My column for today is Generation gap, and here are some links that are related. There’s a nice overview of our population history and current demographics in Wikipedia, and an overview of our latest census and where our population is headed in the government census website, and a commentary by Romulo Virola on how our population is actually aging.
In the news today, the military establishment is happy over the Commission on Human Rights declaring it is unable to link Gen. Palparan directly to political killings. The Left of course immediately denounced the findings, a knee-jerk reaction that doesn’t help clarify the issues. The CHR said they cannot pin any murders directly on Palparan; as one observer told me recently, that does not settle the question of Palparan’s command responsibility. Now since no one has ever actually accused Palparan of personally putting a gun to the head of rebels or their suspected sympathizers, obviously then, the CHR is stating what everyone’s assumed all along. And again, this does not settle the question of command responsibility. In a sort-of-related note, a show trial begins in the Hague.
The Executive Secretary says opposition to political dynasties is merely opinion, in the absence of a law. Chief Justice wants judicial rules tightened in the wake of accusations that electoral protests are decided by means of bribes. Hows this for an irony: congressmen want lifestyle checks for judges. In a related story, pork barrel spending to the tune of 200,000 peso per PC alleged.
A sobering finding: 2 out of 3 high school graduates unfit for college. On a related note, how some college students voted in mock elections.
Local political races heat up, with the biggest news being the failure of efforts to prevent a challenge by Benjie Lim to Speaker Jose de Venecia (although ex PNP chief Lomibao has been prevailed upon not to make things worse). Melandrew Velasco, who I gather is a booster for Lim, emailed me a kind of press release that makes for interesting reading:
Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim formally informed FVR and JDV last March 19 at the RPDEV Makati office witnessed by Lakas gubernaturial hopeful Vice Gov. Oscar Lambino…negotiations between the two camps failed when a full slate was unveiled by JDV last Sunday through his friend and die-hard supporter MacArthur Samson who presented former Mayor and Immigration Commissioner Al Fernandez, businesswoman Belen Fernandez and eight other councilors. It was meant to be a show of force against Benjie Lim who was being convinced to stay put as city mayor having one more term left.
…Thanks for the three-hour dinner with PGMA two nights ago in the Palace which virtually appeased the sulking Art [Lomibao] who will soon get a plum post as Cabinet Secretary either at DPWH or DOTC (should Secretary Larry Mendoza agree to go to DILG). Should that happen, at least three former Chiefs of the national police would occupy three major departments showing more or less GMA’s dependence on the police and military in her six-year old administration.
Back to JDV, his forthcoming fight in the twilight of his political career promises to be a battle royale… [Lim] has the strategic edge down to the grassroots levels in Dagupan City, and in the towns of Manaoag, San Jacinto, Mangaldan and San Fabian. In contrast, JDV has no loyal leaders and followers except to depend on the barangay officials. .. Speaking of Pangasinan, former Executive Secretary Oscar M. Orbos, an ally of Mayor Lim, is set to stage a comeback as governor.
Iloilo City Boy has the latest on provincial politics and the opposition’s problems there.
In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial points out the difference between a person’s right to sue in defense of their reputation, and political harassment. The Business Mirror editorial has this to say about the President’s reputation as an economic reformer:
Of course, it was the President herself who turned her back on the fiscal rationalization bill that should have reformed the grant of fiscal incentives in the Philippines. Each year, the country loses P300 billion in forgone revenues, but Malacañang has simply lost its resolve to plug the huge hole that’s draining government coffers.
The list of policy flip-flops is endless and we fear that we might yet wake up one day realizing that the policy reforms achieved after the 1986 Edsa Revolution are gone. The irony is that we are losing these gains under a president who claims to idolize Margaret Thatcher.
John Mangun on the other hand, gives three cheers for the country. In his column, Alex Magno gives the usual talking points and provides a useful guide as to what various outcomes for the senate race might mean. Billy Esposo explains why the military’s counterinsurgency strategy is counterproductive. G. Eugene Martin, who recently testified before a US Senate committee, suggests what might lead to continued American interest in political killings -or not.
Overseas, an interesting commentary on the brewing constitutional crisis in the USA (President Bush has decided to resist congressional subpoenas Arroyo-style).
In the blogosphere, there’s a must-read, by way of personal testimony in Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas, who recounts his experiences with radical causes, their attitudes towards legal and underground political action, and his own views on why political killings are wrong and must be condemned. ExpectoRants offers up some thoughts on the Left vs. Right dynamic;
Oh, and let’s revisit something written by President Macapagal.
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