Category: Vantage Point

Unschooled in human rights

Echoing his appointees in his propaganda machine, and the trolls and hacks who infest social media as well as some newspapers and broadcast networks, President Rodrigo Duterte rebuked critics of his regime’s human rights record. He claimed that while these critics have been condemning the cost in Filipino lives and rights of his “war” on…

Herald of the failing state

In his message for National Heroes Day this year, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipinos to uphold the rule of law as the best way to express their appreciation for the sacrifices of the heroes who fought for the country’s independence. “Let us honor them by upholding the rule of law, protecting our nation and fostering…

Assault on the future

Does anyone still believe that every government bureaucrat, or, for that matter, everyone in the private sector, or your average gossip-prone neighbor, can keep a secret — that they can keep in confidence information such as who has tested positive or has simply been tested for illegal drug use? Or that some, among them the…

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…