May 15

Plot twist


Senator Grace Poe. (Photo from the senator’s Facebook Page)

It is as if we’re in 2009 again, when false prophets were pitching the idea of an immaculate, God-given, and incorruptible savior who could lead the country to the Promised Land.

These false prophets demoted the Proclaimed Candidate to Second Fiddle, spread necropolitics, and proceeded to destroy the savior’s foe and his reputation through a publicity war. They hurled an avalanche of very serious charges, and enlisted the support of mass media whose editors were only too eager to publish them.

When the savior emerged as winner, the nation was made to feel that an army of one billion angels was descending on the country to clean up government and society, and to usher in untold prosperity. Continue reading →

May 15

Dear Congress, #betterinternet now!

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Here are my prepared remarks and presentation for the meeting of the House Committee on Information and Communication Technology, held on May 20, 2015:

Honorable chair and members, good afternoon. Thank you for the invitation to attend and speak at this meeting.

All the measures now being heard in this meeting deserve hearing, study, and approval by the committee, by the House and by the whole Congress:

  • House Resolution 186 of Congressman Arnel Ty;
  • House Resolution 630 of Congressman Terry Ridon;
  • House Resolution 1012 of Congressmen Neri Javier Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate;
  • House Bill 2794 of Congressman Anthony Bravo and Cresente Paez; and
  • House Bill 5331 of Congressman Winnie Castelo.

Individually and collectively, these measures tell the sad or anger-inducing or patience-snapping stories of many students, parents, workers, farmers, professionals, entrepreneurs, businessmen, or congressmen. If there’s one thing aside from terrible traffic that we all suffer from together, it is the dismal state of internet and telephony services in the country. No one is spared from these horrors that should be preventable and easy to solve.  Continue reading →

May 15

Kentex fire: Who knew making slippers is a “killer job”?

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Most of us have slippers, some even have more than one pair. They are mainstays in our homes. We wear them all year round, and we bring them when going out on vacation, here or abroad. Going to the beach or the provinces this summer is incomplete without our favorite slippers or flip-flops.

But we never imagined that making some of those slippers could be this deadly to workers.

72 people who worked for outrageously-low wages for slipper-maker Kentex Manufacturing Inc. died this week in a fire that gutted down the company factory in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City. Continue reading →

Apr 15

#MaryJaneLives: Setting the record straight — and 10 action points

Activists holding candles and portraits of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. Picture: AFP

Activists holding candles and portraits of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. Picture: AFP

The execution was stopped and Mary Jane Veloso is alive today. This is the happy outcome after countless people in the Philippines, in Indonesia, and across the world never gave up and fought up to the last hour. These efforts paid off, with President Joko Widodo making the decision at the 11th hour to spare the life of Mary Jane.

Ordinary people, relatives of OFWs, former OFWs, public interest lawyers, migrant advocates, activists, professionals, students, and Filipinos and friends across the world all contributed to make this movement and campaign a success: It convinced the Indonesian president to do the right thing and helped make sure the Philippine government would act to defend the life of a Filipino citizen.  Continue reading →

Mar 15

BS Aquino’s platform vs reality: ‘Weighed but found wanting’

Then-presidential candidate wowed supporters in 2010 with his platform titled "A Social Contract with the Filipino People". Photo from Google Images.

Then-presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino wowed supporters in 2010 with his platform titled “A Social Contract with the Filipino People”. Photo from Google Images.

Prologue: President BS Aquino’s 2010 platform of government, titled “A Social Contract with the Filipino People”, badly needs updating to keep up with the times and with reality.


Our national leadership needs “transformational change.”

  • Its ability to govern is under question.
  • It punishes the wrongdoing only of its perceived foes.
  • It invents new forms of corruption like DAP and defends it despite Supreme Court rulings declaring them unconstitutional.
  • It weakens the democratic institutions by refusing to be held accountable.
  • It clings to power by confusing the people with half-truths, outright lies, and empty boasts.
  • It demonizes those who expose the truth about its incompetence and corruption.
  • It hinders our local governments from delivering basic services, as in Tacloban and other areas led by perceived foes.
  • It offers no lasting solutions for the many problems of the country.
  • It has no vision of governance beyond political survival.

Continue reading →