Tags: At Ground Level

A second look into Negros Oriental killings

In 2015, on the fifth year of the P-Noy administration’s counterinsurgency program (Oplan Bayanihan), the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared the province of Negros Oriental as a “conflict-manageable and ready for further development” area. The implication was that the state security forces had succeeded in weakening the presence/influence of the New People’s Army in…

Spotlight once more on extrajudicial killings

In his fourth state-of-the-nation address President Duterte didn’t say a word about the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that have shocked many all over the world. Just the week before, his government had been embroiled in a ruckus over the approval of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, urging the UN High…

UN human rights body presses Phl gov’t on EJKs

In the past three years, close to 40 nations have been signing a resolution, initiated by Iceland, expressing concern over the rising number of killings related to President Duterte’s “war on drugs.” Initially they urged the Philippine government to stop the killings and undertake an impartial investigation on these cases. Subsequently they called on the…

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.” That’s how direct and clear the mandate on the government is under Section 2 of Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It…

Outrage, shame and accountability

For almost two weeks now, the midnight “maritime incident” near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea has exercised to a considerable degree the Filipinos’ collective sense of outrage, then of outrage combined with disappointment, frustration, and shame. And their basic demand for accountability for the incident and its consequences calls for prompt and appropriate…

Much loose talk over Phl boat sinking in WPS

No doubt it is a serious matter that should be urgently and carefully resolved, through the appropriate international mechanisms and provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), between the governments of the Philippines and China. The matter pertains to the sinking of a Philippine vessel around midnight on June…

Human rights, gender equality, freedom of speech, environmental protection, and fighting climate change. “These are areas where my government is very active globally. And we like to advocate these matters also here in the Philippines. I appreciate that it’s easy to find partners in advocating our priority concerns.” Addressing a crowded hall filled with guests…

Continuing questions on automated elections

The proclamation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of the winners in the senatorial and partylist elections held on May 13 may have been generally accepted by the public. However, many questions persist on the conduct of the electoral campaign (massive vote buying/selling, blatant Comelec rules violations, among others) and on the reliability and credibility…