Advent and Informed Hope

Almost a year since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, people have become so weary observing health protocols and movement restrictions. A general sense of fatigue and resignation is infecting most, prompting more and more people to venture out of their homes as more businesses begin to reopen. As a result, many flout health measures …

7 Priority Actions to Manage the PH #ClimateEmergency

Co-Authored with Kristoffer Berse, Juan Pulhin, and Micah Nazal. Within 3 weeks, Typhoon Quinta, Typhoon Rolly, and Typhoon Ulysses wreaked havoc in Luzon, Philippines, resulting in widespread, severe floods, death, and destruction, all against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments and affected communities struggled with the cyclical experience of preparation, response, and …

Imperfect Justice in Ampatuan Massacre

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre. With the guilty verdicts imposed on many of the accused —most of the masterminds and many of the perpetuators—last December 2019, this year’s milestone is not as depressing as in previous years. At the same time, we must remember that what we achieved with the guilty …

Last Stand in the Sierra Madre

Co-authored with Joy Reyes. In a span of 3 weeks, 5 typhoons entered and ravaged the Philippines, leaving hundreds of thousands displaced, hundreds dead, and even more affected because of the floods and inundation, power outages, and water shortages, among others. There is a connection among all these typhoons and their effects on the country, …

Religion can unite us

In the last chapter of the encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, the Holy Father Pope Francis extols the virtues of the different religions as contributors to building fraternity and defending justice in society. He believes that as believers, we are convinced that, without an openness to the Father of all, there will be no solid and …

Policies and Measures to Combat Climate Change

The following is Part 2 in a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. In June 2019, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued an important report on how the climate emergency exacerbates economic inequity and social injustice. The report concluded that addressing climate change effectively required a fundamental …

Justice Leonen and the Marcos-Robredo Case

Citing Associate Justice Marvic Leonen’s alleged well-documented bias against him and his family, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is asking the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to re-raffle his electoral protest case and for Leonen, to whom the case is assigned, to inhibit from the case. The rules for voluntary inhibition of judge or …

In the Front Lines of the Climate Emergency

The following is Part 1 in a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. There is no doubt about what Luzon has been experiencing in the last few weeks – the full fury of the global climate emergency. One after another, Quinta, Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, and Ulysses devastated parts of Luzon, the biggest island …

Dialogue, Friendship, and Kindness

In Chapter Six of Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis extols the virtues of dialogue, friendship, and kindness. For him, dialogue means approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another and to find common ground. If we want to encounter and help one another, we have to dialogue. Unlike disagreement and conflict, persistent …

An Exciting Time for Social Entrepreneurs

In my previous article, I talked about Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization that has built the first and largest network of social entrepreneurs and innovators tackling complex problems and changing broken systems. Through its Fellowship, it has recognized and supported close to 4,000 of these social entrepreneurs and innovators in over 90 …