View today’s political mud-throwing in the context of the 2016 presidential elections

by Raïssa Robles - Are you confused and even afraid of what's happening in Philippine politics right now? Well, think of it as political spring-cleaning. As if someone upended a drawer full of stuff and Filipinos are in the process of looking through, deciding what to throw, or keep and whatnot. Love it or hate it, President Benigno Aquino changed the rules of the political game. At no other time in our country’s history do you find so many top officials detained and undergoing trial for corruption. At the latest count, we have one president-turned-congresswoman, one ex-presidential spouse, three senators, one retired national police chief, one former Supreme Court chief Justice, one governor, and at least two congressmen, all undergoing trial for corruption.

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So you want to be the next President of the Republic of the Philippines? Read this first.

True, there are a lot of perks that go with the job - a limousine with back-up security, a 24-7 kitchen, all you can eat, a gym, golf course and mini-hospital right in your backyard. Plus power that seems to attract and make you beautiful or handsome to many men and women. But face it. It's HARD to be President of the Republic of the Philippines.

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Should President Aquino resign – Catholic Bishops Conference President weighs in


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."

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Dear Bishops, please ban all elected officials from standing as wedding and baptismal sponsors of non-relatives

Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - On its own, the Catholic Church can greatly help reduce corruption and political dynasties by banning all elected officials from standing as "ninong" or "ninang" in weddings and baptisms of those not related to them up to the second degree. The ban can be lifted the moment the politician leaves office.

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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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Typhoon Haiyan uncovered the Philippines’ secret shame


By Raïssa Robles - When Jette Po-Major and her medical colleagues went to Samar last year to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan they were stunned by a realization. Most of the residents had never had any medical or dental treatment. "Meeting people who have never seen a doctor in their entire life is something incredible for us," Jette told me then as she narrated her experience in the aftermath of what we locally call Typhoon Yolanda.

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SEC Chair wants power to kill fraudulent firms & jail erring officers

By Raïssa Robles - On the day I gave my testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee my seat mate during the hearing was a very pleasant but tough-talking lady: Security and Exchange Commissions Chair Teresita Herbosa. During the hearing, we exchanged reactions to what we were hearing from the other "resource persons" who had been summoned like us to testify that day, October 30.

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Here’s my 2010 profile on Vice-President Binay based on my one-on-one interview with him

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Below is the piece I wrote for South China Morning Post, based on my June 29,2010 one-on-one interview with Vice-President Jejomar Binay. I am posting it with my editor's permission. - Vice-president has credentials as champion of poor Tuesday, 06 July, 2010, 12:00am - Raissa Robles in Manila - The new Philippine vice-president, Jejomar Binay, has a highly unusual but apt given name. It is a short form for the biblical Holy Family - Jesus, Mary, Joseph - which in the Filipino language is pronounced 'Susmaryosep', an exclamation of surprise and disbelief.

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