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Socio-economic issues are people’s top concerns * Latest Posts At Ground Level Commentary Contributions 

Socio-economic issues are people’s top concerns

Five days before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his first state-of-the-nation address on Monday, he was gifted by the Pulse Asia Survey with the report that its nationwide survey on July 2-8 (his first week in office) showed a 91 percent trust rating for him – both across the nation and socio-economic classes. (His predecessor, Benigno S. Aquino III, got an 85 percent trust rating in a similar survey in July 2010.) The nine-to-one public trust record was largely anticipated. We need not dwell on it further. More important to…

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Difficult, but not impossible * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Vantage Point 

Difficult, but not impossible

In 1986 the Republic of Nicaragua filed a complaint against the United States before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled that the US violated international law by supporting the Contras mercenaries trained and funded by the US, in its attempts to overthrow the Sandinista government which had gained power in that country by toppling the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship. Somoza’s family had ruled Nicaragua from 1937 to 1979 with US support, but a popular uprising led by the socialist Sandinista movement overthrew the corrupt dictatorship in 1979. The…

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The Duterte administration and the politics of accommodation * Latest Posts Bulatlat Perspective Commentary 

The Duterte administration and the politics of accommodation

By BENJIE OLIVEROS Bulatlat perspective Despite his tough guy, macho image and no-holds-barred, brash manner of speaking, President Duterte is turning out to be a practitioner of the politics of accommodation. Just yesterday, July 19, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo walked out free, after being held in custody, albeit in a hospital, for most of the previous Aquino administration’s term. One may say that it was the Supreme Court who set her free, purportedly for lack of evidence. It is also true that the dismissal of charges due to weak evidence…

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Pure Maoism Doesn’t Exist in the Philippines * Latest Posts Columns Commentary Question Everything 

Pure Maoism Doesn’t Exist in the Philippines

QUESTION EVERYTHING By Mong Palatino Like the sun that sustains life on this planet, it is Maoism that inspired the rise and spread of the National Democratic movement in the Philippines. That political slogans such as ‘Serve the People’ and ‘Learn from the Masses’ are still openly advocated by Filipino progressives today reflect the enduring legacy of Maoist teachings in the country. When anti-Left groups disparage the Natdem for being pro-China, they are perhaps alluding to the continuing fidelity of activists to Maoist doctrines. But China’s ruling party is no…

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A lot remains to be seen, done about SCS row ruling * Latest Posts At Ground Level Columns Contributions 

A lot remains to be seen, done about SCS row ruling

On July 12, as expected, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled to uphold the Philippines’ maritime rights in the South China Sea and dashed (no pun intended) – as having no legal basis – China’s “nine-dash-line” sovereignty claim over nearly all of the sea. And as also expected, China rejected the ruling. President Xi Jinping has reasserted “historic rights” to the resources of the SCS, without rebutting the arbitral tribunal’s two bases for nullifying his government’s claim. The tribunal said: 1) China’s historic rights claim were “extinguished” in 1996…

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Great leap backward * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Vantage Point 

Great leap backward

The series of killings of individuals who were supposedly trading in illegal drugs or who were drug users (we have only the Philippine National Police’s word for it) has “extrajudicial” written all over it in the sense of these killings’ being planned and deliberate. Since Day One it has been more than obvious that the raids on poor communities which inevitably result in at least one death — although on average since May 10, four are being killed per day all over the country — are not meant to take…

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#Chexit: The Crowning of Thorns * Latest Posts Blood Rush Columns Commentary 

#Chexit: The Crowning of Thorns

By SARAH RAYMUNDO Blood Rush The fireworks are on full display. The cheers are deafening. Cups are overflowing. But, what does #Chexit mean? Is it really a victorious ending to a long-drawn maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea? Or is this triumph a first step to understand the struggle of the fishermen in Zambales and Pangasinan? Understanding Backwards What was at stake in the Philippine arbitral case against China? It is to uphold the sovereign rights of the Philippines and the Filipino people over the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone…

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A decision with historical implications * Latest Posts Bulatlat Perspective Commentary 

A decision with historical implications

By BENJIE OLIVEROS Bulatlat perspective The tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea finally, after one year, issued its decision affirming that the islands being disputed by China and the Philippines, namely the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands, are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. It also ruled that China violated Philippine sovereign rights when it prevented Filipino fishermen from fishing in the area, created artificial islands, and did not act to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the area. It also called…

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