Philippine Politics

In the News: Black Kettle Binays versus Black Pot Cayetanos

If you’re fond of conspiracy theories, you might think that there’s really a movement to get rid of presidential aspirants for 2016. In the first round, Sen. Bong Revilla is out of contention and is currently in jail for the PDAF scam, along with senators Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada. No matter, I won’t vote for these senators naman. Today, we have the Binays versus the Cayetanos. Is this part of the plot or story where the leftovers will finish themselves off?

Aw, bro hugs! (photo from PhilStar.com)

 VP Jejomar Binay constantly tops surveys on who’s most likely to be president in 2016. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, on the other hand, is way behind in the same surveys. Both of them top my list of the people I won’t vote for in any election. 

Anyway, back to the twists and turns of a public service telenovela that could serve as inspiration to George R.R. Martin’s future books. The Binays, the first family of the kingdom of Makati, are getting hit for an allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2. Senator Trillanes, another man I will not ever vote for, even wanted to call the VP to a senate hearing. Never mind that it really should be the son, Mayor Junjun, to answer any questions related to that. It’s already his show. Come hearing day, everything came out–even the allegedly overpriced cakes. Like, wow. Have the Binays really reached that point that even their giveaways are overpriced? And there’s really an elevator inside Mayor Junjun’s house? Holy crap! The drama! Imagine all the intense emotions that the people must have felt with those revelations. I almost fell off my chair (laughing) when I saw the cakes in the news. Like, wtf. 

I guess it’s a case of one good deed deserves another. Yesterday, I saw that some lawyer filed a graft and corruption case against the Cayetanos– Sen. Alan Peter and his wife, who’s the mayor of Taguig CIty. Their case involves the senator’s pork barrel funds and the multicabs (little utility vehicles) bought by the local government. I wonder. If ever they will call a senate hearing for that, will they bring one of the tiny multicabs with the mayor’s name inside the senate halls? That’ll be a sight to behold. Imagine if they bought elephants instead of multicabs. Now, imagine an elephant inside the senate. 

In my small mind, these cases, can’t they just pile all the evidence at the Ombudsman’s office and skip the drama in the senate?  These hearings usually become vehicles for politicians to show off or grandstand. 

So, will opponents kill each other off? Kettles versus Pots. Which one are you going to bet on? 

The Boogeyman is Coming in 2016

As a kid, I remember my elders telling me all about some monster that’ll grab me if I didn’t behave. Part of the recent 2014 Philippine SONA also resonated that message. It was clear that the president wants the next president to continue reforms. I don’t like the current president 100 percent of the time, but I agree with him on this one. The next president could be that monster under the bed. A friend of mine even said that it’s really boogeymen. Like, yari!

With voting habits in the Philippines deeply rooted in personalities and dynastic families, honestly, how can an average Filipino come up with a brilliant choice? There are political parties, but these are more like basketball clubs for these people. I can win with LP, I’ll just jump to LP or whatever party. Hasn’t that always been the case?

Sure, we have people we perceive as “good.” But these are all crafted images, what’s the foundation for these people other than the family name? We have families who saw it fit to make politics the only career choice for their members. Maybe some of them are better off as garbage collectors. They could be missing their true calling, you know?

What’s my beef with dynasties and known families? My argument is fairly simple: Why vote for the same family name? Are we lacking in talent and passion among other people? Just nominating your next-of-kin just cries, “I couldn’t develop a new leader among my constituency.” It’s like saying God gave them a swimming pool to catch all the genes of intellect He showered the world when He created it. I feel that a true leader inspires people to participate. A true leader inspires people to serve.

I guess I want to challenge political parties to get their acts together. We voters don’t want to look into the wilderness and expect for a miracle man to come out. Look beyond the obvious and look into good faith, good intentions, a real desire to serve the people and not a real desire for more power. Until that happens, we can all expect a potential monster to win an election.

In case you parties read this, this is my basic challenge:

1. Identify what you think worked with the current administration. How can you improve on it? And do make a public admission that you agree with some policies/ reforms/ gains. Disagreeing with everything just makes you look so narrow minded.

2. Identify what you think didn’t work with the current administration. If you think you can do a better job, float the solutions.

And please, if you can institutionalize social services without branding it as a family brand, so much the better.

The Philippine SONA Makeover

July 28, 2014–Manila.  It’s another day for the State of the Nation Address (SONA).  SONA day is National Presidential Buhat-Bangko Day or National Presidential Pat-Your-Own Back Day. For the usual protest people, it’s National Government Don’t Do S#!t Everyday Day. For congressmen, senators and invited guests, it’s National Dress Up and Clap Day. For people passing through Commonwealth, today is National Hay Naku! Traffic Day. For ordinary work-minded citizens, it’s just “Hay! Monday na naman” or “It’s just another working Monday.”

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I never particularly enjoyed these presidential speeches because these are supposed to be glossy reports. I agree with a post I read earlier that the real state of the nation is how the people sees it. However, I’ll give all presidents a bye for this event. It’s supposed to be their day to highlight their accomplishments. I mean, who in his right mind would shoot his own foot in front of the nation? But, I will give a ton of points to true leaders who aren’t afraid to tell his people what lies ahead and the steps they have to take. I will give points to those not afraid to admit mistakes and are progressively working towards solutions. I remember a “legal” argument in the Bicentennial Man movie. A line there mentioned something about people not being ready for a “perfect” person to be declared as human. That was after the android sought to be legally declared a human after acquiring human skin and emotions.

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SONA, with all the preparations and media focus on it, it’s almost the best-produced show next to ABS-CBN’s ASAP on Sundays. However, I think it’s about time for a makeover. I mean, it’s been years of strict formality and the thing might lose a connection with those wanting a show. Like, maybe it can be the best show ever.

Here are some suggestions:

1.  Presidential Intro and Opening.  I’ll always look to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy for inspiration. I think with the showbiz-loving nature of Filipinos, an awesome intro like this one is in order. And to make critics shut up, the president can bring out the heavy guns–for real. With the country’s current president being a gun lover, this could be a perfect fit.

Here’s a clip from vimeo.

2.  Clapping. It’s tradition that those at the SONA clap at everything a president says. I think we can still introduce some variety to it. I mean, why not? It’s been so much as tradition that it appears to be just mindless appreciation for whatever escapes the presidential mouth.

a.  For the “Why didn’t I think of that?” reaction, there’s the slow clap. This is instant variety and stamps “DIFFERENT” from all other SONAs.

Here’s a clip from YouTube (user YuppiePunk.org) as reference:

b.  For the everyone-is-happy reaction, there’s “The Wave.” Popular in baseball games. I think with this country’s legislative branch dominated by the ruling party, they can easily do something like this.

Here’s a clip from YouTube (user SwaToRz) as reference:

3.  Other suggestions: (oh, my, there’s some more?)

a.  A closing song. Filipinos love a good song and dance number from politicians. Seriously, I don’t know it they enjoy the talent or if they’re into checking out how stupid their leaders look.

a.1 For the current president: If memory serves me correctly, the current president did sing in one of his inauguration events. I’m just not sure if it was “Estudyante Blues.” For this year’s SONA, maybe Manny Pacquiao can do an impromptu number with Frozen’s “Let it Go.” I mean, that’s if the president wants a perfect ending to that DAP issue. I think for President BS Aquino’s final SONA, he should do an AC/DC song. I’m thinking “Highway to Hell.” I mean, the boogeyman is coming in 2016.

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Seriously, the biggest makeover we need is a change in the people. Speeches and shows only highlight what government wants you to know and guide you on how you should feel; these are all cosmetic. It is also healthy for people to verify what they read and hear from the people that serve them. Take an interest. Take a stand. Do something, even if it’s just figuring out the world you’re in. Be the change. That’s how we can manage our future.

 

 

 

President Aquino Needs to Sharpen His Ax and Use It

I wonder if President Aquino still reads the newspapers. If he did, he might lose more hair.

Bad week for the main man: DAP got shot down as “unconstitutional”; he had to open his mouth on the Nora Aunor issue using poor information; that “unverified” Davao terrorist threat. I mean, that’s three in a row. We’re not even talking about the high prices of garlic and rice.

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The negative reports are just begging for follow-up reports on the following:

  1. State of affairs of Kris Aquino. There was a prelim last Sunday. I bet she’ll even be more relevant in the coming days. Anyway, she is a national treasure.
  2. Bitch slap ex-PGMA accomplishment report.  Suspended lawmaker CGMA? Perfect time to slap her silly. :evil laugh:
  3. Kick the butts of Bong and Jinggoy speech. Fresh meat for the PR grinder. :evil laugh:
  4. A possible report on the presidential dating scoreboard. Maybe it’ll be RC Cola getting a brand boost this time. I mean, Coke Zero needs a vacation. RC Free could mean, like, single and free to date around?
  5. There might as well be a hey-Corona-we-didn’t-forget-about-you news item. And ex-CJ Corona goes, “WTF. Ako na naman.”
  6. The economy-is-super-so-don’t-mind-high-prices-and-reality report. I mean, poverty and bad news won’t ever go away no matter how super a report is. Maybe they can trump this by legalizing marijuana instead.

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Anyway, who the F gives the president terrible advice or information? Personally, I’d like to see the president hang this person publicly. How about a public beheading? Isn’t making the president look bad a bad and silly thing to do?

The benchmark is Prisco Nilo and his supposedly inaccurate weather predictions.

Real-world Solutions for the Philippine Condition

As I type this out in my microscopic room in the Philippines, more rain probably came down from the heavens, Janet Napoles is probably snoring in her Sta.Rosa, Laguna jail, and the troops of Misuari are getting high (as reported in the news).  Each day passes in the daily telenovela that passs off as a country called the Philippines.  With the telenovela comes a lot of drama and that drama always finds itself online.

Watching people online regularly made me realize this:  The Filipinos are an angry bunch online.   They’re mad at how government treated them so far.  They’re pissed off when there are floods.  They’re rabid whenever they get stuck in traffic.  They froth in the mouth whenever the PDAF scam is brought up and would probably love to drive a bamboo pole through Janet Napoles and have her spit-roasted, serve her up with senators as garnishing.  One can easily sense that anger in posts on Facebook, Twitter, feedback forms on blogs and on news sites.  In previous issues, the commentary on news sites had been unforgiving during the time of PGMA scandals, the RH debates and Corona impeachment.  Online, people will go at it just to prove whose piss goes highest.  People will post angry stuff whenever they can.  I just do not know if any “real” working ideas came out of these exercises of mental masturbation.

I know that there are people from all over the country who try to do their part in coming up with solutions, from enlightening the masses to organizing mass action; they should be commended for doing so.  Government will always say that it is doing its darn best to serve and there will be people who will always state the opposing view.  For most part, I do believe that most people are too engaged in their own thing to bother engaging those sitting in the halls of governance to come up with ways to have the system serve the people better.   In other words, this country is locked in a self-perpetuating cycle that will take generations to break and people are too busy to notice.  Honestly, I don’t think that I will still be alive when I can see my fellow Filipinos shout to the world that they are no longer poor.  With that, I’d like to see solutions that can benefit ME today, and possibly in the future.

It is time to park the BS on the side of the straight path.  Let us all be practical about where we want this country to go.  I propose the following solutions to the Philippine Government and the Filipino People:

  1. Budget appropriation for creation of the National Time Machine and Multiverse Transport.  It will be an instant exit for those who want out of the country and its troubles.  Once completed, this machine will be for all those who wish for the following:

    Maybe we can just get people in a hot tub. It might work.

    • Martial Law to come back.  I originally wanted a Marcos reanimating machine but ruled against the moral implications of bringing someone back from the dead.  The time machine is better and is more flexible in application.  I am sure that the hordes of loyalists will appreciate this machine and treat it as a complement to the highways and roads built by the former strongman.
    • Declaring this country as part of the USA.  Getting someone into a more influential position to declare the Philippines as a US state would be easier in the past than in our current position.
    • Those who think that we should all be in an alternate universe where this country didn’t make the decision of heading off into wherever current state it is in right now.
  2. Budget appropriation for the creation of the National Smart People Multiplier Pill for Smart People.  Simply put, this amazing pill greatly improves the fertility rates of the smart people in the country.  I put this proposal forward for the following reasons:
    • Realizing that the Catholic Church won’t budge on its anti-RH position and government would always be pressured by it, there has to be a middle ground in the reproductive health and population debate.
    • This is also for the people who believe that the poor dumb people vastly outnumber the rich smart people and thus should be excluded from making their thoughts felt in the national scope.
    • When the population hits critical mass and there won’t be enough food to go around, the smart people will find a way to make the dead dumb people AND dead smart people palatable enough for human consumption.  Hungry people won’t complain about the food they eat.
    • This amazing pill will also be the solution for all the Filipinos who think that understanding satire should be at the vanguard of intellectualism.  There will be more people around who are full of themselves as the next Juan.  This will also save them the trouble of calling someone bobo or tanga online, as if it makes them instantly smart.
  3.  Budget appropriation for a National CCTV + Internet Access system with instant YouTube, Facebook and Twitter upload with optional person zapper function and optional instant selfie function with optional auto-background selection AND super-dooper smile enhancing function.  People can have the following:
    • Sure, we all want someone watching over us.

      News (or sex) as fresh as it can get.  People don’t have to wait for a “scandal.”

    • The power to zap people as they see fit, for justice and for the heck of it.  They can obsess with public officials not doing their jobs or simply bully someone through the internet because they can, and this time with real physical pain.
    • Post decent selfies of themselves whenever they’re not too concerned with national issues.
  4. Budget appropriation for a National Cross-stitching Program.  This is simply for the people with too much time in their hands.  This will also work well for government employees who prefer to scratch their itchy hands using  Philippine Pesos.

These proposals, I believe, will make this country great again.  I humbly submit them, or not.  If the people don’t like these ideas, their alternative is always to suck it up and productively deal with it.  Useless anger can only give us high blood pressure.