An explosive ‘gift’

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President Arroyo may have beaten her potential rivals to the draw by claiming that the absentee voting bill just passed by the House and the Senate is her gift to Filipino migrants. By enabling as many as 7.5 million Filipinos abroad to vote in Philippine elections, the bill could decide the outcome of the 2004 and future polls. But the OFW vote may not necessarily go Mrs. Arroyo

Doublespeak

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The officials of the Arroyo government should stop trying to justify the unjustifiable—in this case the national ID card system its National Security Council endorsed on October 14, because the more they talk about it the sillier—and the more dangerous for everyone—it gets.

The silence should start with National Security Adviser Roilo Golez, whose most recent statements border on the incredible for their convoluted reasoning and outright lack of sense.
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Pointless–and dangerous

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From arming barangay tanod to a Metro Manila-wide curfew to reviving the proposal for a national ID system to the registration of cell phone SIM cards, the response of some of the country’s leaders to the October 19 bombing of a bus in Balintawak has ranged from the pointless to the dangerous.

The arming of barangay tanod, proposed by the mayors of Metro Manila, is both. Under that scheme, these so-called village guards, of whom a barangay can have 20, would be issued guns in furtherance of counter-terrorism. Since authentic terrorists are not likely to be resident in barangay in huge numbers, and given the composition of the tanod, the likelihood is that some of them will end up terrorizing their neighborhoods if not shooting themselves.
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Senior police officers hit the talk-show circuit over the weekend in the wake of the bombings in Zamboanga City and Metro Manila, and President Arroyo

Shock waves

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The most recent bombings in Zamboanga City are likely to generate shock waves to revive flagging lawmaker interest in passing an antiterrorism bill or bills, as well as provide Malaca

Quick fixes

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At least one senator, Joker Arroyo, is correct about the old proposal to create a national identity card system, which the National Security Council dusted off last Monday supposedly in aid of the anti-terrorism campaign.

Like most other suggestions from the police and the military, the proposal implies that the problem will be solved once another law is passed. We all know that that has never been the case, at least not in the Philippines, where every law and order problem we can think of persists because of our inept, and often corrupt,