True to his request to be just called mayor during the early days after his election as the 16th president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte had the mentality of a mayor to which he had been used to for almost three decades in running the Government of the Philippines as the Island’s chief executive.
Our Biblical text for reflection is about the call of Moses at Mt. Horeb, the so-called mountain of God. Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, when God appeared to him through a “burning bush”. And there he heard the voice of God calling him to do God’s mission among his fellow Israelites who were slaves in Egypt.
Unnumbered Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) on death row, thousands raped, tens of thousands fall victims of human trafficking, massive unpaid salaries, discriminated, thousands terminated, charged of crimes and incapable of defending themselves. These slave-like conditions continue 22 years after the execution of Flor Contemplacion and the passage of the Migrants Act of 1995.
The president’s rhetoric sounded like he observes no rules of war. He went on further to say “collateral damage, pasensya na lang.” International humanitarian laws govern the conduct of war among belligerents.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. It is time for us to remember the more than a hundred women who were burned to death in New York City many years ago and to promise that never again women would be treated this way. Women were hired to work in a garment factory in that American city and the owner had to padlock them inside the factory for fear that they might steal. Unfortunately, there was a fire and the women workers inside were mercilessly turned into ashes.
With much of his bravado fizzling down sounding like a scratched CD, with his major change promises not seen to be fulfilled, with the peso to the dollar further sliding down as an indicator of economic downfall, and now just immersed in fending off accusations and ghosts of his past, the tremors of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s fall appears to be in confluence to become an avalanche sooner for him not to finish his six years term.
This week Luchie Maranan of the Baguio oldtimer Maranan’s brood occupies this column space – Kathleen
March 1, 2017 is this year’s Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of the Lenten Season that ends with Easter Sunday. It is traditionally symbolized by the placing of ashes on the foreheads of devotees, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and other highly liturgical churches. But for the Protestant and Evangelical churches or low liturgical churches, Ash Wednesday is seldom given any symbolic or dramatic celebration or significance.
On the celebration of EDSA People’s Power Revolution on February 24, a friend, Lisa Araneta posted on Facebook: “We did not go there to install Cory. We went there to get rid of Marcos. We did not wear yellow, we provided human cover for the Armed Forces because they were finally withdrawing their support for the dictator. We went there out of a curiosity that quickly turned into firm resolve to see things through to the end because we knew, even as we stood there, that we were making history.”
Where is Duterte’s administration treading? Despite meteoric popularity, there are now glaring signs of growing discontent and of decline. Over time, the promise of hope seems to fade quite fast. Let us have a quick review of Duterte’s promises.
Last February 20, peace advocates in their region, led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN Ilocos) and Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA) launched the petition for the resumption of the formal peace negotiations.
I was one of those millions who went to EDSA during those four days of February 1986. I went there not to take pictures, but to take sides with our people who suffered so long and now determined to put an end to a well-entrenched dictatorship. The EDSA event made our country towered over other nations worldwide.