Duterte’s barbarism and Poe‘s dishonesty are brother and sister


Rodrigo Duterte’s sadistic comment on rape matches in mischief and gravity the serial dishonesty of Grace Poe. One seems more scandalous than the other. In fact, they have the same effect of corroding the moral fiber (strength of character) of our society, and of corrupting our politics.

The only value I can see in these controversies is the possibility that they could jolt us from our moral confusion about the election campaign and the choices before us, into the realization that great issues are at stake in the May 9 elections and that we as voters have a fateful choice to make on Election Day.

Who we choose for President, Vice-President, senator, congressman, and local offices will have far-reaching impact on our lives and on the nation.

Character, words and truth matter
The character, capabilities and programs of the candidates we will choose from are not sidelights in this political exercise; they are front and center.

Character matters. Words matter. The truth matters.

I hazard a guess that moral clarity has entered our public square because of the transgressions of Duterte and Poe. We cannot close our eyes to Duterte’s vile statements and what he threatens to unleash in our public life, any more than we can excuse Poe’s glaring lies and deceptions, and the damage she has done to the Supreme Court and the Constitution.

Supporters and financiers of Duterte and Poe have become enablers of their immoral behavior and mischief. Their cult followings ensure that there are always people to rebuild the citadel when they stumble.

One has to be stupid to accept the repugnant rationalization and justification provided by either candidate for their transgressions.

Grace Poe says her lies and deceptions are honest mistakes and are committed in good faith (with sincerity). Duterte says his perverse remarks about rape are just the way men talk and are not intended to disrespect women. His vow to kill every criminal suspect is spoken from the heart.

Absurdly, the Supreme Court ruled that all the lies of Grace Poe are legal; it is the Comelec and her critics who are wrong.

Duterte’s defenders are issuing a similar verdict in his defense, but without magisterial authority.

These are all crap. And they have the effect of making the offenses even greater because the offenders believe they have done no wrong.

The nation’s moral core
We realize how grave these offenses are the moment we connect them to the honor and integrity of our country, and the fundamental decencies of our culture and society.

As a nation we have a moral core.

We have values that we collectively believe in and live by.

Neither Duterte nor Poe shares these values despite their professions of patriotism.

When Duterte repudiated the apology made for him by his political party, he made plain that he cannot admit to committing a mistake and that he cannot distinguish right from wrong, no matter how righteous he sounds.

He declared: “Don’t force me to apologize, because I never will.”

He will play the tough guy to the end.

Mar Roxas, who never gets credit for his insights and instincts, has seen through Duterte’s braggadocio and posturing. When Du30 boasted about slapping Roxas if they ever meet, Roxas called his bluff, “OK, Sampalan tayo; or suntukan na lang (OK, let’s slap each other; or better yet, let’s just have a fistfight.). At this, Duterte retreated and remembered his age (71).

How to spot a liar
Last Monday, the Associated Press issued a wonderful feature story on how we can spot a liar or how we can tell when someone is lying to us. It is aptly titled “How to Spot a Liar.”

This means that we may not be totally helpless against Poe’s dishonesty. We just need to observe her carefully every time she speaks in public or talks to us. Or consents to be interviewed with her portable teleprompter.

AP says that recent research has uncovered the giveaways that show when we aren’t telling the truth or are being lied to.

Experts say that it is possible to get a good sense of when someone is deceiving us.

First, experts say the face, and the smile in particular, is key. A real smile is seen in the eyes, a fake smile is only in the mouth. Also watch for a smile of contempt with one lip corner curled, as if the liar thinks he or she is getting away with something.

Second, Liars may split hairs, decline to answer, change the subject or tone, protest a question, even put up their hands while protesting.

Third, What experts look for is change from truth-telling to deception, but not one specific change. So they need a baseline, a sense of what people look and talk like when their guard is down and they are telling the truth.

Once a normal is established, the idea is to ask open-ended questions and look for cues, changes in verbal and nonverbal behavior.

I can already see what’s going to happen. Journalists and concerned citizens will be watching Grace Poe like a hawk from hereon. Even her nostrils will be under scrutiny. Her public statements and advertisements will be reviewed. She will be under heavy watch during the debate on Monday.

Of course, it’s true that many of Poe’s lies and deceptions are already sealed in documents submitted to the government, and they were instrumental in jump-starting her career. The biggest harm was done when nine Supreme Court justices swallowed Poe’s lies hook, line and sinker.

A problem of fraudulence
How did we wind up with false choices like Duterte and Poe for the presidency? Are our people so untalented and desperate that we have turned to them for leadership?

I can think of three reasons:
First, our political system today does not have real political parties to winnow the field of politicians for leaders of true ability and vision? What we have are political gangs and clans.

Second, electoral politics in the country has become essentially money politics. The oligarchs now team up with political dynasts to control our elections and, therefore, policy making.

Third, the 1987 Constitution placed our political institutions and electoral politics in a straitjacket, from which there is no escape without constitutional reform.

This dysfunctional system produces a President in every election cycle. It will not produce real leadership, unless sooner uprooted and defanged.



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  1. marx perfecto garcia on

    mar roxas and the liberal party’s desire to cling to power is more despicable than duterte or poe. they hate ferdinand marcos but they think like him.

  2. I believe that Miriam Santiago is the best candidate along with Bongbong Marcos. I hope you switch for them. Miriam was never tainted with corruption and has a long history of public service to our nation. So with the Marcoses, although, he belongs to an elite class, the Marcoses have a heart for the poor. Hence, we see a lot of projects which up to this day we are still using it.

  3. You here at manila times are really trying hard to put down other candidates without mention of binay. Try harder because it doesn’t work. Stoop lower and may fall. Be careful of every step, they may be slippery. Who in his right mind would vote for Binay? Only those who will benefit from his corrupt practices. Pathetic!

    • You’ve got to listen. I think you are misled by false propaganda. I guess Miriam is much better than any of the Presidential candidates. She was never tainted with corruption and has proven her commitment to the country for a long period of time.

  4. Olats na kandidato niyo ni Mr. Tatad, kulelat na si Binay! Nx time communist state na tayo dahil dahil si duterte nanalo, bopols

  5. “How did we wind up with false choices like Duterte and Poe for the presidency?” . Mr. Macabenta, I am an avid follower of you so could you please tell the people who should be the “true choice”?

  6. Daniel B. Laurente on

    Why you call digong barbaric? What is your deslike of him Mr. Yen. Or you really just don’t like him without a reason at all.

  7. Duterte lang po. Hayan at binato na ng malaking putik ng isang mapagkunwari na dating sundalo na pinalad na maging senador…at ng maging senador lalo ng astang astig kaya attack dog na ng mga Amo niya….

  8. All the candidates have personal issues but still, Binay have the best and realistic platforms to implement in our country

  9. Mar Roxas strikes me as a cold fish. Never liked him. But compared to Lying Alien Grace and Homicidal Psychopath Duterte, he’s a better candidate.

  10. Raffy Duquez on

    None of the candidates is perfect; we all have some negative things to say about them. For me personally I value action more than word. Just recently there is another “tanim bala” at the airport. Why can’t the current administration stop this? Why can’t they fire the person in charge of the Airport? Or the current administration has no balls to do that. What we need is someone that can get the job done (by all means). I am going for DU30 because his action/accomplishment in Davao talks louder than his “kanto boy” humor.

  11. Federico Lojo on

    The whole government machinery this incompetent administration has unleased against BINAY makes me wonder what this man has to earn the ire of the daang pilipit oligarchs. Binay, to me, is the anti-thesis of what the daang pilipit deception represents. The daang pilipit is extremely fearful of Binay, that is why I will vote for him. Binay is my guy.

  12. its a pity that pinoys now have to choose from the present presidential candidates not for their merits but for their propensity to be a lesser evil.

  13. Akira Syazwan on

    Repost : Despite heavy attacks from the rivals inorder to lift themselves up, nothing can change the fact that SHE is still inexperience, HE is still incompetent and the OTHER is still corrupt…
    para sa tunay na pagbabago!

  14. I am not voting anyone of Poe or Duterte. i do not believe that Duterte possesses the moral high ground to instill correctness/discipline in all of us while he goes his demonic ways.suppress crime soonest in 3-6mos? unless you are a lunatic, you will believe this. As to Poe, every debate reveals her inexperience and clumsiness in handling issues regarding governance. The most logical choice is Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.

  15. A bastos na Pinoy versus a liar who gave up her country?????..brings to mind what Quezon said…something like: a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by Americans (ex Filpinos???)…let’s see what happens next is all I could say for now…getting tired of politics!

  16. I will vote for Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, the are the most decent candidates that we have. At first I was inclined to vote for Duterte, however when he gradually show his true colors, the real him, shallow and conceit, a real bully, a tendency to be fascist like Adolf Hitler, I changed my mind. I thank Mr. Duterte for this enlightenment, I was almost deceived, my precious vote almost wasted.

    • So have you been to Davao and observed the city? The people? the government service? the drugs? the traffic? the 911? and the mayor is a bully? wow, a bully who can instill peace and order and lessen criminality and corruption, that is my kind of bully. I hate those people who are pretending to be saints, speak no ill nor evil, just god and godliness and nice words, but steal from the country and do not care about the poor. that is your kind olf candidate, the oligarchs, the rich who want more riches, who does not give justice to the poor. go to Davao dude and speak with the masses, be educated.

  17. I respect your views for RoRo but let me ask you a simple question, “What are the qualities do you like for a President?” Is it like RoRo would say, ayaw ko sa bastos? That Mar Roxas is a person with a character… Huh, his Daang Matuwid? Or…
    I like my President to be trustful, do not steal money, does his duty ensuring our safety, scrap laws that oppressed the poor and the weak, at hindi puro salita na wala namang ginagawa. (Malaya sa gutom) That people are hungry, the gov’t will provide us food and not firing us the weapons that we had given to them. (Malaya sa takot) When in fear, able to protect from criminals and not cowing those officials in uniform who are like criminals that takes our money thru govt projects and from the services that should.be provided to millions of filipinos. (Malayang Mangarap) And always promise us towards a beautiful place to live in though they are the people who were into mining activities. I hope you realised now, why I am for DUCAY! NO MORE, NO LESS! NO TO LP! I’m fine if Duterte and Cayetano did not win this race but it is my duty and I am bound to it, to look for leader who is trustful, do not steal money, does his duty ensuring our safety, scrap laws that oppressed the poor and the weak, more so for being an action man at a mediocre like Pres. Magsaysay. And believe me if I tell you that DUTERTE would able to unite our country – the Muslims, the rebels and the govt for a better nation building.

    • Do not Steal money, so how come he has so much in a bank with his daughter Sarah and a lot more with his common law wife and with his sons? more truth will come out. AMLC will not lie. I know this.

  18. Mr. Makabenta, in this article I sense your commitment to what is true, what is good, and what is the right thing to do; not driven by personal interests. Keep it up, Sir.

  19. Sa apat na kandidato, DU30, Poe, Mar at Binay kay Binay ako boboto. Sabi nila si Binay magnanakaw, sino ba sa apat ang hindi magnanakaw eh lahat yan magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Makano lang ba ang salary ng isang presidente Php.120K or less, magkano ba ang ginastos nila (sariling pera hindi kasama ang pera ng suporter nila, sigurado ako Million pesos) so kailangan mabawi nila yan, paano mababawi kailangan magnakaw. Sasabihin nila hindi sila magnanakaw, hindi nga sila kundi ang mga tao nila, mag alipores nila ,para wala silang alam sa nakawan. (Noynoy style) at least kay Binay may plata porma sya at magagawa nya kahit na may nakawan kaysa tatlo, puro pagnanakaw, kasinugalinga, patayan at incompetent at noynoying ang mangyayari, pag nagkataon saan na pupulutin ang bansang Pilipinas!

  20. I explained that the military and the Americans are jittery to a Duterte’s presidency because he is identified with the communist and flirts with the Chinese on the West Philippine Sea.
    “The AFP do not want to see the Enhance Cooperation Defense Agreement (EDCA) and the continuing and growing military aid from the U.S, that flattered the military, stopped by Duterte who recently smirked on the two of the squadron of F/A jets the country purchased from South Korea, while the U.S, Japan, Australia, and others are nervous that Duterte could disrupt the alignment of military powers in the disputed Sea versus China,” I opined.
    My columnist friend told me that there was a recent pronouncement, from a former general, who told him and friends that the world community leads by the U.S watch with keen concern the meteoric rise to the polls of the Davao City’s mayor.
    READ: http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com/2016/04/afp-cia-to-block-dutertes-presidency.html

  21. Samuel Santos on

    Papaano na kayo, sir, kung maging president either is Digong o si Grace? Delikading, baka ho nila kayo “resbackan.”

  22. A very perceptive analysis. However, we are not merely stuck with immoral criminals as politicians, but these people represent deeply ingrained cultural characteristics of the nation. Dishonesty and hypocricy are commonplace. Until people recognize the deep flaws in their own society, the politicians will continue to reflect that society. Sorry to be so blunt, and of course there are many good Filipinos who feel this even more acutely than I do.

  23. I will cast my vote with Roxas-Robredo on my mind. By continuing the reforms carried out by Pnoy will lead the country to move forward fast enough than having someone promising a Change.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      With the so many candidates, there are other alternatives. Why not? God save the Philippines.

    • What reforms you are talking about? PDAF, DAP which decided by the Supreme Court unanimously as illegal? or the LRT fiasco? The division of all political parties and the prostitution of government entities and all branches of government? The prosecution of non-allied parties and the cuddling incompetent and corrupt allies of PNoy? Are you blind?!

  24. Mr. Yen Makabenta, your article full of jargon and/or highfalutin words seems to be on a personal level when it comes to Mr. Duterte and Ms. Poe (or whatever is his husband’s surname).

    You should have at least put in your personal article of who is your personal choice to complete the process instead of the attempt to interject other topics about our political system which has always been the case and as such, not new. No matter who wins as President, we are still an oligarch-run country, unless a bloody revolution takes place.

  25. The reasoning of this article might be logically alright. The question is: How many thousands of voters do understand what are behind these reasoning? I bet, It can only count no less than a few voters. You have to desciminate your reasoning on a more impacted vehicles for voters to realize what is wrong. One Dog barking is not loud enough nor scary enough to drive the truth.

  26. Edong Mapangarap on

    where have you been? HE HAS ALREADY APOLOGIZED!
    its very obvious the demolition job of you, Bert and Kit. MOVE ON GENTLEMAN!

    • I mean mag move na kayo sir regarding sa citizenship issue, but I agree with your comment with respect to Duterte. For whatever flaws that Poe MAY have with respect to citizenship issue, which I don’t see any, the issue with what Duterte brings to the table is FAR MORE WORSE as it promotes and encourages the people to transgress the rule of law, the bill of rights and corrupts the morality of the people. This we need to stop. But please move on na kayo about grace poe, the SC has decided with finality

  27. hindi magagawa mag sinungaling ni Grace Poe, tapat siya sa bayan kaya hindi niya lolokohin ang taongbayan para sa simpleng bagay na yan

  28. Between Poe and Du30, the election of the former is WORSE! It results in the final erosion of faith in the Philippine Constitution, which is the foundation of our democratic existence, and may lead to a possible crisis.

    I’d say that the people are not really untalented, but “desperate” instead. We’ve heard all the ‘tunes’ a politician can mustrer, but Du30 is singing a very different andf rare ‘tune’. The people hope that he can, at least STOP THE TREND of corruption, crime, drugs, poverty, etc. These issues have yet to be addressed and, if Du30 can address them, the people will be happy. Any issue the system has with Du30 is Duterte’s problem. “Unusual sickness, calls for an emergency unusual cure.”

    May God save the Republic of the Philippines.