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Did US fail PH? Thousands of US Marines died for PH in WWII; other factors failed us – netizen



Has America failed the Filipinos?

This is what Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said in his Facebook post, which was later posted on the official website of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He said that President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to liberate the Filipinos from their “submission to American demands and interests” after they have been treated by the US with a “carrot and stick” policy (an idiom for the policy of offering rewards and punishment to induce behavior).

He also pointed out that it has been 70 years since the US acknowledged Philippine independence.

Yasay said that while America has given the Philippines countless things to be thankful for, the country ended up being unable to protect its territorial boundaries and the defensive forces are still incapable of responding to security threats. Echoing what President Rodrigo Duterte said earlier, Yasay also said that the US still fails to give the assurance that it will defend the Philippines under the existing military treaty and agreements between both countries.

Yasay then emphasized Duterte’s goal in realigning the country’s independent foreign policy – to assess America’s willingness to change how they deal with the Philippines in accordance to “geopolitical realities.” Then he offered another possibility – that the US may choose to ignore the Philippines’ pleas amid its concern for the alleged human rights violations in the country as the Duterte administration tries to address its “pressing domestic problems.”

But Facebook user Bernard Ong posted what seemed like a response to Yasay.

According to Ong, it’s not exactly the Americans who failed us. He then cited how over 17,000 US Marines died fighting alongside the Filipino soldiers during World War II.


“The largest number of dead US Marines & their comrades from WW2 – 17,201 to be exact – are buried right at the heart of Fort Bonifacio. And the living ones continue to help the Philippines in our time of need,” Ong wrote.

According to the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), the Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio “contains the largest number of graves of [American] military dead of World War II, a total of 17,201, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines.”

He added that while he does see fault in how the American seemed unwilling to provide the Philippines the assurance that they would fulfill their obligations as per the US-PH mutual defense treaty, he does not agree with Duterte and Yasay’s description of the Filipinos as the Americans’ “shackled little brown brothers.”

Ong pointed out that Singapore, South Korea and Japan were able to modernize their countries in various aspects in spite of being allied with the US.

“In fact, they immensely benefited from US trade, investments & security guarantees,” Ong said.

So who exactly failed the Philippines? Ong put the blame on the following:

     “1.  Trapo Dynasties. The same political clans have monopolized political power in the Philippines –               often occupying positions in different branches of government, rotating positions to avoid term                 limits, circumventing checks and balances. They engage in patronage politics with poorer                          constituents, and transactional rent-seeking arrangements with richer cronies.

  1. Cronies. Several of our comparative weaknesses – costly power, costly & slow internet, high logistics costs – are results of cronies charging higher prices to recover bribes paid out, plus ‘regulatory capture’ by having their allies appointed into key positions in regulatory agencies.

Recent examples include Duterte’s appointment of an ex-Globe exec Salalima to DICT Secretary and ex-Ayala Infra exec Kintanar to DOTC Undersecretary for Rail. At local levels, corruption is very much alive in the form of friends cornering government contracts – from cakes to security services to road projects. Both scream ‘regulatory capture’ and ‘conflict of interest’.

  1. Near-sighted Leaders. Short-term thinking betrays a lack of strategic leadership. Our ruling class rarely thinks beyond 6 years, timed with the next election cycle. Short-term ‘projects’ with visible results that can be touted with tarps are preferred over long-term investments like providing quality education to 20m kids. Knee-jerk high profile Band Aid solutions take precedence over thoughtful, comprehensive, sustainable solutions.

An obvious example is 6-month War on Drugs (Tokhang, padded surrender counts, erroneous lists, EJK) versus comprehensive drug management approach (prevention, community-supported rehab, decriminalizing use, legalizing soft drugs like marijuana, disrupting international supply chain).

  1. Ourselves. A nation that prefers quick fixes to sustainable solutions. Falls for promised miracles rather than hard work. Begs for legislated dole-outs & wage increases rather than improving competence, productivity, and market value-added. Enthralled by showbiz & entertainment & foul-mouthed politicians. Undervalues scientists, engineers & thinkers. Inspired by emotional rants than cold-blooded analysis”


Ong cited these four factors as the cause of the country’s failures – trapo, cronies, greed, and the Filipinos’ “stupidity” in falling for “promised miracles.”

Ong suggested what the Philippines really needs. “We need to wage and win the interlinked Wars on Ignorance and Poverty,” he said.

“Heavy investments in quality, accessible education. Tight anti-dynasty laws. Dismantling the crony stranglehold on a few key industries – power, telco, infra – thru more / foreign competition and regulatory independence from cronies. Faster & cheaper internet to make business more efficient, and quality education cheaper & more accessible nationwide,” Ong wrote.

“Systematically improve productivity thru modernization, tech & training in large labor-intensive sectors like agriculture, services, construction, government itself. Favorable policies to grow few sectors where the Philippines can be globally competitive. Better decision-making & governance thru science, data, analysis, master-planning,” he added.

Some of these things may be realized under the Duterte administration, while others may need more time.

“The America, EU, UN and Japan would be the best partners for progress,” Ong said.

Except for Japan, Duterte has made strong remarks, and even expletives, against the countries and organizations that Ong cited as ideal partners for a progressive Philippines.

Sources: (,



Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’



President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks


His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( )


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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show



Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.


Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( )


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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal



Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.


In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( , )


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