Friday, June 16, 2006

Our Patriotic Curriculum and the Classroom Shortage

Senator Mar Roxas wants to restore the P10 billion or so taken away from the Education Dept's budget since it looks like the 2005 budget will be re-enacted for 2006. I support this move but may I suggest the supplemental allocation be targeted at the School Building Program shown as the thinnest sliver below.
Recall that when schools re-opened last week there was that televised tiff between President Arroyo and Acting Deped Sec. Fe Hidalgo over the shortage of school buildings and classrooms in the public school system. As to WHY there is a shortage of classrooms, the reason is self-evident in the pie chart at left, which shows how the 2006 DepEd budget is divvied up. There is a class room shortage because Deped spent only P2B in 2004, P1B in 2005, and for 2006, is allocating only 1 billion pesos out of its P120 billion pesos budget for the School Building Program. Instead, it will spend P101 Biilion or about 90% of its budget on ITSELF -- on salaries for the largest single group of government employees in the biggest Govt Owned and Controlled Corporation. This simple fact has been right in front of our noses all this time and is probably why most of us do not see it. The single biggest piece of the Deped budget pie is that 101 billion peso Pac-Man shaped portion that is assigned to "Personal Services"--the salaries of nearly half a million government employees (not all of whom actually classroom teachers, since many are administrators, bureaucrats and every variety of staff there is, and most of whom have guaranteed lifetime jobs as civil servants and Comelec casuals during election time). The percentage of the education budget which goes to salaries is way above regional averages and the level of capital and operating expenses is conversely below what is generally considered healthy. But it is inconceivable that the administration -- any administration-- would ever do anything to anger that half-million strong government employee lobby.
Most people who comment on the financial woes of the education sector pay too little attention to something called the Basic Education Curriculum of the public school system, thinking it is a purely academic catalog of no relation to a thing as "real-world" as the national budget. Actually, it IS the Basic Education Curriculum that largely dictates HOW the 101 billion peso budget allocation for Salaries will be spent. A little known fact is that the five subjects do NOT get an equal share of the budget and the exact split depends on the Basic Education Curriculum time specifications.

Too many people have also been convinced that there is also a perennial shortage in teachers. Like education, most are persuaded that there can never be enough teachers. But it depends on the kind of teachers you need, not just how "good" they are. And how many of them you need actually depends on how many subjects you have specified in the curriculum. The budget is driven by the curriculum. I wouldn't mind spending most of the budget on math, science and languiage teachers, but as you can see from the pie chart nearby, most of it goes under a patriotic label, though that can be deceptive too!

I assert that a dispassionate analysis and critique of the BEC can lead to the identification of at least 10 billion pesos that ought to be reallocated to investing in classrooms, computers, textbooks and other physical facilities and materials to build schools in a serious and purposeful manner. Not just to use them as aging vats and livelihood programs.


A typical school year consists of about 40 weeks or 200 school days. The budgetary importance of the Basic Education Curriculum cannot be overemphasized, because it is the curriculum that specifies exactly how much classroom time must be devoted to each of the five subjects, and therefore how many teachers of each kind are needed. Typical scheduling may be found here.

Officially speaking, the curriculum prescribed by Deped for the over 20 million grade school and high school students in the basic education sector contains only five subjects:

(1) Filipino (PDF file is 28 pages long.)

(2) English
(PDF file is 26 pages long.)

(3) Math (PDF file is 22 pages long.)

(4) Science (PDF file is 19 pages long.)

(5) Makabayan (PDF file is 102 pages long.)

Nice and compact right? After all, the global international educational community has been urging all countries to adopt streamlined curricula that focus on the very basics of "reading, writing and 'rithmetic." But the above listing is deceptively streamlined in this regard because of the subject called "Makabayan," which takes the lion share of the time allocations within the Curriculum. Here is the Bureau of Secondary Education Primer which easily reveals that Makabayan is a "super-subject" with "asignaturas" or component subjects within it.
* Filipino: 1 hour 4x a week, 1.2 unit credits
* English: 1 hour daily 1.5 unit credits
* Mathematics: 1 hour daily 1.5 unit credits
* Science: 1 hour 20 min daily, 2 unit credits

o Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies): 40 minutes daily, 1 unit credit
o Technology & Livelihood Education: 1 hour 4x a week, 1.2 unit credits
o Edukasyon sa Pagpapahalaga (Values Education): 1 hour, once a week (Years 1-3), 0.3 unit credit; 1 hour twice a week
o Music, Arts, Physical Education, Health (MAPEH): 1 hour 4 times a week (Years 1-3), 1.2 unit credits; 1 hour, 5 times a week (+ CAT in Year IV), 1.5 unit credits

The teaching of these five learning areas is what will eat up P101 billion in government checks this year: cold hard cash from the government. And they say we can only spare P1 billion for school buildings, classrooms, computers and textbooks?


It is pretty obvious from all of this that Deped is not about education but about employment for Deped and the Comelec. At least, that is how it has turned out in the reality of budgets and real money spent by the government.

Of course, Makabayan itself did not start out that way. Here is a testimonial on Makabayan by someone who claims to have conceived of it, Prof. Isagani R. Cruz, writing for the Philippine Star in 2005 on Makabayan.
Finally, Makabayan is the heart of the BEC. The curriculum exists for only one purpose – to prepare students to become adults. Although every adult has to know a language to communicate with others in the community (Filipino) and elsewhere (English), has to understand how the world works (Science), and has to manage finances (Math), an educated adult needs to become responsible for the community, the nation, and the whole world (Makabayan). The four tool subjects train, but Makabayan educates students.
Really? Or prevents the building of classrooms and the investment in computers and textbooks by creating a thoroughly congested curriculum based on the fallacies and illusions of "Values Education:"
- PELC - Kapayapaan
- PELC - Paggalang
- PELC - Pagmamahal 1
- PELC - Pagmamahal (Disiplina)
- PELC - Pagmamalasakit sa Kapwa
- PELC - Pananampalataya
- PELC - Pinagkukunang Yaman (Pagtitipid)
- PELC - Katotohanan
- PELC - Pangkabuhayan
- PELC - Kalusugan
- PELC - Saloobin
In reality Makabayan is turning out to be an expensive govt program to promote Religion (but without God), and morals based on political correctness, in whose service, English, Filipino, Math and Science are mere tools.

Flagrant Violation of the Non Establishment Clause in the Basic Education Curriculum

The Mercenaries Are Going! The Mercenaries Are Going!
Newspaper Malaya is having an awful hard time getting people excited over their "expose" that Filipinos are working in Iraq as security guards and good-golly-gasp mercenaries for those evil Coalition invaders. Why do these stupid OFWs have to grasp at knife blades just to survive...when there is so much mercenary work right here at politics, in education, in media. Maybe they're not so stupid and they realize working in Iraq is less dangerous than working in the Philippines. Friend and fellow blogger Ellen Tordesillas is at the center of some of this...I don't know Ellen, you might just be helping Blackwater's campaign out with so much publicity...Desperate men will take desperate measures to save kith and kin, that they would not take to save themselves. Kapit sa patalim! Remember the OFW's wager? This was publicized right after GMA abandoned Iraq and made it illegal to work there, by fiat, and explained by Filipino OFWs waiting to get into Iraq: If he goes and lives, then his family lives too. If he goes and dies, then at least insurance will take care of his family. If he stays, then they all die.

"Not even the Dutch can get me out of the Netherlands" Although this PDI article refers to Joma sticking his tongue out at the Philippine Government, I actually heard him tell an exasperated PIA HONTIVEROS on ANC News Chat how the "European Convention" prevents even the Dutch from getting him out of the Netherlands (some legal gobbledygook he's been hiding behind for years). Well that serves the Dutch right for years of heedlessly indulging the crafty head of what the US and the European Union have five times in a row since 2001 called a FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. I hope Jo Ma really is a Dutch citizen now -- let the Netherlands choke on him! But Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales was being quite the ecdysiast a lil later with Pia Hontiveros, as he hinted that the Dutch may finally be coming to their senses about this very dangerous murderer and communist provocateur. He hints the Dutch may expel him. He really should move to North Korea or Cuba, which he is always praising. It was uncanny how precisely he counted the number of recent killings for Pia Hontiveros: 687, just before he launched off on some tirade regarding the "broad united front" which he is triumphantly leading to inevitable victory. Sheesh! Okay okay already. The East is Red and Red is the East okay? But what's really coming to light is that many, -- if not most -- of the killings of Leftists and political activists may be part of a Left-on-Left purge that has been going on ever since the Movement split into pro-Joma "reaffirmists" and the anti-Joma "rejectionists." Two of the latter were assassinated by Joma and his See-pee-pee-en-pee-ay adjuvants here in the Archipelago, murders they publicly owned up to in order perhaps to put fear into the rejectionist ranks. Too many bloggers and media commentators have fallen into the trap of suggesting all these murders are being conducted by the government or the military.

"I love you honey...just going off to hijack a plane and blow up the US Capitol, ok?"
PDI's Rina Jimenez David reviews the documentary on United Flight 93 on Sept. 11:
Though we all know how it ends, the movie still manages to draw us in and engage our emotions, and lets us see the humanity. Yes, including the four al-Qaeda members, especially the leader of the cell who is shown calling up someone on his cell phone just before boarding and telling that person “I love you.”
Rina is talking about the fourth jetliner hijacked on 9/11, but foiled in a possible attack on the White House or the Congress by hostaged passengers who decided to rush the cockpit and the Al Qaeda hijackers, crashing the plane into a Pennsylvania woodlands before it could get to its intended target. Cellphones play a major role in the sequence of real events.

Although Rina praises the director, Peter Greengrass, for using largely unknown actors, she also declares that "Greengrass makes no ideological or, indeed, even emotional points."

Well, maybe he left all that for you, Rina. As for the heroes of United Flight 93, I don't think they would like anyone creating a moral equivalence between their supreme sacrifice and that of Al Qaeda's annihilists.

One last thing, I don't remember the documentary identifying who the hijacker calls and says "I love you" to. Heck maybe it was OBL. Do you know, Rina?

The Manila Bulletin's ADRIAN CRISTOBAL on ANARCHY:

What you have here is confusion, at least. Is it the deed or the language that’s anarchic? The blasts were meant to alarm but not alarming. They were the work of the opposition but not "the" opposition. Since they were not meant to kill anyone, the little destruction inflicted on buildings and mansions could only be called by fastidious linguists of vandalism. Some might even think of them as pranks.

It seems that one way to end "terror" and "anarchy" is a government for communication, an authority that will prescribe simple rules of language so that people will have a clear idea of what official "communicators" are talking about.

The Manila Standard Today newspaper's website still runs this Be A Nasty Eye Candy Model advert on its front page -- complete with some of Julie Yap Daza's patented broadsheet cheesecake and animated, fornicating words and phrases! Haven't seen a printed copy in ages, but they probably still have that LifeStyle section with a daily full page picture of Pilipina pulchritude, scantily clad, if at all, and creatively uhmm, laid out.

SCARY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY It is entirely possible that the MERCENARY story being pumped by newspaper Malaya and several others is FALSE. If so, they are needlessly endangering the lives of Filipino OFWs in the Middle East and other Muslim countries. Evidence is this pickup of the story by Al Jazeera! Hasn't this just increased the probability of Filipinos being kidnapped? Yet there is no real proof that the original Malaya "expose" is even true. This is a naughty stunt that could get some Filipinos into big trouble.


Anonymous said...

I have read an article contributed by Ricky Carandang and he mentioned that we should extend the number of years in school ad to do that the government must spend for education.He added if money is the problem why not collect all the excise tax of cigarettes and expand the tax base by comapring the number of those whompay income taxes to the number of SSS members.

He says it should be done ASAP.

I agree with all the points above,but the government will automatically say: "easier said than done."

About leftist against leftist:

That is still very existent!

I have a third degree cousin who was a fromer leftist,who got abducted and kept for almost a year;
I do not know the details and other circumstances,bjut they keep on doing it to former comrades.

People hate the gov so much that the news that the gov will go all out agaist Joma will make them symphatetic to Joma.

And lastly,
I do not know if I have to apologize if I shared some sentiments that are not that pro American during the mercenary expose at Ellen's blog.

Jon Mariano said...

I think that Malaya's expose has actually given more Filipinos the idea of doing it (becoming mercenaries).

Even Ellen herself is now getting a lot of phone calls for more info how and where to do it!

It's another one those "law of supply and demand" things. The offer is quite attractive just like the "be a candy model" ad!.

Rizalist said...

Thanks for your comment...but on second thought no makes me realize that the story, whether true or false is so unspecific and even speculative that it is now mutating. Jazeera, Indy, even the CpP NPA has statements and spins on the original malaya "expose". I think it actually gives OFWs a bad reputation among the wrong sorts of people, like Zarqawis successor and only invites reprisals against OFWs abroad.

And it doesn't have to be beheading or kidnapping. It could be simple rudenss, or delay or other acts that human beings easily justify in the name of disdain.

I mean so what if the baggage is lost or the meal spoiled for a bunch of mercenaries no??

Dominique said...

Hi, Dean: your story on Makabayan taking the lion's share of the curriculum is plenty scary without having to get into the mercenary story. (And on that regard, Filipinos have an innate belief in their invincibility, hence you have people wanting to be mercenaries.)

On first reading, I wanted to say that perhaps the reason for the disproportion is because of the sheer number of subjects crammed under the name. Certainly, some of these subjects might be important (computer literacy among them.)

But reading through the 100+ pages of the presentation just gave me a headache. It brought back nightmares of my own grade school. Why o why must history and geography and even music and phys.ed. be taught in Tagalog? Seriously, I couldn't understand half the words being used (because the Tagalog used here is pretty deep and I'm Bisaya) It's just double the effort. It just strikes me as impractical. Consider the stilted language they have to use in several of the technical terms.

And then we find an incongruity when we get to computer literacy. English.

I am just so happy I am not in grade school anymore. If I ever have kids, it'll be home schooling for sure!

Rizalist said...

I had the same experience slogging through that Makabayan PDF. And I just know that a large majority of the teachers can't possibly understand most of that if you and I don't. Besides, when you get right down and dirty into some of it, and I AM very fluent Tagalog reader and writer it turns out, well most of it is debatable or downright wrong, philosophically!

I guess you haven't checked out the rest of the verbiage the PELC specs. Now THAT' verbiage in tabular form. you gotta be a fly with compound eyes. Aside from that, it's vacuous moralism. It's done better at any Catholic school. That's the stuff I call religion but without God.

One single credit unit translates into billions of pesos! Even for music or physical education or VALUES ED. Am just working out the formula equivalent of one credit hour inpesos so I can make another eye popping grafic that explains a thousand words.

manuelbuencamino said...

So what are those aspiring mercenaries training for? I think the whole point of the Malaya exposes is to get Blackwater to close shop.

I also have a problem with the privatization policy of the US armed forces. First they started using civilian transport for their troops then they hired caterers now they're hiring mercenaries. The first two I can tolerate but mercenaries for America? That's one line the US should never cross. That's so French hehe

Rizalist said...


you're just trying to get me into trouble with the hillblogger with that remark about the French!

I'm against anything actually illegal, but don't we have diplomatic relations with Iraq?

heck it's dangerous working in Taiwan electronics factories with that rash of mysterious leukemias and skin diseases that our female ofws there face. why not ban travel there too?

My main concern is that Malaya doesn't have complete control over the reputation they might unfairly GIVE Filipinos as being mercenaries of the Americans. That could invite reprisals or just downright rudeness towards Filipinos.


Howdy MB, Dean,


So what do I hear here?

That MB's got a beef against the French? (against me too?)

You guys are intelligent enough to see the difference. I don't have to tell you.


Btw, Dean...

I don't think there is a site to check on the citizenship or nationality of a resident of Europe.

If you are thinking of dear, old CPP founder, ex-NPA commander & current NDFP political consultant Joma, he ain't a Dutch citizen, not even an official refugee in the Netherlands. Ironically, he can't cross the Dutch borders either so he remains in his bourgeois home in Utrecht where he sings and cuts a CD album to his heart's content.

The Philippines could actually ask for him anytime if the govt really wanted to get him but problem is Gloria doesn't seem to really want him on Philippine soil because RP refuses to sign an extradition treaty with the Netherlands!

So while there's no extradition treaty between RP & the Netherlands, Gloria can scream all she wants about filing murder charges against Joma and she ain't gonna get anything and boy, does she know that! She's using the communist bogey to get her media mileage... heheh! Smart donkey your president is!

Anyway, even if RP-Netherlands had an extradition treaty, would be futile - Joma's been to the European Human Rights Court and backed by US Judge Real's decision that he was a human rights victim, the court's initial decision last May 30 gave him a reprieve - the Dutch cannot expel him much as they want to. (His 2 adult kids are Dutch citizens though...)

manuelbuencamino said...


No beef with the French. I was just making a joke about how Americans were making fun of the French during the run-up to the invasion - Remember Freedom Fries?

My reference to the French is to the French Foreign Legion which is a mercenary force. So the US using mercenaries is so French.


And Dean I sent you an e-mail but you didn't reply. Been to Paris and back, darn!



It is not a mercenary force!

Come on! Used to be during the US war of independence but it ain't anymore...

Don't wanna believe me? I suggest you read Simon Murray's book "Legionnaire".

Murray came from an upperclass English family and joined the Legion. There are others written by other ex Legionnaires too, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Americans, etc. but I think Simon Murray might be a better read coz it's peppered with English humor.

Btw, dumb thing for Americans to attribute fries to the French. The Belgians were very upset about that because fries are a Belgian national pride!



My 16 yr old daughter who is in Year 11 (out of 13 years of British primary-secondary education system here), gave me this instant her weekly program (or an average of 33 hours of weekly classroom work).

Note: Considering that she is in the Senior Section of the secondary school, she's already done some of the required basic courses like technology and home economics and others in the lower section or earlier years starting Year 8:

FOREIGN LANGUAGES: German: 2.5 hours; French: 3 hours or total of 5.5 hours

ENGLISH: (literature and composition): 4.5 hours

MATHEMATHICS: 5 hours but 6 hours weekly in lower years starting in Year 8 (In French educational system, MATH classroom time is 7.5 hours weekly for the same year)

SCIENCES (chemistry, biology & physics): 6 hours

HISTORY: 3 hours but had more in earlier years

CIVIC EDUCATION classoom work: 1 hour


P.E.: 2 hours but more in earlier years (note: but earlier years may have less classroom work in other subjects)

CIVIC EDUCATION/on the spot community work: 3 hours week but only for a term (a semester)


In the French Educational system (also 13 years of combined primary and secondary education), starting Year 12, PHILOSOPHY is added to the curriculum.

Kids don't graduate normally from high-school till they reach the age of 18 so 18 or 19 is the usual university freshman's average age in Europe.


Note: Philosophy is a required subject for French high school students and not an optional subject.


Hey Dean,

I agree with Ellen that she should denounce the existence of foreign mercenary groups in the Philippines. ANY foreign mercenary groups operating, recruiting and training on Philippine soil.

We already have enough local professional and amateur mercenary, official and unofficial killer factions in the country that it is absolutely essential not to add to the professional killer mayhem.

Wouldn't you do the same thing (denounce)if there were foreign Islamic-based mercenary groups, companies operating, recruiting and training Filipinos to do that?

C'mon, Dean! I would denounce do the same if the French were doing it on Philippine soil.

You are not to be so blinded by patriotism (for the US) - wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it! Who said that?

Rizalist said...

I can't stop anyone from proclaiming truths they discover, or claim to discover. That is freedom of speech. But who does it hurt by "exposing" it in this case? America? GMA? Blackwater?

I'm afraid it could boomerang on innocent Filipinos in the Middle East if anyone, rightly or wrongly thought they were "mercenaries".

I was foreboded by the Al Jazeera pickup of the accusations and speculations here. You never know who might start to believe what now about Filipino OFWs.

Now since we are already using the M-word anyway, do you know how many mercenary Filipinos there actually are? And are we sure they aren't just cooks or houseboys or something?

Seriously, how many MERCENARY FILIPINOS are there in Iraq right now?


Dean, Dean, Dean,

True that occured to me too from the outset when this was heralded (fatal attraction sort of thing) but on one hand, Malaya as you say had the right, the moral and legal right to do what it did but heck - don't all newspaper's do that, US included?

Anyway, re no. of Pinoy Ms in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Talk to David Gomez, a well-known Fil-Am in the mercenary trade (ask Narcing Abaya how to contact him) or let's - you and I - o to Iraq and check, shall we?

Rizalist said...

So does he actually actually have mestizo Dutch grandchildren? Or have they not yet melted into the Dutch pot that way? Speaking of which, he will soon be a fugitive of the law here for various murders, especially those of his comrades. I guess Mrs. Tabara and Mrs. Lagman and the other Mrs. Rejectionists have been doing some denuciating of "mercenaries" of their own. And they won't get justice until whoever paid those assassins to kill their spouses are brought to justice.

Damn the Dutch! They've set the Philippines back by decades keeping that guy there on tenterhooks -- scaring away about $500 billion dollars worth of tourism since his career started, and all that investment lost, because of his ideological soul...probably a used, borrowed soul from where only the devil knows.


Yes Dean, he does.

Look Dean, if Gloria really wants to put the goods on Joma, she should sign an extradition treaty with the Netherlands. As it stands today, the Dutch are prepared to expel him to any country that wants him because Joma is NOT officially recognized as a refugee (thanks to Judge Real's decision too.)
The Dutch (can't remember when they initiated this) are willing to do sign a treaty with RP. But if you don't have the treaty, what can you do? The authorities in Holland won't even look at the charge sheet agaist Joma.

I mean it, Gloria is using the Joma bogey thing to gain media mileage (and I suspect I know why) but she knows full well that filing charges against Joma (which RP has been doing since Cory's time) smacks of bad faith because, Joma ain't there to face the charges. Put that extradition treaty in the pipeline and you can pick up Joma to answer the charges in RP.... well, until Joma's lawyers stop fighting the extradition.

So, blame Gloria too for not doing anything concrete about getting Joma.

Rizalist said...

HB--Why is the Netherlands bound by the European Convention but won't heed the declaration of the EU that the CPP NPA is a foreign terrorist organization -- with its fundraising suspended.

He is using something to shield himself from that. I suspect it is his insistence on being nothing but a "consultant" of the NDF.

Isn't there any mechanism within the EU that allows things to be clarified::he's the head of the CPPNPA simple as that.

I think he should be treated in the FTO context, since the EU has made five straight declarations of that.

It's true I think that Gloria is using this to her advantage.

But even when Gloria is gone, the question of what to do with the CPP NPA will be there.

We need to deal with it sooner or later. Hopefully Father Time will do its usual work on these aging zealots and take them to paradise before they do it to us!

The Bystander said...

"But what's really coming to light is that many, -- if not most -- of the killings of Leftists and political activists may be part of a Left-on-Left purge that has been going on ever since the Movement split into pro-Joma "reaffirmists" and the anti-Joma "rejectionists." Two of the latter were assassinated by Joma and his See-pee-pee-en-pee-ay adjuvants here in the Archipelago, murders they publicly owned up to in order perhaps to put fear into the rejectionist ranks. Too many bloggers and media commentators have fallen into the trap of suggesting all these murders are being conducted by the government or the military."

Res ipsa loquitor. The thing speaks for itself, DJB.

1. If these are merely the results of internal feuds between and among leftists, why commit them at such a time/period when they are fighting one common evil enemy in the person of Gloria and her minions? Why give the government a reason to pin the blame on the leftists themselves?

2. When GMA, DOJ Gonzalez, NSA Gonzales and her generals started to blame the Left and label them as destabilizers and as part of the imagined conspiracy to oust them from power, the political killings increased. In areas where Palparan was assigned, there is not an instance where no activist is killed. Even for the failure of government to abate these killings, blood is already in their hands.

3. We have an Administration whose leaders have lost all morality and decency in their insatiable lust for power. So killing leftists — the weakest link of the anti-Gloria movement (they know that even some of the anti-Gloria middle forces abhor them) — won’t bother their conscience. What would the government gain from these killings? They are being set as grim examples to those who would dare oppose them that they will suffer the same fate if they continue to mess around!

4. If there are many bloggers whom you think have fallen to the "trap" that these killings are being perpetrated by the government, I think you're one of the few bloggers who surprisingly sing the same tune as Norberto Gonzales. If I may throw the question back to you, what's your basis for saying that this is merely a case of leftists killing themselves? Your readers deserve to know your reasons for saying so.

Rizalist said...

Actually, as I've said before, I don't know who is responsible for the killings.
They can't all be ascribed to one side or the other. For the record, I believe some of them have to be perpetrated by death squads or maybe even Palparan.

But clearly SOME of these were Left-on-Left murders. Surely no one contests the fact that Tabara, Lagman were killed by their ex-comrades. In fact, the CPP NPA claimed those killings themselves.

Also, I am against mixing it all up with GMA. Joma was a big problem for the country long, long before she got into politics. And may be there after she's gone. I don't know. But the two are separate problems, even if their fates happen to be twisted together today.

I have no special information. Only logic and the published facts. You?

I say we should have to deal with the left sooner or later. they are the main reason we are off the investment map. that cannot be allowed to stand.

Sooner or later GMA will fall. But I sure don't want Joma or some robot of his taking over. Frankly I'd rather have GMA than Joma anyday. But both of them gone would be nice too.

manuelbuencamino said...


Probably the only army in the world where one can enlist using an alias and a declared citizenship. That holds true up to now, doesn't it?


Nope MB!

Wrong! Not anymore...



European Convention of Human Rights is much like the UN human rights commission.

It is not the European Union per se.

However, it so happens that members of the EU are also signatories but there are also European members that are not members of the EU.


The European Courts are an independent judiciary system... Much like the supreme court should be.

The Bystander said...

I'm not here to debate with you on this DJB, but allow me to make a rejoinder to your last statement. You said:

1. "But clearly SOME of these were Left-on-Left murders. Surely no one contests the fact that Tabara, Lagman were killed by their ex-comrades. In fact, the CPP NPA claimed those killings themselves."

Tabara, Lagman et al were killed years before this spate of killings circa 2006 happened. If your theory is true, then it should have been the rejectionist left, not the AFP, who should cry foul. But then again the leftists being killed are with Joma's faction. Is the rejectionist Left that systematically capable of annihilating the far numerically superior reaffirmist Left?

2. "Also, I am against mixing it all up with GMA. Joma was a big problem for the country long, long before she got into politics. And may be there after she's gone. I don't know. But the two are separate problems, even if their fates happen to be twisted together today."

It can't be avoided, DJB. Mrs. Arroyo is now using the communist bogey to divert attention and lay the blame on the communists.

If Joma was a problem, it was only because of people like Marcos and now Gloria who have consistently failed to deliver the goods that "democracy" and "capitalism" have promised. This is not to defend Joma, but to me he was more of a reflection of the problem -- poverty, graft and coruption, injustice -- that our country can't seem to get over with.

3. "I have no special information. Only logic and the published facts. You?"

Same here. Different conclusions though.

4. "I say we should have to deal with the left sooner or later. they are the main reason we are off the investment map. that cannot be allowed to stand."

How about the never-ending graft and corruption in government? Is this not the real reason for all our woes?


Dean, Bystander,

I really don't understand why Gloria and her govt still give Joma a lot of credit.

Joma is quite right to say that Gloria is merely capitalizing on the US anti-terrorism bandwagon.

Frankly, the guy is no longer relevant. The real "red" threat is IN the Philippines.

I don't give a hoot about Joma and what happens to him but honestly, let's face things squarely - the guy is a has been, totally irrelevant but this government harping is making him sound more useful than he truly is in the scheme of things today.

Deal with Ka Roger and his army and not with a bunch of pseudo reds who are here. They've had their time. They are just political poseurs.

Why, even Ka Roger uses the guys in Utrecht as conduits to get what he wants out of the govt and why is that? Because the government is going with the flow. The guys here are, if you want, merely "acting" and "lawyering" Ka Roger and his army; they are negotiating and suing for him and the Philippine reds.

I suspect why GRP is falling for the Utrecht crap - it's because it's a convenient excuse. If I were Gloria, I wouldn't deal with Utrecht at all - just giving 'em folks there importance.

Really, it's almost comical.


Billions of pesos will be used to hunt the reds down?

What? Kill each one of them? How do you identify each victim is a red? With a dog tag?

Our AFP must re-read Karl von Clauswitz "On War". The philosophy of war then and today are similar.

Clauswitz cites three important conditions to consider when attempting to vanquish the enemy and one of them is the power of resistance!

Power of resistance is not only in terms of arms or weapons. It's the mind, one of the most difficult elements of resistance that even the most sophisticate army cannot overcome easily.

The wall of Berlin fell not because we dropped an atomic bomb in Eastern Europe but because the power of resistance of the people in Eastern Europe never waned. They wanted freedom.

Same thing with the reds. Educate 'em guys in the boondocks, feed them, clothe them, care for them and they will surrender without a fight. The political poseurs/leaders in their midst will buckle under too.

The Bystander said...


Ya, the real battle is here with Ka Roger. The CPP leadership is here, not in the Netherlands.

Gloria wiping out the NPA in two years? I doubt it.


Funny, PMAers read some passages of "On War" as part of their curriculum but never did do the whole philosophy course on war... That's probably why most of our military leaders are so far behind in terms of military strategy that works. I mean it.


One of the problems of the AFP is that their leaders, the military officers followed a leadership curriculum based on "ROTC drils and exercise". (OK, I'm being rude her but the curriculum was far fro being at par with the modern military academies of even their Asian neighbours - for instance, way behind Royal Malaysian Military Academy which is British founded).

A few years ago, my team and I were asked to make an audit of the PMA curriculum and a comprehensive audit of the training programs of the AFP.

We found it was absolutely behind in terms of leadership philosophy.

The Bystander said...

I don't know much about AFP military srategy. The only book on military strategy I have so far read was the Art of War by Sun Tzu. Hehe!


Know what Bystander,

If they only read Sun Tzu's strategy en totto in the PMA, our military leaders would go a long way and could've become top notch military leaders instead of just military fighters (w/o a cause)....


Si vis pacem para belum is one dogma they should really examine and apply.

Our military is reactive and not proactive.


The Malayan war against the communists worked not because the Brits killed each one of the communists... The strategy was simple - they quarantined them - They baited them with food, clothes, medecine, etc. therafter.

Those communists then became some of Malaysia's most succesful capitalists (and politicians too!).

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

DJB, your post really shocks because of the way DepEd presented the subjects in the their trying-hard-to-be-nationalilstic Curriculum. MAKABAYAN as a subject, my foot! No such thing, only in the Philippines.

My generation of the '40's and 5o's knows that there are only academic and non-academic subjects. The former consist of Reading, 'Riting, 'Ritmethic, and Social Studies. And the latter consist of Physical Education, Work Shop, Home Economics, and Music & Arts. Values Education is the responsibility of the Class Advisers and is part of children behavior in every subject. Work Shop takes care of Technology & Livelihood.

Everything is covered during our time but not all subjects are considered academics. So we had 60 percent academics and 40 percent non-academics. That's not so bad even in a pie chart in money and time spent. But it must be admitted that we spent the most time in learning English, followed by science and math. One has to speak English all the time in school or pay a fine then. And yet we did not loose our nationalism or being MAKABAYAN one single bit. Nationalism is having pride in what you have - a country one can be proud of being called PINOY, and not KANOY!

But DJB, that sliver of a pie for school building really is criminal! Remember, I was calling for a Crash School Building Program to answer the lack of schoolrooms? You cannot do it with only P1B, definitely.

Rizalist said...

BFR--The message is that we actually have the money to facilitate the schools properly. But we have to concentrate on the basics of education, the core bits of knowledge that simply ignite the desire for knowledge.

Where we have taken a wrong turn is to think of education as filling up a gas tank. That's really wrong and has led to this one XXX-LARGE size fits all kind of Curriculum and approach.

Education is like a spark plug, and the more high tech the better.

If we concentrate on the core academic subjects, AND have a place for the kids to sit in while we do it, then we can ignite that spark they need.

There's PLENTY of money for the classroom school building program, but right now, we are spending it on dubious items, glaringly visible in the BE Curriculum.

Anonymous said...

That curriculum would require more hours,Then the genius said, make them two shifts to fill in the gaps.What does she want two shifts of ten hours?
We can not live by the style of a little of everything, we know it won't work.We know our weaknesses,we know where we are being left behind by our neighbors.
We know a lot, but knowing ,when it comes to knowing our nothing.

There is nothing wrong for advocating for english as the medium of instruction.Many call centers go down south because those in the Visayas and Mindanao can speak and write better english.

Anonymous said...

I heard that, Bill Gates retired as chairman on Microsoft to concentrate on educating the US and the world.

His hands may be full with the US,they also have a big time problem in education.

Maybe his foundation can take a look at our country,but there are poorer nations ,so I would be selfish to even wish for us to be his prority.

Rizalist said...

There is nothing inherently wrong, in my opinion, with establishing two shifts in the public schools. But my point is that it really isn't even necessary. We have the money to build all the schools that are needed, if we only would get rid of the SUBJECTS that are NOT needed.

You see, going two shifts does not reduce the share of salaries because it implies the same number of teachers in the subjects that are, imho, EXTRA CURRICULAR anyway, as BFR points out.


Hi Dean, BFR,

BFR's curriculum is pretty much similar to what my children have in Europe.

Dean, I noticed that History was missing in the curriculum you posted - when do they learn history?

For info, our kids here (French & British) start learning history, which is required part of the curriculum from Year 7 (or at 13 years of age) until Year 13 (age 18 or 19) unless the child decides to do Maths/Sciences specialization from Year 12 (age 17 in which case the child drops history from his/her Year 12 curriculum).

I also noticed that the number of hours devoted to learning to read and write English in the Phil high school curriculum is pretty much the same as the British children who already are native English speakers.

I believe the curriculum should do away with Makabayan and put those hours to learning to read and write English.

Anonymous said...

I agree, that we must concentrate on Core subjects and make exrracurricular as electives or have it in a summer program but still optional.

We are kulelat in Math and Science, reading and writing.I guess the makabayan was the idea for one to remember and love his nation,it is nice but meron na nun eh,Araling panlipunan at bakit gagawing makabayan pero hindi naman importante ang iba.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Hillblogger, Karl, it all boils down to the quality of the teachers. Tabi-tabi sa kaluluwa, but all the teachers of my time, even those teaching arithmetic and science, can speak and write GOOD ENGLISH. Today, a lot of public school teachers cannot speak and write English, much less teach it.

Imagine a teacher telling a co-teacher that "she has stiff neck in her waist" or even write a memo that said: "Attendance is a mass." Imagine this teacher aspiring to be a school principal! When they made Filipino the medium of instruction instead of English they made a big, big mistake. Now, even teachers do not find it necessary to be good in English.