Infamy, noun, 1. the state of being well known for some bad quality or deed; “a day that will live in infamy“.  Synonyms: notoriety, disrepute, ill fame, disgrace, discredit, shame, dishonor, ignominy, scandal, censure, blame, dispprobation, condemnation.

As when the Philippine flag is replaced with the Chinese flag (or swapped in position to reflect subordination, as it was in another setting) and the President of the Philippines follows the leader rather than escorts him. These are powerful images of subservience and sacrifice of Philippine sovereign authority.

Make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with warm relations with China and mutually beneficial deal-making as long as Philippine rights, authority, and sovereignty are respected by China.

That is not what is happening.

British Prime Minister Chamberlain meets Hitler and deals away Czechoslovakia under the illusion that this will satisfy Hitler’s hunger for conquest.

68 Responses to “Infamy”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    About the protocol and tradition breach infamy.

    Mlq3 said.

    “Presidents, of course, while expected to maintain tradition, can always break with tradition. It can be a dramatic statement with deep meaning, without having to say anything. In that sense 2018 is a year that marks discarding a tradition dating back to 1935.”

  2. arlene says:

    Did I hear it right, Dutz wants the Philippines to be the province of China? Bakait hindi na lang siya ang lumayas sa Pilipinas? Good morning Karl, JoeAm!

  3. NHerrera says:

    Much thanks for today’s Brief, Joe.

    My comment to the article: See the article’s powerful but horrendous picture. Anything I write beyond that is superfluous.

    • NHerrera says:


      I did not refer to the black and white picture at the bottom of the article, of course.

      On the latter, it at least gave the appearance of a handshake between equals. But history records that it resulted in a debacle for Britain. Xi is no less wily than Adolf, to my mind.

      • NHerrera says:

        The blog article’s bottom picture reminds me of the picture of British PM Chamberlain coming home some 75 years ago waving a piece of paper — after signing a peace pact with Nazi Germany — declaring “Peace for Our Time.”

        There is a some parallelism here. Without the dramatics displayed by Chamberlain on that Pact, the PH-China Agreement may be said to be an Economic Development for Our Time. I sincerely hope that contrary to what some analysts believe, it is not a virtual Economic-Political Slavery for Our Time. Time will tell but there are ample indications it will not be all roses.

      • DU30 is kinda like Squanto, NH. W/out being well-travelled and multi-lingual and cross-cultural,

        but he did help the Pilgrims survive thus giving a foothold for the eventual take over of America.

        DU30 is the less cool version of Squanto,

        (he kinda looks like Squanto too)

        HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone!!!

  4. Micha says:

    He walks with a pronounced gait, almost dragging his right foot. Low energy. Looks like he needs to be resting in a hospital bed..

    We are led by a sick man in every sense of the word. Physically, morally, psychologically sick.

  5. I’m not as familiar with the protocol of that flag bearer, is he the guy that usually carries the visiting dignitary’s national flag, ie. had that been MP Trudeau the Chinese flag would’ve been Canadian.

    As for the many steps behind fiasco, if you youtube DU30’s visit to China, Xi does walk at times behind him (but one or two strides back, not that far back), so maybe DU30 was just returning the favour?

    There are established protocols to these things, but obviously DU30 doesn’t know nor care for them. And he’s well within his rights to dispense as he pleases.

    Here’s some contrast,

    These things, people get out of step, miscues , standing or walking on the wrong side, too far back too far forward, walking too fast, too slow, etc. etc.

    The only issue i’d like clarified would be the flag bearer, does that guy carry visiting nation’s flags, is that what he’s supposed to be doing? or is this Chinese flag the exception?

    • Another breach in protocol was noticed during the inspection of troops during the welcome ceremony for the Chinese leader. Instead of the Presidential Flag as dictated by Philippine protocol, the Chinese flag was carried when the two leaders inspected the troops in Malacañang.

      Pointing out that the presidential standard carried as the president reviews troops symbolizes his authority as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III noted that presidents can break traditions.

      “It can be a dramatic statement with deep meaning, without having to say anything. In that sense 2018 is a year that marks discarding a tradition dating back to 1935,” Quezon said on Twitter.

      Quezon added that no president “ever breaks protocol” but they make “exciting modifications” or “dramatically dispense with protocol.”

      Agbayani, on the other hand, noted that this would not be the first time that the arrangement of flags would be wrong. The Chinese flags were also raised at the left side when a ranking Chinese official visited the House of Representatives.

      “Our [government] seems too concerned with pleasing the [Chinese] guests that they’d rather follow [Chinese] protocol over [Philippine] protocol which we have followed ever since our independence was recognized in 1946, and perhaps even earlier,” Agbayani said.

      • Ah, that’s supposed to be the Presidential flag, thanks Joe for taking the time. So technically, DU30 has authority to fly whatever flag on that pole.

        The next test would be, is whether he’ll continue this new modification of tradition of his to oblige other visiting nation’s flags, or if only done for China. This is a very good issue to raise.

        Not sure about raised flags to the left or right, but over here, the US flag usually flies higher than the state and county/city flags; or same in height but US flag in the middle. I didn’t know there were protocols to foreign flag arrangements.

        • Technically he can do as he likes, but he has put the entire nation into a group cringe.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I forgot if I was one who reacted to that tattered flag, but I see your point.
            We might recite the iniibig ko ang Pilipinas o Panatang Makabayan without meaning a word.

            Many have noticed that Filipinos do not love their country, maybe they are right afterall.

        • Filipinos are very sensitive about their flag. I read reports that people cried in movie houses when the Filipino flag of 1898 was burned at the end of the Heneral Luna movie.

          Only in the Philippines is the flag turned around in wartime to show the red side up – this is due to a decree from the time of Quezon.The July 4, 1946 Independence ceremony, where Manuel Roxas I changed from last Commonwealth President to Philippine President, featured the Philippine flag being raised and the US flag being lowered. Yes, Filipinos are very strong on symbolism and sometimes short on action, but the flag comes just after the crucifix there.

          Filipino migrants often have the flag as a sticker on the back of their cars – just like born-agains have the fish on their cars. One blog title picture that got Filipinos mad at me was where I showed a tattered Filipino flag as a symbol of the state of the nation. Filipino sensitivity is often more about face than actual conditions. Might be Duterte (and Go) crossed that line this time.

          Go BTW twittered about how people could go against China when they buy at Sy, Ayala etc.

          Stupid because Ayala is never Chinese but Spanish (and the first Zobel was German) plus Sy and all the other Chinese-Filipino enterpreneurs are primarily Chinoys not Chinese. Go did show his hand with that tweet, in fact telling Filipinos to be subservient to Chinese. Carabaos are patient, if we stick to caliphmans metaphor of Filipinos. But why do you think even the Spanish did not THINK of bullfighting with carabaos? One cannot play with them like with bulls.

          • Just to bear witness to that..

          • karlgarcia says:

            What we have is carabaos fighting each other as bullfighting. It is like sabong.
            I throught carabaos move slow because that is what I see on road trips, until I saw a youtube video of a carabao race.

            • I’ve seen carabaos run amok, karl. I’ve also seen them walk real slow to the field (start of the day), but walk real fast back to home (end of the day)— which tells me they’re smart.

              Also plenty of Brahman cows working in place of carabaos around Mindanao — they represent that carabaos are in the end expendable, replaceable. These I was told were from America.

              But I’ve never seen kids sleep on top of Brahmans , nor kids play with Brahmans during bathing in river— which tells me, Brahmans lack in personality.

              My vote’s on carabaos,

    • chemrock says:

      This is a case of much ado about nothing. Here’s my few pence worth.

      Someone mentioned about changing protocols. This should never be done. Protocols and whatever practices are developed over the years. It is a way of communication between countries. There are nuances and gestures . What if a country is used to conduct themselves in certain manners, and one day another dignitary comes along and he is treated slightly differently. It opens up interpretations, may be good, may be bad.

      A parade is to honour the visiting dignitary. The only flag carried would be the colours of the unit on parade.

      For the inspection, the visiting dignitary is given the honour position, with the host on his left. Sometimes, the host acedes his position to the parade commander, in which case, he walks behind the dignitary and the commander. All this would have been sorted out earlier and whispered to the dignitary so everyone knows where to walk or lead.

  6. Micha says:

    The incompetence in governance is mounting. Locsin now says the oil and gas exploration deal with China on the west Philippine sea was pushed by “forces” within the gov’t but not by Duterte himself. Wada-effing crook. Our ailing beloved leader is kept out of the loop on a strategically important (if not controversial) deal?

    Was he power napping again?

  7. One more picture of Infamy..

  8. manangbok says:

    Ok, so maybe I will play “devil’s advocate” here; but I have a classmate/facebook friend who just said: “What’s the difference of Filipinos (meaning Duterte on behalf of Filipinos) kowtowing to China when we have kowtowed to other foreign powers before like Spain, USA and Japan? This is survival and Duterte is just doing the best that he can do given the present power situation in the world. The truth is the United States is no longer the world’s greatest superpower, it is on the decline; while China is on the rise. Duterte is just betting on the winning horse. Sure, China is usurping Spratlys and claiming most of the South China Sea, but how is that different when the US in the late 19th century and Spain in the 15th century exercised their imperialist muscles? When the elephants fight, the mosquitoes have to choose which back we will land on to. And this time, we chose China — what is so wrong with that?”

    JoeAm, what say you to my classmate, who was top 3 of our class in elementary and a history major graduate? For the life of me, I cannot think of a rejoinder — except maybe that it galls me that my classmate just compared his fellow kababayans to mosquitoes!

    • Simple.


      if not,


      if not,

      WHY NOT?

      i dunno,


      (then drop the mic)

      p.s. — mosquito isn’t the point of his argument, it’s this: “The truth is the United States is no longer the world’s greatest superpower, it is on the decline; while China is on the rise. Duterte is just betting on the winning horse.”

      challenge that. 😉

    • It’s a question worth a blog article for its various dimensions, and I may write one. I agree with LCX that the statement that the US is in decline is false. Now, China is growing in economic strength and power, but the US remains the central force for democracy and freedom, no matter her eccentricities under Trump. Relatively, it may seem like decline, but it is not. The US is extraordinarily rich and powerful and growing. Secondly, and most importantly, what values does your classmate seek to live by? If it is control oriented and obedient, then go with China. If it is to find personal inspiration and fulfillment by competing in an open and free field for work and expression, then choose democracy and alignment with the values of the democratic states. The classmate’s argument to me seems a convenience, or a rationalization, for not wanting to aspire. People aspire under democracy. They obey under totalitarian states.

  9. edgar lores says:

    According to this article, there were several breaches of flag protocol:

    1. The display of the Chinese flag during the inspection of troops
    2. The display of the Philippine and Chinese flags in Malacañan (Duterte/Xi official photo)
    3. The display of the Philippine and Chinese flags in Malacañan (bilateral meeting)
    4. The display of the Philippine and Chinese flags at Malacañan gates

    Lorenzana and Locsin pooh-poohed the criticism as trivial.

    I disagree with MLQIII that a president can break historical protocol in this matter.

    In the first of the four instances cited, the Chinese flag has been given sole presence and possession on the national stage. And in the last three instances, it has been given precedence over the national flag.

  10. Sup says:

    Newest facebook trend.

    I offer no apology
    for what I am posting,
    for this is truly how I feel. This is my opinion,
    not a debate.
    If you disagree,
    or find my opinions offensive,
    I’m perfectly fine
    with that & no,
    I’m not offended,
    feel free to unfriend me immediately.
    I have lived through several Philippine Presidents prior to our current President Duterte.
    In my lifetime,
    I have never seen nor heard of a President examined over every word he speaks, humiliated by the public to the point of disgrace, slandered, ridiculed, insulted, lied to & beyond common logic, threatened with death.
    I am truly ashamed of the people of MY country.
    I am ashamed of the ruthless, hating, cruel, Duterte haters who display themselves as to having
    no pride, morals, ethics
    nor values in Our Country’s traditions.
    Our Elders taught us 30, 40+ yrs ago to respect our President,
    whether we voted for them or not, & all these news stations & reporters
    who feel they have the
    right to carry on with
    obvious lies & say the things they do for a good story.
    Every other President before he was elected,
    that took the oath of office, was left alone, wasn’t on the news 24/7, examined by their every word.
    ALWAYS BEING PRESSURED to do this or that & never given the time to take care of the important work this country really needs.
    I know he is not perfect,
    very different than what we’ve become in general to but ENOUGH is ENOUGH, LEAVE THE MAN ALONE
    None of the other Presidents in their times were spotless or perfect either.
    I want our President Rodrigo Duterte to succeed & try to make our Philippines great again!
    If you agree, please copy & paste this to your timeline!

    #TeamPhilippines 🇵🇭
    Yes, I am a Duterte supporter. I always have been! 👊

  11. karlgarcia says:

    I was lurking at a forum of Military brats and I found a discussion about the protocol breach and sovereignty.
    A pro Duterte but anti China brat trivialized it to the full.
    First by saying it is so mountain out of molehill stuff and nothing will happen if we keep complaining.
    And he told the poster to blame the oil price rollbacks, hospital and equipment for the military on Duterte.Blame it all on Duterte he says.
    I checked his posts and I was surprised that he has many posts where he dislikes China’s bullying, etc.

    So cringeworthy.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Got to put this here.
    Even if Lorenzana apologizes later like what Locsin did even calling the media liars, it is made apparent that we have a defeatist president pretending to be strong and tough.
    Panelo will put a spin to this for sure.

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