From Every Town

Analysis and Opinion

By Irineo B. R. Salazar

From every town in the Philippines, support for the Presidential candidacy of VP Leni Robredo was shown in pink this Saturday. Whether on boats in the waters off Cebu, by motorcade in Pangasinan, by carabao in Sumilao, on bicycles in Iloilo, or on Internet pages of Philippine communities as far-flung as Australia, Europe and Hong Kong, Filipinos came out to show their support. Even Davao City had its pink motorcade. This does mean a lot, as the true soul of the archipelagic nation has ever since been in its towns and communities. Even Metro Manila is a collection of communities, and had pink motorcades in places as different as Manila and UP Diliman. This is a good thing, as the local and regional is closer to home and family, the national being like a pyramid resting on these foundations.

There are of course both economic and political reasons why human communities of old became larger entities. Economic reasons like regulating irrigation along major rivers in the world’s oldest civilizations, or incipient trade creating proto-states like Manila and Cebu in pre-colonial Philippines. Political reasons like defense of freedom for the Swiss cantons of old, or the deals elites of what is the Philippines today made with Philipp II of Spain, American colonizers and Japanese occupiers in various periods of the archipelago’s history. But without eventual support from below, every larger entity in human history has eventually crumbled.  “Buy-in” does count, to say it in modern terms.

Ridiculous memes showing Bongbong Marcos as a tiger and Sara Duterte as a Philippine eagle also appeared this weekend. Their metaphor is obviously that of the Lion King, of being “natural rulers”. There was in the 19th century the legend of Bernardo Carpio, the native King asleep in the mountains just waiting to be unleashed to free the people from foreign rule. In the propaganda of Dutertismo, “elites” replaced foreigners as the bogeymen and it seemed that the native King was in a bad mood and always cursing from having lain in the ground for too long. Recently he preferred to sleep more.

Besides, it might be time for the Philippines to leave the world of delusions and mere hope, get back to getting things done, something that VP Leni Robredo is known for, while “tiger” Bongbong Marcos didn’t even finish at Oxford. Any HR specialist would know who to hire based on his/her resume. Getting stuff done, as opposed to grandiose visions and appearances, of “perception is reality” as Imelda Marcos once said, is about many small actions and accomplishments adding up to achieving grander goals. Grandiosity with little substance once left the country in heavy debt after dictatorship.

Presidential Candidate Robredo, just like in olden days President Magsaysay, knows that the country can only be in good shape if the well-being of all Filipinos in all parts of the country is taken care of. This spirit is what her supporters sense, I think, and is the reason for the sea of support in pink.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Munich, 24 Oct. 2021


Photograph: Art by Roberto Alejandro

134 Responses to “From Every Town”
  1. If the election were held today, there’s no doubt VP Leni would win in a likely landslide. But the election is 7 months away and a lot can happen in that time. Plenty of time for the trolls and bot factory to work on a Facebook platform that could care less about monitoring fake and misleading information based in the Philippines. And Filipinos love their Facebook.
    And then there’s worse and more nefariousnesses deeds that can take place in a land where the law is whatever the current administration wishes it to be.

    • I guess one difference to 2016 is that there is a Lawyers for Leni group that is taking up all fake news reported to them and filing cases immediately, unlike the 2016 campaign that ignored and underestimated the trolls and more. Looks like there is also more readiness among supporters when it comes to having counter arguments to trolls and doubters, unlike 2016 where they were ignored. That of course made a lot of neutral Filipinos think the trolls and doubters were right, “not dignifying” stuff doesn’t work in a tsismis-based society. Still I share your worries and of course this is a long stretch of time. In addition I hope the opposition does not succumb to the usual Pinoy infighting – which would indeed prove that Filipinos need to be led, let us see what finally happens.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        IT for Leni just made a bot that will compile all posts attacking VP Leni and her supporters in a Google drive (database) so Lawyer for Leni can look at them for possible legal action(s). Someone is also using an existing app to identify how many bots, sock puppets, fake and multiple account trolls are in FB groups. Another app was made to provide a heat map of supporters nationally.
        There is a battle between IT people on each candidate’s camp. There are edit warriors on Wikipedia, for example. We heard about the text blaster used during the COC filing. Someone will try to hack at their opponents’ software and will possibly try it with the voting machines too. We all need to be vigilant from now up to the day of election. Those with the ability to stop nefarious acts in cyber space need to assist in making sure that the election is free from the interference of bad actors. This is no longer a traditional election. Elections in the cyber/digital world are more complicated.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Just learned that the IT for Leni guy in Singapore who made the @ListaMoBot was attacked and beaten up by two fellow Filipinos following a political discussion about their preferred presidential candidate. He said he is OK and due to go to court because he pressed charges.

          • kasambahay says:

            if they go to court, consular representation can be provided courtesy of dept of foreign affairs. the bad thing is if they’re not yet singaporean citizens and if convicted, they’ll serve time in jail and then deported back to phillipines. if jail time served is more than 12months, they cannot return to singapore to live and work there for a certain period of time.

            • Well, it would be a lesson to those people, especially if they thought Duterte’s Philippines is really “like Singapore”. Singapore is not a place where people who think they are on the right side of power can just get away with anything.

      • mundski says:

        Yes this is true. The Leni camp has stepped up in terms of fact checking and countering the seemingly bottomless dirty campaigning from BBM and Duterte camps, especially from Marcos. But I wouldn’t say Leni si a landslide win if elections are done today. I think those surveys whether from organization or the street, have some legimacy to them.

        And many people who support BBM are still quiet, while they’ve been silently hoarding those screenshots of misinformatino and lies from their subscribed pro bbm and pro duterte propaganda pages in youtube and facebook. They’ll eventually need to come out as full pledged supporters.

        Once Sara becomes VP, the Marcos supporters, and even the half baked once, will find the courage to brave the streets and join their own caravans knownign that they can’t possibly be embarrassed if they have a Duterte on their side.

        But I think the efforts of the Lawyers for Leni, and other groups, including ex chief Justice CJ Sereno’s facebook posts are brilliant, you should all read her posts mostly in tagalog and how she dissected a decade of misinformation and narrative from Marcos camp. It’s brilliant really IMO.

        The disinformation and historical revisionism are not a laughing matter, it’s definitely a serious threat and disease. And it could only get worse from here on if FB and Youtube themselves don’t help with teh cause, because these lies ahve no bounderies, it’s like fiction writing, imagination is the only limit with these troll networks. And the gullible and those who have no time to researcha nd verify, or skill, will stay the same.

  2. NHerrera says:

    An apt picture to go with the new blog article. Thanks, Irineo and JoeAm. Raining where I am, but feeling good. On the other hand, I will not be surprised if the Oxfordian up north still has butterflies in his stomach.

    • I wonder what the next move especially of BBM and Sara will be.

      But yes, it is good to be starting all of this on a positive note. What I am more wary of than the other side is potential quarrels among Leni supporters.

      That kind of petty division is what often has stifled the follow-through of many a Filipino initiative that started with euphoria. Though my vibe is not one of euphoria but one of cautious optimism, if I am right it is more sustainable.

      • NHerrera says:

        Cautious optimism is the phrase I will use too. The dissident from within is of course the more dangerous enemy.

        • NHerrera says:

          I am also cautiously optimistic that the Leni-Kiko Team, notwithstanding budget constraints, is well-organized — that there is someone with good staff who is trustworthy, intelligent, energetic who can attend to the blind spots Leni-Kiko may miss. A very good Chief of Staff.

          Along this line, I have a reasonably good feeling about the Team attending to the Facebook disinformation and related items unlike what happened in elections past. The Lawyers for Leni group mentioned above seems to be one indication. That big Facebook snake pit must be attended to, of course, in a manner consistent with Leni’s core values — not hurling mud against mud. Finesse comes to my mind.

          • Yes, the messaging to supporters coming from the core team is excellent so far. And the leaders of the groups I am somewhat familiar with are old hands of opposition social media who have been through the entire past six years. The one of the group I happen to be in as a bit of a salingpusa is excellent at dealing with the crowd in our group chat. So yes, this CAN work. A lot of people in this seem to have realized what is at stake now,

        • The penchant of people from many different islands to succumb to petty personal rivalry as well as irrelevant nitpicking is a historical truth, from the chiefs of different places half a millennium ago thru the revolution and its leaders, the tendency of Filipino groups abroad to split into small cliques, the quarrels and realignments of Filipino politics (witness Samira Gutoc for instance, recently) including those that made Otso Diretso lose – up to the recent issues of the Left with Leni and some Pinks with Leni’s Senators.

          The authoritarians will of course say that is proof that Filipinos need to be dictated to. Mabini once wrote it is not surprising others think we are children, based on our actions. This time, I do hope people can put aside pettiness and vanity for a greater cause.

          • mundski says:

            Nitpicking, I even saw a sponsored video of someone pretending to hold a broom annoyed with the pink confetti being thrown on the street. It’s paid! And it’s meant to bash the pink caravan. And even the slightest undecided may actually fall for that bash. LOL it will go as low as garbage.

  3. kasambahay says:

    love, love, love the pink jeepney above! thy pinkdom come! phili-pink-nas, philli-pink-nas, philli-pink-nas! kahit green ang avatar ko, pink na pink talaga ako! go, leni! I am solid leni.

    trolls and botters and fakers can work all their fingers until they rot, spread all their meanness until they choke, kay leni pa rin ako, kami! go leni! go kiko! all leni’s senatorial line up, go!

    now until may 17, I will only listen to announcements coming from leni and her trusted tauhan.

    • The spirit in the online overseas Filipino group for Leni I happen to be in is similar to yours, there is a lot of energy and positiveness that I hope lasts.

      I do share Stephen Tyler’s worries too but it will really depend on the dedication of the many groups in fighting back as indeed there will be challenges.

      This is indeed a marathon and not a sprint so the energy must not run out.

      • kasambahay says:

        rice power! we wont run out of energy, we have energy reserved for the days ahead, rainy days included.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          There were rumors before that Lacson kept all the capaign donations he got from the rich Chinese when he ran for office.
          And there were also rumors that the rich do not only give to one candidate to avoid the backlash you were talking about. sigurista sila.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    Disinformation from candidates will still be a problem especially if reinforced by trolls.
    Isko,BBM fake exposes that may come from lacson, uninformed misinformation from Paquiao, never mind Bato the placeholder.

    • The group chat of the one group I am in is quite alert when it comes to whatever is the current fake news. If that level of alertness is everywhere, is maintained and people talk to their own circles to counter disinformation, there is a chance that it will not win. Though some in our group didn’t fully know all arguments FOR Leni at the outset – raising awareness so that supporters know how to answer challenges like “ano ba ang nagawa ni Leni” is also essential.

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    Even if Micha hates oligarchs. Oligarchs will be needed to support campaigns. Hope we find a good one. In a twitter discussion it was said that the Ayala’s stay away from politics, maybe behind the scenes they will do omething. The Sys of SM too.

    • kasambahay says:

      the ayalas and sys are not exempt from voting, yes? their staff and employees vote. so long as the ayalas and the sys dont stop their employees from voting, or direct them who to vote for, I’m happy. if they give donations to all candidates, I’m happy. if they welcome all candidates campaigning in their neighborhood, I’m happy too.

      they cannot publicly favor a certain candidate and pledge their undying support dahil if that candidate lose, the winning candidate may give them the hardest time in hell.

      I think, being friend to all is good for the business.

  6. mundski says:

    Off Topic, just wanted to know your thoughts on Leon Flores interview here with Christian Esquerra on Aksyon demokratiko’s platform and principle. I thought it was a very informative and enlightening interview Aside from the fact he’s an organization fraternity brother back when i was in college, smart answers from him.

  7. NHerrera says:

    As long as we are writing about being alert or cautious, each of us here can easily write down a Laundry List of items to watch out for. Here is a quick list:

    – Team organization energy, cohesiveness, commitment

    – Big company donations
    – Crowd sourcing – donations

    – TV and Radio political news, ads National, Local
    – Print media and online counterpart National, Local

    – Social media: Facebook, … , Twitter

    – Ground – foot work

    – COMELEC-related; voting time possible tricks, among others

    – Countering “mud-slinging” with something reasonably effective but not “mud-slinging”

    How to allocate resources in funds and staff on these elements of the campaign is indeed not an easy job.

    • NHerrera says:

      It would be wonderful if I were a fly in the employ of one camp listening on the strategy meetings of the other camps. Which brings to mind the employment of espionage in the Laundry List. And please don’t tell me the concept is a dirty one. Is analyzing the Facebook chatter of the different camps and analyzing these not a form of espionage? Call it espionage-light if you wish.

      • kasambahay says:

        the human mind free associates and sometimes, humans come up with the same idea, but expressed differently.

        and if being a fly, nherrera, you meet a fly coming from another camp, give it a good whack on the head, lol!

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is Maria Ressa on her tweet on disinformation and the use of Facebook by the Marcoses:

    • NHerrera says:

      Social scientist Ador Torneo, director of DLSU Institute of Governance, presented potential threats in the upcoming polls in the context of the pandemic. [May be obvious to some of us but useful to post here.]×900

    • NHerrera says:

      MLQ3 in a Tweet mentioned the surveys commissioned by Stratbase ADR Institute on nationwide socio-economic issues and the administration handling of related issues in the following connected Tweet images:

      The results of both surveys are quite rational and understandable.

      The obvious problem, however, is that the respondents who presumably were surveyed scientifically on random sampling, etc, and thus represent nationwide sentiments have given the results enumerated. But when it comes time to vote on Presidential Candidates there is a disconnect. The brain of the majority of Filipinos seem to be operating on two channels:

      – socio-economic-administration issues;
      – choice of candidates issues.

      In short, the dots are not connected. Of course, the main reason we like to believe are the peddled disinformation in the age of the Facebook and basic lack of critical thinking 101?

  8. Thanks, Ireneo.

    I’m not aware of colors really playing any role in our election here. Usually its just varying combinations of the Red, White and Blue; and flags lots of American flags.

    So this color coding of candidates and political parties is really interesting. VP Leni’s switch from yellow to pink.

    Then realized after reading your blog, Inday Sara has always been wearing green. So trying to see when this green started, but seems she’s been wearing this green for quite awhile now.

    Marcos and red, I’m not sure if theres any historical connection to their dad or mom.

    But i guess this is a girl on girl on girl fight— a three way Thunder dome experience.

    Pink vs. Red vs. Green… three enter, only one leaves.

    (that’s from 2018 in Kauai)

    • NHerrera says:


      When one walks about; looks at pages of papers, magazines, or books; or when one looks at images on TV or websites, one sees the usual colors and shades of blue, red, yellow, green, white (to some white is not a color — but that is another story). But pink, not so much. At least from my experience.

      I don’t know the various reasons offered for the choice of pink by Leni — although she offered one. Now here is a thought. I believe, after the fact of the choice of pink as Leni’s color for 2022, that because pink is not usually seen, seeing them now has a subliminal effect on the voters: those already sold to Leni, to encourage others; those newly-persuaded to also encourage others; and the till-now fence-sitters to be swept along by the tide of pink they see.

      My opinion.

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is Leni Robredo on the color pink:

        Pink isn’t just a color but a way [a reminder to her supporters] to extend a helping hand to other Filipinos in need.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Leni Robredo on Vote Buying. The practical politician explains clearly what to do. This has shades of what the former Cardinal Sin himself advised, but Leni explains it rationally and expansively.

    • kasambahay says:

      it’s good that leni did not shame needy people for accepting money, beats having to sell their own kidney, or sanla their meager possession in the pawnshop, lol!

      by accepting money freely given in broad daylight, the poor and the needy should not be made to bear the burden of politicians dirty motive. politicians kasi need to salve their guilty conscience for being constantly absent from work, and maybe, so hoped that by giving money away, they’re redeemed and penance is paid.

      does not mean to say the poor and the needy have to return the favor and give their votes to politicians. they have not signed a binding contract that said by accepting money, they’re obligated to vote for certain politicians.

      • This is pretty much UBI, and so South Korean elections will be about this topic re votes and buying thereof,

        But the deeper question is one already addressed by Tom Pain in his “Agrarian Justice” pamphlet,

        And reprinted in at the US Social Security Administration website, here

        But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that parable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.

        Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue.

        It is deducible, as well from the nature of the thing as from all the stories transmitted to us, that the idea of landed property commenced with cultivation, and that there was no such thing, as landed property before that time. It could not exist in the first state of man, that of hunters. It did not exist in the second state, that of shepherds: neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, nor Job, so far as the history of the Bible may credited in probable things, were owners of land.

        Their property consisted, as is always enumerated in flocks and herds, they traveled with them from place to place. The frequent contentions at that time about the use of a well in the dry country of Arabia, where those people lived, also show that there was no landed property. It was not admitted that land could be claimed as property.

        There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue. Whence then, arose the idea of landed property? I answer as before, that when cultivation began the idea of landed property began with it, from the impossibility of separating the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement was made.

        The value of the improvement so far exceeded the value of the natural earth, at that time, as to absorb it; till, in the end, the common right of all became confounded into the cultivated right of the individual. But there are, nevertheless, distinct species of rights, and will continue to be, so long as the earth endures.

        It is only by tracing things to their origin that we can gain rightful ideas of them, and it is by gaining such ideas that we, discover the boundary that divides right from wrong, and teaches every man to know his own. I have entitled this tract “Agrarian Justice” to distinguish it from “Agrarian Law.”



        I have already established the principle, namely, that the earth, in its natural uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race; that in that state, every person would have been born to property; and that the system of landed property, by its inseparable connection with cultivation, and with what is called civilized life, has absorbed the property of all those whom it dispossessed, without providing, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss.

        The fault, however, is not in the present possessors. No complaint is tended, or ought to be alleged against them, unless they adopt the crime by opposing justice. The fault is in the system, and it has stolen perceptibly upon the world, aided afterwards by the agrarian law of the sword. But the fault can be made to reform itself by successive generations; and without diminishing or deranging the property of any of present possessors, the operation of the fund can yet commence, and in full activity, the first year of its establishment, or soon after, as I shall show.

        It is proposed that the payments, as already stated, be made to every person, rich or poor. It is best to make it so, to prevent invidious distinctions. It is also right it should be so, because it is in lieu of the natural inheritance, which, as a right, belongs to every man, over and above property he may have created, or inherited from those who did. Such persons as do not choose to receive it can throw it into the common fund.

        Taking it then for granted that no person ought to be in a worse condition when born under what is called a state of civilization, than he would have been had he been born in a state of nature, and that civilization ought to have made, and ought still to make, provision for that purpose, it can only be done by subtracting from property a portion equal in value to the natural inheritance it has absorbed.



        Have you read this one from Thomas Paine? A very interesting read indeed. and one VP Leni (or Inday Sara) can look into vis a vis Agrarian reform over there; and now South Korea’s focus on UBI for next year’s elections.

        That last sentence is what they’re doing now , finally that Senators Sinema and Manchin are onboard, 700 of the rich will be taxed heavily. That word Paine uses “invidious” is a good one.

        I wonder if Tom Paine had read of MMT and CBDC, how would he have rewritten this particular pamphlet. “Give me Liberty ; or give me UBI”. LOL!

        • Micha says:

          Thomas Paine, leagues ahead of his time, sowed the seeds of revolution in both France and America – giving birth to the concept of post feudal modern democracies.

          He would have been, I suppose, a leading proponent too of progressive MMT.

          • Micha,

            I know RHiro was a legit econ guy in the Philippines, RIP.

            But do you know of any other Filipinos in the Philippines doing De-growth economics; or MMT; or UBI ???


            “Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue. “

            This is hunter-gatherer values, pure and simple. And when UBI is considered as counter weight to said imbalance, then CBDC and MMT come into play.

            Are there Filipinos keeping an eye on South Korea’s elections next year? re UBI?

  10. NHerrera says:

    I am posting a chart that I got from reading Joanna Pilipinas’s Tweet. It’s a convenient mnemonic for stupid compared to intelligent people.

    In case the link does not bring out the chart, in cartesian coordinates:

    Horizontal axis
    – West: Losses to themselves
    – East: Benefits to themselves

    Vertical axis
    – South: Losses to others
    – North: Benefits to others

    Intelligent People are in the First Quadrant, Stupid People in the Third Quadrant.

    This is the article it is taken from,

    • NH,

      I color coded it for you. Does this look right?

      • NHerrera says:

        Great job, Lance. I saved the chart as you have colored it.

        • Based on that great scale:

          1) a lot of Filipino politicians and those close to them are intelligent bandits. Example: Dutz and his various cronies who benefit themselves to the detriment of the people.

          2) a lot of Filipino voters are stupid bandits. Example: many DDS who thought they would benefit themselves but ended up with own losses in the balance.

          3) martyr types are intelligent but helpless in the end.

          VP Leni has been intelligent enough to help the people while avoiding becoming a martyr. Senator De Lima may yet turn out to not be a martyr in the end as she has accepted, publicly, Senator Gordon’s late change of heart (or just strategy).

          • NH, Ireneo, et al.

            It all depends where they’ll go towards. But agree w/ Ireneo above , D5 is done, no peep yet even from VP Leni herself (maybe she never liked her as well from the start? hmmm… worth considering).

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              VP Leni and Sen Leila are in good terms. VP Leni recently said she will continue to support her and her fight for freedom because she is innocent:

              “Vice President Leni Robredo promised detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima that she and the senator’s supporters “will continue to assert the truth” about her innocence, dignity, and honor.”


              She was included in the VP’s senatorial slate for 2022.

              Likewise, Sen Leila pledged her support to VP’s presidential candidacy:

              “Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed full support for Vice President Leni Robredo who announced her presidential bid for the May 2022.”


              Sen de Lima is not done YET. She will be freed if VP Leni wins. 3 cases were thrown at her; one has already been dismissed for lack of evidence; the other two are much of the same. The admin cannot make anything stick and the justices who were “raffled” the cases know it. Why are they raffled? No judge wants to take them on because they are not grounded on facts and truth.

            • “She will be freed if VP Leni wins.”

              — p.s. , JP, et al.


              That’s the conditional that Joe and I talked about re Morality in a prior thread.

              My point is that VP Leni knowing its illegal imprisonment of D5, should not wait til she’s elected (because what happens if she’s not elected?!!!). On campaign, VP Leni should be demanding the release of D5. Subtract the conditional.

              Silence. Hence its akin to the Prisoners’ Dilemma (D5).

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                The wheel of justice in PH is worst than snail pace. It also depends on who is in power. It is oftentimes used a “vengeance” machine so a lot of people do not really know the difference between a good justice system that punishes bad people vs a bad one that punishes good people.

                VP LenI does not have the power to free Sen de Lima right now but she is not silent. She condemns the people involved in her imprisonment every chance she gets and tells people that she is innocent. Even Sen de Lima knows the idiosyncrasy of PH justice system. It involves a lot of patience.

                If VP Leni is not elected, it will take time for Sen de Lima to be freed but she will be freed nonetheless because she did nothing wrong and they got nothing on her.

              • Right now, VP Leni can demand release based on alone, JP.

                Condeming is weak sauce; demanding is what’s moral given all the facts surrounding D5’s imprisonment. or even simply bail, to return when theres a court date. Release on D5’s own recognizance.

                Her hands aren’t entirely tied behind her back.

                VP Leni can flex her lawyerly skillz now , while campaigning. Waiting means its conditional, like I said, I’ll release you if I get elected– unnecessarily beholdens D5 to VP Leni (what if D5 wants to vote for Isko or ole’ Ping). Hence, immoral. Hence , silence.


              • kasambahay says:

                in suspended animation habeas corpus is in our country. those that think otherwise have been killed as evidenced by the number of lawyers already killed under duterte’s admin, the price they got for representing the disenfranchised, the poor and the oppressed.

                journalists did not escape the same fate, some got killed doing their job. while others lost their job, others still went on to win nobel prize like maria ressa.

                the good news is, de lima and duterte may soon be exchanging places, lol! duterte’s case in international court is gathering momentum.

              • I don’t get it, kb… are you arguing for keeping D5 imprisoned because she’s safer in prison?

                My point is VP Leni should demand release of D5 now. Not after and if she wins the election. Now.

                Not for prisoner swap, DU30 for D5. Absence of evidence is evidence of D5’s innocence, not evidence of absence. VP Leni could simply demand release. Not simply condemn.

                To quote NH’s quote of VP Leni,

                Pink isn’t just a color but a way [a reminder to her supporters] to extend a helping hand to other Filipinos in need. D5 needs to get out of jail and freed now.

              • kasambahay says:

                have a nice time joining the dots!

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                Ah, LCpl_X, PH is not a first world nation where you can flex your muscles and be able to live for another day. There are societal nuances in PH that you may have not experienced yet. What kasambahay is saying is that the constitution, the rule of law and other rights/protection that you take for granted are “really” not in effect in PH. It’s still a Wild Wild West out there and the outlaws often have the upper-hand.

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, maybe he’s putting her in a no-win bind where if she does not speak out for De Lima’s freedom, she’s a fraud and should not be elected, and if she does speak out, she will politically be cut to shreds, and lose. The fact is, she’ll ignore him, do her good deeds, see the Philippines turn pink with adoration, win the election, and get De Lima out of jail. (He’s got to have some way to promote that loser Sara who is neither Robredo’s intellectual, nor moral, match.)

              • It’s a test, to see how far this human rights stuff goes, Joe. So obviously there’s limits. My point. And D5 stays in jail.

              • JoeAm says:

                More it’s a test of Philippine justice and politics, and the pragmatics of campaigning in that arena. Senator De Lima is a pragmatic person herself, even commending Senator Gordon on his Blue Ribbon Panel work revealing the Pharmally scam. He was an instrument enabling her jailing. Robredo is one of the most humane people on the planet, so no issue there.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Thanks, NH. I just found the article very interesting and timely. I was thinking of the dynamics of the different actors in PH politics. Ireneo gets it.

      Lance is putting another layer to it. He should explain further what he means by “It all depends where they’ll go towards” statement.

      • The assumption here is that Stupid People will vote in 2022. Green; Pink ; or Red is the question.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Ah, the color coding. Got it. Thanks.

        • NHerrera says:

          Meaning — as in the US — there is a need for all the advocates of all the people of different colors [chart] to campaign for people to go out and vote! I agree. This is a more agreeable campaign than say vote for Candidates A, B, C, or D. [Unsaid of course when making that go-out-and-vote pitch is targetting the groups that will likely vote for your candidate. 🙂 ]

          • NH,

            I think what went wrong with Mar and Nonoy’s ilk was that they rubbed in too much that Stupid People needed Intelligent People, thus driving them away.

            So Intelligent People must understand Stupid People.

            Sad People and Stupid People already share a lot (IMHO).

            Happy People (which are the Bandits, like BBM & Quiboloy) will offer the promise of being Happy , thus they can take from the Sad People and the Stupid People. And why they usually win in politics— Sad and Stupid People never win (as explained by Ireneo).

            Intelligent People sometimes win.

            “The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim – for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives – is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimetre nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters.”

            ― George Orwell, 1984

            Thus , the only way to rectify this is thru UBI and MMT via CBDC and De-growth Economics, NH.

            • p.s.—

              I myself think, Inday Sara is intelligent. On par with VP Leni.

              BBM/Imee are Happy People. So if I had to do my own graph, pink and green would be in the same quadrant. Red remains.

              Thus all the arrows need to point to the right side to Intelligent and Happy.

              Sad and Stupid need to move away from their quadrants, they can choose empty promises of the Happy People; or actual stuff delivered like EJKs and faster Internet, and a gov’t that delivers.

              Inday Sara’s closeness to the Mayor of Lilo-an is interesting to me. Because Lilo-an is internationally acclaimed.

              • I guess you can also use Victims and Victors (for Sad and Happy; Helpless and Bandits)– one is subtracted, made less, the other does the subtracting, made more from said action.

                Connected to Thomas Paine’s article above.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco is Sara’s and HNP’s (Sara’s party) spokesperson. Connect the dots of the local political networks and you will clearly see the power and control dynamics. As they say, politics is addition.

              • BBM going to Cebu, is essentially saying Inday Sara’s source of power is in Cebu, in the middle— not Mindanao.

                Cebu is key in 2022. Dolomite comes from Cebu, which begs the question what else comes from Cebu?

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                Cebu is a global hub for BPOs.

                Central Visayas is also home to approximately 5 million voters. Western Visayas, another 5 million and Eastern Visayas, around 3 million. That’s 13 million votes. Du30 had 16 million for the win in 2016.


  11. Micha says:

    Consolidate. Consolidate. Consolidate. Learn the lesson of the past. Make every effort to forge alliances. Otherwise, Leni’s campaign is nagana fly.

    Campaign strategists should make backdoor arrangement with other aspirants like, say, the Leody de Guzman/Walden Bello or even the Lacson/Sotto tandem.

    If differences are too strong to overcome, well, then consider the very real possibility of a dictator’s son strolling the palace grounds once more and Madam Meldy grinning at her achievement.

    Like February ’86 never happened at all.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      on alliances Leni chose another leftist in Sonny Matula, instead of Neri. Ok lang daw sabi ni Neri.
      The team of Leody/bello is willing to withdraw if Leni has the same platform: so that means no withdrawal.Somewhere there would be nonreconcilable platforms.

    • JoeAm says:

      Every aspiring president rejects sliding to VP. Trillanes says the Left tried to get Robredo out as President in favor of Moreno. So collaboration at an early stage is difficult. It could change when surveys come out. Robredo is basically talking past the divisive leaders (Moreno), asking her supporters to not troll and to hold criticisms to acts, not persons. Her goal is to unify at the level of people themselves, not crafting political deals beyond what she did with her Senate appointments.

  12. kasambahay says:

    now, about these bought-tan-tes, the supposedly 7-thousand batanggenyos that each received 1000 pesos from pacman, ate vi (vilma santos) whose balwarte is batanggas sabi, she supports isko moreno. if those same batanggenyos are fans of ate vi and vote for isko, dehado si pacman. and if those same batanggenyos spend 900 pesos and donate 100 to low on funds leni, and still vote for isko, dehado uli si pacman. and if those same batanggenyos are actually ilocanos and vote for marcos, multi dehado si pacman.

    so if pacman continues to give money away, and marcos comes on board and gives money as well, late comer bato may do just as well, aba, tiba-tiba ang mga bought-tan-tes! lalo na if bought-tan-tes can do the rounds, form a group and text one another, and be there present each time candidates give money away, that’s quite a saving for them, lol!

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Back to our uber rich conversations they give to every strong candidate, so tst would trickle down the candidates should share their blessings and if thry are incumbents thy shoud share the treasury…j/k

      • kasambahay says:

        I dont mind receiving gift bag from candidates, filled with bath soap, shampoo, and comb. plain t-shirt without candidate’s name would be good too. so I can wear them safely when election is over with no one the wiser.

        I dont like money, baka mahold-up ako! o baka mahablot pa yang pera sa akin. thanks for the gift and in return, I’ll pray generously for the candidate: may the candidate live long to be candidate another time, for my vote already belong to my one and only fav candidate.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    If anyone would dare, they could file a disqualification case for BBM. Convicted of tax evasion. Those excons jailed or not should not be allowed to hold public office.
    It does not matter if crime was committed and caught in the 80s.

    • jeep says:

      Yes, they should. Anyway, lawyers have been partially responsible to the sorry state we are in. Estelito always comes to mind and many more brilliant ones who have become enablers of the status quo. Our justice system is really in shambles, but still hoping someday we get a justice system that is fair and not for sale.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      I take it back. Trillanes was convicted but amnestied ad that amnesty reversed?
      So I take it back that those convicted must not run from office.

      • kasambahay says:

        delima was falsely convicted? no matter, she is running for senate seat and many agree that she really ought to have another go at senate. and whadayono, duterte is also being urged to run for senate seat! thanks to cusi who is trying to do anything except solve problems in his jurisdiction, energy problem among them.

        and if impeached ex chief justice sereno runs for public office, she is very welcome in my book.

        • kasambahay says:

          methink, it’s people like gadon who ought not to win a senate seat, or roque winning that legal seat in united nations. already, there were filipino detractors in new york rallying outside the resto where roque was, strongly objecting to roque’s nomination. roque has played active part in this regime’s crime against humanity.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Was Delima already convicted, I thought her casw is still ongoing, anyways I agree, Delima and Sereno are welcome to run

  14. NHerrera says:


    There are many probable final configurations of P-VP tandems come November 15, but the one that may give the most aha is probably the BBM tandem. If there are only these three possibilities, how may they be ordered from the most probable, and which one is the most consequential?

    – BBM-Sara
    – Sara-BBM
    – BBM-Manny

    Is the Leni-Kiko tandem solid to weather the November 15 date?

  15. NHerrera says:


    When we talk about the G.O.P.’s moral descent, we tend to focus on the obvious extremists, like the conspiracy theorists who claim that climate change is a hoax and Jan. 6 was a false flag operation. But the crazies wouldn’t be driving the Republican agenda so completely if it weren’t for the cowards, Republicans who clearly know better but reliably swallow their misgivings and go along with the party line. And at this point crazies and cowards essentially make up the party’s entire elected wing.

    True in the PH too. Beware of the cowards.

    • JoeAm says:

      I like that interpretation. Really nails the cowards who let cop killings proceed.

    • chemrock says:

      Seriously, I just want to know what exactly is going right with the US now. Just what has the admin done that is good? I have 10 fingers in front of me and I can’t count. I’m pissed our electricity bill has doubled and I know who is to be blamed.

      • JoeAm says:

        You asking that question certifies your mind is closed, so I’ll not waste energy responding. I certainly prefer civility in office to a fat obnoxious liar, but that’s just me, personally. Others prefer the liar. I also think Jen is amazing. I’d say ‘hot’ but I’m married. My stocks are at record heights, too. The market did not go south as the Strumpets predicted, and businesses seem to like Biden’s idea of putting them to work building stuff. I was greatly relieved when my daughters got their Pfizer shots months ago, because I know they’ll survive. Man, they were using Dodger stadium for drive-through shots. They were really pumping them out! I am sorry I wasn’t there to attend Hunter Biden’s art show though. Was it near La Brea tarpits? I want to take my son there next trip out.

        • I think Jen is hot.

          But this girl too is hot,

          As for Hunter’s art, I’m seriously gonna try some coke to see if my art improves. Will sell them for billions, Pandora papers not gonn have anything on me!

          In n Out is getting in trouble for not checking vaccine records, Joe.

          “In-N-Out officials argue that requiring private businesses to enforce rules requiring proof of vaccination amounts to government overreach.”

          Which begs the question who’s suppose to check ’em, Sheriff depts already said not their job; local police too. Who enforces?

          • JoeAm says:

            If Americans had any integrity left, it wouldn’t even be an issue. In and Out is owned by Christian fundamentalists.

            • Yeah,

              there’s so much counterfeit Vaccine cards, it would render any vac check program moot. But no, IN-n-Out is no Chick-fil-A, but they are right to protest said rule on principle, but dumb because all they really had to do was wink and nod, and no one would be the wiser, again becuz of so much vaccine counterfeit cards floating around here.

              Who do you even call if you come across one, the Secret Service?!!! LOL!

              • JoeAm says:

                As I said, Americans have lost the thread of integrity, and you cite the proof.

              • Americans are many things, but integrity has never been our best suit, Joe. Ask the Indians, etc. etc.

              • JoeAm says:

                True, but that’s like saying the ideals that most live by are fraudulent, which they are not, I think. It is the freedom and responsibility Americans have to point out the flaws that keeps America trekking more or less on a center path that most find admirable.

        • JoeAm says:

          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          Sealioning (also spelled sea-lioning and sea lioning) is a type of trolling or harassment that consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility and sincerity.[1][2][3][4] It may take the form of “incessant, bad-faith invitations to engage in debate”.[5] The term originated with a 2014 strip of the webcomic Wondermark by David Malki.[6]

        • NHerrera says:

          I just read that [hot 🙂 ] Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid so she did not join Pres Biden’s recent trip abroad.

      • Micha says:


        That President Biden won by seven million popular votes and is now trying to repair the institutional damage wrought by that Orange Maniac is, in my book at least, already a five thumbs up.

        He is also now trying to mend fences with our European allies which the former Idiot-In-Chief haphazardly destroyed. That’s another five thumbs up.

        Despite pandemic challenges and supply chain disruption, he is also steering the economy in a steady and stable state. Another five thumbs up.

        He is proposing aggressive measures, notwithstanding Republican obstruction, to deal with environmental and climate crisis. Another five thumbs up.

        You see chemp, you might actually run out of fingers if I list all the many good things happening in the US right now.

        • chemrock says:

          Thanks. I’m honestly trying to engage. What is it that I don’t get.

          Joe mentioned Stock exchange is booming. That I agree is what that charts are showing. But no one really can explain why that is so since economy is not booming.What is fuelling the rise in equities, Micha? By the way when the charts were moving up north and economy was growing in the Trump years, Joe did’nt notice back then.

          Yes I can see Biden mending fences with allies — by destroying Trudeau’s gas pipeline project in his first month, ripping up France’s cosy commercial deals for supply of nuclear subs to the Aussie, and facilitating the Russian gas pipeline to Germany.

          “..steering the economy in a steady and stable state”. Care to elaborate on this? It would be educational.

          “He is proposing aggressive measures, notwithstanding Republican obstruction, to deal with environmental and climate crisis.” I note it is “proposing” … not doing. But he did some stuff I have to admit — Kill fracking industry, shut down gas pipeline in Us, but help Russia build gas pipeline, go ask OPEC increase oil output — seems perplexing to me.

          • JoeAm says:

            So much here, sealioning at it’s best, throwing shit against the wall to fit into a pre-formatted bias against Biden. Take any one of the items and put it in context and it will turn out exactly like the Arizona audit. Nonsense. Hey, here’s my take on it. Insurrectionists and foreign governments are out to destroy democracy. I’ll not facilitate that on my blog. Go away, Chemp. You are aligned with nasty, evil people. Just go away.

            • JoeAm says:

              For readers, I’ll explain. Democracy is by no means perfect. It’s messy, in fact, but is built on the premise that people are smart enough and well-intentioned enough to build a competitive, civil, inclusive, compassionate, free society. This form of government is under attack right now with social media bringing the jungle in which rebels and terrorists hide right to our doorstep. They recruit people who look a lot like Trump Republicans to undermine democratic institutions that protect the ideals upon which democracy is founded.

              This is not one side against another as commonly portrayed in mainstream media. It is good against evil. A lot of people don’t see it that way. I do. The premise upon which this blog is founded is based on the idea that there is enough honor around to create a constructive debate forum based on candor, honesty, and an earnest desire to teach and learn. It shuns agenda-pushers, or lunatics who subscribe to destructive ideas, who don’t abide by these principles.

              • isk says:

                An opposing views on Biden’s Administration is not a bias opinion I believe. There are lots of issues in this administration , one of them is migration. Here’s an article from NPR last month. The how and why is this happening beyond comprehension, seems a Nile river version.

              • JoeAm says:

                It depends on how the arguments are made, the sources, and the facts. Immigration is an issue worldwide, not just for Biden, and it is projected to get worse with global warming and the rise of autocratic governments. Finding a baby along the river is tragic, but has nothing to do with Biden’s immigration policies, and as argument to that point, is completely fallacious. If you want to discuss immigration, present more substantive arguments and document them. If you want to discuss Biden, do a t-chart of pros and cons that is rational and instructive rather than echoing the Trump agenda. Try to push nonsense, and I’ll block you. Life is too short, the insurrection too real, to warrant patience on my part.

              • JoeAm says:

                President Biden is a respectable man, met with the Pope, was told he could take communion. He’s a democrat so leans toward their people-first policies. He was duly elected and deserves respect from all Americans for the office he holds. The Republican policy of fighting everything because it is from Biden is disgusting. It builds nothing. It’s destructive. Grow up. Grab some honor.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Again, I am open here that Chempo and myself still get to chat. Well I just listen. and read his blog articles he sends before I forward it to Gian and Irineo, now not so much.
                I openly tell him that i do not agree, but I also told Chemp that can not be all wrong.

                Call what he does as gaslighting, sealioning, walrussing if there is such a word or simply trolling. I do not think Chempo is nuts and definitely he is not dumb. if ever I feel being manipulated, used then my doors are shut, but for now my doors are still open to him.

              • JoeAm says:

                Mine are closed. I gave the definition of sealioning and he returned to dish out more. No. It’s nonsense and destructive. Useless waste of human energy. Builds nothing. He can do it somewhere else. I’d rather look at a blank piece of paper than that crap.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I respect and understand your decision.

              • isk says:

                @ Sir JoeAm
                A video link posted by Mr. Lance “Kristen Soltis Anderson – What Democrats Don’t Understand About Republicans” demonstrates the divide in American politics, seems meeting halfway is rare now a days. Recently, the US Supreme Court ordered the Biden Administration to retain the Remain in Mexico Policy.
                The Mexican Government offered the migrants from the Northern Triangle permit to work in the country but was ignored and continue to proceed to the US border. For Asylum seekers, the purpose is for safety and security, why not take that chance offered by Mexico?
                But anyway, this is out of topic and will cease to go farther. Thanks for the opportunity and privilege to post on your prestigious forum.

              • JoeAm says:

                I have not followed US immigration issues and have no idea how Biden’s policies differ from Trump’s. Both have had trouble with asylum seekers. I agree it isn’t worth debating because it’s not particularly relevant to the Philippines.

              • I’ve been a fan ever since her appearances in Bill Maher’s show,

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, if you watch Maher, I know your mind is supple.

          • Micha says:

            Look here chemp, you’ve been predicting doom and gloom from day one of President Biden’s administration, something that you share with all the other Trumpublican crazies out there. They (and you) wanted so much for Joe Biden to fail because the former Leader-In-Diaper threw a tantrum for losing the election by 7 million votes and peddled the nasty totally baseless lie that he was cheated. Could there be something else other than this tantrum fueled flame throwing? I’d wager on the affirmative.

            Having that for context, any semblance of objectivity in your assessment of President Biden’s performance one year on out is, naturally, highly suspect. You are not here for objective conversation. You are here to spread partisan slash and burn Trump propaganda and gutter politics.

            • JoeAm says:

              No worries, Micha. Chemrock has joined all other trolls in the Word Press graveyard of agenda-peddling irrelevancies.

              • I just want it known that these days I’m peddling UBI. specifically Thomas Paine and UBI.

                here’s some good reading, not UBI but could be related to terrorism when robots become the next free labor,

                “Khan’s treatment was featured in a Senate investigation

                Some of Khan’s treatment is detailed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report, released in 2014, that accused the CIA of inflicting pain and suffering on al-Qaida prisoners far beyond its legal boundaries and deceiving the nation with narratives of useful interrogations unsubstantiated by its own records.

                Khan agreed with that assessment. “The more I cooperated and told them, the more I was tortured,” he said.

                He spent about three years in CIA black sites before he was taken to Guantanamo in September 2006. He said he never saw the light of day in the black sites and had no contact with anyone other than guards and interrogators from his capture until his sixth year at the detention center on the base in Cuba.

                Khan, 41, has admitted to being a courier for al-Qaida and taking part in the planning of several plots there were never carried out. He pleaded guilty in February 2012 to charges that include conspiracy, murder and providing material support to terrorism …”


              • JoeAm says:

                I’m about half-way through “Surprise, Kill, Vanish” which might better be titled “Blunder, Kill, Maim” for all the screw-ups in US secret operations. The Viet Nam episodes took me back to a surreal world I try mightily to avoid. I get conflicted wondering if courage is stupidity or courage.

              • NHerrera says:

                Re the book, “Surprise, Kill, Vanish,” I downloaded a free Amazon Kindle sampler and may download the whole book. It is interesting, to say the least — it reads like a spy novel, one that John le Carre’ may write.

                With the state-sanctioned assassinations and related dirty jobs undertaken, it may be easy to condemn what the government has done through a special division of its CIA. But in the real world with the pragmatic of fighting fire with fire, one can indeed be conflicted on passing judgment.

                The very least good thing one can say is that a person such as Annie Jacobsen and others can write about this without being “assassinated” themselves — compared to what may most probably happen to them in Russia, China, among others.

              • JoeAm says:

                True, that last paragraph. “Conflicted” is one of my favorite words these days, wading through the moral weeds of America’s struggles. I’ve concluded President Biden is getting the Noynoy Aquino treatment where vested interests gang up on him and media provide the oxygen for the firestorm.

              • NHerrera says:

                I agree — Pnoy ~ Biden, on the treatment they had/ have gotten. On balance, I like Biden myself.

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