Analysis and Opinion

By JoeAm

President Duterte personally heads this unintelligible acronym that is a task force charged with ending the long-lived communist insurgency in the Philippines. It is a mess of an effort, not unlike other task force driven programs that blur accountability, understanding, and achievement with too many voices and disorganized output. It has a huge budget and spent it on a handful of activities with little known accomplishment.

The task force is notorious for it’s ruthless red-tagging initiatives under the previous operations head, General Antonio Parlade. The tagging smeared innocents, jailed people under manufactured warrants, and killed activists. Activists, human rights advocates, and Filipinos of conscience hate the effort, and understandably so. Such a loose, brutal, and murderous agenda. The Senate a few days ago chopped the proposed 2022 budget from 28 billion to 10 billion pesos for lack of results and, presumably, lack of confidence.

A lot of supporters of Vice President Robredo’s campaign for president were shocked when she met with top military leaders then endorsed the task force’s anti-insurgency efforts. [Rappler article] They immediately thought of the tagging and brutality and read her comments as supporting that.

The firestorm lasted several days, the perfect social media storm, actually. Emotionalized arguments and fallacious arguments and calls for reason. A lot of people saw the task force as black and white, a brutal effort that must be abandoned. No other choice. They didn’t even consider that Robredo is not Duterte.


The anti-insurgency effort has two basic components, an effort to hunt down terrorists, and an effort to build local communities so residents have alternatives other than terrorism as a future. One punishes those involved, the other seeks to keep them from getting involved by leading them to a better life. For simplicity, we can call this a bad cop, good cop approach.

Duterte was loudly bad cop and ineffectively good cop. Robredo wants more local development and aid, so the good cop aspect appeals to her. So she said so.

The generals were clearly pleased with her stated support of the anti-insurgency effort. Citizens who couldn’t put themselves in a future President’s shoes were not. But we can read from the meeting that a President Robredo would be a respected and effective Commander in Chief.

The shrill public reaction is what President Aquino had to put up with for six years. Baying self-interests lacking accountability to OTHER interests, howling bloody murder for their way and only their way.

A President can’t respond to that. A President is the Commander in Chief, the anti-terrorism chief, the justice minister, the top human rights official, the anti-poverty chief, and the top educator. The President has information and advisers. And goals different than us, insights better than us, and accountability burdens we don’t have to carry.

Howlers have their narrow self-interests.

Frankly, the Philippines has a lot of them.

It could use a lot more who understand what being President is all about.

It’s not a one-dimensional job.


Vice President Robredo meets with top AFP officers on November 26, 2021. Source: AFP.

249 Responses to “NTF-ELCAC and Us”
  1. Alicia M. Kruger says:

    Thank Joe America for your tireless and clear analysis on many Duterte and supporter’s convoluted argument and explanation.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    Let Lacson propose to repeal the Anti-terror law.
    I kept on repeating on twitter that there is no need for any presidential or national task forces if the agencies are up to the task and are coordinating and cooperating with each other.
    Abolish all task forces, that only gives jobs to those who have no more room in the bureaucracy mostly retired generals more often than not.
    So retire those Generals at 65, why not everyone retire at 65. So it would not be easy to leave their day jobs and “serve” in the government as assistant, under or even cabinet secretary or any Czar.

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    As I said recently I often interact with a so called left convert Chuckjugo whom I have met 16 years ago in Manolo quezon’s blog. His proposals are out of this world or in his own universe. He is pro-Leni but pro- CPP NPA, I do not know how to deal with him anymore so I will leave him be.

    (Need to get out of chest again)
    Another one i am trying hard to avoid but i do not want to block in FB or FB messenger is Chempo.
    He keeps on sending anti- Biden posts now he even say Harris is on her way out and America is on the way to Totalitarianiasm (plus the vax posts) blabla. As Joe said better me than he.

    Going Back to Leni.
    I believe she will have the most inclusive governance without having to give in to the tantrums of any sector or anyone.

    • kasambahay says:

      inclusive, aba that got me thinking! duterte did try to include leftists and aktivistas in his gabinete early on, terry ridon and judi tugiwalo among others.

      turn out the leftists and aktivistas were not self starters, lol! they were good at yelling and shouting and abusing pedestrians, etc. noise up to 103 decibels and have well and truly honed their heckling skills. out from the streets and into the boardroom, and what a cultural shock that was! became nearly quiet as a mouse and cannot amp up their vocal cords, mayhap lost among the literati, lol!

      one such leftist appointee became travel addict, rack up travel points visiting very expensive cities like rome, paris and praque, all for the pursuit of knowledge. gotta be on par with elitists, see! got selfies taken in those cities too. did he become better govt worker? doubt it, he was often away on overseas study trips, 17 trips on his 1st year as govt worker alone. in the end, duterte fire the leftist whose best contribution to the new job was the copious travel receipts.

  4. NHerrera says:

    As usual, you sum up beautifully:

    It could use a lot more who understand what being President is all about. It’s not a one-dimensional job.

    And to emphasize the obvious, Robredo being President is a whole lot different from Duterte being President. And to emphasize, even more, a lot different from that lying corrupt brat and lazy child inhabiting an adult body – I end the comparison before the dash. Surely, unless you were born on Mars, it is clear as day who that person is.

    • Jeep says:

      In the military nowadays, someone is a voice of reason – Col Mike Logico. If you have someone like him leading NTF-ELCAC and Robredo is commander in chief, insurgency may finally see its end. But then, we need Leni to win first.

  5. Juan Luna says:

    Just to make sure the boundaries are not overstretched to the max, the mere creation of an agency, might as we want to, does not guarantee the resolution of the persisting insurgency problem in the country. However, an agency could considerably contribute in minimizing the impact of the problem and lessen casualties on all sides if such agency effectively and constructively works on all sides of the aisle. Meaning, it complies with its mandate by justifying its existence.

    Unfortunately, that is not what the NTF-ELCAC is, at least, from the eyes of some presidential aspirants, notably Robredo and Lacson. As per JoeAm’s focus in writing the article, Robredo got the flak for meeting with the officers running the agency.

    And the source of the flak was her own statement expressing her desire to abolish the agency once she becomes president. Issues of strategic concern and funding problem hounds the agency. As an executive creation, the fate of the NTF-ELCAC is solely in the hands of an incoming commander in chief. Will Robredo, if ever, do (abolish) what she intends to do with the agency?

    That is the standing question for the posters here.

    Yours truly believes that the NTF-ELCAC is an essential tool to make far-reaching and productive changes in the government’s counterinsurgency approach. If abolished, the campaign will suffer and whatever gains accomplished will be reversed back. The point is that doing away an existing and running agency is not going forward, it’s counterproductive.

    The incoming president does not only have the duty but also the right to make changes and adjustments affecting official policies and strategies coming from agencies attached under the Office of the President. In short, being the brains of the bureaucracy, she/he has power to customize the approach to a given problem according to her/his style of governance. Given this fact, a better option is to review the agency’s mandate for the purpose of overhauling and re-strategizing the whole set of governmental methodology in addressing the problem.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, agree. The Executive Branch operates government and he or she chairs the Task Force and can redirect it’s initiatives or close it down to distribute its functions elsewhere.

      • Juan Luna says:

        That, and of course the angle where Robredo’s supporters expressed shock when she met the task force’s leaders and endorsed their mandate. I see that as her supporters’ way of reminding her of her promise to abolish the office if she becomes president and at the same time vent to make known their negative stand against the agency.

        I suspect, even if she wins, the office will remain (and renamed) but will be overhauled to suit the plans and programs she has in managing the insurgency problem. I would be surprised if the issue will be a point of contention among her supporters. Because like you said, “They didn’t even consider that Robredo is not Duterte.”

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Yes in reality the agency will remain. PAOCTF evolved from presidential anti crime commission, but what is that agency for when you have the very large body like the police and the NBI?
          This NTF ELCAC instead of harnessing or coordinating the existing agencies for enforcement, intelligence, anti-insurgency a new team with a new leader is formed instead of allowing a coordinating body led by the existing agency or unit heads.

          I might be dreaming, but am I wrong?

          • Juan Luna says:

            Just a general idea on your query.

            The NTF-ELCAC is an agency under the Office of the President. It was formed pursuant to Executive Order No. 70 issued by Pres. Duterte. As a task force, it was organized for a specific operation, that is, counterinsurgency.

            The PNP and NBI, on the other hand, are agencies controlled and administered by the Philippine government. The PNP falls under the DILG, while the NBI is under the DOJ. Being regular agencies, both have a much wider and more comprehensive responsibility in terms of peace and order and national security.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              The aforementioned PNP, NBI was for the unnecessary creation of the Presidential anti crime commission.

              But in the case of Insurgencies. The Plan was Before 1998, the plan was the internal security was to be reverted to the PNP away from the AFP, but that obviously did not happened instead the forever wars continued.

              Btw. Here is my article on amending the National Defense Act since for years the resources was poured to the ARMy, it is the turn of the Navy and the Air force since the external threat is no joke and the internal conflicts has to end somewhow.


              • Juan Luna says:

                “…the forever wars continued.”

                Yes, that’s right, in fact, I’m not seeing in my lifetime that the insurgency problem will be firmly resolved.

                Agencies will be created and dissolved, mandates renew, strategies combined, temporary ceasefire achieved, peace talks set, ambush commenced, all out war declared, task force formed and abolished…..it goes on and on. 🌎

              • JoeAm says:

                A different scenario would see Robredo as a “leftist” president putting money and services into poor communities, and jobs that create paths for people to make something of their lives, and local populations putting the snuff on rebels for ruining their chances.

            • Juan Luna says:

              That is the ideal scenario which, as far as I know, every president has tried to apply. If Robredo can do it with a twist, meaning, the same but different from the others and achieve the desire result, the better. Right now, it remains to be seen if she can do something novel or apply untried approach to make a real dent on the insurgency problem. I guess, all will be revealed come debates time.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Ah the debates where we heard actions plans like riding a jetski to the spratlys.

              • kasambahay says:

                ah, karlG, many things have been thrown at the 53yrs old insurgency problem in mindanaw: peace talks, treaties, bangsamoro organic law, self determinations, etc.

                methink, as long as there are bent politicos willing to engage and hire ‘insurgents’ to sabotage political rivals, there will always be insurgency problems.

              • JoeAm says:

                Off topic, but interesting. VP Robredo is doing another tik tok video. https://twitter.com/josephbamarzan/status/1467057902376873986?s=21

              • The unofficial Tiktok videos are spreading as well.

                This one has the highlights of the near ecstatic Iloilo visit:


              • JoeAm says:

                Yes, I’m sure other candidates are shookt.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I really think Leni can win with or with out Marcos to contend with.
                But we shoukd not coint on comelec to disqualify Marcos

              • Juan Luna says:

                Like I said, one needs to be very careful nowadays or else get the flak you don’t deserved. Looks like I’m the only one who trying to tell people that there’s something wrong going on in the image campaign of candidates (i.e. Robredo, Marcos) that needs to be monitored, controlled or managed properly.


              • The fake news mentioned in your link already has the attention of VP Leni and is being acted on among others matters: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10223304012600912&id=1003057789

                My impression is that the seemingly chaotic volunteer networks in the VP Leni campaign have their equivalent of neurons passing messages in all directions.

                The fatal passivity of the 2016 campaign and the chaos of 2019 are past I think – another example of a quick reaction that spread around is this: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10227520988112423&id=1295832283

              • Of course there are mistakes https://twitter.com/JoeyLedesma10/status/1467002545772318726?t=O2UwtSm_so2arMY62BbhcA&s=19

                but the network reaction is quick

                ..and I think this agility is a strength of the Robredo campaign.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Most of the flak thrown at her she does not deserve. This is a cruel world we live in. But she does not absorb them all some are shrugged.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Irineo, the nimbleness/ agility of Leni’s team in the face of mistakes that no doubt happened and will happen, combined with the appropriate corrective response will no doubt help in the campaign. Related or key to this is the genuine (volunteering) effort to help the Team, compared to just being employed to do a job — such as lying — that is not to the employees liking but paid to do.

              • I think it was Bayanihan E-Konsulta, part of her pandemic response that had to close for a weekend being (temporarily) overwhelmed. Seems it was quickly remedied and back.

                I am slowly getting an idea of how President Robredo might do her work, across islands.

              • Meanwhile she is in Baguio after some days in Iloilo and Maasin which came after her days in Bikol which were preceded by some Tagalog areas.. All the while with follow up on projects also part of the Tour not just barnstorming.


              • Juan Luna says:

                Chaos sometimes help because people are always up to their toes. They’re aware of what’s going on. The risk is, there could be elements within or without the campaign who are out to sabotage the candidate. Errors or mistakes within the campaign, deliberate or not, are easy to correct. But if it’s external, you’re going to have a problem. Members of the Robredo or Marcos or the others must remember, this is the time or season for psywar operatives.

                And there’s a lot of them.

              • Yes. As the late Edgar Lores once said in an article here at TSOH, Philippine politics can be “wayang kulit” – the Indonesian shadow puppet game. Lots of hidden agendas.

                BTW someone tried to course an anonymous article for this blog via a contact of mine who gave it to me. I found the article weird and asked my contact the affiliation of the anonymous writer. Turned out it was a Bong Go supporter tilting toward VP Leni (!) (?).

                The Robredo volunteer groups are pretty alert though and share warnings like a neighborhood on the alert for thieves and pickpockets, this I happen to know. Possibly BBM groups are on the alert for tarps that warn against thieves:

                Some Robredo supporters may not be always nice but then again Philippine politics is known to be a “blood sport” as Manolo Quezon has said. Fiesta democracy, as Richard Heydarian called it, is alive and well with all good and bad that happens at fiestas.

                Including memorable memes that are a source of laughter.


              • Juan Luna says:

                @Ben Bernabe (twitter)
                “The HQ is UNDERSTAFFED and we are looking for an HQ manager…”
                Not a good response from a staff of a candidate who projects popularity, formidability and strength going to an elections contest. ‘Understaffed’? With all those campaign materials (videos, pictures, etc.) going around, expressions of support from individuals and volunteer groups, and running under a party with political war machine? C’mon, man! You are giving air of confidence to your rival by doing that. 😳

              • The LP doesn’t have the war machine it might have had once, and the volunteer center only recently ramped up in Manila while another opened in Iloilo. Most campaign material is done by volunteer groups not centrally, unlike BBM. VP Leni by far does not have the resources of Marcos Jr., she does not even have the resources Mar Roxas or Pnoy had – let us remember that in Philippine politics you have to shoulder a lot alone.

              • Juan Luna says:

                It may be true but you don’t put it out there. If the purpose in expressing a shortage of manpower is to gain sympathy, I think we’re in the wrong business. Aside from projection, politics is addition. You don’t let outsiders know what’s going on inside. You project your strength and hide weaknesses. You don’t put out contrasting images of your candidate out here.

                Campaign season is primarily fought visually; it’s image driven. You create and represent your candidate’s strength, intelligence and down to earth personality. ‘Understaffed’ destroys all of that.

                I’d rather say, there’s confusion regarding guidelines at the entry gate or miscommunication by reason of inexperience on the part of the guard at the entrance gate. Never ‘understaffed’.

              • kasambahay says:

                cannot be helped there are die hard leni supporters! though leni call them off time and again. be kind, be thoughtful, be alert.

                voters knew leni’s weaknesses and strengths, and took her on anyway. it’s leni all the way for them – lugaw or not, lechon or ginamos!

                being honest and not being vain, honest enough to admit leni’s hq is understaffed, no miracle there. and if ledesma answered the call to volunteer, ledesma ought to say so and show some understanding. that he may not always have priority entry at the gate.

                no point really hiding weaknesses and projecting only strengths, voters are not born today. they knew candidates long before their candidacy, knew all about their foibles too.

                what concerns voters the most is what candidates do to get over current insurmountable hurdles, human made or others. are they prompt, late, dismissive, suave?

                I think, ben bernade answered well enough, humble enough and did not whitewash the kakulangan.

                next time though, it is hoped that guards and gatekeepers will do better and explain themselves satisfactorily, and with a smile!

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, we get stuck in that old trap, don’t we. The good have to be perfect or they are bad, but the bad can do all kinds of shit from trolling to fake news to paid ralliers, and we focus instead on Robredo’s “failures”. It’s nonsense. The pink bloom across the nation is profound, encouraging, amazing, and that is the story. Not the one-off minor hiccups. Truly, we have an intellectual short circuit to stop to obsess over the rocks and not just drive down the magnificent road ahead.

              • Juan Luna says:

                “no point really hiding weaknesses and projecting only strengths, voters are not born today. they knew candidates long before their candidacy, knew all about their foibles too.”
                Does people really know the candidates personally and “all their foibles too”? Like, they know Robredo is capable of photo manipulations? Or Marcos, fond of Star Wars cosplay? Wow! Talk about simplicity!

                There is no “next time” in political campaigns. If the candidate’s people were caught running a machination, intended or otherwise, against her/his political opponents the candidate will suffer the consequence. It is not the followers’ fate that is at stake here.

                Amateurs can do ‘next time’, not the professionals. And to have a candidate like Robredo or Marcos, for that matter, there should be no place for amateurs in the campaign.

                Mistakes must be strictly minimized. The “pwede na ‘yan” mentality must not be allowed to penetrate the campaign strategy.

                If people see a political campaign being run in a lousy and amateurish manner, they will think we’re going to have a lousy government under the candidate the campaign supports.

              • Micha says:


                I see your point about running a campaign professionally. But unless you are actually part of one candidate’s party, I don’t see why you should be overly concerned about how they run their campaign.

                This is at best nitpicking on a side issue. As an outsider, I wouldn’t expend energy worrying about whether Leni’s headquarters is being run by professionals or amateurs. They will own up to their mistake. They will live or perish by how they organize their campaign. That’s their call.

                As a voter, my concern is mainly on a candidate’s platform of governance, policies he/she will implement, or what ideological spectrum he/she is leaning into.

                It would seem you are into advert consultancy or image packaging professional. In which case, maybe Irineo who is a Bicolano could recommend your services to Leni’s campaign either as a paid or volunteer consultant.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                What is wrong with help wanted ADS.
                that is a sign of growth.
                That means there is WORK to be done and lots of them.

              • Juan Luna says:

                I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I don’t mean to get personal.

                I believe that we are all here to experience the joy of sharing ideas, opinion or just simple beliefs on issues we think worthy of discussion.

                I was focus not on the actors but on the incidents. If you do not agree with what I’m saying, fine, I can live with that but to insinuate my purpose about my opinion is I think uncalled for. You may be a Leni follower and would opt to close your eyes or cover your ears every time an unfavorable story about her comes up and I have nothing against that. Check me if I insulted you or anyone here because of your views which I never do.

                I prefer if you can tell me why I’m wrong in what I’m saying rather than imply that I’m up to no good. Let’s just discuss issues.

                Lastly, I have no stake on the issue because I don’t support any candidate.

              • Micha says:

                No juan, as a voter the issues you’re raising are unimportant. A personnel at a campaign office turning away a visitor for reasons and circumstances they only know is none of my (or your) business. That’s a side issue, not an election issue.

                If you have no stakes in anybody’s campaign anyway, why the over abundance of concern for how they run it?

                There’s a term for what you’re doing here. It’s called concern trolling.

              • JoeAm says:

                Thanks for the introduction to that term, Micha. It is very common, the fallacious twisting of minor events into huge character issues. Now I know what to call it and how to describe it.

              • Juan Luna says:


              • NHerrera says:

                @Juan: Lastly, I have no stake on the issue because I don’t support any candidate.

                Are you also doing this “concern trolling” [pardon the use of Micha’s phrase, it is quite descriptive] on other exchanges among people leaning for the other presidential candidates, and where you are welcome to participate? Can you give us a feel of what you have done and notable responses from the exchange participants?

                I hope you are not offended, I just took off from your statement above.

              • Juan Luna says:

                Thank you for asking that question.

                If I’m commenting on an issue not Leni Robredo-related I’m not a ‘troll’. But when I question or doubt or comment negatively on matters surrounding her, not specifically her, but those happening and people around her, I’m a troll.

                A troll is always a troll. But me, I’m only a troll if I touch anything about Leni Robredo.

                I welcome a non-reaction to my posts than be called a troll. Why? Because I’m really not good in English and it is hard to compose 2 or 3 paragraphs using the language. It’s a learning process to me every time I write and express myself to share my ideas in a foreign language.

                Yes, I have done a few comments on other blogs where I give my opinion on issues. I get a mixed reaction. Some get personal, most engage me in a healthy, heated dialogue or debate. There are blogs where trolls troll other trolls. I stay on my lane. I really talk issues and discuss it. I don’t excite trolls because I write long (often in paragraphs). I want to spread all the details of the issue and trolls don’t like that.

                I’ll give you an example. You can go to this site: https://www.getrealphilippines.com
                That blog is dominated by Marcos loyalists and Duterte diehards. You can find my posts there, on the same name, and see if I am what you think I am.

                In that blog, they shred Leni Robredo as a hobby. They cheer for Bongbong, not so much with Duterte now because Digong flipped on their idol. I have a lot of posts there defending (on the mural issue) and criticizing (on video) Leni Robredo. I talked and defend Maria Ressa on relentless attacks and sometimes give Bongbong Marcos a fair treatment.

                Am I offended? No. Why would I? I believe those people who get mad at me are really good people in person. They just don’t want me to mess with their idols, beliefs or opinions. I welcome everything thrown at me in relation to what is being discuss. I was called names, cursed at, insulted, befriended, etc. But people mostly just argue or discuss with me and most times we separate amicably to face off again on other issues. That is what blog is for. You discuss, debate and in the process teach and learn. Also, you HELP in your own small way to shed light on issues.

                I consider myself an amateur pundit. I’ve been a fan of Conrad De Quiroz and have been a late bloomer on Adrian Cristobal. But take note, I’m not nowhere near those geniuses, those gods. Those people, to me, are from other planets. I’m trash compared to them.

                Anyway, I already have an idea what this blog is for and I’m sorry if I ruffled some feathers. Thanks to JoeAm for allowing me to post here.

              • JoeAm says:

                This blog is for earnest discussion attached to honesty, intelligence, and a sincere interest in the well-being of the Philippines. There are no ads. There is provocation, to incite discussion. We were at our best before the passing of Edgar Lores, and before reading attention spans dropped to twitter levels. But, still, we have our moments, as when LCX posted his piece advocating Sara Duterte for president, or any time Irineo gifts us with one of his masterpieces. The discussions are the purpose of the blog. That’s where insights arise.

                Get Real Post is a flame-throwing mess-pit hosted by two manipulative intellectual con-artists seeking a reputation and money. I’m banned there. Your comments there are admirable. You bring decency to the table. Good for you. A lot of the commenters there would be banned here for ad hominem and crude remarks. We are different, in goal and method.

                The moral anchor posts here are earnest decency in debate and the well-being of the Philippines. Half the people here have been put into moderation at one time or another, then released, and two have recently been blocked. Those are my editorial tools, to keep the discussion morally sound.

                If people are prone to defend Leni Robredo and poke at Bongbong Marcos, it’s because they know who is better for the Philippines using history, acts, words, and the Constitution as points of discernment. If they find your fascination with trivial acts of Robredo volunteers as off-the-mark, morally, they’ll say so. If you persist, then it becomes an advocacy, and looks like trolling.

                You seem sensitive to me and not clear on separating issues from persons. You shouldn’t be a topic here, nor should I or anyone else. You’ve offended no one here. No one has meant to offend you. Stick with the issues. See the path, or the discussion, as the goal and keep it on the high road. It’s easy to do.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I have been commenting and blogging for more more than a decade, but i would also call my self an amateur. All is well but if Joe speaks on what to do and not to do in his house most take heed. One so-called veteran pundit here insisted that he is correct so if symptoms persist insult your doctor j/k i mean you get blocked. another kept ignoring the warnings of the host blog owner and kept doing his thing even if told to stop. They are long time commenters the one you call veterans. ok nuff said.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Juan, thank you for the response.

                Joe already commented on The Get Real Philippines blog. As the TSH blog repeatedly states, especially to newbies, the Constitution and what or who is good for the Philippines on balance and on essential things is the blog’s basic guide. I don’t think Get Real has the same view.

              • But, still, we have our moments, as when LCX posted his piece advocating Sara Duterte for president, or any time Irineo gifts us with one of his masterpieces.”

                Yeah, go Inday Sara!!! Beat BBM!

                President Leni & VP Sara.

                I feel it in my bones, Joe.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’m thinking they would work great together. Sara would get a Cabinet Position and direction.

              • I think DFA/VP Sara (if Teddy Boy stays) would be a great 1-2 punch, no pun intended 😉 , gets her out the country away from everyone else’s cronies (sets up for next 2028). Smooth out rough edges, learn a lot from Teddy Boy (that guy is a modern day Filipino super hero, Joe).

              • Juan Luna says:

                I’m thinking they would work great together. Sara would get a Cabinet Position and direction.
                That’s a hopeless romantics view of how a president and vice-president should jointly work together.

                Before anybody misinterprets that, let me say, I share the sentiment.

                Ideally, a president and vice-president are perceived to be the nation’s primary tools in providing remedy, elucidation and solution to the ever-growing complex problems of the country. In essence, they are a team, Batman & Robin. However, that is not the reality on the ground.

                We can always look back on the Duterte-Robredo tandem as an example. The team failed to benefit the country as a whole because there’s a disjointed relationship between the two leaders. Blames are thrown in opposite directions, fired up by being the two were members of different or opposite parties, not to mention the contrasting personalities.

                But that does not mean there is no positive in the mixture. Of course, if both don’t see eye to eye, commission of corruption is very hard to do. The president doesn’t have to cover-up for the vice-president, and so with the vice-president not making him/herself as the fall guy every time the president makes mistakes. Connivance or complicity to commit wrongdoing is next to impossible because teamwork is limited to good governance. Wholesale deception is also avoided because each acts as a critic or inspector of the other.

                Now, to the possible Leni-Sara team up. I’m not optimistic that it will be different from the Digong-Leni combination. And I’m sure a lot of us here knew why it can’t be a team that the country will benefit from.

              • You’re wrong, Mr. Concern Troll.

                VP Leni and Inday Sara are BFFs.

              • kasambahay says:

                I’m with you, joeam. leni and sara will not work well together, so different in temperament and are likely to clash head on. sara has problem with honesty and I seriously doubt if sara can play 2nd fiddle to leni or take direction from leni, as drama queen (duterte said of sara!) sara is likely to mukmuk when she cannot get her own way, mayhap become belligerent and sabotage leni as well.

                leni will be spending more time making sure sara toe the onerous line taken by our country, instead of full on managing and overseeing the welfare of our country and the well being of our people.

                similarly, bbm is weakened muscles coordination that xandro sometimes has to take over bbm’s place at some sortie. sara is pulling the strings, bbm happy to tag along, lol! sara can certainly work with a weakened partner whose ethics are severely compromised the likes of bbm; but may feel threatened and may well resent a stronger, more astute, more competent partner with strong moral values the likes of leni.

                sara as vice to leni? I prefer kiko. kiko has leni’s back, can be trusted, is supportive of leni and will not stab leni at the back. kiko can take a back seat to leni; sara most certainly can’t is what I think.

              • kasambahay says:

                erratum: I’m with the controlled troll as regards leni and sara duo.

              • Juan Luna says:

                “VP Leni and Inday Sara are BFFs.” – LCpl_X (@LCpl_X)
                That’s the bone of your opinion. Where’s the meat? We cannot digest bones. 🥸

              • BBM is leading.

                Why , Because of the Inday Sara boost;

                how to sail on Inday Sara’s trade winds?

                and subtract BBM’s lead.

                boot Kiko,

                Campaign for Pres. Leni & VP Sara tandem.

                You gotta boot Kiko.

                I gotta feeling you’ll see another lunch meeting like this soon,


                I’m not concerned, just prognosticating.

                I’m pro- Inday Sara.

              • Juan Luna says:

                Actually, everything is possible. Sara could win the VP while Leni the presidency.

                But the main issue is whether the president-elect and the vice-president-elect, both from different or rival parties, can work cordially and in-harmony together. My view is, it depends. If we based our experience to that of Duterte and Robredo, it looks like a Leni-Sara will go down the drain.

                Sara will not allow Leni to hound his father about the shenanigans that happened under his watch. Sara will surely be unfavorable on Leni putting BBM and his family on the right place. And Leni might feel awkward working with the daughter of a man who mistreated her in the past.

              • Doesn’t matter.

                It may work out , it may not work out;

                As it stands both Presidency and VP positions are voted separately.

                I’m just saying booting Kiko this early on, will give Inday Sara supporters pause,

                and consider President Leni, and

                Just enough time for them to boot BBM.

                Thus President Leni & VP Sara.

                But in my experience, once you’ve had Orange Chicken with someone (photo above), you tend to be friends for life.

                That’s my assumption.

                Said assumption all hinges on whether or not that is Orange Chicken.

              • kasambahay says:

                corporal has photoshopped the pic! can you anyone see the difference?

                I will post my previous reply to the corporal.

              • kasambahay says:

                orange chicken is left untouched, no takers.

              • JoeAm says:

                The question is if support for Robredo breaks down on issues as vested interests attack her for making unpopular decisions. So if giving Sara a Cabinet position is unpopular, do some pinks turn against her. Then, next issue, more turn against her. Then, in the end, everyone is snarling, like with Aquino. Or do pinks respect Robredo as much as she respects others, even those they don’t like. And give her some wiggle room.

              • “And they will order orange chicken for cabinet working lunches.”


            • kasambahay says:

              here’s my old post:

              kasambahay says:
              November 15, 2021 at 11:02 am

              that picture above of leni and shaven head sara is 6 yrs old, goes back 2015 before sara’s dad become president, and before leni become vice president. that pic is a bit scary, reminiscent of bad feng sui: sara’s kubyertos pointing daggers at leni, whereas leni’s kubyertos are blocking off the effect. sara in an emperor position (closer to the camera) her right hand up like a microphone – listen to me! her left hand clinched reinforcing the daggerlike kubyertos. with both hands out and fisted, sara’s stance is pugilistic and not ‘open’ to leni.

              leni meanwhile is disarming, open smile, leaning on her less dominant arm, the thumb touches the earlobe. leni is good listener.

              the more symbolic is the most recent pic of bong marcos and sara carrying a bouquet of flowers, her other arm linked around bong marcos. both formally dressed, the pose a marriage made in heaven. let no person put asunder.

              • kasambahay says:

                in corporal’s photoshopped pic, leni’s thumb has been moved father away from her ear, leni’s big smile was covered too.

                the original pic showed how good a listener leni is and how friendly, and the corporal dully cropped them out to make leni appear less than stellar.

                the corporal is manipulative.

              • JoeAm says:

                I don’t go by that photo or anything but Robredo’s character, which is pragmatic enough to put Jojo Binay on her senatorial slate. She gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, and in doing so, conveys to them her dignity. Sara is no different. She’s smart, strong, independent, and capable, at some level, at least. Juan Luna thinks Robredo would treat Sara as Duterte treated the VP, as an adversary. I’m thinking she will treat her as a respected subordinate, on the same team, and get the respect back. I don’t think Robredo will jail Papa Duterte or anyone else on assuming office, but will establish a real commission to gather real facts and build a formal case against lawbreakers. If Sara is among them, then Robredo has a problem. I don’t think she will be among them. And they will order orange chicken for cabinet working lunches.

              • The Orange Chicken is the focus here, kb.

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    The land use law that Villar keeps on telling us that it is impossible to pass is the way to stop the land conversions.

    The comprehensive agrarian reform law does not allow expansion. What happens when the old farmer owner dies, it will even be subdivided to heirs.

    We have a big urban poor problem but how can we tell them to go back to the provinces when development is a dead end without drastic changes .

    I am hopeful for a Leni refresh, and I am hopeful that her successors would be as good.

    • kasambahay says:

      if the villar you mentioned is senator villar, she is also in for some reckoning.


      • kasambahay says:

        in senator villar’s office, 3x land use bill and other forest measures are stuck and going nowhere. villar who is chair of committee on environment, natural resources and climate change, has not acted on those 3x mentioned. if her conflict of interest, her husband being developer, is stopping her from dispensing her job – she may have a fight coming soon.

        after the election and with the change of administration, the next batch of senators may not see villar’s points of view. and it would take more than ‘diane, diane’ for villar to get through, lol!

        • Karl Garcia says:

          By the time we have a land use law there would be no more room for agriculture, parks, bike lanes,etc

          What we have are mixed use complexes, roads for cars, gated subdivisions and evrn with e commerce we insist on malls.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Farm to market roads with no farms.

            • kasambahay says:

              those 3x bills that senator villar has not acted upon will expire soon, land use bills gone to waste. all the more reason to deny senator villar’s son, mark villar, a 2022 senate seat.

              it is hoped the next admin may re-introduce the 3x bills as priority.

  7. John Aguray says:

    This is a non-sequitur but I wish your font was blacker and you’d have bigger fallback fonts instead of Georgia (like Geneva, Verdana) which is too small compared to Montserrat. Your current font is Montserrat, Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif which you can replace with Montserrat, Geneva, Verdana or alternatively make the font size larger and change it to another serif font like Source Serif Pro, Charter or IBM Plex Serif or something.

    • NHerrera says:

      Joe, for my 83-year-old eyes (my original eyes, non-medically enhanced, using glasses though), I wish you will consider @John Aguray suggestion if it is not much of a hassle. Of course, many of your readers including yourself — and of course, you have the final say — may prefer the font as is. In my case, I can live with the font style, if only it is blacker.

      I can see the good point of leaving the font as is, including it not being as black as I would wish, for this reason: if one uses the Html device of sandwiching a word or phrase with the usual tool, the bold black comes out much emphasized and blacker.

      I have a solution to my problem, with the current font. If the comment is overly long, I copy and paste the comment to a Notepad — I am using Microsoft Windows 10 on my computer since I am at least 90 percent home-bound — where I used the Arial regular font and it is blacker, and I can also adjust the size of the font as much as I want.

      Haha, to many problems there seems to be a handy solution with a little effort, except in politics where many problems take more than just a little effort. 🙂

      [I purposely used Html bolding device to see how black it comes compared to the current font without the bolding.]

    • JoeAm says:

      Thanks for the advice. My problem is that I use an expired Word Press format that has limited options as far as I can tell. The base font is Montserrat large, but my guess is that for mobile or other units, it gets switched. I’ve looked at other Word Press formats and other blog hosts but don’t care for the hassle of dealing with the fall-out of what it might do to old posts if I convert. Nor am I interested in paying to have it done. It’s not an income generator. More of a hobby, and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be collecting stamps.

      • NHerrera says:

        On my part, with the reasons you gave — the hassle and the fall-out from what it may do to the old posts; more of a hobby, and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be collecting stamps [ 🙂 ] — I say, leave it be. Thanks for the reply.

  8. Micha says:

    It’s a redundant government agency and with a 10 billion budget it’s open for different forms of corruption given limited oversight and porous objective.

    Would have been politically prudent for Leni to call for its outright disbandment.

  9. kasambahay says:

    ntf-elcac has a proposed budget of 28billion for 2022. senate want to slash it by 24billion, leaving 4billion.

    in 2021, most of the agency’s money got allocated to mindanaw, 12.42billion out of 16.4 total budget. and still the agency has not submitted required paper work that show how and where the money was actually spent. numerous projects were discharged kuno, so who are the recipients, which baranggays and what projects? and they had better not be ghosts projects, ghost recipients and ghost barangays, lol!

    disband and discontinue the agency is what leni proposes.

    • Micha says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised if most of those funds went to Duterte’s friends’ pockets, if not directly to his own.

  10. madlanglupa says:

    I am told that throughout history the military is the ultimate arbiter of power. As such they can make or break a president. That I’m sure they would silently choose to back a lucid professional, instead of a wannabe cowboy on the edge of dementia.

    Of course, extremists like Parlade must be booted out and possibly prosecuted.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Need not look far. Many examples here and our close neighbors.

      • kasambahay says:

        ntf-elcac is mostly managed by military personnel. you would think the agency is disciplined and up to date in all matters of concerns, hindi pala. the agency is so poor in housekeeping and cannot account where it spend its money, lol! and to make up for the slack, super quick ang military to fist pump with duterte, amenable to having chinese run telcos installed communication towers within military camps. so maybe arbiter of power ang military, enabler ni duterte and of china.

        these last few days, maybe because election is coming and citizens are getting vocal, the military is seen hugging the media, getting supplies to ayungin and to our lone post, the rusting hulk of bp sierra madre. china wants bp sierra madre taken out of ayungin. never sagot natin!

        and now, beijing olympic is being boycotted by estados unidos. sana makiramay tayo and likewise boycott beijing olympic, for china’s continued of military presence in our eez.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Basta she would be Commander in chief whether she abolishes the Elcac ekek or not. I stand by my position that redundant agencies must go, all of them.

          If the answering directly to the president is the reason, the more it is unreasonable to have them and no rationslization or streamlining the bureacracy would work.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Was Moscow the last boycott of the US?
          But that was the Summer Olympics. Winter Olympics has no impact to audiences like me but if our ice skaters make it then it is worth a look.
          As for China
          We tried lawfare, we tried tupperware diplomacy(plastikan) we may not be equipped for war fare, but we can go beyond symbolic and token defense.

          • JoeAm says:

            It’s a diplomatic boycott which means no US officials will attend. Athletes will, assuming China lets them in. China will strike back in some way.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              I see thanks. Since LA 2028 is still far away they could do many things like more pressure to indo-pacific.

            • NHerrera says:

              Oh, the games countries and their leaders play. If it were a movie, wouldn’t that be more interesting than when everybody plays nice? Meanwhile, we have another game, the Russian Ukraine game — that too is not a boring game. Also, the Trump Game is still going strong? And hereabout, the Lying Game. 🤣

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes, you’d think leaders are still juveniles. Incredible games.

              • kasambahay says:

                the landscape has utterly changed. with the internet and advances in technologies, news both factual and fake travel faster than spit! and before anyone can blink, unfiltered announcements are there already on the screen, publish now and recant later, lol! nothing is sacred anymore, all caution thrown away.

                internet has leveled the playing field; rightly or wrongly, anyone with access to internet can ply their opinions at anytime of the day and night. from the smartest to the dumbest, the comatose and insane, wala ng preno. it’s both exciting and debilitating.

                ‘tread your own path!’

              • JoeAm says:

                Values are hammered to oblivion by millions of false prophets, history is re-designed, and friendships come and go with the push of a button. It’s a giant savannah, the grasses thick and tall. We wander there, curious and wary, awaiting the snake or lion that will devour us. No gun.

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    I can’t access Joeam.com. I have to go to wordpress.com to reach the site. My error is host unreachable.

  12. “Or do pinks respect Robredo as much as she respects others, even those they don’t like. And give her some wiggle room.”

    This IMHO is a point that needs to be tweeted or made viral or something. The Pinks have to attack from all fronts, they seem to be pigeon holing themselves unnecessarily.

    Be open to Inday Sara. Allow Pac-man to folk into Pink, etc. etc. Kiko’s daughter Miss KC (she’s hot Joe) should be more in public eye. use everything at your disposal. KC’s dad, that would get the whole 50-60 year old crowd, and OFWs.

    Get to work Pinks!

    • kasambahay says:

      inday sara should also be open to pinkdom! be in the state of grace with the pinks at hwag harangin sina leni and supporters, but welcome them unreservedly to campaign ni dabaw. be nice to them, serve them all orange chicken and let them have the key to the city of dabaw! sara ought to tell her own supporters not to harass leni et al, for trolls not to spread disinformation, not to doctor photos of leni and make her appear to be selling fish when she is actually somewhere meeting people. not to doctor the pic of the previous religious traslacion and color the whole tambakan of devotees of the black nazareno pink just so trolls can say leni’s supporters were not social distancing and not following health protocols.

      as well, kung talagang tunay na bff si sara ni leni, sara ought to convince her running mate bbm to let leni campaign freely in ilocokandia without leni and company being harassed, sabotaged, with ilocanos told not to attend leni’s soiree or there will be consequences.

    • JoeAm says:

      That’s a great perspective. I might have to reformulate it for a tweet.

        • JoeAm says:

          Several “Why be nice to Sara?” responses. Best answer.

          “Because there are Leni-Sara supporters in Mindanao”.

          • Boom!!! it makes so much sense, my head hurts, Joe.

            I don’t know why many Filipinos see this as a tandem race, you elect VP and President separately.

            So campaigning should take this complexity into account. When Inday Sara chose the VP ticket, she did so for a reason…

            And BBM isn’t necessarily it, as evidenced by her father’s remarks. DU30 and Inday Sara are shrewd.

            VP Leni is too.

            • JoeAm says:

              Well, you’ve certainly presented an interesting hypothesis, that, on a ticket where the president and VP run separately, a president can win by respecting, rather than fighting, the other candidate’s VP. Makes geographic sense, for sure. Boy, a lot of Pinks can’t get there though. They detest the Duterte name. But as you point out, Leni is different.

              • kasambahay says:

                most pinks po detest the dutertes from dabaw and have enough of them. dutertes not from dabaw are welcomed, like olivia duterte?

                as to ‘why be nice to sara?’ worst-est answer: gotta be nice, baka mabugbog ako, lol!

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Yes it is very interesting Corporal, but a very large part of me wants to agree with Kb.

  13. Juan Luna says:

    Compare to a car, the vice presidency is really a spare tire meant to succeed the president in case of a blowout (death). That’s about what the office really is. But in recent times, the once boring position has become a serious bone of contention in a presidential race.

    The fracas over the position started in 2016 when the son of the former president Marcos, Bongbong, ran and lost to Leni Robredo by a slim margin. Bongbong followers never forgot nor accepted the defeat they alleged to have been the result of cheating. While the case have been investigated and eventually settled the losing side kept it alive knowing they will be able to capitalize on it if Bongbong decides to run for the presidency. And so it came to pass. Now it is being touted as the rematch between Bongbong and Leni on a higher level.

    However, the vice presidency continues to tickle everyone’s imagination because another controversial figure is running to take over the role of a spare tire. Sara Duterte has given a big boost on Bongbong’s candidacy after agreeing to be his sidekick. Her running both excites and irritates people because she’s being used as a two-bladed weapon. She’s tag team with Bongbong when it comes to Robredo. In other words, Robredo is up against two when it comes to campaign offensive. In Filipino we called it, “pinagtutulungan” (ganging up) on Robredo.

    And that is so because both are seen as rabid anti-Robredo. It’s a toxic environment out there and it was so because of the relationship Robredo had with the outgoing president and father of Sara, Digong. In politics, family comes first. Robredo having made publicly known of her abhorrence of the Marcos family during her vp run and her friction with the current president is enough reason for the duo to gang-up on her.

    Expect Marcos and Sara to have a field day pillorying Robredo when the campaign heats up. On her part, Leni has an unenviable but compelling position because she’s being seen as the one dedicated to stop the return and advancement of tyranny in the country.

    While the duo currently enjoys a slight edge over the other candidates there’s still a lot of time and a lot of wrangling and haggling that would happen to change the course of the race. And if Robredo plays her cards right, seeing and preempting the developments in the political landscape, she could finally end up the so-called revival of the Marcos dynasty and nip in the bud the Duterte aspiration to be the Marcos family of today.

    • kasambahay says:

      I cannot imagine sara placid enough to be spare tire. she wears the pants, lol! most likely she’ll ask for power sharing, the duo sharing the presidency. bbm will end up becoming her delightful rubber stamp. haha.

  14. Karl Garcia says:

    On twitter, on one 9f my post Not about Leni, I was told to concentrate on Leni. What the heck!

    • JoeAm says:

      Right. I get lectured from time to time, mostly if I give visibility to Moreno or other opposition candidates. I explain that I’m not pink and my “job” is to understand all candidates. You might want to adopt a similar position as an analyst or student of politics and tell them it does no good to crawl into pink closets and close your eyes.

  15. Juan Luna says:

    The presidential race is a tandem race but voters have the option to either vote only for one office (president or Vice President) or for both from different tickets. Mix and match.

    There are lots of reasons we can cite why Sara, despite topping surveys for presidential race, chose to run for vice president instead. One of which is to demonstrate her independence from her father. She doesn’t want to be seen as the female version of Bong Go. She also want no part on the possibility of having a Duterte-Duterte in Malacanang if she run for president and her dad for vice-president and they both win. Not a good look. It could also be her decision to be the understudy first for BBM instead of taking votes from him. I think she knows it’s an enormous task to be president, hence, a watch and learn on the side is a good step to take.

    A Leni-Sara tandem is possible but I’m of the belief that it cannot be done. Baked-in in the BBM-Sara partnership is the common purpose to defeat the yellow (now pink) party. The tandem is dead serious in bringing back the Marcoses to power.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      You think there is no way of beating BBM because they are hell bent in making him win.

      • Juan Luna says:

        BBM is not unbeatable. Actually, we may not even arrive on that question if the disqualification protests against him would prosper. As it is, if the current configuration of candidates doesn’t change, he may have a chance to win by plurality votes. On the other hand, in a one-on-one fight, let’s say the rest of the candidates will line-up behind Robredo, which I’m sure is being entertained now, BBM will have a hard time because of consolidation of votes against him.

      • isk says:

        BBM needs to capture the Presidency, that PCGG needs to go.

        • JoeAm says:

          PCGG is the committee chartered to identify the money and goods stolen by the Marcos family and return them to the Filipino people. They are the bad guys?

          • isk says:

            T’was a statement of sarcasm. Even with court conviction of corruption , they (Marcoses) are still in a state of denial.

            • JoeAm says:

              Whew! Thanks. I can smile now. 😁

            • kasambahay says:

              them marcoses maybe forever in the state of utter denial, does not mean to say they will get all our votes! bbm priorly got pipped to the post by slim margin, and can be pipped yet again.

              seen the duo’s recent motorcade in quezon city organized by mr evermictin mike defensor? defensor now wants belmonte’s job as mayor of quezon city. ang motorcade na ‘to ay hindi nakipagugnayan ng lgu, caused traffic gridlock and inconvenient pedestians. methink, kasi kapag nakipagugnayan sila ay baka mahalata kaagad ng lgu na may hakot crowd. the crowd coming from all directions and cannot be controlled.

              the crowd was aggressive, the vehicle of abs-cbn broadcast crews was chased and heckled, the driver accelerated, threatened.

              mike defensor later thanked mayor belmonte for her ‘cooperation’ maybe, for her turning the blind eye and not insisting protocols be followed, lol! I think, I know what defensor is inferring: that maybe mayor belmonte is weak and no longer fit to be mayor, the crowd dont like her inaction at ayaw makipagugnay sa kanya. belmonte’s request for peaceful motorcade sinantabe.

              • Yes, and in fact a cartoonist distorted what happened with ABS-CBN:

                This shows the heckling and harassment that provoked a short flick of the finger from one of the ABS-CBN staff in the car:

                So it was far from the “elitist arrogance towards normal Filipinos” that the cartoon implied and which according to many Twitter commenters loyalists were talking about.

              • Plus this shows clearly how the loyalists (bolstered by drivers from Angkas) hogged the road and also a Mike Defensor van passing:

                Also for posterity how they blocked 8 lanes to make it look like a huge rally:

                People in Quezon City (most pictures are along Commonwealth, MRT7 in construction in the middle) were hopping mad about getting late to work, even worse some doctors were delayed in getting to their patients and all of that.

              • Still the best netizen comment comparing the discipline of Pink caravans to the lack of discipline of Marcos caravans, ironically referring to an old Martial Law motto.

              • kasambahay says:

                sa ikakaunlad ng bayan, si marcos ay hindi kailangan!

              • isk says:

                “sa ikakaunlad ng bayan, si marcos ay hindi kailangan!”
                It seems the 1987 constitution created an unintended bastardization of the electoral process. Horse trading as usual among the group of Marcos, GMA, Estrada and the Dutertes.

              • The worst “unintended consequence” of the present electoral process (no run-off election) and the decline of the pre-1972 two-party system according to MLQ3 is that the “strongest minority” gets the Presidency.

                I wonder how a run-off between Duterte and Mar Roxas would have been in 2016. What is also difficult is the Filipino habit of not wanting to “waste one’s vote” – as if there was a bookie in the sky they would lose money (I guess it is more about face) with.

              • isk says:

                The worst “unintended consequence” of the present electoral process (no run-off election) and the decline of the pre-1972 two-party system according to MLQ3 is that the “strongest minority” gets the Presidency.
                Yes, yes, I agree. Thanks.

          • Juan Luna says:

            Unfortunately, under the BBM presidency, they are the bad guys.

        • Micha says:

          BBM needs to capture the Presidency, that PCGG needs to go.

          That’s an important point that needs to be hammered home, repeatedly, to voters. Marcos Junior is not so much in the race so he could make things better in the Philippines. He is in it so he could, by executive power, laundry wash their stolen billions and no PCGG will bother them doing it.

          • Well, in Absurdistan aka the Philippines, there is also the narrative propagated by Prof. Antonio Contreras of La Salle that BBM is like Ibarra who is returning to right a wrong (!).

            The bullshit anonymous article someone tried to forward to Joe via me (I said I won’t endorse THAT but he can try sending it to Joe himself, there is a mail address on the TSOH page) could also be interpreted similarly, it said that in ancient Filipino tribal warfare nobody harbored any hard feelings afterwards, trade continued yaddah yaddah.. could mean a lot of things, among others “hey what was raided decades ago who cares”. There is BBM propaganda portraying “Pinklawan” as vindictive, self-righteous “elitists”.

            • Exhibit A:

              • kasambahay says:

                coordination and unity motto ng partido federal ng pilipinas (pfd) where both bbm and sara now belong, has no coordination, trashy unity, but plenty chaos sa motorcade.

                I am presuming abs-cbn news crews had kept the camera rolling and recorded the incident, the verbal exchanges included, the recording to be released to us all when appropriate.

                bbm and sara ought to apologize to abc-cbn news crew for the behavior of their supporters, send the crews big basket of christmas cheers, the most aggressive supporter spoken to, and made solemn promise that such incident will not happened again.

              • kasambahay says:

                bbm already failed in assuming crisostomo ibarra’s ID. fake graduate is bbm at hindi gaano katalino, hindi law abiding citizen dahil hindi nagbayad ng buhis. si bbm ay halos walang magandang hangarin sa kapwa dahil sarili mismo ang inuuna.

            • Micha says:

              Well, that makes it important to make a hard pushback on those bullshit narratives. Don’t get drawn on trivial matters. The hard cold fact is Marcos Senior ran this country to the ground while enriching himself with stolen billions.

              Millennial voters may not have any recollection of this but their parents and uncles and grandparents most certainly remember and went through that period of Marcosian abuse.

              Hammering that point repeatedly and making it the central campaign issue should disabuse their minds of the fairy tale Marcos Junior and his coterie of apologists is trying to sell.

              • A lot of millennials base a positive picture of Martial Law on “sabi ni Lolo”. Many who lived through those times seem to wear rose colored glasses somehow today.

                My generation born in 1965 is strange with a lot of pro-Marcos folks. Some were on EDSA in 1986 and say they feel “cheated by EDSA”. That is more in my Pisay HS batch though than among my former UP Elementary classmates especially children of profs.

                Harry Roque is my batch as well though he came to UP High when I left for Pisay. 🐷

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Sarcasm aside the BIR must go after the Marcoses for agregate tax debt of 208 B.
          That is why people do not pay estate taxes. The Marcoses set a bad example.

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    I asked because of your last paragraph. How else it could be interpreted?

  17. VP Leni’s economic and job programs:

    • Not only “plans-plans” as some might say, this thread enumerates that VP Leni already has practiced what she plans to do nationally:

      • kasambahay says:

        salamat kaayo, Irineo. it’s not all the time that a candidate the likes of leni comes our way. she is so deserving of malakanyang! leni for president, kiko for vice president! magaling na tambalan.

  18. NHerrera says:

    Interesting set of comments starting from

    LCpl_X (@LCpl_X) says:
    December 9, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Thanks, folks.

  19. jov quio says:

    NTF ELCAC is but a over budgeted EO, more than many govt agencies dealing with general people’s need.
    Bloated budget which will never pass in a conscientious law making body.
    It was not the law abiding people who were scammed by such executive act but the budget of the country.
    To be funded, a barrio or barangay must submit proof that insurgency has ceased to exist in their jurisdiction. So the police must have shares of funds to operate against insurgents existing or not.
    Usually with sacrificial lambs to be eliminated in total violation of human rights? OMG, Duterte truly sucks!

  20. Juan Luna says:

    It’s time to elevate the level of campaign and really focus on the more serious side of the business. To touch on the issue of this article first, I think it’s not positive to talk about the possible dissolution of an office once you get to power. I say, keep mum about it in the meantime and talk later when you get the job done.

    On the millennials, yes, people who have no clear understanding of what happened during the Marcos years tend to lean on the safe side. Since they are not ‘direct witnesses’ of what transpired they tend to give the benefit of the doubt on questions of placing blame. Marcos is gone, but the son looks okay, so goes the justification to give BBM the second look. He has nothing to do with the sins of his father so why fault him? So goes the reason for contemplating to vote for BBM. And there are more ridiculous claims declaring the innocence of the Marcos family and elevating their accomplishments. I say, these are strong offensives that an opposing campaign cannot handle with just ordinary videos of just about anything sweet and jolly except the seriousness of the past.

    To all the parties, time to ramp up the your game by focusing on the abuses and excesses of the Marcos regime. There is no other way. Those animes, those promises of plans and programs may inform people well but it doesn’t equate to actually telling and showing them the risk and danger in putting scoundrels of the past back to power again.

    The young generation of today seems to be oblivious of the past due to various reasons one of which, I suspect, is lack of reading. When you don’t read about your history, you are bound to repeat the same mistakes again. It’s true, lack of reading breeds ignorance. The villains of the not so distant past gets to be superheroes before the eyes of the uninformed and illiterates. 🥸

    • I don’t think its a generation or education thingy, it’s family history.

      If people aren’t being told by their parents or lolos or lolas, then either parents (or grand) are dumb or forgetful, or they were not affected at all.

      Take Pol Pot for instance. I’m sure every Cambodian knows that you get another Pol Pot, forget Tiktok. Mao is a hero, because there was never a person that said he wasn’t.

      But more importantly, Chinese are happy overall. maybe that’s what’s happening.

      • It is very much family history. There are families (many in UP for instance) who suffered under Marcos, regions also like Samar, Negros and Bangsamoro where BBM hardly got votes even though he found it strange, but his father’s massacres there are unforgotten.

        There are families (some of my Pisay classmates were children of actual cronies I will not name here) that lived very well during Martial Law, and favored regions like Ilocos, though in Baguio it depends on what side of the Chico Dam conflict the family was.

        And of course there was the broad mass of people who weren’t involved at all, who lived OK and got through the hardship as always, or parts of the middle class that lived well until the economy crashed in 1982 – and found a symbol with Ninoy in 1983. There were a lot of Sauls who became Pauls back then, but also those who were disappointed later on, shifted to supporting Arroyo as Erap was seen as a threat.. It’s complicated and what part of the truth the old tell their kids over there is often shaded, just as LCPL_X said.

      • Juan Luna says:

        I wouldn’t solely put the problem on the shoulders of the elders especially if the younger generation has the capability, means and the resources to find out for themselves what the old days really was. Internet technology and social media, not to mention books, put the information at our fingertips, thus, it’s on us to educated and refresh ourselves on matters involving our past history.

        Unlike Cambodia, we really didn’t experience the so-called ethnic cleansing that would have been the catalyst for people to never forget what happened. The younger generation is really in a bind because they’re ignorance and lack of understanding of the past shows in how they commend BBM.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          That makes it worse, the young can fact check for them selves, but loyakists do bot want to.

          • “Unlike Cambodia, we really didn’t experience the so-called ethnic cleansing that would have been the catalyst for people to never forget what happened. “

            It was n’t really ethnic cleansing, more like lazy cleansing. Folks in the city were bused into the province, and those who couldn’t farm or do hard labor were killed, thus the Killing Fields.

            My point is that because it wasn’t like Pol Pot, the people who either were ambivalent or benefited from Marcos, are now coming to support. Those who got the short end, do not support. Which makes sense. I agree with Ireneo above.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Not speaking for Juan but even if it just kiling the lazy people it is a form still ethnic cleansing because of the bodies of evidence.
              Here the number of deaths were simply unreported or under reported by those who lived to tell.
              Dead men tell no tales.
              The current generation can fact check for them selves. My generation’s history books were full of falsehoods and are now fact checked and corrected, that Irineo can attest to.

              • I think youre missing my point, karl.

                Massacres and murders are remembered by people, that’s friends families or just witnesses who bore witness.

                My point is youre not suppose to rely on education or others for this type of remembrance. Hence, any attempts to force others to “remember”, if all they can remember are their lolos/lolas and parents having a grand old time in the 70s, or just no memories of bad at all,

                that’s not a very effective way of campaigning, essentially youre forcing people to remember your brand of memory, as oppose to theirs. When they remember it differently.

                Sure expose where you can, but IMHO focus on the future, what VP Leni can do, etc.

                Also, focus on easy to prove stuff, like I remember that recent Imelda documentary which showed her interviewed in a room full of expensive looking paintings, I’d personally like some sort of valuation for those paintings, and how procured and where they are now.

                I’m a fan of that livelihood and maker movement and manufacturing video that Ireneo shared, that’s good stuff. Forward looking.

                But yeah, just accept that Ilocos will be pro-BBM, but Mindanao is ripe for the taking for VP Leni. Go to Mindanao!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Thanks for bringing to me the point that i missed

            • Micha says:


              When it comes to recent or contemporary history, the Philippines has more in common with post Gorbachev Russia. By recent I am referencing our 1987 republic.

              In both instances, neoliberal capitalism took hold; enriching a handful of oligarchs who managed to capture and control the country’s crown jewels (oil, railways, banks, public infrastructures, telecommunications, etc.) while impoverishing millions through structural adjustment and market dictated shock therapy.

              Such toxic environment of massive inequality makes possible the strong appeal of a demagogue with authoritarian bent to rise (Putin, Duterte, and now quite possibly, Marcos Junior as the reincarnated father promising to unite and deliver us from evil amen).

              So, if Leni Robredo continues to be mediocre in her economic reform proposals and sticks it out with neoliberal approach, it’s not going to get any traction with impressionable voters and we will most likely be headed to another golden age of Marcosian sclerosis and Orwellian dystopia.

              • That’s above my pay grade, Micha. But I think it makes sense.

                So what do you propose she do? If you are to advise her?

                For sure China’s CBDC is on track; looks like Biden will go CBDC also; can Bangko Central follow suit? Can Philippines do CBDC and MMT? How can VP Leni do what China and US are doing?

              • Her economy and jobs video DOES mention reviving manufacturing etc. and I doubt that can be done in a purely neoliberal way, there will have to be a state role in pushing that.

                A bit like her initiative for locally made PPE during the pandemic, supporting local garment makers – much in contrast to the admin that sourced PPEs abroad.

                The stuff she wants to do to revive rural economies (essential for preventing future rebellions) is a mix of her existing stuff plus Kiko Pangilinan’s agri stuff plus Bam Aquino’s Negosyo Center stuff- Bam is her campaign manager BTW like in 2016.

                Even from a neolib perspective I doubt that “Makati” still wants serfs and squatters in countryside and city, if it ever did – it might want more paying consumers, middle class.

                Besides the difference between Russia and the Philippines is that even before neolib there were Marcos cronies, some of whom transitioned to oligarchs. And the system today is a truly perverse mix of neolib and protectionism where foreign firms need a local oligarch partner to set up shop. OK, Dutz and his gang have opened up some industries to foreign ownership but it is clear who stands to benefit. In fact foreign owned is a major trigger in Philippine politics. Even if Harry Stonehill happened before Makoy.

              • Micha says:


                For starters, she could go big on your pet project – UBI – since we’re still in the pandemic age. Lots of tricycle drivers and cigarette vendors to pull into the voting precinct for that. I see no problem deploying MMT insight to get it done.

                Go big too on rural agriculture subsidies, not the neoliberal flavored agri business.

                Go big on reigning in the greed of oligarchs like Manuel Pangilinan and Ramon Ang and the Ayala/Soriano empire (would be problematic if they are actually bank rolling her campaign).

                Go big on transitioning into renewable energy. Climate change is a bitch we have to deal with eventually.

              • This is her economic and jobs program in a nutshell, five major points, no UBI but unemployment insurance in the mix, retraining and all.


                (There is an aspect of Climate change in it. As for oligarchs I doubt the Sorianos are still relevant, they were big before Marcos but kinda went to the USA and even Spain, lost San Miguel. The Spanish mestizo oligarchs are those Makoy, Sionil Jose and MRP loved to hate, only Ayala and Razon remain among the Top 10 now. Don’t know who VP Leni’s campaign donors are but her Kaya Natin and other initiatives rely on private donors)

                This is Kiko’s statement on what he sees as human rights, it does include social justice, details of his agri programs which I know is one focus he has aren’t out yet as of now: (what should also be interesting are Risa Hontiveros’ plans as she is also on board)


              • Micha says:


                Seems plausible but given Filipino voters’ attitude, next big challenge, apart from disseminating it widely, is to convince them she’s really going to do it – that it’s not just electioneering.

              • Well, she already has said that programs alone don’t cut it, voters should look at what candidates have already done – a reference to her own track record of what she already did with the limited resources of the OVP. Imagine her with Presidential possibilities.

                But yes, it is a hard sell. Disclosure which isn’t surprising: I am one of the content managers in a major overseas support group. We do at times get the astonished FB smiley reposting FB shares of her work pre-2016, post-2016 and during the pandemic.

                Even a lot of pink volunteers don’t fully grasp the scope of her track record and her insights YET, though the rising number of those that do are busy convincing friends and family to switch from BBM, with some successes. From what I heard – I wasn’t that active in her 2016 campaign as I am now – ground level convincing and testimonials by the likes of the Sumilao farmers (this time Negros farmers are playing a role, especially some who got tractors via Kaya Natin) played a major role in her “surprising” win.

                Where she is doing a far better job today than Mar Roxas in 2016 is in her use of social media, having learned I think from the debacles of 2016 and 2019.

                FB excellent, YouTube ramping up, Tiktok still struggling is my impression as of now.

              • I had to look up this Manuel Pangilinan dude, MIcha, but I’m seeing a possible conflict of interest here. Internet speed is up there because DU30 ensured competition,

                Does this mean then that if PLDT is back on top again, its slow internet all over again??? back to the dark ages?

                That would totally suck!

              • Micha says:

                Telecommunication, like water and electricity, is a natural monopoly essentially selling the same product to captive customers. So called competition in the industry is a charade because all players will just end up forming a sort of cartel. Super mergers like that of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Comcast reveals the illusion of competition. The least you’ll get is a doupoly.

                Ditto with the Philippines’ PLDT, Globe, and whatever new company Duterte injects in the game.

                The only arbiter against player abuse is government regulation and neoliberals like Manuel Pangilinan hate regulations. If Duterds managed to whip their asses and compel them to improve their services, well, that’s in Duterte’s plus on the report card.

                MVP is the Philippines’ equivalent of Mexico’s Carlos Slim – the super billionaire who is also into telecom, real estate, media, transportation, energy, casino, and banking. I’ve heard Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific is also even into garbage hauling and sewerage, the things these people wouldn’t leave un-privatized.

              • JoeAm says:

                I still can’t formulate what a neo-lib does, and what a non-neo-lib would do. Pangilinan seems more crony than political, and capitalists hate regs, too, if they hurt the business. People who don’t pay taxes are neo-libs? Color me confused.

              • JoeAm says:

                ps, I was jumped on by about 50 leftists on twitter the other day. They called me a neo-lib, a centrist, and a fascist. So it seems to me the left doesn’t know either, but can tag as well as Parlade.

              • But the question is how close is he to Kiko? Says nephew in that fb post that doesn’t seem to be showing.

              • Micha says:


                Way past bedtime here in my time zone, will answer your queries tomorrow. Meanwhile, there’s this quite comprehensive wiki article on the subject for your perusal :


                and a Joseph Stiglitz prognostication :


              • JoeAm says:

                These excerpts capture my confusion well, as legitimate.

                Neoliberalism is essentially an intentionally imprecise stand-in term for free market economics, for economic sciences in general, for conservatism, for libertarians and anarchists, for authoritarianism and militarism, for advocates of the practice of commodification, for center-left or market-oriented progressivism, for globalism and welfare state social democracies, for being in favor of or against increased immigration, for favoring trade and globalization or opposing the same, or for really any set of political beliefs that happen to be disliked by the person(s) using the term.
                Phillip W. Magness[43]

                “Neoliberalism is also, according to some scholars, commonly used as a pejorative by critics, outpacing similar terms such as monetarism, neoconservatism, the Washington Consensus and “market reform” in much scholarly writing.[8] The Handbook of Neoliberalism, for instance, posits that the term has “become a means of identifying a seemingly ubiquitous set of market-oriented policies as being largely responsible for a wide range of social, political, ecological and economic problems”.[7] Its use in this manner has been criticized by those who advocate for policies characterized as neoliberal.[54]: 74  The Handbook, for example, further argues that “such lack of specificity [for the term] reduces its capacity as an analytic frame. If neoliberalism is to serve as a way of understanding the transformation of society over the last few decades then the concept is in need of unpacking”.[7] Historian Daniel Stedman Jones has similarly said that the term “is too often used as a catch-all shorthand for the horrors associated with globalization and recurring financial crises”.[55]: 2  On the other hand, many scholars believe it retains a meaningful definition. Writing in The Guardian, Stephen Metcalf posits that the publication of the 2016 IMF paper “Neoliberalism: Oversold?”[56] helps “put to rest the idea that the word is nothing more than a political slur, or a term without any analytic power”.[57]”

              • JoeAm says:

                The Stiglitz article is excellent, especially the presentation of alternatives and statement on what priorities should be. I do think hanging “damage done” on neo-libs is trite over-simplification.

              • Micha says:


                The intellectual foundation of neoliberalism started off in the mid 40’s from right wing reactionaries led by Fredrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, eventually gaining currency during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile where he employed the economic advice of Chicago Boys trained by Friedman at the University of Chicago.

                At its core is the belief in the supremacy of free market and adamant opposition to government intervention. (This ideological underpinning is what totally collapsed during the Great Recession of 2008 and the pandemic wave of 2019 as referred to in the Joseph Stiglitz article).

                After the Pinochet experiment, much of neoliberal heft was gained during the terms of Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK – that duo operated on the principle of “government is the problem, not the solution” and that there is no alternative (TINA) to free market capitalism.

                In the 90’s, Democrat Bill Clinton turbocharged the free market agenda with a wave of deregulation, global free trade (NAFTA, WTO), and unleashed the power of Wall Street banks.

                Our own then President Ramos joined the fray and offered the Philippines into the altar of free market fundamentalism.

                The chicken then came home to roost in 2008.

                Neoliberalism was struck with a fatal blow.

                All was well and fancy until it didn’t.

                We got Duterte and Trump for it.

              • JoeAm says:

                Ah, clear synopsis, thanks. I’m no longer confused. I think there should be no such thing as freedom, just structure that is healthiest for all.

          • Micha, are you familiar with this book?

            “They go further, making the case that the conventional account of human history as a saga of material progress was developed in reaction to the Indigenous critique in order to salvage the honor of the West. We’re richer, went the logic, so we’re better. The authors ask us to rethink what better might actually mean.

            The Dawn of Everything is not a brief for anarchism, though anarchist values—antiauthoritarianism, participatory democracy, small-c communism—are everywhere implicit in it. Above all, it is a brief for possibility, which was, for Graeber, perhaps the highest value of all. The book is something of a glorious mess, full of fascinating digressions, open questions, and missing pieces. It aims to replace the dominant grand narrative of history not with another of its own devising, but with the outline of a picture, only just becoming visible, of a human past replete with political experiment and creativity.

            “How did we get stuck?” the authors ask—stuck, that is, in a world of “war, greed, exploitation [and] systematic indifference to others’ suffering”? It’s a pretty good question. “If something did go terribly wrong in human history,” they write, “then perhaps it began to go wrong precisely when people started losing that freedom to imagine and enact other forms of social existence.” It isn’t clear to me how many possibilities are left us now, in a world of polities whose populations number in the tens or hundreds of millions. But stuck we certainly are.”

            “Is “civilization” worth it, the authors want to know, if civilization—ancient Egypt, the Aztecs, imperial Rome, the modern regime of bureaucratic capitalism enforced by state violence—means the loss of what they see as our three basic freedoms: the freedom to disobey, the freedom to go somewhere else, and the freedom to create new social arrangements? Or does civilization rather mean “mutual aid, social co-operation, civic activism, hospitality [and] simply caring for others”?

            These are questions that Graeber, a committed anarchist—an exponent not of anarchy but of anarchism, the idea that people can get along perfectly well without governments—asked throughout his career. The Dawn of Everything is framed by an account of what the authors call the “indigenous critique.” In a remarkable chapter, they describe the encounter between early French arrivals in North America, primarily Jesuit missionaries, and a series of Native intellectuals—individuals who had inherited a long tradition of political conflict and debate and who had thought deeply and spoke incisively on such matters as “generosity, sociability, material wealth, crime, punishment and liberty.”

            The Indigenous critique, as articulated by these figures in conversation with their French interlocutors, amounted to a wholesale condemnation of French—and, by extension, European—society: its incessant competition, its paucity of kindness and mutual care, its religious dogmatism and irrationalism, and most of all, its horrific inequality and lack of freedom. The authors persuasively argue that Indigenous ideas, carried back and publicized in Europe, went on to inspire the Enlightenment (the ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy, they note, had theretofore been all but absent from the Western philosophical tradition). “


            a process very similar to this…

            • Micha says:

              Haven’t read the book yet but intends to do so later after I’m done with the consciousness stuff of Antonio Damasio.

              David Graeber is the intellectual soulmate of both Noam Chomsky and Michael Hudson so there’s no doubt the book is a kicker.

    • Actually a lot of VP Leni supporters are already sharing posts about the Marcos era, for instance those of ex-CJ Meilou Sereno (who is BTW an Evangelical, Filipino evangelicals might be 2/3 DDS and 1/3 Pink based on my own incomplete observations) or others. What isn’t official yet can still become official, just like VP Leni’s programs since today, bolstered by her statement that actual proof of having done stuff counts just as much – of course the proof of her having done all she preaches is all over the place + shared.


      In addition one must not underestimate the power of Pink. Chel Diokno’s YouTube Channel only had 20K followers earlier today and is now over the mandatory 100K that it seems COMELEC will mandate after a viral call to help him. Now there is the call to follow other relevant YouTube accounts as well so they can be confirmed, I am quite confident that the different volunteer groups will get it done quickly also.

      This is a marathon with 5 months to go, so a lot of stuff can still happen.

      • Juan Luna says:

        “This is a marathon with 5 months to go, so a lot of stuff can still happen.”
        I agree, it’s a marathon session but if I’m on the shoes of those running against BBM I would be very, very careful not to be complacent. Yes, it’s a long way to go but every detail counts. There is no such thing as unimportant on election campaign. Everything that would score points on one’s behalf and deliver a setback on the opponent is important. You have to outdo and outwork your nemesis.

        Politics is like sports, strategies matter. Right now, as far as I know, no political ad campaigns from all sides have delivered a powerful message that tend to politically hurt, expose as fraud, or incapacitate an opposing party. However, I expect that to happen in the coming days.

  21. So far, I have never been disappointed by VP Leni. She does seem to know when to attack (meaning when ready) and when not to.

    That many underestimate her still could even be an advantage – in my opinion.

    • JoeAm says:

      Agree. Her Press Conferences demonstrate a mastery of issues. She’ll dominate debates.

    • NHerrera says:

      She does seem to know when to attack (meaning when ready) and when not to. Prime example of intelligent, critical thinking people with limited resources.

  22. VP Leni has just shown how she deals with constructive criticism now:

    Considering that Miyako is smart and also annoying, having had her scuffle with a lot of Pinks and Reds equally on Twitter, VP Leni reading and thanking her for a long thread is significant. Thread is worth reading too.

    • NHerrera says:

      The overall behavior, statements, and actions of Leni Robredo are the reason why people are drawn to energetically and creatively volunteer to make possible her election. The reason why such people as Miyako Izabel @sejoalzir — who you characterize as “smart and also annoying,” in reply to @lenirobredo — are moved to make statements like, A good leader like you must win–at all costs or whatever means necessary all for the country.

    • Jeep says:

      Miyako is a gem. Sure can be annoying, but what she just unleashed are “hard truths” on Filipino psyche and culture. Robredo’s campaign needs a dash of Miyako and LCPL_x to counter widespread lies and fakeries from other camps.

  23. https:esquiremag.ph/politics/opinion/marcos-propaganda-a1576-20160923-lfrm2 long read on how Marcos managed to control the narrative then and now.

  24. The volunteer HQ incident is now also resolved after barely a week. This is the agility of VP Leni’s organization that I talked about, again I am not disappointed and in fact the quick response was amazing.

  25. NHerrera says:


    The Philippines, it was said, is rich in biodiversity– maybe it still is.

    The people are also rich in “biodiversity” — having the range of people that span the likes of the Aquinos (Cory, Ninoy, Noynoy), Jesse and Leni Robredo, Maria Ressa; and Marcos and Duterte.

    My thought goes a lot today to Maria Ressa having viewed his Oslo Nobel Peace Prize Speech.

      • “as to avoid the possible telegraphing of punches, “

        That’s the wrong way of seeing this IMHO, propaganda is propaganda meaning its meant to be spread. There should be no secret messages (of course internally , yes).

        You got halo-halo special… you can either compartmentalize and eat layer by layer, or mix it up as intended to get the fullness of the flavor (the whole point of it all). Mix it up, NH.

        Mix it up, and telegraph as much as you want. Theres no Secret Santas here.

        • I think Kiko Pangilinan as a sportive man from college years – and THE man who won the affection of megastar Sharon Cuneta – is referring to something else.

          He has understood that this Philippine elections are like a street fight at worst and MMA at best, and in such fights the opponent not knowing where the “punches” will come from in advance means they are playing catch up.

          The myriad socmed groups and pink caravans pro Leni were the vital “first punch” in a country that has a bandwagon mentality. It is like the sudden massing of people on EDSA had an element of surprise even for an aging but still sly strategist like Makoy.

          Counterpunches like the Commonwealth caravan of BBM supporters were not really a surprise to me, though I did feel a certain sense of shock among SOME kakampinks. The 1980s equivalent to that were of course the loyalist gatherings after February 1986.

          I don’t even think all concern trolls are honest and forthright. Some might be “spies”.

          Miyako (a transgender mix of Visayan settler and Lumad from Davao with a degree in anthropology from UP, curiously she publicly admitted having had a crush on my father while she was still gay and attended his lectures because of that, authority figure etc.) and you LCPL_X are without an agenda like that, not so sure about Juan Luna, though he could just be an incoming new blog pundit, this could be his blog as Heneral Luna and Juan Luna were brothers, don’t know: https://heneralunacy.wordpress.com/

          Of course all camps are making up their strategy as they go along, as Clausewitz wrote the first shot makes all plans obsolete, but the pink approach is similar to McArthur’s – and Joe’s – bee fleet concepts. It utilizes the Filipino agility and diversity at local level.

          • “and you LCPL_X are without an agenda like that, not so sure about Juan Luna,” Agreed.

            For me, Juan Luna could very well be a sabateur, but my focus is more does he bring doable and quality ideas to the table. Because that’s all that matters, if he is actually pro-BBM, but the ideas he spouts end up helping VP Leni, oh well.. too bad for him. Steal it.

            So just focus on the quality of ideas, and whether or not they can be delivered.

            I totally agree with Micha that we’re on the cusp right now, with CBDC and crypto and Web 3.0, and I think VP Leni could totally do something big, instead of the tried and old methods that’s just becoming obsolete fast– as China and the US are fast realizing.

            I’d like to see UBI talked of more by Filipino economists and policy makers there. Just so Filipinos are exposed to the idea. More now are open to it than before when Andrew Yang started talking about it.

          • Juan Luna says:

            “…not so sure about Juan Luna, though he could just be an incoming new blog pundit…”

            “For me, Juan Luna could very well be a sabateur…”
            Guys, what do I get in messing up your discussion here? To sabotage is to “deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.”

            Am I really doing that here? Like I said, I’m here to join the discussion and I am (kapal ng mukha ko to admit) a pundit, an amateur one. I’m here to share just like I do in other blogs, even in Youtube. I usually play a devil’s advocate because it’s fun to do and at the same time I, and we, learn something out of arguing, debating and discussing issues. You get to strengthen and establish your ideas, I get the chance to test your capability to do it. And always it’s the other way around.

            I say, disabuse your mind thinking that anybody who speaks a ‘different language’ is up to no good or spy or a saboteur. It’s not cool to be suspected as someone with a predatory agenda. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way too it the table is turned.

            All I can say is, given the prevailing season, there’s a lot to talk about and I have a lot in my mind to discuss and explore and share with you and I hope we stay on the level.

            I respect everybody and the least you can do is to treat me the same way. 👨🏽‍💼

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Fair enough ok guys enough with the initiation of Juan, let Joe run his house by his rules. I say we trust but verify moving forward.

              I had been called pretentious, plastic, too good to be true many times in my life.
              I know how it feels.

              • JoeAm says:

                Joe says deal with the issues. I’m rather interested in Micha’s notion that Robredo seems “neo-lib” which I judge to mean conventional, seeing the need for income and investment and jobs to better care for the struggling workers. She’s not socialist, but is probably closer to AOC than to Bezos. She’s not degrowth, nor should she be. But I’d imagine she will be a better steward of natural resources than anyone previously. I don’t know what a “non-neo-lib” government is supposed to entail.

              • Agreed.

                But just for the record, since we’re pointing fingers, it was Micha who started bullying Juan.

                Me and Ireneo are just joining the fun, after the fact. Micha for sure started it.

              • Please, LCPL_X – do we look like bullies in a Korean drama?

                Actual bullying was what some hard-core Pinks did behind Miyako’s back on Twitter, accusing her of being a closet DDS and all for being critical of VP Leni’s campaign. I did call her out and ask her to be constructive and she finally was. Just like with Juan Luna I watched what was going on for a while and then came out with my viewpoint or question – maybe direct but still respectful. This isn’t what NTF-ELCAC does today. I don’t want to be a tagger or gatekeeper.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’d blocked her at one point. Don’t know when or why. That would generally mean she was more than irritating. Dogmatism is not criticism.

              • Miyako I think gets too worked up about things at times and overshoots.

                And she is a bit like me in my beginning here, has to develop listening skills and avoid giving monologues all the time. She might learn, she might not, it’s her choice really.

              • JoeAm says:

                Good description. Thanks for listening. 😁😁😁

              • Micha says:

                “..it was Micha who started bullying Juan.”

                Haha, I didn’t realize I have this bullying ability until now. Just got pissed Juan made multiple posts about that visitor-turning-away incident at Leni’s headquarters. I don’t think that needs to be amplified more than it deserves as an election issue.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Yes, we stick to the issues.
                I too want to know what is a non neo lib environment.
                Nationalized everything? near zero import and export?

                I have a constantvexchange with an anti capitalist, yet everytime he only eants the aspirations of communism.

                I doubt that is what Micha wants.
                Let us hear frok Micha again.

              • As for Neo-lib vs. non Neo-lib , I don’t know either, and hope Micha can elaborate.

                But this is my understanding of MMT and UBI, so long as its the gov’t that sets what it wants to prioritize, MMT is neither left or right (the right can use MMT just as well as the left); same same with UBI, so long as it s universal, nor is that left or right. Neo-lib seem to favor say trickle down economics, quantitative easing, etc. etc.

                So I’m thinking a non-Neo-lib has to be someone who espouses anything that hasn’t been done before. I could be wrong, so Micha, am I close?

            • Well, the Philippine political and blogging scene is full of gameplayers.

              I did suspect that you might be about the typically Pinoy strategy of demoralization by saying “talunan kayo” but by now it seems not to be.

              BTW we are all here because the host, Joe, is very patient but puts his foot down when gameplaying goes too far. This makes it a far better place than the toxic environment of the other blog you mentioned where all is heckling.

  26. Karl Garcia says:

    re ubi

    we already have conditional cash transfers that covers the poorest of the poor why not cover the 20.2 m families in PH

    20k per month or 240k a year per fam 484, 800,000,000 per year very doable.

    there must be a program for financial literacy, modern farming, modern fishing,etc etc

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Just a p.s.
      In my city I see houses renovated or being built and noticed that contractors hire workers who live nearby, i guess many abled bodies with all around abilities can have jobs all year long and not necesarily building roads and bridges

      • JoeAm says:

        Home construction seems to be a well knit local community where, indeed, everyone knows everyone and they put together teams that work the labor that goes into steel and cement, or wood. I’m impressed by the work they do. Labor and long plastic tubes to get the levels right.

  27. Juan Luna says:

    Another thing on the millennials, Ferdinand Marcos, the principal character of the story, is long gone. My take on that is, millennials are really not that oblivious of the past. They know the history and they are aware of the villains it’s just that they’re in a quandary to be put as the judge to declare whether we should move on with or without the Marcoses. When one is unsure one tends to go to the safe side. Hence, we hear justification that the son has nothing to do with the sins of the father. Why is he being accused of something he did not do? That since Macoy did a lot of good things for the country why will they condemned the son who is not even involved in the management of the country back then?

    Aside from people having short memories, they also tend to compartmentalize responsibilities and accountability. Macoy was president for more than 20 years and in those years he was able to satisfy a large number of the population even if the majority really wants him out of office. And then, there was the EDSA revolution which has not been purely an opposition creation. It was participated in, actually led, by people who were solidly identified with Marcos. People who were in the higher ups of government, the ones who helped Marcos implement and carry out the martial law to further prolong his stay in power. In other words, it was a revolution with lots of impurities. Given that scenario, the retribution and dispensation of justice got hijacked. We never saw anyone rot to jail because of the abuses under martial law. No one, as far as I know, got a life because of graft and corruption. Even the killer of Ninoy Aquino has never been firmly established!

    Was the ouster of Marcos justified? YES. He stayed too long in power, thus, everything bad that happens in his watch is his responsibility. He deserved whatever it is that could have been the retribution of his misdeeds. But the sad thing was, the man died avoiding the long arms the law. He evaded justice just like how he desecrated it while he was in power

    We can all ignore these possibilities but it is out there. It’s real and BBM knew he’s in a good place having those bits of reality in his favor.

    So, what now? The struggle, I guess, continues because the ghost of tyranny continues to lurk down the streets, in the boondocks and everywhere where it can find refuge and survive. Ours is an unfinished project. We had it in our hands in 1986 and, in fact, we were able to wrest the lever of power and bring back democracy in the country only to find out years later that we are slowly sliding back down to that dark corner of history where we emerged from.

    At present, BBM, as a presidential contender, is seen as a blessing by the loyalists and supporters and a curse by the opposition because the fight between good and evil continues to rage. And the millennials, caught in the middle, will have to find out in real time if their decision will be a blessing or a curse, will they favor the good over the bad?

    I’m keenly watching. 👁 👁

    • How many windmills are there really in the Philippines? I know these in the ad are the ones in Ilocos. Over here in California its widely known that these wind power generators are more tax shelters for energy companies than actual power generator, in a sense they are subsidized by the gov’t. I think with all the green energy stuff, solar is what’s being taken seriously here, not so much wind.

      So my question are these windmills really producing energy, or are they just R&D or means to milk foreign NGO or foreign gov’t handouts (BBM mentions Israeli group)?

      • JoeAm says:

        I love windfarms, Tehachapi and Palm Springs being the best. Majestic. Round the bend and “shazaam”, tall alive machines from some sci-fi flick cranking slowly slowly in the wind. If I were homeless, I’d set up camp beneath them and dine on diced fowl every night.

        • Have you ever been under one or a bunch of ’em Joe, I hiked under the ones by Tehachapi (part of the Pac Crest trail), and they bellow a very unnatural hum. Very alien, not relaxing at all. But they are pretty to look at from a distance, and I think BBM’s team is milking that aspect of these windmills, otherworldly sense of progress.

          But we should definitely fact check as to the veracity of its output, per BBM.

  28. Karl Garcia says:

    Pinagpipilitwn ng bbm na bayad na lahat at tinawqg pa akong bobo. Pagawa ko homework ng anak ko sa kanila ang lwkasnila mag bobo.

  29. Juan Luna says:

    Guys, we got carried away talking about windmills (wind turbines, actually) we forgot to fact check the topic for veracity. I just came across these following materials related to what we’re talking here. It might help us understand better the subject matter.



    My comments later.

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