The Digong knows our ‘civil society’ is hollowed-out and phony


PRESIDENT-elect Rodrigo Duterte can cuss and speak out his mind (media is corrupt, the Church is a hypocritical institution) because he is very well aware of one painful truth.

Right now, with the level of his popular support, there is no countervailing force that can make him stop. After swamping his presidential opponents with votes and after finding out that his colourful words and expletives never disturbed his political base, he continues to upend the status quo with his provocative pronouncements. The Digong is not bothered by the UN. From a personal realm, I am not bothered. I flunked my good manners and right conduct (GMRC) in elementary and, at 63, my rough edges have never deserted me.
But wait. Where is Mr. Aquino ?

Where is the stern hectoring from Mr. Aquino, his usual inspired advisories to the nation on what is right and what is wrong, at this time that his people need it most? Where is Mr. Aquino, the irrepressible national scold? Where is Mr. Aquino, the self-described paragon of all virtues? We have not heard from him, not even a gentle reminder to Mr. Duterte that a President’s language should be of great nobility and purpose, not about bounties and dead bodies and a corrupt media and a hypocritical Church.

I know the answer. Mr. Aquino, right now, is afraid to get in the crosshairs of The Digong. Lest he gets branded as a sore loser and a failure as President. (At the slightest criticism, The Digong, I am sure, will go ballistics and humiliate Mr. Aquino. How he mocked the Wharton-trained Mr. Roxas is a classic.) To temper his scolding nature must be very frustrating for Mr. Aquino. But right now, at this level of popular support for The Digong, Mr. Aquino has no option but hold his tongue against The Digong and go into a press tour about the supposed accomplishments (the President of the top 1 percent, first and foremost) of his presidency .

Wait. Where is the usually assertive and holier-than-thou ‘civil society’?

Where is the “civil society” that collaborated with Mr. Aquino and his supposed crusade against official corruption? Where is the self-proclaimed vanguard of official and personal virtues? Where is that outspoken pillar of Daang Matuwid that propped up the Kangaroo Court, which impeached the late former Chief Justice Corona and carried out the long sliming of Mr. Binay? Where are the talking heads cum university professors who bloviated about corruption in high places and even graphed the so-called economic depressions (very inconsequential) brought about by official corruption? On crusades most likely funded by the superrich to highlight the sordid acts of politicians—and their penny ante crimes—to divert the nation’s attention from the true evil brought about by the rapacity of the superrich?

And to make sure that a man of “integrity” like Mr. Roxas got elected President in lieu of the ghastly and dreadful alternatives like Mr. Binay and The Digong.

Why is the so-called “civil society”—which is supposed to be the repository of national virtues—silent and probably cowering as The Digong is pushing the nation to make “kill”—and not GDP growth—the most acceptable word in governance ?

The audacity of The Digong and the surprising timidity of the supposed paragons of virtue are simply mind-boggling. As mind-boggling as the failure of the Church to counter The Digong’s accusation that it is an irrelevant institution of hypocrisy. But there is an explanation for that.

“Civil society,” the paragon of virtue, is a hollowed-out group of poseurs and phonies. It lives off a single issue, the crusade against official corruption, to wag-the-dog, to divert attention from the real issue that cripples the economic, political and social fabrics of the country—the control of a few families over the wealth, assets and income of the country.

While 40 or so families control 70 percent or more of the country’s wealth—and that nothing much can change the lives of the vulnerable unless the brutal arrangement is reordered—the country’s “civil society” is focused exclusively on the evil of politicians and their penny-ante scamming. Never on the real issue, which Pope Francis and President Obama both called “the defining issue of our time.” Even if our country were to elect a new crop of politicians with across-the-board integrity, nothing would change when the state came out with policies on either redistribution or predistribution.

As Mr. Aquino reordered the country’s vibrant Keynesian policies along his preferred social Darwinism, the phony “civil society” cheered him on and vested on him the highest leadership ratings. Not one mentioned that beneath the glossy charts of Mr. Aquino was the brutalization of the underclass not seen in any of the previous administrations. Not one mentioned that Mr. Aquino’s Ayn Rand worship had more brutal impact on the vulnerable than the penny-ante scams of the thieving politicians.

The growth rates have been sustained, yes, but so is the intractable poverty in the blighted rural areas and the damned slum colonies in the urban areas. That some 10 million families or so suffer from involuntary hunger was the stark reality beneath the growth rates and credit upgrades of Mr. Aquino. How many families are squatters in their homeland? Even the celebration of Independence Day looks like a farce under these conditions.

The Digong realized that the crusade against corruption was just a cynical scam to lump all evil in the country under the label of one sub-sector, the penny ante politicians. And leave the malefactors of great wealth under the radar and unnoticed. And fully served by their waterboy, Mr. Aquino.


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  1. Carlo de Leon on

    Great article! Glad the writer mentioned that Mr. Aquino’s was an Ayn Rand worshiper. Reminds me of the article I read years back.

    “Rand wrote about the triumph, goodness and moral supremacy of the intellectual aristocrats, the modern-day Atlases who carry the world on their shoulders.

    There, you don’t have to suffer through her works. This is the best summary I can give to the collection of books she wrote, thick tomes tough to read and understand. Rand’s books are the type one buys to lay a personal claim to the title of “intellectual.”

    It was an in thing in the 1960s and 1970s bragging one had the complete works of Ayn Rand.

    Saying one had read and understood her works, or at least one of them, was an outright intellectual badge.

    Announcing that one read, understood, and applied Rand’s gospel, and claim that it was working to save the world, was the pinnacle of intellectual aristocracy.”

    (Source: De Leon, M, (2010) “Modern Daftness, Global Crisis”. Cogito August issue p.11)

  2. People here in manila are afraid of Duterte Government. They always compare President Duterte to the late President Marcos which I don’t understand. PNOY is hypocrite as if AQUINO’s owned the Philippines! I read different news articles everyday in different websites and I’ve noticed one thing, most o the writers if not all are obviously BIASED! Come on people, wake up your mind. don’t act like GODs or Demi-Gods because you’re not. Learn how to accept the reality in our society. All of us here in the Philippines lived the life because of the sweetness of LIES promised by those CORRUPT politicians. Accept the real change, the TRUTH really hurts but that’s the way it is. Pres. Duterte is only showing us the reality that even the people inside the church and even BISHOPS are corrupt. Our President Duterte is a BEAST when it comes to illegal activities that destroys our society and the future of our children but HE is the MAN of hope for the less fortunate people that MANILEÑOS don’t know especially the Oligarchs. Palibhasa nasanay kayo sa mga kawalanghiyaan ng mga demonyo sa gobyerno at talakamak na krimen sa lipunan ngyn binigyan tayo ng isang taong handang ibuwis ang buhay nya para sa safety nating lahat at ng mga kabataan hanggang sa susunod na generation panay reklamo kayo tapos kng umasta kayo para kayong matatalino! wag na tayong mgpaka plastic tanggapin na naten na lahat ng bagay sa mundo tayong mga tao lng ang gumagawa na maging komplikado ito!

  3. A note for Duterte, your popularity is going down fast. This might turn to Hatred. I like you as president but the things are going, you are creating a lot of enemies . I like your policies specially with street children and you alone with or without political will can enforce. DSWD Soliman failed miserably to take care of these children which definitely will turn to be criminals in the near future.

    • Kapitan Kidlat on

      you cannot win without making any enemies. drugs, corruption, crimes, poverty are our enemies. media and church and UN can go to heck!!!!

  4. This nation failed to thank Gloria Arroyo for her accomplishments. Being an economist , that is the reason our macro economics are excellent. PNoy got ll the credit but he did not do anything. He is a boring , lazy president. I do not know about Dutetrte. We will see in his first 100 days.

    • your thought signifies an empty cylinder…pulling your own leg, you might confused from previous leaders but this can not uphold among them, no such leader are the same! You should ignore the past… face a new & real patriot guy.

      DU30 can create many enemies from your own vision, but they are only person who are against his fruitful advocacy. We support real CHANGE together…

  5. Rudi Miranda on

    Congratulations Mr. Ronquillo! Right on … BSC Aquino III needs bashing, yet, it ain’t enough for what he did to the 3 branches of government, not to include the missing PBillions! Let us hope that BSC Aquino will have his day in the Sandiganbayan.

  6. Kapit Digong on

    When hypocrinoy assumed presidency, the great divide between the rich and the poor was a given. For 6 years under his helm, the latter got even more taken advantaged of, ignored, disregarded like they dont exist and dont figure. The oligarchs got filthy richer at the expense of the poor. Kumapit tau sa patalim and had to pin our hopes on digong to deliver us from this hopelessness. And much more. Yes, in short, brutalized is very apt to described how the nation and its institutions got treated by and got subjected under his administration.

  7. Ignacio Balbutin on

    Your post looks like you are the holiest of all. You attack everybody excluding yourself. You called the present President the Digong so impolite showing yourself without good manners and good conductors, hehehe. No need of impressive agenda. I know that this country will grow and prosper if we live in peace, if there are no more criminals and corrupt politicians. Singapore a very small island became the economic powerhouse in Asia mainly because of discipline in all sectors of society. If President Duterte can instill discipline in all sectors of society, we will become just like Singapore, a clean and prosperous country

  8. 6 years from now, you would probably be writing the same except the name of the subject will then be Digong. corruption has already planted its roots when Digong offered positions to those people he owed; pledge alegiance to the most corrupt family in the country, and double crossed his own vice president.

    the real civil society which is the majority populace will be there to break Digong’s fingers every time garbage is uttered from his mouth.. count on that.!

  9. This is a well-written piece. A statement of facts. True, Aquino is the worst president we ever had and a fake one at that (being elected only by the hocus pocus machines). The people’s rage and disgust with Aquino catapulted the Digong to the highest office. Long live the Filipino who voted to resolve that never again must we have an Aquino in Malacanang!

    • Surprising that the people elected Aquino’s liberal party stooges into the senate and house of rep’s isn’t it ?

      Aquino’s liberal party choice for Vice President elected as well ?


      Franklin Drilon – Liberal party
      Emmanuel Joel Villanueva -Liberal Party
      Vicente Sotto III – Aquino ally
      Francis Pangilinan – Liberal Party
      Ralph Recto – Liberal Party
      Leila De Lima – Liberal Party

      Apparently the people still want Aquino’s stooges in the government

  10. To sum up the ills of our society is to list the the 3 common and major problem facing us today and since time immemorial… criminality, oligarcy to the highest degree and corporate greed. These are roots of all evil besetting us…duterte should immediately start breaking up these problems before it could rebound and gather strength to bring him down first…. now we are hearing coup de etat being propagated by..of all people… the priest as they are being shamed and embarrassed by digong….and any destabilization needs financial support …and who would provide this…. most definitely the oligarchs whose support they gave to the campaigns of duterte’s rivals were just too shamefully extravagant to the time of hundred millions of pesos…. how they will recover this is just so basic that every people on the street know the way…… corrupting their chosen leader if he/she wins ….or ….if he/she loses …yes…you get it right by polarizing our people to stand up in arms against the gov’t they did not chose and litter their faces with tons of money including of course the mercenaries from the AFP and PNP combined by buying their services to go up against the duly elected government of the people and if successful… put their own puppet gov’t so they can recover their investments and preserve their individual vested interests….I hope this time the people will finally see the light to reject it and stop them dead on their tracks….. we simply must do this if you don’t want a repeat of the most evil years of governance we ever had from the previous leadership……

  11. Where are they? The pro- life crusaders led by Tatad who castigate you not to masturbate because that is abortion spilling the seeds of Onan. Digong want you to procreate only three children by family planning but you can still enjoy sex like rape and concubinage. Where are the black and white movement who thinks all filipinos are corrupt except them and only them can govern the country, killing Corona and sending the top opposition to jail.Where are the sacreligious catholics who gave vague pastoral letters not to vote for “the Punisher” because he represents evil and admonishing us to fuck the Pope. And where are you media people when he told us you are also corrupt deserving to be murdered like common criminals!

  12. Something has to be written that BS Aquino has done nothing during his term as President. We’re fortunate that Gloria put our economy in AUTO PILOT MODE that even if BS Aquino did nothing, we’re still ok. BS Aquino’s S&P and Moodys are not necessary for us, these were only what BS Aquino learned from his economics course under Gloria.

  13. P.Akialamiro on

    I cannot agree more on what’s been stated in this article. As I have indicated in my previous replies to this and other articles, so long as Mr. Duterte can address my main concerns (corruption, crime and drugs) with the system, I don ‘t regret voting for him. And, if the system has concerns with Mr. Duterte, it’s Mrs. Duterte’s concern…not mine.

    Right on, Mr. Ronquillo!

    • “Poverty is a matter fate” there are people who are born poor or rich. To be born rich or poor are not a choice. God made a poor an had an invisible placard written on their foreheads…. a choice that God leaves up to us…. let love rule your heart!!!

    • 24 hours before you were born, and god appeared and said,
      ‘I’m going to do is let you set the rules of the society into which you will be born.

      You can set the economic rules and the social rules, and whatever rules you set will apply during your lifetime and your children’s lifetimes.’

      One last little thing,

      You don’t know if you’re going to be born rich or poor, white, brown or black, male or female, able-bodied or infirm, intelligent or retarded.’

      Good Luck