Biases and prejudices rule our lives

“A major danger in using highly abstractive methods in political philosophy is that one will succeed merely in generalizing one’s own local prejudices and repackaging them as demands of reason. The study of history can help to counteract this natural human bias.“— Raymond Geuss

We all have our own fair share of biases and prejudices in work, life, love, war, and especially in politics. Our opinions are formed by incessant exposure to media, school, work, peers, and our diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. There are no rules on how best to properly manage our biases and prejudices, which are a given in all human interaction. After all, it is human nature to think and a human right to develop personal opinions, although others may find these biased and prejudiced, deserve to be respected by others. It is in the nature of civilized human beings to agree to disagree.

Having a political opinion is a human right. Attempts to quash and suppress the expressions of diverse political opinions are against our fundamental right to freedom of speech. We cannot categorically say your opinion is wrong because such judgment goes against the very essence of the definition of opinion. When the mind decides in favor of one of two contradictory judgments, having as a reason to do so the conviction that such conforms to the truth the mind is in the state of opinion.1

I possess a bias for the performance of President Duterte. It is my opinion that he is doing a better job vis-à-vis previous Presidents, on the basis of common sense solutions, swift action and implementation. A new political phenomenon is gaining ground worldwide: anti-establishment politics.2 Why? Because more and more people are discovering that traditional bureaucratic political methods do not work anymore. Or, the democratic experiment is finally opening the eyes and minds of people that too much democracy is not necessarily a good thing. As the majority in the Philippines, the U.K., and the U.S. have realized, traditional politicians with their traditional politics are no worse than the corrupt and dictatorial monarchs the first “democrats” dethroned, beheaded or exiled centuries ago.

My biases

I personally have a strong bias for people who work hard; I hate people who are lazy. For me, no amount of reasoning can change my prejudice against lazy people. I believe this opinion is universal too, except to the lazy people who continue to justify their laziness with flimsy excuses. I likewise believe that people who work hard do a better job. I often profess that it is easy to outdo a person who is lazy and does little to get his job done. It’s a simple: between one who, works and another who doesn’t, who do you think succeeds? Of course, the one who works succeeds.

To me, President Duterte is a hard working President; he promised change, he achieved change. A lot. He’s about to end his first six months as President, and most Filipinos I know (and, I think, the world at large) think he has been in office for far longer. In his first 100 days alone, his key accomplishments include the executive order on freedom of information (FOI), the intensified campaign against illegal drugs, the revival of peace talks with communist and Muslim rebels, a one-stop shop for overseas Filipino workers, and the crafting of a comprehensive tax reform plan. 3

I likewise have a strong bias for a President who simplifies the bureaucracy; by insisting that government inefficiencies do not deprive Filipinos of the service they truly deserve. Bureaucratic red tape impedes government efficiency and breeds corruption, poverty, social inequalities, social injustices, unemployment, underemployment, inadequate housing, lousy infrastructure (roads and bridges), low foreign direct investments, poor educational institutions, and mismatched skills training.

President Duterte declared an all-out war against red tape. The common complaint of businessmen is the delayed release and approval of permits that could take months, if not years. “That’s what investors don’t like. I’ll just give you 60 days. Act on the papers, 60 days. If you complete action on the papers in 72 days, you cannot release the paper anymore just like [in] Davao [City]. You have to forward it to the executive secretary and he will ask you why it took several days,” Duterte said. 4

More surprising is the NAIA airport “Laglag bala” or “Tanim bala” scams that were left unsolved by the previous administration, but which was solved in less than a week after President Duterte took office. The alleged bullet-planting scheme in Philippine airports may now be a thing of the past after President Rodrigo Duterte prohibited authorities from arresting passengers with bullets in their luggage. 5

Actions speak louder than words. It’s as simple as that.

My Prejudices

I have strong prejudices against lazy government officials who are paid to serve us. We have suffered long enough in long queues just to get a piece of government document. The anti-red tape act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 9485) has been around for years, yet not much has been done to enforce the law.6 Laziness, the major defect of corrupt bureaucrats, is the main reason for red tape in government.

According to a report in the New York Times, former President Aquino was “(e)lected in 2010 on promises to support the rule of law and human rights, failed to fix the Philippines’ corrupt and ineffective justice system. His administration also faced a series of security-related scandals, including a hostage crisis in Manila in 2010. And, perhaps most critical, Mr. Aquino was perceived as lazy and soft, unwilling to take the necessary steps to solve the country’s problems.”7

In an interview conducted by Inquirer.net, University of the Philippines professor and political analyst Clarita Carlos told Radyo Inquirer 990am of then President Aquino:“I think offhand, from what we have seen thus far, I think ineptitude and incompetence might be the more appropriate description.” Carlos stressed that he (Aquino) should work harder, and talk less,“At the moment, he opens his mouth, he adds up to the lies that he had already piled on earlier. So just don’t. He should just shut up and just do his work.”8

The way the previous administration handled the “laglag bala” or “tanim-bala” (bullet planting scheme) was so convoluted, roundabout, complicated, as if the bureaucratic process was more important than the results of the effort. President Aquino orders an investigation, then Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said both Aquino and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya had instructed airport authorities to look into the report, and then Abaya said additional closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras were placed inside the airport premises to better monitor the situation.

To add insult to injury, Lacierda added “We should make sure that we pack our belongings…(to) rule out any proof that the passenger is responsible (for existence of bullets if ever)” 9 . This is passing on the responsibility to the passengers. What lack of common sense! So insensitive to the plight of the poor passengers who are clamoring for reform and justice. Lacierda inadvertently told the passengers to protect themselves from the NAIA personnel. What a daft and ludicrous solution!

All these bullet planting scams disappeared a week after Duterte took office. All he did was to order that passengers would not be detained or charged in court if an ammunition is confiscated from them.

Enough rhetoric, a noumenon that only works in the mind, as the people are sick of theoretical and textbook solutions (well, what could we expect from the bunch of inexperienced amateurs who ran our country for six years?). Common sense and action that works are better. The phenomenon of a working solution is so much better than simple talk that only “sounds” like a solution.

Talk is cheap. It’s that simple. And millions of Filipinos suffered at the hands of the man who called the Filipinos his boss…

My Opinion

Biases and prejudices truly rule our lives. Now, grounded on the observations I made about President Duterte, I am convinced that his ways are practical, easy to implement and full of practical reason and common sense.

Another personal opinion: President Duterte’s crass, tough-talking, and foul-mouthed behavior that he dishes out on a daily basis may not sit well with many people, but I find this trivial compared to the energetic, robust, pragmatic executive prowess he exudes. I, and the millions who voted for him, want a decisive leader, one who is willing to risk everything—his life, his honor, and the presidency—to give the people what he promised.

Other Filipinos may prefer a decent and traditional but ineffective leader belonging to the elite as long as the status quo is preserved, even though more and more Filipinos will continue to suffer from an insensitive, bureaucratic President beholden to the elite, the oligarchs and our colonial masters, including the self-proclaimed masters of the universe who dominate international groups such as the UN, ICC, IMF and World Bank. That is their opinion, and I also respect that.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been respecting their opinion since February 1986. Now, I hope you respect mine. We’ll know in six years (or less) if my opinion is as wrong as yours.

Biases and prejudices rule our lives; diversity of opinions is a hallmark of a healthy democracy. So is learning to live and work together, with respect, even if we disagree. We can defend our opinions, biased and all, without resorting to hysterics. I suggest we get used to them and know how to live with them. Paraphrasing Churchill, having diverse opinions (democracy) may not be the best way, but the alternatives (groupthink, or everyone thinking the same way, or not learning how to think intelligently) are even worse.

C’est la vie.

Citations:

1. Glenn, Paul J. (1933) Criteriology: A Class Manual in Major Logic. Binghampton & New York. B. Herder Book Co. p.117.
2. Chouglay, R., (2016, Sept. 26). The growth of the anti-establishment movement outside the West. Global Risks Insights.
3. Valente, C.S..(2016, Oct. 8). First 100 days yield significant accomplishments. The Manila Times.
4. Ranada, P. (2016, Jan. 15). Duterte to businessmen: Davao City is my Exhibit A. Rappler.
5. Esperas, R.. (2016, July 7). Duterte orders end to ‘tanim-bala’. ABS-CBN News.
6. Abrugar, V. (2016, May 4). The Anti-red Tape Law in the Philippines: What You Should Know. BusinessTips.ph.
7. Taub, A..(2016, Sept. 11). How Countries Like the Philippines Fall Into Vigilante Violence. The New York Times.
8. Sabillo, K.A..(2015, March 20). The Aquino leadership marked by ineptitude, incompetence, says analyst. Inquirer.net.
9. Calica, A..(2015, Nov. 2). Palace vows to stop ‘laglag-bala’ scam. The Philippine Star.

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About Carlo de Leon

I am a marketing consultant, entrepreneur and executive director of an NGO. I have extensive experience in advertising, product management, media, and general management. I love art, graphic design, philosophy, theology, and history. I continue to study these subjects to enjoy my intellectual and artistic pursuits.

Post Author: Carlo de Leon

I am a marketing consultant, entrepreneur and executive director of an NGO. I have extensive experience in advertising, product management, media, and general management. I love art, graphic design, philosophy, theology, and history. I continue to study these subjects to enjoy my intellectual and artistic pursuits.

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27 Comments on "Biases and prejudices rule our lives"

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Bad Will Jam
Guest
Good work! I like & agree in everything you said here – especially the logic behind President Duterte’s order not to arrest passengers with “tanim-bala” issues in their luggage. It was very simple but instantly killed the “Tanim-bala industry” that proliferated during President BS Aquino administration. Of course, any business that lost its income will sure to close shop! That’s a very simple logic that Mar Roxas should have thought about it rather than asking infamous mocking questions like “Papaano naging problema ng gobyerno kung nahulihan ang pasahero ng bala?” Paano pala pag-cases rape ang dumarami sa NAIA noon, itatanong… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

What I heard about this was that they have been letting people go and were not extorting before 2010. It was during 2010 when they started detaining and extorting people for carrying bullets. Then in 2016, it was called off. Extortion in the airport has been going on for a long time, with different moduses, since 1986.

Walter P. Komarnicki
Guest

we don’t have attitudes – they have us.

WILD MAN
Guest

Semantics Walter….Semantics are useless.

WILD MAN
Guest
As a TYPHOON threatens to annihilate Merto-Manila and the NCR I want to see who Duterte calls to help with the disaster. Decades old friends, the USA, or his ‘NEW FRIENDS’: China. Personally, I’d like to see him call China so China can find out what a relationship they are in for and because any aid the USA sends gets stolen or locked in a warehouse to go bad. Filipino’s don’t get it: The people THAT RUN THE COUNTRY MUST BE ERADICATED, not street level drug dealers. That is scapegoating and only works on idiots, which Filipino’s apparently have an… Read more »
WILD MAN
Guest

Every citizen is afforded protection under the Law/Constitution. Duterte has thrown the constitution under the bus and has had a murdering hand in the deaths of 6,000 ‘ALLEGED’ street level drug dealers. Why is Duterte not going after the Energy speculators? OR THE STOCK-MARKET RIGGERS? OOHHH, SSSHHHH, huh? WHY? IS IT BECAUSE They are powerful and will kill him? Why yes, THATS WHY !!!

Scapegoating street level drug dealers and discarding the constituition is all this guy has done…. SO FAR. Cheering for him makes you look like a self-loathing idiot, WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO NEXT?

Aphetsky Lasa
Guest
You are definitely one of those whose bias and prejudice against President Duterte is clearly apparent. However right it is to express oneself, accusing him of murder is surely libelous, sans proof. Still, that is your opinion and that should be respected. There are now almost a million “street level” drug users and dealers who surrendered; why they are still alive surely beats me; why no family members of the dead “street level drug dealers” have come forward to file charges against law enforcers who they presumed or believed perpetrated their murder is pretty strange, considering we are still a… Read more »
Duardum
Guest
Good intentions are abound, but I just struggle to see how murdering dealers & users is a right way forward in this day & age. Dealers take advantage of our failed, inadequate & hugely corrupt police, legal & political systems to ply their poison, and users are their victims (along with their families & friends). I’m not saying I’m 100% right (I have no experience in these matters), but my own common sense says fix the system before this current course of action is justified. Prevention being better than cure, etc. It’s also hard to hear the righteousness of the… Read more »
Aphetsky Lasa
Guest
Isn’t it exactly what this war on drugs is all about, fixing the system? This war on drugs is, I believe a do-it-all scheme, ranging from getting rid of illegal drugs to corruption attached to it. Killing cannot be avoided, especially in shootouts. I always presume that these drug suspects are forewarned. And in scenarios where these drug suspects fight it out with the law enforcers, I would rather the latter be the ones standing, not the former, who could be out in the streets doing what they do best, drug dealing. The law serves the people. But one cannot… Read more »
WILDMAN
Guest

@Lasa,OH FUCK YOU and you LIBELOUS SHIT. The guy said that he would give people medals for killing drug-dealers’, that is the state sanctioning MURDER, GET REAL? NO, GET A CLUE YOU FUCKIN MORON.

Aphetsky Lasa
Guest

You don’t definitely understand what murder means. To you, when someone gets killed, he is murdered. Widen your thoughts , dre, and do not rely too much on tabloid news and do yourself a favor. Me, a fuckin’ moron? You point one finger at me, three more point at you. Pikon! Hindi mo pala kayang makipag discuss on an intellectual level. Stay way from this site, SOB! There. I call you name. Happy?

P... I.. N.. Mga Pekeng lider
Guest
P... I.. N.. Mga Pekeng lider

@Wild Man DU30 should start killing the convicted drug lords at the NBP which he should have done long upon assumption of office as President. They are not even a hundred compared to the 4Million addicts !

He keeps on telling that he will kill those who are destroying the lives and future of Filipinos.

Well, well well ! Are not the convicted drug lords the big time operators of the illegal drug trade in the country ?

Why are they still alive ?

WILDMAN
Guest

@ P.I.N., YOU TELL ME WHY…

P... I.. N.. Mga Pekeng lider
Guest
P... I.. N.. Mga Pekeng lider

@ P.I.N., YOU TELL ME WHY…- WILDMAN === You do not have any idea WHY ?

You are brilliant, articulate, educated and reasonable, right?

You may want to share your opinion why DU30 is not ordering the killing those convicted druglords at the NBP who operate the illegal drug trade in the country. 🙂

Of course, if DU30 orders the killing of those convicted druglords, under Court’s our strict rules of evidence, the killing will never be traced to him like the assissation of Ninoy at the tarmac, right?

WILD MAN
Guest

RIP GEORGE MICHAEL !

ChinoF
Member

I’ve learned over my time blogging that people will have prejudices and biases. The problem for me is, first, making those biases and prejudices as policies, and second, reacting to someone else’s prejudices and biases. What really matters is not what someone thinks and believes, but what they actually do.

515Hyden007Toro9999.999
Guest
515Hyden007Toro9999.999
Common sense is so uncommon in our country…that most of the leaders, we elected are incompetent and ineffective. Lag Lag Bala was an evil scheme of Aquino and Abaya, to raise funds for the Liberal Party in the incoming election. It was a scam/fraud of the Aquino administration. It was not solved during their term; because they don’t want to solve it ! We have all our biases and prejudices. They came from, how we were brought out. They are products of our: cultures, religious beliefs, family way of thinking, our tribes, or from what province, you came from in… Read more »
salagintong bukid
Guest

president duterte is right, the 87 constitution should be amended. it’s very clear now it’s a yellow constitution. it’s the one saving de lima very hard. and she’s using it.

4441Toro007Hyden99999.9999
Guest
4441Toro007Hyden99999.9999

The 1987 Constitution by Cory Aquino, was intended to strengthen the grip of the Feudal Oligarchs for their continuity to govern the country…

It paved the way for Cory Aquino and her: family, relatives, cahoots, political party, business associates, etc…to plunder the country, at will…it made their businesses and their business associates profit enormously, at the expense of all of us !

Look at the DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, the Leila de LIma/Aquino/Mar Roxas Shabu Drug cartel , etc…

We have to scrap this useless Constitution, and make a new Constitution; that truly serves the Filipino people…one that benefits, everybody…

Renato Flores
Guest

The 1973 Constitution with unicameral parliamentary system of government drafted by elected ConCon delegates in 1971 was the best Constitution ever but sadly Marcos corrupted it with his Amendment 6.

There must be a referendum for the people to decide pitting the 1973 Constitution to DU30 Federal System of Government which is the ultimate move to the irreversible balkanization of this small country of only 330 thousand square kilometers (attacked yearly by typhoons like Yolanda, Nina, etc) but with a whooping population of 110 millions pinoys breeding like rabbits, no thanks to the local Roman Catholic Church heirarchy (CBCP).

Propaganda Boy
Guest

4441Toro007Hyden99999.9999,

It’s going to be better to bring back and re-establish 1935 Constitution + 1973 Constitution without parliament but with constitutional authoritarianism and with unicameral legislature and one-party state like that in China, instead of multi-party parliamentary democracy.

salagintong bukid
Guest
salagintong bukid
Guest

which calamity funds will cover up victims in camarines sur? the 2016 funds or the 2017 duterte funds?

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest

eFOI.

d_forsaken
Guest

Leaders create influence with the clays of criticism others throw at them. They don’t take offence; they take corrections.

Renato Flores
Guest

نقاشی ساختمان درکرج There is nothing wrong is using highly abstract ideas. What is important is to know how they are actualized and how these ideas are corroborated by refuting facts not by supporting facts.

WILD MAN
Guest
Look, the Republica De Pilipinas is sooo soo far fucked, and its people sooo far divided that to solve its problems is going to take 50 years from the DATE that the oligarchs and politicians that run the country are ousted/eliminated. SINCE there are no indications of that happening any time soon, all that is going to happen is more of the same shit, with dwindling civil rights and getting rid of the constitution. Filipino’s are sooo fuckin stoopid they do not even realize that the constitution is the only thing that stops the state from mass incarceration. IF IT… Read more »
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