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Missing in Action: President Aquino and the Meralco rate hike scandal

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The stunning Meralco power rate hike of P4.15 per kilowatt hour—the highest single increase in that utility’s history—has aroused such anger among the consuming public that it is puzzling that it has not brought the wrath of the president down on the power monopoly. Mr. Aquino is quick to scold businesses that evade taxes, as he showed last March when he shamed many magnates attending a speech he delivered at the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Why not pour the same presidential vitriol on a shameless price gouger?

Posted: December 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

The Murder of Cris Guarin: Tragedy and Opportunity

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When I was talking to the widow of Cris Guarin during the day of his funeral in General Santos City, the depressing thought flashed through my mind that the case of the first Filipino media person to be killed this year might end up as one more unsolved murder.

Posted: January 17th, 2012 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Now Comes the Hard Part…

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Successful revolutions are rare; successful reform is even rarer, claims Samuel Huntington in his classic “Political Order in Changing Societies”. Today, what can only be described as a serious enterprise at reform is unfolding in dramatic fashion in this country. Whether it will succeed will depend, to a great extent, on its leading edge, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Posted: January 7th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

October 1965: The shadow on Indonesia’s new democracy

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There are parts of Jakarta that look almost lovely in the evening.  As we drive along glitzy Thamrin Boulevard to my hotel, the conversation almost inevitably drifts to events that shook this country over four decades ago. On October 5, 1965, the killings began in the immediate aftermath of a failed coup by renegade military [...]

Posted: October 11th, 2011 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

The Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention

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Events in Libya and Syria have again brought to the forefront the question of armed humanitarian intervention or the “responsibility to protect.” Our hearts all go out to the unarmed demonstrators seeking to bring down corrupt dictatorships that are a plague on their people. In Tunisia and Egypt, the people rose and deposed dictators on [...]

Posted: September 8th, 2011 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

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