Posts Tagged Justice

Common knowledge ang mga narco-list

Tangena trial by ordeal Madagascardahil alam ng barangay kung sino ang adik. Pilipino may pakiramdam. Westerner lang ang bobo na naghahanap pa ng prueba, tulad ni Delimaw na puro ganyan ang hinihingi – e alam naman na ng buong Bilibid na siya ang No. 1 Drug Lord! At huwag kayong humirit ng facts-facts at logic-logic, mga putangina kayong mga dilawan. Rappler ang nag-imbento ng facts-facts, di ba mga dilawan sila? Logic-logic, pautot lang iyan ng mga propesor na Kastila sa Santo Tomas noong araw. Walang silbi sa tunay na buhay. Pampahaba lang ng kuwento. Tulad ng proseso. Kung alam na adik, tapusin!

Proseso pagkakakitaan lang iyan ng mga huwes at abogado na pumoporma sa bar exams nila. Putangina tapos iyong Konstitusyon pa na iyan. Para lang iyan sa mga tanga na di maka-adjust. Iyong mga tipong kailangan pa ng red light at green light para alam kung kailan sila tatawid. Ganyan daw sa Alemanya sabi nila. Bobong mga iyan. EU pamandin sila. Pero tanga talaga sila. Plano ng plano. Akala mo Mar Roxas. Buti pa si Tatay Digong, alam ang gagawin na walang plano. Kaartehan na iyan. Paano mo malalaman kung ano bukas? E bukas baka tinokhang na pamilya mo!

Hay naku, iyang mga de numerong prueba, facts-facts, logic-logic, proseso, batas, Konstitusyon, plano – papel lang iyan, wala ka pang tunay na nagawa. Buti pa si Digong umaaksiyon agad. Sa Boracay merong mga SWAT at helicopter. Sa Kuwait, umaksiyon sila Mocha at Thinking Pinoy. Ngayon, malapit nang umurong at makipag-usap uli ang Kuwait sa Pilipino. Kailangan nila tayo. Kasi genius tayo. Kahit walang plano kayang-kaya natin. Kung baga sa tugtog, widow tayo palagi. Tanginang mga Mozart at Beethoven na puro nota. Buti pa si Freddie Aguilar, magiging Senador.

Tsaka matapang tayo! Hinamon natin ang mga Arabo. Pinaalis ng Pangulo natin iyong taga-EU.  Ano ngayon kung nag-resolusyon na naman ang EU Parliament. Magrosaryo na lang kaya sila ‘no! Dilawan talaga sila, umaasa sa dasal at papeles. Tayo umaasa sa aksiyon, sa tapang at sa pusila! Resbak pa natin ang mga Intsik. Malakas tayo diyan. Bilib sila sa atin. Kaya pinapautangan tayo. Kaya magpapasok ng maraming negosyo sa bansa natin. Pati si Donald Trump niririspito tayo. Iyong Casino ng Galaxy, mauna pa sa Casino ng Kano. Mas sikat tayo kaysa Las Vegas at Macau.

Sa Hapon malakas din tayo. Kalimutan ninyo iyang comfort woman statue. Laos na Maria Clara. Biktima iyan tulad ni Sisa. Laos na ang paawa. Mautak na Pinay ngayon, kikita ng husto sa lalaki. Hapon, Intsik o iyong lubak-lubak na mukha man ang pinag-uusapan. Huwag bobo, sabi ni Mocha! Huwag sobrang guwapo, sabi ni Calida. Mga sobrang guwapo mga bakla. Si Coco Martin, tiyak na dumaan iyan kay Brillante Mendoza ano. Pero babae ka man o lalake, ikaw muna ang bibirahin bago ka makabira sa huli. Ganyan talaga ang buhay. Hindi tayo mga santo, kaya babuyin na natin.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Munich, Mayo Uno 2018

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to release the government’s list of so-called narco-politicians did not violate the human rights of individuals to be named as they were running for elective government posts.

He said that the list would just “confirm” what was supposedly common knowledge among residents of a village who knew the people involved in illegal drugs in their communities.


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Atio Castillo died

Christian crosson Sept. 17, 2017, probably because of hazing. The details make me angry in their sheer perversion (link) and as Justice Secretary Aguirre himself does not want the details of the affidavit upon which the article is based made public, I am reprinting it as a comment after this article. Why so bad? It isn’t just the sheer physical brutality, it is the degradation of the person that shocks me. Not that he had to run errands for his brods – this is something also known, for example, from biker clubs. There is a final point where I would have said no, creatures like you can never be my brothers:

A glass is passed around. Atio sees masters spit inside the glass. What he doesn’t know is there is a second glass containing egg white. Atio is then blindfolded and is told to drink the content of the glass, which he thinks is full with saliva but in fact only contains albumen. The light is turned off. Masters tell Atio to remove his clothes. As Atio becomes naked, the light is turned on, then turned off, and on again.

This sounds almost as humiliating as something a self-confessed pimp in a shocking Austrian autobiography admitted he did to a woman he was making part of his “stable”. Also a kind of evil initiation. A little later, Atio allegedly passes out after being hit a number of times between posterior and knees with a so-called wooden “paddle”. But what if it was different? What if he, wanting to remain at least a bit of man, said stop and they reacted? This is what they allegedly did before the final stage:

Atio goes around, as if begging with his hands held together. The masters then beat Atio’s fingers using a wooden spatula while he is being indoctrinated by his lords. The masters then tell Atio to again do stretching and pumping exercises. They order Atio to “hold your balls” before he goes to the next stage of the final initiation.

“His lords”. “Masters”. This has shades of a sadomasochistic ritual. Undertaken by future lawyers of the Philippines, no less. One wonders what really happened. Because there are those in the Philippines for whom the slightest protest, even lack of subservience is disrespect. Remember Kian delos Santos, whose last words were “leave me alone, I have exams tomorrow”? Men who are used to playing God might see the slightest resistance as “arrogance”. The Filipino was made to be either timid or domineering based on position. But true character like that of Trillanes also exists.

Obviously PMA does create a number of individuals of character. If at all, this is what initiations are for. Teaching young men how to face adversity, how to face the world, strengthen them. Not to make subservience and thuggery, twin banes of the Philippines, values in themselves. German fraternity rituals of fencing in order to scar faces (Mensur) at least had man-to-man combat. Or going back to the Philippine past, the first batok or tattoo usually meant risking your own head in real combat. There is a world of difference between teaching warriors – and teaching torturers.

There is a certain sort of loathsome bully common in the Philippines today, used to abusing power. Probably hardly able to truly hold his own in a real fight, or lead a group to victory in battle. Probably not even a good leader in an office setting – just used to making others do the hard work, like the servants to the dirty work at home. Would Filipino tokhang police stand a chance against truly well-armed drug dealers like some in Rio de Janeiro? Or even just armed ones? I doubt it. What are the Aegis Juris hazers? Deranged boys from Lord of the Flies, I think. Not real men.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 3 Nov. 2017


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Vitaliano Aguirreis what Marine Le Pen is being investigated for (link). Simply alleging things without proof, like in the Philippines, is not the norm in Europe. The report says “the center-right mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, filed suit against Le Pen for accusing him of associating with Islamist militants in 2015”. In the Philippines, a Justice Secretary can allege similar things about opposition parlamentarians, or a President can tag mayors in drug lists just like that. In Germany, Section 187 Criminal Code says (link):

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.

Law in Germany is understandable not only to lawyers. Therefore I know that my previous article did not violate Section 104 (link) even if some Filipinos saw the use of a tattered flag as a provocation. Only tearing up a real Philippine flag, especially in front of an Embassy, would qualify. Somewhat like in this conservative country, I cannot do what Pussy Riot did in Russia – or Carlos Celdran did in the Philippines – insult ANY religion inside a place of worship. One need not be ignorant of the rules here.

Village gossip

Back to defamation. Of course there is the usual gossip in villages and in parts of town over here in Germany. “She’s a bitch, everyone knows her second kid isn’t from her husband”. “He stole money from the lotto club”. As long as nobody bears witness to such conversations, no prosecutor or judge touches that. And I wonder about people who constantly say bad things about others, how bad they must be inside to bear such ill-will. In fact people of that sort tend to be avoided by the more educated in society.

But stuff about De Lima and Bilibid drugs was in the Facebook feeds of some college-educated Filipinos for years before she was – in my opinion – framed up by Aguirre. Now I am labelling my opinion as an opinion, not as a fact. Not even Aguirre could take me to court under Section 187 if he wanted to – for all I know he might be right! There is a principle in modern societies that is called fairness. Something I guess we had to learn the hard way, after centuries of Inquisitions and witch hunts of all sorts.

Summary justice

The extreme was called Feme (link) by which murders of prominent Jewish politicians in the 1920s were preceded by public defamation of the worst sort. Feme used to be the term for summary courts which could even condemn people in absentia (link). For outlaws killed due to a Vehmic court order, a knife was placed beside the person. Not a gun, and definitely not cardboard or masking/packing tape. That was from the 1200s, mostly in the 1300-1400s, until finally abolished in the times of Napoleon.

In the Philippines, there is a prosecutor making death threats against Vice-President Robredo (link) which is even more than just defamation. Or Sass Sasot who says Carlos Celdran is supporting Leni to get help on his court case (link) just because she thinks it is so, no proof offered whatsoever. The assumption that a President can influence courts, against the separation of powers, is interesting. Isn’t like that on paper in the Philippines. But that Sasot thinks it is possible is very interesting. Hmm.

The Truth

Truth is hard to find out. In the village or in a part of town one knows, one can indeed verify with some horse sense whether the things people are saying are likely. One can then decide to avoid the person – or those spreading the gossip. In a larger context, one cannot be sure. This is why modern laws protect people against vile insinuations. This is why there is such a thing as due process. Even in villages, I wonder how many women were stoned or hanged as witches just because they were not liked by many.

“Perception is only truth to those without deductive reasoning” (link) says not Sherlock Holmes, but Gang Badoy Capati. There are a few representatives of rationality in the Philippines, which has mostly not yet gone through the Enlightenment. A place where some far out arguments pass muster which would elicit amazement even in one of my favorite old TV series, Königlich Bayerisches Amtsgericht or Royal Bavarian District Court (link). So is the fear of an EU rule of law audit (link) understandable?

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 16. July 2017



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Punitin ko iyan

Pantaleon Alvarezsabi ni Alvarez. Hindi panty ng kabit ang tinutukoy. Creative imagination ko lang iyon. Hatol ng Korte Suprema lang. Papel lang ito para sa isang astig na taga-Mindanao. Astig na babaero pa man din. Hindi baklang dilaw. Kailan ba sumunod sa batas-batas lang ang taga-Mindanao? Sa tao sila sumusunod. Sa mga Misuari, Maute, Duterte. Ang batas dilaw. Ang batas bakla. Para lang iyon sa mga nagpasakop sa Kastila at Merkano. Ang tunay na batas ng Pilipino, sumunod sa nakakataas. Mataas si Alvarez.

Maski raw sa NAIA3 kasama ito sa gulong nangyari. Basta ang alam ko, hindi nabayaran ng buo ang bagong airport. Pero bakit naman magbabayad ng utang sa Aleman? Mayaman naman ang Aleman, mahirap lang ang mga Pilipino di ba? Makaganti naman sa mga dayuhan na puti. Lalo na iyong mga hindi na astig ang dating tulad noon. Bakla na sila ngayon, noon todo-todo silang pumatay ng Pilipino sa Samar, sa Bud Gak. Ang Intsik at Ruso – brutal pa rin ngayon. Diyan bilib ang tribo ni Duterte.

Kami at Kayo

Tsaka ano ang silbi ng Konstitusyon na pagbabasehan ng Korte Suprema. Gawa-gawang dilawan iyan. Anong taon? 1987. Panahon pa ni Koring dilaw iyan. Kasisimula pa lang ng Alsa Masa. Bago pa lang si Mayor noon. Tagal na niyan. Bakit pa susundan kung ayaw na ng mga tunay na Pilipino. Sino ang mga ito? Siyempre tribo ni Duterte.

Ang tribong dilaw, unti-unting sisindakin at pagbibintangan. Hindi nakalusot iyong kay Aguirre kailan lang. Pero di bali, paiimbestigahin pa rin kahit walang basehan. Hindi naman mahalaga ang totoo at hindi para sa tunay na astig. Basta “pinaninindigan”, kahit mali, nagiging tama. May naaalala akong isang taga-Pagadian, gustong palabasin na hindi raw tunay na Swiss knife iyong isa kong Victorinox na orihinal. “Pek iyon, pek!”. Siguro paulit-ulit na sinungaling, totoo na. Bilib na talaga ako.

Patay kung Patay

Iyong mga pumatay kay Mayor Espinosa, homicide na lang. Hindi naman daw murder dahil kailangan premeditated iyon. Tama naman, e nag-meditate ba sila Marcos (iyong pulis) bago nila patayin iyong isang Mayor na hindi importante? Common sense lang, common sense. Tsaka napatestigo nila iyong anak ni Espinosa kontra kay De Lima, hindi ba napakabuti nito para sa bayan? Kalaban si De Lima. Pagkat lahat ng kalaban ng pinunongbayan, kalaban ng bayan. Sino siya para kalabanin si Meyor.

Hindi iyong Meyor na Espinosang patay na. Meyor Duterte siyempre. Sino si Inday na may magarang machine gun? Hindi, iyong matandang sira-ulo! Si Misuari? Hindiiii! Iyong ina-idol ni Robin Padilla! Ahhh… iyong Sultan ng Sulu na nagpalusob sa Sabah! Hiiindiiii! Tagal na niyan. May mga bibitayin na raw sa Malaysia.

Sino iyong mga iyan mga Maute? Hindi, mga alagad ng Sultan! Kawawa namaaaan. Ulol. Mga Maute dapat bitayin din natin. Oo nga naman. Unahin si Bam Aquino!

Tsimis sa Barangay

Bakit si Bam Aquino? E di ba kasasabi lang ni Aguirre na kasabwat siya! Pati na rin sila Trillanes. Malamang si Hontiveros at De Lima kasama din. Basta sabi ng mga tao.

Tsaka talagang ganyan. Noong araw daw sa Tsina, merong Gang of Four. Pati kriminal na nagsisisi, binabanggit ang pangalan nila bilang masamang impluwensiya. Siyempre uso na ngayon ang lahat ng pamamalakad na galing Tsina. Sila na ang kinakapitan natin. Di ba Red Guards noon, kapag sila nagbintang, walang tumututol?

Mas epektibo nga. At mas tugma sa tunay nating kultura. Kapag natsismis ka ng Pilipino, patay ka dapat. Ang bintang ng mga taongbayan iyon ang dapat MASONOD! Batas-batas, human-human rights, konsti-konstipasyon inutil ang mga iyan, kaartehan lang. Punitin na natin. Tanga! Konstitusyon hindi konstipasyon. Basta ayaw ko na rin ng konstipasyon, pahingi nga ng saging na SABA para matunawan ako. Tapos basta alam ko na kung kanino ako sosonod, mga batas na iyan nakakasakit lang ng OLO!

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, ika-9 ng Hunyo, 2017 sa kalendaryong Kristyano
(unang taon ni Digong, sa bagong kalendaryong Pilipino)




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Carpio Did Nothing

Carpio-jpg 070737according to Duterte (link). If one goes by “aksiyon” in street talk, maybe. He did not jetski. He did not swear. He did not even invite the Chinese to debate in Manila (link). Of course the winner of a public debate a la Duterte is defined by the crowd who “bilib” in the one who postures. By emotional affinity with the one talking – and the chance to taunt someone who represents something defined as the common enemy. Somewhat like the kind of taunts one has at the football field over here in Europe, the most tribal place we still have over here.


Of course someone with a warlord mindset says he will ignore the Supreme Court and the Constitution (link) on Martial Law.  And his Secretary of Justice will say that the Supreme Court is powerless against a Martial Law OKed by Congress (link). To hell with the laws one has sworn to obey that say otherwise. Almost the same attitude to laws as China which ignores the UNCLOS filing which was indeed pushed by Justice Carpio (link) – they seem to prefer Mao’s “power comes from the barrel of a gun”.

Power is a great aphrodisiac, which Kissinger allegedly once said to Mao, might be something Duterte and Bill Clinton could agree upon. What their daughters think of their fathers in this respect is as yet undocumented. Yet there is a difference of several shades of grey between putting a cigar somewhere, grabbing women by the pussy or joking about soldiers raping women in a war zone. Yeah, he is just joking I hear people say. He isn’t like some Yugoslavian warlords whose men really did such things.


So sure? Someone who invites non-army troops to join the fray against the Maute group (link) sounds crazy enough. Sounds more like a real warlord for whom every man with a gun is just a hired gun for the powerful, not legitimate troops to defend a Republic and its people. And his man in Congress, Speaker Alvarez, says Congress should listen to the President on Martial Law (link) – which runs completely counter to the separation of powers – executive, legislative, judiciary – the Philippines has in theory.

Of course it does not run counter to the many a Filipinos idea of authority. There is NO equality there, in fact I once heard a Filipino say there has to be a hierarchy of ordering and following, otherwise chaos will ensue. No idea of everyone being under rules that are higher than everyone. No sense of abstraction whatsoever. In that world, someone who “only” files a case before the UN is a useless paper-pusher. Trump and Xi Jinping are respected with their respective gunboats. The UN and EU are not.


Respect by Duterte for someone like Nur Misuari (link) who laid siege to Zamboanga in 2013 basically to “get some respect” – in the same sense as gang leaders in bad neighborhoods – is part of the same logic that only power constantly demonstrated is real power. A logic that only respects those that are willing to go to extremes. Discontent with Filipino institutions, perceived as elitist and ineffective, has been around for a while. But Martial Law, or even worse, Jungle Law are not the answers.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 1st of June 2017


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Raja Matanda II

Rodrigo Duterte and Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith (cropped)was crowned this Friday night in Manila. “The ghosts of colonialism have been overcome, we are back to our former glory” said the Raja formerly known as Rodrigo Roa Duterte to a selected crowd gathered in the gardens of Malacañang Palace. “Without the EU, the US and the UN, these crazy and useless white people to hinder us, we shall return to the glory of the ancient kingdom of Manila which was ruled by men from Brunei, from the South just like me” he added in his three-hour rambling speech.

After the speech, Chief Magistrate Calida appeared and heralded the sentence of death by beheading against Leila de Lima. Not Senator anymore, as the Constitution and all other “pretentious apparitions and impositions that have kept us from progressing” are gone. Calida spoke of the intrinsic evil of “this woman who has corrupted the youth of our nation and dirtied our souls”.

Datu Alvarez and his daughter Dian Paola, who were sitting in the first row in the audience, smiled at this part of the proclamation. The second and the third wife of Datu Alvarez were seated behind him in the second row. Lakay Enrile grinned when Chief Executioner Bato came into the front, wearing only silken pajama pants and slippers, his entire body oiled up to his bald head.

Gagged so she could not scream and hogtied, Leila de Lima was brought in by Mocha Uson and Lorraine Marie Badoy. They held her head down to the block while Chief Executioner Bato unsheathed his kampilanCounsellors Aguirre, Cayetano and Pimentel froze as Leila de Lima let out one huge scream before her severed head fell into the basket placed below the block by Sandra Cam.

Sandra Cam took out the head of Leila de Lima and triumphantly showed it to the crowd. “Leni huwag ka nang bumalik dito!” she screamed, referring to former Vice President Leni Robredo who was away on a trip to South Africa. Meanwhile, Raja Muda, formerly known as Bongbong Marcos, stood up for a karaoke duet with Raja Matanda. “Moon river, wider than a mile.. I’m crossing you in style some day… we’re after the same rainbow’s end, my Huckleberry friend, moon river and me..”

I went to the toilet to secretly puke. When I came back, everybody was dancing, and at the karaoke machine, Chief Minister Panelo was singing Billy Ocean’s “get out of my dreams, get into my car…”. Suddenly he walked in my direction. “I told you to get out of my dream!” he yelled at me. I woke up, in a sweat but somehow relieved.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, April Fools Day 2017, Munich

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Tratong alipin ba

The Lash., ca. 1863 (5574585348)ang talagang hinahanap ng Pilipino? Galing kay Sandra Cam (link), sa Kongresista (link), sa Senado (link), sa Presidente (link) o kaya kahit sa pampook na opisyal (link)? Sa huling nakalink, nakakatakot pa talaga ang konklusiyon ni Manolo Quezon: The most troubling about Arturo Lascañas is that he must surely be only one of many hitmen working for many local leaders with many more victims under their belts, applauded on the one hand by their constituents, and enjoying impunity because they are valuable allies for national leaders on the other. Meanwhile, anyone holding a contrary opinion is confronted with the possibility that expressing his mind could have lethal results. Sa madaling salita, kumontra ka sa isang meyor, baka patay ka. Sa bagay, baka malagay ka na rin sa drug list kung galit sa iyo ang barangay captain. Tama na siguro sa iilang mga may topak diyan na “nayayabangan” sila. Buti pang masigawan na lang ni Sandra Cam.

Pero kahit hindi ka matokhang, matroll o pakitaan ng pagkaastig ng mga iyan, puwede ka ring mabulok na lang kung saan-saan, tulad nitong iniistorya ni Joel Pablo Salud (link):  I and my wife once visited the resettlement houses built in Calauag, Laguna. Roughly 48,000 people were resettled there at the time from various parts of Metro Manila. Sure, they were given houses. But the promised living conditions, as well as opportunities for work, were denied them. These famillies, hard up as they were to put food on their tables, were forced to pay for their electricity bills (which came by way of generators), fetch supplies of water from miles away, and steal from neighbors if only to get by. Children as young as 12 took to prostituting their young bodies for cups of noodles and coffee. Husbands were also forced to make that trip back to Metro Manila for work, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves. Gangs began their felonious job of controlling the villages. The houses were dilapidated structures, without ceilings, walls barely holding up the roofs, looking good on the outside but crumbling in the inside and infested by termites.. Crime allegedly rose in that part of Laguna as incidents of poverty and violence spiked.

Para na talagang mga favela ng Brazil o township ng South Africa ang mga lugar na ganyan. Hawak ng mga gang, pero para na ring mga gang leader ang kilos ng iilang mga local officials (ano pa nga ba iyong kung may mga hawak kang killer?) at halos ganoon na rin ang asta ng iilang mga mas mataas pang opisyales. Sa kanila ka dapat matakot – hindi sa batas o regulasyon. Dahil kung malakas ang kapit mo, marami sigurong paraan. Kung mahina ka naman sa matataas, maaring kawawa ka. Ibang mundo ito kaysa iyong mundo na nakabase sa batas na sinusundan ng mga tao.

Kapag nakikita ko ang Pilipinas ngayon, naiisip ko itong artikulo tungkol sa Sicily (link): being a Sicilian myself I have observed and thought about how power is articulated into the history of Sicily. If you notice, Sicilians look up to people and institutions that represent the power. The power is something to be feared, but also could allow you favours, and [those in power might share] some of the wealth. In a nutshell, I would say there is this kind of medieval relationship with power. Kapit, palakasan, dilihensiya. Kultura ng padriño at mga “inaanak”. At biktima.

Malay ko nga ba, baka naman iyong iilang mga “disente” diyan sa Pilipinas, mas suwabe lang kaysa iyong mga magagaspang na lumalabas ngayon. Iyong mga iilang disente diyan, baka katulad ng mga Corleone na may postura, samantalang iyong mga nasa poder ngayon, mas katulad ng medyo baduy at magaspang na Don na si Tony Soprano. Sabi ng maraming mga pabor sa gobyerno ngayon, ipokrito raw ang mga disente. Kung tama sila, sino pa ba diyan ang matino, magpakatiwalaan – at hindi lang ginagamit ng mga iba’t-ibang grupo diyan? Hindi ko pa ito masabi.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, ika-10 ng Marso 2017



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Power and Responsibility

Philippine National Police train with JIATF West teamusually go together. Push-ups for police suspected of extortion (link) is not enough, neither is reinstating suspected rogue cops after retraining (link). Sufficient evidence is important, but such a betrayal of the trust they were given as policemen normally deserves a greater punishment – in order to teach others the responsibility inherent in having the power to potentially even kill in order to protect citizens. But it seems that power in the Philippines is often irresponsible – while those with less power are punished more severely. Starting from plans to punish even 9 year olds (link).

There is a saying in German: die Kleinen hängt man, die Großen lässt man laufen – the small ones are hanged, the big ones walk free. Old wisdom that knows one thing: those drunk with power can become abusive and entitled, totally regardless of the culture and times. Ideas like democracy, rule of law and human rights developed to prevent the abuse of power – it will be interesting to see how people in the United States live by these principles and defend them, now that there is a man on top who shows an irresponsible attitude to power, and could be dangerous for the world.

Now in the Philippines, wang wang culture has obviously returned in traffic (link) – now one could argue that is the culture and forget strange Western ideas of equality and rights. Asian cultures are indeed more hierarchic, but in the successful Asian cultures like Japan, those on top have a highly ingrained sense of responsibility and service which includes self-imposed punishment for error. In the Philippines, even Rizal’s novels show how some who strive for “heroism” are entitled and irresponsible (link) to the point of narcissism. The bandit Elias sacrifices himself for Ibarra, who later returns as the vengeful Simoun. Ibarra is enormously vain in the Noli, for all his striving to do good, while as Simoun he acts almost like a sociopath willing to sacrifice anybody for his idea of what the nation should be. Now is it surprising that many Filipinos refuse to sacrifice for the nation, given that many “leaders” have failed to be responsible? How often do Filipino “leaders” act as if they are saviors while the Eliases of today do the dirty work for them as servants or even henchmen, often taking most of the blame? Such a culture is not bound to be successful I think.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 5. February 2017

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Lügen wie gedruckt

Münchhausen-AWilleor “lying like printed” is an old German expression from the time after Gutenberg invented the movable-type printing press in 1450 – it means totally twisting a story. A still oral culture, except for the few monks and merchants who knew how to read and write, distrusted the printed word. After all, it is easier to tell whether a person you know is lying to you or not. The expression seems to have become even more used in the subsequent conflicts between Protestants and Catholics after Luther’s Reformation. Somewhat like some trolls say “BIAS!” today.

Social media today can be compared to the invention of printing in 1450. Wide groups of people who hardly used to read get access to information they can hardly distinguish from nonsense. Daniel Levitin has written a book called A Field Guide to Lies – Critical Thinking in the Information Age (link). Well, seems many Filipinos are not really strong on critical thinking (link) as the culture is more oral and much is believed only when there is a viral video of something. While they often can also be more like the Germans of before, who believed in fairy tales and witches.

Now Joe America’s old article on thinking critically vs. critical thinking has gotten me thinking. The question WHY can be considered offensive in the Philippines for more traditional Filipinos. Meaning as an affront to authority. Old-school teachers and persons of authority expect those who are below them not to ask why but to accept truth as they say it. Somewhat like the Church did not particularly like Galileo questioning established doctrine. So criticism is often not constructive in the Philippines (thinking critically) – or if constructive (critical thinking) is seen as an offense by the more traditional authorities.

Now some could say the Philippines is Asian and Western culture does not apply. But the West also once went through a period where what men in robes or with crowns said was truth and law. Rebels like Luther originally just wanted to point to mistakes in the system. Because the reaction to simple questions was piqued, Protestantism arose. But it was Protestants who conducted the Salem witch hunts in what later became the United States –  not Catholics. Here in Europe, which has had so many wars, many are very wary of those who believe they know the entire truth.

It is a big achievement to know the relevant truth. I don’t really care about Warren. Who? If you don’t know, then don’t bother. I do hope that President Duterte’s Matrix claiming Senator Leila de Lima had somehow gotten money from drugs is not true. I have the feeling it isn’t, because the timing with the Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings and previous statements about “having to destroy her” (link) make me doubtful. Now what if she had stopped the hearing? Would he have done nothing? Is he lying like printed, is she lying like printed, or is everyone lying a little bit?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 26 August 2016


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Establishing the Truth

Mercy and Truth are Met Together, Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed Each Other, object 1 (Butlin 463)is the goal of German courts (link), to THEN pass their judgement. Filipino courts often seem to be an annoying forum for sophistry and game-playing that favors the well-connected. President Duterte, a fomer prosecutor whose frustration with what is considered “due process” in the Philippines I partly understand, has produced a list of names of mayors, judges and more who he SAYS are involved in drugs – even admitting that he does not know if it is true or not. German prosecutors offices cannot be TROed, unlike the Ombudsman in the Junjun Binay case, BUT they have to find both proof of guilt and exonerating circumstances before going to court (link). Courts have to deal with cases as swiftly as possible, which is the right way to do things.

As a child I always thought that prosecutor and persecutor sound so similar. It comes with the job I guess. There is a movie where Alain Delon plays a fugitive hiding out in a countryside house. The French prosecutor has the full force of the police come down on him. He even says, against the protestations of someone, that “all men are criminals”. Just like a good policeman may be a man with the instincts of a Jago – see previous article – a top prosecutor may indeed be a man with the instincts of Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada. Checks on power save both from their worst sides while making use of their good sides. The greatest strength of a person always contains his greatest weakness, which is why one man alone never is the solution.

Senator and former Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima has criticized Duterte’s naming and shaming, saying that due process should be applied, cases should be filed in court. For all the good work Senator de Lima has done, she may have been a bit in a state of denial as to the real state of things in her own shop – the old mismatch between theory and practice in the Philippines. This mismatch does make it easy for those who paint mainly the bad sides, as Duterte does, to tap the anger of those who feel ignored. She did have the opportunity to fix a lot of things, but it seems she did not fix justice and the penal systems enough. I know the Philippines well enough to know that lower- and mid-level people often tell higher levels what they want to hear, fix up things when they come to inspect and then go on the old way after that.

Clogged and nearly medieval prisons are an old issue in the Philippines. A justice system that takes way too long to render justice is another issue. While the really poor languish in crowded jails like Quezon City jail – recent reports mention a man who has been in there since 2001 – it seems that some drug lords had privileges, while politicians have better cells than the average prisoner. The prisoner who has had hearings just once a year since 2001, mentioned everywhere internationally, has already done the duration of what is called a life sentence here in Germany.

Recent comments on the Facebook page of this blog (link) with respect to some of the mayors mentioned show that there is no modern attitude to finding the truth yet among many Filipinos. “Everybody knows that he is a drug lord” or “here are pictures of him with a known drug lord” are not proof, except in societies where alleged whores were stoned and witches burned on stake. Cellphone tracing and real-time tracking of movements of money are some modern methods to track big-time criminals. Real police work. Real prosecution and real justice come after that.

But I guess President Duterte and PNP Chief de la Rosa know things top-flight people from the FBI, the German police, prosecution and justice system and everywhere else don’t. Guess that the Filipino public just knows things, just like everybody in a small barangay “knows” who is doing what. Like some witnesses in Munich saw two more shooters on July 22 when there was only one.

It turned out later it was two plainclothesmen. What if the cops here had knocked down every door of every Oriental-looking person? But they just locked down the city and looked for the truth.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 7 August 2016



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