Beware the Parade of Little Digongs

Another brilliant editorial by

Photo from

Photo from

News reports tagged him the alleged “Number 1″ pusher of illegal drugs in Central Luzon, and he was said to have been seized by four men shortly after attending a court hearing on Tuesday. At dawn last Wednesday, his body was found on a grassy field.

The bullets were faster than the judge. But it is the public’s – and incoming leadership’s – reaction, or lack of it, that has so far been more chilling than the sight of a hogtied dead man, packing tape covering the corpse’s face, fatal gunshot wounds forming the exclamation point to a grisly end. Which is to say: there are those who are aghast, and there are those who merely shrug, but the loudest camp has decidedly been that of the cheerleaders.

In Tanauan, Batangas, Mayor Antonio Halili organized a parade through town of suspected drug dealers, including a handful of minors. No amount of expressed concern from rights activists and the Commission on Human Rights would make the re-elected Halili reconsider the legality or ethics of a perp walk. Indeed, to Halili, at least the suspects are still alive to be escorted back to jail and then to court, where they may yet prove their innocence, save for the misfortune of having been already shamed as guilty.
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May 27, 2016 10:52 pm  Tags:   Posted in: 2016 elections  No Comments

French film festival, a delightful respite from the toxic political exercise

2016 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress  Jaclyn Jose hugs Director Brillante Mendoza upon receiving award. Daughte Andi Eigenmann looks on

2016 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Jaclyn Jose hugs Director Brillante Mendoza upon receiving award. Daughte Andi Eigenmann looks on

Martin Macalintal, audiovisual attaché at the French Embassy in Manila, might as well have taped his answer to the question, “Will Ma’ Rosa be shown during this year’s festival?”

That was the question everybody asked Macalintal at last Wednesday’s press preview of the 21st Film Festival held at My Cinema in Greenbelt 3 in Makati.

Macalintal’s answer: “We are working it out.”

But for sure Jaclyn Jose, the best actress awardee at the recent Cannes Film Festival for her gripping performance as a mother who found herself caught in the web of police corruption after she was caught dealing with illegal drugs to support her family, will grace the red carpet that will be rolled out on June 8 at the Bonifacio High Street Central to mark the start of the weeklong festival.

Jose is the first Filipina to have won the award in the prestigious festival.
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May 27, 2016 12:12 am  Tags:   Posted in: Arts and Culture, Entertainment  No Comments

‘Tampuhan’ hints friendship so deep between Duterte and Quiboloy

May 9, 2019 post in Quiboloy's FB page

May 9, 2016 Quiboloy’s FB page

Only ten days that Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and incoming President Rodrigo Duterte haven’t talked with each other and the “Son of God” is already hurting.

Sharing with media the Pastor’s hurt feeling, Quiboloy’s spokesperson, Mike Abe, said the last face-to-face meeting of the two was at 3 a.m. of May 10, several hours after it became certain that Duterte had won the May 9 election. Duterte was interviewed at Quiboloy’s Sunshine Media Network International.

Abe said the two even shared a hug, before the winning presidential candidate left.

After that, Abe said Duterte has become inaccessible to the Pastor anymore.
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May 23, 2016 7:29 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: 2016 elections, Politics  6 Comments

PNoy, Del Rosario responsible for PH losing control of Scarborough shoal

Photo by Dana Batnag

Photo by Dana Batnag

Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said early this week he wants to know why the Philippines lost Scarborough Shoal.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

When he said this, he was apparently under the impression that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who exposed his BPI bank deposits amounting to no less than P200 million despite before the May 9 elections, was responsible for the Philippines losing control over the coral reef formation 124 nautical miles off Zambales.

By all means, Duterte should order a probe.

The term “lost Scarborough shoal” is debatable. Security officials deny that. Foreign affairs officials will not say that because that would be detrimental to the claim of the Philippines on the shoal which is included in the case filed by the Philippines against China before the United National Arbitral Court.

The reality, however, is that Filipino fishermen are denied access to the area around the shoal by three Chinese ships stationed there since June 2012.

How that situation came to be started on April 10, 2012 when BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrested eight Chinese boats with sizable quantities of endangered marine species, corals, live sharks and giant clams.

Chinese fishermen caught in Philippine waters is not an unusual happening – be it in Scarborough shoal in the northwestern side of the country or in the Spratlys, in the southwestern part of the country. When that happens, the fishermen are charged in court and the Chinese Embassy works for their release. The case is usually handled in the provincial and regional level.

The use of BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a warship, to arrest Chinese fishing vessels changed the atmosphere in the maritime row.
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May 20, 2016 3:35 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Elections 2016, Foreign Affairs  8 Comments

Happy days are here again for Gloria Arroyo and associates

It’s only 45 days away when Rodrigo Duterte becomes the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines.

If Duterte makes good his election promise, Gloria Arroyo, who has won another term as representative of the second district of Pampanga, can look forward to days of freedom very soon. She has been confined at the Veterans Memorial Hospital since 2011.

Duterte lawyer Salvador Panelo took a selfie when he attended  Gloria Arroyo's birthday party in La Vista last April 5.

Duterte lawyer Salvador Panelo took a selfie when he attended Gloria Arroyo’s birthday party in La Vista last April 5.

When he campaigned in Pampanga last Feb. 7, Duterte said, “If I am elected President, I will release her. Why? Because the evidence [against her] is weak. I know that. I am a lawyer.”

Duterte’s assessment of cases against Arroyo as “weak” is supported by the dismissal by the Ombudsman of the P200 million fertilizer scam case and the alleged illegal transfer of funds of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to Philhealth.
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May 16, 2016 5:26 am  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: 2016 elections, Governance  19 Comments

Duterte eyes Gilbert Teodoro for foreign affairs

Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro

Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro

Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro is being eyed by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to be his foreign secretary, not as defense secretary,as some new reports say, a source close to Duterte said.

In an interview before the May 9 election, the source said Teodoro has not yet responded to the invitation to join the Duterte cabinet.

Teodoro ran for president in 2010 but lost to his cousin, Benigno Aquino III.

The job of foreign secretary would be doubly challenging in a Duterte presidency considering the incoming head of state’s irreverent nature, lack of patience for formalities and protocol and penchant for profanity.

The most important foreign relations issue for the incoming administration is China. The decision of the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea on the case filed by the Philippines to declare illegal China’s all encompassing nine-dash-line map is expected to be handed down in the next few weeks.
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May 13, 2016 1:54 am  Tags:   Posted in: 2016 elections  7 Comments

China hopeful of better relations with Duterte government



CHINA is hopeful that relations with the Philippines will be better under the government of Rodrigo Duterte, who will succeed President Benigno Aquino III on July 1.

In a regular press conference in Beijing Wednesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang was asked about statements by Duterte that he is willing to talk with China and go into joint exploration in disputed areas in the South China Sea.
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May 12, 2016 12:00 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: 2016 elections, Foreign Affairs  No Comments

We deserve the leader we elect

Photo by Mario Ignacio IV, VERA Files.

Photo by Mario Ignacio IV, VERA Files.

In a democracy, where we have the freedom to choose our leaders through an election, we deserve the leaders we get.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the clear choice of the majority of the Filipino people and whatever kind of leader he turns out to be, we deserve him.

The Filipino people who trooped to the polls last Monday (highest voter turnout – 81 percent of 54.3 million) showed the vibrancy of Philippine democracy. It was the most vicious election campaign which was made more acrimonious by the mis-use of social media.

The atmosphere became toxic that caused many to be concerned whether we would ever be whole again after being torn apart by partisan politics.
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May 11, 2016 9:59 am  Tags:   Posted in: 2016 elections  16 Comments

Poe concedes

Photo from Grace Poe FB page

Photo from Grace Poe FB page

By Ellen T. Tordesillas, Maria Feona Imperial, Verlie Retulin
VERA Files

With almost 65 per cent of the results of the voting for the 2016 Elections, Sen. Grace Poe of Partido Galing at Puso conceded the election to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban.
Poe concedes in a televised past midnight press conference.

Poe concedes in a televised past midnight press conference.

In a statement which Poe read in her past- midnight press conference, she said:

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May 10, 2016 3:31 am  Tags:   Posted in: 2016 elections  9 Comments

Duterte-Marcos win: Aquino and Roxas’ karma

o campaigning vs Duterte for Roxas.Allan Yves Briones

Aquino campaigning vs Duterte for Roxas.Allan Yves Briones

If the pre-election surveys are confirmed by Election Day votes, then it would be Rodrigo Duterte as president and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr as vice president.

It would be slap in the face of President Aquino who refuses to see that the Filipino people’s attraction to the putang-ina talking Duterte is an expression of their disgust for his government.

On the 30th anniversary of People Power revolution last Feb. 22, Aquino warned against electing the late dictator’s son. But Sen. Marcos popularity continued to surge even as the administration’s candidate, Leni Robredo, tries to catch up close.
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May 9, 2016 2:06 am   Posted in: 2016 elections  10 Comments