Trillanes, a vice presidential candidate, has filed a plunder complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman over alleged “ghost employees” in Davao City. He cited a 2015 Commission on Audit report, citing the Davao city government had 11,000 non-existent employees under Duterte’s term as mayor, receiving P708 million a year. Lavina said that in 2015, the Department of Interior and Local Government, led by now presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, awarded Davao City with a Seal of Good Governance. Trillanes had earlier accused Duterte of having at least P211 million in his account at the Bank of the Philippines Islands on Julia Vargas Branch. The senator said the tough-talking mayor did not declare the said amount in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). Robredo is currently leading the vice presidential preference surveys, rising from 1 percent since the start of the campaign to 30 percent.
The Camarines Sur lawmaker overtook former survey frontrunners Marcos and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who are now in second and third place with 28 percent and 18 percent, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey. United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) President Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said their standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay will win “ground game” come election day on May 9. Tiangco said the elections remain a tight game despite the declining survey ratings of Binay, who failed to regain his lead in the voters’ opinion polls. He said Binay’s broad coalition of partners and supporters would come out and vote on the election day to propel their presidential candidate to Malacanang. He said the ground campaigning intensified after April 29 or the last day of the surveys, which may be the reason why the latest Pulse Asia survey did not capture the support for Binay, who only placed fourth in the opinion poll conducted from April 26 to 29. According to the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted from April 26 to 29, Binay only placed fourth with 18 percent, down one percent from the previous survey conducted from April 19 to 24. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte meanwhile retained his lead at 33 percent among 4,000 respondents, followed by administration candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and erstwhile frontrunner Sen.
Binay used to lead in the surveys, until the corruption allegations caught up with him when the Office of the Ombudsman indicted him for malversation, graft and falsification of public documents over the alleged rigging of the Makati car park building when he was still city mayor.
Quicho said Binay’s victory will be similar to his vice presidential win in 2010, when he gained momentum in the surveys to surpass his political nemesis Roxas just before the election day. Meanwhile, in the final Standard poll conducted from April 27 to May 1, Binay also shed some points at 15 percent, down from 18 percent in the March 26 to April 1 survey and from 23 percent in the February 24 to March 1 poll. Duterte remained the frontrunner in the said survey at 32 percent, followed by Poe with 25 percent and Roxas with 22 percent.
The Philippines has endured a tumultuous democracy since millions of people took to the streets to overthrow dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, with a succession of leaders having to quell military unrest and one president ousted in another uprising. Duterte is enjoying a double-digit lead over his rivals ahead of Monday’s presidential election, but he has created enemies with vows to embrace communist rebels and threats to abolish Congress or create a revolutionary government that could rewrite the constitution. Communists in the Philippines are waging one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies, with tens of thousands of killed since the rebellion began in 1969. Duterte has ruled the major southern city of Davao, which was one of the communist hotspots, as mayor for most of the past two decades, ending violence there by forging close ties with the rebels. He has also raised deep fears about the rule of law under his presidency, promising to kill tens of thousands of criminals and pardon himself for mass murder.
President Benigno Aquino, who is limited by the constitution to a single term of six years, has spoken out repeatedly in recent weeks about his concerns that Duterte could turn into a dictator. The ex-coup plotter’s warnings are not bluster, according to Manila-based security analyst Rommel Banlaoi.
Trillanes and Faeldon were among the leaders of the Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003 and of the Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007. Marcos admitted that he went to Trillanes’ detention to hold hearings there and when he was still running for the Senate to seek an alliance with the latter’s Magdalo group. Walking off stage after a rock star-like performance and rapturous crowd reaction, Sajid Ampatuan oozes confidence that he will be elected mayor of a southern Philippine town despite facing charges of mass murder. Among the others are two ex-presidents–one convicted of plunder and the other on trial for alleged vote fraud and graft. His father, former provincial governor Andal Ampatuan, allegedly ordered his sons and their armed followers, to kill 58 people in November 2009 in an attempt to stop a rival’s election challenge.
Sajid spent more than five years in a Manila jail while on trial, along with his relatives and about 100 others who were also charged.
But he was allowed to post bail last year after the judge ruled the evidence against him was weak. Ampatuan is now running for mayor of Shariff Aguak, one of the towns in Maguindanao province where his family remains the most powerful political force. The Ampatuan family is one of many Muslim clans that rule areas of the southern Philippines, often using their own private armies to enforce authority.
Ampatuan insists his family is still loved in the area, despite its leaders being charged with mass murder. One common theme among the candidates running this year while facing charges is that they come from rich and powerful political families, which can manipulate deeply corrupt political and judicial systems. One of the most prominent politicians is Gloria Arroyo, who is enduring a long trial for corruption and vote fraud that was allegedly committed when she was president from 2001 to 2010.
Arroyo, who is suffering from a spinal illness, has been detained in a government hospital since she was arrested in 2011.
She initially won a seat in congress representing her family’s provincial stronghold immediately upon standing down as president, and was re-elected in 2013 despite the charges against her. Meanwhile, siblings Joel and Mario Reyes are running for mayor and vice-mayor respectively of the resort town of Coron even though they are in jail for allegedly masterminding the murder of a prominent environmentalist in 2011. Another controversial figure is Rey Uy, facing charges for running a vigilante death squad that allegedly killed over 80 people as mayor of the small southern city of Tagum. He said politicians facing criminal charges use high-priced lawyers to delay legal proceedings. One example was Romeo Jalosjos, a political kingpin from the southern Philippines, who was convicted in 1997 of raping an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to life in jail. He was a congressman when convicted and still ran successfully for re-election from behind bars in 1998 and 2001.
An even more prominent criminal still enjoying a successful political career is ex-president Joseph Estrada, who was convicted in 2007 of plunder during his time in power and sentenced to life in jail. Officers respond to reports of a deadly shooting at the Knight Transportation office in Katy, Texas, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. KATY, Texas — A man dismissed last month from a Houston-area transportation company stormed into the facility and opened fire on Wednesday, fatally shooting a former co-worker and injuring two others before turning the gun on himself, saying his life had been ruined, sheriff’s officials said. The man was armed with a shotgun and a pistol when he arrived at the Knight Transportation office in Katy, about 20 miles west of Houston, according to Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman.
Hickman had no information on how long the man had been employed by Knight Transportation, which provides truckload transportation services.
The Phoenix-based company released a statement Wednesday saying work at the facility was being suspended until the investigation was complete.
The sheriff said during a news conference shortly after the shooting that the gunman had been fired that morning, but Gonzales said investigators later determined the dismissal happened two weeks ago. Numerous patrol vehicles surrounded the facility as deputies responded to reports of gunfire. The court said the prosecution’s opposition should be set aside following the Supreme Court ruling allowing another detained official, former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to vote in her hometown in Lubao. However, the court said Estrada is only allowed to cast his vote in the national elections, and not local, which means he cannot vote for the vice mayoralty candidacy of his daughter.
The court said it is only allowing Estrada to vote for the national electoral posts because of a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court on detainee voting at the local level. The court said it allowed Estrada to vote outside his detention cell because of the absence of a polling precinct at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center, where he is detained.
The court also prohibited the accused from going to any other place and from using any communication devices.
In opposing the motion, prosecution said Estrada’s request for detainee voting has no legal basis because of the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution on detainee voting. Estrada also failed to prove that there is no special polling center at the PNP Custodial Center, where he is detained. In his urgent motion  before the anti-graft court Fifth Division, Estrada asked for its approval to allow him to vote from 11 a.m. Estrada asked the court’s leave adding that he has a right to suffrage allowed for by the Supreme Court for detainees.
He said he wanted to vote outside his detention cell because detainee voting at the custodial center is only for national electoral positions.
The prosecution said the court had denied Estrada’s furlough to celebrate Christmas and New Year with his family in 2014, to attend his birthday Mass in Feb. Due to humanitarian considerations, the court also allowed Estrada to undergo MRI and X-ray at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center or the University of Santo Tomas Hospital to have his frozen shoulders checked. Estrada is detained for plunder and graft for allegedly receiving P183 million kickbacks from accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
An ongoing project of the Dagupan City Water District (DCWD) in Barangay Caranglaan in Pangasinan province. In at least three barangays in Dagupan City, continuous road constructions are supposed to improve the city’s streets and ease up travel around the city. Since construction in Barangays Tapuac, Caranglaan and Pantal has started, for instance, not only did commuting through the city take an hour or two longer, but bus drivers go on fewer trips–and thus earn less profit.
Inquirer volunteers reached out to the Dagupan city planning office but got no comment as of press time. While Dagupenos wait for construction to finish, they are left to wonder: Is there really a benefit to these projects? In Barangay Tapuac, the road-widening and drainage-clearing projects of the local government have been ongoing for some time.
Among Dagupenos who are affected are tricycle driver Alex Norzagarray (left) and Victoria Salinas, owner of Evick Salinas Eatery. BAGUIO CITY — Abra province has been placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the May 9 voting, following complaints of harassment and vote-buying received by the poll body.
The Comelec resolution on Abra’s security status has been issued but has not been relayed to the regional office, lawyer Mae Richelle Belmes-Beronilla, Abra election supervisor, said on Wednesday. Abra, notorious for political violence during elections, was not classified as an election watchlist area (EWA) for the 2016 polls by the police following peaceful and orderly elections in 2013. A fact sheet given by the Cordillera police showed that the number of shooting cases in Abra had dropped to 28 in the months before the May 9 elections, compared to  51 cases in 2013.
On April 6, Crispin Magwellang, who was seeking a council seat in Baay Licuan town, was shot dead at a wedding in Malibcong town.
You would need to show the entire transaction history (or the promised bank secrecy waiver) to prove this.
He showed the balance on his passbook, P128,829.64 as of May 3, 2016, allegedly after supporters made deposits. Finally, he showed a fourth BPI bank certificate showing his dollar account balance was $5,021.70 on March 31, 2014. Remember “The Big Short,” the movie where Christian Bale and Brad Pitt explain the financial crisis? Showing a bank certificate for that one second is as informative as showing a strategically cropped photo of an election rally to claim there was a huge crowd. For bank records, showing the whole, uncropped photo means showing the whole transaction history. Thanks to social media, the May 9 elections may turn out to be one of most polarizing in the country’s recent history, with followers of rival candidates virtually getting into the bruising fray and sliding into mob rule. Emboldened by the relative anonymity of the Net and the various guises they can assume, so-called trolls have taken to cyberbashing, verbally abusing and even threatening with grave bodily harm those with contrary political views. Some months back, for daring to ask “rude and disrespectful” questions of presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a student forum, UP student Stephen Villena was mercilessly flogged on social media, the abusive posts spiked with threats to Villena and his family.
Another student, John Paulo delas Nieves, was similarly pelted with threats on social media for filing a petition of disqualification against the same candidate, with his girlfriend included as a rape target.
The rape threat is particularly odious, being the favorite menace directed at women and even the toddler of television star Melai Cantiveros. How have we descended into such barbaric behavior, when threats of death, rape and all manner of physical harm are freely traded on the Net and inflicted on those who do not share our politics? As Delas Nieves noted: “The issuance of threats from Duterte’s supporters may not have the mayor’s go signal, but what he did was to inspire them. How do we then step away from the brink of self-destruction that all that back-and-forth on social media breeds?
Environmentalist Renee Juliene Karunungan filed this week charges of cyberbullying against 20 Duterte supporters who had called her names and threatened her with death, rape and other abuses. Netizens who had probably keep their counsel to keep the peace might have asked: Couldn’t she have just ignored the candidate’s provocative remarks instead of taking them personally? Free speech, whether online or offline, is enshrined in our Constitution, and is particularly valuable when an informed choice is needed—such as in the coming elections.
The emergence of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the late dictator’s only son and namesake, as a front-runner in the vice presidential race has caught many by surprise. Recognition of the victims’ bravery in the struggle against dictatorial rule through the soon-to-be-built Freedom Memorial (museum, library and archives) and the forthcoming compensation for survivors and the families of those who perished, both mandated by Republic Act No. Alas, during these past three decades after the Marcos dictatorship came crashing down, many of those who made this happen, the militant sector in particular, became preoccupied with demonizing the succeeding governments. I am referring to the militant, ideological Left that continues to espouse a protracted class war and a bloody insurgency in the countryside while having one foot in the electoral process.
The militants who had broken away from their hard-core comrades sought alternative ways to serve, but in the din of clashing political views and strategies, were often outshouted by their former comrades. The Marcoses slowly and stealthily found inroads and, in no time, were back in the country, claiming back their lost territories that would again be their stepping stones to power. In fairness, there were groups and individuals that kept the candle of memory trimmed and lit for heroism and sacrifice to be kept alive, among them, the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, the human rights groups, the writers who wrote books, the walking, living survivors who shared their experiences with the young. And if I may tap ourselves on the back, the journalists and other media workers (documentarists, filmmakers, theater denizens) who did their part to impart.
But there had been little institutional or governmental assist to perpetuate the memory through education, not only of the heroes and martyrs, but also of a dark chapter that should never happen again. I dug up my files (digital and hard copy) of almost 30 years and, yes, sometime in 1987, the year after the Marcoses fled and Cory Aquino became president, there were efforts in the academe to incorporate human rights awareness in the curriculum. I am trying to put together a list of books (now in the hundreds) on the dreadful martial law years. The alternative title for this piece is “A vocabulary for cultural politics.” Certain italicized words provide a description of social phenomena that we experience but have no word to call them.


A few days after Rodrigo Duterte called Mar Roxas bayot,  I witnessed a row between two bus passengers.
When people hear the word “culture,” they often imagine highbrow art, ballet and Shakespeare. However, real transformation can only happen in the level of culture, not in electoral politics. Instead of compartmentalizing the political and the cultural, we better acknowledge how they influence each other. Cyril Belvis is a doctoral candidate of the Philippine Studies program at the University of the Philippines Diliman. That education is indispensable for personal advancement and national progress is widely acknowledged. Knowledge capital—also referred to as “suprastructure”—derives from science and technology and the arts and underpins a country’s capacity for innovation and creation. This, in essence, describes the theme of the University of the Philippines’ “Knowledge Festival—Utak at Puso,” held last April 17-19. A dynamic education ecosystem entails solid quality education—basic, tertiary and postgraduate—which means sharply increased investment spending from both public and private sectors in all levels of the system. A “UP think paper” that served as a background piece for the Knowledge Festival notes: “Our level of technology remains low in quality and scale, and concentrated in low-productivity sectors. For UP to play its role as the national university and spread the work and its benefits, the UP paper envisions a hubs-and-spokes model of development anchored on regional centers of excellence in specific fields. Millions of Filipinos from the toiling masses still suffer from poverty despite the 22-point labor and employment agenda that the Aquino administration promised to implement almost six years ago. The recent bloody assault on the protesting “Kidapawan farmers,” who were in urgent need of food aid and were facing imminent starvation and death, is prima facie evidence of government’s continued neglect of poor and marginalized peasants and workers, and of its nonchalant regard of their pleas and cries.
In the face of the miserable and precarious plight of Filipino workers, we, the convenors of the Church People-Workers Solidarity (CWS), speak with compassionate courage to call on the Aquino administration and the candidates for key political positions in the May 2016 elections to give a new impetus to employment and include in their legislative agenda the promotion of the dignity of work and the protection of workers’ rights. May the God of our history, who is full of mercy and compassion, accompany our Filipino workers in their struggle for a just and humane society. Anyone who does not condemn Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s beastly comment about the Australian missionary woman who was raped and murdered in a prison cell in Davao City in 1989 deserves no respect. In a YouTube clip, Duterte is shown relating the ordeal of the victim while she was visiting prisoners in that Davao prison cell as part of her humanitarian mission.
This bastard—excuse me for being brutally frank—has no right to occupy any position in government, let alone the office of the Philippine president. The other glaring aspect of our narrow growth is in how Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces account for a dominant share, and a growing one at that, of our country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Clearly, we must make a deliberate effort to decentralize and disperse economic activities more broadly and more equitably across the country’s regions. How well are the various regions contributing to our overall economic growth lately?  The good news is that all regions, save for one, have been positively contributing to the domestic economy’s growth, as reflected in the latest gross regional domestic product (GRDP) statistics, for 2014. One of the most visible trends we’ve seen in the past decade is the sprouting of big shopping malls all over the country. Last week I said, if the polls are to be believed, Rodrigo Duterte will be the next president of the Philippines.
His speech at a recent briefing before the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines was worrying. Open markets will remain, and entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be pursued in line with changes to the Constitution, one of which should remove the foreign investment restrictions, although land ownership will probably not be covered. Computerization of bureaucratic processes will be promoted through a Department of Information and Communications Technology, in government and the private sector.
Taxes will be reviewed and brought to levels competitive with those of other Asian countries.
The Public-Private Partnership will be pursued along the same path on which it was started. With a Mindanaoan as president, the first-ever, there’ll inevitably be a focus on Mindanao.
One thing sure: He won’t adapt this administration’s practice of violating or changing contracts to suit its mood of the day. On health, he has promised free services for all, as needed, and a greater shift to primary, outpatient health-care services to catch illnesses before they get worse and fully cover the huge costs of serious illnesses; he also vowed that government will promote a healthy lifestyle.
On a new international airport, I’d expect a decision this year on where this will be; no more pussyfooting on the matter.
THEY SAY that the past is in the past, that we need to move on and focus on what lies ahead. I’ve always been fascinated by the events that transpired during the 1986 “People Power Revolution.” I’m sure it was one of those moments in which everyone felt proud to be a Filipino.
When I was younger, all I knew was that a bunch of people went to the streets to call for the ouster of a certain Ferdinand Marcos from the presidency, and that a woman named Corazon Aquino served as their leader and inspiration.
My father also urged me to watch the documentary as he thought it would be good for me to be informed, and so I did. But what intrigued me most was the time Ninoy spent in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija. But maybe it is true: The martial law era is the “golden age” of salvaging, the “golden age” of the repression of our freedom to speak, the “golden age” of one family that lived in opulence while the rest of the nation battled poverty each day. Young people have been so dependent on social media; they do not know that not everything they read is entirely true. Bongbong Marcos always says that he is not his father, that he and his family have nothing to apologize for. And as voters flock to the polling stations on May 9, one almost-forgotten lesson needs to be revived. SINGAPORE, Singapore—Oil prices climbed in Asia Thursday with Brent breaching $45 a barrel as raging wildfires threatened to cut Canadian output and a decline in US crude production also boosted the commodity. Authorities say wildfires are burning out of control in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada, which mines and ships heavy crude south to the US market, and oil companies have reduced operations to facilitate the evacuation of non-essential employees.
News of the Canada fires came as official data showed that US oil output sank last week by more than 100,000 barrels a day to 8.83 million barrels per day, its lowest level since September 2014.
While US commercial crude oil inventories rose in the same week, investors focused more on hopes the production decline would help ease the global supply glut.
BMI Research said it expects US shale oil production to continue to decline over the long term and this should help ease the market oversaturation. Strong production from the US and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are key contributors to the oversaturation that has led prices to plunge over 60 percent from peaks of more than $100 in mid-2014. Globe Business recently gathered select customers and golf aficionados at the lush fairways of Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club for the 2016 edition of GTour.  Now on its 15th year, the annual tournament is one of several sporting activities which Globe Business holds exclusively for its clients to show appreciation for their support through the years. This year, participants enjoyed a four-man scramble with sliding tee-box format, designed to foster teamwork between the players and establish a balance of power among various competing teams’ playing abilities.
Globe Senior Advisor for Enterprise and IT-Enabled services group Mike Frausing extended his appreciation to all the golfers for making the tournament an astounding success. We know that there is no easy path to victory—but the ground game will spell the difference,” Tiangco said in a statement on Thursday.
Rico Quicho said the surveys do not reflect the support Binay has been getting on the ground and maintained that it will be a tight election day. The surveys do not capture the intense ground campaigning by the Vice President’s core supporters and parallel groups nationwide. The survey has 3,000 voting-age respondents and a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.8 percent. Dozens of people still die each year, with the communists retaining support among the poor. You give money to get something back…Ako (Me), I really don’t know of any instance where we brought money to Senator Trillanes,” he said. One of the most infamous cases in previous elections was a convicted pedophile who twice ran for a seat in congress from behind bars and won. Hence, even someone convicted of a crime can still run as long as he or she has an appeal pending with the courts. Two other workers were injured by shrapnel or other debris from the gunfire, and both were treated at the scene, Gonzales said.
A nearby high school went on lockdown for about an hour as a precaution, said Denisse Cantu, a spokeswoman with the Katy Independent School District. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to cast his vote outside his detention cell in San Juan in the coming May 9 polls, but with a caveat—he can’t vote for his daughter Janella, a vice mayoral candidate. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito with former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, is gunning for her third and last term as San Juan mayor against her former ally Vice Mayor Francis Zamora. However, residents, commuters and drivers believe otherwise, due to the length of time of construction and the misplaced signs explaining the projects’ purposes.
Business owners also claim that their stores and eateries do not attract as many customers because of dust in the area brought about by the projects.
The office also did not release as of press time the plans regarding its for drainage and road rehabilitation projects. Would it help the city become safer and more accessible to travelers, or would these lengthy periods of inconvenience continue to add to the daily problems of the city’s residents? Provinces are given this classification for intense political rivalries, rising cases of political violence, presence of threat groups and high number of licensed and unlicensed firearms. The police office supervising Abra will be directed to relinquish control to a task force that will be formed to secure the May 9 elections once Comelec assumes full control over the province, according to Beronilla. On April 16, a bomb was detonated by mobile phone, disrupting an activity organized by the Comelec in La Paz town. You might want to convince the US government that you have enough not to go TNT (tago ng tago or become an illegal immigrant).
Remember housing loan brokers putting a few thousand dollars into the account of a ninja—a client with no income, no job, no assets—show the balance for the loan application, then withdraw the money?
The venomous threat was apparently a comeback for Cantiveros’ TV ad endorsing another candidate. How can the prospect of rape and murder be so commonplace that netizens think nothing of hurling them as convenient vehicles to shut down public discourse?
After all, fish rots from the head; so if the leader thinks it fine to bash the Pope for traffic woes, or joke about the rape-slaying of a missionary, or deliver vituperative remarks about other countries for reacting to his extreme comments, what can people expect of his followers?
These constitute crimes under the Revised Penal Code, Cybercrime Law and the Omnibus Election Code.
Indeed, faced with the possibility of leading—and in fact, representing—the country’s 100 million Filipinos in the international community, such candidates should be more circumspect in their public pronouncements. But to give credit where credit is due, the leftist militants were the ones who had a sustained, protracted struggle against the Marcos dictatorship that, alas, was overtaken by the 1986 People Power uprising and military putsch (so-called Edsa I) that brought down the Marcos dictatorship. Those who took the mainstream path of service—via academe, business, civil society, media, politics, church—became preoccupied with their particular concerns. Why is the story about the Marcos dictatorship not in the history books being used in schools?
Year in and year out, during special dates, we at the Inquirer would come out with articles on the heroic struggles during those dark years to remind, remember, honor and be thankful for regained freedoms. Sure, there is the Presidential Commission on Good Government’s (PCGG) recovering some Marcos wealth. Not because of some psychogenic amnesia or selective forgetting of the pain, but simply because of neglect and complacency. Those who had witnessed and experienced human rights violations during the Marcos military dictatorship, those in the academe especially, wanted human rights to become a byword in early education. You can help by sending me the image of the cover, author, description of the book, date of publication and publisher. Instead of insisting that Duterte couldn’t argue through facts, Roxas could have earned more admiration had he retorted through cultural politics. Cultural change is not a top-down job; it starts with ordinary people thinking extraordinarily.
In our political discourse, culture is considered auxiliary to more “important” areas like economics, governance and social welfare.
For example, the sorry transport system wastes employees’ productive hours, results in tardiness and creates animosity among bus passengers. Rather than material gifts for our mothers, let’s include the femininity question in our checklist of picking leaders at the local and national levels.
Good education that’s widely shared results in higher productivity and entrepreneurial skills and, hence, lower levels of poverty and inequality. The concrete outcome is (or should be) the evolution of innovative and creative industries that require a dynamic and self-sustaining ecosystem comprising, at any one time, lower and higher levels of education and skills.
The idea was to celebrate what UP has accomplished thus far and further energize faculty and staff to reach loftier heights, as well as lead, as the national university, the other educational institutions nationwide in making greater strides. To be fair to President Aquino’s administration, it has actually accorded education high priority. While the other four Asean founding members spend an average of 5-6 percent of their GDP on education, we make do with 3 percent of a smaller GDP and a larger student population! To catch up and move ahead faster, we need to raise our scientific and technological skills, which only better and more focused education can achieve.
To the extent that these HEI (higher education institution) centers of excellence are located in leading regional growth centers, this model can well fit into the country’s regional development strategy to decongest the National Capital Region long plagued by diseconomies of agglomeration. Pernia, PhD, is professor emeritus of economics, University of the Philippines, and former lead economist, Asian Development Bank. The government continues to boast of the country’s economic prosperity, pointing to its consistent GDP growth in recent years. A large segment of the public does not have access to the limited goods and opportunities available. This insensitive attitude of the government has made the hunger and poverty situation in the country even worse. Until now, no substantial wage increase has been given our workers to at least lessen the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage. Unfortunately, our Filipino workers remain at the seams of our society, their voice oft getting drowned out amid the politics of greed. Duterte said the victim was a very beautiful woman who looked like an American actress, and he lamented that he (Duterte) was not the first one to have sex with the victim. The fastest-growing industries driving our overall economic growth have consistently been finance (banks and insurance), real estate, retail trade (shopping malls) and business process outsourcing.
In 2015, the National Capital Region, along with Central Luzon and Calabarzon, accounted for nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of our total GDP.


In the 1990s, the Ramos government consciously moved to provide larger shares of the infrastructure budget to Mindanao and the Visayas, along with designating and investing in regional agroindustrial centers in every region of the country. The lone and understandable exception is the Eastern Visayas region, having been hard-hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” which caused a 2.3-percent decline in the region’s output. This may be taken as a sign of growing purchasing power in the regions, propelled in large part by overseas remittances, to be sure, but also by rising domestic incomes.
As a resident of Los Banos, Laguna, I constantly remind myself to buy everything I need within the town whenever I can, rather than shop in Manila where I spend my working day. The most recent, desperate attempts in the past two weeks to discredit him are too late to make any impact. SWS reported he is the choice of 33 percent of likely voters, with only 24 percent going for Grace Poe, 19 percent for Mar Roxas and 14 percent for Jejomar Binay.
He said little of what business wanted to know; instead he raised fears of a dictatorial leadership. The changes—likely to include the shift to a federal and, maybe, parliamentary system—will be submitted for approval in a plebiscite probably to be held in the 2019 midterm elections.
Expect a 25-percent corporate income tax for a start, and the lowering or even removal of the low-salaried employees’ income tax.
The existing tax impositions will be reviewed, but I hope that whatever changes will be made won’t apply to those investing now or to those already operating—unless the new taxes turn out lower, which is a remote possibility.
I’d like to see the premium payment scrapped, and instead go for the bidder who offers the lowest toll or fee. That should bring agriculture (the island’s backbone) back into the national agenda as well.
A longer-term solution is needed, he said, and the focus must be on a far better public system. It showed our capability to unite and to conduct a revolution driven, not by tanks, guns and artillery, but by prayers, flowers and peace. But as I grew up, my curiosity increased tenfold and I found myself buried in the pages of my fifth-grade textbook, reading everything related to the martial law era. All I knew back then was that he was a champion of the people and a very prolific speaker who voiced out his thoughts and opinions without fear. She told me of how radio and TV were all taken over by the government, and of the mysterious cases of people disappearing without a trace.
I wasn’t watching a horror movie, but I covered my eyes with my hands and took a peek at the TV screen from time to time. I researched on the numerous cases of harassment that were committed during the Marcos regime, and on the activists who simply vanished and are still unheard from to this day. The Internet is full of trolls that can easily fool unsuspecting netizens, especially the youth. And with the surveys showing Bongbong Marcos ahead of his rivals, all I can do is shake my head.
It is crucial that our voters be duly reminded of this, so the horrors of our past will no longer haunt our future.
By falling back on the law, Karunungan showed that lawlessness cannot be allowed to thrive even, and especially not, on social media. Never mind that mere words (as when Duterte rudely ordered the United States and Australia to shut up when they commented on his crude rape joke) could unnecessarily damage or complicate our relations with other countries.
It shocks and worries those who suffered during Marcos Sr.’s 14-year dictatorial rule and those who continue to suffer the aftermath of those dark martial law years. They laid aside—conveniently or purposefully—the Marcos past while claiming their portion from the ruins and pushing forward their political plans. Which reminds me of the Bible parable about those who were supposed to keep vigil with their lamps but were caught sleeping when the bridegroom came, except that in our case, there was no bridegroom to be expected but a bunch of despoilers to be prevented from regaining foothold.
It is to be commended for belatedly showing to the public the enormity of what had been recovered (Imelda Marcos’ jewelry collection, among them). The quiet but ready-to-erupt temper among the put-upon passengers was broken by a heated word war between a woman and a middle-aged man.
We have lost sight of its operative discrimination because even women have been socialized to perceive social relations through the eyes of men. Patriarchal culture encourages sexist, homophobic slurs to hurt someone you believe to have elbowed you. It’s a choice between our grandmothers, mothers, daughters and other women we love, and the use of femininity as a weapon of insult. It’s practically gospel truth largely taken for granted as the discourse has moved on, especially in the more dynamic countries, to the pursuit of knowledge capital for still higher levels of development that’s inclusive and sustainable.
While the Philippines has made strides in this direction, much more needs to be done to be at par with our more progressive Asean neighbors. For instance, of education’s increased budget of P365 billion for 2015, P43.3 billion was given to state universities and colleges (SUCs)—an increase of nearly 14 percent over that for 2014. This readily explains why even our best universities lag behind their global and regional counterparts. This calls for massive government investment in high-level knowledge capital—the so-called “suprastructure” of long-term economic growth.
The object of our educational system shouldn’t just be producing hordes of college graduates who can’t find good jobs, but also graduates in fields and with skills that the economy actually needs.
Let’s hope that that doesn’t reflect any or all of the candidates’ lack of interest in this all-important subject for self-sustaining, inclusive development. Instead, Filipino workers are pushed deeper into the pit of misery—unemployment, slave labor, unjust wage, insecurity of jobs, unsafe working conditions, exploitation, harassment and commoditization. Let us strengthen our voice and stand up to the abuses and exploitation of workers, and put our trust in our collective power as a people to defend the rights gained by the struggles of the Filipino workers. Note how these economic activities, especially banking and real estate, are primary sources of wealth for the country’s top billionaires. Fifteen years ago, this share was smaller (although unduly dominant even then) at 55 percent.
It is not clear if such affirmative action for our southern regions has been sustained since then. Agriculture, while a traditional mainstay in that region, grew by a relatively sluggish 2.4 percent.
In other words, much more is happening in our economy than what we can see in Metro Manila. We could all do much more to strengthen our local economies and raise their contribution to overall growth.
This way I am helping strengthen the local economy, and avoid further concentrating income and wealth in the capital. Pulse Asia’s last survey also points to Duterte as the winner (33 percent), followed by Roxas (22 percent), Poe (21 percent) and Binay (17 percent). But from what I gathered in conversations with him and from his public statements, honest business need not worry; he isn’t going to interfere. The Aquino administration was consumed by its fascination with cash; longer term, wider benefit wasn’t in its equation.
Finally, the sector on which the poorest depend will get some attention after languishing in the doldrums for so long.
He wants to restrict smoking as he did in Davao, but smoking (through sin taxes) provided close to P40 billion of the 2015 health budget.
For Manila, principally, it should be trains, but putting such project in place will entail time beyond his term.
Certain characters were introduced to me: allies of the Marcos regime such as Prime Minister Cesar Virata and Armed Forces chief Fabian Ver, and those who broke their allegiance to the Marcoses, such as Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos. I admired these qualities so much, and I was struck and deeply moved why such a great man was killed. He was treated inhumanely: During visits his family members weren’t even able to touch him because there was a screen between them. I read about the opulent lifestyle that the Marcoses had back then, and it filled me with so much rage. As I was browsing Facebook one day, I found one post saying that the Philippines was at its “golden age” during the Marcos regime.
This is a huge cause for concern because the youth spend so much time in social media sites where wrong information can easily be ingrained in them. We are glad that they allowed us to engage them in this friendly tournament as we strive to foster an overall sense of community and teamwork between our organizations. Ever since the 1950s, they (the voters) have been helped by the Ampatuans,” he told AFP. Her move also underscores the importance of not passively accepting victimhood, nor surrendering to mob rule. This kind of behavior is unacceptable, and is a threat to our democracy and violates our basic rights,” she added. Just consider how an entire nation could be judged solely by the lack of civility of its leader. Loss of loved ones, properties, livelihood and the personal trauma of those who survived have not been erased by the decades that have passed. That, indeed, there exists the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.  The compensation (P10 billion) comes mainly from a Marcos stash in Swiss banks that the Swiss government returned. But there is so much more out there, among them, the hundreds of artworks that are in the millions of dollars each.
Think of the early women’s rights activists in America, those female Quakers who organized the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention in a chapel.
Presidentiables and their supporters milked the issue until another Duterte mishap comes along.
Upward of P3 billion was made available for scholarships under SUCs and more than P2 billion for scholarships administered by the Commission on Higher Education. This human capital will create a knowledge-based economy driven not just by brawn but [also] brains, tapping into one of our richest but least developed resources.
The best of them should be sent abroad for advanced degrees, and then brought home with sufficient incentives and an environment conducive to research. Hardly anyone in the Top 15 Forbes list has substantial involvement in manufacturing, much less agriculture or agribusiness. Central Luzon was a close second with 9-percent growth, propelled by manufacturing growth of 19.1 percent, along with construction, banking and agriculture. Government agencies, for one, can consciously raise the share of the regions in their public investment budgets.
If all of us who had the choice between shopping in local neighborhood stores and in urban centers consciously chose the former, we would help spread the economy’s growth more evenly across the Philippine countryside.
Others played vital roles in the success of the revolution, like Jaime Cardinal Sin and June Keithley. I couldn’t bear that someone had to undergo something as harsh as that, especially if they didn’t do anything wrong.
How can you book expensive trips to various places, buy extravagant jewels and lots of pricey shoes, while the rest of the country went hungry? From then on, I didn’t exactly turn into an Aquino loyalist, but I did become opposed to the Marcoses. And if the youth are to be the hope of this country, they need to be properly informed on the issues that the nation faced in the past and the lessons that it should have learned. And while his family reigned supreme in our land for decades, did he even care a little bit about the welfare of his countrymen who were being deprived of their rights due to his family’s wrongdoing?
Never again will the people be deprived of their freedom to voice out their thoughts and opinions. Patriarchal women have internalized the social programming to think like men and to practice a value hierarchy where feminine traits play second fiddle to and women are judged through a man’s norm. In 2010, the Philippines ranked 89th in the global Knowledge Economy Index, way behind Singapore, which placed 19th. Further, it recommends that in areas where we lack expertise, world-class professors and researchers should be enticed to teach here and work with their local counterparts, in a similar manner that Singapore was able to considerably shorten its learning curve. Little wonder that the tag “Imperial Manila” continues to resonate and raise emotions among our compatriots in the south.
Banks can make a conscious push for more loans in the countryside rather than allow rural savings to be siphoned off to Manila-based enterprises. I’ve always believed that people should always be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact on society or on others. 25, during the commemoration of Edsa I, I made it a point to watch documentaries about those trying years. Then the fateful day came that he was assassinated at the airport, and the documentary was concluded. I was shocked that some people could still live normally even with tons of skeletons in their closets. These people questioned dominant culture, a world view prevalent in one’s society and unconsciously expressed through ways of thinking and doing things. Other businesses can explore branching out into the provinces more actively (there are vast untapped opportunities out there!).
Inside your bedroom, for example, smoke as much as you want to; or you can indulge yourself with too much sugar (or, in my case, wine). They lack the interest to read and to fully understand the information being given to them. She remarked that he seemed to have grown old mindlessly, that he was probably gay: “Parang wala kang pinagkatandaan. And moneyed provincial residents can consciously invest in countryside-based enterprises rather than whisk off their capital to Metro Manila or, worse, overseas. I even find some who are vocal of their support for Bongbong Marcos in his run for the vice presidency, and who testify that the Aquino administration did nothing to improve the country. Government’s only role should be to inform you of the consequences of your health-consuming habits.




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