In trying to explain why the Philippines has once again turned to authoritarianism, it may be useful to begin by saying that, perhaps, we have never been democratic.
The modern institutions of Western liberal democracy – free elections, a free press, an independent judiciary, a bill of rights, etc. — came a little too soon to the Philippines. Our civil and political rights came ahead of economic rights.
This observation is consistent with the development models of East Asia’s biggest success stories which include South Korea and Singapore, then Malaysia and Thailand, and now Vietnam and possibly other emerging Indochinese states. These states achieved much of their economic prosperity under authoritarian regimes.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that, in the Philippines, people are still free to voice their dissent, whether online or in real life. Last we saw, critics of President Rodrigo Duterte critics have yet to prove that the alleged extrajudicial killings have his blessing, and that he is using the killings to silence his critics.
Today’s Opposition like using the term “playbook” — as in, “this series of events follows Marcosian Martial Law playbook” or some such drivel. Interestingly enough, the only real “playbook” emerging in recent years is the pattern of seditious activity key elements in the Opposition are engaging in. Someone tweeted today that there is a big difference between opposition and disruption. Today’s Opposition do not exhibit any genuine interest in solving the Philippines’ problems. The only agenda they seem to be working toward is their manic intent to seize power by all means. They seek to disrupt not just the Philippine government but Philippine society as a whole — intent on fomenting the chaos that breeds opportunity to achieve their singular ends.
That’s not being the sort of genuine Opposition Filipinos deserve. That’s just being a pain in the ass.
The only thing the Opposition are lacking that was a key feature of the sort of sedition they were engaged in back in the 1970s is the use of a “Mosquito Press”. In contrast to those days, today’s Opposition have, at their disposal, no less than the Philippines’ biggest Corporate Media conglomerates. As such, it is quite baffling that, despite access to the vast resources of these organisations, they continue to fail misrably at the public relations game. Despite all of the advantages they enjoy, they suffered a catastrophic loss in this year’s elections.
Step back far enough from the noise on the ground and one will find that there is nothing about Philippine democracy to worry about. It is as vibrant and sound as ever and Filipinos are fully engaged and participating in it. It seems, the only beef the Opposition have with it is that they are not winning in it legitimately. So much the same way as a brat losing in a chess game would flip the board over in a fit to end it, the Opposition are bent on upending democracy in order to win their way.
Bart Guingona asserts in a tweet that, “[this] admin’s biggest legacy, like that of Trump’s will be divisiveness and hatred. Sad.” But when challenged to explain how the approval rating of 85 percent the current government of President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys could be indicative of a “divided” people, Guingona responds with an interesting opinion…
It seems, Guingona presumes to know better than the majority of Filipinos who, according to the Constitution, earned the right to choose their leaders.
For that matter, how can the 15% be right when the public servants they are supporting were in power for 6 years but did not achieve much and stuck with the status quo? They also lost the election. It’s pure arrogance to declare yourself right when you’re not even offering alternative solutions.
The dishonesty of the members of the Yellow camp are mirrored by the character of “influencers” like Bart Guingona. In this tweet, he PUBLICLY accused me of being under someone’s payroll…
I’m no lawyer but that, to me, looks like a clear case of defamation.
Back to the point of this, the fact is, Duterte has only been in power for 3 years but there are already positive changes ordinary Filipinos feel. Meanwhile, the Philippines hardly improved for 30 years under the yellows and their allies.
By all means, Filipinos should welcome to their shores the United Nations Human Rights Council delegation headed by Michelle Bachelet. They should open their government to “investigation” for “human rights” abuses. The key caveat there is that the public should keep engaged and apply a critical mind to observing and evaluating the progress of the investigation.
The Opposition have an agenda, and it is to overthrow the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The UNHRC have a job to do, and that is to investigate and report on their findings. It is important to remember that, given those two objectives, the Opposition agenda and the UNHRC report, only the Filipino Voter has the final say on whether or not Duterte stays in power.
I therefore agree on this — that the UNHRC “investigation” should be embraced by Filipinos with open arms. In doing so, they will demonstrate not only their faith in their democratic institutions but also the strong mandate they have given the Duterte government to continue down the path he is leading his people.
That said, Leni Robredo is still wrong in saying this…
“If I were (the government), I will entertain (the reviewers) because we are a member of the UN,” Robredo said in an interview with dzMM
No, Leni. The Philippines does not comply simply because it is a member of the UN. The Philippines complies because Filipinos know who their president is and what they expect of him — because they voted for him.
Unfortunately for this little snowflake, Marcos’s kid Imee Marcos actually won an election. With her and a bunch of politicians who are friendly with the Marcoses in power, the Yellowtard mob can only sit back and eat their hearts out. That’s a lot more that could be said about the Marcos camp than any of the Yellowtard candidates in the Otso Diretso bloc who all suffered catastrophic defeat in this year’s elections.
Throwing a quaint tantrum about not seeing the world going about things the way one wants it to go may be therapeutic, perhaps. But it goes nowhere towards actually influencing the way things will go henceforth. The way the world works does not bow to anyone’s view of how things ought to be. That is an important lesson Mr. Punongbayan ought to learn.
To get things done in a democracy, one needs to win an election. And that involves getting Filipinos on board with one’s vision of how things ought to be. That’s just the way democracy works. The Yellowtards should, instead, make productive use of all the free time they enjoy nowadays and consider enrolling in a How To Win A National Election class.
How did Leni Robredo become “vice president” of the Philippines? Not because of any demonstrated ability to lead an entire nation. All it took was the same emo campaign that her Yellowtard followers had become famous (and now infamous) for. That same emo campaign, specifically the emotionally rich but intellectually hollow narrative that serves as its foundation, is what doomed an entire political Opposition this year.
Imagine the Philippines ruled by a President Leni Robredo. What would be her vision for the Philippines? How would she describe a Philippines, say, in six years after she finishes her term? What will she have achieved?
When she ran for vice president in the 2016 elections, Robredo’s primary pitch to voters was that she is the polite choice. For that matter, the Liberal Party, as they’ve in the couple of years previous to that election branded themselves around the now-discredited Yellow political persona that characterised the last 30 years, was regarded as the only polite political choice. As such, the LP and Robredo were the easy choices for those who were too lazy to think. And, as is evident now, academic intelligence does not make one immune to the strong temptation to succumb to lazy thinking.
Proof of the power of lazy thinking and, its cousin, the notion of voting for the “lesser evil” is in how many voters who voted current President Rodrigo Duterte president in 2016 bizarrely chose Robredo to be his vice president. Many may had since realised the error in their choice but, unfortunately, not the underlying error in the thinking that led to that choice.
Robredo therefore serves as Filipino Stupidity Embodied. A tragic caricature that illustrates the worst of the products of the 1987 Yellowtard Constitution — a national charter that was crafted by eminent paranoid delusional personalities that passed off as normal at the time.
Filipinos need Robredo today. They need to behold the “vice president” their lazy thinking had created. One can only hope that in beholding this poignant political abomination, future generations of Filipinos would be reminded of the perils of the cancerous victim mentality and hero addiction that afflicts their national psyche.
The Yellowtards of late have been longingly following the events in Hong Kong as millions of its people take to the streets in an impressive display of people power to protest a plan to allow Beijing to extradite its citizens to the mainland. While there is much lament being expressed on social media about how Filipinos have lost the same fervour now being exhibited by their neighbours, there seems to be little motivation to mount a similar initiative considering how convinced they are of the righteousness of their cause.
Judging from the volume and shrillness of their laments, one would be led to believe that a critical mass of outrage against the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has achieved enough critical mass to support such a stunt. Indeed given too that they supposedly have the support of the Communist Party of the Philippines and their vast network of satellite university campus “cause oriented groups”, there would be no reason why they wouldn’t be confident that they’d succeed at marshalling the numbers to the effort.
And yet they don’t.
Perhaps that says something about both their approach to engaging the public and, more importantly, the nature of the actual support from the broader public they command. The Yellowtards need to brush up on their Democracy 101 and get back to the drawing board to craft a real strategy to win in their chosen form of government.
Senator Leila De Lima’s recent words describing her personal take on the national situation is certainly fiery and loud. But ultimately it will take a bit more than fire and loudness to make a difference.
This demonic President has been trying to destroy and divide the Catholic Church, just as he keeps on eroding our cherished values as a nation. He must be stopped!
Stopped how exactly madam “senator”?
Last we heard, an election just came and went. The Yellowtard-led Opposition had every opportunity to earn from the Filipino voter the means to do just that and failed miserably.
It would be interesting to get the specifics around how De Lima plans to follow through on her call. We’re all ears.
The Philippine Opposition after having failed to win in this year’s elections are in a good position to learn from this failure. But to do that, they need to learn how to stop blaming failure for their failure. A Twitter user recently lamented how “if Otso Diretso won, we would have a more progressive Senate”. This illustrates the whole trouble with the current Opposition. That’s just short of saying that the key to success lies exclusively in Opposition politicians.
The Opposition are essentially saying that the Philippines will fail because their people are not in power. See, this is not a very constructive way to participate in a democracy. When one makes a bid for power through elections, one needs to apply a bit of humility to the undertaking and realise that all the effort put into the campaign goes only as far as pitching a proposal to Filipino voters. If the proposal is rejected in favour of another, that only means Filipinos favour a path to success different to what you propose.
In short, Filipinos have seen success in their choice of people to fill 12 Senate seats this year. Who’s to say they are wrong? Apparently many Opposition “thought leaders” presume to be an authority on who and what is right for Filipinos. That is not in the spirit of the democracy they supposedly advocate.
The dismay being expressed by the partisan camps who lost in this year’s elections — Yellowtards primarily — has risen to disturbing levels. They are, in essence, asserting their being above the Vote on the sole basis of the voice of said Vote not being aligned to theirs. This is not the spirit of the democracy they selectively espouse.
The whole point of an election is to determine the majority voice. Once established, the minority are then obliged to respect that winning voice and wait for the next elections to pitch theirs again.
The trouble with the Yellowtards is that they are more inclined to throw a monumental tantrum by, yet again, hinting at rebellion and sedition rather than extend that respect for the majority will as determined by these elections. Thus, on display, is the height of the bald hypocrisy of the Yellowtards.
If you failed to convince the voters to see things your way, it is you who had failed, not them.
“100,000 bodies in Manila Bay” was not a joke.
30,000 dead by EJK. Not a joke.
Selling the Philippines to China. Not a joke.
Senate takeover and formalization of this dictatorship. Not a joke.
Stop laughing. Start fighting.
This is the sort of thinking that hobbles democracy and contributes nothing to building a modern nation.
One should at least stop to ask shills like Sison:
Fight for what exactly?
Is there still a “fight” to be had? Certainly not. The Philippines is more in need of a society of people who work together to build. They have no need for people who prefer to “fight” an ill-defined battle. They have no need for the bullshit of the Yellowtards.