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Last Sunday, Chinese Coast Guard ships drove away two civilian fishing boats contracted by the Philippine Navy to resupply the Philippine military outpost in Ayungin Shoal. This was the first time China stopped a routine supply mission in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea, proving that China has now reached a higher, even more irresponsible, level of assertiveness in pressing its territorial claims.
By Neal H. Cruz
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., and former elections commissioner Augusto Lagman talked politics, graft and corruption, and the 2016 polls at the Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel last Monday. But the tidbit that perked the ears of the people in the audience was the admission by Chiz that he will marry actress Heart Evangelista before the elections are held. It will be a private family ceremony, he joked, because he is afraid someone in the crowd may shout, “Stop the wedding!”
By Michael L. Tan
March is Women’s Month, a good time to reflect on some of the statistics that came out of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS) conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI). The survey involved more than 19,000 Filipinos aged 15 to 24, from throughout the Philippines, and some preliminary statistics were released in February.
By Amando Doronila
The administration of President Aquino pronounced on Tuesday the death sentence on the freedom of information (FOI) bill by leaving the fate of its passage in the hands of its minions in the House of Representatives.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Archived on YouTube is an engaging TED talk delivered by Joey Ayala at the University of the Philippines Diliman that proposes a more musical and euphonic way of singing the national anthem. While his version makes sense and is definitely in tune with Filipino sentiment and musicality, it runs counter to the present Flag Law that needs review and perhaps revision by Congress. To appreciate Ayala’s version, it is definitely better than the “hataw-birit” renditions sung as introduction to Manny Pacquiao’s boxing matches in the United States that mimic the American anthem.
By Denis Murphy
I see a great danger looming for the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” as they trudge toward recovery. I fear that the plan of the government and the United Nations to end all food relief in April is premature, and can cause many families to fall back into hunger rather than spur them forward to economic self-reliance.
By NELSON D. LAVIÑA
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.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
It may simply be a game for China. After all, who is the Philippines to fight back? Pushing us away from the sea, water-hosing our fishermen in Scarborough Shoal, blocking our supply ships at Second Thomas Shoal (Ayuningin Reef), China ups the ante in its bullying of the Philippines. And it seems that most Filipinos are not aware how close we are to war.
Senators Bongbong Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla have been in the news lately, especially the last two, for various reasons, among them, their reported involvement in the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam. Still they are being bandied about as “presidentiables.” And in a few occasions, they did seem to be hinting about their presidential aspirations.
We expect local government officials to warn their constituents—as they should —about the disastrous consequences to our cities, towns and communities should a major earthquake like the one that struck Bohol or a supertyphoon like “Yolanda” hit them.
By Conrado de Quiros
The Freedom of Information (FOI) bill that the Senate passed last Monday will not include Malacañang divulging the proceedings of its confidential meetings. At least until such time as those meetings end up in policy declarations, in which case the public may demand a summary of their salient points.
By Randy David
The provision of affordable social housing to low-income families has been a persistent concern of the country’s successive administrations.