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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

EDITORIAL: MAR'S TEMPEST
[How shameful it is to use a tragedy, and worse, lie about it, to boost one’s stock. Comic books are popular for their entertainment value. Roxas’ should be seen for just that, and nothing more.]


MARCH 29 -Several weeks ago, former Interior and Local Government Secretary and now presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II said there was no drama at all to his candidacy. He did not have a compelling life story, he said, and his background pales in comparison to the tales of his opponents. All this was just work, and he was just looking to continue the Daang Matuwid—fill its gaps and correct its inadequacies. The comic book distributed by Roxas’ supporters during the birthday celebration of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Chairman Irineo Maliksi in Cavite, however, belies this claim. Titled “Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the midst of the tempest),” the comic book portrayed Roxas as the hero and savior of the people during and after the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.” The story of Roxas’ predisposition to put country over self is the main theme. He left a lucrative career in New York, brought business to the Philippines, pushed ground-breaking legislation, fathered the business process outsourcing industry, gave way to the more popular Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections, and pushed for the implementation of projects at the DILG that have earned recognition for the country. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Blurred lines
[Emphasizing that government workers should remain politically neutral, a joint memorandum circular identified various activities that may be construed as electioneering. The prohibited acts are those designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office. Those found guilty on first offense will face suspension from one month and one day to six months.]


MARCH 31 -The Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission this week reminded all state employees to avoid engaging in partisan political activities during the election season. Emphasizing that government workers should remain politically neutral, a joint memorandum circular identified various activities that may be construed as electioneering. The prohibited acts are those designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office. Those found guilty on first offense will face suspension from one month and one day to six months. What are allowed are expressing views on current political problems or issues and mentioning the names of candidates whom the state employees support. Liking, commenting, sharing, reposting or following an account on social media during the campaign period is also allowed, unless these are used to solicit support for or against a specific candidate or party. The intent of the circular is clear—to impress upon government officials that while they may have their personal preferences and opinions on the elections, they still carry the face of a neutral government. Their private views must not in any way affect the way they perform their jobs. Practically, however, it would be nearly impossible to draw clear and distinct lines between expressing views, endorsing a favored candidate and actively campaigning for somebody. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Tony Lopez - Mindanao could elect the next president


APRIL 1 -Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas II had a beautiful speech before the joint meeting of the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines Wednesday, March 30. He spelled out his program of government and what he will do as president. The nation’s top capitalists and traders applauded him no less than ten times. Mar got the heart of Big Business and their vote, but not the vote of their drivers and maids and employees. Those masa votes go to either Grace Poe or Rodrigo Duterte. BS Aquino’s most trusted cabinet member and best friend promised to move the economy from short pants to long pants, a metaphor for childhood to adulthood, although if you ask me, short pants is certainly “hotter” than long pants, especially with the onset of summer. Mar promised to revitalize manufacturing (which is 25-30 percent of GDP, he said), tourism (arrivals will double to 12 million, he said), and agriculture (12 percent of GDP) to modernize the economy, create jobs, increase people’s income, and provide them livelihood. He also promised to remove so-called blockages to the economic growth like red tape, poor infra and transport system, slow justice system (“Don’t hire a lawyer,” he told the businessmen), and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (he said he would move it to Clark which has 2,000 hectares and can provide for three runways). The 440 hectares of Naia will be sold as central business district to raise P440 billion. The point is that Mar held two of the most important jobs in the government—Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Transportation and Communications, why didn’t he do all those things during his five years as BS Aquino’s top lieutenant and bastonero? Like not hiring lawyers. Why is DoTC hamstrung by so many lawyers? Why are there so many kotong cops so that the sayote that a farmer in Benguet, he says, sells for only P3 or P4 a kilo does not become P50 by the time it reaches Araneta-owned Farmers Market in Cubao? Why? Was it incompetence or failure of will? READ MORE...

ALSO: By Rod Kapunan - Losing our sense of direction
[It is no longer a question of whether one is for or against the candidacy of this overtly ambitious woman who once renounced her citizenship for greener pasture and is back because the oligarchy is brokering her candidacy, but on the more basic issue why our lamentable justices came out with an idiotic decision when it is clear that Poe is not qualified for the office (Section 1, Section 2, Section 5,Article IV and Section 2, Article VII).]


APRIL 2 -Our nation has practically lost its sense of direction, and maybe sanity, for practically we could no longer distinguish our status as a sovereign state. We could not even determine the parameters to distinguish our status as an independent state, free to chart our own destiny. We no longer speak as a nation through our Constitution or treat it as sacred, omniscient and infallible. If there are disagreements or shortcomings in our fundamental law, we do not have the guts to set it aside until after we go through the process of amending it to rectify the inequities borne out of any questionable provision. This column is saying this because it seems the very institution we entrusted to enforce our Basic Law is the one that is spearheading in vandalizing it with all the fervor of distorting, misinterpreting and even rendering a provision dysfunctional. The magistrates whom we distinctly classify as our most learned specimen in the field of law, instead of coming out with their wisdom and philosophy behind that specific provision to rhyme it to our aspirations, are the ones giving most abominable interpretation often coming out their illogical explanation to make what is strictly prohibited constitutional and legal. Such sham interpretation transcends the issue of what is in fact constitutional or unconstitutional, but more of an insult to our people, for even an ordinary layman who knows how to read and write could well say that those miserable justices have decided on a terminology and gave meaning to it which is not found in the provision or even thought of by the framers of the constitution. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL  - Altered states
[The Yolanda Storm 'superhero']


MARCH 30 -DERISION and outrage have greeted the distribution of a comic book depicting the administration’s presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II as the savior of Typhoon “Yolanda” survivors. For those who lived through the killer typhoon and its aftermath in 2013, the graphic retelling of their ordeal to recast Roxas as the hero was a blatant lie and an insult to the thousands that died. “That is far from the truth and reality that what he did and did not do resulted in the death of thousands of people. This was criminal negligence. He is cleaning his name and washing his hands of the tragedy,” said Yolanda survivor Marissa Cabaljao. Contrary to the glowing account in the comic book, the administration—and Roxas, who was then Interior and Local Government secretary—came under fierce criticism for their slow response to the typhoon, which killed more than 6,000 people, left 1.9 million homeless and destroyed 90 percent of the structures in Tacloban and other towns and cities in the Visayas. Five days after the typhoon struck, survivors continued to struggle with basic necessities such as food, water and shelter, while remote towns in Leyte and Samar had yet to receive any aid at all—a condition documented at the time by live reporting by CNN. In Tacloban City, corpses were still being found four months after the disaster. In the face of these harsh realities, there are two ways we can view the Roxas comic book. The most facile is to believe that the Roxas camp and its Liberal Party allies are cynical liars and are so desperate to win election that they will lie about a human tragedy to claw their way out of the bottom of the polls. Another possibility is that Roxas actually believes his revision of history, twisted as it might seem to anyone familiar with the administration’s dismal record in Yolanda. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

EDITORIAL: Mar’s tempest

MANILA, APRIL 4, 2016 (MANILA STANDARDS) posted March 29, 2016 at 12:01 am - Several weeks ago, former Interior and Local Government Secretary and now presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II said there was no drama at all to his candidacy. He did not have a compelling life story, he said, and his background pales in comparison to the tales of his opponents.

All this was just work, and he was just looking to continue the Daang Matuwid—fill its gaps and correct its inadequacies.

The comic book distributed by Roxas’ supporters during the birthday celebration of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Chairman Irineo Maliksi in Cavite, however, belies this claim. Titled “Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the midst of the tempest),” the comic book portrayed Roxas as the hero and savior of the people during and after the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”

The story of Roxas’ predisposition to put country over self is the main theme. He left a lucrative career in New York, brought business to the Philippines, pushed ground-breaking legislation, fathered the business process outsourcing industry, gave way to the more popular Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections, and pushed for the implementation of projects at the DILG that have earned recognition for the country.

READ MORE...

A photo of Roxas in a fallen motorcycle also showed the candidate would go to great lengths to help his countrymen despite danger and adversity.

Campaign spokesman Barry Gutierrez said Roxas’ supporters came out with comic book to inform the people of what really happened before, during and after the typhoon.

The portrayal of Roxas as larger than life—shown most prominently in the booklet cover where he shields victims from the storm—is not lost on a representative of a group of Yolanda survivors, who slammed the attempt as a desperate move to show he did something when he did not.

If the comic book does not scream drama, then we do not know what does.

In these last few weeks of the campaign, Roxas and his supporters are inclined to do anything—even resort to tall tales—to change the former secretary’s dismal showing in the surveys. The comic book is likely to yield results that are the opposite of what it intended.

How shameful it is to use a tragedy, and worse, lie about it, to boost one’s stock.

Comic books are popular for their entertainment value. Roxas’ should be seen for just that, and nothing more.


Blurred lines posted March 31, 2016 at 12:01 am

The Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission this week reminded all state employees to avoid engaging in partisan political activities during the election season.

Emphasizing that government workers should remain politically neutral, a joint memorandum circular identified various activities that may be construed as electioneering. The prohibited acts are those designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office. Those found guilty on first offense will face suspension from one month and one day to six months.

What are allowed are expressing views on current political problems or issues and mentioning the names of candidates whom the state employees support. Liking, commenting, sharing, reposting or following an account on social media during the campaign period is also allowed, unless these are used to solicit support for or against a specific candidate or party.

The intent of the circular is clear—to impress upon government officials that while they may have their personal preferences and opinions on the elections, they still carry the face of a neutral government. Their private views must not in any way affect the way they perform their jobs.

Practically, however, it would be nearly impossible to draw clear and distinct lines between expressing views, endorsing a favored candidate and actively campaigning for somebody.

READ MORE...

We have to look no further than the Palace, whose own occupants—led by no less than the President—have confused their hats for many months now in their rabid support of the Liberal Party’s bets. Spokesmen have served as mouthpieces not for the Office of the President but for the campaign, and the President himself just last month delivered a takedown speech against Robredo’s rival, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

This affliction has not been limited to Team Yellow, and to the top levels of government. On all other political corners, the rhetoric has primarily been to boost a favored candidate’s chances or throw mud at the most promising opponent—especially in the provinces where the lines may be blurred or disappear altogether.

Now that the circular is out, we will see if state employees, especially those who are all too aware of their clout, would at least attempt to moderate their zeal especially if their own, their relative’s, their ally’s or their patron’s interests are at stake. We don’t expect them to, but it might be instructive to know who would remain brazen about their political color.


Mindanao could elect the next president posted April 01, 2016 at 12:01 am by Tony Lopez

Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas II had a beautiful speech before the joint meeting of the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines Wednesday, March 30. He spelled out his program of government and what he will do as president. The nation’s top capitalists and traders applauded him no less than ten times. Mar got the heart of Big Business and their vote, but not the vote of their drivers and maids and employees. Those masa votes go to either Grace Poe or Rodrigo Duterte.

BS Aquino’s most trusted cabinet member and best friend promised to move the economy from short pants to long pants, a metaphor for childhood to adulthood, although if you ask me, short pants is certainly “hotter” than long pants, especially with the onset of summer.

Mar promised to revitalize manufacturing (which is 25-30 percent of GDP, he said), tourism (arrivals will double to 12 million, he said), and agriculture (12 percent of GDP) to modernize the economy, create jobs, increase people’s income, and provide them livelihood.

He also promised to remove so-called blockages to the economic growth like red tape, poor infra and transport system, slow justice system (“Don’t hire a lawyer,” he told the businessmen), and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (he said he would move it to Clark which has 2,000 hectares and can provide for three runways). The 440 hectares of Naia will be sold as central business district to raise P440 billion.

The point is that Mar held two of the most important jobs in the government—Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Transportation and Communications, why didn’t he do all those things during his five years as BS Aquino’s top lieutenant and bastonero?

Like not hiring lawyers. Why is DoTC hamstrung by so many lawyers?

Why are there so many kotong cops so that the sayote that a farmer in Benguet, he says, sells for only P3 or P4 a kilo does not become P50 by the time it reaches Araneta-owned Farmers Market in Cubao? Why? Was it incompetence or failure of will?

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, I was looking at the latest survey of Pulse Asia done with ABS-CBN on March 8 to 13, with 4,000 respondents and a margin of error of plus/minus 1.5 percent, at 95 percent confidence level. This, to me, is a reliable survey because the more people participate in pollster interviews, the more accurate the results are.

The findings are closer to reality and the closer are the findings to reality. You cannot go smaller than the 1.5 percent margin of error unless you interview the entire universe of 54 million voters.

According to Pulse Asia, as of March 8 to 13, nationwide, Senator Grace is the No. 1 choice of voters, with 26 percent, followed by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte 25 percent; Vice President Jejomar Binay 22 percent, and Mar Roxas 20 percent.

With 54.33 million voters and a turnout of 43.469 million, Poe’s 26 percent translates into 11.3 million votes, Duterte’s 25 percent into 10.867 million, Binay’s 22 percent into 9.563 million, and Roxas’s 20 percent into 8.693 million votes. Poe will win the presidency by 433,000 votes—less than half a million.

However, I looked at the voting percentages of the four leading bets by region. The results are quite different. Mayor Duterte could win the presidency—by just a tenth of a percentage point or less than 400,000 votes.

Poe wins in Metro Manila with 30 percent, a percentage ahead of Duterte’s 29 percent; wins in Balance of Luzon with 34 percent, 8 percentage points ahead of Binay’s 26 percent, and 18 points ahead of Duterte’s 16 percent. Poe loses in the Visayas, with 20 percent, to Mar Roxas’ 36 percent, and loses in Mindanao with 15 percent, to Duterte’s 46 percent.

Binay does not win in any region. He is only No. 3 in NCR with 23 percent, No. 2 in Balance of Luzon with 26 percent, No. 2 in the Visayas with 21 percent, and No. 4 in Mindanao with 14 percent.

Pulse Asia divides the Philippines into four regions—NCR with 6.253 million voters; Balance of Luzon 21.16 million voters; Visayas 11.315 million voters; and Mindanao 12.627 million voters. Assuming a voter turnout of 80 percent, NCR has 5.002 million voters on election day, Balance of Luzon 19.328 million, Visayas 11.315 million, and Mindanao 12.627 million.

According to Pulse Asia, Poe has 30 percent of the votes in NCR or 1.5 million votes; Duterte 29 percent or 1.45 million (he loses to Poe by 50,000 votes); Binay 23 percent or 1.15 million (the VP loses to Poe by 350,000 votes), and Roxas a measly 9 percent or 450,180 (he loses to Poe by more than one million votes).

In Balance of Luzon (which is Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol, a voter turnout of 19.328 million), Poe again wins, with 34 percent or 6.571 million votes. She is trailed by Binay with 26 percent or 5.025 million votes; Duterte 16 percent or 3.09 million votes, and Roxas 15 percent or 2.899 million votes.

In the Visayas (9.052 million votes), Roxas wins hands down with 36 percent or 3.258 million votes; followed by Binay 21 percent or 1.9 million; Poe 20 percent or 1.81 million; and Duterte 18 percent or 1.629 million. The defection of One Cebu to either Poe or Duterte will deal Binay possibly a mortal blow, in a close fight.

In Mindanao (10.1 million vote turnout), Duterte is unrivaled with 46 percent or 4.64 million votes. Roxas is a poor second with 20 percent or 2.02 million votes, while Poe and Binay bring up the rear, with 15 percent (1.515 million) and 14 percent (1.414 million votes), respectively.

Summing up, Poe will have a national total of 11.396 million votes—1.5 million in Metro Manila, 6.571 million in Balance of Luzon, 1.81 million in Visayas, and 1.515 million in Mindanao.

Duterte battles Poe in a neck-and-neck race. He could win the presidency. He has 10.809 million (less than 600,000 less than Poe’s), with 1.45 million in NCR, 3.09 million in Balance of Luzon, 1.629 million in Visayas, and a whopping 4.64 million in Mindanao.

No wonder Poe and Duterte have concentrated their campaigns in Luzon. Poe wants to solidify her hold on Luzon; Duterte wants to crack it.

If Duterte gains dramatically in Luzon and if Mindanao goes all out for him, the deep south will elect for the first time the Philippine president.


Losing our sense of direction posted April 02, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan

Our nation has practically lost its sense of direction, and maybe sanity, for practically we could no longer distinguish our status as a sovereign state. We could not even determine the parameters to distinguish our status as an independent state, free to chart our own destiny.

We no longer speak as a nation through our Constitution or treat it as sacred, omniscient and infallible. If there are disagreements or shortcomings in our fundamental law, we do not have the guts to set it aside until after we go through the process of amending it to rectify the inequities borne out of any questionable provision.

This column is saying this because it seems the very institution we entrusted to enforce our Basic Law is the one that is spearheading in vandalizing it with all the fervor of distorting, misinterpreting and even rendering a provision dysfunctional.

The magistrates whom we distinctly classify as our most learned specimen in the field of law, instead of coming out with their wisdom and philosophy behind that specific provision to rhyme it to our aspirations, are the ones giving most abominable interpretation often coming out their illogical explanation to make what is strictly prohibited constitutional and legal.

Such sham interpretation transcends the issue of what is in fact constitutional or unconstitutional, but more of an insult to our people, for even an ordinary layman who knows how to read and write could well say that those miserable justices have decided on a terminology and gave meaning to it which is not found in the provision or even thought of by the framers of the constitution.

READ MORE...

To evade the wrath of public opinion, the miserable justices always casually call their decision a “political issue,” than in squarely deciding that it is against the Constitution. Their casual referral in judging important issues as a “political question” has become their easy way to abnegate their responsibility and to soothe the insult they made to our people.

The Constitution is presumed to be infallible, as constitutionalists would insist. If one disagrees with some of its provisions, the door remains open for them to go through the process of seeking an amendment because the rule of law, and not the rule of the jungle, is what we observe here.

We cannot interpret the Constitution the way we would want it to be, or bend it just to accommodate the wishes of one party. Moreover, while those justices possess the exclusive right to interpret a provision in the Constitution as final, that should not go beyond by amending the fundamental law or worse, give it a different interpretation when the word upon which they based their interpretation is not even found in the provision in question.


THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES

The act committed by those miserable justices constitutes a culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of the public trust (Section 3[2] Article XI of the Constitution). To misinterpret the Constitution for the purpose, giving it a different meaning or to render it dysfunctional constitutes a grave offense, for it appears that they purposely and maliciously did it with the intent of misleading our people.

Their act of despoliation and destruction of the Constitution constitutes an open invitation for our people to rebel. Constitutional vandalism is the highest form of injustice because it affects all of us and the future direction of this country that trots itself to the world as independent and sovereign.

Thus, if people rebel, they do so because they feel the rules for which they have sworn their oath of allegiance has become selective or is wrongly being interpreted in favor of one class or party.

The people see the decision of the magistrates as a spectacle of stupidity in a manner that when they dissected such terminology as “foundlings,” “visiting forces agreement,” and “enhanced defense cooperation agreement,” they knew it was nowhere to be found in the 1987 Constitution or that to insert them is to misrepresent what it means.

For one, the candidate is insulting the intelligence of all Filipinos because after renouncing her citizenship, she wants it back claiming to be a “foundling” just to fulfill her aching ambition of becoming president, which is reserved only to natural-born Filipino citizens, and the Supreme Court is now acting as her accomplice with some shameless retired justices sponsoring her claim of being a natural born.

It is no longer a question of whether one is for or against the candidacy of this overtly ambitious woman who once renounced her citizenship for greener pasture and is back because the oligarchy is brokering her candidacy, but on the more basic issue why our lamentable justices came out with an idiotic decision when it is clear that Poe is not qualified for the office (Section 1, Section 2, Section 5,Article IV and Section 2, Article VII).

The same is true on why the magistrates came out with a stupid decision when it is clear that foreign military base is prohibited, and ships and aircrafts armed with nuclear weapons are banned from entering the country (Section 25, Article XVIII, and Section 8, Article II). It is no longer a question of whether one is in favor of restoring the US military bases using the military facilities we have built for our own soldiers and free from all expenses because they are needed for our defense against China.

If this subservient government desires for this country to be ruled by a former alien or recolonized again by the same conqueror, it can go ahead, but our Supreme Court should be brave enough to stand up and tell this good-for-nothing hypocritical government that we have first to amend the Constitution and have it ratified by the people.

That way, there would be no clamor for agitation, unrest, name-calling. We would possibly avoid inviting a rebellion because the people already ratified a provision that would allow their leader to sell their country down the river. The justices would also be spared the time coming out with ludicrous decisions that would only make them look more like stupid political sycophants breaking their neck just to give their shoddy decision a semblance of constitutionality.

Those lousy decisions have a far-ranging effect on the future of this country. The justices can never assert that their decisions as political questions for no matter how one would look at the provisions because they are required by law to do their duty of interpreting the constitution diligently in consonance with the aspiration of our people.

It cannot even be said they committed an act of judicial legislation, for as one lawyer would put it, the issue is not about the lack or absence of a clear provision. Rather, their rotten and unpalatable decisions now become jurisprudence, that no matter how stupid and illogical they might be will be swallowed by lawyers in this land of the gentile.

In other words, the disfigurement in our Constitution now becomes a permanent fixture, all because some pathetic justices came out with decisions designed to please their appointing power, and from which, all must suffer the consequence of their stupidity.


Altered states posted March 30, 2016 at 12:01 am



DERISION and outrage have greeted the distribution of a comic book depicting the administration’s presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II as the savior of Typhoon “Yolanda” survivors.

For those who lived through the killer typhoon and its aftermath in 2013, the graphic retelling of their ordeal to recast Roxas as the hero was a blatant lie and an insult to the thousands that died.

“That is far from the truth and reality that what he did and did not do resulted in the death of thousands of people. This was criminal negligence. He is cleaning his name and washing his hands of the tragedy,” said Yolanda survivor Marissa Cabaljao.

Contrary to the glowing account in the comic book, the administration—and Roxas, who was then Interior and Local Government secretary—came under fierce criticism for their slow response to the typhoon, which killed more than 6,000 people, left 1.9 million homeless and destroyed 90 percent of the structures in Tacloban and other towns and cities in the Visayas. Five days after the typhoon struck, survivors continued to struggle with basic necessities such as food, water and shelter, while remote towns in Leyte and Samar had yet to receive any aid at all—a condition documented at the time by live reporting by CNN. In Tacloban City, corpses were still being found four months after the disaster.

In the face of these harsh realities, there are two ways we can view the Roxas comic book.

The most facile is to believe that the Roxas camp and its Liberal Party allies are cynical liars and are so desperate to win election that they will lie about a human tragedy to claw their way out of the bottom of the polls.

Another possibility is that Roxas actually believes his revision of history, twisted as it might seem to anyone familiar with the administration’s dismal record in Yolanda.

READ MORE...

 This separation from reality might explain how he can claim with a straight face to have performed heroic feats, even though any preparations he might have put in place in his meetings in Tacloban City before the storm were clearly inadequate—leading to more, not fewer deaths.

It is this same disconnect from the lives of ordinary Filipinos that gave one government official the impetus to declare that the country’s economic managers were “happy” about official statistics showing that more than one in four Filipinos is poor, and that there were 26.4 million people living below the poverty line—simply because this was an improvement over the 27.9 percent poverty rate in 2012.

It is the same alternate view of reality that enables a callous President to veto a bill that would have raised pensions to millions of retirees with the shrug of the shoulder, while defending fat bonuses for the administrators of the Social Security System.

In the 1980 film Altered States, American playwright Paddy Chayefsky wrote about a scientist who experimented with sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs to unlock different states of consciousness. While the combination seemed to work at first, the scientist’s grip on reality gradually slipped away as his sensory deprivation increased.

There seems to be a striking parallel here—sans the hallucinogenic drugs, we trust—between the scientist who eventually loses his grip on reality, and Roxas, who thinks of himself as the hero of Yolanda. Long deprived of interaction with real people—perhaps by personal choice or preference—Roxas has achieved an altered state of reality from which there may be no return.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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