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Transfer of key witness risks case vs Ampatuans

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) decries the order to detain potential witness Bong Andal with the Ampatuans at Camp Bagong Diwa. The NUJP is seriously concerned over the impending transfer of Bong Andal, the confessed backhoe operator and applicant for state witness, to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, to be detained there with the primary accused in the Nov. 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre.

Posted: August 27th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »


The news that relatives of 14 victims of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre are ready to settle with the family of the principal accused is sobering. It alerts us to the financial and even security risks that many of the victims’ families face from day to day. And it reminds us, yet again, that the wheels of justice in the Philippines do grind exceedingly slow.

Posted: June 26th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Out of the shadows


That’s the title of the book “Out of the Shadows: Violent Conflict and the Real Economy of Mindanao,” edited by Francisco Lara and Steven Schoofs and published by International Alert early this year. It’s an insightful and important book and should come to the attention of the government agencies involved in the peace process. Indeed, it should come to the attention of every Filipino who wants to make some sense of the often alien and forbidding world of Mindanao.

Posted: May 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Brand of politics


It’s no easy matter, but I don’t know that we really have much choice in it. The Ampatuans have every right to run in the elections.

Posted: November 26th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The good, the bad, and their lawyers


In the wake of the shocking Nov. 23, 2009, massacre in Maguindanao, the Ampatuan patriarch and his sons, the principal suspects in this heinous crime, began a frantic search for sharp lawyers who would take up their case and defend them. One of those sounded out was my brother Dante, a litigation lawyer with many years of experience in criminal law. He did not know any of the Ampatuans, but he knew many of those who had been initially hired for this difficult case. A huge acceptance fee was hinted. My brother turned it down without hesitation, politely saying he already had a crowded schedule.

Posted: November 24th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Opening our eyes to impunity


Friends have been sending text messages inquiring why this paper’s columnists all have their eyes closed in their photos.

Posted: November 22nd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Criminal logic

Jose Miguel Arroyo has denied allegations that he and his wife, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, ordered the rigging of election results in 2007 in favor of the administration’s senatorial candidates. “My wife was not running for president in 2007 and neither was I. So why should we order cheating?” he said. “It defies both common [...]

Posted: October 6th, 2011 in Editorial | Read More »

Logic of impunity

The Commission on Audit has another horror story to tell about that unlucky place called Maguindanao. COA Chair Grace Pulido Tan told the appropriations committee of the House of Representatives last week that some P1.6 billion in government funds appeared to have vanished, between January 2008 and September 2009, with hardly a trace. During that [...]

Posted: August 31st, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Mindset of abuse’


FLIP THROUGH the four-volume audit of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Maguindanao. They are case-studies of “utak wangwang,” a phrase President Aquino minted in his recent State of the Nation Address. In his first SONA, P-Noy lashed at the powerful who blasted sirens to shove the weak aside. This time, he deployed wangwang [...]

Posted: July 30th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Self-applied muzzles


DID WE in media adequately report the extent of plunder by Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan’s office within the Autonomus Region in Muslim Mindanao? The key word is “adequately.” Hard-nosed reporters probe beneath the superficial. Inquirer ran a series by Fernando del Mundo on thousands of ordinary farmers conned by the coconut levy scam. Journalist Marites Vitug [...]

Posted: July 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



I too was shocked to learn Zaldy Ampatuan had managed to find a line to Malacañang to propose turning state witness against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and his father, Andal. An offer that doesn’t seem to have been spurned outright, indeed that might even have been greeted with sympathetic ears, to go by the way Ampatuan has [...]

Posted: July 19th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

First watch


This may be the trial that tests our system of justice as never before, the trial to show that even the most powerful are subject to the majesty of the law, and even the most unknown of victims are heard and served by our justice system. It was something that horrified so many of us. [...]

Posted: June 26th, 2011 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Editorial Cartoon,Featured Gallery | Read More »



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