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Finding Rody * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Finding Rody

I had a dream several weeks ago. It wasn’t surreal; in fact it felt quite real. In my dream I was writing my column and the words, sentences, and paragraphs flowed logically, clearly and easily. When I woke up, I still remembered what I had “written” and its title “Finding Duterte.” My husband urged me to write everything down before I forget. He said I should change the title to “Finding Rody” in a play on the popular animated film then showing Finding Dory. But I didn’t follow his advice…

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Peace talks 101 * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Peace talks 101

The significance of peace talks resumption between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the revolutionary umbrella organization that includes the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), is not as easy to appreciate and be enthused about as one would think. The subject matter is complex and its prolonged history full of twists and turns. Many times, optimistic rhetoric has given way to recrimination and impasses. Many commonly raised questions in the public sphere are infused with cynicism that any kind of reasonable and…

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The Duterte presidency — interesting & challenging times * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

The Duterte presidency — interesting & challenging times

In a manner of speaking, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, like the famous durian fruit of Mindanao, is an acquired taste. Many Filipinos, like most Davaoeños, take to him despite his foul mouth, crumpled shirt, and old-fashioned machismo. They swear by the man and rise to his defense on every occasion having known him as their no-nonsense, hardworking mayor who made their city safe and livable. Those who are immediately turned off by the smell, look, and taste of durian and decide that they can go through life without ever having…

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The lure of strongman rule * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

The lure of strongman rule

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is leading in the latest surveys on who voters are inclined to choose as vice-president come May 9. The news is troubling as well as perplexing. The very real prospect that the political heirs of the Dictator Marcos will be returning to Malacañang marks a major advance in the full blown historical revisionism pertaining to the Marcos era and the recycling of the Marcosian legacy as blueprint to national progress. We will be faced with the concrete reality of the full reinstatement of the Marcoses in…

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Whitewashing the Kidapawan massacre * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Whitewashing the Kidapawan massacre

Last week’s killing, wounding and illegal arrest of drought-stricken farmers who barricaded the Davao-Cotabato highway to dramatize their demands has brought to national attention the harsh realities in the country’s rural areas. It highlighted the desperate straits of the majority of rural folk especially the peasantry. Poor farmers including indigenous people eke out a living subject to the vagaries of nature; utilizing backward means of production; tied to exploitative tenant-landlord relations; reliant on ausurious lending system; forced to sell their produce at low farm-gate prices; and under threat of displacement…

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BigasHindiBala * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 


The violent dispersal by the police of the 6000-strong protest by farmers and lumad (indigenous people of Mindanao) in Kidapawan, North Cotobato last April 1 could be dismissed as just another incident in the long list of clashes between state security forces and citizens airing their grievances against government. But this is different. This has the potential to explode in the face not just of Liberal Party Governor Lala Talino-Mendoza and the local police but that of the lame-duck President Benigno S. C. Aquino III and his anointed one, presidential…

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Letter to a grandson on ‘people power’ and revolutionary change * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Letter to a grandson on ‘people power’ and revolutionary change

Dear Grandson, I thought I would write to you and try to explain what EDSA I was all about. The idea came up with all the recent talk about how your parents’ generation does not understand, much less appreciate, what happened thirty years ago, at the “people power” uprising that brought down the brutal and rapacious Marcos dictatorship. Although I don’t necessarily agree with that sweeping statement, there is some truth to it. Your parents were too young then to really know what was going on. Then they grew up…

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Legacy of EDSA ‘People Power’ * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Legacy of EDSA ‘People Power’

Worse, a significant number of young people have been hoodwinked into believing that the US-backed Marcos dictatorship was a kind of benevolent strongman rule that the present crisis-ridden Philippine society sorely needs to set things aright. It has been said that Marcos’ imposition of martial law signified the inability of the ruling elite to rule in the old way. Philippine society then was in the grip of another intense socio-economic and political crisis that was but an exacerbation of the long-running crisis of the backward, poverty-stricken, unjust, and iniquitous social…

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Remembering EDSA ‘People Power’ * Latest Posts Contributions Streetwise 

Remembering EDSA ‘People Power’

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo Streetwise | BusinessWorld “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana From Feb. 22 to 25, the nation will be marking the thirtieth year of the people’s uprising that toppled the US-backed Marcos dictatorship dubbed EDSA “People Power.” Ironically, this event will take place even as Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the son of the fascist dictator, attempts a spectacular return to Malacañang should he win as vice-president in the coming May elections. Indeed, the Marcos dynasty is back with a vengeance….

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Digging deeper into the SSS pension hike * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

Digging deeper into the SSS pension hike

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo Streetwise | BusinessWorld Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. justified the abrupt adjournment of Congress last Wednesday by saying he didn’t want to embarrass President Benigno S. C. Aquino III with the prospect of a move to override the presidential veto on the SSS pension hike. Not that Rep. Neri J. Colmenares, who was leading the effort to get two thirds of the House of Representatives to sign his override resolution, already had the numbers. But Mr. Belmonte apparently was not confident he could muster the vote to…

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SSS pension hike — it’s a class thing * Latest Posts Commentary Contributions Streetwise 

SSS pension hike — it’s a class thing

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo Streetwise | BusinessWorld\ I waited to hear the views of a friend, a former SSS top executive who sought a meeting with Rep. Neri Colmenares, original sponsor of the bill that seeks to raise the Social Security System (SSS) monthly pension for more than 2 million retirees by P2000. I wanted to balance out my thinking on the issue even though I had read and heard almost all there was to hear on both sides of the argument. I wanted to give this person the benefit of…

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