Postscript Archive

June 2021

WE used to say that all statements of President Duterte must be in writing and under oath to assure the public that he meant every word said. Now we think listeners should also allow a time lag before speculating on what he really meant. [Read More]

THE COVID-19 vaccination situation may have started to look better, if not merrier, prodding the inoculation manager of the government to reiterate his prediction that herd immunity would be achieved by Christmas. [Read More]

THE NAME of the game is Competition, and China of late has been out there in space also – competing. For what? Presumably for the same things that other world powers also compete. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte has said that awarding public projects to the highest bidder or to the contractor who submits the best-looking offer often breeds corruption and will not always mean securing the best terms for the undertaking. [Read More]

THE grand announcement Saturday of the likely 1Sambayan opposition coalition candidates for president and vice president in the May elections next year hardly stirred interest, except for the reasons given by the nominees who begged off. [Read More]

WE’RE afforded “a closer look at China’s vaccines” in a report June 10 by Jonathan Wolfe of the New York Times’ briefings team on the COVID-19 pandemic, with inputs from his colleague Sui-Lee Wee who covers China. [Read More]

A FILIPINO abroad must have a compelling reason, extra money for COVID-19 quarantine expenses and, in the case of elderly Balikbayans departing from Los Angeles, physical endurance to walk to the new boarding gate moved 20 minutes away. [Read More]

WE’VE been getting queries from Filipinos abroad, and a few foreigners, planning to fly to the Philippines with the reported improvement of the COVID-19 situation in many places, including Metro Manila. [Read More]

LIKE fentanyl and crystal meth, power and wealth are highly addictive. One who has fallen under their magic spell will keep wanting more.

After five years of consolidating power and amassing untold wealth, Rodrigo Roa Duterte the Davao City mayor-turned-president seems to want more of the same, and at double dose. [Read More]

TRAINS of various types from sleek Shinkansen bullets to light rail commuter cars have shown themselves in advanced economies to be efficient conveyors for moving people and goods vital to socio-economic growth. [Read More]

PARDON my being a bit excited over the reported return soon of the trains linking the grand old station in Tutuban and Clark Freeport in Pampanga. From my boyhood until my college years, trains were my main means of traveling to Manila from Mabalacat City, then a sleepy town. [Read More]

May 2021

IN Ohio, US of A, a COVID-19 vaccinee could have his serum sweetened with $1 million if  chosen in a weekly lottery. Nearer home in Las Piñas City, residents stepping up for the jab could win a new house and lot, motorcycles, and other valuable prizes being raffled off. [Read More]

WHILE a representative survey sample of 1,200 adult Filipinos is split into three equal groups as to their willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19, some 63 percent of those polled prefer US-made vaccines if they were to be inoculated. [Read More]

THE latest US census counted 4,211,440 Filipino Americans in the United States, making them one of the three biggest immigrant sub-groups of the 23,241,740 Asian Americans striving to make their positive presence felt in various fields in America. [Read More]

The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act that President Joe Biden signed Thursday seeks to reassure members of the Asian American community, including more than four million Filipinos in the United States, of stepped-up government action on race-related hate crimes. [Read More]

“LOOSE lips sink ships” was one of the catchy American slogans during the second World War admonishing servicemen and citizens against careless talk that could undermine the national interest in favor of the enemy. [Read More]

IF NAVY surface ships are unable to stop Chinese encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, will adding three submarines to the naval force stop the rape of its natural resources and the building of foreign military outposts? [Read More]

A SUPPOSED “joke” is not a joke if one has to explain five years later that the remark he had made in all seriousness was actually just a joke. Everybody can then laugh either at the joke or at him. [Read More]

THE ELECTION Season that will peak on May 9 next year is already upon us, with the key issues revolving around four points: delayed COVID-19 jabs, dwindling jobs, unpresidential jokes, and China’s undue influence on the Duterte administration. [Read More]

CHINA may not need a full-time ambassador in Manila to speak for it and look after the interests of its nationals on issues involving the West Philippine Sea. It already has no less than the President of the Philippines to do that for them. [Read More]

FOREIGN Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. was not running out of paper for diplomatic protests, but must have been losing patience, when he hurled Monday a curse-laced message at China over its occupation and claim of sovereignty over Philippine maritime areas. [Read More]

NOBODY is pushing President Duterte to wage war with China to stop its aggressive encroachments and unfriendly activities in the West Philippine Sea.

What concerned citizens are saying is that the President should be more resolute, that he stands firmly on the side of Filipinos – to be more patriotic – when threshing out issues of sovereign rights, territorial integrity, national security, and economic opportunities. [Read More]

HAS President Duterte’s accepting COVID-19 vaccine donations from China affected his handling of such sensitive bilateral issues as Filipino fishermen’s survival, Chinese occupation of Philippine waters, and the despoiling of the marine ecosystem? [ Read More ]

April 2021

THE Philippines gained entry Monday into the Millionaires’ Club of, so far, 26 nations that have logged more than one million coronavirus infections among the 220 countries and territories ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. [ Read More ]

BIPARTISAN support in the US Congress is pushing legislation to improve community relations, law enforcement, and allied programs for better protection of Asian Americans, including some four million FilAms, and Pacific islanders from racial hate crimes. [ Read More ]

CONTRARY to a misimpression, the decision of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal dismissing for lack of merit the protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo is not yet “final and executory”. [ Read More ]

WATCHING President Duterte’s “Talk to the People” show Tuesday night, we were jolted toward the end of his report when he virtually surrendered to China the West Philippine Sea, or parts of it, without the aggressive neighbor even asking for it! [ Read More ]

WRITTEN large on the wall is the message of the Community Pantry that was set up first on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City then in multiple other places visited by hunger in this time of the pandemic. [ Read More ]

THE POLITICAL support of key sectors for President Duterte is being eroded by the pro-China bias tainting the avowed independence of his foreign policy and the effectiveness of his campaign to tame the COVID-19 pandemic. [ Read More ]

THREE months into his presidency, erstwhile Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte announced his country’s “separation” from America and started talking of the Beijing-Manila-Moscow axis playing in his mind. [ Read More ]

THE PLATE of President Duterte is overflowing with Chinese chop suey whose smell indicates that it may start to spoil if left untouched any longer.

It is not easy for Duterte to justify his seeming tolerance of China’s taking over features in the West Philippine Sea and turning them into military outposts to tighten control of the strategic sea lanes linking the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. [ Read More ]

ABSENCE did not make the heart grow fonder in the case of President Duterte whose whereabouts remained a mystery for almost a week while Chinese interlopers continued to harass Filipinos in their own maritime areas and the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte should come out of his Davao redoubt and seek wider consultation on the escalating dispute over military outposts built by China in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, a situation that could explode into an armed confrontation. [ Read More ]

THERE is this theory going around, and gaining currency among many onlookers bracing for the unseen virus hitting them, that President Duterte is in no hurry to tame the raging COVID-19 pandemic before the 2022 election fever is in the air. [ Read More ]

MAUNDY Thursday today commemorates the Last Supper, where Christ laid out the template for the Eucharist as he gave the order (maundy comes from the Latin word for “command”) to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.” [ Read More ]

March 2021

HOW do we comfort those who are terminally ill or weakened by advanced age but are stuck at home or confined in a hospice, and – in addition to medical attention – want to receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick? [ Read More ]

EXPANSIONIST moves of China in the region’s common sea, most of which it claims on the basis of dubious historical rights, are wrapped in stealth and duplicity when Beijing needs to explain them. [ Read More ]

A CLASH over COVID-19 restrictions for Holy Week is shaping up between Malacañang and the bishop of the archdiocese of Manila over a tightened government ban on mass gatherings in the national capital and four nearby provinces until Easter Sunday. [ Read More ]

HOW will President Duterte, a good friend of China President Xi Jinping, handle the dilemma between accepting Xi’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines and asking for the withdrawal of the offensive swarm of Chinese militia ships in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone? [ Read More ]

A TORTUOUS trail awaits “1Sambayan”, the oppositionist coalition that took its first step Thursday in a journey seeking to rally the masses to vote out in May 2022 the Duterte forces holding sway in the government. [ Read More ]

WITH the hit-and-miss (mostly miss) manner President Duterte has been pursuing his COVID-19 mass inoculation program – hobbled by the slow procurement of vaccines – it looks doubtful if herd immunity would be achieved before his term ends in June 2022. [ Read More ]

JUST when we were complaining about high prices (and rising COVID-19 cases), Romy Macalintal the election lawyer came up yesterday on our Viber page reminiscing on the days when jeepney fare was only 10 centavos and gasoline was sold at 25 centavos per liter. [ Read More ]

SATURDAY was flashing red when the coronavirus fueling the COVID-19 pandemic was reported to have infected 5,000 more Filipinos that day (vs a daily average of 1,676) and killed 72 (vs a daily average of 34), one year after the disease claimed its first Filipino fatality in March 2020. [ Read More ]

UNLEASHING state forces on a killing spree to stifle legitimate dissent only adds to the suffering of people already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a sick mind can think of inflicting such cruelty on the people. [ Read More ]

FIRST, we saw these posts on Twitter: Lian Buan @lianbuan — March 7, 2021 – A bloody Sunday we must never forget. Police count 9 deaths, but groups can only identify 5. The horror of verifying who else died, dreading the next name, guessing who else is still out there being hunted. Never forget to keep knocking on the doors of power. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte said Sunday that the United States wants to have military bases again in the Philippines and that, in fact, it has already stockpiled war materiel in depots all over the country. [ Read More ]

AFTER watching the RTVM video showing President Duterte fielding questions in a presscon at the arrival Sunday of Chinese vaccines for COVID-19, we are compelled to suggest that he consider taking a vacation to at least rest his overworked mind. [ Read More ]

THE MASS vaccination of some 80 million Filipinos finally rolled out yesterday with health workers armed with 600,000 doses of Chinese vaccines fanning out initially in Metro Manila to start inoculating persons on the government priority lists. [ Read More ]

February 2021

FINDING it too stressful waiting for the long-promised COVID-19 vaccines, surviving one day at a time while watching the grim reaper take, so far, more than 2.5 million humans on the planet, 12,250 of them Filipinos, I hurried on Friday to have myself vaccinated. [ Read More ]

IF the COVID-19 mass vaccination extravaganza of the Duterte administration were a movie, it would get a mixed review for its offers of consuelo to both sides of the aisle in the darkened cinema. [ Read More ]

THE FOOD and Drug Administration granted yesterday, just before the targeted start of the mass vaccination rollout, an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac. [ Read More ]

IN November last year, seeing President Duterte and his generals unable to present a clear vaccination battle plan, we said that his promised Christmas gift of COVID-19 vaccines was likely to be delayed and end up being a “Semana Santa penitential offering”. [ Read More ]

THE SUPREME Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, dismissed in a unanimous decision Tuesday the five-year-old election protest of ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo. [ Read More ]

WHAT exactly does President Duterte want from Washington, aside from the “guided rockets” and 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for him to withdraw his notice terminating the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement? [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte has gone commercial in justifying his threat to terminate the 21-year-old PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement. Will the sales pitch work? [ Read More ]

TALKS are set to open this month for refining the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which was ratified in 1999 to lay down rules governing the temporary stay and activities of their military personnel in each other’s territory. [ Read More ]

ARE we ready to roll out this month the most massive vaccination ever to be attempted on these islands to stop the rampage of the COVID-19 coronavirus that has infected more than 537,500 and killed at least 11,180 Filipinos? [ Read More ]

THIS is the last of two columns on pandemic policy trends as discussed by former President Gloria M. Arroyo in a webinar sponsored Jan. 29 by the Center for Strategy, Enterprise and Intelligence (CenSEI) with Microsoft Philippines Inc. tinyurl.com/10gyuys5 [ Read More ]

BILL Gates said in his blog GatesNotes: “There is good news coming in 2021. There are two main reasons to be hopeful. One is that masks, social distancing, and other interventions can slow the spread of the virus and save lives while vaccines are being rolled out. [ Read More ]

We have been straining to catch any hint of a leveling off, leading to a modest recovery within one year, resulting from action plans launched by the administration to prevent the nation’s sliding into a deeper decline while the Covid-19 pandemic rages. [ Read More ]

January 2021

AS FAR as presidential jokes go (from where we sit it looks like and sounds like a joke), that one saying that President Duterte wants his COVID-19 vaccine shot in the buttocks is not only unpresidential but also unprecedented. [ Read More ]

WHILE our politicians are debating the prices of COVID-19 vaccines and generals are plotting strategy against the coronavirus onslaught, more infectious variants of the original virus have popped up to complicate the slow-moving preparations. [ Read More ]

EVERY life saved from the rampaging coronavirus counts. The government is beefing up its war chest against the COVID-19 scourge by securing more loans, amassing in the process a total indebtedness of P641 billion payable until 2049. [ Read More ]

WHEN debating which vaccine(s) to deploy against the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 2,060,000 lives — 9,980 of them in the Philippines – we should listen more to doctors and public health experts than to politicians and generals. [ Read More ]

THE REPORT yesterday that the Philippines is getting “all vaccines that China can spare” left an impression that the administration is bent on delivering Filipinos to the Chinese vaccine-makers, and there is not much that anybody can do about it. [ Read More ]

IT HAS been noticed that the more President Duterte shows a preference for Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, the stiffer public resistance becomes to being inoculated with those drugs. It’s an interesting marketing point to explore. [ Read More ]

WE are not yet a police state, although a few friends fear we’re heading that way, so it was indelicate of Malacañang to have told off the public to just accept, and not be choosy, whatever COVID-19 vaccine the government throws their way. [ Read More ]

THE SENATE public hearing into the government’s COVID-19 mass vaccination program needs concurrent research looking beyond the efficacy and prices of vaccines and digging into the underlying reasons why people may accept/reject inoculation. [ Read More ]

AS demands mounted for his quick removal from office after his followers — inflamed by his claims of poll fraud and his urgings to march on Congress — stormed the US Capitol, President Trump finally conceded Friday that he lost the Nov. 3 election. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Duterte continues to consolidate control over power centers of the government, and it seems nobody is able to do anything to check his overly amassing political clout unto himself. [ Read More ]

YOU have until tomorrow (Jan. 6), the Feast of the Three Kings, to give something of value to government officials with whom you have pending delicate business to close without you being accused of bribery and them of corruption. [ Read More ]

SOMEHOW we made it to the new year, staggering up to the finish line where 2021 was waiting for the Filipino, the eternal optimist brimming with hope.

Looking back at the past year’s tribulations that President Duterte blames on the pandemic and natural calamities, we wonder at his saying in his yearend message: “We also learned so much… we realized the value of human life and our relationships with each other.” [ Read More ]

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