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Win or lose?

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This newspaper’s headline was “SC ruling on RH: Win-win,” based apparently on the reactions of both the pros and antis (“jubilation”) to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Reproductive Health Law, or to the announcement of the decision as read by Teddy Te. No copy of the decision was released then, only a reading of its dispositive portion. The pros thought they won because the high court gave its imprimatur to everything except eight items. The antis were jubilant because of the eight items, six of which had to do with alleged infringements on religious freedom; one dealing with the need to obtain spousal consent; and the eighth dealing with the need for parental consent. The striking down of these items rendered the law “toothless,” according to the antis, specifically Lito David of the Pro-Life Foundation.

Posted: April 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Sticking my neck out

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The operation of the MRT is on the hot seat, and so is its boss, Al S. Vitangcol. He guested on my TV show, which was taped two days ago (I don’t know when it will be aired). I had never seen him before, or at least don’t remember having met him before. But one thing is sure: I was very impressed with him, with his answers, and with the way he runs the MRT. I may be sticking my neck out, but if this man is corrupt, I am blind, deaf and dumb.

Posted: April 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Remember Sabah

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NOT TO be a party-pooper, but something sticks in my craw and raises my hackles when Malaysia is mentioned by Filipinos in such glowing terms—and the remarks of Pres. Benigno Aquino III were no exception.

Posted: March 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Time to let go—or not? (2)

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“By far the most painstaking and careful undertaking to evaluate the performance of CARP on beneficiary welfare is the 2007 APPC Impact Assessment Study funded by DAR (updated in November 2008 as ‘Land Reform, Rural Development and Poverty in the Philippines: Revisiting the Agenda’). … [T]he effort is remarkable for its attention to detail.”

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Time to let go—or not?

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Yesterday, Raul Fabella of the University of the Philippines School of Economics and the National Academy of Science and Technology gave a lecture titled “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP): Time to Let Go.” Note that it wasn’t a question, but a statement. And coming from him, that is music to the ears of landowners who have not yet been CARPed.

Posted: March 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why take offense?

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It is not as if this is the first time we are told that a great number of professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants, doctors), and the rest of their self-employed, “own-account” brethren, don’t seem to be paying their fair share of taxes. One certainly remembers that P-Noy made a point of it in his State of the Nation Address. It’s been written about at any time these past 20 years, including by yours truly, who also brought it out in any number of speeches in front of professional organizations.

Posted: March 8th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What’s the motive for Cha-cha?

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Innocuous. Nonthreatening. On its face, that’s what a lot of people would think of the current congressional move to amend our Constitution. After all, it consists of only five words, “unless otherwise provided by law,” to be inserted in the provisions limiting foreign ownership of land, natural resources, public utilities, media, and advertising agencies.

Posted: March 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Manny Sundalo’ shows the way

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The story of “Manny Sundalo” is such a breath of fresh air amid the “hindi mo ba alam kung sino ako” variety, that it deserves telling and retelling—in the hope that it will inspire our leaders to remember that they are servants first and foremost.

Posted: February 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Does the academic calendar matter?

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Three cheers for University of the Philippines Diliman. It refused to be rushed into approving the proposal to change the academic calendar from June-April to August-May and, when it was discussed in its University Council, disapproved it, calling for careful study. The 5-page proposal was apparently unsupported by any real evidence.

Posted: February 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The jury is still out

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Senator Tito Sotto’s proposal to reinstitute the death penalty is premised on his claim that the crime rate in the Philippines has increased. That apparently is inaccurate, at least concerning the heinous crimes for which the death penalty is proposed. Senior Superintendent William Macavinta showed me the data for these crimes, and they show a decrease from 2012 to 2013 (they increased from 2009 to 2012).

Posted: February 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Read and weep

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The Philippine economy grew by 7.2 percent in 2013. We are told that this growth rate is second only to China’s performance in the past year. Does this mean that we have finally gotten over the hump of slow growth and we can expect to continue at this pace over at least the medium term or to the end of P-Noy’s watch? Or is it just a fluke? Or even, are we as good as China?

Posted: January 31st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Questions for Revilla and Aquino

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Barely into the New Year, the first salvos for the 2016 election have been fired. Presidential candidates are already being attacked and, of course, the President himself is not immune (belying the “lame duck” label).

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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