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Weep for the motherland

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American soldiers are coming to town, in the thousands, in battleships and warplanes. They will camp, not in the forests or jungles of the Sierra Madre or Mindanao, but in the metropolises of Manila and Cebu. Their aircraft carriers will be moored in the blue seas of Palawan, the “last frontier” of our hapless land.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Political masochism

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This is a tale of two framework agreements: one on the Bangsamoro (FAB) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the other with America (FAA) on the expanded access of US troops to our country. The Philippine Government (PHG) seems to be losing leverage in both.

Posted: March 14th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

We are a Guantanamo

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Not in recent memory has our government been subjected to intensely sustained political and diplomatic pressure on US bases except during the incumbencies of the first and second Aquino administrations.

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Betrayal of public trust

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At the height of Chinese arrogance in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin offered our former military bases to the United States, in case war breaks out in the region. Commentator Bernie Lopez called it an unconstitutional “suicidal notion.” Journalist Manuel Almario recalled the nuclear “apocalyptic scenario” of Claro M. Recto on a race “with a mysterious urge for suicide.”

Posted: September 22nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pushing North Korea to the sea

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Last July 27 the 60th anniversary of the Korean War was observed in Seoul, South Korea (Republic of Korea), “to memorialize” the war. The Philippines, together with some other countries, joined the United States in that conflict, in defense of “democracy.” However, the question of whether we fought on the right side of history still lingers.

Posted: August 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

My African diplomatic Safari

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Might I tell you that, in the foreign service, those who are assigned to North America or Europe would rarely want a transfer elsewhere; some of them have even obtained green cards for residence in the United States or Canada. I had also a tour of duty in each of the two regions; but my wish was to retire in East Africa.

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

My Bug and places of a lifetime

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Let me tell you about an uncommon love affair—an unforgettable man-machine interface, in diplomacy.

Posted: December 9th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Agreement of the parties’

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There was solemnity then jubilation in Malacañang on that fateful day in October. A framework agreement was signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to bid farewell to arms after 40 years of conflict, and to establish a new political entity called “Bangsamoro” which would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The occasion was graced by local and foreign dignitaries led by President Aquino, MILF chief Murad Ibrahim and the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Posted: November 16th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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