President Rodrigo Roa Duterte: Welcome to the Next Six Years

The 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte from Davao garnered nearly 16 million votes, a six-million margin above the second placer Mar Roxas of the formidable Liberal Party. Roxas stood in front of his supporters and the country and wished Duterte well, the man he called a dictator and whom he attempted to gang up on two days…

The Death of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Co-written with Ephraim Aguilar Just like that, the proposed legislation that promises peace in the South is dead. The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) died in a war — not of guns, bombs and barbaric grounds — but a war within the hallowed, civilized halls of Congress. The very same fruit of two decades of grueling negotiations is…

Inside the Barracks of the PNP Special Action Force

Heroes are not born; they emerge because of certain circumstances, often through hard work and sheer courage. Fate may have chosen the brave 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force when they offered their lives for the country last year. But their training inside Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna has already prepared them for the worst….

Mamasapano’s Music from Paradise by Howie Severino

Before Mamasapano became a blood stain on the national psyche, the only buzz about the impoverished little town came from its exquisite music.It’s not at all popular music, but the melodious high-pitched sound produced by a rarely seen and heard two-stringed instrument called kudyapi. Mamasapano was the home of the kudyapi master, Samaon Sulaiman, a…

The PNP’s Chance at Redemption by Howie Severino

At no other time in recent memory has any group of policemen elicited as much public sympathy as the Fallen 44 SAF Commandos. In the midst of the horrific nightmare that triggered this outpouring of emotion is an opportunity. At any other time, many of us would regard the police as the least heroic, most…

Children of the 90s: The Fallen Officers of Oplan Exodus

During the first People Power Revolution in EDSA, these six brave men pictured above were babies or simply biding their time inside the wombs of their mothers. Like me, they grew up in the 1990s — when songs from the Eraserheads ruled the radio airwaves and when brownout was rampant. Years ago, they were just children. And they were still young when…