Tags: At Ground Level

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…

President Duterte is gaming the GRP-NDFP peace talks

Today up to Nov. 27, the fifth round of formal negotiations in the GRP-NDFP peace talks had been scheduled to take place in Oslo, Norway. The two sides had been all set to tackle a three-point agenda hammered out in a series of discreet back-channel discussions in September and October. And by December, agreements on…

Moderated voices in ASEAN, protest rallies against Trump

Observing its 50th year of existence, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) edged slightly onward on a raft of previously agreed plans, blueprints, treaties, and consensual agreements, cited in 144 items of the Chairman’s Statement, at the end of its 31st Summit held in Manila on Nov. 13-14. As official host, President Duterte presided…

Caution raised: Don’t depend on US military

“Let me state it publicly here and now, wala akong problema sa America (I have no problem with America)… We remain to be the best of friends with America.” That’s what President Duterte said a day before flying to Vietnam Wednesday for his first face-to-face diplomatic engagement with US President Donald Trump at the Asia-Pacific…

On farmers’ appeal for land and justice, Duterte is mum

For ten days (Oct. 16-25) peasants from Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon motored, sailed, and trekked to the National Capital Region in what they called “Pambansang Lakbayan ng Magsasaka para sa Lupa at Laban sa Pasismo.” Having camped outside the gate of the Department of Agrarian Reform (as they had annually done for many years), they…

Astute one step back on anti-drug campaign

Apparently stung by the steep drops in his satisfaction and trust ratings, as shown by the latest Social Weather Stations survey, President Duterte has taken a one-step backward in his widely criticized and condemned bloody anti-illegal drug campaign, led by the Philippine National Police. He had earlier expressed his concern about preserving his credibility to…

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…

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…