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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 […]

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 […]

Intact Neighborhoods

are the foundation of successful cities, regions, countries. How are barangays in the Philippines doing? The President says that 40% of barangay captains are involved in drugs (link). Wait, weren’t the barangays also the ones who compiled the drug lists? Used to compel people to surrender and possibly even used to determine who to kill?

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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 […]

100 days later

is too early to give a judgment, even preliminary, of the new Philippine administration. Only an impression is possible, which of course will be one’s own point of view. Three areas matter the most:

Foreign policy. Aside from all the theatrics, there is a definite shift. Joint patrols with the USA have been stopped, US […]

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 […]

Finding Common Ground and Sense

is hard in the Philippines. Was Aquino’s rule too elitist (link) or is Duterte’s anti-crime drive too Bang! (link)? Common Filipino principles, do they exist? In the Constitution, in theory. But I wonder how many Filipino Catholics understand what is in the Bible, any more than the natives understood what Padre Damaso was preaching to […]

The original sin

of the Philippines was its datus swearing allegiance to King Felipe II, in exchange for privileges and helping enslave their own people. Power became entitlement without responsibility.

These principalia or native elites evolved into local politicians. There were mestizos, taxed more than natives but outside the barangays, looked down upon by the Spanish as well. […]

Walang Taong Diyos

kahit gaanong kataas. Kahit na Presidente. Karapat-dapat itong galangin, pero hindi kawalaan ng paggalang ang pagpuna, kaya hindi ako sang-ayon sa ipinost sa OFW Tambayan (link): We, many of Filipinos around the world should know about this. We, and everyone of us should respect our presumptive president. We should stay our mouth with the words […]

Speaking in Tongues

is the message of Pentecost. Filipinos prefer the Lenten season of pasyon and victimhood to even Easter which is rising from victimhood (link to article). During Pentecost the apostles “began to speak with other languages”… and “every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:1-6). President-elect Duterte speaks Visayan which many Filipinos speak, […]

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