Ring in the old

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IF the Aquino III administration ignored warnings from the environmental and science communities long before “Sendong” that a disaster was coming in Mindanao, it wouldn’t be any more unique than past administrations.

From 1992 to 2001 some 6,000,000 Filipinos were killed or injured by various disasters, whether natural or man-made, making it, says the International Committee of the Red Cross, the fourth most disaster and accident-prone country in the world after China, India and Iran.

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A Christian country

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Of the 2.18 billion Christians in the world — almost a third of the global population of 6.9 billion — 86.8 million are Filipinos, says a study by the US-based Pew Research Center. That makes the Philippines, with 93 percent of its estimated population of 93.3 million Christians, still the only predominantly Christian country in Asia.

Most Filipinos wouldn’t ask for anything better. They’re happy being Catholics or members of any of the other Christian churches. God is constantly on their lips, and they attribute to Him whatever happens to them whether good or bad. If they come to some good luck, it’s thanks to God; if to bad, whether the loss of a job or a loved one, it’s still God’s will, for which He must have a reason mere mortals don’t have the capacity to understand or even discern.

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Liar, liar

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THE main complaint by his mostly lawyer partisans against the impeachment of Renato Corona is that it was done too quickly, followed by claims that it’s an attack on the Supreme Court’s independence, and is unconstitutional besides.

Minority Congressman and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ally Edcel Lagman is leading the chorus of Corona advocates in declaring that a crisis is upon us as a result of the supposed haste, describing the signing within a few hours by 188 congressmen of the impeachment articles as the result of “the mother of all blackmails (sic)” because, he said, his colleagues signed on pain of Malacanang’s withholding their 2012 Priority Development Assistance Fund, otherwise known as the pork barrel.

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Forgetting and not knowing

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IN an attempt to validate his earlier claim that the country is under threat from “creeping martial law” during the Aquino III administration, Senator Joker Arroyo said last Tuesday that the Marcos martial law regime used the exact same argument — that the police powers of the State are superior to individual rights — the Aquino government is using to justify preventing Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country.

Senator Arroyo made his “creeping martial law” statement last November, echoing Negros Occidental Congressman Ignacio “Iggy Pidal” Arroyo’s claim, made at about the same time, that the administration’s stopping his sister-in-law from leaving the country supposedly for medical treatment abroad was worse than what was happening during the martial law period (officially from 1972 to 1981, although Ferdinand Marcos retained dictatorial powers until his overthrow in 1986).

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Tragic hero

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TONDO is in the popular mind Manila’s workers’ district, although some sociologists point out, as they did when Manuel Villar was running for President in 2010 and hoping to win by passing himself off as poor, that it has never been all-proletarian, being home also to professionals and small traders. The myth persists, however, and Tondo-born Andres Bonifacio, whose birth the Philippines marks every November 30th with a holiday, is traditionally referred to as the country’s working-class hero.

The label’s both cliché as well as meant to distinguish him from such of the country’s heroes as Rizal the Ilustrado, and rural-gentry landowner Emilio Aguinaldo, whose own stature as hero has been diminished by his role in Bonifacio’s execution.

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