When the Supreme Court once again dismissed the plea of the Filipino “comfort women” for formal redress for the abuse they suffered during World War II, it lost a golden moment to be on the right side of history. Politically, the Philippines would have joined the global outrage against rape as a prize and a weapon of war. Legally, it would have advanced the protection of women against sexual offenses in armed conflict. And diplomatically, it would have affirmed the power of international law in a case which China cannot in conscience dispute. China likewise suffered the wartime abuse of its women. It can flout international law in the West Philippine Sea, but can it disown it with its comfort women? Only by diminishing the role of law in global politics, or deprecating the sacrifice of Chinese victims.
Ninoy Aquino had been warned. The most dramatic warning about the threats to his life came from the dictatorship’s resident drama queen, the Imeldific first lady herself. Imelda Marcos was still in peak form, indulging her self-perception as the Marcos regime’s most effective diplomat. But she failed. Against the advice of almost everyone he consulted, the opposition senator still decided to return home from three years’ exile in the United States. Upon arrival 31 years ago today, however, he met the fate he had repeatedly been warned against; he was killed in the airport that now bears his name.
According to reports, when the former cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio visited Brazil for World Youth Day in July 2013—his first overseas trip after being elected pope and taking the name of Francis—he was met with rapt crowds of Brazilians and young people from all over the world chanting “Francesco, Francesco,” but that when he spoke to them, he urged them to chant and shout “Christ, Christ” instead.
The proposal in Congress to lower the tax rates for businesses and salaried workers is gaining traction, with the latest support coming from a group of tax experts.
Is President Aquino gunning for a second term? He dropped broad hints in a television interview conducted last Wednesday but aired only on Sunday night: “When I took this office, I recall that it was only for one term of six years,” he told TV5. “Now, after having said that, of course, I have to listen to my bosses”—alluding to a supposed clamor from the people for a second term. His spokespersons, however, have denied there was any actual plan to push for a second term, which requires the use of the still-untried process of constitutional amendment. “What I remember the President say was that he’s thinking about it. He didn’t say, ‘Let’s do this tomorrow,’” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters on Friday.