Be a Gina in a nation full of Lenis



THE Opposition, as well as the Filipino intellectuals and naïve millennials sympathetic to them, often reviles Duterte’s supporters as a nihilistic cult. Hopefully, they won’t be stuck in that thought. May they have the foresight to put this passionate mass into great use.

They should begin by foregoing their criticisms of Duterte that are mere remnants and permutations of their propaganda against him during the 2016 elections. That’s why Duterte supporters surge like a wild wave against them whenever they do that. The incessant fault-finding feels like election season all over again. They are tired of that mudfest. They want to move forward.

Also, perish the thought of grabbing power from Duterte in any way, whether via a coup d’état, an nth version of the EDSA Revolution, or an ICC-enabled regime change. You will not succeed with a victory you can enjoy. You are only wasting Duterte, a rare concinnity of courage, compassion, savvy and iron will.

Be an Opposition with a compelling vision rather than a loudmouth spewing political platitudes. In other words: Be a Gina Lopez in a nation full of Leni Robredos. Though Lopez isn’t part of the Opposition, she’s worthy of emulation by those who want to translate their love of country into action. Her passion comes with a vision and a plan.

Remember the story of how she got the job as environment secretary? Armed with a thoughtfully crafted presentation, Lopez flew to Davao City, queued up to meet Duterte in the wee hours, and when she finally met him, she persuaded him to stem the tide of ecological destruction wrought by irresponsible mining. Sure, she can be too zealous for her own good and to the detriment of her cause; but it’s also the same verve prompting us to pay serious attention to how we manage our nation’s ecological assets. The same stance which impelled Duterte to give her the power to realize her vision and to back her up even if it would mean losing billions from the mining industry.

Meanwhile, Robredo kept swamping our country with stale political slogans, like the “war on poverty.” Every war requires a strategy to achieve a purpose worthy of great resources mobilized in its service. And of equal importance is an able general that leads his soldiers to victory. Robredo has no riveting strategy, just a litany of emotional appeals punctuated by a smile. She’s definitely not an adept general that could lead her troops to win any war at all.

When she resigned as housing czarina in December 2016, Robredo demonstrated that she’s the kind of general who abandons the battlefield whenever her ego gets slighted by a setback. If the housing needs of Filipinos were a great concern to her, she should have mustered the diva in her, continued working, and proved to Filipinos that she was indispensable in doing the job. While Lopez persists even in the face of great resistance, Robredo gave up and became damsel in distress. She made herself disposable.

Robredo is what has become of the Opposition — unnecessary. And that’s dangerous.

No democracy thrives without an Opposition. Besides being the government’s check-and-balance, the Opposition provides the creative tension necessary to generate innovative policies. In that sense, the Opposition is an indispensable other that stimulates the administration to actualize its highest potential. But the Opposition to the Duterte Administration has become mostly an obstructive and destructive force. Instead of being a source of creative tension, they have become a national nuisance one can live without.

That shouldn’t be the case. The Opposition should cease being a Leni Robredo and start being a Gina Lopez. Time to have a gripping vision with a plan. Present it with ardor. The passionate mass of Duterte supporters might not accept what you say, but gaining acceptance isn’t the goal. The goal is to provide the creative tension this administration needs to keep itself on track in its quest to give every Filipino a more comfortable life.


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  1. Christopher D. Gabriel on

    “The Opposition should cease being a Leni Robredo, and start being a Gina Lopez.”

    Sass, thanks so much for this excellently written piece. Like you, I had an article published in that online platform that has been supporting LP. I have ceased reading its articles since Duterte’s installation.

    Your space is a refreshing take on writing up analytical opinions. I am so looking forward to reading more from you.

  2. I have nothing against with Robredo and it’s alliances. But, I must agree that Gina brought and set the fire against mining and with her persistent advocacy she was able to minimize and continuously fighting for what we have – ecosystem and it’s biodiversity. She made her point of action against any of the speculations throwned by different agencies behind mining, and she remained firm and dignified! It shows publicly with action not just with a smile.

  3. Melisande Ferrer on

    Gina Lopez is in a class by herself. She has become unique in this age of mediocrity. It is not fair to pit her with Leni Robredo. They co e from opposite sides of the magnet..thus mag et opposite sides will always repel each other. Let us recognize Gina’s incomparable passion for the country, her vision, her strength. But let us give credit to where credit is due. Leni deserves hers.

  4. Creative heading but I hope you are not lobbying a different agendum. Clearly this article has captured the opinions of many who dare not speak. I agree with some of the comments here that being biased to Lopez is an understatement. You must understand the nation’s political dynamics and not be haunted by your advocacy for transgender rights. The challange is to define the lines in your literary works especially if you plan to be on International Relations.

  5. Pensador de Manila on

    I do really love the passion of Gina for the environmental proctection, progress, and conclusive human development of the local people who are the most affected of the mining companies in the area. Gina, with her supposed convenient social life inherited from her Lopez family and single lady as she is, does not need that work she is doing to the people in the mountains; she could have made her life around money and around the circle of the rich families in Manila or Cebu but she prefers to work to the department of environment in view of the sacredness of the environment and sacredness of life itself affected by the mining industries. In my opinion, Gina Lopez should be elevated to Sainthood as the living Saint of today for the environment. Saint Gina, pray for us poor affected by the mining industries! I love seeing the purity of intention Gina has in her office as the secretary of the department of environment and natural resources; she does not need money for herself; she has more than enough; she is there in her office as the secretary of the environment and natural resources to really serve the people and our beloved country. Gina is really a living Saint of the environment. Saint Gina, pray for us poor affected by the mining industries, Amen!

  6. julio madiaga on

    the word “motherland”is missing from the entire piece.
    it’s the most important word nowadays.

  7. Your article is so biased in favour of Lopez. I’m sure Robredo has done some commendable deeds in her public life. Tone it down a bit with your blatant fangirling towards Lopez and with your obvious dislike of Robredo. Compare and contrast your subjects and substantiate your statements with hard facts. Do away with all the unnecessary words- eg. czarina, damsel. They are big NOs if you are heading towards becoming a respectable political analyst. Keep it factual, economical and hit your readers with veritable facts. Having said these–I am happy to know that Lopez is an environmental advocate. The Philippines needs people like her more so now than ever. Cheers!

  8. enrico buenaflor on

    Nationalism is a very dangerous word. If it fails to defend and preserve human rights and civil liberties, it will annihilate everything and everyone that opposes it. I am not a millennial, Pro-Leni Robredo or opposition-leaning. I am nationalistic in the sense that justice, freedom and human rights must prevail at all costs; in the absence of all of these principles, it is FAUX NATIONALISM.

  9. The lives and souls of innocent murdered people including children who are victims of rape, hold-up, and all kinds of evil things committed by someone mind possesed by drugs had been long waiting for the King David to come in this new era for justice. I agree with DU30 that it’s hard to change, rehabilitate damaged mind by drugs. Drugs ruined everything. Drug dependents mind is DRUGS. Rape, Kill, Steal, et. al. The Bible says ” Every plant that God has not planted will be pull out by the roots”. Father God, protect your General you choose on earth. Peace b wd u all!

  10. Thank you for an excellent article.
    Gina Lopez, in my opinion, is like PRRD passion in their advocacy to save the Nation that was neglected and totally abandoned for decades by the previous administration.
    I believe it is the first time and only the present PH President that has ever used and keep using swear words every time he holds a speech. Unfortunately, the anti-Duterte are using those swearing statement as a sign of a bully man dictating the Nation. But fortunately, today’s generation are far more intelligent and could easily spot the bad intentions of the Anti-D., to misinterpret the actual context meaning of what the President is saying. I’d rather have a leader who swears words in public, who is not corrupt than have one like the previous PH leaders, behaving good manners and right conduct in front of the audience, observing the proper protocol but deep inside is the number one corrupt in the country. They are truly fake, Plastic! If a fair person listens to PRRD speech, one will realise he is emotionally hurt and angry because the crime committed by the high-level authorities were not prosecuted but instead protected by their respective allies. And it was way back in decades; these spoiled brats had created like severe cancer to million Filipinos, and only the present administration has the balls enough to fight the wealthy oligarchs longing for power to control their corruptions, extortions, illegal tradings..etc.
    It is certainly a difficult task saving PH from deterioration caused by the corrupt from the previous government. Who would not be damn angry working hard picking up the broken pieces and at the same time hindered to do the hard task by being accused of and criticise by the dirty oligarch? PRRD is an honest, humble person who speaks from his heart. He is not a “wannabe somebody.” He is clever by using the language of the people he wanted to bring the message; bad people understands bad language. If he uses distinguish wordings to criminals, it would never reach the affected brain as their neurones doesn’t function anymore, they are “sabog” already:-)
    Correct, PH and for that matter everywhere in the world has full of Leni type person. Lust for power, fame and status are equals to greed, ignorance and a highly narcissistic person like Leni Robredo. Fortunately, we have many Gina Lopez type whose advocacy of what they believe is worth fighting for in saving our Nature. Let us all be calm! Peace to All! Namaste!

    • Totally agree with your comments CPHDe..

      May not be acceptable to some or most that even ” Jesus Christ in His Frustrations and Dissappointment get angry and throw away all and everything in His sight” though without cursing, due to stubbornness and corruptions seen right before his naked eyes..

      True enough and sometimes, some people needs bad language and strong punishment to stop them..

      That’s why during old times Pamalo was sometimes used to discipline kids..

      Digong is a down to earth and a humble but strong leader and none from the past Presidents had ever did castigate any erring members of their Cabinets..

      He still wanted to spare Leni despite contradicting opinions from her because he believe na kung mwawala cya, somebody has to sit as President but unfortunately, Leni has no Leadership and No Command ability..

  11. Right on the dot. Planners become generals and whiners are drained to the toilet. I hope the Yellows will realize their mistake in choosing Robredo.

  12. I voted for Pnoy 2010 but regret after showing his mishandling of HKG Nationals’ death.. instead of him asking for sincere apologies, it’s Erap who stand to ask for it..

    Mamasapano incident is another worst mishandling for a President by refusing to accept responsibilities..

    Command and leadership is all about acceptance if responsibility at yon ang walang wala kay Pnoy

    The more I hated Pnoy when du30 shows how to accept responsibilities being the Nation’s Leader and President..

    He’s a down to earth President, alam kung paano makiramay.. sa mga taong karapatdapat damayan..

    Remember when SAF44’s bodies were transported back to Manila.. Pnoy, instead of showing compassion and mercy chose to cut ribbon for Mitsubishi.. WTF..

  13. I voted for Duterte AND Robredo, and its the best choice anyone could make.

    I like what duterte is doing but hate the garbage he spawns like all you commenters na walang ginawa kundi to be pretentious and be self righteous pero wala naman talagang naccontribute sa pilipinas.

  14. Prinze Fisher on

    Your points makes a lot of sense and very constructive Miss SRS. Such excellent writing is needed to enlighten and inspire Filipino people to become more objective. Kudos!

  15. Patrick GonzaleZ on

    To Mike Arcinas;

    Wala pa ngang opposition now, what im saying dahil nga si Duterte ay isang potential na diktador, mas higit na kailangan ang isang opposition na titindig sa abuses na sinisimulan ni du30 first by ejk.

    To Joros;

    Hehe Leni ay tinanggal ni Duterte without rhyme and reason, i dont know where you got the embarrassing thing eh ni hindi pa nga sya nagsisimula sa trabaho tigok na agad. on the spying thing, its an unfounded accusation that you cant substantiate with any evidence but just a total hatred for leni

    To Dagr2013

    Anong incompetence and non performance, saan ang basis na yun eh wala pa nga time to warm her seat sa position nya? Anong evidence na incompetent sya? anong evidence na non performing sya? E si duterte nga may paartearte na kaya nya tapusin ang drug problem in 6 months e yun pala mali, sya ang incompetent. Huwag ka bulag sa kapalpakan ng presidente mo, may ebidensya yan, sa bunganga nya pa galing hehe


  16. “Instead of being a source of creative tension, they (opposition) have become a national nuisance one can live without.” – Sass Rogando Sassot.

    Yet, self serving politicians always argue that it is necessary for a healthy democracy. As if Democracy is a religion that brings Filipinos to heaven. If I hear them say that again, I’ll say: “Phooey, to that! We have been tricked for so long, that’s why we are a poor nation until this very day.”

    Ms Sass, this is a beautiful piece of commentary! Write some more. Thanks!

  17. Why does RP democracy need an opposition that only serves the interest of crooks? The PNoy administration was the epitome of corruption and the LP party were accessories to the crime.

  18. Antonio villanueva on

    VP Lenie’s position is a very delicate one. She has to has to accept the appointment with the Duterte Administration even though she is in the opposition, because she must be ready to serve in what ever opportunity comes her way.
    But there are very important national issues for which she must speak against because that is her only option to serve the people. She gambled that President Duterte would know how to take opposing views with open mind which would enable her to continue holding the NHA job. But the rest is history.
    Or she could have done a Binay. For 6 years he kept quiet about his assesssment of the Aquino Administration as “manhid”, then bombing his old camp at will when he was ready to fight for his own political interest.

  19. as a ‘woman’ sasot should not be trying to pit one ‘sister’ against another.
    Very revealing and predictable.
    And very opportunistic.
    Her life of paid privilege abroad smacks of hypocricy and the naivete of a middle aged eternal student who has never had to work.
    No wonder she empathises with the elitist gina lopez.

    Gina lopez’s economic strategy.
    “The foundation of genuine economic growth is love”
    20 april 2017

    Tree huggers and cat ladies stick together.

    sasot needs to return to the philippines and comment from reality not be a paid propagandist with no experience.

    the LGBT community noticed how she dropped them when it suited her. no principles.

    by the way which school of journalism did she go to or can anyone be op-ed writers in this new world of mediocrity.

  20. Maybe Gina in a world full of Digong is better. Leni is the VP but she has responsibilities that we should take issue with other than replacing Digong in case of vacancy.

  21. Welcome Sass, good piece of article. Reading the comment here, there are some don’t believe that Leni resigned, better you put some pictures like Leni resignation Letter to emphasize ur topics. Mr. Tiglao is doing it that is why he’s a popular in this Opinion column.

  22. The present administration is allergic to criticism. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right and the essence of democracy. Miss Sass wants a pliant opposition. Why not invoke a law on blasphemy against Duterte. Then we are no better than those dictators in the middle east.

    • Aphetsky Lasa on

      Why is the Opposition criticizing? Because they cannot do what the current Administration can. Let us face it: The Opposition is ridiculously jealous! They were outsmarted. They are so pissed that they, the Opposition, instead of helping move on with improving the state we are in, assail the Administration with unending outburst of bitterness and humiliation. Pettiness and childishness characterize the Opposition, all right.They have not been partners for good governance from the start but rather destructive, not only to the Administration itself but, to the entire country as well, what with the lying and shaming as if they are not themselves Filipinos. To criticize with the aim to follow through so as to be successful is one thing. Criticizing for the sake of criticizing is another. The Administration is not allergic to criticisms. They would rather welcome constructive ones.

      As a side note. Instead of invoking a law on blasphemy against PDigong, why not consider doing the same to the Opposition whose previous system of governance created the sorry and overwhelming state of corruption and drug dealing in the country, sadly impacting the lives of ordinary Filipinos, which the current administration inherited and is determined to fight and suppress?

      Another side note. Freedom of speech may be a fundamental right, but it is not absolute.

  23. Hi Sass,
    The opposition are doing their best to oust Pres
    Duterte. We all know that for the reason they want to grabbed the presidency but, their plan will never materialize, they keep fabricating and accusing Pres Duterte for evil doings. This people should talk with their shadow on the mirror asking their own self am I doing good for the country and for the filipino people? For sure their shadow will answer them back a BIG NO. Yes for sure, there will be no LP candidates to win in the next coming election. IQ of every Pilipino nowadays is different from all of the opposition.

  24. Robredo is a Dwarf in achievement and bloatfish in propaganda.This is how the yellows control the Filipino. We say never again. Time for real work, real achievement and real Filipino..

  25. Exactly Sass.
    Opposition Driven by Liberal Party are still on their personal agenda and interest to destroy Duterte internationally through foreign media to grabb the power to him. They can’t accept that Filipinos are educated enough to discern.

  26. Lea Hetherington on

    Dear Ms. Sass,
    Thank you for your constant rebutting the nuance society of the Philippines. They are full of hate and it will not be surprising if their families or descendants will be hated too someday. So keep up the good work because your Tatay Digong needs you and your colleagues to protect him from the wrongdoers and there are so many of them.

  27. I agree with you Sass on Leni and the opposition. They have become a destroyer of the nation. The Duterte administration should make sure that these inept, useless, and greedy politicans can’t run or win anymore in the next or future elections so that the country will continue to grow.

  28. jess nazario on

    Gina who ? OK na sana itong article na ito but I will never agree with the Gina side platitudes.

  29. I was pleasantly surprised to find Sass as a contributor.

    I just hope it’s because she can deliver balance and not because she’s a shortcut to MT’s better bottom-line.

    Keep the balance MT. That’s the reason we left from PDI to here.

  30. This is a good column. Gina has a proven passion to protect the environment and she is not afraid of big business. Leni has no passion except to follow her LP orders to criticie DU30.

  31. Rene Evidente on

    Very insightful commentary. Unfortunately, there is no one in the present opposition who can even come close to Gina. Gina belongs to a rare breed very much like Duterte.

    • Enrico Eusebio on

      Gina Lopez is the only one at the present time who can protect our coumyry from irresponsible mining and save the community from disasters caused by irresponsible miners.

  32. Patrick gonzalez on

    Miss sass, One thing , leni did not resign. Tinanggal sya ni duterte at ito ay malaking epekto sa column na ito. Invalidated lahat ng premises ng argument mo about leni and the opposition. This shows that leni did not abandon the job at lalong naging necessary ang opposition dahil may emerging dictator in the form of duterte who thinks he is the law.

    • Mike Arcinas on

      The character of political opposition today reflects the character of governance we had yesterday. No more than a bunch of entitled, self-aggrandized elitists beholden to the immoral oligopoly of filthy wealth and power, callously masquerading on a platform of empty promises and mediocre slogans while thriving in an inpenetrable bubble far detached from the realities and sufferings of the empoverished masses.

    • Oh common Patrick, Leni did resign, she was ask not to attend meetings in Malacanang because she keeps informing or spying for the yellows all the details of their meeting. Leni resign her post out of embarrassment. She could just stick to her job as NHA head but she did not. Like Ms. Sass said (When she resigned as housing czarina in December 2016, Robredo demonstrated that she’s the kind of general who abandons the battlefield whenever her ego gets slighted by a setback. If the housing needs of Filipinos were a great concern to her, she should have mustered the diva in her, continued working, and proved to Filipinos that she was indispensable in doing the job).
      Good job Ms. Sass.

    • You read but you DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Leni was FIRED for incompetence and non-performance. If she your idea of Opposition then we might as well shift to a dictatorship and get it over with.

    • Technically Robredo was fired from her job when she was told not to attend any more cabinet meetings. Duterte afforded her a graceful exit by way of formal resignation.

    • Lea Hetherington on

      Patrick and Ms. Sass, Leni did not resign and Duterte did not fired her, it’s in between. The President is in love with her and at the same time he hates her. Does anyone ever notice about the two?

  33. The principle of Diversity and Inclusion comes from respect for human life, human rights, and human dignity.
    Such a basic universal value is lost on a backwater autocrat in his 70’s, so The Philippines will have no option but to find a real leader who is reprentative of the new philippines, not a throwback to the 1980’s.
    Droganomics is killing the economy one slogan at a time.

    • Was there dignity with the average of 11,000 yearly deaths of innocent people during the time of BS Aquino? Show me one proof that the economy is being killed?

    • rosani
      obviously you are not an economist.
      try to understand this.

      Inflation increasing, unemployment rising (highest in ASEAN), youth unemployment at 16%, GDP per capita ranking 117th in world (IMF), the peso under pressure, exports down, interest rates due to rise, capital outflows, wages frozen/declining in real terms, poverty levels worst in ASEAN (25%+), prices rising, balance of payments worsening, carmageddon on roads, inequality increasing (GINI co-efficient), EU investments in decline and aid to be reduced, allies alienated, increasing number of OFW’s, OFW remittances down, BPO industry growth slowing, brain drain, biggest rate of murder increase in the world, cronyism & corruption in government departments, and no moral leadership.
      DILG, DENR, DOT, BI, DFA, PCOO & DOTr in disarray/chaos.

      Additionally the potential of a China debt trap is a real threat to any hope of an independent policy and long term sustainable growth.

  34. Nice one Sass. Now more reason for me not to miss MT esp on TU/TH. Thank you Manila Times!

  35. Hi Sass

    Greetings. Here’s my response. I trust you will approve a variant viewpoint (i.e. it will not be censored) for posting. Thank you…

    Is change is coming?

    “Change is coming.”– was the resounding battle cry of Pdu30 that swept him into the presidential office. Digong’s rhetoric undoubtedly captured the imagination and pulse of the people — impatient for real change. He won big time, by a wide margin and a come from behind victory.

    At the onset of his term, he dashed out of the starting gate in lightning speed filled with much promises of genuine reforms.

    Nowhere is it more evident than in his claim of putting an end to the ills plaguing the nation (illegal drug trade, corruption and crime) in record time — 6 months. It was a tall order but he was determined more than ever to show the nation it can (& must) be done.

    People bought into it — only to realize it ain’t coming that fast.

    There was much hope (or is it hype?). After 9 months in office, Change is slow to come — if not, nowhere in sight — too distant, most specially for the poor deeply impacted by unexplained killings. The first quarter 2017 Pulse Asia survey validates this — the President lost “Disapproval” points among Class E (laylayan class). His combative and fiery words still resonate — but the results have fallen short of expectation — indicative of over promising and under delivering.

    Simply, the problems are more complex and that the solution does not come out of the barrel of a gun.

    The body bags are evident and growing by the day. The death of a Korean businessman within the police camp, a few steps next to office of the PNP chief is most alarming. Imagine killed under police custody and within PNP Central Office – unthinkable! No bigtime user and pusher has been caught and prosecuted. Rehabilitation of drug addicts, which has been proven to turn the tide against addiction, is slow to come.

    There are eye-raising reports of alleged corruption in immigration, irrigation (NIA), procurement (DILG),
    taxation (Mighty), illegal gambling (Jack Lee), rice importation (DA) — indicates not much has been achieved in corruption.

    The peace talk is not moving anywhere near a final settlement. The Communist rebels continue to impose, at will, “revolutionary” taxation (or is it extortion) against poor businessmen in their areas of operational control.

    Add to this, the intense infighting within Pdu30’s cabinet and inner circle. It has caused the dismissal of several cabinet members – a result of “friendly fire”. His closest allies – the Speaker of the House and biggest campaign contributor are at loggerheads. It does not help either that impeachment cases are being contemplated, left and right, for both the President and Vice President.

    The country is stalled, in gridlock. We are trying to change a country stubbornly stuck in first gear, “gallantly” believing (or is it deceiving ourselves) that it is only through a monolithic solution and “force-led” governance that we can change society’s ills that have gotten ingrained in our socio-economic-political system overtime.

    Many of us subscribe into this mentality – that, change can be an “overnight” thing. It isn’t.

    However, it has become a poor justification for “forceful” methods when what is needed are down to earth approaches — with solutions coming from “within”. Change starts from the “internal” impacting the “external” — not vice versa. The Cold War is over – its (dirty) tactics must be avoided and we must not continue creating walls that have been broken down. We are one nation united by a common purpose – to create a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation.

    There is much distrust and polarization on both sides of the aisle. I wonder how much of it is induced by self serving interest groups? I am glad the President invited the Vice President to a family dinner.

    Surely we can and we must find common ground. Let us put a stop to name calling, profiling and negative propaganda, roll up our sleeves and — despite varying ideas (the essence of democracy), put our heads together.

    Good governance definitely matters but it is self governance that brings lasting change.

    We have pockets of examples in our nation – Subic for one, where traffic rules and signs are willingly obeyed. Certainly there are more out there. Creative ideas and openness to change are being drowned (“polluted”) by the excessive partisan politics and sustained post election noise.

    I am reminded of a speech by a good friend explaining, in the most basic, profound and innocent way — what Change really is. He said,

    “After graduation I sought to change the world only to find out it was extremely difficult and frustrating,
    After getting a job, I sought to change the nation, I discovered much resistance,
    After getting married, I sought to change my community, I ended up with more enemies,
    After having children, I sought to change my family only to fall short,

    And then I realized I needed to change myself and found out that it was the best thing I did.”

    Genuine change is not imposed but inspired. It will require time.
    We must begin with ourselves.

    • Hi Gabby, agree ako sa punto mo 90%+ but wud like to comment about miscalculations of Du30 on the aspect of his timeframe (6mos. to end drug problem)..

      He realized only later that the roots are so deep which traced back from the previous.. can u imagine the Gross Negligence from the past Admin..

      Not just drugs but corruptions and all that was deeply rooted in our society..

      I always believe in life’s principle “There’s always a Clear Skies after each passing storm”..

      We envy Subic for traffic discipline and others.. how I wish, change to come soonest..

      I tried to follow Subic’s way here in Manila re: traffic, I tried to give in many times, first to stop, first to go, but it’s truly frustrating and disappointing at di ka uusad pag di ka dumiskarte.. sometimes, I hv to get out my car, to direct traffic bec if not, again di ka uusad.. obviously, the car volume is the root cause na pinalala pa ng kawalan ng self discipline..

      We both agree that we shall change Ourselves.. pero Ilan kaya tayong may parehong layunin..

    • Duterte never said change will come quickly. And why are you silent about the survey were 80%+ Filipinos feel safer?

      Like what you said “Genuine change is not imposed but inspired.” — Have you seen the inspired crowds where ever Duterte goes? Have you noticed the inspired comments in FB? Now compare this to any of the past presidents. Have people been ever that inspired?

    • Robert wayne on

      You have a point. What I see is that the promise of PRRD was feasible if the government is not so splintered and the opposition is working towards that SAME goal. How do you expect a chariot to run properly when instead of 10 horses pulling it towards the goal, only eight are doing the task while the other two are trying to pull the chariot towards the opposite direction? That’s what the opposition are trying to do. IMHO

    • you are commenting on 9 months of digong’s presidency….baka you may want to comment on the 6 years of pnoy

    • Change begins with ourselves and it requires UTMOST PATIENCE. Enough of instant gratification and quick turnarounds. It is not realistic moreso under the present system. Even a shift to absolute dictatorship will not make changes any faster. Unless you all want to give that a try? Anyone?

    • this is SPOT-ON, too bad most of the fanatics of duterte just like the writer of this column doesn’t or does not want to understand what you just said. How can du30 change the Phil if he is making division among Filipinos, and the division is getting wider by the day. We have to be GOVERN by the RULE of LAW and not RULE of MEN.

    • Hi Gabby.

      Allow me to respond to some of your points.

      1. I think it’s safe to say that most of PRRD’s supporters didn’t vote for him because of that 6 months time frame. We are not born yesterday. When candidate Duterte said that, we took it to mean he is dead serious in fighting the drug and crime menace. Also, before PRRD exposed it, do we really have any idea the extent of narco politics in our country? Akala ko kasi dati nasa barangay captain and police chief level lang.

      2. The disapproval rating from the class E did went up, but so do the approval rating from the class ABC. What does that tell you? Also, IIRC, the survey was conducted during the time Oplan TOkhang was suspended.

      3. Do you know how many crime related deaths there are during the past administrations?

      4. Yes, there are still corruption. in less than a year, corruptions deeply rooted in our institutions will be hard to stop. But at least the administration is doing something about it. I can’t recall a cabinet secretary that was fired for alleged corruptions during the past administrations and don’t tell me there are no corruptions before. Which is why we have to wonder why PNoy’s adminstration didn’t detect the Mighty tax evasion case.

      5. The peace talk is moving, albeit at a slow poace but at least it’s moving. That is progress in itself.

      6. There are “infighting” in D30’s circle but that also tells us that he let his men’s opinions be heard and he is not a dictator.

      Also, it’s interesting that you mentioned Subic as an example of good governance but failed to mention Davao City.

    • @Gabby, allow me also to rebut your opinion.
      1. War on drugs – your argument about BIGTIME users and pushers misses the point of the war on drugs. My understanding of the goal is to reduce if not eradicate the USE of shabu. You seem to be looking for rich and powerful personalities as your definition of “BIGTIME” user and pusher. In fact, the BIGTIME user and pusher is the combined over one million people who have surrendered/arrested involved in drugs. Some were killed. If these results don’t speak “progress” to you, I don’t know what will.
      2. Alleged corruption? It’s not alleged. It’s rife. Again you appear to look for rich and powerful personalities. Perhaps you forget that corruption is not only performed by top management but can be performed at every level of any organisation by anyone. Corruption is wide spread in Philippines, no Filipino can deny this fact. If you buy a product or pay for a service that doesn’t have GST, that’s corruption my dear. If you “tip” someone in order to provide a better service or better product, like in the US, that’s corruption my dear. No man is an island. The progress Duterte ADMINISTRATION has shown is empowerment of Filipinos to look within themselves and stop corruption on a personal level. Filipinos are now, more than ever, are self aware of potential corrupt practises before the deed gets done.. and if noticed being done by others, you are now seeing and finally being shed light in the media where the corruption is, what will be done about it and most importantly by when. This news are welcome in my eyes and should be to every Filipino! Government corruption may not have been eliminated but was reduced heavily with Freedom of Information, before the new Govt even started. The same happened in all other countries like NZ and Australia.
      3. Peace in Mindanao. For the first time in civil war history, all parties are ACTUALLY genuine for peace. It is so near, you must be blind not to see the light at the end of the tunnel (or choose to be blind). November 2017 was the date given. Agrarian reform is coming also. Look it up.
      4. Infighting in Govt. What planet do you live on? Infighting in Govt happens in every Govt. Look to Australia and see how many times a Prime Minister has been toppled by its own party. Infighting is good. It means plans are debated before putting into action. Every option explored instead of a rubber stamp approval. And if a leader does not have respect of majority, they get toppled. It shows Democracy is alive and well in the current Govt.

      What you seem to fail to see is that Duterte (one man) isn’t Jesus. He is not a messiah to his adoring fans. He can’t change the country by himself. So what did he do? He BROUGHT change by inspiring Filipinos to be proud of being Filipinos. He BROUGHT change by re-igniting the passion Filipinos have for their country and to unite in changing the country for the better. To rid of corruption together. To eliminate drugs and criminality together. To remove imperialistic hold of other countries of our sovereign nation. To protect our national interests together and improve internally without the need of foreign intervention. To selflessly love our country wholeheartedly and do something not for yourself that can come today but work hard to have a better tomorrow for our children. He has inspired all the millions of OFWs and rightly or wrongly, with his rhetorics makes us want to come back, bring our talents back and work at home (Philippines).

      Whether you are pro or against Duterte, he has awakened you. He has planted a seed in every Filipino for change. To think and act today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.

    • @Paolo Naces don’t compare Subic to Davao, Subic is ruled by law while Davao is ruled by fear.

    • Gabby I salute you on your idea of change.. Yes it must begin with ourselves. We must stop blaming each others. We cannot improve our country by blaming the yellow , the red, the blue , the rich , the poor and the other nation. We must come together to heal the cancer that our society have. Stop the bickering and stop the finger pointing.

  36. René Willems on

    Great article, intelligently written, balanced and eloquent. If this could be heard and internalized by those from within the opposition with a comparable brightness and the power to change and rejuvenate. . that would be a leap forward.

    • Alas, the opposition cannot with objectivity discern the rhetoric of this eloquent article. If it did, its mouthpieces De Lie La and Trillanes won’t so much mock the intelligence of the Pinoy by presenting incredulous witnesses like Matobato and Lascanas. These two senators (woe to the august body!) and their two protegees are the proverbial birds of the same feather. Be that as it may, may Robredo find her real self through this article and many more from other MT columnists and all broadsheets. C’mon, Ms. Robredo, there was a day when ALL columnists save ONE threw you tomatoes.
      But let me congratulate Ms Sass for her superb article….a lesson in metaphors in a Literature class.

  37. Pensador de Manila on

    Hello Sass,

    Of all the writers in this newspaper of the Manila times, your style is the one that I love most for theses reasons: you pick up appropiate words, clear, deeply captivating your illustration of thoughts. You are truly English writer and a true writer. Amazing! I admire the strength of Gina Lopez; I hope and pray for her success in the office of the department of Environment.

  38. Why are you so fascinated with VP Robredo? You and your followers are helping her by the free publicity which gives a lot of people to give her a second look.

    • You are right. At first glance, I gave Robredo a wide latitude, the benefits of the doubt. Who knows, she might deliver? But now, a second look, I give her a look of total dismay. She’s utterly clueless and so much at the surface level. No substance at all. Personal vacations and travels, yes so much sloganeering punctuated by smiles here and there and that’s about it. Sass is right, congrats to her very sensible analyses. Yet, if that kind of publicity makes you happy and is helping Robredo, then, it suits you both so well; but not this country.