Desperate: Drilon, ex-ABS-CBN producer try to sneak in TV network’s franchise

IT is a desperate attempt by the Yellows (now Pinklawans) to resuscitate their once-deadly propaganda weapon, the now supine ABS-CBN’s media monster. They are hoping that this weapon will stop Ferdinand (“Bongbong”) Marcos, Jr.’s now clearly unstoppable bid to become president in 2022.

However, going by its sheer suntok-sa-buwan (long shot) character, as Filipinos would put it, it seems to be more, again, as Filipinos would put it, hanap-buhay (livelihood) by these two legislators.

Notable lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, attorney of the Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption, explains this wretched attempt by this tandem:

“It would appear that ABS-CBN is trying to sneak its franchise back in, by using a roundabout (but plausible way) of doing it through its friends and allies in Congress.


Continue ReadingDesperate: Drilon, ex-ABS-CBN producer try to sneak in TV network’s franchise

Amazing man

Photo accompanying my July 2017 column.

NOW in the twilight of his political power, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to amaze me.

PublicusAsia a week ago reported that statistically, he shares the No. 1 slot in voters’ candidate preference for senator — Escudero got 56.7 percent, Duterte, 55.6 percent. His ratings would most definitely increase when the Marcos-Sara machine throws its support behind him.

If he had run, he would likely make history as the senator voted by the most number of people — 90 percent of votes would not be impossible. Duterte would have won as senator even if he does nothing and spends nothing for the electoral campaign.

Yet a few days later, like an ordinary politician, he goes to the Comelec office with just his executive secretary by his side — his de facto personal counsel — and withdraws his senatorial candidacy. No speech, no melodrama.


Continue ReadingAmazing man

Solid North, Solid South: Stronger than 2016

DATA from the low key but highly reliable pollster Laylo Associates indicate that the Marcoses’ so-called Solid North (the Ilokano-speaking provinces) and the relatively new “Solid South” (the Dutertes’ Northern Mindanao and Davao provinces) are even more solid in delivering votes than in 2016.

According to the Laylo poll (undertaken end-November and with 3,000 respondents), 92 to 97 percent of the Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley will be voting for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. This is markedly bigger than the 65 percent to 75 percent of votes in these provinces that Marcos got in the 2016 vice presidential elections

These North and South regions will most likely deliver an avalanche of votes for both Marcos and his running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, to make the opposition candidate Leni Robredo the worst-performing candidate in our Republic’s history. At least according to the Laylo November poll, she would be getting only 12 percent of votes; even worse than Jose de Venecia’s 16 percent in 1998, the record holder as the biggest loser so far.


Continue ReadingSolid North, Solid South: Stronger than 2016

US sends message it hates Duterte as much as Putin

C’MON, let’s be honest and even just barely objective. No Philippine media practitioner who knows Maria Ressa, except of course her shamefully servile staff, thinks that she deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

She’s a fraud. She hasn’t written any work of journalism to claim that award. Rappler isn’t being persecuted with what she melodramatically calls a “thousand cuts.”

Her cases are for libel, filed by a private person and for Rappler’s taking in foreign money, expressly prohibited by the Constitution. But compared to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s continuous stream of attacks against President Rodrigo Duterte, as the opposition’s official organ, Rappler is a timid pussy. Except for its misinformation exaggerating the number of casualties in Duterte’s anti-drug war, Rappler has not produced any real work even scratching Duterte’s popularity.

The awards Ressa deserve would be for acting as Duterte’s victim and for fooling the Nobel Committee.

But not really. The only reason Ressa got the award was because the hegemonic US of A wanted to express its extreme loathing for Duterte, as much as it hates its unarguably authoritarian enemy — Vladimir Putin — who has effectively ruled Russia for 22 years.


Continue ReadingUS sends message it hates Duterte as much as Putin

It’s likely to be a boring election

IF you just look at the facts and the polls, as well as monitor the sizes of the rallies for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates, the team of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio look unstoppable that it could be the first ever boring election for the two highest posts in the country.

Many of course would contest that forecast, pointing out that it’s too early to call it. They say that in the 2016 elections, then vice president Jojo Binay was the frontrunner, followed by two other strong candidates, Grace Poe and the Yellow forces’ Mar Roxas. They point out that Rodrigo Duterte at that time was the laggard in the race, but he unexpectedly zoomed up in the five months to May 2016.

The facts do not support that narrative. Yes, Duterte got only 12 percent support compared to Binay’s 29 percent in one early poll, but this was way back in March 2015. By December 2015, he had 23 percent, statistically the same as Poe’s 21 and Roxas’ 21. Binay was still ahead, with 33 percent.

Marcos’ lead is just too big now.

Continue ReadingIt’s likely to be a boring election

Astonishing ignorance over our South China Sea disputes

I CONTINUE to be amazed at how even former ambassadors and professors of international law demonstrate inexcusable ignorance over our disputes with China (and Vietnam) over the Spratlys.

I was particularly annoyed that in one issue (December 4) of this newspaper, two opinion writers demonstrated a level of incomprehension that only matched their pomposity. Worse, they are writing in the very newspaper in which I have written over 110 columns on the issue since 2016.

Opinion writers often differ with the opinion of others. But if they miss crucial information, deliberately or not, it is not opinion but misinformation.

If supposedly knowledgeable people show such lack of information on the South China Sea disputes, the nation will never be able reach a compromise with other claimants, prodding China, in particular, to ignore our claims and instead flex their military and economic muscles, on grounds that we refuse anyway to negotiate for a settlement.

of author’s forthcoming book out this month.

Continue ReadingAstonishing ignorance over our South China Sea disputes

How Powell determined Philippine history

I DON’T think an ordinary Filipino, or even a college student, would know who Colin Powell was: he was eulogized as an American hero when he died last October 18, probably the most well-known American casualty of Covid-19.

Yet he had a huge role in determining the course of our history — well, as the US probably always did in key points of our nation’s past.

Powell, a military man until he became Secretary of State in 2001, directed US forces in the Persian Gulf War in 1991. He became notorious for his speech at the United Nations in 2003 — building the case for the US invasion of Iraq — in which he told the world the US’ big lie that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” and must be invaded, the strongman hunted and sent to the gallows, like a common criminal. That Iraq had WMDs was pure fiction, yet neither Powell nor the US ever apologized for that lie.

US general who saved Cory’s neck and broke Saddam’s.

Continue ReadingHow Powell determined Philippine history

Rappler continues to spit on our Constitution

Gets new foreign funds

IF this isn’t a case of American Filipino Maria Ressa having a shameful sense of impunity, I don’t know what is.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January 2018 ruled that Rappler since it took in investments from a US entity Omidyar Network violated the Constitution as well as laws (even during the Commonwealth period) banning any foreign money in Philippine mass media.

(Rappler also took money from another US firm, North Base Media, with the investments of the two totaling roughly P100 million.)

They like foreigners.

Continue ReadingRappler continues to spit on our Constitution

Marcos got us territory in SCS, Aquino 3rd lost territory

WITH debate on the Ferdinand Marcos years surging because of the son’s presidential candidacy, at the same time that tension in the South China Sea has heated up, I thought it would be informative to publish the following excerpts (minus the many footnotes reporting the sources of information) of the chapter entitled “The Scramble for Oil and Gas” from my new book. Scheduled to come out mid-December. The book is titled The Aquino Regime’s Scarborough Fiasco and the SCS Arbitration Deception:

In 1968, a United Nations scientific research body issued technical bulletins that concluded that the South China Sea (SCS) seabed could have vast quantities of hydrocarbon deposits.

The Marcos government was encouraged by these findings and authorized oil exploration in the 1970s by both Filipino and foreign firms in the Spratlys, specifically in the Reed Bank area.

When the oil crisis broke out in 1970, which highlighted the Philippines’ total dependence on imported oil, President Marcos undertook several steps to incentivize oil exploration by private enterprises off Palawan and in the Reed Bank.

Out next month

Continue ReadingMarcos got us territory in SCS, Aquino 3rd lost territory

Will you vote for candidates with this kind of priorities?

THE new Senate building will eventually cost P15 billion, more than the P8.9 billion proponents claim, since that lower cost doesn’t include yet most the finishing costs as well as new furniture.

Because it is a constitutionally independent body, the Senate proposed it and approved it on its own, allocating the P8.9 billion.

Construction started in 2019 and has been going on at full blast since then, just when the country was going through the pandemic crisis and its terrible economic consequences. Some senators that I consulted said it was a bad idea, but they have remained quiet because of the clubbish nature of the chamber.

Furthermore, the two proponents of this luxurious project are the chamber’s most senior members: Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd and Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The latter is running for president, with Sotto as his running mate. When I asked one senator why on earth would Lacson and Sotto be championing this noble cause of constructing the most expensive government structure ever, the senator said, while grinning impishly: “Ask Hilmarc.”

Campaign ad of the champions for the P15 billion new Senate office.

Continue ReadingWill you vote for candidates with this kind of priorities?