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If I were to sum up the first year of PDiggy’s presidency, it was a time where government actions struck closer to home. It was a time, as a friend puts it, when the government was closer to the Filipino people. It was a time that majority of the Filipinos realized, as MY President puts it, that “genuine change is what this country needs”. It was a time when we scratched our head in disbelief and told ourselves “pede naman pala”.

Like in the previous government functions, PDiggy’s SONA was void of the usual pomp and pageantry. It had a mix of a structured speech intertwined with his personal thoughts on how the country’s Chief Executive looks at the current issues hounding the nation. It was very bold, softened by PDiggy’s own brand of humor. It was a message addressed to Filipinos with the intent of making us understand the why’s for these government efforts. The SONA was not delivered to impress a particular audience but was delivered to Filipinos to digest. It was delivered right and to its rightful recipients.

I loved the way he spelled out the issue of human rights and the hypocrisy of the supposed guardians of it. Though I am not disregarding the need to investigate the “possible” abuse by the police in some isolated cases, the same “outburst” should also done to victims of heinous crimes. Politicians, eager for positive ratings, should not add too much drama to the deaths of suspected criminals, because they fought back to resist arrest, by trivializing it in the guise of human rights and due process. The truth is that these politicians take on the banner of human rights violation with so much passion for these suspected criminals and yet they remain silent over heinous crimes committed against innocent lives. When you are against crime, you should be against all forms of crime. If you create noise and clamour on the death of a suspected criminal, we expect to create the same noise and clamour for the victims of these suspected criminals. Noise created in one and silence with another does not make sense. It makes one a hypocrite and Filipinos can see these intentions.

Martial Law in Mindanao was justified in one sentence – it is the fastest way to quench a rebellion by terrorists in Mindanao. It will take a Mindanaoan to understand the situation of what is happening in Marawi and the risks that it entail. It is not just a simple faction throwing its tantrums at a government. It is a group that is very eager to carve out a caliphate in Mindanao and struggling to get the world’s attention. It is important that the government shows it force against these groups now. An iron fist is needed to eradicate this group for the nation’s safety. It is only PDiggy who has the balls to take this brave action to address this security concern and we can all see how swiftly key people of the Maute group fall into the hands of authorities.

In the same frame of thoughts, all these perceived Martial Law abuses are yet to be properly reported, documented, and investigated by the right government agency. We cannot rely on hearsays alone. The right and justified way to address these issues is through channelling it through the right government agency instead of mere press releases.

“I will not take to you (Leftists). Why should I?” was a bold statement from PDiggy. This comes after several incidents of treachery on the part of the NPA. I mean you cannot talk about peace and stage surprise attacks that claimed the lives of our police force. That is a complete opposite of the why we are on a negotiating table.

This statement was further emphasized by PDiggy’s show of support to the AFP and the PNP. This administration has, by far, shown the most support to the military and police force, not only with the promise of modernization programs but also with the moral support for our troops. You have to admit that this administration has inspired a whole nation, except for a minority, to rally behind our troops. Stories of simple citizens extending small acts of kindness and support to our troops are no longer confined to stories that we read from other countries. We now have our own inspiring stories to tell from simple Starbucks coffee treats to airline’s extending free baggage weight allotment for our troops. You cannot deny that the way we see the police and the military are slowly shifting. There are still some scalawags on the line but we do not let the SOME taint the image of the whole. Besides, the some will soon be taken out of the line.

Speaking of strong words, the call to return the “Balangiga Bells” is one of the strongest points of PDiggy’s SONA. It was definitely a bold statement that made a number of pro-American politicians, and probably even the US Ambassador to the Philippines, a bit uncomfortable on their seats. The President was right in saying that the bells belong to the Philippines and they are part of our country’s national heritage.

For me, the statement goes beyond just the act of returning the bells to its home. It is a statement that mainly emphasizes three things:

  1. PDiggy believes that what is ours is ours;
  2. The US has no moral right to keep prodding and interfering with how we are dealing with our issues on the West Philippine Sea; and
  3. PDiggy is putting emphasis that we are no longer the “little brown American” as we are an independent nation.

I could probably write a separate blog about this but, for the purpose of this blog, I will try to give a short summary of my points.

It may seem that it is just a material thing compared to the West Philippine Sea Issue but the Balangiga Bells stands more than just a bell. It is a national heritage that was forcefully taken from us. It is a symbol of American defeat and by returning it to us is a recognition by the US that they have strong respect for our history and heritage. It is a statement that they recognize our independence as a nation and the respect for our values. Furthermore, the US should not prod us to go against China on the West Philippine Sea issue with them giving us support. As a matter of principle, how can the US demand from the PDiggy Administration to act the way the US want this administration to act on the West Philippine Sea issue when the US themselves cannot even return a national heritage to its rightful owner? Again, it is hypocrisy. Return what is ours first if that is the principle that US is really standing up and working on.

The protection of the environment is a non-negotiable for this administration. This statement, for me, was a bold statement after the non-appointment of Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary. The President emphasized the need to exercise extreme care in the extraction of minerals from its sources by creating a mining economy that is responsible, regulatory, and sustainable. He emphasized the need to raise taxes on mining so as to have funds for the rehabilitation of the local community affected by this industry. Simply put… there are two viable options that goes hand in hand with the care of the environment – raise taxes or stop mining.

Speaking of taxes, a good message that made an impression on me was PDiggy’s stand on the strong need to bridge the gap between those who are paying taxes and the elimination of corruption in the government. It emphasizes that this two goes hand in hand that we as private citizens and companies have a deep responsibility in paying our taxes while the government works on the right appropriation of these funds for the government’s project especially on its “Build, Build, Build” projects. The President made it clear in his SONA that they “will not spare no one for cheating the government what is due” hence the call to “declare the right income and pay the correct taxes”. On the President’s end, he gave us the assurance his fight for corruption will be relentless and also calls for the public’s cooperation on fighting corruption.

Right after PDiggy’s SONA, I read varying comments on social media and I restrained myself from giving my reaction not until after I have heard the whole address. I have to say that one thing that makes this administration effective, as reflected by the President’s address, is that its programs strike very close to our homes. These are programs that make us feel the presence of the government in our daily run. Again, it makes you think and say “kaya naman pala, bakit hindi pa nagawa noon?”

PDiggy’s address was simple and straightforward. Much was already done and much still remains to be done but as PDiggy puts it, it also needs our cooperation.

Now if you only counted the cuss words or something less relevant during the SONA, something is terribly wrong with you.

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I guess the title says it all.

I noticed that it has been a long time since I watched the evening news on TV or grabbed a copy of the newspaper. I no longer find it relevant because most of the time I find the news to be either too melodramatic or too skewed that it no longer offers a balanced perspective on issues. I find mass media nowadays as a propaganda to pollute the minds making hapless preys to those who fall into its trap. I choose what I watch and what I read nowadays.

I prefer watching CNN Philippines nowadays, when I feel like it, because they are the closest to providing a balance in news reporting. I now do most of my news readings from social media and I have to admit, social media platforms offer a more balanced views on issues with both sides being discussed that eventually you will see the truth coming out. The best part in social media platform is that you get to see false news and its bearers getting “burned” by the truth. That alone is more fun.

Both local and international media were in a ruckus this week after local media reported that President Duterte allegedly “cursed” the US President. The alleged act is now being alleged as the reason behind the cancellation of a meeting between PRRD and President Obama in Laos. Of course, people who were critical on PRRD used the issue as a leverage to claim that the act can affect Philippine-US relations. These people further claimed that PRRD should not have done that as we need US support right now especially with the current West Philippine Sea tension.

Obviously these people who made these claims quickly got “burned to death” on social media after transcripts of the interview were released and it quickly refuted the local media’s claim. I will not go to details as it is now all over social media and has actually made “decent” people shut up. The revelation had shown that PRRD did not, in any way, disrespect the President of the United States. The “putang ina” that was uttered by PRRD was a show of disgust against the hypothetical question raised and was not directed at anybody. But then again, media outlets needed a drama to unfold for their news so they had to make it look as if it was directed to President Obama and people who love looking for PRRD’s mistakes were all quick to the draw.

Yes, we did get the drama and in the international scene, at that. The media manipulation has thrusted the Filipinos once more into the limelight in the guise of balanced reporting. Ito yung mga panahon na sobrang proud yung mga bumabatikos kay PRRD sa pagiging Pinoy nila. But then again, the glory that you basked in was short lived. Reality kicked in that there is no truth to the news that you all valiantly stood on for a couple of hours and days. The sad reality is that it took the more observant non-journalist Filipinos and international news agencies to show you the truth.

So… ayun na-shut up kayo.

As if we have not learned from the mistake, the Philippine Daily Inquirer gets burned by the Presidential Communication on their Facebook posts clarifying the statement given by Secretary Tugade in reference to Manila’s traffic. The broadsheet headlined that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation claimed that Metro Manila traffic was just a “state of mind”. Of course, the ever dependable bashers of this administration was quick to make hasty comments and started their tirades. Again, a proud moment for them to say that they were right.

But alas, the Facebook post popped the surprise on them.

It turned out that the Philippine Daily Inquirer maliciously quoted the secretary to sound off that he was undermining the current traffic situation in Manila and made it their headline for the day, much to their embarrassment. Now we have the Presidential Communication making the necessary correction by issuing the actual statement done by Secretary Tugade where he mentioned that Filipinos using traffic as an excuse for being tardy. This “state of mind” aggravates the problem of traffic.

Obviously, Tugalde did not refer to Metro Manila traffic as a “state of mind” but it was the major broadsheet who made the reference based from their own “manipulation” which they fed the public as truth. I am still in deep thought as to the purpose of such “manipulation” of a broadsheet. Too bad though that some people, who has found their new passions on highlighting the negatives of the present administration, was again quick to go head on.

So I guess… na-shut up ulit kayo.

You know what bothers me the most? The silence of these so-called “enlightened and intelligent” people when ABS-CBN released news footage where they documented an actual murder happening. The crew admitted that they never called the attention of those who were involved or did not even attempted to seek police assistance. They JUST shot the video as it was a much needed scoop even if it meant that they were in the process of losing their humanity for the sake of ratings. It went viral but only a few people took social media to show their disgust.

So… bakit kayo na-shut up?

These incidents are reflections of how media has done their “responsibilities” in the guise of the so-called “Freedom of Speech”. It is disappointing to see how much misinformation has been fed to the public as truth. Mainstream media has put too much premium on the marketing value of their news more than truth. They love to sensationalize and put too much drama just like our regular staple of soap operas on television.

So it is no wonder that most people find fascination on mainstream media as a drama series and often associate it with tabloid kind of reporting. Let us face it, most of us think that the news that we read nowadays are exaggerated with half of truth to it. We are aware that most of the news that we watch and read today are tailor-made to create a show that tries to appeal to emotions more than the truth.

So please… let us not wonder why people think and believe that the Martial Law Years were just an exaggeration by the media.

Let us not wonder why people think that the alleged extra-judicial killings are just an overkill of the media.

Mass media had fostered this kind of thinking so let us not be surprised.

Mass media is now more of a showbiz talk show or an afternoon drama where tears and high emotions are a necessity. It is now all about intense drama rather than providing balance information. It now has come to a point that the news make the news for itself for ratings even if it means feeding the public with the wrong information.

Kaya huwag na kayo magtaka kung bakit nasha-shut up kayo… tayo.


“Because I am ready to start my work for the nation.”

This was how President Duterte ended his inaugural speech last June 30, 2016 as he officially started his duties as the 16th President of the Republic. I have to admit that it was only the day after that I listened to his speech. And it is only now that I have resumed blogging on this page because I had to wait for Duterte’s inauguration as it is the best way to shut his “famed” critics who had taken too much of the bitter pill after the election. The funny thing is that their respective candidates have already taken on the “moving on” part after the loss while they keep being sore losers on the sidelines.

Sorry, ladies and gents, but it is President Duterte now so deal with it!

Going back to his inaugural speech, I liked it. It was simple, heartfelt, straightforward, and was void of the intellectual clichés meant to impress the typical Filipino. He emphasized the need to work together in nation building, recognizing the need for everyone’s cooperation in the process. There are no “bosses” and “servants”. What he calls for is partnership, one that he has gladly bannered from Day 1 of his campaign. You have to admit… he is the only candidate who have mustered enough support by mobilizing people from all walks of life to campaign for him, expecting only good governance from him as return.

He was right in saying that the real problem that we have is the “erosion of faith and trust in the government”. The lack of faith stems from the fact that the government have been self-serving to its present leaders and their “friends” where the law only applies to most and not to a select few. I mean where will you find a sister of a former President using the Presidential chopper for a campaign sortie, which is obviously against the law, but still manages to get away with it by saying that the law does not apply to her because she is one of the country’s highest tax payer? And then we wonder why there is a breakdown on law and order. It is simple because we already know that we can always get around with the law, just like my example, hence the loss of faith in the government. It is already in our psyche that we can always get around with the law… may paraan para maiwasan ang batas. And then we wonder why we witness brazen acts of lawlessness in our communities.

I seriously think that his fight against criminality is the area where he can gain immediate results that will be easily noticed by the public. Interestingly, we have seen the increase in the number of criminals that have turned themselves over just after Duterte won the elections, even the numbers of deaths associated with drug trafficking. The news have bannered it and, whether we admit it or not, it had given us a breather from the usual news of crimes being committed. These news had given us that sense of feeling that change has begun – one that we have always hoped for.

Duterte was very smart to begin the restoration of the people’s faith in the government by restoring the faith to the police force dramatically. By making people feel safer in their community, he gives the assurance that the government is working for them by hitting them on the points where most of us would feel the effects immediately. Notwithstanding the previous administration’s economic gains, the sad reality is that only a few Filipinos felt an improvement in their spending power. Most people felt that it is more important to feel safer than having an increase in their money spending.

It is also important to note the emphasis that President Duterte stated that his adherence to the law is uncompromising. His emphasis on his knowledge on the limits of the President’s power and on what is legal was met with applause. He definitely gave the assurance that his actions will remain within the bounds of Philippine laws. I liked the way he ended it by saying that he would mind what he needs to do and other agencies should mind what they also need to do.

His call of actions were designed to address where the typical Filipino is burdened when dealing with the government. I like the fact that he emphasized on making things easy for every Juan dela Cruz when they transact with the government. Our office fell victim to one government agency where our representative had to go back and forth for two weeks just to fix our papers. This was because the government employees who assisted did not give full instructions the first time and the next and the next. It is disappointing that we had to go through the process for two weeks when we could have easily fixed everything in one or two days easily. I am glad that Duterte recognizes the need to keep everything simple for the Filipinos.

Transparency in the government is crucial in the quest to restore the Filipino faith in our government. Previous administrations have kept us all blind with their secrecy that we always had doubts on every government program or project. Why? We do not have access to the basic information that will shed light to it. This time, it is going to be different. We can easily access public documents that will keep us informed in government dealings.

He bannered on the slogan of “Tunay na Pagbabago” during his campaign period. It was this call to action that people held on as the very same people propelled him to the Presidency. And now he calls on everyone to participate in this move for change. He said it clearly that the change starts in and within us. A change that can only be driven by one’s love for country and love for Filipinos, the same love that brought President Duterte to where he is now.

Mabuhay si Presidente Duterte!