The Philippines : flaccid mongrels ruled by gutless bozos

The Noted One made the following remark in a comment in his article The platform problem apparently in response to understandably adamant challenges to politicians to shut up and cough up a proper platform that is actually useful for the purposes of real debate:

it would be interesting to see platforms in other asian countries or in other countries. a fairer comparison is between actual political platforms. and then how the platforms are implemented once in office. in a previous entry i showed how the 1935 platform was fleshed out if you look at the 1936, 1937 and 1938 sonas. a similar process can be seen with the admin platform of 2004 and subsequent sonas.

Oh Noted One: Why do we need to rely on precedents or “models” for us to appreciate what real platforms can do for us? Our implementation of American-style “democracy” was itself a massive implementation of a foreign model — one that was seen to have a successful precedent. And yet it failed miserably in its implementation in the Philippines.

We keep lamenting the Filipino’s lack of the courage to be truly original. Well, folks, here is the opportunity staring us in the face. What is being proposed here (google this: Platform Plez!) is quite straightforward. Voters should demand a detailed platform from their candidates, and candidates should deliver one that (1) describes their position on relevant matters in categorical terms and (2) describes clearly what the Philippines of 2016 that they envision would look like. Voters should then use that platform as a baseline for evaluating the person who wins the election over the length of his/her term. A simple three-step concept that can be addressed by a document that can be developed in four simple steps.

If there is no precedent elsewhere, then that’s Da Pinoy’s chance to show how original he truly could be and that he has the courage to be original. There’s nothing like the real deal to separate the men from the boys. No amount of “heroes” will change the perception of Pinoys as no more than a bunch of flaccid mongrels. That’s because we focus on the wrong thing. There is a big target staring us in the face — step up and take our politicians to account using the right information for the job. Are we gonna at least try to aim for it? Or do we prefer to continue muddling along in mediocrity for the next 20 years again?

It is glaringly obvious that Filipino politicians don’t want to get too specific about what they believe in (if indeed they actually believe in anything other than their bank accounts). It’s because belief in something is necessarily premised on the existence of an ability, a will, and the courage in the belief-holder to stand up to challenges to said belief.

I see now why no real debates ever happen in recent Philippine elections.

If the Law does not require presidential candidates to engage in a face-to-face debate, then fair enough. We can’t force them. They can even simply not show up at private initiatives to organise them. And Noted Bloggers can keep coming up with their justifications as to why such challenges are pointless and use lack of precedents and “models” to highlight the more popularly-held view that such challenges are silly.

But just because debates are not required by the Law, does not mean we should not have them. Indeed, politicians worth their salt (because they believe in something) would likely even encourage them and look forward to slugging it out in one. If these politicians truly believe in something they plan to implement as President, one would expect that they’d be rarin’ to expound upon that something given every opportunity. That answers the question of why presidential debates do not happen in the Philippines. Filipino politicians simply are not up to it. Even more disturbing, voters don’t seem to care.

What a country. And one that presumes to call itself a “democracy”!

We have politicians aspiring to be president whose knees tremble at the thought of participating in a debate on the issues, and voters who don’t care that no such debates may ever transpire in a Philippine election. And we wonder why our country sucks. It’s because we — the Filipino people — think nothing of voting babakla-bakla (roughly translated: “limpdick”) politicians into office.

Let us stop treating our politicians like princes and princesses. In a modern democracy, government officials are public servants. They should be regarded as such and their proposed services closely scrutinised. Each one’s all-too-familiar tagline is that he or she is supposedly more ballsy than the other. Well, prove it then Mr/Ms. Politician. Show us a detailed plan of how you see yourself bringing the Philippines a few steps forward between 2010 and 2016. Show us you have the courage not only to make truly bold visions but to actually articulate these visions clearly. Doing even just those two things proves (1) you truly got balls, and (2) you really got the smarts. You’ll need a lot of both to lead the sort of people Filipinos have proven to be over the last 100 years — a bunch of cud-chewing cows that need kicks in the ass to get moving, yet once moved can be ushered into a slaughterhouse without the slightest hint of a questioning glance from them.


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23 Responses to The Philippines : flaccid mongrels ruled by gutless bozos

  1. BongV says:

    As long as people keep behaving like alipins – you’ll have people behaving like “maginoos” – the warlord or mafioso version, choose your own poison.

  2. ilda says:

    It’s one thing for the ignorant voters not to expect a platform from the presidential candidates but it’s quite another story when even the educated ones like MLQ3 believes that there is no need for one. It’s kinda hard to be optimistic about the future of the country in this case.

    This article of yours will be of good use in the next few years after the election when whoever president sitting in Malacanang is just twiddling their thumbs 🙂

  3. Pingback: Appeal To Youth Voters | Better Philippines

  4. UP n grad says:

    The purpose of the elected leader is to do the will of the people; Abe Margallo and cvj will say.

    The leader’s job is to listen, to hear the clamor of the people. The leader’s job is to do the will of the people. Then a leap. Therefore, the leader only has to be of good moral character and a good notetaker. Vision? Why? Platform? Why?

    Why should a leader propose a platform when the platform will be dictated by the people? The nation only needs a leader who is of good moral character and who will lead the nation to where the people want to go. They also serve who only stand and wait. The nation waits; the nation needs a good listener and doer of the will of the people.

    They have a large constituency, the candidates who say :

    Elect me your leader. I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do. I will lead.

    • ilda says:

      Majority of the members of the Philippine society are insufficiently educated, how can a candidate say to these people “I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do.” Does he expect some kind of wisdom from them? It’s just poetic non-sense to me.

      How can the followers tell the leader where to go when they are preoccupied with their own jobs? It’s the president’s job to lead the way to the path to economic recovery; he should at least have a plan. Why do some people want a candidate who will just do an on the job training? I wouldn’t want my boss in the office to be asking me what I think I should do. I want someone who is decisive. If my boss is getting paid the big bucks, he needs to give definitive directions for the company. Otherwise, if I have to do the hard work and make executive decisions as well, then I will have to change my job title to his and demand for the same salary he is getting.





  5. Joe America says:

     Perhaps you should also demand that candidates present their banking accounts, as that evidently determines a worthwhile candidate. The wise elders at COMELEC declined the candidacy application of Mr. Perlas because he lacks the resources needed to be considered a serious candidate. His platform, on the other hand, was well presented.

    I guess you have to be a member of the aristocracy to be President. Having a brain does not count.


    • BenK says:

      Was that not just about the most idiotic thing you ever heard? I knew Nick Perlas had no chance to win, and quite honestly, he’s a little too Ralph Nader-ish for my tastes, but he was actually the only one who really did a complete job of the preliminaries required to be a legitimate candidate. I took the fact that COMELEC is actually given the authority to pre-judge someone’s ability to fund and manage their own campaign as just another sign of the impending ruin of this country.

      • Joe America says:


        It would certainly be on my top ten list of stupid things that occur in the Philippines when people get together on a tropical island and figure out how to make life difficult rather than easy.

        The regulatory malfeasance illustrated by the non-availability of banks and ATMs during the spending holidays, when people want their money but the government won’t let them get at it,
        ranks high, too.

        Most of the stupidities here seem to hinge on the notion of authority over consideration, or what I would term the arrogance of ego that is rampant whenever one Filipino assumes a position of any power whatsoever over another Filipino (shopkeeper to government worker to policeman to bank executive to COMELEC to President). Most guards, strangely enough, are relatively polite, something they deserve to be proud of, as a collective of professionals. People who get their jollies by pretending some God-given superiority over others are insensitive twits who wouldn’t comprehend the Golden Rule if it were explained to them by a five-year old.

        The air of superiority in my own judgments are, of course, excluded from such notion of twitishness . . .


  6. benign0 says:

    @ UPngrad:
    If I interpret right what you are saying, it seems that the observation here is that our politicians supposedly have a mandate to “lead” yet defer philosophically to “the will of the people”. Which is a contradiction of sorts, particularly when they use that moronic tagline you cited: “Elect me your leader. I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do. I will lead”, which is really a contradiction; i.e., How do you lead if you are going to defer to the “will” of the people you plan to “lead”?
    These politicians pervert the notion of being guided  by the “people’s will” and instead use this concept as an excuse to delegate accountability for their initiative to “lead” to “the people”. The people, here, being an abstract concept that is in no way truly connected to the whole framework of administering and leading a large sovereign nation.
    As we can see, this is another one of those devilishly difficult notions to bring across to the average Pinoy mind. But I can best summarise it in this way:
    The mandate to to lead and govern which voters grant a duly-elected official is not to be confused with the initiative to lead and govern expected of an official once in office.
    In other words, a duly elected official is given a mandate (by virtue of the Vote) to govern in the way he sees fit (by virtue of his duty to those who mandated it) with regard to the interests of the nation.

  7. Chino says:

    I see CVJ’s, Margallo’s and your explanation of a leader rather flawed. Leaders are those who lead, they are not the slaves of the will of the people. While the people’s will (collectively <b>and</b> individually) guides the leaders, it should not control them. The latter would mean the leader isn’t a leader… he’s more of a public slave. It seems better to say that leaders work for the good of the people, but this good doesn’t necessarily mean that the people should always be obeyed (Even the people don’t necessarily know what’s good for them). What happens in that the people are the “leader,” not the leader himself. It’s even ironic to call that kind of a leader a “leader” because he’s following, not leading.
    I’d agree that moral character can be faked. And candidates can say they’ll do the will of the people, but they’ll do something else in the end. These been proven so many times in Philippine history.
    The platform is needed since it shows the candidates have a brain and a plan to help the country. They can’t just do the will of the people because the people are divided and fickle.

  8. UP n grad says:

    They have a large constituency among Pinoy voters, the candidate who says: “Elect me your President (or senator, or governor). I will go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do. I will lead.”  and the laziness of voters persist.
    Just listen to a few pundits who will agree that it is okay, the pundits who themselves offer excuses  why candidates do not have to be as clear as possible with platforms — understanding of the problems, priorities, proposed solutions.  “How can a candidate specify which projects he will prioritize when all these things — the priorities of things — are determined by negotiations”  and by moneys from and insistence by United States Millenium Challenge Corporation,  the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, cronies, kamag-anak’s, the United Nations, Japan,  kamag-anak’s, Saudi Arabia, China, ASEAN,  Lucio Tan, the Gokongweis, Vietnam rice production, El Nino weather., cronies.
    <i>Voters do not want to hear what the candidate will do first should they become President yet they are surprised that they get surprised.  <b>Surprise!!!!

  9. jethernandez says:

    wooooo…. heavy stuff… hehehe…
    we have about several information sets that we can validate the platform blah blah of MLQG.
    1. The Philippine Constitution.  (Cory Constitution of 1987)
    2. The Medium Term Development Plan (past and present presidents)
    3. The Millennium Development Goals (UN)
    4. Party Platforms (all parties)
    They all talk about the same quixotic shits…. POLICIES…. PRIORITY POLICIES…
    The Gay Explainer just want to create this fuzz on who has a better cut and pasted platform…  he has not synthesized or analyzed the contents of each political platform…. nagpapa intellectual lang epek yang bading na yan…. he presented no substance at all.  He is like Alex Magno… puro letra walang kwenta.
    A voter should just look into character of the person/presidentiable… his experience in the legislative and executive branches of the government… it’s all about capability and political will to implement policies once the candidate is elected.  Platforms are like toilet papers.  Parepareho lang yan…
    Simple lang… kung merong alien invasion dito sa pilipinas… at sinabing TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER… ma i imagine nyo bang si Noynoy, Villar, Gibo, Gordon, Erap ang pwede nyong iharap sa mga aliens?  hehehehe…

  10. BongV says:

    “How can a candidate specify which projects he will prioritize when all these things — the priorities of things — are determined by negotiations”  and by moneys from and insistence by United States Millenium Challenge Corporation,  the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, cronies, kamag-anak’s, the United Nations, Japan,  kamag-anak’s, Saudi Arabia, China, ASEAN,  Lucio Tan, the Gokongweis, Vietnam rice production, El Nino weather., cronies.
    Voters do not want to hear what the candidate will do first should they become President yet they are surprised that they get surprised.


    All the politicians can say they will all meet the MDG.
    The question is how exactly will they meet the MDG? Will they all have the same approach? I don’t think so. But they don’t want to put themselves on the line and have to defend their plan – under the fear of supposedly being copied.
    That’s a ruse – the fact of the matter is – they don’t have a plan on how to turn the economy around – shooting blanks.
    And if they do have a plan – it’s not the sort of plan that the public will take to – you know why, because their plan involves ripping off the taxpayers coffers – or at least keeping the taxman or the government away from their property – both ways, taxpayers lose. That’s THEIR PLAN.
    Now, what’s their plan for the constituents? For short – What’s In It For the Constituent? Less corruption sounds good, but if I can have less corruption AND more money in my wallet, roof on my head that I own, send my kids to a well-equipped public school – I’ll go for that.
    The thing is given less corruption, how exactly will the money be used? Are we going on an R&D effort that allows our SMEs to gain market share in a profitable product/service segment? Which segment?
    Candidates can answer these questions comprehensively through a platform.

  11. jethernandez says:

    yo bong…
    your query is laying down the groundwork of what a political platform should be…. hehehehe…
    peace sir

  12. UP n grad says:

    The candidates already differ with this  plain-vanilla issue of their support for the United Nations Millenium Development Goals.  Nick Perlas and Erap said “YES” to all goals.  JC/Kapatiran said “YES” but no if the UN-MDG goal relates to Reproductive Health, condoms and teaching Pinoys/Pinays about where babies come from and “please do not mention condoms!!!”.   NoyNoy???  He can truthfully say that the United Nations is a great institution, thank you, World Health.  Yes, Mr. Bishop, I am against reproductive health.  Yes, sparks, vote for me — I am one who bravely stand against the CBCP with regards the RH issue. No, of course not, Mr. Bishop, I did not author RH bill.   UP -Diliman students, rally behind me, and haven’t you heard about the authorship of RH?  Laban!  Cory, sadness when she died LABAN! My mumble-mumble-AQUINO, a hero.

    • BongV says:

      The candidates already differ with this  plain-vanilla issue of their support for the United Nations Millenium Development Goals.

      It’s one thing to say YES or NO to a GOAL.

      it is another thing to state how exactly you are going to achieve a goal, if you said YES to it.

      Also, RHB is but one tool to use in implementing a population management policy. How about other tools? Does the candidate have any improvements on the RHB? Does he have proposed amendments? Innovations? Is this something he can achieve in 6 years?

      And that’s only one item. How about approaches to global warming. The Philippines is an archipelago. There’s going to be a lot of coastal towns and cities that will be hit when sea levels rise. How are they going to lay down the foundations for an eventual migration for the lowlands to the uplands? Are they going to wait for people to drown? when upland property prices are already exorbitant? Let the 2016 administration figure it out?

      • ilda says:

        Yeah. But it looks like everyone is giving in to their gut feel. Abe Margallo was right after all.

        What’s so different about the coming election from the past elections? Nothing. Oh, some would say, we have Noynoy this time.

        Celebrity endorsements, dancing and singing on the campaign trail. That’s Entertainment!

      • jethernandez says:

        Hi Ilda

        Margallo has a false concept of Ignoy character. He’s trying to build up Ignoy as a cut above the rest of the presidentiables by putting borloloys in his argument the “listening” to the people and “doing their will”. Mababaw yan. E kung mga sira ulo ang pinakingan ni Ignoy. I presume that all of the presidentiables (except Ignoy) knows their priority policies… their experiences or engagements as legislators and appointed government executives speak for their character and their political and socio-economic agenda… reading their platforms will just be an added value to the political packaging. Ceteris paribus… with all things being equal… if all the presidentiables are like persons with an LBM and their direction is going to the restroom…. Ignoy is the only without any TISSUE PAPER (platform) or water (to do list) in the faucet.

      • Homer says:

        You can take the Pinoy out of the country, but you can’t take showbiz out of the Pinoy.

        For most of them, that is…


      • UP n grad says:

        2010-elections differs a bit from 2004 elections, so says MLQ3. MLQ3 notices more interest in candidates’ platforms (which is true: a few newspaper columnists have asked and asked and asked). Still, the normal arguments of dynasties-“my last name is more odorific than yours!” and rallies with dancers and free medical check-ups persist.

        Happy Holidays!!!

  13. benign0 says:

    Ceteris paribus… with all things being equal… if all the presidentiables are like persons with an LBM and their direction is going to the restroom…. Ignoy is the only without any TISSUE PAPER (platform) or water (to do list) in the faucet.

    That’s a good analogy Mr jethernandez.

    Everyone wants a Philippines that is just, peaceful, corruption-free, and prosperous. So politicians who say they are going to “implement” those and even present “platforms” that use a lot of nice words that reveal no more than a “will” to implement these in effect say nothing about what they plan to do.

    They may as well be beauty contestants saying they wish for “world peace” and “an end to poverty” in the interview portion of the contest.

    Unfortunately gone are the days when one can say all of these with the benefit of the backdrop of a Marcos disctatorship providing a stark contrast to all that goodness of intent. Today there is nothing left to “fight” for in the sense that there is no truly “evil empire” to overthrow. There is only the democratic exercise of the 2010 presidential elections that lies ahead — not a “revolution”, not a laban, and certainly not a war — just a routine election of the type that happens every six years under our current Constitution.

    The sooner we get over that moronic romanticism of a “fight” or laban that politicians’ campaign strategists frame everything around, the sooner we see with better clarity what the nature of the challenge is that lies ahead. We are choosing the next leader of the land — one who will preside over the fortunes of the nation over the next six years.

    It’s simple, really™.

  14. Kanye West says:

    Akala ata ng mga Noynoyians eh puro integrity lang ang kailangan para ma-resolba lahat ng problema ng Pilipinas. How about real know-how on how to solve corruption for starters? Noynoy doesn’t have that, even if we give him his integrity.

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