Sandbagging the opposition

Rain-related news: Despite heavy rains, water supply remains a concern.Put another way, 3 days of rain cooled Metro, but still not enough. Meanwhile, Palace wants P500m released for drought. News like this aimed at justifying such requests: Dry spell impacts on poverty; cost to rice up to P1B.

On the economic front, 38 Cebu firms close, lay off 13,000 (effect of the appreciation of the Peso). Inflation rate inched up to 2.6% in July, the World Bank to double loans to RP, and our Forex reserves hit $27.9b.

The Rich getting richer faster than the poor. A ray of hope is this: Migrant philanthropy slowly transforming provinces, study shows. In his column, Tony Lopez says the auto industry is almost back to 1997 levels.

As Palace keeps hands off on ZTE deal, the buck merrily gets passed along: Ermita: Broadband deal is Mendoza’s baby.

Palace goings-on: Palace bares new gov’t appointments, including Senator Santiago’s husband joins Arroyo Cabinet. Moves include Palace replaces insurance chief. More executive tinkering: GMA transfers Toll Body to DPWH.

New DND head bares plans: speaks in tough terms about the Abu Sayaff, and says he’ll continue Nonong Cruz’s reforms. Meanwhile, Three rebels, 1 soldier dead in fighting. Read Patricio Diaz’s suggestion that there’s confusion in Basilan.

As for the continuing investigation of the massacre of the Marines: Esperon debunks ‘miscom’ report. So what happened? And now, pilots get blame for not firing a shot in Basilan.

In the Senate, Villar faces yet another sticky issue.

The Speaker soothes his erstwhile foes: Garcia, other solons assigned House committees: Cynthia Villar, for one, is officially out of the doghouse, returning as chairman of the committee (education) she’d be deprived of when she signed on to the impeachment complaints against the President.

Speaking of the Speaker, he reminds everyone that his party doesn’t intend to die (to quote Marcos): De Venecia to LP, NP: It’s romantic but get real. John Nery had pointed to an embargoed survey on who the public really considers the presidential frontrunners. The results are still embargoed, but this might be a sign of news concerning that survey, to come: Legarda leads 2010 hopefuls in survey . The Speaker may be on to something.

UNO: Impeach poll execs but Bedol offers help to reform polls. Comelec seems more interested in punishing those that exposed its goings-on: Comelec eyes electoral sabotage raps vs 2 media personalities. Much speculation who the two are. Everyone assumes Ricky Carandang is one. He says he isn’t one of those mentioned.

Newsbreak explains why the Estrada camp has lost its oomph.

Wacky news: ‘Bangungot’ linked to Asian skull shape. Not wacky, but well…. Continue with your ministry, Pope tells Rosales.

Overseas: why hasn’t the US Attorney-General not been impeached yet? Dahlia Lithwick takes a look. Roger Simon ponders the weaknesses of debating as a means of figuring out if a candidate will be a good president or not. In History Unfolding, an update and analysis of the situation in Iraq:

The experience of Anbar province suggests something very important: that an American withdrawal will not, as the Administration argues, mean the ascendancy of Al Queda, whom Iraqi tribesmen have no reason to love. But meanwhile, there has been no rapprochement between Sunnis and Shi’ites. Our strategy appears to be to try to fight the extremists among both groups while supporting the moderates, and it is angering the Shi’ite government while failing to please the Sunnis, who just withdrew their ministers. The need for some kind of partition seems to get more obvious every day, but we are not moving in that direction yet.

An interesting article: Japan’s Democracy Comes of Age:

Last week the opposition Democratic Party of Japan returned the favor, handing the LDP an historic defeat in the election for half of the House of Councilors, Japan’s senate.

To understand what has happened, it is necessary to look back to the situation that prevailed from the founding of the LDP in 1955 to the 1990s. Japan’s Diet was essentially gerrymandered to ensure that the LDP maintained a firm grip on government. Parliamentarians were chosen from large, multi-member districts. That meant that successful candidates often won with only about 10 per cent of the vote, or less. This system put a premium on local connections and pork barrel politics. Issues? Who needs issues?

In Indonesia, the public proves the pollsters wrong, by enthusiastically participating in the country’s first-ever direct gubernatorial elections. In Asia has Jeremy Gross saying the Indonesians are proving to have a strong civic sense. And, is there a Malay malaise? Rot and More Rot in Malaysia’s Judicial System. The Thais are engaged in debating the pros and cons of their new constitution: August 19 referendum: key issue is ‘legitimacy’.

My column for today is Sandbagged opposition (unedifying headlines like this don’t help: Cayetano-Lacson feud erupts over Blue Ribbon). The move by Francis Pangilinan to block Adel Tamano’s designation as counsel for the Blue Ribbon committee’s reported here: Tamano blocked in Senate, tapped for PLM presidency. Incidentally, this makes for interesting reading: Senators of 13th Congress: Far too many hearings, very few reports. I agree that at the very least, the public is owed a report after hearings have been concluded.

An interesting column by Emil Jurado on “Operation Big Bird.” Jurado refers to a recent interview on Ricky Carandang’s show: the original’s disappeared, but the interview’s been cached. Fascinating reading:

Carandang: And how many accounts did you manage to release?

Almonte: I think at that time initial I think eight or ten with a total of 213 million US dollars.

Carandang: Was there more?

Almonte: Yes.

Carandang: How do you know?

Almonte: Because at that time there were already so much cooperation from the people there. I hope I’ll just say it this way because I don’t want to jeopardize them.

Carandang: So you had informants in the Swiss banking system?

Almonte: Of course and they are the ones who know.

Carandang: So they were feeding you this information?

Almonte: Yes.

Carandang: And in effect, the Swiss government was confirming it by releasing the money.

Almonte: yes. They release it if they confirmed that what we are saying is in their document.

Carandang: So why did you stop at $213 million?

Almonte: We did not stop, that was the initial release. After that, because we have to present the other accounts that we like to release, we have to present it when we already have the complete documentation. Now we don’t have the documentation of all the accounts. That is why after this $213 million what came in later was about $3.8 billion and this we have the documentation.

Carandang: So you had the knowledge of an additional $3.8 billion in the Swiss bank accounts.

Almonte: Yes after the $213 million…and after that we had more information and our people there were working on another $4 billion. That is why by that time we had about all in all 3.8 plus 4 plus 3 we had about 8 billion immediately although of course the 4 billion is identification is being… The documentation it means is being worked on.

Carandang: But this whole time Marcos and Mrs. Marcos still thought that the money was being transferred to another account of theirs?

Almonte: Ah no more. By this time I cannot recall anymore. But I think it was July, it’s in the records. But the following day, because I think it was Friday. Saturday…Sunday…Monday is supposed to be the release of the $213 million nothing happen, Ordoñez disappeared. We cannot locate him. Later we’re able to confirm that he left Manila by himself.

Carandang: This was before you actually had the money released?

Almonte: No, after the money was released, the 213 million was released by the Swiss government but they transfer actually to export is what we were waiting for. Before they transfer there, Ordoñez disappeared and he is the only one according to the arrangement and the Swiss law as a constitutional officer who can receive this money in behalf of the Philippine government not me or anybody else.

Carandang: So without Ordoñez’ signature the money could be transferred out of Marcoses account but could not be transferred to the Philippine government.

Almonte: Without the signature of Ordoñez.

Carandang: And Ordoñez signed for the $213 million but he disappeared after that.

Almonte: No he did not sign yet. He just left without receiving the $213 million because what happened was this, when the$213 million must release and this is in the record, Ordoñez and of course Salvione and for Salonga that this going to be released, in fact we didn’t know because they kept it from us already. Anyway what happened is when Ordoñez disappeared we came home. I decided to leave immediately for manila.

Carandang: And what the money was left in an escrow account?

Almonte: Not yet. The money was.. You know the order was there but there is no execution. There was a decision but the actual execution of the decision was held.

Carandang: Pending the signature…

Almonte: Well pending the receipt…because what happened was this, Salvione and Salonga approved it and this in the annex, in the document… That he believed, Salvione, this money will be lost to the Philippine government. The implication is that Mike and myself will run away with the money, that’s the implication.

So he was telling Salonga that they should not be transferred to the export financier’s bank but it should remain in Credit Suisse and the fellow who suppose to take care of this…ironically was the man of Marcos but anyway it’s under their control. Now because of this the Credit Suisse informed Marcos that they have…they are helpless that this money, his money in the bank will be returned to the Philippine government. Because of his authority to de Guzman to withdraw his money…

Carandang: And that is when Marcos knew that he had been scammed.

Almonte: Yes that was the time. Soon after they decide to release this money, so Marcos claimed that “I don’t know of any de Guzman,” “I did not give anybody authority to withdraw the money” and he did not have any account in Switzerland this is Marcos letter to the Swiss. However if there is a money under his name and there is such I think as de Guzman who is withdrawing on his authority, he is revoking all of that.

Carandang: In other words Marcos was trying to tell the banks that he had revoke the authority of Mike de Guzman to withdraw the money but he is also trying to say that you cannot claim that I own the money.

Almonte: That’s what he’s trying to say.

Carandang: In other words Mike can’t withdraw but I don’t own it.

Almonte: Yes, that’s what his trying to say. “I don’t have anything but in the event there is something there in my name I am in control, Mike has no authority.”

Carandang ends by pointing out Almonte & Co. managed to get $213 million which was duly given to the government. By 2001, the money had grown to $680 million:

Under the law, all money recovered from the Marcos family is to be spent on agrarian reform.

In September 2005, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported that a portion of that $680 million was diverted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 2004 presidential campaign.

In March 2006, a Joint Senate Committee concluded that President Arroyo “be held accountable in the mismanagement of the fertilizer fund.”

Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, who authorized the release of the fertilizer funds, is seeking political asylum in the United States.

(Brief backgrounder on Operation Big Bird, courtesy of the Manila Times). See Juan Mercado’s column today, which places the efforts of the Marcoses to recover their assets, in perspective.

In Inquirer Current, John Nery “impeaches” Francis Escudero. Gets a swarm of replies!

Words of wisdom, as he reminds us in a recent blog entry, from David Llorito, circa 2005:

All those who want to reform the Philippine politics and economy should therefore strive to remove the nexus between politics and the economy. This policy reform objective could be achieved through measures including low and neutral tariff rates (to discourage smuggling as well as the incentive to make deals with Customs officials), the removal of the pork barrel system, opening up entry and exit of all businesses including utilities and telecommunications without having to acquire franchise from Congress, and lowering of corporate taxes coupled with the removal of fiscal incentives, among many others. The central idea is to prevent political motivations to encroach in people’s economic decisions, subject to certain limited criteria such as environmental regulations and national security.

We should adopt the concept that doing business or engaging in entrepreneurship is an inalienable right on par with our freedom of assembly and speech as well as of pursuit of happiness. That way mayors, governors, and bureaucrats will not have any power to put barriers against people’s entrepreneurial energies. You remove political intervention in economic decisions and you can see that “public service” will only attract two types of persons, either statesmen or masochists, and that will be for the good of the country.

Agree? Disagree?

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    • Sam on August 9, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Hahahaha Villar is in deep trouble. It would be interesting to observe how he would decide/act on things now that he has to please both GMA and opposition. Is it true that he’s getting cues from both Erap and GMA?

    • manuelbuencamino on August 9, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I think the NUJP crying press freedom against Comelec threats to charge two media personalities for electoral sabotage is knee-jerk wrong.

    NUJP should welcome the charge. Comelec must be forced to file those charges so a thorough investigation of last year’s election will happen. And it will be conducted in the courts not by the Comelec commissioners investigating themselves.

    Let everyone stand in front of the fan. Let’s see who gets soiled.

  1. “You remove political intervention in economic decisions and you can see that ‘public service’ will only attract two types of persons, either statesmen or masochists, and that will be for the good of the country.”

    Disagree. power all on its own attracts different kinds of people. megalomaniacs, big-time syndicates, idealists..
    removing political intervention in economic decisions would just move corruption from politics into business itself. look at corporate america and you’ll see what i mean. meanwhile, we’ll be at the mercy of luck in who’ll be interested in manning the govt. we’ll cash in if the benevolent win, and we’ll luck out if the crazies win. those who have incentives to at least keep the economy afloat won’t have reason to join in, as we have freed business to swim in their own mess of corruption.

    • benign0 on August 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve got mixed feelings about “migrant philantropy” though.

    For the same reason that some (including myself) view the high proportion of the value of our economy accounted for OFW remittances as more of disturbing thing than as something to rejoice about, rejoicing in the alleviation of poverty through philantropy (whether by OFWs or whatever charitable work) is pathetic to say the least.

    How long can an entire society SUBSIST in the altruism of an elite minority?

    It is this kind of thinking that erodes self-respect in a people already bankrupt of self-respect.

    Whereas the wealth of TRULY prosperous societies was built on SMART work (note that HARD work is such a 19th Century concept), we seem to have been reduced to pinning hope for poverty alleviation (never mind hope for prosperity) on nothing more than charity.

    This is not simply being victims of whatever bogymen we love to blame (i.e. our favourite “corrupt” politicians, the evil imperialists and ex-colonial masters, the environment, God, Satan, si Bathala, mga dwende, etc.), this is simply a complete lack of imagination.

    It is so boring.

    It is so pathetic.

    mlq3, I beg to differ to “a ray of hope” as your lead-in line into your link to Dennis D. Estopace’s article. I think a more appropriate lead-in phrase would be “a roadmap to mediocrity”.

    • cvj on August 9, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Benign0, by looking at it from a dependency standpoint, i think you’re looking at Migrant Philantrophy with a too cynical eye. After all, how can you be sure that the assistance does not go to developing the productive capacities (aka human capital) of the recipients?

    • manuelbuencamino on August 9, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Benigno,

    “It is this kind of thinking that erodes self-respect in a people already bankrupt of self-respect.”

    Were/are you the victim of racial discrimination?

    • tagakotta on August 9, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    To all our BRAVE SOLDIERS in Basilan(So Brave! but so neglected!!!!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzAduXFyISU

    Where have all the young men gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Gone for soldiers every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Gone to graveyards every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Covered with flowers every one
    When will we ever learn?
    When will we ever learn?

    • benign0 on August 9, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    cvj, a couple of years back I remember seeing an ADB report citing the Philippines having among the lowest return on development funds provided.

    It takes imagination to use money smartly, you know. 😉

    manuelbuencamino, I think I already answered your question a while back, saying I don’t think I’ve been.

    But on second thought, I think my reply in this instance would be that racial discrimination is not an easily defined thing. It can be outright blatant or very subtle. Where does one draw the line?

    Furthermore, I think it is up to the recipient of said “discrimination” (however way this term is defined) whether to consider himself/herself to be a victim or not.

    Victimhood is all in the mind, in my opinion. You either rise up and face whatever is (supposedly) victimising you (which strangely enough, does not make you a victim), or you lay down and choose to die.

    So why do you ask?

    • Jeg on August 9, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Benign0: a couple of years back I remember seeing an ADB report citing the Philippines having among the lowest return on development funds provided.

    Although I agree that lack of imagination had a hand in this, one cannot also discount the role our favorite boogeyman corruption played. ADB channels funds through unimaginative and corrupt conduits. OFW philanthropy I would guess – the article didnt explicitly say – would go to scholarship grants and feeding programs for children, and would go directly to NGOs. I dont see that as pathetic at all.

  2. re the removal of the pork barrel system,

    agree ako diyan. maganda yan, para naman hindi palipat-lipat ang mga trad pol House members from one president to another every six years, dahil sa pork barrel.

    Let’s say the pork barrel system is still in place after 2010. if mar roxas wins the presidency, yung mga dating trapo LAKAS at KAMPI members ay magiging LP na. Kung si Villar naman ang manalo, lilipat ang mga ito sa NP. We’ve seen it before with FVR, Erap, and GMA getting the majority of the congressmen to switch sides after becoming president.

    • manuelbuencamino on August 9, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    benigno,

    why do I ask?

    because your criticism of Filipinos is based on stereotypes and genralizations like “It is this kind of thinking that erodes self-respect in a people already bankrupt of self-respect.”

    what factual basis do you have to say something so outlandish?

    • cvj on August 9, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I agree with Devils who accurately describes the possible situations of market failure that have occurred in the United States. Same thing happened in Russia where the Russian Mafia and a new breed of oligarchs (most of whom where former Communist Party officials) took over and made billions after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90’s. As Economist Dani Rodrik mentioned in his blog:

    the shortcomings of governments should not be taken as a given. Just as economists think about how to improve market institutions, they can devote their talent to improving the institutions of government. The informational and rent-seeking costs of government intervention can be ameliorated through appropriate institutional design.

    I think the key phrase above is Institutional Design. I’m all for encouraging entrepreneurship but removing the nexus between politics and the economy is an oversimplification.

    Jeg, thanks for that. You’re right to point out that the channel through which assistance flows matters a lot. That nuance is not captured within Benign0’s analytical framework which as MB says, is based on stereotypes and generalizations.

    • benign0 on August 9, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    There’s no denying that they are indeed stereotypes and generalisations (just like there are stereotypes like Japanese industriousness and German engineering).

    The fact is, however, that they are spot on.

    Who here is ready to put their hand up and DENY that the Pinoy society IN GENERAL is devoid of imagination?

    If any of you do have the cojones to dispute my assertion that Pinoy society is GENERALLY devoid of imagination, I hope you have some concrete examples and convincing arguments to debunk this assertion. 😉 Up to the challenge? Anyone?

  3. “Disagree. power all on its own attracts different kinds of people. megalomaniacs, big-time syndicates, idealists..
    removing political intervention in economic decisions would just move corruption from politics into business itself.”

    when you remove economic incentive for political office, when you transform wealth creation from rent seeking to innovation and market competition, there would less rogues going towards that direction. people respond to economic incentive; same thing with their motivation in politics.

    re corporate america, you are probably talking about enron, martha stewart, etc. that’s true, but most of those enron execs and their kind are now in jail. its because the justice system and the bureaucracy in general is not part of this politics-business rent seeking nexus.

    of course, pork barrel corruption is still an issue there. but the size of the “innovation/market competitive” realm of the american economy is a lot bigger. that’s explain the continuing dynamism of the american economy.

    • cvj on August 9, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Dave, that the Enron Execs eventually got caught does not take away the fact that Energy Deregulation and lack of Corporate oversight in the USA paved the way for the crimes in the first place. As this episode has shown, there are a lot of places where market failures can occur. Government cannot avoid the responsibility for preventing market failures. More importantly, if we want to achieve economic takeoff, government has a responsibility to ensure that markets are created.

  4. dave, cvj is right. but that’s exactly why we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. corruption just move offices. from political to corporate ones. i think the key lies in having a balance between the two. less political intervention but stricter regulations in honest business practices. can it be achieved? hell if i know. what i do know is that there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. only a working semblance of it.

    and you are wrong to think most of the Enron execs went to jail. the bigger fishes got away scot-free. either by making a deal w/the federal government or by exploiting the legal loopholes.

  5. Is Chiz the senator being accused as the new Diva?

    Dae na da nakakadangog sa mga bati nin mga tawong nakakasabay niya.

    Whatever it, I really do not want cheese, am lactose intolerant. Peanut butter na lang.

    • manuelbuencamino on August 9, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    benigno,

    “the fact is, however, that they are spot on.”

    kaya nga stereotype at generalization ang tawag kc hindi spot on.

    stereotype n. an oversimplified standardized image or idea held by one person or group of another

    generalization n. a statement presented as a general truth but based on limited or incomplete evidence.

    “Who here is ready to put their hand up and DENY that the Pinoy society IN GENERAL is devoid of imagination?
    If any of you do have the cojones to dispute my assertion that Pinoy society is GENERALLY devoid of imagination, I hope you have some concrete examples and convincing arguments to debunk this assertion. ”

    No buddy. You prove your assertion, you present concrete examples and convincing arguments because you are the one making the claim.

    • supremo on August 10, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Disagree.

    Politics is not the number one factor that’s stifling entrepreneurship. It’s the general lack of capital that’s number one on the list. Unless your last name is Sy or Ayala, you cannot borrow a single centavo from a bank without collateral. Even if you have collateral, interest rates would be in double digits. Farmers generally use their farmland as collateral to get money for farm inputs. Bye bye farmland if they miss a payment. So some Filipinos just satisfy themselves with establishing sari-sari store type businesses. Small capital, small business, small economy.

    • benign0 on August 10, 2007 at 7:30 am

    “No buddy. You prove your assertion, you present concrete examples and convincing arguments because you are the one making the claim.”

    ha ha!

    I thought so.

    Therein lies the problem: when someone insists on proving something that is otherwise so obvious.

    Kawawa nga naman talaga ang Pinoy. 😉

    • benign0 on August 10, 2007 at 7:45 am

    Some elements that demonstrate the immense void in Pinoys society where the virtue of IMAGINATION should have been:

    (1) LACK OF ORIGINALITY

    This is what Nick Joaquin had to say:

    ———
    Are we not confusing timidity for humility and making a virtue of what may be the worst of our vices? Is not our timorous clinging to smallness the bondage we must break if we are ever to inherit the earth and be free, independent, progressive? The small must ever be prey to the big. Aldous Huxley said that some people are born victims, or “murderers.” He came to the Philippines and thought us the “least original” of people. Is there not a relation between his two terms? Originality requires daring: the daring to destroy the obsolete, to annihilate the petty. It’s cold comfort to think we haven’t developed that kind of “murderer mentality.”
    ———

    (2) LACK OF SCALE AND REGARD FOR THE BIGGER PICTURE

    Again, the eminent Nick Joaquin at his finest:

    ———
    We work more but make less. Why? Because we act on such a pygmy scale. Abroad they would think you mad if you went in a store and tried to buy just one stick of cigarette. They don’t operate on the scale. The difference is greater than between having and not having; the difference is in the way of thinking. They are accustomed to thinking dynamically. We have the habit, whatever our individual resources, of thinking poor, of thinking petty.
    ———

    (3) SMALLNESS OF MIND

    AN admired Filipino economist, based in New York, surveyed the economic situation here and dolefully intoned: ”What ails the country is that Philippine society is intellectually bankrupt.” Take, for instance, the national debates, she pointed out.

    “They are droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant.” When the issues are of some significance, it’s the wrong arguments that prevail, the wrong side wins. Logic and common sense take the backseat to political arguments and the views of the poorly-educated. There seems to be some bases for her disenchantment.

    Just a sample of a VAST body of work articulating the smallness of the Pinoy mind and the immenseness of the imaginative void that envelops our society.

    References:

    Nick Joaquin “A Heritage of Smallness”
    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/agr-disagr/17-4-smallness.html

    The *Manila Bulletin* “The Absence of Common Sense”, 09 April 2000
    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/10-comsen.html

    Cheer-yo! 😉

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 7:53 am

    devoid of imagination, benigs? i give you as proof–come up with a more imaginative claim.

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 7:59 am

    benigs,

    update your literature. a heritage of smallness was written centuries ago, when the world was still viewing the boobtube instead of youtube.

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 8:09 am

    “The Absence of Common Sense”

    google search for the exact quoted phrase yields 1,200 results. discussion ranges from politics to business to technology to religion, pointing to human practice and relationships, generally speaking. of which, only one wrote about pinoy societal frailty.

    guess who wrote about it? one imaginative pinoy. so who says the pinoy is unimaginative. i take back my earlier posting. kudos to the pinoy author.

    • benign0 on August 10, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Kudos indeed. Would you say this character is representative of Pinoys IN GENERAL? 😉

    • realist on August 10, 2007 at 8:44 am

    benign0, palagay ko nadulas yang pag-type mo sa kapusukan, at ng hinamon kang pangatawanan yang claim mo e nabara ka. Tama si MB, sa balikat mo ang magpatunay ng pinarada mo.

    Kung mahusay at fair ang pagpatunay mo, sa palagay ko, hahangaan ka ng mga nagco-comment dito. Pero kung baliktaran lang ang sagot mo(luma na yan at taktika si gma yan), wala!

    • benign0 on August 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Well that’s the dilemma now, isn’t it?

    When asked to prove an assertion whose validity is otherwise obvious, we simply convolute the debate even further.

    Given the proverbial 10-year-old observing that “the Emperopr has no clothes”, said Emperors’ handlers can easily complicate the issue by countering with “What qualifies you to say that?” “Do you have PROOF?”.

    And while all that is going on the Emperor meanwhile continues walking around naked.

    Sound like a familiar situation? 😉

    • realist on August 10, 2007 at 9:03 am

    benign0, all you have is conjecture, nothing more. Unless you have some expertise in this field, some emprical evidence, you end up with nothing more than your own personal observation. You are entitled to that.

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 9:12 am

    “Kudos indeed. Would you say this character is representative of Pinoys IN GENERAL?”

    i’d say, statistically, it’s the consistent nature of a nitpicker who indefatigably defines the pinoy frailties as unique only to them and not to other cultures. where this nitpicker–in his long absence from pinas–has failed to realize that in fact there are no more pinoys left in his motherland because everyone has gone just everywhere.

    • Karl Garcia on August 10, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Benigno…

    absence of imagination,oversimplification call it what you please.

    I think crab mentality and that won’t work kinda attitude is a great hindrance to that…

    Just look at the electronic jeep,tested in makati,di ba mas madaming it won’t work comments, kesa let’s give it a try.

    Eto na naman ako sa pagiging corny ko..

    Sa kalokohan masasabi mo ba na na kulang sa imagination ang garapal na manloloko ng bayan.

    pati ang mga syndikato na nagkalat dyan sa tabi tabi…

    Lighten up,sir! You are so Pessimistic!

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 9:45 am

    it’s not benigs that your observations are totally unfounded, just that they’re too biased–the myopicity of it makes the exercise invalid, ethnographically speaking.

    • tagakotta on August 10, 2007 at 10:09 am

    From the new “Diva” in the Senate:Remember his promises!

    Mapayapa at pinagpalang pagbati sa inyo!

    Bilang senador, layunin ko po na maiparating ang boses ninyo sa Senado upang sama-sama nating ipaglaban ang tama at labanan ang mali.

    Pangunahing pagtutuunan ko ng pansin ay ang maibalik ang dignidad ng bawat Pilipino nang sa gayon ay taas-noo nating harapin ang mga hamon ng tadhana sa pamamagitan ng pagsulong sa mga sumusunod:

    (1) Disenteng tirahan sa bawat Pilipino ayon sa programa ng Gawad Kalinga (GK), di lamang para sa mahihirap kundi pati na rin sa mga ordinaryong empleyado tulad ng mga guro, pulis, sundalo at iba pang mga kawani;

    (2) Kabuhayan at sapat na pagkakakitaan batay sa sariling kakayahan ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng micro-finance, skills training, at pagbigay ng prayoridad sa sarili nating mamamayan at kababaihang entrepreneur;

    (3) Pagkakataon ng kabataang Pilipino na makapag-aral at makapagtapos mula mababang paaralan hanggang sa kolehiyo sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng sapat na pondo sa mga state colleges at universities, kaagapay ang pagkilala sa mahalagang papel na ginagampanan ng pribadong sektor sa larangan ng edukasyon;

    (4) Pagkilala sa karapatang makapagpagamot at gumaling sa anumang karamdaman lalung-lalo na ang mga mahihirap at mga may edad;

    (5) Pagtatanggol sa karapatang pantao at pagsupil sa anumang uri ng diskriminasyon;

    (6) Pangangalaga ng ating kalikasan sa pamamagitan ng wastong paggamit nito upang matiyak na ang ating likas na yaman ay mapapakinabangan ng susunod pang mga henerasyon; at

    (7) Isulong at ipaglaban kung anong naaayon sa batas upang makamtan ang katotohanan, katarungan, kalayaan, kapayapaan at pagkakaintindihan nating lahat.

    Ito ang aking mga adhikain at pangarap para sa bawat Pilipino. Hiling at dalangin ko na sama-sama nating pagtulungan na makamtan ang lahat ng ito.

    Ang inyong boses sa Senado,

    CHIZ ESCUDERO

    Home | About Chiz | Senate Agenda | Chiz In Congress

    • rego on August 10, 2007 at 10:16 am

    To me, it really doesn’t matter if the negative/unproductive character that benigno is pointing out is pinoy specific or not. I find his observation to be true. It will not help us much if we continue to deny it or even use excuses for it.

    • Jeg on August 10, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Im just waiting for benign0, the imaginative pinoy, to show us his vaunted creativity by outlining – in highly imaginative ways needless to say – his solution to the general lack of imagination in the unimaginative pinoy. If he can’t post them here, in language free of jargon that even a 12-yr old can understand, then alas, he’s just a typical unimaginative pinoy in the guise of an imaginative one.

    • realist on August 10, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Meron din akong sariling generalization: na ang mga nagibang bayang pinoy ay nasa isip na malinaw ang kanilang mga matang humatol. Bakit nga naman samantalang mapupula ang mga hasang, may panahon at kuwalta upang maglibang. Ano ka pa at si Juan dela Cruz abala sa kakaisip malagyan ng laman ang tiyan. Iyan ang imagination niya kumakain ng steak!

    Iyang mga salitang, In general, e propaganda lang naman. Eng-eng lit 101 yan, db? So, kung magpapadala ka sa mga salitang tulad niyan na wala namang batayan, nadale ka!

    • rego on August 10, 2007 at 10:53 am

    “Im just waiting for benign0, the imaginative pinoy, to show us his vaunted creativity by outlining – in highly imaginative ways needless to say – his solution to the general lack of imagination in the unimaginative pinoy”
    ——————————————————-

    I dont think it is for Benigno or anybody to provide an outline. The best thing that people like benigno and Nick Joaquin can do is only to point out such defect. Suggest a general solution like education .

    Parang usapang Gloria rin yan eh. Everybody can point out her defects ( imagined or not 😉 ) and always nitpick. But its really up to her to take heed or not. Do something about it or just ignore it.

    • jaxius on August 10, 2007 at 10:53 am

    rego,

    the tact of benigno would only be apt if he is preaching to a choir. For now, at least, that choir would consist of you and him. Obviously, most people here do not share your views.

    • Jeg on August 10, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Rego: I dont think it is for Benigno or anybody to provide an outline.

    But rego, our friend benign0 has set the bar really high for himself, and it is only fair that I expect more from him. Whining and complaining and pointing out faults, any unimaginative pinoy can do.

    • supremo on August 10, 2007 at 11:10 am

    benignO,

    Nick Joaquin said this, the economist said that. I want to hear it from you now.

    • supremo on August 10, 2007 at 11:11 am

    rego said
    “I find his observation to be true.”

    Where you looking at a mirror when you observed it?

    • supremo on August 10, 2007 at 11:16 am

    rego said
    “I dont think it is for Benigno or anybody to provide an outline.”

    benignO started it, let him outline his imaginative solution.

    • hvrds on August 10, 2007 at 11:22 am

    “All those who want to reform the Philippine politics and economy should therefore strive to remove the nexus between politics and the economy.”

    Can you live without either your heart or lung?

    I think the writer of this should distinguish first between bad politics and good politics. Developed societies evolved from raw tribal political economic systems to todays from complex institutional arrangements. It is the same for all countries. Most do not even know what the term macroeconomic fundamentals mean.

    The writer it seems is convinced that the government has become the executive committee of the rich and powerful in the country. So what is new?

    It is hard to disagree or agree as the writer looks to have a serious lack of appreciation on what economics and politics really mean. Hence his entire premise is flawed.

    “In thinking about the economy, it is essential to try to get the balance between the market and the government or the state right to get good economic performance, and avoid very negative side effects on poverty. In some ways we failed to get that balance right. The central lesson of economics over the last more than 200 years has been Adam Smith’s view about the “invisible hand” — that markets lead, as if by an invisible hand, to efficiency; or that the individual pursuit of self-interest leads, as if by an invisible hand, to economic efficiency.”
    “One of the main results of my work on asymmetric information — which is just a fancy name for saying that different people know different things — was to show that the reason the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is not there. That means that there is an important role for government. Or to put it another way, every game needs rules and referees to avoid chaos, and that is true of the market game as well.” Joseph Stiglitz

    On the other side are those who think free trade never pays. Someone sent us a review from Patrick Buchanan’s recent book, THE GREAT BETRAYAL; How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy.

    “Buchanan was a free trader as recently as 1987,” begins the review. “So he is well versed in the free trade arguments.

    “From 1821 to World War II, with short term exceptions, the American tariffs ranged from 25% to 50% with an average of 40%. This was the period of the American industrial revolution. America was built under the shield of protection. Then from World War II to 1970, tariffs were lowered to 12%. There after they were cut to 5%.”

    “All four presidents on Mt Rushmore were protectionists.”

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 10, 2007 at 11:30 am

    “Kudos indeed. Would you say this character is representative of Pinoys IN GENERAL?”

    you mean obsession-compulsion?

    what do you reckon, mate?

    • manuelbuencamino on August 10, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Benigno,

    (1) LACK OF ORIGINALITY

    What do you call the first revolution against colonialism in Asia, timid and petty?

    What do you call the first peaceful overthrow of a dictator in the history of the world, unoriginal? Did we copy that from Martians?

    2) LACK OF SCALE AND REGARD FOR THE BIGGER PICTURE

    “We work more but make less. Why? Because we act on such a pygmy scale. Abroad they would think you mad if you went in a store and tried to buy just one stick of cigarette. They don’t operate on the scale.”

    In Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York City, and Washington DC, what I thought was uniquely Filipino turned out to be….NOT! I have bought cigarettes by the stick in those cities from non-Filipino storeowners and vendors. They do operate on that scale.

    Besides, did you notice that cigarette manufacturers now sell cigarettes in packs of less than ten sticks?

    Maybe they learned from Filipinos?

    (3) SMALLNESS OF MIND

    “They are droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant.” When the issues are of some significance, it’s the wrong arguments that prevail, the wrong side wins. Logic and common sense take the backseat to political arguments and the views of the poorly-educated. There seems to be some bases for her disenchantment.”

    In 2004, the issue foremost in America was the Iraq war and Bush junior campaigned for a constitutional amendment against same sex marriages.
    And he won.

    Does that make America intellectually bankrupt?
    ———————————————

    Do you realize now how sterotypes and generalities come to be?

    You can’t walk into a US prison or a welfare line and conclude that there is something genetically or culturally wrong with blacks just because you see a lot of them there. You have to look at the BIG PICTURE!

    You can’t look at a poor country and conclude that they are stupid, small, unoriginal, lazy, lack self esteem and all that just because they buy “tingi.”

    Only a SMALL MIND would extrapolate biases into a general rule!

    • supremo on August 10, 2007 at 11:47 am

    LACK OF ORIGINALITY?

    The Spoliarium measures four meters in height and seven meters in width. The painting was submitted by Luna to the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884, where it garnered a gold medal.

    LACK OF SCALE AND REGARD FOR THE BIGGER PICTURE?

    The Manila galleon were the largest ships built anywhere up to that time. In the sixteenth century, they averaged from 1,700 to 2,000 tons, were built of Philippine hardwoods and might carry a thousand passengers. The Concepcion, wrecked in 1638, was 43 to 49 m (140-160 feet) long and displacing some 2,000 tons. Most of the ships were built in the Philippines and only eight in Mexico.

    SMALLNESS OF MIND?

    Eduardo San Juan – Filipino Inventor: Mechanical engineer, Eduardo San Juan (aka The Space Junkman) worked on the team that invented the Lunar Rover or Moon Buggy. Eduardo San Juan is considered the primary designer of the Lunar Rover. San Juan was also the designer for the Articulated Wheel System. Prior, to the Apollo Program, Eduardo San Juan worked on the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

    benignO,

    Are you talking about yourself?

    • mlq3 on August 10, 2007 at 11:56 am
      Author

    “a heritage of smallness” is an excellent essay, i give it as one of many readings whenever i conduct docent training at the ayala museum. but it’s one view, and one that has to be tempered with others.

    and i think the truths in joaquin’s essay have been taken to extreme lengths by benign0. in terms of imagination, at least we haven’t had to endure national campaigns to teach imagination, the way singapore’s trying. and you only have to survey the region (and the world) to see how much filipinos are relied on as creatives in advertising, graphic design, animation, etc.

    • Karl Garcia on August 10, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Come to think, of it…

    Graphic design and animation :

    60s: The Flinstones and the rest of the HannaH Barbera cartoons…
    recenetly,the Incredibles and some more recent ones.

    Tinge mentality
    came from Filipinos: an ingenious way to show how can you buy something when you can’t afford them.

    Kenny Roger’s American GM visittingRP,thought of breaded chicken not from KFC but From Jollibeee chickenjoy

    But wait…There is more..

    The ETC. part

  6. Me tama din naman sa citations nya kay Nick Joaquin.Re:Daring to destroy the obsolete

    I mentioned the E-jeep..bakit nga ba di natin mapakawalan ang beloved jeepney natin,kahit na envrontmentally friendly version,ayaw pa din natin.Isali na din natin ang mini bus dyan.

    Not only that,bakit ayaw natin pakawalan ang mga 70s Totota Coronas,corollas,mitsubishi lancer LTypes,box types natin…

    In that part I agree with the Nick Joaquin citation….

    Is this another Cause and effect thing,that because we cannot afford to,that is why?

    The othe others I do not agree at all,like the part where we debate nonesensense based on a certain economist…

    have you watched C span or cnn lately and remain awake,based on their supposedy lively issues of the bigger picture?

  7. Tingi will not work for the US for the following reasons:

    1. The climate encourages people especially in the East Coast to hoard . Before winter, people buy several pounds of meat and poultry and store them in the freezers. They also buy veggies and dry them so they have supply during off season.

    2. Even with a convenience store that sells “tingi”, a US consumer would prefer to buy in pack so as to save time in preparing oneself for the weather outside everytime he goes out to replenish his stock. Sa Pilipinas, kahit nakashort pwedeng lumabas.

    3. It is not true that it is only in the Phils where you can buy one head of garlic. Even in the supermarket here, you can buy one or two because they are sold by weight. This applies to vegetables such as one piece of talong, 1/4 of squash, two pieces of tomatoes or one stick of celery. It is not because they’re small-minded but because they are intelligent enough to know that there may be only one household member who does not need to buy a pack or by the dozen.

    Hindi lang namamalengke yong author.

    4. Most of the farm produce are transported by truckers across different states. They got to be sold before their expiry dates so usually they come in big packs for fast disposal at cheaper prices.

    4. Cheese, shampoos, soap, mouthwashes come in small packs now. Practically parang tingi na rin.

    5. Rice come in smallpacks, not sacks.

    You can not expect Benigno to come up with his own recommendations. Even the ideas that he’s selling in his website are not his own. Talking about originality.

    I tried that but it is just like squeezing for juice from a rock. Talking about smallness of mind.

    Then he can not distinguish a mission from action plan.

  8. “and you only have to survey the region (and the world) to see how much filipinos are relied on as creatives in advertising, graphic design, animation, etc.”

    i think, the unimaginative people Benigno’s pointing out are those that deal in business, not in arts and literature. in that sense, he is somewhat right. our businessmen don’t innovate. and if there are those who do, their products are not supported by the masa bec the common pinoy consumer lack imagination (tingi-tingi mentality) and unconventional innnovative products come off as snobbish for them

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