Breaking News – Vietnam joins Philippines in arbitration court over the South China Sea

Vietnam has suddenly joined the Philippines in arbitration court to contest China's claim over nearly all of South China Sea. The Philippines has been long wooing Vietnam to do just this. Perhaps China's aggressive action this year made Hanoi finally make up its mind to join the international suit against its former colonial master China.

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The proposed FOI: It’s worse than I thought

Here is the analysis I shared at today's forum on the proposed Freedom of Information law organized by the Asia Society. I compared and contrasted the version of the House of Representatives with that of the Senate. It is not my aim to cast aspersions on the bills. My aim is to help improve it. It is not yet too late. I have uploaded at the end of this piece the Senate and House versions of the FOI so you can compare them yourself. UPDATE: Dec. 2, 2014 6:00 AM. Congressman Barry Gutierrez has joined Cyber Plaza Miranda to defend the House version of the FOI bill. He is one of the main sponsors. His comment is at No. 5. You can ask him questions directly and tell him your reactions to the bill. First, the good news – both the House and Senate versions will require all government websites to display content in the country's major languages and not just in English.

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I’ve been invited to two events – the Asia Society forum on “FOI” and the PEN Conference on “writing and the crusade against corruption”

Hi guys, I will be a panelist at tomorrow's wide-ranging discussion on the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) law at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in a forum organized by the Asia Society. I said yes to the invite because I will be the lone panelist speaking for professional journalists. I will be talking partly from my own experience digging up information in the bowels of the government bureaucracy.

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Just before dying, Vicente Paterno called dictator Ferdinand Marcos a thief

By Raïssa Robles - Thirty one years after leaving the Marcos government, former senator Vicente Paterno , finally broke his silence about what he really thought of Marcos in a memoir which he personally launched a week before dying peacefully in his sleep. Earlier, just before his November 11 book launching, I was sent a copy of the draft manuscript and I had noted the glaring absence of his personal assessment of Marcos' heinous crimes.

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The nuns went tsk, tsk, tsk during Antonio Tiu’s Senate testimony on ‘Hacienda Binay’

And my other experiences while testifying at the Senate - By Raïssa Robles - When I testified at the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee on Oct 30, a clutch of nuns in white and grey habit quietly sat in the rear gallery of the Senate session hall. Well, maybe they weren’t TOTALLY quiet. During the testimony of businessman Antonio Tiu, some of the nuns went "tsk, tsk, tsk" and shook their heads, according to a friend of mine who sat with them.

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Did someone from Sandiganbayan remove Vice-President Binay’s cases from its website?

By Raïssa Robles - It's very strange. Ordinarily, case resolutions of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan are easy to load and download from the website. It is one of the things I like about the website. However, no matter how I try - and I've tried it dozens of times on different devices - whenever I try to load Vice-President Jejomar Binay's two case resolutions, this is the message I get on my screen:

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Vicente Paterno’s autobiography minces no words about corruption, GMA etcetera

By Raïssa Robles - Vicente Paterno's autobiography minces no words about corruption, GMA etcetera I am honored to attend the launching of his autobiography tomorrow. And I urge you to read it. His former chief-of-staff Kathy Moran gave me an advanced glimpse of his memoirs published by Anvil.

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