Were the two matrices hatched in China?

Spokesman Panelo presents matrix 2. [Photo from Inquirer]

By JoeAm

Two “collusion” matrices recently prepared by the Duterte government generated a lot of incredulous disbelief and amusement across the educated nation. The idea of a grand scheme to oust Duterte, a conspiracy of journalists, lawyers, Liberal Party principals, and opposition senators, simply did not make sense. The journalists are writers, not political players. The lawyers are busy filing cases. The Liberal Party is irrelevant these days. And opposition senators are busy campaigning, not hatching dastardly plots.


That was the common reaction to the cut and paste accusations of plotting and sedition. Just about every notable critic of the Duterte government was pasted into the diagram with a line drawn to connect that person to another, as if lines and pictures were the sedition itself. Bizarre. In one case, the sedition was found in a tweet tag, Atty Lacierda to Candidate Alejano regarding Duterte archrival Trillanes.

From such triviality, great threats were concocted.

One is inclined to wonder if, to this government, independent thinking is a threat.

It amused me so much I started wondering how such an amateurish production could take place, one that actually seems to have displayed the Duterte government as desperate, deceiving, and comical. The main clown was Spokesperson Panelo who had to present the diagrams as if a second grader speaking to first graders, the journalists.

Here are some interesting background facts. China donated P15 million worth of computer gear to help the Duterte government’s communication group (PCOO), which they call Presidential communication and we cynics see as the propaganda department. The PCOO has sent its children to China to learn the ways of Chinese communications. And President Duterte said the first matrix was put together with the help of foreign sources.

Okay, so what we have here is an odd conjunction of four forces of incompetence:

  • China’s simplistic, somewhat racist view, that Filipinos are idiots, and gullible ones at that.
  • The PCOO’s rote following of instructions, absent of any elegance or understanding of how it would be received, pasting together a fancy chart on the new presentation gear.
  • The President’s “hands off” management approach which allowed the farce to bear fruit.
  • Panelo’s “what me worry” clown show.

The output was a product that is bringing heaps of ridicule down on the Duterte government, and a recognition that there is a danger in this recklessness . . . that a tweet can be seen as seditious.

I don’t think the matrices have chilled criticism.

They’ve hyped it, raised the level of intensity and objection.

The chemistry is fascinating, is it not? China’s naive racism and detachment from the way the Philippines actually works, minions pounding out charts, a President going where minions take him, and a clown leading the orchestra of journalists, many of whom know the ‘seditious’ people listed in the chart.

They know there is no sedition. There is only reporting . . . and paranoia.

There is also a clear awareness that this is a ridiculous, reckless way to run a government.


55 Responses to “Were the two matrices hatched in China?”
  1. arlene says:

    What has become of this government? What has become of digong? Another matrix, an additional tool to dig his grave.

    Just wondering, is that matrix for real? Another diversionary tactic? Nililihis
    ang tunay na issue?

    Good morning JoeAm!

    • Good morning, arlene. It is certainly a strange way to run things, I agree. They got battered in round 1 and doubled down in round 2. That’s what makes me think there is some kind of naive drive behind it.

  2. Gemino Abad says:

    The present government subverts itself by its own falsehood and duplicity.

    • That is true. The undermining is being done by government, not opposition.

    • kasambahay says:

      hi, gemino, falsehood and duplicity, that’s what duterte’s admin got for the billions spent on intel, lol! foreign power (china most likely) spying on pinoys does not come cheap, duterte has been shortchanged. the matrices hatched in china by the chinese already holed up in pinas and living the high life. they come and go these chinese and do as they like. hatching matrices that are much like chinese products, faulty and substandard and not up to scratch.

      duterte ought to return the matrices and ask for his money back. matrices on cartolina? the use of cartolina was the presentation norm years and years ago, favored by grade school children of years gone by when technology was yet to be hatched and born.

      now, in colleges, big screen and laser pointer are used. the chinese are just being cheap and did not think the matrices are worth the big screen presentation, lol! duterte’s admin is much to be pitied, spend so much money on nothing, lol!

      yes, methink the matrices were indeed hatched in china. bwelta ng china because chinese illegal workers are much in the spot light now and to be investigated for non paying of taxes, failure to get both nbi and health clearances, etc, as well, chinese drug lords and cohort are flourishing.

      the matrices made in china, bwelta rin po yan ni duterte for having his immediate family mentioned in bikoy’s video. matrices vs bikoy, more migraine for duterte.

      for duterte to be paying billions of money to china to provide him intel on pinoys and got only dumb matrices in return, that’s crazy! and utter waste of money. my humble opinion.

  3. timowp17 says:

    Either they are made out of Spiderman’s webs or of chicken claws dancing the Chacha.

  4. Pinpointing one group as the “cause of the cause” is also so very Chinese.

    After Mao’s death I think all who confessed – even mere pickpockets – said the “Gang of Four” had influenced their ways, the Gang of Four being lead by Mao’s widow.

    Typically Filipino: to switch effortlessly from the playbook of old masters to that of new ones, as if what was before was merely meaningless drama and probably was.

    • Ah, thanks for that additional shading. Labeling people by group. Dispose of them all.

    • edgar lores says:

      Is there a method to this madness?

      If at all, these are cheap magician tricks to misdirect attention away from the nefarious skullduggery going on.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Many methods but no end.
        The elections will still tell us if there will be executive checkup I mean check and balance.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I wonder what method of madness to include the Olympian.

          • I remember she paid her courtesy calls to Duterte after winning. But “surprisingly” though she is Mindanaoan there are not fist-bump pictures of her with Digong. That alone may already be doubtful loyalty in their sick minds.

            Gretchen Ho was in the matrix but also at a celebrity dinner with Duterte – but also one of the few who did not fist bump. I wonder if you remember the scene in Valkyrie with Tom Cruise where a diehard Nazi tries to test Stauffenberg’s loyalty by making him raise his arm.

    • Dippindotz says:

      “Pinpointing one group as the “cause of the cause” is also so very Chinese.”

      Would you say the ‘commie Chinese’ as the more accurate term?

      “Typically Filipino: to switch effortlessly from the playbook of old masters to that of new ones, as if what was before was merely meaningless drama and probably was.”

      Would you say ‘typical Machiavellian Filipino politician’ as the more accurate term?

      In every way, all of these actions (false flag, rumors, slander, tale spinning, propaganda) of an individual or a group are very Machiavellian and sociopathic, and they are obviously a means to achieve power/control (or survival), money, and influence. I think there are people who have truly embraced these as natural and ok, like its just ok to culling unwanted population or eliminating your opponents. They have traded humility for their big ego, pride, and nationalism.

      At the other end of the spectrum are people who believe in God and morality. Unfortunately most of these good people are not competing for power or are not in power.

      Btw, these are real mental disorders as published in psychological sources:

      Imagine airline pilots are strictly screened for mental disorders, while those who are responsible for the lives of millions are not.

      People sleep well at night because they are not aware, indifferent, or…


  5. Eduardo Carlos Maglaque says:

    This exercise is another page in the saga of absurdity unfolding in this country. The sad part about it is that Duterte’s believers will feel they have another proof that the man they look up to as their savior might truly be in danger. Where will that bring us?

    • I’d guess that they are totally detached from reality to believe there is a conspiracy among all the people listed. I mean, HOW exactly is the ouster to take place? There is zero momentum for street protests, and limited political objection. NO impeachment momentum at all. What is he afraid of? It boggles my mind that people are actually believing such distortions, and living their lives in it.

  6. NHerrera says:


    In Mathematics, matrix (plural matrices) is a set of numbers arranged in rows and columns. An example is a 3×4 matrix, consisting of 3 rows and 4 columns of numbers, where the number in the 2nd row and 3rd column is designated as A [with subscript] 2,3.

    Such numbers are often real numbers, but they can be complex numbers, aka imaginary numbers as well. Perhaps this is where one of the “hatchers” of these so-called matrices, foreign or local — who has a math or science bent and who knows the imagined or real score — took to naming these as matrices instead of the simple layman’s terms, plotters connections, with the lines connecting the pictures and names of the plotters. Thereby impressing by projecting or implying a scientific-research-base by attaching a math label to the subject.

    Oh well. This old man labeled the note as trivia, after all.

  7. cRisp says:

    An alternative is that the administration realized they could make use of Atty Gadon. And this is what he came up with.

  8. Andres 2018 says:

    The matrix is a joke, making the government looks insecure and stupid. But its not of China, its simply a propaganda technique copied from Marcos.

    • kasambahay says:

      who knows? maybe the chinese copied propaganda technique from marcos who was thought to be of chinese origin, duterte too is thought to be of chinese origin. ah, the fault in their genes, lol!

      • Andres 2018. says:

        Close to 2% of the Filipino population is pure Chinese, and probably half of the Filipino population have Chinese blood. Even Jose Rizal have Chinese ancestry, it is highly probable that Duterte is too.

        • Which raises the question, do immigrants transfer their entire loyalty to the new country, or retain the old homeland in the heart? Chinoys argue they are Filipino.

          • kasambahay says:

            that aside, I bet the chinese have hard time convincing pres trump he is of chinese origin, lol!

            anyhow, chinoys are not that all happy their playing fields are being usurped and contaminated by mainlander chinese. not happy as well their pinoys friends are not allowed to eat at new chinese restos operated by mainlanders and catering mainly albeit exclusively for fellow mainlanders. the menus are written in chinese, the prices, ingredients, etc. wait staff speak chinese too, not cantonese.

            chinoys when they go back to visit china they’re frowned upon and viewed with suspicions, keep looking over their shoulders. chinese soldiers are everywhere, looking, listening, observing, watching.

            • kasambahay says:

              early on and right after becoming president, duterte was visited by chinese dignitaries bringing with them gifts that included duterte’s family genome, an extensive illustration of duterte’s family tree going back hundred of years. apparently, duterte has chinese ancestors from south china. old and grainy black and white pics of his chinese ancestors in their native clothes were shown and duterte was utterly impressed, hooked and besotted.

              incidentally, similar heritage trick was played on ex president aquino that he too has ancestors from south china. aquino was respectful but stayed true pinoy and did not give the chinese special treatment, thus angering the chinese, lol!

              • kasambahay says:

                also, early in duterte’s presidency, the marcoses, bong and imee marcos were part of duterte’s 400 strong entourage state visiting china. bong marcos was presented to the chinese as vice president even though bong lost the vice presidency and was on the verge of contesting the election result won by leni robredo.

                still, the chinese feted the marcoses dahil may chinese ancestry din po sila, sabi. it’s on the august chinese scroll kuno.

                joeam, might you be chinese too? lol!

              • Hahahaha! How much can I make? Maybe I am!

            • Seems a good description of things to me.

            • I think 50% having some Chinese ancestry will apply to places like Pampanga and Tarlac.

              What I already smelled – a categorization of Filipinos similar to what the German occupation did in Poland in the 1940s (German origin; “eindeutschbar” = Germanizable, meaning tall and light-skinned and maybe even blonde enough to be Germanized, certified via medical examination; “higher category” Poles, ordinary Poles, Jews and Gypsies) might be on its way. .It is bad enough that blackface (like against the Binays recently) is still done there.

  9. distant observer says:

    Ah. Now let’s wait for the Pinoy edition of the Reichstag fire.

  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CARVER_matrix

    “The origin of the CARVER matrix is shrouded in mystery from the very dawn of Special Forces. Some say the OSS developed it during World War Two, some say it was the first Green Berets in the ’50s. Over the years, there have been minor refinements, but applying CARVER is a basic SF skill.

    “The CARVER selection factors assist in selecting the best targets or components to attack. As the factors are considered, they are given a numerical value. This value represents the desirability of attacking the target. The values are then placed in a decision matrix. After CARVER values for each target or component are assigned, the sum of the values indicate the highest-value target or component to be attacked within the limits of the statement of requirements and commander’s intent.”—U.S. Army Field Manual 34-36

    CARVER analysis is summarized in a six-column, five-row matrix. For each target, a rating of 1-5 is given for each column. A ‘5’ rating meant it favored the saboteur, whereas a ‘1’ meant it favored the target. The best score for the saboteur was 30 (6 x 5), the worst being a 6 (6 x 1).

    The ratings in CARVER are very subjective. While the concept is simple, a deep understanding of the target and available resources to attack are vital to producing useful output. It is best done by the entire SFODA.

    CARVER is an acronym that stands for Criticality, Accessibility, Recuperability, Vulnerability, Effect and Recognizability. It’s a system used by Special Forces to assess the targets and see which one needs to be addressed first. Let me write down what each component means in terms of information security:

    Criticality: The target value. How vital is this to the overall organization? A target is critical when its compromise or destruction has a highly significant inpact in the overall organization.

    Accessibility: How easily can I reach the target? What are the defenses? Do I need an insider? Is the target computer off the internet?

    Recuperability: How long will it take for the organization to replace, repair, or bypass the destruction or damage caused to the target? Once the compromise was found, how long will it take for the system to recuperate from it.

    Vulnerability: What is the degree of knowledge needed to exploit the target? Can I use known exploits or should I invest in new, possible 0day exploits?

    Effect: What’s the impact of the attack on the organization? Similar to the first point (Criticality) this point should also analyse possible reactions from the organization.

    Recognizability: Can I identify the target as such? How easy is to recognize that a specific system / network / device is the target and not a security countermeasure.”



    Can we apply another matrix to assess Panelo’s 2 matrices and their effect ??? The Sabateur here should be China.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    it was botched by Panelo no matter where it was hatched.

  12. Micha says:

    The country is sick and broken and is vomiting demagogues like Du30. Attempts by well-meaning citizens to heal it is futile because it will be toast in 10 years time anyway as environmental catastrophe descends on the tropics.

  13. By Vicente Rafael. We shouldn’t be so quick to disparage the latest Palace matrix. Rather, it’s important that we appreciate it as a governing tactic in this and other past regimes.

    For starters, the matrix is another example of the logic of tokhang at work. Tactically, It is a list of enemies, and so an order of battle. It is also a conceptual tool kit designed to raise the specter of conspiracies. The matrix implies that the government, or at least the security-executive branch within it (given that the “state” is a very heterogenous entity made up of conflicting interests), must be on permanent alert. It must govern as if it were in a constant state of emergency.

    If the country is in a state of emergency, this allows the police to operate with impunity. Impunity here does not mean ignoring laws. Rather, it entails operating in a context that allows for their selective suspension in the face of exceptional situations, e.g., when your life is supposedly being endangered by the drug addict. So you can ignore due process and shoot to kill. This is the substance of tokhang, where the police operate like “petty sovereigns” deciding on the exception.

    This tendency to conjure a permanent state of emergency, to institutionalize and normalize it, is pretty much consistent with the governing style of all Philippine governments–colonial and post-colonial. We can see its origins at least as far back as the Spanish colonial regime, reaching its apogee under Gov. Gen. Rafael Izquierdo in the mid-19thc. (who placed all ilustrados under surveillance, opened their mail, banned books, arrested, exiled and executed many of them), and all the way through the US colonial, Commonwealth, Japanese and post-colonial regimes. In such contexts, conspiracies in the form of rumors, gossip, graffiti, art, clandestine movements, associations, publications, etc. all make up essential elements of power to the extent that they are regarded to threaten its exercise.

    To put it differently, the national security state–which is what the modern state is–can only coalesce around its insurgent others. If insurgents do not exist, they must, therefore, be conjured. Otherwise, how else to justify extensive policing and anti-subversion laws? Marcos was adept at this; so too, GMA. And all the other presidents. In the US and Europe, the insurgent figures are usually Muslims, immigrants, people of color, queers–the list, and it is always a list, is potentially endless and open-ended.

    Even the “militant” left–especially the left–has operated along the same logic, if not logistics, of policing. Recall, for example, the purges in the 1990s among the CPP-NDF, resulting in its fatal dismemberment. Even today, the CPP (and its affiliates) tend to condemn critics as engaged in counter-revolutionary conspiracies, attesting to its use of this style of governing as if it were in a permanent state of exception. NPA fighters can operate with similar impunity and decide who will live and who will die, especially in battle. Small wonder many of those who surrendered in Davao back in the 1990s and early 2000s could easily move into the role of vigilante death squads.

    To reiterate: In the face of insurgent conspiracies, the state, or at least its security apparatus, can constitute itself as a counter-insurgent force. Not just in the Philippines–but arguably everywhere the modern state exists as an elaborate security apparatus.

    And it always starts with the most banal and basic of technologies: lists.

    Lists are useful because they are:
    1. open-ended. Anyone at any time can be added to it–sports figures, movie stars, journalists, etc.;
    2. enumerative, so that the items on the list do not have to be vetted or their connections proven. They just simply have to be counted. Contrast this to the double-entry ledger which at least has a minimal narrative of losses and gains and so can be audited. You can’t audit a list;
    3. cumulative, so that it is not a question of whether you or anyone else believes in the content of the list, only that it exists. The sheer numbers suggest that there really is a force at work out to wreck the regime. In other words, you don’t have to believe that each and every person on the list is a conspirator; only that the sheer accretion of names, actual or potential, attests to the existence of a conspiracy. Like the drug list.

    Seeing the matrix is like seeing a constellation of relationships whose connections seem as arbitrary as they are motivated but no less “real.” It is, to use Ben Anderson’s famous term, an “imagined community” of enemies.

    One last thing: the matrix and other similar lists exist not simply to say there is the threat of conspiracy and subversion. Just as important, it exists so that the Palace can say: we *know* that there is a threat. We don’t have to tell you how we know it. The point is, it is no longer a secret. We’ve exposed it. And this knowledge allows us to control it. It says: we know something you don’t. And we can act upon it anytime we want to. In whatever way we want to. This knowledge and the ability to act upon it regardless of what the world thinks is what makes us powerful.

    • Order of battle.

      This all reminds me a couple of years ago (it was discussed here) when Bato lined up a bunch of “dirty” cops and chastized them in public with media there.

      1. if they were dirty why weren’t they arrested? instead of just detained, held in Crame.

      2. if they wanted to squeeze them to get bigger fish, then why publicize them, not useful anymore once done.

      3. if more for example, as your article suggests, isn’t the point to get rid of conspirators, thus ‘we know’ you, is self defeating strategy. if there’s an investigation on these conspirators, makes sense to keep hush.

      Ever notice how HK protestors (Umbrella protests) have quieted??? China didn’t do matrices & media, they just picked them off one by one.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Now it is merely a diagram of whom are the people the webmaster is following.

  15. chemrock says:

    “There has been a wrong analysis of the diagram by some media outlets,” Panelo.

    What he was trying to say was –
    “Oops I’m sorry if you got killed. We put your name there just to populate the chart … I mean matrix, so it looks more impressive. You know, we can’t put Juan dela Cruz there, who the hell is he. We put famous names there so people will know it’s true. It’s a compliment actually, if your name is in the list“

    What he may say soon –
    “We have found the head of the snake. The name right at the top of the chart. The leader of the Matrix. It sounds like Chinese. His name is ……. NEO.”

    • Panelo is a clown, scapegoating the Admin’s mistakes. He blamed the mistaken names on the chart on people reading it wrong, as if the presenter has no obligation to speak clearly and precisely. It is a symbol of the administration. Total lack of accountability, total determination to scapegoat things onto the innocent. Just as the poor bear the guilt for drugs whilst the lords run free.

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