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Are the Aquinos, Roxases and Lopezes the Philippines' Enemies from Within?

May 7, 2010

Understanding who the oligarchs are become more important as the Philippine nation searches for answers to its existential questions of poverty. It becomes more ironic that the Noynoy Aquino, a member of the very same oligarchy, presents himself as the answer to corruption. It is a ridiculous proposition given that the oligarchy itself is the mother vein, the ice berg, the hub of corruption in the Philippines.

The Philippines is technically a democracy but in essence it is an oligarchy, its original landowning elite now includes dynasties from industry and the services sector, and popular celebrities. We hear the words oligarchs a lot more than usual. The label seems to be a monolithic group of people. Who and what are oligarchs? Are the oligarchs truly the “vested interests” of the Philippines? How are the oligarchs related to the political candidates? What is the history of the oligarchs in the Philippines? Why are the Aquinos, Cojuangcos, Roxases, Garcias, and Lopezes considered oligarchs.

What is an Oligarchy?

Oligarchy is defined as:

  • A system of government in which power is held by a small group.
  • A form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
  • state or organization so ruled.
  • the persons or class so ruling.

Who is an Oligarch?

When Pinoys talk about “pedigree”, they might as well be talking about an oligarch or a member of such a group.  Ever time I hear the arguments about Aquino’s “pedigree”, or his being “anak ng bayani”, I get hives, specially when one knows what Benedict Anderson in his book “Cacique Democracy in the Philippines: Origins and Dreams”, wrote about:

“President Corazon Aquino told a most instructive lie. Addressing the Filipino-Chinese Federated Chambers of Commerce on 9 March 1987, she described her appearance before them as a ‘homecoming,’ since her great-grandfather had been a poor immigrant from southeast China’s Fukien province. [1] Doubtless her desperate need—given the Philippines’ near-bankrupt economy and $28 billion external debt [2] —to inspire feelings of solidarity and confidence among a powerful segment of Manila’s business class made some embroidery understandable.

But the truth is that the President, born Corazon Cojuangco, is a member of one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties within the Filipino oligarchy.

Her grandfather, putative son of the penniless immigrant, was Don Melecio Cojuangco, born in Malolos, Central Luzon in 1871. A graduate of the Dominicans’ Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the Escuela Normal, and a prominent agricultor (i.e. hacendado) in the province of Tarlac, he was, in 1907, at the age of 36, elected to the Philippine Assembly, the quasi-legislature established by the American imperialists in that year. [3]

One of his sons (Corazon’s uncle) became Governor of Tarlac in 1941, another (her father, Don José) its most prominent Congressman.

In 1967, one of his grandsons (her cousin), Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco, became Governor of Tarlac with Ferdinand Marcos’s backing, and went on to count among the most notorious of the Marcos cronies.

Another grandson (her younger brother), José ‘Peping’ Cojuangco, was in those days one of Tarlac’s Congressmen, and is today again a Congressman—and one of the halfdozen most powerful politicians in the country.

Her marriage to Benigno Aquino, Jr., at various periods Governor of Tarlac and Senator, linked her to another key dynasty of Central Luzon.

Benigno Aquino, Sr., had been a Senator in the late American era and won lasting notoriety for his active collaboration with the Japanese Occupation regime.

At the present time, one of her brothers-in-law, Agapito ‘Butz’ Aquino, is a Senator, and another, Paul, the head of Lakas ng Bansa (one of the three main ‘parties’ in her electoral coalition); an uncle-in-law, Herminio Aquino, is a Congressman, as are Emigdio ‘Ding’ Tanjuatco (cousin), and Teresita Aquino-Oreta (sister-in-law). [4] A maternal uncle, Francisco ‘Komong’ Sumulong, is majority floor-leader of the House of Representatives.

Nor was Corazon herself, on becoming President, quite the simple housewife of her election broadsheets. For thirteen years she had served as treasurer of the Cojuangco family holding company, which controls a vast financial, agricultural, and urban real estate empire. [5]

The stifling effects of the oligarchs on the Philippine economy are well documented by Michael Johnston in his study Japan Korea the Philippines and China Four Syndromes of Corruption

For all the hoopla about Cory Aquino and EDSA, except for a game of musical chair nothing has changed fundamentally.  Johnston was quite clear:

So here comes, Noynoy Cojuangco-Aquino (an oligarch), bankrolled by Lopez (another oligarch) – with a Roxas Vice-President (an oligarch) – supported by a nationwide network of provincial and regional oligarchs. They are supposedly against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (also an oligarch).

All about the Money

Forbes recently listed the 2009 Philippines 40 richest. The list is shown below:

All of these wealthy individuals are Filipinos, NOT foreigners. These are Filipinos who own nearly all the companies in the Philippines. How can we have an “infantile economy” when we have Filipinos making it to the Forbes Global 500? It doesn’t add up? Unless, our oligarchs are keeping competition out (local AND foreign) to corner the domestic market for themselves.

Despite this, the Philippines 40 richest are still no match to the 40th richest men in our ASEAN neighbors. The Philippines also has the least number of billionaires.

Despite all this prosperity, the Philippines still faces a large disparity in income.

The Proposed 2010 Budget of the Philippines is roughly PhP 1.5 Trillion. If we compared that to the total net worth of the 40 richest Filipinos , that is one helluva pie.

There are at least 80 million Filipinos who have to split the pie (not counting the losses due to corruption) of the Philippines RP budget – 31% of this amount is equal to the net worth (assets-liabilities) of the 40 richest Filipinos – 40 individuals.

The gap becomes more prominent when viewed from a wider perspective – the countries who were supposed to be our “classmates” have vastly improved the distribution of wealth in their respective countries – and we, in the Philippines have gotten worse.

Gini-coefficient of inequality: This is the most commonly used measure of inequality. The coefficient varies between 0, which reflects complete equality and 1, which indicates complete inequality (one person has all the income or consumption, all others have none). Graphically, the Gini coefficient can be easily represented by the area between the Lorenz curve and the line of equality.

On the figure to the right, the Lorenz curve maps the cumulative income share on the vertical axis against the distribution of the population on the horizontal axis. In this example, 40 percent of the population obtains around 20 percent of total income. If each individual had the same income, or total equality, the income distribution curve would be the straight line in the graph – the line of total equality. The Gini coefficient is calculated as the area A divided by the sum of areas A and B. If income is distributed completely equally, then the Lorenz curve and the line of total equality are merged and the Gini coefficient is zero. If one individual receives all the income, the Lorenz curve would pass through the points (0,0), (100,0) and (100,100), and the surfaces A and B would be similar, leading to a value of one for the Gini-coefficient.

It is sometimes argued that one of the disadvantages of the Gini coefficient is that it is not additive across groups,  i.e. the total Gini of a society is not equal to the sum of the Ginis for its sub-groups.

Source: World Bank website, accessed 05/07/10

The Gini coefficient is a very powerful tool but its validity depends directly on the quality of the statistical data used to calculate it. Unfortunately, there are no international norms in this matter. That means that the Gini coefficient can be manipulated to a certain extent by left wing analysts who could seek to decry extreme inequalities or by conservative right wingers who might wish to demonstrate that inequality is at a minimum. Care should therefore be taken to make sure of the objectivity of the source of each gini before drawing hasty conclusions.

The Origins of the Philippine Oligarchy

The book “An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines By Alfred W. McCoy” is a very good book for understanding the history of development of the Philippine oligarchy. I highly recommend that you read every dot, comma, and punctuation mark.

Philippine Oligarchy

Chris Pforr describes the Philippine oligarchy from the outside looking in:

Although the roots of their socioeconomic power can be traced to the development of landed elites in the 19th century, it was in the American colonial period that major families emerged as the national oligarchy, able to dominate the country’s political and administrative apparatus and shape it to their own ends.

    • Variously estimated to number between 60 and 400 families, the Philippine oligarchy have expanded beyond agriculture to build empires in commerce, manufacturing, services, and finance.
    • Taking advantage of Philippine laws that restrict freedom of operation by TNCs within the Philippines, the oligarchy frequently act as local partners without having to actually do or risk much. Content with rent-seeking and paper entrepreneurship, they are thus failing to make the most of the OWF-generated boon as a medium for sustainable growth and development.
    • By using the Trapos (traditional politicians) as surrogates, the ruling class is able to a great degree control the domestic political process and thus assure their continued access to prime economic opportunities. At the same time, the oligarchy finds comfort when members of the political class like Arroyo, are beset with scandals which limit their opportunities to impose change on the national status quo, the maintenance of which remains the over-arching objective of the ruling class.
    • The Zobel de Ayala family own and control the Ayala Corporation, the country’s largest and oldest conglomerate that includes the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Ayala Land Inc., the Manila Water Company, and Globe Telecom, one of the largest mobile phone networks in the Philippines.

Philippine politicians

The Philippine political elite are usually either members of, or else are backed by, the oligarchy. They are virtually a class, whose prime goal is to win elections and to assure that the interests of their families and/or oligarchic patrons are protected. To protect the family welfare, powerful families transform their electoral offices into lasting family assets, building “political dynasties.” Whether they are members of the elite or not, throughout their political career politicians need to build, maintain and expand their network with elite families in their city, province and other parts of the archipelago.

GMA is Evil, Villar is Evil, But so is…. Aquino and Roxas

Philippine politics has been very much an “Oligarch vs Oligarch” affair until the appearance of the likes of non-oligarchs like Raul Roco and Dick Gordon.

Prior to that, whether its an Aquino, a Roxas, an Estrada, a Macapagal – it doesn’t really matter – they are all the same.  I would like to cite A 2008 blog by Juan Alvin on multiply

“Oligarchy was established by men with a certain aim in life: the good they sought was wealth… the insatiable appetite for money-making to the neglect of everything else…”

–  Plato

We have been taught since the primary grades that the Philippines is a democracy, that is, a form of government where the people rule. This is a nice and grand idea, and one worth accepting. The sad fact, however, is that the Philippines is not a democracy. It is an oligarchy with some trappings of democracy, and it is all there is to it.

An oligarchy, as defined in political philosophy, is a small group of people who govern or control a nation for their own purposes. In the Philippines, a small group of 100 or so families control the country’s political and economic spheres. This is clearly seen in the past and present plethora of political leaders in the national and local scene.

As the premier example, President GMA herself is the daughter of a former president. In the Senate, we have Magsaysays, Roxases, Osmena’s, and a host of families that have dominated politics in the country since the last century. From this roster will probably come our next president. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is a conglomeration of landlords, capitalists, tycoons, magnates, and all sorts of moguls in all kinds of business, legal and illegal. This is true even with local governments. Just look at your governor or mayor, and you can see someone who is filthy rich.

Now, this oligarchy is not some sort of corporate board where the members will consciously meet to plan things. The bottom line is self-interest. With almost 100% of our political leaders having their business interests to protect, what can we, as a people,  expect? Of course, the wealthy elite would want more money to fund more quests and enterprises that would ensure the flow of money endlessly. Moderate your greed? No way.

So what laws can we expect from the legislature? Simply laws that would protect the interest of the oligarchy. Presidents would then implement the laws that would also protect their own interests. They would all do these while making speeches about freedom, democracy, and national interest.

However, there is no real freedom, because the people cannot buy what they really want with the meager money they are getting banging their heads in a hard day’s work. There is no democracy, because the people are not really ruling the country. But how about elections? Aren’t they supposed to give people the power to choose their leaders? Nope. Elections, with their accompanying astronomical costs, are just designed to choose who among the oligarchs would be the next Big Oligarch.

But we have press freedom, right? Isn’t this a sign that we truly are a democratic nation? Well, the trouble is that press freedom in this country is practiced selectively. Media insiders know that almost all oligarchs are white elephants, and are virtual untouchables. The press, for example, know who the smugglers in Congress are, but have programs like XXX and Imbestigador gone after these rich criminals? Never. They are content with catching lowly barangay captains using public vehicles for their mistresses.

Again, you ask, “Aren’t we free? We can relax in our homes and enjoy strolling in malls all our lives.” Yes, we can, of course, because we are pawns in the oligarchs’ chessboard. They provide us enjoyment in malls created by Chinese oligarchs so we can continue to be unaware of what is really happening and they can continue to use our minds and bodies to drive the economy from which they derive much wealth. To tell it straight, we can relax in our homes and enjoy strolling in malls, while the oligarchs rape the national coffers and devastate the national economy, patrimony, and resources all in one weekend.

And this is why I laugh when they say GMA is evil. It may be true, but I’m sure that GMA is just one of the many evil oligarchs. These evil oligarchs know each other and support each other, although sometimes, they appear to fight each other. But in the long run, oligarchs are one for all and all for one. And I laugh again when people wonder why GMA was able to quickly pardon Erap. They are, of course, of the same blood. Type AB. All Brothers.

So what is evil is oligarchy, which, in short, is the system itself. And this will never be replaced by any of the so-called people power revolution, not in a hundred years. And before I am misunderstood, I am not advocating a bloody revolution to change the system, because the oligarchs are really well-entrenched and are steady in their place. Bishop Villegas has said that if we do not fight evil, then we are on the side of evil. But the evil that we are supposed to fight is the system itself, and we are part of the system. If we intend to fight the system, we must all go out of the system, and crush it to smithereens if we can. This way, we can build a new structure, which we hope, would never become evil again.

What I am saying is let us stop all this hoopla about fighting for freedom and democracy and all this foolishness, because if we are not willing to part with our hours in malls looking for pirated DVDs and licking cheap ice cream, then the Philippines will continue to be an oligarchy, and this will be the root of all our evils for centuries to come.

Epilogue

Thus, I find it idiotic when Noynoy says – “Walang mahirap, kung walang corrupt” because, if there was no poverty in the first place, people don’t have to resort to corruption.

How did poverty take root – in the first place? History 101 – a select few were granted vast landholdings through colonial edict – the hacienderos – the precursors of today’s oligarchs.

Now it becomes more ironic when the masses will vote into the presidency, the very person who represents everything that caused their misery – it is pathetically tragic.  How can Noynoy be the answer to the problem, when he himself and his merry band of oligarchs – is the problem?

The entry of a non-oligarch candidate who has done much and in a selfless manner augurs well for the country, but only to the extent that the electorate will give said candidate a mandate to transform the Philippines.

Let’s not kid ourselves – the oligarchs are here to stay and are very much weaved into the fabric and history of Philippine society. We have friends who happen to be… or got married to.. or became.. oligarchs.

They are as Filipino as the rest of us, In asking for transformation we are not asking for the destruction of the oligarchy – we are simply creating a level playing field where the oligarchy and the Joe Schmoe can both thrive.

Let us not waste this opportunity to level the playing field.

Philippine Oligarchy

Although the roots of their socioeconomic power can be traced to the development of landed elites in the 19th century, it was in the American colonial period that major families emerged as the national oligarchy, able to dominate the country’s political and administrative apparatus and shape it to their own ends.

  • Variously estimated to number between 60 and 400 families, the Philippine oligarchy have expanded beyond agriculture to build empires in commerce, manufacturing, services, and finance.
  • Taking advantage of Philippine laws that restrict freedom of operation by TNCs within the Philippines, the oligarchy frequently act as local partners without having to actually do or risk much. Content with rent-seeking and paper entrepreneurship, they are thus failing to make the most of the OWF-generated boon as a medium for sustainable growth and development.
  • By using the Trapos (traditional politicians) as surrogates, the ruling class is able to a great degree control the domestic political process and thus assure their continued access to prime economic opportunities. At the same time, the oligarchy finds comfort when members of the political class like Arroyo, are beset with scandals which limit their opportunities to impose change on the national status quo, the maintenance of which remains the over-arching objective of the ruling class.
  • The Zobel de Ayala family own and control the Ayala Corporation, the country’s largest and oldest conglomerate that includes the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Ayala Land Inc., the Manila Water Company, and Globe Telecom, one of the largest mobile phone networks in the Philippines.

Philippine politicians

The Philippine political elite are usually either members of, or else are backed by, the oligarchy. They are virtually a class, whose prime goal is to win elections and to assure that the interests of their families and/or oligarchic patrons are protected. To protect the family welfare, powerful families transform their electoral offices into lasting family assets, building “political dynasties.” Whether they are members of the elite or not, throughout their political career politicians need to build, maintain and expand their network with elite families in their city, province and other parts of the archipelago.

From → Economy

64 Comments
  1. Now permalink

    NOW THIS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.

    GOD I LOVE AP!!!!!

  2. Homer permalink

    I think we are starting to get into the REAL meat of our problems. The kind of truthful info that the general public needs to know, but will never pick-up from mainstream media. Keep it up!

  3. Pinay Goddess permalink

    Another informative piece, thanks Bong.

    First, we need to amend certain Constitutional provisions to start “leveling the playing field”. But as pointed out, most of our legislators in both houses of Congress are either oligarchs themselves or allies. So how can we push for the passage of laws that will break the monopoly of businesses and ideally result to the equitable distribution of wealth?

    The ballot empowers us to determine who our next leaders wil be. We can help shape a new political landscape by choosing candidates who will protect the best interests of the majority instead of the interests of a few. The common tao are more in number, so by our collective will, we can push for structural reforms.

  4. GabbyD permalink

    ok. if oligarchs are “the problem”, what is the solution? any evidence? any arguments?

  5. Vox Populi permalink

    Ang sarap maging oligarch sa Pinas talaga. May mga tsimoy at tsimay ka na, sang katerba pa ang betka!

  6. Poppy Seed permalink

    The more the merrier!

  7. Poppy Seed permalink

    (Photo courtesy of AFP/BBC)

    [IMG]http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/ss83/Peng-_-/Baldy.jpg[/IMG]

  8. I just love the risque approach of this article. I very much agree as well. Reduction of oligarch power and influence is a step to solving poverty and corruption in the country. In fact, you may trace the practice of corruption to the oligarchs, since that’s most likely how many of them got rich. For example, Don Melecio was said to have built secret stairs in Barasoain church for secret delivery of girls for the friars to screw. And Melecio demonstrates that the oligarch families in the past started as ordinary people. So corruption starts from the bottom up.

  9. Shaddap permalink

    GabbyD,

    This article would be helpful for you to understand the whole oligarch issue… Why are our elites oligarchs? How can our elites stop being “oligarchs” and become real agents of positive change?

    Read on: http://www.getrealphilippines.net/index.php?view=article&id=291

  10. Jay permalink

    heheh, level the playing field. Reminded me of a story of the origins of my family. Apparently one of my families’ cousins looked down on us since they were the more prominent ones over mine, which were the magsasakas. Of course generations later and trips to the U.S. has completely gotten rid of any animosity between us since the almighty dollar and opportunity in the land of milk and honey leveled the playing field between the two families and proved both can be like minded individuals.

    You have to know something is wrong when not even 5% of the population makes 23-30% of the money in the country. The rich get richer and the growing poor population get even more screwed over as time goes on. Ultimately, education too will help level that playing field. Competition makes the world go round and the Philippines could sure use more within its people.

  11. Aren’t you rooting for Gibo? He’s a member of the oligarchy.

  12. helios permalink

    Bong, this is a very good piece. Romulo Neri has mentioned at ANC that since most politicians today are funded by these oligarchs, they dont really serve the people’s interests but the interests of those oligarchs. The thing is we cannot really “blame” or be mad at them, they are just being rational (self preservation). Democracy, theoretically should work in this country only if the people could think for themselves… then again its much easier to follow what Kris Aquino says, it takes a lot of energy to think after all.

  13. ben permalink

    Indeed she is.. And indeed He is.

  14. All of these wealthy individuals are Filipinos, NOT foreigners. These are Filipinos who own nearly all the companies in the Philippines. How can we have an “infantile economy” when we have Filipinos making it to the Forbes Global 500? It doesn’t add up? Unless, our oligarchs are keeping competition out (local AND foreign) to corner the domestic market for themselves.

    Despite this, the Philippines 40 richest are still no match to the 40th richest men in our ASEAN neighbors. The Philippines also has the least number of billionaires.

    We’re still almost at parity with Indonesia considering it has more than twice the population of the Philippines and just a little bit over twice the number of billionaires. So the really more astounding comparison is us and our smaller (population-wise) neighbours whose billionaire per capita ratio is way higher than ours.

    The oligarchy seems to be the constant here while population is a variable that illustrates how impotent The Vote really is. The increase in population continues to reduce the amount of capital held amongst the oligarchy that could potentially benefit the average schmoe. Even if we get that $16b net worth of the Philippine 40 richest somehow redistributed (or invested productively) across all sectors of the Philippine economy, every new mouth to feed born to the Philippines will continue to reduce its effective contribution per capita.

    Even with the above rosy but unlikely scenario of re-distributing oligarch’s wealth olats pa rin ang Pinas. Despite Filipinos multiplying like rats, the Vote though powerful in terms of numbers and potentially capable of overwhelming the power of the oligarchs, remains pathetically impotent. Pinoys will still vote them to positions of power, allow them to run their business boys’ club, continue lapping up their mediocre products and services, get dumbed down by the content they pump into the airwaves, and dance to the tune of their slogans and platitudes during future elections.

  15. If he wins, I’ll agree with those who say that we’ll have an ugly president. Hehehe

  16. ben permalink

    What an overwhelming article. Thanks Bong. Greatly researched.

    I read above comments about education being one the solutions. This is true, but we have to also consider who is controlling the education system in this country.

    I have a niece, 6 yr old daughter of my cousin. She currently studies in Miriam College and her parents thought that by paying greatly for her education, they would really get their money’s worth. This isn’t exactly the case. Her parents read one of her quiz sheets and they saw that the teacher said, “Congratulation!” <– without the "s". Her parents are very well educated and speak very good english and they were offended. But as months went by, they would continually see corrections on answers that were correct, and ticks/checks on mistakes.

    They finally decided to move her to a grade school in UP (dno what it's called). My niece took an entrance exam and passed. But out of over 1000 children who passed, only 40-60 were told that they could enroll. My niece was not on that list. But guess who were? The chosen children were of elite families and children of faculty members.

    Now, who controls the education system? Answers are all around us.

  17. Jay permalink

    Also forget about taxing our potent 90 million population. A good amount of the working population can’t even get jobs in the country. Oh and there is tax evasion, most likely practiced by the oligarchies and the strange shit like tax exemption for the affluent and for those purporting to be Religious organizations.

    So in all its a broken system where neither parties want to participate, mostly through the citizens and the politicians just take what they can since no one is stopping them.

  18. Jay permalink

    Politicking has been the way of life, even for the educational system. As much as the American public educational system continues to degrade in quality, the Philippine one just can’t keep up on the K-12 level.

  19. Homer permalink

    “How can our elites stop being “oligarchs” and become real agents of positive change?”

    Ahh, here’s a question which caught my attention and prompted me to ask:

    Is there anything we can do to help make this happen? Even for a baby step in that direction?

  20. ben permalink

    It’s only K-10 here…

  21. RAVJ permalink

    After reading this piece, I instantly became AntiPinoy’s fan and I immediately subscribed to its RSS feed. It really deserves a special place in my browser. Naks!

    And to THE Professional Heckler, I am sorry. But I have to devote some of my time now in this site. Don’t worry, Loi. You’re still numero uno for me. Hehe.

  22. ben permalink

    Yes, definitely one of the most informative articles on the site so far. Kudos to Sir BongV.

  23. TheArch permalink

    I am voting for Gordon. However, I have a question. A friend of mine kinda asked me this question. Is Gordon not part of the oligarchy? I mean, he has a political dynasty back in Olongapo. I have some answers in my mind, but they are jumbled. Care to clarify so I can explain to my friend? I could easily say to my friend that Gordon’s dynasty is of a different kind as compared to the oligarchs in our country, but I need some well-thought explanations.

  24. TheArch permalink

    By the way, kudos to your article, BongV! I actually wrote a topic about oligarchs in my final paper in my English subject. I even used the same sources as yours. (I eventually aced the paper and got a 4.0 in my English subject, yeah!) I could have written more about the topic given the events that are happening right now, showing more evidence of the oligarch’s agenda to once again control our country.

    Anyway, easily one of the best articles here in AP. Hopefully, with the advent of blogs like this, we might spark a “revolution” (but not the People Power type) like that of Rizal’s time. I remember you saying about how Rizal theorized about what will happen when the Spaniards not giving our people the education they need. The Filipinos will eventually fight against their colonizers for their own freedom. The same can be said now, except the colonizers are our own people (the oligarchs). Gordon may not win, but he may usher in a wave of revolution among our minds. AntiPinoy could be the La Solidaridad of today.

  25. The Matrix has applications to the Philippines. The architects being the Spanish and American colonial administrations. The architects knew that one day they had to let go and so the Philippine oligarchy “matrix” was set up. The American colonial forces did not break up the Spanish certified landgrabs granted to the hacienderos.

    Come to think of it – if we, the indios, were here first – a benevolent occupying force would have broken up the inequitable agrarian economy through land distribution. But, those were different times. The Americans made up for their mistakes in the Philippines. What the Americans failed to accomplish in the Philippines, they were able to accomplish in Korea and Japan.

    The indio/masses are the people within the matrix called the Philippines..

    What has the vote got to do with all this? It has all got to do with the numbers. To be able to unplug enough number of da Pinoy from the oligarchy-centric matrix and on the minimum to initiate/provoke a dialogue. As more and more are unplugged – a tipping point can be reached where enough number of votes can elect transformers from barangay to President. Gordon’s Bagumbayan is off to a good start in the sense that it was able to field candidates.

    At the end of the day, the message of Dick Gordon is being heard – and that’s what matters most. Whether that will translate to votes on election day is another matter.

    Just be ready for the longest “I told you so” in Philippine blogging history…😀

  26. Now –

    I believe it was your comment in the shoutbox that got me to write this piece.

    My apologies for the late referral if that was your comment.

    Still, AP is all about what readers are looking for.

    Cheers!

  27. You are welcome. Glad that you find the piece informative.

    Yes you are correct, it’s all about the ballot.

    I dunno why majority of Pinoys vote as they do. It’s as if they are under a intellectual zombie spell of some sort. But whatever it is, we just gotta keep on hammering the message in till it gets through.

  28. Dr. José Rizal II permalink

    To start thinking logically, objectively, rationally, and reject dogma, superstition, hearsay, and emotional decision-making.

    I think the link that shaddap shared really talks about what kind of elites are needed in society and what’s wrong with the current elites we’ve got. Knowing what’s wrong makes it easier to know what to get rid of in order to get things right.

  29. HI TheArch:

    Here’s what I dug up from Google U🙂

    – James Leonard T. Gordon was the first elected mayor of Olongapo City, Philippines from December 30, 1963 to February 20, 1967. He was born on January 17, 1917 of an American father, John Jacob Gordon, and a Filipina mother, Veronica Tagle Gordon.

    Unlike his four brothers who took American citizenship and lived in the United States, he chose to stay in the Philippines as a Filipino citizen and raised his children as Filipino citizens.

    ***

    Inherited Traits

    James Gordon’s public career was centred on the fight against political corruption. His private life too was a struggle. He was the only child left behind with his aging father, who was interned during the war, taking care of him until his death in 1954.

    Civic Consciousness

    His family orientedness showed in his successful attempts to put up an institution that would take care of orphans and abandoned children. Together with his friends, he put up Boys Town- Girls Home which still exists to this day, caring for around 70 wards. . Jimmy Gordon’s widow Amelia J. Gordon continues this tradition of caring by keeping under her care children from very poor families.

    In the field of civic work James Gordon led in the forming of groups that worked on community projects. He was one of the organizers of the Olongapo Civic Action Group [3] that worked on beautification projects and in general improvement of the city. He was one of the founders of the Olongapo Rotary Club, which has given rise to four other Rotary Clubs at present. He was also one of the founders of the Olongapo Knights of Columbus- and was selected the second Grand Knight. He organized the Olongapo Businessmen’s Association which then, as now, played a significant part in community life.

    Military Rule

    During Gordon’s time Olongapo was in a strange situation. The rest of the Philippines had been declared independent of the United States on July 4, 1946. Olongapo, however, remained under U.S. Government jurisdiction. It had been declared a U.S. Naval Reservation soon after the U.S. and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris. As such it was administered by a U.S. Navy officer. In other words, instead of having a Filipino Mayor, Olongapo had as its governing authority an American military official. Residents had to follow strict rules like: always having an ID Card issued by the Reservation office; home lots could not be owned, these could be taken back any time the US Navy needed the area; relatives from out of town can stay only for a few days and had to renew their passes if their stay is extended; only families with working members could stay in the Reservation. These strictly followed rules made the residents angry. But they became angrier when bus passengers going in and out of the Naval Reservation were made to get off the bus for strict searches of their belongings.

    Turnover of Olongapo to Philippine Government

    Jimmy Gordon led the move to make Olongapo free from U.S. rule. He was well respected by US Navy officials and had many friends among the Americans but he could not stomach the military regulations that limited the movements of people in Olongapo. Jose Balein of the Manila Chronicle interviewed him and in a series of articles from July 3 to 7,. 1955 he exposed the abuses and harassments suffered by Olongapo residents under US military rule

    The Zambales provincial officials supported Gordon in this fight to be free of military restrictions. As Vice Governor of Zambales he was in a position to speak for people living in Zambales town north of Olongapo who worked in US Navy installations. Buses carrying passengers from Zambales towns passed through Olongapo and underwent the annoying searches. The concerted resistance to military rule could not be ignored by the U.S. Navy authorities. Talks were initiated to formalize the turnover of Olongapo to the Philippine Government. The American panel was made up of officials from the US Embassy headed by Minister Abbot and officers from the U.S. Navy. The Philippine panel was headed by Pacifico Castro of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Vice Governor Gordon was a member. The US Government was thus compelled to relinquish Olongapo to the Philippine Government after the RP-US panel met several times to discuss the conditions. Olongapo was turned over to the Philippine Government on December 7, 1959. On the same day President Carlos P. Garcia signed the Executive Order making Olongapo a municipality of Zambales.

    Post Turnover Turmoil

    After the turnover, the provincial politicians moved in. They succeeded in placing their own men in sensitive positions in the new municipality because they worked to have officials appointed instead of elected. Gordon had no stomach for the corruption and he resigned from the post of Deputy Governor. He saw how Olongapo was marginalized. The government hospital was reduced in category; its equipment was carted off to Zambales. Illegal logging and cigarette smuggling were rampant. Land problems proliferated. The new officials tried to lease out the electrical utility for only P5,000.00 a month. Heavy equipment like bulldozers which had been acquired from the US Navy could not be accounted for.

    Political Turncoatism

    The political disease of turncoatism was very evident. Party hopping politicians were motivated by the advantage that they could get from the party, not by the principles that the party stood for. The first few years of the new municipality saw this in evidence with the change of party of the Zambales Governor and the Congressman. Politics at its devious worst was the order of the day.

    Prodded to run for Municipal Mayor during its first election four years after the turnover, James Gordon, though a reluctant candidate, won and was finally at the helm of his town on December 30, 1963.

    Relentless fight against corruption

    If Gordon fought American rule for the military excesses, now he fought well entrenched politicians for widespread corruption. He contracted the services of a lawyer using his own money and won the case (albeit posthumously) that he filed to return the electrical system to the Olongapo Government. He exposed the anomalies that bedeviled the new municipal government. Understandably, his crusade earned for him enemies who tried all manner of harassment, including threats of suspension, hand grenade attacks and planned ambushes.

    A City is born

    The situation deteriorated to the extent that Gordon, together with Olongapo residents, struggled hard to be free of the provincial government. He lobbied in Congress for the passage of a bill to convert the municipality into a City. Amidst strong opposition from the provincial government but to the triumphant rejoicing of the people of Olongapo, RA 4645, the Charter of the City of Olongapo [4], was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1, 1966. In simple but impressive ceremonies Olongapo City was inaugurated on September 1 and Gordon took his oath as Mayor before Vice President Lopez on September 3 [5] of the same year.

    New city status failed to damper the avidity of Gordon’s enemies who continued to plan his extermination.

    A Light is Extinguished

    There were three attempts on his life: On July 4, 1965, he was lured out of his house by a false report on a fire. On the way back home a grenade was thrown at his car. He survived this first attempt. On August 4 of the same year several prisoners were allowed to escape from the municipal jail of Subic, Zambales. Again, a fire was made as a ruse to make Gordon appear. Three grenades were thrown at the crowd, wounding one US Navy officer who was with the team that helped to control the blaze. Again, James Gordon survived the attempt. The third try was again linked to a fire. The Gordon residence in Quezon City mysteriously burned down on All Saints’ Day. The family later learned that an ambush had been prepared at the Zig-Zag pass although he went through this third attempt unscathed.

    On February 20, 1967, while talking with a constituent on the first floor of City Hall, he was gunned down by Nonito Alincastre, an escaped inmate of the National Penitentiary. He was immediately brought to the USS Repose [6], a US Navy hospital ship, but he could not be saved because of his massive head injuries.

    His funeral was the longest Olongapo ever saw [7]. Senators, Congressmen, Ambassadors, joined the grieving Olongapo public in the funeral cortege [8]. His death brought inconsolable loss to his grieving family. Son Richard rued the fact that his father died before he could prove himself equal to the challenge of service that was constantly dinned in his consciousness both by his father’s word as well as by example. Thence began his promise to himself that he would make something of himself to make his father proud of him.

    It was a loss felt nationwide. Senator Jose W. Diokno’s tribute to him resonates in every Olongapeno’s heart: “He was born to an American father, chose to be a Filipino, raised his children as Filipinos, served his country as a Filipino and died a Filipino hero.”

  30. Homer permalink

    I asked my question on the basis that I already knew (more or less) what was wrong. Nevermind, it doesn’t have to be answered now. I changed my mind, but there’s no edit function. Instead, I’ll just quote your first paragraph because I think it bears repeating for the sake of others who have yet to reach this stage…

    “To start thinking logically, objectively, rationally, and reject dogma, superstition, hearsay, and emotional decision-making.”

  31. GabbyD permalink

    dami naman. lets focus on something specific.

    What is the/your proposal to curtail/limit oligarchic control over the philippine economy? why is noynoy the anti-thesis of that?

    looking at the first link: wrong on corruption.

    you are saying that “social empowerment” ala johnson is key. fine. in your words: “it is not enough to implement reforms, the existing relationships that make up the socio economic foundations of Philippine society need to be addressed and changed so that more economic opportunities are available to the widest number of citizens thereby decreasing the systemic pressure to resort to corruption .”

    fine. what is the specific thing we need to do then?

    your answer is (i think) opening up the remaining closed sectors to foreign competition.

    is this accurate? so your prescription is to support a candidate that supports changing the economic provisions of the charter, or just liberalize the FDI Act even more?

    is this correct? is gordon this candidate? has he said anything specific about changing the economic provisions of the constitution?

  32. yes. he is specific about allowing foreigners to own the land on which corporate HQs are built, including residences of foreign nationals, he will also open up media to foreign competition.

  33. Now permalink

    So you did saw it! And you included references too.

    I think i love you.

  34. Pinay Goddess permalink

    @ ilda and ben

    What i said in my previous comments was my top 2 choices are Gibo and Gordon ‘coz they are the only 2 presidential candidates who pass my standards. I also said that i still haven’t decided who will i vote on election day. If i tend to defend Gibo in my earlier comments, it’s to correct some wrong notions about the person. My comments are based on what i know and experienced, not on assumptions or hearsay. I also know Gibo as independent minded, and he even defied some of his influential relatives. His being born rich does not disqualify him from seeking the presidency. Even if he wins, he still needs the support of members of Congress to push for his agenda. So i don’t worry much about him advancing more the cause of the other oligarchs.

    My comment above is i think what is ideal. But given the present state, i have to opt for a better alternative. I have a working mind and and my options are open. What turns me off is when some people try to push something they believe in down my throat the rough way, and the more it makes me want to spit it out. I am a responsible person and i am accountable for my decisions and actions, and this includes my choice for president.

  35. @Pinay Goddess

    I beg your pardon but, which part of “Aren’t you rooting for Gibo? He’s a member of the oligarchy” is pushing it down your throat the rough way? You have it the other way around. I don’t visit sites to shove down Gordon in other people’s throat. Other people visit this site to shove Noynoy and Gibo down our throats. For the record, I never wrote anything negative about Gibo in the past.

    I think Ben and I were justified in assuming that you are more for Gibo because you seem to defend him more than Gordon in this site. And you didn’t find a problem in Gibo being a member of the oligarchy in your other comments. That’s the only reason why I was surprised to read your comment above agreeing with the idea of “levelling the playing field”

    Anyway, since you have clarified your position of being undecided between Gordon and Gibo, I guess we should not prolong the issue. And I agree that you seem to be a responsible person.

  36. Nice on paper but influx of foreign interests in the country is not as easy to effect change as in concept.

    Why?

    Oligarchs have century-long laws stacked totheir favor.

    For example, if there were foreigners interested in a piece of land where an oligarch has likewise the same interesting claim. The most likely avenue the oligarch will use is the law of the land of which the result would be a long protracted war — motion for reconsideration, appeal, backlogs, etc.

    I saw a non-concreted road about 10 meters long in Tagum City and it took ages to make the concreting happen. The owner fought for life his claim to that piece of land at the expense of people’s convenience.

  37. GabbyD permalink

    ok. i understand ur position.

    well, if its a discussion on the economic provisions/further liberalization that you want, this is what will definitely happen, WHOEVER becomes president.

    thats a good thing. both noynoy and villar would welcome further discussions on this issue. this is also very good.

    from abs:
    “Aquino said that if he wins as president, he “plans to set up a Commission to determine whether or not there is a need to amend the Constitutional provision to foreign ownership.”

    He will not amend the Constitution to extend the president’s term, however.

    Aquino said he is in favor of opening up educational institutions and the practice of professions to foreign ownership.”

  38. Gabbyd:

    I don’t need Noynoy’s commission. It’s an extra expense that I can do without.

    I prefer Gordon’s position – allow foreigners to own property on land for their corporate HQ and residence. A conclusion arrived at without a commission😆

  39. Homer permalink

    BongV, anyone who quotes Abs-Cbn about their manok setting-up a commission to discuss the provision to foreign ownership is clearly wasting your time. Of course, you already knew that.😉

  40. GabbyD permalink

    its obvious that you prefer gordon… and that his solution is ur preferred one. (whatever that is — i dont understand why putting together a group to study the matter is wrong. dont u expect gordon to do the same? i.e. to form a group whose job is to propose SPECIFIC CHANGES?).

    but the point here is that WHOEVER the next president will be, noynoy, villar, gibo, gordon, etc… WILL deal/discuss charter change re economic provisions.

    isnt that something that unalloyed good news, whoever ur candidate may be? isnt this something we can all unite on?

  41. GabbyD permalink

    @homer

    whats wrong with quoting Abs?

    do they get their quotes wrong? do share…

  42. Homer permalink

    @GabbyD

    The subject of ABS and Noy’s oligarch connection has been discussed here many times, and It doesn’t really matter who I prefer if you keep yourself informed. I suggest you do some back-reading or ask someone else. If my answer isn’t good enough for you, tough.

  43. GabbyD permalink

    i understand the oligarchy stuff.

    But the issue is the quotes – are they wrong or are they right?

    does Abs get the quotes wrong?

    if they are right, who cares about the ownership of abs? if they get it right, what does it matter?

  44. Jay permalink

    Oh my bad. But never the less, changes have to be made and to find out what to do with the burgeoning student population as well.

  45. Pinay Goddess permalink

    @ Gabby D.

    I agree with Bong that creating a commission or another ad hoc unit is unnecessary. It will just add another layer to an already bloated bureaucracy and will also entail additional funding from a limited national budget. Amendments to constitutional provisions require congressional action. So i think the initiative should come from Congress (House of Reps and Senate), to be later approved by the President once the proposed amendments pass the 2 chambers.

  46. guest permalink

    PASG hints at narco politics behind Noynoy, LP funds

    05/10/2010

    If the Liberal Party and its standard bearers, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and his running mate, Sen. Manuel Mar Roxas, are awash with election campaign funds, the hundreds of millions of pesos may just have come from drug money, better known as campaigns funded by narco politics.

    Aquino has been asked to disclose where his campaign funds come from as well as donors. He has refused to do so.

    Authorities are reportedly poised to investigate Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes, the Liberal Party treasurer, for any knowledge about the discovery of drug transshipments and manufacturing base on the island of Icolong in the province.

    The Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) was said to have stumbled over a drug transhipment and manufacturing base Thursday night on Icolong Island in Quezon province, giving physical credence to a US intelligence report of narco-politics shaping up in the country, a report yesterday said.

    The PASG said yesterday its teams, armed with a warrant issued by a Cavite court, spent 14 hours in the western coast of Southern Luzon Thursday to trace the nautical route of misdeclared import shipments in violation of the Tariff Code.

    Nantes, who is also a former congressman, is the national treasurer of the Liberal Party (LP) whose standard-bearer, Senator Aquino, is the front-runner in presidential surveys.

    is the national treasurer of the Liberal Party (LP) whose standard-bearer, Senator Aquino, is a frontrunner in presidential surveys.

    Tribune sources yesterday said that there may be a very strong case of narco politics surrounding the campaign funding of Aquino, Roxas and other LP senatorial and local candidates as Nantes reportedly has been on the “OB” list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    Nantes is reportedly close to Roxas and Aquino and Tribune sources from PDEA, who asked not to be identified, said that LP bets have been monitored in various meetings where bags of money were being handed to the LP candidates in a house in Third Street, New Manila, Quezon City, known to be the house of Nantes.

    PDEA, according to Tribune sources, have long suspected narco-politics money to be behind some politicians’ campaigns, and have been monitoring Nantes and the LP group for sometime.

    “He (Nantes) has been on our watchlist for sometime,” the source from PDEA said.

    PASG Director for Region 13 Philip Placer said that “This is an international drug operation which is happening in the town of Burdeos. That should raise the alarm on Governor Nantes. In fact, there is suspicion on the local government of letting this happen,” said

    He said that with the discovery of transshipments in the island, it is feared that the country will become a center or transshipment point for high-value drugs such as methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu).

    He noted that there was a United States Drug Enforcement Agency (USDEA) report which, essentially, warned of drug money making its way to unscrupulous politicians and making the hotly-contested presidential election susceptible to influence by this massive illegal operations inimical to national security.

    Placer as well as well-placed sources from the PDEA said there has been no representation from the Quezon provincial capitol to address the drug threat in the province.

    The PASG stumbled over the drug transshipment and manufacturing base last Thursday night on Icolong Island in Quezon province.

    The PASG said Saturday its teams spent 14 hours along the western coast of Southern Luzon last Thursday to trace the nautical route of misdeclared import shipments in violation of the Tariff Code.

    Placer said his agents followed a suspicious shipment that ended in a safehouse in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Judith in Burdeos on Icolong Island and immediately conducted a raid.

    Placer said in the raid of the Akira Sakurai & Hiro Taniguchi, Howa Inc. Pearl Farm, they uncovered chemicals that are used in the manufacture of “shabu,” giving physical credence to the US intelligence report of narco-politics shaping up in the country.

    PASG operatives confiscated highly-regulated chemicals such as potassium nitrate, disodium nitrogen phosphate, sodium orthosilicate N-hydrate powder, and sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate.

    Placer said Judge Cesar Mangrobang of the Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 22 issued the warrants to search the premises based on reliable information received by the PASG in a case against the Pearl Farm.

    The operation came amid the leaking of the USDEA report three weeks ago that US$ 8.4 billion (P384 billion) worth of dangerous drugs were “either being generated, passes through or is used by drug syndicates in the Philippines,” he said.

    Another report underscored an alleged link between the thriving drug trafficking business and local politics as the money generated from the internationally-outlawed trade is suspected of fueling campaigns and a massive attempt to cheat the scheduled elections on May 10.

    With the uncovering of the key drugs transhipment and manufacturing base on Icolong Island, Nantes now faces a probe by the PSAG and PDEA, as well as the probe assistance from the USDEA.

    Meanwhile, Elections chairman Jose Melo said the technical problem that cropped up in the sealing and testing of the compact flash cards (CF cards) in the province of Nueva Vizcaya where the I-button malfunctioned is an “isolated” case.

    Melo said this as he reported that preparations for election today (Monday) are already 98 percent ready for the first ever fully automated polls.

    In a news briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Melo reported that they have nearly completed the delivery of the more than 82,000 PCOS machines, the more than 76,000 compact flash cards (CF cards) the 50.7 million ballots and other election paraphernalia.

    “We have a reason to smile. Our big problem which caused this big worry are the CF cards. Now, all the machines, all the PCOS, all the ballots, all the ballot boxes are in place. They are in the voting places,” Melo said.

    “Generally speaking, the entire Luzon except for Vizcaya and one town in Ilocos Sur and one town in Abra were okay and I would say we are 98 percent ready.

    He said in Visayas there is also very minimal problem with one town–Villalobos in Northern Samar.

    Cesar Flores, Smartmatic Corp., Asia Pacific president said they expected the problem on I-button to happen.

    Flores said they expect “somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of the results by election night and the rest will be arriving in the next 36 hours.”

    Flores explained that the purpose of electronic transmission is basically to produce accurate results at the fastest possible time.

    “That’s why we have transmission because we want to shorten the time…with transmission we’ll probably have 90 percent of the results directly transmitted. Probably the remaining 10 percent will rely on taking the card to the municipality. So depending on the distance this might take 2 to 4 hours to get to the precinct to the municipality,’ said Flores.

    “The good news is that majority of the results will be there in a very short period of time,” he told newsmen during press conference Sunday at the PICC.

    Commissioner Sarmiento said national posts from president, vice-president and senators results will come in within 36 to 48 hours. All election results will be posted on the website of the Comelec.

    Sarmiento added that they expect voter turnout to be between 80 to 85 percent due to strong interest from the voters on the first ever fully automated elections.

    But Melo said he would be happy if the turnout would be 50 percent.

  47. Jay permalink

    Pretty much Noblesse Oblige. With power comes responsibility to use that to benefit society. It does sound very moralistic but you’d think in this country that somehow, someway that it would and be a respected aspect.

  48. GabbyD:

    Would suggest you stay in FV where you will be spoonfed. When you come to comment on AP, at the very least, read up on the previous AP articles, don’t wait to be nannied like a turd.

  49. GabbyD,

    depends on the quote of ABS-CBN. for example if ABS-CBNS says, sun rose in the east, that’s right. Noynoy is good – that’s IDIOTIC.

    INTIENDES?

  50. surve but having a commission discuss whether an amendment is needed or not – is an additional layer that’s not needed – because what Noynoy’s commission intends to find out – GORDON has already found out.

    Aquino and his commission can shove Cory’s constitution right their ass.. (yours, too).

  51. The PASG should stop hinting, convict Nantes, as well as establish the money trail.

    I’ve had enough “Hinting” without any conviction – so the the drama.

  52. GabbyD permalink

    @Pinay

    ok. actually thats fine by me. i dont think thats an issue with aquino either.

    his point is that it should be studied by experts who would give recommendations. whether the push comes from executive or legislative ought not to matter; except that in all likelihood, its probably gonna be a charter change process that will involve the legislature.

  53. GabbyD permalink

    @Bong

    the ABS quote is the quote i gave. i can give the link, but its googl-able.

    so its a pertinent question: does ABS misquote?

    “Would suggest you stay in FV where you will be spoonfed. When you come to comment on AP, at the very least, read up on the previous AP articles, don’t wait to be nannied like a turd.”

    hehehe…. this is funny… turd…

    so, lets talk about oligarchy, ABS, and journalism — if they dont misquote, why should the ownership matter?

  54. when you quote whatever effin quoute you are saying you quoted – you give the effin link so we don’t circle like turds – if you prefer that – you go to FV – we don’t have time for that kind of nonsense.

    as to talking about oligarchy, ABS -we’ve been talking about it for the longest time.. i suggest you read up on the various threads.. we are not in the habit of giving remedial classes – you step up to it – suggest you search AP first before hitting your keyboard – this ain’t FV – you ain’t getting a nanny..

  55. Batang Makati permalink

    Good article…And yes !!! I HATE THOSE FAMILIES..HATE !!! IS THE ONLY WORD,THAT COMES TO MIND…..AND I WILL SUPPORT ANY GROUP THAT ARE WILLING TO TAKEOUT THIS PLAGUE ..WE CANNOT JUST LET THIS FAMILY TWIST FACTS..I HAVE WATCHED HOW THEY DESTROYED VILLARS CREDIBILTY..I have watched that ugly hypocrite commentator Winnie Monsod define which one was the lesser evil..C-5 or SCTEX.. they have comeup with the most ridiculous claims,that i dont understand why the people would choose to believe them,than the facts that was out there for them to compare…We have a sick country and a very sick Democracy…

  56. Wawa We permalink

    Oligarchy is not wrong. There have been instances where the rule of the few have benefited a lot of people.

    The Philippines, however, is ruled by the majority of the OLIGARCHY OF THE SPOILED BRATS.

    Those who live off the wealth of their ancestors and are unable to create wealth or new industries, invent, innovate, discover, or manufacture for the global market. The look inward and squeeze the Philippine economy dry.

    Kris Aquino.
    Noynoy Aquino.
    Cory Aquino
    Ninoy Aquino
    Eugenio Lopez III
    Jose Rizal
    Paciano Rizal
    Gloria Macapal Arroyo.
    Andal Ampatuan, Jr.

    These are just a few members of the OLIGARCHY OF THE SPOILED BRATS.

  57. Good point! Aristotelian thinkers would say what we should turn that into an aristocracy – the rule by a few who are intelligent and capable, but not spoiled brats. Question is, how? Would charter change be a solution for that.

  58. Nitramy permalink

    Why don’t we put all these wealthy families in one place and nuke them from orbit? It’s the only way to be sure.

  59. peachgirl permalink

    Certain families do have the advantage when it comes to education. A lot of generic colleges these days have curriculum of subjects which is the same one they provided to students ten years ago. The culture in most schools is to follow the rules, be obedient and excel academically. Fast forward that and you have top performing employees in a multinational company. But not all kids are wired that way. Some kids are deviants, weird, troublemakers etc. and perceived as bad influence to their peers. Maybe in that school where your niece applied for, the teachers may teach different points of view in life, torrent of great history, sharp when it comes to grammar and encourage dreaming for a higher place in their future rather than being satisfied in achieving a managerial position. Which is what an oligarch would want from his kid. A solid foundation that his kid would dream big and have teachers and peers who support those dreams. Of course we want the same things for our kids but they want to monopolize that. Count yourself lucky if you have parents who did that for you and support your goals and whatever you want to do in your life.

    The school you come from is not the only one that molds you and that propels you in your life. But it does help in how you view the world. Either in black or white or a rainbow of colors.

    A lot schools in our country teach our youth that being a manager is already at the top of the pyramid of achievement. But to some schools you build your own business, start a new technology or become a top honcho in the political arena. And how many schools foster that kind of thinking? Not enough.

  60. Can you tell us more about this? I’d like to find out some additional information.

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