Skip to content

DEMOCRATS OR CLOSET TYRANTS?

May 18, 2019

The midterm elections are virtually finished and save for those in the edges, we already know the winners.  It’s a complete rout for the opposition!  The gnashing of teeth you could almost hear, the seething outrage and bitterness, the weeping and the sobbing, the curses.  Of course, the sweeping loss was not really unexpected.  Surveys consistently showed them outside the winning circle until election day.  But hope was pinned on the faith that the electorate was essentially ‘intelligent’ and will come to its senses come D-day.  Well, hope was gravely misplaced as it turned out.  Now, the bellowing we hear: “It’s the end of Democracy!”  “The Dark Days are here!” “It’s the triumph of Evil!” “The people are just stupid!”

Now, if you are familiar with the opposition, they are the loudest, most vociferous champions of Democracy.  To them Democracy is like some sacred item that must be guarded, treasured, revered, sanctified.   The slightest hint of it being touched, disrespected or defiled is certain to raise a howl of protest from among their ranks.  So why the pronouncements of gloom and doom after a relatively peaceful and credible elections?  They reveal their true selves.

Democracy is the rule of the people— this is the fundamental concept.   Accordingly, the people get to choose their rulers, leaders, or representatives by way of exercises called elections.  In these exercises, winners are  determined by the Rule of Majority— how else?  Democracy therefore is essentially the Rule of Majority.  So, how, may I ask,  could a true advocate of Democracy mock the Majority when it is the essential representation of the will of the people?  Indeed, mocking and assailing the Majority do not go well with exalting Democracy because the view that the masses are foolish and unenlightened is the very same argument against Democracy!

The opposition should resolve if they really are for Democracy or if they are not in fact closet tyrants.  Democracy by necessity demands openness and tolerance to differing, contrary opinions.  Intolerance is bigotry— which is more in agreement with tyranny.  You could excuse bigotry in bigots, but in people claiming to champion Democracy…?

Advertisements

DEMOCRACY ON THE BRINK?

May 13, 2019

Voting day today.  I cast my vote an hour ago.  Two days before, someone I know came to inquire if I wanted my share of the booty being spread around.  I said, no, thank you, you can have it; so thankful he was.  I know the guy  needed it more;  and I wanted to feel holy hahaha, so it was not really charity.  Local bets  were paying around two thousand to three thousand per voter, I heard.  Where I am, that would translate to about P70M to P100M less of the candidates’ wealth— to be replenished by whatever means in the future, of course.   At first,  it was surreptitious.  In the last of days,  there was no hiding it anymore, queues of people out in the open all happily lining up for their envelopes.  The cops were helpless, they just pretended not to see.   It seems like the people have come to find this par for the course now, their votes being bid out in auction blocks to the highest bidder now a legitimate part of the business of elections.  Did the inventors of Democracy foresee this phenomenon?

Interestingly, Plato, the wise man, disliked Democracy. His reason, Democracy inevitably leads to a “rapid influx of freedom”  and having tasted freedom people will “become drunk off it, …people will demand freedom at every turn, fighting any form of authority and demanding more liberty… become obsessed with… freedom… willing to sacrifice necessary things like social order and structure to attain it.”  He seems prophetically accurate.

Its devotees, however, put Democracy in an altar, like some Divine Creation which must be worshiped and held in highest deference at all times, anything at all impeding or disturbing its purity an anathema of the highest order.  Freedom forms its core ideal. Ironically though,  why do we find these devotees often sneering at or putting down the very results of the processes that constitute Democracy?  Dismayed at the cast of characters that have come to  dominate democratic elections,  we find them often railing at the “ignorance” and “stupidity” of the masses that voted them into office.  Yet, should it come unexpected like some eye-popping anomaly?  Democracy after all upholds the rule of majority or plurality.  And most of the people are really not the wise and bright ones, the mature, rational, responsible,  and patriotic.  Bluntly put, the majority that rules in a Democracy are, well, the “unintelligent”, “unenlightened” ones.  But even so, as Democracy advocates,  should they not have more faith on the “voice of the people” as being “the voice of GOD”?

Indeed, for all its deleterious defects, Democracy wins out because it works and so far we have not been able to devise a system that is better and as workable.  Plato, for all his wisdom, had  in fact put forth an alternative, one embracing all the good and magnificent in a government— except that it seems impractical,  only good in theory. Democracy’s strength actually lies in its legitimizing power anchored on the numerical superiority of the acceding majority.  As far as choosing the rulers is concerned, the majority rule gets near-universal acceptance. This power lends clear political mandate to elected officials that in turn lends political stability without resort to tyranny and oppression.

It suffers of course in the quality of decision because the masses in general are deficient as they are.   But the masses could wise up fast, grow more mature, intelligent and responsible for Democracy to survive.  This growing tradition of selling ones vote to the highest bidder would never help Democracy flourish onward.   The alternative if it fails is for the un-elected—un-elected because they could not win elections— wise men and women to take power and preside.  But lacking in proper mandate to wield power over the people, hence no political legitimacy, oppression and tyranny would be the only resort.

DENGVAXIA & THE MATHEMATICS OF PNOY

February 11, 2019

“Bibigyang-diin ko po: 17 lang sa kabuuang bilang na 837,902 ng nabakunahan ang BAKA magkaroon ng … Severe Dengue.” (I wish to stress: only 17 out of the total  837,902 vaccinated are PERHAPS in danger of contracting… Severe Dengue.)

In his official statement posted on his Facebook account regarding the Dengvaxia scandal, this is essentially how former President Noynoy Aquino is defending his approval of the mass vaccination of children in 2016 with the anti-dengue vaccine: the risk was infinitely small, comparably, the benefits infinitely more enormous.

How he got his figure, 17, however, is one curiosity.  On the seventh paragraph, the former President is clearly out to mesmerize with his mathematical genius.

Suriin natin kung gaano karami ang sinasabing baka may risko. Hinihimok ko kayong gumamit ng calculator. Batay sa records, may kabuuang bilang na 837,902 ng taong nakatangap ng kahit isang dose ng Dengvaxia. Tinataya na 90% daw ng katao sa bansa ang na-expose na sa Dengue. Ang tinatayang hindi pa nagka-Dengue ay 10% naman. Ang sabi: .02% ng naturang 10% ang may riskong magkaroon ng Severe Dengue. Paano tinatala ang .02%? Sa calculator, ito ay: .0002 o 2 kada 10,000. Para ma-compute ngayon ang .02% ay kunin ang 10% ng 837,902. Ito ay 83,790.2, saka i-divide ito sa 10,000; tapos ay i-multiply sa 2. Ang resulta ay: 16.758, o pag-rounded off ay 17. Bibigyang-diin ko po: 17 lang sa kabuuang bilang na 837,902 ng nabakunahan ang BAKA magkaroon ng Grade I at II na Severe Dengue. Ipunto ko na rin po, na sa kabilang panig naman: 837,902 na katao ang magbebenepisyo sa dagdag na proteksyon ng bakuna.

Translation:

Let us examine how many are probably at risk as being alleged.   I enjoin you to use a calculator.  Based on record, a total number of 837,902 of individuals has received at least one dose of Dengvaxia.  It is estimated that 90% of the nation’s population is already exposed to Dengue.  An estimated 10% has yet to contract Dengue.  It is said: .02% of the aforementioned 10% has a risk of getting Severe Dengue.  How is .02% denoted? On a calculator, this is: .0002 or 2 per 10,000.  Now to compute for the .02%, get the 10% of 837,902.  This is 83,790.2, then divide this by 10,000; afterwards multiply with 2.  The result: 16.758, or rounded off, 17.  I wish to stress: only 17 out of the total 837,902 vaccinated are PERHAPS in danger of contracting Grade I and II Severe Dengue.  On the other hand, I wish to point out: 837,902 persons benefit from added protection of the vaccine. (emphasis mine)

(Well, Mr. President, if a calculator is at hand, this is much quicker:  837,902 x 10%= ans. x .02%.)

But, wait… where did these figures come from?:  “90% ng katao sa bansa” ( I translated as 90% of the nation’s population) and “.02% ng naturang 10%” (.02% of aforementioned 10%).   Okay, the latter is probably supplied by Sanofi-Pasteur, the drug manufacturer, though, I do not recall any such assertion made.  But the 90%—where did the former President pluck that out?  Because, unless I mistranslated, it is in effect claiming that 90% of 105 million Filipinos,  most recent estimate of total Philippine population, or 94,500,000,  is already exposed to dengue!  Meaning, there has been a yearly average of 1,890,000 dengue victims in the Philippines— for the past 50 years! Now, that’s just outlandish.

The former President should revisit his statement.   Extrapolating that only 17 out of the more than 837,902 vaccinated are in real danger is—besides being dumb— spectacularly outrageous.  If he thinks he made a good impression with his mathematics, he is seriously mistaken.  Where did he get the 90%?

I AM A SPAMMER?!

January 2, 2019

If it is their latest innovation to block or limit unwanted posts, or simply a technical glitch— I don’t know.   But my posts on Inquirer’s discussion forum today have been tagged as spam.  All five of them consecutively on this article.

spammer2This is new.  Usually, all I get is a notice of moderation and a tag on my comment as pending.  At Inquirer, about 10% of my comments gets that much attention.  By experience though, when you get that,  it is good as blocked, later removed without any explanation.  This spam-tagging will probably go the same way.  What is surprising this time  is ALL of my comments were summarily blocked.   Interestingly, I do not encounter the same problem with other online newspapers using Disqus.

 

CONVICTING IMELDA

November 14, 2018

The Marcos haters are jumping in ecstasy.  The Sandiganbayan has convicted Imelda Marcos of graft and she could be facing arrest any hour or day now.  At long last, a conviction.  After decades of prosecution, more than nine hundred cases all in all, finally, a stake at which to burn Imelda.  The sight of the once mighty and powerful First Lady being handcuffed, mugshots of her taken and plastered on all media are certain to give them orgasmic pleasure beyond compare (never mind that it could just be a house arrest given her age, or the decision could yet be reversed by the Supreme Court).

Victory for truth and justice! they cry in righteous euphoria; victory too against historical revisionism!  To them,  this is a roaring, unmitigated affirmation of the Marcos’ sheer wickedness as a family, a verdict long made which they have been working long and hard to sway the people to, but in vain.  In vain no more, they must reckon now.

Is it really a victory?

The problem with the decision, as with all other allegations against Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos as regards their supposed ill-gotten wealth, is it remains anchored on the same one and only contention made since  the beginning: the billions of the Marcos family could not have come from their salaries; therefore it must have been stolen from the government treasury!     Interestingly so,  even the Supreme Court decision which affirmed the ill-gotten nature of the Marcos wealth was in essence argued along the same, old line.    Reading the Sandiganbayan decision,   this appears to be the implicit premise around which the Sandiganbayan justices built their arguments,  on the issue of the foundations in question, in convicting Imelda:   these were massive amounts of money stolen from the government— Imelda and Ferdinand were hiding and funneling these using the foundations.  

But back to this line: the billions of the Marcos family could not have come from their salaries; therefore it must have been stolen from the government treasury!  On closer look and soberly, no high IQ needed, this assertion is obviously infirm.  Need I explain?  No matter, as propaganda line, it has staying power and clinging lethality at maligning its subjects.  Failing though to perfect the allegation with more compelling evidence—like, showing and identifying the sources of such colossal plunder, $10B, more or less the equivalent of the entire national budget for twenty years, and detailing how such a feat could have been accomplished, without any audit trail at that — it had lost most of its poisonous sting over the years.  Accordingly, adherents have dwindled, but for the loud, persistent, hardcore haters yet soldiering on.   Are they hoping  that with Imelda’s conviction,  their propaganda line  would yet regain its lethal power and slay Imelda this time, once and for all?  Unlikely, I think.   For one, you could sense something’s kinda wobbly somewhere when the justices are themselves seemingly saying, “well, we are not absolutely certain, only morally certain…”.   Let’s see if daughter Imee’s numbers would get affected.

But Imelda might want to seize the day, or go for broke, in one final act to clear her name and her entire family’s beyond any doubt.  On Youtube and other social media, videos abound showing her explaining the source of her family’s wealth,  a roomful of stacks and rows of documents supposedly attesting to her husband’s immense wealth serving as a backdrop.   The most curious part  is where she invites a few select people to take a peek at supposed gold certificates worth billions of dollars and bills of lading for some gold shipments.  Are these for real?!  If these are— and I suppose, incredible as it may seem, there must be some truth to it,— this might well be the opportunity she has been waiting for,  her moment of sweet revenge to shame and silence them all accusers aside.  She could haul off all those documents to the Supreme Court, present these as her defense and request for judicial determination of their authenticity and genuineness.    It would be one dramatic spectacle to behold, fit for her final act, her witness and audience this time, the entire nation itself,  and even the world.  But, the big question is, of course, are the documents real?  You could almost hear her haters’ sneer from a mile away.

HEY, ENRILE, SOMEONE HAS ACCEPTED YOUR DARE!

October 1, 2018

Finally, someone has accepted Juan Ponce Enrile’s challenge to an open public debate.  It’s Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bandoc.

I say, get it on.

BBM & JPE: An Interview

September 21, 2018

Bongbong Marcos interviews his father’s Defense Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile.

One could almost hear the screaming:  Revisionism! Revisionism!

But there’s one shocking revelation made by Enrile.  One of the reasons for the declaration of Martial law, he claims, was the forging of a formal alliance between the Liberal Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

By the way,  we are still awaiting for someone from the anti-Marcos forces to finally accept Enrile’s long-standing challenge to a public debate, a dare he reiterated in the interview..

There’s a part 2.