No bragging rights for Aquino

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PRESIDENT Benigno Simeon Aquino III is leaving for several European countries this Sunday, September 13, during which he’s expected to enhance those countries’ support for the Philippine position in its dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea. Having just submitted to Congress the draft of the long-awaited Bangsamoro Basic Law, Mr. Aquino is also likely to brag before the leaders of Spain, Germany, France, and Belgium how he has made peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

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Beyond the fear of losing their jobs

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ABOUT THE Middle East and Libya many Filipinos have one fear, and that’s the loss of their jobs as the region and that country fall apart, besieged by the violence of contending sectarian groups and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

That, together with paeans to their bravery, was the subtext in the expressions of concern over the Filipino peacekeepers’ repatriation last week from the Syrian Golan Heights, peacekeeping under UN auspices being, like other jobs in the Middle East, relatively high-paying at around P45,000 a month.

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A dangerous game

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ABOUT Benigno Aquino III’s declaration in a TV5 interview that he would “listen to his bosses,” we can either (1) assume that it was his demure way of saying that he will indeed seek a second term, or (2) dismiss it as merely an attempt to allay the fears of his Liberal Party mates that, without him, they would have no winnable candidate in 2016 and would have to face the chilling prospect of not having anyone of their own in Malacañang for six years. In either case, it has triggered a contentious debate that could lead to consequences Mr. Aquino may not have anticipated.

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The Palparan fallacy

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PROMOTED to major general by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Jovito Palparan echoed in 2009 her declaration that she wanted Republic Act 1700, the Anti-Subversion Act, “revived,” although the proper word should have been “exhumed,” RA 1700 having been long dead.

Then President Fidel Ramos signed Republic Act 7636, which repealed RA 1700, on September 22, 1992. When Arroyo and Palparan expressed their wish, the Anti-Subversion Act had been dead for nearly two decades.

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