Time has a way of teaching you the lessons you missed when they were first taught to you, right? I’ve found myself staring out of windows a few times, wondering what went wrong and what I could have done differently and how else I could communicate what I think people need to understand. In the few years since our democracy started to decline, I’ve been in a constant rage, wanting to both embrace and destroy this heathen generation that can’t seem to recognize its own good.
Vantage Point | Hazing and the culture of violence
The death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig at the hands of his presumptive fraternity “brothers” is a wake-up call to everyone, especially those with a relative in a college or university, that hazing is a continuing problem in many schools as well as in other Philippine institutions. Salilig’s case is in fact provoking other citizens who had so far been silent to reveal how their own kin were similarly victimized.
At Ground Level | Ecumenical church leaders plead for lasting peace
Into the eighth month of the new administration, the government’s virulent red-tagging campaign is still being waged by the mouthpieces (official or otherwise) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict – now nominally headed by Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as chairperson.
First Person | Sleepless for weeks
Buying a P2.4-million minibus is definitely not an option for Papa; his jeeps’ income are just enough to sustain the family’s daily needs. “Saan ako kukuha ng pera? Uutang? Maintenance pa lang niyan, lugi na ako,” he says. Even so, no bank would provide him such loan at his age.
Vantage Point | PHL’s ‘improved’ human rights situation
As the visiting European Union (EU) parliamentarians were declaring that the human rights situation in the Philippines has “improved,” a 17-year-old male and two others had apparently been abducted in a Batangas town. Very few details were available as this column was being written, but it was only one of the many abductions that are still happening despite the change in administration last July, 2022.
At Ground Level | Nine years later, still no clarity on ‘EDCA sites’
A news report on Thursday in Business Mirror that headlined “Senate grills defense brass on plans for EDCA expansion, sites” raised much curiosity for its sheer lack of detailed information. I found this unusual for a reportage by veteran newsman Butch Fernandez, whom I have known for decades.
Vantage Point | The revolution that wasn’t
Throughout its six years in office, the Duterte administration paid scant attention, if at all, to the anniversaries of the 1986 “People Power” or EDSA I “Revolution.”
At Ground level | US gained by saving the Marcoses in 1986
The irony cannot be ignored. Today’s 37th observance of the Filipino people’s historic peaceful uprising – which led to the ouster of the 14-year US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. – happens with his namesake-son sitting as president in Malacañang.
Vantage Point | Foreign policy predicament
The Marcos II administration has declared that part of its foreign policy is strengthening Philippine relations with other ASEAN countries and with China. But it is still the US on which the country has to depend for its external defense because, despite the billions spent on its supposed “modernization,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines cannot even protect Filipino fisherfolk from Chinese harassment and is most expert only at the suppression of dissent and social unrest. No government is to blame for this predicament except the Philippines’ own.
At Ground Level | US touts its aid to boost AFP modernization plan
Last month, the Philippine Navy acquired its first ground-based air defense system (GBADS), consisting of Israeli-made SPYDER missile batteries. Objective: to “neutralize” any potential aerial threat or foreign aircraft intrusion in the country’s airspace. However, this system is categorized as a secondary air defense cover after the PAF’s FA-50PH light jet fighters, earlier acquired from South Korea. This acquisition – costing P6,846,750,000 – is not mentioned in the USSD report.
Vantage Point | Corazon Aquino’s legacy
Should Congress decide to either convene itself into a constituent assembly or to call for elections for delegates to a constitutional convention, the citizenry must closely monitor the process — not because the 1987 Constitution is Corazon Aquino’s most outstanding legacy, but because, at this critical stage in the country’s history, it is among the people’s few remaining means of defense against the return of authoritarian rule and the further ruin of this country.