Southcom cut into two parts: ostensibly to react better to threats, but what if also to curtail any mischief on the part of a powerful military command?
Newsbreak feature on the Lebanese among us.
In Malaysia, Mahathir has ended up like our own Fidel Ramos.
In Singapore, is the Prime Minister out of touch?
(Free Press editorial cartoon by the late E.Z. Izon, circa 1997) Of course media is also focused on the ongoing question pending before the Comelec: what to do with the so-called “people’s initiative”? Fidel Ramos says it’s all perfectly legal. Those who agree and disagree explain their respective positions. One way or another, it will reach the Supreme Court. Government faced with El Shaddai saying “no”. Inquirer editorial says government move is scary; Fr. Joaquin Bernas says the move is scary, but he trusts the Supreme Court cares about the verdict of history; Billy Esposo says constitutional amendments is the oligarchy’s Trojan horse. Edong Manabat cheekily argues for a monarchy.
Rep. Teddy Locsin, in his explanation of his vote on impeachment, says Congress must remain bicameral until 2007 at least, because the impeachment process has moved out of the halls of Congress and into the country at large. But the House doesn’t want to take the risk.
In the punditocracy, my column for today is Pluck yourselves. Thank you to readers who caught the deliberate resemblance to the style of the late Joe Guevera. Other lines that couldn’t fit in my column:
Rep. Marcoleta says he has no human hair to donate for cleanup. Environmentalists reply that his toupee will do as a mop or even as an artificial reef.
Rep. Cuenco offers his hair, but DENR says they’re afraid it would create another oil slick.
Raul Lambino asked what his inspiration is. Points to Sigaw website that says, “this nation will be great again.” Imee Marcos accuses Lambino of plagiarizing her father’s famous “this nation can be great again.” Lambino replies, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
JB Baylon discusses why flying to Germany to disprove the existence of accounts is a lot of crap (Philippine Politics 04 points to report that President’s husband presented the wrong account number, anyway) -and why the issue of accounts is not crap at all.
Amando Doronila argues something I’ve pointed out often enough here and in private: the President’s check-mated opposition to her by keeping events bottled up in Metro Manila. But, I do think Doronila overlooks a couple of things, too.
First, the resentment of the rest of the country against the capital disguises the relative freedom residents of Metro Manila enjoy. I recall an activist for indigenous people’s rights saying something at a symposium some months ago: “you people in Metro Manila are lucky you can still complain; in the provinces we can’t do that; if we tried to protest in our areas the governors and mayors would never let it happen.”
For example, protests have taken place in other metropolitan areas: in Cebu, in Davao, in Baguio, the same places where remarkable protests took place, too, both in 1986 and 2001, except they were overshadowed by events in Manila. In those places, urban development means there’s also more democratic space.
And Doronila also overlooks something that the President, in league with the military, has been able to do: precisely prevent non-Manilans from joining protests in the metropolis. Last July and up to last February, people tried to join from as far as the Visayas and Mindanao. Ferries were blocked, caravans stopped, all entry points to Metro Manila cordoned off.
But I do agree with Doronila’s observation that opponents of the President are handicapped by their inability to more effectively engage the provinces. If the overall Philippine economy has a lifesaver in overseas remittances, so do the provinces, and the ability of people to leave for abroad serves as a great mechanism for relieving social pressure. Also, even to engage the provinces for a national cause requires resources only the President can harness, as proven by the so-called “people’s initiative.” When I proposed a similar (but province-centric) solution, it wasn’t taken up because no one had the money for it.
But the things that do provide hope for the country are taking place in the provinces. Read Jonathan Rowe in the San Francisco Chronicle to see just one example. Not that everything is peachy keen: evictions from Naga City Hall; demands for residence certificates in Baler -including teenagers.
Liling Briones on schools that avoid the temptation to view their activities as purely a business enterprise.
Administrator on a critic of micro finance efforts in Mindanao.
Bong Austero on a trend few have noticed: while Filipinos take pride in taking care of the elderly, more and more of the elderly are suffering neglect.
Butch Dalisay delves into the history of the University of the Philippines.