Visiting “Amerika”

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The United States is “America” to most people. But that word refers to the continent, and when applied to the US is better spelled with a “k,” as in “swastika”.

It’s the country most Filipinos want to visit. But if you’ve ever been involved in any group or activity faintly progressive; if you have relatives or friends who have been; or you’re from a country the US says harbors “terrorist groups”, it’s tempting fate to go. No matter how vague or past your involvement, it can earn you a strip search, an interrogation session with the FBI or immigration, summary deportation, or even indefinite detention. Continue reading

Dynasty

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What happened to the impeachment complaint in the House of Representatives–aptly labeled a “killing” by the pro-impeachment alliance and the media–was inevitable, among other reasons because of the presence and dominance of political dynasties in that chamber.

The House reeks with the names of the wives, children, sons and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, cousins, nephews and nieces of congressmen and senators long dead, but who live on in their kin and progeny. The Senate is no different, and neither is Malacanang, whose current resident is herself the daughter of a past president. Continue reading

EDSA history, revised

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It is tempting to blame the vagaries of memory for his most recent statement on the 1986 People Power revolt. Juan Ponce Enrile is after all at least 80.

Having bolted the opposition a month or so ago, and now an administration voice in the Senate, the former Marcos Defense Minister recently said over national television that former President Corazon Aquino should abandon her belief that she can help oust Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the Presidency by once more taking to the streets after the impeachment complaints against Arroyo were dismissed in the House of Representatives. Continue reading

The Falsehood Commission

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The Arroyo government, as Archbishop Oscar Cruz so aptly describes it, is without values, morals and principles, and one of the values it least respects is truth. Archbishop Cruz alleges that it has bribed and threatened witnesses implicating Mrs. Arroyo and her family in the jueteng pay-offs scandal. If true, however, that would be only one of the many instances in which Mrs. Arroyo and her gang have resorted to all sorts of devices to remain in power by keeping the truth from the public.

When the “Hello Garci” scandal was about to break out last June, for example, Malacanang tried to discredit whatever recordings the opposition would make public by claiming that these had been doctored, and that, indeed, it had the original ones–in which a woman who sounded like Mrs. Arroyo was talking to someone Malacanang said was a “Gary” who was other than “Garci” (former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcellano). Continue reading