Postscript Archive

August 2022

Hold on to your seats and the popcorn, folks! More history-based films are coming soon after the divisive duel at the box office between the anti-Marcos “Katips” and the pro-Marcos “Maid in Malacañang” movies.  [Read More]

China fired “shots across the bow” of Taiwan last Friday, two days after the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which made her the highest American official in 25 years to set foot on the democratic nation that communist China considers part of its territory.  [Read More]

We can understand why the congressional delegation led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should skip Taiwan in its meetings with their staunchest security partners in the Indo-Pacific region, but why is the Philippines, a long-time treaty ally, left out?  [Read More]

July 2022

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. waved an olive branch to the world in his first State of the Nation Address on July 25. Being the new kid in the neighborhood, he has to exude somehow the gravitas that will make everyone sit up and listen.  [Read More]

The masterly reading by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of his first State of the Nation Address on July 25 was a big relief for us after six years of the rambling speeches of Digong Duterte, an expert on the ellipsis spiced with expletives.  [Read More]

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signaled yesterday the start of a hoped-for transformation of the nation into a dynamo of productivity and a land of contentment according to a road map he drew up for his six-year term.  [Read More]

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will have to tell Filipinos in his first state of the nation address (SONA) tomorrow the grim reality that the country is in a state of disrepair – and that he needs the people’s full support to turn the situation around.  [Read More]

The state of the nation address of After the 41st violent attack on a Filipino in New York last week, just one avenue away from the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue, our consulate-general there rolled out again an advisory for our kababayan to be extra careful when venturing out there.  [Read More]

The state of the nation address of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday that will outline his fiscal (taxing and spending) plans, among other things, must include a status report on the heavy foreign debt burden that had been dumped on his lap.  [Read More]

We can’t help peeking at debt-wracked Sri Lanka, whose ticking time bomb exploded Wednesday, sending its president fleeing then emailing his resignation from Singapore, and the parliament left in Colombo picking up the pieces of a shattered economy.  [Read More]

The new 1,000-peso polymer banknotes, another legacy left to President Bongbong Marcos by his predecessor, came as a surprise parachute drop on a market that appears to be not adequately prepared.  [Read More]

Malacañang may want to tell the people the medicines President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took, and has been taking, to beat back the Covid-19 virus and its variants that have infected him twice, first in 2020 and again last Friday.   [Read More]

“Do they still use the Bible to swear in witnesses in court?” FrNongnong”, a Catholic priest tweeting as @iskrukutoy, asked yesterday.

“I suggest that they stop that practice,” he said. “With so many witnesses blatantly perjuring in court, the Bible is being disrespected. Just make them raise their hands and take the oath. Spare the Word of God! Please!”   [Read More]

Emerging from his first cabinet meeting, President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. was greeted Tuesday by the press with questions on the 6.1 percent inflation rate announced by the government’s own statistical office. He flatly said he didn’t buy it.  [Read More]

We were made to expect during the election campaign to see the victorious “unity” forces hit the ground running, but we’ve just been treated instead to the sights and sounds of the Marcoses partying in the Palace.  [Read More]

As a junior version of the late Ferdinand Marcos who justified his repressive martial law media policy as part of “constitutional authoritarianism”, will his son President Bongbong Marcos handle the Philippine press differently?  [Read More]

June 2022

For better or for worse, the male heir of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos reclaims in formal rites at noon today the seat of power that his father was forced to vacate at the height of the 1986 People Power Revolt.  [Read More]

Philadelphia officials are telling Philippine diplomats following up the June 18 fatal shooting of 35-year-old Filipino lawyer John Albert Laylo, on his way to the airport with his mother, that it was most likely a case of mistaken identity.  [Read More]

For generations, the usual meal of the average Filipino family has been described often as “rice and fish”, with food production defined by agricultural areas spread throughout an archipelago teeming with fishery resources.  [Read More]

The simplicity of the inaugural getup of Vice President-elect Sara Z. Duterte and her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman at the oath-taking in Davao City last Sunday of the incoming 15th VP almost distracted us from her inaugural message.  [Read More]

What could be the real reasons behind the advance oath-taking today of Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, 11 days before June 30, the date set by the Constitution for the simultaneous start of the six-year terms of the nation’s two top executives?  [Read More]

Filipinos have been in the news again lately after a family was attacked at a fast food outlet in North Hollywood, a Los Angeles suburb, in what appeared to be another racial-hate incident.  [Read More]

Good ol’ Sol has always been up there helping sustain life, so it was just a matter of time that an Enrique K. Razon Jr. of varied interests and ample resources would join the trend of tapping the sun as an almost limitless source of community light, heat, and power.  [Read More]

How many victims must die in a gun-related incident to qualify it as a “mass shooting”? And, in the case of the United States, how should the government and the community move to dispel the “Who’s next?” question hanging over the heads of Americans?  [Read More]

We’ve been receiving reactions to our disclosure last Sunday that a big businessman has built on my one-hectare property in Pililla, Rizal, a big restaurant without my prior permission and the proper permits from local authorities.  [Read More]

The question of whether the quality of one’s life has improved after six years of President Duterte is best answered by the individual Filipino himself and not by cabinet members reporting on “legacy” projects in their areas of responsibility.  [Read More]

Sri Lanka may mean “resplendent island” but right now the troubled nation of 22 million – some 500 of them Filipinos – is boiling in a cauldron of foreign loans gone awry, soaring prices, shortage of food, fuel, and astute economic managers.  [Read More]

May 2022

“I have two presidents!” said former first lady Imelda R. Marcos after her son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. presented her last Wednesday his official proclamation as the president-elect by the congressional National Board of Canvassers. [Read More]

Two intriguing questions: Where are the 31.6 million voters who gave Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a landslide victory in the May 9 national elections, and when is Leni Robredo conceding her defeat to Marcos in their fight for the presidency? [Read More]

Processes that impact the May 9 election results and the ensuing six years are simultaneously ongoing: the canvassing of the votes for president and the Supreme Court hearing on petitions to disqualify Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as a presidential candidate. [Read More]

Among the tests awaiting apparent president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is how he would protect national interests, including that of Filipino fishermen, against the continued intrusion of Chinese poachers in the rich marine waters of the archipelago. [Read More]

One positive graduation note we got from New York is that presumed president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. could earn soon a doctorate, honoris causa, in a field related to his experience, expertise and achievements. [Read More]

The filing this week with the Supreme Court of a last-ditch petition to prevent presumed president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from taking his oath on June 30 conjured up various possible scenarios. [Read More]

In the Philippines, no candidate for public office loses an election, he is only cheated. So it has been said.

This may be why we have been receiving suggestions that forensic info-tech experts be called in to check suspected cheating and to dig deep into the programs operating the servers at the heart (brain?) of the automated May 9 national elections. [Read More]

The big-power rivalry between the United States and China appears to have sped up the recognition abroad of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the majority winner in the May 9 presidential election. [Read More]

Are impressive, though partial, election returns being used to condition the public to accept an impending majority win by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the May 9 presidential elections? [Read More]

Yes, today is the day after Election Day (May 9) when a good number of some 67.5 million eligible Filipinos came out to vote for a new president and an assortment of other officials. [Read More]

For the first time in my half-century of journalism, I am disclosing in an advance article who will get my vote for president in a national election. Tomorrow, May 9, I’m voting for Leni Robredo. [Read More]

The May 9 national elections for a new president and a host of other key officials could possibly be the last chance in our llfetime to take back peacefully our nation from inept officials and the crooks who have sapped the vitality of our long-suffering people. [Read More]

I was again driving, virtually, last Sunday when assailed by unusual noise and the smell of something burning. Something was wrong.

Having gotten used to the refreshing wind on the media freeway since the 1986 EDSA Revolt, I’ve been moving around without noticing that my handbrake has been left on – giving me a false sense of being safe and free as a member of the working press.  [Read More]

The San Fernando City police have a problem: how to report a bigger estimate of the rally crowd last Friday of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. staged on the same site as the April 9 event of Vice President Leni Robredo, his main rival for the presidency.  [Read More]

April 2022

Events have caught up with President Duterte, giving him a good reason to not attend next month’s summit meeting between US President Biden and the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  [Read More]

The top advice I have read or heard encapsulating in one guideline the criteria we use in choosing whom to vote for as our next president is: “Let’s go for one who would be the best role model for our children.”  [Read More]

With just two weeks to Election Day, we’re getting jittery thinking of the possibility that worthy candidates may actually win the popular votes at the polling precincts but lose in the computerized official tally if adequate safeguards are not adopted now.  [Read More]

With eight of the 10 runners falling by the wayside, the May 9 presidential race has started to enter the showdown sprint to the finish line between former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.  [Read More]

Three presidential candidates in the May 9 elections have a bizarre formula for stopping former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from winning the presidency, which is for Vice President Leni Robredo who is No.2 in the surveys to make the “supreme sacrifice” of withdrawing!  [Read More]

There was an atheist couple with an only child. They never told their daughter anything about God, or about Jesus.

One night when the little girl was five years old, she was roused from sleep as her parents had a violent quarrel in the room. At the height of the fight, the man shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself. The poor girl saw it all.  [Read More]

Maundy Thursday today commemorates the Last Supper, when Christ instituted the Eucharist as he gave the order (“maundy” comes from the Latin word for “command”) to his disciples, and to us all, to “Love one another as I have loved you.”  [Read More]

It’s Holy Tuesday. The somber mood of Semana Santa has started to descend on this nation praying for deliverance on May 9 from thieves and liars who have taken much more than they have given to the people they are sworn to serve.  [Read More]

Believe it or not, the steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases has been helping the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan presidential tandem draw mammoth crowds to their campaign rallies that literally turn the sky pink and shake the ground with excitement.  [Read More]

One month before the nation goes to the polls to elect who will lead it in the next six years out of the economic and moral morass it is in, President Duterte pledged on Tuesday to stay strictly neutral in the electoral fight for the presidency.  [Read More]

After borrowing at least ₱2 trillion to address the COVID-19 pandemic, in the process breaching the ₱12-trillion public debt red line, the government has its hands full with 27 million doses of vaccine worth ₱13.5 billion expiring in July with no ready plan on what to do.  [Read More]

The field in the 2022 presidential race could thin out into a photo-finish between ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo, but a third candidate worth watching is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio running for vice president.  [Read More]

March 2022

It may seem unlikely, but it is possible for a candidate for a national post to win enough votes to get elected but lose in the computerized count of the Automated Election System (AES) if adequate safeguards are not adopted early.  [Read More]

“Remember this night, do not ever forget,” then-Fiscal (Prosecutor) Rodrigo Duterte told daughter Sara, aged 7, and son Paolo, 10, on Feb. 25, 1986. That day, the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos fled into exile with his family as the People Power revolt peaked.  [Read More]

President Duterte must have been just pretending to belittle in his usual colorful language the tough job he has to hold until noon of June 30, but he did say in Davao City on Friday that only a fool (“gago”) would seek the presidency.  [Read More]

With candidates and voters caught in the frenzy of the campaign, who has been left to ensure that the computerized election system has not been rigged to deliver not the people’s vote but the election results that somebody had bought?  [Read More]

Supporters of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other presidential candidates must have noticed too the spirited big crowds flocking lately to the rallies of Leni Robredo, giving hints that the surveys saying the son of the late dictator is far ahead in the race may be misleading.  [Read More]

President Duterte appears to have softened his stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, assuring President Vladimir Putin that he is a friend and that the Philippines is neutral despite its having voted in the United Nations to condemn Putin’s attacking a neighbor.  [Read More]

Within two days last week, three elderly Filipino American women were added to the lengthening list of Asians falling victim to racial-hate violence in New York City and its suburbs.  [Read More]

Among the innocent victims of the war in Ukraine are surrogate babies being cared for in nurseries there while the country is under attack by Russia. The war is preventing their biological parents, who are mostly abroad, from visiting or claiming them.  [Read More]

President Duterte should seriously consider attending the special summit meeting between US President Biden and the leaders of the Association of Southeast Nations set March 28-29 in Washington, DC.  [Read More]

With every household hit hard by the rising prices of nearly everything, some moves suggest themselves: price controls on essential items, fuel subsidy, suspension of the excise tax on oil, and even the selective restoration of the work-from-home arrangement.  [Read More]

The short video surprised me, a Filipino Catholic, when I opened YouTube by accident yesterday while searching for updates on the 12-day-old Russian invasion of Ukraine.  [Read More]

It was on the Senate beat before the old Congress was shut down in 1972 by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos that I first encountered the cautionary line “Less talk, fewer mistakes; no talk, no mistake” among politicians feeling inadequate or vulnerable.  [Read More]

Ash Wednesday yesterday reminded us of our mortality and of the futility of clinging to power and wealth amassed on earth because these worldly distractions will only decay with us when we finally return to dust.  [Read More]

February 2022

One of our readers told us that the head of our column of Feb. 22 that said “‘Goodbye to hidden wealth, if BBM wins” should have read “… when BBM wins”.  [Read More]

FEBRUARY 1986 was about to end and rumors of an impending coup, massive government revamp and other mayhem were rife.

On Feb. 21, PC chief Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos told reporters in an ambush interview at the Philippine Constabulary headquarters in Camp Crame: “I am asking Malacañang to stop this talk about revamps and other movements in the government. I am trying to maintain a semblance of stability in a very unstable situation.”  [Read More]

As the government continues to borrow and send the public debt-to-GDP ratio climbing to a 16-year high of 60.5 percent, exceeding the 60-percent threshold deemed manageable, the nation braces for higher/new taxes to pay the loans and finance development.  [Read More]

If parishioners put up on the fence in front of their church a 6 meters x 4 meters pink billboard whose only message is the commandment ‘HUWAG MAGNAKAW!’ (Thou shalt not steal!) will it be taken down for violating the rules for election campaign materials?  [Read More]

The quick and safe, if evasive, answer to that trick question is “Maybe, but then….” And we say it’s a trick because it could be a sly way of drawing out one’s political biases.  [Read More]

A Leni Robredo-Sara Duterte combination winning in the May elections may be unthinkable to rabid partisans and most poll analysts, but with politics being the art of the impossible, such an unlikely pair could just be the key to national unity and economic recovery.  [Read More]

A random voter watching from a distance the launching last Tuesday of the campaign of candidates for national positions could not get enough depth and substance to be able to say who is most qualified among the job applicants.  [Read More]

A  growing number of nations in Europe, Africa and the Americas are pushing to transition to a post-pandemic near-normal status, taking steps to relax restrictions even as the coronavirus and its variants remain deaf to their cry to “take life back”.  [Read More]

We were disturbed by President Duterte’s report to the nation on Jan. 25 that one of the leading presidential aspirants is corrupt and that all but one of the frontrunners in the race for the top executive position in the land are hounded by negative issues.  [Read More]

The Philippines is joining a number of countries gradually lifting restrictions on foreign visitors even as authorities worldwide still ramp up vaccination against Covid-19 to pull down the pandemic to endemic level or cut it to flu size.  [Read More]

The Commission on Elections was never intended to be a bipartisan body that balances contending political interests. It was designed to be a non-partisan manager of elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referendums, and recalls.  [Read More]

January 2022

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon will retire in three days (on Feb. 2) amid fireworks lit by her premature announcement of her vote for the Commission on Elections to disqualify ex-senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from running for president in the May 9 elections.  [Read More]

We have nearly forgotten an old sales pitch of former first lady Imelda R. Marcos about using their family’s wealth stashed away worldwide to lift Filipinos from poverty and usher in a golden era of a peaceful and prosperous Philippines.  [Read More]

Pre-campaign surveys show ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. leading his rivals for the presidency by the proverbial mile three months into the May 9 national elections.  [Read More]

Let’s not lower our guard in dealing with the reportedly milder Omicron variant whose rapid spreading of COVID-19 infection some quarters believe could help the country attain herd immunity in tandem with mass inoculation.  [Read More]

Daily life has been turning out to be indeed the “survival of the fittest” in the jungles of Metro Manila and other crowded areas of the country infested with the COVID virus and its variants.  [Read More]

Yesterday, a Monday, felt like waiting outside the hospital ICU for a medical bulletin on a very important COVID-19 patient in serious condition.  [Read More]

Vice President Leni Robredo said Thursday that she preferred to beat ex-senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the May 9 presidential elections than see him eliminated from the race via disqualification by the Commission on Elections.  [Read More]

In his last weekly report to the nation, President Duterte dwelled on the demanding requirements of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, its unpredictable surges, and the inadequacy of resources needed to tame it.  [Read More]

A feeling of helplessness could overwhelm one when he sees family members, relatives, and friends dying of COVID-19 without his being able to help them fight the unseen virus and its variants. This psychological quagmire can trap average Filipinos.  [Read More]

The COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country in alternating high and low waves of infections should settle down – how soon we don’t know – to a more manageable endemic, but at a great price in lives lost, resources wasted, and opportunities missed.  [Read More]

The administration’s faction of the ruling PDP-Laban Party should just go straight to the point and move for the postponing of the May 9 national elections. That is what tampering with the tight timetable at this late date could lead to anyway.  [Read More]

REELING from the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide after the holidays, many people are now asking if the easing of the pandemic alert from Level 3 to 2 on Jan. 1 (supposedly until Jan. 15) was a science-based decision or a political calculated risk that misfired.  [Read More]

“SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?”

Traced to an old Scottish folk song, “Auld lang syne” is sung traditionally to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, sometimes also as an expression of fond thoughts of the recent past.  [Read More]

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