Where have all the senators gone?


I mean the real senators as we have known them in the past, who lived up to the etymology of the term (from Latin senex, old man), and who embodied the ancient tradition of the Council of Elders of selfless people who had no other interest or motive but to share their wisdom accumulated over decades to ensure the welfare of their community.

Compared to our senators now, the time of real senators even seems to be a mythical age of political titans.

In the 1930s there were the likes of Claro M. Recto, who challenged the ideological hegemony of US colonialism, and Senate President Manuel Quezon, whose skill in running circles around the colonizers is revealed by new historiography. In the 1940s, there were fiery nationalists like Lorenzo Tanada and Carlos Garcia. Then in the 1950s, we had Filipino industrialist Gil Puyat, and Mariano Cuenco, who remains unchallenged as the best politician Cebu has ever produced.

The 1960s was the decade of political demigods: Soc Rodrigo, Jose Roy, Lorenzo Sumulong , Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Gerardo Roxas, Jovito Salonga, Jose Diokno, and Raul Manglapus. Before feminism took off elsewhere in the world we had senators Maria Kalaw Katigbak, Pacita Madrigal Gonzalez, Eva Estrada Kalaw and Helena Benitez.

Even after martial law, we had real senators like Neptali Gonzalez, Teofisto Guingona Jr., Alberto Romulo, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and of course, my colleague in this newspaper Francisco Tatad. Joker Arroyo and Juan Ponce Enrile, if we exclude his sell-out in the Corona impeachment case, are the last of the breed of real senators.

Above, the Senate 2nd Congress (1950-53). Below, Senate 16th Congress (2013-2016) senators telling a congressman he is not welcome in the hearing

Above, the Senate 2nd Congress (1950-53). Below, Senate 16th Congress (2013-2016) senators telling a congressman he is not welcome in the hearing

While I haven’t had the time to do rigorous research, the Council of Elders, aka the old Senate, seems to have had the following qualifications:

• Most were lawyers, which after all, is nearly a requirement as the Senate’s main work is to make laws. Those who were not lawyers, however, distinguished themselves in an important field (Senator Eva Kalaw, for instance, was a distinguished educator) or served at least a decade in a Cabinet;

• Most were veteran politicians, either as congressmen or as governors for several terms;

• Most, with the notable exception of Benigno Aquino, became senators only in their mid-50s. I think the median age of senators when they assumed such post of all 11 Congresses was 60.

That was the period when it was totally inconceivable for one senator in an official televised session to harangue his/her colleague as a thief or a womanizer or for senators to bully “resource persons” they invited in aid of legislation. It was inconceivable for a senate president to be accused of corruption on a grand scale.

I belabor my point: Today’s crop of senators consists of pygmies – intellectually, politically, and even morally—compared to the Elders of the past Congresses from the 1930s and even the ‘90s.

Eleven are merely members of, to use a term top executive Manuel V. Pangilinan invented to make fun of Augusto and Fernando Ayala, the Lucky Sperm Club. They would never have been senators if not for their fathers (or uncles): Edgardo Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Jinggoy and JV Ejercito, Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Koko Pimentel 3rd, Ramon Revilla, Alan and Pia Cayetano, and Bongbong Marcos.

And as many of them are demonstrating now, especially in the Blue Ribbon Committee, intelligence, decency, and fairness aren’t inherited.

If they had some measure of decency to respect the tradition and principle of the Senate of the Republic, Angara, Aquino, and JV Ejercito should have, instead, learned more about politics – and the world – as congressmen or governors. Why should the Senate be their university to learn about politics?

You could include, as member of the Lucky Sperm Club, Sen. Sergio Osmena 3rd, but he, along with Loren Legarda, owes his political career more to the powerful ABS-CBN broadcasting hegemony. Grace Poe and Ramon “Bong” Revilla are all members of the Lucky Sperm Club, as well as of the new club that would probably dominate the Senate in our lifetime: the media-based Celebrity Club.

Despite his self-image that his six-year detention for a noble cause has destined him to be President (as Hitler also believed for himself), Sen. Antonio Trillanes 3rd owes his status as an Elder really to his being a member of the Celebrity Club.

If not for the media’s, especially TV’s, portrayal of him as a dashing officer fighting against an unpopular president, and if not for the opposition’s exploitation of his “winnability” to throw P200 million into his campaign kitty, Trillanes would now be just – as many of his colleagues are – the security head of some hotel.

Because of the nature of celebrity-creation, Trillanes though, owes much to his parents. If he looked like his fellow Manila Pen conspirator ex-general Danilo Lim, or that sergeant who harangued everyone during that event, I don’t think he would have become a senator.

I really don’t know why our Senate from the 1930s to as late as the mid-1990s consisted of such respectable, experienced, and knowledgeable Elders. Perhaps the elite at that time made sure that only such people would become senators.

How did we come to have such a Senate as lousy as we have now?

Perhaps the answer is found in one word: Media.

The Church before the 20th century determined who was good, who was bad, and who was to rule. Thus, all kings without exception, and in all cultures, ruled because they were supposed to have been ordained by God to do so. The nobility traced their origins to some divine bloodline or fealty to kings.

In modern society, the Church has been replaced by Media. The process has been gradual, and one can’t pinpoint an exact year when this started, but I suspect in our case it started in the 1990s.

The Media doesn’t even need to argue that so and so deserves to be senator. All it has to do is to put such person in the media limelight for so long, but without alleging him to be a thief.

If you’ve voted, you’d have experienced what I, and most voters, have. You have to fill up 12 spaces with the names of the senators to be voted into office. You think that only two, or maybe four, really deserve to be senators, and you write their names down. You look at the ballot and you feel the spaces you left blank have been wasted. And in the recesses of your mind, the image of two or three candidates appear—because you saw them on TV or heard them speak over the radio—and you write their names, after you whisper to yourself, “Sige na nga.” (There’s a term for this phenomenon: name recall.)

Eureka, if a million voters had the same experience, jerks become senators of the Republic. Something is terribly wrong with our system of direct national voting for senators. In the US, senators are voted by the state, so that the voters know who they are voting for. In our case, how would a voter in Tawi-tawi really know who Trillanes or Cayetano is, except for that phenomenon called “name recall”?

Grace Poe was – and really still is —an utter tabula rasa in the masses’ mind, but her constant media exposure (especially by ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer) and the fact that she has the comely looks that are required for a celebrity, have catapulted her in just two short years as a contender not only for the vice-presidential, but even presidential race in 2016.

Whoever invented democracy, of course, had no idea that one day there would be such a powerful thing as media that could tell the masses who is good and who is bad.

In the US, the hegemony of media is challenged by its system of primaries by which candidates are put through the wringer, so to speak, by first hurdling their own parties’ selection process. In the parliamentary system, one who would be Prime Minister would have to prove to his peers that he is, indeed, primus inter pares.

Not so in the Philippines.

The worst case ever: Sheer sympathy for his mother’s death, and the superstitious notion that goodness can be inherited, and media that disseminated such nonsense catapulted a spoiled underachiever to the presidency, and we are suffering for that.

Is there hope for our country?

FB: Rigoberto Tiglao


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  1. Their performance have been abysmal and do not qualify as good example for future leaders. No wonder other countries find it easy to bully us. What appalled me is the lack of common decency and respect, kindness and statesmanship.

    The senate journal and transcript are replete with their mediocre antics. But I pray that days will come for the halls of the senate to be filled again with real senators not afflicted with the current virus of “ebolsa” which in Africa is Ebola.

  2. If we are to reinvent our selves as a people and as a country, we must act now to put an end to thjs stupidity. We must tell our senators to encact into a law that only allows for persons of integrity and wisdom (might be a long shot – o just have a set of criterias) to place the right people for the right job. Laws have to be ammended/created to protect our country from becoming worst than it already is.

  3. There is a glaring difference between Philippine politics then and now. The electorate then knew who the senators were and who the movie stars were. They listened to senators argued and debated. The electorate were enchanted by their wit and wisdom. On the other hand, people watched movie stars sung and danced. Movie goers were mesmerized by their beauty and they fantasized about falling in love with them. But people thought then senators and movie stars were mutually exclusive. Then, movie stars were just people who politicians bring along to gather a crowd. Then, movie stars did not cross-over because they had enough sense to know that it is a long way from acting to governing. Singing and dancing before a camera do not translate to legislating laws, formulating policies, and leading a country. Reason, honesty and decency lost and we are seeing dumb and dumber. I remember Noli De Castro in the eighties asked Dolphy why he did not enter politics. His answer, “I’m afraid I might win.” Actually, Dolphy added, a powerful senator tried to persuade him to jump into the senate race but he refused because he said he is honest with himself. He knew nothing about politics and governance. I never doubted that Pacquiao could win an election. If Gabriel Elorde ever tried to run for the senate in the sixties, he could have won. Admittedly, the media has become more powerful than it ever has. Now, there is this blatant disregard of decency and honesty about oneself. Nobody believed that Lito Lapid had the wherewithal to be a senator. But to blame the media largely for electing in your words “intellectual and moral pygmies” may not be that accurate. Then and now, it appears to me that there is this willingness in the electorate to be enchanted and be mesmerized by something other than common sense and reason. The difference is that movie stars then knew who they were and people could spot what intellectual prowess looked like. Pygmies are in. Well bring in the clowns…

  4. This time politics becomes a business and the people around the candidates exert all effort in helping to win the election.(becomes an investments). The candidates aside from the logistics of their party has to use their money for the campaign. Some solicits help and accept donations from different sources. (Jueting Lords, druglords, gambling lords, big businessmen sometimes borrow money from friends and make bankloans then comes the result overspending in election. Then when election comes, some are not so lucky that losing in the election they could not sleep, the winner makes party and spend more. When asked you win because you overspend then the answer is simple, no problem I will have my salary, the pork barrel and commissions from projects so all money spent could be recovered. Then what could we expect more. What we need is a good public servant. Can we expect that from this people who are now pre-occupied in the recovery of their investments? Hopefully with their oath they can be of service to the country and people. While we breath we hope.

  5. I beg to disagree with that part of Sen. JV Ejercito, I guess he won because he deserves it and he worked hard for it, San Juan became a better place when he was the Mayor and Congressman of then Municipality of San Juan until it became a City recently.

    Wag naman natin idamay lahat, yung presidente nga natin ngayon naging Presidente lang dahil sa Nanay at Tatay niya eh. I believe JV is a better man compared to those senators in the “Lucky Sperm Club” may nagawa at napatunayan na siya kumpara sa iba.

  6. almost all senators are mediocre, worst some are simpleton. look at their president, he is not a good leader, this is the worst group of senators we ever have.

  7. Congratulations Tiglao for an objective column. This is the first time that I read an article authored by you that amazed me. I salute you for this. Yes it is true that gone are the years where we elect bar topnotcher lawyers to the senate. I believe that it is not only the media that bears the blame for electing our present senators but put the blame too to the Iglesia ni Kristo where they get the highest (money) bidder candidate that they support in the past elections.

  8. I agree with revitor’s opinion. I addition, the media’s influence has gone overboard. It seems that profit-taking is the primary consideration of the media outlets and big business owners most specifically the millionaires and billionaires in the Forbes List. Consumerism has crept in so fast in the psyche of the new generation that most young people forget that our country is still highly agricultural and majority of the people are poor. Only the 2%-10% that I’ve mentioned above (including the corrupt politicians and those engaged in unscrupulous practices) enjoy the “fruits of their labor.” In the long term, if this trend continues, everybody will suffer. Money cannot buy honor, respect, integrity and dignity. What legacy are we, the adults, trying to hand over to the youth-the future leaders of our country?

  9. cail brent carpio on

    mafriend may pag asa pa naman tayo.. just be patient as new president will be elected soon.. just hoping that losers in their bid for the president will give respect to the winner.. also.. DISCIPLINE is the best attitude that e can contribute kasi kung matino tayo titino buhay natin..

  10. gabriela silang on

    “is there hope in our country” you ask….certainly yes! ….but not in our lifetime.
    we need to undo what has been done…painstakingly…unrelenting…with determined tenacity. then and only then can we undo what has been done…inch by inch.
    let’s make the first step for the longest journey for the next filipinos…NOW!

    • What was done badly to be undone? Say what u mean and mean it right ok? Do you know what you’re talking about?
      It’s like saying ” tell them what was told so you know what I’m telling? Hahaha

  11. reading this article prompted me to say that our good senators were gone because: to begin with, i think the problems started when our constitution was revised or re-engineered by some politicians whose real motives are to enrich themselves after the martial law period. bakit ko na sabi. dati naman e walang ibang tungkuling ang mga senador kung di gumawa ng batas pero sa new constitution ay nagbago na ito dahil hindi lang sila mambabatas kung di pati pagawa ng ng mga kalsada, mga public buildings at iba pa ay sila na ang gumagawa sa pamamagitan ng kanilang pork barrel or pdaf. secondly, we have only 12 senators in the old constitution but now we have 24 senators. ang tanong, bakit kung 12 lang ba ay hindi sila makakagawa ng batas? at ngaun naging 24 sila, e mas marami ba silang nagawang batas na pabor sa kapakanan ng mga mamayan? sa tingin ko po ay ang pag dagdag pa ng another 12 senators ay hindi naka tulong, imbes naka sama pa ito sa pag solve sa anting mga problema. ang halimbawa nito ay ang nakikita nating samut saring mga nagaganap na mala pang tv-ing kadramahan sa senado. pangatlo po, ay ang pag bago sa termino ng mga ito na mula sa four years at ginawang anim taon. ang ating system of government ay hinango natin sa america pero iniba natin ito pero sa akin tingin po ay hindi ito gumanda kung di lalong napasama. in conclusion, siguro dapat natin pag aralan mabuti ang mga nangyayari sa senado at kung puwede ay ibalik na sa dating 12 senators lang para hindi magastos sa goberno natin ang pagpapasahod sa kanila dahil wala naman silang ginawa sa senado kung di mag pa cute at bangayan. ibalik na rin po ang 4 years term ang mga ito at gawin 2 terms lang sila pwedeng tumakbo para sa ganon ay mawala na ang pagtatayo ng iba diyan ng political dynasty at higit sa lahat ay alisin na ang pdaf na iyan para matuldukan na ang corruption sa ating bansa.

  12. Military takeover with civilian/military junta to sanitize the country from corruption,then change the form of government to parliamentary.

  13. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

    I believe that the media plays a big role in the outcome of the election of president, vice president and members of congress in the country. Many members of the media are being ‘subsidized’ by political candidates and political parties that they become biased in favor of whoever is giving them favors. Public relations people are not primarily after the betterment of the country. Instead, they are after the welfare and betterment of their pockets. Mostly, politicl opponents criticrize other candidates, but seldom do members of the media criticize even the unscrupulous candidates; they are silenced by the favors they get ftrom particular candidates. The country should have a more independent media, print and otherwise. Lest, we’ll have all the mediocre and immature government officials holding these positions which should be the most prestigious ones in the government. No wonder, we end up sinmging: “Where have all the senantors (good) gone?”

  14. Well, what we have now as senators are actors(B. Revilla,J. Estrada), comedian(Sotto), rebel soldier (Trillanes), news anchor person(Legarda)…etc. So what do expect from this kind of a Senate? People only deserve what they elected, plain and simple.

  15. Well, what we have now as senators are actors(B. Revilla,J. Estrada), comedian(Sotto), rebel soldier (Sotto), news anchor person(Legarda)…etc. So what do expect from this kind of a Senate? People only deserve what they elected, plain and simple.

  16. I am sorry to say, that this generation and the ones after it, may never experience what we had, living through the 60’s until part of the 90’s, when senators inspired us with their legal minds and their brilliance. They conducted themselves with dignity and respectability. We had men and women of honor then. And now, that once august chamber has become a virtual dirty market, a den of thieves, liars and hypocrites.

  17. Kasalanan po lahat yan ng mga majority poor na botante – na majority sa kanila utuhin at walang alam sa pagpili ng maayos na leader.

    Kasalanan din ng mga mayayaman at intellhento mga Pilipino – bakit kanyo? – alam na ninyo “pag” mahihirap ang pumili ng leader ng bansa malamang palpak!! Pero support pa din kayo sa ganyan systema…

    Palitan na kasi ang STUPID PiLIPINO POLITICAL SYSTEM – mga hindi nag aral, durugista, tsismiss oriented, happy go lucky, tamad, pala asa, pilosopo ang may control ng kapalaran ng BANSA!!!

  18. Our elections, local and national, have turned into popularity contests.

    Media’s part could be tempered if the qualifications for all elective positions were upgraded from the present: a natural-born citizen, able to read and write, etc.

    A college degree, among other qualifications, must be added.

    This will weed out mere entertainment and sports personalities whose popularity with the masses will land them in positions of responsibility.

    Another electoral reform is to have qualified voters vote only either in their place of residence for which they must show proof of ownership of residential building or a contract of lease and rental payments.

    Otherwise, they vote in the place where they are currently employed.

    A voter may then vote in Quezon City if he/she shows proof of ownership of a residence thereat or a lease contract plus receipts for rental payments. If he/she does not have proof of residence but works in Makati, he/she registers and votes in Makati.

    This is to mitigate the use of flying voters and squatting, the latter of which unscrupulous politicians take advantage of.

    The above would require amendments to the Constitution.

    If we do not inject these amendments, expect more dimwits in our Senate, Congress, and local governments.

    Popularity contests/name recall will forever be the name of the game.

  19. As par as credentials is concern, I think Sen JV Ejercito got it. Yung track records naman kasi niya as public servant is very visible. Take a look San Juan. Kitang-kita kung ano ang magandang nagawa niya when it comes to good governance and public service. The reason why he was awarded the TOYM Award for Public Service. Plus the fact that he was the President of JC International Philippines and so on. Maliban sa pulitika, I think nasa Senado si JV ara magbigay ng serbiisyo sa publiko aside from making a laws. Kung hindi man siya nakikisawsaw sa ibang isyu, ito ay marahil malayyo ito sa kanyang adbokasiya na Youth EMpowerment, Mindanao, Jobs etc. So there.

    • What are you? A paid hack? I’ve been living in San Juan for years and JV did nothing at all to improve San Juan. Floods are now prevalent, crime has risen, traffic became worse due to uncontrolled issuance of business licenses along busy roadways. How much is he paying you or are you just one of his many mindless lackeys?

  20. If we come to synthesize all the thoughts expressed herein, including the columnists, sad to note some are “aiding comfort and helping the cause of corruption”.. Those who criticize what these senatorial exposures are, are abetting corruptions wittingly or unwittingly. It is not the personalities or the way it is done by these young senators.
    THE FOCUS MUST BE ZEROED ON THE FACTS exposed for peoples’s consumption..

  21. “Is there hope for our country?” Mr. Tiglao, not until we, as a people firmly resolve, through wise and transparent elections, to rid the senate and congress, of persons we had so stupidly placed there, and who have presently turned those once hallowed institutions into slaughterhouses as well as dens of thieves and buffoons. With God’s help and the courage from the Holy Spirit, I am certain that the saying, “Hope springs eternal” would become a sweet and joyful reality for our country. Cheer up, Mr. Tiglao. Don’t ever let the balmy yet powerful ink of your pen run dry. If this would be of consolation to you, daily, there rises to the throne God our humble supplications, begging the Lord: to grant that all those who work within the framework of social communication (like you) may grow in holiness and wisdom and bear witness to an authentic Christian life. May God bless all your efforts.

    Yes, manny of the senators now do not deserve to be in thje senate or even lower house, WHY, the breed of them reflects the kind of families they come from. ALL RIGHTS NO RESPECT. BASTOS, walang respect sa kapwa.

    • all the present crop, crap(?), of lawmakers who call themselves honorable lacks the trait of being honorable. they think they own the phil. and they think they are entitled to perks and priviledges that the people they are supposed to serve does not enjoy. and to think that they spend our money for their extravagance and excesess which include their families both legal and not. minsan gusto mong tanungin kung ang mga ito ay nagagaral ba at saan eskwelahan gumagraduate. talo pa ang mga tambay sa kanto na laging naghahanap ng makakaaway.

  23. vagoneto rieles on

    Napoleon is remembered for his conquests..and, for one thing he famously said; “..In politics,
    stupidity is not a handicap..”

  24. What can you expect of people with below average intellect who became Senators only out of family name recall or recognition! They can not have political stature of statesmanship which is reserved only to person of intellect, matured judgment, morally upright and most of all have personal principles and scruples that serve only their reputation, their country and party’s interest for the good of the majority and not for a certain economic clique or group of elite individuals. These statesmen, like Recto, Laurel, Tanada, Diokno.Paredes, Cuenco, Puyat, Salonga, Roxas, Aquino, Marcos, Macapagal, were all obsessed in lawmaking and compromises in lawmaking authorships as to who have enacted more good laws. The pork barrels are not like the PDAF or DAP but a certain project sponsored by the lawmaker via Appropriation Committee of the House of Representative and lobbies with the President. But the implementing Agency is the Executive not the lawmaker as in PDAF which is allocated by law to each lawmaker! Corruption was unheard off, except some irregularities in procurement of small items like Quirinos “gold bed pan” which became a big issue that made him lost his reelection to Carlos Garcia. Another anomalous media scandal was Stonehill Blue book revelations by Mayor Lacson and Diokno, his counsel. Accusing Macapagal to be in the blue book (receivers of bribes from Stonehill cigarette business). The DPWH was the favorite target of corruption charges for ghost projects or overpricing, especially at time of Raquisa during Marcos administration. But Marcos jump started all theses massive construction corruption and the plunder after he declared Martial law and corruption became encrypted and ingrained in Marcos regime for 21 years of his rule. The culture of corruption became an engrained fiber in business dealings of business people and government officials and unfortunately knowingly tolerated and even encouraged by Aquino thru PDAF and DAP funds bribery!

  25. sana this time magising na yung mga pilipino sa katotohanan! tignan natin si binay, vice president pa lang siya, ganyan na ang ginagawa, what more kung maging presidente siya? buti may iba pang senators na handang luamaban sa mga corrupt sa lipunan… lets thank Cayetano Trillanes and Pimentel kasi they are doing their jobs, at hindi pinagtatakpan ung mga maling pamamalakad ng vice president!

    • Those three accepted bribes from Pnoy to convict Corona. They are in the senate for the money, not for the service to the people. Please do not praise them to high heavens just because they crucify Binay with charges that have not been verified yet. Binay could be guilty, but so are his accusers.

  26. I believe on an unfortunate fact: the Philippine Media after those glorious period mentioned by Mr. Tiglao or since the Cory regime, is the real king maker for this cursed nation. Another fact is that these leading media outfits, like PDI and ABS-CBN, are owned or controlled by the country’s leading oligarchs. And their objective is clear: have control on power and wealth. The Lopezes, Ayalas, Aboitizes, Pangilinan and some Fil-Chinese billionaires, wisely invested in media to maintain their grip on power and influence the nation’s destiny to the detriment of the suffering and hungry masses. With their control of the country’s financial infrastructures, like banks and investment houses, our subjugation is complete. Politics, Finance and Media in their hands make possible the death sentence of our impoverished citizenry.

  27. Vicente Penetrante on

    Here’s what Peter, Paul & Mary sang:
    “Where have all the sen’tors gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the sen’tors gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the sen’tors gone?
    Gone to graveyards, everyone.
    Oh, when will the young ones learn?
    Oh, when will the young ones learn?

  28. Hopeless Philippines. Just a day ago, Sen. Drilon casually admitted under oath during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on his alledgedly overpriced Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) that he approached MEGAWORLD to donate a lot adjacent to ICC lot with all the conditions and restrictions demanded by MEGAWORLD. I think this is the reverse of bribing, the government used the senatorial influence to MEGAWORLD to donate the lot. Drilon, repeated so casually that he seemed oblivious that he has committed an act of CONFLICT OF INTEREST, which is reprehensible and most likely unlawful. Drilon seems not to understand conflict of interest and seems that this an acceptable practice.

    It could have been better if the lot was expropriated and bought by the government to have a complete ownership of the lot, without the incumberance of dictated restrictions by MEGAWORLD.

    He sounded that this conflict of interest is acceptable among influential leguslators.can this be construed as INFLUENCE PEDDLING.

    • Drilon is guilty not only of Conflict of Interest but co-principal in Direct Bribery felony. The elements of “giving of the land “by Megaworld iupon inducement by Drilon and ” act of receiving government”‘ ,in exchange “for doing an official act ” ( building by government of the ICC) for the benefit of the Hotel business of Megaworld (convention center drums um hotel occupancy) constitute the crime of BRIBERY!
      Drilon for a long time as Senator has been receiving his PDAF “(pork barrels) for 20 years amountim to 4 billion at 200million a year. At 10% commissions for sourcing and funding various projects (schoolhouses, municipal buildings, market buildings , Barrangay and basketball courts) which Drilon previously admitted sourcing and funding,the only evidence to discover is his closeness or pattern of awards and negotiated award with developer/contractors. Drilon must be thoroughly investigated and Syjoco and Mejorada must utilized their network to find evidence! Time for Pnoy allies and cabinet members to go to jail!

  29. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Hope is the only thing left and with God’s blessing would finally bring what we, Filipinos, pray for our country to be- peaceful and prosperous and govern by leaders who have the brain, the heart and the brawn. God bless the Philippines.

  30. leandel canilatea on

    let us go for National Transformation Council ….. election will not bring change, pare pareho lang yang mga kandidato na yan, same dogs different collars. wala ng elections, makakatipid pa….

  31. Puwede po ba baguhin na ang qualifications ng sino mang tatakbo sa mataas na
    puwesto sa government? Isa po dito ay dapat college graduate, with good moral character, etc. Nag-apply po ako sa isang clerical position and they’re looking for a college graduate as the number one requirement.

  32. I was fortunate to have been born, raised and get educated in the Philippines. I owe it to both my parents who have sacrificed so much in spite of the limited resources in raising a family of 6 children. I had high hopes that at least during my lifetime, I would witness significant improvements in the Philippines, in so far as getting better opportunities to improve the economic well-being of the majority of its citizens. Thirty-nine years later after I left the country to seek “greener pastures” abroad, I can say I made the right decision. Now that I’m entering my early retirement years, I had considered going back and live the rest of my life in the Philippines. with the continuing “sad” state of the country, I’ll just stay where I’m at. I see no hope for improvement in the life the Filipinos. I don’t even need to elaborate.

  33. From_SF_California on

    Blunt answer to the question at the end of your article: NO. Many people will oppose my answer. But corruption and patronage, along with ignorance will continue to linger in minds of Fililpinos. And that will cause the continuous presence of clowns in Philippine Congress.

    Also, why do you always look at the US for comparison? Why not other countries like Japan, Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), UK, France, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, UAE, etc? Don’t they hold elections there too?

    The US may have a similar system of government as the Philippines but Senatorial jurisdictions are different. Comparing US States and Philippine provinces is like comparing Lito Lapid to Camilo Osias.

  34. As a rejoinder to Mr. Tiglao’s article today, I miss those days when Senators, even Congressmen handle themselves when they debate on the floor and more so when Presidential candidates debate about issues of national interest. But have we seen this current President ever debate about national interest with any Congressman when he was one and later, with a Senator, when he was one. Or to be specific, did mischievous PNoy ever debate with any presidential candidate, say with low survey taker Perlas when they were both campaigning. No, sir is just that PNoy, like most of our current senators, does not know anything to debate about, in the first place. As the saying goes, we deserve the politicians we elect, Or were they really elected or not declared winner via Comelec-Smartmatic partnership.

    • nod if you agree on


      -Pnoy couldn’t even (forget winning-that would be expecting too much) debate with his nephew Bimby.

      on a more serious note, this:

      “Or were they really elected or not declared winner via Comelec-Smartmatic partnership”

      Why is it that nobody seems to be taking this issue into serious consideration.

  35. How TRUE is your declaration that the country’s suffering from the ascension of an illegitimate president as the worst case ever to land or shores. Sheer sympathy for his mother’s death, and the superstitious notion that goodness can be inherited, and media that disseminated such nonsense catapulted a spoiled underachiever to the presidency, and we are suffering for that.

    It is even our greater misery that there will be no hope for us for as long as the Abnoy is in Malacanang. Hence, calls for his stepping down must be shouted from the roof tops. Luzon, Visayas and recently Mindanao have already shouted the call for his immediate stepping down. No other president has been the object of such nationwide disgust.

    • Ms. Guadalupe. Ang article ni G. Tatad ay parang nagpapatunay sa nabasa kong libro ni Daniel J. Boorstin, yung “Hidden History: Exploring Our Hidden Past.” Kaya lang hindi ko mai-explain kasi hindi ako well-versed sa talakayan.

  36. Bonifacio Claudio on

    rene saguisag would drop dead on this one… Nonetheless, they both have a common denominator: adoration of cory aquino & for all that she stands for according to the Yellows. That is, tiglao & saguisag are both lovers of myths.

  37. Roldan Guerrero on

    Very well explained Mr. Tiglao. how I wish every Filipino will read every column you will write specially this one. “Sa Pilipinas ngayon kahit bobo at baliw pwede ng maging preidente, artista pwedeng maging senador at boksingero maging congressman. This must be the aftermath of the CORY CONSTITUTION, Philippine standards has declined to its lowest level since 1986, and yet so effective until now. These days we are governed by the most sub-standard regime, surrounded by the most inferior ever team of technocrats (or CLEPTOCRATS?) and a 100% KKK Cabinet members who are likely all thrashes. No more at this times, with this kind of government, WALA TALAGANG PAG-ASA!

    • Now….we see it boiled down from the Cory Constitution…ayaw to amend, but what we got now…..sa kangkungan na tayong lahat.This is the result of tuwid na daan and the reign of the Yellow republic.

    • Kaibigan, meron pa rin pag asa. Kailangan lang tayong mag simulang mag isip at limiin mabuti kung sino ang karapat dapat mamuno sa atin. In the first place, pag ang kumandidato ay wala pera at aasa lamang sa abuloy ng mga kapitalista, sigurado ako na lahat ng gagawin at iisipin ng kandidato ay para sa kapakanan ng nagbigay ng pera na ginamit sa kampanya nya. Lumalabas lamang na karamihan sa kanila ay mersenaryo at ginagamit ang posisyon upang higit na magtamasa ng yaman – ibalik ang puhunan ng kapitalista at magkaron ng sariling pakinabang. Sa ating nakikita sa kasalukuyang senado, ang posisyon ay instrumento tungo sa higit na kita at pagsulong ng sariling ambisyon. Kun sabagay, ganun talagang ang kapitalismo – ang paggamit ng mga institusyon ng lipunan upang magsilbi sa interes ng naghaharing uri. Ang pagbangon sa lugmok ng hirap ay nasa ating mga kamay lamang at hindi maaari iasa sa mga walang kawenta kwentang mga SAMS (Stupid Assholes Masquerading as Senators).