Category: Commentary

Representing themselves

On July 23, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 2 mandating public access to information held by the agencies and offices of the executive branch. The nongovernmental organizations that had been campaigning for a freedom of information (FOI) act for decades welcomed it with cautious optimism. The Executive Order (EO) encouraged the legislature…

Higher social pension for poor senior citizens

This week I had interesting interactions with senior citizens in some barangays of Quezon City, Manila, and the cities of Caloocan and Malabon. These were public forums that had been organized to encourage voter participation in the mid-term elections to be held on May 13. They were visibly very poor: and physically their communities haven’t…

Politically-driven

Since the arrest and eventual posting of bail of news site Rappler’s chief Maria Ressa, Malacanang’s spin doctors have been attempting to absolve the president from allegations of curtailing press freedom and grave abuse of power. Still, the political backlash that the Duterte administration is getting has been unforgiving, and rightly so. Even the simplest…

Measles Epidemic: The Real Cause of Deaths

The concomitant and worsening assaults (including extrajudicial killings) on fundamental human rights have subjected marginalized people to extreme physical, biological, psychological and social stress and have repeatedly been forced to be displaced from their land, homes, crops and other means of survival. Under these circumstances, infectious disease epidemics, like measles, and other serious health problems are bound to arise and worsen.

That former TV broadcaster who’s running for senator under Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party isn’t alone in denying that the Duterte regime is a threat to press freedom. There are other former and still practicing broadcast, print and online media people who have never quite understood that the most fundamental values in journalism are…