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China defies Deng Xiaoping warning


“If one day China should change her color and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.” ~ Deng Xiaoping speech at the United Nations, April 10, 1974

Posted: April 4th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

‘Meralco, don’t delay refund’

Now that the Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled (finally) that the December 2013 and January 2014 rate increases were invalid, when will Meralco refund the bill deposit that it applied to our bills for those months? It should be sooner, not after three consecutive years of prompt payment of the monthly bills.

Posted: March 17th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Righting what’s wrong with the Epira


Everyone is washing his hands of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001, now that it has reared its ugly head.

Posted: February 17th, 2014 in Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Power dilemma

The power rate hike case that the Supreme Court will hear next week involves a classic dilemma: Should a polity prioritize its needs as a market or as a community? In an ideal world, a young and growing country like the Philippines should not have to choose; in the real world, however, the choice can be both unavoidable and stark.

Posted: January 15th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A reason to hope

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla has put his job on the line with the promise to restore by Christmas Eve power supply in vast areas in Eastern Visayas ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Restoring electricity to the region will be more than just symbolic. “Energizing” far-flung communities is a life-changing event for the people living there. With electricity comes progress. On the other hand, living literally in the dark is quite tragic. Darkness has come to be associated with criminality, and the rise in robbery cases, even rape, in the darkened communities in Leyte is proof of this.

Posted: November 25th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Business united for action


Have you ever tried to get a committee to agree on something? Or worse, to agree to many things? Or even worse, many things where strong positions prevail, or something worse than that: two or three committees to come together to agree? If so, then you’ll realize what monumental significance there is in getting 17 business chambers to agree on not just one but eight issues they all think are of the highest importance. The 17 are made up of 10 local business chambers supported by seven foreign ones. It’s an amazing confluence of disparate entities that shouldn’t be ignored.

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

Water, power firms overcharging the public


As we celebrate the 27th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution that freed us from the shackles of a dictatorship, perhaps we should also start another revolt to free us from the shackles of greedy private corporations. I am referring to the utility companies, such as water, power, communications and toll road operators, which [...]

Posted: February 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

It’s about power


I write as an old member of Anakbayan, the group that has been pushing the limits of comfort and debate on the party-list system. It’s classic Anakbayan to bring the troops out as noisy and as opinionated as possible—many join this organization precisely for the passion and rage—but underneath it all is a solemn question: What is the meaning of “marginalized”?

Posted: October 17th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Toll road to collect water, generate power


It’s a road, a water catchment and a power generator all rolled into one. The proposed North Luzon East Expressway seeks to cut travel time from Quezon City to Nueva Ecija by a third, collect water that can provide a week of Metro Manila’s needs and generate electricity of up to 120 megawatts (MW).

Posted: July 7th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Power plant project widely opposed by IP

In the news article titled “Chevron, APC plan to put up geothermal power plant in Kalinga” (Inquirer, 6/11/12), APC Group chair and president Willy Ocier proudly declared: “We’ve secured all IP [indigenous people] approvals for Kalinga.”

Posted: July 5th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The ayatollah contemplates compromise


The recent nuclear talks in Istanbul between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—plus Germany—and Iran have shifted the world’s focus to the possible terms of a deal when the sides meet again, probably in Baghdad on May 23. So what accounts for the new seeming willingness of Iran’s leaders to reach an agreement?

Posted: May 15th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Transition to sustainable energy


The government and a big player in the power industry attempted to replay an old script. Fortunately, the people of Mindanao didn’t buy it.

Posted: April 28th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »



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