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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

EDITORIAL: DENIABILITY
[We are beginning to think that the president-elect is not some candid, loose-canon foul-mouthed people’s politician with a heart of gold. He is, in fact, more intelligent, sober calculating than he would have us think.]


JUNE 4 -Thursday night’s press conference in Davao City was preview to what a Duterte presidency would look—and sound—like. A defiant Rodrigo Duterte faced the cameras again and said he would never apologize for his earlier comments on journalists and would never change the way he was for anybody and for any reason. “Don’t f... with me,” he said to the media, some members of which have suggested boycotting him in protest of his statements. Two evenings before, Duterte had angered many by saying that the reason journalists were being killed in this country was that they were corrupt. They had it coming. The highlight of the evening, however, was not the unpresidential ranting against journalists but the emerging pattern of communication from Mr. Duterte and the media. Experts would do better in observing the man over an extended period of time, but here’s what we have noticed so far: Mr. Duterte—or the persona he creates—defines what the news would be instead of answering the questions the people really want to ask. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Rod Kapunan - Huwag kang magnanakaw (Do not steal)
[In the case of Noynoy Aquino, many could not believe he won in the 2010 despite barely having credentials as congressman and senator. Many believe he was only voted into office by the same computer machines that elected the demagogue. Noynoy is no different from his mother Cory Aquino. She refused to conduct a recount of the ballots to prove that Marcos rigged the election on February 9, 1986.]


JUNE 4 -When Senator Bongbong Marcos demanded for a systems audit of the Commission on Elections and how the Smartmatic-operated counting machines work, those idiots forgot that they cannot raise the defense of self-incrimination in the event the suspicion is verified that there was an anomaly in the counting. Rather, when the Comelec rejected the demand saying Marcos might use that as evidence against them, the poll body failed to realize that it assumed the role of an arbiter with authority to lay down the rules that the electoral exercise would be fair, honest and clean. It goes without saying that it is duty-bound to explain why the aggrieved candidates lost in the election. An audit of the system is the only way to convince the Filipino people that they elected a demagogue for a VP. Only those who refused to participate in the election can be denied that right. If the Comelec acted the same way to brush aside the demand for a systems audit as though it were acting as a referee in a cockfight, the referee would have been killed right there and then. This we say for even among gamblers there is chivalry and honor in their profession. The slightest transgression of the sacred rules could quickly result in the betting of the cheater’s life. Thus, when the Comelec assumed the role and allowed the hasty proclamation of the alleged winner by a rubber-stamp Congress, and then we might as well say adios to this land of the monkeys. The Comelec is under obligation to explain to every candidate how the system works because it is in knowing that would convince him why he lost. If the alien braggart that now controls the outcome of the election result could claim the counting was the fastest in the world, there is no reason it could not carry out the fastest recounting of the votes. Failure to do that would give the people the right to brand the last election as rigged and call the proclaimed vice president an impostor. The Filipino people who did not vote for Leni Robredo would not violate any law for showing their disrespect. To deny them that right would only deepen the divisiveness between the traitorous oligarchy and the disenfranchised poor. As this column predicted, the votes against the hypocritical administration was a protest vote. Mar Roxas only has to blame himself for his indefatigable loyalty to the hypocrites who persist in asserting that they have the monopoly of morality. The cheating exacerbated the people’s anger because they see the Comelec and the PPCRV taking turns in justifying the alleged victory of the demagogue. If the pious hypocrites hated President Marcos by branding him a dictator, at least he was honestly elected by the people to bestow on him the mandate to govern. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Rotten thinking
[During the press conference, Duterte feigned irritation at a persistent reporter and asked somebody to shoot her with an armalite. Such words betray how lightly he takes the impunity with which the media killings are committed. This only brings foreboding, as we wonder what the rest of the next six years would be like.]


JUNE 2 -At Tuesday’s press conference where he introduced the next set of Cabinet officials, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was asked what he intended to do about the media killings that have made the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. We can’t say we were surprised by Mr. Duterte’s response. He has always styled himself as the tough guy. We were appalled, nonetheless, and we add our voice to the chorus of anger and indignation that his words elicited. Our next president believes that journalists who died were killed because they were corrupt. They were carrying out their work in a less-than-honorable way, offending or spreading lies about others for financial consideration. Hence, they deserved what befell them.He went as far as digging up the name of a man the one he says was killed because of how he conducted his profession. “He is a rotten son of a bitch,” Mr. Duterte said. “Freedom of expression cannot save you,” he said. “Even the Constitution cannot help you [if you besmirch a person’s name].”  The lawyer-president sends a chilling message. He is telling us that it is all right to kill journalists if they, in their capacities as media workers, attack another person. Sure, there is corruption in media, just as there is corruption in any other industry. There are plenty of hypocrites here, preaching righteousness and good governance even as they, in their professional lives, reject the very things they advocate. Sometimes it is a matter of economics. Sometimes, ego. At all times, it’s an act of free will. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - By example
[At the very least, the Aquino administration sets a good example to all succeeding administrations: how not to lead with an us-versus-them mentality, how not to believe anybody can get it right all the time, and how not to reject valid observations and suggestions just because they come from somebody who sports a different political color.]


JUNE 5 -It is easy to get distracted by the bombastic statements of the incoming president. Everything that comes out of his mouth, and the manner in which he delivers them, instantly become news material. Love him or hate him, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is larger than life even before he is sworn in as the next leader of the land. Meanwhile, the outgoing chief executive has never seemed more of a lame duck than ever. In fact, he is hardly visible, or audible, at all. Since his anointed successor failed to win the presidency, and even as the vice presidential candidate he had fielded in fact managed to get herself proclaimed winner, President Benigno Aquino III has never appeared so lost, weak and lacking in purpose. It well may be that all outgoing presidents go this lonely way. But it can be, too, that Mr. Aquino particularly has a lot of contemplating to do now that his so-called straight path-treading administration is about to end. Things like, how much of daang matuwid was real and how much was braggadocio? When Mr. Aquino assumed office six years ago, basking in the glow of the public’s adulation of his just-deceased mother, he promised a righteous government that was supposed to deliver Filipinos from the clutches of poverty and corruption. Today, we know that the President and his allies took righteous to a new level, portraying themselves as crusaders and their critics and opponents as agents of the dark. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Michael Schuman - China Forgetting the Keys to Success


ABOUT THE WRITER: Michael Schuman is a journalist based in Beijing and author of "Confucius: And the World He Created." PHOTO OURTESY OF BLOOMBERG.COM
China is arguably the valedictorian of Asia’s MBA program. When Deng Xiaoping ditched the radical economics of Mao and steered China into the global economy beginning in the early 1980s, he borrowed liberally from programs and policies that had earlier ignited rapid growth in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The student quickly outshone the teachers, riding an export-led, investment-heavy strategy to years of double-digit growth. Now, however, China’s President Xi Jinping appears to have misplaced his textbooks. Rather than continuing to heed the experiences of Asia’s tiger economies, he’s ignoring critical lessons at his—and China’s—peril. Probably the key truism to emerge from the region’s postwar boom is that if countries are to grow quickly, development must subsume all other priorities. Former South Korean President Park Chung Hee, who launched his country’s economic ascent, put it best when he wrote: “In human life, economics precedes politics or culture.” What separated East Asia’s high-growth economies from the rest of the developing world back in the 1960s and 1970s was their leaders’ single-minded—almost maniacal —commitment to raising incomes and building industries. Park would often sit in his office in Seoul’s presidential palace with a notepad, doing his own calculations with economic data. True, these early leaders also had little time for the niceties of representative democracy. But at least the policymaking process was shielded from political debates and hassles, giving experts the freedom to carry out reforms. By contrast, those countries that mixed other agendas into the process ultimately ran aground. Malaysia’s attempt to reengineer the nation’s social structure by promoting the economic interests of the Malay community helped strand the economy in a middle-income trap. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Deniability

MANILA, JUNE 6, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted June 04, 2016 at 12:01 am - Thursday night’s press conference in Davao City was preview to what a Duterte presidency would look—and sound—like. A defiant Rodrigo Duterte faced the cameras again and said he would never apologize for his earlier comments on journalists and would never change the way he was for anybody and for any reason.

“Don’t f... with me,” he said to the media, some members of which have suggested boycotting him in protest of his statements.

Two evenings before, Duterte had angered many by saying that the reason journalists were being killed in this country was that they were corrupt. They had it coming.

The highlight of the evening, however, was not the unpresidential ranting against journalists but the emerging pattern of communication from Mr. Duterte and the media.

Experts would do better in observing the man over an extended period of time, but here’s what we have noticed so far: Mr. Duterte—or the persona he creates—defines what the news would be instead of answering the questions the people really want to ask.

READ MORE...

His statements may be construed as offensive and even incendiary but they still leave enough room for him to change course or deny that he meant what he said. His defenders or he himself would just make it appear as though he was joking, was misunderstood or that the public was not paying any attention—their fault, not his.

Case in point: the wolf whistling.

In the earlier press conference, Duterte whistled in direct response to a female reporter’s question. Two days later, he said anybody could whistle and that whistling was not of a sexual nature. In fact, he asked: how can a woman be sure I am whistling at her when there are many other people in the room?

And then there are the journalists. On Tuesday he said those who were killed were the rotten ones, but on Thursday he made the effort to group journalists into three: the crusaders, those with vested interests because they are public relations consultants, and the extortionists.

Still, in succeeding sentences, he went back to generalizing. “All journalists ask. All.”

We are beginning to think that the president-elect is not some candid, loose-canon foul-mouthed people’s politician with a heart of gold. He is, in fact, more intelligent, sober calculating than he would have us think.


PART 3: Huwag kang magnanakaw posted June 04, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan
Part III

When Senator Bongbong Marcos demanded for a systems audit of the Commission on Elections and how the Smartmatic-operated counting machines work, those idiots forgot that they cannot raise the defense of self-incrimination in the event the suspicion is verified that there was an anomaly in the counting.

Rather, when the Comelec rejected the demand saying Marcos might use that as evidence against them, the poll body failed to realize that it assumed the role of an arbiter with authority to lay down the rules that the electoral exercise would be fair, honest and clean. It goes without saying that it is duty-bound to explain why the aggrieved candidates lost in the election. An audit of the system is the only way to convince the Filipino people that they elected a demagogue for a VP. Only those who refused to participate in the election can be denied that right.

If the Comelec acted the same way to brush aside the demand for a systems audit as though it were acting as a referee in a cockfight, the referee would have been killed right there and then. This we say for even among gamblers there is chivalry and honor in their profession. The slightest transgression of the sacred rules could quickly result in the betting of the cheater’s life. Thus, when the Comelec assumed the role and allowed the hasty proclamation of the alleged winner by a rubber-stamp Congress, and then we might as well say adios to this land of the monkeys.

The Comelec is under obligation to explain to every candidate how the system works because it is in knowing that would convince him why he lost. If the alien braggart that now controls the outcome of the election result could claim the counting was the fastest in the world, there is no reason it could not carry out the fastest recounting of the votes. Failure to do that would give the people the right to brand the last election as rigged and call the proclaimed vice president an impostor.

The Filipino people who did not vote for Leni Robredo would not violate any law for showing their disrespect. To deny them that right would only deepen the divisiveness between the traitorous oligarchy and the disenfranchised poor. As this column predicted, the votes against the hypocritical administration was a protest vote. Mar Roxas only has to blame himself for his indefatigable loyalty to the hypocrites who persist in asserting that they have the monopoly of morality.

The cheating exacerbated the people’s anger because they see the Comelec and the PPCRV taking turns in justifying the alleged victory of the demagogue. If the pious hypocrites hated President Marcos by branding him a dictator, at least he was honestly elected by the people to bestow on him the mandate to govern.

READ MORE...

In the case of Noynoy Aquino, many could not believe he won in the 2010 despite barely having credentials as congressman and senator. Many believe he was only voted into office by the same computer machines that elected the demagogue. Noynoy is no different from his mother Cory Aquino. She refused to conduct a recount of the ballots to prove that Marcos rigged the election on February 9, 1986. She could have done that to verify their claim. On the contrary, she discontinued the counting soon after she realized that the result would confirm that Marcos won.

The infamy of 1986 is being repeated; once again, we are being compelled to idolize one whom the majority of the people never voted into office. The subjugation of our people has been made easy by the use of cheating machines programmed to make sure that only lackeys of the oligarchy and the US imperialists win. The systematic cheating has reduced our supposedly democratic electoral system to one of farce, with the Comelec serving as the spokesman of Smartmatic and the PPCRV confirming the result as authentic like that of the bishop’s cathedra.

When Bongbong Marcos, during his privilege speech, elaborated how his votes evaporated overnight in the first day of counting despite the overwhelming lead of almost one million, he was rudely interrupted by Senator Bam Aquino who insisted that Marcos show proof he was cheated. Aquino forgot that the Comelec and its co-conspirator, the PPCRV, was withholding the evidence from the people. Even idiots could logically question how the demagogue was able to overtake the lead from Bongbong unless from 8:00 p.m. up to 7:00 a.m. all the votes that were counted were in favor of the demagogue and none for Bongbong.

When it was also revealed that an officer of Smartmatic changed the script of the Comelec transparency server, and those who saw it demanded an investigation, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista immediately came to the defense of Smartmatic, saying that the breach did not alter the vote count. Bautista missed the point because it is not the alteration of the result in the counting that is being questioned but the breach of security. The act of changing the script was done without the knowledge of the Comelec. As one would say, the voters aside from being denied their receipt they could use as evidence, the operators of the voting machines were operating it like a “one- armed bandit.”

It must be observed that prior to the election, there was a frenzy of poll surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia and many fly-by-night poll surveys that were obviously funded by this pretending-to-be-honest administration to condition the minds of the people that their demagogue has finally overtaken the lead from an overwhelmingly popular choice, Bongbong Marcos. That mind conditioning was telling; the yellow horde would not settle for less and would make sure that their candidate wins. From there they would proceed to “Plan B” by ousting the expected winner Digong Duterte. According to Yen Makabenta, if the election was not marred by rigging, Bongbong could have easily won by more then three million votes.

Despite the intricate preparation to ensure the victory of their candidate, the yellow horde however failed to anticipate that the incident would expose them as cheaters. Bongbong won 46 percent of the votes cast in the National Capital Region or Metro Manila with Robredo garnering only 29 percent, and the nibbling opportunist Cayetano getting 13 percent. In fact, Bongbong obtained a higher percentage votes than Duterte who got only 43 percent. The win of Bongbong in the NCR is significant because any national candidate who wins in Metro Manila is likely to win the election. Results here are a reliable barometer. Many shook their heads when Bongbong lost because he even obtained a higher percentage vote than Duterte. This leads them to conclude that Robredo’s victory is what we call in the vernacular “pinilit.”

Similarly, it is given that Robredo will win in Bicol just as it is expected for Bongbong to win in the Ilocos region. But considering that he won in the NCR, enjoyed a rather overwhelming edge against the demagogue in many provinces, plus the numerous command votes given him by various religious organizations (INC and El Shaddai, among others), they took it that in the aggregate, Bongbong is likely to win. Even columnist RigobertoTiglao was amazed to note that in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan, Bongbong got zero. In Cebu where he consistently led in most campus surveys, he lost close to half a million votes. One must note those fantastic figures only reduced the victory of the demagogue to impossibility.

-----------------------------------

PART 2 Huwag kang magnakaw

Huwag kang magnanakaw
posted May 28, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan
Part II

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting is today the most lethal instrument of the ultra-conservative Catholic Church in thwarting the people’s will through deceit. The Church has allowed itself to be used as a subsidiary of the US imperialist. Instead of helping the Commission on Elections conduct a clean, fair and honest election, the PPCRV has become an active party in the rigging, tampering and substituting of the results using the modern facilities of computerized voting machines.

Since the automation of the country’s electoral system in 2010, our so-called democratic electoral system has never been the same. The Comelec and the so-called advance and unofficial tabulation conducted by the National Movement for Free Election and now by PPCRV are suspected to be the creation and funded of the US Central Intelligence Agency through its various front organizations led by the National Endowment for Democracy. The hypocritical Church and their captive laities are made to support their yellow-branded lackeys without examining that they are hooting for a brainless stooge who will lock our people with the devil by reducing our Constitution to toilet paper, like when PNoy allowed the return of the US military bases with the right to select the sites and number of bases they want to build.

The wholesale fraud of the people’s mandate was repeated after their controlled poll surveys conditioned the dazed people that their groomed candidate is likely to win the vice presidential race. It was a classic example of apostasy committed by the hypocritical Church hierarchy because they ludicrously presented Leni Robredo as virtuous—one who can continue the morality started by this abominably corrupt government, which is the opposite of what they termed “sacrilegious” but more popular candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duteete.

Many believe that the President who has hypocritically chosen to adopt the slogan of “tuwid na daan” is himself a product of the hocus-PCOS computer machines. Many shook their heads when he was elected despite his lackluster record when he served as congressman and as senator. As if to deliver their final insult, the automated election result gave him an overwhelming mandate against the ousted President Joseph Estrada who enjoyed the support of the grassroots.

The Catholic Church has departed from its role of providing spiritual guidance to its converts by allowing itself to become an instrument of exploitation of our people by ensuring that only screened US lackeys are elected. The PPCRV has been linked with the notorious CIA-operated NED, which in turn is supplemented by the dubious organizations of George Soros called the Open Society Foundations. NED has been banned in Russia, China and in many countries for meddling in their electoral exercise or for agitating the colored revolution as what it did in Serbia and Ukraine. Its entry port is to establish ties with local organizations styling as NGOs claiming to work for electoral reforms and in ensuring democracy.

NED was founded by Reagan’s CIA Director William “Bill” Casey. He said that NED needs to “create a funding mechanism to support groups inside foreign countries that would engage in propaganda and political action that the CIA has historically organized and paid for covertly.” Wikipedia pointed out that PPCRV has links with other similar organizations purporting and styling themselves to be NGOs having as their advocacy electoral reforms though in truth are working to secure that only their puppets and lackeys win in their make-believe election.

These NGOs which both Namfrel and PPCRV have ties are the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening, the International Foundations for Electoral Systems, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, World Movement for Democracy, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, and the International Endowment for Democracy (USA). The WMD chapter in the Philippines is the headed by a member of the Steering Committee, Melinda Quintos de Jesus.

For instance, WMD says its objective is to unite the global community of democracy, advocacy and practitioners, to facilitate exchange of information, knowledge and experiences, and to build cross-border solidarity. The NDI, on the other hand, states that its core programs include citizen participation, elections, debates, democratic governance, democracy and technology; political inclusion of marginalized groups, and gender, women and democracy. It was founded in 1983, shortly after the US Congress created NED, and was followed by the establishment of three related institutes, namely: the Center for International Private Enterprise, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the National Republican Institute.

A report about the Philippines made by CEPPS, which both PPCRV and Namfrel coordinate, stated that the Comelec asked CEPPS to assess the political situation leading to the May 10, 2004 elections. CEPPS agreed to take part in the mission funded by USAID. The project was meant to observe the elections in order to make recommendations to Comelec and other political players, to host a post election program to evaluate and make recommendations to these political players and to make recommendations to the media following the election.

These various NGOs all receive their funding from the NED, and are all listed as sponsors by PPCRV to ensure that their goal of promoting democracy and electoral reforms, the institutionalization of the neoliberal ideology, in rigging the election to ensure that their lackey win, coordinate with semi independent groups like influencing the mainstream media, and poll surveys to condition the minds of the voters to vote for their lackeys. The conditioning and deception is a continuing process.

The PPRCV was founded in February 1991 in anticipation that Namfrel would soon be replaced as the so-called advanced and unofficial tabulator of votes because many Filipinos were getting suspicious that its purpose is to “sanitize” nationalists or candidates unfriendly to the US interest. Substituting it with an organization operated by the Church through its meddling bishops and zealot laities like Henrietta de Villa would supposedly regain the confidence of the people to “assist” the Comelec in counting the votes.

Despite the so-called triumph of “democracy” and “freedom” in this country which saw the installation to power of Mrs. Aquino through the most undemocratic process of coup d’ etat, people continue to long for the Marcos era because he succeeded in differentiating what the Left would say “metaphysical” from concrete freedom. People continue to demand for economic rights rather than political freedom which only begins and end up in their right to vote.

----------------------------

PART 1 Huwag kang magnakaw

‘Huwag kang magnanakaw’ posted May 21, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan Part I


CBCP ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN: 'Huwag Kang Magnakaw' campaign, inilunsad | ABS-CBN News

Fanatical members of a Catholic Church organization often parade themselves publicly wearing T-shirts showing in print the 8th Commandment of God stated in the vernacular, “Huwag kang magnanakaw.”

When this Christian counterpart of the Islamic bigots adopted that as their slogan, they nurture the belief they are morally superior because the word “kang” has reference to the person reading it, a ludicrous presumption that we Filipinos are bunch of thieves.

Not one of us ever bothered to analyze their slogan because we tend to equate the corruption and immorality of others as our own to necessitate our joining the crusade towards the path of righteousness.

The problem, however, is that the magnitude of corruption and hypocrisy committed by this yellow regime has only intensified. The peculiarity is they are all claiming to be honest, incorruptible and pious; and those who are not with them are dishonest, corrupt and sacrilegious. This is exactly the deceptive propaganda they have been dishing out to people they believe have the mentality level of the Neanderthal Man.

To begin with, the Catholic Church should confine itself to guiding its followers on what they are supposed to do like preparing their soul after death.

It should not infringe in our relationship with the State, or tell us whom to vote which is our inalienable right as citizens of this country. Church interference in State affairs has transcended beyond the boundaries that it now tends to incite anti-religious sentiment.

Today, the various fronts of the Catholic Church have been empowered, such that the members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting no longer acts as laity guiding their devotees, but has been assertive in exercising their misplaced power.

The PPCRV, which is led by half-dazed fanatics, intolerant people, and bigots who could no longer distinguish what is right or wrong or from what is logically coherent has now arrogantly usurped our mundane obligation in electing our leaders. These hypocrites are dangerously pushing this country to the precipice of a fratricidal war.

Specifically, the PPCRV not only failed to reexamine its status that it now freely involves itself in the wholesale rigging of the election returns, thereby justifying their “pagnanakaw” that the election just held is a war between good and evil, and those who are not with them are ipso facto on the side of evil.

The members of the PPCRV failed to realize that their role is at the outset immoral and illegal, much that this organization does not pay its tax using the status of NGO; and the Church to which it stands as subsidiary, enjoys the exemption from the payment of real estate tax on their properties and on their income from their various educational institutions; and is exempted from the coverage of land reform. Maybe the interference of the PPCRV is goaded on assumption that men are essentially corrupt and their existence as an electoral watchdog was borne out of corruption because their motive is not about honesty and clean election, but of ensuring that their puppets will win to guarantee the continuity of the privileges and the powers bestowed on them by their captive state.

The name alone of this Catholic-based poll watchdog denotes an insult to our capacity as responsible citizens that by acquiescence has justified their meddling on our right to vote which is purely a secular obligation. As one columnist observed, it is only in this weird country where we accredited a private poll watcher to assist voters, the Board of Election Inspectors, protect the election returns, monitor electoral exercise, and watch the canvassing of votes.

In short, we gave the PPCRV the right to assist voters because it assumes that the Filipino people do not know how to count and worse, consider us as bunch of thieves who are likely to defraud others in the name of democracy.

The petition for a manual recounting of the ballots is now treated by the Comelec, PPCRV and Smartmatic as an uphill battle, for it seems they are determined to maintain their carefully manipulated results. There is much braggadocio because these people who are hiding behind the cloak of religiosity are demanding the petitioners to come out with hard evidence to justify a recount. They forgot that a petition for a recount is not a charge or an indictment against the alleged “winning” candidate to justify their demand that he who alleges should come out with prima facie evidence.

All that the aggrieved candidates’ demand is an honest recounting of the ballots. Besides, the evidence they now demand was withheld by the Comelec who treated the voters like children; that after being allowed to peep on their printed votes, were required to surrender their only copy which they could have used as evidence.

Being accredited by the Commission on Elections to assist it in ensuring a clean, honest and fair election, the PPCRV has overstepped on what it is supposed to do. Other than looking down at the Filipinos as incapable of responsible voting, they acted in what we say in the vernacular as “bantay salakay.” Instead of safeguarding the sanctity of the ballots using their self-serving slogan of “boto ko, ipagtatanggol ko,” it collaborated with the Comelec and with what many believe as CIA-operated Smartmatic in defrauding the people. The PPCRV participated or maybe spearheaded in the wholesale rigging the results.

The irony is that the rigging of the election is a form of stealing, no different from one taking the property of another without his knowledge and consent. Yet, it was this Catholic-based PPCRV whose members have been styling themselves as possessing the sterling credibility of honesty and morality that committed the wholesale act of cheating; and these people insist that the election was a fight between good and evil, and good must triumph by whatever means to achieve it. They are the ISIS terrorists in the Christian world - intolerant, deceitful and savage.

Stealing in this case includes the transferring of votes from the winner, the reduction of votes from one who rightfully obtained them, or withholding the canvass results in areas when the real candidate was leading to impress that it was their candidate who won. The indoctrinated followers no longer see the logic why the opposition and Bongbong Marcos would make a protest. They already laid down the predicate that their demagogue candidate, Leni Robredo, through their controlled poll surveys, is likely to win that if only dogs can talk, he would flatly say he did not vote the one who now styles herself as a saint-to-be-in-waiting.

In other words, the indoctrination of the people on the somnambulist value of submissiveness began by the conditioning of the people’s mind that their stooge is likely to win, and all that they need is to carry out their evil plan to commit wholesale cheating. As they cheat, they invoke that evil must not triumph even if they will have to resort to stealing the people’s votes to do it. As the rigged result is about to be announced, they praise God for ordaining Leni Robredo as the “winner” in their unofficial count.


EDITORIAL: Rotten thinking posted June 02, 2016 at 12:01 am
 

At Tuesday’s press conference where he introduced the next set of Cabinet officials, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was asked what he intended to do about the media killings that have made the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

We can’t say we were surprised by Mr. Duterte’s response. He has always styled himself as the tough guy. We were appalled, nonetheless, and we add our voice to the chorus of anger and indignation that his words elicited.

Our next president believes that journalists who died were killed because they were corrupt. They were carrying out their work in a less-than-honorable way, offending or spreading lies about others for financial consideration. Hence, they deserved what befell them.

He went as far as digging up the name of a man the one he says was killed because of how he conducted his profession. “He is a rotten son of a bitch,” Mr. Duterte said.

“Freedom of expression cannot save you,” he said. “Even the Constitution cannot help you [if you besmirch a person’s name].”
The lawyer-president sends a chilling message. He is telling us that it is all right to kill journalists if they, in their capacities as media workers, attack another person.

Sure, there is corruption in media, just as there is corruption in any other industry. There are plenty of hypocrites here, preaching righteousness and good governance even as they, in their professional lives, reject the very things they advocate. Sometimes it is a matter of economics. Sometimes, ego. At all times, it’s an act of free will.

READ MORE...

This is not true for all journalists. Among those killed were legitimate, hardworking, honest people who took risks in the name of a higher good: to expose wrongdoing and to call for action. In the process, they may have offended, even disrespected, government officials, big business or private individuals. But such is the nature—the essence—of the profession: to ruffle feathers.

What is true for all is that nobody deserves to die. Mr. Duterte himself insults the memories of those who died and himself besmirches the names of those who cannot anymore defend themselves.

Just two weeks ago, he picked lawyer Salvador Panelo to become press secretary and spokesman. Panelo was the lawyer of one of the suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 individuals, 32 of them media workers, were murdered. These 32 may or may not have been corrupt, but they were at that time just doing their jobs—covering the filing of a certificate of candidacy of the challenger to the ruling family.

This abominable message clouds, even negates, the other encouraging messages made that evening. For instance, Mr. Duterte said that because he trusted his choices, he would give his Cabinet officials a free hand in running their respective departments. Because it came early on during the conference, we took it as an indication that Duterte was making an effort to break out of his local-lord mentality, and to think like a rational, national leader that he is about to be.

But not just yet.

During the press conference, Duterte feigned irritation at a persistent reporter and asked somebody to shoot her with an armalite. Such words betray how lightly he takes the impunity with which the media killings are committed. This only brings foreboding, as we wonder what the rest of the next six years would be like.


By example posted June 05, 2016 at 12:01 am



It is easy to get distracted by the bombastic statements of the incoming president. Everything that comes out of his mouth, and the manner in which he delivers them, instantly become news material. Love him or hate him, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is larger than life even before he is sworn in as the next leader of the land.

Meanwhile, the outgoing chief executive has never seemed more of a lame duck than ever. In fact, he is hardly visible, or audible, at all. Since his anointed successor failed to win the presidency, and even as the vice presidential candidate he had fielded in fact managed to get herself proclaimed winner, President Benigno Aquino III has never appeared so lost, weak and lacking in purpose.

It well may be that all outgoing presidents go this lonely way. But it can be, too, that Mr. Aquino particularly has a lot of contemplating to do now that his so-called straight path-treading administration is about to end.

Things like, how much of daang matuwid was real and how much was braggadocio? When Mr. Aquino assumed office six years ago, basking in the glow of the public’s adulation of his just-deceased mother, he promised a righteous government that was supposed to deliver Filipinos from the clutches of poverty and corruption. Today, we know that the President and his allies took righteous to a new level, portraying themselves as crusaders and their critics and opponents as agents of the dark.

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Despite this self-image, nefarious things happened during Mr. Aquino’s watch, nonetheless. While he tried to blame every mishap on his evil predecessor or some dispensable subordinate, the fact remains that at various points or all at the same time, agents of the Aquino administration were incompetent, negligent, conniving, arrogant and hypocritical.

The excitement—or foreboding—over a Duterte presidency gives us relief from the pattern of the next six years. Still, it will be detrimental to the nation if the new set of leaders would overhaul everything, govern with vindictiveness and see no good about its predecessor.

At the very least, the Aquino administration sets a good example to all succeeding administrations: how not to lead with an us-versus-them mentality, how not to believe anybody can get it right all the time, and how not to reject valid observations and suggestions just because they come from somebody who sports a different political color.


China Forgetting the Keys to Success posted June 05, 2016 at 12:01 am by Bloomberg
By Michael Schuman


ABOUT THE WRITER: Michael Schuman is a journalist based in Beijing and author of "Confucius: And the World He Created." PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG.COM

China is arguably the valedictorian of Asia’s MBA program. When Deng Xiaoping ditched the radical economics of Mao and steered China into the global economy beginning in the early 1980s, he borrowed liberally from programs and policies that had earlier ignited rapid growth in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The student quickly outshone the teachers, riding an export-led, investment-heavy strategy to years of double-digit growth.

Now, however, China’s President Xi Jinping appears to have misplaced his textbooks. Rather than continuing to heed the experiences of Asia’s tiger economies, he’s ignoring critical lessons at his—and China’s—peril.

Probably the key truism to emerge from the region’s postwar boom is that if countries are to grow quickly, development must subsume all other priorities. Former South Korean President Park Chung Hee, who launched his country’s economic ascent, put it best when he wrote: “In human life, economics precedes politics or culture.”

What separated East Asia’s high-growth economies from the rest of the developing world back in the 1960s and 1970s was their leaders’ single-minded—almost maniacal —commitment to raising incomes and building industries. Park would often sit in his office in Seoul’s presidential palace with a notepad, doing his own calculations with economic data.

True, these early leaders also had little time for the niceties of representative democracy. But at least the policymaking process was shielded from political debates and hassles, giving experts the freedom to carry out reforms. By contrast, those countries that mixed other agendas into the process ultimately ran aground. Malaysia’s attempt to reengineer the nation’s social structure by promoting the economic interests of the Malay community helped strand the economy in a middle-income trap.

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Xi has pushed economic reform too far down his to-do list. Instead, he’s devoted much of his attention and energy to an anti-corruption campaign, a drive for ideological purity within the Communist Party, greater control over social media and civil society, and squabbling with neighbors over territorial issues. Rather than separating economic and political agendas, he appears to have placed the former at the service of the latter.

A corollary of this is that leaders need to trust their technocrats. Even the strongest of strongmen, from Korea’s Park to Indonesia’s Suharto, relied on experienced, talented economists and other experts to devise and direct economic policy.

In Indonesia, Suharto eagerly took notes while his “Berkeley Mafia” of US-trained economic advisors lectured on sound policy. Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew was blessed with a crack team of professional policy wonks, most notably Goh Keng Swee, one of the economy’s main architects. During Japan’s go-go years, the economy was effectively run by talented bureaucrats, not by elected politicians.

Technocrats certainly populate all rungs of the Chinese leadership and central bank; Premier Li Keqiang himself has a Ph.D. in economics. But President Xi has grasped more and more authority over policymaking in his own hands, effectively sidelining his deputy. The experts seem to have been reduced to writing papers laying out worthy reform proposals, only some of which are eventually heeded.

After a certain point, money can’t cover up for other mistakes. Much like China is doing today, policymakers in Japan flooded their economy with cash in the late 1980s in an attempt to avoid structural reform; the strategy only further inflated the bubble that led to the country’s years of stagnation.

Nor have other Asian countries been all that successful in employing state-directed money to spur innovation, as Xi is attempting. The effort by Japan to “target” certain industries for development with special government support had as many failures as successes, while many of the most competitive Japanese industries, from video games to robotics, were never the beneficiary of state coddling.

This raises perhaps the most important lesson of all: Eventually, governments have to get out of the way. South Korea tumbled into a financial crisis in 1997 in part due to continued state manipulation of the financial sector; the gradual government pullback that followed has helped spur an explosion of entrepreneurship and innovation. In Japan, on the other hand, where bureaucrats have resisted letting go their grip on the economy, a lack of deregulation continues to crimp the economy’s potential.

Even though Xi has pledged to undertake a sweeping liberalization program, progress has been slow, especially in the reform of critical areas such as the financial sector and capital flows. Even more, Xi has made it clear that the government intends to retain the “commanding heights” of the economy, merging and bolstering state enterprises, for instance, rather than letting them die a natural death.

No doubt Xi is hoping to avoid the fate of leaders in places like South Korea and Taiwan, who yielded to demands for democracy as their economies grew richer and more advanced. Unfortunately for China, he’s likely to miss out on their success, too.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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