What in the world is a foreigner to do?

The way the Philippines treats foreigners who get out of line, no matter how much they love the nation that is their home. Too.

By JoeAm

As a foreigner living in the Philippines, I find myself straining to find a place to fit in. On one hand, I love the Philippines, Filipinos, the dynamic culture, the food, the sea and land adventures, and even driving in the chaos.

On the other hand, the nation has become a bit of a basket case, a schlock joint, a banana republic, a bastardized democracy strung out on self-interest as if it were a drug addiction. Most of the government’s top officials, as far as I can tell, are disingenuous at best and outright liars at worst. They pack the ethics of a con man.

It’s hard to offer up positive opinions when so much of what is going on is horrible. Uninvestigated police killings, massively funded State propaganda, cruel persecution of women, abrasive attitude toward the poor, failure to defend the West Philippine Seas diplomatically, authoritarian ways (Boracay, Marawi, threats, harassment), and hundreds of legislators, agency heads, and judges who range between cowardly populists and despicable back stabbers.

What, a foreigner is supposed to smile and shrink back like a step and fetchit’ slave and just say “yassuh boss!”? Or he is supposed to care, as Sister Fox cares, about the land that grabbed her heart?

The decent people in the Philippines are under attack as “destabilizers”, which is really bizarre when you think about it. The government is destabilized by decency. Hahahaha! That’s why Vice President Robredo is always on the State’s hit list, the list turned over to the well-funded troll brigade for fake stories and slander.

They are busy shaping public attitudes to dispise the able and cheer the corrupt of wallet or conscience.

Well, I can’t join protests or advocate for any extreme measures lest I get the Sister Fox treatment. I don’t opine too much on President Duterte directly, as he was properly elected and is the Head of State. But I opine on others in government who seem to me to be disregarding their oaths or are flat out incompetent. Opinions are, at their core, always in the best interest of the nation, whether they offer praise or criticism, and whether they are right or wrong. That’s why free speech is precious. Disregard it, and the State quickly goes down the path of tyranny, corruption, failure, and great suffering.

I think the Philippines is well down the suffering path.

At any rate, I would like to express my regrets to all the decent Filipinos who are as dismayed as I am by what they see happening to the nation that is their homeland. I regret that I am a negative voice way too often, and I give discouraging views way too often. Please accept that this is because I care, not because I am dislike where I am, or would want to be anywhere else.


108 Responses to “What in the world is a foreigner to do?”
  1. edgar lores says:

    Perhaps the strangest thing, Joe Am, is that you are not the only foreigner.

    Many Filipinos have become foreigners in their own land.

    They have become… strangers in a strange land.

  2. Arlyne Ocampo says:

    As we pray, hope, keep faith, that all these things will come to pass with God’s mercy, be by our side. Our voices may not be loud & strong enough to bring down the wall of apathy, ambition, greed. But, it is comforting to know that foreigners like you care deeply as we do.

    • Thanks, Arlyne. Yes, it is interesting that most of the outcry for civility and due process is coming from outside the Philippines. What a shame that is, when we ask, what really is a legislature and set of courts for?

      • arlyne ocampo says:

        In the nation’s current state, legislative & judicial branches of govt are willingly or unwittingly being used to empower the executive branch more. To solidify and consolidate power to just one man, because as you very well know, our constitution upholds all three branches as equally sharing power. I don’t know, but Duterte seems more Macchiavellian than Marcos. The greed may be equal but, Marcos has styled himself as elite from the very start while Duterte wears the mask of an underdog, proletariat, humble boy next door from the province. Most people are buying it, Duterte puts on a good show. Maybe we needed this to happen to us again. Maybe we need to hit the bottom before we can rise up with more wisdom.

  3. Chemrock says:

    It’s easy to climb down, tough to climb up.

    The alternative is as Churchill suggested — when you reached Hell, just keep going.

  4. Andres 2018. says:

    Decent people, are you referring the “Yellows” as the decent people? If yes, how? How can you say that the Yellows are decent?

    I think these emotion-packed statements are the statements of the people who lost their grip of power. The world is round.

    • I’m referring to people who believe in the rule of law, human rights, the main tenants of the Constitution, and civil discourse and policy from top officials. The term ‘yellows’ has come to mean LP and Aquino and a special kind of elitism, which Duterte/Marcos/China backers have successfully vilified, for one can not impose autocratic methods without a defined enemy. I am not referring to ‘yellows’, although a lot of them are decent people.

      • As for emotion-packed statements of people who lost their grip on power, what, you expect subservient obedience?

      • Andres 2018. says:

        I agree with you that a hero, to be a such, needs a villain. But for a Yellow to cry foul of using this hero-villain strategy is hypocrisy. The same strategy was used by them e.g. Marcos, Gloria, Corona, Binay.

        As for emotion-packed statements of people who lost their grip on power, its very much natural to act that way. I am not expecting subservient obedience because, well, that would be unnatural. But for me, i would like them to act cooperatively for the sake of a united nation. Come on, you already got your time to lead, give way to the other party and cooperate.

        • It isn’t the yellows who are saying the hero needs a villain, it is me, and other observers here. I didn’t say it was a foul, it is a common method used by autocrats. Kindly don’t twist my words and name-call.

          Are you writing to me, or are you writing to Aquino? He has not said a damn thing. I have never held power. Furthermore, Duterte is not ‘the other party’ in the sense that a political party’s ideals are being waged. It is one individual backed by power and money who are taking democratic institutions and principles apart. Pardon me for excluding Arroyo in the cabal of Duterte/Marcos/Arroyo/China in my earlier comment. That you call for obedience states clearly where your allegiance lies, and why you are saying what you are saying.

          • Hahaha, Duterte/Marcos/Arroyo/China/Andres(1-n) where Andres represents the State’s army of . . . er, communicators.

          • Andres 2018. says:

            Sir, pardon for using multiple accounts, every time i change device i could not recall my log-in credentials, so, i created a new one from time to time.

            I am not a communicator of them, nor a DDS. I am just an observer who thinks that a united nation ruled by an autocrat is better than a nation with two or more opposing parties. Like a family where mom and kids submits to the authority of the dad. These submissive attitude for the wife is actually biblical, a teaching of Paul, apostle to the Gentiles. One prominent religious domination here in the Philippines even have this as one of their commandments – “Thou shall not rebel against the administration.”

            I am not a Duterte apologist, in fact i opposed some of his policies e.g. BuildBuildBuild. My call to submission is for the opposition who are still in power, senators and representatives. Quo warranto is done for, deal with it already. WPS issues are not taken for granted, stop the unnecessary call of someone else resignation. BBL, whats the call of wrapping it up for the sake of Dutertes SONA? Instead, they should think of passing some useful bills that would benefit the Filipino people, grow and never limit themselves of being critics.

            Its good to hear from you that you are considering this “hero-villain strategy” a non-foul. But we would have disagreements if you stick to your words that only autocrats use this. I would call Cory Aquino and friends autocrats if its the case.

            I am not specifically writing to PNoy, but to all Yellows who are still in power. I am not writing to you or to any citizen or resident. This means i am not writing to PNoy because he is now a citizen.

            You are saying Duterte is back by power and money of people who are taking democratic institutions and principles. You may be correct that Duterte is back by others, but that is necessary for an individual who is on the top seat. To whom those people fire them anti-democracy cannons? To their political enemies of course e.g. DeLima, Sereno, Leni(?). As long as they are firing their anti-democracy cannons not to the good Filipino people that would be fine by me, i call it tolerable. EJKs, fine, criminals on records.

            How about those economic policies that are generally bad for the country, those that contributed to rising prices, the likes, and whatever? I could only hope for that BPO industries and other the same services will perform very best in the next 15 or 20 years.

            • Thanks for the elaboration. You prefer a strongman, and I can see some efficiencies to that in a broken society. But President Duterte demonstrates none of the positive acts that would enable a nation to build, a people to unite, and wealth to be generated and spread. Rather, he is taking human rights and attitudes toward women back to the 1940’s, gifting sovereign seas to China, killing without investigation or justice, doing the opposite of transparency through propaganda, speaking in ways we teach our kids not to, ignoring the effects of his policies on the economy, and breaking down democracy not through the vote, but through favors and power. So if that is good in your eyes, and better than democracy, then we are way far apart on how we see things.

              • Andres 2018. says:

                That is a big and hard call for P.Duterte you got there, some of it i may argue. But don’t think of me as an apologist of him, but rather a neutral observer.

                First, on your statement of a “nation to build.” What do you mean, specifically? Its building a nation economy? or something else?

                Second, on “a people to unite.” See how the other political parties and prominent people jump in Duterte’s ship. e.g. Binay, Villar. Its only the LP that didn’t, count also the leftist.

                Third, on “wealth to be generated and spread.” PH got loans, big big loans. PH got the money, the issue here is where to properly spend those money.

                Fourth, on “human rights and attitudes toward women” and on “killing without investigation or justice.” EJKs, for criminals? Thats tolerable, the red line here is when Duterte silences citizens who are critics, like bloggers media, and the likes. Or issues of police officers torturing critics and the likes. Against women, he still have women on his cabinets, if he truly hates or dislikes them, he should have an all-men team.

                Fifth, on “gifting sovereign seas to China.” I am confident to say that none of our territories where given to China. I could elaborate this issue more but it would be long.

                Duterte got the ability to unite the nation, thats why i am rooting for him despite of his and his administration short comings. All his administration needs is to perform well in the coming four years.

              • First, a nation to build means to build wealth, stability, security, and opportunities for Filipinos.

                Second, those that jumped ship from LP are those who put personal well-being above party or national principle and well-being. It is a bad business which is why “turncoat” laws are under consideration. Self-interest over ethics and oaths is one of the most disappointing attributes of democracy that makes wealth available to turncoats and unprincipled people.

                Third, loans are not wealth, they are a means to wealth if used prudently. Marcos debt funded his theft and ruined the nation and the same mindset seems to have returned.

                Fourth, uninvestigated police killings are only tolerable in tyrannical, cruel states. The President’s attitude toward women affects the nation’s attitude toward women, and if you read you know that women’s rights organizations, even pro-Duterte Gabriela, believe the President is sending Philippine women’s rights back to the stone ages. It is uncivil and backward and discriminatory.

                Fifth, China has taken Philippine seas. Period. The Duterte government has been accepting of that until the past few days when criticism got so heavy that the President had to talk about red lines and boast about going to war . . . all hyperbole and used mainly to keep citizens from getting upset. There is lots of space here, so elaborate away on the matter.

                Sixth, President Duterte cannot unite a nation when his troll army is out disparaging decent people. There are a lot of decent people in the Philippines, I am happy to report. He is unlikely to unite them with his hostile acts. By most measures, the Philippines is not performing well. Inflation. Debt. Falling in competitive ratings. Weak peso. Rebel rumblings. Corruption. Autocratic handling of Boracay and Marawi. Rising objection from youth, women, the poor, and yellows.

              • NHerrera says:


                Nice retort with incisive elaboration!

              • Andres 2018. says:

                @The Society of Honor

                EJKs. Yes there is, it would be naive to say there’s none. Killing the person involve is the final step and the last resort of the previous Double-barrel Operation (Tokhang). Again, for me this is acceptable, short of death penalty, provided it is intended for certain criminals on record and not to any other. Since we have different views of whats acceptable or not, its no use to argue on this.

                President’s attitude towards women. Yes, a bit lewd, but for that to affect the nations attitude towards women is far fetch. I have yet to hear any news of any male that catcalls a female in public television like what P.Duterte did. The President is never a good role model for kids when it comes to his mouth. Gabriela’s claim of sending women back to stone age? This claim is true if P.Duterte makes some policy that somehow discriminate women. But until then, this claim is unfounded. Since i agree with you that P.Duterte’s mouth is foul as such, we are good. However, if its actual women discrimination, and if you believe that there is such, feel free to site some.

                For those who jumped ship, well, maybe they heard the call of unity and cooperation? hehehe. Or for personal reasons like what you have said. Ship jumping is never illegal though. But the impact here is that you made them your allies.

                Loans not wealth? I dont think so, when you get a loan, you get an asset, according to the basic accounting principle. But yes, i agree with you that you need to effectively and efficiently manage that asset from loan to earn surplus. Yes, Duterte’s BuildBuildBuild is a mirror of that of Marcos and i am not in favor of it since the intended projects are substantially on infrastructures. It should be spend on projects that could generate exports.

                West Philippine Sea. I would like to put these on the table:

                1. Philippine Territorial Seas – the waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from our coastline. Philippines have sovereignty over these areas.

                2. Philippine EEZs – the waters extending up to 200 nautical miles from our coastline. The surface waters, excluding that of territorial seas, are treated as international waters. Philippines have no sovereignty over its EEZ but only sovereign rights, the rights to exclusively exploit and protect the natural resources thereon.

                3. Mischief Reef – a low tide elevation within Philppine EEZ where China occupied in 1995 and built installations thereon thereafter. In 2016, Permanent Court of Arbitration said that China violated Philippine sovereign rights by occupying and building on the area.

                4. Scarborough Shoal – a high tide elevation, in 2012 China restricted access within the shoal. In 2016 PCA said that China violated Philippine sovereign rights. Restriction was removed by China thereafter.

                Now, you said that China has taken Philippine seas, i believe you are saying that China has taken Philippine seas during Duterte’s time, right? But, what seas in particular? Exclude Mischief and Scarborough since China took those during Ramos’ and Aquino’s time.

              • Regarding the killing of Filipinos without proper restraint of police force and without investigation and without the due process of court judgment, I fear that I detest your stance. It is disgusting to me, this wanton disregard for the ethics and laws that protect innocent Filipinos, the presumption of guilt, the deaths, the crying children left fatherless. I fear that those who justify this are downright disgusting people, a category into which you put yourself, in my mind. I recite the words young Carlos Quiapo who is doing battle with his family on the matter:

                “Like water and oil, you can’t say that you support Duterte and that you’re a good person at the same time anymore. Every justification sends you a little bit down the circles of hell. If it’s one circle per victim of his War on Drugs, you’d be back and forth ten-folds.” https://medium.com/@qarloscuiapo/rodrigo-duterte-and-my-lola-22e63b933cc3

                The judgments of Duterte’s hostility toward women are out there for you to find. It is not up to me to teach you the dangers and damages that flow from a president of such crude and lewd remarks and acts. Your defense of it is disgusting as well.

                Loans on a company’s balance sheet are a LIABILITY until paid off. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

                The arbitration ruling granting clear economic rights to the Philippines came out early during Duterte’s term. He has failed to apply this win to secure Philippine sovereignty. The loss is on Duterte and no one else.

              • The enclosed article recites the history of the island loss and brings us up to date in a comprehensive way:


                Thanks to Ellen Tordesillas for this excellent overview.

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes, Tordesillas gives a good overview and tells it as it is — not sparing critical notes on the Administrations of Ramos and Aquino, and of course, Duterte’s.

              • Andres 2018. says:

                @The Society of Honor

                Asset = Liabilities + Equity. Thats the basic accounting equation right? If asset is wealth then it would be Wealth = Liabilities + Equity. Unless i am wrong in my premise that asset is wealth.

                The arbitration ruling granting (confirming) economic rights, yes i agree, but Philippines could never secure sovereignty over any area in WPS with that arbitration ruling as basis. The arbitration never awarded any sovereignty. I am sad lots of people confuse sovereignty and sovereign rights, which causes major disagreements in informal discussions.

                This aricle http://news.abs-cbn.com/blogs/opinions/05/29/18/opinion-lost-not-a-single-island-but-the-whole-of-spratlys is half gargbage! Why?

                Mischief Reef – lost under Ramos presidency (True).

                Scarborough Shoal – lost under Benigno Aquino III presidency (True).

                Spratlys including Sandy Cay – surrendered to China under Duterte presidency (Garbage!)

                Did Tordesillas knew what happen to the 200+ Filipino citizen residing in Pag-Asa Island since she claimed that it was surrendered to China? I would like to know, really. Did our troops surrendered and leave our occupied islets and reefs? This claim of Tordesillas is exaggeration at best but i am calling it half garbage. Or is Tordesillas saying in future tense, but he used the term “surrendered.”

                Sandy Cay, a cay 4 nautical miles away from Pag-Asa Island. Philippines occupied 10 islets and reefs, Sandy Cay not included. According to Alejano, Sandy Cay is a Philippine territory by citing the Philippine Base Line Law and UNCLOS Article 121. Is Alejano correct? Base on Philippine Base Line Law, which is actually the affirmation of Marcos Presidential Decree claiming the entire Spratly Group of Island as Philippine Territory, Alejano is correct. However, this Base Line Law with respect to Spratly is acknowledge by no one else, only the Philippines, meaning, this claim of Alejano is contested by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. Based on UNCLOS Article 121, Alejano interprets that Sandy Cay is part of Pag-Asa Island since it is within its territorial seas, i dont think so, our sovereignty claim even in Pag-Asa Island is contested, and the international community, even the US, did not gave us blessing of sovereignty over Pag-Asa, we only administered it by virtue of effective occupation. Island administration does not generate territorial seas, only sovereignty.

                Then how can we say if an island or islet or reef in the Spratly is partially ours? By administration through effective occupation. Effective occupation here means having our troops or civilians positioned or occupied the land mass. Previously and currently, we occupied 10 islet and reef, Sandy Cay not included. So Alejano, although he has basis, it is self serving and is not acknowledge by the international community.

                When can we say we lost Spratly or an island thereon? If our troops and civilians are removed, willingly or forcibly, from these islets/reefs:

                1. Thitu Isalnd (Pag-Asa).
                2. West York
                3. Northeast Cay
                4. Nanshan
                5. Loaita
                6. Flat Island
                7. Lankiam Cay
                8. Irveng Reef
                9. Second Thomas Shoal
                10. Commodore Reef

                Map of Spratly Group of Island for your reference, with flags!

                I also notice that it was a Vietnam flag on Sandy Cay! If its Vietnam that administered the Sandy Cay, then China did not “conquered” that island from the Philippines but from Vietnam!

              • Loans are a liability. Debt and the cost of debt must be managed prudently. This is not being done transparently in the Philippines today.

                Quibbling over semantics on sovereignty or details of the islands diverts attention from the important point here. The Duterte Administration is being widely criticized for representing the interests of China by disregarding that profound arbitration win, and for not actively defending Philippine rights by documented protest of China’s occupation of Philippine seas, militarization of international waters, and ongoing harassment of Philippine water craft in her own seas.

              • Andres 2018 says:

                @The Society of Honor

                “Loans are a liability. Debt and the cost of debt must be managed prudently. This is not being done transparently in the Philippines today.” — This is a big accusation from you. Can you back it up why there is no transparency? But before that, try to visit this page http://www.build.gov.ph/ You can find there the projects where those loan proceeds will go. Tell me also what level of transparency you are demanding.

                We need to use those proper terms in discussing about this arbitration case because of its legal and sensitive nature. I am not diverting the issue, in fact, i am digging into the very basis of everyone ones assertion. Like Alejano’s claim of losing Sandy Cay, or the alleged harassment of Filipino troops last May 11.

                It seems that you believe so much in diplomatic protest as if it is the best method out there. The arbitration award says that China violated Philippine sovereign rights by occupying the Mischief Reef. However, it never stated in their that the Tribunal commands China to leave the premise immediately. Tha Tribunal didnt even want to rule on sovereignty and territory or delimit any boundary. How profound is that win again? Who would implement that award?

                You have this arbitration award in you hand, what will you do next? More protest? What to protest next?

                But the current administration opted to set aside the ruling for the time being and chose bilateral talks to settle differences. Bilateral talk is not illegal, in fact it is in accordance with UNCLOS Article 123. If the current West Philippine Sea Policy is different from that of the previous one, it doesnt mean that the current administration is not defending the West Philippine Sea.

              • You are running around in circles and I refuse to chase you. You make no sense. You jump from one diversion to another. You back positions that to me are disgusting. I’ve given you space to speak. Now go elsewhere to do your advocacy.

              • sonny says:

                FWIW (for what it’s worth)

                On sovereignty, exercise thereof, mutual defense I had to review vaguely recalled crises at the Taiwan Straits (PRC, ROC, USA) in 1958. What are the parallels in 2017-18)? Are they applicable to present situation (PRC, PH, USA)?


              • sonny says:

                The contexts in the two events are obviously different. The “flashpoint” conditions are still to unfold; the political will and capabilities were patent and well defined in 1958; the PH today seems coy and aspiring to be, not neutral, but more of wanting to play wild card or courtesan.

              • sup says:

                In my opinion Andres 2018 is the same as in Raissa’s blog Ariel Anthony Tizon…Just a payed troll….. If i am wrong i’m sorry but i guess not…They both appear at june 1 typing out of this world pro Duterte stories ….Killing people in the street is a solution? Never mind people ”like that”

              • Thanks for the info. I agree, it is not humane to have that view.

  5. The Philippines has changed a lot – it definitely isn’t the place anymore that is was in the 1950s, when the likes of Edgar, sonny and NHerrera learned excellent English and impeccable manners.

    True, there were also warlords but in those days, Magsaysay was acclaimed for rushing to help Moises Padilla, even if he came too late to save him, he filed a case against the governor’s goons that killed him. Nowadays, most Filipinos might cheer like baying dogs for the killers of Padilla.

    My growing up in the Philippine during Martial Law was a period where values were changing for the worse and the generation of my father did not want to realize what was going on. The seed for the skewed values of today was planted 40 years ago. The most rabid Dutards are my generation.


    Simplistic propaganda from certain quarters also helped in making all of this possible. “We poor, they rich” sort of thinking which is what is used against “yellows” today. You can even justify what Calida and Teo are doing by this kind of logic “we are poor, give us a chance to earn money too” while arguing that Sereno belongs to those who are “already rich” (because yellow of course) and should be measured by higher standards, as they are the ones privileged by the unjust system..

    Absurd? Not really because I have heard all of that before. I decided to stay away and not risk being made into a culprit. Because those who argue that way will not even be satisfied if those they consider born with a silver spoon are living simply or even in poverty. Even then they may hate their competence or morality and try to drag them down into the mud or even deeper to be satisfied.


    Or do you think BBM will leave Leni alone if he finally gets the VP post? Still hopeful FOOLS?

    • Francis says:

      To add to Irineo’s comment:

      There was something that was lost after Marcos—in the post-EDSA period. A certain hope. A certain idealism. Nihilism became the “usual” attitude to things; hopelessness became common sense.

      I will never forgive Marcos because of how his debt strangled our momentum—and gave our national soul the worst trauma since the obliteration of old Manila in WW2. I have a book about political sociology written, I think, in the 60s-70s. “Political Man” by Lipset.

      The introduction mentioned a factoid that would come as a surprise to many Filipinos; once upon a time, the Philippines had one of the largest college enrollment numbers in the world. Imagine going from that, to our current state of wailing despair.

      Our elite (for the most part) has given up on being more than just thieves, more than just thugs; Marcos was the last guy who had a vision beyond the loot—the fool thought he could rob the country and be a visionary at the same time. Granted—thuggery has always been present in PH politics—but (maybe this is just nostalgia?) there was this sense among elites that the nation (for all their corruption) was their project, a legacy.


      Our people. Sad. Angry. Everyone wants to leave.

      I wonder how a conversation between an Argentinian and a Filipino might end up.

      • Francis says:


        Hope. That’s something that is often neglected, and seen as naive—but without it, how can things change?

        • I felt there was a political sense of hope in the months immediately after February 1986.

          Less of a political, more of an economic sense of hope in the short-lived mid-1990s boom that was cut short by the Asian Economic Crisis. First cellphones, flyovers, mega malls..

          Even around 1998 a sense of hope that the masses would have more of a voice in politics. Finally there was EDSA Dos and Arroyo saying she was returning to where she grew up. That was for me the point where I thought “wala na talaga” and unfollowed for quite a while.

      • Micha says:


        Marcos may have been a visionary but he didn’t stood a chance against the designs crafted by the Washington Consensus – that global octopus of neo-liberalism which turned much of the third world (Latin America in particular and also the Philippines) into basket cases slash Banana Republics.

        It was the designs of Washington Consensus which enabled the consummation of his epic corruption and the surrender even by his technocratic bright boys (Ongpin, Virata et al) of our domestic national policy.

        EDSA 1 did not change that dynamics. There was instead a pervading sense of triumphalism amongst civic and political leaders at that time, as if getting rid of the tyrant was the penultimate phase of nation building. There was no questioning or suggestion of reform of the economic order. We continued to embrace the neo-liberal onslaught with El Tabako living up to his Amboy imagery. Because the forces of (neo-liberal) economics was more powerful, economics shaped politics instead of the other way around.

        Fast forward to the age of Dutertae and the idiot hasn’t learned any lesson at all. He’s doing the same mistakes that Marcos did. This time taking the cue from Beijing Consensus instead of Washington, begging for loans from the Bank of China instead of the World Bank or the IMF.

        Debt peonage dooms any plans for collective national prosperity. And as long as there is that beast called economic stratification, populist scums will continue to exploit the rage of the excluded.

        • Francis says:

          Marcos had the opportunity to rewrite the “feudalism with a liberal democratic veneer” weak state and set it towards the path of becoming an effective strong state capable of telling Washington to buzz off once in a while—or at least bargain with Washington for a promotion above “annoying ally I have to put up with” to “competent ally I can respect” i.e. Japan, EU.

          I mean, it wouldn’t be perfect—but it would be still much nicer than where we are now. Instead, Marcos wasted all that aid on himself and his cronies, screwed our institutions, and gave rise to a cynical nihilism that haunts us today in the form of apathetic “I don’t wanna sully my hands in politics” folk and unrestrained populism.

          Marcos was just at the right time and place. The waning days of the post-WW2 New Deal order—a time when America wasn’t yet so neoliberal, so suspicious of government action. Neoliberalism was still unborn; an active state was still acceptable. Marcos had more than enough money flowing in to have a decent shot at carving some sort of strategic space for the Philippines in the form of a robust and relatively developed economy.

          He failed not because so much America wanted him to fail—this wasn’t the “privatize everything!” Enterpreurial America of Neoliberalism, this was the Managerial America of the New Deal Era—but because Marcos was too weak (an irony, for such a “strongman”) to tame his own wife and his own cronies. What a wuss.

          • There was the vain hope that Marcos would be able to handle money, being an Ilocano.

            I think he made several mistakes:

            1) thinking that the goose that lays golden eggs will lay them forever. Same mistake Duterte and his group are making now by destroying the basis for the productivity that feeds them. Today’s hyperfast world punishes mistakes more quickly than the slower 1970s world.

            2) exceeding predecessors in terms of greed. True that Roxas I laid the foundations for a certain economic dependency with Laurel-Langley and parity. Until 1974 Americans had the same rights as Filipinos to mine in the Philippines – in exchange for preferential sugar tariffs. Obvious who profited – sugar planters like Aquinos, Cojuangcos and Roxas. But when mines were taken from Americans and given to cronies, they stripped bare places like Samar. Why were so many Japanese WW2 stragglers found then? Cause jungles were being destroyed.

            3) Spending most money abroad. They say the damage the Suhartos did to Indonesia was not as big – even if they stole nearly as much as the Marcoses – because they left it at home. Money spent at home fuels domestic consumption and ends up in more domestic pockets.

            I think all this strongman stuff is overrated anyway. Lee Kuan Yew was able to do his work well because his entire political party had integrity and technocratic skill. Even the Koreans at that time had immense technocratic skill where at times integrity was sorely lacking.

            • One more thing, to give the “neoliberal” stuff Ramos went for some substance:

              The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 was probably the biggest mistake ever, allowing mining companies that are fully-foreign owned to practically do what they want for up to 50 years.

              They get valuable minerals out of Philippine earth, disrupt a lot of things and finally, how much taxes do they pay, what benefit does the Philippine state and the Filipino people have from all of that? And is the wholesale destruction of living space worth it? Questions.

          • Micha says:


            Not defending Marcos here (he’s a pointblank narcissistic megalomaniacal scum for all to see), but he’s exactly the right kind of guy that Washington wanted to manipulate in order to implement their turbo charged profits at all costs capitalist agenda.

            The aid was just the carrot before the stick and certainly didn’t come free at all as it was tied to all sorts of conditions, including but not limited to the preferential treatment of American interests – business, military, geopolitical.

            And as the appetite for debt piled up (then, as it is now) our sovereignty and national dignity went south.

            Marcos and Duterte worship the same god – it’s just the location of the temple that’s different.

            • Why did the Philippines succumb to that while Korea did not, for example?

              1) The Filipino often lives beyond his means, is an “utangero”. Pawn tomorrow to live today! Japanese and Koreans are known to save money.

              2) Conditioned preference for imported goods as status symbols. This en masse drains the foreign exchange reserves. Japanese and Koreans usually preferred own products and thereby kept domestic demand high, effectively subsidizing their exports.

              3) Elites that want easy money by selling natural and human resources practically “raw” – either as mined minerals or as OFWs, maybe in BPO firms. Little or no addition of value which would entail re-investing earnings, so hardly any own industries, even for software (!)

              4) Elites that do not trust their own country (that they rule!) and salt away money abroad. This also adds to the negative forex effect of always wanting imported not local goods.

              5) Tight bank secrecy that encourages plunder since 1955 (!). If bank accounts were easy to check like in the USA or EU, all this SALN eche bucheche (c) Popoy would be superfluous.

              Way too easy to blame foreigners if the fault is in one’s own leadership caste.

              Why is Vietnam, which has suffered far more, finding its way out of the maze?

              • P.S. No. 3) leads of course to a preference for foreign companies to come and give jobs to local people, who will get money and spend it on foreign goods again due to 2) – the cycle which Filipino leftists classically complain about, ignoring that the causes are home-made.

                Countries that are big or even just medium players have a certain mix of local and foreign companies, and also a healthy dose of SMEs, not leaving the game to the big guys only.

                Most EU countries will have healthy local players of all sizes from the neighborhood bakery over the specialized glass maker employing a few hundred people to steel factories – this is only possible if the government and the legal system works properly and is not corrupt.

              • Micha says:


                Who’s feeding the trough of the Marcos loot? Western banks, that’s who.

                Would he have succeeded in crafting a more nationalist economic strategy if the country was insulated from the neo-liberal order? Not an outright guarantee but the probability would be much higher.

              • Banks, like lawyers, are essentially amoral. Keep blaming the West simplistically and keep playing into the hands of Duterte, whose thinking is essentially borrowed from Chinese anti-Western revanchism which wants to get even for all the losses of past centuries from the Opium Wars, the Treaty Ports, the foreign zone in Shanghai, the Boxer Rebellion, the Rape of Nanking, Manchukuo and more. My point is some countries play their cards better while Filipinos always whine, even though they had a head start over Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia..

                Nobody forced Marcos to borrow so much money. Nobody is forcing Duterte to do the same.

                In fact I ask how it is possible for Duterte to borrow just like that, without Senate approval??

              • Micha says:


                Banks own the world, in case you haven’t got the memo yet. Bankers are at the front and center of what is now a slowly crumbling neo-liberal runaway capitalist train. The Italians have just installed their own populist government hostile to the EU project currently headed by a corrupt former Luxembourg finance minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

                There is essentially nothing that differentiates western and Chinese brand of capitalism, both are predatory and greedy.

                Nothing essentially differentiates a Chinese plutocrat from American or European or Philippine plutocrats.

                The dichotomy is not Chinese vs. Western.

                The dichotomy, as always, is between the haves and have nots.

                You ignore that dichotomy and you’ll get lost in the maze.

              • How the Italian election results play out remains to be seen. Brexit for example has shown that some populist stuff is oversimplified, that the costs of leaving far outweigh whatever benefits they dreamed of. And even in a breakup, each country has different sets of cards.

                “Neoliberal” is a buzzword, a slogan that oversimplifies complex reality. Are we talking about the foundation of the WTO in 1995 after decades of GATT? Are we talking about the rules for free trade that put globalisation on a fast track starting around that year?

                Is the EU completely neoliberal, or does it contain instruments to contain certain effects? Without the EU, would something like the recent Data Protection Law that forces Facebook, Google and others to adhere to stricter rules be possible? I think not.

                Global corporations have more leverage over individual, weak states than against powerful states like China, USA, Russia – or multinational economic and political unions like the EU. I prefer the EU to an encroaching Russia, which BTW funds many populist groups here.

                Similar to how China has managed to disrupt ASEAN as a state-based counterweight to its spreading power. Unfortunately ASEAN is not as developed yet as the EU. The shape and the power balance within the EU may have to be readjusted towards the people, I think.

              • “Neoliberal” is a buzzword, a slogan that oversimplifies complex reality.

                Thank you. I get tired of that term as I think it confuses and disparages rather than enlightens.

              • Micha says:


                1. The significance of the Italian election result is that it has given another anchor to the populist wave which is fueled by enormous discrepancy in the allocation of global wealth. I don’t see why that should need complex explanation. Perhaps you should clarify the “some” that you consider as oversimplified stuff. Britain should be able to manage the Brexit just fine if it were not entirely in the hands of its right wing proponents.

                2. Neo-liberalism is rooted in the laissez faire doctrine of capitalism itself. The austerity loving Reagan-Thatcher era brought to the fore its socially destructive aspect and was exported to most Latin American countries. There’s a whole wikipedia entry for the subject here if you’re interested.

                3. The EU project had been hijacked by the bankers. The adoption of the common currency was premature and should have only been done in conjunction with full political integration. It disenfranchised member states of its fiscal and monetary policy space. It has become too undemocratic for the European democratic values.

                4. Russia is not Putin and Putin is not Russia. He’s just a ruthless tyrant and kleptocrat who stole much of Russia’s privatized wealth.

                5. If EU has to avoid further disintegration after Brexit it has to consider the seemingly difficult task of full political union. Failing that, the least it could do is give back to member states their individual national currencies.

              • Micha says:


                Neo-liberalism is not a buzzword. If you would or could be bothered to at least read thisyour enlightenment is entirely possible.

              • The term neo-liberalism is used a lot like the term ‘yellows’, which means it is generally defined by the reader’s biases, not in terms of common understanding. Therefore, it is not a clear and useful term, it seems to me. I am for neo-liberalism or against it, depending on how it is being defined and the issue in question that it is being used to elucidate. I also see you slipping into some economists’ tendency toward condescension aimed at those who do not toe the line they want toed. I suggest you depersonalize your remarks.

              • A. There are a lot of discussions going on regarding the details of Brexit at this moment. Certain oversimplifications would be that “the EU is costing the UK too much” when in reality it brings a lot of benefits also, what would be lost is getting clearer as the EU is not budging.

                B. There are those who want to declare the liberal-democratic project as dead due to the populist movements coming up at the moment. Be very careful what you wish for but don’t cry if the highly successful, mostly social democratic EU survives as a humane model.

                C. The major failure of the EU is the missing social charter. It is certainly convenient to have one currency to trade in. I think the entire expansion of the EU towards the East was the most premature part of things. Joining strong and weak economies in the Euro another.

                D. There is no way one can compare the EU with its social welfare states to the Reagan and Thatcher privatization drive which started in the 1980s. If ever, Brexit will bring the UK closer to being more Thatcherite and antisocial. Parts of Eastern Europe are neoliberal though – privatization of universities, near removal of social security benefits and medical insurance by the state. Lots of migration into countries with either better social systems (Germany) or better economic opportunities for quick money (UK). Greece threw the word neoliberal at Merkel during the Euro crisis when in fact Greek elites raided their own country and passed the burdens of austerity to the simple people. Look at the family names of the Presidents of Greece, postwar, and for a long time you will see just three. Does that sound familiar?

                E. Russia is not Putin, sure. But Russia bred Putin. Just this week entire caravans of US tanks and ordnance passed through Brandenburg (former Prussia) on the way to Poland. Ulm in Germany is going to be a new NATO coordination center in case of Russian attack. There is a major difference in attitude between Europeans and Russians – yes I see them as different. Who wants Russian troops anywhere West of the Vistula river? Better have GIs. Pro-Putin right wing populists like those in Italy – or East Germany – are indeed suspect.

              • Micha says:

                “Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless.” – Robert McChesney on the ill-effects of neo-liberal order.

              • “Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls.” – sounds like Metro Manila, not like Munich or Berlin. Sorry.

                For real neoliberals, Munich would be a Commie place. The public transport company is a private firm, but it is fully owned by the public utilities company which is owned by the town. Water is NOT privatized at all. There have been major protests against that in all Europe..

                No gated communities. Housing developers have to build 1/3 social welfare housing in every new development. Gentrification is still an issue, like in all successful and attractive cities. But there are quarterly district meetings, all citizens of a district are welcome to discuss.


                Public libraries in every district. Subsidized public pools for recreation. Classic city centers are preferred to malls, which are built only in the outer districts.

                And even if chain stores are the trend, like everywhere, still many mom-and-pop stores and artisanal businesses like carpentries, butchers, bakeries – all producing at high quality.

                Only armchair socialists would like to replace such self-made affluence with communism, where successful artisans and farmers were punished for being more hardworking – Russian revolution, but also in the German democratic republic where the best fled, many to Bavaria.

              • Micha says:


                1. The issue of cost to Britain has nothing to do with the neo-liberal order. I’m puzzled why you’re even bringing that up.

                2. The rise of populist movements is not a repudiation of liberal-democratic project. It’s a cry of the disenfranchised to include them in the liberal-democratic project. It’s the kleptocrats and the plutocrats in the EU and elsewhere who are doing damage to the liberal-democratic project.

                3. The introduction of the euro was/is an ambitious plan of the European bankers to rival or even supplant the US dollar. Their mistake is in not recognizing that member states still maintain their political sovereignty and has fiscal and monetary policies that are oftentimes in conflict with the prescription of the ECB.

                4. Don’t be too sure if the EU Parliament has that much leverage on individual member states. No country is alike in its approach to economic policies and already there are signs of fractures in the social fabric from Sweden to France to Germany to Spain and to Italy.

                5. Now you’re saying that parts of Eastern Europe are neo-liberal. That at least signify that you understand the concept and that it is not just a “buzzword”.

                6. The conflict with Putin is all theater, all posturing. Both sides know there can’t be no serious escalation because both sides still possess the nuclear deterrent. Besides, Putin is also a member of the plutocratic club so he’s one of their own.

              • Sure I understand the concept of neoliberalism, even who its founder was – Hayek. Trouble is it is often used as a buzzword by many armchair leftists who don’t know what they are talking about, and you have a lot of that among Pinoys. Just like the crowd that shouts about “imperialism, bureacrat-capitalism and feudalism” without knowing in what context they were meant by Mao, who used it to describe Chinese society before 1949. Pinoys often just parrot Christianity, communism, modern Attac-socialism, right-wing populism – kung ano ang uso, iyon ang kinakanta sa karaoke, kahit hindi alam ang ibig sabihin ng English words ng kanta. Pero kung gumaya, akala mo alam nila, pati feelings sakto ang paggaya pati bawat hiyaw..

                Yes, the populists are using the anger of those who feel left behind. Integrating an area with such disparate mentalities and traditions as Sweden and Cyprus, or Spain and Finland was done too fast with too little regard for local differences. The original Western European founding members had time, postwar, to get to know each other and already had enough common ground, being the original areas Charlemagne once ruled. I have seen the reality of changes over here since the EU extended in this century and how they overwhelmed a lot of ordinary people. The founders of the postwar EC were “European gentlemen” of a certain similar type. Even the Eastern European freedom fighters (Havel etc.) were a certain type of European intellectual. The ordinary people often have disparate, conflicting mentalities.

                So sometimes the EU Parliament people know each other better than the folks at home..

                Martin Schulz, Social Democratic Party, was an example. Coming back from Strassburg, he tried to run for German Chancellor and failed. Because out of touch with the politics HERE. That the EU may indeed break apart is possible. The entire building is already shaking now.

                As for Putin, I don’t know if that is just posturing. And even the rich have their home milieu. For all globalization ethnic differences still count. Old habits die hard. Anyway, abangan..

              • Micha says:


                You admit that neo-liberalism is not just a buzzword so stop saying it’s just a buzzword because nobody here is using it as just a buzzword.

                For context of the Italian elections and the European project in general take time to read this excellent article from William Black.


              • OK, an MMT related source. Doesn’t make sense to discuss too much with dogmatists.

                But the narrative there neatly dovetails with the long article I read in the Süddeutsche today, that there is a huge gap between Italy and Germany with blame games on both sides. And that Italy in the past decade has been in a period of decline that is being compared with the end of the Renaissance period. That the German school of price stability (Theo Waigel’s legacy in the Euro project) rules in the Frankfurt ECB is clear. The old southern country approach of devaluing the currency (done in Italy, Greece and sometimes in France) is no longer possible, causing pain for the economies used to practicing it. Like a straightjacket.

                I might buy the book of Yanis Varoufakis. He struck me as a man with good, own ideas..

              • Micha says:

                Hahaha, Bill Black a dogmatist? It’s either you do not know Bill Black or you do not know what a dogmatist is.

            • Francis says:


              Capitalism has various forms—depending on the context of time and place. My impression is that “Neoliberal” Capitalism has only arisen as the “dominant” form of capitalism since Reagan and Thatcher—the beginning of the “End of History” and the waning days of the Cold War. It is different—and a repudiation—of what had come before it: a state-led “Social Democratic” model where big business, labor and state worked in tripartite unison.

              If I’m not mistaken, Marcos ruled in the waning days of the latter. Not the fomer.

              Marcos had a golden opportunity squandered. He could have pushed for a state-led development of the economy because the environment wasn’t so hostile to state intervention in the economy yet. Marcos was still ruling in a time where “privatization” wasn’t the only advice that the US was giving.

              By the time Marcos went out—it was too late. “Neoliberalism” was at its peak, its climax when EDSA happened. The idea of state-led development was now seen as “inefficient” and instead, it was advised that all we do now is follow the currents of the global economy. The “new order” of EDSA was straitjacketed in economic strategic space.

              And Marcos even made us regress. Stumble back. With his stupid fucking debt. He damned us.

              • Francis says:


                “Neoliberalism” is not a buzzword. It is a useful term invented to describe a sort of “unchained” capitalism with an extremely strong bias towards letting the “free market” or “invisible hand” take care of virtually anything in society. “Neoliberalism” assumes that anything that can improved by “taking the state out of things and leaving the private sector to do their thing” and by making everything subject to a market.

                Do I think that all private sector work is bad? No. I just think that “Neoliberalism” makes the present generation of economics and technocrats rather blind to the wider scheme of things. “Neoliberalism” assumes that everything will follow or should follow clear mathematical models of what is economicslly efficient. This patently ignores the fact that economics is about the distributions of resources to human beings. How can “Neoliberalism” account for the messy insights of anthropology, sociology, etc?

                More pertinent to the discussion is what “Neoliberalism” does to our policymakers. It makes them so idealistically biased towards this “ideal of a free market” that it blinds them to ways (some of which cannot be quantified) in which substantial state intervention might be a useful policy tool. America relied on tariffs in her youth—which is not to say she should be having tariffs now, but still. Japan and Korea had heavy bureaucratic guidance for their big business, while it was still relatively young and inexperienced. There is a time and place for liberalization of certain parts of the economy—and state guidance for other parts of the economy.

                Not idealistic attachment to the state or to the market, but pragmatism in service of the people should be the aim of everyday governance. “Neoliberalism” is bad because it makes us less pragmatic.

              • Francis says:


                Neoliberalism forgets that that the “Market” was made for “Man” not that the “Man” was made for the “Market”.

              • Economics is theory, but it affects VERY real people, while economists sit in ivory towers.

                This is why all economic dogma, whether Marxism or neoliberalism or whatever, is suspect.

                Hayek preached water and drank wine, for example, in the sense that he praised personal responsibility in a free market, but lived as a tenured professor all his life – maximum security while condemning people to insecurity via his theories. Let’s not talk about Marx..

                And yes, I have seen from time to time how computer specialists (me) need to be reminded WHO is affected by our products, get out from behind our screens and talk to the USERS.

                “People get more specialized – and more bonkers – every day” (c) Hamburg taxi driver..

          • sonny says:

            “Marcos had the opportunity to rewrite the “feudalism with a liberal democratic veneer” weak state and set it towards the path of becoming an effective strong state capable of telling Washington to buzz off once in a while—or at least bargain with Washington for a promotion above “annoying ally I have to put up with” to “competent ally I can respect …”

            Uncanny, Francis. These were my thoughts at the declaration of martial law:1) consolidation of national income by the elimination of corruption at all levels of government, 2) guaranteed national income from the US bases, viz. Vietnam War, 3) here at last was a national leader around whom to rally and who could play with the “big boys” of the world and present the Filipino in his sunday best, culturally to hold our national head higher than before. My primary indicator that all these were happening was palpable amelioration of the Filipino’s lot at home economically specially when Filipinos didn’t need to emigrate for jobs; the betterment of our literacy and skills in STEM and social programs for the DE segments of our society. These were what we had good reasons to cut FM the slack he needed to remove obstacles in the national path to reform, renewal and even greatness.

            These were my high hopes, but alas only to find out instead, I had a hole in the head.

  6. Tancio de Leon says:

    I’m puzzled. Why is the color yellow being given a dirty connotation. In years past, the color yellow with its various shades can be seen almost everywhere including new cars and are said to be pleasing to the eyes. Traditionally, there are a number of color combinations based on yellow that are considered especially pleasant.
    Why is it that most ideas generally considered yellow are said to be coming from outside our country? Who are considered to be yellow? The outcry for civility, due process, rational thinking and adherance to the check and balance of the constitution can be heard in many local private conversations. But if such ideas are considered to be coming from yellows, I wonder what will happen if one day all of a sudden, locals spontaneously start to dig out and display their yellow t-shirts, ribbons and flags.
    I wonder how many will partake. Will foreigners like that?

    • The term ‘yellows’ has been used brilliantly by the troll brigade to cast a stigma over the supposed ‘corrupt elite’ who have abused Filipinos in the past. The vilification began when President Aquino was president and that has been expanded to mean anyone who says anything negative about the Duterte Administration, even if they criticized Aquino, are not LP, and just want a progressive, law-abiding, civil Philippines. That is how opposition is stigmatized and objection is suppressed. Harassment of Rappler, Vice President Robredo, and others are part of the suppression. The next step is to consider criticism as unpatriotic.

  7. Micha says:

    Irineo, you might want to take a look at this another excellent article by William Black on the dysfunctions of the EU

    The European Union’s (EU) leadership continues to prove our family rule that it is impossible to compete with unintentional self-parody. “EU leadership” is an oxymoron, largely composed of regular morons. Consider only two examples — European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner and Budget and Human Resources Minister (one of the EC’s most powerful leadership positions) Günther Oettinger.

    Juncker heads the EC because he led the most infamous EU tax giveaway to wealthy corporations as Luxembourg’s finance minister and then prime minister. Whistleblowers and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) eventually exposed the fact that for over a decade the wealthiest companies in the world created front companies in Luxembourg and met secretly with the finance minister to negotiate secret sweetheart deals allowing the companies to pretend to earn their income in Luxembourg – and to pay obscenely low tax rates. The secret deals “allowed some of them to pay effective tax rates of less than 1 percent on profits shuffled into Luxembourg.” Luxembourg is so tiny that even at these ridiculously low tax rates the covert deals made the country wealthy (at the direct expense of the public sectors of other EU nations and the United States). Juncker’s eagerness to aid plutocrats made him the EU’s longest-serving leader as Luxembourg’s PM until a different scandal brought him down. These sweetheart tax scandals led, not prevented, Juncker’s elevation to run the EC. In response to the exposure of the scandal, Luxembourg: greatly increased the number of sweetheart deals, prosecuted the whistleblowers and the investigative journalists, and took no action against Luxembourg’s “let’s make a deal” leaders or the plutocrats (which included Koch Industries).

    As EC President, Juncker maintained his ethics-free approach. His defining statement, in the context of the EC’s actions devastating the Greek economy and populace: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” (Goldman Sachs made Juncker’s predecessor as EC president wealthy, as soon as the minimum time had run after his resignation, so Juncker was the perfect successor.) Juncker has assembled a right-wing EC leadership team that has often brought further shame to the EC.

    Oettinger is an example of Juncker’s shameful EC leadership team. Oettinger is the EC’s Roseanne Barr. He shares her love of public display of bigotry (PDBs). Barr’s recent racist rant led Disney to cancel her very popular (and profitable) comedy show. Juncker rewarded Oettinger’s most infamous PDB with a major promotion to Oettinger’s current position as Budget Minister. Oettinger’s PDB displayed four different targets of his bigotry – the Chinese, gays, women, and Walloons. Oettinger’s racist rant was in a public speech recorded on video tape. Oettinger said that his racist rant provided no reason why he should apologize to the targets of his PDBs.

    Oettinger called Chinese people “slant-eyes” (Schlitzaugen). That compound noun, in German (as in English) is unambiguously a racist insult. As to gays, Oettinger ‘joked’ that Europeans would soon disappear as EU governments mandated “gay marriages.”

    ‘Walloons’ is a complicated concept, but I will simplify the concept as Belgians who speak French as their mother tongue. The region populated primarily by Walloons is ‘Wallonia’ (in English). “Oettinger described Wallonia as a ‘micro-region ruled by communists’”. The EU’s principal offices are in Brussels, a city in which French speaking Belgians are a majority (many of whom identify as Walloons though Brussels is not located in Wallonia). Oettinger’s bigoted rant attacking Walloons was a particularly nasty insult, demeaning and attacking the EU’s hosts.

    Oettinger’s attack on women was bold given that he is a senior ally of Germany’s Prime Minister Angela Merkel.

    Describing a recent visit to Brussels by Chinese ministers in the speech, Oettinger said, “Nine men, one party, no democracy. No female quota, and no women – which follows logically.”

    Yes, absent quotas requiring the inclusion of women, it “follows logically” that there would be no women in government or industry if such positions were awarded based on ability!

    At the time he made his racist rant, Oettinger was the EC Minister for digital economy and society. Oettinger’s reputation in that position was for his incompetence and sleaze (involving pro-Russian allies of Hungary’s increasingly fascist leaders).

    In the recent past, Oettinger has surprised his audience as even if the digital agenda is at the heart of the Commission’s priorities, the Commissioner responsible seems to be rather digitally illiterate, making the Spokespersons service and his cabinet replace his original remarks from a speech with tailored ones, that would cover his lack of knowledge of the digital world.

    Disney cancelled Barr’s show within hours of her racist tweet. Juncker promoted Oettinger hours after his racist rant became public. (Disney, like Koch Industries, cut a secret sweetheart tax deal with Luxembourg, so we should not go overboard in our praise of Disney’s leaders.)

    My readers will be shocked that Oettinger, after his big promotion to run the EC’s budget ministry, has found a way to make public the EC leadership’s inner incompetence and sleaze. The context was the Italian establishment’s anti-democratic actions against Italian voters’ preferred parties that I wrote about recently. Francesco Ronchi, a Wall Street Journal opinion writer, criticized Oettinger’s gleeful encouragement to the financial markets to crush the Italian economy and extort Italian voters to “toe the [German] line.” Merkel made the same threat.

    The statement by Günther Oettinger, one of the most senior members of the European Commission, that “markets will teach Italians how to vote” is not a reassuring one. Likewise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comparison between Italy and Greece is an unveiled threat: Italians had better toe the line, or they will not be spared what the Greeks have been going through.

    The Italian establishment, strong allies of the German diktat that has repeatedly overturned democratic election results in Italy and Greece, scandalously joined Germany in hoping that the world’s largest banks would again successfully extort Italian voters.

    Ronchi correctly warned that such anti-democratic actions were exacerbating the hostility of Italian voters towards German diktat and economic illiteracy.

    This disdain for Italian voters is not only undemocratic but also dangerous. It fuels nationalism and anti-German sentiment in Italy. By appealing to national pride and the defense of democracy against external influences, populist parties are likely to increase their share of the vote in the next elections, which may take place in the next few months. Transforming these elections into a de facto referendum on eurozone membership would be another dangerous gamble in a climate of growing Euroskepticism.

    James Mackintosh, a Wall Street Journal reporter, unintentionally demonstrated the grave risks, and blindness, that finance and German diktat pose. The context is the reporter’s hypothetical discussion of what would happen if Italy were to leave the euro and reissue the lira at a lower value (effectively producing a devaluation).

    Economic chaos in Italy after a devaluation would be all but guaranteed, and surely hurt growth in the rest of Europe – although such chaos might persuade reluctant euro members that the pain of staying is worthwhile. Even worse from the point of view of markets would be if Italian euro exit went well, encouraging anti-Europeans in other countries to push for a repeat.

    That passage is revealing. The reporter, in a purported straight news article, admits that his view is that “markets” have a “point of view” about what results are desirable. “Markets” are not people and they are incapable of having a “point of view,” so the reporter is actually projecting his neoliberal dogmas on the “markets.” His neoliberal dogmas are a nightmare and his lapses of economic analytics and logic are revealing.

    I start with the reporter’s single most depraved statement – that the “wors[t]” outcome “from the point of view of markets” (really, his own neoliberal projection) would be “if Italian euro exit went well.” I can put that into plainer English. What the Italian euro exit “went well” means is that Italy’s still depression-level overall unemployment rate and even more obscene youth unemployment rate would decline rapidly as economic growth and exports expanded rapidly. Inflation would remain low or moderate and be driven primarily by increased import costs. The results would be wonderful for Italians, but also (net) desirable for other Europeans and even non-Europeans. Non-Italians would gain initially primarily because they could purchase Italian goods they desired at lower prices. Non-Italians would eventually gain even more as the Italian economy and incomes expanded and Italians purchased more imports. Conversely, the reporter admits that nations that remain within the eurosystem must continue to suffer the “pain of staying.”

    Italy’s hypothetical success in exiting the euro is the worst outcome that a neoliberal journalist can conceive of. The hard right does not fear governmental failures. Its paramount fear is government successes that expose laissez faire lies. The reporter literally hopes that currency devaluation (a common and frequently successful means of reducing the severity and length of a severe recession) will fail and cause “chaos” so severe that no other nation will dare seek to escape the euro’s continuing “pain.”

    The reporter’s statement is more depraved that I have explained, for his ultimate fear is that Italy’s successful re-adoption of the lira would prompt other eurozone nations to adopt similar successful policies. The worst possible result he can imagine is that multiple eurozone nations will successfully re-adopt sovereign currencies and improve greatly their economies and the overall EU economy. Here is his how he phrased this point: “encouraging anti-Europeans in other countries to push for a repeat.”

    The reporter’s phraseology shows that he is also more dishonest than I have yet explained. Having a sovereign currency is not remotely “anti-European.” Producing stronger national recoveries through re-adoption of national sovereign currencies is not anti-European. Suffering recurrent “pain” due to the euro is not pro-European. The euro, and the oxymoronic Stability and Growth Pact that the EC claims is essential to the euro’s survival are the two greatest threats to a prosperous and stable Europe, the EU, and European democracy. There is no valid reason why an EU nation must adopt the euro.

    Taken together, the euro and the Stability and Growth Pact eliminate the three most effective and least harmful means of responding to a severe recession. A eurozone nation cannot use meaningful fiscal stimulus to reduce severe unemployment because it would violate the Stability and Growth pact. It cannot devalue its currency because it no longer has a national currency. It cannot engage in monetary stimulus through its central bank because it cannot control the European Central Bank (ECB). Germany has preeminent, but not total, control over the ECB and economically illiterate right-wing pro-austerity dogma dominates the EC and the ECB. The only means left to Eurozone nations is to become a very large net-exporter without devaluation. A nation like Germany with extraordinary productivity can be a large net exporter without any heroic efforts. Other nations, with normal or below-average productivity, can only become major net-exporters by crushing wages. The result is a terrible combination of severe unemployment, reduced wages, bailouts for the richest bankers, and fierce political rage that will inevitably target German hegemony for special criticism.

    • This is the view from Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany), with more conventional economic ideas and viewpoints, especially about Italy#s public debt – among the top ten worldwide (!).

      Of course an economist who favors MMT will say that is never an issue, but I don’t think we have resolved that argument anywhere here, so if you don’t want to be seen as a dogmatic preacher, please at least respect other viewpoints even if you don’t agree with them..

      • Re Oettinger.. he has been the talk of the town recently here as well..

        What many will not know is that Germany tends to use the EU as a dumping ground for politicians whose career is OVER in Germany. Maybe that should change.

        Meaning: if the Philippines were an EU member, Aguirre, Wanda Teo and Perfecto Yasay would all be in Brussels. Backchannels would be in progress on where to put Cayetano.

        • Micha says:

          “What many will not know is that Germany tends to use the EU as a dumping ground for politicians whose career is OVER in Germany.”

          How very nice of Germany to be doing that in light of the fact that it is the main beneficiary of both the economic and monetary union.

          • The typical German “man on the street” might not see it that way.

            During the Greek crisis it was “Damn, why is Merkel paying billions of Greek debts AGAIN?”

            In areas with unemployment you might hear bad words about the lazy, wasteful south.

            The Italians will say that Germany is forcing them to deal with all the refugees.

            Germans will say that Italians are bandits sending the refugees straight up to them.

            EU-Turkey have similar fights on refugees (Turkey: “we have a million here already, we are doing the dirty work for the Europeans who still don’t respect us because we are Muslim” EU/Germany: “we pay billions for them to keep refugees and they want more all the time”)

            The analysis from the other side of the “Big Pond” (Atlantic) is a useful other perspective. But to really get what is going on here one needs a more differentiated understanding of the countries involved, have been over here at least once to see life in the affected areas. Can’t claim to know much about how Italy is doing know, little ground-level feedback, but I did get a lot of feedback from Greeks living here during the crisis, or from Spaniards in their crisis, in fact I WAS in Spain around that time, work-related, hearing stories from all kinds of folks. So don’t expect me to just accept a POV from New York as gospel truth, because I have my own personal view or at least other pieces of the puzzle. They may seem a bit pedestrian, but the snootiness of experts – or wannabes – is one big reason for populist resurgence.

      • Micha says:


        Germany, the main beneficiary and core dominant player of the Union has the impertinence to lecture those on the periphery about fiscal conservatism – an issue that was clearly shunned by Italian voters in a democratic election. That Germany continues to prescribe cruel austerity measures even if it means making the problem worse is a demonstration, yet again, of how undemocratic the EU had become and Germany had taken on a role of a bully to its neighbors.

        Just because you have not fully understood the concept of MMT is not an excuse for you to denigrate it as dogma in much the same way that you label neo-liberalism as just another buzzword.

        Different viewpoints in a public forum such as this can be strewn in a coherent respectful manner without resort to unjustified denigration.

  8. David C. Martinez says:

    When the night is stormy and positively dark, the few stars that shine through are the negatives. They defy obscurity, refuse to submit, and help us steer to safety.

  9. David C. Martinez says:

    1. Some Filipinos want to be governed.
    2. Some prefer to be ruled.
    3. The latter outnumber the former 9 to 1.
    End of story.

  10. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    anecdotal of an octogenarian:

    In grade five section one, my seatmate’s surname was always number one in alphabetical list of the entire class. His four-letter surname has the three of the first four letters of the English alphabet. In first year college at Los Banos, same surnames sort of impressed me, one book author for basic Spanish, two young writers, and two pretty sisters who came from the farthest northern islands province.

    In Padre Faura in early eighties my research assistant who helped me do a management study of UP-PGH and the institutionalization study of the Australian asssisted project in Zambo del Sur and who became osmosis of the goings on in ASEAN based in Indonesia and who agreed to be reader of my book of poems, that surname GOT MY ATTENTION again with this starting paragraph of an essay (ang haba naman ng pasakalye) :

    “The fall to his incredible rise began when he held a man at a lighted window in his gun sight and pulled the trigger with an inner shout of triumph louder than gunshot. Thereupon he fell with his victim, but deeper than his victim’s grave. All his words fell into a great silence, and truth the father of language, abandoned him.”

    Not a Shakespearean sonnet it was but a short powerful stanza,

    “The fall to his incredible rise began
    when he held a man at a lighted window
    in his gun sight and pulled the trigger
    with an inner shout of triumph
    louder than gunshot.
    Thereupon he fell with his victim,
    but deeper than his victim’s grave.
    All his words fell into a great silence,
    and truth the father of language,
    abandoned him.”

    If the author recognizes it because he reads and occasionally comments in TSoH, it could be seminal to a piece titled with: The Parable of a Fake Dictator. I don’t think the guy author is a snoozer in the noodle house. The riddle? Who’s he?

  11. NHerrera says:


    This quote is interesting. Does it describe Trump relative to Kim Jong Un or Duterte relative to Xi Jingping — setting aside the aspect of when it was said, and who said it?

    I think for this situation to work, you have to not want the deal too much. If you fall in love with the deal and it is too important for you to get it and the details becomes less significant, you could get snookered.

    Snookered [slang] = deceived, cheated, or duped

  12. OT: from Rep. Gary Alejano, Magdalo on Chinese debt traps (with a lot of picture material)

    Dahan-dahang Pagpasok sa West Philippine Sea (WPS) Bahagi ng Bitag ng China sa Pamamagitan ng Pagpapautang sa Bansa

    Nais ni Representative Alejano na maging malinaw ang gobyerno sa mga kontratang pinapasok nito sa China.

    Binabalaan ni Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano ang Duterte Administration na maaaring mabiktima ang Pilipinas sa bitag na ito ng China na pwedeng malagay sa balag ng alanganin ang ating teritoryo sa WPS tulad ng mga nangyari sa ibang bansa na may malaking pagkakautang mula sa dambuhalang bansa.

    Sa ganitong kadahilanan kung kaya’t dini-demand ni Alejano kay Presidente Duterte na maging maliwanag ito sa kanyang pakikipag-ugnayan sa bansang China, lalong-lalo na sa pagpapautang nito sa layuning pondohan ang “Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Program”.

    Maaaring wala pa sa panganib ang bansa sa kasalukuyan, ngunit ang napakalaking planong pangungutang mula sa China ay maaaring magdala satin sa panganib sa hinaharap. Lalo na’t nakikita natin ang pangulo na lubhang nakadepende sa China sa halos lahat ng bagay.

    Ang karanasan ng iba’t ibang bansa ay dapat magsilbing aral at babala sa atin kung paano ang bansang China kagalanteng magpautang at kalauna’y maniningil sa anyo ng likas na yaman, stratehikong pagmamay-ari, at maging teritoryo ng nangungutang na bansa. Baka sa dulo, kapag baon na tayo sa pagkakautang, WPS na ang maging pambayad utang ng bansa.

    Ayon sa pagsusuri ng Center for Global Development, napwersa ang Tajikistan na ibayad ang bahagi ng kanilang teritoryo na mahalaga sa strategic objective ng China sa ilalim ng Belt and Road Initiative (Ang kanilang pambitag sa mga bansa) dahil baon na sa pagkakautang ang Tajikistan.

    Ang China ay maihahalintulad sa pating na walang awa sa kanyang biktima o di kaya ay sa Bombay na nagpapautang ng 5-6, na mataas ang interes sa pautang. Ang mga mahihirap na mga bansa ay napupwersang kumagat sa halos mahirap na bayarang utang dahil wala halos silang kundisyon sa umpisa. Sa kalauna’y unti-unti na nilang sinasakal ang bansang biktima at mapipilitan ang mga itong magbayad ayon sa kagustuhan ng China.

    Ang masakit pa rito, mga manggagawang Tsino ang kadalasang kinukuha ng mga Chinese contractors para sa proyekto ng bansa.

    Ang Build, Build, Build ay maaaring magbaon sa atin sa pagkakautang. Ipinasa ang TRAIN law dahil sa pangakong magiging kaagapay ang perang makukuha dito upang pondohan ang programa kasabay ng uutanging halaga mula sa China. Nakita na natin kung pano waldasin sa ibang bagay ang dapat sana’y nakalaan para lamang dito. Nasagasa na sa TRAIN Law ang mga ordinaryong pamilyang Pilipino, nanganganib pa ang bansa sa pinapasok na transaksyon ng Duterte administration sa China.

    Para sa akin, dapat na maging maingat at bukas sa anomang pagiimbestiga ang Duterte administration sa plano nitong pag-utang sa China. Wag sana nilang masamain ang paalala sa kanila dahil buong bansa ang masasadlak sa utang at Pilipino din naman ang magbabayad sa utang na papasukin ni Duterte. Tingnan din sana ng administrasyon ang iba pang pwedeng pagkukunan ng pondo. Mas makabubuting pumasok ang Pilipinas sa mga bansang may mahigpit na panuntunan sa pagpapautang. Dito’y sinisiguro na ang bansa ay makakapagbayad ng kanyang pagkakautang sa mas mababang interes.

    Sa kaso ng Tajikistan, naging pambayad utang ang 1,158 sq kms ng pinagaagawang teritoryo sa China. Natural Gas naman ang pambayad utang ng Turkmenistan na ayon sa terms ng China. Sa Sri Lanka, nagpoprotesta ngayon ang kanilang mamamayan dahil napunta na sa kontrol ng China ang pagpapatakbo sa Hambantota Port sa loob ng halos 100 taon.

    Halos parehong sitwasyon ang nangyari sa mga bansang Djibouti, Pakistan, at Kenya. Ang kanilang Strategic Assets ay nakompromiso kapalit ng utang para pondohan ang kanilang mga proyekto.

    Sa kaso ng Venezuela, Sudan, Angola, Kazakhstan, at Iraq, naging kolateral ang kanilang langis para sa kanilang mga utang sa China.

    Narinig na natin ang China na pwedeng maging kolateral ng Pilipinas ang natural resources nito. Ako’y umaasang masusing napag-aralan sana ang mga bagay na ito. Dahil kung hindi, maaaring masadlak tayo katulad ng sinapit ng mga bansang nabanggit.

    Ang aking pagsalungat ay bunsod ng hindi maliwanag na kontratang pinapasok ng Duterte administration. Dahil maaaring nangungutang tayo ng hindi naaayon sa kapasidad natin ng pagbabayad. Nakita natin kung paano winaldas ang bahagi ng perang nakuha mula sa pagimplementa ng TRAIN Law. Makakaasa kaya tayo ng makabuluhang proyektong magaangat sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino? Makakaasa din kaya tayong hindi isinasakripisyo ni Duterte ang ating teritoryo sa pakikipagmabutihan niya sa China dahil sa utang na kanyang inaasahan mula dito?

  13. edgar lores says:


    1. I have been observing the discussion between Joe Am and @Andres from the perspective of the 3 major defects in Filipino thinking (outlined in “Thinking Conundrums.”) These are Erroneous reasoning, Categorization, and Scoping.

    2. There is no overall categorization error in the discussion. The category is government mismanagement. It is about Duterte and the basket case the country has become under his regime from the viewpoint of a foreigner.

    3. The scoping of the discussion is based on the post. The focus of the scoping shifts from point to point as arguments are presented and elaborated. It begins with Andres’ 10:43 am post.

    3.1. Here Andres initially tries to set the agenda and define the scope by questioning the idea of decent people and whether this refers to “Yellows.” He asks, “How can you say that the Yellows are decent?”

    3.1.1. Examine the entry. Andres tries to make a false equivalence. And it is sheer bigotry.

    3.1.2. Joe Am (11:34 am post) respectfully clarifies who he is referring to by the term “decent people.”

    4. The discussion expands in scope and goes off in different directions. Throughout one sees Andres re-scoping and employing erroneous reasoning. Let me point out an example of each.

    4.1. Andres (5:32 pm) tries not to understand what Joe Am means by a “nation to build” and limits his understanding to the economy.

    4.1.1. Joe Am (8:45 am) defines nation-building not only as wealth (economy), but also stability, security, and opportunities.

    4.1.2. Why does Andres raise the question at all? This is just elementary.

    4.2. Andres (5:32 am) cites that “on a people to unite,” Duterte has been joined by other political parties and prominent people like Binay and Villar, and only the LP and leftists haven’t.

    4.2.1. Joe Am (8:45 pm) rejoins with the observation that the people who have joined Duterte are “those who put personal well-being above party or national principle and well-being.”

    4.2.2. Why does Andres put up those people as an example of Duterte uniting the people? This is just terrible.

    5. In sum, there is nothing wrong with the overall categorization and overall scoping. The reasoning errors are to be expected; otherwise, there would be no discussion!

    5.1. There are specific mis-categorizations such as considering EJKs tolerable. As if EJKs were petty theft and not a major crime.

    5.2. There are attempts to re-scope — that is de-scope or up-scope (e.g., WPS) — the discussion.

    5.3. But what I would like to point out is the terrible absence of something in the bigotry and reasoning of Andres.

    5.4. Most regular commenters here express their opinions from a position of principle(s). The principle is invariably from a moral standpoint. It is sometimes stated beforehand but most often there is no need to. The principle is implicit in the expressed opinion and it can be gleaned therefrom. If not, it can be gleaned from the commenters’ extensive commentary history with which we are familiar.

    5.5. The lack of moral principle constitutes the terrible absence in Andres’ expositions. He reveals his loyalties and they are not to principles but to a principal. To an unprincipled principal.

    5.6. Accordingly, his logic is mostly argumentation by exception, and not even understanding the exception (e.g., loans). At core, the proper way to rebut the Society’s arguments is not by exception but to rebut the principle by a higher principle.

    5.7. Accordingly, also, his conclusions are bereft of moral import. For example, “on a people to unite,” he concludes, “But the impact here is that you made them your allies.” In other words, politics is addition, even if the additions are turncoats and scoundrels. It is about winning government and power but never about governing properly.

    5.7.1. (Yes, “politics is addition” may be considered to be a principle but it is a principle of expediency and trumped by the higher principle that politics is about proper governance.)

    6. I might add “unprincipled thinking” as a major defect in Filipino thinking. It is another name for non-critical thinking in that criteria (or principles) are not used. But “non-critical thinking” is such an overused and general phrase while “unprincipled thinking” is specific.

    6.1. Unprincipled thinking is what afflicted/afflicts the 16M people who voted for an unprincipled man who within the short span of 2 years has made the country into a basket case.

    • Thank you, edgar. I don’t have your skill at observing these discussion flaws, but there are three techniques that I am getting good at recognizing. One is diversion (the whole discussion, basically), another is asking questions rather than imparting knowledge (shifting accountability for disagreements to the other party), and a third is ignoring the points that score (as when I call his positions disgusting).

      I have also recognized the lack of moral foundations across the Duterte government. Basically, the argumentation from Andres to Cayetano is expedience and rationalizations.

    • Edgar, your observations dovetail neatly with Francis’ observation that the barangay is still the main Filipino unit of thinking:

      1) “Joining with the winner”. When a datu wins his position, the maginoo (nobles) join him. To not join him would be to challenge his position as chief, after the time when contenders could challenge each other had elapsed – the old datu succession was not hereditary.

      Likewise, when a raja becomes the No. 1 among the datus in his area – like Suleiman of Maynila over Lakandula of Tundo and ??? of Namayan, all datus join or become enemies.

      I gather that sometimes losing factions left by boat, settling other coasts, to avoid conflict.

      2. “Principal over principle”. Personal loyalty over principle – in return for the ruler’s favors. Calida’s security firm. Tulfo’s 60 million and more. The entourage to South Korea..

      Well, after all a powerful raja must show he has a balanghai (boat) with many people in it.

      3. “Deal with enemies”. Failure to deal with enemies swiftly is proof of weakness. People who were in your group may leave you. So make examples, swiftly and cleanly. RESPECT is the key word here, but more in the gangsta sense of the word, “they know you don’t play”.

      4. “Weder-weder”. In an archipelago of typhoons, earthquakes and volcanos, nothing lasts. Decisions are made based on the current situation and current power configuration, period.

      5. “Resbak”. Rajah Suleiman had his uncle, the Sultan of Brunei (a Malay superpower by the standards of those days, until Spain made an example of them after conquering Manila – they probably also had understood the “malakas at mahina” principles of Filipino politics MLQ3 wrote about), the principalia hat King Philipp II and his successors, Manuel Roxas I had General McArthur, Marcos was “very, very disappointed” when Reagan dropped him, Duterte has Xi Jinping. Power is respected, no matter where it comes from. Ganyan talaga.

      Principles? Suleiman was Muslim, but quickly got baptised as a Catholic after surrendering to Legazpi. You tell the new resbak what he wants to hear. Spain, Catolico. US, democracy.

      But what do you bilib? Ang bilib sa Pilipino, bilib ka kay ganito, hindi sa ganito. Entiendes?

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      When I was a student in NCPAG, we used to anonymously evaluate our mentors at the end of the semester. Then and now, My comment on Edgar’s brain piece will be short: A++.

      • edgar lores says:

        Wow! Thank you!

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          Mang Edgar, yung dalawang + para sa Effort yan at Substance. Kung A lang, na sorpresa lang, parang serbesa. Hehe, Heh.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Ang dagdag, ang dagdag kay Edgar:

        random thoughts on Edgar’s bloodless emasculatom (animal husbandry pliers-like gadget) . . .

        Without surgical incision Edgar have just de-testicled not a person but ideas like this one, always searching for a holy grail.

        a terror frat master admonished a wannabe frat brod: You get this, you nothing low-life. Personality and principles are somethings a neophyte does not have (sori imbento lang po yan.).

        In the days of yore, once upon a time of Datus and Katutubo and Barangays, there was a Datu Sumakwel, when natives in the Barangays have integrity, honor, and honesty and NOT know it.

        Careful we moderns insult the truth of history. Ang mga nayon o kanayunan ng mga mahirap kahit ngayon ay busilak sa kabutihan, kaya binansagan Barangay. Ang mga Barangay sa mga siyudad na ginahasa ng TAKAW ng mga politiko ay KAIBA at burak na dapat ituwid (tuwid na daan) at tulungan.

        Ang pinalaki at lumaki sa pancitan ay laging tulog ang isipan, parang lasing kung gising, at kung natutulog, nakangisi pa rin.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          It was theorized against Darwin’s origin of the specie, that MNEMONIC device is the origin of speech, how people learned to have language. And that’s how I used to teach what is Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Scientific Management. POSTDCORB (a mnemonic) is so basic a subject, so elementary that a PhD will be hesitant to talk about that. A shame really. But it was my cup of coffee as a roving management specialist, kuno. Anyway, if you are a bureaucrat NOT a commissar, a party leader or a Gestapo, you could be shot or sent to a Gulag in a totalitarian country if you don’t know POSTDCORB.

          MISMANAGEMENT is not knowing, making a mess, demonstrating incompetence by words and action POSDCORB. It is corny but it is about worse than being a dummy not to know Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, COordinating, Reporting and Budgeting. The Presidency, any Presidency for that matter, have the cabinet, the departments, the agencies to give life and sustenance to POSTDCORB, the President only has to crack the whip but must know what it is. Otherwise, Kaawaan kayo ng Diyos.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            Oy, Oy meron pa. Eh.

            In democracies, POSTDCORB is an enlarged universe called ADMINISTRATION, to accommodate the cosmic intricacies of the good life embracing the arts and the sciences.
            POSTDCORB ceases to be done ONLY for profit, for return to investments, even for Gross National Product.

            In a dictatorship, POSTDCORB is: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? HELLO? Do you want to lose your job?

            • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

              more? nakakasuya na, ha?

              I learned from UP-EVP Noel Soriano, that P, PLANNING should adhere to four philosophies: to be of service, to make a contribution, (God! I forgot the third one) and to have distinctive competence. More than Philosophy, principles are stainless steel of planning. One can go through life with only some and incomplete principles. The Ten Commandments are the only total and complete principles. But dictators? They have their own malleable principles, moment to moment not to have any.

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                Thanks God I remember the third one, so here are Noel’s Philosophy of Planning in the public service: Philosophy of to be of service, to make a contribution,TO BE USEFUL, and to have distinctive competence (to be mayor, congressman, senator, justice, or president). Very elementary eh, parang common sense lang eh.

                Tapos na po.

              • sonny says:

                Popoy, glad you recalled the third one. Never had courses in Pub Admin. Am always thankful to pick up these nuggets plus the praxis you add. 🙂

  14. Emmanuel J. says:

    Dear JoeAm, Mr. Lores, Mr. Salazar et al, thank you for dissecting even the comments of “Andres” on this wonderful post. Unprincipled thinking is indeed the sickness, and morality the cure. TSM is my favorite ideological pharmacy.

    Speaking of foreigners in the Philippines, I find that the disregard of the Duterte government’s effect on Filipino morality is what makes Peter Wallace’s otherwise admirable data-based arguments somewhat fantastical. His articles leave one feeling the rough skin of a massive elephant in the room.

    I don’t believe in the saying “it’s the economy, stupid.” I believe in having a healthy spirit first, which will put either richness or poverty in the right perspective.

    • Emmanuel J. says:

      Sorry, typo, TSH, not TSM 😛 The Society of Honor.

    • Thank you for following here, Emmanuel J. I agree totally with your comments on Peter Wallace, although I did read one of his columns that was directly critical of the Duterte impact on the business community.

      Your personal perspective is refreshing. It takes greed out of the equation in favor of other riches.

  15. madlanglupa says:

    The mobilization against Sister Fox is strongly reminiscent of the Marcoses trying to boot out Dovie Beams. Attacks against criticism, sanity, and decency continues unabated, the useful fools still being useful as the Palace gives Chinese businessmen the red carpet treatment.


    Offtopic: the shameless campaign wagon continues on to Korea, whereupon once again the event also has created a miniature Nuremberg.

    • trebor9 says:

      It looks like the campaign period for Bong Go has begun using government resources.

      • madlanglupa says:

        I don’t think they want him as Senator. The extreme breadth of the PR blitz makes me think he’s aiming early for the Palace than the Senate (if it still exists in the next five years, otherwise in a “federal/parliamentary” system he would be made Prime Minister)

  16. dumbmutts says:

    Most Filipinos in the provinces don’t care about politics and who is in power. They care about the price of fuel, price of rice and the cost of food. Central government politics doesn’t affect the average Filipino. This is not because they are ignorant but they realize they are all corrupt. From the Barangay Captains upwards they are all the same. Power crazed and greedy for money. I’ve lived here for 20 years and nothing has changed.

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