Monday, September 19, 2016

Evil time, evil men

Cayetano said tourism is down because media is always reporting the killings triggered by the De Lima Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings. Now she is demoted, but I think media will still report every significant events every day. If the killings continue, so will the reports.

Any sensible tourist will choose Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China if they want relief from stress and have a good time. In the Philippines, a tourist has a good chance of seeing a riding-in-tandem execution even in broad daylight, or a procession of policemen going house to house as part of Operation Tokhang, or during a nighttime stroll see vigilantes pulling a suspect out of his house and pumping several bullets into his head and body. An early morning stroll can offer a surprise in the form of cadavers wrapped in packing tape, hands tied, and a cardboard signs beside the corpses, and the tourist will say, "Wow! Only in the Philippines!" or "Honey, take a picture of this blood spatter on my arm."

I never thought I can feel sympathy for someone like De Lima, but evil men can make her appear in a positive light. Duterte and her stamp-pad Senate and House of Representathieves may be able to constrain her, but the truth will struggle out as long as there are decent citizens left. So far, it has been established that a four-year-old girl was gunned down with her father recently. Duterte and General Bato consider her a collateral damage; but it is, legally and morally, murder. This administration, like the Martial Law regime, is recruiting the evil elements in the AFP and PNP to do its savage policy. After Duterte leaves, these killers will be left behind, used to impunity from any system of justice, waiting for Marcos Jr. to resume his father's plunder, tortures, and murders.

There are times when I succumb to the thought of: "If the Filipinos are ignorant enough to enslave themselves under tyrants and thieves, they deserve the fruits of the seeds they sow." Then I hope some intelligent men in government and in the armed services will rise and protect us, but then I realize that I cheered for Duterte just a few months ago, and Aquino in 2009 because he would not steal like Arroyo, and Arroyo in 2001 because she replaced the corrupt Estrada, and Ramos in 1992 because the cronyism of Cory would end, and Cory because I thought she put an end to the Marcos dynasty. 

EDSA 1986 was a sham, though the Marcoses were temporarily dislocated. We cheered Enrile and the RAM boys and other military men, not realizing that they were the executors of Martial Law. Honasan, Kapunan, Matillano, Bibit, even PC Major General Fidel Ramos, and the good Panfilo Lacson were involved in torturing dissidents and making desaparecidos of thousands of young Filipinos still lost in unknown graves.

We saved our torturers and killers from Marcos, and here we are now -- the president is a rabid Marcos loyalist like Estrada, who is mayor of the rich city of Manila, whose son from a mistress (now mayor of San Juan) is a senator like Marcos Jr., whose thieving mother is congresswoman of Ilocos Norte, where his sister is governor. Marcos first cousin ex-President Fidel Ramos, who failed to settle the Mindanao dispute, is now negotiating with China about territorial rights. And Duterte has recently negotiated with terrorists and freed one hostage in exchange for P50 million, which will certainly encourage more abductions in the lucrative trade which the president has revived. Was the Davao night market blasts financed by the ransom money? I hope not. Wait and see.

Last night De Lima was demoted and it made the evening news, but the police killings also were reported. Cayetano thinks when reports of the killings stop, the tourists will flock in. The only way to stop the news reports is to stop the bloodbath, but Duterte's pet project shows no sign of abating. 

I hope there is a heaven, because it follows that there will be hell. And those that made a hell-on-earth of this country will have a certain destination, hot and blood red.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sophistries and epithets

The president seems to be misleading the public about the killing of innocent victims, including children, in his bloody war against drug lords and pushers. Is it because his messiahiad turn of mind has led him astray too?

Let's see how this president uses reasoning or arguments that sound true but are off the mark. I never thought anyone in this world can make De Lima look good in my eyes, but it takes a Duterte to shatter my misconception. Against my will (and taste), I find myself defending the scarf lady against the imputation that she's the star of the sex scandal tape. Duterte's personal vendetta against the former Justice Secretary, who investigated him for the summary killings in Davao when he was mayor there, went overboard when he used his dumb crony, appointed DOJ Secretary Aguirre, to hurriedly present half-baked evidence against her, and her driver. They are trying to impeach her character, as if facts against the extrajudicial killings will be negated if De Lima and lover were proven guilty of receiving money from the drug lords and making love with each other.

It's as old as the New Testament, this defense of sinners against their accusers and critics, Duterte's retaliation against Obama and UN's Ban Ki Moon's comments about the mass killings: "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. [John 8:7]" refers not to De Lima (though she is getting on in years) but the woman in the Bible who was caught in adultery (well, maybe it's De Lima), and Duterte certainly is not defending her against himself! If this is confusing it's because Duterte uses arguments that can backfire on him. On one hand, he entreats Obama and the US not to be so righteous; on the other hand he keeps hurling charges (and epithets) against all who does not approve of his murderous campaign. He is the pot calling the kettle black, but he can also be the kettle. We tread a double-edged blade when we accuse any one, or if we are accused. Matthew 7:1 -- Do not judge, or you will be judged.

The main point, after sweeping away all the sophistries, is that even if the United States massacred thousands Filipino rebels and hundreds of Moros in order to take control the Philippines, will that make right the extrajudicial killings happening here every day?

If a dropout says one and one and one is three, will he be considered wrong if a mathematician says the right answer is 3.1416? During Hitler's genocidal campaign against the Jews, hunders of German physicist gathered to prove that Eintein's Theory of Relativity is wrong. Told about this, Einstein said, "If I'm wrong, just one of them is sufficient." Duterte points to the more than 16 million who elected him to office as the source of his mandate, but what about the more then 84 million who still believe that the death penalty is still out of the bounds of our law?

The death penalty was repealed by Duterte's close friend Gloria Arroyo when she became president. This act certainly saved her from the lethal injection for plunder and electoral fraud, all heinous, all acceptable now as long as you are a presidential friend. Even presidential kumpare Peter Lim escaped Duterte's avowal that this Chinese drug lord will be killed the instant he lands in our airport. Instead he was presented on TV, with Duterte casting doubt whether he is indeed the one on the police drug list. What kind of intel was Duterte being fed that thousands were killed without verification and this kumpare is not properly identified? No photos of him was included in the government files? So Peter flew back to China. And when Media asks why only small time druggies were being killed, Duterte says, "Because only the henchmen are operating here. The bosses are in China. Kung gusto mong hulihin sila, pumunta ka sa China." So much for consistency. How long this zarzuela will go on before the Duterte trolls wake up? Well, Marcosian fools are still growling long after 1986. Let me like the Devil, quoting Scriptures: Proverbs 26:4,5 -- Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like to him…

Friday, September 9, 2016

Looking back

When President Duterte was just starting, he declared that he would not look back and point fingers at what the previous administration had done wrong, had not done right, and should have done. "Move forward," sounds good, if you agree to the honor burial of his patron, deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and just forget EDSA 1986 happened and mattered.

When crooked politicians suggest we move on and forget the past ("What's done is done." "Minalas sila.") -- and forgive!-- the first thing a good citizen must do is turn around and look at his wallet, family, and past. In 2005 Gloria Arroyo, whose cohorts are now in Duterte's Cabinet, exhorted us on TV to forgive her for lying about the Hello Garci tape and to forget that she usurped the presidency, which should have gone to FPJ. Electoral rigger Virgilio Garcillano, after things had cooled off and the electorate's reliable Alzheimer had set in, returned from hiding abroad and even ran for Congress in 2007. Recently, Arroyo was released from hospital arrest, as if no massive plunder and other heinous crimes had been committed. Looking back, during Duterte's campaign, he said he was in favor of releasing Gloria. What he did not say was that he and Gloria were BFFs and that he has a blind side: he cannot see his friends' sins against the Filipinos he avows to love and protect.

Now Duterte is blaming Media for his latest foot-in-mouth gaffe, which caused the cancellation of his meeting with President Obama. What, exactly, is Media's role, except to air his announcement precisely as it was captured by the cameras. What I find fault in today's broadcast media is the tendency to bleep out the presidential "putang-ina" and "shit" in his tirade against Obama and other victims of his ire -- thus shielding Filipino families from the complete presidential pronouncements, with the decorum of every hood in the neighborhood.

During the Summit, Duterte and Obama somehow managed to avoid each other and shake hands. The diplomatic fiasco stung the very sensitive Duterte. But he anticipated the humiliation and prepared some photographs showing atrocities by the Americans during the process of colonizing the Philippines, from 1898 to 1904. Filipinos who fought for freedom were killed and labeled as bandits; in 1901 American soldiers were ordered, as retaliation for the natives' killing of 48 members of the US 9th Infantry, by Gen. Jacob Smith to kill every male over 10 years old in Balangiga town, Samar. Graphic photos were shown to the other world leaders to remind Obama that human rights violation is not an exclusive prerogative of the Philippines. Duterte emphasized the hypocrisy of the critics of the extrajudicial killings in his anti-drug campaign, wherein there are more unofficial murders than the government-instigated murders. So Duterte looked back in time, selectively.

And Duterte trolls lapped it up, even if nearly all, millions, have no idea that we had been Spanish Indios from 1521 to 1898, America's Little Brown Brothers (1898-June 3, 1946), and Japanese puppets from 1942-February 1945. And now we are slaves of the Filipino oligarchy, from which Duterte's father benefited much, especially during Marcos' Martial Law. 

Looking back a little closer in time -- from September 21, 1972 to Feb. 21, 1986 -- we can see what this president, this Duterte, refuses to see: the disappearance of thousands of people whom Marcos' military goons labeled as communist rebels, which included students protesting against warrantless arrests, abductions, and the curtailment of their freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and other basic rights. Are there graphic photos of coeds nabbed by members of the constabulary or Metrocom, then raped, subjected to water torture and electrocution, brutally killed, their mutilated bodies thrown into still unknown graves? Among the victims were human rights advocates (Etta Rosales et al), writers who criticized Marcos' rule and corruption ("Pinasuka ako ng dugo." -- Ricky Lee), and rivals in politics and business monopoly. Before Duterte reaches the distant past, he cannot avoid the evidence of murders, and of plunders that impoverished the country, caused by his friends, the Marcoses, and, still closer in time, the Arroyos.

Hypocrisy can mean declaring not looking back but still looking back, beyond the big chip on your shoulder, and stating, as President of this damned Republic, that the US ambassador to the Philippines is "bakla" and a "son of a bitch." Ambassador Philip Goldberg's past sin? Goldberg had criticized presidential candidate Duterte for a hideous joke he made about the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill. After he became president, Duterte recalled meeting US State Secretary John Kerry: "I quarreled with his gay ambassador [referring to Goldberg]. I am pissed with him. He meddled during the election, giving statements here and there. He was not supposed to do that. That son of a bitch really annoyed me." Whelp of a doggie for an ambassador, bastard of a whore for a president. There must be a clinical explanation to this madness.

De Lima, former DOJ chief and now senator, did not escape Duterte's memory and wrath, either. He is now gathering evidence against De Lima and her former driver for their alleged coddling of drug lords in the National Penitentiary. Then there's Ban Ki Moon. Duterte, after shaking hands with the UN Secretary General last week, did not spare the man for issuing his concerns about the extrajudicial killings in the present administration.

Looking back, I thought Marcos was the worst authoritarian thief elected to the presidency. Then I thought Cory, after a brief admiration in 1986, was the caregiver of cronies and relatives in government. Ramos, in dotage still a political butterfly, flitting from his cousin Ferdinand's garden to Cory's yellow canvas to Gloria's team to Duterte's street corner. Estrada, instigator of EDSA 2001, was just a cut from the old Marcosian cloth as was Benigno Aquino III a chip off his peevish mother. What could be worse?

Well, after looking back at lot, we still have to look forward, wondering why Duterte insists on just six months to wipe out a serious drug problem, when he can -- methodically, without murdering "collateral damages," setting a bright example to the world community -- ensure the success of his vision in six years: 2,191 days instead of the silly 180 days he imposed on himself. That it's a campaign promise does not hold anymore, after he failed to jetski and plant a Philippine flag on Scarborough Shoal to fulfill another campaign pledge. Or was it another joke? The jokes and excuses are running thin; at least, through this eerie and deadly transparency, we can clearly see how worthless the lessons of History are, when we entrust our future to less worthy men.

Look back to affirm, not to deny, the truth.