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Relevance in context of poverty, underdevelopment

This is in reaction to John Nery’s column, “The irrelevance of the Left.” I wish to first commend him for proceeding from the premise of “[identifying] the Left as those associated with the National Democratic Front.” However, I also wish to take exception to the column’s main contentions.

Posted: April 8th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Our only republic

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In his column “Newsstand” (Opinion, 2/12/13), John Nery noted that Malacañang referred to President Aquino as “the 15th President of the Philippines, and the fifth President of the Fifth Republic.” Nery questioned the historical and legal accuracy of a “Fifth Philippine Republic.” We are also doing so.

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Cardinal Sin’s biggest mistake?

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The idea that most Filipinos are deeply disillusioned with the People Power revolution is merely conventional, and needs to be empirically tested; I think the reality is somewhere between benign ignorance (many see Edsa 1986 only as an event in history, the occasion for a school holiday) and active acceptance (some continue to see it as a source of genuine change).

Posted: February 25th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pacquiao vs Marx, or Funding a Senate run

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It should have come as no surprise that, as he was scrambling up the ladder of worldwide fame with his thrilling boxing style, Manny Pacquiao also made up his mind to run for political office. He famously failed on his first try, when tiny Darlene Antonino-Custodio bested him in the congressional race to represent General Santos City, in 2007. But he is now on his second term as lawmaker, representing the province of Sarangani.

Posted: February 11th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Going negative on P-Noy

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Inquirer colleague and top business journalist Dax Lucas raised an interesting point on Facebook a few days ago. Linking to an image of the Inquirer’s Oct. 31 front page, which carried the headline “P-Noy: I am not a thief,” he wrote: “A key tenet in psychology and communications: the mind edits out words like ‘not’. So avoid stating in the negative.”

Posted: November 4th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Looking for church at the #MillionPeopleMarch

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In August 1999, or just over a year after the popular Joseph Estrada took office as the country’s 13th president, a major protest rally brought the Makati central business district to a standstill.

Posted: August 26th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Breaking the survey mirror

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I must disagree with the esteemed Randy David, when in his May 9 column he lumped election surveys together with “political dynasties, religious meddling in politics, [and] corporate financing of electoral campaigns” as obstacles to modernity.

Posted: May 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The true test of a Catholic vote

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I see that Brother Mike Velarde of the El Shaddai Catholic charismatic renewal movement is up to his favorite old trick again: preaching to the converted. With the usual fanfare, he named the first six senatorial candidates endorsed by the so-called White Vote, a bloc of Catholic Church-affiliated organizations, at a prayer assembly last Saturday. It is no coincidence that five of the six are doing well in the surveys.

Posted: April 15th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Taking a swipe at the Cardinal?

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A Jesuit friend I esteem cried foul recently over Karen Boncocan’s characterization of a major homily given by the new Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle. (The homily, on the occasion of the Feast of Jesus the Nazarene, was read, or rather extemporized, on Jan. 9, but I read my friend’s e-mail to me only the other day.)

Posted: January 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

An eyewitness account of Mabini’s funeral

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While rummaging through microfiche copies of newspaper clippings “relating to the Philippine question” at Harvard’s Widener Library last year, I came across the following excerpt from a diary recorded by an American woman visiting the Philippines in 1903. Several entries from the
diary had been published in a newspaper sympathetic to Philippine aspirations, likely the Boston Evening Transcript, and this one, in particular, all but jumped out at me.

Posted: January 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Saved by the CIA

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The controversy over “Zero Dark Thirty”—specifically, over whether Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-nominated movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden accurately depicts the truth about the use of torture—has revived the old debate about the movies’ debt to the historical record. Another Oscar-nominated, based-on-a-true-story, starring-a-persistent-agent-from-the-Central-Intelligence-Agency movie that takes some liberties with the historical record, is also very much in the news, but except for the occasional critical story or post, Ben Affleck’s “Argo” has largely escaped the kind of scrutiny trained on “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Posted: January 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Rejoinders: Pacman, Sotto, atbp.

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Allow me to tie up some loose ends from 2012, stories and letters which have nagged at me for some time. Let me start with the most recent.

Posted: January 7th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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