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Local Officials, You Are Only Temporary Stewards of the Lands You Govern

nterior Secretary Mar Roxas got it exactly right when he told Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, “you don’t own Makati City.” Roxas was referring to the mayor’s initial refusal to accept the suspension order from the Office of the Ombudsman in connection the ongoing corruption investigation against the mayor. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima chimed in as well, pointing out that “No public official can treat any local government unit as his own kingdom and government office as a royal entitlement.”

While Roxas and de Lima were referring to a specific issue involving the Makati mayor, we believe those statements also touch the broader issue of the way Filipino public officials perceive their elected posts. Following in the footsteps of former president Ferdinand Marcos—the father of all corrupt public officials who refused to relinquish power, many public officials today treat political office.

Article X of the 1986 Philippine Constitution clearly states that “the term of office of elective local officials, except for barangay (village) officials, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.” However, wily local officials discovered a way to skirt the term-limit provision by having their spouses, sons or daughters run for a single term. That single term gives a term-limited local official the needed “break in service” that will allow them to run for another three terms in office. The process can be repeated ad-infinitum thus keeping province city or municipality in the hands of one family forever. This clearly violates the spirit of the term-limit law and must be stopped. From Jejomar Binay and family, or Rodrigo Duterte and family who’ve held on to the cities of Makati and Davao respectively, to the Ampatuan clan who control vast regions of Maguindano.

Until the country finally passes an Anti-dynasty law or any other law to address this problem, we suggest that language be added to the swearing-in ceremony of all local officials stating that they recognize that their position is only temporary and that the city, municipality or province they were elected to manage is not a personal fiefdom of theirs or their family. And so they must recognize that they are only temporary stewards the lands they are about to govern.

Stop local officials from making a mockery of the country's term- limits lawThis is by no means the final solution to the problem but a step in the right direction. Because what better time to remind local officials of the transitory nature of their office then at their swearing-in ceremony itself.

If you agree with us that this is a good “first step” that strengthens the term-limits provision as mandated by the Philippine Constitution, then sign our petition to add your voice to the clamor for a better tomorrow. Published 7/3/2015


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Will Same-Sex Marriage Ever Happen in the Philippines?

Make no mistake, the next elections will be one of the most important—if not the most important—elections the country will ever have. Never since the Philippines gained self-determination in 1946 has it faced such an existential threat from a hostile foreign country as it now faces from China. Published 6/27/2015


Who Should be the Next President of the Philippines?

Make no mistake, the next elections will be one of the most important—if not the most important—elections the country will ever have. Never since the Philippines gained self-determination in 1946 has it faced such an existential threat from a hostile foreign country as it now faces from China. Published 6/23/2015
Pope’s Encyclical May Finally Get Filipinos to Change their Evil Environmental Ways

Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical on climate change. The 200-page papal letter to Catholic bishops worldwide warns of "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem" by the end of this century unless drastic changes are made to avert it. This encyclical could not have come any sooner for the Philippines. Published 6/12/2015
Congress Wants Gloria Arroyo on House Arrest, Seriously?

When President Benigno Aquino III, wasn’t looking (he was in Japan), the House of Representatives quickly passed a resolution urging the Sandiganbayan court to allow house arrest for detained Pampanga Representative and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Published 6/12/2015
Grace Poe for Philippine President? Not So Fast!

She is photogenic, carries herself well, and Filipinos all seem to love her. The question to ask though is whether the well-liked lady senator is ready to be the next president? Filipinos it seems have a penchant for electing young “celebrities” with zero experience into positions of power, then simply hope for the best with “bahala na ang Dios.” Published 6/7/2015
Filipinos Need to Stand Tall In the Face of Chinese Aggression

President Aquino made the right move by going to Japan to bolster Philippine-Japanese cooperation. While he might be “preaching to the choir” as far as the Japanese are concerned, he nonetheless needs to communicate the graveness of the situation the Philippines currently faces. Published 6/2/2015
Rodrigo Duterte Must Never Become President of the Philippines

After consistently maintaining that he had no intentions to seek higher office, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he might actually make a run for the presidency. There was no mention of those lofty intentions that most candidates for president parrot when they make that fateful announcement. Published 5/29/2015
How Filipinos Can Stop China Now

The future of Filipinos will be nothing like their past. Each and every Filipino must realize this. The proverbial lackadaisical “Juan Tamad” lying under a guava tree in an idyllic Amorsolo painting-like setting will no longer exist. Instead a new reality like that of ancient Sparta or modern-day Israel will pervade. China is growing stronger every day and they are quickly turning into an aggressive, tyrannical power. Published 5/23/2015
Pacman's Gamble

The world now knows that while training for his May 2 “Fight of the Century” with undefeated world welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao suffered a shoulder injury. According to his trainer, Freddie Roach, this mishap occurred on April 4 in a sparring session when he threw a right hook and his arm “got entangled with those of his sparring partner”. Published 5/17/2015
Chinese Military Bases Under Construction on Philippine Reefs Must be Destroyed Now!

This is the reality: China’s military leaders are rushing the construction of military bases in six different reef areas inside the Philippines’ exclusive 200 mile economic zone. The Philippines is doing nothing to immediately stop it. Published 5/10/2015
Is Vice President Jejomar Binay the Manchurian Candidate?

It was made into two classic films, the first with Frank Sinatra in 1962 and the second with Denzel Washington in 2004. “The Manchurian Candidate”, the 1959 best-selling novel by Richard Condon, told the tale of a group of American soldiers captured during the Korean War who were taken to Manchuria, China where they were brainwashed by Chinese officials. Published 5/3/2015
Pacmania Sweeps the World

Walk down any big city in the Philippines and you feel the excitement gripping everyone; men and women, boxing aficionados or not. Sunday’s match (Manila-time) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will have the country, glued to screens, large and small in major metropolitan areas as well as far-flung rural barrios. Published 4/29/2015
Mary Jane Veloso’s Execution Will Only Highlight the Dysfunction of Filipino Society

On the 28th of April, the Indonesian government will execute Filipina Mary Jane Veloso by firing squad. For this luckless young woman, it will be the culmination of a life that from the beginning, had been dealt a losing hand. Published 4/25/2015
There Will Never be Lasting Peace with the Bangasamoro Basic Law

It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international terrorist. Published 4/18/2015

Read more articles from our archives

Philippines and China dispute to continue despite UN Tribunal case
MANILA - Despite the presence of a high-level Philippine team at the hearing of the Philippines’ case against China before the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) this week, the issue of who owns the contested islands in the South China Sea will remain unresolved.

Gov’t branches unite to present arbitration case in The Hague
MANILA, July 6 -- The three branches of government have come together to present before the Arbitral Tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands the Philippine’s case against China’s excessive claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Beijing lobbies hard ahead of South China Sea hearing despite snubbing UN tribunal
HONG KONG/MANILA - China's claims to the disputed South China Sea will come under international legal scrutiny for the first time this week, but while Beijing has officially refused to take part in the case filed by the Philippines at a UN tribunal, it has made its presence felt.

Malacanang warns public against fake rice
MANILA, July 5 (PNA) -- Malacañang warned the public on from buying fake rice which reportedly had found its way in Davao City. "Nananawagan po tayo sa mga mamamayan na maging maingat at bumili lamang ng bigas mula sa mga accredited at reliable na nagbebenta nito ...

Mindanao peace and security in upswing due to peace process, says Gen. Pangilinan
COTABATO CITY, July 6 -- The peace process and the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Moro forces) continues to positively impact the peace and order in Bangsamoro communities ...

Palace: All avenues being used to find Binay's 'aides'
MANILA - Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government will exhaust all processes to determine the whereabouts of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s alleged aides Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy and Gerardo Limlingan.

DOLE to recruitment agencies: Become recruitment centers of care and excellence
The Department of Labor and Employment called on recruitment agencies to also be centers for care and excellence for overseas Filipino workers. DOLE said that just as the DOLE and the Department of Foreign Affairs are doing their utmost to transform Philippine Overseas Labor Offices ...

ASEAN, EU discuss future direction of partnership
Senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) have gathered in Brussels for their 23rd Senior Officials' Meeting to review the two sides' enhanced partnership and discuss future direction, reports Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Previous Headline News for this month

Jejomar BinayBinay snubs anew Senate body’s corruption probe
Vice President Jejomar Binay is snubbing Tuesday’s resumption of the long-running investigation by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee of allegations of corruption and ill-gotten ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES

Interpol to help hunt for 2 Binay aides
MANILA, Philippines–Backed by the International Police (Interpol), Philippine law enforcement agencies “would not be helpless” in their hunt for the two top aides of Vice President Jejomar Binay ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES

Rebels bomb banana firm hangar
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas set off improvised explosive devices at the hangar ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES 

PNoy fills up last CHR commissioner vacancy; Palace announces more appointments
President Benigno Aquino III has filled up the last vacancy in the list of commissioners of the Commission on Human Rights, Malacañang said Saturday. A Palace statement said Aquino ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES

China lobbies hard ahead of PH’s sea arbitration case
Hong Kong/Manila — China’s claims to the disputed South China Sea will come under international legal scrutiny for the first time this week, but while Beijing has officially refused ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES 

Billionaire, pilot die in helicopter crash
BATANGAS CITY—The billionaire owner of the Victoria Court chain of motels in Metro Manila, Archimedes “Archie” Rosario King, was killed on Sunday when a helicopter carrying him and six others ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES 

Japan joins US-Australia war games amid China tensions
The United States and Australia kicked off a massive joint biennial military exercise on Sunday, with Japan taking part for the first time as tensions with China over territorial ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES

Landslides shut down Kennon Road
MANILA, Philippines - Tropical Storm Egay yesterday caused landslides and massive flooding in Northern Luzon, leaving a number of roads impassable, including Kennon and Halsema Roads leading ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES 

Amando M. Tetangco Jr.BSP sees no need for economic stimulus
MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said current economic conditions do not warrant any stimulus despite some analysts’ view the government’s seven ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES 

Zero casualty from tropical storm ‘Egay’
Severe tropical storm “Egay” (international name “Linfa”) made landfall over Palanan, Isabela, late Saturday but maintained its strength as it dumped heavy rains up north, causing floods ...
READ IT AT PHILIPPINES NEWS HEADLINES


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