By Raïssa Robles - This morning even before I had my coffee, I had a chat with one of the country's veteran radio broadcasters, Mr. Niel Ocampo of DZRH radio. It was the first time in a very long time that I had chatted with Niel, who knows the ins and outs of Philippine politics.
Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - The human rights lawyer and 2016 presidential candidate Jejomar Binay wants Filipinos to "move on" from crying out against the injustice and atrocities committed by the Marcos dictatorship, because he said, anyway, Marcos is dead. No member of the family - three of whom were also government officials during the dictatorship - has apologized for ANYTHING. Not the abuses. Not the plunder. Nothing. As someone on Facebook said, Anakin has completely gone over to the dark side.
By Raïssa Robles - Some people might get the impression that Sen. Serge Osmeña is just shooting his mouth off talking about the various presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Earlier, he had advised Senator Grace Poe to run for VP. Then he said that Congresswoman Leni Robredo could win hands down over Senator Chiz Escudero in the VP race if she was “packaged properly.”
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?
By Raïssa Robles - Now that it's officially summer, what better time to revive “Halo-Halo”, my gossip column about everything and anything. First off, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) had an unexpected invitation from US Ambassador Philip Goldberg to see him and his embassy staff for cocktails last Thursday. I must say, I did not expect Goldberg to place everything off-the-record. I guess I had been spoiled by previous invites from the ambassadors of France and even from China before (notably Ambassador Liu Jianchiao) who has long been transferred to Indonesia.
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.
Analysis by Raissa Robles - The latest survey results have yet to come in, but one thing seems clear: if President Benigno Aquino III were to be unseated from office, people do not want him replaced by his rightful constitutional successor - Vice President Jejomar Binay. It is the reason, I believe, that efforts to unseat the president have not gotten off the ground. Even people furious at Aquino for what they think is his thorough mishandling of the Mamasapano tragedy pause when they consider who’ll step up should Aquino step down. The ongoing Senate investigation into Binay’s alleged corruption have provided months of jaw-dropping TV revelations to the public, and have planted an idea, fair or not, what a Binay presidency might be like.
Just my opinion - by Raissa Robles - While President Benigno Aquino III has successfully vanquished enemies, ironically, it is his personal friends who could bring him down. He has a difficult time letting go of pals who become political liabilities. The opposite is true of Vice President Jejomar Binay. He appears to have no problem dropping friends to further his political interests, and those ex-buddies are the ones who can bring him down.
And my other experiences while testifying at the Senate - By Raïssa Robles - When I testified at the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee on Oct 30, a clutch of nuns in white and grey habit quietly sat in the rear gallery of the Senate session hall. Well, maybe they weren’t TOTALLY quiet. During the testimony of businessman Antonio Tiu, some of the nuns went "tsk, tsk, tsk" and shook their heads, according to a friend of mine who sat with them.
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.