President Rodrigo Duterte’s niece Nuelle Duterte has, for several years now, been used as an Opposition poster girl by the Philippines’ Big Corporate Media organisations because she reportedly tells people she meets in New York (where she works as a “psychiatrist”) that her famous uncle “kills people”. In a recent Facebook post, Nuelle explores the idea that Filipinos are victims of “operant conditioning” which she describes as “a process of changing behavior by rewarding or punishing a subject each time an action is performed until the subject associates the action with pleasure or distress.” She then goes on to assert…
The [Philippines] is being conditioned to accept that corruption is normal, extrajudicial killing is justified, and criticism is akin to rebellion.
There’s something terribly wrong when people are so easily conditioned. That some even choose it over freedom of thought.
I’m of the impression that Nuelle grew up in Davao before she migrated to the US. I’m not privy to her age but I would assume she was still a child in the late 80s to early 90s when Davao City was akin to no man’s land after sunset. It is easy to say that Filipinos are being “conditioned” by Duterte. But this Duterte hasn’t experienced how Davao City was at its worst. She also wasn’t a resident of the National Capital Region (NCR) during the Aquino administration. Extra-judicial killings (EJKs) did not stop after the ascent of Cory to the Presidency. This was the policy because Fidel Ramos was Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief at the time and, subsequently, Defense Secretary. It is no secret that Ramos followed the dictates of the US when it came to counter-insurgency. He was also the head of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and the Integrated National Police (INP) thereafter under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. The Civilian Home Defense Forces (CHDFs) became Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) under his watch — paramilitary personnel in every barangay as part of the counter-insurgency strategy.
The other Duterte must also be aware of narco-states of which Mexico is the leading example. Cartel violence has seen civilians in the crossfire. In Colombia, at the height of Pablo Escobar’s power, he held an entire country hostage through his vast wealth through murders of government officials and bombings that killed civilians. He even planted a bomb on an airliner. That Nuelle Duterte has become an Opposition icon because of her surname is typical. What makes it offensive is she isn’t even a Filipino citizen. She is not nuanced in what’s happening in the country in the same manner that other Fil-Ams are. Look at Ruben Carranza, a former PCGG commissioner, who turns out to have held US citizenship at the time he was appointed to a government position.
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As @benign0 postulates, our problem as a country is not only political but also socio-cultural. We have “journalist-activists” against the administration but in the payroll of the oligarchs. They are a power bloc unto themselves, they would like to think. This is why they have lost credibility. They are mercenaries. The goal of every impoverished Pinoy is to cross over to the other side of the social divide from have-not to have. We have this photo of Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao eating with his hands while, on the side of his plate, one could spy gold-plated or even real gold cutlery. His initials “MP” stands for Mamamayan at Panginoon we are told. He believes or his handlers are making him believe, that this is his pathway to the Presidency. Our politicians pander to the poor in every election cycle because they comprise the most number of voters. The poor are agog at the attention paid them for this short span of time. They are used to the routine of their votes being bought during campaign seasons. Any well-meaning politician will start off as an idealist but will eventually be consumed by the system.
This is why I am amazed at the effrontery of leftist-militant bohemians such as the cabal of Inday Espina Varona. She praises Erik Matti’s latest cinematic masterpiece On the Job: The Missing 8 but doesn’t see herself in the role that John Arcilla plays as the mouthpiece of political kingpin Manong Pedring Eusebio played by Dante Rivero. We have seen journalists being the grantees of edifying scholarships such as the UK’s Chevening and Canada’s McLuhan but they’re none the better once they are back home to continue in the practice of being paid hacks. This practice shows no signs of abatement as even the millennials are following in the footsteps of their seniors. Just look at the Rapplerettes of Maria Ressa. They are the future of Philippine journalism. Scary, right?
While the Aquinos Ninoy, Cory, and Noynoy are resting in peace, Marcos continues to be the bogeyman for the Opposition. Marcos’s flogging is worse than what Mussolini or Qaddafi ever got. Marcos’s memory lives on today because the Opposition would rather make use of the very mind conditioning that the other Duterte speaks of rather than uplifting the level of political maturity of Filipinos. They are no better than the frailes who wanted Filipinos to remain ignorant so they can be manipulated at will. This is what ABS-CBN achieved “in the service of the Filipino people worldwide.” I have gone from an idealist in my youth to a pragmatist as a yuppie as we were then called. The fact is there is no single politician in the country who can claim to be as clean as what the opposition claims the members of their ranks are. This has been the case since time immemorial.
The Yellowidiots have never made good on the promises they made while in the process of ousting Marcos in 1986 and they can’t claim the success for it either because credit to that belongs to Juan Ponce Enrile, Gringo Honasan and the US. I’m no Duterte apologist but I can see what he has been able to achieve in his five years in office despite his having to contend with the shrill Opposition. That is a separate achievement in itself. Think of what he could’ve been done if the Opposition cooperated with him for the sake of nation-building. What we have actually seen is the conditioning being done by the opposition on the Filipino people since 1986.
The infrastructure Marcos built bears mute testimony to his achievements. This is also true in the case of the “defeated” Vice-Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who continues to rank higher than the “winning” Vice-Presidential candidate Leni Robredo in surveys for the 2022 election. Contrast this with the Opposition whose members, after thirty years in power, can only boast of naming whatever in honor of Ninoy Aquino and the monuments to him throughout the country — an unofficial “hero” whose fifteen minutes of fame was had at the tarmac of the airport now named after him. Pathetic.
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