An Uncomplicated Mind

Members of President Noynoy Aquino's poltical opposition who are target of
of the current PDAF scam investigation. Photo courtesy of rappler.

Political prosecution

In the first year of his presidency, President Noynoy Aquino was successful in having impeached former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, whom he considered one of the main obstacles in his objective of cleaning the government of corruption, a promise he made during the election campaign. The other obstacle is former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 

Posted 6 years ago by


Plunderers’ row

Anyone with an Internet connection can check the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) website to find out if his or her favourite or most detested public official, whether a police chief or mayor, governor or cabinet member, has faced charges of graft and corruption. The PCIJ website has accumulated a database of Sandiganbayan cases 

Posted 6 years ago by

Public protests against pork barrel intensify after the August 26th people’s march in Luneta.   Photo by AFP.

A case for resistance

By Joe Rivera After the August 26th people march at Luneta, September looks like a spirited month for Filipinos to sustain and maintain their opposition to the pork barrel system. It’s not just the congressional pork barrel, known otherwise by its euphemism, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), that the people want to abolish, but 

Posted 6 years ago by

Protesters during the August 26th one million people  pork barrel march at Rizal
Park demanding the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF),
Congress' pork barrel and the president's pork barrel. Photo courtesy of Demotix.

Boulevard of broken dreams

By Joe Rivera A million or so Filipinos marched Monday, August 26, to Rizal Park, formerly known as Luneta, to collectively show their outrage against the system of pork barrel that has been at the front and centre of Philippine politics for quite sometime. Janet Napoles, the pork-barrel queen, made sure this issue won’t die 

Posted 6 years ago by


“Sana Di SONA”

By Joe Rivera The 1987 Philippine Constitution does not say the President must deliver a State of the Nation Address (popularly shortened nowadays as SONA) at the opening of the regular session of Congress. It only states that “The President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.” For whatever the noble 

Posted 6 years ago by


Squatting as a basic right

By Joe Rivera Modern-day squatters are both poor and homeless. In the Philippines, squatters are second and third generations of original settlers from the rural areas looking for a better life in the city. They have settled mostly on unoccupied and unused public lands which include river and railroad embankments, esteros (estuary in English), the 

Posted 6 years ago by


Saving a life is never stupid

By Joe Rivera I’ve just been reading a scathing comment in a social-political forum criticizing the Philippine government’s intervention in the forthcoming execution by China of a Filipino woman caught entering the country with 6.171 kilos of heroin. In China, possession of 50 grams of drugs is punishable by the death penalty, usually carried out 

Posted 6 years ago by

Don’t shoot the messenger

By Joe Rivera The German drama film, The Lives of Others, tells the story of the secret monitoring of private individuals by Stasi, the secret police of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) at the time, or in particular, in 1984. In the movie, a Stasi officer Hauptmann Weisler bugs the home of playwright Georg Dreyman 

Posted 6 years ago by


Marcos redux

By Joe Rivera Noted Filipino historian Teodoro Agoncillo once wrote that the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II caused a big spike in crimes. Due to the harshness of the economic conditions, many Filipinos were driven to criminal activities, which continued even with the restoration of the Commonwealth government and the inauguration 

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The path of least resistance

By Joe Rivera If we are to construct a hierarchy of excuses for the dismal performance of those candidates whom we would have liked to win in the last May 13th elections, on top would be “the idiots” who voted for those not supposed to win. These are the masses, the ordinary people who are 

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