Binay fan wants his “idol” to explain the building

Exclusive by Raissa Robles - Embattled Vice-President Jejomar Binay may want to seriously rethink his position that he has nothing to explain. That all allegations of corruption and overpricing swirling around the 11 storey Makati city hall parking building are just “politically motivated attacks.” If cab driver Robin Visin is any gauge, Binay's so-called solid base may be showing some cracks.

Read on >

Congress cannot repeal a People’s Initiative law, Bayan Muna congressman insists

Things got even more interesting. Bayan Muna Congressman Neri Colmentares is standing his ground that Section 10 of the draft People's Initiative law is constitutional. Earlier, I wrote a piece asking - Is the draft law being pushed through a People’s Initiative unconstitutional? Former Congressman Teddy Casino posted the following on his blog: In the interest of clarifying concerns regarding the constitutionality of the proposed PI bill abolishing the pork barrel system, I’m posting Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares’ memo on the controversial Section 10 of the said bill.

Read on >

Is the draft law being pushed through a People’s Initiative unconstitutional?

Analysis by Raïssa Robles -- Is the Scrap Pork Network behind the People's Initiative promising something that might get shot down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in the end? Something even Congress can easily overturn? Why didn't any official in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines see the potential constitutional defects and suggest amendments to the draft law entitled "An Act abolishing the presidential and congressional pork barrel system, strengthening the system of checks and balances over public funds, prohibiting certain acts, and providing penalties therefore?"

Read on >

Ninoy’s funeral was the day Filipinos stopped being afraid of dictators

Exclusive (w/photos) by Raïssa Robles -- Thirty-one years ago on August 31, millions of Filipinos formed a funeral cortege that stretched miles and miles across the nation's capital to bury a man who had come home, foolishly thinking he could convince an aging dictator to loosen his grip on power. That man, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., was treacherously shot dead as he was led down a flight of stairs from the aircraft he had arrived in. His feet never even touched the ground. Ninoy's murder in a tightly secured area while surrounded by soldiers ironically had a strange effect on the Filipino psyche. It freed many Filipinos from the constant fear of living under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Read on >

Why President Aquino’s hint of a second term is raising hell

Mar-Roxas thumb-kargador

And the First Lady factor - Commentary by Raïssa Robles - How are we to respond to President Benigno Aquino coyly hinting he's open to a (currently unconstitutional) second term? Why, with a smile and a “No, thank you.” Let’s have political succession. Not an amendment to the 1987 Constitution. Before I explain why, let me share with you my conversation yesterday with Mel Sta. Maria, Dean of the Far Eastern University Institute of Law who scooped us all in the media with his interview with PNoy.

Read on >

What did President Cory Aquino actually accomplish?

Exclusive Part 2 of 2 By Raïssa Robles - With one stroke of the pen, she empowered half of the country’s population. Nowadays we think nothing - or nothing much -- of unmarried couples who openly live together; of wives who have their own bank accounts or who separate from husbands due to their abuse or philandering. Yet a mere 28 years ago, none of this was legally possible.

Read on >

Senators vow to conceal all – political operator

hotmanila-humor-column2

If I want to know the real score – stripped of troublesome thoughts like morality or ethics – I turn to political operators to give me the low-down on political events. They never fail to surprise or give fresh, candid takes on what ordinary people view as downright scandalous. It is for this reason that my hubby Alan turned to one such political operator. Here is his story:

Read on >

What did President Cory Aquino actually accomplish?

By Raissa Robles - President Corazon Aquino was an “ordinary housewife” who was constantly attacked - literally - by military rebels. She stood up to them and saw them off. Would her critics have been as tough? What would the country be like if President Cory had given up because of any of the coups that took place from 1986 to 1989? To begin with there’s a strong likelihood Juan Ponce Enrile would have replaced her as leader of a military-civilian junta. The country would have hurtled toward a dark, uncertain future of intermittent coups and counter-coups. Enrile himself indicated as much in the memoirs he published in 2012. But more on that later.

Read on >