Category: Commentary

Time of reckoning

“There is a time of reckoning” for everyone, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo. “Sooner or later,” he intoned, “the law will catch up on (sic) those who use power or wealth to shield themselves from the majesty of the law.” Panelo followed that up with the usual Latin phrases and legalese…

Inequity, iniquity amid rising income inequality

Acute income and economic inequality, the negative phenomenon spawned by neoliberal economics, continues to widen worldwide. Wealth gets concentrated, in scandalous scale, in the hands of the few super-rich, depriving billions of the poor all over the world sufficient means to survive. World Bank-International Monetary Fund designed policies/programs pursued by governments to achieve “sustainable and…

Repeating history

“Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” There are those who want us to forget the bitter lessons of martial law and the Marcos dictatorship. They say these hard-earned lessons should be discarded as irrelevant to our current situation because the threat of ISIS-inspired extremism is real and only martial law…

Voice of dissent assails ‘vague’ ML declaration

It’s one magistrate’s opinion against those of his 11, or 14, other colleagues. And it’s a much younger voice arguing with the many older ones who have presumably spent more years than him in thinking about the law. Yet Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen stood his ground as the lone full dissenter to…

Dealing with Duterte

We have been getting “I-told-you-so” and “why-do-you-still-put-up-with-him” reactions from quite a number of well-meaning people here and abroad after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao and withdrew the government negotiating panel form the 5th round of peace talks with the NDFP effectively causing its collapse. As far as they are concerned, President…

Federalism plan affects Moro, NDFP peace talks

President Duterte’s oft-repeated avowal is to accomplish before the end of his six-year term, in 2022, a shift in the form of government from the present unitary to a federal system. That accomplished, he has declared, he will volunteer to resign as President. And he has kept saying that only such a shift to federalism…

On the front lines of a bigger war

The attack was political and primarily directed against the wife, other relatives, lawyers, and supporters of candidate Esmael Magundadatu, who incidentally did win the post in the 2010 elections. But the journalists were killed as well because the perpetrators knew that for even one them to survive would mean exposure in the media. The trial…

Mindanao aerial bombings spawn humanitarian crisis

As the “war against terrorists” in Marawi City under martial law conditions in Mindanao enters its fifth week, a grave humanitarian crisis looms. Meantime, conflicting signals from President Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to baffle the public. On the one hand, the AFP claimed its troops have cornered the terrorists, consisting…