I have been a journalist for almost seven decades now, and I can safely say I have seen history in the making.
Decades ago, we were second only to Japan insofar as economic growth and foreign direct investments were concerned.
Today we are a laggard among Southeast Asian countries. My gulay, even Cambodia, a military junta-controlled country, is ahead of us. What happened? Whose fault was it?
Some may say that other countries in the region attained their current status because of their authoritarian rule. So is it because of democracy that we have failed?
We can go on and on to seek the reason on why the Philippines is now at the bottom of the totem pole. President Duterte capitalized on this when he ran for president last year.
More than 16 million Filipinos voted for him. They all wanted a change for the better, especially after the six-year rule of the Aquino administration whose legacy was incompetence, lack of empathy and vindictiveness.
It seems that Filipinos are so desperate for change they now want it even through radical means.
Even former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the architect of martial law when the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed it in 1972, now admits that the problems facing Duterte are far greater than the problems Marcos faced.
I am not a governance expert, but I know that radical change must come sooner than expected if the clamor for change should be realized. Only with genuine change can we catch up with our neighbors.
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Some people in the Aquino administration must be held accountable for the P3.5-billion Dengvaxia mess.
I cannot buy the excuse being made that former President BS Aquino and then-Health Secretary Janette Garin acted in good faith in pursuing the immunization program for the benefit of the people.
Some questions must still be answered by Aquino and Garin, and even Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. I think they should answer for this mess.
Why did they not conduct due diligence before they negotiated that deal with Sanofi Pasteur? The drug had not yet been certified by the World Health Organization! And yet, Aquino is on record as meeting with Sanofi officials.
The deal was in fact rushed before the 2016 polls on the pretext that the Aquino administration had the greater good in mind. This makes me believe that it was done in aid not only of corruption but the 2016 elections, my gulay!
Since Abad supposedly released the P3.5 billion to buy Dengvaxia out of savings, was that even authorized?
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Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is challenging the House committee on justice to elevate the impeachment case against her to the Senate if the House committee believes that there are indeed grounds of impeachment against her.
Obviously, Sereno and her lawyers now realize that indeed that grounds may be strong after the testimony of three incumbent justices and one incumbent justice. Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza accused her of committing treason.
Sereno used a confidential document to block Jardeleza’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Justices Noel Tijam and Arturo Brion also testified against her lack of respect for en banc decisions.
What these justices testified to already constitute impeachable offenses, in my opinion. The only thing remaining is for the House committee on justice to elevate the case to the plenary for voting. And then the case can be transmitted to the Senate for trial.
As to the question of whether she would be convicted – well, impeachment is a numbers game.
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The restoration of Manila’s Grand Old Dame, the Manila Metropolitan Theater, brings back a lot of memories.
I remember going there before World War II and the Japanese Occupation, to watch old Filipino and Hollywood movies. To me, going there was always a great experience.
Somehow after the Japanese Occupation, the Met was in utter disrepair and often referred to as in a state of “gross squalor” with homeless people taking up residence there.
Now with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts having bought it, it’s being restored.
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I had scheduled a visit to Baguio with my family, but the doctor advised me against going because the temperature is falling in the low 11 or 10.5 degree Celsius.
I want to go to Baguio so much! I wanted to see again my student Bobby Ongpin’s magnum opus in Baguio!