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No lies. No distortions. Just the facts. And the truth about issues that matter. Facts Verse with Christian Esguerra.
Good evening guys. Welcome to tonight's episode of Facts Verse. Ako po ang inyong host si Christian Esguerra. Maraming salamat po for joining us tonight.
Maraming salamat po sa inyong patuloy na pagsuporta dito po sa ating programa. Nga po, I'd like to remind you kasi nakakamali ako over the past few episodes.
Nire-remind ko ito at the end. Mali po yun. So sisimulan natin yung reminder sa start ng program.
Yung mga gusto po sumuporta sa ating programa, don't forget to send super likes, super thanks, super stickers sa YouTube. Tapos sa Facebook po, Facebook stars.
Yan po yung direct ang paraan para maipakita nyo inyong pagsuporta dito sa ginagawa nating klase ng journalism. Okay?
So para ngayong gabi po, dalawa po yung topics natin. Una po natin pag-uusapan ay yung pong COVID situation sa Pilipinas in relation to the COVID situation in our neighboring countries in the region.
At tsaka doon po in particular, doon po sa COVID situation sa China. Kasi ang policy yata ng ating pamahalaan nyo yun, wait and see. Okay?
So alam nyo naman yung pakikipag-deal ng isang pamahalaan tungkol doon sa COVID situation, especially at the height of the pandemic, hindi lang po siya purely medical.
Talagang anlaki po nung factor ng economic at saka po nung political. Yan po yung pag-uusapan natin yung gabi.
Mamaya, after po nitong unang panayam natin, pag-uusapan natin yung supposed destabilization plot or efforts against the current administration. Yan po talagang purely politics yan.
Okay, dito muna tayo sa unang topic natin. Makakasama po natin ngayong gabi. Ang isa pong spesyalista pagdating po sa infectious diseases. Isa rin po siyang spesyalista pagdating po sa epidemiology.
So yung ininvite po natin sa programan ito, mga ekspertong totoo. Okay, I'd like to introduce to you si Dr. Benjamin Ko. Okay, magandang gabi po Doc Benjamin.
How should I call you? Doc Benji? Benjamin? It doesn't matter. What's in a name? Okay, si Dr. Benjamin Ko. Happy Chinese Lunar New Year on the 22nd.
Belated Merry Christmas na dahil na tapos na kahapon eh. Okay. Happy New Year Doc Benji. Pero happy ba nga tingnan yung year? Kasi namomonitor ko po yung... Ito, konting background. Si Dr. Benjamin Ko, as a matter of passion, you decided to count the numbers.
Parang naging pet peeve. You wanted to have a more accurate count of the COVID numbers. Sige, kwento muna natin. Why did you start doing this early during the pandemic?
Well, I guess it started with the news of the pandemic starting in China and the WHO did not recognize it as a pandemic. So I blogged. So in my blog, I actually introduced the data that was coming from China.
And I just wrote about it, including some of the other information that I could pick up over the internet or with some friends. And I was able to gather a lot more information.
And I started, I think, my first article sometime in January before we even recognized it and the WHO recognized it as a worldwide pandemic.
So the title of your blog was Relative Joy? Yes. So I used my own blog site to provide updates.
Sa totoo lang, laking tulong ng Doc. Kasi nang time na yun, ang dami nagdududa sa official numbers coming from the DOH, coming from other countries. Pero at your own initiative, talagang kinulate nyo yung numbers. Tama ba?
Pinadyagaan ko yan kasi wala ka naman magagawa sa lockdown. I mean, three months down the road, we were in lockdown. So yeah, that's the story of it. That's how it started. And I just ended it this December 31.
Yan nga, talaga ba tinapos nyo? Kasi may nabasa akong post nyo. Active si Dr. Benjamin ko sa Twitter at Facebook. May nabasa akong post nyo. Sinabi nyo, you would stop counting numbers. Talaga ba tinigil nyo na? Bakit po?
Yeah, I stopped counting actually. And part of the stop counting is the data that we're getting, even the WHO, realizes that it's very inaccurate because countries have changed the way they report, the way they test.
Unlike in the beginning when a lot of the countries were doing a lot of contact tracing. Naalala ninyo nung nagsimulang pandemya, pag isa meron, lahat ng mga kapitbahay mo i-swab na din. Ngayon hindi na eh.
So bahala na si Batman. Kung sinong meron, symptoms, yung iba nagtatago na lang. And then we use antigen tests. And we know very well that the antigen tests are useful. However, they're not counted by the Department of Health.
So we have different ways of reporting in different countries. And one of the perfect examples is like in Japan, you see that they have so many hundreds of thousands of cases a day but they're required to report all the cases that are provided there.
And lahat ng kaso na nare-report sa kanila, mandatory talaga yan kasi that's the only time that they can get ayuda or help or healthcare. So they can't use their local healthcare if they don't report that they are sick.
So in terms of accuracy and honesty, ano ba yan? May kanya-kanya definitions or standards of honesty and accuracy?
Yes. If you look at the UK, they don't report regularly already. They do it once a week. They have a surge. Well, not really a surge. There are increasing cases in the UK.
Even in the US, they have increasing cases in the Northeast area but they're undercounted because a lot of people will not count, will not test if they don't have symptoms. If they do have, they're not going to report that they are positive.
So parang naging futile exercise na yan?
Yes. That means that whatever count I give you every day is not going to be an accurate count anymore.
E dito po sa Pilipinas, the DOH, nagbibilang pa ba?
Nagbibilang pa ang DOH pero if you look at, kasi dapat ang tinitignan mo yung positivity rate and the number of tests being done every day. I mean that's a good reflection already.
You just look at that. Our positivity rate is now at 5.7% which is good. I mean that's very good. But we only do about an average of 10,000 tests a day.
So 10,000 people doing PCR and that's kind of low. But see the Philippines has a capacity overall, including all the Red Cross stations, has about a capacity of doing 50,000 to 60,000 tests a day. So yun yung maximum natin.
So kung na-maximize mo lahat, then that's about 2,000 plus cases considering 5.7%. And if you do more tests, then that percentage will probably even drop down further.
Pero yung 5.7, that's good news. Pero pag-denominate yung test, pwede pa siya mas mababa?
Yes. The more people that are tested, then the denominator increases kasi.
Okay. Bakit tayo imabod sa ganito situation? Ano ba ito? Because of our vaccination rate?
Because of both. We've got good immunization rates and we already have natural immunity. I mean the lockdowns were not really scientific in nature but the slow return to normal in the country probably helped.
So in the beginning, the lockdowns were effective at curtailing the number of increasing cases. And that's basically because we're very limited in the vaccines, the medicines that are available in the country, and then our healthcare system.
So those are important parameters. And you can very well see over the year, after a year or so, nakaya na naman natin. Kahit na papano, nakaya na natin. The healthcare system is much better.
That is your barometer. When the healthcare system is overwhelmed, then ang ibig sabihin, marami talagang kasong namamatay ang mga pasyente.
Okay. We're seeing good numbers and very encouraging numbers lately. Pero nandun pa rin yung concern kasi nilatag ko muna yung premise kanina when it comes to the credibility of the reporting of each country.
So meron tayong sariling standards, meron yung WHO, meron yung Japan, binabanggit.
Pag-usapan natin yung China. Kasi lately, may isang official ng WHO nagsabi na yung numbers ng COVID sa China is being underrepresented. Tapos yung definition rin ng death, masyadong narrow.
Ang nagsabi po niyan si Mr. Mike Ryan, si WHO Emergencies Director. Kaya ang tanong ng mga tao rito, ang dami nag-a-warning, ano ba dapat gawin ng Philippine government when it comes to travelers coming from China kung ganito yung situation sa China?
Well, we just need to make sure that at the borders. I'm not supporting a ban on travelers from China. What I'm saying is we should be more careful at the borders. At least the minimum we will require from travelers from China will actually be a swab, especially those that are unvaccinated.
It's reciprocity naman. Before you can travel to China, you need to be negative. You should have a negative PCR. So I don't see the reason why we cannot do the same thing on the travelers from China back to the Philippines.
And the thing here is that we're trying to understand exactly the problem in China is number one is on how quickly is the virus spreading in China. That's the first thing because the information there is actually sparse. We know that the journalism is curtailed in China.
The second question you ask is how many people are actually dying because they've revised the definition and you're right. The definition was revised to death from COVID only if it is a respiratory infection.
So if it's not respiratory, for example, if there's a COVID death, it's not counted. Yes, it's not counted. And then of course, the third is the fear that could China be a new source of a new mutation because we all know that a dangerous variant can emerge from this.
And we know the lessons on surges. Every time there is a surge, there's a new variant that emanates in these areas. And the science of that is basically because when the virus spreads very rapidly, it will spread to everyone, including immunocompromised patients.
It is actually the immunocompromised patient that is the reason for the mutation of a virus. Why? Because the two should coexist, the virus or the human being.
So what happens there is when a person is immunocompromised, of course, his immune response to the virus fights back and it allows the virus now to coexist with that person. This is the perfect example of South Africa where there are a lot of HIV cases and that is where Omicron emanated from.
So the fear is a new mutation coming from China and it can enter the Philippines.
Yes, not only in the Philippines but globally.
But in this case, can our current immunity of a community, given the vaccines that we've had, can this hold? What kind of protection can this provide?
We all know that the vaccines are not transmission blockers. So they're not effective against blocking any transmission. We only know that it decreases the severity of infection. We also know that a lot of people can get COVID over and over again.
I know some people who have three, four bouts of COVID already. And what we don't want happening is patients getting reinfected with COVID because we also know that post-COVID symptoms are common and post-COVID sequelae is common, which means that patients who keep getting COVID over and over again are at higher risk of developing long-hold COVID, what they call long-hold.
So there are problems in the heart, in the brain, in the blood vessels, and these are long-term problems that will be a burden on an individual.
Okay, we're talking about long COVID. Have you had COVID before?
I'm knocking on wood. Never. I'm still a virgin when it comes to that.
I also had COVID before. It's 2023 now. I think 2021 if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
What I noticed was the effect of prolonged COVID.
So eventually, it was gone. But now, since the outbreak of 2020, actually it was late 2019, December, right? Then it erupted in January. In the Philippines, it was March 15, the first lockdown.
Have we understood the concept of long COVID better? Have we understood that this is really what can happen, the effect on the body?
I don't think the Filipinos have understood it fully. And I don't think a lot of people in the world have understood it fully until it hits them.
It's only mostly in the industrialized nations that actually experience this problem.
We also see the long-haul COVID cases in the private sector, but I'm a pediatrician so they're not really a major concern of mine. I refer them to my internal medicine friends.
But let's say, those who have COVID more than two or three times, does it mean that it's more risky each time they get reinfected?
Well, not necessarily. It's just that you don't want to get sick over and over again because it's really not good for your immune system.
I'm sorry Doc, this is an instant consultation. Our viewers are free.
That's the beauty of public discourse coming from experts.
But going back to the policy of the government, President Marcos said, let's wait and see. And actually, the Philippines is not the only country in Southeast Asia doing that.
Other countries in the region are also doing that because we also understand the economic repercussions when it's really very restricted.
The revenues that we expect from Chinese tourists are huge.
So what kind of stringent measures are you suggesting, aside from what we are doing now already?
I just think that travelers from China, we should require at least, at the very least, an RT-PCR, especially for those that are unvaccinated.
You know, since China's abandoned its strict COVID rules, the intensity and the magnitude of actually the country's outbreak has remained a mystery.
You'll see it in the news, millions and then there are some that are reporting that it's really not that high.
If you see our world in data, the reports from Johns Hopkins and everyone, they average like 10,000 cases, 7,000 cases a day, which we feel it's impossible.
But the picture is emerging that the virus is spreading like wildfire.
And the most important concern I have actually is the rural communities.
I don't know how many people know what the rural communities in China look like.
China is not Beijing and Shanghai.
The rural communities are poorer than the Philippines.
If you've been to the rural community in China, you will be surprised at how more prosperous the rural communities in the Philippines are.
And as the lunar year approaches, millions are actually expected to travel home in January.
It started last Saturday and it's a 40-day travel.
I'm sorry, I know this because I'm Chinese.
And they risk actually spreading COVID to areas where healthcare services are woefully underdeveloped.
That's one thing that we need to remember because most of the people are migrants working in Shanghai and in Beijing and the bigger cities.
They're migrants, they're actually from poor families in the rural community.
They go to these areas to work and then they take that.
Parang tayo, pagdating ng Pasko, pagdating ng Holy Week, talagang nage-Exodus.
Kaya NCR is a perfect place to be during these seasons.
Yung sabi nyo at least dapat may negative RT-PCR test result before they travel to the Philippines.
Yes, at least 48 hours before traveling.
Yung on-site na swabbing, would that be practicable?
The antigen test is really not as sensitive, especially in patients who are asymptomatic.
So I probably would not do a rapid antigen test for the travelers from China.
So kung narin meron silang 48-hour negative RT-PCR test.
E paano kung nagpakita ng symptom?
Then you can do the antigen test because it's really helpful in patients who are symptomatic.
Pero a big part of that has to do with honesty dung passenger at surveillance.
Yes, you'll have to fill up a health declaration form.
I mean we fill up the health declaration form naman when we travel on our return.
Pero ilang may honest kaya doon dok?
Kasi naman may nisip na iba.
Aminin ko ba may ubo ko o sipo na.
Makahasal ako diba? Vacation na vacation ako.
That's true. But I guess we'll be able to pick up a couple of them before they're able to enter.
I think that is our major concern kasi kahit na yung mga kababayan natin,
hindi naman talagang honest pag nagtra-travel even locally.
I've had patients that were in Boracay during the 2021 surge.
They were in Boracay and their kids developed COVID there.
Sinakay pa rin nila sa aeroplano.
Sabi ko, bakit kayo umuwi?
And they'll say, alaka naman nandun lang kami sa hotel doon.
Mas malaki ang gastos namin doon.
So they just make the children wear their mask and put naman ang airplane.
I mean dito sa atin ganoon din eh.
Pero ingat dok, nakikita ko rin yung mga reactions sa social media doon sa ano.
Kasi nga iba gusto naman very drastic yung response kayo.
Kasi they're trying to go back to that decision from the previous administration.
Kung saan nagkakaroon ng napakaraming cases from China.
The Philippines didn't close its borders.
Kinasabi eh, we should have learned our lessons then.
Ano ba yun? Applicable ba yung parallelism given the conditions now?
Well, the world should have learned its lessons then
because it wasn't only the Philippines that did not close its borders.
Everybody did not.
Diba? Let's call a spade a spade.
Oo. At tsaka yung alam natin WHO, alam naman natin na give in din sa political aspect
when it comes to dealing with China.
And it took the WHO quite some time to declare it as a pandemic.
Yes. At nag-tiptoe pa sa paggamit ng ano, diba?
Correct me if I'm wrong, doctor.
Alam naman natin we have to be sensitive sa paggamit ng mga places to refer to viruses.
Pero nung Wuhan, talaga nag-ingat, diba?
Nagalit yung China, nag-regla mo eh.
Oo. Pero bakit nung kumalat sa ibang mga locations,
hindi nag-regla mo masyadong yung mga tao, pati sa media.
Nobody would care less, right?
China is very sensitive to names and issues like that.
Oo nga eh. Sa kanilang galing yung virus eh.
Pero bakit nung napunta rin sa ibang mga lugar,
ginamit yung lugar na yun to refer to the viruses or the new strains discovered there.
Parang yun nga, let's call a spade a spade.
Ibi sabihin, ang laki talaga ng political clout ng China
when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.
One thing that you need to think about is their economic recovery.
Years of lockdown from COVID actually took a very brutal toll on the Chinese businesses.
So, this was payback time for them.
So, after a chaotic reopening,
medyo mas natakot ang mga tao na,
sige, let's, nagbukas na ang China.
So, do we reinvest? Do we go back? Is it business as usual?
And that actually has created a problem.
And we have to remember that China's leadership likes to brag about its governance on the country.
Di ba? Mayabang sila pagdating doon.
They don't like to look incompetent.
Yeah. But its absence in a moment of crisis has actually made the public question its credibility.
When the public starts to question its credibility,
even if you look at the Philippine survey dito sa bansa natin,
people don't like veering towards the political aspect in China.
They trust the US more than our Chinese counterparts,
even at the whole term of the former president.
Okay. Finally, Dr. Benjamin Cono.
Pag-usapan natin yung isa pang importanteng tanong.
Have we learned to live with COVID, tayo mga Pilipino,
based on your observation, your dealings with patients?
Kasi yan ang goal before ng government, di ba?
Sinasabi, we have to learn to live with this new normal.
Yeah. That's correct.
Well, I have, and I see patients actually starting November of last year,
I started seeing all non-COVID cases face-to-face.
I've stopped actually doing a teleconsult.
I only do teleconsultation if it is a follow-up patient.
But if it is a patient that is seriously sick
or has new infections or new complaints,
I require them to come to my clinic.
But it's easy to screen them now.
Like for example, if there are patients that they don't have,
nobody else is sick in the family except the patient,
or that there is no history of travel, there is no history of going out,
and the patients are not vaccinated, most of the patients are not kasi,
then I will require a swab.
But I will require a swab only and then I will see them face-to-face.
If the swab is negative, ganoon ako katapang na.
And we know it's airborne naman kasi.
Titigilan na natin yung mga plastic-plastic covers
kasi not only deters the ventilation in a room,
by putting plastic covers, it impedes proper ventilation.
So I'm sure if you've been to my clinic, you have been,
you'll see naman all the doors are open.
And then we make sure that the electric fan is working
kahit na naka-aircon na yung buong place,
it faces in a direction wherein it improves the ventilation of the area.
And I put a carbon dioxide monitor actually
which determines the carbon dioxide in the area
and whether it has appropriate ventilation or not.
Pag masyadong crowded, tumataas yung CO2 level.
So I ask people to step out.
So sa gayo, Dr. Benjamin Co,
maraming-maraming salamat for your insights
and I think maraming silang napulot sa mga sinabi ng during this interview.
Happy New Year, sir!
Siya, si Dr. Benjamin Co.
Talaga expert yan when it comes to infectious diseases.
Nagturo yun o hanggang ngayon.
If I'm not mistaken,
... I'm from the College of Medicine, epidemiology. Kasi ako honestly, especially at the height of the pandemic, very careful ako sa pag-i-interview doon sa mga ordinary doctors. Di naman masama na ano kano pero when you talk about something very serious such as COVID, so we have to really speak with as much as possible with the real experts.
Parang reporter yan, hindi sinabing journalist ka. Lahat ng mga aspects pwede mong pakialaman. For example ako, hindi man ako authority when it comes to entertainment writing. Ano namang alam ko ron?
For example yung ibang mga artista ng GMA, hindi ko nga kilala unless may name tag. Pati yung ibang mga bagong sikat nyo yan sa ABS din, hindi ko rin kilala. So kailangan may name tag. So kanya kanya expertise lang yan.
Okay, eto na. Punta tayo doon sa isang issue. Alam nyo po over the weekend, maraming mga nag-worry, nag-excite, iba napatalon eh. Nagkakagulo na ba? Meron bang destabilization? Yan na yung pronunciation, destabilization. Pero kung Pinoy ka, destab.
Meron bang destabilization plot against President Marcos na nangyayari ngayon? Bakit Kanyo? Kasi noong weekend may lumutang na meron daw memo sa PNP heightened alert.
Pangalawa, nagkaroon ng change in command. Yung dating AFP chief na in-appoint noong dating Pangulo President Duterte na carryover na nagpalit ng administration, pinalitan ni President Marcos ng kanyang sariling appointee, si Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacaro.
Tapos few days ago, binalik niya yung unang AFP chief, si Lt. Gen. Andres Centino. Magkaklase po ito sa Philippine Military Academy, MISTA sila.
Ngayon, meron ding balita at na-confirm na ngayon, nag-resign yung DND-OIC at tinanggap yung resignation ni Gen. Faustino at in-appoint na nga na bagong DND Secretary or Defense Secretary si retired Gen. Carlito Galvez.
Siya yung Presidential Peace Advisor, President Duterte at nag-carryover yung position kay President Marcos.
Q1. Meron bang destabilization plot against BBM?
Ano yan? Parang tale as old as time yan. Yung mga ganitong klaseng mga reklamo pagdating sa mga appointments. In fact, this is not new really because if you go back to the time of President Pinoy.
Yung first year niya as President, pinalitan niya si Banget, Chief of Staff. Pinalitan niya at binalik niya sa Class 77.
So whenever there is a change of Presidents, usually there is an accompanying change also in the command structure. Because yung mga Presidente, they want to have people that they are comfortable with.
At the same time naman, these things also tend to create intramurals within the military. Because under this, in both instances, between in the case of Banget and in the case of Bacaro.
In both cases, in both cases kasi, ano yan? This happened in the first year of the presidencies.
And both of them, classes, PMA classes, were expressing displeasure. Kasi yun, if you look at yung career path ng mga ito.
Pag mga junior officers, kaya hindi ko sinasabi na military, this is a military problem per se. I'm not saying na, kasi confined to sa isang group ng mga upper, high echelon type, high level commanders.
Kasi sila yung nag-intramural para kung sino ang mapili. So hindi naman ito nag-reflect sa baba. Yung mga sundalo sa baba, hindi naman sila naapektuhan nun in terms of do they really have a stake in it.
This is really something driven by personal agendas.
Okay, sige. Bago natin pag-usapan yung displeasure ng ilang mga, supposed displeasure ng ilang mga sundalo.
Ang tinutukoy kasi ni Mr. Custodio, yung bagong batas na nag-fix ng three year term para sa AAP chief of staff.
Kasi dati ano yan, may tinatawad na revolving door policy para mapagbigyan yung mga magre-retirong general. Sino ba yung dati pinakamabilis? One of the fastest, shortest, si Benjamin Defensor, di ba?
Defensor was one. There was also Biason. Biason was also short.
Junisio Santiago, panahon ni Gloria. May clearan, di ba?
Gloria had the most because of course she was the second longest serving president.
So she had a lot of, and she did really, the revolving door was really during her time.
Bago natin pag-usapan yung, supposed displeasure ng ilang mga official sa bagong batas na nagtatakda ng three years ang termino ng AAP chief of staff. Although may amendments pala dyan after.
Mag-usapan muna natin yung weird ba ito, yung ginawa ni President Marcos. Ito, tinigyan sa larawan. Kasi nung naupong presidente si President Marcos, ang inabutan niyang AAP chief of staff, si Lt. Gen. Centino, na inapoint ni President Duterte, November 2021.
So nung August 2022, ang presidente na po, si President Marcos, pinaritan niya si Centino, nung kaklase ni Centino, na si Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacaro. Kaso, itong buwan na ito, few days ago, pinaritan naman niya ulit si Bacaro, at binalik si Centino.
Di ba weird dyan? Parang sa ordinaryong observer. Ba't ganun, ba't nagbabalik yung dating AAP chief of staff? Di ba dapat wala na yun?
Dapat wala na yun basically. Pero ano yan? What happened basically was that muna yung president has the prerogative to replace his commander. Now in the case of Centino and Bacaro, it shows na hindi lang ito yung, how do I say this?
Kasi may underlying story to it, which even included a white paper. Di ba? Na pumuntok. Kasi this is just, since last year, nagsusulat sa retired general writing na dapat hindi pinalitan o dapat sinunod yung 3-year period.
But the thing kasi is that, like I said, the president would like to appoint people who he is comfortable with. Prerogative niyan. So he wasn't apparently comfortable with Centino. So he replaced him with Bacaro. It's his prerogative to do so.
Ano ba niya pinalik? Now when he did that, apparently it created a issue within. So may mga senior officers na naging uncomfortable dun sa nangyari.
Now the thing is that, like I said, we are not sure really if this is just a military thing or is this part of a larger dynamic between political factions within the Marcos administration. Like for example, we all know who appointed Centino.
Sino nga ba? Kakasabi ko lang, tinanong ko pa yun.
So is this a crack within the so-called unity alliance nila, yung unity team nila? That's why Marcos was getting rid of people who he perceived would not be loyal to him.
And then nagkuroon ng rest back from the other political side and then sort of pressured him to walk back on one of his decisions. It's possible also to look at it that way.
Pero nga, ba't maibabalik yung pinanggal mo na?
Oo, unless you were pressured to do so by somebody who had the gravitas to do that.
Diba? So yun yun eh. Malaman naman kasinasabi ni Mr. Custodio, malaman. Nakakasunod kayo.
Ano ba spelling ng gravitas? As pronounced ba yun?
Mahirap. Yung may lakas. Gravitas, gravitas, may lakas.
Bobo lang po kami rito, hindi namin alam yung ibig sabihin ng gravitas eh.
Alam ko naman po, baka sabihin ng mga trolls, bobo pala kayo eh. Ba't yung pinagamit yung term, hindi mo naintindihan.
Pogi ka pa rin. Yan, so ayun.
Bobo lang po, bobo. Hindi alam nating gravitas.
Eto nga, ito yung gusto kong maano nga. Kalimutan ko talaga yung tanong ko.
Eto example diba. Although again, commander in chief kasi ng Armed Forces ang Presidente na. So decision niya yan. Pero ang isang pinagtataka ko rito, so inabutan niya si General Centino na AFP chief of staff.
Ang retirement ni General Centino February 4 eh. So next month na magre-retire na siya.
So pwede kasing ginawa ni Presidente Parcos, hinayaan lang niya ng AFP chief, patapos ang retirement. Dahil may bagong patas, 3 years.
Hindi natin alam kung what happened. But there are unofficial stories that come out that there were, there was, he was not comfortable with the command that was presented to him when he became President.
So he wanted to tinker with it. So in the process of tinkering with it, apparently he must have stepped on the toes of the other political faction and therefore you had this thing, this brouhaha that happened already.
This is destabilization, it's not really destabilization, but it's just a bunch of, it's a number of top ranking officers feeling marginalized and pushing back.
Dito sinasabing yung ilang mga officers na hindi ganoon ka-happy. Puntahan natin. Ipa-flash ko yung Misong Batas na pinag-uusapan natin dito.
Ano nangyari? Hindi yan ang nalagay ko. Ah ito, tama, tama.
Tama yan, si 11709 yan.
Hindi, nag-overlap. Nalagay ko sana kasi ng drop shadow yan eh. Nagmamadali ako eh. Kaya akala ko tuloy, nagka-isa lang. Anyway, ito nga fini-fiction term ng ano.
But it's not an elected position, ha?
Yes, oo. Pero kasi nga, even then, ito dito. So if you fiction yung term, for example, ng Chief of Staff, 3 years. Miski pa-retire na siya. So meron siyang fresh 3 years para makapag-implement siya ng reforma.
Ang hirap naman kasi isang buwan ka sa puwesto, anong magagawa mo doon? Pero dito, yan ang naging source ng discomfort ng ilang mga officers down the line kasi malasagasaan naman yung career growth nila.
Pero alam ko, I was told na ayos naman eh. Kasi nagkaroon ng amendment at ang naging option dyan, up to maximum of 3 years. Ibi sabihin anytime pwede naman siyang palitan ng Pangulo.
Because the president is the commander-in-chief. You are serving not a fixed term but it's not really an unchangeable fixed term. E kung pumalpak ka, tatanggalin ka rin.
That's why commanders can be dismissed in the field kung may gera. Dinidismiss yung mga top generals minsan. Like for example, sa Pearl Harbor in December 1941, yung Americans they replaced their top leadership sa Pacific kasi they blamed them for the losses.
Ganun, ganun. Madaling mong mapalitan. Hindi yan ibig sabihin na elected official. Hindi ganun yan. So there's still that loophole that allows the president to change.
And the problem however here is this, people keep on looking at the president or the politician as the main problem but also there is this driving ambition within many officers also in the AFP that causes this crisis to happen on a regular basis of which the presidents have to react to.
Noong time ni Duterte tahimik silang lahat kasi character ni Duterte medyo maangas. Malakas eh. So tahimik sila. E si BBM hindi. So pushback sila. Vocal pa. May white paper pa.
Mas willing silang mag-risk.
Oo. Noong time ni Duterte narinig mo ba yan? White paper yung mga yan? Wala eh.
Baka mamura sila.
Oo. Kito nila. Pwede. Medyo kaya natin to. Ganun. But the thing is that it's not just the president. It's a two-way street of the president wanting to appoint people who he believes are loyal to him or he's comfortable with.
Or at the same vein, the AFP, officers within, senior officers within, who are driven by personal ambition or by class politics. So ganun. Pag nagtagpo yung dalawang yan, nakaka-issue.
So that's why you had that in, that's why you had that in, itun time ni Pinoy. That's why naman itong si Gloria, palit ng palit. Kasi Gloria was worried about destabilization. So to keep the AFP happy, halos bawat class may chip of stock kayo. Pagbigyan natin lahat yan.
Kunting background doon sa medyo batabat ang nanonood sa atin, yung destabilization na yan, mas madalas natin natinig yan during the term of Gloria Arroyo. And I think you could count at least three, at least na, at least three, destabilization plots against her. Pero matiba yung ale.
Ano yan? Wala kasing gravitas. Wala kasing ano. Pero kasi hotel pinuntahan. Ah, yung Manila Peninsula. Nahili kasi sa hotel. Okud. Nagkaroon pa ng marine standoff, diba?
So you had the Okud, then you had Manila Peninsula, then you had the standoff. The marine standoff was actually a mutiny. Mutiny ng Marines yan. It was in the 2006. 2006 yun. Because it was like the 30th.
After Hilo Darcy.
So it was the anniversary of Ed Tsai at that time. February I think.
Ito, ito, ito. So napaka basic na tanong. So bakit do you find anything unusual doon sa fact na pinaritan ni President Marcos yung kanyang first appointee for chief of staff ng AFP doon sa chief of staff na tinanggal niya at walang paliwanag? Is that unusual?
The thing is that, well, it can be explained by, as I said, by the process of yung political accommodation with the other side.
Pero walang official word from Malacanang. Bakit?
It's weird. It's weird. But then again, if you look at it from yung aspeto ng dynamics ng ito, then you understand bakit. Apparently, the pushback worked on him.
But at the same time also, it's not an isolated case. There's a larger case pa. Even the Secretary of National Defense, which is another aspect also, was also resigned. And he didn't even appear in the turnover.
He wasn't there. So because at that point, he already made up his mind that he's going to resign. So he resigned and then he's been replaced by Carlito Galvez.
Because even a few months before, maybe by the last quarter of 2022, there were already rumors. The rumor mill was rife with people saying that there would be changes in the command of the AFP and in the DND itself.
And that's why you had this white paper come out, which is practically throwing dirt and naming names at commanding generals and senior officers.
And some of them, as I said, were really named. So that's the thing. It brought out that event in the last quarter of 2022.
But it's ironic. What Mr. Ecosordio mentioned in the white paper, it's like they're naming other military officials. They're mentioning facts about them. They're destroying their reputation.
And remember, that's military to military.
Yes. Isn't that ironic?
This is not president to the AFP. So within the military itself, there's an intramural happening among the top leadership.
It's weird because they're supposedly gentlemen, right? They're wearing nice clothes. Planchado. They're wearing an army roll. And they're destroying their reputation.
They're destroying their reputation. And like I said, this is not the first time that this happened. This is frequent.
Hi, Jen. So this is frequent. It happens a lot in the AFP. But is there someone saying this is going to be like what happened during Marcos' time?
No, no. It did happen during Marcos' time. Kasi kay Marcos' time, ibang klase yun, which was he'd never... The father, not the father. It was a problem of not retiring people.
So you had these overstaying generals. So that's why everybody's prayers were stopped. And you had the ram come out.
Okay. May binanggit kayo kanina na internal dynamics within the administration. Ganoon naman lagi yan.
Sa isang administration, it's one big umbrella and then you have different factions. You mentioned the 30 factor kanina.
What exactly were you saying? And ito yung tanong siguro, should President Marcos watch his back?
Oh yeah. At the rate the military performed, at the rate that you had that display of grumblings among the senior leadership.
But not sa baba. Again, he should monitor. He should be more hands-on when it comes to the military.
Because if he's not, there's a very ambitious person who might try to influence the military at his expense.
There are a number of politicians who will do that. And one of them actually would be the second nato.
Because like I said, if we go to... Remember in an earlier episode, we were talking about nato.
We were talking about the Presidential Security Guard. Remember that episode?
PSG? Presidential Security Group?
Somebody has her own PSG also. And the express portion of why she wanted her PSG was precisely because of...
Baka hindi kami magkasunduin ng presidente. Baka there might be a time that the vice president will not be with the president.
Will not be in good terms with the president. Words to that effect were uttered.
Oh, binanggit niya.
Yeah. So lyrics, dun pa lamang. Watch your back na.
Pero ngayon, nung Christmas, nag-vlog pa yung si President Marcos at si Vice President Sara Duterte.
Ang cute nga nila tignan. Hinulaan pa. May prediction pa si VP Sara.
But the thing is that...
But Ikor, you are...
Ang cute kaya nun. Pwede bang magkaroon ng problema? Napaka-cute nga nila.
Cute nga nila. We just don't know. But politics is always strange bedfellows.
And the next thing you know, there's always a falling apart of the coalition that follows later on.
So those are the things that he has to watch out for.
Incidentally, naglabas ng video si First Lady Lisa Araneta Marcos.
Ah, the one. Yes, yes.
Si Lam or L-A-M. I heard parang ganun yata yung code sa kanya. Tama ba?
Di dini ko lang lately. Lam. Sabi, sino ba yung Lam na yan? Carrie Lam ba yan?
Hindi. Lisa Araneta Marcos. Di Lam.
Pwede ko si Lam pala. Kasi First Lady.
Flam. Dapat dalawang L eh.
What do you make of this? Bigla siya naglabas ng video. Sinasabi niya,
kung may gumagamit ng pangalan ko sa mga appointee sa military, huwag kayong maniniwala dyan. Something like that.
Tapos meron pang cameo role yung PSG head, si Anos.
Colonel pa ba siya o general na?
I think he's general already, si Demi.
Magaling yan. Magaling yan.
Mabait na tao yan.
Saludo tayo dyan.
Si ano to. But the thing is kasi, it again reflects the jockeying in positions. Like again, this is another example of within the military,
there are people who are driven by ambition and are not, what do you call it, they are not averse to be very crude about it.
Dropping names, doing that. So like I said, it's for the law to work. Within the military, they also have to check on them.
Many in the military have to check on their ambitions also for the law to work.
It can't just work because the president will try to make it work. It also requires the military too.
That's why you have Lisa Araneta saying that. Don't drop your name. Don't drop names.
Apparently, she's getting some.
Or maybe some of these military who are ambitious, they will ask their political friends.
Because kanina, there was this Kiefer Hippe. Si Kiefer, he said something about patronage.
There was an excerpt of a comment that you posted a while ago which talked about patronage by a guy named Kiefer.
Kiefer Hippe. So Kiefer, he mentioned something about patronage.
In the Philippine military, many of the senior officers, they also have their political patrons.
Their patrons are the ones who push for their careers.
So you have that on overdrive every time there's a change in leadership. It's overdrive.
In fact, even within PMA classes, they fight.
Usually, when they go higher in rank, they have different attitudes.
I have something to share.
Yeah, yeah. Okay.
Isn't the lieutenant kind? When he's a colonel, he has a different attitude.
That's true. It's been a long time. I covered the Philippine National Police.
The batch of PMA that I covered was batch 71.
A lot of people got into that, right?
Class 71 of the Philippine Military Academy.
Gringo Hunasan, Ping Lakson. That's that batch.
Very colorful batch.
Very celebrated. First, it was a celebrated batch right after 86.
After that, it became notorious because a lot of quartets were doing it.
Yeah, and there were also classmates who fought.
When I was covering that, I realized that I was able to talk to other classmates.
You can tell that they have issues.
They could badmouth one another.
They still have their ways of being as Mistas.
That's when I realized that there's a jockeying for position for the next PNP chief.
It's not Ping, it's someone else.
Some of them, I could see their faces.
One of the ones I talked to said,
My mom promised me.
She said, My mom promised me.
But when I told her,
Sir, what happened? I thought you were going to get appointed.
Hindi ko alam. Yung muka talagang ibang iba. Tapos talagang they could badmouth their classmates na hindi mo nga didinig previously.
Iba pala yung anu talaga pagdating sa ambition. Kaya gumawa ko ng story before ng title, The Games That Generals Play.
Kasi ano yan eh, they talk about professionalism. No, but yeah, sige, pagbigyan natin, sige, let's use the word professionalism. But much of this is really driven by personal ambition, raw personal ambition to be exact.
And it's messy, it's dirty, and like I said, I have a very good friend na mga AFP officers. I've known them since they were junior officers.
And sometimes, within their classes, nagbabanga yan sila. The larger the class, the more furious it is because there are so many of them who can be appointed.
So they're all competing against each other and nagsisiraan talaga. Hindi nang siraan.
Very unfortunate. Pero dito, do you see somehow, kung meron man ganitong issues, could this actually weaken the leadership of President Parcos? O hindi naman necessarily?
She's leadership that week already. Sorry. I said, isn't this leadership that week already?
Ay grabe naman, salbahin ng kausap natin. Ibabla ko na po ito kasi nandotroll na po yung guest natin.
But there's always been problems about his, the perception of him being, kasi contrast talaga silang dalawa ni Duterte.
Eh kasi ito naman, I'll take the contrarian view for the sake of argument. Malakas ba talaga leadership ni Duterte? O baka naman malakas na-arrive.
Ano ito? He was, rightly or wrongly, he got his will through. Rightly or wrongly. If he could get away with it, he would.
In comparison to Bibian, there's this image of confusion and this perception of confusion.
And now you have this brouhaha that happened within the DND-AFP that just reflected further on the style of leadership,
which is a perception medyo mahina. How's the term for it? Mild-mannered.
Baka nasaanay lang tayo rin sa mura ng mura. Walang model leadership.
Which was effective sa AFP kasi tahimik silang lahat. I mean tigil mo nangyari doon sa Navy, sa FOI, noong time ni Duterte, napinalitan.
Pinalitan lang nila. They dismissed him and replaced him with another guy. And did you hear the AFP howl out in protest? No.
They didn't. They were quiet.
Pero nalilikod rin yung mga nakakausap ko dyan. Siyempre itong mga sundalo matataling na to sa totoo lang.
Ano yan? Product ng PMA. So ano yan? Malilikot mag-isip. Very strategic.
And I was told before, no? Biska si President Duterte talagang malakas naman niya in public.
Pero in terms of dealing with the military generals, hindi siya ganoon. Iba siya in person.
Kasi alam niya hindi itong mga basta-basta.
But at the same time also, he also enabled this type of... He was able to get away also with changes that itong si Marcos would have problems with.
What I'm saying is that sa FOIC man lang, sa ginawa sa FOIC, it didn't raise a howl of protest.
So gamitin natin yung ba hindi familiar sila sa acronym?
For yung flag officer in command. Yung pag-change. The summary dismissal. It did not really...
In fact, there were a number of officers who were supporting it pa.
So again, because he knew how to project an image that would be acceptable to the AFP.
In contrast, si BBM, he's coming out as problemado, inarticulate, yung mga ganoon.
So getting this impression now, baka kakayanin natin i-push. Kakayanin natin ito.
Ang perception kay Sarah ay strong dahil sa tatay. Pero may malakas din ang arayb ng alak mismo.
With that statement kasi of that viewer, may kita mo na because of the perception, si Duterte was strong.
But because perception is mild-mannered to weak, therefore the public would most likely want somebody strong again.
Saan pupunta yan?
Grabe naman kayo. Magagalit ang mga BBM loyalists.
So great unity thing is tenuous actually. This incident with the chief of staff should always be looked in the larger context
of the dynamics of the BBM administration vis-a-vis the previous administration,
which is not really that previous because the daughter happens to be the vice president.
May overlap, yung continuity.
So dynamic yan talaga. Hindi mo pwedeng kasama dyan. Anong gagawin natin sa China? Anong gagawin natin sa US?
So he has always to look at his, who are the residual Duterte people here who are pro-China?
Paano ngayon yan? If I want to push the US, here we have somebody.
So he would always have to contend with that. And as 2028 gets nearer,
the more the Duterte's will start pushing for greater influence in preparation for 2028.
Ito nga, nabanggit nyo na rin yan. Kasi may mga impressions din na, to be fair naman kay President Marcos,
mayroon siyang mga gustong gawing tama. Pero hindi niya magawa dahil dun sa Duterte factor.
Example ito, si Sen. Leila de Lima. Tagal na nakakulon yan since 2017.
Akala ko six months, lalaya na siya eh. Six months.
Anong nangyari? Within six months, hinostage siya. Kawawa talaga eh.
Pero may mga hints, may mga lumabas.
Si Sen. Marcos mismo nagsabi, I mean Marcos, na baka pwedeng house arrest.
So yung mga ganyan, very encouraging yung mga ganyan signals.
After that, biglang may nangyari dun sa...
Because then the Secretary of Justice was distracted by a certain event.
Pero yun nga, kasi kung pag-uusapan natin yung dynamics,
siya si President Marcos as far as Sen. Leila.
Talagang nagpakulong yan si Duterte. Siya yung gusto kong ipakulong yan.
E kung ikaw yung Presidente, parang walang kasalanan.
Gusto kong pakawalan, kaso baka hindi magawa dahil nga...
Because of the...
Because all the witnesses are recanting already.
Tsaka may Duterte people within your administration.
And then in the process, within that period where they had to decide on the Lima,
the Justice Secretary was faced with another personal crisis of his own.
So medyo na-distract siya.
Quitted na, but after 70 days.
So now that he's free of any personal problem, let's see what he'll do.
But that's the dynamic and I think that's also present within this DND-AFP issue also.
Hindi lang ito...
So in other words, existing intramurals happening within the AFP every time there's a change in command.
And then sasakyan ito ng mga politiko.
And in this case, apparently Duterte camp would also be riding on those who would feel marginalized.
So the most likely, those who would be marginalized, susumbong kay tatay.
Anong goal nun? Would they want to weaken the Marcos presidency?
Assuming yan ang totoo, anong goal nila dyan?
Of course, it's always to...
Because you'd have influence pa rin so that you don't get marginalized.
You get marginalized, then mamaya 2028, baka may ibang tumakbo.
Baka makalimutan ka.
Oo, malimutan ka. And 2028 is a long way away.
Baka malimutan ka and then next thing you know, if you're too generous in giving up power,
mamaya next thing you know, baka dynasty ng Marcos na mangyayari or what.
So those are the things, the undercurrents of this particular issue that we face.
That's why all this talk about military destabilization, I wasn't...
What do you call it? Agreeing with that.
Okay, nagtanong-tanong din ako. Sabi ko, may desktop na ba?
Pero nagulit ako may nagpakalit ng chismes.
Ito nga pala, magingati ang mga nanonood sa atin.
Ginamit kasi yung memo daw supposedly from a regional officer sa Philippine National Police.
Dinikit doon sa resignation daw, mass resignation daw sa Department of National Defense.
Siyempre, yung ibang kinect na, 1 plus 1.
Oh, may nagbababagsak na ba?
Yung mga ganyan kasi magingating kayo sa mga nagpapakalit niya.
Because it's ano yan eh. Ano ba tawag doon? May tawag doon. Ano yan?
Yung PR war yan eh.
PSY-OPS yan to create.
But it's not because, it's not because there really is a existing dissent
that will lead to an actual constitutional.
But more of the fact that...
Loves ka po ni Ms. Rose William.
Loves ka ni ma'am Rose.
Loves you, Rose, too.
Anyway, so there.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel with our justice system?
Oh, it's an oncoming train.
Yeah, may ilaw naman incoming train set, di ba?
Di rin headlights, parang ganun.
Since that's the light at the end of the tunnel.
Hanap ka ng ilaw. Oh, ilaw.
Pwedeng ganun yan eh.
There, di ba? So that's the thing.
Yan yung, that's the situation that we have now.
Yung basa kayo, ingat ano lang, dapat magpagmatyag.
Huwag kayong magpapadala sa mga PSY-OPS, mga propaganda.
Ang problema kasi sa maraming Pilipino, very gullible.
Madaling maoto eh, di ba?
Imagine, madaling mabudol ang Pilipino.
It's supposed to be budol eh.
Parang may American accent eh.
San Francisco accent, di ba?
Yeah, yeah. Budol.
Bay area accent, di ba?
But that's the thing.
There's, madaling maloko mga tao.
And we already have statistics that the Filipinos,
the gullibility ratio.
So this is to, these things are designed really to spread disinformation.
And if you're the leadership, you don't want things to get out of hand.
So sometimes you will treat this as pushback also.
And then you will try to defuse the situation.
Maraming salamat si Mr. Jose Antonio Custodio.
Yan, pwede na kayo matulog.
Sobrang aga kong nasaan siya.
Meron pa akong isa pang, meron akong isa pang mag-interview sa akin.
O, bakit kinakarili nyo ah?
Hindi, kaya nagmamakau eh.
Yung dating ano to, yung dating network mo.