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The lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, once the powerful chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and now a principal accused in the plunder and corruption cases stemming from the so-called pork barrel scam, is back in the country. She flew in on Black Saturday, after eight months abroad; she had fled the country a few weeks after the scam was exposed, but she told reporters upon her arrival: “I’m ready to face the charges. I’ve always faced [them].”
That the Philippines is no slouch in terms of starkly beautiful destinations is hardly a secret, and the Inquirer’s “Getaway” series again proves it.
Five months before the election of Pope Francis, two Philippine archbishops preached the gospel of humility before a worldwide assembly of their fellow bishops.
In the end, a perfectly rational explanation may yet turn out to be the reason for the mysterious disappearance from the skies of Malaysia Airlines MH370. One plausible theory, propounded by a veteran pilot, suggests that the plane’s cockpit suffered a sudden catastrophic fire that overwhelmed its two pilots before they could radio for help or manage an emergency landing. They managed to turn the plane leftward, however, in the direction of Langkawi, Malaysia, where there was an airstrip, but with the pilots rendered incapacitated, the plane flew on until it ran out of fuel and plunged into the sea. A cockpit fire may also account for the breakdown in the transponders and communications systems, which prevented the plane from sending any SOS before its presumed crash.
After six years of waiting, the Philippines was upgraded to Category-1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), meaning Philippine carriers may now expand their operations in the United States and, eventually, boost tourism and businesses between the two countries. The announcement, first made on Twitter by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, came as a surprise as it had been expected to be made by US President Barack Obama during his state visit later this month.
It’s all over but the signing. Philippine officials have been careful to say that the agreement on enhanced defense cooperation between Manila and Washington will not be unduly rushed merely to coincide with.
That water is a precious resource is dramatized every time the dry season hits a blazing peak from March to May. That means now, when authorities warn that the dams supplying water to Metro Manila are approaching critical levels. In the provinces, high temperatures and lack of water are not only affecting farmlands needing irrigation but also exacerbating the horrific conditions in evacuation centers.
The World Bank says the Philippines is poised to remain the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia this year, as President Aquino’s administration ramps up infrastructure and reconstruction spending to beat the clock in the last two years of his term.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the controversial Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law is “not unconstitutional,” save for eight provisions, what should pro-RH advocates do? There are legal, practical and political next steps to consider, but we think the immediate task is to spread a sense of affirmation: The great majority of Filipinos support the law. Everything else should proceed from that.
When it finally came down, the Supreme Court decision on the controversial reproductive health case had something for both parties.
On this day 72 years ago, the news dreaded by everyone crackled over short-wave radio: Bataan had fallen.
Not much good news has come out of late on the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership program. This flagship investment program has been lurching from one delay to the next—truly disappointing, with just a little more than two years left in the administration. But to be fair, the Philippines’ record in privatizing vital projects since the 1980s has been marred by contract disputes, court litigations and flip-flopping regulations that serve to discourage foreign investments.