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 hubby Alan made this initial assessment for South China Morning Post (HK) on the eve of President Benigno Aquino's last State of the Nation Address (SONA). It's only initial because so much can still happen in his last year in office. Our thanks to Dr. Mahar Mangahas of Social Weather Stations who agreed to be interviewed even while he was busy abroad. And to Aurelio German, who was first interviewed when Aquino was running for office in 2010. Reli German lends a historical perspective.
Exclusive by Raïssa Robles - When I interviewed President Benigno Aquino III on April 16, 2015, one of the very first things he told me was that he intends to fix the pension system for the military and policemen. This includes passing an amended law and identifying ways to fund its seed capital, which is estimated to cost over P1.7 trillion. According to news reports, as of the year 2000, unpaid pensions had reached a total of P18 billion.
By Raïssa Robles - Hi guys, I'm back from attending the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. While I was in Bonn enjoying the first day of the forum, my Samsung Tab vibrated with a news alert: Vice President Jejomar Binay had resigned from the Cabinet irrevocably. Hmmm, I thought, what had made him resign months before the filing of his certificate of candidacy?
Here's what Pres. Aquino said about smiling at the #SAF 44 commandos' wake - Exclusive by Raïssa Robles - When my request to interview President Aquino was unexpectedly granted last week, Malacañang Palace asked me, again, for a list of interview questions. I had submitted a list months ago, but apparently they wanted a new copy. I debated with myself whether I should take the opportunity to include something that had puzzled me for a long time. It had to do with his facial expression during dramatic, tense moments. It seemed in many of these moments he was smiling - some said smirking.
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.
By Raïssa Robles - Things just got more interesting. I just received word that the impeached former Chief Justice Renato Corona is now at Club Filipino "to demand the immediate resignation/removal of President (Benigno) Aquino for the mamasapano carnage and other urgent issues."
Just my opinon By Raïssa Robles - - It puzzles me no end how the Cojuangco couple could possibly be leaders of reform. One of them bitterly fought a landmark legislation that would have benefited thousands of poor landless farmers. The other sued a journalist for a story alleging the use of political influence for personal gain. I am referring to the power couple Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco and her husband Jose "Peping" Cojuangco. Both played key roles in putting Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacañang Palace through the paper political party Kampi. And both were rewarded for it with government positions.
Exclusive analysis by Raïssa Robles - Just as scientists say that nature abhors a vacuum, politics also abhors a power vacuum and hastens to fill it. This is what Philippine National Police Director General Alan PurisiPNP-capma did with tragic results.