Tags: Vantage Point

No Exit

Well thought-out, pro-active policies based on informed and rigorous analysis could have helped the country navigate the treacherous waters of the pandemic from its very onset in 2020. The need for them was especially evident during the last quarter of 2021, as well as at the present time. But they are precisely what were and are still missing in the far from strategic and purely reactive government response to the pandemic.

Much of the lies and rewriting of history that feed that preference are deliberately cultivated by the trolls and hacks in print and broadcast media in the pay of those handful of families that have monopolized political power in these isles for decades and who want to keep it whatever the cost to this country and its people. Those dynasties are not only threatening to completely overwhelm the relatively few adherents of reason, democratic choice, reform, and just plain civility among the citizenry. They are also flourishing by using the ideology of dominance, repression, and exploitation that lives on in what passes for the minds not only of the ruling oligarchy but also of its benighted followers.

Skepticism pays

To Filipino skepticism over Mr. Duterte’s seeming turn-around over China’s latest act of intimidation in Philippine territorial waters must thus be added the need to be especially alert over the distinct possibility that the 2022 elections will not solely be a contest among Filipinos but also another arena of contention between two of the most powerful countries on the planet.

Reporting the circus

As part of the commitment to issue-focused reporting, they also pledged to look into and report on the track records of candidates, check and challenge false information and hate speech, provide the context of whatever events and issues may arise, monitor the independence of the State and other agencies involved in the elections, and encourage and support best practice in journalism.

It should be more than evident by now that only the election of a halfway decent, competent, and honest alternative to the present regime can at least begin the process of halting the country’s descent into failed State sta-tus. But that can happen only if the mass of the electorate has learned enough from the experience of the last six years to elect the officials the country so desperately and so urgently needs.

Escape from freedom

In the Philippines, the above events of September at home and abroad have added to widespread citizen fatigue and resistance in exercising the sovereign right and duty of checking government excesses, holding it accountable, and demanding and struggling for the changes the country has needed for decades.

Manufacturing consent

One journalist did say that President Rodrigo Duterte compounded the “lie” about the reason behind the shutdown of the operations of ABS-CBN’s free TV and radio services. But she did not outrightly call him a liar, and neither did the others. As Mr. Duterte was delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July…

‘Modernizing’ repression

The Washington DC, USA-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) is concerned over the sale to the Duterte regime of $2.5 billion worth of US fighter jets and precision guided missiles. In an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post, HRW’s Washington Advocacy Officer Elisa Epstein warned that the Biden administration would be “reward(ing) an increasingly abusive…

A survey by the polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS), the results of which were released on July 12, found that hunger incidence among Filipinos had reached 21%+ of the country’s 105 million population, or more than four million families whose members had gone hungry at least once during the past three months. Only in…

Press freedom as election issue

President Rodrigo Duterte has made it to the gallery of heads of government in 37 countries that the international press freedom watch organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF, Reporters Sans Frontières) regards as enemies of press freedom. Mr. Duterte’s inclusion puts him in the company of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Saudi…