The populists and the guardians of ‘decency’

There’s a common trait shared by some of the critics of US president Donald Trump and Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte that drives even the most rational supporters of both presidents into near-fanatic levels in defending their chosen candidate.

The supposed supporters of “modern liberal thinking”, the antithesis of the “backward and barbaric” maxims supposedly espoused by the likes of these two recently-elected presidents, have tirelessly beat down and consistently displayed their disgust on everything they and their supporters have done as early as the campaign period, all the way to being sworn into office.

For sexist remarks, gutter-mouthed orations, to racist and homophobic slurs, these polarizing characters have singlehandedly demolished political correctness without even trying. And that, as far as the champions of good behavior and crusaders of morality and everything good, is downright unforgivable.

To the arbiters of so-called progressive thinking, support for the two controversial presidents and everything they stand for is the equivalent of an intellectual and moral lobotomy: There’s just no way an intelligent, morally upright person would support anything so ‘dumb’, crass, and given to outbursts unbecoming of a ‘statesman’.

Therefore—whether it’s implied or stated bluntly—if you support these two in any way, you must be a racist, homophobic, bloodthirsty war-monger who does not know what he’s doing and who can’t see the possible ramifications of his ‘reactionary‘ vote.

That about right?

In the Philippines there’s a significant number of people comprising a small, but perpetually annoying group that think in terms of how things should be rather than adapt and work with what’s available because of how things are. Lovingly called The Yellows—named after the banner color of the Aquino Clan after the 1986 EDSA Revolution—they also branded themselves and their cause ‘disente’ (decent) as early as the campaign period as a counterpoint for Mar Roxas against the popular, but foul-mouthed Duterte.

The Yellows, along with a small group of other dissenters who do not necessarily view the Aquinos as patron saints, have taken to the streets to voice their disapproval of controversial initiatives of the administration like the war on drugs and the Marcos burial. Some even matched the president’s penchant for hyperbole by declaring the Philippines is in the early stages of the apocalypse.

What these people who insist on lofty principles (like the overused and abused term justice) seem to have forgotten is that the very entities they keep on demanding their government to provide have been already missing in the Philippines for a long time. And that these concepts seem to work only for a few privileged and moneyed families; and are all but alien to the average Pinoy trying to make ends meet on a daily basis.

Where democratic institutions and concepts that are supposed to be in service of the people have been turned into mere abstractions with no real meaning or bearing in reality:  ‘Law enforcement’, ‘justice’, ‘public services’, and even HUMAN RIGHTS have turned into vestigial extensions of politicians’ by-the-numbers-speeches that do not resonate in any way and leave any lasting impression to the general population.

Which is not to say that all those ideals should not be upheld.  There is a general perception among the critics of the present administration that it shuns these principles for shortcut methods to achieve maximum results in the smallest possible time frame. Lots of arguable points there from, moral, ethical and humanist perspectives. No question there.

However, as what GRP has been asserting since its inception, government is simply the product of the culture that spawned it. And that Philippine culture is the main culprit.

Because despite all the posturings to the contrary, the Philippines really is an inherently unjust and backward society beset with a troubling case of tribalism and acute clannish mentality that takes precedence over anything. In his article The Philippines: An inherently unjust society where criminals big and small get away GRP webmaster benign0  condensed that very sentiment about Philippine government in a very simple, but confronting question:

In the Philippines, is there anyone in the government one can run to who could assure us that the best efforts will be taken and the latest facilities employed to get the job done?

Given such a bleak scenario and a shortage of real action from institutions that are supposed to protect and render service for the average taxpayer, it is hardly surprising why the likes of Duterte’s brand of instant (allegedly) “vigilante” justice gained a strong foothold in a society that, as expected, thrives on doing things in a shortcut manner. Hence, the pwede na expression that, unfortunately, is still the norm in the nation. Just take a look at the candidates during the last presidential election and you can clearly see who stood out by packaging himself as a catalyst that would get the country out of its rut.

As many political analysts in the Philippines have repeatedly said, a good number of voters have been fed up by the same ineffectual and flat-lining brand of management Metro Manila TRAPOS have been subjecting the entire nation for years. The small ‘Bisaya’ mayor was everything the old guard were not.

It is perhaps the scathing video commentary of British news personality Jonathan Pie that best describes the same phenomenon when Trump won:

“Most people didn’t vote for her, not because she’s a woman, they didn’t vote for her because she offered no palpable change whatsoever. Same old shit. Trump represents a change, a terrifying change, but a change nonetheless.”

I totally get the outrage, because that’s exactly how I would probably react had the tables been turned and the person I supported was beaten by the one I would like the most to lose. And now, rumors of self-styled ‘patriot’ Loida Nicolas Lewis spearheading an Oust Duterte! movement had been circulating in both traditional and social media lately. The dissenters have apparently found their beacon of hope in her and Leni Robredo. All under the pretense of ‘saving’ the Philippines from a raving maniac.

You don’t like Duterte, fine. You hate his mannerisms and policies, fine. You’d rather have pristine, sweet-talking, politically-correct, thieving dipshits endorsed by the equally corrupt CBCP; that’s fine, too. To each his pawn in the never-ending powerplay that is politics.

But kindly drop the ‘moral’ and ‘decent’ bullcrap. We’re all Pinoys here, and you’re not fooling anyone.

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Post Author: rsurtida

Worker in a private sector hive.

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55 Comments on "The populists and the guardians of ‘decency’"

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565Toro007Hyden9999.999
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565Toro007Hyden9999.999
We, Filipinos, have been tired of the same old shit politics, and the politically correct statements of TRAPO politicians, who wanted our votes. After the election; these corrupt politicians, do the same old shit, of thievery, patronage politics, political zarzuela, political opportunism, etc… Same in the U.S. People see the same political faces, year in and year out, coming to ask for their votes. After the election : the same old shit of U.S. politics. So, the Americans elected Donald J. Trump, as their next President. Pres. Trump, never held any government office; but; he was a very successful businessman…… Read more »
salagintong bukid
Guest

in the philippines, human rights is for those aligned with the yellowtards. and these yellowtards and their followers, their body and mind already shrinks using shabu, ecstacy, and all kinds of hallucinations. they cannot accept defeat, how could they survive without drugs.

hark
Guest

Yellow media needs to be overtaken on google search results. Ive had enough of their divisive bull.s. There are lots of gullible people searching for his name there

d_forsaken
Guest
We shouldn’t be seeking the respect of an unjust Failipino society that will not respect us on the basis of our humanity alone. Stand up for what is right against the wrong. Stand up for what is fair against the unfair. Stand up for Truth even it means standing alone. Stand up for your conscience. Use light to reveal what is concealed in the darkness. Use truth to fight the lies, and the heart to fight the mind. We are not for the left or right team, but for what is right against the wrong. No cause occurs without effect,… Read more »
278Hyden007Toro9999.999
Guest
278Hyden007Toro9999.999
Human Rights is the issue the U.S. and its European Union allies, use as a reason to overthrow leaders, that will not follow what they want them to do. The late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was overthrown by the U.S. / C.I.A. on the reason of Human Rights in his Martial Law…Pres. Kadhafy was overthrown , on the reason of Human Rights. The late Pres. Saddam Hussein of Iraq, was overthrown, on the reason of Human Rights… Pres. Bashar Al Assad is being overthrown, on the reason of Human Rights. However, if you look at Saudi Arabia, and other Middle… Read more »
marius
Guest
But kindly drop the ‘moral’ and ‘decent’ bullcrap. We’re all Pinoys here, and you’re not fooling anyone. That made me LOL 🙂 I still think it remains to be seen how Duterte fares. Culling the worst of the worst is a long overdue task that wouldn’t even be necessary if the country hadn’t hit rock bottom. But it did. And then it dug a hole in the ground and sunk even lower. So how do you get up from there? The problem is: what then? The BIR and BOC are still shoving cash in their pockets like there’s no tomorrow… Read more »
Amir Al Bahr
Guest

The scale of the problem in the Philippines is astounding, most likely even for Duterte. It looks like not even he can stop the sinking of the Philippines. Not while the citizens are conditioned – culturally, for the most part – to look away from problems as long as humanely possible.

Ngek Ngek
Guest

@Amir Al Bahr What exactly do you mean when you said

“Not while the citizens are conditioned – culturally, for the most part – to look away from problems as long as humanely possible.”

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

It means exactly what it says: as long as people here look away from (ignore) their problems (and think of it as solving them), then no amount of leadership, or change is coming, can help them.

Who cares?
Guest
President Duterte is the excessive ballast that will sink this decrepit ship, he is certainly & undoubtedly no saviour! Following his own agenda to create a legacy, he is so far removed from a democratically elected public servant it’s frightening. But then every public servant we have believes they have God-like status, to sit on a throne made from the misery of the people they are sworn to serve. In the end there’s only one course of real action, and almost every other backward country has had to do it (but they had the courage to do it well before… Read more »
marius
Guest

WhoCares: problem is, how are you going to do it?

You think corruption is just a problem of government? Filipinos are corrupt to the bones; 70-80% of them, at least. Corrupt politicians would not be able to buy votes if the ordinary man in the street were not as corrupt as he is.

There are only a tiny minority who actually think as you do (or even think at all). It’s unlikely you can do anything – by yourselves – to drag the entire population out of the filth that they wallow in.

DIO
Guest

In every country, there WILL always be corruption. The only difference is where and how the government will do its job to work out and achieve its day-to-day goals.

One of the reasons why there are corrupt politicians is that the corrupt people who put them in.

Who cares?
Guest

It seems World history is bypassed by most. Has this not happened time & time again – and literally everywhere? But if you want to ashamedly blame us, the common people, for the ridiculousness of this situation, then I’m sorry you feel like that. It’s so wrong…

DIO
Guest
It seems World history is bypassed by most. Has this not happened time & time again – and literally everywhere? But if you want to ashamedly blame us, the common people, for the ridiculousness of this situation, then I’m sorry you feel like that. It’s so wrong… Seems you’re missing the point that I tried to point this out: “One of the reasons why there is rampant corruption is because of how the people VIEW the government as a spectator sport. You guys love to put Noynoy and FPGMA, familial last names and former showbiz people to politics, then when… Read more »
marius
Guest
But if you want to ashamedly blame us, the common people, for the ridiculousness of this situation, then I’m sorry you feel like that. It’s so wrong… Ah, we’re back to Filipino mode, WhoCares. It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? If it isn’t the common people voting for criminals, who is it? Are you suggesting every vote is fake? If the politicians aren’t drawn from the population at large, where are they from? Is there a special factory turning out corrupt politicians, who are utterly different from the good, honest citizens? Thing is, I wasn’t even blaming you personally.… Read more »
Who cares?
Guest

Haha. Raw nerves all round need soothing with nonsense…

WILDMAN
Guest
@ WHO CARES, AT LAST, SOMEONE WHO SEE’S WHAT IS HAPPENING. DUTERTE HAS ONLY MURDERED 6,000 ALLEGED STREET-LEVEL DRUG DEALERS, that is all. IN DOING SO HE HAS BY-PASSED THE FILIPPINES CONSTITUTION AND SET THE STAGE FOR YET ANOTHER DICTATORSHIP.Duterte has not gone after the energy speculators that have driven the price of electricity to the highest prices for electricity IN THE WORLD !!! Nor the oligarchs front-running the stock-market every day, which is highly illegal.uterte has done nothing to address these two things, NOTHING but KILL STREET-LEVEL DRUG DEALERS, PPPFFFF…… Another person asks:HOW DO WE GET RID OF THE… Read more »
Who cares?
Guest
Sometimes it feels as though we miss the seriousness of our political situation. We desperately want to believe that with a couple of tweaks all will be fine and dandy. That all is OK really, if we only talk things out. However, our own nature makes that impossible – we don’t talk, generally as a people we’re chronically defensive, unable to face the idea our situation is rotten to the core. We’re trying to fix something that’s way too far gone – like patching a tire for the 20th time when common sense says buy a new one. So we… Read more »
kaepernick
Guest

Are you saying that anyone who disagrees with duterte’s policies automatically supports ” pristine, sweet-talking, politically-correct, thieving dipshits endorsed by the equally corrupt CBCP”? Way to shut down any constructive discussion, congrats.

Domeng
Guest

Yet another idiot who can’t get the point when its staring him in the face. It’s the hypocrisy of your “decent” ilk (though im sure youll deny youre one of them) that’s being skewered here. The last paragraph alone should have been a clue but you know, butt hurts can’t think straight.

kaepernick
Guest

What about taking an oath to “preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man” then turning around and allowing the police to kill with impunity and defend them unconditionally, you dont find that incongruous? #dontbefanatic

Domeng
Guest

How about “innocent until proven guilty” and yet there you are and your ilk denouncing the guy simply because he talks different from you. You don’t find that incongrous? De Lima et al had several years to build a case against him, nothing happened; Trillanes even went to the guy prior to the election to have him as a runnning mate (despite his “knowledge” of the man’s “EJK” history kuno) and now, all of a sudden, the guy is the goddam incarnation of evil to this/your crowd. You don’t find that incongruous? #dontbeahypocrite

marius
Guest

Aw, how cute. Domeng thinks the Philippines has a functioning justice system with an honest and intelligent judiciary. Hope springs eternal, eh?

Come on. If such a thing existed, Duterte wouldn’t need to cut corners, would he?

Domeng
Guest

@Marius – Well I simply responded on the guy’s argument about being a stickler for laws when it suits them but not on personalities they despise. So yeah, welcome to the banana republic.

Kosaku Kawajiri
Guest

How about this:

I agree with Domeng’s statement. Why wouldn’t they file a case against him back then? I know why: Duterte is irrelevant to them just because they’re cozing up with the elites inside Imperial Manila and they’ll just wait for the media to cover things up for them. You don’t find that incongruous? #OPisafaggot

kaepernick
Guest

The 6,000 murder victims so far they don’t have the privilege of innocent until guilty?

WILDMAN
Guest
@ YOU IDIOTS, Kapernick is absolutely correct. The MURDERED Filippine citizens had every right in the land to a fair trial, and at no tie did they qualify for summary execution at the hands of the newly elected state leader. If there is a non-functioning judiciary it is up to the people to fix and get a functioning one that will deal with street-level drug-dealing but execution by the state is Authoritarian-ism and there is nothing democratic about it. If you want a dictatorship, keep doing what you are doing…it will not be much longer. BUT, if you want a… Read more »
Amir Al Bahr
Guest

Actually, the “opposition”, if you can even call them that, is equally guilty of “shutting down any constructive discussion”, just as anybody. The difference is that they claim to do it under the banner of “morality” and “decency”.

Author spelled that out clearly for you at the end (not that we can count on people like you to read the whole article anyway), and yet you still missed it. By a mile.

kaepernick
Guest

Is there anything more holier than thou than anointing yourself (along with your police) judge jury and executioner? are you authoritarian?

Kosaku Kawajiri
Guest

Says the actual holier-than-thou hypocritical douche who keeps on missing the point. You’re no different to the American Left, which is their fault that people like Donald Trump won.

Perhaps set aside your emotional outbursts and try to dig deeper. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

Nah, the holier-than-thou attitude that stands out here in the Philippines is that of those who claim to be for “decent” behavior, but are every bit as dirty as those they characterize in an unflattering light, i.e., those who aren’t allied with them.

Deal with it.

Blacktooth
Guest
BUT, if you want a decent country with opportunity for all, STAMP OUT THE CORRUPTION FROM THE TOP DOWN, not the bottom up as Duterte is doing. Get rid of the energy speculators that are crushing entreprenurial growth as well as the oligarchs front-running the stock market and arrest all the politicians and deport them all. ONLY DRASTIC MEASURES WILL WORK, and Duterte is using them ass-backwards and what happens when you point the gun in the 180 degree wrong direction(ASS-BACKWARDS)? Easier said than done. All your “solutions” are just conjectures and suppositions of someone who’s not on the ground… Read more »
Max Alvarado
Guest

The way it really works in the Philippines is:

My douchebag is better than your douchebag. We know they’re all douchebags but I think douchebag can do something a BIT MORE positive than your douchebag. Every other ululation about laws, morals, and the very foundation of simply being a good human being are just props to promote your douchebag and demolish his/her other douchebag opponents.

DIO
Guest

It is more like a more modernized version of the ‘pataasan ng ihi’ but it is also a form of attention whoring as well.

kaepernick
Guest

Politics/democracy is all about the lesser evil, that is not unique to the philippines.

Max Alvarado
Guest

Politics/democracy is all about the lesser evil, that is not unique to the philippines.

Yeah. So maybe you should stop whining about Duterte then and focus your efforts in changing the very system that put him there.

marius
Guest

Politics/democracy is all about the lesser evil, that is not unique to the philippines.

True up to a point. What’s unique to the Philippines is the degree.

In most functioning countries people can choose between (1) a marginally-competent and self-interested party/president (2) another party/president virtually indistinguishable from 1.

In the Philippines, they get to choose between (1) a bunch of convicted criminals, and (2) a bunch of criminals who haven’t been convicted yet.

However, since one or the other of those descriptions fits 80% of the Pinoy population, the Philippine government is at least representative of We The People.

WILD MAN SAM
Guest

@ Kapernick, YOU DO NOT KNOW WTF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, its plain too see by the statement you just made.’…Democracy is all about the lesser evil’, WTF? You haven’t a clue.

WILD MAN
Guest
Filipino’s that equate Dueterte to Trump are just as mixed up as a it gets. There is no comparison.One is a career dynastic, FOS, politician, the other is a successful business man that has never held elected office. Filipino’s do not even understand that what has happened to their country since Dueterte has taken office:and that is TYRANNY, plain and simple. Killing ANYONE without ‘DUE PROCESSS’ in the Philippines is a direct violation of the Constitution that protects Filippine citizens from an over-zealous state. The fact that Filipino’s are cheering for the Man who is responsible for this TYRANNY directly… Read more »
KekMan
Guest

Says the TROLL who loved the tyranny of mediocrity and stupidity that started in 1986 that it lasted for 30 years and prefers to go back to the old days. Hypocritical, isn’t it?

WILD MAN
Guest

@ KEKMAN, you are such the idiot that you fail to realize that if it weren’t for the EDSA revolt this GRP website would not be allowed to exist. YOU ARE A DUMBASS.

the last 30 years you had elections,prior to that…not so much,huh? Dueterte is trampling on the constitution of the country, and you idiots cheer for him, BWAH AH HA HA !!!

KekMan
Guest
Sorry, son. But it seems you’re easily triggered due to your own form of TROLLING, etc. -EDSA 1 is no sacred either. It only paved the way for another political family to take over and it seems you deny the existence of Singapore. Perhaps the term ‘the people are free but stupid’ is acceptable to you. -What’s so hilarious is that you’re always cheering for the previous president who is always trampling on the constitution just to go against his enemies. Yep, Yellow Troll confirmed. Just accept that saying ‘BWAH AH HA HA !!!’ is that you’re actually butthurt and… Read more »
WILDMAN
Guest

@ Kekman, WHERE DID I CHEER FOR THE LAST PRESIDENT, WHERE…You are hallucinating, if the country had a functioning healthcare sytem you would be on your way to the emergency room at a psychiatric facility because you are hallucinating.
DOUCHBAG, show me where I said anything about the last president or his scumbag family.

KekMan
Guest

@WILDFAG:

Says the ACTUAL douchebag who is actually hallucinating in the first place that things would be better if someone like Duterte would never exist. So yeah, you’re cheering for the LAST PRESIDENT because you alw thought that things are better under him.

So yeah, TROLLS like yourself are always hallucinating.

WILD MAN
Guest

So, one has to drop all intents and purpose’s of a decent citizen in order to be oppossed to a Tyrant such as Dueterte? That would make those that do this exactly like him.

tomas
Guest

That’s exactly the kind of condescension that make the likes of Trump and Duterte win. Keep it up.

KekMan
Guest

Seems you’re more of a Hillary fanboy, son.

WILD MAN
Guest

@ Kman, you know NOTHING about me, NOTHING Sonny, NOTHING !

DIO
Guest

You are what you POST, son. So yeah, keep it up so I can still expose how much of a CUCK you are.

WILDMAN
Guest

@ DIO, you scam artist, having the nerve to call yourself God when you are at best a frikkin dog.PPPFFF…. you cant hang with me anywhere. You do not even know how to play checkers you fuckin nit-wit ,so how are you going to play Chess with a Grand-Master,HUH? YOU DOUCHEBAG !

DIO
Guest

@WILDFAG:

Says the actual scam artist and an actual douchebag who thinks that everything is better if it was from the Yellow Camp or something. You’re no different than the people you try to accuse. BTW, seems you cheer for incompetent puppets…

WILDMAN
Guest

‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU POST”, The words of a fuckin complete moron. This is a blog on the internet you idiot.

GM
Guest

We can observe in these comments how every armchair (or beer crate) expert will not even slightly consider another point of view. Therein lies the problem of inflexible righteousness feeding unreasonable anger and achieving absolutely nothing. It’s a little like driving on our hideous roads, everyone wants to be in front no matter the consequence. The macho driver (expert) tramples all others to sit at the front and proves only stupidity – nothing more. Nothing is resolved – but entertaining none the less…

Ngek Ngek
Guest

Why can’t we just state the problem/s then propose our solution/s?

Ad Hominem is pathological. Only the dense would disagree.

WILDMAN
Guest

and just so you ll know, THERE IS NO OPPOSITION, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME….its a scam, the entire poltical process has been bastardized to look as if it is democratic but tht s the very last thing it actually is. The Filippines is a barely functioning basket case because of all that has been stolen from its citizens since 1939.

The PEOPLE must rise together and deal the enemy a swift and lethal death blow.

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