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Are PH negotiators talking to arms brokers?

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With the secrecy shrouding the US-PH negotiations, the agreement on “enhanced defense cooperation” looms as nothing but a means to boost arms trade between the two governments and the rest of Asia. A look at the US panel and the new security strategy framing the new accord will give a clue.

Posted: April 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A people’s strategy for rebuilding E. Visayas

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The government’s top-to-bottom master plan to rebuild Eastern Visayas is bound to fail if not crystallized by consultations with the communities devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” The National Economic and Development Authority’s “Yolanda Recovery and Reconstruction Plan” relies heavily on foreign assistance and private investments. It aims to ensure livelihood and jobs in the region, among others, but says nothing about engaging the millions of displaced families, particularly poor coastal communities, in planning and implementation—an absence that spells more catastrophe as lessons in postcalamity rebuilding programs in many countries show.

Posted: December 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bases access accord will boost US arms sales

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The proposed PH-US bases access accord should be scrutinized for its hidden motives, to remove chaff from grain. The agreement will chain the Philippines as a permanent station for bolstering America’s military presence in Asia-Pacific and its arms trade. Building the Philippines’ “minimum deterrence capability” in territorial feuds with China and ensuring a US shield against external aggression are just sound bytes. The corporate agenda is concealed by security objectives.

Posted: July 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Roller-coaster poll automation

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The May 13 elections went like a roller-coaster gone awry. It blasted off squeakily, accelerated as knots and bolts snapped, took a loop (bumping off riders), then halted in its tracks. Something was amiss: an error in the operating computers, absence of safety devices, power outage. Unruffled, the operator called it a perfect ride.

Posted: June 16th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Are we ready for 2nd automated polls?

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The second national automated elections will be held on May 13, or barely four months away. Dominant political parties are keyed up with their campaign gimmicks and demolition jobs while the Commission on Elections is racing against time in the poll preparations.

Posted: February 1st, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

China’s agenda

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In dealing with China particularly on territorial disputes, the Philippines’ foreign policy makers still live in the Cold War era. The Aquino administration lacks strategic thinkers and talks through variant voices, with its “backdoor diplomacy” compromised by leaks and acrimonious public debates.

Posted: October 15th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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