• ‘Grace’ is a disease of our politics

    76

    First of Two Parts

    Part 2: Is Grace a better version of Pacquiao, or is it vice-versa?

    The meteoric rise in two years of Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares to a point where she is now believed to have a shot at the presidency next year is a symptom of our deepest malady as a republic.

    This malady is an affliction that has worsened since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.

    The symptoms first broke out with Joseph Estrada’s winning the vice presidency, and then the presidency itself. It was followed by the attempt, nearly victorious, of his bosom friend, fellow actor Fernando Poe Jr. to also become President. The more recent break-out of the disease was the voting into the presidency of a mediocre politician just because of the  wave of sympathy for his mother’s death – President Benigno Aquino 3rd. And most recently “Grace as president”.

    This disease of our politics is the electorate’s incapacity to choose leaders based on their qualifications and track record to rule our country.

    It, instead, puts into power — for the local level — those who have the money to buy their way into local office directly from the masses, or indirectly through local bosses.

    On the national level – for senators, vice presidents, and presidents – the system puts into power not the most qualified leader, but a celebrity, somebody from the movie or portrayed as such by a powerful media. “Name recall” has become the requirement for electing our national leaders.

    images20150615

    How Filipinos choose their leaders, in six images.

    A celebrity becomes fit for public office when he or she displays certain Filipino stereotypes of a “good” person or a leader, or when Filipinos become deluded that a candidate’s movie roles make up his real personality.

    Joseph “Erap” Estrada wasn’t voted into the presidency because of his track record as San Juan mayor for two decades. His 12 years in the Senate and in the post of vice president were mostly forgettable.

    He won not just because the masses, but even those in the middle and upper classes, confused him – the person Estrada – with his movie roles as the righteous champion of the oppressed. Even if his film career’s glory days were before my time, Erap’s movie persona as the tough Asiong Salonga is etched in my mind.

    Erap’s person – as distinguished from his movie persona,   from a Latin word referring to the mask actors wear in ancient theaters – very quickly was unmasked barely two years into his term as President: a drunkard, womanizer, a most corrupt politician.

    FPJ was almost totally like Erap, which is the reason why they were bosom buddies. FPJ was just more discreet. And unlike the Erap who was taught by his Chinese cronies to like expensive wine, FPJ never gave up his cases of San Miguel – to the extent that he once made a scene in a restaurant in San Juan, where the only beer served was Lucio Tan’s Carlsberg.

    In contrast to Erap, FPJ didn’t like social functions, preferred to be alone with a small circle of friends (including one who became a friend of mine), hardly cared about social problems, and hated politics.

    But Erap begged him to run for President because he thought, in 2004, that he would rot in jail the rest of his life, and even thrown to Muntinlupa if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stayed in power.

    “Hindi ka gagastos ni isang kusing, at kikita ka pa,” Erap reportedly told him. Erap’s timing couldn’t have been better. FPJ’s box-office take was steadily going down: It was a new generation of movie audience, who thought “Panday” was so laughably corny in the era of Spider Man and X-Men movies. A friend of his said FPJ couldn’t bear the thought of fading into obscurity.

    But as sociologists, even those who study the most advanced and most educated countries in the world, say, modern man confuses reality with the make-believe world of cinema and the entertainment world. After all, even Californians couldn’t distinguish the real Arnold Schwarzenegger from his hero persona as Conan or the good version of The Terminator.

    It is, in fact, so difficult for Filipinos to distinguish the real from the reel person. I was so reminded of this when, of all people, a sociologist, a learned academic, and a veteran journalist like Randy David could write a column entitled the “Immortal FPJ.”

    Read that paean to FPJ and you would have no doubt that he obviously confused the FPJ person with FPJ’s movie persona. David in that piece for instance  confuses FPJ, the rich actor,  with his movie character as a jeepney driver “wearing the same clothes (as the masses), eating the same food, and wiping their faces with the same cheap towels permanently slung over their necks.” He should have asked his colleague at the UP, FPJ’s cousin Mahar Mangahas, what clothes the actor preferred – Hugo Boss, I was told.

    If such a learned man like David couldn’t distinguish FPJ’s real person from his persona, how much less able the unschooled masses could?

    This problem is compounded by the Filipinos’ basically medieval Christian, or superstitious, frame of mind that believes in people’s “essences” to people. (The contrasting frame of mind would be, in a way, existentialism, which sees persons as what they make of their lives.)

    The medieval Christian view is that a person is either essentially good or essentially bad, just as God is essentially good and the Devil bad.

    In human history, such view partly explains why hereditary monarchical systems persisted for centuries, why the oppressed majority didn’t revolt for ages.  A king’s son carries his noble “good blood” and, therefore, has the right to rule a kingdom. “Kung ano ang ama, ganun din ang anak,” as Llamanzares’ campaign poster in the 2013 senatorial elections put it to follow that medieval frame of mind. That was of the same genre as a campaign line used by Aquino in 2010: “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

    Such nonsense is quite common in modern Philippine society, i.e., the son or daughter of an haciendero or a billionaire is basically good because he or she comes from a “buena familia.”

    The country certainly didn’t elect Benigno Aquino 3rd because of his  very mediocre track record as senator. Filipinos put him in power because in their fairy-tale thinking, he is the prince of the Royal House of the Cojuangco-Aquinos, whose Queen brought us out of the land of darkness (of the dictatorship) and into a new, illumined world after the 1986 revolt.

    These irrational notions continue to keep the Filipinos’ political mind hostage.

    Would Aquino have appointed Llamanzares to be chief censor at the MTRCB and then push her to run for Senate if she had not been of the Royal House of FPJ? Has anyone bothered to scrutinize her track record as MTRCB head?

    C’mon guys, if she were not a mestiza (which means: from a buena familia, or with a Spanish or even American parent), and was, instead, as dark as, say, Nancy Binay, or if she were just another intelligent, articulate balikbayan, and not the adopted daughter of “Panday,” would she win even as a barangay chairman?

    In a recent event,  a friend educated in the US, a veteran of politics, as well as a keen student of geopolitics, astonishingly painted Llamanzares as the best presidential candidate, introducing her as the guest speaker as follows:

    “She has the brains, the good heart, the right sense of public service, the guts, and most importantly, the capacity for command, control and leadership that we need today.”

    How on earth could my friend, who claims to have a very analytical mind,  conclude that, with Llamanzares having been a legislator for only two years?  As far as I can tell, the only “command and control” she has demonstrated has been, as MTRCB head, to  pixel out  breasts  and beep out F words in  movies shown in theatres and TV.  I suspect my friend was simply smitten by the comely Llamanzares, as his FB selfie with her obviously shows.

    His, though, is the same malady that afflicts the most uneducated Filipinos, the inability to distinguish the person of a political figure from his or her portrayal by media, or his or her role in movie land.

    It also reflects Filipinos’ penchant to project their yearnings and virtues of an ideal political leader on somebody just because he or she conforms with our sick society’s stereotype of a “good” person – a mestizo or mestiza, from a buena familia, or the son (or adopted daughter in Grace’s case) of somebody admirable, either in the real world or in the world of movies.

    This malady of our politics points to a deep structural flaw in our democratic system, the result of an electoral system being imposed on us by the US, before our body politic had matured and with the absence of checks on celebrity politics such as strong parties and the American system of presidential primaries. That, in the second part of this essay.

    Part 2: Is Grace a better version of Pacquiao, or is it vice-versa?

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    76 Comments

    1. Correction:

      I say, let’s have the disease of the present to prevent the cancer of the past from coming back.

    2. The problem is that there are no qualified presidential candidates in the Philippines. I mean any naturally citizen can run but not everyone should. And because there are no real qualified candidates, people will always vote for their idols if the monetary bribes or threats won’t get to them first. Doomsday is calling.

    3. Manuel Talosig on

      I agree in your opinion Atty Tiglao. I believe that a track record of service is the number one consideration to presidency…

    4. It all goes back to the majority of the population not having access to good education. With the right education one would learn to look deeper into the truth of what is being said or written, discern right from wrong and see when what is being read or listened to is pure propaganda or lies and not truth, and explore more and be able to analyze data. It is easy to cloud the minds without the right education. We need to make it available to everyone. Our politicians are not about to give that to the masses. Think of how far we would already be, had our presidents, senators, congressmen and local leaders really taken their oath of offices seriously to serve the country and people. Instead we have a bunch of greedy long stayers and wannabe’s running all the time. Now and then, we see the success stories or a city or a province because of a really good mayor, or governor. But at the national level, we are stuck in a rut.
      Ms. Poe will not take us to our next level of development. She is a neophyte, daughter of another actor, and does not have the competence to do the job. We do not know her really. And even if we take for granted that she is honest, honesty will not be enough to do the job. That is only one of the many qualifications badly needed to do the herculean job of taking this country out of the muck we are in. We only know about her through what is written by our propaganda producing newspapers. But the country is in a big mess, thanks to Mr. Aquino and his tribe of corrupt supporters. We cannot get this country out of the rut it is in with Ms. Poe. Wake up, Philippines.

    5. christinetan on

      “If such a learned man like David couldn’t distinguish FPJ’s real person from his persona, how much less able the unschooled masses could?” … I DON’T BELIEVE David couldn’t distinguish the real and reel FPJ. He and his wife knew the real FPJ; what he was and was not as well as his capability and incapability. He and his wife knew how easy it would have been to ingratiate
      themselves to him enough to be given by FPJ positions in the gov’t and other favors had he won as president. They knew that they could easily wiggle their way to the Palace had he won then which they wont be able to do if a cerebral and competent person would win. These opportunist couple would prefer very much that a moron or imbecile sits as president. They are rabid supporters of Pnoy, aren’t they?

    6. Perfect analysis but we are not perfect, I would rather go to honest leader than a corrupt one because corruption is a cancer and it would metastasize and Philippines will be again mark as corrupt country like its leaders..ngayon medyo naka bawi na tayo balik nanam tayo sa dati…pagtatawanan nanam ang

    7. Juan Dela Cruz on

      I agree with the author regarding the need to change the system/politics in the Philippines BUT I DISAGREE on how he paints the picture of Senator Grace Poe.

      Tiglao emphasizes experience and track record BUT HE FAILED to give an example. One more thing, experience and track record are only some things to be considered in choosing a candidate. You might ask why – the reason is this – if experience and track record are only the bases for selection, why the hell is Tiglao very bitter about the rise to power of ERAP??? Erap was experienced and has “track record”. Tiglao’s allusion to VP Binay, his principal and benefactor, is quite clear – the VP Binay with “undoubted” experience and “track record” – yes he has been a public servant for almost 3 decades now. So given that alone, we should go for Binay? Despite his plundering ways? So his track record and experience justify the siphoning of BILLIONS of taxpayers’ money towards his and his children’s and wife’s pockets? What kind of logic is that?

      Senator Grace Poe may not have DECADES of public service in her resume but I AM VERY SURE that she is MORE INTELLIGENT, MORE COMPETENT, MORE HONEST and has more integrity than VP BINAY and his more than 2 decades of “experience” and “track record”.

      DO NOT FORGET THIS: Senator Grace Poe shepherded the FOI Bill towards its passage in the Senate in LESS THAN A YEAR! She has been garnering PRAISES and ADMINIRATION from learned personalities like WASHINGTON SYCIP, TOP BUSINESSMEN and numerous LEGAL LUMINARIES, etc. despite the fact that she has always been touted or labeled as a “new comer” or a “neophyte”. For such an impression that she has been earning, you can take your plunderer VP Binay and his loooooong “experience and track record” with you and rethink everything.

      Grace Poe is very much feared by TraPos nowadays because aside from the fact that she is smart, competent, independent-minded, fair, just and has tons of integrity, she is very very winnable and can definitely trump VP Binay if she chooses to run for President next year.

      • I agree, couldn’t have said it better. If right now we can’t afford to have a president who’s great… at least an honest one (Poe) or someone who’s willing to stand for something (Duterte). One must start from something.

    8. I totally agree with the thorough observation of mr. Tiglao. But i think tha way i observe it also is that we’re putting blames on the candidates and naming them with such negative impressions. First of all, anybody has a right to run under our constitution for as long us he or she is naturally born here. I think the problem is not the candidates but the MEDIA, how they feed the minds of the people who watch them. Wether a candidate is inexperience or a newbie its up to the people to decide wether to put him there in the office or not. The media must come up with a new idea on how to make or persuade the people to know and read about their candidates before voting forn them. In the world of media, this requires creativity and think “outside the box thing”. If the media tries to be more political with their analysis without being creative, only a few can understand their statement or observation just like sir, tiglao’s. We need to reach out those whose
      understanding are a little bit “simple”. It is the “masa” that we need to reach out not the elite or the intellect of our society. we need to remember the only thing that these mga masa care about is that they are looking for a “smavior”, if that so, then the media must teach them how to look for one such as qualification and character are essentials first before anything else.
      i am not going to blame any candidate why they are running for as long as he or she is qualified,
      i have no problems with Pnoy, Lacson, Binay, Estrada or Poe. I am not going to name names. wether we call it a candidate won by sympathy or through fanbase because he/she is a celebrity. It is their leverage.
      As ive said earlier, the media will play a big role on this coming election.
      Introduce the candidates expose their profiles , criminal cases if there are any, in addition, their involvement in corruption or scandal. Let the people know.
      Now to balance everything, reveal their accomplishments and services. Let the people weigh in the diffirrences. Let us reach out to the masa and teach them how to choose a candidate. Respect ☺

    9. SYMPATHY Vote/Publicity/Gimmick
      (Dumb/Stupid- AMPAW republic)

      Gaining voter’s attention & support by appealing to people’s love of a sob story (Death or Sickness) is a clear sign of an AMPAW Republic. Instead of showcasing his/her vision, experience, capabilities & qualifications to LEAD (PRESIDENT or in any Public Office).

      1. Running for public office after a recent personal or family tragedy or death of popular relative – is enough to trigger sympathy vote.

      Example:

      PAST
      a. Ninoy Aquino’s Death catapulted his wife Cory to Presidency,

      b. Cory Aquino’s death catapulted his son Noynoy to Presidency.

      c. Fernando Poe Jr. death catapulted his adapted daughter to be voted no. 1 senator.

      d. Jesse Robredo’s death catapulted his wife Leni Robredo congressional seat in Camarines Sur,

      FUTURE
      a. Either/both Ramon Revilla and/or Joseph Estrada death may catapult either/both Bong Revilla and/or Jinggoy Estrada to Presidency/Vice President.

      2. Sympathy publicity such premature campaigning gain from :

      a. Detention because charges accused crime or alleged graft & corruption (Jinggoy & Bong)

      b. Anybody who is physically ill (True or fabricated/imaginary?). will get sympathy, well wishes, attention/free publicity and people may go out of their way to help you (if Legit, it’s understandable) specially if it’s terminal as stage-4 cancer. (Miriam)

      Politics is the art of deception.

      It’s more about making the public believe half truths and lies to gain votes. Politicians will stop at nothing for power and wealth,

      c. wheelchair/neck brace gimmick is designed to gain sympathy from our people/masses hoping that doing so will lessen anger & hatred. (Arroyo, Corona, Timothy Bradley)

    10. Jojo Manarin on

      Let only the tax-paying registered voters cast their ballots in elections. These are individuals who are in better positions to decide what’s good for themselves in particular, and for the entire nation in general. Them being concerned of where the taxes they pay. It is not to disenfranchise the non-tax payers from exrcising their rights of suffrage, for they too would benefit from coffers.

      • Felimon A. Soria on

        The best comment yet. In my opinion, how can a voter who doesn’t even work and stay drunk most of the time can vote the right candidate? Is it possible to enact a law mandating only taxpayers can vote?

      • I agree 100%. Unfortunately, the power that is in office would never propose this, let alone pass it. Goes against all the criminal acts and practices that they support: Dynasty. Corruption. Vote Buying. Graft. Incompetent Leadership. At the end of the day, the intellectuals and tax paying people suffer for the stupidity and “what’s in it for me” type masa. Our business leaders have pretty much given up and are now playing the game in order to keep their empires profitable. A peaceful revolution and a complete stoppage of all activities might be in order.

    11. KALAYAAN ba ang tawag dito?
      By Dale Gozar, June 12, 2015

      Sa ika-117 taon pagdiriwan ng Kalayaan (kuno) ng Pilipinas ay masasabi mo ba talaga na ang Pilipino ay tunay na may KALAYAAN?

      Ang tunay na KALAYAAN ay hinde maaring mangyari o makamtam kung wala ang:

      1. FREEDOM from HUNGER

      Kung ang nakakarami sa atin mga kababayan natin ay GUTOM o walang makain, dahil sa walang matinong/magandang trabaho o kabuhayan sa sarili nilang Bansa. Dumaraming mga ang pulubi/namalilimos, payatot (malnourished), child labor/abuse, prostitution, nakawan, etc.

      2. FREEDOM from INEQUALITY

      Kung saan iilan lamang sa atin Lipunan ang tunay na maunlad o matiwasay ang buhay o patuloy na tumatamasa at nakakaranas ng ginhawa o sarap ng buhay.

      3. FREEDOM from SLAVERY

      Kung saan ang Gobyerno ntin ay umaasa na lang sa malaking remittances ng OFW (mahigit$26billion) o ibenta ang kanya sariling mamayan para itaguyod ang ekonomiya ng Bansa. Ang OFW ay napipilitan isakripiyo o isugal ang sarili para mangibang Bansa gumanda lamang ang buhay kahit mawalay o iwan ng lubusan ang pamilya.

      Ang mga sawing palad na OFW ay madalas na naging alipin, nabuso, nagahasa, nakulong, napatay o nakapatay sa pagtanggol sa sarili.

      Totoo may mga pinagpala nman OFW pero ibang Bansa naman ang nakikinabang at umaasenso dulot ng sa sipag, galing at talento taglay at buong puso binibigay ng ating mahuhusay na kababayan. Baket hinde gamitin ang mga natutunan nila sa labas para mga problema ng Bansa at ikauunlad natin lahat?

      4. FREEDOM to CHOICE our LEADERS?

      May Kalayaan ba tayo PUMILI, IBOTO o IHALAL na mga Pinuno? Palagi na lang ba limitado ang pinagpipilian o ang gusto isubo sa lahat dahil sa binayaran survey, media, reliyon, o Comelec hocus PCOS.

      Paano kung wala talagang mapili? Paano kung marami na ang boycott? Dahil karaniwang pinagpipilian ay ang mga:

      a. SIKAT (movie actor, singer, comedienne, tagabasa ng Balita sa TV o radio at mga Sports Celebrity.

      b. SYMPATHY vote (Necropolitics) o PAAWA gimmick ng mga Politiko kung may namatay na sikat na Asawa, Nanay, Tatay, etc..
      Pakakakulong at ang pagkukunyari may sakit

      c. Mayamang Trapo and Political Dynasty at Name Recall.

      Kaya ang mga namumuno at naghari-harian Politiko ay mga Tamad at Bulok na pagiisip na walang inaatupad kundi mang-uto, mangbola, mangloko, magpa-awa, at gawing Mangmang/Tanga ang tao.

      Kaya madalas silang mag-away, pumatay, mang-abuso, magnakaw, at magmudmud ng pera/salapi mapanatili lang sarili nila habang buhay sa kapangyarihan.

      FREEDOM or CHAINED DOWN?

      I. Our EYES
      completely shut & imprisoned in Darkness? Unable to see truth, blinded, even if facts are presented in broad daylight or in your face. Despite of the rampant, blatant corruption & obvious incompetence (dumb/stupid) in current politicians.

      Maybe because Failipinos:
      choose to be IGNORANT?
      choose to be BLIND?
      pretend not to KNOW?
      no longer CARE?
      forever BRAINWASHED?

      II. Our BODY
      trapped eternally in cell of poverty and slavery. Unable to find a employment or forced to seek opportunity oversea (OFW-Modern Day Slavery). While those in Power (for 29yrs.) continously pocket (corruption) or waste money (incompetence) in-order to make life hard/miserable for them leave country=more $ remittance to fuel the economy forever.

      III. Our MOUTH
      are kept closed in silence and left us all without choice. Lack of clear/solid (majority) replacement/successor for PNoy. Because none in the current list of politicians are clean (TRAPO-dirty/corrupt) or cannot be trusted and none seems to be competent (sharp), young or in good health.

      Past/current leaders created (incl. Future) were close allies or controlled of Aquino’s/Cojuangco (Oligarchy) from the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary up to Local Government.

      IV. Our FEET
      are bound to ground by chains of Lies/Deception where Government/Leaders (PNoy) never felt accountable/responsible for failures or anything that goes haywire in the Philippines. They usually play the blame game or scapegoat.

      V. Our HANDS
      are shackled tightly to prevent escape from shameless politicians with unlimited thirst, greed & lust for power:
      a. Political Dynasties – Aquino,
      Binay, Estrada, Marcos, etc.
      b. Media/Sports Celebrity-
      Estrada, Revilla, Lapid, Poe,
      Legarda, Pacquiao, etc.
      c. Sympathy Vote-Aquino,
      Poe, Robredo, etc.

      VI. Our HEART
      forever held in captivity from sorrow and pain brought about by untimely or unnecessary death of loveone:
      44 Fallen SAF
      7,000-10,000 Yolanda Victims
      Numerous Disasters per year
      Manila Bus Tragedy

      VII. Our BRAINS
      are either dead or idle, incapable to clearly think how to solve our problems and make logical reasoning or decision in choosing our leaders.

      VIII. Our NOSE
      are clogged up constricting the passage of clean air and cause difficulty in breathing. Worsening pollution problems caused by rise in no. of vehicles. Road projects will just benefits the Arabs & oil producers due to our dependency on fossil fuel. More train will reduce vehicles, pollution, accidents & promote safer & better (convenient/cleaner) future for all.

      IX. Our LEGS
      burden by heavy chains (perinial problems) people bare everyday:
      traffic congestion
      transportation (MRT)
      flooding
      energy shortage
      inflation
      crimes/violence
      peace & security
      poor of education
      rising population

      X. Our HOPE & FAITH
      tortured in anguish causes the hope & faith of our people to sink as a result of deprivation, lack of opportunities, hardship, problems, difficulties, deaths or destructions and fear of disasters.

      I wish all Filipino to be enlightened and crave to live free from another tyrant who pretends to be good (FACADE).

      May God heed our plea and hear our prayers. Let us pray for a TRUE LEADER (angel) to finally come and save us from a tyranny.

      And finally break these chains and set us all free.

    12. FILIPINO APATHY

      NOW, something is definitely not right in all Filipinos. Something is amiss.

      Something needs to be done URGENTLY about the APATHY that is currently plaguing Philippine society, because it is spreading very fast and infecting everyone (rich & poor, young & old) and I don’t know what to make of it. But I’m definitely sure it is NOT GOOD for the Philippines and it will create a BAD future for all.

      Is this the Philippines that we live in now? with a handful of people (corrupt politicians & oligarchy) have made it their business to loot public resources at the expense of 100 millions of Filipinos, while 100 millions of Filipinos watch it happen right in front of their eyes. Rather than make noise, protest and take action, why do Filipinos simply accept?
      1. unknowingly or ignorant.
      2. blinded or brainwashed.
      3. pretends it not happening.
      4. know but don’t care.
      5. influence by religion.

      It is so common to see comments on social media asking writers or bloggers @ GetReal Philippines, BayanKo, CoRRECT movement, Filipino Scribe, etc. (Ilda, Bening0, Grimwald, Orion Perez, Carmen Pedrosa, Jerry Ocampo, Flippinflips, Mark Madrona et. al.) to do something about an issue.

      Doesn’t this country belong to every Filipinos?

      It takes great effort & courage to write or voice out big issues concerning our nation problems and reveal anomalies, corruption, fraud, lies, deception and wrong doings by our leaders and government officials.

      But why do majority of our people (rich or poor, young & old) simply watch it happen. Why is Filipinos watching their country being looted and saying nothing about it? At what point are we going to say enough is enough?

      If you are a concern Filipino, you need to ask yourselves some fundamental questions:

      1. Have you lost your capacity as Filipino to feel? To love? To care deeply? for our nation, our countrymen, and our surrounding and our children’s future.

      2. What kind of society have we become?

      a. Where BBL is being railroad or push to be approve despite of Mamasapano Massacre and wide public disapproval.

      b. Where public resources are looted by our politicians (PDAF & DAP scam) right in front of our eyes.

      c. Where worsening MRT, transportation and plate no. problem seems to be new norm and people experience and watch it happen again and again….

      d. Where our government makes your life worse in-order for you to leave and work overseas. And eventually you make sacrifices being away from you family, friends & loveones. Either you end up being discriminated, exploited, raped, abused, jailed, killed, executed, and permanently separated or abandoned your family. OFW=Modern Day Hero or a form of slavery.

      e. Where worsening poverty, population explosion, street children, child labor and prostitution happens do not shake the core of our humanity.

      f. Where Poor Quality Leaders produced, groomed, promoted and eventually elected due to:
      – Popularity or Name Recall
      (Showbiz/Sports/News Celebrities)
      – Sympathy Vote (popular dead relative)
      – Political Dynasties, Machinery, Traditional Politicians,
      – Money Politics (rich or endorser/sponsor)

      g. Where your government is more concern on collecting & pocketing donations (local/foreign) rather than improving Disaster Risk Prevention, Response & Preparedness against Super Typhoon, Flooding, Earthquake and Fire.
      .
      .
      .
      .

      I believe every Filipino wants to see things work and I don’t believe that our people are not moved by all of the above.

      I believe that every Filipino wants Philippines to finally progress, afford the basics: education, healthcare, food, shelter, transportation, peace & security, and a achieve better & safer future.

      Every Filipino must be determine to get out from these problems and to be determine to take back our country, and protect it for our children’s future and next generation.

      Out of the Storm of apathy, Philippines must rise again!

      • @ Dale Gozar

        Your lengthy off-topic lamentation seem to have been lifted from some publication and pasted here. Too much of that GRP garbage my friend.

    13. Odnalor Obirt on

      “Which one to vote; the fully experienced politician who has the court case of corruption/plunder, the follower of Pnoy who promised to continue the current policies including protection of Rebel Muslims and passage of BBL or a neophyte who became popular because of her adopted parents. I will not vote any of them, instead, I will wait for other aspirants who have the records of courage to stand for what they believe and clean record about corruption. The problem is – Is there somebody we can honestly say have that qualification in Philippine Politics? If there is none, I will vote for the Neophyte believing for a very small chance that he/she can learn to be courageous, not corrupt and have the conscience to serve our country – not a traitor or an Islam convert.

    14. very good article. you sound more like sociologist than randy david. That sir is my idol
      but like conrado de quiros, my other idol, he couldn’t separate fact from fiction. their biases controlled their reasons.

      Its a common problem. my uncle voted for Pnoy because he said he has that huge responsibility to maintain the good family reputation.

      However, you realize the media is the one dictating the game and then iced by the PCOS.

    15. Michel Bourdeaux on

      With all due respect to the good writer, she actually has a pretty decent legislative record based on her pending bills. It is unreasonable to expect them to actually pass rapidly, with legislation being such a ponderous process. But I think it’s unfair to say she “has no track record.”

      Her bills are on her website for all to see. Don’t get me wrong–I am hesitant to vote for her myself. But it’s NOT because of her track record. It’s because I want to see her bills PASS, and she can do that best by staying a senator.

    16. Right on the spot, Mr Tiglao! There is nothing wrong with people aspiring to become the next president for as long as they meet the basic requirements of the Constitution. We know that. But it would be worse if people who are clearly not qualified i.e., those with no track record of achievement to speak of, no clear vision for the country or no capability to lead are elected just because they are marketed as descendants of righteous men and women, have affinity, however imagined, to the poor. Our voting public should expect more from their leaders.

    17. this malady is brought about by corrupt traditional
      politicians who has plundered our republic..the reason why our uneducated voters has opted to choose the kind of erap and Cory because they have enough the kind of Marcos Ramos Gloria…whether or not the electorate vote for the experienced corrupt and greedy trapo or otherwise, we are still doomed..

    18. The Philippines needs a leader with a heart, not another educated yet corrupt leader like GMA. I always thought that the problem of the masses is so simple, and the required solution is also simple, but those were denied to them. This is the reason why majority (masses) voters chose the hero image when voting, and not the leadership quality which a lot of candidate posses. This trend will continue, and sad to say all of us will suffer.

    19. Christine Diaz on

      I admire you and your articles, Mr. Tiglao, but I regret that you keep criticizing the Catholic teachings when you don’t really have a full grasp of them, like many of the Catholic Church’s critics. The Catholic Church preaches that “man is essentially good” but not in a moral way; only in the same sense that we say ice cream is good: that is, it’s desirable. As for humans, we are “desirable” in the sense that we have great potential to attain great things (yes, in a moral sense) IF we use our God-given powers as we should.

    20. Gary Villamor on

      What I understand from your article is that Filipinos should elect candidates that have been elected and serving for more than two years. However, you neglected to mention that some of the most corrupt politicians that were elected and are currently in office have been in politics for a long time. The likes of Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, Chavit Singson and others. Your article is biased and quite unfair. You should be more responsible in presenting your views. Show the “uneducated” public what is really right. Not what you percieve it to be. That i think is responsible journalism.

    21. It is starting to look like Grace Llamanzares is an unwitting tool to do a sideshow and provide entertainment to a people about to burst and call for a revolution. Noynoy Aquino with his controlled media made sure that the mass will hear more of her “I have a dream” rendition to divert their attention away from the more serious issues of ChaCha, BBL, Sabah, DAP/PDAF and Noynoy’s dismal performance on the whole. This is no doubt similar to what they did to GMA when she was sent to jail on a mere hearsay to cover up for almost 2 years of Noynoy’s non-performamnce. The drama likewise made sure that Grace will no longer be able to run for a higher post to the great benefit of Mar “the Cono” Roxas even if there is a “clamor” for her to do so. She dug her own political grave when people started to take a closer look at her past. She now faces the risk of losing her de facto seat in the Senate for not being a natural born citizen. Grace by now know that she is no longer a factor in 2016 and whatever she does from now on is but a sideshow. Grace by now knows that she’d been had. GRACE LLAMANZARES POE HAD BEEN HAD.

    22. I agree with the author’s point of view but is it not better for us to focus on the sysrem rather than personalities? Let’s be more objective and not subjective. A commission composed of honest intellectuals with good track record to study and propose an electoral process to be validated by the people that will be capable to produce the best leaders to install and maintain good governance.

    23. Freddie Agsalon on

      I totally agree with the analysis if Mr. Tiglao on the former and present crops of politicians. I think the roots of the problems is our voters who change their mind easily because of popularity and money. Educating the voters to elect candidates based on qualifications usually defeated by guns, golds and goons. Philippines is well known as highly educated in the whole world (coz we can understand and speak English language to anyone), but idiot when it come to our rights of suffrage. Kawawa talaga ang pinas.

    24. Emma V. Dulay on

      Being new to politics is not a reason not to vote for a candidate – better that than to a corrupt politician and his equally corrupt family who stole billions behind our backs! Please let’s wisen up and never, never give them another chance to bankrupt the Philippines again!!!

    25. Ahh, Democracy, our most cherished Democracy, that most revered Lady we place in our altar of worship to which we sing endless paeans. But as they say, the Devil is in the details. When we begin to examine the results, we realize what a fool it is this Majority? Did not the wise man, Plato, classify Democracy under the heading Bad Forms of Government?

      But Democracy is at least good in spreading the blame around, which is its strength really.

      • Democracy is the tyranny of numbers. Remember the time time when everybody thought that the world is flat? It needed one man to prove them all wrong. In more recent history, Marcos was also right when he dissolved Congress because it has become a den of filibusters, bureaucrat capitalists and treasonous individuals in the like of one, Benigno Akino. With the way they voted re the BBL, isn’t it also time to dissolve the Lower House now?

    26. I keep reading about Pnoy will be jailed after his term. What crime did he do to be charge and be sent to jail, being bad president is not crime, Mamasapano massacre is bad military operations by the generals, you don’t go to jail for that, not being around when the PNP bodies arrived is not a crime but bad decision, twisting the arm of the lawmakers to vote to his project is part of politics
      I live in the barrio, they don’t care what’s going on the national level, I tried to engage people sitting in a gola to discuss politics and they look at me like i’m from different planet. I’m only their for short visit (30 days) and notice their only concern about politics is who will give more during election. and their hero is my friend who work in BIR that buy the Red Horse and give money for Christmas. And this the mentality in the rural Philippines.

      • bob, i agree with your observation about the way people living in the barrios far away from manila or any city. as to your question of what crimes did boy sisi commit, did you not hear about the pdaf and dap ruling of the supreme court???

      • P.Akialamiro on

        Remember there’s also the PDAF and DAP were ruled unconstitutionaql by the Supreme Court!

      • Daniel B. Laurenter on

        So…happy with them…That’s what this article all about. Low level of mind set not only the majority of the electorate but it also includes mediocare group that doesn’t really understand why laws are enacted by men.

    27. The qualification to be president of the Philippines as provided in Article V11, Sec.2 of the constitution are as follows: Natural born citizen, a registered voter able to read and write, at least 40 yrs. of age on the day of election, and a resident of the country for at least 10 yrs. preceding such election.

      The constitution is plain and clear. Any one, including the writer of this article, your local barber, taxicab driver or your neighbor can run for president as long as you meet the requirements as expressed in the constitution, so what is this writer crying about? Does Grace Poe meet the requirements? The answer is yes!

      There is a reason why the framers of the constitution did not specifically require that any person intending to run for public office be a lawyer, a scientist, a teacher, an accountant or a doctor because an elective post in essence is “an on the job training position”. Remember that all our presidents from Quirino, Garcia, Macapagal and Marcos were all lawyers but all fell short of their duties because of corruption. Arroyo is a lawyer and is in jail for corruption. So what is the real test for public office?

      • Hijo, Grace seems to fail the test of residency and the qualification of the “natural born” as she is a foundling. The Philippines is not a signatory to the convention viz citizenship of foundlings.

      • The qualifications must be changed! Imagine, anyone meeting such sweeping requirements qualifies to run for the presidency of the Philippines! As you said, even your local barber can run for the presidency. Your local barber might even win if there is someone crazy enough to back his candidacy with money. That is what I call a good investment as if the barber wins, then he (the barber-president) becomes indebted to that “backer”. And I guess you know what that means.

        So there. We need to elect leaders who have the education, training, experience and heart to serve the Filipino people and not milk them for their own (and their cohorts) benefit.

      • @ MC

        Did you not read the previous comments by Tiglao and Francisco Tatad that Grace Poe was in fact born in Jaro, Iloilo. Whether Grace Poe is a foundling fathered by an out of this world alien does not erase the fact that she is “JUS SOLI” or commonly known as birthright citizenship determined by her place of birth.

      • @ IIs

        As I have said, Article VII, Sec.2 of the constitution is plain and clear even you can run for president. There is a reason why the framers of the constitution did not specifically require that you have to be a “learned” person or an expert on anything to be president because “an elective office is in essence a on the job training position.” I don’t think I need to elaborate further, you seem to be a rational person.

    28. What is then the right solution. We only see the problem, but no solution was offers. Change the system of propaganda, Comelec must set a strict rule. How will the you educate people? No more media use,instead offer the people the candidate list of platform, list of achievement related to services for the country. The question is How to educate the voting public. Comelec must set a rational rule that will guide the public.

    29. Robert Balmes on

      Let’s see what will happen come 2016. Still too early to predict on who will be the frontliner candidates for the presidency as it is all speculations. First, solve the many problems that we have at hand and forget politics for awhile.

    30. isidro c. valencia on

      With excellent columns and accurate news items, after 2016 election, The Manila Times will regain its old glory and will dislodge INQUIRER, Paid News, Paid Views as the Number One newspaper in the Philippines.

      INQUIRER is a trying hard second rate copy cat of The Philippine Daily Express. The Philippine Daily Express projected Marcos as hero. The Philippine Daily Inquirer projected PIG-NOY as hero.

    31. Mr. Tiglao, it was not only Randy David who foisted on the Filipino people, the high school drop-out Fernando Poe, but also Edgardo Angara – the President of UP to be president, – and from his own admission, Francisco Tatad!!

      These are supposed to be EDUCATED individuals and they wanted a high-school dropout to lead the country , who could not make his own mind about issues?

      We have a bunch of weird “intellectuals” and leaders in this country.

    32. Leodegardo Pruna on

      What could eventually come out from the issue is the total rape of the basic law or Philippine Constitution of the land should Grace allow herself to be used as pone by the administration. Grace should come out clean or she will be a Disgrace not only to her biological nor adopting family.God bless the Philippines.

      • Grace Poe is overambitious and dishonest. It is reported in the press that she is agreeable to do a DNA with the Militar siblings but not with the Marcos siblings (excluding Imee) to find out the truth about her real father. Is it because she already knows the open secret that her biological father is Marcos? The series of events concocted about her discovery as a foundling who found a tortuous way to her aunt Susan is a script fit for a telenovela.

        If she really wants to find the truth and nothing but she should do two DNAs with both the Militars and Marcoses.

    33. Marlon Castor on

      I strongly agree with the points you raised Mr. Tiglao. I have always abide by the principle of not voting for someone who has no plans or vision to run for the highest position in government.
      Being urged to run `by circumstances, say death of a relative, is not a sound excuse to put the fate of an entire country in one’s hands.

    34. Running a country is a gargantuan task. A candidate must (at the very least) have demonstrated leadership and management competence, possesses the highest integrity and above average intelligence. But most importantly, loves the Philippines more than their selfish ambitions. I will not vote for somebody who has renounced his/her citizenship, period.

    35. Mr. Tiglao and Mr Tatad – we commend your articles. You are the only 2 writers at Manila Times that we always eagerly await to read because you have good analysis and critical thing in all your write-ups with back-up research.

      I clearly agree with your article and it is so disturbing to me that so many Filipinos are so gullible and they do not think wisely – proof is they voted for PNoy just because they sympathized with the death of his mother Cory. PNoy did not accomplish anything significant while he was a Senator – he probably only passed one Bill or authored only one Bill in the Senate that did not even pass. PNoy is a product of ABS-CBN media creation. Now we have Grace Poe – Filipinos voted for her after FPJ died due to sympathy and with the aid of PNoy’s Hocus Pcos cheating machinery. FPJ would not have been a good President as he has clearly no experience in Economics, Foreign Policy,etc,etc like his daughter Grace Poe whose track record as an employee in the USA (pre-school teacher, purchasing manager,etc) is not really significant and definitely not good enough to qualify her to be a President or even Vice-President in this critical times.

      Now I also remember and would like to add to your list : Cong. Leni Robredo of Cam Sur who was clearly elected due to the sympathy of voters after her husband Jess Robredo died in a plane crash plus the aid of the PNoy Hocus Pcos cheating machinery of the LP as Leni Robredo is the chairman of the LP Party in Cam Sur and Jess Robredo is the best friend of Mar Roxas. We heard Leni Robredo flunked the bar exams three times before she eventually passed the bar , she was a housewife and did not engage in active politics to help her husband when he was Mayor of Naga City and in her 2 years in office as Congressman she did not accomplish anything significant. Many people are now realizing that Leni Robredo was a big mistake just like Grace Poe and PNoy. They are just all a media creation .Voters get what they deserve. Filipinos should learn their lessons from these case studies.

      • megyn ramos, yan nga ang problema sa mga botante lalo na yung tinatawag na masa kaya yung iba ang tawag sa kanila ay bobotantes. basta pogi o maganda at nasa showbiz o tv, binoboto nila. nakita ko nung kandidato pagka senador si pogi. nag motorcade sya dun sa may pasay at nagkagulo ang mga tao lalo na ang mga babae. ang comment nila ay ang pogi o gwapo at iboboto daw nila. how sad hindi baga??

    36. I liked what Mr Tiglao said “His, though, is the same malady that afflicts the most uneducated Filipinos, the inability to distinguish the person of a political figure from his or her portrayal by media, or his or her role in movie land.”
      Filipinos are exposed by bad media (tsismis, iyakan, awa,) the like of abs-abn, gma 7 etc. Those media wants filipinos to be stupid and not to educate. The result uneducated people or voters who vote for stupid politician like them.

    37. Susan Roces was cheated on by FPJ not once but twice (at least based on physical evidence) when he sired two children out of wedlock by two different mistresses. So she should stop painting a portrait of FPJ as a good, decent and honest man when he couldn’t keep his fidelity to her.

    38. Kale Alaskador on

      Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas! To correct the present malady, 3 generations of present day Filipinos must thoroughly be erased from the face of the earth so that a completely “new” model can be molded into an ideal Filipino with an entirely new perspective in life!

      • So the Philippine adult human population will be zero and only populated by babies, adolescents, plants and animals ? Who will care for whom and who will vote for whom then ?

      • Engage China in war until only 10% left in our population who can give their testimony of sufferings in war. Look back at Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc. what do they have there? Killing Fields! So look at them now! Look at Japan, dalawang Atomic Bomb Lang naman ang bumagsak doon. Look at them now! U.S.A. matinding rebolusyon ang naganap diyan. Look at them now! Germany, look at them now! Look at Philipiines after WW II may nabago ba? Naukit ba sa kaisipan ng bawat Filipino ang hirap, pait, lusak, dalamhati, etc ang mga ganitong karanasan? NGAYON ANG TANONG: GUSTO NYO BA NG TALAGANG PAGBABAGO?

    39. P.Akialamiro on

      This is a “matter-of-fact” analysis of Philippine politicis nowadays. It is really sad that the country has come to this era when popularity, mostly from the TV and movie industry are being groomed to be partners or candidates in this particular forthcoming elections. It is so true that voters are usually influenced by the roles
      these celebrities portray in the celloloid drama from their real life drama.

      We need this kind of analysis when it comes to aspiring candidates expecially for the highest positions in the land. This is the kind of service media people should be educating the people with. Hopefully, The Filipino mentality when it comes to electing the right people in the government.

      Of course, there are exceptions. The word ‘qualified’ when it comes to voting for these candidates is very much relative. There is no question that these candid- dates may be ‘qualified’, but the better or best qualified woudl be a lot better, considering the level of service to the people is concerned. Not the ‘mediocre’ service. The particular performance and qualifications fora particular position should, by all means, taken into consideration.

      • P.Akialamiro on

        Another problem, too, with candidates like Grace Poe, is that they think they are doing a great service to the people when, in fact, they are doing a great “disservice” to the people, knowing deep inside them that they can only be as “mediocre” as they are because they are not really into that kind of service nor have the background, especially as VP or President.They don’t have the track record nor have proven their ability to govern nor legislate. They have the big ego, instead of the needed qualifications for the positions they aspire for.

        “Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas”!.

    40. It has always been my theory that the politicians themselves and not the electorates are to be blamed with our present political system.

      If we had a strong political party system, as in probably NP and LP, politicians themselves within each party would have screened their candidates for each post, and the candidates would have relied primarily on the strength of their respective political party to win.

      But absent of a strong political party, candidates must rely on other factors to win elections, i.e., movie actor, name recall, popularity, winsome smile, good dancer, or other stupid qualities. With that, a candidate is adopted by a political party , and the candidate wins not with the political philosophy of the party but with the winnable ability (movie actor) of the candidate. That’s democracy, Philippine style.

    41. This kind of politics is the reason why the likes of Dr Martin Bautista will not make it in Philippine politics!

    42. Mukhang ang history ng independent ng pilipinas ay nag-umpisa lang yata ng naging pangulo si Cory Aquino!yun lang yata ang naabot ng utak ng writer, anong nangyari sa mga pangulo bago ang mga ito! Maganda ba ang pundasyon na iniwan nila?ang mga ito ay genius at kasama kayo dito! Anong ginawa ninyo?? Saan ninyo ginamit ang mga utak na meron kayo?hindi ba ang ginawa ninyo ay mang-agaw at hindi binigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga taong sa akala ninyo, na kayo lang ang mabuti!maraming mga hanggal na katulad ng ganito mag-isip!mapagmataas at mapagmabuti katulad ni boy sisi! Sino ba naglagay kay Cory at abnoy hindi ba ang mga elite at mga edukado mga tao!!hindi ba ninyo sisisihin ang sarili ninyo!!mga hanggal,tumatahol kayo sa sarili ninyong anino!

      • Bakit hindi natin gayahin ang ginagawa dito sa Amerika. Bago magfile ng Kandidatura ng isang pulitko, ay kailangan mapatunayan na kuwalipikado siya. Tunay na U.S citizen ba siya? Tunay ba na naninirahan siya sa loob ng 6 na buwan(depende sa lugar), may sapat bang pera na gagastusin? at iba..

        Kagaya ng isang Immigrant na gustong magkandidato, noong magfile nga kandidatura hindi tinanggap kasi hindi US citizen at immigrant lang siya.

        Pangalawa, walang sapat na pera na gagastusin..

        Kasi kung tapos ka ng magfile ng kandidatura, ibig sabihin na nasunod mo lahat ang requirement.At wal ng magpoprotesta.

        Ang ibig kong sabihin, bago magfile ng isang tao ng kandidatura, questionin niyo na sa comelec o korte para disqualify na at hindi makapagfile ng kandidatura.Kasi sa atin, kung tapos ng nagfile ay saka na lang questionan..at nahalalna yong tao..dami dami natin dak dak…! Mali yon…!

    43. I Remember... on

      Well your friend is more of an idiot than you thought!!!

      And Disgrace is appealing to idiots that believe a savior will change their life. Those idiots cannot change injustices in their villages, how can they see Disgrace and Bull Sh… Pnoy has they are, full of empty promises and intelligence?

    44. To the Author,
      An admirable piece of critique, with lots of truths, only diminished by your exclusion of the blight inflicted on the world by the Presidential election a ‘B’ grade movie has- been named Ronald Reagan, also a Governor of California. This imbecilic excuse for a leader, along with the ” born to rule’, milk stealing Prime Minister of Brittan, Margret Thatcher concocted the formula of ‘trickle down’ economics, that sold publicly owned entities to their already rich party contributors and encouraged us to accept that their ill gotten gains would flow into the hands of the ‘peons’. This set the pattern that we now follow and end up with inefficient, overpaid, over rated self promoting excuses for leaders. Just look around at the sad and sorry state of the gene pool of our current leaders and their alternatives, including Australia. Pity our future.

      • Still sore at what happened in November last year in the US and last month in the UK eh ? The left are being left behind.

    45. Allen llamar on

      FPJ never won in Cebu hands down, it was Gloria Arroyo who won. If FPJ`s friends and relatives are saying that he won in Cebu they are just fooling us, I am from bisaya. In Cebuano sayings” Uwata tits butiti ka.” or Ayaw tag uwata diha Grace and supporters.

    46. their is an image bias on your part by over reacting to event that was part of history.in the advent of social media ordinary pinoy can easily see who is who.big newspapers like manila times caters to the bunch’s of corrupt politicians to sanitize and sell these trapos as good leader.the fact that some of the paper columnist like kit tatad was a perennial looser in every election.now he is with binay camp.

    47. Reynaldo Casayas on

      Mr. Tiglao, you are absolutely right. What is your thought about Duterte as a presidential candidate? I want a president that will sit in the palace and account all aquino’s illegal actions. I want to see aquino in jail.

    48. You got your opinion but majority wins in a democracy regardless how illiterate they are. There is no distinction how educated the voters should be for their votes to be counted. Why don’t you run for president, Tiglao, and let’s see if you can garner 100K votes?

    49. Edward Larubis on

      You already have said the problem why people cannot vote wisely. How can we correct this if too many of the voters are so dumb that they cannot distinguish what is and who should be a good leader? Even mere gossips and political attacks peoples mind can easily be twisted..What to do then?

    50. Roldan Guerrero on

      This is a perfect literature Grace Llamanzares must read without failure. And I hope she will wake-up from a bad dream. She should relinguish her post and surrender it to Dick Gordon. She can not hide the truth that it was in 2012 when she gave-up her American citizenship.