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Why the Charter should not be amended

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The reply of the Supreme Court to my Feb. 24 column on a 26-year-old homicide case was published here last Monday, with no comment as requested by Theodore Te, court administrator and public information chief. Still, I cannot help but be curious about why eight Court of Appeals justices inhibited themselves from the case one after another. The eight brave and honorable justices did not say why.

Posted: March 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Don’t blame Manila, blame the truckers

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Commuting in Manila has been a breeze in the last four days since the city imposed the expanded truck ban. The drive from Quezon City to Manila, which used to take me almost two hours, now takes less than an hour. My route crosses some of the streets used by the trucks in going to and from Port Area. If you ask the commuters their opinion on the truck ban, they would say that it is heaven-sent. But if you ask the truckers, they will say that it is evil itself.

Posted: February 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Luck—or influence?

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The Ayala Group of Companies is either very lucky or very influential and persuasive. In less than a week, it has bagged two billion-peso projects—the unified ticketing system for LRT 1, LRT 2, and MRT 3, and the development of the 7.7-hectare prime property of the Negros Occidental provincial government in Bacolod, adjacent to the provincial capitol. And only last January, the Quezon City government and the National Housing Authority broke laws to eject the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation from a 7-hectare property on Quezon Avenue, over which the MSBF has a 50-year usufruct which will be in effect for 14 more years, in order to hand it over to Ayala Land.

Posted: February 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

P35.2B for just one law in 2013

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Do you know that we taxpayers spent P35.2 billion last year for just one insignificant law? That’s how much we spent for Congress, including the Commission on Appointments (CA) which is composed of senators and congressmen, and their pork barrel, which had not yet been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year. In return, Congress last year passed only one minor law: the one-page Republic Act No. 10632, which suspended the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan elections. For that one law, Filipino taxpayers spent P35.2 billion! That merits a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Posted: January 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why a P127-M budget for SET in 2014?

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Senate President Franklin Drilon was the lone guest at the Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel last Monday. Drilon talked about a lot of things: the 2014 budget (the biggest in the entire history of the Philippines) which would be tackled next week by the bicameral conference committee; the Freedom of Information bill which has already passed the committee and is now in the plenary; the parole for former governor Antonio Leviste (Drilon said there are rules in the grant of parole to prisoners, and it should be ascertained if these rules were followed); the proposed tax exemption to Manny Pacquiao (Drilon said he does not think that is the idea of Pacquiao and that he expects a statement from him rejecting the exemption); the rehabilitation of typhoon-devastated areas (Drilon said he thinks Lacson is the right man for the job), among other subjects.

Posted: December 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Tax amnesty for billionaire Pacquiao? Why?

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What, tax amnesty for Manny Pacquiao? For heaven’s sake, why? Pacquiao is a billionaire who can afford to pay, and should pay, the correct income taxes. Is this what we have come to, a billionaire tries to cheat on his taxes and he is granted tax amnesty?

Posted: December 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Lacson: No red tape in rehab efforts, please

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It’s a challenge, former senator Panfilo Lacson said of his appointment as rehabilitation czar in typhoon-devastated Visayas.

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Anarchy breaks out in Leyte and Samar

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Anarchy has broken out in Leyte and Samar, the two provinces hardest hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Looters have been ransacking not only malls, shops and warehouses but reportedly also private homes in subdivisions.

Posted: November 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pork barrel a throwback to Marcos’ martial law

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A bribe, by any other name, is still a bribe. Call it “reward,” “incentive,” “bonus,” “gift” or some other name, it is the same banana.

Posted: October 1st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why not use the development councils?

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Now that plunder and malversation charges have been filed against Napoles, Enrile, Revilla, Estrada et al., the people are closely watching what will happen next. Those who said that the antipork barrel movement is composed only of the middle class are wrong. Even the poorest of the poor are interested.

Posted: September 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Abolish Congress movement starts rolling

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Reacting to the clamor of the people for the abolition of the corruption-soaked pork barrel, Senate President Franklin Drilon snapped: “Let’s just abolish Congress, then.” Perhaps he thought that the people would be shocked at the thought and go easy on the demand to abolish the hated pork barrel. He thought wrong.

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Will DOJ accept a plea bargain from Janet?

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What trick has Janet Lim-Napoles left up her sleeve now that she has surrendered and is in police custody? She is under arrest for the serious illegal detention of Benhur Luy—principal whistle-blower in the P10-billion pork barrel scam—but not for the scam itself. Charges for the scam have not been filed yet.

Posted: August 29th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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