Category: Vantage Point

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…

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…

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…

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…

Worse than the disease

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) have launched an online means of identifying and guarding against the spread of fake news. They’re using Fakeblok, the Google Chrome plug-in which flags fake news on Facebook. This enterprise is in addition to efforts by some…

The past in the present

If those who fear martial law are “living in the past,” it is because much of that past, with or without martial law, is still very much in the present. Human rights defenders are still under threat, and farmer leaders, indigenous people, protesters, and political activists harassed and even killed, even as a brutal “war…