The rise of sense and civility in the Philippines

Senator De Lima leaves court [Photo source: CNN Philippines]

By JoeAm

We have talked a lot about institutions in the Philippines, and the erosion of independence among the branches of government. We have examined the weakness of journalism as an institution and the Catholic Church as a moral force and justice as an ideal. But it strikes me that a new institution has arisen, and it is a very important development. This particular institution has no single leader. Indeed, it is crowd-sourced. It is the unified voice of all social media speakers.

The institution proved its power in 2016 when it was used maliciously, and perhaps gamed by offshore interests, to put an aspiring dictator into power. Fake news, Cambridge Analytica, Mocha Uson, and a cast of a thousand trolls emerged to shape public thinking and election choices. But it seems that the institution is going through a shift in voice and conscience these days and the result is that the malicious gamers are being recognized and forced to irrelevance. The voices of sense and civility are becoming louder, provoked by the ridiculous reasoning, words, and deeds that emerge from the mouths of government agents.

The social media institution had been totally captured by malicious forces in 2016. Today, it speaks much louder and clearer for better thinking and less gameplaying from government. The shift is not complete, but it is dramatic and showing some impact. The troll queen Mocha Uson was driven from office. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque was rendered inutile and DFA Secretary Alan Cayetano was figuratively beaten to a pulp. House Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s malicious attempt to remove the Vice President from Presidential succession in her power-play Constitution was revealed and squashed. The PNP and to a lesser extent AFP are getting pounded for thuggish red tagging of universities and photo-intimidation of media offices.

Social media drive a lot of what mainstream media report these days.

This positive development leaped to my attention yesterday as I was going through a whole raft of superb commentaries and reports on my Twitter feed:

I didn’t catch anything from Irineo Salazar, Richard Heydarian, or Miguel Syjuco yesterday, but they are regular reads for me as well. And I know there are others, plus a number of significant voices arising on social media directly, rather than through their articles: Agot Isidro, Gideon Lasco, Florin Hilbay, Gege Sugue and many, many others. No longer is it just Leah Navarro pounding the keyboard for democracy and human rights. It is a loud, unified, persuasive voice.

Add to that the emerging on-line publications that include, among others, Rappler, Vera Files, Politiko, Malaya, and PCIJ (Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism). It is a regular torrent of social and political audit and commentary. Plus Hilbay and Heydarian are regularly on television bringing reason to the discussion.

Unified, these outpourings of ideas, values, knowledge, and guidance for the nation represent a considerable force, a conscience, if you will, that is much more pronounced today than it was a couple of years ago. I think writers are becoming MORE passionate about holding government to account, and not retreating from battle. Perhaps they are inspired by the persistence of Senator De Lima, the dignity and good works of Vice President Robredo, the outspoken righteousness of Senator Trillanes, the forthright and dignified opposition expressed by Senator Hontiveros, as well as the private voices being heard, Ateneo’s former School of Government Dean Antonio La Vina among them.

The retreating is being done by Uson, Roque, Cayetano, Arroyo, and . . . yes, President Duterte himself. They are seeming somehow smaller of voice and character today.

These days, malicious acts are revealed quickly, incompetence is brought to the attention of the entire nation, and the conscience of the nation is deployed in an assertive way.

It is a remarkable shift of knowledge, conscience, and voice.

 

Comments
101 Responses to “The rise of sense and civility in the Philippines”
  1. Sup says:

    Kay Tan O was just replaced by Lok Sin 🙂

    • NHerrera says:

      Will Locsin be better than Cayetano? I do not mean who will be a better rationalizer.

    • Teddy Locsin is one of a kind. I think he is patriotic, though, in a way that Cayetano was not. It will be interesting to see how he negotiates between the Pro-China position of government and sovereign rights. His initial statement (tweet) seems to suggest he will be for rights.

  2. NHerrera says:

    That is good news for readers of TSH. The natural cycle helps. Even when one is young and a sport and gym enthusiast, not diabetic, eating strawberry ice cream which you love will wear its appeal or attraction taken continuously. The allure of the Administration whatever the reason loses its appeal as time goes on, especially since it is not as tasty as strawberry ice cream to start with. And yes the voices are increasing, ring louder and being heard and understood. Thanks for the read.

    • You are welcome. I was struck as I went through my morning reading as to how much sense is out there. The trick is how to get it to the masses. Prices may be doing it in part.

      • Ed says:

        Yes JoeAM, the unexpected surge of price inflation, coupled with NFA incompetence and corruption that led to rice shortage, have helped a great deal in stemming the tide. . truly, divine intervention is not far behind. . we just need more prayers and courage to say and do the right thing, for our people. .

  3. arlene says:

    Hooray, there is still hope for the Philippines. I love these brave young souls defending our democracy and showing all that they are not afraid.

    • Me, too. It is interesting the “young” part, but it’s true, isn’t it. Hilbay, Heydarian, Valte, Quezon . . . they are on the underside of 50. Heydarian is in his 20s I think.

      • Lasco is quite young also. Interesting personality. Mountaineer, globetrotter (he has been to Peru – Machu Picchu, Central America, large parts of Europe) and international scholar (Anthropology PhD from the Netherlands and an MD) he has a very broad view of things.

        Romano Cortes Jorge https://www.facebook.com/romano.jorge (mountain biker, businessman and international traveller as well, went to Austria recently to bike over glaciers) is another major voice. Pretty strong essays on democracy on his wall.

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1064847103691335&set=a.152570201585701&type=3&theater – Heydarian recently got invited to the “Akademya Filipino” by no less than Conchita Carpio Morales. Justice Carpio is also part of that effort which wants to include Magsaysay awardees, National Artists, National Scientists and selected “achievers”. .Two Magsaysays as well on the board of that academy, the presence of Angara annoys a bit but there are worse people than him.

        Left-handed guitar player Kowboy Santos (maliciously rumored by the trolls to be Eric Clapton’s illegitimate son which is of course not true) can be found on Twitter, commenting on Gege Sugues very smart postings, and supporting Pinoy Ako Blog / Jover Laurio.

        Interesting too that Heydarian and Lourd de Veyra are friends. Rock musician and amateur historian Lourd de Veyra has the common touch BTW, sometimes he is mentioned as “the boy from Project 2” and he has written that is father was with the Western Police District.

        Definitely all are under 50, most in their 40s I think. But it is a good mix, well-networked both personally and via social media, from multiple backgrounds, not only the “Manila elite”. Lasco in fact has authentic Davao background. And those who are elite are not the old, pretentious type of elite, these are truly global people who can bring in new ideas. The younger ones like Francis can pick up these ideas, develop them further over decades.

        Sonny once wrote a comment in my blog, to the effect that every seed that comes into fertile soil is a seed not wasted. Reminds me of a German Catholic song about the little mustard seed of hope. In fact that is how every exchange of ideas finally works.

        There are those who originate ideas, those who combine them and develop them further, and also those who simplify them for popular consumption. Some people have been a bit of all of this at times. What is encouraging is that more of a thinking crowd has come up on the democratic/liberal side. Used to be that the strong thinkers mostly tended towards the left. The right was totally out of the question and liberals were blaaah, Ateneo and La Salle people destined for Makati careers – the old stereotype. In fact many so-called yellows were indeed of the type “God-fearing, conformist yuppies” who probably didn’t care enough then. What I think is that a) 30 years of democracy and b) the recent crisis of democracy have fostered more thinking and awakened a number of good minds. All for the better I think.

        • Thank you for this profile, Irineo. I didn’t know Kowboy Santos was a musician. We engage from time to time on Twitter. I follow Lasco and Laurio. Heydarian and I have engaged (argued respectfully) in the past, and I must say he is one smart young whippersnapper. Good TV presence, too. I predict he will go into politics. Thanks for the introductions to Romano Cortes Jorge and Lourd de Veyra.

          It would be a relief to turn the nation over to such people.

          • Off topic, Eric Clapton occupies a big chunk of my playlist. Amazing guitarist and expressive vocalist. My favorite cut is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performed at the tribute concert to George Harrison and my favorite album is “JJ Cale & Eric Clapton”. Takes me back to California hippie days.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Most of the social media folks base their opposition/resistance on religion. Very few oppose on the basis of libertarian concepts.

          My impression is that Hilbay and Lasco are most thoroughly libertarians.

          The beliefs of the religion-based opposition are that God works in mysterious ways and that the crisis will be resolved by divine intervention… that is being invoked through prayers.

          The strength of the religious opposition is by far the bulk of the resistance. I would say it leads the resistance.

          If one observes the street protests and rallies, the resistance is made of true believers — of the communist kind and the Christian kind.
          *****

          • True, most Reds in the Philippines are believers. There are a few equivalents to Jesuit intellectuals among them, but most are believers. Francis’ picture of people carrying good and bad idols in the streets comes to mind, Reds like burning idols as their form of voodoo. Could that be the reason half of Duterte’s face looks burnt now? Did they just cooperate with him in the Cabinet to get some hair from him, the more to be able to curse him?

          • Romano Cortes Jorge is also very libertarian, in fact often critical of Catholicism.

            At times he is a philosopher: https://www.facebook.com/notes/romano-cortes-jorge/optionless/10155521725931750/

            Some stuff would fit into TSOH discussions: https://www.facebook.com/notes/romano-cortes-jorge/confronting-the-filipino/10155497098771750/

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              There is also a touch of the poet in him.

              ***

              In the photo, Uncle Sam is behind Duterte.

              The Left has funds to make these gigantic effigies. The religion-based movements have professional-made banners and home-made posters (like Will’s angry emoji) and have some funding — probably out of their own pockets — but nothing like the Left.

              (I suppose the Left gets its funds from revolutionary taxation.)

              This shows a depth of commitment to the belief systems that these true believers carry. And they march side by side — united for the moment in a common cause — but to the different beat of their own gods.

              I suspect libertarians do not have a group and are not represented. The young, the students especially from UP, should be carrying the torch for liberty but I am not sure they have an understanding of this cause. Their lives may be at risk as a consequence of the Drug War but their freedoms have not been curtailed.

              UP students have not reacted in the same manner as they did under Marcos. Well, at that time, they had the false god of communism to rally to. And in his first year, Duterte had co-opted that god.
              *****

              • The Uncle Sam is actually Uncle Donald. Look closer. But I agree it should be Uncle Xi.

                Anyhow, real libertarians are rare in the Philippines because the real democracy in the Western sense never really existed. Freedom in the Western sense among the upper and middle class, but in a feudal or postcolonial setup, meaning that it depended on native servants to maintain a certain standard of living. That made it unreal, just like the rule of law which meant you went to court in Manila, but hired goons did/do the job in the provinces. Or you vote with your conscience as a middle or upper class Filipino, all the while knowing that most poor people SELL their vote or follow the barangay captain’s word. Or you have the barangay outside your subdivision manage itself, like a Native American reservation, while you have all the amenities thanks to the homeowner’s association and the management of the barangay, including security that means you don’t have to worry about public security. Now that a provincial thug rules the country, that state of denial has ended for most.

                http://www.luisteodoro.com/trapped-in-the-17th-century/ – some are still surprised that the Philippines seems mentally trapped in the 17th century, pre-Enlightenment. Well, as long as barangays and provincial cities are autocracies while Makati pretends to be 21st century..

              • As a libertarian I’m very aware that my ideals , the mere fact that I can express them in writing or in person to others , is a luxury— fleeting.

                I agree, Ireneo, I can’t imagine a libertarian in the Arab world, much less in the Philippines. Even Israel is ruled by kibbutz mentality, communal ways, though with yerida (sabras leaving for English speaking countries or West Europe) its fast becoming a theocracy. So libertarianism is nearly snuffed there too.

                Baruch Spinoza and Thomas Paine are the purest form of libertarians for me. But I’m more along the lines of John Muir and Jack London, just give me some space to operate and I’ll be happy. BUT,

                Like Barbara Steisend said , People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

                I overheard two white guys once at a pro-Trump rally (not those televised ones with Trump) in some street corner (across from a Federal building , as counter protest i guess). One more normal looking was telling another (more militant looking) that they were slightly different, while he was a White-supremacist , the other politely differed as a White-separatist,

                he likes other ethnicities and races just the same, just wants to be separated from them. Like Jews and Palestinians.

                Thinking back on that exchange, me as libertarian in the US, i just want the ability to separate (either permanently or from time to time). So in my view libertarian is synonymous to separatist, but not necessarily exclusive from the duties of citizenship— after all,

                and this is the point here, its this participation that guarantees the very ideals of libertarianism, something Spinoza wrote about (anonymously) and Thomas Paine lived (albeit with severe ramifications).

                Thus libertarians at least the ones serious about liberty, my ilk (not these anti-govt or anti-corporation types, anarchists or sovereign citizens) pure libertarians must participate in society precisely because they know that the values espoused therein is fleeting.

                Best bio here of Spinoza: https://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/steven-nadler-spinoza-a-life.pdf

                https://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?id=323025

              • For Filipinos wanting to see libertarianism in action , follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter,

                But IMHO you’d have to follow, i mean really follow, Baruch Spinoza first, then you’d understand Dershowitz’ defence of Trump.

                Voltaire’s actual quote was,

                “Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”
                https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/06/01/defend-say/

          • I think there is a third group of people who use reason as their foundation, and it is as substantial as the religious or communist groups. I think they may or not be libertarian, but they understand the importance of civility and laws and human rights. They are respectful of the religious component and during normal times would criticize the communists. Today, they all oppose the incivilities of the current government so make strange temporary bedfellows. Maybe it is like a one-night stand or short relationship, but it has its benefits.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    I hope the fighting back will be really civil, like no character assassinations and harsh judgments, but it can not be ever possible, there will always be judgments.

    Moving on, Roque will still proceed with his candidacy even if he was told that he will lose and even if the OPS was offered to him. ( Was it really offered to him or was it reserved for Panelo).
    Mocha may try, she might win with the track record not of our candidates, but of us voters, we will send them to office.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    If Cayetano is aiming to be House speaker, and Arroyo stays put. Hmmmm.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/09/18/cayetano-to-leave-cabinet-seek-house-seat-sources

    • Cayetano reminds me of the kid in the playground who always wants to be a big shot, but all the other kids think he is a wimp. It is a tad pathetic, or tragic I guess, that he seems to have no character outside of his ambition and the scheming that attaches to it. He should look at a job as something to do well, not a stepping stone to something greater. Then he might actually accomplish something useful. He’s smart enough. In other words, the wimp can become the geek who becomes the nerd who invents a billion dollar tech company. Then he EARNS his way to being a big shot.

  6. Another bright spot in the blighted social media scene is Rappler and its Facebook fact checkers. They are soldiering on but admit that it is a never ending job because Facebook does not delete fake news but merely pushes them down the feeds so some are still being recirculated by trolls. Maria Ressa says,”Facebook broke (PH) democracy” and is making it accountable for fixing it. Yay, Maria!

    Yes. I see the silver lining peeking in. Maybe we took the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to heart for so long. We became apathetic, apolitical and isolated. Now, we are slowly waking up to the fact that this administration is a bull in a china shop breaking not only our democratic institutions but our cherished values. We are bringing back the “bayanihan” spirit online and doing what we can to slowly fix our broken society.

    • Yes, for sure the fake news is horrifying, and I expect that it will become even more pronounced during the campaign period. Some of it is downright nasty stuff, like VP Robredo having mental health issues when she is actually more emotionally stable than 99.999% of all Filipinos. Then we have President Duterte who does have confirmed mental health issues, as accepted by the court that granted his wife annulment.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Off topic:
    I am glad that the universal health law will be passed.
    I know it is limited to doctor’s visits, lab tests,etc
    But if the proposal of funding would be sin taxes, then better stop calling them sin taxes, their taxes are not for people to stop smoking and drinking, it is encourages wine,spirits and tobacco lobby to market there product more notwithstanding pictures of lungs and livers in its packaging.Because the government needs their taxes to fund universal health care.

  8. Deo says:

    Thank you for this.

    Just a quick correction, it’s Antonio La Vina not de Vina, and he was the former dean.

  9. Sup says:

    The Supreme Court in ”under control” and all %&¤#%¤%¤% is back…Jun Jun, Mickey etc etc

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1042225/mikey-arroyo-files-candidacy-for-pampanga-congressman

  10. andrewlim8 says:

    SOME THINGS TO PONDER ON

    1. Is there such a creature as an Arroyo troll or Arroyotard? Someone who will defend the person to the death no matter what. I haven’t seen one.

    2. Intelligence and sharp wit does not guarantee good character. Think Teddy Locsin.

    3. How will Alan fare in his bid for Speaker? His only card is DU30. He doesn’t have gravitas nor integrity. Other power blocs should oppose him.

  11. Sup says:

    Ok…now you know…….

    According to the SWS, results of surveys even if conducted in the same period and among “same set of respondents” would have varying results because each would depend on the names provided by the poll sponsor as well as the number of choices fielded in the questionnaire.

    “The number of names in the list affects the way voters chose their candidates, as well as the final outcome in the share/percentage of votes,” Leo Laroza, SWS Director for Communications and Information Technology told INQUIRER.net in text message on Saturday.

    “The Tolentino (commissioned survey) list has 24 names, while the Pagulayan list has 39,” he added, noting that the sponsors of the commissioned surveys were the ones who provided the lists.

    Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1042436/sws-survey-sponsors-fielded-names-number-of-choices-affect-results#ixzz5TnB2pKO7
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  12. Sup says:

    The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew once said, “the problem of the Philippines is not democracy but the kind of democracy that ruins the country. Democracy is defined as a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. The problem is that Majority of the people are stupid people who think they are smart and the smart ones who are frequently put down by the stupid people. The philippine version of democracy as of late is best called a GOVERNMENT BY STUPID PEOPLE, FOR STUPID PEOPLE, AND OF STUPID PEOPLE. The result is you get a government that BUYS the people, POOR the people, and OFF the people. Because whoever is VOTED, no matter How stupid he or she is – that person gets the seat in power.”

    • I tend not to like such harsh characterizations. Everyone thinks they are smart. That is our self-preservation mechanism, and my engagements with Filipinos finds people across all income classes to be amazingly quick of mind, with ample doses of humor thrown in to liven the conversation. What is missing is any experience at all with leaders (people of power) encouraging them to apply themselves through education and self-development. Also missing is information and an understanding of what democracy means in terms of both promise and obligations. There is a fundamental truth that you don’t know what you don’t know, and people who presume others are stupid because they don’t know as much as “I” do are stupid in that very important understanding.

      • I’m suspicious of this quote, Joe.

        Firstly,

        Why would someone like LKY concern himself with Philippine politics? Second, I’m pretty sure he was a lot more diplomatic. His actual quote on Philippine culture if you read closely is that,

        a quick Google search of the full quote, and sourcing is here,

        https://makingitfuninthephilippines.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-filipino-people-need-more.html

        • karlgarcia says:

          You are not helping, the article you linked seems to be written by Benign0 of Getrealphiliines.

          There is a picture about pinoy stupidity.
          Stupid is as stupid does!!!!!!
          -Forrest Gump

          • Most of Lee Kuan Yew’s famous quotes are from the book “From 3rd world to 1st”, his political memoirs. There is also a quote about Marcos and a communique which chemrock confirmed to me, so I am more inclined to believe the other more popular quote is true.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Yes, I have no problem with the quotes, I saw another link, ( https://www.philstar.com/other-sections/news-feature/2015/03/23/1436680/15-things-lee-kuan-yew-said-about-philippines) I was talking about the picture with pinoy stupidity and that irked me, call me onion-skinned, but it did irk me.

              One paragraph has the pwede na line of benign0.

              • karl,

                I simply Googled the quote Sup posted en toto

                which led me to only one source, that link i’ve provided above. I apologize I ‘m not familiar with that particular blog, but that’s where the quote seems to have originated and not from LKY, though that quote I posted myself is from LKY.

                IMHO, LKY would ‘ve never have said the first (at least for public consumption), you’d have to be very impolite to say the first sentiment, whilst the 2nd (i’ve posted) is more diplomatic, hence understandably LKY’s— though I’d agree both expressing the same gist.

                The two quotes are indeed similar in vein.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Bad hair day even if I always have my hair cut like yours( I imagine).
                Part of it was reading about a man complaining that a woman got mad about no gentleman let her sit in a full jeepney, so she sat on the floor near the entrance and was photographed and blogged for it.
                Man, what is wrong with this world! All in the name of equality and dead chivalry.

    • popoy says:

      Singapore’s PM Lee needs to be told (at the time) by straight thinking Pinoys any kind of democracy: bad or good democracy is DEMOCRACY. Democracy has not been biforcated or segmentized like there’s a typology of good and bad Communism, no such thing as scowling or smiling dictatorship, and so on and so forth even in thinking outside the box.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting

        I’m a fan of Australia’s compulsory voting, popoy. If I’m compelled to serve in a jury , I’m sure I can be compelled to vote as well, it’s both done within the county gov’t.

        • popoy says:

          If I may LCpl, in the yonder longer days somewhere in time close to the Bard of Avon’s days and the merry men of Sherwood Forest there arise lo and behold one word TRANSPORTATION issued by low magistrates trying to control urban blight that planted the seeds of a great nation down low under below the earth’s meridian there arise a greeting accented in the first two syllables Goodie Mate and where in the world thee will only find span less outbacks instead of deserts where working men wear the shortest shorts shaming bikinis and where Sheilas are names referring not to the beauties but their ladies’ powder rooms where the continent the eche bucheche of skin color are lost in the maze of hard work and the daily haze and craze for the right and simple life.

          The Aussie and the New Englanders, etc are just evidence of permanence of superlative human genes that refused inferior ecological transmutations as a human breed sculpted from a place claimed where there used to be no sun down of power over dominions.
          Elections? Voting? Ugh. My guess it could be their boomerang metaphor and if Aussies know it or not, they could not care more or less.

          In the Philippines it is LONG BUT plain and simple WYVFWKB- (What (or Who) you voted for will kick your butt). Mostly, but not all, anyway.

          Let’s watch McCullough’s Thorn Birds again or read Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career.

          • popoy says:

            Been there in the world’s highly urbanized continent of the Aussie’s; short schooled in the cold South, toured the snowy mountains in the East, been on short UN R and R in the tropic North, saw and observe no Pinoy eche bucheche for the good life among the Aussies. Any US or UK ally is also Australia’s friend.

            • popoy says:

              This link is a wee-bit of many Australian gestures of friendship to the Philippines.

              http://lynchlibrary.pssc.org.ph:8081/handle/0/4721

            • The US and the UK became allies not very long after 1777, in fact just after 1812 when the Canadian border was agreed upon after a short war. The most visible manifestation of the Anglo-Saxons being a global alliance is the “Five Eyes” Intelligence-sharing network. Recently, US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ have started to share intelligence with Germany and Japan -> against China (and Russia): https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/12/five-eyes-intelligence-alliance-builds-coalition-to-counter-china.html – and stupid Duterte always claims he has intelligence from a “friendly foreign power” about his internal enemies.

              Re Colleen McCullough, I never read Thornbirds, but I did read a number of her historical novels about Rome, spanning the time of Marius and Sulla to the rise of Julius Caesar.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Irineo, Thornbirds was turned into a mini-series which I havee to watch again, because all I remember was Richard Chamberlain having a forbidden love affair ( he was a priest)

              • karlgarcia says:

                On another note:
                RE: Geoplotics.
                Do you think the US will abandon Saudi Arabia even if Saudi Arabia is the largest arms buyer from the US ?

                Will the UK follow?

              • Arms manufacturers are pressuring the Duterte Trump Admin to go easy on Saudi Arabia and not cut arms sales. Given that Trump’s son-in-law is VERY close to the Saudi leadership, I doubt there will be abandonment. Maybe just some tough talk then move on.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yes and I just read that Saudi is a tough talker themselves.
                Maybe Duterte is copying the Saudis, but all he could do is talk, the Saudis actually follow through.

                They actually stopped trading with Canada when Canada questioned their human rights record.

                Another game of chicken? Or who blinks first stare down?

              • Mr. Jetski usually just bluffs, unless poor Filipinos are the targets, or occasional mayors.

              • popoy says:

                Thanks IBRS for the historic specifics. Karl, the love affair of the girl and the priest in Thorn Birds was so classy classic sinning it tore and thud the hearts of even the devout Kolehiyalas and seminaristas at the time.

                And TSoH, is there a slide of the fingers of a name here: “Arms manufacturers are pressuring the Duterte Admin to go easy on Saudi Arabia and not cut arms sales.”

                We only have for arms a tirador, sharp itaks of kaitpuneros, the paltiks and the modern imitation of Smith and Wesson revolvers from Danao.

              • Hahahaha, I confuse the two often. Nice catch.

              • popoy says:

                To me Karl, the US-Saudi dalliance shall remain for a long long time – an OILY interface (diminishing diplomatic friction) even in war and peace. It is a black gold paradox in a volatile crucible of ambition for world power recognition.

              • But it is not for lack of a market that there are hardly any Filipino arms manufacturers.

                The Beretta family firm started by supplying rifles to the Italian warlords: Sforza, Borgia..

                And though cannon-making was a technology seen first coming from the East as gunpowder was a Chinese invention, Italian cannonmakers refined that deadly craft to the extent that even the Ottoman Turks tried to import them of they could.

                Definitely the lantakas (small Malay cannons) used to defend Old Manila were effective, in fact the 19th century Moros still used them, but I think colonized Filipinos were taught to produce for others, earn money and buy from others, but no longer produce themselves.

                A footnote being that the Turkish tanks in Syria are the desert version of the German Leopard II Panzer. The Turks produce it in license but modified the design somewhat, also a way to deal with imported technology. Germany can only refuse some parts upgrades now.

              • NHerrera says:

                The line of Joe’s post in

                The Society of Honor says:
                October 14, 2018 at 8:00 pm

                Arms manufacturers are pressuring the Duterte Admin to go easy on Saudi Arabia and not cut arms sales.

                I read that as

                Arms manufacturers are pressuring the Trump Admin to go easy on Saudi Arabia and not cut arms sales.

                When I read that line, I said to myself, “Darn those Chinese Keyboards.” 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                Guys, it was a typo, I agree with NH.

              • karlgarcia says:

                We will know tomorrow,if it is the fault of the Chinese keyboards or Johnny English.

              • popoy,

                A lot has been written of the Athenian experiment in democracy, And yes you’ve got a point re coverage and scope. Even during the Athenian experiment women and slaves were not participants. non-Athenians were also barred eventually, they ended having this weird system of testing Athenian blood line for purity.

                Eventually Socrates was made to commit suicide, he had the option of leaving he forfeited, and for the most part that was the last glimpse we have of Athens’ continued declind, the best re-telling is Plato’s and Xenophon’s of how and why Socrates had to be killed,

                Xenophon , Socrates other popular student and admirer, after Athens fell would then continue on to Persia as a mercenary, part of a mostly Spartan contingent. They backed the wrong Persian upstart and had to back track back to Greek whilst getting chased and badgered,

                Xenophon’s Anabasis

                If democracy in Athens was more theory, Xenophon’s play-by-play of the 1,000 is the practical application of democracy, granular & nitty-gritty,

              • karlgarcia says:

                Back to Arabia against the world, this is the threat that will make everyone pause.
                Reconciliation with Iran, this could mean India might join the package since India has close ties with Iran at present.
                This will make the trade war like eating popcorn,

                https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/10/15/18/saudi-arabia-vows-retaliation-if-punished-over-missing-critic

              • Fascinating. The Saudi King sounds like another hard-headed autocrat with no conscience or compassion for the interests of other nations. In other words, someone very difficult to talk to, especially if you are another hardhead like Trump and there is an election coming up soon. After the election, positions can change. I wonder which way India will blow on the global stage. Iran is its own master, it seems, and the idea of Shia and Sunni Muslims finding harmony is worth a bowl of popcorn on its own. All over an apparent indiscreet murder.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Fascinating indeed.

  13. popoy says:

    MERE observation:

    How many percent do TSoH Neuroenians (or NEUROES) will a SAMPLE be representative of the PHILIPPINE TOTAL VOTING POPULATION? Of actual voters voting in every election as REPRESENTATIVE of the Filipino people? Instead of the SEC (socio-econo classification A,B,C,D,E,) try using in the coming election the RESULTS of voting in Pampanga, In Ilocos Norte, and other provinces owned by one or two families; in Taguig and Makati Cities, etc all over the Philippines? Then be judgmental of all FILIPINOS by the actions of its voting segment.

    God! Oh My God, Look at the candidates and cover your mouths with hankies to prevent what?

  14. popoy says:

    The political economy of a simpleton:

    Here in TSoH much much if not the entirety of the comments (CRITICISMS, Sir!) are actually the INDIRECT COSTS in an INCISIVE cost/benefit analysis of Philippine politics. Indirect costs (DAMAGE, HARM, TOTAL NEGATIONS) incorrectly simplified like 300/100 = 3; or worst could be happening to Philippines Politics/Economics = dire: penurious POVERTY.

    It’s not rocket science (of recent Russian failed propulsion); it could be simply a lingering new discipline called Political Economy. You can not DEVELOP or IMPROVE: education by free tuition; health care by paying hospitalization fees of indigents; peace and order by doubling salaries of cops and soldiers, etc. etcetera. QUANTIFICATION of the tangentials and intangibles should be the deep concern of political economy NOT SO MUCH on direct costs and benefits. Turn the formula on its head and call it BENEFIT/COST ANALYSIS and see what happens: make 300/100 into 100/300.

    Our top Fiscal Admin Professor during Martial Law had the temerity to ask the multiversity President to appoint him as Prof of Political Economy so he can teach it and he was told to see a psychiatrist. Both unfortunately had long passed, but some who heard the academe legend might still be alive.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Free tuition means bunk if your text book says banana rice tereces.

      https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/08/14/18/banana-rice-tereces-deped-reviewing-errors-in-textbooks

      Doubling of salaries of cops mean nothing if they can’t operate properly because of lack of budget.

      it is all about reciprocating give and take so with reciprocating you get reciprocals.
      For the first time in history I solved a popoy riddle even if it might be wrong.

      The reciprocal of 300/100 is 1/3.

      • popoy says:

        Karl, I know reciprocity but reciprocals? those are for math people.

        • popoy says:

          Karl baka naman . . .

          If Banana Rice Tereces happened in print that in plane surveying lingo is ERROR.
          If Norwegia happened in visual communications that’s human MISTAKE caused by lack of knowledge.

          In which cases ERROR when promptly corrected is less expensive and less damaging, but BUT a MISTAKE is always expensive and could be very damaging to the mistakening clueless.

          • karlgarcia says:

            So your saying that errors can be corrected, wrongs can be made right, but your mistakes might have been few but you did it your way. Many people died singing my way it is the most fatal error of them all, more fatal than maling akala.

        • sonny says:

          reciprocity is qualitative, reciprocal is quantitative; reciprocity is left/right, reciprocal is up/down. 🙂 (I’m buying time of course, to decode “Popoyese”; worth it of course)

      • popoy says:

        Karl if I may be pontifficous, ALL government agencies have a budget as a list of receipts and expenditures (or income and expenses). But the agencies need appropriations from Congress and cash in the banks to serve and protect (themselves) from hooligans and scalawags.

        Cops need not wear out their shoes mainly sitting and walking inside offices (not in the streets); they need patrol cars, heavy weaponry, constant re-training and other logistics.

        A budget is always like a NAWASA faucet during summer. Congress has the power to obliterate the budget of any government agency and time and again some comedians have tried but failed to do that for their chosen maverick agencies. The sounds of silent laughter can not delete that mandate of Congress over the Budget.

    • popoy says:

      I read in a book in Engineering Economics that the cardinal decision rule to accept or reject an investment project is (after quantification into money terms and discounting) ACCEPT the project if the B:C Ratio is one. Is it like saying in Political Economy there should be equality between politics and economics in their positive consequences but not in their negative (eg criminal) outcomes like corruption as indirect cost should equal corruption as its indirect benefits?

      • popoy says:

        In Physics if at sea level the normal human body pressure is 14 atmospheres EQUAL to the air pressure around it, could changes in the equality of atmospheric pressure compressed or explode the human body? In the lowest depths of the deep blue sea or the infinite outer space? Why then the need for divers or astronauts’ suits? Political Economy may have its own cosmic nexus.

  15. Another indication of the rise of sensibility and civility in PH is the boycotting of Rated K show which featured the Queen of Non-Sense and Pettiness. The masses are speaking up and acting maturely. They are turning off the dial on kabalahuraan and controversy. They are not buying sensationalized entertainment anymore.

    The entertainment industry had been a willing accomplice in the “dumbing” of Filipinos by offering mindless shows for years. The Internet finally brought Filipinos a taste of the trending global entertainment. There is no going back. Filipinos now want more sophisticated shows that give them valuable information while being entertained. Their hunger for knowledge and wisdom need to be satiated or the local entertainment industry will lose their audiences.

    https://www.lionheartv.net/2018/10/a-wrong-move-rated-k-ratings-plummets-as-korina-sanchez-interviews-mocha-uson/

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