A national unity government to combat COVID-19

Social distancing cannot be enforced coercively. It requires education and persuasion. It requires people to have trust and confidence in their government. It requires assurance that the government will take care of the people who follow its directives. In short, social distancing can only succeed if there is social capital. That is a big challenge …

Good governance to combat COVID-19

Last week, I watched and listened to Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health of Singapore, say that responding effectively to the COVID-19 crisis will depend on a the state of the health system of a country, the extent to which it’s society has accumulated social capital to overcome serious challenges like pandemics, and on …

Aetas and New Clark City: Trampling on the rights of our first peoples

Co-authored with Joy Reyes Beneath the glitz and glamour of the New Clark City (NCC), one of the venues of the 30th SEA Games hosted by the Philippines, lie an insidious reality – the forcible displacement of the Aetas from their ancestral domain. The 9,450 hectare-development located in Capas, Tarlac broaches on the land over …

The illegal and immoral Kaliwa Dam ECC

Co-authored with Joy Reyes Just a few months after the Philippine government entered into a contract with China for the construction of the P18.7 billion controversial Kaliwa Dam, touted to be the solution for the Metro Manila water shortage, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Environmental Management Bureau released the Environmental Compliance …

Radical change stops sexual violence

I had originally not planned to weigh in systematically on the sexual harassment controversy rocking the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). But after seeing young professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and alumni in Ateneo’s Philosophy Department issue a powerful statement on the issue, I felt I could no longer keep silent.  I am currently an …

8 lessons from the Corona impeachment trial

The conviction of Renato Corona under Article II of the impeachment complaint against him should count as a victory in Philippine governance—first, by the successful completion of the impeachment process, and second, by setting the standard of accountability that should be met by our public officials. When the impeachment trial began, I wrote and Rappler …