By Raïssa Robles It was my first time to interview and meet Jose Maria Sison – the nemesis of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos – and the nagging problem of all five presidents since. I wanted to gauge the man. We ended up talking for over nine hours. Below is just a rough sketch of him.
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.
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 […]
But why gov't needs to deal with MILF - Commentary By Raïssa Robles - E-mails between the slain bomber Zulkifli Abdhir, alias Marwan, and his brother Rahmat Abdhir bare a brisk trade in weaponry in the south, even between rebels and soldiers.
By Raïssa Robles - Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President Socrates Villegas issued this morning a statement following calls by two fellow bishops for President Benigno Aquino III to resign. Speaking for the CBCP, the church policy-making body consisting of all Philippine bishops, Monsignor Villegas said: "Before we have all the facts, however, the CBCP cannot morally join in the calls for his resignation, leaving this decision to his humble and prayerful discernment of his capacity to lead and the support he has not only from officials of government but from members of Philippine society."
By Raïssa Robles - Hotmanila, the satirical political website of my hubby Alan has been hacked, ostensibly to deliver this message to President Benigno Aquino III: "We are watching you, Mr. President." The hacking apparently took place after Aquino was severely criticized by netizens for showing up late at the wake of the police commandos yesterday.
When men play war games...
By Raissa Robles - When I watched the coffins of the slain police commandos at the airport today, I felt very, very sad and pained that the Mindanao wars which started nearly half a century ago continues to this day. I also realized by looking at the feeds on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter that those living outside Mindanao had little grasp of the violent history that has engulfed the island of Mindanao. The shocking sight of 44 dead bodies in neat rows today was probably one of the rare times that people in Manila have witnessed the deadly consequences of the Mindanao wars.
An NGO which played a key role in the Philippine signing of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 15 years ago has issued a statement calling for an impartial probe on the police commando killings but urging the public not to over-react.