Continued failure of Philippine Opposition to gain public approval rooted in the hypocrisy of its top “thought leaders”

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.

Senator Manny Pacquiao’s efforts to exhibit ‘solidarity’ with the ‘poor’ fall flat.

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.

6 Replies to “Continued failure of Philippine Opposition to gain public approval rooted in the hypocrisy of its top “thought leaders””

  1. ‘Yung mga pakawala nila andaming kagaguhang pinaggagagawa mula pangha-harass, pagbabanta, pagpapa-take down ng accounts at kung ano-ano pa, tatawagin kang troll atbp. tapos ini-expect nila susuportahan mo sila sa susunod na eleksyon. ULOL.

    1. No etiquette Pacman eating with his fingers?

      If we are to believe that what you’re saying is true, that eating with your bare hands is without manners, then you’re indicting not only Manny Pacquiao but a whole lot of other cultures as well.

      (In the photo, Manny, probably not in a formal occasion, is either eating alone or in the company of his close family and associates. Even President Duterte has been shown in the news eating in his fave carinderia in Davao in the same manner.)

      While cutlery is foundational to Western dining, eating with one’s hands is the norm across much of the world: including the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and South America.

      It takes a bit of learning for the uneducated to understand a whole lot of other peoples’ cultural eating habits.

      The Japanese are aware that noisy slurping while eating is taboo elsewhere, especially in fine dining, but not in a Japanese society.

      How about the finger and palm licking habits of other people which gave rise to the term “finger-lickin foods” oftentimes highlighted in American movies which some people, strangely, even find as “sosy” that they imitate them?

      Lastly, try to use a golden spoon and fork in “Red Crab” or in a “Kamayan” restaurant next time and you tell us the experience.

  2. You are an apologist, no question about it. But the thing is, you apologize for somebody who yourself identified to be with a certain group (politicians) that “are not as clean”. Also, in the roundabout manner, you seem to agree with Duterte’s niece that he is indeed a killer or murderer by comparing the present conditions under the Digong’s watch with the previous past under the Cory Aquino’s administration to justify your bias for the current president.

    According to you, Nuelle Duterte has no idea that EJK has happened in the past. Most importantly, you pointed out she didn’t know that Cory and Ramos allowed EJK to flourish under the supervision and dictates of the US, while Digong did it his own way. The present is better than the past.

    Nuelle Duterte’s claim of his uncle ‘killing people’ is plain truth. She should know he’s her uncle. I don’t see any need for conditioning other people on that plain fact.

  3. I don’t how anyone can survive politics/government and security work by strictly following theories. If you’re not the one in the arena , how can you say with absolute certainty how something is justified or not.

  4. What’s the difference? No matter which side runs the country, things are still the same, corruption is still rampant, this is still 3rd world and commodities are still expensive so I can say don’t hope for changes for the better to come. Abandon hope.

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