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Tag: Being Right

When the rain comes

ACCIDENTS, or simply the unexpected, are not necessarily bad. Think penicillin. Or x-rays. Things created or existing because of mistakes or happenstance. Sometimes, one can get a pretty nifty song out of it too.

Celdran and the victory of the First Freedom

The Resolution released last week by the Supreme Court was simple enough: reaffirming both the trial court’s and the Court of Appeals’ decision and resolution of criminal guilt, conviction, and imprisonment in Carlos Celdran vs. People of the Philippines. The four-page document didn’t even bother with further explanations, except to point out that: “We agree with the CA in its findings that the acts of petitioner were meant to mock, insult, and ridicule those clergy whose beliefs and principles were diametrically opposed to his own.”

A thought on the draft constitution: I don’t like it

Well, it’s not really the ConCom (or Constitutional Commission) but rather a ConCom (for Consultative Committee). From a read of EO 10, Series of 2016, the Committee’s job is to study, conduct consultations, and review the provisions of the 1987 Constitution and, thereafter, submit its report, recommendations, and proposals to the President. He then transmits said recommendations and proposals to Congress. And that’s that, the “Committee shall cease to exist.”

The Catholic Church’s gay problem

The figures are staggering: perhaps 5% of all priests have committed sexual abuse on minors, with the US alone accounting for 6,000 such priests and 100,000 victims within the past half-century. The Philippine Catholic Church apologized in 2002 for the sexual abuses of more than 200 priests, and President Duterte himself confessed to being molested by a Jesuit as a teen.

Mabini, Hamilton, conservatism, and nation building

This Monday is Apolinario Mabini’s 154th birthday. This year also marks the country’s 120th as a Republic. Not a bad time to revisit the life of a man many kids today seem baffled as to why he’s always sitting down.

Judicial delays: cost and causes

The constitutional right to due process has always been foundational for the Philippines. Yet an unfortunately resignedly accepted aspect thereof is the delay with which justice is dispatched. Surely, “justice delayed is justice denied” but other consequences -- particularly on the economy -- also prevail.

Of ‘shall,’ ‘may,’ ‘quo warranto,’ and ‘snoots’

Had the good fortune to come across Garner’s new book entitled Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia in Totus Bookstore’s University of Asia and the Pacific outlet.

Human nature and how it shaped our Constitution

As we move closer to possible changes to our Constitution, now is a good time to reflect and remember its philosophical and historical foundations. The Constitution was not made and does not exist in a vacuum. There is a context to it and much of that context is all too human.

The Trump (and Duterte) derangement syndrome

It was Charles Krauthammer who coined the phrase “Bush Derangement Syndrome” or “BDS.” It is defined as the “acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush.”

The persistence of religion

“Indeed, however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause. And they lose this just when the winds of change were freshening at their backs.”

A Supreme but humble Court

It’s quite gratifying to see that, after so many years writing and speaking publicly against the dangers of the “Living Constitution” theory and allowing the Supreme Court to assume prerogatives not provided for in the Constitution, that people are slowly coming around to my points of view.

The sweetness of doing nothing

“Now that ain’t workin’; that’s the way you do it. Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb. Maybe get a blister on your little finger. Maybe get a blister on your thumb. That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it. Money for nothin’ and chicks for free.”

It’s China, not the Philippines, that has problems

The big news last week was China showing off its ability to drop bombs over the Philippines, what with a reported H-6K bomber making...

Road to Jerusalem

Of course, Donald Trump always gets the media’s pummeling. One would think the simple act of choosing where the embassy should be located is a...

Quo vadis quo warranto?

It’s interesting that the very people who keep screaming “protect the Supreme Court’s independence” can’t stand it when the Court decides to act independently...

Undiplomatic costs

It was Robert Frost who said that “diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way.” It’s a good characterization really and embodies...

Rights and Consequences

To paraphrase John Henry Newman: we have rights precisely because we have responsibilities. From the moment of our conception, as rational creatures oriented towards integral...

Don’t make me, Uber

It was just supposed to be a business deal. And in the old days, that would have meant a simple handshake and a smile....

What if the Philippines started its own trade war?

Forget the clickbait title. This is just apropos to last week’s column: like the US, domestic and international law affords the Philippines several avenues...

Trump’s tariffs and the death of the global economy

In the world of international trade, it would appear that March -- not April -- is the cruelest month. It (more specifically the 8th...

The coming crisis: the womanization of men

There is a creeping, substantial problem that may soon dominate our society. Many refuse to acknowledge this; ignored by media, perhaps even encouraged by...

More suggested changes to the Constitution

To its credit, the Consultative Committee to study the 1987 Constitution is focusedly going about its duties amidst varied political distractions. Knowing its frenzied...

Raise the voting age to 25

It was former Supreme Court justice Antonio Nachura, in his book Outline Reviewer In Political Law, who stated that, for the Philippines, “suffrage is...

Divorce is a deadly killer!

Pardon the quite unsubtle clickbait title. It is, to be clear, not meant to disrespect or make light of anybody’s circumstance. But two things:...

A matter of rights

(The following constitutes part of the notes of my talk at the US Embassy on Thursday, February 2018, on The Nature of Rights and...

Duterte trolls the ICC

Something I find really hard to understand is the readiness of some Filipinos to trust a foreign institution rather than their own. This despite...

Revisiting PHL/UN

When the US gave its less than gracious reaction to the United Nations last December, many people raised a collective eyebrow. The truth is,...

The meaning of ‘the common good’

This is a topic I’ve written about previously but feel it bears revisiting. The term “common good” is quite fashionable nowadays. From the environment...

Either pregnant with child or pregnant with hubris

Peculiar problems arise when government thinks itself all knowing and prescient. Call it Murphy’s Law or the law of unintended consequences. Either way, Greek...

Facilitating Philippine trade

Aside from the fact that global trade is picking up -- despite the ever constant threat of protectionist revivals, mostly blamed (wrongly) on Trump...

Thoughts in a DB III

Not really. I don’t have an Aston Martin. Wish I did though. The title is from a chapter in an Ian Fleming book, which...

Thoughts on double vodka

Filipinos had been so enamored of Justin Trudeau that they don’t realize he’s just an empty suit. An empty suit lined by shiny but...

Why the WTO Argentina Ministerial means nothing for the Philippines

The “bicycle theory of international trade” goes a little like this: think of trade as a bicycle; you keep peddling or you stop and...

Corona’s ghost

This article is based on my 2012 article for BusinessWorld (“The Importance of Rules”). It’s used here mainly to remember and then provide points...

Cry me a bully

Perhaps we had Nelson Muntz wrong all along. The kid who lost his father due to an allergic reaction to peanuts in a candy...

Trump’s burger

Perhaps reflective of the state of intellectual discourse nowadays that when US President Donald Trump decided to eat a burger in Japan, the social...

Taxation and the reengineering of Philippine society

A crucial part of governance, normally overlooked, is the tax system. “Overlooked” because it’s narrowly viewed merely as a revenue-generating machine. So long as...

Neither overselling nor scare tactics help international trade

It occurred to me that supporters of globalization and socialism seem to use the same line and manner of argumentation, in that both overpromise...

Walang basagan ng trip: our ‘create your own reality’ culture

Correct me if I’m wrong but the sequencing was this: Monday Mekanda, Tuesday Daimos, Wednesday Mazinger Z, Thursday Grendizer, and Friday was -- of...

The role of judges in resolving national debates

It best starts with the oath: “ilalapat ko ang katarungan nang walang pagkiling sa sino mang tao at ipatatamasa ang pantay na karapatan sa...

The depressing incident of Joey De Leon in the daytime

Couple of weeks ago, hall of famer comedian Joey de Leon got into trouble. Of the worst kind. He ran afoul of social media....

Beauty is that which is true

Local celebrity Xander Ford’s “Big Reveal” a couple of weekends ago actually triggered a subconscious discussion among the populace on the nature of beauty....

Sovereignty in the conduct of foreign relations

Last week, US President Donald Trump gave his first ever address at the United Nations. And from the reaction that mainstream media gave, one...

The Philippine Republic is the CHR

The problem with the Commission on Human Rights is that it was created out of a Kumbaya moment: people all very giddy after the...

Dominant position in competition law

No. The article is not about sex. Unfortunately. It’s about the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC) power to investigate and punish “abuse of dominant position.” Which leaves...