A farmer in Agoo, La Union, standing in front of the Marcos monument, reads about it the following day in a newspaper carrying the headlines “Marcos Flees.” (Photo by Boy Yñiguez from “People Power: The Philippine Revolution of 1986: An Eyewitness History.”)

Forgetting, or Not Knowing: Media and Martial Law

The martial law experience demonstrated several truths about media and the circumstances that make them either instruments of liberation or of oppression.


Hazing and the culture of violence

The death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig at the hands of his presumptive fraternity “brothers” is a wake-up call to everyone, specially those with a relative in a college or university, that hazing is a continuing problem in many schools as well as in other Philippine institutions.

PH’s ‘improved’ human rights situation

As the visiting European Union  (EU) parliamentarians  were declaring that the human rights situation in the Philippines has “improved,” a 17-year old male and two others had apparently been abducted in a Batangas town. Very few details were available as this column was being written, but it was only one of the many  abductions that…

The revolution that wasn’t

What  makes celebrating EDSA 1986 less than attractive even for the better informed is that, while  often described  as a “revolution,” it was hardly that. But EDSA 1986 was nevertheless a historic moment, though brief, of mass empowerment.

Real problems need real solutions

Unless the real problems of Philippine basic education are addressed with real solutions, it will continue to be the less than reliable foundation for the making of the employable citizens millions of parents hope their children will be.

A coup of their own

No longer the same party of which Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery in 1865, was a leading member, the Republican Party (GOP — shorthand for Grand Old Party) of former President Donald Trump, said Washington Post columnist George Will, is “an insurgency,” and a “neo-fascist” organization, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Emeritus Professor…

That ‘piece of paper’

He could have assured the press of State protection of its freedom as a necessary pillar of democratic rule, together with free speech, free expression — and yes, re-affirmed the citizenry’s right “peaceably to assemble and petition the government for the redress of grievances.”

Media access and the right to know

The accreditation of bloggers that Marcos Junior’s choice for Press Secretary (she will also head the Presidential Communication Operations Office) is planning is not new. It was also considered by her predecessor, but abandoned because of problems over which bloggers would join the Malacañang Press Corps in covering the President. There are thousands of bloggers…

A chance to do better — and  move on

“Do something about it” should  be the incoming  administration’s mantra, if, as Imee Marcos implied, having been given a “second chance,” it indeed intends to do a better job at governance than the first Marcos regime.

Church and politics

Although historically part of the power elite, the Catholic Church in these isles has at least been equal to meeting some of the most urgent challenges of the times.

Immodest proposals

Like Ireland in the 18th century, the Philippines in the 21st is also besieged by hunger and poverty, and its own versions of the politicians and their minions then dominant in that country are as uncaring about the poor.

Looking out for number one

Not only do the so-called political parties in these isles function solely as disposable vehicles for the realization of political ambitions. Looking out for number one is also every garden variety Filipino politician’s first priority. In every dynast’s hierarchy of values are personal, familial and class interests, in that order.

Their own worst enemies

More than the supposed “fronts” of the CPP, what the demise of the Party List System as it was originally conceived is telling the poor and the powerless is that reforms can only be achieved through armed means.

All over but the counting?

Every taxpayer — except, it seems, Marcos Junior, Ferolino and Casquejo — knows that not paying  taxes can mean a fine from Php 500,000 to Php 10 million as well as imprisonment of from six to ten years.


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