Even as Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Lao PDR — countries poorer than us — have already started vaccinating their people, vaccines (those not smuggled, at any rate) have yet to arrive on Philippine shores. Heck, Indonesia is already starting the 2 nd phase of its mass vaccination , but we can’t even pin down a date for the arrival of the 1 st wave of vaccines here. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said vaguely that vaccines would arrive by mid-February , and one newspaper even mistakenly announced an exact date (February 14). Government has conducted vaccination rehearsals left and right, with much media coverage. Everything seems picture perfect — save for the absent vaccines themselves. More and more Filipinos are asking: Where the hell are the vaccines? What’s taking them so long? Why are we lagging behind? The deeper you look into this, the nastier the big picture that emerges. It all boils down to the sheer and gross incompetence of the ... » Learn More about [ANALYSIS] Duterte’s vaccine program is peak incompetence
MANILA, Philippines – With a spate of warrantless arrests and detentions even during a quarantine, and an anti-terror bill in the horizon, the remedies of extraordinary writs become more crucial. But are these writs still effective in the time of President Rodrigo Duterte? There has been a recent streak of failures to win the privileges of these writs, leaving human rights workers, activists , lawyers and even an incumbent member of Congress , without protection from alleged harassment and surveillance. The rules of the writs of amparo and habeas data, the so-called extraordinary writs, were promulgated only in 2007 when the Supreme Court made the rare move of intervention and came up with judicial measures to protect human rights amid rising extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under the Gloria Arroyo administration. In the face of widening crackdowns on activists, journalists, and other forms of dissent under the Duterte ... » Learn More about [PODCAST] Law of Duterte Land: Are extraordinary writs still effective in the time of Duterte?
There was nothing that President Rodrigo Duterte said in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) that we had not heard before, but his statements on some issues on Monday, July 26, departed from what he said during his first address in 2016 . The speech lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes – the longest by any president post-EDSA Revolution – and it covered infrastructure, illegal drugs, and the pandemic, among other talking points that were staple in his ordinary speaking engagements and briefings. But what changed between his first SONA in 2016 and last SONA in 2021? Rappler counted at least four changes in reference to the following: Historic Hague ruling on the West Philippine Sea Corruption in government Communist insurgency War on drugs West Philippine Sea and the Hague ruling First State of the Nation Address (2016): “With regard to the West Philippine Sea otherwise known as [South] China Sea, we strongly affirm and ... » Learn More about First and last: Changes between Duterte’s 2016 and 2021 State of the Nation Addresses
Midway through his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte praised Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who is a vice presidential hopeful in 2022. "He is a good man. He can become a good vice president... He is a capable man, a good man, and a Filipino," Duterte said, speaking to the country from the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, July 26. “I am humbled by the words of the President. I thank him profusely for mentioning me," Sotto said in a Viber message to Senate reporters, minutes after Duterte's tribute. The apparent endorsement came out of nowhere as he was railing against illegal drugs and communists when he stopped to praise Sotto. Duterte scanned the crowd searching for Sotto, forgetting that Sotto, as Senate President, sat just behind him. Duterte's praise for Sotto, while not an explicit endorsement, would boost his clout, as Duterte enjoys a high popularity rating even on his last year – a feat no previous ... » Learn More about Duterte: ‘Sotto can be good vice president’
Aside from blood and death, President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war also stirred controversy – from the deadly execution of anti-drug operations, to hundreds of recorded abuses by police officials and other authorities. Even Duterte’s allies became victims of this atrocious campaign. And five years on, some of these controversies and injustices remain unsettled. Below is a list of some of them. Jee Ick Joo case Even foreigners became victims of Duterte’s drug war. Only months into the deadly war on drugs, Korean Jee Ick Joo made headlines after he was reported to be killed by a cop. On October 18, 2016, Jee was abducted from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga by a policeman. The same day, he was brought to Camp Crame, national headquarters of the police, and was allegedly strangled to death by a member of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG). Jee’s case later became one of the biggest drug war-related controversies ... » Learn More about LIST: Whatever happened to these drug war issues under Duterte?
FILE PHOTO: President Vicente Sotto III looks on as Senator Panfilo Lacson speaks. Senate PRIB photo MANILA, Philippines — He will be the “consensus builder” to Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s “street fighter,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday, as the two senators became the first pair to confirm running as a presidential ticket in the 2022 elections. “We are the alternative. We are not pro-administration; we are not opposition,” the Senate leader said in a dzMM radio interview. But he added that the official declaration of the Lacson-Sotto presidential bid would have to wait until next month to firm up the duo’s coalition or collaboration with political parties, such as Sotto’s Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Partido Reporma, and Aksyon Demokratiko, among other groups. “Senator Lacson and I have decided, yes, [we will run], but we’re planning the official launching to be on Aug. 4,” he said. Tandem to remain neutral According to Sotto, neither he nor ... » Learn More about Lacson-Sotto tandem not pro-administration, not opposition: ‘We are the alternative’
MANILA, Philippines—While many Filipino presidents’ final few months in office were hounded by the “lame duck” curse, President Rodrigo Duterte seems to have cast the spell out through record-high approval ratings—a feat not seen since polling started in the post-Marcos era. The popularity is surviving widespread criticisms—domestically and internationally—of the way Duterte executes policy, like human rights violations in the bloody anti-drug campaign, his handling of Chinese incursions in West Philippine Sea and his relationship with media among others. As Duterte approaches his final year in office, latest numbers indicated that the President will most likely maintain this popularity, begging the questions: How did he do it? How will this impact the 2022 national elections? Are there any dangers to having a popular president? Record-high numbers In October 2020, Pulse Asia released a survey showing that 91 percent of Filipinos approved of Duterte’s performance in the ... » Learn More about Duterte casts out ‘lame duck’ spell, retains popularity unseen before
Facade of the Senate building in Pasay City. (Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo) MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday opened its third regular session of the 18th Congress ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation (SONA) address later in the day. The Senate and the House of Representatives will hold a joint session at 4 p.m. at the Batasang Pambansa to hear Duterte’s address to the nation. In previous years, senators would open their session in the morning before traveling from the Senate building in Pasay City to the Batasang Pambansa, the headquarters of the House of Representatives, in Quezon City. However, only eight senators from the majority bloc will physically witness Duterte deliver his SONA due to restrictions posed by the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Priority measures In its third regular session, the Senate seeks to prioritize the passage of several measures. These include amendments to the Foreign Investment Acts (FIA), ... » Learn More about ***embargo*** gsg**Senate opens 3rd regular session ahead of Duterte’s final SONA
DISMAL FAILURE. Maranao activists and groups of internally displaced persons score the Duterte administration for failing to live up to its promise of making Marawi rise again from the ashes of the five-month war in 2017 against Islamic State terrorists. RYAN D. ROSAURO MARAWI CITY––President Duterte should apologize to thousands of Marawi residents unable to return to their homes and communities after being displaced by the five-month war in the city between government troops and Islamic State (IS) terrorists four years ago. Mindanao State University Prof. Tirmizy Abdullah, one of the conveners of the Marawi Advocacy Accompaniment (MAA), said the apology may be made during Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (Sona), when his performance is measured by the people. “The ultimate test of (the success of) Marawi rehab is the safe and dignified return of the IDPs,” Abdullah pointed out. Displaced residents and civil society groups have described as “a dismal failure” by the ... » Learn More about Activists: Duterte should apologize to Marawi evacuees for prolonged displacement
LEGAZPI CITY––Militant activists led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Bicol launched on Monday morning “Kadena Bicolandia,” a simultaneous protest action against the lies that President Duterte would report during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA). Jen Nagrampa, Bayan Bicol chairperson, said in an interview that hundreds of activists from the cities of Naga, Legazpi, and Sorsogon converged and held a simultaneous protest action at 10:30 a.m. at Plaza Rizal in Naga City, Pinaglabanan Monument in Legazpi City, and the Sorsogon City Park. In Naga City, the protest started at the rotonda, with march rallies at the government offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform and Department of Education, culminating at the Plaza Rizal for the major event. In Albay, the protest action started in Camalig town, with the participants marching along the Maharlika Highway to Daraga town, then to Peñaranda Park and Pinaglabanan Monument. In Sorsogon, protest rallies would be ... » Learn More about Militants stage protest action in Bicol in Duterte’s last SONA