By ARNOLD PADILLA MANILA — “A President must be on the job 24/7, ready for any contingency, any crisis, anywhere, anytime.” “As a country in the path of typhoons… we must be as prepared as the latest technology permits to anticipate natural calamities when that is possible; to extend immediate and effective relief when it…

No matter how oil firms deny the allegations that they are overcharging the consumers, the widespread public perception that oil companies are abusive and profit-hungry will remain. This will be the case as long as the oil industry is deregulated and oil companies are allowed to automatically increase their prices and at the same time not compelled to publicly divulge how they compute their price adjustments.

The Americans, like the Europeans, have an inventory of what they call “barriers” in the Philippine Constitution that they want the Arroyo regime to remove through constitutional amendments. Meanwhile, the Constitution will have to conform with the Jpepa, the Philippine-Japan agreement, not the other way around. (Second of two parts)

The political dimension of charter change has dominated the national agenda. But the constant driving force behind all the attempts since the last decade to modify the Constitution has been the external pressure coming mainly from the WTO, the US, the EU and Japan to create the sort of policy environment that will allow globalization to fully thrive in the Philippines. (First of two parts)