Category: Commentary

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…

Arrogance of power and corruption syndrome

By SATUR OCAMPO After President Duterte signed this week the P3.767-trillion 2018 national budget passed by his “supermajority” in the 17th Congress, the pork barrel funds purposely hidden within it – funds that the Supreme Court, in 2013, declared as unconstitutional — have become a public issue again. And it’s not only the devious undermining…

With Duterte’s TRAIN, poor pay higher taxes so rich can take home more

The overwhelming majority of Filipinos do not get any income tax benefits from TRAIN. Most of the country’s total 22.7 million families do not pay income tax because they are just minimum wage earners or otherwise in informal work with low and erratic incomes. Even if TRAIN reduces income taxes paid by most of the reported 7.5 million personal income taxpayers, this still leaves as much as 15.2 million families without any income tax gains.

Method to the madness

Nowadays President Rodrigo Duterte is wont to take every opportunity to accuse the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) of the vilest atrocities he can think of (or invent) as his regime goes into high gear in its counterinsurgency war, perversely codenamed Oplan Kapayapaan. The latest is at a speech he gave to…

Double-whammy acts by Congress in one day

On Dec. 13, on its last session day before the holiday break, the 17th Congress of the Philippines, dominated by the “super-majorities” of President Duterte’s political allies, took two controversial actions both of which will have negative impacts on the lives of the Filipino people, particularly the vast number of the poor and marginalized. The…

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,…

Killing in the name of Duterte’s Crackdown

By DLS PINEDA This administration has lost its capacity to surprise. One year and a half, hundreds of broken promises, and fourteen thousand drug-related deaths since Duterte took oath, the biggest surprise is that we’re no longer surprised with what’s going on. So when 10 activists are killed within Sunday and Monday, and when the…

Points to ponder on Proclamation 374

By signing Proclamation No. 374 last Dec. 5, President Duterte has formally declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as a “designated/identified terrorist organization” under RA No. 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. Legally speaking, however, the 49-year-old revolutionary organization which has engaged the government in a protracted…