Corruption persists: Why wouldn’t it?

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer for 2013 confirms what most informed Filipinos have concluded after three years under President Aquino’s administration: Corruption in this country persists and has increased.

Based on 1,000 respondents in the Philippines, the organization’s survey showed that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) believed that corruption has remained the same or increased. (more…)

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UP business dean academically incompetent

I thought I had written enough about the shameless and stupid renaming of the University of the Philippines’ College of Business Administration after Marcos’ top technocrat Cesar Virata.

But then the college’s Dean, Ben Paul Guiterrez, who spearheaded the move for the renaming, had his letter published in the internet edition of this newspaper, which reveals another serious problem with our national university.  (Editor’s note: The letter also came out in our print edition.) (more…)

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The e-book revolution is upon us


I bought my first Kindle e-book reader in 2008, but after just a few months had gone tired of it, having the usual complaints about it –- the six-inch screen was too small and its black font on a grayish background dull for me, making me sleepy.

More importantly, I preferred holding a “real” book. I enjoyed flipping through its pages, and even tossing it to the floor when I got sleepy.  Since my childhood, I enjoyed sniffing that particular smell of a brand-new book — which an e-book obviously doesn’t have. (more…)

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Who wants to live forever?

That was the rock band Queen’s plaintive refrain in the movie Highlander in scenes where the immortal Connor MacLeod suffers his beloved wife’s growing old and dying, while he remains forever young. Sad certainly, but I’d bet most of us fantasized how great it would be to be like MacLeod—deathless.

That’s not surprising as the most important personal “issue” for us is our deaths. British philosopher Stephen Cave’s very readable 2012 book Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization is a fascinating attempt to grapple with this human condition. (more…)

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Marc Faber: PH stock market among bubbles to burst

And who is Marc Faber? Well, he’s a big Swiss investor and adviser to gigantic investment funds. He’s considered one of the experts in emerging markets. He lives in Thailand and runs his investment business out of Hong Kong.

Of course, he’s just one the world’ many investment analysts, and you could cite the fact that he has been dubbed Dr. Doom, for his contrarian gloomy forecasts at certain times in the past decades. But consider his track record: (more…)

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Aquino effectively junks MILF peace talks

By declaring he will not push for the amendment of the Constitution, President Aquino has in effect junked the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement his representative Mario Victor Leonen signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in October 2012. That pact was hyped as the roadmap for peace in Mindanao.

MILF and government negotiators are merely pretending that whatever they agree upon will be implemented. That’s something that can’t happen because that would require amending the Constitution. (more…)

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Live long and prosper

Love him or hate him, there is one thing you have to admire of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. As I watched him deliver his recent fiery resignation speech, I could not help but be in awe: This man is 89 years old, and still, well, kicking!

I certainly would like to be like Enrile. Or his other two colleagues in the Senate , Joker Arroyo 86 and Edgardo Angara, 78 – both of whom would have ran for another six year term if the constitution had allowed them. (more…)

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‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’

P-Noy on economy: You ain’t seen nothing yet”. That was the headline of an article in a major newspaper, improving on President Aquino’s boast that the GDP’s first-quarter rate of 7.8 percent would be exceeded in the coming periods.

That growth is nothing to be sneezed at, even if much of it is a one-time push due to election spending, both by candidates and by the Aquino administration to boost its bets’ chances of winning. (more…)

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The ‘nation’ thing? We have a problem there

In his insightful 1983 book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Cornell University political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson propounded his theory that the nation, the most important community modern man belongs to and often claims he will die for, is really an “imagined community.”

It is different from “real communities” such as the family, clan, tribe, or even fraternities to which it is natural to have an allegiance since we actually meet, talk, and interact with each and every member of these social groups. (more…)

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UP honors martial law pillar

(Second of two parts )

THE University of the Philippines honors Cesar Virata by renaming its College Administration for him. By doing so, it is revering one of the main pillars of martial law and passing judgment that the dictatorship was on the whole good for the country. Virata was of course Marcos’ Finance secretary and Prime Minister.

If this is the belief of UP President Alfredo Pascual and the Board of Regents, then they should declare so, and let the academic community debate on it. (more…)

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