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China Owns the Entire South China Sea? What are They Smoking—Opium?

any Filipinos today are realizing that the single, six-yearPresident Benigno Aquino III presidential term as prescribed in the 1987 Constitution is woefully inadequate for a good president like Benigno S. Aquino III. The delegates who wrote that provision in the Constitution must have still been reeling from the almost 20 years of “kleptocratic” rule of strongman Ferdinand Marcos when they decided that one term was enough for any future Philippine president. Four years—the presidential term at the time—would be too short; eight too long. So the delegates must have all arrived at the happy medium of 6 years and that was that.

Six years was just about right for Cory Aquino who in hindsight didn’t do much as president. Fidel Ramos could have accomplished more if he had a longer term—but he couldn’t “rock the boat” so soon after the Constitution was promulgated. For Erap Estrada, six years was certainly too long so he got booted out of office in two. Gloria Arroyo lasted a total of 9 years as president by hoodwinking the public into thinking she was working for them, but in reality her husband and her were working only for themselves.

So now we have a president who appears to be doing all the right things but his 6-year term ends in 2 years. Looking to replace him is Jejomar Binay who for all intents and purposes seems to be a typical Filipino politician intent on establishing a political dynasty just like most corrupt Filipino politicians try to do.

Aquino has so far brought about a lot of changes, but given the entrenched corruption inherent in the population, change is happening at a very slow pace. Much of what has been started by Aquino will remain unfinished when his term ends in two years.

The question many now ask is: should the flawed constitution the Philippines has be amended to give Aquino a few more years so he can finish what he started? DILG Secretary and presidential aspirant Mar Roxas believes it is the right thing to do. Roxas even is willing to put his presidential ambitions on hold to give Aquino a few more years in office.

The Ampatuan Massacre case, the indictment against Gloria Arroyo, the plunder cases against Senators Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada—for starters—are all still pending. Will a Binay administration (should he win the election) be as determined to see these cases through to their conclusion?

For many, amending the poorly thought-out sections of the 1987 “Cory Aquino” Constitution makes more and more sense as the 2016 election year draws near. The fear that all the hard-won changes of the past four years will be lost should a traditional Filipino politician (trapo) win the presidency.

And if the Constitution is amended and a Philippine president can once again be elected to two terms, how long should those terms be? Do we go back to the 4-year term we used to have? We’d like to hear all you have to say on this topic. Published 08/23/2014


RECENT EDITORIALS

12 Million Metro Manila Commuters Stuck in Gridlock Hell

For much of the last month, my Facebook friends in Metro Manila have been posting comments lamenting their helplessness at being condemned to spend a great portion of what is left of their productive lives stuck in hours of traffic with no hope in sight. They now appreciate why Dan Brown described Manila in his book, Inferno, as “the gates of hell” specifically referring to its “six-hour traffic jams (and) suffocating pollution”. Published 11/062014


Why Filipino-Americans Need to Vote Democratic on November 4

Since 1620 when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, people the world over have migrated to America in search of a better life. Filipinos are no exception. In the '70s and '80s Filipinos who were able to, left for the U.S. to escape the tyranny of the Marcos regime; today they leave is to escape the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homeland. Whatever the reason, Filipino migrants quickly shed their old habits and attitudes and embraced American culture. Published 10/30/2014
Both United States and Philippine Governments to Blame for Death of Jeffery "Jennifer" Laude

The United States and Philippine governments share the blame for the tragedy. Two young lives needlessly destroyed: the first, a young Filipino transgender found strangled inside a motel bathroom; the second a teenaged American serviceman now accused of murder. Published 10/19/2014
Death of Filipino Transgender 'Jennifer' Laude Was Totally Preventable

The evening for the young US Marine and his Filipino date "Jennifer" began at the Ambyanz Disco Bar in Subic Bay, Olongapo and ended shortly before midnight at the Celzone Lodge where "Jennifer's" lifeless body was found leaning against the toilet bowl. Jennifer, it turns out was actually not originally a "she" but a "he." A Filipino transgender, Jeffrey Laude, 26, began calling himself "Jennifer" after medical procedures made him look more female than male. Published 10/14/2014
Sorry Mr. President But PNP Chief Alan Purisima Has to Go

What’s with Philippine civil servants these days? It seems that you can stick all their pictures on a wall; throw a dart; and whoever’s photo it land on, that person can be successfully prosecuted for graft. It is unbelievable how pervasive and widespread corruption has become. We go from one corruption scandal to the next and there seems to be no end in sight. Published 10/07/2014
Tear Down the Torre de Manila Building Being Built Behind the Rizal Monument?

According to the developer’s website, “Torre de Manila, DMCI Homes’ newest one-tower condominium, is an exclusive residential community right in the heart of the city.” As of this writing, the 49-story edifice is about halfway complete. But as it continues to rise, so too do the howls of protest from an eclectic collection of groups and individuals who want it torn down. Why? Torre de Manila will permanently mar the skyline behind the Rizal Monument. Published 10/01/2014
How Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law Continues Hurting Filipinos to This Day

On the evening of September 23, 1972, two days after it had taken effect, Ferdinand Marcos announced via live television from Malacañang Palace that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. It was a calculated move by a devious politician to keep himself in power beyond what the Constitution allowed. A staged ambush attempt against his Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was the main excuse Marcos (or “Macoy” as he was deridingly referred to back then) used to strip Filipinos of all their constitutional rights. With that, the diminutive Ilocano from the backwaters of Batac, Ilocos Norte became the despotic dictator for over a decade. Published 09/23/2014
Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines

In 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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