With midterm elections just days away, it bears repeating that from our perspective, Philippine elected officials leave so much to be desired. And one reason why we seem to have such a dearth of top-rate individuals is because political dynasties are pervasive throughout the archipelago. Political dynasties from a Philippine context are in some ways akin to the fiefdoms that existed in Europe during the middle ages.
With elections a little over a week away, Filipinos need to take a long and hard look at who they are choosing to lead them for the next three to six years—for the Philippines is a country sorely lacking in leadership. For decades we have been electing celebrities, entertainers, and relatives of past and present politicians who are totally unfit for public service. They have neither the training, the experience, nor the intellect needed to properly do the job voters elected them to do.
Swift Justice in Boston, Something You Hardly Ever See in the Philippines
You have to give it to American law enforcement; they really seem to have their act together. When the horrific explosions occurred during the Boston Marathon it appeared almost impossible that whoever did it would be apprehended. But just a few days after that bombing incident, authorities seem to have cracked the case. One suspect is dead and another is now apprehended. Large swaths of the greater Boston area were on lockdown and door-to-door searches were conducted in the suburb of Watertown.
Will the PCGG go after Imee Marcos’s Offshore Trust Account?
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), cooperating with Washington DC-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently published a two-part report that revealed that Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos Manotoc, eldest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos is the beneficiary of a secret trust account held in the British Virgin Islands.
Crucifixions, They’re More Fun in the Philippines
During this Holy Week like others in the past, for as long as this author can remember, a small minority of Filipinos have been whipping themselves raw or nailing themselves to crosses in a supposed show of atonement and piety. This odd spectacle now draws worldwide interest with curious tourists flying in from all over to witness firsthand flagellants who whip themselves to down to raw flesh or penitents who are nailed to wooden crosses on Good Friday.
With a Simple and Humble New Pope, What Should Happen to the Philippine Catholic Hierarchy?
Celebrating his first mass as Pontiff a day after being elected, 76-year-old Pope Francis told the assembled cardinals to guard against “the worldliness of the Devil.” Here was a man who made it an annual practice to celebrate Holy Thursday by washing the feet of the poor, and the downtrodden of his native Argentina. Here too was a man who took the bus to and from his work despite having chauffeured vehicles available to him. He preferred living in a modest apartment, cooking his own meals despite access to the well staffed bishop’s mansion in the ritzy the suburb of Olivos where no less than the Argentine president has his summer residence.
Will We Ever See a Filipino Pope? Not with the Way the Philippine Catholic Church is Run Today
Reeling from the resounding victory of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, the Philippine Catholic Church has decidedly jumped in the electoral fray (despite the constitutional separation of church and state) to influence the outcome of the country's 2013 elections. The church recently launched a “Team Buhay/Team Patay” (Team Life/Team Death) campaign that identifies legislators running for re-election who voted against or for the RH Bill. Those who voted against the bill are part of Team Life, while those who voted for the bill are part of Team Death—at least as far as the Church is concerned.