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The future of the barrels of pork

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In 1934, when the 1935 Constitution was being formulated, there was a proposal to prohibit “pork barrel” funds altogether.

Posted: August 25th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Sabah and US

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Sabah has once again become front-page material because of the move of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu to enforce their claim to a portion of the territory. It may be good to understand what the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu are claiming. As I see it, they are not claiming political sovereignty [...]

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

The antidynasty campaign

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People get the government they deserve. What people deserve is expressed through their preferences in an election. We have been having elections since 1987 when the antidynasty provision in the Constitution first appeared, and the people have chosen, administration after administration, their preferences, dynasties and all.

Posted: February 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Arroyo’s fight for release on bail: Round 10

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In the middle of last week one of the lawyers working for the release on bail of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to me asking if there was anything I could do to help. I said that, much as I would like to, at least for humanitarian considerations, I was afraid that anything I said would just be counterproductive for the reason that I am considered kapamilya. As many know, one of my nephews is now married to Luli Arroyo. For this reason, positions I took in the past were sometimes brushed aside brainlessly even by some whom I normally respect simply because a Bernas has become a member of the Arroyo family. This is insanity, of course, but it is part of life.

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Clerics and the political process

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The debates on the reproductive health bill have died down, and now there is toe-in-the-water talk about divorce. Some friends have asked me what role clerics should have in matters involving controversial legislation. Let me be more general, however, and ask instead about clerical involvement in public affairs.

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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