Category: Contributions

No love lost between Duterte and the Left

One need not be such a keen observer of Philippine politics to note the quite dramatic deterioration in the relationship between the Left and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, self-styled “Leftist” and “socialist” president of the Philippines. At the beginning, a de facto tactical alliance existed between the two. It was premised on Duterte’s promise that…

What’s Left in the Cabinet

Without any proof and by merely attributing it to his sources in the military establishment, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has been saying that the presence of left-wing personalities in the Duterte administration has enabled “hundreds of CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) cadres” to be employed in the Department of Social Welfare and…

Duterte’s militaristic drift bodes dire consequences

Of course, during the presidential campaign last year he already talked in a favorable light about martial law and expressed sheer admiration for the deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. But did anyone anticipate that within his first six months in office, President Duterte would facilitate Marcos’ political rehabilitation by allowing the burial of his remains…

Tolling the bells

President Rodrigo Duterte is absolutely right. The Balangiga bells, seized by United States Army soldiers from the Catholic church of Balangiga town, Samar in 1902, “are part of our national heritage,” and should be returned to the Philippines. Mr. Duterte made the demand in the presence of the US Ambassador to the Philippines during his…

Unmasking Duterte

These days, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is turning out to be his own worst enemy. He cannot keep himself from rambling on and on, revealing his bloodlust, megalomania, contempt for objectivity and truth, small-mindedness and bigotry, gullibility for the “intelligence” briefings by the AFP and the propensity for using strong-arm techniques to get his way.…

Door remains open for GRP-NDFP talks

President Duterte was more combative during his second state-of-the-nation address last Monday than was during his first SONA. Venting on his prime advocacy, the fight against illegal drugs, and against a wide range of perceived enemies and critics, he came out raising both fists. Last year, in contrast, he extended a hand of friendship and…

Imminent danger

Never mind the 2017 Duterte State of the Nation Address, which was replete with profanities, self-serving claims of current and future progress on various fronts, among them the regime’s brutal and failing war on drugs, and justifications for the use of unaccountable State violence. Take his so-called assurance that he won’t place the entire country…

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…