Greed unlimited

Tito Sotto, Alan Cayetano, and Rodrigo Duterte
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Congress is supposed to control the purse strings in the Philippine system. But because the Constitution arms him with vast powers as head of a highly centralized government, it is the President who has the biggest say in how much of the national budget an office, including his own, will get each year.

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September on their minds

Marcos family
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The most accessible and most credible source of information for most Filipinos, broadcast media made much of September’s advent this year for the usual — and depressingly trivial — reasons. 

Some broadcasters began playing Christmas carols as early as September 1. So did some of the country’s shopping malls, this month being the first of the four months whose names end in “ber” that in this country mark what is smugly touted as the start of the longest celebration of Christmas on the planet.

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Impunity and discretionary justice

Rodrigo Duterte, Ronald Dela Rosa, Manny Pacquiao, and Koko Pimentel
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The phrase “heinous crimes,” for which death is their preferred penalty, falls often from the mouths of the advocates of state-sponsored murder, whether capital punishment, or the use of extrajudicial killings against suspected drug users and pushers as well as lawyer, student, farmer and worker activists and regime critics. Include in this lot certain senators and congressmen, the police and military, some judges, and, of course, the current president of this endangered republic.

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