Economics of martial law and people power

Every year in September, in a ritualistic way the tale is told: A Dark Lord imposed his will on a hapless people, but then a messiah sacrificed his life to embolden Filipinos to topple the regime in 1986.

That’s a fairy tale, its old, overused storyline that of a Lord-of-the-Rings kind of entertainment, enough for medieval men, and for small minds today to explain the past. But reality is always, and in all ways, complex. (more…)

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DFA: another institution damaged by Aquino

By bypassing the foreign affairs secretary in the crucial foreign-policy episode confronting the Republic, its territorial claims against the People’s Republic of China, President Aquino has debased the Department of Foreign Affairs, adding to the growing list of institutions he has damaged.

To salvage his dignity, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario has no choice but to resign his post, unless of course he relishes it so much. How can he delude himself and remain at his post, when Mr. Aquino, together with his secret special envoy Antonio Trillanes and one-time special envoy Mar Roxas, had practically broadcast to the planet that he had been merely this administration’s equivalent of a PR officer? (more…)

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Robredo’s revenge

What the late Secretary Jesse Robredo could not accomplish in life in the past two years, he did through his death: the removal of Undersecretary Rico E. Puno from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the end of the latter’s hold over the Philippine National Police.

This is not facetiousness over Robredo’s tragic death but a condemnation of the treatment he got under President Aquino, who reduced him to a figurehead at the DILG by de facto putting the PNP under the command of Puno, Mr. Aquino’s shooting-range buddy and confidante. (more…)

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Colleague even accused Sereno of plagiarism

I can understand former Associate Justice Florentino Feliciano’s doting defense of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in his letter to this paper (Inquirer, 9/8/12).  However, facts should prevail over one’s fondness for a protégé.

Mr. Feliciano insists that Sereno was the government’s co-counsel in the case the German firm Fraport brought against the government at the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid). However, I refer Mr. Feliciano to three documents, copies of which he can acquire through Google. (more…)

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CJ’s mental health in question

We have to squarely confront the issue, since the Supreme Court represents the rule of rationality, the foundation of any civilized society. My apologies to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, but she brought this on herself, because of her greed for more glory, not content with her appointment—itself already undeserved—as associate justice in 2010.

A more principled, moral person—or even one just in touch with reality—would have declined her appointment as Chief Justice, which is as clear as day not due to President Aquino’s concern for the judiciary but to his wish to control it. (more…)

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Sereno lied on her track record

“Fresh start,” “Excellent choice,” “Sereno’s big task”—the headlines were on the appointment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. C’mon now.  Wasn’t the story that the appointment was so unexpected and shocking that no one, not even any of President Aquino’s most ardent apologists, had expected he would make such an in-your-face decision? Wasn’t it so controversial that nine of the 13 Supreme Court associate justices boycotted the swearing in of their unwanted Chief?

Isn’t it so obvious that Sereno’s real “qualification” was that she was the only nominee Mr. Aquino could be 100-percent sure would do his bidding? She has proven this beyond doubt in the last two years, especially when she outdid Hacienda Luisita’s lawyers in arguing for P10-billion compensation for the President’s clan. (more…)

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Marcos let Ninoy have his surgery abroad

It’s pure terror, and you’d have no idea of the horror unless you’ve experienced it: You gulp for air, and there’s nothing there.

A 65-year-old grandmother has gone through such horror, and lives minute-to-minute with the fear that it could happen again. The two titanium plates implanted in former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo neck have been displaced, causing her to choke at a wrong movement of her neck. A renowned doctor has warned that her condition can even cause her sudden death. She had three operations here, one lasting eight hours, another 14 hours. Yet her condition has worsened. (more…)

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Aquino axed key flood-control project in 2010

President Bengino Aquino III axed in November 2010 one of the country’s most ambitious flood-control projects that was scheduled to start that year. If he had not cancelled that milestone undertaking, it would have been completed last month, and would have significantly mitigated the disastrous flooding of recent weeks.

The venture was the Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project, which, as part of its plan to save the lake, would have dredged it of 4.6 million cubic meters of silt and waste so it would contain more floodwaters. The project would have also involved the deepening of the critical 7-kilometer Napindan Channel in Taytay so that it could better and more quickly draw floodwaters away from the metropolis to the lake. (more…)

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The typhoon curse and what to do about it

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of hurricane is a very strong tempest, so many and so strong hitting these islands that neither Virgil nor Ovid nor any other poet I have read can describe its destructive power. These occur very often and we suffer so much, that even after experiencing them, it is difficult to believe these can happen. —F. I. Alzina, a Jesuit missionary in the Philippines, 1668

It has been the curse of our geography described as early as the 17th century. The Philippines is not just among those hit regularly by typhoons. It is the worst hit by this terrifying natural phenomenon, in terms of both frequency of occurrence and extent of destruction. (more…)

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Pea-brained plunder prattle

Mad that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was freed on bail on a clearly trumped-up electoral sabotage case built entirely on the claim of a massacre suspect, President Aquino pivoted: “But there is a case pending before the Sandiganbayan for plunder, and plunder is not bailable.”

There you have it straight from the horse’s mouth. This isn’t about accountability, certainly not about justice. It’s a President ruthlessly using all his resources he can wield, all the technicalities he can find just to jail his predecessor. (more…)

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