Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Duterte administration on the right track

The incoming administration's ten point economic agenda seems very promising. First off, it is doable. Second, it specifically addresses major stumbling blocks in the country's progress and thirdly, the agenda seemed necessary for the Philippines to immediately leap-frog itself to industrialization. Let's discuss one-by-one:

  1. The adoption of comprehensive tax reform. This is necessary because income and corporate taxes here are higher than other Asian countries. Lowering income tax to 10-12% would spur further economic growth because it would enable all Filipinos to enjoy the value of their salaries. This will definitely lead to a faster growth of SMEs in this country, as people would now have a higher spending capability than before. 
  2. The adoption of a national ID system. Government spends so much in ID's that one singular ID should be adopted. This, however, necessitates the creation of a unified IT network. Prior to the creation of an ID system, there should already be an established National IT network and integration should have been in place already. 
  3. Further ease in doing business. This point is dependent on the connectivity issues as discussed in 2. In the interim, what agencies can do to further ease the process is eliminate clogs in the system especially the number of signatories and of course, the frequency of human intervention. 
  4. The improvement of telecommunications and internet services. Open the industry to foreign players so that the entire government is not beholden to just two (2) telecom giants or what others call a duopoly. 
  5. The delivery of support services to farmers such as financing, technology and logistics. This is entirely necessary since the infrastructure is already established. What government needs is to prioritize funding for this. 
  6. The implementation of responsible mining, with local value-added such as processing, while limiting raw ore exports. I don't know how this administration define "responsible mining" but what the admin probably meant is beneficial mining, meaning, more revenues should be enjoyed by the LGU's instead of just the mining firms benefitting from the mining activities. Government should re-establish our former industries such as Copper, Nickel, Steel industries.
  7. The development of regional industries while equipping the local workforce with necessary skills. There must be a comprehensive development road map, identifying major industries per region and minimising competition between and among regions. For example, in regions where they are always subject to natural disasters like typhoons, and the soil in these areas are not suited for agriculture, be transformed as mining areas. 
  8. The improvement of transport networks across the country to foster connectivity. There is already a plan for this. This however, does not need emergency powers to be effected. It just needs a responsible manager to coordinate everything in a smoother, faster pace.
  9. A review of the conditional cash transfer program, as it promotes dependency on the government. I think in this aspect they are mistaken. GOvernment needs to continue this for the next two years because the poor here in the Philippines is poorer than what other Asian countries classify them to. 
  10. The speedy implementation of public-private partnership and infrastructure projects as well as respecting the sanctity of contracts. Question---what if a particular project is superfluous and does not fit in the overall scheme of things--will this be continued because this administration vows to respect the sanctity of contracts? I think this is inserted by business groups formerly allied with the previous administrations. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Brewing coup against Duterte soon?

A confidential survey shows a drastic reduction in the popularity and trust survey of incoming president Rody DUterte. I don't know if members of the transition team saw or even read this, but the results are disappointing. It seems that Duterte's base is eroding and it is eroding fast.

What Duterte and his group failed to realize is that winning the election is one thing, maintaining oneself in power is another one. Presidential power is illusory. It depends on how people perceive the one holding the scepter.

Duterte must renew his links with the media. He cannot forever boycott the very platform he used in winning these elections. Without media, Duterte stands naked. There is no other institution which could protect him in the event of an extra-constitutional grab of power.

Seems like some people are giving this administration a few months only. Some say these missteps and decisions on a flop are signs of a very disorganized leadership. I hope that the incoming president realizes that governance is not a game and this thing which he so involved himself with is serious stuff.

Anyway, I hold faith that these forces who are readying and preparing themselves for another shot at power also know what they are doing.

Personally, I think Duterte is on the right track. His strategies though somewhat different, are better than previous ones.

Emergency Powers over traffic? Really now.

Emergency powers just to solve traffic? How about poverty, will the incoming administration need emergency powers to address the needs of the poor? How about other things, more serious than traffic--will Duterte ask that he be given enormous latitude just to solve them?

The advantage that this administration sees if given these emergency powers is simply the right to do things without any question from any sector, period. For example, the Duterte administration proposes to build additional roads. Under an emergency situation,  this proposal does not have to go thru the tedious and often disruptive process of bidding for it before any construction undertaken.

If that is the only reason why Duterte's bright boys are suggesting emergency powers, putangina, they are not thinking straight.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Why Force is not a deterrent against extremism

What prompts a highly educated millenial born in a normal household to just get a rifle and mow down fifty innocent people? Reports on the Florida shooting says the gunman was "radicalized" by the images he saw over the Internet.

What were those highly controversial images which transformed this man from an ordinary citizen into a gunman? This should be a subject of study.

US reports tell us of an entire neighborhood in Afghanistan and several other areas in the Middle East turning against American and European troops. Years had past, and those areas bombed to oblivion and still, people get their guns and shoot at those "liberation" troops.

" These," says one colleague, " are manifestations of the clash of civilizations."

Is this true? Is Samuel Huntington's original thesis about an end-time, apocalytic war between Islam and Christian about to happen? Or this is a manifestation of Oswald Spengler's prediction about the fall of Western civilization?

Using Huntington's lenses, we find that differing socio-cultural and religious values are causes of conflicts and disorder. But, is the use of arms really the answer?

History is replete with annihilation stories. From several millenia past, we read how the homo sapiens slaughtered neanderthals, of Mesopotamians burning to the ground several other races living as their neighbours, of how tribes in China went against each other, and of Russians mowing down their former Union states due to socio-cultural and even religious differences.

These gruesome stories are manifesting as we speak today in different parts of the world. While Karl Marx and his fellow Socialists predicted the fall of the West as a consequence of surplus capital, a different trend is emerging.

But of course, these occurrences have their historical links. Most of these people are still fighting for the recognition of their civil and economic rights, and the economic system just can't provide them sufficient outlets to express themselves or give them enough latitude to maneuver or enjoy their religious or intellectual pursuits.

Studies have shown that different systems bring with them differing cultural values. Why is it that Singapore holds the record of the least number of racist-related disputes? Why is Malaysia and Indonesia under a period of relative political order inspite of having a big Muslim majority living side by side with Buddhists, Hindus and Christians?

It is those countries with fairly large religious majorities with underdeveloped economies that suffer inter-religion and even inter-racial conflicts. Is it because of the widely held perception that majorities  enjoy most of the "good life" and minorities don't?

Denmark, Sweden, the Neatherlands and Singapore enjoy relative law and order because their governmental systems work very hard in maintaining the peace. Laws are strictly enforced and Lady Justice does not use racial or economic sunglasses.

When the State itself perpetuates violence as a deterrent or a solution to deeply rooted sensitivities, it creates an endless cycle of violence that ends without any solution. For when a state approaches these problems in a grand state-level attention, one finds a corrupted often hawkish solution that favors the use of monies to buy arms--Just kill them, anyway we lose nothing.

What these states do not realize is that it indeed loses something--it loosens the bonds of national unity and makes it easier for extremism to penetrate the social membrane and influence many to also take arms either in defense of oneself or in defense of faiths and beliefs.

Extremism feeds unto the fears of many. It grows under a climate of mistaken beliefs. And violence is the right fuel for it, and allows it to take decisive root deep within the social sphere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is Education not a Duterte priority?

There has been some nasty views and comments against former UST professor Lapuz who is now designated Educ secretary of Duterte. We have so many excellent educators in our midst and here's your president appointing a mediocre as head of education.

Paki yugyog nga itong si Mayor, kasi baka akala niya, Davao district education head lang ang inaappoint niya.

Education is one of the most important departments of this country. It concerns millions of children, the future generation. What kind of public education kaya ang balak ni Lapuz na ituro?

So disappointing.

The way this incoming administration is behaving is really very scary. I thought the good mayor wants the "best and the brightest", eh, puro bulok inaappoint sa government.

Kung hindi may conflict of interest, me ari ng mga kumpanyang may direct transaction with the department they will head, ang ina-appoint.

These appointments are likened to ones being done by a man condemned by Time. Hindi pinagiisipan. Basta kung sino na lang ang hugutin, yun na.

How can you form an effective government kung ganyan?

Martial Law in Sulu?

Incoming president Rody Duterte favors martial law in Sulu. Outgoing president Benigno S. Aquino III thought of it before but stayed his hand because of its implications.

Duterte is really risking his political capital with this one. Time and time again, it has been proven that when the state uses force against Tausugs and Suluanos, the state loses big-time. Why do I say that?

For Tausugs, this is not a terrorist-inspired war, oh no. This is an anti-colonial war. They believe that Tausugs are being enslaved by Tagalogs, the imperialists. And by this, this is not as easy as it seems.

I think Duterte is playing in the hands of hawks in our society who earn billions supplying the government with tanks, bullets, helmets and what have you. War is not the solution to the war in Sulu. Marcos knew and paid for it, so did former presidents Estrada and Arroyo.

The solution in Sulu is really the recognition of the Sultanate thru the Federalist system and the respect in their unique economic system which is barter based.

Duterte should read Cesar Madjul's book on Muslim Filipinos to have a deeper understanding of what's happening in Sulu.

Yes, most of those doing these kidnappings are criminals. They violate both the Noble Qu'ran and the criminal code of this country. Yet, flushing out a few so-called "drug addicts cum kidnappers" out by imposing martial rule, would fail, and fail miserably.

The fact is--this will just turn Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi into a regional flashpoint, supported by foreign Islamists.

One dead Tausug means thousands more in his stead. Worse--if this government uses the iron fist in Sulu, this will eventually involve the entire Muslim community based in that part of Mindanao.

The fact is--as early as now, Tausugs are preparing for war and misinterpreting the participation of Maranaos and Maguindanaoan MILF forces as a regional issue. Bangsamoros are being broken into two--those in the continental Mindano and those living in these islands. Hawks inside government are fostering age-old cultural divisiveness to destroy Bangsamoro unity.

Solution to the Sulu Question

1. Isolation of the hard-core terrorists from nationalists.
2. Upliftment of the economic situation thru the restoration of barter trade.
3. Revival of Islamism thru reintroduction of a more correct interpretation of Islam
4. Recognition of the Sultanate as part of a federal system
5. Demilitarization of the area

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The stupidity of Incoming PNP Chief dela Rosa

INcoming PNP chief Col. dela Rosa is either stupid or an incorrigible braggart. Imagine, he's the one spreading this "news" about several drug lords casting their 50 million each and coming up with about 2 billion pesos as bounty for his and incoming President Duterte's head.

Honestly, I don't believe this yarn by dela Rosa. Why would drug lords spend so much money for a simple target as Duterte? Besides, we all know that Filipino assassins do not dare hit a "big man" such as a President because the consequences are more costly than just engaging authorities in an endless hide and seek strategy.

These drug lords are not idiots. They know that even if they come up with that amount, no Filipino assassin would ever dare execute such a mission against a Philippine president. Even during the time of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the one who tried to kill him was an Argentinian (?) priest.

In our history, there has never been an assassinated Philippine president if you discount conspiracy theories attending to the deaths of Manuel Roxas (who died in a massive heart attack while giving a speech) and Ramon Magsaysay (who died in a crash). Most Philippine presidents died of old age or a disease caused by old age.

Another reason why I don't believe in what this dela Rosa character is spreading about is the stupidity of it all. An assassination plan against a president is treated as a very serious state matter by authorities, particularly the PSG. Such things are not trivial and obviously, not to be announced in a formal public press conference. Hindi ba alam ni dela Rosa na there is this term called "confidential"?

Besides, what is the purpose of such an announcement? To brag that vice lords are also ready to get them? So, what? What is so damned earth shaking about this 2 billion peso bounty that the top cop himself announces it before the world?

Reasons: (1) Probably Dela Rosa wants us to appreciate how "costly" his sacrifice would be if he hits these vice groups in the next few weeks? (2) Probably Dela Rosa is scared shitless, he announces the bounty so that people would feel empathy with him? or (3) he's too damned amateur and stupid.

Worse, what if Duterte is being targetted really not by drug lords but by political groups? If Duterte dies now by the hands of political assassins, surely, dela Rosa would say that drug lords killed him. There would be no other suspect. How stupid! This is expected when someone shoots himself in the mouth.

The fact is---now those who want him dead either coming from the political or economic fronts are rejoicing because the Top Cop himself provided a cover for this operation to succeed.

Dada ng dada itong si Dila Rosa.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Duterte's decision on mining is very encouraging

Mayor Rodrigo "Rody"Duterte's decision to halt all big mining operations is a refreshing revelation. For one, that is the right direction--at the moment. For as long as government policy remains in a very confusing state, especially the rate of return the people gets from mining operations, operations should be momentarily suspended.

At present, the revenue generated from this industry remains disturbing and a disappointment. It is even less than 5%. This industry has the potential of really contributing towards national development. However, the returns are not that encouraging despite tons and tons already mined.

For mining to be beneficial for the Filipino People, the following should be undertaken:

1. Increase the revenues being given to government by mining firms. Revenues should at least be within the range of 10-15%. Mining royalties to indigenous groups whose lands are being mined, should likewise be increased.

2. Develop the country's steel and mine ore refineries. Ore should not be allowed to leave the country just for processing abroad. Ore should be refined here and exported from here.

3. There should be a limit for importation of minerals. If the local supply is adequate, then, there should be a limit to importation.

4. The Office of the President should create a National Mining Board (NMB), which essentially should act as the main regulatory agency for mining. The NMB should develop the local mining sector, develop the industrial base and provide markets for Philippine steel, copper, gold, silver, and nickel products. The Philippines should start becoming a major player in this industry.

5. There should be clear environmental protection standards set. Mining sites should have respective developmental plans.

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Putang ina! Kailangan pa bang pumunta sa Davao para makisaya sa pagka panalo ni Mayor Duterte?

Tangina, sila lang ang kumakain ng masarap dun samantalang kami dito sa Maynila kasama ng iba pang mga probinsya, etsa puwera? Tangna. Isipin mo, pakakainin 200,000 katao daw. Whew. Sino na naman kayang businessman ang nag over the bakod at nagbigay ng bilyones?

(Noong abril, aba tignan mo nga naman, maging mga taga Ayala, tumalon ke Duterte at ang reward—isa nilang executive, nakakuha ng posisyon sa Digong Cabinet. Balita ko, si Manny Pangilinan din, tumalon. Puta, lagot kang Dax Lucas ka, ibi Biz Buzz mo yan sa kasagsagan nung eleksyon. Yari ka bro, patayin ang journalism mo! :-)

Tignan mo score ni Mayor sa canvassing—almost 16 million votes, ilan lang ba taga Davao? Kadamu namin didto sa Menila na waray, samahan mo pa ng mga Batangueno, Caviteno, Leyteno, Cebuano, Pangalatok—lahat kami binoto si Mayor, pero, etsapwera na lang ba kami? Kami ang mga nasa laylayan (okey ba VP Leni?), kami ang mga kinawawa at kinakawawa ng mga oligarkiya, pero kami ang walang lechon at pansit at softdrinks man lang? Akala ko ba “One Love, One Nation”? Eh, bakit sa Davao lang?

Sabi ni Bong Co, tigil daw muna presscon, nagkakamali si Mayor eh. Eh putangina naman kasi eh, linawin niya mga pinagsasasabi nia. Wag lang, kill, kill, bumenta na yun. Wag na rin, tangina, tangina, puro korup sila, bumenta na rin yun. Dapat iba naman. Bumenta na yan noong eleksyon. Iba na dapat ngayon.

Daming natuwa, mag memetamorphosis daw siya pagka pangulo na. Well and good. Ang problema ko lang, baka naman Kafka-ian ang gawin niya? (pssst! Google mo kung anong istorya nung libro ni Kafka na “Metamorphosis” kundi mo alam, gago!).

Teka, bakit ba galit na galit tayo nung sipulan ni Mayor si Mariz Umali? Sabi nga ni Mayor, walang masamang sumipol kung walang malisya. Tanong ko lang—ilan kaya ang sumipol na tambay dun sa Davao at sinalvage dahil nilabag ordinansa ni Mayor? At ilan kaya ang ganun din ang alibi pero, hindi napakinggan dahil pinatahimik ng Davao Death squad? (Pasintabi lang sa kaibigan kong si Raffy Tima)

Kumbaga, para ke Mayor, depende kung sino ang sumisipol. Pag siya o kaya siguro, mayaman o pogi, o kaibigan ng pamilya nila ang sumipol sa mga tulad ni Mariz, okey lang dahil, sabi nga ni Mayor, walang malisya yan. Masama na sumipol then sabayan mo ng labas dila o kaya sabihin mo sa babae—sexy ka, pa “ano” naman oh.

Kilala ko si Raffy Tima, asawa ni Mariz—kung dito lang yan sa Maynila nangyari, siguradong isang malakas na suntok ang pinakawalan nyan o kaya bumunot na yan ng baril. Anong akala ni Mayor, siya lang ang nakapatay na? Puta, si Raffy, nakapatay na ng ilang ibon yan.

Sa totoo lang, ilan ba sa atin ang hindi sumisipol pagka dumarating babae? Sa mga kalalakihan siguro si Vice Ganda lang ang hindi, dahil din naman siya mhen---babae siyang mukhang lalaki :-)

Puta, cut the crap! Suportahan na lang natin si Mayor. Walang basagan ng trip. Pero kung kill, kill!

Sinong takot sa kill? Ako hindi.  Bakit sila lang ba ang me baril? Sila lang ba ang nakapatay na? Puta, naranasan na ba nilang makita ang katabi nila na luwa ang bituka at basag ang bungo sa tama ng m-16? Tangina, nakaranas na ba sila na tamaan ng shrapnel ng atis sa tagiliran? At putangina nila, ilang rali ang nasamahan ko na duguan ang ulo ng mga kasama ko dahil pinagpapalo ng truncheon. Ako din napalo na ng truncheon, nabugbog ng pulis at nakulong pansamantala noong kabataan ko.

Ilang drug raids na ang sinamahan ko at kami-kami nina Raffy na muntik na kaming ma pana? Ilang raids na rin kaming magkasama ni Erwin at Jorge Carino noon na naka duck kami dahil palitan ng putok ang mga hinayupak na putanginang mga drug pusher sa mga pulis?

Kaya, huwag mo kaming takutin mayor, dahil matagal na kaming takot. Papatayin mo kamo journalismo? Papatayin mo kamo ang mga journalista, eh, di, sige, try. Naisip ko na ilang araw na na buhayin ang sparrow unit ng mga mamamahayag. Me Tarantula din kami, mayor. Tangina, sige, magsubukan tayo.

Sabi nga noon sa pelikula---akin ang Maynila, iyo ang Davao. Let’s get ready to rumble!!! O, ano, Kiko (Matos) at sino itong artista—o ano, ready na ba kayong magsapakan sa URCC? Namputsya, noong kabataan namin nina alvin aguilar, ilang mukha ang binarag namin sa alabang. But that’s another story...

Tangina world!! Duterte rules!! Isang kamao slap naman dyan....

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Duterte: Stop saying kill

Stop Calls for Killing

There is a new word now being adopted even by my kids---kill.

This word has been invoked by Mayor Duterte like a delicious mantra at every available instance since he began his campaign up to the most recent presscon which, unfortunately, he began conducting late in the evening or the time when kids are being lulled by their parents to sleep by telling them to listen to radio.

In his recent press conference, Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte proudly announced his new appointments, and the only constant trait that these people whom he named was their capability to kill.

Duterte points to a former cop official who he decided to appoint at LTO. Duterte says this cop official and the others whom he appointed had the capability to kill. They can shoot erring officials in their agencies whenever they want or had the desire to do so.

Duterte even gave blanket authority to cops to arrest “dead or alive” suspected drug lords. Though deep inside me, that’s okey, but, really, another side of me says, no. Why? I don’t want Duterte to fail in his anti-drugs campaign.

Publicly announcing these things would put Duterte in a very precarious situation. I bet my bottom dollar that, at some point, these cops would err in their “dead or alive” mission and would encounter an innocent man or people.

What if this happens---cops kill an innocent person, what then? They would probably concoct their way out of this problem by saying that the dead person was a dreaded vice lord. But what if the person killed was indeed innocent? Duterte would surely find himself under extremely difficult circumstances.

That’s the problem with quick fix solutions—these normally lead to long-term problems.

Now, apply this to graft and corruption. We know how the bureaucracy works, how intrigues are often heaped on several well-meaning people. And Duterte’s appointees are only human---they are not infalliable.

What if a Duterte high official shoots someone who is also innocent—would the incoming president go out of his way and defend his official even at a fault?

That’s the thing with people who want quick fixes—these are prone to more mistakes and misery.

Mind you, lest Duterte and his government misinterpret me---I only want Duterte’s success. I want him to be successful and I understand where he is coming from.

But just to remind him, that his situation is different now, Duterte should be more careful about his pronouncements because at the end of the day, Duterte should realize that when he faces the media, he is facing his stakeholders—the people—who risked their lives voting for him and for what he stands for and for what he promises to deliver to them. Joke or joke, every utterance he so wantonly let fly these past few weeks have so enflamed emotions, destroyed faiths and encouraged anarchy that instead of its intended goal of “ creating chills down the spines of every corrupt official and vice lord”, it has actually led to the opposite—it has galvanized the ranks of well-meaning and decent people who are now re-thinking their support for him and are now trying to make sense of these things and finding nothing rational at all, are on the verge of seriously harming the incoming administration.

We can these kinds of men—putakins (from the base word “putak” meaning senseless babble). Putakins are chicken shits. They surrender easily. They hide their insecurities by releasing a staccato of senseless verbal bile and when the time comes to fight, they proved to be an easy hit. With just one punch, they succumb and sleep and unable to fight back.

As my brods used to say—these are not men but chicken booties.

And again, lest Duterte thinks that killing a person is a hard one—it is the easiest way out of a rut—snuff out a life. Pulling the trigger is easy—yet the consequences of that decision to pull—that’s the hardest part. Every one can pull a trigger but the question everyone asks is—is the person pulling the trigger prepared to accept the consequences of ending someone’s life?

Duterte says he has values. Just to remind the good Mayor of Davao—everyone has values. The question really is—what are these values? You never qualified. Are these values good ones or values that are at street level?

If, at this point, the incoming president seemed unable to value life—how then can he say that he value the lives of many? Is life so damned cheap for Duterte that he can just shrug it off and tell his subordinates that when faced with a difficulty, the best solution is kill, kill, kill!

If that is the value that Duterte holds dear, then, there is simply no one safe anymore. Because, again, let me reiterate, there is not one, not a single one, that is infalliable. When you give someone the license to kill, you are actually subjecting this person to a very precarious situation, something that would eventually lead him to the gallows so to speak.

For killing a life is not the best solution.

Of course, this is entirely different if Diterte is waging a revolution, a true and authentic one. He has license to kill counter-revolutionaries. But until then, Duterte must conduct himself and probably just keep these things to himself. Too much bravado spoils the broth so to speak. Too much promises and too much self-approbation reveal much of the true nature of the person talking.

Or as the Good Lord says--those who live by the gun stands the risk of being killed by it. Amen.

Duterte backs out of media fight--exposes his rear and how he confronts crises

President-elect Rody Duterte must have realized that he has been an ass-hole lately, that explains why his assistant, Bong Co, told media that there have decided not to conduct press cons anymore and just send to official government media outlets their statements.

That's disappointing. One, this is just the start of a very interesting thing and here you are, the highest local executive of the land, backing out of a discussion (not a fight).

Duterte must have been advised not to worsen his relations with the media. This backing out, however, bodes ill to the incoming head of state.

This shows that Duterte has a tendency to flip-flop, has no clear thoughts on how to manage things and shows him as pliant. This is not good.

How will he then conduct himself before tougher opponents? Will he also back out? What if Duterte encounters a big vice lord with one of his financiers as back-up? Or what if one of his cabinet members is caught with his hands in the cookie jar? Will he then solve it thru the easiest route--kill or will he then think of more innovative ways of resolving the crisis?

That explains why, for want of a better alternative or because he probably thinks it is harder to think of the best way of doing things, Duterte resorts to the easiest way of solving things---just kill the sonafabitch.

You have everything at your disposal, and the only way your advisers think is disengage? That is not good.

Mr. Duterte, you better fire your media handlers and advisers pronto, because the only way they can think of is showing your weak side, instead of giving you the dignity of getting out of the fire without a single strand of your hair singed.

This early, Duterte and his men are showing signs of weakness and of implosion. If they cannot handle even the easiest of tasks--communication--- what more of serious governance?

This is a very serious problem, not just of Duterte, but of everybody.

ON the other hand, this is expected of a person like Duterte, who is an active man, par excellence.

For men like him, who is accustomed of the easy-going life, who has never been opposed even by his mother, such a problem requires a simple solution---kill, kill, kill!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Duterte's concepts of "Manileno" and "probinsyano" bares centuries-old Pinoy social strat concept

When Mayor Duterte was distinguishing himself apart from "Manila-based media", he has, wittingly or unwittingly, opened the centuries-old concept of socio-cultural divide expressed in that statement. As a consequence of our historical actions, our fellow Filipinos based in the provinces have this long-held view about "Manilenos" and " us, probinsyanos"which equates location as a social status.

In this dichotomy, when you say "Manilenos", we quite often lump them as those who came from Manila, regardless of wherever city he belongs to or lives, or the that person's real economic state. If you are a stranger and speaks only Tagalog, you are tagged as "Manileno" while those who live in the provinces are basically called "probinsyanos"

If one is tagged as a Manileno, there is that presumption that that person is rich or at least more economically ascendant than the person living in the provinces. Location therefore, has become a basis of determining social status. Weberian ethmology however, dictates that social status is determined by power relations. In our case, the farther you are from the center of economic activity, the more you are presumed to be a "probinsyano", which bears a somewhat negative connotation.

Even now, the term "probinsyano" is a disparaging remark for many people because it means "backward, unintelligible, even stupid"---a throw-back from Spanish times when those living outside towns and cities were deemed far from civilization; hence, living a dark, brutish, hellish existence.

of course, the truth is far from what he perceived. Over time, development has infected even the provinces and to say that those living in the provinces are of poorer and unenlightened is not just an understatement but a false one.

I am reminded really of the concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (loosely transliterated as "community" and "society") as defined by Weber, Schumpeter and Hobawms. This social stratification should eventually be extinguished by economic development. In the end, as we change the superstructure of the state, and we demolish traditional institutions of Thought, we will arrive at a state where every single one is a member of an impersonal state, and thus the divide which have infected our minds for so long and have caused us tremendous anguish and has been a hindrance towards our unity as a Nation, will forever be relegated to the dustbin of history.