At Ground Level

A conspiracy specter, retreat from peace talks

By Satur C. Ocampo Sensing that his ground base of support has been softening, President Duterte is conjuring a specter of conspiracy to oust him from power. Growing more bilious and truculent towards those whom he accuses of scheming to besmirch him with allegations of corruption, or who staunchly stand up to his blusterings 

Posted 3 months ago by

Satur Ocampo

The unending wars: Part of Obama legacy

In his farewell speech on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama tried to project confidence in America’s future, while saying economic inequality, racism, and closed-mindedness threaten national unity. He pledged to support his successor, Donald Trump, in face of the widespread fears expressed over how the volatile political outlier could mishandle the superpower’s problems and affairs. 

Posted 12 months ago by

Satur Ocampo

‘Marcos was a model of the politician as thief’

The title of this piece comes from an article by the British investigative journalist, writer and documentary maker Nicholas Davies, titled “The $10-bn question: what happened to the Marcos millions?” It was published in the Guardian on May 7, 2016, two days before the national elections in which Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. emerged a close 

Posted 1 year ago by


SC ruling on Marcos burial stokes anew public protests

The Supreme Court’s majority ruling (9-5-1) has upheld President Duterte’s oral order to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to bury the remains of former president-turned-dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The alleged aim is “national unity and healing.” Instead it has stoked anew public protests and indignation across the nation 

Posted 1 year ago by

Ruling on EDCA: A big victory for US

“The United States won a significant victory on Tuesday in its effort to counter China’s rising influence in the South China Sea, as the highest court in the Philippines cleared the way for American troops to return to the country on a regular basis. “The Philippine Supreme Court, in a 10-to-4 decision, approved an agreement 

Posted 2 years ago by

Not just an issue of violence

By Satur Ocampo Last December 22, a major daily published (as full-page ad) an appeal titled “Cease all hostilities until the 2016 elections.” It’s addressed to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP). It has 124 signatories “representing indigenous peoples, women, 

Posted 2 years ago by

Stop the killings, stop the lies!

By Satur C. Ocampo At Ground Level | The Philippine Star Last September, at the onset of the “ber” months which usually evoke happy thoughts of Christmas, I wrote here about the dark prospects shadowing the yearend instead – intensifying militarization, political repression, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights violations. Twin calls were then raised 

Posted 2 years ago by

Lower income taxes now

By Satur C. Ocampo Aiming to convince President Aquino to drop his opposition to lowering income taxes, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. told journalists the House leadership is determined to legislate such reduction – at least one of the pending proposals – before the 16th Congress winds up next June. The Speaker singled out one proposal 

Posted 2 years ago by

Asserting national interest in trade negotiations

Though we are mere uzi or bystanders in the ongoing negotiations to forge a Trans-Pacific free-trade bloc, it is interesting, and instructive, to observe the converging and clashing national interests among the 12 countries involved. Final agreement is being difficult to reach, dashing President Obama’s timetable to seal the deal before the US presidential election 

Posted 2 years ago by

HR violations to hound P-Noy in his last SONA

By Satur C. Ocampo A month hence President Aquino will deliver his sixth and last state-of-the-nation address. However much he may embellish his administration’s achievements on the economy, anti-corruption drive and governmental reforms, he will be hounded by at least two unresolved issues: his “dismal record” on human rights and impunity and the Mamasapano tragedy. 

Posted 3 years ago by