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Proud Filipinos Celebrate a Peaceful Transition of Power

President Rodrigo Duterte takes his oath of office as president from Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes. The president's youngest daughter Veronica holds her grandmother's bible. Photo: Malacañang/PCOO

ilipinos all over need to take a bow. Not many countries in Asia—or the world for that matter—can do what we just did: elect a new leader chosen by the people. Thanks to the United States of America, despite its shortcomings during and after our Commonwealth period, Americans instilled in Filipinos the principles of democracy that have endured and continue to grow stronger over the years.

China, our large menacing neighbor to the north, has the military power and the economic wherewithal to bully and intimidate its Asian neighbors—but its 1.3 billion citizens don't have a way to choose their leaders the way we Filipinos can. Hopefully, at some date in the not-too-distant future, the Chinese government will give its people what every Filipino now has: the right of suffrage.

As we've been saying since Duterte won the May elections, we don't know what the future holds for his administration. We hope he leads with fairness and wisdom; we hope he keeps within the bounds of the law; and most important (and likely most difficult) he reigns in those acting on his behalf to make sure individual rights are not trampled on in the zeal to bring about change.

In his first speech as president, Duterte's pledge to an "uncompromising" adherence to the rule of law raised the hopes and the spirits of Filipinos and some foreign dignitaries attending the inauguration who worried about the likelihood of a heavy-handed Duterte Administration.

Before Duterte's swearing-in ceremony, Vice President Leni Robredo, looking radiant in her Filipinana gown, took her oath of office at a small, yet well-attended, ceremony in New Manila, Quezon City.

Vice President Leonor Robredo takes her oath of office. Photo: ANC screen-grab

So kudos to the Filipino. Democracy is alive and well in our 7,100 islands. Sure, there's a whole lot that needs fixing, and so much more that needs to be done but today let's just celebrate the freedoms we now enjoy. And pray that no person or country ever takes them away. Published 6/30/2016

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Anti-establishment Votes: Brexit and the 2016 Philippine Elections

We often hear that there is wisdom in election results. After an election, we say the people have spoken. And the majority of voters are usually right—but not always. On occasion, voters make the wrong choice; even in a country with a long democratic tradition like Great Britain. The country that gave the world the Magna Carta, parliaments, and revered academic institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, seems to have stumbled this week when the majority of its citizens voted to leave the European Union ... Published 6/26/2016

With Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines Got the President It Deserves

Like it or not the Philippines will have a new president by the end of the month. As French philosopher, writer and lawyer Joseph de Maistre so aptly put it over 200 years ago "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve." So thus Filipinos will soon get a taste of what it will be like to live under a Rodrigo Duterte presidency ... Published 6/21/2016

The Orlando Massacre Clearly Highlights America's Distorted Values Towards Guns

At this point, it has clearly become an annoyance to watch the news and see Americans contort themselves into a pretzel in anguish over the latest mass killing in the United States. The anguish is genuine—there is no doubt about that, but the gun-related rampages happen so frequently ... Published 6/16/2016

It's What Happens After the Hague Tribunal Says the Philippines Won Versus China, That Matters

In a few weeks the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will render its decision on the case the Philippines brought against China. In all likelihood the tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines. For starters this will reinforce the country's claim that Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), which lies 220 km (137 mi) west of Palauig, Zambales, is well within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ... Published 6/7/2016

Should Senator Trillanes be charged with treason for the loss of Scarborough Shoal?

Barely a week after he received the most votes in the May 9 presidential elections, “presumptive president-elect” Rodrigo Duterte accused Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of committing treason in 2012 when he engaged in backchannel talks in Beijing with Chinese officials over the West Philippine Sea ... Published 5/26/2016

It Might be Back to the Dark Ages with the Duterte Plan to Reinstate the Death Penalty

According to Deterte's choice for the next Speaker of the House, Incoming Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, they will definitely bring back the death penalty to the Philippines. In a video interview with local press, Alvarez noted that he is confident it can be done. Published 5/22/2016

The NBN-ZTE Abalos Acquittal: An Opportunity for Duterte to Prove His Mettle to Filipinos

How can anyone forget the 2007 NBN-ZTE scandal. Where an ill-advised, grossly overpriced broadband network with limited capability was almost rammed down the throats of hapless Filipinos by the Arroyo administration. A foolhardy endeavor that would have cost Filipino taxpayers US$329 million. Published 5/16/2016

Rodrigo Duterte Is the Next President of the Philippines

With over ninety percent of the votes already tallied by the COMELEC's Transparency Server, candidate Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a insurmountable lead of more than 6 million votes over second-placer Mar Roxas. Duterte wins by a landslide and will be the 16th president of the Philippines. Published 5/10/2016

Davao Death Squad to Go National with Rody Duterte as President

Diehard Rody Duterte supporters appear willing to ignore recent disclosures that their beloved candidate, the front-runner in the Philippine presidential elections next week, has a P227 million peso account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Published 5/5/2016

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte, High-flying Candidates of the Same Feather

Two countries, two elections, two candidates. But for many who have been following both the Philippine and United States elections, these two presidential contenders, one American—one Filipino, appear to have uncanny similarities ... Published 5/1/2016

Our Thoughts on the Last Presidential Debate Before the 2016 Philippine Elections

Compared to the first two, this debate moderated by ABS-CBN was by far the best. So before anything else, kudos to the folks at ABS-CBN and ANC. Each of the five presidential contenders had ample opportunity to differentiate himself or herself from the rest—which should help voters make more informed choices on election day. Published 4/26/2016

Not Just Rodrigo Duterte, We Pinoys Simply Have a Really Crude Sense of Humor

After being excoriated first by social media, then by the general public, for a boorish and insensitive remark he made in 1989 that happened to be caught on video, Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte finally admitted it was a mistake. At first he tried to justify it as a seemingly vulgar joke due to his poor and humble upbringing. Published 4/22/2016

China’s Plan B: Binay-Bongbong (Jejomar Binay and Bongbong Marcos)

It’s a high stakes poker game with China placing all its chips on the table, gambling that it can seize unoccupied islets and shoals in the West Philippine Sea - transforming them into man-made artificial islands by pumping sand onto live coral reefs and paving them with concrete, then equipping them with aircraft runways, port facilities and surface-to-air missiles ... Published 4/16/2016

Read more articles from our archives

China's president talks tough ahead of tribunal ruling
BEIJING - China will never compromise on sovereignty, President Xi Jinping said Friday ahead of an international tribunal ruling over Beijing's maritime claims, as he celebrated the Communist Party's 95th anniversary. The ruling party must maintain absolute power in the country, strengthen its military and establish a greater role in world leadership ...

Panfilo Lacson: Duterte’s legal protection assurance a much-needed motivation boost for law enforcers
MANILA, July 1 (PNA) – Returning Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Friday President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s assurance of legal protection for police personnel who kill criminals in the line of duty will be a much-needed motivation for law enforcers to do their jobs well and without hesitation.

Military, police capture Abu Sayyaf bomb expert-leader, follower in Basilan province
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Joint military and police operatives have captured in the province of Basilan two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands, including an ASG mid-level leader who is an expert in making explosives, a military official announced Friday.

U.S. warns China of countermeasures if it provokes on S. China Sea
WASHINGTON, July 1 (PNA/Kyodo) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told Chinese officials that Washington will launch countermeasures if Beijing takes further provocative acts in the South China Sea, U.S. diplomatic sources said Thursday.

‘Adherence to rule of law is uncompromising’ – President Duterte
MANILA, July 1 - President Rodrigo R. Duterte vowed Thursday to adhere to the rule of law as he tackles the country’s major scourges such as crime, corruption, and proliferation of illegal drugs. In his inaugural address, he said these major problems must be addressed with urgency as he described them as “mere symptoms of a virulent social disease ...

Hong Kong protests mark day Beijing reclaimed city
HONG KONG—Tens of thousands of protesters were due to march in Hong Kong Friday to mark the anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, with pro-independence groups rallying for the first time amid fears Beijing is tightening its grip.

Philippine stocks seen to surge 15% to 25% during first year of Duterte presidency
MANILA, June 30 (PNA) -- The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) is projected to reach a new all- time high to breach the record high 8,100-mark during the first year of the new administration as investors are optimistic about President Rodrigo Duterte's economic policies.

Territorial defense a priority of Duterte administration
MANILA, July 1 (PNA) -- Territorial defense is one of the priorities of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's administration. This was stressed by newly-appointed Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday.

Bangko Sentral eyes 1.5-2.4% inflation rate for June 2016
MANILA - Tuition increases for school year 2016-'17 are seen as among the reasons for an uptick in inflation rate for June 2016, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Tuesday. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., in a text message to reporters, identified as other inflationary factors the increases in the prices of rice and vegetables.

Department of Foreign Affairs issues statement on the announcement of July 12 issuance of Arbitration Case ruling
MANILA, July 1 – The Department of Foreign Affairs issued a statement regarding the announcement on July 12 issuance of Arbitration Case ruling. The Permanent Court of Arbitration has announced on 29 June 2016 that the Tribunal will issue its final Award on the arbitration between the Republic of the Philippines ...

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