March 2018
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Re: Grace Poe

Poe graceThe Supreme Court has decided that Grace Poe may run for President. Good. Why? There are three major requirements for running. I interpret their intention as follows:

  1. Age requirement. A person should have the life experience, meaning the maturity, necessary for leading such a complex country.
  2. Natural-born citizenship. A person should be rooted in the nation. A foundling who grew up in Filipino families like Grace Poe did IS rooted.
  3. Residency requirement. A person should know what is going on in a country. Grace Poe was part of the struggles of the country in the past years.

The rest for me are just technicalities. In fact I see the Philippine Constitution as still being wishful thinking, far from the real constitution (link) of the country in the sense how it is constituted. Much of what is written in it are just high-sounding words, with no impact on the reality of millions in the country, and the real constitution of their lives I do not wish to describe to stay polite this time.

Just like the oath Grace Poe took when she became an American citizen may not have been truly meant (link). It is an inheritance of colonialism and serfdom that many Filipinos often just say what they are required to say – in front of their teachers, in front of judges, in front of anyone with power – because speaking truth to power (link) can hurt you or often face is more important. Much of what those who are used to honesty see as strange is not a big deal for many Filipinos – it is seen as a trade-off in a country where honesty is seen as “rude”.

  • Grace Poe’s program for me is 1-2 steps behind Mar Roxas (link), but 2-3 steps in front of Rodrigo Duterte. My ranking remains unchanged (link).
  • In my model of evolution of order (link) I see Grace Poe as a “rebel/prophet”. She seems to want to lead her people out of Egypt but does not know the way – a bit like Cory 30 years ago.
  • I think her appeal is strong to a nation that is historically Spain’s illegitimate child and America’s foundling. A country that still struggles with its identity and has issues with its confidence.

Now if the Philippines may be likened to Oliver Twist, the orphan who ran with shady characters for a while because those were the ones he trusted more than the better-off people, Poe with her somewhat questionable connection to Chiz Escudero and the people who might be behind him is preferable to Binay anytime who might be something like a Fagin to an Oliver Twist nation.

On shifting ground

People usually can relate best to those who are at a similar stage of development. The Philippines is a country of shifting ground, legally and ethically. It is not yet sure of its own principles.

  • Aquino may have come down the mountain with the 11th Commandment (link), seeing his people dancing around the Golden Calf of Corruption, what Daang Matuwid means stayed vague.
  • The modern technocrat Roxas is mainly able to connect with parts of the educated middle class, and those who still live the vague democratic dreams of the 1986 revolution.
  • Duterte seems to want to chuck a lot of imported Western principles down the drain, coming from Mindanao where they were often meaningless in daily life (link).
  • Marcos Jr. provides a vague promise of authoritarianism to those who see the chaos and blockades of present-day Philippine democracy.
  • Leni Robredo is for people’s participation – in an elitist country where the people were outside the walls and meant little (link).

What really counts

The election only is a sideshow for me. Finally the country might have to look at three things and find answers to them in the next few weeks, months or years:

  1. Where has it been in the past (link)?
  2. What is the real situation now (link)?
  3. Where does it want to go next (link)?

Outdated terminologies and ideologies that probably never fit the specific Philippine situation have not been helpful in modeling reality for the purpose of defining how to remold it.

  • New mental models are needed I think (link),
  • Discourse at all levels must remain open (link),
  • Mutual assistance and coaching is growing (link).

The nice thing about the elections is that people are starting to discuss about a lot of things, some even think or do something. A few may even remember the real priorities after the election.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 11. March 2016


27 comments to Re: Grace Poe


    Poe, Marcos embrace backstage at Erap proclamation rally

    MANILA — In deference to their respective running mates, Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., had apparently avoided being seen together onstage at Monday’s Liwasang Bonifacio rally of Mayor Joseph Estrada, who endorsed the two senators as his candidates for president and vice president. Poe’s running mate is Sen. Chiz Escudero, while Marcos is running as VP to Sen. Miriam Santiago.

    Though they were separately endorsed by the mayor, the two senators somehow met behind the scene: because after Estrada first declared Marcos his VP candidate – reserving Poe for a later, more glowing spiel – Senator Marcos immediately went down the stage, and had selfies taken with supporters waiting at the backstage leading to the post office stairways.

    As he descended the steps, Marcos immediately went to the car of Poe, which was parked behind the post office building.

    Poe suddenly emerged from behind and they embraced warmly, greeting each other like long-lost siblings.

    The two senators had a brief exchange of pleasantries. Her security personnel disallowed taking photos and videos, but managed to take several pictures of the two senators, who in the past had good-naturedly ribbed each other about the decades-long urban legend that Poe is really a child out of wedlock of Bongbong’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      Sneaky. Creepy. Grace Poe is also endorsed and supported by former Marcos Martial buddies. Is this right? Is this wrong? CULTURALLY, it is wrong. RELIGIOUSLY it is right. JURIDICALLY it is wishy-washy flip-flopping weder-weder it depends.

      CULTURALLY, Filipinos are to be tainted forever. The sins of their buddies should not be forgetten and forgiven. They got this from their RELIGIOUS BEIEF.

      RELIGIOUSLY, Filipinos were indoctrinated sins are inherited, 1) the sins of their father is our sins forever; 2) Sins are to be forgiven.

      JURIDICALLY, anyone rubbing elbows with sinners have sinned. By perception. By blood. By friendship. By photos. By association. Talking about photos, Ombudsman subpoena wedding photos and negatives of Napoles daughter. for what reason is obvious. All people in attendance of the wedding including ring bearers and flower girls are guilty (hyperbole is mine).

      Despite, I cannot strike a balance between JURIDICAL, RELIGIOUS and CULTURE. There is still Filipino in me. GRACE SHOULD NOT EVER NEVER ASSOCIATE WITH TAINTED CROOKS.

      If ever they are and were crooks, why are they still out and about? Why are they not in Bilibid? Did Department of Justice gave them out-of-jail card? If they are not in Bilibid, they must be squeaky clean. I do not know. Philippine Justice to this day, even under Benigno Aquino, is still BALUKTOT under my eyes.

      Even lawmaker Bam Aquino is not into evidence. He’d rather Q&A “resource persons” of $81.0M money laundering. Lawmaker Bam Aquino is still into witness accounts of “resource persons” while deGuito is hung out to dry. RCBC did a one-day judgement. deGuito: FIRED! While Lawmaker Bam Aquino is still Q&Aing. Nobody asked RCBC HR who ordered them to investigate-and-fire deGuito. Lawmaker Bam Aquino is not after RCBC. Lawmaker Bam Aquino is afraid of RCBC. Bam Aquino is after small time crooks that can barely speak tagalog more Mandarin.

      CULTURALLY & JURIDICALLY, Lawmaker Bam Aquino is a sissy. To Filipinos he is intelligent and good in drama. If Senate Investigation were held in the U.S., the Americans would entertained live: PHILIPPINE JUSTICE REALITY TV. Even Judge Judy would be ROLLING & LOLing.

      … now where am I …. GRACE POE SHOULD NOT BE BESO-BESO AND BODY-BODY-HUGGING THE SINNERS, that is me culturally. On the other hand, JUSTICE and RELIGION dictates she can kissy-kissy with sinners, too!

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico

        In Philippine culture, FRIENDS ARE FOREVER. When I was growing up in the Philippines, there was a gang called “FRIENDS-4-EVER”. They were not bad bang. They just hung-out and write “FRIENDS-4-EVER” in every available walls. They were more of vandals.


        Here is the LITMUS TEST!

        A FILIPINO will forever support and protect their supporters by hook or by crook. IT IS A GIVEN. It is in the blood. It is, culturally. That is why Filipinos made issue and put a spotlight on Grace Poe’s co-mingling with crooks.

        AMERICANS never ever support and protect their supporters (in public) others are simply dropped out of their wedding invite list. Super-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff is one of them. John McCain was tainted. The Majority House Speaker Tom DeLay stepped down. Enron Kenneth Lay lost all his friends like croks in the U.S., of course not ALL.

        GRACE POE embracing, hugging, body-body-beso-beso with crooks, is good argument that GRACEPOE IS NOT AN AMERICAN! She is a FILIPINO!

        Rest my case.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Never a dull moment in the Philippines. In fact it is more fun in the Philippines to those who dabbles in politics.

    Duterte an admitted murderer who never was investigated.
    Santiago an admitted cancer patient.
    Grace Poe who is in denial she has no experience and opportunist.
    Roxas who is in denial he wanted a no-experience Grace Poe to run as his vice-president because she is a vote-getter, no-experience nor OJT.

    Everybody is an opportunist. An opportunity to change the Philippines for the better

    The Philippines also have extremely strict Banking Secrecy Laws emulating Swiss Banking standard with an exclusion, which are:

    1. No Bank Secrecy Law applicable to Jejomar Binay; and
    2. No Bank Secrecy Law applicable to Renato Corona

    Bank Secrecy Law is only applicable to Lorenzo Tan and nobody is complaining like they are not complaining the violation of Binay and Corona’s bank account.

    It is fun in the Philippines.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      Leni Robredo was an afterthought. She was tapped after Grace Poe dumped Mar Roxas. She never get it she was an afterthought. Leni Robredo accepted. Because Leni Robredo found an opportunity.

      When Benigno Aquino floated Mar Roxas name as his successor, Mar Roxas accepted after his dismal defeat to Jejomar Binay. Mar Roxas accepted. It was an opportunity

      Everybody in Philippine Political race are opportunist.

  • – excellent points by Mary again:

    Naiveté is when she says to the coconut farmers that it is the government’s fault and not Cojuangco’s that is to blame for the non distribution of coco levy funds when it is the Senate in which both she and Escudero are major members of, who sat in the law enactment that would enable the government to implement the SC ruling, forgetting too, the 3 decades delaying tactics employed in that coco levy issue by her current benefactor. Now what is the role of Escudero there, knowing that he is a party member of NPC whose head is Danding?

    They sat on it for a long time and now when they were in front of the coco farmers, they shifted the blame to the government, and made it an issue, promised the distribution that they themselves delayed, to get the support of the farmers.

    How well did she know the issues which have been with us since the time of the Marcoses, the role played by the people surrounding her now since most of her adult life she spent with her Marcos loyalist adoptive parents then later in her luxurious existence in the US?

    Her POV is formed in the environment of her adoptive parents, whose wedding was sponsored by the conjugal dictatorship, and proven true blue Marcos loyalists….her friends and compadres are the Estradas, the bosom friend of FPJ and an equally Marcos loyalist too, whose presidency paved the way to the return of the Marcoses in the government? With her VP tandem, a son of Marcos crony and cabinet minister whose wedding was sponsored by the members of the Marcos mafia one of which is Danding Cojuangco, who, days after NPC’s announcement of support for her, she defended in the coco levy issue?

    The issue of her 10 year residency in the country is precisely for her to appreciate these things, how could she when in those early years of those ten years, she has not completed a single full year here, she travelled back and forth to the US attending to some business matters,how can she devote enough time to know these issues when after she was done with matters in the US, she was kept busy dealing with her adoptive father’s estate, later in the movie and tv reviews?

    She was guided by a crony’s son, now the VP candidate, in all her years in the Senate, has mingled with the Estradas… how can she be familiarized with issues other than coming from those immediately surrounding her…..she should have been a VP candidate first so she could have formed a deeper understanding of the country’s history, apart from the Marcos cronies and friends and their take on such history….as of now what she is mouthing are half cooked analysis, not deep enough just like her pronouncement re the INC rally and her analysis of the Mamasapano tragedy, the role of an executive there and the security issues relative to the global war on terrorism.

    These are not personal attacks, we are looking at how and why her statements and actions are what they are…she is a presidential candidate after all, we have the right to examine the sincerity of what she is publicly saying.

  • – a good summary of the doubtful aspects of Poe’s connections:

    For those wondering how on earth a Poe presidency is linked to Marcos – here, let me count the ways:

    Ongpin – Marcos Cabinet member, one Poe’s financiers
    Escudero – the son of Marcos Agriculture Sec/minister with all the other Marcos cronies I missed
    Cojuangco – a major financier, Marcos crony – what did Poe say about coco levy fund?
    Estrada – a compadre, couldn’t decide whether for Poe or Binay, but let’s his mistress to go for Mar just to be sure
    Zamora – Marcos Cabinet member
    FPJ glamour, the hero on the silver screen, but in real life an avid Marcos loyalist
    Bongbong and the rest of the Marcos family of the solid north votes, the Poe – Marcos votes… pandering to get them, how about burying the dictator properly (by properly, whose definition, the Marcos family definition?)
    Enrile – Poe, Binay or Duterte is fine just not PNOY’s candidate

    For the country or what?

    The one among politicians who is most for the country from what I can see now is Bam Aquino (SMEs, innovation, Philippine Competition Act). In that sense he is the most like the deceased Senator Ninoy Aquino with his agenda of preventing internal colonialism – Philippines Free Press article from the early 1970s. Roxas also was one of the first to promote SMEs, BPO to keep opportunities back home, BUB is now to develop the countryside. Some might say the country not being open to foreign ownership promotes extreme profiteering (expensive electricity and internet connections for example) but then again who wants Chinese multinationals to take over things? Some smell bad things with regards to Roxas’ friendship with the miner Gutierrez whose planes he used (but paid for) but so far nothing conclusive. There should probably be a law on disclosure of campaign funding. Duterte’s being funded by an anonymous Chinese not Chinoy businessman is a very strange thing, that to me smells quite strong.

    • Thanks. Great insights there.

      • Welcome… it gets even more interesting:

        Independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe has accepted campaign contributions from a Macau-based junket operator, Sun City Group, in possible violation of Philippine laws.
        Documents obtained by the Tribune showed that Poe’s camp accepted a total of P150 million in “political donations” from Sun City Holiday Resort owned by gambling mogul Alvin Chau which was recorded through three cash vouchers issued last year.
        One of the vouchers, for P50 million in contributions, has the discernible signature of Grace Poe in it.
        A prospectus of the Macau firm said the Sun City Group was established in 2007 and is now one of the big four junket operations in Macau that control around 80 percent of the local VIP baccarat market worth $6.1 billion, equivalent to 74 percent of Macau’s total casino gaming revenue last year.

        • Poe denies the Macau thing… controls are good I think… I refer to this 1999 matter:

          While it comes out she lived in a really big place with her husband in the USA, not the usual OFW or migrant life at least from her marriage onwards.

          Wonder how Roxas lived in New York – and the most interesting thing is: did Poe or Roxas have the usual “house-slaves” even in the United States?

          Because I know that well-off people may have gardeners or cleaning ladies over here in Germany, but not maids at one’s beck and call like in the Philippines.

          Late 1960s an aunt of mine living with us in UP woke up one of the maids at night to have her make NESCAFE for her – because she was busy reviewing.

          Another aunt had a maid carry her under an umbrella to the jeepney stop to shield her from the sun – and mind you my grandfather was not rich just middle class.

          Used to be that bosses at DFA asked their subalterns to initiate phone calls for them, even during the advent of speed dialing – or call people to their desks.

          Or to make a simple photocopy send their secretaries – to be fair this was the time German bosses still asked their secretaries to make coffee for them.

          Delegation is a good thing, but making people run around for the sake of showing one’s status is not only inefficient, it spoils the entitled ones.

    • Bill in Oz

      Here is an interesting major essay “Beating dickheads”
      by Miguel Syjuco. It was published in Australia in the Griffith Review last December. Usually the Griffith Review is unavailable online but hey have dropped their paywall for a while.
      It is an excellent essay by a Filippino.
      I posted this link on Joe Am last night but it has disappeared.

      • karlgarcia

        great read!

        • There are certain excerpts that I like, to summarize the most important points of a very balanced but scathing article by the author of the novel “Ilustrado”:

          1. There are advancements: Yet presidents and their pundits will always declare that things are improving. On the face of it, they’re not lying. The Philippines is no longer the sick man of Asia. Our middle class is expanding. Our workers are prized all over the world. The country is politically stable compared to our neighbours. The administration of our current president, Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, has cracked down on corruption, most notably on a scandalous pork-barrel scam implicating a dozen powerful senators and more than a score of congressmen. And, best of all, the Philippine economy is booming.

          2. But money remains in the hands of very few: A recent study by economist Cielito Habito said that the forty richest Filipinos account for three-quarters of the country’s GDP growth – the highest in Asia. As the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, this contrasts with Thailand, whose swankiest forty are behind a third of GDP growth. Malaysia’s fattest forty account for just 5.6 per cent, while Japan’s drive a mere 2.8 per cent. Meanwhile, the top two Filipinos on Forbes magazine’s rich list account for around $18.8 billion – 6 per cent of my country’s wealth. This was contrasted with the bottom quarter of Filipinos, who live on hardly a dollar a day. That’s twenty-five million people, more than the population of Australia, living on less than a buck. This ratio, the Inquirer reported, ‘was little changed from a decade earlier’. – but I think it used to be 60 families owned 90% of the country’s wealth, so there is a wee bit of change since the 1970s…

          3. To this, asks the regular Filipino – a decent citizen, a reasonably informed voter, patriotic in her or his quiet way – what can we do? What is left to be done but poke our fingers into the newspaper and shake our heads and curse the terrible kleptocrats who won’t bugger off? he goes on to cite Imelda, Enrile, Estrada, Jalosjos, Bacani, Villegas, and even Aquino.

          4. His criticisms of Aquino make more credible also in putting together the positive sides than those who refuse to see the negatives as well: The faces of his parents now adorn the five-hundred peso bill, yet he was considered, by a relevant majority, merely the better candidate among the worst. With less than a year now left in his presidency, his competence has been questionable and his churlishness towards accountability unforgivable. He’s been conspicuously fickle during times of national crisis and mourning, and his mishandling of a recent raid on a terrorist hide-out, which saw forty-four elite police commandos massacred, has triggered calls for his ousting. Even his administration’s much-celebrated anti-corruption campaign has targeted only opposition politicians. not quite true, I think that the Ombudsman has also gone after a few LP people, but there are much less – the question is, is that justified by reality or just favoritism?

          5. Impunity against journalists, one example: Last year, Rubylita Garcia, a hard-hitting newspaper and radio journo, was shot in her home. As she died, she told her children that the town police superintendent was behind it. The previous year Joas Dignos, known for reporting widely on corruption, was assassinated on the street by gunmen. Since 1992, seventy-seven journalists have been killed in the line of duty, making my country one of the most dangerous in the world for those who would report the truth.

          6. Libel laws are very “muddy” and can hurt journalists: Such lawlessness, however, is no match for the law when protecting lawmakers. Defamation remains criminalised and carries a penalty of up to six years in jail. Yet its definition is open to interpretation: according to the Philippine penal code, it is ‘a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause dishonour, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead’. In other words, we must beware of insulting the powerful, or of making even founded allegations. contrast that with German libel laws which are strict but well-defined. Whosoever intentionally and knowingly asserts or disseminates an untrue fact related to another person, which may defame him or negatively affect public opinion about him or endanger his creditworthiness shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine, and, if the act was committed publicly, in a meeting or through dissemination of written materials (section 11(3)) to imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine.

          7. Offending religious feelings is also a muddy law: And in the Philippines, Muslims marched against depiction of their prophet, issuing the statement that ‘the Charlie Hebdo killing is a moral lesson to the world’. Meanwhile, activist Carlos Celdran was sentenced to fourteen months in jail for ‘offending religious feelings’, for holding up, during an ecumenical meeting, a sign criticising the Catholic clergy and later shouting: ‘You bishops, stop involving yourself in politics!’ Celdran’s landmark case, involving a rarely used law from 1930, has opened a Pandora’s box. In January of this year, three non-Catholic Christians were also arrested for offending religious feelings when they preached, on the street, against idolatry; they were released when the devout Catholic cop who filed the case decided to forgive them. Similarly, four evangelical Christians were charged with offending religious feelings when they called out comments about Catholics during the visit of Pope Francis; the accused also held up signs saying such things as: ‘Only Jesus Christ can save you from sin and hell.’ German laws are also strict but within limits I think: (Sections 166-168 of the Penal Code, Section 167 would cover both Pussy Riot’s act in a Russian Orthodox Church and Carlos Celdran’s Padre Damaso poster INSIDE a church which is a disrespectful thing to do, as for criticism outside the church Section 166 does disallow statements like “Catholic priests are paedophiles”, “Muslims are terrorists” or “Jews are profiteers” but this is not about “religious feelings”, it is if statements may disturb public peace even cause riots – because “feelings” are something the law cannot quantify very well.

          8. The rumor-mongering law of Marcos is mentioned: The most brutal gossip, however, is usually directed, perhaps with due cause, at those who seem the most untouchable. After all, the Marcoses, during their brutish two-decade rule, manufactured their own to their advantage: the dictator’s war medals; the unsuccessful ambush on his henchman Enrile, which prompted martial law; or Marcos’s karate chop that unhanded an assassin’s foot-long dagger and saved Pope Paul IV during his 1970 visit. Even the ill-gotten Marcos billions have been explained as General Yamashita’s lost treasure, which the retreating Japanese commander supposedly hid in the mountains at the end of World War II. Information, the cliché goes, is power – which is why, soon after declaring dictatorship, Marcos made rumour-mongering punishable by law. – I remember that Presidential Decree and I wonder if anybody was ever punished under it – how do you prove it, using witness accounts?

          9. The role of those who write: I think often of José Rizal, one of the many great Philippine heroes of the late nineteenth century. At the time, his homeland was under the influence of Western imperialists. The Catholic Church held sway over society. Wealth was held by a small percentile. Equality did not exist. The laws benefitted the powerful. (History, as we now know, would prove to rhyme.) Young Rizal, then living in Spain, worked with his compatriots to press for reform that was not forthcoming. As some of his comrades considered revolution, Rizal returned home to pursue peaceful change. He wrote two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, both funny in their honest satire and brave in mocking the ruling friars and elite. For this, Rizal was charged with sedition, rebellion and conspiracy. He was executed in Manila by firing squad, though his words and example helped spur the Philippine Revolution that ousted Spain and established Asia’s first constitutional republic. Few novels have ever had such an effect. Few ever will. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try.

          I can cite the Professional Heckler as a magnificent political satire blog which Joe has in his Philippine Blog Center… it takes no prisoners and is truly funny. Good political satirists – including satirical stand-up comedy shows by the likes of Dieter Hildebrandt – did I think play a major role in making the more conservative interpretation of German libel law during the stuffy days of Konrad Adenauer irrelevant. It also took some political rebels like Joschka Fischer (who at times also was a political clown and provocateur – I remember how as a young man new in Germany still very much “jeprox” in my ways I liked him for being the first to attend parliamentary sessions in “rubber shoes” and jeans instead of shiny leather shoes and a suit) to shake up things and change the attitude of ruling groups. Well in the Philippines you have Roxas speaking in Tagalog (and Visayan) to the public – his grandfather I am sure would still have talked English all the time. Duterte and Poe for all their populism are questioning things and helping break down the walls – does not mean they would do things better that is another issue.

          • From the novel Ilustrado… it obviously refers to the texting times of 2001 when EDSA II was called together via SMS, but is anything today then surprising?

            The first message is from Ned, Sadie’s dressage coach: Rev Mart is free! Rally bhind hm. R Rewrd wil b in heaven. He prmses 2 trade hs post as Apostle of da People & run 4 prsident. Spred da gud wrd.

            The second is from Georgie, Sadie’s classmate: “Countrymen! Take to the streets for Lakandula. But keep the peace. Quiet defiance is louder than angry shouts.”

            The third is from Pye, Sadie’s yoga instructor: Bansamoro. Estregan, and Reverend Martin to stage Christmas play with Vita Nova. Unfortunately, show’s canceled – script called for three wise men and a virgin! Hwehwehweh. A rose, for you @}–;—–

            The fourth is from Tita Daqy, Sadie’s other aunt: Estregan and Department of Health warn Chinese Flu contagious in crowds. Stay safe @ home n pray for the cuntry. Pls pas 2 as mny ppl as posible. God bless!

  • – Joe your list of all articles re Grace Poe in the past years.

    I think the strong appeal of both Poe and Escudero has to do with their age, meaning they can connect better with the younger ones.

    BTW the present Romanian President is a schoolteacher… I think it isn’t really about qualifications it is about taking the job seriously and doing it well. Too much amateur hour in the Philippines in terms of attitude, it’s like “you just have to be one of our folks then you can be mediocre, but beware if you’re not then we’ll take you apart”. Which is why I don’t endorse any candidate, just analyze what I see – because nobody really cared for the country anyway up to now just about their own group.

    • Yes, I think that’s true. I think an inexperienced person could be president if that person had a kind of maturity that recognized how best to use the talent of others, and not paste over the absence of experience with hubris. In that environment, decisions might arrive a little slower, but they would still be sound. It seems to me that Poe/Escudero rush into position statements to get onto the front pages, then have to backtrack when the criticisms come in. BBL, INC and Coco Levy all reflect that pattern. They DO get twice the free press coverage, though, so it probably only matters to eccentrics like me who want the first decision to be right.

      • They give the impression of looking super smart to many, but to me they often just look like smart-asses.

        And yes Poe might even be sincere, but Escudero I think is NOT… her possible weakness is dangerous in my opinion.


    My opinion on these two opinions is – the one that won is from what I perceive to be a modern school of legal thinking in the Philippines. Met some early exponents of that school of thought or teaching in early Cory times, these lawyers did not like the old-school legalists who hard-headedly go by the letter of the law and presume guilt most of the time. Carpio seems like the latter to me, the kind of Filipino legalist who still carries the “Spanish Inquisition mindset” – burn all witches!!!

    • Interesting litmus test. I’ve found Justice Carpio rising on my “like-o-meter” and CJ Sereno dropping. Does that make me in favor of the Spanish Inquisition? he he

      • Not necessarily… but if all laws existing in the Philippines were implemented in the strictest fashion possible things might be even more Kafkaesque or “Dark Ages”…

        The laws I think are in bad need of an overhaul together with the justice system, also to keep workarounds like the present decision at a minimum… I think that the drafters of the 1935 Constitution in those very elitist times simply could not imagine someone “without proper pedigree” rising up to become a political candidate.

        • – this is the kind of government attitude to “ordinary people” that I mean:

          I’d argue that there is an even more pernicious form of mistrust of citizens that occurs daily IN THE PHILIPPINES in the form of required clearances. Barangay clearances, police clearances, NBI clearances. The burden of proving innocence is placed on the citizen. The presumption is possible guilt, somewhere, at some place, at some time.

          This attitude of the government – of treating it’s own people as SUBJECTS (or “Indios”) and not citizens – is often reflected in the way the representatives of the law (lawyers if you don’t have much money, fiscals and judges) treat “ordinary people” and how the law is intransparent to the people and therefore often not respected.

          •“Don’t underestimate our loyalty and love for our motherland. Are we not good enough to be trusted despite our continued sacrifice all these years to work and remit much needed dollars for the benefit of our countrymen and our beloved Philippines?”

            “Just like all the rest of Fil Ams, she cooked for her family, drove her children to school and herself to work, washed clothes, cleaned the house, supported her husband in raising their children, braved winter and snow in the East Coast, sacrificed her comfort and convenience away from her parents celebrity FPJ and Susan in order to play best in her role as mother and wife. She was never a “Dona” or a “Senorita” while she stayed here.”

            He also praised Grace Poe for being a responsible and good citizen with American standard work ethic which she would carry on when she becomes Philippine president: “Just like the rest of FilAms, she played by the rules and embraced the American standard and ethics of hard work, fairness, culture of excellence and equality. Living in America does not give you special treatment and privileges and Grace Poe just like many of us, lined up in groceries and malls to pay for the goodies she bought, paid her taxes dutifully, and, most importantly, just like all FilAms, she always took pride of her roots as a Filipino and showing her stuff in the various jobs she experienced while staying here.”

            In fact this is where most of us who have live abroad for a long time are at loggerheads with the “Doñas” and “Señoritos” back home. WE have lived all these years without “houseslaves” (c) MRP – and are often shocked by the way Filipinos unwitting ignore the poor or even treat them like lower castes in India.

            Of course Mar Roxas has sympathy among many abroad as well – 7 years in an ordinary bank job did make him more prepared to get his “hands dirty” than his definitely elitist grandfather, we don’t laugh about him doing stuff by himself or falling from a motorbike like many Filipinos back home still do.

            The walls are still in many heads back home. A lot of anti-Mar and anti-Korina stuff stems from those who see them as “intra muros”, themselves as “extra muros”.

  • Yes, Danding… former Marcos crony… it looks like it took up to 2014 to win the case against him and make him pay the money back to the government.

    Danding is of course behind the NPC which supports Poe and Escudero, so things do have a strange smell – funny though that Danding supported Aquino in 2010.

    This coconut thing – what bill was attempted which Poe did not support, who killed it in the Senate and stuff – is another weird story of Philippine politics.

    Like the Land Use Bill which got shelved courtesy of Sotto and Marcos – I think there should be a list not only of bills passed per candidate but also bills killed.

    Killing something and then reviving it under one’s own watch is not a new thing in Philippine politics – see Marcos Sr. vs. Macapagal on sending Filipinos to Vietnam…

    The speed and access of today’s media makes pulling off such a stunt harder in theory, except of course with those people who remain biased in either hate or idolatry.

  • How nice that I can comment here, as you are not in the Philippines and I am not an alien resident in Germany. It is a global forum, and I enjoy your orphan profile of the Philippine’s Orphan in Chief, who just stepped in a huge pile of excrement by defending Peping Cojuangco and the Coco Levy Fund, trying to shift the blame to the Aquino Admin, something which did not please the many people who have dedicated huge chunks of their lives to getting money to the farmers, and have been blocked by that same Cojuangco. Then it turns out that Senator Poe chairs the Senate Agricultural Committee which has done nothing with regard to legislation passed by the House but stalled in the Senate due to . . . well, of course, special interests. She is a school teacher, not much more, even if she is herself playing in a lovely movie along side her papa. But she is now running into herself, giving that it is the leftists who are angry and the senatorial leftist on her roster, Colmenares, has been strangely silent these past few days. It is for sure never dull in the Philippines. Ms. Poe fits right in to the cast of whacky characters assigned roles in the national election drama.

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