(they are fixing the electric wires, replacing the small wires with larger single ones, and the wooden poles with higher concrete ones. Some of the wires were sagging down enough to get caught in the rice trucks, which nowadays often have to detour on the side streets. We now have one way traffic on the main street two blocks down, so the trucks have to detour past our place).
I had started a post with links to a social media site that was saying that there was going to be a YUGE anti Duterte demonstration in Manila, and I was going to say well, wait a second: you students should clean up your own house first (we had another boy killed in a fraternity hazing incident at a local college, something that happens a couple times a year, alas).
so when the demonstration took place, I expected the usual notices on TV about rerouting traffic, but nada... then I read that only 5000 people turned up, and they were outnumbered by a counter demonstration.
This is the Philippines: You can hire a demonstrator for 500 pesos ($10 USD) plus food and water.
The trouble is, like vote buying, the locals are independent: they won't vote for you if they don't like you. The money comes in because often there are a lot of different candidates paying out money, and often the voters figure since they are all crooks (as Lolo used to say) they would take the highest bidder. But if they didn't agree with you, they would vote how they wanted to vote anyway.
so apparantly, the anti Duterte drug war demonstrators either were too cheap to pay locals to help them get lots of bodies in the demonstration, or the locals (and the grass roots leftist groups who actually are run by ordinary non SJW types) refused to demonstrate with them.
and the dirty little secret is that the drug war remains popular among ordinary folks.
Manila Bulletin has this Bloomberg news report:
More than three-quarters of Filipinos support President Duterte’s drug war, despite thousands of deaths and international condemnation over alleged rights abuses, a Pew Research Center poll has found. Some 78 percent of Filipinos approve of Duterte’s handling of the illegal drugs issue, with 62 percent believing the government’s campaign was making progress, according to Pew’s face-to-face surveys of 1,000 adults.
The president also remained extremely popular a year after his election, with 86 percent saying they had a favorable view of him, a result in line with domestic surveys. The poll had a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
StrategyPage has a long essay on what is going on here.and says the same thing:
President Duterte’s year old war on drugs is still controversial (more so outside the Philippines) but so far most Filipinos back the violent, deadly and unorthodox approach to dealing with illegal drugs, the drug gangs, corrupt politicians and all that. A recent anti-Duterte demonstration attracted some 5,000 protestors. But at the same time three times as many Duterte supporters took to the streets.
the rest of the SP is about military stuff, including the war against the Abus etc in the south, but also noting clashes with the NPA again.
in the meanwhile our local worries continue to be about bird flu, but apparantly the problem is now over, because I can't find any reports in the news about it for the last two weeks.
Right now, we have steady rain: hopefully it will not continue too long, since the rice is almost ready to harvest, and you need dry weather and sunshine to cut and ry the grain.
but the good news here is that the roof has been fixed, so I don't have to have buckets and towels all over my bedroom to stay dry.