Category: At Ground Level

A conspiracy specter, retreat from peace talks

Sensing that his ground base of support has been softening, President Duterte is conjuring a specter of conspiracy to oust him from power. Growing more bilious and truculent towards those whom he accuses of scheming to besmirch him with allegations of corruption, or who staunchly stand up to his blusterings and accusations, he is getting…

Duterte gov’t adopts US ‘war on terror’ plan

The recently concluded (September 18-26) “low-key” US-Philippine joint military exercise, dubbed “Tempest Wind,” signals three interrelated foreboding situations: First, – after so much presidential anti-US blustering and threat to cut off relations and chart an “independent foreign policy” – it has brought the Duterte government complicitly in closer security/defense alliance with American imperialism under a…

Martial law should not be the option for Duterte

“Never again to martial law!” was the emphatic, defiant cry that resounded in all of the protest actions held nationwide last Thursday (Sept. 21), the 45th year of Ferdinand E. Marcos’ martial law declaration that ran for 14 years. Although the same cry has been echoed in each of the previous years’ protest actions, it…

Two men who lived, fought for the ‘masa’-2

I wrote this piece for two reasons. Firstly, to honor, once more, persons I have known who lived simply and with deep dedication to serving the interest and welfare of the common people. Secondly, to turn away our minds, even for only a while, from the grisly and condemnable fascist/gangland-style killings – especially of our…

Looking back: The Hague Joint Declaration 25 years ago

The current administration…has not only inherited an accumulation of problems [social, economic, and political] but has adopted and implemented policies that aggravate these problems. It is widely perceived that the Philippine ruling system is inexorably following a course of degeneration and disintegration.” “There is growing militarization of the political system. The total war policy continues…

Broader protests against Duterte’s militaristic drift

President Duterte is turning more and more confrontational towards mounting criticisms and protest actions against his government’s bloody war on drugs, war against the Maute Group in Marawi, extended martial law declaration in Mindanao, “all-out war” against the New People’s Army, and his declared abandonment of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. His remarks on alleged threats…

Duterte’s militaristic drift bodes dire consequences

Of course, during the presidential campaign last year he already talked in a favorable light about martial law and expressed sheer admiration for the deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. But did anyone anticipate that within his first six months in office, President Duterte would facilitate Marcos’ political rehabilitation by allowing the burial of his remains…

Inequity, iniquity amid rising income inequality

Acute income and economic inequality, the negative phenomenon spawned by neoliberal economics, continues to widen worldwide. Wealth gets concentrated, in scandalous scale, in the hands of the few super-rich, depriving billions of the poor all over the world sufficient means to survive. World Bank-International Monetary Fund designed policies/programs pursued by governments to achieve “sustainable and…

Voice of dissent assails ‘vague’ ML declaration

It’s one magistrate’s opinion against those of his 11, or 14, other colleagues. And it’s a much younger voice arguing with the many older ones who have presumably spent more years than him in thinking about the law. Yet Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen stood his ground as the lone full dissenter to…