Politicizing Ebola

Janette Garin and Gregorio Pio Catapang
Standard

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), or Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as “a severe, often fatal illness in humans” is not contagious until the infected person develops symptoms.

But why take the unnecessary risk of infection anyway by socializing with the very people you’ve quarantined? And yet that’s precisely what Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang and Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary Janette Garin did by visiting Caballo Island early this week.

Continue reading

Binay and Aquino: the ties that bind

Jojo Binay and Noynoy Aquino
Standard

So keenly anticipated by much of the media, the “break” between Vice President Jejomar Binay and President Benigno Aquino III has not come to pass. On the contrary. Despite the attempts of the usual Binay opponents to downplay the subject (they didn’t talk about politics), the supposed awkwardness (it was merely cordial), and even the length of a meeting between Binay and Aquino (it was thirty minutes, not three hours) in the evening of October 14th, judging from what ensued afterwards, that meeting seems to have patched things up between the two.

Besieged by charges of corruption and unexplained wealth, Binay had been calibrating since last year his criticism of the administration of which, by serving as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Presidential Adviser on OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) Concerns, he is a part.

Continue reading

Binay in the best of both worlds

Enrile, Estrada, Ramos, Binay, and Aquino
Standard

Because he thinks his current problems are at least partly the doing of some Aquino administration personalities, among them his putative rival in 2016, Manuel Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay has criticized the administration of which he’s a part—in which he in fact occupies two critical posts, those of chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns.

In one of those instances demonstrative of the perverse character of the political system, he’s part of the so called opposition while at the same time occupying a Cabinet post in the administration he and his party mates are supposed to monitor and criticize, whose abuses they’re supposed to check, and whose use of power they’re expected to moderate. Binay is both critic and the object of criticism at the same time.

Continue reading