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“No master but law, no guide but conscience, no aim but justice.” With this dictum immortalized by the well-revered jurist, nationalist and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Benedicto Luna (JBL) Reyes as theme, thousands of members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) will converge in Davao City starting Monday for a weeklong series of activities, including the 14th National Convention of Lawyers and the IBP’s 40th founding anniversary.

Posted: January 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

State of impunity


The glaring non-mention of the infamous Ampatuan massacre in President Aquino’s speech at the 9th Media Nation Summit last Friday in Tagaytay City revealed how the administration is taking the issue of impunity three years after 58 innocent lives were mercilessly murdered in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province.

Posted: November 26th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bangsamoro’s liberation


Today’s “occupation” of Malacañang by the guerillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is certainly another historic milestone in the decades-old struggle for self-determination by the Moro people.

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

‘State of Noynoy’s Accountability’


It is expected that rosy statistics and data will again be touted in Monday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) to highlight the supposed accomplishments of the Aquino administration in the past two years. Like the previous Sonas—President Aquino’s and those of his predecessors’—this one will be no different: It will be full of “buladas” (empty talk), it will not report on the true state of our country, it will not speak truly of the ever-worsening lot of most Filipinos.

Posted: July 22nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Forest criminals


Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree, the poet Joyce Kilmer wrote. Yet, in Mindanao, not fools but environmental criminals continue to unmake and wreak havoc on one of nature’s gifts to humanity.

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Tserman’ Fred Gapuz


It was moving as it was inspiring. Last May 17, from late afternoon until midnight, members of various groups coming from different parts of Mindanao, converged at the Philippine Independent Church Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City to pay their last respects and listen to eulogies given for the late Frederico Moreno Gapuz, the indefatigable “dean” of public interest lawyering in Mindanao.

Posted: May 20th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



Failing to watch the controversial win of “Pambansang Kamao” Manny Pacquiao over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on Sunday may have been one treat that had to be skipped by the 6,000 or so law students who fought their “second round” of the four-Sunday scheduled bar examinations inside the University of Santo Tomas campus.

Posted: November 13th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Idol ko si Pops’


“Ang imong pangandoy, akong pangandoy, ang imong pakigbisog akong pakigbisog, ikaw ug ako usa ra kauban sa pagpanday sa Gingharian sa Dios.” (Your dreams are my dreams, your struggles are my struggles, you and I are only partners in building God’s Kingdom.) This was the last message written by the martyred Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, [...]

Posted: October 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



Not even the foreshadowing ferocity of Typhoon “Pedring” concealed the immense delight of Maricon Montajes and six other political detainees inside the Batangas Provincial Jail, as they shared their stories to our group of lawyers and paralegals who visited them last Wednesday. The 21-year-old Montajes, a native of Davao City, was a Film and Audio [...]

Posted: October 3rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

So be it


“So be it.” A visibly irked but defiant Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte retorted during his Sunday television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” yesterday, when he was again asked about his alleged link to the vigilante-style killings of petty criminals in the city. This time, though, the question was raised in connection [...]

Posted: September 12th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



She had no grand dreams of having her students compete one day in a Math Olympiad, or, any quiz show for that matter. Her only sincere and simple desire was to help her fellow Lumad learn the rudiments of education—the 3R’s. Unfortunately, this simple dream of B’laan community teacher Joy Lasib ended when “peace and [...]

Posted: August 22nd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Shieka’s vindication


“MURAG AKONG kinabuhi (It was like my life story),” quipped Clarita Alia, tears welling on her sun-burnt cheek after watching last year’s Davao premiere of the seminal indie film “Shieka,” which tackles a mother’s agony of losing her four children to the “Diablo” called the Davao Death Squad. Indeed, “Shieka”—a poignant tapestry of the anguish [...]

Posted: May 30th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



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