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DND: P60-B projects facing delays undergo Aquino's scrutiny

MANILA, Philippines — The military's multi-billion peso modernization program requires a thorough assessment to make it responsive to the emerging security c

Photo of baby smoking a cigarette goes viral

  After a photo of a toddler being leashed like a dog made the rounds on social media, another Facebook post featuring a child enraged netizens and went viral. A certain Ehrdz de la Cruz has posted photos of a woman teaching a baby how to smoke a cigarette. The child, pictured with a cigarette in its mouth, was being carried by the same woman in two photos. The pictures were part of an album entitled "Yosi fa more..." which was uploaded on Feb. 21. It is not clear whether the woman in the picture is the same person who uploaded the album. Ma. Rhona Ysabel Daoang        ...

Keep on reading: Photo of baby smoking a cigarette goes viral

Anemic gov’t spending slows Q1 GDP growth to 3-year low of 5.2%

PERSISTENT delays in the implementation of vital infrastructure projects intended to support an expanding economy slowed the growth of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) during the first quarter to a disappointing 5.2 percent --- the lowest rate since 2012. The first quarter GDP growth figure was below the 6.6-percent expansion posted in the fourth quarter of last year, as well as the 5.6-percent growth rate registered during the January to March period in 2014. Economic managers had attributed the slower growth in the first quarter of last year to the effects of super-typhoon "Yolanda" (international name: Haiyan), which flattened central Philippines in November 2013. But ...

Keep on reading: Anemic gov’t spending slows Q1 GDP growth to 3-year low of 5.2%

Study says girls seek sisterhood, not just marriage in IS

        LONDON --- The notion that young women are traveling to Syria solely to become "jihadi brides" is simplistic and hinders efforts to prevent other girls from being radicalized, new research suggests. Young women are joining the so-called Islamic State group for many reasons, including anger over the perceived persecution of Muslims and the wish to belong to a sisterhood with similar beliefs, according to a report released Thursday by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London. Western societies must understand these varied motivations if they hope to prevent mo...

Keep on reading: Study says girls seek sisterhood, not just marriage in IS

Fil-Am bound for US nabbed at NAIA for carrying knife, grenade in backpack

A US-bound passenger was arrested on Thursday morning by the aviation police for allegedly trying to smuggle in a grenade and a knife at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).Filipino-American widower Cipriano De Guzman, 58, of Orlando, Florida, told airport security officials that he had no idea how the MK2 fragmentation grenade and a kitchen knife ended up in his backpack, short of claiming the items were planted.Supt. Ricardo Layug, Jr., head of the Aviation Security Group-National Capital Region (Avsegroup-NCR), said the suspect, despite his claim, would face charges of illegal possession of an explosive and of a bladed weapon in the Pasay City prosecutor's office.Layug said ...

Keep on reading: Fil-Am bound for US nabbed at NAIA for carrying knife, grenade in backpack

Syria’s al-Qaida chief says no plans to attack the West

BEIRUT, Lebanon --- Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has no plans to attack the West but warns that they might retaliate if airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition continue to target them, the leader of the group said in an interview with an Arab TV station. The Syrian known as Abu Muhammed al-Golani, who heads the Nusra Front, said the aim of his group is to march to the Syrian capital Damascus and bring down President Bashar Assad's government. Al-Golani denied that the so-called Khorasan group even exists. Since September when the U.S. led coalition began targeting the Islamic State group in Syria, U.S. airstrikes have attacked targets associated with the so-called Khorasan group --- whi...

Keep on reading: Syria’s al-Qaida chief says no plans to attack the West

3 PNP officials relieved in Central Luzon for failing in anti-crime drive

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines ---- Three police officials in Central Luzon were relieved on Thursday due to findings of their allegedly poor performance in the renewed anti-criminality drive "Lambat-Sibat," an official said. Chief Supt. Ronald Santos, regional police director, announced the immediate relief of Supt. Marcos Rivero of Marilao city in Bulacan, Senior Insp. Marlo Dangarang of Abucay town in Bataan, and Supt. Rechie Duldulao of the city of San Fernando in Pampanga. Santos said the relief of the officers came after Director Ricardo Marquez, head of the Philippine National Police's directorate for operations, instructed him to identify and commend police officers who ...

Keep on reading: 3 PNP officials relieved in Central Luzon for failing in anti-crime drive

Man arrested for massive downtown Los Angeles blaze

LOS ANGELES, California --- A man has been arrested on suspicion of starting a massive inferno that destroyed an unfinished apartment building and damaged adjacent office towers in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said. Dawud Abdulwali, 56, of Los Angeles, whose name may be an alias, was arrested Tuesday on a traffic warrant and only later was booked on suspicion of aggravated arson and arson of a structure, fire officials said. He was being held on more than $1 million bail and was expected to be charged on Thursday. Abdulwali was renting a room in South Los Angeles last year, his landlord, Poleth Chavez, told the Los Angeles Times. In December, around the time of the fire, he...

Keep on reading: Man arrested for massive downtown Los Angeles blaze

Unicef condemns child on leash incident

THE United Nations Children's Fund expressed serious concern on a recent viral Facebook photo of a young boy who was put on leash by his mother.   In a statement, it said that this was"a gross violation of his rights and dignity."   "We condemn in the strongest terms this incident that clearly violated a young child's rights, well-being and dignity," said Unicef Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander.   The 18-month-old boy was rescued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development from his parents in Bataan and has taken temporary custody.   The child will undergo a medical examination, and both the mother and the child will undergo p...

Keep on reading: Unicef condemns child on leash incident

Palace: US consistent in commitment to help PH amid territorial dispute

The United States has always been consistent in its commitment to help the Philippines, Malacaang said on Thursday after the US renewed its "ironclad" pledge to the nation. "Kaya't makikita natin na sa daloy ng panahon ay naging consistent naman at masasabi naman siguro natin na matibay yung yung pagsasamang yan dahil mahigit limang dekada na nakalipas mula doon sa kauna-unahang Mutual Defense Treaty," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told reporters in a press briefing. In a meeting in Hawaii with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday, his US counterpart Ashton Carter reiterated their "ironclad" commitment to the Philippines amid the tense disputes in the West Phil...

Keep on reading: Palace: US consistent in commitment to help PH amid territorial dispute

Roxas plea to media: Don’t put political color on my provincial visits

      CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar - Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has asked the media not to taint with political color his efforts going around provinces to distribute patrol jeeps to police stations in different regions.   In an ambush interview on Thursday, Roxas' response turned sour when he was asked by some members of the local media if his provincial visits signify the start of his campaign for the 2016 presidential elections.   "Hindi naman fair na lagyan ninyo ito ng malisya o intriga 'yung paggawa ko ng trabaho. Kapag hindi naman ako pumunta dito, anong sasabihin niyo, 'bakit hindi pumunta rito?' Hindi ho ba kaya sala sa init, sala sa...

Keep on reading: Roxas plea to media: Don’t put political color on my provincial visits

Zsa Zsa says she found it difficult to sing after Dolphy’s death

brightcove.createExperiences();   Video by Cathy Miranda     Singer and actress Zsa Zsa Padilla has admitted she found it difficult to sing on stage after her husband comedy king Dolphy passed away. "I was on stage probably six years ago. That was the last time I had the courage to go on stage. It's hard, it's difficult [to sing] especially when you're going through something that is very, very painful in your life," Zsa Zsa said on Wednesday at Resorts World Manila during a press conference for her upcoming concert entitled "Beginnings." Dolphy died on July 10, 2012, due to multip...

Keep on reading: Zsa Zsa says she found it difficult to sing after Dolphy’s death

Maraño sees bright future for young SEA Games teammates like Valdez, Santiago

    When Aby Marao plays, she leaves it all on the court, and when she praises her teammates she doesn't leave anything off. Marao told Inquirer.net that she sees a huge potential on her young teammates in the Philippine National Volleyball Team that would compete in the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games, especially UAAP stars Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago. "They have a very high potential, I think they are the future of Philippine volleyball," Marao said during a lull in her photoshoot at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office. "Their level of play is so high right now." "Those kids, you will never think that their game is raw or unpolished, no. Right now...

Keep on reading: Maraño sees bright future for young SEA Games teammates like Valdez, Santiago

LRT operator in Monumento collision gets the axe

The  driver of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 train that figured in a collision with another train last Saturday will be given his walking papers.

Fund delays big factor in economic slowdown – Palace

FUND delays in public construction spending had a significant contribution to the slowdown of economic growth for the first quarter, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said on Thursday.   READ: Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low   "A significant contributory factor to the slower growth is the 24.6 per cent decline in public construction spending," he told reporters in a press briefing.   He said this was due to delays in actual disbursement of funds that are usually experienced at the start of the year.   The first quarter domestic product growth rate slowed down to 5.2 percent, lower than the 5.6 percent expansion in the ...

Keep on reading: Fund delays big factor in economic slowdown – Palace

BBL puts country in ‘no-win’ situation, says former SC chief

THE Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has put the country in a "no win" situation and instead of bringing peace, it could lead to a crisis and tear the nation apart, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno warned the government Thursday. "Regardless of the outcome, the BBL cannot guarantee peace in Mindanao," Puno said in a statement. Puno, a former voice of judicial activism and an advocate for a review of the 1987 Constitution, said the country should instead push for a change in the political system to provide the framework for the envisioned Bangsamoro government. He said if the BBL is passed, it would be questioned before the Supreme Court. If declared unconstitutional, it could put th...

Keep on reading: BBL puts country in ‘no-win’ situation, says former SC chief

Graft case vs Napoles worker dropped after Ombudsman admits mistake

MYLA Ogerio can breathe a sigh of relief after the Ombudsman admitted its mistake of dragging her into the pork barrel scam.   The Sandiganbayan dropped the graft charges against Ogerio, supposed employee of Janet Lim-Napoles, after Ombudsman prosecutors admitted that they erred in charging her for her involvement in the alleged scam.   In a resolution, the antigraft court First Division granted the prosecution's motion to drop Ogerio from 16 counts of graft after a reinvestigation found out that Ogerio had no hand in the alleged scam involving the pork barrel funds of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.   The prosecution said Ogerio is not an employee in any corpo...

Keep on reading: Graft case vs Napoles worker dropped after Ombudsman admits mistake

NBI to probe claim its agents ‘badgered’ Batangas residents to nail Binay

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will investigate accusations made by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) that some of its agents have forced residents in Rosario, Batangas to identify Vice President Jejomar Binay as the owner of the sprawling hacienda in the area. "We will check on the said report," NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said in a text message. Mendez said they are already verifying the allegations of UNA spokesman Atty. JV Bautista that some NBI agents ''badgered'' and ''harassed'' the residents into signing affidavits that say Binay owns the estate that critics had called ''Hacienda Binay." On Thursday, Bautista, at a news briefing, distributed a sworn stat...

Keep on reading: NBI to probe claim its agents ‘badgered’ Batangas residents to nail Binay

Karylle ‘ready’ for first baby

//     Singer-actress Karylle has said she is ready to get pregnant and even lost weight in preparation for the arrival of her baby with husband Yael Yuzon. "Actually nagpapapayat muna ako bago magpa-buntis, but I'm ready any time," Karylle said, adding she had been working out to achieve a fitter body. Like her mother Zsa Zsa Padilla, who said she was waiting for the right time before tying the knot with boyfriend Conrad Onglao, the "It's Showtime" host said she was not in a hurry to get pregnant. "We are ready when the good Lord says it's time. The time will come. Everything in God's perfect time," Karylle said. Asked if she wanted a baby gi...

Keep on reading: Karylle ‘ready’ for first baby

Watch: Riley Curry upstages dad Stephen in NBA press conference anew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq591UOSmwM Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors entered the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years, but it was his daughter who starred in the post-game press conference.   Riley, Curry's two-year-old daughter, was with her dad when the MVP spoke to the media after the Warriors dismantled the Houston Rockets 104-90 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals and she was loving it. "She's enjoying the moment for sure," Curry said of his daughter. While sitting on her father's lap, Riley pretended to be tired, then asked her "Dada" for a little help on her bracelet, tore a piece of paper, played hide-and-seek, sang some Big Sean, told...

Keep on reading: Watch: Riley Curry upstages dad Stephen in NBA press conference anew

China bares report on military strategy, defends sea expansion

MANILA, Philippines — China has vowed to defend its maritime interests and has accused some neighboring countries of boosting their military presence in Chin

Zsa Zsa on getting married: ‘It will come’

//     THE "Divine Divina" believes in the divine power of right timing. Singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla just turned 51, but tying the knot is not yet part of her plans. In the sidelines of the promotion of her "Beginnings" album and concert, Padilla said she and her boyfriend architect Conrad Onglao are not yet talking about plans of getting married. "Not yet. Maybe getting there, I don't know," she said. "Time is gold? I think it'll come in time, in due time," she added. While saying that she hasn't asked anyone's opinion on the matter yet, Padilla said she is confident that her loved ones, particularly her kids, wish h...

Keep on reading: Zsa Zsa on getting married: ‘It will come’

Maraño ready to bring her swagger to SEA Games in Singapore

Expect Aby Marao to dish out some swagger as the Philippine national volleyball team tries to make a splash in Singapore for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. "Swagger? Of course I'll bring it. I can't change that, it comes natural to me when I play," said a soft-spoken Marao on Thursday during a lull in a photo shoot at the office of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "There were times when I was still in college when I don't react much, I was less intense than my usual self and my game just slipped." Marao is known as one of Philippine volleyball's most intense players and she lets it known inside the playing court. Her demeanor may have drawn the ire of some people, but her fan...

Keep on reading: Maraño ready to bring her swagger to SEA Games in Singapore

Word war between De Lima, Duterte continues

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo’s insults would not stop her from condemning summary executions and the D

Palace defends gov't peace panel from treason raps

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday defended members of the government peace panel now facing sedition and treason complaints over the Bangsamoro Ba

Binay camp deems another plunder charge 'useless'

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay finds the partial Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee, which recommended the filing of plunder cha

Duterte pitches federalism dream to MILF

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday offered federalism to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as another viable solution

'Countries tarnish China's image for own interest'

MANILA, Philippines - Beijing claimed that some countries questioning its massive reclamation activities over the South China Sea are "tarnishing the image o

Party-list groups defer voting on BBL

MANILA, Philippines — The 40-member party-list coalition decided to defer voting on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) until the end of the plenary deliberations

Pentagon says US flights, sea missions in Pacific will go on

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Defense Secretary Ash Carter strongly defended America's right to fly over artificial islands that Beijing is building in the South Ch

Gov't negotiators to face treason raps for BBL

MANILA, Philippines —  Buhay party-list Rep.

WATCH: Criminals target kids, prowl malls and video arcades

Video game arcades, malls, and other areas popular with kids and teenagers have become the happy hunting grounds for thieves, pickpockets, and even kidnappers, according to the Philippine National Police.

WATCH: Alleged shooter caught on CCTV during Caloocan settlement demolition

The suspect who allegedly shot a police officer during the demolition of Caloocan City's Calaanan informal settlement could be seen on security camera footage wielding what looks to be an improvised gun, GMA 7's “24 Oras” reported Wednesday.

Residents affected by Caloocan demolition ask city govt for relocation site

The informal settlers of the Calaanan compound in Caloocan City are asking the local government for relocation and financial support after their homes were demolished this week, a report from GMA's “News to Go” said Wednesday.

DepEd: Only 5 schools, not 9, directly on top of West Valley Fault

The Department of Education has clarified that only five schools are situated directly on top of the West Valley Fault, correcting earlier statements that counted nine schools.

PHIVOLCS marks path of West Valley Fault under Muntinlupa school

Research specialists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) conducted an on-site survey of the Pedro E. Diaz High School (PEDHS) in Muntinlupa City to inform school officials on the exact location of the fault line under the school compound.

LOOK: ‘Recto University’ comes to life again

One week before the new school year starts, the so-called "University of Recto" in Manila's university belt has sprung back to life.

LOOK: QC police operation nets 2 alleged drug pushers

Police officers from the Kamuning Police Station's Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operation Task Group arrested two alleged drug pushers in a buy-bust operation in Quezon City's Barangay Immaculate Concepcion early Wednesday morning, radio dzBB's James Agustin reported.

At least five injured as demolition turns violent in Caloocan City

At least five members of the Northern Police District, a member of the Bureau of Fire Protection rescue unit staff and a sherrif of the Caloocan Regional Trial Court were injured after violence erupted in a demolition operation in Calaanan Compound In Caloocan City on Tuesday.

Ex-UDM teacher nabbed for allegedly falsifying admission slips for money

The Manila City Hall Police Detachment on Monday arrested a former teacher of the Universidad de Manila after he allegedly attempted to enroll 38 students using fake admission slips he made at the rate of P600 to P1,000 per student.

 Photos of naked child go viral on social media

Photographs of a naked child on a leash—apparently distributed by the child's mother—went viral on social media hours after they went public on Monday afternoon.

Shots fired in demolition in Caloocan, 3 policemen injured

The demolition of an area in Caloocan City led to an exchange of gunfire between residents and authorities, hitting a policeman.

MMDA wants law allowing agency to take over heavy equipment during disasters

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino on Monday asked Congress to pass a law authorizing the agency to take over private assets and heavy equipment in times of national emergencies.

MMDA submits draft EO for proposed NCR-wide shutdown for quake drill

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino on Monday submitted to Malacañang a draft executive order for the proposed “shutdown” of the capital for an earthquake drill.

PNP yet to install CCTV camera network in University Belt

Just a few weeks before classes start in most of Metro Manila's schools, the Philippine National Police has yet to complete its network of CCTV cameras near the campuses. The PNP said it has yet to put up CCTV systems in Manila's University Belt. It is said to be the densest cluster of schools of higher learning anywhere in the country, with some 50 institutions no more than six kilometers apart.

How Filipinos Can Stop China Now

The future of Filipinos will be nothing like their past. Each and every Filipino must realize this. The proverbial lackadaisical “Juan Tamad” lying under a guava tree in an idyllic Amorsolo painting-like setting will no longer exist. Instead a new reality like that of ancient Sparta or modern-day Israel will pervade. China is growing stronger every day and they are quickly turning into an aggressive, tyrannical power. Like Sparta and Israel, the Philippines will be in a constant state of siege for the foreseeable future. If the Philippines is to survive as an independent country, it has to do something…now ...

Pacman's Gamble

The world now knows that while training for his May 2 “Fight of the Century” with undefeated world welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao suffered a shoulder injury. According to his trainer, Freddie Roach, this mishap occurred on April 4 in a sparring session when he threw a right hook and his arm “got entangled with those of his sparring partner” ...

Chinese Military Bases Under Construction on Philippine Reefs Must be Destroyed Now!

This is the reality: China’s military leaders are rushing the construction of military bases in six different reef areas inside the Philippines’ exclusive 200 mile economic zone. The Philippines is doing nothing to immediately stop it. In a year’s time, these bases will practically be completed. Once they are completed fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, missiles and heavily armed warships will be stationed there. It will then be practically impossible to remove them ...

Is Vice President Jejomar Binay the Manchurian Candidate?

It was made into two classic films, the first with Frank Sinatra in 1962 and the second with Denzel Washington in 2004. “The Manchurian Candidate”, the 1959 best-selling novel by Richard Condon, told the tale of a group of American soldiers captured during the Korean War who were taken to Manchuria, China where they were brainwashed by Chinese officials. After they were released by their captors, the soldiers were hailed as heroes in the US. One of them, Raymond Shaw, became the Manchurian candidate, the sleeper assassin at the beck and call of the Chinese Communists ...

Pacmania Sweeps the World

Walk down any big city in the Philippines and you feel the excitement gripping everyone; men and women, boxing aficionados or not. Sunday’s match (Manila-time) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will have the country, glued to screens, large and small in major metropolitan areas as well as far-flung rural barrios. In fact, it is not just the Philippines, but the entire world that will be watching this long-awaited duel between two of today’s biggest boxing giants. In Mexico home to boxing greats like Érik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few, the fight will be aired live for free on Mexico City television ...

Mary Jane Veloso’s Execution Will Only Highlight the Dysfunction of Filipino Society

On the 28th of April, the Indonesian government will execute Filipina Mary Jane Veloso by firing squad. For this luckless young woman, it will be the culmination of a life that from the beginning, had been dealt a losing hand. First and foremost, she was born a Filipino. In a country where according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study, 18 million live on 50 pesos or less a day, her chances of being born into poverty were a lot greater than if she was born in Europe or North America—or even in other countries in Southeast Asia ...

There Will Never be Lasting Peace with the Bangasamoro Basic Law

It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international terrorist. Because the SAF officers were in what the rebels perceive as “their” territory provided the Moros with the excuse they needed to savagely slaughter the group. This incident, known as the Mamasapano Massacre occurred shortly after the Moros and the Aquino administration signed the BBL ...

Is Manny Pacquiao Giving Floyd Mayweather an Unfair Advantage?

Doctor Expedito Castillo, a retired internist with training in sports medicine thinks so. Castillo who lives in New York points out that Los Angeles—where Manny Pacquiao now trains for his May 2nd fight, and Las Vegas—where Floyd Mayweather trains and where the boxing match will take place, have enormous differences in terms of elevation. Los Angeles is just 233 feet above sea-level, while Las Vegas is a whopping 2,000 feet above sea-level ...

Just When You Thought Filipino Cops Were the Worst, Here Come US Cops

What in the world has happened to cops in the United States? It seems that today only psychotic, unstable, individuals are joining the police U.S. police force this days. People from all across the globe were more than willing to give American cops the benefit of the doubt, at first. But in instance after instance, from Ferguson, MS and the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man who witnesses say was unarmed and posed no threat at all to police; to today’s cold-blooded murder of Walter F. Scott, 50 by South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager, 33. Mr. Scott had been stopped by Officer Slager for—of all things—a busted taillight. But as Scott turned and fled, he was fired at 8 times by the officer and died on the spot ...

NPA Celebrates 46 Years of Destroying the Philippines

Founded by Bernabe Buscayno, or “Kumander Dante” as he was more commonly known, the New People’s Army founded on March 29, 1969 celebrates it 46th year of existence. From less than 40 founding members and a handful of rifles, the NPA grew to over 26,000 in the 1980s. Today however the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) places NPA membership at less than 5,000 nationwide. That number is expected to dwindle even further as progress and education creep in to the far-flung towns and barrios that were once breeding grounds for recruits ...

Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos, What a Difference!

An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented. In addition, it is a land plagued by “frequent disasters, both man-made and natural” ...

Will the Philippines Ever Speed Up Its Glacially-Slow Justice System?

We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice." ...

Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo...Why?

Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves ...

Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world"...

With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?

What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project? Or have they been around these terrorists far too long that they're experiencing a "Stockholm-syndrome" like phenomenon? ...

Why is the NBI Going After Those Who Uploaded the Sagonoy Video?

According to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, they have identified the individuals who uploaded the video showing the coldblooded killing of PO2 Joseph Sagonoy. The cellphone video was purportedly taken by Muslim rebels during the Jan. 25, 2014 encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group. The video shows a wounded Sagonoy who is shot twice in the head at close range ...

Twice the Heroes—the SAF 44 Who Lost Lives in Mamasapano

The 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) who were brutally killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015 are heroes twice over: first, they paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country; second, they exposed for all to see, the dangers the country will face if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is passed ...

No More Bangsamoro, Period!

With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of a Bangsamoro is a bad idea. Just as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) spearheaded by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was a bad idea (and declared unconstitutional in 2008 by the Supreme Court). Just as the failed Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 1990s was a bad idea ...

After the Mamasapano Massacre, Plans for a Bangsamoro Must Be Scrapped

What happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 is a "game changer"—make no mistake about it. Reality as we saw it before this event is not the reality we see now...everything is different; everything has "changed. When the Philippine National Police's (PNP) elite team known as the Special Action Force or SAF set out to arrest Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, it had actionable intelligence that the Malaysian fugitive was hiding in the town of Mamasapano. Marwan, an expert bomb maker, is a core member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. He also has a USD 5 million bounty on his head as one of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists ...

President Aquino Should Fly to Saudi Arabia and Pay His Last Respects to King Abdullah

Presidents and prime ministers, kings and queens; from Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, President Francois Hollande of France, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and many other heads of state from all corners of the globe have gone or are headed to Riyadh to pay their respects to the late King Abdullah. Even U.S. President Barack Obama cut short his state visit to India to fly to Saudi Arabia ...

After the Pope's Visit: What We Filipinos Now Must Do

We put on a good show for Pope Francis. He loved it; we loved it; the world loved it. Now the long and painful task of bringing about the changes the pope asked for begins. Start with the Philippine Catholic Church. It should refocus its efforts towards the poor. As we wrote in previous editorials, many priests and bishops see themselves as members of the rich and privileged class. They feel more at home in country clubs and dining in expensive restaurants, than they do helping the poor who live in the squatter communities that dot most cities in the Philippines. Priests and nuns run good schools but charge so much for tuition that only the very rich can afford to send their kids to them ...

Pope Francis Admonishes Pinoys to End Scandalous Inequalities

We had a feeling this was coming. In his first major speech in the Philippines, Pope Francis called for an end to 'scandalous inequalities' in the country. And what better example of a scandalous inequality is there than that a preposterously ridiculous wedding of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera which was officiated by 8 bishops and 7 priests. In addition, this crass wedding featured a 12-foot high wedding cake, a 2-million-peso wedding gown with an exaggeratedly long train that seemed to go on forever...you get the picture. And since the average Filipino subsists on a shockingly paltry $2 a day what could be more scandalously inequitable than that ...

An Open Letter to Pope Francis; Please Read It Before Coming to the Philippines

Dear Pope Francis, your much anticipated visit to the Philippines is just a few days away. We expect that you will have been adequately briefed about the Philippines by the time you arrive. However, there might be a few things your Vatican handlers might have missed—or intentionally "forgot" to mention to you so we hope this letter reaches you in time for your historic visit. Before anything else, welcome! ...

A Dingdong Fancy Wedding for a Third World Country

What is it with us Filipinos? We are a country of "all flash and no substance." Case in point: This ridiculously lavish wedding between two so-so movie stars that sought to outdo even the most "royal" of royal weddings. What was the whole point of this crassly extravagant display? Least anyone forget, the Philippines is still a Third World country. And many, many squatter's homes (if you can call them "homes") do not have running water or even a toilet! ...

Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Aguinaldo

Money received from benefactors during Christmas in the Philippines is called “aguinaldo”, a term and practice imported from Mexico during the Spanish colonial period where it now refers to the annual Christmas bonus given to employees. In the Philippines, it is now generally used to describe monetary gifts given by all benefactors, including godparents and employers. Like all other "presidentiables", Vice President Jojo Binay is also expecting aguinaldos from his wealthy financial supporters, taipan and non-taipan alike. But down the road, he is counting on another kind of "aguinaldo", this one from no less than the Philippine Supreme Court. It is a special gift that will allow him to realize his ambition to be the next president of the republic ...

Do Filipinos Want America on Their Side or Not?

Given the Filipino penchant for "dramatics," not to mention the circus atmosphere that inevitably encompasses any event of even minor significance, one can hardly blame American government officials for refusing to hand over US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton over to Philippine authorities. The intriguing question in all this however is why some Filipinos are so insistent on having custody over the accused. The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between both countries clearly states that "The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings" ...

Today's American Police Force Leaves So Much to be Desired

Long gone are the days when communities all across America looked up to the police officers who patrolled their streets and kept their neighborhoods safe. For cops back then it was a calling—almost like the priesthood—and those who answered that calling were brave, noble, larger-than-life individuals who kept Americans safe ...