AS IF MY headache weren’t bad enough this afternoon, I had to go and read the news. What met me?

“Bongbong Marcos joins VP Derby”

“Bongbong Marcos: I accept the challenge of the new generation”

“Erap Estrada endorses Bongbong Marcos VP bid

“Dictator’s son says Filipinos care less about Marcos abuses

“Duterte will run for President – Adviser”

“Binays unfazed; son will run”

“Abigail to run for mayor if brother Junjun is unable due to Ombudsman order”

It was enough to give me a migraine.

I can only marvel at the hubris propelling these politicians, not to mention their hypocrisy and utter disrespect for the Filipino people. They believe they can hoodwink us all. Clearly, they feel that if they state something with enough bravado, it is so.

So Bongbong pooh-poohs the abuses of martial law and “accepts the challenge of the new generation.” Then he is heartily endorsed by Erap Estrada, who declares he is “honored” to do so. Hoo-rah.



Rodrigo Duterte vacillated for most of the year and finally announced with great drama in early September that he was not running for President.



But now he is flipflopping once more and hinting, through his voluble “adviser,” that he is after all, highly presidentiable. (And very decisive.)

Alan Peter Cayetano, whom I once admired for his independence and integrity and – this, most of all – his morality, has disappointingly thrown in his lot with Digong, a self-professed bloody vigilante… but Cayetano isn’t forthright enough to say so. Nevertheless, the posters that recently (and illegally) sprouted all over the metro tell it like it is.


photo courtesy of State of the Nation, Oct. 7, 2015 gmanews.tv

Joey Salgado, ever loyal spokesman of the Binay dynasty, yet again insists that the Ombudsman’s action was politically motivated and assures us that Binay Jr. – don’t you worry, Makati! – will indeed seek re-election next year. But just in case he won’t, never fear, Makati! – Abigail is prepared to take over.



All this makes my head throb, but not just; add to it the very real possibility that people will believe them. If these candidates speak with enough aplomb, they may very well impress folks into buying their “reinvented” selves.

Voters, especially the newbies, may ignore Bongbong’s elite enjoyment of martial law and credit only his present wide-eyed wonder at calls for his family to be accountable.



Marcos Jr. is not only spinning a fantastic golden web about those “glory days,” he is also brazenly unapologetic about atrocities committed then, which have been duly recorded and redressed by law.

For those of us who lived through his father’s dictatorship, however, Bongbong’s words are shameless and disgusting. Who is he to negate our collective history and mess with our reality? Who is he to gaslight us into swallowing his revisionist hokum? Who is he to cast himself as a committed public servant when he not only acquiesced to but benefited from his parents’ excesses?

And his endorsers? Well.


Joseph Estrada’s mughsot.


Juan Ponce Enrile surrendering to the PNP.

Another disturbing twist is that many people who raise their fists against Marcos and spit with fury at martial law now glowingly endorse Duterte because “this country needs discipline!” They remember with dark resentment the oppression and violence of the dictatorship but also glibly speak of how an “iron hand” will whip the Philippines into shape. Duterte is a murderer? Well then, he’s just what we need to put the fear of God into criminals. Only criminals need be afraid, after all. Right? …So the chestnut goes.

The Binays will very possibly keep their hold on Makati for reasons that are now well-known and amply documented. It will take a great deal to trounce that dynasty, and I’ll salute the one who will do it. Can it be done, though? What say you, Makati?

The elections of 2016 are fast turning into the theatre of the absurd.  What real options do the Filipino people have? More to the point, are the appropriate agencies ensuring that we have them?

I recently came across this presentation on the elections of 2010 and 2013. It was a disconcerting awakening to the realities of automated elections in the Philippines. I invite you to watch it and see for yourselves:

It’s enough to give us all a whopping headache.

  The LORD enters into judgment
    against the elders and leaders of his people:
  “It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
    the plunder from the poor is in your houses. (Isaiah 3:14)

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1)

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