Flawed comparisons due to failure of intelligence



LENI Robredo wanted to swiftly descend on Marawi thinking that the Maute was just like a typhoon. She wanted to make up for her absence last December, when parts of Bicol, her home region, were ravaged by Typhoon Nina. She left to spend her holidays in the US fully aware that Naga was on the direct path of the storm. And she used as an excuse for her failure to come home sooner the fact that all the flights were booked.
It was such a traumatic event for Leni. It was, in her political timeline, a major milestone in her unraveling.

It definitely painted her as detached and uncaring. People were looking for her, but it was Georgina whom they found.

This time in Marawi, she was ready. She wanted to go as soon as possible.

Raring to be redeemed from her Bicol debacle, she immediately made a public call for relief donations, and wanted to enter Marawi City carrying boxes of instant noodles, canned goods and blankets, ready for distribution to the terrified residents there. But she was advised by the military that that would not be prudent, at least not yet.

After all, a storm leaves in its path death and destruction, but doesn’t linger to blow away those who come to help in the aftermath.

But a terrorist attack is a continuing threat, where the specter of death lurks as embedded even in those who survived the first assault.

In a post-storm relief operation, the responder Leni would be insulated from the death and destruction, and can enjoy posing for the cameras while she distributes relief goods. But in a terrorist attack from a group that is known to have been embedded in the affected communities, the responder Leni can easily turn into a hostage Leni.

It is not entirely surprising for Leni Robredo’s brand of politics to have a flawed appreciation of the differences between Bicol and Marawi, and between a storm and a terrorist attack. Cluelessness seems to have built a nest in her worldview, that Leni Robredo likened the impacts of Typhoon Nina with the harrowing continuing threat of the Maute group.

Leni partisans were quick to seize the opportunity to retaliate at the anti-Leni crowd who bashed her absence during Typhoon Nina. They started the hashtag #WhereIsThePresident, hoping to get even, except that they forgot that the President went on an official trip to Russia and not a Christmas vacation in New York.

Furthermore, they forgot to take note of the fact that while Typhoon Nina was predicted to make landfall in Camarines Sur on a certain date, the Maute group did not set a date to attack Marawi City.

Supporters of Leni were quick to twit the President’s physical absence at the height of the attacks, which led them to quickly forget that they were the same people who said that her physical presence was not even needed in Bicol for her to command a relief operation.

This failure to discern logic and reason eventually cost Leni and her partisans another egg in their faces when the President decided to cut short his official trip to Russia, in contrast to the image of Leni’s continued gallivanting in America.

It is a monumental failure of intelligence.

The inability to appreciate distinct differences goes beyond Leni Robredo, and has manifested itself in how the critics of President Duterte have totally mishandled his declaration of martial law in Mindanao as a reaction to the terrorist attack on Marawi.

Driven by sheer bias against the President, and heavily influenced by the inability to get over the images and representation of the Marcosian brand of martial law, critics were quick to pounce on the declaration as an evil foreboding. Images of the dark years of Marcos spun like crazy in social media. Dire warnings were issued, all fearful of human rights abuses.

And in doing so, these people conveniently forgot that it was their brand of politics which wrote into the 1987 Constitution a kind of martial law that is no longer the fearsome weapon of a dictator, but simply as a political instrument to protect the state. Martial law in the 1987 Constitution is so defanged that it cannot suspend the Constitution nor abolish Congress. It can be shortened, if not negated by a congressional act, and it is subject to review by the Supreme Court.

Instead of focusing on how the Republic can face the threat of terrorism, the yellows seem to be more preoccupied with a flawed comparison between a Marcosian instrument to install a dictatorship, with a kind of martial law whose potential for abuse has been constitutionally clipped by their predecessors.

Duterte critics seem to possess fertile imaginations, entertaining thoughts of a grand conspiracy where Duterte is now accused of orchestrating the Marawi incident to give him the opportunity to declare martial law. It is a plot that only the politically brain-dead can entertain.

But when one looks at Leni’s likening Marawi to a typhoon-devastated area, or those who encourage the government to negotiate peace talks with the terrorist Maute group, or Jim Paredes who quipped that PNoy did not have to declare martial law during the Zamboanga siege, then one should no longer be surprised.


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  1. aladin g. villacorte on

    There you go again. . .leni is “detached”, leni is “uncaring”, leni’s “sheer bias”, “cluelessness”, “failure of intelligence”, etc. Column after column, the anti-VP language simply overwhelms. Where is the hate coming from?

    • Luzy Canilao on

      Whatever you call it, hate or anything else, it comes from Leni herself, where else? It is generated and stirred by the utter clueless Leni and her staff. In fact, Leni and her minions are cut out for the most detached and clueless bunch for the Guinness world records. If you don’t get it, then, may be, you are one of them. Keep on playing a game they no nothing about while hovering in a reverie.

  2. Wolfgang Struck on

    Dear writer,

    before you continue with this ranting about Marcosian style martial law to establish a dictatorship (where did you get that, from the media maybe?), could you please ask Enrile and Ramos how they did it?


  3. Leni, LPs, and all of its kind are “bulok”. Sorry, Ninoy, sorry but it’s true.

  4. Which would you prefer? Choose the best answer: 1. A. Martial Law B. Terrorists group; 2. A. Restricted ML based on the 1987 Constitution where the Bill of Rights are safeguarded and the Constitution is not abolished and all the 3 branches of the govt are still in operation; B. Instant “justice” like beheading, raping, killing, bombing, kidnapping, hostage-taking of innocent civilians, etc… that had happened not only in the Philippines, but in almost all nation of Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas; 3. A. Pinoy or B. Duterte 4. A. With Constitution B. Without the Constitution 5. A. Pinoy B.Duterte (Note I lke AP Contreras now next to Rigoberto T.)

    • Manila Times has already replaced PD Inquirer, a long time ago and the Phil Star in recent months as my fave daily reading of broadsheets but please comment on my response to AP Contreras article objectively. This is the first time ever I have attempted to react “violently” on articles published by MT which honor should have been bestowed upon my first love RT precisely because I don’t know how to do it. Remember I do not belong to the millenials whose fodder is the social media.

    • Please guide me. What moderation for my comment to be made? Is it on the content, the length, the grammar, the tone or the structure?

  5. Martial Law is anathema to those who were in college during the first quarter storm of the 70’s.

    The frightening memories of the era are still vivid to forget — specially to victims of atrocities. The voice of dissent was clamped down and basic freedoms were curtailed. The universities were closed, barricades were erected, presence of military officers, curfew, checkpoints, arbitrary arrests, and salvaging of dissident students took place.

    Albeit there was a growing insurgency and secessionist movement in the south, the very reason, a false ambush, that triggered its immediate proclamation is in question, if not fictional, filled with contradictions. The widespread reports of human rights abuses perpetrated by the military under the pretense of instituting law and order inflamed the volatile situation. Altogether and at the mention of its reimposition, brings fear to the nation, to this very day.

    We are fully aware times have changed including the circumstances.

    The insurgency and the secessionist movement have grown in magnitude and a new dimension of danger has surfaced on the horizon — terrorist groups. All are fully armed and determined to wreck havoc, sow disorder, cause death and destruction to our unarmed civilian population.

    They must be stopped.

    Terrorism is rearing its ugly head visibly in Mindanao. It is alarming and a calibrated response is in order for the state to defend itself, protect its citizens and eventually restore peace.

    Considering what the terrorist did in Marawi, the proclamation of Martial Law for 60 days is understandable, if we factor in what’s at stake — public safety and the rule of law. We must express our trust and full sport for our Armed Forces to quell and subdue these lawless elements. However, we urge caution in respecting civil rights, cognizant of the fact misguided deeds of the past must never be repeated.

    It is early for us to draw definitive conclusions. We must wait for developments to unfold trusting the best interest of the nation was paramount in making the decision — and not just to perpetuate political rule.

    It is unfortunate, to increase readership, some pseudointellectuals claiming inherent right to logical thinking distort facts, making unfounded comparisons and irrational conclusions.

    There is no need for that now.

    The Vice President made it clear (Philstar May 26,2017) .. “Gusto natin maging supportive sa administrasyon kasi sa tindi ng problema natin sa terorismo, hindi ito ang yung panahon na nag-aaway-away tayo,”

    “Maraming nangangamba dahil sa karanasan natin sa pang-aabuso na nangyari sa ating bansa,”

    “Dahil dito kaya sa pagsuporta natin gusto din nating humingi ng assurance galing sa administrasyon at sa ating hukbong sandatahan na siguraduhin na hindi na ulit mangyayari iyong nangyari  noong panahon ng diktadurya,”

  6. Pnoy did not declare martial in the Zamboanga siege, Jim Paredes, because Noynoy knew nothing. He would not have known how to handle things during martial law pretty much like he did not know how to govern the country in normal times. Pnoy and Rody are incomparable. One is a child, Rody is a man.

    • True and look at what happened because martial law was not declared. This specter of martial law that the yellows and the reds keep painting as similar during FM’s time is bull. I was a martial law baby. I used to be an anti-Marcos. Though I do not agree that martial law should be that long like what happened in the past, I realized now that the communist threat that had swept Asia during that time should be stopped. Otherwise, the Marcos government would not have captured Joma Sison and his ilk in the 70’s. Heck, I was also a leftist in my college years just like Tiglao used to be a communist. Communism was a real threat then and the fact that the NPA continues to extort money from businessmen just shows that the communist ideology is just about power grabbing which is similar to what the Muslim rebels and Muslim terrorists want to do.

  7. Another article critical of the Vice President.

    How many does that make now Mr. Contreras ?

    Once a week times ……

  8. D30 official Russian trip and her US trip is like comparing apples with oranges, where is the intelligence in that? Her pronouncements about the ‘abuses’ of Martial Law is a clear indication of her ‘cluelessness’ just to stay relevant and picture taking ops. I pity this woman to the ground – her political IQ is lower than the ‘laylayan’ of her skirt.

    • You can say that again, Dav Aguila….talagang mababa pa sa laylayan ng damit niya ang halos lahat sa kanya….di lang political, pati na sa logic – kulang siya sa analysis at synthesis method, kaya kung anu-ano ang sinasabi niya na hindi nagtutugma at walang sense. wala ring sense of humor, walang logic, pumasa ba siya sa bar?