My apologies for being intermittent in updating this blog of late. Have had a lot on my plate and been unwell. Expect a rather quirky blog for the next couple of weeks.
Good news of clemency achieved for Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. One thing that deserves further attention, is the religious persecution of Filipino Christians who work there. Little Green Footballs points to a report on religious freedom in that country.
I’m not so sure if the concessions from the Saudi King on oil mean anything; still, let’s hope it works since Fisheries output down by 12% due to high oil prices. Columnist Julius Fortuna takes a look at the politics of oil (he also has an interesting footnote on a new book by Recto Mercene on Filipinos in California: including a proposal by a Spanish official to settle California with Filipinos!).
The Arab News has reports from the field: 200 More Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia Get Royal Pardon and “Aramco a Dependable Partner”.
A complicated story: Sylvia Mayuga delved into the proposed construction of housing at the La Mesa Dam area; a Manila Times story today says DENR disowns La Mesa: Says watershed not protected area; Marines guard MWSS housing enclave.
Also, Defying odds, exports grow 25.8% although John Mangun asks, Philippine outsourcing in trouble? Anyway, Govt puts up more retail stores for the poor.
Stupidest official opinion of the week: the Executive Secretary’s support for efforts to ban yet another film, as if the failed efforts to ban “Schindler’s List” and “Belle Epoque” shouldn’t have taught censors their lessons.
My column for today is A unicameralist on bicameralism.
In his column today, Tony Abaya’s views struck a familiar chord, because his views in a sense, echo mine and reflect debates I often have with people. Simply put, Abaya believes the Middle Class remains unengaged, because of three factors, all having to do with the current opposition to the President: it’s composed of traditional politicians, it’s too obviously eager to flirt with the idea of coups, and it’s too accommodating and cozy of the Communists (or National Democrats). I’d only quibble with Abaya in suggesting the Middle Class is not unengaged -it is firmly engaged, but it’s engagement consists of taking itself out of consideration as a force to reckon with. After all, you can do three things in a battle: surrender without a shot (or run away); fight defensively; fight offensively. All three involve a conscious decision and a determination of what you should do. I’d further add: what if the Middle Class and broader segments of the population actually think more alike than is usually assumed?
The Inquirer editorial focuses on executive interference in the civil service; Ma. Ceres Doyo in her column tells the story of a government official being put through the wringer (she is the wife of one of the convenors of the Black & White Movement).
Juan Mercado examines how the King of Thailand has earned his prestige.
An enjoyable read is Manuel Buencamino’s latest opinion piece: Lie back and enjoy it.
In Slate: The origins of booing.
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