MANILA - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's filing of her certificate of candidacy to seek the position of representative for the second district of Pampanga generated so much controversy. It overshadowed a similarly controversial attempt by former president Joseph Estrada's to take a second crack at the presidency. For sure, Arroyo's congressional bid would be the talk of the town up to the May 2010 elections or even beyond, if she wins.
The massacre of Maguindanao that happened on Nov. 23 is traditional politics at its madness. It bared an umbilical cord that binds two powerful dynasties - the Arroyos of Malacanang and the Ampatuans, warlords of Maguindanao and the ARMM. Their ties have been nurtured by political patronage that, at its worst form, breeds a politics of violence.
MANILA - The big oil players have put their conflict with Malacañang over Executive Order No. 839 to a higher plane through legal maneuver and economic sabotage. The legal move came in the form of a Pilipinas Shell petition before a Makati trial court asking for a temporary restraining order on the controversial directive. Meanwhile, the economic sabotage came in the form of deliberate restriction on supply that resulted in some pump stations temporarily closing down or reducing service hours.
Ang "ako mismo" ay isang ad campaign na sinasaad na sa sarili magsisimula ang pagbabago. Dili walang iba kundi ako ang susi sa transformasyong panlipunan. Hindi aksidente na ang kampanya ay nakatuon sa pagpasok ng bansa sa eleksyon ng 2010. Tila susing kawing sa iba pang kampanya ukol sa first-time voter registration, pati na ang "boto mo, ipatrol mo."
MANILA - When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 839 on October 23 ordering oil companies to roll back pump prices in areas affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng to October 15 levels, the Big Three - Petron, Caltex, and Shell - warned of supply shortages and negative effects in planned investments. They did comply, albeit grudgingly, by lowering prices in Luzon but increasing pump prices in Visayas and Mindanao.
MANILA - It what appears to be a challenge to the assertions of conservative groups and the government that the Church should not be involved in politics and the "affairs of the state," priests from all over the country - in a historic first - gathered to discern and discuss their role amid these turbulent times.
The construction of dams has always been opposed because of their destructive effects on whole communities. Several anti-dam leaders have been killed as a result. The recent devastation by the dams of Luzon proved that they were right all along.
In my years of teaching Asian civilization, I got particularly interested in China's ancient kingdoms, particularly those actively involved in the region's trade. It helped me appreciate how the Chinese jars, beads, and plates were able to reach the Cordilleras. These Chinese artifacts, now in the possession of Igorot elders, are favorites among the tribesmen, who call these "tawid" (heritage). These items are passed on from one generation to another either during community marriages or when the ascendant owner bequeaths it to his or her descendants when death is near.
A disaster-prone country like the Philippines should by now be a nation of experts on calamities and how to deal with them. But, as Ondoy has shown, Filipinos are almost always caught unawares. And often, the high cost of these calamities are caused not so much by lack of knowledge or resources as by poor governance.
The murder earlier this month of a Catholic priest, Father Cecilio Lucero, has enraged leaders of the Catholic Church. "I cannot stomach what Malacañang is doing," said recently retired Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. "It seems they do not fear God."