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

EDITORIAL: ANARCHY AND THE RULE OF LAW


AUGUST 30 -Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno of the Supreme Court spelled out the role of the judiciary in our democratic government at the Meet the Press forum of the court last Thursday. That role, she said, is to “keep the social fabric intact, address the people’s cry for justice, and thereby prevent society’s descent to anarchy.”
Her words are a welcome reminder to all of us that we have this third pillar of government that we can turn to, during times when the two other pillars – the executive and the legislative – may seem prone to excesses in their pursuit of some great national goal.The judiciary, she said, provides justice to the state and to victims of crime when there is evidence of guilt, and to those accused when there is none. It is the stronghold of the rule of law without which, she said, we will not survive as a nation. The chief justice went into specifics on the trial of drug cases in the country. There are now a total of 128,368 drug cases pending in lower courts, she said; they make up about a fourth of the 439,606 total cases of all kinds pending in courts all over the country. There have been delays in the trial of drug cases, she said, for three main reasons – the absence of police witnesses, the dearth of public prosecutors , and weak evidence. She said she had been informed by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that the department has vacancies for around 500 prosecutors and it may have to hire about 2,000 more. For its part, she said, the Supreme Court has already added 240 courts to those now trying drug cases. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Talks on arbitral ruling? Later perhaps


SEPTEMBER 1 -Image Credit: REUTERS/Erik De Castro After telling the Chinese ambassador in Davao City that any bilateral talks between the Philippines and China will have to be based on the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, President Duterte announced during the National Heroes Day rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last Monday that he will “keep silent” and avoid flaunting the arbitral court ruling for now. This is probably the best position the Philippines can take at this time. China has declared it never recognized the court proceedings in the first place and it does not recognize the court ruling which was handed down last July 12. The ruling basically upheld the Philippine position against China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea based on a nine-dash line drawn on a Chinese map of the region published in 1947. In its ruling, the court said: “China violated Philippine sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, by constructing artificial islands, and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the economic zone.” But China will have none of this decision. Thus, when former President Fidel V. Ramos, at the behest of President Duterte, went to Hong Kong early last month. he stressed he was going there to meet with friends, not with officials, perhaps play a round of golf. He did meet with some prominent Chinese citizens, nothing official at all, with only the goal of keeping friendly lines open between our two countries. During the recent National Heroes Day ceremony, which was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, President Duterte appealed to the Chinese government to understand the plight of the Filipino fishermen who have been barred from their traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, just 210 kilometers from the Zambales coast. He asked China to treat Filipinos as brothers, not enemies. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Former Press Sec Hector Villanueva - Avoid past mistakes


SEPTEMBER 1 -by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva
 “My country, right or wrong: if right, to be kept right, and if wrong, to be set right.” — Carl Schurz  -Owing to official neglect, omission, and indifference of President Benigno Noynoy Aquino in the last six years, the drug menace, as revealed, was turning the Philippines into a narco-state which would have been one of the legacies of the former President. It is thus timely that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was the one to seize the challenge to destroy the drug pandemic that would have ruined this country. However, as P-Noy had wasted so much time impeaching SC Chief Justice Renato Corona and persecuting former President Gloria Arroyo, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, it is hoped that President Digong Duterte will not waste the nation’s time chasing his pet nemesis and move forward the country with alacrity. Hence, notwithstanding the protestations of the bleeding hearts, the United States and human rights militants, the nation has now appreciated the peril and the enormity of the drug problem and its deleterious effects on humans and on the country. If only for these reasons, President Duterte should be commended for staking his life, reputation, administration, and the safety and lives of law enforcers in pursuing this dangerous and risky mission. In going for the jugular, the Duterte Crusade against drugs has not only met with stunning success but will also constitute the bedrock for his reforms and social transformation. In promising a “clean” government, and in purging the country of ugly oligarchs, tax cheats, smugglers, corruption, and unpatriotic attitude, President Digong Duterte will be a crusader of change, and hence, will not leave any stone unturned, so to speak. READ MORE...

ALSO: Former Press Secretary Coloma joins Manila Bulletin as Executive VP


SEPTEMBER 2 -Coloma (Manila Bulletin) Former Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr. assumed office as Manila Bulletin Executive Vice President starting yesterday, Sept. 1. Coloma obtained his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines in 1973, master’s degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in 1978, and Doctor of Philosophy from the Southeast Asian Inter-Disciplinary Development Institute in 2009. He worked as Far East Bank and Trust Company vice president from 1982 to 1988, Department of Transportation and Communications’ undersecretary from 1989 to 1991, and from 1998 to 2000, head of the Office of the President’s Presidential Management Staff from 1990 to 1991, and director of the Loyola Plans Consolidated, Inc. starting 2005. He also served as director of the Transnational Diversified Group from 1996 to 2008, and division president and group chief learning officer of the same firm from 2004 to 2008. In June, 1988, Coloma began his professorial stint at AIM, where he served as associate dean of the Master’s in Business Administration Program from 1994 to 1996, then dean of the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center from 2000 to 2004. Coloma had maintained a weekly column for a newspaper for over two decades. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Anarchy and the rule of law

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 5, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) August 30, 2016 - Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno of the Supreme Court spelled out the role of the judiciary in our democratic government at the Meet the Press forum of the court last Thursday. That role, she said, is to “keep the social fabric intact, address the people’s cry for justice, and thereby prevent society’s descent to anarchy.”

Her words are a welcome reminder to all of us that we have this third pillar of government that we can turn to, during times when the two other pillars – the executive and the legislative – may seem prone to excesses in their pursuit of some great national goal.

The judiciary, she said, provides justice to the state and to victims of crime when there is evidence of guilt, and to those accused when there is none. It is the stronghold of the rule of law without which, she said, we will not survive as a nation.

The chief justice went into specifics on the trial of drug cases in the country. There are now a total of 128,368 drug cases pending in lower courts, she said; they make up about a fourth of the 439,606 total cases of all kinds pending in courts all over the country.

There have been delays in the trial of drug cases, she said, for three main reasons – the absence of police witnesses, the dearth of public prosecutors , and weak evidence. She said she had been informed by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that the department has vacancies for around 500 prosecutors and it may have to hire about 2,000 more. For its part, she said, the Supreme Court has already added 240 courts to those now trying drug cases.

READ MORE...

The chief justice must have made special mention of drug cases in view of the ongoing anti-drugs campaign of the Duterte administration. At last count, it was brought out at the recent Senate inquiry, 1,160 suspects had been killed in police operations, 756 in probable vigilante actions, 11,784 had been arrested, and 673,978 pushers and users had surrendered.

The arrests and surrenders will certainly go to our courts which are already overloaded. As for the killings, it was probably with them in mind that Chief Justice Sereno stressed the “need to respect human dignity” and avert our descent to anarchy. “What will allow us to survive as a nation is the rule of law,” she stressed.

The next day, President Duterte repeated his earlier comment that warrantless arrests are allowed in some cases. But he assured: “There will be no anarcny under my watch.” On this issue, there should be no disagreement and the nation welcomes these declarations from two of the highest officials in the land.


Talks on arbitral ruling? Later perhaps September 1, 2016


SEPTEMBER 1 -Image Credit: REUTERS/Erik De Castro

After telling the Chinese ambassador in Davao City that any bilateral talks between the Philippines and China will have to be based on the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, President Duterte announced during the National Heroes Day rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last Monday that he will “keep silent” and avoid flaunting the arbitral court ruling for now.

This is probably the best position the Philippines can take at this time. China has declared it never recognized the court proceedings in the first place and it does not recognize the court ruling which was handed down last July 12.

The ruling basically upheld the Philippine position against China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea based on a nine-dash line drawn on a Chinese map of the region published in 1947. In its ruling, the court said: “China violated Philippine sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, by constructing artificial islands, and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the economic zone.”

But China will have none of this decision. Thus, when former President Fidel V. Ramos, at the behest of President Duterte, went to Hong Kong early last month. he stressed he was going there to meet with friends, not with officials, perhaps play a round of golf. He did meet with some prominent Chinese citizens, nothing official at all, with only the goal of keeping friendly lines open between our two countries.

During the recent National Heroes Day ceremony, which was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, President Duterte appealed to the Chinese government to understand the plight of the Filipino fishermen who have been barred from their traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, just 210 kilometers from the Zambales coast. He asked China to treat Filipinos as brothers, not enemies.

READ MORE...

The Chinese ambassador, in an press interview later, responded in kind: “The Filipinos are always in the hearts of the Chinese people. We have been friends and partners and even relatives for over a thousand years. Despite the troubles we have, we are confident that the friendship will further be deepened and the cooperation will be further enhanced.”

Sometime in the future, the Philippines and China will have to talk about the Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling. “But not now,” President Duterte said. “It’s not the right time to talk about it.”

That is indeed the best policy at this time. Later perhaps, when time has served to dissipate much of the bitterness brought about by the ruling, and newer and better developments have taken place in our bilateral relations, the ruling may be taken up in official talks for closer relations between our two countries..


Avoid past mistakes by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva September 1, 2016


by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva

 “My country, right or wrong: if right, to be kept right, and if wrong, to be set right.” — Carl Schurz

Owing to official neglect, omission, and indifference of President Benigno Noynoy Aquino in the last six years, the drug menace, as revealed, was turning the Philippines into a narco-state which would have been one of the legacies of the former President.

It is thus timely that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was the one to seize the challenge to destroy the drug pandemic that would have ruined this country.

However, as P-Noy had wasted so much time impeaching SC Chief Justice Renato Corona and persecuting former President Gloria Arroyo, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, it is hoped that President Digong Duterte will not waste the nation’s time chasing his pet nemesis and move forward the country with alacrity.

Hence, notwithstanding the protestations of the bleeding hearts, the United States and human rights militants, the nation has now appreciated the peril and the enormity of the drug problem and its deleterious effects on humans and on the country.

If only for these reasons, President Duterte should be commended for staking his life, reputation, administration, and the safety and lives of law enforcers in pursuing this dangerous and risky mission.

In going for the jugular, the Duterte Crusade against drugs has not only met with stunning success but will also constitute the bedrock for his reforms and social transformation.

In promising a “clean” government, and in purging the country of ugly oligarchs, tax cheats, smugglers, corruption, and unpatriotic attitude, President Digong Duterte will be a crusader of change, and hence, will not leave any stone unturned, so to speak.

READ MORE...

In brief succession, the new government has decided to revisit, revise and amend the 1987 Constitution, usher in a federal system, a parliamentary form of government; forge a truce and peace accord with the Communist Party, revive the stalled peace agreement with the Bangsamoro; and pursue a total top-to-bottom reformation towards an “inclusive” and welfare state that includes regular rice rations to the needy, free medicines, lower taxes, redistribution of lands to insurgents and the landless, and expanded Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to deserving citizens below the poverty line.

In other words, notwithstanding legal shortcuts and unexplained extra judicial killings, it is foreseen that the suppression of the drug trade, corruption, and criminality will dramatically decline, and will be replaced by honesty and integrity which, like the renown Filipino hospitality, will be engrained in our consciousness, culture, and way of life.

In sum, cultural transformation and “inclusive” growth are the mission goals and legacies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Filipino people and future generations.

The future is here.

You be the judge.

----------------------------------------

ALSO BY  Hector R. Villanueva

War on drugs must go on by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva August 25, 2016 Share14 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share56 “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide in the strife of Truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil.” — James Russell Lowell

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte must determinedly and relentlessly pursue the fight against drug trafficking and drug addiction in spite of mounting criticisms from partisan media, bleeding hearts, and self- righteous human rights advocates.

While the drug menace is global and appears to be unstoppable, the narcotics penetration in the Philippines is evidently more widespread in the last six years than had been previously reckoned with and exacerbated by corruption and participation of public officials, politicians, and military personnel.

It is roughly estimated that more than 2.3 million Filipinos and counting, are infected with drug addiction while 11,000 barangays out of 42,000 plus barangays have been infiltrated by drugs while 93 percent of Metro Manila’s barangays have been penetrated by drugs.

The narcotic of choice is the chemically based synthetic “shabu” which is cheaper but more lethal than the organic based cocaine and heroin.

Thus, the war against drug trafficking is the awesome crusade that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has opted to pursue which mission is fraught with trepidation, risks and danger that the sideshow and word war with Sen. Leila de Lima should not be allowed to distract the President from his mission.

It goes without saying that violence, betrayal, corruption, retribution, killings, assassinations and bribery are the characteristics of the deadly drug trade of which extrajudicial killings are to be expected but never condoned.

It is noteworthy that since June 30, when the new government took over and the war against drugs was launched, the crime index has dramatically declined, corruption has tapered down, street crimes have been reduced and people feel more secure now than before.

With less than 60 days since taking over, these are notable achievements.

President Duterte has vowed to give the Filipino people a clean government, meaning a graft-free administration, a safe environment, and law and order.

It seems that President Digong Duterte is tackling issues and problems that his predecessor, President Noynoy Aquino, should have acted on but did not, and reversing dysfunctional policies and corrupt officials that proliferated during Aquino’s watch.

Moreover, pursuant to his dedication to give back to the people whatever they never had or savored, the socialist President appears to focus on education, medical benefits, infrastructure, literacy, and populist pro-people benefits which carry shades of Castroism.

When all is said and done, with extrajudicial killings that are associated with the violent narcotics trade, it is more important to focus on the big picture and the utmost priority of eradicating drug trafficking and drug abuse than the few extrajudicial killings. It shows that the Philippines was approaching a narco-state had President Rodrigo Roa Duterte not taken up the challenge for which the nation should be grateful.


Former Press Secretary Coloma joins Manila Bulletin as Executive VP September 2, 2016


Coloma (Manila Bulletin)

Former Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr. assumed office as Manila Bulletin Executive Vice President starting yesterday, Sept. 1.

Coloma obtained his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines in 1973, master’s degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in 1978, and Doctor of Philosophy from the Southeast Asian Inter-Disciplinary Development Institute in 2009.

He worked as Far East Bank and Trust Company vice president from 1982 to 1988, Department of Transportation and Communications’ undersecretary from 1989 to 1991, and from 1998 to 2000, head of the Office of the President’s Presidential Management Staff from 1990 to 1991, and director of the Loyola Plans Consolidated, Inc. starting 2005.

He also served as director of the Transnational Diversified Group from 1996 to 2008, and division president and group chief learning officer of the same firm from 2004 to 2008.

In June, 1988, Coloma began his professorial stint at AIM, where he served as associate dean of the Master’s in Business Administration Program from 1994 to 1996, then dean of the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center from 2000 to 2004.

Coloma had maintained a weekly column for a newspaper for over two decades.

READ MORE...

Active in professional organizations, Coloma served as chairman of the Federation of AIM Alumni Associations from 1987 to 1988, president of the People Management Association of the Philippines in 1988, and district governor of Rotary International from 1998 to 1999.

Coloma became an elected member of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society in 1973, and received the AIM Alumni Achievement Award in 2004.

He has worked as a management consultant for various local organizations, focusing on Strategic Planning and Annual Business Planning, Inter-Modal Transport Development, Entrepreneurship and SME Development, and Telecommunications Development.

Born in Quezon City on March 28, 1953, Coloma is married to Nennette Parreno. They have a daughter, Anna Francesca.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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