Posts filed under ‘commentary’

Dead Woman Walking

Embed from Getty Images

It was with a sigh of relief that I received the news that last week’s execution of Mary Jane Veloso for drug trafficking in Indonesia was postponed. This was after an appeal from Philippine President Benigno Aquino was granted to enable her to testify against the woman who allegedly duped her into carrying 2.6 kilos of heroin hidden in her luggage.

Veloso is among more than 80 Filipinos in death row around the world mostly for drug-related crimes. As drug mules, they succumb to the thrill of free travel and easy money transporting illegal drugs from one country to another.

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May 4, 2015 at 10:58 am 5 comments

Philippine Corruption at a Glance

political corruption
Getty Images

It used to be that the Philippines was at the top of the heap. In the 50s, it was second only to Japan in East Asia. Those were the good old days. A decade later and decades that follow, it began its spiral downward. In 2014, it’s ranked 114 out of 125 countries in the Good Country Index published by Simon Anholt based on 35 data points mostly provided by the United Nations.

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out how it happened. Political corruption did it. Wikipedia defines it as “the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain.”

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April 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm 11 comments

Only In The Philippines

Philippine Inquirer

Vice President Jejomar Binay (Photo Credit: Philippine Inquirer)

In a little more than a year, President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines will complete his 6-year term in office. His critics, however, can’t wait for his successor to be elected. They want him to step down now. It doesn’t help that his approval rating has gone down to its lowest level since he assumed the presidency, according to the latest survey.

President Aquino isn’t perfect. But it’s his stance against corruption that made him many enemies. He has put former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as well as three popular senators in detention for plunder. It could only be expected that their allies will try to throw everything at him including the kitchen sink.

If President Aquino is forced out of office, he’ll be replaced by Vice President Jejomar Binay. It’ll be a nightmare for the country, a step back in the fight against corruption, bringing it back deeper into the dark ages.

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April 14, 2015 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

a night at the oscars

abc new
Photo Credit: ABC News

i didn’t go much to the movies last year, so it made sense that i hadn’t seen any of the nominees for best picture. it was either that or i don’t see eye to eye with the academy on what a good movie should be. if anything, i’m consoled by the fact that moviegoers, who vote with their purse, feel the same.

with a few exceptions, success at the box office could doom a movie’s chances of winning. take the case of american sniper earning $400 million so far. it got 6 nominations including best picture but took only one award for sound editing. sometimes i wonder if the voting members of the academy live in another planet.

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February 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm 6 comments

An Inconvenient Truth

Iris C. Gonzales
Photo Credit: Iris C. Gonzales

On his recent 5-day visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis urged the Filipinos at all levels of society to reject every form of corruption.

Will the Filipinos heed the call? As much as they love Pope Francis, I doubt it.

Corruption is the grease that keeps the machinery of the country going. It’s condoned and accepted within the system. Diogenes who carried a lamp looking for an honest man was fortunate not to extend his search in the Philippines. He’d be grossly disappointed. Worse, his lamp would be stolen to hide the evidence.

In a climate where corruption is tolerated, politicians operate with impunity, stealing from the very people who have voted them in office. If they get caught, they don’t get incarcerated in actual jails. They get confined to a first-class hospital or placed in a detention center with special privileges.

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February 17, 2015 at 11:13 pm 5 comments

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