US senators speak. Philippine senators and DDS have apoplexy.

By JoeAm A few US senators have been critical of the Philippines for keeping Senator De Lima in jail. They proposed legislation banning from the US those responsible for her jailing. The law may never see the light of day but the reaction in the Philippines offers a striking lesson. It does not take much … Continue reading

Modern societies are ignoring laws. That leads to raw power.

By JoeAm Have you noticed, laws no longer mean much? They are ignored (EJKs) or trashed (good bye to early prison release) or weaponized (opposition is ‘seditious’ and tax laws are used to silence troublesome journalists). What are laws, really? Laws are contracts between people. They define what is right, what is allowable, what is … Continue reading

Rubba dub dub, three men in a tub: Albayalde, Lorenzana, and Locsin

By JoeAm There are any number of secretaries I could pick for this little lesson, I suppose. But I chose three whose characters and acts help frame the discussion. There are three forces that define the men and women of government high offices: (1) the people and institutions that shaped them as younger people, (2) … Continue reading

‘We Must Focus on Leni’—Trillanes

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva In jail, he repurposed himself. From someone fighting the system by force of arms calling bloody Katipunan to mind, he ventured into democratic discourse, softening his image, turning sword to ploughshare. He won a Senate seat campaigning from prison with his relaunched brand—dead-center message delivery almost in martial cadence, swoonworthy to … Continue reading

‘I Will Be Here’ — Sen. de Lima 

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva Duterte times started precisely at the time Sen. Leila de Lima was incarcerated in Camp Crame detention quarters for charges that wouldn’t stick. Her cases have been delayed; judges are unwilling to handle her cases, and witnesses are like Metro Manila traffic, dense and unmoving. We didn’t protest her arrest. We … Continue reading