First ASEAN Agriculture Summit - October 4, 2017

Part 1

Part 2

Linking and harmonizing Agri-Entrepreneurship and Socio-Entrepreneurship is a key to inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.


"Panonokhang" ng taombayan

Sa umpisa, taombayan ang tinutokhang nila. Subalit, taombayan na ngayon ang tumotokhang sa kanila. Ang dahilan nito ay ang mga pagmamalabis ng mga may kapangyarihan at ang mga pang-aaboso ng mga otoridad sa dangal at karapatan ng iilang mga mamayang itinuring nila na wala nang silbi sa lipunan. Ang mga bagay na ito ay ang silang unti-unting nakakapagpamulat sa dahan-dahan ng dumaraming bilang ng mga kababayang nag-aalab na ang mga damdamin laban sa nitong marahas at mapang-api na mga ginagawa ng mga nasa kapangyarihan na hindi na ayon sa tamang pamamaraan ng pagpapatupad at pagpapairal ng batas.



Sa mata ng ating kukote

Sa mga nabubulagan ng madilim na liwanag, subokan nyo rin kayang tumingin  paminsan-minsan gamit ang mata ng inyong kukote at baka makikita rin ninyo ang nakikita lang ng iilang iba na sa iyong akalang katotohanan ay kakaiba.


Ang himig natin, ating awitin

Tayo'y may kaibigan, Pilipinas ang pangalan. Handa na ba kayong lahat upang siya'y tulungan?

E kung ganon...

Ang himig natin, ating awitin...

Kababayan, saang sulok ka ba nakaluklok sa tatsulok?


Reform our criminal justice system to fight poverty

Lawlessness and impunity are a major hidden reason for poverty that our country needs to address now. Collective compassion has meant an overall decrease in global poverty since the 1980s, says civil rights lawyer Gary Haugen. Yet for all the world's aid money, there's a pervasive hidden problem keeping poverty alive. Haugen reveals the dark underlying cause we must recognize and act on now.

When the next generation of Filipinos would ask us: "Where were you when our poorest kababayans were drowning in a lawless chaos of everyday violence and impunity?" I hope that we can say, that we had compassion, that we raised our voice, and as a generation, we were moved to make the violence stop.

Out of compassion let us not just simply cry over what is going on in our country, but let us act to help reform our criminal justice system to fight poverty.

Father God, we rely on your guidance and strength; for you are our ever help in times of needs.


Senate, wake up! Stay focused! Don't get sidetracked by your weakness

Come on, honorable Senators of the Philippines, we know you are far better than this! We still believe that you all have the wisdom in you to reform the senate from being poorly productive due to being extremely politicized. The country needs leaders who are able to handle critical issues and tackle national concerns with genuine political maturity, professionalism, dedication, and effectiveness.

Please give the citizenry at least some concrete reasons to still follow and watch the important senate hearings and inquiries rather than causing them to snob and ignore senate hearings and inquiries because of your displayed political immaturity and unprofessional public demeanor in your session halls.

Wake up, our good senators! With your self-defeating conducts, where are you heading? Where are you leading us into? You have very important works to do. God has picked and called you for higher service, so don't be sidetracked by your weaknesses. Because He has called you, He has also equipped you with the inner strength and wisdom to overcome the frailties within each of you. Now it is time to use your inner strength and wisdom so that as one critical and an important institution of the nation, you will be able to carry out your mandated tasks despite [and in spite of] your individual weaknesses.

Our dear Senators, may God cause you to find your inner strength and wisdom.

Mga kababayan, let us pray for our leaders that they may awake to their godly sense; for the devil has blinded them and ensnared them with their weaknesses.

Good Senators, may this words of the Spirit awaken your inner strength and wisdom:

Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]. (Proverbs 9:11)

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (James 1:19-20)

Do to others as you would like them to do to you. (Luke 6:31)

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
(Psalm 4:4)

And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. (Psalm 37:8)

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:8, 12-13)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. (Luke 6:35)

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.

Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. (Romans 12:17-21)

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)



Work according to the righteousness God has put in your heart

Are you someone or somebody in government who takes pride in addressing yourself as a public servant? Well, if it is your heart's genuine desire to be an effective and good public servant, then come to know what (or more aptly, "Who") is the powerful motivating force in the lives of public servants the likes of Jovie Espenido that enthusiastically drives their certain level of work dedication, professionalism, and effectiveness.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23-24)


How to win the war on drugs

Many nations have tried the war on drugs for many years and have failed.
(Video Published on March 1, 2016)

How to win the war on drugs
By Bernie V. Lopez
Thought Leaders, Rappler
Published August 31, 2017, 9:18 PM

Bernie V. Lopez is a seasoned columnist, writing in the last 20 years for various newspapers. He was a freelance director-scriptwriter of news documentaries for television too and was a Communications Professor at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. He is in the healing ministry of Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM. You may email him at eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com.

I hope President Duterte can read this.

Step 1 is to stop the supply, which flows from China, finished goods or raw materials. If they are gloating for stopping the recent "massive" smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu, they are in for a surprise. That is not a milestone. There are hundreds of ways to smuggle shabu. It may even be just the tip of the iceberg.

Cut shabu at the source with a bilateral agreement with China on an integrated coordinated intelligence, police, customs, coast guard, immigration effort. It may not work all the way, but halfway is good enough. Half of them may be bribed but the good guys can monitor the bad guys. Once the smuggling is checked, there is no need to run after shabu factories which will have no more raw materials to process. Once shabu reaches our shores, it is hard to contain. The thing is to let it not reach our shores.

Step 2 is to stop the LGUs into drugs. The Manila Times came up with an inventory of mayors and vice mayors suspected of involvement in shabu operations. Four killed, 4 arrested, 52 others in Duterte’s list (13 in Luzon, 14 in Visayas, 25 in Mindanao) as of July 2017. The profound effect of local government units (LGUs) on shabu proliferation is mind-boggling. LGUs into shabu are the biggest culprit. The bad policemen, private drug lords and financiers polarize toward the leadership of local government. When Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog were neutralized, the shabu empire in Leyte and Misamis must have shrunk dramatically for awhile. Maybe they are back.

The generals into shabu are also a problem. Duterte identified 5 generals. There may be more, as there is little intel. Good generals may not point at bad generals. They may be fewer but their clout is in the guns and armies to protect the shabu industry.

Why do you think the mayors did not stop even after reading about the killings and arrests of many mayors? Why did they ignore the warnings of Duterte that they may be next? The answer is simple – the money is so big, the temptation so great, that it is worth the risk for the greedy. They are super-confident as they hire large private armies which they easily can afford, or get protection from the generals, and they are "safe".

Step 3. Stop the killings of urban poor kids. Just run after the mayors, and half of the problem is solved. While the police are picking off addicts at the urban poor level by the hundreds, the drug lords still flood the place with ample supply. As the police sweep the garbage, they do not stop the people who scatter more garbage. Focus on pushers, suppliers, not users.

Step 4. Understand the true nature of [shabu] addiction to win the war on drugs. A stage 4 shabu addict is helpless to contain his own addiction. He will risk death to satisfy his unbearable desire. He will die for a high. Stage 5 addiction is psychosis or madness when shabu eventually destroys brain cells on a massive scale. It is easy to rape a sister or threaten a mother who refuses to give money. Shabu is directly related to heinous crimes.

Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.
(Video Published on July 9, 2015)

Understanding addiction.
(Video Published on October 29, 2015)

The mayors do it out of greed, the urban poor kids do it out of sheer desire. Pushers are also addicts. It is easy to conclude that there are mayors and generals who are addicts, the pushers-ushers who are dangerous because they will get other addicts to finance their addiction. They are the catalyst to rapid shabu growth. They employ brinkmanship when they are high.

Finally, President Duterte’s rehab center in Nueva Ecija financed by China, which presently accommodates 35,000 is not a rehab center but a "soft jail". It is bigger than Bilibid by far. At the growth rate of even, say a pessimistic thousand a day, it will be congested very soon. It may even follow the footsteps of Bilibid to house secret shabu factories smuggled out as a major supply line. Money talks.

Step 5. Rehab centers are better run by gentle people like nuns rather than soldiers. And they should be decentralized, 1,000 scattered in different provinces, 10 to 30 addicts per center. The Church should have a big role in this, rehab centers at the parish level. Addicts need to be loved and treated gently as a solution to addiction, not punished or whipped. They need monastic ambience so they can pray for healing.

How far are we in winning the war on drugs? Very far, indeed, even as thousands have been killed and the United Nations and international human rights groups hound us? Many nations have tried for many years and have failed. Even in the US, which is resilient in containing the menace, has failed all these years.

They can only contain it but not eradicate it. Duterte corrected himself in his time frame to eradicate shabu. He will correct himself again. It is a never-ending endeavor. There is no such thing as total rehab. Many factors are irreversible. A friend at the gate can destroy a whole year of painstaking rehab. The thing is to stop 1) the supply coming in, and 2) its spread and growth thru the LGUs. That is the best Duterte can do. – Rappler.com

How Portugal successfully tackled its drug crisis.
(Video Published on April 19, 2017)


Is Portugal's extraordinary drug policy the answer?
(Video Published on January 21, 2008)



As according to your hearts, go and do

In this servant's heart is a seeking to honor the works of his hands and thereby gaining honor from people. He finds a kind of satisfaction in being an obedient servant to the Gong; for the Gong is an expert fisher of men.

When the mallet of demagoguery hits the Gong, the Gong reverberates with the sound of death. And indeed, there was death, and there will be death again, and it will not be few.

Among all the leadership callings, there are a very few calling that can match the burden of the calling of a demagogue.

Recall that it was the Lord God who hardened the demagogue Pharaoh's heart. And recall also that it is the Lord God who places and removes kings.

To the Gong, do as according to the dictates of your demagogue heart. When your time is fulfilled, as in the days of Pharaoh, there shall be a glaring contrast between man's honor and God's glory; between man's thoughts and God's thoughts; between man's ways and God's ways.

Because they rule the land, the Gong and his servants are forced to live by the sword. But as it is written: "Whoever lives by the sword, will also die by the sword." When their time is fulfilled, it shall be like the fate of Pharaoh and his soldiers.

O how high are your thoughts, O Lord! And O how great are your ways!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)


Bad leadership hurts good cops

Bad leadership hurts good cops
By Federico D. Pascual Jr. 
POSTSCRIPT (The Philippine Star)
Updated August 27, 2017 - 12:00am

Sa totoo lang, karamihan ng mga pulis matitino. After decades of newspapering, mostly pounding the beat, I dare say that most policemen are good officers actuated by their duty to serve and protect the people.

The key problem of the police, it seems, is bad leadership. Uniformed men are trained to follow orders almost by reflex, which should be the case in tight, fast-moving situations. An order need not always be in black and white, although this is preferred, but a mere hint of what a trusted leader wants done is done by his men.

It is in this undefined gray area where the ill effects of bad leadership manifest themselves. Although properly briefed, the men on the spot may not have much time to reflect and will go by instinct and reflexes honed by training. Miscalculations can be costly.

An entirely different scenario is if the men were told in advance to shoot and kill (not just to maim or disable) with the least resistance of the targets, or if they have been given the impression that the team has a kill-quota to meet.

Was this the case in the recent “One Time-Big Time” raids that scored a staggering number of dead drug suspects? The possibility of excessive force having been used is something that an impartial investigation will have to find out. (http://tinyurl.com/y8l6nrz8)

Nobody on either side wants to get hurt or killed in a raid, but some persons still end up being shot. And, belatedly, some lawmen are surprised to find themselves now on the carpet for following orders or obeying their conditioned reflexes to shoot.

Some policemen seem to have started to think, especially after the gunning down of the Albuera mayor in his detention cell last Nov. 5, that they will be protected, even rewarded, if they kill in the name of President Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign.

But it is turning out, after the last raid in Caloocan where 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was shot dead, that when the air gets too hot, their lord and protector himself will order the prosecution of those who get careless with their supposed license to kill.

Whereas the President used to tell policemen they have his unqualified support, to shoot those who fight back or to make them fight back if they don’t, that a pardon awaits them, et cetera, now he is suddenly conscious of the law. He now qualifies his confusing order to shoot:

“In the performance of your duty, which means that everything has to be legal. I will protect you, kayong mga pulis. Trabaho lang kayo. At kung lumaban, basta in the performance of duty, ’yun na ’yun. Just for three minutes. Pardon me for saying it, but ang pulis kasi is ’yung interface niya sa tao. But I don’t know hindi ako – basta ito.”

If you ask me and the next policeman you meet, the rules of engagement as the President now attempts to define them off the cuff are not clear. So now, the men are probably asking: Ano ba talaga, ser?

• Will a divided nation allow Take-2?

A HINT of where the spilling of blood is headed is an admission by President Duterte in Marawi on Thursday that he won’t be able to lick the drug menace until the end of his term in 2022. (It was actually a reiteration of a similar confession made days ago.)

What this means, at first glance, is that there would be a rethinking of his anti-narcotics campaign and related activities. As the GPS Talking Lady says when one makes a wrong turn, “Recalculating.”

Or is Mr. Duterte hinting that he wants the Constitution changed to allow him to stay beyond his six-year term? This requires a Take-2, an entirely different political recalculating – and probably a realignment of forces. Or an upheaval.

As quoted by Star reporter Edith Regalado, the President said: “Nangako ako that I will do away with the shabu. Ngayon, alam ko na na hindi ito matutupad, na hindi talaga matapos ‘to”. (I promised that I’ll do away with shabu. Now I know it won’t be fulfilled, that this really will not end).

That he promised to pursue the anti-narcotics campaign despite the odds points to a calculated recalculation, a reprogramming. But note the other message superimposed on Mr. Duterte’s admission of the likely failure of his touted drug drive:

“Let us try to create a country that is – huwag naman ‘yung mayaman na tayo lahat (not where all of us are rich) – a country that is comfortable. May five years pa ako. Give me a chance to work ulit.

“Pretend that I am doing well. Just give me the remaining years. Five years pa naman. And we will build a strong country and a strong armed forces and police.”

To many of us watchdogs in mainstream media, giving the President more time to finish the job is not much of a problem. He should reach out instead to the victims of injustice and the uneven application of the law, and console the families of innocent victims of state terrorism.

Maybe he should also tell his communications managers to rein in their army of bloggers and disable their unthinking bots. The unabated Battle of the Blogs only fuels animosity and disunity. Nobody wins, except those paid – by us taxpayers! – for scattering false news and ad hominem.

If President Duterte cannot bind the wounds and unite the citizenry – while also busy tackling foreign relations issues – he will fail, as he has started to sense, not only in his drug drive but also in other things he has set out to do without a road map and a compass.

The big problem is that Mr. Duterte’s failure will be the failure of all of us. Damay tayong lahat!


Allocating press freedom

Allocating Press Freedom
By Vergel O. Santos
Newspoint, Rappler
August 26, 2017

In 2020, the pioneering broadcast network ABS-CBN will lose its franchise if President Duterte gets his way. But what has he got to do with franchising, a purely congressional business? He has none, of course, but that’s true only in theory.

As is only too obvious in today’s practice, collusion, if not outright conspiracy, characterizes the relationship between the President and Congress, two of the 3 supposedly equal and independent branches of government. The third branch – the judiciary – may not be a relevant player at the moment, but, since news-media franchising is intrinsically a constitutional issue – a freedom issue – it’s bound to be dragged into the fray in the end, thus tested for its own sense of independence.

Apparently, the only reason Duterte wants ABS-CBN out of business is he dislikes its journalism. Anyway, with Congress proving itself a consistent colluder with Duterte – he has not lost a vote in it – it is expected to go along with him and deny the news network a new franchise.

In the hands of a political club like Congress, instead of an independent commission, the authority to bestow franchises is always potentially dicey business, and downright dangerous to a democracy where the applicant is one of the press, government’s natural adversary.

But why does any media enterprise have to be franchised at all? Why does it have to ask for its allocation of freedom?

Effectively, franchising constitutes curtailment of press freedom, therefore unconstitutional. If franchising is conceded at all, it should be as a merely practical function, one akin to that of an arranger, confined basically to assigning places in a public domain for purposes of keeping order – it may be compared with, say, directing air traffic from an airport tower.

But even that function has been rendered irrelevant by the times – anachronistic. If space in that domain seemed limited before, it was only because technology had not advanced enough to disprove the notion; it has since done so. The unfranchised broadcast bombardment we get from all over the world, from all sorts of cultures, and in all manner of tongues should be proof enough.

But, a man observed to be inordinately fixated on power and vengeance, Duterte still wants ABS-CBN silenced. Understandably, a chill has blown across the media landscape; to Duterte, after all, silencing is a standard solution to anything that assaults his ears. Once, when foul-mouthing the media into silence at a press conference failed yet to satisfy his narcissistic longing to be believed as some ordained messenger of truth and wisdom, he decided to bar them. Some reporters are only thankful to not have suffered worse; Duterte’s capability for taking silencing to extremes is legendary. His war on drugs gives a frightening running illustration: it has taken the lives thousands of drug dealers and addicts.

Not a few news practitioners have admitted to me they feel intimidated, and much of the current journalism does tend to betray that feeling: hard questions go unasked and, as a result, reporting shows critical gaps. Opinion writing is itself timid, thus easily drowned out by the loud and savage and unrelenting torrents from Duterte trolls and bloggers online and conscripts from the mainstream media.

There necessarily is a huge price to pay in freedom for all this fear, this timidity, this default. However understandable, it constitutes a surrender of a measure of press freedom and a betrayal, to the same extent, of the public interest. And, with an adversary like Duterte, the situation can only get worse for anyone who values civility and reason, not to mention freedom, truth, and justice.

The more the press, the supposed vanguard for those values, becomes intimidated, the more Duterte tries to intimidate it. It’s simply the nature of the man, as certified to clinically and as now revealed spectacularly in his presidency.

How, indeed, could the elephant in the room be denied? It’s there rumbling in all its “antisocial, narcissistic” glory; it’s there exhibiting “gross indifference, insensitivity...[and a] grandiose sense of self-entitlement and manipulative behaviors”; and it’s there parading a deviancy all too familiar to the press: a “pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights and feelings.”

Mga Kababayan, huwag na tayong mananatiling mga VACC

By Tonyo Cruz
Manila Bulletin
Aug. 26, 2017

If a man – let’s call him Vitaliano – was held hostage by a drug addict armed with a grenade, that would be a crime. But if his security detail, ostensibly law enforcers, would hostage him, that would be a crime too – but worse.

Drug addicts are in a different mental state. Which is why medical practitioners say they should be handled differently and in a more effective way. Law enforcers — in a perpetual state of being alagad ng batas — are expected to be better and different.

Drug addicts-turned-criminals face criminal charges. Law enforcers-turned-criminals face not only criminal charges. They face charges for violating rules and laws that oblige them to serve and protect civilians, to save the innocent, and to capture alive the criminals so they could face a court of justice. They are given pistols, badges and a uniform for precise reasons.

Grabbing, punching, planting a gun, making Kian delos Santos run, shooting him point blank as he knelt, and planting sachets of shabu on — these are not among the reasons why we organized a national police. Only criminals would do that to the likes of Kian, a Grade 11 student and a son of an OFW.

And thus we rage over Kian’s murder and demand that this entire government do its job as set down by the law: Investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the cold-blooded killing.

When he appeared this week at the Senate, the Secretary of Injustice came prepared and brought garbage. It is no longer important whether he invented those trashy ideas or they were gathered for him by the PCOO assistant secretary. The important thing is that they were/are wrong.

Vitaliano Aguirre was choosy: He complained that Kian’s case is overblown. He did not complain that the police pumped two or three bullets into Kian’s head as he fell and lay prostrate on the dirt.

We cannot blame Aguirre and PNP chief Bato dela Rosa for doing everything to demonize Kian and to legitimize his murder. The three bullets that were shot through Kian’s head symbolically skidded and then pierced through the pathetic lies behind President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Remember: Duterte has not stopped talking about his List of Narcopoliticians and says we have become a narco-state.

But what does he do to the narcopoliticians? Some get absolved after visiting him, the rest get a chance to prove their innocence.

The bullets that killed Kian tore holes through Duterte’s List of Narcopoliticians.

The PNP has a different list. We don’t know how they made such list which just magically appeared after June 30, 2016. Some say it included surrenderees and reformed addicts, and those misled into signing pieces of paper in Tokhang operations.

The bullets that killed Kian tore holes through the PNP’s List of Drug Personalities.

If Duterte and Bato really believe they’re correct that we have become a narco-state, surely police generals would have made that possible either thru negligence or being in cahoots with the syndicates. But no PNP revamp. The two murdered mayors could be nothing but a warning to the others in Duterte’s List who haven’t gone to worship at his feet or join his ruling coalition.

For all their declarations of a big national problem of narcopolitics, all Duterte wants are affidavits and due process for Pulong Duterte, Peter Lim, the drug lords at Bilibid and the narcopoliticians. For the poor and victims of narcopoliticians — Duterte offers only death certificates.

How and why Kian and 12,000 others have ended up dead in this so-called war against narcopolitics is for Duterte, Bato and Aguirre to answer. Indeed, if narcopolitics is the problem, why are their victims and the innocent the ones being neutralized?

Aguirre has to answer other questions. The DDS media network led by PCOO assistant secretary Mocha Uson is accusing him of monumental incompetence. They say justice is not being given to victims of rapes, massacres, murders, theft, kidnapping and other crimes perpetrated by drug-crazed criminals. The PNP chief must also explain why the police has not nabbed or filed information on the criminals.

The president’s men and minions are falling all over themselves trying to demonize Kian because his murder exposes the abuse of power started by Duterte and which is now practiced by the police. Kian’s case also show there may really be no vigilante groups: the “alagad ng batas” are the death squads.

This is not about intelligence — whether the lack of it or depending on the DDS media network for it. This is about power and its abuse. Congress has been complicit, and thereby gave up its role as a check on presidential abuse. The DOJ and Congress gave immunity and protection to drug lords that willingly played a role in causing the prosecution of a senator. Meanwhile, no case has been filed against the smuggler of the P6.4-billion shabu found by Customs.

They excuse themselves by saying it is complicated to file charges against the big-time shabu smuggler. True — because it is complicated to file charges where the president’s son could be implicated. That’s not a deficit in intelligence. That’s abuse of power.

Compared to actually fighting narcopolitics, it is easier to kill suspected addicts and pushers at any urban poor community. Also easier to make sachets of shabu and plant them as evidence — and have the entire DDS media network and its troll army attempt to justify everything.

Like Duterte, the DDS media network always pretends to be against rapists, kidnappers, murderers, thieves and other criminals. They say most of the criminals are drug users or are also part of drug syndicates. But exactly how the killings give justice to the victims, they cannot tell. They cannot even identify many of the slain people, in the first place. They are like vultures, preying on the dead.

President Duterte, who is the brains behind the war on drugs, has lost the moral basis to continue this war. It is a war against science, against the Constitution, against the record of similar failed wars elsewhere, and against the innocent and the poor. It is a war that favors his son and the powerful. It is a war without end — not only because he failed to end it as he promised. It is a war without end because it rests on abuse of power, wrong assumptions, imagined importance, short-circuited processes, and inflated egos.

All of the talk from Duterte, Bato, dela Rosa and Uson cannot change the simple facts about Kian. He didn’t rape anybody. He didn’t massacre a family in Bulacan. He wasn’t an addict. He was closing his family’s store and was about to rest for a test the next day. In my book, that’s a model son who the state must serve and protect.

Kian’s last words were not for the police or the authorities. “Tama na po” was for the people of the Philippines. If the government thinks and insists a Grade 11 student is a legitimate target for its drug war, we are obligated and justified to stand up and call for an end to the madness.

Mga Kababayan, huwag na tayong mananatiling Voiceless Against Cops' Crimes (VACC). Sa mga lehitimong operasyon ng ating mga kapulisan na saan naaayon sa tamang pamamaraan at hindi lumalabag sa rule of law at due process, buong-buo tayong sumasang-ayon. Subalit sa mga pamalakad nila na taliwas sa batas, huwag tayong matakot na magsalita laban nito. Ipahag natin ang ating mga saluobin na tumututol sa mga krimen na nagawa, ginawa, at gagawin pa ng ating mga kapulisan dahil sa kanilang mapagmamalabis at mapangaabusong paggamit ng kanilang kapangyarihan nitong isinasagawa at tinatawag nilang gyera kontra druga.

Huwag nating hayaan na ang ating mga kapulisan, na siyang inaasahan natin na mga tagapagtanggol at tagapagbigay proteksyon sa atin, ay baka magka-develop ng "culture of impunity" at baka ang kulturang ito ay mananatili na sa kanilang kaisipan at baka ito ay magiging mindset na nila at baka sila ay mag-evolve at magigi ng isang "government killing machine" kahit hindi na si Digong ang presidente. At baka sa tuwing may anti-drug operation sila na gagawin, kahit hindi na si Digong ang presidente, kung ano na ang kanilang nakasanayang gawa sa panahon ni Digong, yun na rin ang kanilang patuloy na gagawin.

Kaya, sa ibang mga kababayan natin, kung maari, tigilan na ang pagiging Volunteers Against Chief's Critics (VACC). Sa halip, magkaisa tayo sa pagiging tunay na Vanguards Against Cruelty on Civilians (VACC) sa pamamagitan ng ating pagiging Vociferous Advocates against Crime and Corruption (VACC).


Coming together in the power of the Spirit

Statement of the Philippine Province Jesuits on Fighting the Evil of Illegal Drugs
August 24, 2017

It is with deep concern for the welfare of our nation that the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus joins His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in appealing to the “consciences of those manufacturing and selling illegal drugs to stop this activity” and “to the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives.”

We agree that the menace of illegal drugs is real and destructive. The imperative to defeat this evil does not belong to the President alone, the Philippine National Police, and the instrumentalities of human government. It belongs to us all. The evil that attacks the human with the power of the demonic, should unite us, not divide us. Battling this enemy, we learn how ineffectual, how flawed, our weapons are. Instead of turning our weapons on one another, we must unite, coordinate, and allow good to ally with good; we must fight this enemy together. Truly, the menace of drugs is not just a political or criminal issue. It is evil that attacks our humanity, turns human beings into zombies, policemen into murderers, criminals into lords, and the poor into the victims of their own security forces. The heartless killing of Kian de los Santos proves this. We cannot fight evil with guns and bullets alone.  This evil we must fight with insight, cooperation, cunning, the enlightened use of political and economic power, self-sacrifice, prayer and God’s grace.

It is in this spirit that we welcome the call of Cardinal Tagle and the Archdiocese of Manila to a multi-sectoral dialogue. We need to come together to understand the situation in depth. We need to understand why the soul of the war on drugs is a human soul, and why the enemy of this war is not human rights, but lack of commitment to human rights. We need to understand why we cannot fight for human beings by denying them their rights. In a society where the human has so lightly lost his soul to corruption, hedonism, and disrespect for the human person, we need to understand how the poor are illegal drugs’ worst victims, addicted, trafficked, then shot by the guns drug money buys. We need to understand how denying the international drug cartels their markets does not mean killing the poor who are their victims, but reforming the structure which keep the poor poor. We need to understand that building the drug-free, smart, socially-just religiously diverse society envisioned by the Duterte administration needs patient multi-sectoral collaboration of good people collaborating with good people. We cannot build the Philippine nation on the cadavers of the Filipino people.

In this spirit of dialogue, where it is clear that the rule of law and the respect for human rights thwart evil, the recommendations of our Ateneo de Manila Human Rights Center pertinent to extrajudicial killings and Operation Tokhang Reloaded might be seriously considered.[1]

Truly, we must conquer evil with good. Though we wish to be in solidarity with all victims of injustice, we must move beyond expressions of outrage to constructive action. Teach the youth, wealthy or poor, in our families, schools and our communities, about the evil of illegal drugs; engage them so they are helped to overcome bad habits and engage in good.  Join groups that are involved in rehabilitation; many of these are diocesan or parish based; many of them are Civil Society Organizations.  Capacitate ourselves to get involved. Join groups that partner with government to strengthen our security forces’ commitment to rights-based policing. Involve ourselves in research that studies the drug trade in the Philippines. Work together with the Church, government and CSOs to truly defeat the drug menace in the Philippines. Use privileged power and information to win this war.

Where the fullness of life that the Lord came to bring us (Jn 10:10) is not to be undermined by the evil of drugs, we must be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.” (Mt. 10:16).  Some demons can be expelled “only by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:21).  But prayer and fasting should also lead us to come together in the power of the Spirit to overcome this evil.


[1] From:  Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), Summary & Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines, 2017

* To enact a law clearly defining “extrajudicial killings” in line with internationally recognized standards.

* To conduct an impartial investigation and prosecute all cases of extrajudicial or summary killings. This entails proper documentation of each alleged violation, including the preservation of the evidence gathered.

* To ensure the protection of witnesses to alleged enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and their immediate families.

* To ensure that police officers engaged in anti-drug operations are aware that killing perpetrated by them where suspects resist arrest does not enjoy the presumption of regularity, and as such, they must prove the legality of such killings.

In relation to the implementation of the Double Barrel Project:

* To ensure that it is not contrary to the Philippine Constitution and other relevant domestic and international laws…

* To guarantee the right of every Filipino to access information, official records, public records, and other documents and papers pertaining to official acts.

* To ensure transparency in processes involved in the Collection and Validation of Information Stage where the identity and criminal activities of suspected illegal drug personalities are documented and verified by police officers.

* To ensure the credibility of intelligence information used as basis for the confrontation of subjects in the House-to-House Visitation Stage.

* To ensure access to the effective remedies, such as the writs of amparo, habeas corpus, or habeas data, which protect the rights to life, liberty, and property of the people. This includes according priority to cases that seek the issuance of these writs.

* To revitalize the efforts in increasing knowledge and awareness of human rights among the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police.

* To extend an invitation to the special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to conduct a fact-finding mission on the alleged extrajudicial and summary killings.

The contradiction between Kian and Polong

The contradiction between Kian and Polong
By: Antonio Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
August 21, 2017, 05:12 AM

I am pleased that the vice mayor of Davao City, who goes by the pet name Polong, will be given due process. I am happy that no less than Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella has spoken on his behalf to say that those who have linked the presidential son to drugs should produce “documents like one duly signed by the vice mayor or by his representative; a log book showing the name of Paolo as among those receiving payola from the [Bureau of Customs].”

This tells us that Paolo “Polong” Duterte is part of the official family of Malacañang such that the allegations against him would merit an official statement by the presidential spokesperson. More importantly, it manifests the Palace’s predilection for due process and the rule of law.

Readers will recall the younger Duterte’s name being linked to the recent shipment of shabu from China that went through the green lane of the BOC. That shipment was worth P6.5 billion, a staggering amount. Money in that amount can buy hundreds of school classrooms and probably build hospitals for the poor.

A whistle-blower had intimated during the Senate hearings that the shipment was allegedly facilitated by a “Davao group” led by the President’s son.

Immediately after his name was circulated on social media, Polong Duterte issued the following statement on Aug. 8 on his Facebook account: “(Marc) Taguba admitted that his testimony against me was based entirely on rumors. Why would we entertain or believe hearsay? One does not dignify lies with a response.”

I am elated that someone accused of such high crime — drug trafficking — which carries a penalty of life imprisonment under Philippine laws, was able to issue a statement that was reported by mainstream and social media. It should be worthy of adulation that any Filipino accused that way is given his day in court with a public explanation. It reinforces the belief that indeed the law favors no one, rich or poor, powerful or not.

His alleged cohort, the man said to be responsible for that enormous drug shipment from China and who goes by the name of Kenneth Dong, was also given his day in court. Dong was investigated by the Senate and as we must have seen in television footage, was given ample time to answer allegations. Truly, our laws are working and it is safe to say that we are operating under a regime of law.

But, sadly, that is not the case.

The same due process that Polong Duterte was given eluded 17-year-old Grade 11 student Kian Loyd Delos Santos, who was suspected of being a drug courier. Despite his protestations to apprehending police that he was to have a school exam the next day, he was manhandled and brought to a dead end of a dark alley.

Kian was not accorded the same privileges of a Polong Duterte — an official defense for due process by a high Malacañang official no less, and a statement of his innocence that was relayed by all the big players of mainstream media in this country.

I saw the CCTV footage myself. Two policemen in plainclothes dragged Kian, his head covered with a jacket. Was it to cover his identity and blur any evidence that it was Kian?

The sworn protectors of ordinary citizens — the police — snuffed out Kian’s life in a matter of minutes. And yet what do Kian and Polong have in common? Both are alleged to have been involved in the drug menace.

I do not wish the same kind of death on Polong Duterte. But I wish that all the Kian Loyd Delos Santoses in our country be given the same due process as a presidential son. Otherwise, it can only mean that we have the same kind of governance that is anti-poor, is pro-oligarch, and is just like any other traditional politics — the law applies to all except to a politician’s family.

If drugs are truly a menace, how come it is not nipped in the bud? Why are there ifs and buts? If there is freedom for high-profile suspects such as the Polong Dutertes of this country, why is there none but absolutely none for the Kian Loyd Delos Santoses?

Killing Kian doesn’t make things better. It makes things worse.


Moral leaders, where does your true loyalty lie?

If and when due process and rule of law, which are supposedly critical institutional tools of justice in a democracy, are being systematically trampled by government leaders and by law enforcers themselves, and such wrongdoing is left tolerated by the public or even by people of moral authority because of their blind loyalty, then it affords wrongdoers a deadly incentive to a class of impunity which is at a certain level government-sanctioned -- a far worse class of impunity.

Where have the rest of the moral leaders of our country gone? Where are those other Brother Eddies of the land? Until when will you keep silent? When you see wickedness, don't just turn a blind eye and allow it to continue. Have the strength to plead for righteousness.

[Ezekiel 3:20] "when a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand."


No colors, no hand signs, please!

Are we not tired of political colors yet? Have we not grown bored with seeing same old political hand signs already?

Nothing quickly spoils and kills a grassroots' growing genuine legitimate protest against the abuses and excesses of its government than when politicians or political leaders attempt to influence or try to subtly play some role. No matter how sincere or true the politicians may be in their intentions, but their affiliation with their "political color" can always ruin the whole picture.

Therefore, it is rather wise for politicians to just let the grassroots' strength develop and grow spontaneously on its own. If politicians have the genuineness of heart to take part, then they may let themselves get involved but in the capacity as a genuinely concerned citizen and truly stripping themselves of any political agenda or motivation.


Nasaan na kaya kayo, [iba pang] mga Lolito?

Sa kabila ng kanilang takot,
 ang iilan sa mga katulad mo, Lolito, ay ngayon palang nagsimulang nagkalakas luob na "kantahin" na rin ang uri ng mga kantang katulad sa inaawit mo.

Majority of the people simply ignored it at first, but the segment of the message (shown below) which was delivered on 05/04/2016 has now continued unfolding day by day, and there are more things told in the whole message:

(To those that have the ear to demystify God's ripples, hear then!)

Segment of a message delivered on 05/04/2016:
"By day, drinks of color red shall pour out by the roadsides. By night, a flaming sword will rule as light. There will be great sorrow amidst jubilation. There will be trembling courage amidst enforced fear."



There are two battlefronts to fight


The Gong, as the president -- in his mindset of eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth, violence-for-violence -- perhaps he believes that the only effective response to the crimes brought about by illegal drugs is to do what he may have considered as "necessary evil" that no past president had the will to do.

But still, these questions remain: How effective is his way? How permanent is its effect? Or is it even really effective, much less permanent?

As he himself had admitted, illegal drugs criminality is a perennial unsolvable problem in all societies around the world. So perhaps for him, it is better to act very lethally against it in order to at least suppress its further proliferation than to be lax about it and ignore its rapid spreading that would eventually consume all the living generations of all societies.

If we have to give serious consideration to the president's admission, what then can we do? Can we even do something to really effectively answer this global crisis on illegal drugs? Is there even a way or a solution to this problem? If there seems no viable recourse, then should societies simply tolerate the hero syndrome of some Joker-minded leaders and individuals to do their "necessary evil"?

In this world, evil is perpetual and for the most part, it is a spiritual thing. Fighting evil is a two-dimensional battle -- physical and spiritual. Unless we have the real capacity to wage war in these two realms, we can never win this war. If all our ways and means are only physical, then our society won't stand a chance. Without fighting evil in the spiritual realm, no matter how many countless evil-manipulated flesh we may manage to destroy, the evil spirit would still remain untouched and the same.

My country, have your Batmen gone to their caves again? Has the "Batman spirit" which is inside each of you been reduced to an "unnecessary good" such that the "Joker mindset" of some leaders and individuals has arisen to become a "necessary evil"?

Where are your once very strong spiritual warriors, Philippines? And where are your once powerful spiritual weapons gone? My beloved land, you seem to have forgotten your first love. Arise, my people and put on the whole armor of the Lord; for the enemy is at our doorstep! Take up the whole weaponry of the Holy Spirit; for the battle is at hand! Against evil-spirit-controlled flesh and bone, let the authorities of the land fight against it. Meanwhile, all of us spiritual warriors must focus on the spiritual realm; for our fight is against powers and principalities that cannot be seen.


You and your brothers need rest

Have you not realized that it is the Lord God who keeps watch over our little island province?

While as you were following your heart's desire, the Lord God has prepared a secluded place for your rest in our island. And because your heart has the courage to lead your brothers into a long ocean pilgrimage just to come to our consecrated island, then here in our God-protected island, you and your men shall the Lord God grant with the kind of peace that shall put your tired and restless hearts into the eternal rest that you need.

Be it so, O Lord God, as according to your will and purpose... Amen.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." (Psalm 127:1)