SASS ROGANDO SASOT

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WHILE the prim and proper among us shudder at vulgarity, history has given us a more charitable perspective on it. Vulgarity serves as a “crucial rhetorical weapon of the politically excluded,” Amber A’Lee wrote in Current Affairs. A prominent feature of the language of the people, it has been historically…

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EVERYONE involved in this atrocious public health scandal should be held accountable. All government officials from the Aquino administration to the current one who had a hand in the decision to immunize our children, regardless of their dengue history, with Dengvaxia should be publicly named, shamed, and prosecuted to the…

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CURRENT signs tell me that we might suffer Myanmar’s fate rather than end up like Thailand. Rigoberto Tiglao’s November 24 column (“Thailand has had a revolutionary government since 2014: No problem”) offered an alluring example of a revolutionary government that didn’t end up in a tragedy—yet: Thailand. This Southeast Asian…

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Last of 2 parts AS a guide for his foreign policy on China, President Benigno Aquino 3rd used the Sudetenland as an analogy. He wanted the world to act against China before it turns into an unstoppable Nazi Germany. As I mentioned in the first part of this column, it’s…

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First of 2 parts FOREIGN policy decisions are often guided by historical analogies. The policy maker uses the past to diagnose the tendencies of the dynamics of present situations. As strategist Richard Rumeit put it in Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, “the guiding policy adopted is usually an approach deemed successful in…

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It is very wise to stimulate madness at the right time. —Machiavelli, The Discourses on Levy RICHARD Nixon is arguably one of the most strategic presidents the US ever had. Perhaps this owe greatly to having Henry Kissinger as his National Security Adviser. Whatever our moral judgment about Kissinger is,…

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A VESTIGE of the Cold War, the North Korean crisis needs to be resolved using Asian precedents in mind. The other framework for resolution—the Libyan model—has been made untenable by the march of history. In July 2007, North Korea halted operations of its main nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, as verified…

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SO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe considers President Rodrigo Duterte “family.” Last year, in October, during Duterte’s detente mission in China, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told him “We are brothers. We are Asians.” The use of kinship terms such as “family” and “brothers” harks back to the style diplomacy…

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YET another manifestation of oppression by the Duterte administration, another coalition of groups against him freely organized held their first assembly in a state-owned university to denounce the fascist du jour. A socialist coalition, Laban Ng Masa, aims to meet “the need for a genuine and credible opposition to authoritarian…

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