The Philippines is down for the count . . .

Pacquiao floored by Marquez. [Photo by BBC]

By JoeAm

And the count is at six.

The Philippine government’s appeasement with China is one of the world’s most self-destructive historical moments. China is sitting in Philippine seas blocking Filipino fishermen from food sources and destroying the ecosystems that support fish re-generation. It is a royal disaster promising long-term devastation . . . done by China, yes . . . but enabled by the Philippines.

The government has stopped defending Filipinos in favor of China. The government incredibly took the side of the Chinese ship that rammed a Filipino fishing vessel rather than the 22 Filipinos left for dead as the Chinese boat sailed away. The government refused to defend Hong Kong Immigration’s harassment of a former Filipino cabinet secretary. It criticized him for criticizing China.

The leadership lacks a sense of nationhood. Blames and excuses are the rule of the day. Not unity, not pride, not the notion of “being Filipino”. Leaders align with plunderers and liars over skilled public servants. Competence is out. Favoritism and impunity are in. Investors know corruption is the pathway to success. Many of them go elsewhere to invest.

Filipino citizens exist to be used, not protected or promoted. Chinese workers are invited into the country and, under contractual deals approved by the Philippines, paid six times what a Filipino worker would receive for that same job. Meanwhile, Filipinos suffer in poverty from the lack of good-paying jobs or the training that would qualify them for those jobs.

The deadly drug war has seated murder as an acceptable form of conflict resolution as police have killed thousands with no accounting for innocence of victims or checks on unreasonable use of force. Children are often among the dead. Private executions for hire are common. Elections are violent. The unstable situation unnerves allies and investors. Drugs continue to flow in. They are cheap, they are everywhere. This is China’s opium war, deployed as strategy.

The President cannot shake the accusations that his staff and family are complicit in smuggling and drugs.

The Philippines is the regional bulls eye for typhoons from July through January. Storms are relentless, wiping out homes, crops, and citizens. Preparation is weak and reconstruction a rat’s nest of corruption and incompetence. One city, destroyed by bombings to root out a band of terrorists, has been completely written off because local officials did not want China heading the project to re-design the city. The President got in a snit about it and cut off reconstruction funding.

Modern buildings and transportation services are rare. Dilapidation, congestion, crime, dirt, beggars, thieves, red tape, arrogance of officials  . . . these remain too often the character of the Philippines.

The Pearl of Asia is pretty much a dead clam these days, an empty shell sitting in a Beijing jewelry shop.

Is there any hope at all? Any reason for optimism?

Well, yes, yes, I suppose there is.

The count is only six.


42 Responses to “The Philippines is down for the count . . .”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Count of six, that means the fighter stood up and showed willingness to fight on or is groggy and just waiting for the knock out punch.
    I would love to say we are still fighting, but I think we are already shaken from the voluminous punches.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    This early some say that the presidential race will be an all ladies affair. Villar,Marcos,Duterte,Robredo, Poe.Lacson might insert himself to make sure it won’t be all ladies. Pure conjecture and speculation for now.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    One last for the next few hours.
    Re: Piñol and Fishing

    Piñol’s policy of retaining the fish cages is in contrast to former DENR Loez policy of no fish cages.
    He says that it is pro-poor and he wants more of it.
    I know before many poor fishers rely on fish cages, but with many big ones now, fish cages are only for the rich.

    So what do we do, even with many commercial fishermen, the fishers are still only richer than the homeless and jobless folks?

  4. helosardig says:

    Change must come in the form of protest from Filipinos citizens. Nothing else could save the Philippines. But anger must spark the fire and Filipinos are numb to anger. I can prove this by an age old trait where Filipinos silently insult each other everyday simple by keeping their house clean. They start at the back of the house and sweep the dirt, plastic or anything that can be pushed with the broom to the front. It accumulates into a nice neat pile at the front door. Then with one forceful swoop it is thrust out the front door to be shared with all the neighbors. It is done without shame. The pile is then blown around and evenly distributed for the neighborhood to enjoy.

  5. That IMHO is a more apt analogy, Joe. Ass up , and face down. I forget which fight that photo is of, but that here pic is the most iconic. The question is what happens after, if you remember he kept on fighting, and still is fighting to this day.

    I’m sure he sucks as Senator there. he’s also evaded taxes here. But for a more apt analogy take it all the way to 10, and complete knock out. Can you still continue??? Get up, there are more fights to come. if Pacquiao can keep on fighting you can too…

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Sotto is really something, before Locsin cancelled or recalled all courtesy diplomatic passports, he asked if when he is no longer in the senate would he be entitled to such privileges.

    I too asked the question here if Del Rosario is entitled to have a diplomatic passport.
    But Sotto’s staff should know that former Senate presidents are given that courtesy.
    Now that courtesy maybe going gone now.

    With regards to the boat sinking, as expected he concluded now that no such sinking happened.


    • Yes, amazing flexibility.

      • karl,

        In fairness, theres a great number of ambassadors and other posts under the State Dept. that are essentially political appointees, thus get to use the Diplomatic passport, most are political contributors, once their guy wins the White House they get a diplomatic post.

        But their positions is legit, albeit political (via contributions or other means of support for their candidate), hence their passports legit.

        I’m sure del Rosario has a regular Filipino passport, why what was going on for that trip he took that we felt he needed to use his “courtesy” diplomatic passport??? that’s the question to ask. Diplomatic immunity??? Diplomatic pouch??? other Diplomatic privileges…

        wrong timing I suppose , is all.

  7. Joe the Kano says:

    But, but, but!!!

    Dturd threatened war with Canada over garbage imported by a Filipono company, even though the Canadian government had already agreed to repatriate the privately shipped trash.

    And he went ape-shit when a former US president suggested it’s not a good idea to simply slaughter thousands of Filipinos merely suspected of illegal drug use or sales.

    And he deported an elderly Australian nun for speaking up on behalf of Filipinos.

    And he installed a Foreign Affairs Secretary who openly says “fuck the international community” and habitually conducts himself like a drunk uncle.

    You mean he’s really not a tough guy and nationalist, but is really just a spoiled and warped provincial elite jackoff surrounded by butt-polishing clowns, and whose only goal is to sell out the nation to China as quickly as possible?


  8. zoilo castro says:

    Where are balance and fair play? I bet, there’s money to be made with a piece like this especially in the Philippines. Well, there’s always two sides of the coin.

    • The fair play arrives in the discussion section, and you are most welcome to present the other side of the coin. Your implication that I write for money is obnoxious. It reflects badly on you.

  9. edgar lores says:

    1. If the Philippines is sprawled on the canvas and down for the count, who knocked him off his feet?

    2. It seems the country is fighting against a legion of enemies and there are foes galore — inside and out.

    3. The obvious external threat is China which seeks to diminish his sovereignty and strives to make the country a vassal state.

    4. But the internal threat is deadlier because it made the external threat possible and viable. It was as if the country was knocked down — not by a punch — but by tripping over his own feet. And as he fell, the country connected with an upper right to his own jaw. The knockout is self-inflicted.

    5. I have seen the enemy and he is …

  10. Joe’s tweet: My concept of a hero is someone bold, someone brave, to defeat evil. Someone smart and good. Someone people will rally around and sacrifice for. The Philippines has no heroes, alive today. Singers are not heroes, nor boxers. Thieves, no. Nuns, no. Where have all the heroes gone?”

    • I think the main problem is the penchant for hero worship and the need for heroes in the Philippines, Joe.

      • I liked this response to the tweet:

        “Maybe those with heroic streak realized that being a hero is easy… but the question comes down to, are Filipinos worth saving, and do Filipinos want to be saved?

        At the end of the day, you can’t save people who don’t want to be saved.”

        • Exactly, Joe!

          a bit presumptuous to assume the Hero’s mantle methinks, but definitely a good question to ask (internally and externally) whether or not “they” wanna be saved.

          But from the perspective of folks there like Quiboloy, it’s not about saving, but fleecing, ie. How much can I squeeze the Filipinos for , and make bank.

          So for the future heroes out there, be more like Quiboloy and make a buck or two.

          P.T. Barnum could’ve been Filipino. 😉 My point, don’t be a sucker, and you’ll not need these heroes. Easy Peezy, Joe.

    • Here’s the full scene, Joe.

      “Reign of Fire”

      More people should watch this movie, I heartily recommend it for Joe jr.’s movies-to-watch list. Dragons as embodiment of war, chaos, and disaster. Difference in say UK/Canada’s approach vs. American.

      • this was a Summer 2002 flick, 9/11, Af-Pak was underway, Iraq was brewing then. People don’t realize how prescient this movie was. And still is…

        it’s timeless really. Don’t go on unnecessary adventures, take stock of what’s important, take heed following blindly heroes (of any sort really…).

  11. NHerrera says:


    Joe, thanks a lot for the series of tweets you posted below.

    Among others, I like the one from Jed Cep [apologies if spelling is wrong] who said [I am paraphrasing] that the “fist bump” was supposed to mean seriousness, conviction and no-nonsense governance — but it is seen very clearly now as a big farce or comedy. So is the farce of the advertised Philippine-China friendship, if I may add.

    I also like the question you posed [again paraphrasing] as to which is the more harrowing: 6 hours at sea, tired, hungry and not knowing whether one will survive; or being lectured by the likes of Pinol or hear the lunatic statements from the likes of Sotto, Cusi, Villar.

    But the most harrowing tweet to me is the one showing abject brain addled resignation, a prediction of what is to come, uttered by Winston at the end of Orwell’s 1984: “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

  12. douglasrosete says:

    Indeed it is  very saddening. 


    how so i post this on Facebook?

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