passenger! Ordinary passenger!”, the airport personnel unsympathetically informed them. (Strangely, the Beatles aides were all attacked more furiously than the Beatles themselves- the boys were to remember their hapless chauffeur, Alf, getting kicked, bloodied, and pushed down a flight of stairs.).

          We treat you like ORDINARY passenger. Yeah sure. Ordinary people deserve to be treated badly. Something the ordinary people see every day when they go to government offices or banks in the Philippines.

          • This also went to spam for some reason.

          • Sabtang Basco says:

            I like women who makes pretense of shyness or modesty that is intended to be alluring. American women are upfront in-my-face. I had enough of that. The more these women travel the more they are wild that lacks decency.

            Yes, I am conservative when it comes to human relationship.

            • How do you explain the recent “ME TOO” movement? IMHO, it is only in the last few months that American women are starting to speak truth to patriarchal power. It is a great breakthrough. It is about time for American women to celebrate decent men and expose the abusive ones.

              There was never been an American woman voted as POTUS in the past because the trappings of “women’s lib” were just baby steps towards full gender equality. The deep crevices where “conservative” men who used their money and power to keep women silent are finally being exposed.

              PS. Happy Birthday Kuya Will and Ate Jozy!
              Late greetings of Happy Holidays to all!

              • Sabtang Basco says:

                Let me be clear, Juana,

                – Women use sex to gain power, men use wealth to get sex
                – Men give love to have sex, women give sex to get love

                The bygone days of “she looked at me, I looked at her and we locked lips” happens only in Hollywood love stories. Not anymore. Men have to ask permission to kiss must be in writing, signed, sealed and notarized.

                Unwanted advances is now suitable. Mean can be sued for “unwanted” advances based on the definition of women. I wonder what “unwanted advances” mean to them. It is so broad and general.

              • Unlike SB, JP,

                I prefer my women as equal. Which means all’s fair in love and war, and I tend to get a kick out of the war aspect of love (hence the preference for equality, no fun she’s less), it’s the manipulation and influence associated with said relationship (one-night stands, to friends with benefits, to dating, to marriage— the last one’s not for me, I tend to follow the sage advice of “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for FREE?” , but I’ve met folks designed for marriage so no judgement there).

                No, women aren’t all victims of this “Me too” movement. Many women are purveyors of immorality (or amorality) themselves, especially in Hollywood. Thanks to Non-Disclosure Agreements , and pay-offs, the actual powerful men and women aren’t gonna be affected by this “Me too” (“Time’s Up” ) frenzy. The sloppy ones will be caught up for sure…

                sadly, when things like this become witch-hunts, nuance is lost, so some poor guy (no looks, no money) just attempting to flirt will now be a sleaze-bag (ie. he looked at me funny! ewwwwwwwwwwwwww, “Me too!!!” , “Me too!!!”…).

                But make no mistake women too play this game, albeit not as predators (like most men play this game), but more so as manipulators (ie. inviting a 3rd to the bed, agreeing to swinging, etc.). As to why men tend to be in positions of power, I think this has more to do with fraternity type behaviour consistent in the male, whereas women tend to not play well with other women, but that’s another story (why harem type situations are common in nature, for example).

                My point here is simply that women will/can be as deviant, their strength is in their discretion (ie. they’ll not open doors with just their vagina hanging out, they’ll be more sophisticated). You know why women like full face/body hijabs/abayas/niqabs in the ME, easy for trysts and adultery, ironic isn’t it? the thing that’s suppose to control them, also allows them freedom . 😉

              • This discussion can wait a few hours as it is the main topic in this morning’s upcoming article.

              • Ah, SB beat me to the punch!

              • karlgarcia says:

                Belated Happy Holidays, JP!

              • Ah, the SB generalizations, so broad and general:

                “– Women use sex to gain power, men use wealth to get sex
                – Men give love to have sex, women give sex to get love”

                I think those sentences need qualifiers to be believable.

                On a tangent, I actually like how Hollywood is using its power to make things right. I wish PH have more celebrities who use their popularity to influence Filipinos to do the right thing.

  23. Sabtang Basco says:

    Media as a whole is generally devious. Take a look at this news, here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-once-said-oprah-would-be-first-choice-for-vp/ We already knew this back then. CBSNews wanted to pit Oprah against Donald.

    What CBSNews wanted was for Oprah to say “NEVER” knowing that DONALD would never a “slight” go unanswered. Maybe it is quiet in the front line after they wrung dry over the weekend the book of Fire&Fury.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Talking about the Devils, somebody should ask Trillanes whatever happened to his fake investigation of The Binay Crime Family.

      Maybe the Presstitutes did not want to interview Trillanes, else, he will lose whatever left of his credibility.

      • He is not responsible for the cases which are still plodding forward at ombudsman pace. I’d venture to guess that the Senator’s credibility is higher than it has ever been among those who do not support Duterte.

        • Sup says:

          Agree…Also I am waiting for the AMLC investigation about Sr. and the lifestyle check of Jr.
          Ps. There should have been something about AMLC yesterday in the Senate but cancelled..

          Tuesday, January 9
          Committee/Sub-Committee Time & Venue Agenda
          (Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies)
          (CANCELLED as of 11:00 a.m., Mon. Jan. 8, 2018, by Atty. Harold Ian Valete Bartolome, Committee Secretary) (9:30 A.M.
          Sen. A.B. Padilla Room 2/F Right wing, Senate) P.S. Res. No. 468 – Anti-Money Laundering Act

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Agree. The Philippine Media should now and then give the people update the progress of prosecution, else, the people will lose its trust in the justice system which, somewhat, they already have.

          The media has responsibility to inform and educate the people. I blame the media in forcing the vote of the people to Duterte. And, the voters are proven right Duterte’s “justice” works.

  24. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    the new news nudges to be ungentle into the dying night and be rare dog cynical

    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/trump-and-oprah-are-one-in-the-same/ar-BBI8oTF?ocid=spartandhp

    the trustful snoozers in paradise of the wide wide world NEVER LEARNED. Because
    one is born every minute.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      The difference is greater than the imputed similarity. Oprah is woke; Trump is not.
      *****

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        because I was once a wannabe but failed portrait painter, I did not notice Donald, I thought Oprah’s the perfect Mona Lisa, Oprah’s hair, her eyes, her lips her smile could be Renoir’s ? girl with the earrings or Botticelli’s face of Venus, or Gauguin’s Samoan beauty.

  25. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    this could be another one for the few snoozers in noodle eden:
    His detractors say Pres Trump is sick mentally, UNFIT for office and so Pres Trump said he is not: saying “throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” plus the follow-up that he is in fact a “very stable genius,” sent the Twitterverse into a tizzy. So the detractors and experts analyzed and analyzed ONLY to prove they are wrong and the President is really healthy.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/01/why-would-the-president-of-the-united-states-like-tweet-this-way/549890/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=atlantic-daily-newsletter&utm_content=20180108&silverid=NDIwNzE2MzA1NjMyS0

    In short pants, I remember a Lola neighbor told her apo: “huwag mong kalkalin yan, basura yan. Kung tae yan kinalkal mo, mas mabaho ka pa sa tae.”

    so read on the link, and see how minds dancing the twist ends up dancing the maski paps.

  26. Belated Happy Birthday, Jozy and Will. Great article.

    I follow Jozy on Facebook – I recently linked to her stuff about TRAIN and the middle class here.

    As for social media, yes the other side was there first – but they also found a message that resonated.

    LCPL_X mentions Mocha as personifying rebellion against stuff that “doesn’t work” in the eyes of many: rule of law and “convent morality”, he uses Madonna as an analogy. The rebellion would not resonate if there was no simmering resentment in the popular unconscious waiting to be tapped.

    Francis mentioned in another thread that Duterte might be about Filipinos having emphasized Rizal (educated, “elitist” but I think the latter is a cliche) and had too little about Bonifacio (ordinary people). But Bonifacio never descended to the gutter levels of Duterte – there is a traditional Filipino courtesy. And the Katipunan in fact had a library for its revolutionary members – it valued learning for freedom. There I see Bonifacio influenced by Rizal’s enlightened ideas – as opposed to the reactionary idea of many Filipinos (even those who rebel against it like Duterte) of education as a mark of formal status.

    • What Jozy and her husband are doing a lot now, talking to the people on the street, is highly significant. I think that there was a lot of steam in many Filipinos that has been let out recently – and some of it fired up the wrong locomotive and the wrong TRAIN.

      Edgar mentioned “the other J” = Jover Laurio. I think a weakness of the yellow campaign was that it left malicious allegations unanswered. The man on the street in the Philippines will of course often think they are true in that case – PAB is the answer to that.

      What I find a bit strange is that Leni is nearly invisible nowadays, inspite of the work she is doing. Wondering why. She won without much push because she has a natural talent in speaking to all walks of life – PAB BTW n fact did a lot to defend her from attacks.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Hi Irineo! Thanks!

        If I were VP Leni, I’d do the same thing she’s doing, go under the radar. She has the ball, meaning in the event of, she’s the one. She’s reading the people well, too. She cannot be too arrogant, lest she turns off the intelligentsia. But she cannot be a softie either, so she makes sure she is on spot on critical junctures, such as her statement on no-el. She also cannot be laid-back, hence her outreach to the poor. Angat Buhay. Also, and more importantly, she has to appear nonpartisan to the AFP, to be a reliable keeper of the constitution, hence no calls for ouster. She has her bases covered. Glad she’s second in line. Others would have folded already. There’s a Tagalog word for it, atat, meaning he or she will push, smelling blood. Not a pushover, but not someone who will give a push. Great balancing act.

  27. Sup says:

    Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law explanation for dummies…
    They get: Over the course of 5 years, Dominguez said the government will raise over P786 billion in revenues because of TRAIN.
    We pay………………………………………………

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      That is the scary part, Sup.

      What if: Trickle down effect does not tickle up the economy?
      Who pays: The people

      I project a ballooning deficit but DOF and NEDA says other wise because they are not wise to be other.

      What if: The people cannot pay?
      Where money comes from: LOANS and AIDS
      Who pays for LOANS and AIDS: The people

      That is where Economics University of Princeton Graduate comes in: MAR ROXAS

      Now, I do not care if Mar Roxas was a staffer or a coffee boy with glamorous exotic title of Assistant Vice-President at high-value boutique investment firm in Wall Street.

      Why I do not care? Because Philippine economic problem is not complex. It is simple. Philippine cannot meet loan payment obligations. Restructure Loans. Extend terms.
      And the solution is simple as well: Follow the lead of IMF.

      Philippines has US$77,319,196,000 in debt in 2016
      Public debt per person: $1,515.28
      Population: 109,805,464
      Public debt as % of GDP: 45.8%
      (source: Wikipedia. They are good in presentation. If anyone goes to Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas you go bald pulling your hairs and they happened to be graduates from Ateneo and la Salle)

  28. Sabtang Basco says:

    “Silent Majority” was first used by ex-president Richard Nixon. The definition is not good. Filipinos use “Silent Majority” because it sounds fancy and intelligent. Here is the story:

    SILENT MAJORITY A phrase first used and made up by President Richard Nixon to indicate his belief that the great body of Americans supported his policies and that those who demonstrated against the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War amounted to only a noisy minority.

    It actually means THE SILENT MAJORITY is actually not silent but a NOISY MINORITY.

  29. Sabtang Basco says:

    GOOD NEWS TO FILIPINO ILLEGAL UNDOCUMENTED UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT !!!

    “Trump Appears to Endorse Path to Citizenship for Millions of Immigrants”

    “WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday appeared to endorse a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, saying he would be willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach that many of his hard-line supporters have long viewed as unacceptable.”

    I AGREE WITH TRUMP !!! Give these surrenderees apply for re-colonization and a path to citizenship. THEN,

    1. CLOSE THAT DAMN BORDER !!!
    2. REQUIRE A BATTERY OF I.Q. TESTS TO THOSE THAT WANTED TO APPLY FOR RE-COLONIZATION
    3. THEY ARE TO BRING THEIR FLAG-OF-ORIGIN TO BURN IN THEIR SWEARING IN
    4. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP: Either America or their Country
    5. THEY SHOULD LEARN ENGLISH: No more IRS instructions in different languages
    6. THEY SHOULD ADAPT AND ASSIMILATE, else, deport PRONTO !!!
    7. THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN FOR 10 YEARS !
    8. THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CALL “HOME” THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. This is their HOME, America !!!
    9. IRS IS TO REPORT TO HOMELAND SECURITY THOSE IMMIGRANTS NOT PAYING TAXES. They come. They should work. Not live off their cousins, siblings, parents hard work. Cannot find work? No problem. Deport.
    10. AMERICA HAS TO CLEANSE ITSELF OF UNFIT UNWILLING-TO-WORK IMMIGRANTS!

    THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT: There will be no more Cinco de Mayo and Dose de Junyo celebration ! They came. They adapt to be adopted. We do not adapt to immigrants. Immigrants adapt to us. If they do not like us, please, leave!

  30. Most Filipinos have a “barangay mind” (c) chemrock -which is.. (THIRD TRY)

    a) visual
    b) personalistic
    c) story-oriented

    It is natural that radio commenters like (ugh) Tulfo and FB commenters like Mocha (or now PAB on the yellow side) who tell stories well – including visuals which PAB also excels at) take the role of village storytellers, even if the barangay is much larger and and imagined village. Those of us who go by the logical way cannot quite reach that audience – JoeAm, PAB, me, benign0, Sassot.. yes all the more academic ones… Will is somewhere in between I think..

    The first big visual story that ignited the big barangay was the return home of Ninoy Aquino, filmed by a journalist, including how he was taken out and shots were heard outside the plane. Does any of you honestly think that would have clicked with Filipinos just as a printed story?

    Then you have the sequel, which was the burial of Ninoy, and Part 3, people on EDSA and the church calling the flock to go there using Radio Veritas while TV broadcast it all over the world.

    The next teleserye was Erap’s impeachment trial and EDSA 2, people gathering due to text messages. Finally you have Senate and Congress hearings as the drama that Filipinos like to watch, even if neither legislation nor a conclusive convictions happens. But the village judges. The media has played its part by magnifying the he-said she-said aspect of every scandal. Treating nationally important stuff as if it was an altercation between Noranians-Vilmanians.

    Of course Duterte played this already existing field perfectly. Social media were an addition. The place were one could read the tsismis asynchronously, not just HEAR it realtime like before. “Everybody says De Lima is a crook”, so people believe it, just one example. FB live from PCOO forces itself on you as soon as it starts if you follow one of their pages (I did once but stopped) and the captain of the virtual barangay starts talking to you “personally”. Just like the warrior hero of the virtual barangay (Pacquiao) USED to win battles in its name.. used to. Probably the Filipino mind will truly modernize and urbanize in time, I think that will happen fast after centuries of being frozen in amber, but for the moment it is what it is… some are modern already, others need to be fetched from where they are.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I agree.

      Filipinos have an affective (emotional) — not rational — approach to life.

      By rational, I mean mind rational.

      By affective, I mean heart rational.

      They understand, mentally, a bit of something, but make no effort to understand the whole. And from that little bit of understanding, but mostly on the basis of their feelings, they base their non-rational opinions and actions.
      *****

      • Yet you and Irineo prove that this is not a comprehensive condition, just a widespread one. Government services under President Aquino were progressing toward rational but have since slipped back to sloppy, rude, and otherwise emotional. The discipline of transparency, which assures more rigor, has regressed toward secret. It is fascinating to watch a flower wilt real time.

        • This is EXACTLY the problem! and what i.p. has been hammering on here since last year.

          Essentially you guys are saying all Filipinos are dumb, with some smart ones, ergo all Filipinos should only listen to some of the smart ones (because they know better).

          Know your audience!!! the smart Filipinos should be the ones catering to the dumb masses (what do they want? what do they need? give them that! ) if all they need is to be entertained bring back WOWOWEEEEE! have girls gyrate as poor kids cry on stage and give them free stuff,

          then in the background work on building the economy.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Mocha’s Facebook is mentioned. Why Filipinos visit her Facebook? For what reason? She must be interesting. She must have excellent content that Filipinos wanted to hear others do not because they wanted to be “above the fray”.

      In other blogs they say Mocha is a Facebook rockstar. What made her rock? What made her a star? Can any so-called self-styled intelligent Filipino top her popularity? Why not?

      I have the answer so do they.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        To blog about Intelligent content requires beating around the bush so as not to sound crass this is the total failure of message delivery in the Philippines. The Filipinos hate Ring-a-Ring o’ rosie and beating around the bushie, talking about this old nursery rhymes I love the Indian version better:

        Ringa ringa roses,
        Pocket full of posies,
        Hush-sha bush-sha,
        All fooled down

        2ndly, in Political campaign they should say what they mean clearly and directly, even if it upset “polite” people. Politics is dirty. Those appearing to be “polite” are really dirty because they are in politics.

        3rdly, say anything, promise anything. The reason for running in politics is not about keeping the promises … IT IS ABOUT MONEY !!! POWER !!! LUXURY !!! TO BE DRIVEN AROUND … WITH PHALANX OF BODYGUARDS … THE FAME …. to quote Donald Trump in Michael Wolff’s words “”Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities…”

        • “Those appearing to be “polite” are really dirty because they are in politics.”

          So the disente are hypocrites, like what “everybody” says? Tell me more please.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            This is precisely what I am talking about when I say “They understand, mentally, a bit of something, but make no effort to understand the whole. And from that little bit of understanding, but mostly on the basis of their feelings, they base their non-rational opinions and actions.”

            The little bit is that “politics is dirty” and this is taken as absolute truth. And from this premise, an illogical inference is made, which is that those who are polite only “appear” to be polite.

            There is no conception that politics is one of the noblest of callings to serve the public… and that there can be earnest public servants.

            And we get this garbage — admittedly along with some weird insights — from Sabtang Basco and a lot of commenters on social media.

            And a lot of people enter politics with Sabtang Basco’s perspective, That is, politics is dirty and there is power to wield and money to be made.

            As with Duterte, it’s all id (per Jesicca Soho) and there is hardly any rational filtering from a superego.
            *****

      • It is simple: Mocha and Tulfo talk(ed) about day-to-day stuff that interests most Filipinos.

        Their issues with corrupt officials, drug dealers, POEA, MRT, etc. – stuff those who have better lives already do not experience and so they cannot really talk that well about it.

        Those who are a) established middle class or work in the top universities, b) those who are already permanently abroad but whose families are in the a) category, are different from..

        those who are struggling new middle class (BPO) or OFWs, meaning non-permanent abroad, or permanent abroad but with struggling families in the city or countryside to support…

        but as I am not a fan of Mocha or Tulfo, maybe Francis, ip or others can tell us more details.

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          I do not have Facebook. I do not have Twitter. On occasion I read news but not Mocha or Tulfo. I read blogs. Because in blogs the news are already ripped, dissected, analyzed and autopsied.

          I hate myself when I am tempted to read Philippine News. I know it is fake and read. Eventually I got around to it with an excuse to entertain myself. I found it surely is entertaining.

    • Exactly, SB! If you’re smart you should know how to navigate for your people, know what your people want, address that first, then deal with the intangibles.

      Why are the dumb now out-witting the smart over there? Because the smarts are not listening to their audience, the dumb masses.

  31. “True. Gutenberg’s press created such a spate of loony pamphlets that the phrase “Lügen wie gedruckt” (lying like printed) is still part of German vocabulary hundreds of years later. “

    We have lying thru your teeth, I have no idea where it came from, but lying like printed captures edgar’s weaponized social media point so well vis-a-vis the Gutenberg press.

    I’m reading a book right now titled “the Immortal Game” (i’m nearing the end),

    I thought the book cover looked cool , so I got it. it’s about the author David Shenk re-discovering about his great-great uncle who was some popular chess grandmaster in France (from Poland), I guess what began as a biography of his famous uncle became a history of chess and of thought, essentially his premise was

    wherever chess went enlightenment followed, chess started in India, then traveled thru the Persian empire, then around the same time the Muslims were ascendant, it was discovered by Arabs, then spread throughout the Muslim empire, then it sprouted in Europe, from Spain but also thru the Crimean peninsula creating virtually two strands of chess traditions, European & Russian, then also

    covering the Jews in diaspora’s special relationship to chess.

    Then the enlightenment, then off to America, it turns out the Founding Fathers were avid chess players, both Jefferson and Franklin especially. Then Napoleon was ascendant, turns out he was a fan of chess too, though not such a great player, but most of his real world wins he credited with from his chess,

    why does enlightenment follow wherever chess takes root? that’s the question. Shenk is convinced it is in the power of metaphors, the ability to see the chess board and see whatever metaphor the human mind conceptualizes. It’s one of the better books i’ve read in a long time.

    But my question (or proposal) is why not make chess into some sort of national past time over there?

    the book doesn’t cover chess’ travel eastward to China and to Japan (I had to wiki & Google this part). But if you notice people in China and Vietnam are playing a lot of chess these days (i guess it was frowned upon among Commies, though amongst Russians they fostered it, which they used against the U.S. during the Cold War, ie. all those matches),

    so why not get Filipinos to play int’l Chess as well as Chinese Chess (even Shogi, which is Japanese chess, though this one’s more complex, since you’d have to know kanji, whereas the Chinese characters are easier to memorize, and also the piece movements are closer to int’l Chess). I wish i7sharp was here since he was the avid chess player— the book also covers what happens when a mind goes into the near infinite possibilities of chess, rending said mind fried, so don’t dive too deep where you can’t resurface.

    My point, you want enlightenment, maybe chess is the answer, both International Chess & Chinese Chess,

    • Tell all those Filipino wood carvers to stop carving those indigenous figures covered in a barrel 😉 ,

      and start carving nice chess pieces, for Chinese chess you can continue with disc pieces with Chinese characters, but also carve symbolic pieces (like int’l chess) for the West,

      but continue also with int’l Chess pieces, both for export but also for local play,

      I think there’s a market for this. People start out with cheap plastic stuff, but eventually they want to own a nice heirloom set, also people always lose pieces, so there’s a market for custom carvings too. the sky’s the limit.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      There are excellent Filipino chess players the Philippine Media do not cover them unless Mocha Uson plays one. Philippine Media is all about celebrity past times not those chess players at Tondo and Payatas.

      It is happening in France right now! If it were not for Catherine Deneuve denouncing #metoo movement there wouldn’t have been #freedomtopester movement. Thank you Deneuve. Thank you very much ! In France they treat sex like sports. And being pestered is their favorite past time.

  32. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    I like to share three deductive kokote scratchings about politics. If there is such a thing like genetics of politics, I’d say I cannot go deep into the level of DNAs or genes. I will prefer to stay at chromosome level where their numbers by accidents may determine the sex and sensuality of homos politicos (as sub stratum of homo sapiens).

    It is averred that the first step in the scientific method is classification. I thought however, definitions should precede classification. Classification should then produce a taxonomy of good or bad beings. To separate thieves, scalawags, rascals, genocidals, etc. from the mediocres and statesmen.

    When ever in classrooms or conferences, I am asked about the politics of say Ferdinand, Cory, Fidel , Erap, Gloria, Noynoy, Digong . . . I compartmentalized; I, an agriculturist by education and occupation try to fit them into big shelves of definitions which I think straddle the philosophy, theory and practice of politics. There are of course other better definitions unknown to me.

    David Easton’s: Politics is the authoritative allocation of values in the society.

    Harold Lasswell’s: Politics is who gets what, why, when and where and how much.

    Trapo, Babaero, Plunderer’s: All is fair in love and war and in politics.

    Easton’s kind of politics may have been practised among the decent free world countries. Authoritative allocation of what is of VALUE to the people are constitution and law based governance.

    The resources of authority and power comes from respect, honor, honesty and integrity. Former presidents Mother and Son in the Philippines record of governance are the closest adherence to Easton’s definition. Theirs were tremendously undermined by politics hewing very close to Lasswell’s and Trapos’ definitions of politics.

    Lasswell’s definition is a double edge machete. When it cuts, it cuts deep and bloodless, but could result in internal hemorrhage if politics will only ask who gets what and NEVERMIND. Not bad at all for supporters, investors and progressive bailiwick beneficiaries of benevolent crooked politicians.

    The Trapos’ definition of politics of FAIRNESS is its romantization of violence, cruelty, infidelity, thievery and the highly cosmetic make over of the crooked, the bad and ugly practitioner of largely inherited protocol. The proof, evidence and records may not be found in the archives of the courts but in newspaper morgues; actually the cemeteries of fair politics to the winners who got away .

    • You wrap ‘good’ and ‘bad’ up so nicely, from my moralist viewpoint. The closing paragraph is a humdinger. Time eventually buries the good and the bad, some before what seems fair, some after.

    • chemrock says:

      Very good, Popoy!

      Whenever I speak to Filipinos about values, I’m always told a sprinkling of the following :
      Hospitality, adaptability, resilience, resourcefulness & creativity, faithfulness, bayanihan spirit (unity), thriftiness, politeness, family-oriented, bravery, jolliness (sense of humour), discretion, dignity, honesty, commitment, and helpfulness.

      Some adjectives I know are absolutely true, some I thought were antithesis of reality. I’m not here to discredit or prove anything, just a statement of personal observation.

      A posthumous diagnosis of democracy in Philippines will show death was the result of extreme moral decay from the top echelon of society which has affected the whole body. In my Confucian-jaundiced eyes, the way out of the political turmoil of Philippines, out of an enigmatic disease that has afflicted the nation for centuries, is a moral transformation on a national scale to return the society to the true values of Filipinos, all those virtues that I have been told about.

      Politics for Philippines should be a transformational change led by the top echelons of society to guide the nation out of the moral stupor we are in today.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Chemrock, that looks to me like a puritan type reformation…I doubt it will ever happen in old fashioned Catholic Philippines.

        • chemrock says:

          Bill, one is entitled to dream.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            In mid ’68 I was there in South Wales gawking at the dark gray (not white) beach of Plymouth to imagine how the Puritans climbed the oak ships that landed them in New England, I read about the poor law and in disbelief how merciless “transportation” was applied to both guilty and innocents in Merry Olde England.

            These were the seeds of righteousness which flowered in America and Australia. Puritanism and “transportation” gave the old settlers the long sunrise denied of other countries. Where are America and Australia now in the crucible of relatively peaceful and GREAT nations had began with the struggle of society’s detestables. Gawker’s been there, learned that in three places where it all began.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Popoy, I don’t think any convicts were transported with the Puritans to New England in America.

              Convict transportation came later on in the 1720-70’s and most of the convicts were transported to the southern colonies like the Carolinas & maybe Georgia. With the War of Independence Britain lost of this place to send it’s convicts. And then was formulated the plan to send them to New South Wales.

              By the way, the loss of cheap white British convicts in the southern states after 1776, lead to an increased demand for black slaves from Africa for the new developing tobacco & cotton plantation economy there.

              Convicts were not enslaved. They served a sentence for however many years as determined by the courts. And then they were freed. But black slaves were enslaved for life and so were their children.

              I wonder, would the USA have gone through the enormous hideous disfigurement that black slavery has caused ever since 1776, if the colonies had stayed colonies for longer ? Great Britain abolished the slave trade in 1805. And set free all slaves in Britain & the empire a few years later. Slaves were also repatriated to Africa.

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                Bill, to make clear or more confusing the part of my poor English, it should have been written: . . . oak ships that landed them in New England. ALSO I read about the poor law and in disbelief how merciless “transportation” IN ANOTHER TIME was applied . . .

                Sorry about that. Thanks for the elaboration, I have long wished for that in my mostly generalized postings. I just hope the readers did not get more confused by the details. Because convicts and slaves were not in my thoughts at that moment.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          In mid ’68 I was there in South Wales gawking at the dark gray (not white) beach of Plymouth to imagine how the Puritans climbed the oak ships that landed them in New England, I read about the poor law and in disbelief how merciless “transportation” was applied to both guilty and innocents in Merry Olde England. These were the seeds of righteousness that flowered in America and Australia. Puritanism and “transportation” gave the old settlers the long sunrise denied of other countries. Where are America and Australia now in the crucible of relatively peaceful and GREAT nations had began with the struggle of society’s detestables. Gawker’s been there, learned that in three places where it all began.

  33. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    I could probably add a little more to these snores with the songs of Old Folks At Home by the Swanee River and Old Black Joe. These historic people of the South and the North were REAL producers of food, clothing and shelter; for themselves and for those in need in other countries. They did it, piling up with broken backs the building blocks of greatness.

    Taking America to where it is now where it is hurricaned, tornadoed and snowed by trillion of dollars earned not from production of food, clothing and shelter but from ENTERTAINMENT of the mind, of the ego; of satiated cravings of the flesh. Those people with the hoe, colorless or colored beings in the unheated mansions of shanties and log cabins made America a river of dynamic flow but with a short memory.

    • The Philippines and America meet with Mark Twain who documented the heart of a runaway slave and who protested American colonial policy in the Philippines. Thanks for reminding us of the trials and contributions of those who were not favored by the empowered, but managed to give us so much.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Joe Am if I may, the Puritans, and the transported Brits were the first colonialists who made America and Australia prosperous human settlements along side the prairie Indians and the outback Abus. Now, in big capitals NOW, it’s the refugees, the expat workers, the illegal workers, the undocumented and the immigrants who are now the neo colonialist, unlikely but feared future masters of locals. Trump of USA and Brexits are trying to rationalize and contained that. Colonialism is an old dog with a new collar.

  34. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Go .. Die . . .Mate !

    Poor of hearing I struggle to make sense of that which may be I have heard
    in Kunyung Road, Melbourne, In Cooma, N.S.W. or in Palmerston, Darwin.

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