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Monday, June 29, 2015

A mature way to regard the inspiring achievement of UP top-notcher Tiffany Grace Uy

June 29, 2015
by benign0
Most of us who’ve gone to college know one or another Tiffany Uy type. They get stratospheric grades in every exam and top the bar or board exams when they graduate. For most of the time they spend finishing their chosen course, they hang out with their like-minded ilk — exchanging intel on sources of the juiciest sample exams and go all abuzz photocopying them for one another. They routinely burn the midnight oil in study groups made up of members of their cliques, rote-drilling themselves on these sample exams and exchanging exam-acing tips. Then after finishing the exams, while the rest of us go off to party or watch a movie, they re-convene to do intensive post-exam evaluations, which involves mainly exchanging the answers they put in and assuring one another they did well.
Are they mostly of Chinese-descent? On the basis of my personal observation, yes. We called them the Chinese Mafia. They are driven to succeed, and they measure success with very specific quantifiable performance measures — grades. I’m not saying only Chinese people are like that. I’m saying that when you describe such a character profile, it is more likely for a Chinese person to fit the bill. Just facts and statistics — like the numbers these people live by, right? Tiffany Uy is that case in point. She’s Chinese, and a grades ace. No surprises there, really.
So we’ve established that the average sample exam muncher and grades ace is Chinese and that there’s nothing personal or “racist” in stating those facts. That’s just the way things are. The question then is, why is Tiffany Uy who made history getting a near-perfect 1.004 general weighted average graduating BS Biology in UP so controversial?
Well, just finishing that course in the University of the Philippines, alone, is no easy feat. It is one of the most difficult and competitive subjects one could subject one’s self to in the State University. Furthermore, there is no point in taking that course unless you ace it. Why? Because most students use it as a “pre-med” course — a stepping stone towards a slot in the prestigious UP College of Medicine in Manila. To a UP BS Biology student, there are only two schools of medicine in the Philippines — UP Med and all the rest. UP students do not want to study medicine in the latter.
And so that is why it’s uno or bust when it comes to graduating with a bachelor of science degree in Biology in UP. Any lower than a 1.10 average and your chances of getting into UP Med drops to below 10 percent (and that’s for the lucky batches). When you’re competing with a hundred odd other Chinese students with rockets up their asses for a handful of UP Med slots, you’d stick a Saturn V booster up yours. By all accounts, Tiffany stuck two of those moonshot engines up hers — which is why she’s soaring over the moon today.
And that’s a good thing. Work hard, win hard. When you are a winner, you can then go on to credibly talk about putting in “a life of service” — like Bill Gates did after he spent his younger years raking in his billions and demolishing the competition.
It’s simple, really.
Perhaps those who deride Uy’s achievement by framing it narrowly have a point. A number — such as, say, a grade — by no means singularly defines intelligence, much more a person’s overall value to society. But you need to start somewhere. The health of a fetus while it is in its mother’s womb can only be judged using a handful of parameters — heartbeat, number of limbs, size, etc. Then, as a baby, it will be judged on the basis of how soon she learns how to walk and talk. As humans mature, the number of variables that describe them increase exponentially.
Similarly, people will be judged on the basis of their grades while they are in school. When they come out of school and face the “real world”, they will be judged based on other attributes. As they mature as professionals, more variables will be added to describe their characters. Bill Gates was once known only as the Microsoft founder and the world’s richest man. Today he is also known for his achievements in other fields of endeavour, like philanthropy.
So let’s give Tiffany Grace Uy a break. She made headline news because of her 1.004 general weighted average. It was on the back of that achievement that people started noticing other things about her — her “flawless skin” and “normal” lovelife, for example. People seemed to latch on to those latter aspects about Uy to assure themselves that she is human like the rest of us and not a member of an advanced party sent by an extraterrestrial invading force. What she does after this milestone is hers to explore and, perhaps, for us to continue to observe if she continues to hold our attention going forward.

Jejomar Binay’s move to criticize Noynoy Aquino is part of democratic process

June 28, 2015
by Ilda
Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay is a free man, at least for now. Lately, Binay has been using that freedom to advance his causes. After all, he lives in a so-called “democratic” country that supposedly champions “freedom of speech”. Those who think that Binay should stop criticizing the performance of the current government under President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino do not know the real meaning behind the said concepts called democracy and freedom of speech. Just like everyone else, Binay has the right to air out his grievances against government ineptitude and corruption.
Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Immediately after resigning from his cabinet posts, the VP has become emboldened to speak out against the President. While the timing of his move is quite suspect – the Presidential Election is in less than a year from now – it is still a welcome move nonetheless. As any frugal man would tell you, in a price war, the consumer will be the biggest winner in the end. In this case, it is the Filipino public who can emerge as the winner in the war of words between Binay and BS Aquino. The public should see this as an ongoing debate laid out before them. This is a great opportunity for both parties to answer all the allegations made so the Filipino people will finally know who is lying or telling the truth. Both parties will also be forced to work harder at impressing the people. Or at least pretend to.
How did this come about anyway? Binay says he was tired of being the administration’s punching bag, a comment made in reference to what he suspects is a concerted effort by BS Aquino’s allies to persecute him and his family during Senate hearings. One can’t help but agree with his claim since for months, a few senators have been relentlessly using senate time and resources to conduct “investigations” on alleged corrupt activities against Binay when he was still a Mayor of the City of Makati. These investigations have resulted in nothing significant however.
The question some people have been asking is, why didn’t people in the know file the complaints against Binay while he was still a Mayor? Senator Antonio Trillanes seems to know a lot of things and have bragged about having the “evidence” to support his allegations against Binay so many times in the past. We have yet to see him walk the talk though. It’s a good thing we didn’t hold our breath waiting. Unfortunately for Trillanes, his lack of conviction has inadvertently exposed him as a mere propagandist and attack dog of someone from the higher up.
After months of being the subject of trial by media, Binay has finally had enough, according to him. His speech revealed nothing surprising for the government’s critics though. Binay simply confirmed what some of us have been saying about BS Aquino for years – that his government is incompetent, corrupt and uses selective justice in favor of his allies.
However, Binay’s revelation has shocked and angered not just BS Aquino himself, but his most rabid supporters, some of them former celebrities who are more popular now for protesting on the streets against BS Aquino’s political enemies than for what they actually did during their heydays in showbiz. I mean, who remembers what Leah Navarro was famous for other than badmouthing politicians not allied against the Liberal Party? Her latest antics include holding rallies against Binay to stop him from becoming the next President of the Philippines. One wonders though if she and her group are rallying to stop Binay from running or to stop the voters from voting for him. Either way, it will be a challenge for them considering Binay is still popular in the surveys. In a society where majority of voters prefer form to substance, popularity is important.
For his part, Jim Paredes has been raving mad and has been accusing members of the media of being under Binay’s payroll because they don’t criticize him the way they criticize BS Aquino. He thinks they are playing favorites by criticizing PNoy all the time. That is simply one of the most bizarre suggestions that have come out of an Aquino fan club member. Paredes does contradict himself occasionally. For someone who is proud to be Filipino, he also insinuates that a lot of Filipinos can easily be bought and therefore, is admitting that Filipinos in general are corrupt.
President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
Paredes’s logic is simply wrong. Most political pundits in mainstream media focus more on BS Aquino because he is the President. He has the authority to sign bills into law and has the power to either make Filipino lives better or worse off with his policies. So it makes more sense for the media to keep the spotlight on him.
The truth is, it is challenging to write something against Binay because, so far, nothing has been proven in court. Most of the allegations against Binay remain just that – allegations. There is not a lot to work with. I can imagine most media columnists struggling to write something against him too since the news already report on the same things. Those who choose to criticize him end up just attacking his appearance by highlighting his dark complexion and his short stature. For lack of anything to write, they simply repeat what the senators have been saying against Binay even when the information is based on hearsay. Some also insist that Binay has not provided evidence he is innocent. Never mind that it is the accuser who should provide evidence of someone’s guilt.
Yes, so much has been said against Binay and it is not hard for some people to believe them. It doesn’t help Binay’s cause that his children hold powerful positions in government and has been blatantly defending their father instead of inhibiting themselves from the issues against him. The thought of Binay becoming President and his children acting like members of the royal family is probably playing on people’s mind and scaring them. Instead of being scared of the Binays, they should be scared of the voters. It was the voters who put the Binays in power in the first place.
Whatever the reason for this latest drama in Philippine politics, it is only one of the consequences of having a President and Vice President who come from two different political parties. One should also see this as a sort of check and balance. Since the VP does not have to show allegiance to the President’s party, he can openly criticize the President’s policies.
If only Binay criticised BS Aquino from the moment he noticed something was amiss in his administration way back in 2010, people wouldn’t doubt his sincerity. It remains to be seen if attacking BS Aquino now is a good strategy for Binay. It will only work if more of the members of the public become disgruntled with the government. Binay’s criticism might be the thing that will finally push people off the edge and turn against BS Aquino. That is something we should all look forward – the people finally using their power to hold an Aquino accountable for his indiscretions.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

18 Signs That You’re a Slave of the Pinoy Matrix

18 Signs That You’re a Slave of the #Pinoy Matrix
The best prisons are the ones that we don’t see. Where the walls aren’t made of bricks – but are made of regulations – and other intangibles.
Matrix-humanoid figures
The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.
One where the suckers that bleed you dry aren’t in the form of cables and needles – but of tariffs, taxes, and fees.
Where the “agents” that enforce the slavery system can be your brother, sister, father, mother, relatives, friends, teachers, doctors, lawyers, physicians, taxi drivers, beggars, street hawkers, prostitutes – every body… yes, every one – including YOU and I !
Matrix - Farm
The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
What is the Pinoy Matrix?
The Pinoy Matrix is a system of beliefs that have been embedded within each pinoy throughout his life – by authority figures, not for the former’s benefit – but that of the latter – and usually at the expense of the former. The Pinoy matrix is a system for controlling you in many layers – your mind, your body, your money, your property – your soul.
The only way for the Pinoy Matrix to continue to exist is with your consent. It is your consent to the illusion that allows these invisible walls to remain. No one can unplug you from the matrix except you.
A lot of pinoys get stuck in the matrix by conforming to certain constructs that are often not logical and not founded on reason. The scary thing is there are lots of matrices – and you don’t know when you get stuck in one. Understanding and being aware of the mental constructs which enable the Pinoy matrix is the first step to breaking free.
It also doesn’t help to compare oneself as being superior because he has awakened to the matrix – and others have not. Our job is to awaken people to the pinoy matrix and let them decide for themselves how to deal with it.
How do we know that you are in the pinoy matrix?
1. You believe that government is responsible for your personal success.
2. You believe in controlling others. You are more concerned over what, in your view, others should be doing with their time and resources.  You believe that people should act and behave in the manner you approve of – and that any deviations are unacceptable.
3. You believe in accepting others control over you. You believe that the opinion of the barangay captain, mayor, councilor, governor, senator, president is more valid than your opinion and that it is okay for them to use force to make you follow their opinion.
4. You are always looking for someone else- other than you, to lead you. You believe that you will never be good enough to lead yourself.
Matrix - hooks
5. You still watch/read mainstream media – ABS-CBN, GMA7, Inquirer. There’s a reason why it’s called PROGRAMMING. Guess who is being PROGRAMMED. What are you being PROGRAMMED to do? To be desensitized to the faces of coercion and corruption. You let their fear mongering get you to give up more of your money and liberties. You are programmed to accept that you cannot change your lot in life. That you are not beautiful enough. That you are not pretty enough. That you are not dressed enough. And to correct all that – you have to listen to what they say, buy the goods they tell you to buy, and vote for the people who will enslave you .
You are programmed to submit to their authority. I bet you are too busy watching the tits and ass that fill the screens of their variety shows. Or drooling at the Spanish mestizas in the Mexican telenovelas they imported and dubbed over with the local dialect to keep your eyes fixed to the TV.
Meanwhile their captive mouthpieces in Congress and the Senate talk business as usual – PDAF/DAP, BBL, plunder everywhere, spending your money everywhere, killing you or if they feel charitable putting you in jail for life because you smoked weed that can make you high and expand your mind .
Never mind that ABS-CBN, GMA7 and the legions of cronies are screwing your mind with false news, fabricated surveys,  cover-up stories (the more recent one being Mamasapano) – talk about bad trip!
But you are too busy trying to get a ticket to an ABS-CBN show so you can have a snowflakes chance in hell to win a thousand bucks – which does not even come close to all the money that has been stolen from you all your lifetime! But never mind –
6. You believe the surveys about politicians. You believe that SWS and Pulse Asia are telling the truth. Never mind the fact that they are paid pollsters and their interview methodology is laden with leading questions that make for dubious outcomes. And that does not even include the fact that the owners are relatives of politicians.
7. You keep track about which candidates are winning or losing – as if they are responsible for your personal success in life. It does not matter really who leads or trails in the polls what matters is what’s going on in your life.
8. You follow the herd – “pakikisama” – except yourself. You find comfort in numbers. After all it’s hard to fool a large number of people right?  So tell me again how 15 million people were so right to vote for Noynoy Aquino?
9. You don’t want to rock the boat aka “walang pakisama”. You feel uncomfortable being alone. You don’t want your friends and family to feel bad if you don’t agree with their points of view. So you instead just feel bad for yourself and pretend to agree with them.
10. You believe that PLDT under government management and control is the best thing there is.Never mind that more phones and services became available when the telecom industry was privatized. You believe that private firms provide expensive services. And yet you magically believe that adding the government’s expenses on top of the private firms services will magically lower prices down – whether its’ the MRT, electricity, water, health, or education.
11. You believe that an immoral evil act no longer becomes immoral and evil if committed in the name of “the greater good”.
12. You are more concerned with stopping people from taking marijuana or their preferred substances  than the ritualized state abuse and murder committed against peaceful people who just want to relax after a hard day at work.
13. You are waiting for a mayor, governor, councilor, senator, barangay captain to provide you direction on how to be happy.
14. You believe that voting changes your enslavement. Never mind that the impact of the politician’s game of thrones on the plunder of  your income – is real. You have not seen that no matter who wins, your income has not changes, your liberties are still restricted.
15. You can’t imagine a life without government. Like an animal held in captivity in a zoo, you cannot imagine a life in the wild without government bureaucrats, coercion, threats of penalties and imprisonment. Despite seeing that peacefulness in private residential communities or privately owned commercial facilities – malls, movie theaters, theme parks – that don’t have tax funded security aka cops – and have security guards instead – you still believe that the absence of government will lead to chaos.
16. You believe only Filipino businesses have the capacity to provide superior services and products to Filipinos. Never mind that Shoemart or any Filipino retailer has a NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE POLICY that is anti-customer. Foreign retailers like Walmart or Dollar General which can provide more choices at lower cost with a return and exchange policy are not good for you because they are not pinoy owned.
17. You confuse rules with rulers. You believe that only rulers can come up with and enforce rules. You do not believe that you can come up with your own rules and enforce it on yourself. Nor do you believe that there are natural rules such as do not kill or do not steal which you can observe without any external assistance.
18. You have never questioned the history of the Philippine state. You have no idea about the prior nations that were conquered and assimilated into the modern pinoy hacienda system. You believe that seceding from a criminal state is unacceptable.
Do you recognize these constructs in your life, your friends and family? Good that’s the first step to disconnecting from the matrix and getting started on the path to reclaim your peace, prosperity, and life.
I know this is not an exhaustive list and will definitely update it.
Feel free to add your ideas to the list in the comments section below.
Let’s help others awaken and get started unplugging from the pinoy matrix.

“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
— attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

Speech delivered by Vice President Jejomar Binay after quitting PNoy Cabinet

June 25, 2015
by benign0
[The following speech was delivered in Tagalog by Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Coconut Palace, Manila, Philippines today and, here, translated into English by the author of this post.]
My countrymen:
Now is the new beginning of our fight against poverty.
I resigned from the Cabinet because I cannot accept the way my programs, which succeeded at uplifting the lives of the masses in Makati and which I hoped to expand across the whole nation, are being sidelined and badmouthed by this administration.
I cannot accept the continued lack of justice in our country. I cannot accept that only a few enjoy what the majority are entitled to.
Most of all, I cannot accept the prospect of depriving the Filipino people of the opportunity to enjoy a government that is committed to and competent at serving the needs and assuring the welfare of the greater public.
My hope is that the country could one day enjoy good governance so that the majority — and not just the few — could benefit from the progress we could achieve under such a government.
We need a government that serves and listens to the poor, specially.
A government that promotes justice and peace; a government that strives to create employment that brings relief to long-suffering people.
A government that gives effective and broad health service and education; a government that is pro-people, not apathetic, and is caring towards all.
A government that will open opportunities for a better life to the poor.
This is what I am fighting for. And this is also the hope of our people: a government that is the opposite of the apathetic and incompetent one we see today.
My fellow Filipinos, I had in the past accepted the offer to serve in the Cabinet to give back committed service and earn the trust of the public.
When you elected me, I promised to be a working Vice President. And over the last five years, I quietly worked — implementing reform in the housing sector, addressing the needs of our overseas workers (OFWs).
But in the course of engaging with people as I travelled from one province to another, I learned that most people did not feel the progress this government boasts was achieved under its watch.
Those who actually benefit from this so-called progress are few, including chosen friends and party members of the powers that be.
I’ve weathered many challenges. I’ve been thrown in prison many times during the Martial Law years because of my fight for freedom and democracy. Even after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, I was still under pressure and under threat of being silenced because I continued my fight against oppression and abuse.
Now under the present administration, I am once again being ganged upon by people who aim to slander and threaten me as well as attempt to remove me from my position as Vice President and even imprison me. It is because I am seen to be the main hindrance to these people’s personal ambition and objectives.
And while all that was going on, these people allowed their own party mates to get away with vast anomalies: the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of their allies, party members, and friends, and the plunder of the MRT as well as overseeing the massacre of the 44 Special Action Force officers in Mamasapano.
They did not hold accountable officials who stopped the release of the 2013 Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the local governments, all the while knowing that many people were dependent on the IRA.
This is the crooked justice of today’s governance. Selective justice rules.
Justice and benefits of friends and allies of the party in power is set apart from all the rest. There is no justice nor benefits for the majority, specially the poor.
My countrymen,
There is a limit to people’s tolerance for suffering. Enough already. It is all too much. Why don’t they face me in a clean election?
They know that many of their party candidates will not win in a clean and fair election — which is why they will use dishonest means, will baldly lie, will spend huge amounts of public funds, and violate the law with impunity.
I thank those who responded to surveys to express the their trust for me.
To the poor and suffering among our people, do not worry about me.
I am prepared to face any further abuse thrown at me by these people. But I can no longer tolerate the continued suffering all of you are subject to day to day.
To my political enemies, I tell you now: if your objective is to pressure me into backing down from my bid to run for president in 2016, you are making a big mistake. I will not back away from the challenge. More importantly, I will not abandon our poor and suffering people.
I remain your Vice President, Jejomar Binay who, head held high, am proud to be a true Filipino at heart and in deed — always with you in both suffering and in good times and, now, heading the Opposition.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Power to the Filipino people.


benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com

Anti-Aquino forces: Hindrances and what we’re doing wrong

June 26, 2015
by Celestino Manrique II
Without a doubt, more Filipinos have become disgusted with the family of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Although the Aquino name is still probably going to be popular among gullible Filipinos (who compose a huge chunk of the population) for the next few years, there is little doubt that many have turned their back on the Aquino name. As the Aquinos’ name has begun to lose its spark, the opposition, of course, has started to make its move.
However, the opposition’s move has concerns about hindrances and some wrong moves. In this writing, I seek to give my perspective on what the anti-Aquino forces have as obstacles and what has been done wrong.
A weak party system.This is evident because we have not had a majority political party ever since the KBL of Marcos. The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan dominated the Batasang Pambansa, winning 90% of the seats in 1978 and then the number went down after the KBL lost support and they ended up winning just 66% in 1984 (although a huge decrease, this was still a strong majority). Post-EDSA parties have had no majority in the legislature. Such has impaired the passages of important pieces of legislation.

The weak party system has led to personality-based politics. Thus, it is the political parties that depend on the oligarchs, not the oligarchs depending on the political parties. Political parties would seek the funding and support of big businessmen and some landlords. The weak party system also allows quick party-switching. Let’s recall the recently ruling parties. Under Marcos you had KBL. With Cory you had LDP, with Ramos you had Lakas, with Estrada you had LAMPP, with Arroyo you had Kampi, and now with Noynoy Aquino you have LP. But, if you look at the members of the KBL, LDP, Lakas, LAMPP, Kampi, and the LP, it’s the same list of names. The country has no strong party system, and because of that, there’s no organized opposition.
Unorganized opposition. After the arrest of Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, there was no longer any real opposition leader. Under the current setup, the Philippines has no organized opposition. Vice President Jejomar Binay left the Aquino cabinet only a few days ago, and his United Nationalist Alliance has yet to leave the majority coalition in Congress.
The anti-Aquino opposition is actually divided into five. You have the UNA supporters. These are the people beholden to Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada. There’s also the Marcos supporters, I do need to explain much about this. You also have the supporters of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The fourth group is the left-wing group, led by Rep. Neri Colmenares, Teddy Casino, Renato Reyes, etc. The leftists are those who have accused every single Philippine President of being a U.S. puppet and some are even sympathizers of the Maoist CPP-NPA. The fifth group is the group of total reformists. The people I am labelling as total reformists are those that seek a major overhaul of Philippine politics. You know, those people who are against Marcos, Aquino, Arroyo, Binay, Estrada, and every single person who is in an elective government position. This people want change and they want big change, a thorough revamp of the Philippine government. There’s no way they will collaborate with Binay-Estrada or Marcos or Arroyo forces. They do not want any of the names we have in politics today to remain.
We cannot defeat the oligarchy if we oppositionists ourselves cannot unite and organize one group. If you can add more groups you know to the five that I enumerated, then that makes things more complicated for the opposition.
Improper propaganda. This aspect is more on the part of the people than the politicians. I was able to read the book “Foundation for Resuming the Philippine Revolution” by Jose Maria Sison. The book contained selected writings of Jose Maria Sison (under the nom de guerre Amado Guerrero) during the earlier years of the Marcos administration. Of course, we know how Sison organized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which later merged with the New People’s Army (NPA) of Bernabe Buscayno (nom de guerre Kumander Dante) to oppose the Marcos government. Sison’s use of words were smooth yet sharp. The writings of Sison had the quality and projection of a true oppositionist and revolutionary. In fact, it paid off as the CPP-NPA was able to recruit thousands of members. Even Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. collaborated with the CPP-NPA to oppose the Marcos regime.
Sison’s writings against the Marcos regime were persuasive. He used terms such as imperialist, fascist, puppet, dictator and corrupt, among others. Now, let’s take a look at the choice of words of many people who are posting online against Noynoy Aquino: Abnoy, Budoy, tanga, luko-luko, sira ulo, inutil, bobo, abnormal, special child, panot, and tiyo ni Joshua, among others. When criticizing acts of the Aquino administration, people would post internet memes of Aquino’s weird laughing face, instead of properly presenting one-by-one what he did wrong. The choice of words of the anti-Aquino forces are more libelous than persuasive in nature. Of course, Sison’s words against Marcos were also libelous, but they were nevertheless persuasive and they were better political jargons than what Aquino critics today are using. They were strong words, yet simple enough for the least intelligent Filipino to understand.
It is not that I disagree with the messages of the memes and propaganda against Noynoy Aquino. I wholeheartedly agree with them. However, the manner in which the critics are presenting their arguments are messy and complicated. Only a few people would be able to understand the messages of such memes and posts. If there is to be anti-Aquino propaganda, then it must be simple enough even for the most stupid person to understand.
The Aquino government runs on propaganda. Therefore, it can also be destroyed by counterpropaganda. The key for the anti-Aquino forces is to expose all they can about the true nature of the Aquino family and make such information simple enough to be understood.
Until these concerns are addressed, then the anti-Aquino forces should not be celebrating victory anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why Filipinos deserve to be ruled by dynasties

June 23, 2015
by benign0

A lot of Filipinos enjoy the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. But the strangest thing: They fail to understand why political dynasties exist in their own country. The fact that people can relate to the characters, stories, and conflicts in GoT is because the plot appeals to the deepest recesses of human nature and culture. Dynasties are as natural a social construct as eating and sleeping.


It’s hardly surprising that Filipinos are, on one hand, all indignant about the stubborn persistence of political dynasties while, on the other hand, themselves beholden to the family institution. Dynasties are natural wealth management systems just like any modern business enterprise. They are organised to ensure capital is held in a persistent and profitable structure and that the means to achieve and sustain that state of affairs are maintained.

So political dynasties, as social entities, essentially work towards two goals: (1) hold wealth within the control of its members and (2) secure that control.

Why do Filipinos need dynasties? Simple. Because the majority of Filipinos fail at managing wealth.

Look no further than capital entrusted to the management of public institutions. The Philippines’ public transport systems, infrastructure, and service agencies are all decrepit embarrassments. The way the jewel of Metro Manila’s public transport system — its rail-based elevated commuter trains — degenerated so rapidly over just a single presidential term highlights just how inept Filipinos and their servants in government are at keeping stuff neat, shiny, and running like clockwork. In the hands of Filipino officials, the Philippines’ most cherished holiday spots have become cesspools of human refuse within just two to three decades.

Even an effort to seize property from traditional hacienderos (colonial land owners) and redistribute these to farmers has been a failure. Left to their devices, ordinary Filipinos “managing” their doled-out assets spend their days drinking beer at the corner store.

Perhaps, then, Filipinos deserve to be stolen from by their own leaders — because the alleged “thieves” in the Philippine oligarchy have better, more profitable ideas that could be applied to these assets. While most Filipinos lie under the proverbial guava tree with mouths agape, enterprising oligarchs invest in ladders.

Family-controlled companies remain the backbone of the capital base of the Philippine economy. Indeed, they probably play a greater role in keeping wealth within the Philippines’ borders than multinational companies. Compare this to capital injected into the economy by the “foreign investors” that “progressive” Filipinos salivate over. Filipino workers toiling away in foreign-owned factories get paid a pittance for their trouble making products that will eventually be sold back to them for hundreds of times the value of their input into their manufacture.

A truly free market cannot force foreign business to re-invest their earnings in the Philippines. They will only do that if the Philippines is seen to be a viable re-investment site that meets their numbers. If not, these foreign companies will simply repatriate all of their profits back to their head offices in North America, Western Europe, and Northeast Asia. The reality is, the Philippines is not worth higher-level long-term investment. At best, many foreign businesses looking at the Philippines invest in what amounts to just a cash tube to dip into the Philippines’ massive (but low per-capita value) consumer market to siphon as much OFW remittances into their pockets as they could.

In that previous Juan Tamad example, they build the ladder to get the guava then take the fruit and the ladder with them back home. When they come back the next season, Juan is still there lying under the same tree with his mouth open, still waiting.

Philippine dynasties, on the other hand, are emotionally-invested in the Philippines. They are Filipinos’ only shot at developing an economy propped up by home-grown, indigenously-created capital. Their salvation does not lie in spreading their legs to invite in foreign capitalists and opening the floodgates to allow a deluge of cheap imported Chinese trinkets. Thanks to the fatal victim mentality deeply-entrenched in their psyches, Filipinos think they are entitled to a big chunk of the profits these dynasties rake in. Unfortunately, people who can’t and won’t build ladders aren’t entitled to anything.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Risk management is erring on the side of preparation rather than on the side of celebration

June 22, 2015
by benign0
Is information that we get from politicians, celebrities, and business people reliable? Think about it. These are people who’s job it is to tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Politicians want potential voters to think that they have a bright future that they will, presumably, be led to by said politicians. Businessmen making a sizeable investment in a country will always express their “bullishness” about the market of said country — because share prices rise on the back of positive perceptions. Celebrities will tell people what their sponsors, producers, and directors tell them to say.
Who then fills the void where being realistic on the bases of objective facts is the primary goal? It’s simple, really. People who don’t have agendas.
Relying on politicians, traditional media, and the business community for information on what the future potentially holds is like relying on a Toyota salesman for advise on what the best car to buy is. The Toyota salesman will give you the best options available — as long as they are all Toyota options.
Take, for example, the way AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes gushes about the Philippines
“This is an amazing country. Every time I go there, I love it even more. In ASEAN, Philippines is probably the best economy right now. In past years, you’ve lagged behind but because of political reforms, openness, you are catching up with the best economies… Philippines is the one I keep telling people about during conferences, the one I’m most bullish about in ASEAN,” Fernandes told reporters at the sidelines of the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget last week.
Most Filipinos will eat all that up and fail to see Fernandes’s real agenda which, if people applied a bit more brain to what they read, can be gleaned from what Fernandes says next…
“Philippines has 2 million tourists, Malaysia has 20 million tourists. Something’s not right. You have a beautiful country. You have so much more to offer than Malaysia. We think we can contribute to that,” he said.
Fernandes noted the Philippines has a lot of tourism potential, which the airline can help develop.
But of course. When you run an airline in the Philippines, there’s lots of money to be made if the Philippines lifts its tourism game. It’s a thing called “growth potential”. If Malaysia can rake in 20 million tourists, it follows that the Philippines can potentially pull an additional 18 million visitors through its entry ports.
AirAsia needs those suckers. In a rare stroke of journalistic insight, that quoted ABS-CBN News report provides this notable bit of contextual information:
While AirAsia Philippines has yet to turn a profit since it started operations in 2011, Fernandes said he expects the unit to post a profit in the fourth quarter.
“I think Q4 this year but hopefully, we can try to do it earlier,” he said.
AirAsia’s Philippine unit is also eyeing an IPO by 2017.
There you go.
So now the right question to ask easily comes to us in hindsight following the above insight…
Why does AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes say that he is “bullish” about the Philippines?
Answer: Fernandes has to say all that — because he needs to talk up the market for Philippine tourism to get lots of bums on his planes’ seats. With an IPO for his beleaguered Philippine operations looming in the horizon, Fernandes as CEO needs to make AirAsia’s Philippine adventure work. Happy shareholders keep CEOs employed.
Armed with this insight, we now need to ask ourselves: When someone like Fernandes and, again, anyone with an agenda tells us that they are optimistic about the Philippines, should we be taking that as The Truth?
That’s not to say that being optimistic is necessarily bad. The point being made here is more about the benefits of applying a critical mind to digesting information served to us by people we are told to believe. When we are pessimistic by default and optimistic by exception, we become better managers of our destinies.
It means that we err on the side of preparation rather than celebration.
The above philosophy towards risk management is a close cousin of an ethic of focusing on results rather than promise. Unfortunately for Filipinos we apply the wrong sorts of thinking to the imporant task of charting our destinies: Pwede na yan (“that’ll do”) when it comes to preparation and bahala na (“come what may”) when it comes to foresight. It’s a recipe for absolute failure — which is why the Philippines is where it is today.

BS Aquino generous to Moro rebel group but dismissive to victims of their atrocities

June 17, 2015
by Ilda

It was hard to get past the first paragraph of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s speech delivered during the recently-held ceremonial turnover of weapons and so-called “decommissioning” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters without feeling disgust. He started out by narrating how even when he was younger, he was already aware of the atrocities committed by Christians against the Muslims in Mindanao – how “opportunists saw that those tilling the land were uneducated, which allowed them to have the lands titled under their own names.”
PR stunt: Ceremonial 'decommissioning' of weapons used to terrorise Mindanao for many years. (Courtesy Interaksyon.)
PR stunt: Ceremonial ‘decommissioning’ of weapons used to terrorise Mindanao for many years.
(Courtesy Interaksyon.)

BS Aquino’s claim is outrageous. He should not be singling out Christians as perpetrators of injustices committed in the past — imagined or real — against the Muslims in Mindanao. After all, isn’t that what moderate Muslims keep saying in their defense when extremists commit atrocities – that those who kill infidels are not really representatives of Islam? President BS Aquino should not have used words that further divided Filipinos into Christians and Muslims in his speech and, instead, focused on the fact of the bloodshed that has colored Mindanao for decades.

Likewise, a lot of people were shocked to hear no less than the country’s head of state disrespect those who died during the conflicts in the past – the civilians and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who fought Muslim extremists in the last three decades. Yes, BS Aquino was being his usual callous self when he dismissed past efforts to achieve peace and order in Mindanao. He is blinded by his mission to get his way by bullying Congress into passing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) just to please his newfound friends in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In his speech, he was also trying to shame the people who were against the BBL, saying that those against it are against peace. Nothing can be further from the truth.

In his misguided thinking, BS Aquino failed to consider the consequences of what he said in his speech. He seems to think that it is okay to put Christians under a bad light just to make the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front look good in comparison. He even justified why they had to take up arms and “go against the system”.

“If you had been in the position of those whose lands were stolen from them back then, wouldn’t you have been discouraged when, after seeking recourse with all authorities, you were told that “Nothing can be done?” Think about it: Because of the disagreements on agrarian issues, which led to injustice, they were forced to bring matters into their own hands, and private armed groups became a growing presence.”

One can be forgiven for thinking BS Aquino was talking about Hacienda Luisita when he mentioned the words “agrarian issues”, “injustice” and “private armed groups”. He should be the last one to talk about these things lest he bring attention to the agrarian issues his family is involved in and how the Philippine Supreme Court had ordered the distribution of almost 5,000 hectares of land to some 6,000 farmer beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI), the sugar plantation owned by the Cojuangco side of the family of President BS Aquino. The courts decision came “seven years after the Hacienda Luisita massacre. Seven protesting farmers died at the Hacienda Luisita on November 16, 2004 in a clash with security forces”. But I digress…

BS Aquino said those words as if previous governments did not carry out successful peace agreements in the past with the leading Muslim rebel group back then, the Moro National Liberation Front. In fact, the agreement with the MNLF under the leadership of Nur Misuari, who even became the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the Ramos years, was supposed to bring “peace” to the region. But alas, corruption and the conflicts within the ranks and other Muslim rebel groups – one of which is the MNLF breakaway group that formed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front – resulted in the resumption of instability and bloodshed in the region. In other words, what happened next was not the result of “Christian atrocities against Muslims” in Mindanao.

BS Aquino and his speechwriters could benefit from reading up on the recent history of Mindanao. They seem to be stuck with what happened almost 400 years ago, back when the Spanish colonizers came to town. A lot has happened since then. The President and his advisers only need to review what happened a few decades back to understand the real situation. Once they have analyzed it well enough, they will realize that the reason why progress keeps eluding Mindanao has a lot to do with the atrocities committed by Muslim rebel groups including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who have terrorized the region for decades. Their activities include but are not limited to, kidnap for ransom of locals and foreigners, bombings, and killing of government troops with the most recent incident in January 2015 that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Forces in Mamasapano.

The bottom-line is, a lot of moderate Filipino Muslims do not need the Bangsamoro Basic Law to lead fruitful and fulfilling lives in the country. One just needs to go to Manila’s shopping malls to see how Muslim commerce thrives in the country. Besides, the Philippines is supposed to be a secular country. It is quite baffling, the way BS Aquino seems to favor one religious group over others and even rewards them with cash and government incentives.
Families of fallen SAF officers left hanging as President BS Aquino doles out incentives to Moro rebels.
Families of fallen SAF officers left hanging as President BS Aquino doles out incentives to Moro rebels.

The ceremonial “decommissioning” of 145 guerrillas out of the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters seems to be a joke particularly when you consider that the government will be giving each rebel a Phil health card and 25,000 pesos in cash. The government is extremely generous to the rebel group compared to how they are treating the families of the SAF troopers who died in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front during a legitimate police operation in Mamasapano. The families are still waiting for promised compensation and for justice to be administered on behalf of the fallen police officers.

Indeed, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s sincerity is still questionable. They should have surrendered the killers of the SAF officers and the weapons stolen from the fallen troops instead. What they surrendered “ceremoniously” comprised a measly 75 weapons. There is no way of knowing how many high-powered weapons they actually still have in their possession. They are probably laughing knowing that they could easily replace the weapons using the funds the Philippine government is going to give them if the BBL is passed. With a budget of 27 billion pesos annually, they can buy a lot of weapons more powerful than what they now have!

The good news is, most Filipinos are not fooled by BS Aquino’s latest stunts. They know that the “decommissioning” is just for show. After all, if the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is really after peace, they should not demand an outrageous amount of financial compensation from Filipino taxpayers and feel they are entitled to take ownership of something that belongs to every Filipino, Christians and Muslims.

No, the Filipino people do not owe the Moro Islamic Liberation Front money or any part of Mindanao. Congress should scrap the BBL!