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

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

By Florangel Rosario Braid: ANOTHER LOOK AT GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS[Dissatisfaction with the current measure of development which is the GDP or Gross Domestic Product has been going on for sometime as even noted economists had shown that it had not really led to genuine wellbeing. The latter is measured by happiness which comes only when we have learned to transform our relationship with fellow human beings and nature – by being more caring, cooperative, altruistic, inclusive, and by changing our attitudes towards food and material wealth]


MAY 27 -Florangel Rosario Braid  Many of us (this includes PNoy who supported another presidential candidate last election) are giving ourselves a year of “wait and see” – whether indeed, President-elect Duterte is able to muster the political will to fulfill his promise to eliminate illegal drugs and corruption in six months. The count starts day after June 30. But except for a few nominees with questionable and lackluster records for the cabinet and some planned presidential actions such as burying the late dictator in the Libingan ng Bayani and re-imposing the death penalty, I endorse many of his plans for the next six years. This includes constitutional change to a federal structure, his eight-point economic agenda, and even the plan to impose curfew for minors as well as reverting to a simpler life style. But except for those of us who grew up during the Japanese period who, by circumstance had to survive on food and other necessities produced from backyard or local market, can many middle-class Filipinos tighten their belts and transform what is a consumerist lifestyle into a more frugal albeit a healthier lifestyle? Thus, while Duterte need not impose a three children per family as this violates the Reproductive Health Law, imposing limits on ownership of cars (such as two per household) could be a start in his campaign for a more sustainable environment. This brings me to the need to revisit an emerging alternative development paradigm that is now being widely discussed in the United Nations and forums like Davos and is likewise gaining more adherents among heads of states. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Julie Yap Daza - Death by partying


MAY 27 -Julie Yap Daza Did the five persons who collapsed during a 12-hour outdoor concert last week die “by misadventure”? It was not likely that they willfully died by their own hand. Was it a case of multiple homicide, murder? Mayor Duterte blames the police for failure of intelligence to flush out the drug pushers. Under English law- – the basis of most American law which is the basis of most Philippine law- – there is such a thing as “death by misadventure.” Frances Fyfield, British writer of psychological thrillers who is a criminal lawyer and previously an attorney in Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Office, explains death by misadventure as “one kind of accident to which the deceased may well have contributed himself, common for a drug overdose.” Years ago when a pretty girl was found dead in her hotel room in a foreign city, the verdict on most everyone’s mind was suicide by poisoning. Her bereaved mother believed otherwise, telling friends her daughter had accidentally mixed her medicines, not knowing how lethal the combination could be. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Hopes up for Bajo de Masinloc


MAY 27 -For the first time in years, Zambales fishermen said that last week, they were no longer being harassed by Chinese coast guard vessels in the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales, said that some 100 Masinloc fishermen expressed surprise at the unexpected turn of events. The Scarborough shoal, known locally as Bajo de Masinloc and, at times, Panatag, is only 20 miles from Zambales, and well within the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is, however, claimed by China, which calls it Huangyan, as it falls within China’s so-called Nine-Dash Line looping around virtually the entire South China Sea. West of Scarborough are the Paracel islands, contested by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Then south of the Paracels and west of Palawan are the Spratlys with some 130 small islands and reefs, some claimed by Taiwan, some by Vietnam, some by the Philippines, but all claimed by China. Pagasa island in the Spratlys, 280 miles northwest of Puerto Princesa, is part of Kalayaan, the Philippines’ smallest municipality with a population of 222. This in brief is the uneasy situation in the South China Sea. The United States has entered the picture, saying the South China Sea is an international shipping route. Affirmng freedom of navigation, it has repeatedly sent its warships to the area. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - National flag day


MAY 27 -On March 6, 1965, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 was issued declaring May 28 as National Flag Day to commemorate the date the national emblem was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated the Spanish fores in the Battle at Alapan, Imus, Cavite in 1898. On May 23, 1994, Executive Order No. 179 was issued extending the period of celebrating National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12. All Filipinos are encouraged to display the Philippine flag in all offices, agencies and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes throughout this period. In the Philippines, National Flag Day commemorates the day the country’s flag was first used. A battle was fought between Filipino revolutionaries led by General Emilio F. Aguinaldo and the Spanish troops who were defeated, enabling the revolutionaries to recapture the province of Cavite. After the battle, on May 28, 1898, General Aguinaldo unfurled, for the first time, what would later become the country’s national flag. The flag was formally presented to the people on June 12, 1898. National Flag Day will be celebrated today throughout the country. There will be events in many cities and municipalities of the country, particularly in Imus, Cavite, as a kick-off activity for the country’s 118th Independence Day celebration on June 12, 2016. National Flag Day is marked with the raising of the national flag, and the permanent display of this national symbol from May 28 to June 12 by all government offices and agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and private residences. In recent years, however, the flag days have extended until June 30 to put emphasis on the celebration of the country’s independence as well as promote patriotism. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Another look at gross national happiness

MANILA, MAY 30, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Florangel Rosario Braid May 27, 2016 - Many of us (this includes PNoy who supported another presidential candidate last election) are giving ourselves a year of “wait and see” – whether indeed, President-elect Duterte is able to muster the political will to fulfill his promise to eliminate illegal drugs and corruption in six months. The count starts day after June 30.

But except for a few nominees with questionable and lackluster records for the cabinet and some planned presidential actions such as burying the late dictator in the Libingan ng Bayani and re-imposing the death penalty, I endorse many of his plans for the next six years.

This includes constitutional change to a federal structure, his eight-point economic agenda, and even the plan to impose curfew for minors as well as reverting to a simpler life style.

But except for those of us who grew up during the Japanese period who, by circumstance had to survive on food and other necessities produced from backyard or local market, can many middle-class Filipinos tighten their belts and transform what is a consumerist lifestyle into a more frugal albeit a healthier lifestyle?

Thus, while Duterte need not impose a three children per family as this violates the Reproductive Health Law, imposing limits on ownership of cars (such as two per household) could be a start in his campaign for a more sustainable environment.

This brings me to the need to revisit an emerging alternative development paradigm that is now being widely discussed in the United Nations and forums like Davos and is likewise gaining more adherents among heads of states.

READ MORE...

Dissatisfaction with the current measure of development which is the GDP or Gross Domestic Product has been going on for sometime as even noted economists had shown that it had not really led to genuine wellbeing.

The latter is measured by happiness which comes only when we have learned to transform our relationship with fellow human beings and nature – by being more caring, cooperative, altruistic, inclusive, and by changing our attitudes towards food and material wealth. Thus, happiness results from an abiding harmony with the natural world, of compassion, contentment, and joy.

As a Report from the Kingdom of Bhutan prepared by an International Expert Working Group which also refined this new paradigm proposed by Bhutan expresses, the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index rests on these principles:

Transformation of our values – life, over acquisitiveness and profit; recognize the difference between needs and wants, and value needs.

Recognition of the purpose of development – that it is not only increased production, income, consumption and accumulation of wealth but also the of conditions for happiness and wellbeing of all life on earth.

Reorientation towards service – to see production not merely of material goods but the service it provides and its our purpose and benefit to society.

Recognition of the interconnectedness and our mutual interdependence with our natural world and with each other, thus recognizing the consequences of our actions.

Cooperation and collaboration and integration of our efforts at every level.

Why are we optimistic that this change to a new development model could happen now?

First, the new administration appears to be moving towards some radical structural changes which could be the right environment and momentum for change in our shift from GDP to GNH.

This includes the move to change to a federal structure which supports this type of change. As the report noted, “the compelling and unifying story in this societal transformation is the portrayal of human nature as being cooperative, and the purpose of the economy is serving people with the ultimate vision of societal happiness.

Life can exist only in a community and that wellbeing and happiness depend on living in dynamic, adaptive, evolving balance with nature.”

With the country having today the highest GDP growth rate in Asia (6.9%), and a high income inequality ranking at the same time, the challenge is even greater.

What the structural changes accompanying the evolution from GDP to GNH may require is a progressive leadership that is not afraid to take risks and move towards creative changes and innovation, and one that is principally guided by service for the common good.


Death by partying by Jullie Yap Daza May 27, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share1


MAY 27 -Julie Yap Daza

Did the five persons who collapsed during a 12-hour outdoor concert last week die “by misadventure”? It was not likely that they willfully died by their own hand. Was it a case of multiple homicide, murder?

Mayor Duterte blames the police for failure of intelligence to flush out the drug pushers.

Under English law- – the basis of most American law which is the basis of most Philippine law- – there is such a thing as “death by misadventure.”

Frances Fyfield, British writer of psychological thrillers who is a criminal lawyer and previously an attorney in Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Office, explains death by misadventure as “one kind of accident to which the deceased may well have contributed himself, common for a drug overdose.”

Years ago when a pretty girl was found dead in her hotel room in a foreign city, the verdict on most everyone’s mind was suicide by poisoning. Her bereaved mother believed otherwise, telling friends her daughter had accidentally mixed her medicines, not knowing how lethal the combination could be.

READ MORE...

If Philippine jurisprudence had recognized misadventure as a manner of death even as late as the last century, would the pain suffered by the family have been substantially diminished, without being removed?

Autopsies on two of last week’s victims of death by partying attributed their collapse to “possible drug overdose.”

 Investigators on the case should be able to piece together a clearer picture from four other revelers who survived whatever it was that downed the five fatalities. One police officer has appealed to witnesses, including the survivors who were discharged from hospital shortly after treatment, to come out, be unafraid to say what they saw and experienced: “They are victims, we are not accusing them (of a crime).”

The crime would be to let the peddlers and pushers get away with infiltrating what should have been a high and happy event, but are agents of the law capable of infiltrating the infiltrators?


EDITORIAL: Hopes up for Bajo de Masinloc May 27, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0

For the first time in years, Zambales fishermen said that last week, they were no longer being harassed by Chinese coast guard vessels in the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales, said that some 100 Masinloc fishermen expressed surprise at the unexpected turn of events.

The Scarborough shoal, known locally as Bajo de Masinloc and, at times, Panatag, is only 20 miles from Zambales, and well within the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is, however, claimed by China, which calls it Huangyan, as it falls within China’s so-called Nine-Dash Line looping around virtually the entire South China Sea.

West of Scarborough are the Paracel islands, contested by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Then south of the Paracels and west of Palawan are the Spratlys with some 130 small islands and reefs, some claimed by Taiwan, some by Vietnam, some by the Philippines, but all claimed by China. Pagasa island in the Spratlys, 280 miles northwest of Puerto Princesa, is part of Kalayaan, the Philippines’ smallest municipality with a population of 222.

This in brief is the uneasy situation in the South China Sea. The United States has entered the picture, saying the South China Sea is an international shipping route. Affirmng freedom of navigation, it has repeatedly sent its warships to the area.

READ MORE...

Filipino fishermen have long been fishing among the many islands dotting the South China Sea, especially Bajo de Masinloc which is just a short distance from its namesake, Masinloc, Zambales. For years, however, they have been forced away by Chinese coast guard vessels, often with water cannons. Then last week, the Masinloc fishermen found they could now fish in the rich waters without the harassment they used to experience.

The Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism Research attributed the change to the election of President Duterte who has indicated his readiness to talk with China on differences between the two countries. China has always called for bilateral negotiations with all the nations with which it has conflicting claims.

The Philippines, under the Aquino administration, had rejected bilateral talks in favor of filing a case with the UN Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in the Hague. The tribunal is due to issue a decision any time now, but China has declared it does not recognize its jurisdiction.

The change in Bajo de Masinloc, where Filipino fishermen suddenly found they were no longer harassed by the Chinese coast guard, raises hopes that the incoming Duterte administration may be able to do something about the dilemma. There may yet be no permanent solution because of the sovereignty issue, but a friendly arrangement that will allow the Filipino fishermen to carry on as in the past would be most welcome. Other agreements may be reached later, perhaps for joint exploration and exploitation of mineral wealth in the area.


National flag day May 27, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share18


MAY 27 -On March 6, 1965, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 was issued declaring May 28 as National Flag Day to commemorate the date the national emblem was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated the Spanish fores in the Battle at Alapan, Imus, Cavite in 1898. On May 23, 1994, Executive Order No. 179 was issued extending the period of celebrating National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12. All Filipinos are encouraged to display the Philippine flag in all offices, agencies and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes throughout this period.

In the Philippines, National Flag Day commemorates the day the country’s flag was first used. A battle was fought between Filipino revolutionaries led by General Emilio F. Aguinaldo and the Spanish troops who were defeated, enabling the revolutionaries to recapture the province of Cavite. After the battle, on May 28, 1898, General Aguinaldo unfurled, for the first time, what would later become the country’s national flag. The flag was formally presented to the people on June 12, 1898.

National Flag Day will be celebrated today throughout the country. There will be events in many cities and municipalities of the country, particularly in Imus, Cavite, as a kick-off activity for the country’s 118th Independence Day celebration on June 12, 2016.

National Flag Day is marked with the raising of the national flag, and the permanent display of this national symbol from May 28 to June 12 by all government offices and agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and private residences. In recent years, however, the flag days have extended until June 30 to put emphasis on the celebration of the country’s independence as well as promote patriotism.

READ MORE...

The initial design of the Philippine flag was conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897. This was sewn by Marcela Marino de Agoncillo with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad (a niece of Propagandista and National Hero Jose Rizal). After his exile,

Aguinaldo brought the flag to the country. The design of the Philippine Flag had evolved from its original image, but its colors and celestial figures have kept their intended meanings: blue signifies willingness to sacrifice oneself for freedom, peace, truth, and justice; red is for courage and patriotism; white is for liberty, equality, and fraternity; the three stars stand for the three stars stand for the three principal island groups of the Philippines, namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and the eight rays represent the eighth provinces that had significant involvement in the 1896 Philippine Revolution.

The Philippine Flag is uniquely known as the only national flag in the world that changes the way it is displayed at peacetime, when the blue field is on top, and at war, when the red field is on top.


The detail of Fernando Amorsolo's 'The Making of the Philippine flag' depicting Agoncillo and company's manual sewing

From the year 1919, when the Philippine flag was once more legalized, until 1940, Flag Day was observed in October to mark the day the Philippine Legislature restored the flag. From 1941 to 1964, Flag Day was commemorated on June 12, the date the national flag was unfurled in Kawit, Cavite. However, since Flag Day coincided with Independence Day, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 issued in 1965 moved the observance of National Flag Day to May 28 to commemorate and accord importance to the date the national emblem was first unfurled in battle. Years later, on May 23, 1994, Executive Order No. 179 was issued stretching the period of the observance of National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12, to culminate in the celebration of Independence Day.

This was reiterated by Republic Act No. 8491 dated July 28, 1997, which also prescribes the Code of the national Flag, Anthem, Motto, Coat-of-Arms, and Other Heraldic Items and Devices of the Philippines.

In observance of National Flag day, Filipinos are encouraged to display the Philippine flag in their offices, agencies, and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes throughout the prescribed period. Republic Act No. 8491 s. 1997 (http://www.gov.pg/1998/02/12/republic-act-no-8491/) and Department of Education Department Order 60 s. 2007 (http://www.deped.gov.ph/orders/do-60-s-2007) prescribe the correct ways of using and displaying the Philippine flag.

It would be good to check out these sites before displaying the national flag in the workplace or residence. Filipinos would do well to also review the history of the Philippine flag to develop a deeper appreciation for what it stands for, and to learn the proper ways of displaying this prime symbol of our identity as a people.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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