The crime

In the aftermath of the passage of Republic Act 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, many lessons were taught to the citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. A number of political bloggers learned that calling a moron senator a moron was a criminal act, with the same jail sentence handed down to the unfortunate Twitter user who called Sharon Cuneta overweight. Sixteen online news outfits were shut down, dozens of amateur filmmakers were sent to jail, one Cabinet official stepped down after a complaint by the CBCP’s Melvyn Castro that former anchor and then Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang had made libelous statements in his 2010 blog regarding Castro’s questionable morality—he claimed contraception was a greater sin than wholesale corruption. Castro claimed he was filing a libel case in behalf of God.
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Oct 6, 2012 under General, Opinions | no comment

The falling sky

My father is standing outside our garage again. The bags have been packed, the cables unplugged, the grandchildren dressed and waiting to be plucked from their beds. The waters are at the gates.

The windows are frosted; the sky is going gray in the morning. There is three feet of water along Magallanes and Gilmore, Bangkal’s creek has overflowed. At 8 a.m., National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council head Benito Ramos reports that “so far, we have had no reported casualties.”

It is July 21, 2012, the date that will mark the graves of the two who have already died in the wake of a tropical depression’s short visit. The first is Jonathan Sagodaquiel, 31, a man who, Ramos claims, was drunk while he was crossing the Lumban River. He drowned in Wawa Village, Laguna, “swept by the strong current.” His body has been recovered. The second is a 35-year-old from San Isidro village in Naguilian in La Union. His name is Wilcor Rellera, and he drowned in the Pandanga Creek.
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Jul 21, 2012 under General, Opinions | no comment

Castro the crusader

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, is very pleased with his successful crusade against the evil threat Ronald McDonald. In a statement to the media, Castro says he is glad McDonald’s has seen the error of its ways. And then he rubs it in.

“I do hope it doesn’t reach this point again. It would have been better if they had been sensitive to our culture, and respectful of our faith.”
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Apr 17, 2011 under General, People | no comment

The executioners

In 2005, 36,510 Filipinos died from pneumonia. 20,951 died from tuberculosis. In Quezon City alone, there were 3,349 attempted homicides, 69 murders, 55 rapes, and 629 robberies. In the entire country, there were a total of 2,962 recorded rapes, 11,833 major thefts, 44 recorded kidnappings, and 4,352 recorded drug offenses. The impunity index ranks the country third in journalist deaths, with 142 killed since 1986. The number of dead climbs every year, and very little has been done to prevent it. Flood, fever, kidnapping, poverty, pregnancy, robbery—in the Philippines, the danger may be clear and present, but it has little effect on a nation that has accepted survival is accidental.
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Apr 10, 2011 under General, People | no comment

Forgetting Edsa

The story of my country begins with a mad king.

There are some who say the king was once a just man, and a wise one, whose heart turned dark at the taste of power. Others say he had always been mad, and hid his madness behind a cunning charm.

The king had a queen, the most beautiful in the world, and again there are those who whisper that it was she whose madness turned the king’s. So they ruled, the black king and his butterfly queen and their army of bloodthirsty knights, from a golden castle built on a lake whose waters turned a darker red with each cruel year.
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Feb 27, 2011 under General, Opinions, People | no comment

Assault on reason

A little past eight in the evening of February 3, 2011, a group of plainclothes policemen raided a high-end relaxation spa in the Metrowalk Ortigas Center on Meralco Avenue. Clients on massage tables heard shouts from the outside—“Dapa, dapa!” One man sweating alone inside the dry sauna, shouted at by one of the policemen—“Nagtatago ka, ’no?”—left the sauna to join the six other men sitting along the hallway. He thought it was a holdup. It never occurred to him that the spa was in any fashion illegitimate. When he asked a woman who stood in the hallway speaking into a police radio, she told them it was a raid.
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Feb 20, 2011 under General, Opinions | 3 comments

The Catholic Republic

Last week, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, denied reports that a Catholic parish has banned supporters of the reproductive health (RH) bill from receiving Holy Communion. He blamed supporters of the RH bill for agitating the public, claiming that it is proof that there is an element of deception behind the bill.
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Feb 20, 2011 under General | no comment