2018 Postscripts

December 2018

EVERYTHING considered, President Duterte would still be the man to beat if a referendum on his presidency were to be held simultaneously with the election of members of the next Congress in May 2019. His endorsement would boost a candidate’s chances of victory. [ Read More ]

IT WAS not surprising that 61 percent or three out of every five adult Filipinos said in the latest survey that they believe the United States would come to their succor if the country were invaded. [ Read More ]

OUR life’s Christmas Tree stands on a triangular base of faith, hope and charity around which we celebrate such a special day as today, Jesus’ birthday. [ Read More ]

BULLYING is a systematic aggressive behavior using superior force on random victims or perceived foes through physical or verbal abuse, intimidation, demolition jobs or persecution. When repeated over time, it usually leaves ill effects on those involved and the community. [ Read More ]

THE HOMILY of Chito Cardinal Tagle on the first day of Simbang Gabi was timely. Quoting St. John the Baptist, he said: “Don’t be a bully. Don’t use your power as a license to be rude. Don’t use your power to coerce people. Don’t use your arms to level false accusations against others.” [ Read More ]

BY ASKING for another extension of emergency martial law in Mindanao, this time until the end of 2019, President Duterte was admitting his failure to curb lawlessness in his own backyard during the two years he has exercised his Commander-in-Chief powers. [ Read More ]

IT IS amazing how a message of Pope Francis to an international conference on the global narcotics problem has been misinterpreted in Manila as an endorsement of the bloody anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration. [ Read More ]

I AM typing this “Postscript” some 40,000 feet above Russia as our Philippine Airlines flight wings its silken way across the polar route on a 16.5-hour non-stop flight from New York to Manila. We took off from JFK international airport 2:50 a.m. Saturday. [ Read More ]

November 2018

WHO will take care of the power needs of 64,000 household and business consumers in Iloilo City when the franchise of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) expires in January 2019? [ Read More ]

THE RECENT signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines and China on oil and gas exploration stirred some sectors watching for missteps in President Duterte’s dealings with China President Xi Jinping. [ Read More ]

WE must thank China President Xi Jinping for being with us for two days, if only because his state visit helped open up and clarify some sticky points regarding Philippines-China relations. [ Read More ]

CHINA President Xi Jinping arrives in Manila today for a two-day state visit. For perspective, we culled from an article of his (edited to fit space) explaining his goals and expectations in touching base with President Duterte: [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte could have served national interest just by staying in bed – for “power naps” or whatever – and not saying a word about Chinese expansionism while he was in Singapore last week for the 33rd summit meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. [ Read More ]

DID the Sandiganbayan issue a warrant for the arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos after she failed to appear for the Nov. 9 promulgation of sentence upon her conviction on seven counts of graft for amassing illegal wealth? [ Read More ]

FOR everyone’s guidance, the authorities should give a clear answer to the burning question: At what age, if ever, is a suspected or convicted criminal exempted from arrest? [ Read More ]

INSTEAD of subjecting grade school pupils to mandatory drug testing, all officials from President Duterte down to the last barangay captain should set the example by being the first to be examined for traces of prohibited narcotics. [ Read More ]

DEMOCRATS wrested back control Tuesday of the US House of Representatives, even if they failed to break the Republicans’ shaky majority in the Senate, according to early returns in the US midterm election that saw rejection of President Trump’s divisive politics. [ Read More ]

THE NATIONAL election in May 2019 will be a referendum on the three-year-old regime of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose persona as a strongman will carry or crush his candidates for the two houses of the Congress. [ Read More ]

“IT SHOULD be obvious to people by now that our country is being led by a very sick man. We pray for him. We pray for our country.”

So said Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David in a Facebook post after President Duterte, on All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1), called saints “gago” (fools) and “lasenggo” (drunkards) even while his earlier exhortation to Filipinos to emulate them was still ringing. [ Read More ]

WE EXPECT the military takeover of the Bureau of Customs to be brief, it being just a part of President Duterte’s continued probing into the limits of the law and the people’s tolerance for martial rule. [ Read More ]

October 2018

THE QUESTION of who will police the police is an adaptation of the Latin phrase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal which translates as “Who will guard the guards themselves?” [ Read More ]

HOW do you solve a problem like Lourdes “Des” Mangaoang, an outspoken lawyer who believes in her expertise and experience being able to trace shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) smuggled in the hollow sections of such equipment as magnetic lifters? [ Read More ]

SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV may have celebrated too early. That psychological point he won this week in the skirmish at the Makati court was just a reprieve before he faces a tough battle on higher ground that he is likely to lose. [ Read More ]

THE PANAY Electric Co. (PECO) asked us on Sept. 26 for space to explain its predicament — that it stood to lose, unfairly, its power distribution franchise over Iloilo City to a newcomer, potentially leaving consumers caught in the dispute literally in the dark by 2019. [ Read More ]

TODAY being Sunday, we highlight the Catholic church’s quiet charity works that, we pray, may help lighten the burden of Pope Francis and other prelates who have to suffer collegially for the indiscretions of some members of the clergy. [ Read More ]

NOBODY won Tuesday night’s MegaMillions US lottery jackpot of $667,000,000. The next drawing is on Friday, its pot sweetened to an estimated $868,000,000 in annuity (or $494,500,000 if claimed in cash). [ Read More ]

TWO bettors reportedly won Sunday the all-time high Lotto jackpot of P1,180,622,508 of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office — and the usual skeptics are asking if there was sleight of hand. [ Read More ]

NOW the military is telling us that the supposed “Red October” plot to overthrow the government this month has been neutralized!

It looks more correct to say “withdrawn” – meaning the destabilization plot first floated by President Duterte upon his return Sept. 8 from a trip to Jordan did not fly, so they are pulling it down in the meantime. [ Read More ]

IT’S GOOD news for the anxious nation! Imagine the confusion and distress if President Duterte announced that he had cancer – a dreaded disease that most Filipinos equate with imminent death. [ Read More ]

DON’T you sometimes get that eerie feeling that nobody’s running the country, that dear Philippines, with more than 100-million Filipinos aboard, has been left largely on auto-pilot? [ Read More ]

WELCOME to Mocha Uson, our Tuesday neighbor in this op-ed section, to the rough-and-tumble world of private media!

Although Mocha does not consider herself a journalist like us, she will find some of “our” rules somewhat similar to those for public information, a field she left yesterday after resigning as Assistant Secretary in the Presidential Communications and Operations Office. [ Read More ]

THE BURDEN has passed from one Makati judge to another of speeding up or impeding the moves of state prosecutors sent to throw into prison senator Antonio Trillanes IV who has been a nuisance to President Duterte. [ Read More ]

September 2018

IT’S frustrating when the President of the Republic says something significant and we have to watch his mouthpieces render their interpretation of what he means. Is President Duterte not capable of saying it himself? [ Read More ]

WITH the demolition crew of President Duterte relentlessly battering opposition senator Antonio Trillanes, the military mutineer has started to look like a political martyr with presidential possibilities. [ Read More ]

SEEING the morbid question “Is Duterte dying?” asked in social media early this month as a weary President Duterte sailed through stormy political weather, I posted on Twitter: “Yes, Duterte is dying – like everybody else. As soon as a person is born, he starts to die.” [ Read More ]

SINCE you’re reading this, you must have survived somehow last Friday’s clash of partisans during the commemoration of the declaration of Marcosian martial rule on Sept. 21, 1972. [ Read More ]

AS in a reversal of roles, the justices of the Supreme Court appear being reminded of judicial independence and courage by their juniors handling sensitive cases in such Regional Trial Courts as in Bulacan and Makati. [ Read More ]

NO ONE in government could have stopped typhoon Ompong’s rampage in Northern Luzon over the weekend, but a proactive administration could have forestalled the crisis scenario of having people lining up for cheap rice. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte gains nothing, loses much, by continuing to think and talk of Sen. Antonio Trillanes. By engaging the minority senator, he has only succeeded in unduly magnifying his image as an opposition figure. [ Read More ]

LIKE the New York Times being forced by President Trump to reveal who wrote its hot op-ed item on White House intrigues, President Duterte may find himself pressed to disclose which foreign power gave information on a destabilization plot against him in October. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte cut short Saturday his sojourn in Jordan to save face (and, by coincidence, taxpayers’ money) and rushed home bearing dire warnings of ill winds of October conspiring to blast him off his perch in the Palace. [ Read More ]

HOW CAN the administration engender trust when it shows an ugly pattern of taking back official government actions or commitments on high-profile issues just on the say-so of President Duterte? [ Read More ]

WITH the ongoing visit of President Duterte to Israel highlighting cordial Filipino interaction with the Jews, we dug into our archive to review Postscripts on the Philippines’ having been a haven to the Jews and other persecuted peoples. [ Read More ]

SOME pilots flying into Clark International Airport (CRK) have been puzzled by a hangar positioned at the end of one of its two 3.2-kilometer runways, rendering the blocked airstrip unusable even in emergencies. [ Read More ]

August 2018

CLARK International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga and a modern airport-city proposed to be built in a Bulacan town are in a friendly race to become the twin international gateway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Pasay City. [ Read More ]

THE APPOINTMENT of Teresita Leonardo-De Castro as Chief Justice is done. Since she has all the required qualifications and none of the disqualifications, it looks pointless to question her having been chosen by President Duterte. [ Read More ]

JUST WHEN we thought Malacañang’s media office has controlled the spread of its “Norwegia” fake-news virus, President Duterte stood Tuesday in a Cebu City conference showing signs he may have been infected too. [ Read More ]

THIS can’t happen in the Philippines, I muttered while watching TV coverage of the double-barrel hits that President Trump took Tuesday when two close associates lost court battles, threatening his own hold on the White House. [ Read More ]

WE’VE gotten used to massive rice importation by the ruling party to raise funds before an election, but to see our archipelago that is blessed with abundant fishery resources now importing fish is just too much. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte is not keeping it a secret that he wants to hand the presidency, when he resigns, to the son and namesake of the late President Ferdinand Marcos – even if Bongbong Marcos is not in the line of succession under the Constitution. [ Read More ]

IT IS disturbing that some people would rather believe drug-sniffing dogs than the President of the Philippines when he said that no narcotics were hidden in the magnetic lifters found Friday by government raiders in a Cavite warehouse. [ Read More ]

AFTER the smuggling Friday of P6.8-billion worth of narcotics, which was just one of big illegal drug shipments periodically allowed to slip in, we say in exasperation: Let Customs go to the dogs! [ Read More ]

THERE is still time for President Duterte to change his mind, as he often does, about shifting to a federal system that will enshrine him in history as the Philippine leader who cut up his country into autonomous sub-states. [ Read More ]

AT THE HOUSE of Representatives the other day, the supermajority elected one of themselves — Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez – as the Minority Leader, a position that made him look something like the boss of the Company Union. [ Read More ]

TWO weeks into the opening of the current session of the 17thCongress, taxpayers still do not know who the Minority Leader in the House of Representative is. As we write this, the chamber is still debating the leadership issue, with a vote expected shortly. [ Read More ]

WHETHER one is house-hunting, putting up a karinderia, a gasoline station or a casino-resort, many times, if not all the time, the viability of the venture rests largely on “Location, Location, Location.” [ Read More ]

TRY surveying informally your well-informed friends, asking them who they think should be appointed Chief Justice.

We did that last week, and acting Chief Justice Antonio J. Carpio emerged the runaway favorite, with Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin a close second. But with Carpio declining his nomination, Bersamin appears to be leading the pack.

[ Read More ]

July 2018

DESPITE traces of tribal rivalry in our dealings with one another, we Filipinos have managed somehow to stick together as a nation. There may be rumblings underfoot now and then, but we have kept marching forward as one. [ Read More ]

IF YOU’RE a media specialist, please don’t read on. I’d be embarrassed having you listen to a basic and possibly boring topic that we discuss to death in journalism school – deadline writing. [ Read More ]

THE BLITZKRIEG that nearly toppled Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday before the opening joint session of the 17th Congress to listen to the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte exposed a crack in the administration power structure. [ Read More ]

IT’S NOT that evident yet to most Filipinos beset by the more immediate issues of rising prices and falling real wages, of runaway crime and corruption, but intelligence authorities in the US are again flashing warning lights on cyber-terrorism. [ Read More ]

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump being deferential to Russian leader Vladimir Putin in their meeting in Helsinki reminded us of President Rodrigo Duterte’s going to great lengths to please his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. [ Read More ]

THE 30 MINUTES that President Rodrigo Duterte had Monday with Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, were too short for taking up his litany of grievances against God and the Church. [ Read More ]

ONE of the pitfalls of writing under a deadline is that sometimes we quote the President of the Republic on something momentous, only to be told later that he had made a backflip and changed his mind, again. [ Read More ]

MANY readers want to see the Commission on Elections’ resolution setting a 25-percent threshold in the valid shading of the ovals on the ballot in the 2016 election, an issue crucial to the poll protest of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vs Vice President Leni Robredo. [ Read More ]

THE PUBLIC has not been shown the draft Constitution produced by a commission assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to write a new charter for, this time, a federal system of government for us listless Filipinos. [ Read More ]

IS THE climate of fear sown by the spate of killings and harassment of those perceived to be standing in the way part of a conditioning to weaken people’s resistance to a looming power-grab? [ Read More ]

MALACANANG announced Sunday that the second-year performance of the Duterte administration that took over on July 1, 2016, has been “fruitful.” [ Read More ]

THE INFLUENCE of the Catholic Church with some 80 million Filipinos within its fold is being put to a test by President Rodrigo Duterte’s striking an unrepentant posture even while his handlers scramble to head off a costly collision for him. [ Read More ]

June 2018

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is not doing himself, and the country, any good by attacking the Bible and the Catholic Church, getting into an unnecessary dispute over religion that could cause serious damage all around. [ Read More ]

BEFORE subjecting grade school children to drug tests, the government better conduct first mandatory drug screening of ranking officials in all branches — from Malacañang, the judiciary, the Congress, the military and the police, etc., down to the mayors. [ Read More ]

WHAT has come over President Rodrigo Duterte that, without provocation, he aimed for the very top and called God “stupid” on the basis of his limited understanding of the biblical story of the Creation? [ Read More ]

THE PERMANENT Court of Arbitration at The Hague that handed down the 2016 ruling generally favorable to the Philippines in its maritime dispute with China is not really that “permanent.” It’s no longer there, says an arbitration expert. [ Read More ]

LAYMEN seeing aerial shots of Scarborough (Panatag) shoal off Zambales, with its lagoon walled in by what look like reefs with a hint of vegetation, are often surprised to know that the disputed 150-square-kilometer maritime feature is legally just a “rock.” [ Read More ]

IN AN unprecedented move potentially affecting thousands of immigrants, including (hope not) a few Filipino Americans, the Trump administration is reviewing now-digitized fingerprints of aliens to weed out those who had gained US citizenship through fraud. [ Read More ]

MUCH has been written about the “Sobrepeña-MRTC option” for rehabilitating the ailing MetroRail Transit Line-3 on EDSA. For balance, we are running excerpts from a Department of Transportation briefer comparing that offer with the “Japan ODA option” that the government-seems to favor. [ Read More ]

I WAS shocked to hear of the death yesterday of Roy Golez, former national security adviser, TOYM awardee, UP MBA valedictorian, and top congressman from Parañaque. Nakababahala ang kanyang biglang pagpanaw. [ Read More ]

CELEBRITY chef, traveler and story-teller Anthony Bourdain — host of CNN’s award-winning series “Parts Unknown” — died Friday at age 61 in his hotel room in Paris, apparently a suicide. [ Read More ]

RELAX, folks. It may be kadiri seeing 73-year-old President Rodrigo Duterte summoning an excited woman to the stage in Seoul and cajoling her while everybody watched to kiss him on the lips, but Malacañang tells us that is now the new normal. [ Read More ]

THIS is unofficial, but the reputation of President Rodrigo Duterte as a great lover may have suffered after that kissing scene last Sunday at the Grand Hilton Convention Center in Seoul. He was in South Korea for a three-day visit. [ Read More ]

UNCLE SAM’S efforts to woo back the Philippines even while President Rodrigo Duterte is infatuated with Beijing look like a case of too little too late — but a way may still be found for the White House to regain Malacañang’s favor. [ Read More ]

May 2018

WHEN watching President Rodrigo Duterte ramble through his trademark speeches, I often catch myself saying “Sayang si Duterte!” (Such wasted power!) [ Read More ]

The Philippines has all but given up on its treaty ally the United States’ helping defend its maritime boundaries against Chinese encroachment and military buildup within its Exclusive Economic Zone. [ Read More ]

THE SMART answer to the question “How many islands comprise the Philippines?” used to be: “Depends on whether it’s low or high tide.” Not anymore – now the cautious reply is: “Before or after Duterte?” [ Read More ]

PLAIN folk reeling from such problems as rising prices, unemployment and corruption may feel detached from foreign affairs, but President Rodrigo Duterte’s worrisome handling of relations with China may just affect his satisfaction rating in the next survey. [ Read More ]

IT IS high time President Rodrigo Duterte explained to the nation his reticence in confronting China on its military encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, instead of merely repeating his cop-out remark that he does not want to go to war over it. [ Read More ]

Is President Rodrigo Duterte a traitor, a tuta (lapdog) of China, or simply a pragmatist trying to get the most of a delicate situation?

The question is being raised again in social media and other opinion forums after the President delivered remarks at the sendoff Tuesday of 50 Filipino scientists tasked to do research at the Philippine (Benham) Rise off Aurora province. [ Read More ]

The Department of Foreign Affairs deserves credit for winning crucial concessions for Filipino “household service workers” in Kuwait with the signing Friday of an agreement with that Gulf state for monitoring abuses and upgrading work conditions. [ Read More ]

TO THOSE who feel dejected with the Supreme Court’s shaky decision (8-6, arguably could be 3-6) removing Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, we pass on some thoughts culled from an Ignatian Reflection about being steadfast and keeping faith. [ Read More ]

THE ALARMING transformation of the West Philippine Sea into a security flashpoint with military outposts bristling with missiles should jolt President Rodrigo Duterte into abandoning the naïve notion that he can tackle China by his lonesome. [ Read More ]

WHEN will President Rodrigo Duterte wake up to the security threats posed by the escalating military presence of China in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone? When and where will he draw the line – if ever? [ Read More ]

CAREER officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs have decided to save the premier department from the amateurs led by Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano whose management, they said, has been marked by gross incompetence. [ Read More ]

WILL President Rodrigo Duterte announce today firm official action making good his outstanding commitments to Labor? Or will he quibble or, worse, step back from his promises? [ Read More ]

April 2018

SO WHAT do we do – go to war? A friend asked that question (again!) — when we got to discussing yesterday the presence of Chinese military aircraft on a landing strip on Panganiban reef off Palawan, well within the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. [ Read More ]

WE invite Supreme Court justices to note the case of James Dimaya, a Filipino immigrant whose deportation from the United States was effectively stopped Monday by a 5-4 vote of the US federal Supreme Court. [ Read More ]

BORACAY island, a national treasure in danger of losing its allure because of decades of abuse, is still waiting for a master rehabilitation plan — while a confused administration jumps from one idea to another. [ Read More ]

THIS being Sunday, we share an open letter to Filipinos of Steve Ray, a Baptist Protestant who had converted to a Roman Catholic. He writes Bible study notes and has written a book, “Crossing the Tiber” (Ignatius Press). [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte continued to bet big in a high-stakes game with President Xi Jinping of China in their latest round at the Boao Forum for Asia held in Hainan, the province claiming jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea. [ Read More ]

We share here an open letter of netizen Gege Cruz of Parañaque pouring out her disgust with the 16 million voters who handed the presidency in 2016 to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Following is a shortened edition of Cruz’s original rant posted on Facebook. [ Read More ]

WE’VE come upon a proposed answer to the overcrowding and inefficiency problems plaguing the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – at no cost to the government and without having to expropriate more land, build another runway, and reclaim nearby bay areas. [ Read More ]

ALL PARTIES to the election protest filed against Vice President Leni Robredo by defeated candidate Bongbong Marcos should be ordered by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to stop arguing the case outside the court. [ Read More ]

WHILE there is not much we can do to stop President Rodrigo Duterte from cursing and spouting obscenities in his speeches, we plain folk can hold back from imitating his sometimes vulgar language in our social media postings. [ Read More ]

I WANT to burst forth this Easter Sunday morning with joyous alleluias welcoming the liberating news that Christ has risen and by His resurrection signaled true reformation among us — but I can’t. [ Read More ]

March 2018

GOVERNMENT regulatory agencies should step in quickly to protect riders of Uber Systems Inc. as it merges operations with Grab Holdings Inc. under an acquisition deal sealed on Sunday. [ Read More ]

THE GOSPEL today, Holy Tuesday, tells of Judas Iscariot’s impending betrayal of Christ, selling his master to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver just hours after He had gathered the apostles for their Last Supper and final commissioning. [ Read More ]

TODAY, Palm Sunday, reminds us of the fickleness of us mortal men – how in a week’s time, the cheers of the crowd welcoming the King of Kings to Jerusalem turned to the jeers of the mob crying for his crucifixion. [ Read More ]

NOT A FEW Filipinos were quick to notice that the White House seems to be taking the same hardline against illegal narcotics that has drawn world attention to President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war. [ Read More ]

WHY stick your neck out and speak against the troubling times when you can just stay home watching on TV the bad news inserted in-between teleseryes and endless ads? [ Read More ]

AS FATHER of the nation, President Rodrigo Duterte should not play games with the people, confuse them with conflicting statements and divide them at a crucial time when what the nation needs is unity. [ Read More ]

ANOTHER key member of the Duterte Cabinet is on his way out, if reports coming from the direction of the Palace are to be believed.

Asked why the Cabinet official is being eased out, considering that he has been President Rodrigo Duterte’s ally from way back and one of his trusted political advisers, the sources said his falling out has something to do with “missing funds” and, to some extent, “insensitivity.” [ Read More ]

THE PRE-TRIAL skirmishes between the Duterte administration and United Nations human rights watchdogs have sunk to a new low, with the UN human rights chief practically calling President Rodrigo Duterte a mental case. [ Read More ]

“WE the sovereign Filipino people” solemnly vowing in the preamble of our Constitution to “build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony” will now allow President Rodrigo Duterte to use that same patrimony as collateral for multibillion-dollar loans from China to finance his infrastructure-building frenzy that many experts have warned could end in a debt trap as has happened in the case of other nations mesmerized by easy loans dangled by their “friend” China? [ Read More ]

WE SHARE this list of supposed “Fake News” websites targeting Filipinos compiled by Wikipedia and reprinted by online magazine Positively Filipino. We assume Wikipedia has done its research on the sites. [ Read More ]

THE ATMOSPHERE must be so polluted with internecine politics that not a few readers asked me, after noticing my “Postscript” column missing last Thursday from its customary corner, if it has been censored or what. [ Read More ]

WE’VE not personally met either Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno or Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, but we’re among those who believe that the Supreme Court would be in good hands if Carpio, as reported, would be officer-in-charge while Sereno is on leave. [ Read More ]

February 2018

CHINA has established military bases on islands built up in the South China Sea, including the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, but can Beijing defend them in an armed conflict? [ Read More ]

HAS the American embassy just told President Rodrigo Duterte that any perception of his being a “threat to democracy” is a verdict of public opinion as reflected in the media and not a judgment of the United States government? [ Read More ]

THE BAN on foreign military bases is still in the Constitution (Article XVIII, Section 25), so we have been waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte to announce what he intends to do about China’s building bases on Philippine maritime areas. [ Read More ]

IF THE SENATE inquiry yesterday on the P15.7-billion frigates deal proved anything, it is not corruption, as wished for by detractors of President Rodrigo Duterte, but that presidential aide Christopher “Bong” Go is probably the man closest to the Chief. [ Read More ]

THE ANSWER is No! — as the Philippines stresses in its objection to China’s naming five features of the Philippine (Benham) Rise, a 13-hectare underwater plateau some 250 km (155.3 miles) east of the Isabela coast. [ Read More ]

JUST as his stellar presence on the world media stage seemed to have waned, President Rodrigo Duterte regained this week his top position after he delivered another of his choice obscene quips laced with violence against women. [ Read More ]

HOW do we now repair the damage that President Rodrigo Duterte has inflicted on the country’s sovereign interest by his letting China develop into military outposts several maritime features in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone? [ Read More ]

WE ARE watching for hints of improved relations between the two Koreas, instead of our tallying the medals, in the Winter Olympics that opened Friday in the resort city of PyeongChang where North and South Korea are fielding a joint ice hockey team under a common flag. [ Read More ]

IT WAS unfortunate that President Rodrigo Duterte turned down an invitation to join the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels in October just because he was afraid the top-level crowd there, he said, might look down on him. [ Read More ]

UNTIL the spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte dismisses it as another of those jokes, we take to be final and official the Chief Executive’s announced decision for his native Cebuano tongue to be the language used in Cabinet meetings. [ Read More ]

WE DON’T normally comment on reports of fellow media men, but in the face of the alarming TV series of ABS-CBN on deaths being linked to the Dengvaxia vaccine, we ask if the deaths were due to the anti-dengue vaccine or in spite of it. [ Read More ]

EVERYBODY is entitled to his opinion and his right to express it is constitutionally protected, subject only to the limitation that such expression does not unduly infringe on the rights of others. [ Read More ]

January 2018

TOO BAD the advisory of President Rodrigo Duterte for Indian investors to avoid Mindanao registered as a general alarm for all foreign businessmen to keep away from that troubled island, including Davao City. [ Read More ]

“FAKE NEWS Queen” was among the pejorative tags pinned on Malacañang communications official Mocha Unson by her detractors after she was recognized by the UST alumni association for being a prominent graduate serving in government. [ Read More ]

IT MAY be time for us mass media workers to restate where we stand, especially on issues – considering the ongoing “somos o no somos” campaign to divide our ranks into those who are supporting the administration and those criticizing it. [ Read More ]

WITH Davao City having emerged as the political epicenter of the Philippines, businessmen from that home base of President Rodrigo Duterte are riding high, with many of them reporting on corporate acquisitions, business expansions, and such giant ventures. [ Read More ]

THE LEGAL injuries sustained by digital media outfit Rappler Inc. in its encounter with the Securities and Exchange Commission look self-inflicted. [ Read More ]

WE LIKE the vigorous defense that Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office, usually puts up for plain folk who do not have the means to protect their rights when caught in an undeserved disadvantage in criminal situations. [ Read More ]

THEY tell us that we Filipinos are the world’s third happiest people, that 96 percent of us see a better year ahead, that President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys an 80-percent approval and trust rating. [ Read More ]

UNTIL yesterday President Rodrigo Duterte and his minions in the Congress have not given a hint of how they would cut up the Republic into sub-states – even as they prepared to convene shortly a joint session to fast-track the shift from the present unitary to a federal system. [ Read More ]

THE DUTERTE administration wants this nation of 105 million to make a quick shift to a federal system before the 2019 elections – but continues to hide from the people its working draft of the proposed federal constitution. [ Read More ]

THE YEAR 2018 is just on its fourth day, but there are already hints that it would be a tumultuous prelude to the 2019 elections (if any) that could dictate the drift of the second half of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte — and the nation’s fate beyond. [ Read More ]

WE’RE excited to see the pictures of our pet senators and congressmen on the new stamps that the post office has begun issuing to welcome the Year of the Dog in the Chinese lunar calendar that starts on February 16. [ Read More ]

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