A Decision Matrix for the 2019 Senatorial Election

By Edgar Lores

The midterm elections are upon us.

Soon we will have the power to change our shared destiny.

Soon we will have to make up our minds who to vote for.

And soon we will decide who will govern us — hopefully in power wielded well and wise — at several levels: municipal, city, provincial, House of Representatives (HOR), and Senate.

All levels of governance are important but the last level is of special importance. We see this reflected in the news and social media where the battle for the Senate occupies the front pages. We see this in the TV ads and the billboards and banners that drape buildings and clutter the highways.

Why is this so?

Well, if you are Bong Revilla, it is perhaps a chance to siphon away P224.5M in pork barrel funds – and perhaps be declared innocent.

The nerve.

But the main reason for this is that the fight for the Senate is at the national level. It affects everybody. More than the HOR, the Senate represents the second branch of the three branches of government. Here, 24 supposedly wise heads counter-balance the power exercised by the single head of the Executive as well as by the 15 heads of the Supreme Court.

I say “supposedly” because we know the Senate has not been doing its bounden duties… ever since the ascension of Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. Not in its duty of circumscribing the drug war. Not in securing the WPS. Not in limiting the extension of martial law. Not in preventing the unconstitutional ouster of a Chief Justice. And not in protesting the incarceration and maltreatment of one of its members.

The shame.

It is of supreme importance therefore that we discuss the Senate election and how we might go about selecting half of the new Senate.

I would like to propose a simple method for doing so. It is derived from two other methods:

  • The triage method (TM)
  • The Von Manstein Matrix (VMM)


The Method and the Matrix

TM is used to determine the priority in the treatment of patients in medical emergencies. The method is now a 5-level system. However, the original system divided patients into the three classes of emergent, urgent, and non-urgent. Or high-risk, middle-risk, and low-risk.

VMM is a method of selecting the best military officers (or managers in business). It is named after General Erich von Manstein, who is regarded as one of the most brilliant commanders — if not the most brilliant commander – of Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

I shall call my proposed method the “Von Lores Matrix (VLM)” in honor of the General… and in homage to my father who, although not of noble birth, was of noble principles.

The VLM is similar to TM in determining who to treat (or vote for) first and who to treat last. And it is similar to the VMM in using two main factors in determining eligibility for office.

As one can see from Diagram 1, the two factors are Intelligence and Work Ethic.

Intelligence can be Clever/Stupid and Work Ethic may be Industrious/Lazy.

Thus, the four quadrants of the matrix are:

  1. Clever and lazy
  2. Stupid and lazy
  3. Stupid and industrious
  4. Clever and industrious

Diagram 1: The Von Manstein Matrix

Von Manstein thought that the officers most suited to high office were those who were clever and lazy. How strange! And counter-intuitive. One would think the best would be those who were clever and industrious. But no.

The explanation is that clever people make good strategists. And if they are lazy, they delegate work and have time to make good decisions.

In a brilliant insight, Von Manstein thought that the stupid and the industrious were not to be considered as officer material. They were, in his opinion, a “menace and must be fired at once.”

The explanation is that hardworking people are relentless and, if they are stupid at the same time, they create and cause endless havoc.

Stupid and industrious. Does not this insight remind you of someone? Perhaps a Cabinet member or two? Some appointed USECs and ASECs? Certain Senators? Indeed, the majority of the HOR?

Anyone else? Someone higher up?

Hmm. I shall not name names. My lips are sealed.

The last two quadrants we have not yet considered are:

  • Clever and industrious. These make excellent staff officers (or middle management/Cabinet)
  • Stupid and lazy. These are generally harmless and make good foot soldiers (or factory workers/laborers)

Clever and industrious people put me in mind of the captains of industry and Filipino wives. This is why the latter are much sought after – worldwide. That they have other sterling qualities is a bonus.

As for stupid and lazy people, they are unremarkable and harmless… unless they happen to occupy the White House.


The Von Lores Matrix (VLM)

As presented in Diagram 2, my proposed VLM is a slight modification of the VMM.

Diagram 2: The Von Lores Matrix

I keep the first factor (Intelligence) but substitute the second (Work Ethic) with Character, which is subdivided into its antithetical poles of Moral/Amoral.

Why Character?

The answer should be obvious. Our elected officials have the qualities of personality but not the qualities of character. Consequently, the nation is drowning in a river of blood covered with garbage flotsam.

What the Senate needs most now are people with character. Senators with integrity. Senators who are capable of thinking and coming up with long-term solutions. And perhaps most importantly, Senators who can say no.

No. Such a simple two-letter word that is so hard to utter.

Astute readers will draw a parallel of my two factors to Robredo’s matino (Goodness or Character) and mahusay (Competence or Intelligence).

(I have half a mind to call the VLM the Robredo Matrix. Perhaps after the election so that it is not dismissed as propaganda.)

Apart from introducing Character, I have rearranged the order and labels of the VMM for ease of reading.

  • Instead of “Stupid/Clever,” I use “Smart/Dumb” with the positive trait appearing leftmost. Clever has a pejorative connotation. Smart does not unless coupled with the hind part.
  • Instead of “Industrious/Lazy,” I use “Moral/Amoral” with the positive trait appearing topmost.

This rearrangement enables the quadrants of the matrix to be ranked left-to-right and top-to-bottom in an order of merit. Thus, using primarily the Olympic medal colors, we have:

  • Gold — Excellent Public Servants
  • Silver — Middling Public Servants
  • Bronze — Usual Trapos
  • Black — Toxic Trapos/Tyros

I have populated the quadrants according to my most objective impressions of the candidates. If Joe Am sits like a spider with his sensitive web wrapped around the globe to gather material for the blog, I too have my psychic antennae attuned to the slightest vibration from the senatorial candidates.

I know my classification will invite – provoke? — disagreements. Without a doubt, you will have firm and opposing opinions on where each candidate should be pigeonholed. That’s alright. Disagreements give color and life to discussions. But I hope you will agree with me on the general thrust of the model and my assessments.

The central point of the matrix — to put it in the form of a motto – is “Hold the Gold and block the Black.” At. All. Cost. One may choose from the Silver and Bronze pools but never, never, never from the Black pool.




The Three Cs

Thus far, we have formed the Gold and the Black pools. This is our first pass in which we have made our primary selections and eliminations.

Thus far, we have come up with 5 candidates. Well and good.

How then do we proceed and go about choosing among the Silvers and the Bronzes?

You will be aware that the Silvers and the Bronzes violate Robredo’s requirements. He said matino and mahusay. Not matino or mahusay. But the world in its variety of offerings often gives us apples and oranges but also spiders and crocodiles. And we must make do with what we have.

First, we should ask: Do we prioritize Intelligence over Character?

Personally, given the present national crisis, I would elevate Character over Intelligence. Thus, Silver over Bronze and not the other way around.

Second, we should ask: how do we decide between two silvers (or bronzes)? Say, between Alejano and Cayetano?

This is where the Three Cs come in. We have our primary C — Character. Our secondary Cs are elements of the primary C. These are Compassion, Conviction, and Courage.

They are the qualities of character that we seek.

I will note that the Three Cs formed a part of my sorting of the candidates.

First, Senators must have Compassion. Then they must have the Conviction of their Compassion. And finally, they must have the Courage of their Convictions.

Between Alejano and Cayetano, I would thus ask:

  1. Who has shown greater Compassion? (Say, for victims of the drug war, for Marawi, and for women.)
  2. Who has shown greater Conviction? (Say, by speaking out each time the need arose.)
  3. And who has shown greater Courage? (Say, by speaking truth to power.)

When you ask these questions earnestly, the answers will surely come.



As Rizal said, our society has been infected with social cancer. We must inject healthy stem cells to stop the rot from spreading. You, the voters, are the doctors.

Therefore: Hold the Gold and block the Black. And value compassion, conviction, and courage.

Please pass the popcorn.


72 Responses to “A Decision Matrix for the 2019 Senatorial Election”
  1. arlene says:

    “Block the black”. I love that and the usual trapos too. Good morning everyone.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    VP Robredoo must continue to campaign for them.
    Will must do followups on his interviews.
    Hopefully the mefia will also do morw interviews of the eight.

    And most importantly I hope this article of Edgar must be read and shared by millions.

    • edgar lores says:

      Karl, thanks.

      I will take this opportunity to differentiate VLM from Otso Diretso (OD) as you have referenced it.

      1. VLM is a decision matrix for voting. OD is a voting strategy.

      2. As such, VLM is a reusable system that can be used in future elections. OD is a strategy solely for the 2019 senatorial elections.

      2.1. I would go so far as to claim that VLM can be used for other elections other than senatorial ones. It can be used at the mayoral and provincial levels. It can be used in a two-candidate race.

      2.2. It is, in a way, an implementation of Robredo’s matino and mahusay.

      3. It is true that using VLM might result in the selection of all the OD candidates. However, an implication of OD is that one votes for 8 candidates although there are 12 slots to be filled up.

      4. While it is not necessary to vote for 12 candidates, VLM provides a way of filling up the 12 slots by using the secondary criteria of the Three Cs.

      4.1. I might mention that the combination of the last two of the Three C’s — i.e., Conviction and Courage — point to the virtue of Independence which we discussed in “Groupthink in the Supreme Court.” As I was studying the Bronze pool, I thought this virtue might be a key factor in selecting candidates from this pool… because, by definition, the candidates in this pool lack to a great degree the first C — Compassion.

  3. edgar lores says:


    I have differentiated VLM as a method and OD as a strategy.

    Although not NHerrera, I would like to quantify the challenge to OD as an adjunct to the main essay.

    The steps are:

    1. Establish 2019 voting turnout
    2. Establish the percentage of votes captured by the 12th-placed senator
    3. Establish the minimum votes to land in the Magic 12
    4. Project the conversion rate for OD


    1. Voting turnout

    1.1. In 2016, the voting population was 55,739,911. [1]
    1.2. The number of valid votes cast was 42,552,835. [1]
    1.3. The voter turnout was 76.34%.

    1.4. In 2019, the voting population is estimated to be between 60M – 61M. [4]
    1.5. Assume it will be 60.5M.
    1.6. Calculate voter turnout: 60.5M * 76.34% = 46,185,700.

    2. Percentage of votes captured by the 12th-placed senator.

    2.1. 2010 election – 26.8% [2]
    2.2. 2013 election – 32.9% [2]
    2.3. 2016 election – 31.55 % [3]

    3. Minimum votes to land in the Magic 12

    3.1. Using 2010%: 46,185,700 * 26.8% = 12.4M
    3.2. Using 2013%: 46,185,700 * 32.9% = 15.2M
    3.3. Using 2016%: 46,185,700 * 31.55% = 14.6M

    Assumption: As a conservative estimate, OD candidates have to garner 15.2M votes.

    4. Project the conversion rate for OD

    4.1. The vote distribution in the 2016 presidential elections was: [1]

    o Duterte – 16,601,997
    o Roxas – 9,978,175
    o Poe – 9,100,991
    o Binay – 5,416,140
    o Miriam – 1,455,532

    4.2. Calculate new voters’ turnout

    o New voters: 60,500,000 – 55,739,911 = 4,760,089
    o New voter turnout: 4,760,089 * 76.34% = 3,633,852

    4.3. Assume the following conversion rates for OD. The conversion rate is defined as the minimum percentage of voters needed to adopt OD for the opposition candidates to land within the Magic Circle. The projected Conversion rate of 1% for Duterte voters represents buyers’ remorse.

    o Duterte voters – 1%
    o Roxas voters – 100%
    o Poe voters – 30%
    o Binay voters – 30%
    o Miriam voters – 30%
    o New voters – 30%

    4.4. Applying the conversion rates, the projected votes for OD are:

    o Duterte voters – 166,020
    o Roxas voters – 9,978,175
    o Poe voters – 2,730,297
    o Binay voters – 1,624,842
    o Miriam voters – 436,660
    o New voters – 1,090,156

    o Total – 16,026,150

    4.4.1. This total of 16.0M votes is more than the 15.2M votes needed to enter the Magic 12.

    5. Message for OD Proponents

    5.1. To win, you cannot rely on Roxas votes alone.

    5.2. Projection: To win, you must win at least 30% of the hearts of non-Duterte and non-Roxas voters.

    5.3. Is this doable? It depends on the performance of the opposition candidates — which has been first-rate — and your efforts.

    5.4. For Poe, Binay and new voters, you might emphasize that OD does not preclude voting for their main candidate (or other candidates).

    5.5. Also emphasize: “Block the Black.”



    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Philippine_presidential_election
    [2] https://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016/focus/04/16/16/how-many-votes-does-a-senatorial-candidate-need-to-win
    [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Philippine_Senate_election
    [4] https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/10/10/comelec-expects-61-million-registered-voters-in-2019-midterm-polls/

  4. chemrock says:

    A nice matrix Edgar.

    If you can apply this matrix to the voting public instead of candidates, it will be easy to predict the election results.

    As for me, not based on my personal assessments of candidates, but on my gut feel of voting sentiments in the country, the winning candidates will be (not necessarily in order of merit) :

    Grace Poe (candidate for those who love Cinderella movies)
    Imee Marcos (candidate for the brain dead)
    Bing Reville (candidate for those who watch aswang movies)
    Nancy Binay (candidate for those who want real local reps)
    Jingoy Estrada (candidate for those who love his papa)
    JV Erjecito (candidate for those who love his papa)
    Bato dela Rosa (candidate for the magaspangs people)
    Mar Roxas (candidate for the real thinking pinoys)
    Bam Aquino (candidate for the real thinking pinoys)
    Cynthia Villa (candidate for those who love oligarch)
    Pia Cayetano (candidate for those who love white skins, never mind the heart)
    Kiko Pimentel (candidate for those who think they have ran out of choices)

    Stupid is as stupid does. Hope the nation proves me wrong.

    • That’s good,actually, but as an absolutely impartial, non-interested observer, I’m inclined to think you need to squeeze Bong Go in there somewhere. He is cheating and spending taxpayer money to get in, and has the ringing endorsement of the anti-corruption, squeaky clean, President. I’m not sure dela Rosa will make it. He fell in the last poll and makes people squirm every time he opens his mouth. The rest are arguably arguable, as you have argued.

    • edgar lores says:

      Chemrock, that’s the difficulty isn’t it?

      The decision matrix is for the voting public to apply to the candidates. And not to themselves.

      I am glad you highlighted the probability that Grace Poe will top the election once again.

      As I was pondering over item 4 of my quantification of Otso Diretso (OD), the truth of 5.2 hit me.

      An Otso Diretso strategy is an exclusivistic strategy and not an inclusivistic one. In my analysis, it is bound to fail. Because it excludes primary supporters of Poe and Binay.

      Item 5.4. assumes great importance as a winning tactic. Otso Diretso must be rebranded as Otso Diretso+. Otso Diretso Plus.

      It is not too late, as tomorrow marks the start of the campaign period.

      • edgar lores says:

        For clarity.

        Otso Diretso is at two levels:

        o Opposition senator level (by senators)
        o Grassroots level (by supporters)

        At the opposition senator level, it shows team unity and mutual support. The message is: “Please vote for all of us.”

        My comment on the strategy being exclusivistic is directed at the grassroots level. The message should be: “Please vote for Otso Diretso in addition to your main candidate.”

  5. Edgar, thanks.. here my comments:

    1. First of all, Moral and Amoral vs. Stupid and Clever.

    a. “Huwag mo kami, ipahintulot sa tukso, at iadya mo kami.. sa lahat ng TANGA!” would be my proposal for a new version of Ama Namin. Stupid people in my experience are more dangerous than bad people. In fact stupid people allow bad people to thrive.

    b. Moral but without Conviction + Courage = Cojones) is also fatal. You classify Pia Cayetano and Koko Pimentel as Moral, but their lack of Cojones against Duterte makes Moral pretty useless, effectively the same as if they were stupid and bad.

    2. Compassion, Conviction, Courage. I already have summed up Conviction + Courage to Cojones. Cojones and Compassion is “Tapang at Malasakit”.

    a. A moral and intelligent person who seems to lack Cojones and Compassion in the point of view of many Filipinos is Mar Roxas, even if he comes across differently nowadays than around 2016.

    b. Nancy comes across as having your CCC or my C-squared to many people, I can imagine, as she opposes certain things like jailing minors from a perspective a housewife and mother gets. Time will tell whether she is just another Grace Poe, playing the wind.

    c. The Filipinos with a “kapit sa patalim” or an “utang na loob” mentality might even go for Imee, because she is seen as ruthlessly efficient in getting things done, even if partly for her advantage. That kind of stuff is NOT seen as immoral by struggling people. Her “Keri Iyan” motto might carry.

    3. Clever that is perceived as not getting things done on the ground is another Mar Roxas “image”, especially as the apparatus of government is woefully inefficient and messed up.

    3a. I have read about BUB (bottom-up budgeting) money taking two (!) years to reach Albay – just a little bit of money to build a barangay building, a simple cement structure with two rooms. These are the daily inefficiencies that those who deal with stuff at high level might not be aware of ENOUGH.

    3b. The Pangilinan Law is great, but if, like recently found out, so-called Bahay Pag-Asa youth centers are hardly better than chicken coops in some cases, non-existent in others? What is on the ground is what ordinary people see, it is the measure by which politicians are judged, fair or not.

    3c. Those who have a better feel for the ground level due to experience (Leni, Samira Gutoc, Gary Alejano) and/or social background (Gary Alejano, Florin Hilbay, Samira Gutoc) should help the rest of the team in that respect, translate for them what is coming from the ground. It will really matter.

    Things are closer to chemrock’s prediction, I fear, so effort is truly needed to win at least six.

    • edgar lores says:

      Good points all around.

      1.a. “Stupid people allow bad people to thrive.” Agree. This insight applies to Filipino voters!

      o My take: it is easier to guide stupid people than bad people. This matrix is such a guide.

      1.b. Agree about Cayetano and Pimentel. I could not put them in the Black box because they are not as amoral (or criminal) as those in it. It’s a matter of degrees of separation.

      2. Agree about “Tapang at Malasakit.” What an irony. There was cojones but no compassion.

      2.a. The voter perception of Mar was manufactured. Is there a tinge of truth to the myth? Not in compassion. In cojones? I’m not sure. He suffers in comparison to Duterte’s brutality, but that is not Mar’s style. As you point out, the myth has been dispelled.

      2.b. Agree about Nancy. She has shown more Independence (Conviction + Courage) than Grace.

      2.c. Good insight. The insight applies to Duterte.

      3. Agree Mar had that reputation of “ineffectiveness.”

      3.a. and 3.b. Yes, we are generally poor in implementation.

      3.c. Agree.

      We shall see about Chemrock’s prediction. I share the same fear. The Otso Diretso strategy does not seek to include Poe and Binay voters.

      The matrix is an attempt to build the foundation of an intelligent voting system. From my vantage point, “block the black” is more important than “hold the gold.”

      Why so?

      It will make people realize the power of the vote. That they can turn the tide.

      • edgar lores says:

        On “Tapang at Malasakit,” there is actually no tapang at all.

        What there is — is bluster.

        o The jetski claim
        o The kowtowing to Xi
        o The no corruption claim but the support offered to Imee and Jinggoy
        o The I-hate-drugs claim but no action against the big drug lords.

  6. popoy says:

    Not about candidates, this OOT. Mere but TRUE, a Blast From The Past which seems to be like an experience-based eche bucheche:

    During the early years of Martial Law, there was a request to our College to design and conduct a segment course in the AFP Command and General Staff College (AFP-CGSC). AFP-CGSC was located near the Golf Course and the McKinley Gate (to Forbes Park) of the former Fort Bonifacio. Purportedly the course was to teach military top brass the civilian way of administration. We did it may be for five or six years.

    It was I guess a soul enriching experience. And lots of fun like asking the light and full colonels not to use the word SIR in conversations, also getting a partial glimpse of the so called military mind. I remember not very vividly the Dad of Senator Trillanes to have been in my Executive Panel, very vividly though was a night of Executive Panel work in the Floating Casino in Manila Bay, because the Casino Chief Security Officer was a student PC Colonel.

    It is there I first heard this Germanic typology of military officers when a PC Provincial Commander assigned to be Secretary for a subject refused to jot down notes because he is a commander and not a staff officer and hinted he is lazy. I was told I can tell the branch of car owners by just looking at the cars. The rickety old cars belong to navy officers and the later models, shiny ones belong to PC Officers. The Deputy Commandant who became a bemedaled (pinned by Cory in Fort Del Pilar) EDSA hero and later FOIC of the PN used to drive a ten- year old looking VW beetle. He said the military doctrines need to be considered for changes that may be recommended for the AFP. That UPCPA-AFP-CGSC Development Administration Course was awesome as mind opening on both sides.

    I remember not having applied for commission as second louie but because having been always (nobody) in Barong, I got a salute from the guards at the Fort’s gates.
    In Papua New Guinea when I was there (for 12 years) governance was tribal culture-based. They call their elected as government leaders, and the appointed ones as government officials. So, they knew who were the leaders and their public servants.

    And Oh, by the way (with apologies to being pedagogic): Any TO (Table of organization) should portray the staff and line functions whether military TO or civilian OC (Organization Chart). To illustrate a Philippine national OC, Cabinet members are not staff officials, they are unit commanders in the big LINE units of the executive branch. The heads of any high or low government office is a leader—with command function—from departments to sections or even ad-hoc teams.

    Theoretically, in the Philippine Democratic System, the executive branch should only be the line function of governance with the legislative and the judiciary performing staff and support functions. The two should be co-equal with the Executive Branch only in intent and purpose but not in action or governance as what happens in the more advanced and developed countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France, etc. It should not happen that the three branches will be co-equal in expertise and action in looting the country’s wealth or in fostering a culture of corruption.

    • popoy says:

      As regards the Senate which should perform STAFF and support functions in governance, SENATORS therefore (absolutely?) must be BRILLIANT and INDUSTRIOUS as strict qualifications regardless of familial dynasty considerations and professional qualifications.

      Being popular and rich and even industrious should not water down the qualifications.
      I read somewhere the claim that Ottawa is the place having the most numerous number of intelligent Canadians at any given time, because the OPM and the Canadian Parliament are located there. They don’t have crocodile farms in Canada?

      • edgar lores says:

        Ahaha! Crocodiles infest all branches of government in the Philippines. Pork is being inserted in the budget from the Executive and Legislature.

        • popoy says:

          I haven’t seen video where crocodiles are eating pork. Just saw just now a video where crocodiles have cobra and python for lunch (go Google if you like). I don’t know if the crocodiles we have in the Philippines are salt-water or fresh-water specie but people do know the preference seems to be millions of pork in a barrel. But I know that in the animal kingdom predators fight and eat other predators when they have investigating committees.

    • edgar lores says:

      Thanks for reminding us of the distinction between line and staff functions.

      In a parliamentary system, the Executive and the Legislature are one, and the Prime Minister and Cabinet members (line function) are members of parliament (staff function) as well.

      • popoy says:

        The US Government because of the strong and functioning political party system OPERATE efficiently in a small way like the Westminster model in UK, Canada and Australia. Laws are made and implemented by members of the political party which win the nod of the electorate.

        The roots and causes of corruption lie not in the form of government but in the propensity and lack of integrity of politicians.

  7. NHerrera says:

    I would prefer a decision matrix such as discussed in the blog by edgar, but the viewpoint of a typical Juan/Juana voter may have a conscious or unconscious decision matrix that has the following coordinates.

    Name Recall
    HR = High Recall
    LR = Low Recall

    Perceived* Benefits
    IB = Immediate Benefits
    DB = Delayed Benefits

    [* Note: perceived benefits may include money or in-kind benefits or the concept of identifying with actors/ actresses after watching a movie or video.]

    Typical of those who fall into the four baskets or cells are:

    HR-IB: I. Marcos, Jinggoy, Poe, Revilla
    HR-DB: Roxas, B. Aquino
    LR-IB: Go?
    LR-DB: Hilbay

    • edgar lores says:

      This is a very good definition of the current model.

      o The Name Recall does not make sense at all as an eligibility criterion.
      o The Perceived Benefits are to the self and not to the nation.

      Both factors do not pertain to the qualities of the candidate but to the qualities of the voter — his memory and mendicancy.

      • Name Recall is the same reason why certain toothpaste/softdrink brands are bought.

        Perceived Benefits might be everything that exists for those without a sense of the whole.

        Many of us (working class people and migrants moving up to the middle class) voted for Gerhard Schröder because we thought he is one of us (lawyer from very poor origins) and that he would do things for our benefit (change tax progression to ease the burden of the middle wage earners, but what he did was TRAIN-like in raising VAT and other taxes, so we had less buying power with more money). We perceived the old political elite, symbolized by Helmut Kohl, as not willing to listen to us, caring only about their own established interests.

        For poor Filipinos, a cash envelope, or even a land grant (Duterte is travelling around and distributing titles at this time) might be enough to feel indebted and vote somebody – IF the perception is that the others don’t care anyway, never will and never did. Try changing that.

        Some degree of clientele politics in inherent even in established modern democracies. Over here the Christian Social Union will have peasants as a major constituency, those who have fields and tractors and go to (Catholic!) Church on Sundays, but also among real estate developers – sometimes the two interest groups may be at odds. The Social Democrats will have their hotbeds among factory workers and intellectuals. Free Democrats / Liberals among enterpreneurs. Hotel owners got VAT for hotel stays (but not for breakfast) lowered to 7% by the Liberals (also yellows here) from 19%. Social Democrats have recently quit Schröders Hartz IV reform of social welfare – which I have seen now was very selfish..

        In addition to NHerrera’s factors, I would add SOCIAL IDENTIFICATION. Hilbay’s stressing where he comes from is a bit like that. Gutoc’s programmatic statements about underdogs. Those who still need a strong figure to identify where Duts failed with may find it in Alejano.

        Although some may be perfectly comfortable in adopting Leloy Claudio’s manifesto:

        • edgar lores says:

          Social identification with the masses may have started with Magsaysay, the humble mechanic.

          o Erap used it successfully.
          o Villar didn’t.
          o Duterte did.

          All three were not poor; it was all pretense. Florin was.

        • edgar lores says:

          Irineo’s tweet on the Bong Go mascot would fall under the factor of “Perceived Benefits.”

          While the asterisked comment of “Perceived Benefits” broadens it to cover “the concept of identifying with actors/ actresses after watching a movie or video,” I think we need another term for the mindless adulation shown Revilla. I would go back to my exegesis on “Idolatry.”

          We worship false gods.

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, I agree.

        Belaboring the matter: label the model described or a variation of it as the unenlightened or irrational matrix model and the model such as described in the blog, the rational matrix model. If, however, the general Juan/ Juana voters influence the outcome, the practical crux then is how to get a critical mass of them to transition from the irrational to the rational matrix to decide on who to vote.

        • edgar lores says:

          Agree: rational vs. irrational.

          I believe the unwritten task of this blog has always been to effect the transition from unconsciousness to consciousness.

          There is the phenomenon of the 100th monkey, Irineo’s tipping point.

          But the monkeys — to mix metaphors — are not biting.

          Transitions are triggered by crucibles — extraordinary events, disasters, the coming of an Übermensch — but I sense a weariness that is only relieved by attention to distractions. The relentless battering without any let-up and ray of light has intensified apathy.

          When darkness pervades, we have to keep the candles burning.

          • Very well stated, citing the exhaustion and perhaps even despair that is setting in among educated and well-principled Filipinos. The weight of bad thinking and poor community values is taking a toll. One either gives up or keeps going forward, a lesson I learned from that fine movie “The Shawshank Redemption”. I gain increasing admiration for Senators Trillanes, Hontiveros, and De Lima who stand out, even above the ‘yellow’ democracy advocates, as people for whom the principles attached to the way one lives are more important than personal well-being. I believe some of the aspiring senators may also be of this character as well, but it can only be revealed under the spotlight of national service.

      • caliphman says:

        I would give a nod to Edgar’s decision template as what the Filipino voter ought to use at the ballot box if the Philippines will have any hope of getting out of its mess? But it is with excruciating anguish that I must agree with chemrock that the cruel reality is that the Filipino voter is swayed by a very different and perhaps cruder template that turns Edgar’s matrix on its head. The two bottom boxes are really more reflective of who are most likely to win. Not because the voters themselves are or see their preferred candidates as immoral or amoral but sad to say the template is not reflective of why and how they vote. If there is a point to all this, the country will be better off if there are candidates who are desirable by Edgar’s template but who also electable given what the Filipino voter tends to resort to.

        • edgar lores says:

          The inevitable conclusion that can be drawn is that most Filipinos are amoral.

          The question is: “Have Filipino voters ever exhibited the wisdom of the crowd?”

          One would think so. There was a time when the Senate was filled with giants. There was a time when presidents were decent and distinguished. As recent as PNoy.

          But the ascendance of arguably good presidents has been due to emotive factors, a reaction to unexpected and unjust deaths and a vague yearning for freedom, and not to the voters’ recognition of their qualifications and worth.

          By the sins of this administration, by the number of the dead, the upcoming election should be an emotive one.

          We shall see what is in the hearts and minds of the voters. Perhaps we shall be surprised.

  8. popoy says:

    hmm, hmm. Is there no age disqualification among Philippine voters? Those above 80 (like me) tend to forget first names, now even surnames. Much more so forgetful for non-existing political platforms. They have lowered the “crime” age among the youth. If they can be old enough to be criminals at age 12, then can be qualified voters too at that age. Pretty soon I could be disqualified to comment here in TSoH for reasons of age and illogical cynicisms.

    • Surname recall is the reason for many political dynasties or at least families continuing..

      Maybe like the Hawaiians and Samoans, Filipinos also believe in some innate magic residing in chiefly bloodlines, be they Marcos, Aquino, Macapagal, Roxas, Diokno, Tanada, Estrada..

    • edgar lores says:

      In aging, there is a natural fraying of memory.

      But the ability to think and mental concentration do not necessarily fray, not in all. You will notice this in NHerrera, his mental acuity. We should all hope that we have his genetic (?) disposition.

      What I notice in myself is that thinking is like the beam of an adjustable flashlight. Unfocused, thoughts are hazy. However, if I focus, I can attain a laser sharpness, although the time to get there has probably lengthened. I also have to review.

      I don’t know how NHerrera keeps in form. For me, it’s practice. I read, reflect and analyze a great deal.

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, thanks, but you’re being extra generous there. I do employ those trio too — read, reflect and analyze

      • I’ve found excessive age to be a wonderful state of being, where riches come in the form of KNOWING what one did not know as a less age-endowed human.

        • edgar lores says:

          That is a form of enlightenment.

            • popoy says:

              Paeans to Fading Memory
              By the TSoH Wakagens

              Surname recall is the reason
              for many political dynasties or
              at least families continuing..

              Maybe like the Hawaiians
              and Samoans,
              Filipinos also believe
              in some innate magic residing
              in chiefly bloodlines, be they Marcos,
              Aquino, Macapagal, Roxas,
              Diokno, Tanada, Estrada..

              In aging, there is
              a natural fraying of memory.
              But the ability to think
              and mental concentration
              do not necessarily fray,
              not in all.

              You will notice this in NHerrera,
              his mental acuity.
              We should all hope that
              we have
              his genetic (?) disposition.

              What I notice
              in myself is that
              thinking is like
              the beam of
              an adjustable flashlight.

              thoughts are hazy.
              However, if I focus, I can
              attain a laser sharpness,
              although the time
              to get there
              has probably lengthened.

              I also have to review.
              I don’t know how NHerrera
              keeps in form.
              For me, it’s practice. I read,
              reflect and analyze
              a great deal.

              edgar, thanks, but you’re
              being extra generous there.
              I do employ those trio too —
              read, reflect
              and analyze.

              I’ve found excessive age
              to be a wonderful
              state of being,
              where riches come
              in the form of KNOWING
              what one did
              not know as a less
              age-endowed human.
              That is a form
              of enlightenment.

              Ah wisdom, readers claim
              Of their golden years
              Can the authors of
              This wannabe poetry
              Recall where lies
              their lines?
              In this blog thread
              Of JoeAm?

  9. popoy says:

    “Pretty soon I could be disqualified to comment here in TSoH for reasons of age and illogical cynicisms.”

    For Example: All this intelligent discourse on Philippines elections are mere hot air eche bucheche unless and after ANG DAGDAG, ANG DAGDAG. (is the battle cry) ANG COMELEC ANG COMELEC is the washroom of last defecation. Imagine COMELEC is toothless (don’t blame the constitution) and powerless to determine and disqualify unworthy candidates but ultra powerful in deciding and proclaiming the winning candidates. .

  10. karlgarcia says:

    A winning opposition candidate was voted so they could help the admin- paraphrasing Panelo.

    Say what?


    • edgar lores says:

      Panelo must look up “opposition” in the dictionary.

      With this administration, words do not mean what they mean.

    • popoy says:

      from the links supplied by karlgarcia above:

      “Panelo then sought to respond to the question by offering an explanation on why voters may choose opposition candidates in May.

      “As far as I’m concerned, and I think the President will agree with me, even the winning of an opposition candidate doesn’t mean a repudiation of the administration. It only means that when opposition candidates win, it is an expression of the electorate, telling them, ‘We’re putting you there to cooperate with this administration because we believe in this presidency, and not you, to destabilize it,'” said Panelo, sounding like the unofficial spokesperson of Filipino voters.

      He added: “I think that should be the message: ‘Kaya ka ilalalagay diyan, para tumulong ka. Naniniwala kami sa iyo na tutulong ka kay Presidente, hindi para sirain mo ‘yung kanyang mga programa de gobyerno sapagkat naniniwala nga kami sa kanya, nakita mo nga ang survey parati kaming approve. Kaya ka namin ilalagay diyan. Tulungan mo.’ I think that’s a good message coming from the electorate.”

      — W O W !

  11. popoy says:

    Edgar “Easy. We’re not that old yet”. But already have lots of wisdom Eh!

  12. these two tweets:

  13. karlgarcia says:


    Edgar, the author did quite an analysis of your article, but I guess you have to check on his assumptions.

    • Academic write-up. Points out that the discussion section can either strengthen or weaken the argument made by the author. Of course, it is this interactive dynamic that separates this blog from others because comments are typically enriching and not always even trying to be persuasive.

    • edgar lores says:

      Karl, many thanks.

      I find the review quite objective in its three-pronged analysis — of exigence, audience, and constraints.

      It is more a critique of the medium and the reception of the article than a critique of the message (or method).

      The only point I would comment on is this: “As mentioned before, given that there seems to be greater favor on the side of the LP “OtsoDiretso” candidates, opposing parties and those who support them might see this post as a form of endorsement, even propaganda, and therefore shun the proposed decision matrix of Edgar Lores.

      It is a valid point.

      However, the criteria of the Von Lores Matrix were not formulated to favor Otso Diretso. It just so happens that the Otso Diretso candidates meet the positive criteria — most.

      It is early days in the campaign, but the refusal of the “opposing parties” to engage the Otso Diretso candidates in debate validates my four-quadrant classification.

      And I have stressed the reusability of the matrix in future elections.

    • sonny says:

      Edgar, I think there is a not-so-veiled compliment on the part of the author rendered primarily to you and secondarily to Joe’s blog, moderation and contributors. Seems to me anyway.

  14. karlgarcia says:


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