Category: Contributions

Points to ponder on Proclamation 374

By signing Proclamation No. 374 last Dec. 5, President Duterte has formally declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as a “designated/identified terrorist organization” under RA No. 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. Legally speaking, however, the 49-year-old revolutionary organization which has engaged the government in a protracted…

Opportunity missed

Is jeepney “modernization” the answer to the Philippines’ land transportation woes? Or does the solution lie elsewhere? Will that scheme put in place a safe, rational and reliable transportation system all over the country, or in the National Capital Region at least? Or does developing a system of efficiently and safely moving people from place…

Terminal

The Philippine crisis is reaching another acute stage 45 years after Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972. The country barely survived it then. But this time the affliction could very well be terminal. Today as in 1972, authoritarian rule, whether through another declaration of martial law or the formation of a “revolutionary government,” is…

President Duterte is gaming the GRP-NDFP peace talks

Today up to Nov. 27, the fifth round of formal negotiations in the GRP-NDFP peace talks had been scheduled to take place in Oslo, Norway. The two sides had been all set to tackle a three-point agenda hammered out in a series of discreet back-channel discussions in September and October. And by December, agreements on…

Moderated voices in ASEAN, protest rallies against Trump

Observing its 50th year of existence, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) edged slightly onward on a raft of previously agreed plans, blueprints, treaties, and consensual agreements, cited in 144 items of the Chairman’s Statement, at the end of its 31st Summit held in Manila on Nov. 13-14. As official host, President Duterte presided…

A league of his own

Even if he’s serious about it, President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for the Philippines to host a high-level meeting, or summit, on human rights is unlikely to materialize. The leaders of those countries accused of human rights violations would hardly welcome an assembly in which the details of their crimes against humanity and other transgressions will…

Caution raised: Don’t depend on US military

“Let me state it publicly here and now, wala akong problema sa America (I have no problem with America)… We remain to be the best of friends with America.” That’s what President Duterte said a day before flying to Vietnam Wednesday for his first face-to-face diplomatic engagement with US President Donald Trump at the Asia-Pacific…

The US Trump card

The United States has announced that President Donald Trump will take up human rights issues in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte in their one-on-one meeting sometime during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this November. It’s hardly likely that the meeting with Trump will result in any immediate change in the…

On farmers’ appeal for land and justice, Duterte is mum

For ten days (Oct. 16-25) peasants from Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon motored, sailed, and trekked to the National Capital Region in what they called “Pambansang Lakbayan ng Magsasaka para sa Lupa at Laban sa Pasismo.” Having camped outside the gate of the Department of Agrarian Reform (as they had annually done for many years), they…