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A new social class?

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Let’s juxtapose these recent stories and ask if they’re all connected: the dire straits of the survivors of the earthquake and typhoon disasters; the scandalous exploitation of overseas Filipino workers by embassy officials in the Gulf states that Lila Shahani and Walden Bello have been pursuing; the violent eviction of informal settlers at North Edsa; “Binay-gate” at Dasmariñas Village; and the Vhong and Deniece show at Bonifacio Global City. What links all of them?

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Missing in Action: President Aquino and the Meralco rate hike scandal

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The stunning Meralco power rate hike of P4.15 per kilowatt hour—the highest single increase in that utility’s history—has aroused such anger among the consuming public that it is puzzling that it has not brought the wrath of the president down on the power monopoly. Mr. Aquino is quick to scold businesses that evade taxes, as he showed last March when he shamed many magnates attending a speech he delivered at the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Why not pour the same presidential vitriol on a shameless price gouger?

Posted: December 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

Beacons of hope in troubled times

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These days negative examples of clean and competent governance dominate the news.  Yet we do not lack for people who exemplify the finest tradition in service to the people.  These people serve as beacons of hope in these troubled times, if only the media can give them an eighth of the space they give to [...]

Posted: November 27th, 2013 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Waterloo for Agrarian Reform?

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The Philippines still has a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in poverty by 50 per cent from 1990 levels if it resolutely carries out the right policies, National Economic Development Authority head Arsenio Balicasan said at a recent congressional hearing.

Posted: September 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Obama, Damascus, and Manila

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In recent days, the Obama administration has moved inexorably toward an attack on Syria, for which it is currently seeking the support of the US Congress.

Posted: September 4th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Dark Dates in Chinese and Philippine Histories

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On February 18, 1932, Japan proclaimed the state of Manchukuo as the governing body for the region of Manchuria, which it had invaded and detached from China. The date was a dark day in Chinese history that the people of China were determined to erase.

Posted: July 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Gov’t personnel as pimps, predators and traffickers in Al-Khobar, KSA

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As they sat across us, telling me and Secretary of Labor Rosalinda Baldoz their stories, I thought to myself, how terrified these women were, but at the same time, how generous and how brave.

Posted: July 4th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

The Hashimoto Controversy and Japan’s Failure to Come to Terms with its Past

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The words were so brazen that they have created a firestorm globally. This was the comment of Mayor Toru Hashimoto of Osaka, described as “outspoken” and “brash” in the international media, that “comfort women”– the thousands of Asian women who were forced to serve as prostitutes during the Second World War–were “necessary” for the morale of the Japanese troops.

Posted: May 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

Wrong Choice, Again?

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The conclave to elect the new Pope was an opportunity for the Catholic Church’s all-male college of cardinals to choose someone who would lead the Church into the 21st century.  Again, they flubbed the opportunity, as they did when they elevated Joseph Ratzinger to his role as Pope Benedict XVI eight years ago. The new [...]

Posted: March 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Imperial Argument: Washington debates ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy

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Over the last two years, the Obama administration has executed what the president has termed the “Pivot to Asia” strategy, whereby the US’ global military force posture is being reconfigured to focus on the Asia Pacific region as Washington’s central front.

Posted: February 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

FOI bill lost because it lacked Aquino’s support

The article “FOI: Waiting for the Hail Mary Pass” (Inquirer.net, 1/25/13) by Walden Bello was an informative piece clearly stating the advantages and the role of the freedom of information (FOI) bill in a democracy. I like the way he constructed his thoughts about the FOI, and its relationship to democracy and to our country’s bureaucracy.

Posted: February 15th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The 15th Congress’ surprising output: A bumper crop of reform measures

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It was disappointing, the way the last session of the 15th Congress ended, with the Senate in turmoil over Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s gestures of feudal favoritism with the people’s money and the House of Representatives’ unconscionable failure to pass the Freedom of Information Bill. But its tragicomic last act should not bury the fact that this Congress had a bumper crop of progressive measures strengthening social, political, and human rights.

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

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