Tags: At Ground Level

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…

As the elites of global capitalism converged this week for the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland’s Davos resort, they were presented with dim projections of world economic growth by three multilateral institutions, the rich nations’ club, and a multinational corporate consulting firm. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its 2019 global growth estimate…

A case of illegal arrest and a trumped-up charge

Almost a year after their warrantless arrest, detention and prosecution for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives, on Jan. 15 Rafael Baylosis and Roque Guillermo were ordered freed by a Quezon City court. Baylosis is a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the GRP-NDFP peace talks, which President…

Need to rethink EO 70, ‘National Peace Framework’

The bungled witch hunt by intelligence units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) only reflects – in their implementation – the brutish style with which the government’s counterinsurgency policies and directives are issued by the highest level of command. ACT is the sole accredited teachers’ union in the…

The periphery protests in France and beyond

For seven Saturdays straight till Dec. 29, the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) continued their protest in Paris and other cities in France. Protesters have occupied rural and suburban rotondas. They threw projectiles at the police, who retaliated with tear-gas grenades and made some arrests. Media reports say the grassroots protest is the first big crisis…

Can reconciliation gain impetus in the new year?

“As we take part in the festivities during this joyous occasion, may we also contemplate on the wealth of lessons we can learn from the narrative of the Savior’s birth to the calls of compassion, kindness and reconciliation being echoed throughout the globe. “Let these ideals and aspirations guide us as we embrace our fellowmen…

I feel the goodwill of the common people

Days before Christmas, presidential ranting has continued to rain negative feelings of enmity, ridicule, and vilification against a broad range of critics of government policies and actions or inactions. Worse, it sows fear, intimidation, and threat that “Lulutang tayo dito sa dugo (We will float in blood)” against those branded as “enemies of the state.”…

Is martial law extension constitutionally justified?

Upon President Duterte’s behest, the Senate and the House in joint session last Wednesday voted to again extend martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao. This third extension will remain until December 31, 2019. The vote was 235 yes, 28 no, 1 abstention. No doubting…