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A New Year’s Wish: Respect Towards One Another

ormer Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban might soon find himself under arrest, arraigned and prosecuted because of a libel charge filedFormer Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban might soon have to face libel charges for an article he wrote about the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) against him by Ferdinand Marcos crony Herminio Disini. The “libelous act” that Panganiban is accused of is writing an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2011 that Disini alleges is an “irresponsible and malicious” attack with regards to his involvement in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) during the martial law years. You can read Panganiban’s article titled: “After 35 years, still languishinghere and decide for yourself if it is indeed “libelous” or if Philippine laws are once again being used by people with money and power to muzzle the press.

But let us step back and try to see things from a broader perspective. This article is after all, not just about a Marcos crony and a former chief justice. During the 1986 EDSA revolution when millions of Filipinos put their lives on the line and literally faced down the tanks of General Fabian Ver, Cory Aquino became president while Marcos and his ilk were sent packing. The dreams and aspirations of the long-oppressed Filipino masses took flight with the ascendancy of the country’s first female president. Mrs. Aquino had as well the blessing and admiration of the entire world. She could have ushered in a new era of unprecedented growth and prosperity for the Philippines.

In retrospect however, it now appears that Cory Aquino achieved next to nothing. Not only was she faulted for not even trying, according to her many detractors at the time, she just didn’t seem to know anything. The acronym bandied about back then to describe Mrs. Aquino in office was TWA—not the airline, it stood for talagang walang alam (knows absolutely nothing). Had Mrs. Aquino despite her limitations taken seriously the mandate the Filipino people thrust upon her, she would have moved heaven and earth to bring to justice all those who in one way or another were involved withHerminio Disini (inset) and the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a $2.3 Billion debacle paid for by Filipino taxpayers either the Marcoses or their unjust military regime. Instead, Mrs. Aquino chose to kick the can down the road for another generation to deal with.

Little did she know then that the person who might have to clean up the mess she refused to touch would be her son, current President Noynoy Aquino (Pnoy). And in the nearly two decades that the Marcoses and their cronies have been left untouched, many of  those once cowering figures now stand tall, emboldened once again to not just put forward their own distorted version of history but to muzzle those who dare expose their sordid past.

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban’s stellar achievements despite his humble beginnings stand as a testament to his indomitable spirit. There is likely still a lot of fight left in him. The question however is: what will the president do about all this? Will Pnoy finish what his mother unfortunately never really started? Or will he likewise kick the can even further down the road so that in some distant misinformed future Ferdinand Marcos might even be seen as a hero and his martial law regime as the best thing that ever happened to the Philippines. Published 01/05/2014


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Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines

n our July 25th editorial we asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay should be the next president of the Philippines. In this editorial we arrive at the definitive conclusion that that Binay should not be elected president. Since our last editorial, more witnesses have come forward with more allegations against the embattled Vice President. But our decision not to support Binay’s presidential bid is based on irrefutable public acts that in our opinion disqualify him from the presidency. Published 09/16/2014


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The news was officially announced by China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing on August 25: Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, the “national fist” of the Philippines and the winner of eight world boxing titles, signed an agreement with the Chinese government “to establish a string of boxing academies” all over China with the aim of helping to “grow the sport in China and provide opportunities for young people to take part." Published 09/07/2014
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After leaving her August 15th bail hearing at the Sandiganbayan, Janet Lim Napoles showed the media the marble rosary she personally received from recently canonized Saint Pope John Paul II. Her lawyer Stephen David later disclosed to media that Napoles prays 2,000 rosaries a day. Given that a day has only 24 hours or 1,440 minutes, Napoles would have to complete an entire rosary in less than a minute praying non-stop for an entire day…every day. Atty. David also pointed out that Napoles paid for the schooling of at least 200 priests and helped construct many Catholic churches. Published 08/30/2014
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The arrogance of China is becoming readily apparent with each passing day. With their newly acquired economic and military power the Chinese appear unrestrained in their assertiveness towards their neighbors. China, instead of positioning itself as a 21st century superpower appears to be turning back the clock resembling more and more the 12th century empire of Genghis Khan and the Mongol hordes who conquered most of Eurasia...just because they could. Published 08/12/2014
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The passage of time has a way of distilling reality and bringing out truths that are sometimes hidden or lost by present circumstances. Case in point is the overwhelming level of admiration many Filipinos have for former President Corazon Aquino. When she passed away in 2009, the entire nation seemed beside itself in grief. Her casket was mobbed by thousands of mourners as it slowly made its way through the streets of Metro Manila to its final resting place at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. Published 08/02/2014
The Failure of Philippine Education Is Now Staring Us in the Face

Will the Philippines Ever Become a Developed Country? The short answer to that is no—at least not in our lifetime. While the country has of late improved it credit ratings as evidenced by upgrades from Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's all that perceived progress is illusory. In the Fifties and Sixties, when the Philippines was undeniably the country at the top of the heap in Southeast Asia, people said it would always be the most industrialized country in the region. Published 08/02/2014


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