“How do we get out of this mess?”

[Photo source: CNN Philippines, by Joyce Ilas]

By Joe America

“Joe, as a keen observer of Philippine politics in particular and society in general, in your considered judgment, how do we get out of this mess???”

That’s a tweet I received from ‘Martin’ a few days ago. Let me do my best to answer it, as it is perhaps a common question on many people’s minds these days.

What is “this mess”?

I presume “this mess” to be the failure of Philippine leaders and institutions to abide by their Constitutional mandates, replacing them with self-interest and impunity. The results include, among others:

  1. Loss of the West Philippine Sea to China.
  2. Rampant State-sponsored killings without due process along with other violations of human rights (jailing of Senator De Lima, abuses of Lumads, etc.).
  3. Imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao, upheld by the Supreme Court, in apparent over-rule of what the Constitution says.
  4. Vindictive exercise of power to impeach Chief Justice Sereno, fire the deputy Ombudsman, persecute President Aquino, and label criticism as an organized effort to ‘destabilize’ government.
  5. State-sponsored propaganda, including lies and threats against citizens who advocate for democracy and due process.
  6. A loss of civility led by the President’s foul language and crude jokes.
  7. Economic damage: weaker peso, flight of foreign investments, increasing debt, and rising inflation. Taxes and higher prices affect the poor the most.
  8. Reactive decisions that make little sense: refusing EU aid, cursing other nations and the Pope, blaming all problems on the ‘yellows’.
  9. Failure to pursue and jail major drug lords whilst persecuting the ‘little guys”. A ‘list’ culture. Jailing of the whistle blower in the smuggling of P6.4 billion in shabu from China.
  10. Administrative failures: passport system, MRT, LTO, PNP, disaster response, and panic on vaccines.
  11. Subordination of the House of Representatives, PNP, and Supreme Court to President Duterte rather than the Constitution. The Senate is of questionable allegiance to the Constitution. The Ombudsman, Commission on Human Rights, COMELEC, and Anti-Money Laundering Council are under attack or already compromised.

Lost is the rise in the nation’s global reputation and standing on matters like corruption, ease of doing business, competitiveness, and leadership in opposing China in contested seas.

Martin’s question searches for a way to get back to forthright democracy that follows the Constitution and puts citizen well-being first and foremost.

What are key points to consider?

Any action will bring with it certain risks, costs, and probabilities of failure or success. We can examine some of these attributes in the discussion section that follows the article. I’ll provide a starting assessment in a moment.

One of the things we have to bear in mind is that Philippine democratic institutions may have been damaged so badly that it is impossible to return to the ‘way it was’ prior to President Duterte. The House, the PNP, and the Supreme Court are no longer exercising their independent mandate. The Ombudsman will change hands in about a year and can be expected thereafter to execute the will of President Duterte.

It may not be possible to return to the Constitution and constitutional ethics without dissolving the House and Supreme Court and changing all top positions in the PNP. I am not advocating that. I just state it forthrightly as a ‘given’ considering that more than three fourths of all three institutions are aligned with President Duterte against the Constitution. It is not likely that the officials in control will suddenly develop a new ethical awakening.

The game changers

We can identify the initiatives, groups, or institutions that are on the playing field and may have material influence on how the Philippine develops going forward:

  • President Duterte
  • The Senate
  • The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
  • Political Opposition to President Duterte
  • International Criminal Court
  • The People

Let me give a thumbnail assessment of each game changer, setting the scene, identifying some of the costs and risks, and putting a thumb up to the horizon to see what might be out there.

President Duterte – 60%

The President is well on the way to dictatorship. He holds the reins of power and is in a good position to end democracy to move to some other governing framework that empowers him and designated families, aligns with China, establishes an ethics of impunity, stacks people according to worth, and controls everything from what people read, to what they are taught and say. There is a 60% probability that the Philippines as a modern, civil, democratic state is over. The answer to Martin’s question is, ‘nothing, really’.

The Senate – 20%

The majority of the Senate is aligned with President Duterte, but there is also unrest . . . Binay and Poe about State propaganda, Lacson about Customs and the PNP, and a number who are uneasy about rampant killings and increasing incivility. Two matters coming down the pike will determine if the Senate aligns fully with President Duterte or will stand up for the Constitution: (1) the impeachment of Chief Justice Sereno, which is clearly a political case, and (2) federalism and the shenanigans attached to it that would assure unending Duterte leadership.

If the Senate refuses to abide by the President’s demands on these two issues, the nation will likely go to another national election in 2022 and the Duterte realm will be put at risk. If the Senate fails to defend the Consitution, it will become a captured institutions, irrelevant to a prosperous democratic state in anything but talk.

The probability of the Senate remaining independent and a legitimate gameplayer FOR democracy is about 20%.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – 10%

President Duterte would likely be dictator today if it weren’t for the generals, who seem to hold an allegiance to the Constitution. The AFP relationship with the President runs hot and cold with the President bestowing gifts, then insulting the generals by crawling into bed with enemies (NPA and China), trying to give the AFP Chinese rifles, or stopping their purchase of helicopters.

If the people were outraged by President Duterte, then the AFP might already have ended the Duterte experiment and acted to prevent encroachment of China into Philippine seas (using the Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States). The House and Senate would have gone back to a constitutional mandate, looking forward to the next election. But the people are with President Duterte so the best the AFP can do is stand as a block against outrageous abuses of the Constitution. Unfortunately, we can witness an assertive erosion of the AFP’s ability to defend the Constitution. President Duterte is calling the shots. The AFP has lost the seas and is but a pawn in NPA/terrorist actions as the President blows hot then cold on rebels. The Department of Defense will likely start buying Chinese or Russian armaments soon.

The likelihood of an incendiary event that would impel the AFP to act is small. 10%.

Political opposition to President Duterte – 10%

Political opposition is factionalized (tribal), small-time, and sporadic. There is no unity to give it force. The State’s propaganda agents just beat each small fire out.

The Liberal Party is trying to rebuild, but one must look with some skepticism as to their ability to change election outcomes in a way substantial enough to bring the Senate in 2019 back to democracy. People like flair, and ‘Senator Uson’ is sure to bring smiles to their hearts. Senator Hilbay, not so, except among the educated pro-democracy crowd.

There is no political force that matches President Duterte in charisma, impudence, or organization. Charisma brings awe on the President’s every visit or remark. Impudence is valuable to prove to voters that their leader is strong enough to “stick it to” the elite on behalf of the people. So it is all a lie, who cares? The President’s organization is the cadre of trolls and propagandists, and possible foreign agents, deployed to help spread his message. If the opposition can’t find a way to unify or identify a leader, how will they ever get to an organized effort?

A fractured vase does not hold water. 10%.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) – 3%

The ICC is a slow, ponderous organization and it has no mechanism for removing President Duterte from office, that I am aware of. It can embarass the Philippines and assign a formal black mark against the President, but I don’t forsee him being removed from office. If this is possible, I’d welcome an expert in international law explaining the timeframes and mechanisms for actually getting something done. I don’t think there would be any ‘moral weight’ in the Philippines assigned to an ICC ruling given that most Filipinos are already fine with the President’s crude and ruthless ways. His propaganda team would merely spin the ICC as the enemy of the Philippine people, and further strengthen the strong man persona.

Futile. 3%

The People – 2%

Most Filipinos, including a lot of entertainment stars and opinion leaders, support President Duterte. Protests gather at most a few thousand ‘elites’, and there seems to be no charismatic leader or coalition-builder who can recruit and organize a multi-sector protest. Civil rights and laws are being undermined at a slow, steady pace, so the frog does not even know its pot is cooking.

As long as President Duterte avoids an incendiary event, he will keep dialing up the heat and the people will keep boiling in blissful ignorance. 2%


Well, all projections have variables, not the least of which is time. If the economy erodes quickly, or a charismatic opposition leader emerges, or there is an assassination of a ‘name’ oppositionist, or some other incendiary event takes place (China occupies Benham Rise), then the probabilities can change dramatically upward in opposition to the President. If the Senate convicts Chief Justice Sereno and approves Federalism, it’s standing as an independent body drops to zero. President Duterte becomes stronger.

So variables can work either way, for President Duterte or for the Constitution.

If one were to say, “Okay, Joe, but what if we were determined to MAKE change happen to overcome the miserable odds that the Constitution will survive President Duterte?”

I’d say, well, that is up to you. How do you get middle-ground senators to stand up for the Constitution? How do you get the AFP to stop losing to a strongman backed by the enemy China? How do you get opposition factions united? How do you speak across the great divide to get the masses to stand behind the Consitution?

The easiest way is simply to concede to President Duterte. Become obedient, as he wants. Do nothing.

[The discussion floor is open. Kindly do not use the blog as a forum to rally opposition. Distinguish between ideas and calls for action. Thank you. JA]


249 Responses to ““How do we get out of this mess?””
  1. edgar lores says:

    This is a To Do list. It is (slightly) tongue in cheek.

    The first order of business is to set the house in order.

    1. Declare a revolutionary government.
    2. Lock up Duterte and his gang; Enrile; and Jinggoy. And Gloria.
    3. Padlock Congress until new elections are held; all members of the current majority in both houses are prohibited from running.
    4. Reduce the Supreme Court to 7 justices by removing the last 4 justices appointed by Duterte and 4 associate justices appointed by Gloria who are closest to retirement.
    5. Recall all Duterte appointees.
    6. Create a constitutional convention that will amend the Constitution of its present defects such as (a) the powers of the Ombudsman; (b) the amendment method limited to Concon; (c) the martial law provisions; (d) the independence of the constitutional commissions; (e) the unbridled powers of the Executive vis-a-vis the Legislature and Judiciary; (f) anti-dynasty; (g) turncoatism; (h) the party list system; (i) the qualifications for political candidacy should include no prior criminal record and no prior experience in the entertainment industry and certain sports (basketball and boxing).
    7. Re-educate and professionalize the civil service.
    8. Reorganize Customs and the Sandiganbayan.
    9. Abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan.
    10. Abolish the barangay system (?).
    11. Kick China out of WPS.
    12. Re-exile the Marcoses.
    13. Release De Lima.
    14. Re-appoint Carpio-Morales (76) until Justice Carpio (70) can take over in October 29, 2019.
    15. Lift money secrecy laws for PEPs.

  2. arlene says:

    What do we do with this mess? Where are we going? I hate it when he appoints undesirables in his government because of “utang na loob” Most of them are not even qualified nor have enough experience to handle the job. Oh, and letting China build in our territories. What a shame!

    Good morning to all!

    • karlgarcia says:

      Good mortning to you as always.
      With Duterte lambasting all the international bodies maybe except for ASEAN, maybe he is savoring being their temporay chair; who would want to help us eventually when we need help.
      Duterte invested a lot of badwill.( whatever the oppisite of goodwill)

      • karlgarcia says:

        In the recent Marawi episode he poopooed US intelligence and assistance.

        That is international goodwill, for the Philippines, Micha paraphrased: If Durerte goes, will overpopulation and inequality disappear.
        Sadly, the answer is no, so how do we get out this,we always try yet we always miss?

      • arlene says:

        Haha! I like the “badwill” I think he is doing it for his own agenda. He is definitely enjoying being “popular” to the masses without them knowing hie is just taking advantage of everything. It’s really sad that we have come to this.

        • neilmacbuk says:


          • Testy, testy, aren’t we? Please refrain from shouting at arlene and putting down people here. Respect begets respect. We understand your frustration. We are frustrated too. Tell us how you feel and what you think in a calm and respectful manner. Thank you.

            • Neil reminds me of social media trained flamers who drop off quick hits but are not into sharing ideas or granting those who don’t think like him any consideration. I appreciate you trying to encourage him to relax. I was set to block him.

          • chemrock says:

            That’s the point. The previous admin did’nt do anything for Arlene, nor for me. It brought back the country to the path of economic growth. It brought back pride for the country from Sick Mand of Asia to the New Tiger economy. But you would’nt understand all these because there is no pride in you as Filipino.

            • NHerrera says:


              And may I add: The previous Administration brought back Filipino and International Pride in standing up to the Bully China in the West Philippine Sea.

          • arlene says:

            There is really no need to shout Mr. Neil, I hear you. I am also updated with the news.

            • neilmacbuk says:

              I do apologise for appearing to “shout” at you arlene. That was not my intention at all. As a pretty-spritely 74 year-old, I am not hugely computer-savvy, and, without italics or under-lining handy to me, CAPS are used to accentuate my points, as-well-as to bring attention to those points.

              • NHerrera says:


                At 80, I too am not that computer-savvy, but I learned from friends here at TSH. Here is the procedure for italicizing; bolding; and both italicizing and bolding:

                First, I define the symbols

                L = less than symbol =
                M = more than symbol =

                Bracket i within L and M = LiM
                Bracket /i within L and M = L/iM

                To italicize “how do I italicize” do

                LiM how do I italicize L/iM

                To bold “how do I bold” do

                LbM how do I bold L/bM

                To italicize and bold “how do I italicize and bold” do

                LiM LbM how do I italicize and bold L/bM L/iM

                NOTE that I used L and M for the less than and greater than symbol, because if I used the symbols outright, it will end up italicizing or bolding my text, when I don’t intend to, etc.

                I hope that helps and works for you.

              • If you’d prefer a more visual example, here is what you type:

                Here is the output:

                “italics & bold”

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks a lot for that IP — you did in a short post what I did a mile to do. For some reason when I use the left an right angular bracket, I mess things up. Your post should be preserved for future users who ask.

              • NHerrera says:

                A further note, to the readers. The following is the link to use to get to IP’s post above:


            • NHerrera says:


              L is for the less than key.
              M is for the more than key

              Those are the keys on top of comma and full-stop, respectively.

    • neilmacbuk says:

      SAME OLD SAME OLD..you will NOT achieve quality whilst pilipinos vote for actors and boxers!!

  3. Cecille Luna says:

    This is the saddest moment in our country when we’ve all been there done that and willingly welcoming history repeat itself.

  4. neilmacbuk says:

    You angelic spokespersons forget that the average, and majority of pilipinos, are ignorant and unable to choose decent leaders,and are “sheep” of the catholic church, forgiving all kinds of shit and corrupt behaviours, which have become the norm. in this country. Get real and address the REAL problem. YOU fckn need Du30 to show you that shit will receive karma-shit..he has only short time to rule..so he has to be, needs to be, DECISIVE!!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:


    • chemrock says:

      Hi neil, you are right, We have seen Du30’s decisiveness in blocking the investigation into his billion pesos bank transactions. We have seen the decisiveness in giving away the islands to China. We have seen the decisiveness to wipe Marawi off the map. We have seen the decisiveness in killing of non-humans in the barangays and reinstatement of murderers masquerading as policemen. We have seen the decisiveness in allocating billions in the budget to propagandists by taking away by taking away billions from social agencies….Meanwhile, MRT is down to 3 coaches, Drug lords are back in Bilibid, BOC is still as corrupt as ever, not a single builb builb buil project has started.

      And your question was????

      • NHerrera says:

        ! ! !

        • Rafael Coscolluela says:

          Decisive not the same as Abusive, Vindictive and Dictatorial.

          • chemrock says:

            You are right, Sir. The decisiveness of Winston Churchill and the decisiveness of Hitler are not the dame.. Abusive, vindictive and dictatorial persons can be decisive too. Is’nt that a waste of talent? Drug problems could have been soled in 3 months. Mrt woes could be over by now.

            Thanks for dropping by Gov.

  5. I am not a good conspiracy theorist but there is so much verified information out there that can be
    mined to craft a hypothesis.

    Here is mine:

    The “marketing” or the propaganda machine did not cease. PRD and his administration are still in the election mode. His charisma is all a mirage created by an organized political marketer(s). If someone could find the Paul Joseph Goebbels of PH and expose the man behind the curtain, all the charm will dissipate.

    His impudence is all his and is already getting tiresome for a lot of Filipinos. Bandwagoning is very strong not only among politicians but also with the masses. Weber-weder lang yan, di ba? When the wind starts blowing in another direction, expect the balimbings to turn.

    I read somewhere that there are only 59 fake websites in other parts of the world but there are 96 in PH. Should we add the digital army to the list of game players?

    • It is a strange government (to me) that touts an executive ‘freedom of information’ order, then sets out to censor and mislead.

    • Risking to sound more of a conspiracy nut, manipulating public perception really isn’t anything new. The only difference now is that these ‘weapons’ have been, uhm… Democratized… So to speak.

      Before, it was solely in the hands of PR and Ad Firms that had connections to the huge media outlets. And that was obviously expensive as hell thus inaccessible.

      Now, given the ‘democratization’ of media, it can’t be denied that it has become more accessible and this is why the different entities have been clashing ever since.

      But then again, if these relatively smaller entities are able to ‘effectively’ manipulate public perception, what do you suppose of the bigger ones then? Hell, they even managed to convince people that Rico Yan’s death is because of ‘bangungot’. Which it isn’t. And the kicker is: That’s just one celebrity. So what more for the big-time personalities?

      It really doesn’t make sense that they are losing. Unless the odds are legitimately stacked against them. So if the odds are indeed stacked against them, what do you suppose are these odds then?

      A backer like China? Russia? Marcos?

      But the thing with that is: If the entities are to be this big, what stopping the opposition from exposing them? Hmm… if I may hazard a guess, it is because they probably have something similar as well. Mutually Assured Destruction at play.

      So who started stocking on nukes? How do we de-escalate? Assuming its possible anyway.

      • Hmmm… Interesting theories, ip.

        I do not buy the MAD theory though. Tell me more, sell it to me.

        No doubt that, most, if not all the presidential candidates in 2016 had PR machines. I’ll hazard a guess that those who lost stopped paying for the ad agencies services.

        How do you de-escalate a propaganda machine? Find Goebbels and his financier?

        • Well, when I say MAD, I don’t mean to imply that the opposition may have certain questionable backers. It’s more of that if they have something that may bring down Duterte, those on his camp will probably have something as well for retaliation. So with this, they are probably wary of taking any action as it may lead to mutual destruction. Hence MAD. So if they want to de-escalate the MAD? Well, they should first acknowledge there, uhm… appeasement. That’ll be less ammo for the Duterte camp. But based on experience, that’ll usually trigger people in a bad way. But as Wil has said on another post:

          “Duterte is in because he was in to begin with. EJK was with us 30 years before the original DDS was formed. Duterte only institutionalized what we blithely ignored or tolerated in the past. […] …we have seen the enemy and it is us.”

          And note that this is just the first step. Because after this acknowledgment, there will surely come other things. The bigger the entity is, the more things that will come. So if there is a kicker here: Assuming MAD, I won’t be surprised if many of the opposition will have much more to lose.

          In a way, the main assumption here is similar to LcX’s. That everybody is dirrrty. But then again, if the assumption is wrong, there really isn’t that much to lose, is there? So what’s stopping them?

          As for de-escalating the propaganda machine, well, it’ll probably only stop until one of them ‘wins’. If there is another view to this, the Duterte supporters have been on the offensive because they are expecting that the opposition will be on the offensive. So probably a thinking of along the lines of ‘the best offense is the best defense’? And when your ‘enemy’ is a big entity, the adage that ‘it pays to be one step ahead’ is being applied.

          And if there is one thing to note, from what I see now, their game has been mostly been smoke and mirrors. Everything is probably just a distraction for the main goal: ConRef.

          Because for every shitty thing that happens today, it is pretty much more proof that the system isn’t really working as intended. With that, the game now is not to prove that the new system is to be better. But rather, it is to prove that the current system is not worse.

          It may seem similar but perspective really matters a lot.Just ask yourself: How do you suppose do the common people view the current system? And really now. If the people believe in the current system, we wouldn’t be in this mess now, won’t we? One does have to consider if the attachment to the 1987 constitution is not sunk costs at work.

          • edgar lores says:

            The last sentence perpetuates the myth that the 1987 Constitution is defective beyond repair.

            Not so. The people sworn to uphold it, do not.

            • Basically, it is the “It’s the people, not the system” adage.

              And logically, I’d agree. That the current system is indeed not defective and it could indeed be made to work. But sadly, to be blunt, the people aren’t logical.

              To appeal to them, ‘packaging’ is important. And with 30+ years of non-improvement? Probably not helping your case.

              If ConRef were to happen, which it likely will, don’t be surprised if it’ll pass without a hitch. Given the opportunity to give the finger to the system that has not served them well, a lot of people will probably not give it a second thought. They’ll surely agree to it out of spite. (And ignorance, of course.)

              As much as I am pro-ConRef (If it isn’t obvious.) and am of the position that it could surely be made to work regardless of what happens, (Again, ‘packaging’ is a huge factor and the possible feedback mechanisms to be set in place.), what I’d really want is for it to happen with the people really getting involved, from all sides. Hopefully, involved in a way that we can make a new system that we all can work with. Not just support for support’s sake. Not just opposition for opposition’s sake.

              As I said above, if there is anything different now, we surely have the means to reach out and get heard. The people are also starting to realize that and these greedy bastards in government are starting to blink. Again, it really is just a matter of stepping up and maximizing the opportunity.

              And if there is anything that I’ve noticed: Without all these brouhahas from Duterte, many will probably still be discussing only amongst themselves, still not keen on looking over the divide that doesn’t seem to get any smaller, not accomplishing anything of significant value.

              Hmm… I guess I’ll just quote Jefferson:

              “The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? [i]The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. [/i/”

              – Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris Nov. 13. 1787.

          • neilmacbuk says:

            “Duterte is in because he was in to begin with. EJK was with us 30 years before the original DDS was formed. Duterte only institutionalized what we blithely ignored or tolerated in the past. […] …we have seen the enemy and it is us.”

            IP has quoted a quote, which I am re-quoting, because essentially that quote sums-up the “emptiness and imbalance” of the Anti-Duterte propaganda machine.

            EJK seems to be part of the pilipino culture, like it or not. It is not new. Variations on the theme are private armies of big-business/ mining/ timber-smuggling, who have no hesitation in terminating trouble-makers resisting the bosses’ wishes.

            No-one has put a stop to EJK, perhaps due to so many corrupt people in high places being involved.

          • I have to give it to you, ip. You got a fertile imagination. On the same level as the worthy Hollywood scriptwriters.

            “If the people believe in the current system, we wouldn’t be in this mess now, won’t we?”

            Did the people ever believed in any system? The mess we are in now is not due to the system but to those who game the system to get what they want from it. A number of Filipinos and most of the politicians are irresponsible and self-serving. Impunity is the name of the game and the gamers are excellent at it.

            • I’ll take it as a compliment. 😉

              But I do have to admit that everything after the ‘de-escalating propaganda’ part is a bit of a stretch. However, when you have people playing the long game, well, one can’t really say. For an example, to the surprise of many, the Marcoses are on a comeback. But then again, I don’t know about you guys, but it really wasn’t a surprise, is it? So though supposedly a bit of a stretch, it really isn’t. So just something to remember: Trump will not win. Duterte will not win. Brexit will not happen. So don’t say that you haven’t been forewarned.

              And everything before the said part, I still stand by it. The silence is surely deafening. But reading LcX’s commentary below about American-Russian tit-for-tat just now, his take is somewhat similar but applicable.

              As for the people never believing in any system? They do. But only when it’s new. Or if it is suddenly threatened. And guess what happened to the 1987 Constitution? 30+ years of its existence and the framers and its would be supporters are only showing their support now and acknowledging the shortcomings while suggesting what to do about it. Just now. And ironically, some of them are the same persons that had pushed for similar reforms a number of times in the past. How quaint.

              If these people will start to show any semblance of consistency. That’ll surely be the day.

              • “But reading LcX’s commentary below about American-Russian tit-for-tat just now, his take is somewhat similar but applicable.”

                Agree, on similarities you mentioned, ip. There ‘s the short-game and the long-game. Politics represents the short-game for me, ie. Trump’s eventual impeachment (remember although the Mueller investigation is for criminal conspiracy, Mueller’s also free to uncover other crimes);

                But the long-game, after all this Trump/Hillary drama fizzles out, Russia will still find ways to poke at us, and us them. Continue the established well-understood routine, because within this routine is also collaboration, ie. with Islamic terrorism, etc. so these back-channels do provide a purpose. Place some value in it, is my point.

          • “In a way, the main assumption here is similar to LcX’s. That everybody is dirrrty. “

            In politics i’ve found that principle to be useful if not true, ip. Assume the worst, then maybe be surprise when they turn out principled and true (though these are rare animals in politics here, i’m sure ever rarer there).

  6. Zen says:

    The happening of these incendiary events may never come as Duterte and his minions knew it would be their downfall and they are very good in their planning or scheming. Therefore, I agree with Joe, nothing could be done now except wait and see because there is no stopping these movement for Federalism they are spreading like wild fire nationwide with mayors all turning PDPLabans ready to grab the slices off the cake.

    • The people’s will can change the Constitution – if the will is there, says Florin Hilbay:


      The only constitutional amendment we need is an anti-political dynasty rule. Dynasties concentrate political power and naturally lead to systemic corruption, incompetence, & marginalisation of the powerless. This is why we’re poor.

      The safest procedure for doing this is through a single-purpose constitutional convention. Article XVII of the Constitution allows for a specific, singular amendment such as an anti-political dynasty rule to be considered and deliberated upon by a constitutional convention.
      It has to be a constitutional convention because many of the members of Congress themselves belong to dynasties and are therefore conflicted, even if we were to assume good faith on their part. The only credible institution for this is a constitutional convention whose members are chosen by the people for the sole purpose of defining and prohibiting political dynasties.

      It has to be a single-purpose convention because a general-purpose convention will open up the 1987 Constitution to various proposals such as term extension for the president and members of congress, or lead to the institutional destruction of the judiciary, the Commission on Human Rights, the Office of the Ombudsman, and other mechanisms of political accountability and responsibility. A general-purpose convention (or worse, a constituent assembly) can destroy all the gains of the 1987 Constitution and bring us back to constitutional dictatorship.

      Charter Change is 99% about the credibility of the process for proposing any changes to the Constitution. A single-purpose convention to pass an Anti-Political Dynasty rule is the credible, honest-to-goodness, serious attempt to solve a foundational problem of our society.

      (he is right, I think. The will to freedom must start at the bottom and the first will to be free must be to get rid of these dynasties. As long as Filipinos prefer dependency/patronage, wala. It will just be different forms of patronage – including some yellow variants)

      • edgar lores says:

        My objection to an anti-dynasty provision in a new constitution is aesthetical. It’s just too specific and would look odd.

        I have no objection to it as an amendment. I looked at the amendments to the US Constitution and Amendments 12, 14, 20 and 25 are quite long.

        I think adding amendments is better than writing a new one. It would be cheaper and history is preserved. (But, no, Marcos had to ruin the 1935 Constitution and consign the best preamble to the rubble of history.)

      • caliphman says:

        The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states in Article II Section 26, “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties ….

        Political dynasties are ALREADY banned in the current constitution. Rewriting the constitution to restate the ban is a dubious proposition when the fundamental problem is enforcement. The legislative branch by failing to write enabling and specific laws to implement it. The administrative branch by bringing up cases before the Supreme Court and the Comelec to force judicial precedents and rulings on the basic ban. And finally, the people themselves for continuing to vote and perpetuating what is legally, morally, and politically damaging for our national good.

      • Linked below is a digital copy of the Centrist Proposal from the Centrist Democracy Political Institute (CDPI). If memory serves me correctly, they’ve been working on the proposal since Arroyo, if not even earlier? So these proposed reforms really aren’t rushed. If there is anything that was rushed, it is probably the 1987 constitution.


        For the above proposal, some particular things that I’ve noted are:

        Article III, Sec 4
        // Section 4. Political dynasty shall be prohibited. Any person related within the 3rd degree by affinity or consanguinity to any incumbent public official elected in the immediately preceding election shall not be allowed to run for any local, state or national position. //
        [Not vague anymore.]

        Article XIV-C, Sec 10-11.
        // Section 10. The two dominant political parties shall be represented in the voters’ registration boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, and similar bodies. Other Political Parties shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in accordance with law.

        Section 11. Any elective official who leaves his political party before the end of the term shall forfeit his seat. //
        [Better party dynamics.]

        Article IX, Sec 9-10
        // Section 9. The Federal Government shall provide financial assistance to the Federal States to avert a disturbance of the overall economic equilibrium, equalize differing economic capacities within the federal territory, to promote economic growth or in times of natural disaster or exceptional emergency.

        Section 10. Federal Parliament shall pass an equalization law with due regard to the financial capacities of the Federal States in providing grants to weaker States. //
        [Equalization system similar to the German model?]

        But of course, drafts are one thing. The real question has always been if we can trust current admin about it. But then again, regardless of ConCon or ConAss, there will still be a plebiscite. Thus, the people can surely decline any idiotic proposals anyway. And unlike during Marcos’ time, they really can’t just push their own selfish agendas so easily. If there is anything different now, the people are surely starting to get involved and many of these greedy bastards are starting to blink. And this is where it will all probably start.

        Again, it really is just a matter of stepping up and maximizing the opportunity. We have better means now. And that is one very crucial detail.

        • edgar lores says:

          1. Section 4. The anti-dynasty provision lacks something.

          1.1. Let’s say no one in the family is an incumbent official. And let’s say that Imelda, Imee, and Bongbong run for different positions in the same election. Imelda as a governor, Imee as a senator, and Bongbong as the president. This would be allowed under the provision as defined.

          1.2. There should be a provision to disallow this: that no persons related to the same degree as stated can concurrently run in the same election.

          1.3. The intention of the anti-dynasty should be made clear, which is to disallow an inordinate concentration of power in one family at the same time.

          1.4. The definition of affinity should be extended to include informal arrangements.

          2. Section 11 lacks teeth. Not only must the elected official forfeit his seat, he must be banned from running for political office for the next two succeeding elections. That is, apostasy is allowed but at a high price.

          • neilmacbuk says:

            Thank you for that clarification,e.l.

          • 1. Hmm… Didn’t catch that. Also agree that the intention of the law should be made clear as to discourage any possible abuse of technical loopholes.

            2. I’d like to agree with this one. However, what do you suppose will be the possible repercussion of such a provision? Assuming that this kind of reforms will push through, I’m of the view that the party dynamics will probably still be at the mercy of the current trapos that will probably carry over to the new system. So initially, they will probably infiltrate many, if not all, parties. Given this, wouldn’t this hinder the ‘sorting algorithm’ of a parliamentary system?

            X. This is what I am hoping for. =) Also, will actually forward your input to CDPI. Thanks to LcX’s badgering, I’ve actually been reaching out to various groups, attending forums and whatnot, doing what I’ve been doing here to them. haha To my surprise, many of them do appreciate the feedback.

            • “Thanks to LcX’s badgering, I’ve actually been reaching out to various groups, attending forums and whatnot, doing what I’ve been doing here to them.”

              Hahaha… You’re welcome, ip — now the student becomes the master. You’re a full fledge Jedi warrior now. LOL!

              Any chance you can write a best practices or lessons learned here? p.s. Get a hold of that “Principles” book if possible, ip.

              • I still have some reservations about this getting involved stuff. It inevitably affects my ‘detachment’. But hey, I can share one now. 🙂

                Just the other day, I attended a forum on Charter Change in UP Diliman-NCPAG. For a particular highlight, Florin Hilbay was a speaker and it was the first time that I had seen him speak up close. Can’t say I was convinced of his overall theme though. I can sum it up as: “We can’t trust the current admin with cha-cha.” “The people don’t know anything about the constitution.”, ” There are problems. But we can use amendments.”, We’re not sure of what reforms they want.”

                The first one, sure, I can understand. The second? A double-edged sword. The remaining ones? Really didn’t sell that the 1987 Constitution was doing us well and if they even know what they are facing. And given that I’ve said before that the game is to prove that the current system is not worse, it really doesn’t help.

                The funny thing also is: There was a pre-forum survey and a post-forum survey.
                For the question “Are you in favor of cha-cha?”, the results from pre to post were:
                Undecided – 36.2% to 16.67%
                In Favor – 32.76% to 56.25%
                Not in favor – 31.03% to 27.08%

                Even they themselves had giggled at the result while asking “bakit daw tumaas”. (“Why had it increased.”)

                But given the talk given, it was to be expected and it really wasn’t a surprise. They basically admitted that the current system is lacking. And the solutions they suggested? Basically the same reforms being pushed for by the current proposals. The only difference is theirs are in piecemeal. So why bother? Probably was just brought up for contrast and/or so that they won’t look empty-handed.

                Partida pa yan (As a handicap), Jose Abueva wasn’t even able to attend the forum to contrast the anti-ConRef. So he actually had the floor to himself.

                But anyway, these things aside, ConCon is surely something that all sides will be able to agree on if the adminstration is an issue. (Except those people in congress with vested interests, of course.)

                Oh. And why is the lightsaber crystal green? It should be red as I’m probably seen as a Sith, supporter of the Galactic Empire, Devil’s advocate, and all that. haha

              • LOL, no we’re good guys, ip or else we wouldn’t bother commenting here. we’re just also versed in the Darkside of the force.

                Any chance you can actually do articles for TSOH on these excursions, ip? These fly-on-the-wall stuff I really like. I’m sure Joe would welcome on-the-ground type reporting. I’m not familiar with who Florin Hilbay is, but are these forums like town-halls where attendees can ask questions or challenge or give ideas, etc. etc. or is it more sit and listen style?

                Thanks, man.

              • Write an article? That would be pushing my non-intervention policy. haha

                But in all seriousness though, I really don’t know how and I’m actually a bit insecure about it. Not to mention that things have been becoming much more busier lately. (Hence the very late replies.)

                Then there’s also the lack of ‘foundation’. If you’ve not yet noticed, I usually only just reply to existing ideas started by others. I avoid taking the canvas by myself as it will usually only result in an attempt to paint a too big of a picture. And it is indeed a futile effort as I’ve been already told numerous times. So I think I’ll only stick to conversations and discussions. For now. 🙂

                As for the forums, well, they are mostly the ‘sit and listen’ type. So I think I really shouldn’t call it a forum. More like a TEDTalk with multiple speakers. But then again, there is a question and answer portion afterward. But given that it is a public engagement with a very limited time frame, the interaction is then also limited. Even between the speakers. So content is mostly just ‘preaching to the choir’ rather than discussions that legitly weighing the pros and the cons.

            • edgar lores says:

              What “sorting algorithm?”

              The sorting should be done beforehand, not during.

              In the traditional political dynamic, parties represent different philosophies, principles, and ideologies. In countries like Great Britain and Oz, the parties stand out clearly against each other in the political spectrum. Basically, the philosophies are conservatism (or Republican/ Right) vs. labor (or Democratic/Left).

              Even in the Philippines, despite the current political amorphism, the two original parties stood for something. The Nationalista Party was driven by the sentiment of nationalism (pro-Philippines and pro-Filipino) and the Liberal Party by libertarian values (pro-human rights and pro-equality). But note that it is hard to demarcate the parties according to the axes of Left and Right and/or Authoritarian and Libertarian.

              Political parties are grown organically. I think, however, that any move to a new system, parliamentary and/or Federalism, should artificially create a two-party system… in the absence of organic development. To my mind, the natural divide for Filipinos would be Economic Left and Economic Right. Then let the trapos join whichever party to which they are predisposed. The naming of the parties will be sorted out by the adherents. I would recommend the “Social Democratic Party” for the Economic Left.

              I foresee that most trapos will join the Economic Right. To guarantee equality, the parties should be equitably funded by the government. This should discourage corruption.

              (At the mercy of the current trapos? Again, this is rushing.)

              • Do try looking at it per iteration? Like how things could change and develop after each succeeding elections? Because given the inorganic organization of parties, there will surely be many politicians that will initially join one side due to previous affiliations rather than ideology. And surely, there is a number of them that could be able to contribute something of value. However, they may end up stuck with a different party because they may double down given the possible consequences.

                But then again, I would agree that the provision really doesn’t have enough teeth given our circumstances. Hmm… Maybe a ban on one succeeding election is enough? I think it’ll give them the opportunity to do it on a whim, only to realize that one season of being out of the game is very significant. So if their move really wasn’t well thought out, they probably won’t do it again.

                So to re-clarify and reiterate, a two terms ban may cause them to consider the consequences too much thus make them double down on joining a party that does not share their real ideology. But of course, such a provision could still work. But probably not as efficient in terms of achieving the same results given a specific amount of time. Oh, and yes, I do also lean towards a two-party system.

                As for these reforms being rushed, well, trying to look at it another way, hmm… See Florin Hilbay’s suggested amendment above, right? Assuming that all this noise will die down, I won’t be surprised if all this talk of amendments will die along with it. Back again to the same-old-same-old. And really now. Change for change’s sakes has always been a thing for Filipinos. And even that kind of opportunity seldom comes. So might as well maximize it. As I’ve written somewhere:

                // Contrary to the image of Juan Tamad, the people are never just inherently lazy. It’s just that seldom will you see them bother to reach out to the ‘fruits’ as they think that they will probably be just denied those anyways. By who you ask? You could probably guess.

                But if one would present a huge opportunity by putting the heat on those in power, while also rallying the people for action? They will probably stand up to seize it. //

                And this really is a good opportunity. I don’t know if you are aware, but there has been an increasing number of initiatives trying to enlighten people about ChaCha/ConRef. Both the pros and the cons. (But most of them are still usually too partisan for my taste.) Sure, warm bodies do not significantly materialize. But when did the Filipino ever materialize before the main event anyway? So again, you’ll probably be in for a surprise.

                And do know that this has been much work regarding the proposed shift. It has been on and off since Ramos. Even Hilario Davide whom said the 1987 constitution was the best constitution had some misgivings about it and have had endorsed a shift to a unicameral parliament in the past as it is more efficient. But of course, winds shift.

              • edgar lores says:

                Thanks. It’s messy, isn’t it?

                Sorting by iteration will take a hundred years or more if we look at the experience of other countries. We have been on it for, let’s say, 84 years since the Commonwealth. From what I see, it will take us more than another 50 – 100 years because of the lack of general principles.

              • It is. But IMO, not as messy as the current one.
                The current sorting algorithm is like bogosort. I won’t be surprise if it’ll take longer than 50-100 years.

  7. I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours, But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humour..


  8. Micha says:


    Who could led the revolutionary govt?

    • edgar lores says:

      The answer would be anyone who was capable of replacing the incumbent.

      Whether the new guy will be able to accomplish some of the other objectives in the To Do list is up in the air.

      If you are asking, who is capable in my mind, I would say… there are some.

      By legal succession, it would be Robredo. If the manner of succession was extra-constitutional — and we are talking hypothetically here — it could still be her. She has… a priori legitimation.

      Does she have the impudence (JoeAm’s word) of, say, Carpio-Morales? This remains to be seen. She certainly has uprightness and righteousness. From these two qualities, gumption (my preferred word) may arise.

      She already has shown gumption in several ways. May the best (wo)man lead.

      • Micha says:

        Leni might be too Cory-ish to handle the big task and challenges of repairing what had been broken.

        • Leni has years of social work experience i.e. tsinelas, unlike haciendera Cory.

          Maybe her patient, step-by-step approach is better than the slam-bang approaches the likes of Marcos, Erap and Duterte followed – and are mistaken for real action by dumb Filipinos.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Preferably by committee, so as to minimize the problem of the abuse of power, as well as drawing lessons from other past revolutions (i.e. Romania).

  9. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Wow, from a level of about 50.50PHP/USD a month ago, the currency is now about 52.25PHP/USD, having deteriorated roughly monotonically — a gain for the dollar of about 3.5% in one month. I can imagine some guys hereabouts not sad about this happening. I know that this can’t go on one way. Ups and down will occur, with probably some general trend for the year (?). But why not unload some.

  10. Nitram says:

    Good morning Joe. Thanks for painstakingly trying to answer my question, or at least set the stage for a meaningful discussion. I have only been up a few hours and have yet to fully digest the blog and all the contributors’ comments. I largely agree with your list of game changers and their assigned “percentages” ( NHerrera’s “nitpicking 105% notwithstanding). However i think you forgot the Catholic Church. Unless you think that it is a spent force incapable of playing the kind of role it played in the Marcos years.

    • The Church seems a disinterested force, just one of the factions. Universities, too. No profound influence, no outraged leadership.

      Thanks for suggesting the topic. It helped me organize a lot of loose thoughts. I’ve written in the past that critics need to unite and pick an assertive leader. The answer to me would be found in organized rage, but that’s about as far as I can go on the subject. The social system, tribal, envious, seems to defeat any such initiative.

  11. chemrock says:

    I’m sorry to dampen the already dire mood of Joe’s statistics, but 2018 is gonna be bad because the Year belongs to the Dogs. There are too many lapdogs to count.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Ecinomics related.

    We export our mierals to China and Japan, but we can not even manufacture a ballpen.

    For build build build, right of eay is still a lroblem.
    You see itin roadwidening projects, the electric posts are not removed,let us scale it up to agiant project like the sky way connectot, they xan not move the gargantuan towers of Transco and the Meralco posts, how can they promise to finsh a project within Duterte’s time.

    PPP Swiss challenge it doesn’t matter, it is still a matter of funding and plugging loop holes.


    Maynilad and Manila Water almost gave us a bad impression of privatization, but they are catching up.
    They are faster in aquiring lands for prohects like water reclamation aka wSte water treatment.

    With the perrenial problems at BOC, iht as well privatize them.


    i have been saying that they should lower the prnsion of retirees, but they can not take what is already given, I asked if extending the retirement age to 65.
    The one I asked (Biazon)did not like the idea.( Silence does not always mean yes)
    So this press releases of salart increases are just press releases.

    • karlgarcia says:

      over population?
      If we talk of average numbrt of children we do see fsmilies with a dozen kids living in a small house, if they have a house.

      What about population density, We often just look at urban population.
      look around we have many places to fill, this long delayed development of Central and Northern Luzon could still work.

      • karlgarcia says:

        According to PSA

        in the year 2000 the ave was 5 per household.
        For the year 2010 the ave was 4.6.
        For 2015 the ave was 4.4

        The population size increased, but the number of kids per household decreased.

        So the number of house holds increased, but the number of kids actually was tempered.
        My guess.
        Less people are getting married or marry at near 40 so no more time for one dozen kids.

        • NHerrera says:

          Children of my wife’s parents, circa 1930s-1940s, numbered 8. Children of my parents, circa 1930s-1940s, numbered 6. Children of my 2 children, circa 1970s, numbered 2 and 3, respectively (circa 1990s for their children).

        • neilmacbuk says:

          Hang-on a minute please.

          “in the year 2000 the ave was 5 per household.
          For the year 2010 the ave was 4.6.
          For 2015 the ave was 4.4

          The population size increased, but the number of kids per household decreased.

          So the number of house holds increased, but the number of kids actually was tempered.”

          Naturally..if the numbers of households (does that mean the roof under which the “Family” lives) increased, the apparent average number of kids per household will be artefactual..depending on the annual rate of live births.

          One must also be aware of the pilipino culture of “adopting-out” children to other members of the Family, and the tendency for statistics being only as good as the specificities of those questions’, the interpretation of those questions by the householder answering them, and the temptation to modify/lie due to imagined or otherwise disadvantages/ advantages from such answers.

          Against the local medieval roman catholic bishops’ doctrines of “natural” contraception, no doubt some groups manage to pull themselves up enough to be able to afford modern contraception methods, resulting in a lower average children per couple..and per household.

          Until such time as the Government fully implements the full guts of the Family Health Bill by providing free advice and free supply of most modern contraceptives, and preventing the PCBC from having any influences on that move, then the annual population will continue to be one of the highest in the World.

          What was the question again….gulp!?

  13. Sup says:

    Ok….after a lot of thinking yes or no i finally decided to make a blog article for TSOH (Karl and Joeam did push me to the limit …..


    This is the header: ”The good things about the Duterte administration”

    This is the article:


  14. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    This is Yabang, Frustration, and Cynicism OF COURSE. As fourth year high, I memorized the 1937 Constitution one summer and could recite it from start to end and from end to start and got to be the only one exempted from the finals in government which caused my teacher to be questioned because I wasn’t even in the honorable mention list.

    On Noynoy’s 4th year in the presidency, I wrote a short draft of a proposed constitution and embark on a lone advocacy for constitutional change, that could make Noynoy an indirect and passive participant (Head of State not Head of Government) in the country’s governance. I wrote and sent the piece asking for support to may be 10 to 15 local newspapers in Mindanao; similarly I wrote three Senators I thought to be presidential timbers.

    From all of them I got NOTHING in return. Not a pip or a wimper. Not even a thanks for the rubbish. If I am Duterte I will mumble: Mga Pxxxxx Ixx Kxxx. But me to be always TH (trying hard) to be kind to others I will just say MGA WAKARANG to their country.

    I later sent the piece to TSoH which got posted and which drew some searching and validating comments. Now that the constitution is the DNA topic of surgery here, I will look in my files for my drawing about it.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      okay, OKAY. What about the cynicism in the whole caboodle of membership of RE-FRAMERS for a new constitution? If you ask me what is the Wakatitot-Wakarang composition, the percentage (10:90) ratio (1:9) or the great divide between the two group of homo sapiens, the Philippine newspapers morgues should have the ANSWER about past performance.

      Otherwise just think of other nations’ former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Members of the House of Commons, of Parliaments, of the Supreme Courts. And do the math, este qualitative comparison. Allegations made that’s just base on those apples-oranges comparison is what cynicism is all about.

    • sonny says:

      Memorized the whole Constitution? During my Gov’t class in high school, I barely could memorize our Preamble. You should be a ConCon delegate if one is held. (Poetic justice prevailed, my seatmate in class became a lawyer and promptly topped the PH Bar: he is now one member in PDu30’s 17 Constitution consultants; also authored the Ombudsman provision of the Constitution)

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Sonny I guess you are a-okay, did good in other fields. My Itay was a lawyer, got some thick books. I fancied a pamphlet thin one that says fundamental law. Parroting it in class I thought impressed a few of the girls. But I got assigned to correct the test papers. Exemption from the finals was a payback I guess.

        Yours and my seatmate in grade four are true achievers, mine also topped the bar, became a human rights lawyer during Martial Law, became a Senator and faded away clean as a whistle sage.

        About neighbors, like that Australian soup opera which make Londoners rush home to watch it on their Tellys, I think Filipinos are neighborly good and friendly especially in the rural areas. My neighbor is the town toughie (the Mayor’s bodyguard) and I felt my family is protected.

        Oh by the way I have written it here already: I designed a mediation course for the Mediation Foundation of the Phil and got it implemented in Makati. We did it for the entire members of Lupon Tagapamayapa in U of Makati.

        Part of my lecture they did not like is: to put a check on wife abuse, there should be a corresponding increase in husband abuse. To lessen the commission of crimes release all prisoners and jail all policemen, Not a lawyer kasi they assigned me to lecture on thinking outside the box or whatever. I am amazed at how lawyers can expertly do the opposite of straight thinking like: you need fake news to know the truth.

        • sonny says:

          “I guess you are a-okay, did good in other fields …”

          A co-worker said I’m a regular journeyman; I agreed. My educational performance belonged to B & C-tiers; I aspired for the A-tier and got the occasional honor-card at convocations. Thus I ended with enough points in Chem, Religion, Computer Programming. My advice to career people: work to get in, then stay in, then get ahead. 🙂

          “Not a lawyer kasi they assigned me to lecture on thinking outside the box or whatever …”

          A country should never be in short supply of your kind of thinkers. I always think of our national patrimony, the people. A good leadership should nurture 4 types of citizenry like arrows in a quiver: those who are like the arrowheads to pierce the target, those who belong to the shaft to give the arrow weight/mass, those who are like the feathers to give balance in flight and finally, the citizens that act like the binders that tie all the others together.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I was curious as to whom you were refering to as your seatmate, after checking the year of birth of Salonga, Diokno and Arroyo, I ran out of guesses.

    • neilmacbuk says:

      Well done Sir. Please resurrect your proposed constitution on this Blog..at least people will read and analyse and critique it with you.

  15. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    This was the design from May 2016 to February 2018 a shot in the dark, a punch to the moon. But who knows some wise and old astronauts could really land on the moon with a rocket ship VERY DIFFERENT from this.

    so sorry I can’t post the chart as drawn.


    COA, CSC PRIME MINISTER Philippine President
    COMELEC ——— (Head of Government) ————- Head of State
    Federal High Court


    Deputy P M Deputy P M
    Federal Ministries Regional Gov’ts

    Court of Appeals ——— PREMIERS
    Regional High Courts




    Municipal Governments City Districts
    Town Mayors District Councilors
    Barangay Captains Barangay Captains

    Designed May 14, 2016

    • edgar lores says:

      1. Looking at the chart, I count 5 levels in the government hierarchy:

      o Federal Parliament
      o Regional Parliament
      o Provincial/City Governments
      o Municipal/City District Governments
      o Barangay

      1.1. In contrast, Oz has 3 levels:

      o Federal
      o State
      o Local

      1.2. I would say, 5 levels is too much in terms of the number of personnel, cost, and effectiveness (unwieldiness). I would take away the Regional Parliament and the Barangay.

      1.2.1. What goes for the Federal (or National) parliament should go for the regions as well.

      1.2.2. I would also do away with the Deputy PM for Regional Governments. It simply should be a cabinet position.

      1.2.3. I am not convinced that the barangay level is necessary for disaster response and dispute mediation. The Marcosian barangay construct has become an Orwellian mechanism for political control. In my opinion, this fact outweighs any advantages. Disaster response — which is seasonal and not year-round, and prone to some areas but not to others — can be handled by our modern connectedness and by pre-designated volunteer emergency workers, who can attend to all types of disasters and who may receive non-regular emoluments. Specialized emergency workers — such as fire brigades and paramedical services — may be permanently formed. As a people, we must learn to settle disputes with our neighbors by ourselves in a preventative and peaceable manner. What are the most prevalent causes of disputes? Identify these, and prepare resolution guidelines at the municipal level. In Oz, the most common causes of neighborly disputes are fencing, encroaching trees, yard maintenance, and noise; all other disputes would fall under higher civil/criminal jurisdiction.

      • 1.2.3 is worth a blog. Your conclusion that the past has factually demonstrated failure does not consider that ‘new rules’ in the future could prevent abuses and allow the barangay to function as the people’s front line engagement with their government. Storms here have become very peculiar. We do lose contact with the electric world. We also have the matter of enchroaching rebellion from NPA and/or IS. Drugs, too, I suppose. The city government is remote. The barangay captain is right up the street. It is personal relationship. Without it, we would not exist in the eyes and ears of government.

        • edgar lores says:

          Thank you for the input.

          I espy from an ivory tower. You have your eyes above, and your ears on, the ground.

          I believe my Orwellian argument carries force from my childhood memories of a bucolic existence in the countryside. The idyllic charm could be attributed, in part, to the absence of electricity, rebels, and drugs.

          So now the country is in a bind. It has created a construct very much like God… who, if He did not exist, would be necessary to invent.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Thanks JoeAm for the link on the chart. Thanks also to Edgar for those comments. I thought that having a general structure will test how any group can formulate their own that departs significantly from is rationally possible.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          The foundation, the building blocks, the physicality and dynamic ecology of a constitution is land and people setting aside the micros of nature impinging on their existence. Take note of their Constitutions and their human development index given their land area,
          population and population density (2016 data),

          Philippines – 300,000 sq km — 103.3 million — 344 persons per sq km
          Japan — 377,962 sq km — 127 million — 336 persons per sq km
          United Kingdom — 242,495 sq km — 65.64 million — 270 persons per sq km
          Indonesia — 1.905 million sq km — 261.1 million pop — 137 persons per sq km
          United States – 9.834 million sq km — 303.1 million pop — 30 persons per sq km
          Australia — 7.692 million sq km — 24.13 million pop — 3 yes 3 persons per sq km

          Barangay Simgkamas Makati City — 57 residents per 1,000 sq meters
          Barangay Forbes Park Makati City — 1 yes 1 resident per 1,000 sq. metets

          If she still around I think the appointed REVIEWERS of the 1987 Constitution should
          invite Professor Ditas Concepcion to give them demographic car wash.

          A car wash cleanses before doing the trouble shooting of the internal combustion engine. If nothing ain’t broke, DON’T FIX IT. If nothing is wrong with the 1987 constitution, then DON’T FIX IT. Young drivers looks ahead and speed to the future. Old drivers keep their eyes on the rear view mirror to keep in mind dangers coming from behind. Old Dads, don’t drive anymore, they let their sons and daughters do the driving. Wisdom? Nah.

          • NHerrera says:

            Popoy, your numbers in tabular form, courtesy of Microsoft Excel and Imgur.

            • edgar lores says:

              The Australian population density is misleading. The current human population is 24M.

              But the kangaroo population is 50M.

              • When I visited in 2004, I was amused to see kangaroos hanging out on the golf course, the kangaroo warning signs along the highway, and a designated ‘cassowary’ crossing. I love Australia, although the attitude toward Americans was a little snooty at the time, as if we all agreed with President George W. Bush. Swimming in various Park rivers and lakes was great fun (Litchfield), once one ascertained that the crocs were elsewhere.

              • NHerrera says:

                I am told there are watch-out-for-kangaroos signs in some Australian highways. And talk of crocodiles, a BBC 2014 item estimated 200,000 for the reptile population. It is not evenly distributed, but ratio-wise, that is 1 crocodile per 120 Australians — indeed not a comfortable thing if one is in a watery (swamp?) place.

              • @NHerrera, how many human crocodiles per population are there in the Philippines? 😀

              • edgar lores says:

                A good observation from NHerrera -2!.

                And a better question from Irineo -1!.

              • NHerrera says:


                Aah, the two-legged upright buaya. No researched, published data on that. So we may go on a heuristic thinking:

                1. It can’t be the end points of the range, 0 to 103 million; it can’t be103 million for the Filipino readers of TSH do not sound like buaya, far from it; it can’t be 0 for we only have to check on our not-too-honorable De Lima haters of the House of Rep. So it is strictly within the range 0 to 103. So far so good, you may agree.

                2. The talked about 80% or roughly 80 million, I don’t believe are buayas, at least not full-throated buayas. This number is the result of survey, and we can reasonably argue that quite a few answered the survey questionnaire out of ignorance of reasonable facts, or who look around their shoulders and answered using the saying, “prudence is the better part of valor.” So it is less than 80%, most probably much less than that.

                3. There are about 1.5 million employees paid for by Juan de la Cruz; certainly not all are full-bore buayas. There are about 2.5 million OFW workers; but certainly we can’t use that number. There are the bandied about 5 million likers in Facebook of a well-known buaya; but likers are not all certified buayas. It has to be closer to the troll army of that full-bore buaya.

                4. So my heuristic mind tells me using a parts of 1.5, 2.5, 5.0 (in millions) totaling 9.0 million — considering too that some in the 2.5 million are parts of the 5.0 million Facebook Likers — is that our sought for certified two-legged buayas is less than 9.0 million but sizeable. You may grant that my heuristic reasoning is ok so far.

                5. Now the big leap: say about 1/5 of the 9 million or roughly 2 million. So we have about 2 million full-throated two-legged buayas in about 100 million — a ratio worse than the honest-to-goodness reptiles in Australia to its human population I wrote above (1 in 120). Caution: this Item 5 is not good heuristic, the actual number may be less; but it may also be more.

                (Sorry for the length of the heuristic thinking, Editor.)

  16. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:



    What Can America Do to Stop Mass Shootings? That question remains urgent two days after a 19-year-old, armed with an AR-15, killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Many citizens believe that lawmakers haven’t done enough, and point to the government’s much larger investment in measures to prevent terrorist attacks—which, like mass shootings, are rare, recurrent acts of serious destruction. Public-safety measures toward gun control are continually stymied in Congress—in part, James Fallows writes, because of the political power of the National Rifle Association, and because of leaders’ stubborn adherence to partisanship. However, the example of Switzerland suggests that preventing gun violence doesn’t necessarily require an end to liberal gun laws.

    Advancing Justice: Police in Virginia used surveillance drones to de-escalate a confrontation with an armed woman who was threatening officers in an apparent attempt at “suicide by cop.” And a Texas man who was convicted of murder in 1987 without any physical evidence spent his time in prison building a case to prove his innocence. Listen to his story—including new exculpatory evidence gathered by Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s investigation—on the first installment of a new Radio Atlantic series.
    —Rosa Inocencio Smith

    SIKYU, SIKYU, just SIKYU is the ANSWER, the answer Eh. It’s the time NOW may be when undocumented aliens in USA may be hired as SIKYUS to keep school campuses IN THE CONTINENT SAFE.

    It will probably be the best act of governance in the Philippines to remove and transfer half of the PNP budget to a new constituionally created SIKYU Agency/Authority to keep learning institutions and business establishments SAFE and peaceful. Kotong cops and Scalawags should be denied employment or admission to the New Sikyu Special Forces of the Philippines (NSSF).

    Snoozers may have NOT noticed the birth and growth, the exploding numbers of SIKYUs (Ang daming KUYA, puro mga Sikyu, eh) in the society along side (in parallel to) the unbridled increase of corruption in government.

    N.B. to the clueless, Sikyu refers to Security Guards, a phenomenon yet to bloom in good old USA.

    • sonny says:

      Australia used to be in the same boat as US on mass shootings & killings, I heard they exercised their political will and banned all semi-automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns. Their problems, I heard, were significantly ameliorated.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        It is not widely known, in the Philippines BUT it is not a citizen’s constitutional right to BEAR ARMS. Only the uniformed forces AFP and PNP personnel have the weapons and of course politician bodyguards. The rebels and militants just laugh at the uninforced gun laws. That’s why there’s no mass shootings in schools our school and the malls.There’s no gun stores where students with no money can buy the guns. Only the Sikyus remain the available viable solution.

      • edgar lores says:


        • sonny says:

          Great. Now I hope the anti-gun rally at Parkland (Florida) will catch on and bring Congress and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to their senses.

  17. NHerrera says:


    Having developed and successfully used a tool, a weapon such as rifle and machine gun to counter spear and sword, would one not continue to develop and use the former tool against one with the latter tool?

    That is why there is a genuine concern that the tool or weapon used by the Russians to undermine democracy and specifically the US Election in 2016 will be used again in the Mid-term Election in 2018 and the Presidential Election in 2020.


    A federal indictment against 13 Russian nationals made public on Friday provides new insight into how the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked Russian troll group, set up a vast network of fake American activist groups and used the stolen identities of real Americans in an attempt to wreak havoc on the U.S. political system.

    The Indictment in pdf format:


    I believe such a tool has its counterpart in the Philippines, and possibly a related tool by or from China in aid of a Presidential Party Candidate in 2016.

    • I’ve never really understood all the fuss about this Russian meddling, NH. True, I think all conspirators and traitors should be convicted (if proved) and all caught offending foreign spy handlers kicked-out and PNG’ed (never to come back).

      But is the end assumption here that the U.S. is not doing the same thing? That in effect we were caught with our pants down? or just naive and innocent all along? This is Cold War 2.0, undermining ascendant nations (seen as threat) is the purview of 1st World nations, while 2nd World nations attempt to topple us,

      as 3rd World nations get trampled , cheering for one or the other, or both. It’s only “havoc” because Trump won, had Hillary won, it would’ve simply been a nuisance , ie. Russians at it again as always, and we mess right back with Putin (as Hillary & Obama did, as W. Bush did, Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, and on and on… )

      • NHerrera says:

        Lance, that this Russian meddling of the US is not new or that US itself is engaged on a similar cold war tactic on a geopolitical rival is a conjecture I can accept. This documented fruit of Mueller’s investigation is, however, a milestone of sorts. One thing that makes this whole business stand apart, to my mind, is the “hoax” label that Trump has stamped and insisted on until now about Russian meddling. I am sure from all that has transpired, you don’t label it as hoax, do you?

        • I agree it is a milestone,

          in that this whole mess is being paraded in the media and now in the justice system, where the norm was to send offending foreign nationals out and then a tit-for-tat ensues. Then you usually hear about this stuff thru spy memoirs or in movies leaked by spies, or de-classified accounts (in books or films, documentaries), or never.

          Counter-intelligence and covert actions, are a type of game, and can be played as non-zero-sum, NH, though the wider implications is zero-sum, ie. Russian makes US kneel, or vice-versa, but this spy stuff is usually understood as gentleman’s game, hence no courts (that would be playing dirty).

          It’s not a hoax, 1st world undermining 2nd world and vice versa has been going on since post-WWII, and the business of covert operations (from propaganda to assassinations) has been going on even longer.

        • re “hoax”, I think though that Trump’s talking about his purported collusion/conspiracy with the Russians.

          But whether or not there is actual conspiracy on the part of Trump and/or his close proxies, I’m not sure , NH, but this article in the New Yorker, paints Trump as a clandestine typa guy 😉 a real 007 ,


        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          LCpl _X if I may, without your saying it, you just told us what the fuss is all about. That the Americans seemed to be doing the right thing not accepting a tit for tat thing.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            How’s that again? How could you have told us without you saying it? Well you wrote it in your second and third paragraph. Nagbibiro lang po just playing with words.

            • popoy,

              Have you seen “Bridge of Spies” w/ Tom Hanks? You have to accept this tit-for-tat arrangement because there are Americans or Russians working for Americans in similar predicament in Russia. So there has to be some semblance of parity.

              Granted this whole social media and hacking stuff is new, but the old rules of espionage are still observed. A witch-hunt at this point is not the best recourse, and for what just because Trump won the presidency???

              Like I said, had it been Hillary that won, same old same old would have been the response. There’s a routine here among Americans and Russians since after WWII that’s best kept (as opposed to re-invented), these rules serve a purpose, IMHO we should proceed with the Russians as if Hillary won (let Mueller proceed to… but no dragnets),

              the cats out of the bag, hopefully these 13 Russians are just scapegoats and it was agreed upon in advance who the sacrificial lambs were to be this around and who not. I think that’s the likelier scenario by the way.

              • I think the assessment that had Hillary won, Russian interference would have been no big deal is flat out wrong. Republicans would have been screaming for impeachment. I also think that the US should not accept Russian interference because there have always been spies. It’s peculiar logic, at best. Let the Mueller investigation play out, I’d recommend. No need to pre-judge anybody. No need to defend Trump or criticize an independent investigation that Republicans endorse, tarnishing it as a ‘witch hunt’. No need to presume what Hillary would have done. She lost the election and is irrelevant.

              • The Mueller investigation is instructive to the Philippines in that it demonstrates that some matters, in the US, are important enough to take out of the realm of politics. Institutions have powers, unlike the Philippines which cut off investigations into Duterte inspired killings of Filipinos, and his son’s possible involvement in the smuggling of a huge quantity of shabu. Also his family’s apparent huge unexplained wealth.

              • “Republicans would have been screaming for impeachment.”

                That’s precisely the point, Joe. Russian interference was in support of Trump, Bernie and Stein, and precisely against Hillary. So had Hillary won, and there was an investigation after, evidence would suggest, Hillary had to surmount Russian interference and not have been carried by it. Republicans would have no justification for a witch-hunt, Joe.

                I didn’t say it was “no big deal”, it would’ve been dealt with routinely as they’ve dealt with similar stuff in the past (ex. Obama kicking out Russians in Dec 2017). And I did say let the Mueller investigation play out, did I not? I’m simply just protesting this politicized re-invention of the Russian/American tit-for-tat, my gut-feeling is these 13 Russians were gimmes to appease Mueller’s case (pre-arranged to satisfy possible consequences abroad).

                What he’ll do with these Russians I’m actually interested in seeing, Joe.

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                So sorry LCpl I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies. Have you read the book Moscow Nights? A revolutionary porno. About Hillary and Donald, both came from same type of clay, with fix American psche. So no worry on their eche bucheche. Only the Russians seem scared of American women (blame ME TOO?) but their men could share the war trench (not foxhole) with American GIs as in WWII against Germany.

              • Thanks, popoy. I’ve not heard of Moscow Nights. but the fact that Hillary and Donald both have received Russian money, Trump with his business & real estate; Hillary via the Clinton foundation, I am familiar with. The politics behind these personalities, I can see being paraded and traded and ridiculed publicly, they are politicians/public personalities after all.

                My issue was simply this tit-for-tat, this long established routine if you will, becuz if we are to now indict and charge every espionage activity caught, what will this new arrangement mean? How does it affect similar operations of ours abroad? Our prisons here are more comfortable, their’s out there is cold and damp with torture to boot.

                Have you seen the “Imitation Game”? Once Turing and team cracked the German cipher they wanted to tell everyone, then later realized if they told everyone and prevented the pending attack they now knew, they’d render their invention obsolete. Similar dilemmas exist when weighing out publicizing these efforts, popoy.

                These are the bigger issues that needs to be considered; politicians come and go, the actual work of preventing wars (or containing wars) is a lot more nuanced, so before we throw everything in the Trump bon-fire, we need to ask if we really need to change the present routine, namely this tit-for-tat routine.

    • I second your conclusion, Kuya NH. For all we know, Russia lent a helping hand too that is why PRD was all about alienating the West while professing his adulation for China and Russia.

  18. The link below is written by a Filipino who hates the incumbent administration. It is a good read. It might also motivate Sup in writing his essay. 🙂


    • Sup says:

      After getting a lot of positive response about my first blog in TSOH i did a lot of investigative research and wrote part 2.

      This is the header: ”The good things about the Duterte administration part 2”

      This is the article:


  19. neilmacbuk says:

    how did the discussion on pilipinas divert to shootings in USA and russians? where is the admin??

    • You are new here and so do not know that the editor dropped the requirement for ‘on topic’ discussion some weeks ago. Most topics are relevant to the Philippines. For example the proliferation of guns among the people despite the limitations of law. There is only one editor/administrator here, and it is not you. So I suggest you find a proper role here and stop troubling yourself with my business.

  20. Sup says:

    Double faced Mason…bah….

    “We can’t live a full democracy with this kind of system,” where governments have failed to put a stop to political dynasties, he said.

    Such a system “relentlessly amasses resources” from the people’s coffers to benefit members of the family and loyal political allies, he said.


    Former Chief Justice Puno thinks federalism will get full support of public

    [That’s one issue that was debated on by those who ran for president. And among those who ran, it was on President Duterte who had federalism on his platform. The other candidates were against federalism.]

    “Nakita natin yung naging resulta ng halalan. Kaya ayun, isang indikasyon na ang ating taong bayan ay sinusuportahan na ang federalismo,” he added.

    [We saw the results of the election. So that’s one indication that our people will support federalism.]


    Sorry grandmaster………the dutertards elected Duterte because no more traffic, no more drugs, no more bullets in NAIA, no more criminality and no more short contracts..(ENDO)
    The ”regular people” in the street have NO IDEA WHAT IS FEDERALISM !!!!
    Don’t believe me? Go to the barangay hall corner and ask the tricycle driver who did vote Duterte some time ago……!!!!

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      THIS IS A CONJECTURE not even a hypothesis NOT for those who are awake BUT for those snoozers happily snoring in the noodle house. Sixteen million voters is being blamed like a broken record and fake news. In noodle land a Prince can be elected even without making promises, even without millions of campaign money, even late in joining the race, even without an election machinery, even and so forth and so forth if the Prince will be back up by vested interests, by seasoned political king makers, religious and cult king maker (there is no such thing as Catholic vote, because the clergy won’t horse trade on anything) in exchange for something.

      The voters need not sell their votes, were just accepting traditional assistance, were just showing gratitude, possessing UTANG NA LOOB, generations of loyal PAKIKISAMA and acting out seasonal cultural mendicancy. Election is value-laden and tribal ethos based exercise of poor people’s docile submission to political power.

      Those awake will not believe the 16 million voters were so dumb as to be convinced there is a solution to the traffic mess, the rice problem, the drug menace, thievery of the people’s money, the corruption problem of future generations, etc. The dinosaur COMELEC should speak out about the rich captive votes in the Ilocos, Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan , the Cebuano and the Ilonggo votes, the non-Catholic denominations vote and the loose Mindanao vote.

      It could be like the Prince winning Powerball or Mega lotto. One can be very generous, selfless, spreading assistance to multitudes, intoxicated to be exempt and unafraid of anything. But the Prince have to fulfill first the promises made to kingmakers. So what then is in the noodle bowl? Not 16 million voters but only few Kingmakers. As our Cadet Regimental Commander who later became the College Dean–shouted at us : “Hey you there: Wake up, If you are awake, you wake up some more.”

  21. Sup says:

    How do we get out of this mess??????????????

    Carpio for president !


  22. Sup says:

    Quiboloy said he was not detained but the Hawaii news said he was..

    ”Quiboloy was detained for most of the day Tuesday before being released.

    The private plane, worth at least $15 million, remains in Honolulu. The federal government is working to seize it.”

    Quiboloy has since taken a commercial flight back to the Philippines.


    • chemrock says:

      Just forget about the under-declaration of cash. That’s a peanut problem.

      It’s the damn gun parts that were found in the private plane. The admin in SILENT? With fear of destabilisation plans going on in the country, and the admin is SILENT? Should’nt he be hauled in for questioning? Should’nt someone from NBI go to the US to learn more?

  23. Mayongod says:

    Here;s our discussion buried on the previous blog. I brought it up here for more clarification and new look regarding EJKs mess. I am newbie so if LCpl X decides to join back, its fine with me basta walang personalan.

    Let’s restart determining what is the real problem DU30 is trying to solve.

    1. According to LCpl X
    Problem = Drug addicts(WHO?)
    SOLUTION Formula:

    DU30 + EJKs + CDE folks = Death

    1.1 How does it work?
    1.2 how will it end?

    2. My version:
    Problem: Drug addiction(WHAT?)
    Solution Formula:

    DU30 + EJKs + Drugs + CDE folks = Death

    2.1 Notice my insertion of “Drugs”. Was hiding from “LCpl X formula”
    2.2 Drugs is the missing part that makes it a solution. Target the “drugs”

    Here’s the link for a little backgrounder:

    • Mayongod,

      Did God target sin , instead of drowning every sinner in a big Flood? or adultery, instead of adulterers? or sodomy, instead of Sodomites? what did the Amelekites do to deserve such pronouncements? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalek#Extermination_of_the_Amalekites who deserves genocide?

      How are you able to separate action and actor, but God is not, Mayongod? Are you then more moral than God? That’s not a personal jab at you, that’s a legit question (one can even interpret it as compliment 😉 ). God certainly didn’t separate action from actor, so how are you doing it???

      If He did , Adam and Eve would’ve still be in that nice garden frolicking and enjoying each others company, ie. eating of forbidden fruit (action) vs. forbidden fruit eater (actor, poor Adam). God punished both the action and actor, no?

      by the way, drug addicts & drug addiction, I think we’ve already covered when chemp introduced some black American neuro-scientist, expert, awhile back. karl, do you remember that discussion? chemp?

      • p.s. ~ DU30 = God, God = DU30 is metaphor, my point was the Epicurean paradox, not really EJKs, Mayongod. I believe Micha is more versed in this whole addiction vs. addicts talk.

        start here: https://joeam.com/2015/04/27/open-discussion-our-philippines/#comment-121017 (Micha‘s posts)

        • Mayongod says:



          We passed that point already in the previous blog. This blog(where we are now) is about moving forward to coming up with a solution or at least a “suggestion”. There are ways to really solve the drug problem if the ACTORS(DU30 and Government) wants it. The only question now is… do they really want to solve “Drugs” or the “ADDICTS”?

          • I know, I was just clarifying myself, since I was quoted. Read my posts below.

          • NEIL COLSTON MCNALLY says:

            We..those on hallowed ground, who have the IQ (and far above my IQ?) to comment and suggest unproven solutions to the perceived problems facing Pilipinas and it’s 100.4 million peoples..attention! Whom of you are actively and materially, with cash back-up, is actually assisting those who are helpless and in poverty’s terrible grasp? I am spending thousands of peso to assist some to achieve jobs and independence..and i’m not even pilipino myself. Response please, armchair philosophers!

      • sonny says:

        This discussion on surgical vs scorched earth retribution from God reminded me of the Amalekites, Saul and the Israelites. You anticipated me, LC. Good stuff as readings on themes of God’s dominion, sin, the obedience of Man to the Almighty, Saul and Duterte, etc. An interesting exegesis below, long, comprehensive and compelling; might shed some light on the on-going discussion. Your thoughts?


        • Thanks, sonny. I can tell already that it’s an Evangelical opinion piece from the start. I’d be interested in say a Jesuit’s or one of those orders you’ve told me about (I still haven’t gotten the chance to drive up the PCH to visit that order near Big Sur, but it’s one of my to-do list when I find myself near there).

          So Mayongod = Saul as I read that piece. More forgiving (or disobedient ) and more surgical scalpel than broad sword, separate the actor from the action typa guy.

          I’m not a believer so i have to strive to understand Biblical/historical context when reading stuff like this. But I have been to the Middle East , of note the West Bank as well as Israel. So, when I read this, the first place I draw from is the geography and its people…

          First, there are general reasons for the annihilation of peoples like the Canaanites. These are the peoples who possess the promised land which God gave to Israel. The primary reason stated above is that these peoples are exceedingly wicked. If they are not totally wiped out, they will teach the Israelites their sinful ways and thus bring them under divine condemnation. It is easy to see why all the fighting men of the enemy should be killed, but why the women, children, and cattle? The sin of the Canaanites involved had defiled and corrupted their animals, and God would not allow any to survive.”

          I simply think of now (current events), of the West Bank or of fundamentalist Jews. Erase Canaanites and replace with Palestinians and you pretty much have the common perception by Jews (especially the religious to the orthodox variety over there) of Palestinians. Make no mistake there are Israelis (most seculars and reformed practicing Jews) that seem to have Saul’s spirit (compassion? though I understand King Saul is kinda a bad character regardless of his disobedience re the Amalekites, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_and_Jonathan but for the purposes of comparison, let’s go with compassion? scalpel vs. sword approach.)

          It’s a very Evangelical view, sonny, more busy with attempting to justify God’s decision than attempting to really get to the bottom of the morals and ethics at play. If you have Jesuit view, not this same old same old, God was right, God is always right stuff, i’d be interested in reading it. Maybe a less literal , more philosophical approach to this question? thanks.

          • sonny says:

            LC, being ‘Jesuit’ nowadays is not a position of comfort. To me it is poised to sow division in the Catholic Church: the pope is a Jesuit, the Jesuit order has the most priests among all the religious congregations of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Superior General of the Jesuits is at odds doctrinally with many both in the leadership and rank & file of Catholics. Read here:


            The situation begs for prayers and light from the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Bride of Christ and His Church will prevail.

            • sonny,

              Thanks. I though the Jesuits were hailed as heroes amongst Catholics! Now they’re heretics? the irony, weren’t the ones who went to bat for the Church in 1500s? I’m gonna have to read this article closer. Which order do you think is in-keeping with doctrine, sonny?

              • “Sosa is referring to a certain strand of historical-critical scholarship of the Scriptures that began in academic circles sometime during the Enlightenment and reached its peak of influence in the mid-20th century. It subjects the Bible to a purely historical interpretation, which separates the texts from their lived context in the Church and subjects them to a quasi-scientific method. Using literary criticism, historical and archeological studies, and sociocultural anthropology, these scholars attempt to identify an historical Jesus that existed prior to the articulated beliefs and trappings that the Church supposedly devised about Him.

                Presuming they are operating in a scientific manner, these historical-critical scholars have assumed for themselves an authority to determine not only what Jesus actually said prior to the elaborate written narratives of the Gospels but also what he must have meant. Not surprisingly, since this method has its origins in the anti-institutional and anti-dogmatic milieu of the Enlightenment, these scholars’ conclusions about the historical Jesus often contradict or correct those most challenging doctrines and dogmas of Church.”


                I’m sure it was started by Baruch Spinoza, when he started telling his fellow Jews pretty much what I’m already parroting here. Only he confined his literary criticisms to the Old Testament (Jewish books), earning him a one-way ticket out of his community.

                As to when Christian literary criticism started, it would’ve been when they started focusing on the Greek Bible and inadvertently found differences (as far back as St. Jerome even, no , sonny? then of course Erasmus)— exactly when the tradition to undermine Christian doctrine began I’m not sure.

                But in Israel, Spinoza’s hailed as a hero—- though I’m sure the exponentially expanding Haredim would beg to differ. LOL!

                As to whether or not all this causes discord, the Jews have the Yeshiva wherein Jewish scholars just argue all day long. As someone who loves to argue, and learns from arguing, there’s wisdom in arguing. Reminds me also with Constitutional law here, ie. spirit of the law vs. letter of the law. I think this is similar no? Of people who just want to stay within the confines of the letter, vs. actively looking for the spirit?

                My questions, Do you think there are more fans of the Jesuits among Catholics, sonny? OR less? And the folks who aren’t fans of the Jesuits, can they wrest control of the Church away from Jesuits? If they do wrest control of the Church, will they be more close-minded or open?

                Have you seen ‘the Young Pope’? He was close-minded, insular would be better.

                The series itself looks hip and young, sonny, but I think you are its intended audience (old school Catholics). Basically about a Pope who wants to return the Church to a time when the Church dominated and was central in people’s lives. After watching the series, I wanted to be Catholic, sonny.

                early on the series, you’re kinda doubting the sanctity of the Young Pope, but at the end, everything comes together, and realize the value of conservative approach. His first homily, reminded me of Trump’s inaugural speech, if nothing else watch that.

              • sonny says:

                LC, having only a basic academic background on religion subjects (philosophy, theology, bible history), I can only guess at the nature and ramifications of the current difficulties I allude to. The questions being discussed are precisely the type yeshivas in Judaism deal with. The schools of catholic theology at the Vatican would be the ones who can navigate them. The two most prominent schools of theology are run by the Jesuits and Dominicans. Other catholic orders (Benedictines, Salesians, Franciscans, et al.) run their own schools too. Special mention I make of the Sulpician Fathers who are well-known biblical scholars. the catholic theological academe tackle subjects and questions; conflicts on Moral Theology are de rigueur. The Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines have been at this relatively longer than other congregations. But everyone have the same stake in the resolution of difficulties, given that they minister to all catholics and the world and are entrusted by God with their special vocation and expertise.

                Today’s zeitgeist presents moral and ethical problems not encountered at other times, e.g. LGBTQ, same-sex marriage, life issues, EJKs, WPS, etc.

              • sonny says:

                Regarding the objections to Fr Sosa, his challenge is addressed, as other catholics see it, to current accepted Christology as you point out from the article.

              • sonny says:

                I would’ve loved to watch the movie THE YOUNG POPE. I will try to get a hold of it.

              • sonny,

                see if this live streaming will work for you, the Young Pope is an HBO, 10 episodes series,
                https://www.hbo.com/the-young-pope/season-01 (there’s suppose to be a season 2 but without Jude Law)

                thanks, sonny, i’ll look into these various orders, i’ve already visited this place and plan to visit more monasteries, https://www.saintandrewsabbey.com/ it’s Benedictine. I bought a couple of books and some jars of their locally grown honey, and got to chit-chat with one of the monks running the gift shop for a bit, but no talks of Theology and Ethics yet, just about honey and how China’s dumping their “honey” in the market, which is actually not honey but mostly syrup—-

                I got the monk to swear to God that their honey was the real deal and not some Chinese honey they repackaged slapping their own label.

              • sonny says:

                Thank you for the HBO & St Andrew links. I will try the HBO, else I’ll do it piecemeal from the Youtube segments.

                Here’s an article on a critique of Cardinal Cupich of Chicago by Fr Rutler, New York priest-scholar, on clarity:


      • Mayongod says:

        From where I am, all suspects are charged on whatever crimes they committed and judgement will be based on those charges. If crime is proven “beyond reasonable doubt” then judgement “GUILTY AS CHARGED” is declared…. although “beyond reasonable doubt” may not apply for some.

        Back to the topic.

        Is DU30 trying to solve “drug addicts” or “drug addiction”? This is important before we can really continue.

        According to google, the first step in solving problem is “IDENTIFICATION and UNDERSTANDING the problem”

        • “Is DU30 trying to solve “drug addicts” or “drug addiction”?”

          Just as God solved sin by drowning all sinners, DU30 is solving drug addiction by killing all drug addicts. As facetious as that sounds, that’s a legit solution, both God and DU30’s. Another similar occurrence is when we rounded up all Japanese over here during WWII; Hitler did the same though his intent wasn’t just mere separation from general population but total annihilation (like the Flood).

          Like I said, Micha can elaborate on the economics of a drug addiction focused approach, from all out legalization to methadone treatment to half-way houses for recovery. All that is great in the 1st world, I believe Mexico has now recently moved towards legalization too, though I doubt it can be implemented due to the narco state’s hold on the actual state, but a step towards 1st world approach no doubt.

          The question you should be asking is can the Philippines do 1st world approach? Legalization to addiction treatment? When the underlying cause of drug addiction is poverty? So there’s a cost/benefit component here that you’ve not touched on, Mayongod. Also keep in mind, DU30’s view was that this shabu addiction is a clear and present danger.

          I personally saw shabu addiction when I was there mid-2000s, once the sun set the freaks came out, prostitutes and taxi cab drivers were 100% doing shabu, but more importantly, you could see shabu addicts off the nightlife scene, in regular neighborhoods. All sorts of reasons, ‘we suck shabu so we don’t have to eat, and have energy’, ‘so we could stay awake’, to ‘sex is better with it’, ‘so we don’t get sleepy’, to ‘it just feels good’, ‘it helps us study’ was my favourite.

          I’d also add you have to differentiate between drug addicts & drug users, whether it’s simply amount of consumption or just genetic make-up that makes a casual users into a full-fledge addict, I’m not sure. But a better question to ask is how many casual shabu users have stopped using shabu for fear of EJKs, if you find that it’s a lot then wouldn’t you also call the deterrence factor also part & parcel of EJK as solution? thus rendering EJKs effective.

          If you pan out back to God, isn’t God’s scorched earth approach (as sonny called it) and this whole notion of Hell, aren’t their purpose also to deter, ie. scare people into submission or obedience?

          I know that was a mouthful , Mayongod, but focus first, ask if treating the problem as addiction only is more productive, cost effective and addresses the severity of the epidemic. There had to be a stop-gap measure, and EJK seemed the most God-like approach, from actual punishment to deterrence (ask how many users and addicts EJKs have be been compelled to walk the straight and narrow). Then finally, line up your 1st world solutions to addiction and ask if the Philippines can afford it– the Twelve Step program (Hello, My name is Juan. and I’m an Addict…) seems the most affordable, it’s free all you need is a place to meet (essentially you’re just talking).

          Again if the bigger problem or cause of addiction is poverty (ie. to escape or self-medicate), for 1st world solutions to be effective, shouldn’t you first attempt to alleviate poverty first? Otherwise it’ll be like using a hairdryer to dry people while in the middle of a Flood.

          There’s also a welfare component to this problem, wherein OFWs work their butts off in the 1st world, then send FREE money to the Philippines, as anyone knows no one appreciates the value of free stuff, so much of that free money goes into buying shabu. So my point, Mayongod, is this problem requires a national over-haul.

          I’m with God, a flood is probably simpler and more effective. 😉

          • karlgarcia says:

            legit solution??????????

            • karlgarcia says:

              This is no longer about logical arguments, getting rid of addiction by getting rid of addicts is wrong!

              • DU30 is not really killing all drug addicts, karl (not literally). But legit solution just means that it is a solution that has been done, Biblical to recent history, that works— you’re literally making the problem disappear. legit doesn’t mean correct or moral, just that it is a solution, dragnet in police parlance, genocide in some, wherein powers that be simply round up identified and understood problem folks.

              • ‘problem folks’ are problems because the State has failed at giving them a path to health and self-fulfillment. In that context, the drug war, no matter how eloquently rationalized by either you or the murderous State, is but an avoidance of accountability by the State.

              • edgar lores says:

                Karl questioned the use of the term “legit.”

                Legit means legitimate. And legitimate means “lawful” or “according to law.”

                In that sense, “legit” does mean “correct” and not “just” a solution.

              • edgar,

                The word need not be understood in a legal sense, it could simply mean acceptable, reasonable, approved or mandated, as in DU30 was mandated to carry-out EJKs, ie. he promised and he was elected on said promise (hence the electorate in advance agreed upon EJKs legitimacy).

                The word ‘correct’ in context of accepted, or approved, usually means people coming together (few or many, or just one, like God) and deciding what’s right/correct , rationalizing it as moral or good usually comes after the decision, ex. Nagasaki & Hiroshima was legit. So, correct in that sense.

              • edgar lores says:

                Unacceptable and indefensible.

                One may proffer a Humpty-Dumpty Dictionary definition before usage, but not after being called up twice about it.

                Words are our tools in a discussion. If we do not use them properly, the discussion becomes meaningless.

              • Humpy-Dumpty???? You actually thought the word legitimate only had a legal usage?


                When MC Hammer rapped that he was ‘too legit to quit’, he didn’t mean lawful or according to the law.


                You think Easy-E meant that as lawful or according to the law? it means valid, accepted norm as well as real, genuine, etc. EJKs is a legit solution, more violent acts have been legitimized in the past, edgar.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. Karl questioned your use of the term “legit solution.”

                2. Your response was that the term “just means that it is a solution that has been done… that works.”

                3. I thought this was not a proper answer, so I googled the meaning of “legit,” Dictionary.com gave me “1. legitimate.” When I clicked on the word, dictionary.com came up with “1. according to law; lawful.” I briefly scanned the other 6 definitions and did not think they were appropriate to qualify “solution.”

                4. In reply, you said the term can mean “acceptable, reasonable, approved or mandated.” And I said, “Unacceptable and indefensible.”

                5. Then you posted this Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary graphic to show I was partially wrong.

                6. On review, I find that Dictionary.com’s fourth definition hews close to your graphic: “4 in accordance with the laws of reasoning; logically inferable; logical”.

                6.1. The first two terms — acceptable and reasonable — are given as synonyms but I cannot find the last two terms — approved and mandated. I will concede the first two.

                7. Applying now these first two offered definitions, can we now then say that Duterte’s solution is “acceptable” and/or “reasonable?” By what terms?

                7.1. Not in terms of legitimacy. And not in terms of historical precedence. In fact, precedence would show Duterte’s solution to be unacceptable and unreasonable. Can you name a country in which his solution has “worked?”

                7.2. So your use of the term “legit” is semantically and logically questionable.

                8. The crux of the issue remains and you have not properly addressed Karl’s original concern. He had this follow-up: “This is no longer about logical arguments, getting rid of addiction by getting rid of addicts is wrong!”

                8. Thus, Karl is not really talking about legitimacy or acceptability or reasonableness. Clearly, he is talking about morality. And, thus far, you have avoided the issue. What was the term I used before? Ah, deflection. So what is your answer to Karl?

              • “I cannot find the last two terms — approved and mandated.”

                For something to be legitimate it has to be approved by folks in power and/or mandated by voters. So by consensus reasonable and acceptable.

                “Can you name a country in which his solution has “worked”?”

                Nothing specific to drug epidemics, but broad sword solutions have been used, edgar, ex Nagasaki & Hiroshima;

                i’ve also mentioned the rounding up of all Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. All done legitimately. The biggest genocide to date (by man) was here, we killed off the American-Indians, not systematically per se, but ever since Columbus landed we’ve been pushing them off in a westerly direction. Manifest Destiny was legitimate, thus approved and mandated.

                I get that now in 2018, with all sorts of liberal ideas and solutions, these broad sword approach are now looked down upon, I’m just saying it’s legit. If karl feels it’s wrong to kill off drug addicts, fine. We’ve talked about more humanitarian approach before, to which I’ve asked is it feasible over there.

                What is the point of contention here? You said it wasn’t legit, I said it was— it’s legit. As far as wrong or right goes, I’m agnostic having seen the problem first hand there, but fully support the marijuana legalization here— but there is an epidemic there (something has to done). When DU30 said he was gonna kill drug addicts, I was thinking man, that’s gonna be a popular platform (precisely because many Filipinos were affected by it).

                Like I said karl can say it’s wrong, and I won’t say it’s right. But it is legit, edgar. Maybe they don’t use the word legit in Australia , but that word is very popular here and not confined to legalese. When I say that EJK is a legit solution, I’m not weighing in as to whether its wrong or right (we’ve done that already 😉 ). That’s a moral, immoral, amoral discussion.

                here, I’m just saying it’s legit.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. Arguably, the consensus argument does not work for Duterte’s Drug War. He did not win by a majority so the argument goes. Therefore, he does not have an electoral mandate. And there are no folks higher in power than the presidency. One might argue that the higher-up folks are the people by virtue of sovereignty, but Duterte does not have a mandate from them.

                1.1. The question of Duterte’s mandate becomes more dubious when we consider he does nothing about China being the source of precursor drugs. Nothing about jet skiing to the disputed WPS islands to defend them; instead, he has given China carte blanche. Nothing about his promise to resign after 6 months if he was unable to solve the drug problem.

                1.2. Therefore, the use of reasonable and acceptable is not valid when you justify it from the viewpoint of higher approval and electoral mandate.

                2. And even if Duterte did win by a majority, can one really characterize the war as reasonable and acceptable from any other angle?

                2.1. I google the definition of reasonable — sound, fair, sensible, appropriate, and moderate — and I cannot understand how it can be used in the context.

                2.2. Similarly, I google the definition of acceptable — able to be agreed on; suitable; able to be tolerated or allowed — and I am certain “suitable” and “allowed” are not appropriate, although “tolerated” may apply. “Able to be agreed on” is up in the air.

                3. The terms also do not apply to God’s drowning of sinners. Don’t we have sinners still?

                4. Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have worked from the viewpoint of the victors. But was at reasonable and acceptable to the 119,000 – 236,000 victims?

                5. I am saying legit is NOT appropriate — not by any of the definitions discussed so far, legalese or otherwise. I have a sneaking suspicion that you picked up the terms “reasonable” and “acceptable” just because you could not justify your usage of the term “legit” based on its legal sense.

                5.1. You used the term “legit solution” because it’s a cliche. We all use cliches as a shortcut. But one can see, upon analysis, the cliche is not appropriate. And Karl, with his moral sensibilities, was right to question the usage.

              • LOL, you are right , edgar. I used legit not as a cliche, since I don’t know too many people that say it, but as an expression (like dirrrty). I listen to rap music sometimes and they use legit a lot (dirrrty i got from Christina Aguilera ).

                but I’m not one to back down from deep analysis, so we are going deeper now. Like I said I want NO repeat of moral, immoral and amoral talk, unless there’s something new to bring to the table (i don’t at this point, if you do i’ll consider countering it).

                So, let’s stay within the confines of legit.

                Now Trump only won the electoral college votes, not the popular vote (HIllary won that). Without the popular win Trump still won with a mandate, nothing specific like DU30’s— I don’t think it’s Build the Wall or no more immigrants, etc. he’s all over the place, so nothing specific, but one unifying principle of Make America Great Again is that the US stops throwing money all over the world with no palpable return on investment. That’s his mandate, his platform during campaign now defines his policies.

                Similarly DU30 over there only won like 40% (of those who bothered to cast a vote) , but given the Philippines’ system, you guys had a 5 person race (no run-off). Regardless of statistic, edgar, DU30 still won fair and square, thus has a mandate. He campaigned on a platform (to make Manila bay red with blood, not paint, mind you) and now implementing said promises. He didn’t hide the fact that he was going to kill drug addicts and sellers (and narco politicians), this was central to his campaign. And he was elected because of it (in a 5 person race). That’s a mandate, edgar. To top it all off , he’s still enjoys considerable support , no?

                Like Trump, DU30 wasn’t voted in for his foreign policy prowess, they voted him into office to fix domestic issues. DU30’s EJKs is pretty much Make Philippines Great Again (by killing drug addicts and dirrrty politicians). Most Filipinos probably won’t know where China is on the map, edgar. So don’t conflate his mandate with his foreign policies. I get it, the office of president wears many hats, but we’re just analyzing the use of mandate here, in DU30’s case domestic and specific.

                Now, for reasonable and acceptable.

                These words are subjective. for example, when karl said it’s wrong! , he didn’t weigh in whether or not God drowning all sinners was wrong. I suspect because as a good Catholic , you’re not allowed to say wrong or right , when it comes to God. Was God’s punishments in the Bible reasonable and acceptable? Well less than 400 years ago, they not only thought it was, edgar, they actually practiced God’s examples (used it to justify slavery and killing of indians). These days maybe not reasonable, but definitely accepted, even rationalized as ‘good’ (why? because according to sonny’s article sinners deserve to die, it all depends how you view sinners i suppose, edgar.)

                To recap, DU30 has a mandate, not only that he still enjoys considerable support (because of EJKs? it sure as hell isn’t for his jokes). It’s no wonder DU30 will think his policies reasonable and acceptable, no? He has a mandate and continued support, edgar. Hiroshima & Nagasaki wasn’t put to vote (it was a military decision, though they had to reach consensus, thus reasonable & acceptable, when you’re deciding on dropping a bomb you don’t generally ask for input from those you’re gonna drop a bomb on, edgar), but

                the sending of Japanese-Americans to concentration camps was argued at the Supreme Court, so a few powerful folks (justices) thought it reasonable and acceptable, and when it came to implementing said order, the American people not only helped kick out their neighbors, they reveled in kicking ’em out, so by implied consensus (because no one fought the SC decision) it was reasonable and acceptable. read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korematsu_v._United_States

                If you , edgar, can prove to Filipinos that DU30 is unreasonable and unacceptable thus changing opinions of the masses, then support will dwindle and his mandate over-turned. Of course that’s a pipe dream. You have to change people’s minds, that’s not the same as telling them what the truth ought to be, edgar , because as we saw with the Whiskey vs. Water debate people cherry-pick what’s good and bad, ie. God’s good but DU30’s bad. I just took the word mandate back from you (as not dependent on statistics), then reasonable and acceptable (as subjective in nature). Of course, you can take it right back, but make it compelling.

                3. “The terms also do not apply to God’s drowning of sinners. Don’t we have sinners still?”

                Now for my favorite question of the night. To which I’ll reply, ask karl!!! LOL! 😉

                Let me set it up for you, but I want karl’s answer here,

                a). Did God have a mandate? From where?

                b). Was it reasonable? Why?

                c). Was it acceptable? Why?

                d). and lastly, was He wrong?

                p.s.~ this isn’t literally about God, we’re simply using God’s punishment/pronouncements as a measuring stick for our discussion.

                I’ll even answer a). Yes, He’s God that’s from where!!! continue… 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Too many words.

                1. Mandate is a slippery word. Quantitatively speaking, Duterte did not win by a majority.

                1.2. Duterte got 29.7% of total registered voters. That means 70.3% did not vote for him. So he has NO mandate.

                1.2. It does seem he has considerable support according to the polls. So what? By his own campaign promise, he should have resigned a year ago.

                1.3. Reasonable and acceptable are NOT subjective words. Again, we have to use words properly otherwise, as I said, words lose their meaning and we might as well give up discussions. Duterte’s war is NOT reasonable and acceptable. Not by the definitions. And not by the objective (or intersubjective) standards of the Constitution.

                2. I will skip Hiroshima and Nagasaki and concentration camps. I have said what I have said on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                3. As to whether God has a mandate and the other questions, why pass the buck to Karl? You still haven’t addressed his moral concerns. He asked you first. And you cannot dictate that there should be no moral, immoral, or amoral talk. Karl has a right to raise the issue.

                3.1. If you ask me, the question is ludicrous.

                4. “Legit solution” is a popular phrase. As you admit, the word “legit” is widely used.

                4.1. I reread your original use of the phrase, and I asked myself what alternative qualifiers would I have used. Some like “practical,” “practicable,” and “viable” came up, but they didn’t sound right. They didn’t have the ring of “legit solutions.”

                4.2. Do you want to know what I really think? I think your observation was witty and your use of the phrase is legit. Ahaha!

                4.3. The proper perspective is to take your observation in an ironic sense and not in a literal sense. And the proper interpretation of “legit” is the legal meaning — but interpreted ironically.

                4.4. Because these guys — God and Duterte — make up their own laws.

                4.5. So there you go. You should have admitted the legal sense of the term and not go all defensive. In this way… you would have gotten out of this mess.

              • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_presidential_election,_2016


                In a 5 way race (which is the Philippine system, no run-offs no 2 party system), that is a mandate!

                As for reasonable and acceptable, if these weren’t geographically and temporally dependent concepts, we’d all feel the same way about the same thing all the time , edgar. Yet, that’s not the case is it? What’s reasonable and acceptable in Saudi Arabia is not the same in Canada, and so on and so forth. the way American soldiers treated Filipinos in the 1900s is not reasonable and acceptable now, but it was then.

                Whether or not karl chimes in is immaterial, i’ve made my points re mandate, and what’s reasonable and acceptable. So legit solution stands, whether you imbue it with legal meaning or not, that’s up to you, but as the guy that wrote it, i’ve made my case for my use of it, thus it stands 😉 .

              • edgar lores says:

                Refer to my previous response.

              • It is only legit to those of no moral principle, seems to me.

              • I’m also amused by the technique of defining the rules of argument (no discussion of morality) in order to provide the logical framework by which to win the argument. Reminds me of some basketball players in self-officiated pick-up games who call fouls liberally because they can’t stand to lose.

              • edgar lores says:



                An amoral person so engaged in moral issues is like a drunk who loves his whiskey but drinks water to quench his thirst.

                Hmm, I’m sure that aphorism can be improved.

                Take 2:

                An amoral person so engaged in moral issues is like a teetotaler who drinks whiskey from a brown glass.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I have been following, you are correct, my chiming in is immaterial because you keep on making your points..

              • 4.4. “Because these guys — God and Duterte — make up their own laws.

                Yet one is “good” , and the other “bad“???

              • edgar lores says:

                Duterte is bad by constitutional standards and by the Three Sieves of Ethics.

                The Epicurean Paradox provides the answer for God.

              • How many Filipinos are familiar with the Epicurean Paradox? You can’t even say ‘bad’. The answer should be bad and bad; or good and good (which I’m promoting 😉 ); but if the bulk of Filipinos are saying good and bad /or bad and good, then what we got here is,

                otherwise known as,

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! You’re making a moral judgment!

              • edgar lores says:

                I don’t judge God. I don’t believe in an interventionist deity.

              • “I’m also amused by the technique of defining the rules of argument (no discussion of morality) in order to provide the logical framework by which to win the argument.”

                As I’ve said, that’s all already been done , Joe. And if I remember correctly, you booted me out twice for it. If you want another morality, immorality , amorality talk, i’d be happy to comply, but take me off moderation 😉 . LOL! as librarian karl can find those threads. But I’m not going down another moral, immoral , amoral talk with my hands tied.

              • The moderation is not for the issue of discussing morality as a basis for righteousness, but for personalizing the arguments, being snide, dominating a thread’s discussion, and presuming you have a higher calling here than the editor. I’ve taken you off moderation but you act like the A dog in my yard and push your way back. My dog thinks I am a dog (or he is human), and persists in trying to push me to B status. He’s a great dog, but he is B when I’m around, as I am B when my wife is around.

              • An amoral person so engaged in moral issues is…” closest to God? 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, but you claim to be an agnostic.

                What about?

                o agnostic -> demonic
                o agnostic -> chaotic
                o agnostic -> psychotic

                I’d go for the second one.

              • I’m tilting toward the third. LOL 😂😂😂

              • LOL! I’m top-left,

              • “He’s a great dog, but he is B when I’m around, as I am B when my wife is around.”

                So you don’t want another moral, immoral, amoral, discussion then, Joe? I promise it’s gonna be good.

              • I welcome robust discussion. Your part will go through moderation.

          • Mayongod says:


            I only asked because next approach is dependent on what is the identified problem and since there was difference, we seem stacked…. I did check the link you shared and saw the same. More focused on drug addicts.

            • It’s hard not to focus on drug addicts, Mayongod,

              since these drug addicts are committing crimes, and making a nuisance of themselves to society. But I get your point, and where you are , is where the 1st world is re addiction and solutions, but in the 3rd world we have to talk first feasibility.

              For example , ever since Prop 36 here in California, wherein mere possession of small amounts gets you some recovery program instead of jail sentence, a bunch of half-way houses and drug treatment centers have sprung up, a whole new industry subsidized by the gov’t to treat drug addiction and help the drug addict,

              only now they’re finding out dirty dealings, these big to small institutions get state funding and no results for their ‘treatment’. We can shoulder those costs in the 1st world, even get oversight, how will the 3rd world deal with this potential avenue for more corruption?

              • Mayongod says:

                We are trying to come up with a solution suitable for an action-man like DU30. Original and specifically designed for his type of administration. As you can see… everything will depend on his direction. Depends on his desire to really implement a solution.

                I even included a means of sustaining the program.

              • “4. Use drug-money to enhance capabilities.(SUSTAINABILITY)”

                Okay, what exactly will it enhance, Mayongod? What programs do you have in mind for the Philippines? As you may already know, there are hundreds of NGOs already in the Philippines, local and int’l. So drug-money gets diverted to them? And then what?

              • Mayongod says:

                The roots of “drug addiction” is the drugs, all the drug addicts and related crimes are just branches. All the problems arising from them will automatically follow if we cut the problem from its roots.

                The use of drug money to enhance capabilities in fighting the drug problem is just right. It will not be an easy one but DU30 and his administration will now have source of funding.

              • edgar lores says:

                “The roots of “drug addiction” is the drugs, all the drug addicts and related crimes are just branches.


                So all we have to do is cut off all alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, barbiturates, heroin, cocaine, opioids, and amphetamines?

                Interesting. A drug war supporter revealed.

                I thought alienation, anomie, and accidie had something to do with it.

              • Plus the root is not drugs, it is poverty and a lack of positive avenues of satisfaction. And the root of that is government incompetence.

              • Mayongod says:



                Poverty may be a root-cause if you consider it as “personal” problem.
                As a social problem, the root-cause is still drugs.illegal drugs to be more specific.


                Don’t take it personal. I wont engage in it. I am just a simple working guy using simple english.

                As many as the branches, plants may also have lots of roots. some of them good, some are bad. Some maybe either/or so it needs to be controlled.

                I remember i did not get a reply from this question below.


              • Social is the way people engage, so the root of social is people. I disagree with your premise, so your conclusions don’t hold water.

              • Mayongod says:

                If poverty is the root cause? why do we find drug addiction also among rich and middle-class families?

              • Because people are people with stresses. Drugs, like alcohol, provide relief. That’s what makes the war against poor drug users all the more obscene. They have the most dire stresses and are given the least compassion.

              • Mayongod says:

                I did look up after my post and here’s what google say about social problem.

                “A social problem is any condition or behavior that has negative consequences for large numbers of people and that is generally recognized as a condition or behavior that needs to be addressed. This definition has both an objective component and a subjective component.”

              • Makes sense. Poverty is a social problem.

              • Joe, do all poor people use drugs? Why not?

              • No. Because they have other ways to find enjoyment or relief from stresses. I’d prefer, rather than asking questions to laboriously force me to your point, you just make your point. i7sharp used to drive me nuts with mysterious questions that basically were loaded. Let’s stop games and just talk.

              • My point is simply this, when are these poor drug addicts you’re advocating for (I doubt you know any personally) gonna take responsibility for their choice to use drugs? Why blame the gov’t directly for their choice of using drugs?

              • Flipping the questions to statements, you are saying drug addicts are responsible for their choice to use drugs, and government should not be blamed for their choice of using drugs.

                I don’t blame government for the addicts’ choices. I blame government for not giving them sufficient choices in their lives by proper education and reasonable opportunities to build careers and wealth. Corruption, politicization of decisions, favoritism, bad thinking. Those are what I hold government accountable for. Also poor enforcement of laws. These acts allow drugs to flourish.

    • Mayongod says:

      Here’s 4 point agenda to fight “drug addiction”

      1. Authentic desire and decisive action to eradicate drug addiction by ACTORS.(DU30 and government)

      2. Application of OBJECTIVE vs SUBJECTIVE judgement. Judge the suspect on their INVOLVEMENT and not WHO they are.(Justice dept)

      3. Follow the Drugs, Attack only the drug-money.
      Proper investigation and documentations on the different stages of drug transactions. Only take actions to confiscate money and arrest big players.(Police dept)

      4. Use drug-money to enhance capabilities.(SUSTAINABILITY)

      Its all about the money. Follow the money and you have the solution.

  24. God = Flood ; DU30 = EJKs, why both are morally good, not wrong but right.

    Duterte is the train operator.

    The few on track represent rich/ narco politicians.

    The many on track represent poor drug addicts.

    TSOH has the lever.

    It’s in Chinese because the Philippines will be a Chinese province soon 😉 .

    Inside the train is more Filipinos (the Philippines , in fact), the Filipinos DU30 is responsible for, like God , DU30’s EJKs is right , just as God was responsible for the World.

    If TSOH elects to run over the few , the many will only survive and demand more drugs, demand necessitates supply, ergo more narco politicians/drug lords ; if the many are chosen as sacrifice , then we’ll just have to construct a track loop to go back and get the few.

    Question: If the train is able to pass , no derailment, all passengers accounted for, how is this wrong? Again God did the same thing. 😉

    • “Flipping the questions to statements, you are saying drug addicts are responsible for their choice to use drugs, and government should not be blamed for their choice of using drugs.”

      They are on the tracks because they’ve essentially chosen to not be on the train, Joe (so too the drug lords). By being on the tracks (I know, i know, they’re tied up in the cartoon thus no choice), they are in the way, thus endangering the lives of the rest of the Philippines.

      So what do now? Is it right, is it wrong? By the way, you’ve not answered if you know personally these folks you’re advocating for— if too personal a question, then forego it, but I want to know if you’re simply idealizing their plight or if you know what choices are actually available to them.

      (p.s. — it’s probably better if you take me off moderation for this, Joe, or else the thread will stack weirdly, and people will miss comments due to disordered comments)

      • I’ve said what I believe the problem to be. Government’s job is to take care of her people and not shoot them if they find fulfillment by using drugs or alcohol or driving above the speed limit. Going beyond that would enter into the tedium of circular or digressive discussion, and I have no interest in going there. I answered your questions.

        • “Government’s job is to take care of her people and not shoot them if they find fulfillment by using drugs or alcohol or driving above the speed limit. “

          You make it sound like drug use is a victimless crime , Joe. But remember, it’s also the governments job to ensure safety for the rest of its citizens, correct? So the gov’t is taking care of her people, by getting rid of the minority’s whose “fulfillment” infringes on the majority’s security and quality of life.

          • Disgusting point of view. “Getting rid of.” Truly, you are trolling me now, persisting when I said there is not purpose to it. I said nothing about drugs not creating victims. Driving fast creates victims. Highway patrol cops issue tickets. Take people to court. Give due process. They do not shoot the drivers and throw drugs and guns into the car, and then not investigate the crime. That is basically the method used in the Philippines that you are defending. Truly, if that is your view, get thee to a different forum because I won’t stand for it here.

            • First, you encourage me to redux the whole morality, immorality, amorality debate, now you’re backing off… edgar hasn’t even gotten a chance to weigh in.

              You say you’re amused, now you’re disgusted, you’re giving me mixed signals here, Joe. Which is it? Shall we continue or no?

              • I’m amused at your relentless use if trolling techniques. I am disgusted that you would advocate killing people without due process. No, we shall not continue. Find a different forum. I don’t care for your brand of spice here.

              • NHerrera says:

                Hahaha. Of Spices and Men (no spelling error there, so no need to use my corrective bonus pack). Interesting as the exchange is, it has to end somehow. Coming to “diminishing returns” there.

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