Political System

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 13, 2021

 

There are those people who shower us with praise in public, but at the same time stab us in the back before the same audience. This was epitomized by Brutus in his speech before the Senate. He was as devious as any politician could be.

Julius Caesar was gaining popularity in his military pursuits. Brutus showered Julius Caesar with his praise and admiration when he said: "No condemnation could be too severe if Caesar did not hold the lives of his soldiers dearer than his own."

But Julius Caesar was seen as a danger to the holders of power in Rome, especially on the part of Brutus. That's why he convinced the Senate to assassinate Julius Caesar, by his Machiavellian tactics to achieve his egotistical interests: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”

And there are still so many "Brutuses" in the Upper and Lower Houses of Congress today across the globe. Their words reverberate with authority and fear, lest oppositions get assassinated. And here and there, in the thick of the electoral race, political opponents and rebels get wiped out, harassed, or bribed in exchange for silence and life.

All in the guise of patriotism, nationalism, and love of country. Yet, the people remain poor, hungry, sickly, and homeless. But let's be reminded of what Sociologist W.E.B. de Bois said: "We should measure the prosperity of the nation not by the number of millionaires but by the absence of poverty..."

Julius Caesar was warned of the ides of March, ignored it, and died; plebeians were way too easily swayed; all the conspirators died with him too. In this 1599 Shakespearean play, Mark Antony drove the conspirators out of Rome and fought them in a battle. Brutus and his friend Cassius preferred to fight it out to the end and lost, leaving Antony to rule in Rome.

But gracious goodness, Brutus. The fault is not in your political opponents, but in you. It's in you, Brutus. You are the problem. You're a traitor to the Roman people. The Roman people admired Julius Caesar as a ferocious leader who protected them in the river Rubicon. But you deceived the Senate and enlisted the help of Mark Anthony and his military.

The words of Julius Caesar followed the call of the omens of the gods and the inequity of the enemies who continued to grab lands belonging to the Roman empire. Is it perhaps coincidental that the following words still ring like a roaring thunder to wake us all up from our sleep?

“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

Yes, blaze forth, and in your case, Brutus, it's death to guide you to that place where there are no more dentists to replace or take care of your teeth, even as the death of a beggar is never celebrated.

A wake up call to many of us. People of the world, be awake! Or, perhaps, it's me who needs to be awake. I could either be Brutus and the beggar, or even both.

Comparative Forms of Selected ASEAN and European Governments

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 14, 2022

 

Based on their constitutions, I prepared a comparative list of governments of selected European countries and South East Asian nations.

1. The French system is quasi- or semi-presidential and semi-parliamentary, with a bicameral form of legislature and a unitary political system.

2. Germany is parliamentary, federal, and bicameral in nature. Real executive power rests on the Federal Government composed of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. The Federal President acts as the titular head performing ceremonial functions.

3. The British system is likewise parliamentary but unitary with a bicameral form of legislature. The Queen, who is regarded as the symbol of unity and the ceremonial head of the state, is vested with executive power. But the Queen exercises her executive authority through the Prime Minister and the Ministry.

4. Singapore, among the four selected ASEAN governments I studied, stands out as the only Republican government with the President as head of state. The rest—Brunei, Malaysia, and Thailand—are monarchial in form with the monarch serving as the ceremonial head of state.

5. The monarchies of Brunei, Malaysia, and Thailand are limited—also referred to as constitutional—with the monarch governing according to the laws of the land.

6. But in Brunei, the Sultan exercises real unlimited powers in spite of a provision restricting him to govern the Monarchy in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and also to consult the Council of Ministers.

7. Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand exhibit a parliamentary form of government—also called the cabinet system of government—with real executive authority vested on the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

8. Brunei cannot be classified as either presidential or parliamentary, though in principle it approximates the parliamentary system of government in the sense that, in addition to the Sultan, it provides for the position of the Prime Minister. In reality, however, the Sultan and the Prime Minister are one and the same person

9. Malaysia has a federal system and the powers and functions of the government are divided between the federal government and the component units consisting of 16 federal states and two separate federal territories (as of 1995).

10. Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei have a unitary political system implying that there is one supreme central or national government.

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11. The Philippines is not included in my research. It is currently in the process of making up its mind whether to change into a federal system or not.

During the Martial Law years, the government provides a position for the Prime Minister. Within the country, we can see the influence of both the Athenians and Spartans either vying for power and control over the people or giving power and authority to the people.

The great majority of the people, whose trust and confidence rating towards President Duterte has been steadily growing fast since he took office, remains silent and would rather go where the President will lead them.

Incidentally, ASEAN is on its 55th year today, having been founded on August 8, 1967. It is comprised of the following countries:

Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

My wish for all the success to the new Administration. I’m always willing to offer my services for the future of our country and the entire Filipino people.

Existing political systems that are competing for world dominance and power today

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 14, 2022

 

Existing political systems that are competing for world dominance and power today include the following:

 

1. Anarchism

2. Authoritarianism

3. Communitarianism

4. Communism - Leninism.

5. Conservatism

6. Corporatism

7. Democracy

8. Environmentalism

 

Likewise, varioys types of governments have evolved through the years. They include:

 

1. Authoritarian

2. Democracy

3. Monarchy

4. Oligarchy

5. Totalitarian

6. Anarchy

7. Aristocracy

8. Dictatorship

 

Let's Review Our World History.

 

Athens: The Birth and Cradle of Democracy

Our story has always been a story of how our ancient ancestors lived, how they organized themselves as a people, and how we developed and established our system of government, economy, and religion.

It all started in ancient Athens, in particular, the Pre-Socratic and Sophists era (470-399. BC) to the time of Plato (427-347 BC) and Aristotle (384-322 BC), blossoming during the time of Pericles who ruled Athens (460-429), invented the system of democracy, and established a government in which all citizens share in running the government.

Ancient Greece was the cradle of democracy. Other than democracy, Athens was the birthplace of science, technology, architecture, mathematics, philosophy, arts, music, culture, and philosophy.

But the rise of the Greek civilization was as fast as its downfall, brought about by a period of civil unrest that triggered the rivalry between Athens and Sparta.

Under Sparta’s leadership, Athens’ system of democracy was dissolved and replaced by “a complicated mixture of hereditary monarchy, aristocratic oligarchy, democracy and even what we would today describe as socialism.”

Nonetheless, Parthenon remains the iconic symbol of art and architecture replicated by government buildings today to immortalize the ideals of democracy.

——————-

 

Reflections: Democracy vs Authoritarianism

This was only the earlier beginnings of our tumultuous history. For, wars, killings, violence, corruption, and a struggle for power between democracy and authoritarianism also started.

Democracy started as a struggle of the majority of the populace to free itself from domination of the few aristocrats, while authoritarianism has been continually propagated as a system of governance that could establish rule and order over the unruly citizens.

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Existing Forms of Governments

Today, so many shades and forms of governance emerge:

1. Parliamentary;

2. Federal; and

3. Constitutional.

Nationalism, Patriotism, or Humanitarianism?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 19, 2021

 

Love of country is the only legacy we can be proud of. But politics is a double-edged sword. It can either lead us to heaven or hell.

How I wish this predictive statement of the Greek King Leonidas I of Sparta will be said to our country too:

“A thousand, two thousand, three thousand years from now, men a hundred generations yet unborn may for their private purposes make journey to our country. They will come, scholars perhaps, or travelers from beyond the sea, prompted by curiosity regarding the past or appetite for knowledge of the ancients."

But cursed and damned will we and our nation be if our political leaders say this to us, citizens: “Now eat a good meal, men, for we’ll all be sharing dinner in Hades” (King of Sparta).

Patriots, nationalists, armies, police forces, and veterans, let's change our target. We're fighting against the wrong enemies of our country. Our enemies are within, not outside our country.

They are our compatriots, the politicians and a few powerful elite ruling us as tyrants, who have sold their souls already to the dictates of foreign powers and multinationals, treating us like dumb oxen, slaves, lumpen proletariat, looters, thieves, not-good-for-anything, and lazy.

Ayuda, mga Kababayan, Kapuso, Kapamilya, at Kaibigan! Nakakaloko at nakakaloka na ang mga pangyayari.

Be awake and arise! Remember that we are:

"Christian soldiers!

Marching as to war,

With the cross of Jesus

Going on before.

"Hell’s foundations quiver

At the shout of praise;

Brothers, lift your voices,

Loud your anthems raise."

We will welcome all new public leaders elected by the people. But we will stand firm. We can continue to unite in pursuing our common vision and purpose.

"We are not divided;

All one body we:

One in hope and doctrine,

One in charity."

Our leaders are our public servants, not tyrants. King Leonidas and his cavalry sacrificed their lives for the people of Greece in 480 B.C. at the tiny mountain pass of Thermopylae.

The same fate befell the lives of our heroes and their infantry on December 2, 1899 at the Battle of Tirad Pass. And almost a century later, or in 1986, we had another Battle of Tirade Pass at EDSA, fought not with guns and blood, but with rosaries and roses.

What will it be this time? And where will the winning politicians lead us to? Will the winners be somebody we can be proud of as a Christian country? Or, will we be continually ranked as one of the most corrupt nations of the world?

Let's think of the future and the future of our children before we leap.

Here comes the New Lady President!

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – July 20, 2021

 

I’m beginning to entertain the idea of having another Lady President who can get us out safe of this pandemic mess, just like Mama Mary who through her fiat opened the way to our salvation. But who will it be?

The most famous female-led countries in the past two years are:

1. Angela Merkel of Germany,

2. Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand,

3. Mette Frederiksen of Denmark,

4. Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, and

5. Sanna Marin of Finland.

They attracted many headlines but getting little academic attention to this day. Why? Maybe because they are precisely that, according to the researchers, …WOMEN…

Other women leaders include:

1. Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein of Austria,

2. Prime Minister Mai Sandhu of Moldova,

3. President Zuzana Caputova of Slovakia,

4. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Belgium,

5. Prime Minister Sophie Wilmés of Belgium,

6. President Jeanine Añez of Bolivia,

7. Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland,

8. President Katerina Sakellaropoulou of Greece,

9. Prime Minister Rose Christian Raponda of Gabon,

10. Prime Minster Victoire Tomegah Dogbé of Togo,

11. Acting President Vjosa Osmani of Kosovo,

12. Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte of Lithuania,

13. President Maia Sandhu of Moldova, and

14. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of Estonia.

What made women famous nowadays?

The analysis of 194 countries, published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum suggests that women's style of leadership is in favor of women. According to them, gender difference is real and this “may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses” adopted by female leaders.

Their study between female and male leaders in the U.S.A. proved conclusively that the case for the relative success of female leaders was only strengthened.

Here are some excerpts of other studies I found in my research:

“Our results clearly indicate that women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities,” said Supriya Garikipati, a developmental economist at Liverpool University, co-author with Reading University’s Uma Kambhampati.

“In almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances. While this may have longer-term economic implications, it has certainly helped these countries to save lives, as evidenced by the significantly lower number of deaths in these countries.”

So, are women leaders really doing better on coronavirus?

A study was made in August 2020 and the finding is that female leaders were seen to have handled the crisis remarkably well. Whether it has been New Zealand under Jacinda Ardern or Taiwan under the presidency of Tsai Ing-Wen or Angela Merkel of Germany. Female-led countries have been always cited as examples of how to manage a pandemic.

I would venture to say here that the gender-based model is not also a guarantee for success since we also found many women leaders in the past whose administration were not free at all of corruption and violence.

But we need some feminine energy in our leadership and governance nowadays. There’s too much masochism and patriarchalism for centuries now.

That’s why there’s so much violence, killings, building of nuclear armaments, power grabbing, and wars. Colonialization and colonization continue unabated. Everybody wants to be President, King, Emperor.

Let’s not underestimate the power of women! Madame Curie was the only woman to this day to receive two Nobel laureates in Physics, a physically demanding career.

Curie discovered polonium and radium, championed the use of radiation in medicine and fundamentally changed our understanding of radioactivity.

She knew the danger of her work. But she loved her work. Being exposed to X-rays, she knew she’ll eventually die of it.

Indeed, on 4 July 1934, at the Sancellemoz Sanatorium in Passy, France at the age of 66, Marie Curie died. The cause of her death was given as aplastic pernicious anaemia, a condition she developed after years of exposure to radiation through her work.

It was an ultimate sacrifice and love to offer her life as a service to humanity, comparable only to what Jesus did on the cross.

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.

Politics and Science

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – April 12, 2021

 

Politics should give way to science in these times of global crisis. It must only perform subsidiary functions by giving health and economic assistance like monthly cash allowances for food, medicines, vitamins, educational benefits, health-care assistance while speeding up nationwide testing, contact tracing, and inoculation processes from the village way up to the national level.

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.

The Trojan War!

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. 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, signaling 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 resurrection 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.

“I love my country and I’m willing to die for my country!”

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - April 26, 2022

 

Excuse me, but: “I don’t love my country and I’m not willing to die for my country!”

My country is already owned by only a few families (one percent and their number is dwindling, inversely proportional to the riches they stole on our land).

Many of my fellow Filipinos are homeless, sickly, jobless, squatters on the land that gave them birth and life. It’s not my country that I love but the Filipino people who have been marginalized, ignored, deprived, and excluded from the mainstream of progress and development.

The Health-care System, Pagibig, Social Welfare System, Social Security System, Medicare, and other government services are weak, exclusive, or not working at all. Worse, public funds intended for their implementation are invested for other purposes, other than for the poor, sick, and homeless.

The “Preferential Option for the Poor” is not working. Instead, it’s being used, until now, as a deodorant by the Church, televangelists, religious pastors, and clergy who proclaimed themselves messengers appointed by their respective God.

The problem has become systemic. For centuries, it has been ingrained in our society’s system of economics, politics, leadership, governance, beliefs, and culture.

Meanwhile, one can be justified to ask: “who or what can change our corrupt and oppressive system?”

The results of the coming electoral race cannot give us a clear answer. We will just have to wait and see. And we have been waiting for so long a time already.

Will the real Messiah emerge on May 9?

Now is the time to face reality and what kind of reality is facing us today?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 22, 2022

 

FIRST: Environmental - Integrity of Creation

1. Climate change

2. Russian-Ukraine fiasco

3. Covid 19 and its never-ending variants

4. Proliferation of nuclear arms

5. Natural calamities

SECOND: Endemic and Systemic

1. Poverty

2. Human Rights violations

3. Inflation

4. Unemployment

5. Illiteracy

THIRD: Mental, Psychosocial, Psychological

1. Hatred, revenge, inability to move on, division, immigration, migration

2. Frustration and desperation

3. Despondency and panic attacks

4. Suicidal tendencies among youth

5. Loss of trust and confidence on our leaders

FOURTH: Spiritual

1. Godlessness

2. Dialectical Materialism

3. Secularism

4. Globalization

5. Retrogression and Revisionism

Let’s help the new administration fight the above problems. If they cannot, let’s continue what we have been doing to respond to the above realities.

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.

Hegemony and Its Power

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 27, 2021

 

The recent hegemonic stance of many nations is creating jitters on the entire humanity because of its evident penchant for power and dominance. Once unleashed, it will create great havoc across the globe, reminiscent of the lightning, as in nuclear, bomb released from the heavens above in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. But which nation will push the control button first?

es, indeed, which nation will push the control button first? Is it the USA, Russia, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Myanmar, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the European Union, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland?

This time, it will only take one individual to do it and the ground will be engulfed with clouds appearing like mushrooms and ships taking off to space leaving off radiations, enough to cause cancer within some definite radius.

At light speed, the atmosphere will be adorned with shining lights, but deadly as they drop down in the form of ash fall and rain, instantly pilling off the skins and organs of all creatures directly hit below. Many will suffer for hundreds and thousands of years.

Each nation is just now eagerly awaiting to push the first button. Who will do it? Anybody's guess. The nation whose stake is the greatest will more likely do it.

In the meantime, what shall we do? Science has made great achievements to today's technology. But it's also out to destroy all of us.

Religion intervenes in the form of prayers (Oratio Pandemia) and other forms of liturgical services like reciting mantras, rosaries, and chanting. We all need this.

But it is not as significantly successful in influencing the affairs of science as well as governments, politics, and leadership. We may have to be more aggressive in our militancy through the social media.

We need something short of miracle to prevent an inevitable doom. Let's join together side-by-side, hand-in-hand, but not to convert and herd others into our fold. Unity in numbers can be achieved both in terms of diversity and multiplicity.

Hegemony: The Role of Internationally Influential Countries in Philippine Politics

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. February 16, 2022

 

(Responding to the query: "How do you factor in Uncle Sam re your mathematical equation?")

Hegemony is defined by the Google dictionary to refer to "international leadership by one political subject, be it the state or a "historical bloc” of particular social groupings, whereby the reproduction involves the enrollment of other, weaker, less powerful parties (states/classes) constituted by varying degrees of consensus."

My mathematical formulation gives the following weights to the countries below which I believe to be the most likely to have great stakes in the Philippines--military, political, business, religious. Others can give their own weights and even add more countries:

USA - 50%

RUSSIA - 25%

CHINA - 25%

SOUTH KOREA - 25%

JAPAN - 25%

Anticipatedly, the results give higher beta weights to USA. But as a whole, the beta coefficients of all the countries are still very low, indicating that much of the explanatory variables can only be explained by the residual error that were not factored in in the equation.

Again, this is just a simple regression. The results cannot be accurate because the formula is linear. But reality is very fluid.

To explore those other hidden variables, one has to identify them and to have a more accurate picture, one has to use not only multiple linear regression, but also the intergral and differential calculus of Leibniz and Newton.

But this is too much time and effort for me. Maybe some other economists and statisticians out there can pursue this issue. Besides, this is just an academic exercise, as my close FB friends declare.

Nevertheless, I do this in my doctoral class to know and predict events in reality. I include also other quantitative tools like factor analysis, correlation analysis, cluster analysis, semiotics, and many others to supplement the qualitative and philosophical approach of phenomenology, which ordinary layperson do not bother at all.

In reality, I don't think majority of the voters will think about the role of other countries as a basis for their decision.

But I can't think of any other objective and scientific way of responding to the query: "How do you factor in Uncle Sam re your mathematical equation?"

Lining Up Political Candidates

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – October 29, 2021

 

I really admire people for their candidness and promptness in addressing current political and social issues through the social media. Walang paligoy-ligoy, that is, no meandering and straightforward. And they're armed with raw facts.

They are very much informed indeed in their views and are courageous enough to share their views to their followers through their online platforms in spite of the risks involvement. Call this patriotism, nationalism, or loyalty to one's country.

This is what is needed today, if only to open the eyes of the people, who, for so long a time, had been duped into complete submission by a few political elites and the media.

Its effect on me will be quite tremendous. It will help me narrow down my list of political choices as the national election nears. I can only entrust the governance and leadership of my country through the persons I will vote in the coming electoral race, earnestly hoping at the same time that they will not fail me. If, in case, they fail, I can do nothing but wait for another election to change them.

Only the voters can decide who they will vote and why. Whether they are well informed and enlightened in their choices, no longer matters. Once they vote, the die has been cast and there will be no turning back.

Good luck to all of us. Good luck to our country. If it will continue to be filled with corruption, injustices, drug trafficking, and human-rights violations, it's still our country.

Wherever we go, every country has its own degree of corruption, etc. They differ only in depth and breadth. This should bring us to a greater awareness and realization that the future of our country lies only in our hands as voters.

In politics, it's not good to be neutral

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – August 13, 2021

 

You can't be lukewarm, neither positive nor negative without the society being endangered. How fitting is 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 who can go to the extent of buying the votes of those participating in the electoral race.

This is corrupting further 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.

In this corrupt and morally bankrupt society, the only good thing to do is to attack and resist the invisible hands of the few and their willing nincompoops who are spending their wealth and influence on corrupting individuals and the world.

How to get out of this corrupt State and world of ours is a continuing challenge for each one of us.