The Future of Sustainable Energy

The purpose of expropriation, like its counterparts police power and power of taxation, is to serve the public interest and promote public welfare. Eminent domain is important to public utility franchises, for example broadcast companies, telecommunication, or energy companies, that need land to build facilities that would be good for the public. Such power is …

A United Village Against Anti-terror law

We often hear and say the African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” One can understand it merely from the point of view of the ‘child’. But a step back and a turn towards the ‘village’ could lead us to a fuller understanding of the proverb, which means that the ‘child’ symbolizes …

Recommendations on Human Rights

This is the last of a series of columns on the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights Report on the Philippines. As I wrote in the first article, this is a great report—factually correct, inclusive in taking in the inputs of government and stakeholders, and comprehensive. It is also constructive in its recommendations. In …

Expropriation in Energy Disputes

Last week, I wrote about a big energy fight in Iloilo over who has the right to distribute electricity there. On one hand, this looks like a narrow dispute between Panay Electric Company (PECO) and MORE Power Electric Corp over who should be holding a franchise. A deeper analysis however yields the conclusion that critical …

State of Indigenous Peoples and Farmers

The recently issued UN High Commissioner on the Human Rights (UNHCHR) Report on the state of human rights in the Philippines highlights the situation of indigenous peoples, peasants, and internally displaced rural people under the Duterte administration. The UNHCHR noted in its Report that Mindanao, the home region of President Duterte, has the highest number …

Big Energy Fight in Iloilo

The Panay Electric Company (PECO) has been the power service provider of Iloilo City since the early 1920s. In 1994, its franchise expired but was again renewed via a fresh 25-year franchise as the sole power distributor in the city. With the passage of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) carrying with it the …

Tokhang in Drugs War and Pandemic

The Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines prepared by the Office of the United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), which is the basis of this series of columns, concludes that although there is credible evidence that widespread and systematic extrajudicial killings …

Vampires Attacking the Poor

In my previous column, I cited the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines and said I would write a series of columns based on it. This is because it a well-documented and superbly written report, based on solid research and on impeccable …

A Gathering Storm On Human Rights

While Filipinos, like the rest of the world, are so fixated on how to contain the spread of the coronavirus, many amongst us are doubly concerned by gathering storm on human rights. Indeed, human rights violations in the country have reached pandemic levels. We are at the abyss on our basic rights, with the looming …

Leila de Lima’s bail application

Professing her innocence, Senator De Lima filed on 15 June 2020, a Motion for Bail before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Branch 166 in Criminal Case No. 17-166 for alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading. Since her arrest in 24 February 2017, the Senator has been in detention has been in detention at the …