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Partial compensation from the Marcos loot

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Thousands of victims-survivors and relatives of those who perished and vanished during the dark night of martial rule have each been handed their compensation checks for the second time. I received mine last Monday. A photo of that came out on page 2 of the Inquirer last Tuesday. I was wearing my “Martial Law Survivor” overshirt and holding the EastWest Bank check. Also in the photo was our lead counsel Robert Swift, smiling.

Posted: March 20th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Empowered women farmers

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Filipinos have a way of using superlatives when they see a how-good-can-it-get situation. So let me say: Women farmers na, empowered pa.

Posted: March 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Remembering and recording corruption

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If I were a whistle-blower testifying in court or a Senate hearing on what I know, critics may dismiss me as not credible. Why? Because I present too many details and my testimony sounds too rehearsed and contrived. People normally do not remember too many details about the past, the insignificant stuff especially, that, if I may argue, can in fact add credence to my testimony.

Posted: February 27th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Post-‘Yolanda’ trauma/tension releasing exercise

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“Hurricanes destroy earthquakes shatter, war rips apart, economies collapse, businesses go bankrupt, people die. This is the way of the world. Human suffering is based on wanting to change the things that have happened and wanting to change people. When we understand that the only thing we can change is our response to people and [...]

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

Cardinal-elect Quevedo: a ‘God’s commando’

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Caritas congaudet veritati. Love rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). This is the episcopal motto of Cardinal-elect Orlando B. Quevedo. I had to use a magnifying lens to find it in his coat of arms shown on the Internet. One of the quadrants in the coat of arms has a cross and a crescent and another one has a Moro vinta. Very symbolic, I thought, of where the archbishop serves.

Posted: January 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Questions on the buried cadavers

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Two months after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” struck, the hundreds of remaining unburied and unidentified cadavers are being rebagged and buried in mass graves after DNA samples and other identity marks have been taken. There remain many questions and criticisms on why it took so long for the bodies to be buried, and why survivors had to [...]

Posted: January 9th, 2014 in Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Tabang Visayas

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First there was Tabang Mindanaw in the past decade or so when large areas in Mindanao suffered from armed conflicts and environmental disasters. These left thousands of families in need of not just relief and rehabilitation that would bring them back to their original state but something even better and concrete to look forward to. Nongovernment organizations (NGOs) or civil society groups (CSOs) linked arms with business, church groups, international organizations and government agencies not only to deliver material aid but also to kindle hopes for peace. I think of the selfless individuals I’ve met who tread the less-traveled paths in those parts.

Posted: January 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Christmas messages from the ruins

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Sorrow is just next door. Sorrow can be the word on top of one’s mind while one contemplates the series of tragedies—earthquakes, supertyphoons, storm surges, landslides, road accidents, armed conflicts abroad—that claimed countless Filipino lives and left families in grief while the Christmas season was approaching.

Posted: December 19th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Is world ready for climate change refugees?

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Last week Agence France Presse reported on the case of a Pacific islander who had sought refugee status in New Zealand by arguing that his homeland, the island-nation Kiribati, is known to be sinking. His case received media attention. But the judge dismissed his case as “unconvincing” and “novel.” Ioane Teitiota, 37, whose visa had [...]

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

‘Waray Waray,’ let’s rock!

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Before anything else, let me share what my friend, actor-activist Joel Saracho of T’bak-Pilipinas, posted on Facebook last Sunday (during the Pacquiao-Rios boxing bout in Macau) which got lots of “likes” and “LoLs”: “I have this nagging suspicion that today, a lot of people will temporarily cease being disaster management experts. They will become boxing commentators and sports analysts.”

Posted: November 27th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Media’s heroic coverage of ‘Yolanda’

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The first images of the fury of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” that were sent from the eye of the storm to the outside were from the media persons who were themselves trapped, battered and in near-death situations when the horrific onslaught from sea and sky began and continued for several hours. The sounds and images did not come out fast and easy from devastated Central Philippines. For many hours, communication was dead and those of us in Metro Manila and elsewhere had no idea how deadly Yolanda (international name: “Haiyan”) was, that nothing like this had pounded this country, or this world for that matter, in so many lifetimes.

Posted: November 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Father Joe shook hell in ‘job heaven’

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Fr. Joe Dizon, 65, passed away on Nov. 4 because of complications due to diabetes. He will be missed by his fellow social activists, street parliamentarians, brother priests and, most of all, countless workers whom he helped through the Workers Assistance Center (WAC) that he founded and ran for almost 20 years.

Posted: November 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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