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Tax the rich: 9 reasons for a wealth tax

Rising inequality has been an inescapable phenomenon of global economic development over the past 200 years. Per the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, growing inequality affects 70% of the global population and threatens “long-term social and economic development, [harming] poverty reduction and [destroying] people’s sense of fulfillment and self-worth,” all of which “can breed crime,...

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Martial law and the urgency of remembering

In the morning of Sept. 23, 1972, Edel shook me awake, his face looming above mine and his voice murmuring my name while I got my bearings. The radio’s dead, he said finally. I lurched out of bed, confirming in his eyes what we sensed the night before, when a colleague abruptly left a small...

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The dubious legacy of the Marcos debt

As the nation marks the 50th year of the declaration of martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, it is relevant to recall how that chapter in Philippine history has affected the country and its people.  Three months after the ouster of the Marcos regime in February 1986, a group of 16 economists from the University...

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Impunity may become institutionalized gov’t policy

In seeking to quash the inquiry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the Philippines’ “war on drugs,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may be institutionalizing impunity for the systematic mass violence under his predecessor.  “Impunity” occurs if perpetrators of human rights violations and other crimes are able to avoid any procedure that can lead to...

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Why agree to compromise on award-winning pork barrel series?

Late in 2014, GMA/dzBB broadcaster Melo del Prado filed a libel case against five Philippine Daily Inquirer journalists—myself as then managing editor, then news editor Artemio T. Engracia Jr., then associate editor Abel S. Ulanday, and then reporters Nancy C. Carvajal and Christine O. Avendaño. In his lawsuit, Del Prado tagged three “libelous” Inquirer stories...

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Who’s misinforming the public on the debt service?

An issue has arisen on what exactly are the Philippines’ debt service obligations. Contending parties from the government and the media have issued contradictory statements on how to define the debt service: The government claims it is manageable; some in the media are raising alarm bells.  Last Aug. 24, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman was quoted...

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Tagle as papal contender? Here are the pros and cons

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the former archbishop of Manila, may be the strongest papal contender if Pope Francis resigns, like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did. But certain factors may affect his chances of getting elected in the next conclave. One factor is Tagle’s perceived closeness to Pope Francis, who appointed him in 2019 to head...

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Honor, courage and storytelling in difficult times

Editor’s note: The following is the commencement speech delivered by Caroline S. Hau via Zoom at the University of the Philippines Diliman on July 31, 2022.  Ms. Hau began her speech in Filipino with a greeting to the UP Regents, President Danilo Concepcion, officials of the UP System, Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo, vice chancellors, deans and...