Stories posted 2007


The price of peace

JAKARTA, INDONESIA AND DILI, EAST TIMOR — With intermittent applause and encouraging laughter, it was almost easy to forget that the imposing figure who had the floor was testifying about his alleged involvement in atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. The speaker, after all, was the former commander of the Indonesian armed forces, and he was supposed to be a giving a public, factual testimony to the Indonesia and East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF). Yet given his audience’s nearly jocular mood and his easy manner, he may as well have been recounting his experiences in the 2004 presidential campaign trail.

Harnessing the wind

BANGUI, ILOCOS NORTE — They’re tall and white, and silhouetted against the backdrop of blue sea and green mountain, the tri-blade windmills of this remote coastal town up north can be an impressive sight. Indeed, in the last few years, people from various places flock to the base of the wind farm or to a view deck that offers a panoramic view of some of the 15 giant structures. Local and foreign tourists have taken thousands of pictures of the windmills, with many of the photos landing in personal online blogs. One such brag shot shows the windmills providing a backdrop to a smiling young lady in mid-leap, the shutter catching her off ground, arms outstretched. It is a pose that some have been seen trying to duplicate while visiting the site.

Cleaning up the ‘King’

IT’S CALLED nostalgically as the ‘King of the Road,’ but to many, the jeepney is more the scourge of the streets.

Motorists complain of jeepneys that hog the roads and stall traffic by suddenly stopping in the middle of a busy street to pick up passengers. Even worse are the jeepneys that belch thick, black, acrid fumes as they speed down the asphalt.

In search of green alternatives

IT USED to be that the only reasons LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas tanks would be on the streets were because they were either being delivered to homes or were attached to stoves on the carts of vendors of banana cue and kwek-kwek (deep-fried batter-coated quail eggs). Now, however, LPG is powering thousands of taxis plying Metro Manila streets — and no one is the wiser, save for pleased taxi drivers and operators who say their fuel expenses have gone down by at least half.

Guilty! But special concessions for accused show flawed system

IT MAY take some time before the debates end in reaction to the much anticipated landmark ruling on the first criminal trial involving a former President of the Republic. On Wednesday, ousted president Joseph Ejercito Estrada was found guilty of plunder, but was acquitted on the perjury charge. His co-accused, son Jose ‘Jinggoy’ and lawyer […]

The ultimate verdict

The author is the director of the Institute of International Legal Studies at the University of the Philippines Law Center and is an assistant professor of law at UP Diliman. In this issue The ultimate verdict Legal eagles… and eaglets Guilty! But special concessions for accused show flawed system Continuing coverage at the PCIJ blog […]

Legal eagles… and eaglets

OMBUDSMAN SPECIAL Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio has two framed caricatures displayed prominently in his white office at the Sandiganbayan. One shows him locking up former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada inside a prison cell and shouting “Next!” The other has him knocking out Estrada in a boxing ring.

“They are both gifts to me,” says Villa-Ignacio, the special prosecutor who leads the team of government lawyers in the P4.1-billion plunder and perjury cases against Estrada.

I am woe, man

I HAVE three things in common with former president and certified macho man Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada: the same birthday, facial hair, and the constant presence of women. But while he may believe being constantly around women is a good thing and could be a much needed boost to one’s masculinity, it’s a situation I have ambivalent feelings about.

Women of the House

IN 1996, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, the all-female Soroptimist International Manila was in search of a guest speaker who was known for championing women’s causes, had contributed to the women’ s struggle, and had affected the lives of millions of Filipinas in a positive way. It didn’t take its members long to come up with a unanimous choice. The only problem was, they had chosen a he.


Ang tipo kong babae

WHAT’S in the Filipino male’s mind? What is he looking for in a partner? Wonder no more.
We found out that the Filipino male likes his woman mabait, which is the generic term for kind, which really means agreeable. Or quiet? Timid? Pinoys also like their women “maganda (beautiful),” which means “maputi (fair-skinned),” “matangkad (tall),” and “payat (slim).”

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