Rappler's latest stories on Vergel Santos
The cybercrime law goes against the universal trend toward making libel no longer punishable by imprisonment, a long-overdue reinforcement of press freedom in its lopsided relationship to power
'The ultimate and ironic bad joke is actually on us non-terrorists: the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is itself an official, legal act of terrorism'
'As everything Chinese, POGOs, along with their breeder, should have been held off at the first instance — held off, pandemic or no pandemic, at a social distance of no less than the entire breadth of the West Philippine Sea'
Things cannot be better if a policeman can just come at you with a gun on the slightest suspicion and shoot you dead
A mere hour of free broadcasting taken away and one solitary person prevented speaking his mind may not seem much of a loss by quantitative reckoning, but democratic freedoms are not reckoned in those terms
In the next days Duterte's assistants would be busy answering the questions he needed to answer about the virus that evening but neglected to do so because he was preoccupied with electoral courtship
The case takes a Shakespearean quality. King Rodrigo swings away with his sword screaming, proffering a crazy deal: the VFA for an American visa for a favorite horse – Bato de la Rosa.
Nothing combines protection and benefaction in a more egregious, ludicrous, and ominous fashion than in the case of Bato de la Rosa, the retired police general, now a senator
If anyone deserves to be impeached it's Duterte. And in that scenario, however implausible, the thought of Robredo being first in the line of presidential succession is consoling, if vaguely.
Out here a smattering of protest is all that has passed for righteous resistance. A tipping point is eternally awaited. It’s actually long past. It was Leila de Lima.
The significance of Cory’s book cannot be overemphasized. Her stature alone lends it the poundage of truth needed to crush the creeping conspiracy to not only distort, but flat-out falsify the history of the period to rehabilitate its villains.
A susceptibility to intimidation should be correctable by a proper steeping in the values imposed on the profession
So, why would Duterte, a can-do-no-wrong case, yield the running of his centerpiece campaign to Robredo, thus implying that he could not hack it himself?
President Duterte may have been prodigious at making a mess, and far from done with it, but his is only the latest in a rarely broken run of messy Philippine leaderships
He was elected as the one-trick pony the nation needed – only to prove himself not even slightly worthy of the trick on which he sold himself
Duterte may be crazy, but surely not so crazy as to think himself immune from repayment. As it happens, he is De Lima’s biggest debtor.
Indeed, the press was invented for democracy’s own health. That’s why a narcissistic, authoritarian character like Rodrigo Duterte simply cannot abide it.
When he surrendered our sovereignty to China over some of our richest and most strategic territorial waters, he not only committed treason outright, but launched himself on a continuing crime of national betrayal
If the cumulative death count to date is 5,000, that means the killings have slowed to 1,000 in the past year and a half. But does that mean the government will now allow itself to be investigated?
President Duterte cannot risk a successor who cannot guarantee him immunity from prosecution – plausibly for treason, in ceding to China control over the resource-rich West Philippine Sea; for extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs. Indeed, he can ill afford to be out of power.
To be sure, no situation exploitable for authoritarianism has presented itself for the rest of the nation – until this election
The vote will test us for our values and mental state as a people
Given his type of narcissism, one that blooms lustier and lustier with each live performance, we'd never know how far he would go with his indecencies
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck hard on the heels of a tale told of a plot to oust President Duterte, which should make the deciphering not too difficult for the suitably disposed
I doubt that Sara’s statement portraying herself and, by natural extension, her consenting father unvirtuous also had been cajoled out of her; it looked more like an attempt she had taken on her own initiative in order to sound philosophical, in keeping with her new stature
Duterte is not completely out of reach by the law, and it will be ironic if it's yet the especially long arm of the International Criminal Court from the Hague, in the Netherlands, that gets him
If anything, the findings of the UN Working Group give a sense of both what justice may be like properly done and of the untold mockery it has been subjected to in De Lima’s case
Here lies the basic senselessness, ludicrousness, indeed immorality in Gordon’s proposition: How could a nation get built at the cost of the very future, if not the very lives, of its own children?
That vote constitutes a referendum for him. In fact, on it depend the immediate chances of him being able to fully, ultimately impose his malign will on us.
Let’s retest ourselves; let’s set aside the quirks for the moment and review how President Duterte has dealt with the larger matters of public interest
How can an election conducted under martial law in Duterte's own home region be free or fair at all?
Now the world's second biggest economy and a major power all around, China no longer hesitates to bully and cheat its way around client nations
Duterte is one malignant phenomenon such as not seen since Ferdinand Marcos, and we are now being asked to promote it by voting for his candidates
Arroyo and Duterte are bound in a conspiracy so brazen a special thickness is required for anyone to honestly miss it
What are the rest of us only too quick to profess righteous resistance actually lending to this moral fight?
Rodrigo Duterte is clearly losing it; Antonio Trillanes, on the other hand, is in the ascendant
Compulsively carrying on this way, he succeeded only in burying himself deeper in the hole of his regime’s own digging
In any case, waiting in the wings are Bongbong and next to him the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara, now undergoing crash grooming for national office – ultimately for the presidency
Any residual doubts about Arroyo’s special place in the hierarchy of power in the Duterte regime should be dispelled by her accession to the Speakership
It may seem unfair for Robredo — and absurd, too — to be compared with Rodrigo Duterte, but, having been cast by fate as his vice president, she just has to stand the comparison, if only for the hoped-for enlightenment of those fooled by Duterte or misinformed about her or otherwise requiring to be set straight
Since Robredo and Sereno are fighting their battles in the same theater, it’s easier to detect the conspiratorial hands at work in their cases
Mogato is the last to be fooled. He knows that, along with his Reuters colleagues, he is a particular target for the particular crime of putting names and faces to some of those numbers and detailing the cold, sick, subhuman instincts with which Duterte's war has been prosecuted.
Why should Duterte trouble himself with a minority chief justice?
The Senate is called upon to make a stand for truth, freedom, and justice, indeed for the nation’s redemption – a stand not improbably the last of such not only in its turn but in this generation and the next, perhaps for even longer
Democracy is hijacked and perverted to allow tyranny by the majority. Duterte and Congress are in it together for one conspiratorial cause.
So, how far has Rodrigo Duterte taken us down the road to authoritarianism?