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The party founded by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has named his son and namesake as its standard-bearer in next year’s presidential election. In a recorded message, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. thanked his supporters. but he was vague as to whether he was accepting the nomination. Deciding to run for president, he said, was something he co…
 
Earlier this week, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno declared that he’s also running for president. This means that as of today, there are three contenders: Moreno, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Manny Pacquiao. These same names were also being considered in efforts to unify the opposition against President Duterte’S candidate in 2022. Does this now me…
 
After the Fact: Earlier today, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno officially announced he’s running for president of the Philippines next year. A trash collector growing up, Moreno has a compelling rags-to-riches backstory and a powerful campaign message of hope. If he, a poor boy who rose to become the mayor of the Philippine capital city, and now, vying fo…
 
Today, most Filipinos mark 49 years since the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos placed the Philippines under Martial Law, one of the darkest episodes in our country’s history, when thousands were killed and billions of dollars in public money were stolen by Marcos and their cronies. But in remembering and making sure that we’ll all learn important les…
 
President Duterte and his allies have made it clear — his administration will not cooperate in the formal investigation into the thousands of killings under his watch. His spokesman even predicted that the case would just “sleep” without cooperation from the Philippine government. But can this really derail the process at the International Criminal…
 
Judges at the International Criminal Court have approved a formal investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, a bloody campaign that has killed thousands of people. The investigation will also cover similar killings in Judges at the International Criminal Courtfrom November 2011 until Duterte was elected president in 2016. Duterte’s sp…
 
President Duterte has spoken - he basically doesn’t like what’s happening in the Senate Blue Ribbon Investigation into allegedly overpriced medical equipment purchased from a company linked to his former economic adviser. But Senators are investigating anyway apparently unfazed even big threats coming from the president. Given now the inquiry has u…
 
It began with a Commission on Audit report. The senators unearthed a whopping 8.7-billion-peso supply contract bagged by a company with no track record but with links to some close to President Duterte. In response, the president attacked the Blue Ribbon Committee investigation insulted senators and more recently made it clear — no cabinet official…
 
The Senate investigation into allegedly overpriced face shields the Duterte administration has bought from a questionable company has triggered quite an interesting response from the president. Instead of cooperating or at least keeping his hands off Duterte went after the senator leading the investigation. It so happens that Senator Richard Gordon…
 
Secretary Harry Roque, President Duterte’s spokesman berated medical frontliners in a recent meeting by the government’s Inter Agency task force. Roque blew his top when doctors appealed to the government to revert Metro Manila to strict lockdown instead of relaxing restrictions. This was the time when COVID-19 cases were soaring driven by the Delt…
 
Earlier today, President Duterte’s daughter Sara — a frontrunner in major pre-election surveys for president — announced that she would no longer run for any national position next year. Her statement in response to her father’s decision to run for vice president. according to her, they had both agreed that only one of them would seek a national po…
 
A viral post by a business owner pretty much sums up the frustration of many over the Duterte administration’s handling of the latest Delta variant surge. Inchang Mendoza related how her restaurant staff was all set for reopening. In fact, they had conducted a general clean-up and bought kilos of meat. But at the last minute, Malacanang announced t…
 
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise here in the Philippines, congressmen have opted to investigate a research group which has been analyzing data mainly from the Department of Health since the pandemic began last year. At Monday’s hearing, congressmen raised questions over the OCTA Research Group’s findings where it’s getting its funding and whether…
 
The Philippines reached another grim milestone — 22,415 new COVID-19 cases — the country’s highest single-day tally since the pandemic began last year. As reported, hospitals are also overwhelmed, especially in Metro Manila, despite what the official bed occupancy rates tell us. But in the meantime, the Philippines, starting today, has lifted its t…
 
President Duterte is facing some serious allegation this late in his administration. It began with a Commission on Audit report that found deficiencies in how the Health department spent — or failed to spend — billions of pesos in COVID-19 funds. Part of these was a huge contract amounting to 8.7 billion pesos bagged by a company with limited capit…
 
A single company with small capitalization bagging an 8.7-billion-peso contract from the government to supply pandemic-related medical supplies naturally raised questions. And when it turned out the price of the purchase was padded several times over, it was but natural for senators to dig deeper. One of them found that executives of this company i…
 
Early on, President Rodrigo Duterte promised never to tolerate even a “whiff” of corruption in his administration. not that senators needed to be reminded of their role under the country’s system of checks and balances. But lately, their investigation has centered on the Commission on Audit's findings on “deficiencies” in an enormous amount of mone…
 
The confirmation was grim but perhaps, not unexpected — according to the World Health Organization, the Delta variant is now the most dominant strain here in the Philippines. But the important question is — what are we doing about it? are we doing enough to contain it? Just days ago, the Philippines recorded its highest single-day tally of new COVI…
 
Senators began investigating “deficiencies” found by the Commission on Audit in some P67 billion in funds the Department of Health spent and didn’t spend for its pandemic response. In the process, they discovered how a new company with a missing address cornered a 9-billion-peso-government contract for the purchase of face masks and face shields la…
 
A group of Filipino nurses has begun a 10-day countdown to pressure the Department of Health to complete the release of several benefits intended for health workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic at the frontlines. For many of our overworked and underpaid nurses, the fact that the group had to resort to this speaks volumes about the kind of treatme…
 
President Duterte has announced that he would indeed run for vice president next year. But he also clarified that this would depend on his daughter Sara’s plans in the 2022 elections. If she ran for president, duterte said he would back out and so would his assistant and Senator Christopher Go for president. At least, based on her response, Sara Du…
 
President Duterte has announced that he will indeed run for vice president, a decision his PDP-Laban party described as a “sacrifice.” But here’s the catch. The president said something else, which was removed when Malacañang aired his taped address on Tuesday night. Out of “delicadeza,” Duterte claimed he won’t run if his daughter Sara would also …
 
As journalists are only good as their last byline, boxers, too, are often gauged based on their last fight. In his more recent bout, Manny Pacquiao suffered a unanimous decision loss to a relatively unknown but an Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba. It was indeed an upset. But to define Pacquiao’s legacy based on the outcome would be irresponsible f…
 
State auditors have come out with an annual report flagging the Department of Health over deficiencies worth P67.3 billion in COVID-19 funds. They didn’t say — at least, yet — that the money was stolen. But a tearful health Secretary Francisco Duque III slammed the Commission on Audit for allegedly “destroying” officials of his agency who, accordin…
 
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III appeared at a House hearing earlier this week pouring his heart out over a Commission on Audit Report. The COA flagged “deficiencies” in some 67 billion pesos in funds allotted to the DOH for its COVID-19 response critical items such as the purchase of face masks and allowances for medical frontliners. But Duque…
 
The scene was reminiscent of one the world witnessed 46 years ago in Saigon. But this time, the military plane flying from the roof of the US Embassy a few days ago was evacuating citizens from Kabul. Despite US President Joe Biden’s confident assurance the Taliban won’t overrun the US-backed government in Afghanistan they did just that. And so, th…
 
The Commission on Audit recently released audit reports on problems and deficiencies it found in how agencies of government were spending public funds. The Department of Health, for instance, was flagged over some P67.3 billion in COVID-19 funds. The COA also questioned the department’s plan to purchase two “high-end” computers worth P700,000. Ther…
 
The two-week hard lockdown in Metro Manila is set to end this Friday. But by the looks of it, the government will need to make another tough decision ahead of that — will it extend the lockdown or lift it despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases driven by the more infectious delta variant? Worse, the Lambda variant has also been detected — offic…
 
A geospatial and data analytics company in the United States has come out with yet another alarming report on the damage wrought in occupied reefs in the West Philippine Sea. Simularity, pointed to damaging “excess nutrients” in these features compared to unoccupied reefs. The report came a month after the company had also sounded the alarm on chin…
 
It’s been nearly a week since Metro Manila went on lockdown once again this time to contain the delta variant of COVID-19. Locking down people, of course, means limiting their movement and shutting down businesses leaving only those involved in essential services. The national government has promised cash aid — a maximum of 4,000 for every family. …
 
President Duterte has been on the offensive on certain politicians — first it was Senator Manny Pacquiao, and more recently, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. One common denominator, of course, is this — both Pacquiao and Moreno are — or perhaps, “were” — allies of this administration perhaps, even considered as “enablers” of Duterte. The other commonality…
 
Words matter especially in a pandemic where one statement by a public official can trigger panic. On the eve of the latest lockdown of the national capital region, hundreds turned up in the City of Manila causing chaos in vaccination sites. Many of them were interviewed saying they feared that unvaccinated people won’t be allowed to leave their hom…
 
Less than two months before candidates officially declare their intention to run in the 2022 elections, opposition forces are looking for a common candidate to go up against President Duterte’s candidate or even Duterte himself who is expected to run for vice president. Senator Panfilo Lacson recently came out with a formula — why don’t he and Vice…
 
President Duterte’s political party is set to nominate his long-time assistant and now Senator Christopher Go for president in 2022. The PDP-Laban ticket will include Duterte himself as its vice presidential candidate. In response, Go — who, by the way, continues to apparently function as a Duterte aide these days — said he would run for president …
 
A group of Filipino experts crunching COVID-19 numbers since last year is now under fire for allegedly coming out with “alarmist” projections based on “incomplete and erroneous data.” In fact, a group of congressmen has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the OCTA research group. The resolution also cited criticism of OCTA coming from …
 
Metro Manila returns to yet another hard lockdown to contain the spread of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19. This means millions of workers will have to stay home and find ways to stay afloat for the next two weeks. In this episode, we talk about the economic costs of prolonged lockdowns as part of the Philippine government’s strategy …
 
In a matter of months the 2022 national elections will be upon us. But even before that happens, there’s the campaign period. Before that, the filing of certificates of candidacy and before that - the ongoing voter registration. All these as the pandemic continues to rage. in fact, the covid crisis has forced the suspension of the registration proc…
 
Vaccine arrivals - a shot in the arm for the country’s vaccination program which will be the main focus of the Philippines's capital when it goes back into the strictest lockdown in a matter of days. But here's the thing as local chief executives prepare for this, a group of people, doctors included are coming out with warnings their claim is this:…
 
Chest out. One motion. No second, no space for doubt. And then the win. Hidilyn Diaz, was the shot in the arm the country needed as the nation continues to find itself battered by the pandemic. For a moment there, it was as if no virus existed. and instead of hearing the sighs of frustration that have become a droning sound this past year in its pl…
 
When US gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from events in the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health concerns, there was a collective shock. How could this happen? Althletes - they’re known to be made of tough stuff, right? Their genetic make up, coupled with their skills and talents point to being one thing - unbreakable. Add passion and grit and you’ve g…
 
The state of the nation is strong all thanks to Filipina Olympian Hidilyn Diaz. With every once of grit and determination, she lifted the whole country when she hoisted all of those 224 kilograms… in the Tokyo Olympics breaking Philippine and Olympic records. The 4-time Olympian will be coming home to a hero’s welcome, she did after all, ended an a…
 
President Duterte delivered his Final State of the Nation Address - a mix of fulfilled promises and broken ones and the promise to do more in his last year in office. It was also a mix of explanations, justifications behind certain highly criticized policy decisions like why he dealt the way he did with China or why he caused the shut down of ABS-C…
 
Election season 2022 is slowly creeping in and you can almost hear the wheels of political machineries slowly coming into life. The battle for the vote though will be strongly dictated upon by the state of the political parties. In a nutshell: the PDP Laban Party- which one are we talking about? The Hugpong Ng Pagbabago slowly gaining mass through …
 
President Duterte’s political party is now finalizing its list of senatorial candidates in next year’s elections. The list a mix of his cabinet secretaries, incumbent lawmakers, an action star, TV hosts. Now, how much the administration’s selection process is driven by competence, the genuine desire to serve, the ability to win, or avowed loyalty t…
 
A number of politicians have been clearly positioning themselves for a shot at the presidency in next year’s elections though many of them understandably are still playing coy or, in the case of Duterte in 2016 milk the “reluctant candidate” strategy dry. Speaking of Duterte, the president has announced that he’s now open to running for vice presid…
 
Over the weekend, the ruling PDP-Laban unseated two of its top officials — Senator Manny Pacquiao as party president and Senator “Koko” Aquilino Pimentel III as executive vice chairman. Pacquiao’s faction did not recognize the election of new officials insisting that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and two other PDP-Laban officials were still expelle…
 
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