Tags: Vantage Point

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…

Pacquiao vs Duterte

He has done nearly everything else except formally announce it, because if he does, under Commission on Elections (Comelec) rules he could be liable to charges of premature campaigning, but perennial absentee senator-cum-boxer Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao seems determined to run for President in 2022. He has reportedly narrowed his choices for vice-presidential running mate to…

Mourning PNoy

The return of authoritarian rule is a constant threat, and progress an increasingly elusive goal in the Philippines. Democratization and development have too often foundered on the shoals of government indifference, incompetence, and antipathy. A process that began during the reform and revolutionary periods of Philippine history, democratization has been interrupted, delayed, weakened, and sabotaged…

Intimations of accountability

Nothing can compensate for the loss of a husband, a father, and in some instances even a wife, a mother, and a child — or for that matter, for the years of want and deprivation inflicted by the sudden demise of a family breadwinner. Mostly unremarked except in studies by such institutions as the University of the Philippines is the humanitarian crisis that afflicts those left behind by the heads of families who, alleged to be either drug addicts or drug pushers, were systematically gunned down on the strength of what the police understood to be the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to “kill, kill, kill.”

A country to win

With regime change can come the restoration of the rule of law and the democratic space that have been eroded and restricted by the provincial despotism that has been despoiling this country and its people since 2016. The return of some measure of civility in politics and governance is another possibility. There are as well the increased chances of ending the pandemic and reviving the economy. And, most of all, is the likely recovery of the rights to free expression and press freedom on which true journalism thrives, and without which authentic change is next to impossible.