I’m attending Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum on “Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age”

Hi guys, I am deeply honored to attend next week's Global Media Forum by Deutsche Welle in Bonn, courtesy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The invite to me as a journalist-blogger came out of the blue. I'd like to thank those in the German Federal Foreign Office who recommended me to attend this forum because I am not officially employed by any news publication or outfit. I'm basically a creature of the digital age – a freelancer who has added her voice to the multifaceted discussions on global issues, thanks to the Internet.

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Senator Grace Poe thanks me for baring US gov’t records that she dropped her US citizenship in 2012

USE THIS - 2016 Elections UPDATES June 8-15

By Raïssa Robles Instead of getting annoyed at me – which was what happened when I asked President Benigno Aquino in 2011 if it was true he was playing video games during the 2010 Luneta bus hostage crisis – Senator Grace Poe thanked me for publishing US state records on her American citizenship. Which, by the way came from “Yvonne” and later “Baycas” - both active members of the Cyber Plaza Miranda who congregate on this site. Thank you, too, @emmcee79 for calling my attention on Twitter about Senator Poe's direct mention of my name to Senate reporters.

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US government records: Sen. Grace Poe dropped her American citizenship in 2012

USE THIS - 2016 Elections UPDATES June 8-15

Or two years after becoming MTRCB Chief - Exclusive by Raïssa Robles, @Yvonne and @Baycas - When Senator Grace Poe took her oath to become Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chief in 2010, did she already drop her US citizenship as required by Philippine law? Senator Poe told GMA News last month that she did.

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Malaysia reacts to my interview with President Aquino

By Raïssa Robles - I’ve always suspected the Chinese read my blog - given what I’ve written about the West Philippine Sea. Yesterday I found out Malaysia was reading it as well. Channel News Asia and Malaysian online newspaper newstraitstimes.com separately reported that on May 19 Malaysia’s foreign ministry summoned the Philippine Charge d'Affaires Medardo Macaraig to give him an earful over what President Benigno Aquino told me when I asked if he was dropping the Philippine claim to Sabah.

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Can we trust the MILF?

My take on the rage and the fears over this proposed law - By Raïssa Robles - It looks like the Philippine government is about to arrive at a momentous peace settlement and agreement with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Congress is likely to pass the the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which will put in place a new regional autonomous government with expanded revenue-making powers, a bigger purse and more say in running its own affairs. It’s a major stepping stone on the road to peace in Mindanao, which has been torn by war for decades. The BBL has met bitter opposition from some quarters. Opinion surveys show that many Filipinos are against the BBL. But what’s interesting is that recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys indicate that the opposition seems to be based on ignorant. Those respondents who knew nothing at all about the BBL are the ones most opposed to it. In fact, it seems most of the critics of the BBL have not bothered to read the BBL at all.

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I will not drop Sabah claim, President Aquino told me

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles President Benigno Aquino has categorically stated that he will not drop the Philippine claim to Sabah, contrary to what critics of his centerpiece legislation on Muslim autonomy – the Bangsamoro Basic Law – are saying. During my recent wide-ranging interview with him that lasted over two hours in Malacanang Palace, I asked President Aquino directly whether […]

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Hotmanila takes a closer look at China’s new islands in the South China West Philippine Sea

Thinking of the beaches, my hubby Alan was inspired to write something on the newest islands this side of the Pacific. Here's his take on the issue - What is China up to in the West Philippine Sea? - Hot Manila - By Alan Robles [Posted at 05/11/2015 1:27 PM at ABS-CBNNews.com]

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Watching people now watching the #PacquiaoMayweather fight – the Flight of the Century?

Pacquiao-THUMB-drives-Mayweather

Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - I have a confession to make. I have never watched any of the fights of Manny Pacquiao, although I consider him a great boxer. And I've seen clips of his fight. I can't bear watching a blood sport, I guess. The frenzy, the excitement and the violence transports me back to the Roman times of the gladiators. Which is why the place where they are fighting now is so aptly named - the Arena.

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Mary Jane Veloso case shows urgent need for better ASEAN coordination against drug traffickers

CRIME-LOGO

Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - In the early morning hours when Mary Jane Veloso was supposed to be executed, I couldn’t sleep. I was kept awake thinking how she could have been saved by simple transnational police work on the day she was arrested. If only there was some kind of a mechanism, procedure or protocol among ASEAN countries that could have verified what Veloso had told airport security the day she was arrested.

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