Filipinos have come to prefer VIOLENT solutions to their national problems

Filipinos are no longer moved by what the traditional ‘owners’ of ‘human rights’ presume to say on their behalf.

Who owns the concept of “human rights”? Is it the United Nations? Is it the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)? Is it Chito Gascon? Is it the Yellowtards? If we are to believe certain “thought leaders”, it seems everyone but ordinary Filipinos are “human rights” advocates.

They are overdue for a reality check. Just within sight and earshot of most ordinary Filipinos are “human rights violations” galore. That obnoxious neighbour who belts out “My Way” on his karaoke at three in the morning? The tricycles and jeepneys that respectively putt-putt and roar past us while spewing corrosive fumes into our faces? Those cretins who, oblivious to the surrounding people who were there first, help themselves to the buffet table? No, sir. We are not allowed to complain about them because all that buffoonery is just part of the “Filipino experience”. No big deal, right?

If we cannot solve small instances of “human rights” abuse, what hope do we have of solving the big-ticket items?

“Human rights” is just a high-nosed brand slapped on common decency that people should have learned in kindergarten. To the latte-sipping Starbucks set, it is a fashion statement to be dropped at chi chi powows and “polite” conversation. Therein lies the disconnect between what ordinary Filipinos see and what the chattering classes tweeting from their Ivory Towers profess.

Violence is made out to be “un-Filipino” by many of these lactose-addicted village kids. Yet if they bother to look over and outside the walls of their fortified residential enclaves, they will find that Filipinos actually prefer violent solutions to their many issues. The way ordinary Filipino motorists muscle their way through traffic is a case in point. Philippine roads are microcosms of Philippine society. There are rules, but they are so shoddily- and inconsistently-enforced that everyone takes matters into their own hands. You won’t get anywhere in Manila unless you are good at projecting power to surrounding motorists in the form of aggressive lane-changing and tailgating, flashing headlights, and blasting your horn. Philippine roads are a jungle and, it seems, Filipinos are perfectly fine with that.

Consider then the big assumptions that Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David makes about the Filipino mindset — that, she thinks, Filipinos prefer that the government spend their money more on “social works” and less on “violent” solutions. She expresses this dubious assumption in her recent lament on President Rodrigo’s proposed budget for 2018…

Human rights group Karapatan describes this budget as a “war chest against the Filipino people.” The plan for a P3.7-trillion budget, the group says, is to use most of the funds for its counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, as well as for the state’s “bloody war on drugs.” Says Karapatan: “Both programs are designed to inflict further State terror and violence on the poor, while public funding for social programs on housing, education, and health services have been or are practically rendered nonexistent.”

Jimenez-David laps up a certain “human rights” group’s screeching indictment of the proposed national budget using emotionally-laden words like “bloody”, “state terror”, and “against the poor” to echo the din of fear-mongering over Duterte’s different approach to dealing with the Philippine situation.

Consider that and then, honestly, think about your own sense of powerlessness over the banal injustice of Philippine society. Who hasn’t at least once fantasized about calling in an air strike on their neighbourhood karaoke singers’ houses? Who hasn’t fantasized about taking out a bazooka and blowing off the road a drug-crazed jeepney or bus driver who had just almost forced you onto a kerb? Who hasn’t once wished they could make that millennial who just walked in front of their spot in a queue while scrolling through her Facebook timeline eat her iPhone for lunch? Who hasn’t, for years on end, wondered in amazement why blatant pork barrel thievery in Congress was not simply dealt with by abolishing that whole insitutionalised crime syndicate?

Then stop to think why Filipinos have just about had it with “peaceful options” and those hipster solutions that require cops and soldiers hamstrung by “human rights” rhetoric to fix Manila’s traffic mess, Mindanao’s terrorist infestation, and the Philippines’ overall culture of crime armed with no more than their best Closeup smiles. As evident in the way ordinary Filipinos drive, it is a safe bet to assume Filipinos have better ideas in mind around how to fix those problems.

The Philippines’ hipster peaceniks have lost the battle for the heart of the Filipino. That’s just the way democracy and the “free market of ideas” that is today’s media landscape works. The statistics that drive who wins in a democracy and the memetic jungle that shapes the winners and losers of the public relations game are mere algorithms of the system we had signed up to as part of our aspirations to be beings of free will. There is no moral or immoral in a democracy and in the media landscape. There are only those who survive and win in the game on the basis of which pitch captures the popular sentiment. Those who lose may throw tantrums and be all crybaby about their loss. But how one behaves when one loses — or when one wins, for that matter — is also a personal choice.

It’s simple, really. If we want Filipinos to regain their faith in the ol’ “human rights” school of thought, its proponents need to get better at selling it in the free market. The “morality” of an idea is not an entitlement to victory. Not in a “democracy” and not in a society where “freedom of speech” is guaranteed.

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44 Comments on “Filipinos have come to prefer VIOLENT solutions to their national problems”

  1. Tendency to solve things through violence is what put Duterte in his office, but only because the previous administration has proven its necessity. He is the “if all else fails” option. People are so fed up with government ineptitude that we’re willing to be ruled with an Iron Fist to get things done.

    Personally, I find solving through violence is barbaric, but I also deem it necessary in certain situations. As much as possible, we need to find an alternative non-violent way to do things, but we also have to be prepared to use violence when necessary.

  2. Says the second-hand Aussie wanker who doesn’t have to taste iron(y)-rich dog shit. You don’t fucking speak for me, you don’t fucking speak for the innocents killed in this phony war, you don’t speak for their fucked-up families, and you sure as fuck don’t speak for the majority here in this country.

    Bugger off, you fuck.

    1. My my, such foul language touching my virgin eyeballs.

      I don’t presume to “speak” for anyone. I’m just a humble writer committing my thoughts to the digital ether.

      1. We want violent solutions? We want to drench ourselves in the blood of innocents? I’m a fucking Pinoy, and hearing 6 dead 10 dead 30 dead newborns dead kids dead teens dead day after waking day fucks me up real bad. Swell thing you don’t have to dwell in fear and anger down under, fearing those who are supposed to serve and protect you, lest you piss them off and they make up an excuse to bundle and salvage you off, huh?

        Who the fuck are these Pinoys in your article, then? You and what gaggle of sadists or woolly-eared fuckwits?

      2. @Pallacertus: My esteemed colleague, I believe, answered your question in his recent article. Excerpt as follows…

        It seems violence is the only language Pinoys will respond to. Any threat that falls short of spilling blood is simply shrugged off as just a minor nuisance. Jaywalkers just won’t quit – not until we station snipers at overpasses as a check on misbehaving chaos-contributing pedestrians.

  3. We have those “sex starved” nuns, who are demonstrating for “human rights”…the same “sex starved” nuns, who demonstrated for “democracy”, thirty years ago. Instead, we got Feudal Oligarchy, with some theocracy. Making the Aquinos: saints and heroes, and a lot of thievery…

    I believe, we don’t really understand “human rights”…”Human Rights”, to us is doing what we want, above and beyond the law of the land. “Human Rights” to us, is taking advantage of our fellowmen…

    The Shabu Drug dealer has more “human rights”, than the Shabu addict, that he/she had addicted. The Crazed “On High” Shabu drug addict has more “human rights”, than the victim of her/his drug crazed violence.

    I believe, we just throw this “human rights” issue, that covered and diverted us from, the Thievery of: Aquino, Abad, Mar Roxas, Porky Drilon, Andres Bautista, etc…

    We have to focus on the unexplained wealth of Andres “Si Latigo” Bautista. And his being an accomplish in the 2016 election cheating…

    We are a confused country…Callamard, the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, their YellowTard minions, are all confusing us with “human rights” !

    1. Judging from the level of nuclear reactions from certain readers here, looks like the article poked the “hypocrite” button on their “moral” compass. 😉

  4. all their accusations thrown to president duterte are all their doings the same pattern they accused marcos. it won’t work the second time for sure cuz the administration knows what to do…Martial Law. it kept the philippines quiet and peaceful during marcos martial law. poor souls of the yellowtards, return what you’ve stolen from the people. your kingdom is like an octopus now without tentacles. the Fall of the Yellow Kingdom now soaring worldwide.

  5. The author MORONICALLY states that ‘…..HUMAN RIGHTS are just a high nose brand of common decency……’, which is FAR from what Human RIGHTS actually are. The IDIOT FILIPINO that cuts in front of people at the buffet IS NOT violating anyone’s Human RIGHTS as the author wants readers to believe…..IT SIMPLY IS NOT SO.

    HUMAN RIGHTS are defined by different groups as different things. However, the right to not be aggravated by your fellow countrymen is NOT one of them, GET RESL) no , GET A CLUE EE GAD MON……

    1. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that the current administration is the one directly responsible for these so called “Extrajudicial” killings. It’s so easy to hire some corrupt cop to kill some random kid in the streets… citizen outrage follows and since these cops are in uniform, it’s very easy for them to just point to the guy who says “Kill Kill Kill”. So amidst these killings and resulting outrage, WHO BENEFITS?
      Forgive my tin foil hat theory, for I have no concrete basis for this idea. However, I think some elements from the opposition ordered these killings. Its only they who benefits from these instabilities caused. If indeed Martial Law is declared, the current admin is playing right into the Opposition’s hands.

  6. Violence has always been the way of the Filipino, even at the grassroots (look up Benign0’s earlier post about violence being a profound condition in Filipino society). From the headhunters of prehistoric Philippines to a jealous admirer of a woman trying to kill her husband in order to get her to an irate person shooting dead a jeepney driver. I believe it’s simply a result of this natural attitude: Everyone wants to exclude people or things that they believe are not useful to them (walang silbi). Or things that prevent them from getting what they want. So they want to get rid of these things. Sometimes by killing. So that happens. Politically, all administrations of this country have seen violence attributed to them, even those that are claim to be bastions of democracy (Mendiola Massacre anyone?). So, there’s really nothing new here.

  7. GRP,

    Should not be violence but love and compassion. People need to educate people like responsible parents teaching and raring their kids to be good adults someday. We can teach properly but not always being angry and hateful like what you all bloggers are always spouting here. It will not get you anywhere, believe me.

    Also, killing is not necessary in a civilized society. It is only in barbaric times. I hope you realize that. How come you are teaching Filipinos to be modernize and yet favoring those barbaric medieval acts? Contradiction in your part especially you, Benigno. We don’t want to go back in those times. We penalized people based on our laws. Imprisonment is already a cruel penalty even just for one month especially in the prison cells in the Philippines nowadays where prisoners are like sardines.

  8. By the way, trivia: I’ve read in Filipiknow that when a spouse catches their partner in adultery and kills or seriously injures one or both them, he or she only gets “destierro” (banishment) as a punishment, mainly to help the killer escape retaliation from the victim’s family. That’s Article 247 of the Penal Code. It also applies to parents who catch their daughters having sex with someone they don’t like. Violent solutions still seem somewhat supported by law.

    1. Violence is not always the solution in all the cases violative of the laws of the Philippines. There maybe exemption in special cases but acts should be proven as justifiable, example, Justifiable Homicide. Otherwise, there shall be criminal liability incurred on the part of the offender. On your example, husband and wife will still be imprisoned if they remained alive after the unlawful act committed. Only the mistress shall have banishment as a penalty. You should have done your research on that, not for the reason of gossip you already believed. How could you.

  9. The reason why violence is the preferred solution is because the ‘other’ solution is deemed ineffective. Yap all you want about the benefits of love and compassion as well as upholding the rule of law but if they do not deliver the results, it won’t be the go-to solution. This is why vigilantism exists because the institutions that are supposed to combat these problems are ineffective. You want the violence to lessen? Then do a better job of showing the ‘other’ way works. No, denouncing the current administration by saying you are against their policies isn’t going to work. The trick is to show the people that their way of doing things aren’t any better and that the slower but more effective approach does.

    This is a problem with the leftist narrative. They harp on about human rights but totally miss the big picture. That people who are affected by these problems aren’t convinced their way is working. You want to sell your version of justice? Prove that it works. Apparently, the only thing leftists have proven for the past six years under Aquino is that their way is a deterrent to bringing real criminals to justice; bloodless or not.

    Oh hey, Jinggoy just got out of prison.

    1. You contradict yourself. Who is in charge of upholding and protecting the rights of the Filipinos? It is the current administration. If Duterte and his administration cannot do their job properly and their premise is going unlawful and if they go against on what they promised to uphold the laws and constitution at all times then they better resign. Upholding the rule of law should start and end with whose in charge of all the political and economic aspects of the Philippines. And that burden lies in the hands of this administration because they are the ones controlling the current affairs of the state and they are the ones who can make good and humane solutions based on the laws of the land.

      1. Common Tao,

        You are missing the point. On paper, it’s the leaders who are responsible for upholding the law and protecting individual rights. The problem? Apart from not following those oaths, Duterte’s platform has basically been about killing criminals. That’s what got him elected, his populist rhetoric that he will solve our utmost problems by doing this and that. It’s the people who believed in his way of doing things and eventually handed him the reins. It’s the people’s responsibility to elect a leader, therefore, they get what they vote for.

        You want the killings to stop and the rule of law to be upheld? Fine then convince the majority that the latter option will deliver results. I didn’t vote for Duterte but apparently a lot of people did because they believed in his agenda. When you have successive administrations with the same measly outcomes, you are bound to have a leader with extremist tendencies to solve problems that are deeply entrenched into our society. Don’t simply be against extremism but also show (not tell) there is a better way.

        1. Yes. He was elected but that doesn’t mean he is not bound by the law. Nobody should be above the law – the principle of democracy. Those who elected him because they like the ideas of killing are probably uneducated. The disadvantage of democracy allowing different kinds of people to vote. Duterte administration is ruining that principle of democracy by encouraging vigilante killings. Vigilante killing is not a civilized way of implementing the laws in a truly modernized society. It is actually the opposite. How are we going to advance if that is the principle that we must apply.

          What Duterte must do is to strictly implement the laws by his dictatorial nature. He can command the pnp and afp thru his bossy character without resorting to violating the laws and constitution. He has all the power and authority to effect change. He can increase the pnp and afp salaries for all he cares if in order for them to avoid the temptation of corruption and bribery and illegal drugs. But he must stick to the rule of law. That is still the right direction the Filipinos have to embraced. He should at least minimize the killings and give these alleged criminals time to defend their sides. Afterall, if they are imprisoned, prison cells are hell like place nobody will enjoy. If it happened that your love ones, family, relatives and friends are victimized by these vigilantes, what would you feel? You would think that it’s better for them to be incarcerated rather than see them dead. You would feel that killing is a horrible act not ought to be enjoyed by any sane people.

          At the end of the day, the rule of law is what good citizens aspire to follow. It will keep us in peace and order. You must also realize that changing for the better society takes decades of constant strict implementation of the rule of law. See first world countries as your reference. They did not become rich and modernize by only a matter of decade. There is no shortcut process, really. Duterte’s shortcut methods by violating laws will only bring further injustice and misery to the victims and many would-be victims in the future.

  10. Interxavier: you write well. You should start a blog. Or perhaps run for president (purely for amusement value – nobody would vote for you :).

    ChinoF is quite right above: violence IS the Filipino’s preferred solution. It’s the way humanity has solved things since time immemorial in the absence of other solutions. Civilization is the deliberate abrogation of that basic human drive, and it’s not as simple as just writing some laws and paying some people to dress in police uniforms or judge’s robes. Without the underlying ideas, all you end up with is a sham and a money sink – which is indeed what we have here.

    Filipino society is “backward” in the objective sense of the word: living here is like living in the 17th century. It’s literally like stepping back in time. I recognize the culture and mode of living from descriptions of my own country … 400 years ago. Apart from the weather, and the presence of some pointless anachronisms (eg., tricycles), it’s EXACTLY the same.

    Duterte’s big mistake, I think, is assuming he’s going to fix 400 years of stalled social evolution in six months, or a year, or whatever he’s promising this week. It’s going to be a helluva long process, and all he can really do (assuming he wants to) is set the ball rolling.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think there’s any effective way to do that except carefully-applied brainwashing: sending out people into key positions to put different ideas into the heads of children (not adults – they’re unfixable). Hopefully, when they grow up, they’ll be thinking more like interxavier and less like tribal savages hooting at each other and waving sticks.

    1. Marius,

      We all want a quick fix. It’s human nature. What sets each and everyone of us apart is how we respond to it. Sometimes the bad things has to happen in order for the good things to surface.

  11. and things are way better than before, now yellowtards at palace are gone and we finally can get to kill criminals thanks to duterte. killing them is not enough, we need to defile their corpse as a deterrent.

  12. Common-Tao,

    An important point you may have missed out on is the efficiency of our criminal justice system. I’m not an attorney but you just need to look at the speed of which our courts prosecutes criminals. It is inherently slow and inefficient. The amount of cases that continue to pile up on our courts is insane. Prosecuting everyone of these addicts, pushers, and lords take time as well as money. You honestly can’t expect our criminal courts to handle these cases at their present volume. It’s no wonder our people are restless and no longer see the point of following rules. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing or theft are rampant because criminals aren’t even afraid of getting caught. If criminals don’t fear the law, then what’s the point? The killings from both parties–cops, vigilantes, and criminals–will stop if they see that pursuing such actions is unworthy of their time. People aren’t afraid to kill. They need to be in order for the bloodshed to cease.

    We are stuck with a Duterte presidency whether we like it or not. The trick in dealing with leaders you do not like is to allow them to spew their agendas and use it against them. Populist presidents are all talk but the WTF moment comes when they realize things aren’t so black and white. Look at Donald Trump. He pledged that he will bring manufacturing jobs back in America. It didn’t happen. Why? Because those jobs were dead from the get-go. If they weren’t going to China or Mexico, they were going to robots–automation. He said he was going to build a physical wall separating the US from Mexico. It’s been almost a year since he got elected and work has not even commenced. For every month he stays in the White House and every tweet he posts, Trump has continued to make a fool of himself and play into the hands of his enemies–most notably Putin.

    Duterte’s win was a reaction against Aquino’s ineffective policies to combat crime and uplift the people below the poverty threshold. We’ve seen things like this before. Joseph Estrada run on a similar platform. He proudly declared war on the Abu Sayyaf and is a very outspoken frontman for the masses. We both know the failed outcome of Erap’s policies and the infamous legacy of graft his administration planted in our political climate. Such things are bound to happen again if the people who are disenfranchised are not given what they want. I doubt Duterte will be the last leader in the Philippines to win via populist rhetoric. If there’s one thing the outcomes of our elections since 1986 has taught us is that the will of the people has failed us time and again. Direct democracy has always been about popularity–it was never about the most qualified candidate. This has got to go… eventually.

    People love to point out the rule of law and the wrongness of killing. Problem is there are just as many people who believe that The End Justifies the Means (consequentialists) as well as those who believe in the Quality of the Action (deontologists). The former appears to be winning over more supporters than the latter. Indeed, patience isn’t one of our best virtues as a culture. That can change and so can the people if they REALLY want to.

    1. Thus the double-edged nature of “democracy” comes to light. Duterte, like Trump in the US, represents the protest vote. As such, there is cause to argue that Duterte — and Trump — do not necessarily represent their societies’ aspirations but are more representative of a disillusionment with the status quo. Nontheless, they won within the framework of a system we signed up to.

      1. We signed up for a system prioritizing popularity and charisma. We get what we vote for or should I say what the majority–most of whom are gullible–voted for. I don’t recall a president during the 1987 constitution other than Ramos who left office with good approval ratings. The next elected official is always a reaction to the failures of the previous administration. Says a lot about the quality of leaders our system put in office.

    2. Interxavier,

      You are wrong in your premise again. You want the unlawful acts to be lawful in a civilized society? You want those who seek justice to have shortcuts in the process to obtain justice like killing the offender? Because justice system is taking time and expensive? You are ruining the principle of the whole system. If we follow your thinking, you want to dismantle the very institutions that nurture our values and rights as citizens. This will just make things worse. We already have the foundation and that is the rule of law. If the present administration sees the whole problem, they have to propose and implement how the system will be better. Not necessarily breaking the law like killing suspected criminals. That is why they are there in that position to fix the system. If they want to change constitution and amend the laws, fine. If they want the court system and other implementing agencies to be effective and efficient, they can do so with all the resources at their disposal, I think they can very well do all that. But protection of the basic rights, freedom and dignity of every citizen should be the utmost priority. This is the main reason why soceity created the governmet in order to protect those rights and to promote peace and order aside from providing social services for the benefits of everyone. Killing without due process is already an end debate no modern socieities want to embrace.

      The Philippines already scaring out investors due to the effect of murders of the present administration. Imprisonment and rehabilitation of criminals and addicts must be the priorities this admin has to consistently implement. Surveys said that Filipinos do not like the idea of killing without due process. And yet this Duterte admin remains to be obstinate. Conscience and common sense are telling us this is not the right way especially when our family, friends and relatives are victims of this EJK. Yet, Duterte does not give a damn on EJK even in mere speech. So the sanction continues.

      Those who do not have the patience and only look at the future in short term are the reasons why the Philippines remains poor. We learn when we grow up that becoming a mature and responsible person takes time, patience and effort . To finish college takes time. To grow a tree takes time and many more. No shortcut in the process. The same in society. It takes time to mature to reach its potential. Past leaders may have the negligence on their part but it is now the duty of the present admin to create and effect change without breaking the law because it is the law and customs that every citizen of the country rely upon to keep their societies alive and sustainable and better.

      I notice that you are very impatient. Relax. All the great kingdoms and cities in history, no matter how good and strong they were, had vanished into ashes. So we just have to enjoy the ride in fulfilling our dreams so long as we are doing what is right for ourselves and for other people. At least we won’t regret on that part in the end.

      1. @Common-Tao: I don’t think anybody here is calling for a dismantling of “the very institutions that nurture our values and rights as citizens”. What is being pointed out is that the approach to choosing leaders (one where popularity and short-term emotionally-gratifying appeal wins) is incompatible with the need, as you youself pointed out, for a capability for government to effect long-term programmes to keep society on a consistent path towards maturity.

        The notion that the popular will is right is flawed. In the specific case of the Philippines, it is evident that the popular will reflects a national character that is the antithesis of one that succeeds in a world that demands discipline, innovation, and large-scale organisation. Unfortunately that doctrine has been baked into the Yellowtard Constitution of 1987. So now we are a society held prisoner by the character of a people beset by a dysfunctional culture that is anathaema to progress as defined by the West. We call that situation “democracy”.

        1. Benigno,

          What are you saying? Democracy and popular will already existed way before the 1987 constitution. President Marcos and his predecessors were popularly elected by the people based on the democratic constitutions of their time. There was also country progress happened in those times. Why are you blaming the present constitution under the Aquino when it was approved already by the Filipino people? If you remain hook up on hating personalities rather than be objective and impartial on your assessment on the situation of the Philippines, then you will confuse yourself because you are not honest with yourself. You are trying to sell excellence here and at the same time defending what is wrong like killing and violence. That does not make sense.

          Why the Philippines is a mess is not because of democracy and constitution, it is the implementation of laws and programs by implementing agencies that ruin the principle of democracy. That repair needs a lot of time and effort thru the leadership of the President. Since this present admin of Duterte already took oath as mandated by laws and constitution then they are duty-bound to follow because they made themselves subject to it. And the mandates of these laws and constitutions among others are to respect the rights, protect the property and dignity of every citizen.

        2. @Common-Tao Indeed, I agree, the Philippines is not a mess because of “democracy”. It is a mess because of Filipinos. And that is the message GRP has consistently delivered since its inception.

          The Yellowtard Constitution is fundamentally not different to any democratic constitution that came before it. However, what it did was further tighten control over how long a chief executive may hold office — which, as I mentioned earlier, coupled with the notion that what is popular wins, contributes to the repeated victory of stupidity and shortsightedness in this country.

          I’m also a proponent of rule of law and due process. As such, I am not necessarily supporting the alleged “extrajudicial” nature of these alleged “killings”. But what I am bemusedly espousing is that the Opposition be, themselves, consistent with their supposed beholdenness to their Yellowtard Constitution — that they recognise Duterte as representative of the “people’s will” and, being so, that he be given the latitude to do things his way (having won the presidency on promises he is now trying to deliver) and that, if they believe he is governing unlawfully, set about to prove via due process that he is so and seek to take action on that insight via due process as well.

      2. /* You want the unlawful acts to be lawful in a civilized society? You want those who seek justice to have shortcuts in the process to obtain justice like killing the offender? Because justice system is taking time and expensive? You are ruining the principle of the whole system. */

        Again, you missed the point. I used our ineffective and slow justice system as an example to point out flaws in our ‘rule of law’ and why some people have deemed it unworthy of defending—no, I am not one of them in case you are jumping to that conclusion. You don’t simply say we need to use a lawnmower to mow 3000 square feet of lawn when your machine is broken or, worse, non-existent. You either fix it or use cutters. Fix the criminal justice system along with the other flaws in our ‘rule of law’ and perhaps we’ll start seeing some results. As long as the system remains fragmented, criminals will run loose and desperate people will resort to vigilantism to counteract the problem.

        /* If we follow your thinking, you want to dismantle the very institutions that nurture our values and rights as citizens. This will just make things worse. We already have the foundation and that is the rule of law. If the present administration sees the whole problem, they have to propose and implement how the system will be better. Not necessarily breaking the law like killing suspected criminals. That is why they are there in that position to fix the system. If they want to change constitution and amend the laws, fine. If they want the court system and other implementing agencies to be effective and efficient, they can do so with all the resources at their disposal, I think they can very well do all that. */

        You need to ask yourself this question, are the people in the government even interested in doing the things you say? Clearly, they don’t. You probably already know this but there have already been calls to make changes in our laws and system of government years back but it has progressed at a snail’s pace or no steps have been taken at all. There are clearly people in the system who don’t want to that change. It’s been more than a year and I have yet to see a solid plan to transform our government to a federal one. Even worse, protectionist policies like the 60-40 ownership embedded in the constitution has yet not been abolished or modified to allow foreign investment in certain sectors of the economy.

        /* But protection of the basic rights, freedom and dignity of every citizen should be the utmost priority. This is the main reason why soceity created the governmet in order to protect those rights and to promote peace and order aside from providing social services for the benefits of everyone. Killing without due process is already an end debate no modern socieities want to embrace. */

        No one is arguing against this. Not even me or the contributors in GRP. What we are arguing for is the rectification of the system that has been manipulated by the Oligarchs, who predominantly come from the ranks of the liberal party, to further their cause.

        /* The Philippines already scaring out investors due to the effect of murders of the present administration.*/

        Foreign investors are already reluctant to put money in the Filipino economy because:

        a. It is not easy to do business in the country, even for locals. No surprise as our world ranking on ease-of-doing business is 99th in 2017.
        b. The 60-40 rule as mandated by the constitution. Previous GRP have covered this thoroughly and it is quite worrisome.
        c. Poor infrastructure.
        d. The length of time to start a business. This includes dealing with government bureaucracies that are notoriously slow in processing documents.
        e. Taxes. 30% corporate income tax? Savage.

        Extra-judicial Killings are simply the icing on the cake. You want foreign investment? It’s complicated because it is an entangled web of problems that are intentionally designed to keep foreign competitors out. The basic idea is that ‘Filipino’ entrepreneurs should be the ones running the show which is quite the opposite with people on both sides of the political spectrum calling for more foreign investments. Ironic.

        /* Imprisonment and rehabilitation of criminals and addicts must be the priorities this admin has to consistently implement. Surveys said that Filipinos do not like the idea of killing without due process. And yet this Duterte admin remains to be obstinate. Conscience and common sense are telling us this is not the right way especially when our family, friends and relatives are victims of this EJK. Yet, Duterte does not give a damn on EJK even in mere speech. So the sanction continues. */

        Again, it’s not that simple. Like I stated above with the broken lawnmower example, you don’t simply say this or those things must be this or that without realistically considering the obstacles to strengthen or establish such institutions. If we start a national drug rehabilitation program funded by taxpayer money, how are we certain the service will deliver results sans corruption? You can argue that we must start from somewhere. Yes, of course, but given the spate of government hiccups the past few years, it has been very difficult. As citizens, we are like investors putting money (taxes) into government and expecting a good return on investment. Clearly, this has not been the case. Improve government services (e.g. drug rehabs, hospitals, schools, law enforcement) and our confidence will be restored gradually just like any investor confidence. This is not to say it can’t get better. It can. As you have said in your own words, it takes time.

        /* Those who do not have the patience and only look at the future in short term are the reasons why the Philippines remains poor. We learn when we grow up that becoming a mature and responsible person takes time, patience and effort . To finish college takes time. To grow a tree takes time and many more. No shortcut in the process. The same in society. It takes time to mature to reach its potential. Past leaders may have the negligence on their part but it is now the duty of the present admin to create and effect change without breaking the law because it is the law and customs that every citizen of the country rely upon to keep their societies alive and sustainable and better.

        I notice that you are very impatient. Relax. All the great kingdoms and cities in history, no matter how good and strong they were, had vanished into ashes. So we just have to enjoy the ride in fulfilling our dreams so long as we are doing what is right for ourselves and for other people. At least we won’t regret on that part in the end. */

        All that being said, I’m not entirely sure what you are arguing for as you keep repeating the same statements about EJK’s and human rights over and over. You and some commenters here seem under the impression that I and GRP support EJK’s as well as police brutality. Just because we do not ride the same storm of disdain showered by members and supporters of the Liberal Party does not mean we stand behind everything the present administration preaches about. I’ve seen this become a practice now in every social media outlet. You’re either this or that. We are wary of the yellow party’s agenda as they are not saints either. It doesn’t matter what institution or party a person belongs to. People have agendas and it is our right as human beings to be on the watch. Cheers.

  13. @CommonTao – Well argued.

    @Interxavier – I notice the tone on GRP has gone from being “we don’t know who’s doing the killing, it’s probably ordinary Filipinos killing each other, and it has nothing to do with Duterte anyway” to “yeah, we’re killing criminals. And maybe a few other people. What of it?”.

    So now we’ve got that cleared up, what it boils down to is this: what kind of society do you want to live in 10, 20, 30 years from now? Because what you (and the recent articles) seem to be suggesting is that, because Filipinos like killing each other, and have no intention to progress as human beings, we should just let them get on with it.

    You are quite right that the justice system is a sham; there is no possible way to bring drug dealers (or other criminals) to justice. So how does the de facto legality of murder go any way towards fixing that? How does creating a Judge Dredd system of law enforcement move the country a step further in the right direction? What has Duterte done to fix the underlying problems?

    You haven’t defined your goals here, nor have you described what’s happening today moves you towards them.

    Here’s what I see. I see the State hiking up taxes so that marginally-profitable businesses (which provide the bulk of employment here) will have to shut down. I see the BOC clamping down on imports of all kinds, so that what limited exports do exist will cease, and high-margin businesses will be unable to get the supplies they need. I see vast amounts of money being wasted on high-ticket items that the economy cannot possibly sustain. I see a complete and total failure to address structural issues with the bureaucracy: it didn’t work last year, and it doesn’t work today. All of these things create drug addicts and drug dealers.

    >> Problem is there are just as many people who believe that The End Justifies the Means (consequentialists) as well as those who believe in the Quality of the Action (deontologists). The former appears to be winning over more supporters than the latter.

    It’s actually worse than that. People don’t even know what their desired End is. They just think it’s fun to kill and torture (as per posts from Hyden Toro, catbad, and others). They don’t really CARE what the end result is, or whether killing criminals will get them there. They’re completely oblivious to centuries of recorded history suggesting that allowing the ruling classes to kill just results in a more violent society.

    One thing foreigners always comment on is the Filipino inability to simulate the future in his head, or to plan anywhere beyond the next meal. So here’s the thing: even if the man in the street suffers from this affliction, and is happy to sit outside the sari-sari store with a Duterte flag in one hand and his bottle of Red Horse in the other waiting for “Civilisation” to drop into his lap, what about the self-proclaimed intelligensia? I can think of six different projects I could start right now if I were allowed to. Since I’m a foreigner, I’m not. Where are the Filipinos stepping up to make good stuff happen?

    1. /* So now we’ve got that cleared up, what it boils down to is this: what kind of society do you want to live in 10, 20, 30 years from now? Because what you (and the recent articles) seem to be suggesting is that, because Filipinos like killing each other, and have no intention to progress as human beings, we should just let them get on with it. */

      Same as any sane individual. A developed country that upholds the ‘rule of law’, little to no corruption, pollution-free, ample employment prospects with competitive salaries, ease-of-doing business (domestic and foreign) and a national railway connecting all parts of the country into one hub. All that and more that I can’t come up from the top of my head at the moment. We can start by fixing the system we have now, abrogating parts of it that are anti-progressive, and promoting western values of hard work, discipline, and frugality. Here’s an unpopular opinion: some cultures are better than others. Ours isn’t one of the better ones.

      /* You are quite right that the justice system is a sham; there is no possible way to bring drug dealers (or other criminals) to justice. So how does the de facto legality of murder go any way towards fixing that? How does creating a Judge Dredd system of law enforcement move the country a step further in the right direction? What has Duterte done to fix the underlying problems? */

      I clarified this in my latest reply to Common-Tao’s statement. The TL;DR version is that our justice system along with other institutions who bear this responsibility needs to be fix or overhauled. I have a hard time believing a criminal justice system whose outcome is decided by a judge is free of external forces meant to influence the decision. Fix that or replace it with a jury system. Neither approach is perfect but action is better than inaction.

      /* You haven’t defined your goals here, nor have you described what’s happening today moves you towards them. */

      I am, by no means, an expert but here are some of my briefly detailed political and ideological positions:

      System of Government: Pro-Federalism headed by a Prime Minister or Chancellor appointed (and removed) by the majority in the Legislature

      One of the Duterte policies I support but also the one I’m rather disappointed with. No solid plan is yet in place and I highly doubt such a big leap will come into fruition in the next three years. I hope these people will at least come up with a clear roadmap by Q4 2018. I am against a democracy decided purely by the will of the people.

      Drug War: Against it.

      I advocate the establishment of a national drug rehabilitation program but it needs to produce results in the long term or else its budget should be slashed and rehabilitation programs be reviewed and modified. Like any government-affiliated agency, strict monitoring of any potential misuse of funds should be implemented.

      Religion: Strict Separation of Church and State

      I am absolutely against a theocratic state of any kind. Freedom of religion should be upheld but there should be no compulsion to any religious belief. Your religious belief is a private matter and should remain outside the public sphere. The only law in the land is Philippine Law. I believe the CBCP has too much influence on the people and are being deprived of the ability to think outside the box. The same thing can happen to any religious thought that grows in influence.

      Individualism over Collectivism:

      I believe a person must not rely on external forces to dictate his way of life and impede his ability to think for himself. Trust your personal judgement but listen to what others have to say and be considerate. Live in your ideological sphere but don’t seal it off that all you hear are echoes of yourself and others like you. It’s your life, decide what’s best for you.

      Self-Empowerment over Victimhood:

      Filipinos are not victims unless we choose to be. Take control of your life. Admit your mistakes, shortcomings, and limitations then work to improve yourself. No point crying over spilled milk.

      A Spade is A Spade over Political Correctness:

      I don’t believe in Political Correctness because it obstructs free speech and can be manipulated to shut down constructive arguments.

      That and many others.

      /* Here’s what I see. I see the State hiking up taxes so that marginally-profitable businesses (which provide the bulk of employment here) will have to shut down. I see the BOC clamping down on imports of all kinds, so that what limited exports do exist will cease, and high-margin businesses will be unable to get the supplies they need. I see vast amounts of money being wasted on high-ticket items that the economy cannot possibly sustain. I see a complete and total failure to address structural issues with the bureaucracy: it didn’t work last year, and it doesn’t work today. All of these things create drug addicts and drug dealers. */

      It’s the same story every time a new administration comes in. The government has become too bloated that too many people have become reliant on them. We should watch out as we could become the next Venezuela.

      /*It’s actually worse than that. People don’t even know what their desired End is. They just think it’s fun to kill and torture (as per posts from Hyden Toro, catbad, and others). They don’t really CARE what the end result is, or whether killing criminals will get them there. They’re completely oblivious to centuries of recorded history suggesting that allowing the ruling classes to kill just results in a more violent society. */

      The desired end is to get the problem out of their sight. The same way we kill bugs because they annoy us.

      /* One thing foreigners always comment on is the Filipino inability to simulate the future in his head, or to plan anywhere beyond the next meal. So here’s the thing: even if the man in the street suffers from this affliction, and is happy to sit outside the sari-sari store with a Duterte flag in one hand and his bottle of Red Horse in the other waiting for “Civilisation” to drop into his lap, what about the self-proclaimed intelligensia? I can think of six different projects I could start right now if I were allowed to. Since I’m a foreigner, I’m not. Where are the Filipinos stepping up to make good stuff happen? */

      There are Filipinos who want it but the system is designed to make it hard for us to implement our ideas because they potentially present an imminent danger to the establishment. As I’ve said before, the system has to be… meddled with. We can start by not voting for the same clowns in office and getting the word out to those who are not well-informed in order to draw more support. People need to see the truth… eventually.

    1. Interxavier: thanks for the comprehensive response! I misinterpreted your original post. I read it again and it makes more sense in the context of what you just wrote.

      Thing is, though, although we might be stuck with the current administration (or any other dysfunctional, populist administration, for that matter), there’s no point just riding it out. You’ll be doing that until the apocalypse – failed societies are notoriously hard to fix from the top down. Somebody has to start doing something useful. When the lunatics are running the asylum, what DO you do if you’re one of the handful of sane people?

      I suggest you [by “you” I mean people who don’t have white noise and soap operas playing in their heads] can probably do this without explicitly “meddling” with the established right of the oligarchy to leech off and lord over the masses. Doing that would be suicide, and besides, it’s a codependent arrangement: the poor LIKE being helpless victims. The oligarchs have created the perfect prison: they’ve convinced their serfs to build one inside their own heads, and forge their own chains. Really, you have to admire their ingenuity.

      Anyway: if you see a wall, try to go around it, not through it. I realize that the system is deliberately arranged to PREVENT anyone doing good things, but that shouldn’t stop you trying.

      Just a few ideas off the top of my head:

      1) Get smart people communicating and discussing real projects that everyone can agree to implement. This could be as simple as BBS hosted abroad with anonymous access. Even though the Philippines is described as a “collectivist” society, it really isn’t – getting Filipinos to work together is like getting pandas to mate. However, there must surely be 1% or 2% of the population who are willing and able to do so. These should preferably be people with money: not necessarily money to invest, but simply because people with money get respect and are listened to. Bear in mind that an effective police force needs only about one officer per 500 civilians, so even 1% of the adult population being active and useful would be a huge improvement over 0%. Let’s call this the Smart People’s Club.

      2) There is a lot of informal power floating around in Philippine society. The president actually has very little control over the country. Most of what goes wrong (as Benign0 points out) is caused by ordinary Filipinos. They fall into two categories: (a) incorrigible criminals, who just walk around stealing things or generally acting like assholes (b) people sitting as desks handing out licenses for stupid things, or requisitioning money for road “repairs”, etc etc etc. Everyone knows who these people are: they’re you’re cousins, uncles, neighbors. The people in the Smart People’s Club are no longer alone: they have a support network to call upon, and they may collectively be able to apply pressure on group (b) so that they actually do their jobs, for example by knocking on the doors of group (a) and telling them to either shape up, move away, or write a will. Drug dealers represent a tiny fraction of the criminals in this country, and the focus on drugs means that they’re all having a wonderful time. Criminality in my area has doubled since Duterte took office.

      3) Set up informal schools/babysitting clubs as non-profit co-operatives, and collect PAYMENT. P20 an hour is affordable for many people. Get a building on loan from a Smart People’s Club member – perhaps an out-of-hours office – and pay teachers as much as possible. Be selective. Offer top-quality education, preferably with teachers who have lived or trained in proper countries. Indoctrinate the kids mercilessly with “subversive” ideas, like not throwing trash on the ground, not killing animals for fun, not being lazy and stupid, and not stealing and cheating. You might only get a 1% take-up in any given area, but again, 1% is a LOT if those indoctrinated kids stick together and influence their peer group.

      4) Build railways. I’m not kidding. Just build them. On private land. There is, as far as I know, no law that prevents you doing this (do it quickly before one gets passed). Get farmers to bid for the “right” to have a rail across their land, which would instantly treble the value of said land. Start with farmer 2, and get him to sell the idea to farmers 1 and three on either side of him. Repeat until you have a line from A to Z via every point in between. I’m not speaking of heavy rail here, of course: I’m suggesting RTM technology, monorails, or similar. There are many different options, all of which be constructed simply and cheaply by men with spades and buckets.

      5) Start farmer co-operatives. Since 80% of the population is (theoretically) living off the land, getting support for the Smart People’s club from poor landowners would give you enormous political power. Hire foreigners who know how to farm – very few Filipinos have any clue. Import equipment like mowers, chippers, solar panels, and water-handling systems. Operate a “sponsorship” system: a farmer allows experts to manage his farm, learning how to do it properly, while receiving a basic food allowance. The sponsors take a cut of produce when it becomes productive, and then uses the “profits” to repeat the same thing elsewhere. A bit like Build-Operate-Transfer.

      I’m sure you can think of a dozen other ideas. But just get out there and do it, before the country disappears into a big smoking hole in the ground.

      1. Marius,

        Duterte is still bound by the constitution, therefore, he cannot stay in office beyond six years. I mentioned in my other comment that sometimes the bad things have to happen in order for the good things to surface. I can see it being applied in this context. People are slowly waking up to the truth that Duterte’s policies are only feel good solutions in the short term. They are not sustainable in the long run. Slowly, people will hopefully realize that cowboy tactics like Duterte’s policies do not work and will elect wisely in the next presidential elections. Till then, stay safe, keep learning, and innovate.

        As far as trying is concerned, might I suggest starting your own video essay channel on YouTube to spread information and awareness? Blogs are great but we’re not particularly a reading society.

    2. Interxavier: one critical thing the Smart People’s Club could do with little personal risk and a modest personal expenditure: get Filipinos eating properly. I’m convinced that the diet of junk food is at least partially responsible for widespread mental retardation, and almost wholly responsible for the disgraceful state of public health (diabetes, obesity, etc). You could do this with pure PR (ie., propaganda). The aim would be to pay for blanket advertising coverage across TV and magazines, getting out healthy-eating messages.

      You would be going up against powerful corporate interests – notably, the one that controls the market for rice and grains – but they fact is, the media are happy to sell to the highest bidder. A million concerned Filipinos contributing P100 a month towards a massive PR campaign would be buying a billion pesos worth of advertising a year. That’s a lot of propaganda.

      1. >> I mentioned in my other comment that sometimes the bad things have to happen in order for the good things to surface. I can see it being applied in this context.

        Ah, understood. I thought you were saying that the bad acts were justifiable since they would have good outcomes.

        History suggests, though, that Filipinos are not good at drawing the correct conclusions about bad experiences. They keep voting for people who they KNOW FOR A FACT will cheat them and hurt them. The do this in small matters and large ones. They will go through an immense amount of pain and turmoil and then blame it on everyone and everything except themselves – in this case, if Duterte fails to make the Philippines into the next Singapore (which seems inevitable) it will be because of the CIA, or the Yellowtards, or who-knows-what. And then they’ll vote for someone even worse, on the theory that maybe Duterte didn’t kill enough people. And quite frankly they’ll probably have a point.

        As for making a video blog, I’ve lived here long enough to know that there are several possible outcomes, some of them extremely unpleasant and none of them positive. The Filipino is happy, and anyone who shatters his illusion of happiness must be done away with.

        Filipinos have to fix this. And they have to do it with PRACTICAL projects, not just sitting in front of a keyboard blogging.

  14. This is a nice thing that’s happening here! The fine discussion above is a breathe of fresh air which is a rarity as of late. It’s very much unlike when both GRP Cheerleaders and Yellow Trolls dominate it with their usual praise/assault commentaries.

  15. Slightly off-topic but I’d like to comment on the technical aspects of the comment section in GRP:

    It would be great if you modify it or just use Disqus. It’s rather awkward to type long comments without formatting tools and confusing to keep track of who you are quoting and replying to.

    1. The current site theme does not support indented/nested comment threads although our commenting system is configured to display it. I’ll explore other themes soon. Re formatting, you can use html to format your text. Refer here for the basics.

        1. Thanks. Nothing like a customer suggestion/complaint to get management movin’ on what really is an important feature upgrade. 🙂

          Everyone here should continue to report issues/faults and make suggestions on how to improve user experience. It’ll be much-appreciated.

  16. I would like to leave my tweet message to you for the sake of tomorrow’s National Day of Protest.

    And MLQ was right, if we need a true change in our country then you need a radical & a bloody one instead of a political help from America or any foreign countries with just a lip service. You must clean you own backyard & you will learn it in the end.

  17. It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.

  18. All very true, benign0! As an American, married to a beautiful Filipina, and living in Arimbay, Legazpi City, I see so many problems that most Americans had to overcome the hard way, through an explosion of civil laws governing behaviour. At the urging of my great-grandmother, many years ago, I came up with saying which, well, says it all: Freedom is the privilege of exercising responsibility.

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