Category: POLITICS

Duterte @ Manila Hotel

The President’s chopper, photo by PH Morton

Manila Hotel, photo by PH Morton

Duterte @ Manila Hotel

I was so annoyed when we finally got to our hotel.  We were staying at the Manila Hotel.

Almost halfway the long drive of Manila Hotel, our uber was stopped.  Apparently it can no longer go past that point as the President, Rodrigo Duterte, was currently at the hotel attending the 2017 ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nation) conference.

It was a muggy night and rather dark everywhere.  So I complained that it was unfair to hold a meeting in an expensive hotel and putting customers out who paid good money.  I suggested, why not hold major conference in CCP or PICC or even Folk Arts Theatre?!!!

I have to say the hotel security guards as well as the presidential guards were all politeness and apologies.

We walked all the way to H20 hotel and then to Manila Hotel by foot in the dark!!!

Along the way, we noticed a helicopter, which was heavily guarded.

So again, I went mental about too much expense when Malacanan Palace, the official residence of the First Family of the Philippines, was just around the corner.

Peter very sagely reminded me of the horrendous traffic in Roxas Boulevard.  The President would have been seating in traffic for too much time that he probably doesn’t have from his busy schedule.

Ooopps, Peter was so right.

A chopper is the best presidential tool to overcome ‘tanginang’ traffic!!!  🙂

Duterte Vs USA Special Relationship – None!

Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte Vs USA Special Relationship – None!

 

Rodgrigo Duterte, the outspoken incumbent president of the Philippines has clarified his relationship with the United State of America during a press conference in Cotobato City.

Duterte was particularly dismissive of Philip Goldberg, the former US ambassador to the Philippines.  Apparently Philip Goldberg during the election starter mouthing off, giving interviews against Duterte left, right and centre. (click here for what the interviews were about)  Duterte found this stunt by Goldberg inappropriate for someone who was an ambassador and a foreigner at that.

The US treats the Philippines as if it is still its  lowly colony.  Aids to be given are under innumerable conditions such as curtailing the war on drugs.

He liken US aid giving and its many conditions  similar to dogs on leash, tethered so tightly that they can’t get to the slice of bread the master throws far enough for the dogs to keep trying but to no avail.

Filipinos do not want to be disrespected.  The Americans are so free and easy with their words which is anathema to Orientals dignity and pride especially to Filipinos.  Loosing face is tantamount to being slapped.

Therefore, the US can keep their aids and assistance.  Duterte said that China is willing to give assistance, so does Japan.  Russia invited Duterte to talk, everything the Philippines need are in Russia.  He just need to come and get it.

He further advised the US to look for another country that can stomach the US treatment.  Filipinos are not so starved that they are willing to have their dignities trampled over.  They will survive.

A New Era in American Politics

A New Era in American Politics

 

Here in London, we stayed up to 4am watching the excellent BBC US Presidential election results coverage. We saw  the incoming results from what has been such a diverse and as many found, a divisive U.S. campaign, which has now ushered in a new era for American politics and governance.

Normally those from other nations may not bother to stay up to the wee small hours  to watch such. However the the two candidates involved and the known baggage they brought with them to the campaign, did make this election race a fascinating spectacle for many around the globe.

clinton-2016-e1443548623177

Hilary Clinton the favourite, an experienced  party apparatchik,  who seems to have been around since her husband Bill was President over 15 years ago was the Democrats candidate. Her role as the powerful Secretary of State under President Obama, was regarded by many as a stepping stone to the White House but in the end this counted as nought.

mr-trump-yellow-tie

 

Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who had  never held any political office and had  failed   badly in a Presidential bid in 2004, was the rank outsider.

He imposed his formidable personality on the election race, sweeping aside fellow Republican candidates and in effect bulldozing his way to be the only rival to Mrs Clinton and the Democratic Party.

The televised debates between Clinton & Trump were at times acrimonious with enough mud slung to make a decent sized football field!

They made compulsive viewing, more so than any other previous presidential  debates.

History was being made.

Mrs Clinton had policies planned that  she put to the people.  Mr Trump was rather vague on the same. He however  made some big bold  promises to fix the big issues, not heard of before by the people.

Mr Trump’s antics and comments during the campaign will become the stuff of  legend.

Any other candidate who acted his way, would have been bundled away, never to be seen again!

It was understandable that Mrs Clinton and the Democrats, initially thought that with the at times bellicose Mr Trump as her rival, election to the Presidency would be straightforward.

It became clear that Mr Trump in his rousing election speeches and promises during the debates, tapped into the visceral anti establishment mood felt by the majority of  US citizens.

These disaffected citizens turned out en masse to vote for someone whom they see as a ‘new broom’ to sweep away over 15 years of  distrust in the political system, the  stagnation of the economy, jobs and the continued involvement in foreign conflicts.

Mr Trump had no political baggage and to use a cowboy analogy ‘shoots from the hip’.

In computer parlance ‘WYSIWYG’ (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get). This was so refreshing to many voters, fed up with dissembling anodyne politicians.

His various peccadilloes and outrageous statements did not matter to his voters.

As  with the quote attributed to  Oliver Cromwell nearly 400 years ago,  we get Trump ‘warts and all’, nothing is hidden.

Noting the similar feeling between many British and US people,  Mr Trump mentioned the momentous UK exit vote from the EU and said he would do a ‘Brexit’ 1000 times over if elected. He did!

Malacañang Palace, Philippine President’s Official Residence

Malacañang Palace, the residence of the Philippine president

Malacañang Palace, Philippine President’s Official Residence

This very grand palace by the rather stinky Pasig River is the Malacanang Palace, which is the official residence of the incumbent president of the Philippines.

The newly elected president is the popular Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who was unanimously chosen by the people during last month’s election.

Now, for 6 years, he will be Malacanang Palace’s official tenant.

Duterte sold himself to his Filipino constituents as being very modest and with simple taste.  He is not one for grandeur and excess.  In fact, he does not want to be called president but would prefer to be known by the humbler title of Mayor.  ( He was a mayor in Davao for more than 20 years).

Duterte had been commuting to Davao city, after a day’s work from 1pm to 12 midnight each day rather than sleep at Malacanang Palace.

Before, we say our ahhhs and awws in admiration for his modesty, simplicity, no fuss and total lack of delusions about grandeur, 😉 apparently the reason Duterte would not sleep at Malacanang Palace was because he is afraid of ghosts. Allegedly Imee Marcos, the former First Child of Malacanang Palace during Ferdinand Marcos Regime, scared Duterte shitless by confirming the existence of at least five ghosts of former presidents at the palace.

hahaha

I bet Duterte was just in a jovial joking mood. He is not afraid of no ghost! 🙂  One thing, though, Duterte should stay at the Malacanang rather than commute to Davao City for at least three reasons (in my opinion).

First, he is putting himself into unnecessary danger of flying everyday.

Second, he is causing airspace traffic. As it is, flying in Manila is a frustrating experience due to monumental delays.

Third, as a president of the Philippines, he should be an example to the people; flying every day creates high level of carbon footprints, which is a danger to the ozone layer. Air pollution is no laughing business, just look towards Beijing!

If he really that scared, get a cavalry of priests for thorough exorcism.

The Blind Beggar Pub

The Blind Beggar Pub

 

he Blind Beggar Pub Whitechapel London E1

The Blind Beggar Pub Whitechapel London E1

The Blind Beggar Pub is a famous East End Pub in Whitechapel, East London. Sadly many pubs are closing in London and England because of taxes and the fact that most people now prefer tp buy cheaper

Sadly many pubs are closing in London and England because of taxes and the fact that most people now prefer to buy cheaper alcoholic drinks in supermarkets and cut-price shops to drink at home. These closed pubs end up being demolished or converted by property developers into apartments and flats. Such is the building boom in London that  houses & former commercial property are now being turned into apartments to make a quick profit on sale or rental. We have lost three local pubs each over 100 years old to such in the last few years.

These closed pubs end up being demolished or converted by property developers into apartments and flats. Such is the building boom in London that  houses & former commercial property are now being turned into apartments to make a quick profit on sale or rental. We have lost three local pubs, each over 100 years old, to such in the last few years.

Numerous history and convivial social meeting places are now disappearing from the London landscape and culture.

The Blind Beggar was built in 1894 on the site of an Inn dating from 1654.

Notable events in its history include where William Booth preached his first open air  sermon then forming a Mission that led to the founding of The Salvation Army.

The first modern Brown Ale ( my first beer when a teenager) was brewed and sold in the pub which was then part of Manns brewery.

The pub’s name is linked to a popular legend concerning a local connection with a knight, who was the son of the famous Simon de Montfort , an Earl, who rebelled against King Henry III in the 13th century.

His son Henry de Montfort,  lived in a grand manor house in the area. One story  of the legend  is that de Montfort was wounded and blinded at the Battle of Evesham and was left wandering and with no memory.  He became  a beggar. He was found by a nobleman’s daughter, who married him. Their child, Besse, could not find a husband as her father had no status, as he was the blind beggar of Bethnal Green. At that time, a woman needed a sizeable dowry to be able to marry a suitable husband.  Marriage was a way of bringing wealth and prestige to a union of families.high-classNoblemen,

Noblemen, merchants, and  knights courted her but when they found out that there was no dowry they all left, except for a lone Knight, who was not concerned about a dowry and loved Besse as she was; as herself.

This union was blessed when Besse’s father revealed that far from being the poor beggar, he was a rich nobleman and so rewarded the Knight.  As Shakespeare would have said: “All’s well that ends well” 🙂

Now, what captured my imagination to the Blind Beggar many years ago, is my interest in major historical crime cases of London.

In March 1966, a murder took place in the Blind Beggar, which later became part of London crime legend.

Ronnie Kray, the twin brother of Reggie, the notorious, infamous and any other ..’ous’!  Kray Twins  walked into the pub and calmly took out a pistol and shot and killed another criminal, George Cornell, in front of a few witnesses.

The Kray Twins

The Kray Twins (Reggie & Ronnie (front)

Ronnie Kray had a long-standing score to settle with Cornell, who was apparently as ruthless as the Krays, but who was nowhere in their league.

Such was Krays power & influence in the 1960s London’s criminal underworld, many involved  kept quiet about the Twins activities for years before they were arrested and sentenced to 25-30 years in prison.

There have been many books about the Krays & by the Krays too, which are interesting to read, if one is interested in major crimes.

Two movies have been made about the Krays too.

They are truly legends in the criminal history of London.

It appears from current on-line reviews  that the Blind Beggar today is a shadow of its former standing as a popular east end pub.

I hope the pub remains as a pub for many years to come as London cannot keep affording to lose such culturally important pubs.

Rodrigo Duterte – Presidential Candidate 2016 ?

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Roa Duterte, affectionately known as Rody or Digong is a Filipino lawyer who is now deeply entrenched in politics and by the looks of it doing quite well.  He is a relic of the 70s when political correctness is barely known. By all account he gets the job done by cleaning his city of major riff-raffs.  His anti-drug stance is admirable.

Duterte comes across as rather abrasive and does not suffer fools gladly. This I think is a positive trait but it might come across as rather arrogant and overbearing with the mainstream Filipinos.  So I think he should tone down his testosterone He-man persona for the meantime.

Kiss babies and stroke pussies 😉 kittens for the sake of the media and for a better press.  Stop possing like a gun-totting drug lord!  Instead bring out that sensitive side of himself, perhaps by thinking of ALDUB (LMAO).

Below is a Q&A with Duterte I lifted from Facebook, a very interesting read.  The man has a platform already and yet still imming and amming whether to actually stand for the 2016 Philippine presidential election.

Go on, go on, go on already!

……………………………………………………………………….

Rodrigo Duterte – Presidential candidate 2016 ?

The Philippines Graphic exclusive interview with Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Q&A

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Peace has always been elusive for Mindanao. Many are rooting for you to run for President in 2016 because what you’ve done for Davao City, they say, can also be implemented on a national scope. As for peace, lasting peace, how would you attain it, that is, if you do become President?

MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE: I have one solution: Give them freedom. Mindanao is already an existing empire for many years before it was denied to them. We were not known as Filipinos before the Spaniards came. We belonged to the Malay race. Suddenly in 1521, white people arrived and imposed their government on us and brought with them the Christian religion. I don’t want this to sound like I’m making an issue of religion. Religion is good in the sense that it provides the anchor of our values in life. The problem was the government. When Magellan landed, he proclaimed these islands as the property of Spain. Suddenly the islands were owned by the king of Spain. For the longest time we identified ourselves through religion with Spain and with the rest of the Western world. Except Mindanao. And so they fought and rallied under one banner: Islam. Not only did they fight against the government, they also fought against Spain’s religion. At the Treaty of Paris, we were ceded by Spain to America.

So the long and short of it is: For the longest time we were never given the rights over the islands. But we cannot go back to 1521. During the American occupation, people from different parts of the country were allowed to migrate to Mindanao. American sloganeering said: “Go to Mindanao because it is a land of promise.” So because of the proximity of the islands, Visayans went to Mindanao, most were Christians. This is the reason why Mindanao has a huge Visayan-speaking population.

But see, this is where the problem lies. But we cannot return all the lands or all the things that were absorbed by the migrants. We cannot go back in time. We cannot return to Mindanaoans what was taken from them. All we can now offer is a new set-up: Federalism. I’ve had many a conversation with Nur Misuari. He accepts federalism.

GRAPHIC: Do you believe in incorporating the idea of a federal state in the Bangsamoro Basic Law?

DUTERTE: I’ve read the Bangsamoro Basic Law. I’m a lawyer and as a lawyer I have my misgivings about the BBL. Even at this stage, many have been pointing to legal infirmities. But I still hope that for the sake of peace in Mindanao, they could pull it off.

As we all know, Misuari has been agitating for a separate republic. I told him that could lead to chaos. And when I asked him for the best option, he said federalism. If nothing else, and if the BBL succeeds, that could be the template. But we have to be very definite about the boundaries because we have to go federal. There has to be a sense of security within our boundaries. With federalism, we retain most of our earnings and whatever is of value to us here. We can send part of our earnings to the central Federal government as our contribution for the upkeep. In this present setup, our contribution is sent as unitary type and all the extras are at the mercy of this administration. I’m not referring to just Aquino but all other administrations in the history of this country.

GRAPHIC: Is this part of the reason why you were quoted as saying that you want to abolish Congress if you ever become President?

DUTERTE: I am not interested in being the President. I do not like to be President. Besides, I do not have the money. There should always be a prefix here. A prefix that’s something like, if I were Roxas, Binay, Escudero and Poe, then I would use the “I” because it’s more convenient to express it. So, if “I” become the President, I’ll give everybody a chance and tell them let us, at least for once in our generation, vote for candidates that could make a difference. For own good, this time. Okay, maybe this time, we work on it. Let us give ourselves about one year. Then, we try to reform. Everybody—the Judiciary, Congress, the Military. Let us do it for ourselves. Give it six months to a year. How am I going to do it? How can I fast-track reforms?

You see, if you leave it to the existing structures, even to natural evolution, nothing’s going to work. Ignorance is still a real problem among Filipinos. Hopefully, by the grace of God, we can educate many of them. But what’s happening is the opposite. The country has breached the one hundred million mark in population. I am not blaming the Church, but they should understand the problem. Many people bear children because they have nothing better to do. The gap between the rich and the poor—this will catch up with us, the earliest being 2050.

So, if you elect me as President, I will have a problem. Now, this I can guarantee you with my life: If I become the President, I would not sit there for a full term, after six uneventful years and say, “I tried my best, but you know, my best was not good enough. There’s this Congress, there’s the investigation, there’s…”You can forget it. If that would be the case, then I suggest you look for somebody else.

I’ve been elected mayor seven times or eight times already, so what am I after in this life? I cannot be President and squander the remaining years of my life doing nothing. You know, a little reform here, a little change there. That’s absurd. I cannot accept that.

If after one year, no reform has taken place or if I cannot penetrate the political structures including what is right and what is wrong, I will declare a revolutionary government. My template? Cory’s revolutionary government. She was elected President and she declared a revolutionary government. Since she received the mandate, it wasn’t hard to accept it. It will be the same under my watch.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Define your style of “revolutionary government”?

DUTERTE: I will close Congress, everything. I will forbid government to go into business, the private corporations. I will privatize the GSIS by giving it to a consortium. That way, the people will not have difficulty getting what is theirs in the first place. I will close all government corporations. Government has no business getting into business.

Then the eternal conflict: The Bureau of Internal Revenue. Our taxes. How much do you earn, your gross salary? Let’s make it simple then. Fill in the blanks and pay the bank. Why even go through all the hassle that we are having now? The BIR, the Bureau of Customs, I’ll have them all semi-privatized, just to keep the integrity of the money of government.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Just to clarify: You would choose to simplify the tax code.

DUTERTE: Yes. Taxes, gross. Keep it all simple. You get a gross salary of P15,000. You pay taxes for what you get. That simple.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: What about not going into business? Can you explain that? No more dealings and projects?

DUTERTE: I will not embark on new projects. I will simply choose to rehabilitate existing ones. Then I will spend the money on the education of our children. I will not go into ambitious projects anymore, those that run in the billions. For example: Our mass transport system must be improved.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Metro Manila does not know you as well your constituents in Davao. So when you say “revolutionary government,” it might come off as another form of strong-arm tactics. At one point you’ve been rumored as the head of the Davao death squad. So, how will you explain your idea of a revolutionary government to people in Metro Manila?

DUTERTE: “If you’re into drug pushing, extortion, kidnapping, whether you’re part of the police or military, I don’t care. These are serious crimes and you might want to think it over. But as for law-abiding citizens, you have nothing to fear. They once said I was a candidate for the communists. Do you see any communist running loose around Davao?”

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: So you really believe what you have accomplished in Davao can be done on a national scale?

DUTERTE: Look, I can talk to communists. As for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, I will let it remain with the head of government. The police, however, I will take away from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). I will recreate the Philippine Constabulary and give the police back to the mayors. But if officials start f*cking with their powers, then I will take that power away and put in your stead the Philippines Constabulary—elections or no elections. That simple.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: What are your thoughts on the laying down of arms of rebel forces?

DUTERTE: Alam mo, if we go into equalization, there is only one government. They have to be decommissioned.

But let me make something clear: You don’t have to fear communists. Why do you fear communists and communism? The Communist Party is only a name, but what is being stressed there is socialism. Socialists, where do you find them? In Greece, Spain, France, Germany. Some people have an idea of communism as living in a collective commune—in a farm. You’re afraid of communism? Look at China. America owes China $3 trillion. I was once invited to visit China. Their airport taxi service are all Mercedes Benzes. It was only in China that I was able to ride a Rolls Royce.

So, you’re afraid of communists? Now tell me, who will be stupid enough to go and live in a collective commune? Even the Chinese don’t buy the idea! If I find a communist who agrees with that, I will tell him to his face that he is stupid. Let’s follow the example of China. China, today, is a market-driven economy. It boasts of some of the world’s billionaires. There’s no reason to fear communists.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: It has been said that the trickle-down effect of the economy is a false concept, that it is not true. If that is the case, then there’s no reason for an economy that is good only on paper to help improve the lives of people. What are your thoughts on the matter?

DUTERTE: That is correct. The secret is to close the gap. How do you do that? You have to give full support to the micro-economy, the small- and medium-scale entrepreneur. Since we’re on the subject of China, let’s have China as an example. China’s economy started out small. After small profits, you drum up the sales and continue until you reach some success. I agree with Manny Villar’s principle of making the money available to small enterprises. The same is true with land reform. They asked me once if as President I will continue land reform. I said, I will. There are lands that are really productive that are owned and managed by big multinationals. But the problem is, as I have said before, we are left with very few lands. To land beneficiaries, they must get the needed support—tractors or carabaos or seedlings. I say maintain their farm gates by buying their products. Do not import.

As it is, land beneficiaries do not get fertilizers and seedlings. No support at all. As President, I will subsidize the farmers and make them my priority all because our country is mainly agricultural. Land and human resource productivity is where we must focus our resources. Let’s put rural communities first. After which we go urban.

GRAPHIC: That’s also your blueprint for land reform?

DUTERTE: Yes. Tignan mo ang land reform.Papaano ang land reform? Wala namang… walang fertilizer, walang seedlings. You have to… I-subsidize ko because our country actually is agricultural-based. So yan, diyan mo ibuhos ang productivity ng tao.Doon unahin mo yung mga rural. Then you go up sa urban. The present setup cannot go on. Also a salary of P25,000 should not be taxed. This will help the individual a lot. Government will still have the needed funds. As I have said earlier, we will not involve ourselves in major projects, just the rehabilitation of existing ones. The next President after me can do it, if he chooses. The rural communities must come first: that’s my blueprint.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC:But how will you ensure continuity of existing projects?

DUTERTE: You have to see to it that money is available for existing ones. Take for example mass transport. It has to be subsidized. Let’s not fool ourselves. If you’re going to let the people shoulder the cost of rehabilitation of the mass transport system, they will not afford it. One reason: the prices of oil. Something has to give here. If I will ever get into new projects, it’s going to be mass transport.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC:What about social justice: Courts, judges…

DUTERTE: You know, Marcos, for the first seven years of his time was really very good. I will just copy the template of Marcos. I will follow what is right.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: A lot of people in Manila, and in other places, had been subjected to the abuses and cruelty of the Marcos regime. Won’t that scare people?

DUTERTE: That will not happen if I’m the president.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: How can you assure that?

DUTERTE: I’ll shoot you, if you’re a criminal. This is how it works. The backbone of any society is peace. A leader can only accomplish things if on one level, he thinks and acts like a dictator. If you don’t trust me, then don’t vote for me. I have no ambitions.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: And what of the military and the police?

DUTERTE: I will limit the number of years of service of generals. I want the leadership of the military and police to belong to the best and the brightest Filipinos. As it is, being a general is like a merchandize. They ask for the position, they get a desk. It’s crazy. And not all who graduate become generals. Give the position to the best and the brightest. It is only then that it will have integrity.

Most of our military officers get a salary that is not in keeping with dignity. Your term as general is six years, then go for three. I will pay you. You’re a general? Then you’ll get paid P500,000. Remember, if I become President, I will close Congress. As such I have the money. I will even give you extra, just to make you happy. But make no mistake. If you make a fool out of me, I will summon you and I will hurl you into the Pasig River. Now why will I do something like this? Look at our policemen. Their salary is about P18,000. Enrollment of children comes and they immediately borrow money. At the end of the day, his take home pay amounts to a thousand, two thousand pesos. Not enough.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: I’m sure you also mean to help teachers.

DUTERTE: In one of the elementary schools here, there are teachers, two or three, who owe money—five-six. This is the group I am telling you about, the group who needs support: Teachers, police, soldiers, officials.

Look at what happened to the Special Action Force (SAF). How can a SAF officer have the talent for fighting when, while advancing into the enemy’s lair, they are thinking of death at the back of their minds, and what they will leave for their families if they do die? What would come of my wife and children? How can one even concentrate?

This is the group I am referring to. Patrolman, I will give you P100,000 plus P20,000 extra for your extra-curricular activities. Spend the money for your mistress for all I care. Your children’s education will be free from kindergarten to high school. I’ll give you an example. If fighting breaks out anywhere—Samar, Mindoro, Cotabato, Davao del Norte—who do we send to stop the chaos? The police and military. They get the same pension and salary for about seven years even after they die. If that will be the case, then I’m not surprised if some will just commit suicide. They don’t only have to be protected—military gear, etc.—you also have to put some sense in their work, in the job of protecting the country.

If I become President, I will prioritize also the military and police. But if a general starts f*cking with me, I will shoot him right in his office.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: PDAF and DAP. Savings, money. How can you assure the public that not a single centavo will go into your wallet?

DUTERTE: I will create a high commission. All officials of government, including the President, will not hold money, but with the discretion of when to spend it, where and to whom it should be given. We have to do it in a budget. The high commission, if you want big businessmen to be part of it, or even priests, it’s all up to you. Let’s put 15 people there. The Office of the President will just have money to run the office. Say for example, lunch. The President can order but he doesn’t hold the money. But everything has to be straightforward. If you want a tractor, tell me why you want it. “The terrain is rocky.” That’s what you want? Then you can have it. Every month, a signed report should be submitted: list of completed projects, expenses, etc.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Mayor, what about China? Spratlys?Territorial disputes?

DUTERTE: My grandfather was Chinese. Once I went to China alone. I asked them to stop their expansion and then there will be no problems. But if you keep advancing, people will be fearful. What do you want? Shared exploration? That’s okay with me. But if you keep on threatening the country, this will be my deal with China: You are nearing our shores. That being the case I will slice Palawan in half—lengthwise. I will tell the Americans they can come here, build another Subic or Clark airbase. Pay only the Filipino $1,000. They can create what they want, place all their missiles here, then let’s fight. Whatever else can I do? I can also invite Australia whose been expressing some interest in Palawan. They can all have the coastal areas, they can build anything they like. What assures my country’s safety is my only interest here.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: As for the Freedom of Information Bill…

DUTERTE: It has to pass. We need that bill. And if I become President, I will just sign an Executive Order. I will sign the draft itself.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: Aren’t you afraid of this bill?

DUTERTE: Why should we fear the bill? I’m not holding the money. I have nothing to hide. I mean, the Customs, I don’t care what you bring in, as long as you don’t bring in illegal drugs. Son of a bitch, if you do, I will set your containers on fire.

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: So, if the people want you to run for president…

DUTERTE: I do not want to. Is this the end of the interview? Okay, let me be very clear: What I am presenting to you now is to give the idea of federalism a face. Wala kasi itong mukha.Problem was, when this was first broached back then by Pimentel and Lito Osmeña, no one listened. Worse, no one listens even to me. If I did not say I will run for President and I’ll punch your faces, no one would listen. Now I have your ears, don’t I?

PHILIPPINES GRAPHIC: You were just getting the people’s attention?

DUTERTE: Yes, I have to give the idea a face. To be clear: Just because I am presenting the alternative does not mean I am interested to run. One is that I do not have any money. That’s why I said in Facebook, as early as two years ago, I am not interested because I do not have money. And because I do not have any money, I am not interested. I have no ambition to become President. If by some unfortunate chance I become President, then what I narrated to you, all of it, will happen. I don’t want to sit as President only to tell you in the end, “My beloved countrymen, I will now turn over the reins of power to my successor. I have achieved very little in the fight against corruption, I have not done enough because of the courts, also Congress.” No. That will not happen. If you elect me as President, then you have to follow me. Simple as that. If you don’t, we will have a fight.

(*The interview with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was conducted by Graphic editor-in-chief Joel Pablo Salud and Graphic associate editor Alma Anonas-Carpio at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.)

For the People, By the People

Tick tock! Tick tock! Tick tock!

As our esteemed Perry Diaz of GlobalBalita.Com said below, the Philippine presidential (& vice presidential) election is now less than a year from happening.  And yet voters are still none the wiser who would be running and who should be elected for the highest positions in the land.

No one really has shown exemplary apptitude and total dedication in serving the country and its people with intelligence and savvy during the course of P-Noy’s term(s).  We were only made aware of this situation during typhoon Haiyan’s onslaught of Cebu & Tacloban.  It was globally reported the ineffectual governmental handling of the search and rescue. It was at this time that the word ‘disaster’ really lived up to its true and full meaning!

The politicking is self-serving, lucklustre, downright ineffectual due to lack of experience or corrupt.

The machination that goes on behind the scene also adds to the confusion of the masses and to the politicians themselves.  The unfortunate result of this confusion will bring out the worst in everyone!

To the voters and electors:  YOU GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE!

Stigma of corruption

PerryScope
By Perry Diaz

Jojo-Binay-worried-faceWith less than a year to the 2016 presidential elections, the presidential musical chairs game has started in earnest. And there are several games going all at once by groups called political parties or “coalitions.”

To start with, these political parties are not ideological parties like what you’d see in the United States and other countries. The Philippines’ political parties are just vehicles — like the country’s unique colorful jeepneys — where politicians can take a ride hoping that it would bring them to their destinations. However, if the jeepney they’re riding in is too slow or is caught in a traffic jam, they can always transfer to another jeepney.

Having said that, let’s take a look at what’s going on with the various presidential musical chairs games. Of course the biggest game is in President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III’s Liberal Party (LP). There are many ambitious participants but only one will be anointed. What would happen to those who would be eliminated? In Philippine politics, there are no gracious losers, only sore losers.

Right now, the LP has only Mar Roxas vying for the party’s presidential nomination, the process of which is for P-Noy to “anoint” who the nominee will be. But Roxas, whom P-Noy had appointed as Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to give him more “public exposure,” lacks the popular support for a presidential run. Recent surveys show him running behind three or four other potential contenders. With an anemic showing that doesn’t seem to improve his chances of winning, P-Noy was hesitant to throw his support behind Roxas, who had given way to P-Noy in the 2010 presidential election and settled to be P-Noy’s running mate.

P-Noy’s dilemma

Grace-Poe-and-Roxas-EscuderoHowever, Roxas lost the vice presidency to Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who, in the final weeks of the 2010 elections, overtook Roxas in the vice presidential derby. As it turned out, a hitherto secret organization known as “Noy-Bi” was credited for Binay’s surge in the campaign. It’s interesting to note that “Noy-Bi” was not a LP-sanctioned campaign organization. However, it was organized by relatives, friends, and allies who believed that Binay was a true Aquino supporter whose link to the Aquino family goes back to the People Power days of the late president Cory Aquino.

What the LP sanctioned was the “Noy-Mar” campaign committee, which consisted mainly of LP old hands and stalwarts. And this was supposedly the organization that pushed hard to get Roxas elected. But the resources the Noy-Bi had were far too much than what the Noy-Mar organization had. With a campaign chest brimming with contributions from the Aquino and Cojuangco families and their rich allies, Roxas lost to Binay.

In the upcoming 2016 elections, we’d probably see Binay pitted against Roxas again, but this time their contest would move up to the presidential level. However, that would only happen if P-Noy would stick to his promise to support Roxas’ presidential run in 2016. But the problem is Roxas has a ghost of a chance of beating Binay.

Game changer

SWS-survey-June -2015The sudden rise of neophyte Sen. Grace Poe in recent SWS and Pulse of Asia surveys was a game changer. No longer is Binay seen as the unbeatable presidential candidate, the surge in Poe’s polls numbers has toppled Binay from his lofty pedestal, which he had distinctly occupied ever since he won the vice-presidency in 2010.

Seeing Poe’s presidential potential, P-Noy invited her and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero to Malacanang to talk about a “united ticket” that would include Roxas since Grace and Chiz aren’t LP members but Independents. But their bond was so tight that Grace has made it known that if she decided to run for president next year, she’d want Chiz to be her running mate. Chiz said that he’d support Grace in any decision she makes.

What P-Noy has in mind is to have Roxas team up with either Grace or Chiz as his running mate, which means that one of them would be sacrificed for the good of the LP coalition. The problem with this arrangement is what would be the role of the person who is sacrificed? But before we answer that question, we should first ask if Grace or Chiz were willing to run for vice president under an LP “united ticket”?

Although Grace hadn’t decided yet whether she’s going to run for president or not, she had taken herself out of the vice-presidential race next year, saying that if she’s going to run for a higher office, it might as well be the presidency.

In the case of Chiz, who has been high on the surveys for vice president, it’s not known if he was willing to be somebody’s running mate other than Grace. Needless to say, he has to make his decision whether to run for president, which is unlikely, or vice president. He could run as Binay’s running mate since the two have good relationship in the past. In 2010, Chiz was one of the leaders of the “Noy-Bi” group, a fact that could dampen any attempt to pair him up as Roxas’ running mate.

Binay-nooseIf Chiz accepts an offer to team up with Binay, they might have the right chemistry to run a good campaign. With Binay having all money to spend in the campaign and Chiz tapping the Filipino taipans’bottomless money pits, they could be a formidable team. However, with Binay’s corruption and plunder cases hanging over his head and the strong resentment against China right now, a Binay-Chiz tandem might not be the way to go. But Chiz has the flexibility to team up with anybody because he, like Grace, is an Independent. In the case of Binay, nobody is willing to run as his running mate. Has the stigma of corruption finally found its mark on Binay?

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Poe & Marcos For the 2016 Philippine Election

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Grace Poe

After thinking long and hard, I have come to the conclusion that the best candidates for the Philippine election of 2016 would be Grace Poe Llamanzares for President and Imee Marcos for Vice President. I think their tandem would bring a real change for the better.

These women are a product of good education and they both want to leave their mark for the betterment of their country.  Additionally they are a cut above the rest, i.e. those who have confirmed that they would run for office for the 2016 election.

Grace Poe is still considered a neophyte in politics but she has shown gumption.  She chose to push through with the Freedom of Information, which shows she is for transparency which could only mean being anti-corruption.  However, FOI is still lagging at the Senate awaiting a second reading.

Imee-R-Marcos

Imee Marcos

Imee Marcos is a veteran, having learned the ins and outs and machinations within the dirty world of politics, at the lap of the best there was,  her father, Ferdinand Marcos. Imee Marcos is the child that is more like Marcos in intelligence. She was sent to study in the UK at a very young age where she learned independence and see that there is a wider world outside of the confine of the archipelago of the Philippines.

I read an interview of Imee where she said that science and arts are being overlooked.  So right!  Imee also mentioned a number of Filipinos who have made a name for themselves in science and yet these people are hardly recognised in the Philippine.

I like what she said, hopefully she will be able to educate people that the Manny Pacquiaos of this world should stay in sport i.e. boxing and not politics.  If they wanted to serve the people, then just continue with their philanthropic endeavours. 😉

Imee also had done an exemplary job in marketing Ilocos as a tourist attraction and thereby  they are making money.  I especially like what she said about museum as a place for people to visit by making it interactive.  Museums are not mausoleum.

Between Grace (might be a Marcos daughter as well if gossips are to be believed! 😉 lol) and Imee, they could work well together, mixing fresh outlook with intelligence, experience, sophistication, hardwork and perseverance for a greater Republic of the Philippines.

Laboured Campaigning

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Tomorrow, the British public will go to their respective polling stations to cast their ballot votes to elect a new Government for the UK.

Please, if you have registered, do not waste your chance to make a difference (what kind? I do not know), GO OUT AND VOTE.

In our neck of the woods, North London, the Labour Party have certainly made their mark.  They are everywhere; their party placards are the only ones that have been visibly posted in front gardens, front windows, in shops, in buildings, etc.  Their candidates and helpers have been so tireless and sometimes tiresome in their campaigns.  They have been so regimental in their pursuit of election. They are everywhere, forever knocking on doors, postings leaflets,  sending out letters like Delia above.

Two weeks ago, when our son, Stacey and Nathan came to visit us for the day, a Labour came knocking up our door.  When Peter said that he did not have time to talk for the moment as family is visiting the Labour looked annoyed as if about to say, country first before family.  Peter just shut the door on his face.

Politicians, I think you have lost the right to say “doing things for your country” because Politicians never do since history and time immemorial.  They promised everything at the onset and then as soon as they get elected, they instantly suffer from memory lost and amnesia.

Liberal Democrats on the other hand, had been inundating me with emails asking for money/donation to top up their campaign funds. Huh?!!!   Why not give me money instead or a holiday voucher for my vote?!!! LOL.  Tsk tsk tsk You could certainly learn from the Philippines for the ultimate vote entrepreneurship! LMAO! 😉

Tory has been very conservative. 😉 They’ve only sent us one letter, addressed and personally delivered to the Morton Family!

Of UKIP, we had not heard anything.  No emails, no letters, no billboards, no placards, nothing!

As Manny Pacquiao would have said, using his now famous double negatives:

“He Didn’t Do Nothing” (sic)

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