Hello, Hell. Thy name is Philippines.

Sister Mary John Mananzan, EDSA 32nd Anniversary [Photo by Angie De Silva via Rappler]

By Joe America

We passed two historical milestones this past weekend: (1) another year afer the 1986 People Power rebellion with related pushback against a budding Duterte dictatorship, and (2) the first anniversary of the jailing of Senator De Lima. These celebrations, if one can celebrate achievement and cruelty as passages, good and bad, were rich with passion and words from notables and regular people alike, posters, banners, tweets, Facebook notes, newspaper articles, blogs, television interviews, and get-togethers large and small.

I was particularly struck by the remarks of a Catholic nun, Sister Mary John Mananzan, at the EDSA celebration, as reported in Rappler.

“We are threatened by something worse than Martial Law,” said activist nun Sister Mary John Mananzan. “We are seeing an erosion of our moral fiber as a people.”

Mananzan made these remarks in an interview with reporters Saturday, February 24, the eve of the anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Mananzan spoke on the sidelines of the Walk for Life, an event to condemn killings in the Philippines.

Explaining the Philippines’ loss of its moral fiber, Mananzan cited the “loss of respect for people, for life, for law,” as well as current moves to “ram down our throats” a new Constitution.

Mananzan, a feminist and former president of Saint Scholastica’s College, also mentioned “the crassest and the most objectionable and the most obnoxious machismo,” sexism, and misogynism that she has ever heard.

She said it seems “there’s a breakdown of rational governance.”

She states as plain as day the horror that is emerging today in the Philippines as we ride a wave of wickedness that is leading away from responsible freedom and its generous gift, self-determination. It is leading away from the Constitution, a moral document that protects us all.

On reading the good sister’s words, my associative brain immediately made two lists, those women who are prominent in speaking out for responsible freedom under democracy and human rights, and those men who are prominent in speaking out for subjugation.

Most Filipinos only know the latter, so it is easy to see why they are comfortable with a leader who seems like he will deploy the tools of subjugation in their interest. They imagine the subjugation of the elites, the trapos and privileged rich people who have only given them dirt. Freedom is outside their vocabulary, and, indeed, outside their soul. A person can’t fully imagine what it is like to fly unless he has risen high above the clouds and felt the rush of cool air across his feathers.

But I fear I am meandering from my point.

Look at how good women are being abused in the Philippines today. Prominent women speaking for freedom include government-demeaned Vice President Leni Robredo, incarcerated Senator Leila De Lima, villainized journalist Maria Ressa, and harassed human rights activist Senator Risa Hontiveros. There are many, many more, bloggers and journalists and student activists . . . and nuns . . . who advocate for democracy and human rights and, if they have a loud voice, are attacked by the government’s agents. Some 1,800 of them, if I understand correctly, being paid for by taxpayers.

Strangely, there are no other legislative women outspoken for democracy, nor does the list include the alleged women’s rights advocate Gabriela, which now represents women who have ‘crossed over’. And there are plenty of them, the Usons, Acostas, Cams and like-minded manipulators and game-players.

As my mind continued to toy with associations, it switched from women to men. I immediately attached to Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre because he had just threatened to hold in contempt anyone who claimed the jailing of Senator De Lima was on fake charges. Talk about someone who is opposed to our freedoms . . .

“Every Hitler has his Goebbels.”

That’s what one part of my brain then said to another.

Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. He is commonly cited as one of the principle architects and enablers of the dictatorship and its ruthless methods. He directed millions of Jews to the gas chambers.

Well, Aguirre was the name that popped into my mind, and maybe it more properly should have been PCOO head Martin Andanar or social media architect Nic Gabunada or selfie king and presidential shadow Bong Go. But any would have worked, given that we are talking morality and there is not a lot of it in Philippine government today. For today’s State ministers, truth, compassion, and fairness are flexible . . . used or abused as the case warrants . . . to silence people who are in the way or who can be demonized as excuses to wield power against everyone.

The truth is that ‘Goebbels’ in the Philippines is probably a committee. They are entitled, have loud voices in media (mainstream media here are propaganda vendors, not journalists), they are likely acquiring riches and pieces of the realm, and they are determined to subjugate us, the commoners and ‘yellows’ alike. They use power as a cloak to threaten, intimidate, jail, or murder moral Filipinos.

You can easily identify these people because they always hold that their view is the one correct, superior, and patriotic one, and anyone who objects is a destabilizer (seditious), terrorist, or traitor. Their thinking is devoid of the moral anchors of kindness and fairness, so lies, deceits, and cruelty are commonplace. Their way and their words are always perfect so there can never be any accountability for mistakes or horrors or damages that occur on their watch. They deploy thousands to undermine civility and honesty, blame innocents, and spin fictional tales of achievement.

There are lots of them, because . . . in a poor nation . . . greed is too often a cancer that attaches to the character of people who can sniff riches just ahead. Many notable Filipinos display the symptoms, cabinet officials, senators of distinguished families who have turned, most of the House, most of the Supreme Court, various entertainers, journalists who prostitute their writings and journalistic integrity, legislators, mayors, and . . . yes, Sister, so sorry . . . a lot of priests.

The Philippines is headed down a dark path right now as so many Filipinos work to rip asunder the values and laws that hold a moral nation together.

This has become a place where good and kind people are the hunted and about 80% of the nation are hunters of no conscience whatsoever, a pack of savages whose thinking embraces greed, ignorance, self-justification, fallacious reasoning, and an emotional need to punish.

Hello, Hell. Thy name is Philippines.


117 Responses to “Hello, Hell. Thy name is Philippines.”
  1. edgar lores says:

    The name — and face — that popped into my mind was Harry Roque.

  2. Andrew Craig-Bennett says:

    Quite right, Joe.

    As my eye ran down a thread of hundreds of posts of vituperative and vile abuse on Facebook, triggered by a moro-moro display of telenovela fake outrage by that very silly woman Sasot, who might be described as a walking, talking, wiggling demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I found myself actually starting to despise the people of the Philippines. Yes, I have good friends amongst them, and there are Filipinos, and more particularly Filipinas, like Sister Mary John, whom I do not know but whom I admire, but they seem to be a tiny minority in a nation of people who are essentially contemptible. A nation whose moral sense is that of a two year old, spoiled, brat.

    I have never thought like this before, and I have known and lived amongst Filipinos for thirty years. But there comes a point where enough is enough.

    A President who urges men not to use condoms, whilst those in his claque encourage parents not to have their children vaccinated.

    Need one say more?

    • No. It is interesting that a ‘people’ are the sum of the moral character and knowledge of all of a nation’s people. The Philippines has definitely gone backward. It’s moral and scholastic teachers have failed.

      Contemptible. Perfect characterization.

  3. The signs of deterioration are everywhere. Flight or fight might be the only recourse soon. My heart breaks for the decent Filipinos/Expats who will suffer from the stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power of the farcical powers that be.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Which is why the Big One, the chastisement that will cause everything to crumble, crumble, crumble is likely to occur within this administration’s term.

    It will remind a people who have kept their religious traditions intact but rarely understood and applied them, of what is right and what is wrong and that there is a God, and He does not have feet of clay made from fake news, revisionist history, cruelty, devious manipulation and deception.

    Woe unto this country.

  5. madlanglupa says:

    Ontopic: If we need to personify what the government is like, it’s a street lout dressed sloppily in a barong tagalog, exhibiting antisocial behavior in general but otherwise goes unusually straight in the presence of an Imperial China.

    Offtopic: Someone has the TV tuned to the “neu” PTV4, with the self-righteous Tulfo at his pulpit. Shameless bastard.

    Somewhat Offtopic: How to define treason gathered in one room.

    • Stunning, isn’t it? To have so little pride in being Filipino, and to think that China will respect the nation and its citizens.

      • https://www.facebook.com/doyromero/posts/10155837400813880?pnref=story Prof. Doy Romero:


        A few weeks ago, an EU ambassador posted in Sri Lanka repeated to me what a Chinese diplomat told him: “No big deal. The Philippines is not even a real country.” Nasaktan talaga ako.

        • Francis says:

          My only thought, in response to that Chinese diplomat:


          Xi Jinping is consolidating power and appears to be reversing what institutionalization Deng managed to put up. I’ve heard someone on the internet point out that Xi is obssessed with avoiding the fate of Gorbachev—only that he believes that it is the party, the nomenklatura that is at fault: in order to succeed, not a politburo of partymen but one strongman. Hence, Xi wants to open the possibility of being President-for-Life.

          Hubris, is the fault of a wanna-be superpower that fails to realize it will never have the overwhelming influence America once had, being the only major power untouched by world war and thus able to literally remake the world in her image. Hubris, is the fault of one that fails to realize that there are many potential rivals in Asia (India) and even Africa that won’t stand for being bullied, that just as much citizens (billions, hundreds of millions) as China does and can therefore be in the same weight class. Hubris, is the fault of a nation that thinks it can control every single citizen in an Orwellian social credit system and get away with it.

          Hubris, cometh before the fall.

        • NHerrera says:

          It is right for you, Irineo, to be hurt. Any Filipino with a modicum of self-esteem should be. I translate that offending phrase to:

          * real country for real humans;
          * not real country for not real humans.

          We may be outraged or hurt but that may be the result of what you quoted from Lustre in the previous blog and what the current blog article describes.

          • NHerrera says:

            If that comes from a Chinese Diplomat, it is shuddering how we will be treated not only by the Chinese Leaders but the ordinary Mainland Chinese and even the Filipino-Chinese whose heart beats more for China than for the PH — when the PH becomes a Chinese Province. Worse than the stories in Rizal’s Noli.

            • madlanglupa says:

              Most Fil-Chinese are much less thrilled about being associated with the Mainlanders, mainly because some of them are very boorish creatures.

            • With the present Mainland imperialism plus racism and precedents in Tibet and Xinjiang, there is a distinct possibility of similar policies like those in occupied WW2 Poland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Government#DemographicsIn 1940 the population was segregated into different groups. Each group had different rights, food rations, allowed strips in the cities, public transportation and restricted restaurants. They were divided from the most privileged, to the least.

              1. Germans from Germany (Reichdeutsche),
              2. Germans from outside, active ethnic Germans, Volksliste category 1 and 2 (see Volksdeutsche).
              3. Germans from outside, passive Germans and members of families (this group also included some ethnic Poles), Volksliste category 3 and 4,
              4. Ukrainians,
              5. Highlanders (Goralenvolk) – an attempt to split the Polish nation by using local collaborators
              6. Poles (partially exterminated),
              7. Gypsies (eventually largely exterminated as a category),
              8. Jews (eventually largely exterminated as a category).

            • sonny says:

              Heard similar horror stories from condo staff at Newport Condo complex: Mgmt helplessly kowtowing to Chinese boorish behavior.

  6. Sup says:

    How to make money ”serving government” in a poor nation……

    Arroyo (without siblings) from this:





    Click to access saln.networth.31Dec2016.pdf

    (nr 11 in the pdf file)

    • karlgarcia says:

      There are billionaires in the chart, methinks she and her family have more assets than them.
      Mike Arroyo, who is a son tua ( the richest chinoy family once upon a time) narrated all of these during a senate hearing.

      • Sup says:

        Foundations and NGOs Family member/s involved (Relationship) Address Date formed
        1 Kaibigan ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Foundation Inc. Jose Miguel (husband); Juan Miguel (son); Ignacio Arroyo (brother-in-law) 8/F, LTA Bldg., Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City 17-Jun-99
        2 Amigo Foundation Diosdado Arroyo (son) 8/F, LTA Bldg., 118 Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City 9-Dec-05
        3 Kababaihan Para Kay Gloria At Sa Bayan (KAGABAY NI GLO) Association Inc. Diosdado Arroyo (son); Ma. Victoria Arroyo (daughter-in-law) 7/F Ortigas Bldg., Ortigas Center, Pasig City 9-Feb-04
        4 GLOW (Gloria’s League of Women) Inc. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo (sister-in-law); Alicia Rita-Ignacio (sister-in-law) No. 16 Badjao St., La Vista Subdivision, Quezon City (residential address of Marilou) 20-Jun-97
        5 First Gentleman Foundation Inc Jose Miguel Arroyo (husband) 4/F Dominga Bldg., 2113 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City 28-May-02
        6 Ateneo Law Class ’72 Foundation, Inc. Jose Miguel Arroyo (husband) 8/F, LTA Bldg., 118 Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City 14-Mar-96
        7 Centrist Democract International Asia-Pacific (CDI-Asia-Pacific) Inc. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 6F Glass Tower bldg. 115 Carlos Palanca St. Legaspi, Makati, Metro Manila 4-Jul-05
        8 Circulo Pampangueno of Guam, Inc. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 68 Kalayaan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City 29-Aug-97
        9 For the Glory of Children Foundation Diosdado Macapagal Jr. (brother) Metro Manila 7-Feb-00
        10 Kasangga and Gabay Foundation / Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. Unit C 102 Ritz Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City 28-Dec-05
        11 GMA 2010 Movement, Inc. 511 Cementina cor. Tramo St., Pasay City 14-Jun-04
        12 Ginintuang at Makabayang Alay (GMA) Foundation no record (SEC online) no record (SEC online)
        13 Lualhati Foundation Inc. 8/F, LTA Building, Legaspi Village, Makati City 30-Apr-93
        14 Bigkis Pinoy Foundation, Inc. 3/F Guadalupe Commercial Complex, Guadalupe, Makati 21-Jul-99


  7. karlgarcia says:

    Joe asked Irineo to copy paste his comment.


    Gangtas and cabals.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    I keep on psyching my self that this will all pass and we could make it work etc,
    Where are we even headed?

    US journos now are Trum is doing a Duterte with his death penalty proposal.
    Trump even praised Durte for killing drug dealers.

    Good thing fhere is someome here to greet Joe and us a good morning almost every new post.

    • Sup says:

      ”I keep on psyching my self that this will all pass and we could make it work”

      Did the Germans ever elected any family member of Hitler again?
      Did the Italians ever elected any family member of Mussolini again?

      ”PCIJ cross-checked the Sandiganbayan database with the official list of candidates for senator, congressman, governor, vice governor, provincial board member, mayor, vice mayor, and councilors in the May 2013 elections from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

      The database of the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court on cases filed from 1979 to 2012 shows that at least 504 candidates who ran in last month’s elections are respondents in 1,883 cases for graft and other crimes.

      Of the 504 candidates with cases, 256 were elected or re-elected in the latest balloting, which drew a total of 45,147 candidates for all positions.

      To be sure, the number of candidates who are accused in other criminal or civil cases could be much bigger, if only a fuller study were done to cover the records of the regional trial courts across the nation.”

        • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Mafia#Post-feudal_Sicily

          The Mafia began in the 19th century. Modern scholars believe that the seeds were planted in the upheaval of Sicily’s transition out of feudalism beginning in 1812 and its later annexation by mainland Italy in 1860. Under feudalism, the nobility owned most of the land and enforced law and order through their private armies. After 1812, the feudal barons steadily sold off or rented their lands to private citizens. Primogeniture was abolished, land could no longer be seized to settle debts, and one fifth of the land became private property of the peasants.[27] After Italy annexed Sicily in 1860, it redistributed a large share of public and church land to private citizens. The result was a huge increase in landowners — from 2,000 in 1812 to 20,000 by 1861.[28] With this increase in property owners and commerce came more disputes that needed settling, contracts that needed enforcing, transactions that needed oversight, and properties that needed protecting. The barons were releasing their private armies to let the state take over the job of enforcing the law, but the new authorities were not up to the task, largely due to their inexperience with capitalism.[29] Lack of manpower was also a problem; there were often fewer than 350 active policemen for the entire island. Some towns did not have any permanent police force, only visited every few months by some troops to collect malcontents, leaving criminals to operate with impunity in the interim.[30] Compounding these problems was banditry; rising food prices,[28] the loss of public and church lands,[27] and the loss of feudal commons pushed many desperate peasants to steal. In the face of rising crime, booming commerce, and inefficient authorities, property owners turned to extralegal arbitrators and protectors. These extralegal protectors eventually organized themselves into the first Mafia clans.

          In countryside towns that lacked formal constabulary, local elites responded to banditry by recruiting young men into “companies-at-arms” to hunt down thieves and negotiate the return of stolen property, in exchange for a pardon for the thieves and a fee from the victims.[31] These companies-at-arms were often made up of former bandits and criminals, usually the most skilled and violent of them.[28] This saved communities the trouble of training their own policemen, but it may have made the companies-at-arms more inclined to collude with their former brethren rather than destroy them.[28] Scholars such as Salvatore Lupo have identified these groups as “proto-Mafia”.

        • Sup says:

          2013 elected…….war ended 1945..68 years after…….

          Elected because there are a lot of Filipino’s in italy?




          • The French also elected Louis-Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon I, in the 19th century. “Funny” that he said he would stay democratic, then declared a dictatorship as Napoleon III. But people were disappointed by the restoration of royalty after Napoleon I, and there was enormous nostalgia for the old times. They said “the Bourbons (royal family) have forgotten and learned nothing”. What ended Napoleon III’s rule was his losing in war to Bismarck..

  9. Women were also an essential part of the anti-Marcos struggle: (I am not surprised that then and now, a thuggish and toxic kind of “masculinity” was and is again promoted to isolate women)

    https://www.facebook.com/tonylavs/posts/10156211407206967?pnref=story Prof. La Vina:

    In the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship, several mothers stand out. One of the most famous is Lorena Barros, mother to one son, who was killed by the military. She represents many mothers in the anti-Marcos struggle who made great sacrifices leaving their children to their families, including to their mothers who raised their children for them.

    One such mother was Paula Carolina Malay, among others co-founder with her husband Dean Armando Malay of Kapatid, an organization of families of political prisoners. Bantayog ng mga Bayani describes what Paula, also known as Ayi, did during the Marcos years:

    “She visited jails, raised funds, and distributed news bulletins from the underground and alternative press. She marched in the streets, waved placards and signed petitions.She wrote letters of appeal to friends abroad, prompting them to pressure their own governments to oppose Marcos’ repressive rule . . . Likewise, she tried to do what she could for the families of imprisoned peasants and workers. All of them could come any time and unburden themselves for a while—and Ayi would cry along with them, sharing her own worries and problems.”

    One must not of course forget the mothers Ninoy Aquino left behind: Doña Aurora Aquino, his mother, and Corazon C. Aquino, the mother of Ninoy’s five children and the country’s first post-Marcos President. The nation will always be grateful for the grace and strength of these mothers in the days following Ninoy’s assassination when the country could have descended into chaos.
    Going to the present, I would like to honor the mothers of the two missing University of the Philippines students—Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño. Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeño have been unrelenting in their search for their daughters, including making sure that General Jovito Palparan, accused of being responsible for their abduction, is brought to justice. In the same way, Edita Burgos is also to be praised for her determination and persistence in looking for her son Jonas.

    During these times, I definitely honor Senator Leila de Lima, mother of two sons. She does not deserve to be in prison. I am sure she will be vindicated soon.

    • There you go again, doing your psychic readings. Or I have a mole among my editorial staff. Women in the Philippines is the subject of this coming Friday’s article.

      • You did mention women in this article..

        BTW PAB is back online.

        • karlgarcia says:

          You just don’t want to admit that you are a psychic.

        • Sup says:

          PAB again offline…..Error 521……..every time you write about Marcos the trolls toast your page with cyber attacks..Same happens to Raissa
          For sure the trolls are working/paid by Marcos even Nieto, Sass, Mocha..all of them are in pictures with Bong Bong…

        • edgar lores says:

          PAB has now DDoS protection.

          DDoS is “distributed denial of service.” It means “the intentional paralysing of a computer network by flooding it with data sent simultaneously from many individual computers.”

          It might also mean Duterte Destruction of Soc-med.

          • NHerrera says:

            Curious: does “distributed denial of service” — in this case the network which wants to do damage to PAB, thereby protecting PAB — really work?

            • Entities such as Cloudfare offer protection and assistance during and after an attack.


              • NHerrera says:

                Truly, the cyber-world has only scratched the surface: with a cyber-weapon comes a counter. And the cycle begins anew. China with its money and plenty of people with expertise, it is a must field to master for internal and external politics. Thanks, JP.

            • edgar lores says:

              If you are a business and you are attacked by many, many bots, you won’t be able to “service” regular customer requests or demands. This is the “denial of service.”

              “Distributed” refers to many, many enemy bots. This is the enemy network that is attacking your business (or PAB).

              There is a software company that offers a tool to protect against an enemy network consisting of many, many bots.

              So DDoS protection means that your business (or PAB) is protected from these bots that are attempting to shut down access to your site (or PAB’s) by not letting regular customers get through.

              I guess the protection software’s algorithm would be to compare your IP address against the bots’ IP addresses.

              Hope I explained it.

          • PAB posted a tweet announcing her site was temporarily out of service during transfer to servers with more capacity.

  10. NHerrera says:


    Our favorite opinion writer MLQ3 has an interesting article on what he calls the already decided items — the third telco going to China; the House deliberation on Sereno’s Impeachment; the Constitutional Change — and the associated softening charade.

    MLQ3 ends with: But if everything is already decided why does it all seem stuck? Because we forget the miracle cure: guns.


    May I invite others in TSH to translate the quoted sentence. Those who know MLQ3 better may translate this better than I can.

  11. edgar lores says:


    Just yesterday, Feb 28, 2018, this blog has voluntarily signed off “due to strong complaint from a government official.”

    All posts have been removed.

    The author has decided to sacrifice his “freedom of speech for the sake of peace.”

    M.C.I. has made several posts to TSOH. This was the latest:


    This is M.C.I.’ valedictory:


    Hello, Hell. The noose is tightening.

  12. NHerrera says:


    George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures (GPF) writes of a generational period of roughly 20 years from 1900, tracing the start and end of big ticket items in geopolitics.

    He calls the start of the current era as 2008 (the previous one he said started in 1991). Thus, we are in the middle era of the current one. He ends his article with, “For better or worse, this too shall pass.”


    • karlgarcia says:

      Thanks NH,
      This too shall pass.
      I remember sharing a couple of George Friedman’s articles here and with you giving your take on them.

      His 20 year snapshots described what happened to Germany, the USSR and now Russia. (and US and the rest of the major players).

  13. NHerrera says:


    1. Granted there are allegations of inappropriate behavior by CJ Sereno, inside and outside the SC which calls for Impeachment.

    2. The process has started at the House of Representatives which process only the naïve will say will not lead to Impeachment.

    3. Also, it is a foregone conclusion that when the Impeachment is made by the HR, the Senate will follow with a Trial, again only the naïve will say the Senate will not hold a trial.

    4. Everyone and their uncles, except for a few, says the evidence against Sereno is overwhelming.

    5. Why then the undue haste of the SC Magistrates to force her to take a leave? If she has to take a leave for wellness and or to prepare for her defense in the Senate Trial, let it be her choice without being forced.

    6. (SC the font of Judicial Wisdom, to my mind, is acting indeed as hoodlum in robes. Thanks, ERAP, for your wisdom.)

    • NHerrera says:

      I say Item 5 because any day now, in early March, the Impeachment Articles will be sent to the Senate — so the leave forced on their colleague is already a foregone conclusion in a matter of days. If such action is made by a bunch of HS kids, it may be understandable, but the SC Justices, for goodness’ sakes…

    • The pettiness is beyond belief. The justices, several of whom spent hours whining before the House impeachment panel about administrative decisions of the Chief Justice, complained about CJ Sereno’s spokespeople explaining her leave yesterday, and they did it in a formal announcement. I could not believe the smallness of mind in the House hearing, and it continues, as if dignity were outside the scope of their comprehension.

    • edgar lores says:

      1. This is a very muddled case.

      2. The core of the case now is The Missing SALNs. The contention is that Sereno should not have been appointed as CJ because she failed to meet the JBC requirement of submitting SALNs for the past 10 years. She only submitted 3. Gadon claims that Sereno did not submit 17 SALNs while she was employed at UP for 2 decades.

      2.1. When she applied for the position of CJ, Sereno wrote a letter to the JBC saying she could not locate her SALNs and that she had no access to the documents. Presumably, by the latter, she meant access to her UP office.

      2.1.1. Her letter was accepted. Escudero said an effort to comply with the requirements was good enough.

      2.1.2. JBC head, Justice Diosdado Peralta, claims he had no knowledge of the missing requirement. He said he would have not have agreed to Sereno’s inclusion in the shortlist had he known. He is being disingenuous.

      2.1.3. PNoy is right in saying he is not liable for the JBC’s misfeasance.

      2.1.4. Teresita de Castro accuses Sereno of deception.

      3. Was there deception?

      3.1. As a law professor, Sereno would have known the importance of submitting SALNs.

      3.2. Angela Escoto, UP HRDO, states she could not recall any instance of professors failing to file their SALNs, which were forwarded to the Ombudsman every year. She was only able to locate Sereno’s 2002 SALN. She surmised her predecessor, Dakila Fernando, had passed them on to the Ombudsman.

      3.3. The other candidates for the position of CJ fully met the requirement except for Sereno and one other, who had left government practice for some years. Sereno was also in private practice for 3 years (2007-2009) between her years as UP professor (1986-2006) and her appointment as associate justice (2010).

      3.4. It is apparent that most justices — and perhaps most government employees — keep copies of their SALNs.

      3.5. I surmise Sereno did too. I surmise her defense will be:

      o She did file her SALNs yearly and faithfully.
      o Her personal copies were kept in her office (?) at UP.
      o She didn’t own a house until she was able to buy one from her PIATCO earnings. This was between 2004-2009.
      o She tried to get her SALNs from UP in 2012 but did not have access.

      3.6. To the SC justices, the SALN is a very important document partly as a result of the Corona case. So that when they learned Sereno did not comply with the JBC requirement, much less may not have filed SALNs for 17 years, they would have been enraged. Perhaps, justifiably enraged. Some would have felt the position of CJ might have been stolen from them.

      4. Was the en banc right in turning on Sereno and demand she go on leave, or worse, resign?

      4.1. The en banc is a strange animal. It defines its own boundaries.

      4.2. I think from a legal standpoint, the en banc cannot make demands on the personal privileges of a member, whether to go on leave or to resign. But such is the nature of the beast that it would pre-empt the Legislature in the judgment of a colleague.

      4.3. I believe that on that Tuesday en banc meeting, the august justices had turned into a lynch mob. No one gave Sereno the benefit of the doubt. And Sereno would not justify herself, reserving her defense for the impeachment trial.

      And no one had the perspicacity to step back and ask, “What are we doing?”

      4.4. I can see the reason for their rage against Sereno, I do not condone their actions. Everyone had forgotten their law.

      • edgar lores says:

        On 3.6, I place the onus of responsibility on the JBC.

      • That is a mess and probably gives fence-sitters in the Senate the grappling hook they need to appear righteous by impeaching a yellow Chief Justice. The river is flowing one direction, and it is not a kindly direction, even if Chief Justice Sereno is a decent person. I now understand why people go to extra lengths in the Philippines to blame and make excuses and deny accountability for anything but raging successes. There is no latitude for mistakes . . . in a nation that is fundamentally full of them.

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is Rappler’s report: Sereno’s indefinite leave a ‘consensus’ of SC en banc (12:13 PM, March 01, 2018)

        MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) en banc announced on Thursday, March 1, that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s indefinite leave was a consensus of all the justices present during the session on Tuesday, February 27.

        “The justices present arrived at a consensus that the Chief Justice should take an indefinite leave,” SC Spokesman Theodore Te said on Thursday, reading the joint statement of the justices.

        The joint statement was signed by all 13 justices, with the exception of Sereno and Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa who was on leave.


        • caliphman says:

          This is definitely one of the most sordid chapters of the Philippines hellish descent into the abyss. When legislators as a whole act in their self-interest, as spineless lackeys for a looming dictatorship, as a tool for needlessly changing the constitution so that it denies rather than protects the basic freedoms and rights of the people…and now the last judicial bastion of constitutional democracy shows that en banc it is not the welfare of the country or its people which concerns it most but removing its leader ahead of and in concert with the efforts of a political kangaroo court intent on toppling her. When that happens, the dismantling of democracy in the Philippines will be complete.

          There are those who lay the blame for the Holocaust at the feet of the six million prisoners for acting like sheep being led to slaughter. It is not farfetched to lay the ultimate responsibility for the demise of our democracy on the tens of millions of Filipinos who not only stood idly by but in their public and overwhelming support of Duterte and his lackeys have effectively conspired and collaborated in their own political extinction.

        • Jozy posted in her FB page what supposedly went on at the SC en bank on February 27.

          It does NOT indicate that all 13 justices are for her removal. Only that all 13 agree with CJ taking an indefinite leave for different reasons.
          The CJ has released a statement to clarify and to apologize for the confusion (photo 6), and to explain the need to apply her available leave days because, after all, her indefinite leave is not an infinite leave.
          Bottomline: CJ Sereno is not resigning. Her detractors do not hold a strong majority in the Supreme Court. Leonen is Anakin.”

  14. andrewlim8 says:

    American joke for the day:

    How can Trump give hicks hope when Hope Hicks resigned? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. Micha says:

    She said it seems “there’s a breakdown of rational governance.”

    Rational governance.

    A broad phrase, for sure. What the good sister might be referring to in this case is the misguided war on drugs.

    But rational governance could also mean, among a whole host of other things, that the Philippine gov’t should rediscover and assert its monetary sovereignty.

    Many of the ills that plague the country could be solved if, in that aspect of governance called monetary and fiscal policy, the established outdated rules would be scrapped and replaced by a new economic paradigm.

  16. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    This is for the Wakalugto (FEW and not many in TSoH) everywhere who thirst for INFO about badness in God’s universe, particularly the good earth. .

    Read about it so as not to condemn the US government for USA’s mistaken hegemonic relations with members of the Free World. Few bad eggs could spoil a continental basketful. Same for the Philippines. Read deep inside the ATLANTIC long piece. . . . .


    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      The ATLANTIC lengthy article gets more interesting from midway to its ending, Philippines gets mentioned there.

    • NHerrera says:

      Interesting, reads like the stuff shady characters in spy novels are made of.

      About Washington, here is a short sentence The Atlantic wrote which seems to summarize the long article: “He [Manafort] weakened the capital’s ethical immune system.”

      And, hey, there is a picture in the article of Marcos who Manafort is supposed to have advised too.

  17. madlanglupa says:

    Offttopic: Herewith a man who fears a particular UN official, especially a woman, directs the PNP and the military not to answer any questions from the UN, and then he harrumphs with finality that his symbolic “jetski” promise to figuratively defend the interests of the nation is… indeed, a joke.

    Bet one of the only men laughing is that shadowy Ambassador.

    • NHerrera says:

      I see from the above that the wooing is relentless:

      Duterte: I would like to address this to all: Do not ever, ever insult men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    • edgar lores says:

      Duterte is the stereotype of the trickster.

      Why believe anything he says? There is no truth in him.

  18. PNoy hurdled the Dengvaxia controversy. The committee cleared him of any wrongdoing for the procurement of the dengue vaccine.

    I guess his detractors will file another complaint about him and will not stop until they find something that will send him to jail. To them, I say, goodluck. This is what happen when you have an ex-president with good moral values. He made mistakes but he upheld the laws in his actions.

    The positive thing about all these vengefulness against him is that Filipinos are learning the sharp contrast between the expresident and the incumbent’s character.


  19. NHerrera says:

    Trump is making sense on guns as much as can expected for a Republican. I hope he is firm and follows through.

    After a wide-ranging, televised meeting Wednesday at the White House, Democrats walked away stunned and with some tepid optimism that something substantial could happen on guns, while Republicans appeared flummoxed.

    After all, President Donald Trump had defied traditional GOP orthodoxy on an issue as essential to the Republican brand as any: guns.

    And unlike earlier meetings where Trump has embraced bipartisanship without any specificity, Trump was explicit about what he wanted Wednesday. On camera, he’d pushed to raise the age at which an individual can purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 even after a weekend lunch with officials from the National Rifle Association, who have publicly opposed the change. Trump called to expand background checks and told the House’s Majority Whip Steve Scalise that a concealed carry bill would never pass attached to legislation to incentivize states to enter data into the national background checks database.


  20. FilAms and Americans protesting PRD’s war on drugs. Trump’s PH style war on drugs trial balloon being shot down. IMHO, he can try but the police will not heed him and right thinking Americans will bodily drag him out of the White House if he does.


  21. karlgarcia says:

    I am proud of former Senator Biazon.

    “Biazon calls on soldiers to defend Constitution, fight ‘RevGov’

    FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — Soldiers must do their duty and defend the 1987 Constitution amid threats to introduce federalism through extralegal means, such as a revolutionary government, or “RevGov,” former Sen. Rodolfo Biazon said on Saturday during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming here.

    Biazon, who served as Armed Forces chief of staff in 1991, said the Constitution was a “living” document that should change with the times.

    But altering the charter to replace the unitary government with a federal system required lawmakers to take their time and follow the process, he said.

    Apolitical soldiers

    The former Marine general said establishing a revolutionary government now “cannot be done under the present system, outside … the Constitution.”

    “So anyone … who establishes a revolutionary government has attacked the Constitution,” said Biazon, who was awarded the PMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Soldiers should remain apolitical, he said on the sidelines of the event that was attended by hundreds of active and retired military and police officers.


    “The soldiers can step in should there be a breach against the Constitution … Anything that will be done to effect changes outside the constitutional process … they are duty-bound to protect the Constitution,” the former senator said.

    Both chambers of Congress have started tackling proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, which was forged by a constitutional convention after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by a popular uprising in February 1986.

    Lawmakers agreed to become a constituent assembly only to be polarized over whether the Senate’s votes must be counted separately from the House votes when a draft charter is crafted.

    In November last year, President Rodrigo Duterte broached the idea of forming a revolutionary government instead to force bureaucratic changes.

    The late President Corazon Aquino also set up a revolutionary government in 1986, but the 1987 Constitution reestablished regular government.

    A movement formed in the provinces has been advocating RevGov in support of Mr. Duterte’s suggestion.

    In an ambush interview after the parade, Biazon also said the country must continue objecting to breaches of its territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

    No way militarily

    “One avenue we can take is to file diplomatic protests every time our interest is violated. We have to examine the realities on the ground … Militarily … no way. But there are international courts; there is international law,” said the former lawmaker, a member of PMA Class of 1961.

    On Friday, the 500-strong Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 arrived at Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan province, to help secure Philippine Rise.”


  22. May the Almighty Father have mercy and grace upon our country. Lord forgive us our sins.
    Cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. Create in us a loving and forgiving heart. In Jesus Most Precious Name. Amen and Amen🙏🙏🙏

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