Tags: At Ground Level

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…

Militant partylist bloc retains niche in House

As I write this piece, the Comelec has yet to complete the canvassing and announce the official results of the senatorial and partylist elections in the May 13 midterm elections. Many protests and questions have been raised over the malfunctioning of vote-counting machines (VCMs) – worse than in the previous elections – and the seven-hour…

Two crucial stakes in May 13 elections

Political pundits generally view the mid-term national (legislative) and local (executive-legislative) elections on Monday, May 13, as a referendum on the performance of the Duterte administration in the first half of its six-year term. More than that, however, the elections will determine the outcome on two crucial issues: One, whether the Senate will retain its…

Now red-tagged groups fight back via the courts

In early March, they instantly came out with vigorous denials, condemning the ramped-up red-tagging campaign waged against them, here and in Europe, by the Duterte government. To a considerable degree, the broad-ranged ripostes have blunted the vilification drive against Karapatan and other human rights defenders, militant people’s organizations and alliances, and Left-leaning candidates in the…

Distracting issue may mar the BARMM inauguration

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, created under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, was inaugurated in Cotabato City yesterday. In the morning, the Bangsa-moro Transition Authority, the region’s interim government until the election of the Bangsamoro Parliament in 2022, convened, adopted its rules and elected its officers. Supposedly, in the afternoon the BARMM was to…

Duterte yields GRP-NDFP peace talks to the military

Back-to-back with the controversial withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) that took effect on March 17, the following day President Duterte dismissed the government panel negotiating peace with the National Democratic Front and, the day after, even said it was a “permanent” termination. These moves by the president raise big questions…