Category: Vantage Point

Dictatorship and its delusions

President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he’s a dictator, and his obvious pride in that fact, were premised on at least three assumptions. The first is that his dictatorship has achieved something praiseworthy and beneficial to this country and its people. The second is that before he took over, what obtained in the Philippines was democratic…

Against the few for the many

The admonition that University of the Philippines students shouldn’t be protesting in the streets but should instead be in their classrooms, and that by doing the first they’re wasting the people’s money, UP being a state university supported by their taxes, has been made before by previous administrations. It’s hardly surprising for a number of…

The worst of times

“The best in the world” was how former chief justice Hilario Davide, Jr. described during a Senate hearing the 1987 Philippine Constitution that he and other members of the Constitutional Commission created by then president Corazon Aquino drafted. The description may not be completely accurate. But it suggests that because the present charter was drafted…

Black Friday: Only the beginning

Any regime that calls itself democratic would have erred on the side of press freedom and free expression if there were any doubts about a media organization’s non-compliance with the law, or would have allowed it to make the necessary corrections. Not only are there grave doubts about the Duterte regime’s claims about Rappler news…

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,…