Democracy in the Philippines will be run by power families forever

By JoeAm I ran a little poll on Twitter to get a sense of how those who inhabit the place and follow me, generally well-read people, see the Philippines developing in the future. There were four choices as shown in the results profile to the right. The fourth choice, translated, read “A Chinese Province”. The … Continue reading

Can Filipinos use a “People’s Initiative” to take government back from the corrupt?

By JoeAm The Problem The Philippines is a corrupt land. It is corrupt in matters of finance and in matters of deed. It is corrupt of values. Legislators plaster their annual budget with lavish funds they can use to gain kickbacks. Local governments hold local construction projects hostage to commissions. Corrupt officials are not fired … Continue reading

US senators speak. Philippine senators and DDS have apoplexy.

By JoeAm A few US senators have been critical of the Philippines for keeping Senator De Lima in jail. They proposed legislation banning from the US those responsible for her jailing. The law may never see the light of day but the reaction in the Philippines offers a striking lesson. It does not take much … Continue reading

Modern societies are ignoring laws. That leads to raw power.

By JoeAm Have you noticed, laws no longer mean much? They are ignored (EJKs) or trashed (good bye to early prison release) or weaponized (opposition is ‘seditious’ and tax laws are used to silence troublesome journalists). What are laws, really? Laws are contracts between people. They define what is right, what is allowable, what is … Continue reading

Rubba dub dub, three men in a tub: Albayalde, Lorenzana, and Locsin

By JoeAm There are any number of secretaries I could pick for this little lesson, I suppose. But I chose three whose characters and acts help frame the discussion. There are three forces that define the men and women of government high offices: (1) the people and institutions that shaped them as younger people, (2) … Continue reading