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Friday, September 30, 2016

Why Duterte remains popular with the Filipino People (applying Communications theory)x

In the collective consciousness of the Filipino people, this drug menace is a political problem rather than a social one. In the past, massive drug addiction is perceived as a manifestation of a dysfunctional Filipino society. It is a social ill, one of the urban problems which people put themselves thru.

However, as the socialization of the means of production is accompanied by the increasing socialization of the means of consumption, urban problems such as "drugs addiction" becomes political. In the minds of many, the proliferation of drugs is a direct manifestation of systemic decay, of the utter uselessness of the political leadership in addressing its spread and the state's inability to put order to a slowly becoming violent and drug-crazed society.

Thus, while Duterte speaks of his relentless fight against drugs, the mass of people listening to him interprets this as a brave, rational, and substantive attempt at lessening social tensions thru political action. Mass support remains very high because of the frequency and consistency of Duterte's message---that he is here to fight for the people being oppressed by the system, as evidenced by the spread of illicit drugs which victimize millions of poor families, and which spread, the state was rendered inutile.

Duterte will remain popular with the mass of people because he is, consciously or unconsciously, feeding the public with a customized set of messages which, in the absence of gatekeepers, seep into the public sphere thru the least expensive media network---the Internet. The least control of information via the Internet has led to a massive customization of messages which influences the Filipino people’s perception about the Duterte administration. Since there is no one who exercises gatekeeping of information being released online, it is the people who form a collective image or perception based on individualized interpretation of reality, which are parts of a distinctive whole (Gestalt model applied here).

Since many Filipino families are affected one way or the other by this urban problem (drugs), millions of individuals share the president's hatred against it and even subscribe to his prescription ("Killing"). The message thus cuts across socio-economic sectors, grouping individuals into "networks". Thus, sub-consciously, there are two existing networks: those who had direct experience with their loved one "victimized" by drug addiction and those who had no direct experience yet, because of the socialization of this urban problem, share the same sentiment with the president as to its elimination.

Hence, it would be extremely hard to form a strong opposition against Duterte because almost all Filipinos are cognizant of this urban problem and consciously (even unconsciously) hold their own interpretations about its solution. Duterte had not launched an ideological war; rather, he had us believing that solving the drug problem is basically political rather than social.

This explains why Duterte and his associates want nothing more than the head of Senator De Lima in a platter because by prosecuting Delima, they are thus, putting a definitive human and also, political face behind the problem. This administration wants the public to realize that hey, the solution to this drug menace is political rather than a law and order one.

The worst part of this realization is the continuing fascination or talk about this menace while every other urban problem is being left out or being de-prioritized.  One example is graft and corruption. While we animately discuss this drug problem, the people's attention remain fixated into it, causing us to lose sight of other things, mostly political and economic issues.

One of this crucial issues concerns the continuing dominance of the oligarchs in the economic life of the people. While Duterte becomes fixated with this drive against drug, the more serious problems besetting this country remain unresolved.

However, the saving grace here is the continuing decay of neoliberalism, as a form of capitalism. Even without conscious intervention of state institutions, neoliberalism will continue to slide or decay, and eventually, slide to irrelevance. It is safe though for our president to continue playing a toughie because even without doing anything, the mechanism that is neoliberalism, would ultimately reach a state of irrelevance, and decay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Duterte's economic revolution is on the right track

These past few days made me re-think my assessment of the Duterte administration. For one, Mr. Duterte made several maverick moves which no other Philippine president ever did. And those moves are'nt for propaganda purposes, no. Those were honest moves meant for peace.

Imagine, after so many bloody years, a Philippine president invited the state's "official enemy", the Communists, into Malacanan for a dinner. And what's more important is that Mr. Duterte accepted the economic program being proposed by the CPP-NPA-NDF--one of several documents meant to improve the condition of the working and ordinary people.

The fact is, the CPP is open into considering a tactical alliance with the Duterte administration. I don't know the particulars but I have faith that this alliance would be anchored on just one proposition--the general welfare of the Filipino people.

Two things--industrialization and nationalisation of industries. There's another term which I loved to hear---land distribution. Land distribution is easily one of the most effective means towards improving the economic condition of the farmers. By giving them their own land to till, farmers and even non-farmers would want or would be more encouraged to go into full-time farming production.

However, lest we forget--for this to happen according to how we envision it, we need to demolish the current socio-economic and political structures in the provinces. For as long as these local economies are controlled by a few families, nothing positive will happen. These economies should be transformed and liberalised to encourage small entrepreneurs like our farmers to enter the markets themselves and contribute more towards nation-building.

There should be an economic revolution in the countrysides and it's effects would energize the urban centers of commerce. Imagine the opportunity of supplying thousands of farmers of tools for mechanisation and that of changing their farms into plantation type of operations--that would increase farming output and the effects of such a change would seriously impact on the national economy.

There's another proposition that this administration should consider and that is, a geographical review of the Philippines, an assessment of resources per island or per island group, and lumping them into economic regions or areas. Right now, our approach is really metro-centric---categorization of certain areas for development, and the strategy is radiating from Metro Manila.

The entire archiepelago should be categorized into certain economic areas: for example, Luzon could be the main industrial/agricultural complex while the Visayas could be divided into tourist/resource extraction/industrial-economic complex while in mindanao, a mix of agricultural production and industrial complex. Local and foreign investments should be encouraged to enter and develop these areas.

Of course, this is just first stage. The next stage should be nationalization of industries. And then slowly, we transform our economy into a socialist one, for the benefit of the many. This would take a while but the prospects of this happening within our lifetime is there, in the horizon.

It seems like this country would really be better under this administration. I hope this administration would stay the course, not just because staying means the correct political move, no.

This administration should commit itself towards this trend to provide the world a true, bloodless path for real and substantive change--that change towards socialism could happen without shedding too much blood and change on the basis of interacine conflict.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Our problem is the system

Ask anyone who wants nothing more than see a better Philippines, and you will get the same answer--revolution. There is simply no other way to change this country of ours other than this. The fact is--we tried every single trick in the Constitutional book and all we got was the same disappointing results.

We tried solving our problem thru political means. We created elections as a way of choosing leaders who would create laws or enact them in a fair and honest way. Nothing happened.

Some blame our culture, others say, we are disunited as a people. However, over time, many of us already realized that the core of the problem lies not within us, but outside of us----the very system which we chose to guide our behavior, our actions.

The thing is, whenever we refer to "system" we often think of governance frameworks. We blame government for all the things happening around us. And, yes, in general terms, our governance model really sucks.

But, what exactly ails us? Why is it that despite us raising the salaries of government employees, including our uniformed personnel, there seemed to be a continuing trend for bigger and juicier "kickbats" from government contracts. Compared a decade ago, salaries of public officials are higher than the usual salaries of people working in private firms now. But, graft continues, most cases involved private individuals who probably think of government as the biggest bank of all.

We strengthened our penal code with stricter laws that discourage graft and corruption, but the incidence of graft remains very high. It seems that nothing really changed.

Let's admit---we fucked up, and fucked up big time. We are living in a society with festering wounds filled with band aids, and rubbed with efficacent oils.

Admit it--our system needs a reboot. It needs to be re-engineered based on the current requirements of Filipinos in this age. Congress is supposed to be the body tasked by our Constitution to do this task, but both houses are now filled with nincoompoops, some of them too deranged to serve, while others too demonic to even think of change. Same goes with our Supreme Court--it is supposed to be the bastion of our sanity, but, for many years, acted like it was the main promoter of our misery.

Our institutions are failing because the very concepts by which their existence are based, are now questionable. We need new institutions.

Today's call is centered on changing our governance model, from Republican unitary to Parliamentary federal. But, is the governance model the problem?


The problem is really our economic system--it was not designed to really benefit the majority of Filipinos.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Destabilisation against Duterte? Is it real?

Is there a destabilization effort against Duterte? Senator Alan Peter Cayetano used this as a defense against the Duterte administration during the televised senate hearings on extra judicial killings. Cayetano said there's a Plan B which supposedly is a plan by "Yellowtards" or the Liberal Party to oust Duterte from office.

Thousands of Duterte trolls online says this Plan B will not succeed because they would oppose it. Some Duterte supporters then went on an online rampage with most of them trying to picture Matobato as a false witness.

Lacson says Matobato is a prejured witness. Dela Rosa denies knowing him, while Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre described Matobato's testimony as falsehoods.

So, if Matobato is just that, a paid hack, a perjured witness, a liar, etal, then, why did the Senate president Pimentel rejected Delima's and Trillanes' appeals for the Senate to protect Matobato? Why all the political maneuverings which resulted to De Lima's ouster as chair of the Senate Committee on Justice, and her replacement by another chuwahwah, Dick Gordon?

Why? Why is this administration so afraid of Matobato? If there is no value from Matobato's testimony, then, why all these trouble, even sacrificing the political capital of the president just to solve it? There is a big possibility that Trillanes and De Lima stumbled upon a big thing which Duterte does not want the public to know.

Who is causing disruption in the Senate?

Who told the public that he just need six months to solve the drug problem? Duterte.

Who told US president Barack Obama not to raise the issue of human rights or he may get cursed? Duterte.

Who told the UNited Nations secretary General Ban Kee Moon do not teach the Philippines a lesson about human rights? Duterte.

Who committed himself in all these, even gave a promise for the people to "kill him" if he does not solve criminality, especially drug addiction, within the first six months of his term? Duterte.

Who is destabilising who?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Depose Duterte movement to be a worse cure

The United Nations and the Duterte administration continues to bicker on the issue of human rights. Our president Duterte and his foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay even told the United States government never to lecture Filipinos about the issue of human rights.

Why is this administration so pricky when it comes to human rights? Probably because they know that most administrations which committed highly publicized human rights violations, especially those with large-scale killings and massacres, earn the ire of the international community, and most of them became a subject of force ejectment from power by "the free world"?

I want Duterte to succeed but not this way. As I wrote in this blog several times before, Duterte should not be very comfortable with his situation right now because inspite of his high popularity rating, Duterte rash decisions and actions are slowly eating up this very high public trust and sadly, very early on in his administration, Duterte has already expended his political capital so much, he thinks that he still has it.

Duterte is being blinded by his own self aggrandizement that this will lead to his downfall. My dear mayor, I am advising you now to just chill, and don't believe what your chuwawahs are telling you.

Dutertards boast of about 16 million votes. Estrada, when he was deposed in 2001, also retained 32% of his 19 million votes. Estrada was ejected from office.

Of course, Duterte is different from Estrada because Duterte has his Hermogenes Esperon, who prevented his former principal, Gloria Arroyo, from becoming a victim of a coup d'etat disguised as a revolution.

I think this time around, if there is indeed some basis to the claim of my dear friend Erwin Tulfo that there is this on-going plan to depose Duterte, this would be extremely different from previous "revolts"

And like the bible says, it will come "like a thief of the night."

It will be like an "extraction" similar to the one which Ortega got when he "crossed the line."

The effect would be instantaneous and unfortunate.

It would exacerbate social tensions and contribute towards a steady economic downturn.

Is Edgar Matobato a real and credible witness?

He says billionaire Richard King was killed inside a fast food restaurant which was a few meters away from his office Vital C building where he was killed. He says two of his friends did it by pumping bullets into King's head. King's lawyer and now Congressman Harry Roque flatly denied all of these and even imputed political reasons for this man's sudden exposure.

Surely, Edgar Matobato is like a pebble thrown into the placid pond. Basing on the reactions made by Filipinos online, Matobato's surprising stories got the traction his handlers wanted. Yet, what Matobato's handlers failed to realize is they are treading a very dangerous path here. I'll discuss it later here.

For one, Matobato seemed to be the person he wanted us to believe--he was an assassin and a cold blooded killer. He was once a farmer but poverty pushed him to this gruesome business of killing at least fifty and took part in the disappearance of a thousand.

As a police beat reporter before, I am trained to spot a criminal several miles away, and Matobato seemed the man he said he was. However spotty his narrations are, there are two things which explains his spotty memory--his advanced age and he was twice tortured by his own colleagues.

Why do criminal syndicates torture their members who want out? First, torture is an effective means of frying one's brains and therefore, memories out. Those who were tortured know this. Trauma can cause momentary, even permanent damage to the brain. Most survivors retain some of the memories but if asked specific times and dates, survivors find it very hard to re-construct.

That explains why Matobato seemed at the loss of dates, and of places. What is surprising though, is his very clear memory of what had happened to him.

He remembers the names of his colleagues, and how he killed his victims. If you look at his face, there is no emotions there--only a blank, sinister stare sometimes.

PNP chief Dela Rosa told the Senate that he heard of him--that he is known as a "tirador"---a local term for assassin or someone who kills or a gun for hire, a thug to some. Obviously, Bato does not personally know Matobato because Matobato is what is known as an "asset" who reports to a handler. His handlers, according to him, are policemen, some still in active service, others, already retired.

Yes, I believe that he killed many people--the problem really is, I don't believe that he is that high up in the totem pole that he knows exactly who he killed or who got the brunt of the "punishment" he and his group inflicted upon certain individuals.

Matobato is probably just one of about 30 members of the vigilante group which operated in Davao City during then Mayor Duterte. I am most certain some or even most of the names given to Matobato are false. Let's not forget, Matobato is an illiterate. He gets his info only from his friends at the group.

There are probably some whom he knows--those Davaoenos who were ordered killed when they violated the law in that city.

Now, here's the thing---so what if Matobato says there were killings outside those operations perpetuated by the police?

During the campaign, Mayor Duterte has already said that he has his own group. Many already knew about this, but this did not diminish his stature before the people---this issue even catapulted Duterte to the presidency.

So, if these people behind Matobato's expose are hoping for a popular revolt to be the consequence or end game of this telenovela----think again.

That, my friend, is a very long shot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Duterte means well but being fed to the dogs by his appointees

While most of us make fun out of that ASEAN meeting, the President bounced back and attended a meeting with farmers and farmers' group and ordered a stoppage of conversions of agricultural lands and asked the Land Bank to give condonation to farmers with delinquent accounts.This is good.

For some issues, Duterte does the right thing. For others, he really bungled it, and unfortunately, his chuwawahs try to defend him but eventually they fell flat on their faces every single time. And the reason is simple---they simply do not understand Duterte's principles. Yes, they are friends of the mayor, close ones maybe, but they don't understand him beyond him being a friend and a mayor.

Duterte must surround himself with true, legitimate revolutionaries because when doing so, he does not commit serious mistakes. The only ones who understand where Duterte is coming from, are those who share his commitment, his desire and his revolutionary mindset.

What does Panelo know? Nothing, How about our dear friend Martin Andanar? Sadly, he too is most often hilo. How about this spokesperson Abella? Most of the time, Abella finds it extremely hard to justify the president's stand on EJKs because he was (or continues) or still is, a Christian preacher.

Imagine filling the PCO with political appointees, most of them, sons and daughters of trapos, with only some of them with experience in writing press releases, not in strategizing.

There is still time though, and I hope that Secretary Evasco remedies this immediately.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Let us thank Duterte for the changes we are now enjoying

I had this epiphany---I am congratulating Duterte and his men for the changes they gave us, desperate Filipinos.

First, we have now a very effective anti-population growth program, not just being promoted by our government but assisted by our military and police. As of today, our population has shrunk by less than 2,000 Filipinos and we expect this to balloon to about 1.6 million if the target set by our president to our PNP chief Bato is to be achieved.

One of our senators, Richard "Dick" Gordon is so impressed, he wants to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and hand the power of god to his idol, our president Duterte, so that our president succeeds in his desire to rid our country of excess baggages. Gordon, like our president, believes that drug addicts are already zombies because their brains have shrunk due to constant use of shabu. I would not be surprised if the National Statistics Office reports a drop in the population the minute Gordon's bill is passed at the Senate.

I just remembered why Dick wants nothing more than give more powers to Duterte---the Philippine National Red Cross has excess supply of blood and they can't just get fresh supplies if they don't use those already inside their fridge.

From 101 million Filipinos, Duterte wants this only at 100 million because he believes that this would only encourage many Pinoys to do more shaggings to make the end number an even number. We Pinoys are overachievers---we are not content with one---we need two.

So, the number of Pinoys being targetted by the DDS is just 1.6 million. When Gordon's bill is passed, expect these killings to increase ten fold. This is okey, because Duterte's government will be hitting three birds in one stone: direct drop in population, more jobs generated because funeral parlors would need more embalmers making the degree on embalming a desired course much the same way as what happened to nursing in the early 2000s. Last, of course, as the killings continue, that would discourage many from raising a howl and ergo, a instantaneous and direct effect on peace and order.

After a hundred days, expect a more peaceful Philippines, as Duterte expects less people to criticize him, because by that time, he is now the undisputed SOB of this country. During the elections, many doubt if a probinsyano like Duterte can stand up against the big boys of Manila.

Now, Duterte, according to his handlers, has achieved rock star status especially when he stood before Obama and dared him to raise the issue of human rights and risk being called a son of a bitch (not a whore, less we be accused of being a presstitute).Who's the big boy now?

After 90 days, there will be a stable and peaceful Philippines, because by that time, enemies of Digong would have been arrested, detained and rehabilitated by water cure employed by state security forces. No questions asked.

Are we not feeling the changes? Duterte just signed an order for the grant of the freedom on information. We should thank him for having the courage, never mind if he inserted 166 restrictions in the order that practically killed the very essence why we need such a grant in the first place.

After 90 days, expect workers' lives to improve because Duterte would have abolished by that time, regional wage boards. Our labor secretary is so patriotic and so intelligent that he wants everything standardized, especially worker's daily wages. Why give a lower wage to those working in the provinces, when those living in the provinces can do what those based in Manila can? If workers in Metro Manila gets 499 pesos here, then, let's give 499 pesos also to workers based in the rural areas. Brilliant idea.

This is so brilliant that nevermind if contractualization remains because, hey, workers want an increase in their takehome pay, nevermind if they only enjoy this for six or 3 months.This will decongest Manila because those already with jobs in Manila are expected to go back to their original provinces and there, find similar jobs. Brilliant!!

Expect a budget deficit, says our DBM secretary. That explains why our government has released treasury bonds out in the market, to raise trillions to cover for the planned expenses of various departments especially during the state of emergency.

I thank Art Tugade, our DOTr secretary for his brave speeches before the Congress. He is such an excellent man, an orator, that he beguiles our Congressmen into believing that changes are already happening in our society, as he speaks.

Tugade is highly convinced of what he is saying that he describes traffic in the metro as a "state of mind." Tugade is very intelligent--he thinks that in one wave of his magic wand granted by Congress, everything would change--traffic will go back to its eighties state, thousands will now smile in satisfaction while riding an elevated tram from Monumento to Baclaran, and thousands more proud of using airports with functional toilets and airconditioning units. There would be less vehicles in the road because this administration expects to revive the odd-even scheme, nevermind if more people right now has the capacity to buy another car, again, thanks to the banks which are now very willing to give loans due to the rising economy.

I thank Tugade because he wants less buses on the road. His assistant secretary Ann Loctoc, wants to bar provincial buses from using EDSA and instead, would encourage smaller vehicles like UV express and taxis and smaller buses to ply EDSA and use them to ttransport commuters from bus terminals to their respective destinations throughout the Metro. What an excellent idea! You bar 8,000 provincial buses in exchange for allowing 18,000 smaller vehicles to replace them. Wow. MOre vehicles on the road, more road taxes paid and more monies paid for licenses and franchises. Kita nga naman.

This is also the reason why Tugade wants emergency powers because he does not want to spend his time going to courts and answering harassment suits from losing bidders. Can't they understand that this is now a new administration? Is it hard to accept that, new administrations mean new allies, and new allies do not necessarily mean those Liberals who jumped ship but also economic allies from conglomerates of ruling Oligarchs?

Tugade wants to be like his principal and close frend Duterte who does not like being commented to or being asked to listen to suggestions or views. Tugade is a cum laude, a valedictorian of their San Beda law class, hence, no one is worthy enough to ask him of anything. He has his own friends and his own supporters from big companies. For six years, these friends suffered. Now, it is their time to dip their fingers into the public coffers. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

Change is definitely here because our electricity rates are higher than the previous year, thanks to Al Cusi, an airport guy now our energy secretary. Thanks to him, power utility companies have now recovered what they lost during Aquino's time. Remember those senate hearings where it became evident that power firms defrauded our people with billions of pesos when they staged those fake shutdowns?

We are very thankful to this administration because there are more Filipinos illegally working now in Taiwan, thanks to our MECO chief, Lito Banayo. Banayo, who was accused of rice smuggling during Aquino's time, has now been politically rehabilitated and his reward was so good and beneficial to the country that he was given the opportunity to represent our interests in Taiwan. What a guy, this Lito Banayo--he is very loyal to his principal, Duterte. Our president wants more jobs to Pinoys. Banayo responds--then allow more illegal workers unto Taiwan. I heard Banayo has been salivating for this post since the time of Erap and he was lucky that he bet his bottom dollar to Duterte. He got his fervent wish. He's far beyond the reach of those who want him to answer for those illegal importations of rice and sugar during his time as NFA administrator. What a guy!

I really felt that change is already here because militants are now allowed entry into the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) offices nevermind if there are hundreds of big time landlords more oppressing thousands of supposedly land reform beneficiaries. For as long as militants are allowed entry into the DAR office, don't question anymore if change is indeed here.

Changes are now being experienced in such departments as the DSWD because there are now less poor people in the streets, DOLE because again militants were allowed entry and were given an immediate audience by the secretary and even in Malacanan, militants and the Left are now given positions of power, thanks to the friendship of Joma with Digong. Nevermind if there is still no assurance that contractualization or "endo" is ending soon.

I felt changes are already here because legislators are now given the power to choose projects worth 70 million pesos. Before, legislators were barred from choosing projects to avoid the rise of graft and corrupt practices. Thanks to Duterte, happy days are here again for our beloved and honorable Congressmen.

And the greatest change that already happened is that feeling of security among our people. Many of my friends say, they now feel safer compared to previous years. Less criminality in the streets, because cops have arrested and killed those sonabitches. Nevermind if there are indiscriminate killings--these are authorized killings because they are undertaken by cops. And cops were given a wider latitude now to kill. But of course, cops follow due process, no question there. They knock on doors, and when they see their persons of interest, they open fire. That is what is it is due to the criminal and this is already a process. So don't ask if cops are not following due process. Criminals deserved to be killed and killing them involves a process.

So, if the people already feel secured, then, why the need to suspend the writ of habeas corpus? Why declare a state  of lawlessness or to correct our dear, beloved president, a state of lawless violence? I thought everything is better now? Are we saying that the more we kill, the more violent our society becomes? Then, what is the real solution to lawlessness and violence?

Ask the only dick in the senate and he would immediately say--suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The more people the cops and the military arrest, the more stable and more secure our society becomes. Great dick.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Change has come under Duterte

I just saw an FB post being circulated by my close friend and now a part of this administration that, in sum, wants us to just accept Mr. Duterte's recent antics and just focus on the "changes" which already happened. This made me to think and write this piece and to resolve to myself this one question---are changes really happening in our society now?

Yes, I agree that something did change--our population control policy got a boost when the Duterte administration launched its anti-drugs and anti-criminality campaign. Our numbers are now less than 2,000 plus souls.And expect this number to reach astronomical heights the minute Congress dignifies Senator Dick Gordon's proposal to grant the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and give Mr. Duterte enormous emergency powers.

Police can now knock on your door and when no one answers, they can just come barging in and shoot everything that moves and after the carnage, tell media that the "suspects fired at us" and shows you a gun which you already saw several moons ago, in another place, owned by another hapless and utterly dead soul.

Cocaine use got a tremendous boost when our president said that this drug is okey compared with shabu which "causes the brain to shrink" as if our president is telling us to shift to cocaine or any other psychosomatic drugs for as long as nature was the one who caused them to grow and not manufactured in some dinky lab somewhere off the coasts of Cavite.

And yes, I also agreed that our people have a different pastime now. We now laugh whenever we kill those scumbags in that Duterte game, and the more we kill, the more medals we get especially if we gun those sonafabitches and their heads got chopped off.

Children are now cursing more often now, and their parents just laugh. I will not be surprised if, in December, I see putangina as the most popular term being used by Filipinos for 2016. Or tangina, walanghiya, buwakang ina become part of Google's zeitgeist.

Whenever we face a problem, we often use the word "kill" as our solution. We can't rehabilitate a drug addict because his brain has just shrunk due to overuse of shabu, then, just kill this buwangina. He's already a zombie anyway, and he's not human, why care?

And yes, we are now a free state, we have freed ourselves from being a long-time US vassal because our president just stood up against the US president, and shamed him by threatening to curse him if he even raises the issue of human rights violations and applauding America's competitor, China, for giving us so many things like those structures built at Scarborough shoal and continuous patrolling of China's coast guards who even sprayed dirty water at our fishermen who happened to be fishing in waters within the exclusive economic zone.

First, let's all be thankful that Mr. Duterte signed an executive order for the grant of the Freedom of Information (FOI). Yes, Mr. Duterte did signed an order but if you read and look closely, the version which he signed created 166 reasons or "prohibitions"which essentially diluted the original reason why we need an FOI in the first place.

Second, let's all be thankful that there is no more "laglag bala" reports happening in our airports. This is unverified. Are we really sure that there is no more incident or we are being made to believe that there is no more case because this administration already controlled the information flow there and reporters are no longer allowed or are being fed information concerning this scam?

Third, our foreign affairs secretary, a former roommate of our dear president, applauded and clapped and described our president's first foray in the international community as "magnificent" and "excellent". Yasay must be wearing glasses with the wrong prescription.

Fourth, my friend says OFWs are now being better cared for now than the previous administration because they are now expatriated immediately unlike before when they wait for months before being given the go-ahead to return home. Well, what we refused to acknowledge is the fact that more and more OFWs are leaving our country, not because they are drug addicts but because they are now afraid that our country is "going to the dogs."

We are not going to the dogs--because we are being transformed into zombies.

Duterte's ASEAN summit speech official declared us a Chinese vassal

Think---do we need to shame another country just to prove that we are a "sovereign state" and "not a vassal"? Many tried to provide some sense with what our president said a day before the ASEAN summit and during the summit, when Duterte tried to get an official apology from United States president Barack Obama over the Bud Dajo massacre in Jolo during the American anti-insurgency campaigns in the early 1900s---an incident that led to the deaths of 600,000 Tausugs. Duterte also lashed at the UN chief, wanting him to account for other human rights violations and deaths occuring in other areas of the world.

Many admired the president for "standing up" before a long-time ally and making a "statement" that we are no longer a "vassal of the United States"--not a colony any longer.

Question--do we need such embarrasing antics just to prove that we are an independent state? For all we know, every member of the ASEAN there already know that, then,why put to task another nation, and a long time ally at that, just to show the world that we are now "strong" and "independent".

Besides, that ASEAN summit is a wrong venue for any country to put to task another nation for something which happened several generations ago.

Let me refresh the memory of our dear president---we were the ones who created the ASEAN purposely to provide a venue for Southeast asian nations to talk, discuss issues between and among nations in this part of the world, and foster peace. The ASEAN is definitely not the proper venue for such talks.

If we want to put the US to task for that massacre, and it is made official by our president, then, we have the International Court of Justice or ICJ as a venue. Or, Duterte may ask his counterparts and create a bilateral team to discuss how America maybe accounted for that historical incident.

(To correct the historical belief, yes, the Bud Dajo massacre did happen and it did precipitated a never ending struggle of the Moros against the Americans but it stopped after 1920s. The current war happening in Jolo was not directly linked with Bud Dajo massacre but a consequence of a Marcosian action during Martial law when the former president allowed Zamboanga to become the barter trade hub in that part of Southeast Asia.

The reason why the local economy of Jolo fell  and impoverished most Tausugs was when former president Marcos gave economic concessions to his close political allies, the Lobregats, who controlled the barter trade in the area. )

The thing is--Duterte's timing is rather suspect because after shaming both the US and the UN for human rights violations, our dear president then praised China for giving us, Filipinos, so much assistance and so many things which he never revealed anyway.

Is Duterte happy that Chinese ships are now at Scarborough shoal fortifying their illegal structures there? Is Duterte extremely thankful to China for sending their coast guards to shoo our fishermen away from an area which is definitely part of our territory, as certified by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS?

While we clap and shout ourselves hoarse, praising Duterte for "standing up" against America, we then hear our dear president praising China whose provocative acts and impetuousness have caused us shame as a state and as a nation before the international community for so many years!

Duterte's choice is clear---our president chooses to become a vassal of China rather than get some help from the United States.

Dear God.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Duterte's impetuous action against Obama shows misplaced, distorted & retarded nationalism

“ He lambasted Obama for something which did not happen when he did not even say a word against China for sending their ships once more in the disputed Spratlys islands?”

I see nothing wrong with a Chief Executive of a sovereign nation commenting against another leader of another sovereign nation. The world is supposedly democratic and such exchanges happen between and among heads of state. The only thing that bothers me is---do we share the same sentiment as what our President Duterte expressed in his latest outburst against US president Barack Obama? Is such behavior consistent with Filipino values?

For millennia, peoples of these islands have this respect for other people, even brutes such as their Spanish, American and Japanese invaders and imperialists. The Filipino people are highly respectful of other people. We are the only people in the world who uses “po” and “opo” at the end of our sentences, the highest expression of respect for the person we talk or engage with. Even during debates or heated discussions with other people, we Filipinos pepper our language with “pos” and “opo’s” still respectful with our enemies.

We only utter these curses in the heat of passion, when we see and feel that the other person is disrespectful to us and is violating or has violated our rights as a person and individual.  Even during those times when we were struggling against our imperialist invaders, we have remained a respectful people.

Obama, for all his faults as a person and as a leader, is still sitting as the president of the United States of America. Whatever we say about him, Obama is a person respected by millions of people, and if we go by the logic being peddled by Duterte, even cut half a billion off Obama’s admirers throughout the world, and you still have 300 million Americans with the highest respect for him, just because he occupies the top most position in their government.

Curse him if you want, but curse him for something which it is still in the future tense, is utterly stupid. When Duterte made those outbursts, he was still in Manila and he has’nt arrived yet at the ASEAN summit to meet Obama. There was still no bilateral meeting with the two leaders, and no discussion about the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Duterte cursed Obama and Obama responded by cancelling his meeting with the Philippine president. Is that good? Yes, it is, says Renato Reyes of Bayan Muna.

I ask Mr. Reyes—how about the Chinese? AT this juncture, the Chinese government have sent their boats and their frigates to the Spratlys island for another series of construction there.

Inspite of what Duterte warned them against—never to do another construction project there at the disputed territories---these Chinese imperialists are showing their impetuousness by sending their men and war materiel.

This Chinese action is a direct affront against us, a very clear case of imperialism but got no harsh comments or tirades from Duterte. Instead, here is our President cursing a long-time ally just to show his “alleged nationalist sentiments” and is basing his anger for something which did not happen in the first place? Duterte should exercise careful circumspection.

Duterte should be mindful of the fact that he is no longer a local government official cursing, fighting off or commenting another petty government official. He is now representing the interests of 101 million souls, 16 million of whom probably share the same warped view on international relations with him, but there are still about 84 million who probably do not and instead, want to have good relations with other nations and races throughout the world.

Instead of going to war with China for direct imperialist action in Philippine territory, Duterte did the unthinkable and directed his tirade against an ally who, in the end-game, would probably side with him in the event of a confrontation with the true imperialists—the Chines

Monday, September 5, 2016

On the Bangsamoro Question--dismantle the instruments of war by making Muslim Filipinos feel the concern and love of government

Since the establishment of a Sultanate around the 14th century in those islands of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan, the Muslims of these territories were mostly traders. Sulu was the center of regional trade between these islands and Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Westerners also trade with them, including the British, Dutch, Spanish and Americans.

When the Americans came, they unleashed war in these territories, and caused the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tausugs. Worse, due to the intense regionalism felt by Maranaos and Maguindanao-ans, all the more fueled by the Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) strategy employed by the Americans, the Sultanate of Sulu came under the political control of the Americans and placed within Philippine territory and thus, became a province under the Republic of the Philippines.

During the time of Magsaysay, government encouraged Filipinos from the North and from the islands of the Visayas to occupy certain lands in Mindanao. It was then that conflicts arose when greedy speculators seized the lands of the Bangsamoros. It thus led to interracine fighting which occurs up to this day.

Bangsamoros are fighting for their land. As written in the Noble Qu'ran, land is one of the blessings of ALLAH SWT and fighting for the right to possess and occupy when provoked by outside forces, is a holy right and one of the conditions for jihad.

Until now, most Tausugs do not recognize the right of the Republic of the Philippines to exercise political, social and economic control over their lands. And I understand why. How would you shore up trust with the Republic when at the time of Marcos, instead of extending to them economic opportunities, the Tausugs got war instead. From the seventies until now, there has been numerous encounters and wars and conflicts in these parts of the South that has scarred it for life. Generations upon generations of Muslims in these parts have not felt the concern of the government, hence it stymied economic development in the area which caused the people to be perpetually bonded and enslaved by political dynasties which exploit the poverty of the people.

To liberate the Tausugs, they must struggle against these forces which are being perpetuated by the government. The problem of the Muslims in the South is not what kind of governance model they should be under--it is the lack of opportunities to live under the precepts of their religion that allows this never-ending cycle of violence in their communities.

For a pious Muslim, life is simply a life lived according to Islam. When this life is disrupted, jihad follows. It is in the DNA of every Muslim to fight for what is Right, condemn what is Wrong and raise the banner of Allah SWT, every single moment of his life.

To solve the Bangsamoro problem, there should be a conscious effort by government and assisted by civil society and the private sector for the Tausugs and the rest of the Bangsamoro Nation to show the concern and sincerity of government that these institutions are aiming to:

1. Create a stabilized environment in the South, dismantle the causes of conflicts, de-mobilize the mechanisms of war, and re-model an economic system that suits the Muslims living in Mindanao.

2. Assist SMEs in these areas through government securities and investments. Grow this sector by allowing more banks to extend loan services to basic sectors, particularly SMEs and traders.

3. Dismantle political dynasties thru a series of political actions meant to empower groups instead of individuals to ascend the rungs of power in the regional and provincial levels. The type of governance model should be consultative, with one Sultan representing the interests of all Muslims in the area. It should be called a confederation of sultanates---the Sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao and Lanao, the traditional sultanates which until now, are recognized by all Muslims there as their own.

4. Institutionalising components for change thru government intervention, allowing the growth of organs of power and ensuring strict compliance of Shariah, the body of laws respected by every Muslim.

Insstead of turning these areas once more into a magnet for regional jihad, the Duterte administration should begin re-inventing the wheel so to speak, and promote and provide lasting solutions to this age-old problem in the South.

Instead of war, let our government talk with the stakeholders there. Exhaust all possible means for peace. Then, if these solutions are still ineffective, then, create peace thru war.