Federalism in Practice

Opinion and Analysis

By JoeAm

In the last article, I proposed that dynasties are a way of life in the Philippines, so use them well rather than try to defeat them with an anti-dynasty law. An impossible task.

Some readers took this to mean that I was saying dynasties are better than true democracy, a place of equality and fairness rather than privilege. No. I’m saying I don’t know how to get to that perfect democracy in a nation of peoples who simply don’t hold the knowledge or “intellectual framing” to make it happen. A study was reported last week that said 80% of all Filipinos have no dreams of a better life. How are you going to sell them on the fuzzies of democracy?

My argument is to build on what you have, reshape it, rather than fight it with impossible aspirations.

That now leads me to wondering if federalism is a better model for the nation, breaking authority down into regional pieces (yes, probably heavily influenced by dynasties). Federalism was proposed by President Duterte but never got off the ground. Mistrust. Not a priority.

Here’s what federalism is according to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute: “Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern. Both the national government and the smaller political subdivisions have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other.

The US is federalist. As are many nations. The Philippines is structured into provincial governments but it’s legislature is not set up to capture the interests of those local provinces. Local interests are diluted in the House of Representatives by political allegiances that shift with national (budgetary) shifts of power. The Senate is elected nationally rather than regionally so it, too, does not speak for the provinces.

How do regions gain proper say in the nation’s affairs?

It’s a struggle. Most provinces and cities just do their own thing. The rich thrive and the poor do not.

No one trusts anyone in a highly politicized nation, so it is difficult to get a Constitutional amendment passed to reconfigure how legislators are elected. It’s difficult to get to a restructured federalism.

Is it possible to raffle provinces off to legislators who then take it upon themselves to represent the interests of those regions for six years? Hmmmmm. Or organize the provinces into “states” and raffle off the states? That would be a form of federalism taken up at the initiative of the National Government. I’d imagine it would bring regional interests directly into government decision-making. And do it quickly.

All federalist nations deal with the tensions of regional versus national interests. Rather than being bound by idealism, or how others do it, why not look at what the Philippines is today, and adapt to what can realistically be done?

Give the provinces more power. Now.

That’s problem-solving. It’s pragmatism. It’s getting things done.


Photo credit: Philippine Star

166 Responses to “Federalism in Practice”
  1. timowp17 says:

    This year marks the implementation of the Mandanas ruling wherein Local Governments would be empowered because they have more share in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

    • JoeAm says:

      Ah, very good. Thank you for that information. A step in the right direction.

        • JoeAm says:

          Dominguez says that LGUs spend less money so GDP will be reduced. Well, national can pump it out in billions so they can spend it, but if it is buying Pharmally goods, it isn’t really an efficient buy. I also think that, if you require LGUs to spend more aggressively, they will learn to do so and meaningful work will get done. Like bike lanes, Iloilo style, I imagine. The future does not have to be the past, and I think we should never make decisions under a misguided mandate for perfection.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks for that

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Just good national and regional leaders can do it, thanks.

          • kasambahay says:

            mandanas ruling, the word that got me is ‘well aligned’, that development goals of lgus aligned with the national govt.

            I’m reminded of the one time stand off in cebu when gwen garcia as mayor of cebu squabled with national govt and barricaded herself in the city hall, refusing order to vacate her office?

            same thing happened with junjun binay, the one time mayor of makati also barricaded himself in city hall and refused the order to submit to national govt for him to answer – inquiry?

            had mandanas ruling now in place, maybe lgus will decide if no vax no ride is not okay and overturn dotr’s ordinance. making it okay for the unvax to ride public transport.

            if goals dont aligned . . . national govt would just have to be dexterous and send in the big guns, lol!

        • Germany has quite a number of Federal government services rendered by municipalities like for instance:

          1) applications for passports and national ID
          2) applications for car license plates and driver’s license
          3) application for certification of no criminal record (similar to NBI clearance)

          Of course the municipalities connect to Federal IT systems to get this done and get money from Federal for rendering these services. It is quite nice I say not to have to go to countless Departments and Bureaus to get served like in the Philippines.

          BTW Locsin had a quite smart idea to streamline services in Embassies by requiring only the NCSO printout and not always original birth certificate all the time, one of the few to think in a very modern way and not the old black ink blue ink fall in line bureaucracy.

          (BTW the system in German municipalities is either pull a number and wait for it to be called or make an appointment via Internet in advance, why fall in line nowadays. And with barcodes or QR codes one can go to the cashier’s office and pay the fee without having to go back to the original desk where one has applied for something. Yes the cashier’s office in Munich is the only place where I still had to fall in line)

  2. The Philippines is an archipelago, and most people can relate the most to their own town as cause and effect are more tangible, though the results of that local politics can be as different as Naga and Iloilo versus Davao City with Cebu more like the first two.

    As for provinces, clearly one’s own folks may watch out for one another more, Joey Salceda was and is a trapo nationally but he took good care of his native Albay as Governor, especially regarding disaster preparedness in typhoon and volcano country.

    Possibly it is also easier for civic groups to monitor how funds are spent, maybe just a few Excel sheets are enough, at local and provincial level. National’s great problem IMO in the Philippines is huge funds which are opportunities and temptations for thievery, especially as most Filipinos probably see the big numbers as too abstract to relate to. Whereas the price of a few houses or cars overspent in one’s own province or town might be more real for many, unless of course the entitled have private armies a la 1950s.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, National seems superfluous with regard to money, just dividing it up by budget item and forgetting about it. LGU’s have priorities that are more tangible and can shift, for example, if there is a storm. Needs are local.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        With devolved functions finally implemented.
        Tye lgus must temporarilyhire bureaucrats outside their locality Once enough local people can do the job in local dpwh, local dost, local agri,etc things can flow smoothly otherwise it would red tape taped over red tape.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Just be sure not to have too many ghost employees in LGUs though

          • In that case call the Ghostbusters or Alexandra Trese.

          • kasambahay says:

            karlG, there will come a time when an lgu compete with another lgu to buy much sought after building materials needed to rebuild after typhoons. and because materials will be scare and competition is fierce,I hope it will not come down to overcharging and palakasan. and to keep stocks, lgus would need big enough warehouses.

            and to foster closer relationships with one another, politically and dynastically, lgus will have sister cities, towns and baranggays thus creating their own enclaves.

        • JoeAm says:

          Yes, and a “best practices” mindset would likely develop as some LGUs began reporting surges in wealth.

  3. On the previous blog, Juan asked me what a LENI-SARA 2022 type governance would look like. And honestly I don’t know, Ireneo’s been keep us up to snuff with VP Leni and her Bicol region work prior, eg. the Bicol River Basin Development Program , then as VP all the poor to work programs.

    Inday Sara we can surmise that since karl’s family has been loyal to the Dutertes, that they (in particular Sara) have been doing good work in Davao as well. But Bicol area (remember Ireneo talking about their version of chavacano) is old, as well as Davao (since under the Americans post-Spanish American war).

    So Bicol and Davao have faired well under LENI-SARA, but they were recent stewards, both places are old.

    But a better test LGU is Lilo-an , which is still in the process of rising up , Sara has connections with this city via Christine Frasco ,i still do not understand how the two became BFFs, nothing in Google, so I’m assuming maybe theyre Law School classmates? i dunno. maybe karl’s relatives in Davao know the connection.

    Sara has already visited Lilo-an; VP Leni I don’t think has, but if the Pinks could also look into Lilo-an as a case study of an LGU that has done good, and attempt to replicate said achievement nationally, that is another means to learn how a LENI-SARA partnership will be good for the Philippines.

    In the case of Lilo-an, I’m sure its proximity to a much bigger city helps, so replicate it, then the next LGU close in proximity to Lilo-an will come up and so on and so forth, like dominoes. That’s the template that can be copied here.


    • Here’s more… i know i’ve suggested Fil-Ams (or any Filipinos born outside Philippines) should be considered national treasures, I’ve gotten flak from the likes of jameboy, etc. for proposing this. IMHO, when you have values from Anglosheres/West Europe it’ll change your worldview, now couple that with dynasties power plus LGU accountability (via Federalism) as Joe’s proposing, the sky’s the limit…

      here’s another “Lifestyle” interview (theres no articles with meat, i have no idea why Filipino journalists just incapable of writing policy focused articles, its all gimmicks and love, all bs… but theres bits of info).


      “Duke: Christina understands what I do. The schedule, the people around me. She completely understands, probably because she comes from a political family also. Night or day, there is someone to defend me to my last breath. I know Christina will do that. We both understand each other. Separately, we accomplish a lot. But when we are together, sobra pa. Things perhaps we wouldn’t be able to do as individuals. She’s gwapa pa jud.

      Christina: It’s nice to actually meet a person I get to share the same direction and values. We were raised from different parts of the globe but with the same exposure: politics, public service. He’s not like everyone else. He was raised in the States yet he is here to serve the people. He is someone who has goodness in his heart. He left his beautiful life in America and came here to the Philippines to serve. It’s nice to find a person so young, brilliant and handsome. We do complement each other. And yes, we do accomplish many things together, like I help out in the legal concerns in his barangays and in the free legal aid he provides to the people.

      Duke: Here’s one example. Christina always enhances or fine tunes the project we have in the municipality. For example, the program I have for the unemployment rate. She always finalizes the program so the wording will flow and everything will look good. She makes me a better mayor. And she loves to cook, which is a great thing, because I love to eat. Hahaha.

      Christina: See, we do complement each other. I am really excited about the future we have and what we can do together.”

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    Please refrain from repeating my relatives connection to Duterte. I know I initiated it but please stop.

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    Christina Frasco is the daughter of the incumbent Governor, Gwen Garcia.
    She is the vp of the league of municipalities maybe that is where Sara and her get to meet.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Plus Cebu is vote rich, prospective presidents even senators go there to ask for support from the incumbents.

        • Like I said in my original blog for LENI-SARA 2022, its for the voters to do, the individual campaigns will have to take care of their funders they’ll have their own promises, so sure if theres a group for ISKO-SARA 2022, that’s fine, and its fine too if Sara comments on it says yea or nay. In the end she doesn’t get a say come May 2022, not really, voters can mix and match. But highly unlikely for ISKO to win, he’s sided with DU30, BBM folks won’t like him and VP Leni folks won’t like him. so he’s painted himself into a corner.

          BBM vs. VP Leni now. But only SARA is in the VP race.

          So again the choices are BBM-SARA or VP LENI-SARA. if LENI-SARA 2022 gets traction Sara can say I don’t like Leni I prefer BBM, fine. But in the end, the voters will have the final say. MY point is that LENI-SARA 2022 is not dependent on whether or not Inday Sara agrees or disagrees. Only that LENI-SARA is how you push out BBM. that’s all, karl. That’s the plan. simple. Has nothing to do with Inday Sara really, just has to do with pro-VP Leni realizing Kiko can’t win, and sabotage BBM already this early on.

          This is the only actual power VP Leni supporters have.

          • kasambahay says:

            plenty voters are disgruntled and not happy with sara’s ilocano choice , they’ll be casting their protest votes for kiko!

          • kasambahay says:

            a vote for sara is a vote for bbm. anyone wanting to cast out bbm, had better cast out sara too. that way, sara cannot conduit both her party’s flag bearer bbm and party founder of lakas cmd gloria arroyo into leni’s newly formed govt, and wreck their malingering havoc on leni and compromising our nation.

            better vote for kiko, he has got leni’s back. kiko is on same page with leni and shares the same advocacies as leni.

            • Kiko just can’t win. I’m sorry, kb.

              • kasambahay says:

                oh, I’m sorry for you, too, corpora. kiko can win, your sara is doomed to fail.

              • kb,

                Obviously if Sara supporters feel disgruntled,

                the place to alleviate said disgruntleness is on the up ticket, the Presidential position. they need not vote for Kiko— again the assumption here is the bulk of Sara supporters are Mindanao/Visayas region. so why would they turn tail and go Kiko? doesn’t make sense.

                It’s the presidential position they can express said disgruntle. BBM vs. Leni. thus LENI-SARA 2022.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            This answer of yours is clearer.

  6. Juan Luna says:

    While I do not subscribe to the idea of a dynasty, I’m amenable to a Federal system of government. I’m of the opinion that it had been a long time coming.

    Sadly, the issue of federalism and it’s complexity has become a fodder for politics for so long that people appears to have lost interest on the issue. Also, no leader, at least not to my knowledge, among the current presidential contenders has champion or made a campaign advocacy the adoption of federal system of government.

    Bottom line, I’m all for it.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    There are more on the proposed Federalism constitution but I will pick this.


  8. kasambahay says:

    if federalism, our constitution would have to be reworded, the democratic republic of the philippines change to the federal republic of the philippines. the president will be called prime minister. the title changes, but the same politicians will still be around, their practices may change but their motive stays the same.

    as well , school textbooks may have to be updated and revised, in line with new federalism dogma. our laws may need revision, our democratic laws re-coded to incorporate federalist laws. out with the old, in with the new: maninibago tayo at marami ang malilito.

    we had better lots of money too, it will be costly to change over to federalism. money budgeted for promotion, implementation and to oversee the smooth transition.

    • kasambahay says:

      few yrs ago, duterte spent 25million pesos in hiring consultants among them a retired supreme court chief, to think tank federalism.

      the result was what many have “told you so!” federalism was deader than a dodo, lol!

      and our country was 25million pesos poorer.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Perhaps the Constituent assembly would be faster if they set a schedule to stop everything as in an impeachment trial.

        • kasambahay says:

          there was attempt to impeach digong 2x! but did not prosper. instead we lose de lima, as well as ex chief justice sereno.

          anyhow, my drinking buddies are excited! if we change to federalism, my shameless buddies will be among the very 1sts to apply for the newest collector’s item, the brand new phillipines passport with the new logo of the federal govt. the old passport issued under the republica ng pilipinas will be obsolete and made redundant kuno.

          if indeed we become federal, registered and approved as such, we most likely shall have new international ID code. else foreign countries could very well deny our commercial aircraft and maritime vessels entry if they carry the old transponder ID code of the republic.

          there will be confusion, but our people ask for it, the headache they want to have, lol!

  9. Karl Garcia says:

    Another good find, Iclicked on the related articles at the end of this article.


    • Karl Garcia says:

      Excerpt worth pondering.

      “Why deny that the Philippines is what it is? It is a divided nation, geographically, with over 7,000 islands. The 114 dialects testifies to the cultural divisions as well. Then there are the clans, the families, the tribes. Most provinces and cities are controlled by dominant families. Those are facts. Imposing a vanilla U.S. style democratic ideal at the national level tends to deny the local power structures.
      It ends up being a mutation as dynastic forces and the trading of favors dominate democratic process. Ideals like free expression are shoved aside in favor of power plays.
      Many of the local leaders, in U.S. terms, would be considered corrupt as they devise ways to apply government funds to assure staying in power. Vote buying, physical intimidation through private armies or local police, or directing project improvements to those areas that support candidates. In the Philippines, that is business as usual. Using government money to stay in office.
      Within that framework of local power, does Philippine culture support U.S. style freedoms? No, not at all. Authority is pronounced. You don’t hear leaders touting liberty and diversity. It isn’t in the lexicon or national personality to welcome outspoken protest.”

      • JoeAm says:

        The three factors that changed my view on federalism are: 1) how deeply dynasties and regionalism are entrenched (fighting it is an uphill, time-consuming battle), 2) how competent and visionary Leni Robredo is, and 3) recognizing that one can eliminate the Constitutional risks (mucking with term limits, for instance) by seeking to strengthen regional inputs OUTSIDE the Constitution. Just let Robredo run with it.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Thanks so much for the update. Hope my posting of past views and discussuons wouod not cause any confusion what so ever.

        • isk says:

          3 “recognizing that one can eliminate the Constitutional risks (mucking with term limits,…”
          In the US, the hot issue at this time is voting right that the ruing party is pushing for a change in the senate rule. Dynastic clan and political alliances in the Philippines I think will bring chaos if hot issue like this one arises.

          • There’s plenty of rhetoric, but this is dead on arrival, isk. If it was so important this issue, why did Biden wait so long to roll it out, shoulda been last year, right?

            “States also would have to establish automatic voter registration systems through their motor vehicle agencies, voters would have at least 15 consecutive days to cast ballots before Election Day, and every voter in the country would be able to request a mail-in ballot.

            The legislation would impose minimum standards on how people could be removed from voting rolls and how states provide “drop boxes” for their early voting ballots. Uniform national standards would be set for voter identification requirements, as well.”


            This is all good,

            but it comes down to states rights vs. federal encroachment. And again Sinema and Manchin are saying no; but more importantly, anti-Trump Republicans like Romney are asking hey how come we weren’t approached for this ? Cuz those anti-Trump Republicans would’ve certainly evened out Sinema and Manchin’s no’s.

            Biden’s messed up again here.

            • JoeAm says:

              One is inclined to ask, what are Republicans for, other than tearing at Biden? Insurrection? Minority disenfranchisement? What are they building?

              • JoeAm says:

                Are they for voting rights? They voted against it.
                Are they for covid relief? They voted against it.
                Are they for infrastructure improvements? They voted against it.

                Trump hosts a fascist rally and the media criticize Biden for riding the train. Truly, America has lost her bearings.

              • “Things are not going well. And the president needs to stop and reset and say what is it he’s trying to accomplish? And if it’s to try and transform America, he is not going to unite us,” said Romney.

                “Bringing us together means finding a way to work on a bipartisan basis. He had one success, the infrastructure bill, and that was done by Republicans and Democrats in the Senate working together. Build on that kind of success.”


                All those other bills its obvious GOP like Romeny would vote against, its too much gov’t. Voting rights is something different. Those were fiscal issues, in which Dems and GOP have never seen eye to eye.

                There is some give vis a vis Voting Rights, I for one am really for Election Day as holiday. Romney looks like he’ll be on board.

              • JoeAm says:

                If it’s the right thing for America, why does Biden have to beg? It’s a bill. In English. The “beg me or I’ll vote no” argument is political claptrap setting Biden up as the fall guy when it is Republicans who won’t do what’s right.

                Ps, that “he can’t unite us” argument is another fascist talking point when it is Republicans who are the drivers of hard division.

              • JoeAm says:

                Also, the ” fiscal” argument is nonsense. Covid relief, fer chrissakes. It is denial of what the Republican agenda is. Plainly stated by the Senate President. Destroy Biden. Not work for America. All such rationalizations are in favor of fascism, by my reckoning.

              • JoeAm says:

                Haha, case in point . . .

              • You’re essentially arguing for one party rule here, Joe— Democrats, Republicans are fascist (thus a non-starter). Well, that’s fascist!!!

                When in fact Romney et al. are asking for certain things to be amended , that’s politics, the give and take, and you’re saying this give and take is fascist? that’s the whole point of 2 party system, Joe.

                Biden is suppose to reach out to non-Trumpist Republicans. not bulldoze thru them. Bi-partisanship. That’s what Biden promised.

              • JoeAm says:

                No, you are doing that same thing. Taking the truth, spinning it upside down, and denying certain facts, like Trump and McConnell. It’s what media is doing, posing insurrection as a legitimate opposition to democrats. I’m for voting rights legislation that assures states cannot disenfranchise people. When Republicans talk about the bill components rather than Biden’s failure, I’ll know they are sincere.

              • isk says:

                As I see it, in the US, they are very passionate in their legislative agenda, while in the Philippines, IMHO, the system got corrupted maybe due to multiparty system? As to the Biden’s administration deficiencies , here’s a link from CNBC

              • JoeAm says:

                A perfect example of media’s assault on Biden. Stocks are up. Jobs are up. Unemployment is down. Vaccinated Americans are surviving the deadly Omicron, after Biden’s amazing vaccination drive in early 2020. No commentary on Republican anti-mask, anti-vaccine initiatives. Nope. They are the good guys, dying like flies, and they now want to send kids back to school to get infected. Media so miss the clicks that Trump gave them, they use the tabloid treatment on Biden to keep it going. And you and LCX buy the nonsense.

              • isk says:

                @ Sir JoeAm, we are for both governance. I think the far left policies are not in sync with the nation as the Gallup survey reveals. As they say, Governing is the art of compromise. Thank you. https://news.gallup.com/poll/388781/political-party-preferences-shifted-greatly-during-2021.aspx

              • JoeAm says:

                Biden is centrist, often criticized by the left (AOC, Bernie Sanders), so it’s a non-issue. The issue is Republican obstructionism and media right wing bias that has Biden forever in crisis, Trump the benign opposition rather than a lying, racist insurrectionist, and Republicans free to be self-dealers and promote no useful legislation. The parallel is Philippine media treating Duterte as innocent, not complicit in thousands of killings. It normalizes insurrection and obstructionism in the US.

              • Obstruction is the point of the non-Ruling party, Joe. So as to keep things balanced.

                As to insurrection, you’re buying hook-line-sinker, Don Le Mon’s fascist/racist rhetoric, had their been more National Guard (like the previous summer) there would not be no breach to the capitol; thus a site security issue. a bunch of police stations were over run that summer , Joe,
                are cities going crazy, no they’ve addressed the issue and moved on.

                Move on from Jan. 6. stop making it a boogey man. You’ll just turn people away. like Stacey Abrams. she’s gotta win Georgia, but not by scare mongering.

                There are a handful of non-Trumpist Senators, Joe. if you reach out to them, you’d have reached also Sinema and Manchin. that’s why tone down the divisive rhetoric, Romney is in Biden’s side, but he’s no lefty. appreciate that. work with that.

              • JoeAm says:

                It isn’t a matter of rhetoric. It is refusing to go into denial and be like prewar Germans. But, hey, I’ll make you a deal. Stick with Philippine topics and we’ll have no problem. Continue to recite “Biden in crisis” and the other trending fascist arguments, and we’ll have a problem.

              • Joe, this is Federalism in action!

                states rights vs. Federal gov’t.

                50-50(+1) and what to do when its 52-48 (+1).

                Answer: negotiate and do more politics, less rhetoric. Work. get to consensus,

                move that 50-50 to one side.

                Thus relevant.

              • JoeAm says:

                Point taken, as a concept. The Philippine specifics are different from the US specifics, and that is what we need to focus on.

            • isk says:

              I watched Ms. Krysten Sinema’ senate speech , she makes sense, the senate composition is almost 50-50, that they have shared responsibility and must work together. Thanks for the link.

    • Also, consider this Joe, where was Stacey Abrams here??? huh?

      Answer: She didn’t show.

      Why? because this is a states rights issue. Federal gov’t bulldozing its way will just not fly. So Stacey Abrams decided to not show. Arguably the most important Biden speech specific to her. No show.

      The lesson here i guess for the Philippines re Federalism, is for it to work the states have to fight back whenever theres encroachment. Stacey Abrams knows this.

      • JoeAm says:

        It is a states rights issue, in response to states taking initiatives to disenfranchise voters. Stacy Abrams? Who cares. By the way, the Washington Post is notoriously anti-Biden, so I put it in the same category of publication as some of Chemrock’s looney sources. And I note you reciting the patterned arguments of the fascists and say, ” ah, this is how Germany did it!”

      • The above graph is the basis of this bill, Joe. Now as a Dem you can say, yeah!!! let’s expand voting rights— the assumption here is the Dems have already won (eg. most multi racials will be Dems).

        My argument is sure, it does look like Dems have won the demographic fight and sure they can go it alone. But there are 10 or so non-Trump Republicans in the Senate (with 2 DINOs , Dem In Name Only, Sinema & Manchin). Sure Pres. Biden can double down on the You’re either with us or against Us rhetoric, racist or not racist; or your fascist vs. anti-fascist rhetoric.

        But what s clear is the this bill is dead on arrival.

        So why not respect the 2 party system, ableit the demographic is skewed now 2020 Census and all, why not get the non-Trump supporters in the Senate, and make the Voting Rights bill truly a mandate.

        My stake here is I want next Election Day to be a holiday , I’m for this bill , Joe. So Biden needs those Republicans, Joe. Get Romney and the rest will follow. he’s their moral anchor (the non-Trump Republicans).

        • “Another potential threshold for a successful cloture is 55 votes in the affirmative. This number is the statistical mode for the size of the majority since the 86th Congress, the first time the Senate had 100 seats (calculations based on data from Senate Historical Office). The benefit of this threshold for a majority is that it is not uncommon for the majority party to have this many seats, and if the majority is larger than that by even a handful of seats, it becomes all the easier to obtain cloture. If the majority is smaller than 55 Senators, the majority is still forced to obtain the buy-in of the minority party to conduct controversial business.”

          That’s another way.

        • JoeAm says:

          Dems don’t want to go it alone. That’s a ridiculous fiction. They are framing important bills, giving when it is necessary. The villain here is the party that has a platform of defeating Biden rather than building America, and is pursuing that agenda relentlessly. Biden started his term seeking collegial debate on issues and got nothing in return. So the idea that he is the culprit here is just more fascist bullshit, and you are serving it up. I’m tired of the nonsense that postures fascism as the other side of democracy. I’m taking a stand. It isn’t democratic, really, as in politics. It’s American, by the Constitution. Not Republican, by the Lord of the Lies.

          • JoeAm says:

            In other words, ask why 5 times and direct your criticisms to the real cause.

            • “So the idea that he is the culprit here is just more fascist bullshit, “

              I’m not saying he’s the culprit, Joe, I’m saying this bill is dead on arrival; so what is he trying to do? He went to Atlanta for the benefit of Stacey Abrams, and no show; 2 Dems in the Senate are not with him; Romney is open for discussion (unless you think he’s fascist too). Biden doesn’t have the votes, in a perfect Dem world it would’ve been 50/50 (plus 1, that’s the VP as tie breaker) but its not, thus he has to go the bipartisan route– and I’m no politician, but I’m pretty sure calling them racist, etc. is not the best way to do this.

              There’s things there that people like and theres stuff that people don’t like. For example, Election Day as a Holiday, everyones for that. there’s things in common w/ both parties find them. and whittle down, so its not Federal encroachment. Again its dead on arrival, so drop the rhetoric and whittle down the bill as to get a mandate, get the 2 Dems involved and some extra GOP (like Romney).

              • JoeAm says:

                You are supporting the theme that Biden is the problem rather than obstructionism. You are aligned with the trending fascist themes. You’ve sequentially rolled through the most common ones in your comments here. I am not seeing any recognition of the threat to American democracy that exists today.

              • There’s no threat to democracy , Joe. That’s why Jan. 6 is propaganda. It was a site security matter, they failed to secure site and it was over run, but MSM keeps saying it was the fascists and racists (hence you repeating their rhetoric).

                The Senate is 50-50(+1). That’s even Steven. As such should be considered. Biden is not considering nor appreciating this 50-50, minus 2 DINOs (Sinema/Manchin) The Dems have no path, thus maybe and…

                my point here, tone down the rhetoric. You’re saying I’m repeating fascist rhetoric, well I’m saying also that youre doing the same, Joe. But in the end, we’re at 48-52 (VP is plus 1 for the Dems). You think the solution for that empasse is more divisive rhetoric, Joe?

                I’m simply arguing for toning down the rhetoric, Joe.

              • JoeAm says:

                When Rand Paul, Tucker Carlson, and Donald Trump tone down their rhetoric, I’ll do so.

              • I’m talking about Romney et al. , Joe, why do you always go for the Trumpists?!!!

                There’s enough non-Trumpists in the Senate. Don’t fetishize the Trumpists!!! gives them power.

              • JoeAm says:

                Because US democracy is under threat from those who are hell bent on normalizing insurrection, lying, violence, racism, and voter disenfranchisement. As I said, drop the US from the dialogue, we’ll have no problem. But I’ll not let the blog be a platform for insurrection and nonsense.

          • That’s why Romney would be open to this bill, Joe. they’re pushing 17M strong right now.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    “And what will federalism do? It will empower a select few of these families and it will divide and undermine the nation. It will place the caliber of leadership we witnessed at the hearing, and the same unprincipled, biased, hostile, authoritarian, self-serving leadership, at the top of each state. Do you think people of this character will work diligently in favor of national interests? They can’t even manage the House as an institution of integrity and service to the people. They play unseemly political games. Why would they work cooperatively with “Imperial Manila”?

    Federalism is a sure path to a divided nation, a weak nation, a poor nation, an unethical nation favoring the few, and a nation of administrative incompetence led by people of low democratic character who simply don’t get it.

    The “it” being integrity, civility, service, and good works.”


    • kasambahay says:

      with federalism, I have entertained the possibility that lgus in the south will maybe establish their own caliphate, rule as they see fit and welcome and re-settle people with dubious character, those blacklisted in other countries for conduct unbecoming. dont you start! sabi ng mga drinking buddies ko, lol! hic.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        worst case: Civil war

        • The last civil war within Switzerland was between the two Appenzell cantons in the 19th century. Mostly all one thinks of nowadays is Appenzeller cheese.

          Malaysia has the SIA at the end which used to mean Singapore. Of course the most bloody and terrifying breakdown of a Federation was Yugoslavia. We might yet, God forbid, see a post-Soviet war much worse than that with Russia versus Ukraine.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            If China will convince Thailand to build that Kra Canal, the South might secede.

            • That would definitely be a game changer not as big as the Suez and Panama canals but still very significant. Singapore might lose a lot of business and recede economically just like old Malacca once did.

              BTW the Asian century has come to Europe in more ways than just one: Lithuania is getting millions from Taiwan for recognizing it, China of course has bought the Piraeus harbor in Athens, Sokor is building a new Warsaw airport.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                meanwhile the PH is still counting on it nurses to the US,UK,Aus etc
                And stll insisting on Seaman school despite being outclassed by newcomer or latecomer India and repeatedly failing EU safety audits.
                Plus only a percentage goes onboard training and chance to be officers.

                so i propose


              • kasambahay says:

                porbida, karlG, I read your article and I got sea sick, lol! I’m not a good swimmer and a dog can paddle better than me!

                anyhow, since we cannot make it on our own and make better qualified seamen, we had better network with other maritime academies like the ones in india, and send our graduate seamen over there for further studies: for them to hone their seamanship skills and acquire extensive and intensive knowledge that we could not give them here.

                we should not think of this as more expenses and waste of time, but investment for the future. good investment get good returns.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Good insights, thanks

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Pls clarify SIA at the end used to mean Singapore…you mean at the end of the word? What about Indonesia?

            • Singapore was one of the states of Malaysia from 1963-1965:


              Malaysia and Singapore were the formerly British colonies.

              Indonesia as the formerly Durch colonial area went independent directly after WW2 as Holland was too weak to take it back from the anti-Japanese guerilla forces. Indonesia wanted full control over Borneo so there was “konfrontasi” in 1963-1966:


              The Sabah claim by Marcos and the ensuing Jabidah massacre was only a minor part of the bigger picture in those days.

              BTW Quezon before WW2 dreamed of a Greater Philippines including Borneo + Indonesia.

              • Karl Garcia says:


              • Welcome. Also still learning more details like the Federation of Malaya was formed in 1948 and became independent in 1957. Basically it was the Sultanates of the Malay Peninsula and today they rotate in being the Constitutional monarch or Agung.


                The Philippine idea of Maphilindo as a Federation was practically stillborn in 1963:


                I think by then the three major states (consider Brunei and East Timor as minor states) of the Malay triangle had not only gone through very separate destinies with different colonial powers, but also their history had formed them differently: Indonesia as a republican reincarnation of the Majapahit Empire under de facto Javanese rule, Malaysia as a collection of Sultanates and the Philippines as its own specific kind of Republic with the centralistic force of the State and the centrifugal forces of local fiefdoms.

              • Karl Garcia says:


      • Well, citizenship and naturalization should stay a centralized matter I guess.

        Germany for instance had state-based citizenship until 1934. Absurdly the man under whose regime the citizenship laws were centralized became a citizen of Germany via Brunswick, not via Bavaria though his town once was Bavarian.

        States with own armies is something the USA gave up after the Civil War.

        States or regions with own different penal laws etc like in the USA would turn out chaotic in the Philippines. States with jurisdiction over education like in Germany might have Ilocos schools singing mandatory Bagong Lipunan.

        Giving provinces, not States or Regions more developmental leeway might be the way to go for the Philippines and bypass the pernicious pork barrel system. As it is hard to change anything there, use what is there and modify it a bit is the most doable way.

        Devolving some responsibility for health, social welfare and housing to provinces might help in a lot of situations, as DOH, DSWD and HUDCC seem a bit top-heavy at times. Some degree of result- not formality-based audit to deter corruption will be needed tho.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          I know we SNAFU on a lot of things, but a self inflicted civil war? I hope not.

          But I also said we will never have a suicide bomber and I was dead wrong.

        • kasambahay says:

          that’s a scary thought, not only will ilocos be singing the mandatory bagong lipunan instead of lupang hinirang, ilocanos could well be studying revisionist history. how great makoy was, how superhumanly talented, etc. the hero of heroes, makoy may even be made to eclipse our national hero, dr jose rizal.

          I really hope makoy’s heir, bbm, will lose in the election, again!

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Isko-sara supporters must relent with or without Sara’s blessing..
            That will be a big blow to BBM.

            No probem with Leni , in fact she is confident enough that she wants to beat Marcos instead of him being disqualified or cancelled out.

  11. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    I am posting an OT comment when discussions may not have been exhausted yet on the current blog — in short too early — and thus our Editor can rightly delete the post.

    My defense in its relevance to the current blog is that if the projection in the link that I will post below comes to reality, discussion of the advantage of federalism in the PH setting may become somewhat moot because of the difficulty of making that happen when the new setting can achieve some of the objectives — considering further that there are for and contrary arguments on either side of the federalism issue — via the guidance and active work of a new Administration.

    With that belabored preamble[ 🙂 ], I post this link — a long but rather well-argued article on what is slowly seen as a coming wave — the demise of the campaign of the Great Pretender’s campaign:


    • From the article:

      “..Political professionals underestimate how significant the pink revolution is. There has been nothing like it in presidential politics that I know of. EDSA was only in Manila and only for a few days. The number of places nationally – and more impressive, abroad, where there have also been caravans and marches – has been amazing. Many of the places abroad where people have mobilized are deep in winter, people go out in pink T-shirts amidst the snow and ice. None of this has been centrally organized, it’s all spontaneous. Marcos has tried to replicate it but has not gone beyond his bailiwick Ilocos and a couple of other places with reliable reports of people being paid to join.

      The kinds of people who have been active in kakampink – civil society types, professionals, and academics are upper-middle class, but there are also a lot of small entrepreneurs, government and business employees, and workers and students. While derided as “middle class,” not the politically correct lower class, these sections of the voting population in fact constitute more than two-thirds of the large “D” voters category. The poorest segment, “E” is only 13%, the same size as the upper class “AB and C.” The 700,000 volunteers in more than 200 separate organizations in the Leni campaign constitute a massive organizational base right in the middle of the main electoral demographic..”

  12. VP Leni live on CNN Philippines

    • Juan Luna says:

      I’m glad to hear from VP Leni herself about the initial problems they had in messaging. That is really what my observation was when I started to post on this blog expressing my observation on the messaging approach of BOTH candidates at the time. And for doing that I was called a troll which actually divert the issue instead of tackling it by discussing the why’s and how’s of it.

      Anyway, I might be wrong but I’m still not seeing a political message that the group of VP Leni should be doing. But maybe it’s just me. 🥸

      • The official slogan is now “Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat”.

        There is VP Leni’s new TV ad which embodies what she stands for:


        And this is Senator De Lima’s new ad which is very intense:


        • Juan Luna says:

          Both political ads are, I would say, powerful but I like the second better wherein people are shown behind bars and saying something about their predicament and difficulties they’re in while narrating the reasons for it. Really forceful and compelling.

          Thank you for responding with the right amount of information that is necessary to really build up VP Leni and at the same time separate the shaft from the grain. Time is of the essence and people responsible for messaging should go for the jugular. We’re in the crucial stage of the campaign everything must be on target which both ads that you’ve shown proves.

          That’s what I notice in you Ireneo, you don’t get emotional when you read something that is contrary to what you’re pushing for. Instead you respond professionally as a true and loyal follower should.

          Kudos, bro!

          • JoeAm says:

            An issue is an issue, apart from the commenter. The only people here authorized to critique commenters are me as Editor and Karl as Chief Tanud. You are not. Your praise of Irineo can be read as an obverse insult to those who write from the heart. It is totally not necessary. I would add that Irineo, like many a veteran commenter here, has spent time in the moderation bucket for failing to grasp the editorial standards for blog comments. That was long ago. He’s free now, and a rock of intellectual contribution, as you have correctly noticed.

            • Juan Luna says:

              joeam, I don’t know what’s the matter with you. I think you’re harassing me. If you do not agree with my opinion you can always contradict it and prove that yours is better. That’s not what you’re doing.

              Here again is THE ISSUE, the statement of VP Leni,

              “‘Yung naging problema lang namin when we started, we were not prepared for the deluge of volunteers. At noong nagkaro’n ng onslaught of volunteers our first decision was to give them more elbow room as possible, as much independence as possible to chart the kind of campaign that they want. Yun sana ‘yung gusto natin to make it an honest to goodness people’s movement. Pero ‘yung naging problema lang, dahil iba-iba ‘yung pinanggalingan ng mga grupo, kanya-kanya ring messaging ‘yung ginagawa. Iba-iba ‘yung mga messaging na pinu-push. So, parang ang observation nangyari dito is sobrang mix ‘yung signal, diluted ‘yung messaging. That is why in December we had to decide on just one that will encapsulate everything that we want to convey.”
              Upon hearing that from the video I commented about my observation on her group messaging tactics last year. Yes, I was not a fan of the messagings, not only of her but also of Bongbong, I was seeing on social media, etc. I thought it was not a serious approach and does not represent her in a good and respectable light. That’s my whole point.

              And Irineo, in fairness, responded ON TOPIC and did not take my ‘criticisms’ in the past personally. In fact, most times his replies tend to explain and supply information for my or for someone else’s perusal. Maybe he thought I lack information on what I’m talking about so he’s giving me additional info and I appreciate it because that is how we should do interaction here.

              Right of the bat, I can say he is a Leni loyalist and I’m sure everybody knows it. But he doesn’t take the dialogue down the drain every time there is a negative comment or criticisms laid down on VP Leni’s path. He engaged, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.

              I think you are a closet VP Leni fanatic but you’re trying to conceal it by strutting you power and authority here. Nothing wrong with taking sides so long as you can stand the heat in the kitchen like what Irineo and others has been doing. ‘Wag kang pikon, joeam!

              How can we have a healthy dialogue when every time someone piqued you, you threaten and lecture them because you don’t like what then say?

              I never sarcastically responded to you the way Micha did on the Dynasty issue. I read your exchanges and he treated you like an annoying fly by insisting on something he doesn’t believe in. That’s a direct disrespect but did you threaten and lecture him like you did to me? I’m always respectful on people (not on issues) because I know how to play the game. You also know how to play the game, when you like it.

              Joeam, I see that the political season maybe getting on your nerves because things may not be going your idol’s way but that should not be the reason for you to get hotheaded and over sensitive. Sports lang, bro.

              “An issue is an issue” according to you. The above quoted statement was THE ISSUE I commented on Irineo’s post NOT YOURS. But you replied to me anyway NOT ABOUT THAT ISSUE but about what you think of me. Again, it’s all about me.

              Please start on VP Leni’s statement I quoted and tell me why I was wrong in not agreeing the kind of messaging her group has initially done last year.

              If you cannot do that, If you cannot uphold what your own statement is, I’ll just rest for a while because I’m not use to being harass and hounded just because the person doing it cannot engage me in a peaceful dialogue or debate.


              • JoeAm says:

                The point is so simple. Stop commenting on people who comment here, the one enduring rule violation you commit over and over again. And certainly don’t quibble with my editorial choices, because it’s my blog and I’ve invested years of intellectual and emotional energy keeping it on track. Micha has been here for years as well and if I choose to grant a pass, that’s my choice and I need not justify it to you. It is not your position to speculate here about what gets on my nerves, or to challenge me as if this were a chicken fight down at the barangay plaza. And certainly don’t lecture me in my house as to what I can comment on. I’ll comment anywhere at any time, on my blog. Now into the moderation bucket with you.

      • JoeAm says:

        I’ve long known the term cognitive dissonance, which is a form of intellectual/emotional tension one experiences that impels one to adjust new information to fit one’s beliefs. I saw a clip of right wing pundit Jou Rogan trying to explain away the fact that covid damages the body, vaccines don’t. He just. couldn’t. accept. the. fact.

        It was hilarious as he sought to discount the message, the messenger, the research, the researchers, stepwise seeking to hold onto his erroneous belief in the face of cold, hard, reputable facts. We’re all a little like that and when we take up our obstinate positions, we can assume the demeanor of trolls.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    off topic but I think it is important.


    The author no matter the political color downplays history.

    Just by reading the post of Irineo, MLQ3, Xiao etc I see that history may still be interesting.
    Plus his slant that history buffs of the opposition are only avoiding the situation that Leni is losing on the surveys, well that is BS. As if there are no revisionism propaganda going on.

    It is sadly necessary to stop the misinformation, you have to read them.

    • Van Ybiernas is so far the only DDS I know of among my father’s “disciples” in history, I guess “same academic father” is one reason Xiao and he get along. That is a bit like military with different leanings may have their cross links by having been in the same PMA class or once served under the same commander. I think Ybiernas is wrong, witness how history well taught in Germany has prevented a replay of the Third Reich so far. One can learn lessons from history if one is willing to do so, even as seismic movements and animal spirits often get the better of us, as the 6th of January 2021 showed us all.

      Of course history is constantly redefined, as long as that is done based on the truth OK.

  14. Important side note: in the late 1960s West Germany recruited nursed from the Philippines – AND Sokor. Now it is recruiting nurses from Philippines, Mexico etc. but definitely not from Sokor.

    Most Sokor nurses BTW went back home while the Filipina nurses usually stayed in Germany and got their kids to migrate too, huge difference.

  15. juan says:

    if we go fedralism how will we sectorize the nation? the best perhaps is regional. there are about 24 regions (i do not know if bansa moro, cordellera admin region is counted on the 24.). each region will have 2 senators (48 senators) and perhaps a regional chaiman for each region (24 chairmen) with its own departments or ministries. the provincial structure will remain the same. that takes care of the excutive and legislative branches. in terms of judicial, the nations supreme court (with the national court of appeals under it) will remain the same but now there will be regional high courts (a mini regional supreme court and its appellate court) and the regional lower courts.
    ah, the defense and the police of regions (peace and order militia), how will be it structured. of course there is one national defense force whose mission is to defend the nation.
    naturally the purpose if each region is to administer and manage its own affairs.,. collect taxes, keep peace and order, serve the needs of the people. and each region should have its own constitution applicable only to the region. there will be one national constitution which applies to all the regions. and i woke up because i was only dreaming. i was perspiring bacause it is difficult lots of things to be done yet. bottom line my dream says federalism is to enable the resources of the region be taken care by the region, for the region and by the people of the region. i stood up and drank coffee and then did my usual morning exercise.

    • I think this is akin to me and Joe’s discussion RE the Capitol police (the only one) to shoot a rioter.

      Here are the times and justifications you can shoot to kill (or simply shoot your firearm).

      1. When you or others are in imminent threat, meaning the assailant is there now with a gun or knife or whatever weapon that can cause death or serious injuries, is right there. Imminent.

      2. When a crime is transpiring like a robbery or riot, and those performing said crime will move to a known location where there will be imminent threat to others of death/serious injuries. Imminent is determined by location.

      3. When a known violent felon , someone who’s already committed murder or serious injuries on others, escapes thus shooting him will surely prevent others from getting killed or injured. No imminent threat necessary, just that his escape will probability wise result in others deaths/injuries.

      A. shoot your firearm to warn, eg. in a riot situation to attempt to quell the crowd control you shoot into an area where no one will be harmed (no over penetration of bullet, no ricochet, no gravity bringing the bullet back down thus hitting someone, etc. etc.)

      B. shoot your firearm to kill an animal, who has suffered a serious injury, whose thrashing will injure others and/or simply to alleviate pain and suffering thus euthanasia on animal only (doesn’t apply to humans).

      That’s the letter of the law,
      but then there’s spirit of the law, which for a long time when it comes to police shooting has always erred on the side of officer safety, benefit of doubt goes to cops; well these days due to Black Lives Matter, the police are now being examined and this notion of officer safety (thus any arguments for safety’s sake) is being re-evaluated in which de-escalation and self-sacrifice are now in the fore front.

      So in light of 1-3 and A-B,

      2 and A, are the most relevant justifications for shooting in that scenario in the capitol on jan. 6, woman climbing thru doorway (glass on door was breached, climbing through broken glass). Since there were no civilians seen in the videos, and assuming the legislators were someplace else at that moment, then there is no imminent threat.

      This detail is undetermined, which is crucial tot he justification for 2.

      If the woman breaching was with weapon and all indications pointed to the Capitol police getting shot and/or mamed/incapacitated, then he can use justification 1. None of that was apparent, and his interview was for 2 only.

      Now why didn’t he use justification to fire his firearm A first, before going with 2? These are the considerations,

      the written policies then the interpretations practical applications of said policies. IMHO the Capitol police did not have 2, he had A for sure; and had there been other evidence of weapons , etc., sure he would’ve also had 1 (but no evidence for 1, just 2 and A).

      My point here is that the spirit of the law, shifts thru time.

      There was a time that an officer all he had to do was say I was scared for my life and others lives; well that doesn’t fly anymore (not since BLM). now an officer has to be responsible and answer for every bullet he fires and his tactics will be under the microscope, for example, many other Capitol police left and retreated. So question was that post, in which he shot a rioter really crucial, and

      no media, no congressman asked this, because 2 (that second Deadly Force justification) needs further examination. These details are necessary in evaluating the justification for 2. but they’ve swept it under the rug. nothing to see here folks.

      And that’s how you balance letter of the law and spirit of the law. I’m sure its relevant too for other laws. and other considerations of such laws. But that’s the process. And yes I’m answering juan above.

    • Juan Luna says:

      I think my namesake was just voicing out what millions of Filipinos feel toward the issue of federalism. They’re not familiar or well-versed with it, hence, their awareness level leaves much to be desired.

      But I think eventually things will be straightened up and the concerns will finally be addressed once the proposal starts moving in the right direction. How to do that is the 64 thousand dollar question.

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    The above Juan id different from Juan Luna.(I think) I saw the avatar in the previous open discussion on federalism I posted above and it belonged to a Juan Lee

  17. For all who may be interested, a video of VP Leni talking in Bikol to Bicolanos.


    One can see how she is able to connect to people when fully at ease.

    Local was her ballgame for a long time as she was with Jesse during campaigns.

    National she was still a lot uneasier in the beginning if one looks back 6+ years.

    The Iloilo and Pampanga parts of her late 2021 tour gave an idea of her campaign.

    The gist of her speech is what always was her agenda: helping the poor help themselves.


    The following is her Industrialization plan:


    Looks doable and realistic to me based on how she has done things so far.

    Analyze, conceptualize, start implementing, adjust implementation as she goes.

    Neither analysis paralysis nor mindless improvisation but a modern, agile approach.

    Bayanihan E-Konsulta doctors have written about feedback loops and improvements.

    As we see her publicity uses similar feedback loops to adjust like no one else can.


    There also was a recent article about how the Pink movement has about 700K people.

    And not only the upper middle class like doctors, engineers, lawyers for Leni groups.

    Lots of people in the D class as well, plus of course those in E who have been helped.

    The huge ratings of still around half of voters being pro-Marcos are daunting of course.

    Still the 20%+ for VP Leni can yet grow as there is a sheer energy in Pink a la 1986.

    The “Energizer Bunny” (as some supporters say) at the center is 15 hour day VP Leni.

    • Aside from Bicol, where else would VP Leni have this type of interaction.



      has she done visits to ARMM?

      for sure, more D and E interactions, but then balance it with foreign leaders and investors. So she’s not just some poor President. that Ninotchka zoom, was there ever a video for the public?

      • This is one video where she says how different the energy of this campaign is:


        This video shows the late 2021 tour, Iloilo, Tarlac and Pampanga are highlights. Baguio is good to but that is partly Marcos country, though the local “chief” guiding Leni and Kiko there is Senatorial Candidate Teddy Baguilat.


        The sheer energy of the crowds plus the presence both Leni and Kiko have is a portent of the actual campaign. The momentum of that tour was of course broken by Odette and Omicron. I think in 2 months we might see more of it. Zoom is the creative way they are making use of time now. Missed a Zoom meeting today with the Senatorial candidates, private priorities. So far I saw a recording of a Zoom meeting with Truck Drivers for Leni.

      • This is a 2017 video of her visit to Marawi ground zero.


        This is her talking to supporters in Marawi.


        There was also a short volunteer video and an official short video starting with her work in Marawi, clear shots fired at Marcos and Duterte, and there is Jennie Alonto Tamano who is a scion of two major Maranao clans supporting her.

    • kasambahay says:


      Irineo, this is maybe the latest tally on leni’s internet ads spending campaign, volunteers are making and paying ads for her. leni is matching their efforts not in money terms but in presence.

      • This huge EDSA tarp is certainly one paid by rich volunteers:

        The article also mentions the Team Leni Robredo group, not surprised as it was clear to me from the start that they are tightly organized, Dapat si Leni group also does good stuff but I didn’t know they were part of the core groups.

        Pinoy Ako Blog is also one place I look for preselected content, even I as an admin of a Pro-Leni page have to seek places where I get the good stuff, one disadvantage of a volunteer campaign is the sheer mass of stuff with different levels and audiences.


        • kasambahay says:

          leni’s supporters, smorgasbord for all tastes and caters to all: the bright, the half bright, the not so bright, the average, the compromised, the dim, the lost, the obtuse, all pinkly included. come on, come all. one color to unite them all.

  18. I was watching some UFO videos, and came across this dude, John Ramirez (i’m pretty sure he’s Filipino). it’s OT , but kinda relevant, cuz he’s Filipino. and knows a lot about UFOs, that’s relevant too in a worldly way. Talks about James Webb telescope seeing something,

    something like this:

    • Why was Makkari looking for the Emerald Tablet? 1:55:30 time stamp. This John Ramirez is a character! it all makes sense now! LOL!

      • JoeAm says:

        I’m not seeing the Philippine connection right now, but if one is going to do or unpeel conspiracy theories on UFO’s, this seems like the right way to go about it. Personably. If, indeed, Ramirez is Filipino, the master topic might be how Filipinos around the world are engaged and engaging. Like start with Ressa and the weightlifting champ and make the point. Filipinos are not backwater suffering souls.

        • I think he is suggesting something like make use of the Philippine strength in cartoons, on a par with Japanese anime/manga and Korean manhwa – and far better than Chinese manhua.

          This animated rendition of VP Leni’s candidacy speech by animator Arnold Arre is an example of that put into practice to emphasize the message of the speech:


          On a side note, Trese Vol. 3 is soon coming out I think even in the USA. BTW VP Leni also said that P-Pop, P-Drama etc. can be on a par with Korean stuff which she is an admitted fan of internationally with proper push like what Sokor did for its creative industry. So yes, the Philippines has enormous potential waiting to be unleashed if it stops thinking of itself as a subpar and poor backwater, and there are now those who have realized this.

          • It’s glitching for me too, Joe, there’s times when I can see the linked video and times not. that’s why I shared twice.

            1:55:30 time stamp, if it does show again, watch that segment in which John Ramirez asserts we are products of a Reptilian species (alien) hybridization program, I think his presentation was well documented, but I’m also thinking its the Filipino upbringing

            that’s making him open to said assertion. I’m youtubeing more John Ramirez videos, I think he’s more an analyst type though.

            • JoeAm says:

              “we are products of a Reptilian species (alien) hybridization program”

              Ah, so Panelo is not an abberation after all . . .

              • Dog breeders in order to get smaller dogs, breed runts with other runts. Maybe he’s product of that Joe.

                But having watched John Ramirez, Joe, I think you should check him out if you have time, he’s the real deal, lots of info , he’s essentially giving advice on how to pursue UFO investigations, but same advice can be gleaned for other similar activities too, like South China seas, etc.

          • JoeAm says:

            Do you want to do the blog article, or shall I? 😁

            • I think the current situation needs your capability to write short, focused stuff. Seems you are thinking of something like your recent Tweet, a bit expounded. I have set myself a three page limit nowadays but I still tend to drift into details and ramble a lot. In short I haven’t figured out how to put all the information I am now getting into a big picture in my mind that I just have to describe as my drawing skills suck, so after you. 😉

              • JoeAm says:

                Ahaha, and here I am admiring your ability to crank out reams of insight with ease. But I’ll be happy to do it.

              • My “Monday morning shift” checking log files etc. starts in just 5 hours so I gotta wind down to sleep, then I have the usual busy work week. Thankful that I have a job outside consulting now that keeps me grounded, or I might be freaking out like Miyako at times. Hey if Juan Luna had gotten to “know” me in the times I was still freelancing, or even the years I was an employed consultant again, he would have seen me way less balanced.

                I might write a follow up to whatever you write coming weekend though, framed by that and the discussion we get here, on your FB page and even on Twitter. There I can flesh out a few matters in detail, seeing what interests people also helps in focusing.

                To give ideas, here is the article about VP Leni and Kdramas, among other things:


                “..I am aware that we still have a long way to go to ensure that the arts and entertainment industry realizes its fullest potential. The goal is really to create a culture that fosters artistic excellence by ensuring the welfare of artists, protection, education, opportunity, and a large part of this will come from the government.

                Every time I watch K-dramas, naiinggit ako na pakiramdam ko, kayang kaya natin ito if only yung support ng pamahalaan is enough..”

                On the Hallyu wave and what it owes to government backing:


                “..South Korea is one of the only countries in the world, if not the only one, that has a dedicated goal to become the world’s leading exporter of popular culture. It is a way for Korea to develop its “soft power”. Soft power is a popular term coined in 1990 by Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye. It refers to the intangible power a country wields through its image, rather than through hard force. Hard force refers to military power or economic power. An example of soft power in play is how the US enticed the world to buy its Levi’s jeans, Apple iPhones, Marlboro cigarettes, Coca-Cola soft drinks and Hollywood movies, by leveraging on a desirable image. A unique image of cool..

                ..Korea is probably one of the only countries in the world that has a Ministry of Culture (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to be exact). A division of the ministry, the Popular Culture Industry Division, focuses on Korean pop music, fashion, mass entertainment, comic books, cartoons, and other key products. The division along with three other divisions are referred to as the Cultural Content Office. Its budget is a staggering USD 5.5 billion, with the aim to boost economic growth particularly through growing the country’s cultural industry export industry. Additionally, the Korean government sponsors 20-30% of a USD 1 billion investment fund earmarked to nurture and export popular culture. The remaining funds comes from investment banks and private companies and are managed by the Korean Venture Investment Corporation.

                One of the strategies of managing Hallyu is the careful study of its target audience – mostly people in Asian countries. The Korean government and its divisions follow these Asian countries and cultures closely to understand which Korean Wave products would have the best probability of success in different markets. The secret is that no one understands these markets better than Korea..”

                (It is just some of us who have by now realized how STRATEGIC VP Robredo truly is. Philippine media hasn’t even looked closely at her industrialization plans, the Korean stuff is mentioned just because it is popular there but they haven’t dug deeper)

              • JoeAm says:

                Sounds good. Saw some logs.

              • Micha says:


                I will vote for Robredo and will encourage friends and relatives to do likewise absent any sane or sensible alternative but putting her on the league with Gandhi, Lincoln or Mandela is a bit of a stretch.

              • JoeAm says:

                They are after the fact while the point here is to imagine a dynamic, accomplished Filipino leader before the fact, in hopes that this will impel a following and belief that will pave the road to make such accomplishments possible. It will take a leader of vision and skill to pull it off. And a people who unify behind it rather than make the job harder. Yes, she is not there today.

              • Which is why I posted some stuff on her rapport with Bikolanos. She certainly realizes how hard it is to do that nationwide, I guess that is why she hesitated.

                Filipinos “prefer dead heroes as statues”, I have sarcastically said. Ninoy wrote a long rumination before he concluded that “the Filipino is worth dying for” and in an interview with Kris Aquino, VP Leni placed her political awakening with Ninoy’s death in 1983, that she, still an economics student at UP (living in the dormitory BTW) went to Sto. Domingo in the morning to see Ninoy’s casket. Though I think the prior influence was her father who would have had his 89th birthday today, this is from the interview also on Philstar:

                “..Every day, her dad would also take home a street child in need, whether it was to feed, clothe or bathe them..

                Or if a typhoon would damage their neighbors’ houses, her dad would house the homeless families..”


                Oh, I could write a lot about how that is the way of Bicol, where topography prevented large haciendas from establishing themselves, also provided shelter for rebels and fugitives over centuries, forcing even the affluent to care for the “saddit na tawo”, the people from the laylayan or “kasadditan” as VP Leni says in her Bikolano speech, and where storms and volcanic eruptions built a millenia-old culture of mutual solidarity. But I am gonna sleep now and work after that, see you guys during my break times. 😉

              • P.S. we all remember how people stopped mocking PNoy after he died. The Philippines is a hard place for those who are sincere in helping and rewarding for crooks, usually. One reason I hesitate in writing is the blues I get at times.

              • Good night y’all.

              • Make sure you vote for Sara too, for VP, Micha!

              • Micha says:


                Win or lose, I’m writing in Walden Bello for VP.

              • I can’t hate on Walden Bello, that’s a principled move. You still rock, Micha!

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