Prospects of a real political reform under the Duterte Administration

Talks about changing the constitution are again up in the air. If House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is to be believed that it is not the priority of the Lower House, then most likely we will see the charter change (ChaCha) revving up in the next few months despite the Coronavirus diseases-19 pandemic. Remember how he lambasted the Marcoses in 2016 elections then eventually changing his tune? Remember also how he switches and twitches with his speeches and policy stands the latest of which is the ABS-CBN franchise?

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Did PRRD destroy the Philippine oligarchy?

When President Rodrigo Duterte announced on July 14 that he destroyed the oligarchy in the Philippines, I tempered my reaction because days later he follows up his statements with a disclaimer, “Nagbiro lang ako naniwala naman kayo.” The he tops it off with his usual “p.i.”

When Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque started distancing himself to the “destroying oligarchy” statement, at least on the angle that the statement is being pointed at the Lopezes of the ABS-CBN, it finally downed on me that the President’s statement is indeed serious. But did he really destroy the Philippine oligarchy?

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Sacrifices under lockdown gone to waste

It is clear: We wasted both the resources and sacrifices in more than 100 days lockdown due to the “Balik Probinsiya” and “Hatid Probinsiya” programs. A number of our government officials are either detached from the reality of implementation or are still stuck in the trial and error phase that the once Covid-free areas now have cases of the dreaded disease.

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CBMS data gathering under COVID-19?

One of the best tools that could help our officials and decision makers particularly at the local level is the community-based monitoring system (CBMS). It is a tool for formulation, implementation, assessment and monitoring of programs and policies that are specific, targeted and responsive to the needs of each sector of the community.  But while it is one of the “must haves”, CBMS data gathering amidst the Covid-19 pandemic is not only insensitive on the plight of its enumerators and respondents but it is also bastardizing the science behind the system.

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A fear of abuse in implementation is terrorism in itself

If fear of abuse exists in the implementation of a law that seeks to prevent terrorism, then the more that law needs to be revised if not scrapped. Not only is it done out of context but it is also sowing terror when it is supposed to be anti-terrorism itself.

Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, in defense of the Anti Terrorism Act of 2020 said on ABS-CBN News Channel’s (ANC) Headstart last June 25: “The fear of abuse is not a valid reason to reject a bill outright. It is not a valid reason to reject needed legislation like the anti-terrorism bill because theoretically speaking, all laws can be abused, even social welfare laws that are very benign and charitable can be abused.”

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