The coup against EDSA

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ONLY by coincidence are reports of a brewing coup plot circulating on the eve of the 29th anniversary of the EDSA 1 People Power uprising. The usual suspects behind coup attempts may find it convenient to link their conspiracy to the overthrow of the Marcos regime in 1986, but they would be unduly stretching the meaning of their clandestine enterprise if they did so.

A coup is the exact opposite of what happened in 1986. A coup d’etat (literally, a sudden move against the state) is a clandestine, elite undertaking usually instigated or supported by military adventurists acting in behalf of their own or other limited interests. In more recent times, it has often been justified in the name of regime change and has been driven by foreign, mainly US, encouragement. It is a retrogressive, anti-democratic act contrary to humanity’s aspirations for freedom.

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The pope from the third world

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LET’S GET THE usual “separation-of-church-and-state” argument out of the way first. Securing the Pope, whoever he may be, is a State responsibility and no one in his right mind should be arguing against it. No one should begrudge the Catholic faithful among the citizenry the opportunity to at least see the Pope in person either. If providing that opportunity requires declaring January 15, 16 and 19 holidays, then by all means should those dates be holidays.

The point is that neither assuring the Pope’s safety nor providing Filipinos the chance to see him impinges on the Constitutional prohibition against “respecting an establishment of religion.” What does are those State actions that would mandate, say, prayer in public schools, or making one’s religion a condition for State employment.

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Politicizing Ebola

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EBOLA Virus Disease (EVD), or Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as “a severe, often fatal illness in humans” is not contagious until the infected person develops symptoms.

But why take the unnecessary risk of infection anyway by socializing with the very people you’ve quarantined? And yet that’s precisely what Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang and Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary Janette Garin did by visiting Caballo Island early this week.

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Binay and Aquino: the ties that bind

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SO keenly anticipated by much of the media, the “break” between Vice President Jejomar Binay and President Benigno Aquino III has not come to pass. On the contrary. Despite the attempts of the usual Binay opponents to downplay the subject (they didn’t talk about politics), the supposed awkwardness (it was merely cordial), and even the length of a meeting between Binay and Aquino (it was thirty minutes, not three hours) in the evening of October 14th, judging from what ensued afterwards, that meeting seems to have patched things up between the two.

Besieged by charges of corruption and unexplained wealth, Binay had been calibrating since last year his criticism of the administration of which, by serving as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Presidential Adviser on OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) Concerns, he is a part.

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Binay in the best of both worlds

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BECAUSE he thinks his current problems are at least partly the doing of some Aquino administration personalities, among them his putative rival in 2016, Manuel Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay has criticized the administration of which he’s a part—in which he in fact occupies two critical posts, those of chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns.

In one of those instances demonstrative of the perverse character of the political system, he’s part of the so called opposition while at the same time occupying a Cabinet post in the administration he and his party mates are supposed to monitor and criticize, whose abuses they’re supposed to check, and whose use of power they’re expected to moderate. Binay is both critic and the object of criticism at the same time.

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