ON May 9, Filipinos will, once again, exercise their sacred right of suffrage for the fifth time since it was suspended in a vacuum for almost 20 years during the dictatorial rule of strongman President Ferdinand Marcos.

The forecast from Manila is that Mr. Rodrigo Duterte is likely to win as president based on most recent surveys and words I received from friends and relatives in the Visayas and Mindanao.

I don’t think the belated exposés on Mr. Duterte, being friendly to the Communist Party of the Philippines, and his supposed involvement with the Davao Death Squads will stick and change the outcome of the elections.

At this time, Filipinos know already by heart who they will vote for president and vice president.

And they will keep it in their heart as long as they could.

That’s the value Filipinos give to their suffrage.    

Despite news of possible vote buying and other forms of electoral corruption and fears of a Smartmatic computer voting bugs and breakdown (or even possible computerized “cheating” as reported in other countries that used the same software & hardware), I believe that majority of Filipinos are intelligent voters and they will preserve the sanctity of their right and of their vote.

I have witnessed this civic value as I was growing up in our beloved native country.

Filipino-Americans who have voted at the Philippine Consulate in New York and other places in the U.S. have demonstrated the same positive trait.

An example of what I just wrote could be gleaned from the following Facebook posting of a Filipina voter:

“In the early days of the campaign, Raymond and I hoped for Duterte to prove himself worthy of becoming the next president. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“But I’ve made up my mind in these last few weeks.  

“Duterte is not fit to be our country’s president.

“1. The president should be a role model for all Filipinos, especially the young and those who do not know right from wrong. Duterte’s words and actions espouse violence, indecency, low regard for women and utmost machismo. These are not the values that I would like the Filipinos to have.

“2. His promises are full of bravado and have not been backed by workable action plans. He is just feeding on the emotions and frustrations of his supporters. While I understand their desire for drastic change, I have not been convinced that Duterte can deliver on his promises.  

“3. His impulsiveness is dangerous for foreign relations. In his few months of campaigning, he has offended Australia, the USA and even Mexico. Apologizing after his thoughtless remarks is not the solution. He is unfit to represent our country in the world of nations.

“4. The president’s strengths should be multifaceted. Duterte is not so. He will be more suited for a position that will make full use of his strength as a man of action. Let him run after corrupt officials. Let him run after drug lords. But please, don’t let him run the country!”

(End of post.)


Because of his moral standards or absence of it, I’m not even sure if Mr. Duterte should be appointed as police officer.  

Now, let me proceed discussing the title of this column.

Why that question?

An example of an amoral person is an infant.

Amoral is defined by Webster’s as:

1) without moral sense;

2) incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong.

During the campaign, the media in the Philippines, including social media around the world, have reported about Mr. Duterte’s weird language, out of the ordinary actuations and beliefs.

By “weird,” we mean unusual, or even unbecoming.

And may even fall under the definition of amoral.

He said he had killed and would kill criminals with a gun.

He promised to eliminate criminality in six months from day one if elected.

He cursed the Pope and the Catholic Filipino bishops.

He announced publicly he had two wives.

He has been shown in videotape kissing a woman (neither of his two wives) in the lips for an extended period before a big group of people.

He made irresponsible statements against women, like the Australian lay female missionary who was raped and killed inside a prison in Davao.

Because he was criticized for his offensive remarks by the ambassadors to the Philippines of the United States and Australia, he warned that if elected, he would sever diplomatic ties with those two countries.

In spite of his offensive pronouncements, he refused to apologize.

In light of the forecast that Mr. Duterte might win because his “unheard of before” promises and statements resonate among the voters and, perhaps, because of the Filipino people’s frustrations with the current breed of politicians, do Filipinos really want to make a seemingly amoral person their leader and representative to the world?


Dr. Jeevan Vinod and Dr. Edward Boylan

I’d like to thank Dr Jeevan Vinod, gastroenterologist at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J., who performed my latest colonoscopy.

I have only praises for Dr. Vinod and his team of nurses and anesthesiologist.

I would also like to thank my primary physician, Dr. Edward Boylan, for keeping me healthy and fit physically.

He reminded me it’s time for another colonoscopy, which is done every five to six years.

After my last, Dr. Vinod told me the next one will be in five to 10 years.

I guess, whichever comes first.



Pete Celso


I wish to greet my so-called BFF (Best Friend Forever) a Happy Birthday.

He is Pete Celso of Australia.

Pete and I have known each other since our elementary grades.

I have another BFF, Atty. Manuel J. Laserna, Jr., of Parañaque City.

But, it’s not Manny’s birthday yet.

He has been strongly against Mr. Duterte’s candidacy for president.

He said he was for the RO-RO tandem.


To all moms, Happy Mother’s Day!

Like I cite every Mother’s Day, “Mothers are saints.”

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