Color me Magdalo

By Joe America

I’d like to thank Will Villanueva for his many enlightening, humanistic interviews, and particularly his recent insights into Representative Gary Alejano of the Magdalo party. I was inspired by both the man and the party, as I have been with the Senate version, Senator Sonny Trillanes,for some time.

They are the two legislators from Magdalo partylist.

Both men speak sense, speak principles, and speak directly. They are aggressive with a clear military underpinning. To be frank, I find myself dismayed with the Liberal Party’s disorganized and weak posturings in the face of outrageous attacks on the foundation of Philippine democracy. I am much more attracted to the two Magdalo legislators for their bold ‘direct-speak’.

Yes, I know people will point to Senator Trillanes’ history, mutiny and jail time, spat with DFA Del Rosario, and other brush-ups, but that to me just means he is not sitting on his chair playing it safe. He’s pushing. Besides, I don’t expect perfection, but do hope for action and a clear tilt to the side of good values.

Here is how Magdalo frames its reason for being:

Mission: To advocate good governance and influence policies that would improve the lives of the Filipino people.

Vision: To be the leading sectoral organization that promotes the interest and welfare of the sectors of former and retired uniformed personnel, youth and urban poor.

Core Values: Service, Honor, Independence, Excellence, Loyalty, Duty

Policy Thrusts:

  1. Security Sector Reform
  2. Poverty Alleviation
  3. Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation
  4. Citizen Engagement
  5. Championing Good Governance

These are superb goals. Security is the party’s reason for being, and gives the nation a strong advocacy for military strength. Poverty is undoubtedly the nation’s biggest weakness, causing a lot of suffering and malnutrition, taking away people’s hopes and dreams, and leading to bad choices during elections. Sustainable development means steady economic growth, the cure to poverty, and it is responsive to the nation’s vulnerability to storms. That’s progressive, smart. Constructive citizen engagement requires citizen knowledge and there is clearly a lot of work to be done on that. Good governance is what we don’t have now.

As a military veteran, I would naturally be drawn to Magdalo because they work on military and veteran affairs. They maintain a military bearing as to honor, discipline, and earnest work. I find that the principled approach produces output that makes sense. It is not just political convenience or a concoction of entitled people granting favors to one another. It is a working effort by two earnest men who are doing what I wish ALL politicians would do. Deal straight. Work for Filipinos. Work earnestly.

What a different and vibrantly healthy nation it would be if Magdalo ethics were Philippine ethics.

I’ve followed Senator Trillanes for years but Rep. Alejano only emerged in my observations when he became outspoken about China’s occupation of Philippine islands. He is truly interested in the security of the nation . . . a stance that puts him into conflict with those who are busy working on their own interests.

The law-writing work done by Rep. Alejano is impressive. He’s sponsored hundreds of bills the past two years and produced almost 20 new laws. Magdalo is the most productive partylist in the House. New laws include Republic Act 10697 preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Republic Act 10844 creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and a Joint Resolution increasing the daily subsistence allowance of for personnel of the AFP, PNP, and Coast Guard.

Representative Alejano alerted us to China’s militarization of artificial islands and has been up front and outspoken about the Administration’s failure to confront China. He also regularly condemns the brutality of the PNP drug war.

If I were a Filipino citizen, Magdalo would be my party.

As an observer, I cheer Magdalo’s policies and approach and hope they go mainstream in the Philippines.


50 Responses to “Color me Magdalo”
  1. NHerrera says:

    Indeed! Clear statement of vision and goals; and active, consistent, courageous engagement to go with the goals. A good mixture of technical, military and socio-economic viewpoints. Sen Trillanes and Rep Alejano: two gems in the mud of Philippine politics. Short blog article that delivers Joe.

    • I concur. The other two democratic and non-corrupt groups, LP and Akbayan, have to straighten their act. But that is the beauty of competitive systems like democracy and capitalism at their best – you can always straighten your act and increase market share.

      • Francis says:


        Akbayan. They tried. There was an excellent mixture of policy, theory and practice backing them. There’s an entire book which talks about how they tried to change politics—not from the national level (like most of the other attempts) but from a local level. Quimpo’s Contested Democracy: Philippine Left After Marcos is very, very instructive as to how monumental that task—the task of changing politics in this country—truly is.

        In the end, Akbayan (from this armchair analyst’s perspective) got absorbed into the LP blob. Even if one doesn’t agree with center-left politics—Akbayan’s vision for politics, that of “building counter-power for the people” via the ballot box and questioning the fairness of our economic arrangements, was something that had the potential to keep our elites honest, in a way that mere centrist reformists on the LP (however well-intentioned) could not simply do.

        Had the potential, had it been undiluted.

        Nowadays—it’s hard to distinguish between LP and Akbayan for the average man on the street, I suppose. In order to attain influence to attain its goals, Akbayan had to make certain bargains, certain exchanges…

        The armchair analyst in me blames the fact that Akbayan didn’t work onto building roots in the burgis/middle class which could have provided the resources to insulate them from (even well-intentioned i.e. LP) traditional political elite influence, ala the Democrats’ Professional Class-Minority alliance, and Labour’s similar arragements, but I digress.

        The perennial problem of PH politics for reformists is how does one not get eaten by the system and remain relatively idealistic, upright and loyal to their convictions—while at the same time being effective political actors? Theory is often maligned, but I sure wish that academics lend their energy and knowledge into how to translating piles of analysis and frameworks into practical-oriented theories and ideas to better attempts to reform.

        • I don’t think Akbayan is absorbed into LP at all. Indeed, Senator Hontiveros is intensely independent, within Akbayan. But they are intelligent and recognize a dictator and destructive policies no matter if Akbayan or LP. LP seems so weak and disjointed
          to me as to not be able to absorb anyone.

          • NHerrera says:

            No more blazing fire, only some smoldering embers [has it ever been a blazing fire?]. Nuance: Filipinos are known for blazing activity or bayanihan in times of calamities such as earthquakes or storms. But after that, even embers may not be found.

            A corrective note: the previous Pres Aquino started to set the stage for a blazing fire based on democratic principles. Alas, it was cut short by the likes of Poe, among others, after parading her “expert” military mind before the Senate, Aquino’s supposed sins in Mamasapano — but comparatively mute to the tens of thousands killed in the drug war. Even Aquino’s partner on the democratic path, Mar Roxas — whose great efforts during and after the Yolanda super-storm is now known as a fact — was parodied instead.

            • Francis says:

              People make mountains out of the relative molehills that are the cons of the previous administration.

              The previous administration was not perfect, but most mistakes of it—I reckon—were unintentional. In contrast to the immense graft of the short lady and the China-flattery of the one currently in charge.

            • Yes, the maliciousness then was astounding. The price is being paid now.

              • In the Noli, an idealist with a touch of aloof self-righteousness wants to reform things. People hate him with fervor and frame him up with malice for trying to rock the boat.

                In the Fili, a bitter man wants to cleanse the country with violence. Seems both of Rizal’s novels are coming true today – the man though young knew his people well. Only in his novels it is the same man transformed by anger who also wreaks the havoc in Part 2.

              • Strange as fiction, eh?

      • They remain competitive with each other, even as they join on certain issues. The idea of forming a major major principled party seems not to be in the thinking, as if they can’t figure out how to rationalize their priorities, or gain prominence personally.

    • Yes, one can at least recognize there are right-thinking institutions in the Philippines.

  2. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Si Trillanes at Alejano Dating Jeepney Drivers

    Pinaguusapan ngayon isang mainit na Fake News. Noon bata pa sila, bagong gradwayt sa Collegio sa Loakan sina Tonio Trillanes at Gary Alejano namamasada daw, jeepney drivers rotang Cartimar-Ayala Makati. Alam nila iba’t -ibang klaseng pasahero; meron salisi, meron ayaw magbayad, kaya nagdikit sila ng magandang sticker sa jeep nila: HUDAS NOT PAY. Alam ni Tonio at ni Gary, kilala nila ang mga pasahero nila. Araw-araw kasi ang boundery nila. Jingle lang ang pahinga. Hero sila ng mga naghagis ng kompeti sa building sa Ayala.

    Meron nangyari noong huling biyahe nila. Nakulong sila. Pero yung ibang pasahero nila naka libre. Naalala nila yung sticker nila HUDAS NOT PAY. Pero Ayon na nga, parehong gusto na namang mamasada, kahit sasalungain uli nila sa init at lamig ng kalsada, kasi alam naman ng mga butihin pasahero nila, service lang sa bayan, walang kurakutan.

    • NHerrera says:

      Nice fake news!

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      kahit walang raim este rhyme
      parang pekeng tula ang dating

      Pinaguusapan ngayon
      isang mainit na Fake News.
      Noon bata pa sila, bagong gradwayt
      sa Collegio sa Loakan sina Tonio Trillanes
      at Gary Alejano ay namamasada daw,
      jeepney drivers rotang Cartimar-Ayala Makati.

      Alam nila iba’t -ibang klaseng pasahero;
      meron salisi, meron ayaw magbayad,
      kaya nagdikit sila ng magandang sticker sa jeep nila:

      Alam ni Tonio at ni Gary, kilala nila ang mga pasahero nila.
      Araw-araw kasi ang boundery nila. Jingle lang ang pahinga.
      Hero sila ng mga naghagis ng kompeti sa building sa Ayala.

      Meron nangyari noong huling biyahe nila.
      Nakulong sila. Pero yung ibang pasahero nila naka libre.
      Naalala nila yung sticker nila HUDAS NOT PAY.

      Pero Ayon na nga, parehong gusto na namang mamasada,
      kahit sasalungain uli nila sa init at lamig ng kalsada,
      kasi alam naman ng mga butihin pasahero nila,
      ang buhay nila hindi serbesa, serbisyo lang sa bayan,
      walang kurakutan ang trip nila.


      Ewan ko ba, bakit sa Tagalog
      yung riddle ang tawag BUGTONG.

      • sonny says:

        🙂 Popoy, look what you made me do. (Kumagat naman ako. ha ha)

        Ayon kay J.V. Panganiban, ang salitang “bugtong” ay maaring pang-uri (adjective, only child) o kaya maaring pangngalan (noun, riddle)

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          Thanks Sonny, let it be written for posterity that at this very moment, this instant I am watching the Royal Wedding coverage of Meghan to Harry, the live version of Cinderella uber fiction that will never fade or die as long as British Royalty exist on the cosmos. The last time I saw a Royal Wedding was in Prof Dr Mark Turner of Hull, England, later of Australia’s National U. as Prince Charles wed Diana,in Mark’s humble domicile in the staff housing of ADCOL (Admin College) in Port Moresby. PNG. .

          Sorry for the digression. Tagalog words, raw, rich, direct and truthful can make book titles like for example a book on corruption can be titled: HIMOD, HIMAS,HADHAD, TUNGAW, LIBAG, TUMBONG, ETC. Wala sa ‘Tate at sa England niyan.

          • sonny says:

            Uncanny that that you mention the royal wedding as the blog focuses on two desirable and truly representatives of the Filipino people. For me the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the royal event reminded me of how far we still are in our own national journey of State. The wedding gave occasion to display the history, tradition and unity of the English people while we are faced with the on-going disconnect and dissonance of our own leadership from its citizenry.

            • edgar lores says:

              1. I, too, watched the Royal Wedding. And what a spectacle it was! The Brits certainly know how to put on a show.

              2. But it was not purely a British show. There were American elements. And not just any kind of American elements. It was specifically African-American Culture – Black Culture — elements. There was the biracial bride. Then there was the showstopping Episcopalian black preacher. And finally, there was the all-black gospel choir. It was British solemnity married with American vivacity, classical Elgar joined with American soul music.

              3. Politically, it was British royalty married to American democracy. The colonizer plucking a colonized flower. A prince marrying not just a commoner but an outlander.

              3.1. And here we witnessed a marriage of two opposing political ideas. On one hand, there was the old belief that not all men are created equal. And on the other, there is the proposition that all men are created equal.

              3.2. How to reconcile the two?

              3.2.1. The old belief of inequality, carried from the dim beginnings of man’s history, is now more symbolic than real in Great Britain. However, it continues to hold the mass of humanity in its sway.

              3.2.2. The new belief of equality, entering human consciousness barely two and a half centuries ago, is now observed more symbolically than in real life. However today, it is practiced in the form of democracy in the majority of countries.

              3.2.3. The British royalty is an anachronism. It is an institution that has outlived its role as the actual sovereign power. While its role in politics is largely ceremonial, the royalty is very relevant to the spirit and operation of politics.

              3.2.4. Conceptually, the people are sovereign. However, unlike other democracies, the sovereignty of the people is represented by the Monarch. The Monarch is also the head of the government. And it is the government that governs the people. There is a circularity of three elements:

              |-> People -> Monarch -> Government ->|

              3.2.5. It is the Monarchic element that gives stability to constitutional monarchies, a stability that is missing in most other forms of democracy. The Monarch is respected, if not revered, by the people. And the government of the day, usually in parliamentary form, reports to the Monarch. The Monarch gives its assent to bills that are passed.

              3.2.6. Thus, the government is subsumed under the domain of a Monarch that is largely symbolic. The Prime Minister, or the President in our case, would not – cannot! – become an autocrat because there exists a higher power above him in abstract as well as in concrete terms.

              3.2.7. There are other factors that give political stability to the United Kingdom.

              o The growth of its political institutions is organic.
              o Its major religious institution is also home-grown. The Church of England is the established church. And the Monarch is the head of the established church.
              o Its narrative as a country goes back to the legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and to their Code of Chivalry.

              4. While the US has no blood royalty, there are revered symbols and narratives that give the country political stability. The Founding Fathers. The past presidents – Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, the Roosevelts. The royalties in sports and entertainment. There is now a Church of Beyonce.

              5. Most of these elements are lacking in our country. Our political and religious institutions have been grafted to a recalcitrant native disposition. And the roots are shallow.

              5.1. We should consider having a pseudo-monarch by instituting a ceremonial head of state above the head of the government. The form of government may be parliamentary or semi-presidential.

              6. Yes, in this Royal Wedding, white royalty has embraced black commonality… and we are all the better for it.

              • sonny says:

                Yes! Yes to all you bring up, edgar. I set the alarm for my better half to watch the royal event transpiring real-time US 4:00 am Central Time. She invested much attention to Princess Diana and her incorporation into the Windsor Royal House and thru later years. We both have exposure to the new Duchess of Sussex following her Hollywood-TV persona as Rachel Zane (Suits). This includes her Chicago connection via nearby Northwestern University and her earlier upbringing with the Catholic nuns at Immaculate Conception in Los Angeles.

                3.0 thru 3.2.7

                The back images of the British were supplied recently in my case by history atlases enlivened by reruns of CAPTAIN BLOOD & THE SEA HAWK (Elizabethan privateers vs Spanish naval operatives) showing the forced and torture-filled Black migrations from western Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean islands.


                Hopefully the example of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex will bring this message of commonality and ameliorate social conditions on either side.

              • I look at the Prince and his bride, and the Duke and Dutchess afterward, and see a quality couple, in intelligence, character, and charm. I wish them well. I like the enlargement of white aristocracy that is taking place to embrace other races, it’s like a centuries old child becoming whole, for the modern world. It goes against the narrowing going on in politics, where small white men presume some kind of false superiority.

                Long live the Duke and Dutchess, may they have lives rich with the kinds of adventures that a cross cultural marriage brings, and with giving to a more kindly world.

              • A.1. England is more truly multicultural and multiracial than the USA is – my impression. Passports are checked by civil servants who can be in hijab or in Sikh turbans. Something impossible in the USA – or in Germany where teachers can’t wear hijabs in some states.

                A.2. My sister’s civil wedding in London nearly 4 years ago was officiated by an official of black Carribean origin, assisted by another of Pakistani origin wearing a hijab. There was a non-civil, non-religious ceremony days later, followed by a party – all “colors” were there.

                A.3. Brexit has somewhat awakened the ghosts of racism in England, not as badly as in the USA but also. The nicest thing about the wedding yesterday was that it was symbolically against all that, the second-nicest thing was that Trump was not invited.

                B.1. An elected President with mainly ceremonial powers might do the Philippines good. Usually heads of state are more about ceremonial and image aspirations of a people. Then Filipinos could even elect Manny Pacquiao, if they feel it gives brown people pride to do so.

                B.2. Prime Ministers started to be appointed by Kings when the business of governing became too detailed for them. Ministers and Prime Ministers act like caretakers, meaning it doesn’t matter if they are boring. Mar Roxas is the classic Prime Minister type of person. Most Asian prime ministers are in that mold – quiet and unassuming. Separating the roles of President and Prime Minister would solve a perennial Philippine problem of personalities.

                C.1. The Filipino narrative is conflicted. It already starts with the bickering about who is the greater (or true) Filipino hero – Rizal or Bonifacio. Bonifacio vs. Aguinaldo also comes up. Was Quezon a great man or just a pro-American mestizo? Is the country Asian or Western? The old question USA or Japan with former revolutionary general Ricarte (and his kanto-boy followers in the 1910s) for the latter has been supplanted by USA or China, with Duterte and his polite followers. (grin grin) Is democracy Filipino at all, or is datuism more truly Filipino? Is Christianity Filipino? Which Christianity? Black Nazarene Christianity or Atenean ways?

              • edgar lores says:

                A.1. My esteem for Prince Charles went up several notches by his gentlemanly touch with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

                B.1. Yes, I’m thinking ceremonial powers for the head of state (HOS) but something more, a real power to check the head of government (HOG). The HOG and all his appointees — like cabinet men and justices — must take their oath of office before the HOS. For the HOG, this is important for him to recognize he is subsumed under a higher power. For the judiciary, this is important to ensure their independence from the appointing power. The real power could be something along the lines of (a) assent to bills passed by Congress; (b) assent to constitutional decisions by the Supreme Court; and (c) the power to recommend impeachment of the HOG to the Legislature.

                C.1. Agree. Include the was-Marcos-great question. These are questions that can be resolved by the academe. In a decisive way that would be recorded in history books. Of course, the resolutions should be questioned from time to time by succeeding generation of scholars and historians.

              • The royals are trained to be gracious and diplomatic. Charles has been through his own travails in romance and life, and perhaps matured as a result. I can’t help but compare Prince Charles and President Duterte. They are of the same humanoid species, but, my, evolution plays its strange tricks. Or surroundings in life, rather than evolution.

              • Would Harry Roque make a good HOG? Would the HOG still command the pork barrel like today?


                Jokes aside, yes, even the ceremonial German President signs all laws – and can send laws back, even does in rare cases where there are doubts. He also asks Parliament to vote a Chancellor, accepts votes of no confidence to dissolve Parliament etc.

              • “Prince Charles and President Duterte.”

                it is easier to compare President Duterte and Charles’ distant ancestor Edward II, the Hammer of the Scots, the brutal warlord king of England and adversary of Braveheart. Though Edward II was probably a lot more cunning than Duterte.

                Or with another distant ancestor of the English dynasty via the Georges of Hannover – Henry the Lion, the Guelph Holy Roman Emperor who founded Munich by building a bridge over the Isar, allegedly burning the old bridge a Oberföhring and thereby taking the very important income from the salt route (to Salzburg of course = “salt fortress”) away from the Archbishop of Freising, who was from the rival Ghibelline clan. Later, the Archbishopric was called “Munich and Freising” and the archbishop given 1/3 of the Munich bridge toll fees. Echoes of the Marawi and Boracay way of doing business, completely normal in Europe of the 13th century. BTW the bridge toll only was abolished in 1918, with the Republic.

                Or with Ethelred the Unready, a Saxon King before the Norman dynasties, no blood line leads from there to Charles. He thought paying off the Danes would keep them away. Finally the Danes laughed him off and took over England – King Canute and Harold.

                Harold would prove just as unable to ward off William the Conqueror as the Saxons could ward off Canute/Knut, or the Celts could ward of the Saxons when the Romans left Brittania – and it took Elizabeth I to build a navy that could ward off mainland invaders. Another story..

              • The point being, if the stage at which Philippine datuships and rajahnates were in 1521 was similar to Iron Age Greeks, Phoenicians and Etruscans, there are centuries of evolution in between Duterte (who wants to go back to 1521) and Prince Charles.

                Edgar’s comment about a recalcitrant (unwilling, hardheaded) native disposition.. which now has devolved to going back to the barangay mentality, casting off “elite”, imported ideas. Article on that by me is coming soon.

  3. NHerrera says:


    “Color me Magdalo,” too. Thanks Sen Trillanes and Rep Alejano for the untiring work that uplifts. You certainly do a lot more than simply earn your keep compared to the likes of Sotto and Pacquiao [mentioning these two on the same line, I know, is akin to blasphemy].

  4. So timely, this interview by Asia Times of Senator Trillanes. I won’t try to synopsize the article because the whole thing is MUST READ.

    • NHerrera says:

      Answers question like a lawyer — factual and logical — but one which is straight to the point. Bests the statements of the best of the Administration’s lawyer-mouthpieces.

      This is interesting — and something I posted several times before in so many words here at TSH:

      Trillanes claims that Duterte has put out at least four “hits” on his life, alleged threats he says have been neutralized and thwarted due to his top-level military ties.

      • NHerrera says:


        Trillanes: I know for a fact that Duterte is a paranoid man. And that he knows also that my classmates at the [military] academy are now battalion commanders in the army. So these are some things that he might consider in his moves against me.

        Yes, the field men, not the armchair Generals — and the latter know the score too.

      • NHerrera says:

        Spoken like a more mature wiser man — compared to his putchist days — talking of withdrawal of support by the AFP instead of outright military coup as in Estrada’s time in 2001.

        Also ventured into comments about the economic managers and zeroed on Dominguez and what the latter is supposed to be doing on the side. Trillanes may know what we do not know from his contacts.

        Although some juicy words from the horses mouth, so to speak

      • The relationship with generals is with people, individuals, none of whom has the ability to drive anything except in concert with colleagues, each of whom is a private, sentient person. The Senator made this point, in fact. Predicting anything cannot be done because of this, but there are for sure observable ‘tendencies’ within the military that suggest it is not a captured institution. Even a purchased Duterte general would not be able to craft a consensus among his peers.

        • NHerrera says:

          My lingering thoughts on the Asia Times interview with Trillanes:

          I may get this wrong but to my mind, if the military in general, including the rank and file, is asked to focus on a single item for criticism against the Administration it is the gifting of parts of the PH to China and the way the Chinese are treated — with kid gloves — relative to their compatriots. The repeated statement of virtual surrender to the Chinese [“what can we do, we cannot fight them and win”] must hurt the soldier’s psyche, trained and drilled as they do to defend and protect the country.

          • Yes, and for some, I suspect the emotion is outright hate. Like those who served on Pagasa or the rusty boat outpost. Such betrayal of what they have served for!

            • sonny says:

              Makes me wonder if this “ambivalence” in the members of the military is akin to making a value-judgment of either becoming a praetorian guard or a legionnaire. This identity seems to be unresolved for some even after graduation from the academy.

    • Istambay sa Kanto says:

      Thanks for the link Sir!

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. I note that the core values include Loyalty, Honor, and Duty, which are the Three Primary Virtues (TPV). In addition, they include Service, Independence, and Excellence.

    1.1. As I have noted, the Three Primary Virtues can be vices. The virtue of Service gives direction to the TPV and overcomes the tendency for them to be vices. The Mission Statement states that the service is to improve the lives of the Filipino people. It denies that the TPV is to be used for Self and Family.

    1.2. The virtue of Independence can be interpreted at several levels. It could mean:

    o Independence from foreign countries –- as in China or the US
    o Independence from the other branches of government –- notably a misguided Executive as we have now
    o Independence from peers – either representatives or senators who seek to impose their own agenda
    o Independence from citizen groups, news/social media groups, or business group who seek to further their own interests
    o Independence from family, clan, or tribe who may seek to take advantage of government connections

    As in the Judiciary, independence of thought and action is a must.

    1.3. The virtue of Excellence means doing one’s best at all times. But more than that it means acting wholly with personal integrity intact.

    2. As I noted in my comment on Will’s profile on Rep. Gary Alejano, the policy thrusts must be given flesh. At the moment, they are motherhood objectives and not even statements. They answer the WHAT and the WHY. The HOW is yet to be established.

    2.1. In addition to a detailed platform, it would be good also if the party could develop a Constitution… when it reaches critical volume.

    3. It’s safe to say, the party doesn’t have volume yet. These are early days for the party. We don’t know the number of Magdalo officers and grassroots members. I have seen numbers of 300 officers and 500+ members bruited about. Trillanes garnered less than 869K votes when he ran for the vice presidency in the 2016 elections. He was sandwiched between Honasan at 789K votes and Escudero at 4.9M votes.

    3.1. The Magdalo philosophy of a clean room might be attractive to ethical souls. For the very same reason, it will repel trapos and newbies that see politics as a get-rich-quick scheme. And there will be renegades like ex-Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

    4. There is no doubt that Filipinos go for underdogs, fighters (Miriam, Trillanes, Leila), coup plotters (Enrile, Honasan, Magdalo), and virginal men and women (Cory, Grace, PNoy). But they also go for crazy maniacs.

    5. We see that Filipinos, by and large, are blind to ethical principles when it comes to things political. If we could only solve this mystery, then Magdalo might have a good chance in the 2019 senatorial election. Alejano is not in the Top 30, but these are early days.

    • Your point 3.1 leads me to believe that Senator Trillanes will always have to bear incredibly bitter criticism due to his past adventurism. Filipinos are inclined to forgive an outright bad person, but not perceived ‘mistakes’ from a supposedly good person. They go nuts with indignation and anger.

      Regarding point 2, I think if one took the time to research the bills proposed and produced that have the Alejano signature, the “what, why, and how” would start to take shape. Writing laws is transactional. Being president is more strategic. It is hard for one legislator to drive even his own party’s strategy, I think.

  6. caliphman says:

    It is indeed laudable that Magdalo and their leaders are championing good governance anf opposing the perversion of the function of the three branches of government to serve the interests of the country and not those of Duterte. The odds they face are increasingly grimmer day by day as Duterte and his allies in the supreme court and congress act to intimidate if not eliminate any significant or public opposition to the administration. Not mentioned here but very disturbing is the increasing use of country’s courts to target his enemies; De Lima , Sereno, now Trillanes, and next probably his predecessor Aquino. Why should Duterte change the constitution when the supreme court can bend and twist the current one for him?

  7. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    You’re welcome, Joe. I hope the fact that the article on Rep. Gary Alejano was written in street language must not be lost to the readers. JoeAm, God bless his kind soul, finds nothing askew about an article written in a different language in his blog redolent with King’s English, that he has to hit Google Translate to understand. Truly, that is heroic. And yes, history is being written as we speak. Across the land, Filipinos are waking up and looking for ways to survive President Duterte with his version of a nuclear war on us. A Filipino philosophy of love of God, flag, family and community is evolving from the shame we have to live with. Someday, we will be reborn, or is it happening already?

    • sonny says:

      Amen to all things you said, Wil. Having the King’s English is very appropriate for an archipelagic people. We are internally a multicultural nation, it is natural that a 2nd language “customizeable” to our regional souls moderates our linguistic infrastructure. And I think Joe understands and appreciates that. Lucky for us he in his inimitable way, helps our journey to “… (that) Filipino philosophy of love of God, flag, family and community.” (my opinion of course).

    • It does. I’m disappointed the US is not more assertive about this military adventurism. The longer it goes on, the more lives will have to be lost to stop it. There is no mystery left as to what China has done, and anyone who believes any self-righteous statements coming out of China is a huge, gullible fool. That includes the President of the Philippines, his DFA Sec, and his toady followers.

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