What Vice Ganda’s tongue-in-cheek remark says about us Filipinos

012713_viceThe latest buzz that has been circulating around the chattering classes is how ABS-CBN comedic talent Vice Ganda made a tongue-in-cheek remark when asked if he had any plans to pursue a career in public service.

“Gusto ko president ako agad, yung wala kang background, pero mataas agad, parang ‘yung mga pulitiko lang ngayon. Walang background, pero senador agad.”

Asked if he is referring to any senatorial bets in particular, the 37-year-old comedian said, triggering laughter, “Sila Nancy Binay, sino pa ba?”

He added: “Wala akong sinabing masama ah, sinabi ko lang siya as an example, kasi totoo naman, ‘di ba? Wala siyang political background, pero senador agad. It’s a fact, ‘di ba?”

When asked for a “serious” answer to whether he sees himself entering politics, Vice Ganda said, “Baka, siguro pag matalinong-matalino na ako, [pag] marami akong alam tungkol sa pulitika.”

“Ayoko naman ‘yung… ang dami kayang walang alam, tapos kumakandidato, pasok sa top 6 sa survey,” he said, drawing laughter from reporters at the press conference.

At that point, everyone was laughing, except for Nancy Binay, of course.

A person made of sterner stuff, regardless of the truth, would easily shrug off such statements, made by a comedian of all people. But this is Nancy Binay we’re talking about. She’s gotten a lot of flak about her lack of qualifications and general aversion to discussing issues on the campaign trail, but she feels compelled to defend herself each and every time:

“While I respect his opinion, kung ‘yun ‘yung tingin niya… basta ang importante, unang-una, meron naman akong vice na nag-e-endorse sa akin ‘di ba, tapos meron pa akong Mother Lily, so I think made na made na talaga ako,”

Asked if she was hurt by Vice Ganda’s remark, the young Binay said, “Actually, alam mo sa ‘kin pag alam kong hindi totoo, hindi ako nasasaktan, e. I think ganoon kami pinalaki ng aking mga magulang, lalo na ng father ko, kasi we’ve been in politics for more than 20 years.”

She added: “Pag sobra kang sensitive, tapos alam mo namang hindi totoo, bakit ka masasaktan? Alam ko namang hindi totoo at hindi tama ‘yung sinasabi niya.”

And in the same article, she also claimed that it’s understandable that Vice Ganda would make such a remark due to his manok in the last election:

“To set things straight, ‘yung kay Vice Ganda, hindi rin ako nagulat eh, kasi nung 2010… in fact he campaigned for doon sa kalaban ng kapatid ko, so I’m not surprised,” she said.

Of course, Nancy Binay. It’s all about past political grudges, like everything else in this country. Political grudges never get buried. But it still doesn’t change the fact that the only thing you have going for you in the senate race is popularity, according to the surveys. You don’t talk about your platform, or policies, and you’ve been avoiding debates.

Then again, politicians reflect the society that they govern. It’s a big question mark if Filipinos understand what big words (to them, at least) like platform, policy, and debate truly entail, anyway.

***

Egged on by Vice Ganda’s remarks, the chattering classes are so busy showing outrage at Nancy Binay that it seems they’ve focused on her instead of looking for other deeper, more underlying issues, if any, with regards to how our society approaches elections.

On the other hand, Vice Ganda’s remark is a rare instance of a showbiz personality actually making a valid point. Whether Filipinos like it or not, that tongue-in-cheek remark says something about us Filipinos that we may not like to hear.

Filipinos would rather condemn the politician instead of the voters. They just don’t get it. People like Nancy Binay and Bam Aquino, whom Vice Ganda conveniently forgot to mention, are examples of people who can run and win because the people allow them to, despite having no prior relevant experience to entering in politics. And no, Bam Aquino’s “microfinance” thingy doesn’t count. While Filipinos continue to get swayed by dance moves, catchy jingles, perceptions of popularity and being winnable, and money in exchange for votes, unqualified politicians will keep on laughing all the way to the bank.

Demanding platforms and strong positions from your prospective “public servants” is a practice that needs to be ingrained into the very bottom foundation of the Filipino culture and psyche. If you want people to make smart political decisions, you need to ingrain in them the notion of how to purchase smartly. In case Filipinos forget, they also need to focus on the substance of what each politician brings, and not the form. Plus, they also need to learn to say no to the wrong things.

Filipinos take a passive-aggressive approach to things. This type of behavior doesn’t bode well at all for any attempts to hold the government accountable to the people. Impunity is the norm here because people are reluctant to tell you directly that what you did is wrong, or against the law. When hiya is the primary driver of such as in Filipino society, face-saving often comes at the cost of proactively upholding what is correct and law-abiding.

If you view your politicians as gods who can do no wrong, you’re not helping yourself, and you’re not helping your country. Filipinos cannot afford to be afraid to be timid and passive about evaluating their public servants’ performance, and they cannot afford to be complacent and uncritical of themselves. Filipinos need to make their public servants work for them, not the other way around, and definitely they can’t afford to be worked over by the public servants, too.

The Filipinos would do well to learn from Vice Ganda’s “liberation”. Vice Ganda is known to be blunt. I think, though, that if you’re a comedian, it’s but natural you have to be. Neither does he conform to the “macho Filipino” or the “demure Filipina” stereotypes that pervade Filipino society. If you do not fit into the pre-defined roles that Filipino society has set for you, they don’t try to understand you; they judge you prematurely and oftentimes, make fun of you, or use you for cheap laughs.

The focus in not on his gender; Filipinos need to liberate themselves from traditions and old ways of thinking that have served to be nothing but chains that keep them pinned down. To do this, Filipinos have to be self-critical. They can’t afford to keep up their stubbornness and they can’t afford to keep sticking to detrimental traditions.

The bottom line is simple:

Filipinos cannot rely on their showbiz celebrities and their politicians to do their thinking and “changing” for them. If Filipinos truly want to change their society, they need to change their ways of thinking. An ethic of personal accountability needs to be ingrained in Filipinos as a collective.

This doesn’t apply just to elections. It is actually what happens in between elections where we need to do the dirty work of proactively holding people to account through the system.

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Posted in Elections, Glitz and Glamour, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

It is in the Filipinos’ best interest that Noynoy stay alive until the 2016 elections are over

Noynoy-Aquino-Kris-AquinoPresident Noynoy Aquino’s health has been a concern ever since the start of his term. He is known as an avid smoker. He claims that his job causes him an unbearable amount of stress. What doesn’t help is that he gets lots of criticism due to his gaffes and goof-ups.

Uncle Peping reportedly didn’t mince words in 2011, when faced with the prospect of losing the Hacienda due to Aquino’s mismanagement of Malacañang’s relationship with the Supreme Court:

The Tribune source said that the plot to oust Corona was hatched at the Bahay Matanda, the ancestral house of the Cojuangcos after elderly members of the Cojuangco clan reportedy [sic] berated President Aquino for attacking members of the High Court which they believe was the reason the SC justices revoked the stock distribution option and ordered the distribution of the [Hacienda Luisita] sugar estate to its tenants.

“From the time of (President Ramon) Magsasay, the hacienda land was never lost. When Martial Law came, we still did not lose our land. GMA (Gloria Arroyo) and Cory had a fight during GMA’s presidency, we Cojuangcos still did not lose our land. Now that that you (Noynoy) are president, we lose the hacienda!”, the Tribune source quoted an elderly Cojuangco as he berated Aquino in the vernacular.

“You are the reason for our loss of the hacienda, because even the Supreme Court you had to fight with!,” the elderly Cojuangco was further quoted as telling the President.

Just imagine how stressful life can be for Noynoy, if even your “elders” berate you for being yourself.

It’s a safe assumption to make that the critics of Noynoy Aquino couldn’t care less about his health, either. They’ve just about had enough of him and want him to go as soon as possible, by any means necessary. Impeachment? Sorry, Noynoy has the numbers in Congress and Senate. EDSA x? Oh please, the irony. Street revolutions are so passé. Quite simply, the EDSA movement is finished.

The best thing to do is to let Noynoy Aquino finish his six-year term. We are assuming, though, that after six (6) years of having to live with a bad choice, Filipinos will make a better one come 2016. However, Kris Aquino’s announcement that she will run for a government position in 2016 gives certain Filipinos that impending feeling of dread and déjà vu.

As far back as December 2011 Get Real Post had been writing about the most plausible underlying mission of Noynoy’s presidency: to keep Hacienda Luisita within the family even after the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) ends in 2014. When the CARP ends, Hacienda Luisita ideally will be distributed to the farmers.

When it comes to the higher cause(s) of Hacienda Luisita, and the maintenance of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s political relevance to the Filipino landscape, no price is too high to pay. This is most likely true for any political dynasty here in the Philippines, but all the more so for them. Why do you think they’re throwing all their “mature” offspring into politics, such as Kris and Bam?

The shocking (or not) reality, however, reveals itself in light of the bigger picture:

After 2014, Noynoy is expendable.

Remember, the Aquinos have utilized the sympathy vote for a dead family member twice already. Given the highly emotional nature of the Filipinos, there’s no reason it will not work a third time in the future.

When Ninoy died, Cory ran for president and won.
When Cory died, Noynoy ran for president and won.

Given that Noynoy is not in the best of health, Filipinos are now faced with the following scenario:

If Noynoy dies before the 2016 elections, Kris will run for the presidency and win

Thus, for the Filipinos, their mission, should they choose to accept it (actually, they don’t have much of a choice), is:

Keep Noynoy alive until the 2016 elections are over, and they keep hopes of getting the Philippines out of its current pothole alive. Keep Noynoy alive until the 2016 elections are over, and they throw a monkey wrench that stalls (but not totally stops) Uncle Peping’s plans to continue putting his “dummies” in government.

If he kicks the bucket anytime before that, then Kris will get the sympathy vote for president. She will simply stroll the red carpet into Malacañang.

Now comes the hard part.

To keep him alive, therefore, Filipinos must actually do the dirty work at eliminating the most probable causes of death that can happen to Noynoy.

Get him to quit smoking with finality

I don’t know how many Filipinos remember this, but this was one of the many campaign promises he didn’t keep. Despite his claim that it would help him deal with the pressures of the job, apparently he still sucks at doing it.

Oh, and if the CIA can conjure up plans of killing Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar, I’m sure Filipinos will somehow copy that too.

Hook him up with someone for real, by all means necessary

There was a study some time back that single people may die younger. The challenge is finding someone willing to stick it out with him.

Make sure that Noynoy avoids any sort of transport during the 2016 campaign

Land vehicles such as trucks can get involved in road accidents, or be bombed. A helicopter can be conveniently crashed into the mountainside. Better to chain Noynoy to a chair and make sure he doesn’t go anywhere…far. Keep him within surveillance at all times. Don’t forget to feed him.

Sounds like we’re committing him to a mental institution or something, don’t you think? The only thing missing would be a straightjacket.

The Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s enemies know very well that making a martyr out of Noynoy will be the last thing they want to do. It is counterproductive; it will actually benefit them more to keep that walking gaffe machine alive. Every mistake that he makes gives Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s politicial enemies more ammunition to shoot them with. That is, if they can take advantage of opportunities.

If someone were to pull the plug on Noynoy, where would it come from?

The plot thickens.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…

Posted in Civics, Elections, Government, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Filipino voters should be blamed for the Philippines’ problems

I don’t think there is a point in holding elections in the Philippines. It’s so expensive and the whole process just disrupts normal activities and keeps Filipinos from moving forward. What is the point in going through something that won’t even change or improve how things are being run in the country anyway?

Before every election, the candidates use literally the same song and dance routine to entertain the voters. After the election is over, the candidates go back to doing everything they can to protect their family’s interests and virtually nothing that could benefit the rest of the population. It’s just ridiculous.

jejomar_binay_erap_estrada_campaign
[Photo courtesy When in Manila.]

If the Filipino voters are going to choose and elect their public servants from candidates who come from the same families who have been ruling the country for decades, then these families ought to just take turns in having a go at those lucrative positions in government; something like a contractual term will do. That’ll save us from bearing with all the empty slogans, campaign jingles, and adolescent mudslinging in the months leading to Election Day.

It’s getting harder and harder to feel sorry for Filipinos nowadays. They keep blaming others for their miseries when the fact is they are the ones who vote for the same people who cause much of their miseries. One can be forgiven for saying that Filipino voters are simply stupid, arrogant and just a bunch of losers.

At the moment, there are 178 dynasties ruling 73 of the 80 provinces in the Philippines. Now, that’s a lot. Who voted for these people? The answer: the same people who continue to complain about their wretched lives. Even a convicted plunderer can run again and again for public office. As long as he is popular, he and the rest of his family’s chances of winning are strong. It’s so pathetic.

Every three years the voters have an opportunity to vote for someone new and yet they still choose to vote for the same bozos. If Filipinos are tired of the same families who are running the country, why can’t they demand the end of the ruling of the dynasties? It should be easy enough to do if the clamor to end it is loud enough. The clamor for better candidates should culminate on Election Day, when voters choose someone who doesn’t belong to a ruling elite and someone who holds a true vision for the country.

Some Filipinos think that blaming the candidates is the way to go. Yes, majority of the candidates are taking advantage of the voter’s ignorance. These candidates deserve the scrutiny and some of the valid criticism. However, let us not ignore the fact that the voters are responsible for choosing the candidates.

Take a candidate like Nancy Binay. She is using her father’s popularity to win the election. Some of her critics are actually too harsh on her when they should be directing their anger at the voters. Nancy Binay or Bam Aquino would not even think twice about running if they knew they didn’t have a chance to win – if they knew the voters use their heads. But they know that having a popular family name is enough for them to win. What Nancy or Bam are doing may be unethical or wrong but they are comforted by the fact that it was the people who want them to win.

campaign_texting_philippines
[Photo courtesy Showbiz Government.]

According to Bobby Tuazon who is the director for policy studies at the Centre for People Empowerment in Governance, the country’s political landscape is “getting worse”. Here’s what he had to say about the mid-term elections:

Tuazon projected that when all votes are counted, 21 of the 24 Senate seats will fall under the control of political families. That includes former President Joseph Estrada’s two sons from different mothers. In the House of Representatives, about 80 percent of the 229 seats will also be dominated by dynasties.

“The government will remain under the control of the traditional political parties,” he said.

“These are the same elites who control the economic resources of the country,” Tuazon said. What is even more alarming for him is that clans are no longer content in fielding two or three family members each election cycle.

In the province of Maguindanao, where 34 journalists covering a campaign were killed in 2009, about 80 members of the Ampatuan family, which has been implicated in the massacre, are running for office.

I can’t help but think that Tuazon is letting the Filipino voters off the hook with regard to the worsening state of Philippine politics. It’s as if the Filipino people are not free to choose. Filipinos are free to vote for the right candidate but they choose the wrong ones most of the time. President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino is proof of this. I mean, why would the voters in Maguidananao still want to put any of the Ampatuan family in power after senior members of the clan allegedly massacred 52 innocent people? It’s so inconceivable.

Shaming the members of political dynasties does not even work. They have become dense and do not seem to have any shred of decency left. Since that is the case, shaming the voters could work instead in changing the political landscape in the Philippines. If the voters still prefer giving up their right to have a decent life, then members of the dynasties should just take turns ruling them, indeed. At the end of the day, Filipino voters should be blamed for how the public servants they voted for run the country.

Posted in Culture, Elections | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Will the Philippines prosper if we change its system of government?

philippine_advocacyCan a change in system of government really change the development trajectory of an entire nation? Perhaps so, but the complexity of any causal link that might exist between a system of government and the future success — or failure — of a country does not allow us a straightforward way of determining just how big an influence system of government has on future prosperity.

Consider the the years prior to 1986. Before that seminal year when a spontaneous popular uprising now called the “Edsa people power revolution”, most of the Philippine “intelligentsia” of the time thought that the solution to the Philippines’ chronic inability to maintain a sustained economic expansion lay in “more freedom”. So the 1986 “revolution” gave Filipinos just that — freedom. A new Constitution was drafted in 1987 replacing the old one and changing the system of governance into the ultra-representative government we enjoy today. Did this change in system result in a change in the collective ability of Filipinos to create, acquire, and accumulate the vast resource surpluses needed to become a First World nation?

History has already answered this question. The Philippines remains the same intellectually-, financially-, socially-, and culturally-bankrupt country it was before 1986.

Consider too the nine years between 2001 and 2010 when then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was a favourite punching bag of the chattering classes and the “politically passionate”. Back then the thinking was that the Philippines needed to get rid of Arroyo in order to get back to the business of building a prosperous country (as if Filipinos where ever really serious about doing just that). Again, history since 2010 has already answered the question of whether that thinking was necessarily right. The Philippines is fundamentally the same under current President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III. It is still ruled by oligarchs, its politics remains utterly dominated by election winning machines devoid of philosophical substance, and its national priorities are dictated by the interests of feudal clans and deeply-entrenched dynasties.

In both cases, the rallying cries of their respective times were essentially the same in nature: both were popular and both sounded logical.

From the 1970s through 1986 we thought: If people enjoyed the power to select their leaders, then they could have a government that serves their interests.

In the years between 2001 through 2010 we thought: If we could get rid of (then) President Gloria Arroyo, things would get better.

Today there are a lot of “advocacies” premised on one big “IF” or another. IF we change [place thing to be changed here] THEN we achieve [place thing to achieve here]. This tagline template is pretty much the same across advocacies that promise an outcome on the basis of an assumed root cause. What is missing in the National “Debate” is the sort of world-class thinking that ingrains a sustained habit of challenging such assumptions.

Was the lack of a power to select leaders really the cause of the chronic backwardness of the Philippines?

Was former President Gloria Arroyo really the singular reason why the Philippine economy merely muddled along in the usual way it did over the last several decades?

It is easy to answer the above questions now that we are armed with the benefit of hindsight. We now know that given the chance to select their leader, Filipinos will merely choose those who show a willingness to sing and dance before a hooting crowd, come up with the most catchy slogans and campaign jingles, and hire the most popular celebrities to endorse them. We now know that who a President happens to be at a given moment only matters to those who are related to or are friends with said President. Easy.

The challenge then is to apply that learning to the so-called “ideas” around which the current crop of “advocacies” are being built.

Indeed, it should now become easy to see the unmistakable pattern in the way our minds foolishly confirm our own biases when the latest charlatan or demagogue comes up with the latest “advocacy” underwritten by the latest incarnation of that now all-too-familiar IF-THEN tagline template. Thus, when we encounter an advocacy that, for example, insists that IF we “reform” a certain body of bylaws THEN we become better able to “transform” our “economic competitiveness”, we now know that the right question to ask is:

Is this certain body of bylaws the root cause of our inability to transform our economic competitiveness?

Or if we encounter an “advocacy” whose defining feature involves an insistence that a change in system of government will result in better leaders and better outcomes for their constituents, we now know that the question to ask is:

Is the system of government the root cause of our inability to put good leaders in office?

…and;

Is not having good leaders in office the root cause of the majority of Filipinos’ inability to improve their lives?

The answers to these questions seem obvious at first inspection. But perhaps they do because of deeply-ingrained biases in our minds that desperately reach out for confirmation. But we need to be careful that this desperate reaching out for validation does not result in a blind latching on to shady characters who lead dubious “advocacies” underpinned by the sloppy thinking they espouse. The only way to protect one’s self from falling into this trap is to think with a clear and critical mind.

Posted in Charter Change, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Down with the Colonial Apologists and Imperialists!

This is a reply to Mr. Hector Gamboa’s “Down with PC Police and Muslim Butt-Kissers!” which appeared at the GetRealPhilippines.COM, posted on April 25th.

I agree with the author that: “As we move along the post-Boston Marathon bombing period, I see that there is a lot of debate all around about terrorism issues.”

However, I cannot say the same thing with his next statement that:

There are those who downplay the terror inflicted on the innocent people in Boston and that they blame the United States for its past (and present) atrocities. They seem to imply that such violence inflicted upon innocent Americans can be justified as mere retaliatory actions because they seem to suggest that the American government has terrorized and continues to terrorize more people around the world than these radical Muslims have done.

car_bomb

Comment:

Those who downplayed the terror inflicted upon the innocent people in Boston are bastards, in the same vein that the US military’s act of killing innocent people around the globe is also terroristic and sadistic acts.

Both that Boston bomber and the US government are equally guilty of inhumanity and terrorism.

Those who implied that the violence committed against innocent Americans can be justified as a mere retaliatory actions because of the habitual and continued terrorism being carried out by the American government against the people of the world — are idiots of the worst kind and completely being inhuman.

I condemn to the utmost the American government for being the number one terrorist state in the entire world, in the same vein that I also condemn those evil creatures that bombed the World Trade Center and Boston!

Both entities are bloody bastards and terrorists! Both all guilty of crimes against humanity!

Hence, I condemn the US military, so as all the jihadists, fundamentalists, whackos, etc. for their terrorism and idiocy.

I condemn all terrorists not because of their race, religious creed, ethnicity, nationality, sex, gender, economic status, etc., but because of their barbarity and inhumanity.

I consider the strict view and so hold that to condemn and to criticize a specific terrorist base on the ground of its race, religious creed, nationality, sex, gender, economic status, etc., is not only myopic, but undeniably idiotic to the maximum!

We must condemn and counter the terrorist’s act, not his or her background and other labels; but his or her act of madness, inhumanity and barbarity.

The author proceeded and claimed that:

I do not agree with these people but they are free to vent out their deep seated anger towards the American government and perhaps the American people as well. Imperialists… fascists… terrorists… whatever they call the American government or the American people, for me they can knock themselves out with their vitriol.

Comment:

I want him to know that I also do not agree with him! Yet, for purposes of the records, let me just state that:

I am an ardent enemy of the US government, specifically its blood-hungry military but not half of its people.

In my view, there are two Americas. One side is the moral one, who are faithful to your populistic and revolutionary past. They are the Jeffersonians.

This is the America that I love, the America that the world loves and respect.

The other side is the evil one, the problem of Humanity. They are the racists, the capitalists, the war mongers, the imperialists, the neo-conservatives who wish to conquer the whole world. They are Johnsonians and proponent of Reaganism and Bushism.

This dark side of America is what the world hates, opposes, exposes, condemns, mocks and fighting against.

Hence, the author can also knock himself out for his vitriol and vigorous defense of American imperialism.

Then, the author lamented that:

However, what annoys me more is the Political Correctness (PC) police and the leftist peaceniks that seem so obsessed with being careful not to offend the feelings of Muslims. Who the heck are these folks trying to impress? Would jihadists really care and would they stop attacking America if Americans were only PC with their choice of words? I doubt it.

Comment:

What also annoys me is the unfounded and baseless charge of the author.

To reiterate, terrorist are terrorist whether they are Christian, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, black, white, rich, poor, male or female, etc.

The duty of humanity is to condemn all of them regardless of what type of terrorist they are and irrespective of what their background is.

To completely show to this author my complete views of the subject, I beg the indulgence of the reader to allow me to post here my brief theses.

Below is the article I’ve composed on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of 9/11:

Terrorism, then and now: Remembering 9/11

On September 8th last year (2011), the Sun Daily (Malaysia) paper published my article entitled “Eradicate root causes of terrorism”. On that piece I marked the 10th anniversary of the said infamous and bloody event.

Tomorrow, the world will once again remember the said horrendous, gory and horrible catastrophe!

For the benefit of our reader, please allow me to share once again my take and views on the whole event:

ON Sunday, the world will mark the 10th anniversary of the infamous Twin Tower attacks that killed thousands of lives. The gruesome events led the United States under President George Bush and its allies dubbed as the coalition of the willing to start formally the “war on terror”.

First on their list was to wipe out the Taliban of Afghanistan (which they themselves helped in its formation). The year was 2001. Then, after that they went to Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein (they earlier helped him to consolidate power and subsequently used as a pawn in their war against Iran) who they accused of concealing weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be the mother of all frauds; because it was revealed that the dictator, despite his arrogance and criminality towards his people, had no capacity to create the weapons he was accused of.

Despite this embarrassing revelation, the coalition of enduring freedom continues its occupation of Baghdad. What follows since the occupation of the “liberators” up to the present is the sectarian violence between the Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims, not to mention the Kurdish restiveness.

On May 1, 2003, Bush declared: “Mission accomplished”. Everyday, scores of civilians are dying and American soldiers are dying in the areas they declared as already “pacified” and “peaceful”.

While all these horrendous things are happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, at their home front, the US Congress, the various defence agencies, the US State Department, the police and other relevant government agencies were used by Dubya to further amplify his war on terror.

He urged Congress to pass the Patriot Act I and II which restricts the political and civil rights of the citizens. He then used and abused the courts even the highest one to declare his unconstitutional laws constitutional.

Yet, despite their claim for “victory”, the terrorists still managed to strike Spain on March 1, 2004 and this gruesome event was followed by another on July 7, 2005 in England. Not included in this list are the bombings and strikes in Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and the latest which was hit back to back was India; while the recent victim was Norway.

What is the lesson we could draw from the foregoing premises? I will argue that terrorism cannot be defeated by imperialism, by neo-colonialism, not by force (whether it’s military or economic, or both) and by equal or superior violence. History has already proven that.

The United States, the United Kingdom and their allies are also guilty of terrorism and violence. They are no different from the criminals that they are claiming to bring to “justice”. By doing the same acts of these vultures and creatures of violence and terrorism; they are terrorists and criminals themselves!

The US accused the terrorists of not respecting human rights; yet they cannot admit their own animality and barbarity inside the Abu Gharib prison, where they tortured and humiliated thousands of people, simply by their hunch that those individuals were Saddam loyalists Al Qaeda sympathisers.

The US accused the terrorists of not respecting laws and international conventions. That is true, yet they themselves went to war against Iraq without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council. In fact, what they did was a violation of UN Resolution 1441.

I can go on and on. However, the central point that I would like to drive at is to hammer the irrefutable truth that: the whole world must condemn those 19 criminals who slammed themselves into the Twin Towers. They are terrorists. Plain and simple!

In the same vein that the world must also condemn the US, UK and their allies for their crimes against humanity which they committed in such a large and global scale against the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. They are terrorists themselves. The Taliban and the US marines are one and the same. In their glorious quest of eliminating each other; it is the civilians and the innocent people who are suffering and dying.

Equally, the whole world must also condemn Pakistan. While, allowing the west to use its territory as a military base, it also harbours Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Lastly, the international community must also condemn the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and all terrorists of whatever breed or type or form; whether they belong to the centre or the right of the political spectrum.

The legacy of 9/11 is for the world to remember those victims of these idiocy, fanaticism, hatred, bigotry, racism and ethnocentrism of man towards his fellow men.

The world must not be duped again by those western powers in their war on terror; their message of liberation and their concept of freedom.

The whole world must study, locate and eradicate the root causes of terrorism and violence. They are poverty, economic slavery, ignorance, apathy, religious fundamentalism, ideological paranoia, and cultural supremacy.

If we as members of the international community do not act to address these global issues and universal problems, our only prerogative would be to pick between the battles of two “terrorist camps”; this so-called “war of civilizations”.

We will defeat all kinds of terrorism by humanism, violence by reason, hatred by love, barbarity by humanity.

The choice is ours.

On September 13th, a certain correspondent by the name of Ms. Amina Omer replied to my commentaries and viewpoint, published by the same paper on their Letter to the Editor section.

Immediately, I issued a reply, yet unfortunately, said paper where both our articles appeared did not print my piece. I am hoping that this time around, the various newspapers will not publish my response by reason of the paramount significance of this case and the extreme importance of the universal human public interest involve with regard to this pressing international issue. 

Here’s my reply to her.

Let Pakistan admit the Brutal Truth

I want to thank Ms. Amina Omer for her letter (Pakistan is a victim of terrorism, Sun Daily, Sept. 13th) wherein she categorically stated that she “agree with most” of my opinion expressed in my comments (Eradicate root causes of terrorism, Comment, Sept. 9th).

However, I do not agree with her position that “it is unjustified to say that Pakistan should be condemned for its role in this war”. Let me debunk her contention. It is precisely by virtue of Pakistan’s role in this so-called war on terror that I am condemning it! Why it allowed its land to be use as a base of the imperialists-terrorists? In doing so, it gave more reason to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other fanatic fundamentalist to attack the country and its people. Because of their “selling-out” to the west, Pakistan became the magnetic field of all haters of the west.

Hence, her claim that “Pakistan is not a cause but a victim of this terrorism” is utterly devoid of logic! By allowing the US base and its allied forces to used its land, Pakistan committed the graves injustice to itself, worst its people are the one who are suffering everyday in a state of fear and paranoia! Undeniably, though it is not the main cause of global terrorism; it is a cause in itself and incontestably an indispensable link in the global theater of war and regional conflict!  The whole world community do acknowledged this irrefutable fact!

It became the symbol and arena of the global struggle against two stupid camps. Her argument that “Pakistan has already paid a heavy price for it and that too in terms of blood of its own people” is not only misplaced, but undeniably bereft of any merit. It is a fallacious contention! Does it mean that because Japan has already shaken by a 9.0 earth-quake and tsunami, lost scores of its people and cost massive damages to property and structure, does it washed its crimes and sins against humanity that it deliberately and arbitrarily committed to the peoples of Southeast Asia during World War II?

Does it mean that because of this colossal calamity it also washed its barbarity and indescribable animality that they carried out, such as the infamous rape of Nanking? I do not think so! Though, they are in a sense paying now for their sins; history however will passionately pursue them to pay the ultimate and complete price! The vengeance of history is more terrible than all the might of Mother Nature combined!

Though I agree with her that: Pakistan did not bring this war to its territory, it did not offer its bases to the US this war was forced upon it through a dictator, a man whose status changed overnight from an outcast to the most allied ally.

Internally it’s an extremely unpopular war, which has brought terrorism right to the doorstep of each and every Pakistani”. I concur! However, the ultimate question is: why the government and the people of Pakistan agreed with this “pact with the devil”? Please don’t tell me that Pakistan has no choice! Turkey was asked, yet that country declined the “honor”! Hence, the question remains: Why?

How on earth could Pakistan explain to the whole world the brutal assassination of former PM Benazzir Bhutto? The greatest irony ever of finding and killing the number one terrorist, Osama Bin Laden in its territory; worst his hide-out is just outside a military camp! Whose sane and rational man would ever believed that that bastard criminal simply managed to sneak into that country without the knowledge of the authorities; whose military is one of the best organized in the world?

Is there any person, who in their right frame of mind would ever believe in the explanation of the Pakistani authorities that they are not aware that Osama was hiding at their very lair?

Days after the “glorious death of their boss”, Osama’s bunch of criminal hoodlums attacked a military camp, held their ground despite their inferior numbers and shamed to the maximum the Pakistani military in their laxity and seeming lack of interest in containing the situation!

Not included with this are the series of bombing across the nation! Those animals and barbarians claimed that this is they revenge attacks for their fallen leader. How could the authorities and the government of Pakistan (especially its military) allowed this mayhem and massive terrorist activities to unfold? Why are they allowing these Satanism, barbarism and sectarian violence to thrive?   

Reality bites! Sad but true, but the Pakistani authorities is engaged in a dual military prostitution; while allowing its territory to be used, utilized and abused by the west in killing innocent people, helpless civilians, men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and even in Pakistan itself by using its so-called sophisticated drone attacks and other weapons of mass destruction; it also allowed the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terrorist networks to flourish in its very soil!

Could Ms. Omer dispute this fact? Where can you find a country in this planet who would allow an aggressor, an imperialist nation to freely use its land for purposes of killing people in other lands, including its own citizens? Only in Pakistan!

Why? Is it because of the financial aid being given by America? Or, perhaps it is because of the training of its local military by the US military? Or, could it be the case that they are truly partners on the so-called war on terror? I do not think so!

With all due respect to Ms. Omer, I firmly maintain my unshakable contention that the whole world must also condemn Pakistan, as a war criminal state like its partner US, the UK and their allies in their so-called war on terror. In fact, said country is the worst kind of terrorist entity! Why? The US and the UK and their allies, truthful to their racism and imperialist aggression are terrorizing the peoples who does not belong to their own ranks, who does not believe in them, who does not want to join them; while Pakistan is not merely terrorizing its neighbor; worst it is also engaged in a global criminal partnership in terrorizing and killing its very own people. What kind of government is that? If that is not terrorism, then I do not know what the hell is that?

The whole world knows the truth! It is the moral duty of the Pakistani government to admit the truth and do the right thing! Which are: expel the US base, renounce religious fundamentalism, fanaticism and combat their own native terrorism!

In the moving and prophetic words of Emile Zola:

If you deny the truth and bury it underground; it would but grow and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it burst through, it will destroy everything in its way!

If the government would not do all these things, then I call upon the Pakistani people to launch the necessary political transformation of their society and country for global peace and the universal brotherhood of men!

Hence,   I condemn all kinds, types and varieties of terrorism. They are the scum of the earth! The duty of humanity is to expose, oppose and fight them all!

On the Question of Fanaticism and Tolerance, Barbarity and Humanity: Their Terrorism and Ours

Below is an article dated September 17, 2012 that I’ve posted for CNN I-report during the height of the “Innocence of the Muslim” film fiasco:

The Question of Reasonable Protestation: Discourse on the Freedom of Expression and the Right to one’s religion

I am writing to express my thoughts and views concerning the on-going massive tensions and large-scale violence at the whole Arab world.

What trigger the fiasco and violent protestations of the Muslims all over the world is a low-budgeted, flimsy, out-of-context, far-out, and distorted film entitled “Innocence of the Muslim” which they claimed lampooned, bastardized and disrespected the prophet Muhammad. Further, they are also attacking the said film, which they view as an attack to their religion.

The Muslim world, in the process of their condemnation and renunciation of the said rubbish film, also included the rest of the West in their vehement barrage and vicious attacks.

As a humanist and an independent observer, I extremely respect and always encourage the right of all people to air their grievance, whatever it is, whatever the issues are, to protest, as much as they like, to demonstrate collectively, even individually, to vent their anger and disgust, in short, to express their views and to dissent.

However, having said that, the demonstrators and protesters must be aware of the reasonableness of their means, conscious of the logic of their purpose and always govern by the justness of their cause.

If indeed the said rubbish film, which ironically is the root cause of all these anger, rages, rant and frustration of the Muslims — is truly a misrepresentation of what Islam is, that it wrongly portrayed the prophet and that it shows an untrue version or picture of the faith; then, by all means criticize the film, condemn the film maker and question the veracity and purpose of the same; yet do not resort into violence, madness, paranoia, fanaticism, barbarity, savagery and hooliganism.

I have always been critical of the West, all my conscious life, specifically of America. The reason behind my hate, mistrust and disgust with them is by virtue of their world-wide arrogance, their imperialism (whether economic or military) and their unjust act of hegemonizing the entire globe to bow-down to their financial control, economic dictates and cultural brain-washing.

Yet, despite the seeming evilness and arrogance of the Pax Americana Empire, I also like some of their core beliefs and central values. There is no debate on this, yes, they are bad, but there are also some good beliefs and worthwhile values in them.

That is the other side of America.

The specific beliefs and values that I love and cherish about them despite my rant, contempt and hate against them are the following:

a.   Their extreme respect for the right of the individual. This is their philosophy of Individuality;

b.      The Freedom to Believe; and,

c.      The Freedom of Expression.

These beliefs and values are all utterly related and intimately interconnected.

There is no iota of doubt that the utter respect for individuality is the hallmark of most Western society.

Corollary to this are the twin indispensable rights stated above guaranteeing the citizen’s right to think and to believe, whatever and everything they want; and to say, express and utter everything that they wishes to express and convey — that is regardless and irrespective of whether it is in private, public and to the whole world, in whatever means, in whatever form.

Hence, in a case under consideration, the government cannot pass a law that will infringe and invade on the right of the people to practice and exercise these rights. Such law would definitely be unconstitutional, unjust and illegal!

1.      The government does not have right to tell to the press what to write or to report;

2.      The government does not have the right to tell to the artist what to write, what to paint, what to carve, what to perform, what to dramatize, in short, what to do in their respective crafts;

3.      The government does not have the right to tell to the teachers and professors what to teach and what to discuss;

4.      The government does not have the right to tell to people how would they going to live and lead their lives; and,

5.      The government does not have right to tell to the people how would they going to practice these rights.

The citizens are all free to exercise and practice all of these rights, so long as their actions are confined within the parameters of the Constitution and the law. 

The Question of the Controversial Film

As I already noted, if the Arab and Muslim world believe that said film is rubbish and indeed, a garbage product, then criticize it by all fury and by all might; yet to engage in violence, hate-mobs, mass anarchy and terrorism is equally wrong, undeniably stupid, palpably idiotic, unmistakably preposterous and can never ever be justified in whatever grounds!

Fighting fire with fire is not only unreasonable but definitely inhumane and unethical.

Instead of bringing the points and highlighting the issues to the fore, due to the violence and mayhem and pandemonium being committed by those who claimed were hurt by this stupid and rubbish film, it rather obscure and evade the truth. This is a shame! This is truly disgusting and undeniably deplorable!

I understand why they are angry with the said rubbish film and its maker, but what I cannot understand is: why attacked various foreign missions, embassies and consulates?

What did they have to do with the said rubbish film?

On this juncture, I would like to underscore and strongly emphasize the firm fact that I have never liked the so-called Secretary of the State of the United States of America, Hilary Clinton, yet nonetheless, let me state for purposes of the records that I overwhelmingly concur with her in one particular speech. Said speech of her on religion is so powerful and I cannot help but agree substantially, to all of the points that were raised and theses that she advanced.

Here’s what she said during an Eid ul-Fitr reception:

“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.”

She further added that:

“I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults.  They have withstood offense for centuries. Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.”

Lastly, I commend her when “she asked the crowd to work towards building a world where if one person commits a violent religious act, millions of people will stand up and condemn it.”

Finally, I love her moving pledge, especially when she said forcefully that:

“We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light.

“In times like these, it can be easy to despair that some differences are irreconcilable, some mountains too steep to climb; we will therefore never reach the level of understanding and peacefulness that we seek, and which I believe the great religions of the world call us to pursue, but that’s not what I believe, and I don’t think it’s what you believe… Part of what makes our country so special is we keep trying. We keep working. We keep investing in our future.”

In my conclusion, I call upon all our Muslim brothers and sisters to refrain from violence, and for America to renounce their imperialism!

Our Muslim brothers and sisters must practice the true teachings of Islam and America must return to their basic fundamental principles, if not and if they will continue from their respective falsification, distortion and deviation — then both of them are terrorists and there is no need for the world to distinguish the one from the other, because both of them are the same!

Shame!

Sad but true!

DOWN WITH ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM!!!

DOWN WITH FUNDAMENTALISM!!!

DOWN WITH ALL FORMS, KINDS AND TYPES OF COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM!!!

FOR HUMANITY AND FOR ALL MANKIND!!!

Posted in Civics, Crime, Government, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should we junk the minimum wage law in the Philippines?

Workers unite! But then ask the question: Unite to do what exactly? That slogan has been around for more than two centuries now, and though many “activist” elements out there might want us to believe that their “fight” was what put iPhones in our hands, WiFI signals in our living rooms, and Hong Kong vacations on our calendars that we now feel we are entitled to, perhaps it is time to revisit the real mechanism at work that determines the real value of labour.

minimum_wage_lawWhat determines the value of compensation one can demand for an amount of work one delivers to one’s employer?

The thinking that went into answering the above simple question, it seems, has for so long been delegated to the obsolete rhetoric of our Leftist “comrades”. It has resulted in a legislative construct that we now take for granted — the concept of “minimum wage”. In essence the laws that draw on this quaint concept uphold the “social justice” in a dollar or peso figure we arbitrary place on what we think the value of labour should be.

Will lives of ordinary folk sustainably improve on the basis of what a bunch of armchair economists think a worker’s worth should be?

History has shown that this is not the case. Indeed, Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III himself thought that Filipino lives should have improved by now, three years into his “presidency”. He so believed in it that he went out of his way to undermine people like Arsenio Balisacan who happened to be in the unfortunate position of having to tell The Anointed One that what one thinks should be so is not necessarily consistent with what is real — that all the much-trumpeted “economic growth” the Philippines is supposedly raking in is not changing the wretched lives of the majority of Filipinos.

It’s quite simple: You cannot manage economic realities by edict. In much the same way you cannot legislate good manners, you certainly cannot legislate an egalitarian society. The notion of “minimum wage”, if we step back far enough from the noise of commie rhetoric is, in essence, a flawed and dead-end deal.

Indeed, we can take some interesting lessons from English history where at one time English labour was so valuable following the decimation of her majesty’s population by the plague, that her feudal administrators at the time actually had to implement a maximum wage law to curb skyrocketing labour costs…

Yet the pestilence had slow but permanent effects on English society. The shortage of labour [as a result of the population decline] had the immediate result of increasing both the level of wages and the chances of employment. The phenomenon of the landless or impoverished peasant wholly disappeared. But the rising demands of the working people who had survived, their worth now doubled by the epidemic, provoked a reaction from the landowners and magnates. The knights of the shires, in particular, perceived a threat to good order.

An Ordinance of Labourers was passed by a parliament in 1349, forbidding employers to pay more for labour than they had before the pestilence. The same Act deemed that it was illegal for an unemployed man to refuse work. The measures were not realistic. Many workers and their families could simply move to another district and to a more generous employer who was willing to ignore the law. Some migrated to towns, for example, where there was great demand for manual labourers such as masons and carpenters. A ploughman might become a tiler. More than enough work was available.

[…]

Many younger people now possessed their own holdings of land. And the best land did not remain vacant for long. There had once been too many farmers and labourers working too little soil, but now they were dispersed over the countryside.

[NB: Above is an excerpt from the book The History of England – Foundation by Peter Ackroyd.]

The lesson here is simple, really. You just need to understand the law of supply and demand. Filipino workers will always be “victims” because, again quite simply, there are just too many of them from which employers can choose from. As I had earlier tweeted: The reason Pinoy workers are abused is because there is an enormous supply waiting to take any job vacated by “victims”.

We already know the solution to the Philippines’ supply debacle: population control. Ironically, it is commies like Risa Hontiveros who championed “advocacies” to address that little issue. The other side of the equation is demand. Perhaps the SIMPLE reason there is no domestic demand for Pinoy workers is because what we think their blood and sweat is worth within our own islands does not line up with what the market thinks it is actually worth.

Posted in Development, Economy, Lifestyle, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Are You Willing To Pay For Bembol Roco’s Trip To Cannes?

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this is a fair question to ask in this case and in any case when someone asks the government to pay for something. Why is this the taxpayer’s  responsibility?

Maybe I am just incensed that currently there is an inordinate amount of money being spent to promote candidates for the May 2013 elections. You can make all the arguments that is private money. Let me just say it is my personal belief that a big pile of private money is spent on elections to get access to the bigger pile of public money. It is also my belief that that the alleged private money in the current campaigns is just laundered public money. Just my belief.

 

I did not recognize him with hair.

I did not recognize him with hair.

 

I won’t pretend to know the internal politics of the Sampaguitas, Regals, Vivas and the Seikos. Who gets to go and who does not get to go and who gets to choose. I have given up on the local film industry ever since the sad, untimely death of Halina Perez.  Here is the one news item I did find on the Bembol Roco “snub”.  What I do know is if Mr. Roco’s appearance in Cannes will lead to increased revenue somewhere, then this will not be an issue. His trip will be paid for by some private entity and Erik Matti will have one less thing to tweet  about.

 

 

I don’t watch local TV shows but so as not to be a complete hermit I do spend time with other people as they watch TV that I would not normally watch. Oh that pinoy phenomena of political supporters  jumping up and down at a televised event when their candidate’s name gets mentioned. Does that fill you with pride when you see time and time again what these politicians do and fail to do when the spotlight is off? Do you feel sorry for these designated jumpers who I feel are paid off.  If they are paid off , ultimately with whose money?

If Cannes cared about Vice Ganda or whatever love team was in season here, they would be there. Believe me, I am not saying the pinoys should conform to Cannes. What I am saying is be so secure in who you are that the outside world does not matter. Granted that is never going to happen knowing the KSP gene that pinoys tend to have.

About a month ago there was some resentment on Facebook that every single pinoy boxer lost. Being a sports fan there is the distinct possibility that whoever these pinoy boxers were facing were better in the ring. People should get it out of their heads that being pinoy is not the ticket to superiority. For those who never read me, this view is further explored in the context of Cardinal Tagle and Jessica Sanchez.

 

Alex P Keaton

Alex P Keaton

 

Speaking of boxing, how many politicians make the trip to Vegas every time Manny fights? Is the expense coming out of their salary as public servants? I will never know for sure, I just question things and politicians rarely give anyone a reason to take them at face value. Or at least anyone who thinks.  I don’t watch local TV shows but so as not to be a complete hermit I do spend time with other people as they watch TV that I would not normally watch. Oh that pinoy phenomena of political supporters  jumping up and down at a televised event when their candidate’s name gets mentioned. Does that fill you with pride when you see time and time again what these politicians do and fail to do when the spotlight is off? Do you feel sorry for these designated jumpers who I feel are paid off. Again, ultimately with whose money?   To paraphrase  Alex P. Keaton if we could harness the collective cerebral energy in any political rally during a pinoy election, we could toast some bread… lightly.

 

Bembol Roco in U Belt

Is this a worthy film for someone who used to fly so high with Lino Broka?

 

Bembol Roco considering his alignment with Lino Broka in the 70s would have been similar to Robert Deniro and his alignment with Martin Scorsese  and Francis Ford Coppola. Mr. Matti’s tweet mentions Roco as a leading man.    A quick look at Roco’s  IMDB shows he has not exactly been associated with A movies in the last twenty years even by pinoy standards. He was in the movie U Belt nine years ago. A movie with the lowest rating I have ever seen (1.6 out of 10). Although to be fair with him, he has seen steady work. You go where the money is,  even if there is  no quality to go to.  Still if Cannes is so important to him   I ask the question why should the taxpayers pay and not him?

 

I believe the government should pay for infrastructure, national defense , natural disaster relief etc. Not for people making appearances in foreign location. What Matti is really saying when he says “the government should pay” is “you should pay”. Sorry but the movie industry forces its own crap to me every holiday season. That is like an edict by Stalin from the grave. With all these built-in advantages, you would think they could pay for Mr. Roco’s way to Cannes on their own. Colin Cowherd says “live in the is and not the was”. Newsflash to Erik Matti, Bembol Roco was a leading man. Private interests do not see him as a leading man presently and the Cannes trip not likely worth the expense to them. Why should it be worth it to Juan Dela Cruz taxpayer?

My contribution on this Labor Day is to think of all you out there. The people that contribute to our government coffers. Through your labor and through your profits. The next time you hear someone say “the government should pay for it”.   Ask yourself if you are prepared to pay for it.

Posted in Glitz and Glamour, Government, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments