What’s Happening to Leni Robredo?

Angat Buhay Village Groundbreaking, Marawi

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

In Agutaya, a town on the coast of northern Palawan, Vice President Leni Robredo found occasion to manifest her grit and passion. To reach it, you have to travel over land and sea for 12 hours. The children of Agutaya do not grow to full height because of malnutrition. Electricity visits 12 hours a day. Townsfolk have no potable water. Seaweed farming, the inhabitants’ main industry, bear fruit only when the islanders can borrow boats from more prosperous fisherfolk in other communities. Agutaya barangays have had school buildings, until super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) erased them from the face of a cruel world.

Today, 300 homes have electricity, thanks to solar panels contributed by ASA Philippines Foundation and Team Energy. The sponsors taught the islanders how to take care of solar panels to make them last. St. Theresa’s college alumnae donated fiberglass boats. Deepwell pumps are sprouting all over the place. “Yung Andres Soriano Foundation, naglalagay na ngayon ng water system du’n,” VP Leni said. The school has been rebuilt, and to add flourish to this love feast, the children have a feeding program and their own playground.

Modernity spawned another problem: children do not want to go home at night, reveling in the slides.

By gift of electricity, islanders can work even at night to make buri hats which are sold to the rich and famous in Amanpulo.

“Yung nag-VP na ‘ko, kung naaalala mo yung sabi ni Presidente before the inauguration na he was not intending to give me any Cabinet position, sinabi niya nu’n,” she said, recalling a difficult time in her job. “So sinabi ko sa staff ko na, ‘Hindi tayo puwedeng mag-six years na ceremonial lang ang ating trabaho. Hanap tayo ng gagawin’.”

The concept she thought of to promote Angat Buhay is like speed dating. Government through OVP trained the mayors of target municipalities so they could push their projects. In the first break-out meeting, private corporations and foundations hooked up with mayors. OVP is the Office of the Vice President.

“Kung ano ng swak sa kanila, doon sila. More than 700 pledges ang natanggap namin from private partners during the Angat Buhay launch. The entire year, ‘yun ‘yung ginagawa. Pero dahil marami pang communities na lumalapit sa amin na nakakaalam, ‘yung tinantaggap namin, hanggang… after one year, ‘yung target naming 50, naging 173. So nasa 173 communities, pa second year na kami ngayon. At ano, ‘yung kagandahan, not only dumadagdag ‘yung mga partners namin, pero ‘yung mga dati nang tumulong, gusto pang tumulong,” VP Leni said.

Agutaya Palawan-STCQCAA boats

So, what’s happening to Leni Robredo

the great hope of the opposition? She with the heart of Cory and the can-do and charm of Imelda?

Wait, before we leave Angat Buhay. I have to record this like a photographer. She is like a child on a slide, her eyes wide with excitement in her narrative on her centerpiece offering to the country—Angat Buhay—as it touches the lives of the lost, last and least.

The highest point in her job as vice president is Angat Buhay. “’Yung every time we go down sa communities, na nakikia mo ‘yung transformation,” she said.

Perhaps it was God’s will that she should lose her place in the cabinet, because having come from the middle forces—educated individuals with modest means but with sky’s-the-limit dreams—she will yield to her propensity to help the poor.

I interviewed her in a hotel in Naga city

a place given up for dead many times in its storied existence. Storms would almost wipe it out and the city at the foot of Mount Isarog had to start near zero again. Corruption does the most damage to a serene and loving people, born and raised in the country’s center of Marian devotion. Nagueños have a special name for Mother Mary, like a password: Ina.

Her husband Jesse won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service, having given Naga city a new lease in life. From a land frozen in time, it has become a hub of commerce, the place brimming with shops and business establishments that would have been impossible before Jesse took over as mayor. Perhaps Naga is a reflection of the country: being given up for dead. We need public servants like Jesse Robredo and former President Noynoy Aquino to confront its problems and proceed to solve them.

We wait for deliverance, could it come from another Robredo, Jesse’s wife?

Welcome to her world, by way of this interview:

She has power. How will she handle it? People hang on to her every word.

“Ako kasi, tingin ko, parang may timing lahat, eh. ‘Yung para sa akin, ‘pag nagsalita ako sa lahat na issues, makakasama ako kesa makakabuti, kasi ‘pag may nangyari, ako ‘yung… ako ‘yung second-in-line, eh. ‘Pag sumali ako nang sumali, parating madali nilang bigyan ng kahulugan na nagmamadali ako. Na ‘yun kuwento wala na doon sa isyu, pero sa political ambitions ko.”

I watched her deliver her speech as guest of honor in Partido State University as part of another program of OVP—Istorya ng Pag-asa or INP. OVP combs the country to gather and spread stories that deliver messages of hope where there seems to be none. Stories are homegrown, as the program finds local “INP champs” to kindle hope. Before VP Leni spoke, a former drug addict, Ray Nobleza, recounted in excruciating detail his descent from a promising young man, six feet tall weighing 165 pounds, to a skeletal shadow of himself, all of 110 pounds as he sought nothing but hit after hit. He went into rehab, his handlers simply wanting him to quit cold turkey for just a day, and the next, and the next, until at last he had shed his addiction. Istorya ng Pag-asa. Stories of hope.

Leni said in her speech that there is too much recrimination going on in social media, particularly Facebook. It used to be, she said, Facebook was a way to reconnect with old friends, and she was happy with that. But now, it has become a battleground.

“So this is another way aside from Angat Buhay to change the conversation,” she said. Istorya ng Pag-asa has chapters in key cities, among them Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Baguio, Quezon city, Puerto Princesa, Legazpi, Daet, Naga. Ateneo de Manila University has placed it in its curriculum. “Every Filipino has a Istorya ng Pag-asa,” she said.

Agutaya Palawan

The Office of the Vice President

has compiled more than a hundred stories like Ray’s, stories of ordinary people becoming an inspiration to others stuck in the same dire straits.

There’s too much negativity all around, according to her, so that life becomes burdensome. With Istorya ng Pag-asa, people especially the youth can have an option to forge ahead in spite of all obstacles thrown their way.

But that is not to say that she will not meet fake news head on. “Sa ‘kin, hindi madaling ma ruffle ‘yung aking feathers, eh. Pero may mga bagay na… halimbawa, ‘yung mga tira sa ‘kin, dahil hindi naman totoo, hindi ako na-affect. Pero one time na tinira ‘yung asawa ko, (na fake naman daw ‘yung pagkamabuti), pumalag ako.”

The morning I talked to her (March 14th), when media asked her about the Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim case, she related her words: “Sinabi ko na ‘pag mahirap hindi binibigyan ng pakakataon na magdepensa sa sarili. ‘Pag malalaking tao, hindi lang binibigyan ng pakakataon na magdepensa sa sarili, pero pinapalaya pa. Hindi talaga pantay… ‘Di ba, parang napaka-ironic na si Leila nandu’n dahil sa testimony ni Espinosa, tapos sasabihin mo si Espinosa walang probable cause?”

“Dilawan has become like a cussword,” I said, “so may I ask: are you still dilawan?”

“Oo.” The lady is succinct, delivering every line in the interview with conviction and courage. She is constantly light-hearted—like the eye of the storm, calm—but make no mistake, she knows what she’s doing and she doesn’t skip a beat.

In fact it was from her

that I learned that President Duterte’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court is not an open-and-shut case.

She explained that one, ICC withdrawal may take effect one year after notice; two, the Senate needs to concur since such was necessary to ratify any treaty entered into by the government; and three, that the withdrawal will not affect any ongoing probe or case said to have been done before the withdrawal of the country’s membership in the ICC.

The alleged acts against humanity were committed when the Philippines was a member, she said.

“’Di ka takot mamatay?” I asked, thinking of the dangerous times in which we live.

“No.”

She chooses not to be in a safe place, braving the consequences of her position as chairman of Liberal Party and yet an active participant in governance. The Robredo Paradox.

“Exercises?”

“I walk around our office complex.” Her office used to be the so-called Boracay mansion of former president Erap Estrada. The pool with a white-sand beach is gone, in its place an open-air auditorium that can seat about 500 people.

“I also don a hat so people don’t recognize me when I jog in a public place.”

She does not want to be perceived

as a threat to the powers that be. She wants a partnership in spite of the political beliefs that define her.

“Sa ‘kin kasi, wala naman akong ambisyon. Klaro sa ‘kin kung bakit ako nandito. Tinanggap ko yung hamon, nanalo ako, kailangan kong gawin ‘yung trabaho ko… regardless of party.”

She is still a doting mother

to daughters Aika, Tricia and Jill. She promised to have dinner with them every day in spite of her busy schedule.

“Ang aking wish sana, all dinners will be with my daughters, kaya lang may mga times na hindi talaga kaya. Kung balikan ako from out-of-town trips, nasusunod ang promise ko.”

What are the first things she would do if she succeeds by constitutional provision?

“Ako, paniwala ko gawin ‘yung lahat in strengthening our institutions. Tingin ko ‘yun ‘yung medyo nawarak talaga. Pangalawa, ‘yung rekinding of friendships with other countries. Yung ating foreign policy, talagang kailangang isaayos ulit, i-review ‘yung ating mga desisyon.”

China? Can the loans be rescinded?

“Yes. Pwede.” No emotion. Categorically stated. Delivered matter-of-factly. Eye contact with me for emphasis. Undistracted. Heart.

She added: “Pag-file sana ng artibral… ‘yun sana ‘yung ating opening, na makakakuha na tayo ng international help dahil du’n. Kasi nu’ng una hindi tayo maka-protest kasi merong dispute. Pero ‘yung dispute natapos after nu’ng desisyong ng Tribunal, eh.”

Marawi?

“Siguro I was there… during the siege, siguro four times; after, siguro twice. Pero sa evacuation centers lang. Parati akong nagbibigay ng insights kay Sec. Lorenzana before. What I find out on the ground, pinapasa ko sa kaniya. Halimbawa, one time kausap namin ‘yung mga civil society du’n, ang nirerekalamo nila hindi sila kasama sa usapan. Sinabi ko kay Secretary, ‘Sec, tingin ko mahalaga na from the very strart, kasali na sila kasi kapag nag-rebuild na kayo, masalimuot ito’.”

“So, nag-groundbreaking na kami last week. Ang pangarap sana namin 100 houses, pero ‘yung nakuha naming lupa du’n can only accommodate 74. Gusto naming makaro’n… ma-inaugurate ‘yung houses by June, pero ang kaya lang ng contractor, 60 by June. So hopefully, siguro before October, maka-74 na kami, and by December, maka-100 na kami, kung makakahanap ng lupa.”

“Yung buong pera na dinonate pinapa-deposit na namin sa Xavier (University). In fact, ‘yung sa Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni, sa Xavier na nila binigay. So sila ‘yung… sina Fr. Bob Yap, kasi may experience na silang magpagawa ng ganito.”

Your faith?

“I pray the Holy Rosary bago matulog.” Kneeling down, I asked. “No, nakahiga”

If you were a doctor, what would the country be sick of?

“Maraming sakit, pero siguro kung may isang sakit, amnesia. Parang nakalimutan ‘yung lesson from the past. Parang not too long ago, sinasabi pa natin sa sarili natin, we will not allow this to happen again. And yet here we are.”

If 12 o’clock is the start of civil war, what time would it be now?

“Baka 6 o’clock… kasi ‘yung mga tao ngayon, parang very complacent pa.”

Are you being Gandhi?

“Hindi naman, although isa siya sa mga historical leaders that I look up to. Pero siguro… siguro kung meron mang parallelisms, it’s only the fact na ‘yung siguro pareho ‘yung pinanggalingan… Pareho ‘yung pinanggalingan namin na galing sa tao.”

Scale of job satisfaction, 10 being the highest?

“Seven, kasi marami pa ding frustrations. Maraming frustrations na ‘yung limitations ng office, parang dahil nakikita mo ‘yung… dahil nakikita mo ‘yung actual na kahirapan on the ground, pero limitado masyado ‘yung capacities mo. Halimbawa, two weeks ago, nasa Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte kami. Nag-inaugurate kami doon ng isang project ng Angat Buhay, na ‘yung partner namin nagpatayo ng dormitory upon our request sa isang national high school na napakataas nu’ng dropout rate. Ang dahilan kung bakit napakataas nu’ng drop rate, sobrang daming estudyante ang naglalakad nang napakalayo para lang makarating sa school.” Now, students from distant places can stay near the school without the need to travel long distances.

Parting words?

“Ako, I can (lead), kung ang pakiramdam ko it is time, at kung pakiramdam ko makakabuti ako sa movement. Ako kasi, at this point, pinakamakakabuti sana na mag-lead simbahan, eh. Kasi ‘yung sa ‘kin, masyadong galvanized ‘yung mga tao ngayon.”

“I pray for you every day in Holy Rosary,” I said upon saying goodbye.

“We need all the prayers,” she answered back.

That statement alone tells you how precarious we are as a country, that the second highest official, only a breath away from the presidency, has to invoke God’s omnipotence to help us crawl out of this hole.

 

Comments
182 Responses to “What’s Happening to Leni Robredo?”
  1. methersgate says:

    I have no criticism to make of the Vice President.

    She is doing everything right.

  2. andrewlim8 says:

    to give and not to count the cost,
    to fight and not to heed the wounds,
    to toil and not to seek for rest,
    to labor and not to look for any reward…

  3. Coolasas says:

    If the fake news peddlers are outnumbered by the good news peddlers the Angat Buhay project of the OVP will topple all the bad media we have starting in the fb and eventually people will wake up from being complacent and break away from the crippling amnesia. But as a normal story plot goes the bad wins in the beginning before the good succeed after enduring hardship … that’s our story now, the bad triumph at the moment and I pray that when the good eventually gets a foothold i hope we are not too deep to get out of the sink hole.
    Labanlang VP Leni … you don’t need to speak out loud your actions from the laylayan will do it for you and one day we will wake up to see a better and wiser Philippines.

  4. edgar lores says:

    *******
    The Vice President is a ray of sunshine in the gloom.

    She travels widely to a war-torn place and to the farthest communities. In each, she brings solutions and lays healing hands.

    She is doing what the other government officials, who are so preoccupied with their needs and ambitions, have forgotten — to serve the people.

    From reading, I have a sense that she is being transformed — hardened — into steel.
    *****

  5. Ong-Lo says:

    I’ll always remember Jessie’s “magaling at matino”, why character and competency equally matter. VP lives by it.

  6. NHerrera says:

    What wonderful happening coming from Leni being taken out of the Administration’s Cabinet — a happening driven by her own passion to serve in that unique way. However things turn out, the wealth of experience with the masses will be useful.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      It’s a marathon, VP Leni said in the interview. It’s not a sprint. It’s a plod, not EJK instant gratification.

  7. chemrock says:

    The weapon of tyranny is FEAR. The admin and sycophants in the legislature and judiciary are bringing on the darkness that fans fear.
    The weapon of the people is TRUTH. VP Leni’s advocacy is a ray of sunshine that lights up the way of truth..

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      She doesn’t throw stone for stone. The bread of Angat Buhay and Istorya ng Pag-asa is all that’s in her armory.

  8. Melody Ucang Salise says:

    The hope of our nation… A leader who’s heart like Cory and can-do and charm of Imelda 💖💖💖

  9. My two cents’ worth:
    One, now that school is almost over, millenials can talk about Angat Buhay and Istorya ng Pag-asa in their fb, twitter, instagram accts. Spread the beautiful stories far and wide, inundate cyberspace with truth…the good news….ignore bashers, trolls, paid hacks. Spend energy where it counts.

    Two, on the Church taking the lead….we cannot help but be reminded of the late Cardinal Sin. Of the current bishops in the Catholic Church, three come to mind: Tagle, Villegas and Pabillo. My hope is that Bishop Pabillo will take the lead, although Tagle and Villegas can be counted upon to continue bearing on their spheres of influence. Other churches should be made to count into play.

    Sir Will, my request is that you publish separate interviews on these three. I agree with the Vice President that the Church should take the lead.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    What can I say that has not been said.
    Glad that Leni is the beacon of light, the sunny day that sweeps the clouds away.

    Kudos to angat buhay.
    Better than any dswd or anti poverty post.( its activities and accomplishments)

  11. The simple charm of both Istorya ng Pag-Asa and Angat Buhay is that they can be continued even without having a government post, as they are privately funded. Surely VP Leni anticipated the unfair eventuality of Bongbong Marcos winning his electoral protest, as so much is rigged today.

    Then of course there is the real buzz that matters, what people talk about when they are NOT in social media – real successes in both programs slowly translate into a lasting good impression in constituencies. Of course even before she was VP, Leni was on her way around the country in the proverbial tsinelas. In the eventuality that she does become national leader, the real exposure to how people live and struggle is an advantage over most other politicians who don’t now all of that.

    Then of course there is her distance to the President. The contrast to Sharon Cuneta who went to have dinner with the President, somehow giving him ammunition for his propaganda, worse it even is a bit of a humiliation for LP and Kiko. VP Leni balances a tightrope almost perfectly, in contrast.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Doing a ballet on a tightrope without a net, with grace, enjoying it, with infinite charm and elan, and then dinner with her daughters day after inspiring day.

  12. Jennie Mateo says:

    Thank you for this piece you wrote, Sir. Her story has given me hope. God bless you and God bless the beam of light named Leni Robredo. 💕

  13. josephivo says:

    When it is about Du30 we are quick to refer to all the flaws in the “Filipino” character… Why are these comments absent when we talk about the VP?

    A lot of people I see around me are closer to her then to the ones we see most on TV those days, real Filipinos with many outstanding core values.

    • There are people with positive and with negative energy/aura about them. Those that make you feel bad and drive you crazy and those that make you feel good and motivated. Guess who is the one kind and who is the other between Duterte and VP Leni.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I believe Leni is the antithesis of the Filipino politician serving at the national level.

      The Filipino politician is:

      o Expedient — unprincipled
      o “Epal” — advertises himself endlessly
      o Corrupt — sees politics as a path for enrichment
      o Sleazy — lacking in integrity
      o Unfaithful to duty — puts self-interest above public service
      o Lazy — does not exercise diligence in the performance of his duties

      We do not talk of these flaws when we talk of Leni because we have had enough, have had more than enough.

      I am sure Leni has flaws — blemishes — but as far as can be seen, she has none of the above flaws.

      We can talk about the opposite of these flaws, which would be Leni’s strengths.

      But there is no need to. She is the epitome of her husband’s formula for public service — “Matino at Mahusay.”
      *****

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      We have a winner. She can make a corpse move.

  14. Roman Cleofe II says:

    Saludo…as always.

  15. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: they might as well erect the flag and call it theirs.

  16. Norma A. Canlas says:

    Laban lang Vice President Leni… God Bless you alway & Take Care.

  17. Felicitas Mañez Lacap says:

    GOOD JOB VP LENY 🙏🙏🙏💛💛💛💛

  18. The pro-PRD bloggers (Mocha, Sassot, Nieto, Angeles, Rivera, et al.), have been dogpiling on VP Leni for past two weeks. The root of the contention seems to be the VP’s statement that she is not affected much by the attacks on her because she knows that most are coming from a “well-oiled infrastructure.” She is right about that but those who are a part of the infrastructure are bent on covering up what is already a common knowledge among the tech aware population.

    The VP has the right to free speech. The ones needing throttling are those who abuse their rights and use foul languages/dirty insinuations to attack others to smear their reputations.

    Alas, reputation and character are different. Reputation is just an opinion about someone. Character is the distinct goodness and personality of the person. The pro-PRD influencers might use manipulation to wreck VP’s reputation but her character will always shine through.

    VP Leni always do the right thing because it is innate in her to do so.

    • NHerrera says:

      Infrastructure, </b a mind trigger — as in the Build Build Build Infrastructure Program including that Boracay thing cited by madlanglupa above in:

      madlanglupa says:
      March 21, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Methinks infrastructure is a word poster for the Propaganda Machine. Hence the group goes berserk when the word is used.

      • NHerrera says:

        AH, THE MONEY AND THE REPORTING

        GMA news reports that USD100 will be made from the casino in Boracay.

        I find a sense of colonial mentality in the reporting. Instead of saying Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) and its foreign partner Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., the report states it as follows:

        The casino resort project of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., and its local partner, in Boracay is expected to generate around $100 million in yearly gaming revenues, according to initial estimates revealed by the Philippine gaming regulator on Wednesday.

        http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/companies/647385/100m-in-yearly-gaming-revenues-eyed-from-casino-resort-complex-in-boracay/story/

        From now on it’s first billing to the Chinese partner in local projects. That’s a drip-drip into the Filipino subconscious — there is really no need; we are sold already.

        • To my knowledge, tourists foreign and local go to Boracay for the beaches, not to gamble. A case of “let them hang themselves”?

        • The Spanish refused a mega-casino near Madrid, the so-called Euro-Vegas.

          Among their fears where it would attract crime and prostitution and corrupt the youth.

          Good to know there are countries that think of their future and not just the easy money.

          • There is a strong traditionalist vein in Spanish thinking. I know a native of Mallorca who stayed in Germany for a while, he was telling me about how many young people are tempted by easy money earned in restaurants and discos and forget school and studies.

            Of course in many overrun parts of Europe there are movements to control tourism. Mallorca has doubled its eco-tax recently – a per-night surcharge on hotel stays to help pay for environmental rehabilitation. Guarding ecozones from people who just drive in with their SUVs or even stay there at night is a matter taken care of not by local police but by those centrally controlled – the Guardia Civil. I have seen it myself, having stayed near a beach that was once known for wild camping and many other delinquencies against nature.

      • Yes. They know that the VP was talking about their social media manipulation and use of bots to disseminate their disinformation. Truth hurts and those who are feeling the pain usually lash out. The funny thing about the incumbent administration and its supporters is that they are too predictable.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      From the song:

      Rubber ball, I come bouncin’ back to you
      Rubber ball, I come bouncin’ back to you

  19. Jam Ong says:

    Thank you for this post. It’s sad that VP’s efforts don’t get the exposure it deserves and when it does, it’s usually a negative one. I think everyone should know how hard working she is, how she goes beyond her mandate as the vice president. She’s really working hard, I wish everyone would help in spreading her works and advocacies. 🙂

  20. Lucila Bilano Halal says:

    Your doing good for our kababayans VP, kahit taga America na ako ay pusong Pinoy pa rin ako at mahal ko ang Pilipinas.Kinailangan nga lang namin na mag-US Citizen dahil matanda na kami at kailangan namin ang beneficially na ibinibigay nila sa Seniors.Sana naintindihan ninyo , pero Di namin tinatalikuran ang pagiging Pilipino namin, kaya balalaika nga naming mag-dual Citizenship in the future.

  21. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    thanks for this piece which shows life in other parts of politics abused and neglected world we too have in shameless neglect of humanity. BUNGA NG MGA WAKARANG sa sariling kababayan. MGA WAKBOKABO SA GOBIERNO!.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      You’re welcome, primo!

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        pinsan, here’s my addendum take on your piece:

        THE FAULT IN VP LENI’s STARS

        The Movie: The Fault is in Their Stars? seeks empathy.
        But Faults down on or beneath the earth are equations.

        Faults equalize the good and the bad
        One cancels the other
        for a perfect equation.

        On the Left side of the equation are
        The bad, the faults of nature
        As in famines, earthquakes, floods,
        hurricanes, tornadoes, world wars,
        World Trade and Fentanyls.

        On its right side nature provides
        The good that equalizes both sides
        deleted for some long time
        the family dynasties that ruled
        parts of the great earth.

        VP Leni’s star meant loss of a dearest one
        Her life equation is about balance
        Of heavy burdens of sacrifice
        to be matched and equalized by
        great responsibility for the well-being
        of her countrymen.

        If Leni’s stars continue to light the dark sky
        It is no accident destined to happen.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          If Leni’s stars continue to light the dark sky
          It is no accident but an equation
          destined to happen.

  22. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Mark Zuckerberg resurfaces and promises!

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg breaks silence over Cambridge Analytica scandal: ‘We made mistakes’

    https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/world/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-breaks-silence-over-cambridge-analytica-scandal-we-made-mistakes/ar-BBKwY6l?ocid=spartanntp

    • Yes. He said that FB broke people’s trust because it trusted Cambridge Analytica. Truth is, that was FB’s business model all along. There’s no such thing as “free” social media account.

      #DeleteFacebook is near trending on Twitter. People are deleting their accounts in droves. Several online articles had been written on how to delete an FB account too.

      http://time.com/money/5206995/how-to-delete-facebook/

      • madlanglupa says:

        Already made a backup.

      • NHerrera says:

        Truth is, that was FB’s business model all along. There’s no such thing as “free” social media account.

        Agree 101%. Now Zuck will have to make window-dressing adjustment to placate. Only time will tell how Facebook will end. No such thing as a “forever” thing.

        • NHerrera says:

          Here is Mark Zuckerberg when interviewed at CNN — a fair statement — unless he totally shuts down the Money Machine that is Facebook:

          “We’re serving a community of more than 2 billion people. And, when you give people tools to share and connect I think one of the good things is that a lot of good things happen but unfortunately there’s also some bad things that happen — whether that’s fake news or hate speech or people trying to hurt each other. And our responsibility is just to make (sure) that we amplify all the good in human nature that’s out there. But also to mitigate the bad, right, mitigate people who are trying to abuse people’s security or post offensive things that should be against the community standards.”

          • FB is being blamed for the rise of populists like Trump and Duterte.

            Mueller is supposed to look into the FB issue further to see if there is evidence to prove that the 2016 election may had been compromised due to Cambridge Analytica’s data scraping.

            When is PH going to have a Special Counsel Investigator?

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        done that delete forever may be 3 years ago. Eh.

  23. Sup says:

    Also off topic…Duterte said he did wiretap Loida Nicolas Lewis and the ICC judge Fatou Bensouda…
    I have reason to believe him……..

    The British government sold £150,000 of hi-tech spying equipment to the Philippines, giving President Rodrigo Duterte the tools to hunt down and kill dealers and addicts as part of his brutal war on drugs.

    The equipment purchased by Duterte’s government included IMSI-Catchers, which are used to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, and surveillance tools to monitor internet activity.

    Duterte has admitted authorising the wiretapping of at least two mayors whom he accused of being “narcopoliticians”, including the Ozamiz city mayor, Reynaldo Parojinog.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/21/britain-sold-spying-gear-to-philippines-despite-dutertes-brutal-drugs-war

    https://connectedrights.net/2018/02/21/dirty-spying-tools-for-dirty-clients/

    • PH had RA 4200 (Anti-wiretapping law) since 1965. Wiretapping is supposed to be done only with a court order. Since the Executive and Judiciary are co-equal branch, does Duterte go scot free for wiretapping people?

      Who is doing the wiretapping aside from Duterte?

      Section 3 of RA 4200 has enumerated specific acts that may allow law enforcement people to get court authorization to wiretap.

      “Sec. 3. Nothing contained in this Act, however, shall render it unlawful or punishable for any peace officer, who is authorized by a written order of the Court, to execute any of the acts declared to be unlawful in the two preceding Sec.s in cases involving the crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and violations of Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing espionage and other offenses against national security…”

      http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno4200.htm

      • Calling on civic- minded lawyers out there! Puede ba, kasuhan nyo naman ang paglabag na ito.

        Off-topic: Facebook stocks dropped 7per cent in the stock market.

        Quite off-topic but still very, very relevant: a quote from Gandhi…..
        REMEMBER that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.

      • Sup says:

        President Rodrigo Duterte said he knew in advance that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was going to do an initial review of the allegations that he committed a crime against humanity in connection with his war on drugs.

        In a speech, Duterte admitted that he learned of the ICC’s action based on recordings provided by a foreign country of a phone conversation between New York-based philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis and another person

        “I was already listening to the tapes of their conversation. It was provided by me by another country but the conversation was somewhere Philippines and New York. Loida [Nicolas] was one of them. And there was this, ‘See you in the headquarters when the case is filed,’” Duterte said.

        “Let’s take the President’s statement on its face value,” Roque said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

        Roque added he could not disclose the foreign government providing information to the President.

        http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/643104/duterte-links-loida-lewis-to-icc-probe-she-denies-his-info-from-foreign-country/story/

        • “President Rodrigo Duterte said he knew in advance” SAID he knew – after everybody knew.

          Haha, coming from the same man who claimed he knew Trillanes “Singapore bank accts.”?

          Para naman kayong hindi pa nakatagpo ng typical na Pinoy hustler, iyan ang stroke nila..

    • Two things:

      1) IMSI-Catchers are used to locally listen into conversations, I once heard from someone. You basically pretend you are a cellphone tower to both other towers and cellphones. You can see all devices that are online, much like with Bluetooth and WLAN – simplified. Not likely that a phone call between EU (Bensouda, The Hague) to US (Loida Nicolas-Lewis) passes through the Philippines. Same for an Internet connection. Doesn’t make sense.

      2) Duterte is a promdi who thinks the whole world works his way. Bensouda does not impress me as someone who will just entertain casual conversation with everybody like a Justice Secretary Aguirre talked to Napoles’ lawyer. That kind of stuff is simply Pinoy ek-ek. She could get removed from the ICC I am sure if someone could prove such connivance. Courts and prosecutors are very formal over here in Europe,they try to stay neutral.

  24. Fe Abrihan says:

    A very endearing article about the VP. Thank you.

  25. Cleofe Poblacion says:

    I salute you, Madam VP!

  26. Josie Gomez says:

    I was inspired, kahit di ko binasa in full. I’d like like to help in any way I could. Prayers can move mountains. There’s nothing impossible with God. If I’ll have the treasure, the first thing I would do is to get involve in her cause. This is a long time dream for me.

  27. Vicky says:

    So what if he wire tapped and heard the conversation as long as its true? If that was bad, he would have exploded already. He was threatening to expose it…should we worry? Is the sale the reason why they are saying the EU conceded to him aleeady? Im just connecting the dots.

    • Where did the EU concede? The EU is a huge bureacracy with many centers of power.

      Of course the simple-minded Mindanao warlord thinks that silence is “takot sila”. Bullshit.

      As for EU-GSP+: only Pakistan was extended this year. The Philippines is up for a monitoring mission in the second half of 2018. I don’t believe what the Filipino DTI says on the topic until I see an official statement of the EU on the matter, on an official EU page.

      As for ICC: there is an attempt at mediation, an invitation to dialogue from a certain part of ICC. It is normal in diplomacy to try to salvage (fix, not EJK!) relations before breaking them. Many Dutards think the ICC is “afraid”. Kanto boy mentality. Why do they have to fear him?

      His bluff is “malakas ako sa Tsina”. Well, the EU has been a bit of a lameduck during the time that Germany had not yet constituted a new government – it took half a year this time. Ever since Merkel is re-elected, the EU is showing signs of being awake again. Let us see.

  28. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    XI REALLY THINKS BIG

    We will have a VOC — Voice of China — with the merger of three mammoth state-run Chinese national networks: China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio and China Radio International. It will employ more than 14,000 people.

    Well, that pulls some rug out from under Roque and Cayetano. Which is good, so they can use their time and effort to something that contributes more to Filipino’s lives. No need for these two Apostles to spread the gospel themselves. The local radios can just translate the Voice. But I may wrong there, the Voice will probably be in English and/ or Filipino right from the source. One of those 14,000 employed may just be a Chinese-Filipino.

    • For the USA, the Voice of America was extremely important in combatting Communism. Radio Free Europe which used to broadcast into Eastern Europe also was significant. During World War 2 there was the BBC which my grandmother secretly listened to in Berlin.

      In recent years, Russia Today (RT) has become a presence in numerous languages – that network is clearly Putin’s voice. RT Germany by the way had pro-Duterte articles even back in 2016. So one can see who is allied to whom by tracing similar narratives.

      But even the relatively small Voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle) has its language programs in nearly every major European language, in Russian, in Turkish, in Swahili. Some of its foreign-born correspondents look like typical Goethe Institut scholars.

      It is quite natural that any country that wants to spread its influence – just like a corporation that wants to be influential – has to have its public relations, to use a morally neutral term. Propaganda is the moment one starts lying – even if that word used to be neutral also.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if VOC has a Filipino program ready. As for the Russians, I have read years ago that there are many who learn Filipino. They always were quite advanced when it came to studying languages and cultures, similar to aspiring colonial powers in the 1800s.

  29. clod quijano says:

    …M’am Leni, I sincerely believe you’ll be our President before 2020 ends.
    Please take good care, some may not want that to happen.

  30. Micha says:

    When the contradictions and blatant disregard for ethical standards in governance becomes more apparent and unacceptable for critical number of Filipinos, Duterte may yet be forcibly removed from office. When that happens, VP Robredo is the rightful constitutional successor.

    The hard part for Robredo is when she assumes the presidency. How will she govern? How will she clean up the mess? From what ideological spectrum is she coming from? Is she competent enough to deal with the myriad problems of the country? Will she be like Cory Aquino, perched from a high moral ground but dismally incompetent in handling the business of governance at a time of very challenging transition?

    • NHerrera says:

      That is a practical question. Regarding the comparison with Cory, I bet my Peso that she will at least be more competent and not as sensitive to getting advices without her asking for it.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am an admirer of Cory, by the way.

      • Micha says:

        Consensus building, getting advice from different interested groups, is part of a healthy process of governance. Ultimately though, it will be the President who will be taken to account for the consequences. good or bad, of the policies being set forth.

        • NHerrera says:

          Agreed. But we really can’t say for sure until she is there, can we?. Others may use previous statements and actions, and psychological analysis, to project how she will govern, but I will just stop here.

    • chemrock says:

      “Cory Aquino, perched from a high moral ground but dismally incompetent in handling the business of governance at a time of very challenging transition?”

      A dumb housewife she never was although it is fashionable for armchair critics to describe her as such. To many. it seems easy to clean the Aegean stable of Philippines dirty politics and corrupt, chauvinistic culture out of a completely bankrupt country,

      I admire Cory more for what she never did. Cory made sure she never exercise dictatorial power although she was running a revolutionary govt. Having ousted a hated dictator, she was not going to be a dictator herself. She went about picking up the running of the govt instead of gunning after the scums in the country. There was no sequestration of assets stolen by Marcos’ cronies or Imelda, She formed the PCGG to recover stolen wealth by legal process. She did’nt bring out the guillotines. That perhaps was her greatest mistake that allowed scumbags to stay embedded in high positions and who continue to pose a problem for the country today. There was clamour for her to seek a 2nd term which legally she could because she was never elected under the 1987 constitution. But she refused, so as to give others a chance.

      The first order of her day was to re-assure the world that Philippines was back to business as normal and to garner international support. She did a marvelous job when she addressed the combined house of the US Congress and Senate to a rousing standing ovation. Her efforts obtained for Philippines a huge sum of Aid money from President Reagan. That was money critically needed to rebuild the economy.

      She brought back to life a dead economy. At one time reached 6.7% GDP, but last 2 years of her presidency it slipped to 4% due to combination of natural calamities and bad rice harvest.

      She gave democracy back to the country. If that was no mean feat, she could have succumbed to the tremendous pressures of the numberous of coup d etat that drained her energy and resources. Had she failed, we may have Enrille or Honasan sitting in Malacanang today.

      She faced a Congress not sympathethic to the burdens she shouldered. Out of 200 congressmen 169 were from the same elitist clans of Marcos days. Many initiatives were blocked. Including some tax reforms that were pre-requisites for obtaining IMF credit lifelines.

      She did something that all women of today probably never knew or appreciate. Cory pushed and passed the Family Code into law. Philippines is a masochistic state, still is, and more so before. Before Cory’s time, women in Philippines faced much legalistic disadvantages, reminiscent of women in Saudi Arabia. Do Filipinas today understand that that without Cory’s Family Family Code, women cannot even open a bank account in their name? They can’t even register a company in their name? And many other stuff.

      I admire Cory.

      • NHerrera says:

        ! ! !

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Well said.
        *****

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        I would say both adjectives apply.
        *****

      • Thank you. I admire her, too, and would observe that her son, in allowing visitors a photo beside the President of the Philippines, directed the visitors to stand with him in front of his mother’s portrait in the Hall of Presidents. I think the inspiration Cory and Ninoy gave their son in turn gave him the strength to endure what he had to put up with.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        !!!

        Thanks, Chem!

      • Micha says:

        @chempo

        The first order of business in Cory Aquino’s time is to normalize and preserve oligarchical rule in the country (she being one of its daughters) ably aided and abetted by the US. That is why hers was a revolutionary gov’t in name only but not in fact. There was no restoration of power to the people, only more power to the wealthy ruling class. That is why ours is a sham democracy until today.

        Cory Aquino was a weak President because she doesn’t know how to handle and confront the oligarchy at her heels who wanted to preserve, at all costs, their interests and privileges.

        • chemrock says:

          I admire your empathy for the people. For that we are on the same side. Your unqualified disdain for the oligarch, that I do not share. Almost all first generation super rich started out from scratch. Richest man in Philippines, Henry Sy. started out poor, from sari-sari store to what he is today. I have nothing against people who takes risks, worked like hell, foregoes instant gratification. works within the law and ethical bounds, and prosper. I do have a problem with people who usurps assets and opportunities through unethical means. I also have a problem with those who, having acquired super wealth, does nothing for society.

          We use ‘oligarch’ like they are sure winners. They assume risks and get hit. but these we don’t remember. Take the Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan. he recently lost $6.7 billion in a telecommunication venture in India. There is a need for such people in an economy — the risk takers.

          There is only one true socialist country in the world, Norkor. All others have abandoned socialism for the simple reason communism can’t work. In Norkor there are no oligarchs, but there are rich ruling party members.

          For Cory, or any president, to get rid of the oligarchs, they need to do what communists do, get rid of a strata of society. Out with the intellectuals. Out with the oligarchs.

          The super rich has their role in capitalism – risk taking and provision of capital. Capitalism has its flaws, but it’s human weakness, not system fault.

          To put so much blame on oligarchs in Philippines is unfair. I believe there are many oligarchs who play by the rules. Certainly there are many who don’t. But they are’nt the ones who are holding back the country. Eg Gwendolyn Garcie who spent millions of taxpayers’ money on a piece of submerged land, The Marcos who plundered the land.

          • Micha says:

            @chempo

            The oligarchy, always and everywhere, is a parasitic class – exploiting the productive labor of others and expropriating for themselves the wealth thus gained. That is true of the oligarchy in the feudal system where land is the main source of wealth; and that is also true of the oligarchy that emerged in the capitalist system where wealth is gained from the production of goods and services through industrialization and technology.

            Capitalism in its early stages of development was actually celebrated in 18th century Europe as a liberating force from the tyranny of feudalism. Ordinary folks who once were serfs could now set up shops according to their skills and be freed from the patronage of their feudal masters. You have bakers, shoe makers, wine dealers etc, setting up shops and independently earning a livelihood. Capitalism’s promise during that time was that it will usher in and make possible the ideals of liberte’, egalite’, and fraternite’ that emerged from the French revolution. It was suppose to democratize wealth and give people more freedom.

            All that changed with the advent of industrialization and the mass production of goods. Mostly bank generated capital were allocated only to a small number of people and the laboring mass were reduced to slave-like conditions once again.

            It is in that context that Marx became disillusioned with capitalism. For him, the promise of freedom, equality, and brotherhood can never be attained under capitalism because while real value is being generated by the labor class, they get the short end of the stick when it comes to profit sharing. The feudal master-serf relationship was replaced by employer-employee relationship but the same dynamics of exploitation and enslavement remains.

            Marxism at its core is about empowering and liberating the industrial labor class. The communism that you saw in Russia is a perversion of Marxism – it’s actually, in essence, state capitalism. There was no industrial laboring class to liberate because it’s a feudal agricultural country with very few industrial factories, if at all. Marx was actually eyeing the industrial workers in Britain and Germany to make a dash for revolution – that is to say, empowering themselves.

            The same holds true for your mischaracterization of socialism in North Korea. Kim Jung Un is practicing state capitalism.

            The emergence of mega corporations and the concentration of great wealth in the hands of the very few has turned capitalism as the 21st century version of medieval feudalism.

            That is a systemic flaw. Capitalism, as it turns out, is most hospitable to the emergence of the oligarchy and the plutocrats.

            • chemrock says:

              “State capitalism” — fancy term to refer to any country where free enterprise thrives, and the state involves itself in production and provides the equity or capital for the enterprises. The political system is irrelevant. Many countries practice this, especially in national security areas. But some governments are more involved than others — such as China, Russia, and even Singapore. Norkor on the other hand, is still central planning. There is no free enterprise. It is still communism.

              I agree capitalism has a very dark side. Unbridled pursuit of profits is a poison apple. In particular pre-Marx capitalism was real bad. (Works of artists reflect the realities of their times — eg Charles Dickens and his Oliver Twists set against bleak industrial Britain). Humans adjust. So along came Marx, Lenin and Engels and the red tide. If capitalism was bad, communism was worse. 100 or so years later, communism evolves as humans adjust once again.

              Under capitalism, some bad stuff may come along, as you described. Wall street excesses, the global MNCs that plunder the wealth of weaker nations etc, corrupt super rich families that get embeded in the social structures, etc.

              But Capitalism is a journey, we adjust as we go along. Since Charles Dickens’ days we have seen increasing awareness of responsibilities by govt and capitalists. We now have social security, employee welfare and protection schemes, rise of Green Party, majority companies now have mission statements that incorporate a social contract, corporations sponsor various social organisations, anti-trust or anti-competition legislations, etc etc. “Giving back” is something that Charles Dickens would never understood, but today it’s a driving force that motivates many entrepreneurs, especially the millennials. We of course know of Bill Gates Foundation, SM Foundation, etc (the world is full of these foundations). It’s still a long way to go, that I agree.

              Take for example a new construct called impact investment which is a world changer. It’s beginning to be an important consideration for many entrepreneurs. People now want to put their money into projects that impact lives.

              We are now into the technology age which has brought about a tremendous disparity in income distribution. Wealth can now be accumulated at an incredible speed and in unimaginable sums. The same technology has also empowered the masses with info, with capability to agitate. Once again, a Marxian-collision of the class divide seems inevitable. A new danger looms and the intellectuals and capitalists of advanced countries recognise it.

              Capitalism has to evolve to seek a class balance. I do agree the issue of corrupt oligarchs ought to be addressed. But they are nestled in the embrace of corrupt politicians. So it’s not an outright problem of capitalism, at it’s base it’s a political problem.

              • Micha says:

                chempo,

                1. Capitalism as an economic system and as we know it today is not solely defined or characterized by free enterprise. There were already enterprising merchants as early as the agora and in Judas’ time. Capitalism is defined by control, allocation, and distribution of capital for the manufacture of consumer goods. If the control, allocation, and distribution is done by a private entity it is called laissez-faire capitalism, if done by a state player it is called state capitalism

                State capitalism is what you have in both the former Soviet Union and North Korea today. That they chose to allocate their capital mostly in the manufacture of war machines and nuclear weapons instead of refrigerators and bathroom soaps is incidental to their preferred system. But to call it communism is grossly inaccurate and misleading – a perversion of Marxian ideology.

                For one, there were no communal organization of freely interacting industrial workers exercising policy decisions for the how, what, when, where of consumer goods production.

                Second, because workers in both countries are powerless and that it is instead governed by a select politburo with one dominant big brother figure, it is more accurate to call it a fascist autocratic regime.

                2. Please do not bunch Lenin along with both Marx and Engels because if Marx was there when Lenin perverted his idea of communism, he would have strangled Lenin by the neck.

                3.The reforms gained by workers in western industrial countries such as living wages and 8 hour working days were the result of progressive lobbying, protest, and agitation of the labor movement. Capitalists, on their own, would have never granted those reforms out of the goodness of their hearts.

                4. Charitable foundations of the superrich have three purposes : to launder part of their loot, evade taxes and, as an afterthought, pacify their conscience.

                5. I am glad you recognize the inevitability of class conflict.

                Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld and the judge of the dead. Pluto is an alternative name for the Greek god Hades.

                Plutocracy, rule of the rich, is also the rule of Satan.

                If humanity is to assert its divine lineage, it needs to get rid of the plutocracy and the oligarchy and to tame the latter’s enabling host, capitalism.

                6. Humanity is at war with itself.

          • “oligarchy” is such a gasgas propaganda word.

            people don’t see how this immediate Aquino family had to deal with preying relatives – twice.

      • Micha says:

        Think about it, you all swooning admirers of Cory Aquino : it was her gov’t who gave Duterte the first chance to enter politics by appointing him mayor of Davao, not because he is more qualified (he’s a self-confessed barumbado at that time) but because he is the son a former governor.

        Patronage politics and cronyism at its worst.

        • I struggle to know how critics who observe the failings of others from a distance, and in a different time, get to sanitize the real world through the filter of hindsight and not have to be accountable for anything . . . but not get called out for cheating. They don’t even have to do a statistical tabulation of percentage of good decisions versus bad that a person makes. They just find a flaw and pounce on it as representative of the work and character of a whole person. We all do that, some more than others. I think it makes us harsh humans, living in a lala land of fake hypotheticals, propping ourselves up as wise against a fiction. The people who were there didn’t get to play on such a simple, clean playing field. If we smear Cory Aquino with the deeds of Duterte, what happens to respect, appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness? I’d rather critics pounce on Sharon Cuneta who is doing her foul deeds today, and actually take up accountability for what is happening real time, today.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Single factor fallacy.

            From her tomb, Cory released 20 million of her spores… but was only able to infect 16 million voters to vote for Duterte.

            If this were science fiction, this is how some people would account for Cory’s role in Duterte’s rise to the presidency.
            *****

          • Micha says:

            @Joeam

            This is not to smear her legacy, this is simply looking from the broad dynamics of Philippine politics. How can that, in any way, be called cheating?

            There were calls and suggestions then to just hand over the presidency, if she were unwilling and unprepared for that big responsibility, to her more politically seasoned vice president but the infamous Kamag-anak Inc., thirsty for new found power, will have none of it.

            Is that a smear? Is that cheating or just stating an objective verifiable fact?

            • There are no pure facts outside of context, and now is not the context for then. The current situation in the Philippines is our current context, and diminishing the ‘legend’ of Cory Aquino factually supports the Duterte Administration. It is, in that context, an unnecessary and damaging commentary that undermines democracy. Factually. Now.

              • Edgar also pointed out the logical fallacy, or the cheating to which I was referring.

              • Micha says:

                History and current events is a river Joe. Everything is connected. Duterte came into being of our political life because events in the past, including those which transpired in Cory Aquino’s time, set the stage, or should we say, carved the way, for his coming into being.Here. And Now.

              • Well, you are free to work on your blames and the damages you do, and I’ll hold myself accountable for defending democracy today, real time.

              • By damages, I mean that I cannot distinguish your arguments from those of the Duterte trolls who relentlessly pound on the Aquinos.

              • Micha says:

                @Joe

                Am I doing damages to the illusion of democracy that many in here maintain is actually real? Great. That’s what I want to do. Shatter your illusion of democracy.

                If you think we have real democracy then respect the mandate of 16 million who voted for Duterte. He might be a son of a bitch but he is their son of a bitch.

              • You are obviously casting your judgments without complete knowledge. I just wrote an article that said, among other things, the ‘yellows’ should stop condemning the 16 million and give them a better dream than the one they used for their last vote. And if Duterte is a son of a bitch, it doesn’t mean we should allow that to become the character of the Philippines. The democratic process gives us the right to speak, and not be cowed by autocrats or idealists alike.

              • Haha, I just realized that idealists are basically autocrats without a portfolio. 😂😂😂 I’ve gotta tweet that one.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        I would stop debating about Cory already. It’s like a critic says there’s no air as he or she huffs and puffs. But I welcome kind words about her. If not for her, her husband and son, I would not be a prodem activist since ’83, I would not be writing and loving this way, I would not meet JoeAm, Edgar, NH, Chem, Karl, Irineo, Cha, MG, Jenni, Marie, Joseph, madlanglupa, JP, Sup, Micha, Primo, Sonny, JM, Lou, Andrew, Mely, VP Leni, Sen. Leila, Sen. Sonny, Sen. Kiko, Jim, Leah (article coming up), Jozy, Philip, Jover, Dick, Comm. Chito, K and the rest of the eclectic crew and subjects of interviews. Life is all about relationships, and the Aquinos connected with me. So with the aforementioned individuals. Connection. Eye-to-eye. Smiles. Good memories. ‘Nuff said.

        • Micha says:

          Nothing wrong with admiring people, Mr. Villanueva. But in the business of governance, let not the blinders of your admiration come in the way of seeing and objectively evaluating the performance and legacy of Cory Aquino as a public official.

          • Yvonne says:

            If I may, allow me to put my two cents worth on Cory Aquino.

            Cory was not a politician; she was a reluctant leader who was driven into politics by the people’s clamor for the restoration of Philippine democracy. Her ascendancy into power was a herculean feat considering all the adversities she had to overcome. For her administration to be successful in restoring democracy she had to do a delicate balancing act to work harmoniously with the remnants of the Marcos regime – Ramos and Enrile – of whom she no choice considering the political leadership vacuum systematically created by Marcos to stifle any and all opposition to his dictatorship.

            Cory could have pushed for a revolutionary Constitution that could have extended her presidency for another term but she did not; it was not in her blood to be a politician – her task of restoring democracy is done. The task of continuing the nation-building is to be handed to the next generation of Filipino leadership.

            Some people have the mistaken belief that Cory can just strike a magic wand and the systematic and systemic destruction of our nation over a period of decades will suddenly stop, heal, and nation will be re-built – just like that, just like magic. But we do not live in fantasy land, there would be no wishful magic. One can destroy a house in one day, and it will take weeks, if not months, to re-built it. How do you re-built a nation in just 6 years that took decades to destroy?

            A company in the brink of bankruptcy could hire a new CEO, a financial expert, to save it from bankruptcy. His immediate task would be to stabilize the company’s resources – to stop the financial bleeding. If he saved his company from financial ruin and prevent it from going belly up he is deemed a successful CEO and would win he admiration of his peers. But what do you know, some stakeholders just don’t have satisfaction – yes, the company should grow organically, increase market share, increase profit margin, develop new products, etc. But first thing first. Maybe another CEO is needed to bring the company into its next chapter. Sorry, but there would be no ‘one size fits all’.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              “…her task of restoring democracy is done.”

              Two cents? More like two dollars!

              And it would seem that Leni’s work has been cut out for her as well.
              *****

              • Micha says:

                edgar,

                Democracy is a myth, a fantasy, in Philippine context. Nothing was restored. It’s a sham.

                I repeat what I had been saying here : you cannot have real democracy unless you democratize wealth.

              • Democracy is a process and is only fantasy if our imperfect humanity is cast against one individual’s unrealistic expectation that we can achieve perfection. You have a perfect democracy if the chaos is somewhat orderly and the progression is toward an ideal of peaceful living, health, and enjoyment. The US is a perfect democracy, so it the Philippines. Democracy is the path, not the end. Uneven distribution of wealth is a problem only if the whole of the peoples are moving toward suffering rather than enjoyment. That is not the case in either the US or Philippines.

                Perfection. Idealism. Those are the fantasies.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Again, single factor fallacy.

                Yes, granted that democracy is about equality. But equality is not solely about economics or social justice.

                By your meter, America is not a democracy.

                It is about many things — the sovereignty of the people, the separation of powers, the various freedoms, the enjoyment of human rights, the protection of due process, to name a few.

                Some say, as Chemrock more than hinted, that democracy is not about the fairness of outcomes but about the fairness of opportunities.

                And the “oligarchs” who have come to their wealth by risk-taking, by the strength of their nerve, the talent of their mind and the sweat of their brow should NOT be eliminated as a social class.

                They are the job providers, the wealth producers and some, in their kindness, the wealth distributors.
                *****

              • NHerrera says:

                I have a limited vocabulary but I am attracted to some phrases, like democratize wealth — that must be The Holy Grail.

              • Micha says:

                @JoeAm

                Attaining democracy is a process but democracy itself is not a process. It’s a definite set of ideas and ideals.

                If the US is a perfect democracy gun ownership would have been strictly regulated, abortion rights institutionalized, across the board wage increase legislated, Wall Street banks are dismantled, and Donald Trump is not the president.

              • Okay, we disagree on the definitions or premises, so won’t agree on what democracy is. To me, it is not a fantasy. It is an aspiration. I leave you to your complaints.

              • NHerrera says:

                Ah, perfection, that was the word I was looking for.

              • Micha says:

                @edgar

                This is real revelation unfolding. I didn’t know you too had become an apologist for the oligarchy. I posted a longish post above maintaining that the oligarchy is a parasitic class, exploiting the productive labor of others and disproportionately allocating for themselves the wealth that were thus generated.

                xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

                Contrary to your and Joe’s assertion, the US only has superficial democracy. See my comment above in response to Joe.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ad hominem.
                *****

              • karlgarcia says:

                @Micha,
                you left out legal weed.

                And I still can’t grasp your definition of reality.
                You call those not ideal to you a myth and those ideal to you, real?
                What gives?

            • Micha says:

              @Yvonne

              If she were unwilling and unprepared for the herculean task of the presidency and the re-building ek-ek of the nation, why did she not hand over that role to her more politically seasoned vice president, Doy Laurel?

              • Yvonne says:

                Her herculean task was to restore democracy. It was not to drive away the Chinese from the West Philippine Sea, nor to stop them from meddling in Philippine elections. Cheers!

              • Micha says:

                Yvonne,

                If by democracy you meant that the people could vote freely for their political leaders then yes, you are right, the mechanism for voting was restored. But do you think that the ensuing process can be called real democracy of just superficial pretense?

              • Yvonne says:

                @Micha,

                Looks like this specific comment thread runs out of reply button so this could be posted out of sequence.

                I understand where you’re coming from with your reference to “democratize wealth”. Wealth will not cascade down the food chain in an equitable manner because of market forces – it is just the way society works even in big democracies like the U.S., such as in Silicon Valley where large swatches of wealth are created yet the disparity of income between management and labor is shocking, and where people in their Tesla’s are driving around homeless encampments.

                But this is not to say that the “democratization” cannot be made more efficient to reduce the wealth disparity. But it takes time and a lot of political will.

                In Cory’s time, she did laid down the structural framework starting with her Agrarian Reform Program but that would take longer time to implement successfully than her tenure of office. Sadly, the administrations after Cory lacked the political will to carry to fruition what Cory already seeded.

              • Micha says:

                Yvonne,

                Do you know that Cory’s Agrarian Reform Program is being deliberated in Congress by a committee chaired by her own uncle, Peping Cojuangco, who is also the chairman of Hacienda Luisita Inc.?

              • Micha says:

                Sorry, Peping Cojuangco is Cory’s brother, not her uncle.

            • NHerrera says:

              Hi, Yvonne. Your posting that comment on Cory and seeing your handle again here after a long while makes my day. No, weeks.

              • Yvonne says:

                Hi, NHerrera, I’m glad to be back here and also in Raissa’s blog site.

              • “some people have the mistaken belief that Cory can just strike a magic wand..”

                repeating what I commented on an earlier blog.. people are looking for superheroes, not leaders.

                oh, and i love democracy and my right to freedom of speech.😊

        • i would not have been inspired to fight for the country, if not for the three of them too. imagine living your whole life on exile, being in prison, ridiculed, bullet lodged in neck…

          and still ridiculed and called opportunistic, and expected perfection when they could’ve just lived in the US in peace.

      • karlgarcia says:

        “There was no sequestration of assets stolen by Marcos’ cronies or Imelda, She formed the PCGG to recover stolen wealth by legal process.”

        PCGG did sequester the cronies assets.

  31. trebor9 says:

    Thanks Wil for the post.
    We have been feeling handicapped in preventing PRRD, who seems to believed that he have the license in carrying out shameful and uncivilized assault to our democratic institution. Our elected officials have failed us…

    I can see that the presence of VP Leni gave us a new hope for prevalence of sanity and return to normalcy in the governance of our country. I believed VP Leni can saved us. Soon.

  32. RBF says:

    I agree, the Church must lead, Filipinos are after all her flock.

    Agree also to avoid negativity and debate on social media. Let us respect each other. Share instead uplifting stories and good works of true leaders and partner organizations.

    In the end, people will be able to discern the good from the bad.

    Let God through our prayers heal our land.

  33. Dear VP Leni,

    I have not written you yet, so I hope this reaches you.

    I am truly grateful that you have accepted the challenge to run as Vice-President. Not everyone would be as crazy enough to go from a single mother-juggling-everyday-tasks to being second in line to the Presidency. Especially when people desperate for power are going after you, throwing the dirtiest mud at you and your family.

    You’re the Yang to my Yin. You make me proud on days when I’m ashamed to be Filipino. You give me hope when the days are so bad that I just want to give up on this country that never learns. You’re like the sister of a black sheep, underrated, but still doing her best to keep the family intact.

    I always pray that you will not crumble under pressure. I know you’re strong, but I acknowledge your humanity. You’re no superhero like everyone expects you to be. If ordinary people like me are getting tired of the goings-on, what more for you who even has to put up with evil people everyday and cannot even cuss them?

    Thank you for bringing hope to the poor Filipinos who have continuously been victims of this regime.

    I thank God that we have you. I cannot imagine how the country would have been now, if you have not won. Thank you for putting up with our impatience, our criticisms when what you need is our support. I do not always agree with your decisions, but I understand what you are going through. Thank you for accepting the Chairmanship of the Party trying to rebuild itself after a bad storm.

    God bless you always, my Vice-President, and I hope I can thank you in person and hug you someday.

    Rachel

  34. Rover says:

    Yan ang trabaho, kahit di masyadong pinapansin gumagawa parin! At yung mga nakakapansin ay yuong mga taong talagang natutulungan at nakakakita kung gaano magtrabaho ang ating mahal na VP!

    More power po madam! You are the last hope of this dimming Society!

  35. OFF TOPIC

    13 senators voted for the anti-dynasty bill:

    1. Kiko Pangilinan
    2. Ralph Recto
    3. Franklin Drilon
    4. Risa Hontiveros
    5. Loren Legarda
    6. Panfilo Lacson
    7. Grace Poe
    8. Joseph Victor Ejercito
    9. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV
    10. Nancy Binay
    11. Edgardo Angara
    12. Leila de Lima
    13. Sherwin Gatchalian

    What is the chance that it will pass into a law?

    https://www.rappler.com/nation/198725-senators-committee-report-anti-political-dynasty-bill?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Inhouse_video&utm_campaign=nation

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Thirteen senators already constitute a majority. The battle will be in the Lower House.

      Of the 10 senators who did not vote, I miss Trillanes and Escudero who presumably are anti-dynasty.

      The others who might be expected to be against the bill are Gordon, Honasan, Pacquiao, Pimentel, Sotto (signed but dissented), Villanueva, Villar, and Zubiri.
      *****

  36. Greg T. Arrey says:

    Nice to read her “saluobin”not to say platform and heared her interviews also on UNTV. She’s. Ready! C Cory, c GMA, now it’s Leni Robredo’s turn. The women in Philippines history. God Blesses my Country, The Republic of the Philippines.

  37. ace10 says:

    sana lang di second class yung mga pinapagawa nya…. and secondarily… no to liberal party…..magdidinner daw.. pagkumain yan ng sardinas na nakakamay… at ang ulam pa ay toyo namay kasamang bagoong maari pa magbago ang utak ko… pero kung katulad ni roxas yan… ay wag na lang… no need….

    • karlgarcia says:

      Gusto mo nakikipag boodle fight, mas nagpapakatotoo ba para sayo ang politiko na nakikisalo sa mga boodle fight na yan?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Bakit pa magpakoboy ang importante ay magpakatotoo.
        Napasabihan na syang cheap at can’t affiord ng mga tao ni Duterte, tapos kailangan mo pa sta makita na kumain ng iyong nabanggit

        Me ayaw din ako sa pagkatotoo, di ko gusto yung pala mura at di maganda ang tabas ng dila at di na iniisip ang sinasabi, importante pa din na di lang sarili ang iniiisip.

  38. AAquino says:

    VP Robredo is doing her job as a VP and yet Duterte’s propagandists and BBM troll armies bashed her to eternity!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Yes. Hitting her is the default option of the Marcos bloc.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Snoozing gives rest to the vitals of the clueless
        A tits for tat not of gender boobs but of neurons of the wise.

        What if some yellow tards file their protests so there also
        will be opening of boxes and thorough recount
        where Leni lost or got zero of ballots cast in the solid north.
        that TV anchor might yell with echoes in TSoH hills:
        HOY GISING . . mga dilawan, Eh..

  39. Sad that she holds no cabinet position, she could have done more….

  40. chemrock says:

    So this is how they schemed for BBM to win the recount.

    PET will arbitrarily adopt a 50% standard on ballot ovals shaded as valid votes instead of the 25% set by the Comelec in the 2016 elections, This change in the % means both contestants will have a reduced count, but will disadvantage the one who won because statistically the latter will see a greater aggregate decrease. That means Leni stands to loose more since the precincts selected for recount are the ones where she won. They are changing the rules of the game, the ever cunning and sinister forces of evil/

    https://www.rappler.com/nation/199626-robredo-marcos-supreme-court-ballot-recount-threshold-percentage

    The question is, what are you going to do about it, democratic Filipinos? There should be an outcry in the country. but nobody is standing up for the VP.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      There will be blood, Chem.

    • You can postulate that nothing will change until people act, but can’t use this forum to urge action. I know it is splitting hairs, but I don’t want to have to close the blog down. This is a discussion forum, that’s all. Not a political action group.

      • I would postulate that removing the VP might do two things for those favoring democracy: 1) create a flash point that would inspire action, and 2) free Leni Robredo to lead the opposition. The Duterte/China/Marcos/Arroyo cabal is making a lot of people angry, I think. Maybe the nation will go obedient. Maybe not.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        I thought for a time before posting, but posted it anyway. I can only reflect what I see on the ground, like a Mars Rover, sending info. I pray every day that blood does not flow, but the way I see it, people shake their heads when they realize the inevitability of invasive surgery with 50/50 chance, but know that they will have to bite the bullet anyway if it comes to that. Again, not inciting, just reflecting, gathering data, sending, sending.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          What I don’t get is why the notables are silent or why they are not given media space.

          I infer a variety of motives for not speaking out:

          o Foremost, I think, would be fear of presidential vengeance
          o Fear of loss of voice and being unheard by crying wolf too many times
          o Fear of loss of leverage with the powers that be should the occasion for aid arise
          o Fear of being singled out like Senator De Lima
          o Political accommodation
          o Circumspection (It’s not my role to speak out)
          o Ingratiation/sycophancy
          o Spite for being rejected by the electorate (You’ve made your bed, now lie in it)
          o Lack of discernment
          o Lack of moral values and courage
          o Lack of care (I’m comfortable with my millions and am not bothered by what’s happening)
          o Nihilistic glee (Let the worst happen so I can have my thrills)
          *****

        • I was actually responding to chemrock’s comment. Yours was more a projection than an urging. I’m sure many feel as chemrock does, but I have to caretake the blog.

      • chemrock says:

        Apologies to the Editor. Emotion got the better of me.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Clearly, the recount methodology to use should be the same as that in the original count. Otherwise, discrepancies are sure to arise.

      Judicially speaking, what is the point of the recount? Is it not to verify the accuracy of the original results?

      The situation is Kafkaesque: Robredo can run to the SC but the SC is… the PET.
      *****

  41. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Our good Lord is in and with Leni! Our people shall triumph with her over evil!

  42. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    I saw, read what’s posted nine hours ago

    “RUSSIA PREPARES FOR NUCLEAR WAR..”

    “Russian state-owned television is urging the country’s
    residents to stock their bunkers with water and
    basic foodstuffs because Moscow
    could go to war with Washington.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/russia-prepares-for-nuclear-war-with-us/ar-AAvMFzK?li=AAadgLE&ocid=spartandhp

    Palaging naiisip ko, sa tanda ko nang ito
    dapat mahaba na ang pisi ko
    sa nangyayari sa utak malabnaw
    ng mga lider ng mundo.

    Will they sacrifice billion of lives
    In payment for hundreds killed
    not by bombs but by chemicals ?

    It is good Christian math that a human life
    is so priceless in any kind of strife
    Nay, says I, a life becomes mere microscopic
    when billions are lost by bad arithmetic.

    As Albert Hirschman once opined
    a “Principle of the Hiding Hand”
    could probably do good
    to a larger part of mankind.

    If alive and in office today
    That postal clerk of a US President
    no snoozer in the noodle oval
    could have ended in no time at all
    that middle east metastasis.

  43. Leni is in Berlin now, invited by the Naumann Foundation (close to the German Liberal Party)

    Same foundation that invited her to South Africa – and paid for the trip.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      VP Leni, Sarong Bangui

      “Laugh and the world laughs with you”
      Be meek and mild but fight
      And the world not meek nor mild
      will not laugh but fight with you.

  44. John Ric Go says:

    Nanalo? bakit sa tingin mo ikaw ba tunay na nanalo. Nakuha mo ang posisyon sa pamamagitan ng pagnanakaw ng boto dka ba kinikilabotan na yung iiwan mong legacy galing sa nakaw na posisyon!

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