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Tag: Being Right

Anatomy of an invasion?

Let’s put this up front: values are everything. And thus, two dictums come to mind: “With integrity, nothing else matters; without integrity, nothing else matters.” Also, “a people that stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

Philippine treaties and the doctrine of incorporation

A topic substantially discussed in law school is international law’s application within our municipal jurisdiction. In other words, may international law give rise to a demandable cause of action or defense before our local courts? The answer is in the Constitution.

Time to end disrespectful student activism

There’s this interesting scene in the movie Too Big To Fail, which is about the 2008 financial crisis that almost brought down the entire global economy. The setting was after US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (played by William Hurt) asked the CEOs of the world’s biggest financial institutions to work through the weekend and try coming up with solutions to avert the crisis.

Mandatory extended maternity leaves is a bad idea

“Unintended consequences” is a phrase policy makers, legislators, and those in the academe should get to know intimately. That certain measures may cause effects not fully comprehended. Hence why it’s said that the road to Hell is not only paved with good intentions; it’s lighted, gilded, and fully furnished with it.

Congress should investigate un-Filipino activities

Perhaps because a bunch of local musicians decided to give the National Anthem the “We are the World” treatment. Perhaps because some Filipinos began to think we’re actually Americans and feel nothing of jazzing up the “Lupang Hinirang.”

Equality apparently demands women fight in combat

In 2018, three women applied to Britain’s Special Air Service (the SAS). Only one was considered fit enough to join the normal selection process. She quit two weeks into the 18-week training course.

Time to de-bugoy the Philippines

Remember the adage: dress up for the position you aspire and not the position you have? If true, then quite a number of our people are aspiring for the position of village vulgarian.

Journalists have rights, just like everybody else

PROBABLY it’s intersectionality. Or identity politics. Or the glorification of victimhood. Whatever the cause, everyone nowadays seems to demand preferential treatment. Of course, it’s never stated that way. Usually, it’s called as a plea for “rights.”

Everyone should be a populist and nationalist

I attended a Philippine-US relations forum in Makati last week. During one Q&A, the discussion drifted on the rise of so-called “authoritarian” regimes worldwide, particularly Asia.

The boys of Liverpool

The Strand is a popular shopping center in Bootle, Merseyside. Opened in 1968, it kept expanding: residents finding it convenient, adequate, with all the...

Where the Philippines leads, the US now follows

One thing that astonishes many Americans (by which here meant citizen of the United States) is how close Filipinos feel towards the “land of the free.” Ride a taxi, listen to the radio, grab a bite at the nearest fastfood joint, read a newspaper, the similarities, the feel, of the US is palpable. Actually, all too real.

Why incompetents are elected or promoted

If there is one subject Gen X’ers are utterly familiar with, it would be having bad bosses. Terrible ones. So much so, that this column in its former incarnation actually devoted an article to it.

The continued womanization of men

So, apparently, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Steve McQueen are toxic.

Christmas in a house and not in a barn

The passage is famous itself: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

If college degrees are not important, have companies dumbed down?

News cropped up on social media, to the apparent glee of those who hate schooling or were mediocre in academics, that university degrees are no longer considered necessary in the workplace.

Trump is ‘winning’ his trade war and Duterte should join in

What’s funny about this “trade war” are the ironies. Ironic that US President Donald Trump is coming off as the protectionist anti-trade isolationist. Ironic that China is being made to appear by mainstream media as the champion of globalization simply because the latter hates Trump. And ironic that China’s supporters in the Philippines are attacking Trump for “winning” his trade war, when many of those same Filipinos advocated for protectionist measures few years back.

Abortion and the tragedy of rape

A few years ago, this column tackled the issue of “Rape and the hook-up culture” (May 17, 2014). Sadly, the rape numbers for the Philippines essentially remain disturbing.

Death and body parts

The National Transplant Ethics Committee (NTEC) was created for the purpose of overseeing “ethical issues and dilemmas regarding organ donation and transplantation.” Such matters are apparently on the rise and it is a good thing indeed for people to be aware of the concepts and discussions surrounding this highly sensitive topic.

Let’s get rid of the Bar Ops

For starters, this is not about the Bar Exams.

There is no right to immigration

If to migrate means leaving one’s country, then one is entitled to do so. Our own Constitution provides that the right to choose one’s abode or to travel cannot be impaired except by court order or by law in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, respectively.

How academia hurts your children and society

Unbeknownst to many Filipinos, two quite significant developments in the academic world happened this month. One was the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings before the US Senate in relation to his appointment as Supreme Court justice, which revealed the deep leftist bias that many law schools have (including Kavanaugh’s own alma mater, Yale).

Kavanaugh and the welcome death of the ‘living constitution’

For progressives, Brett Kavanaugh’s true alleged sin is not sexual assault. Rather, were they sincere, his crime is actually much much more horrible: Kavanaugh is a lawyer who believes and upholds the textualist and originalist schools of constitutional interpretation.

Kavanaugh and the assault on due process

“Assertions are not truths until they are established as facts and corroborated with evidence.” So says conservative Fil-Am political commentator Michelle Malkin. And she’s right.

Again on the Catholic Church’s gay problem

Amidst fresh allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the child sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church remains in limbo. Abp. Viganò writes: “The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church.”

Perhaps martial law wasn’t as bad as you thought?

Of course, martial law per se cannot be a bad thing. Otherwise, that presidential power would not have been provided for in the 1935, 1973, and then the 1987 Constitutions. Even the draft constitutions being considered today include martial law provisions.

Educating Philippine education

Education in the Philippines has been getting a boost, money-wise. For 2018, the budget for the Department of Education was set at P553.31 billion, making it the second highest (next to the military) in allocation. It will increase by around 12% in 2019, for a possible P659.3 billion. There is also the free tuition law starting this schoolyear 2018-2019.

The Philippines in a trade war

IT WAS Carl von Clausewitz who said “war is merely the continuation of policy by other means.” Trade wars are no different.

Shackling ourselves to China

BACK in June 2014, China’s State Council published the “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System.” The idea was to create a ratings system determining the political reliability of individual Chinese citizens.

Saying no to federalism

THERE is the persistent misconception about federalism being merely a division of governmental functions: essentially one layer but of two levels. This is not true. That’s what we have right now with the present Constitution and the Local Government Code. It can be mostly top-down or bottom-up depending on how Congress formulates implementing legislation.

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...