Category: Vantage Point

Promoting impunity

The campaign by President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies in Congress for the restoration of the death penalty is replete with irony. Capital punishment is supposed to discourage criminality while at the same time insuring that those who commit certain crimes get what they deserve. But what’s likely is that rather than deter crime and…

Self-fulfilling prophecy

The unfortunately named Magdalo group — the Magdalo was the Katipunan faction that murdered Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna — identified with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has a point. It doesn’t do anyone any good for the Philippine government (GPH), particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and President Rodrigo Duterte on the one…

Refuge of scoundrels

To Samuel Johnson (born 1709; died 1784), poet, essayist and author of A Dictionary of the English Language (published in April, 1755), do we owe the observation that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” His biographer James Boswell (born 1740; died 1795) claimed that Johnson wasn’t condemning patriotism but how it was being…

Conspiracy theory

Elvis Presley faked his own death in 1977, and at the ripe old age of 81 still lives today as a grounds keeper in Graceland, the home he purchased in Memphis, Tennessee at the height of his film, music and television career in 1957. The military-industrial complex — the alliance between the US military and…

Reckless endangerment

Eight out of 10 Filipinos, a Dec. 17 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has found, fear that they or someone they know could be a victim of extrajudicial killings or EJKs. As Senator Grace Poe has observed, the fear is understandable in view of the epidemic of killings in the course of the Duterte anti-illegal…

Regime of unreason

Then-candidate Rodrigo Duterte described himself as a “socialist” and a “leftist” during the May 2016 campaign. He hasn’t made the same claim since, and, despite his appointment of two presumed leftists to the Cabinet, there isn’t a shadow of socialist thought or principle in either his statements or his emerging policies. What the entire country…

Ramos in the time of Duterte

Former President Fidel V. Ramos has been credited with — or blamed for — convincing Rodrigo Duterte to run for the presidency and supporting his candidacy. Duterte has so acknowledged Ramos’s role in making the former city mayor president — the first politician in history to hold that post without any previous experience in a…