Binay’s cross

Asked if he had anything to say about candidates for public office who give away religious items to enhance their public image, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, current head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, admonished these politicians not to “abuse and misuse” sacred objects to gain political mileage. He said: “If we speak of … Read more

Four models of political leadership

Governance in the modern world has become anything but simple. The more economies are interconnected, the harder it is to predict and control their outcomes. Worsening inequality among and within nations produces problems that are intractable. Because economic growth can now be achieved without necessarily creating jobs for the many, or improving public services, governments … Read more

In the nation’s pantheon

As we mark the 152nd birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, who led the revolution against Spanish colonial rule, there is a clamor to honor his role in our nation’s history by proclaiming him as the nation’s first president. That place is presently reserved to his archrival, Emilio Aguinaldo, who declared Philippine independence from Spain on … Read more

‘Vox populi’ and the Constitution

At a press conference for Philippine media last Sunday night in Kuala Lumpur, President Aquino was asked, among other things, what he thought of the cases questioning Sen. Grace Poe’s eligibility to run for president. His answer was: “At the end of the day, sovereignty resides in the people. Let the people decide.” This sentiment … Read more

General Education in the modern age

One important outcome of modernity is the increasing differentiation of knowledge along functional lines. Nowhere is this more visible, and destabilizing in its effects, than in the organization of higher education. We see this primarily in the rise of new narrow specialties in every field or discipline. But we see it, too, in the growing … Read more

Globalization and its discontents

The world has changed so much in just the last 25 years that it is discouraging to see how the leaders of the most powerful nations continue to think of its problems in the same old way—as though they were not interconnected. Meeting in Vienna over the weekend, the leaders of 17 nations agreed on … Read more

The Paris attacks

As I write, France reels in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks on six different locations in Paris on Friday evening. So far, 153 people are confirmed dead from these attacks, most of them inside a packed theater where the American rock band “Eagles of Death Metal” was playing. The five other sites … Read more

Reflections on Apec

For many of us, the Economic Leaders’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to be held in Manila next week is no more than the promise of a long pre-Christmas holiday. We love holidays, especially the important ones that resonate our culture and traditions. Thus, not a few were disappointed when Nov. 2 was not … Read more

Auditing the Commission on Audit

The Office of the Ombudsman recently ordered the dismissal from government service of six state auditors of the Commission on Audit who, from 2006 to 2010, unlawfully accepted millions of pesos in bonuses from the Local Water Utilities Administration. Former LWUA officials themselves have been charged under the antigraft law with granting scandalously excessive bonuses … Read more

Panic and outrage over ‘tanim-bala’

One of the costs the whole world continues to pay for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States is the intrusive security inspection that travelers everywhere have had to endure when they check in at airports.  Worried for their own safety, they have learned to accept the need for these procedures even … Read more