Postscript Archive

June 2019

WITH everybody talking of Filipino fishermen being harassed by Chinese intruders in Philippine waters, many other urgent matters of life and death have been pushed away from our notoriously short span of attention. [Read More]

THE FRIENDSHIP between Vietnamese and Filipinos goes a long way, in war and at sea, their paths crossing at times as they struggle in their respective ways to find a more comfortable life free from foreign dictation. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte may just feed suspicion of him being subservient to China if he agrees to a joint investigation of the June 9 incident where a Chinese steel-hulled vessel hit and sank the Filipino wooden fishing boat Gem Ver near Recto Bank off Palawan. [Read More]

HAS President Duterte been compromised in the course of his dealings with the Chinese?

There are just too many wide-awake Filipinos asking this disturbing question. It is high time it is posed publicly so, in fairness to the President, he will have the chance to answer it candidly and clearly. [Read More]

UPON “Order ni Misis,” the captain of the fishing boat that suspected Chinese militia sunk on June 9 in Philippine waters off Palawan snubbed a Malacañang meeting set yesterday with President Duterte. [Read More]

KEEPING low and quiet will not spare President Duterte from the harsh judgment of a public incensed by the ramming and sinking on June 9 by a Chinese vessel of a fishing boat manned by 22 Filipinos near Recto Bank off Palawan. [Read More]

TRUE national independence is what we as a people think it is, how we verbalize it, and how we live it.

If every June 12 we choose to hypnotize ourselves into thinking and acting as if we are truly a free sovereign nation, then – may God help us in our delusion – we might just feel indeed independent! [Read More]

AS THE WORLD watched, more than a million people marched Sunday in sweltering weather through the heart of Hong Kong to show their concern and anger over the government’s plan to amend its fugitive law that could mean extraditing suspects to the mainland. [Read More]

TO SIMPLIFY and cut down the heavy spending and injurious jostling in the race for Speaker of the House Representatives, why don’t they just ask the Dutertes their choice for the No. 4 official of the land? [Read More]

THIS FOND farewell that Sen. Grace Poe delivered Tuesday for six colleagues leaving the Senate this month should be heard/read in full to appreciate its style, nuanced revelations, plus its hints of past and possible future alliances, but space limitation forces us to boil down its 1,500 words to fit our corner. [Read More]

IT COULD be discomfiting to see President Duterte being handed a note to conclude his speech at the Nikkei international conference in Japan last Friday, but viewing the entire episode up to his final “arigato” put it in favorable enough context. [Read More]

A WINDOW has just been opened in Japan by President Duterte, letting in sunshine and fresh air into his chamber where hangs the scent of Chinese joss sticks. [Read More]

May 2019

THE TOKYO trip of President Duterte might just show him the wisdom of one’s not placing all his century eggs in one Chinese basket, and impress on him the fact that the Philippines still has friends other than China. [Read More]

THE SIGHT of President Duterte struggling to stand and keep his step steady as Commander-in-Chief before graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy last Sunday should help convince Malacañang to level with the people on his state of health. [Read More]

CALOOCAN Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, an outspoken critic of President Duterte’s brutal war on users of illegal drugs, has found encouragement in Pope Francis who, it turns out, keeps abreast of the situation in Asia’s only dominantly Catholic country. [Read More]

A BASIC lesson in public information to be learned from the events of the past two weeks is that the world abhors a vacuum. Suppress vital news and you stir up a tempest of speculations. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte could dispel doubts about his state of health if/when he shows up today, based on Commission on Elections’ optimistic preparation, to witness the proclamation of his winning bets in the May 13 election for senators. [Read More]

MANY persons active in the May midterm election who now feel campaign fatigue would rather rest and resume their normal lives. That may not go well with those who want sustained reformist pressure on President Duterte. [Read More]

TWO days after the last vote was cast and counted, it looks like the people have given President Duterte a new vote of confidence by electing all his favored candidates for senator. That is, assuming it was an honest election – not an automated deception. [Read More]

SOME 61 million Filipinos are prepared to cast their vote tomorrow, but is the Commission on Elections ready for the nationwide exercise that could turn ugly if mismanaged? [Read More]

DISCLOSURE-1I have no special preference and no reason to campaign for any of the 62 candidates for senator. None of them is a close friend or an acquaintance of long standing. While I have talked with a few of them in press forums and chance encounters, that is about it in terms of interaction with them. [Read More]

NOBODY is even sure if there is a “Catholic vote” and here comes the leader of the religious group El Shaddai splintering it by endorsing 14 senatorial candidates some of whom may not sit well with those who describe themselves as Católico cerrado (closed). [Read More]

LIKE a bereaved family refusing to accept the reality of a member having died, we the so-called Fourth Estate gathered ourselves and our thoughts last Friday under a bold headline declaring that freedom of the press is an inalienable right, is crucial to democracy, and must flourish. [Read More]

WITH just 10 days to go, it is time the underlying aspect of the May 13 election – that it is also a midterm referendum on the Duterte presidency – be brought into focus to help the people cast an informed vote, especially on the 12 Senate seats at stake. [Read More]

April 2019

WHERE would the billions raised and donated for the rebuilding of Marawi go if affluent businessmen there were to take over the restoration of their city devastated in the battle with ISIS-inspired militants from May to October in 2017? [Read More]

IN TWO weeks, we should know if President Duterte’s “pasalubong” of 19 new investment and trade deals brought home from Beijing yesterday would be enough to calm concerns that he has gone overboard in his love affair with China. [Read More]

THE PRESIDENTIAL Communications Operations Office, or Malacañang for that matter, may want to tread lightly when it mounts higher ground to pontificate to private media about the evils of disinformation. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte will be under pressure to bring home concessions when he journeys to Beijing in a few days to clarify contentious maritime issues and the terms of supposedly “easy” Chinese loans to finance his ambitious infrastructure program. [Read More]

WHATEVER dark spirit has been driving President Duterte’s bashing of God, Catholicism and the Church’s teachings, Filipinos emerging from their Lenten spiritual retreat should come out stronger in their resolve to defend their faith. [Read More]

FROM the Vatican to the archdiocese of Manila, throughout Christendom, reverberates the message of humility and healing highlighted in today’s Maundy Thursday rites. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte has to decide quickly how to bring up with his Chinese counterpart the arbitral award that invalidated in 2016 China’s expansive claim over much of the South China Sea and affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its maritime area. [Read More]

FOREIGN Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. is the solitary voice in the Cabinet publicly denouncing the neighborhood bully when it crosses the red line in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Are his blasts against China’s intrusions with prior clearance of President Duterte? [Read More]

A CHINESE general gave a preview way back in 2013 of how their People’s Liberation Army deploys a swarm of vessels around disputed islands in the South China Sea in what he called a “cabbage strategy” to take full control. [Read More]

IT IS best to keep President Duterte talking, even when he is threatening to launch a revolutionary war, so we can monitor better the inner rumblings and not be caught unprepared when he finally boils over. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte is suddenly singing a different tune on China’s land-grabbing spree in the West Philippine Sea – an issue he had dismissed as just part of the “greater game of regional geopolitics” – apparently because it is now hurting his candidates in the midterm elections. [Read More]

OUR “what if” experts are busy speculating, roused by the pro-China stance taken by President Duterte and the defense department’s signal to Filipinos not to be afraid to fish in Philippine waters infested with foreign interlopers. [Read More]

THE PROPENSITY of President Duterte to side with Chinese in resolving conflicts with Filipinos may just spoil the chances of his senatorial and other candidates in the May 13 midterm elections. [Read More]

March 2019

WITH most netizens unable to check the authenticity of information they come across in the internet, social responsibility impels such giant platforms as Facebook, Google and Twitter to guard against fake and malicious data being circulated through them. [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte should order full disclosure to allay fears that the huge Chinese loans he had contracted to finance his ambitious megaprojects mortgaged patrimonial assets and could lead to a “debt trap.” [Read More]

PRESIDENT Duterte is bound by duty to disclose to the people to what extent and under what conditions he has hocked some of their patrimonial assets to China to get loans for his ambitious Build! Build! Build! program. [Read More]

JUST as the dramatic scene started rolling in the public mind showing President Duterte and Moro rebel leader Nur Misuari “dying together” in a war over federalism, presidential interpreter Salvador Panelo shouted “Cut!” [Read More]

THE INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court in The Hague is not going after the Philippine government, but after President Duterte and possibly other individuals accused of having acted on his behalf in perpetrating alleged crimes against humanity. [Read More]

THE PHILIPPINES is the most dangerous country to live in? It all depends on whom you ask, what your politics is, who is conducting the survey, and a host of other factors. [Read More]

WHOSE word should be believed – that of President Duterte or his official interpreter Salvador Panelo, sometimes called presidential spokesman? [Read More]

THERE was no need for Filipinos to cheer the assurance made by US State Secretary Mike Pompeo during his March 1 visit that the United States would defend the Philippines if any aggressor, China not excluded, attacked it. He was just repeating an old promise. [Read More]

IT WAS the “Bridges to Nowhere” in 2005, when overpriced steel spans were built in the most unlikely places, making them virtual arches of gold for some officials in cahoots with the runner of the British suppliers. [Read More]

THE ISSUE raised against Imee Marcos is not the fact of her having no college degree, but her lying about it and insisting on the lie.

Rushing to the defense of the Ilocos Norte governor, Hugpong ng Pagbabago boss Inday Sara Duterte said that since most candidates lie anyway — “everyone in this world is a liar” — honesty should not be made an issue in the May elections. [Read More]

PERSONAL NOTES: While flying to New York on Philippine Airlines last Wednesday I had no inkling that Enrique “Pocholo” Romualdez, my long-time mentor-editor, was on his deathbed at the Medical Center Manila. He was 92 when he “wrote 30” the next day. [Read More]

AS PRESIDENT Duterte and his foreign secretary do not seem to agree where to source military equipment for the armed forces, they might as well ask the end-user himself, the Filipino soldier, which firearms, aircraft, naval vessels, etc., he prefers. [Read More]

CONFUSE the enemy. Keep the neighborhood bully guessing how the Yankee big brother would react to assaults on Philippine security and territorial integrity. [Read More]

February 2019

THE ISSUE over hordes of Chinese grabbing jobs that should go to qualified Filipinos looks so simple that it amazes many of us why President Duterte, a lawyer, cannot seem to grasp its being illegal and immoral. [Read More]

SOME friends have been saying that they sense a stirring, a kind of reawakening, in many significant places, among citizens not normally reached by the usual surveys who now speak critically of the administration. [Read More]

THE SUPREMO of the National Youth Commission, which banners itself as the “Voice and Advocate of the Youth,” seems to be taking his pro-Duterte administration views a bit too far. [Read More]

DAVAO City Mayor Inday Sara to succeed her father Rodrigo Duterte as president? Considering the electorate that we have, that’s possible!

With many stressed Filipinos having grown weary, and with our political immune system critically low at this time, many of us may just resign to a strong-willed woman like Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio taking over. [Read More]

HOW about requiring television, radio, print and other mass media to broadcast or publish election campaign advertisements only if the ad format includes a statement of the candidate that he/she approves of the ad and consents to its publication? [Read More]

BETTER take the word of this battered do-it-yourself taxpayer seriously: Prepare early for filing your Income Tax Returns this year even if you think the April 15 deadline is still far off. [Read More]

HAS the administration found in “Ports King” Enrique K. Razon Jr. the white knight who could take over the troubled Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay and forestall the layoff of thousands of Filipino workers, while preventing the facility’s falling into the hands of Chinese operators? [Read More]

WITH the tax code having been amended to streamline the system and bring in more revenue, we regular do-it-yourself taxpayers better start earlier than usual our preparation for the filing of income tax returns before the April 15 deadline. [Read More]

ICONIC Manila Bay is being smothered and pushed away to its final sunset, another victim not only of pollution, but also of inordinate commercial reclamation masked as progress. [Read More]

MALACAÑANG betrayed its dread of displeasing China when, instead of protesting, it thanked Beijing for putting up an alleged Rescue Center on Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) reef, a Spratlys feature claimed by Manila. [Read More]

A COURT battle looms as two families of a tycoon who recently died fight over the ownership and control of his vast business empire reported to be worth hundreds of billions of pesos. [Read More]

January 2019

VIOLENCE has been taking too many innocent lives. The explosions in places of worship in Jolo and Zamboanga this week are the latest manifestations of the culture of violence that misguided policies have been cultivating ironically in the name of peace and order. [Read More]

COMES now a science professor emeritus of the University of Illinois questioning the sales talk of an American environmentalist who came over last week to urge the government to use nuclear energy to generate cheaper electricity. [Read More]

WHETHER it be a Chinese telecommunications big player muscling its way in or a giant shipbuilder moving to take over a shipyard in strategic Subic Bay, one element that keeps getting in the way of clinching the deal is lack of trust in China. [Read More]

BREAKING: The House of Representatives approved late yesterday (Jan. 23) the measure that seeks to lower the age of criminal liability for children, but compromised for 12 years instead of the originally proposed nine. [Read More]

A VISITING American environmentalist is making the rounds, stirring in his wake renewed discussion on the benefits-vs-risks of using nuclear energy to generate cheaper electricity. [Read More]

“So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit— It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

That rallying call floated back from the trying days of Marcosian martial rule when Senator Bam Aquino spoke Friday with Capampangan media in their “Bale Balita” (House of News) in this bustling freeport and development dynamo in Pampanga. [Read More]

WE HATE to say it, but asince many Filipinos seem to believe foreign prophets more than their own, we share below a Bloomberg report titled “The Philippines could be Asia’s surprise turnaround story this year.” [Read More]

THE POSSIBLE takeover by Chinese investors of the troubled Hanjin shipbuilding/shipyard facility in Subic Bay is fraught with security implications that the administration must weigh together with political and economic considerations. [Read More]

IT IS pretty obvious that President Duterte is handicapped by his inability to communicate effectively to the public, a problem that impacts negatively on many aspects of his administration. [Read More]

WILL somebody please whisper to the Mayor that “Joke Time” is over, and that what the nation needs badly now is a President, not a standup comedian. [Read More]

DISMAYED by the failure of his favored senatorial candidates to make it into the Magic 12 in surveys, President Duterte has thrown caution to the wind and openly endorsed them in what looks like premature campaigning. [Read More]

THERE are two drafts of the federal charter being proposed to replace the 1987 Constitution — one written by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and another one, a Resolution of Both Houses of Congress No. 15 (RBH-15) being pushed by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. [Read More]

THE DRAFT federal-parliamentary constitution that President Duterte endorses for adoption would give a hint of what he plans to do when his term ends in 2022 – whether he would step down as he should or hold on despite his promise not to “stay one minute longer.” [Read More]

THERE is no way that a Rodrigo Duterte can bring the Catholic church in the Philippines to its knees — as he seems to want to do unless it “corrects itself” — by escalating his tirades against the faith of some 80 million Filipinos. [Read More]

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