Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained for over four years after she led a Senate investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war, has declared her bid to seek reelection in the 2022 elections. In a scathing letter addressed to Duterte ahead of his final State of the Nation Address, De Lima said she would not be cowed by the attacks from the President himself and would continue the fight in 2022 – even if that meant running a campaign from her detention cell in Camp Crame. “Marami ang nagtatanong sa akin kung sa kabila ng pagyurak na ginawa mo sa akin ay may lakas pa ako ng loob na tumakbo muli bilang senador sa 2022. Tatakbo akong muli. Hindi ako susuko. Tuloy ang laban,” said De Lima. (Many are asking if I still have the will to run for senator in 2022 even if you have trampled upon me. I am running again. I will not give up. The fight continues.) A lawyer and human rights activist, De Lima used to chair the Commission on Human ... » Learn More about ‘Tuloy ang laban’: De Lima declares bid for Senate reelection
The question in my mind as the one-hour interview with Vice President Leni Robredo in ANC’s “After the Fact” hosted by Christian Esguerra drew to a close was: If not you, Leni, then who? My question’s context is 1Sambayan’s search for presidential and vice presidential wannabes (and for the senatorial lineup as well) that 1Sambayan will choose from and finally endorse. Aspirants should be willing to go through a vetting process, fit into 1Sambayan’s vision, and abide by its decision on who to finally endorse. These chosen ones would be opposition standard-bearers who can spell the end of the Duterte reign. To use techie language, do a reboot. So far, only Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has made known his desire to be included in 1Sambayan’s selection process. Robredo is still mum. I hate to use the phrases “hemming and hawing” and “playing it coy” as these make her look indecisive. Only she and her close-ins know the right time for her to say yes or no. Cool and collected, Esguerra (a ... » Learn More about If not Leni, then who?
Consternation is growing internationally following a series of leaks about the Israeli-produced Pegasus surveillance software. The programme, created by cybersecurity firm NSO, is designed to take advantage of security gaps in smartphone software to access private data. The leaks suggest that Pegasus was widely used by the intelligence services of multiple countries and used to hack the phones of political opponents, journalists and activists worldwide. Prosecutors in Paris said on Tuesday they had begun an investigation into the software, after reports that Pegasus was being used to scour the phones of journalists and activists. A list of phone numbers in a leaked database included the number of the French President Emmanuel Macron, according to the Le Monde and The Guardian newspapers. The mobile numbers of a further 13 heads of state and heads of government were also on the list, The Guardian reported. Revelations kept on coming on Wednesday. However, most were ... » Learn More about Anger and accusations worldwide as Pegasus spy scandal deepens
In the same session hall where he denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), his supposed involvement in it, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged orders to kill crime suspects and personal foes, Arturo “Arthur” Lascañas on Monday, March 6, claimed all these to be true as he became the second self-confessed hitman to make such admission official on Senate records. Lascañas’ 180-degree turnaround did not sit well with many senators, who repeatedly questioned the motives behind his transformation from one of the many Davaoeños who deny the existence of the infamous DDS into a whistle-blower. Lascañas, who retired from the police force in December 2016, served in the Davao City Police Office practically his entire career. In a press conference two weeks ago and in an affidavit leaked to media, Lascañas claimed to have been among the founding members of the hit squad. He was proud, at first, to be part of Duterte’s efforts to rid Davao City of crime. ... » Learn More about From DDS ‘denier’ to whistle-blower: Why Lascañas changed tune
MANILA, Philippines – He’s either a shameless, well-trained prevaricator, a repentant truth-teller, or someone caught in between. 57-year-old Edgar Matobato appeared twice before partisan senators who grilled him and tried to assert that his shocking revelations about the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) and President Rodrigo Duterte were too incredible to be true. Practically illiterate after completing only Grade 1 many decades ago, he was made to look stupid and inconsistent in his narration of what he knew. The son of a forest ranger who planted coffee and corn to support his family, the short, stocky Edgar with streaks of silver hair showed little traces of a man who had witnessed and even participated in the killing of hundreds of people – many of them criminals who were a menace to Davao. They were drug pushers, snatchers, hold-uppers, land-grabbers, and they all deserved to die, he thought. Edgar took pride in his job. He says his was among ... » Learn More about Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller?
NEW YORK CITY: Joe Biden’s first six months have been dramatic. Two-thirds of Americans are at least partially vaccinated. The economy is enjoying its fastest recovery since the 1980s. And, as polls show, the world no longer views America with the dread and pity it felt during the Donald Trump years. This has been the best presidential start in the lifetime of most Americans. But in politics such runs are the exception. Biden’s coming tribulations — the grinding to a halt of most of his reform bills, the stubbornness of COVID-19 and worries about the murder rate and border crossings — are largely out of his hands. A TOUGHER PHASE It is easy to forget that Biden looked set to be a lame duck until Democrats won the Georgia special elections in January, giving them control of the Senate. Things could have been so much worse. Yet Biden is now entering a much tougher phase of his presidency. One of his problems stems from an unforced error — the withdrawal from Afghanistan. ... » Learn More about Commentary: Things are falling apart for US President Joe Biden
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned many lives into minor versions of the movie Groundhog Day, but for a few who are unwilling, or unable, to live in suspended animation, continued travelling has proved challenging, bizarre, scary even. When the crisis began, wayfaring translator Bruce Humes found himself close to the epicentre. "I was in Taiwan, working on a translation of a book about the Mogao Caves, in Dunhuang, on the Silk Road," he explains. Humes grew nervous as his 90-day visa-free status neared expiry, with the virus spreading around the world, but Taipei moved fast. "Measures were quickly introduced and well publicised. All tourists were given automatic 30-day extensions and the government welcomed tourists to quickly apply for a change of status to student visas or work permits. Two friends applied for the latter and obtained them easily." Humes was granted several 30-day extensions to his visa. But when the government announced these renewals would end after an ... » Learn More about Pandemic travel: 4 wanderers, including Singaporean digital nomad, discuss visas, quarantine and staying on the move during Covid-19
More doubts were raised on Thursday on the credibility of new and expanded diagrams presented by Malacañang to show links among individuals and groups led by the opposition Liberal Party (LP) after two top female athletes were included in the alleged web of conspiracy to discredit President Duterte and his administration. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo could not explain why Hidilyn Diaz, the Asian Games 2018 female weightlifting gold medalist, and star volleyball player and TV host Gretchen Ho were listed in one of six matrices presented to reporters on Wednesday. The names of Diaz and Ho were in the diagram that centered on Rodel Jayme, who had admitted creating the website metrobalita.net that showed the first of five videos on “The Real Narcolist.” Jayme is now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation. The videos featured “Bikoy,” who surfaced on Monday and identified himself as Peter Joemel Advincula, repeating his allegations that members of the ... » Learn More about Panelo can’t explain why sportswomen on ‘matrix’
BIGGER NETWORK Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday explains a diagram showing individuals and groups allegedly involved in a wider conspiracy to discredit the Duterte administration. —JOAN BONDOC MANILA, Philippines — Opposition leaders and critics of President Rodrigo Duterte denounced on Wednesday new allegations by Malacañang that they were involved in a wider conspiracy to discredit the administration to push the candidacies of the opposition senatorial slate. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the alleged conspirators, who supposedly included Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and allies of the Liberal Party (LP), were linked to the release of videos on the supposed involvement of members of the Duterte family and their associates in the illegal drug trade. “This is the nth time that the administration, when confronted with controversy, falsely accuses the LP of ... » Learn More about ‘Matrix’ reloaded by Palace, reviled by Duterte critics
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presents to media on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, a new matrix supposedly showing people and parties involved in a conspiracy to discredit the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and boost the candidacy of opposition candidates. INQUIRER.NET / NESTOR CORRALES Update MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has tagged the Liberal Party, the Magdalo and certain media outfits included in a matrix to be behind a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. “The President has received intelligence information that has been validated and appears to show that there is deliberate attempt to discredit this administration, as well as to boost the candidacies of the opposition, senatorial candidates,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing. “And it appears that there are certain groups who are working together to achieve this goal. This group appears to be the Liberal Party. Some personalities identified as advocates or ... » Learn More about LP, Magdalo, media outfits tagged in Duterte ouster plot