Ople’s case

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At the time of his death secretary of foreign affairs Blas Ople had reinvented himself more than once. In a past life regarded as a nationalist, his was one of the loudest voices of support for US policies not only in the Philippines but also in Iraq and anywhere else. Once deeply associated with the Marcos dictatorship, and later with the Estrada government, he had assumed the most senior post in the Arroyo Cabinet.
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The impossible team

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If the results of the most recent Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys are correct, there is no political reason why Senator Raul Roco should abandon his candidacy for president and instead run as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s vice president in 2004. Neither does he have any ideological cause to do so.
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Politics as policy

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Those who say that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s decision to allow the execution of death row convicts ten days after she had argued against it was meant to get the support of Chinese Filipinos are wrong. She isn’t just courting the Chinese Filipino community; she’s courting the entire Filipino majority.

None of the polling groups has recently taken a survey on it. But the death penalty is widely popular among the citizenry, including the poor from among whom the flawed justice system draws most of its victims. Businessmen approve of it, and so do most professionals, students, and workers. Certainly, Chinese Filipinos think the death penalty is the best way to stop the kidnappings that target non-Chinese as well.
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Responding to the SWS survey

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Some of its past surveys have elicited skeptical reactions before. But the most recent Social Weather Stations survey has provoked an outright accusation that its results had been rigged.

SWS released its findings on voter preferences for president of the Republic December 3, and in effect confirmed civil society and business community fears that an actor could once again be elected to that post.
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The terrorist terrorized

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Although US President George W. Bush gave the American people an optimistic assessment of the state of the US occupation of Iraq during his US radio address last week, his November 26 visit to Baghdad spoke more eloquently than ten speeches of the actual conditions there.

Bush flew to Iraq for Thanksgiving dinner with US troops under elaborate precautions to assure his safety. The trip was kept from journalists, most of whom were told he would be spending Thanksgiving with his family in his Texas ranch. Up to the last minute, only a handful of US officials in Iraq knew about the two and a half hour visit, during which Bush never left the safety of his security detail and the heavily fortified Baghdad International Airport.
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