Category: Streetwise

‘Modernization’ for whom?

When once Philippine jeepneys were iconic testaments to Filipino ingenuity, resourcefulness and folk art, the erstwhile “King of the Road” is now derided by government as a backward and inefficient mode of mass transport, polluting and unsafe, their drivers an undisciplined lot commonly viewed as perennial violators of traffic rules and regulations. Thus the need…

Stirrings

As a political activist, sometimes life seems to be one long meeting, or more precisely, an unending series of meetings. Not that I’m complaining. Last Saturday’s meeting was a good one by the standard of one who has been in countless meetings to discuss issues, analyze problems, decide on a course of action, formulate calls,…

Justice for Kian, justice for all!

The cold-blooded murder of 17-year-old senior high school student, Kian Loyd delos Santos, by Caloocan police, in what President Rodrigo Roa Duterte loudly proclaims as his administration’s unrelenting “war on drugs,” has unleashed a firestorm of protest. No, Justice Secretary Aguirre, people are not buying your line that Kian’s killing is an “isolated case” that…

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…

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.…

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…

Dealing with Duterte

We have been getting “I-told-you-so” and “why-do-you-still-put-up-with-him” reactions from quite a number of well-meaning people here and abroad after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao and withdrew the government negotiating panel form the 5th round of peace talks with the NDFP effectively causing its collapse. As far as they are concerned, President…

A cure worse than the disease

It has been close to three weeks since a botched police operation against Abu Sayaff leader Isnilon Hapilon evolved into a shooting war with his supporters in Marawi City, the Maute Group, and the subsequent declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao. The historical Islamic City of Marawi is being reduced to rubble by…