Category: Contributions

Dictatorship and its delusions

President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he’s a dictator, and his obvious pride in that fact, were premised on at least three assumptions. The first is that his dictatorship has achieved something praiseworthy and beneficial to this country and its people. The second is that before he took over, what obtained in the Philippines was democratic…

Against the few for the many

The admonition that University of the Philippines students shouldn’t be protesting in the streets but should instead be in their classrooms, and that by doing the first they’re wasting the people’s money, UP being a state university supported by their taxes, has been made before by previous administrations. It’s hardly surprising for a number of…

Declining adherence to the rule of law

Among 113 countries surveyed in 2017 on adherence to the rule of law, the Philippines emerged with the biggest drop in ranking – from 70th to 88th (or 25th from the bottom). Billed as the Rule of Law Index, the survey involved getting inputs from 110,000 households and 3,000 experts around the world. The survey…

The worst of times

“The best in the world” was how former chief justice Hilario Davide, Jr. described during a Senate hearing the 1987 Philippine Constitution that he and other members of the Constitutional Commission created by then president Corazon Aquino drafted. The description may not be completely accurate. But it suggests that because the present charter was drafted…

Black Friday: Only the beginning

Any regime that calls itself democratic would have erred on the side of press freedom and free expression if there were any doubts about a media organization’s non-compliance with the law, or would have allowed it to make the necessary corrections. Not only are there grave doubts about the Duterte regime’s claims about Rappler news…

Bullying tactics on con-ass, stiff stalemate on voting

Through bullying tactics the House “super-majority” last Tuesday approved, by a voice vote (“ayes” and “nays”), Concurrent Resolution No. 9 which calls for Congress to act as constituent assembly or “con-ass” to revise the 1987 Constitution. The purported goal: to change the form of government from the current unitary to a federal system, a project…

The poverty of anti-poverty policy

Almost every Philippine regime since that of Diosdado Macapagal has at least paid lip service to ending the poverty that in varying degrees of intensity haunts this country and millions of its people. Macapagal saw poverty as the legacy of the unfinished Revolution of 1896, which because of US conquest and intervention failed to deliver…

Differing views on con-ass may check federalism rush

Two conflicting viewpoints have arisen on how Congress can transform itself into a constituent assembly, as prescribed by the 1987 Constitution, to amend or revise the Charter and enable a shift from a unitary to a federal form of government – a key project of President Duterte, which he told Mandaluyong businessmen in a speech…

Conspiracy 2018

A plot is afoot to stop the holding of the 2019 midterm elections. But that already base scheme doesn’t stop there. Once constitutional amendments are approved, or a new constitution is in place, during the transition period to a federal form of government the masterminds also want the terms of the elected government officials who…

Truth telling in Duterte land

Almost every government official has the same message whenever the birth or death anniversaries of the country’s heroes are marked: it is to remember what they did for the country, and to emulate their patriotism and devotion to the welfare and betterment of the nation. On the 121st death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, for…