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Alfred McCoy’s classic description of Philippine politics—as “an anarchy of families”—was coined in the early 1990s, but two decades later it’s even more apt and true. The results of the 2013 midterm polls have only confirmed that, while guns, goons and gold continue to play a huge part in how this country elects its leaders, a fourth element—bloodline—has the strongest grip of all on the system.
By Conrado de Quiros
Not all was light and hope in the last elections, there was a dark side to them. Agence France-Presse pointed it out last week. The elections also produced a “rogues’ gallery” of winners. Those rogues are:
Fitch Ratings and analysts recently promoted the Philippines to its first-ever investment grade.
It’s quite ironic that while the Aquino administration has been going after former President Gloria Arroyo for the alleged misuse of PCSO funds even though it just couldn’t show any evidence to prove the crime, the present PCSO board of directors appointed by President Aquino has been found by the Commission on Audit to be misusing PCSO funds.
By Neal H. Cruz
Today is the beginning of Holy Week, so we should all admit our sins and repent. Nowhere are they more needed than in the case of politicians seeking election this May. No doubt they all pray to God to make them win. Hence, they should be humble and honest and admit that they have sinned, and ask God for forgiveness and promise not to sin again. The senatorial candidate who needs to do this the most is Bam (Bum?) Aquino.
The Aquino administration should be commended for our country’s splendid economic performance. Once dubbed the “sick man of Asia,” it is now one of Asia’s emerging tigers.
Credit should also go to the past administrations of former President Fidel Ramos and, notably, former President Gloria Arroyo who piloted our country’s economic takeoff from a boom-and-bust cycle.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
In the middle of last week one of the lawyers working for the release on bail of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to me asking if there was anything I could do to help. I said that, much as I would like to, at least for humanitarian considerations, I was afraid that anything I said would just be counterproductive for the reason that I am considered kapamilya. As many know, one of my nephews is now married to Luli Arroyo. For this reason, positions I took in the past were sometimes brushed aside brainlessly even by some whom I normally respect simply because a Bernas has become a member of the Arroyo family. This is insanity, of course, but it is part of life.
By Conrado de Quiros
The newspapers said pretty much the same thing rather amusedly: Finally. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had something good to say about P-Noy. After several years of finding his governance execrable, indeed after writing a paper entitled “It’s the economy, student,” where she flunked her student for failing to learn his lessons in her Economics 101, she finally complimented him for managing more than pasang awa.
The Filipino nation is very much aware that Rep. Gloria Arroyo has been charged under the Anti-Plunder Law for allegedly misusing PCSO intelligence funds. But what the entire Filipino nation does not know is that Deputy Special Prosecutor Corenelio Somido and members of the panel of investigators, which was formed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, dismissed that plunder case for lack of evidence. The only offense found by the Somido panel was a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, particularly “undue benefit to the parties”—a bailable offense.
By Conrado de Quiros
Erap had some very interesting things to say last weekend. His political sortie in Manila, he said, would be his last. “This is my last hurrah. No more, no way.”
By Juan L. Mercado
The Year 2012 is now almost out the door. Was it an undiluted “Annus Horribilis” or “Year of Horrors”? Queen Elizabeth II dusted off that phrase in a 1992 address. Fire had gutted parts of Windsor Palace, and family scandals were capped by the Prince of Wales separating from Princess Diana.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
There are two star performers for 2012. They are President Benigno Aquino III and the Filipino as a people. The combination or relationship of the two carried over a momentum that began in 2011 when the government blocked the attempted, post-haste exit of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. By coincidence or synchronicity, a major shift began [...]