Sacrificing Angelo de la Cruz

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Filipino worker Angelo de la Cruz could be dead by now, free, or still in the hands of his captors.

Whether he has been killed or not, the Iraqi group that was holding him used violence, first, by holding him against his will, again by threatening to kill a non-combatant by decapitating him to force the Philippine government to withdraw its 51-person “humanitarian contingent.” If de la Cruz has been killed, it would add only to the crystal clarity of the fact that it used terrorist methods to help it achieve its aims. Continue reading

Consider yourselves lucky

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Those who argue that the President of this country has the prerogative to hire and fire whomever she wants from the Cabinet make it sound as if that prerogative were as absolute as the Divine Right of Kings.

Leading this pack are the usual voices from Congress and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye, who’s urged the public and the media to stop talking about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s recent choices for the Cabinet, specially Vice President Noli de Castro, who’s going to assume command over the Department of Social Welfare and Development this October, replacing Corazon “Dinky” Soliman. Continue reading

Asses and double cons

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The revived debate on charter change has inevitably called attention to the possibility that Mrs. Arroyo could extend her tenure in Malacanang beyond the six- year term that she supposedly won last May.

There is so far no evidence that Mrs. Arroyo plans to be prime minister or president—or even prime minister and president—in a parliamentary system after her term ends in 2010. Continue reading

Waiting for the miracle

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Everyone including the US Embassy in Manila has by now dusted off their dictionaries of adjectives to describe the agenda President de facto Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced during her inauguration speech last June 30.

Mrs. Arroyo’s allies, specially those eying appointments to government posts in exchange for their support during the campaign, were naturally beside themselves in their enthusiasm, and couldn’t praise the agenda enough. On the other hand, her opponents couldn’t seem to find the right words, dismissing the agenda outright as a rehash of her past promises. Continue reading