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Where to? Marcos should learn from his father

THE good news is that the Philippine economy has bounced back from its two-year contraction because of myriad problems created by the worst pandemic in the post-war period. The bad news is that I don’t think the government has mapped out plans on what kind of economy it wants to build. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should get some tips from his father.

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Read more about the article <strong>BuCor graft loot: P100 million a year?</strong>
Screengrab from Inside the Gangster’s Code
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BuCor graft loot: P100 million a year?

The slaying of broadcast journalist Percival Mabasa should lead government to undertake a drastic crackdown on corruption at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) , the agency  that runs the world’ds largest penitentiary with 30,000 inmates called the  New Bilibid Prison.

Scenes inside Bilibid: Maximum-security pedesrriansm , a sari-sari store (the figure in black is the American documentarist asking for directions where he could find a gang leader, a restaurant. Source: Screen grab from  “Inside the Gangster’s Code”.

While most Filipinos think the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal revenue have been the most graft-ridden agencies, reputations they deserve, BuCor which is under the Justice Department has largely been out of the public radar as one of the most lucrative sources of graft money. 

This is because from the outside, the question is how could officials running the national penitentiaruy make money out of people deprived of their freedom and their money?

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EDCA could be Marcos’ biggest test

WHETHER he likes it or not, global events are developing to make the EDCA issue the first major test of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s leadership and wisdom. His very pro-American officials — ambassador to the US, second cousin Jose “Babe” Romualdez and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, and most of the Filipino elite — will likely urge him to uphold the EDCA, which of course could lead us into the two wars that the US could possibly be involved in, with China and Russia.

That position would be a very slippery slope putting us, in case even of a limited conflict, in the cross-hairs not just of China but Russia. Even without a war, Marcos’ acquiescence to US plans to activate EDCA would reverse his predecessor’s huge gains in drawing the country closer to its biggest trading partner, and perhaps even the biggest source of cheap official credit.

China can also play dirty when it thinks the US is making the country its puppet. In the 2012 Scarborough Shoal stand-off our banana exports to China suddenly had to be inspected for infestation — resulting in the rotting of thousands of dollars’ worth of shipments at Chinese ports.

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Should Marcos resign?

DEFINITELY. But of course I mean only as secretary of the Agriculture department, since after 100 days this has proven to be a very wrong move.

In June, days before he assumed office, Marcos said: “It’s important that the president take that portfolio not only to make it clear to everyone what high priority we put to the agricultural sector, but also as a practical matter, so that things move quickly.”

It turns out that the Agriculture department in practice has become his administration’s lowest priority, with the President, sources in that department say, having visited its headquarters only twice. The first was on July 4, his first and only meeting with the department’s executive committee. And the second, a week later, but to meet only with his representative Leocadio Sebastian (who was fired a month later) and a few directors.

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Opinion columns cannot be fiction

IT is indeed an indication that the overall deterioration of Philippine journalism may have started to infect even a specialized section of it — opinion columns.

It was Philippine Star’s Jose Dalisay, a novelist and biographer who was supposed to be the newspaper’s replacement for the columns of the late F. Sionil Jose, who started this assault on opinion column-writing.

Obviously realizing he’s a fictionist all his life and not a column writer, Dalisay declared he was creating a new genre he calls “editorial fiction,” short fiction stories filling up his column space in that newspaper. That “genre” can exist only in lampoons, and only for student newspapers wanting to have some fun. Read his column, and you wouldn’t know and aren’t forewarned that what he writes is pure unadulterated fiction.

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Supreme Court upheld legality of martial law

This is another of the anti-Marcos bashers’ big lie, their concocted revision of history. The Supreme Court in fact ruled in two decisions that martial law was constitutional and Marcos’ proclamations, decrees and other official acts were legal. These decisions were in General Register L-35546 of Sept. 17, 1974 by the First Division and GR L-40004 of Jan. 31, 1975, by the court sitting en banc (i.e., the whole court).

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