Many independent civil society groups questioned whether the PPCRV was able to independently monitor the elections, given its dependence on the COMELEC for funding and its dual role to support the electoral management process and simultaneously monitor the process.
Posted by CenPEG.org
February 14, 2014 (Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this paper are solely those of the original authors and do not necessarily represent those of CenPEG.)
Norwegian Ambassador Knut Solem, right, shows the certificate of appreciation. With him are (L-R) Bobby Tuazon, CenPEG director for policy studies; CenPEG Board Chair Temario C. Rivera; and Executive Director Evita L. Jimenez. (CenPEG photo)
CenPEG recently presented a certificate of appreciation to Ambassador Knut Solem of the Norwegian Embassy for facilitating the relief mission of CenPEG and Mission Tabang in November last year.
Chito Sta. Romana: There are options (Photo by CenPEG)
IT MIGHT be Chinese checkers but, let’s face it, we are not a player. A danger, I think, is that President Aquino -- or any of the policy advisers he may listen to -- imagines that the Philippines is actually facing China in the game being played in what China calls the South China Sea (but what we call the West Philippine Sea).
One advantage of bilateral talks is that it opens up for discussion and negotiation many nuances of a disputed issue that cannot be addressed in a strictly rules-based form of arbitration such as in the ITLOS. Moreover, many sensitive political issues that cannot be openly discussed in a legal arbitration format can be better addressed and threshed out in more informal bilateral talks.
The theft may be spectacular, as the Napoles case reveals, but the really great damage that pork does to our country is to undermine our political system. It is the corrupt politicians, and not the good ones, who survive and prosper.
UP President Pascual (left) receives a copy of the Study Group’s final report by members Profs. Danilo Arao, Roland Simbulan, and Teodoro C. Mendoza.
This is the Final Report of the Study Group created by U.P.President Pascual to review U.P.'s Admission System in which CenPEG Vice Chair Roland Simbulan is a member. It also has important annexes used as references by the committee. The Committee formally presented its study last January 7, 2014.
Hand in hand: Volunteers load goods unto the vessel.
PIER 15, South Harbor, Manila, Nov. 24 – At around 9:15 a.m., 100 cadets and volunteers from the Norwegian Training Center-Manila (NTC-M) formed a human relay to load tons of relief goods bound for Tacloban on behalf of Mission Tabang SLB (Samar-Bohol-Leyte).
NTC-M cadets pose with mission coordinators and volunteers
The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG)/KadamayKo community desk, in partnership with Mission TABANG-SLB, Tulong UP of the UP president's office, the maritime community led by the Mariners System in Bicol and Manila, the Norwegian Training Center-Manila, the RSL Roro in Tabaco City and other groups will send two major relief missions to Supertyphoon Yolanda-devastated provinces simultaneously on Nov. 24.
Housing for the wealthier middle classes rises above the insecure housing of a slum community in Lucknow, India. Photo: Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam
Economic inequality is rapidly increasing in the majority of countries. The wealth of the world is divided in two: almost half going to the richest one percent; the other half to the remaining 99 percent. The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
Hamas headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli missile Nov. 17, 2012
Nov. 29, 2012 was the UN-declared International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. (The following day, Palestine – whose 8 million people have lived mostly in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 – received its non-state member status from the UN General Assembly.) The Philippine Interfaith Solidarity Forum on Palestine was held on Nov. 29 at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Quezon City, where CenPEG Fellow Bobby M. Tuazon gave a talk. His "8-Day Palestine-Israel War" presentation is downloadable here.
"Exterminate all the brutes!" is what colonizers have in mind when the colonized rise in revolt. In the Philippines during the Spanish offensive in Cavite early 1897 the cazadores must have cried "Mata todo!" as they herded hapless men, women and children into the church of Dasmarinas to be burned to death.
By Elmer A. Ordonez
The Other View column,
Manila Times Dec. 1, 2012
Posted by CenPEG.org,
Dec. 12, 2012
As the Obama administration revamps its Asian strategy in response to a rising China, the U.S. military is eyeing a return to some familiar bases from its last conflict in the region — the Vietnam War.
With the secrecy shrouding the US-PH negotiations, the agreement on “enhanced defense cooperation” looms as nothing but a means to boost arms trade between the two governments and the rest of Asia. A look at the US panel and the new security strategy framing the new accord will give a clue.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 02
Series of 2014
February 25, 2014
For all the attractive incentives, tax exemptions, onerous privileges, and huge profits reaped by foreign investors, the government’s pro-investment and pro-business bias has made growth more exclusive and income inequality more widespread.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 01
Series of 2014
January 10, 2014000
Political storms, scams, and disasters of all types will leave an indelible mark on 2013. The past year also proved to be a reawakening of sorts for many Filipinos; an organized and spontaneous call for institutional reform reached a crescendo.
A principled and independent foreign policy swears friendship to all and enmity to none, a policy that gives primacy to our national interests independent of the conflict between Big Powers, a policy that above all, refocuses our effort on the most urgent issue: To alleviate poverty through accelerated economic growth, on which all other sources of national strength depend.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 08
Series of 2013
November 30, 2013
The big foreign financial loans and Congress' supplementary $2.28bn budget meant to bankroll reconstruction efforts in Visayas and other provinces battered by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and a supertyphoon are not enough to bring lives back to normal. Nor should funding be seen as the main strategy for what some international lenders call as the "massive challenge" of reconstruction.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 07
Series of 2013
October 18, 2013
Envisioned 22 years ago under the Local Government Code, the barangay (village) was to serve as the basic administrative unit in the community – a grassroots governance system tasked with delivering basic health, social, and other government services.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 06
Series of 2013
October 10, 2013
What are Filipinos to do when the leadership at the highest level engages in dangerous brinkmanship and political grandstanding instead of speeding up the call for ceasefire or peace negotiation in the on-going Zamboanga City confrontation?
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 04
Series of 2013
September 20, 2013
It is the height of irony that pork barrel – an institutionalized plunder of people's money until the Marcos years – was restored under Corazon C. Aquino in the guise of "countrywide development fund" (CDF), then renamed as "priority development assistance fund" (PDAF) under Joseph E. Estrada, and now will be retained in another form by Benigno S. Aquino III – son of Mrs. Aquino - to defuse public disgust.
The recycling of political dynasties was a foregone conclusion. Political dynasties, by and large, perpetuate themselves in power through elections made farcical by being undemocratic and now by an illegitimate automation process that is unable to modernize let alone democratize the public exercise that is administered by a hostile and incompetent election body.
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 01
Series of 2013
March 8, 2013
The concentration, expansion, and consolidation of political dynasties over the past 100 years attests to the continuing hegemony of feudal politics, the absence of any form of real democracy, and the continued powerlessness of a vast marginalized majority in the Philippines. Definitely alarming today is the entrenchment of the system of political dynasties on a higher and blatant scale making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more elusive.
In this era of government ineptness, neglect, and corruption people search for role models who can show the difference. Robredo became one such model. Amidst the ostentatious and scandal-ridden lifestyle of most public officials, Robredo's was special. Public service, however, is not only about transparency but bringing about lasting social and economic change.
These are misplaced fears based first of all on a secrecy mindset that deny the fundamental right of the citizenry to knowledge of government transactions, decision-making, and policy. They also ignore the crucial role an informed citizenry can and has played in exposing corruption and bringing its sovereign power to bear on eliminating or at least minimizing it.
Without social consciousness and the will to change, transformational leadership will remain elusive – not under the present state of the nation anyway. From the way he has shown his “leadership” so far, the country has already seen the rest of Aquino’s presidency. Without even being understood by the people, “transformational presidency” has lost its appeal.
President Benigno S. Aquino III's much-vaunted anti-corruption program barely scratches the surface of the problem and gives no hint on how he will grapple with its systemic roots. Failing to address or worse abetting the fundamental roots that sustain corruption makes his administration's anti-corruption drive superficial if not a complete sham.
There should be an end to the fruitless process of reforming laws and crafting development strategies where the dubious intention is in furtherance of elite governance sugar-coated by meaningless concepts of "transparency and accountability", LGU-civil society or "public-private partnership."
The signals that the Aquino administration is sending so far are to provide a climate conducive to foreign investment and to project the image of a President determined to pursue reforms particularly in anti-corruption. At the moment though, they do not remove suspicions that what is unfolding only dramatizes a feud between political dynasties and a motive to make the high court more like pro-Aquino than being pro-Arroyo.
Clearly, the presidential strategy with regard to the FOI bill is to put heavy restrictions so as to make the government in control of public information. Such impediments will favor the state if and when the bill is passed – or would make legislation more protracted so as to stall its final enactment. Either way, the national government wins. But it also signifies a weak regime. Hiding information makes a government unworthy of public trust. Fear of public scrutiny and criticism only means a government unsure of itself.
The U.S. is now trapped in a global war of its own making. It will be embroiled in more wars possibly in the next 10-20 years as a result of which it will create more enemies and make the use of force a long-term necessity.