Mar Roxas’s fatal campaign error: Selling continuity to a people who wanted change


It should have been obvious from the onset. Filipinos are not happy with the status quo under which they slog through life in the Philippines. Day-to-day, they are beaten down by rampant crime, imprisoned by gridlocked traffic, cowed by Islamic terrorism, and deeply embarrassed by an inability of their own armed forces to protect their country’s sovereignity. Underneath all that is the vast foundation of systemic problems that continue to hinder progress at the grassroots — galloping population growth, intractable unemployment, and shifting weather patterns wreaking havoc on agriculture and public safety.

But despite these obvious issues that impact ordinary Filipinos everyday, the administration of Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III had consistently trumpetted “achievements” that fly way above ordinary Filipinos’ heads. “Improved” economic indicators (like GDP annual growth) and credit rating “upgrades” are the stuff macroeconomists’ wet dreams. But for ordinary Filipinos working on scraping together a day’s earnings everyday those “sound economic fundamentals” mean nothing.

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Unfortunately for Wharton boy Mar Roxas, those nebulous economic numbers formed the foundation of his ill-fated presidential campaign. Perhaps, as many have observed, because Roxas is hopelessly out of touch with ordinary Filipinos, Roxas had grossly mis-read the sentiment of the public he was pitching himself to. Unhappy people generally want change. Roxas, instead, sold to them continuity.

Huu-wwwhattt?! Continue what is clearly broken??

This seems to have been the collective gasp of Filipino voters looking to the president’s Anointed One for answers upon finding out he had none such — which possibly explains why voters had now abandoned Roxas and Robredo and crushed the Liberal Party’s hopes of maintaining that much cherished but now-irrelevant status quo.

Filipinos have always been an emotional lot, which is quite ironic because the original Yellow Horde that won current President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III the presidency in 2010 knew this well. Against the cool rationality of seasoned executives like Gibo Teodoro and Dick Gordon who espoused relatively well-thought-through visions and platforms back then, Aquino rose to power on the back of the vacuous sentimentality that erupted following the death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino.

Indeed, one of the casualties of that battle that pitted Aquino’s emo campaign against the Vulcan reasoning of his rivals and detractors is none other than Mar Roxas himself. Roxas had to “sacrifice” his presidential bid to make way for the sweeping — but ultimately empty — promises of The Pedigreed One.

It seems that the lessons of that one-time Liberal Party victory failed to make its way into Roxas’s quaint campaign. The situation has now been reversed in a twist of tragic fate. Roxas is now regarded as the most rational amongst a line-up of candidates who, within their respective followings, have successfully pitched an emotional campaign. Indeed, nowhere else is this successful tapping into strong public sentiment more evident than in the campaign (or, shall we say, non-campaign) of frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte’s campaign is hardly rational. But it worked. The gaping hole of irrationality left by Roxas’s pitch to the Filipino voter was the niche grabbed by the Duterte campaign. Roxas’s continuity tagline, though logical in many aspects, merely highlighted the numerous failures of the administration that he served for six years — a government that left a legacy of crumbling infrastructure, unresolved plunder allegations at the highest levels, and botched emergency and military responses that resulted in thousands of preventable deaths.

All of these failures plus Roxas’s foolish promise to continue the administrative approach that had underlain these failures paved the way for Duterte’s irrational but wildly-successful campaign. From being an undecided and even reluctant candidate from Mindanao voted least likely to succeed just a few months ago, Duterte had risen to the top and is now poised to ace these elections.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see now that Roxas was — and is — the face of failure for the Liberal Party. The insult of being beaten to the vice presidency by Jejomar Binay in 2010 was added to the injury of having to step back to allow his chum Noynoy to run for president. The appalling PR disaster that was his role as the face of the Philippine government response to Supertyphoon Haiyan in 2013 had reduced Wharton’s child to a national laughingstock. The degeneration of the MRT, the jewel of Metro Manila’s public transport crown, into an international punchline had all but dealt a fatal blow to Roxas’s ability to issue new promises to his people. Most tragic insult of all is his being left out of the command loop by his own boss even as 44 of the Philippines’ most elite crack police commandos under his charge were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists in early 2015.

Yet Roxas’s supporters remain baffled as to why their bet is losing at the polls. Perhaps it is because, like Roxas, the Yellow Horde fail to or, worse, will not see the obvious situation before them — that ordinary Filipinos just want a change in their personal circumstances — a piece of that “economic growth” pie Roxas and his camp had myopically talked about ad infinitum but failed to make relevant to the Filipino voter.

78 Replies to “Mar Roxas’s fatal campaign error: Selling continuity to a people who wanted change”

  1. Filipinos are not happy with the status quo under which they slog through life in the Philippines.

    Where do you get this idea benign0? Filipinos are completely happy with the status quo. If they weren’t, they’d make an effort to change it. The power to do so is largely in their own hands.

    What they’re not happy with is the inevitable outcome of being a bunch of lazy, thieving, incompetent halfwits. They’d like someone to wave a magic wand and change that outcome. However, being lazy, thieving, incompetent halfwits is what they want to be. It’s extremely important to them. So, ultimately, they will accept the consequences and carry on regardless.

    1. That’s essentially what they are doing now – changing it by voting against it, or so they think. Therein that “thinking” lies the tragedy.

      1. Perhaps the real tragedy is that there is nobody in the leadership contest who might genuinely understand what “change” means, and what it would take to make it happen. Bullets might be required, but they’re not sufficient.

        1. Democracy is not designed for Filipinos.
          Religion is not designed for Filipinos.
          Filipinos are playing democracy like kindergartners.


      2. In the U.S. I saw a bumper stinker:

        CAUTION:Filipino driving
        CAUTION:Filipino thinking
        CAUTION:Filipino working

    2. Happy? Probably the elites and businessmen, but definitely not the regular citizens. Who would be happy with the worsening traffic, MRT breakdowns, drugs and crime, corruption and the killing of farmers and soldiers?

      When “make change” do u mean go back to the streets? Isa pa yang sawang sawa na ang tmga tao. Thats why kung hindi dadayain, change is coming this May 9.

      1. No, decipher19. I meant the average citizen. They want to be poor and miserable. More exactly, they want to do certain things that inevitably result in being poor and miserable. They don’t necessarily like the outcome, but they like doing things that lead to that outcome (and in fact can have no other possible outcome).

        1. “More exactly, they want to do certain things that inevitably result in being poor and miserable. They don’t necessarily like the outcome, but they like doing things that lead to that outcome (and in fact can have no other possible outcome)”

          That’s exactly it. Brilliantly said.

    3. marius says:
      Probably U are only one side. U watching too much on TV network own by oligarch and one of unlucky to believe what U hear.
      Watch Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, BInay street campaign ,compare it to Duterte,U will see the difference who is the majority.
      Change is coming…Taxpayer money was well spend on government propaganda not for us

  2. Filipinos are completely happy with the status quo.

    And where did you get this idea?

    Lots of Filipinos want to change things now in the government, making so much legal effort though votes by electing Du30 (or other candidates).

    1. Stiffy,
      Change in the government, doesnt make a nation (read: population) great.
      Change starts with the people in the streets.

      “You want change? vs. do you want to change?”

      1. My point exactly.

        The people voting for Duterte want him to change things for them, while they continue to be exactly what they are today.

        There are, of course, plenty of decent Filipinos who are sick and tired of the 80% of the their compatriots who drag their country down. However, those are probably the people who realise that you can’t kill social dysfunction … at least, not unless you’re prepared to see the Pasig river clogged with corpses.

        1. Marius,
          it really doesnt matter who will be the next president, be it Roxas or Duterte or whoever. It will change nothing. Thats why I expect a lot of GRP articles AFTER the election saying how stupid or good all the voters were.

          I always think and I say: give me a country similar to the Philippines that has all the good stuff that a good western country also has. The answer is: no country.

          The PH-population is not a strong population. Not in mentality, not in mindset. Basically in nothing. As long as that doesnt change…..

          Its not a government’s duty to change my attitude. I have to change my attitude, mentality and mindset. And that is something I dont see happening in the near and far away future.

        2. Yes – I was agreeing with you.

          Nevertheless, it IS possible for governments to change minds, for better or for worse. Not radically, and not quickly, but it can be done and it has been done.

          Fundamentally, the Philippines looks like it does because people think the way they’re told to think. It’s just that the things they’re being told to think are amazingly stupid.

        3. Marius,
          “it IS possible for governments to change minds” => I do agree with this, partly. For instance: the PH government/president can push for a law (without there is any demand for it from the public) that allows legal abortion so that Filipinos can get used to the idea. But overall, it wont change the PH mentality over time. In this specific/particular example, I even think it will lead to (more) chaos and that abortion may become a ‘game’ for citizens to see how it is to undergo/experience it (hence: not using it for what it supposed to be used).

          Change doesnt come from making (new) laws. Its something that must and should come from within an individual citizen.

          A government must and should facilitate life, not making life and not let/make me change.

          (Apologies for being so stubborn).

        4. I agree it can’t be done with laws – at least not by making more laws. The way it’s done elsewhere is as follows:

          – Simplify the laws so that everyone can understand them.
          – Make the laws less painful to follow than to evade.
          – Brainwash the people .. in a good way. Use a PR blitz to put new ideas into people’s heads.

          However, we all know this won’t happen because the point of the Law in the Philippines is not to maintain a safe and orderly society, but to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.

        5. It’s very easy to disregard people who don’t have the same outlook on life. I could even say based on the point you were trying to enforce and the way you were conveying it, that you’re part of the social dysfunction. After all, calling 80% of our population as people who drag the country down is a show of elitism; one of our major problems.

          Change, is like quitting a bad habit. There are many ways to do it, but for anything to work, the most crucial thing is, the person doing the act needs to want it. On a macro scale of course that’s harder, because we all need to want the same thing. All of us, being the 80-19-1, need to strive towards the same goal. After that then it’s facilitating the means to create change.

          Our problem is, as a country, we have yet to prove that we are one nation. Too many things that makes us who we are causes divide. Even our most educated, fail to relate which ultimately leads to segregated goals.

          Solving it seems like an impossible task, but it’s not. There are many examples in history, showing different ways to make it work. First thing to come to mind is Singapore, with their social engineering methods. Them banning bubble gum was a law placed so that people would get used to law implementation. Something very simple, that people can wrap their heads around. I think the person who tried that here was Bayani Fernando. You know those weird uturns in Manila. Those were there so that people could slowly get used to switching lanes before the government spent millions on infrastructure. There were signs of improvement, amidst the enormous backlash – which brings me to the point on how I’d vote.

          Whatever we do to fix our country there will be humongous backlash. Like a nasty withdrawal symptom we will cry foul as we don’t get that fix of the norm. There lies one of the most important trait of a leader. Fortitude, we need someone who doesn’t bowdown to pressure. Who will face it head on and say, no – this is the way we will do it.

          Then we need someone who will make us listen. Charisma, someone who knows how to talk to us and eventually allows us to follow. Hard task as the way you talk to people in the Philippines greatly varies. From your elite to your middle class; from your poor to even your criminals – everything changes.

          So when I vote I put those two on priority. After which I evaluate on moral, political & academic excellence, platform belief then health.

          Then I think it goes back to our duty as citizens – which we usually forget. To the enabled – to have faith and give support. To not fall for political ploys and be distracted by the gossip. To not take things out of context and try to see the entire picture. To be responsible and have ownership over our own country. To not be victims.

          I’m not attacking any of you because admittedly I’m probably part of the problem as well. I’m just giving my piece of mind and hopefully it adds to your thoughts. And I really want to say, don’t give up on the Philippines. There’s so many things to love about it even amidst all our problems.

          A lot of people seem to be arguing now, but strangely enough – I oddly feel good about it as I rarely so many people so passionate about change/continuity/reform or whatever they believe in.

        6. MO: I completely agree with you. Good post. Are you going to run for office? 😉

          Just one thing I’d quibble with:

          After all, calling 80% of our population as people who drag the country down is a show of elitism; one of our major problems.

          I would suggest lack of elitism is one of our major problems. Since when did ‘elite’ become a bad thing? What’s wrong with wanting only the best? What’s wrong with wanting everyone to be more than they are? Try telling the US Marines they shouldn’t be ‘elitist’.

          Of course not everybody has the ability or the desire to be The Best. That’s fine. Each to his own. On the other hand, the Philippines makes a virtue of mediocrity and failure. There is no pride in being useless, or in aspiring to do the minimum possible to pay for your bottle of Tanduay in the evening. Worse than that is deliberate antagonism towards those who want to make something – anything! – of their lives. Verbal discouragement, or even physical attacks, are not uncommon.

        7. I would suggest lack of elitism is one of our major problems. Since when did ‘elite’ become a bad thing? What’s wrong with wanting only the best? What’s wrong with wanting everyone to be more than they are? Try telling the US Marines they shouldn’t be ‘elitist’.

          Of course not everybody has the ability or the desire to be The Best. That’s fine. Each to his own. On the other hand, the Philippines makes a virtue of mediocrity and failure. There is no pride in being useless, or in aspiring to do the minimum possible to pay for your bottle of Tanduay in the evening. Worse than that is deliberate antagonism towards those who want to make something – anything! – of their lives. Verbal discouragement, or even physical attacks, are not uncommon.

          I can’t help but agree, as well as with the article discussed here.

          I think people want a reason, a damn good reason, to change themselves—much more become better. Only they perhaps look to someone for that reason rather than within themselves.

          And I rarely comment here, heh.

      2. i agree. however, most of our countrymen aren’t capable of changing from within + lack of education + uneducated parents + increasing population in poverty level = catastrophe.

        Political will is necessary to straighten things up in the government then down to the people.

        1. I agree. It is easy to say that people should change themselves and change starts within one’s self but have these people (advocates of change in self) put themselves in others’ shoes or situations?

          Not everyone has been given the same opportunities in life (education, resources, etc). Some people cannot afford to ‘change’ themselves since they lack resources, knowledge, time. Can you think with an empty stomach? Can these people afford to have ample time for reflection while worrying where will they get money to eat?

        2. Philip,
          Why do these people procreate like rabbits and give their own offspring the same lousy future as the parents?

          If I have nothing to eat, my stamina to have sex will reduce to zero. Even more so when for procreational purposes.

          Fucking is a choice. Nobody puts a gun to your head and demanding from you to procreate. You do it knowingly and whittingly. Stop thinking with your dick.

          Stop putting and giving one’s own kids the same lousy destiny, is already a change.

  3. Roxas and Poe promised a lot during the campaign. All those promises look foolish, because anyone with a normal mind will ask: “So why you did not do all these things you promise now during the last 6 years?”

    It’s empty bla-bla, wanting to look good for the upper class. Sure, people who are well off are easily persuaded by that rhetoric. But the average Filipino felt no change. Add injury to insult they had to constantly read trumped headlines about the economic wonder, which is a banana republic, at the very best, meanwhile in real life everything else goes to hell in a hand basket. Crime, horrendous traffic, poverty, corruption, mismanagement and incompetence.

    Those yellow hordes live in a bubble and are not in touch with reality and the common folks. Now they wonder what happened.

    1. Jim Digriz, have you tried meeting with beneficiaries of the programs of the Daang Matuwid programs like beneficiaries of the 4Ps who are receiving conditional cash grants to enable their children to be in school and who also are beneficiaries of subsidized Philhealth? Have you tried asking beneficiaries of the Bottom-up-Budgeting program of the government? Have you noticed the 1,549 km roads, 66,813 classrooms among other infrastructure constructed in the last 6 years? Have you tried researching on how much increase in budget for basic and social services for the last 6 years as a result of the fight against corruption and improvement in tax collection? This government is surely not perfect but might also be good to appreciate the good things that happened in the last 6 years.

      1. Nanette,

        have you tried meeting with beneficiaries of the programs of the Daang Matuwid programs like beneficiaries of the 4Ps who are receiving conditional cash grants to enable their children to be in school and who also are beneficiaries of subsidized Philhealth? Have you tried asking beneficiaries of the Bottom-up-Budgeting program of the government?

        Have you tried ma’am? What are these beneficiaries were saying? Is it right to receive it every three months? which i know it should be received monthly to support students needs.

        We do appreciate what Daang Matuwid Programs have done..problem is there is no monitoring how it was being implemented.

        i do complete agree with Mo’s post.

        1. That program spending was only a tip of the iceberg,question is where are the rest of funding went ,the one at the bottom of the iceberg, went to the pocket of tuwad na daan

  4. Whew! Wow..I like to believe that like this writer, I have also gone into the recesses of the heart and mind of the Filipino. However, I could not explain the current phenomena as succinctly as this writer. This write thinks with his head and writes with his heart. Thank you.

  5. People are already changing. They are looking for a leader to help them with the change. Magbago man ang indibidwal, kung bulok ang namumuno wala din silbe.

  6. I noticed most of these yellows are in a detached, relatively comfortable zone than the rest of the average working class slaving away on a daily basis, notably in Metro Manila.

    These are folks who have not experienced the hellish daily commute in EDSA using the MRT (mired by constant breakdowns and lack of units to cater to the hundreds of thousands using it) or any sort of PUV guaranteed to make your life miserable because of the horrendous traffic.

    Part of the reason why these people were “silent” in the first place is that they have no objections to what the incumbent president did. To them, these last six years were practically heaven. The only reason why they’re all coming out of the woodwork now is because their chosen lackey to continue whatever form of jaundiced brainwashing they received from the yellow propaganda machine is in danger of not being able to continue administering their dose.

    Their blind devotion (like those Dutertards they like to make fun of) to the yellow cause has sadly eroded whatever semblance of rational thinking they still have left.

  7. What a nice big nail on the LP coffin Benign0! Mar and Leni must be crying and writhing in pain from within the black-box echo chamber of their own making that models the emptiness of their own futile lack of creativity/imagination.

    It was just a decade ago when Obama won on the campaign slogan of “CHANGE”. Why of all people US-trained Wharton-boy Roxas wasn’t able to get the cue and follow suit is the irony of it all.

    Siguro sadyang nakakasilaw lang talaga pag puros Yellow nalang nakikita ng kawawang tao. If there’s still some amount of reason left in him, he should bolt out of any association with PNoy whose incompetence (both image- and mentality-wise) has fully rubbed off onto him, and robbed him the opportunity of a lifetime.

    This former top-choice senator has fallen so greatly from grace – from such a lofty height. In physics, the higher you fall from, the more painful the impact. A political disaster almost beyond any hope of repair.

    If he wants to salvage his campaign, he can start by apologizing for PNoys incompetence, and ensuring the people that he will make PNoy answer for all the stupid decisions that defined the sham administration. Only a move as controversial as that can give him a boost to overtake Grace in the ratings, and probably get his neck at least at the whip-lashing tail end of Du30 in this almost done-deal race.

    Are there any more tricks up the Yellow Camp’s sleeves? Daang matuwid may have to resort to the crooked option of hocus pcos cheating to continue daang matuwid. When that day comes – get your popcorn guys; it’ll be “Rise of the Zombies!”

    1. Election is 7 days away. For MAR ROXAS to resurrect his image, he needs to throw KORINA SANCHEZ TO THE LIONS.

      MAR ROXAS has to bring First-Lady-in-Waiting, KORINA SANCHEZ, into the stage and admit that KORINA SANCHEZ threw a mean slippers against her houseslave.

      Then KORINA SANCHEZ crying apologize to all the bakya crowd and houseslaves like Benigno Aquino.


      1. Yeah. Throw away Sanchez. Or else lose to a man who brags about molesting his maids while they sleep. Sympathy votes and stuff.

      2. The Wise One
        Or sudden death of abnoy aquion. Somebody must used that to gain sympathy
        Mar Roxas cannot change anything because is also part of this daang tuwad. Recently ! Kris told to tarlac crowd that nothing was change on daang tuwad, Do we think ,Mar Roxas will challenge that. IF POE’s death of FPJ fade away in time,somebody in the clan must die to be used for sympathy for political purpose. Susan roces, watch your back

  8. marius… are you totally out of this universe? when did the Filipinos ever feel “happy” with the status quo? Every Filipino out there, where it be the severely impoverished, the middle class, the rising upper middle class, or the affluents ones show dissatisfaction for corruption, criminality, drugs etc… where have you been???

    1. ” … ones show dissatisfaction for corruption …”
      Pls tell me how this dissatisfaction is shown?

    2. Robert gives a good example there. Corruption is designed into the system, and people like it that way. Why do you think everyone wants to get a job in government?

      The Philippines has one of the most bloated civil service sectors on the planet. IIRC, something like 10% of the full-time working population are employed by the government. They’re mostly sitting around doing nothing. Half of them probably don’t even know what their job is. However, whatever it is they do enables them to collect a pay packet, and … bribes! That’s the pot of gold that every Pinoy hopes to find at the end of his personal rainbow.

      Now, of course, corruption makes everyone miserable. They hate the outcome of corruption. But corruption itself will never be eliminated because the average Pinoy values money more than he values his life-hours, and at the back of everyone’s mind is the thought that, with the right connections, it could be them taking the bribes instead of handing them out.

      1. Marius,
        just sharing an experience regarding my pinay GF (now ex). Once she applied for a job at her hometown LGU. She wasnt hired. She did cry like a baby. During that process she told me one of the reasons why she applied at LGU. One of the reasons why, was that working for her LGU meant and means a job for life.
        I was a bit surprised that she wasnt hired bec her dad was head of the agricultural dept of the same LGU.
        Probably she missed the qualifications (the right diplomas) and maybe some experience. Or she just blew her job-interview by giving wrong answers.

      2. Right! Corruption is designed, imbedded into the corrupt system.

        1. No evidence necessary.
        2. Witness account is evidence.
        3. Affidavit is evidence.
        4. Forensic evidence is not acceptable.
        5. Q&A in the Senate. No evidence necessary.
        6. Public shaming thru U.P.-graduate run Philippine Media.
        7. Gossip is evidence.
        8. Investigators cannot keep their mouth shut.
        9. Investigators telegraphing their investigation warning the crooks.

      3. marius,

        I lived abroad all my life and you can already feel the stench of corruption in the country the moment you step inside a Filipino embassy. Just to have something authenticated requires a lot of explaining that results ultimately into handing out little green papers with the face of Benjamin Franklin. Why not just make an open request for a change? Just to inquire about something, you need to drive all the way to the office and ask. What’s stopping them from answering the phone? This incompetence is really nerve-wrecking if you are not mentally prepared to step into a government-based institution.

        1. At Philippine Consulate:
          1. ‘toopid Filipino Channel (TFC) always blaring dowdy artless incomprehensible misinformations
          2. staff behind the glass partition do not know customer service.
          3. Consulate staff needs anger management
          4. Who The F are those people at the consulate? Who do they think they are?
          5. The Filipino customers at Phil Consul think they are above anyone else
          6. Why do Filipinos stare at me?
          7. Why do Filipinos scream when they laugh?
          8. Why do Filipinos watch TFC?
          9. Why documents need authentication when people in the Philippines do not know what authenticated document looks like?
          10. Philippine Consulate is a scam

    3. Read in between the lines for you to appreciate the comments of marius. His exchange with Robert are good indicators of what he means. The two have very good points.

      Change cannot come only by changing leaders. In the Philippines, the culture, mindset… have to change. New leaders can tweak the system, or bring in new ideas, but with a population that only gets involved during election time, that new system or new ideas could help individuals improve themselves or their lot, BUT the new environment due to a tweaked system could also bring new complaints, and again frustration, if people remain in their little “fiefdoms” and “ivory towers” and are not willing to change themselves.

    4. My mom is an LP supporter and I am proud to be a Dutertard (That’s what my mom used to call me lol). My mom always points me that if Duterte wins then the Philippines is done. My parents then was packing their luggage because they will travel to Japan. They were very afraid of the “Tanim Bala” scheme. While I am helping them put cling wraps all over the whole bag, I say to them “See mom that’s why you need a leader like Rody. You support LP , but then you are afraid of a scheme that the current government did nothing. You have not ridden a taxi, jeepney or train here in the Philippines , but you are saddened to hear all the traffic and crimes that you hear from the news everyday” She went silent. I smiled then she also smiled and gave me a “batok” . I thank her that she understood.

  9. If somebody had scammed you; would you want to be scammed again?

    People have eyes and have brains…although some are not using them.

    Mar Roxas is simply incompetent. No amount of trumpeting where you attended school ; or where you graduated with a degree; can erase the Results of your works ; your incompetence and your irresponsibility.

    The Typhoon Yolanda Relief Fund is missing. It was under Mar Roxas responsibility. Who would I presume to have stolen it?

    The Mamapasano massacre was a “misencounter”, according to Mar Roxas. Any right thinking Filipino can differentiate, between a massacre and a misencounter.

    Mar Roxas was playing politics, amidst the Typhoon Yolanda tragedy. Is this proper for a public official? People were dying of hunger and fatigue…and the dead were floating everywhere…

    Voters, please use your common sense, in electing our next President…this is all , I ask.

  10. All you lot keep on saying that change should come from the individual. No one with a decent mind will refute that. One of the changes that must be done is to follow the law. However, people will not follow the law under a leadership they don’t respect. Or at least they think also breaks the law, so why as an individual would i follow when the rest don’t? Wrong mindset but very typical. However, a stronf government which can inspire change in an individual is what catapulted Duterte to where he is now. This leader, even with an “alleged” corruption was able to give back to his public, Davao, a service that everyone expects from a public servant.

    1. Len,
      Bec you procreate like rabbits, I will also procreate like a rabbit? Isnt that stupid?
      I dont need a leader to change my own mindset and behavior.
      If I dont respect a leader then that doesnt mean I will NOT change my own behavior.

  11. MAR ROXAS fatal error is married to KORINA SANCHEZ!
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is he was already beaten by JEJOMAR BINAY
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is he was seen on his hands and knees begging opportunist, OJT, Intern, Inexperienced Grace Poe.
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is the Filipinos knew that Mar Roxas knew Grace Poe has potential and a vote gatherer
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is Yellow is the color of Bilibid prisoners uniform
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is he is a wimp
    MAR ROXAS fatal error is he gave up his lucrative job as Assistant Vice-President in New YOrk Investment bank because Mar Roxas knew Philippine Politics is more than lucrative job than an Investment Banker.


    Corrupt Filipinos stop at a STOP sign in America!
    Corrupt Filipinos pull over when U.S. Police turn on a blinker on them.
    Corrupt Filipinos do not ask U.S. Police “Do you know who I am?”
    Corrupt Filipinos knows where to stand before the Yellow Line.
    Corrupt Filipinos are kind to Americans but not kind to Filipinos

    IT IS NOT THE FILIPINO AT FAULT! It is the air they breath and the water they drink.

    1. OMG…the pollution in water and the air, may be the cause of their becoming corrupt , again…maybe their “Collective Unconsciousness”…maybe the Aquino Syndrome…it is transmitted in their Hyperspace…

      1. Aquino Syndrome is a very communicable mental imbalance (“illness”), that makes Filipinos “corrupt”…it has spread in the Batasan Pambansa , already; in government departments ; etc…

        The illness has no cure, at present. However, getting out of the country, as “the Wise One!”, has explained, may be a good cure…

  13. change will come with who should be the leader. he/she should deeply look forward who, how, why, and where Pilipinos becoming so miserable in a resource rich Philippines and what to do to lift pinoys livelihood.

  14. Robert, as a foreigner or coming from a different culture it seems to me you missed what made the general Filipino psyche to what it is now. Our “passivity” was brought about by 400+ years of colonial (Spanish, American, Japanese) servitude. Democracy was a joke. It might take another 400 years to bring us out of this nightmare. To fast track the acculturation? Strong autocratic leaders.Think Singapore.

    1. Willy,
      yes, I am a foreigner and ergo I come from a different culture.
      But how difficult can it be to just raise kids with some high quality standards? That doesnt need any rocket science. It just needs common sense and a few brain cells.

      I (but but I am sure most of my fellow country men as well) was taught/raised to be critical; not to believe one source but seek confirmation/approval or disapporoval in more than one source (this is by the way THE rule in journalism: one source is no source).

      It always makes me sick and tired when people start to throw/add the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese in the mix. Isnt it just about time to say: ‘enough is enough’?

      Why Singapore? Mother Theresa wasnt that a saint.
      Yes, I do miss a pro-active approach to issues.

      Okay, let me give you an example.
      When somebody burglars my home, I will call the police. But bec a burglary is not a top priority for the police, the police will file the burglary but will not actively search for the burglar(s). So the burglary will end up in all the national statistics. And thats how far it goes and gets. Now bec all of us are insured for these kind of things, I dont need to be bothered by the material things that were stolen. What I am bothered about is that a complete stranger invaded my privacy and went through all my belongings and was in my house.

      My lesson of all this is to fortify my own house by putting in more locks and installing CCTV. And having a baseball bat under my bed.

      Why does the police dont take a burglary as a priority? I am not really sure but personally I find – for instance – rape much worse (and I am not even a female).

    2. Unfortunately the “colonialism” narrative has been misused a lot that it’s no longer a valid excuse. Other countries have been colonized as well but they were able to change somehow and became or are becoming great nations in their own right. Even Spain and America have been colonies in the past but were able to come to terms with that legacy and moved on. It seems pinoys reject global standards or anything foreign because they think it threatens their pinoy way of life.

      Other countries have adopted the culture and practices of their colonial masters in order to become modern functional nations able to forge their own path to greatness. It seems the pinoys took the insular route to such a ridiculous extent that it manifested as the legendary dysfunction we see today. After centuries of colonization by various world powers, with still no clear discernible change whatsoever, perhaps the flaw lies with the “proud natives” instead of the supposed negative effects of foreign influence.

  15. Give us a strong leader who cares about us and we will follow. If he can impose smoking ban and curfew in Davao, there is hope for discipline among Filipinos. Show us sincerity with your actions and we will be responsible members of society, supportive of our government and involved in our community. We dream of a life we can enjoy, not survive. That’s the hope we have in this coming election.

    1. Theresa,
      so you (not personally meant) cant do it yourself and you wont do it yourself? Isnt that sad and pathetic?

      1. Just my two cents…

        So Christians eventually decided to be “good” individually?

        People decided to have a democratic state individually as opposed to having a single person with a vision introduce them to the idea?

        1. So Christians eventually decided to be “good” individually?

          People decided to have a democratic state individually as opposed to having a single person with a vision introduce them to the idea?

          Neither of those things happened. AND it is NOT as simplistic as Robert Haighton and other commentators imply.

          Our political and social evolution spans the history of mankind. It is highly complex.

          I will say that if you were to isolate the point in human history when Western Europe began to evolve into institutions that were based less on family/kin groupings and more on standardised mores and the beginnings of an established rule of law, it would have to be when the Catholic Church began to assert itself at the start of the middle ages.

          For a lengthy period of human existence on our planet, polities had been based around the idea of kinship. Human societies were founded on family and friendship ties, i.e. groups were formed by people who were related to one another. Preserving the group/society necessarily involved ensuring that any property the group owned (land, for example, or livestock) would be retained by them through the generations. Wealth and prosperity were closely associated with the accumulation, and retention, of those assets. Rarely would the group look outside itself or admit others in. (To-day we tend to characterise the phenomenon as ‘tribalism.’)

          As its influence grew, the Catholic Church/Christianity taught a different sort of ideal: universal acceptance under one common ideology/philosophy regardless of ethnicity or gender or age or even creed/belief system. Soon, the those who had accepted the new religion adopted a different way of thinking with regards to family and their possessions. Following the Christian teachings to renounce family and worldly things, many chose to assume an attitude of humility and poverty in their quest for ‘salvation.’ Eschewing material possessions usually involved bequeathing their property to the Church.

          This had two effects. The first was that the Catholic Church began to accumulate (financial) wealth. The second, and perhaps more importantly, was the breaking of kinship ties and family relations as the primary basis for social order. Many who devoted themselves to the new faith not only divested themselves of their wealth, they also chose not to have heirs, effectively ending the system of succession.

          In place of the mores reinforced by kin, the ideals of the Christian Church came to be adopted more and more as standards of behaviour and the foundations of the law.

        2. I do appreciate your comment, Johnny.

          We (the Dutch) came from the same place, that you are in today. The church was powerfull. If you didnt procreate fast enough after one was married, the priest would visit you at home (no, I am not kidding).

          Besides the Enlightment, Trias Politica, WW2 and the 1960s (Flower Power, Hippies, about the same time as Woodstock took place), we all started to evolve ourselves very quickly. We probably also went from Holism to Reductionism and from Collectivism to Individualism. Together with secularism, we are where we are today. Every freedom we have today was/is fought for by the individual. Because the only ‘enemy’ that hindered progress was the government. And that made us individually strong to enable us to fight the government. So now, we enjoy the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the freedom to be who we are as individual (homosexual and heterosexual). This is shown in all our laws where the individual is protected by the law (and not the family. The family is only a collection of individuals bound together by their genes and genetic make-up). But we are not a homogeneous nation, we are very heterogeneous. We are NOT one nation. So many people (17 million), so many different opinions (17 million). Although we have/are a monarchy, there is about 20-30% who want to change that into a republic.

          Talking about the family and respect. Because our definition of respect is of a much higher standard, we are not raised to respect our parents blindly. They have to earn and deserve it. So we dont do the mano.
          And besides, they procreated knowingly and willingly. And we also dont need and dont take care (financially) of our parents because of ‘hardship’. If we had to do that, we would be poor today.

          I really think and am convinced that there is the crux (bottleneck) for the Philippines.

        3. But we are not a homogeneous nation, we are very heterogeneous. We are NOT one nation. So many people (17 million), so many different opinions (17 million).

          That isn’t exactly accurate, is it Robert? In fact, the demographics of the Netherlands actually point to the exact OPPOSITE of your statement.

          As of 2016, the Netherlands has a population of 17,000,000 making it the 64th most populous nation in the world.

          Of that number, approximately 80% are of Germanic origin. The rest of the population (20%) is comprised of various ethnic groups: Belgians, Germans and other European Union peoples, Indonesians, Turks, North Africans, Surinamese, Chinese, and peoples from the Middle East and the Caribbean. While 3.5 million non-indigenous residents may seem like a sizable minority, it is curious for such a liberal society to have ONE ethnic group (German) remain dominant even after nearly seven decades of immigration. In contrast, the United States, literally ‘a nation of immigrants,’ is a better model for a ‘heterogenous’ society; it makes room not only for dissenting opinion but also disparate and often conflicting cultures and ethnicities.

          In a liberal democracy, frank dissent is welcomed. Indeed, it is expected that there will be opposing points of view over any issue. That shouldn’t be equated with being ‘heterogenous.’

          What allows the democratic political system to function is our ability to compromise in spite of our differences of opinion. Such compromise is more readily arrived at–that is, people are more willing to cooperate and work together–if the members of the society are the same. In other words, communal organisations can be shaped by ideas/opinions and culture but they work primarily because its members are ‘homogenous’–they look and sound alike.

          Reality seems to bear this out. Americans complain about how fractious their heterogenous society seems to be in this early 21st century, and how many citizens are more apt to identify with their country/culture of origin than with being an ‘American.’ Many fantasize about how the US should be more like the predominantly Dutch Netherlands, a liberal country with a more homogenous population, and a seemingly better-functioning government.

        4. Johnny,
          maybe I mis-used the word heterogeneous (as in the definition in a dictionary). What I meant to say is this:
          By far and so far we are not one nation because we all have different opinions and different ideas. This is clearly shown and presented during election time where no political party has ever won to rule and reign as one party over one country. Unlike as in USA, where one can vote for either the Democrats or the Republican party. Thank god, we have more choices to choose from. Even within one household (or family, if you will) each member of that household/family can and often has a different opinion about political topics/issues.
          And block voting is an unknown phenomenon in my country.

          The only time that a majority of the Dutch acts like one nation is when the Dutch national soccer team performs well at the FIFA World Cup.

          For the rest, we are individuals who like and love our privacy and prefer to live anonymously.

        5. (to add)
          what also speaks in our favor is that we are highly educated and that we have no gun laws. Meaning: only the police and army may use guns.

          What is destroying our country at the moment, are the influx of Morocon and Turkish people who dont adapt to our modern culture. They stick to their own backward culture and stick to their religion. While the majority of the Dutch is losing their religion and is going forward, progressing. And they (people from Moroco and Turkey) are claiming to feel to be left behind and not to be taken seriously and not to be respected (part of their culture. But not part of our culture).

          Come on Johnny. Neighbours hardly know each other. They hardly mingle with each other.

          It works here bec otherwise it will end in catastrophy. And that is what we all understand to make it work efficiently. If that is co-operation and working together: fine. I think it has more to do with self-discipline.

      2. I obey the laws but I feel like I am always at a disadvantage. I have to make up my own motivation to be a law abiding citizen although it hurts to see that criminals and corrupts are the ones “winning the race”. People are forced to adapt and survive the society where criminals rule, and the government is not doing anything about it. It is exhausting dodging criminals even on your trip to the church.

        1. Theresa,
          I do understand your frustration, I really do.

          I guess that cops in your country, dont make very much money each month. So, I am not surprised that some or many cops are very susceptible for taking bribes and to look the other way. Comes with the territory (unfortunetely).
          And probably the Commissioner or whatever the title/name is of the head of the local police station is okay with all this.
          You probably also have no TV program where the public is asked to participate actively to search for a criminal. Here is an example of the Dutch version of Crimewatch UK: (you may not able to watch it online, due to geo-block).

          Every time I read things regarding your country, many times I do understand why it happens (and not happens). In short: your government (incl police, education plus also the church) doesnt care at all about the PH-population.
          And if Duterte is a crime fighter then fine, peachy and swell. But it doesnt solve the dysfunctionality of the society in any way. Only you (again, I am not personal) can change/solve your own dysfunctionality. But that comes with a prize, a prize many are afraid to pay. Hence, my final statement is this:
          It doesnt matter who your next president will be, your country will remain/stay unchanged. It will stay a poor 3rd world country with all its dysfunctionalities. The only group/classes that will gain and benefit is the elite and upper class.

          I truly and sincerely hope that I am wrong.

          Raise the bar, rise to the occassion, stop procreating in the name of religion but instead ask yourself what you can give to your offspring (and I dont mean materially). Can you raise your kids in a high quality standard or will your kids live also in poverty? Be critical about yourself and your surroundings (your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, your spouse, your kids, etc). Otherwise nothing will change.

  16. Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.

  17. Strategy palang yan palpak na. Ano pa kaya kung sa ga bundok na problema ng pilipinas. Clearly, roxas cannot relate to the filipino masses. Hindi niya talaga alam ang pulso ng bayan.

  18. Yes to continuity of economic reforms and anti-corruption programs….no to continuity of cabinet members.

    1. Yes to economic reforms of GMA and unbiased anti-corruption program. As to no to continuity, overheard: “Kung hindi n’yo iboboto si Mar, ‘wag n’yo na iboto ang sinuman sa LP.” This is actually effective. Leni once said not to vote for her if her supporters won’t vote for Roxas kaya nangulelat rin s’ya.

  19. How were you able to read my mind, mr author? This is exactly what I wanted to tell everyone. I just don’t have the talent to write what’s on my mind. Roxas/Pinoy surround themselves with elite people who don’t know how it is to be poor. Big mistake

  20. Gusto mo lng ipakita na maka Duterte ka! Itong analisa mo ay tatama pag nanalo na ang manok mo pero wala pa naman, me laban pa si Mar dahil ayon sa Techicals merong 25% na maaring magbago ang isip laban sa manok mong si Duterte.

  21. Ako po’y karaniwang tao lang. Madali akong malito sa napakaraming salita…. Ang alam ko, katapusan na ng takot at pangamba naming mga karaniwang tao dahil alam ko, kakayanin ni Digong ang pangako nyang iwasto at itama ang kalagayan naming ordinaryong tao…

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