marshal law

The Other side of the Marcos Myth

Again, the 1972 Martial Law anniversary is here and we likely have people attacking the so-called Marcos Myth. The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is no war hero, there’s no secret gold that made him rich, etc. However, there’s still another part of the Marcos Myth that needs busting. One that would usually escape the Filipino’s […]

Provocateur: Doing it the Duterte way

The thing about polarizing characters like Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is that they often conjure passionate emotions from people. Often in the most extreme, opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s either passionate disgust or fanatical adoration. But never dismissive indifference. Black or white, no gray areas. But as with most polarizing topics, it is […]

Achieving developmental focus: The Philippines’ Vital Few initiatives

The Philippines is a most massive outcome of lots of actions underpinned by very little thinking. So many initiatives, advocacies, “movements”, agendas, and vested interests driven by even more characters in a country of 100 million clueless people — it sounds like a chapter out of John Barrow’s book Impossibility. The Philippines is a case […]

Setting New Standards in Abject Failure: PNP Hires a Security Firm to Protect its Headquarters

In a stunning move that even the Administration-friendly Inquirer couldn’t help itself from calling an “irony of ironies”, the Philippine National Police announced it had earmarked P21 million to contract a private security firm (still unnamed) to provide security services at Camp Crame, the PNP’s national headquarters. PNP Director Alan Purisima explained the move as […]

No Prosperity without Public Safety

The attack earlier this week by members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) on three facilities of the Del Monte Company in Bukidnon, Mindanao was startling. For a long period of time, news of NPA activity has been relatively mild – a random encounter here and there – with recent media coverage being mostly concerned […]

Do Filipinos need iron-fisted leadership?

Filipinos do not know what they want. In 1986, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos took to the streets to rally against the late strongman, former President Ferdinand Marcos. The three-day protest eventually led to the ousting of the so-called “dictator” and alleged human rights violator. Twenty five years later, Filipinos from the Mindanao region of […]

Law and Order – Philippine style

The longer I write about Philippine society and its politics, the more convinced I get that the country’s state of law and order is a joke. Take Davao City for instance. All this time I thought that the city was a model for what following the “rule of law” could do. It turns out, to […]