Aquino’s Mabini, Duterte’s Davao, Binay’s Cabinet


With the deadline for the filing of candidacies for the 2016 elections just a month away, it’s now the season for political weirdness.

Politicians will say and do things that they would wish to walk back just hours later.
Prospective candidates articulate or test a policy in public that they soon realize will lose, not gain, votes for them.

They try to paint an attractive persona for themselves by making bold statements that, on reflection, serve to paint themselves into a corner or a box.

President Aquino got the season rolling in Cebu city last week when he declared that budget secretary Butch Abad is his Apolinario Mabini – a declaration that immediately got more brickbats than nods.

In Davao City, Mayor and prospective presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterto made a local tourist swallow a cigarette for flouting the city’s ban on smoking in restraurants – under threat of being shot in the crotch.

In Makati City, Vice President Jejomar Binay discussed at a business forum his policy agenda and made the extravagant declaration that he would appoint a dream Cabinet that will not contain a single politician.

Abad as Apolinario Mabini

Aquino’s exaltation of Abad was met with guffaws and disbelief everywhere. Only Mar Roxas appeared to agree with him.

It turns out that Aquino did not announce the tribute during the Cebu rally. It was Roxas who disclosed there that President Aquino had likened Secretary Abad to national hero Apolinario Mabini, because Abad is the “brains” of the Aquino administration’s straight path policy.

Roxas made the announcement when he introduced Abad during the People’s Dialogue on Daang Matuwid at the Cebu Normal University

He explained that Mabini is known as the brains of the Philippine Revolution against Spain.

“Abad” is the ideologue of daang matuwid [straight path]. Abad was the Liberal Party’s campaign manager in the 2010 elections that brought Aquino to power.

But then all Filipinos also remember that Abad is the “chief architect” of the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

Mabini’s provincemates in Batangas lashed at both President Aquino and Roxas for likening Abad to Mabini.

They issued the following statement; “Comparing Secretary Butch Abad to Mabini is a mockery and a grave insult to the memory of a great hero. Mabini could have created his version of DAP and PDAF (pork barrel) during his time, but he did not.

“ Mabini is the epitome of honesty, sincerity, and dedication to public service.”

Duterte pistol-whips a tourist

The incident involving Mayor Duterte is doubly weird, because it is being circulated by his promoter and political ally, former North Cotabato governor, Manny Piñol, who seeks to drum up interest in a Duterte presidential run.

As related by Piñol in a recent Facebook post, the incident involved Duterte’s humiliation of a tourist and it happened during the Kadayawan festival in Davao City last July.

One Filipino tourist was at a restaurant when he decided to smoke while having drinks.
Told by the owner of the establishment that smoking was prohibited in public places in Davao City, the tourist reportedly asked whether it was Duterte who was paying for his cigarettes.

The restaurant owner reported the matter to the police and within minutes, Duterte was at the restaurant.

Duterte “calmly sat beside the smoker, pulled out a snub-nosed .38 revolver and poked it at the man’s crotch.”

“Papiliin kita: barilin ko ang b…g mo, i-preso kita o kainin mo ang upos ng sigarilyo mo (I will let you choose; I will shoot you in your balls; I will imprison you, or you can eat your cigarette butt,” Duterte told the tourist.

The smoker picked up his cigarette butt and swallowed it.

“Never ever challenge the law,” Duterte told the man before he left the restaurant.

The entire incident reads like an elementary lesson in Fascist government. Fascism is a way of organizing society wherein government exercises dictatorial control over the lives of the people and people are not allowed to disagree with the government.

Do we want Davao’s experience of order and discipline to be replicated in the rest of our country?

Binay vows dream Cabinet

The incident involving Vice President Binay took place in Makati last Thursday, September 3.

He appeared in The Wallace Business forum at the Makati Shangri-La.

In his remarks, Binay told his audience: “We shall make sure that all Cabinet officials are the best and brightest in their area of specialization, with vast experience in professional and public management, and guided mainly by competence, integrity, and decisiveness.”
“We shall bring in former Cabinet and senior government members.”

But then his press officer issued a press release that said Binay will not appoint a politician to his Cabinet.

“Under a Binay administration, there will be no politicians in my Cabinet.”

When apprised of the statement, Binay said in an interview with reporters. “Hindi ko sinabi yun (I did not say that).”

But the harm was done. All media quickly reported the dream cabinet without politicians. And broadcast media played the story over and over.

When you commit a gaffe

What is to be done when you commit a gaffe or make a statement that is plainly erroneous and harmful to you personally?

You can grin and bear the consequences.

Or you can tough it out and pretend that the act does not hurt you at all, but even paints a good image of you.

In Duterte’s case, the stories about his being tough to crime and criminals are a key part of his persona and popular appeal. But he has also pushed the envelope too far. He has promised to throw criminals into Manila Bay.

And he has vowed to declare a revolutionary government if he is elected President.
It has gotten to the point where he scares not only the criminal-minded but ordinary and thinking citizens.

Roxas, by swallowing hook, line and sneaker Aquino’s exaltation of Abad, reinforces the perception that he has no mind of his own, or one original thought in his head.

Binay continues his practice of being off-the cuff in discussing policy. He has yet to deliver one coherent speech on his policy agenda. He just takes potshots at the Aquino administration and Roxas. And the object every time is publicity.
Not all publicity is good. Some stories bite you back.


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  1. If ur a bad guy don’t vote duterte but f u r law abiding person duterte is right for u. Duterte for pres!!!

  2. I am not really a political person but nonetheless I will share my comments with all you.
    What kind of person you wish to call and be proud as your PRESIDENT? Duterte? This
    guy admitted has 3 girlfriends and wife. Impliedly himself ordered shot people without due process. Binay? An accused grafter who enriched himself while as mayor. Poe? Who is lacking of experience and foundling but clean slate. Roxas? No known records of corruptions and almost surely will continue what Pnoy started. Take you pick! I suggest to you and believe that DUTERTE is the most dangerous. Because if you elect DUTERTE as President martial law is in near horizon.

  3. The problem of directly associating Duterte in one simple act belie the fact that Dictators and Fascists are made of different stuff.

    Duterte spent years holding the hands of the poor, the destitute,victims of crimes and infamy – crying, comforting and feeding them not only in Davao but also other cities.

    Duterte’s psychological stuff is a lot more complex than a plain ambitious tyrant wanting to rule at all costs.

  4. May we know then the exact date these anomalies of the PDAF occured. Let us also inform the people the chronological order of these events before we could blame someone for these. As I see it there were a lot of congressmen and Senotors involved who are no longer serving their duties implying that that those anomalies happened even before Aquino took office. Balance journalism should not be mixed with personal biases.

  5. This column is inaccurate. First of all PDAF has been there even before Abad was appointed Secretary of Budget. And not all under PDAF is bad in fairness there are also those congressman who are doing good with theit PDAF. PDAF in our place has been sending hundreds of poor but deserving students to college. It also ease the pain of the constituents thur hospitalization assistance aside from various infrastructure projects. We should not generalize the issue brought about by those corrupt politicians . PDAF or pork Barrel has been there since time immemorial.

  6. I disagree with your implied statement that duterte leadership will be “people are not allwed to disagree with the government”.

    Duterte in fact encourages and support grievances and criticism to the government. But, once a law is passed, it should be followed, no exceptions. Duterte is merely imposing an existing law. People have to feel challenging the law is futile. For me that instil descipline.

  7. There is nothing wrong with politics.
    The bane of the nation is partisan politics.
    If the handlers of VP Jojo Binay asserts that the latter is not going to appoint politicians, then, the first chap to go is Binay himself.
    Binay is a politician.

  8. Aquino and Roxas comparing ABAD to A. Mabini is unforgivable form of TREACHERY
    to our nation. Mabini is a symbol of intelligence and honesty while Abad represent Corruption and a sinner. If ever Roxas get elected as President and all his cabinet members are like Abad what will happen to our country. GISING MGA PILIPINO.

    • So do with Duterte he is an Unforgivable traitor.

      Conniving with the CPP/NPA while hundreds of innocent military personnels and civilians were killed. Yet you tried to capitalize the issue of the SAF44.

  9. When Yen wrote ” Do we want Davao’s experience of order and discipline to be replicated in the rest of our country? The answer by any intelligent law abiding citizen must surely be “yes”.

    To liken Duterte to a fascist surely shows bias, why not say “also communist” ? I am sure Yen would remember Chairman Mao, he was that Chinese genocidilest who wrote his thoughts in “The Little Red Book”. Mao imbued with communist ideology, authorized the killing of 40 million of his own people. I bet they too (like the tourist)didn’t like their medicine either.
    I was in Davao two months ago and the taxi driver and I discussed the changes that Duterte had made to this former lawless city. He made this statement. “Sir, if I could meet with the mayor I would kiss his hand to show my appreciation for what he has done for the people. So if this is the result of Duterte the Fascist rule then bring him on as president and count your blessings that you have an opportunity to elect the future national saviour. The problem with any government here, is not the necessarily the government but the people. It is YOU guys that sit on your hands whinging and whining that this is wrong or that is wrong but you the ordinary person in the street does nothing to activly protest against the wrong doing. If Duterte had kissed the backside or the tourist and complimented him on his courage to flout the rules, in Yens book that would be wrong too. Yes, maybe this country needs some form of benign authoritarian rule because history shows you don’t seem to have sufficient love for your country and countrymen, to insist and ENSURE wrong doing is put right. Even Malaysia can put you to shame when it comes about taking action,there 200k recently marched and protested, here there is endless talk and shaking of heads, but no fire in the belly. If some people in government including some local mayor mafia’s have to bite the dust for the benefit of the greater all, so be it, bring on a revolution, change is what is needed not more of the same !!

  10. There is no perfect person in this world. But at least, we still have the chance to choose a leader of our country who is near to a perfect one. Majority of the people are just ignoring the law specially the one seated in the present government. We need the leadership of Du30 to make us all realize that law must be respected and must be followed. We need his strong character to protect us from other countries (i.e China on West Philippine sea issue, Canada on Waste dumped in the Philippines). And most of all, to correct the failed government we have now. If Jose P. Rizal, our national hero has the chance to witness the current situation we have now, he may be regret that he sacrificed his life to save our country because Filipino people are still suffering.

  11. “Do we want Davao’s experience of order and discipline to be replicated in the rest of our country?”

    Those who are afraid of Duterte should visit Davao for at least a couple of days to see how disciplined people are.

  12. Binay does not want any politician in his cabinet kasi baka gayahin sya!! Ang magnanakaw ayaw sa kapwa magnanakaw.

  13. sa panahon natin ngayon, where our justice system could hardly cope with the seeming unstoppable surging of crimes everywhere, Duterte’s system – “justice comes out of the barrel of the gun” look like relevant to most crime victims. And, only if Mabini is alive today, with lots of crooks and plunderer in the goverment, I’m sure he will encourage lots of Andres Bonifacio coming out to streets with machete running after these crooks.

  14. Without malice, the columnist is somehow promoting the candidacy of Duterte. If all tourists are like the one dealt by Digong, let us forget our tourism industry. The way of Digong may be unorthodox but for pasaway persons like that local tourist being mentioned, they get what they deserve. Duwag naman pala afterall.

    • Not all tourists are ungas like the tourist dealt by Mayor Duterte.
      Some guys are clueless about the term, “pakiusap”.
      The only pakiusap they respect is, if the muzzle of the gun that appears like a pouting mouth is pointing towards the middle of their eyes.

  15. If the inutile president in malacanang is serious in picturing this SOB abad as the reincarnation of Mabini, then he should commission someone to shoot abad in both legs so that he can’t walk. Thus, with abad immobilized and paralytic, then he is really the complete picture of the illustrious Mabini minus of course the honesty and integrity of the latter.

    • Ecclesiastes 3:15-17 (NIV)

      15 Whatever is has already been,
      and what will be has been before;
      and God will call the past to account.[a]
      16 And I saw something else under the sun:
      In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
      in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
      17 I said to myself,
      “God will bring into judgment
      both the righteous and the wicked,
      for there will be a time for every activity,
      a time to judge every deed.”

  16. Roxas will be another 6 years of Aquino, boring and stagnant, I liken Binay to a magician, unbelievable. D30 is like a marriage, you take the good with the bad, Live and build on it as in a family. The PI must change, it cannot remain like it is. Poe is not relevant. We need someone with substance, proven and reliable, someone who cares about the country and its people.

  17. You do not have to agree with the law but do you have to follow the law? We have the right to individual liberties but we compose society so we conform to what is accepted by the community. Live by yourself on a deserted island and enjoy your liberties but do not impose them on me.

    • It’s not your right to break the law. If u have problem of abiding laws, you better live by yourself on a deserted island & enjoy your liberties but do not mess up with our society, if you don’t want to eat your trash.

  18. When Binay said he will bring the best and the brightest in his cabinet, he just copied what Bongbong Marcos said couple of weeks ago.

  19. There you see the kind of people who wants to present themselves as our future president. Pathetic indeed are people who still rants a Duterte presidency whose law will be the barrel of a gun. Surely, it will be six years of stupidity, incompetence and procrastination under Senyor Kho Rheena as evidenced by his adventures at the DOTC and DILG. I don’t know if one qualification for president is to be saddled with corruption charges. Are we just left to selecting from the three stooges?

  20. Duterte’s act is what we need in our society of today, it only shows you will be in trouble if you don’t obey the law..while Binay was right dream is something we like to do but impossible to achieved if he said it is just a dream, it won’t happen!!Aquino administration is the most hypocrite regime we ever have!