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June 2017
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The Absentee President

may have done Filipinos a favor – by showing that his office is not the solution to, nor the source of all problems. The war in Marawi is hopefully winding to a close thanks to a professional army, and the MRT still is running badly while Metro Manila traffic is horrible. Meanwhile, there is mostly […]

Nobody Personally Knows

how many addicts the Philippines has. Did President Duterte recently say “My Name is Nobody”? No, he just said “you do not contradict your own government” (link) and fired the head of the Dangerous Drugs Board for saying 1.8 million instead of Duterte’s 4 million.

Nobody knows the basis for Duterte’s 4 million. The number […]

Consensus and Enforcement

keep public order – in that order. Without fundamental agreement on the basics, no amount of force will work. Martial law and drug wars are EMERGENCY measures. Hobbes did have a pessimistic view of human nature, that without a strong central authority (link) each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the […]

Defend What Republic?

one is tempted to ask in the recent discussions on Solicitor-General Calida’s call to “Defend the Republic” and the responses to it (link) – not only because the Republic does not coincide with the President or his supporters. Any republic, but especially the Philippines, will in fact I think consist of three Republics and their […]

Them or Us

seems to be the central idea of many pro-Duterte people. Senator De Lima is in jail, Trillanes is “next” and trolls are trying to make Vice-President Robredo’s late husband look corrupt or worse. Strange that there was never any indication whatsover of anything while he was alive, or during his widow’s campaigns for Congress and […]

Dust thou art

and to dust thou shalt return. No need for people to hasten death (link). And those who feel like “killing and killing”, judicially or extrajudicially, do not see that it is not a solution to the problems of society that cause terrible crimes.

But Filipinos usually love quick “solutions”. There are the kind that rage […]

A comfortable life

is what President Duterte promised in his first SONA (link). I would not want a comfortable life. I like the way my life is now – with its efforts and its rewards, but not comfortable. Someone who is comfortable is in my book depending too much on others, either as patrons or as servants. Getting […]

Facing the Music

is something Filipino leaders don’t do well. Think South Korean murdered (link) – or Mamasapano. In both cases, Filipino Presidents wound their way around their command responsibility. President Duterte has not made any public statement on the issue of the South Korean murdered at Camp Crame until now. President Aquino was heavily criticized for not […]

Much wishful thinking

pervades Philippine politics: from De Quiros’ well-known “Aragorn” for Aquino or Tiglao’s recent prediction of A.D. and B.D. – After and Before Duterte in Philippine history (link). Oh how much do Filipinos wish for miracles, much like the legendary Bernardo Carpio of colonial times, the king tied up in the mountains only waiting to awake! […]

Pro- and Anti-

suffixed with Marcos, Aquino, Duterte, America, China. They bug me. They also bug some Filipinos who say: we should all be pro-Filipino and pro-Philippines instead. That is better, but what does that exactly mean? Who is included and excluded, and what is the Philippines in the first place? I think every Filipino and every […]

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