Are Americans being set up as another enemy for the Philippines?

US Navy Seals in training [US Navy photo]

By JoeAm

Tyrants need enemies, for if they did not have them, they could not insist upon using unrestrained power. They would have to follow the law. Enemies are the excuse for suppression and brutality.

The Duterte government operates outside the law to fight its various enemies, drug addicts, yellows, critics, NPA, Muslim terrorists, human rights organizations, and . . .  possibly joining the list recently . . . Americans.

The threat most of these enemies represent is concocted and exaggerated. Drugs are a social and health problem, not a threat to the nation. Yellows and critics are Filipinos with different ideas. They are not bearing arms. NPA is roaming gangs of extortionists; they were under control until President Duterte angered them. Muslim terrorists are a legitimate threat, but in outlying pockets of the land. They, too, were under duress when the Philippines was actively working with the US to hunt them down. Human rights organizations are only a threat to the tyrannical. They PROTECT the ordinary man and woman.

What about Americans?

The relationship became edgy quickly when President Duterte took office. He got angry with former American Ambassador Goldberg who had criticized the President’s rape ‘joke’ during the election campaign. Duterte called him a “gay Jew”. The Ambassador was later replaced by the US in favor of a Asian-American diplomat, Ambassador Sung Kim. Ambassador Kim keeps a low profile, quietly helping Filipinos in non-controversial ways.

Duterte also cursed US President Obama. Duterte’s argument is that the US has no moral standing to criticize Philippine human rights because the US was so brutal during the Philippine American War. And today, the anti-American theme has been enlarged to suggest that the United States is responsible for loss of the West Philippine Sea. And . . . because the US is not trustworthy . . . it is better to align with China.

These are trollish arguments on the edge of truth. They are emotionalized distortions that gain popular attraction because they are stated with hard declarative statements brooking no objection. The Philippines, under these scenarios, is presented as so weak and ineffectual that America can easily have her will.

It is necessary for the Philippines, in such a weak and vulnerable condition, to rush into the saving arms of China.

House Representative Gary Alejano got upset with Department of Finance Secretary Dominguez during a recent house hearing. Alejano asked about the Chinese debt trap, and Dominguez went into an anti-American rant, causing the congressman to issue a couple of tweets on the subject:

Then, on one of my Facebook Posts, I got nearly insane ravings from Gloria Arroyo’s former press undersecretary, Bobby Capco. His emotionalized series of posts even included racial slurs.

These strange, concocted ‘enemy’ themes do not just appear out of nowhere. They are used for a reason, and it appears to be a coordinated effort from the Duterte government to bash America. With an enemy, it is possible to justify all kinds of outrageous acts, even giving China rights to Philippine seas. And letting her establish military camps there.

“The missiles are not pointed at us,” we hear.

The arguments are bizarre, surreal.

Let’s look at America and the Philippines today. What are the Americans doing that is so offensive that they would be considered enemies of the Duterte government?

  • About 220,000 Americans live in the Philippines, most retired military people. Old people, substantially harmless, enjoying the sunshine, and bringing their dollars over.
  • About 650,000 Americans visit the Philippines each year. Surfers, beach goers, adventure seekers. More dollars.
  • Trade between the US and Philippines is robust; America is the Philippine’s third largest trading partner behind China and Japan. American BPO’s and other businesses (banks, Trump hotel haha, etc.) operate in the Philippines.
  • The US is home to 4 million people of Filipino heritage. They are mayors and professors and officers in the Navy. They are students and clerks and scientists. They are nurses and firemen, sports figures and movie actors.
  • The US Embassy sponsors many good deeds for the Philippines, from donations for military gear, disaster aid (Yolanda, Marawi), and teaching, health, and other beneficial causes. The US donated over $90 million for Yolanda recovery; China donated $1.8 million. That was “BD”, “Before Duterte”. The US is providing P1 billion for Marawi recovery and China has also pledged P1 billion.
  • A small American military group in Mindanao provides intelligence, training, and advice on anti-terrorism activities.
  • Eight small US bases are planned under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. They will house equipment and supplies and stand ready to assist the Philippines for training, defense, and disaster.
  • American ships and planes are crossing the South China and West Philippine Seas to keep them ‘international’ rather than sovereign to China, and to promote free passage for all ships, including those bearing the Philippine flag.

If these are acts of an enemy, I am totally confused.

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear. American HISTORICAL offenses are not in play today. That’s why they call it history. It’s done. It’s over. That’s why former enemies around the globe today are allies.

Filipinos certainly have the intellectual capacity to frame history as a lesson. History is a passion here, from Rizal to Robles. The nation has been through a lot, is historically rich, and that history is documented thoroughly. So, no, there no failure to recognize that the past is over and done with except when people WANT to bring history forward. Except when it has a use, a purpose.

It’s unfortunate, these distortions which make good people look bad. It is a form of hallucination, a form of lie.

There is only one truth here.

America is no enemy of the Philippines.

. . . . .

Resources

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-usa-mood/americans-in-philippines-jittery-as-duterte-rails-against-united-states-idUSKBN12I07K

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_in_the_Philippines

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/06/09/1823064/more-3-million-chinese-allowed-entry-philippines-2016-immigration-data

http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/10/08/16/how-much-yolanda-aid-did-ph-get-from-us-eu

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/10/17/1749740/regaining-marawi-foreign-aid

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/09/1776135/us-provides-additional-p330m-aid-marawi

https://www.rappler.com/nation/142109-duterte-us-ambassador-goldberg-buwisit

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/551089/eight-phl-bases-made-available-to-us-under-edca/story/

https://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-foreign-trade-statistics-philippines-first-semester-2017

 

Comments
122 Responses to “Are Americans being set up as another enemy for the Philippines?”
  1. andrewlim8 says:

    There is one area I’d like to crowdsource information and opinion: in recent discussions about inflation, which reached a high of 5.7% this July 2018, one factor mentioned is the decline in fish production/fish catch. (3% decline in the first qtr 2018)

    Low supply= higher demand, higher prices.

    https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/08/07/1840376/importation-answer-inflation

    Reasons cited for the low fish production? Weather disturbances, climate change, overfishing,

    Hence the recommendation for increasing our imports of fish.

    Now here’s where the political cannot be separated from the economic and where cowardly technocrats cannot contradict the president:

    HAS ANYONE QUANTIFIED HOW MUCH THE CHINESE HAVE TAKEN AWAY FROM OUR FISH SUPPLY?

  2. Almost 120 years ago, on August 13, 1898, Dewey defeated Spain in Manila. Now some think the inevitable next power is China.

    Acting like Congress turncoats who hate on the Liberals they were part of yesterday, many who kissed American feet before “hate” them now.

    That is the worst type of Filipino – smile today, Hey Joe, stab tomorrow – sorry Joe we never like you, and today No. 1 is not USA anymore.

    Vietnamese have more respect in my book – they fight those they need to fight at a given time. Not bow now, complain much later.

    And complain only with backup, no own spine. Exceptions like Alejano prove the rule – respect. Hope I’m wrong and more Filipinos are like him.

  3. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. I believe Duterte would like to make America an enemy. But he can’t due to several factors.

    2. The reason he would want to is to pick China’s pocket. But China is aware of Duterte’s feigned affection towards her and his disaffection for America. As a result, China has not delivered on her promises to fund Duterte’s train dreams.

    3. Also, China wants more than what she has grabbed so far. More concessions other than protestations of “I love Xi.” She wants drilling rights in the WPS and exploration rights in the Philippine Rise. And shift the burden of several millions of Chinese bodies to work and play on Philippine soil.

    4. Four reasons America cannot be an enemy are:

    4.1. The Armed Forces have a bias for American comradeship in training, intelligence, and weaponry.

    4.2. Filipinos love American culture – their gadgets, their music, their movies, their celebrities. Between an iPhone and a Huawei, a Filipino would undoubtedly choose the former. It is many a Filipino’s dream to migrate to Hawaii or California. It is many a Filipina’s dream to marry a ‘Merican and live in the States. And have children with straight-edged, turned-up noses.

    4.3. While Filipinos don’t fully understand the notions of freedom, equality, and human rights, they have come to enjoy the fruits of these notions and would not be able to tolerate China’s subversion of these concepts.

    4.4. Duterte and Trump are congenital political twins. They are both congenital liars. They are both misogynists but like grabbing women by the pussy. And they like firing people.

    5. Filipinos identify with Joe. Hey, Joe. Hi, Joe. There is no equivalent Chinese pal.
    *****

    • Yes that tug of war is clearly apparent. So is China’s slow, steady unfeeling of the cabbage, a strategy that can be seen in Duterte policies. Erode the civility, erode the respect for law, erode old loyalties and pay generously for new ones.

  4. NHerrera says:

    Historical wrongs. Against demonstrated practical amends and usefulness, including the preferred go-to-place by Filipinos for citizenship as an adopted country. Versus current wrongs and possible additional future problems cited by Alejano of the country Sec Dominguez obviously is enamored with — the lady, er Secretary, doth protest too much.

    I cannot retrieve as of now the link to the article I read lately on colonialism Chinese style — where before, western countries provided social and other related amenities in return for the countries’ resources, China is interested only in going after the countries’ resources after offering tons of not-too-cheap loans for infra projects.

  5. Andres 2018. says:

    Enemy? Obama’s America, yes. Trump’s America, no.

    • You never finished our prior discussion on the other thread. You were wrong there, and wrong here. The anti-American sentiment has been expressed during Trump’s term. It is the values that form the enemy, not the US president.

      • Andres 2018. says:

        Anti-american sentiments by Duterte were in Obama’s time, even the news linked in your post were dated ‘2016.’ Anti-american sentiments are already there ever since, especially by the lefts and reds. The country and its leader is inseparable. Even Duterte said that he and Trump are good friends while to Obama he said he is son of a bitch.

        With regards to your previous post, i replied no further because i know you are not hearing the Church voice against EJKs because you are not hearing the priests in the pulpits. The threat of “excommunication” to P.Duterte will never work, his faith is different.

        • Because you say it, does not make it right. Biggest debate fallacy known to mankind. Did you even read the blog and the Alejano tweet? That was last week. My FB encounter was last week. We are not talking about personal affinity of the president but the need of a tyrant to concoct enemies to justify brutality and slipping into China’s warm arms.

          You are slip slidin’ away. The discussion was regarding the Catholic Church and democracy. You said the Church had no opinion about forms of government, and I linked to an article about Pope John Paul II’s writings on the subject. There clearly is a preference for “authentic democracy” that addresses human rights and people’s issues.

          You may be right about Duterte’s faith. He used to be Catholic but now appears to have gone satanic.

    • Note this article today regarding military and police pensions. The idea is to start having young recruits pay into the fund.

      http://business.inquirer.net/255292/economic-team-moves-temper-ballooning-military-police-pension

      • karlgarcia says:

        Just like Chempo’s analysis for the SSS.
        Chem questioned the solution of the young and active paying for the pensions of the retired.

        This is why I was wondering if Sec Diokno warned against doubling the salaries of the police and soon the soldiers.

      • NHerrera says:

        I do not know if the proposal requires only the new recruits to contribute, I would suppose that equity consideration will require the existing personnel to also contribute. How the pension amounts can be equitably handled is the crux and once resolved, the computer can handle the details of the pension amounts and from what sources (contributions and the government’s). Also the matter of indexation, although a comfort to the retirees have to be rationalized. One thing for sure, the problem requires some thought, what with increases in salaries and the number of personnel.

        This seems to be a “welfare” type of problem which is nice at the start and balloons later to the detriment of the entire system. The kind that politicians are good at — let tomorrow handle the ballooning problem, etc.

        • Yes, I think the economists are starting to run into the dangers of loose policy, with inflation and the pension time bomb, as Karl calls it. Exports down, Agricultural production flat, peso weak and driving up import expenses, China late it its investments to Build Build Build. I note that the debt rating agencies, although not downgrading debt from investment grade, have removed the optimistic outlook and replaced it with hardly disguised reservations about the way things are going. I think if they decide to downgrade, it will be a big, big blow to the economists, if not Duterte.

          Diokno, Pernia, and Dominguez, right? They are the big three of the Philippine economy? Two of the three have spoken out about federalism being a danger to the economy. They are feeling the heat, for sure.

          • NHerrera says:

            Seems like it; after all, Duterte said I will let the economic managers manage the economy — although the driving force, the BBB Program, is not entirely hatched by The Three.

            By the way, the reported July inflation of 5.7% up from the previous month’s 5.2% seems likely to prod the BSP to increase the guiding rate once more. BSP meets tomorrow, August 9.

          • NHerrera says:

            ADDENDUM

            It is not surprising that one of the three has not spoken out — or still in the process of putting his thoughts together — on the danger to the economy of federalism. That is the problem if one’s business interest gets in the way of viewing things.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Rising Inflation: Arroyo and Salceda to the rescue???

              https://www.manilatimes.net/gloria-to-the-rescue/428366/

              • So Speaker Arroyo is inclined to play hardball politics, withholding support for TRAIN2 until the negative effects of TRAIN1 that caused a rise in inflation are brought under control. I actually admire her talent in that regard.

              • karlgarcia says:

                If she fixes inflation even temporarily, I salute her. But to show sudden non support to Train 2 while supporting it just a few days ago is the exact opposite of Sotto’s stance, between Arroyo and Sotto when it comes to economics, I go with Arroyo.

              • Me, too. Arroyo is shrewd. If she hitches her wagon to Philippine economic well-being, that’s a good thing.

            • NHerrera says:

              Well, in today’s news Sec Dominguez also spoke out against the change to Federalism.

              https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/‘federalism-transition-to-cost-p131-billion’/ar-BBLFlwm?li=AAb280R&ocid=spartanntp

              Excerpts of the news report:

              The country’s credit ratings may be downgraded if the Duterte administration continues to press for the change in the form of government to a federal system due to uncertain economic and political outcomes, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said yesterday.

              Meanwhile, Dominguez once again expressed reservations over the draft constitution, saying it fails to address some fiscal concerns.
              He said the draft does not include provisions on who will pay for the national debt, the military, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the central bank.

              Sen. Franklin Drilon then asked Dominguez if he would rather not vote for the draft constitution of the Concom if presented for ratification.

              “Absolutely! Yes. But it is good that it is being discussed by legislators. We have to bring out these points,” Dominguez answered.
              If remained unaddressed, the finance secretary warned that the country’s fiscal deficit may become unmanageable, putting its credit ratings at risk.

              • NHerrera says:

                Now all three — Dominguez, Pernia, Diokno — are against the move to Federalism for various reasons.

              • I started humming an old baseball song, “One, two, three strikes, you’re out!

              • He also said he got more confused after listening to Consultative Committee members explain things. He was throwing major shade . . . heh heh

              • NHerrera says:

                It is quite obvious from the happenings that the Group of the Three Economic Managers and the BSP is way above the Inferior [Supreme?] Court in critical thinking and credibility.

              • NHerrera says:

                One more on the matter. Given the choice of a probable (?) success of the BBB Program or the Federalism with its most probable dire consequence, which will it be? Kwarta or kahon?

              • NHerrera says:

                One more, sorry.

                The Philippine economy slowed down to 6% during the 2nd quarter of the year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday, August 9.

                The gross domestic product (GDP) from April to June 2018 is lower than the revised 1st quarter figure of 6.6%. The growth is also slower than the 6.7% recorded during the same period last year.

                It also fell short of market expectations. Estimates had ranged from 6.6% to as high as 7%.

                https://www.rappler.com/business/209165-gross-domestic-product-philippines-q2-2018

              • karlgarcia says:

                Prime Minster Arroyo is what I am smelling with the Economic Managers declaration that Federalism is not economically feasible..
                She could not be President so if Federalism runs out of support, only the Senate can stop parliamentary.

              • I’m not up on parliamentary. Would it be done with a simpler amendment to the existing constitution?

              • NHerrera says:

                If the range to explore is the amendment to the Current Constitution and the Parliamentary form, one may find some optimum. I do not know that the matter of serious amendment to the Constitution has really been studied and subjected to good discussions across sectors.

                We may not exactly say of the current Constitution, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” But it is perhaps no exaggeration to say that it needs some good adjustment or invigorating. But not jump right away to the Parliamentary form? But the latter should be part of the serious study along with the amendment.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I would like to ask Edgar again about his thoughts on parliamentary form as applied to the Philippines.
                But with our political butterflies and dynasties it seems that we could not make it work.
                The people according to the poll bodies want to elect a leader, maybe as long as people are informed of what they are getting into they could decide accordingly.

                I don’t like sleight of hands or carpet pulling from underneath you like the Arroyo forces have been doing lately.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Many thanks @edgar8lores.

              • They even know how to take panties off, almost unnoticed. #Hokage

  6. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Pope Francis has issued his “Cha-cha” on the death penalty. Tatad devotes his Manila Times piece on this. As a Catholic, I confess to being ignorant of the standing Magisterium view on death penalty — that death penalty may be allowed under some prudential circumstances although frowned or criticized in practice — that is, before this new development from Pope Francis that Tatad writes about.

    https://www.manilatimes.net/will-conflict-intensify-on-capital-punishment/427955/

    Manny Pacquiao has a point after all. Also, GMA may subscribe to the Magisterium’s view as described by Tatad for a change of heart on the death penalty.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Tatad may not be a plagiarizer but he is certainly a borrower.

      Roughly, only 26% of his column is his. The other 74% are quotes.

      He stands with Pacquiao and the old Church teachings.
      *****

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks for that note. I wonder what Sonny’s or Will’s take on this death penalty conundrum is (I am being sneaky — wanting our friends to draw from their well of knowledge or do some research.)

        • sonny says:

          NH, allow me to link in this youtube discussion from EWTN: ( capital punishment, 3:55 mins through 19:44 mins; add the letter “h” to the address and use on your browser to access the upload; Don Royal, Fr Gerald Murray and Raymond Arroyo are solid go-to’s on this subject)

          (h)ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R0HZ34jvS8

          I feel Pope Francis should let the old wording of the Catechism stand.

          • NHerrera says:

            Thanks, Sonny. I got the YouTube item titled — World Over – 2018-08-02 – Full Episode with Raymond Arroyo at the link

            There is something the wife and I got to do. I will go over it tomorrow.

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks for the link, karl. In a sense that Wikipedia link has the “flavor” of what Tatad wrote. I note that St. Aquinas and St. Augustine had views on death penalty that does not say no death penalty under any circumstance. I bookmarked the link. I also note the use of the word “inadmissible” by Pope Francis. It is possible the scholars and theologians may interpret this in different ways.

  7. distant observer says:

    I once speculated here that Duterte’s hate towards America might be bigger than his love for the Philippines. I still don’t know why that is, but it can’t be just this Evergreen Hotel incident from 2002. However, this anti-American rhetoric certainly falls on fertile grounds. I just stumbled upon your article from April 2013 (http://thesocietyofhonor.blogspot.com/2013/04/sympathy-for-boston-bomber.html). Yes, history is oftentimes utilized to mobilize war-inclining sentiments, and people the likes of Jose Mario de Vega certainly feel comforted by the current President’s anti-American rhetoric. I guess the reason why – according to Andres2018 – Duterte hated Obama’s but not so much Trump’s America, is that America is increasingly hating itself… Or to put it differently, Duterte might feel sympathetic to Trump’s disdain for his fellow countrymen.

    • “Duterte hated Obama’s but not so much Trump’s America, is that America is increasingly hating itself… Or to put it differently, Duterte might feel sympathetic to Trump’s disdain for his fellow countrymen.”

      America does not hate itself. Trump and PRD do. Actually, PRD does not hate Trump because of fear. Like his fear for JXP. PRD might be a bully in his own small school yard but he knows that there a bigger school yards and he is no match to their bullies.

      If you are following US news, you know that Ivanka and Melania are starting to publicly go against Trump’s rantings about the media, illegal immigrants and Le Bron James, among others.

      Americans are not sitting idly watching Trump bully them, they are doing something to get him out of the Oval Office. Chances are, he will be impeached. If not, I got a feeling that he might not enjoy a second term.

      Did you notice that most of his bullying is directed to outside people (illegal immigrants) and countries (tariff war)? Trump’s disdain is for his fellowmen. He is a very conflicted person and hates the world.

      • distant observer says:

        Thanks Juana. Yes I think that America increasingly hates itself: the Second Amendment People, Evangelicals and Libertarians hate Liberals, the Q Anon People hate the “Deep State”, Liberals hate Trump supporters and Conspiracy Theorists, Blacks hate Whites and Whites hate everything non-white. America is increasingly in a state where no one is listening to an opposite opinion anymore, everyone just wants to get his/her message through. One way communication all over the place. No compromises or even reconciliation…

        Yes some Americans are trying to remove Trump from office. Many other Americans though do not seem to be bothered much by their President’s bullying. We will see whether DJT will not enjoy a second term. Americans gave Bush Junior a second term, so why not Trump too? As long as the opposite party will not come up with a real alternative to Trump, I see his chances intact for a second term. And last time I checked the DNC was still in the Clinton’s pocket, so they will probably favor a Tom Perez or Cory Booker type of candidate over a Nina Turner or Alison Hartson.

        I don’t think one has to make the distinction between Americans and foreigners when it come to Trump’s bullying. Rather, it is between the loyal yes-sayers and the ones who contradict him. Except for Putin though, he surely causes Trump’s affectionate side to exhibit.

        • Hate is such a strong word. I would opine that you are using it very lightly. I detect your dislike for America. I hope you are not in it because people like you, the glass half-filled ones are like the PH DDS who are looking for division rather than unity.

          America is a strong democratic country. A democracy is a very loud and sometimes chaotic form of government. People are free to shout what they believe in and do what they want within confines of law/reason/civility. Does that make them hate America? IMHO, it makes them appreciate their citizenship even more because of it. Proof? Play “God bless America” or “This land is your land” in any of the gathering of the “haters” you enumerated and in the least, they will all stand at attention and some will even weep. Why? Love is a feeling, not just a word.

          I am not naive to claim that America is perfect. It is evolving and there are pockets of the society that are not in equilibrium. The America I know will trudge on to right what is wrong. America had been prophesied to fall for centuries but it is still standing. Its citizens are its strength and their diversity is its shield from naysayers.

          There are so many good things about America that a distant observer will not see. The nuanced patriotism, the generosity of spirit , the will to do right, the unity in stand when its called for…

          • distant observer says:

            Yes you are right, hate is a strong word and I admit I was using it too lightly in my enumeration of opposing groups. I was using it for the sake of a simple terminology. Can we agree to Joe’s term that “America has gone self destructive”? I don’t understand your “glass half-filled ones” analogy, but if I would know you, I would take the statement that I am like a DDS as an offense. If someone is using sarcasm in her/his writing doesn’t mean the writer is looking for division. It can be a mere linguistic tool to express something that otherwise cannot be expressed.

            Yes America is a strong country, and I share with you the view that “Its citizens are its strength and their diversity is its shield from naysayers.” There are elements of American culture that I truly admire. This doctrine of embracing failure for example. While in most countries around the world, failing is oftentimes seen as something negative and a sign of weakness, Americans see failing as a natural cause of life. Learning by doing so to say. But strongly democratic? Personally, I prefer a Multi-Party System (that favors compromise) over the American Two-Party System (which favors a rule of the majority) any day of the week. And I won’t get into a discussion about America’s “truly democratic” foreign policy, which is, after all, a function of domestic politics.

            “Pockets of society that are not in equilibrium” sounds like a euphemism to me. And I don’t know what you know or think of Colin Kaepernik, but to me it seems that he had plenty of good reasons to not stand during the national anthem. It is curious that you suspect me distant from America, just because I “dare” to criticize it? I can see many good things that America stands for and personifies. After all, there are countless reasons why I favor an American influence over a Chinese one in the Philippines. No ad hominem argument can change that.

            • Let us agree to disagree. We surely have a lot of differences as to what we value and believe in as far as America is concerned. Maybe we can agree when the topic is about PH.

              I apologize if any of my reply slighted you. It is not meant to.

              The distant observer part is a pun on your handle. I believe one cannot be a distant observer and be totally immersed nor be passionate in about anything. You do not have be in ground zero to participate in social change/justice but your mind, heart and soul need to.

              • distant observer says:

                Thank you for your conciliatory words. Yes I think we have much more common ground when it comes to the Philippines. I can say that because I couldn’t agree more on most comments you make here in TSH. The distant observer characteristic of myself I cannot change. But I can neither change the fact that the Philippines is the country where I have people that I truly love and care about.

    • Love those last 2 lines. Yes, America has gone self destructive, like the Philippines, and you have characterized Trump (and Duterte) brilliantly. Disdain for his fellow countrymen.

  8. Apolinar A. Derilo says:

    China has no notable role in Philippine history unless we recall their piracy when Spain started sailing the orient and recently grabbing islands in our southwest territory.

  9. Wastedtimereadingthis says:

    This has to be the biggest piece of garbage I’ve read this year .

  10. John says:

    China will be behind a lot of this of course. The have government departments working on miss-information. Highlighted so well with the Australian government and well written up by various people who have looked at the numerous ways in which China manipulate the media space and inserts its own policy into the conversation. Needless to say, Arroyo’s party sits down to dinner with the Chinese and has joint policy meetings with them, so you can generalise here and say there is no smoke without fire – hiding underneath the facade of legitimate Filipino politics.

  11. Juana Pilipinas says:

    To PRD’s supporters, the Americans are Dilawans. Anyone who has the critical thinking skill to figure out the administration’s malevolent schemes and has morals to show indignance about their manipulative behavior is color coded yellow. Little do they know that most of those they call Dilawans are color blind and would be proud to be called so if it means “those who are doing the right thing.”

    • You are herein appointed the Society’s dual allegiance American Ambassador to America. Your take on things in the states is super enlightening. And here.

      • NHerrera says:

        I second that. I find very interesting and instructive the happenings in the US and commented on some of them here. There are instances when JP has guided me to my less oriented path of thinking — and couldn’t argue against those guidance. I spent a few years in the US as a graduate student so I know a little about the US and Americans circa early 60s [seems eons ago, thus very much dated] but bow to the superior knowledge and critical thinking of JP with part of her heart obviously still beating for PH and Filipinos.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Thank you all for the good vibes. It is not an aberration to love both countries. They are a big part of who I am. Both had taught me wonderful lessons in life. There will always be a place in my heart for them.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Brothers and sisters, we have an enemy and it is not the Americans, it is Ourselves!

    • karlgarcia says:

      We have a bigger threat than the Americans, Ourselves!

      • Ah, yes. The internal warmongering is quite impressive. Filipinos whacking at Filipinos, a nation deeply divided between the emotionalists who love movie star politicians and the westernized liberals who want democracy and civility. I find incredible DFA Secretary Cayetano’s harsh attack on President Aquino (whom he once supported politically) on Scarborough while NOT criticizing China for failing to abide by the agreement to withdraw ships. Where is the loyalty, Filipino to Filipino? SOLD to China by the scurrilous dogs likely enriching themselves by betraying countrymen.

  13. NHerrera says:

    BSP RESPONDS

    Following the strong inflation rate increase of 5.7% in July as reported by the PSA, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised interest rates by 50 basis points (bps), meeting market expectations. This brings the overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) rate to 4%. BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr earlier promised that they would implement a “strong” response to the high inflation rate.

    https://www.rappler.com/business/209167-bangko-sentral-pilipinas-raises-interest-rates-august-2018

  14. andrewlim8 says:

    With a growth rate for the 2nd qtr below the target and even below the expected, look how funny the economic managers and Duterte have become: when Boracay and the mines were ordered closed, they minimized the effect this will have on the economy.

    Now when they need a reason for the reduced growth rate, they say it was due to Boracay and the closure of mines.

    🙂

    • The economists rationalize every negative trend as coming from something that is best for the Philippines. The low peso is good for exports, but exports are still weak. Boracay and the mines . . . both come from Duterte rash decisions to throw out the baby and the bath, rather than phase in the solutions to keep the income and clean things up. Knee-jerk Duterte style. S&P and Moodys will eventually get their fill of this and translate it into “unreliable”. Which translates into “risky”. Down will go debt to junk.

    • chemrock says:

      We at TSOH did warn them the country is headed for an inflationary path. Both fiscal and monetary policy makers brushed them off. 5.7% inflation is a deadly serious figure in other countries, but here the admin is taking it calmly. 50 basis points adjustments may not be enough to temper the high inflation,

    • NHerrera says:

      Here is the picture:

      From December 2017 the inflation rate surged to an almost straight line except for the pause in May 2018. Considering the factors still prevailing, in spite of a total of 100 basis points increase in BSP’s overnight RRP rate (25 each in May and June, and 50 today), the inflation momentum is such that braking the inflation rate to about 5% by year end may not be easily realized.

      • NHerrera says:

        Before the recent inflation report by PSA, the economic managers were looking at an average inflation for the whole year 2018 as 4.5%. The number will likely overshoot that estimate.

    • NHerrera says:

      GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE

      Very informative is this infographic from Business World on the headline topic.

      Gross domestic product quarterly performance (Q2 2018)

      No wonder the DPWH and DOTr are under fire — not being able to translate the huge inflow of capital to infra spending fast enough.

      Another notable item is while the increase in imports is quite understandable from BBB Program standpoint, there is a remarkable decrease in exports.

      • NHerrera says:

        Sorry, the important right side of the picture above was clipped. Here is the cropped picture:

      • I’ve noticed that Business World does some of the best information-based reporting in the Philippines. Chempo will be addressing infrastructure spending in an article on Monday. The Admin has hit the same wall that Aquino met, the pragmatics of contracts and planning and funding . . . it takes many months. Plus, if projects are like bridges to nowhere, they don’t contribute much lasting value.

        • Francis says:

          Me thinks BBB $$$ would be better off being thrown at a “New Deal” effort to radically reform the bureaucracy—the nerve system, the brain of the state—rather than trying to make this feeble body (the state) win an Olympic Gold at infrastructure development.

        • NHerrera says:

          DPWH and DOTr may have picked most of the low lying fruits (easier to implement projects) but are now confronted with fruits high up in the tree (projects with right-of-way problems, need for more workers with the right skills, procurement problems, long gestation projects by their nature, etc.). I will look forward to Monday’s blog.

  15. caliphman says:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-politics-analysis/handling-of-u-s-trade-dispute-causes-rift-in-chinese-leadership-sources-idUSKBN1KU0TU

    It is a frequent mistake for many articles and comments including some here to treat China’s lesdetshi as a homogenous block. As the linked Reuters piece shoes, much of the Chinese muscle flexing in the South China Seas is driven by internal politics. In particular, the faction headed a very close Xi advisor is responsible for a strong and active China policy, who is now the object of criticism because competing factions claim his initiatives have hurt more than helped China. This aggressive and expansive posture, a Make America Great Again version but on supersteroids, becomes in trade wars that have hurt its stock markets and economy. It must be noted that a chief beneficiary of this strong nationalistm is China’s enormous military industrial complex, much of which is state-owned.

  16. Vicara says:

    It looks like Australia, which is openly seeking to contain PRC expansionism, is being set up as an “enemy” as well, seeing how progressive Australian individuals here in the Philippines–first Sr. Patricia Fox and now academic/activist Gil Boehringer, are being very publicly singled out by Immigration.

  17. Lil says:

    Hi joe

    You should know by now you can never expect anything but anti American sentiments from this admin and its supporters.

    In fact, I’d wager that the reason for Dudirty giving his appproval now for the acquisition of submarines is he’s seen the writing on the wall but doesn’t want to turn to Americans.

    Poor Dudirty, after all the butt-kissing all he got from the Chinese was a kick to the behind like the Chinese dog that he is.

    Btw, long time no see.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    PDuterte maybe right that we have little use for jets.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/are-us-fighter-jets-about-become-obsolete-12612

    I may change my mind about our need for submarines.
    PDuterte must just Invest on submarine detection and other anti sub materials.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/are-submarines-about-become-obsolete-12253

    “Since the Cold War submarines, particularly quiet American ones, have been considered largely immune to adversary A2/AD capabilities. But the ability of submarines to hide through quieting alone will decrease as each successive decibel of noise reduction becomes more expensive and as new detection methods mature that rely on phenomena other than sounds emanating from a submarine. These techniques include lower frequency active sonar and non-acoustic methods that detect submarine wakes or (at short ranges) bounce laser or light-emitting diode (LED) light off a submarine hull. The physics behind most of these alternative techniques has been known for decades, but was not exploited because computer processors were too slow to run the detailed models needed to see small changes in the environment caused by a quiet submarine. Today, “big data” processing enables advanced navies to run sophisticated oceanographic models in real time to exploit these detection techniques. As they become more prevalent, they could make some coastal areas too hazardous for manned submarines.”

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