Tags: At Ground Level

Ambivalence toward the Left and peace talks

Over the last four years of Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s presidency, we may have gotten used to seeing, hearing, or reading about how he has tended to say one thing and, in the same instance, he walks back on that statement and states the opposite. This happened again last Tuesday during his weekly late-night televised address…

Anti-terrorism bill sorely needs rewriting

As a criminal statute, the Anti-Terrorism Act bill awaiting President Duterte’s action ought to be clearly and precisely written so that “it can give adequate guidance to those concerned,” but it is “hard to understand.” Moreover, the bill heightens international concerns about “the blurring of important distinctions between criticism, criminality and terrorism.” Hence, it must…

Duterte to distribute all agricultural lands?

President Duterte has vowed to “finally accomplish the ultimate goal” of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, started in 1988 by President Cory Aquino as her “centerpiece program.” On the CARP’s 31st anniversary observance last Tuesday, Duterte said he would distribute all agricultural lands in the country and accomplish the program’s ultimate goal through what he…

A second look into Negros Oriental killings

In 2015, on the fifth year of the P-Noy administration’s counterinsurgency program (Oplan Bayanihan), the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared the province of Negros Oriental as a “conflict-manageable and ready for further development” area. The implication was that the state security forces had succeeded in weakening the presence/influence of the New People’s Army in…

Spotlight once more on extrajudicial killings

In his fourth state-of-the-nation address President Duterte didn’t say a word about the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that have shocked many all over the world. Just the week before, his government had been embroiled in a ruckus over the approval of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, urging the UN High…

UN human rights body presses Phl gov’t on EJKs

In the past three years, close to 40 nations have been signing a resolution, initiated by Iceland, expressing concern over the rising number of killings related to President Duterte’s “war on drugs.” Initially they urged the Philippine government to stop the killings and undertake an impartial investigation on these cases. Subsequently they called on the…