My Political Views

Neutrality in Politics

March 4, 2022


It's not good to be neutral in politics. You can't be lukewarm, neither positive nor negative without society being endangered. How fitting is the declaration of the New Testament Bible when it says that you can't be neither hot nor cold, for the Lord will spit you out of its mouth (Revelation 3:16).

In the electoral race, we usually prepare our line-up, a listing of individuals belonging to a political party that we intend to vote into public office. Each individual has its own preference and choice.

Some are diehards and loyal to a party. They vote straight for their preferred party, usually because of its vision, mission, and goals and track record. So, their votes go either to the Democrats or Republicans. In the case of the Philippines, to the Liberal Party (LP) or PDP-Laban.

Others are opportunists, not in the negative sense. They're simply waiting for the opportunity for the right party or leader to emerge as the most likely winner. They vie for time, making it sure they will be riding or running on the strongest party.

Why not? This is what I call positioning or strategizing, adopted by both politicians running into office and voters. This is the reason why completing such a line-up may take time. Pulse surveys are usually effective tools for helping political candidates and voters to make up or condition their minds.

Political opponents view this in the bad sense. They would lambast leaders and voters alike as somebody waiting for the highest bidder. And why not? They know pretty well that there are resourceful individuals out there who can go to the extent of buying the votes of those participating in the electoral race.

This is corrupting our already corrupt electoral system. Their loyalty is not to the party or its vision but simply winning the election. A highly corruptible system is bad. Society becomes bad. Government becomes bad. The world becomes bad.

How to get out of this corrupt State and world of ours is a continuing challenge for each one of us. And what better way to do this than to allow our light (that Light of the Holy Spirit in us) to shine before men and women (Matthew 5:16) so that they may glorify our Father in heaven.

How can I apply this during this ongoing electoral race? Well, I’m preparing a line-up of my choicest candidates for President, VP, and senatorial slate. I won’t mind sharing each other’s notes and see what we have in common. Where we differ, I might strike out some names in my list in favor of some names in your list. Show me your list and I’ll show you my list.

Whether we like it or not, the only meaningful way to transform our society is to get out and vote this coming May 9. We can, of course, also opt not to vote at all. Each of us has this choice. So, listing a line-up of candidates becomes immaterial.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

February 19, 2022


Indeed, if the people act and vote in the name of God, then, the voice of the people can be an effective tool for promoting political democracy.

But people's thinking and decision-making can change in a split of a second at any moment for various reasons: money, religious beliefs, threats, family ties, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, etc.

In addition, many don't believe in God at all. Others who believe in its existence find God as the cause of disunity and disharmony we are in today, thus, many dismiss god as divisive, many, in frustration, declare that God might as well not exist.

"But still, more imagined that there were no Gods left..." (Pleny the Younger, 78 A.D.).

If this kind of political culture prevails, we cannot blame our leaders in government for not doing their primary duty of serving the people. We are as much responsible for and answerable to their malfeasance for we either voted them to office or never cared to vote at all.

In the ultimate analysis, it is we, the people, who ought to change and transform first. There can only be true unity if it is the people themselves, unaided by politicians, who initiate it.

It's especially timely to start this global initiative now that all we get from our political leaders are unfulfilled campaign promises, program failures, corruption, political bickering, questionable expenditures, plans that never take off the ground, and many others. For all this will continue whoever wins this electoral race.

If we fail during our lifetime, at least, we tried. Our children and the next generation can continue where we left off. This is a long and protracted struggle. But unless people realize that true unity starts from the hands of each one of us, "Vox Populi, Vox Dei" will remain a mirage and an illusive dream.

The cry of the 21st millennium is "In Unity There is Strength". The Lord God Almighty has given us this power for our use in our quest for the good of humanity as well as our intent and relentless will to do everything for the greater glory of God (Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam).

The Trojan War

February 11, 2022


The Trojan War analogy applied by my close friend to Philippine politics might as well apply to all the presidential candidates.

Inside the oversized wooden horse were the best fighters of Greece who descended from the belly of the horse to surprise and take advantage of the soldiers of Menelaus of Sparta who were dead drunk celebrating peace and their perceived victory.

But Menalaus and his soldiers were deceived. They were not expecting that the Greek soldiers emptied Sparta of its wealth and resources without their knowledge.

Having collected their booty from King Menelaus, they open the gates in the dead of the night, signalling their caravan (alipores) outside to return to Troy. The Greek soldiers who were unable to penetrate Troy for many years finally achieved peace.

Ulysses, the architect who devised the wooden horse was indeed as crafty as he was ingenious. He was known as Odysseus, Latin Ulixes, English Ulysses, hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey and one of the most frequently portrayed figures in Western literature.

But who is this wooden horse in Philippine politics? Who, in particular, of the five presidential candidates? Will it be Leni? BBM? Pacquiao? Isko Moreno? Lacson? And who will be the rich King Menelaus who suddenly become poor after the May 9 election?

At the moment, the five oversized wooden horses are now galloping ready to confront any tsunami- size event that are expected to shake Philippine politics. And this could easily happen in today's electoral processes. Take the following cases:

(1) The Smartmatic repeating the errors during the 1986 polls;

(2) The glaring Comelec partisanship;

(3) The ressurection of today's graft-ridden Executive Secretaries, coming into office again;

(4) The politicized justices of the Supreme Court as well as the Lower Courts of the Land;

(5) The unexpected moves of the INC and Televangelist Quiboloy;

(6) The significant role of the middle class and the business sector, especially the Chinese; and

(7) The deeply rooted Philippine culture, which is individualistic, traditionalistic, paternalistic, parochial and marked by pakikisama, utang na loob, hiya, and bahala na attitudes, among others.

And who are today's crafty and ingenious Ulysses who are now devising what will happen to our country after the national elections?

I have no idea myself and I don't want to make any predictions. I'll just go out and vote.

I don't have any candidate yet. For there's also another presidential candidate, the former National Security Adviser Bert Gonzales, whose equally oversized wooden horse is also galloping.

Rational voters in the middle class, business sector, civil servants, farmers, youth, and students, and the military, might support and rally behind him, given the absence of a clear and detailed Plataforma de Gobyerno of other presidential candidates.

I'm very familiar with the PDSP program, having been associated with Bert and Archie. Once elected, he cannot be cowed with fear, threats, and intimidations. He grew up and survived in this kind of political atmosphere for decades.

Bert could be the other hidden variable, I missed in my mathematical formulation. He could be the winning dark horse.

Leni has soft hands. Talk and talk. BBM has strong hands but serves only to protect his family's wealth. The Christian Democratic Party is now in the control of shady politicians, many have served prison terms.

Bert Gonzales can be the most welcome alternative.

I'm sure all the presidential candidates have already their shadow cabinets. They and their campaign managers know their mathematics. They know where the voter-rich provinces are.

May the best presidential candidate win. No regrets. Whoever wins can be replaced again after 6 years. You either share the booty of war or suffer as a consequence. This is democracy Philippine style.

Reexamining Philippine Politics

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - February 9, 2022


Philippine politics has not grown and matured since the 1960s. Worse, it has been retrogressing, made more acute because of the continuing covid variant scare.

Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos (Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Jr.) who is running under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), was leading in both Social Weather Station and Pulse Survey in 2021. He is now very strong in the north and in Davao because of President Duterte's daughter Sarah who is running as Vice-President. But Bongbong is most maligned in social media.

Another presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo is most loved and favored by both mainstream and social media. Her political campaigns ooze with increasingly bold and extravagant pink colors as the election nears. But will these translate into actual votes? Nobody knows.

The major determinants of the coming elections are the following factors:

(1) Televangelist and Pastor Quiboloy's prediction have always failed except in the case of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. His claim of having more than 10 million followers worldwide is enough addition to catapult any strong contender. But will his prediction be right this time, especially that some controversial issues (if true) surrounding his travel abroad are now spreading like wildfire in social media?

(2) The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), known for its solid votes, is relatively silent for the moment. All politicians do not want to ignore its millions of voters across the globe.

(3) The Catholic Church invokes moral and ethical principles in choosing political candidates. But they don't have a solid vote. Its prelates are even divided among themselves. The El Shaddai Ministry of Mike Velarde is known as the lay arm of the Catholic Church. But it respects its members freedom to vote. It welcomes all politicians who wish to speak in its rally at the Luneta park.

(4) The Chinese community dominates in the country's national economy and sees political elections as a business opportunity for the next 6 years. They are known to invest covertly in the political campaigns of all presidential candidates.

(5) The Filipino voters, as usual, sees this ongoing electoral race as a festive occasion and an opportunity to earn huge money, many waiting for the highest bidder. It's a publicly known secret now that the price per voter in the metropolis is around 2,500 pesos ($500.00), as against the daily 600.00 pesos ($12.50) of the minimum-wage law.

(6) We're all victims of our imported Western type of democracy marinated by our own distinct political culture, which is individualistic, traditionalistic, paternalistic, parochial and marked by pakikisama, utang na loob, hiya, and bahala na attitudes, among others.

When all of these are considered, nobody is certain who will really win in the presidential race. Will we have a Gentleman or Lady President? Yes, everybody wants his or her candidate to win, whatever it takes.

I tried to put all these factors into my mathematical formula. But the residual error is too high, meaning that there are still so many hidden factors that are not included in the 6 factors I mentioned above. The error is around 50 to 60%, giving a very low level of confidence and level of accuracy. R^2 is 60%, not a good predictor at all.

And I don't know what these hidden variables are yet.

Could these hidden variables be endogenous like military takeover, as in Myanmar's military junta, or civil disobedience, or another EDSA revolution?

Or could these invisible vars include exogenous factors like external intervention or the threat of it, as what happened in 1986 when a huge military plane came out of nowhere, flew so low roaring like a lion over Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame when tanks were advancing ready to fire and crush the people?

But where will this huge military plane come this time? USA? Russia? China? Japan? South Korea?

In any case, I'll just go out and vote anyway. No-el forbid. I don't care who wins. For they can be changed after 6 years.

I'm not even using the programs and platforms of politicians as basis for my choice. First of all, they have no clear programs, only motherhood statements often repeated during political campaigns.

Second of all, our experiences in the past demonstrated that their stand on many issues are just like promises designed to be broken when they're in power.

Thirdly, the sponsors, investors, and business sector are expected to be lobbying and swarming again in the halls of both Lower and Upper Houses of Congress to collect favors from winning politicians, whether they voted for them or not.

I predict that after the elections, people will be alive again soliciting for donations, death and burial assistance, sponsors during weddings or baptisms, even as new and fictitious NGOs and Foundations will be proliferating once again.

Good luck and may the best candidate win for the kind of Filipino citizens who voted for them.

My Five-Point Criteria When Engaging in Electoral Politics

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – April 26, 2021


My criteria for choosing candidates running for public office have always been the following:

(1) winnability;

(2) relevancy or the ability to address timely issues of the day like corona virus, corruption, human rights violations, and injustice;

(3) high-impact programs that could leap-frog society’s economic growth, sustainability, and equity from, say, negative or zero growth rate to six percent or thereabout;

(4) teamwork and cooperation; and

(5) respect for the rule of law and morality.

These criteria are all interconnected and intertwined with each other. Success can only be achieved if all of the above indicators are proportionately considered. Let me dwell on this briefly.

1. Winnability is the ability to win in the election. What is the use of voting candidates if they don’t have any chance of winning at all? In the last election, I allotted 80% for those whom I think were sure winners and 20% to those whom I can personally vouch they will perform for the people once elected in power.

2. Relevancy is another criteria. Death rates because of coronavirus, economic dislocation, nuclear weapons, religious beliefs, racial prejudices are more than three million already and still increasing.

3. High-impact, rather than low-intensity programs, should be able to revive and resuscitate our ailing and dying economy.

4. Teamwork and cooperation in the running of the government is another indicator of utmost importance. What’s the use of voting all the “winnables” if they cannot act together.

So, in the last election, I voted 90% according to party affiliation and 10% for those without any party affiliation. The idea is to get majority seats in both the Lower and Upper Houses.

5. The rule of law and morality can serve as another filter for choosing political candidates. We are not all law-abiding citizens. We are not all conscienceless. We are not all sinners.

Nevertheless, not all disregard the rule of law; not all are free of corruption. Not all are saints. We just have to choose and vote according to our individual conscience. For me, this means selecting candidates with less skeletons in their closets.

So, there you are. See if this can be applicable for this coming elections. You can add or delete one, some, or all of the above criteria. You’re still free. But whatever it is, let’s get out and vote.

Our Voting Behavior

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – April 23, 2021


I'm beginning to observe a proliferation of netizens who are no longer afraid to die in support for their political candidates. I don't know which political faction I belong. I have to check my radar and GPS.

Or, perhaps my FB friends and followers across the globe know where I stand. Maybe, they have already read my mind. I'm certain of this. Some, in fact, have given me answers, even before I ask questions, including those questions I dare not ask in public.

Many thanks for the continuing feedbacks they relay to me about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As what I've been doing in the past and will continue to do so, I can always share their wisdom here for those who might perchance be touched by it.