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Scarborough Shoal: New game, same old rule

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and former President Fidel V. Ramos

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Rodrigo Duterte sent his special envoy former President Fidel V. Ramos to China to “break the ice” in the country’s freezing relationship with China. Well, Ramos didn’t promise anything but he said he was going on a “fishing expedition” and to play golf. But if there was any semblance of success, Ramos made some “progress,” telling reporters: “It’s not really Read More …

Sterner warning for gun smugglers?

Balikbayan-boxes-firearms

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas Here we go again. Almost exactly a year to the day when then President Aquino ordered a stop to the mandatory physical inspection of all balikbayan boxes in the wake of worldwide protest from overseas Filipino workers, another illegal act by some unscrupulous persons is threatening to force the Bureau of Customs to tighten the squeeze again on Read More …

Duterte warns China over South China Sea dispute

Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam also have overlapping claims to the South China Sea, a shipping lane rich in resources [Reuters]

Source: Al Jazeera Philippine president says “bloody” confrontation could happen if Beijing tries to invade country’s territories. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of a “bloody” confrontation should China try to invade the country’s territories in the disputed South China Sea. While insisting that he would first seek a peaceful resolution, Duterte told soldiers on Wednesday that they should be prepared to defend the country Read More …

That’s stupid!

Drug-pusher-killed.10

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong rejected the criticism and condemnation hurled by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and by a couple of so-called Special Rapporteurs of the UN Council on Human Rights for alleged violation of human rights of suspected drug lords and pushers. They also accused the government of extrajudicial killings. Pray tell, what is Read More …

Don’t Be Pessimistic?

PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa and Sen. Leila de Lima.

By Erick San Juan Our country is once again divided as various issues confront us, vital to our day to day lives. With the personalities up front raging word wars, so are the people especially the netizens. After the initial two-day hearing on extra-judicial killings at the senate chaired by Senator Leila de Lima, several points were cleared by the PNP chief Gen. Ronald dela Read More …

Duterte’s ‘drugs matrix’ tags De Lima, others

Duterte-and-Leila-De-Lima

Source: ABS-CBN News President Rodrigo Duterte early Thursday morning released a “matrix” showing links between Senator Leila de Lima and several others allegedly involved in illegal drug activities at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) under the previous administration. Duterte disclosed the document in the early hours of the morning in Davao City after a press conference and visit with journalists at a local park in Read More …

AFP suspends preparations for Marcos burial at Libingan

Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, yesterday said suspension of preparations was in line with the status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court with a 20-day effectivity on the hotly debated burial issue. EDD GUMBAN

By Jaime Laude The Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has suspended burial preparations for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, yesterday said suspension of preparations was in line with the status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court Read More …

Here’s who would win if Russia, China, and America went to war right now

Stealth F-35 fighters

By Logan Nye  We Are The Mighty With the rhetoric about global trade deficits heating up on the campaign trail, it might appropriate to momentarily shift our focus away from the asymmetric threats of the Taliban and ISIS and look at the world of conventional warfare. Here’s how the world’s three most powerful militaries stack up in 4 major categories: 1. Stealth fighters While America Read More …

Is war in the South China Sea inevitable?

East and South China Seas

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The conventional wisdom in geopolitical circles is that a war between the United States and China is not going to happen — not now, not tomorrow – simply because their economies are intricately intertwined with one another like the fabled Gordian Knot. Destroying each other would be like committing a suicide pact. And why would they do that? Are they out Read More …

Filipinos should reject Trump

Donald-Trump-mad

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas I’m not sure if I even wanted to add my voice to the chorus of people from both sides of the political fence in denouncing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his bigotry and reckless demagoguery, but with his recent attack on the Philippines and Filipinos, I know I just have to. Trump touched the nerves of Filipinos Read More …

Duterte: ‘I can be 10 times more brutal than Isis’

Human rights activists light candles for the victims of extra-judicial killings around the country in the wake of the 'War on Drugs' campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo / AP

By Kristine Guerra The New Zealand Herald In a speech in which he denounced Isis for its “barbaric practice,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave a stern warning to the extremist group, saying he can be “10 times” more brutal. Duterte delivered the speech at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, a few days after he claimed that Isis followers posing as missionaries have already started radicalising Read More …

Robredo

Leni-Robredo.2

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya THE US State Department, echoed by its Embassy here, took up the cudgels for its outgoing ambassador Philip Goldberg who was called a “gay” by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong. Fair enough. Being called “gay” in this country and I believe in the US as well, is no longer meant to ridicule one who is. Gays are already accepted Read More …

PHL can file new arbitral case vs. China for damages, Carpio says

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio

By JOSEPH TRISTAN ROXAS GMA News The Philippines can file a new case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration if the it desires to receive monetary reward for the damages China caused in the West Philippine Sea, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday. At a forum on the environmental impact of the West Philippine Sea dispute, Carpio said the country did not receive monetary Read More …

Is China-Philippines Bilateralism on the South China Sea Going Anywhere?

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos gestures as he speaks to journalists during a trip to Hong Kong, China after the Hague court's ruling over the maritime dispute in South China Sea, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Fidel Ramos’ “Track II” overture maintains steam, but can bilateralism lead to a positive outcome? By Ankit Panda The Diplomat Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos is back home in the Philippines after what may have been the most closely watched and consequential “Track II” dialogue in East Asia in some time. Ramos, in a personal and informal capacity, met with Fu Ying, a former Read More …

The Left, Who’s the Real Leader?

Sison and Duterte

By Erick San Juan   More power to President Rodrigo Duterte and his goal to unify the nation since day one of his term, a sweeping unity making waves across the political spectrum but unfortunately it was not rightly reciprocated by the other party from the left. The President’s offer of a unilateral ceasefire to the CPP-NPA-NDF announced during his State of the Nation Address Read More …

The Age of Disbelief

Age-of-Disbelief

Reflections By Fr. Shay Cullen PREDA Foundation It is truly an age of disbelief. Respect for the values of human life has plunged. People of Christian faith who declare belief in the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth that upholds the dignity and rights of the human person, stands with the poor and the excluded, shares with the refugees and the homeless, is at an all Read More …

“Bato bato sa langit…”

(CREDIT: KIWI BULACLAC/PPD)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Five weeks after former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte was sworn in as President of the Philippines, his promise to rid the country of criminality and illegal drugs is paying off. To date, more than 400 people – drug lords, drug pushers, drug addicts, house thieves, and other kinds of criminals — have been killed and more than 4,000 captured. Read More …

‘Slippery slope toward tyranny’

Sereno, Duterte, Robredo

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas Amid the relative silence that has met the deadly war against drugs launched by President Duterte since he assumed office on June 30, three female voices have stood to denounce the killings. “I must admit, the public reaction to these executions is not in favor of those who oppose it. A 91% approval rating for the President and Read More …

After Ramos, Narco-Politics Proliferate

President Rodrigo Duterte named government officials, members of the judiciary, and police officials allegedly linked to illegal drugs during a speech in Davao on August 7, 2016.

By Erick San Juan “I don’t want to defy economic logic and say supply creates demand, but to a certain extent it feels that way,” Steven Dudley, co-founder of InSight Crime, a foundation that studies organized crime in Latin America. Because as long as there are people willing to produce and supply the illicit drugs to users and would-be users, demands will be created in Read More …

The Green Platform, the Positive Force for Change

book cover

Reflections By Fr. Shay Cullen Preda Foundation, Inc. A friend of mine wrote a dedication to his latest publication, a book titled “Living the Green Platform.” In the dedication, he said, “Continue to find joy in your life and bring joy to others. You are truly Good News for the suffering poor.” He is one of the most positive and affirming persons I have ever Read More …

China’s mining occupation of the Philippines

Mischief-Reef-Never-Again

Global Networking  By Rodel Rodis  While China’s brazen occupation of the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal, located just 125 nautical miles from Masinloc, Zambales, has captured all the national and international attention, little has been mentioned about China’s occupation of the Philippine mining industry, an entirely different issue from the Filipino Chinese (“Chinoys”) domination of the Philippine economy. For example, one of China’s vast army of mining Read More …

International court of public opinion

South-China-Sea-doesnt-belong-to-China

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Now that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has ruled strongly in favor of the Philippines’ maritime disputes against China in the South China Sea (SCS), people are wondering, “What’s going to happen next?” Unless China accepts the arbitral tribunal’s ruling – in parts or in its entirety – nothing is going to happen in terms of enforcement. While the Philippines Read More …

Duterte-Xi standoff: Who will blink first?

Duterte-and-Xi-Jinping-with-flags

PerryScope By Perry Diaz  Right after the Philippine Congress proclaimed Rodrigo Duterte president of the Philippines, Chinese President Xi Jinping didn’t waste any time writing a congratulatory message to him. Elated by Xi’s gesture, Duterte said, “I was honored, receiving a congratulatory message from a great president.” Several days later, Duterte — who was seemingly buoyed by Xi’s expression of goodwill — remarked that he Read More …

Might is Right

ASEAN-Foreign-Ministers-Meeting-2016

By Erick San Juan In the midst of the anticipation and excitement before the much awaited State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the newly elected President Rodrigo Roa Duterte plus the euphoria over the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague) ruling in favor of the Philippines against China, there were several important international meetings/conferences we overlooked. Among these meetings were the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Read More …

Rodrigo Duterte Gets a Taste of China’s Heavy Hand

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has landed at the heart of a regional tug-of-war between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea. Photo: Associated Press

Untested Philippines tough guy finds himself at the heart of a U.S.-China contest    By Andrew Browne The Wall Street Journal  DAVAO CITY, Philippines— Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected Philippine president, is used to being treated with the utmost respect. In his previous job, as mayor of this once lawless southern city, his war on drug dealers left a trail of bullet-riddled corpses, targets of Read More …

How the Philippines Can Enforce the South China Sea Verdict

At The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2015 during hearings for Philippines v. China. Photo: Permanent Court of Arbitration/Associated Press

The South China Sea can never become a Chinese lake as China intended under its nine-dash-line claim. By Antonio T. Carpio The Wall Street Journal The historic ruling of an international tribunal in the Philippines v. China arbitration clarifies with finality the South China Sea maritime zones to which the Philippines and China are entitled under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Read More …

Bato: A hard rock to crack

Dela Rosa forms his "Police Avengers" to fight the drug lords. ( Photo credits: pinoynewsalert.blogspot.com)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It must have been fate that brought President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa together 30 years ago in the aftermath of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. Duterte was appointed acting vice-mayor of Davao City by then President Cory Aquino. Dela Rosa, then a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Read More …

Obama’s Red Line in the South China Sea: Scarborough Shoal

Scarborough-Shoal-map-and-overview

By Kevin Drum Mother Jones In light of today’s sweeping decision at the Hague denying China’s claim to various islands and reefs in the South China Sea, this is an interesting tidbit from the Financial Times: US President Barack Obama in March delivered a stark admonition to Xi Jinping over the South China Sea, warning the Chinese leader of serious consequences if China reclaimed land Read More …

Duterte’s Unorthodoxy: The New Orthodoxy

Duterte and Dela Rosa (CREDIT: KIWI BULACLAC/PPD)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With no major political organization behind him and no big donors to fund his campaign, President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte was propelled to power by people from all walks of life. He beat four other candidates, three of whom – Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, and Grace Poe — were funded by executives of some of the country’s top companies, including San Miguel Read More …

Is America prepared for war?

American-Eagle

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With all the trouble spots around the world where the U.S. is involved one way or another, it makes one wonder: Where will the war take place? Okay, let’s try this: Take your pick? (1) Baltic States (U.S. and NATO vs. Russia), (2) Middle East (U.S. vs. ISIS), (3) Senkaku Islands (U.S. and Japan vs. China), (4) Korean Peninsula (U.S. and Read More …

A technical coup d’état

Leni-Robredo-and-Bongbong-Marcos

PerryScope By Perry Diaz  Just as Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was enjoying her razor-thin victory over Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is under pressure from some quarters to disqualify Leni from taking over the vice presidency because her party — the Liberal Party — failed to submit its Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) Read More …

New Opportunities

Duterte and Goldberg

By Erick San Juan “Are you with us or are you not with us?” A question raised by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to US Ambassador Philip Goldberg in a recent meeting in Davao City. And Amb. Goldberg answered, “Only if you are attacked.” Is this a valid answer coming from a long-time ally? I believe so, as an observer of events, we have written about this Read More …

Digong’s bounty killers

Ronald dela Rosa (left) as a young lieutenant and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (right).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In the 1880s, the United States’ western and southwestern territories had become known as the “Wild, Wild West,” where gunslingers ruled and bounty killers abounded. One of the most popular movies that memorialized the bloody history of the “West” was the 1957 movie, “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” It was so popular that several remakes were made years later, including two Read More …

Quo vadis, Bongbong?

Marcos-family-2014

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Had Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. won the vice presidential contest, it could have been one of the greatest – if not the greatest – political comebacks in the annals of politics. And the 30 years that passed since his father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, was ousted and the entire Marcos family booted out of the country, it would Read More …

Duterte’s honeymoon with China begins

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua presents President-elect Rodrigo Duterte copy of the book on Chinese President Xi Jinping.  (Office of the City Mayor Davao City via AP)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Like all relationships and marriages, both parties will try to work, or live, harmoniously and reconcile their differences, if any. This is called the “honeymoon” period and it could last for a long time or it can be abbreviated depending on how they relate to each other. It may sound simplistic, but they hope that by the time the honeymoon is Read More …

Duterte’s brand of politics

Duterte-Pagbabago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz A week after his landslide presidential victory, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte’s cabinet is shaping up: a mixture of business leaders, leftists, communists, political allies, and personal friends. On the surface it looks like a broad-spectrum government reaching out to all sectors of the country. That’s good… at least on paper. But at a closer scrutiny, it reveals a master chess player who Read More …

Duterte: Strongman with a soft spot

Duterte-kissing-flag-miting-de-avance

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Some would say that presumptive President-Elect Rodrigo “Rody” or “Digong” Duterte is a leftist, which he admits. Some say he is a communist, which he denies. Others say he is pro-China. And a few say he could be the new “Amboy” – that is, “America’s Boy.” Honestly, nobody knows that much about his brand of politics. Who the hell is Digong Read More …

Tensions heat up in the South China Sea

Strategic Triangle: Scarborough Shoal, Spratlys, and Paracel islands.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The biggest — and hottest — topic in geopolitical circles today is World War III, or to be more precise… where will World War III start? But if you ask Pope Francis, he’d probably say what he said several months ago: World War III has already begun, at least in a “piecemeal fashion.” “Piecemeal fashion” is a reference to several crises Read More …

Duterte: A phenomenal phenomenon

Duterte-assault-rifle.1

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Underfinanced and overly maligned for his brand of leadership, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte jumped into the presidential derby two months after the official campaign period had started. And with no national political machinery, and who hardly traveled outside his city for two decades as mayor, Duterte was hesitant to enter the race. But it must have been destiny that pushed Read More …

Leni Robredo: “May the best woman win”

PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-ELECTION

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Up until a few weeks ago, vice presidential candidate Congresswoman Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was behind in the polls. Way ahead of her then were Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who were at a statistical dead heat. But the latest polls surprised a lot of the power brokers who have shrugged her off as a “spoiler.” Not Read More …

Who is Neil Llamanzares?

Grace-Poe-and-Neil-Llamanzares

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Recently, Teodoro Daniel Misael V. Llamanzares has come to the limelight of Philippine politics. For “Neil” – that’s his moniker — who had held a top secret job in the United States, he’d be expected to avoid publicity, let alone people spying into his background. That would certainly make him uneasy because his former employer, Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), happens Read More …

Can Digong beat Grace?

Duterte-Pagbabago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just a few weeks ago, the man to beat for the presidency was Jejomar “Jojo” Binay. As a sitting vice president, Binay had the advantage of incumbency. He used his position as second-in-command to President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III and as the administration’s “Housing Czar.” It was no wonder then that his popularity ratings were consistently high in all the years Read More …

Who is bankrolling Grace’s campaign?

Grace-Poe-white-shirt

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares declared her candidacy for president of the Philippines, she confessed that she didn’t have the organization or the resources to run a presidential campaign. With no political party to provide the resources, manpower, and a nationwide political network — and without tons of moolah, which she admittedly lacks – Grace’s campaign vehicle would be like a Mercedes Read More …

Can Digong pull off an upset?

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Not only can a presidential candidate with a shoestring budget win but when he also promises to stamp out corruption, he would be the butt of jokes. He’d be called a nuisance candidate or a quixotic wannabe, someone who dreams big and accomplishes nothing. And in today’s big-bucks presidential campaigns, it’s like racing the “Indianapolis 500” with a go-kart against the Read More …

Politicization of the Supreme Court

Grace-Poe-Supreme-Court-bldg.3

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just when the issue of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares’ “qualifications” to run for president had been put to rest and allowing her to run for president, the dissenting opinion of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio revealed that Llamanzares did not get a majority vote because the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on her citizenship was 7-5-3. Yes, seven is not a majority; it Read More …

Why China wants the SCS badly

Oil-rig-982

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Long considered a body of water with no strategic or economic value, the South China Sea had been for millennia a “road” that nations used to trade their goods with other nations. Nobody laid claim to owning it. Except for small bands of pirates, no navies threatened the peaceful coexistence among the littoral communities and their giant neighbor, the Middle Kingdom Read More …

Brouhaha over Grace Poe’s SSN

Grace-Poe-SC-victory

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just as Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares had secured the Supreme Court’s 9-6 ruling allowing her to run for president of the Philippines, she is facing another obstacle.   This time it has nothing to do with her qualifications to run for president but something more personal: Why does she have two U.S. Social Security numbers, one of which belonged to a long dead Read More …

Can Bongbong survive the ABC?

Bongbong, Miriam, and Imelda (behind).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With Election Day just two months away, campaigning is heating up particularly in the vice presidential contest. Indeed, never in the history of Philippine politics had there been more campaign propaganda used and resources spent to elect the vice president of the country, which makes one wonder: why the sudden interest in a job that does nothing but run errands for Read More …

Battle for 2022 presidency has begun!

Bongbong Marcos and Chiz Escudero

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Francis “Chiz” Escudero are not related by blood or political affiliation, but their provenance – Bongbong’s biological roots and Chiz’s political roots — comes from the same person: Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. Bongbong is the biological son of the late dictator and the Escudero political clan was deeply associated with the Marcoses during the martial law Read More …

Is it Grace or ABG?

Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas, and Santiago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz By the looks of it, the May 9, 2016 presidential election could turn out to be a hellishly contentious battle royale. With five major presidential candidates, the outcome of the elections is predictably unpredictable. Indeed, recent presidential preference surveys showed see-sawing and criss-crossing ratings among four of the five major candidates, to wit: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, Davao Read More …

Is P-Noy hedging his future on Poe?

Is Grace Poe P-Noy's "secret candidate"?

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With the 2016 campaign season officially starting on February 9, the “rumble” among the five major presidential candidates and their VP sidekicks has begun. And for the next 90 days of intense campaigning – and plotting – the race is pretty tight particularly among the top three contenders: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Read More …

The politics of balut

Balut-eater.2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz “Balut” is a popular delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. In particular, the Philippines is arguably one country where her people not only love balut, they live it! Call it balut mentality or balut syndrome, eating balut is healthy for the body and mind… and, as many Filipino men would attest, it’s Read More …

Is Pax Americana coming to an end?

US-flag-and-eagle

PerryScope By Perry Diaz For more than a quarter of a century, the United States enjoyed the distinction of being the sole superpower in a unipolar world order after the Soviet Union imploded in a day.  This was when then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and dissolved the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). What followed was a period that came Read More …

EDCA: A new strategic partnership

US-Philippines bilateral meeting in Washington DC on January 12, 2016, the day the Philippine Supreme Court ruled the EDCA constitutional.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Twenty-four years after the Philippine Senate rejected the extension of the American bases, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). EDCA is an “executive agreement” between the U.S. and the Philippines that would allow the American military to once again set foot on Philippine soil. It didn’t take long for the Philippines to act; Read More …

Geopolitics and the comfort women

Comfort-Women-protest

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Seventy years after the end of World War II, the shameful act of sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army has finally come to a “negotiated” end between Japan and South Korea in what many believe was driven by the geopolitical realities in the volatile East Asia. The Japan-South Korea détente began when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke before a Read More …

When is a lie a lie?

Grace-Poe-disqualified.2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Recently, the Philippine presidential campaign has degenerated into name-calling with each candidate accusing the others of skullduggery, thievery, thuggery, and, worst… lying.   But strangely, nobody seems to mind if the candidate were a trickster, a thief or a thug. Perhaps it’s so common that it has become the norm rather than the exception to be one. But to accuse a candidate Read More …

An evening to remember

UPCC-2015.1

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Last December 20, 2015, marked the day the world renown and award-winning University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) – or simply, “Korus” – was in Sacramento, California on the first leg of its U.S. Winter Tour. As usual, Korus presented a repertoire of music that made the audience call for an encore. And for those who have seen them perform Read More …

It’s never too late to change

Change-the-world

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In 1914, more than a century ago, the German Army was advancing into French territory along a 27-mile stretch of land known as the “Western Front.” The French and the British armies were fiercely defending French territory in trenches along a 200-foot narrow strip called “No Man’s Land” that separates them from the Germans who were dug in on the other Read More …

Quo vadis, Grace?

Grace-Poe.10

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Last November 17, 2015, Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares had a reason to be jubilant! By a 5-4 vote of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), the disqualification complaint against her was thrown out. With the vote of five senators, Grace beat three Supreme Court justices in a “contest” that should have delved into the legality of Grace’s citizenship and residency. Instead the five Read More …

Why was Bonifacio murdered?

Katipunan "Supremo" Andres Bonifacio

PerryScope By Perry Diaz On July 7, 1892, Andres Bonifacio, together with Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and Jose Dizon, upon learning of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s deportation, convened secretly and agreed to form a secret society. The founders called the secret society the Kataastaasang Kagalang-Kagalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or Katipunan for short. It was also referred to Read More …

Grace’s hollow political win

Sen. Grace Poe holds press conference after SET ruling.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz As expected, Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares was spared a debilitating loss in the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s (SET) ruling on the disqualification case against her. On a 5-4 vote, the political body granted Sen. Poe a graceful respite from her troubled past that has been hounding her since she took a quick sprint from the safe haven of obscurity to the Read More …

Can the Philippines defend her sovereignty?

The 12 senators -- called "The Magnificent 12" -- who voted to evict the U.S. bases in 1991.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Ever since twelve nationalistic – and left-leaning — members of the Philippine Senate voted to evict the U.S. bases in 1991, our national pride had immeasurably gone up the scale never seen before since the new national flag was raised and independence was declared from Spain on the balcony of Gen. Emilio Aquinaldo’s mansion in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898. Read More …

It’s time for Grace to call it quits

Quo-vadis-Grace

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It was supposed to be a political “marriage” made in Heaven. But the tandem of Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero – for president and vice-president, respectively — seems like its heading for the rocks. It all began when rumors started going around in the “tsismis” or rumor-mongering crowd — or should we say the Chizmosos and Chizmosas? — after Chiz Read More …

Double whammy hits China

The venue of the arbitration hearing is the Peace Palace in The Hague. (Photo credit: PCA)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Little did China realize that her attempt to take over the South China Sea (SCS) would be met with resistance from the United States as well as the Permanent Court of Arbitration. And with the speed it took to accomplish the one-two punch against the rising superpower in Asia-Pacific in a matter of two days, it left China with few options, Read More …

Bongbong’s gambit

Bongbong: In his father's footsteps.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That is also true in politics; however, some — if not most – of the times, a straight line is fraught with danger that prevents someone from reaching the destination. And to some people, taking a circuitous – and longer distance – might avoid a lot of distractions, Read More …

What’s causing Obama’s sleepless nights?

Who's bluffing? (Credit: The Economist)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With the conclusion of a much-ballyhooed summit meeting between the leaders of the two largest economic superpowers in the 21st century, one would expect that peace would reign in the vast Asia-Pacific region. But this is farthest from the truth because the summit didn’t really accomplish anything but allow U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to pretend Read More …

The 2022 presidential derby is on

Vice presidentiables

PerryScope By Perry Diaz No, it’s not a misprint. What we’re talking about here is the presidential race in 2022. But while the winner of the 2016 presidential election is still anybody’s guess, whoever will be elected vice president in 2016 would be the next president in 2022. And here is the reason why? In my article, “Who doesn’t want to be vice president?” (August Read More …

Grace’s questionable birth stirs controversy

Grace-Poe-and-FPJ-Susan-Roces

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Abandoned by her biological mother at birth, Grace Poe was adopted by movie stars Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces. And soon after, speculations began to circulate and baby Grace took center stage in the nasty gossip circuit. Rumor has it that her father was the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and her mother was the former actress Rosemarie Sonora – Read More …

Papa Francisco and Xi Dada in America

Pope-Francis-and-Obama-arrival

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Barack Obama must be elated that in a matter of days, he had played host to two of the world’s most powerful leaders. Arriving within days of each other, Pope Francis, the spiritual leader and symbolic head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, and President Xi Jinping, the supreme leader of China’s 1.3 billion people, crisscrossed the U.S. in Read More …

Is EDCA dead in the water?

Fiery Cross Reef reclamation

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With all the hoopla following the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States on April 28, 2014 in Manila, one would expect American military forces to be deployed to at least eight strategic locations to protect the Philippines from external forces intruding into her territory. But 16 months have passed and not a Read More …