Category: Vantage Point

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…

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…

Repeating history

There was hardly any question about it. The dominance of the Duterte “supermajority” in both houses of Congress made the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao certain, and even the members of the political opposition in the House of Representatives and the Senate, who nevertheless voted against it, predicted congressional approval of President Rodrigo…

Ending the information crisis

The reformists and revolutionaries of the late 19th century; those who fought the Japanese invaders during World War II; and the professionals, workers, and farmers who comprised the core of the resistance against the Marcos dictatorship understood only too well the role of information in exposing the injustice and racist assumptions of Spanish colonial rule,…

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…

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…

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…