Someday, business unusual

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“Low-key” was the phrase the newspapers used to describe it, and low-key it indeed was. There was only a mass at 6:30 a.m. at the EDSA shrine, where President Arroyo’s upbeat remarks—about her administration, of course—were nearly ignored by the media—and the usual flag-raising ceremony. Only Manila Bishop Socrates Villegas’ sermon on the politicians’ betrayal of EDSA in fact made the headlines the next day; without it the event would have passed only with the barest notice.
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Undermining the state

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She was a farmer’s daughter who completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of the East and then worked her way to a law degree in another downtown Manila university. After passing the bar she practiced law in Manila, but soon returned to her native Mindoro to be with her aging parents. She became a municipal councilor of her birthplace Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, in 1998, and then successfully ran for vice mayor in 2001.
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Now, for the good news

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Administration candidate for senator Mar Roxas was there, but so were the opposition’s Jamby Madrigal and Didangen Dilangalen. So was Frank Chavez, who’s running as an independent candidate for senator, and who emphasized his UP activist roots.
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Teaching Iraqis “democracy”

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Albert told the media last week that the Philippines had volunteered to help train Iraqis in democratic governance. The training would be part of the Philippine contribution to the rehabilitation of Iraq, and was among the commitments the country made during the International Donors’ Conference to rebuild Iraq that the United States called last October 23-24 in Madrid, Spain. That conference was held to solicit the help of the international community in sharing the costs in both funding and manpower in Iraq with the United States.
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The season’s biggest anomaly

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The biggest anomaly of this political season—and the most disappointing even to the most steadfast partisans of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—is turning out to be the administration coalition’s senatorial ticket, with the inclusion in it of Estrada loyalists Miriam Defensor-Santiago and John Osmena.
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