Category: Vantage Point

A coup of his own

Is President Rodrigo Duterte preparing a coup d’etat à la Marcos against the Republic and himself as a democratically elected president? It was a joke, but like Mr. Duterte’s other off-hand remarks and past one-liners, it had an edge of seriousness in it. Announcing that he would appoint Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief…

Credibility problem

The Philippine delegation to the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) co-chaired by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Menardo Guevarra has a credibility problem. Its name is Rodrigo Duterte. The UNHRC is looking into the Philippine human rights record…

Wars of choice

He’s the commander-in-chief of the “war” on drugs and drops the word “kill” so often some think that’s the limit of his English vocabulary. He’s the last person in these isles of violence one would expect to be a pacifist. But he sounded like one last April 9. Speaking at the Mount Samat National Shrine…

Wake-up call

In 1987 Corazon Aquino filed a libel complaint against the late columnist Luis Beltran for saying that she hid under her bed during a coup attempt by military goons who thought her soft on communism. She went on to break precedent by testifying against him in court, before a judge who was her appointee. Her…

An illusion and a fraud

The argument that such values as human rights and the right to life are alien to Asian culture and impositions from the West, is not new. But not since the Martial Law period (1972-1986) and only recently has any Filipino functionary or politician demanded that other countries refrain from criticism of the policies and acts…

Exercises in futility

At about the same time that the peace panels of the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were concluding back channel talks in Utrecht, the Netherlands, during which they agreed to return to the negotiating table, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was bombing communities in areas whose…

Murder, he said

About extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Davao city there have been rumors for over a decade. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) looked into them in 2003 and found that the killing of dozens of people, most of them male, and under both Philippine and international standards, children — some of the victims were as…

Things fall apart

The 31st anniversary of EDSA 1986 was marked — the government didn’t exactly celebrate it — with both chaos and indifference. The disorder was evident in the differences in the various groups’ and even the government’s separate and conflicting activities to observe it. Apathy was the usual response of much of the populace to an…