Angels, satanic heroes, players, punishers, and dark angels

Duterte-Carpio helped orchestrate Arroyo’s takeover of the House speakership, going against her father’s wishes. [Photo source: Philippine Star]

By JoeAm

My dear Filipino friends, y’all are in a predicament. You and your country-mates repeatedly elect leaders who are not really doing the best possible job for the nation. We’ve examined the cultural conditions that cause this and observed three main characteristics that lead Filipinos repeatedly to make poor choices. They may not apply to you, personally, but for sure, they are influential:

  1. Tribal orientation: there is a weak sense of nationhood; people have a narrow sense of community.
  2. Authoritarian hierarchy: centuries of oppression have taught Filipinos to find their proper place in a vertical hierarchy of authority rather than experience the fulfillment and successes of ‘equality’.
  3. Structure is weak: laws, ethics, institutions, economy, and time management are variable rather than principled and firm; choices are not defined by rules but by power and opportunity.

That presents a problem. Productivity and prosperity are best generated by an open society that promotes the free-flow of ideas within a structural framework of respect for differing viewpoints, generating a relentless effort to solve problems constructively. But in the Philippines, self-interest rules, authority is conceded to the powerful who are generally more interested in control of ideas than new ones, and the structure that defines what is in the best interest of the nation and common well-being is horridly applied. Justice weaponizes laws rather than seeks fairness, ethics are out the window, institutions are unprincipled, the economy is managed as a shell game, and qualities like commitment, determination, or simply meeting a schedule are not in the production lexicon.

With that discouraging view as a backdrop, we see elections bearing down on us. “Oh my!” we shout. We can imagine Bongbong Marcos or Manny Pacquiao as President in 2022 and want to run shrieking into the night in recognition that Filipinos can be so blasted self-destructive.

That led me to want to classify candidates to see if there is any hope at all for Filipinos to elect leaders capable of building a modern, prosperous, compassionate democracy. Versus leaders who seem to promote poverty and self-indulgence.

Here are how I would describe candidates based on their character, along with an example or two:

  1. Angels: these are the principled, law-abiding, civil people interested in responsibility, democracy, and human rights. There are many of them: Robredo, Sereno, De Lima, Carpio, Morales, Hilbay, and others. The big problem is that they have little traction among a population of voters who are angry at the elite who promise so much but deliver so little. Envy-anger is palpable.
  2. Satanic heroes: these are the opposite of the angels. They are interested in power, not rules, and taking wealth, not providing it for the nation. Duterte, Marcos, Cayetano, Go, Pacquiao, and many other spawn of the current regime. They are heroes because they project authority in a way that needful voters like, but they are fundamentally incompetent and are certain to keep the nation “born to lose”.
  3. Players: these are the traditional trapo leaders who drift as the wind blows, are not really satanic, but don’t have the character to hold to principles that benefit the nation. Poe, Angara, Pia Cayetano, Legarda, Ejercito, and others. They are not exactly incompetent, perhaps, but they are not driven to do much more than take care of themselves first. As populists, they can avoid stains and play on popular issues to get elected.
  4. Punishers: These are angels who don’t mind smiting the betrayers. There is one that I know of, Senator Sonny Trillanes. Maybe there are more in the wings. They want to end the culture of impunity and call to task those who have led the nation astray. They want jail time for the culprits and speak loud and clear about it. What is interesting is that such candidates may have attraction to voters because they project power and applied anger. AND interest in the well-being of the people.
  5. Dark angels: This is the most interesting category, and there may or may not be anyone on the list. This is someone from the Duterte or Marcos camp who has a mind of his own. It is someone strong, determined, and fundamentally sound at getting things done. But they would have to have a mind-shift, or desire to establish a legacy for themselves as the best Philippine President in history. Take, for example, Sara Duterte-Carpio. She is strong-willed, independent, and gets things done. What if she decided to actually BE someone substantial, for the Philippines, in a good way? Or Nancy Binay (who I record as a ‘player’), who could deploy the considerable resources and networks of her corruption-challenged father? Popular in the eyes of voters AND productive?

If we set names aside and just had a ballot with the character of the candidates on the list, we might project an alignment of votes in 2022 as follows:

  • Angel – 12.5%
  • Satanic Hero – 22.5%
  • Player – 17.5%
  • Punisher -22.5%
  • Dark Angel – 25%

Or just put in the lead candidate in each group: Robredo, Marcos, Poe, Trillanes, and Duterte-Carpio.

There are so many variables, eh? If the Angel became a Punisher, or withdrew, then the Punisher might win. If the Dark Angel did not run and left it to the Satanic Hero, the Satanic Hero would probably win. The Player is always the spoiler, attracting just enough attention to cause decency to lose.

Or if voters got tired of high prices and corruption, they might on their own decide to take another run with an Angel. But, knowing what we know about the emotionalism of Filipino decision-making, the seeming need for ‘bad boy’ leadership, and the tabloid nature of journalistic reporting, it wouldn’t be something to bet on..


78 Responses to “Angels, satanic heroes, players, punishers, and dark angels”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Interesting typecasting.

  2. popoy says:

    PLAYFULLY ONLY . . .If I may . . .

    As taxonomy (one sentence description) or as typology
    (one paragraph description) playfully this is how voters
    should be informed about the candidates for public office.







    In their reverse order from worse to best, only a word suffices to pigeon hole the candidates: homicidal, thief, greedy, rag, clueless and good. For elucidation the words have synonyms to amplify meanings. If the above are mail or ballot boxes, the incumbent president and vice president even though not candidates easily fits in one of their own box.

  3. andrewlim8 says:


    I recommend to the govt to replace the functions of Harry Roque with an artificial intelligence program which is now widely available for purchase from software firms.

    Instead of a human being, they can just place a flower vase, a fat stuffed toy or whatever in front of the camera, and have it answer questions from media.

    It will be less controversial, less expensive and efficient. For every question it does not have the answer, it will just say ” does not compute.” No need for made up stories.

    It will also cement this govt’s reputation as a cold, uncaring machine that allows shopping for top honchos while the country suffers from high inflation.

    • Superb idea. Worth a Nobel prize, for sure. I expect it could be programmed to exclaim ‘destabilization!’ and issue threats to students and old nuns every fourth or fifth paragraph.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      After all, many things about this regime is artificial, anyway – from “jetskis and kissing the flag” to a vow to metamorphose, to his claim to being anti-corrupt. How can one be anti-corrupt but rehabs the Marcoses into power?

      So shift to artificial intelligence, at least there will be intelligence! 🙂

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Here’s a revealing interview of Roque:

      There’s a part where he says he set aside his ideals because he needs to have no opinion in this job.

      He is really replaceable with an AI program.

    • Vicara says:

      AI and Roque would be equally artificial; but at least the robot would be intelligent.

    • popoy says:

      I already have started a paragraph of an essay after hearing a SONA that contained LIES; an essay depicting when Philippine governance had been assisted by AI (artificial intelligence) requiring a new constitution to simply ADD to all HIGH positions a ROBOT AI DEPUTY like for example AI Deputy President, AI Deputy VP, AI Deputy CJ of the Supreme Court down down the line to AI Deputy City Mayor to AI Deputy Town Mayor. All COMMAND positions are provided by the AI Constitution will have AI Deputies.

      To elucidate: Here’s a SONA fake news AI scenario: After the SONA has been delivered, the Senate President had asked his AI Robot Deputy to speak as required SONA Protocol by the constitution; who spoke using his built-in sound system picked up by WIFIs, radio, TV, and cyberspace; the AI ROBOT Senate Pres Deputy declared: “The AI Deputy in the Supreme Court has already began checking his own records for possible court action. The world has just been told that a federal region here has been paying ENORMOUS taxes but have received almos nothing for its development. The archives of Congress show the central government ACTUALLY had appropriated more than twice those taxes. Ninety percent of the money went to ghost projects of corrupt politicians. The jack hammer of justice must fall on the heads of these lying crooks and their families. The AI ROBOT Court of Clean Governance composed of non humans but only by AI ROBOT Judges shall swiftly administer AI justice and send all these rascals to an island AI Penitentiary governed by AI Robots guards and where AI Robot Neurologists will REHAB the neurons of all kinds of criminals.

      No, NO, NOOooo. I have seen only the first STAR WAR movie decades ago. Peksman. TSoH can even check me out by any AI Robot BIG BROTHER.

      Pray tell me why and who will be DEATHLY afraid being governed by AI? May the AI’s be with you. Et cum spiri tuo,

      • popoy says:

        The purity of the blood of any functioning AI ROBOT RULE will be dependent on constant dialysis using STATISTICS Blood, honest, accurate, factual and cold blooded STATISTICS. US should gather the statistics for AI Philippines, Russia should gather the statistics for AI China and vice versa. The country with the truth statistics shall lead the cosmos in AI Governance science.

        AI is really structured functions as integrated objectivism. For example in my proposed STRUCTURE (organization chart) for a new constitution just add and place new boxes labelled AI ROBOT DEPUTY under line boxes and higher than the staff boxes using the line and staff theory of scientific management.

  4. edgar lores says:


    My classification. As can be seen, I have trouble classifying those under Dark Angels.

    A. Angels – Principled, law-abiding, civil, responsible

    1. Leila de Lima
    2. Risa Hontiveros
    3. Bam Aquino*
    4. Kiko Pangilinan
    5. Frank Drilon

    B. Satanic Heroes – self-interested in power and wealth

    6. Tito Sotto
    7. Manny Pacquiao
    8. Alan Cayetano (Ran for vice-president in 2016)
    9. Aquilino Pimentel III*

    C. Players – trapos who drift with the wind

    10 Grace Poe* (Ran for president in 2016)
    11. Francis Escudero** (Ran for vice-president in 2016)
    12. Loren Legarda** (Ran for vice-president in 2004 and 2010)
    13. Gringo Honasan** (Ran for vice-president in 2016)
    14. Sonny Angara*
    15. Cynthia Villar*
    16. Nancy Binay*
    17. JV Ejercito*
    18. Juan Miguel Zubiri
    19. Joel Villanueva
    20. Win Gatchalian

    D. Dark Angels – strong, determined, gets things done but is not on the side of angels

    21. Ping Lacson (Player or Dark Punisher? Ran for president in 2004)
    22. Richard Gordon (Player? Ran for president in 2010)
    23. Ralph Recto (Angel or player?)

    D. Punisher – angels who punish

    24. Antonio Trillanes IV** (Ran for vice-president in 2016)

    * Up for re-election in 2019
    ** Two-termer ending in 2019

    • Superb classification. I would put Gordon in the class of Satanic Heroes. He pushed De Lima into jail and blocked thorough investigation of the first 6.4 billion in smuggled drugs.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Girdon blocked another Trillanes initiative that I have to google to recall, he said just file charges with the ombudsman.

          • Right. Gordon is an advocate against the minority, not just blowing with the wind.

            • karlgarcia says:

              There is still a good part in Gordon like his desire for building Navy ships and other equipment in the Philippines, and sometimes he can put his grandstanding to good use.
              But is he a player or A Satanic hero. He attempts to play the game, but his actual display of anger outshines ( lack of a word) all those in the list, so maybe he is more of a satanic hero.

              • Tweeto Wakatono says:

                One solitary view point probably NOT KNOWN even to Senator Gordon himself, Senator Trillanes and Sol Gen Calida is that Gordon knows his law, the sufficiency of the law on conflict of interest is such that there is NO NEED FOR and PRECLUDE a Senate investigation for remedial legislation of Calida who is accused of blatant violation. Gordon might have just pushed Calida under a ten-wheeler truck. Gordon sees the law will be better served by sending Calida case pronto to the ombudsman which placed the Ombubsman (who’s the truck driver) on the dock and spotlight of public scrutiny.

              • Sup says:

                Navy ships in Subic…..Guess who get’s a ”share”??.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I like the proposal but not the devil in the details.Subic is not the only port .

              • popoy says:

                As fate will have it Gordon unwittingly took the side of Trillanes teaching him the proper way to investigate for punishment a violator of conflict of interest law, since it seems the gist of the comment below had been missed by many. As chair of the most powerful Senate Committee the word of Gordon should mean weighty something to the Ombudsman.

              • karlgarcia says:

                A BR committee report could have made things easier for the ombudsman.

    • popoy says:

      This is neither here nor there but have I observed correctly (or wrongly) that philosophers have a fetish. They don’t mention or write names of bad people.

      • edgar lores says:

        There is a religious belief that evil does not really exist. Thus, why write the names of bad people if they do not really exist?

        • From what movie is this, and who is the character saying it?

        • popoy says:

          Mr Edgar, I’ll let dead or alive philosophers answer that. On second thought: If evil does not exist, ergo religion must also does not exist because one cannot be BEING without the other. There will exist no crime without criminals, that’s probably why NOT mentioning names could be a fetish.

          • sonny says:

            Evil is like the doughnut hole. Dunkin’ Donuts took care of that. Also, evil exists only if there is light and a subject of light, i.e. a man and his shadow, maybe like dr jekyll and mr hyde.

            • popoy says:

              If I may, in a lighter vein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide is social science while Dunkin Donuts with or without holes is caloric nutrition science, two disparate entities that can be proved only by serial experimentation.

              God! I must stop splitting hair which is pure protein.

  5. Andres 2018. says:

    Tribalism. If fueled to a country wide level, it could evolve into nationalism. The tribalistic attitude of the Filipinos is reflected every time Pacquiao fights on the ring, or every time there is the MsUniverse Pageant. Filipinos are motivated easily when there is a call for support for their fellowmen, and that is a good trait. Of course, manipulators are their to take the opportunity, who can manipulate everything to suit their objectives, including manipulating this tribalistic culture of the Filipinos.

    Authoritarianism. Its respect of power, or respect for the people on power. This is an extension of Tribalism in a since that in a tribe, the Chief is usually the most powerful individual or the member of the most prominent clan. Almost all society have, in a point in time which is usually on the earliest stage, authoritarian leaders or a leader powerful enough to influence the people. Society evolves thought, it should not remain forever in a authoritarian regime. When people are inculcated with deep rooted values thats the time that it should move forward as a strong nation and that would take at least a generation to established that. And in terms of inculcating values, i believe that an authoritarian regime is the most effective in doing such. Authoritarianism could be a means, never the end.

    • Always good to have the views of dictators represented here. No need for due process or silly ideas that people are innocent until proven guilty. I’m following the journalist’s apparent murder in the Saudi Arabia Turkish embassy, and China’s apparent state arrest of their Interpol agency chief over unspecified crimes. Also the PNP visiting media offices here in the Philippines to take photos of staff. Intimidators all. “No one is safe” said one authority in China.

  6. chemrock says:

    Are these all you have Philippines? Joe has scrapped the barrel and came up almost empty.

    Joe’s slate of probables — dark angels (Marcos, Nancy Binay, Sarah Duterte) don’t quite cut it for they come with unbearable baggages of unforgiveable crimes within the family for which they never distanced themselves but indeed defended. The cancer is in the seed. For the punisher Trillanes, however good his moral compass is, he is too much a divisive force to be able to hold the centre stable.

    For Joe’s possibles — the angels — they too may not be good candidates. Though no one denies they can speak softly, they are unlikely inclined to carry a big stick. This country is ungovernable without the big stick.

    To be a leader is not to be just a boss, you need to be a server and a provider. To serve well you need to get out of your comfort zone and have been amongst the people, observing first hand, the lifestyles, struggles. problems and aspirations of the people you want to serve. Mr Duterte sleeping under mosquitoe nets does’nt quite fit the bill. Poe’s, and Roque’s one way trip experience in an MRT is not it. Nancy tip toeing behind dad dishing out rosaries (with a B) is also not it.

    The only two individuals with a semblance of willingness to serve is Robredo. A pregnant Robredo catching a couple of hours sleep in a bangka because there were no place else to sleep in one of her outreach trips in places untravelled is a poignant picture of an angelic heart. And Trillanes, to see an young naval officer sailing out into perilous waters to rescue Filipinos caught far out at sea during a typhoon.

    Is Philippines a leaderless nation?

    • I have a different view. It is not leaderless. It has a lot of principled, capable people. But the population is ungovernable, and weak institutions and entrenched bad cultural habits keep it that way. I note that people in the US are also complaining about how ignorant and emotional American voters have become. So it is the way of the world these days.

      • chemrock says:

        Don’t be mistaken. I share of view there are lots of principles and capable in Philippines, as as there are in every country, including US. What I feel lacking are statesmen. Of all mentioned, I think Carpio gets to be nearest to my idea of statesmanship. Someone with skills in managing public affairs. I have no doubt Carpio is man to it, but has he got the wherewithals to clobber political concensus for various tasks — that I’m not too sure.

        On the other hand, you are absolutely right. It’s also about what the people want. If they want the devil, there is nothing one can do anything about it. Incidentally, it may not have passed unnoticed to those inclined towards biblical meanings in human affairs, Americans have erected a replica of the Arch of Baal in New York city. They also erected same Arch in Washington DC for the dureation of the Supreme Court hearing re Kavanaugh (what is the significance I don’t know). Baal is the pagan god that ancient Hebrews turn to every time they turn away from God, and received judgement for that. Baal is a pagan god of human sacrifices and evil. Satan seems to be winning at the moment.

        It is very normal for presidents to be credited for achievements they did not do, and chastised for things beyond their control. But in Philippines, Pnoy got chastised for his achievements, and double chastised for things not within his control. Duterte get credits for non-achievements, and a pass for things he can’t control.

        • karlgarcia says:

          What’s this about Baal’s erection, the sculptors must do what the Roman’s do and use fig leaves.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If the populace is ungovernable, do they deserve good leaders?
          Without turning this into a chicken egg conundrum, or damned if you do or don’t paradox, they say you can have the best of both worlds.

          If you have responsible and accountable citizenry, you can have responsible and accountable leaders.

          • Speaking of eggs, paano kung magbatuhan na ng itlog? Will the yellow of the egg stick to the people, o kaya baka naman maredbait lahat dahil sa pula ng itlog?

            After that, can you make scrambled eggs and say “batî na tayong lahat”?

            • karlgarcia says:

              I might give an answer which is not swabe.

              The egg yolk is called pula ng it log, but it is colored yellow so that is the reason why J2 ( Intelligence ) concluded that something is being cooked for October.

              I will pm you about the last line( just kidding, I should stop with the fig leaves)

          • Francis says:


            “We’ll start with Brazil’s ridiculously high murder rate. It’s not a bourgeois concern, it’s a serious issue. You can see here that Brazil has an intentional homicide rate 6 times higher than the US, and 5 times higher than neighboring Argentina. More people are murdered in Brazil than in India and China combined. This trauma has driven people absolutely mad, and clutching for anyone who seems like they can fix it.”

            The problem is not the chicken—nor the egg. The problem is the farm that sells you the chickens and the eggs, the system that breeds bad chickens and bad eggs. As I’ve said in a comment in the previous article: the problem is society and the solution lies in society.

            The question then is—how to have a better farm, este society?

            • Francis says:


              sorry wrong cut and paste:

              MEANT TO QUOTE @karl, your comment:

              “If the populace is ungovernable, do they deserve good leaders?
              Without turning this into a chicken egg conundrum, or damned if you do or don’t paradox, they say you can have the best of both worlds.”

              • karlgarcia says:

                You are a systems tanker, you blame the system.( joke only ha)

                How do you do Ctrl F in an iPad,
                Who commented the murderbrate in Brazil.

                If China has accurate recording, or the African nations then they can beat Brazil.
                I bllame the…
                I told you no one is to blame, there are billions to blame, but you(not you)

              • Seems the PNP stats are fake already nowadays: highest crime rate is in Naga?

              • karlgarcia says:

                The inflation in Naga caused the inflation of PNP stats.

        • edgar lores says:

          Ten Possibilities

          I had a hard time completing the list.

          1. VP Leni Robredo
          2. Justice Antonio Carpio
          3. Ex-Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (Ran for president in 2010)
          4. Ex-senator Mar Roxas (Ran for president in 2016)
          5. Senator Antonio Trillanes
          6. Senator Kiko Pangilinan
          7. Senator Ralph Recto
          8. Congressman Kit Belmonte (former NPA rebel)
          9. ???
          10. Ely Pamatong (Perennial candidate)

        • Tweeto Wakatono says:

          I went downstairs and clicked on the laptop. Lo and behold popoy became tweeto, and asked are you this guy? what’s the password which memory always fails me. Any way here’s a comment that’s so bad TSoH should delete it pronto.

          • Tweeto Wakatono says:

            Please delete the comments in brackets as appropriate.

            “I have a different view. It is not leaderless. It has a lot of principled, capable people. [On the contrary: The Philippines has been LEADERLESS after the brief stint of Monching Magsaysay, partly of CP Garcia, Cory and Noynoy. The population is so governable even by non leaders corrupt individuals. Governance SUCKS] But the population is ungovernable, and weak institutions and entrenched bad cultural habits keep it that way. [the population is so governable, and institutions so weakened by entrenched bad cultural habits that kept it that way] I note that people in the US are also complaining about how ignorant and emotional American voters have become. So it is the way of the world these days.

            I apologise if my cynicism becomes rude and unfriendly.

            • Tweeto Wakatono says:

              I have posted it here before: LEADERSHIP IS CREST. Which is the embodiment of Commitment. Resourcefulness, Enthusiasm, STATESMANSHIP and TENACITY.
              I internalized that from the mouth of my guru, a Vanguard Brod once UP ROTC Diliman Corps Commander. Dr NM Nisperos (+? remember that surname) told us he was lucky to be given a US Scholarship allowing his own choice of US University. After studying the faculty and their publications of a few university, he chose Pittsburgh and has since citing his professors in his lecture. He was leader during his student’s, was Dean of two UP Regional Units in Eastern Visayas. I am proud to be with him in some projects of the defunct Philippine Executive Academy. He may have lived living up to his CREST ideal.

            • sonny says:

              Popoy, I think I catch your drift. 🙂 “What are we in power for?” Dunno who said it first in Philippine politics; i first came across it in CP Garcia’s time.

        • sonny says:

          How does ethics survive in a computerized environment? Sub rosa of course. In the same way a computer programmer survives office politics – the use/non-use of backdoor algorithms known only by the lowly programmer himself, i.e. solutions only he knows when and how to use. 😦 a.k.a. patches to a program)

          • popoy says:

            Artificial Intelligence will make ethics obsolete like computer programmers becoming extinct beings. Lawyering will be the first profession to be banished and vanished. Engineering and medicine shall be the leading occupations of man, AI Robots will do the programming such that hackers will regret the day they were born. Big brother watching will be history of nascent crude governance. Drones as back packs will make earthbound traffic obsolete. AI will change the lives of seniors with gadgets that will reduce the pull of gravity rendering walkers, crutches and wheel chairs useless. Bad politicians will be rare than diamonds because AI will cause their incineration into nitrogen and hydrogen,

            Lottery and Casinos which victimize the poor will be forgotten recent memory. AI will redefined the ambitions of man, on what it means to live the good life and the pursuit of happiness. The search for Utopia (nowhere) and the longings for nirvana (euphoria) shall bother human brains no more. Regardless of the success of AI, still heaven on earth will remain an elusive obsession.

            Laugh and the world laughs with you if you years back say loosely there will be driverless cars, shabu and pentanyl and EJK in Catholic Philippines; that immigration will be the new colonialism making the world a global village of racialist struggle. .

            • I’m not sure I agree. I think ethics will be programmed into the intelligence so that if an eight year old does a verbal search for porn, he will be denied. And laws and ethical rules will be a part of the database the machines use to give advice on this or that. Now in the hypothetical situation that the machines take over, then, okay, all kinds of frightening scenarios can be concocted.

              • popoy says:

                Didn’t realize it. My bad really, I was thinking of ethics committee and establishments whose reasons for existence are to examine violations of prescribed behaviour and punished transgressions in the polity. Thanks TSoH for pointing that out. I think there is more I should vivify for the understanding of many. If pornography is proscribed or prohibited by civil conduct, those who live and prosper by it will be eliminated pronto by machines. But there will be something allowed to replace vices that brings happiness to man. Like an AI Robot doll ever virgin who never nag, to take man into seventh heaven.

                I remember an old movie where S Stallone and S Bullock? just sitting side by side with their backs leaning on the wall were actually making out without touching each other. Robert Downey Jr became part AI hybrid of iron man. AI ideas had been with us for quite a while now.

      • Vicara says:

        “It has a lot of principled, capable people.” But these are often perceived as people who cannot get themselves elected because they lack name recognition among the mass of Filipinos, and don’t have, shall we say, “dark money.” BUT this situation CAN be reversed without turning “dark”; after all, Robredo had close to zero name recognition at the start of her campaign for the vice presidency. But she conducted 650 campaign sorties to BBM’s 350 or so. She has stamina and did the legwork. All would-be political Angels should study what she did. Especially new angels such as Pilo Hilbay and Alejano.

  7. Interesting that the two Dark Angels are females. I wrote this about alpha females: (this was on a moonlit night, be careful:)

    ..Often, powerful men bring forth alpha females. The Athena principle. Athena was Zeus’ daughter, born out of a headache he had. Sara Duterte seems to be her father’s headache until this very day. But don’t tell me President Diosdado Macapagal was an alpha male. Yet indeed, there was Queen Elizabeth I, who outdid her father Henry VIII by far as a ruler. But Filipinos have no one like her. Probably she would have, had she been raised the Filipino way, sold islands to the Spanish crown. But then again, she was not half-Spanish and Catholic like her half-sister Mary. Quite contrary!

    I did meet former Pampanga Vice-Governor Cielo Macapagal-Salgado personally, once in Germany. Seemed nice. But then again, there are so many sisters who differ in character. Think Gang Badoy and Quiche Lorraine.

    I did not mention Imee on that night, for fear of the devil. She would not be a dark angel, she would probably be more like Bloody Mary than Queen Elizabeth. The latter had the strength of her tyrannical father (Henry VIII) without the evil, at least looking back it seems to be that way.

    • sonny says:

      Irineo, what about Chancellor Thomas More in the service of Henry VIII? Or Louis IX of France and his mother Queen Blanche of Spain? Would love to hear your take on these “dramatis personae” in their times. (strictly didactic in intent; thanks)

      • karlgarcia says:


        A nice dialectic discourse would be you speaking in Ilocano, and iIrineo in Bicolsno….corny.
        On a quite serious note.
        The perennial issue of clerical abuse is becoming an issue again, are you worried, Unc?

        • sonny says:

          Yes & no, Neph.

          Yes, it’s depressing. The abuse truly disabuses me of some of my ecclesiology (models of Christian community living, viz pastoral care and trust). My weak excuse also, is that the enemies of the RCC zero-in on those members who are bad rather than listening to the members who are faithful to the Christian message, Mother Teresa, Benedict XVI and Paul VI come to mind.

          No, because God gave us free-will. Clerical abuse drives home the fact that we must stick to what the Gospel teaches us literally & figuratively as to what righteousness (being ok with what God’s commandments tells us to do and being forewarned of our fallen nature) is all about.

          Thanks for asking, Neph. God bless. Pax!

          • karlgarcia says:

            Thanks for answering. God Bkess.

            • sonny says:

              Ay naku, Neph, ‘pag kayo ni PiE ang kausap ko, hands down I always learn something. 🙂

            • sonny says:

              “… dialectic dialogue … me in Ilocano … Irineo in Bicol …” ha ha corny nga Neph. dense na talaga ‘ko. ngayon ko lang nakuha!

          • sonny says:

            Neph, the Catholic Church canonized 6 new saints yesterday (Oct 14). They are:

            St. Oscar Romero, 63 – Martyr, bishop (El Salvador)
            St. Francesco Spinelli, 60 – priest, founder religious congregation (Italy)
            St. Vincenzo Romano, 80 – priest, lifetime social worker (Italy)
            St. Maria Katharina Kasper, 78 – nun, founder religious congregation (Germany)
            St. Ignacia Nazaria March Mesa, 54 – nun, founder religious congregation (Spain)
            St. Nunzio Sulprizio, 19 – layman, miracle-worker (Italy)

            Canonizations (formal declaration that an individual is in heaven due to heroic virtue) are always a celebratory event; that the Saint is worthy of veneration & emulation. The event always marks a high point in the life of the Church. I had a chance to witness the ceremony when St. Pedro Calungsod, Filipino Martyr was declared Saint in 2012, at St Peter’s in Rome.

            In the light of the Church leadership scandals and the forward THS theme of political reform (Oct 15), I was thinking while watching the canonizations: what a wonder it would be if political and religious leadership had the virtues of these saints namely, the Right Model to follow, a life’s commitment to invest, always in the service of one’s fellowman, even unto death or its political equivalent.

            Using Irineo’s timeline of world history and in the context of global “geo-socio-politics,” our Filipino affairs are not totally new. Empires and societies have come and gone; the Philippines is a baby compared to many other societies. These have something to show and tell us, our uniqueness notwithstanding. All we have to do is listen and learn. Yet, even the youngest in the family has something to offer: youth, intelligence, and a promise of strength and dynamism in body and mind. We Filipinos should not forget this. The Church is at an ebb triggered by the sex abuse scandal. The last time it got shook at its foundation was during the Protestant Reformation roughly 500 years ago. At that time, it was a crisis of doctrine and so she rose to the challenge and the Counter-Reformation was born and the Church renewed herself. This time the Church is in search for the right questions and answers, how to right herself. The Philippines is in similar throes, in the middle of ignorance, inexperience and an absence of national memory as if we are still communicating using our alphabets on barks of trees or hiding them in drawers to be pilfered later and sold just to get by or create Constitutions to be used like the Japanese peso notes of WW2.

            (Just my opinion, end of lament)

      • sonny says:

        Irineo, I also went chasing after the Recusants of Elizabeth I and the French Catholics of the same period. Reminds me of EJK and tokhang combo.

        • The early modern age (the transition from Middle Ages to Enlightenment) was terrifying.

 was the phenomenon in Germany, vigilante courts authorized by the Holy Roman Emperor and used to consolidate power.

          The Spanish of course had the earlier purges (not too long before Columbus) against Moors and Jews, including the Inquisition to ferret out those “baptized but not true believers”.

          Italy had very murderous warlords like the Borgias, the Sforzas and more – I think the founding period of the family company Beretta in that age was not a coincidence.

,_Count_of_Tilly#Sack_of_Magdeburg – Catholic forces General Tilly in the 30 years war was alleged to have ordered the massacre of Magdeburg – 25 of 30 thousand perished, by the sword mostly, which takes more brutality. They say most infantry in those days were drunk to be able to do what they did. Swedes, the Protestant side, were feared for a form of water cure. 1400-1650 was NOT a gentle period.

          Witch trials were also common in Germany before 1650. After the Peace of Westphalia 1648, national sovereignty and religious freedom were agreed upon, and it seems the rule of law became more predictable. There was still the Salem witch trial in North America, 1692.

          Like I always have said, it took centuries for the developed world to become what it is now..

  8. OT I wonder if Duterte’s rule is starting to feel like this for Filipinos at home..

    I already feel like vomiting when I read about GlorIa’s new Constipation, I mean Constitution..

  9. NHerrera says:

    Another example of “fluidity” or creativity in Philippines politics — in the service of some dark interests.

    MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives’ proposed federal constitution wants to skip Vice President Leni Robredo in the line of succession during the transition period to avoid the threat of “instability” over the electoral protest filed against her.

    House committee on constitutional amendments chairperson Vicente Veloso told Rappler that this was why the panel members decided to put the Senate President as next in line should President Rodrigo Duterte be unable to perform his duties during the transition to federalism.

    • madlanglupa says:

      The proposed piece of toilet paper also removes the possibility of BBM obtaining the vice-presidency, and hence would put him in fury, forcing him to rethink his strategy.

    • The matter has to get past the House (which it probably will) and past the Senate (several senators from both the minority and majority have said they don’t have the time to take it up). If the House tries to go around the Senate, it has to go the Supreme Court. If it gets past the Supreme Court (which it probably can), I believe it has to go to a plebiscite where voters don’t think much of Arroyo.

      The waste. The games. It is amazing to behold.

  10. andrewlim8 says:

    Another wise word from a great philosopher:


    If marijuana is the gateway drug to heroin, cocaine, meth, Duterte is the gateway politician to the return of the corrupt and the oppressive and brutal.


  11. distant observer says:

    Not wanting to rain on the parade, but what about the mouth pieces of some of these heavenly or hellish entities? I am thinking of M. Uson or F. Mabanta in particular. Young people who have learned the game of rhetorics from the masters, but who are, until now without much initiative when it comes to policy, yet well known (especially in social media) and increasingly well connected. They would be an interesting choice for the powers that be behind the scene: empty vessels which can be filled with anything suitable, highly apt and popular in social media matters, and decency only seen as a mean to gain more “likes” by breaking them. I’m already sensing some political ambitions to elected office in Uson’s behavior. A president who would only communicate to his/her country through social media channels, thereby skipping the traditional media and forcing it to a bystander role. Am I too pessimistic here?

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