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Robredo’s satisfaction ratings collapse

VICE President Leni Robredo’s satisfaction ratings as vice president, according to polls of the Social Weather Stations, have collapsed from its peak of plus 42 in March 2019 to just plus 1, based on the pollster’s December 2021 survey.

That means most Filipinos view her vice presidency as an abject failure. She is insane if she thinks they will vote her to the higher office of the presidency.

Polls on whom Filipinos would vote for also reflect the fact that she doesn’t have a chance of winning, with the latest poll I’ve seen showing Isko Moreno has even overtaken her in the No. 2 slot.

In contrast, the net satisfaction ratings of the third highest official (by succession) who is running for vice president, Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd dipped only slightly, from plus 61 in March 2019 to plus 53 last December.

That of President Duterte rebounded from a net ratification of 52 in September 2021 to the “very good” level of plus 60 in December 2021, a remarkable performance, according to the SWS president, as this means he is still “in his honeymoon phase even if he is just a few months away from stepping down.” That net satisfaction of 60 means about 85 percent of Filipinos are satisfied with his presidency.

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Will the US fund Isko’s ‘turncoatism’?

I WAS startled when presidential candidate Francisco Domagoso (aka “Isko Moreno”) stated in a recent TV interview that he does not look unfavorably at “political turncoatism,” which refers to a politician’s defecting to another camp to advance his personal ambitions.

Domagoso even expounded his view in some detail: “Basta ako ang loyalty ko sa tao. Kapakinabangan ng tao ang mahalaga sa akin, hindi kapakinabangan ng pulitiko. Kung mabuti ka at tinupad mo ang sinabi mo, sasamahan kita. Pero kung hindi ka totoo sa sarili mo at sa tao, hindi ako para maging tapat sa ‘yo dahil ang katapatan ko, sa taong bayan (My loyalty lies with the people. It only matters to me if it’s advantageous to people, not for politicians. If you are good and you fulfill your promises, then I’ll join you. But if you are not true to yourself and the people, it’s not imperative for me to remain loyal to you because my loyalty lies with my countrymen),” he explained.

I was surprised at his statements because just two days before he said those, an old source of mine, very well connected in political and business circles and usually reliable, called me out of the blue, excited to reveal something to me.

He said: “It’s done. The Americans are desperate that they’ll offer Isko big, big money for him to withdraw his candidacy and support Leni Robredo. With some manipulation of the polls, Leni’s rating will be made to appear to move up and with Isko’s throwing his support for her, the Americans think they can create a bandwagon effect, enough to conceal the massive cheating they’ll do, as they did in 2015 for Leni.”

Isko’s explanation why turncoatism isn’t really bad is what he will say when he withdraws from the race and supports Robredo, that it is for the good of the people.

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Rappler funder Omidyar helped topple Ukrainian president in 2014

I WROTE the article that follows back in October 2017. After that highly popular Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted, assisted by Rappler-like media outfits funded by Omidyar and the National Endowment for Democracy, the US put as head of that hapless country pro-US, anti-Russia presidents, to make it hostile to a country that by history, tradition and economy is closest to it.

That is the root of the current Ukraine stand-off with Russia, as its head Putin has become desperate that the US with its NATO puppet have been encircling his country, what with Ukraine under its thumb. Putin decided to fight back.

Located at opposite sides of the globe, yet Ukraine and the Philippines have something very worrying in common. The US want both countries to be its attack dog against its rivals in two hemispheres: Ukraine vs Russia, and the Philippines vs China.

The US mobilized a number of Rappler-like media outfits to brainwash Ukrainians to boot out the pro-Russia Yanukovich in 2014 and has demonized Russia so much that they have run to Americans for help.

The US has been using its “Ukraine template” to oust President Duterte, who has drawn the country close to China, with the same tactics of funding media outfits and “human rights” organizations to pull his popularity down so a coup, by the military or by the parliament (which was used against Yanukovych). If President Duterte were really an authoritarian, he could have asked Congress to pass a law, as Putin did in 2015, to ban such American-funded outfits undermining a country’s sovereignty. After all, in our case the Constitution specifically bans media outfits from getting foreign funding.

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Exposed: Why Aquino 3rd sued China, and was hostile toward it

WITH my past as a business reporter and before that a Marxist believing in the idea that economics make up the base for every social phenomenon, my intellectual instinct was, to use that phrase loosely, to “follow the money” in investigating why the Aquino 3rd regime became hostile to China, that it even “shamed it” by filing a suit at an international body.

America’s geopolitical initiatives at that time (i.e., Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” to contain China’s rise in the region) of course, was a major factor given that administration’s willingness to serve as the American proxy in Southeast Asia. However, it was China’s blocking of a huge project of three oligarchs* in the South China Sea that explains Aquino’s subsequent belligerence towards it.

If President Duterte had not reversed Aquino’s position, the country would have slipped to a severe economic recession: China accounts for nearly a third of our exports and a fourth of its imports.

All these are reexplained, with documentation and sources provided in my book, Debacle: The Aquino Regime’s Scarborough Fiasco on the South China Sea Arbitration Deception, now available for online orders at rigobertotiglao.com/debacle, at Popular Book Store and La Solidaridad.

Cover of book, now out.
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Robredo camp to launch attack vs Marcos in social media

IN a desperate move to reverse Ferdinand (“Bongbong”) Marcos, Jr.’s inexorable run to win the presidency, the camp of Leonora Robredo, second placer in the polls (third in some surveys), is attempting to launch this February a campaign to clamp down on anti-Robredo, pro-Marcos posts in social media, mainly in Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular platforms in the country.

It was Senate candidate Larry Gadon who disclosed last week in his Viber account: “Leni Robredo personally met with Chris Kuzhuppily, Facebook Philippine public policy manager; Roy Tan, politics and government outreach manager for Asia Pacific; and Kylie Mooney, government, politics and advocacy partner manager, regarding the avalanche of support of millions of FB users behind Bongbong Marcos.”

Gadon quoted a source in Robredo’s camp as reporting: “They plan to suspend massive BBM supporters’ accounts one week before campaign period starts. A middle man helping Leni’s team reach FB is closely connected with the US.”

These reports jibe with a Robredo strategy paper titled “Il Figlio,” which claimed that “her weak imagery was solidified by what they see in social media.” The paper therefore claimed that the “battle is in social media — biggest sources of awareness and what shapes their perception towards different personalities are through social media.” Indeed, social media has widely broadcast Robredo’s gaffes in recent weeks and even her hilarious ads, even if these had already been taken down.

Press suppression, by Facebook.
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Blame the US for Ukraine crisis, taking the world to the brink of war

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New Release: Debacle book!

IF the US tells the Nobel Committee that this CEO of a tiny internet news outfit that violated her country’s laws is more deserving of its Peace Prize than Julian Assange who told the world of the US’ war crimes, than Greta Thurnberg who’s woken up the world to the reality of climate change, than a collective of “scientists” who have saved the world from a horrible pandemic, then she gets the prize.

After all, the US is still the global hegemon with the mightiest propaganda apparatus. When it tells the world what it wants to believe, then that is what the world — at least most of it — believes.

This tremendous, unbelievable power is again demonstrated in the case of what is called the “Ukraine crisis,” or the massing by Russia of 100,000 of its troops and thousands of its war machines along that country’s border, which the US says is obviously a preparation by a bully to invade the hapless country.

The reality is that the US created this crisis because of its not-so-subtle moves and policies in the past decade to militarily encircle Russia, turning the former members and allies of the USSR not just into lackeys of the US, but potentially its enemies by taking them in as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

NATO during the Cold War was the US-led military treaty of 16 countries (all Western European countries, including the US) ranged against the USSR, with a provision in it requiring all its members to strike at the USSR if ever one was attacked by that federation.

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Laughingstock likely to land third

JUST three months to election day, the field of candidates for the presidency is the weirdest ever in Philippine history. Other than a disqualification (or incapacity), not a single analyst — given Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s over 50 percent ratings in the polls — will dare say it “ain’t over till it’s over.”

What makes the elections a bit Kafkaesque is that Leni Robredo, billed in the running just a few months ago, is now viewed universally as a laughingstock, which even her strategists concede to be so. Every week, it seems, she makes a gaffe that makes people wonder why in the first place did the Liberal Party — or the “Pinklawans” — ever think she could be president. How the hell do you reverse a perception of being dumb in just three months?

Why, as she showed in that ridiculous simultaneous interview by Jessica Soho of the four candidates — which by any measure cannot be called a debate — she can’t even understand a simple instruction as reacting to a set of pictures with just one word. Nothing she has said has impressed Filipinos that she could be president.

Even her strategists think so. Slide from the Robredo camp’s ‘Il Figlio’ assessment.

What adds to the absurdity of the presidential elections is that one candidate is running simply “for the funds of it,” appealing for “campaign funds” from taipans he has been friendly with and even helpful to for his “muscle” since President Estrada’s time, which — the donors know — he intends only to be his huge retirement fund. That really could run into hundreds of millions.

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Did Ninoy torpedo the Marcos economy to sink it?

I AM convinced so. But you decide. I provide you with data and information.

Indeed, it’s not just an academic question these days. With Ferdinand Marcos’ son running for the presidency, the shoo-in, it seems now there has been a resurgence of articles by the Yellows claiming that the Marcos era was an economic disaster, so that Bongbong has no moral right to lead the country.

For instance, a Philippine Star amateur columnist in two columns pontificated that “statistics” (he actually means economic measures as GDP) such as the anemic 3.8 percent during Marcos’ 21-year rule prove so. He says that’s one reason Bongbong should not run for the presidency. That’s total baloney.

The Marcos regime’s economic performance must be divided into two parts, or else it cannot be understood: how could Filipinos live in such a “dark age” for 13 years?

The first period was from 1972 to 1980, which I term, to irritate the Yellows, Marcos’ “Golden Years” during which GDP growth surged to an average 6 percent, one of the highest rates since the Republic was born; better than that of Cory Aquino’s at 3.9 percent and Fidel Ramos’ at 4.8 percent.

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Enforce the US-backed arbitration award, and we lose our Kalayaan Island Group

I’M really convinced that Aquino 3rd’s Foreign secretary, Albert del Rosario, hasn’t really read the 479-page decision by an arbitral panel on the suit that the Aquino 3rd administration brought against China in January 2013 and which he is so proud of. Or maybe he dozes off in the middle of reading it?

Harsh words, but that is the only explanation I can think of why he can’t understand what is so plain: if we comply with the arbitration award, we lose the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). And he has never commented on this issue I’ve raised several times.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. carved this territory out of the Spratlys in 1978 through his Presidential Decree 1596, 16 years before the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) took effect in 1994. We could do so since other than Marcos’ audacity, we were the US’ staunchest and most powerful ally in Southeast Asia. The KIG consisted not only of islands, rocks, atolls within that hexagon, but all the waters within it.

Yet Aquino 3rd’s lawyers in the arbitration hearing claimed that the Philippines’ signing of the Unclos in effect repealed that presidential decree. The arbitration’s rulings on what are legitimate baselines (i.e., the means for determining an island’s territorial sea and exclusive economic zone), the lawyers claimed, meant that the KIG was illegal under Unclos.

The US State Department issued this month its “Limits in the Seas No. 150” which fully supported the arbitration award, that China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea are illegal.

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