YEN MAKABENTA

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First word BEFORE the national conversation shifts totally to President Rodrigo Duterte’s second state of the nation address (SONA) yesterday, I want to do a quick review of the joint session of Congress last Saturday, and the striking revelations it made about our country and our government today. I nearly…

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TO paraphrase the opening line of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, public opinion survey firms are not all alike; each is different in its own way. Three opinion research organizations—SWS, Pulse Asia and Financial Times Confidential Research— took turns last month in measuring the Filipino public’s…

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First word DURING Stephen Sackur’s much-viewed interview of Sen. Antonio Trillanes on HARDtalk, the BBC journalist declared that President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a high approval rating of something like 75 percent. The President’s job approval could probably be that high, but it is one of the holes in Sackur’s and…

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First word NO Speaker of the House of Representatives has stretched the oversight function and contempt power of Congress to their limits more than Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his chief lieutenants (majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas and House accountability committee chairman Johnny Pimentel). No one has been unthinking enough to do…

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THE vote in the Supreme Court was not even close. The 15 justices voted 11-3-1 to uphold the constitutionality of Proclamation 216, which declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23. Eleven justices voted to dismiss the three petitions against the proclamation;…

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