Is there something else afoot? | Inquirer Opinion
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Is there something else afoot?

Reader, here’s a prayer to start the new decade, and the new year:

“LORD, as a new year and a new decade dawn upon us, we pray that You grant us

The grace to live by what is right;

The courage to make our dreams bigger than our fears and


our actions larger than our words;

The wisdom to live by choice and not

by chance;The strength to make changes and not

excuses;The resolve to be motivated and not manipulated; and


The confidence to excel and not to compete.

“All in Your Mighty Name, and for Your greater glory.


“Amen”A friend shared it with my husband Christian, who showed it to me and then sent it to the Walking Group (WG). They thought it was great, and so did I. The WG is composed of my lady friends in their mid-70s to high-90s. We go to daily 6:15 a.m. Mass, then gather together to say different prayers (including one for the President, on Mondays) if there are no novenas—San Antonio on Tuesdays, Sacred Heart on Fridays—and then have breakfast together, and otherwise socialize. It’s a great way to start the day. It’s not only exhilarating, but also, many scientists have found that social interaction is a key to maintaining good mental health and warding off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Google it, Reader.

Anyway, please don’t treat the prayer as a once-a-decade, once-a-new-year thing. Just remove the second to the eleventh word, and we’ve got an excellent daily prayer to remind us of how to live our lives. Mazel tov.


President Duterte has been going against oligarchs—at least that is the spin for the benefit of the masa. But is he really doing that, or is there something else afoot, other objectives, like controlling the media and/or helping his cronies ?

The advantage of someone of great age like myself is that we remember things that happened 40 or 50 years ago with greater clarity than more recent occurrences. And what I see occurring now gives me a feeling of déjà vu.

Today, we have President Duterte railing against the Lopezes of ABS-CBN, threatening (started back in 2017) the nonrenewal of their franchise, which ends on March 30, 2020. The rants have been getting louder, and he is reported to have said that if the Lopezes divest themselves of their shares in the company, then the problem of nonrenewal will disappear. In other words, he isn’t against the network, he is just against the present owners. Why? Because during the 2016 elections, he couldn’t get the airtime he wanted and, according to him, he was not given back his money, but that Antonio Trillanes got it. Or something like that.

Almost 50 years ago, the dictator Marcos also railed against the Lopezes as oligarchs. He jailed Geny Lopez Jr. (who, five years later, made his famous escape), took over the Lopez holdings (including their two TV stations and Meralco), and gave them to his own relatives and cronies. Lopez wasn’t the only “oligarch” he destroyed. There were the Jacintos, too, and others. But the point is that he then created a new oligarchy, composed of his relatives and cronies, some of which exist even today.

Get the picture? I can’t help thinking, given what Mr. Duterte is saying, that he wants the Lopezes to sell to someone like, say, Davao businessman Dennis Uy—who has been buying companies like there was no tomorrow. Granted Mr. Duterte’s actions are not as direct (there is still no martial law, after all ) as Marcos’, but the end results are likely to be the same. In other words, he wants to do a Marcos (sans martial law, at least as of now). Are we, as a people, ready and willing to have that happen?

What makes the situation even more curious is that the Lopezes are not even listed among the Top 10 of the Forbes list of the richest (according to net worth) Filipinos. There are the Sys, Lucio Tan, the Ayalas, the Razons, the Gokongweis, etc. So it is not the oligarchs he is really after. Therefore, it must be the media he wants to control. What do you think, Reader?

(Full disclosure: My husband, Christian, while retired from, remains a consultant of, First Philippine Holdings Corp., a Lopez-controlled company.)


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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Antonio trillanes, Duterte

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