Now, it’s media’s fault

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay with President Duterte

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay with President Duterte

In trying to control the damage wrought by the President Duterte’s verbal rampage against the United Nations in the early hours Sunday, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Monday chose to put the blame on media.

“It was done in the wee hours of the morning and he was very tired, “ Yasay said adding that the President “ already ended up the press conference … but the press were still leading him with a lot of questions, so it is in this context that he made this statements.”

Whose choice was it to hold the press conference at 1 a.m., Sunday? Why should the reporters be blamed for asking the questions at those unholy hours which the President earlier said was his normal working hours. Didn’t he say that he sleeps mornings and starts his day at 1 p.m.?
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August 24, 2016 1:16 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Media  16 Comments

Well- meaning warning to the President from an ally


(Quote on immunity from suits starts at 17:40 mins)

In many of his speeches , President Rodrigo Duterte flaunts his immunity from suits as an armor amid mounting concerns about the extra-judicial killings in his campaign against illegal drugs.

In a speech before troops at Camp Gen. Macario B. Peralta, JR, Jamindan, Capiz last Aug. 5, he said, “Ang Presidente, hindi mo ma-demanda. ..mag-order ako ng patay, you cannot arrest me, may immunity ako.”

It’s not only those dealing with illegal drugs that he wants killed but all those he believes pose obstructions to his desire to improve the lives of the Filipino people.
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August 17, 2016 5:42 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Governance, Human Rights  32 Comments

Cinemalaya 2016: showcase of Filipino talent, substance and relevance

Mostly young  crowd at CCP for Cinemalaya 2016

Mostly young crowd at CCP for Cinemalaya 2016


I hope the movies shown in the recent Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival would be shown in commercial theaters more widely later.

I was able to watch only two: “Kusina” starring Judy Ann Santos under the direction of David Corpuz and Cenon Palomares and “Pamilya Ordinaryo” by Eduardo Roy, Jr.

(“Pamilya Ordinaryo” won the best fim, best director, and best actress awards)

I missed “Toto” by John Paul Su; “Tuos” by Roderick Cabrido starring Nora Aunor; “Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli” by Gil M. Portes; “Dagsin” by Renato Ignacio Magadia, Jr. and many more.
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August 15, 2016 12:00 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Arts and Culture, Entertainment  One Comment

Do we take President Duterte seriously?

Duterte threatens to declare martial law before troops in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro.

Duterte threatens to declare martial law before troops in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro.


I take him seriously because the president of the Republic of the Philippines is so powerful that with a stroke of a pen, he can save a life or send the nation to war.

Last Tuesday, President Duterte threatened to declare martial law.

“ Please, ‘wag mo akong… hindi ako gago. If this continues, pigilan mo ako eh ‘di sige. ‘Pag nagwala na...or would you rather that I will declare martial law?, he said before the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro.

Duterte was lashing out on Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno who stood up to him by reminding him of the separation of powers and other provisions in the Constitution which he could have violated when he read a list of alleged illegal drugs protector including seven judges. Others in more than 150 names in the list were congressmen, military officials, police officers, mayors, and vice mayors.
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August 12, 2016 12:49 am  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Governance, Human Rights  33 Comments

Side effects of Duterte’s war against illegal drugs

Photo-journalists capture the moment.Photo by Vincent Go

Photo-journalists capture the moment.Photo by Vincent Go


Do you feel sick watching daily images on TV and newspapers of people killed, lying lifeless on the sidewalks covered with newspapers or plastic with only their dirty feet and worn-out rubber slippers seen?

And of course near the corpse, the cardboard sign “Drug pusher ako, huwag tularan”, which has now become a standard accessory in President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

Studies have shown the ill-effects of being exposed to traumatic images.

In an article in the website of Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Roxane Cohen Silver of the University of California, Irvine and colleagues said “repeated exposure to vivid traumatic images from the media could lead to long-lasting negative consequences, not just for mental health but also for physical health. “

The article said Silver and her colleagues “speculated that such media exposure could result in a stress response that triggers various physiologic processes associated with increased health problems over time.”

That’s for those who are exposed to disturbing images in media. How much more with members of media who are up close to those gruesome scenes to capture them for the people to know what’s happening in the country.
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August 5, 2016 6:55 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Human Rights, Illegal Drugs, Media  14 Comments

Duterte: a poor drug user is also a pusher

Photo by Raffy Lerma of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Photo by Raffy Lerma of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


A drug user who is rich is not necessarily a pusher because he has the money to buy the illegal substance. But if the drug user is poor, he is also a pusher.

That’s according to President Duterte.

In the President’s meeting with soldiers and policemen in Camp Nakar in Lucena City last July 28, he said “But a user is a pusher. Pwera na lang kung anak ka ni Ayala o ni Consunji o ni Gokongwei, ‘pag nalulong ka sa droga eh maghanap ka ng tao na isusuporta rin ang — sa bisyo mo. Then the other idiot will also contaminate and this must not happen.”

That explains why those killed (465 since Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer) were all wearing rubber slippers. Too poor to even afford shoes .
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August 3, 2016 3:59 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Human Rights, Illegal Drugs  9 Comments

Duterte does a delicate balancing act

Duterte announces lifting of unilateral ceasefire July 29. Photo by Rene Lumawag of PPD

Duterte announces lifting of unilateral ceasefire July 29. Photo by Rene Lumawag of PPD

Last Monday, July 25, in his first State- of-the- Nation- Address, President Duterte was applauded when he declared a unilateral ceasefire in the armed conflict with the communist rebels.

He said: “To immediately stop violence on the ground, restore peace in the communities and provide enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks, I am now announcing a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP/NPA/NDF effective immediately. And call on our Filipinos in the National Democratic Front and its forces to respond accordingly.”

Before the week ended, he withdrew that headline grabbing announcement. At 7 p.m. of Saturday, July 30, Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella read the President’s statement:
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August 1, 2016 12:40 am  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Peace and Order, Peace Process  3 Comments

Photo-journalists debunk doubts on ‘La Pieta’ picture

Photo by  Mark Z. Saludes of UCAnews

Photo by Mark Z. Saludes of UCAnews

Proof of the greatness of a creation is the emotion that it evokes, favorable or unfavorable.

Such is the picture of Jennelyn Olaires cradling the dead body of her partner, Michael Siaron, a 30-year-old pedicab driver, who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men while he was waiting for passengers past midnight of July 22 in Pasay City.

Inquirer captioned the heart-wrenching photo by Raffy Lerma, “La Pieta,” after the famous sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti of the sorrowful Mary holding the dead body of Jesus.
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July 28, 2016 11:37 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Governance, Media  23 Comments

Like Andanar, I cried listening to the President’s speech

President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivering his first State of the Nation Address at Batasang Pambansa. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivering his first State of the Nation Address at Batasang Pambansa. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

Press Secretary Martin Andanar, who said he cried when he read the draft of President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address, was not being melodramatic.

I, too, cried listening to the President’s speech.

I don’t know which part made Andanar cry. As for me, it was the part when he lambasted media for likening to Michaelangelo’s “The Pieta”, the heart-wrenching photo of Jennelyn Olaires cradling the dead body of Michael Siaron, a 30-year-old pedicab driver, who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men while he was waiting for passengers past midnight last Friday in Pasay City.

The unidentified gunmen left a cardboard sign, “I’m a drug pusher, do not emulate me.”

This is the picture (July 24 Inquirer) that Pres. Duterte dismissed as "drama.'

This is the picture (July 24 Inquirer) that Pres. Duterte dismissed as “drama.’


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July 26, 2016 11:44 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Human Rights, Illegal Drugs  23 Comments

Duterte gives Yasay a graceful exit

Now I see how astute President Duterte is.

He can appear to be assuring you of his trust and confidence while actually cutting your neck.

That was what his July 19 video statement released by Malacañang on the status of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. showed.

In the video, a very formal Duterte in barong tagalog with the emblem of the President of the Republic of the Philippine behind and in front of him, said:
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July 21, 2016 9:16 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs  10 Comments