2015 Postscripts

December 2015

AFTER the stroke of a less noisy midnight tonight, Filipinos will welcome the New Year with a big bang of cheer and optimism. And they will hold on to the positive vibes as long as they can. [ Read More ]

DO WE break the law to enforce it? That is our first question to Davao Mayor Rody Duterte running for president in the May 2016 national elections. Bigger questions await him. [ Read More ]

AFTER Dec. 31, 2015, or just four days from now, all banknotes not bearing the signature of President Benigno S. Aquino III will be demonetized — although his signature is not the only determinant of whether a paper bill is current or not. [ Read More ]

IF SURVEYS are any indication, while the demolition hearings of the Senate yellow ribbon subcommittee may have dented the reputation of Vice President Jojo Binay they have not knocked him out of the May 2016 presidential elections. [ Read More ]

THE COMMISSION on Elections rolls out tomorrow a provisional list of candidates in the May 2016 elections – and our fearless forecast is that it will include Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte despite their presidential candidacies being questioned. [ Read More ]

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya looks sane enough to be able to discern what is right or wrong and then act in favor of the riding public in his management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3). [ Read More ]

THE TANIM-BALA scandal still far from settled, a new turf war is adding to the confusion at the immigration bureau and premier airports with an associate commissioner having been vested powers reserved for Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison. [ Read More ]

SOME courts are being used, inadvertently or otherwise, by landgrabbers and syndicates to validate fake land titles, according to activist and author Daniel Frianeza during his book launching at a media forum in a Quezon City hotel last week. [ Read More ]

THE ORGANIZATION of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided last week to maintain current production levels at around 31.5 million barrels of oil per day, despite a growing surplus estimated at 700,000 to 1.8 million BOPD in the world markets. [ Read More ]

NOW AND THEN in a nation’s life, a mailed-fist approach to runaway violence, crime and corruption as advocated by presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte surfaces and whips up a debate best resolved in a national election. [ Read More ]

IT MAY be time for Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas to start thinking of a kind of Exit Strategy – how to escape the suffocating embrace of his patron President Noynoy Aquino – if he still hopes to have a fighting chance in the 2016 elections. [ Read More ]

DAVAO Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gives the impression he can just walk away from his presidential candidacy without feeling any sense of loss if he, like Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, is disqualified from running for the top executive post in May 2016. [ Read More ]

LIBERAL Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas was asked in a forum last Wednesday if he thought he did enough to ease traffic and other transportation problems when he was transportation and communications secretary from July 2011 to September 2012. [ Read More ]

WITH LAWYERS in ambush position at every turn in the tortuous trail of presidential candidates, the Commission on Elections faces a tough test in making good its announced plan to draw up a final list of candidates by Dec. 15. [ Read More ]

November 2015

A GROWING number of voters seem to be realizing that Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares’ claim to being a natural-born citizen is legally untenable and her executive track record not that solid — while they see an alternative would-be president in tough-talking Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. [ Read More ]

JUSTICE delayed is justice denied. Apparently, the Presidential Commission on Good Government can delay or deny justice with impunity for itself or its nominees for an alleged fee of P2 million ostensibly for high-value Temporary Restraining Orders and, if caught, a fine of P20,000-P30,000. [ Read More ]

SEN. Grace Poe Llamanzares and her supporters have gone to town with their notion that, if not the Constitution, international law had conferred on her, a foundling, the status of a natural-born citizen. [ Read More ]

HOW does a losing petitioner compose a motion for reconsideration of an informal decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal rejecting his bid to disqualify Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares on the ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino as required by the Constitution? [ Read More ]

THE MAJORITY (5-4) decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal to throw out a petition to unseat Sen. Grace Poe for not being a natural-born Filipino as required by the Constitution appears to have been dictated not by law but by politics. [ Read More ]

AS SOON as you can, watch this “With Open Gates” video before it is taken down again as it goes viral in Europe that is grappling with terrorism riding on the waves of mass migration: http://tinyurl.com/nubd453. [ Read More ]

THE ENHANCED Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States is itself the best argument why the Supreme Court should invalidate it, and why President Noynoy Aquino sorely needs the advice and consent of the treaty-ratifying Senate. [ Read More ]

THE CONSTITUTIONAL issue over the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States revolves around whether EDCA is a treaty or a mere executive agreement. [ Read More ]

IT CONTINUES to rain disqualification cases against independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, with a fourth petition being filed yesterday against her with the Commission on Elections questioning her being a natural-born citizen. [ Read More ]

THERE is no law saying that the spouse of the Philippine president should also be a Filipino.

But it would reassure many admirers of Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, an independent presidential candidate, if her American husband Neil renounced his US citizenship, like she did hers in 2012, and also became a Filipino. [ Read More ]

WE SEE how brittle life is in the Philippine capital when for five days this month we the natives will be swept under the rug just so visiting world dignitaries do not trip on us as they scurry to their Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings here. [ Read More ]

IT WAS just a first-round knockdown, not the decisive knockout, that the Philippines scored last week at the Permanent Court of Arbitration of the United Nations when the tribunal took jurisdiction over the country’s maritime dispute with China. [ Read More ]

THE WINDOW of opportunity continues to get smaller for Sen. Alan Cayetano’s being able to romp off with the vice presidency next May riding on the popularity of his desired presidential running mate Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. [ Read More ]

October 2015

ACCREDITED political parties should seriously participate in the review of the source code that will be used in the voting-counting machines for the May 2016 national elections – or forever remain silent on that technical detail. [ Read More ]

AT THE RATE the air quality in Manila has been deteriorating, we as hosts may have to give protective masks to the world dignitaries, including US President Barack Obama and other heads of government, coming for the APEC summit next month. [ Read More ]

WHILE the haze from uncontrolled forest fires in Indonesia has started to disrupt life in Mindanao and the Visayas, Philippine environment officials appear more concerned with ensuring that a favored supplier corner the deal for air pollution monitoring equipment. [ Read More ]

WITH the continued failure of the government to monitor air pollution in the national capital and post real time advisories on its threat to public health, the Rotary Club of Makati has decided to help the Department of Environment and Natural Resources do the job. [ Read More ]

MALACAÑANG is in the habit of respecting the law when construed in its favor, but dismissing it when its interpretation does not serve the Palace’s ulterior agenda. [ Read More ]

WE DO not know if we should cheer or jeer at the bumper crop of 130 presidential candidates that the Commission on Elections reaped during the five-day filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2016 elections. [ Read More ]

THE ENTRY of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago into the presidential derby is a game-changer – especially if she and Sen. Bongbong Marcos decide to attack and reform the rotten system together. [ Read More ]

WHAT is the point of installing devices measuring air pollution in Metro Manila when the information collected, assuming it is correct and in real time, remains mere dead data locked in a server of the Environmental Management Bureau? [ Read More ]

ONE national candidate to watch is Sen. Bongbong Marcos (NP). While he is running for vice president in the 2016 elections, he often projects presidential in his public discourse. [ Read More ]

SENATOR Grace Poe Llamanzares and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential race can give voters fed up with traditional politics an alternative to the dynastic wannabes expected to just continue the same maladministration sinking the nation. [ Read More ]

ON MOST days, one can view from a vantage in the hills of Antipolo a dark brown shroud of deadly air hanging over the nation’s capital. Only when a typhoon blows through Metro Manila is the noxious blanket of pollution lifted – but only for a day after the storm. [ Read More ]

WE ASK the question because Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has cleared President Noynoy Aquino of liability in what the Supreme Court said was Malacañang’s unconstitutional use of public funds under its new-fangled Disbursement Acceleration Program, also known as presidential pork. [ Read More ]

TOO LONG have we been exposed to chatter that, whatever the Constitution says on who are Philippine citizens, customary international law automatically confers nationality to such foundlings as Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares whose claim to being a natural-born citizen is being challenged. [ Read More ]

September 2015

CHINA President Xi Jinping was forced last Friday to repeat to US President Barack Obama that various South China Sea isles and shoals being claimed by the Philippines and other neighbors have been Chinese territory since ancient times. [ Read More ]

POPE FRANCIS delivered last Thursday a historic message before a joint session of the US Congress and, by extension, to the rest of the world. From his 3,300-word address, we have freely culled some 950 words that we share here for Sunday reading: [ Read More ]

WHAT a mess Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares has gotten into by believing her sidekick Sen. Chiz Escudero that she was/is a shoo-in as Philippine president in 2016 (with him beside her as vice president). [ Read More ]

SENATOR Grace Poe Llamanzares is a naturalized and not a natural-born Filipino, according to Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio T. Carpio who presides over the Senate Electoral Tribunal hearing a petition to unseat Poe as senator. [ Read More ]

TRAFFIC on EDSA and many Metro Manila thoroughfares was light-moderate at noon yesterday.

It may have been coincidence, but most street denizens were home or at some other place glued to the TV to witness the long-awaited first meeting of Alden Richards and Yaya Dub, the accidental pair drawing hordes of viewers to the Eat Bulaga noontime “kalyeserye” on GMA-7. [ Read More ]

BY ANNOUNCING yesterday her intention to run for president in 2016, Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares appeared to be attempting to open a bypass to Malacañang after seeing the regular route defined by the Constitution cluttered with citizenship issues. [ Read More ]

ONE CRITICAL aspect of the traffic congestion choking the national capital is the inefficient movement of people and cargo through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals. The resulting damage to individual, business and national interests is incalculable. [ Read More ]

SEN. GRACE Poe Llamanzares has won the first round in the disqualification case against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, but a bigger battle looms in the follow up case(s) likely to pop up once she files her certificate of candidacy for president in October.The instant petition before the SET filed by losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David is just to unseat Poe as senator. It is not yet the challenge to her qualifying as a presidential candidate — because she is not yet a candidate. [ Read More ]

A BLOCKBUSTER show reels off tomorrow on the petition for the Senate Electoral Tribunal to unseat Sen. Grace Poe for not being a natural-born Filipino and failing to meet the two-year residency requirement prior to the May 2013 senatorial elections. [ Read More ]

MANY readers were surprised by the revelation in our last Postscript that – contrary to a widespread misconception — there is nothing in the Constitution that says the President of the Philippines is immune from suit or that he cannot be sued while in office. [ Read More ]

I AM ONE of those who are not comfortable seeing the unchallenged acceptance of the theory that the President of the Philippines is immune from suit. [ Read More ]

BECAUSE the Iglesia ni Cristo did not reach out to non-Iglesia members, it failed to gain the mass support needed to bring the Aquino administration to its senses during the group’s four-day street protest last week. [ Read More ]

TAXI DRIVER: Kahit naman walang INC rally talagang napakatrapik ng Edsa. Kanya-kanyang diskarte na lang, kasi wala ng paki ang gobiyerno. (Twitter.com/@FDPascual)

POSTSCRIPT: The secret Palace-INC settlement of their “misunderstanding” is not a “win-win” solution. It’s a “lose-lose-lose” proposition — a loss for the government, loss for the Iglesia and loss for the public. (More on this when space permits). [ Read More ]

August 2015

UNTIL NOON yesterday, Malacañang has not blinked in the face of a defiant show of force by the Iglesia ni Cristo protesting what it calls government meddling in its internal affairs. [ Read More ]

NOT SATISFIED with grabbing land, sea and air space from its neighbors, China has also taken over a satellite communication slot of the Philippines in outer space. [ Read More ]

IT IS INTRIGUING that in the past five years he has been in office President Noynoy Aquino never expressed concern or initiated concerted action against the multibillion-peso twin problems of drugs and jueteng. [ Read More ]

THE PROVISIONAL release last Thursday of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile after a year of detention on plunder and graft charges raises the question of when former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also accused of plunder, would be freed from “hospital arrest”. [ Read More ]

TOMORROW, we remember again August 21, 1983 — that dark Sunday when the devil snatched Ninoy Aquino from us as he was about to set foot again on his native soil carrying a message of peace for the dictator. [ Read More ]

WE THE PEOPLE have grown irrelevant to the process of choosing a political party’s standard bearer in national elections.

See how President Noynoy Aquino simply anointed the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate for the 2016 elections and announced his chosen one to a small gathering of LP members at Club Filipino who dutifully clapped in response. [ Read More ]

WITH just 266 days to Election Day, the most sensible thing for the Commission on Elections and everybody else to do is focus on moving forward to ensure clean and credible counting of the votes on May 9, 2016. [ Read More ]

SHEER lack of time is pushing the Commission on Elections to a corner where the only option appears to be to buy for P7.986 billion the 94,000 (23,000 + 70,977) new Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines needed for the May 2016 national elections. [ Read More ]

OF THE SEVEN systems needed to make the Metro Rail Transit Line-3 (MRT-3) run safely and efficiently, signaling is probably the most crucial. In a worst-case scenario, faulty signaling can cause trains to collide resulting in loss of lives and property. [ Read More ]

IT HAS been shown in contemporary times that walking the dim valley of the vice presidency could lead those who persevere to the sun-lit peak of the presidency. [ Read More ]

IT SEEMS that Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares has made up her mind about running for president. She may just be playing games with President Noynoy Aquino, with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in tow, till they run out of time courting her. [ Read More ]

THE GENERAL presumption is that there will be three main presidential candidates in the national elections in May 2016: Mar Roxas (Liberal), Jojo Binay (United Nationalist Alliance), and Grace Poe Llamanzares (Independent). [ Read More ]

WITH a return bout looming in May 2016 between Vice President Jojo Binay and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, this time for the presidency, what happens when Sen. Grace Poe joins them in the ring?. [ Read More ]

July 2015

WHO were the more than 120 individuals especially mentioned, mostly in favorable light and in grateful acknowledgement, in the two-hour farewell State of the Nation Address last Monday of President Noynoy Aquino? [ Read More ]

IF MOST of what President Noynoy Aquino reported in his State of the Nation Address yesterday is true and correct, I have to give him a grade of 88 percent for his accumulated achievements the past five years until I see other indicators. [ Read More ]

IT MIGHT be best for President Noynoy Aquino to just deliver his final State of the Nation Address in a telecast from Malacañang instead of reading it tomorrow right at the plenary hall of the Batasan. [ Read More ]

IN HIS valedictory State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Noynoy Aquino is expected to again pat his administration on the back. To repeat a cliché he once used, he will concentrate on the doughnut instead of the hole. [ Read More ]

MANY of us who follow the career of People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao are happy to hear that he and his wife Jinkee have gathered their children from their posh surroundings in Metro Manila to lead the simpler life in their native GenSan area. [ Read More ]

IMAGINE the cost to taxpayers when the President of the Republic engaged three top officials – one of them his likely successor in 11 months — in a six-hour exchange that ended at past midnight without an agreement except to talk again soon. [ Read More ]

AS ONE of the old typing exercises on manual typewriters went, “Now is the time for all young men to come to the aid of their country.” [ Read More ]

ADMINISTRATION propagandists are conditioning the public mind to accept three points: (1) President Noynoy Aquino’s performance has been exemplary, (2) his successor should continue his program, and (3) only his anointed presidential candidate can do it. [ Read More ]

AS Filipino-Americans and green card holders dither complying with a law for them to declare their bank accounts outside the US, depositors in the Philippines are being required to disclose if they are “US persons” subject to that federal law. [ Read More ]

IMMIGRATION Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison blasted away yesterday at his detractors whom he accused of sabotaging his reforms in the immigration bureau and maligning his reputation. [ Read More ]

ALTHOUGH Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya approved and signed the questioned maintenance contract for the decrepit Metro Rail Transit Line-3, he tossed the blame to his people in the MRT-3 bids and awards committee. [ Read More ]

TELEVISION looms large as the biggest single medium that could determine the winners for national positions (president, vice president, senators, and party-list congressmen) in the May 2016 elections. [ Read More ]

INTERIOR Secretary Mar Roxas, the presumed Liberal Party presidential bet in 2016, scored a bull’s eye yesterday when he advised suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay – and the Binay dynasty by extension — to step aside because “You don’t own Makati City!” [ Read More ]

June 2015

A GRIZZLED politician like newly-installed Sweepstakes chair Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi should have known that in the gambling world the company that one keeps can affect, fairly or unfairly, one’s dealings. [ Read More ]

MABALACAT CITY — Nobody beats the staying power of Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales who has been the chief executive of our hometown for the past 20 years, or six terms going on seven, despite the three-term limit for local officials. [ Read More ]

AMONG the noisiest whiners against bad government and inept/corrupt officials are people who do not even bother to vote or who evade paying the correct taxes. [ Read More ]

GIVE peace a chance, says the slogan-driven Aquino administration in pushing passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, insinuating that anybody who criticizes or opposes the BBL must be instigating warfare in Mindanao. [ Read More ]

EVERYTHING has been suggested to solve the daily traffic madness on EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Ave.) that has become an acid test of the Aquino administration’s competence. Let us refocus on a few items that might help. [ Read More ]

IF THE TWO parties to the Bangsamoro deal – namely Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front – want confidence building, the MILF should first return the guns and personal belongings of the 44 SAF commandos massacred in Mamasapano and present for investigation its gunmen involved in that Jan. 25 carnage. [ Read More ]

IT PAYS to take up arms against the government.

Or so it seems to many people who heard reports that President Noynoy Aquino will grace the program today in Cotabato City where Muslim rebels will be given Philhealth cards, P25,000 cash each and other benefits for turning in their weapons. [ Read More ]

AS MASS protest, all motor vehicle owners who have paid for a new license plate but have not received the item after a month may want to scrawl a bold red “NPA” (No Plate Available) where the number should be. [ Read More ]

IT IS intriguing that Vice President Jojo Binay, declared presidential bet of the opposition, is still unable to cut clean from his friend President Noynoy Aquino. Is he clinging to the possibility that Noynoy may yet choose him as an acceptable successor? [ Read More ]

WITH only 20 percent of adult Filipinos nationwide favoring the creation of an autonomous Moro nation in Muslim Mindanao, it seems foolhardy for President Noynoy Aquino to insist on delivering a new Bangsamoro to his favorite band of rebels. [ Read More ]

CONGRESSIONAL approval of the basic law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) – whether in its original or watered down version – is crucial to the defense of President Noynoy Aquino against possible charges in court. [ Read More ]

WHETHER or not Sen. Grace Poe (Ind.) satisfies the constitutional 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate is a valid issue, she being groomed to run for president or vice  president in 2016. [ Read More ]

THERE IS still time, and there is need for it, to insert safeguards in the Bangsamoro Basic Law against the projected Moro nation in Mindanao possibly falling under the sway of Islamic State militants that are savagely annexing Middle East territory and now eyeing more lands beyond. [ Read More ]

May 2015

SINCE the vote of the people’s representatives in the Congress conflicts with the polled public opinion on the proposed creation of a new Moro nation in Mindanao, let us go straight to the people and ask them. [ Read More ]

THE LATEST version of the bill creating a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region still contains contentious sections that cannot be satisfactorily resolved in the remaining session days of the 16th Congress set to adjourn sine die June 11. [ Read More ]

HOW DID your congressman vote on the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill (HB 4994) last Wednesday — if he was a member of the ad hoc House committee that approved the BBL by a vote of 50-17? [ Read More ]

WE OWE it to our country to at least examine the rehashed version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (HB 4994) that House mercenaries approved last Wednesday after a very productive weekend haggling with President Noynoy Aquino. [ Read More ]

ONE BRIGHT lining in the dark cloud of Bangsamoro hovering over Muslim Mindanao is that the debate on it has roused the population that is normally engrossed not with statecraft but with making a living in difficult times. [ Read More ]

MALACAÑANG’S insistence on creating a Bangsamoro, the only would-be federal region in the republic, has proved to be so divisive that even the local Catholic hierarchy appears to be in disagreement over it. [ Read More ]

THE CREATION of a unique federal Bangsamoro region in Muslim Mindanao, one with clear prospects of emerging in time as a separate independent state, is as excruciating as passing a divorce law in this dominantly Catholic country. [ Read More ]

TO SPARE the nation further stress brought on by the bitter disagreements on the proposed creation of a Bangsamoro federal state in Muslim Mindanao, let us choose quickly one of two final options: [ Read More ]

SO MUCH time has been spent debating the constitutionality of some sections of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law creating the Bangsamoro (a Moro nation) in Muslim Mindanao and contiguous areas. [ Read More ]

IN CIVILIZED countries, they knock down old and unsightly buildings to open up green and park spaces. In Quezon City, erstwhile national capital, the National Housing Authority converts park areas for building up mammoth malls and towering condominium buildings. [ Read More ]

IT SEEMS that last Sunday was one big time the vaunted Alaxan Forte pain killer advertised on TV by Manny Pacquiao did not do him any good. [ Read More ]

AS the Supreme Court would have declared: It’s final and executory! Mayweather beat Pacquiao on points, outrunning him in 12 rounds while collecting some $5 million for every minute of the chase around the ring at MGM Grand last Sunday. [ Read More ]

REVERSE the situation. Suppose the execution of drug trafficking convict Mary Jane Veloso went through last Wednesday in Indonesia.

As we watch the clawing for credit for the postponing of Veloso’s death by firing squad, we wonder if anybody would have taken the blame, the moral responsibility, had her execution pushed through. [ Read More ]

April 2015

AMONG us grizzled Manila newsmen, there has been good-natured ribbing over the No. 2 broadsheet’s “killing” a smiling Mary Jane Veloso, a convicted drug courier, on its front page yesterday. [ Read More ]

I AM now convinced that we need something like the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, or a more constitutionally compliant version of it, to redress the decades of neglect of the indigenous peoples of Muslim Mindanao. [ Read More ]

WOULD you rather be Malaysian?

To cut the annoying BS on the Bangsamoro, why don’t we just pose right off that final killer question in a plebiscite in the Muslim-dominated areas of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MinSuPala)? [ Read More ]

NOW is the time to file a slew of criminal complaints against former Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes for willfully disregarding or disabling safeguards mandated by the Automated Election System law for the last elections. [ Read More ]

DAYS after royal clans in Muslim Mindanao announced their solid support for the approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law creating a nascent Moro nation, the potent Sulu sultanate said that was not true. [ Read More ]

LIKE REPORTS of Mark Twain’s alleged death in May 1897, the news of the resignation of Arthur P. Tugade as president and CEO of Clark Development Corp. was “an exaggeration”. To be more precise — and official — Tugade has not resigned from the CDC. [ Read More ]

OLYMPIC DASH: Like many other harassed taxpayers, I was expecting the worst with the April 15 deadline for the filing of income tax returns. But, for the record, it took me just seven minutes to file manually my ITR last Tuesday in my favorite Land Bank branch in Quezon City. [ Read More ]

DE CAMPANILLA: “A lawyer by the name of Pancho Villaraza facilitated the transaction and talked to Associate Justices (Jose) Reyes and (Francisco) Acosta, and each of them allegedly received P20 million for the TRO they issued.” [ Read More ]

TYPO OF THE DAY?: “Senate still dedicated to pass BBL – Drilon”. Maybe the Senate president meant they were “dictated to pass” it?

But whether it is dedication or dictation that drives the Congress, President Noynoy Aquino – if he loves his country — better shelve the Bangsamoro Basic Law and leave it to the next administration to decide what to do with it. [ Read More ]

TENTATIVE CONCLUSIONS: After being glued for two days to the TV coverage of the House hearing on the Mamasapano massacre of Jan. 25, this tired taxpayer is convinced that: [ Read More ]

CONCRETE AID: It seems so easy to placate and please Filipinos.

Some Malacañang officials are jumping up and down in glee after hearing Admiral Harry Harris, US Pacific Fleet commander, say that the US is ready to respond to threats in the Asia Pacific region. [ Read More ]

OREMUS: President Noynoy Aquino may be surprised to know that some of his critics have been praying for him, and the country.

In Pulse Asia’s nationwide Ulat ng Bayan survey of March 1-7 where the President scraped a net trust rating of only 9 percent (36 [trust] – 27 [no trust]), there was a wavering 37 percent still undecided whether to trust or not to trust him. [ Read More ]

AMEND IF NEEDED: On record, President Noynoy Aquino knows that the federal-type Bangsamoro that he had promised the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to supplant the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is, or could be, unconstitutional. [ Read More ]

March 2015

‘MANGOSTEEN’: Government geologists have confirmed the discovery of another major natural gas field in Isabela that would complement the Malampaya gas-to-power project emanating from Palawan. [ Read More ]

FICKLE BEHAVIOR: With politics staining almost every aspect of life in the country, the practical and timely lesson offered by Palm Sunday, marked today throughout Christendom, is on the fickleness of political behavior. [ Read More ]

MVP IN 2016?: We have said it more than once in Postscript that what this nation of 100 million Filipinos working a resource-rich country is a Good Manager. And in those discussions, the name of taipan Manuel V. Pangilinan invariably cropped up as one such manager. [ Read More ]

LEE LIVES ON!: Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew was dead at 91 yesterday, but his clear and deep view of things will live on to influence the future of his island-nation, the region and the world. [ Read More ]

SUBSTITUTION: With Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas’ numbers continuing to dwindle in the surveys, is Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte emerging as the Liberal Party’s “Plan B”? [ Read More ]

SALES TALK: Throughout the negotiations between Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the secessionist group to be given a piece of Mindanao, there has been no public mention of the unresolved Philippine claim on Sabah. [ Read More ]

WAIT AND SEE: Like river silt flowing back in if neglected after dredging, cargo congestion will creep back at the Manila port if its stakeholders do not help maintain the unclogged situation that was achieved before the last APEC meetings here. [ Read More ]

NEWSPRINT TRADING: Some 60 percent of the operation expenses of major Philippine newspapers are accounted for by newsprint, making the price of paper a critical factor in their viability and capability to continue publishing information. [ Read More ]

BIG RELIEF: Here’s another unsolicited advice for President Noynoy Aquino: Sir, you might want to go on a Holy Retreat on Palm Sunday, followed by an open-ended vacation leave. [ Read More ]

DNA TESTS: President Noynoy Aquino must know something about high-value Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, that even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation does not know for sure. [ Read More ]

NOT A TREATY: This time I agree with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and disagree with one of my favorite senators, on the nature of the MILF-Malacañang contract for the creation of a Bangsamoro (a Moro nation) in Mindanao. [ Read More ]

WHY REPLACE IT?: As they say, if it ain’t broke why fix it? Why supplant the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao wholesale with a newfangled “Bangsamoro” federal state under the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front? [ Read More ]

ALTERNATIVE: The peaceful, democratic and constitutional alternative to the controversial Bangsamoro federal state being created for the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been there all along — the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. [ Read More ]

WIGGLING OUT: Instead of needling President Noynoy Aquino with calls for him to resign, maybe we should help him sort out his confusion and thereby start finding our own deliverance. [ Read More ]

February 2015

FEAR NOT: Malacañang should not be afraid to hear dissenting voices of people assembling in public places, most especially on historic Epifanio de los Santos Ave. [ Read More ]

TWO TALES: Which Mamasapano report will the public believe: that of the Senate committee on public order or that of the PNP Board of Inquiry? [ Read More ]

SLOW-MO: Has the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) become another victim of the administration’s slow-mo reaction syndrome that had claimed the lives of 44 elite police commandos four weeks ago in Mamasapano in Maguindanao? [ Read More ]

NO MASTER PLAN: Assuming President Noynoy Aquino resigns or is putsch-ed aside, which I doubt will happen soon, what will the milling crowd do in the ensuing confusion? [ Read More ]

SITUATIONER: Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I rush to turn on the TV to find out if we have a new president. (Some plotters may have pulled a fast one while we were asleep.) [ Read More ]

1-2-3 FORMULA: The nation lies in a cornfield bleeding. Let us not deal it the MILF coup de grâce of two lethal shots to the head.

But neither should we prolong the agony while giving an opening for anarchists to seize the chaotic moment. Partly in desperation, I reiterate something like this 1-2-3 process that I had previously suggested: [ Read More ]

TELL THE PEOPLE: It is time President Noynoy Aquino himself stepped into the debate that has roiled the nation since 44 PNP Special Action Forces men were killed serving a warrant on a high-value terrorist near a Moro Islamic Liberation Front village in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. [ Read More ]

QUIBBLING: Was suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima giving advice or an order to the Special Action Force commander when he told the latter not to inform acting PNP chief Leonardo Espina and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas before the Mamasapano operation of Jan. 25? [ Read More ]

‘TEKA MUNA’: Was it really the dreaded Malaysian terrorist bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir (aka Marwan) that the PNP Special Action Force commandos killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last Jan. 25? [ Read More ]

STAY ON: It would be a mistake, I think, for President Noynoy Aquino to resign while we are sorting out the bloody details of the Malasapano operation that took the lives of 44 of the finest fighters of the Philippine National Police last Jan. 25. [ Read More ]

JUNK BBL: There is actually no need for the Bangsamoro Basic Law that has roiled this nation with its scheme to create by legislation a nascent Moro “substate” likely to secede eventually as an Islamic state [ Read More ]

STAND UP!: The biggest obstacle to moving forward from the Mamasapano Massacre is that the President of this Republic seems afraid to confront the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front. That is THE problem. [ Read More ]

January 2015

HIGH STAKES: How many more innocent Filipinos will have to die in this high-stakes game being played by Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the name of the Bangsamoro?. [ Read More ]

THINK: The dawn massacre of 30 elite police commandos in a remote village in Maguindanao last Sunday should prompt President Noynoy Aquino to rethink his love affair with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front consorting with Malaysian operatives. [ Read More ]

HIDING THE TRUTH:The Holy Father came over last Jan. 15-19 wanting to be with us — as we are, where we are – most especially with the Yolanda victims and the poorest of the poor. [ Read More ]

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Despite the lingering Pope Francis spell, we are going back to regular programming.

Topping my lineup is the Supreme Court ruling throwing out a petition to unseat Manila Mayor Erap Estrada and to bar him from ever holding any public office despite the presidential pardon granted him after his conviction for plunder in September 2007. [ Read More ]

WE’LL BE WAITING: The Holy Father is back in Rome. But there is a chance he would fly back next January for the International Eucharistic Congress set in Cebu – and then have time to wrap up unfinished business and embrace once more the poor and disaster victims. [ Read More ]

HERE I AM!: What else can we say? After that incredible outpouring in Tacloban of Filipinos’ love for the Holy Father and their confidence in divine mercy and compassion, words fail. [ Read More ]

OKAY LANG: Weathermen said early yesterday that storm “Amang” is likely to blow through the Visayas over the weekend when Pope Francis visits the area. No problem. [ Read More ]

TO KISS OR NOT: There is some discussion on whether or not President Noynoy Aquino would/should kiss the ring of Pope Francis when the two leaders meet on Saturday at the start of the Pontiff’s pastoral and state visit to this dominantly Catholic nation. [ Read More ]

POPE IS SAFE HERE: Some of us are uneasy hearing military/police top brass talk about how formidable forces and facilities would be deployed to secure Pope Francis when he comes visiting Jan. 15-19. [ Read More ]

RESILIENCE: The Philippines’ underlying resilience helped carry it through the tests of 2014, emerging in the new year better prepared to withstand further pressures, according to Bangko Sentral Gov. Amando M. Tetangco Jr. reporting Tuesday on the state of the national economy. [ Read More ]

ARROGANCE: The insistence of the Aquino administration in raising MRT/LRT fares — almost doubling the rates in some segments — without notice, without hearing, and without administrative recourse smacks of arrogance of power. [ Read More ]

Dear Mr. President,

Kumusta na po kayo? Our nation has just entered a New Year brimming with hope. We better do it right this time, Mr. President, to meet the people’s expectations. [ Read More ]

COMMON PRAYER: From the Vatican to Malacañang to the lowly parish in the countryside, the common prayer for the New Year is the promotion of peace and the reduction of poverty. [ Read More ]

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