Philippines: A Commandment of Love for God and Country – Statement of Individual Support from Clergy and Religious of the Diocese of Kalookan (24.04.2022)

Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University – Department of Theology – Statement of the Department of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University about the May 2022 Election (25.02.2022)

Philippines: More than 130 Filipino economists express full support for VP Leni Robredo’s presidential bid (11.02.2022)

Opinion: Robredo – getting bribed or not to get bribed… that is the question

I have said this in the past: Accept it because it may have been from tax money. What they used to buy your votes, could be the money of the people. Accept it but vote whoever your conscience says. Don’t just vote because you think you would be indebted to them after receiving the money. For me, accept the money, but vote based on your conscience. We should arrest them because that’s wrong. But now it’s easy. Because today, we have apps like GCash, right? We have those, so vote buying would be easier” – Vice President Leni Robredo (26.10.2021).

The current day OVP and Liberal Party Presidential Candidate in the up-coming election in 2022 Leni Robredo. She has clearly taken a stance now. This trying to be popular and really politicking. In one way… she is against it, but still says people should accept it. That’s where I’m failing her on it.

Robredo needs guidance if she wants to be different and sincere. Than she should flat-out say the bribing voters is wrong. That this usage of funds, plunder and whatnot shouldn’t exist in the first place. This is a misuse of the state reserves and making the candidacy expensive. That’s because everyone needs their cut and their peso’s. It is also striking that it is commercialization of politics. Buying voters and giving them a short-term gains for a vote. Just like some come with soap, rice and whatnot too. It is the same, but that is it really.

Robredo isn’t tricking anyone with this. Let’s “accept the bribe” but not be “swayed by it”. Take the “free” money but don’t expect any sort of justification for it. Yes, the politician and the candidate cannot see what the voter does. However, the reality is that the citizens and the local communities will know who took the pesos. This is why the candidates are doing this. Because, they know which families and barangay’s where they will take the money. Therefore, they know who will most likely vote and be “swayed” into voting for someone.

It is not like Robredo doesn’t know this. It is a pay-off for a service. It is a bribe and no matter what size the bribe is. It is still a bribe and blatant misuse of funds, especially if this is taken from the state coffers. That shouldn’t happen in the first place and why should the citizens accept that? Why receive that? Aren’t they validating and participating in the illegal transaction?

If that is all true. Than the citizen shouldn’t take the money. They are on the receiving end and could be liable too. However, we know that the citizens cannot all be criminal and part of conspiracy to corrupt the system. Nevertheless, the politicians doing this is catering to the culture of this and they know the expectations too.

This is embedded and this is why she speaks of it in this way. Trying to influence, but also downplay the significance of it. Alas, there is the problem. She should be vocally against it. If you are against corruption and bribes. It should be a simple stance. The pork-barrels and the plunder cases is a worry for a reason. The same should voter-bribing be. No matter what method you use or sort of scheme of giving operations you have. It is still a way of paying-to-play and buying a favour. That is really it.

The peso’s is becoming more important than what sort of policies, political program or what gut-feeling you have. The politician can instead become a winner, because they are the ones who pays the most. They are the ones who are giving enough peso’s to make a difference. Because, everyone will hear the talk of the vast amounts and what sort of pay-off that is coming their way. The political allegiance will either get decent pay-off or a budget Jolibee menu.

Robredo should have just said: “I am against it and it’s a ghastly tradition. We are better than this and the COMELEC should disqualify anyone who does this or participate in it. Bribes is never acceptable and shouldn’t be in campaigns”.

Instead she went into mediocre tea territory. Robredo acted soft and meagre …. not having a stance worth mentioning. This is really it. We should expect more from her, but this is disappointing. The pesos are clearly more powerful than anything else. Peace.

Opinion: Robredo has to prove herself now

Opinion: Robredo has to prove herself now

This week we got to know that the Liberal Party Presidential Candidate is Leni Robredo, the current Vice-President. She said she had to stand to challenge Ferdinand Marcos “BongBong” Junior, because she couldn’t have another Marcos as a President. That is fair enough.

We know that BongBong Marcos doesn’t believe in the horrible era. He didn’t taste the Marshall Law and neither the dictatorial acts of his father. As a son of the late dictator who only enjoyed the perks and spoils of the plunder. Therefore, he wants to continue that part of the legacy, but won’t acknowledge the reason for the EDSA. That’s really says it all.

However, Robredo has more to challenge herself in this one. She has to prove her worth. That isn’t easy. When everyone has seen her role as the Vice President during this term. Now she also has prove herself more worthy than all the candidates. While those are mediocre and the Duterte opposition isn’t coordinated.

Isko Moreno is targeting her. While he sounds more like a Pseudo-Duterte-esque politician. It is not a flattering attempt either. He goes after her and BBM. Still, he doesn’t sound better or more likeable. Just another politician going after the others, but not proving what he wants achieve himself. Don’t worry about that. He plans to continue where Duterte left-off anyway.

Robredo has to really be on point and be folksy. That is much to ask. She has to prove herself to the rural population and least educated. This will be hard. Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao or Manny Pacquiao he is more likely to speak in way that resonate with plenty more. That is something Leni needs to figure out. Not that I think she will, but she could give it try. It wouldn’t hurt her.

Going pink in October isn’t a shock or such. Just using the colour of the campaign against Breast-cancer for herself. It isn’t tactful or wise, but shows how far she wants to go. Robredo isn’t an easy sale.

She went towards BBM in the last campaign and does it again. However, she has to show finesse and proof of ability. While other competition will flex too. Leni has be smart and at the same time relevant. Arrogance and entitlement will not work. Humility and strength in the long-run can pay-off. As well, as strategically move forward. Alas, this game isn’t for the faint-hearted and that is something she already knows.

Leni has to be out there like she was after the typhoons. That is what she needs to be doing. Not being crass and snide against the competitors. Because, everyone will pin-point her failures in office. That she didn’t stop the anti-drug-war and was the Czar for a hot-minute. Alas, there will no peace, but she has to mediate. If she wants to prove her worth…

She cannot put gasoline on the fire. It will just make things worse. Even if this technique have worked for Duterte. I doubt Robredo will earn political currency out there doing that. It isn’t in her character and in that way she will only loose her base.

I don’t think the Doja Cat – “Hot Pink” is her ways of winning others voters either. It will galvanize her base, but I doubt it will bring new to the team. She has to bring more than Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday’s”. I clearly don’t see that vision, but we have to see if she can bring something nobody expects.

Nevertheless, you never what happens tomorrow, but she isn’t the one that surprises anyone. Unless, she suddenly turns a new leaf. Time will only tell. Peace.

Philippines: Duterte is out-quangoing himself

Today President Rodrigo Roa Duterte created a new entity to oversee other entities and in the end find out if other entities are duplicated. In a sense that is what he has done. To simplify it even more. The President has appointed one dude and his side-kicks to overlook another collective, which in the end shall see if other agencies, parastatals or government entities are efficient or delivering public services.

What is striking here. The President is creating a office with several of underling. To add as addition to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) who works on these things already.

The CSC already has programs and directly active in this field. The CSC works on the Service Delivery Excellence Program (SDEP) and Contact Center ng Bayan (CCB), which are both focused on this and supposed to help the state to function more properly.

Now, as of today, the President is initiating yet another to combat the same thing. Just to make it more complicated the newly create office to help the ARTA and CSC is operating like this:

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes (OPASGP) is hereby created under the OP (Office of the President). The OPASGP shall be headed by the Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes (PASGP)”.

That is the new overseer and overhead of all the other agencies that is working on the same. The Philippines has already as stated the CSC and ARTA. They have mandates and programs working directly to make things efficient and get feedback from the general public like the CCB under CSC. Therefore, it seems like the President is just creating another entity because some of his boys needs a job and he can appoint them.

The new person looking into this will be stationed under the Office of the President and will head his own thing. While his supposed to be advising the existing ARTA. What is striking and funny to me… is that its not involving the CSC who working on similar mandate. This is separate entities that is functioning partly for the same reason, but still they are not legally connected. Which is weird when the President orders not have things duplicated in the state.

So, it is ironic that the President creates another agency today. When he has others who is already doing it. Especially, when the end goal is similar. That is really special and should be questioned. We can wonder if the President is just hiring his cronies and finding them new homes. Instead of streamlining or cutting the red-tape. Peace.

Philippines: Statement of Vice President Leni Robredo on the recent hate crimes against Asians in the United States (05.04.2021)

Philippines: Present Coalition – Pursue a Peaceful and Innovative Path to End Poverty! Tag the Present Bill as Urgent! (11.02.2021)

Philippines: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte – Ratification of the Treaty on hte Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – (01.02.2021)

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