By Juan L. Mercado
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. scoffs at charges that he diverted his pork barrel 22 times to bogus nongovernment organizations. But spot reports and evening newscasts on scandal can smudge the significant.
By Dante Dalabajan
The past few months were notable for the bad news that hogged the headlines. One—noteworthy for the amount of money it involved and the big names it has so far implicated—was the pork barrel scandal. Predictably, the scandal has moved the chattering classes to circle the wagons against the thieves of taxpayers’ money. But while it is indeed an issue of taxpayers’ money, it is equally true that it is an issue of money taken away from poor farmers and fishers who were used as a ruse to steal us blind.
By Juan L. Mercado
Tropical depression “Crising” jabbed Mindanao’s underbelly before it barreled out to sea on Thursday. May we now watch 33 candidates for 12 Senate seats sashay on stage?
By Reynaldo D. Raluto
It is not yet too late to listen to the prophetic voices of the ecological scientists and pro-environment advocates.
I recently visited Davao and was surprised to find it extremely hot and humid.
By Rina Jimenez-David
It’s not just new houses or school buildings or roads and bridges that the survivors of Tropical Storm “Sendong” in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and Negros Oriental need. They also need, according to Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, stress de-briefing and psycho-social counseling to recover from the trauma of that devastation, recover their capacity for hope, and rebuild their lives, their families and their communities.
By Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay
“Who would have thought a flood could bear so much force to bring my house down and wash it out to sea? I live in a middle-class subdivision in Santiago, Iligan City, called Orchid Homes and it is now leveled to the ground. The entire row of houses where my neighbors and family dwelled, crumpled against rampaging floodwaters and all that is left are bent steel and debris,” Edward Banawa said as he recounted his ordeal.
By Patricia Evangelista
The setting is always different. Sometimes it is a field, in the center of the valley. The sky is blue. The clouds are fat. The ground is spread with mud the color of melting chocolate ice cream. There are no trees or grass or lines of children’s laundry. This is what is left: sky, ground, cliff and an old man in a blue-striped shirt looking at where his son’s home used to stand.
Mainly because of the private sector, relief efforts for the Mindanao and Visayan regions hardest hit by Tropical Storm “Sendong” have by and large stabilized the situation there, providing aid to victims and their families and restoring public services. But some areas in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan still have to see their water supply [...]
By Antonio Montalvan II
When a family member is sick, one makes the commonsensical steps. There are the medications and precautions. But there also are the questions: What caused the sickness? How can it be prevented the next time? It is the same in repairing a broken house. One does not repair without finding out what destroyed it in [...]
By J.R. Nereus Acosta
The sooner we realize that disasters are never natural but always a product of hazard and history, that a people’s vulnerability is not a given of place but derivative from the past, the better we are likely to understand what fate might await us in a world of changing climate.
By Walden Bello
A visit to evacuation centers in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro left me with the overwhelming impression that most people are still stunned, that they still have to internalize the loss of their loved ones or are still holding out hope for their reappearance. They still have to really mourn, but that moment will come crashing on them very soon.