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The way things are taking shape, Napolesgate, which began in the court of public opinion, will come home to roost in the courts of law. The Filipino fascination with law as almost a secular religion is perplexing, since the Supreme Court itself twice validated pork barrel in the past.
By Conrado de Quiros
A friend of mine says he almost fell out of his seat when he heard P-Noy explain the DAP this way: It’s like two jeepneys running, the first one falling to a crawl and the other zooming past it. That is what government programs are, some have gotten stuck, others are on a hot streak. The DAP is simply taking gas from the inefficient jeepney, or funds from the inefficient program, and putting it into the more efficient one, the better to serve the public.
By Randy David
President Aquino came out swinging at his political opponents and critics Wednesday night in a special televised address to the nation. But, reading the transcript of the President’s speech more closely, I got the sense that it was a defensive response to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s own privilege speech at the Senate last Sept. 25. The President might have thought that Estrada and the other accused lawmakers in the pork barrel scam had managed to confuse the public and divert media attention from the main issues.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
Governance should not be a numbers game, but it is. In a representative government, representation is measured by numbers. The majority vote dictates, even if it is not qualitatively superior. The “vox populi, vox Dei” saying does not come from the Bible despite its reference to the people’s voice as the voice of God. In fact, its earliest recorded saying seems to be in the year 798 (8th century) in a letter to Alcuin to Charlemagne which, translated to English, went this way:
By Randy David
It’s been almost two months now since the pork barrel scam was first reported by the Inquirer. The newsworthiness of this event has been unusually protracted. People ask how this will end and what good things, if any, might come out of it.
Good governance and accountability do not only entail the prudent use of discretionary funds—at all times, they must ensure that public funds are used for the genuine welfare of the public. For it is hypocritical for a government to promise a “tuwid na daan” while taking the students, the youth and the Filipino people to [...]
By Mahar Mangahas
At present, at the midpoint of the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, the social weather is very calm. Filipinos are exceptionally satisfied with governance (see my column “Continued contentment with governance,” Inquirer, 6/15/2013), rating it at levels unprecedented
ever since the SWS surveys began, midway in President Cory Aquino’s time. Economic struggling continues, but can’t be said to be worsening (see “Poverty and hunger are dynamic,” Inquirer, 1/19/2013). Optimism about personal futures is pervasive (see “Statistics of personal wellbeing,” Inquirer, 7/6/2013).
If mayors make disaster preparedness the No. 1 priority of their three-year tenures, our people would better survive the calamities that befall them each year.
By Mahar Mangahas
The satisfaction of Filipinos with the performance of their national government, from mid-2010 until the first quarter of 2013, is unprecedented ever since Social Weather Stations began tracking it in 1989 (see “Satisfaction with gov’t dips but still ‘very good’,” BusinessWorld, 6/06/2013).
By Guillermo M. Luz
The next three years, from 2013 to 2016, are critical years for the Philippines. They represent the last three years of the Aquino administration—the second half of the six-year journey to completed reforms and better governance. Coming off a first half that saw the country growing from strength to strength and gaining in visibility on the global stage, the second half will bring greater attention, higher expectations, and more pressure to deliver results. It will be equally important to think about institutionalizing reforms so they become irreversible. The reforms must outlast the term of the present administration. These will be its greatest legacy. We all have a role to play in creating this legacy.
By Mario Magat
“When our people cast their ballots in the recent election, they voted primarily for a great, sweeping change. They voted to throw out dishonesty, inefficiency and waste. And they voted for a government that would act boldly and effectively to banish insecurity and fear, poverty and want.”
By John Nery
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ initiative to ban the presentation of suspects without their consent has largely gone unremarked. I happen to think, however, that it is a genuine advance in civil liberties, and may even help improve police performance.